Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas 2019

Hola amigos! ‘Tis the season to share a selection of Camino-inspired gifts for the holidays. There are offerings from pilgrims who have been so inspired by the Camino that they have created books, customized maps, music, and more. New this year, a few things that pilgrims crave: Camino beer, Jamón Serrano, and Tarta de Santiago. Add them to your shopping list and you will be set for your upcoming fiestas and pilgrim gatherings. I’m also happy to announce that the Camino patches for 2020 finally arrived and are pictured at the end of this post. So, browse the gifts for the pilgrims on your list, and perhaps pick something out for yourself. You’ve been a good pilgrim all year, haven’t you? If not, I won’t tell St. Nick, or St. James.  😉

Custom Camino Maps

‘A Road To Santiago’ creates one-of-a-kind custom Camino maps showing the village names, custom text in the header, choice of decorations, optional photos and trail profiles. Custom Camino Maps

These 24″ x 36″  or 18″ x 24″ custom maps are a great memory piece.  Starting at $55 for the digital-only version and $80 and up for printed, rolled and shipped versions.  For more details, go to ARoadToSantiago.com. These are very customizable by a graphics designer – many options available. Designed, printed and shipped within a week.

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Camino and Hiking Events in November 2019

Hola, peregrinos.  Below is the roundup of Camino events and hikes in the SF Bay Area.

Packing for your pilgrimage walk on the Camino de Santiago
7:00 PM  –  8:30 PM
Berkeley REI

Packing for walking the Camino may seem overwhelming, but in this informative presentation by experienced Camino hikers Laurie Ferris and Susan Alcorn, you can put your concerns to rest. On their own Caminos, both have learned much about what to bring and what not to bring. They’ll discuss backpacks, clothing, shoes, sleeping gear, hiking poles, toiletries, and more. They’ll also talk about how to pack a backpack so that it’s most comfortable. Laurie and Susan are not in total agreement on what items are best to bring–and hope that new hikers will find it reassuring that there is no ONE right way–there are many right ways. They are in agreement about keeping the weight of your pack low and not packing based on fears. Laurie Ferris is co-coordinator of the Northern CA chapter of American Pilgrims and has hiked the Camino Ingles, Portuguese, Primitivo, and Invierno routes. Susan Alcorn, author of two Camino books, has hiked the Frances, Norte, Primitivo, Portuguese and more.

Register for Berkeley event on Nov. 6, 2019

It’s an honor to be co-presenting with Susan Alcorn. She wrote the first book I read about the Camino, Camino Chronicle, and has a great website and monthly newsletter.  A few years ago, Susan wrote a guest post, Love and Life on the Camino, which is featured on my Love, Camino Style page.


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Camino and Hiking Events in October 2019

Happy Fall! I am excited to share some upcoming Camino events in the Bay Area.

Lake Merritt Walk + Camino Packing Presentation
Saturday, October 5th
Oakland, CA

Lake Merritt Walk
10:30 AM – 12 PM

Join our popular and easy walk that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. Meet at the Pergola (aka “The Columns”) on the east side of Oakland’s Lake Merritt at 10:30 AM and start walking by 10:45 AM. It’s a level, 3.3-mile walk around the lake that takes about an hour. Whether you’re a newbie or Camino veteran, everyone is welcome. Bring your questions, answers and pilgrim spirit! But leave the dogs at home (for insurance purposes.)  If you’re on the NorCal Facebook group, join event. Stay for the presentation at the Lakeview Library (details below).

Presentation: Camino 101: Packing
1 – 2 PM

Join the Northern California Chapter for a presentation led by Camino veteran Rob Nickerson at the Lakeview Branch of the Oakland Public Library. We’ll continue our educational series with a presentation on packing that includes a gear panel of experienced pilgrims. Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned veteran, you’re sure to pick up invaluable info, tips and tricks for your next Camino!

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Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas 2018

Greetings! It’s the time of year to share a selection of Camino-inspired gifts for the holidays.  I try to find gifts created within the last year, or that have not been featured on my previous posts.  This is an ode to the Camino creatives tribe, which I mentioned in a previous post. These are pilgrims who have been so inspired by their experience on the Camino that they have turned their creative ideas and hobbies into films, books, artwork, crafts,  jewelry, and more. I always enjoy hearing their stories and sharing their labors of love.

Buen Camino Calendar 2019

A desktop calendar for 2019 with pictures taken on the Camino Francés and quotes for contemplation each month. $12

Buen Camino Calendar

This is a new offering from the lovely couple from Mt. Shasta, California who made the Buen Camino board game. Get 20% off your order from Buen Camino Shop when you spend $15 or more. Code XMAS2018 Discount applied at checkout. This calendar will sell out soon. Continue reading

Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas 2017

It’s the time of year to share an updated list of Camino-inspired gifts for the holidays.  I find it fascinating that some pilgrims have been so inspired by their experience on the Camino that they have turned their creative ideas and hobbies into films, books, artwork, crafts,  jewelry, and more. I see this as a way pilgrims can share their talents in a way others can enjoy, and possibly, also be inspired by the Camino! Below are a few gift ideas for the pilgrims on your list.

Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas

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Buen Camino Docu-Show

My friend Cathy Seitchik Diaz alerted me to a new docu-show that aired on Spanish television in July. The ¡Buen Camino! series followed pilgrims from more than 100 countries who were walking, biking, and even horseback riding on the Camino in spring 2017.  Cathy was one of the pilgrims that was interviewed by host Marta Márquez. I remember when Cathy emailed me route reports on the Camino Francés, she mentioned a TV show and that a drone camera was following her overhead.  She said she was a little nervous about being interviewed on camera, but because she is so passionate about the Camino, she was excited to spread the word.

Behind the scenes of Cathy being interviewed by the host, Marta.

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Beyond the Way, A Camino Film Series

I have been wanting to share Andrew Suzuki’s excellent film series for a while, but it didn’t seem complete. Now the missing episode, “Some Assembly Required” is free and online!

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Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas 2016

Happy Holidays! I love this time of year for so many reasons. Mostly, I love to give gifts! However, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of commercialized Christmas. I try to stay away from big stores and shopping malls. It is so overwhelming! I prefer to shop in local neighborhoods or online. Fortunately, there is a great variety of gifts from pilgrims who were so inspired by their experience that they turned their ideas or crafts into creative Camino gifts. Below are a few ideas for gifts for the pilgrims on your list. There is something for everyone!

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Film Review: Wayfaring

Wayfaring – A Jaunt Along The Camino de Santiago

Scott Herriott 2014 ‧ Documentary ‧ 1h 19m

Wayfaring This film follows Scott “Squatch” Herriott, an Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trail veteran, on the Camino Francés in the spring of 2013. He interviews pilgrims, albergue owners, hospitaleros (volunteers of the Camino), and a few locals who like to flirt with young peregrinas.

Squatch can be quite hilarious at times, as are some of the subjects he meets along his jaunt. There’s a scene with a couple who met along the Camino, and a very moving story of kindness that gave me goose bumps. It was a nice surprise to see Bay Area pilgrim Nancy Reynolds interviewed at an albergue! She’s well known for her enthusiastic Camino Experience presentations and guiding people across the Pyrenees.

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DVD Review: Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago

Whether you are familiar with the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, or are just starting to hear its calling, this documentary should be at the top of your must-see list. Director Lydia B. Smith walked the 500-mile trail in 2008 and was so moved Camino’s magnetic power that she decided to walk it again, along with her friend Annie O’Neil. This time with an international film crew and a strong hunch that they would meet some interesting subjects along the way. The Camino provided.

Walking the Camino: Six Ways to SantiagoWalking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago follows six pilgrims on their journey from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago.  During the first days of filming, the crew fatefully encountered the pilgrims that would become the cast: Sam from Brazil/UK, Wayne from Canada, Misa from Denmark, Tomás from Portugal, Tatiana from France. These pilgrims and Annie from the USA all had different reasons for doing the Camino, and faced different challenges along the way. You get to see their real Camino experiences—from blisters and debilitating injury—to camaraderie and unexpected romance.   There are interviews with priests and hospitaleros who describe what the pilgrimage is about.  By the end of the film,  I really understood the camaraderie of people from all over the world converging on the same path.  The film has stunning cinematography that captures the beauty of nature— from  tiny dew drops on grass—to the majestic mountains of the Pyrenees.

Watch the trailer: Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago

I had the opportunity to see this film and meet featured pilgrim and co-producer Annie O’Neil  when it was screened in Berkeley earlier this year. I recently bought the DVD boxed set, which includes bonus material and two hours of unseen footage.

Walking The Camino Boxed Set

Fans of this film will appreciate the in-depth interviews with the cast. I particularly liked what Sam said about the Camino changing the chemistry of her body. She threw away all her medications, just started walking and all her symptoms went away. The boxed set is available for purchase and makes a beautiful gift for any Caminophile on your list. See more purchase options.

Clearly, I am a fan of this film and recommend it to anyone who is interested in walking the Camino. I am looking forward to Annie O’Neil’s new documentary Phil’s Camino.