Porto Memories: J. K. Rowling Hangouts, Majestic Café and Livrario Lello

Did you know that the author of the beloved Harry Potter books lived in Porto between 1991 and 1993?  J. K. Rowling taught English there and used to hang out at the Majestic Café, and the 100-year-old bookshop, Livrario Lello.

According to The Portugalist, “During this time she outlined and developed her ideas for the entire seven-book series, and even got started on book one.”

I loved reading all the Harry Potter books and watching the films, so visiting J. K. Rowling’s old haunts was very exciting! Continue reading

What is the Camino Inglés?

By Kat Davis of followingthearrows.com

 

Check out and this blog by Kat Davis, Followingthearrows.com,  and her video on the Camino Inglés to get a glimpse of the route I’ll be walking.

I am just one month away from my Camino Inglés and I am getting super excited!

Kat’s blog also has a lot of good detail on the Caminos Frances, Portugués, and Primitivo at followingthearrows.com/caminos/

Followingthearrows.com is now on my Favorite Camino Blogs page.

Source: What is the Camino Ingles?

Porto Memories: The Cathedral

Continued from Porto Memories: Six Bridges Cruise and Porto at Night.

The Porto Cathedral is the place to get your first stamp if you start your Camino in Porto. You can also buy a pilgrim’s credencial there. I already had a credencial from American Pilgrims on the Camino, but I bought this one in case I ran out of space for stamps. It was the same older style from the pilgrim office in Santiago, and cost €2. See comparison of credencials.

Below are photos of the Porto Cathedral.

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Porto Memories: Six Bridges Cruise and Porto at Night

One of our favorites stops on my pre-Camino tour of Portugal was a two-nights stay in Porto. Many pilgrims start their Camino Portugués from there, and I highly recommend spending a couple of days to explore this incredible city. Here is the first in a series of posts on things to do in Porto.

Porto Cruise

What better way to shake off jet lag than a cruise on the Duoro river?

Porto Cruz

All aboard!

All aboard!

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Lucy and Oliver’s Camino Honeymoon

Our Camino Honeymoon

By Lucy Dominguez

When my now-husband and I got engaged and sat down to talk about the kind of wedding we wanted to have I think I surprised him. I told him I wanted to have a religious ceremony with lots of flowers, no reception, and a one-month honeymoon. I told him everything I knew about the Camino. My husband who hates everything about weddings and loves doing outdoor stuff was thrilled with the idea. We could not afford to do both the reception and the honeymoon of our dreams, so we decided that it was more important to have a transformative honeymoon than a big beautiful party. We were going on the Camino with the hopes that it would allow us to get to know each other better and fall deeper in love. So the planning began. Continue reading

Santiago Highlights: The Cathedral, from Roof to Crypt

Continued from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Santiago.

This post covers some of the fascinating aspects of the cathedral, including the rooftop tour, holy doors, botafumeiro, crypt, as well as the rites of embracing the apostle, and attending a pilgrim mass.

Rooftop tour of the Cathedral

If you enjoy great views, I recommend the Santiago cathedral rooftop tour. I did the Spanish tour because that was the only tour available on my last day. When I return to Santiago in June, I will book the English-speaking version of the tour.

Model of the cathedral

Model of the cathedral

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Santiago

I found God. Well, maybe that is not so funny. However, it is what I least expected to get out of my experience on the Camino. So now here I am, two weeks away from being confirmed as a Catholic. How did that happen? Confirmation was never something I felt I needed. In fact, I resented the Catholic church most of my life, and I still have some issues with it.  If you recall from a previous post, My Rekindled Faith,  our family stopped going to church after my parents’ divorce. I completely lost trust in the church until my mom busted a myth that I held since childhood.

I will discuss what I’m doing for the Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) in another post. For now, I just want to reassure my blog readers that I did not join a cult and nobody persuaded me to be “saved.” I was not preached to by any pilgrims, and I will not preach to anyone else. I just followed my vibe and realized that now is the right time, and my local parish is the right place.  A year ago I would have never thought I would be blogging about God, but this is part of my Camino. Now I see that the Camino really does provide, in more ways than I ever imagined.

Entrance to the Santiago Cathedral through the Holy Doors

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Camino and Hiking Events in April 2017

The rain has finally stopped and spring is in full bloom here in Oakland. It’s Camino training season, so let’s get right to it! Below is the roundup of Camino related events, hikes and poles workshops in the SF Bay Area for the month of April 2017.

Monthly Lake Merritt Walk in Oakland
Saturday, April 1, 10:30 am

A walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland is held every first Saturday of the month, at 10:30 am starting at the Pergola. Afterwards, there is an optional brunch in the area.  For April Fool’s Day, we are switching things up and walking counter-clockwise around the lake. Crazy, right?  Details and RSVP on NorCal Facebook Group. I’ll be at the walk and brunch with a pocket full of Camino patches and free stickers for anyone who asks.

The next Lake Merritt walk will be on Saturday, May 6, 2017. If you are in the Bay Area, join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook Group to get details on this and other events.


Technology on the Camino @ Oakland Rockridge Library
Saturday, April 15, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Have you wondered what technology you should take on your next Camino pilgrimage? Or do you feel that using technology on the Camino goes against the Camino spirit? Whether you like or loathe mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, GPS, or any other type of mobile technology, this talk has something for you.

No more room at the inn! Pilgrims charging up their devices on the Camino Francés in Agés, Spain.

Devices being charged on the Camino Francés in Agés, Spain. Stop the insanity! Photo by Guy Joaquin.

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Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino

Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino 2017

Below is a presentation by Scott Williams on injury prevention that I recorded at our NorCal Chapter’s annual pilgrim blessing ceremony on March 18, 2017. Scott “Shroomer” Williams is active in the American Long Distance Hiker Association-West and has thru-hiked the Triple Crown (Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail).

Filming Scott Williams

Filming Scott Williams presentation on injury prevention tips for the Camino

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Camino Couple Giving Back as Hospitaleros

I am pleased to share a guest post by Francis Kim, the voice behind Our First Date All Over Again. I got to know Anna and Francis Kim at our SF Bay Area pilgrim events and training hikes over the last two years. We trained for our 2016 Caminos around the same time and recently attended Hospitalero training together in Los Gatos, California. They will make an excellent team at an albergue some day! Below is Francis’s take on serving as hospitaleros.

Francis and Anna Kim are ready to serve! They prepared these delicious tapas for our pilgrim blessing and potluck on March 18, 2017.

Francis and Anna Kim are ready to serve! They prepared these delicious tapas for our pilgrim blessing and potluck on March 18, 2017.

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