Camino Love Story: Michelle & Andreas

Our Camino Love Story

by Michelle & Andreas

Statue of Mother Mary atop the foothills of the Pyrenees, just outside of Orisson

Statue of Mother Mary atop the foothills of the Pyrenees, just outside of Orisson

Most, if not all, of our friends know how our Camino Love Story came about. With that said, we absolutely love retelling it and reliving each and every mesmerizing step along the Way of St. James as it led us to this very beautiful moment of our becoming one on May 12, 2018.

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Camino and Hiking Events in February 2018

There’s a lot going on in February, so let’s get right to it! Below is a roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Packing for the Camino

Join the Silicon Valley Chapter of American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) for an evening of Camino talk. Camino veterans will discuss their equipment and clothing, including what worked, what didn’t work and why. They will also answer your questions and talk about what to expect when on the Camino.

REI, MOUNTAIN VIEW. 2450 Charleston Road, Mountain View, CA
Thursday
February 1, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Register online or call the store at 650-969-1938.

REI, MARINA. 145 General Stilwell Drive, Marina, CA
TuesdayFebruary 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Register online or call the store at 831-883-8048.

REI, SAN CARLOS, 1119 Industrial Road, San Carlos, CA
WednesdayFebruary 7, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Register online or call 650-508-2330.


Lake Merritt Walk + Optional Brunch
Saturday, February 3, 10:30 a.m.

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The Wise Pilgrim Camino Map

I am really excited to share this great new Camino route map, designed by Michael Matynka, founder of the Wise Pilgrim Guides.  The world needed a better Camino map, and this is it!

The map shows nearly fifty routes across Spain and Portugal, and four that enter Spain from France. Each Camino is named and color coded, and includes major cities along the route. Below is a closeup of the map’s detail. Continue reading

Camino Inglés: Bruma, Where Two Caminos Converge

Continued from Presedo to Bruma.

After the rest break at the AC/DC mural, I had enough energy to forge ahead, and I had a good tune in my head. I was keeping a lookout for the place where the Camino Inglés routes (one starting in A Coruña and one in Ferrol) converge. I thought this fork in the path might be it, but the spray painted arrow on the tree was way too subtle.

Then, I saw the two-sided shell way marker on a farm road. Continue reading

Camino and Hiking Events in January 2018

Happy New Year!  I’m squeezing in one last post of 2017 because there is a lot going on in January, starting with the New Year’s Day hike in the Oakland hills.  See more Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area below.

Free Oakland Hiking Tour on New Year’s Day and MLK Day (Jan 15)

Start the new year with a hike from Oakland’s Dimond District up to Joaquin Miller Park. This beautiful 7.5 mile hike will go through Oakland’s Dimond Canyon and Joaquin Miller Park, and will finish with a spectacular view of San Francisco Bay.

Oakland Hills Hike July 4 2017 with peregrinas Sheila and Abigail

Oakland Hills Hike July 4 2017 with peregrinas Sheila and Abigail

New Years Day: Monday, January 1 at 9:00am (leave promptly at 9:10am)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Monday, January 15 at  9:00am (leave promptly at 9:10am) Register here.

Where: Meet at La Farine Bakery: 3411 Fruitvale Ave, Oakland, CA 94602 – free parking in back
Details: Steady, 7.5-mile hike in Oakland’s largest wildland trail system, with some steep uphills and downhills, and narrow trails through the canyons. Bring water, sturdy shoes, and bus fare ($2.25).

“From right here in the heart of urban Oakland, we’re connected to a trail system that spans the entire East Bay. You could hike for days and days.”..—Stan Dodson, Tour Leader

I went on the hike in January and July and LOVED it! It makes for great Camino training. Here’s a highlight video I made. As you can see, it is a dog-friendly hike, as long as your dog is friendly and can handle hills.


Lake Merritt Walk + Optional Lunch & Wayfaring Film Screening
Saturday, January 6, 10:30 am

December 2017 Lake Merritt Walk

December 2017 Lake Merritt Walk

This is an informal gathering that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. The group meets at the pergola on the east side of Oakland’s Lake Merritt at 10:30 AM and starts walking promptly at 10:45 AM. It’s a level, 3.3 mile walk around the lake that takes about an hour. All are welcome. Afterwards, there is an optional gathering for lunch at Barlago Italian Kitchen, so bring cash to split the checks.

WayfaringDuring lunch, there will be a screening the Camino documentary Wayfaring – A Jaunt Along The Camino de Santiago. 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. Read Wayfaring Film Review

Free film screening courtesy of Scott Herriott of Squatch Films.

RSVP: Space at Barlago is limited. Join on Facebook event for lunch and film.
Non-Facebook users email me at laurie@caminoprovides.com to RSVP for lunch.

Directions to the walk: Take BART to the 19th Street Oakland station (Lake Merritt station will be closed this weekend) and navigate your way to the Pergola. If you drive, make sure to give yourself enough time to find parking, as there are many activities on Saturday mornings in the Lake Merritt area.

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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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Camino and Hiking Events in December 2017

Happy December!  I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and taking time to appreciate the many blessings in life.  Below is the roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of December.

Lake Merritt Walk in Oakland
Saturday, December 2, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

October 2017 Lake Merritt Walk. Extra credit for Abigail for doing a lap around Lake Merritt before this walk for a fundraiser for Oakland schools. And for her fabulous Ta-Da! pose!

October 2017 Lake Merritt Walk

This is an informal gathering that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. The group meets at 10:30 a.m. at the Pergola on the east side of Oakland’s Lake Merritt and starts walking promptly at 10:45 a.m. It’s a level, 3.3 mile walk around the lake that takes about an hour. All are welcome (American Pilgrims members and non-members). Afterwards, there is an optional brunch in the area, location TBD.

Directions to the walk: Take BART to the 19th Street Oakland station (Lake Merritt station will be closed this weekend) and navigate your way to the Pergola. If you drive, make sure to give yourself enough time to find parking, as there are many activities on Saturday mornings in the Lake Merritt area.

If you are in the Bay Area, join the Peregrinos Northern California Facebook Group to get details on this and other events.


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Camino and Hiking Events in November 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of November.

I’ll Push You Film Screenings
Thursday, November 2

Tickets are available for the nationwide screening of I’ll Push You, an inspiring film about two best friends on the Camino de Santiago. There will be screenings all around the Bay Area and country, so check with your local Camino group to join pre-film gatherings.   Purchase tickets.
Learn more: https://www.fathomevents.com/events/ill-push-you

Oakland’s Jack London Square screening, 7:30 p.m.

To watch the film in Oakland at Regal Jack London Stadium 9, purchase movie tickets here.

+ Optional Happy Hour at Plank
Before the screening, a few East Bay pilgrims will meet up at Plank Beer Garden for Happy Hour between 6 and 7 p.m. http://plankoakland.com/
Plank doesn’t take reservations, so just find an open table. Bring cash to split checks, or run your own tab. RSVP not required, but if you are on the NorCal Facebook group, check the event to see who’s coming.  Happy Hour specials from 3-7 p.m. $2 Off All Drinks & Appetizers. See Happy Hour Menu.   Also, see Dinner Menu.

All Active, Reserve or Retired Military, Law Enforcement or Fire Fighters receive 10% off! Hooray for Hero discounts! http://plankoakland.com/daily-specials/military-special/

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Ferrol: Parador, Harbor, and Pre-Camino Blessing

Continued from A Coruña Mont San Pedro.

I took a bus at 2 p.m. from A Coruña to Ferrol, which cost seven euros and took about thirty-five minutes. It was full of teenagers and business people.  I was the only backpack-toting pilgrim. The bus driver was playing rock music quite loudly, but nobody seemed to mind. I found it amusing that a soundtrack from my youth had such appeal in this region of Spain. Most of the teenagers were wearing earbuds and fiddling with their phones. A few other passengers were dozing off. I gazed out the window and watched the world go by, as Foreigner, AC/DC, and Metallica serenaded us onward and upward. Ultreia would make such a great name for a rock band!

On my walk from the Ferrol bus station to the hotel,  I was thinking about how much I enjoyed A Coruña and wondering whether Ferrol would be as captivating.

Casa do Concello (Town Hall)

Casa do Concello (Town Hall)

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Pilgrim Weaver: Making Honey out of the Pollen of My Camino Experience

Part five of a series, Weaving Words and Photos into the Tapestry of My Life
by Sister Anita Fearday, a.k.a Pilgrim Weaver

Continued from Part Four: Arrival

R.S. Thomas said, “The point of travelling is not to arrive, but to return home laden with pollen you shall work up into honey the mind feeds on.” Now I am working on the honey harvest of my Camino experience. Not a day has gone by since my return that I have not savored a pinch of the pollen. This will be my first attempt at weaving words around the pilgrimage, now that I have had two months to ruminate.

Para leer en español, clic aquí.

Honey

The experience was a leap of faith in many ways. I had doubts about my physical stamina; financial viability; ability to be away from my loved ones and to relate to people of different cultures, languages, and backgrounds; and my ability to sleep on bunkbeds in big dormitories for a month. That I was stretched and called out of my comfort zone is to put it mildly, but I am glad I took the leap of faith and had the grace to persevere until the end. This experience has strengthened my faith and trust in a God who takes such tender loving care of me. Continue reading