Camino and Hiking Events in June 2018

Greetings! I am just back from the Camino Primitivo. I have been sharing a few highlights on my Instagram and Facebook accounts. I’ll sort through my photos and journal to provide a more thorough route report. I prefer to enjoy the Camino while I’m there, and re-live the experience by writing about it when I return.  Alas, I have kept in touch with Bay Area chapters and there are some fun events in the works for June.

Lake Merritt Walk + Optional Picnic Lunch
Saturday, June 2, 10:30 a.m.

“Lake Lake Merritt Walk 2018 May Join us on this walk that takes place on the first Saturday of the month, rain or shine. We 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!

Directions: Take BART to the Lake Merritt or 19th Street Oakland station and navigate your way to the Pergola (~1.5 mi walk). 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. FYI: There is a small fee lot at the corner of Euclid and Grand Avenues that is close to the Pergola.

This time after the walk, let’s have a lakeside picnic lunch to kick off summer. Bring your own lunch (and blanket if you can carry one) or walk over to the Grand Lake Farmers Market nearby to pick one up. Come along even if you just want to hang out.

RSVP not required, but if you’re on the NorCal Facebook group, join event to see who’s coming.


Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve Hike
Saturday, June 9, 2018, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

“Palo Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve Photo by Judy Barnes

Join the Silicon Valley Chapter for a hike from the Palo Alto Baylands to the Shoreline Lake in Mountain View and back. Meet in the Bayland’s Bixbee Park parking lot at 2375 Embarcadero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303 (on the Palo Alto Baylands map you’ll see the parking symbol closer to the Refuse Area, but signage in the lot says Bixbee Park). We’ll walk the Marsh Loop Bay Trail to Shoreline Lake, stopping for refreshments and conversation at the Shoreline Lake American Bistro where you’ll be able to purchase coffee, pastries or brunch. After we’ve had our Camino-esque coffee break, we’ll hit the trail back to Bixbee Park, having walked a little over 6 miles. Hope to see you there! Thanks to Susan Austin for leading this hike.

Questions? Contact the Silicon Valley Chapter
SiliconValley@americanpilgrims.org
American Pilgrims on the Camino
http://www.americanpilgrims.org/silicon-valley-california-chapter
Chapter Coordinators: Pat Day, Judy Barnes and Betsy Fullagar


Camino Happy Hour at Picaro
Thursday, June 14, 5-7pm

Let’s make it a TBT (Throwback Thursday) for this month’s Happy Hour with a return to chapter favorite, Picaro Tapas Restaurant in San Francisco, just one block from 16th Street Mission BART station.

Happy Hour is 5 – 7 PM and features their house-made sangria: $3.75 (Glass), $14 (Carafe). If that doesn’t bring you back to the Camino, Estrella Galicia is on tap and they also serve “clara!” Here’s the full menu for all the tapa choices: http://www.picarotapasrestaurant.com/menu.html.

If you can join us, please RSVP on the Facebook event so we can include you in the reservation count. If you’ll be bringing others, let us know in a comment. And please bring cash (small bills are best) for the bill.

Because the Bay Area has so many great restaurants, we like the idea of trying a different one each month. If you have a recommendation for the next Happy Hour, please share! “BARTable” is a plus! Continue reading

Camino and Hiking Events in May 2018

Hola from Barcelona! I’m working my way toward the Camino Primitivo.  Over the next month, I will be sharing a few highlights on my Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Here’s a roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the San Francisco Bay Area for the month of May 2018.

Lake Merritt Walk
Saturday, May 5, 10:30 a.m.

Lake Merritt walk April 2018

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 a.m. and starts walking at 10:45 a.m. in a clockwise direction around the lake. It is a paved and level 3.3 mile walk and takes about an hour. Whether you’re a newbie or Camino veteran, everyone is welcome at these monthly walks.  RSVP not required, but if you’re on the NorCal Facebook group, join event to see who’s coming.

Directions: Take BART to the 19th Street or Lake Merritt Oakland stations 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 area.

Please note that there will not be a presentation after the walk, but there will be an informal lunch in the area. Continue reading

Camino and Hiking Events in April 2018

Here’s a roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

REI Presentations on the Caminos Norte / Primitivo with Susan & Ralph Alcorn

Learn about the Norte and Primitivo routes with Camino veterans Susan and Ralph Alcorn. View images of these beautiful, historic, and exciting trails and learn more about the similarities and differences between the Francés, Norte and Primitivo routes. The Alcorns completed their 700-mile Camino Norte and Primitivo walks during 2015-2016. From their experiences came Susan‘s new book, Healing Miles: Gifts from the Camino Norte and Primitivo, which is now available in paperback and Kindle versions.

Susan and Ralph presented this topic at the March Lunch & Learn program.  I highly recommend attending one of their upcoming talks, especially if you are planning to walk the Norte or Primitivo routes. Continue reading

Book Review: The Camino Inglés: 6 Days (or less) to Santiago

When I walked the Camino Inglés last summer, one of the guidebooks I used was The Camino Inglés: 6 Days (or less) to Santiago, by Susan Jagannath.  I enjoyed reading this guide on my Kindle App the night before each stage.  I often referred to it again before heading out for the day, and to look up points of interest.

Continue reading

Camino and Hiking Events in March 2018

Aloha! I’m just back from a wedding on the beautiful island of Kauai in Hawaii. I managed to squeeze in a good Camino training hike to the Makauwahi Cave and tortoise sanctuary on the south shore. Click here to see a few highlights.
Below is a roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lake Merritt Walk + Lunch & Learn Camino Presentation
Saturday, March 3, 10:30 a.m.

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 a.m. and starts walking at 10:45 a.m. in a clockwise direction around the lake. It is a paved and level 3.3 mile walk and takes about an hour. Whether you’re a newbie or Camino veteran, everyone is welcome at these monthly walks.

Lake Merritt Walk February 3, 2018

Lake Merritt walk on February 3, 2018

Directions: Take BART to the 19th Street Oakland station 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 area.

Optional: Lunch & Learn Camino Presentation by Susan and Ralph Alcorn
Barlago Italian Kitchen, right after the Lake Merritt walk

Join us for a narrated slide program about the Norte and Primitivo routes with Camino veterans Susan and Ralph Alcorn. View images of these beautiful, historic, and exciting trails and learn more about the similarities and differences between the Francés, Norte and Primitivo routes. The Alcorns completed their 700-mile Camino Norte and Primitivo walks during 2015-2016. From their experiences came Susan‘s new book, Healing Miles: Gifts from the Camino Norte and Primitivo, which is now available in paperback and Kindle versions. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading