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.
Happy Friday! This morning I received an email from a couple who is walking the Camino Francés right now.
Santa Cruz, California couple, Cathy Seitchik Diaz and David Stewart, recently completed their third Camino Francés. They have shared the stages the Camino Francés—complete with daily distances, photos, observations and useful tips—in a four-part series:
- Camino Francés Part 1 – Days 1-12
- Camino Francés Part 2 – Days 13-23
- Camino Francés Part 3 – Days 24-33
- Camino Francés Part 4 – Days 34-40
Cathy is, quite possibly, the world’s happiest pilgrim!
I’ve been writing up a storm lately, and I really need to pack for my Camino, but I couldn’t resist a quick toast all the moms out there. For they have the most important job there is. Cheers to all the moms!
In service today, Father Dan said something along these lines, “God is the father. . . Wait, scratch that, God is the mother. How many times do we hear ‘God is father’ in the gospel, but really, God is not a specific gender. What’s more, God’s love is unconditional, like a mother’s love for her child.” Amen.
Fr. Dan also quoted a recent comic from The New Yorker. “The prodigal son returns to do his laundry.” Continue reading
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
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.
Valerie Hartmann’s Camino made a big impact on her, as did a Leave No Trace training that she attended a few years ago. Both experiences instilled a “tread lightly” mentality of stewardship toward our world. Valerie put her thoughts into action by writing the report, “Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics for Camino de Santiago.” She recently shared it with us NorCal Chapter coordinators, and I am happy to help spread the word. I completely agree that some people can be more respectful to the environment and fellow pilgrims. Her report is full of common sense and good tips to be a mindful pilgrim and keep the Camino litter-free. Add this reading to your pre-Camino checklist and consider treading more lightly on your next Camino.
Our First Date All Over Again
By Francis Kim
I recall a quote from singer/songwriter Jason Derulo: “the biggest challenge is to continue on the same path. It’s easy to become complacent from the success you’ve had.” It captures the spirit of our Camino, as well our relationship with each other. But more on that later.
Every January, the Oficina de Acogida de Peregrinos (Pilgrims’ Welcome Office) in Santiago, Spain and the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) publish the pilgrim statistics for the previous year. Among the various data is a chart showing numbers of pilgrims receiving Compostelas for each year dating back to 1986. When I first started to learn about the Camino, I was intrigued by the dramatic spikes for some years.
Sebastian and Finn are a gay couple who have lived in Spain for eight years. In October – November 2015 they decided to take their pug dog, Bandito, and cat, Luigi, on a long walk. Not just any walk: the Camino Francés. I shared their incredible story, The Pug and Cat on the Camino, and added it to my Favorite Camino Blogs page. I contacted them to see if they would like to have a pilgrim interview. Sebastian responded and compiled the answers from all the boys. Below is a modern family’s take on walking the Camino with their adorable four-legged compadres.