Canadian Wanderers on the Camino

On Valentine’s Day, we add another Camino Love story to the collection. Rob and his wife walked the Camino Francés in 2015. I knew him first as “Canadian Wander” on the Camino de Santiago UK forum, and like every Canadian I’ve met, his interactions are positive and friendly. He recalls his reluctance to the idea of walking, but, with the help of his adventure-seeking wife, Rob eventually became a Camino convert.  Enjoy!

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Love: Chemistry and Commitment in Equal Measure

A Camino Love Story by James Portelli

James is a guest contributor to The Camino Provides, and also the author of  the new book Camino de Santiago: Microcosm of Life.  I walked the Camino Primitivo in 2018 with James and his wife Rituccia after visiting them in Malta. Their love for walking predates their encounter with the Camino de Santiago. But embarking on their first Camino signaled a new phase in the journey together, and resulted in the birth of XirCammini, a voluntary organization focusing on ancient Caminos in Europe. It is an honor to add their unique love storywhich  spans continents and decadesto the collection of Camino love stories featured on this blog.

Love: Chemistry and Commitment in Equal Measure
By James Portelli

Love is essentially woven into the route of the journey called life.

It is life’s greatest adventure. It is often at the root of our uphill struggles and is one’s walking sticks on a steep downhill or slippery slope. It is our support when we falter. Love guides one through the quagmire. It casts certainty at a crossroad, and yet, imbues hesitation and introspection where fools rush in.

Love is a waymark by the side of one’s road guiding us on the journey.

Love is in the youthful exhilaration when peaks are conquered and rewarded with panoramas of what lay behind and what lies ahead.

Some pilgrims on this journey are truly blessed and I count myself among them.  Love is embodied in our companion on this journey called life; a companion that walks sometimes with us and beside us, sometimes ahead, and at other times behind. Whether walking physically together or journeying apart, we are never absent in mind and heart.

Through love joy multiplies.

May 2016 Finisterre at the "0" km Waymark

May 2016 Finisterre at the “0” km Waymark

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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 Francés 2017 Route Report – It’s a wrap!

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:

Cathy is, quite possibly, the world’s happiest pilgrim!

Happy pilgrim Cathy Seitchik Diaz walks up the hill from Castrojerez

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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

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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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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Francis and Anna Kim: Our First Date All Over Again

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.

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Camino and Hiking Events in March 2017

There are always opportunities to train for or learn about the Camino. Below is the roundup of Camino related and hiking events in the SF Bay Area for the month of March 2017.

Lake Merritt Walk

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A Pilgrim Love Story

Loni & Kjartan on the Camino

A Pilgrim Love Story

By Loni Bergqvist

I’m from California and walked the Camino Francés in 2013. On my way into Burgos, I met Kjartan from Denmark. We started talking and spent the next day together. We ended up walking to Santiago and he proposed when we arrived. 🙂 We were married six months later, and we now live in Denmark with our daughter and a baby due next month. The Camino continues to provide our little family with surprises, love and happiness.

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