The Tower of Hercules

Continued from A Coruña Beaches.

As this map below shows, there are a lot of things to see and do in A Coruña. Click image to enlarge.

After I left the beach, I saw some nice fountains, an aquarium, and sculptures. Aquarium Finisterrae is rated #6 out of 79 things to do in A Coruña, according to TripAdvisor. But I couldn’t linger: the Torre de Hercules was beckoning me, so ultreia e suseia (onward and upward.)

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Getting to the Camino Inglés

Planning how to get to your Camino starting point can be easy and fun with the variety of apps and websites available. My favorites are the Rome 2 Rio App for transportation, for accommodations, and Google Maps for research and city navigation.

A Coruña is one of the two Camino Inglés starting points, but it is only 75 km (47 miles) from Santiago. In order to get a Compostela certificate, you must walk at least 100 km, so the more popular starting point is Ferrol, 118 km (73 miles) from Santiago. I didn’t want to skip A Coruña because I had heard that it is an amazing place, so I worked it into my pre-Camino itinerary.

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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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Leave No Trace: Ethics for the Camino

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.

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Camino Packing List Part 2: Gear and Accessories

You’ve seen my reviews of the backpack I used and the apparel I wore on my Camino Portugués in late May. This post covers the remaining items from my packing list, that is, gear, accessories, and toiletries.

My Camino Packing List, Part 2: Gear and Accessories

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My Camino Packing List, Part 1: Apparel

During my Camino planning, I heard a few wise pilgrims say, “The lighter the pack, the better your back.” I chose to pack light not only to spare my back but also to put as little strain on my knees and feet as possible. There’s a well-known rule of thumb for pilgrims according to which the weight of your backpack should not exceed ten percent of your body weight, which means that my pack shouldn’t be heavier than 14 lb (excluding water and snacks). I carefully selected and tested all gear to cull down the list of bare essentials. You can see the result of that selection along with apparel reviews below.
Camino Provides Packing List 2016
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Backpack Review After the Camino

On my first Camino, I carried an Osprey Sirrus 24 backpack, in which everything fit fine, and there was still a little room to spare. It was only at the end of my Camino that I wished it had more capacity. On my return trip to Lisbon, where I was to catch my flight home, I had to carry the souvenirs I bought in Santiago in a separate bag. Yes, I know. I’m eating my words! Read my previous review about the said backpack being large enough. For the most part, it was perfect for my one-week Camino, but it would have been nice to be able to fit those extra items in it.

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More Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino

Here are the continuation videos of Scott “Shroomer” Williams’ talk that I captured at our annual blessing of the pilgrims event. Among many great tips, he demonstrated shortening your walking stride, using trekking poles and umbrellas, and ways to lighten your load.   He shared lessons of people he met along the Camino. He brought a box of gear for show & tell and demonstrated how to use everything. From blister and bedbug prevention to avoiding jungle rot, there’s something for everyone! Watch and learn from the Shroomer. Continue reading

Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino

Last week I told you about an epic hike on Mt. Diablo with Scott “Shroomer” Williams. Today I’m sharing a video of Scott at our annual blessing of the pilgrims event, talking about his first Camino and injury prevention tips for hikers.

Click to watch first video segment (11:05 minutes)

Continuation of Scott’s talk are below:

Scott Williams Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino: Part 2 

Scott Williams Injury Prevention Tips for the Camino: Part 3

Scott provided a handout with a list of ultra light gear companies for long distance walking.  See list below.

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Everything You Need To Prepare For Camino de Santiago

Gabriel Schirm, author of “Sunrises to Santiago,” delivers some valuable Camino knowledge in this post.
It’s perfect timing, for many of us are planning for upcoming Caminos. I leave in just 12 days for my pre-Camino trip to Portugal. It’s an exciting time. Squee! 🙂
Buen Camino!


I wanted to provide a list of planning resources for those that are planning to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Here you will find a comprehensive list of everything you need to know. You may have a million questions and in this post you will find helpful tips to make your journey the best it can be. As summer draws near, I am beginning to get many emails from those that have read my book and are planning their own journeys. I always refer them to the planning resources section of the site here, but this post is even more comprehensive. Look no further.

Everything You Need To Know To Prepare For The Camino de Santiago

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