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

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

Camino Inglés: Arrival in Santiago

Continued from Sigüeiro to Santiago.

When I started my walk from Sigüeiro, it was sunny and warm, but by the time I reached Santiago, the sky was grey and it felt like it would rain at any moment. This was exactly like my arrival in Santiago last year after walking the Camino Portugués. However, I was in a completely different state of mind this time, having learned a great lesson. I had prebooked a room so I wasn’t desperately trying to find a bed for the night. This time around, I didn’t care if it poured; I was going straight to Praza do Obradoiro by the Cathedral.

I headed right for the center of Praza Obradoiro and felt a euphoric sense of joy rush over me. I made it. My second Camino. And I was so high on life! Below is a video of my arrival.

Continue reading

Camino Inglés: Sigüeiro to Santiago

Continued from Bruma to Sigüeiro.

Santiago or bust! This was the seventh, and final, day of walking the Camino Inglés. And I was just getting warmed up! Until I have enough time off work to walk a longer Camino, these shorter variations satisfy the calling.

First stop, Restaurante Cortés, across the street from Pension Andaina. I sidled up to the bar and ordered a café con leche.  Sometimes you get a sweet treat when you order coffee, but this time it was warm churros and cake!

Generous breakfast tapas on the Camino Ingles

Generous breakfast tapas on the Camino Inglés.

Continue reading

Camino Inglés: Bruma to Sigüeiro

Continued from Bruma, where two Caminos converge.

What comes up must come down. Sure, it was a longer stage of 16 miles (25 km), but I was in for an easier walk on this day because it was mostly downhill, as the graph below shows.

I was out bright and early (for me at least) because I stayed in a municipal albergue and pilgrims need to be out by 8 a.m. On my way out of town, I was hoping the Casa Graña was open for a café con leche. I had forgotten to get a stamp in my credential the night before. They were totally closed, but I spotted a cute bunny hopping around their patio. Here’s the video of the Bruma Bunny.

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