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

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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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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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, booking.com 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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Camino Inglés 2017 Stages

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.

Pre-Camino Day May 28

Hotel: Coruña Mar
Walked: 21 km / 13 miles

Pre-Camino Day May 29 
A Coruña-Mont San Pedro. Bus to Ferrol.
Hotel: Parador de Ferrol (Reserve at Parador.es for pilgrim rate)
Walked: 14 km /  9 miles

My Camino Inglés 2017 Stages

First Morning of Camino Inglés in Ferrol
Day 1: Ferrol to Neda
Walked: 15 km / 9.5 miles w/backpack
Camino Inglés: Exploring Neda
Walked another 4 miles site-seeing around Neda
Private Room 14: Pension Maragoto

Day 2: Neda to Pontedeume
Camino Inglés: Exploring Pontedeume
Walked 18.7 km / 11.6 miles
Private Room 33: Hotel Eumesa

Day 3: Pontedeume to Betanzos
Camino Inglés: Exploring Betanzos
Walked 22.5 km /14 miles
Bunkbed 6: Albergue de Peregrinos de Betanzos

Day 4: Betanzos to Presedo
Walked 14 km / 8.5 miles
Bunkbed 7: Albergue de Peregrinos de Presedo

Day 5: Presedo to Bruma
Bruma, Where Two Caminos Converge
Walked 16 km / 10 miles
Bunkbed 6: Albergue de Peregrinos de Bruma

Day 6: Bruma to Sigüeiro
Walked 25 km / 16 miles
Private room 13:  Albergue Quinta Andaina

Day 7: Sigüeiro to Santiago
Arrival in Santiago
Walked 18 km / 11.5 miles
Private room 15: Seminario Menor (3 nights, June 5-7)

Santiago June 8
Private room 90: Hotel Bonaval

June 9 flight to Paris on Vueling
June 9-12 Paris Marais neighborhood
June 13-14 Train trip to Trouville Sur Mer
June 15-17 Paris Montmartre neighborhood
June 18 Home, sweet home!

During my Camino, I posted some photos on a photo album Camino Inglés 2017 at Facebook.com/caminoprovides. I also shared some photos on instagram at instagram.com/caminoprovides.

It was so good to be back in España! France was fun too.

Buen Camino!

This chalkboard at the restaurant in Pension Maragoto shows the stages and half-stages of the Camino Ingles. I decided to split the longest stage between Betanzos and Bruma.

This chalkboard at the restaurant in Pension Maragoto shows the stages and half-stages of the Camino Inglés. I decided to split the longest stage between Betanzos and Bruma by staying in Presedo. This made for a comfortable paced seven-day Camino.  Some people power through it in just five days. If you have eight days to walk this route, I would recommend splitting the stage between Pontedeume and Betanzos too.

View from my room in Neda

View from my room in Neda. I’m glad I didn’t take the shortcut bridge to Pontedeume!

Pilgrim Interviews: Four Men from Malta

I am happy to share another collaboration with James Portelli, the guest blogger who wrote route reports for Camino Inglés/Finisterre among many other insightful posts. For this one, James interviewed four friends from Malta who walked the Camino Francés in September and October 2016.

From left to right: John, Alex, Raymond and Pierre

From left to right: John, Alex, Raymond and Pierre

James and John, one of the peregrinos mentioned in this piece, had participated with other Maltese pilgrims on earlier Caminos raising over € 100,000 to support local charities.

Below is the interview, ‘Ultreya Pellegrini Maltin,’ which translates to ‘Onward Maltese Pilgrims.’ Enjoy!


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New Route Report: Vía de la Plata

I am happy to announce a new route report written by my friend Brien Crothers, another Northern California native. Brien hit the trail for thirty-three days of walking the Vía de la Plata in Wester…

More:  Vía de la Plata with Camino Sanabrés Variant

30 Years of Pilgrim Statistics

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.

2016statsyears

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Camino Baltica, by James Portelli

Introduction: The Pomeranian Camino

When people talk about the Way of St. James, the more traditional walks in and around Galicia tend to spring to mind. But the fact is that Santiago de Compostela used to be one of the most popular pilgrimage sites and was visited by pilgrims from all Catholic kingdoms, princedoms, and bishopric states of the old world. This meant that travelers were journeying to Santiago de Compostela not only from, say, Le Puy (France), Salzburg (Austria), or Regensburg (Germany) but also from farther afield.

PomeranianWayMapLg

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My Camino Portugués Stages

The route I walked on the Camino Portugués Central is highlighted in red and the cities I stayed in are underlined on the map below.

Caminho Portugues Central (See below for map without highlights)

* See below for a full map without highlights

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