Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas 2019

Hola amigos! ‘Tis the season to share a selection of Camino-inspired gifts for the holidays. There are offerings from pilgrims who have been so inspired by the Camino that they have created books, customized maps, music, and more. New this year, a few things that pilgrims crave: Camino beer, Jamón Serrano, and Tarta de Santiago. Add them to your shopping list and you will be set for your upcoming fiestas and pilgrim gatherings. I’m also happy to announce that the Camino patches for 2020 finally arrived and are pictured at the end of this post. So, browse the gifts for the pilgrims on your list, and perhaps pick something out for yourself. You’ve been a good pilgrim all year, haven’t you? If not, I won’t tell St. Nick, or St. James.  😉

Custom Camino Maps

‘A Road To Santiago’ creates one-of-a-kind custom Camino maps showing the village names, custom text in the header, choice of decorations, optional photos and trail profiles. Custom Camino Maps

These 24″ x 36″  or 18″ x 24″ custom maps are a great memory piece.  Starting at $55 for the digital-only version and $80 and up for printed, rolled and shipped versions.  For more details, go to ARoadToSantiago.com. These are very customizable by a graphics designer – many options available. Designed, printed and shipped within a week.

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Cathy’s Camino Tips: Baggage Transport

Cathy Seitchik Diaz is currently walking the Camino Francés and has more useful tips which she would like to share to help pilgrims along the way.  Today, she describes the different baggage transport services that she and David use. Even though they focus only on the Camino Francés, you will find some practical advice for any Camino route that you choose to walk.  Below is the second post in the series of Cathy’s Camino Tips, fresh from the Francés!

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Cathy’s Camino Tips: Booking Accommodations

Camino superfan Cathy Seitchik Diaz is currently walking the Camino Francésfor the fifth time in five yearswith her partner David Stewart. She provides some useful tips which she would like to share to help pilgrims along the way.  In this post, she describes methods of booking private rooms in advance by using Booking . com, calling, email or using WhatsApp. Even though they focus only on the Camino Francés, you will find some practical advice for any Camino route that you choose to walk.

Below is the first in a series of Cathy’s Camino Tips, fresh from the Way!

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Camino-Inspired Gift Ideas 2018

Greetings! It’s the time of year to share a selection of Camino-inspired gifts for the holidays.  I try to find gifts created within the last year, or that have not been featured on my previous posts.  This is an ode to the Camino creatives tribe, which I mentioned in a previous post. These are pilgrims who have been so inspired by their experience on the Camino that they have turned their creative ideas and hobbies into films, books, artwork, crafts,  jewelry, and more. I always enjoy hearing their stories and sharing their labors of love.

Buen Camino Calendar 2019

A desktop calendar for 2019 with pictures taken on the Camino Francés and quotes for contemplation each month. $12

Buen Camino Calendar

This is a new offering from the lovely couple from Mt. Shasta, California who made the Buen Camino board game. Get 20% off your order from Buen Camino Shop when you spend $15 or more. Code XMAS2018 Discount applied at checkout. This calendar will sell out soon. Continue reading

Camino and Hiking Events in September 2018

Below is lineup of upcoming Camino-related events and hikes for September 2018 in the San Francisco Bay Area.  But first, I would like to announce my new Wellness Tribe Newsletter, launched in September.  See first issue here. There are so many amazing events and resources to share, so this newsletter will feature wellness-focused topics, including:

  • workshops and retreats led by my favorite yoga teachers
  • free online courses, summits, and meditations
  • mindful practices for stress relief
  • yoga stretches for pilgrims
  • interesting tidbits I learn about in my continuing education
  • books that I recommend
  • fun events in the Bay Area
  • my upcoming classes (also listed at thecaminoprovides.com/yoga/)

The newsletter frequency will be no more than once per month. I take your privacy seriously, and never sell or share email addresses. You can opt out at any time by following the link at the bottom of each newsletter email. Subscribe now. 

Okay, here’s the lineup for September!

Lake Merritt Walk
Saturday, September 1, 10:30 AM to 12 PM

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 and start walking by 10:45. 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! Below is a video of our last walk on August 4th.

Directions: Take BART to the Lake Merritt or 19th Street Oakland station and navigate your way to the Pergola.
Service Modification for Labor Day Weekend 9/1 – 9/3: For those coming from SF on BART, train service will stop at West Oakland with free AC Transit bus bridge to 19th Street. See the BART alert for details.

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.

RSVP not required, but if you’re on the NorCal Facebook group, join event.

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Camino and Hiking Events in August 2018

Buen día, amigos. Local Camino events provide some great training hikes and learning opportunities, plus the camaraderie of being on the Camino, right here at home. Below is lineup of Camino-related events and hikes for August 2018 in the San Francisco Bay Area and slightly beyond.

Lake Merritt Walk
Saturday, August 4, 10:30 am

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!

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Celebrating Saint James Day

The Apostle James, the reason for the Camino pilgrimage, is celebrated throughout the world on July 25th, his designated saint’s day.  In Santiago de Compostela, Saint James is honored in a spectacular way on July 24th, with fireworks and a multimedia show in the Praza do Obradoiro. Below are some photos of this year’s show, courtesy of Robert Anderson, pilgrim from South Africa.

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Check out this mesmerizing video:

Robert and Darren Combrink are currently walking to Finisterre to complete their epic Camino and fundraiser for Walking For Life.  Bravo guys! Buen Camino!

Meanwhile, closer to home

All over America, pilgrims celebrate St. James Day in different ways. Bay Area pilgrims started on Saturday, July 21st with an urban Camino in San Francisco. The 12-mile trek began near Ocean Beach and continued through the Sunset neighborhood on Santiago Street, up to Mt. Davidson (SF’s highest peak), through the Mission district to St. James church for a mass and pilgrim blessing. We ended the day with tapas, paella, and sangria at at Spanish restaurant. Here’s the video created with MapMyHike and Relive Apps:

For those who missed it, you can follow our footsteps and do this walk any time. And this coming weekend is when he church is actually celebrating Saint James Day!
July 28, noon – 3 pm meditation stations.
July 29, 10:30 mass, followed by BBQ.  Here’s a snapshot of the bulletin announcement.

Saint James Catholic Church is located at: Guerrero St & 23rd St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Feast of Saint James Day Potluck & Blessing

On Wednesday, July 25th, our NorCal APOC chapter hosted a Feast of St. James Potluck at Corpus Christi church in Piedmont, with a presentation about Saint James and a blessing for departing pilgrims. I wanted to have a special event in the East Bay, and my parish was the perfect place to have it. The church is located on Saint James Drive, after all!

Double click on photos below to see larger version and read captions.

Message from American Pilgrims on the Camino

Below you will find a message from the APOC Board of Directors:

Happy St. James’ Feast Day!

As you may know, today is the Feast of St. James’ Day, a very special day celebrated all over Spain. Throughout Galicia in particular, there are parades, special foods and meals, and commemorative Masses and ceremonies in the beautiful churches along the Way. And in Santiago, the pilgrim community, which is normally characterized by genuine joy, is even more jubilant!

We at American Pilgrims on the Camino have been supporting the improvement and rebuilding of Camino facilities and infrastructure for many years, by awarding grants to Spanish, French, and Portuguese organizations; this year alone, we made $30,000 in grants to projects along the Camino! The American Pilgrims grant program is a tangible demonstration of our mission of fostering the enduring tradition of the Camino and has helped to support the ever-increasing number of pilgrims that travel the different routes to Santiago. This program is solely possible through member support.

We invite you to join American Pilgrims on the Camino and become part of these lovely contributions to the Camino community. By joining today you will always remember your “anniversary date of belonging” is July 25, the Feast of St. James’ Day. You can start enjoying the benefits and pride of belonging right away.

To join, simply visit http://www.americanpilgrims.org/join-renew.

¡Buen Camino!

 


On a previous St. James Day post, I shared an overview of how the festival is celebrated in Santiago and a Tarta de Santiago recipe.

13627171_10105532995025423_1674422263543695398_nPilgrims, How do you celebrate St. James Day?

Camino and Hiking Events in July 2018

Happy summer! Below is lineup of Camino-related events and hikes for July 2018 in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am excited about these events because as a recent returnee of the Camino, local events provide some of the pilgrim camaraderie and experience of being on the Camino, right here at home. Plus, there are three unique ways to celebrate St. James Day in Northern California. He’s the reason for the pilgrimage, after all!

Lake Merritt Walk
Saturday, July 7, 10:30 am

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!

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Camino Primitivo Stages

I wanted to do something special for my 50th year, and this three-part trip is what I came up with. First, my mom and I enjoyed our 8th annual mother-daughter trip; this time we chose a tour of Sicily and Malta. Second, I had a free week before meeting up with my Camino buddies in Oviedo, so I visited Bay Area friends who retired in Ponferrada, Spain.  I also served as a part-time Hospitalera and taught yoga for pilgrims at the Albergue  San Nicolás de Flüe. And last, but certainly not least, I spent two weeks walking the Camino Primitivo with a wonderful group of pilgrims from Malta. 

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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