Sacred Rite of the Camino Welcome Home Event

The Northern California chapter held its annual Welcome Home Celebration and Potluck event on November 11th in Oakland. This year’s presentations included Camino routes “beyond the Francés.” First-time pilgrims and Camino veterans alike were given the opportunity to share highlights at the gathering of nearly eighty pilgrims. It was a fun way to learn about less popular routes—off the beaten path.

We presented in 10×10 format—ten slides in ten minutes. Seven Camino routes were represented: Aragones, Inglés, Le Puy, Norte, Portugués Coastal, Primitivo, and Via de la Plata.  I presented on the Camino Inglés, and I have to admit it was challenging for us to select photos and to speak for only ten minutes. We are all very passionate about our Camino experiences!

Audience watching the 10x10 presentations. Photo by Guy Joaquin.

Audience watching the 10×10 presentations. Photo by Guy Joaquin.

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Camino and Hiking Events in November 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of November.

I’ll Push You Film Screenings
Thursday, November 2

Tickets are available for the nationwide screening of I’ll Push You, an inspiring film about two best friends on the Camino de Santiago. There will be screenings all around the Bay Area and country, so check with your local Camino group to join pre-film gatherings.   Purchase tickets.
Learn more: https://www.fathomevents.com/events/ill-push-you

Oakland’s Jack London Square screening, 7:30 p.m.

To watch the film in Oakland at Regal Jack London Stadium 9, purchase movie tickets here.

+ Optional Happy Hour at Plank
Before the screening, a few East Bay pilgrims will meet up at Plank Beer Garden for Happy Hour between 6 and 7 p.m. http://plankoakland.com/
Plank doesn’t take reservations, so just find an open table. Bring cash to split checks, or run your own tab. RSVP not required, but if you are on the NorCal Facebook group, check the event to see who’s coming.  Happy Hour specials from 3-7 p.m. $2 Off All Drinks & Appetizers. See Happy Hour Menu.   Also, see Dinner Menu.

All Active, Reserve or Retired Military, Law Enforcement or Fire Fighters receive 10% off! Hooray for Hero discounts! http://plankoakland.com/daily-specials/military-special/

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Camino and Hiking Events in October 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of October 2017. This coming Saturday, October 7th, there will be a screening of Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago for those who attend the Lake Merritt walk and lunch.  My hope is for the camaraderie to continue after our monthly walks, where everyone can gather in a comfortable atmosphere over a good meal and learn about Camino topics or enjoy a film from our chapter’s CaminoFlix library.

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Camino and Hiking Events in September 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino-related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of September 2017. This coming Saturday, September 2nd, I will be doing a presentation about One-Week Caminos with highlights of the Camino Portugués. Feedback from the last presentation on the Camino Inglés was positive, so we’ll continue with this “Camino Lunch & Learn” series as long as there is interest. The Lake Merritt walks have been a great way for like-minded people to keep the spirit of the Camino alive, right here at home. My hope is for this camaraderie to continue after our monthly walk, where everyone can gather in a comfortable atmosphere over a good meal and learn about Camino topics. I enjoyed every step of my “short” Caminos and look forward to sharing the highlights and lessons learned with those who might not have the time to walk longer Camino routes.

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Camino and Hiking Events in August 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of August 2017.  On Sat. August 5th, I will be presenting about the Camino Inglés after the monthly Lake Merritt walk and brunch.  Part of the joy of “unpacking” my Camino is going through the many photos and compiling my notes so that my reports might be helpful for pilgrims considering this route.  I enjoyed every step of the Camino Inglés and look forward to sharing the highlights and lessons learned.

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Camino and Hiking Events in July 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of July 2017. But first, I had a wonderful time on the Camino Inglés and will be writing my route reports soon.  Part of the joy of “unpacking” my Camino is going through the many photos and compiling my notes so that my reports might be helpful for pilgrims considering this route.  I enjoyed every step of the Camino Inglés and look forward to sharing the highlights and lessons learned.


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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 1 May 28

Hotel: Coruña Mar
Walked: 21 km / 13 miles

Pre-Camino Day 2 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

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.

My Camino Inglés 2017 Stages

Camino Day 1:  First Morning of Camino Inglés in Ferrol

Camino Inglés Day 1: Ferrol to Neda
Private Room: Pension Maragoto
Exploring Neda  
Walked: 15 km / 9.5 miles w/backpack + 4 miles site-seeing around Neda.

Camino Inglés Day 2: Neda to Pontedeume
Private Room: Hotel Eumesa

Camino Day 3: Pontedeume to Betanzos
Bunkbed: Albergue de Peregrinos de Betanzos

Camino Day 4: Betanzos to Presedo
Bunkbed: Albergue de Peregrinos de Presedo

Camino Day 5: Presedo to Bruma
Bunkbed: Albergue de Peregrinos de Bruma

Camino Day 6: Bruma to Sigueiro
Private room:  Albergue Quinta Andaina

Camino Day 7: Sigueiro to Santiago

Santiago June 5 – 7
Private room: Seminario Menor (3 nights 15 Euros/night)

Santiago June 8
Private room: 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!

I will post detailed route reports on this blog. If you cannot wait, 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!

View from my room in Neda

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

Camino and Hiking Events in May 2017

Below is the roundup of Camino related events and hikes in the SF Bay Area for the month of May 2017. But first, I would like to highlight a few recent updates on this blog, and announce a new e-book on the Spiritual Variant of the Camino Portugués.

Camino Francés Route Report

Santa Cruz couple Cathy Seitchik Diaz and David Stewart are on the Camino Francés right now.  As the reporter for the Camino Frances this year, she is sharing the stages the Camino Francés, complete with daily distances, photos, observations and useful tips. See Days 1-12 and Days 13-24.  Cathy is, quite possibly, the world’s happiest pilgrim!  You can find other Camino routes linked under the Route Reports drop-down menu, and on the Camino Routes page.

Pondering Portugal?

I have been writing about Porto, a popular Camino Portugués starting point. The series is linked below, and on My Camino Portugués Stages page.

Porto Memories:
Six Bridges Cruise and Porto at Night
The Porto Cathedral
J. K. Rowling Hangouts, Majestic Café and Livrario Lello
São Bento Railway Station
Porto Walking Tour
Stock Exchange Palace and Imperial McDonald’s
Ferreira Port Cellars Tour and Tasting
Coming soon are posts about a coastal stroll and Fatima.  I am clearing the photos off my laptop to make space for my next adventures in France, then walking the Camino Inglés. 🙂 Follow my Facebook page for live updates during my trips.  www.facebook.com/CaminoProvides/

New Kindle book on the Camino Portugués

Roy Uprichard has a new book on Amazon kindle for just .99 cents.  It’s called: Stone and Water – Walking the Spiritual Variant of the Camino Portuguese. Roy asks that you download, share and consider leaving a review on Amazon, to make it easier for others to find it. The preface is written by Celestino Lores, President of the Friends of the Camino Portugués. Available on Amazon.com.


Let the games begin!

Monthly Lake Merritt Walk in Oakland
Saturday, May 6, 10:30 am

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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

Santiago Highlights: The Cathedral, from Roof to Crypt

Continued from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Santiago.

This post covers some of the fascinating aspects of the cathedral, including the rooftop tour, holy doors, botafumeiro, crypt, as well as the rites of embracing the apostle, and attending a pilgrim mass.

Rooftop tour of the Cathedral

If you enjoy great views, I recommend the Santiago cathedral rooftop tour. I did the Spanish tour because that was the only tour available on my last day. When I return to Santiago in June, I will book the English-speaking version of the tour.

Model of the cathedral

Model of the cathedral

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