Camino de Santiago Blog

What Camera Should You Take on the Camino?

The pilgrimage to Santiago is an adventure rich in breathtaking views and unforgettable moments. Still, some travelers prefer to completely unplug from the noise of civilization and leave all the tech gadgets behind. Others, like me, can’t resist documenting whenever possible. Whether or not you decide to disconnect completely and leave the camera behind is a matter of personal preference. I didn’t find it technology that distracting. In fact, I am glad I captured the special moments. You see, memories tend to fade and the Camino is definitely not short on capture-worthy moments. So, as you make your way through Spanish countryside [...]

March 17th, 2017|Outdoor Gear|3 Comments

How Much Does the Camino de Santiago Cost?

The main costs for any of the Camino de Santiago routes are your daily budget on the Camino and getting to and from your start and finish points.  For most of in Europe it is fairly quick and easy to get to and from any of the routes - not so from North America, (see travel page here), however the exchange rate between the US Dollar, Sterling and Euro currently makes walking the Camino cheaper than it has ever been for pilgrims from American and Britain. Day to Day Costs While Walking The most popular Camino routes are the Camino Frances and the Portuguese [...]

March 13th, 2017|FAQs|26 Comments

How to Choose a Sleeping Bag or Liner for the Camino de Santiago

There is much debate whether you need a sleeping bag or a liner during the summer on the Camino de Santiago.  Here I want to look at both side of that argument and help you how to choose a sleeping bag or liner; then which one and do you need it treated against bed bugs. There are three other posts in this series: Choosing a Rucksack Choosing Rain wear What Footwear, boots or shoes? (My Packing List) (and what is the best camera for the Camino)   My Experience I have always used a sleeping bag on each of my Caminos to [...]

March 10th, 2017|Outdoor Gear|2 Comments

Best Walking Boots for the Camino de Santiago

It's important to have the right footwear for your level of hiking, more so if you are going on a walking holiday or a long distance walk like the Camino de Santiago, (and the right backpack and waterproofs). Different styles are more suitable for different levels than others. For instance, if you enjoy light hiking or backpacking, some features may be surplus to your needs and therefore add unnecessary weight. On the other hand if you're a serious hiker, the absence of necessary features can greatly impact on your safety and comfort. Keeping your feet Dry Make sure your boots are [...]

March 5th, 2017|Outdoor Gear|40 Comments

Best Waterproofs for the Camino de Santiago

The Basic Principles of Layering This is the third post in my series about walking gear for the Camino, the first was on choosing boots or walking shoes, the second on choosing a rucksack. This is a general article on waterproofs - the age old discussion about a waterproof jacket or poncho continues on the forum, and here and here. Layering your clothing is a tried-and-tested way to ensure your comfort in the outdoors. The beauty of this simple concept is that it allows you to make quick adjustments based on your activity level and changes in the weather. There are [...]

March 3rd, 2017|Outdoor Gear|0 Comments

Best Rucksack for the Camino de Santiago

After choosing the best walking boots for your feet, a rucksack is the second most important piece of equipment you need for walking any of the Camino routes.  Bear in mind this humble backpack is going to hold all your belonging for a month, sometime more. Rucksacks come in many different shapes and sizes. Each rucksack is specific to a certain activity or pursuit. When looking for a rucksack there are four vital points to consider before you purchase: 1. You need to decide what activity you intend to use the backpack for. Are you going on an afternoon walk, or [...]

March 2nd, 2017|Outdoor Gear|10 Comments

The Spiritual Aspects of the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage

The Camino Spirit This is a transcript of a talk I was asked to give at an information session on walking the Camino, presented in September 2016 and sponsored by the Albuquerque, New Mexico Chapter of The American Friends of the Camino. My wife, Janet, and I walked the Camino Frances in the Spring of 2015. We volunteered to do an informal show-and-tell- things like what boots we wore, packs we carried and why we chose rain jackets and pants over ponchos. But after I mentioned I’d include some spiritual observations, event organizers nudged me toward forgetting about the nuts and [...]

February 18th, 2017|Camino Articles, Camino Thoughts|6 Comments

Le Puy to Santiago on Bad Shoes, Meeting Good Friends

How a stranger helped me get emergency surgery mid-Camino.  By: Chloe Rose Stuart-Ulin I was three weeks into my Camino from Le Puy when I first considered giving up. On a cobbled road outside an organic snack shop in rural France, I pulled out a rickety iron chair set out for patrons and started taking off my shoes. Slowly, slowly, using both hands, I lifted them off my feet and peeled off my socks. I hadn’t fully understood the severity of my predicament until my feet were out of my shoes, which were far too tight and damp. Immediately my toes [...]

February 6th, 2017|Camino Articles|4 Comments

13 Gifts Ideas for Camino de Santiago Pilgrims

Beautiful and unique gifts for pilgrims-to-be and memorabilia for pilgrims already finished with the Camino. Buying presents can be hard especially for pilgrims. Many peregrinos while walking realise that they need very little in life. They live off a backpack for several weeks and stick to a routine of the Camino -- wake up, eat, walk, sleep. Thus material things are no longer as important as before. However, there are practical gifts that can make the walk more comfortable. Plus, as you may know, it is highly advisable not to carry more than 10% of one’s body weight in the backpack. [...]

January 20th, 2017|Camino Articles|1 Comment

Blister Prevention for the Camino de Santiago

What’s the most common injury experienced on the Camino de Santiago? Without doubt, foot blisters! They’re painful. They’re frustrating. They take precious time, effort and skill to look after. They make you walk differently and that can stir up other aches and pains. They can get infected, and wind you up in hospital! Blisters have the potential to spoil your Camino experience! Whether it’s your first time, or you’re returning and hoping your feet can complete the journey less battered and bruised, you’ll probably do some blister research before you leave. Thankfully, there is an enormous amount of blister advice and [...]

November 14th, 2016|Camino Articles|4 Comments

How Walking the Camino de Santiago changed my Life

I first walked the Camino de Santiago in 2004 on the Camino Frances route.  I found it quite difficult back then to find information before I went so I had little idea what lay ahead.  In hindsight that was maybe good for me, if I had seen some of the images of where people sleep at night and the stories about sharing I would likely have chosen something else that summer. Some Background For most of my life I had worked in jobs that I didn't like much.  So in 2002 I called halt and quit my job with the intention [...]

July 22nd, 2016|Camino Thoughts|14 Comments

Transitioning from Camino Life to Real Life

After a couple Camino's and seeing dozens of pilgrims having a hard time with the Camino Blues, I think it is worth a writing an article about.  I am certainly no professional, but someone who has experienced the transition back to "The Real World" after the Camino twice. Make no bones about it, the Camino will change you.  It does it slowly, and it is very subtle... most the time. One of the things we adjust to on the Camino is the life we have there.  Days are very long, conversations can get very deep. We begin to bond with people we never [...]

July 1st, 2016|Camino Thoughts|4 Comments

A Pilgrims View of Santiago de Compostela

It was where I was heading, as was everyone else on this pilgrimage across northern Spain. Each city was different, Leon is a pleasure, Burgos has a dreadful 9km walk through the industrial part of the city. Pamplona was too early to take much notice of, I was only walking a few days and my legs were sore, my feet had blisters, and my rucksack was far too heavy. Before leaving Pamplona I made sure my backpack was lighter. Looking Towards Santiago I had no great expectation of Santiago de Compostela. I had become used to thinking less about the future, [...]

June 18th, 2016|Camino Thoughts|2 Comments

Is It Safe Walking the Camino de Santiago Alone?

One of the most common questions I am asked - is it safe to walk the Camino de Santiago alone?  This became a question being asked more again recently when someone went missing on the Camino. However my opinion remains unchanged - yes, it is safe to walk the Camino de Santiago alone. I would think it safer than most local walking routes in most countries; safer than walking home from Dublin or any large city on a Friday or Saturday night. Safer Than What? I presume when I am asked this question it is regarding physical security.  I started two Caminos on [...]

June 3rd, 2016|Camino Thoughts|14 Comments

Blisters, Bedbugs and Backaches – Finding Clarity on the Camino

In May 2012, I clicked SEND and put in play a turn of events and a journey that would change my life forever. In my sixth decade and in good health, I knew this was the time. With that SEND, I purchased my air ticket to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago. While I had heard a little about the Camino over the years, it was a book by Guy Thatcher called A Journey of Days that really whet my appetite. I thought “I can do this!” and I promptly began reading and researching everything about the Camino. With each new [...]

May 27th, 2016|Camino Articles|37 Comments