Camino de Santiago Blog

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|2 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|11 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|8 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

Where Can I Get a Pilgrims Passport?

A pilgrim's passport is a must, (also known as a credential), you must have one to stay in the municipal and parish Albergues, some of the private albergue do not require one.  The passport will have spaces for sellos (stamps), this proves that you have walked that day and are entitled to stay in an Albergue, (pilgrims only hostels), if there is space, they are valid for walkers and cyclist. The passport often ends up being a treasured possession as it is a great reminder of all the places you have stopped and stayed over night.  The stamps are all different and [...]

May 20th, 2016|FAQs|34 Comments

Newbie Mistakes on The Camino de Santiago

To be honest, I wanted to get your attention with the title of this blog post. I guess it worked if you are reading this now :) Great. Now that we are here I would like to clear something up which is of high importance to me. The word "mistake" in the blog title is not really right. I rather try to see things as experiences and experiments instead of mistakes. This gives more space and helps us to go out and try more things because we are not so afraid of failure. By doing so I am convinced we will [...]

May 12th, 2016|Camino Articles|1 Comment

What is a Pilgrim?

The first thing that comes to mind when I ask myself what is a pilgrim is Canterbury Tales and Chaucer’s partying crowd, or of Homer in the Odyssey. I associate the words pilgrim and pilgrimages as belonging to a bygone era.  Going on a pilgrimage in the middle ages was often the only form of travel that was acceptable, therefore, those seeking adventure could legitimately travel across countries. It is said that the purpose of pilgrims was veneration, asking for heavenly help or to know God better.  This definition really only fits modern religions where there is one God and not many.  [...]

May 6th, 2016|FAQs|0 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) My Experience I have always used a sleeping bag on each of my Caminos to Santiago and I have only walked in the hot weather [...]

April 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Celebrate Your Retirement and Walk The Camino!

This is a post from Des O'Dowd, thanks. I retired on the 1st of September 2008 and I wanted to celebrate my new life and new freedom. The Camino de Santiago was the challenge and adventure I needed. So in late September, like children going on a school tour, myself and my fellow retiree Pat McEvoy arrived in Dublin Airport with our rucksacks packed. We flew to Biarritz and two hours later were in the beautiful village of St. Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees. Our adventure had begun.   First Day from St Jean [...]

April 25th, 2016|Camino Articles|0 Comments

Why Walk the Camino de Santiago

In 2004 I first walked the Camino Frances the main Camino de Santiago route; I first wrote this article in 2009 and thought it could do with some updating. I was a student at the time and I wanted to do something different during the summer, something interesting - I am not one for lying on a beach and prefer to be active. One of my college mates had walked from Holland to Santiago de Compostela a few years before and he kept going on about this "Camino de Santiago" - to me it sounded horrible, walking all day across Spain [...]

April 18th, 2016|FAQs|8 Comments

How to Choose Waterproofs

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 [...]

April 11th, 2016|Outdoor Gear|0 Comments

How to Choose a Rucksack for the Camino

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 24th, 2016|Outdoor Gear|10 Comments

How to Choose the Best Walking Boots

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 20th, 2016|Outdoor Gear|37 Comments