Camino Articles

Walking Stories From Around the World

Camino: Should You Travel Solo or in a Group?

When planning a pilgrimage, travelers, besides deciding what route to take and what to pack, are often faced with a choice of going for it alone or as a part of a group. The forums are swirling with questions such as “I want to do the Camino, but I have nobody to go with, should I go alone?”, “I couldn’t agree on dates with my friends, but I still want to go, is it OK?”,  “Is it better to travel via an agency if I go alone?”, etc. Bottom line, everyone wants to know what is the better option. I walked [...]

2017-04-03T14:34:03+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Camino Articles|11 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 [...]

2017-02-18T11:30:37+00:00 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 [...]

2017-04-17T16:00:15+00:00 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. [...]

2017-01-20T15:49:51+00:00 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 [...]

2016-11-15T08:45:54+00:00 November 14th, 2016|Camino Articles|4 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 [...]

2017-04-10T07:45:48+00:00 May 27th, 2016|Camino Articles|37 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 [...]

2016-05-12T12:47:56+00:00 May 12th, 2016|Camino Articles|1 Comment

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 [...]

2016-04-26T13:39:55+00:00 April 25th, 2016|Camino Articles|0 Comments

Training Plan for the Camino de Santiago

How fit do I have to be to walk the Camino de Santiago or what kind of training do I have to do?  This is one of the questions I am most asked. The answer to this has a lot to do with other issues. How long do you want to take? Are you walking the whole way? If you have a lot of time say 40 days or more you don’t need to have good fitness, you can risk getting fit as you walk, this is what most people do – however, this is not a good or advisable strategy for [...]

2017-02-27T14:31:23+00:00 February 27th, 2016|Camino Articles|65 Comments

Camino Primitivo – Oveido to Santiago de Compostela

Stage Five: Primitivo Oveido to Santiago, May 2nd to May 14th We were flying by now. Yes our feet still hurt and at the end of the longest day of the whole trip, (41km, a choice so I didn’t have to stay in a dormitory...), I thought I would die. But the next day our bodies were as good as new. I was the fittest I had ever been, no knees problems, bunion issues or back complaints. Light shoes still going strong. The end was in sight and it was all at once exciting, amazing and scary. We’d been doing this [...]

2016-11-27T14:41:32+00:00 November 17th, 2015|Camino Articles|0 Comments

Saint Jean Pied de Port to Hendaye then Hondarribia to Oveido

Stage Three: GR 10 Saint Jean Pied de Port to Hendaye April 5th to April 10th This section wasn’t strictly the Compostela/ Camino. One of our hosts who only allowed you to stay if you carried your pack the whole way told us it would be fine to do this by train, but while we intended to take it a bit easier we walked. The weather was extraordinary. An early summer had hit the region. No snow and brilliant blue skies and 28 C (75 F). In Biddarray on the first night we went to Hotel Ostape (amazing. We did take [...]

2015-11-17T12:48:00+00:00 November 15th, 2015|Camino Articles|0 Comments

Cluny to Le Puy on the Chemin de St Jacques

Stage One: Chemin de St Jacques Cluny to Le Puy, February 17th to March 3rd It seemed we were destined to walk the Camino. Well, in retrospect. I had six months long service leave and we had a house in France. Okay we could have stayed and enjoyed the local food, wine and terroire but from the first time we saw the scallop shell on a lamp post in Tramayes, which our house is on the outskirts of, we were hooked. Enough to do a one day course back home that told us the dos and don’ts of the Camino, to buy [...]

2017-04-17T15:59:10+00:00 November 9th, 2015|Camino Articles|2 Comments

The Days before arriving at Santiago de Compostela

It’s easy to find out how to start off on the trek along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. There are lots of inspiring pictures showing happy pilgrims making those final steps toward the Cathedral’s double stairway at the end of their pilgrimage. What happens between those two milestones?  I’d like to tell you how to handle that intermediary period, the days when you are working toward your physical, mental, and spiritual goals. This is the period where the pilgrim’s initial commitment and enthusiasm starts to be tested by some challenges and difficulties. This is the period when [...]

2015-10-27T10:28:47+00:00 October 25th, 2015|Camino Articles|15 Comments

Why I am Hiking the Camino Frances Again

Hello Camino friends I was recently reading the Camino Forums and felt inspired to write a little about my pilgrimage down the Camino Francis and why I chose to hike it again the next year, before I had even finished my first one. I first heard about El Camino de Santiago from a friend whom I went on a yearly trek with. We had climbed the peaks Mt. Chirropo in Costa Rica, went to the depths of the earth together to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and hiked the ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. So, it was only fitting [...]

2015-08-18T13:36:17+00:00 August 17th, 2015|Camino Articles|29 Comments

Camino de Santiago Frances Last Section – Part 3

This is the third post of three, the first is Walking the Camino Frances, and the second is the middle part of the Camino Frances. These are the last of the email compilations from Douglas and Christine Ball's journey on the Camino Frances during 2015. The text below cover the last section of about 155 miles. Day 27 Vega de Valcarce to Fonfria Well you just cannot tell how it's going to be. We were anticipating a really hard day with significant climbs; our guide book said this was the hardest day on the route. In fact there were climbs, but [...]

2016-11-27T14:51:39+00:00 July 29th, 2015|Camino Articles|2 Comments