Camino Thoughts

Reasons to Walk the Camino de Santiago

You have to be fairly motivated to walk the Camino de Santiago from St Jean Pied de Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in North West Spain – as it is 800km.  Usually 800km with your rucksack on your back containing everything you need for a month.  Sleeping in hostels with strangers, communal showers, and no privacy. To many this does not sound like a holiday or a good use of their precious time, however, more than 100,000 people walk one of the Camino routes in Spain each year – and the numbers keep growing.  Pilgrims, as they are called, [...]

2017-04-17T13:14:55+00:00 April 15th, 2017|Camino Thoughts|35 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

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 [...]

2016-11-27T14:19:57+00:00 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 [...]

2017-04-17T15:59:33+00:00 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, [...]

2016-06-18T13:14:15+00:00 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 [...]

2016-06-06T11:54:53+00:00 June 3rd, 2016|Camino Thoughts|14 Comments

Finding Love on the Camino de Santiago

Love was the last thing I expected to find on the Camino de Santiago. But I did and ten years later our son is one year old. Therefore I thought this would be a good time for this post. I set out expecting a journey with few people, and I expected those few to be a bit odd, or older religious types – well it was a pilgrimage not your usual holiday. Expectations are interesting phenomena, I don’t know about you, but my expectations of future events are usually completely wrong. I have been thinking of writing this post for sometime, however [...]

2015-12-16T05:56:00+00:00 December 12th, 2015|Camino Thoughts|28 Comments

Le Puy to Saint Jean Pied de Port

Stage Two: Chemin de St Jacques Le Puy to Saint Jean Pied de Port, March 4th to April 4th This section took us to the wind swept plains of the Aubrac. Cold, I got frostbite on my nose which took weeks to heal- but no snow and so we were able to cross through one of the worst marked sections. Thankfully we had a GPS and a thermos. Our bodies had settled down a little but we were still struggling. It wasn’t until the end of this section that we felt we could walk forever. But still no feet problems beyond [...]

2015-11-17T12:48:15+00:00 November 13th, 2015|Camino Thoughts|6 Comments

Camino de Santiago Frances Overview

On July 8th of this year, I set out from St Jean Pied du Port to walk the infamous Camino Frances. I had a return ticket booked for five weeks later and I dreamed of finishing my walk at the Atlantic Ocean in Finisterre. As I packed my bag before my departure I was excited for the unknown. I was excited for the physical and mental challenges that lay ahead of me. To be honest, I really did not know what to expect. Friends, colleagues and different internet blogs gave me an insight into what they experienced but for me I [...]

2016-11-27T14:25:57+00:00 October 11th, 2015|Camino Thoughts|3 Comments

Memories of the Camino de Santiago

If I could for a moment, bring you on a journey to Santa Catalina de Samoza. It is on the French Way of the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain to the body of St. James. It is Monday June 16th 2014. It is hot; while I walk carefully along the dusty trail with tensor bands on my knees and walking sticks in my hands I spy with my little eye a church steeple. This is fantastic because I had strained my knee and each step was hard. To ease the walk I had sent on my backpack on with a [...]

2015-09-29T08:51:29+00:00 September 28th, 2015|Camino Thoughts|0 Comments

Women Walking Alone on the Camino de Santiago

I have written before about walking the Camino de Santiago alone, but I didn't specifically address the topic of being a woman and walking alone.  This topic has become news after an American woman, Denise Thiem, went missing in April of 2015.  She apparently left Astorga and was never seen again.  There are no actual sightings of her having left Astorga, and I truly hope that she turns up alive and well at some point. Since then it has been advised that women do not walk alone on the 24 km section from Astorga.  This area, however, is now being patrolled [...]

2016-11-27T14:41:57+00:00 September 3rd, 2015|Camino Thoughts|11 Comments

17 Best Camino de Santiago Blogs

I have been writing about the Camino on my blog since 2006, the site grew very large, then I consolidated many posts as there was not enough detail in the huge number that had been written. And that is what helps a blog make it on to my list of the best Camino de Santiago blogs – detail. There are many hundreds of Camino blogs started every year as pilgrims keep a diary of their planning, travel, and journey. Most of these are entertaining; they are written for friends and family to read. These are not on the list below. How [...]

2015-09-21T11:10:08+00:00 August 30th, 2015|Camino Thoughts|17 Comments

Top Ten Things About Camino de Santiago

I was asked recently what would be my top ten things about the Camino de Santiago – so here it is. 1. The people, the other pilgrims. The other pilgrims I met is my number one on the Camino, all Camino routes. I feel I was blessed. I don't like crowds, however, I do in general like talking, and listening to other people. I, being an English speaker, was amazed at the amount of people that spoke English when it was their second and third language – I felt quite ignorant as the result of this – I can get a [...]

2015-08-24T11:25:57+00:00 August 24th, 2015|Camino Thoughts|8 Comments

Inspiration to Walk the Camino de Santiago

The forum was an amazing resource for me when researching the Camino de Santiago. I did the full Camino de Santiago Frances as well as the Del Norte in 2013 with my guitar. In May of 2014 I did 4 days of the Camino de Madrid to Segovia and I'll be doing the Primitivo route this July. People's Inspiration and Reasons for doing the Camino This is an interesting conversation topic; both the reasons for and maybe the reasons why not to ask someone so quickly on the Camino. Perhaps just me, but it felt very personal to be asked this question [...]

2015-08-11T09:06:16+00:00 August 11th, 2015|Camino Thoughts|6 Comments

Lessons Learned on the Camino de Santiago

Toward the end of my post a couple of weeks back on how the Camino changed my life, I got thinking about lessons I learned while walking the Camino Frances.  The following are some thoughts on lessons I think I started to learn there. I Can Do More Than I Think or Believe This was a great lesson to learn, one that I share with many others who walk so far, carrying their own belonging, washing their own clothes each day, sharing so much with people that I have never met before. It is a while since I have been young, [...]

2015-07-14T15:19:27+00:00 July 12th, 2015|Camino Thoughts|15 Comments