Saturday, December 30, 2006

Writing about the Camino

Seems like many people are writing books on the Camino. Here's an email that I have just received asking for really personal information.

Dear Friends,

I'm writing a book about our peregrination. Very, very good time !!!!!
Of course you are important actors in it
So, I would like to know a little more about you.
Personal data's: Name, date of birth, nationality, actual address and anything more that you believe important.

Why and when you decide to make the "Camino" (way of Santiago)?
What was very important on it ?
After did it, how are you feeling about?
Are you thinking in another peregrination ?
Of course you will answer what you want and "if" you want, and in both cases I'll be happy.

Best regards

I have pointed him to this blog. I hope he finds what he is looking for.

From what I have gather, every pilgrim has their own reason(s) for their camino. And in the camino, you normally don't ask another pilgrim the reason for their Camino, at least not on the first date. :)

I had thoughts too about writing a book on my Camino. But after creating this blog, I don't think I will have much more to add (so far). I believe that there are already too many books written on this. Unless, you are writing it from another angle.

Maybe things will be different after I walk my next Camino. If I do write one, it will probably be in an electronic form (pdf?). We'll see.

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Monday, December 4, 2006

Better Travel Photo Tips

One of my pictures from the Camino. A lady dispensing crepe with sugar for pilgrims somewhere in Galicia. * Crepe is not free.

Shoot Better Travel Photos With These 5 Essential Travel Photo Tips.

Seems like I had used all the tips from this article during my Camino except the outdoor flash as the camera on my mobile phone has no flash.

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Monday, November 6, 2006

More Information on Via di Francesco - An Italian Camino

About 2 months ago I posted an entry on the Italian Camino, the Via di Francesco.

Rosalinda is back from her trip and here is her account on her journey.

On Sep 22th I begun my walk from the Sanctuary of La Verne. I walked for 11 days until Spoleto when I decided to abandon the journey.

I have been alone all the time and saw no pilgrims. The reason is because this camino in Italy is new and was started only in 2004. Italians normally take their vacation in July-August and it is also for this reason I have not met any pilgrim in my journey.

In the 2006 they have given out approximately 650 credentials.

This camino is much harder and more difficult than the Camino de Santiago. You have to forget about the yellow arrow. With few markers, mostly from C.A.I. (Italian Alpine Club) the trails in these regions are less trodden and the markers are either old and nearly invisible.

Twice I’ve lost my way, and once I had lost 2 hours just moving up and down the hill in the rain.

You often have to ask people for information. It is not easy to have right information, so the knowledge of the Italian language becomes indispensable.

I sleep mainly in the convents, hermitages or in the Parishes, where supper and breakfast are included (donation offering, or in small lodges, hostels or holidays farm, 25-30€ with breakfast. If you are sleeping all alone in the convent as in my case, it can really be miserable. This is also one of the reasons for me to abandoned it.

The weather however (except when it rains) had been beautiful but too still too hot for walking.

People on the way and in the small villages are very friendly, they offered me small and delicious meals, fruits and water.

Before Assisi, the camino runs through the hills and the forest with beautiful panorama. After Assisi-Spello, the roads are mostly asphalt with many art cities that deserves a visit. With many artistic treasures here, the temptation to abandon the garment of the pilgrim and to become tourist was strong.

My council is to leave this camino at least for 2 or 3 years in order to give it time to grow and to get oneself organized.


Finding Fellow Peregrinos

This is a request from Josephine from Canada to find the 2 Norwegian pilgrims that she had met during her journey. Their names are Liz and Jette. Contact Josephine at Little Company of Pilgrims Canada if you have their contact.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Caminho da Fé - A Brazilian Camino

From a fellow Brazilian pilgrim Isabel who had just completed her Caminho da Fé (Road of the Faith).

During 14 days I walked for 414 Km...
I am happy....

I am very happy for her too. Would be even happier if I can join her for the journey... :)

More information about the Caminho da Fé here.

From the map, it really looks like Camino Franca in reverse, and about half the distance. The journey is from either Tambau or Mococa to Aparecida.

The impact of the Camino is certainly profound. Already 2 pilgrims I know had embarked on their second walk in less than half a year. Even for me I am getting an inner call to do another camino almost every day.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Have I found what I was looking for?

I've asked many pilgrims after their camino if they have found what they were looking for. Most of them said yes.

For me, it was the opposite. I guess it basically depends on what one is looking for. I wanted find myself. Instead I got lost. And those yellow arrow markers only gives directions, not answers.

I guess that's the way things are. You need to lose it in order to rediscover yourself.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Camino Movie from Paul Tobey

Here a free movie from a Canadian Musician Paul Tobey on his camino. It's a free download. It's a Windows WMV format on a zip file.

You will need to enter your email address to get the password to open the zip file.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

My Web Camino Ends Here

I've walked my camino for the second time, the first on the road and the second on the web. My regular post will end here. From time to time I might add a few camino related articles. Until my next journey, Buen Camino!

Below is a tabblo that I've created from some of the leftover pictures that I have taken. Enjoy.


After Muxia, it's a quick stop at Padrón. Padrón is a day's walk from Santiago.

And Padrón's religious importance? This was where the body of St. James after his martyr was suppose to have been disembarked after being brought back to Spain from Jerusalem.

View of Padrón

A closer view with church of Santa Maria de Iria on top.


My next stop after Fisterra is Muxia. According to legend, the Virgin Mary put into port her stone boat in Galicia to encourage St. James in his preaching in Spain. The spot is now the sanctuary of Nosa Señora da Barca.

The lighthouse at the edge of Muxia.

The sanctuary of Nosa Señora da Barca.

Another view.

Beautiful Galician coastline, taken from the sanctuary.


Fisterra (or Finisterre) is the end of the world during the medieval times prior to Columbus's discovery of the New world. Many pilgrims in the past continued their journey to Fisterra (another 3 days). There they will pick up dead clam shells along the coast to prove that they had been to the ocean.

I had plan a 5 days buffer for my journey and had actually arrived in Santiago 1 day earlier. Unfortunately I couldn't walk to Fisterra because to my ankle.

Instead, I'd managed to rent a car in Santiago to be returned to Madrid 6 days later (my flight departing Spain), giving me more than ample time to explore Galicia.

My first stop. Fisterra.

The peninsula and the town of Fisterra in sight!

That's me outside the albergue in Fisterra. Apparently you can get a compostela for walking to Fisterra if you make the 3 days journey.

A waymarker with 0.0 kilometer. The journey ends here.

The view of the edge of the peninsula. A pilgrim sitting on a rock reflecting on her journey at the edge.

The lighthouse at Cape Fisterra and the last cross near the edge.

A pilgrim burning his clothes and boots, symbolizing the beginning of a new life. In the past, the pilgrim will most likely keep their pilgrim clothes so they can be buried with it for their journey in their afterlife.

A view of the dark ocean. No wonder in the old days this was considered the end of the world, or land's end. It really feels that way when one is there.I stayed there a good hour contemplating on my own pilgrimage and my life's journey so far.

Following that, it's a drive back to the town of Fisterra, stopping at the Church of Santa Maria das Areas, with the rental car in the foreground (Citroen C2 diesel).

Back to the town for lunch and also to pick up my own shell.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Santiago de Compostela

Finally, after 2 days of pain I've arrived at Santiago de Compostela.

In a way I felt an emptiness as I did not want it to end. That's when I realized that the camino is the journey, not the destination.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Melide is the last place that I took pictures other than Monte do Gozo. It is two days away from Santiago and my ankles was killing me (later discovered to be Tendonitis). Limping into town, many pilgrims told me to stop walking as they can see I was in pain with every step I took. I asked them what they would in my shoes so close to Santiago? Immediately there was an understanding. Nothing will stop me from completing my pilgrimage, which I did 2 days later.

Bridge outside Melide.

Pilgrims taking a rest in the middle of this small city.

What's a Spanish town without churches and cathedrals?

A cat send off for the pilgrims the next morning.


The walk in the morning to Portomarin was dreamy, especially in the fog. Later, I heard that the old Portomarin was flooded after a dam was built nearby and this is the new Portomarin. Some pilgrims claimed that they can still see the old houses underwater. Too bad I did get to see it.

It's not the clouds below but a fog blanket.

Fog and rainbow, like a fairy tale.

The bridge crossing to Portomarin.

The Gate of Portomarin after the bridge.

Iglesia de Portomarin. With a pilgrim statue and a life pilgrim posing.

The narrow bridge crossing out of Portomarin.

A Pilgrim crossing the bridge.

Shot taken from the middle of the bridge. It will be almost noon before the flog dissipated.

Monday, September 25, 2006


From Sarria, it is less than 120 km to Santiago. This is the last major city/town for pilgrim to start walking to Santiago in order to get their compostela (minimum 100 km on foot, 200 km on a bicycle). The city knows it, and that is why there are so many shops catering to walking/hiking gears.

The city from the top of the hill.

Church of San Salvador. With well drawn pilgrim murals.

The last building on the way out of Sarria. The Convent of La Magdalena.

Magical Galicia

The wet climate of Galicia made it appears almost magical.

Granite church before Samos.

Even the roof tiles here are granite due to the ample rainfall in this region.

Tiny shelter, probably in reverence to a local Saint.

Archway after Sarria.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


A Brazilian pilgrim told me in O Cebreiro that if I could, I should stay in Samos next. The albergue is on the monastery and it would be a good experience to stay there.

When I found Triacastela to be too commercial with many private albergues, I decided to push another 6 km to Samos.

Beautiful rainbow on the way down O Cebreiro.

Outside Samos. A nice view of the monastery.

The oldest monastery in Spain. Founded in the 6th century by St Martin of Braga.

A tour inside the monastery.

Unfortunately the tour did not include the library. During the medieval time, only the clergy had access to learning and books.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

O Cebreiro

It was a very tough climb up the mountain to O Cebreiro for me. This was compounded by the heavy rain that day. Although the rain did stopped around mid afternoon, it was still cold up there even with the sun shining.

Up the steep gradient slope in the rain.

Enjoying the scenery on the way up O Cebreiro. Beginning to see ferns growing alongside the path, signs that says this is a wet region.

O Cebreiro. Gift shop. There are just as many tourist here as pilgrims.

Church of Santa Maria la Real in O Cebreiro. A miracle (transubstantiation) supposely occured here in the past.

The tavern. Excellent ambience and food. Finally in Galicia, I can taste food like pulpos (boiled octopus) and other delicacies from this region.

Old historical mountain hut with straw thatched roof (pallozas).

View from the albergue. What goes up must come down, something I don't have to worry about until the following day.