Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spanish Callejeros TV Program on The Camino



Managed to find the other 3 parts on YouTube. (Part2, Part3, Part4)

A nice nostalgic trip back to the camino. An interesting look from the Spanish media on the Camino. Like the raw feel in the presentation. Gosh, I missed walking the camino...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Camino Video - The Women Who Walk



I still think one should go alone or with a companion and discover the camino by themselves rather than in a big group. But hey, that may be the only way for some to experience the metaphor of life.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I just saw Martin Sheen!!!


Martin Sheen and son Emilio Esteves spotted in the camino. Apparently they were there shooting a movie about the camino. Seems like the camino is going mainstream. Not sure if that's a good thing or not.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pilgrim Statistics – January to June 2009

Repost from Pilgrimage to Santiago Forum.

From Rosina

January 1 to June 30 of this year:

Total compostela recipients : 48,970 (43,803 for the same period in 2008)

Men 19,345; Women 29,625

Walked: 40,418; Bicycle: 8,368; Horseback: 181; Wheelchair: 3

Under 15 years of age: 1,146
between 15 and 35: 15,555
36 to 65: 28,220
over 65: 4,049

Pilgrims with religious motives exclusively: 20,065
Religious/cultural: 24,727
Cultural only: 4,178

21,713 pilgrims hailed from Spain itself (less than 50%!!!!)
7,309 came from Germany;
3,213 came from France;
3,121 from Italy;
2,578 from Portugal;
1,278 from Austria;
1,121 from the United States;
1,112 from Holland;
1,084 from Brazil;
964 from Ireland;
835 from Canada;
656 from Belgium;
579 from Finland;
494 from Mexico;
The rest, in decreasing numbers, from another twenty or so countries.

37,939 of the pilgrims followed the French Camino
4,539 the Portuguese
2,669 the Via de la Plata
2,341 the Northern Way
856 the Primitive Way
and 499 the English.
The rest followed several other routes.

11,508 of the pilgrims started out in Sarria;

6,220 in Saint Jean Pied de Port;

4,279 in Ponferrada ;

3,427 in Roncesvalles;

3,182 in Leon;

2,836 in O Cebreiro;

1,892 in Sevilla (!!!!);

1,721 in Pamplona;

1,583 in Astprga;

1,128 in Le Puy;

1,042 in Tui

The rest commenced their pilgrimage at different points distanced from Santiago sufficiently to qualify the pilgrim for receipt of the Compostela.
As has been mentioned several times, it is estimated that the total number of pilgrims in the various Caminos at any one time is about five times the number of those who do receive the Compostela.

(So 5 out of 6 pilgrims do not get a compostela either from dropping out or continuing their camino at a later date!!!!!)

Recently an “Anthropological Profile” of the 2008 Compostela recipients was made. These are some of the findings:
Over 50% of the pilgrims were between 36 and 65 years of age; the percentage of pilgrims between 16 and 35 years of age has increased to 40%. (getting a younger crowd????)
56% of the pilgrims are male.
81% of the pilgrims are single
56% of the pilgrims possess a college education.
95% of the pilgrims declare either an exclusively religious reason, or a religious/cultural reason for the pilgrimage.
87% of the pilgrims declared themselves to be believers; of these, 96% were Catholic, 2% non-Catholic Christians and 2% belonged to other religions. 59% of the believers stated that they are regular church-goers.

A very large number of the pilgrims, 66% (and I thought I was the exception!!!!), declared that they went to the Camino without prior preparation, physical or otherwise. Of those who prepared themselves beforehand 81% undertook physical training.

87% of the pilgrims went to the Camino in the company of someone else.
13% went alone (mostly by choice)

5% of the pilgrims declared that the most negative aspect of their experience was the difficulty of the Camino (tiredness, aches, blisters, etc). The climate bothered 46% of the pilgrims, and 31% complained about the albergues (no hot water and unfriendly hospitaleros).65% of the pilgrims were satisfied with the albergues (indeed, 18% were extremely satisfied), while 14% found the albergues deficient and 3% found them “very bad”.

On the positive side, 90% of the pilgrims pointed out the camaraderie, the friendship and the brotherly communication among the pilgrims. 41% found the spiritual and religious experience very meaningful and 21% were quite happily impressed by the contact with nature, the cultural aspects of the Camino and the opportunity to expand their physical and spiritual capabilities.

Monthly figures up to June can be viewed at Click on the colourful shell. Then click on the Spanish flag and then on Estadísticos .

I’ve just added some punctuation on what I think are interesting statistics.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On The Longest Way 1.0 - one year walk/beard grow time lapse


One year on foot - 4646km through China. That is some way to see China. And to think that Christoph’s original plan was to walk all the way back to Germany. Compare to his journey, the Camino must have been a walk in the park. Here’s the except from his journey and his web site, ‘The Longest Way"’.

November 9th 2007 - November 13th 2008
one year on foot - 4646km through China
unlimited beard & hair growth
musical score by the kingpins ( and zhu fengbo
Additional info:
- I never finished my original goal of walking to Germany. Instead, I walked for a year and roughly 4500km, passed the desert of Gobi, and then decided to stop walking for now.
- All of the distance from Beijing to Ürümqi has been completed solely on foot, straight good old walking. There are instances where you can see me in the video sitting on a plane or riding a boat, but those are during breaks I had to take from walking, either to sort out bureaucracy issues or to take care of some personal things.
- I had been planning this trip for over a year before I even started, and getting as far as I got was an experience for which I am very grateful.
- Obtaining the necessary visa for a trip like this was not very easy, hence I had to go back to Beijing a few times to resolve some issues.
- The songs I used in the video are 1) Zhu Fengbo - "Olive Tree" and 2) The Kingpins - "L'aventurier" - visit the Kingpins website if you want to know more, they are very cool I think.
- This is not a strict "1 pic a day" video, because I wanted to make it a bit more alive by adding some additional movement. Sometimes during the film you would follow me turn around, or something would happen in the background. I tried to capture these moments to make the video more interesting.
- The core of this project is in fact my website "" where I have posted my extensive travel diary, starting from day 1 (Nov 9th 2007) and describing every single day until the end one year later.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another meeting of pilgrims


Rosalinda (with Sancho) on the left and Isabella on the right at Albergue Rosalinda :)

I've just gotten back for a few weeks from a trip to Provence with the wife. I've decided to go there via Milano and visit a dear pilgrim Rosalinda along the way. Best albergue and hospitalero outside the camino, :))))

Here is a photo during the camino in 2006. Bénédicte left and Rosalinda on the right.