When I discovered the Camino de Santiago nearly 10 years ago, this was one of the first videos on YouTube I found and I was enthralled by the photos. This slideshow was created by a Belfast man who walked the Camino Frances in 2007. The music is apt, considering we are approaching March 17th.
Another video from the Camino Frances, this time from Miriam from Germany. She recently enjoyed a September Camino and had a ball. You can watch her YouTube channel where she gets to grips with life after the Camino! I love this video, I hope you do too!
Sara is a full time hiker. You name it, she has walked it. In the last week she has started to walk from Madrid to Sahagun and onwards to Santiago. I love her presentation on YouTube and I’d love to ask her for a few tips! She always has a smile.
This particular Way is quiet, especially in October. There are more videos to watch after this one. Enjoy!
I was volunteering for Camino Society Ireland at their information centre in Dublin again today. When I volunteer, I start to think ahead about possible routes to take in the future. There are too many I have yet to look into, but the Camino de Madrid and Camino del Norte will keep me occupied for the next few years. I also meet people who are in the midst of planning for their own Caminos. There is a glow emanating from each pilgrim who visits us, ready for the challenge ahead. New pilgrims, veteran pilgrims – they are all the same. I usually volunteer on Saturdays as I work during the week but those few hours amongst pilgrims gets the adrenaline flowing.
With that energy, I usually write a few notes, or maybe write a blog post or possibly do a bit of research on a future Camino. One upcoming Camino isn’t too long away:- The Caminho Portugues. I fly out on September 8th to Lisbon.
But what do I hope to achieve from this Camino? Will it be a few more weeks away to gain more headspace? Will I see some amazing sites and meet amazing people in a beautiful country? Or am I just escaping reality for a few days? Because the truth of the matter is unless I bring the Camino back home, I will have this constant longing to return.
While Santiago Cathedral is under refurbishment, pilgrims may look to other cathedrals for solace. While León Cathedral is undergoing work it is open to the public and I have always enjoyed visiting it. The same goes for Burgos and Astorga.
It’s been over 2 years since I have been to León and although I have no plans to walk the Camino Frances, I know I will be back in León one day. Of course, you will be the first to know.
September 2014, I remember walking the first day out from St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles. It was a fine day and despite fears of rain, the clouds held back and the sun was out for the day. I had a distinctive shade of red by the time I reached the albergue in the abbey in the woods.
However, the weather will not be pleasant for all pilgrims making their first steps. There will be rain, fog, wind and being at a height amplifies the difficulties, if any. The following video illustrates my point. I can’t believe how quick the fog comes down while these two pilgrims cross from France to Spain. The wind and rain makes a difficult walk even more so, especially while walking through the forest into Roncesvalles.
It is always helpful to a) speak to the locals before you set out and b) take any alternative routes if there any hazardous sections.
However, the threat of bad weather doesn’t put me off wanting to return to this part of the world again soon. It’s magical.
Some pilgrims like to walk the Camino Frances not knowing what is ahead of them. Maybe that is unwise. There are other pilgrims who plan every minute detail weeks in advance. Again, maybe this takes away from the mystery. I did a little of both when I first walked from St. Jean Pied de Port in 2014.
I had heard stories and hearsay that this would be a very difficult walk. I had pictures of pilgrims scaling mountains with ropes. Obviously, that isn’t the case. However, the first few hours is all up-hill. If you need proof of that, why don’t you flick through the start of this chap’s video. He has recorded his walk from St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles from leaving the albergue in St. Jean to the arriving at the Abbey in the woods.
I can’t recall watching another video of this length and it sure may be of some help to those of you who are taking your first steps. The owner has gone on to record to rest of his Camino to Santiago. Just follow the links in YouTube. Enjoy..
Clearskies Camino was born on returning from my second Camino de Santiago in June 2012. I had been writing a journal and had taken the odd photo while on the Camino Frances that it just made sense to write my thoughts online. 2012 became 2013 and my hobby became something more. Writing had never been part of my life but I guess the Camino gave me the inspiration to put finger to keyboard. The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage but in my eyes, it is also a challenge. It is a great way of meeting people and a great way of getting away from the hustle and bustle of modern-day life. There are many Caminos to Santiago from all across Europe, but my experiences have mainly been on Camino Frances; an ancient trail covering 800 kilometres across Spain starting in St Jean Pied de Port in the foothills of France and ending in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Clearskies Camino is everything Camino – I love writing and talking about the various Caminos to Santiago and if you are one of the many people who have walked these routes, you may well feel the same. I hope my talking about my times on the Camino helps you as you plan for yours. Feel free to browse and “like” any of my posts and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment.