Walking the Camino de Santiago


When the camino is completed, and arrival in Santiago de Compostella is achieved, the task at hand is  to visit the Pilgrim office.  There you will complete some paperwork and receive your Compostella, provided that you were motivated by religious or spiritual reasons.

2011 Compostella

If you continue on to Finisterra, you will receive a special document.

2011 Finisterra Compostella

If you continue on to Muxia, you will receive an additional special document.

2011 Muxia Compostella


Buen Camino!

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Walk from Finisterra to Muxia

April 24th, 2011 – 30.1 KM … cloudy windy and dry… the day’s terrain included one climb of 200 meters spread over 5 KM… a mere bump in comparison to the MOUNTAIN over the Pyrenees on the first day!

This day was solomn for me… It would be my last day walking… and, as I started alone, I would finish the camino alone… It was reflective… I recall all the friends and people that I have met… all wonderful… and I suspect some will become life long friends! So, today, more than other days, I took notice of the natural beauty and the springtime wildflowers!

In all, walking the camino has been one of the most significant adventures of my lifetime! This will undoubtedly not be the only camino that I undertake! I miss my friends of the camino, the connections that we have made, the common search for greater meaning, and the common desire for resolution in searching for a balance between our inner and outer lives… the search for “what we may do next”… It has been a journey that we did together, in some way, but the journey was for each of us uniquely our own… in our thoughts, our circumstances, our histories…

Tomorrow, I will return to Santiago for a brief stay… Afterwards, I will go to Ourense, Spain to soak my muscles and bones in the eternal hot springs located there…

Categories: Camino de Santiago 2011, Walking the Camino de Santiago | 3 Comments

Walk from Olveiroa to Cee

April 22nd, 2011 – 16.5 KM… RAIN…

Rain for most of the morning!


The rain stopped for a brief period as I walked down the mountain into CEE. I met up with Roberto and Ruth, from Madrid, to take this photo!

With Roberto & Ruth (from Madrid)

After getting to the edge of the town, I met up with Kristoff & Phillip at a corner bar-cafe for a short break.

Phillip & I

Meeting up with Dominic, Simone, & Danielle, we headed into CEE to find the only private Auberge – only to discover that they had completely reserved all spaces for taxi camino tourists… arg… By not, it started to rain again… heavily… and it didn’t seem to want to stop… I suggested that we inquire about rooms at the pensions! We found rooms at a very reasonable rate at Pension Beiramar, where they dried all our wet rain gear and rain covers, dried our boots, washed and dried our laundry, and taxied us to a restaurant and back… AWESOME!

Pension Beiramar 220 Avda Finisterra, CEE

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Walk from Negreira to Olveiroa

April 21st, 2011 – 33.1 KM – This was a long day… It started out fairly dry… but there was a “RAIN” DUMP… Fortunately, we were near a bus stop enclosure and were able to avoid getting too wet!

About halfway through the day, several of us took a break! In this photo, Danielle, me, Greg (?), and Dominic are resting our butts on benches! LOL

Break! Butts on Benches!

After climbing over/around Monte Aro, it started to drizzle… we had gotten to this bus stop enclosure and were in the process of putting on rain covers over our backpacks and putting on rain pants, when it just DUMPPED… We stayed in the enclosure for 30-45 minutes, staying dry and enjoying some snacks…

Can you see the rain?

The rain did stop, though…

End of day quiet country lane!

Olveiroa is a sleepy place… there are no real services there, except one public auberge and one private hotel/restaurant… A new auberge/cafe/bar is being constucted, but was not open yet… We had dinner at the restaurant!

Pilgrim Dinner Gang!

Left to right in the photo: Antonio, Kristen, Danielle, Kristoff, Greg (?), me, Dominic, Armin, Simone, (???)

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Walk from Santiago to Negreira

April 20th, 2011 – 22.4 KM – cloudy and cool weather, but no rain today!

This was a pleasant day! The walk started by going out of Santiago, and once the way marking was found, quite nice. The views of Santiago, looking back into the city were magnificant!

View back into Santiago!

This was a solo day for me… very few of the friends I’ve made started this walk today… of the friends that did walk to Negreira, our starting times were so varied that we did not cross paths, but rather met later in the day… As it went, walking today solo was a good time for reflecting on the meaning of the camino… It has also been good for contemplation and some reconciliation of my inner and outer life experiences… discovery and affirmation of the importance of the people involved in my life… and the direction that I must undertake for greater fulfillment in life…

Statue in Negreira

Statue in Negreira

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Walk from Santa Irene to Santiago

April 19th, 2011 – 23.7 KM… relatively flat… rained for the first few hours…

Some people just camp out!

At long last, Santiago de Compostela – 800 KM… though not the end of my journey, it is a major milestone! I walked the first 3 or so KM alone… In Pedrouzo Do Pino (Arca), I met Antonio… Antonio and Lina had stayed the night before in Pedrouzo… and Lina was lagging, being a bit smitten with Rodri, I understand… I walked with Antonio until Monte de Gozo, which supposedly overlooks Santiago… Antonio would wait for Lina there, and I walked the last 5 or so KM into Santiago alone…

Antoino & I...

Monument at Monte do Gozo

It seemed fitting to enter the santuary of Santiago alone, to contemplate and reflect on the 31 days that I had been walking the Camino… change is certain in life… the camino has opened possibilities and has created many questions for me…

The Cathedral in Santiago de Compostella

I had been walking about trying to find the oficina do perigrinos – a chance running into Ron set me in the right direction!

Ron, the Canadian, and I

Paul and I started this camino on the same day! Over the past 31 days, we’ve become quite good friends! Kristoff was a great addition to our celebration! Later in the evening, we had a group dinner with many of our friends: brother/sister Kristoff & Carol, Dominic, Simone, Danielle, Maryanne, Kristoff, Paul, Phillip, and I…

Kristoff, Paul (Pocoloco), and I - celebrating pre-dinner!

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Walk from Gonzar to Melide

April 17th – 33.2 KM – an initial climb for 5 KM, followed by mostly flat / down terrain…

I started this day’s walk with Maryanne, a sweet italian girl in her 20’s… Part of the group, she has become a nice friend… It was DARK when we left… and quite foggy…

Foggy Morning!

We were stopped for lunch in Palas de Rei, where we took this photo with Ricardo and Pancho, both from Spain… Also at lunch were, Antonio, Lina, Rodri (Rodrigo), David, and Javier…

With Ricardo & Pancho

Antonio is 75 this year, and doing only the last 100 KM from Sarria with his grand-daughter, Lina… I have spent some time walking with him and quite enjoying his wisdom…

Lina with her grandfather, Antonio!

I didn’t know this day would be mostly about friends! but, it was… at the end of the day, I made friends with these two teacher/travellers from Texas… they were not walking the entire camino, but just a portion of one day… The day ended with a large group of people, Dominic, Simone, Danielle, Kristoff, Carol, and others going to a Pulperia to enjoy Pulpo (Octopus)!

Crossing the bridge into Melide with a teacher from Texas!

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Walk from Sarria to Gonzar

April 16th, 2011 – 31.1 KM… mostly up… followed by 400 meter drop in elevation… followed by a 250 meter climb…

Remember that Sarria is just over 100 KM from Santiago… This group of American Field Service interns was walking the 100 KM… Not all the kids were Americans, though… This group stayed in the same Auberge as I the night before…

A large group of American Field Service interns...

Today, I started the walk with a Canadian, Ron, with whom I’ve met several times along the way! We walked together until the crowds of people starting in Sarria got to him and he bolted off to create some distance…

Ron & I at the cruce in Sarria...

This tree lined path was on the way today! I appreciated the shade!

The beauty of tree lined paths!

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Walk from Triacastela to Sarria

April 15th, 2011 – 25 KM… fine weather… mostly a down hill or flat day… Sarria is the last town where people walking only 100 KM of the camino frances can join the camino… This is significant because in order to receive the “Compostela” at the officina de peregrinos in Santiago, a pilgrim must walk or bicycle a minimum of 100 KM…

Each day has started in a different way!

Fog in the valleys

Here, the gang is taking a well deserved break along the path…

The gang - taking a break...

As I passed by this woman caring for her plants, I couldn’t help but wonder… Did she paint the house to match the hat? Did she buy the hat to match the house color? or is she just facinated with the color? I offer this, not as a comment about her, though… but as a comment about the thoughts that enter my mind as I’m walking the camino… I’m walking KM after KM… not with music or other distractions of daily life, but with only what stream of conscious thoughts are in my head… it’s funny…

The hat or the house - which color came first!

I was entering Sarria with Maryanne and Armin… Armin intended to go further that day, and Maryanne was going to meet a friend that lives in Sarria… So, we decided to have lunch on the Rio Sarria… These swans were swimming about… and this was the first river where I actually saw fish swimming in the water… We also fed the fish some small compressed bits of our lunch bread… Sometimes kids eat the middle of the bread and toss the crust… I like the crust best, and tossed the middle (compressed) to the fish! LOL

Lunch on the Rio Sarria!

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Walk from La Faba to Triacastela

April 14, 2011 – 25.8 km today… I’m really loving the great weather!

From La Faba, there was a brief climb! Well, more than a few KM, but followed by a nice decline! On the way to the top, we crossed the regional border into Galicia! This photo is with Dominic!

On the way to O'Cebreiro

Spain is really beautiful, as you can see from the panorama… I have a great appreciation for these paths that are smooth and not so hard to walk!

On the long road again!

We took this Photo in O’Cebreiro… In O’Cebreiro is the oldest church on the entire camino frances… where a covetted stamp for the pilgrim credential can be obtained! The contents of the church are a must see!

Friends: Armin, Dominic, & Maryanne

We were walking along the way when two bus loads of kids started getting off the bus… apparently, their teacher had this idea that they should walk part of the camino… We hurried along to get well ahead… though, with their energy, they caught up… at the top of a steep incline, they were very excited to catch up… I called out to my friends and the excited kids: “PHOTO!… PHOTO!” all joined in, including the teacher… and the kids were thrilled!

Kids group! They were excited to have a photo with "real" peregrinos!

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