502 miles, 47 days, and 25 blogs later, I present to you my travel guide to the Camino de Santiago. There are many routes to take to arrive at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the destination that hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have been walking to for over 1,000 years. I chose to walk the 482-mile Camino Francés from the border with France, across northern Spain. Then I chose to walk an additional 20 miles up the Atlantic coast in Spain on the Camino Finisterre to Muxía. I include links within each section of this travel guide to my blogs for further reading.
Tips for Planning and for When you are on a Camino:
These blogs contain information based on my experiences for backpacks, accommodations, footwear, food, water, mileage, hiking poles, The Pyrenees, guidebooks, helpful websites, and more.
My Recommendations and Tips for Walking
From Carrying a Backpack to Mochila Transport Services
Hiking Boots, Sandals, or Sneakers
Reserving Private Accommodations
The symbolic scallop shell, yellow arrows, cement markers, and other various signs aid in navigation along the Camino. These blogs have more information on these, as well as some fun pictures.
Directional Symbols and Signs
Directional Cement Markers
Scallop Shells and Yellow Arrows
Food and Dessert:
You will eat well along the Camino. Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat eater. And the desserts, well, all I can say is, “Life’s Short. Eat Dessert First.”
Landscape and Town Scenery:
You will experience some amazing scenery anywhere and everywhere along the Camino. I took over 5,200 pictures. It was hard to narrow it down to choose 22 of my favorite landscapes pictures, and 13 photos of the street scenes from the 166 towns and villages along the Camino Francés.
My Favorite Landscape Photos
Street Scenes from Some of the 166 Towns and Villages
Chapels, Churches, and Cathedrals:
The Camino de Santiago routes are pilgrimages for religious reasons. My pilgrimage was more spiritual, yet I went inside each and every open chapel, church, cathedral, and even a few monasteries during my Camino.
Chapels, Churches, and Cathedrals
Churches and Flowers
The Burgos Cathedral
Dome Ceilings of Some Churches
My Unique Experiences:
Sometimes when you travel, even on a Camino, you happen upon some unique adventures. For me, this included spending a few hours volunteering at a 12th century Abbey, and seeing a local festival. My birthday happens to be on Groundhog’s Day, so I also took a picture of Punxsutawney Phil with me in order to enter a photography contest. I wonder how many other people had that unique experience?
Volunteering, and a Love Story, at The Abbey/La Abadia
Floral Carpets of the Corpus Christi Festival in Sarria
Punxsutawney Phil “walked” the Camino de Santiago
Santiago de Compostela:
After 482 miles, 42 days, 2 blisters, 6 pairs of shoes, 14 pounds in my backpack, 2 shirts, a sweater, rain gear, 2 pairs of pants, 4 pairs of socks, and a 1 ounce tube of toothpaste, I made it to the destination that hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have been walking to for over 1,000 years. The place where people pay homage to the shrine of Saint James the Great, one of Jesus’ 12 apostles, the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. The other blog in this section is information on how peregrinos obtain their Compostelas by filling their Credencials with sellos as they walk the Camino.
The Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela
Sellos, Credencials, and Compostelas
Camino Finisterre to Muxía:
After the Camino Francés, I took a bus to Finisterre, “the end of the world.” I spent a day there exploring the town, the beaches, and the lighthouse. Then I walked a beautiful 20 miles up the coast to Muxía, filled with views of the ocean, more beaches, and a another lighthouse in Muxía. I also hired a taxi driver to take me to a two extra lighthouses not on the Camino!
Ocean and Beach Scenery of the Camino Finisterre to Muxía
Lighthouses along the Camino Finisterre to Muxía
Word of Wisdom and Souvenirs:
“Don’t worry. Keep Walking. Love always.” And other words of wisdom found along the Camino. And a collection of some of the small chachkies I purchased along the way.
Words of Wisdom from the Camino de Santiago
Souvenirs of the Camino de Santiago
My Travel Photography Book:
My favorite subject to photograph when I travel is windows and doors. Out of my 5,200 pictures total taken on my Caminos, 1,300 of them were of windows and doors. This book contains 285 of the best of the best of the best pictures. Translated into Spanish as well, whether you have walked some or all of the many Camino de Santiago pilgrimage routes; or are preparing to make a journey; or even if you have an interest in the Camino de Santiago, Spain, or windows and doors, I hope the pictures in my book either bring back enchanting memories, or are inspiring to you.
“Windows and Doors of the Camino de Santiago”
Despite a few blisters, my 502 miles and 47 days were more than I could imagine. If you have taken the Camino Francés, the Camino Finisterre to Muxía, or any of the other Camino de Santiago routes, I am sure your life has changed, as mine did. If you are thinking about taking a pilgrimage, I hope my blogs have provided you with some helpful information, and inspired you to go. If you have just enjoyed reading any, some, or all of my blogs, perhaps they have inspired you to decide to go, to go somewhere else, or perhaps you just enjoyed reading them and looking at my pictures. In any of these cases,
Muchas Gracias! Buen Camino! Ultreïa et Suseïa!
For more blogs about my 502-mile, 47-day journey across northern Spain and up the Atlantic Coast, please visit my Camino de Santiago category.
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