Conques After Dark (#CaminoTuesday)

Today’s #CaminoTuesday theme* over on Twitter is “Camino After Dark.” That struck me as a trick question at first, because Camino pilgrims rarely stay awake long enough to do much after dark. (Travel tip: Pilgrimage is not the way to experience European nightlife.) But then I remembered a night in Conques, just 10 days intoContinue reading “Conques After Dark (#CaminoTuesday)”

Beautiful Bridges of the Camino de Santiago

Last week, on New Years Eve, the Twitter world had a #CaminoTuesday theme of “The Old and The New.” I didn’t have time to write up a whole blog post, but I did share this: Here are the photos bigger, in case you’re curious:   And that got me thinking about bridges, and how importantContinue reading “Beautiful Bridges of the Camino de Santiago”

Pilgrim or Tourist (#CaminoTuesday)

The first time I came across a church along the Chemin du Puy that charged admission*, I laughed and walked out. I was a pilgrim, not a tourist. I would swallow those words later, like so many of my early attitudes on the Camino de Santiago, when I started to understand that France’s nationalized churchesContinue reading “Pilgrim or Tourist (#CaminoTuesday)”

The Day I Almost Quit the Camino (#CaminoTuesday)

“The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.”   – Hellen Keller Walking through L’Aubrac was like walking through the legends and stories Eric read as a kid. Five days after leaving Le Puy, we reached the true highlands of the Massif Central, irregular rolling hills of open,Continue reading “The Day I Almost Quit the Camino (#CaminoTuesday)”

7 Camino Gratitudes

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States, a time set aside for family and feasting, and hopefully a time to reflect on the gifts we’ve been given. In that spirit, I’ve been thinking about my Camino Gratitudes: the things I now appreciate (or appreciate more) because I have been a pilgrim to Santiago. InContinue reading “7 Camino Gratitudes”

To Saunter in the Mountains

“People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, theyContinue reading “To Saunter in the Mountains”

The Grey Day in Condom

Happy first day of summer! Two months from today, if all goes according to plan, Laurel and I will be walking from Santo Domingo de Calzada (the chicken church!) to Belorado, where it’s 91 degrees (32 Celsius) and sunny. But here in Seattle, we’re still in the depths of “Juneuary,” and summer seems a longContinue reading “The Grey Day in Condom”

The Camino Credential

It’s here! A week ago I went to the American Pilgrims of the Camino website and requested a new credential for my upcoming mini-Camino. (I’ve started to call it Camino 1.3, because I’ll walk about a third of the Camino Frances.) And now here it is, all crisp and blank and pretty. In less thanContinue reading “The Camino Credential”

Invincible Nature (Almost Wordless Wednesday)

  “Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.”           — John Muir, John of the Mountains   Photo taken just outside Fineroyls, France, in the remote high plains of L’Aubrac. This wasContinue reading “Invincible Nature (Almost Wordless Wednesday)”

Scuba Diving the Lot River?

About a week after leaving Le Puy, it starts to feel almost routine. You follow the red and white stripes of the Chemin de Saint Jacques (the Way of Saint James) along shaded paths, crumbling castles towering above. You enter a village, another one of France’s most beautiful. In this case, you’ve come to Espalion. YouContinue reading “Scuba Diving the Lot River?”