In 2018 I hiked the Camino de Santiago in 33 days. I enjoyed it so much, that I have decided to do it again this May/June! The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a 525-mile ancient pilgrimage hike that starts in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains in southwest France and ends in the town of Santiago in northwest Spain. I’m also hoping to raise some donations for a great charity called Unbound. Click on the triangles (►) to expand each section OR scroll to the bottom to read my daily blog posts from the Camino.
About The Camino de Santiago
525 Miles! Yikes!!!!
Yes, I know it seems like a lot of miles to hike, but I plan on doing it in ~33 days, which works out to about 15 miles of hiking per day (the same as my 2018 trip). My plan is to carry no more than 22 pounds (including pack, equipment, food, water…) on my back. The good news is that the route is well supported with hostels, restaurants, shops… so I won’t need to carry a tent or cooking equipment.
This is the route I will be hiking
There are more than 460,000 videos on YouTube about the Camino!!! Luckily, I found a short overview done by Rick Steves. Enjoy:
To understand the Camino, you have to start more than 2,000 years ago. St. James (one of the 12 Apostles) traveled to the north of Spain around 40 A.D. to spread the teaching of Jesus. When he returned to Jerusalem he was beheaded by King Herod in 44 A.D. and became the first Apostle to be martyred. St. James’s body was buried somewhere in northwest Spain where his body would lay forgotten until the early 9th century.
In 814 A.D. a hermit named Pelagius had a vision and followed a bright light to a spot where he and some shepherds heard a choir of angels singing. Upon hearing of this vision, the local Bishop had the area examined and they found an ancient arch and alter with a sarcophagus containing the body of St. James.
When King Alfonso heard the news, he ordered the construction of a chapel to commemorate the find. Word spread quickly throughout Europe and people started making the pilgrimage to Santiago to visit the resting place of St. James and that begins the “Camino de Santiago”.
The “Camino de Santigo” is Spanish for “The Way of St. James” (the Apostle) and includes dozens of routes throughout Europe, all ending in Santigo, Spain at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where legend has it that the remains of Jesus’s apostle Saint James the Elder lie. Below are some of the routes in Europe:
The most popular/famous route is called the “Camino Frances” (The French Way) which starts in St. Jean Pied dePort, France, and ends in Santiago which is about 500 miles. This is the route I will be hiking.
Here are a few interesting facts about the Camino de Santiago:
Every year more than 200,000 pilgrims arrive in Santiago each year and receive their Compostela certificate, which is a certificate of completion (You need to hike at least the last 100 km into Santiago to receive your Compostela certificate).
The movie “The Way” (2010), written and directed by Emilio Estevez, takes place on the Camino. Martin Sheen learns that his son (Estevez) has died early along the route and takes up the pilgrimage in order to complete it on his son’s behalf.
Here are some interesting stats about the Camino:
There are thousands of Camino videos on YouTube.
Why Am I Doing This?
I really don’t have a definitive answer, but I have shown a tendency to go on crazy interesting adventures:
When I graduated from college (a million years ago) I did a similar thing. I rode on a bicycle from New York to San Francisco (3,000 miles) and raised $15,000 for the Autism Society.
I also biked from New Hampshire to Florida (1,500 miles) after I graduated from the seminary and raised some money for a local charity. So, I guess it’s in my DNA and it is time to do something interesting and good again.
I did the Camino in 2018 and really enjoyed the experience!
Here is a quick video (3:35) on why you might want to do the Camino:
About The Unbound Charity
Unbound partners with families living in true poverty, empowering them to become self-sufficient and fulfill their desired potential. When you make a donation to Unbound, you invest in personalized benefits that support goals chosen by the sponsored individual and their family.
Here is a great video (120 seconds) that sums up their mission:
Why I Chose Unbound
I looked at many charities to support and chose Unbound for the following reasons:
Unbound has been around since 1981 and has a proven track record.
92% of Unbound’s expenses go toward program support (only 8% goes to admin and fundraising!), so you know that your contributions are working hard to meet the needs of those who really need your help.
Unbound consistently meets and exceeds the standards of third-party organizations that evaluate charities in order to help donors make wise giving decisions.
Some of you might know that I studied to be a priest at
I usually create my travel blogs in WordPress.com. However, for this blog, I’m trying a new platform called Notion (notion.so) because it is faster and easier to get my posts up on the web. Plus, Notion is a lot more flexible for my needs.
My Daily Blog:
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View of My Daily Blog from The Camino:
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