Upcoming Trip: The Camino

Upcoming Trip: The Camino

I had initially planned to spend three weeks touring Newfoundland in July. Icebergs, ocean cliffs, coastal trails, Gros Morne National Park, lighthouses galore! But it didn’t put me in a slightly manic and frenzied planning fit so I knew it was not going to fly. I sat with it for a while in meditation and a new plan emerged: The Camino!

According to Wikipedia:

The Camino de Santiago (Latin: Peregrinatio Compostellana, “Pilgrimage of Compostela”; Galician: O Camiño de Santiago), known in English as the Way of Saint James among other names, is a network of pilgrims’ ways or pilgrimages leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. It’s also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and organized tour groups.
The French Way (Camino Francés) and the Routes of Northern Spain are the courses listed in the World Heritage List by UNESCO.

Photo Credit from: http://www.wisepilgrim.com

Most ways to Santiago de Compostella take 30 to 40 days to complete. I only have three weeks and, as you may know, I really like beaches and trails. So when I came upon the Camino Portuguese, I was hooked.

The Camino Portuguese officially starts in Lisbon, Portugal, and runs about 633 km to Santiago de Compostella in Spain. However, many people choose to start in Porto, and cut the journey in half. This is good news for those wanting a taste of the Camino, or who cannot take a month-long vacation.

There are two main routes to choose from, the Central way and the Coastal way. I’ve chosen the Coastal, obviously. Both routes meet up in a town called Pontevedra. There is also a small detour called the Spiritual Variant, which I’ve also opted to do. The total should be around 280 km, which I’m hoping to do in 10 days.

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