Will the pope visit Santiago de Compostela in 2010?


…this is the question everybody as asking themselves in Santiago de Compostela as 2009 is nearing its end.

Since next year, is Xacobeo 2010 (holy year) the visit of the pope is expected among the locals in Santiago de Compostela. Pope Benedict XVI have recieved the invitation many months ago, but has not yet answered this invitation.

Will he come? Here is what our pilgrims in the Camino de Santiago Forum think.

The Albergue is born, the first Camino de Santiago Social Network

A few days ago the Camino de Santiago Albergue was born. A Social Network (a lot like Facebook). At the albergue it is easy to share photos and videos, and with the “Groups”feature, there is no limits to the number of Camino related sub-forums that can be created.

Another thing that I think could be useful is the groups feature. Any user in the albergue could create a group on a specific camino related topic. This could be “Fans of the albergue in Rabanal”, “Pilgrims from Poland”, “Camino food lovers” or a Confraternity of a certain country. These would be sub-communities that would live within the larger albergue. The person that creates a group would be the person that runs the group and that would be responsible for the group. We could call them hospitaleros? :-) One could create a group that anyone could add themselves to or there is also a possibility to create a group where only certain people could become members (moderated membership). I will be of course helping out with any technical questions if this is needed.

Find more photos like this on Camino de Santiago Albergue

In the albergue each user get a “My page” (a profile page), this is mine:
… here all the messages, photos, videos and all comment I have made are collected in one place. This would be “your” place in the albergue.

Posting a message (and photos) to your profile can be done via the web, but also be done via e-mail. Each user has gets a secret e-mail address (you find it in your “Settings” page). Sending an e-mail with text and a photo to this e-mail address (from your phone maybe?) will post this photo and text automatically to your profile. As I said, it could be “Finally arrived in Sarria after a long day”. Shorter messages that then other members could comment on and there could be interaction there… since this shows up on your profile, people followign your walk could keep an eye on that profile and see how things are going. This is not so easy in the forum.

All messages posted are visible to members and non members.

Looking for a walking companion?

Walking the Camino de Santiago with an "uncommitted" partner

Many like to walk along. Some like to walk in a group, but can not convince family or friends to com along. So what to do? Why not try to find someone to walk with?

Here is one post from the forum on this topic:

Are there local pilgrim gatherings that plan a Camino together? I live in Central Florida and I really do not want to walk alone. Possibly the first time I’m thinking of leaving from Leon. Any groups of pilgrims meeting near Central Florida who are planning to walk next year? (I am already planning to attend the event in San Pedro).

Read the answers to this post here

Camino de Santiago as a Vegetarian


Does vegetarians find it difficult to find things to eat along the Camino de Santiago?

This is a common question in our Camino de Santiago forum. One of our pilgrims said it like this:

The wonderful hospitaleros in Ruitelan made a lovely meal at the albergue. There was a vegetarian option as well which was very satifsfying. They made a great veg. paella meal at the albergue in Vilar de Mazarife (I can’t remember the name of the albergue but I believe it was the first one on the right just as you enter the village). I think a couple of the others may have done veg. meals as well but these are the two that come to mind. Several of the albergues have kitchens so if you pick up a few items you can prepare meals too. The restaurant Manolo in Santiago had a very fillling vegetarian plate (I don’t think it is on the menu so you have to ask for it). I myself am not a vegetarian but met and walked with several on the camino and I must say it was sometimes difficult for them. They got a little bit tired of salad, french fries, bread and eggs. I think that buying a few groceries here and there will help. Good luck.

..another one said:

Very few albergues offer any food at all. Some of the smaller albergues – Eunate, Tosantos, Granon, St Nicholas, Manjarin come to mind – offer an evening meal for a donation whilst others, like Ave Fenix or the Albergue Vegetariano at La Faba, charge about 10 euro.
Many albergues have kitchens (with limited utensils) where you can cook your own meals.
The Spanish are a carnivorous people and eat a lot of meat and fish. I found that the Menu del Peregrinos, which you can get for about 10 euro in any little village or cafe-bar, offer chips and chicken, salads and a fruit or yoghurt. We very rarely saw vegetables on the menu.
It is much cheaper to make your own dinner. I took a little immersion heater (a spiral one cup heaters) and often bought a bottle or tin of vegetables to add to a cup of soup eaten with fresh bread. There are large and small supermecados along the way where you can buy pastas, rice, lentils etc to cook in the albergues. Often people leave opened packets behind and you are free to use those as well.
You can buy yoghurt with fruit or muesli for breakfast, some cheese or a tomato and a fresh loaf to have al fresco for lunch. Treat yourself occasionally in a restaurant and you will find that the platos are often cheaper than the Menu del Dia.
You won’t starve – but you might crave a home cooked vegetarian meal!

If you do a search in the forum, you will find many topics related to this.

Thoughts on the Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago
Philip is a member of our Camino de Santiago forum. He has just finished the Camino and has written his experiences and many good advice. He says:

Now, in my life so far I have been around quite a bit. Among other things, I have trekked mountain gorillas in Rwanda, swum with tortoises in the Galapagos, escaped a hotel fire in Amman, gone up a mountain to a Buddhist monastery in Bhutan, driven across Arizona, scuba-dived in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, got sunburned in Persepolis, touched a glacier in Patagonia, seen the full moon rise over the minarets of Samarkand, got stuck in the equatorial forest of the Congo, accompanied the Greek Olympic team to the Beijing Games as one of their doctors, flown supersonic on the Concorde, and traipsed across India alone.

But walking 25 km a day and living out of an 8-kg backpack for 5 weeks presented a whole different bunch of challenges.

Read his full post here in our Camino de Santiago forum.