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  1. MichaelC

    Col du Grand Saint-Bernard details

    I know the Col du Grand Saint-Bernard isn't passable until early to mid June. What I don't know, though, is what exactly this means in practical terms. If the pass is closed, what is the last stop in Switzerland for walkers, and where in Italy do you start again? Or do you bus to St. Bernard...
  2. MichaelC

    Non Fiction Camino appearance in Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Land

    I always enjoy when Compostela makes an appearance in a non-Camino related book. This time it was in Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Land by Dan Jones (2019). The chapter in question was following the life and journeys of Ibn Hamdis, a poet from Sicily who fled the island...
  3. MichaelC

    Sarria alternative: Start in Samos

    Sometimes I feel like I walked a different camino when I read all the posts about the crowds after Sarria on the Camino Francés. I walked that route two years ago, and saw more cows than people until the last day. But I was also off-stage from the books. I know that there were many hundreds of...
  4. MichaelC

    Some folks just really don't get it ....

    Here's a conversation I just had with some of my family that caught me totally off guard - and I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one who's had this! The relative: Are you really planning on walking again? Me: Definitely. It was a special time. I really want to walk again. Relative: Let me...
  5. MichaelC

    Nómadas podcast - Santiago de Compostela, fin de camino

    RTVE (Radio y Televisión Española) just released a new episode of the Nómadas podcast - Santiago de Compostela, fin de camino (in Spanish). Nómadas is a Lonely Planet-style podcast, and this episode deals with the city of Santiago itself. There's some interesting bits in there, some having...
  6. MichaelC

    Kumano Kodo Trip Report

    I just came back from a trip to the Kumano Kodo region in Japan. I wasn't able to do the four-day Nakahechi Route (the one that earns you the dual compostela), but we did a lot of day hikes & I talked to everyone I could who had just done parts of the trail. OUR ROUTE Day one: Koyasan. Temple...
  7. MichaelC

    Very bad pilgrims (Renaissance edition)

    Well this is something to think of next time any of us are bothered by crowds, commercialism, turigrinos, and party pilgrims - it looks like the 16th and 17th centuries had their own share of problems on the road to Compostelle. This is all from an article by Denise Péricard-Méa (citation at...
  8. MichaelC

    French camino wall map

    I'm trying to locate a large wall map of the Camino that I saw at a lot of the gites in France. It was so common that I thought it would be easy to find when I got back - but so far I've had no luck. I've tried all sorts of internet searches, and keep hitting a dead end. I'm hoping that someone...
  9. MichaelC

    Escargoline - donkeys for the mobility impaired

    I wanted to respond to the person who asked about doing the Camino in a wheelchair a couple days ago, but it took me awhile to find this information & now I can't find his post. There is a French organization that has trained three donkeys to pull chariots (escargoline) along the Camino. It...
  10. MichaelC

    Italian options

    Next July some of my brothers and sisters will be walking part of either the Via Francigena or Via di Francesco. My sister and I will have three weeks; the rest of them only have about one week to walk. I'm excited to share with them at least part of the pilgrim experience, even though I know...
  11. MichaelC

    Unexpected Camino-book: Orlando Furioso

    I recently started reading Italo Calvino's guide to the 15th century epic poem Orlando Furioso, and came across a completely unexpected Camino de Santiago reference. Orlando Furioso, by Ludovico Ariosto, was based upon a series of older myths and legends about Charlemagne's paladins. According...
  12. MichaelC

    Purgatorio

    I just finished the second book of Dante's Commedia ... one pilgrim's account of the ultimate camino. (spoilers ahead) After climbing Mount Purgatory Dante has to walk through fire, bathe in the river of forgetfulness, and then cross the Eunoe, the fifth river of the dead. The closing lines...
  13. MichaelC

    Guide Book Book Review: Miam Miam Dodo for the C.F.

    The Miam Miam Dodo series are the most common guides for walking the caminos in France. I ended up using it in Spain too. I liked it, with a few reservations. The very good: I liked how the maps showed what resources were available in different stops (i.e., water fountains, bars, atms...
  14. MichaelC

    Primitivo Variations

    Let's say you're a Camino veteran who had three weeks to walk the Primitivo ... here are three options that would take around 18-22 days each (based upon the Gronze stages).
  15. MichaelC

    Minimum time to get that Camino-feeling

    I realize that this question is subjective & there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and yet: What would you all say is the minimum amount of time that a pilgrim should walk to get that full Camino-feeling? And does it differ on different walks? I look back at my own experiences, and know that...
  16. MichaelC

    Early Francigena questions

    After reading every post I could, I still have a few open questions on the Francigena. Three weeks looks like it's the right amount of time to walk from Lucca to Roma. It seems like everyone follows the same stages. Is there less flexibility on the Francigena compared to the Frances, at least...
  17. MichaelC

    Pilgrim number 300,000 has arrived

    According to the Spanish press, peregrino número 300 mil for the year 2017 received his Compostela on December 13 (Catedral de Santiago de Compostela recibe al peregrino 300 mil y bate récord histórico). Pilgrim Andrew Patrick Larking, a 22 year-old student from Michigan, walked from León to...
  18. MichaelC

    Gear Review: The little things

    There are more than enough packing lists out there; I don't want to repeat what's already been covered dozens of times regarding packs, socks, shoes, etc. Rather, here are a few of the 'little things' that worked for me, or that I saw others using & that I wished I had. I walked in France...
  19. MichaelC

    Camino Book La lluvia amarilla

    I just finished reading La lluvia amarilla (The Yellow Rain; Julio Llamazares, 1988), a short novel about the last inhabitant of a dying village in the Spanish Pyrenees. It's a haunting and beautiful story, as the narrator reflects back on the days that the other families left the village, and...
  20. MichaelC

    What to drink in Spain II

    I wanted to follow up on a post I saw a few months ago, but now I can't find it! I did my best to eat and drink like the locals, and so made a few discoveries (discoveries to me, at least) along the way. For those wanting to break free from the typical pilgrim *beer / rioja cycle, try these...

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