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Questions about Cami Català, aka Camí de Sant Jaume


Former member 2430

Hello. I'm not sure this is a right category for my article.

I'm thinking of my next camino as Cami Catala, aka Camí de Sant Jaume from Barcelona or Montserrat.
The reason is that I'm a huge fan of St. Ignatius :D so I'd like to walk the path where the Saint has walked 5 centuries ago.

Anybody who've ever heard about Cami Catala or the pilgrimage route of St. Ignatius, give me some infomations, please.
I know that this forum has a lot of brilliant camino veterans. I need your help, guys :wink: !

Buen Camino!

- Jihyeong.
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You will find a long (and could stand editing) impressionistic account by the new president of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims, of this trail in their recent newsletter http://www.santiago.ca/PDF/Summer2008.pdf -- he also submitted a brief one-page outline of the trail which is on the alternate routes section of the Confraternity of Saint James’ website (http://www.csj.org.uk/route-cami-de-sant-jaume.htm ). If you type Montserrat into the search engine, you will find a number of entries touching this route. As well, check into postings on the Camino Aragonese, as the Cami de Sant Jaume joins up on that near Jaca.
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

Hi, Paulus and oursonpolaire.

Thank you for your replies. I already googled with some keywords and searched the article of 'St. Ignatius' on here.
My main concern is the practical conditions of the route of present days.

1. Can I have guidebooks or specific map of the route?
2. Is the route is well-marked with yellow arrows or stones to follow?
3. I don't think they have many albergues as the Camino Frances. What kind of accommodation I can expect?

Thanks :) !

- Jihyeong.
In my previous post, I referred to the page on the Confraternity's website. At the bottom of the Confraternity website page, you will find a link to the Barcelona group which produces a handbook on this route-- I think it is about 15 euro & is also available in French as well as Catalan.

Go to the mundicamino (http://www.mundicamino.com) site, and click on Rutas, choose Camí de Sant Jaume (2) and the step-by-step menu will provide you with as good a text as you can find. These details are new and a great improvement over what was available in 2007-- it lists albergues and other accommodation.

The path is not well-marked as it is on the Camino Francese. However, with these maps and some local assistance, you will make it. Your real challenges will be the paucity of pueblos along part of the trail, the lack of fuentes for fresh water over considerable stretches, and that you will need to have enough Spanish to make sense of directions. It is likely that you will not see many other pilgrims on this route, and you should be prepared for considerable stretches of solitude, and that very few people will speak English. I have the impression that the Camino of 25 years ago was much like this.

Locals are not accustomed to peregrinos and you may find it useful to preface every conversation with something like "Soy peregrino coreense a Santiago." Some people may initially fear that you are a vagabond and I suspect that many will be taken back by meeting an Asian pilgrim-- they will not be hostile or negative, but they will be surprised. You will encounter much warmth and hospitality, but this is not a path taken by many pilgrims-- perhaps a only a few hundred each year.

There are few albergues along this path (Montserrat, the municipal in Jorba, convent in Cervera, municipal in Tarrega and Tamarite de Litera, and a new albergue in Linyola). Some places, such as Tarrega, offer student residence accommodation (Ca d'Aleix) or in local convents-- possibly there might be student accommodation in Huesca at the university??. In others, enquire at the ayuntamiento (Generalitat in Catalonia) or the parish church for assistance (or even the police!)-- a letter from your bishop or pastor might be very helpful, in addition to your pilgrim's credencial. If, as you suggest, you are taking this path from your interest in Saint Ignatius Loyola, you may have Jesuit friends prepared to write to any Jesuit houses or schools along the route, to secure accommodation for you. In other places, inexpensive rooms are available above cafes or restaurants, or you can take a room in a fonda or pension (these would be in the 15-35 euro range).

As I mentioned, there are so few pilgrims on this route that there is only a very weak infrastructure-- it appeals to those who do not need them and who have a sense of adventure. Still, Loyola made it! and without compeed!
in case of confusion, the route via Huesca that oursonpolaire is referring to is not the main Cami Catala. That goes to the Ebro valley, Zaragoza and Logrono, and is by far the most used Catalan route; the Catalan section has recently been marked by the government and I believe is now very well marked. The route via Huesca AFAIA is little used. There's a good overview map of the two at http://www.gronze.com/camino-de-santiag ... tm#baixar2 which has guides to both routes.

The situation in Catalonia is very confusing with different groups doing different things; there are now supposedly 16 Camis de Sant Jaume, with varying degrees of support/maintenance. I try and give an overview of the main ones on my site http://www.peterrobins.co.uk/camino/routes/catalan.html
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Peter- That is a useful clarification and the links you posted will be handy to those who would like to leave from Barcelona by way of a route with greater infrastructure. I rambled on about the Huesca route as I assumed that, owing to his interest in the Jesuit saints, pilgrim Yu would have been interested in the Catalan route which leads on to the Camino Aragonese, which provides a route through Javier. Perhaps some day a diligent if insane person will do a proper pilgrim-friendly guide to the Huesca route.

Many, many questions to answer. I will try to do it.

First of all, the Cami Catala begins in the Plaza Sant Jaume, inside Barcelona and very close the Cathedral. But, as far I know, i'm not sure if it's marked until Montserrat. From Montserrat it's perfectly marked and sometimes I've seen arrows in many places.

There's a great guide of the Cami Catala, written by Carlos Mencos (journalist and pilgrim). I have this guide at home, so if you need some extra info ask and I will try to help you.

There's enough albergues, and not only for pilgrims. hospitality in this route is as great as the loneliness you will enjoy. The best is to ask to who give to you the keys for the next albergues.

Peter, http://www.gronze.com is a good website, the author is a nice guy, he gave me another guide from this camino (in catalan) two or three years ago. And, the most serious maintenance of the arrows is by the "Associacio" in Barcelona. There's a lot of Caminos, one from Girona, the Camino del Ebro (From the Delta del Ebro, and so on. But the one I think is better marked from Montserrat is the one named by oursonpolaire.

In these Caminos is a good idea not forgetting the shell on your backpack.

Buen Camino, ask what you need and I will try to help you.

Javier Martin,
Madrid, Spain.
there are now downloadable guides from the Catalan government to the main Cami Catala, (a) from the French border at the Perthus/Panissars pass via Girona and Vic to Montserrat (plus a spur from San Pere de Rodes); and (b) from Montserrat to the Aragon border at Alcarràs.
You can download in either Catalan or Castilian, though, beware, these are quite large files at 10+MB apiece. Alternatively, you can buy a paper copy at their various retail outlets.
http://www.gencat.cat/diue/serveis/publ ... x.html#a11

The guide to the connecting route in France from Narbonne and Perpignan can be downloaded from the Rousillon Amis de St Jacques
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
hmm, looking at this in more detail I see the Girona-Vic route covered by the government guide is not the same as that in the Girona Amics/Mundicamino guides. So I suppose we have to regard these as alternatives
should anyone happen to be in the area, the Perthus/Rodes-Montserrat route is being officially opened tomorrow 11.30 at San Pere de Rodes. There'll be an inaugural walk along the section from San Pere to Vilajuïga
First off, for a good PDF guide here's a link to one by the government of Catalunya. It only takes you through that region to Fraga. So somewhere before you get to Aragon, if you use this guide, you'll have to get to a book store and buy another. http://www.gencat.cat/diue/doc/doc_26922631_1.pdf

The route through Catalunya and Aragon isn't as well marked as the French route. You'll have to read the guide carefully and really watch where you're going. The yellow arrows are not always easy to see, if they are even there.

Also, you won't find albergues in every town. I think there were only 5 or 6 between Montserrat and Logrono. The good news is that some of them are free, and there are fewer people on this route, so if you want some solitude, this is the route to take. Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Buen cami!
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Dennis and I are in Zaragoza and trying to find an alternate route that would take us out of the Cierzo, the dreaded north headwind we have been facing as we bicycle along the N-II. Any suggestions?
Hi K fun ,

Good luck!! I know there is an Amigos del Camino in Zaragoza , maybe they can help you out.
They are situated in the Calle Vicente de Paul.

The wind was horrendous too and there were was some heavy flooding when I started in Zaragoza two months ago. I made it to Gallur and took a train there to Logrono.
If you want to continue though there is a lovely muni in Torres de Berellen and also in Gallur.

Buen Camino!!
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