El Camino de Santiago – Summer 2016

As I spend time at home in quarantine, waiting for the Covid-19 virus to blow over, so to speak, I cannot help but wish I was traveling, seeing new sights, learning about other cultures, and meeting new people. But at this point, I’m not even sure if Mariela and I will be able to fulfill our plans for this coming summer. However, one of the joys I experience from my past travels is the reminiscing. Going through my photo collections really bring the memories back. Today I am remembering El Camino de Santiago.

It’s been almost four years since Mariela and I joined her brothers and sisters and traveled to northern Spain to sample The Way of Saint James. By sample, I mean to do several day hikes on the trail at various starting points along its length. The French Camino, as it is sometimes called, traditionally begins in France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees on the Spanish border. From this point, it winds through the Spanish countryside, through cities and villas, highlands and plains, almost 800 kilometers (480 miles) to its end in the city of Santiago de Compostela. Many pilgrims opt to continue to the Atlantic Ocean, to Finesterra, an additional 100 kilometers (60 miles).

Our group didn’t tackle the entire camino. Due to time constraints and other obligations we had only about a week in which to experience it. (It should be noted that those in average physical shape require at least 30 days to complete the camino.) In the time that we had available to us, we covered nearly 120 kilometers (75 miles). We leapfrogged from point to point, selecting some of the more scenic stretches to walk. After our arrival in Santiago de Compostela we attended a pilgrims’ mass in the cathedral where St. James the apostle is believed to be interred.

My purpose here is not to document my trip, nor launch into a long lecture on the history or facts about the camino, but to share some of the photos that I took along the “way.”  Anyone who knows me knows I take a lot of photos. So what I did was to select some photos of the camino itself in various locations. I won’t give lengthy captions or locations. The goal here is to just enjoy the scenery of the camino.

Now, I’m not a photographer by any means. I consider myself more of a snapshot kind of guy. None of these photos have been edited, other than maybe cropping out my thumb or a weird shadow. Other than that, this is how they came out of my camera, a Samsung smartphone. Not bad, eh?

One day, I hope to return to the camino and complete the entire journey.

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A tired pilgrim!
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Sometimes the camino was nothing more than a road shoulder.
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Mariela descends into the vinyards.
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Calle Camino de Santiago
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Hike, Bike, or Horseback!
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Follow the yellow arrows to Santiago de Compostela.
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No shortage of places for pilgrims to rest and have a beer!
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A beer to honor the perigrinos, or pilgrims!
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The end of the trail. Finisterra.
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Wetting our weary feet in the Atlantic Ocean.

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