Camino de Santiago | French Way | 9 january 2002 | Travel Journal

9 january 2002

My time in Spain was spent differently than any other country I visited.  First of all I walked across the border from France, St. Jean Pied de Port.  Second, the majority of the time I spent in Spain was on the Camino de Santiago.  A very worthwhile pilgrimage.  I was a pilgrim on the French route which meanders through some of Spain's most beautiful country.  Since my time in the country was so different, I decided to record in my Online Journal differently.  While I was on the Camino there are a few things I did not do.  Because I was walking most of the daylight hours I did not have time to keep a written journal as I had done in the past.  Since I was also walking quite a few kilometers during the day I decided it would be best not to drink any alcohol while I was on the Camino.  After taking care of three of my very good pilgrim friends in Mansilla de las Mulas, I'm glad I made that choice.


Before I dive into this exciting new format I'd like to make some general comments about the Camino de Santiago.  In doing this I hope to answer most of your questions that you may have in your head as you go through these days in my journal as I stare at the camera lens.


  1. Camino means 'the way' in Spanish.

  2. There are many Camino's in Europe. I walked the most popular Camino called The French Route.

  3. I started my Camino in France, St. Jean Pied de Port.

  4. I ended in Santiago Compostella, Spain.

  5. The Northern part of Spain is absolutely beautiful country, especially by foot.

  6. The Spanish people are very patient, kind and generous.

  7. You meet a lot of interesting people on the Camino. To see the general photo's I took while I was on my Camino go here.

  8. I had a fantastic time in Santiago. To see the general photo's I took while I was in Santiago go here.

  9. I came back shortly after completing my Camino since my bank had closed, it was unfortunate.

  10. On the Camino I generally stayed in a Refugio or Albergue. These generally have sheetless bunks in communal dorms, toilets and showers (sometimes sex-segregated) and kitchens. They are run by parishes, local governments, Camino associations and private owners.

  11. A Refugio is generally located every 15km.

  12. Most Refugio's rely on pilgrim's donations, but can generally cost about 3 Euro.

  13. You can typically stay in a Refugio for one night, more nights with good reason and prior permission.

  14. I did not do any special training to prepare for my Camino.

  15. Yes I lost some weight, however that was not *my* objective.

  16. I mostly bought and carried food on my Camino.

  17. I had my own sleeping bag.

  18. My pack weighed from 15 - 20 kilograms, depend on how much food I was carrying.

  19. Due to the time of the year I did my Camino, I walked generally from 8:00 ~ 17:00.

  20. Yes I got off the Camino a few times, but it wasn't too big a deal since I was always heading in a Westerly direction.

  21. The French route is generally marked very well, especially in Spain.

  22. Knowing a little Spanish can go a long ways.

  23. The Camino is not a fucking race.

If you are thirsting for more information here are a few sites (though your favorite search engine will likely turn these up, and more!).:


El Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James)


Whenever you choose and for whatever reason you decided to pilgrimage to Santiago, you've made a good choice.  Any time of the year will present it's own unique experiences and challenges.  Let there not be a season for pilgrimage.  Let us come as we may.


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