Have you ever thought about walking the Camino? Perhaps you have wondered what would make a person in their right mind want to walk hundreds of miles across the north of Spain on their own personal pilgrimage? Or, maybe you are just curious about what the Camino is really like?
Well, that’s exactly what Kit Parks of Active Travel Adventures (ATA) wanted to know when she interviewed me for her ATA podcast in November. She knew I had walked the last 230 miles of the Camino de Santiago in Sept./Oct. 2016, carrying a 20# pilgrim backpack. My “half Camino” took me 19 days to reach Santiago de Compostela.
Since returning home from Spain, I have written several blog posts about my fascinating Camino experience. Possibly, you have read some of them? However, this is my first time “talking” about the Camino in a podcast radio-interview format. So, I am excited to share it with you!
Here’s How To Listen to the Camino Podcast Interview
Go to Active Travel Adventures website’s Podcast Directory page (click on this highlighted active link to take you there). My podcast interview is entitled: Hike or Bike Spain’s El Camino de Santiago (this active link goes directly to the Camino podcast page).
- You will see the audio interview bar at the top of the Camino Podcast Page
- The full podcast interview is 46 minutes
- It’s easy to listen to the podcast – simply click the “play arrow”
- You can listen on your computer or phone (wherever you pull up the website link)
Below the audio bar are Kit’s excellent & detailed “Show Notes”, including:
- Summary of the Show
- Key Takeaways & Links
- Camino Photos with Clever Captions
- My Photo & Bio / Info About Me
- Full Written Transcript of the Show – if you’d prefer to read!
- Be warned, the transcript is verbatim so I sound a bit “unpolished”!
About Kit Parks & Active Travel Adventures
Kit is a 57yo East Coaster who began a love affair with active outdoor travel adventures around five years ago. She has hiked the Appalachian Trail, followed by beautiful hikes in Scotland, France, Nicaragua, and Glacier National Park.
Kit & I met – and personally bonded! – at the TBEX Travel Blogger conference in Huntsville, Alabama this past May. We shared a mutual love of travel, especially “soft” adventure travel & travel where you are able to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with the people.
Kit recently launched her twice-monthly Active Travel Adventures podcast for 50-plus fit and active travelers who are looking for multi-day active vacations. Activities could include walking, hiking, cycling, horseback riding and/or paddling. Fun yes, but not crazy or dangerous! Kit also likes trips with a cultural component, such as a regional cooking class or wine tasting, or some other type of immersion experience with the local people.
More About the Camino de Santiago
So, what exactly is the Camino? The Camino de Santiago is a series of pilgrimage routes from across Europe (see map) that ultimately lead to northwest Spain – to the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela. There, the magnificent cathedral is believed to contain the remains (and relics) of the Apostle Paul – whose name in Spanish is Santiago.
For over a thousand years, pilgrims have traveled by foot or horseback – including the bicycle in modern times – to reach the Cathedral to pay their respects to the Saint. The most popular route is the 480-mile-long (780km) Camino Frances. This “French Way” starts in France in the foothills of the Pyrenees and winds its way across northern Spain before reaching Santiago de Compostela.
The Camino Frances is the most popular route, attracting almost 2/3 of the modern-day pilgrims – including me! The early pilgrims walked the Camino strictly as a religious pilgrimage and suffered great hardships. Today, people walk the Camino for a wide variety of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with a religious or spiritual motive. But, regardless, we are all called pilgrims. And today, I can promise you, there is much less suffering!
Highlights of My Camino Frances Walk
Walking the Camino was a wonderful experience, just as I had hoped it would be! I walked the last 230 miles (380 kilometers) of the Camino Frances, starting in the small town of Sahagun. My walk ended 19 days later at the beautiful Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, where I paid my respects to the Saint!
I usually stayed in “pilgrim hostels” (called albergues) where I slept in coed dorm rooms filled with rows of bunk beds. Surprisingly, this “communal living” experience wasn’t bad. In fact, it was actually fun! Plus, it was a great way to meet fellow pilgrims. My “industrial strength” silicone earplugs (and occasional sleeping pill) helped a lot with nearby loud snorers!
Walking the Camino was truly an amazing adventure. I met so many wonderful people – from friendly locals (in hostels, cafes, and shops) to my fellow pilgrims, from all around the globe. Every day was a completely new experience – with the Camino’s varying scenery, the small, charming villages to walk through, and new towns to explore each afternoon/evening. I was never bored! Challenged yes, bored never!
Read More about My Camino on My Blog Post: Tales from a Successful Pilgrim
Active Travel Adventures Website – Click Here
Comments: I’d love to hear your thoughts after you’ve listened to the podcast. Does walking part of the Camino have any appeal for you? Have you already walked the Camino? Tell me more!