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A Pilgrim's Ode to a Camino Packing List

A Pilgrim’s Ode to a Camino Packing List

On September 12th 2015, I started walking through the city of Leon in northern Spain. For the next twenty days I walked to Santiago de Compostela, then onward to the coastal towns of Finisterre and Muxia where I arrived on October 2nd. It’s been almost a year since I set out on the Camino, and I’m starting […]

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The Day I Walked to the End of the World

Arriving in Santiago didn’t feel the way I expected. The Spaniards I had been walking with for the last seven days had tears in their eyes as we walked through the city’s winding streets and emerged in the central plaza. The famous cathedral towered above us, its facade draped in netting and scaffolds. My friends began […]

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Kindness and Community on the Camino

Kindness and Community on the Camino

They say the Camino brings out the best in people. I didn’t believe them at first, but it’s true. Becoming a pilgrim means talking to, befriending and helping out others just for the sake of it. Walking the Camino turns individual people from strangers into a community – and a special one, at that. Where else would you […]

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A Day in the Life of a Camino Pilgrim

“I follow the arrows, and when my feet hurt, I stop. What more do I need?” Our group of pilgrims sits at a circular table made of stainless steel in a nameless town in Spain, a fresh round of beers in front of us. As Carol argues her case for why the Camino is so simple, […]

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The Spanish Challenge: Walking the Camino with Spaniards

The Spanish Challenge: Walking the Camino with Spaniards

NB: Long-term readers may remember that during my travels through South America, I wrote a series of articles about my Spanish learning progress called ‘The Spanish Challenge’. It’s been a while since I added to the series – but the Camino is the perfect place for its resurrection! “Que es una chinche?!” It was almost […]

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You Know You've Walked the Camino When...

You Know You’ve Walked the Camino When…

A lot of people don’t understand the Camino. When you tell them you’re voluntarily walking four hundred kilometres through Spain with all your possessions on your back, they don’t believe you at first. Once you’ve convinced them that, yes, you’re serious – just like many thousands of other people from all over the world, who do […]

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Confessions of a Camino Newbie

“Is my little toe supposed to feel numb?” I’m walking through the forests of Sigulda with Janis, my Latvian guide. I’m wearing newly purchased hiking boots with equally new insoles which the shrewd saleswoman in Cotswolds Outdoors insisted I needed. I’m hyperaware of how my feet feel. At each step, with every shifting muscle and every twinge […]

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A Travel Update: My Plans This Summer

This week, I flicked back through my diary and realised that it’s almost been a full year since I arrived home in London after eighteen months spent travelling through my favourite continent. One year since South America?! It feels strange to think about myself back then. I didn’t feel particularly homely about my return; if anything, I was more unsettled […]

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On Urban Walks and Inspiration

Walking in a city is an interesting occupation. At every step there are groups of people to squeeze between, smears of dog mess to hopscotch around and stretched-out wads of dirty chewing gum to avoid. There are oddly shaped houses and the glinting metal of office blocks glinting in the sun, mysteriously scented street food […]

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El Camino de Santiago: I’m Walking ‘The Way’ Across Spain

Over Christmas, my friend announced that she’s planning to run the London marathon in April. She’s running for a cause important to both of us: her mum passed away from breast cancer three years ago, the same cancer that took my own mum. My first thought was extreme respect – running for 26 miles straight is no […]

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