Alaskan Pilgrim Walks the Camino de Santiago

When I first started this blog, I had intended to find just the right Youtube documentary of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage to share. This week, after watching dozens and dozens of great videos, I found the perfect one to share. The Youtube user is Alaskan Pilgrim. The peregrina walks from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to the end of the Camino Frances pilgrimage route. Side-note: Did you know Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port translates to Saint John [at the] Foot of [the] Pass? St. Jean is at the foothills of the Pyrenees, where the Camino Frances begins.

I chose this particular series to share because it’s raw, honest, and filled with joy and love for the path. Just what I was looking for. As much as the Camino is VERY OFTEN a splendid trek through beautiful countryside that takes your breath away, it is also at times a very tiring and soul-testing journey. The Alaskan pilgrim in this series of short documentaries that follows her daily journey across the pilgrimage route in Spain tells the truth with an open heart. She details her suffering, which is an important thing to understand about the Camino…but she does it with a smile. It’s great to see her sense of wonder for–and love for–the Camino while she simultaneously tells us about her aches and pains. Not to mention her encounter with bedbugs. The love for the experience shines through even in her darkest days.

I knew this was the Youtube series I would share when the heart-rocks began to appear. I have a heart-rock of my own that I will be bringing to the cross at Cruz de Ferro. I always look for them, too. I found this one on Black Stone Beach in Aruba a couple of years back and have been saving it for my next Camino pilgrimage. It’s black and it’s in the shape of a heart. It also has a little red spot on it. I’ll be leaving it at the cross at Cruz de Ferro in memory of my mother, who coincidentally passed away 3 years ago today. When I saw the heart-rocks popping up in these videos, I knew right away these were the ones I would share here. Also, she’s just so lovely and honest and in touch with the joy the Camino brings its pilgrims.

The heart-stone I found on Black Stone Beach in Aruba. Notice my Camino ring?! I picked that up in 2014 after my first Camino, in a little jewelry store just around the corner from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

If you turn on the AUTOPLAY feature on Youtube prior to watching the first episode, the rest of the episodes should play in the proper order. Otherwise, just remember the username ALASKAN PILGRIM to search for new episodes. Enjoy these wonderful videos and, should you ever take up the call of the Camino de Santiago…Buen Camino, peregrino!

Earthing Workshop with Sue Kenney!

For those interested: This coming Sunday, my 2014 Camino Guide and friend, SUE KENNEY, will be leading a free EARTHING WORKSHOP in Toronto’s west-end.

The workshop is hosted by Sue’s company BAREBOTTOM SHOES (shoes for people who walk barefoot).

Sue Kenney
This is one of my favourite pictures of Sue Kenney. I took this just prior to our arrival at Monte do Gozo (HILL OF JOY!) along the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain in May 2014.


Come out and discover the benefits of our Great Mother Earth. Learn all about Earthing with Sue Regan Kenney who is collaborating with Saje Wellness​ Sherway Gardens. We will meet at Tom Riley Park in Toronto on April 28th. We will start off the workshop in our shoes/boots and plan to try some barefooting in the forest! Bring a friend and please feel free to share this with others who you know want to get back to nature.

Date & Time: Sunday, 28 April 2019 from 12:30-15:00 EDT

Location: 3214 BLoor Street West, Toronto, Ontario

This is a free event, but you can register online on the Facebook Event Page HERE.


Preparations Continue – Footwear for the Barefooter…

Happy APRIL, peregrinos!

Although I intend to do as much of my September Camino barefoot, I now have a backup sandal. Michael got us these Xero Shoes this weekend. I find them extremely comfortable, though I still have to master the fitting. My feet are currently fitting on each sole differently. When I put them on and look down at them, each shoe looks like it’s a different size. I haven’t quite figured out the way to fit them so that they both fit the same way. But we have 5 months to go, I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually.

Zero Shoes – Shoes for the barefooter

We’re getting to the point where we’re almost ready to go. This is rather awkward, as now all there is left to do is WAIT. Our backpacks are even mostly packed. With 5 months to go. Yep. We’re not eager or anything. (-:

We’ll be starting our AllTrails hikes soon and I’ll be sure to try out these awesome shoes! Can’t wait.

Passports READY!

The Journey Begins – The Camino Every Day

Thanks for joining us!

For some, the journey to the Camino de Santiago begins long before their feet touch down on Spanish soil. This one-year blog will explore the training leading up to and away from the Way of St. James.

The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, is a network of pilgrimage routes that lead to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Northwestern Spain). The bones of the apostle St. James are said to be interred there. Since the middle ages, peregrinos (pilgrims) have been walking the path to his shrine in the cathedral.

One of the most renown pilgrimage routes is the Camino Francés, or French Way. This path to the cathedral begins in St. Jean Pied de Port, in France, and is approximately 780km (500 miles) in length. The Camino de Santiago is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

I walked the Camino back in May of 2014. In September of 2019, I will be returning. This time, Michael will be coming with me. This blog will be the story of our preparation for the Camino, as well as the actual pilgrimage itself and the time immediately following our return home from the Camino.

Over the course of the next year, we will be making day trips, exploring some of the amazing hiking trails in our own province here in Canada. The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) has in incredible amount of hiking trails and all of them have something unique and beautiful to offer the urban or rural hiker. Our Camino training will take us to many of these trails. The slogan for Ontario is one that would hold true for the Camino de Santiago as well. “YOURS TO DISCOVER”. While training for this upcoming Camino (which will take place 11 short months from now), that’s just what we aim to do…discover our Ontario.

Come with us. Let us tell you about the many trails weaving throughout this great province of ours. While we build our endurance and prepare for my second great pilgrimage to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela (and Michael’s first), we’ll share what we discover in our exploration of some of this country’s best hiking trails. Join us as we make a journey of the time leading up to the journey…as we Camino every day…

“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.” — Izaak Walton

The fence leading to the monastery in Samos, Spain…along the Camino de Santiago (May, 2014).
My first Camino. This pic taken on the front lawn of the Castillo de los Templarios, the Templar Castle in Ponferrada, Spain.

FULL DISCLOSURE: We will be walking the Camino de Santiago from ASTORGA to SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA.