Tomorrow I am flying out to Spain to do the pilgrim’s walk of ‘El Camino de Santiago’.
The way of St. James was one of the most important pilgrimage routes in medieval times. Legend holds that St. James's remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.
The Camino can be split into three main parts, the hillls of the Basque country, the hot and flat section of the ‘meseta’ and the beautiful green hills of Galicia. I will be starting in Galicia and hiking approximately 100 km’s, give or take a few kilometers.
The pilgrimage can take any number of routes but I will be starting in Sarria (See Red arrow on the map below). This is the minimum distance to start from Santiago to enable you to get the certificate of completion of the Camino De Santiago. The minimum requirement is that you either walk 100 kilometers on foot or cycle 200 kilometers.
To get the certificate you need to acquire a ‘Pilgrim’s passport’ in advance, also known as the credencial. These can be acquired on arrival in Spain but you can also get them in major cities before going to Spain.
You need to get the passport stamped in locations with the official St. James stamp in each town or village you pass through. When you get to Santiago at the end, you hand your passport in to get a certificate of completion, also known as the ‘Compostela’.
I plan to enter more blog posts on this hike on my return. The Camino has a great reputation for being a fascinating hike as many people do it for all sorts of reasons. Some just for the sake of doing a beautiful hike but many for religious, spiritual or personal reasons. One can expect to meet a lot of interesting people on it and I am really looking forward to it! The scenery will be spectacular and the temperature in Northern Spain should be pleasant in and around 25C / 77F.
I will be wearing light shorts and convertible pants and a good pair of hiking shoes while hiking there. The most important thing will be good pairs of hiking socks and appropriate underwear to prevent any chafing! Oh, and I mustn’t forget the sunscreen either!
I’m not sure if I’ll get a chance to add any new posts while away hiking, so if not, until my return, Buen Camino!
Have you hiked El Camino de Santiago? Share your experience’s below, we’d love to hear your comments!