Why are you walking the Camino?

This is the question every “peregrino” is asked, and it will be asked over and over again.

It all started for us in 2012, when our son Stephen set out to walk the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA.  This trail starts at the Mexican border not far from San Diego, and is a continuous path through California, Oregon and Washington to the Canadian border some 2,650 miles away. For those of us who are metric, that is some 4,240 kilometres.  We started following his blog, and the blogs of those who were walking near him.  I became hooked by the idea, and said to Jane, “Let’s do it!”  Jane, being sensible, said “let’s try something shorter”.  She suggested the Camino. If our not-so-young bodies can manage, and if we are still talking to each other at the end, we can try something longer.

I was not convinced that the Camino was the thing for me.  Wild mountains and isolated places call me to adventure, and the thought of walking through villages and sharing bunk rooms with hundreds of sweaty pilgrims turned me off.  Then I spoke to some friends, Pete and Viv, who had recently walked a section, and I looked at their photos and I was intrigued.  It didn’t look too bad at all, and their photos were wonderful.  Pete even complained that being a talkative extrovert, there were not enough people for him to chat to each day!

We talked to others, and found many who had walked long or short stretches of the many Camino’s that end in Santiago de Compostela, and we were hooked.

Would this be a spiritual journey?  We were not setting out with this purpose, but we hoped it would be.  Our Anglican minister, Rob Taylor, who had walked part of the Camino with his wife Sue, encouraged us to become Catholics while we walked.

Our journey began in April 2015, and our record follows HERE.

This blog continues to record some of our walks, and we are about to set out again ….

24 Responses to Home

  1. rosshofmeyr says:

    Fantastic to see the blog up and running! Love the comment about ‘almost’ 4 times 😛. Keep the good posts coming and remember: slow and steady, left, right, left, right, wash, rinse, repeat ☺️


  2. Johan du Preez says:

    Great idea David & Jane. Will be following your steps from the comfort of my chair (maar ek is eintlik jaloers …). Vaya con Dios.


  3. Rachel B says:

    I will look forward to following you on your travels. Thanks for sharing it and, no doubt, inspiring a few more of us!


  4. Linda Muggleton says:

    well done for beginning this blog – first time I have ever written on one – your blog was really well written – loads of love xxxxx


  5. Jenny says:

    Wishing you loads of fun, a few hard times and no blisters. It will be an amazing journey.


  6. Lloyd Martin says:

    Great….enjoy…is on my bucket list…


  7. Denise says:

    I a thinking of you two every day blessings


  8. Peter Williams says:

    Haha David, thanks. To anyone out there contemplating the Camino, my wife and I would do it again in a heartbeat. You can make it as physically challenging as you want to or as in David’s and my case, as one’s age dictates. Cycling is also an option. We did the last 215km of the French route to Santiago over 7 days, starting in a town called Ponferrado. We are already planning to do the beginning of the French route sometime in the near future. Have fun David and Jane!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Roger Cameron says:

    May it be a wonderful experience,rich with blessing and not too much heartache.
    God bless
    Roger Cameron

    Liked by 1 person

    • dgmhofmeyr says:

      Many thanks Roger. No heartache at all – it is a wonderful holiday to have together! Apart from a few blisters, our feet, legs and bodies are holding up well, and we have cast off a bit of unnecessary body weight.


  10. Jeremy says:

    Wow, David & Jane. This has been such an experience for you. We have really enjoyed following your blog — we look forward to the in-person presentation back in Cape Town. Your descriptions are tantalizing! Enjoy the last few days, and safe travels home. See you on the road soon, too. Jeremy

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Judy says:

    I was happy to come across your blog when Googling “Calzadilla de los Hermanillos to Mansilla de las Mulas.” That section will be the greatest distance walked in one day when my husband and I undertake our first Camino early in September, and I was curious about what it would be like. Your post and photos helped answer our questions. I will be interested to read about your experience in its entirety to get a feel for it. Thank you for sharing.


    • dgmhofmeyr says:

      Hi Judy, thanks for your comment. That day is a lovely one, especially the feeling you get walking on a road that was built 2000 years ago and is still in daily use by foot and tractor traffic. Jane and I marvelled at the engineering skill of the Romans. Its a rare day without villages, so you need to carry water and food. There is a delightful tiny shop in Calzadilla that stocks just about everything – just ask directions, and knock on the door. The shopkeeper will come, if not in his shop.
      There are two places that we were not sure which way to go. There is a large modern but disused canal a little while after Arroyo Madriz de la Cava that is not marked in the Brierley guide (or the Chinese guide of the couple we found scratching their heads) – just go straight across onto the path on the other side. The other is when you see the radio mast. The map shows the path as going straight on, but you do need to turn right as described in Brierley’s narrative, unless you wish to go to Reliegos for some sustenance.
      Have a great walk! Let us know if you have a blog, so that we can follow your progress.


  12. Judy says:

    Thank you so much for your information. I enjoyed reading your entire blog and will read it again as a refresher, closer to the time we go early in September. I have just finished setting up my blog, using the same WordPress Theme you used: http://www.throughourlookingglass.ca. So far there are just three posts regarding the Camino: “What is the Camino?”; “Why are we walking?”, and “Getting Ready.” I hope to write every day as you have done, including the photos of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Marius & Elize says:

    Thank you for all the amazing mural paintings, we love the group of runners it feels like u can jump in and join them. Send some more . May u have a blessed day.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Bridget Rudolph says:

    Hi there! I came upon your blog while doing research for my FIRST Camino experience! Only have 7-8 days. Was thinking Camino Frances. Seems that I would start in the town of ….Would LOVE any and all advice and tips! :)))) I feel like I don’t know where to start!! :)))) THANK YOU!


    • David says:

      Hi Bridget, we suggest you start as far back as you can, and return later to carry on.
      We met quite a few peregrinos who were walking for a week each year, and carrying on where they left off. If you just walk the last stretch, you might not go back to walk what you missed. Buen Camino!


      • Bridget says:

        Thank you!
        What about accomadations? Are hostels the best way? I’ve also read about “host homes”. Ie; someone who rents one is their rooms out to pilfirns? And do I just arrive into a city each day and find lodging? Or can I make reservation in advance?
        Again, thank you for any and all advice! Waiting for my guide books to arrive! :)))))


      • David says:

        The Camino Francés has many alberges along the way. In peak season you might need to book ahead. We walked in spring, and only booked ahead when we were staying in a city for more than one night.


  15. Bridget Rudolph says:

    HA as you can see, I typed the above comment without my glasses on! (at 615am here in San Francisco!) :)) thank you!


  16. David says:

    Hi Bridget, on reflection, you could consider walking the Caminho Portgués from Porto, either the coastal route or the traditional route. As you will come from.afar, you will not wish to pop back to walk a week at a time.


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