How organize it

Evaluating various commitments, I came to the conclusion that I could invest two weeks in the experience, and studying the various pages on the web, I figured out, I could walk for 300 kilometers in this time, and if the final destination had to be Santiago, I choosed to start from Astorga.
The “camino Frances” was really interesting for me, but obviously very crowded and touristic. It offers all kind of hostels, public, private and a bunch of pensions and hotels depending on location. On this path I have often met with groups (mostly Germans), who turned with a small and lite bag, and told me that they had to walk to the hotel in the next village, where their luggage was waiting for them in the room!
Happy for them, but for me the pilgrimage has another meaning!


It is the document that accompanies the pilgrim, and serves to collect all the “seglios” during the journey. It is issued by the office of the Camino de Santiago for 50 cents.
Or for 1-3 euro in the hostels in major cities, see the list on the side.


In Switzerland it can be obtained from Mr. Josef Schönauer or becoming a member of friends of the path ….  

RONCESVALLES – Oficina del peregrino
LARRASOAÑA – Albergue Municipal de Peregrinos (D. Santiago Zubiri)
PAMPLONA – Albergue de peregrinos
PUENTE LA REINA – Albergue de peregrinos
ESTELLA – Albergue de peregrinos
LOGROÑO – Albergue Municipal de peregrinos
SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA – Albergue de peregrinos de la Cofradía del


BURGOS – Albergue de peregrinos (Asociación de amigos del Camino de Burgos)
FRÓMISTA – Oficina del peregrino (Monasterio de San Zoilo)
LEÓN – Albergue de peregrinos
ASTORGA – Albergue de peregrinos
MOLINASECA – Albergue de peregrinos (Alfredo)
PONFERRADA – Albergue de peregrinos
VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO – Albergue de peregrinos AVE FÉNIX (Jato)
O CEBREIRO – Albergue de peregrinos
SAMOS – Albergue del Monasterio
SARRIA – Albergue de peregrinos
PORTOMARÍN – Albergue de peregrinos.


Beautiful Latin document which is issued by the Camino de Santiago, which attests the fact that you have done the pilgrimage, but be aware: that only the last 100 km to Santiago counts. Even if you have traveled 1,000 kilometers, if you do not undertake the last 100 to get to Santiago, it is not released.

The shell

The shell of St. James is found in various forms, and alerts you to the path to follow. Depending on the region is oriented in its way to indicate whether go straight, right or left. Many pilgrims will bind one on the sac in order to report their involvement.




I suggest low hiking shoes, and if possible in Gore-tex, as you often find in the morning mist and also the paths may be flooded after the local rain showers. Remember that your feet swell up after hours of walking. As socks, preferably synthetic outlined for the left and right foot and not too large.


Dried fruit and cereal bars are the ideal weight-performance ratio. For water, I recommend a 1-liter PET bottle. Along the way you will all the rest, especially fresh fruit and the legendary sandwich with “jamon Serano”.
I find it very useful to take the Schüssler salts, 1 tablet nr. 2 per hour and at night a dozen of nr. 7


Foot care is a basic fact since we maltreat them a lot, every evening devote them the time they deserve. Regarding blisters problem, it is very subjective, I personally do not recommend the various patches and gelatinous pads, because the long exposure and sweat worsens the situation. The remedy that I find most effective is the needle and cotton thread, just go through the blister with it and leave the yarn hang down, so you just move it from time to time, and it dries.
As shoes “escort” you can bring some sandals, but they must fit well to the feets.


A good bag 40 l, a cape covering well the bag, hat and those who want the clubs that are not essential because steep slopes are rare, but still do companionship.


I must say that 90% of the information I found them on the site with nice maps that include gradients or Of great help for the Portuguese path, was the Italian site More information is available on thousands of pages on the Internet, with various tips and experience. For flights there is a great choice, and the advantage now is that the tickets must be ordered separately for outward and return, so you fly to Oviedo and then come back from Santiago. Depending on the point of departure I chose Easyjetor Ryanair, and for domestic travel Iberia. However along the way, obviously not at any time, there are coaches and often the train. Details are on pages of RENFE, the only problem are links with Portugal, they are rare and with poor connections. Always keep a reserve day in the planning, obviously related to the fact, that you are like us a common worker, and waiting for the deserved retirement

The spirit of pilmgrimage

Can not say I feel very Christian, but the fact is, and I can’t deny it, that I grew up in an environment with this culture. During my personal growth, through many trips, compared to the other worlds of thought and reality, little by little I gained from my education a detachment of my origin. Are not specially attracted to other religions, witch I feel to far from my DNA, but I feel strongly in my sole a great desire to return to the “origins”, which don’t need necessarily have a religious connotation, but are close to the superior. At my age and my life experiences, I must recognize that I have always been “accompanied” in my evolution from ancestral forces that were there at the appropriate time and at my side to guide me.
On the path of Santiago de Compostela, despite its predominantly Catholic connotation, you can rediscover ancient pagan values which have the great advantage to be able to transmit and impregnate to each pilgrim with high energy and mystic atmosphere, independently from religion or culture, provided that he is “eager” to discover them.

To enter in the “charisma” of the pilgrimage, it takes several weeks of walking, so if you go for a relatively short period, is requires a basic mental preparation to the event. This in order not to be in the situation to be accompanied by all the worries of suspended problems brought from home throughout the journey, and at the end sit in the cathedral of Santiago, and realize that we came to recharge our the spirit and mind, in order to better tackle our complex life and rare events accompanied by human warmth.
I love telling a story that happened in my first experience. An older Italian, who obviously carried his age well, walked around the various tables of the hostel, boasting of having covered 32 km in 7 hours and 15. When he asked me what route I had done and time needed, I replied, “can I ask you something? Would you be able to make 25 km in 7 hours and 15?” The poor man was speechless, looking rather gloomy, and hi left probably considering I was not completely connected!

From experience I could gather, the “true” pilgrims are often Latin Americans, East European and Scandinavians, while for English speaking people, it looks more as a fashion and are not willing to give up alcohol or smoking during the experience.
For many Portuguese and Spanish, even if it’s passing through their country, do not understand what it is, some older people are quite aware of its existence, not having a car they use to walk on it, deploring the poor state or modification of path.