Pilgrimage: A Journey of Body and Soul
Are you wanting to learn and experience more of what it means to be a spiritual pilgrim? Then this is a great journey and cohort to experience. We will walk the classic Camino Frances from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela, which will qualify us to earn our compostelas (pilgrim certificates). We will reflect on the purpose of pilgrimages throughout the generations, will consider how and why we have been called to a pilgrims’ walk at this particular point in our lives, and contemplate how this experience of pilgrimage can nourish and strengthen our own lives beyond the physical experience of our walk. While Santiago de Compostela will mark the end of our physical journey together, the pilgrims’ call will continue to guide the journey of our souls.
A typical day will look like this:
Morning: Pilgrims usually rise shortly after daybreak to enjoy the crisp morning air. We will begin the day with a short facilitated meditation on the suggested theme for the day followed by an orientation for the hike ahead. Breakfast will be taken on your own, based on your own needs and desired departure time. The morning will be spent walking, with rests and lunch along the way.
Afternoon: After walking 4-6 hours, you will arrive at your overnight destination sometime in early to mid-afternoon. Everyone is permitted to walk at their own pace, with or without a companion. Afternoons will be spent showering, resting, journaling or doing laundry. Before dinner, you will have the opportunity to debrief the day with the group over drinks and tapas, if desired.
Evening: You may choose to eat dinner with our cohort, a smaller group, or on your own. Dinner in Spain is typically much later than in other countries (after 9 pm). However, due to the rigorous exercise of the Camino, most albergues will require lights out at 10:00 pm. So, we will aim to eat dinner between 7-8 pm. Afterward, there will be an optional brief meditation before bedtime.
The program above describes a typical day and the opportunities that will be available to you. While we hope you will participate in some of the group sessions to enrich the experience of others, it is not required because we realize that every person’s pilgrimage is unique. Each person comes with different questions, hopes and needs. We want to respect and honor where each person is at. The intent of the program is to provide a basic rhythm that pilgrims can follow as desired.
Camino Francés – Sarria to Santiago de Compostela
This stretch of the Camino Francés will earn you the pilgrims’ certificate if you get your pilgrim passport stamped twice a day. You will begin the walk under the sentinel gaze of Sarria Castle on peaceful country roads lined by shady oak woods. Quiet villages host beautiful Romanesque churches such as the one in Eirexe whose beautiful portal features a sculpture of Daniel and animals, as well as Santiago de Peregrino. There are hamlets every few kilometers so you will not have to worry about food or water. At Melide, stop in one of the many restaurants to try the local specialty pulpo before heading to the medieval village of Ribadiso where you can relax on the river bank. Beyond Arzua the Camino will pass through woods, along streams and through sleepy villages like Santa Irene, home to a small chapel with unique statues of Santiago and the Fountain of Eternal Youth which, according to legend, would heal and grant youthfulness to whoever washed in its waters. At the spring in Lavacolla, pilgrims traditionally washed in its waters before presenting themselves before Saint James. Tall eucalyptus trees line the way to Monte del Gozo (the “Mount of Joy”) from where you will see your final goal – the UNESCO World Heritage Site la Catedral de Santiago.
Please read the tabs to the left for details about what is included.