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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Winter news from Peterbros.


If you have anything I can add to the next issue contact:

Web sites:
Face Book Site : Peterborough Pilgrims.


May & October  2012 : Porto (Portugal) to Santiago (Spain) 150 miles starting in Portugal and walking along the Atlantic coast then inland to Spain to Santiago. Why not come along.

July 2012.  The Youth Pilgrimage. Two pilgrimages offered for 16 to 19 yrs and also 19 yrs and over these will be led by Joe Cameron the Youth coordinator.  To be confirmed


Mercedes Finning has offered to give Spanish Lessons again Times and venue to be decided. Contact Mercedes on
for further details.

It is with regret to inform you that Cheryl Goddard is stepping down as Treasurer.  We would like to take this opportunity of thanking Cheryl for all she has done.  If anyone feels they are able to take on this position contact Ian.
01604 761104.

John Knight's new book  “Who holds the reins” this is now available from John contact 01280 706258

Eucharist Service followed by shared meal and also

The film “The Way” is now available on Amazon cost £8.99
"The Way" is a powerful and inspirational story about family, friends, and the challenges we face while navigating this ever-changing and complicated world. Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American doctor who comes to St. Jean Pied de Port, France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Emilio Estevez), killed in the Pyrenees in a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of Saint James. Rather than return home, Tom decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage to honor his son's desire to finish the journey. What Tom doesn't plan on is the profound impact the journey will have on him and his "California Bubble Life.

Trailer on Youtube

Walking the Camino
Ian Stairs (Pilgrim September 2011)

Starting from Father Ian’s we left for the airport at 4.30am.  We landed in Spain at 11.30am after a bus ride and a short walk we got to our first Albergue.

Sunday our first all day walk.  It is very warm but good walking conditions underfoot.  My concern is getting through the third day, Monday and Tuesday are very hard days, glad to get finished for the day.  After a shower and some time to reflect we find a place to eat and then rest up.  The days are going so fast, the walking is hard but the sights are so wonderful.  We are now a few hours from Santiago, we will be there in the morning.  With the pilgrimage almost over and Santiago so close its nice to reflect back over the last few days.  Sharing a common table together was so good and meeting other pilgrims was very interesting.  One day as we climbed a steep slope through a village, feeling the weight of my back-pack I thought of Jesus with the heavy cross on his shoulders, stumbling over the stony path.  Reaching the end of the days walk one day to be told there was no beds (no room at the inn) on a lighter note one can only marvel at the wonder of God’s creation and the kindness of local people.

This morning we begin to walk our last few miles getting quite excited as we get closer.  We are now in Santiago.  I feel so good to have made it all the way but sad that the pilgrimage is almost over.  We have been to mass and took communion with hundreds of other pilgrims.

I would like to say a big thank you to my wife Julie and Joseph for their company over the last two weeks, and also to Father Ian for all his help and advice throughout the pilgrimage.  Thank you also to Johnny Walker for his kindness and hospitality.

Why not come and see the trees including one reflecting pilgrimage.
1st to 4th December 2011-10-31 11 am-8pm Thurs 1st and 2nd Dec. 11am – 7pm Sat 3rd Dec and Sun 4th 12 – 4 pm

Camino de Santiago.  The Way of St. James.
Roger Lazenby 24th August 2011

The Meseta is 113 miles of flat agricultural wilderness.  From horizon to horizon the only sight is of golden wheat stubble, no bird song, little or no shade from the heat of the sun.

I had chosen the Meseta as part of my 180 mile solo pilgrimage, knowing there would be no distractions from recharging my spiritual batteries.  For the first few days of a pilgrimage your head is full of every day thoughts, travel, where shall I eat, sleep.

 Those thoughts soon pass and as the way gets harder going and I wonder why I wanted to be on a pilgrimage at all.  The days are like being in solitary confinement, the only sound is of my own footsteps and the occasional good wishes from passing cyclists.  I have time to think of the things I should have done and the things I should not have done, and as for forgiveness.  As the pilgrimage gets harder it is certainly penance for those sins.  By midday on the 9th day of walking I am totally exhausted all my energy spent, I need help to finish.

I asked the Lord if he could give me a helping hand, within moments a cloud has covered the sun and the temperature drops, a slight wind pushes me from behind, it is then I realize that I’m not walking alone.

From John Walkers Blogspot. 

Monday, 31 October 2011
News , numbers and gossip from Santiago
I reported recently that pilgrim numbers this year had broken records yet again. As October draws to a close that trend continues although the number of arrivals is much reduced. By the end of this month another 16,000 pilgrims arrived. This makes the total for 2011 so far 177,939. For a full analysis see the bottom of this post. It isn't surprising then that Santiago is celebrating these increased numbers and preparing for the future.
Exhibition: 20 years on the Way
Xacabeo is the government funded Galician organisation responsible for developing and promoting the Camino. They have mounted an exhibition to celebrate their success over the last 20 years. I visited it yesterday. It is very well done, full of sound and light shows, pictures and models of the albergues that have been built and a litany of statistics. For example did you know that in the 20 years since Xacabeo has been operating numbers on the camino have grown by a factor of 32?
The exhibition also contains some replicas of artifacts and a copy of the Codex Calixtinus in Gallego which was produced in recent times. I held a copy of the tome in my hands. That is probably the nearest I will ever get to the real medieval book which was of course stolen from the cathedral archives recently. Conspiracy theories still abound on that one with newspaper pundits feeding off local gossip publishing theories that the priceless book was stolen by cathedral insiders in an effort to embarrass and therefore depose the unpopular Dean of the Cathedral. Frankly I think this is simply hogwash and I subscribe to the theory that the book was stolen to order by professional art thieves. In 2003 I was talking to the Duke of Baccleuch (as one does!) just after a painting by Leonardo da Vinci was stolen from his home, Drumlanrig Castle. He said, "Yes it is a shock but the authorities say these things are so rare it is hard to for them to be sold and usually they are found...eventually" Four years later the Leonardo was returned. Let's hope the same is true of the Codex.
The exhibition: Xacabeo, 20 years on the Way is open daily until 23 December 2011 in the exhibition rooms, San Martin Pinario. Entrance Free.
New airport for Santiago
For the last few days it has been pouring with rain in Santiago. All day. "Raining cats and dogs" is a phrase in English which is universally known in Santiago. I wonder why? But during one of the better days I decided to go out to see the new airport at Lavacolla and walk back home on the Camino Frances. Although I'd seen reports of the new airport in the newspapers I was still very impressed by the sheer scale and elegance of the new facilities. This is not Heathrow or La Guardia but it is a far cry from the airport of 1932:
The new reception and check-in areas are vaulted, huge airy spaces. There are modern restaurants and coffee stalls with giant televisions. There is a new baggage reclaim designed not only to cope with the existing 2 million passengers per year but also for significant growth in passenger numbers who will be attracted by the routes served by the airport. I thought pilgrims planning trips perhaps also involving a holiday at the end of a hard walked Camino might be interested to see the current list of destinations: ALICANTE
Aeropuerto Santiago de Compostela: Lavacolla S/N 15820 Santiago de Compostela Telephone 902 404 704
New Museum of Pilgrimage in Santiago
Back in 1951 a very modest Museum of Pilgrimages was founded in the city. It was established in what is known as the "Gothic House" parts of which date to the 14th Century (Left). However the Museum didn't become permanent until 1996 and of course since then visitor numbers have grown like topsy, maybe because entrance is free.
At the moment the exhibitions are divided between pilgrimage generally in the world and the Camino to Santiago in particular. I found the exploration of the phenomenon of pilgrimage in many cultures across all continents very interesting and I think this is something on which they will expand. And expand they will, because the Museum is moving to bigger, better and more central premises. Some of you may remember this building in the Plaza Platerias - just beside the Pilgrims' Office:
This former home of the Banco de Espana has been under major renovation and construction for some time and was due to be open as the new home of them Museum of Pilgrimages in October. However such is the scale of the building work to an historic building there have been inevitable delays. It will however be open soon and will look like this:
For those wishing to visit the current Museum of Pilgrimage:
Rua de San Miguel, 4. 15704 Santiago de Compostela Entrance free
All the numbers for the year so far:
In the month of October almost 16,000 pilgrims arrived. The total number in the year so far is analysed as follows:
The number of pilgrims who arrived between 1 January 2011 and 31 October 2011 is 177.939
Spain Germany Italia Portugal France United States Ireland
Denmark Belgium
Australia Sweden
México Switzerland República Checa Norway

Japón Hungría Argentina Finlandia Eslovenia Eslovaquia South Africa V enezuela Colombia Russia
New Zealand Rumania Chile Ecuador
Number of pilgrims
94847 (53,30%) 16333 (9,18%) 11991 (6,74%)
8446 (4,75%) 7980 (4,48%) 3623 (2,04%) 2609 (1,47%) 2297 (1,29%) 2284 (1,28%) 2240 (1,26%) 1872 (1,05%) 1789 (1,01%) 1779 (1,00%) 1590 (0,89%) 1575 (0,89%) 1536 (0,86%) 1347 (0,76%) 1206 (0,68%) 1155 (0,65%) 1148 (0,65%)
941 (0,53%) 909 (0,51%) 802 (0,45%) 744 (0,42%) 668 (0,38%) 636 (0,36%) 559 (0,31%) 545 (0,31%) 502 (0,28%) 415 (0,23%) 409 (0,23%) 236 (0,13%) 224 (0,13%) 198 (0,11%) 174 (0,10%) 170 (0,10%)
Male 102548 (57,63%) Female 75391 (42,37%)
Method of travel
On foot Bicycle Horse Wheelchair
148461 (83,43%) 28960 (16,28%) 485 (0,27%) 33 (0,02%)
Motivation for pilgrimage
Religious or spiritual 89063 (50,05%)
Religious Not religious
Starting point
S. Jean P. Port León
Cebreiro Roncesvalles Ponferrada
Le Puy
Oviedo - C.P. Vilafranca Valença do Minho Resto Portugal Irún
Francia Triacastela
Resto C. León Oviedo
Resto Asturias Lugo - C.P. Ribadeo
Santander Logroño
77900 (43,78%) 10976 (6,17%)
38230 (21,48%) 18580 (10,44%) 10477 (5,89%) 9844 (5,53%) 9138 (5,14%) 7857 (4,42%) 7489 (4,21%) 6479 (3,64%) 5837 (3,28%) 4098 (2,30%) 3830 (2,15%) 3184 (1,79%) 2870 (1,61%) 2847 (1,60%) 2728 (1,53%) 2696 (1,52%) 2469 (1,39%) 2381 (1,34%) 2229 (1,25%) 2141 (1,20%) 2053 (1,15%) 1786 (1,00%) 1406 (0,79%) 1369 (0,77%) 1203 (0,68%) 1166 (0,66%) 1094 (0,61%) 1072 (0,60%) 926 (0,52%) 921 (0,52%) 854 (0,48%)
Ponte de Lima
A vilés
Resto País Vasco
Resto Asturias - C.P. Madrid - C.F.
Puebla de Sanabria
Resto Cantabria
San Sebastián
Vega de Valcarce
Carrión de los Condes Braga
Sto. Domingo de la Calzada Madrid
Puente la Reina
Granja de Moreruela Rabanal del Camino Porriño
Fonsagrada - C.P.
Hospital de Orbigo
V ezelay
834 (0,47%) 788 (0,44%) 716 (0,40%) 680 (0,38%) 644 (0,36%) 641 (0,36%) 628 (0,35%) 614 (0,35%) 492 (0,28%) 455 (0,26%) 448 (0,25%) 439 (0,25%) 393 (0,22%) 382 (0,21%) 337 (0,19%) 329 (0,18%) 303 (0,17%) 294 (0,17%) 276 (0,16%) 265 (0,15%) 263 (0,15%) 257 (0,14%) 254 (0,14%) 253 (0,14%) 238 (0,13%) 237 (0,13%) 229 (0,13%) 217 (0,12%) 202 (0,11%) 202 (0,11%) 197 (0,11%) 191 (0,11%) 185 (0,10%) 182 (0,10%) 179 (0,10%) 173 (0,10%) 169 (0,09%) 158 (0,09%) 152 (0,09%) 150 (0,08%) 149 (0,08%) 144 (0,08%) 139 (0,08%) 133 (0,07%) 129 (0,07%) 125 (0,07%) 121 (0,07%)
Com. Valenciana Cáceres
Resto C. León - V.P. Abadin

R.Pais Vasco Chaves-Portugal
V alencia
Resto Europa
Grandas de Salime - C.P. V erín
Resto Andalucia Molinaseca
Xunqueira de Ambia Resto de Extremadura Francia
Grandas de Salime Finisterra
Tineo - C.P.
Cast. la Mancha Fonsagrada
Com. Valenciana Castilla La Mancha
La Rioja
Povoa de Varzim Castilla la Mancha Huelva
V alladolid
San Sebastian
La Mesa
121 (0,07%) 116 (0,07%) 115 (0,06%) 110 (0,06%) 105 (0,06%) 103 (0,06%) 102 (0,06%) 102 (0,06%) 101 (0,06%) 101 (0,06%)
96 (0,05%) 95 (0,05%) 93 (0,05%) 92 (0,05%) 88 (0,05%) 84 (0,05%) 82 (0,05%) 76 (0,04%) 75 (0,04%) 75 (0,04%) 68 (0,04%) 65 (0,04%) 65 (0,04%) 61 (0,03%) 60 (0,03%) 59 (0,03%) 58 (0,03%) 58 (0,03%) 58 (0,03%) 58 (0,03%) 57 (0,03%) 54 (0,03%) 53 (0,03%) 49 (0,03%) 48 (0,03%) 48 (0,03%) 47 (0,03%) 46 (0,03%) 39 (0,02%) 39 (0,02%) 36 (0,02%) 35 (0,02%) 34 (0,02%) 34 (0,02%) 32 (0,02%) 32 (0,02%) 32 (0,02%)
Roma Salas Badajoz Castrojeriz Murcia
A Guarda
Resto Galicia Fonfría
V egadeo Ponferrada. C.Inv. Reino Unido Republica Checa Polonia
La Rioja
La Bañeza
San Juan de Ortega Baiona
A Rúa Luxemburgo Sobrado
Monforte de Lemos Covelo
V alcarlos Jerusalem
Reino Unido Artieda
El Escamplero Guntín
32 (0,02%) 30 (0,02%) 27 (0,02%) 26 (0,01%) 23 (0,01%) 23 (0,01%) 22 (0,01%) 19 (0,01%) 19 (0,01%) 18 (0,01%) 16 (0,01%) 13 (0,01%) 13 (0,01%) 13 (0,01%) 12 (0,01%) 12 (0,01%) 11 (0,01%) 11 (0,01%) 11 (0,01%) 10 (0,01%) 10 (0,01%)
8 (0,00%) 6 (0,00%) 5 (0,00%) 5 (0,00%) 5 (0,00%) 4 (0,00%) 3 (0,00%) 3 (0,00%) 3 (0,00%) 2 (0,00%) 2 (0,00%) 2 (0,00%) 2 (0,00%) 2 (0,00%) 2 (0,00%) 2 (0,00%) 2 (0,00%) 2 (0,00%) 1 (0,00%) 1 (0,00%) 1 (0,00%) 1 (0,00%) 1 (0,00%) 1 (0,00%) 1 (0,00%) 1 (0,00%)
Petín 1 (0,00%) Pontedeume 1 (0,00%) Silleda 1 (0,00%)
Employment status
Employed Students Technicians Retired Professionals Teachers
Civil Servants Manual workers Housewives Unemployed Artists Directors Priests

Farm Workers Religious Sailors Sportsment Oikoten
Ages of pilgrims
30 - 60 < 30
> 60

Routes followed
43412 (24,40%) 31126 (17,49%) 24508 (13,77%) 19964 (11,22%)
17695 (9,94%) 13469 (7,57%) 9122 (5,13%) 5899 (3,32%) 3891 (2,19%) 3884 (2,18%) 1476 (0,83%) 1278 (0,72%) 804 (0,45%) 553 (0,31%) 483 (0,27%) 215 (0,12%) 108 (0,06%) 52 (0,03%)
102256 (57,47%) 50704 (28,50%) 24979 (14,04%)
Frances-Camino de 128869 (72,42%)
Portugues-Camino Norte-Camino de Via de la Plata Primitivo-Camino Ingles-Camino Otros caminos Muxia-Finisterre
21473 (12,07%) 11819 (6,64%) 7698 (4,33%) 4889 (2,75%) 2625 (1,48%) 376 (0,21%) 190 (0,11%)
Posted by Johnnie Walker at 11:52 2 comments Labels: Santiago, Santiago Diary
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
No more tears in heaven
A lot of people wouldn't associate the words "heroism" or "nobility" with pilgrims. And yet I wonder if maybe all pilgrims who walk to Santiago are heroes? I don't know. All I know is that heroism is sometimes more obvious than others. On my own pilgrimages and in my time in the Pilgrims' Office I've met people who have walked with disabilities or had to overcome huge challenges. Recently a man arrived carrying his rucksack who had walked with one leg and a crutch from France. Other pilgrims are obviously ill. Sometimes we find out how ill they are. For some it is the last pilgrimage.
Often pilgrims arrive and the struggle they have made to reach the Tomb of the Apostle is etched on their faces. This can be true of pilgrims walking the 100 kms from Sarria as well as much longer distances. Maybe inside everyone's rucksack there is pain and suffering of some kind or another. But as in life some people are exceptional. I would like to tell you about two pilgrims. No pictures, no pack drill, and, as they say, some of the details have been changed.
I looked up from my desk after I had pressed the gadget which flashes the desk number on the screen above the door. A middle aged couple approached. Quiet and demure, neatly dressed in hiking clothes. I guessed they were Spanish. They stood there almost at attention whilst I introduced myself and asked for their credenciales. As they handed them over I sensed their seriousness. For many people receiving the final stamp and the Compostela is a solemn moment. I opened out their credenciales on the desk in front of me and it was clear that theirs had been a long journey. I noticed the first stamp and asked for confirmation, "Where did you start from?" "Arles, in France," was the reply. Now it is not unusual for us to receive pilgrims who started in Arles. It is however highly unusual for two Spanish people living in Spain to travel this distance from outside their own country. I said that I'd heard the route was beautiful and I asked how they had found walking in France. We chatted as pilgrims do about walking, the route, where they slept and so on. I explained I was applying the final stamp of the Cathedral on their credenciales and asked them to confirm their names which would go on their Compostela. The atmosphere changed to one of greater seriousness. "Sir," they said, " we have walked before and we would like a dedication on our Compostelas." "Of course," I replied, "In what name?" I have learned that it is best not to ask anything about the dedication unless the information is volunteered. Sometimes the memory is too painful. As I wrote I kept my head down but the woman kept talking and the story emerged. "The name is that of our daughter. She died at the age of 10, 10 years ago. This is our 10th Compostela dedicated to her memory. Every year we have walked and every year we have needed to walk farther. This year we have walked farther than ever before. Now it is time to stop."
As I handed over their Compostelas we grasped each others hands. In that moment I saw the nobility of all pilgrims who walk with grief and pain yet have the courage to keep going because they walk with a purpose. Pilgrims also have a destination and this dignified couple had now reached theirs. A tear rolled down the mother's face which she brushed away saying quietly, almost to herself, "no more tears" as if saying it might make it so.
From John Walker
And some news from Rebekah on the Meseta 

Sunday, 6 November 2011
A Star is Born (Again)
From the upstairs bathroom the pilgrim roared for the second time this evening. Flu, maybe, or bad food. He is not the first vomitous traveler to share that awful serenade with the household. The toilet flushed, and a few moments later he shimmered down the stairs and into the living room where I sat.
"Rebekah," he said, pale-­‐faced. "Do you believe in God?"
Not exactly what I expected to hear just then. But hey. "Yeah, I do," I told him. "You guys been talking up there?"
He smiled a little. I gave him a big glass of water. I told him to sit down, but he didn ́t want to.
"Something is happening to me today. Something amazing," he said. "I ́ve been walking for so long, and had such pain, and today I was walking alone so I just shouted and raged, like a madman. I am just so ready to give up. I tell myself if I get to this house and nobody is home, then that ́s it, it ́s a sign that my Camino is over. I am on the plane tomorrow and going home. But here I am. I feel like I am home."
"You ́re welcome," I told him. "This is what we do here. You came to a good place." (His arrival was a reminder to me that my troubles could be a lot worse, and that pilgrims are the priority here.)
"I wonder if God sent me here. I was so glad to find you home, because I don ́t really want to go back home yet. I was up there lying in the bed, hearing the rain, and I just gave up anyway. I just told God, "I give up. You take this. I can ́t handle my life any more." And then I got up and want to the bathroom and threw up like I never threw up before. And now I feel like, wow. Like something amazing is happening. I don ́t have the flu. I am not sick, really. I think I just got rid of all the, well, shmutz I ́ve been carrying in my mind forever."
It was a Billy Graham moment. Anyone raised in Evangelical Land will recognize it.
"Wow," I told him. "Do you believe in God? In the Christian God, in Jesus?" "I do now," he said.
"Well, then. What you just did means, in Christian terms, you are a new creation. You just made a brand new start, spiritually. Your past is gone. You are born again."
"It feels like maybe you are right," he said. "I ́m Protestant. I heard about this before, but it didn ́t really make sense..." We sat for a minute.
"What about the vomiting part?" he asked.
"That is unique," I told him. "I never heard of projectile conversion before. It might be your body just mirroring the cleanup that ́s going on in your spirit. But vomiting -­‐-­‐ I think that ́s maybe supposed to happen when your demons are exorcised. And that ́s one service we don ́t usually provide."
"So I got a two-­‐for-­‐one bargain," he said, smiling. He smiled in all sincerity. We had a cup of tea. He then went off to sleep some more.
Moratinos isn ́t any more spiritual than any other place, but wonderful things happen here.
We keep a mop and a bucket handy.

(This pilgrim is a pop star in Germany, a real character. I would post his photo but I do not want to violate his privacy, and New Creations are sometimes fragile. Besides, I still have not found the cable for my camera.) 
News from Clive Evans.
Bom caminho!
‘Camino’ with an ‘h’? You’re in Portugal but still on track for Santiago [pic 1]!
For some years Deb, my wife, and I have holidayed in rural Portugal, just south of the city of Coimbra, midway between Porto and Lisbon. It’s lovely – and as a bonus, we came across the caminho de Santiago just a few kilometres from the village where we stay.
On the web, you can find a fair amount about the caminho in Portugal, but only starting from Porto, quite a bit further north. (Peterborough Pilgrim, Robert Hill, and others have walked it, I believe.) But south of Porto, I struggled to find much information. So here’s a bit for anyone interested. See map for the area where we walked [pic 2].
The caminho portugues runs, I believe, all the way from the Algarve, Faro, through Lisbon, Porto and into Spain. Deb and I, however, were only pretend peregrinos this year! We walked sections both ways or else tackled a section and then circled back to our (shhhh!) car. But in all, we walked a fair distance in the area south of Coimbra: from Netos, just north of Ansião, to Alvorge (where we met an Italian peregrino on whom I successfully tried out some Latin), through Rabaçal where there’s a refugio in the ‘town’ hall, and onto Conimbriga. Then we skirted Condeixa-a-Nova and headed on towards Coimbra. Apart from a couple of cyclists, this walker was the only peregrino we met, but there was evidence of plenty of others in the earth! That said, this caminho was quiet. Maybe it’s busier in the spring.
The route is just as well marked as the various caminos in Spain and, in the sections we followed, covers similar terrain flat stretches and some ascents and descents. The surfaces were varied: some tarmac; much farm track and some lovely and very narrow footpaths. Rural Portugal is lovely and walking through it lovelier still!
We’ve also walked other short sections of the caminho by accident in Coimbra and also in Porto: I say, by accident, because we have chanced upon some yellow arrows there! (As an added bonus, there also blue arrows! These are helpfully in completely the opposite direction from Santiago and they lead you to Fatima, which is not far away to the south. So if you meet any blue, you know you’re going wrong for Santiago!)
The countryside is lovely [pic 3] and the temperatures not too bad even for walking midday in July, thanks to the nearby mitigating influence of the Atlantic. The Beiras, the name given to this area of Portugal, are neither bone- dry Spain nor wet and squidgy Galicia! You are, of course, well further south than this and the flora reflects this: plenty of yummy fruit to pick along the way! The figs were especially excellent.
There is plenty of interest to see: Rabaçal is home to a famous cheese. Conimbriga is the site of a world-class Roman city, many remains and a museum with one especially splendid villa to visit [pic4]. Coimbra has been described as ‘the Oxford of Portugal’ – a lovely ancient university city [pic 5] with loads to see. And Porto: you could spend days there. The caminho tracks across a famous bridge, built by Eiffel of the tower fame [pic 6]!
So, in conclusion, o caminho portuges: plenty to commend it. Plenty to see, lovely countryside and people. Adequate provision of refugios but probably a smattering of Portuguese would be needed. And don’t try out your Spanish in Portugal: not a good idea!
And finally, on a personal note, advanced notice of a book, another book, yes, about the Camino. I walked the Vίa de la Plata, from Sevilia upto Finisterre in 2009 and I’m about to get a book of this journey published. I’ll keep you posted. 

Clive Evans
12th September 2011

The Camino from Porto is one that many of our members have used. It is now the preferred route for 'first time' pilgrimages. So come and join us next May -Ed.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

A recap of recent news.

Here is a picture of the newest member of Peterborough Pilgrims to Santiago.
Joseph Cameron. He is an intern with us. His work will be help
develop a youth pilgrimage next year. We hope to establish Santiago pilgrimage
with young people in the UK in much the same way as it is practiced in Spain.
So if you know anyone between the ages of 16 and 24 who would like to come with
us next year, we are open for business. For the time being he is staying at the Vicarage
in Far Cotton. If would like to contact him and invite him to your youth group,
his email address
Joseph will be part of the Pilgrimage that leaves the UK on Saturday for a
walk from Hospital Orbigeo to Santiago.
The Pilgrims enjoy lunch on a recent practice hike, getting ready for the September
pilgrimage. They are Julie and Ian Staires and Pamela Coulter.
The other two members of the pilgrimage are, Joseph Cameron, above,
and me. We go to Hospital on Saturday and return on the 22 September.

Spanish lessons.
Mercedes Finning will be teaching Spanish to all comers this Autumn. This time it
will be much nearer a formal adult education event that last year. Details Soon.

1st Sunday Gatherings.
You may remember that at the Jiuly pilgrim feast I announced that we would be start a
group on the first Sunday afternoon of each month at 4pm. This is for those who want
to explore what it means to live life as a pilgrimage . We start on the first Sunday of October.
It is open to all and is not restricted to those who have been on a pilgrimage with us.

Friday, 12 August 2011

A trip to the Bristish Museum

A small group of pilgrims went to the above exhibition yesterday. It was
the common view that it is well worth a visit. There are plenty of interesting
and often unusual relics to see. It was even more interesting to notice the
difference between the mindset of modern, scientific man and the men and
women of the medieval ages. For a Santiago pilgrim this paradigm shift is
not very difficult to leap. It is clear that they had a much bigger view of
what constitutes reality. However the exhibition has twist in the tale.
The last exhibit is a projection of Lenin and other cult figures of the twentieth
centry as well as a referance to the cult of personality and our use of grave
memorials to those we love. This left the question hanging in the air; Is this
so different. Is it not just another way of getting back in touch with someone
who is important to you? Which is a great question. Are not that Saints still with

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

The ned of an old friend.

Peleghrin, ex-pet of Camino de Santiago is looking for a job  

My name is Peleghrin. I have been replaced by another mascot. So I am unemployed and struggling to make ends meet.

I write as I am interested to work on your team. I have eighteen years experience in the world of communication. My abilities as the Camino de Santiago mascot qualify me to work in the field of Public Relations.

Around the world have carried out various communication events to guide pilgrims to Santiago. I
speak nineteen languages.

Recently I completed a course for communitiy Xacobeo manager. I am the ideal candidate to work both offline and online, in the media situations.

I am also the ideal pet to have in the office, caring, loving, persuasive, hardworking, sociable and a perfectionist.

I would be pleased, to have the opportunity to demonstrate my skills in your company, so please take the opportunity to arrange an interview with you.

Xacobeo Santiago.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Some news of Me

For those who have followed the saga of my knee injury, I have some good
news.Yesterday I went out on a walk. It was 10 miles in length, not enough
yet but a good slug at it. I came back exhaused. That old pilgrim
feeling- I am going to die I am so tired, but that was all. No knee pain.
This is the first time since last August that I have felt this way. I have high
hopes that this is the end of the trouble.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

August is one of those months when you are either on holiday or having
time off. So if you are I hope that you are having a good holiday. As most
of you know I had a week in Spain in July. As a family we went to Tarragona,
or Tarraco as Augustus Caesar called it in the first century BC.
I would like to show you a picture that Liz took on that trip. Yes it shows a
fat man in front of a wall, and yes that fat man is me. But this is no
ordinary wall. This one was built by Augustus. it is 2100 years old.
One thing that the Romans were not, was jerry builders! A wall from
the biblical period. But is it a biblical wall?

Tradition has it that St Paul, after a two year imprisonment came to Spain to the
well established church at Terraco . Here is a link if you would like to
explore this idea a little more.
So by extension Paul may well have stood on the same spot as I am standing,
and he would have been about the same age, maybe even the same shape. That is
without the loud shirt.

This wall brought home to me the doctrine of the communion of the Saints. It
took me a little further that that. A gate is still standing that Paul used. And it
was only yesterday that it happened. Kinda makes you think that we are all in
this together. Paul, James and the rest of the Apostles are not long lost
folk of history, but living breathing men whose shadow has only just vanished.
They are out of reach, but only just. Pilgrims just over the next hill. And I am
catching them up fast. 

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sad News of the Camino

This may be in Spanish, but you will understand it through the pictures

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Monday, 25 July 2011

From Fiona Inman's most recent pilgrimage from St Jean

Seven weeks home from the camino and I'm still there . . .

Our mountain crossing was very mistical, with sounds of cowbells and baaing sheep, the occasional horse looming up to take a look at us. No sign of the famous Madonna apparently a few metres from where we passed. New accommodation at Roncevalles was very Ikea, but comfortable beds in train compartment style arrangement. Similar at Pamplona where I think we slept in the South aisle of a 17 century church.

The 4E alberque run by brothers at Puente de la Reina was one of my favourites. Have you walked back to the first hotel you pass on entering the town there and experienced the fantastic pilgrim buffet. 11E and unbelievably splendid. Arkadi's alberque at Sansol was lovely too, though pretty quirky - buckets under the basin u-bends- and not clean enough for some Germans who demanded their money back and left us a lovely airy room with chandelier, balcony, and old Spanish tiles on the floor.

92 beds in one room at Najera was probably our most intimate experience with other bedfellows. We finished at Santo Domingo de la C at the peaceful Cistercian convent, bedroom window looking out into a fig tree and below to simple, tranquil garden where pilgirms' clothes hung out to dry.

I'll attach a few photos so you can play "Guess Where?". I'm sorry we can't make this year's feast. When you have time please would you let me have Adele's email address?  It would be lovely to hear from you too. Be sure to use this address to reply not Paul's which is defunct.

Much love Fiona

Friday, 15 July 2011

Gone fishing.

After today there will be break as I have a busy week ahead and it is
unlikely that I will have time to post.
So after today, and there maybe post later today, there will
be nothing for a week. As the say in the southern states
"Don't you forget to come back youall".

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Great TV with pilgrims

I have just watch a really great TV program on Northern Spain and its food
made by Rick Stein. There are some good shots of Santiago, and its market.
Well worth a look. Here is the URL

I raise up on Eagles wings.

This was sent to me today, so I am sharing it. Thanks to the one who sent it.


A farmer once took an egg from an eagle's nest. He took it home and 
placed it under one of his hens and it hatched with a little brood 
of chickens. The farmer raised the bird with great patience and attempted
to tame him. The eagle never really seemed to fit in with the chickens. 
It always walked alone; it could not seem to relate to or interact with 
the chickens.

As the eagle grew, he realized something seemed to be wrong deep inside 
of him. Even though he had never known any other existence but life in 
the chicken yard, it just did not feel like home to him. He wanted to 
leave the chicken yard and take to the skies. He even tried to 
do so, and the farmer finally had to clip the eagle's wings to 
keep him from flying away.

Since the eagle could not fly, he just sat in the chicken yard 
looking up at the sky. One day a storm began to brew, the sky grew dark, 
and all the barnyard animals scurried around for cover; the chickens 
were terribly frightened, as chickens are prone to be. The eagle sat
watching the scene in front of him, realizing the storm did not
frighten him in the least.

At that moment, he could not help but stretch out his wings, and as 
he did, he noticed that the farmer had failed to keep 
them clipped.

Suddenly, his eye caught sight of a great eagle riding the wind 
above him, his wings outstretched in majestic form.

The eagle that was raised as a chicken looked again at the 
chickens scurrying around frantically, then returned his gaze to the 
eagle soaring peacefully above him, then looked back at the chickens 
and then up at the eagle again. He heard the eagle let out an awesome,
piercing cry. In that instant, he knew he had to 
get out of that chicken yard! A mighty gust of wind swept beneath his 
outstretched wings and lifted him into the air. With a shrill scream 
of victory and freedom, he left the barnyard forever.


God has a great purpose for your life-and you cannot escape or ignore 
the inner urge to "go for it." But do you also know you will have to 
work hard; take risks; endure loneliness; leave some things behind; 
make some difficult decisions; or perhaps be misunderstood, judged, 
or even criticized in order to achieve and enjoy the fullness of 
God's destiny for your life?

Know this: All eagles are uncomfortable in a barnyard. They 
all It it ig for the clear, blue, open skies. When you are 
living in a place that keeps you from being who you were made 
to be and doing what you ,u r meant to do, you will be 
uncomfortable too. When the thought of moving beyond where 
you are begins to take root in your heart and mind, when a 
seed of greatness begins to grow, when you have a burning 
desire to step out of where you are or a desire to be adventurous.
I'll do something new or different, pay attention to it. Begin to 
act on it. But also realize that people around you may 
not understand your desire to break out of the box. They may 
want to clip your wings. They may even say, "Now just settle down 
and be like all the other chickens. Here you have his nice chicken 
yard and these nice little worms and grubs. Why should you 
ever want any more than that?".

When you hear such comments and questions, something inside of 
you may ask, What is wrong with me? Why do I think as I think? 
Why do I feel this way? Why can't I just settle down and live 
a normal life like everybody else? The reason you 
cannot just settle down is that you are not a chicken; 
you are an eagle! You will never feel at home in that chicken 
yard because you were made for something bigger, more beautiful, 
and more fulfilling.

The eagle is one of nature's best examples of strength, perseverance, 
and determination. It is a bird who refuses to be denied its destiny, 
one who never gives up.