Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Camino de Santiago

Back in Mediaeval times when pilgrimages were all the rage The Way of St James, El Camino de Santiago, was considered to be right up there with Rome and Jerusalem as a top notch destination.

By the 1980s there were only a few peple who still followed one of the several routes that all end at the huge stone pile that is the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela where the bones of St James the Great (one of the original 12 disciples) are said to lay. But at the end of the 80s some clever promotion revitalised the route which is now heaving with Christians and hikers keen to share the fellowship of walking the route. One of the official "passports", the Credencial, serves both as a record of the journey and a way of obtaining cheap accommodation along the way. Pilgrims only have to walk 100kms or cycle 250kms to be able to exchange their Credencial for a certificate called the Compostela once they get to the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago but most of them look to have walked a lot farther than the minimum.

One of our pals, Pepa, is still doing the Camino as I type. She started at Roncesvalles on the French/Spanish border and Santiago is about 800kms down the road in Galicia.

We kept crossing the Camino as we drove between Pamplona and Burgos and we saw lots of the Pilgrims with their sticks and conch shell symbols.

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