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Camino de Santiago 7/19-8/19/2010
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Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
Camino de Santiago 7/19-8/19/2010 on 10/12/2010 13:48:21 MDT Print View

I walked the Camino de Santiago this summer, although not exactly lightweight style. The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Specifically I walked the Camino Frances from Roncesvalles to Santiago, then the Camino Finisterre from Santiago to Fisterre and Muxia. In total this was about 920km of trail. If you want to learn more about the route and its historical significance there are many great websites including this one. Ill just post some pictures for inspiration and give a quick rundown of gear and tips n such. Enjoy!

day one

nice track


nice walking


bridge to pamplona

first of many fields of sunflowers


puente la reina




angry toad

more forest



sheep crossing



more waymerkers




the first sighting of the ocean!

lagoon thing

end of the world

the beach

almost there

took a few days off here

For shoes I wore Montrail Mountain Masochists. These ended up being a decent choice. By the end the foam was pretty squishy and I could feel most rocks. This was due in part to the fact that I ran about 200 miles in them before the hike. Either way, they dried quickly, kept their tread, did not slip, gave me very few blisters (unavoidable on a hike like this), had no seam blowout or stitching issues and handled mud. The route was more rocky than I expected and also had some road sections and the shoe treated me right. They were comfortable like moccasins at the end and I would still be wearing them but it is a tradition to burn your shoes at the end to symbolize the cleansing of sin and rebirth. Also they smelled pretty sour and I would have been cruel to wear them on the plane ride home. Okay price point as well, love these shoes.

My pack was a Six Moon Designs Swift '10. This thing is wonderful. When you spend this much time with a pack on your back you really get to know it- and this thing is my best friend. I had no bruises or chafing on my hips like many people with padded belts. I use a regular Ridgerest cut in half as the frame. This is long enough to go from my shoulders to hips (I'm 5'9''). Also, it is a really snug fit folded into thirds in the pad sleeve and it makes a very rigid and comfy frame. Never had a pack with the outside mesh pockets before and I love and need these now, great for stashing a rain jacket or snacks. The tall outside pocket accommodates a baguette and 1.5L water bottle like that is what it was made for. I threw the pack down and sat on it for half of my walking/smoke breaks and it has no holes in the mesh or dyneema and shows little to no signs of wear. Also, the sil-nylon top did a good job of keeping things dry in a couple extended drizzles. This is a keeper, love it.

My camera was a Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS. The charge lasted for almost 300 pictures with lost of picture and video review time included. This thing is a champ as well. Decent picture quality, Im sure you could do more with it if you knew what you were doing, Im no photographer.

Bag was a Golite Ultra20. This was definitely overkill, but its easy to vent it out. Slept out a couple nights and was not cold. Not heavy so I was glad to have it.

Rain gear was a Marmot Precip. This this is pretty old so I wont get too angry at it but it made me sweat buckets and it wetted out. End of story.

I used the John Brierly Guidbook. It was sufficient. The maps arent always to scale and neither are the elevation guides, but they give you an idea. The city maps were helpful. It was nice to read up on history and the mystical guide aspect was fun as well. It should cover the Camino Finisterre, bull crap to make you buy another book for 90k, survived just fine without it though.

If anyone has questions and is thinking of walking the Camino shoot me a PM and I'll do my best.


Edited by dharmabumpkin on 10/12/2010 14:15:26 MDT.

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Pilgrimage on 12/06/2010 21:55:57 MST Print View

Holy Cow Balls! What a killer string of pics, they just kept getting better. You must have a blog somewhere with more detailed narrative of your journey. i'd love to sheck it out.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Camino de Santiago 7/19-8/19/2010 on 12/06/2010 22:52:10 MST Print View

That toad looks bada** and evil.

Is that human blood?!?

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Camino de Santiago 7/19-8/19/2010" on 12/06/2010 23:01:36 MST Print View


I loved seeing your journey represented in these images. This is a great set of photographs. The last image of the young chica laying out in the sun beachside, the 2 black silhouettes against the setting sun and that gnarly looking roughed up toad are my favorites from this great string of images. I swear that toad has to be some Camino de Santiago street fighter, he's a brute! You have quite an eye. Thanks for sharing.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Great Photos on 12/07/2010 06:33:27 MST Print View

I have a few friends who have done this.
I hear that this trail is supposed to be even more popular than the AT? But a lot older than the AT:-)

Lots of socializing. A great trail to meet people from different cultures.

Very hiker friendly towns and lots of indoor or protected places to stay and resupply along the way, but don't leave your shelter at home as one hiker did:-)

Edited by brooklynkayak on 12/07/2010 08:30:22 MST.

Andrew Wolff

Locale: Chattanooga
Camino de Santiago 7/19-8/19/2010 on 12/07/2010 08:28:28 MST Print View

This looks like a really interesting trip. This has to be one of the older through hikes in the world. Were there a lot of other people on the trail? The pictures are great, you do have a good eye.

Jacob Vink
(JAVink) - F
Re: Camino de Santiago 7/19-8/19/2010 on 12/07/2010 11:14:03 MST Print View

I lived in Spain for a while. This is definitely one of my dream hikes. Thanks for sharing!

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Re: Camino de Santiago 7/19-8/19/2010 on 12/07/2010 12:52:25 MST Print View

Brings back fond memories....

Brandon Sanchez
(dharmabumpkin) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Mtns
Camino de Santiago 7/19-8/19/2010 on 12/07/2010 14:08:27 MST Print View

Thanks for all the positive feedback guys! I wondered why I even spent time posting it since no one seemed to care- took almost 2 months to get a comment! Thanks Adan for resurrecting the thread.

@ Adan,
My blog is
Its brand new and I just started it mostly for my own purposes so my Camino isnt of the highest quality, but feel free to check it out.

@ Steven P,
That frog was in the middle of the road net to a small pool of blood. He must have eaten a bird or lizard or something. He was so full he didnt even move on iota when I put my camera three inches from him to take the picture. He's one mean-mugging frog.

@ Eugene,
Thanks for the compliment. I just took so many photos that some had to turn out good. Someone with a DSLR could take some amazing shots a month on the Camino. Oh and the Italian chica on the beach made me fall in love with the soul of Italian people. Much more friendly than the Spanish IMO.

@ Steven M,
This trail is great for socializing, thats all people do- walk together, eat together, smoke and drink together. I appreciated most meeting people from countries I knew little about like Slovenia, Hungary, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and South Korea.

@ John,
About 150,000-200,000 people walked the route this year between Spring and Fall.

@ Jacob,
Dont dream- do it! You obviously dont have to walk for as long as I did. For a short trip Id recommend walking the last 100k from Sarria to Santiago then walking to the ocean from Santiago to Finisterre.

@ Donna,
I already seems like so far away- it brings back memories for me too. I hope to walk the trail once again with my future wife and I am old and gray and can afford some luxuries on the trail.

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Camino de Santiago - Gear on 01/05/2011 23:50:22 MST Print View

Hi Brandon,

Regarding your gear, are there any items that you didn't bring that you wished you had? Vice versa, are there any items that you brought along that you found you really didn't need?

Great pics, by the way. I concur with the others' comments regarding the bad-ass toad...