The Chocolate Pilgrim Photos

The many routes to Santiago and on to Finisterre, our route highlighted in green.

Day One – Departing St. Jean Pied de Port.

“The hospitalero takes our photograph beside the door of our refugio, and his parting words are, ‘Remember. You don’t walk the Camino, the Camino walks you.'”

Day One – Climbing the high route.

“The higher we climb, the more the mountain hillsides are obscured by low-lying fog, which creates a sense of mystery to our surroundings.”

Day One – Route marker on the High Route.

“Keep walking, one foot in front of the other, slowly climbing until we arrive at a monument by the trail indicating the distance to Santiago.”

Day One – Dropping off the pass heading toward Roncesvalles.

“There’s a surprising amount of snow accumulation on this side of the Pyrenees, with packed boot prints guiding us along.”

Day Three – Zubiri to Pamplona, Basque Country

“The road signs indicate distances to unpronounceable village names like Ilurdotz and Antxoritz. These names inevitably remind me of the Asterix and Obelix comics I used to read with Russell and Emma when they were younger.”

Day Six – Estella to Los Arcos, Fuente del Vino

The wine is free!

Day Seven – Los Arcos to Logrono, spring emerging.

“As we get closer to Logrono, we enter a zone of pink flowers emerging in full glory from larger shrubs that line the road, their blossoms overhanging the trail so that as we walk by, our heads are graced by the touch of soft petals.”

Day Seven – Logrono

Russell tries on boots.

Day Thirteen – En Route to Burgos.

“As we approach villages, often located on hillsides, deep purple irises, like sentinels, announce that civilization is nearby.”

Day Fourteen – Dancers in Burgos

“Drawn in by the sound of celebration, we round a corner and find ourselves drawn in by the swirl of a festival.”

Day Fifteen – Menu del Dia dessert.

“The first time Russell ordered fruit for dessert a single unpeeled orange was delivered in a bowl.”

Day Fifteen – Ponferrada, Castillo de los Templarios

“We encounter large locked doors at the entrance-way.”

Day Seventeen – Albergue de Brasil, Vega del Valcarce.

“Shrubs and flowers surround the patio area and a large sign above reads ‘Camelot’ to complete the fairy-tale setting.”

Day Nineteen – Early morning coffee.

“We get up as the first rays of sunrise appear on the mountains beyond and take our picnic breakfast outside.”

Day Nineteen – Monastery at Samos.

Samos Monastery built in the sixth century, continues to provide refuge for pilgrims.

Day Twenty-Six – Santiago to Negreera.

Where do the women of Spain hang out? Part One:
A local woman comes to the park and teaches us about relaxing.

Day Twenty-Six – Santiago to Negreera.

Where do the women of Spain hang out? Part Two:
Russell and Marie, applying what they’ve learned about relaxing in Galicia.

Day Twenty-Nine, Arrival at Finisterre.

Rod and Russell at Mile Zero, Cabo Finisterre

Day Twenty-Nine – Final route marker, Cabo Finisterre.

Lighthouse and Atlantic Ocean in the background, a beautiful sunny day for pilgrims to celebrate.

Day Twenty-Nine – Touching the bronze boot, Cabo Finisterre.

“I’m keeping the boots… I have more walks to take.”

My family: Rod, Marie, Russell, and Emma, Salt Spring Island 2014.

Marie at two years old.

My mother, Valentine Maccagno.