About Me

imageMy name is Bob and I am a peregrino (Spanish for “pilgrim”).  Several years ago I was made aware of a wonderful movie entitled “The Way,” starring Martin Sheen and directed by his son, Emilio Estevez. This film tells the story of a father’s love for his son and takes place along the ancient pilgrimage route that runs across the top of Spain known as the Camino de Santiago (or Way of St. James). This film changed my life in that it engendered an abiding passion for all things related to the Camino. Since that time there has been no turning back.

The Way

I am a retired businessman who left the workforce in 2012. My wife and I, plus our three dogs, spend our winters in San Diego, California and summers on our 100-acre farm in Washington State. In retirement I have found time to pursue many interests without having to worry about such annoying distractions as work schedules and the like.

The Camino de Santiago is more than a single path. It is actually a network of many routes that all converge at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela where the remains of James, the Greater, son of Zebedee – one of the twelve disciples – are believed to be interred. (See About the Camino.)  Men and women from all walks of life have been making pilgrimages to Santiago for over 1200 years ago. Even today, thousands of pilgrims make the trek to Santiago each year. In 2016 alone, 277,854 pilgrims arrived in Santiago, according to the cathedral’s official Pilgrim Office! Of this number, 176,075 pilgrims arrived after walking on the Camino Frances – the most popular route that stretches from the town of St. Jean Pied de Port in the southwest corner of France almost 500 miles across the top of Spain to Santiago.

In the fall of 2014 a friend and I hiked the Camino Frances arriving in Santiago on October 19. This was the experience of a lifetime and I have tried to document the journey and convey some of the thoughts and feelings I had on the Camino in this blog. I have often felt inadequate in this endeavor since the Camino was so much bigger than anything I had ever experienced or could adequately express. But, I can definitely state that I have been changed by the Camino experience and that it has now become an essential part of my life.

During the months since completing the Camino in 2014 I have kept up an active engagement with the Camino community primarily through the American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC) Facebook page. Since 2014 I have become aware of some of the other Camino routes and have developed an especially keen interest in the Via Podiensis – the 500-mile Camino that begins in Le Puy en Velay, France, and ends in St. Jean Pied de Port – the traditional start of the Camino Frances.

podiensis3

As obsessions are apt to do, this interest has coalesced into a plan to return to the Camino this summer. The plan is to hike the entire way from Le Puy en Velay to Santiago – a distance of almost 1000 miles! There are days when this seems crazy and other days when it appears to make perfect sense. But, I have the support of a wonderful wife and feel confident that I can and should make the pilgrimage once again. The calling is strong. I have had to face up to my fears and anxieties about this undertaking, but feel better equipped to face the challenges having already completed the Camino Frances. I am not proposing to enter into totally unknown territory. So, after a hiatus of almost three years, I plan to reactivate the blog and start documenting this next chapter in my Camino life. I hope you will join me on this adventure.

10 Responses to About Me

  1. Marvin says:

    Bob: It was great meeting you at HSAC in San Diego. I really enjoyed your blog and will be praying for you on your journey. Marvin

  2. Joanie Yorba-Gray says:

    Bob and Clint, we pray for your health and safety and we are with you in your journey. Your posts are excellent and you are a great photographer. Congratulations on being over halfway. When you return, your Holy Spirit family will be so happy to welcome you back. Blessings
    Joanie

  3. Hi Joanie,

    Your support and prayers are very much appreciated by us. We are doing well and, believe it or not, should be in Santiago within about 10 days! We can hardly believe it ourselves. Looking forward to seeing you all back in San Diego – probably not until early November, since I will need to return to Washington once I return to help close up the farm for the winter and then drive back with Judy and the dogs.

    Buen Camino,
    Bob

    • Joanie,

      Also, thanks for the comments about the photos. But, I have to tell you, it ain’t all that hard. It is so beautiful here that you just sort of point your camera anywhere and shoot.

      Buen Camino,
      Bob

  4. Geraldine says:

    Thanks for following my Camino de Santiago blog!
    I hope you enjoy reading more about my 500 mile journey across Spain & I look forward to reading about your camino adventures too 🙂

    • I’m glad you found my blog. It documents my Camino which was completed in October of last year. I’m now thinking about a second Camino perhaps in April/May of 2017. I haven’t posted much lately on my blog, but I have lots more I want to say and share. So, hopefully you’ll see some new content soon and will find it interesting.
      Buen Camino!
      Bob

  5. Clara says:

    I will be going to “Camino de Santiago ”
    this May alone.
    I’m scared & worried.
    I’d like to meet someone like you to ask questions & advice. Is it possible?
    Please help if any organization in SD
    I can go to or contact . Thank you.

    • Hi Clara,

      I’m glad you found my blog. I hope it was interesting for you. Congratulations on your decision to hike the Camino. It will be an experience unlike anything you have ever done before and I think you will love it. I hiked the Camino in 2014 and am planning to return again this summer. This time I will start in Le Puy en Velay, France, which is about 500 miles east of St. Jean Pied de Port.

      Which route are you planning to take? I assume you will be starting in St. Jean and hiking the Camino Frances. I understand that you are a little scared about this grand adventure. But, remember that thousands of pilgrims have done it before you. Even though you are travelling by yourself, you will not be alone. You will see many other pilgrims while hiking and may even make new friends who will hike along with you.

      I have found that part of the Camino experience is facing your fears. You will find out that most of your fears are really nothing much to worry about. The Camino is very safe and everyone along the way will be friendly and helpful. You will figure out the daily routine and how things work on the Camino after only a few days of hiking. The language barrier is also not too scary. You can get along with English very well on the Camino.

      I would recommend checking out the American Pilgrims on the Camino website (www.american pilgrims.com) and also becoming a member of that organization. There is a ton of information on the site that covers just about every aspect of the Camino. Take a look at their FAQ page. They also have a very active Facebook page that you can visit to ask any questions about the Camino and get lots of helpful feedback – “American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC)”.

      In San Diego there is a local chapter of the American Pilgrims. They have a Facebook page, too (san diego pilgrims on the camino). The group organizes hikes in the local San Diego area and has monthly get-togethers where you can meet other pilgrims and ask questions. There is also a group on Facebook specifically for women who are hiking the Camino alone. It is called “camigas a buddy system for women on the camino”. Finally, you can ask me any questions you like as well and I will try to give you useful answers. My email is roberteddy@cox.net.

      Buen Camino,
      Bob

  6. Sorry we didn’t get to see you today. We’re heading back to normal life but will be watching your progression on The Way. We send you energy to help with steep climbs on hot days. Bon chemin from Jennifer (mum) & Louise (your Camino angel)

    • Jenifer and Louise,
      Thanks for following my blog. I’ll have to start posting more frequently, now. It was very hot today and the trail was challenging. You would have recognized me standing by the side of the trail panting – ha! I drank almost 3 liters of water today, to give you some idea of how hot it was! Thanks for the good wishes for the rest of my pilgrimage. I enjoyed meeting you both and will explain to everyone in a later posting why Louise is my Camino angel 🙂
      Bob

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s