The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 3 – Navarra)

Alto del Perdón, just south of Pamplona, features in almost every Camino guide thanks to a rust-coloured iron art installation of medieval pilgrims struggling into the wind, accompanied by the legend ‘Where the way of the wind meets that of the stars’ (Donde se cruza el camino del viento con el de las estrellas).  AltoContinue reading “The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 3 – Navarra)”

The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 2 – Navarra)

As you walk through Pamplona, you are guided along the Camino by the usual yellow arrows and occasional blue sign, but also by a series of shiny aluminum discs embedded in the pavements, with an engraved shell-star and a little biker symbol (I’ll confess that it was probably my third visit to Pamplona when IContinue reading “The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 2 – Navarra)”

The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 1)

You might not notice it, but the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) is a conflict still alive in Spain.  Any Spanish person you meet of 60 years or older (e.g. some of the hospitalero who run the albergues you stay in) will not simply be old enough to have lived under the dictatorship, but will haveContinue reading “The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 1)”

So the donkey stuff again…

So I was asked to clarify about the donkey stuff in my first blog post (‘The oldest guide to the Camino’) — specifically about how it’s done!  I mean, really?  That’s what you want to know?  Well, in lieu of finding and posting a video to something that would probably get me fired should myContinue reading “So the donkey stuff again…”

The oldest guide to the Camino

Keeping donkeys for oral sex does not seem like the kind of thing you would normally associate with a travel guide, especially one dedicated to a pilgrimage, but sure enough there it is in the oldest guide book to the Camino, the twelfth-century Pilgrim’s Guide in the Codex Calixtinus: In some places, like Vizcaya andContinue reading “The oldest guide to the Camino