We walk for 6 days, finishing in Santiago de Compostela, where we’ll attend the famous Pilgrim’s Mass (and may even get to see the famous 125-pound incense burner swing). Find your own pace and peace. We will help you with the path.
Leave the details and the worries to us. Give us your baggage and your troubles.
We will tend them and return them to you, lighter than you brought them.
When: June 4 - 12, 2018
This year, our adventure begins in Madrid before heading into Galicia in Northwestern Spain, where we will walk 108 kilometers into Santiago de Compostela along the ancient pilgrimage route, the Camino Frances. From Santiago we drive out to the coast, the one-time “end of the earth,” before heading back to Santiago and home.
Walking the Camino de Santiago
Are you feeling called to soar over ancient and sacred ground?
Are you yearning to step out of the elaborate tangle of modern life, trying to make it all work seamlessly, to get somewhere, to BE someone better, to be ENOUGH? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to fly away from the details of daily living? Do you long for the freedom to just be present, taken care of, with no worries about what needs to be done or undone?
A wonderful expansiveness unfolds when you’re walking the Camino de Santiago, out in the elements for several hours each day, free from everyday distractions. A new pace and sense of the world beyond time arises. Join us on the Camino, where we’ll re-open our lives through the simple act of setting out with others: the best friends you may not have met yet, gentle guides, and of course at least one Genie. We’ll perform a pilgrimage within while on the ancient pilgrimage without, tracking the footsteps of the millions of other souls before us, participating in the profoundly human search for meaning. The ancient wisdom of the Camino de Santiago grounds us through the soles of our feet even as we enter the threshold. Sinking deeply into the present with a sense of peace, wildness, and connection, we’ll meet the welcoming morning light, the lifting wind, the birdsong and chattering humans, the smell of cafe con leche.
What is the experience?
Since pre-Christian times, pilgrims have walked from points all over Europe and beyond through northern Spain’s famous Galicia, to the western edge of the continent; Finisterre (the end of the Earth). This same route has become known as the Camino de Santiago, with the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago de Compostela and the promise of expunged sins and renewal as its goal.
Some walk out of religious devotion; others walk for spiritual practice or to contemplate a deeper purpose or a fresh direction. Those of us who have walked this pilgrim’s path have learned that our answers tend to gently emerge from within, if we’re willing to give ourselves over to the magic of the Camino itself. The path may be already known, but the steps are our own.
We’ll walk 108 kilometers – enough to earn the coveted “Compostela,” or certificate of completion, at the Cathedral of Saint James – but this isn’t so much about a linear journey. Rather, it’s about opening yourself up to some powerful practices to take with you as you continue on your life’s journey. Through setting of intentions, journaling, and other simple practices, our goal is to help you achieve the “Five R’s”:
Release, Rest, Receive, Regale, Return
Release: What tired, limited stories and behaviors are you ready to let go of?
Rest: How can you give yourself the deep rest you need so you can dream and imagine anew?
Receive: What new insights and wisdom are you open to getting?
Regale: What stories do you want to share, and how can we help you write better, happier endings for them?
Return: How do you want to bring the insights and practices of the Camino home and integrate them into your life?
Along the way we’ll laugh like hell, cry when we need to. There’s a lot of amazing coffee, red wine, and delicious almond cake. We’ll eat pork products early and often. We’ll help each other out. We’ll forget what we were so upset about. We’ll come up with a million new ideas. We’ll get jiggy with it (does that date us?) By the final night, at our dance party on the beach, we’ll let it all go and be ready to take our brand new selves home.
Merrily We Roll Along
Every morning we’ll set out to walk a certain number of kilometers, gathering sellos, or stamps, for our Camino passports along the way. ou’ll proceed at your own pace, walking alone or with others as you please, stopping along the way for coffee, snacks, souvenirs or gin and tonics as needed. ("GEEN-tonics" are a HUGE deal in these parts!) If you’re ever tired, Carlos, our wonderful driver and magician, will pick you up in the comfy van, which is always fully stocked with drinks and snacks. (He’ll also hold our luggage, freeing us to walk lightly with daypacks.) We might spring a few lovely surprises on you, too. Carlos might spring a few on us too!
This is not a grim, punitive pilgrimage. We’ll stay at lovely Galician manor homes, charming B&B’s, or other comfortable accommodations. We’ll eat fabulous food and drink lovely aperitifs. We”ll take care of two meals a day for you, so you’ll have the freedom to eat a lunch or dinner alone or with friends however you choose.
In other words, we’ll take care of you so you can take care of yourself, in your own way, freeing yourself for the contemplation you’ve been yearning for.
Itinerary – We’ll meet at a central location in Madrid on the morning of June 4th (we'll have an informal gathering for a tapas dinner on the evening of June 3rd for anyone who wants to join), travel by van through northern Spain, stopping at a few places along the way, and begin our 108-km walking adventure the following morning. Here’s the breakdown:
Day 1 Drive from Madrid to Sarria by van with stops for sightseeing and lunch
Day 2 Begin walking, from Sarria to Porto Marin (18 km) 11 miles
Day 3 Continue walking, Porto Marin to Palais del Rei (24 km) 14 miles
Day 4 Continue walking, Palais del Rei to Boente (21 km)
Day 5 Continue walking, Boente to Salceda (19 km) 12 miles
Day 6 Continue walking, Salceda to Monte de Gozo (24 km) 14 miles
Day 7 Continue walking, Monte de Gozo to—ta da!—Santiago (4 km) 2.5 joyful miles
Day 8 Travel by van from Santiago to Muxia and Finisterre
Day 9 Travel back to Madrid with plans to fly home the next day
Each morning we will check-in as a group and sense into the day. Your guides will share a variety of presencing and walking techniques and powerful journaling and harvesting practices. We’ll walk 4-6 hours daily (unless you prefer to rest in the van, always a welcome option), eat, and rest. Spontaneous afternoon and evening activities will emerge. There will be plenty of time for individual or small group coaching sessions throughout the journey.
Fair warning: Carlos, our intrepid driver/magician is known to spring spontaneous surprises on us. And we do mean surprises; he doesn't tell us either! And they are ALWAYS wonderful!
Accommodations – All accommodations are situated off the Camino. They range from tidy hotels to charming Galician manor houses with gourmet kitchens. We change accommodations several times during the trip, our luggage transported between locations while we walk. Rooms are double and shared. Single rooms are available for an additional charge of $750.
Assistance – Local cell phones, fresh fruit, snacks, water, and supplies such as aspirin and blister remedies and logistical support are provided by our magical Guide, transporter of luggage (and oh so much more), Carlos Alvarez.
What to Bring – Detailed packing list will be provided upon registration.
Cost – $5800 /double occupancy ($5400 Early Bird pricing) – Your investment includes:
- transportation from Madrid to the Camino and back to Madrid after our adventure concludes
- 8 nights accommodation
- all breakfasts and either a lunch or dinner each day
- a pilgrim kit, and basic travel/accident insurance
- one coaching session from each hosting coach (either pre- or post-Camino) in addition to the daily coaching available as we walk
Cost does NOT include airfare to and from Spain, and one meal each day. All prices are in U.S. dollars; participants outside the U.S. are responsible for any applicable exchange rates, bank fees, etc. We STRONGLY SUGGEST that you buy refundable tickets (you never know what will come up in your life) as well as travel insurance!
Single supplement: $750
Group Size – Limited to 12 participants
Who Are Your Guides?
Susan Bainter Baghdadi
I am a shiny-thing-seeking, ADD-riddled Gemini; a chameleon, a cultural shape-shifter, living in many countries among a variety of cultures. I deeply love and enjoy many people, places, practices, philosophies and things and long to be in near constant contact with them. I used to see these tendencies as a major stumbling block to action – “Ugh, could this really be the path to my wise Soul? Now I know better; it's just the way I flow.
For as long as I can remember, I have longed to claim my world as one; to introduce my East to my West; my heart to my mind to my toes. “Hey Body, could you please get online with that Cosmic Calling thing?” How do I summon the pieces of my Self and pull together all the amazing, talented, deeply soulful people I’m lucky to know around the globe?
Well, as a start, each year for the past six, my fellow coaches and I have invited friends, colleagues, coaches and collectivists (secret writers, dancers, singers, story-tellers, scientists, magicians, lovers, high priestesses and emperors) from every corner of the planet to gather in a magical Celtic land to perform an ancient ritual: walking to Santiago and letting go of it all at “the End of the Earth.”
As a result of these journeys, every so often I catch a sidelong glimpse of the whole of my life in its beautiful totality – like an intricate Persian carpet stretched out before me - and I have the courage to climb aboard the magic carpet; to take a “next step” and be transported into what is emerging. www.the-now.org
I’ve spent more than thirty-five years editing and writing books and magazine articles and more than fifteen coaching. As a writer, editor and Certified Martha Beck Master Life Coach, I understand that we are profoundly narrative creatures. My guess is that you’re telling yourself a lot of stories – about what you can’t have, what you don’t deserve, what you can’t be – that simply aren’t true. So let’s hit the road and rewrite the narrative to reveal the real you. Because when you come from that place of authenticity, you can achieve your greatest goals – and give your greatest gifts to the rest of the world.
The first time I walked the Camino six years ago, I arrived with a lot of questions and decision points. Walking for hours in nature each day – through sheep-stippled meadows, overgrown Middle Earth forests, shimmering olive groves, golden wheat fields, and more – I allowed myself to absorb the answers I needed through the soles of my feet. It was a deeply spiritual, transformative experience. Walking with my fellow “caministas,” I laughed my ass off, forged fabulous new friendships, and turned myself into a pork product pinata (imagine a tilde over the “n.”) I felt rinsed clean, ready for new beginnings.
I am a facilitator and knowledge seeker with a dual nature. Positioned at the pinnacle of modern medicine as an orthopedic surgeon, yet not feeling satisfied. So I trained as a Martha Beck life coach to investigate a different way of healing, only to find myself back where I started, but finally more at peace.
I’ve spent years trying to reconcile my logical Western medical self with my romantic dreamer self. But instead of trying to submerge one into the other, I now choose to embrace both. I’ve actually always been charmed by paradox and dichotomy, reveling in the radiance of their oppositional complexity.
Traveling (and planning for travel) is one of my preferred paths to relaxation and recharging. Exploring different environments and cultures allows the doors and windows of possibility to open up, while my energy settles down to right here, right this moment.
In the past seven years I’ve walked the 108 km from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela with my fellow coaches (and Carlos in the ever-present van of goodness). With its historical context, simple pleasures and global community, the Way of St. James really can be a path to heaven, as was once proclaimed by the medieval church. (Although that heaven is a lot more fun than they suggested, and the rules are a lot more relaxed.)
A native of Galicia, Carlos has probably been guiding people along the Camino since he was in diapers. Driver, magician, foot surgeon, lodging connoisseur, transporter of precious cargo, gourmet picnic maker, barista, master packer, cunning paparazzo, master negotiator, etc,, etc. Fearless and hilarious, Carlos has written volumes on respect, kindness, problem solving and Galician hospitality with his eyebrows. Seriously. You’ll see.
Visit his website at www.turigrino.com.
Registration Deadline – March 1, 2018 – $500 deposit will hold your place; the remaining balance is due April 15, 2018
Early Bird Discount: Pay your remaining balance by March 15, 2018 and the cost is $5400 – a savings of $400!
Want to join us?