Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Pilgrims from 1954 and 1965

I received this photograph today on my Facebook page. It was posted by Camino Xacobeo, and following the post, several people submitted more information. I really love these old photos and thought you might enjoy seeing what pilgrims looked like in earlier times. I was 2 years old when this photo was taken.

This is a group of pilgrims arriving in Santiago after walking the Camino Francés in 1954. They came (walking) from Germany, Holland and France, etc. Photo is taken at the Plaza de as Praterías. They are known as the first modern pilgrims.

The photo is from the Municipal Archive in Santiago and was published the first time in in the book "Los años santos compostelanos del siglo XX. Crónica de un renacimiento', Xunta de Galicia, 2004, Manuel F. Rodríguez". The photo was taken some day in June of 1954. 

Many of the people in this photo later became pioneers in the promotion of the Camino, especially in France. We are working on identifying the people in the photo.

What happened to them? One of the woman (we do not know who on the photo) was René de La Coste-Messeleire that passed away in 1996. She was big promotor of the Camino from the 50's to the 1990's. She lead the pilgrim association in Paris for many years that was founded in 1950.

Bill Williams posted:  These wonderful pilgrims are dressed for Holy Mass. I'm reading The Road to Santiago by Walter Starkie published in 1957, his walk started deep in France in 1953. I think the book was reprinted about 10 years ago. Find this book if you want to know the story of these pilgrims. Starkie arrived one year before this group.

 Here is another wonderful photo!  This is a group of Chinese pilgrims from 1965. They are in the cathedral with the Arch Bishop Quiroga Palacios from Santiago. They traveled up from Madrid by regular transportation. I love how beautifully they are all dressed! Those were the days when men we dressed up for church. Sometimes I miss those days!

I've been very busy working on the May/June and September Camino walks. 

I had to rebuild my entire website last week. The VistaPrint website I was using was dropping contact forms. The only reason I knew it was happening was because one woman had the insight to email me directly. I have no idea how many forms I missed. If you submitted a form and haven't heard from me, please go to the NEW website at and submit a form there or contact me here on this blog with a commnt.

I've also been working on my Gupta Program. I'd like to post on that but don't want to dwell on my MCS, nor do I want to bore you. So I'll just say I'm amazed with the progress I've made after just a couple of weeks, and I'm feeling very hopeful. 

I'm doing a bit of felting when I can. I'm working on a dog miniature portrait this week. And a lady from Oregon contacted me to do a wedding ring pillow in the shape of a salmon steak!  Haha!  Only in Oregon!

The winter has been lovely here in the desert. There's been lots of sunshine, a bit of wind, cold mornings, but lovely afternoons. I've been on a few desert hikes in the Coachella Valley Preserve. The palm oases are just gorgeous here! It's a surprise to find such contrast in a few feet of walking. Last week, we walked to the Pushwalla Oasis. Water from the springs along the San Andreas earthquake fault feed perpetual water features in the form of seeps, creeks, and ponds. The water feeds the majestic California fan palm which creates a cool and shady respite from the hot summer sun. Wide sweeps of desert wash, dotted with smoke tree and indigo bush, feed into the oasis, and tucked around the oasis lie the rare desert wetlands, lined with arrowweed, willows, cattails, and cottonwoods.

This is generally about a six-mile round trip hike, but we took a few side trips, making it about 10 miles in all. That's 16 kilometers for those of you doing the Camino. Another half of that and you're at the next albergue!

These photos are not in order...

The water has made some awesome cracks in the soft cliffs

Dressed for the sun!

Palms are a type of grass, evident when they bend over like this one!

Blessed shade - entering the Oasis

This is actually the END of the oasis and you can see the water disappearing into the sand

The trees are quite tall. I'm that blue spot looking for owl pellets

The water makes it good for lots of young palms to take hold

Water break in the shade

Following the stream

The stream led to another oasis close by

Hard to imagine there's water and palms hidden here

Interesting rock we found in the wash

Joe's resting by a very cold water pond fed by the spring

We hope to get up to San Jacinto sometime soon to hike. 

Are you walking anywhere? Post your blog links in the comment section!

That's all for today folks!


See my AnnieWalkersCamino website at 
for more information about
Guided Walks on the Camino Santiago 
and on other Pilgrimage Trails of Europe

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