A Laptop Pilgrimage

Travel along the Camino de Santiago with our Busted Halo pilgrims without leaving your home

Day #5: Journey’s End

The pilgrims complete their Camino and arrive at the 11th century St. James Cathedral, burial site of St. James the Apostle, to place their hands on the left foot of the statue depicting the Trinity, the traditional end-point of the Camino. Hear final thoughts and reflections from Fr. Larry, Erin, Stephen, Sam, Amy, and Mary…

Click here to listen further to the pilgrims’ final group discussion of the last day of the pilgrimage.

Day #4:
Reflections on “Waking”
A poem by Theodore Roethke

From Arzua, the pilgrims head to Arca. They will cross a number of bridges built by local farmers over the centuries to accommodate feeding their growing flocks of livestock. Hear from Fr. Larry, Sam, Erin, Mary, Amy and Stephen…

1. Click here to listen further to Part 1 of the pilgrims’ evening discussion.

2. Click here to listen further to Part 2 of the pilgrims’ evening discussion.

Day #3:
When you are alone on the path,
What goes through your mind?
What do you pray about?

Having left the most mountainous portion of the Camino behind, our pilgrims continue along the Camino from Palas to Arzua, taking time to enjoy the Romanesque Monasterio de Vilar de Donas along the way. Stephen, Mary, Erin, Margaret, Amy, John and Fr. Larry tell us about their thoughts and prayers…

Click here to listen further to the pilgrims’ evening discussion.

Day #3: Additional Video

The Pilgrims Speak…

Day #2:
What did you experience today?
What did you think about?

The pilgrims begin in Portomarin en route to Palas, passing through the remainder of the region’s lush and hilly topography, reflecting on what they experience, see and think. Today hear from Stephen, Erin, Sam, Fr. Larry and Amy.

Click here to listen further to the pilgrims’ evening discussion.

Day #2: Additional Video

The Pilgrims Speak…

Day #2: Additional Video

The Pilgrims Eat…

Day #1:
What are you taking with you?
What are you leaving behind?

Our pilgrims journey from the medieval town of Sarria to Portomarin, reflecting on the thoughts and prayers they carry with them, and those things that they are choosing to leave behind as they begin their journey. Today, hear from Amy, Erin, Sam, Stephen and Fr. Larry Rice.

Spiritual Seeker Adventure 2010

Welcome to the Camino…


Last year Busted Halo® designed a pilgrimage experience for seekers who normally wouldn’t be caught dead on a religious pilgrimage. Our Spiritual Seeker Adventure was designed as an international journey that is part adventure travel, part spiritual retreat and wholly unlike any other type of travel experience. It’s taking place this week and, best of all, you can make the pilgrimage yourself from the comfort of your own laptop.

Join our nine pilgrims as they begin their adventure on the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain on Saturday March 20, 2010. The Camino is an ancient path that has attracted people since the Middle Ages, for a variety of reasons: as a penance; as a chance to think and reflect on life’s big questions; to get clarity around a difficult decision. In the last 20 years there has been an extraordinary revival of interest in the pilgrimage to Santiago, particularly among young spiritual seekers. (This year an estimated quarter million pilgrims — both Christians and non-Christians — will set out from their homes, and from popular starting points across Europe.)

Each pilgrim in Busted Halo’s group is beginning this trip with different hopes for and expectations of what they will experience. (See their bios below.) Along the way they will interact with locals and fellow hikers from around the globe. They will also be encouraged by the trip’s spiritual director, Fr. Larry Rice CSP, to reflect on their reactions to the spiritual and physical challenges of the walk while moving through the Spanish countryside, and share this with one another. Beginning Saturday March 20, Busted Halo viewers will be able to follow this Camino experience via video and audio clips these pilgrims upload to us. You will be able to listen to their nightly reflections of the journey, see the sites they encounter along the way, and experience the Camino with them as they make their way on the 60-mile trek.

To give your own Lenten spiritual journey a boost, make sure you stop back here everyday— beginning this Saturday — to make your own virtual pilgrimage along with the Busted Halo nine (we’re hoping to post each day’s video/audio by 5pm EST each day but given the logistics of uploading the files on the ground in rural Spain that could change). Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to do our next Spiritual Seeker Adventure in person yourself (email editor (AT) bustedhalo DOT com with “Seeker Adventure” in the subject line for info).

Some additional Camino info:

The Camino is a 1000-year-old pilgrimage route across most of Western Europe, ending at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, where it’s believed the Apostle James is buried. The compostela is a certificate of completion given to pilgrims upon finishing the journey. To get the compostela from the cathedral, pilgrims need to walk the final 60 miles of the Camino. Pilgrims carry a document called the credencial that allows (sometimes free) overnight accommodation in refugios (hostels with beds in dormitories) along the route. The credencial is stamped with the official St. James stamp of each town or refugio where the pilgrim has stayed. In addition to providing a record of where they stayed it also serves as proof to the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago that the journey has been accomplished according to an official route.

But the point of the pilgrimage isn’t the certificate. It’s about the journey more than the destination. The Camino is a chance to explore life’s metaphorical journey, by literally putting one foot in front of another and exploring your inner landscape while you’re moving through northern Spain.

The Pilgrims:

Erin Ferrell

I have just finished my last academic quarter of veterinary college at The Ohio State University! When I return I will be entering clinics, and in June, 2011, I will graduate! I’m really looking forward to this trip for a few reasons. I’ve never been overseas before, and I’ve also never taken any kind of trip for spring break. Aside from the obvious reasons, I really hope that this trip helps me learn to better listen to God’s voice. I also feel as though school has consumed so much of my life that I need to rediscover myself. I hope that I come back from this trip exhausted! Thoroughly and totally spent… that way I can make room for all the wonderful experiences that God has waiting for me!

Mary Alestra

I am a 32-year-old attorney in New York City. When I saw the Busted Halo brochure for the El Camino trip, I immediately felt that this was something I wanted to do. I am drawn to the idea of walking the same path that pilgrims from around the world have been traveling for hundreds of years. I also am curious about what kind of impact a pilgrimage will have on my life today, in the 21st century. I have never walked such a long distance before, so completing the journey will be a huge accomplishment for me. I am open to wherever the experience leads me.

Amy Eakins

I’m a senior at Ohio State, majoring in anthropology and getting ready to go to graduate school in the fall to study primate behavior. I grew up Protestant, but I joined the Church two years ago through the OSU Newman Center’s RCIA program, and sing alto every week there at the 9pm Sunday Mass. I knew that this quarter was going to be a pretty rough and stressful one, so doing the Camino is a way for me to de-stress and recenter myself before my last quarter at OSU. After all of the late nights and nerves of the quarter, it will be nice to take this time to remember what’s really important, and to have some time apart from campus and the bustle of life to listen to whatever God has to say.

Stephen Duraney

My name is Stephen Duraney and I’m a senior at Ohio State this year, studying Russian and History. I live and serve with Saint Paul’s Outreach, a Catholic group on campus dedicated to deepening students’ faith through prayer and community. I grew up in Westerville, Ohio, and have pretty much lived in Columbus my whole life. My decision to embark on the Camino was based on the desire to see Spain from the unique perspective of a pilgrim. It will be beneficial being separated from all the daily distractions of college life and to set aside time for reflection and prayer. Going through my last few weeks of college I hope for direction and guidance from the Lord concerning what my life will be like next year. Please keep our group in your prayers!

Sam Kunkle

Hello, my name is Sam Kunkle from Toledo Ohio. I am a parishioner at St. Thomas More Newman Center in Columbus Ohio and I am a third year Grad student pursuing a Masters Degree in Architecture. I am greatly looking forward to the Camino pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. I find these trip to be a wonderful spiritual opportunity and a blessing. I am looking forward to meeting my fellow pilgrimsand being open to what the Holy Spirit has to offer.

Larry Rice

I’m a Paulist priest and the director of Catholic Campus Ministry at the St. Thomas More Newman Center at the Ohio State University. I’m also a frequent contributor to The Busted Halo Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

At Ohio State, like every American university, the question on people’s minds all winter is, “What are you doing for spring break?” And, while I’m a campus minister and not a student, it’s always a question for me, too, since my office is closed over break. This year, when I’m asked about my plans for spring break, I say, “I’m going for a walk.” A long walk. Across Northern Spain. I’ll be walking with some people I know from Ohio State, some from New York, and hundreds or thousands I haven’t met yet. I’ll be walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostella

So why am I going? I originally believed I would use the Camino to come to terms with my peripheral neuropathy, a debilitating failure of the nerves in my hands and feet that causes constant pain in my extremities. But I’ve recently been re-assigned by my religious order, the Paulists, to a new job, new responsibilities, and a new place to live. So now, as I walk I’ll be coming to terms with some significant life changes. On the Camino, and afterwards, I’ll be learning to go where the path takes me.

John Mattras

The “Pilgrimage for People Who Don’t Do Pilgrimages.” For several years, I have been assisting religious communities in running pilgrimages to traditional Catholic pilgrimage sites. In that time, I’ve often wondered, “Who will be going on pilgrimages in another 20 to 30 years?” Rich in tradition and transformative for most who go on them, I believe the notion of “pilgrimage” needs to be re-worked, if not entirely re-invented, to be relevant to Generation Xers like myself and the Millennial Generation that follows. I am looking forward to the nightly sharing sessions to see if — and if so, how — the Camino “pilgrimage,” or “un-pilgrimage,” touches each of us. I will be looking to answer questions such as, “Is ‘pilgrimage,’ a tradition worth maintaining?” “What types of experiences best speak to those of us who are more prone to identify as “Spiritual” than “Catholic?” “What new dimension can we bring to this 1,000+ year Christian tradition?” The parts I look forward to most are receiving answers I never anticipated and conjuring up questions I could not possibly have imagined.

Vincent and Margaret Callagy

I have been a real estate manager of large apt. complexes for more than 25 years here in NYC. Margaret is a Registered Dietitian providing nutritional guidance to residents of group homes and their caregivers. We are both active and prefer active vacations. We first heard about the Camino in 2004 when we saw several news clippings. We thought at the time that this would be a fascinating trip to make. So when we saw the info about this in our church bulletin it was an easy decision. We have an additional reason for making the trip as well. We have a friend (wife of one of my colleagues) who returned home to Spain about four years ago to care her for her elderly parents. Her mother has since passed and her father is over 90 with serious dementia. We have only seen Maria once in the past 4 years (when she visited NYC) and would like to visit with her and honor her family by visiting their homeland. We are hopeful for a great experience overall with some spiritual benefits.


Photo credits: P. Medina, Jule Berlin, Gustavo Andres Marin, Graham Stanley, Ruhey, Victor Nuno, Emilio el Tio Cachi, Alex Chang (Fresco Tours), Alex Kilem, MrDoS Josu, compostelavirtual.com