ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on Spain's Camino de Santiago

Updated on November 16, 2015
The Clam Shell is the Symbol of the Camino de Santiago Trail
The Clam Shell is the Symbol of the Camino de Santiago Trail | Source

If You Contemplate Walking the Camino de Santiago

This article discusses author Jane Christmas' book, What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on Spain's Camino de Santiago. The Camino de Santiago, often called simply "the Camino", is a 500 mile pilgrimage trail in northern Spain.

To elaborate on the distance, there are several approaches to the trail, each with somewhat different distances and levels of difficulty. The 500 trail is perhaps the most often used passage.

About "What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim"

In this true story, Canadian writer Jane Christmas celebrated her fiftieth birthday by leading a group of 14 women across the Camino. Or, to be more accurate, she lead her group halfway then abandoned them to their own devices when the whining and complaining got too much to bear.

Jane's misadventures make for good reading if you are simply reading for entertainment. She writes in a light-hearted and honest way, describing her personal issues, shortcomings and attitudes as she stretches her limits in this fairly grueling trek. If, like me, you are reading out of a hope to do the Camino some day, you will find her personal experiences helpful and informative. However, this book is not intended to be a guidebook and should not be used as one.

And where does the psychic fit in? Before embarking on the pilgrimage, Jane received a reading by a psychic who made a few predictions about the experience. As it turns out, the predictions were accurate.

Walking the Camino de Santiago Trail
Walking the Camino de Santiago Trail | Source

About the Camino de Santiago Trail

er -- tell me more about the Santiago, you say?

Okay, before I move on to talking about this book, the issue here is "First Things First."

The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage trail that stretches across northern Spain for approximately 500 miles (or 800 kilometers), culminating at Santiago de Compostela. Santiago de Compostela is said to be the resting place of St. James. For a thousand years, give or take, pilgrims have been making their way along this trail to pay homage to the saint. It is said that miracles happen on the Santiago.

Although initially the pilgrimage was a religious voyage, today's pilgrims walk the trail for many reasons -- physical fitness, weight loss, adventure, spiritual growth, to prove something to themselves, or "just because".

I have read this book twice. I will probably read it again before (or if) I do the Camino as intended.

Jane vs. the Camino

Jane Christmas first learned about the Camino from a Westjet flight attendant. She vowed to do the trail as a 50th birthday present to herself. When word of her intentions spread, 14 other women from various locations and walks of life contacted her and asked to come along. This proved to be Mistake Number One. Jane was ill suited to accommodate the whims and hissy fits of various women. At some point, she simply walked on and left the group to their own devices. I would have done the same!

Today's pilgrims undoubtedly have a softer time of it than the pilgrims of yore -- who dealt with such issues as exposure to the elements and death threats from warring tribal groups. As Jane discovered, the challenges of today were more irritating and inconvenient than life threatening.

Among the challenges Jane encountered were blistering heat, the need to walk across the Pyrenees on Day One, a torn fingernail, bedbugs, mislabeled trail signs, refuges with no beds, rude tourists and at one spot, wild dogs.

On the plus side, she completed the pilgrimage to her satisfaction -- and made the acquaintance of a fellow pilgrim from the UK with whom she enjoyed a romantic encounter.

It's a good book if you are even remotely interested in the Camino de Santiago trail. I recommend it.

Poll: What Jane Christmas Books Have you Read?

Have you Read any of Jane Christmas' books?

See results

Please Sign my Guestbook.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)