The Camino Frances

The Camino Frances

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Cooking With Soul at Beach United Church, Saturday November 30, 2013

Beach United Church offers lunch on Thursdays to approximately 60-70 visitors. We offer a nutritious meal and fellowship to low income, homeless friends and anyone who is hungry. Then, one Saturday a month, those who love to cook and learn get together  and cook up a storm. We taste test our creations, and then on Thursday the guests get a home cooked meal.

Last Saturday I was the guest chef, and my theme was Cooking along the Spanish Camino. There was a diverse group of church members, neighbours, friends and pilgrims who worked on the menu. We made Arroz con Pollo ( chicken with rice and tomatoes, garnished with roasted red peppers and olives)
 Ensalada Mixta ( a plated salad, with romaine, carrot, tomato, cucumber, hard boiled eggs, tuna, roasted red pepper and olives, plus bocconcini),
Caldo Gallego ( a soup from Galicia, with potatoes, rutabaga, kale and white beans, seasoned with smoked paprika), and
Arroz con Leche ( rice pudding).

We talked food, cooking, Spain, and the Camino. We shared stories, photos, recipes, and tips on how to walk the Camino. We all had a good time, including Oliver, who spent the morning in a sling on Mom and Dad, and Kingston, who came disguised as the Green Lantern. Kingston is 5.

There are pictures of past Cooking with Soul events- including me as The Frugal Chef -  on our tumblr blog -
and pictures of our cooking on Saturday on Beach United Church facebook page.

Here I am, with a big smile on my face, holding a platter of Ensalada Mixta.(photo taken by Abigail)

Buen Provecho!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wandering this fall

Since I plan to walk the Camino once again in the Spring of 2014 with my friend Wendy, I need to step up the training. I now lead walk 3 days a week. Monday and Tuesday are usually in the neighbourhood, for about an hour, and Friday is a day-long walk with pilgrims - about the length of my definition of a short day on the Camino - about 4 and a half hours of walking, ending with a lunch somewhere on the route.

On the shorter walks, I have explored Corktown Common, the Distillery, Cherry Beach, the new Rouge Park, the Necropolis, Craigleith Gardens, Chorley Park, the Brickworks, the abandoned CPR rail route up the Don Valley, Governor's Bridge and Rosedale. On all but one of these hikes, I have had friends with me.

On the longer walks with Pilgrims Practice/Progress, we have walked the Eastern Beaches, Grenadier Pond in High Park and the Humber River, the waterfront to High Park, the Toronto Islands, and the Don Valley trail to Edwards Gardens. This week we return to the Humber and walk north from Bloor.

This is a picture taken by Julie, of our walk near Wilkett Creek.

Toronto is so beautiful, and provides so many opportunities to get away from the bustle and the pavement, and so many challenges and adventures in preparation for the pilgrimage.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

The National filmed us!

The CBC wanted footage to support the research into the benefits of walking for post-menopausal women ( sorry guys) and they found our group. So last Friday, October 4, they filmed us walking on Toronto Island.
It added a new dimension to the routine of the hike, and was interesting to see the producer and camerawoman work together to get the footage.
Here is the link:

We had a great pot-luck lunch at the ferry docks on Ward's Island which we really enjoyed after walking the length of the island. After the ferry ride back to the city, we walked home, with a stop at the Europe Bound outlet. Some Sicilian ice cream  topped off a terrific day of hiking.

Next week we are off to explore another Toronto beach.

This is what the beaches looked like on Toronto Island.

Monday, September 16, 2013



I've been hiking outside Toronto for the summer.

July I was in  Fenelon Falls, hiking with assorted pilgrims and friends, and 2 regular groups in the town. There is a lovely trail along the lake, so it was comfortable even in the heat.

August I was in Kelowna with my daughter and her family, as you can see above. One day we hiked at the top of Knox Mountain. The views were spectaclar. Another day we walked the bird sanctuary along Lake Okanagan, where we saw and climbed Ogopogo.

Pilgrims Practice - the regular weekly long hikes, will start again on Sept 27.
Contact me at darmckeeatyahoodotcom for more information.

I am looking forward to long hikes, as I prepare for my next Camino in the spring.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Visiting the Keen Store

Today we walked the waterfront - from the Don River to the RC Harris water filtration plant, visited the Keen store in the Beach, where they took our picture, then lunch at the Camino Bistro on the Danforth. Next week, we walk on Thursday again (May 23), with a twist this time, so email me for directions.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Friday walk  with Pilgrims Progress

Let's build a bridge!

This Friday, May 3, we are looking for adventure on Toronto Island. Meet at 9 am,  9:10 at the bridge, and bring a  fork and a pot luck item to share for lunch. Email me for details, if you need them. Only one more Friday walk, then we move to Thursday. Last walk of the season is June 20.

This pilgrim spent some time in Leon yesterday pondering why he and the other walkers he met were doing the Camino. No definitive answers, but very thought provoking.

Buen Camino!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pilgrims' Practice

I have decided to rename the Friday group for hikers, as we will only be walking for 3 more Fridays, then switch  to Thursdays. So from now on the group will be called "Pilgrims' Practice".
 I like the alliteration, and the reference to the Canadian Company of Pilgrims.

Angela has set up her blog and is leaving at the end of the month. Here is her blog address.

This is a photo she took on our Pilgrims' Practice last Friday in Cedarvale Park - I know her photos of the Camino will be amazing and I am looking forward to following along with her adventures.
The website for her other photos is

Mike has been walking with us since January, but usually he is seated on a bike, which is how he did the Camino. He is part of a yahoo group for cyclists on the camino. Here is the link.

Here is one more blog for you, in case you were wondering what there is to do in Santiago.
Johnnie Walker, who moved to Santiago from England, blogs regularly on the Camino - he works at the Pilgrims office, and his latest post is Ten things to do in Santiago.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Camino blogs and links,and helpful hints for bedbugs

Here are some blogs from Pilgrims who recently walked the Camino.

This couple walked in January and February 2013.
One of their posts include a video of the botafumero swinging.

This couple walked in January and February with their 6 month old baby Indigo, and did a video blog.

These people are either walking now, or plan to walk in 2013.

Lise walked here in Toronto with our group, and is currently walking from outside Paris to Rome.

Annie has walked several times, and is going to walk the Via de La Plata soon.She also writes on topics like preparation for the Camino, with great illustrations.

Thom started on March 31 and is walking the Camino Frances

This woman lives along the Camino in Moritanos, and runs an unofficial albergue. She gives a wonderful view of the Camino in all seasons. 

Gordon operates Casa Banderas, just a few kms before Portomarin, and I met him in 2007, when the albergue was just a dream. I stayed there in October - the shower has to be seen to be believed. The website isn't up to date, but the stay was great


Here are some helpful preparations for bed bug deterents

Darlene:  Here are the recipes I found for discouraging bed bugs.  Please pass on to the group.

Spray:  I will blend this in a spray bottle with a little glycerine and add the water over there.  Then use as a spray on my pillow and mattress when I arrive in the albergues.  It can be sprayed on the skin as well.  Discontinue if it irritates the skin.

1 Cup Water

10 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops rosemary essential oil

10 drops eucalyptus essential oil

3 drops essential oil of clove (optional)

Bed Bug Herb Sachet 1

1 Cup dried Eucalyptus leaves

½ Cup dried rosemary

½ Cup dried lavender buds

10 Large cloves

Bed Bug Herb Sachet 2

1 Cup loose-leaf black walnut tea

½ Cup dried eucalyptus leaves

½ Cup dried lavender buds

¼ Cup dried thyme

2 Bay leaves

Trade Technocrats

130 Dynamic Drive,

Unit# 18,

Scarborough, Ontario M1V 5C9,


PHONE: TORONTO : (416) 335-3682, (905)472-0468

I found the above place lists Black Walnut tea leaves.  They also list eucalyptus leaves.  I have not yet called to inquire what a minimum order is. 

June Scott, CNHP, Reiki Master
Eden Energy Medicine Certified Practitioner
visit for scheduled classes

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On the Camino (Photo Credit: Kiwi Nomad)

Hola pilgrims and readers

The Friday walks continue in Toronto, at least until the May 24 weekend. 
Meet at 8:45 for a 9 am departure. Please email me before your first walk with us.  (darmckee AT yahoo DOT com)

On Good Friday, March 29, the walk will begin from St Aidan's Church at Queen and Silverbirch with a 11:45 gathering for a 12:00 departure. Meet at the south entrance of the church hall. You are welcome to attend the 10:30 Good Friday Service at Beach United Church, in the church hall at the south end of the building. I will be singing in the choir.
We will walk the Boardwalk and the Martin Goodman trail to the Leslie Street spit, down the spit and back, west on the Martin Goodman trail, and up the Don Valley to my place. I will be serving tea and goodies, after the walk.
Please email me in advance for this walk.

On Easter Monday, we will meet at 8:45 for a 9:00 departure, and walk the waterfront to High Park. The Grenadier Restaurant will be open for lunch.
Once again, please email in advance for this walk.

This is a link with info on the statistics from the Camino in 2012, from the Pilgrims office in Santiago.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Monday morning walk in the Don Valley

Monday morning  was iffy weather-wise, but my inclination is to head out, see what it feels like, and cut the walk short if necessary. So the group I walk with on Monday mornings headed out, and the walking was wonderful, and the landscapes were so beautiful, as you can see from this photo taken by one of our members. There is no bad walking weather, just inadequate equipment.
The Don Valley, Monday Jan 28, 2013

This photo was taken by Ann Kirkland, a pilgrim who is taking a group to Spain for a guided walk on the Camino this spring. If you are interested, here is a link to that walk.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hiking in Toronto

I'm walking regularly again - in Toronto!
Every Friday, a group comprising assorted pilgrims, prospective pilgrims, and other hikers gather at my place, and we walk out for the day. We take the Don Valley trail, have a coffee at the
Belong Cafe is a great place to take a break
We head up the
 Moore Park Ravine
to Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Then we walk the Beltline,, through Forest Hill to Cedarvale Park, then Nordheimer Ravine, and have lunch.
Home is down the Rosedale Valley road, through Wellesley Park, and Rivedale Park West and East.
Here is the City of Toronto link for most of the walk.

This is a photo of Cedarvale Park in the summer - almost as beautiful as it was today!

Email me if you would like to join us,