Modern Day Pilgrims:
Bonnie Bowler Thiel and Michelle Heyer Schanzbach
We are Early Childhood school teachers in New Orleans, Louisiana. We've been best friends for over 20 years and we have both been called to walk "The Way".
The way, also known as The Camino de Santiago, is a 500 mile pilgrimage through Northern Spain. This route leads to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of St. James are interred. This pilgrimage dates back over 1,000 years. Each year hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from all walks of life complete their journey.
Our pilgrimage will last approximately 60 days. We will begin our own personal journey in St. Jean Pied de Port, France and walk over the Pyrenees into Spain. Our daily walks will be between 12 and 20 miles and all of our essentials will be carried on our backs. We will journey to Santiago de Compostela, where we will receive our Compostela (certificate of completion) and participate in the Pilgrims’ Mass at the cathedral. After which, we will continue on to Muxia and Cape Finisterre, which is historically known as “the end of the earth”.
Ask Us Why We Walk?
- To lighten our load and lighten our burdens
- To deepen our Spirituality
- To experience something beyond the life that we live
- To share in one journey with people from all walks of life
- To live in the moment
- To go beyond our comfort zone and live life with the bare essentials
- To let the sun guide us
- To be a part of thousands of years of history
The training of our bodies and minds began over a year ago. It has consisted of 8 hour/20+mile walks, walking with weighted packs, testing out gear, researching, reading multiple stories of fellow pilgrims’ experiences, joining Camino forums, asking questions, and LOTS of self reflection.
If you would like to share in our journey, please donate to our fundraiser and follow our updates. Any contribution, big or small, is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions about donating or our journey, please email us at [email protected].
Breakdown of Funds For ONE Pilgrim: $6,000
- Travel Insurance: $200
- Food-Pilgrim meals/60 days: $900
- Shelter-Albergues (hostels) & hotels/60 days: $2,100
- Incidentals: $500
Hiking boots: $140
Sleep sack: $50
Sleeping bag: $60
Hiking fanny pack: $50
Money belt: $50
Weatherproof document case: $30
Walking Stick: $50-$100