Luis: My Camino Guide & Shepherd

Cape Finisterre, Galicia Spain | Marissa Ward
Cape Finisterre, Galicia Spain | Marissa Ward

Luis: My Camino Guide & Shepherd

At UTracks, we know the value of a great guide. Far better than any guidebook, a local guide not only helps travellers navigate Europe's trails but they also reveal the cultural quirks of their homeland as well.
In this heartfelt review from Di Galvan, she reminds us how a guide adds to the overall experience. Di joined a group of like-minded travellers to walk from Sarria to Santiago in October. Part traveller tale, part recommendation, Di wanted to share a beautiful message with UTracks' Active Travel Community.
Over to you, Di.

There are as many unique reasons to walk the Camino, as there are peregrinos (pilgrims). Mine was to honor my husband Roy’s beautiful life after his passing in 2022 and our extraordinary marriage together.

The experience of completing the Camino was epic and life-changing for me; transformative. I would have never finished it, had it not been for the inspiration of my fellow peregrinos, friendships formed during my journey, who include our brilliant guide, Luis. 
Camino signpost on the Way |  <i>Dana Garofani</i>

I can speak from personal experience that my Camino venture was enriched by the knowledge, compassion and leadership of our guide. He went above and beyond to make each of us feel like we were part of a team and safe, as we traversed the 115 km to Santiago de Compostela from Sarria. 

Luis has been a Camino guide for almost two decades, having walked it hundreds of times. He knew every rocky incline, steep decline, turn, creek, and always maintained his professionalism throughout the entire hike. Luis observed each of our hiking skill levels early on and ensured that each of us was able to get through the day, at a healthy pace. 
Colourful signs as we leave Portomarin on the Camino Trail |  <i>Edwina Parsons</i>

We were severely affected by torrential rain and gale winds in the hills of northern Spain, as we made our trek to Compostela, and not once did I feel unsafe, due to our guide’s exceptional hiking abilities. Luis was called a “Shepherd” by some of my cohorts, as he carefully maneuvered us out of forests and hills to each town and finally to the Cathedral. 
Along the way, our guide provided us with interesting historical facts and showed us Celtic ruins at one of the highest points of the Camino path. He also made “spot on” recommendations of local delicacies to try during our lunch time. 
Pilgrims eating lunch on the Via Francigena |  <i>Tim Charody</i>

As, I mentioned, Luis went above and beyond during our hike. At lunch on the day before arriving in Santiago, he surprised us all with a serenade of beautiful Celtic music on his bagpipes! This in my opinion earned him the highest rating of any guide that I have ever met in my many years of travel. He is a talented musician and treated us to several regional songs that brought tears to my eyes and touched my heart. It was a wonderful way to end a long journey to Compostela. 

If you would like a truly memorable and unforgettable Camino experience, go on a UTracks journey. Your Camino will be forever imprinted in your heart, as it is in mine. Buen Camino! - Di Galvan. San Antonio, Texas.


Find your Camino


Have you been moved by Di's message? Do you have a favourite guide who's led you somewhere? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Camino, Camino Guide, Camino de Santiago, Sarria to Santiago, Guided Camino Tour, Guide Review

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