Pilgrimage on foot from California to Santiago de Compostela


Does any link exist between California and the Camino?

A recent and ever growing American flow of pilgrims embarks on the Camino Frances in the Pyrenees. From spring till fall, over seventy pilgrims arrive every month from the United States to start in Saint-Jean Pied-de-Port or from Roncesvalles.

While browsing the Web I found the church of Santiago de Compostela in Lake Forest, south of Los Angeles CA. Outside there is a cross made of stone imported from Galicia, the first of its kind in the US. What better point of departure to trace a road all the way to the Camino to Santiago.

History walked all the way to California. Let's walk on the way back.

Guided by the experience of long distance walkers and by the one of American pilgrims, by the discussion list on Santiago hosted by University California Los Angeles, as well as by the Association of the Friends of Santiago in Lake Forest, I have imagined an itinary that would lead from the Pacific Ocean all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, then, in Europe, until Santiago de Compostela, from Marsilly on the Atlantic coast of France, and entering Spain through Roncevalles.

My American itinary: Lake Forest, CA to New Orleans, LA , 2185 miles



Point of departure: Santiago de Compostela Catholic Church Lake Forest to the south of Los Angeles, then walk in a N-E direction, towards Rancho Cucamonga and then the Mojave Desert, follow the historical " Route 66" Los Angeles-Chicago, Flagstaff, after Holbrook AZ, follow a S-E direction towards New Mexico, reach the Mission San Miguel in Socorro, cross the Rio Grande, go across Texas, San Angelo, Austin, Orange and then the Cajun country, west of Mississippi in Louisiana, Basile, Ville Platte and reach Cathedral St Louis in New Orleans, point of arrival and of departure towards the Camino in France.


My European itinary: Marsilly, France to Santiago de Compostela, 815 miles

St Peter Church Marsilly, XIV c.

Marsilly - Santiago

Two days to reach Saintes and the Road of Tours, then go down south to the Basque country, meet the Road from Vezelay in La Rèole (East of Bordeaux), then further along, in Ostabat, meet the Road from Le Puy, Saint Jean-de-Pied-de-Port go across the Pyrénées and then straight to theWest, from Roncesvalles on the Camino Frances.

Cities and Catholic Churches on the American Road to Compostela

* shows where I've my Credential (pilgrim passport) stamped. 

Californie - 13 days (March: 14-26)

Diocese of Orange: Sunday 14th March, 1999 depature by foot from Santiago de Compostela Catholic Church *, Lake Forest.

Diocese of San Bernadino: Corona - Sacred Heart Catholic Church*, Rancho Cucamonga - Devore - Holy Innocents Catholic Church, Victorville - St Joseph Catholic Church, Barstow - Daggett - Newberry Springs - Fort Cady rd - Ludlow - Bagdad - Amboy - Chambless - Dandy - Essex - Fenner - Goffs - Java - Saint Ann's Catholic Church, Needles -

Arizona - 17 days (March 27, April 12)

Diocese of Phoenix: Oatman - Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Kingman - Hackberry - Truxton - Peach Springs - Saint Francis Catholic Church, Seligman - Ash fork - St Joseph Catholic Church, Williams - Bellemont - San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church*, Flagstaff -

Diocese of Gallup (NM): St Joseph Catholic Church, Winslow - Holbrook - St John's Catholic Church*, St Johns - St Peter's Church, Springerville -

New Mexico - 19 days (April 13 May 1)

Diocese of Gallup: Red Hill - Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Quemado -

Diocese of Santa Fe: Pie Town - Datil - Magdalena - Mission San Miguel *, Socorro -

Diocese of Las Cruces: San Antonio - Santa Rita Catholic Church, Carrizozo - Sacred Heart Mission, Capitan - San Juan Mission, Lincoln - Hondo - St Joseph Mission, Picacho - St Peter Catholic Church*, Roswell - Immaculate Conception, Dexter - Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission, Lake Arthur - Our Lady of Grace, Artesia - Riverside - Loco Hills - Santa Helena Catholic Church*, Hobbs -

Texas - 27 days (May 2 - May 28)

Diocese of Lubbock: St James Catholic Church, Seminole - Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lamesa -

Diocese of San Angelo: Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Big Spring - Sterling City - St Joseph Church*, San Angelo - Cathedral Church of the Sacred Heart*, San Angelo - Wall - St Charles Catholic Church, Eden - St Patrick's Church, Brady - Voca -

Diocese of Austin: Pontotoc - Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Llano - Buchana - Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church*, Burnet - Learder - Cedar Park - University Catholic of Texas St Edwards, Austin - Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Elgin - Palger - St Margaret's Church, Giddings - Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Brenham -

Diocese of Galveston & Houston: Christ Our Light Catholic Church, Navasota - Sacred Heart Parish, Conroe -

Diocese of Beaumont: St Mary's Catholic Church, Cleveland - Moss Hill - Our Lady of Victory Church*, Sour Lake - Bevil - Sainte Anne Church*, Beaumont - Our Lady of Lourdes*, Vidor - St Mary Catholic Church*, Orange -

Louisiana - 14 days (Mai 29 - June 11)

Diocese of Lake Charles: St Joseph's Church, Vinton - St Therese Catholic Church, Sulphur - Immaculate Conception Cathedral*, Lake Charles - St Raphael Church, Iowa - St Philip Neri Catholic Church, Kinder -

Diocese of Lafayette: St Paul's Catholic Church, Elton - St Augustin Catholic Church*, Basile - St Anthony C. C., Eunice - Chataignier - Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church*, Ville Platte - St Landry Catholic Church, Opelousas - St Charles Church, Grand Coteau - Sunset - Cathedral of St John the Evangelist*, Lafayette - Broussard -Cade - St Peter's *, New Iberia - Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Janerette - Church of The Assumption, Franklin - Centerville -

Diocese of Houma & Thibodaux: Berwick - Holly Cross Church, Morgan City - St Patrick's Catholic Church, Gibson - Cathedral of St Francis de Sales*, Houma - St Hilary of Poitiers Church, Raceland -

Archdiocese of New Orleans: Des Allemands - Paradis - Cathedral Saint Louis*, New Orleans.

France - 14 days (Sept 20 - Oct 3)

Diocese of La Rochelle: Monday Sept. 20, St Pierre Church*, Marsilly - St Laurent Church, Ste Soulle - St Coux - Fontpatour - La Martiniere, Virson, Chambon, Notre Dame de Surgeres*, Surgeres - St Loup - Landes - Bignay - Church of the Assumption, Fenioux* - Annepont - Taillebourg - Basillique St Eutrope* Saintes - La Jard - St Martin Church*, Pons - St Genis de Saintonge - Mirambeau - Petit Niort - Le Pas-des-Fenetres -

Diocese of Bordeaux: Reignac - St Savin - Cavignac - Bernon - Galgon - Les Billaux- Libourne - St Sulpice de Faleyrens - St Jean de Blaignac - Rauzan - Sauveterre de Guyenne* - St Pierre church, La Reole - Pondaurat - Auros - Cathedral St Jean*, Bazas - Captieux -

Diocese of Aire-Dax:: Retjons* - Chapel St Jacques*, Roquefort - Mont-de-Marsan - St Sever - Abbaye Notre Dame de Saint Eustase*, Eyres Moncube - Hagetmau -

Diocese of Bayonne: Sault de Navailles - Sallespisse - Monastere Ste Claire*, Orthez - Hopital d'Orion - Sauveterre de Bearn - Zabalik Maison Franciscaine *, St Palais - Ostabat - Galzetaburu - St Jean le Vieux - Our Lady Church, St Jean-Pied-de-Port* - Col de Bentarte - Pte de Ibaneta - Roncevaux.

Spain - 21 days (Oct. 4 - Oct. 24)

Colegiata de Roncevalles*, Roncevalles - Arre* - Eglesia de Crucifijo, Puente la Reina* - Villamayor de Monjardin* - Viana* - Eglesia San Miguel, Najera*- Eglesia Santa Maria, Belorado* - Olmos de Altapuerca* -

Tardajo* - Castrojeriz* - Eglesia Santiago, Carrios de los Condes* - Sahagun* - Mansilla de las Mulas* - Villar de Mazarife* - Eglesia San Francisco, Astorga* -

Molinaseca* - Villafranca del Bierzo* - Eglesia San Giraldo de Aurillac, El Cebreiro* - Eglesia Santa Maria, Sarria* - Eglesia San Tiso de Palas de Rei, Palas de Rey* - Arca* - Iglesia Metropolitana de Santiago de Compostela*, Santiago de Compostela -


News on the road

Monday April 12, Sacred Heart Catholic Church Bulletin, Rancho Cucamonga, CA:

... a French pilgrim knocked on the church door .... Fr. Steve made arrangements for him to spend the night ...

Friday May 28, Beaumont Enterprise, Texas newspaper:

"Walkin' to New Orleans"

Patrick Dazelle from Marsilly France was just passing through Beaumont thursday morning on Calder Avenue ...

Friday June 11, Ville Platte parish's bulletin, LA:

On Wednesday, June 2, 1999, I was most honored as the Pastor of Sacred Heart Church to stamp the pilgrim passport of Patrick Dazelle. He is walking on pilgrimage to St. James Shrine in Santiago de Compostela, Spain...

Sunday June 13, New Orleans:

Bishop Dominic Carmon of New Orleans signed my credential

Friday June 18, the Saddleback Valley News, California:

Some churchgoers at Santiago de Compostela Catholic Church, in Lake Forest have found inspiration overseas. A handful of locals who attend the church have spent the last few months walking the 2100 miles pilgrimage of P. Dazelle from Lake Forest to New Orleans ... he follows in footsteps of thousands of Catholics, mainly those in Europe, who often go on religious pilgrimages ... A few churchgoers walked with P. Dazelle on the first leg of this walk - to Cook's Corner. From there, they watched him continue his trip to New Orleans.

Friday October 1, Courrier Français, French newspaper: 

"On the road again"

Patrick Dazelle from Marsilly has initialized the "American Road to Compostela". At the moment he walks in Charente-Maritime to end his pilgrimage, started in Los Angeles on March 1999.

Sunday October 24, 1999:

at noon, I went in the Cathedral

Tuesday October 26, Galician's newspaper, Spain, El Correo Gallego headlines:

"Un peregrino abre la Ruta desde Los Angeles"
El frances Patrick Dazelle ... primer peregrino que llega a Santiago desde Los Angeles, en Estados Unidos, con un recorrido de mas de 4800 kilometros que incluyo el Camino de Santiago desde Francia hasta la capital gallega.


Michelin's Maps

n° 492 Southeastern USA

n° 493 Western USA

n° 71 1/200 000 La Rochelle Bordeaux

n° 234 1/200 000 Aquitaine

n° 442 1/400 000 Espagne Nord, Roncevaux - Leon

n° 441 1/400 000 Espagne Nord Ouest, Leon - Santiago



Peregrinos a Santiago Author: María Merino

Estas historias son reales, y ofrecen un amplio panorama de testimonios y vivencias de las personas que hacen el Camino. La autora los ha plasmado en este libro cálido e intenso. Una voz imaginaria que sirve de narrador, el Maestro Mateo, a quien se considera autor de la catedral de Santiago, contribuye a presentar esas historias reales en un estilo casi novelado, y muy atrayente.

Publisher: Rialp Cód.: 117037 ISBN: 84321-3389.2 14,5 X 21,5 cms. 288 págs. Rústica Price: € 12,50