20 best GIFTS for WELLNESS and to say GET WELL SOON

Wellness symbols are important

Welcome to feeling great again . . with wellness symbol gifts to help people to get well soon, or just to make someone feel better and more healthy

Wellness symbol gifts are popular at the moment because of the world health or medical care crisis. But what type of present makes the best wellness gift for wellbeing to make someone like me feel better, healthier and well – or as a gift to a friend to say Get Well Soon?

Help people Get Well Soon
Help people get well soon with a gift for wellness

SEE examples of Gifts to wish Good Health and Wellness in our SHOP

Here is a list of 20 of our best gifts for Wellness to say Get Well Soon and/or Be Healthy and Well:

  • 1) Leather bracelet for Wellness: A unique piece of jewellery said to offer protection and wellbeing: Wellness symbols are common in Get Well Soon gifts and this bracelet features the Indalo symbol of wellness and protection – one of the best gifts for wellness. It could be the perfect gift to wish someone protection and good health. Encourage friends and loved ones to be lucky and healthy by sending them this meaningful present: A constant reminder to live life to the full, but conscious of healthy living and wellness.
Indalo bracelets for wellness
Indalo bracelet
  • 2) Indalo Man necklace for wellness and luck: Another Indalo-based product: The Indalo has long been a symbol of protection from all things bad – including things that affect a person’s health and prosperity. So help friends and loved-ones have good luck and wellbeing with this magical lucky charm protection necklace.
Indalo Man for wellness and luck
Another Indalo-based wellness gift

But what are health and wellness symbols?

There are a number of wellness symbols from various cultures around the world. Some are rooted in history, others relate to culture, religion and beliefs.

The Christian faith is a good example of this with faith charms like the Latin Cross being relied on many people to help protect them from adversity (and bad health):

  • 3) Circle of light cross necklace to say Take Care: A gift for protection which would be an ideal gift to say Take Care and Be Safe because it is a symbol of faith. Indeed, the Christian cross faith charm is well-known as a wellness symbol, from a faith point of view. This one is encircled in sparkling crystals and so makes a lovely gift to pass on your sentiments of concern to your friends and loved-ones – especially those about to embark on something new, challenging or risky, or those who are suffering from sickness or ill health at the moment. With the presence of the Christian cross inside the circle, and the religious faith that it might represent, this faith charm can act as a reminder to be careful and to pass on your message to Take Care. So this necklace would make an ideal gift to make someone feel better and a wonderful gift for wellness to give to a friend / colleague / loved-one – especially one with Christian beliefs who is perhaps having to go into hospital for an operation, or just feeling a bit under the weather at the moment.
Cross necklace to say Take Care

What wellness symbol is the best?

We have looked all over the world for the best wellness symbol – and few come close to that of the Indalo figure. For example:

– The Lotus flower: In reality this is a symbol of enlightenment, of Buddhism, of reincarnation and re-birth.
– The Hamsa Hand of Fatima is definitely a symbol of protection although it tends to be centred around the beliefs of Middle East cultures.
– Yin-Yang: Rooted in Chinese philosophy, this tends to reflect balance in life overall.
– The Tree of Life shows that each of us is part of something bigger, and is a symbol of unity which concerns development, growth and connection rather than wellness.

When one considers all the above, it is plain to see why the Indalo is considered one of the best symbols of Wellness:

  • 4) Indalo Man necklace for health and wellbeing – steel: This would make a unique gift to inspire good fortune and wellness. The Indalo is known for its qualities of protection from all things that affect a person’s health and prosperity. So with this necklace, you can inspire your friends and family to be healthy and well. This is especially true in these difficult times with more people than normal ending up in hospital where patients are probably feeling a bit lonely. So with this gift you can ensure they know that you are there for them: It makes an ideal present to wish protection and wellbeing.
Indalo Man for health and wellbeing
  • 5) Wellness bracelet: A gift of jewellery to wish luck and good health, helping someone feel good (or better about themselves if they are feeling ill, sick or under the weather). It features the Indalo which is considered a special good luck charm to bring prosperity and good health so perhaps you can help your friends or loved-ones feel better and well by sending them this meaningful present – a gift for wellness. Do you know someone who needs to feel a bit more healthy at the moment? Show them you care with this vibrant leather bracelet . . it makes a thoughtful gift for someone with any form of sickness or illness.
Wellness bracelet ft Indalo

Gift to help someone feel good or better

  • 6) Health-shield necklace with shell: You could gift this Health-Shield necklace to inspire your friends and loved-ones to live more healthily each day: It makes a powerful gift of faith as a wellness symbol to say Stay Healthy and so it is an ideal way to wish someone good health and perhaps help them feel better about themselves.
Health shield gift

So what is a good wellness gift?

Once again, we return to the Indalo:

  • 7) Indalo stud earrings ~ silver with zirconita for wellness: These delightful little sterling-silver-and-zirconium stud earrings make an ideal gift for wellness: They feature the Indalo symbol of protection, good fortune and wellness – enabling you to pass on the spirit of luck and good health to the person you are trying to comfort.
Indalos earrings for wellness

Gifts to make someone feel better?

Encourage your friends and loved-ones to be confident, lucky and well.

Give them something which combines features of protection and good fortune:

  • 8)) Indalo earrings ~ a jewellery gift for luck, protection + health: This would be an ideal gift for someone travelling, starting something new, or facing a challenge (even retiring), to help make them feel more positive. With the accompanying information card (optionally available with all our gifts) it is an easy way to show someone that you really care about their wellbeing.
Indalo earrings for health and protection
  • 9) Cross necklace to say Take Care: This would make a lovely gift of faith for someone with Catholic / Christian beliefs . . sent with love, offering protection and wellbeing and making sure that someone knows you are there for them in their time of need or worry. The heart and cross combination makes it a truly meaningful way to pass on your sentiments of concern to your friends and loved-ones – especially those about to embark on something new or challenging, or to those who are possibly feeling a bit unwell at the moment. The combination of the heart with the Christian cross, and the religious faith that it represents, can act as a Get Well Soon present for someone who is not feeling great at the moment, or perhaps having to go to the Doctors – or Hospital for an operation.
Take Care with this Cross necklace

And something to make ME feel better . . personally?

  • 10) Angel wings + heart necklace for protection: A Guardian Angel is said to help watch over people, and give them a feeling of protection and wellness. So this could be perfect for someone with an illness and to help make people feel better. The caring Angel Wings signify protection and safekeeping: The tiny enclosed heart is an added bonus delineating love; and so this is also a great way to pass on your feelings of concern and well-being to a friend or loved-one.
Angel wings for protection

How can I feel better personally?

  • 11 Christian cross in circle necklace for care and guidance: For Christian believers, the cross is said to pass on confidence and wellness – offering both protection and wellbeing: And this one features a tiny cut-out heart in the circle for love. The combination of a heart with the Christian cross in this necklace, and the religious faith that it represents, means that it could be a source of comfort for someone who is unwell at the moment: The heart and cross combination also makes an ideal present too – a gift of faith to pass on your sentiments of concern to your friends and loved-ones – especially those who are feeling a bit grotty or unwell. It is the ideal gift of faith . . sent with love, offering protection and wellbeing, making sure that the recipient knows you are there for them and caring about them.
Christian cross in circle necklace for care and guidance

Gift to wish someone well

  • 12) Indalo wellness bracelet, leather: This bracelet is said to offer protection, wellness and good fortune – particularly for someone who is not feeling themselves at the moment, lacking in positiveness, or unwell. Do you know someone who needs to feel a bit more positive and healthy at the moment? Show them you care with this special leather bracelet.
Leather Indalo wellness bracelet
  • 13) Shamballa bracelet of Indian agate for wellness: In these strange times when we can’t even see our sick friends and family, a gift is a special way to show them that they are in your thoughts. And this meaningful present (being a combination of protection and wellness symbols) would be an ideal gift for wellness, implying tranquility, inner strength and protection: Shamballa is said to impart peace and calm when someone is facing new challenges, and maybe shield them from stress (and the illness this can cause).
Indalo and Shamballa for wellness
  • 14) Indalo Man earrings ~ gold-filled, dancing for health: Gift the spirit of good luck and wellness with these delightful gold-filled earrings which feature the Indalo – a symbol of protection and good fortune, and an ideal Get Well Soon present. People in hospital or even unwell at home can feel pretty lonely: These earrings would make a lovely gift to show them that they are not alone and that you are thinking about them – and that you care about their wellbeing, so they can feel as comfortable as possible during their recovery.
Indalo Man earrings for health protection

A Get Well Soon gift with meaning

  • 15) Lourdes water jewellery ~ shark’s tooth necklace: This necklace would make an ideal gift for hope and faith and a great gift for wellness. The small pendant contains water from Lourdes – said to heal the body and soul and help with people’s health and wellbeing. This could be perfect for someone who is feeling sick or under the weather at the moment . . or perhaps just a bit down after bad news from the doctor. Many believe that Lourdes water imparts a feeling of wholeness and calmness – especially in bad times of illness and despair. And with this necklace, you could help share this belief with the people you are close to, wishing them to overcome their medical problems and get well soon: A great gift to wish someone well.
Lourdes water necklace
  • 16) Lucky Jade necklace for wellness: This is a wellness gift with a difference, combining the protective wellness symbol of the Indalo with the supposed energy-giving qualities of Jade to make a lovely Get Well gift. Jade is well-known in the East as the gemstone of “eternity, longevity, and energy”. Jade is said to increase body strength and was worshiped in times gone by for its life-extending powers. This would make the perfect present to encourage health and good fortune: A gift for wellness; a gift of love; and a gift to say Get Well Soon.
Indalo with Jade for Wellness
  • 17) Indalo mojo ~ silver Indalo pendant, for protection + health: When you are unwell and/or recovering at home it can be stressful. So this charming pendant for luck and protection would make a welcome present to say I’m thinking of you and Take Care . . a unique gift to make someone feel better. It is the ideal present for any special event or occasion, or to show someone you are thinking about them and their wellness.
Indalo pendant for protection and health

Gifts of caring for people who are unwell, not themselves, tired, lethargic and lacking in energy at the moment

Carnelian jewellery set
  • 19) Sodalite bracelet with gold-filled Indalo for wellness: This unique item of jewelry is said to instil feelings of calm . . and good health. Do you know someone who could do with a more calm and tranquil approach to life’s current challenges, and some better health and good fortune? Give them your support with this beautiful Sodalite and Indalo bracelet and perhaps help them feel more happy and content.
Sodalite and Indalo for wellness
  • 20) Our final recommendation is one of common observation: Symbols of protection have been used to promise wellness and good health for centuries – from those of the Native Indian tribes of North America to the Ancient Greeks; from the Middle Eastern and Egyptian priests to the revered healers of Europe: And, over the years, many of these symbols have evolved into wellness symbols which are said to have powers to help heal sick people. But one mustn’t forget the so-called Placebo Effect which has a strong influence on wellness. However, isn’t the Placebo Effect just another manifestation of the principle of faith upon which these wellness symbols rely . . whatever religion or spiritual beliefs someone may have?

SEE examples of Gifts to wish Good Health and Wellness in our SHOP

GIFTS for people who MISS TRAVELLING or planning Camino trip

People miss travelling

Here are 15 gifts for people who hope to travel, especially someone planning a Camino trip or other journey they want to go on

Do you want to travel on a trip, adventure or holiday? Are you (or people you know) stuck at home and missing travelling?

See our SHOP for a selection of travel gifts to keep the dream alive and inspire someone’s next journey, or to find a gift for someone planning a Camino trip, or for people who miss travelling in general.

Bracelet gifts for people who love travel

Travelling has become difficult, if not impossible for many people. So we have selected some gifts for someone who wants to travel – but can’t. Because they are unable to take a trip, travel lovers might appreciate a small present to help ease their travel withdrawal symptoms and give them faith that their adventure or journey could still occur . . a small gift to help them achieve their travel goals. This could be spiritual or religious jewellery, for example, or simply a little present to express what you feel and to wish them safe travels in the future.

Travel gifts are particularly poignant at the moment – especially for people who yearn to do the Camino de Santiago in Spain but have been restrained by all the international lockdown restrictions that have made their dream journey fade away.

Without doubt, traveling will be a bit different (or non-existent) for the foreseeable future because of the pandemic but that doesn’t mean that you or your friends / loved-ones should lose sight of dreams and the travel wanderlust.

Gifts for travelers stuck at home: Wish them luck!

We have selected 15 of the best gifts for people who miss travelling and yet still hope to travel in the future (soon!) even though they are unable to travel at the moment. Wish them luck! so they can maintain their hopes of travelling – along with a little travel memento to help ease their travel withdrawal symptoms:

If you haven’t travelled anywhere at all this year, you will obviously be missing the joy and adventure of travel. But it seems that all we can do is reminisce about memorable trips of the past and continue to make plans for future travel if (and when) we are allowed 😉

Camino inspired gifts for fans of Camino

A little travel gift, if carefully chosen, can pass on your message of condolences for lack of travel – as well as hope to a friend or loved-one for future journeys and adventures. Here are a few Camino gifts for fans of El Camino . . The Way of Saint James:

Gifts for people who miss travelling

Whilst gifting someone something that they can use on their next getaway might be a bit brash at the moment, we recommend sending them something that reminds them of a trip from the past, and which will give them the confidence to believe it will happen again. For example:

Vaccinations / certificates / passports

So you can see that, for a friend or family member who is missing their travel injection to cure their travel bug, we have assembled a range of gifts that are aimed at perpetuating the travel dream for those people who miss travelling:

Finally however, it should be noted that in present times, a Vaccine Certificate might be the best gift of all – but sadly, we don’t sell those 😉

VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT ideas for CHRISTIANS

Valentines Day gift for a Christian

Is it possible to have Christian Valentine’s Gifts, that is, Valentines Day gifts – for a Christian?

We think so, and in our SHOP we have a few VALENTINE’S DAY GIFTS of jewellery combining themes of both Love and Christianity – in particular, Crosses with Hearts, but also Love-Lock-Key jewellery, Friendship jewellery, etc. as well as the ‘Love’ or ‘Romance’ gemstones of Garnet, Rose Quartz, Jade and Moonstone combined with a Christian symbol. Any of these can given as a Valentine’s present that has Christian overtones or significance.

Christain Valentines gift

But don’t some Christians believe that Valentines Day is a ‘pagan’ festival?

It is true that, whilst the origin of Valentine’s Day has ‘connections’ to Christianity, there are those that say that it actually originated in the Roman festival of Lupercalia. This was a fertility festival around February that honoured the Roman gods of Juno (goddess of marriage and women), Pan (god of nature), as well as Faunus, Romulus, and Remus. Others say that Valentine was a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, who was executed for preaching the love of God.

But the essence of Christianity is said to be Love and the doctrine of Saint Valentine was to embrace love, to show love and to preach love. Hatred was to be discouraged. And for this reason alone (if any reason is actually needed), St Valentine’s Day can be celebrated as a time to show our love (usually for someone in a romantic way) or even rekindle it.

So, despite the fact that a few Christians think that Saint Valentine is to be shunned, many, many more think that the expression of love is more important and, by combining love and Christian symbols in our jewellery, we are able to offer Valentine’s Day Gifts for Christians.

See some Christian VALENTINES DAY GIFT IDEAS in our SHOP

If you really appreciate someone who happens to be of the Christian faith, why not let them know – with one of our inspirational gifts for Valentine’s Day

Around this time of year we see that “love is in the air”, hearts are everywhere (mostly red – although heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are very popular), and flowers are ordered for those with more romantic Valentine’s Day gift ideas. People also have a bit of fun with their Valentines Day presents.

But many of these things, particularly flowers and chocolates, don’t last that long. So why not consider something a bit more persistent, enduring and lasting . . like Valentine Jewellery – meaningful jewellery for girlfriends, boyfriends, sweethearts, husbands, wives . . and friends.

But kind words are important too, and so we have made it possible for customers to add a personal message to each of our gifts, which we then print on one of our gift cards.

Gem Stones for luck in love?

Something else that might be of interest: We are the Good Luck Gift shop – so why not take a look in our store for a gift that might actually help you get lucky in love yourself! For example, some gemstones are said to actually attract love! In particular, Garnet, Rose Quartz and Jade are very popular. And it is also said that if you place a Moonstone under your pillow at night, you will dream of your loved-one!

A Christian prayer for Saint Valentine’s Day goes something like this:

“God bless you on this special day, God keep you in His care, and may His blessing and His love go with you everywhere”

And in the Bible (Corinthians), it mentions Faith, Hope and Love – saying that the greatest of these is Love. So let’s commemorate love on Saint Valentine Day and remember that, as the saying goes: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

In popular culture, the heart signifies love: And we have quite a lot of HEART JEWELLERY in our Store

The heart is symbolic of our spiritual and emotional core because the heart is thought to be the seat of the human soul: A piece of heart jewellery depicts love, as well as commitment, passion and longing.

Another example of Saint Valentine’s jewellery isthe so-called lock and key jewellery, or the love lock necklace – whereby a lock and key is combined into a charm and used to signify a secured (and sometimes, secret) love connection: One half of the lock-and-key set is kept by each partner to maintain a feeling of connection – even when both partners are (or have to be) physically apart. Heart, lock and key jewellery is very powerful symbolically: Give a friend or loved-one a piece of lock and key jewellery, and it means you are gifting them a piece of your fidelity. In this way, you wish (and hopefully, will get) the key to their heart in return. Indeed, a key gifted to a loved-one is said to signify that you are actually holding the key to their heart.

And what about love jewellery in general? Do love charms actually work?

Love charms can be traced back to the ancient world of Egypt, Greece and Rome. Common Anglo Saxon love charms included rings, flowers (such as red roses, and lilies), a lock of hair – especially when braided into a circle and kept in locket; dove feathers . . and love jewellery.

Wearing a piece of love jewellery is said to make someone feel more desirable – at least in their own mind. Many women in Ancient Greece used love jewellery as well as spells as a form of therapy. Regardless of whether the spells actually worked, it made them feel more comfortable and it made them feel as if they had some control over their lives.

We hope that our Love Jewellery works in the same way, not only as the ideal gift, but also as something for yourself . . to perhaps help you to find true love with the special person or friend in your life. Our pieces of love jewellery worn in a noticeable manner, may well work in this respect. They are objects that represent a desired change or outcome, and the charm focuses the mind to help you get what you want.

We stock a great deal of Concha Shell jewellery too: The concha shell has a long association with love.

Indeed, the principal symbol of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, is the shell. Over thousands of years, gods and goddesses from different cultures have displayed concha shells as symbols of romance and love.

But whatever your beliefs, Saint Valentine is still the the patron saint of love and, every year on 14th February, people celebrate this day by sending gifts of love and affection to partners and friends.

STAY WELL GIFTS – KEEP HEALTHY, SAFE and KEEP the DREAM

Stay well keep healthy and safe

With the spread of Coronavirus, some people are cancelling journeys and others are looking for ways to pass on their best wishes to friends, relatives and work colleagues to say look after yourself, stay healthy and safe, and keep the dream alive

As a good luck gift shop, we have decided to highlight some of the  gifts  that we have in our online shop to support this idea. We are aware that this could be labelled as jumping on the bandwagon, but the reality is that we already have a lot of saddened and downhearted customers – those who had planned and prepared, for example, to walk Spain’s famous Camino de Santiago, and who are now confined at home instead. A simple little gift to people like this who are suffering disappointment cannot be a bad thing – and in fact, we would encourage it as a means of offering support . . which is, after all, what the Indalo Camino Good Luck Gift shop is all about.

Stay healthy wishes

“Stay healthy and safe” seems to be the massage of the moment with Coronavirus spreading worldwide, and people are understandably concerned about the welfare of their friends and loved-ones.

However, the approach of how to deal with this virus varies around the globe. Spain, for example has adopted the “Italian” approach – lock everyone up until it has “gone away”. In the USA, there is a rapidly developing situation: At the current time, the policy seems to be one of “checks and balances”.

But in the United Kingdom, things are, at the moment, a bit different: The UK wants the population to acquire “herd immunity”. Robert Peston, working for ITV writes: Herd immunity is what happens to a group of people or animals when they develop sufficient antibodies to be resistant to a disease. The strategy of the British government is to allow the virus to pass through the entire population so that we acquire this herd immunity, but at a much delayed speed so that those who suffer the most acute symptoms are able to receive the medical support they need. In this way, the health service is not overwhelmed by the number of cases it has to treat at any one time.

This seems like sound advice (based on scientific principles). As the World Health Organisation has conceded, there is no way now of preventing the virus sweeping across the globe. Mr Peston says that the kind of coercive measures employed by China in Wuhan and Hubei have simply locked the virus behind closed doors. As soon as the constraints on freedom of movement, etc, are lifted, the virus will return again.

School closures? Take care

School closures and the banning of mass events like football matches are not particularly recommended. It is argued that children themselves are the least at risk from the virus and, by closing schools they may become a channel of infection to older carers such as Grandparents. The UK government adds that this policy would massively deplete the manpower of hospitals and care homes, because vast numbers of medical staff would be forced to stay at home to look after their children.

Although the policy of keeping schools open has been labelled as “risky” by some experts, Professor Ian Donald, University of Liverpool, says UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for the outbreak is based on the idea that low-risk people are actually meant to catch the virus. When enough people have this immunity it eventually limits the spread of the virus as it has fewer places to go. The population overall is then safe because it has an inherent immunity to it. He is quoted as saying: “The UK starting assumption is that a high number of the population will inevitably get infected whatever is done – up to 80%. As you can’t stop it, it is best to manage it.” Writing in the Daily Record, Tim McNulty reports that the aim of the UK is to have as many lower risk people infected as possible. Immune people cannot infect others; the more there are, then the lower the risk of infection. That’s herd immunity.

The Italian strategy is to stop as much infection as possible – or all infection. This is appealing, but then what? The restrictions are not sustainable. So they will need to be relaxed at some time. But that will lead to re-emergence of infections and climbing rates again. This is not a sustainable model and takes much longer to achieve an immune population.

Take care of yourself

At present, National Health Service England simply advises people to stay at home for seven days if they have Coronavirus symptoms such as a high temperature and/or a new, continuous cough. They also say: Do not go to a GP (Doctors’) surgery, pharmacy or hospital. (You do not need to contact the health advice line 111 to tell them you’re staying at home). They say, testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

 

The NHS also advises:
– Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
– Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
– Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
– Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
– Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
– Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Wishing you well

So, if you feel inclined to send a little gift of condolences or well wishing, and to say keep safe, stay healthy – and keep the dream alive , please take a look at our  Store .

Happy wishes – keeping the dream alive

In particular, we have Christian gifts of faith – many based on the Way of St James / Camino de Santiago to help  Keep the Dream Alive .

We are shipping solely from the UK now and all Royal Mail services are functioning normally. You can see more information about our Store’s  Shipping Polices  here. Thanks for your support in these difficult times.

 

NEWS – CAMINO CANCELLED for CORONAVIRUS COVID-19

Cerrado el Camino

Trip cancelled? Help friends and loved-ones keep the dream of walking El Camino de Santiago (the Way of St James) alive

The Spanish Government has announced major measures against the Coronavirus which will impact heavily on those planning or wishing to walk El Camino de Santiago this year. And, in effect, at the moment, El Camino is closed.

Camino de Santiago closed?

In consequence of the spread of this COVID-19 virus, the hostels, albergues and other shelters along much and many parts of the Camino de Santiago are closed – as indeed is the Cathedral de Santiago itself, and the associated Pilgrim Office.

But most pilgrims and other travellers are keeping their faith and planning to achieve their goal of doing a Camino – and friend / relatives are busy consoling them and wishing them good luck in achieving their goal at a future date.

If anyone wants to send a small gift of condolence to a friend or loved-one who has had to cancel their long-planned Camino, we offer some little items in our shop online that could perhaps help them to  keep the dream alive  .

There is no escaping the fact that, even if someone is still intending to travel along Spain’s famous Way of St James, it would be extremely difficult at the moment – if not actually impossible. At the very least, the spread of COVID-19 over the Iberian Peninsular is causing a distinct lack of support services such as accommodation, as well as the issue of personal and community or social health and wellbeing.

Coronavirus has closed the Camino
Shattered dreams? Cortesía de la Oficina de Correos

Considerable alarm has now overcome the country, and especially in the northern regions of Spain which traditionally attract foreign visitors onto the Camino at this time of year (peaking after Easter) from all parts of the globe.

The overall situation will be reviewed again at the end of March – but things are unlikely to improve because the virus will not have run its full course – according to the experts. In fact, it could be at its height in April.

Pilgrims and other travellers or walkers who want more information about the feasibility of a journey along all the different routes should check with regional offices. (The Spanish health system’s Twitter accounts are also a good source of information).

Disappointment for Camino travellers – and Spanish hosteleros

To say that the Spanish are sad about the inconvenience this has caused to the pilgrims who are currently travelling (or who had planned to travel on a trip in the future) is an understatement.

And of course, the travellers or pilgrims themselves are also very upset by this latest news but, judging by the forums online, people are taking the news with some stoicism, realising that the decision has been taken for their own (as well as others’) safety.

Travelling Camino de Santiago
Empty Camino – Coronavirus has killed this famous route for early 2020

Much of the infrastructure of the Camino routes is being shut down and attempting to walk using the traditional routes would now be almost impossible. In effect, all such journeys are cancelled at the moment.

FICS issues official warning

FICS – La Fraternidad Internacional del Camino de Santiago issued an official notice on Thursday 12th March stating that “in the face of the recent events of the Coronavirus, and also of the responsibility we have to our pilgrims and volunteers, we advise all pilgrims not to undertake the Jacobean pilgrimage at the moment nor until the situation is normalised . . and to heed the warnings of the health authorities without question.”

On Saturday 14th March, the Spanish Government went a stage further by limiting the circulation or the presence of persons or vehicles at certain times and in certain places and limiting or rationing the use of services or the consumption of essential items. This is, in a word, lockdown, as we have already witnessed in Italy.

In the UK, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all but essential travel to the regions that the Spanish Ministry of Health has designated as an area of community transmission of the Coronavirus.

The famous Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela is now officially closed, as is the attendant Pilgrim’s Office, and those arriving to receive their Credencial are being asked to leave a completed application form in a box outside. Cathedral Mass in English has been suspended until the Pilgrims’ Centre re-opens . . and nobody knows when that will be.

Keep the Camino dream alive

On a more positive note, many of the comments on the forums (in particular the caminodesantiago.me run by Ivar), have been more upbeat:

“Santiago will still be there in a couple of months!” says another.
“This is not a disaster, disappointing sure, and inconvenient, but this too will pass. Santiago will wait”
“The Camino isn’t going anywhere, it will be here waiting for a better time to walk.”
The Camino has existed for over a thousand years and will still be waiting for us in years to come.

But disappointment is palpable too: “I read this (news) with a very heavy heart as the older I get the less time I have to wait!” said one commentator.

If anyone wants to send a small gift of condolence to a friend or loved-one who has had to cancel their long-planned Camino, we offer some little items in our shop online that could perhaps help them to  keep the dream alive . Also see gifts to help achieve goals  in our online shop.

I read this news with a very heavy heart as the older I get the less time I have to wait