Monday, November 08, 2010


For the past year, I have subscribed to receive 'Notes from the Universe'.  Every day I receive a special message - some just a few words, others a few lines, but always meaningful, always positive and they always make me smile.  Some even seem to have been written just for me!

Today's note was:

Don't be afraid to go where you've never gone and do what you've never done, Silvia, because both are necessary to have what you've never had and be who you've never been.
Be the ball,   The Universe

The other day I was obsessing about whether I'd taken on too much when I received this note: 

The more you do, Silvia, the more I can do for you.
Don't worry that your baby steps are small, mine cross continents.
And don't worry when you can't yet see what I'm doing... soon everyone will.
Look out world,   The Universe

Last week someone left a nasty message on the amaWalkers' Facebook page.  This note arrived.

Isn't it your triumphs over adversity, surprise rebounds, and stellar comebacks that you look back on with the most fondness, Silvia? Far more than the easy, cake for breakfast and pajamas in the afternoon, kind of times?
Fondly, The Universe

And this happy, frivilous, cheerful note made my day:

In many ways, Silvia, time and space are where the irresponsible learn to become responsible.
Yeah... well, it's also where supercoolhappylovethings learn to get their groove on.
Sitting pretty, The Universe

And, when I was waiting, anxiously, to hear back from a publisher about a project I had sent to them:

Ask not, Silvia, for what is already yours.
You know.
Whoot, The Universe

I love all the notes, especially this one:

They bring me to tears every single day, Silvia.
They're almost too much to bear.
Sometimes, I even wonder how it's possible...
Of course, I'm talking about your supernatural resilience, your steely courage, and your gritty determination. YOU WILL MOVE MOUNTAINS, and they shall say THANK YOU, DUDE.
Thy kingdom come, The Universe

You too can receive a Note from the Universe. Spiritual but not religious, inspirational without commitment, empowering yet caffeine-free!
"The Notes are designed to shed light on your own inner path: to spark your memory, attract like thinking, and awaken the slumbering deity within. They contain the truths I've come to know and live by about who we are, why we're here, and the magic at our disposal. Everything I've discovered is neatly tucked between the paragraphs, and for the eager, earnest reader, far more meaning will be found therein than will first meet the eye."  Mike Dooley author of the Notes.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


I think we have our final group of people for the May/June amaWalkers Camino walk. 
As I typed out the list of names to file in my amaWalkers Camino folder, I thought about them all, about how special every one of these people are.  They are not just names of people who want to walk the camino, and who don't want to walk it alone, they are people who feel called to walk a camino (one for a second time).  And what a privelege to be walking with Pam - an old soul who loves the Camino as much as I do and wants to share her passion with others.

Some of our group have been dreaming about walking a Camino for years.  One dear lady has been to all of my Camino workshops and St James' feast day celebrations since they started in 2003.  When she put her name down for the amaWalkers Camino walk she said, 'This is my chance.  If I don't walk it with you, on this walk, I'll probably never walk it." She is still nervous, unsure, anxious.  But she has booked her air tickets and she and I agree that this is her time.  I feel priveleged to be the one she has chosen to walk with. 
Another lady wanted to walk with me last year but lack of finances and committment to her son prevented her from doing so.  She was diappointed, and when she heard about this walk, she was the first person to put her name down.  Although she is nervous about being on her own, she is planning on walking solo to Finisterre when we all leave Santiago.
Some of our group will be walking in gratitude for the recovery from illness, another to heal from the loss of a loved one, or to contemplate a new era in their life as one chapter closes and another must open, or to recharge batteries run down by a demanding career or families. 

I will be doing all the planning for the three sections we will walk, booking the accommodation, arranging for transport where necessary. I wonder how else I can serve them so that they have the most wonderful Camino possible?  Perhaps it's best to just let them have their space; time for reflection and contemplation; to allow the healing spirit of the earth they'll walk on, the plants, rocks, birds, animals they'll walk with, work through them.  Perhaps I'll send them this ancient, Hasidic prayer:
“When you walk across the fields with your mind pure, then from all the stones and all growing things, and all the animals, the sparks of their soul come out and cling to you and become a holy fire in you."

This is going to be a very different Camino for me.  The first three were 'for me'.  The walk on the Via francigena was also 'for me'. I often say that I need to 'go walk-about' every now and then to restore my soul.  Last year, I walked the Aragones, Ingles and Fistera routes 'for me' - but serving as a hospitalera near Finisterre for two weeks showed me another side to the Camino.  It was no longer about me.  It was all about those dear souls 'reaching the misty land of the Dark Star' at world's end, wondering what they were going to do when there were no more yellow arrows to guide them.

This time it will be all about caring for, and caring about, 13 other people, rather than all about me.  Walking a Camino is so special, can be such fun, heartwarming, deeply spiritual and life-changing, and that is what I want for our pilgrims.  So, I'll share this Buddhist prayer with our group: 
"May we know that it is the journey that is important. May we find our own truths and the divine within ourselves and in doing so help our fellow travelers to find their own. May we see each other through spirit and not through worldly eyes. Namaste"

Friday, October 29, 2010

Patron Saint of pilgrims and guides

Bona of Pisa (c. 1156 – 1207)
Info and Photo Wiki
When I was planning the amaWalkers guided walk to Santiago, I thought it would be nice to have a patron saint for our group.  I did a search on the internet and came up with Saint Bona of Pisa, a 12th c saint who led 10 groups of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. 
At a young age she saw a vision of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and three saints,  including James the Greater. She was frightened by the light around these figures, and ran away. James pursued her, and led her back to the image of Jesus. Bona observed a pronounced devotion to James for the rest of her life.
After leading her first group of pilgrims to Santiago she was made an official guide by the Knights of Santiago. She went on to lead 8 more groups and despite being ill she lead a 10th group and died at the age of 51 shortly after returning home.   Saint Bona is regarded as the patron saint of travellers, and specifically couriers, guides, pilgrims, travellers, flight attendants, and, of course, the city of Pisa.

Yesterday I discovered that her her feast day is celebrated on May 29 - the day our walking holiday starts from Roncesvalles! Is that synchronicity, or what?

Plans are going well for the walk and I have such a good feeling about it! Besides walking the three sections of the Camino we will have time for extra excurisons - to see the castle at Clavijo, where Santiago was first seen on his white horse fighting off the Moors and so became known as Santiago Matamoros: we'll have breakfast at O Cebreiro on our way to Sarria and we'll visit 'Las Meduals", the remains of the most important gold mine in the Roman Empire. We are planning on doing a Nocturnal Walking Tour of Santiago's old town culminating in a visit to a club for a Queimada and a Sunset trip to Finisterre with wine and tapas to celebrate the end of our walk.

Most of the hotels, inns, apartments, private albergues have been booked or chosen and we will take the Chu-chu tourist trains in Burgos, Leon and Santiago.  We only have two places left on the walk - with 4 friends waiting for a slot for four. 

Friday, October 01, 2010



Over the years people have asked me if I would organise and guide a group of people on the camino but I've resisted the temptation - until now. 
I've organised and planned countless camino walks for other people - telling them exactly how to reach their starting point, planning their daily walking stages, giving them links to bus and train schedules, and finding suitable accommodation. 
I realised that for the past 9 years I have been organising and leading groups of friends (and their friends) on different walks in Europe.

In 2001 I was the group leader of 10 people on a walk across England on the Coast to Coast. I was the liaison person between accommodation bookers and luggage transfers. I organsied the logistics of getting there from London and back again. I also organised a holiday in Egypt following on from the CtoC walk.

In 2002 I led three of us on the Camino Frances from Roncesvalles to Santiago doing all the planning and booking of trains and planes

In 2004 I organised a trip to London, Paris and a walk on the Via
Turonensis from Orleans to Pamplona, hired car to Lugo - booked accommodation in England, 35 nights in France, and 5 places along the way in Spain

In 2006 I was the organiser and group leader of 5 people on the Via Francigena from Lake Lausanne to Rome, leaving out a 200km section between Ivrea and Parma. I booked accommodation for 5 people for 30 nights and did all the bookings for planes, trains and a
ferry journey across Lac Leman.

In 2007 I again led a group of 3 on the Camino Frances from Roncesvalles to Santiago, arranged for a hired car from Santiago and booked accommodation so that we could drive back to
Pamplona stopping overnight at various places (Lugo, Oviedo, Castrojeriz, Santo Domingo do Silas, Roncesvalles). I even ended up being the designated driver!

In 2009 I organised a walk for 3 people from Lourdes to Somport; the Aragones Route to Pamplona, Camino Ingles to Santiago and a walk to Finisterre.
This one was a little tricky because one person only had two weeks leave so had to fly home from Pamlona. Two of us got a train to Lugo and spent a night there before travelling to el Ferrol where we walked the Camino Inles back to Santiago.
Then my companion went home while I walked on Finisterre, after which I served at the San Roque albergue in Corcubion for two weeks.

Amawalkers on the Camino
In March this year I spent a long weekend with a kindred spirit and fellow camino addict, Pam Stern, in Cape Town. We spoke about taking small groups of people on the Camino and by the time I left we had it all worked out!

This week we finalised the formation of AMAWALKERS ON THE CAMINO and will start taking small groups of enthusiastic, wanna-be pilgrims on the Camino Frances next year

 I have created a website, drawn up a walking schedule based on the best, most scenic sections of the Camino Frances (the Jacobean Route par excellence!) which will include a visit to St Jean Pied de Port,  drafted Registration, Booking forms and Indemnity forms. I have a spreadsheet with the accommodation and transport details and am now ready to take registrations for a walk from 29th May to 17th June 2011.
These walks will be for people who have a calling to walk the camino but don't want to walk it alone and need help planning a perfect 3 week camino experience.  Pam and I want to share our love and passion for the camino with like-minded people.  We don't want this to be a guided tour as such - rather we want to be mentors, allowing each person on our guided walks to experience the best camino possible.  Although one, or both of us will walk with the group, we want them to have lots of time for contemplation and reflection.  Walking a Camino can be a very spiritual experience and we would like to be facilitators rather than 'tour guides'. 

The walk will include all land arrangements, walking schedules, overnight stops including accommodation, transfers, transport where applicable.  A guide will walk with the group every day but participants don't have to walk with the group if they need alone time.  We will meet up at the end of the day and share our experience.  We will also discuss the following day's route, places we will pass through and what to see.

We have called our walk the 'Best of Both' - you will have the best of tradition and comfort on the camino. 
Join us - numbers are limited to 12 people.

amaWalkers on the Camino will use the services of the Camino Travel Centre which is based in Santiago for accommodation, transport and optional tours.

If you are planning to extend your holiday after the walk and have extra luggage, you can send this to the Camino Travel Centre who will store it for you for a small charge.
The Camino Travel Centre also offer airport transfers - a viable option for a group of 10 or more people.
Their most popular excursions are the Sunset Trips to Finisterre - what could be better than sitting at the End of the World to watch the sun go down over the Atlantic!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Almost anyone can walk, ride or cycle a camino. You’ll find babies in carriers, little children, octarians well into their 80s, blind people, amputees and people in wheelchairs on the camino trails.
Even healthy, able-bodied people are anxious about walking hundreds of kilometres across a foreign landscape. Many of the camino trails consist of rocks, gravel, shale, mud, dirt and some asphalt or tar – difficult enough for most but quite daunting if you have a disability.
EG: On the Camino Frances, from St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles, the 798km route looks like this:
Paths/Tracks 505km 63.3%
Quiet roads 202.6km 25.4%
Main Roads 90.4km 11.3%

60 pilgrims in wheelchairs received the Compostela in the 2004 Holy Year.
The same year Nick Hoekstra also received his Compostela – he is blind.
You can read his story here:
So far this year (July 2010) 26 pilgrims in wheelchairs have earned the Compostela.

Advice for pilgrims with disabilities:
Have a complete physical check-up before you go and ensure that you are in the best possible health.

• Obtain copies of any prescriptions you might need and any spare parts of your wheelchair, crutches, hearing aid, visual aids etc.

• Before leaving make sure that you are aware of all the difficulties you may encounter as a pilgrim with disabilities and the accessibility of different places on the Road to Santiago such as accommodation, catering establishments, etc.)
• The best time to do the camino is May/June and September/October. Early spring brings rains, mud and sometimes late snow falls. November is the start of winter and early snow or heavy rains will make the paths impassable.
• Ensure that you have some form of identification on your person with emergency contact details and information about your disability.
• Always face the on-coming traffic if you are on a road.
• Hearing impaired pilgrims must take extra care when crossing the road and at intersections.
• Visually impaired pilgrims should be accompanied at all times.
• Intellectually impaired pilgrims should be accompanied by responsible people who understand their disability and needs.

Pilgrims with physical disabilities
There is very little literature or resources for people with disabilities.
In 2004 Ibermutuar together with several Spanish companies, sponsored a guide aimed at pilgrims with disabilities. The guide was written by people with different physical, psychical or sensory disabilities.
The guide contains information about accessibility and other matters of interest including albergues, suggested stages of 8km per day and restaurants with special facilities.
Three pilgrims that covered the Camino Frances in wheelchairs participated directly in the preparation of the guide which, at present, is only available in Spanish, but which is being translated into French and German.
It provides complete information on the route description , facilities, hostels , hotels and restaurants , access and rules in this matter . There is information about the pilgrim credential and obtaining the Compostela.

An outline of the Guide
The guide was created by a group of people with disabilities who personally travelled stages of the Camino. The advice, suggestions, alternatives and remarks are the result of hours of efforts during the tour, which gives a look at the difficulties that face disabled pilgrims.
The daily stages are not those suggested other guides because it was considered that a person with disabilities would find it difficult to follow a pace of 25-30 km per day.
Each stage is described by the original path, with alternatives for people with reduced mobility where, due to its difficulty, it must be separated from the ancient route. The difficulties described in the different stages refer to those found by a disabled person in a wheelchair, with a reduced physical strength.
It outlines cultural sites, entertainment, basic services in localities where the stage ends and accommodation, describing their conditions of accessibility.

Stage 10:  Granon to Belorado
"The layout of this stage , except for short stretch in appalling conditions since Grañón the border with the province of Burgos, is suitable for people with disabilities, if completed, as is practicable , following the walkway that has built the Ministry of Development on a line parallel with the N -120."

Camino Frances in Galicia
You can download an 8 stage guide on the Camino Frances in Galicia from O Cebreiro to Santiago. It is in Spanish but contains hundreds of photographs of the paths on each stage.

This guide is intended as a support resource for people who have physical difficulties and, moreover, is established as an aid to understanding the Way.
Ultimately, the aim with this guide is that the road is included within the diversity that characterizes itself, the pilgrims also go on foot, horseback or bicycle can also be covered in a wheelchair or crutches.
In these pages we analyze the measures of the slopes, the more complex sections of the final state by proposing an alternative route , we studied also the safety of the track in sections shared with car traffic ... We do all a thorough analysis to help the traveller.

Other Guides:
Pilgrims in wheelchairs or hand-bikes should use both the walking and cycling guides to plan their journey. Many of the walker’s paths are almost impossible to traverse in cycles or wheelchairs.
The ‘Practical Guide For Pilgrims” by Millán Bravo Lozana (Everest) recommends alternative routes on each stage for cycles and includes special profile maps for cyclists in the guide.

You can read about Hollander, Ad Hermans, who did 2 500 km from Akersloot, Holland to Santiago in a hand-biked wheelchair in 2000.

In 2002 he went off again, this time to Rome, 2250 km accompanied by his wife, her sister and brother-in-law, and a couple friends, all on bicycles. On their way they camped.

A disabled pilgrim using a hand-bike and family members completed the Camino Norte in August 2009

Most people in wheelchairs have vehicle backup. In 2004 I met a pilgrim in Arzua who had started in Pamplona. His wife was following him in a camper-van. Where possible, she parked next to the albergues at night where he could use the facilities such as showers and kitchen.

Granon Albergue in a bell tower
Many of the albergues on the caminos are not fully accessible to disabled people. Dormitories are often up flights of stairs, bathrooms and toilets might also be upstairs. It would be advisable to phone ahead and check accessibility with the accommodation before deciding on where to stay.
Here you will find a list of private albergues where you can send luggage ahead and where you can reserve a bed in advance. Check first on accessibility:
It is possible to book hostales, hotels, small inns, casa rurals and paradors ahead of time.

Walking pilgrims
Disabled pilgrims who want to walk the camino but might rely on walking aids such as sticks or crutches should consider having their backpacks transported between stages. Many towns have reliable taxi services that will do this for you.
On the Camino Frances there are luggage transport services that will transport you and/or your luggage from town to town. All you need to do is book accommodation a couple of days in advance and send you pack ahead.
If you prefer to cart your own pack you might consider the ‘Carrix’ a backpack trolley with a special harness. It will allow you to have your hands free. If walking on the road, remember to face the on-coming traffic and wear bright, visible clothing.

Recent rticles on the Internet:

Pilgrims with Multiple Scelrosis walked the camino:

A total of 515 people with intellectual disabilities from six different Spanish autonomous communities made the Camino de Santiago between 14 and 20 June along its seven routes to promote " greater integration and harmonious relations" between them.

July 2010: About 80 people paticipated in a program " Satellite Road , "which aims to facilitate the Camino de Santiago pilgrims with disabilities become " technological pilgrims . Thus, with audio guides, signals and the most popular communication services such as GPS or mobile phones , they will join other ltechnologies such as smart clothing or labeling BIDI (a service of labels whose reading is done by phone mobile.

Advice for people with diabetes
• Use a product called Frio, a crystal-filled pouch that comes in several sizes, to keep the insulin. When submerged for five minutes in cold water, its crystals turn to gel and keep the pouch at an insulin-friendly temperature.
• Take two insulin pens instead of syringes because the needles and vials for a pen are much smaller.
• Take two blood sugar meters, a glucagon kit, and extra prescriptions for your medicines.
• Obtain a doctor's letter for customs, airport security, and anyone else who might be alarmed by all those needles.
• Jet-lag: Spend a few days getting over jet-lag and acclimatising before starting to walk.
• Carry extra bottles of water and juice

Read about Dudley Glover, an insulin-dependent diabetic with coronary heart complications who walked the camino in 2004:

Useful websites

Phyiotherapists advise pilgrims how to get to their destination in good health

Disabled pilgrims and the Compostela:
  • Disabled pilgrims with helpers and vehicle support are generally welcomed in albergues. However not all have access for disabled people - even the Pilgrim´s Office own new albergue in Santiago is not suitable for disabled pilgrims.
  • If a pilgrim with disabilities makes as much effort as is reasonably practicable to make the pilgrimage with as much help as is needed and if their motives are spiritual etc then they will recieve a Compostela - however each case will be considered on its merits.
  • The Pilgrims´Office is neutral about support vehicles and whether or not pilgrims carry anything themselves. The only requirement is that they walk (or journey in their wheelchair for example) for the last 100 kms.
The Pilgrims´Office itself is not accessible. On arrival if a disbaled pilgrim cannot come up to the office they should seek sassistance or send a helper to ask one the staff to come down to the pilgrim.

Friday, August 06, 2010


Ever since a French pilgrim walked from Bordeaux to Jerusalem and back in 333AD, ordinary people with an extraordinary wanderlust have trekked long distances to sacred places.
The Anonymous Bordeaux Pilgrim

My good friend "Little John" is one of those extraordinary pilgrims who is planning on walking from Santiago to Rome next year. He has already done most of the Camino routes - Norte, Ingles, Frances, Primitivo, Via de la Plata, Madrid, Portugues etc and the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome and from Brindisi to Rome in the south.

John now wants a new challenge and has decided to walk the Jesus Trail from Nazareth next year and then fly to Santiago to walk to Rome. John will be 77 years-old in October and is walking the Annapurna Circuit in Tibet in November. Quite an inspiration!)

Why not walk from Rome to Santiago?
 The route to Rome isn't that well marked and John feels that it could be difficult to follow it in reverse. The Camino is so well marked that it shouldn't be too difficult to walk it the other way.

How long will it take?

It is about 2 800km from Santiago to Rome. John is a good steady walker and plans to cover about 25km per day. With a few shorter days and rest days it should take him about 4 months. He has a British passport so can take as long as he likes. Anyone needing a Schengen visa would have a problem with the 90-day maximum time allowed.  Its not impossible to walk it in 90 days. In the summer of 2009 Herman walked from Rome to Santiago in 78 days averaging more than 35km per day. You will find some info on his blog in English even though most of it is in Dutch.

Live on the trail!

Babette Gallard and Paul Chin have been on the Arles to Rome trail on horseback since April with the idea of writing a guide book on the Santiago to Rome route and also to raise funds to build a classroom in a school in Burkina Fasso. You can contact them through their website Pilgrimage Publications:  

Dan and Hilary are walking from Rome to Santiago and then potentially back across Spain (different route) and up the west coast of France.

Rome to Santiago

OTHER PILGRIM TALES Bike from Rome to Santiago

Ann Milner walked from Santiago to Rome in 2006
She started on 4th April in Santiago and arrived in Rome on 2nd September.
Her Route
Camino Frances to Puente la Reina
Camino Aragones to Somport.
A detour to Lourdes 
Via Toloana at Maubourguet all the way to Arles:
Via Domitia to Montgenevre
Via Aurelia heading south-east to Menton.
At Genoa she walked inland joining the Via Francigena at Pontremoli and then on to Rome from there.

 Assisi to Santiago

Starting from Assisi, north along the Via Francigena: From Sarzana along the Italian Riviera, crossing the border into France before following the Cote d’Azur and heading west , passing through Arles, Montpellier, Toulouse, Auch, and Pau. Then cross the Pyrenees into Spain along the Camino Aragonese to Puenta La Reina, onto the Camino Frances, and finishing at Santiago de Compostella


Santiago to Puente la Reina:
You can follow any of the Camino Frances guides - CSJ, John Brierley, Pili Pala Press, or just follow the arrows.

Puenta la Reina to Somport:
You can follow the directions and arrows for the Aragones route to Somport - CSJ, Rother, Miam Miam Dodo - or follow the arrows.

Somport to Lourdes: 
From Somport to Oloron Ste Marie and Lourdes you can follow the Chemin du Piemont Pyrénéen.

Lourdes to Arles:
From Arles:
From Arles, there are two routes to choose from.
North east towards Montgenevre or South east to Menton.
Some websites suggest that the Montgenevre route is easier.

This website offers information and maps from Arles to Italy:

La Provence - Alpes - Côte d'Azur is the natural pathway, both for pilgrims coming from Italy or southern Europe towards Compostela, and those who sailed from Spain or France en route to Rome. Founded in 1998, the Association "Provence - Alpes - Cote d'Azur - Corsica" Friends of Pathways of St. Jacques de Compostela and Rome currently has over 600 members in seven departments of the region.
  • Help and advice to prospective pilgrims (information, documentation)
  •  Support for pilgrims crossing the region;
  • Creation and Maintenance, in association with the French Federation of hiking trails, routes between Arles and the Italian border;
  •  Looking for accommodation with the municipalities, parishes and individuals;
  • Studies and research on local heritage and history of pilgrimages;
  • Promotion of pilgrimage by organizing exhibitions
  • Maintain links with associations pursuing the same goal, in France and abroad, especially in Italy;
  • Maintenance of friendships between former and future pilgrims through periodical publications and events (meetings, visits, walks, lectures.
Somport Pass between Spain and France

Discover the way to Arles , Italy (Col du Montgenèvre Mortola or near Menton) to Spain over the Somport pass using maps and map the paths and their alternatives.  This site will inform you of routes and associations that can help you in your pilgrimage to Compostela and Rome .

This site has a description of the route from Montginevro Pass to Torino

Guide Books

Guida alla Via Francigena
A 900km walk from Montgenevre to St. Peter's, from the border with France to Rome, through Piedmont, Lombardy , Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Lazio. 

La Via Francigena, Cartografia E GPS -
The first complete and detailed mapping of ViaFrancigena - over 900 km on foot, in 38 stages , retracing the journey from ancient Rome to Montgenevre . Step by step through Piedmont, Lombardy , Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Lazio : the maps and all the data necessary to navigate.

For accommodation on the different routes

Once you get onto the Via Francigena at Pontremoli (or elsewhere) you can follow the
VF signs and guides - such as the Lightfoot Guides published by Babette and Paul.

Useful website for the Via Francigena  Check their extensive list of links to VF organsiations including the two main Italian Via Francigena organisations in Italy and the VF Forum on Yahoo.

And a few blogs:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This post is all about ultra-light backpacks.

(Don't you just love this picture?  I couldn't resist posting it here!)

There are many backpacking websites that use the words ‘ultra light’ and ‘ultra lite’ when describing backpacks but, to qualify as an ultra-light backpack for this post, I am only including those that weigh 1kg / 2.2lbs and under. 
To my mind, anything over 1kg /2.2lbs is not ultralight!

Most camino pilgrims only need to carry their clothing and toiletries.  They don't need a heavy duty, steel framed, army-type backpack unless they are planning to camp along the way. After all, medieval pilgrims carried their stuff in a sack or a bundle over their shoulder - so surely we can manage with a diddly-little backpack!

New generation backpacks are made of ultra-lightweight, rip-stop fabrics (like the Gossamer Gear Murmer pictured here) and have features like foam backing for comfort and rigidity, hip belts that can be stuffed with socks or towels, and are stripped of extraneous extras like ice-pole hooks, ski fittings etc. 

Some people say that weight doesn't matter - that comfort is the most important thing and that if you have a pack with a good, strong, waist belt that takes all the weight on your hips you'll be fine.
That is OK for big, strong people who can carry heavy weights on their hips. It makes a huge difference if you are a  small person like me, 5'3" / 160cm tall, 55kg, with fairly severe osteoporosis.  I can't carry heavy weights on my hips or my back.  Other people have back problems or other reasons why they can't carry heavy packs. 
Comfort is important, but for me, weight is a top priority too and I am very happy with my 575g OMM 32L ultra-lightpack which holds all my clothing, toiletries, papers, extra shoes and has space for extra food when necessary.  Fully packed, my OMM never weighs more than 5kg or 6kg. 
Obviously, if you walk in winter you will need more clothes – probably heavier too – so you might need a larger capacity backpack but you can still choose a lightweight model rather than a heavier pack.  When you find the right pack it will become a part of your body and after a few days of carrying it, you won't even know that it is there - like a snail's shell!

Find a pack that really fits well:
Some packs have models for men and for women.  Women's packs are generally lighter, smaller and come in great colours!
  • A good fit is essential. Packs come in different torso lengths and if you're buying online, measure the length of your torso from the base of your neck to the end of the spine (level with your hip bones).
  • Check all the specs carefully before hitting the ‘Buy Now’ button. Many websites will give you the sizes – S, M, L, XL – as well as the torso length of their packs.
  • Most specs for ultra-light packs will also give recommended maximum weight to carry. If you intend carrying 12kg – don’t buy a pack that recommends a max of 9kg.
(Osprey - with ventilation (all 3 sizes are under 1kg)
  • Read the reviews, check out other websites that test backpacks to ascertain the comfort ratings.
  • As some packs don’t include the weight in the specs, take a digital scale with you when you go shopping so that you can weigh the pack before you buy. Call or email the online manufacturer to ascertain the gross weight of the pack before buying.  They might advertise the pack as 'Ultra Lite' when, in fact, it weighs almost 2kg empty.
  • Packs with inner frames and those that offer back ventilation will weigh more than most ultra lght packs.
Ultra-light backpacks:
Nobody beats the Gossamer Gear range for ultra-light packs. 
The Murmur is for loads of 9 kg (20 lbs) or less, and for trips of 1 000 miles or up to 50 trail days. This is a one-size-fits-most pack and weighs in at a paltry 212g (7.5 oz). The Murmur has side pockets, side compression straps, a pad holder pocket, an adjustable sternum strap and a minimal hydration bladder shelf.
The Gossamer Gear Gorilla is a sturdier pack that comes in three sizes that all weigh under 700g. Small: 22.7 oz. (644 g.) Medium: 23.2 oz. (658 g.) Large: 24.2 oz. (686 g.)

 Terra Nova:

The Laser isn’t bad at 526g (476g without the foam back pad). It sports a full length water resistant zip, hip storage, chest strap with whistle, side compression and multiple gear attachment points and loops. What it lacks is extra mesh compartments and a top pocket which are always useful.
Granite Gear:   
The Virga weighs 540g but is very basic, has very few pockets and no lid.
The Vapor Trail and Vapor KI each weigh 1kg

The Classic OMM 32L has a lean weight of 575g when the ski pole loops and extra cords are removed, and weighs 770g with all fixtures. This is my pack and I love it! It has a lid pocket, large mesh on the front, mesh bottle pockets, compression straps, sternum strap, zip pockets on the waist belt and two large compartments inside.
The lean weight of the OMM 35Lt is   1 040g but strips down to 675g by removing the Multi Sport Compressor, axe/ski fittings, Duo-Mat™ and side pockets (one time removable without impacting on strength or guarantee). I would leave the side pockets and be happy with a pack that weighs under 750g.

GoLite :
The 43L Golite Jam 2008 weighs 620g / 1 lb 6 oz.
The 36L GoLite Peak weighs 745g / 1 lb 10 oz
The Jam weighs 785g / 1 lb 11 oz.

The Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon 32L, 760 g
32L Alpine AirZone ND 32 . This little pack just makes it at 1kg / 2.2lbs
It is one of the few ultra-light packs that has a breathable back maximising airflow and an easy access zippered front pocket.

ULA - OHM pack: 
39L - 640g   $175
A very basic pack with side pockets and top pocket.

Raid 20 - 400g
Raid 38  - 650g
Bariloche 20 : 600 grs
Bariloche 35 : 700 grs
Bariloche 50 : 800 grs
Other packs that have been recommended on various forums but didn’t make my list of ultra-light packs because they are all over 1kg include:

Circuit by ULA:
Just over the 1kg but with good features and up to 42L capacity.

Lowe Alpine Hyperlite 1.1kg and 1.3kg

Gregory Jade 50 from 1.3kg

Osprey Talon and Kestrel from 1.3kg

Deuter womens Futura Pro 34 litre pack. 1.6kg

For keeping your pack weight down, have a look at this post:

And, if you don't want to wear a pack, or can't carry one, try a hiking and backpack trolley with special harness:
"I bought the Carrix as I could no longer carry a backpack. This means that when the going is to steep, or the rocks too big or too loose, I cannot put the sac and Carrix on my back. Accordingly, where the guide book says the Camino stage is unsuitable for cyclists and they should take to the road, so do I, walking on the left towards the approaching traffic."