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“Cheating”

2020 Camino Guides

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
But everyone who knows me also knows that duty and being sincerely focused comes before a good chuckle.
Haha! Wellll...it's never too late to try living the other way around... ;)

Bavarians, @Bradypus, they were Bavarians. It’s an important element of this story.
Hee heeeee....
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Is not the Camino about the journey?? If pilgrims spend their journey judging other pilgrims for perceived infractions on the way, then they are diminishing their own experience. Lending a helping hand, encouraging tired pilgrims, buying a poor pilgrim a meal or a drink, sharing your picnic lunch, cheering a struggling pilgrim on arrival to the town, Giving up your bottom bunk to someone less flexible than yourself, .are better ways to enrich your camino experience!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
True - but I'm not taking sides in a German civil war :cool:
True, I guess one could view the reality of the differences between Bavarians and the rest of the Germans who are essentially all Prussians to the Bavarian, as a cultural war 😊. But I was thinking of the fact that Bavaria is the most Catholic of the German regions (länder) with the strongest Catholic traditions, with pilgrimages to local sites still very much alive, and one’s cultural background or how one has learnt about it in the first place shapes one’s views of what pilgrimage means. Of course, we all ought to be able to broaden, or refine, our initial ideas and concepts. :cool:
 
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Nigel Clark

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May /June 2017
September / October 2019
After reading this post the guilt is setting in. I think I "cheated" in a different way on my first Camino Frances. I used the GPS on my phone and strategically planned the timing of my arrival in Santiago de Compostela to find a Mcdonald's a few kilometres off the path and enjoy a Big Mac, fries and a coke rather than have another pilgrim's menu. I do apologize to any pilgrim purists but another dry bocadillo just wasn't going to suffice. That Big Mac tasted like a culinary masterpiece :). Before I left the restaurant to arrive in the Cathedral square, I asked the manager if she had a stamp and she gave me a big hug - best "Buen Camino" ever!

Ok, again the guilt is still flowing. I also "cheated" on my second and third Caminos from Portugal. 🤣😂:)
Forget McDonalds if you want a great burger then head for La Pepita in SdC
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
I once walked with a lady who was fighting cancer, it was on Via de la Plata, leaving Salamanca, in the rain. She was not feeling well that day. I knew straight away. On the first cafe stop, I called a taxi.
I saw the looks of the other pilgrims as they arrived and saw us getting into that taxi.
i never explained. Is there any need to ever explain???
I think not! You do you.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Would it be cheating to ask for mayonnaise for your bocadillo?


No, just not very British old man. Salad cream or nothing please.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
If I’m wrong someone correct me please! I though when the Camino or the Pilgrimage originated Back in the medieval times it was a way of a person to be forgiven of sins or some wrong doing they have done.
That both is and isn't true -- Pilgrimages can be undertaken for such penitential reasons, and at the time either willing or forced, but they can also be undertaken for reason of a Vow, or as an Act of Grace or Thanks, or indeed purely as religious tourism as many did even in the Middle Ages. Or even because you can be called to do one, without necessarily knowing why.

But having said that, there were quite a few mediaeval pilgrims, on both the Camino and the Way to Jerusalem, who practised it much as today's "purists" do, walking all the way, carrying their pack, living simply, walking all the way back, and they wouldn't have hopped onto passing transport ether.

The Camino has always accommodated all sorts, and the pilgrimage itself (which is a lot more than just the Camino) even more so.

The Way of Saint James is also particularly unique in that it is the only major Catholic pilgrimage (Jerusalem is mixed Jewish, Orthodox, Catholic from a Christian perspective, so is unique in a different way) that is traditionally open also to non-Catholics, a lot of the reason for which is that Saint James, Santiago, is among other things viewed as an Apostle of Conversions.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I had a memorable encounter on my second Camino with a German parish group travelling by bus to Santiago. One woman got quite heated and told me that people like me who walked solo to Santiago were not pilgrims but hikers and tourists. She and her friends travelled together on a bus in a church-sponsored group with a priest to say mass daily, hear confessions and lead meditations. Their journey was a pilgrimage. So my journey clearly was not...
Well, from a Catholic perspective if you're not walking the Way of Saint James for Catholic religious purposes ...

But the Catholic Pilgrimage is not defined by how you travel, so she was both right and wrong from that perspective.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
anyone who doesn't walk from their front door is cheating
I am sure we have all had the experience on camino, when talking with friends we have just met, the question is "where do you come from?"

Having answered I would wait until there was recognition that my front door was closer to Antarctica than anywhere in Europe. And that walking from my front door would be awkward.

Then I would add, with appropraite arm actions "and I swam most of the way to here."

And we would then smile at one another.

Kia kaha , katoa
 

Togabogie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
If youre doing the camino for spiritual reasons i wonder if such strict emotional and religous rule based issues arise in the terms of " cheating" ?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Is not the Camino about the journey??
I think that there is far more about the destination for me than necessarily the journey.

But that is not to say the journey is unimportant either. When I put my mind to this, I recall the Catholic retreats of my teenage years, and how much of the time was spent in quiet reflection without the distractions of one's everyday life. Today, these opportunities are often rare, when it is often difficult to take even a few minutes during the day to set aside for a little meditation. The Camino offers this opportunity, although I have found that the Camino Ingles or the pilgrimage routes in Norway and Sweden are much less busy and more conducive to this than the Camino Frances.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Nope, the walk to Fisterra is not a religious pilgrimage.
I don't think of it as being a Christian pilgrimage, but I rather suspect that there are those who walk it that would suggest that it has roots in earlier religious traditions. I know that when I did this walk, my first interest was to go to Muxia, and to visit the Virxe da Barca church, and only then to walk to Finisterre.
 

Alan Wu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
8/27~9/24 2015 SJPP to Santiago
9/25~9/27 2015 Santiago to Fisterra
9/28 2015 Fisterra to Muxia
Some people may have the time limitation, some people may have health issue, you never know......

By the way, that's their "Camino". In my point of the view, even those people who take bus or taxi to next town, they have their own "Camino" inside. There are no one has right to make a judgement for them.........
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
By the way, that's their "Camino". In my point of the view, even those people who take bus or taxi to next town, they have their own "Camino" inside. There are no one has right to make a judgement for them.........
This is a popular notion, but not completely true. You might want to read my analysis of this from earlier in the year here:

 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
By the way, that's their "Camino". In my point of the view, even those people who take bus or taxi to next town, they have their own "Camino" inside. There are no one has right to make a judgement for them.........
This is a popular notion, but not completely true. You might want to read my analysis of this from earlier in the year here:

There is judgement and there is judgement. People can do their pilgrimage how they like. They can take buses, taxis and airplanes or walk or bicycle or hitchhike or any combination of these. They can transport their luggage or carry it on their backs or push it in a cart or have a friend or employee carry it for them. They can stay at any albergue or casa rural or hotel that will have them. They can eat communal meals that they cook with fellow pilgrims or pilgrim menus in bars and restaurants or a la carte dining in nice restaurants or hotels or subsist entirely on bocadillos if that is their preference. They can travel alone or with family and/or friends that they bring with them or friends or "Camino family" that they meet on the Camino and with or without animal companions. They can travel without anything electronic, or with a phone, and/or camera, or with a computer or a whole panapoly of electronic devices. Upon arrival in Santiago de Compostela, they can ask for a Compostela or a Certificate of Welcome or "solo sello" or not visit the Pilgrim's Office at all. They can then proceed to Finisterre and/or Muxia however they wish or not at all. I will not judge them for any of these choices. No one has a moral right to do so.

However, those who are giving to pilgrims can decide which pilgrims they wish to give to. The Pilgrim's Office can say "We only give Compostelas to pilgrims who have walked this much in these routes." It is not wrong for them to do so. It is their gift to give and they can choose to whom to give it. Similarly, albergues operated by volunteers offering accommodations at subsidized rates (or donativo) are also offering gifts to pilgrims. They can say "We are for walking pilgrims" or "Pets are not allowed" or "We do not accept backpacks that are shipped ahead." It is their moral right to decide to whom they wish to offer their gifts. (Although, if they turn away a pilgrim for a choice that was medically necessary, I might say it was their right but not a moral one. :) .)
 

Thornton31

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino - French way done.
Camino - Portugal 2019
The official website quotes the following:

To receive it, you must have completed the last 100 kms of the camino if you are walking or on horseback, or the last 200 km if you rode a bicycle. It does not matter how many kms you have walked on the camino trail if you do not make it to Santiago de Compostela. For the officials of the Santiago Cathedral, the point of the pilgrimage is to reach the tomb of St. James. In the last 100 km (walking/horseback) or 200 km (cycling) you must also have at least two or three stamps per day in your pilgrim's passport to prove that you did not get buses or taxis.
 

David and Theresa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances,(Sarria to Santiago) 2016, 2017 April, SJPdP TO Logrono, Sept.-Oct. Logrono to Sarria
What bewilders me is the importance that people appear to attach to a piece of paper. If you know what you have achieved, and your God knows what you have achieved, and how you have achieved it, that is surely all that matters. Why would you need a piece of paper?

In this context, ‘cheating’ is a meaningless word.
And did you get that "piece of paper"?
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
What bewilders me is the importance that people appear to attach to a piece of paper. If you know what you have achieved, and your God knows what you have achieved, and how you have achieved it, that is surely all that matters. Why would you need a piece of paper?

In this context, ‘cheating’ is a meaningless word.
Ken!! I assume that you chose not to have children? Ohhh .. let me tell you, children Love their certificates and gold stars, as do we when we are adults -

I value highly my Compostela, though it is not on a wall but carefully put away. Sometimes I get it out and look at it and a flood of memories and emotions fill me!

Why, thinking about it, I still value my 25 yards swimming certifcate from when I was ten!! and can still remember doing it! :D
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Unless you walk a mile in someone else shoes, you don't know where they have come from or what suffering they have endured. If you go around , accusing people of cheating, look at your conscience and ask yourself "Are any you different from those who persecuted Jesus"?
This is true - judge not lest etc .... before making that judgment we do indeed need to walk a mile in their shoes ... then we will be a mile away and not be able to speak to them, and we will also have their shoes, which gives them just cause to take buses and taxis - kindness in action!
 

AussieWayne

Walked Camino Francis April 2018 from SJPdP.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino St JAMES from SJPdP April 2018.
Plan Camino Portuguese Sepl 2019
I am continually astounded by people who accuse others of “cheating”!
I started in Pamplona. I would think Spanish pilgrims would not have gone back to France to start...but I don’t know the facts.
Also “cheating”...taking a bus or taxi to the next town.
Mostly folks younger than me. Luckily I do not feel bothered by this!
Wow, this topic has taken off!
I must admit I was a little miffed encountered pilgrims who were bussing across the Meseta or joining for the last 100km.
Bit then I remembered the Camino is very much a personal thing. How you complete your Camino is very much up to you. As long as you meet the credencial stamping rules, how you complete your journey is up to you.
Having walked every step from SJPdP to SdC I was in fact a little annoyed with myself that I had such thoughts. I chose to walk all the way, others make different choices. It is after all a pilgrimage.
 

mike g

New Member
I think we all wrestle with questions of authenticity. I had a pejorative word for luggage service users "kiloleros" until i met an aging couple that would not have been able to do without it. I found out in Leon from a hospilitero whom I had enquired about a bus to Leon's outskirts. His reply "do you take a bus around all of your problems?" I walked thru the broken glass spray paint and sheep crap with glad heart and renewed purpose, that someone might see me and decide that it was their time to start a camino. It took me a year to understand what my Compostela in it's frame actually meant. Did I have issues with (some...very few) others..yes, all and mostly forgotten. Practical advice for the first eight days or so, plan on confederating with others to rent cheap hotel rooms if necessary. The greatest crush is just after Pamplona when many board a bus just after Alta Perdon and cruise on their bus to see the sights along the way and then walk the last 100km from Sarria. The Camino Experience....yes.. just not mine.
 

Rev Anthony

Tony Budell
Camino(s) past & future
April 2020
Re: Cheating.

Do you mind if I add my thoughts on this subject?

To walk the Camino is to tread in the very footprints of the exalted pilgrims who have gone before us. Be they kings, queens, princes or princesses. The beautiful sounds of Gregorian chants being sung by groups of monks, now being heard in the rustle of grass and leaves of trees. Rich men and poor men, the Camino invites us all. For more than 200 centuries before us, their DNA has permeated the very ground on which we new pilgrims now tread.
These pathways, be they from any of the varies starting points, are the embodiment of the Holiest of Holies. Be still in your heart and mind and feel the faint, but unmistakable sandal prints of St James himself, as he guides us ever onward to his tomb in the cathedral.
Yes, you can cheat. You can catch a bus, taxi or any other conveyance to the next point where you can obtain a stamp. You can do this all the way to Santiargo Compestela if you so wish.
You can obtain your certificate and take it home, frame it and put it on the wall for friends to admire. One day it will be taken down, put in a cardboard box and maybe put in the attic. Years may past, but one day, your grand children or great grand children or great great grand children, might just stumble across it and in doing so, may wish to honour your memory by walking the Camino themselves.
The question is? Who or what will they be honouring? Your footprints all the way to Santiargo or your seat on a bus?
Cheating! You can only cheat yourself. Bless you.
 

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