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A Camino love story for those cold winter days

Someone on the Forum who I met last year in Ventosa asked me for more details about my meeting someone with whom I have started a relationship, so I thought I might share it with you all. Maybe others will add their stories? So here goes.
OK, so you want the Allie McGraw/Ryan O'Neal thing? Somewhat more mundane I am afraid. We met at San Marmed, 4 days out of SDC. We were in the same dorm and also at the communal dinner, but sitting about as far away as possible. That afternoon and evening we probably only exchanged 4 sentences. Anyway, the next morning as I was leaving, she was too. I asked her if she was sure she had everything and she asked me why I wasn't having breakfast (I normally eat later). She speaks quite good English, and when I commented on that she said that she was just about to play her English course on her Ipod while she walked. She said it was a well known course in Spain by a company called Vaughan Systems. Imagine her surprise when I told her that a few years earlier I had worked as a teacher for them! Needless to say this was a more compelling reason for her to walk with me than my obviously great beauty. We passed a pleasant day, and like is common on the Camino learnt a lot about each other. At the end of the day at Gonzar we shared a bottle of wine in the early evening and afterwards had dinner together in the restaurant there, sharing a table with 2 Brazilian ladies. The next morning as I left just after daybreak (the dorm had been very noisy) I almost immediately had one of those early morning "detours". As I retraced my steps I encountered her at the place I had gone wrong. I gave in to fate and we walked together again. To be quite honest I love teaching and was enjoying helping her practise for her upcoming exam. Well in Melide we went to a pulperia that she had visited before and the food was excellent! We were enjoying ourselves when the two Brazilians asked to join us. Much later Maria has said that when they joined us she resented it a bit. She thought at the time it was because she was having to translate for me (my Spanish could improve a lot), while the daughter translated from Spanish to Brazilian for her Mother. But she now thinks that there may have been something a bit more subconscious! Well from then on we walked together for the last 2 days and enjoyed our time in SDC. When she caught the airport bus I felt that I didn't want her to go. Well I walked to Muxia and while there she emailed me asking if I wanted to meet the following weekend. Well we did, in Ponferrada. (I caught the bus and she drove there). And that was it!
I fly to Madrid every few weeks to visit. She lives in Navacerrada, which is on the Camino Madrid, and there is a lot of good walking around. We are both going to walk the Frances again this year, at the same time but not together. She has walked it in stages over the last 3 years, but not in one go, so we think it will be good for her to experience it alone. I just hope she doesn't meet another English teacher!

They say the Camino provides and that it is never what you expect - How True!!!
 
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Jabaldo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
My wife and I are training to walk this September 2014
OK, so you want the Allie McGraw/Ryan O'Neal thing? Somewhat more mundane I am afraid. We met at San Marmed, 4 days out of SDC. We were in the same dorm and also at the communal dinner, but sitting about as far away as possible. That afternoon and evening we probably only exchanged 4 sentences. Anyway, the next morning as I was leaving, she was too. I asked her if she was sure she had everything and she asked me why I wasn't having breakfast (I normally eat later). She speaks quite good English, and when I commented on that she said that she was just about to play her English course on her Ipod while she walked. She said it was a well known course in Spain by a company called Vaughan Systems. Imagine her surprise when I told her that a few years earlier I had worked as a teacher for them! Needless to say this was a more compelling reason for her to walk with me than my obviously great beauty. We passed a pleasant day, and like is common on the Camino learnt a lot about each other. At the end of the day at Gonzar we shared a bottle of wine in the early evening and afterwards had dinner together in the restaurant there, sharing a table with 2 Brazilian ladies. The next morning as I left just after daybreak (the dorm had been very noisy) I almost immediately had one of those early morning "detours". As I retraced my steps I encountered her at the place I had gone wrong. I gave in to fate and we walked together again. To be quite honest I love teaching and was enjoying helping her practise for her upcoming exam. Well in Melide we went to a pulperia that she had visited before and the food was excellent! We were enjoying ourselves when the two Brazilians asked to join us. Much later Maria has said that when they joined us she resented it a bit. She thought at the time it was because she was having to translate for me (my Spanish could improve a lot), while the daughter translated from Spanish to Brazilian for her Mother. But she now thinks that there may have been something a bit more subconscious! Well from then on we walked together for the last 2 days and enjoyed our time in SDC. When she caught the airport bus I felt that I didn't want her to go. Well I walked to Muxia and while there she emailed me asking if I wanted to meet the following weekend. Well we did, in Ponferrada. (I caught the bus and she drove there). And that was it! I fly to Madrid every few weeks to visit. She lives in Navacerrada, which is on the Camino Madrid, and there is a lot of good walking around. We are both going to walk the Frances again this year, at the same time but not together. She has walked it in stages over the last 3 years, but not in one go, so we think it will be good for her to experience it alone. I just hope she doesn't meet another English teacher!

They say the Camino provides and that it is never what you expect - How True!!!
It always amazes me as were one finds love. Most of the time in the most unexpected places. As you have pointed out the Camino provides. It appears to has provided to you.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Someone on the Forum who I met last year in Ventosa asked me for more details about my meeting someone with whom I have started a relationship, so I thought I might share it with you all. Maybe others will add their stories? So here goes.
OK, so you want the Allie McGraw/Ryan O'Neal thing? Somewhat more mundane I am afraid. We met at San Marmed, 4 days out of SDC. We were in the same dorm and also at the communal dinner, but sitting about as far away as possible. That afternoon and evening we probably only exchanged 4 sentences. Anyway, the next morning as I was leaving, she was too. I asked her if she was sure she had everything and she asked me why I wasn't having breakfast (I normally eat later). She speaks quite good English, and when I commented on that she said that she was just about to play her English course on her Ipod while she walked. She said it was a well known course in Spain by a company called Vaughan Systems. Imagine her surprise when I told her that a few years earlier I had worked as a teacher for them! Needless to say this was a more compelling reason for her to walk with me than my obviously great beauty. We passed a pleasant day, and like is common on the Camino learnt a lot about each other. At the end of the day at Gonzar we shared a bottle of wine in the early evening and afterwards had dinner together in the restaurant there, sharing a table with 2 Brazilian ladies. The next morning as I left just after daybreak (the dorm had been very noisy) I almost immediately had one of those early morning "detours". As I retraced my steps I encountered her at the place I had gone wrong. I gave in to fate and we walked together again. To be quite honest I love teaching and was enjoying helping her practise for her upcoming exam. Well in Melide we went to a pulperia that she had visited before and the food was excellent! We were enjoying ourselves when the two Brazilians asked to join us. Much later Maria has said that when they joined us she resented it a bit. She thought at the time it was because she was having to translate for me (my Spanish could improve a lot), while the daughter translated from Spanish to Brazilian for her Mother. But she now thinks that there may have been something a bit more subconscious! Well from then on we walked together for the last 2 days and enjoyed our time in SDC. When she caught the airport bus I felt that I didn't want her to go. Well I walked to Muxia and while there she emailed me asking if I wanted to meet the following weekend. Well we did, in Ponferrada. (I caught the bus and she drove there). And that was it!
I fly to Madrid every few weeks to visit. She lives in Navacerrada, which is on the Camino Madrid, and there is a lot of good walking around. We are both going to walk the Frances again this year, at the same time but not together. She has walked it in stages over the last 3 years, but not in one go, so we think it will be good for her to experience it alone. I just hope she doesn't meet another English teacher!

They say the Camino provides and that it is never what you expect - How True!!!
Hi Al - thank you for sharing the story about how you met Maria. It's a really beautiful story and it confirms that on the Camino unexpected and wonderful things happen when you just let 'life' happen and have no expectations yourself.
I wouldn't worry about Maria meeting another English teacher - it really looks like her 'Camino eyes' are just for you! :):)
Cheers - Jenny
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Well I walked to Muxia and while there she emailed me asking if I wanted to meet the following weekend. Well we did, in Ponferrada. (I caught the bus and she drove there). And that was it!
I fly to Madrid every few weeks to visit. She lives in Navacerrada, which is on the Camino Madrid, and there is a lot of good walking around.
They say the Camino provides and that it is never what you expect - How True!!!
I am just back from the sea with Northern Lights tourists in the Arctic: What a beautiful and enjoyable story, Al, and take good care of Maria so it will continue, for your own benefit as well as Maria's: It is obvious that you have crushed her (and I suspect she has crushed you too): Good on you!

On a sidenote: Al, I most heartfelt wish you both all the best, and preferably together. Your story made my evening: Lovely!!

Edit: Yes, the Camino indeed provides; Not what you want, but what you need...
 
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Thanks all. Jennie, I remember you turning around in the Cathedral at SDC and asking me if I was "Al the Optimist". I was with someone that day but I cannot remember if it was Maria. It was an evening service if I recall and if so it could well have been her.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Thanks all. Jennie, I remember you turning around in the Cathedral at SDC and asking me if I was "Al the Optimist". I was with someone that day but I cannot remember if it was Maria. It was an evening service if I recall and if so it could well have been her.
Hi Al - It wasn't me in the Cathedral, sadly ... though I would have known you anywhere by your fantastic smile! There are a few of us with Jenny in our user names on the Forum. I've only been privileged to be at one service in the Cathedral so far, and that was Pilgrims Mass, back in May, 2012. I hope that it was Maria who was at the evening service with you- what a wonderful experience to share.
Very best wishes to you both -
Cheers - Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Sorry Jen, I'm getting old and confused. Yes Maria was with me for a service, but I was also at one with someone I walked with before Leon as well as a few without company.
No worries, Al! It was wonderful you were able to go to several of the services in the Cathedral - all would have been so beautiful and special in their own way.
Cheers - Jenny
 

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