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A decade later; then and now

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#1
Then: two albergues in Palas de Rei. One bar with several coin operated computers. Another bar is the only one open for breakfast. Pilgrims pack it at dawn for a noisy multicultural melee.

Today: over ten albergues. Not a computer to be found. Eight pilgrims from four countries enter a bar for breakfast, and set up a long table. The baristo takes orders, and the pilgrims ask for the WiFi password. Breakfast is eaten in silence as all eight thumb their phones.
 

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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#4
My first Camino Frances predated the internet and mobile phones. I can do without either for a while if I have to. But I am very glad of the technology that is letting me drop in on the forum from a ferry 6000 miles from home at this very minute and keeps me in touch with friends and family.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#5
Using a mobile phone is an easy way to disguise discomfort. So if you feel like a stranger, it is a crutch to have a mobile phone - for example sitting alone at a table in a restaurant used to feel a bit awkward. Not any more. Of course the sad thing is that no-one is forced into social exchanges anymore to quell the awkwardness, and so we lose all the benefits that flow from a social exchange in the physical world.

I find the bigger the group the more people use their phones and the less people interact. Probably because of that awkwardness factor. In contrast, on the Madrid last year mobile phones never seemed to interfere with the talking. There were only ever seven of us at each stop (the same seven, with an occasional extra). As a result a great camaraderie and mutual support developed among our little band - all strangers when we first met, great friends by the end.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#6
I managed to deepen my relationship with my husband because I could text him every day. It was healing for us. I thought I would want to disconnect more. Instead I rediscovered relationships and nurtured them in a way I hadn’t for years. My phone worked out well for me-and I am quite surprised to discover myself saying this (normally I complain about smartphones)
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
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

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
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

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
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

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994)
Camino Francés (2013 - 2017)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2017)
#12
Then: two albergues in Palas de Rei. One bar with several coin operated computers. Another bar is the only one open for breakfast. Pilgrims pack it at dawn for a noisy multicultural melee.

Today: over ten albergues. Not a computer to be found. Eight pilgrims from four countries enter a bar for breakfast, and set up a long table. The baristo takes orders, and the pilgrims ask for the WiFi password. Breakfast is eaten in silence as all eight thumb their phones.
I will confess I hated those noisy dawn risers when I walked in 94. But the whatsapp/text beeping now is perhaps just as annoying.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
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
#13
I will confess I hated those noisy dawn risers when I walked in 94. But the whatsapp/text beeping now is perhaps just as annoying.
I am with you. However, the combination of a little vino tinto with the evening meal and good earplugs takes very much care of those risers. In addition, in many cases it is just good to be woken up and get ready for a new day: More time to enjoy the day's ending point a little earlier, and easier to get that bed for the night :).

But phone use/being online has reached disturbing proportions. This coming from me, with an engineering degree in computer science for +40 years. It is about to become a (mental) health issue for many, IMHO and also according to several studies.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
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
#15
Oh, I hadn’t thought about this. Doing my Camino on my own and hoping for some socialising in the evenings, which will be difficult if everyone’s head is buried in a phone. Will have to seek out the luddites ;)
You will have plenty of opportunities for socialising, new friends (for life) and fun, do not fear. I am sure you will bond with a "Camino family". Leave the phone people by themselves :)
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
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
#17
Wait! Some of the "phone people" are perfectly nice people. This is like ignoring the person reading a book. Approach them like anyone else!
Have tried many times, also with (some) family members. Most times the response is zero or "Huh?" I rather talk with "real" people;)

Edit: Being online is very different from reading a book. A book can be put away and continued later. Online presence is dominated by being online, plings, responses, instant accessability, etc.
 
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Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Breda (Holland) to Santiago (2016)
Camino Ingles (2017)
#18
This reminds me a bit of ye olde debates about dancing, modern literature or increasing urban life. Later rock music, video games or action movies were the culprits. There was always something derailing and corrupting an entire generation. It seems the available tech of today is the new designated bad guy.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#19
It is the immediacy of social media that causes disruption - like a telephone ringing. People feel as if they must respond, regardless of what is happening around them.

On the telephone thread, these days, before I telephone someone, I usually send a text asking when is a good time (and isn't that ironic!) Our phone very seldom rings these days, out of the blue. Maybe in time we will develop a similar protocol with social media.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#21
I can't speak for others, but if I was using my phone to pass time (I used it as an e-reader, ), but was open to talking to people, I'd look around every time someone walked past and make eye contact. If someone asked a question, or sat beside me, I'd turn off the phone and start talking.

But if I needed some alone time (or was in the middle of a conversation), I'd smile and go back to looking at my phone. Much the same way when reading a real book.

I suspect that there are others with a similar perspective, particularly on the Camino.

Side note: I ALWAYS turned off the noise makers on my phone in the albergue. Time differences between home and Spain increased the probability of bing and ring in the middle of the night. How embarrassing!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#22
I can't speak for others, but if I was using my phone to pass time (I used it as an e-reader, ), but was open to talking to people, I'd look around every time someone walked past and make eye contact. If someone asked a question, or sat beside me, I'd turn off the phone and start talking.

But if I needed some alone time (or was in the middle of a conversation), I'd smile and go back to looking at my phone. Much the same way when reading a real book.

I suspect that there are others with a similar perspective, particularly on the Camino.

Side note: I ALWAYS turned off the noise makers on my phone in the albergue. Time differences between home and Spain increased the probability of bing and ring in the middle of the night. How embarrassing!
Well stated, and I completely agree. I get a bit tired of the stereotyping and sweeping statements on this subject.
 

stgcph

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Aug/Sep 2017)
#23
I remember the days before the cellphone (I do!) when all you had was a wired phone in your home. When you went out, you were “alone”.

These days I still sometimes leave my cell at home when I go out, and when it happens that one of my children tries to reach me in vain and I tell them that I left my phone behind, the response is “You WHAT!!..
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994)
Camino Francés (2013 - 2017)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2017)
#24
I am with you. However, the combination of a little vino tinto with the evening meal and good earplugs takes very much care of those risers. In addition, in many cases it is just good to be woken up and get ready for a new day: More time to enjoy the day's ending point a little earlier, and easier to get that bed for the night :).

But phone use/being online has reached disturbing proportions. This coming from me, with an engineering degree in computer science for +40 years. It is about to become a (mental) health issue for many, IMHO and also according to several studies.
Agree, and in 94 there was no bed racing. No longer willing to now... Ah the good life!
 

wisepilgrim

Guidebook Author
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many
#26
It's been a bit more than a decade since I started but the OP comment about the number of albergues reminded me of what I find to be the biggest difference between then and now... the modern then and now:

On my first camino we would hang out at the dinner table after eating and strategize on the day ahead and it would always come down to something like "see you in such and such a town." That was enough because in any given town there was only one albergue so you knew you would see them there. These days if you want to find one another at the end of the day, where there quite a few more options for sleep, you need wifi and whatsapp.
 

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#27
We are all looking but not all of us are seeing.

I am enjoying this thread as it seems that technology and modern comforts will increasingly be discussed, as their use on the Camino increases. I have learnt so much from forum members over the years, and that knowledge has certainly made my Caminos so much easier and enjoyable so I respect very much the views of those who know the Camino so well.

I liked @C clearly comment about avoiding sweeping statements and her advice to approach phone users just as you would anyone else. I also appreciated @Kanga who commented on phones disguising discomfort because that certainly resonates with me. But for me, it has become a vital part of my First Aid Kit that I am not sure I could cope without. I am not very good at expressing myself succinctly so please excuse the "essay" and I apologise if my experience of using a phone is veering off topic.

In 2013, after the death of my father and 3 "signs" that I felt was calling me to a previously unheard of Camino Frances, I decided that I would walk to Santiago and listen if I could, to the Caminos message for me. I am on the Autistic Spectrum and also have a diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia. I am of no danger or threat to others but when unwell I suffer auditory and visual hallucinations, self-harm and can literally go weeks without leaving my flat. So when I announced I was about to Walk from SJPDP to Muxia, the sound of my friend's alarm bells was deafening. Everyone thought I was mad, pardon the pun, except my psychiatrist who after a few questions asked me if I had a smartphone. I had by chance just been given one as until then I didn't even own a mobile phone.

Telephone numbers were then loaded up. My own Mental Health Team and the Crisis Team for Out of Hours. The Samaritans. And an excellent call roaming plan so I could access these services. Then a translating app so should I need to communicate to Spanish Medical Services I stood a chance much higher than my basic phrases.

In the smart voice recorder app, my phycologist recorded 2 mindfulness recordings I had found useful in the past. The picture gallery had images of steps I found good to calm myself down with along with positive affirmations and vitally, for me, "flashcards" to remind myself that I had an illness and that my current perception might not be reality-based. An example might be, because nothing so bad actually happened, prompting to recognise that sniper carrying a gun was actually just a pilgrim and walking pole.

Finally, some diversion practices that might help. My favourite and most used was talking to "someone" when I was hearing voices, (If especially stressed I hear Voices) This simply involved turning off the phone so it wouldn't ring mid-conversation and then talk to my voices, who tend to be very negative. At one stage just after Sarria, I coped with the sudden increase in pilgrims and thus anxiety by chatting away to a particular voice who was trying to convince me I was a failure and wouldn't make it. "No, I disagree," I said. " I will make it and you're so wrong. I don't have to listen to you and what would you know anyway". Ad lib until I felt in control.

My Camino turned out to be an incredible experience and the first of many. It was life-changing for me on so many levels but still comes with its challenges. I am unable to use dormitory accommodation as it is a trigger for my paranoia which leads to psychosis and so I have to pay more for single rooms. And as much I as I want to I am often too anxious to approach people or go and eat in a bar. And so yes, I often sit alone with my phone coping with a situation but wishing I could be with others.

My phone is always on silent always and I don't use it to casually chat at high volume to friends back home while walking, but it is something I need. I share the frustration of the overuse of phones on the Camino but wanted to share that things are not always what we think.

So, if you see me sitting at a table alone with my phone, do say hello or ask if you can sit down. The chances are I will love your company. People, off Camino, always interrupt others to ask for directions so feel free to interrupt as normal. Please don't ignore the phone people as a phone is not a sign that a person wants to be alone. Let's try to cultivate a reasonable code of usage rather than outright condemnation. I would hate to walk alongside someone talking on their phone, but i would also hate to be without mine. Again, apologies for length of post.
 
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Nanc

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#32
thank you Bhavagrahidasa for your honest open sharing
I remember your early posts in 2017 and hoped you would find a way to go.

Not every one with mental illness could do what you did but knowing yourself, having tools and support, and being willing to use them apparently came together to give you the Camino you felt called to do. Congratulations

It is enlightening to hear how someone can work through the sticky parts of life. Hopefully someone else contemplating this will be inspired
Sounds like you had more than one kind of journey on your Camino
Buen Camino
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#35
I think it is rude to treat the people you are with as a second class, by constantly looking at a screen or taking calls on a device. I refuse to engage with someone whois so distracted and preoccupied. If it is so important,excuse yourself from our conversation, please.
That said, I hail the advent of Google maps, Street View, and GPS. I wrote some guides to lesser-known camino trails, just before these technologies hit the scene...the job was SO much more chancy and difficult without them, they could have saved me hours of blundering around the back roads to nowhere. Wise Pilgrim can attest - his primitive GPS track from O Barco to Monforte saved the day for the first English guide tothe Invierno route! (Which dates way waay back...about 2009?)
 
#37
Then: two albergues in Palas de Rei. One bar with several coin operated computers. Another bar is the only one open for breakfast. Pilgrims pack it at dawn for a noisy multicultural melee.

Today: over ten albergues. Not a computer to be found. Eight pilgrims from four countries enter a bar for breakfast, and set up a long table. The baristo takes orders, and the pilgrims ask for the WiFi password. Breakfast is eaten in silence as all eight thumb their phones.

Flight mode on my phone most of the time. Younger people turning off phone onus Camino to get away from technology
 

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#38
@C clearly @SabineP @HedaP @Purky @Nanc and those who "liked" my post. I would just like to thank you all for your lovely encouragement and comments. I don't often post here because I get so anxious about reactions, so it was nice to have feedback from people who I respect and have taught me a lot about the Camino. It has made my day, so thank you.
 

wisepilgrim

Guidebook Author
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many
#39
@C clearly @SabineP @HedaP @Purky @Nanc and those who "liked" my post. I would just like to thank you all for your lovely encouragement and comments. I don't often post here because I get so anxious about reactions, so it was nice to have feedback from people who I respect and have taught me a lot about the Camino. It has made my day, so thank you.
Recently, in a less mature camino related online group, the topic of judging others and the "rules" of the camino came up. The thread revolved around feeling judged when another pilgrim took issue with another's way of doing the camino. The defensive knee-jerk reaction on the part of the accused was to defend "my camino."

I could not convey my thoughts on the matter eloquently, but they boiled down to the fact that sometimes we don't always (if even seldom) have an idea of what is happening to the bodies and minds of those around us and that perhaps the critical comments could do more to enlighten than to offend if the receiver was able to accept it as such.

Phone users easily get a bad rap, and not just on the camino. I want to thank you for sharing your story because it is a crystal clear reminder to all of us that we have no business at all judging others, and that every frustration can be a learning experience.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#40
Graffiti on mojones, walls, and bunk bed undersides along the Camino, if you ignore the “I was here” genre, focuses on two issues; religion/spirituality and the judgemental world. “Love yourself.” “Walk your own Camino.” Are two common examples of the latter. I think a lot of pilgrims walk to escape what others think. What they are missing is that it is their own reaction to judgement that they are fleeing. You can never successfully flee from yourself! When you know for certain that other’s judgement has no force, YOU win.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#41
Graffiti on mojones, walls, and bunk bed undersides along the Camino, if you ignore the “I was here” genre, focuses on two issues; religion/spirituality and the judgemental world. “Love yourself.” “Walk your own Camino.” Are two common examples of the latter. I think a lot of pilgrims walk to escape what others think. What they are missing is that it is their own reaction to judgement that they are fleeing. You can never successfully flee from yourself! When you know for certain that other’s judgement has no force, YOU win.

We always judge one another wether we are conscious about it or not. But I strongly believe in " common sense" . And the better we know ourselves with all our strenghts and weaknesses the less judgemental we can become.
Kindness is key. Other charactertraits are optional...:)
 
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kirkie

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#43
Then: two albergues in Palas de Rei. One bar with several coin operated computers. Another bar is the only one open for breakfast. Pilgrims pack it at dawn for a noisy multicultural melee.

Today: over ten albergues. Not a computer to be found. Eight pilgrims from four countries enter a bar for breakfast, and set up a long table. The baristo takes orders, and the pilgrims ask for the WiFi password. Breakfast is eaten in silence as all eight thumb their phones.
I have glanced through this thread, and have been stopped in my tracks by the response from bhavagrahidasa. I would take off my hat if I were wearing one. Thanks for your post, bhavagrahidasa. It is indeed a clear reminder: walk in my shoes for two weeks before you attempt to judge me. And back to the differences, then and now. I have not yet repeated the CF, except for 2 days last summer. And in those 2 days, everything the same! Wonder! Delight! Gratitude! Amazement! Lovely people! A hallowed terrain, more so. Such a gift. And one fine day, we will all see one another, face to face!!! No need then for monikers, and if I am wrong, ha! So what! Buen camino.
 

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#44
And this is our loss.
Personally, @bhavagrahidasa , I hope to hear more from you - that was a beautiful post. Thank you.

Thank you!

I am not sure I have that much to say anyway so my anxiety might be the forum's saving grace lol. It does annoy me though as i often write something and then get so anxious I don't post it. To give you an example of how anxious i can become on a regular day when i am considered to be quite well, I will try to only use supermarkets where i can use self-service checkouts so I don't need to speak to the shop assistant, what to speak of committing my thoughts to print lol

But back to phones. This thread reminded me of my first Camino. As I can't make the most of albergues and need private rooms in hostels, safe space to me, I was constantly being told I was not a real pilgrim. It really affected me and got me quite down. Due to hard work and medication, you would not know how unwell I can be but I didn't want to disclose why i found dormitories difficult. Finally, a couple of Camino Moments made me realise I was a pilgrim just as much as anyone else was and my Camino experience changed so much for the better. (Subsequent Caminos have found me using private rooms at albergues and enjoying a different experience again)

It did teach me to try and be non-judgemental. That pilgrim catching a bus or using a backpack service had reasons I didn't know about or need to. Just as that person sitting alone with his phone might have. I just didn't want to put in that group as i love it when people come up and walk with me or share a meal and would hate to think people didn't approach me because of a phone.


But I am not naive about phones becoming all-consuming for many, The phone issue does drive me mad also at times. I once walked behind a woman discussing what furniture she wanted back home. Wouldn't it be great if those Free Wifi signs also included the message "But please use your phone on silent mode" I have never understood how people don't realise the pinging and ringing of phones can disturb people? And as I mentioned, a mere Hola from a fellow pilgrim means my phone would remain silent in my pocket. All the very best, Bryce
 
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bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#45
@wisepilgrim
Thank you. and i LOVE your line "each frustration can be a learning experience"

And also @kirkie Buen Camino and thank you. This is why i do visit the forum so often because i love to see the viewpoints and experiences of others. It really enlivens me.. all the very best, Bryce
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#46
Funny story about using a phone on silent mode...

I thought I'd plugged in my headphones to listen to some music quietly without disturbing others. Turned the volume up a bit. Then realized my headphones were not fully plugged in! So much for not disturbing others.

@bhavagrahidasa I can empathize with the desire for others to come up and say hi. I always want to be the type of person that could go initiate a conversation, but I feel horribly clumsy and like I am intruding on other people. Even more so when there is a large group of people, all of whom seem to know each other. I appreciate it when people choose to sit with me or initiate a conversation.

One of the delights of the Camino or life in general, is learning from the stories of others, and having preconceived notions delightfully altered.
 

bhavagrahidasa

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances to Fisterra/Muxia 2013, twice in 2014, 2015, twice in 2016, 2017, a week on the VdlP
#48
@Northern Laurie I think I would have found it funny to watch someone with headphones in while their phone was blasting away! Sure;y that is amusing rather than annoying, especially as you realised before you became the stuff of legend!

I am getting better at approaching others, especially if they are alone or perhaps with one other. Once the ice is broken I am absolutely fine and have made lasting friends. Its just that damn anxiety I need to say goodbye to before i can say hello. Buen Camino, Bryce
 

Nanc

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#49
I approached a young woman in an Albergue whom I had noticed sleeping on her bunk most of the afternoon. Later she was sitting quietly on the grass in the court yard by herself. I am NOT gregarious or comfortably social but something seemed to be needed , so I asked her if she was OK.
Turned out she had been down with something intestinal for 2 days and was just now venturing out. We shared her mint tea and my soup at dinner and she remarked I was the only pilgrim to ask of her or to touch base.
She was grateful for the human inquiry. When I saw her again in Santiago that heart connect was still there.

I learned something important about reaching beyond MY hesitancy and social fears, to take a moment to reach out to anyone who appears sad, alone , lost ,in pain or distress, and now I ask more readily. Sometimes all we need is for someone to know we are alive
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#50
I'm the weird old lady with the strange clothes who speaks to strangers all the time - the worst that can happen is that I'll get the brush off. I find people endlessly fascinating and worthwhile.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
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
#51
I once asked a tall heavily tattoed skinhead, although he looked scary, if he wanted to share my soup (vegetables, with tuna, mussels, bread and wine) in the albergue kitchen: It was much too much for me alone. He thanked yes. The next day, as I walked into Reliegos, I was shouted at from the first bar, and invited for a cold beer, by the same man, with 8 of his skinhead friends. All hugged me heartedly. One of the better experiences on the Camino. Do not judge a dog by its hairs.
 
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Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#52
The first time I walked the Camino I had to find a locatario (is that right?) where they had computers you could rent by the 20 minutes. Also had phones you could use to make long distance calls home. Some albergues, like the one in Logroño, had ONE computer that you could stand in line for. I sort of liked it better. But then, I'm old.
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#54
I'm the weird old lady with the strange clothes who speaks to strangers all the time - the worst that can happen is that I'll get the brush off. I find people endlessly fascinating and worthwhile.
Wonderful.
Feel free, @Kanga, if ever we meet 'out there,' to do just that. And I bet you a round of whatever drinks you like that I have way weirder clothes than you. (Of course to adjudicate that properly we will need to round up a quorum of strangers.)
;):cool:
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#58

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#60
Ha! Did you believe me? !
Well, no. I was joking.
'How many make a quorum?' is like asking how long is a piece of string.
But I really liked your answer, imagining the hypothetical situation:D...
(And sorry, mods. We are veering way off topic, and should probably take this to that not serious thread.)
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#61
I'm the weird old lady with the strange clothes who speaks to strangers all the time - the worst that can happen is that I'll get the brush off. I find people endlessly fascinating and worthwhile.
This is one of the greatest things about becoming an old lady... everyone assumes you are sweet and harmless!
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#63
I wonder what the Camino will be like 10 years from now.
(We old ladies will be more and more doddering and toothless, but I hope that we will still be out there, red socks and all........)
 

VNwalking

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2014, 2015)
St Olav/Francés (2016)
Baztanés/Francés (2017)
Ingles (July 2018)
#69
we give them life(i mean those inventor) apparently most of it ended by them controlling our life.
Fortunately, only we have control of the on-off switch! :);)
 

KiwiBee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Melide (Feb 2014)
Melide to Santiago (Feb 2015)
#70
We are all looking but not all of us are seeing.

I am enjoying this thread as it seems that technology and modern comforts will increasingly be discussed, as their use on the Camino increases. I have learnt so much from forum members over the years, and that knowledge has certainly made my Caminos so much easier and enjoyable so I respect very much the views of those who know the Camino so well.

I liked @C clearly comment about avoiding sweeping statements and her advice to approach phone users just as you would anyone else. I also appreciated @Kanga who commented on phones disguising discomfort because that certainly resonates with me. But for me, it has become a vital part of my First Aid Kit that I am not sure I could cope without. I am not very good at expressing myself succinctly so please excuse the "essay" and I apologise if my experience of using a phone is veering off topic.

In 2013, after the death of my father and 3 "signs" that I felt was calling me to a previously unheard of Camino Frances, I decided that I would walk to Santiago and listen if I could, to the Caminos message for me. I am on the Autistic Spectrum and also have a diagnosis of Paranoid Schizophrenia. I am of no danger or threat to others but when unwell I suffer auditory and visual hallucinations, self-harm and can literally go weeks without leaving my flat. So when I announced I was about to Walk from SJPDP to Muxia, the sound of my friend's alarm bells was deafening. Everyone thought I was mad, pardon the pun, except my psychiatrist who after a few questions asked me if I had a smartphone. I had by chance just been given one as until then I didn't even own a mobile phone.

Telephone numbers were then loaded up. My own Mental Health Team and the Crisis Team for Out of Hours. The Samaritans. And an excellent call roaming plan so I could access these services. Then a translating app so should I need to communicate to Spanish Medical Services I stood a chance much higher than my basic phrases.

In the smart voice recorder app, my phycologist recorded 2 mindfulness recordings I had found useful in the past. The picture gallery had images of steps I found good to calm myself down with along with positive affirmations and vitally, for me, "flashcards" to remind myself that I had an illness and that my current perception might not be reality-based. An example might be, because nothing so bad actually happened, prompting to recognise that sniper carrying a gun was actually just a pilgrim and walking pole.

Finally, some diversion practices that might help. My favourite and most used was talking to "someone" when I was hearing voices, (If especially stressed I hear Voices) This simply involved turning off the phone so it wouldn't ring mid-conversation and then talk to my voices, who tend to be very negative. At one stage just after Sarria, I coped with the sudden increase in pilgrims and thus anxiety by chatting away to a particular voice who was trying to convince me I was a failure and wouldn't make it. "No, I disagree," I said. " I will make it and you're so wrong. I don't have to listen to you and what would you know anyway". Ad lib until I felt in control.

My Camino turned out to be an incredible experience and the first of many. It was life-changing for me on so many levels but still comes with its challenges. I am unable to use dormitory accommodation as it is a trigger for my paranoia which leads to psychosis and so I have to pay more for single rooms. And as much I as I want to I am often too anxious to approach people or go and eat in a bar. And so yes, I often sit alone with my phone coping with a situation but wishing I could be with others.

My phone is always on silent always and I don't use it to casually chat at high volume to friends back home while walking, but it is something I need. I share the frustration of the overuse of phones on the Camino but wanted to share that things are not always what we think.

So, if you see me sitting at a table alone with my phone, do say hello or ask if you can sit down. The chances are I will love your company. People, off Camino, always interrupt others to ask for directions so feel free to interrupt as normal. Please don't ignore the phone people as a phone is not a sign that a person wants to be alone. Let's try to cultivate a reasonable code of usage rather than outright condemnation. I would hate to walk alongside someone talking on their phone, but i would also hate to be without mine. Again, apologies for length of post.
Thank you so much for your wonderful, thoughtful response.
I appreciate your insight and feel my brain just learnt a little something new tonight.
All the best to you.
 


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