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AA meetings

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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Are there AA meetings along the way? I am a little concerned traveling alone through the middle of Spain wine country.
Hi Crandall - I'm allergic (sort of) to all alcohol and I can't drink any. I have always found that when I explain no-one questions my choice and most sympathize and offer me water or soft drinks. Maybe you could try this if it helps?

(sorry if this is irrelevant :oops: I wasn't sure if I should post but lots of folks do ask about being able to go alcohol free whilst walking... I've never felt alone with my soft drinks... I really hope you have a great walk!
 

Togabogie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Maybe you could talk to other pilgrims and be straight about it if you meet any, being honest about it will help you!!
Also try and have someone you can phone if needs be,
You might be surprised how many pilgrims are there who have problems , maybe not AA based, but being in company who have issues, mental,physical, spiritual or otherwise might help you realise some pilgrims like youreself are fighting or trying to enhance or change something whatever that may be!!
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Are there AA meetings along the way? I am a little concerned traveling alone through the middle of Spain wine country.

Pardon me , but I’m not entirely sure whether you’re being serious, or not.

From a personal perspective - whilst I’m not sure that I’m at the point where AA should play a part in my life, I’ve certainly come close from time to time.

Yesterday morning I was having breakfast in Madrid and the two young (20’s, I’m getting on) American women on my right were having a half litre of beer with a ham salad. (It’s the salad which is unusual). The three Spanish chaps on my left were having wine, beer and some unidentifiable spirit with their coffee and tostada.

It was 0800 in the morning.

All I wanted -and had - was a coffee.

I’m taking that as a rain check on AA for another 12 months because alcohol was not only available for breakfast - it was normal - and it repulsed me.

That’s not unusual Spanish culture. The few bits of Spain which are not wine-country are beer-country.
 

Dsavid Keyte

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de San Salavador (2015)
Camino de la Costa (2016)
Camino Lebaniego 2017
Lots of decent Non alcoholic beers in Spain, from all the main players as well as a plethora of new micro breweries that also make no alcoholic beers. I stopped drinking alcohol, last year and so far not missed it, and the good thing is you get tapas, with non alcoholic drinks
 

man.grangeburn

Michael A. Nolan
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria - Santiago de Compostela June (2010).
Planning Tui - Santiago de Compostela May/June (2019)
Finished the last bit of the Camino Portuguese at the beginning of October. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Gave up alcohol over two years ago so I stuck to Estrella Galicia 0,0 (zay-roh, zay-roh, as I learned). Lovely alcohol free beer and, as you say, always with a tapas!
 
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Simon B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
Are there AA meetings along the way? I am a little concerned traveling alone through the middle of Spain wine country.
Crandall - I do not drink any alcohol and have done a couple of Caminos. There is no pressure and everybody I met and socialised with accepted where I was coming from. I hope you feel able to do the Camino you want to and am sure you will be fully supported by fellow Pilgrims.
 

AndreaCT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
May 2019 Portuguese
There is a discussion on the forum under Friends of Bill and Alanon in Santiago. You might be able to PM some of the people to find out if there are meetings along the way. I don't know your time zone, but maybe there's an on-line group for travellers. Or, if you're from Canada or the States, maybe the head office in New York has information.
 

RRat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning 2017
Are there AA meetings along the way? I am a little concerned traveling alone through the middle of Spain wine country.
There is no stigma associated with drinking wine or not drinking wine in Spain. It's simply a local beverage, unlike in the US where we make a big deal out of it. I learned to appreciate carbonated water after a day on the Camino. Its goes by agua con gas.
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
@Crandall , welcome and thanks for your personal question. I am sure there are many members of that great organisation, the AA, on the Camino, I have met several people in recovery along the way and have admired their honesty and courage. As with any addiction it is important to have a source of support, so I just hope and pray that you get what you need on your Camino. As usual I think, there but for the Grace of God, go I.
Buen Camino
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
I think there are some meetings in Santiago. That said, there was zero pressure about not drinking and there were many others who also just wanted water, no wine, no beer.
That said, it is not embarrassing for me to tell people why I can't drink. The embarrassing stuff was when I WAS drinking.
 

Thom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked the Camino Frances in September-October 2016.
Are there AA meetings along the way? I am a little concerned traveling alone through the middle of Spain wine country.
Hi Crandall! Thanks for asking the question. Almost fifteen years here - I just got back from my second pilgrimage on the Frances. Feel free to shoot me a PM, am happy to share any experience, strength and hope in this regard.
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
Finished the last bit of the Camino Portuguese at the beginning of October. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Gave up alcohol over two years ago so I stuck to Estrella Galicia 0,0 (zah-roh, zah-roh, as I learned). Lovely alcohol free beer and, as you say, always with a tapas!
I can't speak for Spain, but in Portugal, there seems to be widespread local acceptance that the traditional casual approach to alcohol consumption (perhaps just a North American cliche of European life) isn't for everyone. Coming from Canada, I was surprised and pleased to see that all of the major brewers produce alcohol-free versions that are marketed right along-side, and equally "seriously" as, alcoholic beer. They're sold side by side in the supermarkets, and both are advertised equally, on the same page in the same section, in weekly sales flyers. It seems quite matter-of-fact that someone might want either.

The phrase"sem álcool," shown on flyers/labels as "s/álcool," means "without alcohol," and that's what you'd ask or look for.

Non-alcoholic wine not so much, because the locals are so proud of the various regions' wines and they get a lot of publicity as national and regional products, just like cheese! But nonalcoholic wine is present, as well, and where you find it, quite drinkable.

Also, I was surprised, given my beliefs about the culture of Iberia, to find that a significant number of my neighbours in rural Portugal actually didn't drink. The accepted reality is that alcohol is everywhere. Not the case!

**Later edit: the above is definitely not true for coffee, however...it is everywhere!
 
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Doughnut NZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
AA has different meanings in different cultures. While in Los Angeles in the 80's I wondered why I was getting strange looks when I asked people on the street for directions to the AA, finally, someone explained that in the USA the Automobile Association is known as triple A, AAA!
 

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