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Are we making it all too easy?

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#1
A few recent posts and members' scratchy responses (me too) have made me ponder one of those questions for the Internet Age. The one posited in this thread title.

The first time I went hiking in Spain the 'The Leader' was still on his throne and the Guardia Civil certainly weren't civil to a hairy youth of dubious means. My 'guide books' were Homage to Catalonia; As I walked Out One Midsummers Morning; A Moment of War, and South from Granada amongst others. I 'navigated' by compass and the sun for general direction and following the notion that as there was a road / track it was bound to go somewhere: and where it went was where I was going. I learnt a lot; encountered many surprises and found that Spain was just like home only different. The landscapes were spectacular, or dull. The weather was what it was. The people kind, or not. Some bars did wonderful food, some didn't. That a barn on some high vega was more likely to be bug-free than a shared bed in a fonda.

I can pour a glass of rough wine, nibble a chalky piece of sheep or goats cheese, close my eyes and be back on those 'caminos' even now when age dictates that I have no idea where I have put my glasses. The self-confidence, acuity and adaptability I gained from those adventures were life skills that have served me well. And now I wonder: do I really serve the common good by providing answers to every question? I understand that for first time travellers any adventure is the big adventure but I am not sure that I serve them well with my list of beds, meals, beers and beautiful views. Where is their opportunity for discovery if I serve them 'camino on a plate'? Where is their opportunity for growth if I confine them to a nice tidy, tight, "camino box'?

Hasta que punto es el siguente pueblo? Hay un bar?
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Via Francis May (2016)
#2
Gosh, I'm really the first person to respond to your interesting comments Tincatinker? ? Yes, I can relate to what your saying. I have the same experience travelling solo in India and Nepal way back in the day (early 70's) way before guidebooks. Indeed the first roneo'd (remember roneo?) 'guides' sold in markets in Oz, that eventually became Lonely Planet were cribbed from the notes we hippies used to leave each other at informal notice boards in teashops to say where a road might lead, where was sure not safe etc. I walked from Kathmandu to Mt Everest with no yellow arrows and few guest houses, just odd rooms and chance beds, and often only a sketchy idea of where the path was leading. Most of my journeys were pilgrimages then, to places and teachers I genuinely revered., and I still dine out (and smile to myself) on those times. I wouldn't have missed my early travels, like you I am grateful for the skills and attitudes I gained and the comradeship with people I met who were prepared to travel the same way. My son and his friend retraced some of those steps a decade ago, on his own pilgrimage to where I buried his father. He certainly understood where some of his mum's resilience and 'differen't take on the world came from. I see the backpackers now, plugged in and fed adventures and know how times have changed. As have I. And i'm stepping out again on this new kind of pilgrimage, a ton more prepared than back then, and I;m also grateful for a little more ease these days. I'll still have to walk the walk, and look forward to see what new skills and attitudes this 'nowadays' adventure will bring me.
 

nalod

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2011, Finnesterre 2011,Le Puy to SJPDP 2011& 2012,Via de la Plata,Sambrasa 2012, Mozarabe 2013, Portugees 2013.PartNorde 2011, VDPL 2014,St-Guilhem 2014.Espalion-Roncesvalles 2014.Levante2015
#3
Great thread. I do think people want too much information and plan in huge detail. They may think it gives them freedom when they know what to expect I don't think it does. It can give a comfortable experience, it just depends what you want in a Camino. Some info is useful but keep it to a minimum. I used this approach in my updates from my recent VDLP, stating what is open and how much it cost. I generally like not knowing where I am going to stay except on starting and finishing dates. "Getting lost " never bothers me, it is just a new experience, I never consider myself lost if I can eat and sleep. I am just learning Spanish but up to now would randomly order things on a menu, not knowing what they were, great fun.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#4
I for one am delighted that you and many others here provided me with the information on a plate because without it I might not have made the journey, I was recovering from heart surgery and had lost a lot of confidence in my abilities. I am sure there are many more like me who had/have doubts for various reasons and this forum can give them ease to their concerns. So thank you Tinkatinker and please.....keep serving.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July CF
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#5
Tincatinker,
I am a professor of nursing at a university. The questions my students ask are ones that have been answered many times in many ways. Sometimes when I am tired or a little grouchy I want to just tell them to look at the syllabus or read the assigned readings or actually listen in class rather than ask me the same question for the jillionth time. Then I remember that they are excited and a little bit afraid and that they consider me wise and I sigh deeply on the inside and patiently reassure them.

In some ways that is like the forum. Most of the information has been repeated and repeated, but new and excited peregrinos do not know what they do not know and so they ask. Frankly when I tell people that I am undertaking the Camino this year, I either get a blank stare or and excited barrage of questions. For me the forum and guide books are a way to begin my pilgrimage before it even starts. I can dream and read about it. I can see that others are also excited and dreaming about it, too. Your patient wisdom is a blessing to us. We will build our own memories soon and cherish them just as you do.

Janet
 

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#6
This is a great thread, hope to get a lot of thought provoking responses. It has made me think about my own approach to the Camino. I will readily admit that I fall in the category of trying to be helpful helpful helpful, maybe to a ridiculous degree, and probably in the process I remove some of the mystery and challenge for others. My MO is that I walk an untraveled Camino, the less known the better, which means that I get lost frequently, don't know what to expect, and revel in the freedom and sense of competency that comes from having figured it out and having enjoyed it. And then, once back home, I set about trying to help others who may want a bit more understanding of what lies ahead. But maybe I lessen their own experience in some way, because now they have more crutches than I did. Hmmmmm. True, no one has to read the perhaps ridiculously meticulous detail of the guides that I've helped to write, but maybe a more satisfactory and ultimately rewarding approach would be to leave well enough alone and leave the guidebooks for the heavily traveled caminos.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#7
How interesting--a topic that is fresh, and new, and while it has been discussed before, the presentation is so well done. Hats off to you, @Tincatinker and responders.

I can see both sides. While in Spain from March through April, I met people who had to know--had to know!--where they were stopping each night, what the town would be like, where the food might be, and were there dogs? et cetera. I typically found my bed at the end of a walking day during my first trip to Spain in October '15, and feel the most comfortable stopping when and where I am tired. People are so different in their approaches--and I am critical of neither approach. People are different.

In the 90's, I can remember getting on a "speed boat"--a long canoe with an outboard motor--and sitting on the base of the boat. We sped down the Mekhong River, starting from N. Thailand were it borders Laos, and just zipped along, seeing working elephants, people at the river washing clothes and bathing, and finally stopped at a muddy incline. As we disembarked, people lined the bank to see the white faces; most had never seen them. That night, we sat at an open-air restaurant on the river, and a slightly-older man approached the thirty-somethings.

He asked--in quite good English--if he could join us, and we had a conversation about "why" we were doing this rough travel. It was hard to explain then. We showed him some of the sign language we sometimes used, and showed him a little guide book with some language, and we laughed about some of the mistakes we had made, and how patient people were with us. Just the previous day, Ken had mistakenly ordered some fish eyes--which he then couldn't eat.

Anyway, some like it hot, some like it cold. I've always liked rough travel. While I don't need to travel with a guidebook, I do. Most of the time, I forgot the names of places I've been, but having now done CF in entirety and about half of it again, I am starting to become more of a familiar friend with it. I can also say that I appreciate the wisdom of the elders very much. Reading everyone's posts has been interesting, and I often travel vicariously through others. I love to do that.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#8
Each to their own. Personally I enjoy a healthy dose of doubt and uncertainty in my travels. But some friends and family are the opposite and cannot relax and enjoy themselves if they do not know everything is sorted in advance. If someone is anxious enough or interested enough to ask a question then I think it does no harm to answer as well as possible. Those who want to enjoy more serendipity can always find it for themselves.
 

pudgypilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
voie de tours 2015
#9
Personally, I hate GPS etc, but I'm old enough to have known that you can manage without those things and that getting lost isn't a major tragedy, but I think there are a great many folks in the world now who have never known that or have long forgotten it and their stress level without these things would be astronomically higher than anybody's would have been forty years ago, regardless of circumstances.

We live in a world that finds it profitable to keep everyone fearful all the time and people are just going to bring that with them, so why make it harder?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Starting April 22, 2016)
#10
I did notice that as soon as this thread came out, the number of questions went down...

One reason for me doing the Camino is so I don't need to overplan, as I had to do when doing relatively short sections of the Appalachian Trail. I am still nervous about the Pyrenees stage (and had a query about weather and starting point because of it), but other than the start, I'm assuming the Camino will provide. That being said, I'm glad this forum is available if I need it on "The Way". :)
 
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jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (1994)
Camino Francés (2013 - 2017)
Camino Portugués (2015 - 2017)
#11
And now I wonder: do I really serve the common good by providing answers to every question? I understand that for first time travellers any adventure is the big adventure but I am not sure that I serve them well with my list of beds, meals, beers and beautiful views. Where is their opportunity for discovery if I serve them 'camino on a plate'? Where is their opportunity for growth if I confine them to a nice tidy, tight, "camino box'?

Hasta que punto es el siguente pueblo? Hay un bar?
As I walked Out One Midsummers Morning - great book

perhaps another question is, do you really have the answer to every question?, and if you do, then are you right to negate another pilgrim's agency, such as in his/her right to enquiry?

in reply to the thread question: no, no we aren't. (and no, i would rather not return to the spain of the 50s, 60s, 70s or even 80s)

interesting thread, cheers
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#12
... maybe a more satisfactory and ultimately rewarding approach would be to leave well enough alone and leave the guidebooks for the heavily traveled caminos.
No, Laurie! Please don't stop writing about your travels. I, for one, very much enjoy reading about them, for you open my eyes to caminos that I have never heard about, and your details and notes give me the inspiration that I too might be able to accomplish adventures.
 

soozansings

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2nd (2016)
#13
A few recent posts and members' scratchy responses (me too) have made me ponder one of those questions for the Internet Age. The one posited in this thread title.

The first time I went hiking in Spain the 'The Leader' was still on his throne and the Guardia Civil certainly weren't civil to a hairy youth of dubious means. My 'guide books' were Homage to Catalonia; As I walked Out One Midsummers Morning; A Moment of War, and South from Granada amongst others. I 'navigated' by compass and the sun for general direction and following the notion that as there was a road / track it was bound to go somewhere: and where it went was where I was going. I learnt a lot; encountered many surprises and found that Spain was just like home only different. The landscapes were spectacular, or dull. The weather was what it was. The people kind, or not. Some bars did wonderful food, some didn't. That a barn on some high vega was more likely to be bug-free than a shared bed in a fonda.

I can pour a glass of rough wine, nibble a chalky piece of sheep or goats cheese, close my eyes and be back on those 'caminos' even now when age dictates that I have no idea where I have put my glasses. The self-confidence, acuity and adaptability I gained from those adventures were life skills that have served me well. And now I wonder: do I really serve the common good by providing answers to every question? I understand that for first time travellers any adventure is the big adventure but I am not sure that I serve them well with my list of beds, meals, beers and beautiful views. Where is their opportunity for discovery if I serve them 'camino on a plate'? Where is their opportunity for growth if I confine them to a nice tidy, tight, "camino box'?

Hasta que punto es el siguente pueblo? Hay un bar?
You've provided this new pilgrim with much knowledge and humor and encouragement, so that I'm looking forward to the unexpected, the unplanned, and learning to live in the moment. I don't think any first timer has a clue what to expect until they experience it. Thanks for what you've done for me. And I, too, can't find my glasses o_O
 
S

simply B

Guest
#14
A most excellent question, indeed!

"Yes!" for those people who have the life experience, skills and/or adaptability to deal with "the unknown".

"No!" for those who need a plan by dint of health or other life circumstance.

I'm of the school to let people sort themselves into which category they want to belong.

But why should you answer every question? Reserve your energies for the questions that you want to answer! Your posts always have a very unique (in a good way:)) voice. It would be a shame to lose that presence here.

B
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
#15
I cannot help but thinking that in this post modernistic world we live in, that we do not have an ´either - or´ experience when we go out into the world, we have instead an all inclusive ´both - and´ situation.
Most visibly when you for instance struggle against the wind and the rain to get to the Cruz de Fer, the mental highlight of this stretch (out of many), - just to find that a perfect tarmac road is running next to the last bit of the trail.
I had to firmly dis-regard the existence of this road as it interfered momentarily with my struggle to reach this place of enhanced feeling through hardship, something I had to do in order to get to this fine spot with these many gentle thoughts and wishes posted to the wooden mast..
One entry some months ago in this very forum told about an incident where some tourists / wanderers seemed to abuse the apparent sanctity of this place, went around seemingly mocking the scene - and she felt devastated. - Simply because you could have taken the easy route on the tarmac surface and thus just would not get what this place and what the whole route is about.
But you just cannot dictate what someone else is supposed to be feeling and experiencing, and so all these confrontations of opinions arise ever so often in these circles of this forum...where to find GPS charts, where can I get a shave, what camera to bring / do I need to bring a camera... will I need to reserve room in advance...what is the weather in 2 months???.... But that is how we (have to ) structure our modern life.....

You want to get to a positive result of your journey, a state fullfilled , how does one get to it??

I am always reminded by this story;

The student asks the Zen master about archery:

" Sensei, what do I have to do to even hitting the target, I need advice"

Sensei answers: - You must do the best you can to succeed ! Then you will hit the target eventually.....

" And what do I have to do to shoot the perfect arrow that will hit the target perfect in the center...??"

- Then, says the Sensei - you will have to do whatever it takes !!


...and what it will take, we do not know until we are trying hard enough.....
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#16
Very good post, thank you Tinkatinker! Made me think! (Oh, steady :D)

The people who ask all those specific questions -for a first camino- probably do it because they need the answers. Of course in my very limited way and not always successfully, I always try to help, like all of you on here.
I have often thought that had I read it all before I left, I probably wouldn't have gone at all! I recall going on a forum (maybe this one, I can't remember) before I started and reading a discussion about rucksacks... It seemed all very technical to me so I ignored it thinking 'this doesn't apply to me, I am not a pro., I'll only be doing this once, just need something to carry my stuff'... Hahaha
Also reading the detailed descriptions of the day's trek, in a VdlP guide, had me in fits every morning: 'can I do this???'... Every elevation was mentioned, with comments like 'very demanding' etc. Had I not read about it beforehand, I wouldn't have wasted my time worrying for nothing....

So it all depends - as ever - on what we are like. It puts some people's minds at rest to have answers to their questions and it might worry others! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#17
As I walked Out One Midsummers Morning - great book

interesting thread, cheers
Reminds me of a lovely encounter I had in Puebla de Sanabria, a young man early twenties, just finished Uni, same age as my youngest child. He was walking following Laurie lee's footsteps, but the reverse way. Was inspired by the book and decided to go for himself. Never worried about the 'right' equipment, wasn't too sure about which way to go, didn't have much money. We had a meal together and answered his questions about the way ahead - where we'd just come from. It was, how can I say, so 'refreshing'. His parents were worried of course but I thought they were so lucky!

Sorry, this was just a 'by the by'. :oops:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#18
I am finding this thread a little odd. Am I imagining something, or is the usual answer to "How far should I walk each day?" "Where is a good place to stop each night?" not generally "As far as feels comfortable to you" and "Wherever you want to stop?" I have heard "Plan for your first day or two, then just do what feels right to you" addressed to many an anxious newcomer on this forum. As far as I know, they take this excellent advice and learn to find their own rhythm and walk their own camino. I have been very grateful for two kinds of advice/information. 1. Practical information about how to get around in Spain on my first visit. 2. Sharing of places where pilgrims felt inspired and wished to point out to a newcomer. Nobody ever suggested that I should do so and so, and this is just as well, as I would certainly have ignored them. Please go on doing what you are doing, friends. It's great. Or don't. I can manage just fine without you. But I would rather not.
 

MaidinBham

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, April (2014)
Camino Portuguese Lisbon>Santiago, April/May (2016)
#19
My first Camino was in 2014, and the 2nd coming up in just five days. I didn't plan a lot, was a member of this forum but never posted anything, and spent minimal time here researching my 1st trip. The upcoming Camino I have spent a LOT of time on this forum, and honestly what I realized for the 1st and the upcoming is that my pack and my feet are the most important things. That, and the fact that I will need sunglasses on CP, but not on CF because the sun was always at my back.
I do worry that I am over-planning and over thinking my 2nd Camino, and that will impact the experience I have.
The OP seems quite melancholy talking about the past, and I too feel this way some times - when life was much simpler, and the universe not such a complicated place.
Janice
 
S

SunnyLife

Guest
#20
I’ve browsed this forum for over a year and finally decided to signup. But I see this question as rather refreshing. I too have pondered this thought and wondered if the joy of self-discovery has go awry in all our insecurities. I walked my first Camino in 2012 on a whim and loved every minute of it. Pre-Camino jitters, the planning, buying my gear, then showing up in Saint jean with wide eyes and in complete awe of what I was about to undertake. It was simply fabulous! Sometimes too much information, is just that; too much! We need to trust ourselves more and enjoy the ride.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#21
Back in the day, 2007, can you imagine, I got by with a simple guidebook? One I actually purchased!

I don't understand that with Google being so easy to use people ask questions they could have answers to in a few seconds.

And I don't understand the pleasure some get not only to provide an Bnswer they know the answer to but to actually search the net to give an answer they just looked up!

Asking for shared experiences, suggestions regarding something specific is one thing, tips, but those about how to fly to Spain I just don't get, where to catch a bus in one of the largest cities in the world Or those that can be answered by buying Brierly or consulting Gronze, Eroski, etc. After all, there is much in the discovery and the planning.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#22
What a great question! It's one I've chewed on all day, which is something rare and delightful in an age of soundbite thinking.

The question might be restated, "Why should I explain to the next generation how I created the wheel and axle? It's better for them to figure it out so as to have the same satisfaction of discovery that I had." Which would solve all of the angst over whether people should take electronics on the Camino; they wouldn't exist. Likely neither would books or printing presses (sorry Brierley) or maps and compasses. We'd still be walking in skins with clubs and gourds and sleeping in sheepfolds, assuming the fence and gate existed and domestication had taken hold. Personally, I like the improvements that come from knowledge transfer and advancement.

Then again, technological advancement is very different than personal advancement. While human society seems to have advanced in sophistication, much of which is a result of its technological progress, it can be argued that human nature really hasn't. Humanity seems subject to much the same issues and desires and weaknesses as the men and women of the ancient Greek playwrights. And every generation seems to have to learn the hard way where its place in the world is, to struggle with hubris and the lust for power, with suffering and the indignities of old age, to relate to others in a meaningful way, to give and to receive love and forgiveness and mercy, to balance the needs of the flesh and the soul, to find meaning, to help the next generation to thrive, and such like. In all honesty, I don't think I am particularly more advanced as a person than my grandfather 100 generations removed. His growth as a person almost certainly had more to do with his experiences and age and willingness to reflect on them than anything else; so too with me.

Thus, I think the question of whether or not we are over communicating or oversimplifying things actually depends on the motive of the person making the pilgrimage.

If the growth a person seeks (or finds as a byproduct) is in going somewhere in the world where few have gone before---into the unknown, if you will---then, yes, we do them a disservice by making it too easy. The struggle of venturing past the boundaries of the known (at least to us) world defines us and shapes us in countless ways. It's like paving a highway through the wilderness; those who follow in an air conditioned car can't even fathom what it was like before with only a machete and compass, but no map or GPS. Perhaps the reason adventure trekkers dismiss the Camino is that its groomed trails and ready conveniences no longer provides this kind of adventure. For that matter, soon neither will the Appalachian Trail or even climbing Everest; while they may provide greater or different physical challenges, they are still well marked and documented ad nauseam, and a person would be foolish to attempt them without doing their research. @Tincatinker's question could just as easily apply to whiteblaze.net.

If the person is seeking a walking holiday, on the other hand, then discovery is less the goal than reasonably comfortable weather and accommodations and food and good companionship and vino tinto at the end of a day (or perhaps I'm projecting here). The Camino Frances and the other well-traveled Camino routes are very well suited to this. These pilgrims are keenly interested in the kinds of information we can provide on these forums so that their holiday provides greater immediate gratification.

The interesting case in my mind is the person seeking personal growth---be it spiritual growth, emotional healing, deeper relationship with his/her walking companion, etc. There's not much that we as a forum can really do in that regard, because those questions have little to do with whether bedbugs are or aren't a problem, or ponchos vs. rain jackets, or shoes vs. boots, or the best way to get to SJPdP from Davis Station, Antarctica. At best, we can only support the inner pilgrimage with encouragement or empathy or quasi-spiritual (but certainly not religious) answers. The great religions, and the "enlightened" philosophies which now strive to supplant them, attempt to provide guidance for this inner pilgrimage, except we cannot even touch those topics more than superficially before we end up with locked threads due to our inability to agree to disagree with respect and civility. New forum; same old problems of the human condition.

But, the Camino de Santiago seems ideally suited to making this inner pilgrimage readily available to a wide number of people. It has the right balance of rigor and convenience and expense for broad appeal. And, although this generation's pilgrimages won't advance the next generation any more than our parents did ours, it seems worth it to me that we, as a forum, continue to provide the aid of our experience and common sense with patience for those considering the exterior pilgrimage . . . so that they might more readily make the interior one.
 
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Wokabaut_Meri

merely labeled
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP - Santiago (April/May 2015)
#23
Fascinating observations here already - and a wealth of knowledge as well.

Firstly may I say 'Bravo!' to all the intrepid souls who set out on their pilgrimage to Santiago, especially those who have never walked any distance in their lives. I am in awe of your courage and achievements. The Camino changes lives and often in totally unexpected Ways - the tourist becomes a pilgrim and the pilgrim just a walker.

@koilife what a well thought out and sanguine response. I agree that the externals of a pilgrimage, once satisfied, leave space and energy to better pursue the inner journey. This is probably the best reasoning that I have come across to encourage Forum members to share our knowledge freely.

I am also reminded that we live in a time where safety is a 'hot' topic and often the focus and need to control the minutiae of such a huge undertaking as a Camino is just that - an attempt to control events and seek out the familiar. Our world is increasingly trying to be made unremarkable by forecasting the weather, exchange rates, fuel prices etc etc. To those of us who had the benefit of a free range childhood, it takes away the sense of adventure that we recall from journeys past.

My husband and I made our Camino last year mainly to realise a long held dream for our compañero who had never done a journey of this kind before. It was disturbing to see how our friend changed once overseas. It was a total character change with a driven need to control events, know exactly what the next day held in distance and accommodation and a complete loss of awareness of anyone else or their needs. Overseas travel does create anxiety and stress for many people, hence the popularity of organised and pre-booked versions of the Camino. As @koilife says,
it seems worth it to me that we, as a forum, continue to provide the aid of our experience and common sense with patience for those considering the exterior pilgrimage . . . so that they might more readily make the interior one.
To me it, in some small way, repays the debt to all who have gone before and paved the Way with their shared knowledge.
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#24
Sometimes I wonder if we are getting to much like 'TripAdvisor for pilgrims', then I remember asking some similar questions myself. However there are some people who seem to want all the questions answered without doing any searching for themselves. Do we make it too easy by fully answering questions, or is it more helpful to point people in the right direction to find out for themselves, especially as our answers might not be what the inquirer needs. Like walking the Camino we cannot do it for people, but can try to be helpful, and if that helps one uncertain/nervous pilgrim reach Santiago more easily then it is good. Just don't ask me to forecast the weather! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#25
Since 2004 I have walked the Camino Frances every year.
Subsequently providing information about the Camino became an additional pleasure whether talking on route with another pilgrim or writing blogs for curious readers.

Since November 2009 participating in this unique Forum has been part of my daily life and providing practical on-line responses for questioners, both novice and veteran has become a distinct pleasure. When asked about the Camino answering what I know to be so is a personal obligation. Such mutual sharing is a large part of the unique camino spirit; besides being informative for future pilgrims it keeps my memories current while recalling past journeys anew.

Nevertheless I share the current unease and fear of losing the special spirit of the camino where pilgrims are simply grateful for what they find to a new callous demand for what large crowds might consider to be their rightful due. These are intense concerns regarding the immediate future along this beloved path.

Thankfully the strong old camino traditions still do remain. Many, many local people sincerely wish pilgrims "Buen camino" as we walk through their villages. Shopkeepers and hospitaleros seem pleased to see us. Most importantly the religious traditions continue to be meaningful and consistent.

May all of us who walk, have walked and dream of walking continue to share and help each other as pilgrims before us have for centuries and hopefully will continue to do so forevermore.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (March-May '15)
Cologne - Trier (August '16)
Trier - Nancy/Le Puy - Fisterra (May-July '17)
#26
What a great thread!

Thanks Tincatinker and all the others who answered, very interesting read.


From my point of view, the Camino will teach you not to worry too much, not to plan too much, when you're walking it. Even when you planned everything in detail before you went there, you'll realize it wouldn't have been necessary at all. It's another lesson to learn.

But for some, that is absolutely unthinkable until they have actually experienced it. If you have been raised a certain way, it can be difficult to shake that off. In my family nobody would ever just have walked off alone, that far from home, with little money and planning. I, and I guess many others also, have grown up believing that it's not safe, and thus something you should never do (At least not alone. Definitely not alone, as a woman. And surely not without having a plan. And a backup plan. And a backup plan for that one. ect., ect., ect...).

Getting information about what you're about to do may be – for some – the only way to find the courage to actually do it. Especially when there's people trying to talk you out of it. In that case, a forum with people who encourage you probably is even more helpful than a guide book.

Doing a lot of planning, in this case, might be an opportunity to learn to plan less.
 
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#28
This is a great thread, hope to get a lot of thought provoking responses. It has made me think about my own approach to the Camino. I will readily admit that I fall in the category of trying to be helpful helpful helpful, maybe to a ridiculous degree, and probably in the process I remove some of the mystery and challenge for others. My MO is that I walk an untraveled Camino, the less known the better, which means that I get lost frequently, don't know what to expect, and revel in the freedom and sense of competency that comes from having figured it out and having enjoyed it. And then, once back home, I set about trying to help others who may want a bit more understanding of what lies ahead. But maybe I lessen their own experience in some way, because now they have more crutches than I did. Hmmmmm. True, no one has to read the perhaps ridiculously meticulous detail of the guides that I've helped to write, but maybe a more satisfactory and ultimately rewarding approach would be to leave well enough alone and leave the guidebooks for the heavily traveled caminos.
...we all need a little help along the way, Laurie. Some of us more so than others. Thanks for the help...
...your MO, well, I don't have an MO but like you I do "get lost frequently, don't know what to expect, and revel in the freedom and sense of competency that comes from having figured it out and having enjoyed it".
When one walks into the unknown, trusting, there is wonderment. A little vulnerability enhances the moment. Too much though can swamp one in fearfulness. I suppose it's all about balance. For peace of mind ask a few questions here and there then go with the flow...
...re writing guides with 'ridiculously meticulous detail', I'm so glad there are those who are able. I learnt how to hike using trail books like these: turn right at X, turn left at Y, follow the signs. Now I'm more relaxed...
... Laurie, keep on writing. Bless you.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#29
...re writing guides with 'ridiculously meticulous detail', I'm so glad there are those who can. I learnt how to hike using trail books like these: turn right at X, turn left at Y, follow the signs. Now I'm more relaxed...
... Laurie, keep on writing. Bless you.
Absolutely! Speaks for me, too :):)
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#30
Thank you to all who have posted, and especial thanks for some complimentary remarks and all those 'likes'. I still think that it is a strange world we live in, but it was ever thus. We have all been 'a stranger in a strange land' at least once in our lives. There was a suggestion that there is an air of melancholia to my post, perhaps. Sometimes Churchill's Black Dog nags my heels too. However I have a genuine concern that the capacity for adventure, enterprise, self-reliance, personal responsibility and managed risk-taking are being eroded. If you doubt this put "adventure, enterprise, self-reliance" into Google and see how many packages you get sold.

I am heartened by the many who will keep on answering, reassuring and even forecasting. I will too. If a stranger in my local pub wants to know where the loos are I'll tell them. If a lorry driver wants to get to Slonk Hill from the by-pass I'll give the best directions I can. If a Pilgrim wants to know the best Albergue on the Frances I will say 'the one where you lay your head on a cold and rainy night' but I'll point them at Gronze and the Resources page and I will wish them well in my heart if not in my post.

This Forum is amazing. I'm proud to be a member.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#31
However I have a genuine concern that the capacity for adventure, enterprise, self-reliance, personal responsibility and managed risk-taking are being eroded.
I read Battlefield Earth as a teenager, and, after saving pretty much the entire universe, Johnny Goodboy Tyler reflects with regret on how his son has all these great advancements, but has never tracked and hunted a puma using a club. Thank you, Tinca Goodboy Tinker for such a great thread!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
#32
A few recent posts and members' scratchy responses (me too) have made me ponder one of those questions for the Internet Age. The one posited in this thread title.

The first time I went hiking in Spain the 'The Leader' was still on his throne and the Guardia Civil certainly weren't civil to a hairy youth of dubious means. My 'guide books' were Homage to Catalonia; As I walked Out One Midsummers Morning; A Moment of War, and South from Granada amongst others. I 'navigated' by compass and the sun for general direction and following the notion that as there was a road / track it was bound to go somewhere: and where it went was where I was going. I learnt a lot; encountered many surprises and found that Spain was just like home only different. The landscapes were spectacular, or dull. The weather was what it was. The people kind, or not. Some bars did wonderful food, some didn't. That a barn on some high vega was more likely to be bug-free than a shared bed in a fonda.

I can pour a glass of rough wine, nibble a chalky piece of sheep or goats cheese, close my eyes and be back on those 'caminos' even now when age dictates that I have no idea where I have put my glasses. The self-confidence, acuity and adaptability I gained from those adventures were life skills that have served me well. And now I wonder: do I really serve the common good by providing answers to every question? I understand that for first time travellers any adventure is the big adventure but I am not sure that I serve them well with my list of beds, meals, beers and beautiful views. Where is their opportunity for discovery if I serve them 'camino on a plate'? Where is their opportunity for growth if I confine them to a nice tidy, tight, "camino box'?


Hasta que punto es el siguente pueblo? Hay un bar?
I didn't have a compass most of the time and the adventures were many. I am glad to be alive. If my father offered me a "Camino Box" I wouldn't have seen the wisdom within. My son Dimitri walked the Camino Frances last year and only later opened the resource. Wisdom learned by doing it his way will be shared to deaf ears too. That is "The Camino".... Ultreya... Willy/Utah?USA
 
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Angie94

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - 2016 www.angie-carter.com/camino
https://youtu.be/PtE_hvREZc4
#33
What a great thread!

Thanks Tincatinker and all the others who answered, very interesting read.


From my point of view, the Camino will teach you not to worry too much, not to plan too much, when you're walking it. Even when you planned everything in detail before you went there, you'll realize it wouldn't have been necessary at all. It's another lesson to learn.

But for some, that is absolutely unthinkable until they have actually experienced it. If you have been raised a certain way, it can be difficult to shake that off. In my family nobody would ever just have walked off alone, that far from home, with little money and planning. I, and I guess many others also, have grown up believing that it's not safe, and thus something you should never do (At least not alone. Definitely not alone, as a woman. And surely not without having a plan. And a backup plan. And a backup plan for that one. ect., ect., ect...).

Getting information about what you're about to do may be – for some – the only way to find the courage to actually do it. Especially when there's people trying to talk you out of it. In that case, a forum with people who encourage you probably is even more helpful than a guide book.

Doing a lot of planning, in this case, might be an opportunity to learn to plan less.
What a great post! that is what I find also...IT'S NOT SAFE seems to be screamed from the roof tops in almost all aspects of everyday life these days...
Quite a few people are absolutely beyond shocked and disbelief when I say I am going alone. I think people are actually afraid of being alone these days. Fears abound - What if something happens? What if I get lost? What if I get lonesome? What if I get hurt? What if...What if...What if...(I also feel these fears but am trying to push through them)
Two things I have experienced so far - as I have not walked yet
1) I really don't think I would have the courage to do this without the information and encouragement that people on this forum have offered.
2) and I believe what will happen is exactly what you said:
Doing a lot of planning, in this case, might be an opportunity to learn to plan less

:)
 

BrienC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, July 2015
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés, Oct/Nov 2016
#34
Quite the thought provoking thread. Well done.

IMHO, the question of whether forum members should or should not answer people's questions if the answer is too obvious or easily researched with Google seems rather moot. I have not seen a question asked of this forum go unanswered.

For most of my travels, to S. America, Nepal/Tibet, Vietnam, Russia, Europe, etc., I've done just enough research to feel I can stumble my way there and back, and then let the trip unfold. But for many, they desire more, or simply to feel involved in the discussion, before committing.

The friend I went on Camino with last summer read the Brierley guide cover to cover. I checked the gear list to calibrate my thinking, beforehand. She wanted to study each day the night before and know every detail. Me, not so much. The Camino does lend itself to just going with the flow, as little planning as possible. But, that is for me, an experienced traveler. Others may not have any experience when they are called to the Camino (whichever, wherever).

So, I guess my point is, information opens the world to others, which--I for one--think is a good thing for humanity. The more you know, you know.

The possibility of keeping the information we have learned to ourselves and let others figure it all out for themselves, well, that seems elitist. Enquiring minds and all that.

Respectfully,
 

ShellsG

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept/Oct. 2015)
#35
Oh the world can be a funny place and we who reside on her even funnier. Travel and the ability to do so, has changed so much since the 60's, 70's and 80's. When I travelled to South America on a vacation in the 80's I had no resources beyond a guide book had I chosen to purchase one. I had no internet or world wide web to pose my questions on, I probably could have learned a lot but then it would have changed my experience. I blundered, my family worried and I came home with fantastic holiday stories. I think the instant knowledge we can have has made people more unsure of things, like having too many choices for a meal in the city you always wonder if something else would have been better. When choices or options are limited or unknown then we have the best experience, imho. I find that so much information has also made us much more wary of our fellow beings. When I travelled to South America I knew there would be threats, crime etc. but I didn't dwell on it, no one said this happened on this street in this village. I kept my wits about me in all situations. I think people ask questions because they assume it will make things easier and safer, where I find the more information I have the harder decisions become and while I don't turn a blind eye to potential harm I choose not to dwell on it which is easier if I don't have a step by step commentary on a specific event.

Having said that Tincatinker, keep doing what you are comfortable doing. You provide an invaluable service to those who choose to ask questions and I find your personal stories engaging and interesting.
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
#36
For me, extensive planning is a process, part of the experience. It allows me to stretch out a 33 day experience into months of enjoyment. The forum is a major part of that enjoyable process.

I'm not too worried about anyone being over prepared and missing out on the experience of figuring things out for themselves; no matter how much I plan, I always end up having to figure things out. One of the things planning has taught me is that you can't plan everything.

On my first Camino, I had every stop planned, every night's lodging figured out. That worked for Orisson and Roncevalles; after that I never got back on schedule. Which was great.
 
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#37
Thank you to all who have posted, and especial thanks for some complimentary remarks and all those 'likes'. I still think that it is a strange world we live in, but it was ever thus. We have all been 'a stranger in a strange land' at least once in our lives. There was a suggestion that there is an air of melancholia to my post, perhaps. Sometimes Churchill's Black Dog nags my heels too. However I have a genuine concern that the capacity for adventure, enterprise, self-reliance, personal responsibility and managed risk-taking are being eroded. If you doubt this put "adventure, enterprise, self-reliance" into Google and see how many packages you get sold.

I am heartened by the many who will keep on answering, reassuring and even forecasting. I will too. If a stranger in my local pub wants to know where the loos are I'll tell them. If a lorry driver wants to get to Slonk Hill from the by-pass I'll give the best directions I can. If a Pilgrim wants to know the best Albergue on the Frances I will say 'the one where you lay your head on a cold and rainy night' but I'll point them at Gronze and the Resources page and I will wish them well in my heart if not in my post.

This Forum is amazing. I'm proud to be a member.
Me to. That everyone can ask for help or tel his / here story that makes the Forum what it is today.
Wish everyone all the best for the future and that we may keep the Forum as it is today.
 

Angie94

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - 2016 www.angie-carter.com/camino
https://youtu.be/PtE_hvREZc4
#38
I think the instant knowledge we can have has made people more unsure of things, like having too many choices for a meal in the city you always wonder if something else would have been better. When choices or options are limited or unknown then we have the best experience, imho
I agree. Also having too many choices cause so much stress!:confused:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
#39
Spot on Tincatinker. The only stupid question is the one you don't ask; but really so many questions on here could easily be answered in a few moments on the internet. I organise our family holidays rigorously but when I go walking I find that least preparation yields greatest enjoyment. Once met four ladies on the Arles Way who had pre-booked all their accommodation for THREE WEEKS! I could never make that commitment.
 

denis52

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (June 2016)
#40
Tincatinker,
I am a professor of nursing at a university. The questions my students ask are ones that have been answered many times in many ways. Sometimes when I am tired or a little grouchy I want to just tell them to look at the syllabus or read the assigned readings or actually listen in class rather than ask me the same question for the jillionth time. Then I remember that they are excited and a little bit afraid and that they consider me wise and I sigh deeply on the inside and patiently reassure them.

In some ways that is like the forum. Most of the information has been repeated and repeated, but new and excited peregrinos do not know what they do not know and so they ask. Frankly when I tell people that I am undertaking the Camino this year, I either get a blank stare or and excited barrage of questions. For me the forum and guide books are a way to begin my pilgrimage before it even starts. I can dream and read about it. I can see that others are also excited and dreaming about it, too. Your patient wisdom is a blessing to us. We will build our own memories soon and cherish them just as you do.

Janet

Wow. Amazing post. What a forum this is. Just makes me think. I am also a nurse. Just well said.
 

denis52

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (June 2016)
#41
You've provided this new pilgrim with much knowledge and humor and encouragement, so that I'm looking forward to the unexpected, the unplanned, and learning to live in the moment. I don't think any first timer has a clue what to expect until they experience it. Thanks for what you've done for me. And I, too, can't find my glasses o_O
If the people I meet on CF are half as good as those on here it's going to be an awesome adventure! I can't wait to start!
 

MichaelB10398

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
#42
A few recent posts and members' scratchy responses (me too) have made me ponder one of those questions for the Internet Age. The one posited in this thread title.

The first time I went hiking in Spain the 'The Leader' was still on his throne and the Guardia Civil certainly weren't civil to a hairy youth of dubious means. My 'guide books' were Homage to Catalonia; As I walked Out One Midsummers Morning; A Moment of War, and South from Granada amongst others. I 'navigated' by compass and the sun for general direction and following the notion that as there was a road / track it was bound to go somewhere: and where it went was where I was going. I learnt a lot; encountered many surprises and found that Spain was just like home only different. The landscapes were spectacular, or dull. The weather was what it was. The people kind, or not. Some bars did wonderful food, some didn't. That a barn on some high vega was more likely to be bug-free than a shared bed in a fonda.

I can pour a glass of rough wine, nibble a chalky piece of sheep or goats cheese, close my eyes and be back on those 'caminos' even now when age dictates that I have no idea where I have put my glasses. The self-confidence, acuity and adaptability I gained from those adventures were life skills that have served me well. And now I wonder: do I really serve the common good by providing answers to every question? I understand that for first time travellers any adventure is the big adventure but I am not sure that I serve them well with my list of beds, meals, beers and beautiful views. Where is their opportunity for discovery if I serve them 'camino on a plate'? Where is their opportunity for growth if I confine them to a nice tidy, tight, "camino box'?

Hasta que punto es el siguente pueblo? Hay un bar?
When I read your post the first thought that came to my mind was a poem I memorized as a young boy written by Robert Frost,

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

While it is true that we each seek to assist new pilgrims take their first steps on the Camino - one that many of us have walked repeatedly to the point that we know the bend in the road, the long stretch, and the mountain stones. However, the new pilgrim has never seen and for them the trail remains new. Surely they will step where we do, but there remain trails that are not near as worn that invite even the learned to see a new vista. More importantly, to me at least, it is to walk with my Master and hear his voice anew. It happens at the most unplanned times. When I passed by the old church, closed and doors locked, but the Spirit still calling to come; the morning sunrise and the evening's sunset or when night's darkest hour is met; meeting the elderly man that moving slowly, yet with a gleam in his eye.

I don't think it matters how much we assist others. Pilgrims walk a new "trail" each and every time. I thank each of you that have been such great guides and voices of reason and patience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked in "2016"
#43
Great post!

I think desire for planning and to know things in advance increase with age. When I was young I never bothered to do any pre-planning whether doing coast-to-coast travel in the US or remote parts in India although at times it forced me to sleep in the desert under the stars in Arizona or in a station platform in Benaras. But at the end of the day I loved those experiences.

However, as my body has slowed with age (60+), I'm more conscious or aware about my vulnerabilities. Also it seems that my family now worries more about me than I do for myself. Catch 22.
 

ouroboros

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from St. Jean to Santiago (2012)
Camino Portuguese Porto-Santiago (2017)
#44
When I planned our journey on the CF back in 2012, I loved reading this forum to get my bearings and learn, learn, learn as much as I could from other pilgrims here. The forum is invaluable for those of us who enjoy the research as much as the Pilgrimage itself. It is a way to build fortitude and enthusiasm in advance.

Margaret (mspath) offered me advice and wisdom and took me under her wing and I am so grateful to her! She also followed me on the Way via my blog, so I always felt her presence. Pilgrims are a very special community, and meeting them here in advance serves to help find one's place within its incredibly rich history.

Now, my husband, who came with me on the CF, did not one shred of research but left it all to me with great trust, and that was wonderful too. We have waited five years to absorb our last experience, a 40-day pilgrimage, and are now planning our second Camino in 2017, so I am back on the forum to get that needed support and energy. It's the way I operate. When we got to the CF, we only used the Brierly to get from A to B each day, and I had no desire to do anything more than take each day as it came, being grateful for everything that unfolded spontaneously. I know when to stop planning and begin surrendering.

Being a pilgrim is so different than being a tourist--I backpacked across Europe last summer with my daughter for a month and while it was enjoyable, it could not be compared to a pilgrimage. I also planned that trip out in more detail, wanting to provide a structured experience for my daughter (for whom it was her first time abroad) but I also had to surrender to how that unfolded and let her take the lead when I grew weary of the journey. She gained enough experience on that trip to feel that she wants to join us on the Camino.

I remember talking to a French woman in an albergue in Zibiri about the different motives people have in walking the Way and she, with a twinkle in her eye, observed that while many begin the Camino with one set of motives, the Camino has a way of doing its work on every pilgrim. That is my best translation of her words, at least.
We learn early that everyone's Camino is unique...I often found myself saying "That is their Camino" whenever I was tempted to pass judgement on another pilgrim. It is here in this forum, listening at the knee of experienced pilgrims, that we cultivate the tolerant and compassionate heart which the Way requires of us.
 
Camino(s) past & future
First Camino May 2016
#45
My wife and I leave in 4 weeks for our first Camino. It's been great planning it. I really enjoy planning all my holidays. It is strange, however, to realise that when we go on trips the plans get left behind with that 1 item of clothing or equipment that you thought you couldn't do without.
The forum has been a great resource, but now I just need to go. I can't train any more because I know I can do the daily walk, but I've no idea if I can walk day after day, and that I don't have time to train for. The pack is sorted and our first night's accomodation booked.
We're travelling to Spain by train.... sooo excited about that. We're walking in countryside we've never seen before. Most importantly, we're going to meet loads of new people. Some will be nice, some not. Some will become good friends (we hope), some we will spend days trying to avoid. And this is the great adventure. We move in circles of aquaintances who are quite like ourselves. I know most of my friends think I'm slightly nuts doing this, but none the less we are of similar social group and outlook. The chance to meet, interact with, depend on and communicate with a disparate group of people of different nationalities and to do it with grace, is going to be my Camino. And no amount of guide books, forums or blogs can prepare me for this. My major concern is that, after reading the forums for several months, walking the Camino seems to have become a very middle class thing to do. A bit like music festivals really.
 
#46
....My major concern is that, after reading the forums for several months, walking the Camino seems to have become a very middle class thing to do. A bit like music festivals really.
Hola, @PeterD1951. No need for concern. All the world walks the Caminos... the destitute, the fabulously wealthy and every convolution between. The pilgrims who contribute to forums are but a few...

Ultreia e suseia!
 
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Wokabaut_Meri

merely labeled
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPdP - Santiago (April/May 2015)
#47
Thank you to all who have posted, and especial thanks for some complimentary remarks and all those 'likes'. I still think that it is a strange world we live in, but it was ever thus. We have all been 'a stranger in a strange land' at least once in our lives. There was a suggestion that there is an air of melancholia to my post, perhaps. Sometimes Churchill's Black Dog nags my heels too. However I have a genuine concern that the capacity for adventure, enterprise, self-reliance, personal responsibility and managed risk-taking are being eroded. If you doubt this put "adventure, enterprise, self-reliance" into Google and see how many packages you get sold.

I am heartened by the many who will keep on answering, reassuring and even forecasting. I will too. If a stranger in my local pub wants to know where the loos are I'll tell them. If a lorry driver wants to get to Slonk Hill from the by-pass I'll give the best directions I can. If a Pilgrim wants to know the best Albergue on the Frances I will say 'the one where you lay your head on a cold and rainy night' but I'll point them at Gronze and the Resources page and I will wish them well in my heart if not in my post.

This Forum is amazing. I'm proud to be a member.
Yes, adventure in the modern age is hard to come by. All the mountains have been climbed, the poles conquered and the seas sailed. We have reached the boundaries of our World's maps. Now we look towards the stars for unexplored horizons. We could easily get quite melancholic about it all.

Adventure, enterprise, self-reliance, personal responsibility are now subjects covered in our schools in LifeSkills 101 or courses on resilience. My generation scraped these lessons off our knees and rushed to get home before news reached our mothers. How fortunate were we? ...and yet I know that my father would often remind me about how easy we had it riding on the shoulders of a generation that had lived through World Wars, Dispossession and the Great Depression. But we've come out alright, haven't we? I have faith in the ongoing evolution and heart of humanity.

It will be a different world. It always is, better or not - who can say without hindsight?

I, for one, found it extraordinarily refreshing to walk in a country where the footpaths were uneven, spikes and other protrusions had to be avoided when walking close to walls and the rooftop tour of the Cathedral in Santiago was an OH&S nightmare. How I loved it all - being responsible for myself if I tripped or cut myself and not looking to sue the local authorities. We used to joke that there wasn't enough tiger tape or yellow paint in the entire world to cover all the 'hazards' of the Camino. May it be ever so.

Tintinker, it's a privilege to read your heart and soul felt musings. Your post has made me stop and ponder, question and appreciate all the benefits that I enjoy.

And be ever grateful to my teachers - you among them.

Thank you.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#48
@Tincatinker, I read this to my son last night over dinner and asked him if he felt it was all a bit too easy these days... that perhaps our generation had 'been there and done that' (his words not mine); he was a little put out at the idea :D

He felt that his age group have different discoveries to make and their own different priorities.

He wants to study physics and he wants to change the world... he's 17. He says that we're just looking at the world through our eyes... his adventures will be very different than ours. He says his age group are children from the internet age and that we just cant imagine what it's like walking in their footsteps.

It was an interesting conversation and it reminded me again how articulate my son has become and that he is no longer a boy... I like the way he thinks and his outlook on the world. Anyway... thank you for the question as it provided an interesting topic.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#49
He wants to study physics and he wants to change the world... he's 17. He says that we're just looking at the world through our eyes... his adventures will be very different than ours. He says his age group are children from the internet age and that we just cant imagine what it's like walking in their footsteps.
My oldest son is 17 too, and I lose about 5 IQ points each week because I don't understand him or his world. I'm patiently waiting for the day far into the future when he asks what in essence is the very question @Tincatinker asked, albeit in a very different world. He'll be surveying the long arc of his own life, and that of his children and possibly even grandchildren. I'll smile because it will be the very same question that my grandfather 100 generations before me asked, and I will be a genius once more in my son's eyes. As well, all heaven will likely rejoice as another person, after long life, discovers wisdom is not the same thing as knowledge.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#50
My oldest son is 17 too, and I lose about 5 IQ points each week because I don't understand him or his world. I'm patiently waiting for the day far into the future when he asks what in essence is the very question @Tincatinker asked, albeit in a very different world. He'll be surveying the long arc of his own life, and that of his children and possibly even grandchildren. I'll smile because it will be the very same question that my grandfather 100 generations before me asked, and I will be a genius once more in my son's eyes. As well, all heaven will likely rejoice as another person, after long life, discovers wisdom is not the same thing as knowledge.
I love the way you write... and manage to say and explain everything perfectly in a just few sentences.
 

soozansings

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2nd (2016)
#51
My oldest son is 17 too, and I lose about 5 IQ points each week because I don't understand him or his world. I'm patiently waiting for the day far into the future when he asks what in essence is the very question @Tincatinker asked, albeit in a very different world. He'll be surveying the long arc of his own life, and that of his children and possibly even grandchildren. I'll smile because it will be the very same question that my grandfather 100 generations before me asked, and I will be a genius once more in my son's eyes. As well, all heaven will likely rejoice as another person, after long life, discovers wisdom is not the same thing as knowledge.
Yes, it is amazing how incredibly brilliant I became once each of my 5 daughters turned about 22 lol
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#52
This thread is the best I've read in a long, long time. It was a broad enough query to get everyone thinking. I love the way that the thinking evolves over several days, and it's clear that people take away the cue, let it resonate, and come back to pontificate. This will be one for the books.
 

denis52

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (June 2016)
#53
@Tincatinker, I read this to my son last night over dinner and asked him if he felt it was all a bit too easy these days... that perhaps our generation had 'been there and done that' (his words not mine); he was a little put out at the idea :D

He felt that his age group have different discoveries to make and their own different priorities.

He wants to study physics and he wants to change the world... he's 17. He says that we're just looking at the world through our eyes... his adventures will be very different than ours. He says his age group are children from the internet age and that we just cant imagine what it's like walking in their footsteps.

It was an interesting conversation and it reminded me again how articulate my son has become and that he is no longer a boy... I like the way he thinks and his outlook on the world. Anyway... thank you for the question as it provided an interesting topic.
Great thread and excellent discussion going on.
 

denis52

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (June 2016)
#54
This thread is the best I've read in a long, long time. It was a broad enough query to get everyone thinking. I love the way that the thinking evolves over several days, and it's clear that people take away the cue, let it resonate, and come back to pontificate. This will be one for the books.
I agree completely
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016)
#55
To continue the reflections on our own kids growing up and overcoming their own [different from our] obstacles, I just came back from watching my 17 year old son deliver his capstone project in vocal performance for his senior year of high school. For him, just making it through his academic classes to graduate is as great a challenge as many would find in the ascent to the Everest base camp. And yet he did it . . . step by step. Part of that determination is simply growing up, but part of that was a greater confidence he gained in persevering day after day, step by step, through all kinds of adversity, on his pilgrimage in 2013. His comment in Santiago was, "How many kids have done what I've just done?" And then he asked for a beer!

Anyways, he sang, "This is the moment" from the musical Jekyll and Hyde and received a standing ovation from his peers. His mom cried. I dabbed. We did the whole proud parent thing. Yes, I'm still a blathering, ignorant parental unit for a few more years, but watching him today, I'm OK with that.
 

gidivet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés - SJPP to Santiago de Compostela - 24 April to 1 June 2014.
Camino Francés - Short section Sept 2014
Camino Francés - Short section May 2015
Camino Francés and Camino Le Puy short sections - April/May 2016
#56
I love reading (no, devouring) every crumb of information about the Camino. I did it before my first camino, and I keep doing it every time. I'm not concerned about knowing the practical details in advance, because months of meticulous planning (and dreaming) cannot prepare one for the moment you step out onto the trail yourself and smell the earth. Not everyone is like me (thank goodness!), but to those like me the practical support and encouragement given freely by so many is what makes this forum wonderful, and I count myself blessed to be part of it.
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Camino(s) past & future
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
May 2018 (Via Francigena?)
#57
Personally, I hate GPS etc, but I'm old enough to have known that you can manage without those things and that getting lost isn't a major tragedy...
I'll never forget when my two nephews drove down through France (from the UK) to visit me in the Haute Savoie (an easy 800 km trip using well sign posted motorways). On their return home, their stepfather asked what route they had taken and what departments they had driven through. Their response? ''We don't know, we just followed the SatNav instructions''. :eek:
Suzanne:)
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#58
And the flip side to this - we are using street view to familiarise ourselves with the new car route out of the ferry port at Santander before we have to drive it, :) because it has all changed - and anyway we have walked out the last few years.
Then it will be back to 'proper' maps. Doing it the 'hard' way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Podiensis 2002, Camino Frances 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012, Via de La Plata 2005, 2006. 2013, Camino Ingles 2013, Camino de Madrid 2008, Camino Salvador 2008, Camino del Norte 2010, Camino de Levante 2012,
Camino Mozarabe 2015, Camino Salvador 2015, Camino Primitivo 2015
#59
Personally, I hate GPS etc, but I'm old enough to have known that you can manage without those things and that getting lost isn't a major tragedy, but I think there are a great many folks in the world now who have never known that or have long forgotten it and their stress level without these things would be astronomically higher than anybody's would have been forty years ago, regardless of circumstances.

We live in a world that finds it profitable to keep everyone fearful all the time and people are just going to bring that with them, so why make it harder?
That last remark was perfect Pudge! People these days seem to be so fearful. I've seen threads here with people asking if they should watch out for terrorism! You get used to the cultural imperialism, i.e. English speaking people, who think that Spain is still somewhere in the Middle Ages, but some of the questions indicate that the asker, is totally obsessed with knowing where they are, where exactly they are going to sleep and eat all the time, and where getting lost would be a catastrophe!! I love the forum, and it often helps me to travel vicariously, as has been mentioned, but have ceased to answer questions which have already been answered in the info threads, and ignore questions which really seem to say "Look at me Mamma, I'm going on the Camino!!"
 
Camino(s) past & future
Registered for September 10, 2016 walk, Camino Frances
#61
A few recent posts and members' scratchy responses (me too) have made me ponder one of those questions for the Internet Age. The one posited in this thread title.

The first time I went hiking in Spain the 'The Leader' was still on his throne and the Guardia Civil certainly weren't civil to a hairy youth of dubious means. My 'guide books' were Homage to Catalonia; As I walked Out One Midsummers Morning; A Moment of War, and South from Granada amongst others. I 'navigated' by compass and the sun for general direction and following the notion that as there was a road / track it was bound to go somewhere: and where it went was where I was going. I learnt a lot; encountered many surprises and found that Spain was just like home only different. The landscapes were spectacular, or dull. The weather was what it was. The people kind, or not. Some bars did wonderful food, some didn't. That a barn on some high vega was more likely to be bug-free than a shared bed in a fonda.

I can pour a glass of rough wine, nibble a chalky piece of sheep or goats cheese, close my eyes and be back on those 'caminos' even now when age dictates that I have no idea where I have put my glasses. The self-confidence, acuity and adaptability I gained from those adventures were life skills that have served me well. And now I wonder: do I really serve the common good by providing answers to every question? I understand that for first time travellers any adventure is the big adventure but I am not sure that I serve them well with my list of beds, meals, beers and beautiful views. Where is their opportunity for discovery if I serve them 'camino on a plate'? Where is their opportunity for growth if I confine them to a nice tidy, tight, "camino box'?

Hasta que punto es el siguente pueblo? Hay un bar?
It's a great subject to ponder. Times change and we change with the times. My first Camino is coming this September. I'm very excited but also curious/anxious... Of the unknown. So I joined this forum and have been ever so grateful for the advice, suggestions, and thoughts. When I land in SJPDP and commence my walk on the first day it's still all unknown to me. Everything could be completely different from the way I planned it including the weather to the condition of the route. Yes, I've had assistance in planning, but the actual adventure still awaits me and what that will bring... Only time and the experience itself will tell. Buen Camino to all.
 
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vlebe

Walker Member
Camino(s) past & future
2001; 2004; 2009; 2013, (2016/2017)
#62
Excelent Post!

I also feel sorry sometimes about what the Camino has become due to all the information avaiable. There is nothing we can do about it but nonetheless its a shame.

I say that because we are humans and as humans we are keen to make comparisons between experiences. The first time I walked the Camino Frances was 2004. There was no Wifi anywhere and this was way before smartphones and 3G/4G. People used to sit together in the refugios and talk to each other... Even when people couldnt speak the same language, that was all we had avaiable. And people would talk with their hands and their hearts.

Way marking were not so obvious and it was so much fun getting a bit lost once in a while.

Last time I was in the Camino Frances (2013) I was completely disappointed in a way, when realizing everything was so much different. Everywhere you go they have wi fi, people get to the refugios and they go straight to the next power outlet to charge their mobiles and post their "adventure pictures" in facebook, instagram, etc.

There is still talk between pilgrims. But, its just not the same as before.... The obsession with information is an even more crazy subject to talk about...

A couple of weeks ago I found out they have brought electricity to San Bol and that made me very sad. One more chapter to the modernity everywhere. There is not a "safe place" anywhere left in the world...

The amount of waymarkings throughout the Camino Frances is almost a "Visual Pollution" nowadays. And still, you can find people with GPS along the route... I think that not even if you WANT to get lost, this is not possible nowadays. You have to be really stupid not to find the yellow arrows.

I know everything is different nowadays, and I understand that technology enables people to be part of this kind of journeys without loosing contact with their loved ones and jobs , and that otherwise many people woulnt be able to walk the walk. The thing is... It shouldnt be like this.... If you cannot "unplug" yourself from your life for "only" 30 days or so, you wont be able to have the same outcomes as before. The spiritual journey has not the same meaning.

It really makes me feel sad...

Buen Camino to you all!

Ultreya!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF , SJPP to Santiago Sept/Oct 2016
#64
A few recent posts and members' scratchy responses (me too) have made me ponder one of those questions for the Internet Age. The one posited in this thread title.

The first time I went hiking in Spain the 'The Leader' was still on his throne and the Guardia Civil certainly weren't civil to a hairy youth of dubious means. My 'guide books' were Homage to Catalonia; As I walked Out One Midsummers Morning; A Moment of War, and South from Granada amongst others. I 'navigated' by compass and the sun for general direction and following the notion that as there was a road / track it was bound to go somewhere: and where it went was where I was going. I learnt a lot; encountered many surprises and found that Spain was just like home only different. The landscapes were spectacular, or dull. The weather was what it was. The people kind, or not. Some bars did wonderful food, some didn't. That a barn on some high vega was more likely to be bug-free than a shared bed in a fonda.

I can pour a glass of rough wine, nibble a chalky piece of sheep or goats cheese, close my eyes and be back on those 'caminos' even now when age dictates that I have no idea where I have put my glasses. The self-confidence, acuity and adaptability I gained from those adventures were life skills that have served me well. And now I wonder: do I really serve the common good by providing answers to every question? I understand that for first time travellers any adventure is the big adventure but I am not sure that I serve them well with my list of beds, meals, beers and beautiful views. Where is their opportunity for discovery if I serve them 'camino on a plate'? Where is their opportunity for growth if I confine them to a nice tidy, tight, "camino box'?

Hasta que punto es el siguente pueblo? Hay un bar?
Tincatinker... Yes, some questions might seem trivia :rolleyes: and borrow someone else brain Yet, there is a bigger picture...Your valuable service is not influencing my choices unless i choose to. I deeply value developing intuition. The planning part is useful for keeping a concerned husband at peace or the ego fear quiet! For me, been informed is part of the anticipation, but been rigid with expectations is a sure set up for missed opportunities.
At 55, I now have the freedom to do the things that were only seeds of hopes while raising children, paying taxes ... you get the idea... What was most available as inspirations while in my 30's and 40's was the accounts of other fortunate travelers and adventurers. I even read with devastation that there was a name for people like me... "armrest traveler"...WHAT!!! Should I bother dreaming? Was I to be left in the dust because the first baby boomers saw it all before it got "ruined" by popularity? The Annapurna circuit in Nepal? (The apple pie circuit) The Inca Trail? (The gringo trail) The Camino?
(Perigrinos tech- knows? I made this one up) I almost did not answer the call of the Camino as i questioned if i was romanticizing it... But was encouraged by like minded people as on this forum, people who think with their heart!
Nobody knows was a post might stir, for instance, someone shared not looking forward to crowd. A concerned I had as well but would have had difficulty been so transparent about... Some of the most positive replies helped me to reflect on my apprehension of the inevitable "crowd", I now have an open attitude rather than a"dislike"...
I am so grateful for the future pilgrim that asked if it was a good idea to just go with a pair of old comfy shoes? I wonder the same!!! I thought that perhaps I was getting a little vain in buying new equipment... I had no idea that my most loved light hikers (that feels like slippers) were probably going to fail me on the Camino and yes, my new Keen could now be broken without guilt!
Then there are the odd silly questions that has me rolling my eyes and talk back to my computer: "You got to be kidding?" ... Well if my computer was a mirror I might have seen a Camino snob looking back at me!
Thank you to all who dare ask and those who care to answer! The road is sweeter with family!
 

soozansings

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2nd (2016)
#65
Tincatinker... Yes, some questions might seem trivia :rolleyes: and borrow someone else brain Yet, there is a bigger picture...Your valuable service is not influencing my choices unless i choose to. I deeply value developing intuition. The planning part is useful for keeping a concerned husband at peace or the ego fear quiet! For me, been informed is part of the anticipation, but been rigid with expectations is a sure set up for missed opportunities.
At 55, I now have the freedom to do the things that were only seeds of hopes while raising children, paying taxes ... you get the idea... What was most available as inspirations while in my 30's and 40's was the accounts of other fortunate travelers and adventurers. I even read with devastation that there was a name for people like me... "armrest traveler"...WHAT!!! Should I bother dreaming? Was I to be left in the dust because the first baby boomers saw it all before it got "ruined" by popularity? The Annapurna circuit in Nepal? (The apple pie circuit) The Inca Trail? (The gringo trail) The Camino?
(Perigrinos tech- knows? I made this one up) I almost did not answer the call of the Camino as i questioned if i was romanticizing it... But was encouraged by like minded people as on this forum, people who think with their heart!
Nobody knows was a post might stir, for instance, someone shared not looking forward to crowd. A concerned I had as well but would have had difficulty been so transparent about... Some of the most positive replies helped me to reflect on my apprehension of the inevitable "crowd", I now have an open attitude rather than a"dislike"...
I am so grateful for the future pilgrim that asked if it was a good idea to just go with a pair of old comfy shoes? I wonder the same!!! I thought that perhaps I was getting a little vain in buying new equipment... I had no idea that my most loved light hikers (that feels like slippers) were probably going to fail me on the Camino and yes, my new Keen could now be broken without guilt!
Then there are the odd silly questions that has me rolling my eyes and talk back to my computer: "You got to be kidding?" ... Well if my computer was a mirror I might have seen a Camino snob looking back at me!
Thank you to all who dare ask and those who care to answer! The road is sweeter with family!
Today I'm 37 days out from landing in Madrid pre my camino start on 6/3 from Ponferrada.
 
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#66
Tincatinker... Yes, some questions might seem trivia :rolleyes: and borrow someone else brain Yet, there is a bigger picture...Your valuable service is not influencing my choices unless i choose to. I deeply value developing intuition. The planning part is useful for keeping a concerned husband at peace or the ego fear quiet! For me, been informed is part of the anticipation, but been rigid with expectations is a sure set up for missed opportunities.
At 55, I now have the freedom to do the things that were only seeds of hopes while raising children, paying taxes ... you get the idea... What was most available as inspirations while in my 30's and 40's was the accounts of other fortunate travelers and adventurers. I even read with devastation that there was a name for people like me... "armrest traveler"...WHAT!!! Should I bother dreaming? Was I to be left in the dust because the first baby boomers saw it all before it got "ruined" by popularity? The Annapurna circuit in Nepal? (The apple pie circuit) The Inca Trail? (The gringo trail) The Camino?
(Perigrinos tech- knows? I made this one up) I almost did not answer the call of the Camino as i questioned if i was romanticizing it... But was encouraged by like minded people as on this forum, people who think with their heart!
Nobody knows was a post might stir, for instance, someone shared not looking forward to crowd. A concerned I had as well but would have had difficulty been so transparent about... Some of the most positive replies helped me to reflect on my apprehension of the inevitable "crowd", I now have an open attitude rather than a"dislike"...
I am so grateful for the future pilgrim that asked if it was a good idea to just go with a pair of old comfy shoes? I wonder the same!!! I thought that perhaps I was getting a little vain in buying new equipment... I had no idea that my most loved light hikers (that feels like slippers) were probably going to fail me on the Camino and yes, my new Keen could now be broken without guilt!
Then there are the odd silly questions that has me rolling my eyes and talk back to my computer: "You got to be kidding?" ... Well if my computer was a mirror I might have seen a Camino snob looking back at me!
Thank you to all who dare ask and those who care to answer! The road is sweeter with family!
Well said, this is what the Forum is al about .
Wish you well, Peter.
 

soozansings

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2nd (2016)
#67
I wake up in the middle of the night, not fretting or worrying but anticipating. My first step...since October I've dreamed. I can't wait for my first step. 36 days I'll put my feet on the soil of another country other than my own for the first time in my 56 years. I'll carry each of you in my heart...you who have encouraged and advised and cheered me. Thank you!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#68
In two weeks I head out to the Camino for the 6th time. First time was wonderful because I needed it and didn't know any better than to just jse the two hand outs in SJPP and a guidebook. But on the second Camino, walking with a f'trio I met en route, I discovered baggage carrying services, amd preboking beds. Well, the Camino has nevwr been the same since, although walking on the Norte and Primitivo got me closer to my intitial walk.

This time will be the first time walking outside of Spain.I have my guidebook, I have booked bed for the days' I land amd the next, as well as in an albergue I do not want to miss amd fills up days before (casa Fernanda). And I should be booking transport back to Madrid, and a night in Santiago, but I keep procrastinating. Imknow I can walk 350 km duirng 3 week period, including travel there and back, so I guess I will just wing it with what info I have.

But these are the things I learned from the Forum that are not in guide books: diaper pins instead of clothes pins, hi viz something, pacer poles, macabi skirts with Eastbay compression undies, quilts and not sleeping bag, sprayed tule to protect me from bed bugs, oh, and Smartube. Merino is supposed to be great. Eurschrim make a handsfree umbrella. Don't use your ATM unless the bank is open. Flying into Biarritz is an easy way to start the Frances and the Norte.

Things I learned along the way and enjoy sharing with others: vaseline and St-John's wart oil for foot care, staying at San Martin Pinario, having the afternoon menu del dia and not the evening pilgrim menu, it can get really cold in May so I now carry more than just a liner. Bring a sturdy ziplock to carry credencial protected from the rain, don't buy a Sim card in Spain and expected to last when it comes to data even if in airplane mode, bring something to read, learn to detect plantar fasciitis, never leave home without anti chaffing goo for groin and thighs. Merino itches and keeps me up at night, but haveing leggings and a longsleeve warmish top can be used for bed and umder rain gear in cold wet days. Using an umbrella helps in the rain and as sun protection. Aqurius ends up costing a fortune, bring electrolyte tablets from home. Bring one of those ultralight nylon bags for wondering aroind town with your Ipad, wallet, etc. Bring a second one with a zipper to carry your shopping back home post Camino.

See, life made easier for those who may read this, but please, don't ask me what the weather will be like or where to start depending on the number of days ypu have to walk. There are people who have dome a great job putting guidebooks and other tools for this, make a bit of an effort , and then, if still stuck, then ask a specific question.

Edited to add a few more things learned on theForum or along the way: never leave the albergue or bar on the corner before the inners have statred working: tp on the trail is not ok, don't put your backpack on the bed: it may be carrying bedbegs, the chair by your bed is not for you to take lver it's there so that the perso on the upper bunk can make it up and down. Boots are not needed, walking is sandals does the job nicely, if it's not winter time.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
|
#69
Hi Tincatinker,

This is a very thoughtful question, and all I can offer in response is my own experience. This forum has been an absolute godsend for me. Without the resources here, I might not have the means to walk the Camino at this point in my life (early 20s). As much as I wish I could take off without much of a plan, I'd probably end up jobless at the end of the Camino if I did that.

I also want to say that this forum, along with other resources like books and documentaries, has done a lot to assuage my family's worries about my trip. My brother passed away suddenly last month, and my parents have (understandably) become very protective of me. Although I'm sure they're going to be pretty nervous when I leave in July, all the information here has really helped them feel that I'll be safe.
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
#72
Great thread, great answers from lovely people.

My own take on the original question ("Are we making it too easy?" ), is to answer no. After all, we are simply......
Doing unto others.........

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Pamplona to burgos
#73
Yes we are making it too easy but I saw a lot of people fall by the wayside and lose their chance to experience the camino because of bad preparation and pushing it too hard.
The way after the first week will assert itself on a person and the reality is they will have to walk it and deal with the physical and mental challenges it presents.
So I understand people asking questions and I appreciate the people who try to help them.
It reminds me of the sharing and caring that I experienced on the Camino from others.
People ask me why it had and still has such a great impact on my life and I really struggle to explain it.
So I feel that if their questions are answered and they are more likely to commit we will all be the better for it.
 

easygoing

Walking the Camino with my 15 year old self
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 5 times, twice in 2017. (May 2018 and September 2018)
#75
I was very surprised by this post. I read the forum every day because I feel at home on the Camino and hearing the excited questions from first timers and the answers feels like I am back on the first few days of the Camino. It is the Camino spirit to help each other but I rarely answer a post because it usually has been answered very well by the time I see it. Could some of the questions just be a way of connecting to the Camino family?
And are we making it too easy? I think not. Unless you offer to carry me (LOL) I walk the same 500 miles prepared or unprepared. I
read the guide books so I know about the special places I walked right by on my first Camino. And if we don't answer questions whatever will we talk about
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#77
Koreans dominate the foreign pilgrim statistics in the winter (their school break), and seem motivated by religion. There were always Korean pilgrims on the buses I took in January and February. Many pilgrims succumb to making the Camino easy, myself among them. I suspect that a lot of those who "walked every step" really did not. I just hope they are not among those who condemn the pilgrimage of others as somehow being suspect. What others do is no one's business except their own. If the Pilgrim Office perceives that it has a problem with compostelas being issued to those who have not walked the last 100km, it is their problem to fix. There are no criteria on carrying backpacks or avoiding hotel rooms for qualifying for a compostela. There is a psychological mystery behind the phenomenon that wants others to have the same degree of misery that I may have had. The hubris behind such an idea is more of a personal problem than it is a pilgrimage problem.

“The mayor ought to cultivate his own garden before he starts telling the governor what to do.” This is the moral of Candide, by Voltaire : take care of your own, and the world will take care of itself. dictionary.com
 

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