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Camino gifts

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Just wondering what you were given on the camino that saved your day and that you still carry with you?
I was given an adapter to pump up my bike tyres at a garage airline. That saved my sanity on the day I had five punctures. It's still in my bike toolkit. I've given away essential oils, socks, blister treatments, a lot of Ibuprofen.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
I was given the gift of a 7km lift by road from one side of a swollen river to the other, by an old man out walking his dog on the Camino Madrid. If he hadn’t turned up I may have attempted to cross the river, and not be here to tell the tale. I will always carry that act of loving kindness in my heart.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
My first gift of true caritas was in 2004
in Hospital de Orbigo where after falling flat on my face I met my first unforgetable camino angels.

November 1, 2004, after crossing the long medieval bridge over the river Orbigo I entered the town of Hospital de Órbigo. Attempting to photograph the parish church I lost my footing and fell head first onto the irregular pavement! My pack crashed into my right shoulder. Flat on the ground my forehead and shoulder hurt like hell! Gently two pilgrims helped me up. An egg was quickly swelling on my forehead (by day’s end I resembled Cyclopes). After exiting the Día de todos los Santos mass a kind Spanish couple approached and the man said “Don’t worry, madam, I am a Chevalier de Santiago and will help”. They quickly took me to the regional hospital, where I was told to rest, and see a doctor again the following day.

The couple graciously invited me to lunch at their house. My host explained that the Chevaliers de Santiago are a group of Catholic men, who have been nominated to become members and who pledge to foster the Camino and help all pilgrims. In the Spanish custom lunch lasted at least four hours! Two charming adult sons cut my food while I alternately held ice to my head and tryied to eat with my left hand since the right shoulder and arm were extremely painful. Nevertheless, how, lucky I was to be able to move and to have met a family of guardian angels.

Early next morning the Chevalier and the local priest walked into the albergue dorm to see how I was doing! The priest, the Chevalier and his wife accompanied me to the local doctor's office adjacent to the church. When we four entered the examination room, the Chevalier said to the doctor “Another one has fallen!” It seemed that earlier other pilgrims had also stumbled on that same paving where I tripped. Again I ate with the Chevalier and his family.

..Now after all these years I still fondly remember their kindnesses and spontaneous gracious hospitality. It was, indeed, heartfelt camino caritas.

Margaret Meredith
 
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Stroller

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
I listened to those who wanted or needed to talk. In particular a lady recovering from multiple suicide attempts, another who was being bullied by her walking companion, she was running to keep up and a third person who was just lonely.

In return many small acts of kindness such as:

In the market at Vianna I waited inline to buy greengages. An elderly Senora pushed me forward “Eres peregrino”. She will would not take no for an answer. I thanked her, asked for half a dozen gages, payed and walked from the glare of the square into the narrow shaded street to sit outside the church with a glass of cold white wine watching life. Finishing the wine I collected the four stones of eaten gages and walk on. The bag still held eight plump ripe fruit. Small acts of kindness.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
During our first Camino Frances (2015) my wife developed blisters and we did not attend to them for a few days, making them worse. She began walking differently to avoid putting pressure on the blisters. This created knee pain, which progressed to severe knee pain (later diagnosed as two stress fractures when we returned to the US). It was evident Cindi had pain by many peregrinos that walked passed us. The weather was windy and raining, quite miserable. We finally arrived at Carrion de los Condes and checked into the religious albergue (one with singing nuns). An elderly peregrino had seen Cindi walking in pain. He told us about Jacotrans. His physician warned him not to carry his backpack due to chronic back pain and someone told him about Jacotrans. We made a reservation for Jacotrans to transport Cindi's backpack the next day, and every day after that. The suggestion this elderly peregrino made enabled us to successfully complete our journey to Santiago. We followed this same plan for the next two camino frances we hiked.
 

evanscl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016
On the frances I gave away arnica, compeed, a pair of gloves, & sewing kit but what I gained far far outweighed these minor items. Before even setting off i had the gift of watchng over our house and animals from a neighbour and the gift of flexble time off work for my partner which made the trip possible. Apart from memories of walking, people and landscapes, there were small pastries just brought out with our drinks order from a backstreet bar in Astorga, a gift from the bar keep.Plus the gift of sharing the experience with my beloved. That was the camino frances.
On the via francigena we were shown several times the gift of utter trust, being left alone in peoples homes, two complete strangers. In private homes we had the gift of sharing meals with our hosts. Also we were invited in to a home for coffee when we stopped to rest on their garden wall, invited onto a boat for coffee not long after Rheims when there was nowhere else to get a drink, invited into a bar for a coffee by a man who saw us passing by in Etreillers, given an apple on leaving a french bar, given crisps and chocolate on leaving yet another bar “for your journey”, a glass of champagne to welcome us from our hosts in the champagne region. Being accomodated with an extra early breakfast so we could get going in one place or a tray of breakfast given for the next day so we could diy breakfast and leave when we needed to in another. One couple in france in a remote village opened up their restaurant and room just so we could stay and stayed over themselves to make it possible. A swiss lady got her woodburner going (in june) and let us take over her kitchen with all our wet gear to get it dry after a day of continual rain. On the same day a cafe owner had to mop the floor when we left huge puddles and mud after stopping for coffee but did so cheerfully so we didnt feel bad, tho we apologised profusely. Etc, etc, so many kindnesses shown to us, but it was the trust that was the most humbling.
 


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