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Does anyone else dream about A Camino?


Year of past OR future Camino
About two or three times a year I dream about a camino. And last night, Christmas Eve, was a particularly strong version (perhaps a thank-you to Father Christmas for delivering that :)). It’s not any route in particular but it has features of those I’ve walked. However these are all secondary to the feelings that I experience by taking the journey.

The repeating features are
- a starting point in a smallish town. There is one main albergue which is always over-booked, so those pilgrims without a bed inside either bivouac or camp on a grass square outside (it has never rained - yet). In the evening I walk around the encampment sharing warmth, anticipation and trepidation with those I meet, drawn here from the four corners of the Earth
- The hospitalera in usually found in the busy kitchen where we have volunteered to prepare the evening meal. I’ve never seen her face, she’s usually involved in some cooking task shouting instructions over her shoulder in a friendly manner
- In the morning I start with everyone else, but have an urge to get ahead and stay ahead of the pack and so walk fast. The terrain is typically akin to the Primitivo and Salvador
- However, whenever I stop for cafe con leche I seem unable to leave promptly, my legs unresponsive to getting up and on. So I stay chatting as more and more pilgrims arrive. I feel a strong emotion of looking for people I have already bonded with to arrive and occasional warmth and happiness as we reunite. This strange pattern goes on through the day
- there is always a town we go through, about the size of Sarria, where the markers have disappeared. I vaguely remember the right route from previous journeys on this camino, and work out the right path and enjoy showing the new pilgrims the right way through
- the destination of this camino isn’t in a city and doesn’t appear to be a cathedral. It is in a small town in a hilly rural hinterland. There may be some signifier, statue or building that marks the endpoint, but it’s never been foregrounded. While many pilgrims stop here, some continue on past, heading up into the remote mountains towards some further goal. I am one of these, but the clarity about the continuing journey soon fades along with the path
- Sometimes I’m in another part of the country and the dream is about reaching the starting point and that first evening. This makes it an almost circular event where the ending in the middle of nowhere becomes the beginning for heading to the starting point.

Anyone else experience anything similar? if so please do tell!
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Yes, It happens to me sometimes. They have frequently (not always) an "argument".
I am walking solo, not another pilgrim in sight. I feel good, in this stage of my Caminos when I just let things flow. I leave a wood, cross a rural paved road, and find two paths, but there are not signposts.
The scenario varies: sometimes it is a nondescript suburb, where I am looking for an albergue, but I am not sure which way I should go.
I am not particularly worried, just hesitant. I stop and see around, have a moment of rest, and after a while my decision is taken; I start walking again. But I never arrive or discover if it was the right option, because I always wake up before. Someday, I suppose, I will do.

Terry Callery

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Year of past OR future Camino
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Of course we dream every 90 minutes in sleep during the REM Period ---but many of us do not remember our dreams.

Freud (The Interpretaion of Dreams) talked about incorporating the "daily residue" into the narrative of our dreams. If you wanted to interprete this dream - it is essentially an anxiety dream --things were going on in your life (as they do in everyone's) where you were unsure about what was waiting for you around the corner. Producing uncertaintly and anxiety.----- "anticipation and trepidation"

Remembering a dream is a good thing - good mental health to be working things out in our unconscious.

The symbolism here of the Camino being a metaphor for life's journey is crystalized in this dream.

When I was on the Camino I had dreams about it - daily residue. But not after I left Spain and Portugal.

Now sometimes when I want to do a mental relaxation - and self-sooth - I put Camino imagery through my head like a movie Camera harvesting bits of memory from places along the way that are stamped in my memory. Great relaxation technique. Like going with the flow of a river - drifting effortlessly. but these are day dreams and not actual dreams.

Great Post!
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Year of past OR future Camino
A similar thread was started a couple of weeks ago which I replied to, but there were no further replies so perhaps I'll recount it again here..

Mostly my dreams are just vague feelings or a vague recurring theme which quickly fades and becomes more elusive the more I try to recall it, though the 'feeling' can remain for days or weeks afterwards. I think perhaps most of us dream like that? But occasionally, I awaken from a dream so vivid and intense that I can't get back to sleep and recently I've taken to recording them to my phone before they lose that intensity:

It was a great knapsack sprayer, you only had to pump it once and it lasted for ages. I was a volunteer and I was there to spray the camino with disinfectant. There were about 6 isles in this big long church and a sprayer at the start of each isle. There were a few volunteers, strange and foreign; we hadn't yet become acquainted, and we didn't seem to know what we were assigned to do and just looked at each other shrugging our shoulders. Of course I was impatient as is usual, so I just strapped one of these things to my back and started walking backwards from the corner, spraying the ground in sweeps behind me as I went. Just one little pump of the handle and on and on it sprayed. The ground was a mixture of shiney granite and pebbles. Further along it became a path, two men sitting on a step drinking beers had to turn sideways to avoid me, one of them scowling in disgust at me. Then it came to a grass embankment that led down to a ravine with broken rocks and a stream. A middle aged woman with red hair was squatting down with her dress clutched up around her hips, pissing. She smiled at me and gestured toward the goats, three or four of them. I had my favourite stick and one of the goats grabbed the tip of it in his jaws and started chewing on it. I thought: he'll ruin the end of it, I'd better pull it away from him but he was very strong and just kept chewing and chomping, eventually chewing almost up to my hand. I had to abandon the stick in bewilderment wondering how the hell a goat could swallow a whole walking stick in a few seconds. I woke up, time to go to work. My stick is still in hall. It is indeed my favourite: it took me across the Lana, Meseta, Salvador, Norte and Aragones...


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Year of past OR future Camino
Very interesting!
I guess I'm not pursuing in an interpretation here, more interested in whether we generate common themes or elements in our dreams about the camino.
Felipe, I can sense a little bit of overlap between my pilgrim and your own pilgrim of the dreamworld.
Flogwail, I saw your post and thought about adding to that thread, but really your dream is so singular I thought I'd like to start afresh looking at broader themes, maybe some of them recurring, like mine.
Cheers everyone


Year of past OR future Camino
Flogwail, I saw your post and thought about adding to that thread, but really your dream is so singular I thought I'd like to start afresh looking at broader themes, maybe some of them recurring, like mine.
I see....I didnt realise you were looking for specific dreams! Too bad mine didn't meet with or fit your criteria!

A strange thing I experienced after my first 'long' camino and I'm sure others have experienced something similar:
I would wake every day disorientated, thinking I was still somewhere on The Way, and I would try to figure what albergue, what village I was in. The room and my surroundings would slowly take shape around me as I consciously became aware that I was in my own bed, almost like emerging from a fog.. The first time it happened, this phenomenon lasted for about ten days or so and it was quite unsettling in the beginning. It's happened again on my subsequent caminos, but for shorter periods and I have gotten used to it now, to the point that I just allow myself to relax into it and regard it as my re-entry period! It usually only lasts a couple of days now. My most recent escape in mid September to walk for twenty days on the Camino Portuguese was no exception and the dream I recounted was from that post camino period...
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Year of past OR future Camino
I dream about the Camino at least twice a week and have done since my first.

These are usually in that early morning period during the shift from deep sleep to semi-aware dozing. For me, at least, this is the same period during which I imagine that I have often glimpsed the shining City of God on a distant promontory.

The dreams have not brought me any cause to introspect upon their meanings. They just "are". There is no presence of anxiety, doubt, or conflict. If anything they allow me another glance of where I have walked, with whom, and the refreshment stops of the day.

There are some instances where my waking self acknowledges without guilt that "Yeah, you could have done better interacting with that person." and provides me with a teaching moment for next time. (And this did improve me for future walks.)

All in all? I believe that my Camino-dreaming has provided me with extra strength and good humor for the day before me.


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