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Embarrassing moments

G_the_D

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF May - July 2017
CF Oct - Nov 2017
Future -2022
Have you done something embarrassing while on Camino?

My worst moment was in San Bol. One of my Camino family members asked the rest of us if we should walk early as the temperature was supposed to soar the next day. We agreed to wake at 4 am and start the stage.

I woke at 4 as requested (very quietly) and woke my camiga below me. I then went to the bunk my camigo was in.
He was not there. Instead I woke a poor unsuspecting German pilgrim who was NOT happy. He started yelling way over my apologies.

We left very quickly.

I found out later that my camigo decided to walk through the night.

Hard to apologize enough.
If you happen to follow the forum my friend. I am so sorry.

Gord
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
Once upon a time on Camino before government regulations required emergency lighting I had the pleasure of experiencing somebody else’s embarrassing moment second hand. Everyone is the San Juan de Ortega monastery did that night.

Some poor chap lost his way back to his bunk after stumbling blindly to the bathroom, and accidentally climbed into the wrong bed.

We all awoke to the howls of the unexpecting peregrina that was sound asleep in that bed. Nobody knew what in the world was happening, and nobody could find the light switch to find out. The howls ended as quickly as they started and sleep seemed more important than whatever was afoot around us.

By breakfast though the story had spread and we were all very grateful to not be either one of them, innocent though the both were.

Also pilgrims getting stuck in bathrooms. That happens a lot too.
 
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I was caught short and needed a “wild wee” ( and yes, I do take my loo paper away with me). I was on a slight incline with my back facing down instead of up. Lost my balance and ended up on my back like a turtle. I couldn’t right myself, but did manage to wriggle my underwear up. Eventually another pilgrim heard my shouts for help and once he’d stopped laughing, helped me to my feet 🦶
 
Once upon a time on Camino before government regulations required emergency lighting I had the pleasure of experiencing somebody else’s embarrassing moment second hand. Everyone is the San Juan de Ortega monastery did that night.

Some poor chap lost his way back to his bunk after stumbling blindly to the bathroom, and accidentally climbed into the wrong bed.

We all awoke to the howls of the unexpecting peregrina that was sound asleep in that bed. Nobody knew what in the world was happening, and nobody could find the light switch to find out. The howls ended as quickly as they started and sleep seemed more important than whatever was afoot around us.

By breakfast though the story had spread and we were all very grateful to not be either one of them, innocent though the both were.

Also pilgrims getting stuck in bathrooms. That happens a lot too.
I got stuck in a bathroom on the Camino Portugal. I can't remember if I got locked in or if the door handle fell off. Luckily the only person in the room was a light sleeper and woke up and let me out.
 
I managed to lock myself into a church between Espalion and Estaing on the Podiensis. It wasn't easy, but I managed it. I waited for about an hour for someone to come along, but no-one did and I eventually freed myself by bending a steel bar (must have had my spinach that morning) which opened the lock.
 
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#1 I put my foot up on a chair in a café.

I don't know what was going on in my brain (or to be precise, what didn't go on in there). I usually would never do that. Ever. Have never done it before and never again in my life. But somehow my brain stopped working that day and moment, and with it, my manners disappeared.

The waiter politely asked me to put my feet down, and I came immediately back to my senses and felt so ashamed I wished I could just disappear into nonexistance.

Walking for several months, most of the time alone, mostly sleeping outside, and walking with an extremely painful injury had made me into a savage.

#2 Panicked in a thunderstorm. Crawled under a bush next to a road for shelter. Saw a car, crawled out of the bush, all muddy and branches in my hair, and tried to stop the car to rescue me. The horrified face of the driver was hilarious, he accelerated and drove away from me as fast as possible. I must have looked like the green monster from the swamp coming out of a bush to get him.

#3 Wasn't embarrassing for me but for someone else.
A cyclist drove past me, somewhere along the moselle cycling path (which at that point also is a Camino). About half an hour later, I walked past him, with him pants down directly next to the path, squatting... apparently a very sudden onset of explosive diarrhea... The poor man apologized in two languages, trying to pull up his very tight cycling pants... apparently worried I might think he's some kind of pervert... It was difficult not to laugh to be honest, but somehow I managed.
 
Somewhere after Vilei, I was coming around a corner, exhausted and hungry. I saw a table full of fruit, meats and cheeses. The bread was already sliced open. I greeted the 3 people with an Hola and started to ask how much for a sandwich when at a second glance I saw a young boy coming around the corner. I though, hey that's the kid from the place I stayed last night. I looked closer and realized that the entire group looked familiar. At that point it dawned on me, this is the large Spanish family ( 10+) that I saw and this is their picnic stop. After an uncomfortable buen camino I did a u turn and hit the trail. Over the next few days I saw their set up multiple times.

I laughed later that day and for the rest of the trip. I often wonder what thr response would have been had I offered a donation for a sandwich.

Bob
 
I had a moment when I needed to 'go' , quickly checked around me, coast seemed clear. Stood up to find that the wild wheat on the field edges had drilled its way into my underwear and clothes, stabbing me in the process, and as I was frantically trying to get rid of the sharp seedheads, I realised I was entirely visible from the road viaduct above me.
Then a group of pilgrims came around the corner.
I let them get a long way ahead.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Also pilgrims getting stuck in bathrooms. That happens a lot too.
I got stuck in the bathroom on my first Camino. The lights went out and no amount of waving from behind the door of the stall turned them on. I couldn't the stall door unlocked and then the lock fell out of the door to floor. Finally I realized that it was a slide/pocket door and not a hinge (push/pull) and managed to escape. I made sure to have my phone with me after that for use as a flashlight. lol
 
On my first Camino with my granddaughter, we used to stop each afternoon and have our Cervezas. She would order them each day speaking Spanish. And we must’ve been about halfway through and on this day she told me “Nana, it’s time for you to order the cervezas.” I asked what I had to say and she gave me instructions to say por favor, dos Cervezas. So, I was so nervous that whatever I said to this wonderful gentleman, he came around the table and he grabbed my face and he kissed me on one cheek and then he kissed me on the other cheek and in perfect English he said to me “you asked for two kisses “. Two years later I returned for a second time and stayed at the same place And as I’m walking in to register, he is coming out the door and he looked at me and he said “Hi, Wanda!”. It totally blew my mind. I guess I made quite an impression.
 
As a Catholic pilgrim, my intention was to insure that I took the sacrament of Confession at the Cathedral. Looking around, I couldn’t figure out where to go, so I went to one of the guards to point me in the right direction. So off I go to a corner of the north transept near the door. There is a gated alter to pay respects to Mother Mary. So I walk in, sit down and wait for the priest. In the 20 minutes that I was there, there were so many people who came up to the gate and just looked at me trying to figure out what was going on - it was very funny. The priest roared with laughter when he arrived and that it happens all the time.
 
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I tried to help a small, older lady open a heavy church door just after lunch .... and received such a scolding it drove all my small Spanish out of my head. Of course she was closing it and I was the oafish tourist trying to push in and keep her from lunch.
I was quite shattered for the next half hour but (much) later we laughed about it.
 
On my first Camino I arrived at a refugio and found that I was the only pilgrim. Not unusual. The shower area was a large open room with several shower heads and some clothes hooks but no doors or curtains. Not even between the shower area and the dorm. Midway through my shower a young woman walked in, greeted me very politely, hung the towel she was wrapped in on a hook and began to wash under a neighbouring shower. Hadn't heard her arrive. A bit of a surprise.
 
I did not act on this, but I still feel embarrassed about it... I had a deep fear of white vans. Growing up, my classmates and I all somehow got the idea that white vans would abduct us. (One was even afraid of white ice cream trucks.) Years later, walking alone between villages in La Rioja, I noticed a white van behind me. Why was a vehicle on the narrow dirt path? Why was it trailing, driving ever-so-slowly? After a couple kilometers, I was terrified out of my mind. I was gripping my pocket knife. The van slowly sped up to meet me. Instead of horror, I was met with unimaginable sweetness - it was some sort of local volunteer brigade. They were looking out for pilgrims who might be lost or struggling. They asked about my limp and offered water and fruit. I felt so embarrassed that I had been ready to attack those kind souls!! And still feel mortified to imagine what would have happened if I’d started screaming and brandishing a pocket knife. I guess the absurdity gives a chuckle now. That was maybe the first time my heart broke wide open on the Camino.
 
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On my first Camino I arrived at a refugio and found that I was the only pilgrim. Not unusual. The shower area was a large open room with several shower heads and some clothes hooks but no doors or curtains. Not even between the shower area and the dorm. Midway through my shower a young woman walked in, greeted me very politely, hung the towel she was wrapped in on a hook and began to wash under a neighbouring shower. Hadn't heard her arrive. A bit of a surprise.
It's times like this, you politely mention that you are stone blind without your glasses/contacts on.
 
Have you done something embarrassing while on Camino?

My worst moment was in San Bol. One of my Camino family members asked the rest of us if we should walk early as the temperature was supposed to soar the next day. We agreed to wake at 4 am and start the stage.

I woke at 4 as requested (very quietly) and woke my camiga below me. I then went to the bunk my camigo was in.
He was not there. Instead I woke a poor unsuspecting German pilgrim who was NOT happy. He started yelling way over my apologies.

We left very quickly.

I found out later that my camigo decided to walk through the night.

Hard to apologize enough.
If you happen to follow the forum my friend. I am so sorry.

Gord
Welcome to life--it is never as smooth and drama free as we would like, which is the way it is supposed to be. Things happen. And yes, one can apologize too much. One sincere apology is sufficient. And don't worry, life will throw another similar such incident your way as it comes with being human.
 
At a cute cafe in Leon, after a delicious meal, the owner spent time talking to my niece and me. After about 15 minutes, it felt like a good time to introduce ourselves. Altho my Spanish was very basic, I knew how to introduce myself. Me llamo Sonja. But not knowing how to say What's your name, I thought it was Te llamo (which is pronounce Te amo) My niece whipped her head to me and said, YOU JUST TOLD HIM YOU LOVED HIM! He smiled and said, Encantada, Pablo...he knew what I meant.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
@sonjafromConnecticutUSA A long time ago an English friend of mine was working as a volunteer at a church project in Uruguay. Not yet very fluent in Spanish. Talking with her local colleagues she made the not-uncommon mistake of saying "yo embarazada" when she spoke about a trivial slip-up she had made that day. The look of stunned surprise from her colleagues stopped her talking. Then one woman who spoke reasonable English explained what she had just said. Then Louise really was embarrassed! :)
 
On my first Camino with my granddaughter, we used to stop each afternoon and have our Cervezas. She would order them each day speaking Spanish. And we must’ve been about halfway through and on this day she told me “Nana, it’s time for you to order the cervezas.” I asked what I had to say and she gave me instructions to say por favor, dos Cervezas. So, I was so nervous that whatever I said to this wonderful gentleman, he came around the table and he grabbed my face and he kissed me on one cheek and then he kissed me on the other cheek and in perfect English he said to me “you asked for two kisses “. Two years later I returned for a second time and stayed at the same place And as I’m walking in to register, he is coming out the door and he looked at me and he said “Hi, Wanda!”. It totally blew my mind. I guess I made quite an impression.
I rarely laugh aloud, but I busted-a-gut on this one!! Thanks!
 
@sonjafromConnecticutUSA A long time ago an English friend of mine was working as a volunteer at a church project in Uruguay. Not yet very fluent in Spanish. Talking with her local colleagues she made the not-uncommon mistake of saying "yo embarazada" when she spoke about a trivial slip-up she had made that day. The look of stunned surprise from her colleagues stopped her talking. Then one woman who spoke reasonable English explained what she had just said. Then Louise really was embarrassed! :)
A ninth-grade girl in my junior high school made that mistake in a café in México. The entire Spanish club got kicked out.

Other terms you might want to familiarize with: éxito, suceso, salida. And, please master the difference between año and ano in both spelling and speaking!
 
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Not really an embarrassing moment, bit more a realisation moment, that "life" is different on the Camino.

First night in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port many years ago, and had to organise luggage transfer for a group of pilgrims . When I ask the owner of my accommodation if it was safe to leave luggage outside the front door for baggage transfer, I was quickly put in my place. Was asked if "I came from New York" 🤭, to with I responded "no"..... Which was very quickly followed up by, "well we are not in New York, and things behave differently here" . So immediately put in my place 🤐🤐🤐🤐. One of the few moments in life I refrained from responding 😆😆😆

Sometimes it's great to forget the Bu## Sh## and someone tell you the hard facts. 🤗🤗
 
OK, here goes. Wendy and I embarked on our first camino in 2017 by flying into Bordeaux with an afternoon train booked to Bayonne and then on to SJPdP.

We reached the platform of the train station in Bordeaux and saw on the screen that the next train for that platform was not ours, and that ours was a few minutes after that. A train arrived and given that ours was the second one in order on the screen, we didn't get on it. The train waited on the platform for a few minutes (beyond which time the first train was supposed to have left, but we figured it was a little late), until finally as the doors were closing I saw that the first train was gone from the screen and this was indeed our train after all. We realised too late and missed it.

What happened was that the train had decoupled and the front half of it left a few minutes earlier as the first train, leaving the remaining half as our train, but we were at the back end of the platform and didn't notice that, and there were no signs or announcements to indicate it.

We were now too late for the last train to SJPdP that day (although in hindsight we should have just taken a taxi from Bayonne). We stayed in Bayonne, took the early train the next day and started walking at around 10am, which meant that we had a non-crowded walk but missed out on those important early social connections, which did have an impact on the first half of our camino.
 
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OK, here goes. Wendy and I embarked on our first camino in 2017 by flying into Bordeaux with an afternoon train booked to Bayonne and then on to SJPdP.

We reached the platform of the train station in Bordeaux and saw on the screen that the next train for that platform was not ours, and that ours was a few minutes after that. A train arrived and given that ours was the second one in order on the screen, we didn't get on it. The train waited on the platform for a few minutes (beyond which time the first train was supposed to have left, but we figured it was a little late), until finally as the doors were closing I saw that the first train was gone from the screen and this was indeed our train after all. We realised too late and missed it.

What happened was that the train had decoupled and the front half of it left a few minutes earlier as the first train, leaving the remaining half as our train, but we were at the back end of the platform and didn't notice that, and there were no signs or announcements to indicate it.

We were now too late for the last train to SJPdP that day (although in hindsight we should have just taken a taxi from Bayonne). We stayed in Bayonne, took the early train the next day and started walking at around 10am, which meant that we had a non-crowded walk but missed out on those important early social connections, which did have an impact on the first half of our camino.
This reminds me of a train story from when I first arrived in Spain. I spent a little time in Pamplona and ran with the bulls before heading to Madrid. But my Spanish was so minimal then that I "salida" and "llegada" was not in my vocabulary. Hence, I stood on the platform waiting for the train to Madrid where the train from Madrid was arriving.

Fortunately, I have a little more Spanish now. When I went through Pamplona a few months later for my first Camino, it was much quieter and fortunately I didn't need any trains.
 
What happened was that the train had decoupled and the front half of it left a few minutes earlier as the first train, leaving the remaining half as our train, but we were at the back end of the platform and didn't notice that, and there were no signs or announcements to indicate it.
I got on a train in Barcelona to go to Pamplona. Somewhere along the way, it split, and when it stopped next, we were in Logroño in the middle of the night. I wandered around till a bike shop opened and bought a bike. My actual destination was Villamayor de Monjardín, so taking a bus wouldn't have got me there much sooner. Plus, I got to see that much of the Camino along the way.
 
On my second Camino, I made a sentimental detour to revisit Lugo. I parked my bike at the foot of the town walls, then climbed the steps. On my leisurely circuit, I stopped halfway to put down my backpack and take out the fruit I’d just bought. Having savoured the view and the cherries, I returned to my bike, took off the back pack while unlocking the bike, and was instantly assailed by a peculiarly vile smell. The backpack, and now the bike pannier and no doubt my back, were plastered with dog’s diarrhoea, an unwanted souvenir of the circuit of the walls. I couldn’t decide which would be the greater humiliation: stripping off my shirt to clean the parts I couldn’t reach, or fleeing the scene in startlingly bad odour. My memories of Lugo are now indelibly soiled.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
At a cute cafe in Leon, after a delicious meal, the owner spent time talking to my niece and me. After about 15 minutes, it felt like a good time to introduce ourselves. Altho my Spanish was very basic, I knew how to introduce myself. Me llamo Sonja. But not knowing how to say What's your name, I thought it was Te llamo (which is pronounce Te amo) My niece whipped her head to me and said, YOU JUST TOLD HIM YOU LOVED HIM! He smiled and said, Encantada, Pablo...he knew what I meant.
In a weird way it reminds me of a radio commercial where a guy is learning French so he says to his wife after walking into the house: Je t'adore and she snaps back YOU shut the door!
Of course I absolutely don't remember what product was the commercial fir...
🤣
 
In a weird way it reminds me of a radio commercial where a guy is learning French so he says to his wife after walking into the house: Je t'adore and she snaps back YOU shut the door!
Of course I absolutely don't remember what product was the commercial fir...
🤣
I tried to find the "je t'adore" video, but it seems to have vanished. Here's some other pronunciation humor:
 
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Have you done something embarrassing while on Camino?

My worst moment was in San Bol. One of my Camino family members asked the rest of us if we should walk early as the temperature was supposed to soar the next day. We agreed to wake at 4 am and start the stage.

I woke at 4 as requested (very quietly) and woke my camiga below me. I then went to the bunk my camigo was in.
He was not there. Instead I woke a poor unsuspecting German pilgrim who was NOT happy. He started yelling way over my apologies.

We left very quickly.

I found out later that my camigo decided to walk through the night.

Hard to apologize enough.
If you happen to follow the forum my friend. I am so sorry.

Gord
I arrived in Ventosa 2016 after a wet and muddy walk. Greeted by friends in the alberque, claimed a bed and headed for the shower. Just stepping into a lovely hot shower when a young woman burst in yelling 'Fire!' Quickly pulled on some undies I ran upstairs to see, where the fuel stove's metal pipe exited the ceiling, burning timbers. It was a long way up so we up-ended a bed and started a bucket chain to try and douse the flames. The 'fire brigade ' arrived and quelled the fire but as it was still smouldering we had to evacuate. Much wrangling saw some cars arrive to take us to the next village where there was a festival in progress and no beds available. Eventually the police opened the basket ball/gymnasium and we spent the night on gym mats. Another memorable day on the camino!
 
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