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Fellow pilgrims stealing belongings on the Camino - it happens

Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#1
My son has had a t-shirt stolen and a microfibre towel. No he didn't lose them - they were taken from his bunk. The towel was taken today at his albergue in Burgos and the t-shirt a few days ago (and he loved that shirt).
It's petty and very sad that people feel they can steal others' belongings - especially when you are carrying everything you own on your back and don't have much to begin with.
GRRRRR....this is a Catholic pilgrimage but I hope karma catches those ugly people.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#2
I'm sorry, Kate, and sad to read this. I'm not naive about the occasional scumbag on the Camino--this is life, and they can be everywhere, even on the Camino. But still...

GRRRRR....this is a Catholic pilgrimage but I hope karma catches those ugly people
Oh, yes, it will...karma is always fair!
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#3
I worked as a hospitalera several times, my personal guess is that it is more likely that it was either a confusion (those towels all look pretty similar), he forgot things on a washing line, somebody packed it by accident, it fall under a bed or similar. Theft can happen, but in my experience it rarely involves t-shirts and towels, real thieves go for more valuable stuff like money and electronics. SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#4
SYates - I hope you're right but he said both items were on his bunk. Maybe they did fall under it or it has been accidentally packed by someone else. I hope so as at this point in his pilgrimage (and all of you experienced pilgrims will maybe empathise) he is feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I have said to him that those feelings will ebb and flow and I haven't even done The Camino - it just comes from life experience for me - but little things like having your belongings taken just add to the 'blisters'.
 
P

PANO

Guest
#5
Agree with SYates, stealing happens, but concerns more desirable items than a used and very likely smelly t-shirt and a towel; frankly, the OP here sounds like a mother, whose son would never ever be or do wrong. Stuff happens when many people gather and share facilities, I am for instance one who ended up his camino with a totally foreign, never-before-seen pair of socks in my pack. To accuse someone -even unknown- of stealing is harsh and should not be done without some hard evidence.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#6
Oh dear PANO you sound very defensive. I am simply passing on information - the fact that I am a 'mother' - which I obviously am - is neither here nor there. I am under no illusion that my son 'can do no wrong' - lol - he is walking the Camino... he is no coddled child.
He had his towel on his bunk - his friends concur with this - they went out and towel was gone.
Maybe another pilgrim had their towel stolen so they saw fit to take someone else's?
Hard evidence? Should one catch someone in the act?
 
P

PANO

Guest
#7
Oh dear PANO you sound very defensive. I am simply passing on information - the fact that I am a 'mother' - which I obviously am - is neither here nor there. I am under no illusion that my son 'can do no wrong' - lol - he is walking the Camino... he is no coddled child.
He had his towel on his bunk - his friends concur with this - they went out and towel was gone.
Maybe another pilgrim had their towel stolen so they saw fit to take someone else's?
Hard evidence? Should one catch someone in the act?
Yes KateB, I am defensive most probably because of the bad conscience I still have about this pair of socks I mentioned. I may after all have to seek professional help about it.....:D
 
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#9
Still to this day wonder whether I forgot the socks off the line or they were mistakenly taken, after all they were a common brand. I used to have an external battery which would recharge my iphone. That I definitely left in a hostal room! I now have a Samsung with an cheap exchangeable battery with it's charger, which is also a lighter solution. The only things I can categorically were taken were my poles by SDC airport security on leaving :( and a lot of the burdens in life. :):):):)
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
#10
A thief crept into the hut of a zen master, hoping to steal some valuable possessions. The zen master, who was already awake, said: "welcome friend, you have come a long way, I am sorry I cannot be more hospitable as I do not have much, but here, please take this robe!" The thief, completely bewildered, crept out the way he had come with the small bundle in his hands. Sitting naked, the zen master looked up and sighed, "Poor man," he thought, "it's such a pity I could not give him this beautiful moon."
 
P

PANO

Guest
#11
It makes sense to adhere tagging devises to your important items like Rucksack, walking poles, electronics and whatever else of value. Search such tags by Google, they enable to track the items with your smartphone and are available for IOS and Android.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#15
In March I attended a big annual weekend party of Spanish hospitaleros -- people closely linked for years to the camino and hospitality.
A handy lady from UK crocheted and gave away several cute little Pilgrim Bears, complete with knitted mochilas and boots.
Fast forward two months: I met with a couple of the fellow party attendees last week at the "Castrofeliz" albergue in Castrojeriz, and told them how much I enjoy the little bear that Judith gave me.
They both said they really loved theirs, too. But their bears vanished overnight, from their bunks at the host albergue, along with several other things from other peoples' packs.
Someone in that gathering of 30 or 40 trusted friends and hospitaleros is a thief, willing to steal from his friends at an invitation-only event.
Hard not to think people are no damn good.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2014)
#17
Rebekah, I love that the context of your story also shows how many people do have so much good in them. So many more hours of generosity and care went in to training & volunteering hospitalero efforts, making the party, celebrating with others, and of course knitting and gifting of the pilgrim bears. The dark act of a person in a dark moment is cruel and sad, but people like you remind me we are not made for darkness.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#18
... He had his towel on his bunk - his friends concur with this - they went out and towel was gone.
...

Ok, I don't have a photo at hand but people do hang up things on any bunk near them. Things get crowded, things drop, somebody kindly picks up dropped things from floor and hangs them up on another bunk, somebody confuses things when packing things up early morning ...

A thief crept into the hut of a zen master, hoping to steal some valuable possessions. The zen master, who was already awake, said: "welcome friend, you have come a long way, I am sorry I cannot be more hospitable as I do not have much, but here, please take this robe!" The thief, completely bewildered, crept out the way he had come with the small bundle in his hands. Sitting naked, the zen master looked up and sighed, "Poor man," he thought, "it's such a pity I could not give him this beautiful moon."
Love it!

Buen Camino! SY
 

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
#20
My son has had a t-shirt stolen and a microfibre towel. No he didn't lose them - they were taken from his bunk. The towel was taken today at his albergue in Burgos and the t-shirt a few days ago (and he loved that shirt).
It's petty and very sad that people feel they can steal others' belongings - especially when you are carrying everything you own on your back and don't have much to begin with.
GRRRRR....this is a Catholic pilgrimage but I hope karma catches those ugly people.
In my backpack travels across SE Asia, I developed a very structured way of packing in order to avoid the dropped sock, but I know that I will end up losing something. As a few have noted, petty theft is probably common and irritating. That t shirt must have been very interesting, and will probably stand out in a crowd. The truth will out!
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Camino Aragones 2012, 2017, Via Francigena 2016 & 17,
#21
A friend, who is working at Najera, wrote that one day 2 pairs of boots were stolen and yesterday 2 purses went missing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France 2012, 2014. Camino Portugues 2014, Via Francigena, 2013. Camino Norte 2016
#22
They are only stuff, they can be replaced. After someone knownly took my lunch at a big Albergue, I was upset for a minute. Then I thought that person might really needed my cheese and croissants, hope it nourished his/her body and soul. Having said that, I always carry my passport and money with me at all time.

buen Camino.
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
#23
I worked as a hospitalera several times, my personal guess is that it is more likely that it was either a confusion (those towels all look pretty similar), he forgot things on a washing line, somebody packed it by accident, it fall under a bed or similar. Theft can happen, but in my experience it rarely involves t-shirts and towels, real thieves go for more valuable stuff like money and electronics. SY
it can indeed, and it does involve T-shirts and towels --
one can't know what serves a thieving-mind/mentality - sometimes it's cash and other valuables, sometimes simple things as towels, slippers, t-shirts, etc etc.
thefts just don't happen - they are perpetrated. with an intention behind it. (to seperate the owner from his/her belongings to suit the thief's purpose, whatever that might be.)
real thieves go what serves them. small time or big time items.
then there is the case of mistaken identity - i.e. taking something one thinks it belongs to me. happens even with shopping carts ...
that's a different issue - but for the one missing the item/s, it's not obvious. it can't be known if it was theft or mistaken ID (unless they are mind-readers or such) - they just have to deal with the fact that an item belonging of them is gone.
and yes, the camino is not a path that only features 'golden rule' pilgrims. scoundrels and thieves and worse were among the pilgrims for centuries.
just like on your trip to the local green grocer ....
luckily, in my experience - the camino was populated with mostly 'golden rule' pilgrims.

and it does help, to only surround oneself with items that can be replaced. detachment and equipoise are a good approach, but that's a topic for another thread :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Lourdes v SJPDP - Santiago (June/July 2010) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (July/August 2015) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (June/July/August 2017)
#24
My son has had a t-shirt stolen and a microfibre towel. No he didn't lose them - they were taken from his bunk. The towel was taken today at his albergue in Burgos and the t-shirt a few days ago (and he loved that shirt).
It's petty and very sad that people feel they can steal others' belongings - especially when you are carrying everything you own on your back and don't have much to begin with.
GRRRRR....this is a Catholic pilgrimage but I hope karma catches those ugly people.
Hi KateB,, talking about those that steal,,back in 2010 also at an Albergue in Burgos, while leaving early the next day,someone had there Boots taken, talk about low life,,,after that I started to keep my Boots by my bunk at night.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#25
I have had things stolen on the Camino - and I also have seen mistakes happen.

One year, we started out in SJPP with a group.
In Roncesvalles, one of my ladies came to me, embarrassed and said, "I took the wrong shoes this morning!"

It was very dark when we left. Shoes were left down near the stairs - not allowed in the rooms.
She had taken an EXACT pair of shoes like her own, same size, except whomever these shoes belonged to had marked the shoelaces with red fingernail polish.

She was mortified.

I laughed and said, "Don't worry about it! At least they got shoes that fit!"

But I have seen clothing and towels taken off the line, very nice trekking poles STOLEN out of the bins, and money taken from packs when people were showering. These days, it is not just a "Catholic" pilgrimage. Anybody and everybody can walk and some people just grew up without good ethics. There were fistfights in the albergue I stayed in two years ago. It was an American with an overinflated ego and his daughter who WANTED to start a fight and did. And it was a shame. But there are good and bad people everywhere, even on the Camino.

Sorry about the shirt and towel - but at least it wasn't a phone or poles.
It was a good lesson.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SEPT '13 CF - SJPP to Santiago
OCT '14 Porto to Santiago
#26
My son has had a t-shirt stolen and a microfibre towel. No he didn't lose them - they were taken from his bunk. The towel was taken today at his albergue in Burgos and the t-shirt a few days ago (and he loved that shirt).
It's petty and very sad that people feel they can steal others' belongings - especially when you are carrying everything you own on your back and don't have much to begin with.
GRRRRR....this is a Catholic pilgrimage but I hope karma catches those ugly people.
Yes I must admit …in error I took a single high tech sock at one stage on the CF …it was very similar to mine …had one extra odd sock …when I discovered this it was too late to rectify ….can easily happen
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hopefully this September 2015
#28
Still to this day wonder whether I forgot the socks off the line or they were mistakenly taken, after all they were a common brand. I used to have an external battery which would recharge my iphone. That I definitely left in a hostal room! I now have a Samsung with an cheap exchangeable battery with it's charger, which is also a lighter solution. The only things I can categorically were taken were my poles by SDC airport security on leaving :( and a lot of the burdens in life. :):):):)
Why did airport security take your poles?
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#29
I'm sorry, Kate, and sad to read this. I'm not naive about the occasional scumbag on the Camino--this is life, and they can be everywhere, even on the Camino. But still...


Oh, yes, it will...karma is always fair!
ha ha.....love it
I've been tempted to use that word before on here, but always hesitated.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#30
Why did airport security take your poles?
This is a relatively new addition to the many "possibly" dangerous items now excluded from carry ons.
There are two solutions: (1)bring your poles wrapped up in a carton as "hold baggage". You are not charged for checking them in.(2) Plead ignorance and ask if the ticket agent would find a box for your poles. Not only did she find a box for the collapsable poles...she came onto the plane and handed my the stub.
As far as things being stolen, I too have been a victim. My microfibre towel was missing from the end of my bunk. Later I realized I had put it at the head of my bunk. I got into the albergue early enough to wash my gear and put it out in the sun to dry. In the morning my socks were still there but quite damp. I think a later arrival who also washed their gear...went for the dry socks...squish, squish.
My daughter asked me one day, why I put my name on my gear in such an obvious place. Easy...how many folks wish to walk the Camino with "ARN" easily visible. Well, maybe The AL!
 
Camino(s) past & future
3 times Camino Francés
#31
My friend was gardener in our bishops garden and he cut me a hazelnut stick from the garden as my pilgrims stick.
It was not of material value but for me it had a special value.
In an albergue when I came from the toilet a guy went downstairs with my walking stick in his hand.
When I said that it is my pilgrims stick he gave it to me without a word and off he went.
I still have that stick and and it is my valued souvenir from my pilgrimage.
Buen Camino
Jochen
 
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Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#32
Yes I can understand mistakes but this towel was on the bed - not on a washing line, or on the end of the bed or on the floor. Anyway, he has moved on - literally - but really...who does this? I hope every time they use this towel their conscience gives them a kick in the guts.
The story about the bears is awful - that's just wicked - what a miserable sod that person/s is.
 

Sharni

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: April/May 2011
Camino Norte/Vadiniense/Frances: April/May 2013
Camino Frances: April/May 2016
#33
Not quite the same as the OP but a funny story. On the Norte where the bars are not as frequent we got into the habit of buying food the day before for the next days lunch. One morning we came down to the common room for breakfast a bit late. We were "surprised" to be offered the remnants our own cheese and tomato that we had purchased the day before for our lunch and put in the fridge. Some other pilgrims had mistakenly thought it was part of the breakfast and kindly "shared" the leftovers with us. We had plenty of laughs over that incident. The looks on our faces being offered our own half eaten tomato and scrap of cheese.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#34
Like others have said, it might best to assume they were picked up accidentally by another pilgrim rather than stolen.
There are times when it is very difficult to think it was an accident... Used the washing-machines in Roncesvalles with another pilgrim, when washing was finished the hospitalera brought the basket down. I saw it as she brought it, it had my towel on top. I rushed outside to tell the other lady our washing was done. When we both returned a few minutes later, the towel had gone.
In Ponferrada, I put my sleeping-bag on my bed as usual with the liner inside. Later that evening when I returned, the liner had gone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#35
People are people - just because someone is doing the Camino doesn't make them deified or Mother Teresa. Scumbags are everywhere. Anyway I hope this post just serves to remind some people to watch your belongings and don't presume that because the Camino is what it is, that people are all good.
And I will pass on the tip about watching the washing lines as he moves on - getting closer and closer to that halfway point.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#37
Yes it is originally a Catholic pilgrimage and part of the Catholic ethos is to not steal. Point being, theft is an unconscionable act particularly when people doing this are carrying minimal supplies to begin with. I don't get your facetious tone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#39
I put my sleeping-bag on my bed as usual with the liner inside. Later that evening when I returned, the liner had gone.
Sorry to hear this. Deciding what to leave on my bed to indicate that it was taken, was always a concern of mine. I felt that whatever I left there would be vulnerable. At the suggestion of a forum member, I had brought with me an old piece of tie-dyed knit fabric which I used as a towel - it also doubled as a screen - and this I would leave on my bed, still damp from my shower. Not very glamorous, but .......
 

Pattii

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#40
It's always difficult when we lose something that belongs to us and if it is taken from us the loss is greater. But I have often wondered how we get so attached to 'things'. I know how it feels and I understand the concept but I still wonder about myself when I get sooo incredibly angry at an item being taken.

My brother died 2 months ago tomorrow. Very little of what he had was ever able to be retrieved. It was difficult not having some of the memento's we wanted as a reminder of his life. But the one thing we needed particularly was his birth certificate. My sister was on the hunt at the last place he stayed. As I said very little was left in the room he stayed, which didn't have a lock, and the house was full of people in worse shape than he was. We prayed and went back the next day. She went into the house again and a very stoned man walked by and when she asked him about Shane's stuff she was directed to a box in the very filthy common kitchen. She was afraid to dig in it because of needles and such (he had a hard life) but she was careful and picked through it and for the most part it was just junk. But lo and behold at the bottom of the box was the birth certificate we needed so badly to be able to deal with his funeral. Identity theft is a huge thing here in Canada so this was a little miracle just when we needed it. And we NEEDED it.
Things are things. I know it can be difficult, as I said. I'm sure I have sworn out loud...didn't even bother to do it under my breath..when something of mine is taken and I get upset and hurt. But then I realize there is nothing...not one thing...that cannot be found (by God) or replaced. Maybe I am just overly trusting or maybe its because I've lost so many things over the years to sticky fingers but I have found peace with it. If I needed it...not just wanted it...NEEDED it, I trust God would find a way to bring it back to me. It may sound silly but I really believe this. The things that matter have a way of finding their way home in the end. If my things aren't retrieved or given back and I stay angry or hurt about it, I have to wonder if my attachment to them was healthy in the first place. This is just the way that I THINK...I am not negating the disappointment of having something taken or the fact that it is very wrong to take something that does not belong to you. It just is what it is.
My words now when something is taken are "they must have needed it more than I did", and in my mind I just give it to them...even after the fact. It always makes me feel better. And yes sometimes I still miss those things...but I just repeat the process of giving it to the person who took it. Eventually I let it go and I always feel that I have grown. I have also found that the special items somehow get replaced...maybe not the exact thing but something that fills the void as it were.

Just my thoughts.
 
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Walli Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances '2009', Camino Portuguese from Porto '2015', Camino Ingles from Ferrol '2015', Finisterre and Muxia '2015'. Tentatively planning Camino from Granada '2017'.
#41
Pattii, beautifully put. Thank you.
Jacki X
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
#43
It's always difficult when we lose something that belongs to us and if it is taken from us the loss is greater. But I have often wondered how we get so attached to 'things'. I know how it feels and I understand the concept but I still wonder about myself when I get sooo incredibly angry at an item being taken.

My brother died 2 months ago tomorrow. Very little of what he had was ever able to be retrieved. It was difficult not having some of the memento's we wanted as a reminder of his life. But the one thing we needed particularly was his birth certificate. My sister was on the hunt at the last place he stayed. As I said very little was left in the room he stayed in which didn't have a lock and the house was full of people in worse shape than he was. We prayed and went back the next day. She went into the house again and a very stoned man walked by and when she asked him about Shane's stuff she was directed to a box in the very filthy common kitchen. She was afraid to dig in it because of needles and such (he had a hard life) but she was careful and picked through it and for the most part it was just junk. But lo and behold at the bottom of the box was the birth certificate we needed so badly to be able to deal with his funeral. Identity theft is a huge thing here in Canada so this was a little miracle just when we needed it. And we NEEDED it.
Things are things. I know it can be difficult, as I said. I'm sure I have sworn out loud...didn't even bother to do it under my breath..when something of mine is taken and get upset and hurt. But then I realize there is nothing...not one thing...that cannot be found (by God) or replaced. Maybe I am just overly trusting or maybe its because I've lost so many things over the years to sticky fingers but I have found peace with it. If I needed it...not just wanted it...NEEDED it, I trust God would find a way to bring it back to me. It may sound silly but I really believe this. The things that matter have a way of finding their way home in the end. If my things aren't retrieved or given back and I stay angry or hurt about it, I have to wonder if my attachment to them was healthy in the first place. This is just the way that I THINK...I am not negating the disappointment of having something taken or the fact that it is very wrong to take something that does not belong to you. It just is what it is.
My words now when something is taken are "they must have needed it more than I did", and in my mind I just give it to them...even after the fact. It always makes me feel better. And yes sometimes I still miss those things...but I just repeat the process of giving it to the person who took it. Eventually I let it go and I always feel that I have grown. I have also found that the special items somehow get replaced...maybe not the exact thing but something that fills the void as it were.

Just my thoughts.
I'm sorry for your loss, @Pattii.

I completely understand when you say that God "will find a way to bring it back to me" if something goes missing. My problem is that I depend on God to help me in an awful lot of areas and, rather than tax his patience (and risk overstaying my welcome) I try to help myself in those areas where I can. I operate on the belief that God helps those who help themselves. So I will make the effort, when I'm on Camino, to safeguard those very few necessary possessions I have with me, and depend on God to help me in those areas that are beyond my control. :):)
 

Pattii

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#44
I'm sorry for your loss, @Pattii.

I completely understand when you say that God "will find a way to bring it back to me" if something goes missing. My problem is that I depend on God to help me in an awful lot of areas and, rather than tax his patience (and risk overstaying my welcome) I try to help myself in those areas where I can. I operate on the belief that God helps those who help themselves. So I will make the effort, when I'm on Camino, to safeguard those very few necessary possessions I have with me, and depend on God to help me in those areas that are beyond my control. :):)
Indeed it is always a good idea to think like a thief and act as a Christian. LOL. I am very careful too...as much as humanly possible. And even thought I know I can trust God, its always a good idea to carry items of value on your body when visiting the loo etc. I tend to stuff things in my bra a lot i.e. money and definitely my lip gloss!! I would know if someone were searching there! LMAO! ( although boots and walking poles would look rather out of place ...o_O)

And thank you for your condolences. It's appreciated.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#45
Not easy at all to lose a sibling. I'm sorry Pattii.
My words now when something is taken are "they must have needed it more than I did", and in my mind I just give it to them...even after the fact. It always makes me feel better. And yes sometimes I still miss those things...but I just repeat the process of giving it to the person who took it. Eventually I let it go and I always feel that I have grown.
How true...letting go is such a relief.
My now deceased Aunt used to say that a lot, having been a medical missionary in India in the 30s and learning all about things going missing. Several decades after coming back she continued to do this and was one of the most balanced and content people I've ever met. But...she wasn't a passive doormat either. She took care of herself.
[Edit--A Sufi phrase comes to mind...'Trust in God but tie your camel.']
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#47
This thread is leading me to reflect on a lesson that I think I am meant to learn on the camino: to trust in God that my needs will be fulfilled. I always want to have control, but to live in a common dormitory is to instantly lose control over some basic aspects of life. Perhaps the meaning is that I receive with gratitude what I am given, rather than clinging to what I think I will need. But I'd like to hang on to my boots, at least! I guess that, so long as we are alive, some things seem essential in every situation, until they are gone. But we are not able to hang on to even those whom we love. I still don't know where to go with that one, but I am very sorry Patti, for the loss of your brother.
 

Pattii

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#48
This thread is leading me to reflect on a lesson that I think I am meant to learn on the camino: to trust in God that my needs will be fulfilled. I always want to have control, but to live in a common dormitory is to instantly lose control over some basic aspects of life. Perhaps the meaning is that I receive with gratitude what I am given, rather than clinging to what I think I will need. But I'd like to hang on to my boots, at least! I guess that, so long as we are alive, some things seem essential in every situation, until they are gone. But we are not able to hang on to even those whom we love. I still don't know where to go with that one, but I am very sorry Patti, for the loss of your brother.
Yes I will continue to pray that you keep your boots! And yes it is difficult to not feel in control over our circumstances...which is why I really want to tent!
Not being in control was the most difficult part of losing Shane. I miss him...and your condolences are so appreciated.. and that goes out to all of you who have thought of me as you read this and to those who have said it. It is good to share our pain and our losses. It feels good to talk about him sometimes especially when I realize how much of an impact he had on my life. I have, with his death, relearned such an indelible lesson:
God must have needed him more than I do.
 

wawpdx

Active Member
#49
(In 2005), As I was starting up Alto del Perdon I met a pilgrim coming towards me. She was walking back (to ??? -- no alburgue nearby) to retrieve the shirt she had forgotten to pack that morning. I only walk forward so this stands out in my mind. Would you turn around and walk back several km to retrieve a piece of clothing that you had forgotten to pack that morning?

Edited in light of Al the O's post below.
 
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FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
#51
Patti, I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope your brother knew how much he was loved. I appreciate your attitude about what is important in life, and what is worth letting go.
To the OP, I believe that your son inadvertently left something behind or it was accidentally taken. It is unlikely (although certainly not impossible) that it was intentionally stolen.
I blogged about the time someone came into the albergue's common dining room, where we were all having a great meal, when a fellow pilgrim stormed into the room, waved MY PANTS around the room (they had been on the clothes line drying) and shouted "SOMEBODY STOLE MY PANTS!!!" He then raced out of the room, waving my pants behind him.
The story ended ("Jeremiah Johnson never lost his pants") in a very appropriate way, especially for this thread.
My next Camino starts in two days. I'll hang on to my pants (LOL)
Hang in there, Mom. That t-shirt and towel are now on Caminos of their own.
 
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#52
After reading Patti's story I can only think that material stuff is so unimportant compared with a human life.
I remember in 2011 when walking ( a rainy day into Burgos I think ) that an elderly german lady halted me because she was convinced that I had stolen her technical towel. Seems she observed me on a couple of times ....freaky and creepy as that is ( she remembered I had exactly the same towel ) . She practically ordered me to show her the content of my pack. I just did that, flabbergasted , and she had to admit it was not her towel. Because she embroidered her name into hers....
Ah well....and then she scolded my mate and I that we had taken a bus because " How could our clothes still be so clean otherwise ?"....We just said Buen Camino....and thought " Chill out ".
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances, Roncesvalles to SdC 2010
C. Frances, SJPDP to Sdc 2012
C.Frances,SJPDP to Finisterre 2014
C.Portuguese, Lisbon to SdC(hopscotch) Sept. 2015
C. Frances SJPDP to Muxia 2017
#55
So, now I wonder if someone has left something behind do you pick it up and hope you see them on the way or next albergue or do you leave it where it is? I have done both since I am usually one of the last to leave, on one occasion I knew whose flashlight/torch it was and I caught up with her at the next cafe and returned it , she was very happy as it was her birthday and a nice "gift" she said. On another occasion, I saw a towel left behind and at another spot(Albergue?) a lady was saying she had lost her towel , I told her I had seen one on a bed, and she said why didn't you pick it up? I would not want someone to think I had taken their things, and if you don't see that person again, do you leave it at the next albergue?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#57
So, now I wonder if someone has left something behind do you pick it up and hope you see them on the way or next albergue or do you leave it where it is? I have done both since I am usually one of the last to leave, on one occasion I knew whose flashlight/torch it was and I caught up with her at the next cafe and returned it , she was very happy as it was her birthday and a nice "gift" she said. On another occasion, I saw a towel left behind and at another spot(Albergue?) a lady was saying she had lost her towel , I told her I had seen one on a bed, and she said why didn't you pick it up? I would not want someone to think I had taken their things, and if you don't see that person again, do you leave it at the next albergue?
Great question, I left the lower part of my convertible pants at a small cafe before arriving in Burgos. Another pilgrim passed me along the way a little later and asked me if I knew I had left them behind. I would have loved for them to picked them up.
Another time I was going over the top of Alto de Mostelares and found someone else's lower pants legs on a table and carried them to Itero de la Vega and found a group who was having lunch and asked if they could carrying them forward to Fromista thinking the owner might be walking that far. I got no takers, so I left them hanging on the fence of the first albergue in town because I was taking a rest day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#58
I wonder if someone has left something behind do you pick it up and hope you see them on the way or next albergue or do you leave it where it is?
I'd say if you 're sure you know the owner an plan to see them later , take it--and if possible send them word that you're doing that. If not, give whatever it is to the hospitalero/a, telling them who it belongs to. If it's valuable or important they will likely return for it.
And it may not be necessary to walk allllllll the way back! I was in Casrojerez when a fellow pilgrim realized she'd left her credencial in Hornillos. Oh no!!! No problemo, said the hospitalero...he called to confirm it was there, and hopped into his car to get it. 20 minutes later he was back, credencial in hand.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#59
Last day's walk into Santiago: we had stopped at the popular bar after passing Lavacolla. We had then walked on about 1 km, when we found an agitated group. One of the ladies had picked up the wrong, but identical backpack after leaving the bar and was just on her way back to return it and, obviously hope to find hers!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SEPT '13 CF - SJPP to Santiago
OCT '14 Porto to Santiago
#60
My son has had a t-shirt stolen and a microfibre towel. No he didn't lose them - they were taken from his bunk. The towel was taken today at his albergue in Burgos and the t-shirt a few days ago (and he loved that shirt).
It's petty and very sad that people feel they can steal others' belongings - especially when you are carrying everything you own on your back and don't have much to begin with.
GRRRRR....this is a Catholic pilgrimage but I hope karma catches those ugly people.
On the CF in 2014 – stopped for a coffee – left behind my John Brierley guide – about an hour later an elderly pilgrim caught up with me with my guide book – very much appreciated
 

Rob1954

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
'2015'
#61
My son has had a t-shirt stolen and a microfibre towel. No he didn't lose them - they were taken from his bunk. The towel was taken today at his albergue in Burgos and the t-shirt a few days ago (and he loved that shirt).
It's petty and very sad that people feel they can steal others' belongings - especially when you are carrying everything you own on your back and don't have much to begin with.
GRRRRR....this is a Catholic pilgrimage but I hope karma catches those ugly people.
Christian Community means forgiving and loving sinners. If it were my son I'd murder them;-)
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#62
Something I realized was how forgetful I was on the Camino. I forgot towels, my fleece, socks, walking sticks, & the best knife ever. In the end either I trudged back or figured they went to someone who really needed the stuff.

I personally witnessed a person in Leon snag IPhones so quick It took a moment to realize wht I witnessed. He got away. Regardless of what was stolen or lost, it did not keep me from what I consider a calling to walk. I simply replaced the items if needed. For the most part you learn the only things you need is water, food, money, 1 set of clothes, sleeping bag, & rain gear. So basically you could loose your entire back pack & still get by. Unfortunately that means money. Yet I wonder why fret over that you still have a brain to figure it out.
Keith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Yes please!
#63
Two things have made me reduce my pack size to a 30 litre frameless Osprey Tempest - the price of checking bags on flights, and the chance of them going missing either at the airport or from the luggage room under buses. I always used to make sure I sat on the side of the bus where I could see if anyone picked up my pack - by accident or on purpose - but my pack is so small now even Alsa bus drivers let me take it in. I trust my fellow man but I still tie up my camel :D
 

Pattii

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#65
Condolences on the loss of your brother, Pattii - I just returned from watching my brother die under similar circumstances and feel your pain.

It does put things into perspective...
Yes it does and I am also very sorry for your loss. I know how much of a loss it is. Sometimes I wish I had just lost a towel or a t-shirt. Sighs
Big huge hugs.
 

Pattii

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#66
Something I realized was how forgetful I was on the Camino. I forgot towels, my fleece, socks, walking sticks, & the best knife ever. In the end either I trudged back or figured they went to someone who really needed the stuff.

I personally witnessed a person in Leon snag IPhones so quick It took a moment to realize wht I witnessed. He got away. Regardless of what was stolen or lost, it did not keep me from what I consider a calling to walk. I simply replaced the items if needed. For the most part you learn the only things you need is water, food, money, 1 set of clothes, sleeping bag, & rain gear. So basically you could loose your entire back pack & still get by. Unfortunately that means money. Yet I wonder why fret over that you still have a brain to figure it out.
Keith
It's always hard to lose something we HAVE to replace, but in my opinion, money is not a destination, it is a tool, and somehow God seems to supply my needs there too. On of our thread here was that Icasos didn't want to trouble God with the little things. It's just those things that He wants to help us with. I don't know how I could have come through my brothers death if I could not already completely trust God for the smallest things in my life. He earned my trust over and over and when the time came to let go of the most important thing, as hard as it was, I trusted Him that He knew best.
I always pray over my stuff, lol as silly as that sounds! I pray that God will protect the things I have and then trust that He will. That way if I lose something I remember that I had protection on my things...and if something is taken then I believe it's supposed to be. I know I am a bit odd that way and I truly understand losing something like a phone...
I have said in other posts about how I was in a robbery/shooting in Jamaica. They took an IPOD I had had only a few days. I hardly had the time to use it when it was stolen. Last week (due to some issues with my IMac) I received in the mail a brand new IPOD from them as a thank you from Apple for how long it took to take care of my computer. It may not have been as soon as I wanted it but that IPOD was returned to me...and a way better one at that!
 
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Pattii

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#67
I again want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for the great love shown to me on this thread regarding the passing of my brother. I appreciate you all caring enough to take the time to consider my feelings and my loss. It truly reminds me again of the fact that we are all brothers and sisters on this journey and taking care of each other is so important for how we approach our Camino's. There is great comfort knowing you all will step the same places I will step when I travel this path. I will thank God for you all as I walk in your footsteps when I finally get on the path. I pray God blesses you all and takes care of all your needs while you walk or wait to walk. You are an amazing group of people here on this forum. I'm so thankful to be part of it.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#68
I'm almost always the last one to leave the albergue and one day in 2011 when I woke up in Ventas de Naron my headlamp (I hanged it on the bunk post by my head) was missing. I turned the dormitory upside down but no luck. I guess somebody was very angray at me to use that lamp for reading for 5 minutes before falling asleep ;)
But instead of headlamp I've found beautiful leather medallion in shape of knights templars "T" on a black thick string. I hanged it from my backpack and later that day in one of the bars along the route a Spaniard recognized it as his. I was very happy to get that "burden" off my backpack that I forgot about my headlamp. At least until that evening ;)
Knock on wood - I did what shouldn't be done, usually I've left ALL my belongings on the bed while taking the shower and never ever anything being stolen.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
#69
Two things have made me reduce my pack size to a 30 litre frameless Osprey Tempest - the price of checking bags on flights, and the chance of them going missing either at the airport or from the luggage room under buses. I always used to make sure I sat on the side of the bus where I could see if anyone picked up my pack - by accident or on purpose - but my pack is so small now even Alsa bus drivers let me take it in. I trust my fellow man but I still tie up my camel :D
Ok I am truly impressed with 30L have you been asked if you are sending your stuff ahead? I have only met 1 person that had less. A young guy just showed up with no back pack, no clothes other than what was on his back & walked. He used garbage sacks for rainy days & people would share blankets & coats when he was cold. I wouldn't recommend the idea but it shows how much people care & how little you can get by with.
Keith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Yes please!
#70
My husband and I both had small packs, 30 and 33 litres, and yes, some people asked us if we were shipping the rest ahead and some probably assumed without asking, but that was all we carried for three weeks - two weeks of camino walking and one week of beach holiday in the Algarve for our honeymoon. The pack list and comments are here. Worked for us, we saved money checking bags and spent it on hostales and private rooms instead! And we always kept our packs with us unless we could lock them in the room - another benefit of a small and light pack.
 
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N

nathanael

Guest
#71
SYates - I hope you're right but he said both items were on his bunk. Maybe they did fall under it or it has been accidentally packed by someone else. I hope so as at this point in his pilgrimage (and all of you experienced pilgrims will maybe empathise) he is feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I have said to him that those feelings will ebb and flow and I haven't even done The Camino - it just comes from life experience for me - but little things like having your belongings taken just add to the 'blisters'.
Sorry I have done 8 Camino's and I tend to believe it was taken...one needs to be careful I had a guy I thought I could trust go under my pillow and taken all my credentials, passport and 800 euros when I went to the bathroom..when he heard I was going to see the Hospitalero he fessed up and said he had tricked me to teach me a lesson. I dumped him and found out most were ignoring him so he was a bloody thief. choose your walking companions carefully.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#72
It's said, if you are going to admonish someone...do it in private.
Since Forum members can be trusted to not look or read the following...here goes:
Nathanael ... Are you an idiot? 800€
That is just asking for trouble. There are sufficient ATMs along the Way to replenish your "spendable" needs for a few days.
Second, why on God's green earth would you leave these valuables where they might tempt someone. If you have been traveling with someone and maybe paid for something where they can observe how much €€€ you are carrying...not good.
On a more important note: the tenor of this thread has run the gamut of woe is me, to insensitive comment, to heart felt outpouring for a personal loss.
This is the strength of the Forum and it's members.
When one is at a loss, we offer suggestions, commizerate, or in my case, admonish.
In all that, we are sensitive when a member surfaces a personal loss none should experience and does it in a fashion not meant to engender sympathy, but rather to display to all that what we may consider a breach of propriety isn't that big a deal after all.
Thank you all for making the Forum truly FAMILY!
Arn
 

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
#73
Money and passport close to body at all times. Keep your friends close, but keep your passport closer. Arn, I did not read your admonishment to the dude that was carrying 800 euros and leaving it under his pillow for the thief.

The thief's line that he was teaching the "victim" a lesson--ironically--was probably less a lie than a truth.

In the early 80's, a woman that lived in an apartment (flat) next to mine actually stole my rent money. I knew she had. I saw her scuttling away from my apartment door, like the cockroach she was.

About two months later, this same woman's fancy SLR Nikon got stolen from her apartment. Her mother had the audacity to come ask me if I'd done it. It was shocking to me; that's just not how I was raised, but furthermore, her daughter was one who had taken money from me! Of course, those lessons learned the hard way stick better, don't they?

@Scott Sweeney --more of us need those "touchy butts" as you claim to possess, so we can feel when a pickpocket is approaching.

Money under pillows? Noooooooo......
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#74
Thank you all for making the Forum truly FAMILY!
And thank you Arn, and everyone...for your heart and honesty!

Some Korean peregrinos I knew were profoundly careful with their valuables; they told me Koreans had a reputation for carrying a lot of cash and so were more likely to be ripped off (I never knew how much 'a lot' meant but thought they were wise).
Like them I carried what for me was more than the usual amount of cash, but I followed the advice I'd read here and elsewhere: always next to my body under clothing, even while I was sleeping. I took out what I would need for the next day out of sight of others and kept it separately. It felt ridiculously careful as there were not so many of us walking and I felt I could trust 'us'...but once a person showed up at an albergue who had a very 'different' vibe. You never know, as Johnathan experienced and no doubt learned.
It's common sense...if we are careful with our things, it gives no opportunity for mischief. In Burma we say "It's important to keep honest people honest." (Said with a wink, acknowledging both human potential and human frailty...)
 
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freeflyer123

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycling the camino de Santiago "2013"
#75
A thief crept into the hut of a zen master, hoping to steal some valuable possessions. The zen master, who was already awake, said: "welcome friend, you have come a long way, I am sorry I cannot be more hospitable as I do not have much, but here, please take this robe!" The thief, completely bewildered, crept out the way he had come with the small bundle in his hands. Sitting naked, the zen master looked up and sighed, "Poor man," he thought, "it's such a pity I could not give him this beautiful moon."
Thank you, Jan. It's sometimes good to remind ourselves that our worldly goods are for nought if we lose sleep worrying about them. I, too, lost a natty pair of cycling shorts which I had left on the line. After some thought, I decided they would probably have looked better on the person who had taken them than they did on me, lol. But I do sympathize with everybody who loses/misplaces things while on the Camino as we are generally carrying as little as possible in order to keep the weight down.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances
2014 Camino Frances again
2015 The Rheinsteig
#76
Why did airport security take your poles?
I've had trouble with my single walking pole at airport security also. If you are carrying two poles I think you are definitely looking for trouble. They just stand out too much as weapons.

For the record, walking sticks are allowed onto airplanes. They cannot take it off you if you need it. So my solution now is to reduce my pole to the size of a standard walking stick and I've not had a problem since.
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#78
It's always difficult when we lose something that belongs to us and if it is taken from us the loss is greater. But I have often wondered how we get so attached to 'things'. I know how it feels and I understand the concept but I still wonder about myself when I get sooo incredibly angry at an item being taken.

My brother died 2 months ago tomorrow. Very little of what he had was ever able to be retrieved. It was difficult not having some of the memento's we wanted as a reminder of his life. But the one thing we needed particularly was his birth certificate. My sister was on the hunt at the last place he stayed. As I said very little was left in the room he stayed, which didn't have a lock, and the house was full of people in worse shape than he was. We prayed and went back the next day. She went into the house again and a very stoned man walked by and when she asked him about Shane's stuff she was directed to a box in the very filthy common kitchen. She was afraid to dig in it because of needles and such (he had a hard life) but she was careful and picked through it and for the most part it was just junk. But lo and behold at the bottom of the box was the birth certificate we needed so badly to be able to deal with his funeral. Identity theft is a huge thing here in Canada so this was a little miracle just when we needed it. And we NEEDED it.
Things are things. I know it can be difficult, as I said. I'm sure I have sworn out loud...didn't even bother to do it under my breath..when something of mine is taken and I get upset and hurt. But then I realize there is nothing...not one thing...that cannot be found (by God) or replaced. Maybe I am just overly trusting or maybe its because I've lost so many things over the years to sticky fingers but I have found peace with it. If I needed it...not just wanted it...NEEDED it, I trust God would find a way to bring it back to me. It may sound silly but I really believe this. The things that matter have a way of finding their way home in the end. If my things aren't retrieved or given back and I stay angry or hurt about it, I have to wonder if my attachment to them was healthy in the first place. This is just the way that I THINK...I am not negating the disappointment of having something taken or the fact that it is very wrong to take something that does not belong to you. It just is what it is.
My words now when something is taken are "they must have needed it more than I did", and in my mind I just give it to them...even after the fact. It always makes me feel better. And yes sometimes I still miss those things...but I just repeat the process of giving it to the person who took it. Eventually I let it go and I always feel that I have grown. I have also found that the special items somehow get replaced...maybe not the exact thing but something that fills the void as it were.

Just my thoughts.
I am so sorry for your loss, Pattii. My condolences to you and your family. All my best from the other side of the country, here on PEI.
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#79
Condolences on the loss of your brother, Pattii - I just returned from watching my brother die under similar circumstances and feel your pain.

It does put things into perspective...
Oh dear. I am so sorry for your loss, Annie. It is tragic that you and Pattii have suffered similar losses and so close in time; I send my best wishes to the both of you. May your brothers both be at peace now.
 

fiona99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
#80
So far I have forgotten my mini mirror in zubiri....And have lost two pairs of knickers.....I have no idea when where or how.....good job I packed extra .....Have had no probs in any albergue even in the city.....maybe just lucky .....all valuables are attached to body at all times.....if something goes from my pack....it will be lighter a.d that is not a bad thing....... X
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - Burgos - Sant (4-15)
Portugués - Tui - Sant (5-16)
Francés - Sarria - Sant (10-17)
#81
Just came off the Camino April 26th. A friend and I were having lunch at an interesting bar...where the skull with candle wax all about is...had a good lunch and off we went. We were 8 min down the road when a staff member from the bar chased us down on her bike to give my friend the things he had left to dry on their heater. We met a lot of wonderful people along the Way and I hope someone can remember the name of this bar...they are terrific.
 

Pattii

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#82
Just came off the Camino April 26th. A friend and I were having lunch at an interesting bar...where the skull with candle wax all about is...had a good lunch and off we went. We were 8 min down the road when a staff member from the bar chased us down on her bike to give my friend the things he had left to dry on their heater. We met a lot of wonderful people along the Way and I hope someone can remember the name of this bar...they are terrific.
Oh its so good to hear about things being returned... It shows the true nature of someone when they will go out of their way to return your belongings to you. Im so glad we have had this balance in this thread about people returning things left behind... there have been a very few but those few make my heart glad.!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#83
Oh its so good to hear about things being returned... It shows the true nature of someone when they will go out of their way to return your belongings to you. Im so glad we have had this balance in this thread about people returning things left behind... there have been a very few but those few make my heart glad.!
I'm sure if someone would make a poll on this matter (good vs.bad experience in general or at least taken/given) the result would be minimum 90% in favour of good/given!
 
#84
One more good story about the hospitality and friendliness of our Spanish hosts to offset some of the negative stories. In SDC at the end of one Camino I bought a souvenir T-Shirt. I left it in a small bar. The girl from the bar came chasing me down the street with it some minutes later. I had gone about 400 yards and around a corner but she found me even though the street was quite busy with people at the time.
 

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