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Fun Camino stories

Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Thought it might be fun for everyone to retell a funny Camino moment or story.

Picture it. 2018. Somewhere on the Camino Portugues enroute from Redondela to Pondvedra. Something goes kablooey on the top of my left foot on a steep descent and the foot started to swell up bad. I stopped and put on a foot compression sock I had in my backpack. The last 12+km were EXTREMELY painful. My pace dropped to under 2km per hour. It sucked.

When I got to the Pontevedra albergue, I switched to flip flops and limped along using a walking pole like a crutch to find some dinner with 2 Camino friends. I quickly realized it was impossible to walk any distance, so I sadly decided to pull the plug on my Camino :(

Anyhow at dinner, I was complaining that I had to end the walk and one of my Camino pals (Armando), had an idea.

He said "Here is what I am going to do. I am going to find a wheelchair and I will push you to Santiago."

I said "In no universe are you PUSHING me to Santiago. That's insane."

He thought for a minute then said "OK fine. Better idea. I will get you a horse and you can ride into Santiago! I will guide it!"

"Where are you going to get a horse. In Pontevedra. On a Tuesday..."

"I will rent one. Let me make some calls."

Make some calls?? Who is he calling, he's from California. Anyways...

"Armando. I love ya man but you are not pushing me or renting me a horse. You finish your Camino and I will take a train and meet you in Santiago."

Next morning, as I had hoped, he was gone. I moved from the albergue to a hotel so I could sulk in a private room. There I stretched, used ice, advil, massage techniques, fizzy magnesium, and crossed my fingers.

And 2 days later, miraculously, I was able to walk some. So decided I would continue (SLOWLY) onwards to Santiago. I made it and went on Muxia to Finisterre as well without issue.

Found Armando in Santiago as he waited for me to eventually arrive. I told him I appreciated his off kilter desire to help me finish. That conversation still makes me chuckle. The dude was serious! He was going to find me a horse. All I could think was what would the Pilgrim Office say?

Ah the Camino.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
One stormy night late January 2009 in Trinidad de Arre at the Marist fathers' albergue I was writing in the common room a blog post on happenstance, chance encounter and camino serendipity.

At the very moment that I defined the word 'serendipity' another pilgrim knocked at the door. Happily speaking Italian he was welcomed by two Spanish pilgrims. The Italian entered the common room, turned to say 'buona sera' to me and then enthusiastically shouted 'Margaret'! Imagine my delight upon realizing that he was Mario whom I had last seen during breakfast at Burguete the year before in 2008!! Another fortuitous chance encounter indeed.

We and a French pilgrim, Polo, had met on the little train going to St Jean Pied de Port and together walked up the Valcarlos route to Roncesvalles. As Mario and I nostalgically recollected those 'good old times' we tentatively promised to meet again "next year on the camino". ...Although our paths have never re-crossed, one never knows !
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I have posted this one before, but all posts sink into oblivion in here, so I'll repeat it:

I was working as a volunteer in the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago May/June 2019 (A luxury you should try: Free housing in Santiago & contact with 1.000's of pilgrims (in a normal year) each day).

Due to my language "skills", my job(s) was to welcome arriving pilgrims, giving them info on the lineup (la cola; the queue) (now it is a new, digital solution for that), ordering them to have their papers (Credential & passport) ready in order to speed up the processing of the line (1500-2000 new pilgrims/day), filling up the sales stands, finding pilgrim groups that could be treated as a bulk arrival, and more. So I was mostly out in the courtyard, helping the new arrivals, giving info at intervals.

One day, after I had given the standard information to the newly arrived pilgrims, in English, German and Spanish, a man yelled out at me:

"But do you speak NORWEGIAN???!!!"

I asked him (in English and Spanish) if that was what he really wanted, and he nodded intensely. The long waiting line of pilgrims were paying great attention to what was going on in the courtyard now...

So I said "Momentito!", lifted my head towards the sky and stared upwards in silence for 5 seconds, then said out loud "Gracias!", and then I gave him the same pilgrim info in Norwegian (I am a native and citizen of Norway).

I have never before in my life seen such a shocked face... He jumped up and down, yelling words I shall not repeat here, before he came running towards me, giving me a huge pre-CovID hug.

The whole line of pilgrims (100's) was laughing so hard, the volunteers inside stopped writing Compostelas, and came out to see what on Earth was happening outside.
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Thought it might be fun for everyone to retell a funny Camino moment or story.

Picture it. 2018. Somewhere on the Camino Portugues enroute from Redondela to Pondvedra. Something goes kablooey on the top of my left foot on a steep descent and the foot started to swell up bad. I stopped and put on a foot compression sock I had my backpack. The last 12+km where EXTREMELY painful. My pace dropped to under 2km per hour. It sucked.

When I got to the Pontevedra albergue, I switched to flip flops and limped along using a walking pole like a crutch, to find some dinner with 2 Camino friends. I quickly realized it was impossible to walk any distance, so I sadly decided to pull the plug on my Camino :(

Anyhow at dinner, I was complaining that I had to end the walk and one of my Camino pals (Armando), had an idea.

He said "Here is what I am going to do. I am going to find a wheelchair and I will push you to Santiago."

I said "In no universe are you PUSHING me to Santiago. That's insane."

He thought for a minute then said "OK fine. Better idea. I will get you a horse and you can ride into Santiago! I will guide it!"

"Where are you going to get a horse. In Pontevedra. On a Tuesday..."

"I will rent one. Let me make some calls."

Make some calls?? Who is he calling, he's from California. Anyways...

"Armando. I love ya man but you are not pushing me or renting me a horse. You finish your Camino and I will take a train and meet you in Santiago."

Next morning, as I had hoped, he was gone. I moved from the albergue to a hotel so I could sulk in a private room. There I stretched, used ice, advil, massage techniques, fizzy magnesium, and crossed my fingers.

And 2 days later, miraculously, I was able to walk some. So decided I would continue (SLOWLY) onwards to Santiago. I made it and went on Muxia to Finisterre as well without issue.

Found Armando in Santiago as he waited for me to eventually arrive. I told him I appreciated his off kilter desire to help me finish. That conversation still makes me chuckle. The dude was serious! He was going to find me a horse. All I could think was what would the Pilgrim Office say?

Ah the Camino.
I live on the Camino. My son lived in Ohio. He and his girlfriend, who is from a big Pakistani family, decided to get married in Detroit, Mich.
Part of the big fat wedding celebration was the groom riding into the event on a white horse, dressed in Eastern splendor. So me, in rural Spain, went to work finding a relatively calm white horse for rent for a single afternoon in suburban Detroit.
It worked. The horse and entrance and wedding were splendid!
The moral of the story is: Never underestimate the powers of a determined American in search of a horse!
 
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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I live on the Camino. My son lived in Ohio. He and his girlfriend, who is from a big Pakistani family, decided to get married in Detroit, Mich.
Part of the big fat wedding celebration was the groom riding into the event on a white horse, dressed in Eastern splendor. So me, in rural Spain, went to work finding a relatively calm white horse for rent for a single afternoon in suburban Detroit.
It worked. The horse and entrance and wedding were splendid!
The moral of the story is: Never underestimate the powers of a determined American in search of a horse!
Wow. I’ll have to let Armando know :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Since moving to the Camino in 2018, I have had a bit of a passion for finding heart shaped rocks on my daily dog walks in the meseta. This was back before I was working and had all kinds of free time. I loved the meditation of painting them while listening to podcasts in our backyard in the sun. They made the best birthday/Christmas/Mother's and Father's day gifts. Soon everyone I loved had one!

But finding 3-20 stones a day got to the point that I had too many to paint, and so I used the unpainted extras to line the ledge outside our house. There's probably a hundred lined up.

A pilgrim passed by one day and knocked on our door. I wasn't home, so my husband answered, and she gave him a heart shaped rock with delicate white dots outlining two heart shapes. I was SO touched. I couldn't believe the generosity a stranger showed, responding to my display with this sweet and pure gift that I found intensely inspiring. From thereon, I dotted my rocks as I painted them and everyone started receiving this new style I was in love with.

I wanted to share the impact of the kindness of that pilgrim. I may never know her, but I think about her often. These tiny 119998158_1293984734276226_7311517366106894870_n.jpg gestures are immense.
 

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efdoucette

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2011 Camino Frances
Since 2011 - too many to list
For my first Camino in 2011 I spent a lot of time training, and my dog joined me everyday (except the long days). My dog "Billie" was an Airedale Terrier and if you know this breed you know they all look alike and generally have the same personality. When I arrived in St Jean Pied de Port I decided to have a little snack by a cafe before heading up to Orisson. I sat on the edge of the sidewalk, it was a beautiful sunny day. As I was just getting ready to slide on my backpack to start my Camino a lady walks by with her Airedale Terrier, Identical in looks and personality to my dog back home. I asked the lady if I could pat her dog and she agreed, it was like getting a send off from my training buddy back home. An extraordinary start my Camino.
 

benny aumala

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
may-june 2016
may-june (2019)
For my first Camino in 2011 I spent a lot of time training, and my dog joined me everyday (except the long days). My dog "Billie" was an Airedale Terrier and if you know this breed you know they all look alike and generally have the same personality. When I arrived in St Jean Pied de Port I decided to have a little snack by a cafe before heading up to Orisson. I sat on the edge of the sidewalk, it was a beautiful sunny day. As I was just getting ready to slide on my backpack to start my Camino a lady walks by with her Airedale Terrier, Identical in looks and personality to my dog back home. I asked the lady if I could pat her dog and she agreed, it was like getting a send off from my training buddy back home. An extraordinary start my Camino.
Hi,
this guy went CF with me. 20180720_143939.jpg
this guy went with me all CF !
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I just posted this on another thread, but thought it an appropriate fun story for this thread too, and I'd almost forgotten abou it...

"I had a group of Korean pilgrim friends walking behind me one morning after leaving Pamplona in mid April. One offered me a piece of wrapped hard candy. I told him how it was perfect as it was the first "gift" as it was my birthday. They then proceeded to sing me "Happy Birthday" loudly as we walked on..I loved their friendliness!
 
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This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
The Albergue Andres Muñoz in Viana is memorable for it's triple tier bunk beds. When I stayed there in 2012, there were 4 triple stacks of beds in the room. I had a middle bunk in a stack. At bedtime people started climbing with various exclamations as they tried to navigate up, off the ladder and over the top of the rail of the middle and top bunks.

Someone in the room started to giggle and then someone else and soon the room of 12 pilgrims were all roaring with laughter. Finally everyone was settled and in the morning the laughter started again as people climbed down. Throughout the rest of the camino, when any one of us from that room encountered each other, it was with great laughs as we remembered that night. I've heard that the albergue no longer has the triple bunk system :)
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
At bedtime people started climbing with various exclamations as they tried to navigate up, off the ladder and over the top of the rail of the middle and top bunks.
I rarely had to take a top bunk, but when I did my exclamations were always "ouch, ouch, ouch"! Every ladder, no matter what the shape or material they were made of, were always killers on my feet with each step...pure torture! 🙄
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I rarely had to take a top bunk, but when I did my exclamations were always "ouch, ouch, ouch"! Every ladder, no matter what the shape or material they were made of, were always killers on my feet with each step...pure torture! 🙄
Next time, ask for "una cama abajo, por favor" (A bed down, please). It always works. If not, add "estoy retirado" (I am retired). That should do it.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
The Albergue Andres Muñoz in Viana is memorable for it's triple tier bunk beds. When I stayed there in 2012, there were 4 triple stacks of beds in the room. I had a middle bunk in a stack. At bedtime people started climbing with various exclamations as they tried to navigate up, off the ladder and over the top of the rail of the middle and top bunks.

Someone in the room started to giggle and then someone else and soon the room of 12 pilgrims were all roaring with laughter. Finally everyone was settled and in the morning the laughter started again as people climbed down. Throughout the rest of the camino, when any one of us from that room encountered each other, it was with great laughs as we remembered that night. I've heard that the albergue no longer has the triple bunk system :)

The change occurred c. 2015. However
mid October c.2013 the municipal albergue was VERY crowded; all the bunks in those famous triple tiers were taken. Luckily I had found one on the bottom level.

The actual effect was similar to movie scenes of a tightly packed WW2 troop ship! Nevertheless since some amorous pilgrim couples were “très sportif" those upper bunks kept swaying back and forth throughout the night!!
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Next time, ask for "una cama abajo, por favor" (A bed down, please). It always works. If not, add "estoy retirado" (I am retired). That should do it.
I will add them to my growing list of short Spanish sentences to learn. I usually traveled with my son and he was gracious to always take the top bunk when we were not pre-assigned.🙂
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Next time, ask for "una cama abajo, por favor" (A bed down, please). It always works. If not, add "estoy retirado" (I am retired). That should do it.
Alex, "retirado" doesn't mean "retired," it means "expired," or "withdrawn from circulation!" I think you mean "jubilado," aged out of the working world. Although after walking 30 km and climbing up three stories of bunks, you may well be expired!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Alex, "retirado" doesn't mean "retired," it means "expired," or "withdrawn from circulation!" I think you mean "jubilado," aged out of the working world. Although after walking 30 km and climbing up three stories of bunks, you may well be expired!
My Spanish is better than Google Translate!! I have always said "Estoy jubilado", but that "tool" said "retirado". My self esteem about my Spanish skills suddenly got a boost! Thank you! 🤣 (However, maybe Google was closer to the truth than I like...)
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
In the earliest days of my Camino I was top dog in a bunkroom of six, which at the age of 69 I wasn't overly enthusiastic about however I was grateful to have a bed. Come bedtime, I was alone in the room with a gentleman of a certain nationality who saw me settling into my sleeping bag. He stopped in his tracks, glared at me and thundered "Toilet!"

"No thank you" I replied, somewhat amused at the demanding tone, but giving him the benefit of the doubt.

"Toilet!!!" he came again, even more demandingly.

Somewhat less amused, I replied, "Thanks, I went before I left home." (About 20,000km away, but never mind.)

At that he began tossing everyone's backpacks into a high cupboard, even though my tiny friend who had now entered the room protested she wouldn't be able to get hers down in the morning.

Giving up, she and everyone else took to their bunks, and we all settled down for the night. Not for long. The most thunderous snores positively rattled the bunks from guess who? Of course he had gone immediately to sleep, whilst everyone else in the room almost sobbed in despair for rest. At one point around 2am I looked across at another top bunk, where a tiny Japanese gentleman was frantically flapping his liner in an attempt to waken the snorer. By 3am both the flapper and his wife had disappeared somewhere further down the trail.

In the following days when I crossed paths again with my dominating friend, I watched carefully to see which albergue he entered, before rapidly exiting stage left!
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
And another funny story, which I'm sure any single ladies will relate to...

I was sitting supping a sangria in Spain, as you do, when I was joined by David. David told me he was from Canada. Originally from Holland, they had the choice of Canada or New Zealand. "Oh really" said vaguely. Yes, and David was a dairy farmer and had bought one farm and then another. "Oh really?" (yawned). Yes, and then David sold the farm for eight million dollars... "OH REALLY!" Dear man, gaze deeply into my eyes and do tell me more of your absolutely fascinating life...

Alas, David did exactly that. He told me all about how much he was missing his wife who was on a tour in Tuscany, and how quickly he wanted to rush through the Camino so he could get back to her. I swear he had a tear in his eye. I definitely had a bucketful in mine, I shared his pain!

(And David, if you're reading this, I thought your devotion to your wife was absolutely lovely.)
 
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miguel_gp

Veteran Member
In June 2012, I walked a very special Camino Portugues with my wife and 5 members of my in-law family and for most this was their first Camino. Because of transport logistics, too complicated and boring to go into here, we ended up hiring a couple of cars to get from Madrid to our starting point of the Camino in Valenca Do Minho. We then proceeded to shuttle the cars along the Camino route and used them as taxis for a couple of days between our daily start and end points before dropping them off in Santiago and returning to Pontevedra by train to complete the walk.

I should say that earlier that year I had worked in the Pilgrims’ Office as an Amigo volunteer and had formed a very good and sometimes mischievous friendship with 2 well known residents of Santiago and who I met up with briefly while dropping the car off in Santiago.

In the early days of our “Family Camino” a plot began to take shape, involving my Mother-In-Law. She was born and raised in Galicia, had studied at university in Santiago and was well-informed about the Camino and its traditions but had never walked. Although we had the opportunity to send luggage forward with the cars for the first couple of days, we jointly decided that we would carry our rucksacks all the way and make it a tougher experience and a slightly stronger sense of achievement upon arrival in Santiago.

Albeit with a few blisters, aches and weary evenings, the Camino went very smoothly and six days later we arrived in Santiago. I had booked a celebration meal at a restaurant in the new town and after completing the usual arrival traditions we headed off to the restaurant. Part way through our meal 2 “representatives” of the Pilgrims’ Office arrived asking to speak with the English Family that had arrived at the Office that afternoon.

We have a problem Señora. It has come to our attention that you have not been entirely truthful with our office. We have evidence that you did not carry your rucksack the whole way to Santiago and therefore we must rescind your Compostela.”

With that they proceeded to unfurl an A3 size blown-up photograph of my Mother-In-Law placing her rucksack into the back of one of cars. She was dumbstruck, shocked, horrified, even a bit teary. She eventually managed to catch her breath and form a sentence in which she insisted to "the authorities" that she had carried her rucksack the whole way, and she really impressed upon it, every inch of the way. It was not possible that such a photograph could have been taken, there must be some mistake.

Apart from "the authorities” only one other person in the room knew what was going to happen. Some others had helped me engineer the photo opportunity but had no idea for what purpose, so it also came as a shock to them but then they gradually realised what was going on and finally we revealed to M-I-L that it was a hoax.

In the words of Daniel Avery in The Way, “Don’t judge this, Don’t judge me”. It is now nearly 9 years later, and my Mother-In-Law both forgave and is still talking to me and she has a little Camino story to dine out on. She returned to the Camino in 2019 when she walked with her husband, 2 of her daughters and her 4 grandchildren as part of a larger 30+ strong group (luggage transport included!). It was quite some party on arrival and she received her second Compostela, no questions asked!

And, as I'm sure we all know but I will just confirm, it is not a requirement for the Compostela to have had to have carried your rucksack!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
In the earliest days of my Camino I was top dog in a bunkroom of six, which at the age of 69 I wasn't overly enthusiastic about however I was grateful to have a bed. Come bedtime, I was alone in the room with a gentleman of a certain nationality who saw me settling into my sleeping bag. He stopped in his tracks, glared at me and thundered "Toilet!"

"No thank you" I replied, somewhat amused at the demanding tone, but giving him the benefit of the doubt.

"Toilet!!!" he came again, even more demandingly.

Somewhat less amused, I replied, "Thanks, I went before I left home." (About 20,000km away, but never mind.)

At that he began tossing everyone's backpacks into a high cupboard, even though my tiny friend who had now entered the room protested she wouldn't be able to get hers down in the morning.

Giving up, she and everyone else took to their bunks, and we all settled down for the night. Not for long. The most thunderous snores positively rattled the bunks from guess who? Of course he had gone immediately to sleep, whilst everyone else in the room almost sobbed in despair for rest. At one point around 2am I looked across at another top bunk, where a tiny Japanese gentleman was frantically flapping his liner in an attempt to waken the snorer. By 3am both the flapper and his wife had disappeared somewhere further down the trail.

In the following days when I crossed paths again with my dominating friend, I watched carefully to see which albergue he entered, before rapidly exiting stage left!
We have all met similar people, I think. This is going to be a long one...

Some years back on the Via de la Plata, I ended up in an albergue with an old Scottish couple. This was a very cold spring (21 days of rain & 2 days of snow on mountain passes in May...) and they had only shorts and T-shirts...

Anyway, the next morning, the man got up at 4 o'clock (!), went into the adjacent kithsen with much noise, and started preparing their breakfast, with much noise. They must have had food issues, bc half of the content in their backpacks was food ingredients. At 5 o'clock, he came back into the dorm, shouting "Tea is ready, dear!"

At 8 o'clock all pilgrims had left the albergue except them.

This was repeated 2 more days in a row.

The third day, I started, as always, before them. At 11 o'clock I went into a bar in a village for a balming beer, and sat with my head low, watching them, thru the window, continue. Then I went to the nearest albergue to have a bed, in order to walk without seeing them another day.

I never saw them again. Until Santiago: I was sitting at an outdoor cafe, sipping a beer on the outskirts of town, when they came in and seated at the table next to mine, arguing heavily with each other. I drank up and left.

I went to the bus station for a ride to Finisterre. The couple lined up behind me in the queue.

I went to the toilet at the bus station. The Scottish man stood in the line behind me.

I went on the bus. They took the seats behind me.

In Finisterre, they started a fierce argument with a helpful Spanish man who was offering bus passengers hotel rooms. (you are not allowed in albergues unless you walked from Santiago).

On my way back to Santiago on the bus next morning, they took the seats behind me. Still heavily shouting and arguing.

When my train left Santiago the next morning, they were nowhere to be seen, and I was released from their curse.
 
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Pingüigrino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
Alex, "retirado" doesn't mean "retired," it means "expired," or "withdrawn from circulation!" I think you mean "jubilado," aged out of the working world. Although after walking 30 km and climbing up three stories of bunks, you may well be expired!
Hello Rebekah. My two cents. That it´s not totally true. Speaking about certain professions and circunstances it´s absolutely correct to say "retirado":
" Pedro es coronel retirado" if you refer to a Colonel who voluntarily lefth the military before his legal age of retirement, for example. That could be used for many professions, nor for all of them.
Hope this tip can be useful.
Hope we can meet really soon, the camino is calling for me.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Another little story about top bunks. In a private albergue on the Aragones branch of the Frances, the only bed left was an upper. I was doing my best to look like a frail elderly lady, while the young girl occupying the bottom bunk was forcefully stating her claim to it. She had made a reservation requesting a bottom bunk, so it was hers by right. She and her companion had heard that a bottom bunk could be reserved if someone booking a bed claimed an inability to climb up top, so this is what they had done. I said nothing. The hopitalera said only, "Work it out between you." I listened to the girl and evantually her rant wore out and she agreed to offer me the lower, as my age could reasonably claim it. We began to talk about our pilgrimages. As it turned out, I was exactly the person that she needed to talk to. As a Protestant, she was not sure about this pilgrimage thing. I said a little about my calling to pilgrimage and what it meant to me. This was the longest, and deepest, theological conversation that I have ever had on four pilgrimages. Afterwards, I felt that we had been brought together to help her make sense of her pilgrimage.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Hello Rebekah. My two cents. That it´s not totally true. Speaking about certain professions and circunstances it´s absolutely correct to say "retirado":
" Pedro es coronel retirado" if you refer to a Colonel who voluntarily lefth the military before his legal age of retirement, for example. That could be used for many professions, nor for all of them.
Hope this tip can be useful.
Hope we can meet really soon, the camino is calling for me.
Thank you! We all learn! By your definition, I am actually a "retirado", because I stopped working (thank you, up there) before being a pensioner!

But the Spanish language is so colorful and wise, it is sometimes difficult to find the right words.
 

Pingüigrino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
Thank you! We all learn! By your definition, I am actually a "retirado", because I stopped working (thank you, up there) before being a pensioner!

But the Spanish language is so colorful and wise, it is sometimes difficult to find the right words.
Well, that`s what you, a non Spanish native speaker think.
Do you know what? I think exactly the same about English, sometimes when I´m trying to speak English, can feel like Shakespeare´s bones are stiring inside his tomb.
For me its very difficul to figure the correct pronunciation of many words. Why the hell you, English speakers do not pronounce the correct way?
Just joking, of course.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Well, that`s what you, a non Spanish native speaker think.
Do you know? I think exactly the same about English, sometimes when I´m trying to speak English, can feel like Shakespeare´s bones are stiring inside his tomb.
For me its very difficul to figure the correct pronunciation of many words. Why the hell you, English speakers do not pronounce the correct way?
Just joking, of course.
I will never compare English to Spanish, languagewise. Spanish is such a beautiful, expressive,l language.

Actually, in my mind, and in proven.English, English is not a true language as such; it is a mix of Greek, Latin, Spanish, and more than 5.000 Norse (Scandinavian) words; like starboard York, and so on. We have a lot to thank the Greeks and other origins from. regsrding languages.
 
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Pingüigrino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Aragones, Vasco del Interior, Baztanes. (Frances Winter, La Plata, Camino de Invierno, Mozarabe, Norte, Primitivo.)
The same here. Spanish is a mix of Greek, Celtic, Iberian, Latin, Germanic, Arabic, English...
Actually there are only a few of "pure" languages.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
In the earliest days of my Camino I was top dog in a bunkroom of six, which at the age of 69 I wasn't overly enthusiastic about however I was grateful to have a bed. Come bedtime, I was alone in the room with a gentleman of a certain nationality who saw me settling into my sleeping bag. He stopped in his tracks, glared at me and thundered "Toilet!"

"No thank you" I replied, somewhat amused at the demanding tone, but giving him the benefit of the doubt.

"Toilet!!!" he came again, even more demandingly.

Somewhat less amused, I replied, "Thanks, I went before I left home." (About 20,000km away, but never mind.)

At that he began tossing everyone's backpacks into a high cupboard, even though my tiny friend who had now entered the room protested she wouldn't be able to get hers down in the morning.

Giving up, she and everyone else took to their bunks, and we all settled down for the night. Not for long. The most thunderous snores positively rattled the bunks from guess who? Of course he had gone immediately to sleep, whilst everyone else in the room almost sobbed in despair for rest. At one point around 2am I looked across at another top bunk, where a tiny Japanese gentleman was frantically flapping his liner in an attempt to waken the snorer. By 3am both the flapper and his wife had disappeared somewhere further down the trail.

In the following days when I crossed paths again with my dominating friend, I watched carefully to see which albergue he entered, before rapidly exiting stage left!

Wow, Kiwi-d, I think I ran into this guy in 2019!!!
 
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longwalker60

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
09/2018
Thought it might be fun for everyone to retell a funny Camino moment or story.

Picture it. 2018. Somewhere on the Camino Portugues enroute from Redondela to Pondvedra. Something goes kablooey on the top of my left foot on a steep descent and the foot started to swell up bad. I stopped and put on a foot compression sock I had in my backpack. The last 12+km were EXTREMELY painful. My pace dropped to under 2km per hour. It sucked.

When I got to the Pontevedra albergue, I switched to flip flops and limped along using a walking pole like a crutch to find some dinner with 2 Camino friends. I quickly realized it was impossible to walk any distance, so I sadly decided to pull the plug on my Camino :(

Anyhow at dinner, I was complaining that I had to end the walk and one of my Camino pals (Armando), had an idea.

He said "Here is what I am going to do. I am going to find a wheelchair and I will push you to Santiago."

I said "In no universe are you PUSHING me to Santiago. That's insane."

He thought for a minute then said "OK fine. Better idea. I will get you a horse and you can ride into Santiago! I will guide it!"

"Where are you going to get a horse. In Pontevedra. On a Tuesday..."

"I will rent one. Let me make some calls."

Make some calls?? Who is he calling, he's from California. Anyways...

"Armando. I love ya man but you are not pushing me or renting me a horse. You finish your Camino and I will take a train and meet you in Santiago."

Next morning, as I had hoped, he was gone. I moved from the albergue to a hotel so I could sulk in a private room. There I stretched, used ice, advil, massage techniques, fizzy magnesium, and crossed my fingers.

And 2 days later, miraculously, I was able to walk some. So decided I would continue (SLOWLY) onwards to Santiago. I made it and went on Muxia to Finisterre as well without issue.

Found Armando in Santiago as he waited for me to eventually arrive. I told him I appreciated his off kilter desire to help me finish. That conversation still makes me chuckle. The dude was serious! He was going to find me a horse. All I could think was what would the Pilgrim Office say?

Ah the Camino.
Now thats the definition of a true pilgrim.
 

McSherry

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Part) - 2019
The two of us, a middle-aged couple, never really had a chance to train for our Camino. In addition, my wife is plagued with severe leg cramping issues that doctors had never been able to solve.

Anyhow, we only had time to begin our Camino at Sarria. The end of the first day had that long descent coming into Porto Marin. We used the alternate route, and it had a very, very long and very steep descent on hard pavement that was painful on the knees and ankles. We finally got to the flat, and my wife was struggling. Then she looked down and dejectedly said “Oh great, now my shoe is untied” with tears welling up. She really would have been challenged to tie it at that moment so I volunteered to do. She was oddly touched at my offer. I lowered myself down on my aging knees and tied her shoe.

Then, as I struggled to stand back up, taking more time than I should, my wife looked down at me and simply remarked with an air of annoyance “you’re in my way!” while crowding me with her trekking poles.

I laughed out loud, which made it even harder to get up. The situation which gave way to chuckles ever since.
 

BiggBlue

Robin
Year of past OR future Camino
Sept 17 Frances to Ponferrada,
April 18 Ponferrada to SDC,
Sept 18 Portugese,
Sept 19 Primitivo
I have a theory, that if you ever get 'the last bed in the Albergue, is it the bed no one wants, often for very good reason. In fact, the thought of getting the last bed in the Albergue encourages me to get up early and get to my destination in good time.

One day on the Meseta I was thinking how wonderful it would be to have a room to myself so I got on the phone and booked a simple room in the next town, in my best 40-year-old schoolboy Spanish. Knowing I had a room I was able to take it easy. The Meseta is short on shelter from the sun, and I remember seeing a long way in the distance a tree and dreaming of laying in its shade for a while. As I got closer it was obvious every previous pilgrim had the same idea and they were still there. In fact, there was no room at all, so with a weary sigh, I continued, looking forward to a warm shower and cold beer.

I got to my destination where the owner of the place I had booked indicated they had no reservation for me, no knowledge of me having called them and also they had no availability and with a shrug of the shoulders closed the door. (I blame my schoolboy Spanish), he mentioned there was one Albergue, I got there as fast as I could to discover they had one bed left.

Oh No!!!!!! "THE LAST BED IN THE ALBURGUE"..................I thought. It was by the toilet, upper bunk, with a strip light perilously close to my head if I sat up too quickly without thinking. The Albergue was a small modern terrace house that was packed with bunk beds, it was cramped and very humid. I decided to leave late the next morning and ended up talking to an American fellow who had been in the bunk below. We walked a while together and swapped stories from our lives.

We then continued walking to Burgos where he was meeting his wife. His name was Tom and we swapped contact details. We stayed in touch, and the next year Tom his wife and I walked the Portuguese Camino, the following year Tom and I walked the Primitivo. We're the best of friends - and are hoping to meet again in Spain when normality returns, all thanks to my bad Spanish and getting the last bed in the Albergue.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
And another funny story, which I'm sure any single ladies will relate to...

I was sitting supping a sangria in Spain, as you do, when I was joined by David. David told me he was from Canada. Originally from Holland, they had the choice of Canada or New Zealand. "Oh really" said vaguely. Yes, and David was a dairy farmer and had bought one farm and then another. "Oh really?" (yawned). Yes, and then David sold the farm for eight million dollars... "OH REALLY!" Dear man, gaze deeply into my eyes and do tell me more of your absolutely fascinating life...

Alas, David did exactly that. He told me all about how much he was missing his wife who was on a tour in Tuscany, and how quickly he wanted to rush through the Camino so he could get back to her. I swear he had a tear in his eye. I definitely had a bucketful in mine, I shared his pain!

(And David, if you're reading this, I thought your devotion to your wife was absolutely lovely.)
Just putting it out there that I have never owned a dairy farm (although I remain very devoted to my wife).
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Well, that`s what you, a non Spanish native speaker think.
Do you know? I think exactly the same about English, sometimes when I´m trying to speak English, can feel like Shakespeare´s bones are stiring inside his tomb.
For me its very difficul to figure the correct pronunciation of many words. Why the hell you, English speakers do not pronounce the correct way?
Just joking, of course.
Speaking of Shakespeare, if you can't find the right word you can do what Shakespeare did over and over again and just make up a new one. :)
 
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