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Funny Camino Stories, Experiences or Pictures

John H.

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
Just wondering if anyone has a funny Camino story, experience or picture to share? Try to keep it brief. Just looking for some Camino humour and laughs to fill the day. Thanks.
 
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TinaPEI

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Hopefully sometime....
A lady in Spain (May have been Pamplona) didn't believe me when I told her I couldn't speak Spanish. I understood maybe one in 50 words. She was telling a story and I understood padre and Canada, so I looked at my friend and said 'I think she is talking about a priest who went to Canada." She said "Si, si" and then told another story about a tv show that filmed there, so I told my friend that. She walked away, shaking her head saying "Habla español.". Lol. I speak French so I can pronounce some words well and understand similar words.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Year of past OR future Camino
2014
While walking the Vía de la Plata last fall, in one of the albergues we met a professor from Germany. He was an amusing person to get to know. After the usual introductions, we were asked, "Where are you from?" I laughingly said, we are "gringos." Everybody at the table laughed. It seems that most people across the world now know Americans as gringos. The professor, very seriously looked at us and said, "Ahh, then you are not peregrinos, but you are peregringos!" We laughed even harder and for a long while over this one, and were soon known in our Camino "family" as the peregringos. Ha ha ha.
 
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scruffy1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
How I started a short-lived Camino custom
Walked into Rabanal del Camino, stopping early in order to hear the Gregorian chants that evening in the church next door come Vespers time. Hot for April, already a line of pilgrims waiting to get in. What Me Worry? Opening my backpack and nestling right on top, wrapped in a towel, were my emergency rations - a cold can of beer purchased at a tienda two hours earlier. Great wonderment, immediate reaction, pilgrims running back down the street to the local tienda. Amazing satisfaction. For a week afterward, I kept meeting pilgrims who asked, "You replenished your emergency rations"?
Same place, same time. At the time I could still carry on a decent conversation in Japanese, don't ask, and sitting right across the square was a couple from Niigata from up north there. Doing a very un-Japanese thing, went over, introduced myself, and welcomed them to the Camino. After their initial amazement, we talked and talked - finishing off with a long discussion and differing opinions as to "Should there be a Japanese restaurant right across the street, what would you order". Came down to soba, sukiyaki, of my own curri-risu. We are still in Facebook connection ten years on.
 

Becky 59

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (May 2018)
Camino Ingles (Aug 2019)
On the Frances in 2018, my husband usually walked with me every step of the day, as I had been badly injured in a car accident a few years earlier. One day I encouraged him to sleep late so I could walk a solo leg, knowing he’d catch up with me easily. We ended up missing each other (probably when I popped into a tienda looking for fruit), and he got to our albergue before I did. My Spanish was less than minimal that year, but when I “finally” arrived the old grizzled albergue owner tried to tell me that mi esposo had already been there 4 hours (actually only 1). I was so proud that I could pick up he was joking, and had managed my first “solo” day on the Camino.
 

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
We were walking with a new pilgrim friend on the camino for a few hours and he shared that he was the last pilgrim to get his shoes (Merrill Moab's) off the rack that morning, but they seemed too big, and he discovered a little later that they were not his shoes. That evening at a communal dinner with different people, a man mentioned he must have grabbed the wrong shoes that morning because they seemed tight and he had developed blisters during the day. I then asked him the brand of his shoes and yep, Merrill Moab's. I remembered where the other man had told us he was staying, so a taxi was arranged, the two met up and swapped out their shoes...the day ended well for them both! 🥾🥾
 

stuart bell

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
walked Camino Frances in April/May 2017
planning to walk Via de la Plata in April/May 2020
I'm a newbie to looking after myself so when it comes to launderettes I'm not sure what to do. I got out my Euros and tried to put them into horizontal slider but couldn't get them in. I called a postman outside for help and he put the money in vertically!! After he'd gone I discovered that I'd actually got him to put the money into the drier.... where I'd already emptied a packet of washing powder. It was surprisingly hard to get it all out! But I learned two [Spanish] life lessons that day. Machines take Euros vertically and driers don't like washing powder in them!
 
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Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
how I felt when I arrived in VillaFranca Del Bierzo. It was a bank holiday and I had to wait 2 hrs for the municipal to open. I was willing to eat my aching legs after walking down the steep hill to get food and back up again .

Picture taken in shop window down the hill near the main square

C05CD6DE-78EF-48BF-9557-CA55F3404957.jpeg
 

Mycroft

Active Member
While walking the Vía de la Plata last fall, in one of the albergues we met a professor from Germany. He was an amusing person to get to know. After the usual introductions, we were asked, "Where are you from?" I laughingly said, we are "gringos." Everybody at the table laughed. It seems that most people across the world now know Americans as gringos. The professor, very seriously looked at us and said, "Ahh, then you are not peregrinos, but you are peregringos!" We laughed even harder and for a long while over this one, and were soon known in our Camino "family" as the peregringos. Ha ha ha.
Very clever!
 
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Mycroft

Active Member
Just wondering if anyone has a funny Camino story, experience or picture to share? Try to keep it brief. Just looking for some Camino humour and laughs to fill the day. Thanks.
This is from March 2008 on the Arles route. I looked down and there were all these caterpillars marching down the lane head to tail. Never had seen anything like it, and have not seen anything like it since.
 

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Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Thought I would share my impromptu interview with my Aussie friends (my Roos)
we met day 3in Roncesvalles on the Frances in 2018. they caught up to me in Sarria. Notice my Boom microphone is my trekking pole 🤓.
she carried a 75 litre pack 👀....when I met then again in Sarria for my birthday Mamma Roo shared some lessons learned for your first camino. after she and Mini Roo mailed home half of the initial gear.

 
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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 !
 

Derek Booth

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March 2019
This is from March 2008 on the Arles route. I looked down and there were all these caterpillars marching down the lane head to tail. Never had seen anything like it, and have not seen anything like it since.

They are processionary caterpillars and they are dangerous little chaps. They are covered in microscopic hairs which, if in the skin can be extremely irritating. Inquisitive dogs are especially vulnerable when they literally stick their noses into the procession. On the walk these caterpillars live in those 'candy floss' type nests that you see in the conifer trees. The caterpillars drop out of the trees when the time is right and go on the march..
 

Teez

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 2018 Camino Frances and March Coastal Portugues
Walking on the Portugues last year I kept meeting and exchanging pleasantries with a Spanish gentleman. (I was 73 at the time and walking solo.) I lost track of him for a while and late in the journey was sitting in a cafe. He came in and spotted me from across the room. He was obviously amazed that I was still walking. He boomed out across the room, “Madam! Well done!” with a thumbs up sign. The cafe was silenced and everyone looked in my direction. However, I was far more delighted at his reaction than I was embarrassed. It remains one of my favourite memories.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Ponferrada - Santiago (2013)
Porto to Santiago (2015)
Lugo to Finisterre (2017)
Porto Coastal (2019)
This is from March 2008 on the Arles route. I looked down and there were all these caterpillars marching down the lane head to tail. Never had seen anything like it, and have not seen anything like it since.
I came across these processionary caterpillars as well. I did not know until afterwards, they can pose a serious health risk, especially to animals.
 

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Mycroft

Active Member
They are processionary caterpillars and they are dangerous little chaps. They are covered in microscopic hairs which, if in the skin can be extremely irritating. Inquisitive dogs are especially vulnerable when they literally stick their noses into the procession. On the walk these caterpillars live in those 'candy floss' type nests that you see in the conifer trees. The caterpillars drop out of the trees when the time is right and go on the march..
Ah, now I understand. I didn't see this response before I asked Gerard about it. Thanks. I am glad I didn't disturb them. But where to they go on their pilgrimage?
 

Houlet

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
I was in an albergue, washing my socks when a man asked me, in very bad Spanish how he could register. I replied in my best, and probably even worse Spanish. Later I found out that he was Irish and I am Scottish. We had a few beers together and of course conversed in English.
 
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JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
My contribution is a photo my sister Franny took as we walked into Santiago on 1 August last year. It was an advertisement in the window of a dentist’s surgery. It never fails to make me smile ...
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

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Turga

Camino tortuga
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
In late August 2018 I walked the stage from Navarrete to Nájera. It is around 17 km of quite solitary walking, no villages or bars (that I remember), and I don’t recall meeting others until shortly before Nájera, where I had a little funny incident. At that point the path crosses over a small stream on a wooden bridge. There are trees on both sides of the stream and I decided it was a good spot for a rest in the shadow – it was a very hot day, some 30 C, and I had plenty of time. I sat down by the stream and enjoyed the relative coolness and the sound of the quietly running water. Along came three ‘bicigrinos’, who sat down on the opposite side of the stream for a rest. They turned out to be French, a father and two young sons in their early teens. The two youngsters took off their shoes and had fun jumping across the low water in the stream on the rounded stones. The father wanted to join, but he didn’t take off his shoes, which were these biking shoes with steel clamps underneath them. He slipped on the rocks and ended up on his buttocks in the middle of the stream looking kind of sheepish (luckily he was not hurt). The two boys couldn’t stop laughing (and neither could I) and they went out and sat down in the stream beside their father splashing water on one another. One of the boys went and collected a roll of chocolate biscuits from one of their bike bags and so they sat in the water eating biscuits. The boy handed a biscuit towards me like saying “You want one?” and I signaled, “Yes, throw one” and with a grin he signaled back “If you want one, come and get it”. I thought “Why not?”, took my shoes off, and waded into the narrow, shallow stream. Then we sat there in the stream under the shadow of the trees and shared their chocolate biscuits while we had one of these strange but nice conversations consisting of a few French and English words and a lot of gestures and smiles. It’s a bit of a messy affair eating moist chocolate biscuits with wet fingers, especially as the boys kept splashing water around, and we had chocolate stains all over our t-shirts, so we took them off and rinsed them as good as we could in the cold water. Then we said ‘Au revoir’ and they left on their bikes, I on my feet and it was actually quite nice to walk in the hot sun in the wet clothes. When shortly after I walked into Nájera my clothes was already dry and I had delicious tapas and beer at a bar by the riverside. A good day.
 

Sweething

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
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 !
I love serendipity moments ❤!
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Year of past OR future Camino
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
It was in 2011. On the camino Frances, although I don't remember which town or albergue it was. The hospitalero was a Spanish man in his sixties. To my surprise he spoke English. Or at least a kind of English...
He was a very calm man, taking his time. So he waited patiently for me to put down my backpack and to get my credential.

We sat down at his desk. It was in this large hallway with a wooden staircase leading to the upper floor. As he was checking me in, an American lady came down the stairs with wet hair. Apparantly she had just been taking a shower. Instead of politely waiting for the hospitalero to address her, she started speaking in a loud voice when she was still at the top of the stairs.

"I have a difficult question" she said, while making waving gestures with her right hand at her wet hair. It was obvious she wanted to ask for a hair dryer.

Slightly annoyed the hospitalero looked up and said: "Oh no, it's not difficult: I don't speak English that well." Then turned around again to put a stamp in my credential, while maintaining his stiff upper lip.

It wasn't my intention to offend the women in any way, but I couldn't help myself. I burst into laughter. Should someone recognise herself in this story: I'm sorry. I wasn't laughing at you, but at this exquisite sense of humour of this hospitalero.
 
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Shona

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2018)SJPP to Santiago Sep/Oct 2018
It had been raining....
poles come in handy for so many things. Perhaps that’s an idea for another thread? Probably already done.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Ponferrada - Santiago (2013)
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Lugo to Finisterre (2017)
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I was talking to a German Pilgrim, and he said my English was very good. He then tried to work out which country I was from. After a few countries, he gave up, and I said I am Scottish. With a big smile he said aahhh Scotland.
 
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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
In 2012, I walked from Salamanca to SdC (VdlP) with an old German, Jurgen, that I met along. We still have contact.

In 2014, I walked some parts of CF together with a young Dutch man, Markus, that I met along. We still have contact.

In 2016, one evening at home in the Arctic, I got a phone from Markus. He was on the CP, and was walking together with an old German that he met along.

Yes, it was Jurgen. After a couple of days walking, after they had had some conversation, they found out they had a common friend: Alex from Norway could only be one person. Me.

We had a great 30 mins. videochat together. :) :) :cool:
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Found out later it is from a Dali painting ..
While it may seem surrealistic, it isn't Dali. If you read the Wikipedia article you linked to, you find that:

The Garden of Earthly Delights is the modern title[a] given to a triptych oil painting on oak panel painted by the Early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch, between 1490 and 1510, when Bosch was between 40 and 60 years old.[1] It has been housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since the year 1939.

Hence Stivandrer's comment #13,
 
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Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
While it may seem surrealistic, it isn't Dali. If you read the Wikipedia article you linked to, you find that:

The Garden of Earthly Delights is the modern title[a] given to a triptych oil painting on oak panel painted by the Early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch, between 1490 and 1510, when Bosch was between 40 and 60 years old.[1] It has been housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since the year 1939.

Hence Stivandrer's comment #13,
My bad 🤔. was not paying attention it was Bosch after all 🤪. I had Dali on the brain and wrote the wrong thing thank you I did make a correction
 
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LifeatNo.22

Suzanne
Year of past OR future Camino
Not decided what year I will be participating.
“Madam! Well done!” with a thumbs up sign. The cafe was silenced and everyone looked in my direction. However, I was far more delighted at his reaction than I was embarrassed. It remains one of my favourite memories.
What a lovely man to have acknowledged his delight at your achievement. Maybe we all should pat each other on the back more often. I have done the same to a stranger, I think it's a win-win situation :)
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Year of past OR future Camino
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
In 2016 I walked the Camino Del Norte. A beautiful one. Just after Ribadeo lies a small town, Vilela. I decided to spend the night here, in an albergue called A Pena. A basic facility, but adequate.

It was here that I met this group of three somewhat elderly French pilgims. A married couple and a friend of theirs. They didn't speak any foreign language. But, although my French was a bit 'rusty', we managed to communicate very well. We had a lovely dinner and a very pleasant evening. Talking and drinking wine.

Perhaps a bit too pleasent. The next morning I got up at 6 am. As I'm used to when walking Camino's. After having a sober breakfast and a cup of coffee I still felt not quite awake. But, being a real pilgrim, I strapped on my backpack, said hello to the other pilgrims and stepped outside to hit the road.

After about 200-300 meters I realized that I wasn't walking very comfortably. Or, to be precise, not comfortable at all. I stopped, looked down and noticed I was wearing my flip-flops. Thanking God for making me notice so soon, I turned around and walked back to the albergue.

Entering the albergue, the three French pilgrims looked up. According to the looks on their faces them seemed suprised to see me return to this facility. I looked down and tried my best to explain in French that I had forgotten to put on my walking boots.

The French woman looked at me in an understanding way and said: "It's OK. I'm a psychiatrist".
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Year of past OR future Camino
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
I looked down and there were all these caterpillars marching down the lane head to tail.
I agree, they look lovely, how they move along in a long line. It's the 'oak processionary caterpillar'. They don't turn into colourful butterflies, but into moths (that have a beauty of their own!!). However, they produce a large amount of very tiny hairs that can cause a severe itch. Read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_processionary
 
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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
Not JUST doing a conga, they are also out to kill you too.
You are correct! They definately add a new dimension to the processions in Santiago. I'll be giving them a miss if I ever get let out of US travel jail.
 

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 was working as a volunteer in the Pilgrim's Office in Santiago May/June 2019. Due to my language "skills", I was given the same work as our member @t2andreo likes to do (he actually helped me with job info on the spot before he left).

Anyway, my job(s) was to welcome arriving pilgrims, giving them info on the lineup, having 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: "But do you speak NORWEGIAN???!!!"

I asked him (in English and Spanish) if that was what he wanted, and he nodded intensely.

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 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 was happening outside.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016; Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre/Muxia 2017; Aragones 2018; Suso/Yuso, Meseta 2019
I do speak reasonably good castellano, as someone once told me, "you conjugate the verbs". One day I was calling ahead to reserve a lower bunk in an albergue and really mangled my request badly, to which the man on the phone, in a perfectly lovely South African accent asked me, "Is your English any better than your Spanish?"
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Year of past OR future Camino
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
Somewhere above I've already shared a story involving a French psychiatrist. But this wasn't my first embarrassing experience. I don't mind sharing another one with you. My trust in the forum members discretion is absolute. So here it goes.

My wife and I spent a couple of years walking from our home town in Holland to St. Jean. In 2011 I returned to St. Jean to walk the Camino Frances. On my own. My wife was supposed to walk the Frances in 2014. On her own. But because she used to be very insecure about speaking English, she got cold feet and insisted I'd come along. The first 4 days we walked together and I showed her how to recognize pharmacies and albergues, how to check in, how cash machines work, how to order her favourite coffee and order something to eat and so on.

On the morning of the 5th day she said that she had enough self confidence to try to walk on her own. So we split up, on the condition that I would text her at the end of each day to say where I was. So she would know that I would never be far away in case she needed help.

As it goes when you're walking in the same direction, a couple of times we ended up staying in the same place. That's what happened with us at O Cebreiro. In the afternoon, just before the climb I called my wife and told her where I was going. Turned out that she was halfway up the mountain. So we decided to stay in the albergue have dinner together in the evening.

And we did. We had dinner in a lovely restaurant, completely filled with other pilgrims who were vividly talking to each other. We sat down at a table and had just ordered dinner. While enjoying a glass of red wine I took a look around the restaurant and noticed a blond woman at the far end of the dining room. She looked very familiar. I waved at her to draw her attention. To make sure she could hear me, I raised my voice and said in a rather loud voice: "I'm sorry, I know we've met each other earlier in the Camino, but I forgot your name." It's "Sigrid", she replied. Suddenly I remembered and shouted out spontaneously: "Of course, I remember, you're my favorite Icelandic pilgrim". She started to laugh and replied: "Thank you, but there's no need to shout it out so loud."

She was right. Apparently our conversation had drawn the attention of the other pilgrims in the restaurant, because from the far left someone shouted out: "We're from Hungary". Followed by people at an other table: "We're from Germany", joined by other pilgrims sharing with the rest of us that they were from the States. We ended up with the whole restaurant shouting out where we were coming from. It turned out be a night to remember...
 
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André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Year of past OR future Camino
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
After having shared another story with you guys, I can't wait to hear about your embarrassing moments!!
 

aussie62

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
planning to walk 2017
I started my journey in Pamplona . I googled the most expensive hotel I could find and had a couple of nights rest prior . I was 54 at the time and whilst I have travelled a lot it was the first time on my own in 30 years and 2 of my sons had passed in the previous years so it was pretty traumatic period ( still is ) > I researched and researched everything over and over again so I was quitley confident that I would be fine. I even had dry run on how to start from my hotel front door ! . Anyway in the morning at 6.00am I came bouncing towards the front desk all decked out in my packpack etc and the guy at reception got the shock of his life and said " Georgina , what are you doing " I said the Camino and he replied " why are you doing that it is very dangerous ? " He just floored me . I had researched this and this was not the case according to the data . Anyway I went on my way , it was pitch black and misty and I started to cry thinking what have I done , why are you doing this , you can go anywhere blah blah . I kept going and I got to a highway and there was not one yellow arrow .Nobody is around its just me about to quit . A couple of cars flew buy and I thought stuff this and then I saw a taxi so I just walked out into the middle of the traffic and flagged him down ( even though he had a passenger ) . He pulled over and I jogged across , snapped off my backpack, tossed it in the pack , slammed the door shut and said " Camino " , total silence again I repeated & he throws his hands up and then the little old man in the front muttered something under the breath and the taxi driver said in perfect English " are you walking the Camino ? " I said yes , yes , with that he uses his electronic window lock , winds down my window and points to the great big yellow arrow ! We laughed our heads off & it kept me going for ages . I still tell all my friends and they all laugh as that is so my , zero patience , never got lost again , ha
 

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 started my journey in Pamplona . I googled the most expensive hotel I could find and had a couple of nights rest prior . I was 54 at the time and whilst I have travelled a lot it was the first time on my own in 30 years and 2 of my sons had passed in the previous years so it was pretty traumatic period ( still is ) > I researched and researched everything over and over again so I was quitley confident that I would be fine. I even had dry run on how to start from my hotel front door ! . Anyway in the morning at 6.00am I came bouncing towards the front desk all decked out in my packpack etc and the guy at reception got the shock of his life and said " Georgina , what are you doing " I said the Camino and he replied " why are you doing that it is very dangerous ? " He just floored me . I had researched this and this was not the case according to the data . Anyway I went on my way , it was pitch black and misty and I started to cry thinking what have I done , why are you doing this , you can go anywhere blah blah . I kept going and I got to a highway and there was not one yellow arrow .Nobody is around its just me about to quit . A couple of cars flew buy and I thought stuff this and then I saw a taxi so I just walked out into the middle of the traffic and flagged him down ( even though he had a passenger ) . He pulled over and I jogged across , snapped off my backpack, tossed it in the pack , slammed the door shut and said " Camino " , total silence again I repeated & he throws his hands up and then the little old man in the front muttered something under the breath and the taxi driver said in perfect English " are you walking the Camino ? " I said yes , yes , with that he uses his electronic window lock , winds down my window and points to the great big yellow arrow ! We laughed our heads off & it kept me going for ages . I still tell all my friends and they all laugh as that is so my , zero patience , never got lost again , ha
One morning, I was sitting at the cafe outside the entrance to the Municipal albergue in Burgos, having my morning coffee, when an English-speaking woman was standing in the middle of the road, yelling "But where is the Camino???!"

I said to her, "look between your legs, miss".

She was standing with one foot on each side of one of the road-embedded bronze scallops that lead the way out of Burgos...
 
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Derek Booth

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March 2019
It was early on my Camino (I'd started in Pamplona) and, on about Day 3 I came across a village fountain.

I'd read comments on here that in some villages, the water in public fountains was not potable, (drinkable) so I asked??? a group of locals standing nearby, mostly by sign language and gestures (my Spanish is not very good) if I could drink out of the 'trough.'

Si! Si! came the unanimous reply.

As I was carefully filling my bottle, I noticed movement in the water.

I know there's an old joke about never taking water in ones Whiskey because fish make love in it, but really!.
IMG_20190303_105600.jpg
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Several years ago I walked the Via Podiensis taking the Cele variant. The Cele valley is a narrow high walled valley with the path following a small river. There might have been 10-15 Pilgrims a day walking this offshoot. The path was often sheltered by fruit trees.

One day an unfortunate overconsumption of wild fruit and prune pie caused me to be overcome with an abrupt and catastrophic loss of dignity as I walked between 2 villages.
Fortunately I was next to a stream and some time had to be spent bathing au naturel and doing laundry.

Once I'd calmed down the whole situation made me think of what life was like for Pilgrims the previous 1000 years. Many had probably bathed in this very spot. I enjoyed my apertif that night with a grin on my face.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
An oldie…. How to pronounce diarrhea in Spain… sorry kinda long and recycled….


Ok, this is meant to be sort of funny, but also practical.

On about 1/3 of my Caminos at some point, along the journey, I have suffered with diarrhea. It's not fun.

I have no clue what caused it, but I have noticed that in my latest Caminos I have not experienced it as much. I think it may be because I am more discerning with my water sources, choosing to fill up reused bottles from regular tap water devices (faucets) rather than some random fountain in a cow pasture, and regularly purchasing new bottles as well. I know it sounds like common sense, but it took me a while to learn it.

Now, should the same discomfort befall you on your next spiritual journey, its important that you learn how to pronounce "diarrhea" in a Spanish pharmacy.

Spanish pharmacies are great. The workers take their jobs very seriously. Its not like in the US when you walk into a CVS and some dork behind the counter doesn't know much. I think the workers at Spanish pharmacies take actual classes and training (or it appears so because at least they wear white coats.) If you can accurately describe your symptom (diarrhea, knee pain, cellulite on your backside, etc.) they can often sell you the appropriate remedy.

Now, I was in Ponferrada, sick out of my mind, choosing to stay at a hotel rather than an alburgue because I knew I'd be spending some extended time on the toilet. After checking in and relieved with the recently unfamiliar privacy, I decided a pharmacy was in order. NOTE: Tiendas or SuperMercados do not have the goods required to cure this or other everyday medical issues, I think the pharmacies have a union or something, or its some government regulation.

I walked into a pharmacy nearby, and proceeded to have the following dialogue while very embarrased:

Me: Hola

Pharmacist (in fancy white coat): Hola

Me: Tiene algun para [Die-a-re-ah]? (Do you have something for diarrhea?)

Pharmacist: Puzzled look.

Me: [Die-a-re-ah]

Pharmacist: Same puzzled look.

Me: (totally embarrased that this exchange has taken 2 requests but practicing Spanish) Mi mierda es como agua. (My bowel movements are like water.)

Pharmacist: Ahhhh [dee-a-ray-ah]!

Problem solved. Pills handed over. Discomfort ended.
 
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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
And to get to the pharmacy you better know how to pronounce that too. Far-may-si-a gets you nowhere, far-mah-si-a gets you pointed in the right direction. :rolleyes:
So close, and yet so far.
 

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
An oldie…. How to pronounce diarrhea in Spain… sorry kinda long and recycled….


Ok, this is meant to be sort of funny, but also practical.

On about 1/3 of my Caminos at some point, along the journey, I have suffered with diarrhea. It's not fun.

I have no clue what caused it, but I have noticed that in my latest Caminos I have not experienced it as much. I think it may be because I am more discerning with my water sources, choosing to fill up reused bottles from regular tap water devices (faucets) rather than some random fountain in a cow pasture, and regularly purchasing new bottles as well. I know it sounds like common sense, but it took me a while to learn it.

Now, should the same discomfort befall you on your next spiritual journey, its important that you learn how to pronounce "diarrhea" in a Spanish pharmacy.

Spanish pharmacies are great. The workers take their jobs very seriously. Its not like in the US when you walk into a CVS and some dork behind the counter doesn't know much. I think the workers at Spanish pharmacies take actual classes and training (or it appears so because at least they wear white coats.) If you can accurately describe your symptom (diarrhea, knee pain, cellulite on your backside, etc.) they can often sell you the appropriate remedy.

Now, I was in Ponferrada, sick out of my mind, choosing to stay at a hotel rather than an alburgue because I knew I'd be spending some extended time on the toilet. After checking in and relieved with the recently unfamiliar privacy, I decided a pharmacy was in order. NOTE: Tiendas or SuperMercados do not have the goods required to cure this or other everyday medical issues, I think the pharmacies have a union or something, or its some government regulation.

I walked into a pharmacy nearby, and proceeded to have the following dialogue while very embarrased:

Me: Hola

Pharmacist (in fancy white coat): Hola

Me: Tiene algun para [Die-a-re-ah]? (Do you have something for diarrhea?)

Pharmacist: Puzzled look.

Me: [Die-a-re-ah]

Pharmacist: Same puzzled look.

Me: (totally embarrased that this exchange has taken 2 requests but practicing Spanish) Mi mierda es como agua. (My bowel movements are like water.)

Pharmacist: Ahhhh [dee-a-ray-ah]!

Problem solved. Pills handed over. Discomfort ended.
I fully feel for you. Diarrhea is truly sh*t.

The farmacias in Spain, as well as in Greece, have very skilled and well educated people. They are top notch. Furthermore, they sell remedies only allowed by prescriptions here in Norway. They really know their stuff.
 

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 went to a pharmacy in Portugal and they had a computer with a swiveling screen. They swing it my way so I could type in English what I needed, then swung it back to them and it translated for them, back and forth we went...easy peasy.
 

The Kolbist

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
We got to Airexe in Galicia pretty late, so we checked out the Municipal Albergue. Each one of us (six in our Camino family from all over the world) got into the beds and found the place to be crowded and cramped so one by one, we all headed towards the exit. On our way out, an old Ozzy Lady of Spanish-descent started blurting out - "Why? What happened? Why are you leaving? is there something you dont like inside? Is it us? Ohhh I know - you guys are just so PICKKYYY!" we didnt answer her. But we were all laughing so hard walking towards the next Albergue in the next town. This was one of our favorite moments of our Camino that we could not forget even if it happened 4 years ago.
 
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
We got to Airexe in Galicia pretty late, so we checked out the Municipal Albergue. Each one of us (six in our Camino family from all over the world) got into the beds and found it to be crowded and cramped so one by one, we all headed towards the exit. On our way out, an old Ozzy Lady of Spanish-descent started blurting out - "Why? What happened? Why are you leaving? is there something you dont like inside? Is it us? Ohhh I know - you guys are just so PICKKYYY!" we didnt answer her. But we were all laughing so hard walking towards the next Albergue in the next town. This was one of our favorite moments of our Camino that we could not forget even if it happened 4 years ago.
Perhaps you should have chosen separate beds? Six would be a little crowded 🤣
 
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David61

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
I went to a pharmacy in Portugal and they had a computer with a swiveling screen. They swing it my way so I could type in English what I needed, then swung it back to them and it translated for them, back and forth we went...easy peasy.
I had to use a farmacia and took a pic before visiting. I showed the lovely senora and she was shocked! Possibly the worst blister she had seen! But she provided much good advice and products! I have a Compostela to prove it!
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
Overheard in albergue when two peregrinos were preparing their beds:

English-speaking peregrino says, “I’m going to put a sheet on my bed first.” Sound of alarm and look of horror on face of English-not-as-a-first-language peregrino. Response from English-speaking peregrino. “What!? That’s a word.”
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Overheard in albergue when two peregrinos were preparing their beds:

English-speaking peregrino says, “I’m going to put a sheet on my bed first.” Sound of alarm and look of horror on face of English-not-as-a-first-language peregrino. Response from English-speaking peregrino. “What!? That’s a word.”
I guess that is why they have paper 😂
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
When learning Spanish I forever confused mantequilla (butter) with manzanilla (chamomile) so when serving as a hospitalera I frequently offered pilgrims "butter tea". By the look of their faces they weren't sure if they had ended up in Tibet ;-)
BC SY
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Starting Camino 02/04/2020
Overheard in albergue when two peregrinos were preparing their beds:

English-speaking peregrino says, “I’m going to put a sheet on my bed first.” Sound of alarm and look of horror on face of English-not-as-a-first-language peregrino. Response from English-speaking peregrino. “What!? That’s a word.”
Reminds me of this old joke:

The Italian who went to Malta
(read with Italian accent, those who cannot, suffer !)
One day ima gonna Malta to bigga hotel. Ina morning I go down to eat breakfast. I tella waitress I wanna two pissis toast. She brings me only one piss. I tella her I want two piss. She say go to the toilet. I say, you no understand, I wanna piss onna my plate. She say you better no piss onna plate, you sonna ma bitch. I don't even know the lady and she call me sonna me bitch !!

Later I go to eat at a bigga restaurant. The waitress brings me a spoon and a knife, but no fock. I tella her I wanna fock. She tell me everyone wanna fock. I tell her you no understand, I wanna fock on the table. She say you better not fock on the table, you sonna ma bitch.

So, I go back to my room inna hotel and there is no shits onna my bed. I call the manager and tella him I wanna shit. He tell me to go to toilet. I say you no understand. I wanna shit on my bed. He say you better not shit onna bed, you sonna ma bitch.

I go to the checkout and the man at the desk say: "Peace on you". I say piss on you too, you sonna ma bitch, I gonna back to Italy!!!
😂
 
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Phoenix

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
The first time I went on Camino was per the request of a relatively new friend—a deeply devout/religious man—whom I had known from long distance for a couple of years. We had met in person only once prior to going to the CF (a ruck march in New Mexico). Suffering from a progressive, debilitating disease, he asked if I would walk him on Camino before he could no longer walk, and I agreed.

We started out on Feb 28, 2014, from SJPdP on the Valcarlos route in a cold, drizzling rain that turned to a rain/snow mixture before finally turning into a snowstorm with appx 8-10 km left to go before reaching Roncesvalles. Our situation turned dire quickly, trudging upward through shin-to-knee-deep snow in the waning light.

At one point when we stopped to rest for a minute, I asked if he was okay. As he caught his breath, he shouted &*$@#!! Martin Sheen! then continued the two-steps-forward-one-step-back ascent. To this day, it was one of the most unexpected/funny things I’ve experienced on a Camino.
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Year of past OR future Camino
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
If you want to say you’re tired in French, you say: “Je suis fatigué.”
Or, as I heard a Spanish pilgrim say to a French pilgrim: “I’m so fatty gay.”

But that’s okay, I don’t have any problem with that.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Year of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
This is the low kind of humour I needed to hear in these times fraught w misery and doom !!
 
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