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Funny Camino Stories, Experiences or Pictures

John H.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
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.
 

TinaPEI

Member
Camino(s) past & future
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
Camino(s) past & future
A total of eight in the past 6 years!
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.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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
Camino(s) past & future
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..
Camino(s) past & future
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
Camino(s) past & future
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!
 

Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Del Norte & part of Lebaniego 2019
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!
 

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.
 

Attachments

Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Del Norte & part of Lebaniego 2019
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
Camino(s) past & future
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
Camino(s) past & future
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
Camino(s) past & future
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.
 
Camino(s) past & future
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.
 

Attachments

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
Camino(s) past & future
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.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
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
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2021)
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
Camino(s) past & future
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.
 

Shona

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(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.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Ponferrada - Santiago (2013)
Porto to Santiago (2015)
Lugo to Finisterre (2017)
Porto Coastal (2019)
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.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(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
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
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
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Del Norte & part of Lebaniego 2019
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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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
These are not going to make it to Santiago....

Bill boot hole (1).jpeg
 

LifeatNo.22

Suzanne
Camino(s) past & future
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
Camino(s) past & future
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
Camino(s) past & future
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
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
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.
 

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