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Have you practiced, or received a random act of kindness on your pilgrimage?

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Charl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2015, Frances 2015, Via Francigena 2017, Via degli Abati 2017, Del Norte 2020
We were having coffee and pastries for breakfast at a local's bar in Aulla, on the Via Francigena. When I got up to pay, the bartender told me someone had already paid for our food! We suspect it was the parish priest, who we'd met briefly the previous evening, and had spotted in the crowd milling around at the counter earlier on. But we'll never know for sure...

"A random act of kindness is a nonpremeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. "

Have you practiced, or received a random act of kindness while walking your Camino?
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
The following situations from the Camino del norte came to my mind:
In Aviles a man invited us to his table and told us that his wife was in hospital and that they probably could not travel to Ireland where a grandchild "did her first communion" (don't the English expression for this, but for spanish catholic people it is a very special moment in life) and would miss this family gathering with many (grand) children living abroad. He insisted on paying for our breakfast.
A few days later we were having a break, when we were about to leave I dropped my poles while putting on my backpack. A really old woman, "rather bend from old age", bend a little bit more and handed me my poles. This brought a smile to the faces of all people who saw this
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Falling flat on my face but later meeting my first camino angels; since then so many have spontaneously helped during every camino

November 1, 2004, after crossing the long medieval bridge over the river Orbigo I entered the town of Hospital de Órbigo. Attempting to photograph the parish church I lost my footing and fell head first onto the irregular pavement! My pack crashed into my right shoulder. Flat on the ground my forehead and shoulder hurt like hell! Gently two pilgrims helped me up. An egg was quickly swelling on my forehead (by day’s end I resembled Cyclopes). After exiting the Día de todos los Santos mass a kind Spanish couple appproached and the man said “Don’t worry, madam, I am a Chevalier de Santiago and will help”. They quickly took me to the regional hospital, where I was told to rest, and see a doctor again the following day.

The couple graciously invited me to lunch at their house. My host explained that the Chevaliers de Santiago are a group of Catholic men, who have been nominated to become members and who pledge to foster the Camino and help all pilgrims. In the Spanish custom lunch lasted at least four hours! Two charming adult sons cut my food while I alternately held ice to my head and tryied to eat with my left hand since the right shoulder and arm were extremely painful. Nevertheless, how, lucky I was to be able to move and to have met a family of guardian angels.

Early next morning the Chevalier and the local priest walked into the albergue dorm to see how I was doing! The priest, the Chevalier and his wife accompanied me to the local doctor's office adjacent to the church. When we four entered the examination room, the Chevalier said to the doctor “Another one has fallen!” It seemed that earlier other pilgrims had also stumbled on that same paving where I tripped. Again I ate with the Chevalier and his family.

..Now after all these years I still fondly remember their kindnesses and spontaneous gracious hospitality. It was, indeed, heartfelt camino caritas.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
On every Camino, and in my general life, I try to give random acts of kindness and support. It would be boastful to diiscribe them, but I do it because at I can and because at times of need I have received help from unexpected quarters.

On my last Camino I was humbled by the acts of kindness I received as I slowly broke down. Not just from my loyal and loving daughter who accompanied me, but from random people along the way. One that I remember in particular was when my archillies tendon gave out in the middle of nowhere and I dragged myself to a lonely farm house, interrupting a sunbathing Padre who lept to my aid (once he had found some clothes). What I remember most was his absolute joy at being able to help a stranger. I don't know what I would have done if he hadn't come to my aid and was very thankful, but it was as if I had given him more then he gave me.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
In Portugal recently a lovely lady who invited the three of us into her immaculate home and gave us coffee, biscuits, buns and then picked us oranges from a tree in her garden. She wanted to give us a carrier bag full of oranges and other goodies but we couldn't carry all that so we just took a couple of oranges each.
 

Charl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2015, Frances 2015, Via Francigena 2017, Via degli Abati 2017, Del Norte 2020
Falling flat on my face but later meeting my first camino angels; since then so many have spontaneously helped during every camino

November 1, 2004, after crossing the long medieval bridge over the river Orbigo I entered the town of Hospital de Órbigo. Attempting to photograph the parish church I lost my footing and fell head first onto the irregular pavement! My pack crashed into my right shoulder. Flat on the ground my forehead and shoulder hurt like hell! Gently two pilgrims helped me up. An egg was quickly swelling on my forehead (by day’s end I resembled Cyclopes). After exiting the Día de todos los Santos mass a kind Spanish couple appproached and the man said “Don’t worry, madam, I am a Chevalier de Santiago and will help”. They quickly took me to the regional hospital, where I was told to rest, and see a doctor again the following day.

The couple graciously invited me to lunch at their house. My host explained that the Chevaliers de Santiago are a group of Catholic men, who have been nominated to become members and who pledge to foster the Camino and help all pilgrims. In the Spanish custom lunch lasted at least four hours! Two charming adult sons cut my food while I alternately held ice to my head and tryied to eat with my left hand since the right shoulder and arm were extremely painful. Nevertheless, how, lucky I was to be able to move and to have met a family of guardian angels.

Early next morning the Chevalier and the local priest walked into the albergue dorm to see how I was doing! The priest, the Chevalier and his wife accompanied me to the local doctor's office adjacent to the church. When we four entered the examination room, the Chevalier said to the doctor “Another one has fallen!” It seemed that earlier other pilgrims had also stumbled on that same paving where I tripped. Again I ate with the Chevalier and his family.

..Now after all these years I still fondly remember their kindnesses and spontaneous gracious hospitality. It was, indeed, heartfelt camino caritas.
I'm glad you survived your fall to walk another eleven Caminos, if I'm counting correctly...
 

mike mcbroom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis June 17, 2015 ,Portagusee from Porto to Santiago August 2016, Francis may 2018 this year wil
We were having coffee and pastries for breakfast at a local's bar in Aulla, on the Via Francigena. When I got up to pay, the bartender told me someone had already paid for our food! We suspect it was the parish priest, who we'd met briefly the previous evening, and had spotted in the crowd milling around at the counter earlier on. But we'll never know for sure...

"A random act of kindness is a nonpremeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. "

Have you practiced, or received a random act of kindness while walking your Camino?
just yesterday near S Beton on the Camino Portuguese, a farmer insisted we join him and his wife for tea and water. We did and loved it
 

Attachments

Stroller

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
In the market at Vianna I wait inline to buy greengages. An elderly Senora pushes me forward “Eres un peregrino”. I thank her, ask for half a dozen gages, pay and walk from the glare of the square into the narrow shaded street to sit outside the church with a glass of cold white wine watching life. Finishing the wine I collect the four stones of eaten gages, drop them into the bag and walk on. The bag still holds eight plump ripe fruit. Small acts of kindness.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013....2014....2015.......2017...2018...2019
We were having coffee and pastries for breakfast at a local's bar in Aulla, on the Via Francigena. When I got up to pay, the bartender told me someone had already paid for our food! We suspect it was the parish priest, who we'd met briefly the previous evening, and had spotted in the crowd milling around at the counter earlier on. But we'll never know for sure...

"A random act of kindness is a nonpremeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. "

Have you practiced, or received a random act of kindness while walking your Camino?
In Portugal I missed a yellow arrow (or two )and got hopelessly lost.I saw a woman working in a nearby field and attracted her attention.She quickly realised she was dealing with a lost non Portugese understanding pilgrim,took me by the arm and walked about 15 minutes away to point me at a yellow arrow.Before I could say a word she set off back to her field.
 

Meggins

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - One complete St.J.P.P to Santiago plus twice more for 500km each time.
CF one day I walked too fast uphill. Being very susceptible to the heat I discretely retired to the bushes and puked ( is there a nicer word??) as quietly as possible. A young pilgrim came over to me. He made me sit down at the trail edge and put my head down. He then poured most of a bottle of water over my head - to my shock I might add!. Immediately started to feel better and he asked me if I had anything to eat in my pack. I did and he stayed with me until I had eaten a square of my chocolate . He continued with a strong warning to wait 20 mins before going on. For the rest of the day I was fine but stopped every opportunity for freshly squeezed orange juice!! Now on any hiking/walking venture I always have a few Babybell cheeses, a chocolate bar and an orange in my pack! have been able to pay it forward here and there.
 

Kathleen PEters

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting Camino Frances in May 2017
On the Via de la Plata last month I did a side trip to Hervas to see the old Jewish quarter. Totally lost as usual, I asked a local woman to help me find it. I don't speak Spanish and she didn't speak English. Next thing I know this lovely lady took me on a half hour walk through the quarter. She took pictures of me along the way. Everything was done by acting things out. Kisses and hugs at the end of my tour. It was a real highlight for me.
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
My two buddies and I arrived in Puente la Reina late one afternoon to find the town completely full. A kind hospitalero called ahead to the next town, but it was full, too. We stopped in several places but the report was that there were no beds anywhere. Finally, we asked José, who was running a bar if he knew of anything. He gave us hope, telling us that he had a place for two. "But we're three" we said. In his typical Spanish way, with feigned grumpiness, he responded "No! Only two!" Seeing our dejected faces he then added, "Well, maybe." We then followed him around the corner, into a five story building, and up five flights to... the penthouse!! For an incredibly reasonable price, we stayed in his three-bedroom place, with kitchen, dining room and washer/dryer!

If you see José, please tell him that he's my Camino angel and that this story still warms the cockles of my heart.

IMG_2338.jpeg
 

Galway hopper

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's 2010 to 2013 2015 2017
Camino Portuguese 2014 2016
A few years ago while walking from Porto to Santiago with a friend we sat in a restaurant and a stray dog appears and promptly sits at my feet.
He was matted and very unkempt looking. I being a easy target gave him all the chicken from my dinner and all the bread. While my friend kept a lookout to see if anyone was watching. There was just one other patron in the restaurant a older man well in his 80s.
What I remember is the heat was unreal it was high 30s and this man Sat with a jumper without sleeves under the vines with us and we were roasting. He had seen me feeding the dog.
We decided to pay for the man's dinner/lunch with ours as we were having the menu del dia. We called over the waitress to pay and tried to made ourselves understood. She was adamant that we couldn't pay for the man's dinner eventually we discovered that he was the owner of said resturant.
Needless to say we fell out the door with laughter.
 

makingtrax

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
CF one day I walked too fast uphill. Bein
We were having coffee and pastries for breakfast at a local's bar in Aulla, on the Via Francigena. When I got up to pay, the bartender told me someone had already paid for our food! We suspect it was the parish priest, who we'd met briefly the previous evening, and had spotted in the crowd milling around at the counter earlier on. But we'll never know for sure...

"A random act of kindness is a nonpremeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. "

Have you practiced, or received a random act of kindness while walking your Camino?
On Wednesday morning (yesturday) leaving roncevelles by bike in pouring rain and 4 degrees by bike I remembered I had left my poncho in England and only had a rain jacket I tried to purchase a poncho at the albergue but as I had no cash and they don't accept cards I accepted I was going to get very wet. A lovely young European girl over heard my deliema and insisted on paying for the poncho for me knowing fullwell we would never meet again. Thankyou so much and buen camino. It kept me dry all way to pampalona.
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
So many wonderful stories. Thank you all for sharing. I've had many lovely experiences, similar to those noted above, so just want to express gratitude that being generous and helpful really seems to be the automatic set-point when we allow our true nature to come out. Smile first. Lend a hand whenever it seems needed. Say thanks. We never know what a person is going through that's not visible and are all in this life to learn.........
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
albergue Maribel Roncal in CIZUR MENOR. Maribel was a great help to me when I injured my ankel on the way to Cizur Menor. She checked it, took me to the Uni. Hospital, waited and made sure that the doctors knew what was wrong and I received treatment. I had to stay at her Alberque for two nights, then the rest of the week in Pamplona, before setting off again. My Spanish is limited indeed, so her help and the ride into Pamplona Hospital were a great help.
I've had many other acts of kindess, this one especially sticks in my gratitude. I'm sure I'm not the only pilgrim she has helped over her many years of service to the Way and pilgrims.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Ruta Asturianos Lebaniego / Apr 2018 Asturias / May 2016 CP: Portuguese
Yes and, yes.
The majority of locals living/working near a Camino route consider it a "blessing" to aid, guide, direct, assist a Peregrino. I love that. 😍
 

JAMM

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Not enough
I have received too many to list - I would say that most days, if not every day, I was at the receiving end of some stranger's kindness (and I hope I was a source of it too): fellow pilgrims offering their food, water and soap; having our coffee paid for anonymously; a hospitalera calling round every other person in a 5km radius looking for a spare room when my kids got sick; little gifts produced for our children out of thin air: from a little torch and small shells to chocolate and ice-cream; the farmer who allowed/encouraged my kids to go into his field of hay to have a 'hay fight' because it reminded him of his own sons when they were little; a bar tender producing an splendid three-course meal out of hours and out of the contents of his home fridge above the bar for very little money; another bar tender whose frier had just died and went to his back yard to get us two freshly-laid eggs each from his own chickens in lieu of the chips that were meant to come with our steak, because 'we would need the strength'; the hospitalera that gave us the same much-coveted quiet corner beds we had had ten years beforehand in our previous camino without us asking because she was so pleased we were back; the hospitaleros that went looking for a spare mattress to accommodate us when there were no beds left; the anonymous person/s who took a washload out of the drier and folded it impeccably while we were at dinner; the group of cloistered nuns waving at our kids with broad smiles after vespers; etc, etc, etc.

I have also seen a couple of pilgrims changing their plans and choosing to walk much more slowly over several days to get another fellow pilgrim they had recently met (who had had a fall and was on crutches) through to Santiago (they all made it!); pilgrims offering to carry things for others; pilgrims sharing everything from food to plasters; locals being endlessly patient and accommodating with all manner of reasonable and less-reasonable (to my mind) requests which implied them going out of their way; etc, etc, etc.

Random acts of kindness received and given with no expectation of any return are (to me) one of the most uplifting, life-affirming and soul-refreshing aspects of the Camino.
 
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Charl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2015, Frances 2015, Via Francigena 2017, Via degli Abati 2017, Del Norte 2020
Yes and, yes.
The majority of locals living/working near a Camino route consider it a "blessing" to aid, guide, direct, assist a Peregrino. I love that. 😍
I have received too many to list - I would say that most days, if not every day, I was at the receiving end of

Wow. This is wonderful to read. Thanks so much for taking the time to post.
 

Charl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2015, Frances 2015, Via Francigena 2017, Via degli Abati 2017, Del Norte 2020
CF one day I walked too fast uphill. Being very susceptible to the heat I discretely retired to the bushes and puked ( is there a nicer word??) as quietly as possible. A young pilgrim came over to me. He made me sit down at the trail edge and put my head down. He then poured most of a bottle of water over my head - to my shock I might add!. Immediately started to feel better and he asked me if I had anything to eat in my pack. I did and he stayed with me until I had eaten a square of my chocolate . He continued with a strong warning to wait 20 mins before going on. For the rest of the day I was fine but stopped every opportunity for freshly squeezed orange juice!! Now on any hiking/walking venture I always have a few Babybell cheeses, a chocolate bar and an orange in my pack! have been able to pay it forward here and there.
So important to always have snacks on hand, yes.
 

DiH

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago Frances May 19
I arrived, as did two other older pilgrims, too late for beds at a parochial hostel. I was then told there were three bunks as three young men had decided to sleep in the church. I later overheard a conversation - they had decided we needed the beds more. How kind. I don’t know who they were but thank you.
 

Saranger

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Samos-Santiago 2015 & 2016
Porto-Santiago 2017
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Ferrol-Santiago May 2019
Interesting how many people talk of the gifts received from the Spanish locals along the way, yet don’t mention what they do for the locals or other pilgrims. For those new to the Camino, it can give them the false idea to expect special treatment or free stuff along the way and then be disappointed when it doesn’t materialize. I’ve encountered many selfish pilgrims who think they deserve special treatment yet do nothing to foster the spirit of the Camino.

A good start is packing out toilet paper and other rubbish and leaving the Camino cleaner than when you arrived. Our individual presence along the Camino is fleeting, yet our impact is felt much longer environmentally and by the impression we leave of pilgrims in general with those who live there.

We obsess over pack weight, but that orange peel weighs a lot less after you’ve eaten the orange. Same as the chocolate wrapper. Take it with you until you find a proper bin.
Here ends the lecture.
 

Hawkeye

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Senda Litoral (Sept 2018)
Lost my phone while in Baiona. Went to the local cell phone store, and the female employee gave me her personal phone and just asked that I bring it back when everything was resolved. Everything turned out fine as the hotel maid found my phone and I returned the borrowed phone along with some euros for the calls I placed. I still can't believe how kind she was.
 

BPG2017

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
I think that being kind and helpful to others is almost "par for the course" on the Camino - even from locals (whether out of reverence for "peregrinos" or because we are their livelihood - or both). But let me shre an unusual, really random act of kindness on the road into Lavacolla (i.e. the busiest stretch of the Camino!) . Someone had made a deliberate display of this HUGE mushroom RIGHT in the middle of the path. (Sorry, bad photo: forgot to add something to show the scale!The diameter of the mushroom cap was about 20cm!!IMG_20170910_141252resized.jpg)

I can only suppose that he/she had left the path to follow a call of nature, had discovered this beauty and decided to share it with everyone.
 

DebraS.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June/ July (2015) - incomplete
Frances June (2018)
I was walking last year with my 3 grand daughters on the Frances and the youngest one (5 years old) fell hard, hitting her head. She was REALLY upset and crying loudly.

We were in a tiny village which I cannot recall the name of and not sure I even knew the name at the time. But it seemed the entire village came to her rescue. They offered medicine, hugs, food and all sorts of support. They opened their doors to us and offered a place to sleep for the night. I do not speak spanish but my grand children do so they had wonderful chats. Anyone could offer to help but this was more than just offering help. They genuinely cared about us and our camino. It warmed my heart so much that I will never forget it and feel like they were a huge factor in us completing the camino. I felt like we took them with us the rest of the way!!

Because I was so touched by this, I am planning to go back there this year on my return and pay them a visit and take them pictures to show we completed the camino because of them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Le Puy (2016)
Vézelay (2019)
Norte (2019)
I walked into Mussidan in the rain on 9th May. I entered the church to be confronted by a dozen or so drinking aperitifs. They were priests who had been doing a mission. After accepting an aperitif (it was after midday) I accepted a huge lunch of several courses.
Disclaimer: I’m not a Catholic
Thanks: to Father ChristopheE123A16B-6176-4A23-8B7E-111642E882FD.jpeg
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
I have received too many to list - I would say that most days, if not every day, I was at the receiving end of some stranger's kindness (and I hope I was a source of it too): fellow pilgrims offering their food, water and soap; having our coffee paid for anonymously; a hospitalera calling round every other person in a 5km radius looking for a spare room when my kids got sick; little gifts produced for our children out of thin air: from a little torch and small shells to chocolate and ice-cream; the farmer who allowed/encouraged my kids to go into his field of hay to have a 'hay fight' because it reminded him of his own sons when they were little; a bar tender producing an splendid three-course meal out of hours and out of the contents of his home fridge above the bar for very little money; another bar tender whose frier had just died and went to his back yard to get us two freshly-laid eggs each from his own chickens in lieu of the chips that were meant to come with our steak, because 'we would need the strength'; the hospitalera that gave us the same much-coveted quiet corner beds we had had ten years beforehand in our previous camino without us asking because she was so pleased we were back; the hospitaleros that went looking for a spare mattress to accommodate us when there were no beds left; the anonymous person/s who took a washload out of the drier and folded it impeccably while we were at dinner; the group of cloistered nuns waving at our kids with broad smiles after vespers; etc, etc, etc.

I have also seen a couple of pilgrims changing their plans and choosing to walk much more slowly over several days to get another fellow pilgrim they had recently met (who had had a fall and was on crutches) through to Santiago (they all made it!); pilgrims offering to carry things for others; pilgrims sharing everything from food to plasters; locals being endlessly patient and accommodating with all manner of reasonable and less-reasonable (to my mind) requests which implied them going out of their way; etc, etc, etc.

Random acts of kindness received and given with no expectation of any return are (to me) one of the most uplifting, life-affirming and soul-refreshing aspects of the Camino.
Lovely off the Camino too. I am still living happily with no car in Tacoma. The bus, or walking, can get me to nearly any place I want to go, then there is always Uber or taxi if really needed. I experience so many friendly, uplifting, soul-refreshing things given and received. The trips when I have needed to rent a car seemed rather lonely.
 

KariC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho portugûes (2016)
I tried to do the V.E. off stages, and found myself tired in a town with no accommodations. A man offered me a ride to the next town up (Vilanova) that did have public accommodations.

A group of us were leaving Tui in the dark, and a man stopped his car to tell us the route had actually changed and we should ignore an arrow and go another way. He saved us much highway time.

I got to be part of a relay interpreting team in O Faramelo - A German only speaking woman needed her backpack transported. A German-English speaker interpreted for her into English, and I interpreted into Spanish to the backpack transport company.

The next morning, a Portuguese woman called ahead to me when she saw me missing a turn, and we walked into Santiago together - a friend for life!

The camino is full of angels.
 

Lindsay53

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
An offer of bread and cheese from a fellow pilgrim as I was passing through Santo Domingo de la Calzada. I was rather hungry and feeling rather sad. This simple act lifted my spirits markedly. Thank you Laura.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Yes !

In 2014 we were walking (intentionally) off course down the coast of Spain, trying to stay within sight of the sea. It was a fun and beautiful walk.
While doing so we encountered an area that almost resembled desert like conditions with thorny cactus, small crudely built stone walls and void of people. As we walked it was a very hot day, we ran out of water and eventually came to a beautiful sandy beach where we decided to take a break, consider our options and hopefully refuel our water bottles.
While contemplating all of the above we laid on the sand and closed our eyes only to be awaken by by a man carrying 2 ice cold beers and carrying a plate of freshly roasted Padron peppers. He handed the beer and peppers to us saying he and his family had seen us approaching the beach below their cliff side home while they were having a Sunday family gathering. He said he and his wife thought we might be lost and wanted to help us out.
Once we finished the beers/peppers and talking to him he invited us back to his house to meet his family. We found them to be very nice and they insisted on filling our water bottles and provided us walking directions to the next town.
This random act of kindness will forever remain in my memory...
 

Dinah Shaw

Volcano Climber
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
We were having coffee and pastries for breakfast at a local's bar in Aulla, on the Via Francigena. When I got up to pay, the bartender told me someone had already paid for our food! We suspect it was the parish priest, who we'd met briefly the previous evening, and had spotted in the crowd milling around at the counter earlier on. But we'll never know for sure...

"A random act of kindness is a nonpremeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. "

Have you practiced, or received a random act of kindness while walking your Camino?
Too many to enumerate. That is El Camino. Ángels everywhere
 

marylynn

Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18-(19) CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
I think I posted this story a few years ago, but I’ll add it here again.
In 2012, my two walking-mates were ahead of me and I got distracted by a beautiful rhododendron bush and was taking pictures of the flowers when a 10-year old boy came up to me and asked, “Peregrina?” I said ‘Si!’ And he pointed behind me, as though that was the way I should go...but that was the way I had come from. I ignored his suggestion and finished taking photos, then began walking up the long trail ahead a of me, feeling sure that was the right way. It wasn’t.

As I walked up the hill a very nice, friendly black/white shepherd dog (appropriately enough) followed me and would get in front of me, sit down, and block my way, looking expectantly at me—if only he could talk! He kept doing this as I walked up the hill and I kept saying “Nice doggie!! Go home!!’ and walked around him. He finally gave up playing this game and ran back down the trail.

I finally got up to the top of the hill (1km?), looked around the little chapel that was there, found no arrows, no signage, no people, no nothing. I realized I had gone the wrong way. So I started walking back down the hill and halfway down I encountered the Dog, who had run back home and gotten his Boy, who was now on his bike following his Dog up the hill; they were followed by the Boy’s Dad, who was on his bike behind his Boy who was behind his Dog, riding up the hill toward me, who was sheepishly walking back down the hill, and they were all pointing for me to continue going down the hill.

I was very embarrassed! I don’t think I was the first pilgrim to take a wrong turn at the rhododendron bush because the Boy and his Dog were each quite adamant in letting me know that I should turn around, but I ignored each of them. It was a funny rescue mission for the family, and I am eternally grateful for their diligence in ensuring pilgrims stayed on track. I suspected they had a chalkboard in their kitchen with tick-marks for the number of pilgrims retrieved each week. They were wonderful Camino Angels.
 

Charl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2015, Frances 2015, Via Francigena 2017, Via degli Abati 2017, Del Norte 2020
I think I posted this story a few years ago, but I’ll add it here again.
In 2012, my two walking-mates were ahead of me and I got distracted by a beautiful rhododendron bush and was taking pictures of the flowers when a 10-year old boy came up to me and asked, “Peregrina?” I said ‘Si!’ And he pointed behind me, as though that was the way I should go...but that was the way I had come from. I ignored his suggestion and finished taking photos, then began walking up the long trail ahead a of me, feeling sure that was the right way. It wasn’t.

I'm always amused at how quick the locals are to point you in the right direction if you look even just a little confused. Very kind of them, and yes, agree, in a few cases it prevented us from straying from the route. It's like having a real-life GPS.
 

TheSparrow

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2019) Walking Lisbon North

I was out of money, lost it on the Camino (it was found on the Camino by another pilgrim and they bought cokes for themselves and a friend who later became my walking partner)!!

Somewhere after my night at an albergue in Portugal (after I lost my cash on the path) I was really hungry and had no cash with me. I dashed into a restaurant - a little because I was starving and a little because there was someone walking with me that I thought wanted to ditch me (lol, but you can read more about that on my blog titled "Sometime you Really are a Pilgrim). When I entered a kind young man took my pack and sticks and stored them for me. I asked him to please check to see if they took cards for payment. He went to the counter, but when he did that he ordered for me and paid for the food, and also for desert, spoke with me for a little while about his camino and how it changed his life and then he left for a meeting and I ate. It was very meaningful and very humbling - we are usually givers in this world if we have means and time, but that day I understood what it meant to receive!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014; 2019)
Camino Primitivo (2016)
Camino del Norte (2016-2018)
San Salvador (2018)
We were having coffee and pastries for breakfast at a local's bar in Aulla, on the Via Francigena. When I got up to pay, the bartender told me someone had already paid for our food! We suspect it was the parish priest, who we'd met briefly the previous evening, and had spotted in the crowd milling around at the counter earlier on. But we'll never know for sure...

"A random act of kindness is a nonpremeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. "

Have you practiced, or received a random act of kindness while walking your Camino?
A very nice lady gave me 2x packets of pocket tissues from the multipack she had just picked up - the last one in the shop. She would take no offered money. 'Just pass on the goodwill.' Well, my companion and I stayed that night in a private room which contained three beds and a bunk bed, so five total. When two peregrinas arrived to find the place completo I suggested we offer them the chance to stay with us, seeing as we had beds available. They accepted and were spared the need for further enquiries or having to walk on.
 

mike mcbroom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis June 17, 2015 ,Portagusee from Porto to Santiago August 2016, Francis may 2018 this year wil
good for you.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
A very nice lady gave me 2x packets of pocket tissues from the multipack she had just picked up - the last one in the shop. She would take no offered money. 'Just pass on the goodwill.' Well, my companion and I stayed that night in a private room which contained three beds and a bunk bed, so five total. When two peregrinas arrived to find the place completo I suggested we offer them the chance to stay with us, seeing as we had beds available. They accepted and were spared the need for further enquiries or having to walk on.
Outstanding act of kindness
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
A very long time ago when I was a Brownie we were enjoined to do a good deed every day. It didn't have to be something big, even a little thing like holding a door for someone or picking up a piece of litter counted provided it was done as a gift. The habit stuck, and the best part of 60 years later I still do those little things that can sometimes make a difference. Earlier this week I paid for a bus ticket for someone whose debit card wouldn't work (debit card payments at the bus stops only, no cash).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014; 2019)
Camino Primitivo (2016)
Camino del Norte (2016-2018)
San Salvador (2018)
Outstanding act of kindness
Steady! The landlady made them pay too. But it enabled my Polish buddy to finally have some fellow Poles for company. The most poignant moment on the CF was a very old lady who offered pancakes to us in exchange for a donation. Mine was cold but it was tasty.
 

Charl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2015, Frances 2015, Via Francigena 2017, Via degli Abati 2017, Del Norte 2020
A very nice lady gave me 2x packets of pocket tissues from the multipack she had just picked up - the last one in the shop. She would take no offered money. 'Just pass on the goodwill.' Well, my companion and I stayed that night in a private room which contained three beds and a bunk bed, so five total. When two peregrinas arrived to find the place completo I suggested we offer them the chance to stay with us, seeing as we had beds available. They accepted and were spared the need for further enquiries or having to walk on.
Wow, giving up space in your private room must be one of the ultimate sacrifices! Thanks for sharing.
 

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