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Bumpa

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Well here I am back in the snows of Ontario after a month in Spain. I have learned a couple of things from the last Camino.

Number one is that the national bird of Spain has to be the common house fly. I once again learned to eat with one hand and flap the other hand wildly around to protect my nose, mouth and other orifices of interest to the little pests. I drew the line though when I discovered a fly doing the back stroke in my beer. At least, I assume it was the back stroke as I can't say that I've seen the under carriage of a house fly. As with all things Camino; learning and adaptation gets you through.

The second piece of information was a little more serious. As I lurch down the road to my 80th birthday; I am looking at facing the fact that I may have walked my last Camino. My mind is more than eager, but my body has gone from: will you please stop this to Hey cut it out! The body moves more willingly into our elder years than does the mind. I finished the last walk, from Burgos to Santiago, and said to myself: this is it. I am going to stop Camino excursions, and concentrate on representing Canada at the next summer Olympics in a swimming event......Hmm. For those of you not familiar with me; that was not serious, I don't think.

Decisions of this magnitude need to be made in the fullness of time and not when your feet and back hurt. By the way, try and explain that a decision to walk a Camino is an issue of magnitude, to someone who is not a pilgrim. This may result in rolling of the eyes, gnashing of teeth and softly uttered words not meant for the ears of children, from family and close friends. I am supremely grateful that wife, while not interested in the trip, heartily encourages me to go. She says that I come back a better person and I prefer to believe this and not other explanations. When I was walking the Appalachian Trail, in eastern United States of America, I commented to a someone that I stopped to talk with, that I needed to get home as I had been gone for three weeks. He indicated that I should not fool myself as this may have been the best three weeks of my wife's married life. A little of both perhaps??

Thank you for indulging my ramblings. I will come to some decision. My friend, Steve, has already floated a Spring Camino Portugues. Besides that, I need to get into Santiago when Faith is behind the counter at the pilgrim center. I have missed her smiling face the last three times. In the meantime, to all of you planning a Camino adventure, be it physical or mental, may I say: Buen Camino......Bumpa/Jim
 
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F

Former member 105117

Guest
Well here I am back in the snows of Ontario after a month in Spain. I have learned a couple of things from the last Camino.

Number one is that the national bird of Spain has to be the common house fly. I once again learned to eat with one hand and flap the other hand wildly around to protect my nose, mouth and other orifices of interest to the little pests. I drew the line though when I discovered a fly doing the back stroke in my beer. At least, I assume it was the back stroke as I can't say that I've seen the under carriage of a house fly. As with all things Camino; learning and adaptation gets you through.

The second piece of information was a little more serious. As I lurch down the road to my 80th birthday; I am looking at facing the fact that I may have walked my last Camino. My mind is more than eager, but my body has gone from: will you please stop this to Hey cut it out! The body moves more willingly into our elder years than does the mind. I finished the last walk, from Burgos to Santiago, and said to myself: this is it. I am going to stop Camino excursions, and concentrate on representing Canada at the next summer Olympics in a swimming event......Hmm. For those of you not familiar with me; that was not serious, I don't think.

Decisions of this magnitude need to be made in the fullness of time and not when your feet and back hurt. By the way, try and explain that a decision to walk a Camino is an issue of magnitude, to someone who is not a pilgrim. This may result in rolling of the eyes, gnashing of teeth and softly uttered words not meant for the ears of children, from family and close friends. I am supremely grateful that wife, while not interested in the trip, heartily encourages me to go. She says that I come back a better person and I prefer to believe this and not other explanations. When I was walking the Appalachian Trail, in eastern United States of America, I commented to a someone that I stopped to talk with, that I needed to get home as I had been gone for three weeks. He indicated that I should not fool myself as this may have been the best three weeks of my wife's married life. A little of both perhaps??

Thank you for indulging my ramblings. I will come to some decision. My friend, Steve, has already floated a Spring Camino Portugues. Besides that, I need to get into Santiago when Faith is behind the counter at the pilgrim center. I have missed her smiling face the last three times. In the meantime, to all of you planning a Camino adventure, be it physical or mental, may I say: Buen Camino......Bumpa/Jim
You answered a question that occurred to me this morning about flies on the Camino. IT occurred to me as I perfected my "Australian Salute" ... swatting flies from my face.
As everything is relative, I'm interested to hear from Australians that have walked the Camino. How do the flies in Spain compare to say... a walk along the Great Ocean Road?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Thank you for indulging my ramblings. I will come to some decision. My friend, Steve, has already floated a Spring Camino Portugues. Besides that, I need to get into Santiago when Faith is behind the counter at the pilgrim center. I have missed her smiling face the last three times. In the meantime, to all of you planning a Camino adventure, be it physical or mental, may I say: Buen Camino......Bumpa/Jim
No doubt you're the only one here with that kind of wondering going on in the background. It's a bit to contemplate, to be sure. I guess shorter stages, done gently and without weight are an answer - to a point. But at some point.....sigh.
Only you will know when that point has come.
And I do hope for you that it is not yet.
 

Bumpa

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
No doubt you're the only one here with that kind of wondering going on in the background. It's a bit to contemplate, to be sure. I guess shorter stages, done gently and without weight are an answer - to a point. But at some point.....sigh.
Only you will know when that point has come.
And I do hope for you that it is not yet.

Thank you for the kind words. Yes it is a point that we all will reach. I feel that the key is to be rationale about any decisions and not arrive at them from a purely emotional point of view. There are ways and means to lessen the impact of a long walk.

The Camino is a strange entity. When I left Spain on Nov 2nd, I was done. Now in hindsight, and knowing that if I shut it down for any period of time at my age, getting back to it may be difficult, I am looking at the future in a more positive fashion. Speaking of ways to lessen impact has to be considered with the knowledge that I have nothing to prove to anyone, myself included. I can indulge myself in all of the points which draw one back to the Camino without becoming a "road warrior"
 
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Bumpa

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Jim, it may be time to start thinking about getting a hiking trailer with a seat and a sign saying "Pull me and I'll tell you stories."

Best wishes for the rest of your journeys.
OMG...why have I not thought of that. The stories I have to tell......
 

Stephen S

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Burgos - April 2018
Burgos to Santiago - March/April 2019
Jim, it may be time to start thinking about getting a hiking trailer with a seat and a sign saying "Pull me and I'll tell you stories."

Best wishes for the rest of your journeys.
Great idea! Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that Jim is a master story teller.
 

isobelmtl

New Member
Well here I am back in the snows of Ontario after a month in Spain. I have learned a couple of things from the last Camino.

Number one is that the national bird of Spain has to be the common house fly. I once again learned to eat with one hand and flap the other hand wildly around to protect my nose, mouth and other orifices of interest to the little pests. I drew the line though when I discovered a fly doing the back stroke in my beer. At least, I assume it was the back stroke as I can't say that I've seen the under carriage of a house fly. As with all things Camino; learning and adaptation gets you through.

The second piece of information was a little more serious. As I lurch down the road to my 80th birthday; I am looking at facing the fact that I may have walked my last Camino. My mind is more than eager, but my body has gone from: will you please stop this to Hey cut it out! The body moves more willingly into our elder years than does the mind. I finished the last walk, from Burgos to Santiago, and said to myself: this is it. I am going to stop Camino excursions, and concentrate on representing Canada at the next summer Olympics in a swimming event......Hmm. For those of you not familiar with me; that was not serious, I don't think.

Decisions of this magnitude need to be made in the fullness of time and not when your feet and back hurt. By the way, try and explain that a decision to walk a Camino is an issue of magnitude, to someone who is not a pilgrim. This may result in rolling of the eyes, gnashing of teeth and softly uttered words not meant for the ears of children, from family and close friends. I am supremely grateful that wife, while not interested in the trip, heartily encourages me to go. She says that I come back a better person and I prefer to believe this and not other explanations. When I was walking the Appalachian Trail, in eastern United States of America, I commented to a someone that I stopped to talk with, that I needed to get home as I had been gone for three weeks. He indicated that I should not fool myself as this may have been the best three weeks of my wife's married life. A little of both perhaps??

Thank you for indulging my ramblings. I will come to some decision. My friend, Steve, has already floated a Spring Camino Portugues. Besides that, I need to get into Santiago when Faith is behind the counter at the pilgrim center. I have missed her smiling face the last three times. In the meantime, to all of you planning a Camino adventure, be it physical or mental, may I say: Buen Camino......Bumpa/Jim
I too am “ enjoying” a snowy and bitterly cold Canadian day here in Montreal . My very first Camino was last fall ( at a girlish 73) and I am planning my Portuguese one for spring 2023. Gently planning as I know health and mobility are true gifts at this stage, gifts that now lie in an open palm and not in a firm fist. Let’s get through this winter and … who knows? A Buen Camino in the future ?
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
You answered a question that occurred to me this morning about flies on the Camino. IT occurred to me as I perfected my "Australian Salute" ... swatting flies from my face.
As everything is relative, I'm interested to hear from Australians that have walked the Camino. How do the flies in Spain compare to say... a walk along the Great Ocean Road?
I think the flies must be a seasonal thing, I have never encountered them in Spain.
 
F

Former member 105117

Guest
Which would segue into another curiosity... snakes. Since I plan to walk the 'road less traveled' and sleep, at least some, outside in my tent, what crawling nasties should I be aware of?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Which would segue into another curiosity... snakes. Since I plan to walk the 'road less traveled' and sleep, at least some, outside in my tent, what crawling nasties should I be aware of?
I think there are vipers but likely you'll not see any (in the good way, not that they are really sneaky). If you managed to become an adult in rural Australia with what you have out there you can manage Spain.
 
F

Former member 105117

Guest
Moved to Australia as an adult. Grew up in The Tennessee Hills. Both have their own nasties... though, Australia wins, by a wide margin. Two little bits I find funny:
One, To me, the deadliest snake I see in Australia, The Eastern Brown, looks very much like the LEAST dangerous snake I grew up with back home... The Garter Snake. Never go by looks.
Two: I once lived on an Island in The Caribbean that had no snakes. The Mongoose was introduced on the island and wiped out all the snakes. When I first arrived to the island, I spoke with a local and said I loved bush walking. He said not to worry and told me there were no snakes. He never mentioned that they had centipedes almost as long as a snake and quite poisonous. Proves the old saying "if it wasn't this, it would be something else".
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Flies have bugged me on the del Norte and the Frances. Very localized. A few mosquitos. Not a big problem. I have seen small wormlike snakes on the del Norte in the fall. Very docile. My wife and I saw two thin but 24" long snakes mating just up the beach at Finisterre in the spring. Holy moly, it was wild! Felt like a voyeur. But they came together right on the path in front of us. No shame. Saw a very fat but very dead viper on the Frances this spring. Someone had smashed its head very recently. I am more worried about stepping on the big orange slugs on the del Norte. Buen Camino
 
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dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
You answered a question that occurred to me this morning about flies on the Camino. IT occurred to me as I perfected my "Australian Salute" ... swatting flies from my face.
As everything is relative, I'm interested to hear from Australians that have walked the Camino. How do the flies in Spain compare to say... a walk along the Great Ocean Road?
Don't say that. We are about to do the Great Ocean Walk. Er, I assume you mean the Great Ocean Walk. From memory the Great Ocean Road is not very walker-friendly. As for Spanish Flies (no, not those ones, an urban myth anyway), not even in the same league mate. Same with the mozzies, enthusiastic amateurs but way short of Australian standards. The wine however, matches up very well, as does the beer, so it's all good.
 

dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
None, really. What Rick said.
In that department, Oz beats Spain (and almost anywhere else) by miles.
But you have bears. A snake is not going to rip open your tent in the middle of the night and start snacking off your internal organs. Besides which, they don't like Twinkies. Not only that but if a snake does bite you (something they will do their utmost to avoid), with the right first aid and if you get to a hospital in time you have a better than sporting chance (we are a sporting nation after all, even our reptiles, except the crocodiles, of course) of making a full recovery. You can't say that about bears. :)
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
One, To me, the deadliest snake I see in Australia, The Eastern Brown, looks very much like the LEAST dangerous snake I grew up with back home... The Garter Snake. Never go by looks.
Saw this story from your neck of the woods a few weeks back. I was amazed that any Aussie could have reached 11 years of age without learning not to play with highly venomous snakes!

 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
As for Spanish Flies (no, not those ones, an urban myth anyway), not even in the same league mate.
I've walked quite a few Caminos over the years. I've also walked a few days on the Larapinta Trail and in Nitmiluk National Park. Nothing I've ever come across in Spain comes even remotely close to the flies around Alice Springs! Luckily I was forewarned and a kind man passed on his head net before I got there. At least the little buggers don't bite like the midges I grew up with in Scotland but they did push my patience pretty close to the limit! :)
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Flies in Spain? Psssshhh. Nada.

It's obvious when you consider that windows in Spain do not have fly screens. Virtually every house in Australia does. Out of necessity.

I have idly wondered why the difference. Spain has sheep and cows as has Australia, and Spain has arid dry areas too. But certainly nothing like the number of flies.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I have idly wondered why the difference. Spain has sheep and cows as has Australia, and Spain has arid dry areas too. But certainly nothing like the number of flies.
I wondered that too. Sheep and cattle didn't seem very convincing as an explanation for the flies on the Larapinta trail. There weren't any on the short section I walked. Or much water either. But there were flies by the thousands!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Yes, we have bears in Alaska. Lots. Often in our yards in the summer. The beauty of walking in Spain in our old age is we don't have to carry bear spray AND a 2 lb handgun or an 8 lb shotgun. And unlike crocodiles most bears do respect us humans. But we do have 20 quadrillion mosquitos. Buen Camino
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
The beauty of walking in Spain in our old age is we don't have to carry bear spray AND a 2 lb handgun or an 8 lb shotgun.

In the 1990s I spent a few weeks in Canada on exercise with the British Army. I had a week's leave at the end of the exercise and I hired a car in Medicine Hat and drove down through Montana to Yellowstone. In a few days there I saw both black bears and grizzlies. On the drive back north I made the big mistake of camping in a Montana forest park. The first serious mistake was bad navigation which ended up with me driving into a militia camp and being encouraged to leave very quickly by four men with automatic rifles who blocked the road in front of my car. After I found the right road with the help of a logging truck driver I camped for the night in the forest. About 2am something large was circling the tent - breaking twigs and breathing heavily. I didn't sleep well that night! Not sure how much help the bear spray or the guns would have been anyway. Spain is a much less stressful place to visit! :)
 

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
a small Bluetooth speaker.

I think the flies must be a seasonal thing, I have never encountered them in Spain.
I think a very warm and longer summer this year (2022) meant that even well into October there were some days when the highs were still in mid 20sC!

I didn’t have any insect problem in May, and almost didn’t bring my insect repellent spray this time, luckily I did. I had serious fly and mozzies problems on Salvador and Primitivo all the way until Lugo. I think after that it was more urban?

And then I read back on this forum that for Salvador day 1 on the stretch between La Seca and Cascantes de Alba, it’s well known to encounter lots n lots of flies that people were advised to wear the bees net!


Which would segue into another curiosity... snakes. Since I plan to walk the 'road less traveled' and sleep, at least some, outside in my tent, what crawling nasties should I be aware of?
Someone saw a snake on the Salvador and then also on Primitivo (between Grado and Salas). The one on the Salvador was apparently quite a nasty one, Kingslayer or something? My knowledge of snake is zero, perhaps that’s why I didn’t “see” them, because I was walking the same route on the same day as these 2 people who were discussing about snakes! Maybe I thought they were just tree branches 😱

It's obvious when you consider that windows in Spain do not have fly screens
Some places do. My albergue in La Espina, the room was so warm at night so I opened the windows. Saw they had mosquito net but alas with a big hole in the middle. So it was either not sleeping because of insects or because it was too hot. #firstworldproblems

What I see more commonly is doors are left open but they had a curtain of beads? Good to let air in but not 100% for insects.
 
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Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
Don't say that. We are about to do the Great Ocean Walk. Er, I assume you mean the Great Ocean Walk. From memory the Great Ocean Road is not very walker-friendly. As for Spanish Flies (no, not those ones, an urban myth anyway), not even in the same league mate. Same with the mozzies, enthusiastic amateurs but way short of Australian standards. The wine however, matches up very well, as does the beer, so it's all good.
Hi @dick bird we walked - and loved - the Great Ocean Walk in 2015, starting from Apollo Bay on 17 November, so about the same time. We had a lot of flies on Day 1 when we walked to Cape Otway. And particularly the afternoon of that day. We wished we’d had nets over our caps. But I don’t recall them being so bad on the following days. May have been the particular 'flora and fauna' on that first afternoon
Enjoy. It’s a wonderful walk 😎
 

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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I have seen many explanations for why it is so difficult for foreigners to mimic the Australian accent, but I hadn't thought about blaming flies until I saw an explanation that we know not to open our mouths too far in case we ingest these unwelcome visitors. Its simply difficult for others to match that articulation with barely open lips that Australians have been perfecting from childhood.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Ozzie with their mouth shut, never seen it.

Having slept out in Spain and elsewhere I advise staying clear of ruins or rock walls which can be home to serpents. And if you wake in the night feeling the weight of what you hope is a cat, move slowly as it may be a snake who has snuggled up to you for warmth.

Coming from snake (and bear) free NZ where the most hazardous thing is a stray goat, I've learnt not to squeal too loudly when facing an unfamiliar beast, they are usually more afraid of you and prefer to slink off... Unless it's a fly.
 

Kathy F.

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2013, CF from Lourdes 2015, CP Porto 2022
Forget about the flies and snakes . . .

Jim, I thought your writing about seeing your last Camino approaching in the rear view mirror was wonderful. I just finished the CP and, at age 71, found some of my struggles harder to overcome than they had been in the past. Now, home again, how much R & R do I need to recover?? More than I thought!

But I also find myself starting to remember. The terrible weather I overcame. The snorer who compelled me to not stay in albergues for the remainder of my Camino, who almost got into a fist fight with a lady from Amsterdam because she complained to him about how he kept everyone up all night. The backpack which I thought was too heavy for any two-legged beast to carry, yet had everything I needed and not a bit more.

And the people. Ah, the people. Friends that now, weeks later, I message on FB and who message me back (us oldies still use FB). The joy of encountering acquaintances on the CP at the end of a long day at an anonymous cafe. The merchants along the way who were thoughtful and friendly. The new best friends I met in the last 3 days of my journey ( I've often told non-Camino friends that walking the Camino for a day with a stranger is like knowing them for a year. Two days, two years, etc.).

Good times.

Like that last bit of toothpaste in the tube, I thought I could squeeze out one last Camino before I toss the tube away. Now, reading your post, I realize that the tube is only half empty. If I squeeze it just right, I can get more out.

I will be curious as to whether you decide you can squeeze one more out, if you squeeze just the right way. Buen Camino, my friend, and thanks for sharing.
 

Bumpa

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Forget about the flies and snakes . . .

Jim, I thought your writing about seeing your last Camino approaching in the rear view mirror was wonderful. I just finished the CP and, at age 71, found some of my struggles harder to overcome than they had been in the past. Now, home again, how much R & R do I need to recover?? More than I thought!

But I also find myself starting to remember. The terrible weather I overcame. The snorer who compelled me to not stay in albergues for the remainder of my Camino, who almost got into a fist fight with a lady from Amsterdam because she complained to him about how he kept everyone up all night. The backpack which I thought was too heavy for any two-legged beast to carry, yet had everything I needed and not a bit more.

And the people. Ah, the people. Friends that now, weeks later, I message on FB and who message me back (us oldies still use FB). The joy of encountering acquaintances on the CP at the end of a long day at an anonymous cafe. The merchants along the way who were thoughtful and friendly. The new best friends I met in the last 3 days of my journey ( I've often told non-Camino friends that walking the Camino for a day with a stranger is like knowing them for a year. Two days, two years, etc.).

Good times.

Like that last bit of toothpaste in the tube, I thought I could squeeze out one last Camino before I toss the tube away. Now, reading your post, I realize that the tube is only half empty. If I squeeze it just right, I can get more out.

I will be curious as to whether you decide you can squeeze one more out, if you squeeze just the right way. Buen Camino, my friend, and thanks for sharing.

Ah Kathy what a lovely post. Thank you. You encapsulate nicely, in paragraph four, what keeps us returning in spite of the perils set out in paragraph three. I will spend the winter moving from yes to no to maybe several times. The yes side of the equation looms larger as the difficulties fade into the background of an old man's memories. I will definitely broach this subject again over the winter, if only to crassly solicit warm messages such as yours. Thank you again. By the way, posts such as yours, move the needle closer to the yes side of the decision. You have many more kilometers in you than you believe. Buen Camino
 
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dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I have seen many explanations for why it is so difficult for foreigners to mimic the Australian accent, but I hadn't thought about blaming flies until I saw an explanation that we know not to open our mouths too far in case we ingest these unwelcome visitors. Its simply difficult for others to match that articulation with barely open lips that Australians have been perfecting from childhood.
I think the best Australian accent I have heard in a Hollywood film was Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Unfortunately, he was supposed to talking cockney.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
We had a lot of flies on Day 1 when we walked
All I can say is "yikes"! 😲

Its simply difficult for others to match that articulation with barely open lips that Australians have been perfecting from childhood.
I sometimes have to ask my husband to repeat what he has said, to which he replies that I must be losing a bit of my hearing. I respond by telling him he mumbles as I have no prob hearing friends and family.
Apparently he lived in Australia in "another life".😂
 

Kathy F.

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2013, CF from Lourdes 2015, CP Porto 2022
That's why I figured Jim's tale telling could get him a free trip across the camino.
But, if he's going to make his way by telling tales, he might as well go all in. Wear a brown floppy hat with a shell on it, a brown cloak, sandals, and carry a long branch with a gourd hanging off it. New pilgrims will pay big bucks to get their picture taken with him.
 

Bumpa

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
But, if he's going to make his way by telling tales, he might as well go all in. Wear a brown floppy hat with a shell on it, a brown cloak, sandals, and carry a long branch with a gourd hanging off it. New pilgrims will pay big bucks to get their picture taken with him.
This is getting better and better
I may have quite a future on the Camino
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019), CF/del Norte ‘21
Well here I am back in the snows of Ontario after a month in Spain. I have learned a couple of things from the last Camino.

Number one is that the national bird of Spain has to be the common house fly. I once again learned to eat with one hand and flap the other hand wildly around to protect my nose, mouth and other orifices of interest to the little pests. I drew the line though when I discovered a fly doing the back stroke in my beer. At least, I assume it was the back stroke as I can't say that I've seen the under carriage of a house fly. As with all things Camino; learning and adaptation gets you through.

The second piece of information was a little more serious. As I lurch down the road to my 80th birthday; I am looking at facing the fact that I may have walked my last Camino. My mind is more than eager, but my body has gone from: will you please stop this to Hey cut it out! The body moves more willingly into our elder years than does the mind. I finished the last walk, from Burgos to Santiago, and said to myself: this is it. I am going to stop Camino excursions, and concentrate on representing Canada at the next summer Olympics in a swimming event......Hmm. For those of you not familiar with me; that was not serious, I don't think.

Decisions of this magnitude need to be made in the fullness of time and not when your feet and back hurt. By the way, try and explain that a decision to walk a Camino is an issue of magnitude, to someone who is not a pilgrim. This may result in rolling of the eyes, gnashing of teeth and softly uttered words not meant for the ears of children, from family and close friends. I am supremely grateful that wife, while not interested in the trip, heartily encourages me to go. She says that I come back a better person and I prefer to believe this and not other explanations. When I was walking the Appalachian Trail, in eastern United States of America, I commented to a someone that I stopped to talk with, that I needed to get home as I had been gone for three weeks. He indicated that I should not fool myself as this may have been the best three weeks of my wife's married life. A little of both perhaps??

Thank you for indulging my ramblings. I will come to some decision. My friend, Steve, has already floated a Spring Camino Portugues. Besides that, I need to get into Santiago when Faith is behind the counter at the pilgrim center. I have missed her smiling face the last three times. In the meantime, to all of you planning a Camino adventure, be it physical or mental, may I say: Buen Camino......Bumpa/Jim
You’re absolutely right about Faith…she’s a very welcoming person. The Pilgrim House is a nice place to visit… a real place of respite
 

MarkN

Mark
Time of past OR future Camino
Leon Oct '16
Porto Oct '17 & May'19
Ferrol May '22
While 'only' in my 50's (it's all relative isn't it?) I've often thought about when I might be done with walking the Camino (but hope to always be a pilgrim), and don't see an end, yet. While this view may change, I feel that the details and expectations and experience will adjust with age. I take this view today having met many my senior who still walk the Camino 'their way.'

Haha it's a typical Ontario winter and quite warm today in Guelph with the snow all gone... for now.
 

Stephen S

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Burgos - April 2018
Burgos to Santiago - March/April 2019
Forget about the flies and snakes . . .

Jim, I thought your writing about seeing your last Camino approaching in the rear view mirror was wonderful. I just finished the CP and, at age 71, found some of my struggles harder to overcome than they had been in the past. Now, home again, how much R & R do I need to recover?? More than I thought!

But I also find myself starting to remember. The terrible weather I overcame. The snorer who compelled me to not stay in albergues for the remainder of my Camino, who almost got into a fist fight with a lady from Amsterdam because she complained to him about how he kept everyone up all night. The backpack which I thought was too heavy for any two-legged beast to carry, yet had everything I needed and not a bit more.

And the people. Ah, the people. Friends that now, weeks later, I message on FB and who message me back (us oldies still use FB). The joy of encountering acquaintances on the CP at the end of a long day at an anonymous cafe. The merchants along the way who were thoughtful and friendly. The new best friends I met in the last 3 days of my journey ( I've often told non-Camino friends that walking the Camino for a day with a stranger is like knowing them for a year. Two days, two years, etc.).

Good times.

Like that last bit of toothpaste in the tube, I thought I could squeeze out one last Camino before I toss the tube away. Now, reading your post, I realize that the tube is only half empty. If I squeeze it just right, I can get more out.

I will be curious as to whether you decide you can squeeze one more out, if you squeeze just the right way. Buen Camino, my friend, and thanks for sharing.
 

Stephen S

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Burgos - April 2018
Burgos to Santiago - March/April 2019
Hello Kathy. Thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging post. I'm Jim's friend Steve who is inviting him to join me on a Porto to Santiago Camino in the spring. Jim (Bumpa) has been my walking mentor for many years. I've joined him on walks on the Appalachian Trail in the U.S, the West Highland Way in Scotland, the Wicklow Way in Ireland and of course the Camino Frances. Whether he accompanies me or not, he'll be with me in either body or spirit. Keep squeezing that tooth paste tube. Buen (Bom) Camino.
 
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Bumpa

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
Hello Kathy. Thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging post. I'm Jim's friend Steve who is inviting him to join me on a Porto to Santiago Camino in the spring. Jim (Bumpa) has been my walking mentor for many years. I've joined him on walks on the Appalachian Trail in the U.S, the West Highland Way in Scotland, the Wicklow Way in Ireland and of course the Camino Frances. Whether he accompanies me or not, he'll be with me in either body or spirit. Keep squeezing that tooth paste tube. Buen (Bom) Camino.
Thank you Steve. Kind words indeed, in fact I may have to pay on our next visit to the Ale House. There are reasons why you have joined me on so many walks and some of them are exhibited in your kind post above.
Few people walk repeatedly with another person unless there is a significant level of compatibility and I am honored to call you my friend. Kathy, I will spend the winter squeezing all the tubes I can find.
 

Pelerina

Camino Walker
Time of past OR future Camino
since 2011, ongoing.
I posted a comment earlier and then deleted instead of editing my post. Anyhoo ...

I've really appreciated this thread - thank you @Bumpa and others who have posted. 🙏. I have thought about this from time to time .... when will my (our, as I walk with my husband) camino walking come to its natural conclusion?

In 2016, while walking the Chemin d'Arles, we met a charming French couple in their early 80s, who were still walking caminos of many weeks duration in France and Spain. Over the dinner table, they explained that they had adapted their way of walking over the years (decades in fact) so that they could continue as independently as possible.

The three things (obvious I guess) they had modified were 1) carrying as light a backpack as possible - they had all they needed in what most would regard as a day pack; 2) limiting their distances - maximum distance of 15 kms each day was their goal these days, which led them to 3) being open to seeking and accepting a helping hand when needed. The day we met them, they had phoned the gite owner the day before asking if she might pick them up in a town in the valley some kms away from the hilltop gite. She was very happy to oblige.

I've thought about that couple from time to time. Earlier this year when we walked the Chemin du Piemont, we decided that 23-25 kms is our 'sweet spot' for now - rather than the regular 30 kms we have often planned for in the past. My pack is certainly a much lighter load than it was when I walked my first Camino - the Frances - in 2011. And as much as we like to walk every step, independently, we are much more relaxed about adapting as circumstances require.

Like @Bumpa and many others, we hope and plan to have more caminos ahead of us - health permitting - we will just keep adapting as we go 😎
 
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