• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

How Far? - How long?

Pilgrim

Member
As readers of the amazing account of my brave suffering (joke!) on my last Camino will recall I walked, or was it limped, earlier this year through Portugal. Because I had loved both the Portuguese people and countryside I decided to return, with my wife, for a holiday. And so we spent last week touring the length of that lovely land, from Faro in the south to Coimbra in the north.

The north was as I remembered it, good walking countryside, hilly and covered with forests that include the ubiquitous eucalyptus tree. That is, it was almost as I remembered it. The difference was the huge areas of forest devastated by fire. Sadly a local told us that they believe many of the fires are deliberately started. Whatever, having seen that devastation it was easier to understand why firemen had died. Thankfully I am not aware of any pilgrim having been caught up in any fire.

At the shrine of 'Our Lady of the Remedies' at Lamego I spied, resting in a corner of the courtyard, a man with a rucksack. On moving closer I spotted not only his pilgrim staff and shell but also a caption on his rucksack, ‘Peregrino Italiano’.

Soon we were in conversation. Yes, he was Italian and on the Camino. He had started in Prague and had walked a route that had finally taken him down the east side of Spain and then, with much twisting turning and wanderings backward, a route that combined parts of both the Camino Portuguese and the ‘Via de la Plata‘.

The map he showed me was covered with a black line that twisted and turned like a snake. Then out came numerous Credencia - the four he spread out for my admiring gaze were full of ‘sellos’, I recognised, for example, the red cross set in an oval that is the stamp of the new hostel at Teo, a few kilometres from Santiago on the Portuguese route. So my pilgrim was genuine, his gaunt wiry look and blackened, bony feet, exposed to the sun to rest them, also spoke of his genuineness, as did his refusal of the euro note I offered him.

I stress all that for it leads me to believe the most telling part of his story. “How long have you been on the Camino?” I asked. “Two years!” he replied. Lack of mutual language skills precluded me asking all those other questions that have tantalised me ever since - why?, when will you stop?, how do you survive? Though maybe the answer is through the grace of God! Pilgrimage is, after all, about a seeking for the spiritual.
 

Advertisement

Booking.com

Similar threads

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 56 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 200 15.2%
  • May

    Votes: 328 24.9%
  • June

    Votes: 95 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 24 1.8%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.0%
  • September

    Votes: 380 28.8%
  • October

    Votes: 158 12.0%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store
Top