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How Important Was It To You To Do "Full" CF ?

Roland49

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2023!
I wouldn't have interpreted @Rebekah Scott's remarks this way. However, her call to consider that a pilgrimage should have a spiritual purpose might challenge both those who consider themselves religious as well as those who don't. This doesn't preclude anyone walking the Camino routes, but it does go to whether they might be entitled to the support offered to pilgrims along the way, and to receive the Compostala when they complete their journey.
I attended a Pilgrim's meetup at the biggest fraternity of St. James in northern Germany 8 months prior my departure. I am baptized and raised in lutheranean christianity. Never been really serious about my religion and my believes.

But an older Pilgrim at this meetup told me: you may start as a walker, but you will be a pilgrim somehow on arrival. That's exactly what happened.
 
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Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues, Primitivo, Ignaziano, Salvador, 4 other
I wouldn't have interpreted @Rebekah Scott's remarks this way. However, her call to consider that a pilgrimage should have a spiritual purpose might challenge both those who consider themselves religious as well as those who don't. This doesn't preclude anyone walking the Camino routes, but it does go to whether they might be entitled to the support offered to pilgrims along the way, and to receive the Compostala when they complete their journey.
Of course, anyone can walk the camino, and there are lots of anyones these days. For more than 99% of the history of this camino, it was a camino walked for the following reasons: religious, spiritual, emotional. You can break that down to those walking as matter of a) faith, b) religious blessings (plenary indulgence), c) finding themselves, d) atonement, e) seeking guidance, and f) petitions (of which there were a zillion), g) thanksgiving. The Camino was The Way to seek these very human objectives that go back in the history of pilgrimages to sacred sites to pre-history, long before Christianity.

On our first camino, we encountered a Polish pilgrim walking as matter of deep faith, a newly married Czech couple walking to bless their marriage, a young American girl (who was the spitting image of young Drew Barrymore, seeking to find herself, a 50 year old Dutch mother of 4 who had run away from home as a teenager to Switzerland where she worked for ten years as a prostitute seeking quite atonement (she burned the black clothes she wore every day when we arrived at Finisterre), an Irish man whose marriage was failing after the 17 year old committed suicide and was seeking guidance on what to do. He found it. He was so excited when we saw him later in the camino that he and his wife had decided to put the past behind them and start their marriage anew. There were many we encountered who were petitioning for a loved one who was ill, and finally there was the two of us, thankful for the good life we have enjoyed.

In the past 10-15 years, this has changed...dramatically. I'm not aware that anyone has drilled deep into the reasons why people walk the camino, but I would expect that the 7 reasons noted above have fallen to less than 10 percent, especially in most recent years, including this year.

Does this make the camino less of a camino? No. But it does radically change what it means. For only a small number, it remains The Way.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
Ivar and others continue to report that those who walk from Sarria and Tui say they felt nothing spiritual or moving. It was just another walk. That's sad.
I've come across a number of people whose lives have been changed by walks from Sarria and who have had deeply spiritual experiences. I would certainly argue against such a generalization.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
Watch one of Ivar's recent videos. He was interviewing the guy behind wise pilgrim, as I recall. Not my words...theirs. I don't want shorter caminos, so I wouldn't know. But I recall being warned that when I reached Sarria and joined the crowds, there would be an element of us (the long walkers) vs them, especially when would be chatting in the albergue. I didn't find that true because there was no point in me talking about what happened before. They couldn't relate and it really wouldn't matter to them.
Like SabineP, I've had valuable conversations with people who started at Sarria. This is like saying that people who started in Le Puy can't have valuable conversations with people who started in SJPP, or people who started in Geneva can talk to practically no one.

I think the element of us vs them is real, and encouraged by reports such as this. I think it is regrettable and not to be encouraged. But that's just my opinion.
 
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Marc S.

Active Member
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Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
In the past 10-15 years, this has changed...dramatically. I'm not aware that anyone has drilled deep into the reasons why people walk the camino,

Not sure why you assume this. There is a huge amount of academic research about the modern revival of pilgrimage and the motivations of people walking the camino. A lot of it is available on the internet.

but I would expect that the 7 reasons noted above have fallen to less than 10 percent, especially in most recent years, including this year.

Read some of this research, it may change your assumptions.

Of course, anyone can walk the camino, and there are lots of anyones these days. For more than 99% of the history of this camino, it was a camino walked for the following reasons: religious, spiritual, emotional. You can break that down to those walking as matter of a) faith, b) religious blessings (plenary indulgence), c) finding themselves, d) atonement, e) seeking guidance, and f) petitions (of which there were a zillion), g) thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving being one of the main reasons for walking the camino throughout history ? I am sorry but it seems your vision is a bit blurred by a north american perspective - thanksgiving does not mean much (and has never meant much) outside the USA and Canada.
 

Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues, Primitivo, Ignaziano, Salvador, 4 other
Not sure why you assume this. There is a huge amount of academic research about the modern revival of pilgrimage and the motivations of people walking the camino. A lot of it is available on the internet.



Read some of this research, it may change your assumptions.



Thanksgiving being one of the main reasons for walking the camino throughout history ? I am sorry but it seems your vision is a bit blurred by a north american perspective - thanksgiving does not mean much (and has never meant much) outside the USA and Canada.
I assume you were referring to the specific holidays in Canada and the U.S. Not sure why other countries don't have such a special day, which for North Americans is a cherished time. But...we have encountered many, many pilgrims from all over the world who were walking to give thanks for blessings received, whether specific or general. At least three peregrinos I can recall were walking to give thanks for being cured of cancer. Giving thanks is indeed a universal human emotion.
 

Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues, Primitivo, Ignaziano, Salvador, 4 other
I assume you were referring to the specific holidays in Canada and the U.S. Not sure why other countries don't have such a special day, which for North Americans is a cherished time. But...we have encountered many, many pilgrims from all over the world who were walking to give thanks for blessings received, whether specific or general. At least three peregrinos I can recall were walking to give thanks for being cured of cancer. Giving thanks is indeed a universal human emotion.
I wrote in haste. My grandmother, if she were alive, would be scolding me. Italy has the Festa del Ringraziamento. Somewhat like our Thanksgiving, it is a feast day of thanks for the harvest. I assume many other countries have harvest festivals to give thanks. We have always timed our caminos to enjoy the Feast of San Matteo, a harvest festival that is so delightful in larger towns like Logrono and Oviedo, to the smallest of villages. It is indeed one of the treasures of the camino.

 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
For more than 99% of the history of this camino, it was a camino walked for the following reasons: religious, spiritual, emotional. You can break that down to those walking as matter of a) faith, b) religious blessings (plenary indulgence), c) finding themselves, d) atonement, e) seeking guidance, and f) petitions (of which there were a zillion), g) thanksgiving.
I am trying to stay out of this discussion but really ... 99% of the history of this camino? How long is "history" in this context: The last 12 years? The last 20 years?

Contemporary Camino walking is fundamentally different from medieval pilgrimage and subsequent pilgrimage throughout the centuries.

We can project narrow personal views all we want backwards, forwards and sidewards - it won't change history and the mindset and worldviews of those people so long ago.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Thanksgiving being one of the main reasons for walking the camino throughout history ? I am sorry but it seems your vision is a bit blurred by a north american perspective - thanksgiving does not mean much (and has never meant much) outside the USA and Canada.
He wrote thanksgiving with a lowercase t, meaning giving thanks, not as the holiday in North America with an uppercase T.
Doing an act to give thanks seems to be pretty universal.
 
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Marc S.

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
He wrote thanksgiving with a lowercase T, meaning giving thanks, not as the holiday in North America with an uppercase

I assume you were referring to the specific holidays in Canada and the U.S. Not sure why other countries don't have such a special day, which for North Americans is a cherished time.

You are correct and I misread, sorry about that !
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Doing an act to give thanks seems to be pretty universal
True. However, walking on foot for 30 days to give thanks? Isn't that a truly modern concept? And, let's get back to the essential question, would not 20 days of giving thanks on foot do, or does it have to be 35 days on foot from SJPP? :cool:

And in order to prevent another weird excursion into history: In those days long ago, most people did not travel somewhere by transport means available to them to a location far away and then embarked on a 500 mile journey on foot from there to Santiago. They walked on foot all the way from home because they had no other means of travel and they wanted to give their thanks to the saint in a location where he or she was more present than elsewhere (in their view of things).
 

grayland

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Yes
A small word of caution....
Everyone on the Forum has the right to express their personal opinion as to what the Camino means to them and how they see or feel it.

This includes those who have a strong spiritual connection and those who may be motivated in a different direction. All are welcome to express their own personal feelings.

Disparagement of other ideas or experiences are not allowed or welcome. Please do not be quick to take offense at a perceived slight to your personal opinion.

Many threads are closed due to members intolerance of others.
Let us try to keep this one open.

Thanks for understanding.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2007
How important was it to you to do what might be called the "full" CF from SJPP to Santiago in one go?

From my own experience, it was less about distance or time. It really came down to where my head and heart were.

I have only completed one Camino (from SJPdP). It was transformative, one of the best experiences of my life – and I also had no concept of full/partial/etc when setting out. It was just feeling a need to walk and remembering being told that the best way to approach a medieval cathedral was on foot. Looking back, I probably could have started anywhere along the way and experienced the same joy and transformation.

Since then, I have twice walked stages of the CF and found them…less than fulfilling. (While still being wonderful, filled with great people and lasting memories.)

If I think about the difference, it wasn’t about doing stages vs. a longer route. It really came down to not having my heart in it just then. I was distracted by worries back at home and knew I’d be returning all too quickly. As circumstances would have it, those interruptions kept coming during the week-long stages. The same could have happened over 30 days or 45 days. I just couldn’t get into the journey, regardless of whether the walk was “partial” or “full.”

At the same time, my husband walked those stages with me and absolutely loved them – so much that he returned this summer to walk from Burgos to SdC! His own transformative experiences this summer have rekindled so many fond memories that I joined this forum, finding myself, at long last, ready again for Camino.

Be that Camino short or long, it’ll probably be just right because I am getting back to the right headspace / heartspace to experience its gifts again. That's just one take, hope it helps. Whatever you decide, good luck and Buen Camino!
 

xcountryrider2003

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016
CF 2023
The ‘big hill’ isn’t particularly big and any start-point other than your doorstep or parish church is someone else’s definition of a Camino, as you clearly already appreciate.

How can others’ experience inform or validate your decision?
The "big hill" was big to me and I'm sure it is to many people. :) There is nothing wrong with soliciting the opinions of others and using those opinions to make a considered decision. That is the value of this forum, I believe. I started in SJPP because of information I read that said it was the most common starting point. For me it was important because it allowed me to say I went from the Spanish/French border to the Atlantic Ocean all the way across the entire country. That being said, I have no problem with someone starting from whatever location they choose.
 
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April 28, 2022 - June 1, 2022 Camino Frances
How important was it to you to do what might be called the "full" CF from SJPP to Santiago in one go?

I know a lot of people split it up into stages for various reasons (health, time, money), while some prefer the one long journey, and perhaps some people would only do the whole thing in one go.

(the background to this question is that due to a discussion with my buddy about CF, I realize I have a very strong desire about doing CF SJPP-SDC in one go, yet perhaps strangely I would have no problem splitting up any of the other routes if necessary. For instance, I would easily agree to split up Le Puy to SJPP if needed.

My friend also prefers to do the CF in one trip but may end up only being able to split up the CF into a couple trips. So I am just reassessing my own thoughts about it all before we have to make a decision. Right now it looks like we will be doing it all at once but I want to be prepared)

What was your experience? Either doing it in stages or in one long go, were you happy with your decision? Would you do it differently?

If you are still in the planning stages, what are your thoughts about this?

Warm greetings. I met numerous pilgrims on the CF that were doing the Camino in stages over years during their vacation times. Their comments were typically that each time they re-started they experienced a fresh sense of the pilgrimage. I was very grateful, however, for the grace given to complete the journey from SJPP-SDC in one long go. For me, it permitted me more of an extended time for entering into the daily routine of both contemplation and interacting with others.

Clearly, it's very personal and not either-or but both-and. Grace and all good to you as you choose to follow either of these wonderful ways to walk the Camino. Buen Camino!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Inglese 2021
CF started 22022
I walked the Inglese two years ago and now I'm walking the CF in stages, and will be for the next few years till I retire. I may start the whole thing all over again if my knees hold up. I am doing it for religious reasons and the fact that I don't end up in SdC each time does not bother me. It's one long Camino for me. But more importantly it is the journey each time that is special and that is the reason I walk. This year I got to walk with one of my daughters over the Pyrenes and next year I will walk with my other daughter for a week. I tell myself I like walking alone more that with someone but for the next few years I will be with a family member or friend and I think I really like that more. I look forward to walking for over a month and doing the whole CF when i can, but to do it in small stages is a gift as well.
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2019
CP 2023 (planned)
For me doing a long walk in one go is essential to the whole experience. I personally would rather not go at all than split it.
But this applies to all long walks. The longer you walk the deeper you get into the whole experience.
I would certainly enjoy shorter stretches as I get to see the places, meet people, eat food. But that would be a totally different thing, more touristy, interesting, nice, but not sensational as a long journey would be.
To me the reward of walking 6 weeks in one go is a hundred times the reward of walking 3 times 2 weeks each.

When I did the Camino Frances in 2019 with the extension to Finisterre, I was sad in the end that it was over. I would have loved to walk on.
This is why I hope to be able to do the extended Via de la Plata one day (extended as in starting in Cadiz/Via Augusta).

Friends of mine today finished the PCT from Canada to Mexico as through hikers after 4200 km and 4 months and 11 days of walking. Inspiring.
 

Sirage

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago 2005 and a few more since
On the topic of this thread, and quite a few other threads with similar conversations, there is a book (possibly a seminal book in Psychology) some might be interested in:

"Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

@Arctic_Alex will understand.
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
Of course, anyone can walk the camino, and there are lots of anyones these days. For more than 99% of the history of this camino, it was a camino walked for the following reasons: religious, spiritual, emotional. You can break that down to those walking as matter of a) faith, b) religious blessings (plenary indulgence), c) finding themselves, d) atonement, e) seeking guidance, and f) petitions (of which there were a zillion), g) thanksgiving. The Camino was The Way to seek these very human objectives that go back in the history of pilgrimages to sacred sites to pre-history, long before Christianity.
And also to escape punishment for crimes, to take on a lover in a foreign land, to make money ... the medieval accounts contain plenty of stories of "bad" pilgrims!

From Pícaros y picaresca en el camino de Santiago, Pablo Arribas Briones (1993), (I found this in an article by Geroge Greenia,

"Travelers too, far from the restraints of village life and regular access to their legitimate sex partner, took advantage of the anonymity of foreign settings to sample foreign pleasures. Thousands of foreign pilgrims poured into Spain to fulfill a sentence imposed for violent crimes that outraged a whole community. Condemning an offender to a hazardous journey dampened retaliatory violence between families and clans and transferred punishment from vengeful peers to an inscrutable God. But is also meant that pilgrims as a class could provoke a certain measure of mistrust. And in addition to the truly criminal were unspiritual wanderers, shameless freeloaders, vagabonds, opportunists and downright flimflam artists"
 
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(2018)
As someone who set aside enough time for their first attempt and failed miserably (bad footware + being an undiagnosed parkinson's person) I have total empathy with those who walk in stages. My second attempt took me from where I left off (Santo Domingo) to Santiago, this time with better footwear and dopamine replacement drugs. My third attempt took me from SJ to Cruz de Ferro, a special place for me. Because I never really know how much my illness affects my energy level I err on the side of caution and filled in a few pieces with a taxi.
Does this make my walk any less a pilgrimage? I would also contend that most people I met were looking to gather a deeper awareness of themselves. I specifically remember one 30-something Spaniard with 5 free days whose goal wasn't just 150 km but to sort out a problem he was wrestling with. A kindred spirit (although he soon left me in the dust) we connected on that common purpose. To gain clarity. To walk.
 

dick bird

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Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Not sure why you assume this. There is a huge amount of academic research about the modern revival of pilgrimage and the motivations of people walking the camino. A lot of it is available on the internet.



Read some of this research, it may change your assumptions.



Thanksgiving being one of the main reasons for walking the camino throughout history ? I am sorry but it seems your vision is a bit blurred by a north american perspective - thanksgiving does not mean much (and has never meant much) outside the USA and Canada.
I think he means lierally giving thanks rather than marking a celebration that did not exist for the first 8 (?) centuries of the camino's existence.
 

camino_rooky

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Fisterra2012;Ingles 2013;Littoral 2014;Frances 2016;Portuguese 2015,2017,2018;Mozarabe 2017,2019
How important was it to you to do what might be called the "full" CF from SJPP to Santiago in one go?

I know a lot of people split it up into stages for various reasons (health, time, money), while some prefer the one long journey, and perhaps some people would only do the whole thing in one go.

(the background to this question is that due to a discussion with my buddy about CF, I realize I have a very strong desire about doing CF SJPP-SDC in one go, yet perhaps strangely I would have no problem splitting up any of the other routes if necessary. For instance, I would easily agree to split up Le Puy to SJPP if needed.

My friend also prefers to do the CF in one trip but may end up only being able to split up the CF into a couple trips. So I am just reassessing my own thoughts about it all before we have to make a decision. Right now it looks like we will be doing it all at once but I want to be prepared)

What was your experience? Either doing it in stages or in one long go, were you happy with your decision? Would you do it differently?

If you are still in the planning stages, what are your thoughts about this?
I had thought I would never be able to get 6 weeks off work to do the French Camino from stjdp so was planning on doing it in 2 week chunks over a few years. Then my husbands employer gave him the chance of a 6 week break which he jumped at. I used his 60th burthday as an excuse and told my employer he really wanted us to walk the full Camino together! I was granted the leave too so we set off in September 2016. We actually walked it in 29 days ( loved walking so much we didn't want to take a day off or lose the Camino family we had gathered). So we had time to do other walks like Coruña to Santiago, Muxia to Finisterre, the Cees islands from Vigo and also spend time in Santiago. Although originally unplanned, I was so grateful that we had that time together, so much so that long distance walking is now our holiday "thing". Also after 6 weeks you learn what is most important for everyone ie. Food, a shower, a bed and of course family and friends. Possessions are unimportant.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I attended a Pilgrim's meetup at the biggest fraternity of St. James in northern Germany 8 months prior my departure. I am baptized and raised in lutheranean christianity. Never been really serious about my religion and my believes.

But an older Pilgrim at this meetup told me: you may start as a walker, but you will be a pilgrim somehow on arrival. That's exactly what happened.
After walking from Roncesvalles to Santiago in 2002 I decided that I wanted to do the most used, historical route from Paris to the Pyrenees but there were no guidebooks from Paris itself, only from Orleans. So in 2004 a friend and I walked a Paris Pilgrim trail in Paris, got a train to outside Orleans and walked grom there to there Roncesvalles. It was a shock walking into St Jean! After weeks of no pilgrims the Rue de la Citadelle had wall to wall pilgrims and all the beds were taken. A French speaking Pilgrim grumbled about the "short-haul' pilgrims taking all the beds, leaving nowhere for us 'real' pilgrims to sleep! Whenever I walk through Sarria and hear pilgrims who've started in St Jean complaining about the crowds of new pilgrims I just smile! There will always be someone whose walked further and for longer than me.
 
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Bradypus

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Too many and too often!
There will always be someone whose walked further and for longer than me.
When I had walked about 1200km of the way from Canterbury to Rome I met a man walking the opposite direction. Philippe had started in Santiago, walked to Rome, then Assisi, and was now walking to Strasbourg to see family there. Made my walk feel like an afternoon stroll by comparison! :)
 
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Juno

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino French Way (2012 - 2014)
SJPDP - Sahagun (June 2015)
Sahagun - Muxia (June 2016)
How important was it to you to do what might be called the "full" CF from SJPP to Santiago in one go?

I know a lot of people split it up into stages for various reasons (health, time, money), while some prefer the one long journey, and perhaps some people would only do the whole thing in one go.

(the background to this question is that due to a discussion with my buddy about CF, I realize I have a very strong desire about doing CF SJPP-SDC in one go, yet perhaps strangely I would have no problem splitting up any of the other routes if necessary. For instance, I would easily agree to split up Le Puy to SJPP if needed.

My friend also prefers to do the CF in one trip but may end up only being able to split up the CF into a couple trips. So I am just reassessing my own thoughts about it all before we have to make a decision. Right now it looks like we will be doing it all at once but I want to be prepared)

What was your experience? Either doing it in stages or in one long go, were you happy with your decision? Would you do it differently?

If you are still in the planning stages, what are your thoughts about this?
I loved doing it in stages when I look back at my first Camino from SJPDP to Santiago in 2012. Stage one ended in Burgos. Stage 2 ended in Ponferrada and stage 3 in Muxia. I would get the excitement of planning the next stage and it prolonged the adventure. I did the French Way again in 2016 in just 2 stages and maybe one day I’ll have time to do it in one. Whichever way you do it, it will be wonderful. I met pilgrims each time, some of whom I’m still in contact with, though two have since passed away. Of course it rather depends on whether you have the luxury of being in Europe like me, rather than the far flung. Enjoy the planning! :)
 

Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues, Primitivo, Ignaziano, Salvador, 4 other
I am not wanting a disagreement but does the comment about "anything goes tourist vacationland" mean non-religious people shouldn't walk the/a Camino route? Because I am not religious I guess I am on vacation undertaking a long walk. I respect that for others it is a religious experience although in all my discussions with fellow pilgrims (??walkers??) I have never met anyone who didn't think that it was an enjoyable experience with fellow people no matter their own beliefs. It also has the benefit of putting some funds into the much-needed villages along "The Way".
I like your putting pilgrim/walker in question marks. It reminds me of a recent conversation.

Two months while walking the Portugues, we stopped at a wayside to rest a few minutes. A happy group of Brits scampered by us waving. We shouted Buen Camino. We later encountered them at a cafe and had a delightful conversation. At one point, they asked us "Are you pilgrims?" We said yes. They commented that they thought this was really cool and asked if we could join them for a group photo. They commented that they were in a hiking club and thought the camino would be a fun multi-day hike. As in the UK, they only carried a small day pack. They did not intend to linger in Santiago or get a compostela.

I have no issue with anyone walking the camino. However one walks, it is a very human experience, good for body and soul. But that encounter added to my own conviction that "pilgrims" are becoming a scarce commodity. "Walkers" now far outnumber pilgrims.
 

Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues, Primitivo, Ignaziano, Salvador, 4 other
When I had walked about 1200km of the way from Canterbury to Rome I met a man walking the opposite direction. Philippe had started in Santiago, walked to Rome, then Assisi, and was now walking to Strasbourg to see family there. Made my walk feel like an afternoon stroll by comparison! :)
I had a similar reaction one very, very early morning in Puente de Reina when I chatted with a young man as we ate a quick breakfast. He started in Brussels. Another time in Hostana, we had a communal meal with 4 French who had started in Arle. They looked so fresh, so radiant. I was humbled, as the camino can do, but also felt so proud of their accomplishment and their attitude.
 

RossIreland

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Frances winter of 2015
How important was it to you to do what might be called the "full" CF from SJPP to Santiago in one go?

I know a lot of people split it up into stages for various reasons (health, time, money), while some prefer the one long journey, and perhaps some people would only do the whole thing in one go.

(the background to this question is that due to a discussion with my buddy about CF, I realize I have a very strong desire about doing CF SJPP-SDC in one go, yet perhaps strangely I would have no problem splitting up any of the other routes if necessary. For instance, I would easily agree to split up Le Puy to SJPP if needed.

My friend also prefers to do the CF in one trip but may end up only being able to split up the CF into a couple trips. So I am just reassessing my own thoughts about it all before we have to make a decision. Right now it looks like we will be doing it all at once but I want to be prepared)

What was your experience? Either doing it in stages or in one long go, were you happy with your decision? Would you do it differently?

If you are still in the planning stages, what are your thoughts about this?
To me the Camino is to be enjoyed and not rushed. It's more important to take time than be dictated to by time - ideally! Personally I found the changes I experienced only started after walking alone for about 15 days. It was winter and I started in Pamplona at the end of January (too much snow to start before Pamplona).
Arriving in Santiago was amazing. Although I had walked alone each day I met many people in the evenings and found most of them again in Santiago. I walked for a month and then had 5 days in Santiago and if I was to go again (which I hope to one day) would allow 6 weeks from SJPP to Santiago, have a few days there then allow a week to Finnistere. If time is short plan to start at a point that will allow you to get to Santiago at a leisurely pace, there are places you might want to stay for more than one night or you may need some recovery time. Relax and enjoy the experience. Take your time especially if a little older like me, I was 61 at the time I did Pamplona Santiago and went back two years later for Santiago Finnistere. Buen Camino.
 

fcoguerreiro

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future: CF 2022
My way is clearly not the only way. But the Camino de Santiago is a Thing. It is not whatever you want it to be. It is first and foremost and historically a pilgrimage. IMHO it ought to be respected as such, and not watered-down into a short-hop anything-goes tourist vacationland.
But that's just me.

3. Intention is everything. I think this might be nearly the most important point. Is this a cheap holiday in Spain or a pilgrimage or….
4. Finally and most importantly- my experience is that the Camino has a mind of its own. It will call you when it’s time and let you know for how long. It will give you what you need. And it will change you forever -sometimes obviously and other times subtly

My advice. Listen carefully to the voice of the Camino. It won’t necessarily make sense but if you follow that voice, that urge, that strange message, you can’t go wrong. ❤️

PS. Apologies if I mucked up the formatting- I’m on my phone
[/QUOTE]

It resonated a lot with me.
Indeed the Camino is not just dead matter, a geography location or whatever secularist framework tries to explain it without any regard to the invisible world.

The Camino indeed has a "Spirit" which talks to you.

Thank you for your words, it touched me!
 
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tomnorth

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
It was important for me to walk the entire Camino Frances. I didn't want to miss a single step. My Dad had died shortly before my Camino. Walking allowed me to process my feelings for a man I loved dearly. When I walk again, God willing, I will again walk the entire Camino Frances. I don't know when that will be, but I expect it will be.
 

Old Kiwi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I live as far as you can possibly get on this planet from Santiago, so getting there and back is a huge expense so it makes sense to do it in one go. Also I think that breaking it up into different trips is not a pilgrimage. For me it is all or nothing. SJPDP to Finisterre, carrying my pack every step, no buses or taxis. Now this is just my view and I know that everyone is different. I have no problem with anybody doing their Camino their way according to their own situation. Each to their own. If I lived on the continental land mass, I would start at my front door. SJPDP is just convenient for me. I hope everyone enjoys whatever a Camino is for them.
 

Sharonih

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
How important was it to you to do what might be called the "full" CF from SJPP to Santiago in one go?

I know a lot of people split it up into stages for various reasons (health, time, money), while some prefer the one long journey, and perhaps some people would only do the whole thing in one go.

(the background to this question is that due to a discussion with my buddy about CF, I realize I have a very strong desire about doing CF SJPP-SDC in one go, yet perhaps strangely I would have no problem splitting up any of the other routes if necessary. For instance, I would easily agree to split up Le Puy to SJPP if needed.

My friend also prefers to do the CF in one trip but may end up only being able to split up the CF into a couple trips. So I am just reassessing my own thoughts about it all before we have to make a decision. Right now it looks like we will be doing it all at once but I want to be prepared)

What was your experience? Either doing it in stages or in one long go, were you happy with your decision? Would you do it differently?

If you are still in the planning stages, what are your thoughts about this?
For myself to do the CdS from SJPDP to Santiago was the dream and it was realized. One reason was because I never conceived of doing it in stages and for a lesser reason the fact that I live on an Island in British Columbia, Canada the cost of the tickets to Europe start to add up as well as the time off work it just made sense to do it in one go. I am so thankful that I did do it in one go
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019 & 2021
Camino Finisterre 2021
How important was it to you to do what might be called the "full" CF from SJPP to Santiago in one go?

I know a lot of people split it up into stages for various reasons (health, time, money), while some prefer the one long journey, and perhaps some people would only do the whole thing in one go.

(the background to this question is that due to a discussion with my buddy about CF, I realize I have a very strong desire about doing CF SJPP-SDC in one go, yet perhaps strangely I would have no problem splitting up any of the other routes if necessary. For instance, I would easily agree to split up Le Puy to SJPP if needed.

My friend also prefers to do the CF in one trip but may end up only being able to split up the CF into a couple trips. So I am just reassessing my own thoughts about it all before we have to make a decision. Right now it looks like we will be doing it all at once but I want to be prepared)

What was your experience? Either doing it in stages or in one long go, were you happy with your decision? Would you do it differently?

If you are still in the planning stages, what are your thoughts about this?
It was very important to me. In 2019, I started in SJPP and as I neared Santiago, I got a bronchial infection. I kept walking, but finally had to taxi the last two stages into Santiago (turned out I had pneumonia). I returned in 2021, again started in SJPP and walked on to Finisterre. I was thrilled to walk a second time. Now I plan a modified walk for 2023 starting in Pamplona to Burgos, then Astorga to Santiago. The rhythm of walking day after day after day. Becoming one with the path. The ebb and flow over many weeks of the people one meets. The distance from daily concerns that becomes greater day by day. I only got my "Camino body" after a couple of weeks.. and probably didn't get my "Camino mind and spirit" after that.
 

KFH

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
^
Thank you everyone for providing such thoughtful and informative responses. It's not practical to respond to each of you individually, but please know that I appreciate all the input.

I met my friend this weekend and discussed the subject with input from the responses here. We are both on the same page-- We very much want to walk from SJPP to SDC and that is our main goal as far as stages/trips/distance goes.

But we had a great discussion about expectations and realities and are mentally prepared for it to not work out that way. We have a little experience with things not working out as we have had to postpone twice.

But the postponements affect our current decision to put ourselves in a position to do that long walk in one go, as we know all too well it is sometimes difficult to put together the time, travel, money etc-- as some have talked about in this thread-- and we might not get the chance again, as we have similar issues as some here who have very long distance travel issues.

To summarize, the responses here have helped solidify the desire to do that particular walk in one go, but I am in no way saying that is the only way or the "right" way. For instance, some relatives of mine are talking about doing Sarria to SDC with a tour group and am I strongly encouraging them to go for it. What is right for them is right for them and I support them completely. I also have another friend who wants me and my buddy to do this one and report back with the possibility of going with her on a shorter part of the route, perhaps starting from Leon.

As some have said here with various examples, the important thing is the intention and desire of the heart. I am reminded of seeing some older people at Fatima, walking on their knees down that slope towards the basilica.

Thanks very much for all the responses. You were very helpful and insightful, perhaps more than you would guess.
 
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Spurselona

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pilgrimsleden - 20
CF - 22
Shikoku in 24?
For me, The starting point wasn't important as such other than walking the 3500 km from my home wasn't an option. I knew I wanted to walk across the mountains and since I hadn't done a spanish camino before, I guess SJdPP felt the most comfortable option.
Next time I will start anywhere else than SJdPP!

What turned out to be important to me however, was carrying my backpack all the way to the ocean!
This Idea wasn't something I had before starting, quite the opposite, before starting I thought that sending the backpack ahead could come in handy if I was struggling for some reason.
Once on the camino that somehow changed as I did actually struggle with my shoulders some days, but no, I just couldn't get myself to send the backpack ahead..
Not even the day walking to Leon where I was struggling with fever and my body ached so badly I caught myself thinking: "If I faint now, at least someone will find me in a few minutes". (Turns out I had caught covid, so my one planned rest day in Leon became 5 days in a hotel)

Strange how things that are completely insignificant can become important.
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
For me, The starting point wasn't important as such other than walking the 3500 km from my home wasn't an option. I knew I wanted to walk across the mountains and since I hadn't done a spanish camino before, I guess SJdPP felt the most comfortable option.
Next time I will start anywhere else than SJdPP!

What turned out to be important to me however, was carrying my backpack all the way to the ocean!
This Idea wasn't something I had before starting, quite the opposite, before starting I thought that sending the backpack ahead could come in handy if I was struggling for some reason.
Once on the camino that somehow changed as I did actually struggle with my shoulders some days, but no, I just couldn't get myself to send the backpack ahead..
Not even the day walking to Leon where I was struggling with fever and my body ached so badly I caught myself thinking: "If I faint now, at least someone will find me in a few minutes". (Turns out I had caught covid, so my one planned rest day in Leon became 5 days in a hotel)

Strange how things that are completely insignificant can become important.

I can so relate to the back pack ‘thing’. Just finished VDLP and carried my pack for all but 11 km (but that’s another story). I had given myself permission to use transport if needed but instead I just got rid of everything that wasn’t absolutely essential. Wearing the same clothes (merino layers that take a long time to get stinky) for days at a time became the new normal. I have been reflecting on this and I think carrying my pack shows me how little I really need to be happy. That feeing of pack on back being totally self contained and free is wonderful.
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
I've been pondering this question more as I plan future caminos, and I'm finding that what is very important to me is often arbitrary & makes no sense.

For the CF, I'd say that starting in Saint Jean or Roncesvalles is very important. I don't think walking in stages, or doing a shorter section, would've had the same impact.

But I'm planning on walking different stages along the Via Francigena in the future, and I don't care at all that the stages won't be contiguous, or that I won't walk the full VF. And yet next Spring it will be very important that I start in Lucca, and not somewhere else in Tuscany. Why? I don't know. Because Sandy Brown's guidebook starts there? Because it's a larger town? Because it just sounds cooler to say "Lucca to Rome" rather than "Altopascio to Rome?" I don't have a good answer ... there's nothing historically special about starting in Lucca ... and yet that's where my gut tells me I need to start.

And in 2024 a friend wants to "do" the Caminho Português* from Porto. I don't have any desire to either walk the full CP from Lisbon, or to only walk the last 100 km from Tui. Starting in Porto feels just fine to me.

* The friend wants to join a seven-day bike tour for €2500 euro. That is not going to happen. I've agreed to time it so I meet him at the end, in Santiago.
 

Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues, Primitivo, Ignaziano, Salvador, 4 other
I've been pondering this question more as I plan future caminos, and I'm finding that what is very important to me is often arbitrary & makes no sense.

For the CF, I'd say that starting in Saint Jean or Roncesvalles is very important. I don't think walking in stages, or doing a shorter section, would've had the same impact.

But I'm planning on walking different stages along the Via Francigena in the future, and I don't care at all that the stages won't be contiguous, or that I won't walk the full VF. And yet next Spring it will be very important that I start in Lucca, and not somewhere else in Tuscany. Why? I don't know. Because Sandy Brown's guidebook starts there? Because it's a larger town? Because it just sounds cooler to say "Lucca to Rome" rather than "Altopascio to Rome?" I don't have a good answer ... there's nothing historically special about starting in Lucca ... and yet that's where my gut tells me I need to start.

And in 2024 a friend wants to "do" the Caminho Português* from Porto. I don't have any desire to either walk the full CP from Lisbon, or to only walk the last 100 km from Tui. Starting in Porto feels just fine to me.

* The friend wants to join a seven-day bike tour for €2500 euro. That is not going to happen. I've agreed to time it so I meet him at the end, in Santiago.
You're right about starting in Porto. We researched the camino from Lisbon and every time we thought we would start at a certain place after Lisbon, we said no. In Porto, we met a number of walkers who started in Lisbon and none had good things to say about it.. They had done it and were proud of that, but they all said it ranked at the bottom of caminos they had walked.

Porto is a dream. We spent four days there before we started our walk in mid-September this year. We zigzagged between central and coastal, and we both agreed that we preferred the coastal. The weather was picture perfect there, cooler than the hotter than expected central. But...we enjoyed Barcelos, Ponte de Lima and Valenca. Best to stay there to avoid the madding crowds of walkers in Tui. We walked across the bridge to check out Tui, which is worth a visit. We then walked down the Minho...a glorious walk...to A Guarda on the coast. The walk from there to Vigo and beyond is lovely.

I must confess that when we reached Santiago, despite my repeatedly saying I didn't need nor want another compostela, I couldn't resist getting another one. And, as with other times, sharing that moment with first-time walkers was a joy.

Yep...no explaining why we do what we do. I blame the camino, since the camino not only provides; it also guides.
 

Roscoe

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 2023 Camino Frances
I walked my first Camino after reading just one account of the journey - Laurie Dennett's 1987 "A Hug for the Apostle". And I spoke at some length with my mother-in-law about her own Camino walk in 1985. No chat on internet forums. No watching Youtube videos. So I arrived in France on my first solo journey abroad with very little advance knowledge of the Caminos and with only very vague preconceptions of what it would be like. I am sure that the gradual revelations and frequent discoveries as I walked those 800km would have been a far less powerful and positive experience if I had already walked every step virtually through the eyes of a dozen authors and a hundred vloggers.
I had never heard of a Camino until I needed something to read on vacation and bought the book 'Spanish Steps' at a thrift shop many years ago. I was taken by the idea of religious pilgrims walking for a purpose, others for spiritual reasons, some trying to find themselves or clear their heads and still others purely for an adventure. The idea of divesting oneself of material possessions, schedules, everyday routines and simply making the journey is very appealing. I was married, my wife had no desire to make the journey and wasn't willing to let me go alone. She couldn't understand why I felt I needed rather than wanted to do it. Now I'm divorced, I'm going in May 2023 and am excited by the prospect of going on my own terms, at my own pace and with few preconceptions. The forum helps me with things like planning and packing. Like you, I don't want to pre-live the journey through the eyes of others. Everyday will be a new adventure, a new discovery. I am so excited that my dream will soon be a reality.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
I have started from St Jean twice, and closer to Santiago once.

My first Camino in 2015 was from St Jean.
I didn't expect to make it, as I was injured prior to starting.
This was going to be my one shot.
And I wanted as full an experience as possible. (more in a moment)
St Jean seemed like a nice start point.

My next Camino, fingers crossed, will be the VdlP.
I did think about starting from the coast,
but time, age and fitness makes it more sensible to start from Sevilla.
I have no doubt it will be a 'full' experience.

So what is a 'full' experience?

For me it involves.........
  1. Walking for quite a while. (days on the path) For me that means at least 3 weeks. The longer the better really.
  2. Walking quite a long distance. At least 400 kms, more if possible.
The key here, for me, is time on the path.
I need time to settle into the Camino, to leave my day to day life behind, to slow down, to calm down, so that the 'walking meditation' can begin.

On my first Camino that took a week. It's quicker now.

Then I like to have 3-4 weeks in that 'state'. For me it's where the magic happens.

And the little things that happen along the way. Those need time.
Those 'thin places' we come across.
The niggling injuries.
The self doubt.
The self questioning.
The emotional challenges.
All of these add to the 'full' experience for me at least.

And it's amongst that backdrop, that I feel closer to and find a greater understanding of ......... the G word. (not breaking forum rules I hope)

The Camino is not a walk in the park.
Maybe for some it is.
For me it's not.
It's hard physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
I like to think, that maybe ... that's how it's supposed to be.

But all of that takes time.

If I could, I'd walk from home............
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2017
For me - I would only do the longer routes. First week is breaking in physically, second week is maybe finding your physical groove. After that - you might start really getting into the "personal spirituality" or "reflection"... but that takes a couple weeks to go through. I personally don't feel like you get to those deep levels unless you have been on the trail for several weeks. And those I talk to who have done the longer hikes always say the same. Not sure most people can get into the deep levels of thought on Camino's that last a week or two. Maybe some do - but what you go through week after week changes... and the more time you are out on the trail, the more it seems to affect us. And if you are one who has lots of aches and pains the first week or two... you will never experience the joy that follows those days of aches and pains if you don't keep walking. Ok - some people never get past the aches and pains - but most of us do and we love it. That is why we keep going back.

I personally, however, would never go with a friend. A family member, maybe. But not with a friend. The Camino is such a personal experience and I am not sure I could do it with having to worry about whomever is walking with me day after day. Even family members I would think seriously about which ones I would consider taking with me.
I do understand the reservation about going with a friend....very much so.

However, if an experienced pilgrim reads this and nods... a bit of counsel (from a complete idiot, yes) - -

A situation may arise for you wherein you get a "call" to be a "guide" for a friend or family member. Give it some thought, perhaps even some meditation. Ask yourself, "Why not?"

In the midst of the many days of walking, some may not be fun, but the long-term rewards can be amazing. One of which is a deeper appreciation of the Camino itself.

B
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
A situation may arise for you wherein you get a "call" to be a "guide" for a friend or family member. Give it some thought, perhaps even some meditation. Ask yourself, "Why not?"
There are several members of my local American Pilgrims group that are hesitant to start the Camino on their own, so I'm hoping to organize what I'm calling a "push start" Camino. I will walk with them from SJPdP to Pamplona, then I will take a bus and walk my Camino on the Norte. I'm planning to have training sessions with the group, and teach them how to do things like book accommodations, use Camino apps, use pack transport etc. so that they will be ready to fly from the nest (yes, I know that I'm mixing metaphors 😉) by the time that we get to Pamplona.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
There are several members of my local American Pilgrims group that are hesitant to start the Camino on their own, so I'm hoping to organize what I'm calling a "push start" Camino. I will walk with them from SJPdP to Pamplona, then I will take a bus and walk my Camino on the Norte. I'm planning to have training sessions with the group, and teach them how to do things like book accommodations, use Camino apps, use pack transport etc. so that they will be ready to fly from the nest (yes, I know that I'm mixing metaphors 😉) by the time that we get to Pamplona.
What a great idea, @trecile and you are a perfect one to implement it.👍
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
There are several members of my local American Pilgrims group that are hesitant to start the Camino on their own, so I'm hoping to organize what I'm calling a "push start" Camino. I will walk with them from SJPdP to Pamplona, then I will take a bus and walk my Camino on the Norte. I'm planning to have training sessions with the group, and teach them how to do things like book accommodations, use Camino apps, use pack transport etc. so that they will be ready to fly from the nest (yes, I know that I'm mixing metaphors 😉) by the time that we get to Pamplona.

Sounds like a great idea.....
Maybe once they fly from the nest........turn your phone off!
You might end up being a remote tour guide and travel agent. :oops:
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Sounds like a great idea.....
Maybe once they fly from the nest........turn your phone off!
🤣
You might end up being a remote tour guide and travel agent.
She nearly covers them both already with all the helpful advise she offers here on the forum, especially to newbies who have questions.
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
I do understand the reservation about going with a friend....very much so.

However, if an experienced pilgrim reads this and nods... a bit of counsel (from a complete idiot, yes) - -

A situation may arise for you wherein you get a "call" to be a "guide" for a friend or family member. Give it some thought, perhaps even some meditation. Ask yourself, "Why not?"

In the midst of the many days of walking, some may not be fun, but the long-term rewards can be amazing. One of which is a deeper appreciation of the Camino itself.

B
Yep - for some - they might be "called" to be a guide. I am sure it can be an amazing experience for some. Just not for me. Personally, I love the ability to be solo and weave in and out of group situations without worrying about a companion. I get great therapeutic benefits during my alone time and more importantly - not having to worry about anything or anyone while I am on the Camino. And I have also seen and experienced too many times that traveling with Companions adds unintended stress - not something I want for my pilgrimage. Life is stressful enough - I want to remove all stress from my pilgrimage. But it is great that others want to share the experience with a friend. Maybe someday my view of that will change - and I am open to it - but I doubt it!
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
I do understand the reservation about going with a friend....very much so.

However, if an experienced pilgrim reads this and nods... a bit of counsel (from a complete idiot, yes) - -

A situation may arise for you wherein you get a "call" to be a "guide" for a friend or family member. Give it some thought, perhaps even some meditation. Ask yourself, "Why not?"

In the midst of the many days of walking, some may not be fun, but the long-term rewards can be amazing. One of which is a deeper appreciation of the Camino itself.

B

There are several members of my local American Pilgrims group that are hesitant to start the Camino on their own, so I'm hoping to organize what I'm calling a "push start" Camino. Ina.

I was not too sure how I felt about doing any 'repeats' once I completed my Frances. On one hand - yes I would not mind doing Frances again or venture onto other Ways to try something new. On the other - the wife quipped that 'there is so much world out there' ... and in her own way she is right... plus she is not a hiker per se (although she did enjoy the short SdC-->Finisterre stint)....
But then I started get pummeled by friends and aquantences stating that they would LOVE to go with me "next time". Its like - in their mind - there were no questions whether or not I will go, just 'take them with me' :)
And so... who knows but 1/2 jokingly 1/2 serious I told 2 people to consider 2027 as a possibility. Hopefully that will be the year I retire and that will allow me to be more flexible with the time. The mentioned 2 people should have no problems with say 60-day overall trip.
...Perhaps it will be fun to play a guide and of course to catch up on some stuff I missed myself 1st time around....

...and perhaps if I do take my wife on one of her Viking European Castles River Cruise before that, she'll be more....er... understanding! ;)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Since ths thread has strayed slightly into bringing others with you on Camino, I'll add this...
I had invited 3 in-laws to join me in 2020 although they had not asked to come. They all said "yes"(I then planned every detail) as each of them had their spouse pass away the previous year or two. I knew they were lonely and struggling emotionally. I have no idea how it would have all played out because the pandemic kept it from happening and everything had to be cancelled. Since then, none of them have hinted/suggested they would like to still join me, and now they all have moved on and seem quite happy and content in new relationships...which is actually a relief for me.

I do intermix my Caminos with other travels; no need to have camino tunnel vision if funds or time off work are not an issue.
 
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Molly Cassidy

Travelling light
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting May 2023 from St Jean Pied de Port
Since ths thread has strayed slightly into bringing others with on Camino, I'll ad this...
I had invited 3 in-laws to join me in 2020 although they had not asked to come. They all said "yes"(I then planned every detail) as each of them had their spouse pass away the previous year or two. I knew they were lonely and struggling emotionally. I have no idea how it would have all played out because the pandemic kept it from happening and everything jad to be cancelled. Since then, none of them have hinted/suggested they would like to still join me, and now they all have moved on and are happy in new relationships...which is a relief for me.

I intermix my Caminos with other travels; no need to have camino tunnel vision if funds are not an issue.
I was planning to walk in 2020 and was in a similar situation (recently bereaved) but actually found that my experience during the pandemic was life-changing in a similar way, so don't necessarily feel the need to walk right now, though I do intend to in future.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1989
Since we've added the topic of walking with others to the topic of the importance of doing a "full" Camino, I'll talk a bit about my 2016 Camino. Leading up to 2016, I was feeling the call to do a Camino, although I was thinking it wouldn't be for another 8 or 10 years, until I retired. It was important to me that it be a "full" Camino, which for me at t he time was from Roncesvalles. My previous Camino (1989) had been from Roncesvalles and I wanted to do the same thing, but get it "right" this time.

Meanwhile, I had promised my son a trip for his 16th birthday in 2016, a trip for the two of us. He suggested that we do the Camino together. So I did what was needed to make it happen and in 2016 we walked from Roncesvalles to Finisterre. As Simply B suggests, the rewards from walking with someone can be amazing. At least, that was my experience.

BTW, when Simply B mentioned getting a "call" to be a "guide", I wasn't reading it as a "calling", like the "calling" to do the Camino (which seems to be how jeanineonthecamino read it, but rather a more literal call, as CWBuff describes friends and acquaintances saying they would love to go with, next time.
 

Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues, Primitivo, Ignaziano, Salvador, 4 other
True. However, walking on foot for 30 days to give thanks? Isn't that a truly modern concept? And, let's get back to the essential question, would not 20 days of giving thanks on foot do, or does it have to be 35 days on foot from SJPP? :cool:

And in order to prevent another weird excursion into history: In those days long ago, most people did not travel somewhere by transport means available to them to a location far away and then embarked on a 500 mile journey on foot from there to Santiago. They walked on foot all the way from home because they had no other means of travel and they wanted to give their thanks to the saint in a location where he or she was more present than elsewhere (in their view of things).
Throughout history, making a pilgrimage to give thanks has been widely practised. The most recent is Lionel Messi, one of the greatest footballers of all time. He promised to make a pilgrimage from his native village in Argentina to the shrine of Our Lady in Rosario. That's only a one day walk, but there are those who walked a thousand miles or more to give thanks in previous times. These days, you hop on a plane to Lourdes or Fatima or another shrine.

I bet if Lionel carries out his promise, and I'm sure he will, he will be joined by thousands...perhaps hundreds of thousands...of Messistas who will share his joy and thankfulness.

It's amazing how sport can lead to both prayers of petition and acts of thanksgiving. And I give thanks every day that we have sport which glorifies the human mind and body while bringing us all together in competition that brings out the most vivid human emotions. Thw World Cup is a camino on steroids.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Throughout history, making a pilgrimage to give thanks has been widely practised
I fear, as so many times before, that I must again have failed to make my point clear.

But, whatever, and despite the fact that Lionel Messi is not exactly an incarnation of Medieval Man and His Mindset for me, this made me curious enough to google for Messi pilgrimage. The first thing that came up was an item by Catholic World News that says:

CWN Editor's Note: Lionel Messi, the star of the Argentine soccer team, had vowed to make a pilgrimage to a Marian shrine if the team won the World Cup—as it did last Sunday. In 2018 Messi, who is a practicing Catholic, told an interviewer that if he won the World Cup, he would walk from his home to the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary at San Nicolas, a distance of about 25 miles.
So this is more about the fulfilling of a previously made vow than about the giving of thanks as such and also not a full month‘s worth of walking but more a day walk. At least I assume that Lionel Messi can walk 25 miles in a day or two. Q.e.d.
 
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Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues, Primitivo, Ignaziano, Salvador, 4 other
I fear, as so many times before, that I must again have failed to make my point clear.

But, whatever, and despite the fact that Lionel Messi is not exactly an incarnation of Medieval Man and His Mindset for me, this made me curious enough to google for Messi pilgrimage. The first thing that came up was an item by Catholic World News that says:

CWN Editor's Note: Lionel Messi, the star of the Argentine soccer team, had vowed to make a pilgrimage to a Marian shrine if the team won the World Cup—as it did last Sunday. In 2018 Messi, who is a practicing Catholic, told an interviewer that if he won the World Cup, he would walk from his home to the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary at San Nicolas, a distance of about 25 miles.
So this is more about fulfilling a previously made vow than about the giving of thanks as such and also not a full month‘s worth of walking but more a day walk. At least I assume that Lionel Messi can walk 25 miles in a day or two. Q.e.d.
Since you are being picky, I hope to end this with more clarification. You are confusing vows with petitions. Vows are unconditional, as those entering religious life or those entering marriage make. Whether one fulfills them or not is up to the persons making them. Petitions can be requests with nothing promised by the petitioner or can carry a promise if the petition is fulfilled. These reflect thanks for the petition being granted. These are conditional petitions. One assumes that Messi's was a prayer of petition with a pledge to do a pilgrimage as a gesture of thanks. Unlike Don Corleone, I never considered that Our Lady or God expect thanks. Messi clearly felt that his team needed this extra boost. And they got it. I bet there are plenty of Argentines saw the hand of Our Lady blocking some of the kicks by the French in the shoot out!

Yes, we live in an age where this kind of thinking is considered by the elite as confined to the uneducated, superstitious or...can I use the word...medieval mindset? If so, perhaps there is a trace of medieval man and mindset in Mr. Messi and to a certain extent in all of us. It's in our DNA. It's in mine, which is why I consider the camino so very distinct from a month long walk on the Appalachian Trail.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2017
Since we've added the topic of walking with others to the topic of the importance of doing a "full" Camino, I'll talk a bit about my 2016 Camino. Leading up to 2016, I was feeling the call to do a Camino, although I was thinking it wouldn't be for another 8 or 10 years, until I retired. It was important to me that it be a "full" Camino, which for me at t he time was from Roncesvalles. My previous Camino (1989) had been from Roncesvalles and I wanted to do the same thing, but get it "right" this time.

Meanwhile, I had promised my son a trip for his 16th birthday in 2016, a trip for the two of us. He suggested that we do the Camino together. So I did what was needed to make it happen and in 2016 we walked from Roncesvalles to Finisterre. As Simply B suggests, the rewards from walking with someone can be amazing. At least, that was my experience.

BTW, when Simply B mentioned getting a "call" to be a "guide", I wasn't reading it as a "calling", like the "calling" to do the Camino (which seems to be how jeanineonthecamino read it, but rather a more literal call, as CWBuff describes friends and acquaintances saying they would love to go with, next time.
Actually, I did mean "calling" as from some mystical impulse, @David Tallan ! Sorry for the lack of clarity on my part.

My personality is solidly "solitary" so a "literal" call to me would be quite un-natural...on the order of the Sun rising in the west. I am not actually sure how I would respond to such a situation.

But, to allow getting the thread back on course, I am going to go back to some rather tedious chores. ;)

B
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
That's why I'm just going to give my group the "push start" before going on my Camino. 😉
I think that is a great idea! Hope you can make it happen.

Don't get me wrong - I like helping people plan their Camino and I like encouraging them to do their own Camino. I just don't want them to do their Camino at MY Camino's expense lol. I have travelled with friends before - and it is always - well - interesting. But not what I usually call relaxing. Maybe a cruise - I would do a cruise with friends. A weekend getaway? Sure! But not walk across a country with them.
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
Maybe a cruise - I would do a cruise with friends. A weekend getaway? Sure! But not walk across a country with them.
In a weird way - that is not any different than any other type of vacation\trip et al as one would take with someone else. My brother and s-i-l actually did go on a cruise with a couple of their friends whom they knew at the time for close to 25 years. After the fact they said 'never again!'
its all in the expectations and boundaries one has to set.
...Honestly I faster will walk Camino Frances with someone than go on (much pined after) Cruise around the World....
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021, Norte/Primitivo 2022, VF 2023
In a weird way - that is not any different than any other type of vacation\trip et al as one would take with someone else. My brother and s-i-l actually did go on a cruise with a couple of their friends whom they knew at the time for close to 25 years. After the fact they said 'never again!'
its all in the expectations and boundaries one has to set.
...Honestly I faster will walk Camino Frances with someone than go on (much pined after) Cruise around the World....
LOL... I would not do a cruise around the world with a friend... that would be WAY too much time with someone! A 1 week or less cruise or vacation is what is tolerable to me... at most! But yes - with expectations and boundaries set.

But the Camino - it is ME time. ME ME ME! Haha. THAT is the difference. I can do WE on a short 1 week or less vacation. But only a ME Camino. Again - like I said previously - I do a pilgrimage for my mental and physical health - it is about taking care of me and my needs. Not worrying about anyone else. Only exception would be my kids - I would take my kids 1:1. Husband - well he needs to stay home (and is happy to lol).

But yes - we are all different, have different wants and needs! Others love to do hikes with friends and that is great for them.
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
I was not too sure how I felt about doing any 'repeats' once I completed my Frances. On one hand - yes I would not mind doing Frances again or venture onto other Ways to try something new. On the other - the wife quipped that 'there is so much world out there' ... and in her own way she is right... plus she is not a hiker per se (although she did enjoy the short SdC-->Finisterre stint)....
But then I started get pummeled by friends and aquantences stating that they would LOVE to go with me "next time". Its like - in their mind - there were no questions whether or not I will go, just 'take them with me' :)
And so... who knows but 1/2 jokingly 1/2 serious I told 2 people to consider 2027 as a possibility. Hopefully that will be the year I retire and that will allow me to be more flexible with the time. The mentioned 2 people should have no problems with say 60-day overall trip.
...Perhaps it will be fun to play a guide and of course to catch up on some stuff I missed myself 1st time around....

...and perhaps if I do take my wife on one of her Viking European Castles River Cruise before that, she'll be more....er... understanding! ;)

I get a bit worried about people who ‘want to come with me’. Maybe if they said ‘they want to come at the same time’ it would feel better.
For me the ‘with me’ part implies some sort of dependency- e.g. they wouldn’t dream of going if I had to cancel.
But that’s not to say that there can be times when taking someone with you is the right thing to do.
 
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Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugues, Primitivo, Ignaziano, Salvador, 4 other
One never knows. I've lived most of my adult life abroad and I enjoy traveling by myself. Suddenly an elderly cousin of mine who had never been outside the U.S. except on the front lines in Vietnam asked me to take him to Europe. Gulp. I did with incredible trepidation. But he was so awestruck by what he experienced that I felt like I was with a young kid, not an elderly gentleman. It was so uplifting. He called me on Christmas day, thanking me for the greatest adventure of his life.
 

Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
I had never heard of a Camino until I needed something to read on vacation and bought the book 'Spanish Steps' at a thrift shop many years ago.

Looked up this book on Amazon and it describes those that do this route as "therapy for the eccentrics"

..it becomes memorably apparent that for the multinational band of eccentrics who keep the Santiagan flame alive, the pilgrimage has evolved from a purely devotional undertaking into a mobile therapist's couch.

If that doesn't convince people to go, then what else is there?
 

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