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???How Long will it Take??? Not te right question


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Year of past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Many people have inquired as to the time required. Others come across with statements such as "We were doing 40 kilometers a day" or “Finished St Jean-Santiago in 28 days”. Now I am no mystic and I am not a spiritualist however anyone who has walked the Camino knows that time does not exist along the way. Also, there are some 1000 kilometers from St Jean to Santiago to Finestera to Muxia including other side trips along the way-Haro for the wine, Santo Domingo de Silos for the architecture and art, Suso and San Millán for themselves. 1000 opportunities for amazement, for overwhelming experiences of friendship, of scenery, of fellowship, of freedom and independence. What a waste to rush it through. Santiago itself can be a disappointing place on a weekend or festival with thousands of tourists or after a bleak week of rain and cold. In this spirit I am moved to offer a poem, true when composed in Alexandria, overwhelmingly so on the Camino:
When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)
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Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Ahh Scruffy...funny that you should mention this's been creeping into my life with amazing regularity!! Like twice in the past month and a few more times over the last year...and until a little over a year ago I'd never heard it! Lately...I'm just trying to "be" each day here at home, while waiting for my time on the road again. Trying so hard not to wish this time away, not to squander it either, but to live it the way I want to experience the Camino...fully aware and present.

Thanks for the reminder. Buen Camino, Karin :arrow:


Veteran Member
Thanks for posting. I've printed it to read from time to time.

The following was posted previously.

Pilgrim, take care your journey's not in vain,
A hazard without profit, without gain;
The King you seek you'll find in Rome , it's true,
But only if he travels on the way with you.


Veteran Member
Year 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:
Ah...yes....that is the ideal ....but.... many people who have full time jobs, or young families waiting for them at home, or minimal finances etc don't have the luxury of sauntering along the camino for two or three months.
I would like to take 6 months off my life and walk the Camino Frances with Linda Davidson's book, visiting every monument, ruin and small village along the way.
Then I'd like to take another 6 months, hire a car and follow the French routes in "To be a Pilgrim" visiting all the stunningly beautiful places photographed in their book.
And then ................. sigh! dream!

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