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I will do a talk about doing the camino, help requested

Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#1
On Tuesday I'll visit my mother in laws church 550 km from home to talk about walking the Camino and show some of my photos.

I think I will bring my backpack and my gear with me.

Any suggestions on what to bring up? What would you as a person who have walked a Camino talk about and what would you who is planning a Camino want to know?

Right now I have written down:
*how did I come up with the idea/what brought me there
*how did I prepare and what to think of during the camino
*where to eat/sleep
*what to bring
*traditions on the Camino
*how it was to walk, my thoughts during the walk
*the route I walked and why did I select the options I did
*the Camino family
*resources for more info
*the "camino bug"/blues/never ending longing back to the camino
 

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#4
Well I don't know if anyone else would be interested, but I'd like to know about bathrooms along the way.....is it possible to walk that far without ever using the great outdoors? What is the longest stretch between real bathrooms (toilets)? And how do you hide yourself while "taking care of business" with others walking the same pathway? And how about shared bathrooms and showering in the over night places? Is it possible to hold onto any modesty along the way?
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#5
I think its a great idea to bring your pack, I would lay out all the items you brought alonside the pack so people will see what you can actualy survive with on the way, then pack it at the end and let people feel the weight. This is the kind of stuff I was interested in before I walked, practical stuff as well as the route and spiritual. I went to a talk before I walked by a journalist who had walked with his daughter but I came away as wise as I went in, it was more about the book than the practicalities of the walk. I hope it all goes well for you Beatrice.
 

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M

Mark Lee

Guest
#7
Well I don't know if anyone else would be interested, but I'd like to know about bathrooms along the way.....is it possible to walk that far without ever using the great outdoors? What is the longest stretch between real bathrooms (toilets)? And how do you hide yourself while "taking care of business" with others walking the same pathway? And how about shared bathrooms and showering in the over night places? Is it possible to hold onto any modesty along the way?
I think the distance and time one travels between "nature's call" depends on the person. A lot of factors. Physical and hydration level as well. Coffee is a diuretic, so if you drink a lot of it, you have to urinate more. You will find toilets along the way, but they are in the cafe's, restaurants, etc. There are no portable toilets on the walk. I certainly would not allow the prospect of having to "go in the great outdoors" stop me from staying hydrated, and certainly not stop me from having my morning coffee. ;)

Nobody even notices another peregrino "doing their business" outside along the Way. I guess because we all have to do it.
 
#8
Well I don't know if anyone else would be interested, but I'd like to know about bathrooms along the way.....is it possible to walk that far without ever using the great outdoors? What is the longest stretch between real bathrooms (toilets)? And how do you hide yourself while "taking care of business" with others walking the same pathway? And how about shared bathrooms and showering in the over night places? Is it possible to hold onto any modesty along the way?
Thanks for asking my question. I'm starting in September as a newbie and I was wondering the same thing.
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#9
I gave a talk on my return, which went down very well. I included a section about statistics, relating to age, nationality, gender, starting places, mode of transport (ie, by foot, cycle, horseback, wheelchair). I think most people are very interested in the dormitory conditions and how it feels to sleep with snoring strangers. And maybe tell your audience how you changed both physically and mentally during your walk.

I had never given such a presentation before. I put a great deal of effort into it, and ran through it many time before the 'big day'. I was quite nervous but actually enjoyed the experience and it all went very well.

I took my backpack loaded to the weight I carried, my walking poles, credencial, compostellas and the printout of the elevation profile for each stage.

Good luck - preparation is everything.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Santiago (2007)
Le Puy - Finisterra (2009)
#10
In addition to your list and many great suggestions I would add:

Fear...

A lot of people seem to have feelings of fear/apprehension, and I think that is understandable.

There are issues of distances between toilet facilities. Distances between albergues, bars, shops restaurants. People question if they are physically able to to do it, whether they will be alone. Is it selfish to undertake such a journey and leaving loved ones behind? My Spanish is non-existent, will I be able to communicate?

I have seen many more questions here in the forum, these are some that spring to mind. Many people I've met had thoughts along these lines before they started walking, and some kept those thoughts at the beginning of their journey. However, they often seem to become less important as people take one step after another.

I would have liked someone to say to me:

"It is ok to be a bit scared, it shows that you have thought about a few things, but - it's great that you do not let the fear of the unknown stop you. There will be hard days, and there will be easy days and they will all be important to you. When you complete your journey those fears from the beginning will seem insignificant and you will have learned that you're much stronger than you thought. Buen Camino"
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (15 April 2013)
Camino Portuguese (1 May 2014)
Camino Mozárabe from Málaga (8 April 2015)
Camino del Norte & Camino Ingles (April 2016)
#11
Well I don't know if anyone else would be interested, but I'd like to know about bathrooms along the way.....is it possible to walk that far without ever using the great outdoors? What is the longest stretch between real bathrooms (toilets)? And how do you hide yourself while "taking care of business" with others walking the same pathway? And how about shared bathrooms and showering in the over night places? Is it possible to hold onto any modesty along the way?
My daughter and managed to walk from SJPP to Finisterre without ever having to answer the call of nature in the wild. There are many bars along the way that you can use. But I know we are lucky in that we are blessed with robust bladders.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#12
I like all of the above, especially visual information and the practicalities of what you carry and why and what you leave behind and why.

I have been invited to speak in two churches about my first aid mission to pilgrims and the pilgrimage so I am going through a similar process.
I think the trick is to not have any notes - as a pilgrim you already have all the information in your head so order of info is the only thing you need to prepare.

All I would say is to remember that most of the people in front of you may not actually know what the pilgrimage is or why it is, or even exactly where it is, so a brief history could be a good way to start ... the numbers are really interesting I think ... in a supposedly secular age pilgrim numbers have been increasing dramatically each year ... and why did you go? What was it that called you? The wide variety of types of people, from so many countries, and so on. Plus, for certain, intersperse your tale with both funny and sad anecdotes ...
perhaps you could enter kitted out as if you were on Camino?

Oh, and Enjoy!!!
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
#14
Hi Beatrice -

Great responses everyone. Something else you can do is provide a 'Further Information' sheet that everyone can take home with them. Include the following:
  • A short list of recommended Camino books (eg the Brierley guide and a memoir or two)
  • The movie 'The Way'
  • Your favourite Youtube clips
  • Forum link (guess which one!)
  • Details of one or two particularly good blogs that you've followed.
  • At the bottom of the sheet include your favourite quote and of course, a Buen Camino! This is my favourite quote:
    “20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” - Mark Twain.
When I did a presentation to my yoga group last year (some of whom had never heard of the Camino) I printed out a stack of the information sheets and rolled them up scroll fashion, tied with blue and yellow curling ribbons. The info sheets were a great success.

Good luck with your presentation!
 

Cheynee

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 May-June
#15
On Tuesday I'll visit my mother in laws church 550 km from home to talk about walking the Camino and show some of my photos.

I think I will bring my backpack and my gear with me.

Any suggestions on what to bring up? What would you as a person who have walked a Camino talk about and what would you who is planning a Camino want to know?

Right now I have written down:
*how did I come up with the idea/what brought me there
*how did I prepare and what to think of during the camino
*where to eat/sleep
*what to bring
*traditions on the Camino
*how it was to walk, my thoughts during the walk
*the route I walked and why did I select the options I did
*the Camino family
*resources for more info
*the "camino bug"/blues/never ending longing back to the camino

You have some good ideas yourself, Beatrice, and many more great ideas from the people here. As it is a church group, and the camino is originally a spiritual pilgrimage (and still is for many) I would also delve into that aspect. I would mention that for many, they feel it to be a calling that gets answered when 'it is time', rather than when they think it is convenient. I would also point out that as much as we plan, the camino (or God/Spirit) always has its way. When we embark on this journey, it is a walk with God (or Spirit, or whatever way we view the Divine). In that walk we touch something special. We discover our strengths and we see our weaknesses. We come across wonderful people, and we also encounter some horrid ones who reflect something that we need to learn. On the camino people can be selfish and thoughtless, and others can be warm, embracing and we see the beautiful side of human nature. I don't know if this was your type of focus, Beatrice, but you might want to mention it for those in your audience who are spiritually motivated by such journeys. Have a good time sharing!
 

Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
#16
Thanks to all contributors for all this very useful info.

I start SJDP 27th April, raising funds for charity, and have been asked to do a couple of talks when I get back to help raise money.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#17
Thanks to all contributors for all this very useful info.

I start SJDP 27th April, raising funds for charity, and have been asked to do a couple of talks when I get back to help raise money.
It would be so interesting were you to write a talk now and then read it after your Camino!! :)

Good luck on the 27th, Enjoy. Buen Camino!
 

Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
#19
It would be so interesting were you to write a talk now and then read it after your Camino!! :)

Good luck on the 27th, Enjoy. Buen Camino!
Thanks David, I think you might have a good idea there, a pre-written talk might have less swear words in it. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
#20
I find I get a good reaction to the history of the camino - how folks walked it as a penance for their sins etc. and also details of the 31 routes leading to SdC .... including the Camino Ingles, which I start in 3 weeks!
List your ten favourite memories of the camino.
They're also fascinated by the pros and cons of albergues, and mixed dormitories ....[aren't we all?!?]
Buen camino!
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#21
#22
Here's a thread where I got some help:

http://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/help-presentation-to-local-school.12081/

Here are the photos I used. Most will be of little use, but the maps might be nice. Feel free to use any of them. The first part is history and background, the second follows biking from Prague to Santiago.

https://picasaweb.google.com/116116...&authkey=Gv1sRgCKu8qIOX977DNg&feat=directlink
Great photos.....thanks for letting us all take a look!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#23
Well I don't know if anyone else would be interested, but I'd like to know about bathrooms along the way.....is it possible to walk that far without ever using the great outdoors? What is the longest stretch between real bathrooms (toilets)? And how do you hide yourself while "taking care of business" with others walking the same pathway? And how about shared bathrooms and showering in the over night places? Is it possible to hold onto any modesty along the way?
I walked in a hiking skirt (Macabi) and whit a skirt it is easier to hide your private parts :) Going far out in the woods is also a good thing. I had no problem with doing my business outdoors when needed. Had a zip lock bag for my toilet paper.

I'm probably not the right person to talk about having to share bathrooms etc as I'm half Finnish and so used to share common areas naked with others while taking a sauna bath. But most of the albergues had walls and doors separating the showers and if you are shy you can change in solitary.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#24
I think its a great idea to bring your pack, I would lay out all the items you brought alonside the pack so people will see what you can actualy survive with on the way, then pack it at the end and let people feel the weight. This is the kind of stuff I was interested in before I walked, practical stuff as well as the route and spiritual. I went to a talk before I walked by a journalist who had walked with his daughter but I came away as wise as I went in, it was more about the book than the practicalities of the walk. I hope it all goes well for you Beatrice.
The talk is advertised as Béatrice is talking about the camino and showing pictures so I'm not sure what they are expecting. I know that at least one in the audience is preparing for a camino starting in August. I'll try to mix both practical info while on the walk as well as my own thoughts. I'll do as you suggested with the things.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#25
Talk about how "social" the Camino can be.
I'll do my best. I was probably not the most social person on the camino as i was walking fast but I tried to be social in the evenings. I found it easier to be social when there was other solo pilgrims, couples and groups tend to stick together and not letting other people in as much as the solo pilgrims.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#27
I gave a talk on my return, which went down very well. I included a section about statistics, relating to age, nationality, gender, starting places, mode of transport (ie, by foot, cycle, horseback, wheelchair). I think most people are very interested in the dormitory conditions and how it feels to sleep with snoring strangers. And maybe tell your audience how you changed both physically and mentally during your walk.

I had never given such a presentation before. I put a great deal of effort into it, and ran through it many time before the 'big day'. I was quite nervous but actually enjoyed the experience and it all went very well.

I took my backpack loaded to the weight I carried, my walking poles, credencial, compostellas and the printout of the elevation profile for each stage.

Good luck - preparation is everything.
I'll show the elevation as well. As I'll have a projector for showing pictures I can show stuff like that in the presentation. But the compostellas (I have 3 and 1 Muxíana and one Finisterra) and the credentials (have 2 one for Francés and one for Inglés) will go with me. I'll also make a picture with a map with the place we are at in the center and a circle showing where they would end up if they started to walk from there and did the length of Camino Francés.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#28
In addition to your list and many great suggestions I would add:

Fear...

A lot of people seem to have feelings of fear/apprehension, and I think that is understandable.

There are issues of distances between toilet facilities. Distances between albergues, bars, shops restaurants. People question if they are physically able to to do it, whether they will be alone. Is it selfish to undertake such a journey and leaving loved ones behind? My Spanish is non-existent, will I be able to communicate?

I have seen many more questions here in the forum, these are some that spring to mind. Many people I've met had thoughts along these lines before they started walking, and some kept those thoughts at the beginning of their journey. However, they often seem to become less important as people take one step after another.

I would have liked someone to say to me:

"It is ok to be a bit scared, it shows that you have thought about a few things, but - it's great that you do not let the fear of the unknown stop you. There will be hard days, and there will be easy days and they will all be important to you. When you complete your journey those fears from the beginning will seem insignificant and you will have learned that you're much stronger than you thought. Buen Camino"
I'll try to give the people who might consider walking some encouragement to take the step, trust in them self. But I would not talk from own experience as I didn't felt any of that my self. I was just curious, I knew that I was strong enough to do it. The only thing I worried about was the flight to and from as I'm terrible afraid of flying.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#29
I like all of the above, especially visual information and the practicalities of what you carry and why and what you leave behind and why.

I have been invited to speak in two churches about my first aid mission to pilgrims and the pilgrimage so I am going through a similar process.
I think the trick is to not have any notes - as a pilgrim you already have all the information in your head so order of info is the only thing you need to prepare.

All I would say is to remember that most of the people in front of you may not actually know what the pilgrimage is or why it is, or even exactly where it is, so a brief history could be a good way to start ... the numbers are really interesting I think ... in a supposedly secular age pilgrim numbers have been increasing dramatically each year ... and why did you go? What was it that called you? The wide variety of types of people, from so many countries, and so on. Plus, for certain, intersperse your tale with both funny and sad anecdotes ...
perhaps you could enter kitted out as if you were on Camino?

Oh, and Enjoy!!!
I will try to get hold of some numbers (I know that someone posted a link here a while ago).
I'll talk in my camino clothes as I can't put them in the backpack as they were never there :)
I'm currently reading through my diary (blog) for some anecdotes. As I'll show a lot of pictures I can use them as triggers for the memory.
I'm not sure if the audience is coming to learn about doing a pilgrimage them self or just listening to pilgrims story so I have to mix both.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#31
Hi Beatrice -

Great responses everyone. Something else you can do is provide a 'Further Information' sheet that everyone can take home with them. Include the following:
  • A short list of recommended Camino books (eg the Brierley guide and a memoir or two)
  • The movie 'The Way'
  • Your favourite Youtube clips
  • Forum link (guess which one!)
  • Details of one or two particularly good blogs that you've followed.
  • At the bottom of the sheet include your favourite quote and of course, a Buen Camino! This is my favourite quote:
    “20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the tradewinds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” - Mark Twain.
When I did a presentation to my yoga group last year (some of whom had never heard of the Camino) I printed out a stack of the information sheets and rolled them up scroll fashion, tied with blue and yellow curling ribbons. The info sheets were a great success.

Good luck with your presentation!
Thanks, I'll have a section of recommended info and will try to print it out for them. Unfortunately I'll not be at work before the talk. Hmm I might have to see The Way soon. It was not easy to find here in Sweden. None of the streaming services has it and neither the video stores. I guess I have to buy the movie from another country.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#32
You have some good ideas yourself, Beatrice, and many more great ideas from the people here. As it is a church group, and the camino is originally a spiritual pilgrimage (and still is for many) I would also delve into that aspect. I would mention that for many, they feel it to be a calling that gets answered when 'it is time', rather than when they think it is convenient. I would also point out that as much as we plan, the camino (or God/Spirit) always has its way. When we embark on this journey, it is a walk with God (or Spirit, or whatever way we view the Divine). In that walk we touch something special. We discover our strengths and we see our weaknesses. We come across wonderful people, and we also encounter some horrid ones who reflect something that we need to learn. On the camino people can be selfish and thoughtless, and others can be warm, embracing and we see the beautiful side of human nature. I don't know if this was your type of focus, Beatrice, but you might want to mention it for those in your audience who are spiritually motivated by such journeys. Have a good time sharing!
The spiritual part of it will be included as it was a part of my own pilgrimage.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#33
Thanks to all contributors for all this very useful info.

I start SJDP 27th April, raising funds for charity, and have been asked to do a couple of talks when I get back to help raise money.
Lovely to have the camino in front of you and then the oppertunity to relive it while making the talks. Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#34
I find I get a good reaction to the history of the camino - how folks walked it as a penance for their sins etc. and also details of the 31 routes leading to SdC .... including the Camino Ingles, which I start in 3 weeks!
List your ten favourite memories of the camino.
They're also fascinated by the pros and cons of albergues, and mixed dormitories ....[aren't we all?!?]
Buen camino!
I have a map of different routes showing that the camino is not one way. In fact I did first CF and then out to Finisterre and Muxía and back to SdC and went on to Camino Inglés directly after that. Loved the Inglés so you have a really nice camino in front of you. I'll include some history. 10 favorite memories, just then it is sooo hard :) Are there any cons about mixes albergues? Didn't think of that :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#35
Here's a thread where I got some help:

http://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/help-presentation-to-local-school.12081/

Here are the photos I used. Most will be of little use, but the maps might be nice. Feel free to use any of them. The first part is history and background, the second follows biking from Prague to Santiago.

https://picasaweb.google.com/116116...&authkey=Gv1sRgCKu8qIOX977DNg&feat=directlink
Thanks I'll check the thread. I have an album with over 700 pictures so that part I have covered and some maps but I'll check if there is something I have missed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#40
Thanks all, the talk went fine i talked about:
* What is the camino, not only one way and there is no "starting point" just a way and a goal but if you desire a compostela you are required to walk at least 100 Km.
* Some info about the legend about Jacob and how he ended up in Santiago and why the name Santiago de Copostela.
* About the symbols we can see regarding the camino (the diakonissa talked about the 7 symbols of pilgrimage the cloak, hat, staff, satchel etc and their meaning)
* Some numbers, how many did the caminos in 2013, gender, selection of caminos, ways of transportation etc.
* What brought me to the camino, why did I do it. How my views of the camino some what changed on the way.
* How did I prepare, buying stuff, testing stuff, reading, asking questions, what I din't do I tried not to look at to much pictures, I din't see the movie The way.
* What did I have in my backpack, I wore my hiking gear (and showed them ow great the macabi hiking skirt is) and I layed out the rest on the podium and used some as props during my talk.
* Where to eat, sleep and taking care of "needs" (read toilet, washing)
* How much money did I spent on what
* I made a map with the place we were at in the middle and a radius circle, how fare should we reach if we walked the distance I walked from there. To give them some perspective of the length
* Then I showed pictures and talked about the people you meet, the camino family, the lovely view, the change from "look at all the pretty mountains" into "this is a little bit dull lets go inwards and think instead", my talks with "him up there" about wind directions, about the 5-o-clock people, the lovely community dinners, the pure joy that swept over me here and there, the longing for my family that hit me in Foncebadón etc etc.

After the talk i put it all my gear in the backpack and they could feel the weight. I handed out a paper with one of my Buen Camino photos on top with suggestions for further info.

And yes I did talk to fast ;-)
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
#41
Congratulations Beatrice! Your talk would have been completely wonderful, with the huge amount of effort and thought that you put into it. Don't be concerned about talking too fast - it's something the majority of us do when we're passionate about something - you just feel that you need to get all the words out and not miss a thing.
Cheers - Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
#42
Stephen and David - I think we need to put up a new thread - British Humour On The Forum - none of us would have to wait too long to see who contributes ! :D;)
 

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