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

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

If you set out as a walker, did you become a pilgrim?

0 Euro Camino Bank Note
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
I’m not a philosopher - nor would I say I’m especially religious. (Baptised into the Church of England, therefore belief in God optional)

I have ‘camino’d four times so far and intend to carry on twice each year.

I set out as a walker - but always find there is something ‘other’ which I feel after a few days. Whether it’s sense of purpose, the feeling that countless others have passed this way before me, or the common feeling of walking with a slowly-changing familiar group of people, I don’t know.

I’d be interested to hear from others who would not claim religious pilgrimage as having been their primary motivation for embarking on the journey. Did it just feel like a series of village to village day-walks through one of the most developed countries on the planet, or something more?
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I know what you mean; I felt the same way. I’m no philosopher either, so won’t try to explain. I have walked other trails than the Caminoes, but they didn’t give me that same feeling. Perhaps it is a combination of many things: The tranquility, the simplicity, the nature, the sense of walking an ancient road. Whatever it is, ‘something more’ builds up on the way.
 

malingerer

Active Member
I know what you mean; I felt the same way. I’m no philosopher either, so won’t try to explain. I have walked other trails than the Caminoes, but they didn’t give me that same feeling. Perhaps it is a combination of many things: The tranquility, the simplicity, the nature, the sense of walking an ancient road. Whatever it is, ‘something more’ builds up on the way.
[/QUOTE)

I have a degree in philosophy, so? I started off on Camino 2004 ( first chunk!) and went as far as Valcarlos first day. Day two, I pioneered my own route over the mountain to Roncesvalles. That was when I had my "experience " and became a pilgrim. I have remained one. I do not distinguish between "newbies" and "vets" nor am I particularly bothered about why people do Camino. Get on with it! :)

Yours aye,

The Malingerer.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I don 't walk camino for religious reasons, in fact I am an atheist. Sometimes the camino gets a more spiritual element through places where you stay, people you meet who are religious. Speaking with them I find interesting, religion is an answer to essential questions, even though I don't agree with the answers, talking about these questions can be very rewarding ( as long there is mutual respect and an open mind)
Walking long distance treks in itself can be considered as a spiritual activity, your mind has every opportunity "to wander where it pleases". Perhaps you can see it as a "collateral advantage"
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I am coming at the question from the opposite direction. I walked my first Camino as a self-identifying committed Christian: a theology graduate soon to be ordained as an Anglican priest (with only a soupcon of philosophy in the mix...). In the years which have passed since then I have lost that religious assurance and no longer consider myself to be either a priest or a Christian. Yet the idea of pilgrimage still fascinates me and I still find my journeys on pilgrim routes do have a different character from other long distance trails. Perhaps it is a sensitivity to the history which has preceded me on those particular paths? Some dim lingering awareness of the communion of saints that I still hope to share in some vague way even though I can no longer describe myself as Christian in any meaningful sense?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Yesterday I googled - so sorry - to find distinctions between walking, hiking, trekking...
In the end I said to myself; and so? What is it that makes a pilgrimage out of a walk? No point in referring to times past. They are past. We are here and now. The question is about if walking turned me into a pilgrim. Nothing to do with religion. Nothing at all. So did walking a few caminos turn me into a pilgrim? Yes. Till I forgot/forget. Then it is time to start all over again...
 

Barry Coltham

BarryCamino
Camino(s) past & future
Past: CF: Sarria to Santiago May 2017
VdlP/ Sanabres: Salamanca to Santiago May 2018
Fisterra Muxia
I am coming at the question from the opposite direction. I walked my first Camino as a self-identifying committed Christian: a theology graduate soon to be ordained as an Anglican priest (with only a soupcon of philosophy in the mix...). In the years which have passed since then I have lost that religious assurance and no longer consider myself to be either a priest or a Christian. Yet the idea of pilgrimage still fascinates me and I still find my journeys on pilgrim routes do have a different character from other long distance trails. Perhaps it is a sensitivity to the history which has preceded me on those particular paths? Some dim lingering awareness of the communion of saints that I still hope to share in some vague way even though I can no longer describe myself as Christian in any meaningful sense?
Hi Bradypus - your reply reminded me of the book: "Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale" by Ian Morgan Cron - well worth a read.

Hi Henrythedog re the question: walking and becoming a pilgrim - I walked with friends in 2017 from Sarria to SDC and was a walker. I felt called to return on my own in May 2018 and walked Via Del Plata from Salamanca via Camino Sanabres and then continued to Muxia /Fisterra - after encountering and overcoming difficulties - i changed from a walker to Pilgrim in the last three days of the 630km Camino and still consider myself a pilgrim in so many aspects of my life - the transition is subtle and real for me
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
The Camino was so different for my husband and I as we usually walk/hike/trek by ourselves either in remote areas or independently on well travelled paths. Actually we approached the Francés with some trepidation being accustomed to the Australian space of hiking for weeks at a time without meeting too many people at all.

But, somehow ;), the Camino worked its magic and it remains as one of our exceptional foot pilgrimages... because each journey we take is a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts... only the reasons change... so that the Camino held religious as well as historical significance... the Kokoda Track for us was a pilgrimage in brave and resolute footsteps that resonated a nation's consciousness... Everest Nepal BC and Tibet ABC echoed with the mountaineering ghosts of Mallory and Hillary and so many others and the awesome Buddhist mountain presence... your own Wainwright's Coast to Coast was a tribute to his love of the fells and resounded with the words of poets and writers... Tasmania's South Coast Walk created as an escape route for shipwrecked sailors proved a respite to the busyness of the everyday world...

So many, many more Ways that we have travelled and all pilgrimages in the end... a journey with ones self and into ones self facilitated by expansive landscapes that allow the soul/spirit/mind the space it needs to slip its boundaries and the companionship of kindred souls who challenge and grow the person... a walking meditation...

So yes! Always I set off as a walker having been distracted from the moment and forgotten (as I think @kirkie has also noted above) and then the journey reminds me and becomes a pilgrimage in Life... which, I suppose, labels me a pilgrim.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
The Camino was so different for my husband and I as we usually walk/hike/trek by ourselves either in remote areas or independently on well travelled paths. Actually we approached the Francés with some trepidation being accustomed to the Australian space of hiking for weeks at a time without meeting too many people at all.

But, somehow ;), the Camino worked its magic and it remains as one of our exceptional foot pilgrimages... because each journey we take is a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts... only the reasons change... so that the Camino held religious as well as historical significance... the Kokoda Track for us was a pilgrimage in brave and resolute footsteps that resonated a nation's consciousness... Everest Nepal BC and Tibet ABC echoed with the mountaineering ghosts of Mallory and Hillary and so many others and the awesome Buddhist mountain presence... your own Wainwright's Coast to Coast was a tribute to his love of the fells and resounded with the words of poets and writers... Tasmania's South Coast Walk created as an escape route for shipwrecked sailors proved a respite to the busyness of the everyday world...

So many, many more Ways that we have travelled and all pilgrimages in the end... a journey with ones self and into ones self facilitated by expansive landscapes that allow the soul/spirit/mind the space it needs to slip its boundaries and the companionship of kindred souls who challenge and grow the person... a walking meditation...

So yes! Always I set off as a walker having been distracted from the moment and forgotten (as I think @kirkie has also noted above) and then the journey reminds me and becomes a pilgrimage in Life... which, I suppose, labels me a pilgrim.
I live just off the Coast to Coast, have done it myself, and recently have seen an amazing number of Aussies and Kiwis doing it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
The Camino was so different for my husband and I as we usually walk/hike/trek by ourselves either in remote areas or independently on well travelled paths. Actually we approached the Francés with some trepidation being accustomed to the Australian space of hiking for weeks at a time without meeting too many people at all.

But, somehow ;), the Camino worked its magic and it remains as one of our exceptional foot pilgrimages... because each journey we take is a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts... only the reasons change... so that the Camino held religious as well as historical significance... the Kokoda Track for us was a pilgrimage in brave and resolute footsteps that resonated a nation's consciousness... Everest Nepal BC and Tibet ABC echoed with the mountaineering ghosts of Mallory and Hillary and so many others and the awesome Buddhist mountain presence... your own Wainwright's Coast to Coast was a tribute to his love of the fells and resounded with the words of poets and writers... Tasmania's South Coast Walk created as an escape route for shipwrecked sailors proved a respite to the busyness of the everyday world...

So many, many more Ways that we have travelled and all pilgrimages in the end... a journey with ones self and into ones self facilitated by expansive landscapes that allow the soul/spirit/mind the space it needs to slip its boundaries and the companionship of kindred souls who challenge and grow the person... a walking meditation...

So yes! Always I set off as a walker having been distracted from the moment and forgotten (as I think @kirkie has also noted above) and then the journey reminds me and becomes a pilgrimage in Life... which, I suppose, labels me a pilgrim.
So many, many more Ways that we have travelled and all pilgrimages in the end... a journey with ones self and into ones self facilitated by expansive landscapes that allow the soul/spirit/mind the space it needs to slip its boundaries and the companionship of kindred souls who challenge and grow the person... a walking meditation...
Sometimes the word awesome as used by a branch of my family who live in BC, Canada, is the only word to use!
 

TMcA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
I am not religious now, although raised a Catholic. And these days where I live (the U.S.), I perceive what I would describe as an extreme self-righteousness on the part of some Christians. So I do not describe my long distance walks on Camino routes as "pilgrimages" nor myself as a "pilgrim". However, the op's question asks what is different about walking on these pilgrimage routes. I have responded to this previously:

The best thing I have ever read about the Camino experience is in French. But perhaps some will be able to read it or translate it.

Cette démarche est universelle: on la rencontre tout au long de l'histoire humaine, dans toutes les religions, sur tous les continents. Devenant un étranger, quittant son monde familier, perdant son statut social et ses références hiérarchiques, le pèlerin prend conscience de lui-même, de ses limites et apprend parfois à les dépasser.

Tout pèlerinage évoque notre marche sur terre vers le ciel. Il nous rappelle que sur terre, nous sommes de passage, en route vers notre demeure définitive, dans l'attente active de la rencontre et la communion éternelle avec Dieu.

Quelques richesses d'un pèlerinage à pied

1. Il s'agit d'une démarche de toute notre personne: corps et esprit.

2. Emportant l'essentiel sur le dos, on se désencombre de l'inutile, du superflu.

3. On goûte le silence, la paix et la beauté de la Création de Dieu.

4. La marche est une école de patience. Image de notre propre vie, il s'agit d'avancer jour après jour avec courage.

5. Les gestes simples de la vie prennent une autre saveur: boire, se laver, accueillir un sourire en chemin, etc. On y apprend aussi l'entraide: indiquer le chemin, partager la nourriture, etc.

6. Le pèlerinage est une école d'égalité: riche ou pauvre, savant ou non, il s'agit d'avancer patiemment et humblement.

7. Le pèlerinage donne la chance de rencontres profondes avec d'autres pèlerins ou avec des habitants des lieux traversés.

8. Le pèlerinage ouvre le coeur à Dieu: « Seigneur, je te donne du temps, je te fais de la place. Agis en moi, donne moi ta lumière ».

9. Le chemin donne le temps de prier, aidé par de nombreux lieux saints rencontrés (églises, sanctuaires); aidé aussi par le témoignage d'innombrables frères humains qui l'empruntent depuis plus de dix siècles.
 

Jean Ti

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Trying to do one camino every year
I am not religious now, although raised a Catholic. And these days where I live (the U.S.), I perceive what I would describe as an extreme self-righteousness on the part of some Christians. So I do not describe my long distance walks on Camino routes as "pilgrimages" nor myself as a "pilgrim". However, the op's question asks what is different about walking on these pilgrimage routes. I have responded to this previously:
Merci!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
I’m not a philosopher - nor would I say I’m especially religious. (Baptised into the Church of England, therefore belief in God optional)

I have ‘camino’d four times so far and intend to carry on twice each year.

I set out as a walker - but always find there is something ‘other’ which I feel after a few days. Whether it’s sense of purpose, the feeling that countless others have passed this way before me, or the common feeling of walking with a slowly-changing familiar group of people, I don’t know.

I’d be interested to hear from others who would not claim religious pilgrimage as having been their primary motivation for embarking on the journey. Did it just feel like a series of village to village day-walks through one of the most developed countries on the planet, or something more?
If you have a destination you are a pilgrim, if you are striking and chasing a small white ball you're probably playing golf, if you are walking aimlessly you're having a life.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I am not religious now, although raised a Catholic. And these days where I live (the U.S.), I perceive what I would describe as an extreme self-righteousness on the part of some Christians. So I do not describe my long distance walks on Camino routes as "pilgrimages" nor myself as a "pilgrim". However, the op's question asks what is different about walking on these pilgrimage routes. I have responded to this previously:
As an American who now lives in Mexico, I am often very thankful I am living in the States now due to the state of affairs in our country. The self righteousness of MANY and the abandonment of true faith contributes mightily to the downward spiral of our country. Spiritually I have no definition of what I am but I know I have grave problems with organized religions. Having said that I found the definition of a pilgrim about as close to 100% accurate as I have ever read or thought of. I used Google translate as my French ends after Bonjour.
There have been many discussions of what it means to be a pilgrim and who exactly is a pilgrim. I love to get into these discussions as I totally believe there is a huge difference between a pilgrim and a touragrino or someone walking for 4 or 5 days.I know there are people who can only walk shorter distances because of work or have physically issues that force them to ship backpacks and take the occasional bus.

Let me quote (from Google translate):
This approach is universal: it is encountered throughout human history, in all religions, on all continents. Becoming a stranger, leaving his familiar world, losing his social status and his hierarchical references, the pilgrim becomes aware of himself, of his limits and sometimes learns to overcome them.
Some riches of a pilgrimage on foot

1. This is a whole-person approach: body and mind.

2. Carrying the essentials on the back, one unclogs the useless, the superfluous.

I know throughout the history of pilgrimage there have been people of wealth and power who do not lose their social status or hierarchy on a pilgrimage. I think today with the proliferation of greater and greater wealth I am seeing the degradation of the meaning of pilgrimage. How many threads reference great restaurants to eat in or hotels to lay your head. Which section should I skip because it may be boring, or not as pretty as I want it to be? People say I have judgements or who am I to judge others? That there should be no judgements of anything or anyone on the Camino. Whether it an obnoxious ass who wakes everyone up at 3 in the morning coming home drunk, or wakes up at 5:00AM and turns on a light and makes so much noise he wakes everyone up? Or maybe the people who start in Sarria and are perfectly healthy but ship their bags and reserve rooms every night 3 weeks in advance making it difficult for others to find a room during peak seasons. Is this what a pilgrimage is all about? For me no. For me it is a little sad. For me, at least, I have the luxury in my retirement to walk whenever I want on less traveled Caminos. A camino is a struggle and should remain that way. It should not be easy. it is no different then when we teach our children that nothing worthwhile is achieved when it is handed to you. The struggle and hard work you put into a goal is what makes the goal worthwhile and is what you remember most and carry with you for life.
Let the judgements of my judgement begin. To tell you the truth since I walk less traveled routes now at quieter times there is little of this that I encounter. Even when I do I just say that is their trip not mine and if it isn't effecting my who gives a poop. But here, in our group it bothers me as I only see many negative consequences for the future. (Oh yea what about the people who have economically benefited by the Camino? More power to them, I say.)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I know what you mean; I felt the same way. I’m no philosopher either, so won’t try to explain. I have walked other trails than the Caminoes, but they didn’t give me that same feeling. Perhaps it is a combination of many things: The tranquility, the simplicity, the nature, the sense of walking an ancient road. Whatever it is, ‘something more’ builds up on the way.
I agree, Turga. I have hiked many trails in beautiful national parks in the US, but none "feel" the same as walking day after day on the caminos for all the reasons you mention... plus I feel like I am still young and on a marvelous adventure! 😊
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
I live just off the Coast to Coast, have done it myself, and recently have seen an amazing number of Aussies and Kiwis doing it.
It's an exceptional Walk in some many ways - navigational challenges, great fells, lots of high options, a fascinating quirky guidebook (Wainwright). Word spreads - we Aussies and Kiwis love to travel :)
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes, I understand - I’m not prone to introspection. ‘Just get on with it’ is as close to a personal motto as I need, nonetheless - it’s a wet Sunday in the English Lake District, Henry the Dog has been for a walk and life is good - what do others have to say?
It's a wet Sunday morning in Illinois. I'm sitting on my "perch" on the sofa and will be heading out soon for a walk right out my front door on the "rails to trails" path a few blocks away...better than nothing, but the English Lake District has more appeal.
 

Theo59

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2022
I used to love walking for many years . I used to walk 4-5 kms every morning before work. Plus 5-10 kms running every Saturday and Sunday. I am not doing it so regularly any more.
But I kept going for walking 3-4 times annually on Mount Athos . Some years ago , a monk , in a monastery there , asked me : “People come for many reasons in Athos. What is yours?”
I said : “ Telephone works better here, for calling God”.
He smiled : “Oh, have you felt it? Good for you!”
I suppose same thing happens in Camino.
Walking is nice but if you do not carry the “phone” , the experience is different in my opinion.
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Did April through June 2018 from Pamplona to Santiago. 2020 May or end of September.
Yes, I understand - I’m not prone to introspection. ‘Just get on with it’ is as close to a personal motto as I need, nonetheless - it’s a wet Sunday in the English Lake District, Henry the Dog has been for a walk and life is good - what do others have to say?
I envy you somewhat for your walk on a wet Sunday in the Lake District - something I did regularly years ago growing up in the north of England. Now today in San Diego we are facing another week of 90 degree + temps. Oh how I long for a walk with Noah the Dog on a cool and misty morning.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago august 2018
St Jean pier de port to Leon 2019
Camino Norte/Primitivo 2020
As some of the people above, I am an atheist. Have walked two caminos, and are planning my third. Where I live, northern Norway, we have many mountains and even more paths. So why the camino? Does the camino make this lady innto a pilgrim? I don’t know. But it sure gives me a walk where human history, human serch for meaning and human relations - visits my thoughts far more, than when I walk at home. I think the camino has changed my relation towards things, and made me focous more on «the ways», not the goales, in my everyday life. So it is hard for this atheist to claim «it is just a walk like any other walk».
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
The question is about if walking turned me into a pilgrim. Nothing to do with religion.
Yes. Before my first Camino, I couldn't even say the word "pilgrim" with reference to myself and other non-religious people who I expected to encounter on the Camino. Within a few days, I had accepted that that's what I had become.
I feel like I am still young and on a marvelous adventure!
Exactly my feelings!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(
I hope I can say I became a 'pilgrim'. I'm certainly not a walker/hiker, no interest say, in walking the Appalachian Trail or trekking in the various mountain ranges in the woods. But I've walked camino every year for the past 6 years and hope that I'm given the opportunity and good health to do so for years to come. For me the difference is in the experience of meeting people from all over the world on ancient paths that have hosted billions of footsteps. Some walk for specific reasons, others have no idea why they were compelled to walk ( much like myself ). Some could not be any more opposite your own personality and others mirror your soul. Far from being a philosopher, the one thing I'm convinced is true is nothing is random. We walk because we were called to do so ( whether we know why or not ) and we meet the people we are meant to meet ( either a blessing or a lesson ). We have the joys and agony we are meant to have...and we learn...from each other.
We become more tolerant and understanding and compassionate...we develop a sense of humor and humility. We become pilgrims...We're all just walking each other home .
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Very interesting!
I am a philosopher and I am an ordained minister although that was not my career. I was a professor. I look forward to that added element you both describe as I begin my Camino from Porto in just 3 weeks.
Bom Caminho, Doc!
All the best to you as you prepare to go!
 

Theo59

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2022
Very interesting!
I am a philosopher and I am an ordained minister although that was not my career. I was a professor. I look forward to that added element you both describe as I begin my Camino from Porto in just 3 weeks.
Who looks for It , finds It .
 

Theo59

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2022
I found it even though I didn't know I was looking for it, more to the point, I didn't know what it was I found after I saw it.;)
I think I know the feeling. "Could it be coincindence? Hm, most possibly not..." And then, it happens again....
 

Theo59

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2022
I am coming at the question from the opposite direction. I walked my first Camino as a self-identifying committed Christian: a theology graduate soon to be ordained as an Anglican priest (with only a soupcon of philosophy in the mix...). In the years which have passed since then I have lost that religious assurance and no longer consider myself to be either a priest or a Christian. Yet the idea of pilgrimage still fascinates me and I still find my journeys on pilgrim routes do have a different character from other long distance trails. Perhaps it is a sensitivity to the history which has preceded me on those particular paths? Some dim lingering awareness of the communion of saints that I still hope to share in some vague way even though I can no longer describe myself as Christian in any meaningful sense?
In my oppinion:
Religion is the vechicle that one uses to move toward God (or any name one likes for Him/Her/It).

God is God.

So, the answer I am feeling right is , yes you can. No vechicle , only feet in Camino terms.
 
Last edited:

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
  • If you set out as a walker, did you become a pilgrim?
  • hear from others who would not claim religious pilgrimage as having been their primary motivation for embarking on the journey. Did it just feel like a series of village to village day-walks through one of the most developed countries on the planet, or something more?
I'm not a philosopher either and will probably not succeed in clearly formulating my vague thoughts about both the title of the thread and the question at the end of the first post. 'cause if you set out as a walker and then felt something more, does this make you a pilgrim?

For the first 800 km or so, I was keen to point out that I was a walker and not a pilgrim when locals asked me. It includes a priest who spotted me with my backpack in his church. He then said something about it being enough to be a pilgrim in one's heart. To this day I regret that I didn't just lie instead of disappoint him. I was, after all, stopping at churches not only for the shade and the art and the history but also for quiet reflection including the odd quiet dialogue with above now and then.

Then, later, when already in Spain I caught myself thinking one day: If these people all around me are pilgrims, then I'm a pilgrim, too 🙃. Nowadays I don't hesitate to use the label in conversation with others on the way: I am a pilgrim, tu eres peregrina, wir pilgern. People just love hearing the label being used and applied to them/us. However, I prefer to think of them and of myself as Camino walkers or Camino pilgrims and both are synonyms for me. Very few have a close personal relationship with Saint James which would be the crucial point for me to view them differently. He is just one of the Apostles from the Bible for me and this will not change.

Am I receptive to the "ambience", the "feeling", the "aura" (figuratively only) of the contemporary Camino Frances in particular? Sure.
 
Last edited:

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 June/July/August
I am christian (lutheranian) educated, confirmed male, that visits churches on a regular basis (I do wedding-photography on a part-time basis ;)).

I set out as a walker, knowing that a pilgrimage is an important thing for many others.
So I'll try not to disturb anyone in his faith or religious believes. I attended just 3 pilgrims services, the first in Roncesvalles. I'm not fluent in spanish, but understand parts of the service.

The longer I walked, the more I catched the Camino-"bug". The people I talked to, the interesting conversations with them, about their lives and the excitement they feel about being on the Camino sparked over to me.

I am, in fact, not a very spiritual person, more a cynical realist, that lost some of his cynism on the way and get more relaxed and calm the more time I walked with those wonderful people that I call Camino-family.
I am sure, that the Camino francés of this year will not be the last Camino I have walked in my life. There are more to come and more to explore.

The big thing I have learned that the Camino will provide and the Camino will teach.
You do not need to have questions, just be open minded, open hearted, hear and watch what is on your way and you will find answers to questions that you didn't have in mind as you set out.
I think that is, what a pilgrimage is about.

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

Krista Rogman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016), Camino Portugues (2017)
I’m not a philosopher - nor would I say I’m especially religious. (Baptised into the Church of England, therefore belief in God optional)

I have ‘camino’d four times so far and intend to carry on twice each year.

I set out as a walker - but always find there is something ‘other’ which I feel after a few days. Whether it’s sense of purpose, the feeling that countless others have passed this way before me, or the common feeling of walking with a slowly-changing familiar group of people, I don’t know.

I’d be interested to hear from others who would not claim religious pilgrimage as having been their primary motivation for embarking on the journey. Did it just feel like a series of village to village day-walks through one of the most developed countries on the planet, or something more?
 

Krista Rogman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016), Camino Portugues (2017)
I think that there is a big difference b etween being religious (following rituals) and being spiritual.
I am a spiritual person and have done the camino 3 times. I go to the Methodest Church.
Each time my piligramage turns out very different.
My take on a pilgrim is as follows:
One who journies to a sacred place
A long journey or search, especially of moral significance.
A traveler

The way I see it a piligramage can be any place depending on the purpose. Walking the camino can be a really long walk or a life changing experience. People have walked the camino since 800 A.D. It is molving to think about why people took this journey and why they continue to walk the camino.
The camino experience is special for me because I can set aside my routine life (working, cooking, cleaning, taking care of grandkids, etc) anf focus on just walking.
Also, the people I have mety are a special blessing to me.

Remember, that you walk the camino for yourself. Only yourself.
Enjoy this special time!
 

Doughnut NZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
For me, it became a Pilgrimage when I realised that this was a great environment to try on being a different personality. On the Camino no one knows who I "am".

Back home the people that I know and live with see me in a particular way and so they react to me as that person and this makes it difficult to be anything other than who they see me as.

I do have different communities and within those communities I can be and am slightly different. For example, with my children I tend to be slightly different from who I am being when I am with work colleagues. However, there tends to be a strong central thread.

On the Camino I discovered that this was a great environment to try out being different. Each day (when I thought of it) I got to choose who I was being that day.

Of course, in reality, I have that same freedom every where else as well but there are less long term consequences on the Camino and so I found it easier to be who I wanted to be rather than who I am.
 

Steven Dwyer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
I definitely set out as a walker. Back when I first heard about the Camino in a travel guide, I thought that’s not for me. The second time I came across the Camino, it was was Shirley McClaine’s book and by the end of the first chapter I thought that sounds fun and I have the time and the resources to do it.

So I set out as a walker and found there is something magical/spiritual/special/life-changing about the Camino that I haven’t found elsewhere. I don’t think of it as a religious pilgrimage in the sense that I believe the legend of the apostle being miraculous transported in a rudderless boat by angels. I’m not sure who is in the three coffins in the crypt, and I do stop in to hug the wait above the alter, more as a long lost friend than as a saint.

As far as spiritual, there is an energy that exists along the Camino that I am lucky enough to tap into. It’s a lot easier to clear ones mind in the great expanse of the meseta when the only thing you need to do is keep putting one foot in front of another.

Another clue might be that on the Camino you run into a group of people where many are seeking answers to important questions, facing their mortality or dealing with personal loss. For many of us, it’s a rare opportunity to express ourselves without the filters of worrying what the other person thinks. If you are lucky as I have been, you learn that it is ok to express these feelings once you are back in the “real”, non Camino world. Sometimes just being there and listening to someone is the most important thing you can do.

I’ve been lucky to keep some of the Camino message alive off the Camino. If you are able to live for thirty days with all that you need in a pack, you may find your life cluttered when you return home. I’ve gone back from the Camino and sold a car because I learned I didn’t really need one. After 39 days on the road, you begin to see that somethings you have in your life are owning you more than you own them.

I still think of myself as a walker. I do make use of the pilgrim’s credential and I am ok doing that since I know there will be those moments when it does become spiritual. And I don’t think I am making a false claim to receive a Compestela, again I always encountered those moments I consider to be spiritual.

Perhaps some of my reluctance to describe myself as a pilgrim is knowing that my enjoyment of a really good meal, or the not so simple pleasures of a Parador are suspect. I go out of my way to marvel at the architecture of a great cathedral, or the beauty of a garden, clearly not true pilgrim behavior. Funny thing is, some of the people who set out for all right religious or spiritual reasons aren’t able to open themselves to the experience of the Camino and some other person who sets out on a hike get slapped upside the head and has their world turned upside down.

One of the great things about the Camino though is that even if I don’t see myself as a pilgrim, every now and then and am accused of being one. Imagine walking into an albergue, handing over your credential only to be told, “Oh, you are the angel we have been expecting,” based on some gossip from another pilgrim you walked with.
 

Tim Eagle

Tim
Camino(s) past & future
Two - Camino Frances - 2016 & 2017
Planning Camino del Norte 2019
I’m not a philosopher - nor would I say I’m especially religious. (Baptised into the Church of England, therefore belief in God optional)

I have ‘camino’d four times so far and intend to carry on twice each year.

I set out as a walker - but always find there is something ‘other’ which I feel after a few days. Whether it’s sense of purpose, the feeling that countless others have passed this way before me, or the common feeling of walking with a slowly-changing familiar group of people, I don’t know.

I’d be interested to hear from others who would not claim religious pilgrimage as having been their primary motivation for embarking on the journey. Did it just feel like a series of village to village day-walks through one of the most developed countries on the planet, or something more?
Perhaps, it is because people are meditating as they walk and maybe they begin to notice a commonality as they learn to trust other people. They learn to lighten their packs and their hearts all at the same time; it’s always good to lose a little unnecessary baggage. Buen Camino
 

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

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

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 6 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 43 4.0%
  • April

    Votes: 165 15.2%
  • May

    Votes: 265 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 83 7.6%
  • July

    Votes: 21 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 23 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 311 28.7%
  • October

    Votes: 134 12.4%
  • November

    Votes: 13 1.2%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.6%
Top