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Just got back

WALKER007

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked the Camino Frances 26th April to June 1st 2013
I have just returned after walking the Camino from St Jean Pied de Port. What can I say.... I started on 26th April and wondered what I was doing on that first day as we came down into Roncesvalles and the snow fell. It was hell. I had done what I thought was the training but didn't pack the right weight on my rucksack so the time I had reached Burgos my feet were shot. I had a good pair of boots but dumped them in Burgos for a pair of trainers. Along the way I met the most incredible people and got close to those I walked with as though they were long friends. The emotions I experienced were intense and "in the moment" I am 56 and did not find it easy but the encouragement from fellow pilgrims was amazing.
I walked the Camino for some romantic adventure after seeing the film The Way but soon realised that I wasn't just a trekker but a pilgrim. One definition of a pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred space. For me the opportunity to share the stories of incredible people from all over the world was indeed sacred. I stayed at the alburgue at Tosantos, a religious one. We were invited to come to a service in the chapel, at the top of this old farm house. That night I will never forget as this wonderful Spanish couple took a service and read out why some people were walking the Camino and their intentions. One lady had breast cancer and this was her last hooray, another young boy was doing it in memory of his father and there were other touching stories. We woke up the following morning to Taize music and it was quite something.
So I loved walking the Camino. It was hard, beautiful, tiring, joyful, painful, a whole gambit of emotions. At the end in the Cathedral I cried because I knew I had spent 6 weeks of my life making special memories with some very special people and it had come to an end. It was everything and more that I expected it to be.
 
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KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Walker007 it's great to read how powerful the experience was for you. It might be 'finished' but I am sure you will find the 'changes' will continue slowly for you in your daily living.
Margaret
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Hola Walker007,
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful report.
Colin
 
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reg2450

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March 2013
Hello gorgeous. Georgia (10) and I, left St Jean April 21 and can relate powerfully to your experience - particularly of the walk to Roncesvalles.
And everything else.
Being home is sometimes strange and beautiful and sad. Then I see my photos and don't know how I feel.
Did we meet you? Did you meet any of our comrades? Steven from Ireland, Steve and Pieter from Belgium, Lynn and her 17 year old daughter from the States, Sonja from Canada and Alista and his mother from South Africa.... and Georgia and I from Australia....
Congrats and warm HUGE acknowledgments of your walk and wonders. I love that you and I both know where we've been. That we all know.
Go - people - JUST GO ♥
 

jude588

New Member
thank you for your posting. I have struggled on the north route and have had an injury and was feeling discouraged. I reluctantly decided to go to Burgos to walk the French route. your posting was a confirmation for me of changing direction but not my destination .
 

WALKER007

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked the Camino Frances 26th April to June 1st 2013
Hello Beautiful - I don't think I met you but I heard about you would you believe that, I remember people talking about a Mother and her daughter doing it - people I met, Karl from the States whose Mantra was "Its all good", Big Peter from Aussie, Peter from Denmark, Oover from Germany, Eric from Denmark, Lena and her dogs from Sweden, Veronica from Ireland, Veronica and Alsion from the Uk, Chanice and Mirion from Sri Lanka, oh I could go on. Still trying to assimilate what a wonderful experience it was!
 

lj4721

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Apr-May 2013
Well said, and words which we can also relate to, also having recently finished the camino, starting in SJPDP on 22 April and reaching Santiago 27 May. Such an amazing experience all round. We have lots of photos to help us remember the places and experiences ( haven't yet looked back through them as we are not yet home), but it is definitely the fabulous people we met who made the experience soooo special. Truly unforgettable.

We met and were inspired by so many wonderful people, and like you, heard about others long before we met them, and we extra fortunate to share the last part, walking into Santiago, with several of our camino family. Difficult to express how amazing that felt. We all just hugged each other in the plaza for ages as emotions spilled over, reluctant to let go.

Like our son said, 'How do you top that?' I guess the journey lives on in us all.

Lex and Judy from Australia.
 

jennyb

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances [May 2012]
VDLP (September 2015)
Hi All
I have just read all the posts and I think you are all amazing people!
I did my Camino last year - left SJPDP on 26 April and walked into Santiago on 1 June. The most awesome, hardest, painful - mentally and physically and enjoyable experience of my life! I kept a journal and have re-read it countless times over the past year. I too met wonderful people from all over the world - Hello Michael in Cape Town! I bonded strongly with Cathy from Australia and Joan from Denmark and Roni from Israel (originally from South Africa). But all the other friends I made remain in my heart too.
I also met a wonderful elderly gentleman who was on his 6th or 7th Camino and he said that he had not yet been to Finisterre. He would go there on his last Camino, which was still way into the future....how awesome is that!
I plan to do the Camino again next year and I will go to Finsterre, but it will not be the end for me.......
Jenny
South Africa
 
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Southhobartian

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept-Oct (2011); LePuy to St Jean, Sept (2013)
Thank you for sharing the reality of this for you (I did feel the lack of mention of feet in 'The Way' missed a wonderful bonding moment for most of us!) and just what an impact it had on you. Like you - my lasting memories of my Sept/Oct 2011 Camino Frances was the amazing connection with people from all over and the world - it still lives with me very day since then (especially with some of my 'camino family' on face book and email!). Decided not to fight the addiction - heading back to start walking from Le Puy in Sept this year.
 

poleskigal

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2011, 2013
A wonderful story and a wonderful adventure. I have completed my second Camino on June 4th, 2013. Like you, I "just got back" but in many ways I am "starting again". You're experiences are a gift that will stay with you forever. Congratulations!
 

Labtails

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte (9/2012)
Great report. Thanks for sharing. So glad your journey turned out to be more than you expected. Congratulations for pushing through the hard times so that you can now relish all the good ones.
 

emv0816

Member
Second to the Right, and Straight on till Morning." That, Peter had
told Wendy, was the way to Neverland." (From "Peter Pan", by J. M.
Barrie)


Scarcely could there be better directions to The Camino. I have learned
that it is not so much a place, although it is a place, as it is a Way.
It is not learned in a book or in a video, it is an experience that
unfolds within. The things which were important at the start; selection
of equipment, route planning, communications, became laughingly
insignificant. Destination yielded to Journey. Appreciation for the
qualities of those dear to you came into sharper focus. One's "guard"
began to drop, and thus the door to friendship opened wider.
Expectations gave way to Acceptance.
For others, The Camino may have remained a vacation, or an adventure,
or an item checked off of a bucket list, but for me the Camino was a
blossoming rebirth of the happiness, innocence, and affections found in
childhood. My Camino also came complete with pain, discomfort, and
anxieties, but without these things there could have been no growth or
appreciation of the Camino's "gifts". These gifts included the
cacophony of sights, sounds, smells, textures... a veritable feast for
the senses. These gifts included intense spiritual experiences, and of
course friendships which were the Expresso of a morning cup of coffee;
deep, intense, rich, but fleeting.
At the grave risk of inadvertent omission, I acknowledge those
friendships at the end of this note... the people who gave my Camino
special dimension. We shared the path, a glass of wine (Vino Tinto!), a
Perigrino menu, an Alberge (and the attendant lack of privacy that
comes with it), and of course the hearty declaration, "Buen Camino!"
These were friendships that carried the uncertainty of not knowing if a
parting would be followed by a separation of a day, a week, or a
lifetime. Each reunion on the Camino was often unexpected, and carried
with it the mutual and unadorned joy that is more typical of a
grandchild's excitement at seeing a long absent, beloved, grandparent.
For an adult, this unreserved affection is a rare gift.
Is it any wonder that my hesitation may be misunderstood when I am
asked, "So how was the Camino?". What can I possibly say that does
justice to the question, and the experience?
I carried my backpack over 800 km on the Camino. Difficult at first,
but it soon became second nature. I have wondered what I might carry
with me from the Camino into everyday life. During an evening religious
service in Rabanal, a monk urged us to be mindful that Christ walked
the Camino. He added that Jesus was disguised as a Pilgrim, and that He
was always careful not to announce His identity. The message worked on
me as I found myself thinking, "What if she..., or he...?", as I passed
Pilgrims here and there on The Way. I became a bit more sincere when I
said "Buen Camino", perhaps a little kinder, a tad less inclined to
judge, more patient. Perhaps that is the best thing for me to carry
forth from the Camino, that the spirit of Christ is within each of us,
and that I should act accordingly.
There is more that deserves to be preserved in my life from the Camino.
Childlike wonder that we are all born with, and which was stirred anew
early on The Way, should not be allowed to dim. Each day should be a
search for a new joy, and when found it should be shared with someone.
There is within each of us the capacity to do our best, and in that to
then do great good. Happiness has its source in these things, and when
found gives one's soul wings...


From Peter Pan: (Wendy's daughter, Jane, to Wendy) "What do you see
now?"
(Wendy) "I don't think that I see anything tonight."
"Yes you do, you see when you were a little girl."
"That is a long time ago, sweetheart.. Ah me, how time flies!"
"Does it fly, the way you flew when you were a little girl?"
"... Do you know, Jane, I sometimes wonder whether I ever really did
fly."
"... Why can't you fly now, mother?"
"Because I am grown up, dearest. When people grow up they forget the
way."


May I never forget... "The Way".


Love to you all. Have Fun, Do Good, and Be Safe! Buen Camino!!
Peter Schloss.
 

CatherineAnn

CF summer 2016
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
Camino Frances (2016)
Thank you for sharing your experience. I too felt all of those emotions and was so sad when the walk was over. :arrow:
 
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clearskies

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - 2011 to 2018
Camino Portugués - 2018, 2019, April 2021
Celtic Camino - 2019
@jude did I meet you on the bus to Bilbao? I'm sure it was you. :)
 

compliance51

member 2013
Year of past OR future Camino
april (2013) SJPP to SDC.
MAY (2015 )Via Podensis
Gr8 story...At first when I was reading I thought it was mine since I started 4/23/2013 in snow ice wind and unprepared for the Pyrenees. I think maybe there's no way to prepare..one must just do it. I agree with you..so many memories of wonderful people and music in the morning in albergues. The Way inspired me and I even went to Morocco afterwards for several days. And as you mention walking through the tunnel with the musician playing into Santiago brought tears to my eyes on 5/30/2013. I now understand why so many do the journey again and again...Thank you so much for your story..
 

clearskies

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - 2011 to 2018
Camino Portugués - 2018, 2019, April 2021
Celtic Camino - 2019
I finished my camino in Leon last week and it is hard as my camino friends are so close to Santiago now. I want to be with them. I had the best time, I went with no clear purpose, just to let things be, and I've come back a more patient, easy going person. I made the decision right away to go back and am walking from St Jean to Santiago next May. The camino has become part of me and I like to think that each one of us is part of the camino.
 

crad80

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Completed Camino Frances (2010 & 2013); Camino Portugues (2011)
Congratulations on your achievement. I too felt the same emotions on my Camino. The feeling you get when you arrive in Santiago (or Finisterre, in my case) is so hard to describe. Thanks again for sharing your Camino experiences. Buen Camino!
 

Larazet

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances "2013" had to stop half way due to tendonitis ... Continuing May 2014..postponed to 2015. SdC to Muxia 2016.
What a wonderful way of describing our Camino. I had all the same emotions. Now, I sit here in my kitchen in France still reading the Forum as I had to terminate my pilgrimage last week at 580 kms, a little after Burgos, due to hip tendonitis. It makes me very sad to think that I won't be with my friends when they reach Santiago - they aren't even there yet.... However, I am driving with my husband to Sarria next week so that he can walk the 100 kms to Santiago. I shall be sitting in the cafes along the Way drinking endless cafe con leches and nursing my leg. Good luck to all pilgrims and buen camino!
 
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