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Karla's Camino

  • Thread starter Deleted member 3000
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MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
Falcon, thank you for posting that. Traveling is not for everyone. Some are best suited to be at home and are perfectly happy. Others love the thrill of travel, the not knowing, and enjoy the learning.

Traveling well demands a certain mindset or perspective. Without it, a foreign land turn into aliens that haunt us with every step. For me, southern France is heaven; it is where angels go on vacation because it so great.

The great thing is that Karla found out that her feet are planted in Oregon (at home) and she knows how great that is.

Cheers and here is to happier times for her,

Michael
 

coober

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009,
VdlP 2014
Del Norte 50% 2017
Primitivo 2017
Karla/Falcon,

I'm just curious to know if you are two different people or is Falcon just your forum name?

thanks
David
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
Karla's Camio should be required reading for all would be pilgrims.

As Forrest Gump says, "Life is like a box of chocolates..."

Buen Camino.
David, Victoria, Canada.
 

elzi

Active Member
Wow, thanks for posting this - I've thought a lot about it. Recently I was having a conversation with someone about how the time on camino tends to highlight the issues that are really important to you in life. I guess that's true even if what is important to you is to go home, be with the folks you love and not walk the camino at all!
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
I am dumbstruck.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
There was a similar post about a year back by a young woman who was so overwhelmed by the prospect of actually walking the camino that she went home after arriving at Pamplona.
I remember her saying that everything was just too much. Her arrival in St Jean, the difficult climb to the Ibanete Pass, the crowded albergue in Roncesvalles and the prospect of walking day after day was too daunting for her to continue.
A local journalist wrote an amusing piece in a magazine about her attempt at walking the camino. She hated the dusty paths, the derelict buildings, the gloomy monasteries and the dormitory-like albergues. She walked about 100kms then got trains and buses to cities and towns all the way to Santiago. She described the cathedral as a monstrosity and Santiago as grey, damp and boring. She ended her piece by saying that if she ever got the urge to do a pilgrimage walk again she would have a stiff drink and lie down until the urge went away!
Its obviously not for everyone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I know Karla personally, having met her though friends a few months before her Camino. We had dinner with those friends and I listened to her talk, dreamy eyed, about what her Camino would be. Having done the Camino once, I bit my tongue, knowing she would find out the truth of the matter herself. When people ask me about the Camino, I say it is "wonderful and terrible!" Much like the GREAT OZ!

I admit to being angry, sad, and confused myself these days on the Camino. Maybe even a bit disillusioned. The Camino is a great learning experience, even if what it teaches you is that there is no place like home. I am struggling myself, after being sick for 10 days, after failing the VDLP due to heat and lack of water. But I am happy to have finished the Frances sections I missed last time around and I am on my way to The Peaceable Kingdom to visit Rebecca and figure out where to walk for my last month here.

Somebody needs to write a book about the REAL Camino, I think. Too often, the Camino is made out to be a wonderful wonderland, full of goodness and love, when in reality it is a walk where you meet many challenges. Those challenges can include longer than expected, tiring walking, blisters, sore and pulled muscles, gut upsets, flashers, thieves, lack of sleep due to unfamiliar beds, snorers, bedbugs, and along with the Camino angels, a good supply of Camino devils... or people just wary and weary of pilgrims. Some, you overcome. Some, you simply learn you NEED to overcome. All stretch you and help you grow, even if like Karla, you learn that TODAY, these represent boundaries for you. Maybe tomorrow, she might try again.

I remember my first few weeks of kindergarten. There was a girl, I still remember her name, whose mother walked her to school every single day. (we walked alone to kindergarten in those days) And every single day she SCREAMED for her mother for the first half hour of school. She was forced (by law) to attend, and she did, of course, graduate from high school. But the first few weeks were very traumatic for her. The first time I tried to ride a bicycle, I fell off onto my face. After the scabs healed, I tried again and succeeded, but it took a few weeks to muster up my courage. The Camino forces us, often, to face life outside our comfort zone. It is also a good thing, I think, when we learn to appreciate what we have, and that is sometimes the BEST lesson of the Camino for me.

Many pilgrims I speak to go through Camino Shock the first week. Most do not have the luxury of turning back home. I think that is good... they are forced to move ahead and meet challenges.

Do not get me wrong, I love the Camino, and there are wonders around every corner. I love Spain! I love the people, the land, the food, the language. But there are days when I just wish I was home... dark, depressing days when I long for the comfort zone of my own bed, my own kitchen, my big lovely BATHTUB and as much hot water as I want to pay for, and people who love me and understand me.

I think that from reading some of the posts on the forum, some new people get the idea that it is a cakewalk... and it certainly is NOT that! A hefty dose of reality, along with encouragement and helpful hints, might be better on occasion.

Posts such as Karla+s are good reminders that there are doses of negative along with the positive. And it truly is all about finding balance for me.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
Annie - no matter how much you tell people, they won't know, really know, until they've tried it. (Its a bit like giving birth! No two experiences are the same even though its the same old process!)

*You can tell them to buy good footwear and wear them in. What do they do? They buy good looking, expensive (or cheap) boots/trainers a couple of weeks before they leave.
*You can advise them on what backpack to buy. They then buy one that is much too big because they can't imagine getting all their stuff into a diddly 32L or 34L pack.
*You warn them about taking too much stuff. (People NEVER listen to this one - and neither did I the first time!) I colour co-ordinated my outfits and took a little black number for going out in the evenings - which meant a matching pair of shoes - as well as a colourful sarong my sister brought back from Bangkok. Then I couldn't understand HOW my pack grew to weigh over 15kg!

I am often amazed at how different people react to their experience. Those that I've thought would not make it, let alone enjoy it, are often those who fall in love with the camino and those who start off all dreamy-eyed and soulful are the ones who come back confused and resentful because it didn't live up to their expectations.

I tell people to read Joyce Rupp's book "Walk in a Relaxed Manner" because it is a warts-and-all account of the rocky, muddy, dirty trails; grumpy cafe-bar owners; unhygenic ablutions in over-crowded albergues; loud, inconsiderate pilrgrims etc etc etc.

In spite of all that - we go back and do it all over again!
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I'm sometmes criticised on this forum for being a trifle critical especially about the CF but I echo many of the recent comments that many first timers think they will be floating on some celestial cloud,they overpack,do no training etc. Many of the problems encountered on the CF can be avoided by taking the other routes..but of course they don't listen to that either.
And really, do we need ANOTHER camino book?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
It is funny, is it not, how many of us seem to return to do it again... BWA HA hahahaha (mad laughter).

I remember saying I would never return to Spain or the Camino again.. then 3 months later (or less) I was planning my next trip! roflmao!

Anyway... if nothing else, the Camino is a learning experience, rich and varied.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Last weekend I met someone who wanted to quiz me about the Camino. I didn't know her very well, and the first question I asked her was "Do you really like walking?" It wasn't my intention, but I seemed to offend her at first with this question. But I think it is an important one. People can have all sorts of 'ideas' about the nobility of the pilgrimage concept. But when the feet actually hit the road, what are going to worry you most are sore feet. No matter how much training you have done, and how well worn in your shoes are, your feet won't be used to walking for hours one day then the next then the next. So even if you get no blisters, the soles of your feet are going to feel very tender. So you have to like walking, and you have to enjoy being in the outdoors etc to get past that shock of tender feet.
If you last the first ten days, it seems that for most of us, the brain then somehow gives the nerves-in-the-feet the message to stop complaining, because this is all just going to continue a bit longer whatever you think, so stop complaining.....
Margaret
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
Pilgrimage, IMHO, is an act of faith or a spiritual journey that demands a discipline over the demands of the physical body. This is a drastically different venture than a hike over an extended period. For many the Camino is really just a hike and they are welcome participants. However, there are even more who choose to begin as motivated by a response to spiritual prodding. So many of us feel led to go or to return. Without some form of sacrifice (putting the body through this grueling walk), our spirit would not be set free to commune with God.

Karla's report of her Camino is valuable and should be noted by all who contemplate pilgrimage. I find that her frame of mind increased the probability of a very trying time in France and Spain. Fundamentally, whe was not as prepared mentally and spiritually for pilgrimage (please forgive me if that sounds harsh). She may return one day and complete a Camino that is worthwhile for her; that is not to say that she did not learn valuable lessons during her recent trip. However, at that time she will have a different mindset. A successful pilgrim comes prepared to deny the body and the comforts of home in the hope of experiencing the divine.

His peace to you,

Michael
 

lorax

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I tried in 09, it went horribly. Gonna try again. Aug/Sept this year
Interesting to read all the replies... I DID think I was prepared, mentally and physically. I wasn't prepared for how little sleep I was getting because whenever I snored, I was awoken by someone... it went from bad to worse because I was sooo aware how my snoring (trust me, I tried to sleep sitting up so I wouldn't) was affecting others. I didn't want to be a hindrance to others. I guess if I would have taken a "sorry but I snore" and snore away... it may have been a different story.

I believe though, if things are continually going wrong and doors are closing.... the Universe doesn't want you there. Thankfully I was able to call my husband and say "GET ME OUT OF HERE!!"

I will say... my dreams were incredibly vivid there and continue to be in my own bed. So I am happy to be walking my own Camino here in my own neighborhood...and sleeping in my own bed.

The biggest thing I am thankful for is that I was home for my husband's surgery and thankfully they got all the skin cancer. He has suggested that maybe he and I will walk the Camino one day, but honestly, I can't imagine that happening. All wanderlust that I have had my entire life is gone.

Blessings to all you pilgrims....
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
After reading this string, particularly the latest posts, I realized the Camino is a lot like the Outward Bound experience. Outward Bound is an outdoor education school that takes you out of the city and plunks you with a lot of strangers in an unfamiliar environment. You then get 3 weeks of training and trials. There can be tears and arguments, fears and frustrations, but for those who persevere, there is an awesome climax "I did it!", "WE did it!". The feeling of victory doesn't always come on the last day. Some are exhausted, fed-up, and never want to see another freeze-dried meal in their life. But slowly their mind filters and manages the memories until the feeling emerges, "I can't believe it. I did it. We did it!, I will never go back, but I can wear this one like a badge of courage." Even through the tough moments, there are moments of awe and wonder. Wild flowers. At OWB you may listen to loons on a lake, or wolves howling in the moonlight. The mezmorizing crunch of gravel under your feet and thoughts of home and friends far away are hypnotic.

There will be people that must quit early due to repetitive strain injuries, and those who leave because it just isn't what they expected. But what would it be, if everyone could do it?

You are not going to meet Julie Andrews singing "Climb Every Mountain" at the summit of Napoleon Pass.

For those who venture out, whether it is a Camino, or Outward Bound, a certificate of untold value is the prize at the end.

David, Victoria, Canada
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
skilsaw said:
You are not going to meet Julie Andrews singing "Climb Every Mountain" at the summit of Napoleon Pass. David, Victoria, Canada
Well, I may not be Julie Andrews, but strangely enough this was one of the songs I sang on my way up on the Napoleon Route. "Climb Every Mountain" might not sound rhythmical when it is sung with Julie Andrew's soaring lyrical voice, but with a pack on my back, it suited perfectly as I urged my feet upwards and onwards!!
Margaret
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
When I walked with Anneliese (Dominican nun) in 2007 we sang "Climb every mountain" after leaving Tomas' refuge in the mountains. I captured it on video and although it is a pitiful rendition, it was spontaneous!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I wish more of pilgrims who find themselves so miserable were as wise as Lorax. Instead of cutting their losses and heading home, they "gut it out" down the Camino, horrified and sad and disgusted the entire way... And sharing their misery with everyone they meet. :x
You know the one.
Reb.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
This is the best thread ever! Thank you, Karla. Your Camino has been very thought provoking.

From a hotel lobby in Najera,
Falcon
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
When hit by the blues, think about the difficulty some pilgrims have, Karla as an example. Regardless, there is a lot to learn about oneself and others.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
It´s amazing how durable a dream can be. Lots of folks won´t let a little "reality" get in their way.

I am forever amazed at the many people who want to know how to buy a tumbledown house along the camino and set up an albergue. It´s a lovely idea, but fraught with all kinds of issues and obstacles.

My first response when asked about these things is: Have you ever been a hospitalero?
The answer is usually No. That had not occurred to them!

So many people don´t want to bother with finding out if cleaning up after The Migratory Herd is something they are willing to contend with day after day. Dreaming is a lot more fun!

Reb.
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
Rebekah Scott said:
Dreaming is a lot more fun!

Dorothy Day used to quote Staretz Zossima from 'The Brothers Karamazov:

“Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.”

Andy
 

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