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Looking for friends

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kahve

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'm planning my first Camino this year
Hi everybody,

I'm planning to walk from Porto for two weeks and I'm looking for friends to walk with. Is there anybody who is interested?
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
Kahve,

You will have more friends than you know what to do with on the Porto - Portuguese or the Frances. Almost everyone you meet is an immediate friend before introductions because you have all traveled great distances at great expense and great time investment to experience something you have all been thinking about for a long time.

You will have a lot in common with everyone else so starting a conversation comes easy. Continuing the conversation is also easy because you are walking/exercising together in the freedom of the great outdoors and not stuck sitting across from each other in an uncomfortable blind date format. You will make new friends every day if not every hour and the friends you made yesterday you might not see again until tomorrow or next week or never. But they are still your friends and they still feel good about you as you do them. That's how the Camino works. People come in an out of your life and unlike the "real world", meeting each other is easy and natural as are the goodbyes...see you later. Both are happy experiences and both happen spontaneously.

You don't need to bring a friend and you don't need to set one up in advance. Why commit to one now ahead of time when you will have so many to enjoy once you arrive. The one you commit to now may not be a good match and you may part ways soon after the start making for an uncomfortable situation for both of you if you have some expectations of how this "particular friendship" it's all supposed to work out. Finding a friend now and setting it all up does not mean this person is staying with you for the whole hike. They too will want to spread their wings and enjoy meeting the great diversity of people from everywhere on this planet. Since I brought up "expectations" I will go one step further with some advice. Most people I've read about who did not LOVE their camino experience had some expectations prior to the trip that were not realized. If you can, go with NO expectations about anything and be mindful of being open to every new friendship and every new experience and just see where it takes you. And on those days or hours where you are challenged in one way or another remember this quote - the camino gives you what you need, not what you want. So dig below the surface to understand the message the camino/world is sending to you.

I may be wrong but I suspect your question/concern is based on some fear you are having about the Camino. Maybe it's just the fear of the unknown (we all have that to some degree on our first camino). Or maybe there is something more specific. If you can figure out the underlying fears you have please feel free to ask those more specific questions. Everyone here is helpful, compassionate and empathetic. Your fears or questions have already been expressed and answered multiple times and we are happy to answer them again for you. If you are uncomfortable divulging those specific fears or questions, you can find those previous discussions using the search function.

Welcome to the Forum and have a great Camino.
 
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kahve

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'm planning my first Camino this year
Kahve,

You will have more friends than you know what to do with on the Porto - Portuguese or the Frances. Almost everyone you meet is an immediate friend before introductions because you have all traveled great distances at great expense and great time investment to experience something you have all been thinking about for a long time.

You will have a lot in common with everyone else so starting a conversation comes easy. Continuing the conversation is also easy because you are walking/exercising together in the freedom of the great outdoors and not stuck sitting across from each other in an uncomfortable blind date format. You will make new friends every day if not every hour and the friends you made yesterday you might not see again until tomorrow or next week or never. But they are still your friends and they still feel good about you as you do them. That's how the Camino works. People come in an out of your life and unlike the "real world", meeting each other is easy and natural as are the goodbyes...see you later. Both are happy experiences and both happen spontaneously.

You don't need to bring a friend and you don't need to set one up in advance. Why commit to one now ahead of time when you will have so many to enjoy once you arrive. The one you commit to now may not be a good match and you may part ways soon after the start making for an uncomfortable situation for both of you if you have some expectations of how this "particular friendship" it's all supposed to work out. Finding a friend now and setting it all up does not mean this person is staying with you for the whole hike. They too will want to spread their wings and enjoy meeting the great diversity of people from everywhere on this planet. Since I brought up "expectations" I will go one step further with some advice. Most people I've read about who did not LOVE their camino experience had some expectations prior to the trip that were not realized. If you can, go with NO expectations about anything and be mindful of being open to every new friendship and every new experience and just see where it takes you. And on those days or hours where you are challenged in one way or another remember this quote - the camino gives you what you need, not what you want. So dig below the surface to understand the message the camino/world is sending to you.

I may be wrong but I suspect your question/concern is based on some fear you are having about the Camino. Maybe it's just the fear of the unknown (we all have that to some degree on our first camino). Or maybe there is something more specific. If you can figure out the underlying fears you have please feel free to ask those more specific questions. Everyone here is helpful, compassionate and empathetic. Your fears or questions have already been expressed and answered multiple times and we are happy to answer them again for you. If you are uncomfortable divulging those specific fears or questions, you can find those previous discussions using the search function.

Welcome to the Forum and have a great Camino.
Wow, thanks for an amazing answer twh. My main concern is walking alone such a long time and it'd be great to have someone with you in case of an emergency, like health issues or the injuries. But after reading your message, I feel better and there is no need to be afraid of.

I'll read more in the forum and let's see what my adventure will teach me.
 

moxy

May your search through nature lead to yourself.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Português 2019
Hi Moxy,

I'm planning to leave on 6th of July from Porto. Is it a good time for you?
Oh no. I’ll be out of Porto as well but by Sept 13. No worries, Im sure you’ll find plenty of people and that’s part of the whole Camino experience.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
Kahve,

If you walk around your neighborhood or drive to the store with security guards at home then bring them with you to the camino...it will feel just like home and you are guaranteed to be safe.

You are most likely more safe from bodily harm while walking alone on the Portuguese or Frances than almost anywhere else in the world. There are both people and facilities very close at all times able to render aid if needed. There is an APP for Spain called "AlertCops" you can add to your phone to get help or report crime that works in your language and connects you to someone who can speak your language. See another thread linked below with some info on it if your biggest concern is "an emergency, like health issues or the injuries"

None of us want to experience a terrifying death from an airplane crash...yet the majority of us willinging board multiple flights (opportunities to die) to get to the start of our Camino. We see the gruesome reports on the news every time a plane crashes and it has no effect on our decision to book our next flight. Why? I guess we are all gamblers. We realize the risk is remote. We are much more likely to be injured or killed getting into our car and driving to the store. Death or bodily harm from another person on the Camino is in the same risk category as dying in a plane crash.

If you experience any crime at all on the Camino it will most likely be theft of your phone or money that you leave unattended in your albergue or "pickpocket" while walking around in a big city. This is easily avoidable. Keep your passport, money and phone with you at all times including in the shower (use a dry bag or ziplock bag) and while sleeping (wear a lightweight money belt) and you will avoid this problem.

If you spend enough time on this forum you will see reports on "flashers"...local men exposing their genitals on the more isolated sections of the trail or an area with a quick escape for them to their parked car. These situations are also rare but it is obviously scary to the person who experiences it and it gets a lot of press here when it happens so it might seem like it is frequent. From what I have read it sounds like the flashers are not on the actual road or the path but instead 10 to 20 feet or more away from you. It sounds like they want to be close enough to elicit and observe a reaction from their victim but not close enough to be physically caught or risk "weeny" injury from an aggressive Peregrina that turns a sharp hiking pole in their direction. From the reports I've read I get the impression the flasher typically escapes by running away from the trail (and victim) for cover and to avoid other hikers...crossing a field to hide or going to another trail or a road for escape. As I understand it, these non-physical assaults against women are not preludes to a violent crime like rape or physical sexual assault. If one comes upon a flasher it is recommended you ignore the offender (after noting height/weight/clothing & other identifiable characteristics) and then leave the immediate area with haste AND then report it ASAP. My impression from what I've read on the forum is the "flasher" in Spain is treated by the local community as being "naughty" and not necessarily a sexual offender. Most of the camino pilgrims from other countries see this behavior as a sexual offense and the pressure on the police to take this issue more seriously can only happen if EVERYONE reports these incidents. It should only take one but when a flasher gets enough reports about his behavior he will eventually suffer some consequences. The more reporting the quicker this behavior goes from "naughty" to taboo in the community, if not criminal. The AlertCops App has a button for reporting a sex crime on the opening page...see below. Again, from what I've read on this forum, although the local community of the offender may not treat his offenses as seriously as they should, the local Police DO take these complaints seriously and react quickly and professionally when dealing with the victim. They make a concerted effort to identify and then find the perpetrator and then local law determines what happens next...so to all reading this, DO report the offense if it happens. You will be taken seriously and you will be dealt with compassionately and professionally by the police.

I would wager if you talked to every person you saw on your camino someone will have lost or heard of someone else that lost a valuable from theft while on the Camino at the same time you are there. Based on the frequency of "flasher" experiences I've read about here (and surely there are many more of these crimes than we read about here) I would wager none of the people you saw on your camino experienced or heard second hand about a flasher experience occurring during the time you are on your camino. Unfortunately it does happen but again, it's rare.


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