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Meeting people on the Camino

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
With a smile, a "Buen Camino", and a suggestion to prepare a meal together in the albergue kitchen. :) Just be your open self: It will go a long way.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Many people stop at Orrison for the night after leaving SJPdP. Although I have never done that, I hear often that it is a great bonding expeience.
Yes, I found communal dinners offered in many of the albergues also a great way to meet other pilgrims.
 
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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Hi 🙋‍♀️ @LineDenmark
Since you have walked part of the CF already., you would have experienced the call from other pilgrims as you came close ‘Buen Camino’..

you can either let that go with a similar reply if they are ‘hurrying’ past or if they appear to be walking at your pace ., you could ask a polite , ‘how are you finding the walk?’ Or how far are you planning to go? Anything really. Often others are happy to pass a few words.
Sometimes this bonds you a little. If you don’t start walking with them there and then..... often you might see them later in the walk . Sitting at a bar etc. With pilgrims it is not uncommon to recognise each other from an earlier ‘buen camino’ and therefore it’s ok to ask : ‘ would you mind if I join you ? (With your cafe con leche..or your cerveza. !). You really only need to connect with one here and there to give you a bit of company. You can ask cheery questions without being intrusive or you can share an experience you’ve had yourself ., or share helpful info that you may have researched.

whilst joining in with Albergue dinners is good too... if you book ahead at private rooms etc ./ you will miss out on this experience although many pilgrims will head to a recommended bar or restaurant to eat as a group.
with booking ahead .. you can get privacy when you need some - but it can be lonely too if on your own. So maybe a mix ...

Even on very quiet camino routes - if you find only one other pilgrim arrives at your Albergue etc .... I find it’s easy to be friendly. We’re all ‘one family’ in the camino .
Buen camino
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I find staying at albergues really helps in meeting people, especially (as you have noted) those with communal meals. Stopping at bars along the way for a cafe con leche and perhaps a snack is also a good opportunity to meet other pilgrims. Many pilgrims would be happy to have you join them at a table. And, as mentioned above, there is always a cheerful "buen camino" while walking.
 

Lindsay53

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances April / May 19
I walked alone but it was easy to have a conversation in the albergues or bars, even for someone fairly introverted like me. We all have the Camino in common as a starting point for conversation, and after a few days or a week or so you tend to run into many of the same people at night or at some point during the days walking, so conversations tend to pick up from there.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
Well, we germans aren't exactly known for being the most outgoing people, but then, we aren't known for being to shy as well.
I did not have any problems chatting people up. Buen Camino, Good Mornig, How's it going, Wanna walk togethere for a bit, Where you from... If they don't feel like chatting, I walked on and chatted up the next interesting looking person. If the chat grew tedious, i did not have any inhibitions on ending it. A simple "I think I want to walk alone for a bit now, see you later" might be considered rude by some, but while on the camino, people seemed to have no problem with that.
Then theres the people you see over and over again. They seem to walk similar distances like you. There will be some bonding just by that.
Most interesting for me was the little time it took to have real deep conversations with people you literally met 10 minutes before. I guess opening up to a person that you'll likely never see again after finishing the camino is easier in some ways.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Certainly I met people at cafes etc.
If someone is alone at the next table I might say Hi. Where are you from? Or how far have you walked today? And that can start a conversation.

I probably meet most people just walking. If someone is stopped I might pause to see if they are OK and say Hi. Or if I'm passing someone slowly going up a hill, I might slow down a bit and say Hi.
Some people like to chat as they walk, as it takes their mind off things.
Others as you will appreciate, will make it clear, politely, that they'd like to walk alone.

Partly I think it's a bit like 'dating'. Not that I can remember back that Far!

But by a glance, or a smile, or a gesture you get a sense they are open to exchanging a few words......
Just take the first step, and say Hello.

By the same token, I have felt very lonely at times.
I don't mind being the only person staying somewhere and eating alone. I've done that many times.
No, it's in the crowded dining room, with groups and couples having animated discussions and laughing, as I sit alone eating dinner.

I learned from that!
Now I often ask another lone diner if they mind me joining them.......

I had a very interesting dinner conversation with a guy who spoke not a word of English.
And I not a word of his language.
Between google translate, sign language and 'knowing' nods we managed....
 
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aidan macdhorcaidh

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances (2017)
Hi 🙋‍♀️ @LineDenmark
Since you have walked part of the CF already., you would have experienced the call from other pilgrims as you came close ‘Buen Camino’..

you can either let that go with a similar reply if they are ‘hurrying’ past or if they appear to be walking at your pace ., you could ask a polite , ‘how are you finding the walk?’ Or how far are you planning to go? Anything really. Often others are happy to pass a few words.
Sometimes this bonds you a little. If you don’t start walking with them there and then..... often you might see them later in the walk . Sitting at a bar etc. With pilgrims it is not uncommon to recognise each other from an earlier ‘buen camino’ and therefore it’s ok to ask : ‘ would you mind if I join you ? (With your cafe con leche..or your cerveza. !). You really only need to connect with one here and there to give you a bit of company. You can ask cheery questions without being intrusive or you can share an experience you’ve had yourself ., or share helpful info that you may have researched.

whilst joining in with Albergue dinners is good too... if you book ahead at private rooms etc ./ you will miss out on this experience although many pilgrims will head to a recommended bar or restaurant to eat as a group.
with booking ahead .. you can get privacy when you need some - but it can be lonely too if on your own. So maybe a mix ...

Even on very quiet camino routes - if you find only one other pilgrim arrives at your Albergue etc .... I find it’s easy to be friendly. We’re all ‘one family’ in the camino .
Buen camino
Mention finnegans wake...but read a bit of it first.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Buen caminó, hello, my bed is noisy and my mattress is too soft, would you like to join me, may I join you, the rain really sucked, the snow really sucked, the wind really sucked, that last hill really sucked, would you like to make
dinner together or go out for dinner, do you have to also call your husband/wife every day too or she/he will crawl under your wazoo and die, those are lovely blisters you have there,would you mind cutting your toenails outside or would you mind picking up your toenail clippings off my bed would you hang your wet clothes somewhere else they are dripping on my bed?
My favorite icebreaker- When was the last time you took a shower?
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
A bottle of wine at the table with 2 glasses, Buen Camino with a smile. Always hello, buen camino, estas bien?, etc. You will see the same people many times, sometimes the timing is just off, sometimes a seed needs time to grow.

I have not tried the cookies, but I have with caramelo. Bought the bag and handed them out to everyone around.
 

Kristinka

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 2020 and July 2021
I’m reading all your responses and feel my heart starting to beat a little faster...in fear lol. Living in Brooklyn, NY for the last 25 years has taught me to keep my mouth shut and mostly to avoid people 🙄. Usually you get a response like WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? Or YOU HAVE A PROBLEM? 😂😂😂
 
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Dave C.

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis (2016)
SJ to Santo Domingo (2017)
Santo Domingo to Fromista (2018)
SJPdP to Burgos (2019)
I’m reading all your responses and feel my heart starting to beat a little faster...in fear lol. Living in Brooklyn, NY for the last 25 years has taught me to keep my mouth shut and mostly to avoid people 🙄. Usually you get a response like WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? Or YOU HAVE A PROBLEM? 😂😂😂
It's a whole different "world" on the Camino. Yes, you may find a few that are not friendly. I have walked over 1,500 kms in Spain, and I think I have only met two unfriendly Pilgrims. One was running a scam and I think the other was just having a really bad day. All in all everyone is of common mind and spirit.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
When walking, I always found that saying the traditional "Buen Camino" followed by a greeting in whatever language you speak helps the conversation move quickly. It gets you past the awkward "What do you speak" part. Usually, the problem is that you find too many people to talk too. There are just too many stories and lives that can be shared. No where else (and I've traveled to many many countries) is the environment so open and friendly.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Was I really? I just quoted the words as I saw them. I stopped reading at that point. I could see where it was going and didn't want to watch. ;-)
If all of the commas he used between each thing he said would have been semi-colons instead, possibly you would have understood better...or maybe I am wrong.🙄
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)


I meet many people whilst they are overtaking me.

On the back of my sack I have sewn three ‘flag’ patches: the Union Flag; that of the EU and the Spanish flag. It helps the over-takers to have a guess at what language to engage in. My Spanish is ‘aspirational’, but good enough.
 
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RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
Keep a journal. Jot down names, where you met, where they're from. Share email address. So when you meet again you have a point of reference. Greating someone by their name is a great icebreaker. With email you can share an experience that might be helpful, "I'm staying at the X alburgue because Y", "Is the incline ahead as bad as it looks on the map?", "Have you seen the short German lady, she dropped her headlight, I have it"
 
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Arn

Veteran Member
Many people stop at Orrison for the night after leaving SJPdP. Although I have never done that, I hear often that it is a great bonding expeience.
Yes, I found communal dinners offered in many of the albergues also a great way to meet other pilgrims.
I stopped at Orrison (2008) and never regretted it. I met several pilgrims that I walked with at some stages, met others again further on, met again in SDC in the Plaza and have remained friends with some up to today. I think the key was the evening communal meal! This was the major ice breaker. And, each time I stayed at an albergue along the Way where an evening meal was included, I added to that number.
The eyes are said to the the gateway to your soul...make eye contact and possibly meet a Camino Soul mate...or two.
 
I walked from Leon with a small group of former work colleagues, we often walked separately but always went out for dinner together. When we spotted pilgrims alone in the restaurant would ask if they wanted to join us. There was always an enthusiastic yes and an enjoyable time. It’s much easier for a group to approach a single pilgrim than the other way around.
 

Sherpa47

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2008 and 2017
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
A smile on your face, an open and curious outlook is for a great start. Good idea to stay in an Albergue that offers a communal evening meal..... if not available offer with some other pilgrim to share a meal together.
On the Camino you may walk alone, but you are not alone.
Buen Camino!
 
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Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Year of past OR future Camino
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino de Baztan
Like many others, I think that shared meals are always a good "contact exchange". I love to cook, and when the albergue offers this option and there is no shared meal, I call out on the patio, "Anyone want to cook with me?"
This is not intrusive in any way, everyone has the choice to join in of their own accord or not.

During breaks, I often wait a bit to approach pilgrims until I've already seen them once or twice and at least said hello.
Especially from female pilgrims I have heard a few times that they sometimes feel a bit overrun by male pilgrims. We certainly don't mean any harm, but sometimes we men just fall with the door in the house without realizing it.:oops:

If I start walking at the same time as another pilgrim in the morning or after the break, I always ask if it's okay, otherwise please let me know that you would like to walk alone.

If someone wants to be alone, I sincerely hope they tell me that. The need for socializing is different for everyone and varies throughout the day. This is everyday life on the Camino and no one is resentful.

The easiest way, of course, is to invite pilgrims who arrive after you to your table during a break or at a bar.
 

Eckart.S

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
several
I would recommend to walk a different, less traveled camino the next time, e.g. the Via de la Plata. On the VdlP there are much less places to eat and to stay for the night. So you will meet people a second and third time, which makes it much easier to start or restart communication.
Buen Camino!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning to walk the Camino del Norte from Castro Urdiales (2019)
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
Hello,
I walked the Norte route alone in late August/September 2019. (Had planned a second journey for last year but life is what happens while you're busy making plans). I spoke to lots of people and made some real friends with who I'm still in contact. Like most things on the Camino it just happened. You chat briefly to people as you pass them (or they pass you) during the day; you meet people when you stop for coffee or while you're having an end of day beer and you meet people in the Albergues. If I have any advice it's to be open to whatever experience the Camino sends your way.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Agree with nearly all the comments, which have also lifted my mood today... reflecting on all the wonderful people I've met—connections, conversations, stories, and laughter—on Caminos past. I look so forward to the day I will next step foot on The Way.
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks a lot for all the suggestions and the stories from your walks - also the funny ones. It turned into a great list of ways to connect:

- "Buen Camino", smile, eye contact, be open
- Orrison after leaving SJPdP
- communal albergue meals
- Remember names
- chatting people up
- cooking meals together
- get whatapp numbers
- walk a less traveled Camino
- wine, chocolate, cookies, bag of caramelo
- mention Finnegans wake (do I really have to read it?)
- ask if it's okay to walk together
- offer to share meals
- use icebreakers like "when was the last time you took a shower?"

I also found that people were really friendly and very open on the Camino. But it did seem like many people walk in couples or groups, and as a solo traveller it's good to have a strategy for connecting with others.

Tak = thank you :)
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)

I do not know if there are any special tips. Most of the people I have met were in Albergues. I have met people in bars, restaurants having dinner, stopped along side the road and on the bus to SJPdP from Bayonne when the train was not running.

That said, most of the time it was in an Albergue. I have not found it difficult, especially on the more popular routes ie: Frances, Norte, Primitivo.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
- use icebreakers like "when was the last time you took a shower?"
That particular one might sound insulting, like "whewww, when was the last time you took a shower," while holding your nose. 😅 Better to say "I keep finding no hot water in the showers, how about you?"
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Many people stop at Orrison for the night after leaving SJPdP. Although I have never done that, I hear often that it is a great bonding expeience.
Yes, I found communal dinners offered in many of the albergues also a great way to meet other pilgrims.
That would have been a great start @Camino Chrissy; however, when I did that, last October, I had the Orisson auberge to myself. It was a very odd feeling, after reading about meeting other pilgrims, to spend my first evening totally alone - strange, but not unpleasant.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
That would have been a great start @Camino Chrissy; however, when I did that, last October, I had the Orisson auberge to myself. It was a very odd feeling, after reading about meeting other pilgrims, to spend my first evening totally alone - strange, but not unpleasant.
How unfortunate to experience that on your very first Camino, Sue, but 2020 was a strange year indeed. I do recall you were participating as an act of selfless fundraising.
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
That particular one might sound insulting, like "whewww, when was the last time you took a shower," while holding your nose. 😅 Better to say "I keep finding no hot water in the showers, how about you?"
Yes, insulting but quite funny ;) Humor makes the world go round

Wouldn't use it though
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
How unfortunate to experience that on your very first Camino, Sue, but 2020 was a strange year indeed. I do recall you were participating as an act of selfless fundraising.
Hi Chrissy. It was part fund raising and part a challenge and voyage of discovery for myself. That first night alone was strange as I had expected to meet others, but it set me up for lone walking, which I enjoyed, for most of the Camino. However I met many lovely people during my 33 days and am really looking forward to being able, sometime, to repeat the experience. To @LineDenmark, I would say take every day as it comes and enjoy. I’m not very good at making the first move but found many lovely people to pass short parts of the Camino or a cafe lèche or cerveza with.
 

Derek Booth

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March 2019
I’m reading all your responses and feel my heart starting to beat a little faster...in fear lol. Living in Brooklyn, NY for the last 25 years has taught me to keep my mouth shut and mostly to avoid people 🙄. Usually you get a response like WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? Or YOU HAVE A PROBLEM? 😂😂😂
I am from the North of England where people acknowledge each other and wouldn't think of being in a strangers company without passing the time of day.
On the other hand, those that live in our capital positively cringe at the thought of someone looking at them on their way to work, let alone actually talking, heaven forbid.
You might even find a YouTube clip from the UK where a spoof news bulletin reports the 'Northerner' being treated with great suspicion by Londoners because he had the temerity to talk on the Tube (subway). Sounds just like Noo Yark sic.
You'll find the perigrino' a strange bunch.
They, to a person, are friendly, affable, generous, kind, polite. Enjoy. Its all the harder to march when you are the only one in step!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Thanks a lot for all the suggestions and the stories from your walks - also the funny ones. It turned into a great list of ways to connect:

- "Buen Camino", smile, eye contact, be open
- Orrison after leaving SJPdP
- communal albergue meals
- Remember names
- chatting people up
- cooking meals together
- get whatapp numbers
- walk a less traveled Camino
- wine, chocolate, cookies, bag of caramelo
- mention Finnegans wake (do I really have to read it?)
- ask if it's okay to walk together
- offer to share meals
- use icebreakers like "when was the last time you took a shower?"

I also found that people were really friendly and very open on the Camino. But it did seem like many people walk in couples or groups, and as a solo traveller it's good to have a strategy for connecting with others.

Tak = thank you :)
As the person from NY said, it can sometimes take effort to rethink the cultural norms from the place where you live.

This became very obvious to me when I was lucky enough to spend six months on a student exchange in Sweden at KTH at Kista during my Masters study.

I had organised it myself and because I came from the Southern hemisphere I arrived in the middle of the semester, long after the induction activities had finished and while I lived in student accommodation with other students; my age (I did this in my early 60's) difference tended to separate me out from the partying going on around me.

I found it quite uncomfortable to not have casual conversations with people who I met and had a feeling of being disassociated from life going on around me.

I have strong memories of two events during this period. One was on a long distance train journey when after the commuter crowds had left the train I started talking to the guy sitting across from me. Initially he seemed suspicious of me and gave curt replies but I persisted and eventually we had an interesting conversation during which I had introduced myself. After the journey as we walked along the platform together before parting he said to me "You know Doug, in the 17 years that I have lived in Sweden, you are the first person that I didn't already know who has spoken to me". He was originally from Eritrea and had come to Sweden as a refugee when he was a teenager. He thanked me for talking with him and said that the experience had reminded him of his prior life when people he met on the street would greet each other.

The second event that sticks in my memory is a conversation with a lovely young female reporter who had originally come to interview me for an article and who became a friend. She had spent a postgraduate year living in NZ and so she had a bit of a connection and a soft spot for Kiwis.

I was talking about my difficulties getting to meet people who I needed to observe in their home surrounds for my research. She recognised the cultural misunderstanding that I had and explained to me that there were only two people who she felt that she could just call in on in their home without a prior invitation and they were her mother and her sister.

I had been so used to my own cultural viewpoint that I hadn't even considered that other people may have a different cultural view. It had been a blind spot for me.

Finally, to cover off and so as to avoid leaving anyone thinking that I am being critical or advocating for a particular cultural view. I loved my time in Sweden and I (eventually) made some really good friends there and I grew personally from my experiences there.
 
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LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Chrissy. It was part fund raising and part a challenge and voyage of discovery for myself. That first night alone was strange as I had expected to meet others, but it set me up for lone walking, which I enjoyed, for most of the Camino. However I met many lovely people during my 33 days and am really looking forward to being able, sometime, to repeat the experience. To @LineDenmark, I would say take every day as it comes and enjoy. I’m not very good at making the first move but found many lovely people to pass short parts of the Camino or a cafe lèche or cerveza with.
Thanks, I will do that - take every day as it comes.

Solitude was good some days, but still I would like to practice making the first move. Be a bit more open, even though it's not really in my nature either.
 

Derek Booth

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March 2019
"
I am from the North of England where people acknowledge each other and wouldn't think of being in a strangers company without passing the time of day.
On the other hand, those that live in our capital positively cringe at the thought of someone looking at them on their way to work, let alone actually talking, heaven forbid.
You might even find a YouTube clip from the UK where a spoof news bulletin reports the 'Northerner' being treated with great suspicion by Londoners because he had the temerity to talk on the Tube (subway). Sounds just like Noo Yark sic."

I've found the You Tube vid. Enjoy!

 
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Flogwail

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
Thanks, I will do that - take every day as it comes.

Solitude was good some days, but still I would like to practice making the first move. Be a bit more open, even though it's not really in my nature either.
It might sound obvious, but sometimes when we try too hard in new situations and we get anxious, it shows and we can pass it on unintentionally. The vast majority of those we meet are friendly, open and honest and we are all social and curious by nature. I think the important thing is to just relax and let things unfold as they will. Just smiling at the wonder of things around you can give you a sense of calm and put others at ease. Just my thoughts..

Det er min erfaring alligevel!
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I was talking about my difficulties getting to meet people who I needed to observe in their home surrounds for my research. She recognised the cultural misunderstanding that I had and explained to me that there were only two people who she felt that she could just call in on in their home without a prior invitation and they were her mother and her sister.

I had been so used to my own cultural viewpoint that I hadn't even considered that other people may have a different cultural view. It had been a blind spot for me.
This is very interesting and sounds a lot like something I've heard about Danish culture as well. People who come here from other countries sometimes find that we are closed people who are difficult to get to know. And this is true in some cases compared to other cultures.
That your Swedish adventure still ended up as something precious to you is really good.

Could be both a cultural and personal thing that I find it challenging to connect with people on the Camino as a solo walker.
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
It might sound obvious, but sometimes when we try too hard in new situations and we get anxious, it shows and we can pass it on unintentionally. The vast majority of those we meet are friendly, open and honest and we are all social and curious by nature. I think the important thing is to just relax and let things unfold as they will. Just smiling at the wonder of things around you can give you a sense of calm and put others at ease. Just my thoughts..

Det er min erfaring alligevel!
That makes perfectly sense :) Relaxing makes more room for enjoying.
Gode erfaringer.
 

Flogwail

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
That makes perfectly sense :) Relaxing makes more room for enjoying.
Gode erfaringer.
Yes exactly, and for what it's worth, my experiences many years ago with the Danes, were not at all of a closed people, nor difficult to get to know, I had so many wonderful adventures there..
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Was I really? I just quoted the words as I saw them. I stopped reading at that point. I could see where it was going and didn't want to watch. ;-)
I think we have different opinions on where it was going. Maybe if you you had read more you may have seen it was just fun and without seriousness or any real merit. Just fun. It is ok if you don’t think it was fun or funny but one thing it was not doing was going anywhere. Buen día and keep safe.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I think we have different opinions on where it was going. Maybe if you you had read more you may have seen it was just fun and without seriousness or any real merit. Just fun. It is ok if you don’t think it was fun or funny but one thing it was not doing was going anywhere. Buen día and keep safe.
I was hoping that the winking smileys at the end of my responses would show that they were intended to be just fun, too. I'm sorry if you saw them as more serious than they were.
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Yes exactly, and for what it's worth, my experiences many years ago with the Danes, were not at all of a closed people, nor difficult to get to know, I had so many wonderful adventures there..
That is very nice to know :) We want to be hospitable I think.
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
You might even find a YouTube clip from the UK where a spoof news bulletin reports the 'Northerner' being treated with great suspicion by Londoners because he had the temerity to talk on the Tube (subway). Sounds just like Noo Yark sic.
A Southerner told me about his first time in Boston. He was attempting a conversation on the subway that wasn't going too well. The Bostonian then seemed to cheer up a bit and asked "Say, is that your paper?" He was told that it was. The Bostonian then replied "Why don't you read it?"
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I found that some distinctive clothing makes you more memorable amongst the hordes. You are more likely to be approached if you’re a familiar sight as someone previously pointed out. My daughter has already purchased for me some flaming yellow socks for the next walk.
Of course you could also stop showering and soon people would recognize your smell.......
 

BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hmm after reviewing threads I see many people like the idea of being able to identify each other. So how about a discreet unique patch or pin?

I’m going to start a thread proposing something. Please join in there.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I am from the North of England where people acknowledge each other and wouldn't think of being in a strangers company without passing the time of day.
On the other hand, those that live in our capital positively cringe at the thought of someone looking at them on their way to work, let alone actually talking, heaven forbid.
You might even find a YouTube clip from the UK where a spoof news bulletin reports the 'Northerner' being treated with great suspicion by Londoners because he had the temerity to talk on the Tube (subway). Sounds just like Noo Yark sic.
You'll find the perigrino' a strange bunch.
They, to a person, are friendly, affable, generous, kind, polite. Enjoy. Its all the harder to march when you are the only one in step!

I have a very different view of large city life. I am from Chicago and have visited NY city and London several times. I have found those cities as friendly as many rural areas I have visited where you are often easily recognized as the outsider and, imo, viewed somewhat suspiciously.

I love being able to walk to a variety of activities, which is very convenient in many large cities. I also enjoy the peace and pace of rural areas where different activities are just as enjoyable.

The Camino provides opportunities to enjoy both.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I saw the generic patches but nothing specific to Ivar at first. For some reason the Ivar specific one is not easily found on my iPhone but is found on my pc.
I had trouble on my Android too and I knew they were there; I had bought one. I had to use Google to find it this time.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
Communal meals are a great way to meet people. That’s what worked for me. I too traveled alone in 2015, but I wasn’t alone on my Camino.
 
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LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Communal meals are a great way to meet people. That’s what worked for me. I too traveled alone in 2015, but I wasn’t alone on my Camino.
Sounds good. I'll go for that the next time.

Maybe find out from home which albergues have communals meals.
 
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(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Sounds good. I'll go for that the next time.

Maybe find out from home which albergues have communals meals.
One afternoon, I was alone in the albergue kitchen (El Burgo Ranero), making myself a tuna/chickpea thick soup, with bread, and I "shared" a bottle of red with myself. :cool:

In came a huge Spanish skinhead, with tattoos everywhere... Looking pretty mean... However, as I had made much more than I could eat, I causiously asked if he would like to join in. He looked at me, surprised, and accepted gladly. It turned out to be a pleasant evening; he went out to to buy another bottle for us to share.

Next morning, as I entered into Reliegos, I heard load shoutings from the nearest cafe: The skinhead was sitting with 10 other similar loking skinheads, all having a beer (or two), and they wanted me to join them! They bought me 2 large beers; My new friend had obviously told his friends about me having invited him to a free dinner.

They turned out to be some of the most friendly and welcoming guys I met...

Be open and kind; things will go good.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I was hoping that the winking smileys at the end of my responses would show that they were intended to be just fun, too. I'm sorry if you saw them as more serious than they were.
Don’t be sorry at all. At first I thought that too. Then I thought maybe not. Then I wrote back and and just adfter thought this is why once again the nature of the internet and the written word, especially when it comes to humor, irony and sarcasm often leads to being misconstrued and mis everything else. It is a pain to say the least. Add different levels of correctness , much higher degrees of defensiveness, and overall greater sensitivity to everything and of course my favorite telling someone you can’t judge anyone or their actions after they have judged you for your opinion no matter how obviously rude and often offensive the judges’judgement May be well... (Did that come out correctly? Not sure but don’t judge me 😄). There is the slight possibility of confusion. But again don’t worry don’t sweat it and keep on truckin mama!
 

Bristle Boy

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
One afternoon, I was alone in the albergue kitchen (El Burgo Ranero), making myself a tuna/chickpea thick soup, with bread, and I "shared" a bottle of red with myself. :cool:

In came a huge Spanish skinhead, with tattoos everywhere... Looking pretty mean... However, as I had made much more than I could eat, I cauciously asked if he would like to join in. He looked at me surprised, and accepted gladly. It turned out to be a pleasant evening; he went out to to buy another bottle for us to share.

Next morning, as I entered into Reliegos, I heard load shoutings from the nearest cafe: The skinhead was sitting with 10 other similar loking skinheads, having a beer (or two), and they wanted me to join them! They bought me 2 large beers; My new friend had obviously told his friends about me having invited him to a free dinner.

They turned out to be some of the most friendly and welcoming guys I met...

Be open and kind; things will go good.
Goes to show that appearances are deceptive...its what is inside that counts.
 

Kristinka

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 2020 and July 2021
"
I am from the North of England where people acknowledge each other and wouldn't think of being in a strangers company without passing the time of day.
On the other hand, those that live in our capital positively cringe at the thought of someone looking at them on their way to work, let alone actually talking, heaven forbid.
You might even find a YouTube clip from the UK where a spoof news bulletin reports the 'Northerner' being treated with great suspicion by Londoners because he had the temerity to talk on the Tube (subway). Sounds just like Noo Yark sic."

I've found the You Tube vid. Enjoy!

Thank you Derek! Your video made my day 😂😂😂. It’s unfortunate how true it is, we are just so accustomed to avoid people, to stay away...it’s a shame.
 
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aidan macdhorcaidh

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances (2017)
No you dont have to read all of finnegans wake but since it is the greatest book ever written it might be good to get into it a bit.
Try youtube listen and read chapters up there. Dont worry about understanding...let it and its language take you downstream away away from flat life.
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Year of past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
A bottle of wine at the table with 2 glasses, Buen Camino with a smile. Always hello, buen camino, estas bien?, etc. You will see the same people many times, sometimes the timing is just off, sometimes a seed needs time to grow.

I have not tried the cookies, but I have with caramelo. Bought the bag and handed them out to everyone around.
You have to trie the cookies for my wife Marianne, she don't drink alcohol 😉😅
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
No you dont have to read all of finnegans wake but since it is the greatest book ever written it might be good to get into it a bit.
Try youtube listen and read chapters up there. Dont worry about understanding...let it and its language take you downstream away away from flat life.
I googled it because you mentioned it. "It is considered by many to be the most difficult work of literature ever published in the English language".
Sounds like an interesting challenge :)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I googled it because you mentioned it. "It is considered by many to be the most difficult work of literature ever published in the English language".
Sounds like an interesting challenge :)
I also read that it took Joyce 17 years to write it, and he thought that it should take a reader 17 years to properly read it. 😲
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
What a great experience. The power of kindness and openness :)
The biblical saying: "Give, and you shall receive", still applies in the world, after all: It is my experience; that if you give, you will receive more than you give.

You will always meet som a**h*les on your way in life (and Camino), but they are the minority: Just let them go away. Most people are thankful for what they receive (smile, care, food, whatever given to them without demand/expectation for a return), and will return the favor, if they can. Your gain. If they cannot, you have done something good for another (and yourself, implicitly). It's a win-win for you, anyhow. The Camino works very much in this way, if you allow it.

Also, the Camino is not a supercity with suspicious, inward people: All is taken as doing in the best meaning, with an open mind.

Just my 0.02$, IMHO.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
One of my favorites is the church in Granon.
There used to be a list in the Resource section listing albergues with communal meals, but I can't find it. Does anyone know if it still exists?
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
There used to be a list in the Resource section listing albergues with communal meals, but I can't find it. Does anyone know if it still exists?
I am not sure. I do believe there was a thread. There are more Communal meal Albergues on the Norte and many impromptu dinners shared on Frances.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have never stopped in Granon, yet many love the feel good experience the albergue there exudes...maybe another time.
I stayed there in 2013 after walking the Camino Vasco. After being mostly solo the entire Vasco, I spent the night in the church loft with 44 others from 15 countries. A wonderful evening after a cold rainy day of walking.
 

Canada Wanders

Lost, but making great time...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015
CP 2018
I found sitting in that little cafe in the sun, after your days walk...cold beer and munchies on the table that the ‘Camino provides...’. Can’t count the number of times my wife and I would be sitting at a table, researching the next days adventure, when a lone pilgrim would walk by, look around...and seeing the obvious Camino couple, ask if they could join us.
Left thing you know...it is a table for twelve, and the bottles turn to wine.
Loved that! I am not by nature a really social person, so the Camino community really touched me.
 

aidan macdhorcaidh

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances (2017)
I googled it because you mentioned it. "It is considered by many to be the most difficult work of literature ever published in the English language".
Sounds like an interesting challenge :)
Dont try to understand it...let the dialogue take you downstream . Great youtube videos where you can read and listen.. ..outta this world....you might not even bother doing the Camino. Then look up the occasional bit for heavy meanings ...
 
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While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)

While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
Hi! I found singing was a great ice breaker; my Spanish isn't great but I connected with this Spanish family and we spent several glorious days in Gambia together. Such wonderful memories!
 

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Cathy G

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sept 25 Oct 3 2016
Many people stop at Orrison for the night after leaving SJPdP. Although I have never done that, I hear often that it is a great bonding expeience.
Yes, I found communal dinners offered in many of the albergues also a great way to meet other pilgrims.
My husband and I walked a small portion- to Logroño - in 2016. We stopped at Orrison for the night. After the communal dinner, everyone was invited to introduce themselves and tell why they were doing the camino. A wonderful bonding experience and because most of us were walking approximately the same pace, we saw each other frequently and bonded over the next week. We are still in contact with the some of the people we met there.
 
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aidan macdhorcaidh

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances (2017)
I found sitting in that little cafe in the sun, after your days walk...cold beer and munchies on the table that the ‘Camino provides...’. Can’t count the number of times my wife and I would be sitting at a table, researching the next days adventure, when a lone pilgrim would walk by, look around...and seeing the obvious Camino couple, ask if they could join us.
Left thing you know...it is a table for twelve, and the bottles turn to wine.
Loved that! I am not by nature a really social person, so the Camino community really touched me.
That's ok as long as the bowl of food is not left in front of french or Italians. So busy yaking it takes them forever to even notice the food let alone taking their portion and passing it on round. Talking/chatting is an attractive national trait in those folk but not when i am starving and waiting.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
That's ok as long as the bowl of food is not left in front of french or Italians. So busy yaking it takes them forever to even notice the food let alone taking their portion and passing it on round. Talking/chatting is an attractive national trait in those folk but not when i am starving and waiting.
I'm Italian and French, but you wouldn't have to worry about that. Instead worry that I possibly would take more than my fair portion of dinner.😋

EDIT...I'm fully capable of talking and eating at the same time as I'm not always very ladylike, but I do cover my mouth.🤭
 
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aidan macdhorcaidh

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances (2017)
My irish friend did that when the food eventually arrived. Trouble was we were in a pincher movement between the french with an untouched bowl on one side and germans with bowl on the other. What chance did we have?
 

aidan macdhorcaidh

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances (2017)
If, on the other hand, you want solitude try learning a little of Finnigans Wake and reciting it, just above a mumble, whenever approached by someone who wants to walk or talk with you. Works wonders.😉😁
Yes indeed that could work.. just shows what a powerful book it is.
 
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Canada Wanders

Lost, but making great time...
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015
CP 2018
My irish friend did that when the food eventually arrived. Trouble was we were in a pincher movement between the french with an untouched bowl on one side and germans with bowl on the other. What chance did we have?
Lol, well seems I never ran into this problem.
But then, I used to be Army, so subtle isn’t my strongest suit.
 
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longwalker60

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
09/2018
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
When I walked the Camino in 2018, I too walked alone. I met people on a daily basis. Some I would walk with for a day or two, a couple, we trailed each other for the whole camino. Everybody had a story, and I felt blessed to have walked with whoever that day. As far as meeting people, I would meet people at lunch, if they were sitting at a table with an empty chair. Afterwards we would walk together-if i wanted. Or I would meet people at the alburgues. Never a problem about meeting people. Everybody welcomes you and are on the same journey. Remember you are on a fellowship with the same end goal. Many times I walked alone. Sometimes I welcomed the solitude, other times I wish I had someone to talk to. But, your always meeting people, who are friendly. Buen Camino!
 

Vince Rollason

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
Hi Line
I have been 4 times on the Camino since 2013 and always started off alone, however I now have many friends from around the world who I am still in contact with. My tips are to wish people you come across on the way "Buen Camino" and talk to them as you walk, Ask people in the alberque if they have found any places that do pilgrim meals and see if you can tag along. In four trips I can tell you that I have only met one antisocial person. You may be with someone for a day or so then someone else and so on but you will soon find people asking other people about you if you don't see them for a few days. I find that you get the best of both worlds solitude and company as you desire.

Buen Camino

Vince
 
Last edited:

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The biblical saying: "Give, and you shall receive", still applies in the world, after all: It is my experience; that if you give, you will receive more than you give.

Also, the Camino is not a supercity with suspicious, inward people: All is taken as doing in the best meaning, with an open mind.
That is my take on things too. In general people want to treat others well.

Especially true on the Camino probably. Give a smile and receive a smile :)
 
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