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BartM

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto (2019)
I walked from Porto on the Senda Litoral in May and I thought I had had the most fantastic experience.
Since coming home, inevitably feeling somewhat flat, I have read many other peoples accounts of their Caminos and I wonder what I missed.
I did not talk to many people and did not share any meals, at times the days were more like a silent moving meditation. I was walking alone and enjoyed this space but would I have got more out of it by engaging more? I will have to go back and find out.
Maybe it is because I am hard of hearing; how do you say "hard of hearing" in Spanish and Portuguese? Is it a commonly used phrase like in the UK? I can find a translation on Google but it does not tell me whether it is used in normal conversation.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
In Spanish, coloquially, "soy duro/a de oído" (adjectives have genre). You may just say "disculpe, no oigo bien".
As for the merits of being alone/social, I can't say. It is very personal. My "personal mix" is walking alone but sharing dinners with fellow pilgrims.
 
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nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
Second guessing is part of life.

If you’d had communal meals, walked with others, laughed and played to Santiago, you might now wonder if you’d missed the “silent moving meditation”.

Also, feeling a desire to walk again is normal. I’ve been on camino five times with four Compostela...yet I keep going back to extend the experience.

Plan your next camino.

May it be a buen camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
Second guessing is part of life.
Completely agree!

Over multiple Caminos, I have always been rather reserved by which I mean that I did not actively seek company. On the other hand, I remained open to anyone who needed conversation (or rather, someone to listen to them) or a bit of help.

If that describes your experience then I would opine that you got the Camino that you needed.

But by all means, have another go at it!:)

As for coping with hearing loss, I find it better to grab a small table out of the way. This limits the "buzz" from other tables and sets potential group size to one that I can manage. Sadly, I'll have to say that I have yet to master lip-reading in Castellano or Galego.😔

B
 

David with new Kit!

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September (2019)
Completely agree!

Over multiple Caminos, I have always been rather reserved by which I mean that I did not actively seek company. On the other hand, I remained open to anyone who needed conversation (or rather, someone to listen to them) or a bit of help.

If that describes your experience then I would opine that you got the Camino that you needed.

But by all means, have another go at it!:)

As for coping with hearing loss, I find it better to grab a small table out of the way. This limits the "buzz" from other tables and sets potential group size to one that I can manage. Sadly, I'll have to say that I have yet to master lip-reading in Castellano or Galego.😔

B
I am also hard of hearing so fully understand that its not always easy to keep up with conversation and easier to avoid it - But, my wife is also walking with me in September, and I'm sure she will more than make up for me. Really looking forward to it.
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
I walked from Porto on the Senda Litoral in May and I thought I had had the most fantastic experience.
Since coming home, inevitably feeling somewhat flat, I have read many other peoples accounts of their Caminos and I wonder what I missed.
I did not talk to many people and did not share any meals, at times the days were more like a silent moving meditation. I was walking alone and enjoyed this space but would I have got more out of it by engaging more? I will have to go back and find out.
Maybe it is because I am hard of hearing; how do you say "hard of hearing" in Spanish and Portuguese? Is it a commonly used phrase like in the UK? I can find a translation on Google but it does not tell me whether it is used in normal conversation.
Hello BartM:
I would say that you had a great experience of Camino. Maybe, what is happening is that you are still seeking that meaning that can fulfill your internal self. I too experience that emotion and I’m looking forward for my next Camino.

On the part of “hard of hearing” could be because caused by hearing problems (need to use hearing aid device” or comprehensive problem. If the cause is the first; a visit to the specialist would solve it. If it’s the set, then; more practice will be ent.

I’m fluent in both English and Castellst (aka Spanish) as where I grew up, both languages were taught at the same time in all grades. As an adult, I taught myself Italian with the help of apps, I’m on a level that can sustain a conversation very slowly. I seek either printed materials, recordings and video to train the “comprehension “ of the language.

If during a conversation I don’t understand something, I ask to repeat the last thoughts. So don’t feel bad to ask to request what you don’t “comprehend “ of the conversation, that’s part of the learning process.

But above all is a continued practice that will lead to a better comprehensive of the language. Don’t be hard on yourself and be patience; “Rome wasn’t build in one day”.

Hope that the above helps you to experience a better Camino ( Espero que lo expresado anteriormente te ayude a obtener una mejor experiencia del Camino).

Buen Camino,

Iván
 

thistleamy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese (2019)
Hi Bart

I too walked the CP - but moved to the central route after Vila Do Conde. I too am hard of hearing and wear hearing aids when I anticipate being in conversation with others. I would say I spent about 1/3 of my meals with others and the rest on my own. I loved my solo tranquilo moments (aka walking meditation) but enjoyed company when it seemed right. I did regret not speaking better Portuguese and Spanish - I love chatting a bit with locals, most of the people I spent time with were fellow pilgrims - and even if we did not share a common language we figured out how to converse (thank you Google translate).

I am already planning my next LDW or Camino - the walking meditation is what I have missed the most since returning.

All my best
Amy
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018), Mozarabe and more (2019)
I'm not complaining, I really enjoyed my silent moving meditation.
I am planning my next Camino!
Your silent moving meditation has much to recommend it, and I don’t think you’re missing much. I also have defective hearing, with the result that I am really only able to participate fully in one-to-one conversations with little or no background noise, which I find more rewarding than the general run of gregarious table talk. It also means that when engaging in conversation with native Spanish speakers I talk less and listen more, which is no bad thing. May you enjoy many more meditative peregrinations!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2013- 2015-2017
CP 2019
Hi BartM,
Thanks for sharing. I too are hard of hearing and wear hearing aids and in large groups it’s difficult to discern multiple Hi conversations.
I think you were blessed to have had your “ first” Camino to be a contemplative one. Many many people never get that experience.. that’s a good place to start from so your next camino may be more social and you’ll get a different experience. Then you can start to find out what the camino is for you.
Burn Camino
 

Walton

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Hi BartM

I've been deaf in one ear and less than 50% in the other year since age 2 years. The suspect cause is a common antibiotic - streptomyacin.

Like you, I overwhelmingly prefer being alone I suspect, for hearing reasons but I also do try to involve myself in meeting others and generally when I do make the effort, I enjoy their company.

Four things - (It was two things but I added two more things :))

1. Wear your hearing aid. Don't have a hearing aid perhaps? - explore getting one - you'll be surprised how much they usually can help. Mind you, not all deafness types are helped by hearing aids so this is an assumption on my part. My hearing aid, while so expensive, is a life changer.

2. Tell the people that you meet that you are deaf very soon after meeting them. That helps them understand if you mis-hear something and subsequently give a weird answer to a question or worse, fail to reply.

3. There are a lot of ototoxic (harmful to hearing) medications out there. If your doctor presecribes you something be sure to ask if that medication is ototoxic. You can't afford to lose any more hearing.

4. I use an app called SayHi on my phone to cheat a little when I'm doing my Duelingo Spanish lessons (another app). It is brilliant, in my opinion. It says the translation to the English words "I'm hard of hearing" into Spanish is "Soy dificil de oir". It gives you the words in both text and speech.

I think you'll enjoy your next Camino no matter what and it is nice to live in a silent world most of the time but try to dip in on the hearing world occasionally and you'll probably find you enjoy that too!

Buen Camino

Graham
Edited to correct typo:
 
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robproct

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP from Lisbon 2018
I walked the the Portuguese from Lisbon last year and for the first week did not see any other peregrinos. It was a wonderful walking meditation which I felt was just what I wanted as it was so good to be away from endless talking. Further north I did meet up with others occasionally but tended to feel that my space felt somewhat invaded. For me the point of the Camino was as a walking meditation without the distraction of others. Solitude is a rare luxury in our busy world although it is also wonderful to occasionally meet up with 'fellow traveler's'. Arriving at Santiago I had to flee to Muxia as I felt so overwhelmed by the crowds and the noise after weeks of quiet contemplation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP April 2016,
August 2017, May 2018
Camino Portuguese
2019, May Porto, Sept Lisbo
Thanks for talking about your walking meditation... I also walked the Portuguese Camino this May- every step of the way from Porto, up the central. I loved it. I had planned to go from Lisbon cathedral and did the first day, 30 klm. The albergue had 12 beds(santarem) so they put me in a taxi to a place 9 KLM on. Once I took that ride for €9 and they wanted me to go back for €9_€18 I felt so disappointed. Being a purist, I had used transport !!! to help me out. So I then decided to start again from Porto. I am still annoyed about missing out by being a slow walker. There were no water stops or bars along the way after 10 klms that first day. I ran out of water. I will go back and try again next year, God willing.
Caminos can be the most disappointing memories plus the best experiences as I have done 5 walks receiving 4 compestellas. Company? It came and went....I wouldn't take a day off in Tui again on the two week walk as I let a lot of established friends disappear in front of me. I was more lonely in the 2nd week as people thought I had just started.....and was a rookie especially those who had started walking from Lisbon. Musings only.....IMHumbleO
Love
 

Jim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006- Camino Portuguese
2008- Camino Frances
2009- Sanabres extension of the VDLP
2010- Camino Frances
2011- Camino Potuguese
2014- Camino Frances
2017- Camino Finisterre
I walked from Porto on the Senda Litoral in May and I thought I had had the most fantastic experience.
Since coming home, inevitably feeling somewhat flat, I have read many other peoples accounts of their Caminos and I wonder what I missed.
I did not talk to many people and did not share any meals, at times the days were more like a silent moving meditation. I was walking alone and enjoyed this space but would I have got more out of it by engaging more? I will have to go back and find out.
Maybe it is because I am hard of hearing; how do you say "hard of hearing" in Spanish and Portuguese? Is it a commonly used phrase like in the UK? I can find a translation on Google but it does not tell me whether it is used in normal conversation.
Kinda know what you mean. I also did my first Camino along the Portuguese route and had a great time enjoying the solitude although I did meet up with people and that was wonderful. The first pilrgrim I met was a French woman walking in the opposite direction towards Fatima-- a wonderful expereince talking to her! About two or three days before I reached Santiago, I knew I would be back doing another camino someday and the very thought was strange because I really thought this would have been along the lines of "been there, done that." And here I am planning an 8th Camino! Regardless of how things turn out in the way of your coming back for another experience, it will be the right thing for you. Everyone has a different experience-- don't fret or wonder about that because there is no standard. There are no right or wrong ways to experience a camino, given that you follow protocols for safety and respect. So if you make it back to enjoy another experience, or a different route, or with a companion pilgrim, let me be among the first to wish you a "Buen Camino."
 

MarkN

Mark
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago Oct 2016
Porto to Santiago Oct 2017
Porto to Santiago May 2019
I think a key point is that you enjoyed it at the time?
If now retrospectively you think you might want a different experience then I think that could be a part of your plans for another if that's possible for you?

As to the phrases, you'll encounter many pilgrams of different languages, the pointing to your ear motion should work for anyone that also wants to engage?
 

Salash

Road less travelled
Camino(s) past & future
Senda Litoral Portugal (2019)
Camino Central Portugal (2020)
I also walked the Senda Litoral this year, and absolutely loved the tranquillity of my 'walking meditation'. I was lucky to have brief conversations with other pilgrims, but didn't share meals with any.

However, I walked just prior to Easter, and on reaching the 100km point suddenly had to cope with many pilgrims - often large groups of them in what I described as 'party mode' :):(
For me it changed the whole feel of my walk. I found myself longing for the previous solitude, to the point where I was tip toeing out of the albergues around 5.30ish most mornings just to have some quiet walking alone.

It wasn't until my last night that I really shared time with others. I met a lovely English family in the albergue, and then was in the square when they arrived in Santiago the following day. That evening we met for dinner which I enjoyed immensely - despite the noisy venue.

Having been lucky enough to experience both, for me the best part of my walk was that quiet time walking alone.

Would you have gotten more out of it had you had the opportunity for more socialising? Perhaps.... But I think, like most of us you had the experience you needed.

Enjoy your next Camino :) J
 

BruceNZ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese (Via de la Plata)
Hi Bart - my Portuguese one was similar - only a few nights shared meals - but I put it down to quite a lot of 'younger' walkers and small groups who stuck to themselves. Last year I went with friends one of whom was a non stop talker. Frequent toilet breaks or boot adjustments required to get some silent time.
My wacky sense of humour imagines a group of the hard of hearing getting together for a Shouting Camino !! LOL
Thinking next year of another n will just take it as it comes.
Cheers
 

BartM

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto (2019)
Thank you all for your kind words. I did indeed enjoy my Camino.
Maybe there is some self-selection bias too, in that the more extrovert will write and blog about their experience while others may not, but enjoy it none the less?
I do have hearing aids and I find they help a lot.
As I was walking I was thinking I should make a discreet Hard of Hearing badge because if people know from the outset then conversations are easier. That is why I would like to know how to say it in Spanish and Portuguese.
 

BartM

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto (2019)
Hi Bart - my Portuguese one was similar - only a few nights shared meals - but I put it down to quite a lot of 'younger' walkers and small groups who stuck to themselves. Last year I went with friends one of whom was a non stop talker. Frequent toilet breaks or boot adjustments required to get some silent time.
My wacky sense of humour imagines a group of the hard of hearing getting together for a Shouting Camino !! LOL
Thinking next year of another n will just take it as it comes.
Cheers
A hard of hearing Camino! Could be fun.
 

texano

Married to a Madrileña
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Camino Portugese
Hearing aids can not only fix your hearing, they give you confidence to speak up and join the conversations. They have had a large impact on my life.
 
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