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musicial instruments?


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Hi! I will be hiking the CF starting the last week of April, and I am wondering what other dedicated musicians have done while hiking the trail. I am mainly a fiddle player but play just about every other stringed instrument, and have a hard time imagining 5 weeks without playing music (it is how I center myself and keep my self happy and sane!). Does anyone bring instruments with them on the trail? Is there usually time to play? I am thinking of getting an inexpensive, lightweight mandolin to bring with me- I have plenty of extra space in my pack, and don't *think* the weight will make that much difference, although I'm sure some will say otherwise, considering how much I will enjoy having it with me.

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Have you read "As I walked out one Midsummer's morning" by Laurie Lee? His walk around Spain with no money and an old violin just before the civil war? A delight!

I carry a recorder as it is plastic so almost unbreakable, light and small. I just use it to errmm .. re-centre myself I suppose, but only when I am well away from anyone else (or bears or wolves).


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I wish I could play little instruments like that! Then life would be much easier. I have a bamboo flute but am quite incapable of making anything other than unpleasant sounds come from it, so I think that needs to be left at home.

No, I haven't read that book but I will certainly look it up. Sounds like my kind of read!

rioja routard

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I saw a group of musicians from the USA who bought all their untruments with them and played Jazz every night! Fair play to them but the weight of the intruments was really getting them down! One of their packs was 18kg!


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Hmm... I saw a guy starting from St. Jean with a bass drum who lasted all of a day! I'd say leave it at home, to be honest... Don't wanna pee in your corn flakes, but it's difficult enough at times, without the added weight!

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Weight is, of course, the great issue. This is why I appreciate the fact that I sing. It takes time to memorize tunes, but I have enough that it gets me through the day. It walso is great inspiration during the difficult times on the trail.

Instruments are a great luxury. I recall one account from the American Civil War where a soldier remarked that his friends would have cast off their souls if it would have lightened their load any more. Others threw out the Joker in their decks of cards for the same reason.


I have a bamboo flute but am quite incapable of making anything other than unpleasant sounds come from it, so I think that needs to be left at home.

Ah - that's why I only play when I'm nowhere near anyone - most likely sounds appalling to other people but soothes me. Bring the flute if you will be playing alone - bring something like your violin if you intend to serenade.


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eh, I don't get joy out of my poor attempts at playing the flute so I don't think I'll be bringing it.

very much wish I could bring my fiddle but I wouldn't want anything to happen to it, plus with the case it weighs a lot. Mandolin doesn't need a case and weighs not much more than a fiddle, and while it is not quite as good for serenading as a fiddle, seems like a better option. I think I'm gonna risk the extra weight, I guess I can always post it ahead to santiago if I get sick of carrying it. I am also hoping while in n. spain I can try to pick up on local styles of music, as I absolutely love the music from that part of the country (celtic-gypsy-ish)

woo hoo! I am positively giddy with excitement about this trip.


When I was on the way last year I took a mouth organ but never got round to playing it. I was completely submerged in the camino lifestyle. I wouldn't have taken my fiddle; it would have been too fragile without a case and that would have been heavy and clumsy. I agree that a mandolin makes more sense - you can get very slim travelling mandolins though they don't sound too good.

At Cebreiro I met a young Irish lad who was carrying a saxophone in a large plastic case. He had no money and had hoped to busk his way along. It wasn't working!!!

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