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My Camino - belated

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mikulre

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
I walked the Camino Frances from May 13th to June 13th of this year. I benefited so much from this forum I wanted to make a post in order to give back. Unfortunately I didn't get around to it until now. But better late than never. In January, my 20 year old daughter came to me and said that she was going to walk the Camino this year and if I didn't go with her she would go by herself. Well that was all the motivation I needed. Honestly, I never imagined that my college-age daughter would want to spend a month with me, so it was an easy decision to make. I'm Catholic so I viewed the trip as a faith experience, however, I'm also an avid hiker so I looked forward to the trip as a backpacking and cultural adventure as well. I was not disappointed on any account.

What I loved:
- Refuge Orrison - It made the first day manageable, and we made friends here that we kept for the whole trip
- Crossing the Pyrenees - I don't care if they're mountains or hills, they were amazingly beautiful
- Walking into a village which looks like it hasn't changed for a thousand years.
- The church at Roncesvalles - Amazing to think who's been there before me
- The kindness and patience of the people of Spain - My 80 hours of Rosetta Stone fell far short of making me conversant in Spanish, but as long as I tried they always endured my broken sentences and made sure I got what I needed.
- Albergues which offered a communal pilgrim dinner - This is where we made friends and learned about all of the cultures and incredible stories around us.
- Pamplona - Beautiful historic town with a modern flair
- No reservations - One of the most transformative aspects of the trip was the concept of walking out of my albergue in the morning with no plans, no schedule, no reservations, and everything I owned in a 14 lb backpack. Back in the USA, every minute of my life is planned, so this was quite a change for me. It took about two weeks to embrace it, but then it was amazing.
- Pilgrim Mass - It was so wonderful to walk into church in a new town and have the priest and towns people pray and sing over us.
- Tapas district in Logrono - Went from bar to bar sampling wine and their finest tapas. What a night!
- Rioja region - Tempranillo, what an incredible wine!
- White Night at Burgos - Lucky coincidence and what a great time. Beautiful cathedral
- Mesata - That's right, everyone hates on it, but I thought it was beautiful. Miles of flowers and the wind passing through endless fields of grain. The most beautiful pictures I took on the whole trip
- The singing nuns of Carrion de los Condes - What an amazing impact these precious women had on everyone who attended.
- Leon - Incredible town, amazing cathedral
- Cruz de Ferro - We arrived at sunrise and silently watched as people laid down their burdens.
- Snow, sleet and rain on the hike from O'Cebreiro - Made the cafe stops that much more appreciated
- Meeting old friends at Sarria - pure coincidence, amazing
- Camino families - we had four, each one touched us deeply
- Santiago - sitting in front of the cathedral watching all of our friends roll in
-Incredible countryside - Every day was different and beautiful in its own way

Words of wisdom:
- Quiet is important. When you are quiet you are being not doing. We are human beings not human doings - Father Pablo at Pamplona
-Once you've been on Camino you are always on Camino - Peter
- The Camino is about living in the moment - Marcus
- There are three things the Camino gives you: silence, friendship, and the things you leave behind - priest at San Juan De Ortega
- No one goes toward God through the same way I am going. For each man the sun has a new beam of light and a virgin way - the singing nuns
- I left that at Cruz de Ferro - anonymous

What I wish I did differently:
- Brought more medicine - Pharmacies in Spain are different than the US. Everything is behind the counter, none of the brand names are the same, and only one pharmacist I met spoke English.
- Brought more cold weather gear - Could have handled a few more pounds on my pack
- Had more time - 31 days is pretty quick. Had to rush more than I would have like to.
- Convinced my daughter to wear trail runners instead of boots - She paid dearly for this choice
 

Attachments

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
What I wish I did differently...
Well, having regrets afterwards leaves you with three options:

1. Ask (either people or a higher force) for forgiveness
2. Make up for it on a next Camino
3. Ask for forgiveness AND make up for it ...

;)
 

E V Waight

It's the journey, not the destination.
Camino(s) past & future
September (2017)
Possible September (2018)
Holy Year (2021) (all three Gladys, John and I)
Very refreshing post, well written.
 

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