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New York Times article on Hape Kerkeling

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He walked over the Pyrenees and realized he is tougher that he thought, yet at the end recommends against the crossing. Nonono, look how empowering that crossing was. Like mine.... totally broken down, spent, reborn, empowered. I was very glad to have done that challenge.
A new,


peregrina2000 said:
From what I've heard, this guy is responsible for a big spike in the numbers of German walkers.
It is quite right that the popularity of the book has sent a large number of Germans racing for the Camino as a 'must do' experience. An Italian celebrity wrote a similar book recently and that has contributed to greater numbers of Italians on the Camino. I should imagine that the translation into English of another popular book on the Camino will generate another rush from the USA (perhaps also from the UK). These books promote a sense of spiritual quest, that's for sure. Hopefully, some of those who are motivated to follow the authors and set out on the road will connect with the deeper riches of the Christian pilgrimage, rather than simply see the journey as a way of 'finding their inner self' or whatever!


"Communicate with your inner self: swallow a cellphone."


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Thank you, this article is great! And it is true - every single German pilgrim I met on the camino read Hape Kerkelings book...


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I just returned and it's true.... the Germans have invaded Spain (someone should tell Spain!). I would say that the vast majority of Germans I met on the Camino were out for a cheap holiday, not a spiritual journey. Sadly, many of them chose to stick together and not socialize with other pilgrims.

I found the wide mix of nationalities to be one of the most exciting, rewarding aspects of the Camino. I would encourage anyone deciding to do this (for whatever reason) to reach out to everyone they meet on the way. The peregrino community is wonderful! The experience will be most rewarding!
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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.


Active Member
bbcgrrrl said:
Sadly, many of them chose to stick together and not socialize with other pilgrims.

Yeah, I remember a woman at an albergue commenting about their reticence ("look how they sit so stiff and quiet!" she said). But once you got past their reserve they were good to go - especially after they nailed a couple of Beck's beers apiece (hehe). I met and walked for awhile with a couple of germans of varying ages (a mother/daughter team, a psychologist, and a young pre-med student). Nice folks.

I did have one negative encounter w/a German, but she was under a lot of stress, and anyone could be a jerk under those circumstances...:arrow:
Year of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I may have been lucky with my Germans in 2007-- I ran into 2 blonde cheerful Bavarian publishers with excellent Spanish, a doctor from Cologne with his 14-yr old daughter, reunited after 13 years, a criminologist trying to write humourous songs about her blisters, a Saxon hospice worker carrying a small jewel for each of the dying patients with whom she had worked, and five retired businessmen who had done their military service a half century ago and were giving thanks for fifty years of friendship. Even the French I met in 2007 were most agreeable-- I remember clearly a young couple from Tours-- she suffered terribly from blisters and her partner was carrying her pack as well as his own, singing songs and telling jokes to cheer her up.


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I recently completed the Camino and I was suprised by the general level of negativity expressed towards German pilgrims. There was a lot of stereotyping going on and on a couple of occaisions it bordered on hostility directed at individuals. I did feel that I met what amounts to the population of a medium sized German city, but it was never bad and often it was really good.

The Camino is very popular in Germany and I am sure that this is partly a consequence of the success of Kerkerling's book.

I've spent most of my life in Liverpool and normally people make the connection between Liverpool and either the Beatles or football. Hape Kerkerling befriends a woman called Anne from Liverpool, who is a biologist and wears 'Harry Potter type glasses'. So I was asked on numerous occaisions if I knew Anne. It is strange that there should be a woman from liverpool who in Germany is more famous than Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalgleish and Ken Dodd. She is also quite possibly more famous than John, Paul, George and Ringo. And she may not even know it.


New Member
Even if it the reasons for walking the Camino (ie popular book) look superficial, the Camino will do it's work

Try not to be too judgmental (not always so easy)
Any reason to convene with your spirit is a good reason

Buen camino!

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