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Paulo Coelho didn´t complete his Camino

Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#1
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notici...antiago/00031426769585160919485.htm#viewmedia

Paulo Coelho, probably the most famous pilgrim in current times, has revealed that he didn´t complete his Camino in 1986, He ended in O Cebreiro and arrived in Santiago by bus.
He is now in Santiago celebrating Saint Joseph with 120 friends from all over the world.
I think that walking from SJPP to O Cebreiro in 1986 and writing a book that widely promoted the Camino is anyway very important.
 

evanlow

Active Member
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#4
I realized it when I read the ebook on my second camino and in the albergue when I finished exclaimed "what? That's it'..... :)
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#5
I just read a book Planetwalker and was all excited to read about a man who walked right around the world.....by the end of the book he hadn't even left America;-)
Then there was the Kiwi bloke who set out to walk Te Araroa, NZ's long distance waking trail - he didn't finish either, but did write a book about it.
Along The Templar Trail did somewhat better - one of the two guys who started did actually finish.

I was starting to think writers do not actually achieve long distance walks!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#6
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notici...antiago/00031426769585160919485.htm#viewmedia

Paulo Coelho, probably the most famous pilgrim in current times, has revealed that he didn´t complete his Camino in 1986, He ended in O Cebreiro and arrived in Santiago by bus.
He is now in Santiago celebrating Saint Joseph with 120 friends from all over the world.
I think that walking from SJPP to O Cebreiro in 1986 and writing a book that widely promoted the Camino is anyway very important.
In 2011 I choosed to stay in Viloria de la Rioja at Accacio and Orietta's Albergue. There were only me and an Austrian lady (injured - ankle) and at the dinner Accacio told me that P.Coelho never walked the Camino. And he was the "godfather" of this albergue! Accacio is Argentinian and Coelho is his friend, so I guess I have to believe him.
That don't bother me because Coelho's books means nothing at all to me. It would make whole lots of diference in case of some other authors/writers, but surely not Paulo :oops:
 

evanlow

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#8
It could be since Coelho's writing is focused on the mystical and locations along camino are vague at best.

Some of his other writings are very Zen influenced and along the same track he probably didn't have the training in that either. He a writer.
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#9
Never did he claim this was an autobiography - he's a novelist. He does not need to have walked an inch of the Camino. This being said, he did, walk enough to know what he wanted to write, and made the world aware of the Camino. Did anyone believe the bit about going in circle at the start? (How on earth could you walk in a circle on that 1 way road?) or the bit about Foncebadon and the wolves? Really!

But he has helped with the albergue in the birth place of Sto Domingo de la Calzada. I had the pleasure of staying there, with 3 other peregrinos. Everybody else just walked by, missing on a moment of Camino essence. When I got there, the other 2 peregrinos were there. He was curing her feet. Blood and all. They had never met before. When Acacio got home, the incents were burning, the fire place was on, and the meal was simple but lovely, the conversation memorable.

This moment would have been impossible without Coelho. Good enough for me. After all.... he's a novalist!
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
#10
and made the world aware of the Camino.
... I dare say the "world" was aware of the camino before pauloC... (many people I came across when growing up in europe knew of the camino as one of the grand pilgrimages of the world. and until recently i did not know about him at all and haven't read any of his book, only saw video clips about him. i.e. in my experience, people i know knew about the camino long before they heard about pauloC)
saluti -
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#11
... I dare say the "world" was aware of the camino before pauloC... (many people I came across when growing up in europe knew of the camino as one of the grand pilgrimages of the world. and until recently i did not know about him at all and haven't read any of his book, only saw video clips about him. i.e. in my experience, people i know knew about the camino long before they heard about pauloC)
saluti -
Even my own family living in Spain has little knowledge, nor interest, in the Caminos - as most of the people's whose villages we walked throgh. Regaring Coelho, The Pilgrim was one of his first major novel. Since then many works know around the world have been published. Here is a wikin link on his work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulo_Coelho
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#12
Maybe not him personally, but his publisher surely sold much more of his books with info that Paulo really had walked the (whole) Camino.

Which he didn't as his friend Accacio told me (see post #6)... :(
 

evanlow

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#14
This mirrors the movie 'The Way'.

1. Martin Sheen drove along the camino with his grandson (son of Emilio Estevez).
2. Emilio Estevez who produces and directed the film never walked the Camino.

Yet he was very inspired by it and make the movie with his dad.
 

Kerstinh47

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 16 May - 29 June, 2014
#15
I got his book before I walked the camino and struggled to read through it. I walked past a
 

rometimed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP: May/June 2015; English Route Nov 2015; Lycian Way Oct 2015; Coast to Coast Aug/Sep 2015; West Highland Way July 2015; Hadrians Wall June 2015; Westweg Jul/Aug 2015..... ..... .... ... .. . SJPdP May/June 2020; A Coruna 2020... ... .. . SJPdP May/June 2025... .. . SJPdP May/June 2030... .. . SJPdP May/June 2035... .. .
#16
I just read a book Planetwalker and was all excited to read about a man who walked right around the world.....by the end of the book he hadn't even left America;-)
Then there was the Kiwi bloke who set out to walk Te Araroa, NZ's long distance waking trail - he didn't finish either, but did write a book about it.
Along The Templar Trail did somewhat better - one of the two guys who started did actually finish.

I was starting to think writers do not actually achieve long distance walks!
Well I'm doing 7 (at least) long distance walks this year starting in May. I might write a book about the experience. I'm not much of a writer so maybe i'll just write it when I get back and post it on here. ;)
 

SabineP

Camino is about empathy. Not about entitlement.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#17
... I dare say the "world" was aware of the camino before pauloC... (many people I came across when growing up in europe knew of the camino as one of the grand pilgrimages of the world. and until recently i did not know about him at all and haven't read any of his book, only saw video clips about him. i.e. in my experience, people i know knew about the camino long before they heard about pauloC)
saluti -
Hear hear Amorfati...I know some people who walked in the sixties and seventies to Compostela....Never heard of Coelho of course but they had a broad interest of themselves in all things religious, cultural and spiritual.
Even now most pilgrims I know haven't heard from Coelho. Not here in Europe anyway...

Personally : I don't like his writing at all...little bits of this and that but no coherent style or content.
 
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CISSA69

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino de Santiago many many times, volunteered as a hospitalaro and at the CSJ offices in London and have presented on "Camino and Equipment" .
#18
Maybe they should establish a Paulo Cuelho Camino, starting in SJPP, spending 5 days getting very lost in the Pyrennes .... etc. and then finishing at O'Ceberrio ... might help eleviate some of the congestion and bring more money into the Camino as he stayed in hotels ... ha ha

Regardless he can certainly assert to the transformative power of the Camino as it kick started his career as an internationally famous best selling author and he still has a connection with at least one albergue, which he supports and is best mates with the owner of Ave Phoenix, one the Camino Characters. He is in Santiago this week, bringing attention to the city which is pretty devoid of pilgrims and tourists ... at the moment.

I saw him in Santiago standing outside the Paradora, holding court among the adoring media etc. I only recognised him because a friend had retweeted one of his messages about being back in Spain. 100m away and in the centre of the square were 30 or so teenages, shouting and dancing in celebration of their Camino completion. They all ran to high five and hug their teacher. So much excitment, joy, love etc but it was ignored by the media. It would have been nice if the media had showed equal interest in both happenings.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#19
Maybe they should establish a Paulo Cuelho Camino, starting in SJPP, spending 5 days getting very lost in the Pyrennes .... etc. and then finishing at O'Ceberrio ... might help eleviate some of the congestion and bring more money into the Camino as he stayed in hotels ... ha ha

Regardless he can certainly assert to the transformative power of the Camino as it kick started his career as an internationally famous best selling author and he still has a connection with at least one albergue, which he supports and is best mates with the owner of Ave Phoenix, one the Camino Characters. He is in Santiago this week, bringing attention to the city which is pretty devoid of pilgrims and tourists ... at the moment.

I saw him in Santiago standing outside the Paradora, holding court among the adoring media etc. I only recognised him because a friend had retweeted one of his messages about being back in Spain. 100m away and in the centre of the square were 30 or so teenages, shouting and dancing in celebration of their Camino completion. They all ran to high five and hug their teacher. So much excitment, joy, love etc but it was ignored by the media. It would have been nice if the media had showed equal interest in both happenings.
I'll volunteer to start that tour group in the Pyrenees. I know exactly how to walk someone around in circles in Pays Basque, it usually starts with our normal wine infused lunches.
I have read many of his books and I agree, he has nailed the transformational power of the Camino. Takes his book for what it was, not a literal travelogues just a metaphor about going on "a pilgrimage" it just happened to be the Camino de Santiago.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#20
C'mon. The dude's a writer. A writer writes in order to make a living. I'd make up all kind of crazy stuff too to put in print if you waved enough cash at me. How he became some sort of sage to some puzzles me.
Look at it at face value. Walking the Camino to get a sword from some kind of secret society? Was Frodo and Bilbo there, too? Maybe that was the effects of dropping too much acid when he was younger. Also in interviews he talks about black masses. Really, dude? I was only able to stomach a couple of chapters before I put the book down.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
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Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#25
Bill Bryson didn't walk the entire Appalachian Trail either, but I still laughed at almost every page of "A Walk in the Woods".
AH yes, that was another one I just read where the writer didn't finish!
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#27
Jame Michener wrote that the Camino
Is one of the great journeys of the world......and drove every bit of it
 
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M

Mark Lee

Guest
#29
AH yes, that was another one I just read where the writer didn't finish!
Yeah, I read that book. Mildly amusing, but yet another example where the writer finds an activity like the AP, or the CF that is extremely popular and decides that would be a good subject matter that will get them published and sell books. Rather disappointing when you realize the author didn't complete the journey and just experienced enough of it to put on paper. You got to wonder if the author even really enjoyed the experience and just how much of what they wrote is truth? The old "poetic license" bit.
I've always believed it's better to go make your own adventures and stories and not live vicariously through some wannabe guru hack, who can spin a good yarn.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning our first for May (2016)
#30
Yeah, I read that book. Mildly amusing, but yet another example where the writer finds an activity like the AP, or the CF that is extremely popular and decides that would be a good subject matter that will get them published and sell books. Rather disappointing when you realize the author didn't complete the journey and just experienced enough of it to put on paper. You got to wonder if the author even really enjoyed the experience and just how much of what they wrote is truth? The old "poetic license" bit.
I've always believed it's better to go make your own adventures and stories and not live vicariously through some wannabe guru hack, who can spin a good yarn.
Whoa, not to go too far off topic, but Bryson did claim to hike most of the AT. Granted it was for the purposes of writing about it but that's what the man does for a living. So he section hiked and took a taxi from TN to VA. This was hardly the book that established him as a best-selling writer and there's enough fact in the book to make it credible.

I don't know about anybody else, but I read a lot of travel books and appreciate a good story. The fact that the author embelishes for the sake of the story isn't going to put me off. Just as each of us walks his own camino, I'll give anyone permission to hike their own Appalachian Trail without feeling the need to criticize it.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#31
Whoa, not to go too far off topic, but Bryson did claim to hike most of the AT. Granted it was for the purposes of writing about it but that's what the man does for a living. So he section hiked and took a taxi from TN to VA. This was hardly the book that established him as a best-selling writer and there's enough fact in the book to make it credible.

I don't know about anybody else, but I read a lot of travel books and appreciate a good story. The fact that the author embelishes for the sake of the story isn't going to put me off. Just as each of us walks his own camino, I'll give anyone permission to hike their own Appalachian Trail without feeling the need to criticize it.
Bryson's OK. I bought his book and added to his bank account, but I never assume there is 100% any fact in any book. Books are entertainment. He wasn't who I was referring to as a wannabe guru hack...ha ha :D
 

SabineP

Camino is about empathy. Not about entitlement.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#32
Btw I learned more about human nature = (metaphor for the Camino ) from writers who did not leave their house...Eg : Dostojevski, Proust and many more....No gurus at all...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#33
I read P Coelho's book before I walked the Camino and had a difficult time understanding it. It was difficult for me, also, to find out if it was a novel or biography - and I looked at many "sources". Then between my 1st and 2nd Caminos, I re-read The Pilgrimage, and decided that (from MY perspective) it was part bio, part fiction - and didn't care - It was a GOOD story - the 2nd time.

I tend to be just a bit skeptical, so don't necessarily believe all I read - newspapers, blogs, books (whether they are listed as fiction or non-), anything on-line, well you get the point, I think. Actually, anything that leads me to start thinking about something new and different, and gets me moving outside my usual zone, I find worthwhile.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning our first for May (2016)
#34
Bryson's OK. I bought his book and added to his bank account, but I never assume there is 100% any fact in any book. Books are entertainment. He wasn't who I was referring to as a wannabe guru hack...ha ha :D
As much as I like to argue, I wasn't trying to start an argument. I don't think it was 100% fact-free but agree that licenses are taken in even those books that are presented as non-fiction. I have gladly added to Bryson's bank account as I find him very entertaining.
 

indyrem

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June-July (2013) Camino Ingles (2015)
#36
Bill Bryson didn't walk the entire Appalachian Trail either, but I still laughed at almost every page of "A Walk in the Woods".
Yes, " A Walk in the Woods" made me laugh so hard. To this day if I want to laugh I'd pull Bryson's book & read it again.
 
C

Con Palos

Guest
#38
Does this mean that he is not real, or that he is unreal?
I note your avatar looks like the cover from the Alchemist?

I like all Paulo's novels, well the ones I have read, may have missed a few.

The Alchemist is my favourite
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
#39
This thread has made me realise that my favourite books are all journeys - and funny ones too. Three Men in a Boat, A Walk in the Woods and Spanish Steps... Maybe it's the masochist in me or the pilgrim? I just love to read about how bloomin' awful and difficult other peoples travels have been!
I would of listed Patrick Leigh Fermor (any book) but the only thing his writing lacks is humour which I find it so important. Although you can gain an entire education about geography, history and anthropology from his writing (bless his cottons)
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
#40
oops - meant to say I love all the Coelho books I have read - didn't understand all but enjoyed them all the same. I don't feel someone has to undergo an experience to write about it - like actors can act a life they have not lived, it depends whether they can convey the experience adequately/thoroughly/amazingly - surely?!
 

Natbee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2019)
#41
hecate105, you are absolutely right. I do not read Coelho -- I think he's a hack. But he can write about anything he wants without having done what he's writing about. One does not have to murder someone to write about what it's like to be a murderer. In fiction, anyway. I don't really know what Coelho's books are.
 

Bad Pilgrim

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#43
In 2011 I choosed to stay in Viloria de la Rioja at Accacio and Orietta's Albergue. There were only me and an Austrian lady (injured - ankle) and at the dinner Accacio told me that P.Coelho never walked the Camino. And he was the "godfather" of this albergue! Accacio is Argentinian and Coelho is his friend, so I guess I have to believe him.
That don't bother me because Coelho's books means nothing at all to me. It would make whole lots of diference in case of some other authors/writers, but surely not Paulo :oops:
Wait I don't get it. Did he walk to O Cebreiro, or did he not walk at all??
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
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#44
Where exactly in Galicia is it?
I'm really very eager to take a tourigrino detour... :)
The albergue in Mordor is the albergue municipal in Quiroga!!!!! Just wait tiI finish my novel about it.......
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
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#45
I just read a book Planetwalker and was all excited to read about a man who walked right around the world.....by the end of the book he hadn't even left America;-)
Then there was the Kiwi bloke who set out to walk Te Araroa, NZ's long distance waking trail - he didn't finish either, but did write a book about it.
Along The Templar Trail did somewhat better - one of the two guys who started did actually finish.

I was starting to think writers do not actually achieve long distance walks!
Well... I haven't done half of the Caminos that I am writing about on this Forum either, so...

*joking*
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -SJPP- Santiago .Oct/Nov
2017 -Porto to Santiago.Oct
2017- Santiago- Finesterre. Nov
#46
It's a novel .. he's a writer ..he uses his imagination to make a living & that's his job .. much of his writing involves exploring the big mythical elements of inner and outer worlds.it worked well for introducing many people to the Camino de Santiago . In my opinion It's irrelevant whether he walked the whole thing or not . He used the Camino to tell a grand story . His book was actually my first introduction to the Camino and it led me to seek more information .. even though it was a bit flakey here and there .. but it inspired me . The first of his books I ever read was the Alchemist in the early 90's and I liked the style and themes . They were very Jungian and profound .
 

TatiLie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning for first Camino (2019)
#48
As a Brazilian, I always get surprised by Paulo Coelho's fame outside of Brazil. He's more of a joke to us, like how English speakers make fun of Fifty Shades and Twilight. I suppose translators are doing a good job when transporting it to another language. In its original language, it's not worth the trees that died for the print.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#49
I just read a book Planetwalker and was all excited to read about a man who walked right around the world.....by the end of the book he hadn't even left America;-)
Then there was the Kiwi bloke who set out to walk Te Araroa, NZ's long distance waking trail - he didn't finish either, but did write a book about it.
Along The Templar Trail did somewhat better - one of the two guys who started did actually finish.

I was starting to think writers do not actually achieve long distance walks!
This reminds me of a man whom we met on the Camino this past winter whose name rhymes with trucker! He is a jovial, affable, chubby soul who is doing his Camino in 4 or 5 sections and writing a book about it. Last winter he started in Leon and made it as far as O’Cebriero. What we soon discovered is that he took taxis and buses most of the way...took a Taxi from Acebo to Ponferrada, bus from Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo, Taxi from Trabadelo to LaFaba, and taxi again from there to OCebriero. At one point we met him again, as he loudly pronounced in an albergue that he was about to walk back (not) and find us because we had not arrived yet!! We were three walking in two foot of snow and it took much longer to get to our destination than it normally would. Hey, I sincerely think it is fine for someone to do the Camino in whatever fashion they decide to. I do not know what his issues are? However, It is quite another to misrepresent one’s accomplishment, especially when publishing it!
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
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#50
As a Brazilian, I always get surprised by Paulo Coelho's fame outside of Brazil. He's more of a joke to us, like how English speakers make fun of Fifty Shades and Twilight. I suppose translators are doing a good job when transporting it to another language. In its original language, it's not worth the trees that died for the print.
I almost didn't want to say this but I agree (I am not from Brazil though)... I have read one of his books (The alchemist) and will not read a second one. I was baffled how someone can steel "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (a french book from the 40's) and then put his name on it. The two books are too similar for it to be a coincident.

Oh yeah, every author borrows from someone else. But some authors borrow a little too much...

Not to derail the thread. I am sure his book about the Camino is good then. I wasn't impressed with my first encounter with his books though.

BP
 
Camino(s) past & future
29/02/2017
#51
I just read a book Planetwalker and was all excited to read about a man who walked right around the world.....by the end of the book he hadn't even left America;-)
Then there was the Kiwi bloke who set out to walk Te Araroa, NZ's long distance waking trail - he didn't finish either, but did write a book about it.
Along The Templar Trail did somewhat better - one of the two guys who started did actually finish.

I was starting to think writers do not actually achieve long distance walks!
Try -A Walk in the Woods. , very nice !!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#52
I have read a few chapters from those popular books about long walks. The one's from Coelho, Shirley MaClaine, and the two about the American AT and PCT trails. I must say, personally I found them uninteresting and after a few chapters put them down and was done. Then I found out the authors of all those books never even walked the entire routes. That too was disappointing, but not surprising. Writers write to make money. To actually document the walking of any of those routes and print it without embellishment is dull. Nobody is going to want to read (and spend money on your book) about waking up, going to the toilet, washing up, start walking, get some coffee, eat lunch, stop at an albergue, wash clothes, eat dinner, go to sleep and repeat. Same goes for the ones about the actual wilderness hikes, except you put in tent set up and cooking on a small stove.
Like I said, boring. So you embellish, add fantasy and mysticism and at times plagiarize. Writers need to eat and the masses need to live vicariously through others, even if what the others wrote that they did is pure horse excrement.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#54
@RJM I tend to agree with you - I find most of the “popular” books on this topic either boring or irritating for those very reasons you cite.
What I have enjoyed are the likes of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell and James Michener with their avid descriptions of people and place.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -SJPP- Santiago .Oct/Nov
2017 -Porto to Santiago.Oct
2017- Santiago- Finesterre. Nov
#55
Perhaps The greatest thing about walking the Camino is that it surpasses any book we may possibly read because it is a truly magnificent journey and an experience that WE ourselves make -surpassing the words of any writer to do it justice . The story of It is written in our own feet , body , mind and heart and its a true story and it's our story . Words in a book by someone else can bring up a feeling or inspire us but it cannot ever beat the feeling of actually doing something grand like the Camino by ourselves . The imprint on our souls is strong and enduring .
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#57
I met and walked 5km of Camino between Vianna and Logrono with Paulo Coelho in 2014
Oh, so I made a huge injustice to him because I've met Accacio and Orietta in 2011 ;)

And? How was it walking with Paulo Coelho?
 


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When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 8 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 33 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 108 14.7%
  • May

    Votes: 179 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 53 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 15 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 219 29.8%
  • October

    Votes: 89 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.5%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
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