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Sadly.....an American pilgrim has died on the way to Roncesvalles.

2020 Camino Guides

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
An local article in the newspaper is reporting that. "..an American pilgrim has been found deceased in or near the little hut on the Napoleon route..."

They report he was 66 years old and that it was natural causes. He was found by other pilgrims who called 112.

I am not able to link the article from my iPad.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Yes, it is indeed sad. As a 60+ person myself, and prone to obesity, I am aware of the risks. However, and this is the take away from this sad occurrence, if you are not accustomed to exercising at your peak aerobic cardiac and pulmonary level, you are well advised to have a full physical examination BEFORE committing to doing any Camino. Hopefully, any lurking problems can be diagnosed and treated before hand. This said, the first day out of St. Jean is a particularly nasty, steep ascent, especially for someone not used to it.

Parenthetically, in 2013 I walked for a few days out of St. Jean with a woman who lived in very flat Florida. She trained for the Pyrenees ascent by going to her local high school athletic field and walked the bleacher, stadium seats repeatedly to build stamina and muscles. It did the trick when the real test came.

As to the unfortunate soul who lost his life while on Camino, I prefer to think of him having started his "eternal Camino." His soul will be out there, mixed with the millions of others who went down the Route Napoleon and the Camino Frances over the past 1,200 years. He is in good company now.

I will pray for his soul.

Have the Cathedral authorities been notified? In cases like this, I understand that a Pilgrim Mass is typically dedicated to the pilgrim, and a special Compostela is issued to his relatives. I have also heard stories while working in Santiago of surviving spouses, siblings, or children who took up the deceased person's Pilgrim Credencial and continued the pilgrimage on his behalf, all the way to Santiago. That is especially touching.

I hope this helps.
 
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Jan_89

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés: July/August 2014

Camino Francés: May/June 2017
Rest in peace!
 

Stephen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
Rest in peace.
It may be little consolation to his family now but there are worse ways of going than when engaged in something close to the heart.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
That is very, very sad. But what a wonderful way to go, considering he will have been enjoying himself doing the walk in the first place. I just feel so very sorry for his family left behind who will not have got a chance to say their good byes first.
They may have farewelled him before he departed, though. Just a note.

I'm so sorry for the family's loss. I pray that his passing was quick, painless, without anguish.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I hope his passing was easeful and free from pain. There are far worse ways to go...
Feeling particular compassion for his family right now, and hoping they can find some solace in the fact that he was probably happy, and doing something really worth doing.
[Edit...Question for Ivar or the Mods: Whether he was a forum member or no, is there a way that our condolences be sent to the family? They may take comfort in knowing many people out here are thinking of them in this difficult time.]
 
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William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
Rejoice, for he has finished his race
The long circuit of life has closed.
His friends and Family will miss the corporeal,the part of him able to be touched.

The essential "him" what made "him" his spirit,his joys,his sorrows..all reside within.incorruptable and eternal.

The body fades
The Soul,the animation of his life,has left the shell that carried him.

My prayers for this pilgrim, My prayers for his family and those left to sorrow at his passing,

As T2Andreo said
He goes to join all those gone before

His light will be added to the Constellation of lights over the pilgrims head,to light the way for those in darkness.
Look up Pelegrino,look up one nite out away from the lights,out on the path,
A river of stars,an endless river of stars! Pilgrims gone before ,now in confraternity with aeons of others...just like him

Someday, we may be fortunate to meet on the Great Camino

Eternal Rest grant to him o Lord
And let perpetual light shine upon him
May he rest in Peace. Amen
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013 Ingles 2014 Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017 Via Francigena 2018 -(2019)
Deepest sympathy to all those who loved him, may he rest in peace.
 

Cailin O Eire

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Sarria to Santiago Easter 2014
Hope to walk for 5 days from St Jean Pied De Port to wherever my feet bring me to first week of June 2016
May he rest in peace. Condolences to his family.
 

hampshire!tim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Ingles (2014), Finisterre (2015)
I had to spend the night in Izandorre in Nov-13 during a storm having screwed up my 1st day. I remember it as a place of sanctuary, as a life-saver not a life-taker.

Praying that he found some peace at the end
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Camino(s) past & future
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
Oct 2018 (Via Francigena stage)
My thoughts & prayers go to his family & friends.
I echo others in wishing him Buen Camino on this last eternal walk.
Suzanne
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
My condolences to his family and friends. I am sad that he just started his Camino--day one or two--but I am happy for him that he actually made it, and had started his walk. It might have been a lifelong dream realized. I hope he is up there in the Compostella, the field of stars, with Methodist Pilgrim, enjoying a cup of tea with Philip, in his new heavenly avocation of watching over all of us here. Rest in peace, Pilgrim.
 

krazeekuban

Coordinator Valley of the Sun Chapter/APOC
Camino(s) past & future
May/June(2012) Camino Frances. Sept/Oct Camino Frances, Santiago/Finsterre 2013. 2013 Pilgrim Office Amigo Volunteer. Oct 2014 Camino Ingles , Pilgrim Office in Santiago Vol Sep '15, Camino Portuguese Oct '15,volunteer Sept 2015 Ribadiso muni albergue
Blessings for him and his family and friends
 

Pattii

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
My heart aches for his family...my heart rejoices in his journey...his Camino has just begun. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends. I will continue to lift them to Jesus for comfort and may our Camino brother rest in sweet peace.
 

Veronica Peace

30km to go on the CF
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances - SJPdP to SdC June - 2015; Future: Camino Portuguese 2018
That is very, very sad. But what a wonderful way to go, considering he will have been enjoying himself doing the walk in the first place. I just feel so very sorry for his family left behind who will not have got a chance to say their good byes first.
@freeflyer123 - so beautifully and simply said. Very sad news. My condolences to his family and friends. Rest in Peace fellow Pilgrim.
 

jennyb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances [May 2012]
VDLP (September 2015)
The very sad part is that his family said goodbye and wished him luck for his Camino and now they will be notified by strangers of his passing.
I remember when I did my Camino late in April 2012, we boarded the SJPDP train in Bayonne. I was seated behind 2 Asian gentlemen who had struck up a conversation and while we waited for everyone to get on board, one of these gentlemen had some kind of attack. The police and paramedics were called. Very prompt they were. We all had to leave the train with our bags so that they could get to his bag for identification. He was wheeled away on a stretcher with a drip attached, so obviously still alive. We were ALL very upset. I kept thinking about his poor family wishing him well on his Camino and how they would now be notified of his illness or death perhaps. He was very often in my thoughts and I always wondered if he made it home. Perhaps someone on this forum may have heard something...it would be nice to know. This took place around 23 or 24 April 2012.
 

danielc

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SEPT '13 CF - SJPP to Santiago
OCT '14 Porto to Santiago
An local article in the newspaper is reporting that. "..an American pilgrim has been found deceased in or near the little hut on the Napoleon route..."

They report he was 66 years old and that it was natural causes. He was found by other pilgrims who called 112.

I am not able to link the article from my iPad.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anama
Traditional Irish Saying
(May his soul be at Gods right hand)
 

vgen5122

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (August 19-sept 30,2013) (8/2017)
Although it has been said many times, my condolences go out to the family and friends of this pilgrim. As someone commented on this forum, before I completed the Camino in 2013-"the Camino is is no joke". The trek should not be taken lightly.
I remember seeing the monuments when hiking over the Pyrenees of pilgrims whose journey were cut short.
I am in my sixties and I don't walk as much as I should. Between now and August of 2016, you can bet that I will be doing allot of walking . This date is when I am hoping to return and travel this wonderful journey called " The Camino de Santiago"again. Buen Camino.
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
As Vgen said
All the monuments on the way...
I cat help but wonder at all the untold,unsung pilgrims who have fallen by the way...

I see a statue
Of a retired pilgrim
Robe of marble,folded just so
Down cast eyes
And a weathered hand,extended,as if in supplication...
One hand on the earth
On hand reaching upwards to the heavens..or one of us
A memorium..a memento mori.. to all those who have come , and fallen on the way.
And a reminder,of who we truly are inside,
that we carry back to the hostile world..outside.

Carry my memory,
Stranger passing by.
Fellow pilgrims you and I
One step further up the trail than mine
Remember me in some quiet hour
In Santiagos Halls...or neith some bower
Carry my memory,I can walk no farther
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
Sad news also on the Via Podiensis, a French pilgrim, 74 years old, died last Tuesday between Lauzerte and Moissac.

http://www.ladepeche.fr/article/2015/05/21/2109063-pelerin-74-ans-decede-chemin-saint-jacques-compostelle.html

Théo
Oh no... Another tragedy. All lost of life is a tragedy as we don't have their hearts and voices around us any longer. Rest in peace, pelegrino. Set another space at the table upstairs and move over a wee bit you folks already there. Someone else is joining you to watch over us from the stars light, stars bright. My condolences to this gentle man's family.

I am saying those words quite a lot these last few days, alas. Not just here on this forum but in my real physical life. The sad part of life is death--the ones who get left behind who have to figure out what just happened, and how to move through life with it.
 
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freespirit

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Lourdes v SJPDP - Santiago (June/July 2010) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (July/August 2015) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (June/July/August 2017)
RIP fellow pilgrim, he passed over doing a thing he wanted to do, its a nice way to go,walking over the Pyrenees, I fill sorry for the his family left behind and there pain they are having to cope with.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I am wondering what the weather was like to cause hypothermia on May 20.
I have been at the hut on May 1st in a snow and sleet storm.
May 20 seems late.
Mid teens and I don't remember any rain. Same question?
 

DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
I see that she was from Florida. I was born and grew up in Florida (I was 20 before I ever saw any snow). Most people from Florida don't understand about how to deal with the cold. I won't let my Mother (who has lived her entire 88 years in Florida) come to visit me in the winter any more. One bout with pneumonia was enough.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Well the newspaper article says they were walking all day in cold and fog. Perhaps she got wet or not enough clothes to pass the night there. Also says she suffered a slight case of hypothermia and nerves. Sounds like bad planning on her part. Hopefully she has been able to learn from this.

Ondo Ibili !
Did it sound like they were planning to sleep in that hut?
It has always been very dirty and full of garbage and trash each time I have been there. Not somewhere most would chose to sleep...unless unable to go on.

I think it is only about 5km from Roncesvalles ....maybe I am wrong.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Well, they started at 11AM which is appropriate time for average prepared hiker to go just to Orisson. Late start, possibly not enough/wrong (not enough carbs etc.) food, cold & wet weather and I'm sure not enough water. In my early youth as an alpinist I've seen many such situations when people thought because it's cold they don't need to drink. You need to drink a lot when walking such stages and drink even more when it's hot.
Good news that everything ended well!
 

ridgedweller

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances . Walked from Le Puy to Santiago 2013
The sad news hit home as I was the same age when my wife and I walked the Camino in 2013. We were fortunate to have walked from Le Puy before reaching the Pyrenees. We still took the easy route through Valcarlos.

I liked the movie "The Way" but I am afraid that too many people saw Martin Sheen jump from plane to the Camino and figured that nothing else was needed but determination.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português da Costa (Fall 2018)
I am wondering what the weather was like to cause hypothermia on May 20. I have been at the hut on May 1st in a snow and sleet storm. May 20 seems late.
Here in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, temperatures at this time of year "normally" vary from the high teens to the low 30s C. Yesterday was sub-zero C. Very rare but not unknown.

Requiescat in pace, peregrinos.
 

dcorrea951

La Coruna
Camino(s) past & future
(2013)Frances;(2015)Pilgrim Office;(2016)Portuguese Coastal;(Portuguese Central,Ingles,Sanabres
The hut Izandorre is actually on the route Napoleon after Orisson..the article mentions Valcarlos...but I believe that to be the district.
I have a picture of the hut if you would like it.
 

nomadko

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela (2016)
May he rest peacefully. Sending warm hugs to his family and friends.
 

Walid Medawar

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese ( July 2015 )
Sad New Indeed ... May St Jamed embraced him and Together they journey on the Camino of Eternity where their is Nothing but Joy.

Hope no One Get me Wrongs , but it just came to my Mind , that Aged People like our Dead Pilgrim , who though the ages , still have the spirit to walk the camino , become for us the Guardian Angels...
 

nreyn12

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked (2005) (2007) (2008) (2009) (2010) (2011) (2012) (2013) (2014) (2015); Guide leading groups 2013-present
Does anyone know if there has been contact between forum members and the family of the pilgrim who died on the way to Roncesvalles? When I passed the site where he died earlier this month, I didn't see any kind of memorial for him. I will be passing twice in September and would like to reach out to the family and offer to put something there.

Thanks,
 

Roy Howard

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I walked Camino Frances in 2015 and plan to walk Camino Primitivo in 2017
An local article in the newspaper is reporting that. "..an American pilgrim has been found deceased in or near the little hut on the Napoleon route..."

They report he was 66 years old and that it was natural causes. He was found by other pilgrims who called 112.

I am not able to link the article from my iPad.
I remember meeting this man and his wife. We left SJPP on the same morning.
 

Bogong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First, March 2014
Yes, it is indeed sad. As a 60+ person myself, and prone to obesity, I am aware of the risks. However, and this is the take away from this sad occurrence, if you are not accustomed to exercising at your peak aerobic cardiac and pulmonary level, you are well advised to have a full physical examination BEFORE committing to doing any Camino. Hopefully, any lurking problems can be diagnosed and treated before hand. This said, the first day out of St. Jean is a particularly nasty, steep ascent, especially for someone not used to it.

Parenthetically, in 2013 I walked for a few days out of St. Jean with a woman who lived in very flat Florida. She trained for the Pyrenees ascent by going to her local high school athletic field and walked the bleacher, stadium seats repeatedly to build stamina and muscles. It did the trick when the real test came.

As to the unfortunate soul who lost his life while on Camino, I prefer to think of him having started his "eternal Camino." His soul will be out there, mixed with the millions of others who went down the Route Napoleon and the Camino Frances over the past 1,200 years. He is in good company now.

I will pray for his soul.

Have the Cathedral authorities been notified? In cases like this, I understand that a Pilgrim Mass is typically dedicated to the pilgrim, and a special Compostela is issued to his relatives. I have also heard stories while working in Santiago of surviving spouses, siblings, or children who took up the deceased person's Pilgrim Credencial and continued the pilgrimage on his behalf, all the way to Santiago. That is especially touching.

I hope this helps.
The sadness of this would indeed be assuaged if a surviving relative continued his earthly pilgrimage to Santiago. What a tribute!

I find such actions inspiring. It was a central theme of the movie "The Way" which sadly was rubbished by some on a recent thread as cheesy Hollywood.

De Colores

Bogong
 

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