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Shirley Maclaine - The Camino - Swimming place

davejsy

Walked the Camino Francés for SSD UK 2023
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2023 sept/Oct
Primitivo July 2024
Ok bear with me. The book is weird, but I've started so I'll finish.

In the book, about halfway through is this:

"I skipped along a mountain path with Ariel beside me. Then I entered a small village with a stream and a kind of swimming hole." Apparently where she was baptised (or baptized if you wish) in a former life, and she proceeded to swim in there. Afterwards she walked on to Ponferrada.

Does anyone know where this was/is? I've googled and can't find anything. In my head I think my spirit guide persil is telling me it's El Acebo. I remember just before you leave the track to enter the village there was a sign to some sort of water thing to the right of the village (I think but can't see anything on map), I didn't go there but was wondering if it's there. I don't think it could be Molinaseca as no mention of a bridge and it's not exactly small.

I know it's not very interesting but these things bug me.
 
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The book is weird, but I've started so I'll finish.
I felt the same way Dave. I don't even remember how long ago I read it but I'd say at least 20 years ago. It was the first time I'd heard of the Camino. And my overwhelming thought after reading the book - despite its many eccentricities - was 'Wow. Imagine walking 800 kms across a country. How wonderful. Maybe one day I could do that.' I promptly forgot about it - until the next 'nudge' came out of the blue some years later ... but I always look back on that book fondly, if only for that reason. Though I've never been tempted to read it again. ☺️
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
There is a seasonal swimming pool in the river in Molinaseca. I don't think El Acebo is likely - their water supply is from quite small springs and there is no substantial stream nearby.
Certainly would seem the obvious place, but just seems odd that there would be no mention of the bridge and its not that small (although maybe it was smaller back then).
 
I felt the same way Dave. I don't even remember how long ago I read it but I'd say at least 20 years ago. It was the first time I'd heard of the Camino. And my overwhelming thought after reading the book - despite its many eccentricities - was 'Wow. Imagine walking 800 kms across a country. How wonderful. Maybe one day I could do that.' I promptly forgot about it - until the next 'nudge' came out of the blue some years later ... but I always look back on that book fondly, only that reason. Though I've never been tempted to read it again.
What a nice story. It started off ok for me, but some of it is just too far off the spectrum even for me. I've skipped a few chapters about her regressions, not too say that it's not what happened to her - just didn't resonate with me.
 
What a nice story. It started off ok for me, but some of it is just too far off the spectrum even for me. I've skipped a few chapters about her regressions, not too say that it's not what happened to her - just didn't resonate with me.
Even though it's so long since I read it - that sounds very similar to how I felt. But, hey, who was I to question her 'experiences' - worldly or otherwise.😉
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
It definitely sounds like Molinaseca to me. As far as it not being small - perhaps it was smaller back when she wrote the book, and/or she took artistic license in the description. And Molinaseca is only about 8km from Ponferrada, so it makes sense that she easily walked there after her swim.
 
and/or she took artistic license in the description.
I've just looked at the passage in the book. I can't see it matching anywhere else on that section of the Camino. Maclaine mentions a crowd gathering while she bathed and swam in the river. That suggests a moderately sized place to me rather than a hamlet.
 
I've just looked at the passage in the book. I can't see it matching anywhere else on that section of the Camino. Maclaine mentions a crowd gathering while she bathed and swam in the river. That suggests a moderately sized place to me rather than a hamlet.
I think you're probably right. But it seems strange there was mention of passing through the several genuinely small villages after the mountain path (not that the rest of the book is that descriptive either), and no mention of what is probably the most striking element of Molinaseca and impossible to miss as you enter - the Roman bridge.
 
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I think you're probably right. But it seems strange there was mention of passing through the several genuinely small villages after the mountain path (not that the rest of the book is that descriptive either), and no mention of what is probably the most striking element of Molinaseca and impossible to miss as you enter - the Roman bridge.

Artistic Licence? :rolleyes:
 
Don't people swim at Ribadiso?
I haven't read the book so I have no idea what you guys are talking about. lol!
But if she walked on to Ponferrada the only river I know of is at Molinaseca.
I've seen people swimming there.
 
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We're doing it the wrong way folks. (2 min video)
You have to beg for food
And not make friends........

 
What I find remarkable about Shirley MacLaine are not the nuttier parts of her book but the fact that she was 60 years old and walked in 1994. Not the done thing for a senior American woman at the time. She had not even seen The Way which premiered in 2010. I’ve not read the book, I only read what is posted on the forum and seen some interviews on YouTube. 1994 … 30 years ago … a generation. She must be 90 now?
 
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Not the done thing for Americans at the time.
Not all that common for anyone at the time. The publicity drive around the 1993 Holy Year raised awareness of the Caminos internationally and brought @Rebekah Scott amongst others to the Caminos. Also Jack Hitt who wrote about his 1993 Camino in "Off The Road" and inspired some of the scenes in the film by Emilio Estevez. But there had been other Americans too well before Ms Maclaine. Gitlitz and Davidson had made several trips to Spain and the Camino both alone and with college groups in the 1970s and 1980s. And my own Canadian/American mother in law (born in Toronto, raised from 10 in Vermont) had walked the Frances in 1985. I think our own @rappahannock_rev was on the Caminos in the 1980s and @David Tallan may have spoken about his journey to a few of his neighbours to the south too!
 
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What I find remarkable about Shirley MacLaine are not the nuttier parts of her book but the fact that she was 60 years old and walked in 1994. Not the done thing for a senior American woman at the time. She had not even seen The Way which premiered in 2010. I’ve not read the book, I only read what is posted on the forum and seen some interviews on YouTube. 1994 … 30 years ago … a generation. She must be 90 now?
Yes for all the craziness in the book you can't take away the fact that what she did was quite outside many peoples comfort zone at that time.
 
Yes for all the craziness in the book you can't take away the fact that what she did was quite outside many peoples comfort zone at that time.
BTW, I, too, think that she talks about the natural swimming pool of the Rio Meruelo in Molinaseca. I had a look at a few photos. Sometimes the river hardly carries any water.

I don't know why Shirley MacLaine does not mention the bridge, perhaps she had nothing special to say about it. BTW, it is not Roman, it is Romanesque. Gronze says that it was built in the 12th century and has been substantially renovated since then, Gitlitz/Davidson only mention that two ancient bridges remain over the river.

The bridge looks good though. I did not take a photo and what I remember are the people swimming and enjoying the sun in the small area where it is possible to do so and to enter the river.
 
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I listened to the soundbite linked in #13. She says: "You stay in refugios." That certainly dates her Camino. 😊
Thank you for that. I really needed yet another reminder of my own age this morning.... :cool: It just struck me again that I owe my own introduction to the Caminos almost entirely to two women coincidentally from the same city in Canada. Conversations with my own mother in law and Laurie Dennett's book "A Hug For The Apostle" which Barbara lent me before my first walk. So in my mind North Americans have always been closely associated with the Caminos - long before that movie.
 
I did not take a photo and what I remember are the people swimming and enjoying the sun in the small area where it is possible to do so and to enter the river.
Both times I've been there (Oct 23 on my CF and Oct21 on a road trip) there hasn't been enough water to go above your ankles! I guess that is at the end of the dry summer period though.

But a quick search for said spot brought up this thread.

And in particular this reply:
As you are coming in to Molinaseca the camino crosses the bridge over the Meruelo river. The area under the bridge is a swimming area and it beautiful too.

Molinaseca swimming

Some of the photos from the link show the river actually really deep! Still odd if it is under the bridge for there to be zero mention.
 
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Some of the photos from the link show the river actually really deep! Still odd if it is under the bridge for there to be zero mention.
We stopped at the restaurant at the end of the bridge and as I remember it the river (I call it a river and not a stream but I am not a native English speaker) looked like a decent river at the time and there were people swimming in an area on the other side of the bridge. During which months did Shirley MacLaine walk in 1994?
 
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The large photo in the link shows the other stone bridge of Molinaseca and not the bridge that pilgrims walk over which is closest to the church that pilgrims pass by.
I'm pretty certain there is only one bridge? Where is the second one?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I was going to correct my post but you answered already. The photo is taken from the second bridge. See StreetView.
Ah ok the road bridge I guess you mean.

It seems they dam the river during the summer to allow enough water for swimming which explains why there is not much water the rest of the year.

We were there in late June 2015. The river was dammed and townspeople were relaxing along both banks with just a few in the water. I turned my convertible pants into shorts and swam back and forth under the Roman bridge. It was my only swimming along the camino.

Picture at: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...an-bridge-at-the-entrance-to-molinaseca.1066/
Ariel photograph of the swimming hole: https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?ll=42.537689,-6.518975&z=19&t=h
 
We're doing it the wrong way folks. (2 min video)
You have to beg for food
And not make friends........

Sad to say, that the whole site is geolocked and streams not available in Germany.
 
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Plenty of water in the river on June 12, 2022
Molinaseca
(and even couple of pictures of the bridge :))
In 2019 we were walking over the bridge while the first day of vacation-activities started. Many kids in the river, music and a lifeguard watching.
Memorable moment: a fellow pilgrim got a scubamask and snorkel off his backpack and started diving 😂
 
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Sad to say, that the whole site is geolocked and streams not available in Germany.
You can watch it with VPN. It is just because of the quote of "you have to beg for food" and "not make friends" which she says she finds hard to do. "Don't spend any money". She talks a lot about the spiritual journey. "On purpose, it's a spiritual camino". It's an Oprah interview. I don't know what she writes about eating and spending in her book.

The interview was apparently aired in 2014. That's already 20 years after the time when she walked. Recollections may vary, to quote the Royal House of Windsor. ;)
 
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The interview was apparently aired in 2014. That's already 20 years after the time when she walked. Recollections may vary, to quote the Royal House of Windsor. ;)
I found my 1990 Camino diary not long ago. Reading through it again I realised that some events and places from my 1990 and 2002 Caminos had been jumbled up in my memory over the years. That I had completely forgotten staying in some places and had confused the location of a hostal and so on. It happens. Possibly even more if one is trying to remember not only events in one life 20 years ago but also separating them from your many other past lives... Never had to face that particular challenge myself! :)
 
Ok bear with me. The book is weird, but I've started so I'll finish.

In the book, about halfway through is this:

"I skipped along a mountain path with Ariel beside me. Then I entered a small village with a stream and a kind of swimming hole." Apparently where she was baptised (or baptized if you wish) in a former life, and she proceeded to swim in there. Afterwards she walked on to Ponferrada.

Does anyone know where this was/is? I've googled and can't find anything. In my head I think my spirit guide persil is telling me it's El Acebo. I remember just before you leave the track to enter the village there was a sign to some sort of water thing to the right of the village (I think but can't see anything on map), I didn't go there but was wondering if it's there. I don't think it could be Molinaseca as no mention of a bridge and it's not exactly small.

I know it's not very interesting but these things bug me.
She writes things that didn’t actually happen. Like having her feet washed when she got to the pilgrims office in the cathedral. I’ve researched that to no end and not found anybody who either saw that or experienced that. I enjoyed the book - but with a grain of salt. Could be just at another location and she conflated the two places.
 
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She writes things that didn’t actually happen. Like having her feet washed when she got to the pilgrims office in the cathedral. I’ve researched that to no end and not found anybody who either saw that or experienced that.
It was certainly not standard practice at the time but I wouldn't rule it out as happening as a one off event specially staged for the famous American film star peregrina. I've had my feet washed on arrival at an albergue before and I am probably even less well known...
 
Maybe he came from Nazaré? 😂
He lives in Soorts-Hossegor which lies between Biarritz and Arcachon. On his YouTube channel, he comes across as a typical surfer dude who happens to be a vicar. In the 11 Camino videos, he carries his surfboard and he goes into churches to pray. No doubt on a mission to reach target groups that are underrepresented on this forum. 🏄‍♀️🏄‍♂️
 
A guide to speaking Spanish on the Camino - enrich your pilgrim experience.
Ok bear with me. The book is weird, but I've started so I'll finish.

In the book, about halfway through is this:

"I skipped along a mountain path with Ariel beside me. Then I entered a small village with a stream and a kind of swimming hole." Apparently where she was baptised (or baptized if you wish) in a former life, and she proceeded to swim in there. Afterwards she walked on to Ponferrada.

Does anyone know where this was/is? I've googled and can't find anything. In my head I think my spirit guide persil is telling me it's El Acebo. I remember just before you leave the track to enter the village there was a sign to some sort of water thing to the right of the village (I think but can't see anything on map), I didn't go there but was wondering if it's there. I don't think it could be Molinaseca as no mention of a bridge and it's not exactly small.

I know it's not very interesting but these things bug me.
I would say Molinaseca I swam in the river there last May v cold but so refreshing. I then walked on to Ponferrada
 
Don't people swim at Ribadiso?
I haven't read the book so I have no idea what you guys are talking about. lol!
But if she walked on to Ponferrada the only river I know of is at Molinaseca.
I've seen people swimming there.
I agree with Molinaseca as the likely place, which would easily seem like a small village to a Hollywood, Broadway, etc star.
One thing I would like to add to balance all the previous comments about Shirley, is that she is one powerful, multi-talented, generous, trail-blazing woman from a time when women were not encouraged to be so.
 
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One thing I would like to add to balance all the previous comments about Shirely, is that she is one powerful, multi-talented, generous, trail-blazing woman from a time when women were not encouraged to be so.
I know Shirley MacLaine only as an actress from movies I've seen but I listened for a few minutes to another interview with her just now. She comes across as smart and witty, and she makes fun of those who make fun of her. She jokes that she writes Jimmy Kimmel's and others' jokes. 😀

Her spiritual beliefs sound strange to me but, frankly, many other people's spiritual beliefs sound strange to me, too 😇.
 
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What a nice story. It started off ok for me, but some of it is just too far off the spectrum even for me. I've skipped a few chapters about her regressions, not too say that it's not what happened to her - just didn't resonate with me.
Same. I’ve read an awful lot of books about the Camino and hers seemed to me, so personal that it was dull. After the first couple of dreams zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 
Her spiritual beliefs sound strange to me but
Well heres the thing, at first I was totally with her on her spiritual path and was thinking how cool, but I just got lost amongst all of the past life on the Camino thing, and then of course it got even more weird than that. The whole book kind of started off really well for me, a great story, but it just kind of got lost along the way (pun intended).

One thing I would like to add to balance all the previous comments about Shirely, is that she is one powerful, multi-talented, generous, trail-blazing woman from a time when women were not encouraged to be so.
Of this there is no doubt no matter how one feels about the book. And actually the very fact that she wrote exactly what she wanted to, knowing that she would lose some people when she did is even more evidence of this. She didn't roll over and tone it down to be more pleasing to people.
 
There is a seasonal swimming pool in the river in Molinaseca. I don't think El Acebo is likely - their water supply is from quite small springs and there is no substantial stream nearby.
My first thought was Molinaseca, too. I'm pretty sure I remember seeing people swimming in the river. On the other hand, the only swimming place I remember noting in El Acebo was the swimming pool at the large albergue with the flags at the entrance to the village.
 
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Not all that common for anyone at the time. The publicity drive around the 1993 Holy Year raised awareness of the Caminos internationally and brought @Rebekah Scott amongst others to the Caminos. Also Jack Hitt who wrote about his 1993 Camino in "Off The Road" and inspired some of the scenes in the film by Emilio Estevez. But there had been other Americans too well before Ms Maclaine. Gitlitz and Davidson had made several trips to Spain and the Camino both alone and with college groups in the 1970s and 1980s. And my own Canadian/American mother in law (born in Toronto, raised from 10 in Vermont) had walked the Frances in 1985. I think our own @rappahannock_rev was on the Caminos in the 1980s and @David Tallan may have spoken about his journey to a few of his neighbours to the south too!
I didn't speak to neighbors to the south, but I did inspire a friend who walked from Arles to SJPP to Santiago in 1990. I'm not sure if you walked at the same time as him, Bradypus, but you'd likely remember him because he's have been a young guy, 6'10".
 
I found my 1990 Camino diary not long ago. Reading through it again I realised that some events and places from my 1990 and 2002 Caminos had been jumbled up in my memory over the years. That I had completely forgotten staying in some places and had confused the location of a hostal and so on. It happens. Possibly even more if one is trying to remember not only events in one life 20 years ago but also separating them from your many other past lives... Never had to face that particular challenge myself! :)
I found my photos from my Camino a couple of years ago and noticed a gap in them. I wondered what had happened. Later, I found my diary and read that I had run out of film and, what with Easter weekend, there were no places to buy more, even in the big town. So that explained it. Different times!
 
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Ok bear with me. The book is weird, but I've started so I'll finish.

In the book, about halfway through is this:

"I skipped along a mountain path with Ariel beside me. Then I entered a small village with a stream and a kind of swimming hole." Apparently where she was baptised (or baptized if you wish) in a former life, and she proceeded to swim in there. Afterwards she walked on to Ponferrada.

Does anyone know where this was/is? I've googled and can't find anything. In my head I think my spirit guide persil is telling me it's El Acebo. I remember just before you leave the track to enter the village there was a sign to some sort of water thing to the right of the village (I think but can't see anything on map), I didn't go there but was wondering if it's there. I don't think it could be Molinaseca as no mention of a bridge and it's not exactly small.

I know it's not very interesting but these things bug me.
I don't know where it is but I, too, read the book - the first book I read about the camino. I also found it to be confusing but true to form for Shirley MacLaine! :)
 
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Ok bear with me. The book is weird, but I've started so I'll finish.
@davejsy, I noticed only now that you are currently reading Shirley MacLaine's Camino book, which strangely enough has slightly different titles as to the UK and US editions. 😊

Now I am someone who raises already a very skeptical eyebrow at the mere sight of the word "ley lines". But yesterday I decided to buy the Kindle version of her Camino book.

I am now halfway through and in Leon with her. She did walk in 1994 at age 60! I was hooked the moment I read about SJPP and Mme. de Brill and the carnés. This felt authentic and genuine to me - the common spelling is Debril and carnets of course 😊. And of course the book is a mixture of fact and fiction and commonly known narratives about legends and Camino-related history and thoughts - her own thoughts and not standard thoughts.

It's not a standard Camino memoir of the kind we are now all too familiar with - I woke up in the xxx albergue, put on my boots, had a coffee, walked, had another coffee, walked, arrived at the xyzzy albergue, checked in, found my bed, had a cool beer, chatted with Tom, Jerry and Hans but Sophie and Annabelle had not yet arrived ...

I will let you know in case I don't finish it. 😊
 
I was hooked the moment I read about SJPP and Mme. de Brill and the carnés. This felt authentic and genuine to me - the common spelling is Debril and carnets of course 😊.
I met Mme Debril and she definitely called it a carnet when she refused to give me one... :)

PS. To be fair Mme Debril did give me a piece of paper with her sello on it to add to the credencial which I received in Roncesvalles. When I read Jack Hitt's "Off The Road" recently I discovered that he had a very similar experience and result 3 years after my own.

1709285827497.png
 
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@davejsy, I noticed only now that you are currently reading Shirley MacLaine's Camino book, which strangely enough has slightly different titles as to the UK and US editions. 😊

Now I am someone who raises already a very skeptical eyebrow at the mere sight of the word "ley lines". But yesterday I decided to buy the Kindle version of her Camino book.

I am now halfway through and in Leon with her. She did walk in 1994 at age 60! I was hooked the moment I read about SJPP and Mme. de Brill and the carnés. This felt authentic and genuine to me - the common spelling is Debril and carnets of course 😊. And of course the book is a mixture of fact and fiction and commonly known narratives about legends and Camino-related history and thoughts - her own thoughts and not standard thoughts.

It's not a standard Camino memoir of the kind we are now all too familiar with - I woke up in the xxx albergue, put on my boots, had a coffee, walked, had another coffee, walked, arrived at the xyzzy albergue, checked in, found my bed, had a cool beer, chatted with Tom, Jerry and Hans but Sophie and Annabelle had not yet arrived ...

I will let you know in case I don't finish it. 😊
Like I said, for me the book started really well and I thought I was really going to like it. But the further I got through it the further it got away from me.

And I love stuff like ley-lines, spirits, what lies beyond and the such!

I'm not sure it is fiction though as many say, the book genuinely reads like these things happened to her (with a certain degree of artistic license which is to be expected) including the dreams no matter how far fetched they appear to some people (me included).

I will finish it, but I am skipping the dream stuff. Will be interesting to see how you find it!
 
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Will be interesting to see how you find it!
I am not sure that I will be able to explain my judgement in a few words. I myself would not say about myself that I love stuff like ley-lines, spirits, what lies beyond and the such. I am satisfied though that I am finally reading the book myself instead of relying on the assessments that I've frequently read on the forum which are often quite negative and put downs. I have just finished the description of the Molinaseca scene.

It ends with the words "And I didn't care what anybody thought." :cool:

BTW, in case anybody is interested: In the book, the author describes how she spends money, pays for her food and uses her credit card to pay for a purchase. She also makes friends.
 
So long as she writes about the Camino, it’s fine. She is not a bad writer at all and her accounts are entertaining and probably as accurate as any other travel writer. But when she starts on about her dreams and sexual fantasies I ask myself ‘why am I reading this? It’s boring.’ There are few topics as dull and boring as other people’s dreams and I wish I could remember who said that but Shirley MacLaine’s dreams, lurid as they are, are as dull and boring and meaningless as everyone else’s, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that her assumption that we would be interested was pure self importance. No, since you ask, I didn’t like the book.
 
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Wow, signed J. Debril. When I saw your postscript and the photo of your piece of paper I changed my reaction emoji from my earlier 🤣 to now 😍.
Not long ago I was given the copy of Elias Valiña's famous guide book which he signed for my mother in law in 1985. The book I borrowed for my first Camino. I may build a reliquary where the two autographs can keep each other company... :cool:

IMG_20230825_102638.jpg
 
I like to think that this forum’s best aspect is to help first-time pilgrims prepare for the best experience possible by pointing out the benefits to be gained and the losses to be avoided. Secondarily the forum is an excellent place for the experienced to share their stories and impressions of times gone by, with other seasoned pilgrims who have a common reference and can understand. There can be positive worth in both cases.

For some veterans, the rudimentary info might seem boring or dismissively obvious, so that the conversation digresses and becomes more personal and reflective and less useful to people who don’t know what to expect nowadays but come here because they need help. Other vets are happy to share what they know that is relevant today to the specific query. Readers can pick and choose what comments to take time to digest and follow up on.

Now, in davejsy’s question a wealth of commentary has been stimulated about a place and a remarkable person’s experience there.

While there might be a fixation on the remarkable person and not the location, I hope that this string will excite the new pilgrim to look forward to the thrill of falling straight off the mountain into the welcome descanso that is El Acebo and then continuing the steep fall thru the tranquil and time-forgotten village of Riego de Ambros and the rugged trail that ends in the cool waters under the bridge at Molinaseca.

That day’s journey ending with a dip in the river can become a sort of baptismal renewal if the intention is there and if our reliance on judgements based on others’ comments are laid aside. Maybe we will take that initiation as a sign that we are all remarkable persons.

Reading the map is never as good as being in the territory. But reading the map ahead of time can be useful for choices made while in the territory. There is no substitute for being in the territory.

Any book about the Camino is not as good as being there yourself, but any book can stimulate a person to dream about what might be possible when they take the leap of faith and jump in with one foot firmly planted in mid-air.

Dreams are important and on the camino your dream will come into direct contact with the dream of every other person you meet. For first time pilgrims, having a sense of this is a good way to open up to the unexpected which will surely occur and color your experience. I think most have found that sharing dreams is something that happens daily on the way. This is the magic hidden in plain sight.

Thanks to davejsy for asking the question that has generated a lot of interesting discussion.
 
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I like to think that this forum’s best aspect is to help first-time pilgrims prepare for the best experience possible by pointing out the benefits to be gained and the losses to be avoided. Secondarily the forum is an excellent place for the experienced to share their stories and impressions of times gone by, with other seasoned pilgrims who have a common reference and can understand. There can be positive worth in both cases.

For some veterans, the rudimentary info might seem boring or dismissively obvious, so that the conversation digresses and becomes more personal and reflective and less useful to people who don’t know what to expect nowadays but come here because they need help. Other vets are happy to share what they know that is relevant today to the specific query. Readers can pick and choose what comments to take time to digest and follow up on.

Now, in davejsy’s question a wealth of commentary has been stimulated about a place and a remarkable person’s experience there.

While there might be a fixation on the remarkable person and not the location, I hope that this string will excite the new pilgrim to look forward to the thrill of falling straight off the mountain into the welcome descanso that is El Acebo and then continuing the steep fall thru the tranquil and time-forgotten village of Riego de Ambros and the rugged trail that ends in the cool waters under the bridge at Molinaseca.

That day’s journey ending with a dip in the river can become a sort of baptismal renewal if the intention is there and if our reliance on judgements based on others’ comments are laid aside. Maybe we will take that initiation as a sign that we are all remarkable persons.

Reading the map is never as good as being in the territory. But reading the map ahead of time can be useful for choices made while in the territory. There is no substitute for being in the territory.

Any book about the Camino is not as good as being there yourself, but any book can stimulate a person to dream about what might be possible when they take the leap of faith and jump in with one foot firmly planted in mid-air.

Dreams are important and on the camino your dream will come into direct contact with the dream of every other person you meet. For first time pilgrims, having a sense of this is a good way to open up to the unexpected which will surely occur and color your experience. I think most have found that sharing dreams is something that happens daily on the way. This is the magic hidden in plain sight.

Thanks to davejsy for asking the question that has generated a lot of interesting discussion.

You cover a lot in your post. I agree that the forum is a great place for first time Pilgrims to get information. ie: packing, shoes, sleeping bag or liner, rain gear or poncho, etc. etc. These topics provide a new walker with good information that will help enhance their Camino experience by preparing them to minimize discomfort issues. ie: blisters, weather, accommodation etc..

When the forum/books/movies get into expectations, fantasy or not, is where I believe there is an issue. The Camino, imo, should be walked without expectations of outcome or potential euphoria or disappoints that others have experienced.

My recommendation is to prepare equipment wise with whatever you feel you might need. Then just start walking and let the Camino give you whatever is has to give.

I can not help but go back to a quote from the great philosopher Mick Jagger "You don't always get what you want but you find sometimes you get what you need".
 
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You cover a lot in your post. I agree that the forum is a great place for first time Pilgrims to get information. ie: packing, shoes, sleeping bag or liner, rain gear or poncho, etc. etc. These topics provide a new walker with good information that will help enhance their Camino experience by preparing them to minimize discomfort issues. ie: blisters, weather, accommodation etc..

When the forum/books/movies get into expectations, fantasy or not, is where I believe there is an issue. The Camino, imo, should be walked without expectations of outcome or potential euphoria or disappoints that others have experienced.

My recommendation is to prepare equipment wise with whatever you feel you might need. Then just start walking and let the Camino give you whatever is has to give.

I can not help but go back to a quote from the great philosopher Mick Jagger "You don't always get what you want but you find sometimes you get what you need".
Thanks JP, the equipment issues are very essential as you have noted. But no less important is the attitude one brings with them especially since it is not as easily shed as shoes or pack.

I think that if a person on camino starts by considering themself as a visitor or guest in someone else’s house, they will behave generally in a more respectful manner and the local hosts will be much more accommodating to enhance your experience..

It is a simple and golden thing to keep in mind when challenges arise, but first the idea has to be introduced, considered and tested in practice.
 
I like to think that this forum’s best aspect is to help first-time pilgrims prepare for the best experience possible by pointing out the benefits to be gained and the losses to be avoided. Secondarily the forum is an excellent place for the experienced to share their stories and impressions of times gone by, with other seasoned pilgrims who have a common reference and can understand. There can be positive worth in both cases.

For some veterans, the rudimentary info might seem boring or dismissively obvious, so that the conversation digresses and becomes more personal and reflective and less useful to people who don’t know what to expect nowadays but come here because they need help. Other vets are happy to share what they know that is relevant today to the specific query. Readers can pick and choose what comments to take time to digest and follow up on.

Now, in davejsy’s question a wealth of commentary has been stimulated about a place and a remarkable person’s experience there.

While there might be a fixation on the remarkable person and not the location, I hope that this string will excite the new pilgrim to look forward to the thrill of falling straight off the mountain into the welcome descanso that is El Acebo and then continuing the steep fall thru the tranquil and time-forgotten village of Riego de Ambros and the rugged trail that ends in the cool waters under the bridge at Molinaseca.

That day’s journey ending with a dip in the river can become a sort of baptismal renewal if the intention is there and if our reliance on judgements based on others’ comments are laid aside. Maybe we will take that initiation as a sign that we are all remarkable persons.

Reading the map is never as good as being in the territory. But reading the map ahead of time can be useful for choices made while in the territory. There is no substitute for being in the territory.

Any book about the Camino is not as good as being there yourself, but any book can stimulate a person to dream about what might be possible when they take the leap of faith and jump in with one foot firmly planted in mid-air.

Dreams are important and on the camino your dream will come into direct contact with the dream of every other person you meet. For first time pilgrims, having a sense of this is a good way to open up to the unexpected which will surely occur and color your experience. I think most have found that sharing dreams is something that happens daily on the way. This is the magic hidden in plain sight.

Thanks to davejsy for asking the question that has generated a lot of interesting discussion.
This is a beautiful message about the Camino. Thank you for writing it. 😊🙏
 
We're doing it the wrong way folks. (2 min video)
You have to beg for food
And not make friends........

“You start your camino after you’ve finished.” One of those contradictory aphorisms that make perfect sense only after you return from pilgrimage to your customary life.

This and some of the other limitations she chose seems ludicrous or anti-social at first blush, but after contemplation we might allow that some privations work well to refocus attention on self-discovery rather than external concerns.

Note that begging and not making friends were some of the hardest parts of her journey. Not what she enjoyed doing. What she got by doing so was to “not care what anybody else thought about it.” That seems like a realization of true freedom and genuine self-esteem to me.

I enjoyed the short video and was impressed with the unexpected sobriety of her demeanor.

Thanks Robo!
 
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Note that begging and not making friends were some of the hardest parts of her journey.
It is also probably true the she, as a well known actress, may have had different challenges - to avoid using her fame or privilege. She could have spent lots of money and made countless "friends" if she didn't discipline herself rather artificially.
 
It is also probably true the she, as a well known actress, may have had different challenges - to avoid using her fame or privilege. She could have spent lots of money and made countless "friends" if she didn't discipline herself rather artificially.
Yes, so true. And also for a celebrity to travel on foot without a security entourage is courageous and a mark of self-confidence that recommends emulation for those of us who seek a similar sense of self.
 
I have very mixed feelings for posting this and I think that I will remove the link later on. The reason for my mixed feelings is the fact that I have now read the descriptions of how Shirley MacLaine was harassed by the press once they got wind of her walking on Camino. While, again, details of one or the other scene described by her may not be quite accurate I find her descriptions believable.

I am posting this link because I think that it answers @davejsy's question although I guess we've answered it already.

 
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If the scene at the river was as she described it in the book then the tv company have been quite restrained in their editing.
That's why I wrote that I think that some scenes are described by her creatively.

I've read the book now and I cannot add anything that has not yet been said here or in the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

She walked it and she was a bona fide pilgrim like any other - that is what spoke to me from her lines. The book is not a travelogue or "Caminologue".

BTW, what these video clips on Galician TV showed was already an invasion of privacy in my opinion. It was nobody's business to film her when she was on Camino and went for a bit of swimming and had made it clear that she was not going to give interviews and did not wish to be filmed or photographed. She wasn't there as a creative artist promoting a film or book for that matter.
 
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I have very mixed feelings for posting this and I think that I will remove the link later on. The reason for my mixed feelings is the fact that I have now read the descriptions of how Shirley MacLaine was harassed by the press once they got wind of her walking on Camino. While, again, details of one or the other scene described by her may not be quite accurate I find her descriptions believable.

I am posting this link because I think that it answers @davejsy's question although I guess we've answered it already.

Wow thats actually really cool to see, assuming whoever was filming wasn't harassing her I hope. I haven't got to the her reaching Santiago yet - but is that Ali that she is walking with do you think?
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I haven't got to the her reaching Santiago yet - but is that Ali that she is walking with do you think?
Oooh, I think the toughest parts of the book are still lying ahead of you. ;)

Spoiler Alert: If I read this correctly, the woman in the red poncho in the TV clip is Consuelo. Shirley MacLaine met her between Belorado and Villafranca but then they lost sight of each other and met again near Monte do Gozo.

I googled her: Together with Sergio Reis, Anna Scharrte and Paulo Coelho, [Baby] Consuelo is one of the four most important persons whose work promoted the Camino de Santiago in Brasil.

It just shows how little we know about the early days of the new Camino de Santiago of the 20th century.


PS: It should read Anna Sharp. Newspapers often get foreign sounding names wrong.
 
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That's why I wrote that I think that some scenes are described by her creatively.

I've read the book now and I cannot add anything that has not yet been said here or in the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

She walked it and she was a bona fide pilgrim like any other - that is what spoke to me from her lines. The book is not a travelogue or "Caminologue".

BTW, what these video clips on Galician TV showed was already an invasion of privacy in my opinion. It was nobody's business to film her when she was on Camino and went for a bit of swimming and had made it clear that she was not going to give interviews and did not wish to be filmed or photographed. She wasn't there as a creative artist promoting a film or book for that matter.
Hello Kathar1na,

Thanks for posting this link and your mixed feelings are appreciated.

Filming pilgrims without asking permission is an invasion and it happens to lots who are not famous or celebrities. Not too many years ago on camino I once walked up to an unattended camera on a skinny post alongside the dirt track and stopped to try to make sense of it, looking around to see if the owner was around. Saw no one, so I gave the camera my best single finger salute, and sure enough a young man stepped out from the brush and sheepish smiled so I did too and went on my way. It seemed like he was filming pilgrims the same way foresters use wildlife cameras to capture the habits of varmints. Haha!

Another time outside Melide, a man with a movie camera was walking backwards on the track so he could film the pilgrims walking. I kept on with my hand over my face until I passed him.

Kind of annoying, but not near as bad as a blister or shin splints.
Of course today with ubiquitous cell phones that record video and audio, everybody is getting filmed everywhere.

I had a native american friend and student who did not ever want to have his photo taken because he believed it was an intrusion and also a theft of a part of him. Now that he has passed, I am happy that I have pictures in memory of the many times we shared. Not getting to have photos meant I had to pay greater attention to the moments, which exercised my power of memory.

I know that you are well-read on the classical myths and local folk lore. Myths, not in the sense of fakes, but in the sense of an attempt to describe the physical expressions of the ineffable. So, some descriptions of a truth of a mystery of consciousness are not presented representationally or literally, but imaginatively in order to convey a recognizable sense of something beyond words. This is a technique used extensive in the Bible and most every other sacred book.

It is therefore very easy to rationally dismiss with logic some such accounts that use figurative language, but the deeper meaning of the account is lost with too much reasonable skepticism. How can anybody say Picasso was a great artist when he paints people with 2 noses? Or Dali when he paints dripping clocks on crutches?

The book Black Elk Speaks is a book that describes native american life and spirituality of a time from Wounded Knee to the 1950’s. It is now being challenged as not accurate because the author may not have been strictly faithful in the literal context. The value of the account is diminished by criticism too rigorous.

Finally, thanks for your comments on the Shirley Question, and also for the deep research you have shared on the thread Pagan Origins of the Camino. Shirley’s camino book is proof that the pagans are still making the pilgrimage to Santiago under the field of stars.
 
I am not familiar with Shirley Maclaine's book, but there is a Playa Fluvial in Irotz, Spain just before the monastery at Zabaldika. It was on of my favorite early moments on my walk. Here is what I wrote about it:

Finding Solace in Unexpected Waters: A Dip in Playa Fluvial
On Day 3 of the Camino, my sights were set on the 13th-century monastery at Zabaldika, 16 miles away. The day was hot, and with just a mile left before reaching the monastery, I encountered the Playa Fluvial, the local swimming hole in Irotz. This dammed creek offered a park alongside its refreshing water, and a handful of people were enjoying it, including a family with the mother sunbathing topless on the rock beach. As I realized this was a designated swimming area, I also noticed two other pilgrims, one preparing to take a dip.

After a long, hot, and sweaty walk, the thought of a swim was incredibly tempting. I found a discreet spot near the beach, far enough for changing but close enough to keep an eye on my belongings. Unpacking my bag, I unrolled my ground cover and changed into my swimsuit next to some bushes. The "beach" was made of smooth, medium-sized rocks, so I kept my sandals on as I approached the water's edge. While not freezing, the water was cool, and the rocky bottom made walking unstable. I quickly submerged myself, finding myself swimming in a Spanish municipal swimming area thousands of miles from home. The cool water was as refreshing as it was unexpected. As a bonus, it provided a welcome alternative to showering at the monastery.
 
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I like to think that this forum’s best aspect is to help first-time pilgrims prepare for the best experience possible by pointing out the benefits to be gained and the losses to be avoided. Secondarily the forum is an excellent place for the experienced to share their stories and impressions of times gone by, with other seasoned pilgrims who have a common reference and can understand. There can be positive worth in both cases.

For some veterans, the rudimentary info might seem boring or dismissively obvious, so that the conversation digresses and becomes more personal and reflective and less useful to people who don’t know what to expect nowadays but come here because they need help. Other vets are happy to share what they know that is relevant today to the specific query. Readers can pick and choose what comments to take time to digest and follow up on.

Now, in davejsy’s question a wealth of commentary has been stimulated about a place and a remarkable person’s experience there.

While there might be a fixation on the remarkable person and not the location, I hope that this string will excite the new pilgrim to look forward to the thrill of falling straight off the mountain into the welcome descanso that is El Acebo and then continuing the steep fall thru the tranquil and time-forgotten village of Riego de Ambros and the rugged trail that ends in the cool waters under the bridge at Molinaseca.

That day’s journey ending with a dip in the river can become a sort of baptismal renewal if the intention is there and if our reliance on judgements based on others’ comments are laid aside. Maybe we will take that initiation as a sign that we are all remarkable persons.

Reading the map is never as good as being in the territory. But reading the map ahead of time can be useful for choices made while in the territory. There is no substitute for being in the territory.

Any book about the Camino is not as good as being there yourself, but any book can stimulate a person to dream about what might be possible when they take the leap of faith and jump in with one foot firmly planted in mid-air.

Dreams are important and on the camino your dream will come into direct contact with the dream of every other person you meet. For first time pilgrims, having a sense of this is a good way to open up to the unexpected which will surely occur and color your experience. I think most have found that sharing dreams is something that happens daily on the way. This is the magic hidden in plain sight.

Thanks to davejsy for asking the question that has generated a lot of interesting discussion.
Hi @Joe Walsh ,
I just wanted to mention what an absolute pleasure it is to read your posts. Regardless of the subject - whether of personal interest or not - your proficiency in the English language is delightful. It seems that the art of literary craftsmanship is becoming increasingly rare in this modern world of text messages and emojis. I've just been reading Jane Austen, so my apologies to the moderators for digressing in this thread, but I couldn't resist.
 
I want to thank you all for this thread--for very selfish reasons. On previous caminos (about 100+ kms./year) I had hoped to find swimming holes or pools, or whatever, because I really love to swim. Especially the past couple of summers, because of the drought, I could only imagine what were once bodies of flowing water. Now I have something special to look forward to as I walk from Leon to Ponferrada. In addition to Gaudi's Episcopal Palace and other sites, of course.
 
I have very mixed feelings for posting this and I think that I will remove the link later on. The reason for my mixed feelings is the fact that I have now read the descriptions of how Shirley MacLaine was harassed by the press once they got wind of her walking on Camino. While, again, details of one or the other scene described by her may not be quite accurate I find her descriptions believable.

I am posting this link because I think that it answers @davejsy's question although I guess we've answered it already.



Looking at the last part of this clip, I see they are not carrying packs.
This makes me wonder if this was staged specifically for the film-makers.
Was it perhaps post-Camino? ( it was on the outskirts of SdC.)

And I have to admit that I was glad, on her behalf, that she wore those huge hats that at least provided her with some privacy, despite the attempts at close-ups.
 
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This makes me wonder if this was staged specifically for the film-makers.
It is not staged and not pre-arranged and not post-Camino. The TV crew was lying in wait for her as they had gotten wind of her walking.

I've been thinking: These were the 1990's. Much has changed during the last 30 years. In Europe and especially with the GDPR and some high-profile court cases, regular TV companies are aware of current law and of the courts which now make a distinction between something that is "in the public interest" in connection with a widely known person versus "the public's interest" in a celebrity. Widely known persons do have a right to privacy even when they are seen in public. I don't think that the events of 1994 would be possible today - regular TV stations may not send this nowadays.

There are of course still rogue paparazzis but nowadays it is the mobile phone carrying everyman and woman who erroneously think that they have the right to video a person in public and post it on social media.
 
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Looking at the last part of this clip, I see they are not carrying packs.
I haven't reached the end of the book yet, but I am at the stage which describes how some guy is driving her through the towns to help her avoid the papps, and I think he was transporting her back-pack at that point.
 
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Ok bear with me. The book is weird, but I've started so I'll finish.

In the book, about halfway through is this:

"I skipped along a mountain path with Ariel beside me. Then I entered a small village with a stream and a kind of swimming hole." Apparently where she was baptised (or baptized if you wish) in a former life, and she proceeded to swim in there. Afterwards she walked on to Ponferrada.

Does anyone know where this was/is? I've googled and can't find anything. In my head I think my spirit guide persil is telling me it's El Acebo. I remember just before you leave the track to enter the village there was a sign to some sort of water thing to the right of the village (I think but can't see anything on map), I didn't go there but was wondering if it's there. I don't think it could be Molinaseca as no mention of a bridge and it's not exactly small.

I know it's not very interesting but these things bug me.
I would've thought Molinaseca, and maybe she's taking poetic license? Or when she walked the route might've been a little different?
 
the road sign that they passed shows that they were leaving Santiago

There is no reason to doubt that the TV clips show the peregrina walking from Monte do Gozo into Santiago and not leaving Santiago. Short lesson on Spanish road signs with town names on them:

If you drive or walk into a town you will see road sign S-500 on your right side of the road and you will be facing the side of the board with the name of the town written on it. On your left side of the road on which you are driving or walking into a town you will see the back of road sign S-510. Only the people coming from the town towards you will see the town name with the red diagonal line.​

Have a good look next time you walk into Santiago or any other major town in Spain. :cool:

Road signs.jpg
 
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What I find remarkable about Shirley MacLaine are not the nuttier parts of her book but the fact that she was 60 years old and walked in 1994. Not the done thing for a senior American woman at the time. She had not even seen The Way which premiered in 2010. I’ve not read the book, I only read what is posted on the forum and seen some interviews on YouTube. 1994 … 30 years ago … a generation. She must be 90 now?
True she was older, but also a professional dancer, so no big FEET/feat, maybe.
 
There is no reason to doubt that the TV clips show the peregrina walking from Monte do Gozo into Santiago and not leaving Santiago. Short lesson on Spanish road signs with town names on them:

If you drive or walk into a town you will see road sign S-500 on your right side of the road and you will be facing the side of the board with the name of the town written on it. On your left side of the road on which you are driving or walking into a town you will see the back of road sign S-510. Only the people coming from the town towards you will see the town name with the red diagonal line.​

Have a good look next time you walk into Santiago or any other major town in Spain. :cool:

View attachment 165595
Yes, I thought the video was obvious especially the shot at M.do Gozo that precedes the “santiago!”
 
True she was older, but also a professional dancer, so no big FEET/feat, maybe.
As a adolescent she broke her ankle warming up for a ballet performance, but taped it and did her dance anyway. Didn’t mention the injury until after.
 
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I felt the same way Dave. I don't even remember how long ago I read it but I'd say at least 20 years ago. It was the first time I'd heard of the Camino. And my overwhelming thought after reading the book - despite its many eccentricities - was 'Wow. Imagine walking 800 kms across a country. How wonderful. Maybe one day I could do that.' I promptly forgot about it - until the next 'nudge' came out of the blue some years later ... but I always look back on that book fondly, if only for that reason. Though I've never been tempted to read it again. ☺️
I have a copy of your want to read it. I'd be happy to send it to you. :)
 
One mustn't forget that in all likelihood she's just plain embellishing her Camino experience. Lying. Making things up. That's what writer's do. Makes it impossible to find a swimming hole that never existed in the first place. I highly doubt she actually walked the majority of the Camino. I mean just watch that YouTube video of her on Oprah. She's talking nonsense.
I saw her book in an albergue, read a couple of chapters and that's about all I could stomach.
 
Lying. Making things up. That's what writer's do. Makes it impossible to find a swimming hole that never existed in the first place.
The OP wanted to know whether an opportunity to take a swim presented itself in El Acebo or elsewhere. He summarised the author's description in her book and asked whether anyone knows where this is/was. When I look at the words in the book and when I cut out all the text that is not a geographical description, this much remains:

After Foncebadon, Ali and Carlos and I separated again. I skipped along a mountain path. Then I entered a small village with a stream and a kind of swimming hole.

We identified the place. It is Molinaseca and the natural swimming pool of the Merluelo river.

There is even a visual record of the author in 1994 available online where she can be seen about two metres away from the metal rails where one can enter the river to take a swim. This pool ladder is still there today in Google Earth Streetview. We now know where it is, and where it was in 1994.
 
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One mustn't forget that in all likelihood she's just plain embellishing her Camino experience. Lying. Making things up. That's what writer's do. Makes it impossible to find a swimming hole that never existed in the first place. I highly doubt she actually walked the majority of the Camino. I mean just watch that YouTube video of her on Oprah. She's talking nonsense.
I saw her book in an albergue, read a couple of chapters and that's about all I could stomach.

So glad you solved this entire discussion based on conjecture and personal opinion.
 
One mustn't forget that in all likelihood she's just plain embellishing her Camino experience. Lying. Making things up. That's what writer's do. Makes it impossible to find a swimming hole that never existed in the first place. I highly doubt she actually walked the majority of the Camino. I mean just watch that YouTube video of her on Oprah. She's talking nonsense.
I saw her book in an albergue, read a couple of chapters and that's about all I could stomach.

Are there any books on the subject that you recommend?
 
Are there any books on the subject that you recommend?
Depends on if they're for mindless entertainment or actual information.
For information, get a guidebook.
For entertainment read one of the countless overdramatic and embellished accounts of walking the Camino.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
The thread appears to drift into familiar territory again, not unlike other forum discussions about books and movies that appear to be intensely loved or intensely despised by some forum members while others think what's the emotions all about? They wore jeans !!! He did not walk all the way !!! She did not beg for her food !!! I don't know what one usually accuses Kerkeling, Hitt, or Rufin of but I am sure that there is something.

If I remember correctly, I saw an interview with Kerkeling on channel TV. His Camino book was a bestseller in his country at the time. I read it. As with most books I quickly forgot most of the content. But I knew from then on that someone had walked somewhere in Spain for a long time and it was on the Way of Saint James - I had generally been aware of course of both medieval pilgrimage and contemporary pilgrimage in Europe but, also of course, it was not something that I had ever considered for myself. A bit later I met someone on a trek who had walked from Arles to Santiago although he did not talk extensively about it. Again, what I knew from then on was that this person had walked and it sounded like something I could or might do, too.

I think, 20 to 30 years later, this is the main impact of these pioneering well-known authors, journalists, movie makers: They made a big contribution to making the contemporary Camino de Santiago known to a wide and diverse general public. And not only known - it gave them the idea that they could walk it themselves, and some of them did and do. That is their lasting legacy.
 
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impossible to find a swimming hole that never existed in the first place. [...] I saw her book in an albergue, read a couple of chapters and that's about all I could stomach.
@RJM, I conclude from your post that you did not read chapter 14 where the swimming hole is mentioned?

And you did not read this thread because otherwise you would know that the swimming hole was found? And it was easy to find.

"Impossible to find and it never existed in the first place" - you made that up, didn't you? 🤭
 
what I knew from then on was that this person had walked and it sounded like something I could or might do, too.
Exactly my thoughts after reading Shirley's book more than 20 years ago. Despite the 'other worldly' experiences and some 'more worldly' that seemed far fetched, I was still left with admiration for anyone that could walk across a country - and curiosity. Maybe I could do that one day? The 'one day' was almost 10 years later but ... her book planted the first seed.
 
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And people did not only hear about walking the Camino in Spain 20 or 25 years ago when they bought the book, they also heard about it in TV interviews that authors with a contract with a publishing house do, provided that they have the ability to reach a wide section of the public.

The rest of the Camino authors have to content themselves with self-publishing on Amazon but I don't know whether that was even a possibility in 2000.

She walked in 1994 but the book was published/copyrighted in 2000, and that's when she did these interview rounds with TV and print media (at least as far as I can tell).
 

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Hi all! Starting the Frances route next week in SJPDP and was wondering how much water do most people carry? I'm an avid hiker/backpacker and usually carry at least 2 liters. More from a fear of...
What are your favorite restaurants, bars, hotels, inns, etc on the Camino Frances NOT in albergues please? Gracias.
Minimise weight. Most hostels now open including municipals. St. Jean lively but not too busy. Both routes to Roncesvalles are strenuous - minimise weight and only attempt if you are reasonably...
This is the latest fad for Camino stay out of the wind and woods 🤗.

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