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The camino is boring landscapes, paved roads, traffic…

pepi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Some people enjoy beaches, some enjoy cruises. Some people prefer to stay within an hour of home. To each their own. Some people get their exercise walking around their neighbourhood, some pay to go to a gym. To each their own.

Is it really necessary for your friend to understand?
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
Each to their own. I love wild places but I can also get a huge amount out of something like the Camino. The only really appropriate answer to anyone who asks why you are doing it is the mountaineers' one; because it is there. Anyone who understands won't need any further explanation, anyone who doesn't understand immediately won't understand any explanation you can give.
 

Faye Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Yes, indeed, why is it so important to convert your friend to your way? Your friend has his way and that is what pleases him.
Perhaps you want recognition for the validity of your choice, but that can only be meaningful if the recognition comes from within.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
The funny thing is that I have a lot of hiker friends, and sometimes I just feel so bored to go hiking in other places with them. Yeah, nature is gorgeous and the exercize is good, but sometimes it just does not click.
Now, ask me if I want to do any stage of any camino, I will go in a heartbeat, no matter if the scenary will be urban, natural, uphill or rain.

I usually think that I like to have a purpose when I walk. But maybe it is just unexplainable.
 

RecCarey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
So your 75! I’m 76 and am thinking of hiking this May but am concerned I will embarrass myself by not finishing. Or worse not be able to differentiate between physical strain from something much more serious.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The funny thing is that I have a lot of hiker friends, and sometimes I just feel so bored to go hiking in other places with them. Yeah, nature is gorgeous and the exercize is good, but sometimes it just does not click.
Now, ask me if I want to do any stage of any camino, I will go in a heartbeat, no matter if the scenary will be urban, natural, uphill or rain.

I usually think that I like to have a purpose when I walk. But maybe it is just unexplainable.
I feel the same way. Something about following those yellow arrows...
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
Good! One less person on the Caminos 😎😉
 
D

Deleted member 43780

Guest
So your 75! I’m 76 and am thinking of hiking this May but am concerned I will embarrass myself by not finishing. Or worse not be able to differentiate between physical strain from something much more serious.
No need to be embarrassed.
Same age as you.

if I finish fine.
If not that’s fine too.
It’s the enjoyment, experience, YOU get.
Many younger than you don’t finish.

so don’t worry.

it’s YOUR Camino.
Do it YOUR way.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
So your 75! I’m 76 and am thinking of hiking this May but am concerned I will embarrass myself by not finishing. Or worse not be able to differentiate between physical strain from something much more serious.
There should never be any embarrassment in not finishing a camino...ever, and for any reason. My opinion.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Camino Frances (2012), Via de la Plata (2013) and Camino del Norte planned for May, 2015
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
A dear friend of mine who is an avid hiker really REALLY wanted to walk a pilgrimage. "Come with me" I said and together we walked the Camino de Madrid/ San Salvador/Primitivo before arriving in Santiago. It took one...maybe two...days to realize that pilgrimage is NOT a hike. In simplest terms, you NEVER come back to where you started.... I read a bit deeper into your post. I have walked with people of all faiths, and none. "A journey's a journey for all that" sez I.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
There should never be any embarrassment in not finishing a camino...ever, and for any reason. My opinion.
My rational mind agrees with you. But my gut feeling does not. On the two occasions when I have been forced to end a Camino early because of injury I have felt acute embarrassment. And anger. All of which has ultimately been due to punctured vanity on my part. In my mind I am first and foremost a walker. If someone asked me to describe myself in one single word that is probably what I would choose. And suddenly to be unable to walk - even temporarily - destroys my own self-image and self-worth. Very stupid but true :rolleyes:
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Bradypus, I have never had to shorten nor abandon any of my five caminos, but I understand what you are saying. We are human and our mind often can have a will of its own. I think, however, it's tragic for any pilgrim to feel despondent or embarrassed at having to bail out early, for whatever reason and we read of those feelings so very often right here on the forum. If/when my time comes to not finish what I began, I will most likely feel the same disappointment as the majority...but hopfully not embarassment as there is no need.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009), Camino Frances (2012), Via de la Plata (2013) and Camino del Norte planned for May, 2015
Aaargh...but you can always start a Camino de Las Cosas Incompletas....fill in the gaps as you can, sez I. I do understand...I walked with a dear friend a year or two ago who would have described herself as a 'walker'...but the grind of Camino took its toll and she too had to question herself. Trite as it may seem, Camino is what it is and sometimes it brings to light weaknesses we never thought we had. But at the same time it highlights strengths we have never acknowledged. You will walk forward another day.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
My rational mind agrees with you. But my gut feeling does not. On the two occasions when I have been forced to end a Camino early because of injury I have felt acute embarrassment. And anger. All of which has ultimately been due to punctured vanity on my part. In my mind I am first and foremost a walker. If someone asked me to describe myself in one single word that is probably what I would choose. And suddenly to be unable to walk - even temporarily - destroys my own self-image and self-worth. Very stupid but true :rolleyes:
I was wondering if maybe that is what keeps us returning again and again. Simple ego. But nah, it is the promise of joy and pleasure that comes once we get going.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
Well, your friend is maybe correct: It may seem boring.(

But the fact is, it is not. And you are very close to the secret yourself.

I am not a walker by profession. I never thouht I would walk 790 kms for no obvious reason. Sounded stupid. But; being away from "real" (stupid) life for weeks, changed my perspesctives completely. The opening of your mind, the insight into yourself, the knowledge of what's important in your life,, will find you This is all knowledge you will hopefully derive from walking your Camino.

Let it be a lifechanging experience for you. It will be.. Do not pay attention to the nay-sayers. They do not know.

I am an agnostic, and at peace with that).

Buen Camino!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I was wondering if maybe that is what keeps us returning again and again. Simple ego. But nah, it is the promise of joy and pleasure that comes once we get going.
I keep going because I love walking each step and seeing the landscape and ancient villages unfold slowly before me...on a hill it slowly becomes larger as I approach, and after I leave, turning around I see it diminish in the distance. Being in another land makes me feel like an adventurer, and it makes me feel young...although I am not young! 😊
 
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Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Aaargh...but you can always start a Camino de Las Cosas Incompletas....fill in the gaps as you can, sez I. I do understand...I walked with a dear friend a year or two ago who would have described herself as a 'walker'...but the grind of Camino took its toll and she too had to question herself. Trite as it may seem, Camino is what it is and sometimes it brings to light weaknesses we never thought we had. But at the same time it highlights strengths we have never acknowledged. You will walk forward another day.
In my case I did - on both occasions. The first was the most dramatic: having walked a little over 1,000km from my home in Wales I fell over and suffered a prolapsed spinal disc 20km from my destination in Saint Jean Pied de Port. After several days of care from the kind people in Beilari I limped home by train and plane (via Lourdes!) but returned several months later to walk that last 20km and then later on to Santiago for the third time. The second occasion was on the Via de la Plata when a long day ended in serious knee pain which was eventually diagnosed as osteoarthritis. On hearing the diagnosis I thought my long distance walking might have come to an end. But as I have walked several thousand km without mishaps in the couple of years since then that might have been a premature thought :)
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I was wondering if maybe that is what keeps us returning again and again. Simple ego. But nah, it is the promise of joy and pleasure that comes once we get going.
I think joy and pleasure are the most important part. There are moments when walking which are simply numinous. But speaking only for myself I would be dishonest if I did not recognise that ego is in the mix somewhere too.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Don't try...
People are drawn to it...or not. 🤫
So right. I know that there are millions of people who love skydiving, and many might think that everyone should love it too, but fortunately, we are all different. I don't understand why people are so concerned about so called hiking "snobs" (snobs from another thread, not this one) or anyone else who isn't interested in the Camino. Honestly, I feel a little guilty about spreading my Camino addictions and contributing to the "crowding" on the Camino.
My rational mind agrees with you. But my gut feeling does not. On the two occasions when I have been forced to end a Camino early because of injury I have felt acute embarrassment. And anger. All of which has ultimately been due to punctured vanity on my part. In my mind I am first and foremost a walker. If someone asked me to describe myself in one single word that is probably what I would choose. And suddenly to be unable to walk - even temporarily - destroys my own self-image and self-worth. Very stupid but true :rolleyes:
I was about 700 km into my 3rd Camino - del Norte, when I had to abandon it due to injury. I did feel very embarrassed, being a seasoned peregrina, to succumb to injury that was totally my fault.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
So your 75! I’m 76 and am thinking of hiking this May but am concerned I will embarrass myself by not finishing. Or worse not be able to differentiate between physical strain from something much more serious.
@RecCarey
I too am in my 70's and have walked four caminos in the past five years. If you feel called to walk, I suggest that you discuss your health issues with your doctor. Then decide, if your doctor approves, what you need to do to prepare for it. We on the forum will help you, as we can. Buen Camino.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
I enjoy this site because I don't have to explain why I walk. Everyone here gets it.
The very best advice I ever got about walking was posted here on this site many years ago. It was something like:

"Start walking like an old man, and you can finish like a young man."


In other words, take it very slowly and carefully in the beginning. Do not try to keep up with other people - my #1 reason I walk solo - but go at your own pace, just a bit slower in the beginning.
Be aware of every little ache and pain that your body signals to you. It's telling you your spirit is more willing than the flesh, at that moment. Blisters, tendonitis, knee distress, try to pay attention.
By the time you finish, you will discover that, inevitably, you will be in better shape that many who started out faster than you.
You will finish like a young man (or woman).
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
You say it exactly as you wrote it and then you abandon trying to “pass the virus on to him”.

Walking in the Swiss mountains can be more than “just a hike”, too, and it’s perhaps also difficult to explain to others, or perhaps those mountain walkers just don’t have the same missionary zeal as some Camino walkers have and they don’t even try to convince others, they are simply content to be left to themselves. I’ve been thinking about this a little and if I’d be offered the choice between 3 or 5 weeks walking to Santiago and 2 weeks walking in the Swiss Alps or even just one day to climb again an easy 4000er, I’d pick the latter. Sadly, I’m no longer confident that I could do this but I’m forever grateful that I was still physically able to do it ten years ago or so.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
So right. I know that there are millions of people who love skydiving, and many might think that everyone should love it too, but fortunately, we are all different.
Ah............but seriously...........you 'have' to try it!!! Did I tell you about the time I had a malfunction at 2,000 feet ? ;);)
 

Constantine

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2014
So your 75! I’m 76 and am thinking of hiking this May but am concerned I will embarrass myself by not finishing. Or worse not be able to differentiate between physical strain from something much more serious.
The only person who needs to know if you did not "finish" is you. No need for embarrassment. AND you can always come back and do the next stage. Many people walk in stages.
 

basquelady

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2013), CF Pamplona to V del Bierzo (2014), Baztanés, then CF (2016), CF Sahagun to SDC (2017)
So your 75! I’m 76 and am thinking of hiking this May but am concerned I will embarrass myself by not finishing. Or worse not be able to differentiate between physical strain from something much more serious.
My husband was 74 when we walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago, taking around 6 weeks. We've been back 4 times since then, exploring routes off the "main" CF as well as walking the Baztan. We walked (probably) our last short Camino this May, when my husband was 80. That time we chose our sections carefully as I had spent wonderful hours beforehand to ensure we only walked those parts which we knew, from experience, we would enjoy. Local buses are wonderful and cheap. No need for embarrassment by the way; just enjoy the experience.
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2021)
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
No, it is not a hike; it’s a pilgrimage and no matter one’s religious tradition - or lack thereof, there is the undeniable spiritual pull of the Camino. For the believer, it is a time to be alone with God and encounter him in the natural world and in the people we meet.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Have you mentioned that there's a burger king in Santiago? That thought kept me going for over 1100km
I think there is a KFC next to it. If you want a good fast food burger fly in n’ out of Madrid (isn’t it brilliant I came up with that?! and go to 5 Guys much better but not as good as In-n’-Out.
 
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pepi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
Thank you all. Your responses have helped me to compose and send the following answer to my buddy.

Quote
You're absolutely right, my friend.
😄
But you don't seem to understand that the Camino is not a simple hike but a pilgrimage within one's own inner being, even for those like me, who are not believers.
When walking it, my attention to landscape, nature, paved roads, traffic, food (except wine) is secondary as they would only distract me from sorting out my thoughts; my motivation is to fundamentally orient and to accept myself, to test my will, learn from others and much more.
A few days are not enough for this; it takes the monotony, effort and exhaustion that comes with walking 800 kilometres, the heat, rain, the frugality of the landscape in northern Spain and above all the vastness of the country, which we do not know in Switzerland; and the camaraderie of people from all over the world who all make the same journey for their own reasons.
I would never have acquired these experiences elsewhere and in any other way, regretting that I gained them only at an advanced age. (And yet, after five Camino's, I still don't really know why I do it; I only know that it makes me feel good and that I want to go back).
Just as every pilgrim walks his Camino exclusively for himself and for his own absolutely individual reasons, he respects the reasons of others and of course this also applies to you. You have your different opinions, motivations and needs, and that's fine.
Walk your own ways for which I wish you a buen camino.
Unquote
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I had to leave the camino, on my first camino, which started in Le Puy. I was fed up with being in pain. I learned a lot though. I returned a few months later and continued.... and left the camino a second time, fed up with being cold and wet and in a different pain. I returned a few months later and finished in Santiago. My subsequent caminos have been completed in one go.

The stepping away from the camino is also part of the Way. I learned about myself. I dealt with issues. And I persevered.

But I was likely glad at the time that no one actually saw me veer off. 😎
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
O, please please, don’t spread the virus. We don’t want more people on on the Camino - certainly not on CF. It’s just right just as it is 😃
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
Yep, every once in awhile you just have to stop at a Burger King. For some reason, maybe just desperation, I find the ones in Spain a little better than the ones in the U.S.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
The thing about a Camino is that it has (for many people) the right combination of loneliness and sociability, pain and comfort, sadness and joy, boredom and exhilaration, spirituality and secularism, exercise and relaxation, newness and antiquity, and, of course, sustenance and hunger.
 

Thomas V

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 & 2017 FRANCES, 2018 Portuguese, 2019 Norte Irún to Santiago
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
Every Camino or hike has it own different personality and feel. The Camino takes one out of one’s comfort zone. You have to want to step out of your box. If not keep doing the same thing within your own world.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
Because on the Camino, you are walking into the West and can finish at Finisterre. You can not do that anywhere else in the world. Besides, there are no oceans in Switzerland!:)
I am Celt and therefore probably as biased as he is! You can be as agnostic as you like but stay open to what the wind and waves will tell you when you get there. Dont be afraid to make the journey. I will post you a bar of Swiss chocolate if I am wrong :)

Yours aye,

the Malingerer.
 

KentuckyJay

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hiked Leon to Santiago in May, 2014.
Hiked Porto to Santiago in May, 2016.
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
Like they say on the AT, “hike your own hike.”
 

elleley

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (16); Leon-Sarria, Ourense-SdC (17), Burgos-Leon (17), Porto-SdC (18), SalvadorPrimitivo(19)
I think joy and pleasure are the most important part. There are moments when walking which are simply numinous. But speaking only for myself I would be dishonest if I did not recognise that ego is in the mix somewhere too.
Me too! But "ego" will try always try to find it's insidious ways into the cracks of our joy, if we let it. With each pilgrimage I find it easier and easier to see ego for what it is (an illusion) and experience the true joy on the Camino that is our birthright.
ultreia
 

anivid

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago (2017)
Well, maybe you’d better try mountain hiking for yourself to know the difference.
This said of a likewise entuisiastic mountain goat :)
If I’m not walking in the mountains – I’m skiing there :)
I'll not write my earthly age - age has nothing to dowith it :)

They say ther’re two sorts of people in this world : some want to relax at the sea – doing absolutely nothing – others want to climb the mountains ...
 
D

Deleted member 59555

Guest
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
Yes I am with Robo on this they just dont get it . I live in New Zealand and we have wonderful scenery and walking tracks. I get it all the time what about our walks. IT IS NOT THE SAME. I have just written a book about this effect. I don't quote the title in fairness to other authors but you can find it in my past posts.
Good luck and God bless.
 

Dromengro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Leon 1984
Frances (2021)
@pepi Maybe give your friend a gift of a credential and shell, he could then try the Swiss section of the Camino, amazingly it even starts from his own front door!
 

pepi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
@anivid, you're right....and I am definitely not in the "relax at the sea" category. "Real mountain" hiking....its like a sprint compared to the camino marathon, and I love it. ;)

Meanwhile I just got a response from my buddy. He now says that the CN with more elevations and descents and less paved roads might be more his cup of tea (compared with the CF).....that's what he thinks 😆
 

c0484

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
What he does not understand is that it is about the pilgrims you encounter. I tell people that the pilgrims on the Camino live like we are all supposed to live and we take care of one another. That is something your friend will not encounter the way it is on the Camino.
 

pepi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
@pepi Maybe give your friend a gift of a credential and shell, he could then try the Swiss section of the Camino, amazingly it even starts from his own front door!
Yes, the Swiss Camino sections are beautiful and recommendable, but there is a different spirit, more deeply religious, more serious than the tolerant Spanish ways....and as @Terry W says: IT IS NOT THE SAME! Too close, too familiar, no La Rioja, no Meseta, no....
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch.
I understand your friend. I'm a mountaineer ( I have done many mountains in Spain). I was completely indifferent to the Camino de Santiago till 6 years ago despite I'm Galician.
It is a very different activity especially if the routes in the mountains include aereal paths with some difficulty. The sensation of risk.
I changed my mind about the Camino 6 years ago because my daughter did the Norte from Ribadeo and I don't regret it.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yes I am with Robo on this they just dont get it . I live in New Zealand and we have wonderful scenery and walking tracks. I get it all the time what about our walks. IT IS NOT THE SAME. I have just written a book about this effect. I don't quote the title in fairness to other authors but you can find it in my past posts.
Good luck and God bless.
The USA is the same...beautiful landscapes and hiking trails, but still not the same! And who wants to carry a tent and your food for a week...now that's suffering! 😅
 

Jay Es

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 the del Norte, home via the Portuguse to Vigo, Planning a Via de la Plata for October 2018.
Pilgrim it's not about how pretty life is.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
When the time is right
The majority of my friends and members of my family's including my husband think I’m crazy for wanting to do the Camino Frances. Many worries around safety, some re: being gone so long, wanting to go by myself, wanting to connect with my spirituality, walking so far...with my « house « on my back and sleeping in albergues. I’m getting only this 🤨😳😯🙄😬🤐 at home. Lately sucking the joy out of me. I’m struggling. There is this huge pink elephant now that follows me. I know I have to let go of their feelings about this but it’s challenging. I can’t share my joy and it’s making me very very sad. Thank you to this forum. Here I feel accepted and understood. You are all helping me more than you can ever know. ❤🙏
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The majority of my friends and members of my family's including my husband think I’m crazy for wanting to do the Camino Frances. Many worries around safety, some re: being gone so long, wanting to go by myself, wanting to connect with my spirituality, walking so far...with my « house « on my back and sleeping in albergues. I’m getting only this 🤨😳😯🙄😬🤐 at home. Lately sucking the joy out of me. I’m struggling. There is this huge pink elephant now that follows me. I know I have to let go of their feelings about this but it’s challenging. I can’t share my joy and it’s making me very very sad. Thank you to this forum. Here I feel accepted and understood. You are all helping me more than you can ever know. ❤🙏
You should try connecting with a local chapter of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims. You will find others locally who are passionate about the Camino and helping newbies.

 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
When the time is right

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
I like all three!
There is an aspect to mountains that I seldom hear mentioned. The joy of simply looking at them. This is very different from sitting on ones bum on the beach doing nothing! I do not like climbing them or conquering them either. I simply like to look at them and reconnect with them when I go thru a pass which is always a strange experience for me. I feel as if there is another world beyond that pass and the mountains either side are Guardians. When The Eagle flies over me at such moments, I am home.

Yours aye,

The Malingerer.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Most people seem to get it, actually, that walking in the mountains and walking up a mountain is a different experience than walking a camino. What they don’t seem to get is the idea that mountain walking may actually be an experience that some people prefer to camino walking. That seems to be inconceivable for some. They feel that their camino experience is universal and not individual.
 
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anivid

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago (2017)
... They feel that their camino experience is universal and not individual.
Well, one of the attractions I cherish in the mountains is, that I can be totally alone - only 'with myself' as we say, while at the same time pointing upwards :)
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
I like to say "When the Camino calls...You listen" , but if it doesn't call someone, they will never hear.
I have ready access to the Appalachian Trail and the Presidential Range here on the east coast of the States, but it doesn't appeal to me at all. It's not the walking or the mountains that bring me to the camino, but rather the experiences and Spanish culture. For me, it's the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and make the world a more intimate place. I suspect the opposite view would be seeking complete solitude...?
 

stinmd

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - May 2015; Camino del Norte/Primitivo - July/August 2016; Camino Portugues - Sept 2017
So your 75! I’m 76 and am thinking of hiking this May but am concerned I will embarrass myself by not finishing. Or worse not be able to differentiate between physical strain from something much more serious.
If you maintain zero expectation, then you will never "embarrass" yourself. You don't need to reach Santiago to "finish" your camino. You finish when your body and mind tell you: 'enough already'. BTW, I'm 72, just so you know.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I like to say "When the Camino calls...You listen" , but if it doesn't call someone, they will never hear.
I have ready access to the Appalachian Trail and the Presidential Range here on the east coast of the States, but it doesn't appeal to me at all. It's not the walking or the mountains that bring me to the camino, but rather the experiences and Spanish culture. For me, it's the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and make the world a more intimate place. I suspect the opposite view would be seeking complete solitude...?
And for me, I can be on the PCT in less than half an hour, but it holds very little appeal to me for most of the same reasons.

A funny thing about living close to the PCT. Before I ever did the Camino I couldn't tell the difference between homeless people I saw around town carrying backpacks and through hikers from the PCT carrying backpacks that I saw in town. Now, the difference is obvious - the through hikers carry much smaller backpacks. 😊
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Your son?

Nah, but you do get more of it.
Yes, Rick. My son has carried over 40 pounds after resupplying food for 7-10 days at a time on the AT, Colorado Trail, and John Muir Trail...he never understood why I wasn't interested in joining him.😅
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
The majority of my friends and members of my family's including my husband think I’m crazy for wanting to do the Camino Frances. Many worries around safety, some re: being gone so long, wanting to go by myself, wanting to connect with my spirituality, walking so far...with my « house « on my back and sleeping in albergues. I’m getting only this 🤨😳😯🙄😬🤐 at home. Lately sucking the joy out of me. I’m struggling. There is this huge pink elephant now that follows me. I know I have to let go of their feelings about this but it’s challenging. I can’t share my joy and it’s making me very very sad. Thank you to this forum. Here I feel accepted and understood. You are all helping me more than you can ever know. ❤🙏
Yes, that is something I have never understood. The questioning of why one would want to do one activity over another? People I know who do the same type of holidays every year or so find it odd that I want to walk the Camino so many times. I tell them I never once wondered why they would want to say go on a cruise every two years or so, why do they wonder why I walk the Camino more than once? I can only attribute it to some degree of harmless intolerance on their part. Intolerance to an activity they do not understand or relate to.
 

Reetuska

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
January Camino Frances
Camino is not calling everyone. If Swiss mountains are okay for someone - they should enjoy hiking there. No need to try to pass one’s ’Camino adiction’ to others. Anyhow, life is the Camino - we are all on our own path. I am walking CF now - just finished the meseta. I love being here and thinking of myself and life, and God or whatever higher power is there guiding us through life. I hope I take some of my insights with me from here and have more patince, compassion, morality, humility, gratitude,and self love in my Camino after this walk. It is a blessing to be here - love every step.
 

ChesterChick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Camino Francis
2019 Camino Del Norte
You should try connecting with a local chapter of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims. You will find others locally who are passionate about the Camino and helping newbies.

Your post touches me - please don’t let others take away the joy of doino a Camino from you. I did my first Camino by myself in 2017 at 70 years old - had a ball - didn’t feel unsafe at all - wonderful experience. Find your courage to tell others to keep their thoughts to themselves and go for it - you won’t regret it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues (June 2013)
Camino Frances- in stages beginning 2019
So your 75! I’m 76 and am thinking of hiking this May but am concerned I will embarrass myself by not finishing. Or worse not be able to differentiate between physical strain from something much more serious.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues (June 2013)
Camino Frances- in stages beginning 2019
Hello! Get checked out by your doc before you go... train and get used to walking and just go at your own pace. You can do this if you are feeling called to do so. Plus- if you finish or don’t finish is not the point- don’t set expectations. Many people have to stop before endpoint due to illness or bad feet or crises back home. No shame in trying! I have to do tue Camino Frances in stages- due to work time restraints. You could just do a portion... there are no rules! I believe you could!
 

ChesterChick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Camino Francis
2019 Camino Del Norte
For the record I am now 72 turning 73 just before my next Camino. If you are in good physical shape you can do it - set your own pace and relax and enjoy the ride. So many times in life we let our fears hold us back - doing the Camino helped to free me from that.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I can see why some Swiss persons might find the landscapes on the Camino less dramatic. Having hiked in The Canadian, and American Rockies, and the French, Swiss, and Austrian alps the sceneries ARE certainly breathtaking. The mountains on the camino are less engaging from a mountaineer’s perspective, for sure. And yes,I find parts of some stages less than interesting. And yes, there is a lots of asphalt on the caminos. I rarely see the same mountainous beauty on the Caminos. Nevertheless, there is a rhythm I find on the Camino that is unique. And I am awed by other kinds of beauty I experience. Sunrises and stunning morning stars, the atlantic Ocean, friendly, warm and welcoming owners, the stories and the inspiration of other pilgrims.
 

NYSE

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
Tell your 63 year old friend the Camino is "boring landscapes, paved roads, traffic....." - AND MORE😊
 

Rosemary Boyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
I had a very intelligent elder make a comment that the significance of the pilgrimage is diminished because so many are doing it. Like it was nothing to walk across Northern Spain for 5 weeks with a heavy pack on your back. Hmmmmmmmm. The older I become the less enchanted I am with others.
Rosemary [Canada]
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
So your 75! I’m 76 and am thinking of hiking this May but am concerned I will embarrass myself by not finishing. Or worse not be able to differentiate between physical strain from something much more serious.
In 2013 I led a small group of not-so-able pilgrims on the Camino. One fellow from the US (we called him Uncle Bob) was 89 years old had 9 Compostelas and didn't think he'd be able to do a 10th because of a triple heart bypass and a hip replacement a few years earlier. He did it beautifully - and he joined us on the Camino Ingles walking ± 10 km per day (one day 16km) at age 90. You're a spring chicken! Go for it ♥
 

bobbogram

Member
Camino(s) past & future
El Norte San Sebastián to Santiago; Portuguese Lisbon to Porto; Porto to Santiago; Geneva west
The Camino is a life expanding experience if you are open to it. Between my career as a military and commercial pilot, I’ve stayed overnight multiple times or for a few days in dozens of international locations. Being at the Great Wall or the Taj Mahal or the South Pole is not full immersion.

My two completed Camino certificates are proudly framed on the wall at home like the pictures of my family because they are both great accomplishments.

If history or food or politics is your button, you can give it a good workout before you embark to better appreciate your adventure. Traipsing around the countryside seeing how folks live in a different culture can be so similar and different simultaneously.

Unlike my satisfying airline or train or automobile trips here in the US and abroad, you learn to minimize your conveniences and material goods because you have to carry them. It’s surprising what you can do without. It reinforces the notion that your possessions own you, not the reverse. For me at 70, I think it bolsters your confidence, patience, sense of adventure, and humor when you return home. “We shall not cease from exploration... at the end will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the very first time.” (TS ELLIOT) “Fresh eyes” are a gift.

Bonus - most folks die within 25 miles of home, so there’s that.
 

Duane

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Camino Frances
I am no mystic but…..I have to admit there is a something mystical about the Camino. I read about the “boring landscapes, paved roads, traffic”…… it sounded awful and yet for some unexplainable reason I wanted to go. Now for some unexplainable reason I keep coming back. Clearly not everyone feels this way hence the term “Camino Bore” in another thread.
 

ISABEL linares

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances,camino del norte,camino frances
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2019) SJPP to Logrono
CF May/June (2020) Logrono to ? (Delayed).
I had a very intelligent elder make a comment that the significance of the pilgrimage is diminished because so many are doing it. Like it was nothing to walk across Northern Spain for 5 weeks with a heavy pack on your back. Hmmmmmmmm. The older I become the less enchanted I am with others.
Rosemary [Canada]
Doesn't sound like a very intelligent elder to me 😬
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
You can not convince any one to do the things you must love.We are all different..
So true...we are indeed "all different", yet this forum unites us due to the one common interest we share, however varied our interpretation of "Camino" may be to each of us.
 

koilife

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF w/ son #1 (2013); Logrono-Leon/Salvador/Primitivo w/ son #2 (2016); Portugues w/ son #3 (2020)
The camino is boring landscapes, paved roads, traffic . . . says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids. . . . I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. . . . how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
It sounds like the real issue is that you "need" your friend to understand that part of you and he doesn't. Sounds like you might have to make another Camino to let go of that need . . . ;)
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
I am no mystic but…..I have to admit there is a something mystical about the Camino. I read about the “boring landscapes, paved roads, traffic”…… it sounded awful and yet for some unexplainable reason I wanted to go. Now for some unexplainable reason I keep coming back. Clearly not everyone feels this way hence the term “Camino Bore” in another thread.
Yes. This exactly. For me, the Camino isn't about the landscapes or the scenery. There are many more beautiful places to visit than the Camino. The Camino is about something more, but these are things you can't see. That is why the photos just don't really do it for people who haven't been there. For those of us who have walked, we look at photos of the Camino and it takes us right back to the Camino - not because we have a burning desire to see some rural road, random fields, and another half-abandoned village, but because it reminds us of the magical and mystical aspects of the Camino which call to us.
 

VeganCamino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future Frances from Saint Jean Pied du Port to Burgos, starting in June.
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
Funnily enough I feel a strong pull to do another Camino walk even though I agree the landscape looks exactly like where I live in California, the food is mostly terrible for vegans, I found people in stores and hotels cranky even though I tried really, really hard to learn Spanish. I don't think there is anything inherently special about the Camino but I am drawn to it so I add my own beauty to the experience. It's what you bring to it I guess.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
I believe all hiking presents the opportunity for an introspective journey. The Camino provides this without the additional challenges of having to carry the extra weight of food, shelter, cooking utensils, water filtration etc. Plus setting up and breaking down a camp every day, cooking, protecting your food, sanitation & hygiene issues.

The Camino for me is the opportunity to remove myself from daily distractions in my life. I can be in my own head all day while walking. Seek as much communal activity as I choose in the evening. Meet new people from all over the world. Be in nature daily, whether it be farmland, mountains, forest, rivers, Meseta's, lakes etc. Stay in Pueblo's large, small and tiny. Experience different foods, culture and history. All this while never having to worry about food, shelter, cooking, making a camp, water, bathrooms or hygiene (though I do get kind of a Camino smell after awhile).

Everyone is different. You have shared your Camino experience with him because of the value it has brought to you. Your friend has not been enticed. I would leave it there. The Camino is not for everyone.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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West Coaster

Zoomer
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May-June 2015
…says a friend of mine, when I show him my pics and vids.
He is 63 y old, a keen mountain hiker and does not understand my camino addiction. I tried in vain to pass the virus on to him. «I have all the natural beauty, the real mountains, lakes, the crisp air, clean refuges and good food, all just an hour away from my porch (he is Swiss), why should I go to Spain?». Of course he is right, but how do I explain him that the camino is not a hike, but a long pilgrimage into ones inner self.
Problem is, that even with my four CF’s and a CN under my belt and in spite of age (I am a good dozen years older than him), I still don’t know why I am doing it, just happens that it makes me feel good. Anyone in this forum more eloquent to phrase out the difference between his sort of hiking and the camino pilgrimage? (We are both agnostics)
I've seen a number of groups of people that have split apart on the Camino, due to some of them being persuaded to go. Best to let people decide on their own. The Camino is not for everybody.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I had a very intelligent elder make a comment that the significance of the pilgrimage is diminished because so many are doing it.
An interesting observation. I wonder quite what they meant by that. Is there some fixed finite amount of "significance" available which has to be shared out ever more thinly amongst those who walk? If we go by the Compostela figures then there are now seventy times as many people walking the Caminos as there were in the year I first walked. I must admit I struggle sometimes with that scale of change but I would not go so far as to suggest that the pilgrimage is now only 1.5% as significant as it once was....
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
"It has nothing to do with religion."

This is a line spoken by Ismail, a Gypsy resident of Burgos, during a party he has invited Tom to, after Ismail's Son had stolen Tom's pack in the movie, "The Way."

Now, the context is slightly different, as the discussion was around Tom considering continuing on to Muxia after Santiago, to place his Son's ashes in the Sea. But in this context, perhaps it also applies to your challenge to get your friend to see your passion for the Camino(s).

The environment is different, slightly. Your friend may be doing a lot of climbing, (What else?He loves in Switzerland), and may not appreciate walking miles and miles through the countryside.

If I may, consider showing him a guide book that shows the relief (hi - lo elevations), for each stage. This will provide some interest. Your friend may have a goal orientation that focuses on vertical as opposed to horizontal, like peregrinos.

Where his focus is up, and the difficulty is horrendous, understandably as elevation rises and oxygen becomes more scarce, we, in our mostly horizontal environment, must deal with the many things like dogs and traffic and a lot more people who he does not likely see up on the mountains that he is used to.

Ask him if he can climb the same mountain every day for 5 or 6 weeks? But there are some advantages, like, comfortable beds and meals at the end of the day, each day. Oh, some attention may have to be made to the weather and water supply as you go but they are not life / death issues.

Finally, when all else fails, challenge him. "I bet you cannot last 30 or 40 days out there with me, youngster! :cool:

Good luck with it.
 

Carel5

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Mozarabe: Almeria - Merida
2018 Francigena: GSB - Massa
(2019) Francigena: Massa - Roma
Your friend is partly right. For hiking lovers there is so much more then the Spanish caminos. The Alps. the Pyrenees, the little long distance trails (GRs) in France, the beautiful trails in Britain and Ireland, the countryside of Romania, the Via Francigena. For some camino addicts it will be good to broaden their horizon to the other beauties of Europe, outside Spain. There are however caminos in Spain where you walk through fantastic areas. I walked the Camino Mozarabe from Almeria to Merida and liked it very much. Although I have no urge to walk on to Santiago, I hope to come back on one of those lesser known caminos in beautiful Spain, if my health will allow it.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Yep, that is where we are "all different". I can see plenty of gorgeous mountain views and hike in the United States, which I have done in our beautiful national parks and Canada. For me I do not need to travel the world for beautiful mountain views and hiking...they are in my own backyard, so to speak. I go on the caminos in Europe for the other reasons already mentioned on this thread by myself and many others.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
When the time is right
Your post touches me - please don’t let others take away the joy of doino a Camino from you. I did my first Camino by myself in 2017 at 70 years old - had a ball - didn’t feel unsafe at all - wonderful experience. Find your courage to tell others to keep their thoughts to themselves and go for it - you won’t regret it.
..and your response touched me. Thank you for your kind words. I did a “hard reset” this past Monday and took my mojo and joy back. My mantra this week is “I am enough.” I realize that when the Camino calls you this should be joy enough. You can read my post called “Synchronicity” and you will see how loud it is calling. Thank you again for reaching out to me with your empathy. ❤
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
The subject title of this thread, to me, is akin to a woodcarver talking about how boring and tedious and unfulfilling it is to do stone sculpting. Both use tools, use creative insights, and involve some form of workable media; it's equivalent for the purposes of comparisons, right? :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Moominmamma

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (July 2015)
Chiasso - Le Puy (Jan 2015 - July 2017)
Le Puy - SDC (Summer 2018 -)
Yes, the Swiss Camino sections are beautiful and recommendable, but there is a different spirit, more deeply religious, more serious than the tolerant Spanish ways....and as @Terry W says: IT IS NOT THE SAME! Too close, too familiar, no La Rioja, no Meseta, no....
I started my second Camino in Southern Switzerland and walked across the Alps to Basel before heading down south (both my friend who lives in Basel and I wanted to walk from home), and the parts of the camino in Switzerland were stunning but the atmosphere is undeniably different to that in France and Spain. There is less of a sense of a camino family, though we have met many wonderful people, including the monk who gave us our first "proper" stamp near Locarno and invited us into the monastery kitchen for breakfast and such a long chat that we only did half the kilometres planned that day. Moments like those are part of why I love the camino so much.

My husband will happily walk parts of the camino with me when he feels like it, but is not bothered about reaching Santiago. Neither of us are particularly religious, so I think everybody just has their own feelings. I have long given up trying to persuade my non-Camino family members about how much fun it is.
 

Mike Putman

Pilgrim_Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept 2018, hopefully Camino Portuguese 2021
I know I am having hard time knowing it will be at least 18 month’s to my next Camino. To each there own but love the quiet and time for introspection that the Camino gave me. Backpacking is great but no longer interested in carrying so much on my back. I don’t think we need to explain why we love the Camino anymore than a cruiser needs to explain that type of experience we just do.
 

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