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The Camino will provide?

Barbara

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Since 2000 French and Spanish, bikes and walking
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
 
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The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I hear you. To be fair though, people often say the Camino provides when they have been helped out of a jam rather than something you can rely on for the future, but it irks me that this help can be taken for granted when it is the kindness and generosity of individuals who have gone out of their way to provide it.
 
I agree and disagree. I wouldnt expect someone to bring me a lost item, but I think it does happen that people are reunited with lost things from time to time due to the kindness of strangers (even in everyday life). I think people post queries here to get the collective mind and wisdom on how to approach a problem. Sometimes that works out and other times it does not.
 
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I wrote something like this in another thread and deleted it because I didn't want to be accused of being meanspirited.

But i like a nice moan and fortunately someone quoted it so here it is.

===
... were the same ones who arrived to roncevalles without a bed booked. It's all well and good saying "the Camino provides" but to me, the best thing the Camino can provide is a lesson and often that's a little planning goes a long way.
It's tiresome reading "i didn't bring snacks and to my disappointment there was no mercadona on the Napoleon route. Having only had a small breakfast of cafe con leche and tostado, i was now hungry and miserable. Fortunately a kind pilgrim, fed up listening to me moan, gifted me a granola bar. I foraged some wild blackberries and had a feast overlooking the Pyrenees. The camino provides 🌈"
===

What I will say is i like the generosity and understanding on the camino.

And also... Weren't we all caught out once? Everyone makes rookie mistakes. E.g. so busy checking into the albergue, you forget to stop at the pharmacy before it closes for siesta. And someone gives you a bandaid.
Eg2 not buying food at the supermarket on Saturday only to find no supermarkets open on Sunday and no bar open on Monday. But someone shares pasta with you.

So new country, new ways of doing things, and people learn from their mistakes.

Re walking pole. Mine did go missing and as i looked someone said "oh dont worry, the camino provides, you might find another one or maybe a stick". Around this time the barman rummaged through lost and found and i was secretly hoping he wouldn't have a pole to give me, or at least that he'd wait until the lady left. But no, he handed me a pole and the wise old pilgrim repeated "the camino provides"

I do think the phrase "the camino provides" is bandied about too much. One recent example was someone who lost their hat and found it in their bag: "the Camino provides". Or another who arrived in a town and were cold after a long walk but there was a bar selling coffee - if you can believe it. What are the odds? The camino provides.
 
I was frequently the provider, and while I didn't mind I was always surprised at the lack of planning of some peregrinos. Water, cheese, bananas, and nuts handed out to people who didn't have and needed something now. How can you not think to bring a snack or a bottle of water? Handing out ibuprofen tablets or gel for sore muscles was something I could do to help.

The thing that bothered me most was the few people I met who frequently mentioned their devotional faith and then would tell of meeting someone who had lost their wallet or whose phone (and method of payment via Apple Pay etc) was now pooched, and this person of faith made a point of getting ahead of the lost wallet pilgrim in case they asked for lunch to be bought, or for their albergue fee to be paid. I am aware that there are some that walk Camino with no means of self support on the premise that the Camino Provides, and they are taking advantage of others along the way. But it seems a sad existence to automatically assume that someone in need is trying to scam people. Most of us can afford to buy someone lunch at least once along the way, I know I did a few times, generally not out of any need but because I wanted to.
 
I get where you are coming from, in many respects I feel the same way. Being that we are all different, the way we approach the Camino varies quite a bit.
I tend to be more of a planner, trying to inform myself since I’m a newbie, a bit older, as I know myself well and I know how much uncertainty I can handle. I’ve shared here early on when I first joined this board that I have PTSD. Thankfully, I’m doing much, much better these days, but some of the traits like hypervigilance will stay with me for the foreseeable future. So, hearing things like “the Camino provides”, “throw caution to the wind”, “don’t live in fear” doesn’t work for me, because I’m wired differently, and it takes a long time to re-wire myself. Anybody that thinks that I’m overthinking too much, or living in fear, should have met me 5, 10 years ago, when I was in really, REALLY bad shape. It’s a bit awkward because I know in my heart those comments are absolutely well-meaning and I do not wish to invalidate them, and I understand that sometimes people feel uncomfortable when they see a person struggling with something that “should” come easy to others, and it’s easy to try to fix someone else’s emotions because we are the ones feeling uncomfortable. I also know there’s a balance between being informed, doing our research, ask for advice, and over-thinking to the point of obsession, so I do take that into consideration.
I’m learning to listen to my gut and respect my fears, as they can be wonderful teachers that are trying to keep me safe, so I don’t fear “fear itself”, as I’d rather learn to listen to what it’s telling me.
People’s risk tolerance varies a lot, and what may be totally fine with me can be re-traumatizing to others, and it’s not up to me to decide for them whom, what, or when to trust. It’s an individual journey and we can always learn from each other.
 
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.
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
The camino IS people.
 
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The thing that bothered me most was the few people I met who frequently mentioned their devotional faith and then would tell of meeting someone who had lost their wallet or whose phone (and method of payment via Apple Pay etc) was now pooched, and this person of faith made a point of getting ahead of the lost wallet pilgrim in case they asked for lunch to be bought, or for their albergue fee to be paid. I am aware that there are some that walk Camino with no means of self support on the premise that the Camino Provides, and they are taking advantage of others along the way. But it seems a sad existence to automatically assume that someone in need is trying to scam people.

I haven't been in that position to either need assistance or give it... But if someone came to me with such a story i would prob assume it was a scam too. I'd be very careful about offering financial support unless i knew they filed a police report.
 
I recall a couple that we knew, turning up at the Hotel Akerreta. We were having dinner and heard them check in.

Everywhere was full, from Zubiri to Pamplona. Taxis all busy, busses laid on to take Pilgrims to Pamplona.

The Hotel owner came back into the dining room............

Saying something like. "They said we weren't worried as the Camino provides. Well tonight it was Jose who provided! I had a last minute cancellation"

I agree, wonderful things happen on the Camino.
But don't expect it.
Personal responsibility has a role to play too.
 
I have given another pilgrim money for a bed and supper more than once. I did it knowing I might never see the money again. When I give like that, I understand that once the money leaves my hands, I have no controll on what the other person does with it.

One pilgrim got to Orrison thinking he could use a credit card (had not notified his company of his travel and it was declined) and had no cash. We paid for his bed and meal. Two days later, he tracked us down and returned the money.

Other times, we have given more than needed because we knew there were others in the albergue que who had no money and asked the nuns to use it to give someone else with a bed. Both those young men were able to stay the night and helped the sisters and other pilgrims throughout the afternoon and evening.

I share when I can. I like volunteering at albergues and at National Parks and these things give me great joy. The harder task for me is learning to humbly accept a gift when it is needed.
 
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The camino IS people.
For you, but not for everyone.

For some the camino is the destination. For others it is the journey.
Some wish to walk with others, some alone.

There are those who consider it the adventure of a lifetime. For others it is simply a pleasant walk.

We each bring different things to the camino, every persons journey is individual.
 
I have met a few pilgrims walking with no support - and they are honest about it, to them I generally feel some generosity- it is an interesting commitment to walk in such a way. And it is actually a long standing Christian practice to set out with nothing.

As for those who claim to have lost a wallet or had a technical problem with pay app on phone I am more likely to take it with a pinch of salt- and ask what they are doing about it. Sometimes it is a genuine issue - and I have contributed to help them through (one guy actually tracked me down a week later to repay me and buy me a coffee).

As for the camino provides - I have definitely shown provision to others, but have found that others have been generous towards me. But I certainly don't expect anything to land on my lap - I have slept outside, knocked on doors in desperation to get water when fuentes were dry or turned off (not on main camino routes), eaten nuts and chocolate for dinner from the bottom of my pack - but equally been fed 5 course dinners, handed a cold bottle of coke, given a bunch of just harvested grapes by a farmer, had lunch paid for, given a bag of homemade cookies by nuns, tourgrinos calling me to join their provided picnic lunch. ...But I took these as additional graces, in addition to my own preparations and provisions.
The camino provides... it gets thrown around too much as some magical incantation- but equally so many of us have experienced a generosity while on the camino that there is truth in it too. But it's no excuse for not putting in some effort, some preparation or putting up with some hardships.

It's not a phrase I tend to use- but I am much more prepared to speak of a generosity that is part of pilgrimage.
 
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share...

Haven't we all left something on a bench, left an item behind in an albegue (yep, that would be me!) or didn't get a chance to pack food because a store was closed?

All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought.

Personally, I'd want to be the person sharing an apple or snacks with a hungry pilgrim (maybe they have low blood sugar), or rustling up a compeed for a nasty blister, or giving someone a pair of socks because it was raining all day, and anyways I didn't need that pair because I overpacked. I wouldn't want to lead with the attitude of "I don't want to help you because you didn't plan, so you deserve the consequences".

The camino (and traveling in general) is a place to practice and experience generosity, in giving and receiving.
 
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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Haven't we all left something on a bench, left an item behind in an albegue (yep, that would be me!) or didn't get a chance to pack food because a store was closed?
Yes, of course. Sometimes my supper has been the tired packet of instant noodles in the bottom of my bag. But 1) there was a packet of noodles and 2) I didn't expect the Camino to provide a miraculous three course meal.
I don't rely on the "Camino provides"
It's not helping people that annoys me. It's the "I don't need to think ahead because the camino provides " attitude that I worry about.
 
I haven't been in that position to either need assistance or give it... But if someone came to me with such a story i would prob assume it was a scam too. I'd be very careful about offering financial support unless i knew they filed a police report.
In these cases I (not Christian) am very willing to buy someone lunch. It's lunch, I'm not giving them hundreds of Euros. I'm not willing to financially support them for the entire Camino, but I can buy lunch.

At home, I am known to take homeless people to lunch when asked for spare change. I often carry gift cards in small denominations (10-20$) to hand out as well. I've made a few good friends this way, one a homeless alcoholic First Nations artist is now housed and sober and creating art and volunteering at few shelters. The person I helped on Camino may go on to help others, and I get to feel good for the low low price of lunch.
 
Yes, of course. Sometimes my supper has been the tired packet of instant noodles in the bottom of my bag. But 1) there was a packet of noodles and 2) I didn't expect the Camino to provide a miraculous three course meal.
I don't rely on the "Camino provides"
It's not helping people that annoys me. It's the "I don't need to think ahead because the camino provides " attitude that I worry about.

But what you listed out are situations that are, in reality, everyday common occurrences, not necessarily a result of poor planning, which I might suggest, are your personal expectations.
 
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The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I suppose my approach would be to be wary of fools, scroungers and thieves, however a more spiritual approach is to have compassion for even the thief, for hard as it maybe, I do not know the journey they have taken to arrive at being a thief, possibly if I had taken their path, I would have been a thief, so I would hope on my camino I can find it in my heart to offer compassion.

Having said that, I will still be tying my metaphorical camel up.
 
::😄:: I would speculate that "The Camino Provides" serves different purposes at different times.

Many of us either were, or knew well, someone who has difficulty accepting that things happen in life that are outside their control. Their loved one(s) died, or left them, or hurt them. They may not have the job, family, children, life, that they longed for. These souls have a * lot* of trouble calming their anxiety enough to even start Camino, and they often try to manage that anxiety by trying to control as much as possible. We try to help them, with that phrase, step out from their circumstances and open their eyes to new possibilities.

(re: that poem, "Come to the edge...")

Others, on the other hand, get themselves into trouble by walking with unmet expectations. Any pilgrim rescued from a riverbank, or from the Napoleon route, or who finds themselves without a place to stay during the May 1st holiday, learns that "The Camino Provides" means that this pilgrim just learned a lesson, which, hopefully, didn't kill them .

Also, and I say this gingerly, remember what the documented history and purposes of Camino were. It's not an accident that the Latin American Roman Catholic term for "Way" is "Camino."

Some historical pilgrims would have said, "God provides. " Whether through God's people on earth or through God's blessings in the world around us, that phrase would have been understood to mean recognizing the pilgrim's relationship with the Source of all.

Buen Camino, however or whoever you do it.
 
I have given another pilgrim money for a bed and supper more than once. I did it knowing I might never see the money again. When I give like that, I understand that once the money leaves my hands, I have no controll on what the other person does with it.

One pilgrim got to Orrison thinking he could use a credit card and had no cash. We paid for his bed and meal. Two days later, he tracked us down and returned the money.

Other times, we have given more than needed because we knew there were others in the albergue que who had no money and asked the nuns to use it to give someone else with a bed. Both those young men were able to stay the night and helped the sisters and other pilgrims throughout the afternoon and evening.

I share when I can. I like volunteering at albergues and at National Parks and these things give me great joy. The harder task for me is learning to humbly accept a gift when it is needed.
Yes, I gave a pilgrim €200 once because his bank account was frozen. Everybody told me I would never see the money again. When I gave it I gave it not expecting it to be returned. However, he tracked me down and Los Arcos a few days later and repaid me. Other times I help people and do expect something in return like tonight with my two little danish girls. It was really helpful for me to get back half of my money on this big apartment that I didn’t need. It wasn’t that they didn’t have the money. It was that they did not book ahead. They’ve learned a good lesson and spent a couple of hours on the Internet organizing the next few days. Now they are much more informed pilgrims and hopefully will have a Buen 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.
I do think the phrase "the camino provides" is bandied about too much. One recent example was someone who lost their hat and found it in their bag: "the Camino provides". Or another who arrived in a town and were cold after a long walk but there was a bar selling coffee - if you can believe it. What are the odds? The camino provides.
I can see where you are coming from but I want to offer another perspective.

I think gratitude is valuable. Gratitude to others who help us and also gratitude more generally for the little moments of happiness and relief in our lives. I think that remembering to feel grateful for these little moments of happiness or relief can, in general, make us happier or less depressed. That's why some people I know keep "gratitude journals". I think in the examples you quoted, people are using the phrase "the Camino provides" as a way of expressing that more generalized gratitude for moments of happiness or relief.

I definitely agree that the phrase should not be used as a substitute for the gratitude one should feel and express to the real individuals who are of help on the Camino.
 
I am organised but like all human beings I make mistakes. On my first camino, I left my hiking poles at an albergue. There was no-one in the albergue when I left and couldn't retrieve my poles.
I emailed the albergue owner who kindly sent them to my next albergue destination.
Last October, I was running out of cash because I wasn't well but could have managed well with my credit card. A wonderful Irish woman overheard me and insisted on giving me 20 euros. I slept all day but caught up with them two days later and returned her money.
I have helped other pilgrims by choice so I think it's give and take. Some of the newbies haven't travelled much so learn along the way and need to be given a break.
 
"The Camino Provides" is the heading I use when posting live from the Camino. I have found it apt when considering the small kindnesses done by people I have met and the unexpected bits of good fortune I have experienced. I and most others I have encountered neither expect nor seek out such things and don't rely on the efforts of others to aid us on our way.

Seems that some people though are unable to grasp this concept and equate 'the Camino provides' with lack of planning or deliberate sponging on the pilgrims behalf.
 
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Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
I love that word, insouciance.
'Not your mother'. You are such a hoot. Let me say here and now, that phrase of mine, borrowed from a delightful woman called Deirdre, is the height of warm acceptance and approval from a generation already in the know about the afters of the life we have here.
Thanks, @Barbara. I have come out of keyboard hitting retirement to reply to your post😈. Back into my box for the day. 😇

The phrase is 'such a hoot!' A warm, loving expression.
 
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Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
I agree to what you are saying in regards to being responsible for yourself. There is a side to the Camino providing that excludes human intervention. We are on our third Camino and there has been a consistency of 'events' or incidents occurring when you need them most. Examples are far to numerous to list, but happen it does. I do not believe in divine intervention. Anywhere else it is coincidence. Here, it is Camino Coincidence.
 
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I think that the Camino does provide:

- The abililty to deal with uncertainty
- The reassurance that there are some people in the world who do believe in the golden rule
- That many times simple is best
- You don't need to eat fine and you can eat well on little
- You get what you pay for but more importantly you get twice what you pay forward.
- We're all pilgrims
- You can live without Facebook for a day
- That religion is a sense of being rather than a rite or protocol or specific belief
- That by getting lost a few times, you really do find your Way.
- That there are far worse things that walking for a few days in the rain.
 
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As a child, finding out the presents I thought Santa provided were actually given by my parents was a very traumatic moment. And now I'm learning the camino providing is actually people doing kind things...okay seriously, it's a figure of speech. Humans love having hope, and feeling that the camino is special and has a spiritual dimension is wonderful and inspirational to many. Lately I'm seeing many very judgemental posts, which I have no problems with. But to those contemplating a camino, come, walk and experience. Don't let others colour your aspirations.
 
I don’t like the phrase the Camino provides - sounds akin to ‘magic happens’ stickers on car windscreens! Or ‘unicorns are real!’.

However, the original post seems like quite an over reaction to a non-issue - particularly given the examples the OP gives.

OP - did these situations actually happen to you recently - ie were you asked to help a pilgrim who lost their pole, or camera or ran out of food?

Or was it prompted by the recent, desperate, request on this site, to please keep an eye out for a yellow stuffed toy that had sentimental value for the owner?

In my view, if someone needs or asks for help, then the people asked can just say ‘no’ if they don’t want to help. Instead of creating I’ll feeling online about a non-issue.
 
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Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
I have mixed feelings about this post. It is our first Camino. We researched and read John’s book. We were lead to believe to pack light, do not pack for all the “what if” scenarios because you can’t carry all that. So we brought appropriate clothes for early spring and early summer weather. We brought rain ponchos. We brought extra shoes and a minimal amount of first aid equipment. When blisters appeared, we were prepared. When a cold snap brought temps to freezing overnight, we layered up and were prepared. What we were not prepared for was being in a rain storm with winds of 50 km/hr and getting soaked pants only to be told there was no dryer machine, and no heat in the Albergue. I was already wearing the only two pairs of pants I had because it was so cold. We were told “If we wanted to hang our clothes to dry there was a line outside”…it was still raining and 6 degrees! Then there was the food poisoning with excessive vomiting and diarrhea on a Saturday night in a small village with a pharmacy that was open Mon, Tues, and Thursday mornings only. No help there, and I hadn’t packed Immodium having read “there are so many pharmacies along the way- just pick up what you need, when you need it”.
The Camino is very busy this year. Unless you have booked ahead you will be lucky to find a bed. Many people are telling stories of having to walk for an additional number of hours searching for a bed. That’s disheartening when you are cold, wet and tired. I am also experiencing some gouging in prices when beds are scarce. Capitalism has definitely found the Camino.
I have also experienced a very giving spirit on the Camino. When my husband was so sick, the shop keeper in the minimart (the only store in town and closing at 2:30 pm for the day) could see I was close to tears when I enquired about a bus or taxi to get us to the next town for the next day (Sunday) as I knew he was too weak to walk. She personally telephoned the cabbie and booked him for a Sunday to pick us up and drop us off at the next town. It cost us dearly financially, but I didn’t expect any free ride. So the Camino does provide good people. She could have just let me buy the Aquarius (the only drink with electrolytes) and let me on my way.
I think the people that believe “the Camino will provide” in a materialistic way are incorrect and will be disillusioned. But for those who believe the Camino will provide in a spiritual way- there are lots of teaching opportunities-about yourself, about judgement, and about vulnerabilities. I know I’ve learned a lot and I’m only 450 kms in.
Thanks for reading.
 
The camino IS people.
Yes! The camino is THE people (pilgrims) on it. Without the pilgrims, the camino as it is regarded, would be, well, just another trail or path or way.

"Camino provides" does not mean providing material things. It means providing hope that things are going to be alright. That with hope, one can make it and learn from despite dire or difficult temporary situation.
 
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Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
Before I started my walk, I had read “the Camino provides “. I must say, I was a bit sceptical about this saying, but now!!!! Yessssss! The camino does indeed provide.Never have I been so clear and focused as I am after completing my walk. The pure joy and love and togetherness I felt after arriving at the cathedral is like nothing I have experienced yet in my life of 62 years. I am in awe of this journey, and proud to have been a part of this experience. One funny last comment that I heard about “the camino provides”: yes, the Camino provides Rain, and indeed it did rain, but I found this very funny! And I am elated to be a part of this incredible journey. Buen Camino!!!!!
 
I have mixed feelings about this post. It is our first Camino. We researched and read John’s book. We were lead to believe to pack light, do not pack for all the “what if” scenarios because you can’t carry all that. So we brought appropriate clothes for early spring and early summer weather. We brought rain ponchos. We brought extra shoes and a minimal amount of first aid equipment. When blisters appeared, we were prepared. When a cold snap brought temps to freezing overnight, we layered up and were prepared. What we were not prepared for was being in a rain storm with winds of 50 km/hr and getting soaked pants only to be told there was no dryer machine, and no heat in the Albergue. I was already wearing the only two pairs of pants I had because it was so cold. We were told “If we wanted to hang our clothes to dry there was a line outside”…it was still raining and 6 degrees! Then there was the food poisoning with excessive vomiting and diarrhea on a Saturday night in a small village with a pharmacy that was open Mon, Tues, and Thursday mornings only. No help there, and I hadn’t packed Immodium having read “there are so many pharmacies along the way- just pick up what you need, when you need it”.
The Camino is very busy this year. Unless you have booked ahead you will be lucky to find a bed. Many people are telling stories of having to walk for an additional number of hours searching for a bed. That’s disheartening when you are cold, wet and tired. I am also experiencing some gouging in prices when beds are scarce. Capitalism has definitely found the Camino.
I have also experienced a very giving spirit on the Camino. When my husband was so sick, the shop keeper in the minimart (the only store in town and closing at 2:30 pm for the day) could see I was close to tears when I enquired about a bus or taxi to get us to the next town for the next day (Sunday) as I knew he was too weak to walk. She personally telephoned the cabbie and booked him for a Sunday to pick us up and drop us off at the next town. It cost us dearly financially, but I didn’t expect any free ride. So the Camino does provide good people. She could have just let me buy the Aquarius (the only drink with electrolytes) and let me on my way.
I think the people that believe “the Camino will provide” in a materialistic way are incorrect and will be disillusioned. But for those who believe the Camino will provide in a spiritual way- there are lots of teaching opportunities-about yourself, about judgement, and about vulnerabilities. I know I’ve learned a lot and I’m only 450 kms in.
Thanks for reading.

In fairness you hit on some good points. But people generally are decent. The camino just gives you a few more chances to be vulnerable and rely on others. And likewise gives others a chance to be of assistance and maybe trust you too.

I managed to run low on cash and got a lend of €50 to tide me over off a pilgrim who didn't gloat or hit me with a "the camino provides". At home there generally isn't a time I'm several days away from an ATM.
 
I have mixed feelings about this post. It is our first Camino. We researched and read John’s book. We were lead to believe to pack light, do not pack for all the “what if” scenarios because you can’t carry all that. So we brought appropriate clothes for early spring and early summer weather. We brought rain ponchos. We brought extra shoes and a minimal amount of first aid equipment. When blisters appeared, we were prepared. When a cold snap brought temps to freezing overnight, we layered up and were prepared. What we were not prepared for was being in a rain storm with winds of 50 km/hr and getting soaked pants only to be told there was no dryer machine, and no heat in the Albergue. I was already wearing the only two pairs of pants I had because it was so cold. We were told “If we wanted to hang our clothes to dry there was a line outside”…it was still raining and 6 degrees! Then there was the food poisoning with excessive vomiting and diarrhea on a Saturday night in a small village with a pharmacy that was open Mon, Tues, and Thursday mornings only. No help there, and I hadn’t packed Immodium having read “there are so many pharmacies along the way- just pick up what you need, when you need it”.
The Camino is very busy this year. Unless you have booked ahead you will be lucky to find a bed. Many people are telling stories of having to walk for an additional number of hours searching for a bed. That’s disheartening when you are cold, wet and tired. I am also experiencing some gouging in prices when beds are scarce. Capitalism has definitely found the Camino.
I have also experienced a very giving spirit on the Camino. When my husband was so sick, the shop keeper in the minimart (the only store in town and closing at 2:30 pm for the day) could see I was close to tears when I enquired about a bus or taxi to get us to the next town for the next day (Sunday) as I knew he was too weak to walk. She personally telephoned the cabbie and booked him for a Sunday to pick us up and drop us off at the next town. It cost us dearly financially, but I didn’t expect any free ride. So the Camino does provide good people. She could have just let me buy the Aquarius (the only drink with electrolytes) and let me on my way.
I think the people that believe “the Camino will provide” in a materialistic way are incorrect and will be disillusioned. But for those who believe the Camino will provide in a spiritual way- there are lots of teaching opportunities-about yourself, about judgement, and about vulnerabilities. I know I’ve learned a lot and I’m only 450 kms in.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for this. It sounds a lot like our first Camino, but interestingly enough we've been back 8 times now. Somehow the sprained ankle, the bilateral blisters, the searing heat, the food poisoning didn't put us off and we returned home with the sense of peace and belief in good people. The Camino did provide for us what we needed (almost never what we thought we wanted) which for us was a sense that life could be simplified.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
In fairness you hit on some good points. But people generally are decent. The camino just gives you a few more chances to be vulnerable and rely on others. And likewise gives others a chance to be of assistance and maybe trust you too.

I managed to run low on cash and got a lend of €50 to tide me over off a pilgrim who didn't gloat or hit me with a "the camino provides". At home there generally isn't a time I'm several days away from an ATM.
People are decent! As a member of the LGBT community and a solo traveler,I was a little worried that I might be faced with some discrimination, but no! Open hearts and open minds everywhere I went. I. Finish my journey in Porto tonight, tomorrow I return home, and already thinking and planning my next camino, perhaps this time the French route, but maybe a shortened version next spring!
 
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
There is an order of magnitude difference between a reasonably prepared pilgrim, who has a single bad day, experience or moment, and an irresponsible pilgrim who just wanders blithely along, assuming that all the others will provide for him/her and look out for him/her. I have encountered both along my Caminos.

Generally, I am charitable and helpful to all pilgrims genuinely needing assistance. Over the years, I have learned to identify and to steer clear of the 'users' - those who abuse the tradition for their benefit. Everyone gets one or two chances. After that, you are on your own.

Random ignorance or absent-mindedness is forgivable - we have all been there. But, making a career out of it is quite another thing entirely.

The traditional notion of "the Camino provides" presumes a two-way street. Help others the way you would like to be helped if it were you on the needy end. Treat others as you would be treated. But, never forget - that this notion, and tradition, works BOTH ways.

Hope this helps the dialog.

Tom
 
On the other hand, I think one element of the transformative Camino experience is learning how good it feels to be generous to strangers.

But. Not. Every. Single. One. or Every. Single. Day.
As usual, I have several anecdotes to illustrate both sides of this.

One time at home I was out running an errand in my car and it started to rain.
I saw a woman walking with a bag of groceries, so I stopped and offered her a ride. She jumped in and said she needed a ride the other direction, all the way across town, but first could we stop at her sister"s house and drop off the groceries and wait for her if she's not home? There went the rest of my day. It was way more than I thought I signed up for. And then when I dropped her off, she said she had been praying that someone would show up and that Jesus had answered her prayers. So Jesus got the credit and not me! LOL

Here is a part of me I'm not proud of. On the Camino I sometimes selfishly resent it when another walker joins me and it turns out they have blisters or a bad knee and I am going to be expected to slow down for them or stop and wait every time they need to take off their shoes to again perform their elaborate Compeed/tape ritual.

But I was very gratified a couple of weeks ago when I left my poles on the camino when I stopped for lunch and 2 days later anither walker showed up in the albergue and handed them to me. (I have ALWAYS been forgetful and absent-minded and my husband hates it when others bail me out because he says I never learn my lesson. Well, it's too late for that now!)
My daughter was amazed that guy carried my poles for two days and went to the trouble to find me. I was very appreciative and probably hugged him a little longer than he wanted me to. But I also pointed out to my daughter what a great feeling it must have been for him to hand those poles to me!

In the airport on the way home, we realized we still had about $150 in Euros we couldn't use in the US and we weren't interested in spending them on high end duty- free cosmetics in the airport.

So I remembered that on arrival I'd seen groups and families of desperate-looking African immigants in the airport with their possessions in plastic bags, some sleeping on the floor. We went looking for them, thinking how great it would be to hand out some 50E bills
What a difference that could make for people with no safety net, and who often seemed ignored. My daughter agreed but also said that our real motivation was how good this would make US feel.
I thought about this and realized there's no problem with it. Nothing makes us feel better than altruism: going out of our way to do good deeds that can make a big difference for somebody else. We are pack animals and the fact that we often get such satifaction in helping others has helped us survive as communities.

Archeologists and anthropolgists study artifacts and bones to learn about past civilizations. Margaret Mead said one of the best examples of evolution was finding an ancient leg bone that had been broken and healed. A broken leg usually means the demise of a creature who can no longer hunt or gather food or keep up with their tribe's migration. A healed leg bone means that others cared for, fed or even carried that person, and it was probably a big sacrifice for them to do so.

The small part of me, though, wants me to get the credit instead of it going to Jesus or St. James.
 
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Sorry...the poster's philosophy hits me as edged, over-focused and quite pessimistic...attributes that are most prevalent in the world since the beginning of the Pandemic. So, I provide my response as observations and not opinion.

Yes, I am a recipient of, "Camino love."

It was not asked for. The provider was not aware that I was injured. She simply found me standing in the shade on a very hot day. She offered a ride. It was 5 PM and I was 7 km to Zubiri. I had blown out the IT Band in my left leg. My Camino was over. But, a helping hand appeared, unexpectedly, saving me from a very excruciating hobble up and down that last part of the path, which would take me well past Sundown.

This happened. It is not conjecture. It is not opinion. It is an unescapable Spirit of the Camino. Yes?

I can only pray that each and every Peregrino / Peregrina experience or at very least, witness this Spirit in action.
 
I take the phrase, "The Camino provides" as to mean that our problems/situations somehow get "solved" on the Camino. Some recites it almost as a magical belief. I believe "the Camino provides" only because people associated with the Camino (pilgrims, albergues, service folks...) are generally kind folks who are glad to help out a pilgrim in need. OTOH, if you pass out drunk at 2 am in a rough neighborhood anywhere in the world, including Spain, the "Camino" will not provide. One of the reasons that I walk the Camino is the people. Not because they would help me when I'm in need. Rather, I love an environment where people are kind and uplifting. BTW, I sprained an ankle in the middle of a trail in the forest once. No angel appeared. I hobbled the last 3 km almost in the dark to get to the albergue. My Camino was over, but I made it to a clinic the next day. So, all's well. Buen camino.
 
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My Camino was over, but I made it to a clinic the next day.

How nice of the Camino to provide you a clinic.

No understanding that the reason there are beds available is because many of us book private rooms.

I'm hearing the Camino provides you private rooms.

I could do this all day.
 
I, too, can experience frustration at the use (abuse?) of the phrase "the Camino provides." On the one hand, it does - in so many ways, most of which have already been mentioned in all of these thoughtful replies. I love that about the Camino. But I walk expecting it to provide lessons and opportunities, not room and board.

In a few days I am leaving for my second Camino. As a prior military officer with OCD, I am well prepared. (Probably ridiculously so, but that is just me. For example, I don't carry a full first aid kit, but I have a couple of bandaids, advil, benadryl - and yes, immodium! - to get me started until I can get to a pharmacy, and I have enough compeed and disposable rain ponchos to share.) Like many pilgrims, I hope to not just be self-sufficient, but in a position to offer assistance when needed, but nobody can be 100% prepared for EVERYTHING. Emergencies happen. The unexpected presents itself. Sometimes people are unprepared because of lack of experience. 💩 happens. And in those situations, I am more than happy to help.

But I get very frustrated reading posts where people actually brag about carrying virtually nothing in order to keep their pack ultra light, because "the Camino provides." Their actual planned strategy is have everyone else take care of them. It blows my mind. I've seen posts that are little rants/tantrums because nobody gave them what they wanted, when "the Camino IS SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE!" I have come to believe that some people can't carry their own gear because their packs are filled to the brim with ENTITLEMENT.

But equally as bad, in my opinion, is the growing number of people who seem to actually ENCOURAGE this behavior! (Mostly in the various facebook groups.) People researching and preparing for their first Camino will post and ask "should I bring this or that or both?" and 15 people will say "Don't worry about it - the Camino will provide!" as if your Brierley had a magic page where you could write down what you want, and it will magically appear. I just can't wrap my head around it.

Anyway, I'll be in Portugal in a few days. I hope to walk with heart and mind open to the Camino's lessons and blessings, and to be at peace, regardless of who or what I encounter along the journey. And if you see me along the Way and need a little toilet paper or have blisters and need some compeed, don't be shy about asking me - I promise I won't give you the stink eye! 😆
 
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I'm 73 now. We have time (we don't have a LOT of time but, well, you know what I mean!). Simply that we are not on a tight schedule when we are walking. We've walked 3 times, 2 French, one a partial, disastrous Portuguese misadventure, giving ourselves 40-50 days each time and not worrying about the completeness of our experience. I think the key is to not be on a tight schedule and for us, at least, to have a budget that allows us to buy what we need. When we reached Santo Domingo de la Calzada in a 2022 walk we were exhausted, frustrated, first couple of Albergues were full so we overnighted at the Parador, 130 Euros; next night we slept on the floor of church in Granon, donations accepted. (Between the two, the Albergue de Peregrinos Parroquial in Granon is the best memory!). What am I trying to say here? i guess that being on a tight schedule and a tight budget creates it's own problems, not only during the crunch times in Spain, holidays, celebrations and such but overall as well. We view our experience not as a hike, a walk but a sort of wandering that may involve 5 km or 25 km day to day. You have to give yourself both that time and money to help with the rough spots. Regarding the concept of 'The Camino Provides' we have found it to be completely true; those few times we were truly desperate there was always an answer.

 
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Sorry...the poster's philosophy hits me as edged, over-focused and quite pessimistic...attributes that are most prevalent in the world since the beginning of the Pandemic. So, I provide my response as observations and not opinion.

Yes, I am a recipient of, "Camino love."

It was not asked for. The provider was not aware that I was injured. She simply found me standing in the shade on a very hot day. She offered a ride. It was 5 PM and I was 7 km to Zubiri. I had blown out the IT Band in my left leg. My Camino was over. But, a helping hand appeared, unexpectedly, saving me from a very excruciating hobble up and down that last part of the path, which would take me well past Sundown.

This happened. It is not conjecture. It is not opinion. It is an unescapable Spirit of the Camino. Yes?

I can only pray that each and every Peregrino / Peregrina experience or at very least, witness this Spirit in action.
I would say it was the spirit of the person who helped you. I like to think this spirit can be found everwhere; not just on the camino. I don't deny that I have experienced amazing coincidences, serendipities, people or fountains or open farmacias showing up in the nick of time on the camino. But I am not a fan of magical thinking.
 
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Growing up in a Spanish-speaking country, I dimly remember as a child watching a movie taking place in Spain, and a priest saying something like “Dios proveerá” (God will provide), no mention of the Camino. This always felt to me like magical thinking, because I’m a skeptic by nature (and yes, cynical all too often), although I could recognize that there is an element of faith in it, if not faith in God, at least faith in humanity.

Being that i”m skeptic, I try to walk the fine line of learning when to be trusting and when to be rejecting. When to trust, when not to trust? (I believe that in psychology, that’s one of the earliest developmental stages).

From the variety of responses here, I would say we all grapple with these things differently, in our own way.

With so many viewpoints, it’s easy to get conflicting, contradictory messages. Take personal responsibility but don’t overthink it, the Camino provides, don’t pack your fears but you should have prepared better, etc etc. There’s the issue of confirmation bias (something I myself have struggled with a lot), in which we say “you see??? I KNEW it, the Camino provides” as well as those that would say “I KNEW I couldn’t trust anybody, my faith in humanity is gone” (I’ve seen some of these on FB and YT).

As for me, I’m trying to approach it with a spirit of curiousity. What’s this “Camino Magic” that supposedly happens? I hope I’m able to be open to it if it happens so I can recognize it, and to ALSO be open to the possibility that there’s no such thing and it’s just one long, miserable hike, so I try not to be too invested in my hopes/expectations. Or that I’m just gaslighting myself by making up things to fit my view of the world regardless of the actual reality.

Of course, I haven’t done a Camino yet, who knows how I will see things when (or if) I finish it!

More shall be revealed…
 
A pilgrimage involves deliberately putting yourself in an unfamiliar situation. People around you will notice that you will frequently seem pretty clueless. Occasionally you may even become aware of it yourself.
Part of the Camino culture is that helping other people is a good thing.
I’ve spent several thousand miles walking toward Santiago and have been happy to be rescued by both locals and by pilgrims. Every so often I’ve even been able to help others.
I think that I see the world as a better place because of that exchange.
 
A pilgrimage involves deliberately putting yourself in an unfamiliar situation. People around you will notice that you will frequently seem pretty clueless. Occasionally you may even become aware of it yourself.
Part of the Camino culture is that helping other people is a good thing.
I’ve spent several thousand miles walking toward Santiago and have been happy to be rescued by both locals and by pilgrims. Every so often I’ve even been able to help others.
I think that I see the world as a better place because of that exchange.
It does seem like on the Camino help shows up more often than would be expected by pure chance.
 
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So why are people not carrying what they may need, physically unprepared and finding themselves bedless?

You don’t need to look much further than the majority of threads on this forum, where the advice is all about how many grams each item in your pack weighs and how one can’t really have a “true Camino experience” unless you eschew bag transport and just walk each day until you are ready to stop, not “confining yourself” to a specific resting place. (Indeed, at least at the moment I’m typing this, they thread just below this one is offering advice to *not* book ahead.)
 
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
Welcome to the world of humans. Even if it changes, it will take centuries at the least if not more. I actually prefer the unpredictable and even irresponsibility of humans. I do not want a world of Spock's and robots--some, but not too many. if these quirks and, yes, even irresponsible behaviors are what makes our little fold unique, inexplicable. Continue marching on, ye of irresponsible behavior.
 
OP - did these situations actually happen to you recently - ie were you asked to help a pilgrim who lost their pole, or camera or ran out of food?
Not recently. But yes, they have all happened. Because I'm a human being I helped the pole loser and the hungry pilgrim. Not a lot I could do about a camera ten kilometres back other than suggest asking at a police station. I didn't see the cuddly toy post.
I've helped non pilgrims in non Camino situations, too. But that was me, a person, helping another person. Not the Camino providing anything. Yes, I've been on the receiving end of help, too. My aim in writing the first post was to inspire debate and thought. I think it worked. To clarify, I hope we will all be helpful to others. I also hope that others will not blithely assume that someone will be along to get them out of a hole that they have dug for themselves by lack of the most basic thought and care. That could be seen as entitlement, could it not? As someone said, 'tie up your camel'
Or was it prompted by the recent, desperate, request on this site, to please keep an eye out for a yellow stuffed toy that had sentimental value for the owner?
 
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 haven’t read all the comments yet, but thought I would get my two cents worth in as this is very relevant to me right now. 😄
I find that I am walking Camino Podiensis (4th Camino) starting 25th of May. My experience is that my Caminos choose me rather than me choosing them.
Anyway, the delightful picture that came to mind was that I would get to Le Puy and just start strolling through the countryside. Such a beautiful vision - so simple.
However it’s a bit humorous that this route is one where you pretty much need to book ahead, even if it’s only for a day or two - particularly if you want to get dinner.
I was feeling very resistant - What about my beautiful vision of just putting on my pack and starting to walk?
After a bit of reflection I discovered that there really is no contradiction between strolling through the countryside and doing a bit of planning.
The Camino always provides. It provides us with brains, phones, emails, booking resources, Apps, guidebooks, and so much more.
I am reminded of the drowning man who prayed to God to save him. Along came a boat, and then later a helicopter, And to both he said - oh no, I don’t need you, God will save me. Well, he died and went to heaven. And when he asked God, why God didn’t save him, God said - Well, I sent the boat and the helicopter, but you turned them away. 😂
in other words “ Trust in God, but tie up your camel.”
 
"Camino provides" means to me in many ways...
- It provides possibilites of putting on my pack and starting to walk.. there is no need to over-plan and over-worry if I choose and deal with the consequences.
- It provides opportunities to interact with like-mind people with the samilar goals or directions. helping others and being helped.
- It provides times of solitude, reflecting myself, enjoying music, listening to podcasts/audiobooks, or just letting thoughts fly away...
- It provides chances to go for a long walk and have no plan on where to sleep, chances of willing to experience the park-bench sleeping if no bed is found.
- It provides opportunities of strolling through the Spain countryside, towns and cities, embracing rain, sun, wind, snow, uphill and downhill...

many many more... at the end, no worries, bring essentials, put on pack and WALK... the camino provides and evolves itself...
 
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 haven’t read all the comments yet, but thought I would get my two cents worth in as this is very relevant to me right now. 😄
I find that I am walking Camino Podiensis (4th Camino) starting 25th of May. My experience is that my Caminos choose me rather than me choosing them.
Anyway, the delightful picture that came to mind was that I would get to Le Puy and just start strolling through the countryside. Such a beautiful vision - so simple.
However it’s a bit humorous that this route is one where you pretty much need to book ahead, even if it’s only for a day or two - particularly if you want to get dinner.
I was feeling very resistant - What about my beautiful vision of just putting on my pack and starting to walk?
After a bit of reflection I discovered that there really is no contradiction between strolling through the countryside and doing a bit of planning.
The Camino always provides. It provides us with brains, phones, emails, booking resources, Apps, guidebooks, and so much more.
I am reminded of the drowning man who prayed to God to save him. Along came a boat, and then later a helicopter, And to both he said - oh no, I don’t need you, God will save me. Well, he died and went to heaven. And when he asked God, why God didn’t save him, God said - Well, I sent the boat and the helicopter, but you turned them away. 😂
in other words “ Trust in God, but tie up your camel.”
I walked from Le Puy to SJPP and whilst the countryside is often beautiful, the daily stress of trying to find somewhere sensible to stay (it was busy when I walked in Sept and May/June) and my poor French combined with a predominance of French walkers, meant that I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I do walking in Spain.

I hope your experience is more uplifting than mine was.
 
Dear OP, I already replied, and agree with your original post.
However, this morning, thinking of some of the green lanes in my own 76 year old life, I offer another few words.
Of course, yes, the camino of life provides.
Stay awake! Fill your lamps with oil!
On what is popularly called The Camino, be ready to share the light of your lamp metaphorically or actually. Actually is a word that is confusing for learners of English, in my experience, by the way. Replace it with in fact if you like.
Don't let's be contentious.
However, whichever way, the camino of life offers us something.
In this forum context, something extra!
It offered me some never forgotten lessons.
Do I always remember? 😈
Sometimes, when people ask questions on the forum, the automatic answer that comes to the front of my frontal lobes is this: is the Pope a Catholic?😂
So yes, the Camino of life does provide.
Before you sleep tonight, and I include myself, as I do every evening, how have I experienced that this day? That the Camino provides...
Buen camino, fellow pilgrims.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
So there may not be some magical, mystical force that provides the unprepared ( either purposefully or just unlucky) but the Camino does provide thousands of hospitaleros, hotel clerks, cooks, wait staff, refreshment truck owners, friendly shop keepers, police, cab and bus drivers, luggage transporters, ( and for me, parish priests who said pilgrim masses) who all provide to make all us pilgrim/visitors a unique and fulfilling influence.
But it is also OK to think that magical things happen out there.
Buen Camino!
 
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
The Cromwell quote was strange he was egotistical murderer and a religious tyrant. He show the English people exactly what they don’t want
 
The Cromwell quote was strange he was egotistical murderer and a religious tyrant. He show the English people exactly what they don’t want
This getting slightly off beam. I am not even sure if the quote is attributed correctly. Can we focus on the points being made in the original post?
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
I would say it was the spirit of the person who helped you. I like to think this spirit can be found everwhere; not just on the camino. Although I don't deny I have experienced amazing coincidences, serendipities, people or fountains or open farmacias showing up in the nick of time on the camino!
I will continue to see it differently.
 
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.
Oliver Cromwell, at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642, is supposed to have told his Roundhead troops in that opening fight of the English civil war, ''Put your trust in God, my boys, but mind to keep your powder dry.
Which is a way of saying that you need to take some of your own responsibility if you wish a successful outcome of your endeavour.
 
Growing up in a Spanish-speaking country, I dimly remember as a child watching a movie taking place in Spain, and a priest saying something like “Dios proveerá” (God will provide), no mention of the Camino. This always felt to me like magical thinking, because I’m a skeptic by nature (and yes, cynical all too often), although I could recognize that there is an element of faith in it, if not faith in God, at least faith in humanity.

Being that i”m skeptic, I try to walk the fine line of learning when to be trusting and when to be rejecting. When to trust, when not to trust? (I believe that in psychology, that’s one of the earliest developmental stages).

From the variety of responses here, I would say we all grapple with these things differently, in our own way.

With so many viewpoints, it’s easy to get conflicting, contradictory messages. Take personal responsibility but don’t overthink it, the Camino provides, don’t pack your fears but you should have prepared better, etc etc. There’s the issue of confirmation bias (something I myself have struggled with a lot), in which we say “you see??? I KNEW it, the Camino provides” as well as those that would say “I KNEW I couldn’t trust anybody, my faith in humanity is gone” (I’ve seen some of these on FB and YT).

As for me, I’m trying to approach it with a spirit of curiousity. What’s this “Camino Magic” that supposedly happens? I hope I’m able to be open to it if it happens so I can recognize it, and to ALSO be open to the possibility that there’s no such thing and it’s just one long, miserable hike, so I try not to be too invested in my hopes/expectations. Or that I’m just gaslighting myself by making up things to fit my view of the world regardless of the actual reality.

Of course, I haven’t done a Camino yet, who knows how I will see things when (or if) I finish it!

More shall be revealed…
Confirmation bias. EXACTLY.
 
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
I think.. from the nature of the instances/issues/problems you listed.. the fact is… we all make mistakes and “forget things.” I’d be interested to know if.. you may feel these things do not apply to you. Who knows .. maybe they don’t. Now..if someone loses .. or forgets their camera/ phone/poles.. more than a couple of times… well.. some lessons just have to be learned the hard way!
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

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Oliver Cromwell, at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642, is supposed to have told his Roundhead troops in that opening fight of the English civil war, ''Put your trust in God, my boys, but mind to keep your powder dry.
Which is a way of saying that you need to take some of your own responsibility if you wish a successful outcome of your endeavour.
Not that anyone asked or should care... Nine years after the Battle of Edgehill, Cromwell's army defeated the Royalists at the Battle of Worcester (1651). My 8th great grandfather, Alexander Magruder was captured and sent to the colonies as a POW/indentured servant. Many children born in the colonies in those days didn't survive, but six of Alexander's children grew to adulthood. Five of them were boys. I am related by blood to just about every White Magruder (and some Black McGruders, too).
I don't know if I should hate Oliver Cromwell or thank him.
 
What have I learned from reading all the way through this thread?

That unicorns don’t exist.
That I still profoundly dislike Oliver Cromwell. Despite having a degree in medieval and modern History, I managed to remain in complete ignorance of his life and actions.
That there are bandits on the Camino.
That there are wise ones …
That I’ve missed a sure fire way to get rich .. if only my mother had told me to watch the 10s instead of the single pennies, I’d be laughing …

My own experience tells me that:
Not much beats self-reliance and being resourceful … it feels good to meet life and to cope with it.
I would hope that a sense of community is always with us …not just on the Camino.
Sharing is a joy, though I still have to learn to feel completely comfortable with accepting from others. I hope I’m getting better at this, because true sharing is among equals, in the truest sense.
Life, the Universe, the woman offering you a lift, the ‘other’ who is simply kind towards you, the fellow pilgrim who searches in your pack for your epipen … can all ‘provide’ in the material sense.
The Camino provided me with a way - a place - to just ‘be’.
 
What have I learned from reading all the way through this thread?

That unicorns don’t exist.
That I still profoundly dislike Oliver Cromwell. Despite having a degree in medieval and modern History, I managed to remain in complete ignorance of his life and actions.
That there are bandits on the Camino.
That there are wise ones …
That I’ve missed a sure fire way to get rich .. if only my mother had told me to watch the 10s instead of the single pennies, I’d be laughing …

My own experience tells me that:
Not much beats self-reliance and being resourceful … it feels good to meet life and to cope with it.
I would hope that a sense of community is always with us …not just on the Camino.
Sharing is a joy, though I still have to learn to feel completely comfortable with accepting from others. I hope I’m getting better at this, because true sharing is among equals, in the truest sense.
Life, the Universe, the woman offering you a lift, the ‘other’ who is simply kind towards you, the fellow pilgrim who searches in your pack for your epipen … can all ‘provide’ in the material sense.
The Camino provided me with a way - a place - to just ‘be’.
I think that's the best and most profound post I've seen on this thread. I'm not terribly keen on Oliver Cromwell myself, but he did at least have a deep belief in what he was trying to do.
For those who disagree with me and for those who think Cromwell was entirely misguided and that the Camino is indeed an entirely warm and cuddly entity, I will leave you with another quote from the same man, this time addressing a gathering of church ministers "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, consider that you might be mistaken"
Thank you all for your considered opinions. It's been an interesting ride. So long, and thanks for all the fish.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
Sad thought process …… The Camino is about love where all types of people come together without forcing the troubles of the world on others and are willing to help in all things thus by being on the Camino in this spirit the Camino provides
 
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
I do not subscribe to that belief, sorry.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
The phrase always bothered me, but I never considered the notion of negligence. Just my tendency to prefer accuracy in communication—and it’s far from accurate that a pathway is going to take any action to benefit (or harm) a human or other animate being. If some gracious pilgrim helps me out of a jam, wouldn't it be very rude for me to give the credit to “the Camino”?
 
I think that this is a very good thread, as it has people evaluating and articulating their beliefs. People, in fact, can have different ideas, or takes, and not be the Devil. I will confess that I found the constant refrain of the "Camino provides" from some more than a little irritating for a couple of reasons. As noted by some others, there were those who used it as a cover for just using your stuff, and trying to make you feel like it was all OK. One delightful fellow I met on the Camino had hiked the Appalachian Trail in one shot, I think he was living out of a bag for 6 months. He said in the through hiker community there are those that they call "gram weenies". Those who are obsessive about shaving off fractions of a gram from their pack weight. He said that, in practice, they were always the ones going around camp, scrounging from others. I have always remembered his words...'you can be comfortable on the trail, or at camp, but never at both.' So if you lose a wall plug (as happened to me) and that same evening a young man announced that he had accidently packed a spare, and gave me his spare, that is the Camino providing (as it provided him with a beer)...if you don't bring a poncho and it starts to rain in Galcia (shock!) well...that is on you. So while I have been the thankful recipient of Camino largesse, I plan to bring extra hikers wool and supplies in my first aid kit (maybe a wall plug?), precisely so that I can give them away, the extra grams be damned. The same reasoning though says to bring my Epipen and that to rely upon Camino "magic" if I go into anaphylactic shock would just merit me a Darwin Award.

My other reason, sure to rankle some...but we all come from different places. Is the sort of Disney-fication (lets' pretend it is a word) of the Camino. I groan at the overuse of "the Camino provides" or variations of that. At risk of stating the obvious, the routes we call the Camino are pilgrimage paths to visit the remains of St. James. A sort of ersatz New Age-ism that drains substantive content beliefs, and substitute it with saccharin replacements is not what sustained centuries of pilgrims who made the walk to Santiago de Compestela. It is like those Christmas movies that are put on Netflix, the message of which "the meaning of Christmas is about spending time with those you love", or some such weak tea, while at the same time ensuring that a Charlie Brown's Christmas is not shown as it might offend someone, somehow, and is now banned in State schools. So, for me, the constant refrain of "the Camino, the Camino" like it were some separate ontological category, is at best like mistaking the finger pointing at the moon, for the moon. At worst, it is total cringe.
 
At home, I am known to take homeless people to lunch when asked for spare change. I often carry gift cards in small denominations (10-20$) to hand out as well. I've made a few good friends this way, one a homeless alcoholic First Nations artist is now housed and sober and creating art and volunteering at few shelters. The person I helped on Camino may go on to help others, and I get to feel good for the low low price of lunch.
I take a similar appreoach. Folks whine “they'll just sell it for drug money” and I reply, “Maybe, but if so, it least I’ve made them work a little for it.”
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I think that this is a very good thread, as it has people evaluating and articulating their beliefs. People, in fact, can have different ideas, or takes, and not be the Devil. I will confess that I found the constant refrain of the "Camino provides" from some more than a little irritating for a couple of reasons. As noted by some others, there were those who used it as a cover for just using your stuff, and trying to make you feel like it was all OK. One delightful fellow I met on the Camino had hiked the Appalachian Trail in one shot, I think he was living out of a bag for 6 months. He said in the through hiker community there are those that they call "gram weenies". Those who are obsessive about shaving off fractions of a gram from their pack weight. He said that, in practice, they were always the ones going around camp, scrounging from others. I have always remembered his words...'you can be comfortable on the trail, or at camp, but never at both.' So if you lose a wall plug (as happened to me) and that same evening a young man announced that he had accidently packed a spare, and gave me his spare, that is the Camino providing (as it provided him with a beer)...if you don't bring a poncho and it starts to rain in Galcia (shock!) well...that is on you. So while I have been the thankful recipient of Camino largesse, I plan to bring extra hikers wool and supplies in my first aid kit (maybe a wall plug?), precisely so that I can give them away, the extra grams be damned. The same reasoning though says to bring my Epipen and that to rely upon Camino "magic" if I go into anaphylactic shock would just merit me a Darwin Award.

My other reason, sure to rankle some...but we all come from different places. Is the sort of Disney-fication (lets' pretend it is a word) of the Camino. I groan at the overuse of "the Camino provides" or variations of that. At risk of stating the obvious, the routes we call the Camino are pilgrimage paths to visit the remains of St. James. A sort of ersatz New Age-ism that drains substantive content beliefs, and substitute it with saccharin replacements is not what sustained centuries of pilgrims who made the walk to Santiago de Compestela. It is like those Christmas movies that are put on Netflix, the message of which "the meaning of Christmas is about spending time with those you love", or some such weak tea, while at the same time ensuring that a Charlie Brown's Christmas is not shown as it might offend someone, somehow, and is now banned in State schools. So, for me, the constant refrain of "the Camino, the Camino" like it were some separate ontological category, is at best like mistaking the finger pointing at the moon, for the moon. At worst, it is total cringe.

Just the one Epipen? 😉
I’d take at least four … 😄
(I need two per occasion)
 
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
As is often the case, it’s not about others or their attitudes to their Camino. It takes time and learning to discover that some of our practical problems are down to an omission of our own - that’s the learning - right there. I find myself without something I need - next time I make sure I don’t create that again. Sometimes the response of another will help me learn what I need to learn - and that is the giving and taking a shared experience can offer.

Contrariwise - some people may have given too much too often and find it impossible to stop - and can then feel resentful of others’ perceived expectations of them - they maybe have to learn to put boundaries in place to protect their own resources, and give less? So…. for me the Camino can provide at a deeper non-material level than your post points to - I hope you found something of worth in this regard from your experiences. 🙏🤞👋
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I live in a medium sized town in New Zealand. I am 80 years old so I have time to spare. The locals say that I am a "professional volunteer" because I volunteer for anything that needs doing in the town This includes helping in Op-Shops, helping run Xmas parades and Xmas carnivals, I am the keeper of the town clock, clearing leaves out of old lady's gutters on the roof, in fact anything that needs an extra pair of hands. I love doing this as it makes me feel useful. On my first Camino I contracted cellulitis in my left leg which was so painful that I could barely walk more than a few metres in pain. I was almost overwhelmed by the help that was offered to me by passers-by. Someone got me a taxi, someone got me a bus ticket, someone took me to a hospital, someone carried my pack up the long flight of steps at the Santiago bus station. someone gave me overnight accommodation when I came out of hospital and then took me out to the airport the next morning, someone pushed me around the airport in a wheelchair as by that stage I could not walk, someone changed my flight to one two weeks earlier than booked so that I could go to a London hospital. Every one of these "someones" just offered their help out of the blue. They saw I needed help and just gave it without hesitation. Whether this comes under the heading "The Camino Provides" or not, I don't know. What I do know now, is what it is like to be one the end of voluntary help.
 
C
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!C
Could not have said it better myself....
 
Hello- I’ve on
Or do you prefer Cromwell's attitude?
Put your trust in God and keep your powder dry.
I am starting to get tired of the attitude that it isn't necessary to take reasonable care and thought, because somehow there is this warm, fluffy, and benevolent spirit called "The Camino" that will make everything alright again.
You lost your walking pole? Someone will find you another one... You left your camera on a park bench? Other people will go to considerable trouble to find and return it... You didn't think to shop for food? That's not a problem, people will share....
All this help, and I don't deny it exists, is coming from the efforts of other human beings who might just prefer to be doing something else or, let's face it, relaxing instead of solving someone else's problems mostly caused by their lack of planning and thought. I'm not against helping when there is a genuine problem due to illness or injuries but sometimes I do wonder where this cheerful insouciance is coming from and what it would lead to in everyday life. The Camino is not providing. Other people are providing. The Camino is a pilgrimage route, not your mother.
I'd be interested to hear your varied opinions!
I’ve only walked one and that was Portuguese coastal. Because of where I come from and choosing to walk alone I couldn’t go with the Camino will provide outlook - I planned quite a lot at fairly short notice- I did have to make some changes on route but all good. I meet several making it up as they went but in March/ April it’s a lot quieter so you can take risks-
The worst I had was lousy weather for days.
Only thing I lost was a hairbrush.
I didn’t want to eat out so I shopped late in my day with that in mind.
On walking into Santiago in beautiful sunshine I had no regrets, no bad memories. True I saw people only overnight, only in passing so I was a bit of a ghost in many others experience.
I chose that too.
I loved what my walk gave me- it gave me some relief from tedium, retirement boredom and a small respite from grief that I will always accept and carry. I provided the wish, the legs, and the effort. I planned the rest. That way- by planning- you too can walk the type of Camino you dream about. Good luck
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
I can't help but not comment on this. I have two examples where I think "the Camino Provides" is more of a coincidence where the universe putting you together with something you need. Sure, it could come in the form of a human helping but it's almost outside of that realm.
  1. First example: One night, while in Leon, on the top bunk, I started to get the tell tale pains of a kidney stone. I got off that bed so quick (before I couldn't move anymore) and called my husband to ask what I should do and if he could help me find the nearest hospital. I don't speak spanish. As I opened the door to the albergue to leave, there was a danish woman who I had only marginally said hello to earlier, arriving back to the albergue. She could see I was in pain and asked if I needed help. She then walked with me to the hospital where she helped me located a nurse and then spoke perfect Spanish for me. She arranged a taxi (in Spanish) and then we went to the pharmacy where she got my perscription filled (in Spanish). It's like too good to be true: I opened the door to leave, she was right there, and wanting to help me and had all the tools at her disposal to help me where I couldn't help myself.

  2. Second example: the day before the kidney stone experience, I was walking around Leon and walked into an outdoor store. As I walked around the store and looked at the items, I couldn't believe my exact backpack (which I bought in Canada) was hanging in the store. Weird! Flash forward 5 days later as I'm emerging from the hospital from the kidney stone, I go to wash all of my belongings because I had also been plagued with bed bugs BEFORE the hospital visit. My backpack was put out on a terrace in a black garbage bag and sprayed while I was at the laundromat. When I came back, my backpack was gone. After much fretting me and the albergue owner realized it was one of his employees that had thrown out my backpack. But because of my window shopping days before, the Albergue owner said he would buy me a new backpack and there was the exact one I had been using the entire time thus far - bed bug free!
So many more examples: the woman who had infected blisters when I did so we both went to the hospital together (I had no idea what I was going to do) then we travelled together after that for a while; the lesson I learned while in the hospital of letting go as I wasn't sure if I was going to finish the camino, or be flown back to Canada to get the stone removed; finding people to walk with in the dark when I hate walking alone in the dark; sitting with someone new who didn't speak English but spoke rough French and so did I so we could have a great conversation and laugh at ourselves.

So for me, it's more than just people handing out food or money when you need it. It's actually about the Camino presenting you with the thing you need or will need when you need it. A laugh, safety, help, a backpack... Like a higher power watching over for you.

I truly believe this. <3
 
I can't help but not comment on this. I have two examples where I think "the Camino Provides" is more of a coincidence where the universe putting you together with something you need. Sure, it could come in the form of a human helping but it's almost outside of that realm.
  1. First example: One night, while in Leon, on the top bunk, I started to get the tell tale pains of a kidney stone. I got off that bed so quick (before I couldn't move anymore) and called my husband to ask what I should do and if he could help me find the nearest hospital. I don't speak spanish. As I opened the door to the albergue to leave, there was a danish woman who I had only marginally said hello to earlier, arriving back to the albergue. She could see I was in pain and asked if I needed help. She then walked with me to the hospital where she helped me located a nurse and then spoke perfect Spanish for me. She arranged a taxi (in Spanish) and then we went to the pharmacy where she got my perscription filled (in Spanish). It's like too good to be true: I opened the door to leave, she was right there, and wanting to help me and had all the tools at her disposal to help me where I couldn't help myself.

  2. Second example: the day before the kidney stone experience, I was walking around Leon and walked into an outdoor store. As I walked around the store and looked at the items, I couldn't believe my exact backpack (which I bought in Canada) was hanging in the store. Weird! Flash forward 5 days later as I'm emerging from the hospital from the kidney stone, I go to wash all of my belongings because I had also been plagued with bed bugs BEFORE the hospital visit. My backpack was put out on a terrace in a black garbage bag and sprayed while I was at the laundromat. When I came back, my backpack was gone. After much fretting me and the albergue owner realized it was one of his employees that had thrown out my backpack. But because of my window shopping days before, the Albergue owner said he would buy me a new backpack and there was the exact one I had been using the entire time thus far - bed bug free!
So many more examples: the woman who had infected blisters when I did so we both went to the hospital together (I had no idea what I was going to do) then we travelled together after that for a while; the lesson I learned while in the hospital of letting go as I wasn't sure if I was going to finish the camino, or be flown back to Canada to get the stone removed; finding people to walk with in the dark when I hate walking alone in the dark; sitting with someone new who didn't speak English but spoke rough French and so did I so we could have a great conversation and laugh at ourselves.

So for me, it's more than just people handing out food or money when you need it. It's actually about the Camino presenting you with the thing you need or will need when you need it. A laugh, safety, help, a backpack... Like a higher power watching over for you.

I truly believe this. <3
That is exactly what I meant about friends. After my walking friend went home and I was on my own I discovered I didn't really like walking alone. I idly thought of a delightful older English gentleman we had met some days before, and wondered how he was doing. On the morning of the third day, there he was having breakfast and we walked together for the next ten days!
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-

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