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The commandments of the Camino


El Croco loco
Time of past OR future Camino
Past: Camino Frances
(StJ-Santiago) 2007, 2009
(StJ-Fisterra) 2011, 2012
Camino del Salvador 8/2014
Camino Primitivo 8/2014?
Camino del Norte 9/2014,
and hopefully many more yet unplanned
Hi all,

On my first Camino, someone told me about the 10 commandments of the Camino... I have no idea if they are 'official', or someone just made them up, but they sounded pretty special to me. They should be found at least somewhere in an albergue between Burgos and Leon, but maybe someone has them written down and can share them with me?

A few I remember are:
- never change your pace to walk with someone else
- never wait for someone else
- if you walk at the same pace at the same time with another Pilgrim, that person has something to tell/teach you, so talk to them

Off course I was breaking most of them, which is why I remember, but I'd love to know the whole 'set' and ponder about them, and why I was breaking them ;)...

If you could share them or point me in the direction of where to find them, you'd make my day!
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I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for, as they are written in a language I find much more suitable to the spirit of the Camino


As far as your memories go, I do remember seeing something on one of the health advice posters to walk at your own pace, and not try to walk quicker or further than you can manage. As far as the other two you quote, I can't remember seeing them.

Not exactly the Commandments, but a list of camino etiquette (similar to the albergue etiquette) published in the RSA newsletter AMIGOS a few years ago.:

Camino Etiquette

• Learn the language before you go – especially the ‘polite’ words of greeting, please and thank you. You will be a guest in a foreign land so don’t expect them to know your language.
• YOU are the foreigner so do not criticize the people, their way of life, their towns, their food, their religion etc. James A. Michener said: “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.”
• A bed in a church or municipal refuge is a privilege not a right and should be treated as such. Give a generous donation; be gracious and helpful to the hospitalero and other pilgrims.
• Keep your space tidy – do not leave plaster papers, plastic bottles, tissues and such on or under your bed.
• Ditto for the kitchen – wash all utensils after use and leave it clean and tidy for the next person.
• Offer to cook for the group occasionally. It's a great way to meet people and make friends.
• If you can always leave some 'long life' food behind for the next pilgrim, say a tin of something or pasta/rice. Label it in some way so people know - eg 'por peregrinos'. The next person to arrive might do so after a long walk and they might not have been able to buy food en route.
• Help to keep the refuge clean and welcoming for the next influx of pilgrims.
• Use water sparingly and mop out the shower after using it.
• Put phones and alarms on vibrate or turn them off at night, so as to not disturb or wake up your fellow pilgrims. --If you MUST make a cell phone call after 9:30 pm at night, please go outside AWAY from the windows where weary pilgrims are sleeping and try to keep your conversation at a low volume and short.
• If listening to a personal stereo or mp3 players in bed at night - please turn the volume down so the people near you don't have to listen to it too.
• If you prefer an early start – DO NOT wake up your fellow pilgrims by switching on the light or rustling plastic packets. Carry your stuff out of the room and get ready somewhere else.
• When leaving or walking through a village very early in the morning, do so quietly. i.e. soft voices, carrying those clicking sticks aloft. Think of tiptoeing by a sleeping host.
• Do not walk into a café/bar and use the facilities without buying something.
• Do NOT litter! Carry your empty bottles, sweet papers etc until you can throw them in a bin.
• If you need to “go in the bushes” bury the result, put the tissue paper in a plastic bag and place in the next rubbish bin.
• Do not handle fresh produce in a shop, get the shop-keepers attention and simply point at the item, handling produce causes bruising and damaged items.
• Don't haggle. Prices along the Camino are already rock bottom low.
• Do NOT pick the farmers crop! Fruit hanging on tree on a verge might be the owner’s next bottle of jam or preserve.
• Don't cross people's yards or "assume" it's ok to climb fences without permission. Think about how you would react if they did that in YOUR neighborhood?
• If you are on a bicycle - PLEASE let walking pilgrims know when you come up behind them by ringing a bell or shouting out. They cannot hear you approaching
• Leave the wild flowers alone, do not pick them. They look better in the field than in your hat.
• When you're walking in the woods and you see a backpack lying on the side of the road with no owner in sight, keep your eyes straight forward.
• Practice kindness. Share some plaster, food, or water. Offer to help someone over the rocky pass. If you see someone in distress, ask if they need to share their troubles. Then, if you can do so, offer help.
• Be friendly, even when the locals are not. Most are wonderful, but some get weary of the trudging, cranky pilgrims. Give them a break and show them you are appreciative.
• Be a good ambassador for your country.
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@Mike: though it is not what I am looking for, it is very beautiful, so thank you very much! Just like on the Camino, I don't get what I want/expect, but what I need... Thanx! :mrgreen:

@Sil: I can only agree, and though I might not have followed all rules to the letter, I believe that I treated the Camino, its albergues, inhabitants and fellow Pilgrims with the respect they deserved... In the Belgian hills/mountains I once saw this sign in the middle of nature that says it all: Leave nothing, and take only pictures...

Nonetheless, I am still in search of the commandments, though if no-one can help me, it is as good a reason as any to do the Camino again :lol:
From Saint Anthony's Messenger, 2002

1. Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you find that the camino opens your eyes to the unseen.
2. Blessed are you, pilgrim, if what concerns you most is not arriving, but arriving with the others
3. Blessed are you, pilgrim, when you contemplate the sights of the camino and find them full of names and of new dawns.
4. Blessed are you, pilgrim, because you have discovered that the true camino begins at its end.
5. Blessed are you, pilgrim, if your backpack empties of things as your heart doesn't know where to fit so many emotions.
6. Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you discover that a step backwards to help another is more valuable than one hundred forward without awareness of those at your sides.
7. Blessed are you, pilgrim, when you have no words to give thanks for all the wonders in every nook of the camino.
8. Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you search the truth and make of your camino a life and of your life a camino, after Him who is the Way, the Life, and the Truth.
9. Blessed are you, pilgrim, if in the camino you meet yourself and make yourself a gift of time without hurry so that you may not neglect the image of your heart.
10. Blessed are you, pilgrim, if you find that the camino is rich with silence, and the silence is rich with prayers, and the prayers are encounters with the Father that awaits you.
Thanks sil. I have never come across anything like that. There are some quite profound things hidden in those words... that I count myself fortunate to have discovered as I walked...
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These were all very lovely.
Thank-you for sharing them. I don't have anything profound to say. Just wanted to say thank-you.
I will be going on my first Camino April 16th and just can not wait. Sometimes I am so excited I can't think about it or I can't sleep at night.
Ctlou :D

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