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The future of the camino?

#1
I´ve been thinking about the future of the camino(s), and would like to hear if any other has some opinion or vision about it. Mostly I ponder this becouse of my own life-situation: I have two little children and have to wait maybe 5-10 years before I can take some weeks off and go walking. What is camino frances like in 2020, for example? How crowded, even more than now or less? Is there something that differs from year 2006 or 2012? I walked Camino Frances and Aragones in 2006 and Camino Primitivo in 2007, and I guess there has been quite an increase in number of albergues (and peregrinos) since that. Is the spirit of camino something that stays same although years go by?

Mainly I´m dreaming about VdlP and Camino Interior, but would love to return to Frances, too, maybe with my children when they get teenagers (and definietly will not want to walk with mom :lol: ).

So, what will be the camino(s) like in 2020 or 2030?

Sorry about my english, my thoughts are clear in my mind but words are seldom :)
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
In my opinion, the Camino might be on its way to being like it was in its hey-days!
But, I think it will be a long time before Burgos has 32 albergues, Astorga has 21, Carrion de los Condes has 14 and Castrojeriz has 7. Even small villages like Obanos and Viana had several pilgrim shelters.
There are no Holy Years until 2021 so you should be OK up until then!

http://amawalker.blogspot.com/2008/10/back-to-past.html
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
#3
I'm sure as more people walk the Camino, the more 'repeat offenders' there will be. Like you, they might want a different route and experience. This could increase the number of albergues and other peregrino infrastructure on the other routes, making them more practical and cheaper for pilgrims with a range of experience and abilities to do. This could ease the pressure on the Camino Frances, which I suppose is currently the 'default' Camino (for want of a better expression!).

Buen Camino!
 
#4
Sil, thank you for reminding me about the fact that the original camino has really been a path of mass, not of solitude! Burgos 32 albergues... well... that was really something!

Tyrrek, you must be right, other caminos will slowly get better infrastructure due to growing interest, and vice versa, so maybe one day for example VdlP will be similarly crowded as Camino Frances was 2006 (I have no other baseline), and maybe the Tunnel Route will be similar to Camino Primitivo 2007 and so on.

How long will the interest on camino(s) grow like it has during the last 10 years, nobody knows. But it really seems that it isn´t any kind of a short-time fad, as so many other things nowadays seem to be :D
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#5
Such a good question and I agree with Sil. The Camino has been imtentionally promoted as a "tourist" pilgrimage espeially by the Xunta in Galicia and since 1994 and not surprisingly people will try to take advantage of pilgrims, some economically, some in other ways not so overt. There will be those who will exploit, cheat, steal, and those who will appear as angels along the road. Just like the medieval days of pilgrimage! The more the merrier? Maybe. Certainly a different Camuno to my first in 1999 and I have to say I would not walk the Frances again as it would dilute that experience and make it, well, perhaps commonplace is not the right word but it is the one which springs to mind.
On the other hand, it was Camino Frances, Ruta de la Plata, and for the very hardy The Norte, Primitivo and Portuguese (almost no refugios at all) or stay home. Now you have so many other pristine routes to choose from. The accommodation might be iffy and the stages long, but the experience is perhaps more "spiritual"? (For a writer I sure am having trouble with selecting the right words today!)
Case in point is how this Forum has grown in terms of topics (numbers too)!
I hope to walk one day with my granddaughter now just two. I am not worried that the Camino will have changed unrecognizably by then.
I might though come to think of it... :!:
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#6
I can see where people hanker after a different, more solitudinous experience, but I will keep walking the Camino Frances until I can't put one foot in front of the other!

After walking most of this route 5 times, I have made good friends with a Pension owner in Pamplona, with Maria Medel at the Felisa table outside Logroño, with Maria Antonia in Estella and with many others all along the route. I am always excited to spend a few hours or even a day with them.
I adore the different landscapes and look forward to revisitng special places that hold precious memories. I want to hug that same tree again, attend mass in the same church, sing at supper in the same albergue, marvel at the same stunning views. To me it is the most magical, spiritual, traditional Jacobean route of all and it keeps calling me back - and it is like a homecoming for me.
When I read Linda Davidson's book I realise just how little I know about the Camino Frances, and how many places I still have to discover. I just hope I have the health, energy and financial wherewithal to continue walking this route for many years to come.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#7
A pilgrimage will always be what you make it. If people irritate you, then you will be irritated. If new bars and albergues at higher prices make you feel exploited, then you will be exploited. You can be as miserable as you let yourself be. Sillydoll is right in why she keeps walking the Camino Frances; it is the same each time in the old ways, while quite different in new ways.

Nostalgia can keep you from entering the future. I personally try to avoid that. 8)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#8
sillydoll said:
I can see where people hanker after a different, more solitudinous experience, but I will keep walking the Camino Frances until I can't put one foot in front of the other!

After walking most of this route 5 times, I have made good friends with a Pension owner in Pamplona, with Maria Medel at the Felisa table outside Logroño, with Maria Antonia in Estella and with many others all along the route. I am always excited to spend a few hours or even a day with them.
I adore the different landscapes and look forward to revisitng special places that hold precious memories. I want to hug that same tree again, attend mass in the same church, sing at supper in the same albergue, marvel at the same stunning views. To me it is the most magical, spiritual, traditional Jacobean route of all and it keeps calling me back - and it is like a homecoming for me.
When I read Linda Davidson's book I realise just how little I know about the Camino Frances, and how many places I still have to discover. I just hope I have the health, energy and financial wherewithal to continue walking this route for many years to come.
I agree with Sil.

I have walked the Camino Frances 7 times since 2004 from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago and on to Finisterre; my reasons are many. Now I know the path very well and have many Camino friends along that way such as certain clergy, hospitaleros, restaurant owners, barmen, etc. Memories of their gracious past kindnesses - smiles, hugs, water, conversation, and help - keep calling me back. Even the landscape has become reassuring over the years. Certain trees, curves and vistas "belong to me". Although the terrain may have been the same the actual realities of each Camino have greatly varied. Each began with both anticipation and trepidation as I wondered how it all would go, but each pilgrimage developed its own rich mix of old friends and new, realities of weather, stamina and health and, of course, philosophical musings and sincere thanksgiving.

My reasons include giving thanks for each day lived and for my life which enables such a journey. Walking alone day after day I ponder varied aspects of the thousand-year history of this beloved route as well as recall several quotations which help define my personal creed. "But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity..." "I will walk in liberty for I seek thy precepts." Psalm 26:11 and 119:45 "No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." Buddha

Why another Camino?
One answer is "le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas/ the heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing." Pascal, Les Pensées

For those who ask why I do this at my age? My answer is why not?
"what then? shall we sit idly down and say the night has come; it is no longer day? The night hath not yet come;...For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day." Longfellow, Morituri Salutamus

Long may I be able to do so, but as age and time eventually take their toll hopefully my personal memories will endure. Physically I may not be there, but sentimentally as long as I live I will always wear my shell. And whenever my life may end it is reassuring to hope that this beloved route will continue throughout the centuries to come.

Margaret
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#9
When I have finished a Camino I live in anticipation of the next one, whenever that might be. As for returning to the same route, Margaret and I seem to have a lot in common with Nobel Prize winner, Jose Saramago who wrote In “Journey to Portugal”:
'The journey is never over. Only travellers come to an end. The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see the crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over them again or add fresh ones alongside them. You have to start the journey anew. Always. The traveler sets out once more."
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#10
You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see the crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before.
If you walk a second camino expecting to recreate the first one, you set yourself up for disappointment. You can read about that repeatedly in the Forum. I go each time expecting a new camino, and I am never disappointed. I see the old, and reminisce, but rarely stay in a place I have stayed before. I think you can always find something new.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#11
Quite right, Falcon. I have walked in May, and in June/July, and in September and each Camino has been different.

Last year I walk for three weeks from the end of May to mid June. Everything was green, the wildflowers and flowering fruit trees were spectacular, there were tight bunches of tiny grapes on the vines and the brambles were full of pink flowers. The large white and black European stork were busy, busy swooping over the green cereal fields, catching insects to feed their babies in the huge nests on top of church towers and steeple.

At the end of August - about 2.5 months later - I returned to walk exacrly the same route. It was like a different country! The brambles were heavy with fruit, the cherry trees were laden, figs, nuts, apples, pears and big fat quince on every tree. The crereals had been harvested and some of the fields plowed. There were gangs of workers picking grapes in every vineyard along the way and the storks' nests were empty.

Both seasons are beautiful, both have their gifts. I'm going back again next May but this time only to Galicia where I'll lead a group of not-so-able pilgrims on a Slow Camino from Barbadelo to Santiago over 15 days. I can't wait!
 
#12
sillydoll said:
Jose Saramago who wrote In “Journey to Portugal”:
'The journey is never over. Only travellers come to an end. The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see the crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over them again or add fresh ones alongside them. You have to start the journey anew. Always. The traveler sets out once more."
So beautiful, thank you for this quote!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#13
I hope my future holds a camino where I stop in EVERY bar for a cafe con leche, even the ones only a few hundred meters apart! It will be a wired camino, physically slow, but very energetic. :D
 
#14
for those of you who have done the same route multiple times, have you found that the interest in returning to the camino replaces your interest in visiting other countries or do you also still travel to other areas for first time adventures as well?

does the camino encourage other travel to other countries or draw you back time and time again?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#15
I wasn't much of a traveller before I started walking and hiking. I was also raising a family, working full time, didn't have much time or money to travel around the world.

When I was planning on walking the Coast to Coast in England in 2000 - my first overseas trip for 17 years and my first 'Big Walk', foot and mouth disease broke out and we weren't sure if we would be able to walk the CtoC. So, I started planning on walking 320km of the Camino instead. Once I got into that, the call was very strong and in 2001 I walked the Camino Frances for the first time.

In 2010 I visited Russia with my sister and spent most of my time looking for signs of Santiago! Found Yaakhov but not our Santiago! I have tried other walks - the Via Turonensis - also a Camino but nothing like the one in Spain - the Via francigena to Rome, also not anything like the Camino Frances. I've walked the Aragones from Lourdes and the Camino Ingles but the Camino Frances is the one that keeps calling me back.

There are many great hikes in South Africa - like the Eden to Addo http://www.edentoaddo.co.za but when I think of paying R21 800 for a local hike I always think "I could do a Camino for that!"

So, yes. Walking the Camino has replaced my interest in visiting other countries. I am planning on doing a walk/car trip on the Caminos so that I can do more detours and have time to wait for places to open that have been consistently closed when I've passed by.
Its not the hiking that attracts me so much as the Camino itself.
 
#16
for those of you who have done the same route multiple times, have you found that the interest in returning to the camino replaces your interest in visiting other countries or do you also still travel to other areas for first time adventures as well?
Although I have yet to do the same Camino twice (am relatively new to all this: Camino Francés 2010 and Via de la Plata 2011), the Camino bug has taken hold of me and yes, at this point I would rather be on the Camino than any other place! To such an extent that I have decided to return this summer to be a hospitalera as I am physically unable to walk it this year.

does the camino encourage other travel to other countries or draw you back time and time again?
I have done extensive travelling both as a student (studied in Spain and France) and in my adult years when I lived and worked in Paris, Geneva and Luxembourg. In the past 20 years living in The Netherlands I have travelled often to Spain and France in addition to trips to Africa and Asia but the Camino is different. It pulls you in and doesn't let go (or rather I won't let it go :wink: )!.

When I came to the hard realization that I should/could not walk this year (was hospitalized and operated on following my last Camino due to knee and pelvic fractures) my desire to return was so strong that I briefly toyed with the idea of biking the Levante or the Norte. This was how much I wanted to return! After posting here on the Forum and reading blogs I realized that this was not an option during my rehab period. What then? I went back and forth between going to India for a yoga course or returning to Spain as a hospitalera. In the end I listened to my heart...and the Camino won once again!
 
#17
LT-
It is always good when we follow our heart isn't it?
It sounds like you have lived a life of adventure :) and that you keep adding to it.

Just from your kindness in reaching out re: my camino travel this year- I think that
is a heart that will bless many if you choose to be a hospitalera.
I think of one day, it was so hot and the friends I was walking with wanted to stop- I felt that if I stopped, I might not continue- I was so exhausted- the night before I was unable to sleep as EVERY
person in the room snored - I sat at the table with them and laid my head down- and soon there was someone who came and rubbed my back like a mom would do with a child- and I heard this woman speaking Spanish near my ear- I looked up at her and started to cry- she hugged me til I let go-- I needed someone at that moment-- it was the hospitalera from the alburgue by the cafe we were sitting at- she saw me and came over, and my friends said she was saying "do not give up-- the Camino will help you- God will give you strength- the Camino will not let you faint."
Kindness goes a very long way.
You never know the difference you may make in someones life because you have walked before.
<3
- Mia
 
#18
Thanks so much for you kind words Mia! Your post reminded me of a quote by Leo Buscaglia:

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

I very much look forward to seeing the Camino from the "other side". In a little over a month I am off to the Albergue Perroquial San Juan Bautista in Grañón!

And the future of the Camino? I am not at all worried...just look at this wonderful community!

Cheers,
LT
p.s. Thanks Sil for posting Saramago's quote. I have snatched it and posted it elsewhere!
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
#19
sillydoll said:
'The journey is never over. Only travellers come to an end. The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see the crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over them again or add fresh ones alongside them. You have to start the journey anew. Always. The traveler sets out once more."
I really love this and it something that I say about being in Galicia. The walks are never the same. One week these flowers command my attention, the next it is those. (Foxgloves right now...how appropriate). If only we could approach life in the same way...
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 
Camino(s) past & future
May, 2017; return, leaving SJPP May 24, 2018
#20
I agree with Sil.

I have walked the Camino Frances 7 times since 2004 from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago and on to Finisterre; my reasons are many. Now I know the path very well and have many Camino friends along that way such as certain clergy, hospitaleros, restaurant owners, barmen, etc. Memories of their gracious past kindnesses - smiles, hugs, water, conversation, and help - keep calling me back. Even the landscape has become reassuring over the years. Certain trees, curves and vistas "belong to me". Although the terrain may have been the same the actual realities of each Camino have greatly varied. Each began with both anticipation and trepidation as I wondered how it all would go, but each pilgrimage developed its own rich mix of old friends and new, realities of weather, stamina and health and, of course, philosophical musings and sincere thanksgiving.

My reasons include giving thanks for each day lived and for my life which enables such a journey. Walking alone day after day I ponder varied aspects of the thousand-year history of this beloved route as well as recall several quotations which help define my personal creed. "But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity..." "I will walk in liberty for I seek thy precepts." Psalm 26:11 and 119:45 "No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." Buddha

Why another Camino?
One answer is "le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas/ the heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing." Pascal, Les Pensées

For those who ask why I do this at my age? My answer is why not?
"what then? shall we sit idly down and say the night has come; it is no longer day? The night hath not yet come;...For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day." Longfellow, Morituri Salutamus

Long may I be able to do so, but as age and time eventually take their toll hopefully my personal memories will endure. Physically I may not be there, but sentimentally as long as I live I will always wear my shell. And whenever my life may end it is reassuring to hope that this beloved route will continue throughout the centuries to come.

Margaret
Wow! How well written. I love your thoughts. A year after celebrating my 75th birthday on the Camino, I am headed back in 9 days, for another completely different experience---doing exactly the same thing. Some would say, "Why?" I say, "Why not?" If it feels good, why stop? Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#21
Wow! How well written. I love your thoughts. A year after celebrating my 75th birthday on the Camino, I am headed back in 9 days, for another completely different experience---doing exactly the same thing. Some would say, "Why?" I say, "Why not?" If it feels good, why stop? Buen Camino.
Yes, some posts stand the test of time. Many words of support and encouragement. And where are you, now, Heloise? It did take me a minute to check the date of your original post!
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
#22
Regardless of how one walks the Camino, it is truly a remarkable experience for many.
Personally, I have not repeated any route and had walked routes with many pilgrims and also routes where I don't see anyone for days. Every experience is a treasure.
If one thinks that only Camino Frances is special (which it is of course for me), I just came back from Camino Portuguese where one Italian I had walked with for 2 weeks just posted it on her Facebook just yesterday. I am quite touched by it. It goes something like this...

"I was waiting at the train station back in Italy for the final transport home. An old man walked up to me and engaged me in a conversation. He asked if I had just walked the Cammino de Santiago. I said yes, is it because of the way I am dressed? He said he didn't notice her dressing when he saw her from afar, just her face. It looks is exactly like his late wife when she came back from her Camino."

The Camino will always be there, now or in twenty years time....
 
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