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The joy of sharing the last 100 km

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I have read posts on this forum critical of pilgrims who "only" walk from Sarria, or suggesting that the Camino Frances was spoilt for them by the huge increase in numbers after Sarria, or that people who use assistance to make a Camino are somehow not true pilgrims.

This group brought everything together for me. We came across them outside Portomarine. Watching them was joyful in the deepest sense.



To my delight, when Robyn and I were doing a rooftop tour of the Cathedral after we reached Santiago, we saw them arriving.

image.jpeg
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
@Kanga ! When ever the last 100 are brought up someone posts one of these pictures noone can object to. Perhaps the catedral could say yes to 100 in these cases, but for the rest? 2-3 days walking hardly makes a pilgrimage. Even 4. It hardly puts any one into the groove. Certificate chasers.
 
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wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone's own beliefs.
No where does it say anything about how many days constitutes a pilgrimage, some pilgrimages in Ireland last about a day and that does not make them any less of a pilgrimage.
I think its time we moved past the " I'm a better pilgrim than you because I walked more days" attitude.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone's own beliefs.
No where does it say anything about how many days constitutes a pilgrimage, some pilgrimages in Ireland last about a day and that does not make them any less of a pilgrimage.
I think its time we moved past the " I'm a better pilgrim than you because I walked more days" attitude.
Never said I was a better pilgrim, in fact when asked here in another thread a few months ago I clearly stated I feel I am a tourist, but a respectful one others who feel they are on a pilgrimage. Read Christophe Rufin's Immortelle Randonnée and his take on the impact long distance walking for days and days has on the brain.
 
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Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Year of past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
I have read posts on this forum critical of pilgrims who "only" walk from Sarria, or suggesting that the Camino Frances was spoilt for them by the huge increase in numbers after Sarria, or that people who use assistance to make a Camino are somehow not true pilgrims.

This group brought everything together for me. We came across them outside Portomarine. Watching them was joyful in the deepest sense.



To my delight, when Robyn and I were doing a rooftop tour of the Cathedral after we reached Santiago, we saw them arriving.

View attachment 21906
Thank you for sharing the video.
Wish you well, Peter.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Jill I have to plead guilty to being one of those who had a less than "welcoming" attitude to the "100km Pilgrims". However upon reflection I now realise that my Camino was "mine" and theirs was "theirs" and it should matter not whether I rode a cycle 650 km (from Pamplona) while they walked from Sarria or Samos. BTW some of Camino trail from Samos to Sarria and from Sarria to Portomarin involved some the roughest conditions I encountered during the whole Camino. So to your "hero pilgrims" at the top of this post - a very sincere Buen Camino. Cheers Mike
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone's own beliefs.
No where does it say anything about how many days constitutes a pilgrimage, some pilgrimages in Ireland last about a day and that does not make them any less of a pilgrimage.
I think its time we moved past the " I'm a better pilgrim than you because I walked more days" attitude.

Indeed Wayfarer, here in Belgium we also have pilgrimages that take only one day ( not difficult if you can walk the whole of this country from west to east in seven days :) ) and they are in every sense of the word a true pilgrimage for those who walk it.
 

GlenysP

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port "April 2011" and plan to walk Camino Frances from SJPdP "September 2015"
I have read posts on this forum critical of pilgrims who "only" walk from Sarria, or suggesting that the Camino Frances was spoilt for them by the huge increase in numbers after Sarria, or that people who use assistance to make a Camino are somehow not true pilgrims.

This group brought everything together for me. We came across them outside Portomarine. Watching them was joyful in the deepest sense.



To my delight, when Robyn and I were doing a rooftop tour of the Cathedral after we reached Santiago, we saw them arriving.

View attachment 21906
I am in awe of this group. And also for the family, friends and Carers that are there too. My husband and I have just finished (our 2nd Camino) to raise awareness about Younger Onset Dementia from SJPdP. He was diagnosed in his 50's. The support from our new Camino friends each day was overwhelming. The distance is not always as important as the personal pilgrimage and achievements.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
@Kanga ! When ever the last 100 are brought up someone posts one of these pictures noone can object to. Perhaps the catedral could say yes to 100 in these cases, but for the rest? 2-3 days walking hardly makes a pilgrimage. Even 4. It hardly puts any one into the groove. Certificate chasers.
Ouch! Please don't start this nonsence again about them and us.It does not reflect well on a camino walker. Many people in Ireland climb Croag Patrick our "holy mountain" if you like in one day and that is their pilgrimage. 100 km. for people who are not used to walking is a long, hard walk and yes,they deserve their compestela at the end and why not! We met a young man in Sarria who only 5 days holiday to walk to Santiago. By the 3rd day he was hobbling along with muscle pain and swallowing analgesia by the bucket load,but at least he was determined to finish it. And he did! His excitement was wonderful to behold. So lighten up about a joyful post by Kangaroo and the joy felt there! Best wishes Annette
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I have read posts on this forum critical of pilgrims who "only" walk from Sarria, or suggesting that the Camino Frances was spoilt for them by the huge increase in numbers after Sarria, or that people who use assistance to make a Camino are somehow not true pilgrims.

This group brought everything together for me. We came across them outside Portomarine. Watching them was joyful in the deepest sense.



To my delight, when Robyn and I were doing a rooftop tour of the Cathedral after we reached Santiago, we saw them arriving.

View attachment 21906
Kanga,so so so sorry. I just read my post and realised what I had called you.So embarrassed. Can I blame this predictive I pad please. You made a lovely post,so enjoy your trip.best wishes. Annette
 

Arminius

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances may 2016
I have read posts on this forum critical of pilgrims who "only" walk from Sarria, or suggesting that the Camino Frances was spoilt for them by the huge increase in numbers after Sarria, or that people who use assistance to make a Camino are somehow not true pilgrims.

This group brought everything together for me. We came across them outside Portomarine. Watching them was joyful in the deepest sense.



To my delight, when Robyn and I were doing a rooftop tour of the Cathedral after we reached Santiago, we saw them arriving.

View attachment 21906
Nice to see those happy faces !! Beautiful moments for these wonderful people. Kanga, thanks for sharing this with us.
 

Gerry 7

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September "2015" Camino Frances, St. Jean to Santiago
I have read posts on this forum critical of pilgrims who "only" walk from Sarria, or suggesting that the Camino Frances was spoilt for them by the huge increase in numbers after Sarria, or that people who use assistance to make a Camino are somehow not true pilgrims.

This group brought everything together for me. We came across them outside Portomarine. Watching them was joyful in the deepest sense.



To my delight, when Robyn and I were doing a rooftop tour of the Cathedral after we reached Santiago, we saw them arriving.

View attachment 21906
We just finished our pilgrimage to Santiago having started at St. Jean and I ahve just finished reading some of the posts on this thread. Overall, I fully agree that people walking the last 100k are doing their own pilgrimage and I especially see the relevance for those who are disabled or who are supporting such a group. It is also true that some people do not have a lot of time so can only do a part of the camino. But if so, why not walk the first part of the camino for 5 days in the hope that you might be able to return and do more another time? We met so many people doing just that. Perhaps if we were not awarded a compostella but simply had our credencials stamped with the last stamp, were given a pat on the head and told "well done" we might find less people doing only the last 100k. I know this sounds cynical-it is not meant to be, but despite my best efforts , I did find the last 100k more noisy, more tourist like with guided groups and busus filling the lanes and roads. Also, there were often much higher prices for the same service in many bars and some albergues. We did the St Cuthbert's Way last year, only 100k, but we did all of it. I will walk the Camino Portugese but I will do all of it because I am fit enough to do it and, where possible, I believe it is the right thing to do. The walk up Croag Patrick takes a day, then that is what it takes. You walk the pilgimage route that is there- no more and if possible, no less. As Kanga highlighted with her pictures, we also saw so many pilgrims who were struggling in adversity and who were truly inspiring. Yet they were still walking the camino-all of it. These are fairly immediate post camino thoughts and reflections-I may change my mind in the future. I am minded to recall the parable Jesus told about the master hiring labourers to work in the fields and paying the same wage to those who had worked perhaps half a day as he did to those who had worked the whole day. There might be something for me to consider there. To all, however far you walked-Buen Camino and well done.
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Ouch! Please don't start this nonsence again about them and us.It does not reflect well on a camino walker. Many people in Ireland climb Croag Patrick our "holy mountain" if you like in one day and that is their pilgrimage. 100 km. for people who are not used to walking is a long, hard walk and yes,they deserve their compestela at the end and why not! We met a young man in Sarria who only 5 days holiday to walk to Santiago. By the 3rd day he was hobbling along with muscle pain and swallowing analgesia by the bucket load,but at least he was determined to finish it. And he did! His excitement was wonderful to behold. So lighten up about a joyful post by Kangaroo and the joy felt there! Best wishes Annette
So I'll choose to go up that hill, but only the last 50 meters and call it a day, just because, why not... I only have 3 weeks a year to walk, so I have only ended up in Santiago twice out of dive times, going back to keep walking the following year. In a pilgrimage the process is what matters, not the destination without the process. And the process is about what it does to your heart and mind until you reach your destination.
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
I have read posts on this forum critical of pilgrims who "only" walk from Sarria, or suggesting that the Camino Frances was spoilt for them by the huge increase in numbers after Sarria, or that people who use assistance to make a Camino are somehow not true pilgrims.

This group brought everything together for me. We came across them outside Portomarine. Watching them was joyful in the deepest sense.



To my delight, when Robyn and I were doing a rooftop tour of the Cathedral after we reached Santiago, we saw them arriving.

View attachment 21906

This is the best video and best photo, Kanga! How beautiful is that! Everyone in this group of pilgrims should be so proud of themselves and happy to see Santiago. They made it! Yay them!
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
What "all of it" means for one person is different for another. The camino defies confining parameters - it is not a one size fits all.

Exactly.
The Camino starts when you decide you want to walk to Santiago--then put one foot then the other out your door and start walking. That could be from Paris or Moscow or SJPP or Sarria or one of the suburbs of Santiago (which of course, with the last one, means you aren't interested in getting the Compostela. Not everyone is).
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
So I'll choose to go up that hill, but only the last 50 meters and call it a day, just because, why not... I only have 3 weeks a year to walk, so I have only ended up in Santiago twice out of dive times, going back to keep walking the following year. In a pilgrimage the process is what matters, not the destination without the process. And the process is about what it does to your heart and mind until you reach your destination.
I'm afraid I don't understand the constant Criticism of how or why people choose to undertake their pilgrimage or indeed what distance they walk. And who has decided what this "process"is for each individual anyway. Sounds very controlling to me. Thank heavens we are all so different and if individuals are happy and fulfilled with the last 100km then who are we to judge. As they say "one mans meat is another mans poison" think about it. Best wishes.
 
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MichaelSG

Retired member
Year of past OR future Camino
Not enough
We just finished our pilgrimage to Santiago having started at St. Jean and I ahve just finished reading some of the posts on this thread. Overall, I fully agree that people walking the last 100k are doing their own pilgrimage and I especially see the relevance for those who are disabled or who are supporting such a group. It is also true that some people do not have a lot of time so can only do a part of the camino. But if so, why not walk the first part of the camino for 5 days in the hope that you might be able to return and do more another time? We met so many people doing just that. Perhaps if we were not awarded a compostella but simply had our credencials stamped with the last stamp, were given a pat on the head and told "well done" we might find less people doing only the last 100k. I know this sounds cynical-it is not meant to be, but despite my best efforts , I did find the last 100k more noisy, more tourist like with guided groups and busus filling the lanes and roads. Also, there were often much higher prices for the same service in many bars and some albergues. We did the St Cuthbert's Way last year, only 100k, but we did all of it. I will walk the Camino Portugese but I will do all of it because I am fit enough to do it and, where possible, I believe it is the right thing to do. The walk up Croag Patrick takes a day, then that is what it takes. You walk the pilgimage route that is there- no more and if possible, no less. As Kanga highlighted with her pictures, we also saw so many pilgrims who were struggling in adversity and who were truly inspiring. Yet they were still walking the camino-all of it. These are fairly immediate post camino thoughts and reflections-I may change my mind in the future. I am minded to recall the parable Jesus told about the master hiring labourers to work in the fields and paying the same wage to those who had worked perhaps half a day as he did to those who had worked the whole day. There might be something for me to consider there. To all, however far you walked-Buen Camino and well done.
Keep praying. I am sure you will get it eventually. Everyone is doing "all of it". It's just that we have different "alls".

BTW, when you do the Caminho Portuguese, are you planning to walk from Porto, Lisbon, Faro or somewhere else? I walked from Lisbon because my time and resources were limited to a month.
 

GlenysP

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port "April 2011" and plan to walk Camino Frances from SJPdP "September 2015"
I have read posts on this forum critical of pilgrims who "only" walk from Sarria, or suggesting that the Camino Frances was spoilt for them by the huge increase in numbers after Sarria, or that people who use assistance to make a Camino are somehow not true pilgrims.

This group brought everything together for me. We came across them outside Portomarine. Watching them was joyful in the deepest sense.



To my delight, when Robyn and I were doing a rooftop tour of the Cathedral after we reached Santiago, we saw them arriving.

View attachment 21906
THANKYOU for sharing the beautiful video of so many happy pilgrims.
 

julie

Active Member
We just finished our pilgrimage to Santiago having started at St. Jean and I ahve just finished reading some of the posts on this thread. Overall, I fully agree that people walking the last 100k are doing their own pilgrimage and I especially see the relevance for those who are disabled or who are supporting such a group. It is also true that some people do not have a lot of time so can only do a part of the camino. But if so, why not walk the first part of the camino for 5 days in the hope that you might be able to return and do more another time?
Whether you believe the relics in the Cathedral to be those of St James or not, the Camino is a pilgrimage to his shrine in Santiago de Compostela thus it has an end-point. It does not however have a beginning therefore you can't just do the "the first part".

Pilgrimage is a state of mind (used merely as a turn of phrase, substitute faith or any other word of your choice) and, as such, being on pilgrimage means different things to different people. Pilgrimage per se is not predicated on distance, that is a construct that some individuals chose to place on it. It's an ego thing which seems out of place on a spiritual journey.
 

susanawee

susanawee
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone's own beliefs.
No where does it say anything about how many days constitutes a pilgrimage, some pilgrimages in Ireland last about a day and that does not make them any less of a pilgrimage.
I think its time we moved past the " I'm a better pilgrim than you because I walked more days" attitude.
I SO agree with your words above Wayfarer......hi time everyone stopped thinking that because 'I walked more Ks than you, so therefore I am the better person and therefore I am entitled to Judge You"...... susanawee.
 
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don88

Member
I walked Sarria to Santiago last May. I walked only as far as my body would allow each day. It actually took me 13 days for my pilgrimage. I definitely got into a "groove" of walking, eating and sleeping. I met pilgrims every day whom I will never forget. I enjoyed the walk so much I am coming back this next April and will start in Leon this time. The feeling I had entering Cathedral Square in Santiago was very intense. Something I would like to feel again.
It really doesn't matter to me what any other person thinks of me. I know I am a pilgrim, and will be one for the rest of my life.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
I walked Sarria to Santiago last May. I walked only as far as my body would allow each day. It actually took me 13 days for my pilgrimage. I definitely got into a "groove" of walking, eating and sleeping. I met pilgrims every day whom I will never forget. I enjoyed the walk so much I am coming back this next April and will start in Leon this time. The feeling I had entering Cathedral Square in Santiago was very intense. Something I would like to feel again.
It really doesn't matter to me what any other person thinks of me. I know I am a pilgrim, and will be one for the rest of my life.
Blessings!
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Year of past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
I walked Sarria to Santiago last May. I walked only as far as my body would allow each day. It actually took me 13 days for my pilgrimage. I definitely got into a "groove" of walking, eating and sleeping. I met pilgrims every day whom I will never forget. I enjoyed the walk so much I am coming back this next April and will start in Leon this time. The feeling I had entering Cathedral Square in Santiago was very intense. Something I would like to feel again.
It really doesn't matter to me what any other person thinks of me. I know I am a pilgrim, and will be one for the rest of my life.
Hi, you are so wright . And as you say , you will be a pilgrim for life.
Wish you well and a Buen Camino, Peter.
 

Siom

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plan to walk Camino Frances around Sep 15
Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of time/holidays to walk the whole CF. Most of my friends from SE Asia only have 14 days annual leave. Even if they do manage to accumulate 2 years worth (28 days) as you can see they would probably have to cover quite long distance per day to complete the whole journey. Not to mention the flight time (approx 8-12 hrs). So, if they do want to walk and can only do so for 10 days and start from Sarria, who am I to say they aren't pilgrims.
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
You can go on the bus if you want, it's still a pilgrimage. Arriving on foot is optional, and the distance you walk only matters if you want the piece of paper. Plenty of pilgrims go to Lourdes, but I don't see many walking there.
Of course, if what you want is a sporting challenge, then that's your choice. In that case, it doesn't matter how far or fast you walk, then it isn't (ahem...) a pilgrimage, is it? Unless it turns into one on the way....
 

ShellsG

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sept/Oct. 2015)
I walked into Santiago on Oct. 8 and have to say I loved the last 100km. It came close to being my favourite walking time. I didn't encounter hoards of unruly pilgrims at all ! There was one group of young people walking and playing music, they had an older german gentleman walking with them who said "the youth must be allowed to walk as well and yet enjoy themselves". They were the only group I encountered. Much of the time I felt alone on the trail with very few other pilgrims visible. I ran into many that I had met along the way and it was so nice to see them and share a final drink and conversation. This despite the three days of cold, sideways rain from Sarria to Melide !!!
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
I walked the last 100 km June/July 2010 and pleased/proud to have done so.

My planning started some 8 years before (in way down under). In July and August 2010 I had two family weddings in Europe. And I had another, even more important (for me), pilgrimage of visiting the WW1 battlefields where New Zealand troops had fought and died in relatively vast numbers.

My first "face to face" encounter with the Camino was a Saturday morning in Burgos where I saw people with back packs cross the street in front of me and ask directions of locals. I drove to Samos and on Sunday followed the route as best I could and see wave after wave of people of all ages, shapes and sizes leaving hostels. That was the clincher.

Later that day, as I was racing around Santiago making arrangements, I pulled a muscle. While that mended itself over the next two days, on the way, I encountered many kindnesses from passing strangers.

After nearly three weeks on my pilgrimage(s) I took four days, spent mainly in and around the Cathedral, to wind down.

So, folks do what they can do. And the last 100 km on this occasion may be the culmination for them of many 100 km trips done earlier or, as in my case, other pilgrimages.

ka pai te ara tapu hemi
good way of holy james
buen camino
 

mdelag

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
**CAMINO FRANCES: LEON-SANTIAGO sept. (2015)
**CAMINO FRANCES SJPP-SANTIAGO (2019)
Hi !!! Kanga it is really a great video, thanks a lot. We walked from Leon to Santiago, stared walking 18-20 km per day, enjoying every minute of it, the last 2 days I had a very sore ankle, had to walk slowly but those days were so so of introspection....Tried not no pay attention to my ankle and when we stopped to eat at la porta de Santiago, the last hours of the last day, a woman with crutches enters the tiny restaurant, smiles to everyone and sits without any sign of pain, that was a lesson for us !!! The Camino is what "we" want it to be, everybody starts for a reason and ends with a lesson or several lessons....so I would give this advice..."walk what you can, walk listening to the Camino, smile to people, wish the
BUEN CAMINO, no judging others....and you will end up feeling good, and with a great flavor about your journey" ....BUEN CAMINO TO ALL !!!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Hi !!! Kanga it is really a great video, thanks a lot. We walked from Leon to Santiago, stared walking 18-20 km per day, enjoying every minute of it, the last 2 days I had a very sore ankle, had to walk slowly but those days were so so of introspection....Tried not no pay attention to my ankle and when we stopped to eat at la porta de Santiago, the last hours of the last day, a woman with crutches enters the tiny restaurant, smiles to everyone and sits without any sign of pain, that was a lesson for us !!! The Camino is what "we" want it to be, everybody starts for a reason and ends with a lesson or several lessons....so I would give this advice..."walk what you can, walk listening to the Camino, smile to people, wish the
BUEN CAMINO, no judging others....and you will end up feeling good, and with a great flavor about your journey" ....BUEN CAMINO TO ALL !!!
Well done. So glad you had so much enjoyment on your journey and yes when you smile at others,both you and they feel better and uplifted.
 
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Gerry 7

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September "2015" Camino Frances, St. Jean to Santiago
Keep praying. I am sure you will get it eventually. Everyone is doing "all of it". It's just that we have different "alls".

BTW, when you do the Caminho Portuguese, are you planning to walk from Porto, Lisbon, Faro or somewhere else? I walked from Lisbon because my time and resources were limited to a month.
Hi Michael,
Thanks for the reply. I do pray -and I do already "get it" as to why our pilgrimages are so different. I suppose my comments are part of my background as a hillwalker. If I was going to do the Pennine Way or the West highland Way I would start at the beginning so if I want to walk the CF-I should start at the beginning-I know that this is open to interpretation but there is a bit of an established tradition. As for the Portuguese- I will probably do that n two years time, and again, if fit and healthy will walk the furthest distance I can-is that from Faro? Luckily, I usually have no time constraints as I am retired.
Kind Regards and Buen Camino
 

Draganban

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (September 2015)
I have read posts on this forum critical of pilgrims who "only" walk from Sarria, or suggesting that the Camino Frances was spoilt for them by the huge increase in numbers after Sarria, or that people who use assistance to make a Camino are somehow not true pilgrims.

This group brought everything together for me. We came across them outside Portomarine. Watching them was joyful in the deepest sense.

There are no "true", "real", "fake" or "false" pilgrims - there are just pilgrims. The path belongs to all and each does it in their own way, with each bringing their own paradoxes, idiosyncrasies, personal mannerisms and character - I find those who judge do themselves and others a great disservice. The camino is not a holiday or a private meditation it is a shared experience in real time which offers the great rewards in return for some physical effort and occasional discomfort. The quote from Henry James can be a helpful in dealing with the great change of ambience for the final 100 :

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
 
A

Anemone del Camino

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There are no "true", "real", "fake" or "false" pilgrims - there are just pilgrims. The path belongs to all and each does it in their own way, with each bringing their own paradoxes, idiosyncrasies, personal mannerisms and character - I find those who judge do themselves and others a great disservice. The camino is not a holiday or a private meditation it is a shared experience in real time which offers the great rewards in return for some physical effort and occasional discomfort. The quote from Henry James can be a helpful in dealing with the great change of ambience for the final 100 :

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
Ah," physical effort and occasional discomfort". What if you you are not making an effort and quit at the first sign of Discomfort? And What if you are walking one of the léser known routes, walking alone for days and days, not sharing your experience?
 
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Ah," physical effort and occasional discomfort". What if you you are not making an effort and quit at the first sign of Discomfort? And What if you are walking one of the léser known routes, walking alone for days and days, not sharing your experience?
Some lovely,kind uplifting,encouraging,and joyful comments have been posted on this thread and I wonder if the above comment is appropriate.it would be a shame if this thread was stopped by the moderators as so many new members to the forum need encouragement for this journey and need that encouragement for however far they walk or cycle and those of us who embark on this journey will have different pain thresholds so as the man says"be kind" best wishes Annette
 

SabineP

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Ah," physical effort and occasional discomfort". What if you you are not making an effort and quit at the first sign of Discomfort? And What if you are walking one of the léser known routes, walking alone for days and days, not sharing your experience?

Because everyone's discomfort level is different. I'm lucky to be blessed with a good health ( minus occasional flares of a certain type of rheuma ) So I might be able to endure more.
Other people like this Belgian group of chronically ill people could only handle the last 100 k of the Frances.
http://pelgrimstochtziekenzorg.blogspot.be/

Ok I am out of here seeing it only brings me a " mental discomfort " trying to explain why I think this whole 100 kilometres issue is a non issue....
Peace !
 
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Jill I have to plead guilty to being one of those who had a less than "welcoming" attitude to the "100km Pilgrims". However upon reflection I now realise that my Camino was "mine" and theirs was "theirs" and it should matter not whether I rode a cycle 650 km (from Pamplona) while they walked from Sarria or Samos. BTW some of Camino trail from Samos to Sarria and from Sarria to Portomarin involved some the roughest conditions I encountered during the whole Camino. So to your "hero pilgrims" at the top of this post - a very sincere Buen Camino. Cheers Mike

Rode a bike! And only from Pamplona! Blah........... ;)
 
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:eek:
And the purpose of your comment is?

Just a tease Mike, given the topic of the thread ;) Pommie sense of humour....sorry

The point being, we start where we want to start, we ride, walk or crawl. It's our Camino.
And we should let no one judge. Or rather we shouldn't even care! Because it's OUR Camino :)

If we worry about what others think, we are missing the point.
 
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ShellsG

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The one thing I did notice on the last 100 km is that people stopped talking to each other as we passed. No buen camino, no hola. Now this may have been because the day I started from Sarria the torrential rains started and lasted for 3 days and any words would have been lost in the sounds of the rain and the sloshing of feet. However, I missed it, I missed buen camino and hola ..... so I started greeting everyone with it. There were quite a few looks of surprise so I not sure what happens at Sarria. Maybe the pilgrims that have walked further are tired of greeting people.
 
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Draganban

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Ah," physical effort and occasional discomfort". What if you you are not making an effort and quit at the first sign of Discomfort? And What if you are walking one of the léser known routes, walking alone for days and days, not sharing your experience?

It seems to me you are trying to impose your criteria on others and this is not an elegant or fair thing to do. You are free to walk whatever path you want in any way you want and you may not always be a gift to the others with whom you share the path - each one of us can be a burden to others at times, even if we would like to believe otherwise. Personally I have an aversion to fundamentalists but I always try to respect their right to follow their path and understand their desire to live a very pure moment. I also dislike people who enter the dormitory at 23:00 and switch on the lights (yes I have seen it happen) but I also recognise my snoring may keep them awake later or those who get up early will wake them up at 05:30 - its all swings and roundabouts. This is what I mean when I suggest we need to be kind - in our understanding, our words and our actions. I hope you find peace and fraternity - these were two surprising gifts I received during my camino.
 
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The one thing I did notice on the last 100 km is that people stopped talking to each other as we passed. No buen camino, no hola. Now this may have been because the day I started from Sarria the torrential rains started and lasted for 3 days and any words would have been lost in the sounds of the rain and the sloshing of feet. However, I missed it, I missed buen camino and hola ..... so I started greeting everyone with it. There were quite a few looks of surprise so I not sure what happens at Sarria. Maybe the pilgrims that have walked further are tired of greeting people.

I can only speak from the very limited experience of 1 Camino.

I actually found people still very friendly.

But like all the others around me who started 'way back' in St Jean, I found my mindset may have set me apart. We were 'almost there' and eager to finish. It was the 'home stretch'. Which is kind of weird really when you think that a distance of 100 kms is still a fairly long walk. But many of my Camino 'Family' just powered on ahead to get to the end. I sensed a lot of them were not that keen to engage with all the Sarria newcomers. Which is not that surprising really. The 'long walkers' are tired by this stage.....

When you have spent 30+ days sharing experiences with fellow Pilgrims who you have come to know perhaps better than your own family members...........and you are 'almost home' there may not be much spare energy left to meet new people and have all those 'Day 1' conversations again that you left behind 30+ days ago.


As I was walking much slower, due to injury, I actually took 7 days to finish that last 100. So it was either a case of just putting my head down and ignoring the masses, or actively trying to engage and enjoy that final stage. I chose the latter.

Was it as enjoyable as the previous 700 km? No. It's a very different experience. If I had to 'score' it, I might give it 5/10

But was it still enjoyable? Yes. It just took a bit more effort to enjoy it :)

But seeing scenes like on the Video above? Wow..... That gives you a completely different perspective on the Sarria crowds. I had a small taste of that ............ and learnt a lot from meeting new people in those final days.
 
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Anemone del Camino

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It seems to me you are trying to impose your criteria on others and this is not an elegant or fair thing to do. You are free to walk whatever path you want in any way you want and you may not always be a gift to the others with whom you share the path - each one of us can be a burden to others at times, even if we would like to believe otherwise. Personally I have an aversion to fundamentalists but I always try to respect their right to follow their path and understand their desire to live a very pure moment. I also dislike people who enter the dormitory at 23:00 and switch on the lights (yes I have seen it happen) but I also recognise my snoring may keep them awake later or those who get up early will wake them up at 05:30 - its all swings and roundabouts. This is what I mean when I suggest we need to be kind - in our understanding, our words and our actions. I hope you find peace and fraternity - these were two surprising gifts I received during my camino.
Aren't you the one I quote, the one who mentioned The rewards of the camino,in exchnage for some effort and discomfort?
 

Dobs

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First of all let me put my cards on the table. 5 Camino Frances and a Portuguese with my wife. On the first one we followed the Brierley advise and took a bus into Burgos and regretted it ever since. We walk every step of the way and a few Finisterres and Muxias on top, all with our packs on our back. After the Portuguese we felt unfulfilled on arrival in Santiago compared to those who had obviously walked a full CF.

I do not have a problem with pilgims who start their walk after St Jean, or who walk from Sarria, or who walk with day packs. If you are injured and take a taxi, well OK. The significant word there is walk.

I do have a problem with those who do not walk, who bus or taxi along collecting stamps, who take up valuable space in albergues and pensions. Those delusional people who you see in minibuses and then again in the line waiting to collect their Compostella. Who probably frame it, hang it up at home and tell everyone that they walked the Camino. I have met them or seen them and they are a waste of Camino space. I do not hold with the "my Camino " , " their Camino " view. They have not walked so no Compostella.

Does it matter? Yes it does. It makes the Compostella worthless if you can get it riding a taxi from stamp to stamp. Do a pilgrimage on a bus by all means but don't go into the pilgrims office and tick the box that you have walked. The Compostella represents a hard won achievement, it is not a tourist's souvenir or something you obtain by lies.
 

Kanga

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Welcome to the forum @Dobs . I don't think anyone disagrees that obtaining the Compostela by cheating is plain silly. But the requirement is only that the pilgrim must have walked the last 100 km into Santiago. Nothing more.

Perhaps we can get back to my original post, the obvious joy of those disabled pilgrims, and take a moment to reflect gratefully on our own ability to walk.
 
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The well worn clothes, the complexion born of days, weeks and months walking in all weathers and the 1,000 yard stare were the first 'giveaways'.

Dropping into an available seat at the end of the table full of Pilgrims, slamming down a large mug of café con Leche a monologue of 'commentary' spilled out about short walkers, 'Tourigrinos' and those recently seen jumping in and out of taxis 'claiming' to be Pilgrims...........

Pausing to take breath ............ the newcomer remarked to no one in particular, but to anyone who was listening..............."Oh I'm Dobs by the way".

The other Pilgrims around the table smiled and 'as one' said "Hi Dobs, Buen Camino.....welcome to the Forum" ;)

Someone else had just joined the 'family'............

The Conversation then returned to the topic of a great video showing a group of Pilgrims sharing the joy of their journey .......
 
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Anemone del Camino

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First of all let me put my cards on the table. 5 Camino Frances and a Portuguese with my wife. On the first one we followed the Brierley advise and took a bus into Burgos and regretted it ever since. We walk every step of the way and a few Finisterres and Muxias on top, all with our packs on our back. After the Portuguese we felt unfulfilled on arrival in Santiago compared to those who had obviously walked a full CF

I do not have a problem with pilgims who start their walk after St Jean, or who walk from Sarria, or who walk with day packs. If you are injured and take a taxi, well OK. The significant word there is walk.

I do have a problem with those who do not walk, who bus or taxi along collecting stamps, who take up valuable space in albergues and pensions. Those delusional people who you see in minibuses and then again in the line waiting to collect their Compostella. Who probably frame it, hang it up at home and tell everyone that they walked the Camino. I have met them or seen them and they are a waste of Camino space. I do not hold with the "my Camino " , " their Camino " view. They have not walked so no Compostella.

Does it matter? Yes it does. It makes the Compostella worthless if you can get it riding a taxi from stamp to stamp. Do a pilgrimage on a bus by all means but don't go into the pilgrims office and tick the box that you have walked. The Compostella represents a hard won achievement, it is not a tourist's souvenir or something you obtain by lies.
Welcome to the forum @Dobs . I don't think anyone disagrees that obtaining the Compostela by cheating is plain silly. But the requirement is only that the pilgrim must have walked the last 100 km into Santiago. Nothing more.

Perhaps we can get back to my original post, the obvious joy of those disabled pilgrims, and take a moment to reflect gratefully on our own ability to walk.
Problem is that your post title is not about the diabled, and that noone thinks the isse is about the disabled and those who help them reach thei goal.
 

peregrina2000

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I don't understand the motivation of the continual beating up on those who want a compostela and walk 100 km from Sarria to get it. I would venture a guess that the vast majority of the truly religious pilgrims walk only those 100 kms. They believe that they will obtain a plenary indulgence by complying with the church's requirement that they walk 100 kms. If their purpose is to get that indulgence, isn't it frivolous and beyond the point to walk further than that? What religious purpose could it have to do several extra weeks walking if the indulgence comes with 100 km? I don't share that religious motivation, and my guess is that most forum members don't either, but I don't think it's my place to criticize it. In my 15 years of walking caminos, I bet I have met no more than a dozen people who were walking with religious motivations. Nearly everyone I have ever met on a camino fits into the pilgrims' office vague "spiritual motivation" category. Even those who start out looking for a cheap adventure wind up finding much more.

I refuse to believe that anyone's compostela is made more worthy by our adopting a superior attitude about people who take the "easy way" rather than our "real and difficult way." Truth be told, I often wonder why I bother to go get a compostela each year. Mine are all rolled up in their tubes in a drawer somewhere and say absolutely nothing about the value and the meaning of the camino to me. I guess I keep doing it because I have friends in the pilgrims office, or because it is a part of the ritual of how to end my camino.

I do not join in the "it's your camino" chorus because I think that is a self-indulgent and selfish approach to how I ought to behave as a guest on the Catholic church's camino. But I am equally opposed to the doctrinnaire rigidity that has somehow determined that 100 km is not "good enough."
 

amorfati1

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I do not join in the "it's your camino" chorus because I think that is a self-indulgent and selfish approach to how I ought to behave as a guest on the Catholic church's camino. But I am equally opposed to the doctrinnaire rigidity that has somehow determined that 100 km is not "good enough."
Very well said !
Thank you Laurie -
 
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Dobs

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Thank you for the welcome. Sorry about not sticking to the original subject but it had drifted a bit.

As I said, my gripe is not with the from Sarria walkers. It's the deluded non walkers that I object to as they take up valuable, finite resources. I don't have it in me to watch someone jumping out of a taxi and smile thinking " it's their Camino". I prefer to growl like the farmer's perro that they missed.

My attitude was hardened last year. I watched in awe as a young Italian couple, on honeymoon and walking for religious reasons cried in pain with their injuries as they almost crawled up O Cebreiro. In contrast, near Sarria, later on, a quick coffee stop took 45 minutes as a coach had just unloaded 80 people, all getting a coffee and stamp and us walkers had to queue behind them. Then I watched a mini van unload a group in Pedrouzo and pick them up again in Amenal, less than 4kms away before moving on to their hotel near Santiago. Their days walk done. Met them all again at the pilgrims office collecting Compostellas, now you know why the waiting time is so long. Saw them once more being ushered to their pilgims rooms at the Hospederia San Martin.

Now a new one for me. Perigrina2000 says that if you are walking for your plenary indulgence, what is the point of walking any further. I'm afraid I have to disagree. We should all try a little bit harder, go the extra mile, do a little bit more than the minimum. Should one not give to charity because one has already paid their tax?
Anyway, God, having a sense of humour, is building a huge hall full of treadmills up there and is waiting for cheaters.

So, if you walked, from anywhere, Sarria included this is not a moan about you. If you are fit and able to walk and did not walk and collected a Compostella this is a moan about you. I am always full of admiration for anyone who embarks on the Camino with any kind of disability, be that permanent or temporary through injury.
 
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I don't understand the motivation of the continual beating up on those who want a compostela and walk 100 km from Sarria to get it. I would venture a guess that the vast majority of the truly religious pilgrims walk only those 100 kms. They believe that they will obtain a plenary indulgence by complying with the church's requirement that they walk 100 kms. If their purpose is to get that indulgence, isn't it frivolous and beyond the point to walk further than that? What religious purpose could it have to do several extra weeks walking if the indulgence comes with 100 km? I don't share that religious motivation, and my guess is that most forum members don't either, but I don't think it's my place to criticize it. In my 15 years of walking caminos, I bet I have met no more than a dozen people who were walking with religious motivations. Nearly everyone I have ever met on a camino fits into the pilgrims' office vague "spiritual motivation" category. Even those who start out looking for a cheap adventure wind up finding much more.

I refuse to believe that anyone's compostela is made more worthy by our adopting a superior attitude about people who take the "easy way" rather than our "real and difficult way." Truth be told, I often wonder why I bother to go get a compostela each year. Mine are all rolled up in their tubes in a drawer somewhere and say absolutely nothing about the value and the meaning of the camino to me. I guess I keep doing it because I have friends in the pilgrims office, or because it is a part of the ritual of how to end my camino.

I do not join in the "it's your camino" chorus because I think that is a self-indulgent and selfish approach to how I ought to behave as a guest on the Catholic church's camino. But I am equally opposed to the doctrinnaire rigidity that has somehow determined that 100 km is not "good enough."
I agree as if it was written by myself.:)

Judge, and be judged.

Great video!
 

NualaOC

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I don't understand the motivation of the continual beating up on those who want a compostela and walk 100 km from Sarria to get it. I would venture a guess that the vast majority of the truly religious pilgrims walk only those 100 kms. They believe that they will obtain a plenary indulgence by complying with the church's requirement that they walk 100 kms. If their purpose is to get that indulgence, isn't it frivolous and beyond the point to walk further than that? What religious purpose could it have to do several extra weeks walking if the indulgence comes with 100 km? I don't share that religious motivation, and my guess is that most forum members don't either, but I don't think it's my place to criticize it. In my 15 years of walking caminos, I bet I have met no more than a dozen people who were walking with religious motivations. Nearly everyone I have ever met on a camino fits into the pilgrims' office vague "spiritual motivation" category. Even those who start out looking for a cheap adventure wind up finding much more.

I refuse to believe that anyone's compostela is made more worthy by our adopting a superior attitude about people who take the "easy way" rather than our "real and difficult way." Truth be told, I often wonder why I bother to go get a compostela each year. Mine are all rolled up in their tubes in a drawer somewhere and say absolutely nothing about the value and the meaning of the camino to me. I guess I keep doing it because I have friends in the pilgrims office, or because it is a part of the ritual of how to end my camino.

I do not join in the "it's your camino" chorus because I think that is a self-indulgent and selfish approach to how I ought to behave as a guest on the Catholic church's camino. But I am equally opposed to the doctrinnaire rigidity that has somehow determined that 100 km is not "good enough."
Thank you Laurie, the calm voice of reason as always.
 

grayland

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Yes
I cringe every time a thread turns in this direction....despite the fact that the original topic was about the joy exhibited by a wonderful group of disabled pilgrims.

It is always the same.
People being called out by others who disagree with their opinion.
Posts being twisted and mis-interpreted as to meaning and intent.
Folks grabbing their pitchforks and torches to join the group to go after those who do not appear to agree with them.

It really is a waste of time and effort to do this as often as it comes up.
The original post was about a great uplifting experience.
I have witnessed similar groups every time I have walked.
I am always humbled.

Please...let us return to That topic or close this thread.
 
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Peter Fransiscus

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I don't understand the motivation of the continual beating up on those who want a compostela and walk 100 km from Sarria to get it. I would venture a guess that the vast majority of the truly religious pilgrims walk only those 100 kms. They believe that they will obtain a plenary indulgence by complying with the church's requirement that they walk 100 kms. If their purpose is to get that indulgence, isn't it frivolous and beyond the point to walk further than that? What religious purpose could it have to do several extra weeks walking if the indulgence comes with 100 km? I don't share that religious motivation, and my guess is that most forum members don't either, but I don't think it's my place to criticize it. In my 15 years of walking caminos, I bet I have met no more than a dozen people who were walking with religious motivations. Nearly everyone I have ever met on a camino fits into the pilgrims' office vague "spiritual motivation" category. Even those who start out looking for a cheap adventure wind up finding much more.

I refuse to believe that anyone's compostela is made more worthy by our adopting a superior attitude about people who take the "easy way" rather than our "real and difficult way." Truth be told, I often wonder why I bother to go get a compostela each year. Mine are all rolled up in their tubes in a drawer somewhere and say absolutely nothing about the value and the meaning of the camino to me. I guess I keep doing it because I have friends in the pilgrims office, or because it is a part of the ritual of how to end my camino.

I do not join in the "it's your camino" chorus because I think that is a self-indulgent and selfish approach to how I ought to behave as a guest on the Catholic church's camino. But I am equally opposed to the doctrinnaire rigidity that has somehow determined that 100 km is not "good enough."
Well said.
Wish you well, Peter.
 
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I should think that the challenge for this group doing 100K was a bit more than for us "normal" folks who stroll along 790K. Especially when you consider the up and down terrain on that last stretch. I can only imagine what a difference it was for them compared to their everyday lives. Very uplifting to see, and VERY well done!
 

Gerry 7

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On Peregrina's comments, no one will get any kind of indulgence for walking the Camino. The pope has spoken on this topic and "put the record straight". A couple of weeks ago, I posted what I thought was a fairly balanced view of the walk of the last 100km, and got some criticism about my comments I had not insulted anyone and had, in fact, wished everyone who walked on the way a sincere well done. Reading the posts on this thread I feel many people are very sensitive to any comment on the length of walk they do of it is not the whole CF, as if there right to be called a pilgrim has been impuned. (to be fair some of the rhetoric would make anyone sensitive) I believe the issue that is at odds here is "when does a pilgrimage cease to be a pilgrimage?" Taking the view intimated in a few posts here that the distance walked is irrelevant, then why do people not start closer to Santiago than 100km? Does an inhabitant of Santiago make a pilgrimage if he walks to the cathedral for Sunday mass? Is a credencial also irrelevant? If , as has been said on this thread, that the destination is unimportant and that the process is the really valuable part of the pilgrimage, then why not walk 100km to any destination of your choice, especially if you are not religious? Why go to Santiago? Different pilgimmages throughout the world have a different focus. And as is depicted all along the CF in picture and sculpture the soul of the Camino de Santiago is to walk. Again, let me stress that these comments are in no way sarcastic or cynical-they are truly genuine questions. Apparently, the issue of inreasing the distance walked to gain a compostella was discussed this year in Santiago at a meeting of Confaternities and authorities. It is not to be increased at this time I believe. And once again, let me say to all who walk the way, whatever the distance, well done-and Buen Camino.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I have been many times in the Camino, but I had never walked the last 100. I did it, some weeks ago. Some encounters:
* A stage near the end, suddenly appeared lots of people looking fresh, clean and rested, carrying the same little bag, taking pics of every tree and arrow. They seemed to be having a great time and they made really good company. Then, a rain started. In the next intersection with the main road I discovered a minibus, these walkers hurriedly boarding it, and a guy with a t-shirt "Camino company" logo talking excitedly in his cellphone.
* A group that promoted autism awareness, dressed in red. They walked from León, at least, with some children.
* A cyclist that almost bumped into the lady I was walking with at this moment. I thought it was an isolated incident, but he did immediately the same with two other people in a group. Faced with a chorus or protests, he turned back and yelled “The camino is for everybody!” (For the record, most cyclist were polite and careful.)
* The members of a Christian group, giving free coffee, fruits (delicious pears!) and hugs to pilgrims.
So, I had the good, the bad and the weird moments. Was it a good experience (in general)? Yes. Would I repeat this walk? I think not...but you never know.
 

Dobs

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If anyone reads my posts they will see that I am not beating upon those who walk from Sarria. I am beating up on those who DON'T walk and then CLAIM to have walked from Sarria. If you actually read my post I'm only criticising one group and not anyone else.

Anyway, all I was doing was trying to address the " elephant in the room". Maybe not a good idea in this politically correct world where all criticism has to be sugar coated so as not to offend.

OR

Have I struck too many nerves and the bus/taxi issue is far more widespread than I had thought?
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If anyone reads my posts they will see that I am not beating upon those who walk from Sarria. I am beating up on those who DON'T walk and then CLAIM to have walked from Sarria.

Hi, Dobs,
Just in case it's not clear, my comments about the beating up were not about your posts. I agree with you completely. I was responding to the disdain I sensed in a number of other posts. This is nothing new, it comes up every time someone addresses the issue of walking from Sarria. What I don't understand is why anyone would want to spend the mental energy to criticize and feel angry about the fact that others haven't walked as far as I have or in as much rain as I have or with as much on my back as I have. Why not be grateful that I CAN walk farther, tolerate the rain, and carry my own pack?

And thanks @Gerry 7 for reminding me that the indulgence comes only when the Puerta Santa is open. My point was that if you believe there is a religious advantage or benefit that comes from walking 100 km, which I assume the compostela provides to Roman Catholics, it's not surprising to me that the vast majority of people who think that only walk the 100 km. The goal is set by the church, and then I comply, I reach the finish line, but I don't necessarily spend much time thinking about how I could have enhanced my religious experience by walking further. Some undoubtedly do, but the numbers of those starting in Sarria suggest that most don't. Sort of like the person who signs up for a marathon -- she's not going to keep running once she reaches the finish line just to enhance the physical challenge. The goal is set by someone else, and my aspiration is to reach it. I think the compostela is just like that. And I wouldn't even presume to suggest that the church re-evaluate whether the 100 km should be changed or eliminated. It's not my business as a non-Catholic, and it's also of no interest to me since I'm going to keep walking the Camino and loving every moment no matter what the rules are about compostelas.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Hi, Dobs,
Just in case it's not clear, my comments about the beating up were not about your posts. I agree with you completely. I was responding to the disdain I sensed in a number of other posts. This is nothing new, it comes up every time someone addresses the issue of walking from Sarria. What I don't understand is why anyone would want to spend the mental energy to criticize and feel angry about the fact that others haven't walked as far as I have or in as much rain as I have or with as much on my back as I have. Why not be grateful that I CAN walk farther, tolerate the rain, and carry my own pack?
Completely agree.

Why can't we let each person do it his/hers way?

The "cheaters" are missing out on the deeper aspects of the Way, sure, but why not let them, instead of being irritated. Some of them will come out of it/return as a "true" pilgrim, whatever that is. But surely you get my point (I hope). Why not walk your own Camino are care about yourself? Live and let live, i say. And walk in peace and reflection.

On a totally different subject: This thread has been hijacked, several times: It was all about Kanga wanting to display the joy and happiness shown by a bunch of disabled people who were allowed to experience the joy of the Camino, to their abilities. I salute them, as well as Kangas enthusiastic OP. It made me happy to see that all walks of life can experience the joy of the Walk.

And now, return to the intention of this thread, which is what I try to do.:);)
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
C. Frances sections Apr-Jun 2019
I am beating up on those who DON'T walk and then CLAIM to have walked from Sarria.

I guess I don't really understand why anyone feels the need to beat up on anyone at all. I mean, if someone has such a warped view of the world that they fraudulently claim a compostela for which they do not qualify, then how does that in any way affect me? Isn't that just their problem? It does not in any way diminish my own experience of the camino, it doesn't diminish my achievement or my enjoyment of the way. As @alexwalker says above, why get angry about these people? I know some people think that it devalues the compostela if people can get away with claiming one having not walked the last 100km, but why does it? They are committing a type of fraud, if they get away with doing this, so they are not being genuinely rewarded. Nothing that anyone else does can diminish your achievement. If you are that angry about it, and you are sure you have seen the same people collecting a compostela, tell someone about it at the Pilgrim's Office, point them out. Otherwise why not just let them get on with their strange little lives while you enjoy the fact that you have walked as far as you have walked, whatever that might be.

And in terms of the other comments about how far people walk, and how, and for what reason..... Like @peregrina2000 I tend not to use that phrase "it's your camino", but I would say instead "it's your experience." It is what you make of it - no two people will ever experience walking the camino in exactly the same way, even if they seem to be going about it the same way - their emotional/spiritual/physical challenges will be different, their health, world view, other commitments, freedom to travel will be different from yours. There is no way one person can ever know exactly what another person is going through, as they walk the same paths to Santiago. By all means be interested in your fellow human beings, ask them about themselves (if they are willing to talk to you), offer assistance if it seems to be needed. But you can't know everything about other people, you can't expect their experiences to be the same as yours, and trying to impose your view of things on others hurts only you, especially if you get as angry and resentful about it as some on this forum seem to get. It hurts only you - although it can make walking the camino or reading the forum a little less enjoyable for others who get caught in the spray.

And to return to the title of this thread - to me it really was a joy to share the last 100km with others, the newly-arrived and the long-distance pilgrims alike. I enjoyed the exuberance of the newbies, whatever their stories might have been. The video posted by @Kanga is a delight, and i would love to have met this group. But I enjoyed all the groups I met, and if any of them started to get a bit too loud I just dropped back a little or passed them at the next stop, and let them have their own experiences. No way anything could have spoiled those last few days!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Sorry to take the thread a little astray but it's irresistible...
Did anyone else notice? An Aussie and a Kiwi have just agreed!--and this in spite of the fact that the All Blacks have just trounced Australia in the Rugby world cup final. The unifying power of kindness is astonishing. :D

And an aside to take the thread back to it's original topic...last year, my feelings of being a wee bit annoyed at the crowd after Sarria were completely diffused by a group of deaf students from Ireland. They were talking as fast as their hands could sign and it was a total delight to be amongst them. At the pilgrims' mass in the cathedral, they were all seated in the front and a priest signed the entire mass, translating the spoken words into beautiful sign. It was impossible not to be a little extra high, on their behalf.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Sorry to take the thread a little astray but it's irresistible...
Did anyone else notice? An Aussie and a Kiwi have just agreed!--and this in spite of the fact that the All Blacks have just trounced Australia in the Rugby world cup final. The unifying power of kindness is astonishing. :D

And an aside to take the thread back to it's original topic...last year, my feelings of being a wee bit annoyed at the crowd after Sarria were completely diffused by a group of deaf students from Ireland. They were talking as fast as their hands could sign and it was a total delight to be amongst them. At the pilgrims' mass in the cathedral, they were all seated in the front and a priest signed the entire mass, translating the spoken words into beautiful sign. It was impossible not to be a little extra high, on their behalf.
Such a lovely post and you have a great sense of humour. Good luck to you.
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
Pilgrims in wheelchairs. Pilgrims who can't hear. Darn you all for robbing an entire internet message board of its most popular topic of righteous indignation!! :) :)

Beautiful pictures, beautiful stories btw
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone's own beliefs.
No where does it say anything about how many days constitutes a pilgrimage, some pilgrimages in Ireland last about a day and that does not make them any less of a pilgrimage.
I think its time we moved past the " I'm a better pilgrim than you because I walked more days" attitude.

I couldn't have said it better even if I had tried! May I also add that there are 'invisible' disabilities that prevent pilgrims on doing a traditional pilgrimage (carrying their own luggage/walking at least x km each day) that are, eh, invisible? Why are we always so concerned about how others make their pilgrimage instead of taking care of our own pilgrimage? Buen Camino, SY
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I liked walking the last 100kms. It was very different, but still good, in it's own way. There definitely were much more organized groups walking than before, and what I noticed was that most of them seemed to stay "in their group", not interacting much with others. While for most of the way there were always people cooking together in the evening, talking, sharing a bottle of wine ect., that was not the case anymore as much as before.

I found that sad, but it was nice to see in what a good mood the "group walkers" were anyway. Saw one large group of young Germans, they were so proud of themselves, walking so far! I had already almost forgotten the excitement of starting in St. Jean, the energy, and they reminded me of that and made it easier to come to terms with the fact that my journey was almost over.

What a difference - for me the last 100 kms were "almost there", for them, it was their big adventure! It made me think about how others probably had started walking at home, thousands of kilometres, while I had "only" walked from St. Jean. What would those "true" pilgrims think of me, only having walked through Spain (not even all of it! Used public transport a few times, shame...!) and skipping two thirds of the 2400km that it would have been if I had started from my front door....?


It's all a matter of perspective. And I think it's all fine, as long as you respect each other, and the Way, and act accordingly.
 
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