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The last 100 km

D

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There are a few times that I experienced a reality shock. The first time was after the weariness of the first few days of walking amassed and I understood the physicality of what I was doing.

The second time was at Puente la Reina when I joined the Camino Frances from the Camino Aragones. We went from seeing one or two pilgrims a day to having 100 roommates in an instant.

And the recurring one is the massive increase in the number of pilgrims at Sarria, pilgrims walking just the last 100 km in order to qualify for a compostela. Even though I expected it every time after the first camino, it always is an abrupt event.

Several threads have explored the attitude control it takes when suddenly confronted with a large number of pilgrims, many carrying only water, and all fresh as a daisy! It is useful for first time pilgrims to be aware of the last 100 km, because it will test your mental state in a way that it has not been tested since the beginning of your walk. If you suddenly find yourself frustrated and irritated, remember that the one thing that you can control is your attitude. Deal with any negative thoughts by challenging them with reality. Remind yourself of the elation you felt at the start, and remember that all the new pilgrims are feeling that same elation; remind yourself that your clothes were once clean!!

That last 100 km is different from any other 100 km, and takes some preparation. Don't let that last part diminish the first 650 km.
 
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Mark2012

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012, 2014) Camino Finisterre (2012, 2013, 2014) Camino Portugues (2013), Camino del Norte (2015)
There are a few times that I experienced a reality shock. The first time was after the weariness of the first few days of walking amassed and I understood the physicality of what I was doing.

The second time was at Puente la Reina when I joined the Camino Frances from the Camino Aragones. We went from seeing one or two pilgrims a day to having 100 roommates in an instant.

And the recurring one is the massive increase in the number of pilgrims at Sarria, pilgrims walking just the last 100 km in order to qualify for a compostela. Even though I expected it every time after the first camino, it always is an abrupt event.

Several threads have explored the attitude control it takes when suddenly confronted with a large number of pilgrims, many carrying only water, and all fresh as a daisy! It is useful for first time pilgrims to be aware of the last 100 km, because it will test your mental state in a way that it has not been tested since the beginning of your walk. If you suddenly find yourself frustrated and irritated, remember that the one thing that you can control is your attitude. Deal with any negative thoughts by challenging them with reality. Remind yourself of the elation you felt at the start, and remember that all the new pilgrims are feeling that same elation; remind yourself that your clothes were once clean!!

That last 100 km is different from any other 100 km, and takes some preparation. Don't let that last part diminish the first 650 km.

I remember bracing myself for the Sarria experience in 2012. I had started from St Jean in late May and knew to expect a massive influx from Sarria. It was something everyone I met along the way was aware of, and something which was spoken about more and more as we drew closer. I remember a friend and I wanted to 'short-circuit' the shock of it all somewhat by walking through Sarria itself and stopping for the night about 5kms on at Barbadelo. This way, we figured, we would be spared the trauma (!) of the mass flow of bodies from Sarria itself in the morning. It was a good plan as far as it went, but there is nowhere to hide once you pass Sarria. I still remember vividly the anxiety I felt the following morning at Barbadelo. It was early, before 7. Again, we thought we would stay ahead of what we expected to be a rolling wave of people. I stood outside the albergue for about 5 minutes, waiting for my friend to finish packing, and as I waited, I saw about 50 people go by in small groups. By the time my friend emerged and we began walking, a part of me felt that the Camino was over. And it was, in a sense. There's no doubting that the atmosphere and nature of the experience changes after Sarria, but it is what it is.

As you say, it is important not to be hostile towards people starting from Sarria, but there was a definitely a mild sense of 'us' and 'them' about it. Over the last few days of walking, new phrases crept into conversations, like "long walker" and "short walker" and "plastic pilgrim". Not always very flattering stuff, but it can be difficult to watch vans being loaded up with rucksacks and people walking with little or nothing on their back. I fully accept that many people have physical problems that legislate against carrying a heavy rucksack on their back and neither can you necessarily 'see' these problems as people stroll by, but it rankled with me a little bit when I would see people who appeared to be physically healthy walking with only the lightest of day-packs on their back.

Hmm... This is threatening to descend into a rant, which is not my intention!

Suffice it to say, for me and many I spoke to, there were two distinct parts to the Camino - pre-Sarria and post-Sarria, with the former regarded as far more enjoyable than the latter. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the walk from Sarria, more that it felt very different from that point on.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Falcon is SO right here! Positive thoughts are a must. Another good approach is to stay in the small rural albergues which are run by the ACAG, ie the government of Galicia. Slightly off the beaten track or at least not at one of the often published 'official' halts these are well maintained and generally found in recently renovated historic buildings with original details, interesting roofs/ceilings, good HEAT and hot showers. At 6€ per bunk they are a GREAT bargain. Ferrious and Hospital de le Cruz are my favorites.

Margaret Meredith
 

jstorybook

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
October-November 2013
I began in SJPDP--during the last 100k of the Camino Frances I also noticed fresh pilgrims--newer, cleaner clothes, nice packs, fresh faces etc.--I was getting a bit ragged and looked tired--at any rate I was prepared for this. However, I noticed a couple of fresh pilgrims passing by me quickly on the last leg of the pilgrimage--this didn't bother me--it was to be expected. What did bother me was that later that day I saw the same two pilgrims getting out of a car that they hitched a ride from--I thought it rather humorous--as it kind of defeats the purpose for the pilgrimage--not to get to the end, but to enjoy the journey.
 
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jennyleinbach

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2013
Perhaps I'm one of the "short walkers" as my camino covered only 220 km but honestly I felt this was a VAST advantage over the 100 km'ers. The 100 ams before Sarria were distinctly more satisfying BUT thats not to say i didn't enjoy the road from Sarria into Santiago. Sarria was pretty awful I won't lie. Space in the alberques a bit more hit or miss but we hiked past the Brierley major stops and enjoyed small privately owed alberques, not fully occupied, and met some of our best compadres on this leg of the journey. You gotta do what you can. The trip is amazing and if you don't know the emptiness of the Camino Aragones you won't miss it.
 

KentuckyJay

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Hiked Leon to Santiago in May, 2014.
Hiked Porto to Santiago in May, 2016.
Perhaps I'm one of the "short walkers" as my camino covered only 220 km but honestly I felt this was a VAST advantage over the 100 km'ers. The 100 ams before Sarria were distinctly more satisfying BUT thats not to say i didn't enjoy the road from Sarria into Santiago. Sarria was pretty awful I won't lie. Space in the alberques a bit more hit or miss but we hiked past the Brierley major stops and enjoyed small privately owed alberques, not fully occupied, and met some of our best compadres on this leg of the journey. You gotta do what you can. The trip is amazing and if you don't know the emptiness of the Camino Aragones you won't miss it.
Plan to start in Sahagun, so anticipate a similar trek.
 

pattymo97206

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked 360km (2012) Planning 790K May (2014)
I noticed a difference after Sarria also and I wasn’t expecting it. I had no idea it would become so noisy! Groups of people walking together and talking and laughing really loudly. When that happened, I simply stepped off the path and took a break, let them pass and get ahead of me. They were having a great time and so was I. I wasn’t able to walk the entire 790k, but the 380k I did walk (pre Sarria) was spent in wonderful solitude, among friends, and walking through time and history. Even on parts of the final 100k were spent in solitude. On my next walk, when I do the entire Camino, I’ll know what to expect after Sarria. When a pilgrim asks “where did you start”, I’ll tell them SJPdP and see the longing in their eyes and hear the sigh, followed by “I wish I could do that”. That happened several times on my first Camino. I actually felt a little sorry for those who wanted to do the whole thing, but couldn't. As for the rest, they did what was right for them...just as I did. I was on a bus through the entire Meseta, but that did not diminish my pilgrimage at all. But, I did feel as if I left something important unfinished...so I shall go back and finish it!
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
I felt like I walked two Caminos: one from St. Jean to Sarria and the other from Sarria to Santiago. Aside from the numbers in the last 100 km was the increase in "groups". While I met a number of individuals who were interesting they tended to travel in swarms (that's the only word I can think of!). One minute you were alone and then there were 10-20 of them. The other part was the distinct change (with a few exceptions) in the attitude of the businesses toward the peregrinos in the towns . It became a business rather than an hospitable relationship. Before I arriving in Sarria I remember staying at Casa David in Triacastela and the owner Scotch-taped my passport together because he saw it was very worn and beginning to fall apart. That's the last time something like that occurred.
 
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amancio

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Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
as falcon says "remember that the one thing that you can control is your attitude". Wise words, indeed.

To me, the feeling was, as I was approaching Santiago on my first camino from Burgos, that were were all fish in sink. As you approach Santiago, somebody opens the plug and throws in more fish and your life changes from being an independent swimmer to become part of a school where every day there are more fish and less water, and everybody is inevitably drawn towards the drain...

Not a nice feeling, but part of the whole experience as well.
 
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PANO

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"Short walkers"? They are doing a Camino entirely different than yours, Falcon, Mark. Think of walking 100km in your own backyard on a couple of work-free days; wouldn't you then quite rightly say that you've done something pretty cool?
Talking to these fresh-faced, enthusiastic clean guys lifted me up, especially as they were visibly awed of meeting a "long walker"; they didn't take anything away from me, on the contrary, they made me realise how privileged I was!
 
D

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Several times I have walked with teenage groups on the last 100 km. It is part of their school curriculum, and they are accompanied by teachers and parents. Some suffer greatly. For some it is a breeze. Their sense of achievement is enormous. They all grow from the experience. I have no idea how many of them return later in life to walk a longer portion, but they have the Camino with them for life. It is hard for me to imagine how anyone could get more out of a pilgrimage than they get, and it only takes the last 100 km.
 

Mark2012

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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012, 2014) Camino Finisterre (2012, 2013, 2014) Camino Portugues (2013), Camino del Norte (2015)
"Short walkers"? They are doing a Camino entirely different than yours, Falcon, Mark. Think of walking 100km in your own backyard on a couple of work-free days; wouldn't you then quite rightly say that you've done something pretty cool?
Talking to these fresh-faced, enthusiastic clean guys lifted me up, especially as they were visibly awed of meeting a "long walker"; they didn't take anything away from me, on the contrary, they made me realise how privileged I was!

It wasn't my intention to come across as judgemental. I didn't refer to "short walkers" to suggest hostility, merely to describe conversations I recalled from my time on the Camino in 2012. People who started in Sarria were inevitably in a very different head space compared to those who started in St Jean or elsewhere further back the track. Sometimes those different head spaces 'collide', for want of a better term. No one is superior to another, just different.

Besides, compared to people who start in Le Puy, those who start in St Jean are "short walkers". In other words, it's all relative! ;-)
 
P

PANO

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It wasn't my intention to come across as judgemental. I didn't refer to "short walkers" to suggest hostility, merely to describe conversations I recalled from my time on the Camino in 2012. People who started in Sarria were inevitably in a very different head space compared to those who started in St Jean or elsewhere further back the track. Sometimes those different head spaces 'collide', for want of a better term. No one is superior to another, just different.

Besides, compared to people who start in Le Puy, those who start in St Jean are "short walkers". In other words, it's all relative! ;-)
Hey, Mark, nor did I take your post as judgemental, sorry if it sounded that way. Just as you and Falcon wrote, the "short-walkers" Camino is just different agenda. I walked the last 10km to SdC along with a Swiss couple that started their Camino in Geneva, 3 month before. Boy, that made my walk from Pamplona look like a late-summer promenade; yet, in front of the cathedral we all,- the short-walkers included-, embraced and congratulated each other as fellow pelegrinos.

Now, talking of the bikers.......whoops, sorry, there is another thread on that.
 
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julie

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Sometimes I feel like I must have been in a different place as my memories of the Camino do not include concerns about where people had started their pilgrimage. Reading this thread lead to my spending time going over the relevant sections of my journals - always a delightful pastime. Two of the journals relate to the Camino Francés and another to the Primitivo which joins the Francés at Melide.

In all of them I mention people I met in albergues, bars or restaurants and significant things that I learnt from that contact but nowhere do I mention where they started. Why the omission? Because I don't care, it's immaterial what someone else chooses to do for their Camino.

Quite likely that would not have been the case except for a very humbling experience I had not far from Sarria. A woman I had never seen before was sitting on a bench having a snack and as I passed she called out to me and invited me to join her. During our chat she told me her story. Her Camino had been five years in the planning because something always happened to delay her departure and she doubted that it was ever going to happen. In the past couple of years she had lost both her parents and she had had a serious accident so was not capable of doing the Camino the way she had planned. In the end she decided to change her expectations. Her doctor's advice was that she was to carry only a very light pack and that she should not over-exert herself which meant a taxi or bus around difficult terrain. Nevertheless, she was there and the joy she felt was emanating from every pore.

She wasn't sitting there waiting for a tender-hearted sucker to listen to her story. She was sitting there because I needed a lesson in humility and acceptance rather than judgement of others.
 

Canucks

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances, SJPDP to Santiago (2013), Le Puy to SJPDP (2014), Porto to Santiago (2019)
Strangely enough, I found the bus takers, in the days right after Pamplona, more "invasive" of my thoughts than the folks in the last 100. Probably because it was so hot then and it was some real suffering in the heat while the last 100 was rainy and miserable so I didn't notice them as much. It was also getting closer to the end of the season at the end of October.
 

norelle

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
When I was in Sarria, I was all alone at dinner (the first time this had happened since SJPdP!!). A very shy, hesitant, young English girl asked if she could join me. Of course!!

She had just arrived in Sarria that day and was beginning her pilgrimage the next morning. She was feeling very nervous/excited - just as I had been almost a month earlier! I was able to answer most of her many questions and, I hope, help her feel more comfortable about what was ahead.

As I had quite a large 'camino family' by this stage, I didn't really get to know many other pilgrims who were walking only the last 100km. I felt though, by getting to know this English girl, I had a better understanding of them and - importantly - tolerance and acceptance! Another lesson from the camino!
 

Maggie97520

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CDF Fall 2013, CDF Spring 2014
Like Falcon mentioned, some of my favorite memories are of walking with the school kids - they are so much fun. And how humbled I felt that they could fluently speak English, whereas the extent of my Spanish is "un cerveza, por favor" and "donde esta el servicio." More startling than the last 100 kilometers, were the weekends. I wasn't prepared for the weekend walkers -- that first weekend at the end of September was a big surprise for me. Thankfully, they were a cheerful, happy lot - it could have been awful if they were a miserable group.
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Falcon is SO right here!
Hola Margaret,
I'm a bit surprised it's the same at the time of year that you usually walk.
Colin
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hola Margaret,
I'm a bit surprised it's the same at the time of year that you usually walk.
Colin
There are no pilgrim throngs in December, of course, but the vibe is always different. If per chance it is a weekend or a holiday all can be hectic; my last night in Arca, December 7, was VERY crowded as was the camino into SdC next morning.

MM
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I did not mind the added number of people at the end of May 2013. It was the added "noise." The people who had started farther back were quieter, more introspective, and well into their zone of concentration on their Camino.

At Sarria, an entire new tranche of people with an abundance of energy and exuberance started out. I will not even comment on the bright, crinkly new gear and fresh faces, lack of mud, limping, etc... I found, like others above, that I could mostly avoid these knots of newcomers simply by slowing down and letting them pass...ALWAYS with a "Buen Camino" and a smile....noblesse oblige I suppose...;)

The groups of four or five people: (a) tended to seek to walk abreast, effectively sweeping the trail of all others; and (b) carrying on a continuous, loud, tag-team conversation that tended to overcome all the sounds of nature. You know how a group of teens can be? Man, talk about disturbing my karma...!

Perhaps the most annoying thing, thinking back at it, were the several small groups who were playing either a portable MP3 speaker (pop or rap music) or a portable radio (live football match). When these disturbances crossed my path, it signalled the most appropriate time for a sit down, a cup of coffee, water break, and/or bocadillo break. If I just "let it be," it passed by.

Remember, I kept instructing myself..smile and say "Buen Camino." They will think you are just some crazy old man. I had a month's growth of beard by that time and looked either like Papa Smurf or Ernest Hemingway, depending on who you asked. However, I am NOT old. But, hey, it's all good.;)

When one of a group would ask where I started, I truthfully replied simply and without inflection or attitude, "in France" as I HAD started in St. Jean Pied de Port. That usually shut them up completely until they were well down the path ahead of me. One imagines they might have been humbled, or perhaps embarrassed. But I make no judgements...:oops:

I cannot wait until 24th April!
 

Cheynee

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 May-June
Starting at SJPDP, the last 100 km were so refreshing for me. The fresh exuberant faces of the tour-pilgrims, their excited chatter and the school-kids bounding down the hill shrieking all lifted my spirits! I'd read other pilgrims accounts of this journey and dreaded it, but it completely floored me how positive and uplifted I felt. And yes, I envied their sauntering without backpacks, fresh clean hairstyles and airy spirits, and I promised that one day I'd do a tour-pilgrim walk too! So it doesn't have to be a negative experience. Falcon is right, it depends on your attitude.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Year-end I walked from Sarria to Santiago. It was a first on several fronts: walking "only" from Sarria, in the Winter (I am a devout summer peregrina) and with several Spanish hospitalera friends rather than alone. It was just wonderful! The atmosphere was very special and our group became engulfed in a larger group of Spanish pilgrims/hospitaleros who walk annually between Christmas and New Year, ending in Santiago on December 31st. We were invited to share a pulpo lunch with them in Mélide and New Year's dinner. There were 50 pilgrims in all. Never had I imagined that there would be so many pilgrims at this time of year (there were 30+ in the municipal albergue in Portomarín on December 27). Nothing like in the summer of course but we certainly were not alone.
 

Dubbydub

Member
Ola, todos!

I may be quite wrong, but I'm getting a bit of a judgemental vibe here. But at the same time hearing that the Sarria section can be great fun too. Uplifting even...after many Kms without too many people around!

There are many who use the Sarria section for a break, a holiday/vacation. So what? Isn't it good that people are walking 100 k? Obesity is a curse these days, so anything that helps!

It also helps the local economy. Also good.

Maybe look at it like this...... Let the 100k walkers from Sarria enjoy their journey, and be glad they are not on every stretch clogging it up for the long walkers!

I am baffled by the snobbishness of those who walked 1,000 ks in peace and solitude who would judge those who do the last 100k. So much for learning tolerance and acceptance on the pilgrimage!

The problem for some is, I think, that no matter HOW many Kms you have walked, in tears, wet, cold, alone, bedbugs, sore feet and so on you just HAVE to do the last 100k to get the Compostela. Even though I know the C is not the be all and end all, it's a nice acknowledgment of your journey.

So should the rule be changed... So that ANY strech of 100k or more is sufficient to get the ultimate stamp? Maybe that could stretch out the bottleneck in Sarria?

Just a comment, and I don't mean to annoy anyone. But the rule is strict ( for those who want a Compostela) and many do want that piece of paper.

Buen Camino.
 
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There are a few times that I experienced a reality shock. The first time was after the weariness of the first few days of walking amassed and I understood the physicality of what I was doing.

The second time was at Puente la Reina when I joined the Camino Frances from the Camino Aragones. We went from seeing one or two pilgrims a day to having 100 roommates in an instant.

And the recurring one is the massive increase in the number of pilgrims at Sarria, pilgrims walking just the last 100 km in order to qualify for a compostela. Even though I expected it every time after the first camino, it always is an abrupt event.

Several threads have explored the attitude control it takes when suddenly confronted with a large number of pilgrims, many carrying only water, and all fresh as a daisy! It is useful for first time pilgrims to be aware of the last 100 km, because it will test your mental state in a way that it has not been tested since the beginning of your walk. If you suddenly find yourself frustrated and irritated, remember that the one thing that you can control is your attitude. Deal with any negative thoughts by challenging them with reality. Remind yourself of the elation you felt at the start, and remember that all the new pilgrims are feeling that same elation; remind yourself that your clothes were once clean!!

That last 100 km is different from any other 100 km, and takes some preparation. Don't let that last part diminish the first 650 km.
My Camino was in the Fall September 15, 2013 by the time I reached Sarria the weather had caused fewer pilgrims to begin October 11,2013
The seasons do have an effect but I was happy to be traveling with a positive group. Sun or rain it was the experience of the Camino.... Willy
 

julie

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
The problem for some is, I think, that no matter HOW many Kms you have walked, in tears, wet, cold, alone, bedbugs, sore feet and so on you just HAVE to do the last 100k to get the Compostela. Even though I know the C is not the be all and end all, it's a nice acknowledgment of your journey.

So should the rule be changed... So that ANY strech of 100k or more is sufficient to get the ultimate stamp? Maybe that could stretch out the bottleneck in Sarria?

Just a comment, and I don't mean to annoy anyone. But the rule is strict ( for those who want a Compostela) and many do want that piece of paper.

Buen Camino.
The rule is strict because it's not about walking 100km, it's about making a pilgrimage to the tomb of St James.

Thanks to Sillydoll, we have a translation of the Compostela. It is posted in this thread http://www.caminodesantiago.me/comm...of-the-compostela-from-latin-to-english.6745/
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Responding to the suggestion that any 100 km could do, not just the last 100km,
The rule is strict because it's not about walking 100km, it's about making a pilgrimage to the tomb of St James.

It seems to me that there are two elements to the pilgrimage: walking (or cycling or riding an animal) and making one's way to the cathedral and tomb. For most pilgrims these days the pilgrimage no longer means setting out from one's home and walking the entire way. Generally, some motorized transportation is at least part of the journey. I know it certainly will be for me, coming from North America.

If one person flies 1000 km, then takes train and bus for 500 km then walks 800km, he is counted as a pilgrim. Another drives 300 km and walks 100 km and he is equally a pilgrim. A third walks 500 km, takes a bus 100 km and walks 200 km and he is a pilgrim, too. If a fourth walks 900 km, takes a bus 95 km and walks the last 5 km, he won't get the certificate (because he didn't walk the last 100 km), but is he really any less a pilgrim? Did he not journey to the saint's tomb? Why is his journey less worthy?
 

AlanB

Active Member
It's an interesting discussion. My tuppence worth...It can be a little frustrating seeing the 'juan/Juanita come latelys' pre-booking beds in the last 100kms. But only if you let it frustrate you. If you've alked from SJDPP then you have the extra stamina to push on. Sarria to Santiago is very walkable in 3 days. I joined the Frances at Arzua in 2013. I'd spent the previous night in an Albergue with 3 other pilgrims. I walked 11km to Arzua and saw no one. Suddenly there was a mass of pilgrims,100s..it was early August (is that the right collective noun?) I was expecting it but I wasn't expecting my reaction. I felt I had nothing in common with them. I didn't resent them by any means, but I couldn't relate to them at all. They were having an experience which seemed alien to mine. I just pushed on..smiled'buen caminoed'. The last 40km wasn't really that enjoyable. I know that it is my issue. Like I said..just my tuppence worth
 
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jennie

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
from st jean - estella 2013 ponferrada-santiago 2012.hope/expect to do full camino with y
sister in sept 14. we completed our walk in 2014?puenta la reina to belarado june 2016,
my father sister and I all found the last 100 km a bit less enjoyable due to more rubbish /trash than we saw anywhere else, also the large groups at the rest stops , [they arrived by bus with tiny bags and will stand on top of you to get a coffee ]we were not "long walkers "we started just before ponferrada"however I believe huge respect should be shown to the long distant guys an gals, I find people in smaller groups remember their manners better than the gang mentality,i am sure nice polite people were on that last 100 kms but in a pack that behaves badly it reflects on everyone ?
 

Olivares

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).

KentuckyJay

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Hiked Leon to Santiago in May, 2014.
Hiked Porto to Santiago in May, 2016.
Sorry. I arrive in SDC on April 28 and train to Sahagun the next day.
 
S

simply B

Guest
I know several folks who walked the last 100 km only as part of an organized tour. They trained, they got gear and had really nice accommodations and food every night for a week.

To a person, they all were choked up when standing for the first time in front of the Cathedral. They were several months ahead of me in walking their Camino.

Also, to a person, they had suffered multiple rain storms, blisters, day's-end fatigue and came back mentally refreshed but physically exhausted.

I think we can all share some of those experiences no matter where we started.

But I started back at SJPP and never got a blister nor was I overcome with emotion in the shadow of the Cathedral - - the first time anyway. The "100 Km group" thought I was something special for the longer walk. I still think they are something special for being able to extract such a meaningful experience out of the shorter sojourn.

One can walk "short" or "long" and yet achieve the same place mentally and spiritually - not just in physical destination.

I contrast the differences in physical and mental challenges posed to each group and cannot comprehend how that can happen. But comprehending does not matter in the face of the reality.

So I stopped trying to understand it. Now I fall to sleep readily and the worry-lines in my forehead are gone.

B
 
N

NoQ

Guest
I agree with some of the above. The last 100km for me were enjoyable in the sense that the rolling countryside, woods and farming villages are really lovely, but it was way too busy (mid August). There was lots of happiness though, with young large groups of Spanish students all enjoying their 100km Camino and this atmosphere was lovely. What I really didn't enjoy was the massive increase in cyclists, which became a constant stream after Sarria and meant I couldn't walk by my wife, which we had done easily for most of the earlier parts and also I was beginning to be getting a little tired of albergues by then. One final thing that I found a bit disappointing in the final 100km was the higher proportion of locked churches. I was expecting every church to be wide open and bustling with pilgrims, but this wasn't the case. In the end we just took it as another changing part of the Camino, to be accepted for what is is and go with it.
 
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Thomas1962

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2010/2011/2012/2013: Madrid -Salvador -Primitivo 2014: EPW 2015: Amsterdam - SdC
My experience is that it is not just about the Saria point, but about any change of atmosphere while being on the camino.
Until now I did a few caminos, but still not the Frances. Last year I started in the beginning of September with my wife in Madrid, met nearly no other pilgrims the entire way and then arrived in Sahagun on the frances. I sat down on a terrace watching all the people passing by, and felt like there were hundreds of 'them'. Suddenly I was a part of these 'them'. Although I was warned before I just couldn't cope with it at that moment. Our initial plan was to walk till Leon and then take a right turn to the Salvador, we changed the plan to skip this Frances part and took a train to Leon. Later on I joined the Frances again at the end of the Primitivo in Melide.

Because of my terrace experience in Sahagun I was more prepared in Melide to 'jump' into the Frances and also willing to be a part of it. I even enjoyed the crowds at that time. Sahagun and Melide felt the same to me, on both just so many people.

My first camino was the portugues, it was an amazing experience. With meeting max 20-30 people a day it did set my standard of optimum amount of people. I'm sure that if I would have started at the frances meeting 200 people, that would also still be my optimum amount. When started ever in Saria, walking with 1000 people would be 'the camino'. With any change I need to relate to it again. Still, I do have my preference.

In weak moments I can think that 'the other' people don't 'belong' there because they do this or that. But after all I know that it is my choice (and the choice of hundreds of other people) to be there and it is only me who is having a hard time. I then try to be gentle to myself and to other people. It is ok to have a hard time when 'my' camino is changing, it is ok that I blamed other people for that for a moment.
Me, other people, the camino, it is all ok.
 
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HeidiL

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
What bothered me most on the last stretch, was the people who arrived in cars, parked them around the corner, and still used the refugios.
And the young people having sex in the hallway the night when I went to the loo with my 8-year-old in 2005. Fortunately, he'd heard about the phenomenon, but I wasn't ready for him to see a practical demonstration.

I remember dragging him off, muttering "if they can do THAT at 2 AM, they really haven't walked far enough yesterday!".

He's 17 now, and will be walking with us for the 6th time this Easter. I don't know if he remembers the "demonstration"...
 

Olivares

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
Sorry. I arrive in SDC on April 28 and train to Sahagun the next day.
May be a mute point by now, but consider flying into Madrid. The train/bus schedule to Sahagun is very convenient.
 

KentuckyJay

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Hiked Leon to Santiago in May, 2014.
Hiked Porto to Santiago in May, 2016.
May be a mute point by now, but consider flying into Madrid. The train/bus schedule to Sahagun is very convenient.
Thanks, but is a moot point as I already have an airline ticket.
 

StuartM

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
I've got really bad memories of Sarria. I had had a really long day from Triacastela via Samos and decided to treat myself to a hotel. The hotel was full of what would be called in the UK, absolute "pissheads". All night long, screaming, shouting, chaos. It really saddened me after the way there which had been so congenial. I couldn't wait to get out, I left in the dark and was in the countryside by dawn. Sadly, the poor behaviour continued in Portomarin. After that I stuck to the less popular stopping off points.

I'm hardly what would be called conservative, I'm pretty liberal, sociable and pretty indulgent in the right occasions but it just irritated me after the peace of the road there.
 
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leviro

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
july, 2013
I recomend walking the last part from Sarria in winter. I started on26th of December from Sarria and spent New Year in SdC. Magic &Magnificent.
 

Maryindigo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past Camino Sarria to Santiago 12 April 2016
Planning the next one !
Hi guys ,
Obviously im just a newbie planning her first Camino but reading some of the posts are very discouraging here.
I will be only doing the shorter Camino from Sarria to Santiago and i dont feel my Camino will be taking from anyone elses experience. I have minimal time i can take away from home as i have a son with special needs and am limited as to how long i can be away but my Camino is simply that , MY Camino and it will be just as special to me that any of yours will be. I would love to meet anyone while on the Camino either long or short walkers but i would hate to think that i was being called a plastic pilgrim just because i have not the same time freedom as others. Take every experience as yours be it good or bad everything has something to teach us.
Buen Camino to all !! :)
Maryindigo :)
 

weekjchammings

KEITH JOHN
Year of past OR future Camino
GR10 HENDAYE - BANYULS SUR MERE 600+ MILES 2002 WITH MY SON.
ABERGAVENNY - BEAUPREAU TWIN TOWN 2009
ENGLISH SOUTH WEST COASTAL PATH 630 MILES 2010.
LE PUY EN VELAY -SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE 2011 1,000+ MILES
ABERGAVENNY WALES - MONT ST MICHEL - ST JEAN PdP - CAMINO FRANCES FRANCE - FINISTERRE 2013 1,400+ MILES.
SEVILLA - SANTIAGO VIA DE LA PLATA 2014
LISBON - PORTO - SANTIAGO - MUXIA - FINISTERRE CAMINO PORTUGUESE. 2016.
CAMINO DE LEVANTE PLANNED 2017.
Hi guys ,
Obviously im just a newbie planning her first Camino but reading some of the posts are very discouraging here.
I will be only doing the shorter Camino from Sarria to Santiago and i dont feel my Camino will be taking from anyone elses experience. I have minimal time i can take away from home as i have a son with special needs and am limited as to how long i can be away but my Camino is simply that , MY Camino and it will be just as special to me that any of yours will be. I would love to meet anyone while on the Camino either long or short walkers but i would hate to think that i was being called a plastic pilgrim just because i have not the same time freedom as others. Take every experience as yours be it good or bad everything has something to teach us.
Buen Camino to all !! :)
Maryindigo :)

Hi Maryindigo,

To Maryindigo and your son you are a Very Important Person so please take no notice of any other persons point of view. It is not their Camino and they do not know you or what " rocks your boat ". Start in Sarria walk, talk and eat and drink with other pilgrims.

Enjoy your first Camino and return home with many stories and pictures for your son.
Buen Camino...............Keith.
 

Maryindigo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past Camino Sarria to Santiago 12 April 2016
Planning the next one !
Hi Maryindigo,

To Maryindigo and your son you are a Very Important Person so please take no notice of any other persons point of view. It is not their Camino and they do not know you or what " rocks your boat ". Start in Sarria walk, talk and eat and drink with other pilgrims.

Enjoy your first Camino and return home with many stories and pictures for your son.
Buen Camino...............Keith.
Thanks Keith , very grateful of the reply
 
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Cate A

Member
I haven't walked my Camino yet and I also don't want to break any forum rules on religion but reading this made me think about Lent and Holy Week at Church. A group of us regulars have been keeping Lent, attending extra services etc. and generally being extra pious and holy!!! In Holy Week we've had wonderful , sparsely attended but very beautiful Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. Easter Day we rose before dawn for a 5.30 service. Then came 10.30 - a Church full of people we don't see from one Sunday to the next - chocolate fuelled children running wild, teenagers who don't really want to be there etcetera - and it's wonderful - and surely more like a medieval services would have been , just as the last 100km sounds to me more like my idea of a medieval pilgrimage?
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
just as the last 100km sounds to me more like my idea of a medieval pilgrimage?
Until the arrival of trains, buses, and planes, about the only way to get to Sarria was on foot/horse from your home! Sarria may be the least medieval pilgrimage among the choices.;)
 
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Jabaldo

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
My wife and I are training to walk this September 2014
I have just read many of the posting regarding those for one reason or another start their Camino in Sarria. As I have read many post for the past year or so, one thing I did learn was each Camino is a personnel experience. With that said if one choses to walk from Sarria to Santiago then isn't that what should be. Good for him or her for being out here. I must confess I have not yet walked my Camino. I will start from SJPP along with my wife this September 16 so the feeling that some have regarding "short walkers" has not been felt by me. I am alittle gray and thinning in the hair line, the lesson I have learned along my life's journey is acceptance.
I think I would be more disturbed by someone on a bicycle wising pass me as I put one foot in front of the other. haha
Buen Camino
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Couldn't get through Sarria quick enough.
There are too many pulperias and restaurants for me to get through quickly.;) They can be savored even in the midst of crowds (though the pulperia seemed to be a local crowd).
 

CaminoKris2013

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2014)
Hi guys ,
Obviously im just a newbie planning her first Camino but reading some of the posts are very discouraging here.
I will be only doing the shorter Camino from Sarria to Santiago and i dont feel my Camino will be taking from anyone elses experience. I have minimal time i can take away from home as i have a son with special needs and am limited as to how long i can be away but my Camino is simply that , MY Camino and it will be just as special to me that any of yours will be. I would love to meet anyone while on the Camino either long or short walkers but i would hate to think that i was being called a plastic pilgrim just because i have not the same time freedom as others. Take every experience as yours be it good or bad everything has something to teach us.
Buen Camino to all !! :)
Maryindigo :)
Hey Maryindigo, have you considered walking a different 100 km stretch? There are quite a few pilgrims that do the Camino in a few stages. Otherwise trying one of the other Caminos like the Ingles, might be an option.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
What bothered me most on the last stretch, was the people who arrived in cars, parked them around the corner, and still used the refugios.
And the young people having sex in the hallway the night when I went to the loo with my 8-year-old in 2005. Fortunately, he'd heard about the phenomenon, but I wasn't ready for him to see a practical demonstration.

I remember dragging him off, muttering "if they can do THAT at 2 AM, they really haven't walked far enough yesterday!".

He's 17 now, and will be walking with us for the 6th time this Easter. I don't know if he remembers the "demonstration"...

Ha ha......I did not witness anything that, ummm, extreme on my Camino, but I did observe it to be almost the "dating game" among a lot of the young people. I got to admit, if I had been in my 20's I would be one of them. A lot of lovely young ladies walk the Camino.
 

Rambler

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
Maryindigo:
You will be as much of a pilgrim as anyone that started in St Jean or Le Puy or Paris. There will be more people for you to meet and more chances to make new friends and find a "family" along the way. If you had started earlier and met a group you did not like, you would be forced to stop a day or walk farther ahead to get in with a different group. But starting at Sarria there will be lots of chances to find people that will be entertaining and hopefully become lifelong friends. My best memories are with those we spent time with from Sarria onwards.

And to those of you that will have been walking for several weeks when you have arrive to Sarria and will have made your groups and become a seasoned pilgrim: open your eyes and heart to those just starting as they may bring a fresh perspective to the Camino at a time when it is becoming route for you, and they may be some of the most captivating people you meet along the way.

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ -Matthew 25:45
Rambler
Getting off the soapbox...
;)
 
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goatgirl

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Leon to Fisterra (2014)
SJDP to Burgos (2018)
Currently on a bunk in a large refugio in portomarin so post Sarria, it is not the quiet meditative space of previous albergue!!!!!
 

Leaningforward

Active Member
Having started in SJPDP and finished in Santiago, I would recommend to any first time walker who asked me to begin walking in Sarria or a town or two or three before.

My feet and body were used to long days by the time I reached Sarria; fellow pilgrims I met there who were just starting their walks suffered pains and strains and blisters for much of the walk to Santiago -- without much of the peace and solitude found in some earlier parts of the camino.

I preferred hearing the songbirds in Galicia to hearing few but seeing the vultures overhead in Navara and La Rioja. Kilometer for kilometer, I found most of the landscape as beautiful and challenging (especially with the winds and rain) as any before. The smaller more rugged fields, exquisitely stacked stone buildings and notched slate roofs, soaring eucalyptus forests -- I would take any day over the industrial area outside Zubriri, the airport fence approaching Burgos, etc.

I envy anyone who has the opportunity to walk from Sarria -- or anywhere along the caminos.
 

Sarah Britton

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2013
Frances 2014
Portuguese 2014
We just finished our Camino and were lucky to be able to get the time to do the walk from St Jean to Santiago. The walk from Sarria is a very different experience and certainly not my personal favourite stretch. We joined up with some large groups out of Sarria from Ireland, Australia and the US and what the opportunity to walk those last few days has done for many is inspire them to walk again. We were asked time and time again which stage we would recommend and often at the end of a few glasses of red we knew that a 'short walker'(not my terminology) would go home and start planning how they could walk the whole way. From our own blog many people have said they feel inspired to walk but most acknowledge they will have to do it in stages. Those of us who can walk the Camino over 5 or 6 weeks are blessed/retired/between jobs or have immediate reasons for doing it......it really is our own Camino
Take a look walkthecamino@wordpress.com
 
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rector

ONE HALF
Year of past OR future Camino
SJ-Sdc MAY (2011)
SJ-Sdc MAY (2014)
Sar-Sdc Oct (2015)
Pon-Sdc Ju (2016)
SJ-Log (2018)
I was proud that I started in St Jean until I met the two French ladies who started in Le Puy. I was proud that I was sixty and walking the way until we were passed by the 80 year old man. I was proud that my wife and I were doing it all for the second time until my wife's knee popped last week and now we don't know if we can start next week or not. What have I learned from walking the camino don't feel proud or superior, just be thankful you can!
 

Brendan Dawson

Ban Dai
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (May 2014)
CF (Sept 2015)
England C2C (May 2016)
CP (May 2017)
Good on ya, man!

The only problem with a forum is that too many people have way too much that they just have to share!
I guess that includes me.......simply said
Lighten up, folks and let everybody do what is right for them !
MYOB is a good working tool !
 

tploomis

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
I had been looking forward to seeing all sorts of fresh pilgrims being dropped off by bus and taxi at the 100 km. marker, but, disappointingly, there was nobody there but us. The last four days into Santiago were a major rainstorm for us (beginning of November, 2013). I don't know if the weather was keeping people from walking, but there were not many pilgrims on the path at that time. The last 100 km. was magical for me. I felt like I was in a kind of Hobbitland, everything green and yellow and sparkling in the rain. I know I could go back and walk that section a hundred times and it would never be the same.
 
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annakappa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
I think that from wherever you start on your Pilgrimage, that is a special place.
People choose different places of departure for many, many reasons and when you walk you have no idea, in the majority of cases, why someone started where they did. My husband Adriaan accompanied last May, together with Sillydolls group, several people with handicaps. They started at the 100 km mark ( just after Sarria) and took nearly 3 weeks to arrive in Santiago. There was no way that they could have walked more. We have also had the pleasure of walking with a group of lady prisoners from the Women's prison in Avila. They didn't have so much time available and so started on Sarria. They were such a happy group!
Please remember that this Forum is read by only a very small quantity of Pilgrims who walk the Camino and have obviously chosen their place of departure according to their possibilities. When I first researched the Camino, I did it in Spanish and, frankly, SJPP wasn't even mentioned! We decided to walk from Roncesvalles and have chosen this now 3 times. I have never considered starting in SJPP. This has nothing to do with distance, because I have also started in Jaca, Ourense, Oviedo ( but didn't finish this one) and we are now considering starting in Montserrat, because the place has a very special significance for us, but that is a walk of over 1.000 Kms! Yikes! SJPP seems to have become fashionable over the last few years, especially with the French ( because they are after all living in France), Germans,Koreans and English speaking Pilgrims.
In other words, your Camino is your Camino and where you choose to start is your choice, according to your possibilities and personal situation. I'm sure that hundreds of the Pilgrims starting in Sarria have no idea that the " long distance walkers" are talking or thinking negatively about them! Anne
 

jeffnd

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March/April 2014
I felt bad for the 100 km pilgrims. Not because I thought they were missing out on an "authentic" pilgrimage, but because if they have a bad couple of days, that's half their walk! When you start further back, you have time to turn things around. I had 3 days that were REALLY bad, bad as in, "Screw this! I want to go home!" But I was able to keep going and put myself in a better place. I don't know if I would have been able to do that if I had started in Sarria.

I didn't like the people that looked down on the folks that started in Sarria, some of my best Camino friends started there.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I felt bad for the 100 km pilgrims. Not because I thought they were missing out on an "authentic" pilgrimage, but because if they have a bad couple of days, that's half their walk! When you start further back, you have time to turn things around. I had 3 days that were REALLY bad, bad as in, "Screw this! I want to go home!" But I was able to keep going and put myself in a better place. I don't know if I would have been able to do that if I had started in Sarria.
I did a slightly extended Camino Ingles this year, followed by the Camino Finisterre via Muxia. I accepted that there was a risk that a bad day would make it more difficult, but I don't think that is something that I would expect others to feel bad about.

Unlike the stretch from Sarria on the CF, the Camino Ingles was wonderfully quiet, even in the period just before Easter.

Regards,
 
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Maryindigo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past Camino Sarria to Santiago 12 April 2016
Planning the next one !
I had been looking forward to seeing all sorts of fresh pilgrims being dropped off by bus and taxi at the 100 km. marker, but, disappointingly, there was nobody there but us. The last four days into Santiago were a major rainstorm for us (beginning of November, 2013). I don't know if the weather was keeping people from walking, but there were not many pilgrims on the path at that time. The last 100 km. was magical for me. I felt like I was in a kind of Hobbitland, everything green and yellow and sparkling in the rain. I know I could go back and walk that section a hundred times and it would never be the same.
Sounds magical tploomis ,Thank you. I can,t wait to see it !
 

Sraaen

Steven Raaen
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Podiensis (Le Puy - Pamplona) [2013]
Via Turonensis (Tours - SJPdP) [2013]
Camino Frances (SJPdP - SdC) [2013]
Via Tolosana (Montpellier - Pau) [2015]
Camino del Norte (Irun - SdC) [2015]
Sarria isn't so great but the noobies were a breath of fresh air. As soon as we left the city limits they were posing for group pictures in the pouring rain and seeing them walk sideways up the stairs past the bridge in Portomarin made them kindred spirits. We've all been there.
 
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tploomis

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
I think that from wherever you start on your Pilgrimage, that is a special place.
People choose different places of departure for many, many reasons and when you walk you have no idea, in the majority of cases, why someone started where they did. My husband Adriaan accompanied last May, together with Sillydolls group, several people with handicaps. They started at the 100 km mark ( just after Sarria) and took nearly 3 weeks to arrive in Santiago. There was no way that they could have walked more. We have also had the pleasure of walking with a group of lady prisoners from the Women's prison in Avila. They didn't have so much time available and so started on Sarria. They were such a happy group!
Please remember that this Forum is read by only a very small quantity of Pilgrims who walk the Camino and have obviously chosen their place of departure according to their possibilities. When I first researched the Camino, I did it in Spanish and, frankly, SJPP wasn't even mentioned! We decided to walk from Roncesvalles and have chosen this now 3 times. I have never considered starting in SJPP. This has nothing to do with distance, because I have also started in Jaca, Ourense, Oviedo ( but didn't finish this one) and we are now considering starting in Montserrat, because the place has a very special significance for us, but that is a walk of over 1.000 Kms! Yikes! SJPP seems to have become fashionable over the last few years, especially with the French ( because they are after all living in France), Germans,Koreans and English speaking Pilgrims.
In other words, your Camino is your Camino and where you choose to start is your choice, according to your possibilities and personal situation. I'm sure that hundreds of the Pilgrims starting in Sarria have no idea that the " long distance walkers" are talking or thinking negatively about them! Anne

This reminds me of my first night in L'Esprit du Chemin in St. Jean Pied de Port. We were about to start our Camino, yet half the people introducing themselves had already walked long distances through France and were continuing on the next day. I looked at them with awe ... seasoned pilgrims with many miles under their boots, distinctly weathered, calm, serene. In contrast, I was this excited newcomer, full of questions, anxious, uncertain of myself and what I could manage. By the time I got to Sarria, I was one of those weathered old timers. Everybody goes through that, wherever they start, and I think this is part of the personal growth that comes from the Camino. And then there was the young man who had walked from Belgium. He still had the energy and chutzpah to run with the bulls in the rain in Puenta la Reina. Some of those long distance walkers truly were a breed apart!
 
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Stellere

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March 2014 - con mi padre
I didn't like the last 100 km as much, not because of the "new" walkers - many of them became good friends for a day or two - but more because there were so many more albergues and bars. Instead of automatically running into the same people at every stop, we had a brand-new group every night for the last four days. While all of the people were lovely, the sense of close-knit community was lacking since the faces were always new.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I haven't walked my Camino yet and I also don't want to break any forum rules on religion but reading this made me think about Lent and Holy Week at Church. A group of us regulars have been keeping Lent, attending extra services etc. and generally being extra pious and holy!!! In Holy Week we've had wonderful , sparsely attended but very beautiful Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services. Easter Day we rose before dawn for a 5.30 service. Then came 10.30 - a Church full of people we don't see from one Sunday to the next - chocolate fuelled children running wild, teenagers who don't really want to be there etcetera - and it's wonderful - and surely more like a medieval services would have been , just as the last 100km sounds to me more like my idea of a medieval pilgrimage?
Wait & see, especially if you'll start well before Sarria ;)

Ultreia!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I was just over that strip of camino last week. Nothing wrong with the pilgrims. The merchants, however... Check your reciepts and count your change, people! They are after every dime and nickel!
 

quietwun

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (April 2014)
Everyone has a story and you just never now. Sorry if long but have been wanting to share and this kind of fits.

I started in Burgos about 10 days ago. Plan was to do short days. First day was fine, second day I was struggling seriously to the point of risk. When random people are hugging you and offering to help you look a mess. 2 asthma type attacks I have never on my life had. Staggering as my body tried to protect from pain. Pain everywhere. More an issue than energy.

Arrived in Hornillos to zero vacancy. Sat sobbing in the rain.

I survived that day because of others kindness. Knowing it would probably happen again and I would be almost presuming on others. No. Wrong. For me. Not now under these circumstances. A bit of wisdom goes a long way.

Taxied back to Burgos where I have spent an expensive week knowing I will "know" when and what to do.

I will leave tomorrow, be a tourist in Leon for a few days and bus to Sarria.

I will give myself all the chances I can to do that last 100. Booking ahead as much as possible, as short days as possible and doing pack transport when I can figure it.

Yes, I was underprepared, underfit, overweight, carrying too much, and spent my prewalk days in Burgos recovering from pneumonia and bronchitis. Bad all around

So I will be one of the Sarria starters I hope. Be gentle. My problems are just as big for me as yours are big for you.

Aside---meeting soooo many hurt people. Knees, feet, shin splints and tendinitis seem common. So many stopping. Thinking a lot about this whole picture. Something doesn't sit well if issues with possible long the consequences are happening to so many. What are we thinking?

And... I am so very grateful to those who were so kind. The hospitalero on Hornillos went beyond for me, even though I didn't really fit the atmosphere. Two German girls who truly enCOURAGED me to get there at all. So many others. Each word means so much

Booking short days after Sarria seems a bit challenging. And tips, advice or direction that might help me get this done with increasing but limited Spanish to phone places. Part of my issue is I am not sleeping enough so am trying to help with privates when possible though I am not anti dorm.

So-----you just never know. If I make it, even if I do any more, my accomplishment will be great.
 
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raydercha

Member
authentic (adj.) Look up authentic at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "authoritative," from Old French autentique (13c., Modern French authentique) "authentic; canonical," and directly from Medieval Latin authenticus, from Greek authentikos "original, genuine, principal," from authentes "one acting on one's own authority," from autos "self" (see auto-) + hentes "doer, being," from PIE *sene- "to accomplish, achieve." Sense of "entitled to acceptance as factual" is first recorded mid-14c.

Traditionally (at least since the 18c.), authentic implies that the contents of the thing in question correspond to the facts and are not fictitious; genuine implies that the reputed author is the real one; though this distinction is not etymological and is not always now recognized.
 

raydercha

Member
One acting on one's own authority stands out. I haven't set foot on the Camino and it has altered me. I've dreamed of it for a dozen years. I will be walking and allowing my own Camino to unfold. I'm flying in to Madrid July 7 and loosely am going to head to irun by way of Pamplona. Let's say I fall Ill tomorrow and can't make it and my Camino has been only the dream and all the reading? I have still been changed for the better"authentically". I can't wait. I'll be somewhere on the Camino July-August with a nine year old boy. Hope to see some of you. Ultreiya.(sp?)
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, July 2014
I just think of the many saints (Church acknowledged or otherwise) throughout history who probably walked only the 100 km. Certainly in pilgrimages like Canterbury, they weren't necessarily walking anymore than 60 - 70 miles. The English way to Santiago was only 100 km. In this day and age where many of us live on the couch, I think 100 km is still pretty significant.
 
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CatherineAnn

CF summer 2016
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012)
Camino Frances (2016)
A neighbor of ours had an exchange student from Spain. She said her church strongly encouraged them to walk the last 100 k. So many of the groups can only go if supported by the vans and such. Having said that ~ I was dirty, worn out, and understood why the grumblings do take place. :)

I too noticed a world of difference in the before Sarria and after. I enjoyed the whole walk, but for me, I enjoyed the before so much more.
 

Sineadsan

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
10/2008 - Sarria - SDC
05/2014 - Burgos - SDC
Hi guys ,
Obviously im just a newbie planning her first Camino but reading some of the posts are very discouraging here.
I will be only doing the shorter Camino from Sarria to Santiago and i dont feel my Camino will be taking from anyone elses experience. I have minimal time i can take away from home as i have a son with special needs and am limited as to how long i can be away but my Camino is simply that , MY Camino and it will be just as special to me that any of yours will be. I would love to meet anyone while on the Camino either long or short walkers but i would hate to think that i was being called a plastic pilgrim just because i have not the same time freedom as others. Take every experience as yours be it good or bad everything has something to teach us.
Buen Camino to all !! :)
Maryindigo :)
I get your point - I did my first Camino in 2009 from Sarria - I was still working then and just didn't have the time to walk further. I enjoyed the experience so much and learnt a lot which came in very handy for my second Camino earlier this year when I walked from Burgos to SDC. I met a group of German women (all mothers with children in school) who have been doing 100 km every year starting in France and in a couple of years they will have done the complete Frances Way - fantastic.
Next time (and there will be a next time!) I would like to start in France! I say "hat off" to anyone doing HIS/HER Camino no matter how far they choose to go.
Buen Camino!
 
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"...the Last 100km."
That smacks of finality. Even the Romans thought in terms of The End...Finisterre.
Consider the significant number of pilgrims that started their Camino from their door step, but, for any number of reasons, didn't arrive in SdC.
Or, the many Forum members starting their Camino in SJPDP,but, once again, didn't make it to SdC, via walking, biking or on a mule.
The research into the "why" pilgrims centuries past did, or didn't complete their Camino that first go would be daunting to accomplish.
That same research today, while not easy, can be done with the help of the great record keeping accumulated through the Pilgrim's Office. And,with the advent of the "Distance walked" document, even better. Let's not forget the interaction between Forum members on an even more personal level...warts and all.
Here's my point: the "Last 100 km" are those trod immediately before you stop. It's the draw of the Camino that motivates a pilgrim to walk the Way and, it's still the Camino that brings us back until we arrive in SdC, not to look back upon the "Last km" but to look ahead to our next Camino.
 

Lauraperegrina

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria-Santiago April, 2013
Gallarta-Santander August, 2014
Due to time constraints, I was a ¨short walker¨. As a teacher living in Spain, I had definitely been curious about the Camino, as many of my students and friends had told me about it. Because I had a week off at Easter, I did the Camino from Sarria to Santiago during Semana Santa (Easter week) of 2013. True, I did the bare minimum to get the Compostela. I did the short walk because I wasn´t sure that I´d be physically up to doing the Camino, and at the very least I could quit and spend a nice time in Santiago.Also, I wanted to cross the Compostela off my bucket list. Yes, I absolutely felt judgement from the ¨long walkers¨ who would grumble about the number of people (a totally valid gripe), and it was definitely a shock that people were not as friendly as I´d expected after speaking with previous peregrinos who had done a longer Camino. I´m not generally an early riser, and there were a couple days I couldn´t compete with the hardcore getup at 5am walkers, and found myself without a space in the public aubergues. And though I think that it´s great that school groups go, 50 teenagers passing by occupying all the washing areas, singing, and generally just being lound (as groups of teenagers innately are) on the Camino can be highly irritating.

That being said, it was a truly special experience for me. Yes, my Compostela might not have been as well deserved as people who had walked from SJPDP, but this was MY Camino, the great thing about the Camino is that it means something distinct to each person who does it (I´m sure those loud teenagers had an unforgettable experience). I thought the walk was stunningly beautiful, the food is amazing, and though fewer and further between, you can still find people who are incredibly kind. Most importantly, this short Camino helped me to see what I was truly capable of both mentally and physically (it absolutely poured rain each day and I never exercise). I stayed in private aubergues a couple times, and it was a welcomed luxury after walking all day (and a bargain at 10€). Unlike the early peregrinos and long walkers,I didn´t make my own food once. But in all fairness, Galician food is fantastic, and even with a fully equipped kitchen I´m not capable of duplicating it.

Before starting, I thought the Camino would be a one-time thing for me, and now one year later, I´ve done it again (this time part of the Camino del Norte). Yes, one day I cheated and got a ride to the aubergue (only because my friend and I were absolutely lost, and someone from the aubergue happened to drive by and take pity on us), but that´s my Camino. If I had had the opportunity in some moments of pure exhaustion (or maybe just laziness) to have someone else take my bag to the next place, I might have done it.-Not to cheat the ¨old-school¨Camino goers, but because it´s easier to enjoy the view without 20 pounds on your back. Yes the ¨long walkers¨are tougher, get more out of it, and just generally cooler than I am, and I hope to one day walk the whole way with them.

Sarria to Santiago might be the ¨worst¨ part of the Camino, but I wouldn´t trade it for anything. I look forward to the day where I walk the full Camino and hope to be back in Sarria where my first Camino started.

¡Buen Camino!
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, July 2014
The main gripe I had about the last 100 km were the large groups of people who stood directly on the trail, therefore blocking it, waiting for their friends to catch up. I ran into this a couple of times. Please step to one side so other pilgrims can get by.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, July 2014
That being said, it was a truly special experience for me. Yes, my Compostela might not have been as well deserved as people who had walked from SJPDP,

¡Buen Camino!

Who's to say whose Camino is more valid than another's or more well deserved? Circumstances prevent some from having an entire month off, myself included. I walked what my schedule and budget would allow and feel my Camino is just as valid as anyone else's. I walked about 117 miles.
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
Year of past OR future Camino
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
We have said that if we had it to do over we'd at least half wish we had stopped at Sarria. And I can say with almost all certainty that on our future caminos we will stop at Sarria.

If we do break down and walk into Santiago, we will definitely continue walking to Finesstare (sp?). The last 100km are not the way I plan to ever end my camino again.
 
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We have said that if we had it to do over we'd at least half wish we had stopped at Sarria. And I can say with almost all certainty that on our future caminos we will stop at Sarria.

If we do break down and walk into Santiago, we will definitely continue walking to Finesstare (sp?). The last 100km are not the way I plan to ever end my camino again.
Wave prof,
Your post has many absolutes "...we will, will definitely continue, plan to ever". Consider this: you can plan all you want, then where you plant your first step puts all in the will of the Camino. This isn't a spiritual happening, but rather reality.
Many pilgrims set their sights on a Camino too far to be realistic. They know from day one that, unless providence intercedes, major adjustments will be necessary if they are to arrive in SdC.
Enjoy the exercise of planning as much as you exercise as you can.
In any case, it may take just one leg of 100 km to reach SdC or, as many as it takes.
Buen Camino,
Arn
 

Olivares

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
That last 100 km is different from any other 100 km, and takes some preparation. Don't let that last part diminish the first 650 km.
Sorry, but that was not my "reality" at all! Not all who start further back from Sarria find the increasing numbers after Sarria a bad thing. I actually enjoyed the enthusiasm and new faces along the Camino. The fact that their clothes appeared clean or that many were carrying only water or that they were walking a fast pace did not bothered me whatsoever and I am not sure why it should. I adjusted. Very simple. Personally, I think the last 100 kms (Sarria to Santiago) are the dullest, worst food, least friendly locals. Even though I hope to go back again on the Camino Frances, I would NOT walk again Sarria to Santiago, but this has nothing to do with the other pilgrims.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
We have said that if we had it to do over we'd at least half wish we had stopped at Sarria. And I can say with almost all certainty that on our future caminos we will stop at Sarria.

If we do break down and walk into Santiago, we will definitely continue walking to Finesstare (sp?). The last 100km are not the way I plan to ever end my camino again.
Different pilgrims like different things about the Camino. The last 100km has a lot of features, mostly about the increased number of pilgrims, that irritate some pilgrims, particularly repeat pilgrims. Spectacular views are pretty much gone. The food can become routine in pilgrim restaurants because the focus is on serving a lot of people rather than creating unique cuisine (with a surprising number of great places if you seek them out). The bed race seems to dominate the conversation. The list of the off-putting items can be quite lengthy. All that said, to me it may have the highest level of energy since the Pyrenees crossing. New pilgrims are nearly awestruck. Thirty-day pilgrims feel the end drawing them on. Conversations and friends are new. I don't think I ever saw as many predawn pilgrims as in the last days of the pilgrimage; pilgrims can't wait to get to the cathedral. Santiago itself becomes a rabbit-warren-with-traffic lights as the arrows hide themselves in obscure places. Unless you know exactly when and where to look, the cathedral remains hidden until you are suddenly at the north door with the bagpipes playing in the arch ahead. Leaving the arch, Praza do Obradoiro is suddenly spread before you, filled with hikers and bikers staring up at the cathedral and taking photos. Old friends appear from everywhere in an avalanche of hugs and smiles, and greetings in languages incomprehensible to each other.

Yes, many repeat walkers let the negatives deter them, but for the first time arrivals, it is usually spectacular. So I suggest that no one be deterred by the curmudgeons. Walk as a child with eyes wide open, and revel in the unique experience that a first arrival is. Save the jaded cynicism for your second visit...;)
 

Pita

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances. May - June 2014
I did SJPP to Santiago in May and June of this year. My final "Camino family" consisted of a mix of 10 of us - about half had started in SJ while the others started in Sahugun or Siarra. Where you start the Camino is not as important as who you finish the Camino with (and who you are when you finish).

(BTW, we teasingly called the walkers from Siarra "weekigrinos")

I am already itching to walk again, but like many I do not have the time available now to walk the whole CF. I want to bring my teenage daughter along on the next trip and I think the 5 days from Siarra to Santiago would be perfect for both of us. I don't feel the need to prove anything to anyone as I've done the 790 km already and have the compostella as my "merit badge". The trek from Siarra will give you a good taste of the Camino and will probably leave you wanting more.

As anyone who has done the Camino before will tell you: you walk your own Camino. Enjoy!
 
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saltwaterpearl

Here kitty, kitty.....
I don't think it is about the actual distance walked. Peregrinos walk the distance that they have the time, finances, physical ability, mental/spiritual stamina or interest to walk - 100 kms is arbitrary. Personally, only walking the camino for 5 days doesn't make financial, cultural, or mental/spiritual sense to me, and the compostela will be a nice souvenir, but is not a motivating factor of my camino. But this is not a judgement on anyone else's choices or motivations.

But again, I don't think the conflict is about "distance", so much as it is about "behavior".

Long-walkers ~ It is understandably very jarring to walk out of our grubby solitude and daily, familiar faces into the teeming, freshly-scrubbed crowds. However, we have a responsibility (not just to others, but to ourselves) to not be jerks. Breathe, be generous, open-minded, stay positive and kind, and don't get too grumpy, judge-y, snarky, self-important or superior.

Short-walkers ~ It is understandably very exciting to begin your walk. However, you have have a responsibility to not act like idiots. Please be respectful of other peregrinos. If you are walking for a "holiday", perhaps with a big group, please do not impose your party on everyone else. You are not the center of the camino universe all of a sudden. Respect lights-out and quiet at the albergues, don't blast your music, litter or block the trail. Be helpful, open-minded, kind and aware of others.

I'm sure most short-walkers are not as described. (The ones I'm describing are at least not likely on this forum.) Unfortunately, after Sarria, big groups and holiday-makers do shake up the energy of the camino, often with negative behaviors.

So it can take considerable effort on the part of most walkers - short and long - to not let the rude, disrespectful, disruptive behaviors of noisy masses ruin our days or destroy our internal peace and goodwill.
For my part, I try to focus on maintaining my own peace and calm, and not obsess on the actions of others or get mired in anger. But I'll also call out unacceptable rudeness. I think there is a balance there, somewhere.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
What an interesting debate..... I know maintaining the right attitude during the 'last 100' will be a challenge for me. I'm by nature very competitive and tend to 'look down' on those who I deem to be taking 'short cuts'.

But... the more I read this forum the more I hope I'll be able to maintain a more healthy attitude once past Sarria.

Once there, tired and aching, and surrounded by 'chirpy' short walkers I may feel a struggle. I'm sure of it. After all I have yet to experience a Camino. But if I think about it objectively, my thoughts are these:

  1. Is it written anywhere that one must not only walk the last 100 km but also carry a burden? If so, what size burden?
  2. Cycling the last 200 km qualifies. I imagine that is a lot easier than walking 100kms.
  3. Riding a Horse is even allowed.
  4. Are a group of noisy teenagers walking with only a water bottle, not also 'legitimate' pilgrims? Maybe we we the foolish ones, struggling under our packs?
For me, like many forum members I'm sure, I would like walk all the way. Carry my pack all the way. Why? Because I think a pilgrimage needs to involve a degree of effort. Some discomfort perhaps. A commitment. Others will think differently I'm sure.

For me, those who mention thinking of the CF as 2 different Caminos are spot on. In reality, don't we all walk our Camino in our own way? Is the physical element so important? The distance we walk, if we carry a burden or not? Surely it's the inner journey that is far more important? And is that lessened in any way if due to many of life's pressures, be it time, or physical ability, we choose to be a short walker carrying nothing but a water bottle.

We hope to make it from SJPDP to SDC. Maybe on to the coast. We hope to.... But reality may strike as it has done for many forum members. And we might need to bus or taxi a stage. We might need to send our packs ahead a few times. I refuse to let that detract from my 'inner journey' of reflection. My Camino in my mind, will be valid.

It won't lessen my journey.

If some choose to look upon us and see it as lessening their Camino.............that's their choice.


Sorry to ramble..............
 
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D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The vast majority of the crowding from Sarria is from Spanish pilgrims. It is their country, after all, so we guests should take it in stride. Enough pilgrims on the Forum do just the last 100km, so it leaves the impression that it is foreigners suddenly joining the pilgrimage. Actually, we are a small part of the problem. The Spanish have myriad reasons for walking the Camino, so it is difficult to second guess the motivation behind the crowding. Parochial schools use the Camino as part of their curriculum, so groups of 30 to 50 early teen pilgrims are a common sight. Like most kids, they are walking disasters, but delightful disasters. The leave litter, jam cafes, and make a lot of noise. The degree to which they are having a religious or spiritual journey may be debatable, but it is certain that they are getting Camino spirit decades before most of the Forum members do. Other Spanish regularly walk the last 100km as a quiet outlet for emotions. Some cannot get enough time off to spend 35 days walking from France.

I think a Pilgrim gets from the Camino pretty much what he brings to the Camino. If it is irritation, frustration, rigidity, and entitlement that one brings, all will be found in large measure on the Camino. Many pilgrims find it enlightening to leave behind the negatives that previously inhabited their world. I hope that we all can do that, myself included (who is immune to negative thoughts when seeing litter, being denied a bed, or being kept awake at night?). Perhaps the last 100km is just the hair shirt we all occasionally endure.
 

sriyantra

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances September "2014"
We are in Melide and have been surprised at the lack of numbers generally and particularly newbies since Sarria. We found greater numbers walking from SJPP to Burgos. Lots of pilgrims opted to bus over the Meseta but we really enjoyed it and there were very few pilgrims around us for days. Maybe it's us????
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
There were 6,066 compostelas in the last seven days, so the pilgrim numbers are below 1,000 per day, but it still is a lot of pilgrims! May your luck continue.:)
 
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fraluchi

RIP 2019
Year of past OR future Camino
One every year since 2007
[...]But... the more I read this forum the more I hope I'll be able to maintain a more healthy attitude once past Sarria.
The object of walking is to relax the mind. You should therefore not permit yourself even to think while you walk; but divert yourself by the objects surrounding you. Walking is the best possible exercise. (Thomas Jefferson)
 

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 was lucky enough to walk into Santiago in 2004 (a Jubilee Year) on the Friday 2 days before the Holy Sunday. My daughter and I had walked from SJPDP in relative quiet and serenity. From Sarria it felt like the whole of Spain was on the trail - and they probably were. The army had to erect huge tents for the pilgrims to sleep in, and they fed us (gratis) out of mess vans. Local schools opened their gymnasiums, we gratefully found a few inches of concrete to sleep on, every inch of space was taken, every restaurant full.

We loved the last 100 kilometres! It was like we had been preparing all month for this event, and now the guests had arrived and we were all having a glorious riot of a party. I did not resent the newbies at all - I was uplifted by their enthusiasm and their joy to be on Camino. Never have I encountered such mass happiness and goodwill. It was like the air was positively charged all the way. Nor did it diminish our entry into Santiago and arrival at the Cathedral - which just happened quietly with my daughter and I walking by ourselves. Perhaps the last was a special gift; I like to think so.

I just don't see any difference between those who walk from different geographic locations, distances short or long, on foot, on a bike, or even in a wheelchair. It is the spirit and character of their pilgrimage and their behaviour that makes the difference. I've met some very crabby unhappy people way back on the trail.

My irritation is with those who want to cherry-pick the Camino, walking only the "best" bits, not because of time constraints or disability but because they are not prepared or willing to commit to the Camino. They are treating it as a commercial tourist trail and nothing more. The Camino has magic aplenty to work on the least likely people, but it needs a bit of help. Like the man who kept asking the Lord to let him win the lottery; and the Lord eventually replying, "You have to at least buy a ticket".
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Like many others, I've had to make an effort sometimes to think charitable thoughts about the masses of humanity that flood the Camino from Sarria onwards. In fact, that is the primary reason why I've switched to the less travelled caminos. But my weeks as a volunteer in the pilgrims' office this past May showed me another side of that equation and humbled me.

I heard so many stories, and many came from people starting in Sarria. There was the mother of the 6 month old baby, whose doctor had prepared them for the infant's death soon after his birth. She vowed that if he lived till 6 months she would walk from Sarria. There she was, with husband and infant driving along to meet up so that she could nurse the child. Or the 92 year who had had the dream of walking the Camino for years and years, walking with his 60-something daughter. And then there were the friends of Juanito. On a Sunday morning at the very beginning of May, we heard the commotion of a loud boisterous group of teenagers outside the office. Bracing ourselves for another rude group of youngsters, in they came all wearing the same shirt, arriving in Santiago on the same day that their close friend Juanito had died one year earlier. His parents were with them, and as you might imagine, there were not too many dry eyes in the pilgrims' office. The distance we walk has absolutely nothing to do with anything else, most especially with the holiness of the purpose you have for walking a pilgrimage.
 
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Olivares

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
Peregrina-- your post should be handed over as a required reading assignment to all before anybody steps on the Camino. Many are a bit too quick to judge a situation by "what it looks like".
 

kathandric

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2011)
So many thoughts and peregrina2000 nailed it. Not that it matters, but my oncologist and rheumatologist would not even consider letting me start in SJPdP like my wife did. My camino will be from Sarria to Santiago starting in 3 days. I will then spend the last half of November as a hospitalero tending to pilgrims on the Camino Frances. Does this make my camino "less" than one that started in SJPdP? I fully expect to be looked down upon and shunned but don't care. This is MY camino and am planning on doing the best I can. I am walking to give thanks that I still can, to pray for the friends I have lost, for the friends I have and to be reminded of the blessings bestowed upon us.
 
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