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The last leg.

devenney1

New Member
What is the attitude towards people who fly to Santiago and take a bus to Sarria to walk the last leg. I quite understand older people or people who are just not able and can only manage the last eighth of the pilgrimage. What I cannot understand is youth club leaders arriving with crowds of young people or priest arriving with crowds of young fit people from their parishes just to walk the last 100km. It also turns the last leg of the journey into a nightmare for the true pilgrim that has already walked 700km and now finds the path overcrowded and Alburgees filled to bursting.
This is also unfair to the young people too that someone has taken them and let them walk the last leg of a great pilgrimage. Now that they have done the climax of the journey they have no incentive to go and do the remaining 700km. They should have start at the begining and do a week every year until complete.
 
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Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I find this very judgemental. :roll:
It might just inspire someone who is uncertain to walk one of the many Camino routes, whether of 100kms or more.
 

fortview

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
This is quite a provocative post !!
We were always aware that the last 100km were going to be busy, so were mentally prepared for that. It's only possible to reply to you on a personal level,so, did I feel resentful ? No. Did we miss out on beds, no. It's a fact of life on the camino, and just another challenge. The " groups " seemed to have accommodation in hotels, and be collected by bus.
By that stage, we were just so focused on reaching Santiago, that it didn't seem to matter.
Others may feel differently .
 

Diegomartine

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sept 1st. (2014)
Don't worry about that my friend, the camino is a personal experience, I think you need to worry for doing the experience unique for you! don't worry about the others, how much they are walking or things like that... :)
 

Peronel

Active Member
Before I started, I would've said similar. And then I met a lady outside the cathedral door, who'd walked from Sarria, and was overwhelmed and overjoyed by her experience.

(Mind, I did shake my head slightly at those who, after lunch-and-sello, picked up their tiny, gourd-covered day packs got in a coach to be taken the next 10k to that night's hotel. LIke everything in life I guess you get out what you put in. Or not - for sure St James gave me more than I could have imagined.)
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Sorry have to agree with Tia Valeria.
I personally know some schools here who take their students of last year secondary ( 17 years ) for a ten days pilgrimage. On a voluntary basis. They all say it is one of the best experiences they had. They prebook in albergues, other schools, youth hostels.
I like meeting up with these youngsters and I have ALL respect for the teachers who assist such groups.
For some of the kids it is quite possible the first outing they had in a long time ( and will have for the near future ) seeing they are not all from a priviliged fiancial background.

On my Camino from 2011 ( Roncesvalles to SDC ) I met alot of turigrinos, people from the last leg, also people who due to all kind of circumstances could not carry their own pack. I had the best kind of conversations with most of them. I also had a hickup with an obnoxious pilgrim ( my feelings :wink: ) who considered himself a better pilgrim because he started in France and went until Muxia... I let him... :D

A dear friend of mine always says : It's ALL good!!
 

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)
If someone, young or old, can find time to spend just a week undertaking the pilgrimage, and chooses to walk the last 100km in order to be awarded a compostela, that is a wonderful achievement and clearly meets the established requirements. Why would you suggest otherwise.

This year, my wife and I will walk the Milford Track in NZ with my 15yo grand-daughter during her school holidays. She has a two week break, and no doubt will want to spend some of that relaxing with her friends. I am sure there are many Spanish and other European families, youth groups and the like who plan on a similar basis, which makes it perfectly sensible to undertake the shorter pilgrimage routes or start on the longer routes from just beyond the 100km point.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The original poster's first post was provocative, too. Perhaps we should not rise to the bait??

He is just lurking out there enjoying our responses. Rabbit???
 

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 agree with falcon, having also just checked their history. Perhaps the OP might care to qualify themselves before I bother being polite in response to them in future.

I have never felt the need to use the 'foe' setting on this board. Perhaps we need a somewhat less adversarial arrangement for ignoring people who flame this forum.
 

devenney1

New Member
I must firstly assure 'dougfitz' and 'falcon269' that I do not "Lurk" anywhere waiting on your replys. I was voicing my personal opinion on the subject. I have walked from St. Jean twice and enjoyed both caminos apart from a bad experience on my second on the last leg involving over exuberant youth.
I am walking from Seville this year and hoping for a quiet and serene walk.
Sorry I raised a few feathers it was unintentional.
Buen Camino.
 
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november_moon

Veteran Member
My husband and I will be walking part of the Camino de Frances next year - planning to walk 200-300 km, so maybe starting in Ponferrada or Leon. We just cannot take the time to walk the whole route, so we will walk part of it. I would love to walk from SJPP, but it just isn't possible at this point, so rather than not going at all, we are going to walk the distance that we can. People have lots of reasons for walking and probably just as many reasons for choosing the length of their walk. I can't see finding fault with someone for "only" walking from Sarria - that is still 100 km, which is nothing to sneeze at.
 

frasert

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April/May 2013 SJPDP to Burgos
April/May 2015 Burgos to SDC or Leon to Finesterre (undecided)
I am sure that those who start in Le Puy feel "superior" to those in St
Jean. It's all relative.
I'd love if my teens would walk 1K let alone 100k!
 

oregonwalker

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago (2013); Planning SJPP to Santiago when I retire (2017)
My thoughts on this topic: My husband and I just returned home from walking from Sarria to Santiago. Why only the last 100 km? I'm the one who caught the Camino bug a couple of years ago. My sweet husband offered to walk with me, but he can't leave his job for much more than a week. Also, my husband has a metal rod in his leg from a serious accident years ago and we weren't sure if he would be able to manage the daily 10 to 15km for five or six consecutive days or carry a backpack. I've walked halfs and a full marathon, so I felt okay about my fitness level.

So, we opted to go the "touregrino" route this time, using a luggage service and staying in inns. It allowed him to walk with me. It took the place of our annual vacation. And the result? He enjoyed the walking, and he only suffered a bit of knee pain the last few days. We got to spend quality time together, at a lovely slow pace, instead of rushing from one tourist sight to another, like some vacations we've taken.

As for me, now that I have tested the Camino waters, so to speak, I am now even more determined to walk the entire French Way, carrying my pack and staying in albergues as soon as I retire in three years, when I can be gone from home for 35-40 days. The Camino found its way even deeper into my soul, even though ours wasn't a "traditional" Camino. I can't wait to return to Spain!
 

lbpierce

Linda Breen Pierce
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
The most important lesson I learned from my father was to "live and let live." I try to live by that principle, not always succeeding.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Hang on hang on devedev1234. You asked what the opinions are....and you got them. People were as honest in their replies as you were in your questioning. If you wish to be given the right to speak you have to allow the same of others.
I would also like to respectfully point out to you that you were not personally attacked - you were not labelled provocative, although your post was. And indeed that was a fair comment. I would encourage you to hang around and learn from the many and varied opinions that are offered. As you have already discovered in this one post, others can see things differently to you and open your eyes to a richer way of viewing the world. There is much to be learnt here if you are willing to engage in debate without being offended and listen to others - and your own experience will no doubt be beneficial to others too.
 
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Green Tortuga

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012), Chemin Le Puy (2012)
frasert said:
I am sure that those who start in Le Puy feel "superior" to those in St
Jean.

Oh, yes, definitely wooses. All of you. ;o)

Also, anyone that takes all those sendas rather than the scenic alternate paths like Dragonte--I just don't know how y'all wake up in the morning.

And all those people who sleep in albergues every night instead of camping like real pilgrims. Come on? Showers? That is so 20th century....

And anyone that does their walk as a one-way adventure--cheats! Real pilgrims have to walk back from where they started.

And all those bicyclists....

And... and... and....

I can't say I'd get any real satisfaction out of walking the last 100 kilometers, and to be honest, if I were the rule maker, I'd require a much longer walk. But as crowded as the last 100 kilometers can be, I'd just as soon keep things as they are. Imagine the whole trail from Saint Jean to Santiago as crowded as those last 100 kilometers. In a lot of ways, the did us "long-distance" walkers a favor by keeping the "short-distance" walkers out of our way for most of that distance. (And our credentials are much cooler anyhow--they don't have a wine fountain stamp, for instance!)

So just go with the flow. It's not a contest. Make your own journey and stop worrying about other people's journey. =)

-- Ryan
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
I must say I enjoyed the section from Sarria every bit as much as any of the rest and even after three weeks walking it was a challenge for me, so what must it have been like for those starting out, not easy I would guess. We met many new friends who started from Sarria and shared the path to Santiago with them. I also have to admit that the pilgrims who hopped off the buses to get their passports stamped and hopped back on did tee me off a bit, but I got over it, it was their Camino.
 

dalston999

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walked Le Puy/Santiago/Fisterra/Murxia Sept/Oct 2012, Portugues march 2013, Arles April 2013
Whilst those of us who have walked from Le Puy might succumb to feelings of superiority in a moment of weakness, this soon dissipates when we meet pilgrims who have walked from Vienna, or Geneva, or Koln........

It's all relative! Enjoy it however long it is. As has been said many times before on this forum, everyone has to do their own camino, not anyone else's.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
dalston999 said:
Whilst those of us who have walked from Le Puy might succumb to feelings of superiority in a moment of weakness, this soon dissipates when we meet pilgrims who have walked from Vienna, or Geneva, or Koln........

It's all relative! Enjoy it however long it is. As has been said many times before on this forum, everyone has to do their own camino, not anyone else's.

This makes me curious, as I have seen other people on the forum saying they felt superior too, after having walked longer than the others.
I'm probably not allowed to ask anyone how a doing a pilgrimage can make people end up feeling superior. So I won't do that.
Still I wonder. As the feeling of superiority seems to come from having walked more meters than other people. It's not a complicated thing, to walk, if you are healthy. To me it's says some people had a longer holiday. But perhaps it not just just the meters being walked? Perhaps you spend the walk doing good things to other people, helping them etc, along the way? So being out walking longer meant doing more good things? Or did you just move yourself and your belongings xxxx km?
I'm just curious. If I didn't have to work I would be out walking all day. But don't think I would expect applauds for it. :wink:
 

fortview

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
Kiwi-family said:
Hang on hang on devedev1234. You asked what the opinions are....and you got them. People were as honest in their replies as you were in your questioning. If you wish to be given the right to speak you have to allow the same of others.
I would also like to respectfully point out to you that you were not personally attacked - you were not labelled provocative, although your post was. And indeed that was a fair comment. I would encourage you to hang around and learn from the many and varied opinions that are offered. As you have already discovered in this one post, others can see things differently to you and open your eyes to a richer way of viewing the world. There is much to be learnt here if you are willing to engage in debate without being offended and listen to others - and your own experience will no doubt be beneficial to others too.

Quite,and very well put !
A " provocative post " does not need to be seen as a negative thing at all! This forum would be rather boring without the odd provocation :) that is if it opens up discussion, and is not offensive !
 
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fortview

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
Susannafromsweden said:
[

This makes me curious, as I have seen other people on the forum saying they felt superior too, after having walked longer than the others.
wink:

I might be completely misinterpreting but my impression is that people are being very " tongue in cheek " about feeling superior, and its meant to be amusing.
I hope. :D
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata 2010, Camino de Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo 2013, Olvidado, Invierno 2014
fortview said:
Susannafromsweden said:
[

This makes me curious, as I have seen other people on the forum saying they felt superior too, after having walked longer than the others.
wink:

I might be completely misinterpreting but my impression is that people are being very " tongue in cheek " about feeling superior, and its meant to be amusing.
I hope. :D

:) well I hope so too, but I'm not quite sure always.
Anyway I think it's funny.
As if "My camino was longer than yours" is something like "my car is bigger than yours".
:mrgreen:
Maybe I will meet one of these "I'm better than you, because I started in Uzbekistan" when I'm out walking in May. Then we can have a long discussion. :wink:
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
A " provocative post " does not need to be seen as a negative thing at all!
I agree if it is a stimulating thought. If it is just insult, such as demeaning someone else's pilgrimage, I would respectfully disagree. For example, your post is thought provoking. Had it been along the lines of "you are all idiots," it would be simply insulting. It is more about hubris than provocation, perhaps.
 

na2than

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2012)(2013)
Some posts are more thought provoking...if not provocative.It made me look inside myself...at my sin of pride...was my pilgimage better for starting in St Jean.....and i carried my own pack.....my answer was we all are on pilgimage TOGETHER....mine is no more or less real than Sarriaists.

On the plus side it is a better thread than "latest thoughts on the altus poncho"
 

jstys

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (03, 04), VdlP (05, 06), Norte (07,08), Primativo (09), Frances (12)
For me, one of the gifts of the Camino is being able to laugh at myself.

At Sarria, I was feeling a little bit irritable by all the newbies. There were many Irish groups as cheap flights had just started from Dublin.

As a was walking a group of clean and energetic Irish women walked past me. I heard one woman say to her friend "Can you imagine walking like this for a month?!"

I offered that I had been on the road for around 35 days.

She exclaimed with her best Irish accent "Mother of God!!". I wished her a 'buen camino" and they walked on.

It made me smile the rest of the day and was one of the higlights of my camino.
 
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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 would just like to point out that most of these youth groups who, yes, only walk the last 100 Kms from Sarria (actually 109 kms), go though a spiritual preparation before they actually set out. They have often been on a retreat and are guided as to what they will see, how they behave and what is the history of the Camino.
This, by the way, also applies to the many groups of prisoners who, after much screening, have the opportunity to walk the Camino for one week. We have twice met up with such a group. Anne
 

reg2450

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
March 2013
remember the story Jesus told of the guy who worked all day getting paid the same as the guy who turned up an hour before knock off? Nobody liked it, but He said it for a reason.
I'm hoping I might find some of that reasoning while I walk.
And yes, I feel I have walked for years and I'm not even on the same continent yet.
And I feel, already, a little sad about the leg from SJPP to Rocensvalle perhaps being impassable with snow....
But there are no accidents. I'm fairly certain that I will be in SJPP - I have the tickets. I wonder - if it may not be possible for me to start walking from there - why God would get me there in the first place? This IS an exciting adventure!!
 

Green Tortuga

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012), Chemin Le Puy (2012)
reg2450 said:
And I feel, already, a little sad about the leg from SJPP to Rocensvalle perhaps being impassable with snow....

I've never seen this route in the snow so take my thoughts with a grain of salt, but "impassable," I think, is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe it's not suitable for your level of fitness or experience, but I have a hard time believing that the route is truly "impassable" in the winter. If you're strong, healthy and comfortable around snow, the route seems like it should be completely doable. Someday, I might even have to do it just to prove it's doable. =)

I think it would be pretty neat to get over the Pyrenees with a layer of snow everywhere. Snow is the silver lining that makes everything beautiful.

-- Ryan
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
In early July 2008 I found the day from Sarria to Portomarin very difficult, with noisy crowds along the way. It was hard work anyway because it was so hot, but the noisiness of some other walkers was quite a shock. When I arrived in Portomarin, I even thought about forgetting all about a Compostela, and just getting transport ahead to the end. Fortunately by the time the morning rolled around, I had changed my mind!

The last night before Santiago I stopped in Monte de Gozo. There was a very large group of Spanish young people there with a priest and other youth leaders. I was thinking, uh oh, no sleep tonight. But, even though I have hardly any Spanish, you could tell that the leaders were telling the young people that they needed to be respectful of the other pilgrims staying, some of whom had walked a long way. And sure enough, at 10pm, the noise from all those young people just stopped. Next morning in front of the Cathedral, it was wonderful to see this group of young people so joyous about their arrival, then in the Mass they were eagerly participating.

Debates about who are 'true' pilgrims are notoriously vitriolic. Personally, I mostly describe myself as someone who has done some 'long distance walks'. But I have a French Camino friend, who I respect greatly, who gets quite cross with me when I say things like this. He tells me that of course, I am a 'proper pilgrim'. In the end it doesn't matter what you call what I have done. It has made a big impact on me in various ways, and despite my 'lapsed Catholic' status, I would even go so far as to say that blessings have flowed. So maybe that makes me a 'true pilgrim', and maybe not... I don't know why I even enter this discussion, except somehow people defining/excluding others as 'true pilgrims' always gets my dander up!
Margaret
 

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