Search 57,387 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
A Quest of St. James, Tommy Ray, Book Cover, Image
Come follow the vivid imagery of this life-changing adventure.
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

The mediatization of the Camino and its impacts on the pilgrimage

Jean Ti

Active Member
This study on the mediatization of the Camino de Compostela have important impacts on the pilgrimage itself compared to the ancient way without these tools.

In the past internet and web and cellphone did not exist and have an impact on the pilgrims itself.

I would love to read what you think of this study and get your thoughts?


 
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.

gns

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
I am afraid that it appears to be a case of writing the English language in a deliberately obscure way so that meaning is only readily apparent to other initiates. This seeks to impart authority to the work by concealing its essential banality.

I think it is just a very long winded way of saying that modern means of communication and transport means that pilgrims are generally not disconnected from their everyday lives in the same way that they were in the past. This means the pilgrimage experience is different. most people know that instinctively.

We could have a more interesting conversation about whether Sir Francis Drake was a pirate or not (as asserted in the article).
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
We could have a more interesting conversation about whether Sir Francis Drake was a pirate or not (as asserted in the article).

Lol. Growing up in California Sir Francis Drake and his ship the Golden Hind were part of our California history lessons. Of course we were taught that he was a noble explorer. I was surprised to learn years later that the rest of the world didn't view him that way.
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Published on Amazon
Guide to the 16 main caminos with maps, pictures, hyperlinks and other information.

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CFx2, CPx1
"Mediatization"
The very word, if it can legitimately be called a word, instills in me a sense of disgust, and effectively ensures I will refrain from reading the article.
In the same way that other, less recently coined one, "Mindfullness" did.
I note with appreciation that my browser underlined both with a bold red line signifying the incorrect use of language.
Regards
Gerard
 
Last edited:

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I get extremely annoyed by modern insistence on anachronistic practice as somehow a mark of “purity”.

The notion that medieval pilgrims were disconnected from their lives at home is absurd. For one thing, most had to be carrying papers with them that gave evidence from their parish priests that they had not left behind debts, financial or otherwise, nor obligations, but had their accounts and houses in good order to be sustained while they were away. In addition, many of the more economically privileged ones wrote letters home — we know, for example, that people wrote with some preoccupation about the movement/speed/trajectory of the plague from the east as it arrived in Rome and travelled westward. We also know that people purchased and carried home such relics as dust, vials of water, bits of stone etc. These as power-bearing items that would carry the blessings and messages of whichever saint was associated with the cathedral from which the relic had been purchased.

If these practices do not signal to us that pilgrims remained as connected to home as their techne afforded them, then I don’t know what would.

The notion that ditching loved ones and home is somehow an accurate view of pilgrimage, or even a noble practice seems to be a very, very modern interpretation, and a very individualistic one as well.

Do we really think that only those who are wealthy enough and already unhinged enough from a community (so that they do not have a need or a responsibility to connect with current technologies to home) are behaving as “proper” pilgrims?

Ugh.

In my view of it, the person who can scratch out a small space for peace and a long walk *precisely because* of technology that allows us to connect to work demands that aren’t otherwise going to disappear for decades, or to people whose well-being relies on daily contact with our voices, or with our reassurances in a few texts… are precisely the people we ought to *make sure* we are treating gently.

Why do people get so *undone* about how someone across the field, the bar, the restaurant… is using their phone? Are caminos so fragile that they cannot tolerate someone else having a different way of negotiating being away from home for a long period of time?
 
Last edited:

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Why do people get so *undone* about how someone across the field, the bar, the restaurant… is using their phone?
I agree. If one is consulting their guidebook, reading a novel or writing in their journal no one bats an eye - unless the guidebook, novel or journal happens to be on a phone.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I skimmed through the text and from the comments here I gather that the main message is "smartphones on the Camino are bad for your Camino experience", right?

This implies that there is a Walking-the-Camino experience that everyone should strive for and if you don't experience all the major ingredients of this prescribed or described experience then you "didn't get it" or didn't do it right, and it's partly the fault of your using landline telephones, computers connected to the Internet, and smartphones during the 20th century. This causes my interest to wane immediately ... I value my own experience as it was, or will be, and nobody is going to dictate to me how I make use of the communication options that I have, nor of the options that to inform myself or to entertain myself, anywhere at any time. I'm going to have a second look at the text but feel already now that I am in fighting spirit.

There is a second aspect that the text tries to address: how the storytelling and the narratives, and even the experience, are shaped, or "interfered" by media use. This is what we are busy doing here on the forum ... :cool:
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
There are some interesting bits in the text, though. For example, on the definition of pilgrimage, often quoted researchers are mentioned who distinguish between four categories of pilgrimages, two of them being the medieval European pilgrimage and the pilgrimages that emerged from the 19th century through European Catholicism, many of which are inspired by the appearance of Mother Mary.

The authors of the text say that the Camino de Santiago is cited by many as a medieval European pilgrimage but it is today a hotchpotch or an amalgam of several religious and non-religious elements, leaning towards notions of spirituality.

That is a fairly accurate description, in my opinion, and today's peregrin@s / pilgrims / Camino pilgrims / Camino walkers belong to a pilgrim category of its own. And this has to do with the mediatization of the Camino de Santiago, the way it is described in books and blogs and vlogs and articles and movies and posts on this forum, and the way it is promoted by parties like regional or national actors in Spain who make good use of modern media, and have been doing so since at least 1992.
 
Last edited:
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

gns

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
There are some interesting bits in the text, though. For example, on the definition of pilgrimage, often quoted researchers are mentioned who distinguish between four categories of pilgrimages, two of them being the medieval European pilgrimage and the pilgrimages that emerged from the 19th century through European Catholicism, many of which are inspired by the appearance of Mother Mary.

The authors of the text say that the Camino de Santiago is cited by many as a medieval European pilgrimage but it is today a hotchpotch or an amalgam of several religious and non-religious elements, leaning towards notions of spirituality.

That is a fairly accurate description, in my opinion, and today's peregrin@s / pilgrims / Camino pilgrims / Camino walkers belong to a pilgrim category of its own. And this has to do with the mediatization of the Camino de Santiago, the way it is described in books and blogs and vlogs and articles and movies and posts on this forum, and the way it is promoted by parties like regional or national actors in Spain who make good use of modern media, and have been doing so since at least 1
As any thoughtful person (such as yourself) can conclude. I am afraid that academia suffers from the bind that there are too many scholars for the amount of meaningful things to research. At the same time status and employment depends on publishing research. Consequently much of what is published like this article is of little value. If universities would value teaching more this problem might diminish.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Lol. Growing up in California Sir Francis Drake and his ship the Golden Hind were part of our California history lessons. Of course we were taught that he was a noble explorer. I was surprised to learn years later that the rest of the world didn't view him that way.
Ha! I learnt new words today. I got curious to see how Francis Drake aka Sir Francis Drake is described in different language versions on Wikipedia and I now know new words and their meaning: privateer, corsaire, Freibeuterei and Kaperei, and patente de corso, all of which are different from pirate and piracy. Although this fine distinction would not have made much of a difference to the victims of such officially ordered or officially authorised deeds ...
 
Last edited:

Turga

Camino tortuga
Past OR future Camino
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
This implies that there is a Walking-the-Camino experience that everyone should strive for and if you don't experience all the major ingredients of this prescribed or described experience then you "didn't get it" or didn't do it right, and it's partly the fault of your using landline telephones, computers connected to the Internet, and smartphones during the 20th century.

I couldn’t agree more – about the “cannonized walking-the-Camino experience”’, I mean. This not only has to do with using ‘tech-gadgets’ but is also evident in discussions about pre-booking vs ‘winging it’, staying in hotels/casas vs staying in albergues, using tour-operators, having packs transported, skipping sections by bus/train, doing pre-Camino training or just ‘going rough’, etc… There are, of course, different views on these matters and perhaps there are not so much to be learned from it except that we are different and that one person’s ideal Camino could be another person’s nightmare.

Live and let live! 🙂
 

jblaskovits

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances and Finisterre 2015
Chemin d'Arles and Camino Aragonés 2018
Camino Portugués 2019
I couldn’t agree more – about the “cannonized walking-the-Camino experience”’, I mean. This not only has to do with using ‘tech-gadgets’ but is also evident in discussions about pre-booking vs ‘winging it’, staying in hotels/casas vs staying in albergues, using tour-operators, having packs transported, skipping sections by bus/train, doing pre-Camino training or just ‘going rough’, etc… There are, of course, different views on these matters and perhaps there are not so much to be learned from it except that we are different and that one person’s ideal Camino could be another person’s nightmare.

Live and let live! 🙂
And all of this gets us dangerously close to "who is a real pilgrim?" I should prefer to leave that arguement behind once and for all! 😊
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I've read the text now. The article is based on some of the results of a doctoral thesis developed by one of the authors under the supervision of the second author. I skipped most of the parts of the text with the long unfamiliar words that made my eyes glaze over and made me think occasionally "oh really?" Pyscho-socio-linguistic scholarship, or whatever the correct term is, is not an area of expertise or interest for me.

Apart from that, I see the text as a set of value-free, non-judgemental observations on some of the changes of the nature of the phenomenon that used to be referred to as the pilgrimage to Saint James in Galicia and is now referred to as the Camino. The observation that the use of smartphones is not free of conflict is not exactly breaking news.

I was more interested in what the authors had to say about how the pilgrims' narratives are shaped because these pilgrims present them to others "in real time" (like posting "Live from the Camino" on the forum) and/or to a much larger public than in the days when modern technologies like vlogs and blogs and videoclips were not available and how this shapes the experience of future pilgrims who consume these narratives but I could not detect much insight in this respect.

The analysis of the pilgrims' narratives are based on about 800 comments in three Facebook groups in Portuguese on the Camino de Santiago posted in April 2017, the accounts of one pilgrim who published them on his blog and in a book in 2013, and the pilgrimage of one of the authors in September/October 2018 with a duration of 34 days.
 
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Sorry but the study sucked the life out of me and I had to give up reading it after a couple of paragraphs. I have no doubt that how people gather information and how it is presented will shape one's views. How often people look or depend on their cellphones is a problem and how often they have their heads in their phones sitting on their bed in the albergue or walking is a personal choice. If they would rather be on their phones texting or talking rather than in silence, or talking to someone from another part of the world or soaking up the scenery or tasting a new tapa in a bar is not my idea of fun or a camino but I could care less. So for me I also find no interest in this article whatsoever. I would much rather hear about a story of a minor camino miracle or the name of a wonderful donativo that captured the Camino for a pilgrim. But that is just me.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
As any thoughtful person (such as yourself) can conclude. I am afraid that academia suffers from the bind that there are too many scholars for the amount of meaningful things to research. At the same time status and employment depends on publishing research. Consequently much of what is published like this article is of little value. If universities would value teaching more this problem might diminish.
I'm sure there is a lot of truth in what you say. My friend's daughter is a professor at a university outside New York City. She teaches very few classes in her field, but instead has extreme pressure to continue research and get articles published. It has taken much of the joy out of her chosen profession.
 

makingtrax

Member
Past OR future Camino
El norte2010
Portuguese 2014
Primativo 2016
Frances sept 2017!
Lol. Growing up in California Sir Francis Drake and his ship the Golden Hind were part of our California history lessons. Of course we were taught that he was a noble explorer. I was surprised to learn years later that the rest of the world didn't view him that way.
Or Columbus and all hin late 15th century mates. The chinese had already been there done that! Read 1421....
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Wow! Did we all read the same paper? I found the discussion fascinating, very relevant and informative in relation to how the smartphone in particular has been totally transformative both in terms of the experience of Camino and motivation in undertaking it. You might think it simplistic to “study” the rather obvious practical impact of modern technology on undertaking a Camino, but I thought the article gave an intriguing insight into how it may completely turn the idea of pilgrimage on its head.
Just a gut reaction. I’ll await with curiosity a response from @JabbaPapa, to name only one.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Or Columbus and all hin late 15th century mates. The chinese had already been there done that! Read 1421....
1421 is not considered to be real history.

From Wikipedia:
Mainstream Sinologists and professional historians have universally rejected 1421 and the alternative history of Chinese exploration described in it as pseudohistory.
 
Last edited:

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
One of the terms that I puzzled about at first was the remark that one of several techniques of the methodological approach was ethnographic inspiration in one of the pilgrimage routes. I understood it many paragraphs later when the author mentioned that he had walked the Camino Frances in 34 days.
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Another thing that struck me right at the beginning: the author correctly observes that the theory of pilgrimage involves this idea of being separated and of subsequent reintegration and he cites three stages: separation from the society of which the individual is part; being at the margin or threshold, with a dilution of hierarchical social positions within society and immersion into ritualistic logic; and reintegration when the pilgrim returns once again to society, becoming part of the social structure anew.

This view is often echoed in forum posts in simpler wording. When I read this I realised that I don't have this experience at all when Camino walking. Of course I am away from my daily life. Of course I am experiencing the benefits of walking a lot all day. Of course it can be nice, and even stimulating, to meet new people and hear new stories. But for me, this experience is not different from the experience on other trips. I also feel that, in general, the society that I am in in Spain isn't that much different from the society I am in when at home.

However, this is just one of the impulses I got from the text. It is not the core matter of the text.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Of course I am away from my daily life. Of course I am experiencing the benefits of walking a lot all day. Of course it can be nice, and even stimulating, to meet new people and hear new stories. But for me, this experience is not different from the experience on other trips. I also feel that, in general, the society that I am in in Spain isn't that much different from the society I am in when at home.

Your “of course” comments are fair enough, I think. But my first pilgrimage, uniquely sans “Whatsapp” was a very different experience to my subsequent ones, and perhaps the authors have shed some unexpected, and uncomfortable light on this.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Ha! I learnt new words today. I got curious to see how Francis Drake aka Sir Francis Drake is described in different language versions on Wikipedia and I now know new words and their meaning: privateer, corsaire, Freibeuterei and Kaperei, and patente de corso, all of which are different from pirate and piracy.
Indeed @Kathar1na, I think it was the Spanish who called him a pirate, being on the receiving end of his letter of marque. Certainly his motive was simply profit.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
It’s interesting that he figures in a significant significant way to the Santiago story.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
Your “of course” comments are fair enough, I think. But my first pilgrimage, uniquely sans “Whatsapp” was a very different experience to my subsequent ones, and perhaps the authors have shed some unexpected, and uncomfortable light on this.
Not so unexpected but it can definitely touch a nerve.
If you feel defensive, it's worth looking to see what's under that. Do you feel guilty, or that you 'should' leave your tech at home? If so, please. Drop the 'should,' and the guilt, because we all walk for our own reasons. You can always take your phone and experiment with having a silent day, just to see what it feels like and what comes up, without putting a trip on yourself.

I've gone from totally tuning out to posting daily updates here, and find both experiences to be satisfying. I prefer a tech-silent walk, because it goes to deeper places for me, but not everyone cares about such things.

That said, I don't use social media (other than this forum) and so my days at home are not interrupted or driven by FB/twitter/whatsapp. So there's less difference for me than for some whether I disconnect or not. I use my phone offline for navigation and ebooks so am hardly a luddite, but still admit I find it jarring to see people immediately settling into scrolling on their phones at every opportunity. Whatever - to each their own; that's not all the time, and I haven't yet seen anyone walking with their nose in their phone.
;)
 
Last edited:
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean
Learn Spanish for the Camino
Enhance your Camino experience by learning about the Spanish language and culture.

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
If you feel defensive, it's worth looking to see what's under that. Do you feel guilty, or that you 'should' leave your tech at home? If so, please. Drop the 'should,' and the guilt, because we all walk for our own reasons. You can always take your phone and experiment with having a silent day, just to see what it feels like and what comes up, without putting a trip on yourself.
Defensive? …no. Guilty? …no. But I do think the authors have a point. In my post WhatsApp Caminos I have taken enormous pleasure in the opportunity to share photos (often taken with exactly that in mind) and impressions at the end of the day with my family. The Camino does become a very serial story. A very different modern experience, surely. I’m not putting a value-judgment on it.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Published on Amazon
Guide to the 16 main caminos with maps, pictures, hyperlinks and other information.
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
…actually I think I am.
Haha, welcome to the club.
I like doing that here, too - the sharing you mention. And I do it consciously without guilt. But it does change the experience, because knowing I'll be sharing takes internal space. It's subtle, but definitely there. As I walk sometimes I find myself seeing through a 'lens' of taking photos to share rather than just seeing, just being.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Hang on. The OP was yesterday.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017); Camino a Muxia (2017)
I had not realised that the discussion has been running for a good 10 years already ☺️.

Here is the link to a thread that @NancyFrey herself started in April 2011 on this forum about How do Internet Technologies impact the Camino Experience? and here is the You Tube link to a keynote speech that she gave in 2017 about Pilgrimage in the Internet Age.
Here's the link to the youtube video of Nancy's presentation Live From the Camino at William & Mary:

This is a more direct link, which I should have provided, rather than the link to the W&M website about the presentation. She had students from the university act out skits to help dramatize the points she was making about the use of technology by pilgrims while on the Camino.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
This study on the mediatization of the Camino de Compostela have important impacts on the pilgrimage itself compared to the ancient way without these tools.

In the past internet and web and cellphone did not exist and have an impact on the pilgrims itself.

I would love to read what you think of this study and get your thoughts?


Read it but cant say I really understood it. Could not see myself in the reasons for going on pilgrimage. I have been on pilgrimage to Knock, Rome and Santiago, all for religious reasons but nothing in the section about motivation makes me say 'that is me'
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Thanks for the link @hfenton. Although I found it somewhat simplistic - insulting? - with the stereotypes pilgrim 1 and 2, I did sometimes feel uncomfortable watching the exaggerated behaviour of pilgrim 2 in the vignettes.
On reflection I realise that I did meet a pilgrim 1, once only, on my first pilgrimage. My interaction with him over 2 days, an English speaking Spaniard, proved to be the most influential of any other.
Does pilgrim 1 still exist?
And I do identify with VN's remark about "seeing through the lens of taking photos". (In late 2019 I upgraded my iphone to a 12 for its camera, totally with my upcoming Camino in mind. Good luck with that Paul).
 

gns

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
Indeed @Kathar1na, I think it was the Spanish who called him a pirate, being on the receiving end of his letter of marque. Certainly his motive was simply profit.
He was a strong Protestant and the year before Spain had launched the Armada. They were unquestionably after the money but human beings are complicated. The booty he was after was itself acquired in "interesting" ways.
 
A Quest of St. James, Tommy Ray, Book Cover, Image
Come follow the vivid imagery of this life-changing adventure.
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Thanks for the link @hfenton. Although I found it somewhat simplistic - insulting? - with the stereotypes pilgrim 1 and 2, I did sometimes feel uncomfortable watching the exaggerated behaviour of pilgrim 2 in the vignettes.
I dipped only here and there into the video recording of Frey's 2019 address at the university. It appears to be geared to a younger audience. The keynote address of 2017, to the audience of the CSJ association in London, covers the same topic, has a similar length (more than an hour), appears to use the same slides and is more sober (Pilgrimage in the Internet Age). I'm only posting the link and not the ready-to-be clicked at video still.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
He was a strong Protestant and the year before Spain had launched the Armada. They were unquestionably after the money but human beings are complicated. The booty he was after was itself acquired in "interesting" ways.
You can say that again! When I was a child we learned a well-known heroic poem about him that began:
Drake he's in his hammock and a thousand miles away,
(Captain, art thou sleeping there below?)
Slung atween the round shot in Nombre Dios Bay,
And dreaming all the time of Plymouth Hoe.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It’s interesting that he figures in a significant significant way to the Santiago story.
Do you mean to say that the relics of Saint James were hidden because of the siege of Coruña by the Drake-Norris expedition around 1589 and then remained hidden for a good 300 years? Let me assume my mantle of forum party pooper and myth slayer ... I'm quoting from memory, the sources are in Spanish and it would take time to retrieve them again.

There's King Philip of Spain who, in his lifetime, amassed an enormous relics collection for his Escorial palace near Madrid. In his services was Ambrosios de Morales. Philip sent him on several journeys throughout Spain, one of them lead him to Galicia. In 1572, a book was published: Viage de Ambrosio de Morales por orden del Rey D. Philipe II a los Reynos de León, y Galicia, y Principado de Asturias para reconocer las reliquias de Santos, sepulcros reales, y libros manuscritos de las Cathedrales, y Monasterios.

He had been tasked to travel to the kingdom of Galicia to investigate and draw up a list of the relics of the saints in the cathedrals and monasteries.

So it is more than likely that the Santiago archbishop had the relics of Saint James moved even further out of reach in order to keep them hidden from the royal endeavour to obtain more relics and to prevent their removal from their current homes and their transfer to Madrid. Unlike most other relics, the relics of Saint James had already been kept out of view for centuries, they were never publicly displayed, so the public and the pilgrims didn't notice any change anyway. I don't know in which year the Francis Drake story was mentioned for the first time but even if it was as early as 1589 (I really don't know), it may have been nothing more than yet another one of the fabricated stories that saw the light of day many many years after the real events which they falsely claim to describe.
 
Last edited:

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Interesting thread but the article that started it....Well, apart from anything else, I cannot take seriously something that discusses "mediatization". Wash your mouth out with soap!
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Interesting thread but the article that started it....Well, apart from anything else, I cannot take seriously something that discusses "mediatization". Wash your mouth out with soap!
You definitely have a point @Kanga. Just searched online dictionaries...
Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 7.28.31 pm.jpeg
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Do you mean to say that the relics of Saint James were hidden because of the siege of Coruña by the Drake-Norris expedition around 1589 and then remained hidden for a good 300 years? Let me assume my mantle of forum party pooper and myth slayer ...
Just reacting to an assertion to that effect in the paper above. I note, however, that it is not backed up by any reference.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Just reacting to an assertion to that effect in the paper above. I note, however, that it is not backed up by any reference.
Yes, that's the problem with many research/scholarly papers and PhD papers and books: they quote from each other and rarely go back to a primary source - understandable because it would take ages to do so and nobody is an expert in all areas. Or an author assumes that something is such common general knowledge that it doesn't even occur to him/her to question it, and it just get reproduced again although it is either false or standing on very wobbly grounds.

I may have read the original paper by Ofelia Rey or by someone else, I can't remember; I rarely save something and I don't even bookmark stuff because I think I will never need it again. Here is a news article in ABC.es about it: La amenaza del pirata Drake fue un pretexto burdo para ocultar los restos del apóstol Santiago - The threat of the pirate Drake was a crude pretext for hiding the remains of the apostle Saint James.
 
Last edited:

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Here's the link to the youtube video of Nancy's presentation Live From the Camino at William & Mary:

This is a more direct link, which I should have provided, rather than the link to the W&M website about the presentation. She had students from the university act out skits to help dramatize the points she was making about the use of technology by pilgrims while on the Camino.

Everyone is entitled to make a living... professors too! Some pilgrims write books about the Camino and some develop apps for the Camino. Some have Utube followings, some offer themselves as guides and run trips, while some have websites. Some even buy albergues. Nancy Frey does several of these. She appears to have her own voice and audience.

To all those Camino entrepreneurs, out there, I applaud your business skills!

Nancy went on the Camino, to do research for her doctorate. What she found so profoundly impacted her life!

The fundamental message of the article written above may not be new to many on this Forum. In fact, we may not even agree with their findings,

I have not read Nancy Frey’s dissertation ( she is not the author of this article) and don’t plan to. However, I hope that Nancy’s presentation at William and Mary and on U-Tube will have reached many young hearts to explore “the art of being” in nature and in life in general. W&M, one of several public colleges considered a public “ivy” school, has students that have already mastered The art of doing to get there.

Writing in research style may not appeal to some of us, but it can facilitate access to campuses.
 
Last edited:

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Read the paper.
The conclusion that the influence of media representation and narrativization of pilgrimage means that "pilgrimage is not the same as it was" is careless. It is also banal.

No matter the ritual, the notion that it remains unaltered over time is absurd. Catholic rites are a convenient and relevant example: communion while still offered under the same rules as always is frequently given to those who've not entered for *years* into the state of grace officially obtained only through confession. Catholic burials have come to accommodate cremation, though the service is not a high funeral mass. Catholic marriage ceremonies have become as spectacular as any Bridezilla fantasy can be, which seems at odds with official teachings in Catholicism about the requirement for humility and so on.

In spite of the authors' suggestion to the contrary, pilgrims still experience "disconnection with the social structure and daily routine" (from the article) of home, even with the ability to *communicate* with those at home. I have 2 beloved persons at home with disabilities. I do not have the *luxury* of trashing all contact with them so I can follow my navel across a country. And on my first pilgrimage, that had been planned for a year, my publisher (for an academic textbook) fell behind in the copy-edit stage, so every evening for the first third of my journey, I had to take in proofs, go over them, and approve or reject alterations, images, graphs, layout etc. It was that or *not go*. Had I not gone, I don't know if I could have found the strength inside me to plod through the duties I have every day as a care-giver at home.

At any rate, those uses of media are not the central concern of the article in question, but they permeate the concerns of quotidian commentary on many fora and on the ground. I certainly took it on the chin from retirees who averred that I ought to have waited for retirement rather than be on camino completing work.

Life is too short to defer a pilgrimage in order to satisfy the judgements of others who know little to nothing of our lives.

My phone now allows me to communicate by video with my people at home. For one of them, that ability to see me settles their anxiety, allows them to live more securely even if I am not physically present. For the other, receiving little videos of stretches of stone paths through verdant woods and things like that provides them with joy, and a little glimpse of an adventure that physical impairments make impossible for them to undertake personally.

The fantastical purists who moan over the "changed experience of pilgrimage" can bite me.
 
Last edited:
Learn Spanish for the Camino
Enhance your Camino experience by learning about the Spanish language and culture.
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Everyone is entitled to make a living... professors too! Some pilgrims write books about the Camino and some develop apps for the Camino. Some have Utube followings, some offer themselves as guides and run trips, while some have websites. Some even buy albergues. Nancy Frey does several of these. She appears to have her own voice and audience.

To all those Camino entrepreneurs, out there, I applaud your business skills!

Nancy went on the Camino, to do research for her doctorate. What she found so profoundly impacted her life!

While the fundamental message of the article written above may not be new to many on this Forum. In fact, we may not even agree with their findings,

I have not read Nancy Frey’s dissertation and don’t plan to. However, I hope that Nancy’s presentation at William and Mary and on U-Tube will have reached many young hearts to explore “the art of being” in nature and in life in general. W&M, one of several public colleges considered a public “ivy” school, has students have that have already mastered The art of doing to get there.

Writing in research style may not appeal to some of us, but it can facilitate access to campuses.

Absolutely! Writing for academic purposes is its own genre. I care about matters of reason, logic, absolutism.... but not about whether a general audience understands the merits of academic writing.

Anti-intellectualism drives me to distraction.

My problems with the article are not about the genre. The field intellectually adjacent to mine is communication studies, and I do a reasonable amount of work in narratives of illness and medical narrative of "normalcy"....

I merely find the popular uptake of some fairly banal points represented in this article to be *grating* at minimum, but arrogant and insulting in their worst manifestations, and not in a "spirit" of fellowship at all, but rather of petty judgement.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Well said, @Faye Walker, I hear you!

Perhaps I should write an article? :D :D :D [Seriously, I have no desire to wreck my own experience of freedom from campus life by writing about it! A colleague attempted to enlist me to take students on camino as they do from W&M, and I just could not imagine anything worse for myself!]
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!

Faye Walker wrote
I get extremely annoyed by modern insistence on anachronistic practice as somehow a mark of “purity”.

Agree , especially when the motive is exclusion of class, gender, race, or even fewer pilgrims.

Faye wrote
Perhaps I should write an article? [Seriously, I have no desire to wreck my own experience of freedom from campus life by writing about it!

A colleague attempted to enlist me to take students on camino as they do from W&M, and I just could not imagine anything worse for myself!]

Could you not write an article? Do you not need to take students from your Uni to do so?
 
Last edited:

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra

Faye Walker wrote
I get extremely annoyed by modern insistence on anachronistic practice as somehow a mark of “purity”.

Agree ,....especially when the motive is exclusion... class, gender, race...or even less pilgrims.


Faye wrote
Perhaps I should write an article? [Seriously, I have no desire to wreck my own experience of freedom from campus life by writing about it!

A colleague attempted to enlist me to take students on camino as they do from W&M, and I just could not imagine anything worse for myself!]

Could you not write an article? You do not need to take students from your Uni to do so?
Oh... sure... I *could* write an article, but rather selfishly I enjoy keeping camino as a thing I think about and love only for myself...
 
Published on Amazon
Guide to the 16 main caminos with maps, pictures, hyperlinks and other information.
A Quest of St. James, Tommy Ray, Book Cover, Image
Come follow the vivid imagery of this life-changing adventure.

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Nurturing oneself is not selfish!😀
I struggle with that.

It is, unfortunately, an indulgence that has had some catastrophic consequences for me -- before we knew the level of dependence one of my beloved's had on my "external brain" as a grounding point, tether.... I went on a holiday and he almost died. It was s small miracle that he did not, but it was *my fault* for not being at home.... and the nurturance of my own dreams left me starving for anything for 3 follow-up years of intesive daily care-giving which is now down to about every 3rd day.

In fact, I have just had to cancel meetings scheduled for this afternoon because Beloved is in deep need and is walking up to see me the 1km from Beloved's abode.

It's more complicated than almost anyone can understand.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Nancy Frey
I just saw on a FB group that Nancy Frey has a website now: Walking to Presence

You will find the video recordings of her two talks mentioned earlier in this thread, as well as the text of these talks and a copy of the Power Point presentation. There's also a 2015 Mobile Technology Survey on the Camino de Santiago; a 2018 essay on Leaving Home and Coming Back; and on Reflections on Doing the Camino Pre-Internet and in 2018; a 2019 article In Praise of Walking; and more. Plenty of material there.

I have her 1998 book of Pilgrim Stories. On and off the Road to Santiago, and enjoyed it a lot. It is well researched and well presented and well written.

Interestingly, in the About section, she writes: For the last several years I have wanted to share my research about the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in the Internet Age but I’ve faced a conundrum – how to do it effectively in this new world we live in? One of the challenges of the Internet Age is that people absorb and consume information differently than they did when I published my book Pilgrim Stories. On and Off the Road to Santiago (UC Press) in 1998.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I struggle with that.

It is, unfortunately, an indulgence that has had some catastrophic consequences for me -- before we knew the level of dependence one of my beloved's had on my "external brain" as a grounding point, tether.... I went on a holiday and he almost died. It was s small miracle that he did not, but it was *my fault* for not being at home.... and the nurturance of my own dreams left me starving for anything for 3 follow-up years of intesive daily care-giving which is now down to about every 3rd day.

In fact, I have just had to cancel meetings scheduled for this afternoon because Beloved is in deep need and is walking up to see me the 1km from Beloved's abode.

It's more complicated than almost anyone can understand.
Wow, @Faye Walker, you and Hubby certainly have had challenges in recent years. You juggle a lot between your work responsibilities, home, and healthcare issues in the midst of it all. You must be a very strong individual. All the best to you and your family as you continue to navigate through the difficult trials of life, which are different for each of us. We all eventually take our turn, whether sooner or later.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Faye, the circumstances you describe are very complicated and none of us can begin to know the weight of your situation upon you. I know that taking time for yourself and your needs must be difficult given the demands upon you...even from those you love deeply. However, building in time for self-nurturance, is vital to our own well-being and those we care about. 1622140951917.png
 
Last edited:

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Wow, @Faye Walker, you and Hubby certainly have had challenges in recent years. You juggle a lot between your work responsibilities, home, and healthcare issues in the midst of it all. You must be a very strong individual. All the best to you and your family as you continue to navigate through the difficult trials of life, which are different for each of us. We all eventually take our turn, whether sooner or later.

Thank you.

It is these complications that could belong to *anyone* that make me really pissy about those who insist that those of us who stay connected to home aren't doing camino properly.

We are all just doing the best we can. No?
 
A Quest of St. James, Tommy Ray, Book Cover, Image
Come follow the vivid imagery of this life-changing adventure.
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It is these complications that could belong to *anyone* that make me really pissy about those who insist that those of us who stay connected to home aren't doing camino properly.
@Faye Walker, I agree with you, have empathy and it's great that modern technology allows you to walk and keep contact with home at the same time. And while it is true that anyone could be in such a situation, the large majority of Camino walkers isn't. They carry and make use of their smartphones because they have chosen to do so and not because they have obligations to care for family members back home.
 
Last edited:

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
The mention of WhatsApp groups (an app that I personally dislike and don't have) reminded me of a passage in the text where it says: A WhatsApp group allows pilgrims, even though not physically together, to take care of one another; they ask each other about the walk, leave warning and suggestions, or arrange to meet for a joint evening meal when they stay in different albergues. So this is something new, a "mediatized communitas" that did not exist before the IT era.

One pilgrim in the text makes the observation that the introduction of smartphones into the daily routine of pilgrims lead to interactions with the local population subsiding considerably. This may be less noticeable when there is a huge language barrier anyway, which wouldn't be the case for this pilgrim (he is Italian) and or Portuguese speaking pilgrims (the majority of those surveyed for the text). Still, I notice it sometimes: pilgrims who are already on their Camino in Spain post questions on the forum and on Facebook, wanting to know where in town they can find a doctor or where the nearest bus stop is ... and I think, well, why on earth don't you ask someone where you are???

On the other hand, and this is still fairly new and I've made use of it occasionally, smart translation apps allow communication with locals that wasn't possible earlier.
 
Last edited:

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
The mention of WhatsApp groups (an app that I personally dislike and don't have) reminded me of a passage in the text where it says: A WhatsApp group allows pilgrims, even though not physically together, to take care of one another; they ask each other about the walk, leave warning and suggestions, or arrange to meet for a joint evening meal when they stay in different albergues. So this is something new, a "mediatized communitas" that did not exist before the IT era.

One pilgrim in the text makes the observation that the introduction of smartphones into the daily routine of pilgrims lead to interactions with the local population subsiding considerably. This may be less noticeable when there is a huge language barrier anyway, which wouldn't be the case for this pilgrim (he is Italian) and or Portuguese speaking pilgrims (the majority of those surveyed for the text). Still, I notice it sometimes: pilgrims who are already on their Camino in Spain post questions on the forum and on Facebook, wanting to know where in town they can find a doctor or where the nearest bus stop is ... and I think, well, why on earth don't you ask someone where you are???

On the other hand, and this is still fairly new and I've made use of it occasionally, smart translation apps allow communication with locals that wasn't possible earlier.

Interesting… as a qualitative researcher, I am interested in how much the analysis in the article controls for the distinction between impressions of what is happening and what is actually happening.

Lots of pilgrims have impressions of what it is that other people are doing, or they project their assumptions, and my read of the article is that this interpretive problem was not well controlled for in the analysis. There is what people say, what the report, and then there is what happens.

Do people interact less? Hard to know…. In one moment in time? Maybe. Dunno.

I know that on my own first pilgrimage I had pretty poor language skills at the beginning — none for the Basque region — and in fact I had to enlist much older pilgrim men to help me obtain food in the bars because I was just falling ever further down the line for requests to the bar-keepers. One could easily have griped that I was not interacting enough with the locals…

By the 3rd week, I had used enough of my French and Latin bases to listen and build to the point that I could have simple conversations with local Castilian speakers.

On my 2nd camino, I was the primary interlocutor for our party of 2 as Spouse had not been able to transition from French to Spanish by the time I met up with him in Fromistá. On my 3rd Camino I was delighted to find that local older people in Portugal were happy to chat with me in French, for while it is easy enough to read enough to make do in Portuguese, I find it nearly impossible to make sense of aurally. And on landing in Spain I certainly interacted with more locals than I had in previous treks.

External observers of others’ uses of technologies has no idea of the arc of those others’ journeys. They make universally statements about the quality of other people’s interactions, and I am surprised that their statements are taken as “truth” rather than as “impressions” with varying degrees of accuracy. Indeed, just because people have a charmed impression, does not render the impression an accurate account. It tells us far more about the expectations and the prejudices of the observer(s) than it does about the experiences of the media users.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Lots of pilgrims have impressions of what it is that other people are doing, or they project their assumptions, and my read of the article is that this interpretive problem was not well controlled for in the analysis. There is what people say, what the report, and then there is what happens.

Thank you for this interesting contribution, @Faye Walker. It caused me to actually have a look at the survey that Nancy L. Frey did. She conducted a survey between April 2015 and April 2016 to find out just how frequent and extensive mobile technology use was in practice.

She wrote an article about her survey but points out that she did not intend to publish an academic article but to use the data I extrapolated from it for my own work on the impact of the rise of the Internet on the pilgrimage experience. It is not written with an academic voice nor does it follow a strict academic style. It is a lengthy article. Both the questions asked and the answers received are worth reading and contain more useful and pertinent information than the "mediatization" article. Here is the link: Mobile Technology Survey Project.

As an aside, I noticed that this author, with her long and profound experience, is much more attuned to the multinational, multicultural and multilingual composition of the Camino pilgrim population, and in particular to the segment of Spanish pilgrims who represent after all the majority, than many others who attempt surveys to write about them.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
It is a lengthy article. Both the questions asked and the answers received are worth reading and contain more useful and pertinent information than the "mediatization" article. Here is the link: Mobile Technology Survey Project.
Thanks,@Kather1na.
Most interesting was the fact only 2 pilgrims responded to her post-camino email. I'm sure that I would have responded, and would like to bet that many people on this forum would too - I honestly found my post camino "experience" interesting. Strange. Her conclusions about this were depressing.
 
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Thank you for this interesting contribution, @Faye Walker. It caused me to actually have a look at the survey that Nancy L. Frey did. She conducted a survey between April 2015 and April 2016 to find out just how frequent and extensive mobile technology use was in practice.

She wrote an article about her survey but points out that she did not intend to publish an academic article but to use the data I extrapolated from it for my own work on the impact of the rise of the Internet on the pilgrimage experience. It is not written with an academic voice nor does it follow a strict academic style. It is a lengthy article. Both the questions asked and the answers received are worth reading and contain more useful and pertinent information than the "mediatization" article. Here is the link: Mobile Technology Survey Project.

As an aside, I noticed that this author, with her long and profound experience, is much more attuned to the multinational, multicultural and multilingual composition of the Camino pilgrim population, and in particular to the segment of Spanish pilgrims who represent after all the majority, than many others who attempt surveys to write about them.

Thanks for this link.

Phenomonenological points:

Pondering the degree to which “the phone” is a “feminine” communication tool, frequently disparaged as something women spend too much time on, underpaid from the outset as “women’s work” associated with switchboard operators… And yet, the tool has been indispensable in the work of receiving crucial messages in a timely manner.

It’s just so *easy* to stick with the disparagement of the “phone” as something vapid, though. I would encourage any pilgrim to examine why they might get such a kick out of judging others as vapid or lacking in spiritual integrity because they are not “properly disconnected”.

Asking how the phone has changed our ability to connect is a fair question, from a technological and efficiency perspective. But when we move it into phenomenological territory, I think there is an argument to be made that “the phone” is just being used as a convenient flashpoint for taking out aggression on others who have done us no harm by staying connected to their home-bases. What motivates the desire? Is it maybe jealousy that some people have people who miss them and worry about them?

Technical Points:

I am struck by how many more of us have a Swiss Army Knife phone now. The smart phone really is not used so often as a *phone* anymore. Mine, for example, is a hotspot when I am in the bush so that I can connect my laptop and continue teaching duties after lecture season ends and before mosquito season begins. But what else is my phone?

It is a camera, and so when I am on any excursion, it is always within reach so that I can grab photos. I’m a terrible photographer, but with the “phone” I have come to take really lovely outdoor photos that I cherish.
It is a reservoir for copies of all my safety documents (passport, health card, insurance information).
It is where my travel tickets are often held now — for train tickets, bus and plane boarding passes.
It holds my guide books (Wise Pilgrim) and, thus, my live maps as well.

These tools are, I think, common uses for pilgrims of all stripes now. Less than 6 oz for all that. In my side pocket.

Added bonuses:

It has a tracker beacon that connects me to my various family members. Tracking my moving dot gives great comfort to my mother and son when I am on camino.
My watch, connected to my phone, tells me if my mother has not risen from her nap, which means I can alert a proxy care-giver to go make sure she’s not in an insulin shock (and deliver her a glucose treatment if she is).
There are so many tools on phones now that are so much more sophisticated than when Frey wrote up this survey.
A 2022 survey would have to take into account that the average device is not at all a mere phone anymore.

On our 2018 camino, Spouse and I added WhatsApp because our son uses it, and it works on his computer even if he breaks his phone or loses it. I still have our conversation thread from 2018, and I still enjoy looking at it because it cracks me up. When we were outrunning the Sarria crush and did Arzua to SdC in one day so that we’d not have trouble getting a bed in O’Porrino, he sent us a GIF of Sean Connery as James Bond, driving furiously and erratically to get away from the villains in a car chase in “Dr. No”.

Methodological and Interpretive Points:

“Connection” and “Disconnection” are poorly defined operational definitions in all these moral evaluations of pilgrimage — it seeps into Frey, and it certainly shapes the answers pilgrims give about the “quality of pilgrimage”. Are we “over connected” because of our devices? Are we actually more stressed than humans have ever been before? Really? The historical presentism of such assertions and their ubiquity leaves me rather agog.

At the end of the day, I refuse to evaluate whether another pilgrim/walker/holiday maker is having a proper experience by any means. The infamous Bus Tour of Europe is not for me; I’m glad I don’t go on “packages” as my in-laws do, but people enjoy such things, just as they enjoy doing the camino according to the Brierely recipe. Not for me…. Not an indicator that they are lessor beings.

The only person I think may not have learned something of value on a camino is the one who feels entitled by their experience to judge all others as somehow “doing it wrong”.

People do the best they can within the confines of their circumstances.

Conceptual Points:

I find questions about “true camino experiences” or notions of authenticity to be banal in the extreme.

Of course “the experience” has changed over 1000+ years. But did people ever have a singular experience? That is doubtful. The present assertion that *how you arrive* at Santiago — that the journey is more important than the destination would not only confuse but would also insult the early Catholic Church. People walked because that was almost the only option. Donkeys and horses are complications on a long journey. Walking 5K into SdC from one’s 17th C abode in an outlying town was a miracle of birth, not to be sneered at but to be envied. To live in the lee of any important cathedral was a blessing. The walkers were merely aiming to get close to the blessings and the power of the church for a little while, and perhaps to carry that mystical power with them for a while.

Much of the popular view of current pilgrimage seems to me to be a hodge-podge of radical individualism, self-help, yoga distilled via self-help, and so forth. It would mystify the church that created the anchoring points for things like the camino, the Via Francigena, and so forth. That’s fine, but it is worth considering just how far afield current assertions are about “traditional“ attitudes to making the walk are.

Victor Turner has some exceptional anthropological work on the symbolic world of European pilgrimage.
Robert Scott also — medical sociologist who explains the relationship of pilgrimage to healing, to “miracle cures” and to the rise of the hospital.
General medieval historians provide insights to the circumstances for the rise of pilgrimage; Dorsey Armstrong is a good source for the broad survey…

There is no single, pan-historical, authentic way to be or to undertake pilgrimage. Like the rest of human life, it changes constantly. What it delivers to any one of us is as variable as we are, and as constrained as the context of the path that the road literally follows. It is both predictable and malleable. Technologies have always been part of the road (see the wonderful thread about Roman architecture and road building and the speed of message delivery that the roads made possible!).

I think I we ought all to stop worrying about how other people do their pilgrimages, or experience them. And at the same time, we ought to refrain from asserting that our own ways ought never to be inconvenienced by the presence of others.
 
Last edited:

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
@Faye Walker, I agree with you, have empathy and it's great that modern technology allows you to walk and keep contact with home at the same time. And while it is true that anyone could be in such a situation, the large majority of Camino walkers isn't. They carry and make use of their smartphones because they have chosen to do so and not because they have obligations to care for family members back home.
And the fact that they have chosen to do so does not make their undertaking any less of a Camino.
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 101 ratings
Downloads
15,186
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,867
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,671
Updated

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top