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To Ipod or not to Ipod


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I am leaving for the Camino at the end of May and had decided no... no IPOD....just check out completely. I am a HUGE music fan and am always listening to something. My friends for the most part think I am insane and will regret this decision. I, on the other hand am concerned that if I bring the IPOD it will keep me from meeting people, engaging myself and maybe even allow me to "check out" from my Camino experience. I know in the end it is what it is... just wouldn't mind hearing others input.
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I would say that given the miniscule size-take it. Others might say it will cut you off from others but who says you have to interact every minute available? I took a book on the VDLP and found it invaluable as there were many occasions were there was nowhere to go between late afternoon and before restaurants opened-and no there were often no others in the refugios-just me and a Danish bloke I met earlier who used to off and write up his diary.
Whether it's a book or music I think some down time on your own is invaluable-we don't all want to sing kumbaya round the fire.
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
An MP3 player / iPod can add value to your camino. It will be fun choosing which camino-related songs to take along the road. I also used my mp3 player to record the music of the Benedictine sisters in Leon.
I remember one French piolgrim who sang her heart out in the forests of Galicia as if there was nobody there at all.

It was most useful to me on the first day up the Route Napoleon, when the going got tough and the Disney song Go the Distance really did wonders to my flagging spirit.

Just be careful when crossing roads...that's when the earphones really have to go.

I took a small radio with me as music helps me sleep at night; it also helps block the noise of other people in the dormitory.
It was also good to listen to when walking along road sections, such as after Leon or Villafranca - much more pleasant than listening to heavy traffic.
Maybe I'll reconsider

Thanks for your input. It all makes sense and the part about having musical memories usually rings true for me. I guess that is why I have been reconsidering. There is always that one moment on a trip when you have the headphones on and you are in your own world completely... that song will always bring you right back to that moment. Hmmmm.... And then to consider the up songs getting you through your humps... Thank you! I had not thought of that.
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Heck, why not...There's a time for everything, IPOD 2 :!: Buen Camino :arrow: xm 8)

Thanks for breaching this humble but essential subject. When I began training, I took my much beloved 2 year old 20G iPod along as a lark and soon found (surprise) that I absolutely loved having tunes to keep me going and get me there. Sadly (very sadly), in a story that is too long to give you much detail on, I dropped the darn thing hard and it hasnt worked since. That was maybe a month ago, more or less. Since then I have been obsessed with getting a new one/ditching it altogether. At this point, with 2 weeks and 2 days to go I am leaning towards NOT getting a new one. On one hand, I have spent enough already on gear like shoes and boots to bother thinking about what really amounts to an extra like a new iPod. On the other hand, I know it would help lift my spirits when I need it on a lonely section of camino. While I am still holding out for a miracle (as Jerry used to say), I am trying to console myself with the thought that people have been walking the Camino for over 1,000 years without iPods.

That said, lets talk dirt: what size are you bringing? I was all psyched to download books on CD onto mine, including some Spanish language CDs and inspirational stuff by H. H. Dalai Lama and Khalil Gibran. I am now considering a new Nano but doubt it would hold enough to allow for luxuries like books. Someone suggested just packing a Shuffle but that seems REALLY small for a month. Thoughts? VP
Hmm..I'd say :idea: :!:, donwload it all.

Just... Don't be :eek: if/when something highly significant happens during your Caminos and u want to send IPOD et all back home :!:

Buen Camino :arrow:

xm 8)
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My tuppence:

I most definitely won't walk the Camino francès without an MP3-Player (IPOD, YOUPOD oder HE/SHE/IT-PODs - who cares...). Sure as eggs break.

I hear a lot about "interaction" and "contacts" (worse: "social contacts") between pilgrims. Hm. See, I'm none of those - I'm only sort of a "wandering spirit" and no, I'm not religious at all, are we surprised?. Well. I want to walk the Camino for me personally. I'm not interested in contacts or so. Well again. That's what I say now. It might be totally different after the first 300 klicks down the road... Maybe good ol' Howie then has found back again to his old chatty, euphoric, charismatic, bubbly, sparkling, witty, original old self (better don't take that verbatim...). And therefore throws his IPOD/YOUPOD onto the next spanish rubbish heap. To waffle for hours without end to his fellow pilgrims (who probably will gag me in an organized group action somewehere in the sticks with a pair of five week old socks. Buggered if I know...

But I will take an MP3-player. With my most beloved classical music. No audio books. To entertain me at least for the first few hours, out of St Jean Pied de Port up the first hill... Hey - do they have beer on tap in this auberge up there?
to answer your question....

That said, lets talk dirt: what size are you bringing?

If I bring it...which it seems I may be doing at this point.... It is the new 30 gig video IPOD. It can hold up to 7000 songs. I have like 3000 on there now. I wasn't exaggerating when I said I like music. There is plenty of room on there for books and podcasts as well as tv and movies...although video kills batteries quickly. I believe my-pod is the smallest next to the nano.

Well, thank you all again for the input. It's funny the things I find myself obssessing over the closer my departure gets...
Just for curiosity's sake, and I could be opening a can of worms here, what would be the top 10 (or 100) songs you would take along the camino? I had my own personal camino 'soundtrack' last year, but I'd like to hear people's lists first.

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This is truly ironic.

I've been contemplating taking an IPOD during my pilgrimages for some time.

As a result of this conversation I've opted no to.

Nothing against those that feel differently, as I've shared everyone has their own Camino and needs to design/experience it as they/we wish.

I just need those sounds of:
dogs that bark as they approach me and I better use my palo to protect myself from them,
people (so that I decide right there and then whether to join or avoide them),
so much more.

Buen Camino :arrow:

xm 8)
I'm taking my Ipod, but plan to use it mostly on the flights to/from Europe. I'll probably use it on the Camino in the long stretches, but maybe not. :)

As for my playlist, right now my favorite album is the B52s Timecapsule. Takes me back to my high school years when we rocked out to "Rock Lobster." ;)

I also have the Dixie Chicks latest, Taking the Long Way. While this album is famous for "Not Ready to Make Nice," my favorite song on the album is "Taking the Long Way."

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xm, do you really need to protect yourself from the dogs? do i need a stick for that, as you say?

Hi Nico500.

I'm the kind of person that when I give an opinion I try it to be an educated one. When not, when it's an assumption or a guess, I say so.

This is a very strong one: I encourage everyone who's not a Tarzan to carry a pole or poles for various reasons.

Here's an anecdote.

Having been an urbanite most of my life, for months prior to my first Camino I felt close to petrified about walking in the middle of nowhere, less of all in the Pyrenees, a topography that I was totally unfamiliar with.

"How do you start walking :?: Ye, :) :) :) , I used to say to myself.

I was that bad :!:

As it happened, an experienced pilgrim friend from Zaragoza, sensing my apprehensions, started that first walk years ago with me from Somport...

"OK, xm, you poot a foot in front of you, the pole behind you, then your next foot forward, etc.."

I swear to u, I was that that bad.

Maybe the above illustrates one of the reasons why I feel I understand perfectly well whatever hesitations, doubts, fears, etc, new pilgrims may have regarding this most magnificent adventure.,

Not a half-hour into our road we met a pack of approximately seven K9s, big ones, in formation, coming towards us, barking.

My friend Ignacio had no qualms.

He took his pole in hand and went towards them, crying:

"ea, perroo, ea, atras :!:, over and over and over ...

At the same time he kept moving forward as we made our way onwards, never never ever, giving our backs to the dogs.

There was a point when Ignacio seemed to hit one of the dog on it's nose, to which I objected.

He explained to me that he wasn't really hitting him (or was it a her?), just scaring it away.

Then he said that famous, unforgettable, phrase:

"O el perro, o yo :!: ("the dog, or I!") :!:

:) :) :) :) :) So chivalrous :!: :!: :!: :!:

In any case, from that experience I learned another vital reason for carrying a pole.

I have never walked a Camino where I did not have to use my pole to protect me from a dog or packs of dogs.

That, perhaps, may not have been the experience of fellow-pilgrims in this forum. It has been mine.

You will most certainly meet dogs chained to trees close to homes of people that have them there for protection purposes. And you may meet wild dogs that have become so because people abandoned them.

It is not something to be scared of. You learn what to do with the pole(s), scare them away, and keep going your way.

Eventually you learn to conquer your fears. Because that's something else, don't allow them to sense fear in u. I learned. Yes, this good for nothing urban pilgrim even looks forward these days to adventures with packs of dogs along my Caminos.

Buenos buenos Caminos to all, k9s or no K9s :arrow:

xm :roll:
Dear All,

I am with xm wholeheartedly about wanting to hear my surroundings - I'd much rather hear the sounds around me, my own footfalls. I used to do the iPod thing, because I wanted to be cut off from the world while commuting. I gave it away when I switched jobs and started cycling to work. I realise two things - that I too must have been wearing that slightly self-absorbed zombie look - and that the sound quality is absolutely awful. So I sit at home and listen to heart-breakingly lovely music (I've finally returned to valve amps), or go to concerts, and I go out to enjoy the sounds that the world makes.

I'm fairly unsociable, and going on the Camino is a bit of an Everest for me - but I wouldn't want to use some piece of technology to avoid engaging with people - it seems a bit like wearing shades in a nightclub.

Sorry if that sounds awfully priggish - but isn't it all about being open to dealing with whatever we encounter?

And if that happens to be a pack of feral dogs are coming for me, I sure as hell don't want to be too busy listening to some tinny approximation of my favourite music to notice...

But as always - chacun a son gout (sorry, have never worked out how to do accented letters in emails) - and we'll all happily do what we want.

Pip x
xm said:
don't allow them to sense fear in u.

That would have worked before reading your message...
Now I will be scared of being scared

Thanks for the information anyway. I don't think I am carrying a pole though, perhaps some slices of bacon? :p
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Back to the iPod question: I love mine too, but it's only good for about eight hours without a recharge. It seems like it would be more hassle than it's worth to have to deal with recharging every night, being concerned about the thing getting stolen, etc. I've already decided not to take it, and that was my reason.

¡Buen camino @ tod@s!
Camino Francés, June-July 2008
mp3 player

vitaminporter: consider the universe breaking your ipod for a reason. there are no accidents.
i am also considering buying one for my hike on the camino norte.
I did not take a book on the camino frances, and i am happy i did not. nor would i have time for an ipod. i definately would not listen to it while walking reasons, taking me out of nature and not in the present moment, also at times one needs to pay attention to the markings. be in the here and now. i am only considering one on the camino norte as there are fewer people and at night may be nice to listen to an audio book. i am also going to download a 30 minute meditation called create your day. with intention and gratitude. check it out (twinflames)

Walking sticks, not for me. i think some are very noisey, makes it hard to hear the birds. as far as dogs. well i am a postie and they love me!!!!
If people go in fear the dogs know this. as shirley maclean experienced the pack of dogs. vision a heart and send love thru to the dogs. don't laugh it really does work. it alters the dogs. just ask the postie.

So the next big question: what do you mp3 experts advise. i am looking at a 2gb, voice recording and fm. any suggestions?

I think 2 gb is more than enough. The one I took was only 512 mb, the size of a cigarette lighter, but I was able to take a few dozen 'camino-related' songs which meant a lot to me, and to which I listened to when the occasion called for. There was also enough free space to make recordings of songs during church services along the camino.

It must be stressed though that listening to music along the road is meant to enhance the journey, not as a distraction from what's around you. Of course, it must be pointed out again that for safety's sake, iPod's and mp3 players must not be used when traveling and crossing major roads or walking through a village/town/city.

The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.

i totally agree with not wearing it on the roads. So where can i get some camino music. i just loved the nun singing in santiago. Does she have a cd??i did buy a gregorian cd when i was in Santiago.


Ah, yes; the universe and its justice. No accidents? I have a story for you since you mention that (breaking my iPod). Exactly a week ago, on Palm Sunday, I found not only a current generation 4G iPod nano but also $160, together in a zippered wallet. There was no ID in the wallet, just a phone number taped to the back of the iPod. Now keep in mind I am as honest as the next guy, but here was the same iPod breaking-universe acting up again, giving me just EXACTLY what I asked for. Needless to say I called the number and gave everything back: lock, stock and iPod. In return I got...almost a hug. I have mentioned this to a few people and the response is always identical: You acted correctly, thats good karma. I agree; I acted correctly. But thats it. There is no karmic score card waiting for me at the end of the road just as there is no universe deciding to deprive me of one of my favorite toys so that I pay more attention on the Camino. I read someplace that the Camino is about 4 or 5 weeks long...if I pay attention the entire time I will probably become enlightened, and then pilgrims would have to deal with a holy fool on the road in addition to the dogs! As you and I both pointed out, it could instead be an excellent time to catch up on a little recorded non-fiction or even a meditation CD. For the Catholics, there are Vatican Radio podcasts (no joke) and even Benedict XVI has an iPod. To sum up, I am leaning towards a little 1G shuffle as an Easter present to myself. Cheap, small, made by political prisoners in China. What could be more in the spirit of the Camino? Forgive me, VP.
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
Hmm... As much as I love music, I wouldn't bother with my iPod... It's nice sharing the sights, sounds,, conversations etc... Otherwise you'll cocoon yourself in your own little world! Well, that's just my opinion, anyway!
Just to add my two cents worth, I will be taking my I Pod (which is actually a SanDisk). I plan on using it on the long plane ride as well as on down time. I am usually a very social person, but there will be the odd time, when I just want to shut out what is going on around me and the IPod will be perfect, I do a daily meditation that I have down loaded, in addition to some Spanish tapes.

Charging will be a concern, however I do plan to treat myself every ten days or so and stay in a hotel so it should be OK, I can just charge it then.

I certainly wouldn't use it while I was walking as I don't want to miss anything, but for me an IPod is as essential as a digital camera. And after reading about the lost pilgram, I am seriously considering a cell phone as well. Just because we are doing the Camino doesn't mean we have to abstain from all modern amenities.

If you know about you that having music will make your trip more enjoyable, then do it! Sometimes a little down time is necessary.

Buen Camino
Lora 8)
In the end, like everything, safety included, it's a personal decision. Buen Camino :arrow: xm 8)
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
I totally agree with you minkey.
say no more on the universe. why not take an ipod, it is small and light. for me i would NOT CONSIDER WALKING with one. focus on the music, and miss an arrow. Hm. maybe the universe has a special road for you.
Keep us informed.
if you do bring an ipod, how do you recharge it?
i just bought one a little while ago, the little shuffle guy, and i have to charge it by hooking it into my computer. which i won't be bringing of course. so is there some wall adapter, and then (if you're not from the EU) some converter you need, too?
Hi Buena:

You can buy chargers that plug into the wall. And yes, if you are from North America as I am, we also need an adapater

Another bonus to taking an MP3 player is if you are like me and you want to journal, you can use the record feature on your player. This is my main reason in taking mine, it will really save me paper weight. I can also download some audio books, spanish lessons, you name it and everything is smaller and less weight than a cell phone.

Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

Re "charger": US have 110/120 Volt AC at 60 Hertz, Europe has 220/230 Volt AC at 50 Hertz, so make sure you have a charger (or device in case you plug it straight in) that can handle both. Some do: "input 100/240V, 50/60Hz", some don't - so check, before the thingy goes up in smoke....

You will need an adapter additionally. Adapters only make sure you can plug in the damn thing - they will NOT transform AC from 110 to 220.

That - right voltage and an adapter - applies to all electric devices from the US: charger of all kinds (video, digicam), cellphone, iPod, laptop, electric razor, GPS, electric bedbug killer, dishwasher - whatever your heart desires to schlepp along the Camino...

The so called "euro plug" looks like that:


The european standard plug with protective earth conductor looks like that:

I'll bring my iPod too. As much as I like meeting new people and enjoy the surroundings and everything, I also need time for my own and music to support my walking. But since the batteries of my (2. or 3. Gen?) iPod don't work for more then 3 hours anyway before I have to charge them again, the risk to isolate myself too much is rather small! ;)

Buen camino!

added: And the electrical outlets will be very popular then, I guess ... ;)
roadscholar said:

(carrying) a CD-player with three CD's of classical music. Don't know how long that is going to last as everything becomes heavier after a while and things I considered initially important, seem to fade after a while. At the moment it is exhilirating to listen to Swan Lake in the middle of nature without any interruptions other than some enhancing bird's trills.

I guess CD players + CDs r "seasoned pilgrims'" (well, ok, fellow "older folks'") equivalent of I-pods + accessories, I don't know. Yes yes, am aware of the diff in size, weight, etc... I'd like to hear from someone who has used an I-pod on the Caminos and how was it :) Best, xm 8)
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
I walked the camino 2yrs ago and brought my 20gig at the time. Mainly as I am not really the type to strike up conversations and tend to be in my own little world.

And yes I like it that way.

I can count on my 2 hands how many times I used it. There was just too much going on for me to need it.

The most use I got out of it the whole time was when my partner and I were seriously sick and couldnt leave our beds for a week.
I used an ipod, carried a charger for it. I used it less and less as time went on and I got into the rhythm, but I found it brilliant for the tough times, I had a lot of podcasts and listened to some fascinating radio talking programs, the miles just melted away. I never dreaded being exhausted as I knew I had my ipod to carry me through. I sometimes used it just to listen to music, too. It was also good in the long dark winter evenings (we were there is January) to while away the time. For these reasons, I would definitely take it again.
I never dreaded being exhausted as I knew I had my ipod to carry me through.
That sounded like a religious thought, a cult to i-pod, maybe? :lol: Best, xm
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms

I would not consider taking an Ipod or MP3. For me it would cheapen the Camino experience or, at best, just make me miss something that I may not have otherwise. I'll leave both at home.

There is so much history beside each and every pebble along the Camino that I choose to experience the feel of it and it alone. I would never wish to share that experience with any music band, no mater how great they sounded while I was home
In my case bringing a small MP3 (512 MB) player enhanced my Camino. Standing up there on a mountaintop listening to Morten Lauridsen's choral motet O Magnum Mysterium ('O Great Mystery') was an experience of a lifetime, if only for a few minutes.

Just goes to show everyone's camino experiences are diverse.

Hello there! Well, for fun I thought I would check in on my posts from earlier in the year and see if there was any more action. This particular topic seems to have gotten a lot of buzz or views anyway so I thought I would tell you all what I ended up doing.
I decided to bring the Ipod and I am so glad that I did. For one thing, I did not abuse it at all. There is too much going on all the time and so much to see and hear that you don't really end up relying on it like you think you might. What I loved having it for was those moments when I could not walk anymore in the heat or up a hill and a song would help me find my second wind. The rythm of the beat convicing my feet. I enjoyed having it at nap time because often I could not sleep but was too tired to read or write so it was good to have at rest time. Finally, I enjoyed having it for moments where I would realize a song was speaking to me. You are walking and you are there in Spain for a purpose I would guess and suddenly a song comes on that you have never bothered to listen to before. It speaks to you and is so profoundly part of your experience that when you get home...listening to that song, it will bring you back to the Camino in that moment forever.
I agree it is an individual decision and there is no right or wrong for we all have our own Camino. Just don't waste your time guilting yourself over enjoying the things you love. I love music and so it enhanced my Camino.
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Interesting that this topic is still active....

I am reporting in that I did take my mp3 player on the camino and never used it once. I completed my first Camino in Santiago on June 15, 2007, and am presently on Camino #2 this year, took my mp3 player once more, with the reasoning that I would use it on the plane. It is buried somewhere in the bottom of my backpack, and I would be suprised if I use it this time either.

To each his own, it certainly doesn´t take much space, however once you experience the magic of the Camino, electronics are the last thing on your mind :!:


Interesting to see this topic here, since I remember having the conversation a number of times while I was in Spain. I brought an mp3 player with around 280 songs on it, which I'd already had with me because I was backpacking (the more conventional way) before doing the camino. I never once used it while walking, regardless of what I could have distracted myself from. If I wanted music, I sang and I enjoyed it! I did use it in the evenings, although not often.

I was also glad to have the player because a couple of people whom I met borrowed it from me a few times. I think that music is one of those things that can bring people together- not that doing a pilgrimage doesn't do the same. However, now there are likely a few songs that a few people I loved being with will remember me and each other and the way by, and that's great.

I brought an ipod and am happy that I did. in fact, I got the ipod just before going, and actually I haven't listened to it even once in the five or so months since I finished!

I, as some others have also said, found that it enhanced my camino. I didn't listen to it a lot, but when I did, I picked music that I thought was appropriate for the scenery or my mood. I also think it depends on your reasons for doing the camino... I did it as a 'finding myself' kind of a thing, and for me, music is a big key for unlocking things within me and I can process things better while listening to music. Other reasons it was good was that it helped keep people at bay when I wanted to walk alone, blocking out snoring at night when ear plugs wouldn't work, and I am a serious musician and I needed at least some kind of music in my life even if I couldn't play! Although I will admit to going into a music shop in Leon and playing some violins in a music shop.

There is no right or wrong answer to this, but for me I was happy to have it, and probably won't use my ipod again until my next camino!
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... and then you have the new iPods (iPod touch) that has Internet access with built in wifi. Not all places have free wifi, but in many places you can get free internet access with it. I did some surfing on plaza da quintana today on my touch. Its for the geeks, I know, but...

I am writing this message on my touch, its a bit clunky, but it works.

Greetings from Santiago,
I too am a music lover and I took my iPod to Spain with me fully intending to take it on the Camino. Inadvertently (or possibly not!) I left it in Madrid with my other belongings when I headed north. I didn't miss it for one moment. If I had had it, I would have missed the music of the bells of the mountain horses, cows, sheep and churches. I would have missed the sounds of the birds in the pre-dawn hours that provided me with much companionship as I walked alone. I might have missed the music of the guitars and singing in the albergues and I would have missed the music of my friend Finn who was learning t play the harmonica. I might not have joined the group at Carrión de los Condes who enjoyed the beautiful singing of the Augustinian sisters.

On the Camino everyone respects your private space/time. If you want to be alone writing, dozing, having a glass of wine... people will ask if they may join you and take no offense if you ask to be or walk alone. However, you can be alone watching an amusing scene or conversation - I sat alone one evening in El Burgo Ranero listening to a group of Spaniards from all over Spain discuss the politics of their language differences. As a Spanish teacher this was fascinating to me.

As far as needing the music to sleep, I never had any trouble sleeping. Even though sometimes snoring was annoying, I managed to sleep through it eventually and look back on it now as a funny part of the Camino. And I can assure you that at home I would no more sleep on the floor than fly to the moon. But on the two occasions where I had to sleep on the floor during my Camino, I slept just fine there as well. After 25 - 30 km with a pack... you will sleep well too!

There is music everywhere on the camino. From being wakened by Gregorian chant in Roncesvalles to the magnificent organ in Santiago de Compostela. I would suggest taking a break from the music with which you can surround yourself any day of your life and allow the music of the Camino to surround you. Those 4 - 5 weeks will pass so quickly. If you allow your senses to take a break from the things to which they are accustomed, you may find that you perceive the world in a completely different way. In the big picture of life it is a very short sojourn. I would suggest that you savor it, relish it and experience it as completely as possible.
I brought my iPod Nano from the US, but mostly for use during the long plane flight from the West coast to Paris (and back again). Being on a plane for 15 hours or so (not counting the layover) gets a bit tiring. It's nice to have one's own music to pass the time. And noise-cancelling headphones (or earbuds) helped me rest. But as for listening on the Way - I'd say it's not the best way to approach the Camino.

I didn't use my iPod while walking on the Way (although I listened a couple times at night while in bed, either to music or Spanish language lessons to brush up on the lingo). That's because listening to an MP3 player isolates me from my surroundings. While that might be good on a monotonous plane flight or bus/train ride, it's not so good on the Camino for a couple of reasons.

First, the Camino is a communal pilgrimage. Yes, sometimes it's best to walk alone, and that's OK. But if you want to meet other pilgrims, an iPod can be a barrier. For example, when I saw pilgrims wearing earbuds, I figured they didn't want to be bothered, so I left them alone (and perhaps that's what they wanted). But that makes me ask, how many potentially good relationships does one forego due to being preoccupied with a music player? I met many people along the Way just by saying "Hola - buen Camino!" while walking past them, asking them if they wanted their picture taken with their camera (and vice versa), or by sitting down with them at a bar, albergue, or wherever. My greeting (or theirs) started a conversation, and from that point a walking friendship was born. Indeed, my best memories of the Camino are the various pilgrims I met, walked, ate, and hung around with.

Second, the Camino is a pilgrimage - not a walk around town. Ideally, the Camino is all about disrupting our comfortable lifestyles and established coping patterns in order to effect a profound internal change. An iPod, like TV, movies, and the Internet, is a habit or pattern from everyday life, used for dealing with stress, obtaining entertainment, or simply zoning out and passing time. It's another form of materialistic distraction that goes against the simplicity of the Camino. An iPod would seem to counter the Camino's ability to change our perspectives or routine ways of doing things by creating a lifeline back to one's normal lifestyle.

Finally, the Camino is a time to face yourself head-on. Too often we dive into busyness or multimedia distractions in order to avoid dealing with ourselves or our issues. In his guidebook, John Brierley writes about a man who cleared his whole summer to do the Camino. However, he ended up running back home after only a few days because he was stripped of his distractions and was unable to cope with what was left - himself. For me, the meseta was the best - and hardest - part of the Camino, because there was no place to hide from myself there. A lot of issues I was dealing with hit me full force while walking in that region. It was painful and distressing, but over time I came to a deeper place of understanding and acceptance of myself. Zoning out to an iPod thru the meseta would have been easier, but less rewarding.

Bottom line, you can listen to an iPod anywhere, but you are only on the Camino once. It's a unique place and situation, one of the precious few where you can meet pilgrims - people whom you share a profound commonality with right off the bat: being on a quest for something deeper. To me, listening to an iPod on the Way is sort of like touring the Louvre while playing with a Gameboy.

Of course, everyone is different. Other posters indicated that they found their iPods useful or inspiring. But I wonder, at what cost? The saying "there's no right or wrong way to do the Camino" has become such a cliche that it prevents people from considering that there indeed might be better - or worse - ways to do it. Anyway, just my 2 euros... :arrow:
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

I felt that listening to music actually helped me pay more attention to surroundings, rather than missing out. I also kept it at a low volume and only would have one earplug in a time, so I didn't miss out on the surrounding sounds. I listened to it for maybe one hour a day only, and sometimes would go maybe a week without listening to it, but found it useful.

People seem to be pretty anti-ipod, but I think it depends on your reasons for doing the camino and what kind of personality you have. I would have been fine without it, but I think it added to the experience in a positive way and didn't detract at all. I still met many many people and the times I was listening I didn't want to meet people. And I found that some people were 'clingers' and didn't understand the need some people have for walking alone... not everyone is as understanding as someone above wrote.

listening to music doesn't necessarily mean you are cheapening the experience, and I don't like that some people are insinuating that it is. A pilgrimage is a personal experience, and pilgrims have the right to choose how that they do it as long as it doesn't negatively affect other people, and I don't think listening to an ipod is destructive to the overall experience for other pilgrims without them.
Although I said that I personally would not bring an iPod, I seem to recall reading somewhere above on this topic that there was a request for "Camino Music"?? If you go to this website: http://groups.msn.com/ElCaminoSantiago on the left hand navigation bar there is a wealth of information including two links marked "Camino Music". Some are mp3 downloads both classical and modern (Green Day "Good Riddance") and others are purchases of CD's. It is an interesing site - I'm sure many here are already familiar with it.
Buen Camino :arrow: ,
no Ipod for this guy. Don't even own one. I too am interested in disconnecting from media/stimulation outside of the camino. Heck, how long has the Ipod been around... and how long, comparitively, has the camino been around?
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Nothing says "Stay away from me" like the white earphone cord. If you wish to prevent intrusion by, or interaction with, other pilgrims, just take that iPod along! Jenna Bush used one as the Secret Service carried her pack.


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The locals have a name for the pilgrims who walk while "plugged in..." They call them "comatose!"

Particular headphone-wearing types are known to blissfully bop down the middle of the camino with a big combine tractor following close behind, needing to bring in the hay but unable to get the pilgrim´s attention to move him aside!

...if you´re coming all this way to walk the camino, really BEING HERE is a pretty good idea, I think.

all very well but im sitting in santiago having just finished the camino mozarabe from granada and I did take a mini disc player but only used it once whilst walking which was on a scarey stretch of road with traffic zooming past me at heaven knows what speed. AND I used iy occasionally in the albergues or hostals-not everyone likes the people who prattle on endlessly lying next to you.
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
morabe trail

Hi Omar,

Please tell us more what the route is like from Granada, well marked? many people?? Did you connect with the via de la plata. how many days. i am returning to spain sept.15, i will have till the 30th october to walk the via de la plata. Spain calls me back every year for another trail.
Hi Dawn
I leave for London tomorrow so will post something then or when i get home towards end of june.
I saw,for 5 minutes,Marigold Fox,and she was the ONLY other person i met from Granada to Merida (400kms).No albergues and way marking was OK but now and again just drifted away!
I can't recall ever seeing anyone wearing an iPod while actually walking on the Camino, and I personally think that it would have spoiled the experience for me if i had used mine On the other hand, some people did use them when putting their feet up in the dorms on arrival, as a chillout thing. For this a Shuffle would be ideal, and you could make a special selection of music. However, I would caution you on bringing too much 'stuff'. I didn't even bring my mobile phone and didn't miss it. Every gadget needs batteries, or a charger and an adaptor. There aren't always many sockets in the hostels. You will worry about losing it. The whole point of the Camino is to step outside of normal life for a while, and marching along listening to U2 or whatever means you are bringing a big chunk of your everyday sensory experiences into the Camino. There are always people to chat to on the Camino and opening yourself up to learning about them and from them was absolutely key to me. Please don't hide away in headphones!!
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.

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