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Trying to understand

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
I’ve been trying to understand why the Camino has such a lasting impact. It’s a key I think to understanding other things. What do we learn? What do we see? Why is it such a milestone? What is it about the Camino that has such a big impact and leaves such a lasting impression and, for many of us, a glowing memory and a passionate desire to do it again and again. I think I know some of the answer.
 
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La Brique Jaune

Official member of la confradia del pinza del oro
Camino(s) past & future
2017: SJPDP to Finisterre
(202?): I hope and need to
Hi,

Hope my english will be ok,


It's big question, I asked myself so many times after my first Camino three years ago. Why I want to go back to this place ? When I came back, people asked me if I liked it. My response was: I will would go back tomorrow morning.

After many questions to myself and after some trips I made I get some answers.

I think the humans need to be in the nature and to be in contact with her: follow the quiet flow of her, listen to animals, watch the subtleties, feel the wind..and stop. I know it's such a romantic way of thinking but I really think the Humans are animals and the modern life keep them away from their trueself.

The second thing I realized, it's about the human factor. During me Camino I felt through people a real Human community. Full of respect, listening and assistance during the difficult times. People from all different opinions can be part of a thing bigger thing than them self.... the humanity. And on the Camino I meet people who change my life.

The third thing I realized is I can learn so many things, develops myself, forgive, take important decisions.
I think in the Walking there is a great image ! : I cannot change the past, I only control the present (my emotions) and I can make choice for in front of me. And away from in the modern responsibilities, work, stress.

On the Camino I felt some clichés are true.

In few words: Freedom, friendship and Nature.

La Brique
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
I had a long discussion with another Forum member about this yesterday.

My thoughts following that are these: (just a very personal view)

  1. In our modern lives we don't really have a chance to unplug from our day to day lives. The Camino gives us that opportunity. OK, we could do that anywhere you say....
  2. But the 'setting' and 'history' of the Camino is somewhat unique. It is not just a walk. We are walking in the path of millions who have gone before us, most of whom through history were on a 'Pilgrimage'.
  3. We are also amongst like minded souls. Most of whom are on a 'quest' of some sort. To find themselves, to search for meaning in their lives, or perhaps to find or re-establish faith... But many if not most of those we meet along the way are 'kindred' spirits in some way, and we quickly bond and share as a result... In the evenings particularly, as we relax and reflect, these shared experiences can be powerful and uplifting.
  4. We are part of a moving 'community' with a similar goal. There are those who will always help us if we are in need, and we experience the joy of helping others in turn.
  5. And particularly for those who 'walk' alone (may be some debate over this) they find themselves intently aware and at one with their surroundings. After some time on the path, maybe days or a couple of weeks, they are 'in tune' with what could be called the energy of their journey. They become open to many small 'signs' along the way that they might choose to investigate further or ponder on. They begin to learn and understand more about themselves, others around them, their purpose...... These small subtle 'signs' are often missed when in the company of others, as we are distracted by them.
  6. There is also a magical element I think in just 'letting go' and 'giving yourself up' to the Camino. To walk without expectation and to walk with an open heart and an open mind. And the Camino gives us a degree of security and structure to do just that. (It's not like we are walking across a wilderness)
So in my mind at least, the Camino is a very special journey, made special by 1- 6 above. I haven't found any other way to gain the same experience. And so I return........ to recharge, to relearn, and learn new things...

sorry, added two (4 & 6) after posting......
 
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Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @Lexicos . As a two time pilgrim I now no longer try to "understand" the allure of The Way. I just enjoyed whilst I walked (or cycled) and now look back with fond memories and the hope that a vaccine to Covid19 will be developed within the time frame that will allow my brother and I to walk from Porto to Santiago sometime in the next 12-15 months. Buen Camino!!
 

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
How fortunate you are to have such a plan. Porto to Santiago is a fascinating walk. Very different to Frances. Leave time to explore Porto, if it's your first time. So many good things there to see and people of the city are just right and very hospitable. You and your brother will like it.
 

Jamie K

lifelong pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or VDLP
Every word is well said. I asked myself the same question many many times after my first Camino, which changed my life direction very differently. I took the whole 2 months, mostly walked alone all the way to Finisterra. Stayed a few days in a monasterio along the way. Lots of slow paced walking with short distance a day on purpose so that I could spend time in the quiet empty village before the crowd comes in.
After this journey, I came back to the city (I no longer live in the city but back then I did), taking a month to debate what kind of life I would want to live. I left the city and moved to the mountain town. That was 3 years ago. A year later, I went back for the second Camino. A different experience but in a good way..

I've done a few long distance backpacking trips before and after the Camino but they are nothing like Camino.
In the wilderness, you feel free and get to appreciate the nature but you don't feel much of the reflection of yourself from that surroundings. Do you? I don't,, that much.

But during the Camino, you get to feel connected to the outer world and then to yourself by just walking with your belongings in your backpack. Dealing with simple daily life matters- where to sleep and where to eat and how much longer you could stand walking for the day. Alone but you get a recognition from strangers and that connects you to some sort of a sense of identity that you are doing this walk not alone but with some recognition from the outer world. This may happen soon after you start walking but for some of you who choose to walk solitarily may let it in later.

Camino is a unique combination of inner self discovery and the process of making a new connection with the world, I think. And that's one of the many many many other things that make the Camino so special and incomparable.

I hope I made some sense. If not, just ignore. lol.
 
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Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I don’t have the answer, but when I think of these big questions, I always come to think of the words by the fictional Portuguese philosopher Amadeu do Prado (In the novel “Night Train to Lisbon” by Pascal Mercier):

“When we leave a place we leave something of ourselves behind, we stay there even though we have gone away. And there are things within ourselves which we can only find again by returning to those places. We get closer to ourselves, travel towards ourselves, when we are carried to a place where we have covered a stretch of our lives however brief it may have been.”

I have had the same feeling about other places that I have travelled to, but it has been particularly strong about the Camino – perhaps for some of the reasons mentioned in the posts above. Perhaps it is about travelling towards ourselves in search of things still hidden, still unreleased?
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
Many of the Things said by others apply to all long distance treks.
Some things that make a Caminod different:
- You will meet many other walkers. I do not mind walking alone but I do find the easy, spontaneous contacts with fellow travellers in the evening a big extra.
- The people you meet have a very varied background, social, national, religious and so on. That makes it very interesting.
- Most treks emphasize walking in nature. Of course walking through nature is a big part of a Camino. But you will also walk through big, old cities,which I like. (This is the case in most caminos)
- The fact that caminos are old has as a consequence that infrastructure for walking is good.
- Of course for people with a religious background, walking a Camino has a big extra. For them the religious aspect is essential.
 

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
Walking the Camino is like walking through a novel. Each pilgrim tells their story and for me, that’s what each pilgrim is, a fascinating, complex and sometimes beautiful story. I think the Camino brings out the best in everyone. It’s a living poem, you see moments of exquisite grace and extraordinary beauty. Some will grieve, privately but unashamedly. It touches you deeply. You feel their loss. Others rejoice. Everyone has their special and very personal reason for being there. And sometimes they will share that with you and so you become part of each other’s lives for a while and then you part ways forever. It is so rich and complex and yet so very simple. You walk. You talk. You tell your story and I tell mine and for that time we are friends. Walking and talking and a lot of thinking. What’s not to like?
 
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Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @Antonius Vaessen, your opening point just reminded of something similar I read here on Forum some 5 or more years ago, (I think it mainly applied to the Frances): you can meet virtually the whole United Nations in the first week, and take away the Security Council as best friends by the time you reach Santiago. Whilst other Caminos may not be so widely populated they are great places to find a friend or at least someone to share a beer or a vino.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Pilgrims can be split up into three goups, those seeking God, others looking for healing and then those like me pursuing mindfullness in the moment.

During Medieval times, the Catholic Church would grant a “plenary indulgence” to pilgrims who completed the Camino. This was like a “get out of jail free card” wiping out all the time the soul would have spent in Purgatory, According to Catholic theology, Purgatory is where the soul spends time working off life’s sins before it can go to Heaven. The very first Compostelas were cloth badges which were sewn on to the pilgrim’s shirt or jacket after they arrived in Santiago de Compostela. It did not take long for counterfeiters to start selling fake badges to people who had not made a pilgrimage, but were looking for amnesty for their souls. Remember that common people in the Middle Ages could not read or write, so the Catholic Church began to issue “evidentiary letters” written in Latin which put the illiterate counterfeiters out of business. I purposely did not get a Compostela when I completed my Camino Frances because it is not what you get in the end that matters, but rather it is the “Easter eggs you discover on the way”. My Zen approach to Christianity’s most important pilgrimage held that happiness and enlightenment are not something like a pot of gold to be found at the end of the rainbow, but instead are to be found in the “infinite moment” of the here and now
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
I don’t have the answer, but when I think of these big questions, I always come to think of the words by the fictional Portuguese philosopher Amadeu do Prado (In the novel “Night Train to Lisbon” by Pascal Mercier):

“When we leave a place we leave something of ourselves behind, we stay there even though we have gone away. And there are things within ourselves which we can only find again by returning to those places. We get closer to ourselves, travel towards ourselves, when we are carried to a place where we have covered a stretch of our lives however brief it may have been.”

I have had the same feeling about other places that I have travelled to, but it has been particularly strong about the Camino – perhaps for some of the reasons mentioned in the posts above. Perhaps it is about travelling towards ourselves in search of things still hidden, still unreleased?
Totally SUADADE! Bitter sweet. Loss and longing for once was in the life-- but now gone/
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
There are endless answers for this camino and for pilgrimage. You can make it philosophical or mindful/intentional, complex or spiritual or who knows what else. For me it breaks down to just two things. One is simplicity. The simplicity of taking each day and breaking it down to each step, simplicity of a cold drink of water or a candy bar being as wonderful as a fine wine or fancy restaurant, the simplicity of taking each person that you meet along the way and acceptance of them for just a moment or a lifetime. The simplicity of being mindless and unintentional and learning that great things happen when you are out of your head and out of all the mindless mush of your mind and let your body and heart take over. The simplicity of having the body control us and realizing all you need in life is love and what is in your backpack.
Second and as more important for me' the camino means HOME.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
Yep, without trying to start any controversy, there could be only two general causes 1) basic biological response to a given set of conditions (endorphins, etc.), 2) presence and effect of God or god (whichever you choose). The believer might say it is #2 creating #1 (if only to make us easier to watch over). The sceptic would say #1 creating a false comfort in #2's existence. That's the true magic of the Camino. Both of these guys could walk for weeks in harmony.

Personally, I just miss the feeling, whatever the root cause.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
I’ve been trying to understand why the Camino has such a lasting impact. It’s a key I think to understanding other things. What do we learn? What do we see? Why is it such a milestone? What is it about the Camino that has such a big impact and leaves such a lasting impression and, for many of us, a glowing memory and a passionate desire to do it again and again. I think I know some of the answer.
Hi Lexicos, hope this answer some of your wander, I posted this after my fifth camino, and I think is still apply :
This is what I answered to DMG's question which was similar to yours. Choose the part the interests you most. I hope it helps
I am not a man of letters and English is not my mother language and for that reason complicate to explain my concept on the matter but I will try.
I was born in a Catholic family and sin the early age I have been indoctrinate in that direction ( like I suppose all different religion do ), I was made aware of the importance of Jesus and the 12 Apostles with all the story that went with it.
About 15 years ago I watched a documentary on Santiago de Compostela and although I have non't been practising my faith for now quite a few years (after been disillusion by different priest), the fact that I had a chance to pay my respect to one of the 12 and having a chance to do it, set me up for all the caminos I have done, never mind if while doing them each time i'm telling myself " what I'm doing here?".
For next year is going to be a bit longer pilgrimage, from Proceno to Rome, because I like to have the roman equivalent of the Compostela, having done the 150 Km required, then up via the francigena way reach mount Montgenevre ito France down and up to SJPD and for the third time the French camino and for the sixth time Fisterre, Muxia, it should take (hopefully) 100/110 days and they should be around 3300 Km (all God willing).
Try to understand, I don't put the distances down to impress people but so every body else can take advantage and work out they future Camino.
This is my choice and my foolish idea of going from the tomb of San Peter in Rome to the one of San James in Santiago de Compostela carrying
the regard of SP to SJ as they ( I believe) knew each other.
During all this walking, yes passing through the various towns and villages I admire all the surrounding beauty but all that is not the purpose of my pilgrimage, in future if I want to visit any place that particularly impressed me, I then would go back another time; in practical I 'm like a horse with blinkers.
If nothing of what I have written make sense I'm sorry but that's all I can do.
Buen Camino
Ernest
:
 

OxFyrd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese 2018, voie d'Arles 2019 (Arles -Santiago)
Scheduled : Le Puy-Bilbao - Primitivo
I’ve been trying to understand why the Camino has such a lasting impact. It’s a key I think to understanding other things. What do we learn? What do we see? Why is it such a milestone? What is it about the Camino that has such a big impact and leaves such a lasting impression and, for many of us, a glowing memory and a passionate desire to do it again and again. I think I know some of the answer.
Hi Lexico.
9 months later, It is still difficult to explain what is the Camino...
I discovered the Camino in may 2018 when I made the Portugese way with an old friend living in Porto. It was a short 12 days hike, interesting but for me, a little bit “incomplete”. I had the feeling that I needed to walk several months, that strange things would happen around one month traveling.

I started on 17 August 2019, north of Marseille in France, at the city of Arles, with the goal to reach Santiago without any specified time frame. The Voie d’Arles is a very low traffic route and during several days, I met just nobody – not a single pilgrim, even at night. Knowing that in advance, I was expecting a difficult psychological challenge, but it was a physical one… When I reached Somport pass (East of Roncevalles), one month later, I was handling a typical 35 to 40 km per day, almost effortlessly, leaving early, walking as long as I “physically” needed it; a kind of peaceful routine where each day is just an another day, a very simple and calm rhythm of daily needs to meet. SIMPLICITY is key on the Camino!

As you may know, many pilgrims stop at Somport - or start the "Aragon camino” there. On the 2nd day in Spain, I met a tall Spanish guy, with a very big and heavy backpack, brand new shoes, starting his first camino. "Hike your own hike " was my then philosophy. He was just one of the many pilgrims, I have met on the trail, with their own quests and challenges. I was halfway through and more and more focused on Santiago de Compostela; He was speaking Spanish only (I learned Spanish at school but he was speaking a very fast, with slang words and a terrible aragonese accent). Day after day, I saw him reaching the albergue, late in the afternoon, totally exhausted, with blisters, blue toenails.. but stubborn like a bull.. During dinner, the pilgrims were speaking in English, few words of Italian and German, but Spanish was not a shared language... Then the magic pop-up, we started day after day to exchange few sentences and one day, in the very early morning, he decided to follow me on the trail. As you have understood, I like to travel light and fast. I was sure he was not physically able to match my pace. I thought “see you later in the evening” but said nothing and left the Albergue quite fast as usual. It was a very cold and dark morning; Suddenly I discovered that he was behind me - without the help of any headlamp. I had no-choice. I can't leave him alone in the back-country. I remember Aragon was beautiful in this month of september and I was sure that I will reach Santiago. No real need to hurry but perhaps it was the perfect time to sit by the river and think about life. Since that day, we spent more time together, sometimes on the trail, sometimes at one of the bar along the camino, or later in the eveningat the albergue. Stage after stage, a Spanish speaking group took form with a veteran Argentinian guy or others from Madrid, sleeping at the same albergue, sharing food and feelings. SHARE and SOLIDARITY between pilgrims ! At Puente la Reina, on the Camino frances, he was in a better shape and my Spanish has definitively improved. Finally, we reached Saria where his daughter (a good hiker by the way) joined us for the last 100 km (an important Spanish custom). At Santiago, his wife and a bunch of his friends who have traveled all thru Spain from Aragon just to welcome us on the cathedral forecourt. The emotion was really intense. Spirituality ?
I believe, he is now one of my best friend.
 

CathyP

Cathy
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2020)
Thanks to all those who have replied to this thread. Your replies were thoughtful and beautiful. My husband and I had our 2020 plans for our first Camino dashed due to COVID, but we are able to hike quite a bit near our home. While not at all the same, it has been very special and helps keep our hope alive till we get to the Camino!
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
How fortunate you are to have such a plan. Porto to Santiago is a fascinating walk. Very different to Frances. Leave time to explore Porto, if it's your first time. So many good things there to see and people of the city are just right and very hospitable. You and your brother will like it.
As Lisbon is one of my most favorite cities in the world, I could not consider being in Portugal for Caminho without stopping for at least a day or so in Lisbon. I do love all of Portugal, including Porto, and enjoyed the Way from Porto to Santiago.

Had a thought about "understand".....I've discovered that, for me, there are things I must try to understand/puzzle out/make sense of, and many that simply "are". Sometimes like gifts, other times not so much. I still don't know just what drew me to the Camino Frances, then back for Portugal, and have given up trying to find the right words. It was a profound experience. I seem to be more and more comfortable "being here now" wherever that may be, while still finding myself wanting to "go"; the world is so full of fascinating places................
 
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Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
Hi Lexico.
9 months later, It is still difficult to explain what is the Camino...
I discovered the Camino in may 2018 when I made the Portugese way with an old friend living in Porto. It was a short 12 days hike, interesting but for me, a little bit “incomplete”. I had the feeling that I needed to walk several months, that strange things would happen around one month traveling.

I started on 17 August 2019, north of Marseille in France, at the city of Arles, with the goal to reach Santiago without any specified time frame. The Voie d’Arles is a very low traffic route and during several days, I met just nobody – not a single pilgrim, even at night. Knowing that in advance, I was expecting a difficult psychological challenge, but it was a physical one… When I reached Somport pass (East of Roncevalles), one month later, I was handling a typical 35 to 40 km per day, almost effortlessly, leaving early, walking as long as I “physically” needed it; a kind of peaceful routine where each day is just an another day, a very simple and calm rhythm of daily needs to meet. SIMPLICITY is key on the Camino!

As you may know, many pilgrims stop at Somport - or start the "Aragon camino” there. On the 2nd day in Spain, I met a tall Spanish guy, with a very big and heavy backpack, brand new shoes, starting his first camino. "Hike your own hike " was my then philosophy. He was just one of the many pilgrims, I have met on the trail, with their own quests and challenges. I was halfway through and more and more focused on Santiago de Compostela; He was speaking Spanish only (I learned Spanish at school but he was speaking a very fast, with slang words and a terrible aragonese accent). Day after day, I saw him reaching the albergue, late in the afternoon, totally exhausted, with blisters, blue toenails.. but stubborn like a bull.. During dinner, the pilgrims were speaking in English, few words of Italian and German, but Spanish was not a shared language... Then the magic pop-up, we started day after day to exchange few sentences and one day, in the very early morning, he decided to follow me on the trail. As you have understood, I like to travel light and fast. I was sure he was not physically able to match my pace. I thought “see you later in the evening” but said nothing and left the Albergue quite fast as usual. It was a very cold and dark morning; Suddenly I discovered that he was behind me - without the help of any headlamp. I had no-choice. I can't leave him alone in the back-country. I remember Aragon was beautiful in this month of september and I was sure that I will reach Santiago. No real need to hurry but perhaps it was the perfect time to sit by the river and think about life. Since that day, we spent more time together, sometimes on the trail, sometimes at one of the bar along the camino, or later in the eveningat the albergue. Stage after stage, a Spanish speaking group took form with a veteran Argentinian guy or others from Madrid, sleeping at the same albergue, sharing food and feelings. SHARE and SOLIDARITY between pilgrims ! At Puente la Reina, on the Camino frances, he was in a better shape and my Spanish has definitively improved. Finally, we reached Saria where his daughter (a good hiker by the way) joined us for the last 100 km (an important Spanish custom). At Santiago, his wife and a bunch of his friends who have traveled all thru Spain from Aragon just to welcome us on the cathedral forecourt. The emotion was really intense. Spirituality ?
I believe, he is now one of my best friend.
A very touching story Ox and what a perfect illustration of what the Camino can be. Long live your friendship. You are both very lucky.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
While acknowledging all the experiential factors cited above (and in some of my previous posts), lately I have been wondering if the underlying cause of the impact we commonly experience is basically neurological:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidd...ve-reasons-to-grab-the-controls/#152896da2d95
Long hours of walking produce endorphins - like a runner's high. so yes some of it is neurological. But also the solitude is healing. Ultimately is is the enlightenment of the empty out - a winnowing of the clutter. So every pilgrim drops the baggage - drop the rock. Not just psychologically--- but we begin to empty out our packs -what a great metaphor! Leaving the excess behind us.
 

Jamie K

lifelong pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France (May and June 2017)
Portuguese Camino (May and June 2018)
Possibly Le-Puy or VDLP
There are endless answers for this camino and for pilgrimage. You can make it philosophical or mindful/intentional, complex or spiritual or who knows what else. For me it breaks down to just two things. One is simplicity. The simplicity of taking each day and breaking it down to each step, simplicity of a cold drink of water or a candy bar being as wonderful as a fine wine or fancy restaurant, the simplicity of taking each person that you meet along the way and acceptance of them for just a moment or a lifetime. The simplicity of being mindless and unintentional and learning that great things happen when you are out of your head and out of all the mindless mush of your mind and let your body and heart take over. The simplicity of having the body control us and realizing all you need in life is love and what is in your backpack.
Second and as more important for me' the camino means HOME.
I love what you said. The simplicity is the key part. Absolutely.
I miss living out of a small backpack.
I miss magical synchronicities, friendly faces too.
 

Peter Wright

Walking to stay young
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Porto to Santiago Sept/ Oct (2019)
Hi,

Hope my english will be ok,


It's big question, I asked myself so many times after my first Camino three years ago. Why I want to go back to this place ? When I came back, people asked me if I liked it. My response was: I will would go back tomorrow morning.

After many questions to myself and after some trips I made I get some answers.

I think the humans need to be in the nature and to be in contact with her: follow the quiet flow of her, listen to animals, watch the subtleties, feel the wind..and stop. I know it's such a romantic way of thinking but I really think the Humans are animals and the modern life keep them away from their trueself.

The second thing I realized, it's about the human factor. During me Camino I felt through people a real Human community. Full of respect, listening and assistance during the difficult times. People from all different opinions can be part of a thing bigger thing than them self.... the humanity. And on the Camino I meet people who change my life.

The third thing I realized is I can learn so many things, develops myself, forgive, take important decisions.
I think in the Walking there is a great image ! : I cannot change the past, I only control the present (my emotions) and I can make choice for in front of me. And away from in the modern responsibilities, work, stress.

On the Camino I felt some clichés are true.

In few words: Freedom, friendship and Nature.

La Brique
Beautifully written, your English is better than that of most native English speakers.

I would agree with your three few words and add liberating. For me, the twelve days of walking when all I possessed (or had to worry about) was on my back was wonderful.

No cars, no bills, no phones or computers.

Just putting one foot in front of the other and having faith that I would find a bed and a meal at the end of the day.

In Santisgo, I desperately wanted to turn around and walk all the way back to Porto. If I had had enough time and cash I would have.
 

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
You’ve summed it up nicely Peter. Couldn’t agree more. I hope you get to do another soon. I hope we can all get back on the trail soon.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
I love what you said. The simplicity is the key part. Absolutely.
I miss living out of a small backpack.
I miss magical synchronicities, friendly faces too.
Thanks for your words. I see you are thinking about Le Puy or the VDLP. I have done the Camino from Le Puy to Santiago and it is amazing. The scenery, the solitude, the quiet. the food is just wonderful. I was in such good shape when I hit St. Jean that I barely broke a sweat going up to Orison. My next Camino will definitely be the VDLP from Sevilla. I hope to start either in late February 2021 or mid October 2021. The virus will decide for me. I can't wait for this experience. I am sure that on the VDLP there will be many days where I may not see a pilgrim the whole day as was the case in France. You will have a very different experience on either one of these caminos than on the Portuguese or the Frances. It was almost shocking and a little disquieting walking from St. Jean even with much fewer people after spending a month in France. When I walked the Norte it became a singular camino for me after most people on the Norte chose to break off and walk the Primitivo. One last thing if you walk in France virtually no one speaks English. Not even at night in the GItes. But I was treated warmly and wonderfully every night. You will pay a little more per day on this camino but if you think the food and wine is good in Spain, if you compare it to the meals you will get in the Gites you will think you were eating at Burger King on your other caminos. One more thing my French ends with bon jour. The guide to take is the Miam Miam Dodo. Even though it is in French it is very simple to read and I didn't ever take a good look at this guidebook until about 3 days from St. Jean when another pilgrim showed it to me. I could have kicked myself. I guess a simple thank you got a little wordy here. haha. Maybe I will see you along the way on the VDLP. Stay safe and Buen vida
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF14(21?)
Aussie Camino15
WHW15
CP16
CdelN Fin/Muxia18
GGW StCuthWay HadrWall CotswoldWay19
Thank you all so very much for your inspiring words. It would have been day 10 of my first Camino today.
Threads like this one on the Forum help me keep my dream alive of walking a Camino one day and perhaps having the pleasure of meeting some of you out on the trail. That would be an utter delight.
Greetings from Victoria, David. We would have been on Day 19 today on the Camino Frances if our plans hadn't been demolished by the coronavirus! Hopefully we will be able to do it next year. We are very fortunate, as we have already walked three caminos and loved every minute of them. We hope it won't be too long before you are able to walk the camino and who knows we may meet each other along the way!
Anne & Pat
Buen Camino
 

pellegrino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('98, '15, '16 , '17, '18)
Portugués ('18)
Primitivo + Fisterra ('19)
An opportune moment to recall Eugenio Garibay Baños' great poem about the Camino:

I recently read Antxon González Gabarrain's Camino memoir and he considers that, for him, the "why" of doing the Camino might be found in that poem:
"For, deep down, that must be my reason, my cause, my 'why,' 'I see it all as I pass by.'"
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
I’ve been trying to understand why the Camino has such a lasting impact. It’s a key I think to understanding other things. What do we learn? What do we see? Why is it such a milestone? What is it about the Camino that has such a big impact and leaves such a lasting impression and, for many of us, a glowing memory and a passionate desire to do it again and again. I think I know some of the answer.
Beautifully written in perfect English. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts.
After I walked the Frances for my 80th birthday - when I got back home to Victoria, BC, I sat down and wrote an 11-page letter to my estranged brother, whom I hadn't seen in almost fifty years. It would take a book to explain why we had taken different paths. Suffice to say, he responded lovingly and we reunited with a meetup in Vancouver several months later and now we are in constant contact. He lives in the U.S. Point being, I know this would not have come about, were it not for the Camino and the countless stories I heard along the way from so many beautiful souls. I live in gratitude to this day that we were both so blessed. And now I'm in my second year of writing a three-generational family memoir.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
Hi,

Hope my english will be ok,


It's big question, I asked myself so many times after my first Camino three years ago. Why I want to go back to this place ? When I came back, people asked me if I liked it. My response was: I will would go back tomorrow morning.

After many questions to myself and after some trips I made I get some answers.

I think the humans need to be in the nature and to be in contact with her: follow the quiet flow of her, listen to animals, watch the subtleties, feel the wind..and stop. I know it's such a romantic way of thinking but I really think the Humans are animals and the modern life keep them away from their trueself.

The second thing I realized, it's about the human factor. During me Camino I felt through people a real Human community. Full of respect, listening and assistance during the difficult times. People from all different opinions can be part of a thing bigger thing than them self.... the humanity. And on the Camino I meet people who change my life.

The third thing I realized is I can learn so many things, develops myself, forgive, take important decisions.
I think in the Walking there is a great image ! : I cannot change the past, I only control the present (my emotions) and I can make choice for in front of me. And away from in the modern responsibilities, work, stress.

On the Camino I felt some clichés are true.

In few words: Freedom, friendship and Nature.

La Brique
Beautifully said. Amen
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Hi,

Hope my english will be ok,


It's big question, I asked myself so many times after my first Camino three years ago. Why I want to go back to this place ? When I came back, people asked me if I liked it. My response was: I will would go back tomorrow morning.

After many questions to myself and after some trips I made I get some answers.

I think the humans need to be in the nature and to be in contact with her: follow the quiet flow of her, listen to animals, watch the subtleties, feel the wind..and stop. I know it's such a romantic way of thinking but I really think the Humans are animals and the modern life keep them away from their trueself.

The second thing I realized, it's about the human factor. During me Camino I felt through people a real Human community. Full of respect, listening and assistance during the difficult times. People from all different opinions can be part of a thing bigger thing than them self.... the humanity. And on the Camino I meet people who change my life.

The third thing I realized is I can learn so many things, develops myself, forgive, take important decisions.
I think in the Walking there is a great image ! : I cannot change the past, I only control the present (my emotions) and I can make choice for in front of me. And away from in the modern responsibilities, work, stress.

On the Camino I felt some clichés are true.

In few words: Freedom, friendship and Nature.

La Brique
You have expressed it very well, I agree with you wholeheartedly
 

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Astorga '20
COVID CAMINO!
Norte '21
Personally my first changed me a lot and every time I go back it refines those changes. The well being from accomplishing a monumental physical and mental challenge is a tremendous life boost.

Don't tell anyone,but having 2 month vacation of daily walking where I can eat and drink whatever the heck I want and still stay in shape is a bonus too.

M
 

DevereUx

Devereaux
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2018
When I first started thinking of walking the Camino, I found this recording on the forum.
It has stayed with me throughout my journeys as a raison d’y aller.
(I hope you get the version without annoying ads!)
Ithaca by C.P.Cavafy (with Sean Connery & Vangelis)
 

Lexicos

Jim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
2017
Camino Portuguese 2019
Wonderful Devereaux. Thank you for sharing. A great poet and a great composer with a great message. Well chosen.
 

NYSE

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
I’ve been trying to understand why the Camino has such a lasting impact. It’s a key I think to understanding other things. What do we learn? What do we see? Why is it such a milestone? What is it about the Camino that has such a big impact and leaves such a lasting impression and, for many of us, a glowing memory and a passionate desire to do it again and again. I think I know some of the answer.
For me it is very simple: I never felt more free then when I walked the Camino. I've always felt free while traveling on vacation, but not to the degree I felt on the Camino. The mind and sole desperately seek freedom, therefore the desire to return
 

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