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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
A few weeks ago I had an vague idea of a project but now I'm in isolation at home in France I thought it would be a great time to start it.

I’d love to compile a book of stories from pilgrims who have walked to Santiago; I’m going to call it Chapter and Verse.

There are a few events that I can clearly recall from many of my caminos and often these events aren’t necessarily anything amazing. The night we shared our favourite funniest youtube vidoes with other pilgrims in the albuergue and we laughed until salty tears ran down our faces. Or the very quick stop at the worst bar ever on any camino and the plague of flying ants we met when we left. Or the beautiful mass that brought tears to my eyes and evoked memories of days gone by. Or my Camino Buddy hiding behind bins as she waited for stampeding cows… learning about Thin Spaces, meeting people with life altering stories or just standing in the mountains and seeing nature at it’s very best and realising how beautiful our world is… I could go on but you get the idea. Every pilgrim will have a story.

I am asking pilgrims to share those stories and anecdotes with me. It can be anything, something spiritual, something funny, or bizarre, or peaceful, or a camino angel, or the opposite, a night of snoring or illness or cold or a storm, a great meal, a coincidence… anything… we all have standout stories and moments that we can recall.

I plan to compile stories in location order along the towns and villages of any of the caminos. As you read you'll move closer to Santiago.

This is the most important part :

ALL PROFITS FROM OUR BOOK OF STORIES WILL GO PEACEABLE PROJECTS; A CHARITY THAT SUPPORTS THE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT PILGRIMS

I would love to hear from you. I simply need :
  • your first name
  • the camino you walked
  • the location (roughly) where your story happened
  • and of course your story
I am so excited to start this project, I know that I am totally naive about what's involved and how to do this but I have perhaps a few months at home not working... so I can learn! But to get started I need your stories.

I created a little free website which you can share with other pilgrims... and I want to stress... this is not for me or for profit... it's just a way of helping and being part of a camino community when I cant walk.

Write your story here or if you prefer send me a private message

https://caminostories497698117.wordpress.com/

Thank you
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2013.2014..SJ/SDC ....2015.PORTO/SDC..2017.18.19.20.BURGOS/P.FERRADA
A few weeks ago I had an vague idea of a project but now I'm in isolation at home in France I thought it would be a great time to start it.

I’d love to compile a book of stories from pilgrims who have walked to Santiago; I’m going to call it Chapter and Verse.

There are a few events that I can clearly recall from many of my caminos and often these events aren’t necessarily anything amazing. The night we shared our favourite funniest youtube vidoes with other pilgrims in the albuergue and we laughed until salty tears ran down our faces. Or the very quick stop at the worst bar ever on any camino and the plague of flying ants we met when we left. Or the beautiful mass that brought tears to my eyes and evoked memories of days gone by. Or my Camino Buddy hiding behind bins as she waited for stampeding cows… learning about Thin Spaces, meeting people with life altering stories or just standing in the mountains and seeing nature at it’s very best and realising how beautiful our world is… I could go on but you get the idea. Every pilgrim will have a story.

I am asking pilgrims to share those stories and anecdotes with me. It can be anything, something spiritual, something funny, or bizarre, or peaceful, or a camino angel, or the opposite, a night of snoring or illness or cold or a storm, a great meal, a coincidence… anything… we all have standout stories and moments that we can recall.

I plan to compile stories in location order along the towns and villages of any of the caminos. As you read you'll move closer to Santiago.

This is the most important part :

ALL PROFITS FROM OUR BOOK OF STORIES WILL GO PEACEABLE PROJECTS; A CHARITY THAT SUPPORTS THE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT PILGRIMS

I would love to hear from you. I simply need :
  • your first namev
  • the camino you walked
  • the location (roughly) where your story happened
  • and of course your story
I am so excited to start this project, I know that I am totally naive about what's involved and how to do this but I have perhaps a few months at home not working... so I can learn! But to get started I need your stories.

I created a little free website which you can share with other pilgrims... and I want to stress... this is not for me or for profit... it's just a way of helping and being part of a camino community when I cant walk.

Message me here or via the website... https://caminostories497698117.wordpress.com/
I have told this "story" on a reply to someone on the forum,but it may be of use.My name is Philip and I have walked SJ to SDC twice,once from Porto and 3times Burgos to P,onferrada and hoped to make it 4 next Sept (Please God)
Last year when I reached Hontanas I went in as usual to the Church to light candles
and remember loved ones in the amazing atmosphere there,when a young pilgrim came in,pack on her back and sticks in her hands.There was a Spanish Hymn playing quietly in the background.The young girl began to sing in the most beautiful voice and I was moved to tears.When I looked,the girl had tears running down her face and so had I.When the Hymn finished she bowed towards the Altar and left.I never saw her again but I will never forget her.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I have told this "story" on a reply to someone on the forum,but it may be of use.My name is Philip and I have walked SJ to SDC twice,once from Porto and 3times Burgos to P,onferrada and hoped to make it 4 next Sept (Please God)
Last year when I reached Hontanas I went in as usual to the Church to light candles
and remember loved ones in the amazing atmosphere there,when a young pilgrim came in,pack on her back and sticks in her hands.There was a Spanish Hymn playing quietly in the background.The young girl began to sing in the most beautiful voice and I was moved to tears.When I looked,the girl had tears running down her face and so had I.When the Hymn finished she bowed towards the Altar and left.I never saw her again but I will never forget her.
That's beautiful... thank you ❤
 

epona2011

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago-Fisterra 2011
Norte 2014
Inglés 2016
Portugués (Tui-Santiago) 2017
Leaving Cée, September 2011, just before dawn. A friend and myself started to climb upwards along a narrow lane with high walls either side, heading for Fisterra. We walked in silence. About a third of the way up, I heard the sounds of feet on stone, low, murmuring voices and rustling clothes behind me. I remember saying to myself that people were out early despite the weather. I increased my pace, as there was little room for anyone to pass. Got to the top, turned around and to my utter astonishment, there was no-one except my friend behind me. We walked on together for a short bit, remarking on the first light coming into the sky. I couldn't let what I had experienced pass and joked about the hordes coming behind us. She stopped-literally thunderstruck-and said she had experienced the same thing. We both had the sense while walking up the passageway of walking within a crowd-as if there were people all around us. Make of it what you will but we are still talking about it nine years down the road.
 
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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Leaving Cée, September 2011, just before dawn. A friend and myself left the town and started to climb upwards along a narrow lane with high walls either side, heading for Fisterra. We walked in silence. About a third of the way up, I heard the sounds of feet on stone, low, murmuring voices and rustling clothes behind me. I remember saying to myself that people were out early despite the weather. I increased my pace, as there was little room for anyone to pass. Got to the top, turned around and to my utter astonishment, there was no-one except my friend behind me. We walked on together for a short bit, remarking on the first light coming into the sky. I couldn't let what I had experienced pass and joked about the hordes coming behind us. She stopped-literally thunderstruck-and said she had experienced the same thing. We both had the sense while walking up the passageway of walking within a crowd-as if there were people all around us. Make of it what you will but we are still talking about it nine years down the road.
Wow... had a few goosbumps reading that - thank you!
 

Anik2001

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances (2017), future: Frances again (2020)
My name is Anik and I walked SJPP to Fisterra in July 2017. When I got to Fromista, I had a fever, went to bed early and woke up late. My Camino friends were walking a 30+km that day, so I knew, sadly, I had lost them. I walked alone to Carrion de los Condes and got a bed at the albergue del Collegio Espiritu Santo. The sister told us about the rio Carrion where we could swim. I decided to go, even though I don’t like to swim. There I Met Nicoletta, who was also at my albergue. We ended up walking together a few days later, til Santiago, and are still friends to this day. The way has a way of putting things together for the better! And, I found one of the friends I had walked with in the first weeks still in Fisterra when I got there. How could it be more perfect?!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Here is one:

And another:

And the most memorable:
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
wow! @Anniesantiago ... maybe it was the same lady that gave us water? this was from my blog 🚶‍♀️

Eventually we made it. But Guillena is bigger than we anticipated so we then faced more walking to find the hostel.

We had no water and we were so so hot… we passed a row of houses and an old lady called to us… agua agua? Si Si por favor we replied and she returned with a huge bottle of cold water. Then a chair and then another chair and then another. And so we sat outside her house, in the shade, drinking water, while she chatted away to us in Spanish. I have no idea what she said but I loved her.

She left us with directions to the hostel and a little card each, a bit like a cigarette card from a collection only these have pictures of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. She wants us to say a prayer for her in Santiago… and I intend to.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
My name is Anik and I walked SJPP to Fisterra in July 2017. When I got to Fromista, I had a fever, went to bed early and woke up late. My Camino friends were walking a 30+km that day, so I knew, sadly, I had lost them. I walked alone to Carrion de los Condes and got a bed at the albergue del Collegio Espiritu Santo. The sister told us about the rio Carrion where we could swim. I decided to go, even though I don’t like to swim. There I Met Nicoletta, who was also at my albergue. We ended up walking together a few days later, til Santiago, and are still friends to this day. The way has a way of putting things together for the better! And, I found one of the friends I had walked with in the first weeks still in Fisterra when I got there. How could it be more perfect?!
Thank you... I was sad when I had to stop for a day because of blisters.... so great that you found a new buddy 🥰
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
What a great idea! I'm Liz Brandt. The story is set in Rabanal del Camino on the Camino Frances where we were serving as Hospitaleros. Here goes:

My husband and I walked the Camino Frances, our first camino, in April 2013. We were academics on sabbatical at the time and were living in London before our walk. There we took advantage of the support offered pilgrims by the Confraternity of St. James where we learned about the CSJ albergue Refugio Gaucelmo in Rabanal del Camino. We made a point to stay. We walked into Gaucelmo on a cold April day and into the care of two venerable CSJ hospitaleros – Betty and Dugald MacDougal. We didn’t realize that we were being cared for by CSJ camino royalty! It was a wonderful warm evening – Tom had a long conversation with Dugald that really made an impression on him. The next day as we walked on toward Cruz de Fero, Tom commented that it would be great to give back to the camino by serving as hospitaleros.

Fast forward two years and we found ourselves serving as hospitaleros at Gaucelmo in July 2015 with a third volunteer, Elaine from England. The three of us were originally supposed to serve with a fourth experienced hospitalera who unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute for health reason. So Gaucelmo was left in the hands of the three caballeros, I mean hospitaleros, all brand new to the role! To make matters more complicated, the crew who served before us had a bumpy time. One of the three simply pulled out and went home on the second day because she didn’t like being a hospitalera. The two remaining volunteers soldiered on. Suffice to say that running Gaucelmo in the busiest month of the summer with only two hospitaleros is grueling work. Matters were made even worse because they both developed bad colds and were barely holding on when Elaine, Tom and I arrived. As a result, many of the bigger picture maintenance tasks at the albergue had fallen behind. By the middle of our first week, we had just about caught up everything except mowing the grass in the huerta. If you haven't been to Gaucelmo -- it has a very large and lovely walled garden in the back. The grass was at least 12 inches tall and it took forever to mow. The grass catcher on the lawn mower filled up in one length of the heurta and had to be emptied over the wall into Father Pius’s compost heap on every pass.

On the morning of the events in this story, Tom had mowed about a quarter of the huerta. It had taken a couple of hours. He was exhausted and had to stop because it was time to open and it was just too hot to continue. Temperatures that summer were soaring – most days it was higher than 37 by mid-afternoon. Most pilgrims were leaving between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. in order to finish their walk before the worst heat of the day. Those who did not leave early were straggling in later than usual because of the need to stop and re-hydrate frequently. On this particular day we had only registered two or three pilgrims by 14:00. Tom commented on the small group to an incoming pilgrim who replied, "well, don't worry -- there's a big group of hippies heading your way!”

The three of us grimaced. We fell for the stereotype right away and began envisioning sex, drugs and rock & roll in our lovely quiet huerta! Sure enough, about thirty minutes later a group of about 10 young women and men and one older man (who turned out to be the father of one of the young men) piled into the patio to check in. They were shirtless, long-haired, boisterous and full of energy. They asked if they could camp in the huerta. We said that would be fine, but the grass was very long. We asked them to make sure to set their tents up on the part that was mowed so the tall grass wouldn’t be crushed down and be hard to mow the next morning. The group promptly disappeared into the huerta. Tom, Elaine and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. We were certain that keeping control of the situation would be our first challenge as hospitaleros!

Just as we were resigning ourselves to the upcoming challenge, one of the hippie pilgrims walked up and asked us whether they could mow the rest of the grass in the huerta for us. Well, this was unexpected! We said sure, and Tom left with the pilgrim to fetch the lawnmower and to show him the compost heap. All was quiet – those in the group not mowing the grass set about the typical pilgrim chores – showering, clothes washing and food-finding. The next thing we knew the grass mowers had finished the entire huerta! It looked great, the lawn mower still worked and was properly stowed, and all the grass cuttings were in the compost heap. Mmmmm.

A while later, the pilgrim who we had come to call the “chief hippie” walked over to us and commented on how wonderful Gaucelmo’s kitchen was with a rare oven. He said he had been carrying several dozen apples for a few days and wanted to make an apple pie with them! Only the young can carry several extra pounds of apples for several days on the chance that they might find an oven to make pie! He asked whether it would it be okay if he used the oven. We said sure and gave him the run-down of the shops in Rabanal so he could get the rest of the supplies he needed. Off he went. We hadn’t learned our lesson yet and all rolled our eyes again – not only were we going to have to deal the wild huerta situation during the coming night, but now we were certain that the kitchen would be a disaster and require a major clean up the next morning.

In the meantime, our pilgrim traffic picked up. Among the arrivals was a mother and 12-year-old daughter from Lithuania. The young girl was very shy but was fascinated with the hippies who were by now busily setting about making pie in the kitchen. She stood in the kitchen door watching from what I’m sure she considered a safe distance. The pie makers were laughing a lot and when they saw the young Lithuanian pilgrim, they gently swept her into their project. I have included a picture of the young Lithuanian and the chief hippie working together on the pie in the kitchen. The pie was big enough for all – a rare dessert treat for the pilgrims in the albergue.

The wild night in the huerta never materialized. Not only did the hippies cut our grass, they cleaned our kitchen to within an inch of its life and the next morning helped with cleanup from breakfast before leaving.

One of the things Tom and I had learned on our camino was not to pre-judge anyone. Our pilgrim family on that walk included incredible and diverse people – a tattooed Hungarian itinerant AIDS educator, a German funeral speaker, an Italian horse trainer whose father met her in Finisterre with a Harley for the ride home to Italy, a Mexican professor of agriculture and her Pilipino translator and more; people from all walks and stages of life. The camino erases all those differences and makes us all equals, common travelers on a shared road. We had forgotten that lesson. A bunch of hippie camino angels reminded us.

DSCF4724 (1).JPG
 

steve 217

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances planning via del la plata
I had been lost for many years i had no faith other then a belief that most people if given the choice would do the right thing . I work in the criminal defence service i see a lot of terrible things and try to rationalise behaviour that would appall most right minded people.
I had been dreaming of the Camino for a couple of years i had spent hours memorising the guidebook because whilst i have a good memory i cant navigate my way out of a paper bag .

Having bored my Wife by reading aloud the directions from SJPDLP she finally had enough and booked a flight for me from Birmingham to Biarritz in Sept 2010 she gave my permission to do something out of character just walk socialise see how you feel .
I am naturally quiet and introverted i ended up at the pilgrim office and looking back they could tell i was a-fish out of water they sent me to the confraternity house here i tried to peel potatoes to help the volunteers and spent a night in a room with m y new friends .
I left before dawn it was soo steep i couldnt believe that the whole Camino would be like this i thought i was fairly fit but this was brutal.
As i climbed up the hairpins before Orisson the sun came up and as the day warmed i realised i was the luckiest person in the world i was crossing the Pyrenees how cool was that , i noticed a butterfly flying alongside me which was odd this was Sept all the butterflys had gone in the UK.
I was whacked as i stopped so did the butterfly alll the way up the Hill every tme i stopped to get my breath so did the butterfly this happened 3/4 times eventually it was happy enough to rest on my walking poles whilst we both got our breath i wanted to give some spiritual meaning to this it probably was just using me to shelter in my shadow but i was also using it to get me up the hill . Ive been back the same route 3 times since but never experienced anything else like it . I often think about it .
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
I walked the CF from StJ to SdC in 2012. I'm not sure exactly where this occured but it was in the last 100km from Sarria.

The section was a footpath between a road & a row of houses on the approach to a reasonably-sized town. I was walking behind a group who were walking 4 abreast. They were talking loudly in English (I'll refrain from mentioning nationality..), eyes down & seemed unaware of anything & anyone around them.
There was a little old lady shuffling along the path against the fenceline. To my horror, the group barged past & the person on the far left knocked the old lady. She tottered & swayed before grasping the fence trying to regain her balance. The group did not stop, look back or show any acknowledgement at all.
I caught up to the lady, held her arm to help her stabilise & asked (in my halting Spanish) if she was ok while apologising for the appalling behaviour of the group. I indicated how upset I was about what happened. She waved it off with the type of resignation that said to me it wasn't the first time she'd had an unpleasant experience with pilgrims.
After ensuring she would be alright, & hopefully restoring a bit of faith in walkers, I high-tailed it after the group. When I reached them, it was immediately obvious the person who had hit the lady was vision impaired.
Pause...reflect...decide...
The person beside the vision impaired walker was guiding him through linked arms.
Although there was no way the vision impaired person could not have known he hit something & I still felt the group should have been paying closer attention & not walking 4 abreast...I said nothing.
Not everything is as it appears. I made the call not to speak up, took some comfort in that at least I assisted the old lady & kept walking towards Santiago.
👣 🌏
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
wow! @Anniesantiago ... maybe it was the same lady that gave us water? this was from my blog 🚶‍♀️

Eventually we made it. But Guillena is bigger than we anticipated so we then faced more walking to find the hostel.

We had no water and we were so so hot… we passed a row of houses and an old lady called to us… agua agua? Si Si por favor we replied and she returned with a huge bottle of cold water. Then a chair and then another chair and then another. And so we sat outside her house, in the shade, drinking water, while she chatted away to us in Spanish. I have no idea what she said but I loved her.

She left us with directions to the hostel and a little card each, a bit like a cigarette card from a collection only these have pictures of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. She wants us to say a prayer for her in Santiago… and I intend to.
I bet it was!
 

terryvinet

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances '13, VDLP '16, Salamanca to Santiago/Finesterra/Muxia '17, Madrid/San Salvador '19.
Terry
Via de la plata
In Santiago


I was walking from the cathedral, heading to my favorite albergue in the San Lazaro area. There were many other pilgrims coming in heading for the cathedral, but one elderly couple seemed to stand out to me. I stopped, and they stopped as well as they approached me. I had never met them before, but for some reason I seemed to stand out of the crowd for them. Searching for something to say, I mentioned to them where my favorite albergue was, and that maybe I would see them there later.



Well, later in the evening, sure enough they were there. The lady was an older american lady, who seemed to want to talk while sitting in the lounge of the albergue. She began to tell me how much the camino meant to her, especially how she found it to be very healing. After much conversation, she came to the point where she told me that her son had committed suicide. To me, her inner pain was palpable. She thanked me for listening, at which point I offered her a big hug. We hugged for a good moment, and then she said something wonderful. She said “for a minute there you were my son”! I replied, “for a minute there you were my mother”. My mother had just died the previous year.



I will never forget that moment.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Hello Pilgrims... I just wanted to say that I've been receiving some amazing stories (thank you). Some have made me laugh out loud and others bring a lump to my throat.

Please do keep sending me your stories... I so want to make this happen but need your help and anecdotes... of which I'm pretty sure you all have many!

And... such a great cause : https://caminostories497698117.wordpress.com/
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...

Madidi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012 & 17: Fisterra Muxia 2013 & 2015: Ingles 2014: Madrid 2015: Salvador & Primitivo 2016
During my first camino in 2012 I encountered many acts of kindness and friendship as I made my way across Spain. One in particular has remained a favourite memory even after the many caminos I have walked since.

I had been walking towards Bercianos del Real Camino on a very hot sunny day along with another Irishman I had just met. His partner had walked on to 'stretch her legs' as we say here in Ireland and we had arranged to meet in Bercianos. As we approached the town, we noticed what appeared to be preparations for a wedding at the little church on the outskirts. On reaching the cafe where his partner was waiting, I decided to press on and we parted promising to meet again further along the camino. As I walked out of the town, I realised I had very little water left and looking around I spotted what appeared to be a water tap on a strange sink-like structure but it didn't appear to have been used recently. As I was contemplating whether to use it or go back to the cafe, I heard a door close nearby and looked up to see a very well dressed family leaving their house. They were obviously heading to the wedding and they were dressed in total contract to my dusty sweat stained persona!! The father and two little boys walked towards me as the mother locked the door. As they approached I (in my not too hot Spanish) asked him if the water was drinkable: he smiled and answered yes. As I turned to move towards the 'sink' the woman arrived and asked if I would not prefer cold water and gestured for me to follow as she headed back to her house. She opened the door and insisted that I join her in the kitchen where she washed my old water bottle before filling it from large container taken from her fridge. I was choked as she bade me a smiling 'Buen Camino' on the street as she hurried after her family.

When I got home I recounted this story to my wife and decided to show her via Google Maps 'Street View' where it happened. I was absolutely stunned when I opened up the view, to see in front of this lady's house, the two little boys happily playing on their bicycles. Sadly the view has now been updated but the memory is still fresh.
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
@Davey Boyd, please let @LesBrass use your story "Meeting an incredible person". It is the most moving story I have ever read on this forum.
 

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