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What is the nicest thing that anyone has said to you on the camino?

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As I was walking, alone, out of the western edge of Pamplona, a very nice and quite elderly local lady, whom I had never seen before, left the group of neighbours she had been chatting with, walked towards me, smiled warmly, and said words (in Spanish, obviously) to the effect that she wanted God to bless me and watch over my long journey to Santiago, and then she pressed a small religious pendant into my right hand. It was a totally unexpected gesture of Christian good-will from a complete stranger, and instantly elevated my mood. After thanking her profusely, I went on my way, but with a much lighter-feeling pack on my back and a spring in my step.

I carry the pendant with me on every pilgrimage.
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
"Poquito más, peregrina. Poquito más." From an elderly woman who crossed a busy road to touch my shoulder and say these words of encouragement when I was flagging in the last downhill approach into Ponferrada, having come all the way that day from Foncebadon.
 
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After being advised by a doctor in Carrión de las Condes to bus to León and rest for five days in an effort to heal the debilitating tendonitis in my shin (while my companions walked), I slowly and agonizingly dragged my sorry dejected self to a cafe for a rest while I mulled over my sorrows and the possibility of having to abandon my camino. The bar keep delivered my drink and, along with it, a tapa which I hadn’t asked for. He didn’t say a word, but his kind gesture at that very low point in my camino brought a tear to my eye.
 
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Alan, I'm with you...how to choose?
This is a little different than the most kind or generous act.

Actually, the nicest thing people have said is to honestly open up and share deeply. That trust is so precious. "Thank you for listening" is a gift.

I remember a long talk with a fellow pilgrim who was going home the next day, and who had been wrestling with a decision about whether to quit his job or not - this was no light matter, as his work was deeply respected and potentially powerful, and his career was really beginning to 'take off.' He'd spoken to no-one about his struggle, either on the camino or at home. So I just listened. We didn't keep in touch, so I don't know what happened to him, but hope that sharing lightened his load.

And like @Kanga, I'm deeply touched by the prayer requests and do my best to follow through. (Is it just me or do other people write these down? I am so afraid of leaving someone out.)

And kind words for me?
"Tranquillo, tranquillo..." from a señora in the tiny village of Contreras (near Santo Domingo de Silos on the Lana) who was arranging for some loggers to come and help me find my way back to the camino when I was well off piste and without a map after my phone went down.
Any anxiety I was feeling just dissolved. And sure enough, they drew a perfect map and soon I was on my way. Don't worry, indeed - though of course I had been!
 
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The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
A pilgrim from Canada, whom I met on and off in the first few weeks of Camino, and had a great few laughs with, told me in Burgos that I was her Camino angel as we seemed to meet when she was in trouble with blisters etc. or just feeling down, and that I made her laugh and feel good again. I sometimes think that maybe I was just bad luck and that was why we met when she was in trouble. :)
 
I must admit that out of the sweet things that I have been told during my times on the camino that it is impossible to pick out a favourite. How about you?
With an encouraging smile: "you are a tough woman" 🌷🍀
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
Words that moved me the most came from Jesús the former priest in Grañón who has since passed away.

I was volunteering in the parochial albergue July 2012 and during that time I celebrated my birthday. Jesús didn't always join us for the communal dinner but that day he made it a point to have both lunch and dinner with hospitaleros and pilgrims. Everyone sang happy birthday in various languages then Jesús stood up and said in Spanish, "There should be more Lees in the world". To this day those words move me. ❤️
 
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.

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In response to me saying what a beautiful day it was to a local I met on the Camino Sanabres a few years ago -

"Senor, EVERY day is a beautiful day...."
On Thanksgiving Day several years ago, I was fortunate enough to get a repairman to come fix my oven so I could roast the turkey. When I expressed my appreciation for his coming out to do the job on Thanksgiving Day, he gently replied, “EVERY day is Thanksgiving Day.”
 
During our 2019 camino, my wife and I hiked to Samos in the pouring rain. We arrived at a private albergue and the owner / hospitalero checked us in, wash and dried our clothes, served us dinner that night and breakfast the next morning. He was quite the camino enthusiast, wearing a camino T shirt or sweatshirt each day. As I was preparing to pay him for breakfast, he said it was his treat. He only asked that he could hug each of us and whispered "Buen Camino". I almost cried ! Bob
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
"Don't worry, you can eat all you want!" (From a hotel owner at the breakfast buffet.)
Also, "Buen Camino!" In my six Caminowalks, I never got tired of hearing this.
 
An occasion where nothing was said: 2012 Camino, I'd made a vow to pick litter everyday of my Camino. I'd met Carl the evening before in the Albergue. A pastor from Canada we had chatted amicably about camino, pilgrimage and Navarran wine. Carl caught me up about 10 in the morning, saw me picking litter. He pulled a carrier bag from the hedge and joined me, one side of the trail each. Not a word was said.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Somewhere in the East …

I had been feeling unnerved and fragile after one or two unpleasant encounters and a little unhinged by weeks of passing by mass murder sites, derelict buildings and Soviet memorials. I had followed a trail through the woods only to arrive at an unexpected road and a collection of old wooden houses. The front door of one was wide open. I could see that a woman was at home so hollered from the gate, asking for directions. She said, "No, you are not lost. This hamlet has been here for nearly 500 years. It has never been noted by a cartographer nor will you find it on a satelite map". Then she said, incredulous, "Yesterday for the very first time I heard about people who walk long distances from every part of Europe, even from here, to a place named Santiago de Compostella. They call themselves pilgrims. Now here you are, one of them on my doorstep. How amazing is that !" We both laughed and said, "Our meeting must be meant! "I was welcomed into her home and invited to stay over night. She prepared a feast and introduced me to her family.

I had been feeling a little shattered by the relentless search for shelter, day after day, and by the evidence of other people’s suffering -artifacts in the forests and towns, the brutality of it all when, suddenly, there it was, Love manifest : open-hearted friendliness and a warm welcome. The next day arrived shining and gay. I awoke feeling exhilarated and strong, as light as a floating thistle...

(Summer, 2017)
 
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"This is your home now," - Words from Father Blas to each pilgrim as they set off from the albergue in Fuenterroble de la Salvatierra.
Ha ha! That is one thing Padre Blas never said to me, though he did invite me to be his hospitalera. Perhaps he was scared I'd take him at his word and stay there forever, I certainly wanted to.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
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.

€83,-
In Sahagun, at the little grocery store across from the Bakery/Cafe at the funny junction, I am feeling like I may be done, due to pain, and thinking of packing it in at Leon. The somewhat gruff shopkeeper, who has an interesting life history, tells me not to quit. He was right, and I didn’t. And the pain diminished by Leon.
 
Best I heard was "Thank you!" when I had treated a blister for someone, or given a young girl enough money & more to be able to call home for help after someone stole everything from her, or whatever I did, trying to help someone.

It is very satisfying to be able to be of help to another.
 
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While walking on a street, a man stopped me and said

"Where did you get your hair cut?"

My proud reply was;

"My wife cut it last weekend"

His reply was with a sincere voice and a look of genuine concern;

"I wouldn't get it cut there again" as he sauntered off in the opposite direction.

Could have happened on the Camino but it actually happened in Brisbane, Australia many years ago.

😇
 
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.

€149,-
Oh my goodness! I'm a day late to this thread, but what a lovely thread you have created Alan! This has made me smile after a long, overworked day. I'm going to go say something really nice to my husband now.
 
One story I can tell without either making a fool of myself or revealing some ones identity is when I was working as a hospitalero in Rabanal. An American lady stayed with us and I did nothing special, just the things that a hospitalero is supposed to do.

As she left in the morning, she turned back and said "When I think of Australia, I will think of you".

Be brave. Life is joyous.

Alan
 
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.

€83,-
Alan, I'm with you...how to choose?
This is a little different than the most kind or generous act.

Actually, the nicest thing people have said is to honestly open up and share deeply. That trust is so precious. "Thank you for listening" is a gift.

I remember a long talk with a fellow pilgrim who was going home the next day, and who had been wrestling with a decision about whether to quit his job or not - this was no light matter, as his work was deeply respected and potentially powerful, and his career was really beginning to 'take off.' He'd spoken to no-one about his struggle, either on the camino or at home. So I just listened. We didn't keep in touch, so I don't know what happened to him, but hope that sharing lightened his load.

And like @Kanga, I'm deeply touched by the prayer requests and do my best to follow through. (Is it just me or do other people write these down? I am so afraid of leaving someone out.)

And kind words for me?
"Tranquillo, tranquillo..." from a señora in the tiny village of Contreras (near Santo Domingo de Silos on the Lana) who was arranging for some loggers to come and help me find my way back to the camino when I was well off piste and without a map after my phone went down.
Any anxiety I was feeling just dissolved. And sure enough, they drew a perfect map and soon I was on my way. Don't worry, indeed - though of course I had been!
Love this, VN. But I really want to know if that guy quit his job!
 
Somewhere in the East …

I had been feeling unnerved and fragile after one or two unpleasant encounters and a little unhinged by weeks of passing by mass murder sites, derelict buildings and Soviet memorials. I had followed a trail through the woods only to arrive at an unexpected road and a collection of old wooden houses. The front door of one was wide open. I could see that a woman was at home so hollered from the gate, asking for directions. She said, "No, you are not lost. This hamlet has been here for nearly 500 years. It has never been noted by a cartographer nor will you find it on a satelite map". Then she said, incredulous, "Yesterday for the very first time I heard about people who walk long distances from every part of Europe, even from here, to a place named Santiago de Compostella. They call themselves pilgrims. Now here you are, one of them on my doorstep. How amazing is that !" We both laughed and said, "Our meeting must be meant! "I was welcomed into her home and invited to stay over night. She prepared a feast and introduced me to her family.

I had been feeling a little shattered by the relentless search for shelter, day after day, and by the evidence of other people’s suffering -artifacts in the forests and towns, the brutality of it all when, suddenly, there it was, Love manifest : open-hearted friendliness and a warm welcome. The next day arrived shining and gay. I awoke feeling exhilarated and strong, as light as a floating thistle...

(Summer, 2017)
Where was that you were walking, with Soviet memorials and mass murder sites?
 
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Where was that you were walking, with Soviet memorials and mass murder sites?

Map

In 2017 I set off from Tallin walking via Riga and Vilnius to Krasnapol in Poland. When I began I knew next to nothing of the history of the Baltics and little of the rich culture that exists there today. Afterwards I came across the compassionate work of Patrick Desbois and did an online course with Yad Vashem.

[Edit: Wherever one walks in Europe the past is there, exisiting in the present. The situation is complex, the suffering experienced through occupations and the Soviet period was great -genocide, ethnic cleansing, deportations to Siberia etc.. I cope with what I see when walking by studying a little and praying.

Everyday, from Tallin to Krasnapol, I was welcomed into peoples homes and shown great kindness. It was a pleasure meeting others and discovering their traditions.]

-Lovingkindness
 
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A selection of Camino Jewellery
‘Es mas barata’

Having had two glasses of acceptable tinto somewhere just past Foncebadon I succumbed and said I’d take the rest of the bottle. The camarero gave me the remainder at no charge and a euro back.

I left a tip.
 
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Alan, I'm with you...how to choose?
This is a little different than the most kind or generous act.

Actually, the nicest thing people have said is to honestly open up and share deeply. That trust is so precious. "Thank you for listening" is a gift.

I remember a long talk with a fellow pilgrim who was going home the next day, and who had been wrestling with a decision about whether to quit his job or not - this was no light matter, as his work was deeply respected and potentially powerful, and his career was really beginning to 'take off.' He'd spoken to no-one about his struggle, either on the camino or at home. So I just listened. We didn't keep in touch, so I don't know what happened to him, but hope that sharing lightened his load.

And like @Kanga, I'm deeply touched by the prayer requests and do my best to follow through. (Is it just me or do other people write these down? I am so afraid of leaving someone out.)

And kind words for me?
"Tranquillo, tranquillo..." from a señora in the tiny village of Contreras (near Santo Domingo de Silos on the Lana) who was arranging for some loggers to come and help me find my way back to the camino when I was well off piste and without a map after my phone went down.
Any anxiety I was feeling just dissolved. And sure enough, they drew a perfect map and soon I was on my way. Don't worry, indeed - though of course I had been!
Awesomely awesome!
Yes how to choose?!
all is good. All is fine. All is full of love.
🤠🤚

¡Buen Camino a Todos! 🤍💜💙💚💛🧡❤️
 
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In general all the small words of affection.
The shopassistants that great you with " Hola guapa " without making it sexist or hurtful in any way.

The thank you I got from a stellar New Zealand peregrina when I was able to track down the keys of a church she absolutely wanted to visit. Making someone else happy is a reward in itself.

And a funny one , too long a story to build up her but the result was that someone asked me " if all Belgians were so polite as I was ? ". :) :p We are of course...
 
What comes to mind for me is communication by actions, not words. As I was starting the Português, a grizzled old man came up to me and, assuming I didn't speak Portuguese, gestured walking with his fingers as a question. I told him yes I was a pilgrim, at which point he grabbed me and kissed my cheek! It was so cute! It is apparently good luck to kiss a pilgrim. Warms my heart and makes me smile even years later.
 
it was the hug that brought more tears flooding - I was in Carrion de los Condes - my last night on my 14-day camino and was enjoying the camaraderie of the singing nuns and the guests from around the world. I was weeping profusely, so sad to be leaving the following morning, so joyful to be right there in the moment when a Korean guest just hugged me bringing great comfort and more tears. Special place, special people.
 
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.

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Met an Indian Hindi girl, from Seattle. After spending the day walking with her and having dinner, saying goodbye (she was catching a bus the next morning to Logrono for a wine festival, "I want to get out of these stinky pilgrim clothes and put on a party dress." in the cutest accent), she was walking away on a bridge, turned around under a street lamp and said, "Thanks for being a Priest, we really need you". I was in stinky pilgrim clothes too, so I'm not even sure how she knew. I know I needed to hear it.
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
I walked smilingly through a tiny village somewhere in the Rioja province - a really old local man dressed in black approached me - I said good afternoon in Spanish - and he responded (in Spanish) without a smile: "I can see that you are not a catholic - yet you are doing a pilgrimage. Tell me - what do you believe in?"
I told him (in Spanish): "I most of all believe in human goodness."

He smiled and said these nice words: "let me show you the most beautiful sight in this village". It was an enormous, flowering almond tree. We were sitting on a bench next to the tree sharing pilgrimage experiences, family life and politics. Such a nice moment.
 
I must admit that out of the sweet things that I have been told during my times on the camino that it is impossible to pick out a favourite. How about you?
Thank you for this uplifting thread that not only focuses on the positive, but brings smiles to faces as they remember these moments. Buenos dias, mi amigo!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Told to me by an albergue owner when I told her I appreciated her assistance being I was a stranger in her home....

She said. "You are not a stranger". "You are someone I just had not met". To this day her statement still resonates with me.
 
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.

€149,-
I did not understand the words, except possibly "ven" and "albergue" but the action was very moving. I was arriving in Sahagun off the Madrid, and was entering the town slowly, from a new direction. A tiny elderly lady grasped my arm and drew me after her to the Monasterio de Santa Cruz, where she pointed out the entrance to the pilgrim albergue.
 
"I think you're being too hard on yourself..."

Said to me by a lovely Polish priest after my long winded and very weepy confession in the Cathedral in SDC.

And he was right.

It had been a hard Camino but I had nothing to be too sorry for and he had brought it all into perspective.

I remember being filled with gratitude and still well up when I recall that moment. It was a kindness I definitely needed.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
"This is your home now," - Words from Father Blas to each pilgrim as they set off from the albergue in Fuenterroble de la Salvatierra.
Brings tears to my eyes...our VDLP walk fell twice because of the Rona. And I did donate a few pennies to their...was it water heater?...now wiping eyes. God willing, we will walk the Plata someday.
 
Kindest thing: DH told me that one of our fellow pilgrims had blisters, so I gathered my hussif (with needles and pins in it) and my tape and hand sanitizer and went over to see if I could help. He called me his "camino angel."
Later on, a lady came out of her house and offered to let me use her bathroom. I was so grateful. I told her, in my bad Spanish, that she was a true angel of the camino.
Everything comes back around sometime. I still pray for her when I think of her.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
On my very first camino many of the pilgrims I walked with took to giving one another nicknames.

Somewhere near Sahagun, while walking with an Australian peregrinA, a male driver slowed and as he passed us he shouted loudly "HEEEEEY GUAAAAPO!"

The tale was told at dinner that night, and my nickname as El Guapo was secured.

I will never know what that man was aiming for, but I was most grateful.
 
Gracias Dios por todo 🌻🙏🤠
Gracias Üniverso 🌿

No estás solo ♥️ El Camino proveerá 🌿🙂🌸
 

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Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
My first time walking out of Pamplona I must have not had enough coffee because I kept taking wrong turns. But at each wrong turn a nice local redirected me, whether it was a friendly shout and wave from a passerby in the park, or slowing the car down so someone could stick their head out.

Also, I made sure to stop for another strong coffee in Cizur Menor.
 
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"you can have my bottom bunk," said to me by a young woman on my 1st night in Obanos, 2015. I was so grateful.
We saw each other often on that Camino and are friends on FB.
 
"there are never problems my dear friend, just solutions"

I'd stopped in a barn type set up with an old house next to it where the residents had arranged some old chairs and table with fruit, water and orange juice for the pilgrims. All donavito.

I'd gone to pour an orange juice and had dropped the old jam jar which was the glass breaking it. I said to the young resident "apologies for the problems", his positive response while he cleaned up the glass I still remember and quote when so called problems arise in day to day life.
 
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A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
The nicest thing anyone said to me on a Camino? Without doubt:

"If I wasn't a lesbian I would marry you."

OK, this might need some explanation. When walking the Frances in 2011 I met this young woman from Canada, only 22 years old. Like me she was walking solo and we ended up walking nearly all day with each other. Talking to each other about almost anything. Because of my openhearted-ness (??) she started to feel really comfortable in my presence. And she told me that since a couple of years she realized that she was lesbian. Given the environment she lived in back home, it wasn't something you'd mention between starters and main course (so to speak). So she was very reluctant about it and so far hadn't told anyone about it (me being the first one). Because she had fallen in love with one of her girlfriends, it was clearly something she had to address.

So we talked about it. I mainly listened, refraining from giving advice, but instead asking questions that helped her to talk about and face her fears, desires, feelings.

Then our ways split. Until about a week later, somewhere on the mesetas, I walked into this refugio. And yes, there she was again. She was really pleased to see me, because she wanted to thank me for accepting her the way she was, without judging her.

I replied that she didn't have to thank me for it. And I said that we had in fact something very significant in common.

She looked at me curiously and said: "And what would that be?"
"Well, we are very much alike, you and I: we both love women."

She started to laugh and said: "If I wasn't a lesbian I'd marry you."
 

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