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What was you best moment (apart from walking)?

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Yes, what was your most memorable moment on any Camino but not related to walking (past something etc.)?

For me it was booking two nights in a room in a bit larger town. And on first afternoon rain started. I rushed out and bought some takeaway food and few beers and ran back to my accommodation. I ate everything and I was so full, drank couple of beers and fell asleep. The rain was beating hard on the roof whole night and all through the morning. I gladly slept in, enjoying the sound of the rain, because I'm used to the sound of it on the roof living my first 30+ years in an attic room. It was so nice to extend those bed hours from 8am till noon, hahaha.

And then the sun shone. And I went out and roam through the streets and all was good. Some 24 hours of pure joy for me. Yes, nothing special :)

What are your moments?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Without a doubt for me it has always been and shall be a particular snowy January night in Roncesvalles where I have had ten exhausted but memorable stops during past caminos. Staying there one sensed history in the continuous monastic tradition of welcome to all.

January 2009 I walked 18 k in 5 hours through strong wind, heavy rain, sleet and eventually dense snow up the Valcarlos road to the almost mythic monastery ! Saw few people and no other pilgrims; I was the only one staying in the old winter albergue.

The monk who stamped my Credential invited me to the evening benediction for pilgrims. It was lovely. The service was held in the ancient Romanesque church (wonderfully heated!!) in front of the magnificent silver sculpture of the Virgin. Three monks assisted and asked me to stand with them at the altar. ...In retrospect how special it was that winter night to be the single pilgrim where crowds have stood throughout time. ...
 
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Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
One of the most memorable moments was checking in at the Parador in Leon. This needs a bit of explaining. About a year before my 2016 departure, I told a friend about my camino plans. She had been the cleaning lady where I had worked some eight years earlier, where she was already well over seventy years old. She was as tough as an old boot and a lot of fun, and we became friends and kept in touch over the years.

When I told her about my travel ideas, she immediately got fired up and insisted she would save up some money to help fund my camino. She was by then pushing eighty, solely dependent on a small old age pension, and no matter how much I protested I didn't want her money, she wasn't changing her mind. She would do her shopping, come home and put some change in a piggy bank. She was old school.

About six months before I left she was diagnosed with cancer, a rather agressive one, but she dealt with that as she did with everything else in her life: head-on and as brave as you can imagine. When I would visit her, she would tell me about the treatments and prognosis in the shortest possible amount of time, and then change the conversation back to my upcoming camino. She wanted to hear all about it: routes, places of history I would pass, my time frame, everything. She'd also point to the piggy bank, a bit mischievously to be honest, and tell me it was getting quite heavy.

By the time I left she gave me the very heavy piggy bank. She had saved up about 150 euros in coins for me. I knew there was no way I could refuse it (did I mention she was a tough cookie?), so I had thought about what to do with that money. I didn't just want it lumped together with my travel funds, I wanted to do something special with it. Since she was quite artistic, and fond of old buildings, I suggested to her I would use her money to stay in the Parador of Leon for one night. I showed her some online pictures of the building and she loved the place and the idea.

All through the camino she followed my progress online, as I had made an open Facebook page, with the help of her daughter. I would get messages every now and then, about her health and how much she vicariously enjoyed my photos and stories. But what she enjoyed most was the ridiculously detailed account of my stay in the Parador, with tons of photos and my written impressions of about a page and a half.

I also called her late at night, to share the moment. I asked how she was, we had a few laughs and just before we disconnected I described how my room had two beds, and that I was in two minds about changing beds halfway through the night, just because I could. She cackled with laughter and then said: "Do it!" before she hung up her phone.

She died last year. The cancer finally got her, but she had fought a monumental fight. And I like to think that I brightened her life a little bit, taking her along on that special voyage, and to the Parador in Leon. I know she brightened mine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Completed one 550 Miile and six partial caminos
Yes, what was your most memorable moment on any Camino but not related to walking (past something etc.)?

For me it was booking two nights in a room in a bit larger town. And on first afternoon rain started. I rushed out and bought some takeaway food and few beers and ran back to my accommodation. I ate everything and I was so full, drank couple of beers and fell asleep. The rain was beating hard on the roof whole night and all through the morning. I gladly slept in, enjoying the sound of the rain, because I'm used to the sound of it on the roof living my first 30+ years in an attic room. It was so nice to extend those bed hours from 8am till noon, hahaha.

And then the sun shone. And I went out and roam through the streets and all was good. Some 24 hours of pure joy for me. Yes, nothing special :)

What are your moments?
Would you believe that I walked by myself up O Cebreio and half way I stood and ate the silence and the beauty of the world.
At peace with oneself and the world .
This does not happen very often in everyday life.
Make the most of these moments
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
Wow so hard to choose one....so since I'm about to finish tomorrow with just 20km to go I would have to say NOW, sitting with my son in our room in O Cruceiro in Ponte Ulla both so sore we can't move but sitting still also hurts... Once again having learned that now is what we need.
MaryEllen
 

ChristinaD

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF May 2017
CF Sept 2017
CF Aug 2019
Best moment on our incredible journey has to be the day we reached Cruz de Ferro. From my notes of that day:

"This bright morning we noticed rustic handmade crosses hung along the fence for miles, leading up to our destination, the Cruz de Ferro, We added two more. It doesn't look like much of a monument, but it was very powerful. Most of the rocks have been brought to the site by pilgrims, each with their own burden, which they leave behind. Some have names, some have Bible verses, but all seek redemption. Daily, the rock pile grows. As we approached, M said he felt incredible pain and sadness. But as he got closer, he felt peace. I found myself humming "Just As I Am" with no conscious thought beforehand. Both fit our feelings. M came on this journey to thank the Almighty for His blessings, while I had come to ask forgiveness for my many failings. What neither of us noticed, was that storm clouds gathered at our approach, and blue skies emerged at we received our blessings. It was remarkable and inspiring."
 

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alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Oh Kinky, that is such a hard question. I'll have to give two answers:

Nearly 10 years ago, at the end of my first Camino (then foolishly believing it was my only one), when I spoke almost no Spanish and was sitting at my first Pilgrim Mass in Santiago on St Andrew's Day, with no idea what was going to happen, and heard the priest say, and somehow worked out what it meant, "... uno del Reino Unido, desde Sevilla" and felt a rush of utterly unexpected emotion when I realised "goodness, that means me!"

Last November, after an entirely solitary day on the Ruta de la Lana, I arrived in Santo Domingo de Silos on a chilly Sunday afternoon after the coach parties had left. I had the serene, almost improbable beauty of the cloisters all to myself, with only the company of a few flurries of snow, for an hour while waiting for Fray Alfredo, the genial brother hospitaler. That was probably as close as I'll get ever get to the peace "which passeth all understanding".
 

Banjo&Matilda

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances October 2018
I would have to say this is almost impossible, but I do fondly look back on photos of the medieval pilgrim statues such as in Mansilla De Las Mulas, Leon, Astorga, Alto de San Roque and Monte De Gozo especially and I felt most connected to the pilgrimage at those times. I understood how they would have felt at that time and I felt a part of history, even if in some small way. I am so grateful to the artists who sculpted them. On my next Camino, I will be sure to spend more time reflecting on them.
 

John Hungerford

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances & to Finisterre (2009), Camino Podiensis (2011), Aussie Camino (2018)
In 2011 my wife, Elizabeth, and I walked the Camino Podiensis.
On 1 May at the end of the day as we were walking up the main street of Estaing we heard the call of 'Hey John' then 'Hey Elizabeth'. We looked about and saw Bernard Itier (French) with whom on 23 April we had shared a room in St Privat d'Allier (Bar Le Kompost'l) and on 24 April a communal meal at Sauges (Gite a la ferme - Mmes Itier et Martine). Also with Bernard were another Elizabeth (French) who we had chatted with as she overtook us that afternoon, and Roman (Austrian) who had chatted with us whilst we were having a picnic lunch earlier that same day. After a few beers we all had dinner together. A very happy memory. Then the next morning (Mon 2 May) at breakfast in the same cafe that we had the beers we saw on the TV that Osama Bin Laden had been assassinated. A poignant moment.
 

Peregrinopaul

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Sanabres (2018) Frances reverse(2018)
Oh Kinky, that is such a hard question. I'll have to give two answers:

Nearly 10 years ago, at the end of my first Camino (then foolishly believing it was my only one), when I spoke almost no Spanish and was sitting at my first Pilgrim Mass in Santiago on St Andrew's Day, with no idea what was going to happen, and heard the priest say, and somehow worked out what it meant, "... uno del Reino Unido, desde Sevilla" and felt a rush of utterly unexpected emotion when I realised "goodness, that means me!"
Alan, I had exactly the same experience in 2012. I had to resist the urge to stand up and exclaim “That’s me”
 

The Kolbist

Member
Camino(s) past & future
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
My wife and I were walking with a priest, when a young Spanish girl passed us by in a hurry on that one “All Saints day” cold morning just a few yards from Foncebadon towards Cruz de Ferro. We kinda asked one another how far is the Cruz de Ferro? The Spanish girl gently told us “not too far. perhaps not more than 30 mins of walking”. We told her “Buen Camino”. She replied “Buen Camino but im not a pilgrim, im just here to visit my Dad. Its the Day of the Dead in Spain”. Because of that, my wife thankfully went back to Foncebadon bar to buy some candles for our dead loved ones. The girl then walked so fast that she seemed to vanish in thin air in that foggy morning. We continued walking towards the highest point in the Camino after my wife came back with 3 candles that she bought. Just about perhaps 500 yards or more before the Cruz de Ferro, we saw the same girl who greeted us earlier standing above the trail on a small ridge and perhaps praying with candles lighted on her feet. As we got closer, we realized that she was standing on what seems to be a tomb with a cross i believe. She seems to be crying. The tomb was probably his Dad’s. His Dad might have been a pilgrim at one point. We wanted to console her and perhaps give her a loving embrace but on the other hand, she probably preferred to spend that very moment with her father. This was probably the best moment of my Camino.
 
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Bob from L.A. !

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
My favorite is looking back on all the "wonderful" people I have met from throughout the world and many of whom I still remain in touch with today. As I get older I have come to truly appreciate the people who have made my life more complete.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
At one point, I probably would have said sleeping on the floor by the fireplace in the common room in the full inn in O Cebreiro (before the albergue was built). But since walking the Camino with my son, there were so many moments with him that are much more memorable. I couldn't pick one of them over all the others, though.
 

stevelm1

Recovering Perigrino
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep-Oct 2015, I plan to walk the Camino Portuguese in Sep 2019.
For me, it was how emotional I got at Cruz de Ferro. I did not expect to feel anything there. But once I got close I just could not stop crying. If you are interested I made a file of my experience...
 

Tina M.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 13, 2015
My best moment was in September 2018 between Castrojeriz and Fromista.

First, let me give the backstory. I walked the CF in 2015 and my husband in 2016 (we had always wanted to do it together). When my husband walked, he met an Australian "Tony" and saw him multiple times during his walk. My husband was eating breakfast one morning with a priest "Nick" he was walking with when a man "Guy" came downstairs and said his walking mate "John" wouldn't wake up. John had passed away in his sleep so Nick went to anoint him. Just to note, Tony was not at this albergue when John died. Once this Camino was complete and my husband returned home, he lost touch with Tony.

This past September (2018), my husband and I were very blessed to walk the CF together. At our albergue in Castrojeriz, we met Dana. She was supposed to stay in a different albergue, but they had messed up her reservation and she didn't have a bed there. As we were eating the communal dinner, she starts telling a story about these two Australians she's been walking with and one of these Australians (she couldn't remember his name) was telling her about a pilgrim that died 2 years prior. I was listening to this story and realized my husband was there when that pilgrim (John) died. After my husband and Dana talked, we all realized that the person telling the story was Tony and he was walking the CF.

The next day while walking to Fromista, my husband, Dana, and myself were walking through a small town and Tony was eating breakfast at a small cafe. My husband called out to him and they embraced as only old Camino friends do. Of course Dana and I are standing there crying overcome with emotion. We walked with Tony and his friend Ray at various times and once we reached Barbadelo, we walked the remaining days with them staying in the same albergues. We all walked into Santiago together and finished at the cathedral. I got to know Tony and Ray during our time together and know that day or re-connection will always hold a special place in my heart.
 
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Leibniz

Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
For me it was a connection I made with someone I walked with. Our paths kept crossing and we’d just say hello, then we met again in Triacastela one morning and started walking together. I had had a very tough day the day before and my feet were hurting, and yet while we walked together I was following his pace (faster than my natural one) and felt no pain and no tiredness.

We split at Samos as he wanted to visit the monastery, and when I walked alone all the pain and exhaustion came back.

A few days later as I was leaving Arzua something really strange happened. I thought he was walking up behind me, so I turned around and there he was. He just fell in step with me and again as soon as we were walking together all my aches and tiredness vanished, and that day we walked all the way to Santiago.

It was just a connection of the moment and we have not really stayed in touch, but I will always remember and cherish that magic of feeling “carried” by someone’s presence.
 

WayWalker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2016
So many synchronicities....Camino Frances 2013: the night in Burgos where we were invited to a "real Spain bar" and ended up in a tiny place full of Spaniards with two of them insisting we ditch our vino Tinto for rioja, talking into the night with minimal Spanish or English, being serenaded by a quartet, stumbling back to the hotel giggling and being aware that we'd just had a magical night.

Walking all day with a guy from Seattle and when my husband said, "well my name is John and this is my wife, Casey". The guy said, "you've got to be kidding me!' My name is John Casey!"

On the Portugese in 2016 sitting under a tree almost out of water in extreme heat in the middle of nowhere being invited to a Portugese picnic complete with grilled sardines and live Fado! No one spoke English but we received hugs as we cried in Thanksgiving.

Camino Del Norte 2018: the night in the cavernous monestery Sabrado de Monxes. Eating dinner I noticed a place where pilgrims were leaving messages and sentiments. I had brought along some prayer cards and asked my husband to blindly choose one. He picked one that had St. Teresa of Avila on it. As I read the prayer included I noticed the date of Feast Day celebrating this saint was that very day of Oct. 15!!!!
 

swweyman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First camino planned for full frances route april 2018
Yes, what was your most memorable moment on any Camino but not related to walking (past something etc.)?

For me it was booking two nights in a room in a bit larger town. And on first afternoon rain started. I rushed out and bought some takeaway food and few beers and ran back to my accommodation. I ate everything and I was so full, drank couple of beers and fell asleep. The rain was beating hard on the roof whole night and all through the morning. I gladly slept in, enjoying the sound of the rain, because I'm used to the sound of it on the roof living my first 30+ years in an attic room. It was so nice to extend those bed hours from 8am till noon, hahaha.

And then the sun shone. And I went out and roam through the streets and all was good. Some 24 hours of pure joy for me. Yes, nothing special :)

What are your moments?
I walked my first camino last year starting in SJPP on April 13, ending in Santiago May 18th. The first night was the best moment. The Napoleon route was closed so I went the Valcarlos route from SJPP to Roncesvalles through pouring rain. As veterans know this day is fairly trying and the mud and rain on the last half of the route which is the steepest part was very difficult. Anyway after arriving and getting cleaned up went to the 8 pm mass and the priest offered a tour for us after it was finished. We went down to the crypt area and he asked if anyone could sing so we could hear the acoustics. A young French woman next to me volunteered and sang the most amazing Ave Maria that I have ever heard. She had a magnificent voice and it was an amazing experience in those surroundings. A perfect and unexpected end to a very, very long day!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Leon - Santiago (2015); Ingles (2016); Baiona - Santiago (2018); Pamplona - Burgos (2020!)
The first time I landed a joke in Spanish. :)

A little backstory: on my first Camino I walked from Leon, and stayed my first night at Molino Galochas in Villavante. My husband has a bad back, so didn't walk with me, but drove what we called the support vehicle, and I carried a day pack. At dinner with the other peregrinos (from Alsace, Belgium, Australia and Brazil, along with our Spanish hosts), we conversed in sort of a mishmash of Spanglish - it was wonderful. The husband from Oz asked if I was using Jacotrans to carry my pack, and I pointed at my husband and said, "Ello es mi Jacotrans." And everyone laughed. I was so chuffed.

My other favorite moment was at the end of my most recent Camino, last September. I woke up early to go to the Pilgrims' Office when it opened, so walked through the quiet streets of Santiago before 8 am. The sun was just coming up, and the city was quiet, except for a few early arriving peregrinos and shopkeepers sweeping their steps. The light was gorgeous, my footsteps echoed on the quiet pavement, and I was transported.
 

RumAndChupacabras

Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019 ~Apr. 2018 Oviedo, Santo Toribio, Covadonga~May/June 2016 Portuguese
For me, it was how emotional I got at Cruz de Ferro. I did not expect to feel anything there. But once I got close I just could not stop crying...
I'd be they same way, Steve. To see that mountain made of the stones from 100's of thousands maybe millions, of Peregrinos hopes, thoughts, dreams and prayers has got to be overwhelming. By the way, I like and recognize that music you chose. ;)

The best moment for me was when I realized that I had become part of a very kind, loving and supportive Camino family. We keep in touch to this day and Lord Willing, I hope to embrace them once more in August 2019. 🥰
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Yes, what was your most memorable moment on any Camino but not related to walking (past something etc.)?

For me it was booking two nights in a room in a bit larger town. And on first afternoon rain started. I rushed out and bought some takeaway food and few beers and ran back to my accommodation. I ate everything and I was so full, drank couple of beers and fell asleep. The rain was beating hard on the roof whole night and all through the morning. I gladly slept in, enjoying the sound of the rain, because I'm used to the sound of it on the roof living my first 30+ years in an attic room. It was so nice to extend those bed hours from 8am till noon, hahaha.

And then the sun shone. And I went out and roam through the streets and all was good. Some 24 hours of pure joy for me. Yes, nothing special :)

What are your moments?
For me, it was all the wonderful people I met along the way. I’ve always loved stories of the road; whether books or road flicks; about the people the protagonist meets and the impact of those encounters. My first Camino was at a turning point in my life and I met others for whom it was too. We shared as much or as little as we cared to, knowing that we probably wouldn’t see each other ever again. It was almost like Confession. Those were special moments.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
It was a point where I felt the truth of BLISS. Again, I felt it at Alto de Perdon and Puenta de la Reina. Unfortunately, I have not gone much further than that. But I know that feeling now and will get it many times in the future.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
Meeting an incredible person.

I was walking the Primitivo in 2016 and I was approaching Berducedo. It was already dark and it was raining heavily. I got to the albergue but for some reason I just stared at it. I did not want to go in. I knew from being here before that the church has a huge covered porch, I fancied that so headed there.

I walked into the church porch to find another pilgrim there, a young 20 something girl. She had no hiking gear as such, she was even wearing white slip on pumps. She was dirty and disheveled, and had a huge beautiful grin. Her and her story completely floored me.

She was from Belgium and was suffering mental health problems, but for one reason or other (she told me but it is private) her treatment had ended. When her treatment ended so did her state benefits. So she lost her apartment as she could no longer pay.

She was devout Catholic, and so she decided to walk to Santiago and ask God what she should do now. She was looking for answers. She sold everything she had, bought good gear, had funds, and set off from her home town in Belgium.

All went well until she got to Paris. She met a girl there who said she could sleep at her place. She took her things there and they went out for the night. In the morning she woke up and the girl had gone, and so had all her things. Rucksack, boots, clothes, purse, money, passport. Everything. It turned out the place she was in was a squat, it did not belong to the girl she had met. All she had was a thin pair of socks, a T-shirt, shorts and one pair of underwear. What she had slept in.

Undeterred she carried on towards Santiago. She was convinced God would look after her. Passing out of Paris she rummaged through bins. She found some food. She also found a pair of jeans trousers, and a denim jacket, fat mans size (she was tiny), old and covered in paint. She fangled the jacket into a rudimentary bag. The trousers she ripped up and tied to her feet. They were her boots. She also found an old curtain, that was her bed. In this she walked across France into Spain. She ate what she found, fruits mainly, and from supermarket bins. She never had a penny, nor asked for a penny.

Once in Spain she met her first pilgrims (Irun, Camino del Norte), she shied away from them mostly, but did befriend a few. She never attempted to sleep indoors (some offered to pay for albergues for her but she said no, and anyway had no ID), and would not except money, even when offered. Around this time some pilgrims managed to get her some clothes from donation boxes in albergues, and even an old 1960’s looking rucksack.

She told me that when she first set off she had been looking forward to getting to Spain, she had always wanted to try a real Paella. She presumed now she would never get to try one. She was wrong. One day passing through a little village a dog followed her. A huge wild looking thing, but friendly. It followed for about three km, she kept shooing it off, but would not leave her. So she walked back to the village and tried to find the owner. No one there knew the dog. She got stuck with the dog. She carried on walking until she came to a large town where there was an animal sanctuary. She went there to check if he dog was chipped to find the owner. They said the dog was not chipped, and no, they would not take the dog. She walked on, with the dog.

Not long after this town a police car pulled up and she was arrested for stealing the dog. It had been reported lost, and she had been seen with it. The police said the dog WAS chipped. After inquiries at the police station, they found she had indeed taken the dog in to the rescue centre, and they had told her it was not chipped. From now the police were on her side and looked after her. She had to stay in a cell overnight, she had to report or be seen by a magistrate or similar in the morning when they would let her go without charge. They let her keep the jail’s white plimsolls they had issued her. That was what she was wearing when I met her. They also said they had to feed her, what would she like? They went out and bought her a Paella! She spent most of the time in the office chatting to the cops. They looked after her.

Then I met her. After a few hours chatting I decided something. On a previous camino I had got short of cash for two days waiting to be paid and a kind lad gave me 50 Euro’s to help me out. Two days later I tried to repay him but he just said ‘pass it on’. Well here was a good time to pass it on. I told her the story and offered her the 50 Euro’s. She smiled and said no. She did not need it, God was looking after her. Then, she grinned and said “But look, I have money”, and rummaged in her bag. She pulled out a little plastic bag with about 3 Euro’s in. I found this walking she said. I argued the case for her taking my money but she would not have it at all. And at this time she was offering me food out of her bag. Apples, plums, lots of blackberries and such. After much persuasion I got her to agree at least that I buy her a meal in the bar – it was raining, it was cold, she could do with a hot meal.

When we arrived at the bar, we got seated and I passed her the menu while I went off to the loo. When I got back she passed me a beer. She had spent her little money buying me a beer. She broke my heart.

That night I offered her my sleeping bag to use, but no, she was fine. She was still sleeping under her Paris curtain she had found in a bin.

In the morning, she gave me a hug, and off she went. I never saw her again. She was bright as sunshine, laughing and happy. Convinced that once she got to Santiago God would point out the way for her.

I often wonder what happened to this wonderful person when she arrived in Santiago. I still worry about her today. I hope she found what she needed to find. I hope she is well.

But I was truly blessed to have met her.

Davey
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
On my Primitivo my "camino family" was two retired miners from central Asturias. Since I told them in Salas that in Berducedo the locals spoke Galego one of them used to joke every day about that issue calling me "Gallego imperialista" and similar things. My satisfaction was great when finally he heard my conversation in Galego in Berducedo with a farmer.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
It will have to be reaching Santiago for the first time, after reaching the square (28/07/2010 11.15am) I went and laid at the side of it for half an hour, I decided to let
myself bath in the sense joy and happiness that had strongly took hold of me as I was walking into Santiago. I just laid there with my eyeshut I could hear all the voices and the gaita playing. For the first time in several years I just knew that everything was going be ok.
 

Luisa Marie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte / Primitivo Sept-Oct 2017
Camino del Norte (2020)
Not a "moment", but a memorable day:
September 8, 2017: Luckily we started out very early! The beginning of our walk was beautiful, and we were feeling pretty good about our progress. That is, until we missed a sign. We followed a very steep, very rocky path up, avoiding lots of cow dung on the way. Then we saw lots of cows on the path. LOTS of cows…. Cows literally leaping across the path. (Cows can be very graceful, funny enough.) That should have been a hint that maybe we were no longer on the road to Santiago…. We continued up one trail, decided that we took a wrong turn, back-tracked, and then took yet another path that was also wrong. Finally, we descended through the same wonderful (not wonderful) rocky path, again trying to avoid the cow dung. At the bottom we saw the sign that we missed. By that time we’d lost more than an hour, and we knew from the guidebook that we had a tough ascent followed by a steep descent ahead. Lots of profanity on this particular trek….

After getting back on the right path, we stopped for a café con leche in the picturesque village of Olatz. Turns out it was our only opportunity to get food before we crossed from Guipuzcoa into Vizcaya and before the tough-on-the-knees long rocky downhill that brought us into Markina-Xemein where we stayed for 3 days to visit with 44 of my Spanish-Basque cousins.
 
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RedRuby

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2017)
Le Puy to SJPP (Sept 2019)
I had a profound and perplexing moment which I will alway remember and still don't quite understand. I've never shared this publicly, until now. My life had blown up in my face like a grenade - death of husband then breast cancer, followed by a wayward son and I was feeling absolutely gutted and depleted. I mainly walked alone, it wasn't my intention but it just kind of worked out that way. One morning while walking I heard this voice and he said, 'Give me your bag of worries, it will be here when you're finished, go!' And I somehow mentally handed my bag over. I immediately felt lighter and let that invisible thing carry my bag all the way to Santiago. It was perplexing and weird, but I returned home feeling stronger, invincible and capable of anything. My 'bag' was there at the end, I don't understand it but am eternally grateful for what the Camino provided.
 

The Kolbist

Member
Camino(s) past & future
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
Meeting an incredible person.

I was walking the Primitivo in 2016 and I was approaching Berducedo. It was already dark and it was raining heavily. I got to the albergue but for some reason I just stared at it. I did not want to go in. I knew from being here before that the church has a huge covered porch, I fancied that so headed there.

I walked into the church porch to find another pilgrim there, a young 20 something girl. She had no hiking gear as such, she was even wearing white slip on pumps. She was dirty and disheveled, and had a huge beautiful grin. Her and her story completely floored me.

She was from Belgium and was suffering mental health problems, but for one reason or other (she told me but it is private) her treatment had ended. When her treatment ended so did her state benefits. So she lost her apartment as she could no longer pay.

She was devout Catholic, and so she decided to walk to Santiago and ask God what she should do now. She was looking for answers. She sold everything she had, bought good gear, had funds, and set off from her home town in Belgium.

All went well until she got to Paris. She met a girl there who said she could sleep at her place. She took her things there and they went out for the night. In the morning she woke up and the girl had gone, and so had all her things. Rucksack, boots, clothes, purse, money, passport. Everything. It turned out the place she was in was a squat, it did not belong to the girl she had met. All she had was a thin pair of socks, a T-shirt, shorts and one pair of underwear. What she had slept in.

Undeterred she carried on towards Santiago. She was convinced God would look after her. Passing out of Paris she rummaged through bins. She found some food. She also found a pair of jeans trousers, and a denim jacket, fat mans size (she was tiny), old and covered in paint. She fangled the jacket into a rudimentary bag. The trousers she ripped up and tied to her feet. They were her boots. She also found an old curtain, that was her bed. In this she walked across France into Spain. She ate what she found, fruits mainly, and from supermarket bins. She never had a penny, nor asked for a penny.

Once in Spain she met her first pilgrims (Irun, Camino del Norte), she shied away from them mostly, but did befriend a few. She never attempted to sleep indoors (some offered to pay for albergues for her but she said no, and anyway had no ID), and would not except money, even when offered. Around this time some pilgrims managed to get her some clothes from donation boxes in albergues, and even an old 1960’s looking rucksack.

She told me that when she first set off she had been looking forward to getting to Spain, she had always wanted to try a real Paella. She presumed now she would never get to try one. She was wrong. One day passing through a little village a dog followed her. A huge wild looking thing, but friendly. It followed for about three km, she kept shooing it off, but would not leave her. So she walked back to the village and tried to find the owner. No one there knew the dog. She got stuck with the dog. She carried on walking until she came to a large town where there was an animal sanctuary. She went there to check if he dog was chipped to find the owner. They said the dog was not chipped, and no, they would not take the dog. She walked on, with the dog.

Not long after this town a police car pulled up and she was arrested for stealing the dog. It had been reported lost, and she had been seen with it. The police said the dog WAS chipped. After inquiries at the police station, they found she had indeed taken the dog in to the rescue centre, and they had told her it was not chipped. From now the police were on her side and looked after her. She had to stay in a cell overnight, she had to report or be seen by a magistrate or similar in the morning when they would let her go without charge. They let her keep the jail’s white plimsolls they had issued her. That was what she was wearing when I met her. They also said they had to feed her, what would she like? They went out and bought her a Paella! She spent most of the time in the office chatting to the cops. They looked after her.

Then I met her. After a few hours chatting I decided something. On a previous camino I had got short of cash for two days waiting to be paid and a kind lad gave me 50 Euro’s to help me out. Two days later I tried to repay him but he just said ‘pass it on’. Well here was a good time to pass it on. I told her the story and offered her the 50 Euro’s. She smiled and said no. She did not need it, God was looking after her. Then, she grinned and said “But look, I have money”, and rummaged in her bag. She pulled out a little plastic bag with about 3 Euro’s in. I found this walking she said. I argued the case for her taking my money but she would not have it at all. And at this time she was offering me food out of her bag. Apples, plums, lots of blackberries and such. After much persuasion I got her to agree at least that I buy her a meal in the bar – it was raining, it was cold, she could do with a hot meal.

When we arrived at the bar, we got seated and I passed her the menu while I went off to the loo. When I got back she passed me a beer. She had spent her little money buying me a beer. She broke my heart.

That night I offered her my sleeping bag to use, but no, she was fine. She was still sleeping under her Paris curtain she had found in a bin.

In the morning, she gave me a hug, and off she went. I never saw her again. She was bright as sunshine, laughing and happy. Convinced that once she got to Santiago God would point out the way for her.

I often wonder what happened to this wonderful person when she arrived in Santiago. I still worry about her today. I hope she found what she needed to find. I hope she is well.

But I was truly blessed to have met her.

Davey
This story epitomizes the real essence of a pilgrim. Dependence on God and the kindness of the people.
 

Richmond Gardner

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
One of the most memorable moments was checking in at the Parador in Leon. This needs a bit of explaining. About a year before my 2016 departure, I told a friend about my camino plans. She had been the cleaning lady where I had worked some eight years earlier, where she was already well over seventy years old. She was as tough as an old boot and a lot of fun, and we became friends and kept in touch over the years.

When I told her about my travel ideas, she immediately got fired up and insisted she would save up some money to help fund my camino. She was by then pushing eighty, solely dependent on a small old age pension, and no matter how much I protested I didn't want her money, she wasn't changing her mind. She would do her shopping, come home and put some change in a piggy bank. She was old school.

About six months before I left she was diagnosed with cancer, a rather agressive one, but she dealt with that as she did with everything else in her life: head-on and as brave as you can imagine. When I would visit her, she would tell me about the treatments and prognosis in the shortest possible amount of time, and then change the conversation back to my upcoming camino. She wanted to hear all about it: routes, places of history I would pass, my time frame, everything. She'd also point to the piggy bank, a bit mischievously to be honest, and tell me it was getting quite heavy.

By the time I left she gave me the very heavy piggy bank. She had saved up about 150 euros in coins for me. I knew there was no way I could refuse it (did I mention she was a tough cookie?), so I had thought about what to do with that money. I didn't just want it lumped together with my travel funds, I wanted to do something special with it. Since she was quite artistic, and fond of old buildings, I suggested to her I would use her money to stay in the Parador of Leon for one night. I showed her some online pictures of the building and she loved the place and the idea.

All through the camino she followed my progress online, as I had made an open Facebook page, with the help of her daughter. I would get messages every now and then, about her health and how much she vicariously enjoyed my photos and stories. But what she enjoyed most was the ridiculously detailed account of my stay in the Parador, with tons of photos and my written impressions of about a page and a half.

I also called her late at night, to share the moment. I asked how she was, we had a few laughs and just before we disconnected I described how my room had two beds, and that I was in two minds about changing beds halfway through the night, just because I could. She cackled with laughter and then said: "Do it!" before she hung up her phone.

She died last year. The cancer finally got her, but she had fought a monumental fight. And I like to think that I brightened her life a little bit, taking her along on that special voyage, and to the Parador in Leon. I know she brightened mine.
That’s ’ quite a story Purky! And you are lucky to have known such a fun, old school character. People like that stay with you...
 

Richmond Gardner

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Meeting an incredible person.

I was walking the Primitivo in 2016 and I was approaching Berducedo. It was already dark and it was raining heavily. I got to the albergue but for some reason I just stared at it. I did not want to go in. I knew from being here before that the church has a huge covered porch, I fancied that so headed there.

I walked into the church porch to find another pilgrim there, a young 20 something girl. She had no hiking gear as such, she was even wearing white slip on pumps. She was dirty and disheveled, and had a huge beautiful grin. Her and her story completely floored me.

She was from Belgium and was suffering mental health problems, but for one reason or other (she told me but it is private) her treatment had ended. When her treatment ended so did her state benefits. So she lost her apartment as she could no longer pay.

She was devout Catholic, and so she decided to walk to Santiago and ask God what she should do now. She was looking for answers. She sold everything she had, bought good gear, had funds, and set off from her home town in Belgium.

All went well until she got to Paris. She met a girl there who said she could sleep at her place. She took her things there and they went out for the night. In the morning she woke up and the girl had gone, and so had all her things. Rucksack, boots, clothes, purse, money, passport. Everything. It turned out the place she was in was a squat, it did not belong to the girl she had met. All she had was a thin pair of socks, a T-shirt, shorts and one pair of underwear. What she had slept in.

Undeterred she carried on towards Santiago. She was convinced God would look after her. Passing out of Paris she rummaged through bins. She found some food. She also found a pair of jeans trousers, and a denim jacket, fat mans size (she was tiny), old and covered in paint. She fangled the jacket into a rudimentary bag. The trousers she ripped up and tied to her feet. They were her boots. She also found an old curtain, that was her bed. In this she walked across France into Spain. She ate what she found, fruits mainly, and from supermarket bins. She never had a penny, nor asked for a penny.

Once in Spain she met her first pilgrims (Irun, Camino del Norte), she shied away from them mostly, but did befriend a few. She never attempted to sleep indoors (some offered to pay for albergues for her but she said no, and anyway had no ID), and would not except money, even when offered. Around this time some pilgrims managed to get her some clothes from donation boxes in albergues, and even an old 1960’s looking rucksack.

She told me that when she first set off she had been looking forward to getting to Spain, she had always wanted to try a real Paella. She presumed now she would never get to try one. She was wrong. One day passing through a little village a dog followed her. A huge wild looking thing, but friendly. It followed for about three km, she kept shooing it off, but would not leave her. So she walked back to the village and tried to find the owner. No one there knew the dog. She got stuck with the dog. She carried on walking until she came to a large town where there was an animal sanctuary. She went there to check if he dog was chipped to find the owner. They said the dog was not chipped, and no, they would not take the dog. She walked on, with the dog.

Not long after this town a police car pulled up and she was arrested for stealing the dog. It had been reported lost, and she had been seen with it. The police said the dog WAS chipped. After inquiries at the police station, they found she had indeed taken the dog in to the rescue centre, and they had told her it was not chipped. From now the police were on her side and looked after her. She had to stay in a cell overnight, she had to report or be seen by a magistrate or similar in the morning when they would let her go without charge. They let her keep the jail’s white plimsolls they had issued her. That was what she was wearing when I met her. They also said they had to feed her, what would she like? They went out and bought her a Paella! She spent most of the time in the office chatting to the cops. They looked after her.

Then I met her. After a few hours chatting I decided something. On a previous camino I had got short of cash for two days waiting to be paid and a kind lad gave me 50 Euro’s to help me out. Two days later I tried to repay him but he just said ‘pass it on’. Well here was a good time to pass it on. I told her the story and offered her the 50 Euro’s. She smiled and said no. She did not need it, God was looking after her. Then, she grinned and said “But look, I have money”, and rummaged in her bag. She pulled out a little plastic bag with about 3 Euro’s in. I found this walking she said. I argued the case for her taking my money but she would not have it at all. And at this time she was offering me food out of her bag. Apples, plums, lots of blackberries and such. After much persuasion I got her to agree at least that I buy her a meal in the bar – it was raining, it was cold, she could do with a hot meal.

When we arrived at the bar, we got seated and I passed her the menu while I went off to the loo. When I got back she passed me a beer. She had spent her little money buying me a beer. She broke my heart.

That night I offered her my sleeping bag to use, but no, she was fine. She was still sleeping under her Paris curtain she had found in a bin.

In the morning, she gave me a hug, and off she went. I never saw her again. She was bright as sunshine, laughing and happy. Convinced that once she got to Santiago God would point out the way for her.

I often wonder what happened to this wonderful person when she arrived in Santiago. I still worry about her today. I hope she found what she needed to find. I hope she is well.

But I was truly blessed to have met her.

Davey
Between Purky’s remarkable older woman and this younger ray of sunshine, I am just gobsmacked! What wonderful lives we lead when simply putting one foot in front of another
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
Oh @Davey Boyd I loved everything about this story, and I cried when she bought you a beer.
You are right, how blessed you were.
I forgot to say what else she said. When she told me about the girl taking her things in Paris I said 'Oh no that is bad'!. She just looked at me, with a frown on her face and quietly said "No, she just needed my things more than me". She had no bad thoughts about her at all!
 

retiredmailman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan to walk in September 2019
One of the most memorable moments was checking in at the Parador in Leon. This needs a bit of explaining. About a year before my 2016 departure, I told a friend about my camino plans. She had been the cleaning lady where I had worked some eight years earlier, where she was already well over seventy years old. She was as tough as an old boot and a lot of fun, and we became friends and kept in touch over the years.

When I told her about my travel ideas, she immediately got fired up and insisted she would save up some money to help fund my camino. She was by then pushing eighty, solely dependent on a small old age pension, and no matter how much I protested I didn't want her money, she wasn't changing her mind. She would do her shopping, come home and put some change in a piggy bank. She was old school.

About six months before I left she was diagnosed with cancer, a rather agressive one, but she dealt with that as she did with everything else in her life: head-on and as brave as you can imagine. When I would visit her, she would tell me about the treatments and prognosis in the shortest possible amount of time, and then change the conversation back to my upcoming camino. She wanted to hear all about it: routes, places of history I would pass, my time frame, everything. She'd also point to the piggy bank, a bit mischievously to be honest, and tell me it was getting quite heavy.

By the time I left she gave me the very heavy piggy bank. She had saved up about 150 euros in coins for me. I knew there was no way I could refuse it (did I mention she was a tough cookie?), so I had thought about what to do with that money. I didn't just want it lumped together with my travel funds, I wanted to do something special with it. Since she was quite artistic, and fond of old buildings, I suggested to her I would use her money to stay in the Parador of Leon for one night. I showed her some online pictures of the building and she loved the place and the idea.

All through the camino she followed my progress online, as I had made an open Facebook page, with the help of her daughter. I would get messages every now and then, about her health and how much she vicariously enjoyed my photos and stories. But what she enjoyed most was the ridiculously detailed account of my stay in the Parador, with tons of photos and my written impressions of about a page and a half.

I also called her late at night, to share the moment. I asked how she was, we had a few laughs and just before we disconnected I described how my room had two beds, and that I was in two minds about changing beds halfway through the night, just because I could. She cackled with laughter and then said: "Do it!" before she hung up her phone.

She died last year. The cancer finally got her, but she had fought a monumental fight. And I like to think that I brightened her life a little bit, taking her along on that special voyage, and to the Parador in Leon. I know she brightened mine.
How beautiful. Your response to her friendship was why she chose you to be her friend. What a priceless story.
 

Philip Hartney

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 - first time
Some truly wonderful stories here, for me, it was all the wonderful people I met, who were all carrying their own crosses to bear, and all were enjoying the experience.
Having just finished a 4 cycles of Chemotherapy last week, I am planning to walk a small part of the Camino Portuguese next week, from Porto, and if my particular cross allows me and doesnt progress any further than it has, I am planning do the CF for the second time Sept / October this year.........
 

Bob from L.A. !

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Some truly wonderful stories here, for me, it was all the wonderful people I met, who were all carrying their own crosses to bear, and all were enjoying the experience.
Having just finished a 4 cycles of Chemotherapy last week, I am planning to walk a small part of the Camino Portuguese next week, from Porto, and if my particular cross allows me and doesnt progress any further than it has, I am planning do the CF for the second time Sept / October this year.........
Phil,
Your will and fortitude are amazing. Buen Camino.
"It is so important to actually live while we are alive".
 

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