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What's your earliest Camino connection?

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
In graduate school 50+ years ago I attended courses by the great medieval art/architecture historian Meyer Schapiro. Several erudite lectures focused on the architecture along the Camino Frances, not only great monuments but also simple vernacular buildings. He stressed the importance of carved shells as the major iconic motif for identifying all related to Saint James as well as the immense social impact of the camino path across northern Spain; the path became the 'main street' with ‘burgos de francos’ or independent neighborhoods settled by former pilgrims nearby and, thus, the towns developed. ... Bingo I was hooked and decided that someday I would walk that path myself. Forty+ years later I did for the first of many times.

PS. See this earlier Forum thread re camino inspirations
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Camino de Santiago?

El Camino?
Years before that movie...
(same old as me :D )
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
On a trip to Tibet in 2006 I shared a room with an Englishwoman. She told me about seeing people with backpacks with shells on,while she and her husband drove in Northern Spain. Camino Santiago de Compostela. I thought it was such a long name and I would forget it but the worm got into my brain and the following year walked my first Camino Frances.
Not counting this year I have walked a Camino every year since,sometimes two.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
My first solo walk was very short, as I was 20 months old, in Septemberish 1966, and it was in some coastal village on the Costa Blanca near Alicante -- so on one of the many variants of the Sureste.

I was born in the 1965 Holy Year.
 

bernhugo

Active Member
In my 50's studying A level Spanish, one of the set books was "El Camino"
The real first awareness came on a coach trip that finished in Santiago and I offered to take a photo of a Norwegian couple in the cathedral.
I was amazed when then said that it was the end of a walk for them.
Hadn't heard of the Camino before that.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
I did a regular walk from Cabo de Gata in Almeria province in 2003, a Basque guy was doing the same stages as me. My book Lonely planet walking in Spain had the Camino Frances in and we got talking about it and he mentioned the Camino del Norte, but what put me off was he kept saying there was a lot of asphalt. But I kept reading the description in the book of ' El Camino de Santiago( CF)' and I knew I wanted to do it at some point. Fast forward to 2009, I was sat at home with a friend watching Athletic Bilbao V Real Madrid when on the advertising hording came up 'Xacobeo 2010', and that was it, I started planning and I couldn't make my mind up, walk the Frances or start from my home in Exeter and go via Plymouth to Santander on the Norte. The latter won out. Forum member David talks about a calling, I agree with him.
 
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Greg Ludford

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Tolosana-Aragones-CF (2015); VdlP-Sanabres (2018); Vasco-CF-Salvator- Primitivo (2019)
Good question trecile, it's an often discussed topic amongst pilgrims.
I felt tempted to post to your thread, but then looked up mspath’s link to an earlier thread and read Kanga’s contribution. I then felt compelled to post something.
Apparently we have been travelling in Kanga’s wake, albeit a few years behind her.
Ani and I first visited Santiago in April 1980. We had survived the
“hippie trail” from Kathmandu to London the previous year and spent a couple of months in the Canaries and Morocco to try and warm up again.
Returning to London over a couple of weeks we caught local trains from Cadiz, up the Portuguese coast and across to Santander.
We had to stop at Santiago de Compostela just because of the sound and rhythm of its name.
We learnt of its pilgrimage history while there, though don’t recall seeing any pilgrims. It was after all winter, very wet and cold.
I guess the seed got planted as we explored the city over a couple of days. We were enthralled by its age and architecture, and indeed still are today.
I recall very dark and mossy buildings and at dawn one morning a old
lady herding two pigs along a dark street. They were eating food scraps that people left outside their doors in readiness.
It took until 2015 for that seed to bear fruit when we returned for the first time after walking from Arles.
Hopefully we’ll get another opportunity to return in the future.
Incidentally, Santiago must be close to the diametrically opposite point on the planet to where we live in Tasmania. Maybe there is a magnetic line of attraction that draws us back?
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
The first one I can truly document is a book review in the Canberra Times (sometime in 2006) reviewing Tony Kevin's camino book from Granada to Santiago (starting in June). The next was another book - Sinning Across Spain - Ailsa Piper's narrative.
But I have a dim/distant memory of the camino being mentioned in the BBC TV show "The Saint". If I recall it correctly Moore wanted to spend 5 or 6 days hiking part of an "ancient Spanish trail". But this would have been late 1960's ('67-69)!
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I was a kid, maybe 10 years old. At Christmas I received a National Geographic book about the Medieval world, and there was a chapter about pilgrimage to Compostela. I loved that book! And one thing that caught my attention was a photo of someone taken from behind as she hugged the image of Santiago in the Cathedral, along with the explanation that people walked there from all over Europe. I thought, "What a weird thing to do," and filed it away.
The joke is on me.
 
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Meggins

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - One complete St.J.P.P to Santiago plus twice more for 500km each time.
The first school that I attended was El Camino Elementary School when I was five years old.

What's your earliest "connection" to the Camino?
Had never heard of it until my friend asked me if I would like to walk with her (2009) Been several times since. Last Fall I did 600km.
 

Attachments

elleley

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (16); Leon-Sarria, Ourense-SdC (17), Burgos-Leon (17), Porto-SdC (18), SalvadorPrimitivo(19)
Yes, great question. Have to thank Shirley McLain for her book, El Camino. Found it in a used book store many years ago and was intrigued by the cover and then the idea that a woman of a "certain age" would walk across Spain. (I hadn't yet read Peace Pilgrim's book...) I found the story entertaining and then Martin Sheen pushed me over the edge. Inspired by two movie stars, I guess....
ultreia!
 

Paladina

old woman of the roads
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
The pen-portrait of the notorious arriviste 'in Galice at Seint-Jame', the Wife of Bath, in the General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, first read at secondary school, half a century ago. In my youthful innocence, her serial marriages probably made more of an impression than her serial pilgrimages. In my later-life experience, one marriage proved too many, one pilgrimage too few.
 

Sherpa47

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2008 and 2017
The first school that I attended was El Camino Elementary School when I was five years old.

What's your earliest "connection" to the Camino?
A friend of line walked the Camino in 1995, it was the first time I had heard of the Camino. Talking to me about it sparked my imagination and was determined at some point in my life to go on pilgrimage. I achieved this in 2008 and once again in 2017.
 

thistleamy

Camino Portuguese - 2019; CF - 2021
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese (2019); Camino Frances (2021)
In the mid 1990's I worked at Powell's Books in Portland - as employees we could "borrow" any book as long as we brought it back in same condition. I discovered Jack Hitt's book in 1996 (?) and knew I HAD to do this walk... it took me 22 years.
 

jblaskovits

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances and Finisterre 2015
Chemin d'Arles and Camino Aragonés 2018
Camino Portugués 2019
I discovered "What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on Spain's Camino de Santiago de Compostela" by a wonderful Canadian author, Jane Christmas in 2011. It took until 2015 for me to start walking and I haven't stopped, until now of course.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I can't remember for sure. I studied medieval culture as an undergrad, including The Canterbury Tales (where the other great medieval pilgrimage routes might have come up in discussion), Le Chanson de Roland (with its connection to Roncesvalles on the Camino), and Cantar de mio Cid (with its connection to Burgos and other Camino locations). The first time it really stuck was seeing it in 1989 in my copy of Let's Go: Spain, Portugal and Morocco which led to my journey from Roncesvalles to Santiago that year.
 

Chenahusky

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CFSJPP to SDC 2016
CIng x 2 2018
CPort. Tui May 2019
CF Ponf. June 2019
On my first visit to the Cathedral and Santiago in 1964, age 17. No visible Pilgrims around at that time in Santiago.
I have been going on Pilgrimages, in the U.K. since the late 1940's. I was very young on my first, to Walsingham, 10 weeks old. I was however, at one point, carried by Cardinal Griffin, to give my Mother a rest. Happy days.
 

Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
I met 3 pilgrims in Guernica who were walking the Norte. I’d heard of the CdS but this personal connection stuck in my psyche, that was 2010. I walked the CF in 2017 and the CI last year. The Aragones and Francés is in my future, 2023 I hope.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I think I was around nine or ten when I went for a walk with my grandmother. We walked by the St Jacobuschurch ( St James ) and she explained me about the statue of St James and what he represented.
We also had a neighbour ( art historian ) who wrote for the magazine of the Flemish Confraternity of St James.
Years later I was on a " regular " holiday in Spain and I saw my first flecha in Santo Domingo de la Calzada and someone with a backpack.
Then it all started... :)
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I first head about THE Camino when I was taking a Spanish class at a community college about 6 years ago. One of the other students had done the Sarria to Santiago portion, and I was immediately enamored with the idea of walking across a country while being able to sleep in a bed and take a shower every night. It was in the back of my mind for a couple of years until one weekend I really started researching it and found this forum. The rest is history.😄
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
In Confirmation class, almost 35 years ago, we were told that there are several pilgrim-routes across Europe. And that the "Camino francès" (or like our Pastor said: the french way) the most famous route is.

Lucky me, that I stopped in Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the way back from my short-vacation.
At the front-steps of the lutheranian St. Jacobs-Church stands a bronze St-Jacobs-figure and on the ground to scalop-shells to show the two directions to walk (via Ulm and Basel or via Speyer and Metz).

DSC03665_kl.jpg
 

cathietherese

Catherine Davis
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP - Finistere May/June 2012
Le-Puy-en-Velay to Cahors/ June 2019
When I first travelled to Europe in my forties I fell in love with Chartres Cathedral, after reading about at Art School via Joseph Campbell's Power of Myth. I noticed the pilgrim symbols and connected them to the trail I had recently read about in Coelho's, 'the Pilgrimage'.
In 2010 I returned to France and the places I stayed in St Jean de Luz, and in the countryside near Arles all had coffee table books about the Way/Chemin. I went for a run along a track that neighboured the old house I stayed at in Arles, which came complete with a respectfully restored 12thCentury Chapelle and noticed the trail I was on had the chemin symbols.
It kept crossing my path whereever I went.
Then I returned to New Zealand where I was working in a little hot chocolate shop, gifty/booky store and two tourists came in from Germany. They unfurled a map of the Camino Frances as I served them hot chocolate and I nearly dropped the tray.
After exclaiming my enthusiasm, the guy stared directly at me and said, "It is time, you must go". I smiled and said the usual reasons why I couldn't leave my daily life for so long and he soothed me saying, "when it crosses your path wherever you go, the Camino will find a way".
It sounded wonderfully romantic and I put the thought in my heart, turning to concentrate on my busy business. Little did I know that the GFC was around the corner and I would need to vacate the premise my little loved store was in. I thought about 'returning to online' business but I made sure I was going to train and get on that strange way to Compostela while I thought things over.
And so, in 2012 I walked from SJPDP to Finisterre with my h usband Tim, and the wonderful friends we made as our Camino family.
Last year we walked from Le Puy to Cahors and were intending to pick up the trail from there in June but that's for another time.
I trust the Camino will work that out.
Meanwhile, like many of you have expressed my passion for the Camino has increased. We organised a fundraising event and spoke about travelling as a couple to raise money for a cyclone ravaged Pacific Island and I wrote a blog from my journal which still pops up on albergue pages in 2020. (gratifyingly) It's linked on my profile.
The Camino broadened my mind and the working online thing had its day with me and I decided to go to University in 2016. After four years I completed my Arts Degree last year in Social Anthropology and now find myself still on the Pilgrimage path studying about the Camino for my Masters.
With or without a study purpose, which will be very much participant observation as pilgrim I fervently hope to return in 2021 or whenever the Camino reckons. I will just attend to all the bits I can to make that happen and my husband you ask? Well, he is equally keen and retires from his job for 34 years next June. Of course,t he first thing he wants to do is head to the Camino.
May we all return as we hope, seeing who we are meant to, or keeping the flame and faith burning virtually during the covid constraints.
Take care, take heart and Kia Kaha from Aotearoa/New Zealand,
Catherine. p.s. Tim sees the Way marker on the streets of ChartresDSC01147.JPG
 
Camino(s) past & future
Levant from Avila 2013
Was present at a presentation by Tony Kevin just after the launch of his book "Walking the Camino" in 2008. It took a few years for the bug to bite. In 2013 three of us left Sydney for Avila to walk the last bit of the Camino de Levante to Zamora and then via the Camino de Sureste into Santiago. 32 days of great enjoyment. Only a bit of inclemency in Galicia. Now 83, with a replaced hip and other medical repairs, I was on the starting blocks for the Camino Primitivo at the end of 2019 and when my friend pulled out at short notice. It was deemed too much for me to walk alone. I probably won't do another, even though I still follow Ivar and the forum. I can't rid my self of the need for Pilgrimage. All the gear is here at my fingertips and the planning has been done. If I had the (unlikely) chance I'd be out of the door and on my way to Spain in a trice.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Somehow, I misunderstood OP’s question.

Initially, I heard about camino in 2000. A woman at church decided to do it.

The next year, 2001, I walked. From then until now, I have walked about six times with various kilometers put in; and I have twice been a hospitalera.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
in seventh grade, my classmate was taken to walk a part of the Camino in ´68.
- Substance abuse was a new thing then, but a wise person took him along,
I asked my father what the Jacob´s Way was. He said he thought is had died out years ago....
That got my attention and it took me another 46 years before taking to the Camino in 2014....
 
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wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
I read about it in work one day about 30 years ago in an article in National Geographic. The pilgrimage described was from Le Puy to Santiago and I thought some day I want to do this. When I did walk it from St. Jean in 2012 I felt I was only doing half the walk until I realized later that the Camino is really from where you want to start.
 

Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
Somehow, I misunderstood OP’s question.

Initially, I heard about camino in 2000. A woman at church decided to do it.

The next year, 2001, I walked. From then until now, I have walked about six times with various kilometers put in; and I have twice been a hospitalera.
I liked your first response, this one too.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I fist saw "The Movie" in 2014 and got excited and started day dreaming. My son had walked the AT the year before and I knew I could not do that(tent, carrying one full week of food; 40 pound backpack) even though it intrigued me. I retired early in 2015 and the rest is history!
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
I first read about the camino in a magazine many years ago, and then it drifted from my memory (I guess I was busy raising my kids). In 2010, while visiting relatives in Western Australia, I was walking a section of the Cape to Cape track with a cousin, when she mentioned the camino in Spain ... the memory was dredged from my subconscious. Three years later, in 2013, she and I walked the Francés.
 

Peter Wright

Walking to stay young
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Porto to Santiago Sept/ Oct (2019)
Thst would be my first memory too although I was already an adult.
Camino de Santiago?

El Camino?
Years before that movie...
(same old as me :D )
 

julia-t

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
As a child I was RC convent educated (despite being C of E), so was aware of the idea of pilgrimage.

The first mention of Santiago de Compostela I remember was in one of the 'Catherine' novels by Juliette Benzoni. These were a series of racy bodice-rippers with the eponymous heroine enduring many adventures whilst in search of her true love Arnaud, in medieval France. At one point she sets out on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela to pray for Arnaud who thinks he has leprosy and has left her to isolate himself and protect her.
,I vividly recall reading the scene where she tosses back the hood of her drab brown robe and sets out on the path with a stout stick in her hand and a song on her lips and in her heart! I think in the next novel she is captured by Moors and ends up in a harem somewhere in north Africa.

Being in a convent boarding school in the 1970s, sexy and racy books were banned by the nuns, so my fellow inmates and I became adroit at hiding such books (which also included the Godfather and Valley of the Dolls and anything by Harold Robbins) around the dorm, and reading them in secret.

Years later, people on Fodors travel forums would mention the Camino from time to time, and then a friend wnet to walk it, and then.... well, so did I!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Well I’m French so... we learned about Roland in Roncevaux when I was what, 6 or 7?
Then I went on and learnt more about it in my studies...
it was something I thought I ought to experience but I had to wait a long time to do so. When my youngest child was independant.
All I had to do was to convince my husband I hadn’t gone mad 😂
No, joke apart, it is part of our culture, whether Catholic or not.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
And just how did you do that?
Asking because my friends and family after all those years still think I'm crazy :D
I have some of each in my world of family and friends. Some look at me like this😳, some like this😱, and some like this...😐.
Others look at me like this...🙄
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I really have no idea how I first heard about the camino. I can say approximately when, because I walked my first camino, the Frances, in 2015. So I guess that I must have heard about it in 2014, because it took me about a year to prepare for the first one. I knew that I was called to it and so I got ready and I went. I know that it was not because of any of the camino films which came out about that time, because the Calgary branch of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims arranged for the two camino films that I saw to be shown after I had joined the group as part of my preparations. I had been on pilgrimage many years before, to Israel and to Walsingham, but I had never heard of walking pilgrimage until I was getting ready to do it. Fortunately, no one among my friends and family thought it worthwhile to try to persuade me out of it, as they knew me too well.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
All I had to do was to convince my husband I hadn’t gone mad 😂
I'm pretty sure that my husband thought that I was crazy when I told him that I wanted to go on a 500 mile walk across Spain.
While I was still deciding whether or not to go we went on vacation in Zihuatenejo, Mexico. One day while I was swimming in the bay I saw a boat called "La Peregrina" - I took that as a sign that I was meant to go.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
A 1971 El Camino.
Not a car, not a truck...it was a cruck! 😂
Great thread, @trecile, provoking interesting responses.
View attachment 80695
In Australia its known as a utility vehicle (or a Ute for short). Developed by Ford in the 1920/30's to take mum and dad the church on sunday and the pigs to market on Monday.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I first walked the Camino in 1985.
WOW - I would love to pick your brains on how different the Camino was back then as compared to (say) 2017 (when I walked from St Jean to Santiago in 33/34 days). If you have a blog please post a link. Cheers
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
And just how did you do that?
Asking because my friends and family after all those years still think I'm crazy :D
Good question and the answer is I can’t remember! But I was so full of it when I came back that he had to go and find out for himself. And lo! Another camino-mad person! 😂
To be fair, the worst were actually my children. My daughters told me (afterwards) they had bets on how long I would survive. I think two or three days at most was the consensus 🙄😁 Tss.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
In the UK we call them a pick up. (not a joke, we really do).
Not to fully hijack the thread, but I had a friend I worked with 20 years ago who came from Ohio. She told me she worked "3rd trick" at her old job...at first I thought she meant she "turned tricks" until she explained herself! 🤣
 

Anik2001

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances (2017), future: Frances again (2020)
My first connection to the camino was around 2006, when I watched a documentary film following a Quebec actor who had walked the Francés. I said to my husband (who only watched the 5 first minutes and left): I will walk that way before I turn 50! He never thought I would follow through, but I finally did in 2017, at 47yo.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
At the end of 1999 I was planning to lead a group of 10 ladies on the Coast to Coast in England in 2001. Then Foot and Mouth broke out in England and we weren't sure if we'd be able to walk in England. We all made suggestions for an alternative walk and, after reading about the Camino in the Lonely Planet Guide to Walking in Spain, I suggested the Camino from Leon to Santiago. The WWW was quite new then, Google would didn't come for another 9 years, but I joined the the CSJ in the UK and was able to do some research.
As it turned out, we walked the CtoC in July 2001, but I was so taken by the Camino that I and two friends walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago in 2002.
PS: We used Nancy Frey's stages in the Lonely Planet as our guide. She described 28 stages but we were all working women and had to cut it down to 27 days.
 

hnguyen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2013; (September 2014)
I went to HS and college in Monterey and Santa Cruz from 1961 to 1969. The highway between the 2 towns in California is called El Camino Real. However that connection is superficial. Years later I read an article about THE Camino and thought that it was something I would like to do. However, I suppressed that thought since I was a polio survivor (contracted in 1949) and walking was very painful for me. At times I've had to use crutches. In 2010 I had the knee with polio totally replaced. After months of extensive physical therapy the pain was gone. However, hiking the camino did not occur to me again until a family member walked his first CF in late spring 2012. I immediately set the camino as my goal for the following year. I trained religiously (!!) every single day for 10.5 months, through hot summer sun, cold winter snow; on the hills of northern Italy and northern Thailand where work took me. I left home in March 2013 for SJPP not knowing if I could even complete the way to Santiago de Compestela. I arrived at the cathedral in Santiago in early May, a month shy of my 67th birthday. The feeling of euphoria and gratitude of that day will never be forgotten. Since then I've hiked 3 more caminos.
 

Felicia V

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2017 Porto to SdC
Return to Camino Portuguese 2018 Tui To SdC
I think I was around 18 or 19 years old. ( I’m 68 now) Somehow, I heard about the Camino, how, I don’t recall ( I spent most of that era enebriated), but it must have been a book about mystical places, as I think I heard about Mount St Michel, Tintagel, etc around the same time.
At 65, I finally got to Camino Portuguese.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
@David
I read you lived near Pons and that was your first connection with the Camino.
Mine too, our second home is very close to Pons 17 and seeing the borne markers with shells on them, made me curious to find out about the Camino.
 

Ted Troolin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2017
The first school that I attended was El Camino Elementary School when I was five years old.

What's your earliest "connection" to the Camino?
The first school that I attended was El Camino Elementary School when I was five years old.

What's your earliest "connection" to the Camino?
I think reading Michener’s Iberia in the 70’s.
 

howardd5

New Member
I seem to have always been a hiker ,growing up in North Carolina and the AT. When i was young i hiked in Scotland and England in my summers ,the worst time to hike in the UK . Rain always rain . My favorite expression about hiking in Scotland , " it only rained twice last week ,once for four days and once for three days" . An old French woman told me about a long distance hiking trail in Spain . And that it seldom rained in the summer . I got a cheap flight to bilbao and rented a car and drove the thing from Roncevalles to Santiago .very confusing it was . Speaking very little Spanish i say some hostel type places with the word "perigrinos" in there sign and thought it was referring to perigrin falcons ??. Well i was able to stay in the albergue outside of Pamplona(cizur menor) and interviewed the manager who ran the eastern portion of the trail . She spent some time telling the dizzy Yank about the history and decline of the Camino. It was 1988 and Way was not thriving with walkers . I came back the next summer and walked from Leon to Santiago with my brother . We both has an exciting time and met pilgrims from all over . Since then i have walked ten times with friends ,childern and actually anyone interested . Ive done Aragonnes & primitivo and plan another walk in the late spring . I have spoken on the topic more than once and advise students of Western civ to go and talk to everyone they see about their country and the US today. Best education around ,and the food and wine is good too.
 

BPG2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
Being a cradle Catholic and a culture-oriented European, I had the Camino somewhere in my consciousness all my life.

The first time the Camino "called" me was in 2005, driving with my husband from Spain towards Bordeaux, stopping in a small wayside inn in south-western France and going for stroll in the evening on what seemed a very ancient paved footpath. I still don't know what that path was, but I thought, immediately and intensely, of pilgrims walking down that path centuries ago on their way to Compostela.... and the memory stuck.

Then I read Paulo Coelho's The Pilgrim.

Then a very close, old friend of mine did the Camino, and as we talked on the phone every few days, I was sharing a little of the experience with him. That was it. From then, I knew I had to do it. Made it in 2017, once I had retired.

I am ambivalent about doing it again - unlike most of us on this forum, I still think of the Camino as something that should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience - but I will definitely volunteer as a hospitalera at some point.
 

BPG2017

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
I have spoken on the topic more than once and advise students of Western civ to go and talk to everyone they see about their country and the US today. Best education around ,and the food and wine is good too.
Wisest advice I have heard for a long time! I hope many of your students take it!
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
@David
I read you lived near Pons and that was your first connection with the Camino.
Mine too, our second home is very close to Pons 17 and seeing the borne markers with shells on them, made me curious to find out about the Camino.
Brilliant! You know how the Camino as it leaves Pons passes the pilgrim statues roundabout? A few hundred metres after that it passes through a "tunnel" by going through the old pilgrim hospital, with stone benches built in along the wall? If you look about halfway along on the right at the pilgrim graffiti look high up and you will see a tiny shield and more carved into the limestone, really high - it could only have been carved by a man on a horse - a knight on pilgrimage!
 
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Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
In 2008, we began our walking tour company in Frankfurt. One of the churches we included on our tour, had statues of 3 pilgrims in front of it and the church itself had a Jakobs Portal that had been created in 1219. Being a good tour guide, had to study up on why these things were there, (Frankfurt was a major stop for people to gather and set off on their pilgrimage) and the first seed was planted in my brain, that maybe one day, this would be a fun walk to do.
Since then, have found more and more sites in Frankfurt, several churches that were stops, and German guide books for those who want to walk the Jakobsweg in Germany. Last year, walked about 17km with a group of deaf Germans who were interested in someday walking the Camino. Am now trying to plan a 14km tour for those who are interested, but struggling to find WC facilities on the route.
 

David61

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Frances (2020)
2015, a friend and I were doing a motorcycle tour through France, around Spain and on to Portugal. As we rode across Northern Spain headed in a non direct way to the Picos before going to Portugal we saw a lot of walkers, solo and in twos and threes. Seemed to be quite random locations as we meandered and I commented on it a few times. On the way back towards Santander once again we saw walkers. The last hotel before the run to Santander we booked a table for dinner and showered, changed and sat outside with a beer. We were approached by two Australian women, one of whom started talking to us but was quite direct and said we had taken their table. I relied I don't think so and she said they had hoped to eat early as they had an early start the next day. I invited them to join us and we chatted over dinner in a crammed dining room in a stone cellar when a guy stood up and said something in Spanish and ended in a certain phrase which everyone repeated, including the Aussies. I asked what that was about and they told me they were "On Camino". Sounds like a long walk, says I. We bid them goodnight and the next day I said to my mate that was interesting and he replied, "Not a chance!!! Never going to happen". Back home, some reading and Google and I ended up here. Watched "the film", read more and unable to get the time off I took a sabbatical last year after several years of dreaming and that as they say is my story
 

El Cascayal

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo May 2019
Invierno November 2019
Ingles April (2020) postponed
My first solo walk was very short, as I was 20 months old, in Septemberish 1966, and it was in some coastal village on the Costa Blanca near Alicante -- so on one of the many variants of the Sureste.

I was born in the 1965 Holy Year.
Wow! I never thought about this. I just looked it up and I was born in 1954. Also a Holy Year. Wow! The Camino calling.
 

Felicia V

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2017 Porto to SdC
Return to Camino Portuguese 2018 Tui To SdC
In Confirmation class, almost 35 years ago, we were told that there are several pilgrim-routes across Europe. And that the "Camino francès" (or like our Pastor said: the french way) the most famous route is.

Lucky me, that I stopped in Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the way back from my short-vacation.
At the front-steps of the lutheranian St. Jacobs-Church stands a bronze St-Jacobs-figure and on the ground to scalop-shells to show the two directions to walk (via Ulm and Basel or via Speyer and Metz).

View attachment 80645
I saw this statue too, at the end of our travels, we took a transatlantic home. Onboard was a couple who walked the Ingles. Another man on board just completed the Portuguese. In the middle of the Atlantic, I messaged my sister and asked her if she wanted to go ( further down this post, I mark my first hearing of the Camino). She had never heard of it until a few weeks earlier when she happened to catch the Martin Sheen movie. Less than a year later, we started out of Porto
 

Old Kiwi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Frances 2019
SdC to Muxia and Fisterra 2019
Camino Portuguese "2021"
Living at the bottom of the world as I do, the Camino is something that just does not pop up in conversation, so I was unaware of it until I read a book by Jose Drew, an English woman who spends her time cycling around the world. This would have been at least 20 years ago. She was cycling down from France, through Spain and Portugal. She cycled part of the Camino on the way, I think it was from Burgos to Leon (I don't have a good memory). She wrote a bit about the history and the trail itself. I thought "That's interesting, I would like to walk that". About 10 years ago I read a book by a well known British motorcyclist (I don't remember his name) who was motorcycling around the world. He also followed the Camino for some distance and wrote quite a bit about it. I thought "That's interesting, I would like to walk that". Early in 2016 my wife and I went to see the doco-movie "Six ways to Santiago". About 20 minutes into the movie I turned to my wife and said "I have got to do that". On the 28th of May 2016 (3 months after the movie) I started from St. Jean PdP, and there began the love affair with Caminos.
 

Bert45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo,
I was walking across Spain from Llanes to Tarifa in 1998, having read Robin Neilland's book "Walking through Spain." Walking from Carrión de los Condes to Frómista, I saw a lot of people walking in the opposite direction. I shouted across the road, "What are you doing?" or it might have been "Where are you going?" And one of them replied that they were going to Santiago de Compostela. There was a woman from Brazil leading a horse, I think. When I got to Villalcázar de Sirga I met the famous mesonero Pablo Payo. He stamped the book in which I was keeping a diary, since I didn't have a credencial. Five years later, I walked my first camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
allmycaminosblogspot.com. The source of information and encouragement that helped me to believe I could do it. Forever grateful.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
allmycaminosblogspot.com. The source of information and encouragement that helped me to believe I could do it. Forever grateful.
Is this the site that you mean?

 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Is this the site that you mean?

In a word, yes.
 

nicollb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Frances 2013
The first school that I attended was El Camino Elementary School when I was five years old.

What's your earliest "connection" to the Camino?
I picked up a copy of the Utne Reader back in the late 80's or early 90's and there was an article by someone who had walked the Way of St. James. I was fascinated, but nearly 40 with 3 children and a full time job I thought I would never get to do it... only took about 20-25 years to get there! I cannot find a copy of the article anywhere. I'd would love to read it again!
 

epona2011

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago-Fisterra 2011
Norte 2014
Inglés 2016
Portugués (Tui-Santiago) 2017
I taught English in Madrid in 1989/90 and became friends with a Spanish teacher from Galicia. I also had a wild social life and remember spending hours and hours in the darkest corners of the darkest bars in the city hearing from the gallega and her many exiled friends about the music and culture of Galicia and of course, of the mysterious Camino de Santiago, which we were to walk one day. Great times.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I taught English in Madrid in 1989/90 and became friends with a Spanish teacher from Galicia. I also had a wild social life and remember spending hours and hours in the darkest corners of the darkest bars in the city hearing from the gallega and her many exiled friends about the music and culture of Galicia and of course, of the mysterious Camino de Santiago, which we were to walk one day. Great times.
I also taught English in Madrid in 1989/90. :)
 

Mariy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino 2019
I learned about the Camino from reading a book back in high school. I was fascinated with the concept but didn't think I could ever walk it. Then my former boss took a sabbatical to walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port and he would send us updates almost everyday. He said it was the best travel experience of his life and he walked the other routes after. Hearing his stories, I became obsessed with walking the Camino. But for a while it was just a dream, no one I knew wanted to walk it and I was afraid to do it just by myself but it was always in the back of my mind.

Then my parish church announced that it was getting a group together to walk the Portuguese Camino in 2019. It was the opportunity I was waiting for, we walked from Tui to Santiago (118 KM). It was trully the best travel experience I've ever had and can't wait to walk it again in 2021.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Remembering a dialogue from my high school Spanish class that my friend and I set to music in order to memorize it more easily makes me think that I was destined to walk the Camino.

Part of it is:
A mi aprietan mucho los zapatos, no puedo caminar más.

Translation: My shoes are too tight, I can't walk any more. 😂
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
You are reminding me of the only full sentence I remember from my German class in Jr. High school. I wonder if I too, was destined to walk a Camino, but possibly I've been walking in the wrong country. 🤔

Ich kann meine gummischuhe nicht finden.

Tanslation: I can't find my rubber shoes. 🤣
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016; Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre/Muxia 2017; Aragones 2018; Suso/Yuso, Meseta 2019
My family lived in Torrejon, Spain from 1960 to 1963. We had a live in maid and Spanish was taught daily in our school so as a child I was fairly fluent in the language. Add fiifteen years, in university I was one of those "unsung heroes who made the upper half of the class possible". For lack of anything better, at least to my parents, I majored in Spanish. I do remember in one of my classes around 1975 the professor was discussing the Camino and the whole thing went right over my head. One summer while living in Spain I picked up a small perfect scallop shell from a beach , to this day the shell resides in my jewelry box, 60 years later.
 
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Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
In 2010 the Danish journalist Mikael Bertelsen walked the French Camino and made a TV-series of it. It was shown during December as an ‘alternative Christmas Calendar’. He is a quite spiritual and thoughtful person, which was reflected in the series. I was fascinated by the programs and I believe that was when I decided that one day I would walk the Camino. It took another seven years before I got to do it – for the ‘usual reasons’, work and other commitments –you know.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
There was a chapter about the Camino de Santiago in our Spanish course book when I was in upper secondary school (beginner's course) and I was only 17 years old. Little did I know that I would become a Spanish teacher and one day walk it myself!! Praise to my Spanish teacher who chose our study material...! ❤

/BP
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I took a road trip around France in 2014 and one of our stops was visiting the beautiful village of Vezelay with it's lovely cathedral. I literally had no idea that it is the start of one of the Camino pilgrimages...never heard of it at that time. If I'd known I probably would have ditched the car and started walking!
 

roving_rufus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
As a student At Queens in Belfast I first heard about the camino -but it added itself to a long list of places of "pilgrimage" I wanted to go to! I made it to some of the places on the list including Taize but finding a month to walk the Camino Frances proved difficult. Eventually I decided to go walk for 2 weeks between Leon and SdeC - and it took! So since then I have become a section walker - a week here or 2 weeks there - and have completed the CF and CP - but moved on to the Via Francigena heading fro Rome. I also became one of those crazy winter pilgrims - January rocks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
I fist saw "The Movie" in 2014 and got excited and started day dreaming. My son had walked the AT the year before and I knew I could not do that(tent, carrying one full week of food; 40 pound backpack) even though it intrigued me. I retired early in 2015 and the rest is history!
I also saw the movie in 2015, while I was home with the flu. I had been absentmindedly wondering what I might do to celebrate 60 years on Earth, coming up in 2017... didn’t want a big party. Suddenly it was clear! I would have an odyssey, in the ancient way. I would walk the whole way, carrying my things with me. Perfect...and it was everything I could have hoped for.
Actually had 9 other friends and family join near the end, and we had a big celebration in Santiago (which made my wife happy!). Well, me too
 

epona2011

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago-Fisterra 2011
Norte 2014
Inglés 2016
Portugués (Tui-Santiago) 2017
Yes, but epona2011 and I may have met each other. We missed you by a few years.
That would be some coincidence David 😁 I taught at the Berlitz school in Nuevos Ministerios and then at some other school-just can't remember name. Actually worked in Madrid until September 1991 - made a mistake in earlier post. Hope you enjoyed your time there as much as I did.
 


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