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When did you feel your camino began? Ended?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Topics' started by sjf, Aug 12, 2017 at 1:45 AM.

  1. sjf

    sjf New Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
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    I know this is kind of a weird question and I'm not quite sure how clear this is, but I'm trying to figure out when I'll truly feel like I'm on my Camino. I don't think it'll feel like a pilgrimage when I'm fighting my way through JFK airport, or even when I'm flying, but I'm not sure. Did it feel like the Camino was truly underway when you began to walk? When you got to your starting point? Landed in Spain? Or at another point?

    And what about the ending? Was it complete when you walked into the cathedral? When you handed over your credential? When you headed home?

    I'm asking partly because I'm curious, but mostly because I'm trying to figure out how much planning and pre-booking I should do. Will I feel disappointed or relieved if I book my first night before I start walking? Will I regret it if I book a hotel with a private room on my very last day, or will I feel like I'm finished and returning to normal (non-albergue) life?

    What was your experience around the sense of being on a pilgrimage? When did it start and end for you?
     
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  2. davebugg

    davebugg Active Member Donating Member

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    A coincidental post :). Today's mail produced two Credencials from the American Pilgrims on the Camino organization; one for me and one for my son, Caleb. I had placed an online order about two months ago (they're free) after filling out their request form. I opened the envelope and saw the Credencials and when I say the place where my name, address, etc was all filled in, I thought to myself, 'Yup, my Camino has started.'

    The appearence of the front cover of the APOC Credencial is different then the one I saw in Ivar's store. But, it is officially approved by the authorizing powers-that-be :). It is also pretty cool that the Cofraternities of Ireland and Canada also have their own design on the front covers, too. I sort of wish that the APOC Cofraternity had a sello that could stamp the first spot in the Credencial when it is sent out. :)
     
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  3. mspath

    mspath Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
    It all began in graduate school 50+ years ago when attending 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 time ; fifty+ years later I still hope to continue.

    PS. See this earlier Forum thread re camino inspirations
     
  4. Charles Zammit

    Charles Zammit Active Member

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    Mine started when I placed my feet either side of the Bronze way marker at the gate in St Jean Pied de Port , it ended as I placed my feet over the edge of the cliff at Finisterra .
    I had every intention of continuing onto Portugal but the ' end ' had come , and so to start again I needed a new beginning .
    This new beginning may well be another Camino sometime next year .
     
  5. nycwalking

    nycwalking Veteran Member

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    My initial pilgrimage began when I heard a parish priest's wife, I am Episcopalian, talk about walking it for her 50TH. A year thereafter I walked. Not once did I pre-book lodging, but there was no need from 2001-2004 during high season, and 2014 in winter.

    For whatever reason ALL of my caminos have resembled I Love Lucy episodes with quite a few miracles as part of pilgrim package.

    Winter 2014, I arrived in Madrid without dollars or euros because airport has ATMs. They do and they work provided your bank has not placed a hold on your funds.

    My sprained ankle on day four in 2014; 2002 hoped for camino romance, met 7 Catholic priests; 2001 missed taking 4 train to work on that fateful day 9/11: miracle.

    I was due back in NYC 9/8, had mishap on way to Santiago, changed flight plans, therefore on 9/11 I was with my mom on train platform in Santiago going to Barcelona at same time WTC....

    As for completion: I do not know when or if I ever will.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 6:19 AM
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  6. Karl Oz

    Karl Oz New Member

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    I'm not sure when it started. Certainly not the first time I became aware of the Camino, courtesy of a novel I read in the 90's (by William Boyd, I think but am now unsure). Maybe checking into the albergue on the evening before my first stage, or maybe walking out of town in the wrong direction the next day!

    For me it has never ended.
     
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  7. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    For me, it is when I start walking on a Camino path. It ends at the tomb of the Apostle.
     
  8. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    For me, it starts each time when I see the first arrow and follow it.

    It can be nice to stay somewhere you can meet people the first night, but not essential. You can meet them on the way, or the next night. So Fordon't worry about that affecting your camino.

    For me, it pauses (since I expect to be back) when I leave Santiago.
     
  9. Anemone del Camino

    Anemone del Camino Camino addict

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    They have one. When I was in Ribadiso an APCO member was there volunteering and stamping our credenciales with the albergue stamp and the APCO's.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 12:41 AM
  10. Anemone del Camino

    Anemone del Camino Camino addict

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    Planning is probably more fun than the walking. It certainly is less painful. ;)

    As for feeling disapointed if you book a bed ... why? The Camino requires you to walk, (yeah, yeah, bike, horse, and only for thr last x km and only if you want a Compostela, but that is not the point here) it makes no mention of the type of accomodation you should be using, nor how to find it.

    Albergues are good for some (I love them as they remind me of boarding school and summer camp, others avoid them like the plague. Some even suggest that if you can afford a hotel. A pension you should be staying there, freeing up the less expensive beds for those who can only afford albergues.

    What I can tell you is that ealking into Santiago can be very anticlimatic, and I don't think many are ready for this. I think it is especially the case if you walked on your own (not with a friend from home or a family member) and bonded with fellow walkers who may be staying in a different hotel, with whom you have not made plans to hang around town, etc.

    As for when the C. ends, I would say it's when you forget the lessons it taught you, and more importantly stop integrating them in your daily life. That is all up to you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 12:41 AM
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  11. HedaP

    HedaP Active Member Donating Member

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    For me it's all about backpacks. My camino starts when I begin planning what to take. It finishes when I unpack my backpack. This may explain why my pack is still sitting in a corner not yet fully empty even though I finished my second camino in May this year. :p:p:p
     
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  12. Mike Savage

    Mike Savage I'm lost but it's the journey that matters. Donating Member

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    Once I was at the airport to depart for my first Camino I felt like it had started. Since then I feel it is still going and I have tried to be open to the positive changes that I experienced. The feeling intensifies when I am able to once again get away from the pressures and stress of life and walk and live a simple life again. Two weeks until I depart again . . . I can hardly wait.
     
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  13. williamlittig

    williamlittig Active Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    When I walked into Santiago, got my last sello and went to get my compostella I was 67 and realized that the road will end someday, and where it began was when I learned to appreciate the wonders of this life, the people I have met, the meals I have shared, the places I have gone. Gratefully so far it hasn't ended "What a long strange trip it's been".... Ultreya........ Willy/Utah/USA
     
  14. stgcph

    stgcph Member

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    Yup, me too. When I saw that document I thought "now I am a pilgrim..."


    I can relate to that. I haven’t done my Camino yet, but when I returned from my last journey in February (a month-long round trip in the Philippines) it took me several months to pull myself together to put my trunk back in the attic. Sitting there in the corner, it reminded me of the adventure.
     
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  15. kirkie

    kirkie Member

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    Sense of being on a pilgrimage: I cannot say that I have truly interiorised the sense of being on pilgrimage. I did dedicate each step of the Camino Frances to a different person a day at a time. That meant giving thanks for the beauty, as well as the pain, somehow hoping that the mental connection would fly like an arrow straight to the person in whose honour I was walking that day.
    It is a timely question. Recently, walking for a few days on the same Camino, a young Taiwanese woman asked me if I was walking for religious reasons. I don't like having to give direct answers, but this is what I found myself saying: ' I believe in pilgrimage, so, yes.' (Her own answer: 'I am looking for the meaning of life').
    I don't believe in the magical, mythical origins of the story. Does that matter? What does matter, very much so, is the experience of being part of a society composed of people from a non-geographical base who are, like my Taiwanese friend, looking for the meaning of life. The key to that, in my own experience, is to be able to keep on 'The Way' even when back in known terrain. Thanks for the question, it does belong to every new day, and I appreciate the reminder to keep asking it!
     
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  16. Kieran Kenneally

    Kieran Kenneally Inspired

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    I have done many stages on different Camino routes and what initially brought me to the Camino was my brother. He promised himself when he became a cancer survivor that he would do it and asked me and my brother to join him along with his brother in law. I have been hooked ever since and for me it doesn't end it travels with me and I with it. The camino reaches deep into your spirit and keeps calling you back. Even if I was never to return I would like to think I will carry it in my heart until I draw my last breath and if proved worthy from then start my new heavenly camino ;)
     
  17. grayland

    grayland Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    The Seattle (Puget Sound) group of the American Pilgrims has a great stamp (sello) that is perfect for those first stamp in your credentials.
    If you still have time...you may want to contact them.
     
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  18. davebugg

    davebugg Active Member Donating Member

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    Thanks for the info. I'll check on it. :)
     
  19. TaijiPilgrim

    TaijiPilgrim Active Member

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    I suspect each person has his/her own moment when they realize their camino or pilgrimage has begun. My physical caminos each began when I carried my backpack out the back door ready for my ride to the airport. My physical caminos each ended when I was on the plane flying out of Madrid because the flight pattern to Boston actually goes over Santiago de Compostela, and I was able to say a last good bye before continuing forward. However, my sense of being on pilgrimage only occurred after days on my first camino when I realized that the intent of my walking had been changing. On my second camino, I finally accepted that I was a pilgrim when I saw a souvenir in Pamplona that read "Aqui vive una peregrina," and bought it when I reached Santiago. Towards the end of both of these caminos, I slowed down walking into Santiago because I did not want the camino to end, and I felt this in contrast to an urgency among my other pilgrims who seemed to speed up. Entering the Cathedral plaza both times were anti-climatic. My third camino, I knew I was a pilgrim and on a pilgrimage. I felt the joy of others at the Cathedral, and I was happy because they were. I also discovered that maybe I have been on one pilgrimage all this time, and I am still walking it today.
     
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  20. jsalt

    jsalt Jill Donating Member

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    My camino began on my second camino, when I stayed in an albergue for the first time.
    I didn’t get it until then.
    Jill
     
  21. jmcarp

    jmcarp Veteran Member Donating Member

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    The APOC credential may be free, but they do suggest a donation of $2 or so to cover the cost of shipping and handling--a small price to pay for the convenience of having your credential in hand when you hit the ground in Spain or France or Portugal or wherever you actually begin walking. As for an initial sello, our local APOC chapter (Colorado Front Range) has a sello, and I suspect other chapters do too. That won't help you of course if you don't live near one of the chapters, but if you really want a "first" sello from home, perhaps your local church has something they can stamp for you. Otherwise, the church, tourist office, or albergue in the town where you start walking will do.
     
  22. davebugg

    davebugg Active Member Donating Member

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    Good point, and should be underscored. I did donate $50.00 since I think the mission of APOC is a great thing, for a variety of reasons. :)
     
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  23. jmcarp

    jmcarp Veteran Member Donating Member

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    I agree 100%, especially if you're able to participate in a local chapter. For instance, my wife and I just participated in a chapter hike this morning. The chapter has hikes almost monthly, social gatherings, workshops, shell ceremonies for new pilgrims beginning walks, etc. It's well worth the annual dues and the small donations for services such as the credentials.
     
  24. Priscilla NC

    Priscilla NC Active Member

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    I think my Camino began in April, 2015, when I committed to going the following spring. I had met an old friend who had been on the CF, and I asked him many questions about it (I have long been interested in doing it). His pictures sealed it for me.

    My Camino has not ended yet. It's still unfolding.
    Ultreia!!
     
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  25. NicP

    NicP Member Donating Member

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    This is a really tricky question... I'm really not sure when my camino began, probably when I finally decided that I would walk it, months before leaving. As to when it ended, I'm not sure it has - it seems to seep though different aspects of life in an ongoing way, when I least expect it. It's a wonderful thing!
     
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  26. bhavagrahidasa

    bhavagrahidasa New Member

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    My first Camino began after three small events happened within 24 hours and led me to discover the Camino. I had spent one Sunday afternoon searching the internet for an extended holiday so I could process the recent death of my father and the Camino had come up. The next morning on my way to work I saw an article on the Camino in a discarded newspaper on the Tube. Finally, at work, a colleague told me about a movie he had just purchased, The Way. After watching it that night I knew I was beginning a journey and the preparation made it feel as though I had already begun. I should add though that after descending from Alto del Perdon in the scorching heat I enjoyed a moment when I truly felt like a pilgrim.

    Now it is the moment I arrive in the place I will begin to walk. Even before I follow that first yellow arrow I am trying to open my heart to pilgrimage and be aware of what is happening and those who are around me. I remain unsure if each journey ever really ends.
     
  27. jo webber

    jo webber Active Member

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    Began when I started training 8 months ago. Never hiked, never carried a pack, sat in the recliner far too long. Walked 1 mile with 7 lbs. Did that and then added miles, added weight. Hit 10 miles 2 days in a row with a full pack.

    Began when I sold my car 8 months ago. So I could pay all the bills ahead and have funds to make the trip.

    Began when I had to learn to listen to my body. Go slow, be a turtle. Learned that Hubby will walk his own Camino much different than mine, but walking next to me. Learned to be more gentle with myself. The Camino lessons started before I ever will take a step on the trail.
     
  28. Mike Savage

    Mike Savage I'm lost but it's the journey that matters. Donating Member

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    Very impressive Jo. I'm proud of you.
     
  29. nycwalking

    nycwalking Veteran Member

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    Buen camino Jo and company.
     
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  30. piggyhinton

    piggyhinton Member

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    Hi, the start for me was when I got on the train, the end? I don't know as it never really finished! I think it's called the "Camino Bug" ! Booking a hotel for the first night is good as you will be tired and jet lagged it will give you time to have a day in St Jean and talking to other pilgrims, last day is great but you don't want to book too early as you wont know your date of arrival! The Camino is different for everyone, just do not get too mixed up with booking ahead, you will surely miss the point of your Pilgrimage if you do! Like a lot of people do in concerts, they spend all their time recording the event but miss the event itself! Most people will only be able to do the Camino once in their lives, don't miss the experience, with your eyes glued to a phone! Buen Camino! - and don't forget - its not a race!
     
  31. Gillyweb

    Gillyweb Member

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    Mine began shortly after I arrived in Villafranca the first time on an early morning bus in the pitch black (it was 5am....) and realised I had no idea where to go or what to do. I sat and waited for dawn to appear and then simply followed some early morning pilgrims out of the town. My bewilderment disappeared within the hour when I said my first Buen Camino to a passing pilgrim and I've been on pilgrimage ever since..... It seeps into your life and somehow from that moment onwards, it's with you.

    Cresting the hill overlooking Santiago on the CF is the moment I start my wind down to normal life. It's a view I find simultaneously wonderful and sad. It means I've done it, it also means the end of something wonderful ....but only until the next time. Don't overthink it...just walk, looking up and simply being. Buen Camino
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 1:04 PM
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  32. Levi

    Levi Member Donating Member

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    My Camino began just before Astorga in 2015 when David gave me a wave and called out 'have a good life'. Something inside me shifted to make room for a lot of thinking about my life: how it had been and how it could be. It hasn't ended. It changes - sometimes a different focus - sometimes a different path. But I'm working on staying in the Camino for the rest of my life. Buen Camino all.
     
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  33. JMac56

    JMac56 Active Member

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  34. Bradypus

    Bradypus Antediluvian

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    For me the camino begins when I start walking and ends when I reach the tomb of the Apostle or whatever other sacred place is my destination. I have never really felt the need to extend the Camino as a metaphor into the rest of my life. I can describe and express that in other ways.
     
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  35. Philip347

    Philip347 Active Member

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    2014: 700km
    2016: 960km
    "When did you feel your camino began? Ended?"

    When do you feel your camino began?
    When did you feel your camino begin / had begun?

    I suppose mine ended when I found myself back on this forum, writing, reading, nitpicking people's grammar. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2017 at 10:21 AM
  36. Oravasaari

    Oravasaari Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2014
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    162
    Location:
    Finland
    Camino(s) past & future:
    SJPdP to Fistera (2015), Leon to Fistera (2016), CF, Salvadore, Primitivo (2017), Sept 2017 VdlP?
    For me the idea of a start and end has been different on each if my 3 caminos so far.

    The first SJPdP to Fistera was one where the first step from home was the start and the turning the key in the door on arriving home was the end. The whole trip.

    With my second camino (Leon to Fistera) I was experienced with the whole idea and familiar with my start point so it really didn't seem like it started until I'd walked for a day and settled into the albergue routine. The end on that occasion was leaving Fistera on the bus and having thoughts turn to everyday life's concerns etc. The end of the walking.

    My most recent camino was Logrono to Leon on the Frances, then Leon to Oviedo on the Salvador and then the Primitivo to Santiago. Here the start was the moment I spotted some camino suspects on my way from my first night's albergue in Logrono (I was only person staying there in late March) and spotted my first arrow. Each of the three legs then had its own "end" which was more to do with saying goodbye to people I'd walked with on each on the main legs. The end of brief friendships and finding new comrades to walk with on the next leg. I did hang around in Santiago for 2 nights due the transport timings but the camino was over for me after saying goodbye to all the people I walked with on the Primitivo.
     
    Mike Savage likes this.
  37. stevov

    stevov New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    14
    Camino(s) past & future:
    walked the portuguese way .. from porto, vila do conde via viana and redondela Jun 17
    Physically when I walked out the door...but it wasn't until my second day of walking when I began to feel this was much more than a physical challenge. I hadn't built myself up for the arrival in Santiago and whilst collecting my compostela was a little overwhelming, afterwards attending mass on my last night and seeing the botafumiero fly did kind of top and tail things for me. However at breakfast before I went to collect my compostela a fellow pilgrim carefully asked me 'how was your Camino'...my reply ... that I was still processing it. A couple of months on and I still am. I saw this on a slide in the Pilgrims office chapel ..."blessed are you pilgrim if you find the Camino opens your eyes to what is not seen..". Like many others here I remain on my journey.
     

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