A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Camino Forum Store

Advertisement

? when does a hard walk in Spain become a Camino

+@^^

Active Member
#1
imho
.
ive sensed that the type of questions asked by long-haul pilgrims differ from those asked by short distance trekkers
? why is this
? is this so
.
it seems the shorter time guys are more concerned about comfort, directions, and quite specific operational stuff
and that the longer haul guys speak generally about matters non-material
.
like there seems to be this tipping point when a hard physical walk transmutes into a matter of the heart
.
? is it possible that this point can be identified - ? if so how many days does it take before this experience can start happening
 

Advertisment

#2
A 'camino' means a 'way' as in Camino de Santiago - the Way of St. James.
It does not mean to walk the physical route St. James walked to Compostela. Indeed that would be impossible for many reasons that have nothing to do with your question :)

It means to walk in the 'spirit' of St. James which is open to many interpretations.

One could walk from St. JPdP to Santiago de Compostela and not be a pilgrim or be walking 'a camino'. You could just be having a long walk in Spain.

It is 'intention' and/or 'revelation' that makes a camino not walking a long (or short) way. This is not to say that a long walk to Santiago de Compostela cannot become a 'camino' to you along the way. The opposite is also true. One could start out on a camino and it become an interesting walk to a city in north Spain.

Many people will have their own take on your questions and this is mine :)

Walking to Santiago de Compostela does not make one a pilgrim or the walk a camino any more than walking to any other city (though it can along the way as mentioned).

It is about ones intent. The intent does not have to be religious or even particularly spiritual anymore if you wish a certificate to show you have completed the requirements in a certain way (much discussion on that elsewhere in these forums).

The defining 'moment' you mention as to when a long walk becomes 'a camino' is totally an individual experience. There are no particular areas along the way or distance travelled where a walk becomes 'a camino'. For some it begins the day they first plan their camino. For others it begins once they set foot on the path of their chosen route. For others still it happenes at some point along the way and for some it never becomes 'a camino' at all. I am sure the wonderful people will be only too happy to tell you when it became 'camino' for them :)
 
#3
tamtamplin said:
it seems the shorter time guys are more concerned about comfort, directions, and quite specific operational stuff
and that the longer haul guys speak generally about matters non-material.
I think this is more to do with those who have already walked to Santiago de Compostela and those who haven't rather than short distance walkers or long distance walkers particularly.

Those who have walked already know something about the 'material' equipment needed and can concentrate more on the 'spiritual' thoughts and feelings they gained along the way afterwards.

Those who have not walked these kind of distances before are going to be more concerned about material things and places to stay, equipment etc. Their 'spiritual equipment' will become know to them as they walk :)
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#4
tamtamplin,
I don't think I agree with your theory. Before I walked, I was planning to walk a long distance- from Le Puy to Santiago. And I had many very specific questions about the basics -like booking places to stay, where would I be able to find food, did I need to carry a sleeping bag etc etc etc. This forum was a great place to ask them, and I think I had just as many questions as any 'short distance' walker- perhaps more. And I had many patient people who answered them.

I asked a lot of my questions on the forum, but also I ended up connecting with some angels and you didn't see their replies on the main boards. Brendan, who doesn't appear on the board here very often now, but who you might meet as hospitalero if you arrive at Rabanal in the right month, had walked from Le Puy. Not only did he patiently deal with my many queries pre-Camino in PM, but he regularly kept in e-mail contact as I walked, encouraging me along the way. And jl- Janet- from Adelaide- patiently answered many of my questions about the basics via some long phone calls. (From New Zealand we can call Oz quite cheaply at certain times.)

I don't think having a lot of questions about the basics before you start means you are going to have a less meaningful experience when you walk. And I don't think you have to walk a 'long way' to have a meaningful experience either. Some of those who walk from Sarria do it with an intense sense of purpose.
Margaret
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#5
I am basically a heavy planner type. If I take care of the little things (lightest, yet still efficient load, physical conditioning, usable language proficiency, etc.) the big things fall into place.

Good in theory!

I planned for the "hard" walk to be made "easy".

Then the unplanned struck and the Camino took over. From then on, my plan went out the door and my desire to just make it to SDC became the goal.

I guess what I'm trying to say...is that you will know when a hard, long walk becomes something totally different...then again, maybe not!

Arn
 

Advertisment

Anna-Marie

Active Member
#6
KiwiNomad06 said:
I don't think having a lot of questions about the basics before you start means you are going to have a less meaningful experience when you walk. And I don't think you have to walk a 'long way' to have a meaningful experience either. Some of those who walk from Sarria do it with an intense sense of purpose.
Margaret
As someone else who walked from Le Puy (in my case over the course of almost twelve weeks), I agree completely with Margaret. And I'm about to walk the Via de la Plata, and I don't think my ratio of material/non-material concerns has changed much from before my first Camino, either. And I'd say they're weighted (no pun intended) at least slightly more toward material concerns, because while the non-material can to a certain extent take care of itself, being stuck in the middle of nowhere with insufficient water, for example, could be a real problem.

tamtamplin said:
like there seems to be this tipping point when a hard physical walk transmutes into a matter of the heart
Honestly, I don't know if I should admit to this or not :), but for any given definition of "walking the Camino" (apart from the purely physical one), if I didn't fail it utterly, I was on and off the Camino hundreds if not thousands of times in my walk, in more or less equal proportions from the beginning to the end. The only tipping point I could identify is the physical one--the day walking up hills suddenly felt easy.

Sometimes--particularly in French churches, for whatever reason--the experience felt very spiritual. Other times I was just thinking about my next meal or talking about very non-spiritual matters with other people. Sometimes I was in a "Zen" walking mode; sometimes I was just trudging along wondering where on earth that next town was hiding or thinking about my feet. Sometimes I was full of good will toward my fellow human beings; other times I felt like if I had to introduce myself to another person I would scream (I'm an introvert; having people coming and going all the time in my life is often a lot of fun, but it's also really hard work). Sometimes I was filled with more gratitude than I've ever felt before; sometimes I was tired and grumpy and selfish.

But maybe that's just me. :)

Anna-Marie
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
#7
Re: Re:? when does a hard walk in Spain become a Camino

PilgrimChris said:
A 'camino' means a 'way' as in Camino de Santiago - the Way of St. James.
It does not mean to walk the physical route St. James walked to Compostela.
Its worth remembering Chris, that it was never claimed that St James walked a 'physical route' to Compostela or to any other place.



He was alleged to have floated in a boat which landed in Padron, and was handy in the battle to defeat the Moors.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Donating Member
#8
...let's stay on topic... criticizing posts done by others is not really useful or does not really help anyone.

The last two posts has been deleted..

Buen Camino!
Ivar
 

daesdaemar

Camino-holic
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles - twice
#10
I think there's too much brain-exercising going on here. A "camino" within the context of this forum is a walk to Santiago for spiritual/religious/cultural reasons. It's that simple and only one's motivations make it complex.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#11
I have done both short and long, and my mindset was different for each. On the long ones, I did not think about the finish until I was quite near it. There was always a day when I thought for the first time, "Almost done" either with a sense of relief or disappointment. On the short ones, the end was so near even at the start, that I always had the feeling I was "almost done." I do not conceptualize the difference you discern between a "hard walk" and a "Camino," so I am not sure that one became the other at anytime to me, but the length did make a difference in my mind.

I thought about accommodations, at least the availability of accommodations, on the first pilgrimage. On the later ones, I knew it was not a problem, and thought mostly about trying some place new, or reaching a place I had really enjoyed before. The contemplative parts of all the walks came at random moments in all of them. There did not seem to be a particular trigger, say physical condition or terrain, but physical pain did block thinking, as did steep inclines up or down. That indicates that I thought the least when I was distracted by the physical. I was never "in the moment" physically and mentally at the same time; it was one or the other. That may just reflect my ability to multi-task.

I hope all the moderators think that I am being a good boy...
 
#12
falcon269 said:
I hope all the moderators think that I am being a good boy...
I can't think of any reason why they would think otherwise falcon :)

A good post, on topic and informative.
Something for me to learn from :)

Thank you for sharing :)
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
#13
Re: Re:? when does a hard walk in Spain become a Camino

PilgrimChris said:
Those who have walked already know something about the 'material' equipment needed and can concentrate more on the 'spiritual' thoughts and feelings they gained along the way afterwards.

Those who have not walked these kind of distances before are going to be more concerned about material things and places to stay, equipment etc. Their 'spiritual equipment' will become know to them as they walk :)
Not sure if I entirely agree with this Chris; it's.... a big statement. You might care to look at KiwiNomada's helpful post above to discover another view, tho' of course you might not agree? It could be though, that when you walk the camino that you will confirm your views and offer your thoughts?

Ultreia!
 
#14
Re: Re:? when does a hard walk in Spain become a Camino

Caminando said:
Not sure if I entirely agree with this Chris ... It could be though, that when you walk the camino that you will confirm your views and offer your thoughts?

Ultreia!
It comes as no surprise you don't agree with me Caminando :)

I have walked three pilgrimages so have already 'confirmed my views' which is why i already 'offered my thoughts' :)

And i read all the comments posted.
However i dont feel the need to comment on them individually as for me it is irrelevant whether i agree with someone or not. I am happy to let everyone have their opinion as all are valid :)

If i felt strongly enough to comment on an individuals thoughts i would do so in PM. I only respond to your personal comment here as you seem to prefer all your comments to be in the public forum and i respect your preferences :)

Thank you for your thoughts though. I appreciate your concerns and trust i have put your mind at rest:)

Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss my response as i would not want to go 'off topic'.

God bless you!
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Donating Member
#15
PilgrimChris and Caminando: I am starting to get a bit tired of the two of you. I try to keep this forum a good /positive place for pilgrims to share and learn. The conversations lately have been negative and sometimes personal.

Once more... please stay on topic be positive and share all of your knowledge!

Buen Camino!
Ivar
 
#16
@Ivar

As you chose to air your dissatisfaction in public instead of sending a PM to me i will respond in public (although i expect you will delete this response if you dont like it - the advantage of forum ownership - delete what you dont like :) )

I too am becoming 'fed up' with every response i make to a thread being either negativealy commentated on by someone who, instead of offering advice to the O.P, would rather disagree - publically with my personal observations, (despite repeated requests from myself, you and Arn to do so in PM) or having administrators censure my benign and sincere replies to said disagreements.

I have received numerous PM's congratulating me on my responses to certain comments made on my responses and i am happy to forward these to you (with the PM'ers permission of course).

I have made a few friends here in my short time as a member and that is a credit to you Ivar for creating a forum where people with similar interests can meet.

Yet we are all human with our own personalities and if some of us disagree with another then surely other members and administrators are adult enough to undertand some disagreements are going to happen along the way? As long as posts don't become abusive, incitable or stray too far off topic then shouldn't they be allowed in these forums?

Of course if these forums are just a place to post and answer specific questions factually without personal resonance and opinion then i can understand your objections to mild debate :)

As much as i enjoy the diversity and humanitity in these forums and the information provided herein, i am happy to delete my account with http://www.caminodesantiago.me if my thoughts, observations and opinions conflict with other members and the administrators.

I appreciate the PM's of support i often receive are only a small part of the total membership of these forums and i would be horrified if my thoughts, observations and comments upset or offended anyone let alone the majority.

So Ivar please feel free to delete my account if you are unhappy with my comments or other members wish me to depart from here. I will not be offended :)

I have enjoyed, appreciated and respected all the questions, answers and personal observations submitted to these forums to date and thank everyone for their kindness, support and goodwill both in the public forums and in the PM's i have received.

God bless you all and have a wonderful pilgrimage and camino through life :)

Chris
 
#17
Ivar,

Some people need this forum more than we need them. We have had immense honest answers to our doubts to various percieved problems, the recent exchanges does not add to the dignity of this wonderful forum.

Thank you for keeping this very open and valuable forum on an even keel, I fully support your recent action on deleting some of the postings which was leading us to nowhere.
 
A

AJ

Guest
#18
daesdaemar said:
I think there's too much brain-exercising going on here. A "camino" within the context of this forum is a walk to Santiago for spiritual/religious/cultural reasons. It's that simple and only one's motivations make it complex.
I think this is right. Whether the reasons are religious or cultural is a matter of intention and intention can change during the course of the camino. And this is a matter for the individual.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#19
All I can think of were the wild and crazy emotional swings. Moments of elation and exuberance; moments of intense spiritual beauty; moments of mundane laundry; and moments of mundane chores become ritual and rite of pilgrim. Oh and moments of whiny, self-centred self pity (not my prettiest moments!)

The difference between the long and short pilgrim seems to be a simple one: more time to accumulate more moments.

The right person in the right combination of situations probably will discover a deeper spiritual meaning. And I wouldn’t be surprised if others fell out of it.

I met several multi -year walkers. Their experience was different . Not less. Not more. Different. I Alain met some people early and ran into them at the end . They had changed-and I would guess if I checked in now, their perspective changed again.

I’ve also met (here and on the Camino) that we’re doing a “short” Camino, that involve more sacrifice, commitment and reward than I ever will.

Forgive typos-I am using a phone-and that is another thread!
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#20
All I can think of were the wild and crazy emotional swings. Moments of elation and exuberance; moments of intense spiritual beauty; moments of mundane laundry; and moments of mundane chores become ritual and rite of pilgrim. Oh and moments of whiny, self-centred self pity (not my prettiest moments!)

The difference between the long and short pilgrim seems to be a simple one: more time to accumulate more moments.

The right person in the right combination of situations probably will discover a deeper spiritual meaning. And I wouldn’t be surprised if others fell out of it.

I met several multi -year walkers. Their experience was different . Not less. Not more. Different. I Alain met some people early and ran into them at the end . They had changed-and I would guess if I checked in now, their perspective changed again.

I’ve also met (here and on the Camino) that we’re doing a “short” Camino, that involve more sacrifice, commitment and reward than I ever will.

Forgive typos-I am using a phone-and that is another thread!
And I would add - more time to accumulate more friends and a Camino family if you want one. . Lots of people seem to meet their Camino family in the first stages after SJPDP. I wasnt looking to find one, but it seems that's what I needed. Im so glad I did, they enriched my experience hugely.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#21
EDIT -- despite the old-thread-syndrome and the sniping that seems to have occurred here, it's actually an interesting question.

imho
.
ive sensed that the type of questions asked by long-haul pilgrims differ from those asked by short distance trekkers
? why is this
? is this so
.
it seems the shorter time guys are more concerned about comfort, directions, and quite specific operational stuff
and that the longer haul guys speak generally about matters non-material
.
like there seems to be this tipping point when a hard physical walk transmutes into a matter of the heart
.
? is it possible that this point can be identified - ? if so how many days does it take before this experience can start happening
hmmmm, interesting -- though I think that's close, but not quite it.

The thing is that the "tipping point" as you call it is not a universal experience, but rather a common one ; and some people start out as pilgrims without having walked even 10 yards, whereas others will remain hikers/trekkers forever, no matter how many 1000s of K they have in their boots (this is particularly true of the sort of people who do things like a Pacicific Crest Trail thru-hike, or who routinely do alpine trekking for fun).

Also, even among those for whom there is a certain "tipping point", it can be highly variable as to "when" and after "how many K" it will happen, including because of variable daily walking speed capability, introversion versus extroversion & sociability versus independence traits, & etc etc

I certainly had a "tipping point" myself -- at about 700 K / 1800 into my second Camino, 1200 K into about the 2200 total for the 2. But I did use to be a very fast walker, so this is just me personally, and no kind of indication pertinent to the experience nor expectations for or of others.

Not sure if this helps !!! o_O:cool:
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#22
Its worth remembering Chris, that it was never claimed that St James walked a 'physical route' to Compostela or to any other place.

He was alleged to have floated in a boat which landed in Padron
hmmmm, I think you're confusing the legend surrounding his funeral arrangements (the stone boat, seen by some as an allegory in the theory that his remains remained in the hands of a group of his disciples, until they settled in Galicia) with the story of his journey of evangelisation to Spain (possibly somewhat corroborated circumstantially by the historical existence of an extremely early Christian community in the area of Astorga)

:)
 

OLDER threads on this topic



Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 7 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 24 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 84 15.8%
  • May

    Votes: 141 26.5%
  • June

    Votes: 43 8.1%
  • July

    Votes: 12 2.3%
  • August

    Votes: 9 1.7%
  • September

    Votes: 143 26.8%
  • October

    Votes: 58 10.9%
  • November

    Votes: 6 1.1%
  • December

    Votes: 3 0.6%
Top