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LIVE from the Camino Where are the Ditch Pigs this year?

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)
Hey, @Rebekah Scott and Co.- normally by now we'd have heard rustling in the bushes. Are you all sneaking around out there, as moles pretending to be ordinary pilgrims?

Hmmmm...you'll eventually be uncovered if that's the case, because some of us want to offer support! And we're missing the yearly amusing stories.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
They are not hiding, per se. My guess is that they are working hard, then crashing from fatigue in the evening. Been there, done that.

I wonder if the newer, folding, picker-grabber "claw" tools I contributed last summer are working well? In the past, we used a one piece, non-folding grabber tool. These are good because they can be folded in half and carried easily on the side of a rucksack.

I am curious to know if they are working better, worse, or the same.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Where are the Ditch Pigs? All have reported "home, safe & content".

Where were we? Well we were mostly between Leon & Astorga. Our observers and scouts had told us there was work to be done and they were right.

We "pigged" from just outside Leon: Virgen del Camino to the edge of Astorga via Villadangos; San Martin; Hospital de Orbigo & San Justo racking up some 37km. Same race, different track via Fresno; Chozas de Abajo; Villar de Mazarife; Villavante & Santibanez. 40.5Km. A couple of Pigs cleared the 13km from Caldadilla de la Cueza through to Moratinos 'cos the sun was out and they didn't need to be "home" till Saturday. So we cleaned the senda, and we cleaned the highway, and we cleaned the picnic spots and the toilet spots too. We met locals who told us they cleaned Camino too as it passed through their village or passed their finca. And they did. We could tell when we hit a stretch that someone else was working.

So, 90km this year. 90km described by a veteran pig as "I [...] can honestly say this was the toughest, longest, most grubby stretch of Camino I have taken part in". The pigs this year were the usual mix of Spaniards, expat Spanish residents, tinkers and honest Scots ( ;)) though anyone is welcome. We were kindly sponsored by various Chapters of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims. Warmly sheltered by Christine in Villares de Orbigo and Reb, Paddy and Ollie at the Peaceable. We paid our airfares and train fares and for the occasional Orujo (;)). We picked up some scratches, bruises, aches & strains and came to the conclusion that we hope that we can do it all again next time.

OK. Some of the stuff we cleared was historic. Some of it was almost archeological. But pigs know that shite attracts shite so if we clear it all away then a little less will accumulate a little more slowly in the future (at least thats the hope and intention).

So. There you go. Another year in the ditch. We know we can't clean the Camino but we know that we have left a bit of Camino cleaner than it was before.

Some random photos below:

WMJE4644.jpg
 

Attachments

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
Where are the Ditch Pigs? All have reported "home, safe & content".

Where were we? Well we were mostly between Leon & Astorga. Our observers and scouts had told us there was work to be done and they were right.

We "pigged" from just outside Leon: Virgen del Camino to the edge of Astorga via Villadangos; San Martin; Hospital de Orbigo & San Justo racking up some 37km. Same race, different track via Fresno; Chozas de Abajo; Villar de Mazarife; Villavante & Santibanez. 40.5Km. A couple of Pigs cleared the 13km from Caldadilla de la Cueza through to Moratinos 'cos the sun was out and they didn't need to be "home" till Saturday. So we cleaned the senda, and we cleaned the highway, and we cleaned the picnic spots and the toilet spots too. We met locals who told us they cleaned Camino too as it passed through their village or passed their finca. And they did. We could tell when we hit a stretch that someone else was working.

So, 90km this year. 90km described by a veteran pig as "I [...] can honestly say this was the toughest, longest, most grubby stretch of Camino I have taken part in". The pigs this year were the usual mix of Spaniards, expat Spanish residents, tinkers and honest Scots ( ;)) though anyone is welcome. We were kindly sponsored by various Chapters of the Canadian Company of Pilgrims. Warmly sheltered by Christine in Villares de Orbigo and Reb, Paddy and Ollie at the Peaceable. We paid our airfares and train fares and for the occasional Orujo (;)). We picked up some scratches, bruises, aches & strains and came to the conclusion that we hope that we can do it all again next time.

OK. Some of the stuff we cleared was historic. Some of it was almost archeological. But pigs know that shite attracts shite so if we clear it all away then a little less will accumulate a little more slowly in the future (at least thats the hope and intention).

So. There you go. Another year in the ditch. We know we can't clean the Camino but we know that we have left a bit of Camino cleaner than it was before.

Some random photos below:

View attachment 67266
A positively glowing and detailed writeup on the accomplishments of this year's ditch pig's! Glad VN asked about it so we all can be "in the know"!
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
An 'honest Scot'? Heaven forbid! ;)Yes, it was a busy week with much work done. Thank you to our sponsors. Here are 'before and after' photos to show a little of what your generosity achieves, and a third to remind us how beautiful our Camino is.IMG_20191126_090411.jpgIMG_20191126_100300.jpgIMG_20191125_173654.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Is Ditch Pigging by invitation only?
Nah. You just need the time & inclination, a strong stomach and a strange sense of humour.

To be truthful what the Ditch Pigs need, or more precisely what the camino needs, is more pigs in more places, more often. This herd gathers in late November, when the vegetation has died back and exposed the sins of the many. We gather in Palencia because @Rebekah Scott has the drive to pull it all together and her husband retains sufficient tolerance of us all. Together, with a couple of vehicles, some friendly hospitalero/as, sponsorship (tools, bags, fuel, hi-viz, accommodation all cost) and willing hearts we can clean a 100km or so of camino in a good year.

Anyone can be a Ditch Pig, anytime. Just grab a balsa descarga, fill it & carry it to the next dumpster. You could just pick up water bottles, Aquarius cans and Bocadillo wraps. You don't have to deal with the paper roses and other sanitary waste like some of us do. No-one can clean the camino. Anyone can clean 50, 100 or 500 metres or clean up a picnic place. A set of salad-tongs or a rubber glove and a few waste bags are all you need.

Actually, maybe, Ditch Pigging is by invitation only - so, everyone is invited!
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @ Tincatinker - some years back (2 or 3 I think) an Australian Pilgrim emplored all Oz pilgrims to carry an extra large shopping/garbage bag and pick up any light rubbish (papers etc) you see on the Camino .(I would suggest that rubber gloves might also be useful).
I have a plan to do the Porto in Sept and then from Santiago walk to Muxia (and maybe back); followed by a stint in the Pilgrim Office (last two weeks in Oct or first week in Nov). If it all comes of I might be able to have some days with the "pigs",'.
Big congrats to Rebekah and all the volunteers.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I didn't post a lot about the Pigs in advance this year because we were fully funded by October, and I didn't want to be repetitive and/or be accused of "self promotion," as sometimes happens. We have been at this for many years, and people who hang out here for a long time might find us tiresome.
(which says more about them than us!)

I welcome all volunteers, but I warn them each in advance: The work is very physical and days are long. If you have health troubles or tire easily, this will not be ideal for you. As time goes on and we expand our reach, your ability to speak and understand Spanish is increasingly important (we have Spanish volunteers without English skills, which makes this ideal for people who'd like to sharpen their Castellano!)

I think six people is the ideal number for our purposes, so if you want to Pig next year, please let me know at the end of next summer if you want to join. Slots fill up quickly!
 

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)
Wow, those vests!
And wow, or rather, euwwww. That is one disgusting pile of human thoughtlessness - followed by an amazing transformation. What a piece of work!
Welldone to you all, and heartfelt thanks.

Anyone can be a Ditch Pig, anytime.
Yup! Absolutely. @SYates and I pigged parts of the Ingles in 2018, and this year she lent me a very cool and very light collapsable pick-up claw so I could easily do a bit of cleaning as I walked - though where I walked was mostly litter-free. It's the well--traveled paths that seem to attract the litterbugs.

We have been at this for many years, and people who hang out here for a long time might find us tiresome.
Haha. Yeah. right...
(I have sworn off FB, so am very happy to get news here. I may not be the only one...)
 

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
No FB for me either, VN...never have signed up. I can't imagine how I'd get any work done at home if I added it to the time I already spend on this forum! 😲
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
I didn't post a lot about the Pigs in advance this year because we were fully funded by October, and I didn't want to be repetitive and/or be accused of "self promotion," as sometimes happens. We have been at this for many years, and people who hang out here for a long time might find us tiresome.
(which says more about them than us!)

I welcome all volunteers, but I warn them each in advance: The work is very physical and days are long. If you have health troubles or tire easily, this will not be ideal for you. As time goes on and we expand our reach, your ability to speak and understand Spanish is increasingly important (we have Spanish volunteers without English skills, which makes this ideal for people who'd like to sharpen their Castellano!)

I think six people is the ideal number for our purposes, so if you want to Pig next year, please let me know at the end of next summer if you want to join. Slots fill up quickly!
Great work @Rebekah Scott and her Pigs!
For those who can't join because of time, distance, health or whatever, can we at least donate to the funding? Is it this link? and the button at the bottom of the page?
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/

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