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Why you should walk a camino

Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
I was 55 when a friend suggested that I join him on a trek to Everest Base Camp. I was slightly overweight, not all that fit, and a trek like this probably didn’t make it into the top 1000 items on my bucket list. But somehow I found myself in Nepal, all kitted out in my new clothes, backpack and walking sticks. I’m sure most people thought I was crazy, that I was irresponsible and had no right to undertake this venture. But with the support and encouragement of friends, family and the wonderful guides and trek mates who helped me along the way, I made it and my life has never been the same since.

Full of enthusiasm I was inspired to undertake another adventure, but it took a while, Everest Base Camp is a hard act to follow. Then I started hearing about this trek called The Camino and thought it sounded like fun. So with my daughter for company, I launched myself into my next adventure.

How did I go on the Camino? In response I’d like to give another perspective to some very valid opinions expressed on this forum and offer these reasons why you should walk a camino

Find the opportunity to become more spiritually aware. Religion has not played a major role in my family lives. But I am interested in other people’s lives and cultures, and through the stories of pilgrims past and present I heard and read along the camino, my respect for, and understanding of those who walk in the footsteps of others for spiritual reasons grew. I like to think that my journey was respectful of their beliefs and endeavours.

Learn to balance expectations I didn’t know what to expect from the Camino. I knew it was going to be hard, I hoped I wouldn’t get blisters, and that I would make it to Santiago. It was harder than I ever thought it would be and my blisters grew daily, along with the realisation that I couldn’t walk as far in a day as I had hoped. I learnt to set more realistic expectations of what my day would look like. I didn’t expect, or have, a great spiritual awakening, but for me and my daughter, it became a life-changing experience that crept up on us unexpectedly as each day passed.

Get to know your body I come from a town in Australia which is conspicuously lacking in hills, let alone mountains. Training for my first camino mainly consisted of a daily 5 km walk on flat ground carrying my backpack which I took along on the camino and weighed a mere 7kg. It contained everything I needed. Every so often I did a 20 km walk What I learnt along the way was the importance of listening to your body. If it’s telling you to slow down, rest for a day, seek medical advice, even get your backpack sent on if the day ahead is particularly gruelling, then do it. Another thing I learnt was that the body is an amazing thing. That you can go to bed with feet, knees and calves burning, sure that you will not be able to do anything the next day except take a bus or train to the nearest airport, but then you wake ready to hoist the backpack, pick up the walking sticks and hit the trail. Yes, the realisation that you are going to do this day after endless day can be daunting, but I liked the comfort of not having to make any decisions other than where are we going to sleep and what are we going to eat. As for the logistics and planning, I am the mother of 4 children, now adults, I think I’ve got that nailed.

Develop the ability to roll with the punches You may not start with this ability, but you will learn. Because the alternative is to take off your backpack, put down your walking sticks and go home. It may be a steep learning curve. In one small town I saw a couple arrive too late to get accommodation and were told they had to walk a further 10 kms to a larger town. The young lady had a huge screaming and crying melt down in the street. I knew how she felt, I hope she felt better afterwards.

Accept and value the path you have chosen On the walls of a monastery we read the following “A tourist demands, a pilgrim is grateful” It rang such a loud clanging bell with us. Every evening from then on we would ask each other three questions What was the high point point of your day? What was the low point of your day? What are you grateful for? The low point may seem like a strange question, surely you want to talk about the high points. But we learnt from the low, from our mistakes, and often had a good laugh about our dummy spits.

Having said all that, I guess the camino may not be for everyone. But I am grateful to Shirley McLaine , Martin Sheen and the lady down the street whose niece did the camino and it sounded like fun. I am grateful for all that I learnt about myself, about other people, about tolerance and respect, and to just to have had that that opportunity. I saw my daughter develop from someone who wouldn’t pick up the phone to order pizza, to a confident young lady who could walk into a town she didn’t know, in a country where the language was foreign, and the customs were different, and book accommodation for herself and her Mama (who was probably still walking) and order a beer and pizza. Someone who went on to tackle the 1300 km Shikoku pilgrimage in Japan on her own.

You never know what the Camino will bring you unless you take that first step.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
There was a recent thread that touched on a number of topics that you brought up but with a different title.
As I said in my origional post I could have easily written it from the other point of view, as has been done here. Plagerisim is the most sincere form of flattery. In general my post was taken in the nature it was given, it was closed due to off topic bickering. Glad to see its spirit lives on.
 
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Mfazio

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
I was 55 when a friend suggested that I join him on a trek to Everest Base Camp. I was slightly overweight, not all that fit, and a trek like this probably didn’t make it into the top 1000 items on my bucket list. But somehow I found myself in Nepal, all kitted out in my new clothes, backpack and walking sticks. I’m sure most people thought I was crazy, that I was irresponsible and had no right to undertake this venture. But with the support and encouragement of friends, family and the wonderful guides and trek mates who helped me along the way, I made it and my life has never been the same since.

Full of enthusiasm I was inspired to undertake another adventure, but it took a while, Everest Base Camp is a hard act to follow. Then I started hearing about this trek called The Camino and thought it sounded like fun. So with my daughter for company, I launched myself into my next adventure.

How did I go on the Camino? In response I’d like to give another perspective to some very valid opinions expressed on this forum and offer these reasons why you should walk a camino

Find the opportunity to become more spiritually aware. Religion has not played a major role in my family lives. But I am interested in other people’s lives and cultures, and through the stories of pilgrims past and present I heard and read along the camino, my respect for, and understanding of those who walk in the footsteps of others for spiritual reasons grew. I like to think that my journey was respectful of their beliefs and endeavours.

Learn to balance expectations I didn’t know what to expect from the Camino. I knew it was going to be hard, I hoped I wouldn’t get blisters, and that I would make it to Santiago. It was harder than I ever thought it would be and my blisters grew daily, along with the realisation that I couldn’t walk as far in a day as I had hoped. I learnt to set more realistic expectations of what my day would look like. I didn’t expect, or have, a great spiritual awakening, but for me and my daughter, it became a life-changing experience that crept up on us unexpectedly as each day passed.

Get to know your body I come from a town in Australia which is conspicuously lacking in hills, let alone mountains. Training for my first camino mainly consisted of a daily 5 km walk on flat ground carrying my backpack which I took along on the camino and weighed a mere 7kg. It contained everything I needed. Every so often I did a 20 km walk What I learnt along the way was the importance of listening to your body. If it’s telling you to slow down, rest for a day, seek medical advice, even get your backpack sent on if the day ahead is particularly gruelling, then do it. Another thing I learnt was that the body is an amazing thing. That you can go to bed with feet, knees and calves burning, sure that you will not be able to do anything the next day except take a bus or train to the nearest airport, but then you wake ready to hoist the backpack, pick up the walking sticks and hit the trail. Yes, the realisation that you are going to do this day after endless day can be daunting, but I liked the comfort of not having to make any decisions other than where are we going to sleep and what are we going to eat. As for the logistics and planning, I am the mother of 4 children, now adults, I think I’ve got that nailed.

Develop the ability to roll with the punches You may not start with this ability, but you will learn. Because the alternative is to take off your backpack, put down your walking sticks and go home. It may be a steep learning curve. In one small town I saw a couple arrive too late to get accommodation and were told they had to walk a further 10 kms to a larger town. The young lady had a huge screaming and crying melt down in the street. I knew how she felt, I hope she felt better afterwards.

Accept and value the path you have chosen On the walls of a monastery we read the following “A tourist demands, a pilgrim is grateful” It rang such a loud clanging bell with us. Every evening from then on we would ask each other three questions What was the high point point of your day? What was the low point of your day? What are you grateful for? The low point may seem like a strange question, surely you want to talk about the high points. But we learnt from the low, from our mistakes, and often had a good laugh about our dummy spits.

Having said all that, I guess the camino may not be for everyone. But I am grateful to Shirley McLaine , Martin Sheen and the lady down the street whose niece did the camino and it sounded like fun. I am grateful for all that I learnt about myself, about other people, about tolerance and respect, and to just to have had that that opportunity. I saw my daughter develop from someone who wouldn’t pick up the phone to order pizza, to a confident young lady who could walk into a town she didn’t know, in a country where the language was foreign, and the customs were different, and book accommodation for herself and her Mama (who was probably still walking) and order a beer and pizza. Someone who went on to tackle the 1300 km Shikoku pilgrimage in Japan on her own.

You never know what the Camino will bring you unless you take that first step.

Trishagale wrote:​

"Every evening from then on we would ask each other three questions What was the high point point of your day? What was the low point of your day? What are you grateful for? The low point may seem like a strange question, surely you want to talk about the high points. But we learnt from the low, from our mistakes, and often had a good laugh about our dummy spits."

In Boy Scouts (Scoutmaster) we would always go around the campfire and ask "Roses, Thorns and Buds".
Roses - those things you enjoyed and would like to do more of
Thorns - those things you didn't like as much
Buds - something new that you would like to expand upon.

My son and I have long since graduated from the Scouts but I continue this exercise with my travel partners. It's a little weird at first but it gets everyone talking about how everyone is feeling and leads to a more successful trip. It's humorous when everyone is really hating something in particular but too polite to say anything about it.

Thank you Trishagale for your post.
Mike
CF 6/8/22
 

Senorafelipes

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
June (2022)
I was 55 when a friend suggested that I join him on a trek to Everest Base Camp. I was slightly overweight, not all that fit, and a trek like this probably didn’t make it into the top 1000 items on my bucket list. But somehow I found myself in Nepal, all kitted out in my new clothes, backpack and walking sticks. I’m sure most people thought I was crazy, that I was irresponsible and had no right to undertake this venture. But with the support and encouragement of friends, family and the wonderful guides and trek mates who helped me along the way, I made it and my life has never been the same since.

Full of enthusiasm I was inspired to undertake another adventure, but it took a while, Everest Base Camp is a hard act to follow. Then I started hearing about this trek called The Camino and thought it sounded like fun. So with my daughter for company, I launched myself into my next adventure.

How did I go on the Camino? In response I’d like to give another perspective to some very valid opinions expressed on this forum and offer these reasons why you should walk a camino

Find the opportunity to become more spiritually aware. Religion has not played a major role in my family lives. But I am interested in other people’s lives and cultures, and through the stories of pilgrims past and present I heard and read along the camino, my respect for, and understanding of those who walk in the footsteps of others for spiritual reasons grew. I like to think that my journey was respectful of their beliefs and endeavours.

Learn to balance expectations I didn’t know what to expect from the Camino. I knew it was going to be hard, I hoped I wouldn’t get blisters, and that I would make it to Santiago. It was harder than I ever thought it would be and my blisters grew daily, along with the realisation that I couldn’t walk as far in a day as I had hoped. I learnt to set more realistic expectations of what my day would look like. I didn’t expect, or have, a great spiritual awakening, but for me and my daughter, it became a life-changing experience that crept up on us unexpectedly as each day passed.

Get to know your body I come from a town in Australia which is conspicuously lacking in hills, let alone mountains. Training for my first camino mainly consisted of a daily 5 km walk on flat ground carrying my backpack which I took along on the camino and weighed a mere 7kg. It contained everything I needed. Every so often I did a 20 km walk What I learnt along the way was the importance of listening to your body. If it’s telling you to slow down, rest for a day, seek medical advice, even get your backpack sent on if the day ahead is particularly gruelling, then do it. Another thing I learnt was that the body is an amazing thing. That you can go to bed with feet, knees and calves burning, sure that you will not be able to do anything the next day except take a bus or train to the nearest airport, but then you wake ready to hoist the backpack, pick up the walking sticks and hit the trail. Yes, the realisation that you are going to do this day after endless day can be daunting, but I liked the comfort of not having to make any decisions other than where are we going to sleep and what are we going to eat. As for the logistics and planning, I am the mother of 4 children, now adults, I think I’ve got that nailed.

Develop the ability to roll with the punches You may not start with this ability, but you will learn. Because the alternative is to take off your backpack, put down your walking sticks and go home. It may be a steep learning curve. In one small town I saw a couple arrive too late to get accommodation and were told they had to walk a further 10 kms to a larger town. The young lady had a huge screaming and crying melt down in the street. I knew how she felt, I hope she felt better afterwards.

Accept and value the path you have chosen On the walls of a monastery we read the following “A tourist demands, a pilgrim is grateful” It rang such a loud clanging bell with us. Every evening from then on we would ask each other three questions What was the high point point of your day? What was the low point of your day? What are you grateful for? The low point may seem like a strange question, surely you want to talk about the high points. But we learnt from the low, from our mistakes, and often had a good laugh about our dummy spits.

Having said all that, I guess the camino may not be for everyone. But I am grateful to Shirley McLaine , Martin Sheen and the lady down the street whose niece did the camino and it sounded like fun. I am grateful for all that I learnt about myself, about other people, about tolerance and respect, and to just to have had that that opportunity. I saw my daughter develop from someone who wouldn’t pick up the phone to order pizza, to a confident young lady who could walk into a town she didn’t know, in a country where the language was foreign, and the customs were different, and book accommodation for herself and her Mama (who was probably still walking) and order a beer and pizza. Someone who went on to tackle the 1300 km Shikoku pilgrimage in Japan on her own.

You never know what the Camino will bring you unless you take that first step.
Sincerely, thank you. My son and I are going through some struggles on our Camino and yes,in a moment of weakness I said that I wanted to go home. We are taking a rest. We will carry on. Your words ring true. I'm grateful for this time with my son in a country I adore.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Estella, Le Puy to Cahore, Porto to SdC
I have read both threads and both have much to offer but for me this post resonated beautifully and has encouraged me to send a copy to my daughter for more inspiration. Thank you Trishagale...especially for the saying you quoted "A tourist demands, a pilgrim is grateful". I'm part of an ecovillage near Sydney and with some slight modification this quote will be very appropriate to remind our members, it is about the WE and less about the ME.
Buen Camino
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
Great insights! Thank you for writing this. I love the focus on the gratitude - so true! Do you recall in what monastery the sign was posted?
Thank you for kind words, a pilgrim is grateful has become a permanent part of our lives! The monastery is Albergue del Monasterio de San Juan de Ortega. It was very basic and very cold but I was grateful that my daughter managed to get me a bottom bunk because there were no ladders to the top.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
There was a recent thread that touched on a number of topics that you brought up but with a different title.

As I said in my origional post I could have easily written it from the other point of view, as has been done here. Plagerisim is the most sincere form of flattery. In general my post was taken in the nature it was given, it was closed due to off topic bickering. Glad to see its spirit lives on.
I thought it was a good thread, lots of differing opinions expressed in good spirit.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)

Trishagale wrote:​

"Every evening from then on we would ask each other three questions What was the high point point of your day? What was the low point of your day? What are you grateful for? The low point may seem like a strange question, surely you want to talk about the high points. But we learnt from the low, from our mistakes, and often had a good laugh about our dummy spits."

In Boy Scouts (Scoutmaster) we would always go around the campfire and ask "Roses, Thorns and Buds".
Roses - those things you enjoyed and would like to do more of
Thorns - those things you didn't like as much
Buds - something new that you would like to expand upon.

My son and I have long since graduated from the Scouts but I continue this exercise with my travel partners. It's a little weird at first but it gets everyone talking about how everyone is feeling and leads to a more successful trip. It's humorous when everyone is really hating something in particular but too polite to say anything about it.

Thank you Trishagale for your post.
Mike
CF 6/8/22
I love that ritual and that you shared it on Camino. The things you don’t like are often the funniest when you look back.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
Sincerely, thank you. My son and I are going through some struggles on our Camino and yes,in a moment of weakness I said that I wanted to go home. We are taking a rest. We will carry on. Your words ring true. I'm grateful for this time with my son in a country I adore.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad you are taking a rest and hope you continue on. But I am sure your body and your heart will know what to do. Enjoy your time with your son, my time with my daughter was special. Buen Camino
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
I have read both threads and both have much to offer but for me this post resonated beautifully and has encouraged me to send a copy to my daughter for more inspiration. Thank you Trishagale...especially for the saying you quoted "A tourist demands, a pilgrim is grateful". I'm part of an ecovillage near Sydney and with some slight modification this quote will be very appropriate to remind our members, it is about the WE and less about the ME.
Buen Camino
I hope your daughter finds something to encourage her. The saying helped us through the not so great days when it would have been easy to wallow in misery!
 

Senorafelipes

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
June (2022)
Thank you so much for your kind words. I am glad you are taking a rest and hope you continue on. But I am sure your body and your heart will know what to do. Enjoy your time with your son, my time with my daughter was special. Buen Camino
Update: We continue walking tomorrow!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
I am not at all surprised! We stopped at Astorga for a couple of days on two separate caminos because of my blisters. The first time I had blisters that had been brewing for some time and I got them treated. The second time I had been going so well and I made the mistake of commenting about it. Sure enough in the day’s walk to Astorga I developed a huge blister so we stopped for a couple of days again before it multiplied! I really like Astorga, sitting on the plaza drinking coffee and beer and watching the pilgrims pass by.
 

Aliza

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014, 2017, 2019
Camino Portuguese 2017
Great post mama bear! You’ve truly captured why one should walk a Camino. I remember reading the saying about being grateful and the place it was in, clear as day. It made me think about what was important and what I wanted out of the experience, so very appreciative of that.

Looking forward to our next Camino

Lots of love,
Your daughter who can now order a pizza over the phone, plus other things 😜 xxx
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
If anyone has a photo of that "Tourist Demands" sign, I could use one soon in a book I am working on... Don't know how to search the images archive here for such a thing.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
If anyone has a photo of that "Tourist Demands" sign, I could use one soon in a book I am working on... Don't know how to search the images archive here for such a thing.
Is it the one in this blog?
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Is it the one in this blog?
Ask, and ye shall receive.
Seek, and ye shall find.
Knock, and it will be opened to you.
Or Nock, as the case may be... the Roland kind.
Thanks!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
Is it the one in this blog?
Thank you so much! I didn’t take a photo for some reason so I am very happy to have this one. I would very much like to add it to my blog, even though it’s 8 years ago. Do I need to request permission from the owner, or is it enough that I acknowledge where the photo came from?
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Thank you so much! I didn’t take a photo for some reason so I am very happy to have this one. I would very much like to add it to my blog, even though it’s 8 years ago. Do I need to request permission from the owner, or is it enough that I acknowledge where the photo came from?
I think it would be courteous to ask the blog writer for permission to use the photo. That's why I posted the link rather than simply copying and pasting the photo without attribution.
 

Senorafelipes

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
June (2022)
I am not at all surprised! We stopped at Astorga for a couple of days on two separate caminos because of my blisters. The first time I had blisters that had been brewing for some time and I got them treated. The second time I had been going so well and I made the mistake of commenting about it. Sure enough in the day’s walk to Astorga I developed a huge blister so we stopped for a couple of days again before it multiplied! I really like Astorga, sitting on the plaza drinking coffee and beer and watching the pilgrims pass by.
We have arrived!
 

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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
I was wondering how you went after your rest in Astorga. Well done, so happy you made it. 😊 And it was lovely to actually see you both.
 

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