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Your All Time, Absolute BEST Camino Moment!

2020 Camino Guides

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Over the past weeks, out walking in our sleepy South Coast, New South Wales town of Culburra Beach, my thoughts inevitably turned to the Camino and in particular to the countless wonderful experiences I’ve had whilst on camino.

Many experiences came to mind, so I examined those experiences in turn and drew up a shortlist of those Camino Moments which gave me utter joy. Here is the Camino Moment which eclipsed all others:

In 2015, after a bike fall prevented me from joining @Saint Mike II on a bike camino from Pamplona, I joined @David on one of his many first aid caminos. David did the diagnosis, carried out the first aid and we both chatted to the pilgrims as he worked.

One night, at the fantastic Santiago Apostol albergue at Puente La Reina, David carried out first aid treatments for hours. The albergue was packed - so many pilgrims staying - the noise from the dining room was something you just had to be there to hear and to appreciate - the pilgrim community at its best. Many pilgrims needed first aid help and a long line formed.

One of the pilgrims needing that help was Max, a young American pilgrim, who was super-enthusiastic about everything on the Camino. His enthusiasm had him racing out of the ‘barrier’ that is St Jean Pied de Port and each day he walked too far and too fast. He had blisters and very sore legs. David suspected he might be heading towards shin splints. After David treated the blisters and tried to teach him how to walk so he didn’t get shin splints, which is an hilarious story in itself!, he asked Max to wait for him while he disappeared for a couple of minutes, without telling him why. He returned with a staff he’d made - he makes one before each first aid camino to give to a pilgrim in need. It was a beautiful thing with a proper handgrip, a metal tip at the bottom of the staff and adorned with a small metal scallop shell. He presented it to Max, who was completely overwhelmed - he was profuse in his thanks to David.

Here’s my All Time, Absolute BEST Camino moment! When Max went inside and into the dining room, David turned his attention to the next pilgrim needing help. A moment later we heard a massive roar, cheering and applause. We looked up to see Max, holding the staff in the air like a Viking - every pilgrim cheering and clapping. Gosh - the feeling! My heart nearly burst with joy.

Without doubt, this is what the Camino is all about.

In a recent email, David told me he has a staff ready to give to another pilgrim in need. Who that pilgrim will be is unknown, as is the time when it will be gifted. My hope is that it won’t be too long.

Here are a few photos of the new staff - beautiful, isn’t it?

B8DA8DD0-EDAB-477F-B877-6B12A1929401.png

I’d love to hear the stories of your All Time, Absolute BEST Camino Moment - please share your stories.

Cheers and best wishes from Oz -

Jenny
 

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 can't think of a single all-time best moment - there have been so many.
And I bet I'm not alone in coming up with a single 'best.'
Hmmm...let me get back to you on that, Jenny...!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
@JennyH94 , what a lovely idea, and a magnificent story. You have knitted together three different sets of connections, at least. I am very much of the moment, so my current best is this :
Hmmm....
Tears, here
Just beautiful
You have created a world in a lane

It was the little weed flowers that got me.... (@David S. Coleman)

I love being in the here and now.
It is where I belong!
And here and now I am on a camino like no other.
Not in any
guide book, and anyone is capable of doing it!
Maybe I need to add a link to a poem that speaks more eloquently than I could ever do.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Today in total confinement here in rural France this memory seems like a dream from another life.
However without a doubt for me it has always been and shall be January 24, 2009 in Roncesvalles. I walked 18 k in 5 hours through strong wind, heavy rain, sleet and eventually dense snow up the Valcarlos road to the almost mythic monastery ! Saw few people and no other pilgrims; I was the only one staying in the tiny old winter albergue.

The monk who stamped my Credential invited me to the evening benediction for pilgrims. It was lovely. The service was held in the ancient Romanesque church (wonderfully heated!!) in front of the magnificent silver sculpture of the Virgin. Three monks assisted and asked me to stand with them at the altar. ...In retrospect how special it was that snowy night to be the single pilgrim where crowds have stood throughout time. ...

May thankful crowds stand for their blessing at that special altar soon again.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2013.2014..SJ/SDC ....2015.PORTO/SDC..2017.18.19.20.BURGOS/P.FERRADA
@JennyH94 , what a lovely idea, and a magnificent story. You have knitted together three different sets of connections, at least. I am very much of the moment, so my current best is this :
Hmmm....
Tears, here
Just beautiful
You have created a world in a lane

It was the little weed flowers that got me.... (@David S. Coleman)

I love being in the here and now.
It is where I belong!
And here and now I am on a camino like no other.
Not in any
guide book, and anyone is capable of doing it!
Maybe I need to add a link to a poem that speaks more eloquently than I could ever do.
Thank you so much for posting this.I confess I have never heard this before,but I am sat in my back garden as the morning sun slowly edges over my rooftop reaching it's warming fingers towards where I am sitting,and my eyes are filled with teardrops as I relisten to the magic tones of Sean filling the beautiful words with magical wonder.Perhaps it's because I am older now and find emotion and teardrops are so much closer to the surface,but this is something I shall always keep.
@JennyH94 , what a lovely idea, and a magnificent story. You have knitted together three different sets of connections, at least. I am very much of the moment, so my current best is this :
Hmmm....
Tears, here
Just beautiful
You have created a world in a lane

It was the little weed flowers that got me.... (@David S. Coleman)

I love being in the here and now.
It is where I belong!
And here and now I am on a camino like no other.
Not in any
guide book, and anyone is capable of doing it!
Maybe I need to add a link to a poem that speaks more eloquently than I could ever do.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013.2014..SJ/SDC ....2015.PORTO/SDC..2017.18.19.20.BURGOS/P.FERRADA
Over the past weeks, out walking in our sleepy South Coast, New South Wales town of Culburra Beach, my thoughts inevitably turned to the Camino and in particular to the countless wonderful experiences I’ve had whilst on camino.

Many experiences came to mind, so I examined those experiences in turn and drew up a shortlist of those Camino Moments which gave me utter joy. Here is the Camino Moment which eclipsed all others:

In 2015, after a bike fall prevented me from joining @Saint Mike II on a bike camino from Pamplona, I joined @David on one of his many first aid caminos. David did the diagnosis, carried out the first aid and we both chatted to the pilgrims as he worked.

One night, at the fantastic Santiago Apostol albergue at Puente La Reina, David carried out first aid treatments for hours. The albergue was packed - so many pilgrims staying - the noise from the dining room was something you just had to be there to hear and to appreciate - the pilgrim community at its best. Many pilgrims needed first aid help and a long line formed.

One of the pilgrims needing that help was Max, a young American pilgrim, who was super-enthusiastic about everything on the Camino. His enthusiasm had him racing out of the ‘barrier’ that is St Jean Pied de Port and each day he walked too far and too fast. He had blisters and very sore legs. David suspected he might be heading towards shin splints. After David treated the blisters and tried to teach him how to walk so he didn’t get shin splints, which is an hilarious story in itself!, he asked Max to wait for him while he disappeared for a couple of minutes, without telling him why. He returned with a staff he’d made - he makes one before each first aid camino to give to a pilgrim in need. It was a beautiful thing with a proper handgrip, a metal tip at the bottom of the staff and adorned with a small metal scallop shell. He presented it to Max, who was completely overwhelmed - he was profuse in his thanks to David.

Here’s my All Time, Absolute BEST Camino moment! When Max went inside and into the dining room, David turned his attention to the next pilgrim needing help. A moment later we heard a massive roar, cheering and applause. We looked up to see Max, holding the staff in the air like a Viking - every pilgrim cheering and clapping. Gosh - the feeling! My heart nearly burst with joy.

Without doubt, this is what the Camino is all about.

In a recent email, David told me he has a staff ready to give to another pilgrim in need. Who that pilgrim will be is unknown, as is the time when it will be gifted. My hope is that it won’t be too long.

Here are a few photos of the new staff - beautiful, isn’t it?

View attachment 72898

I’d love to hear the stories of your All Time, Absolute BEST Camino Moment - please share your stories.

Cheers and best wishes from Oz -

Jenny
I confess I have told this story in reply to a previous request,but It can ( I hope ) bear retelling.I love the Church at Hontanas and always spend time there when passing through.It has a special atmosphere,peaceful,calming,spiritual and Sacred all in one.I light candles for missed loved ones and sit in contemplation.In 2018 whilst sat there,lost in my own thoughts,with a Spanish Hymn playing in the background a young Pilgrim walked in,pack on back and sticks in hands.She stood for a moment facing the Altar then began to sing along with the music with a beautiful voice.I sat there moved to tears,and when I looked at the girl she had tears running down her cheeks as she sang.When she finished she bowed towards the Altar and walked out.I never saw her again but I will never forget her
 

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
Jenny, what a lovely idea for a thread! I will have to ponder to see if I have "one" outstanding moment to share out of sooo many wonderful Caminos.
In the mean time I would like to say that I have always called @David a selfless and true "Camino Angel".
 

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
Ok, this Camino moment popped into my head first, so here goes...
In 2015 just before Portomarin I stayed at Albergue Mercadoiro. At the communal dinner table that evening sat two men friends from South Korea. One was bald, saying that in his own country he always wore a hairpiece out of embarrassment, but had decided to leave it at home and for the first time be natural and how freeing it was. His friend kept smiling and nodding throughout the meal as he had taken a vow of silence for 7 days. Both stories really touched me in a special way.
Screenshot_2020-04-10-06-44-25.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am walking in March and April of 2019.
@JennyH94 , what a lovely idea, and a magnificent story. You have knitted together three different sets of connections, at least. I am very much of the moment, so my current best is this :
Hmmm....
Tears, here
Just beautiful
You have created a world in a lane

It was the little weed flowers that got me.... (@David S. Coleman)

I love being in the here and now.
It is where I belong!
And here and now I am on a camino like no other.
Not in any
guide book, and anyone is capable of doing it!
Maybe I need to add a link to a poem that speaks more eloquently than I could ever do.
Lovely, thanks for posting this.
 

Hugh Larkin

Perpetual Wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Sanabria 2018
Pieterpad 2018
Kumano Kodo (202??)
There are many wonderful moments from the 2 Caminos walked by my wife and myself. My most memorable was in 2018 when I and my wife walked up to the cathedral with a dear Dutch friend (plus his wife and another dear mutual friend) who had planted the idea of doing a Camino 25 years earlier after suggesting a book that he had just completed reading.
 

Attachments

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino in 2020
Over the past weeks, out walking in our sleepy South Coast, New South Wales town of Culburra Beach, my thoughts inevitably turned to the Camino and in particular to the countless wonderful experiences I’ve had whilst on camino.

Many experiences came to mind, so I examined those experiences in turn and drew up a shortlist of those Camino Moments which gave me utter joy. Here is the Camino Moment which eclipsed all others:

In 2015, after a bike fall prevented me from joining @Saint Mike II on a bike camino from Pamplona, I joined @David on one of his many first aid caminos. David did the diagnosis, carried out the first aid and we both chatted to the pilgrims as he worked.

One night, at the fantastic Santiago Apostol albergue at Puente La Reina, David carried out first aid treatments for hours. The albergue was packed - so many pilgrims staying - the noise from the dining room was something you just had to be there to hear and to appreciate - the pilgrim community at its best. Many pilgrims needed first aid help and a long line formed.

One of the pilgrims needing that help was Max, a young American pilgrim, who was super-enthusiastic about everything on the Camino. His enthusiasm had him racing out of the ‘barrier’ that is St Jean Pied de Port and each day he walked too far and too fast. He had blisters and very sore legs. David suspected he might be heading towards shin splints. After David treated the blisters and tried to teach him how to walk so he didn’t get shin splints, which is an hilarious story in itself!, he asked Max to wait for him while he disappeared for a couple of minutes, without telling him why. He returned with a staff he’d made - he makes one before each first aid camino to give to a pilgrim in need. It was a beautiful thing with a proper handgrip, a metal tip at the bottom of the staff and adorned with a small metal scallop shell. He presented it to Max, who was completely overwhelmed - he was profuse in his thanks to David.

Here’s my All Time, Absolute BEST Camino moment! When Max went inside and into the dining room, David turned his attention to the next pilgrim needing help. A moment later we heard a massive roar, cheering and applause. We looked up to see Max, holding the staff in the air like a Viking - every pilgrim cheering and clapping. Gosh - the feeling! My heart nearly burst with joy.

Without doubt, this is what the Camino is all about.

In a recent email, David told me he has a staff ready to give to another pilgrim in need. Who that pilgrim will be is unknown, as is the time when it will be gifted. My hope is that it won’t be too long.

Here are a few photos of the new staff - beautiful, isn’t it?

View attachment 72898

I’d love to hear the stories of your All Time, Absolute BEST Camino Moment - please share your stories.

Cheers and best wishes from Oz -

Jenny

What a wonderful story and what a wonderful man. I’d be honoured to say ‘hello’ if we were ever on the same Camino. I don’t know any from the forum personally, but I like what I read.
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
Hmm. Not my all time best, but two of my most memorable moments happened 2 years apart, and both involved my pants. As we all know, we only carry two pair, one to wear, one to wash.
I didn't know my pants were such a hot commodity.
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
@JennyH94 , what a lovely idea, and a magnificent story. You have knitted together three different sets of connections, at least. I am very much of the moment, so my current best is this :
Hmmm....
Tears, here
Just beautiful
You have created a world in a lane

It was the little weed flowers that got me.... (@David S. Coleman)

I love being in the here and now.
It is where I belong!
And here and now I am on a camino like no other.
Not in any
guide book, and anyone is capable of doing it!
Maybe I need to add a link to a poem that speaks more eloquently than I could ever do.
Oh, thank you! Splendid. I needed this today and will come back to it often.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
There isn't just one. But this one comes to mind. As I walked the C. Frances alone, I repeatedly ran into Lindsay, from Scotland. He is a guitar builder, and had built this travel guitar to carry along on the Camino. I mean, we met up in bars, on remote stretches on alternative routes, etc. without planning to. We didn't walk together and we didn't plan to meet again, but we did again and again, like you do...

Then when I got to Santiago, I ran into Lindsay again. We ending up hanging out and were having such fun, but it was getting late and everything was starting to close up. We saw a couple of men in a bar, but the door was locked, so we knocked and they let us in. These men were natives of Santiago, friends since childhood. The bar was closed, but they let us in and locked the door behind us. Lindsay got out his makeshift travel guitar ("Matilda") and started to play. It was a lovely, intimate time.

For some reason, this video is showing up sideways, so I hope you can flip it.
 
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efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
Since 2011 - too many to list
Just what I needed this morning, isolating at home and need me some Camino, so here goes.
It was 2 moments actually, back to back, on my 1st Camino Frances. Walking in to Viana, it was probably mid morning, and I stopped at an outside table for a coffee, across from the church. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful day, I was finally getting my legs, felt great. I sat and sipped my coffee watching my Camino friends walk by. I was feeling on top of the world.
Part 1
I finished my coffee and strolled over to the church, went inside, sat down just to breath as I have been doing. I became just overwhelmed with the whole experience, sat there and wept like a baby. I'll never forget that feeling. It was part of a healing, as I was later to come to understand.
Part 2
Before leaving Viana, I was loving the ambiance so much, I stopped again on the main street for another snack, coffee, juice and a piece of tortilla. I sat outside again in one of the 6 empty tables. Along walked an elderly man and I noticed that when he saw me he picked up his pace, entered the bar and came out with a glass of red wine, it was noon. He sat with me at my table even though the other tables were empty. He spoke no english, I spoke no Spanish but we communicated for 20-30 minutes. When I was leaving I pinned a Canadian flag to his sweater, he sang to me a song as I put on my pack and walked away. I took his picture and remember him often, especially these days.
Thanks for reading and allowing me to relive these moments this morning.
 

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darealdeal77

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Camino Frances
As I read everyone’s post I realized that Camino was so magical for me that I cannot pin point one specific moment, because there were so many. I thank the Most High for allowing me the opportunity to walk the path, meet so many marvelous people, help others, and deal with my monster (PTSD). After been given a second chance in life, one appreciates all the beautiful things out there, life, love and people. Quarantine has made me realized, that this is just another 20km to walk, another gianormous hill to climb, but at the end the journey is just part of our lives!
Walking through the Alps with the fog, the sheep and the lush green grass awaken every sensory gland in my body, I remember that walking was so hard, but seeing the town of Roncesvalles was like a Christmas gift I was wanting for a long time. I hope in these hard times the world is going through, that all of us who had the opportunity to do the pilgrimage and remember, that we pray for all those having a super hard time with this! GOD Bless and stay safe!
 

Attachments

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@JennyH94, thank you for starting this thread.

Like others, I have so many memories. I think my all time absolute best camino (chemin / route) moment was hour one, day one. But, like many stories, there is a pre-story.

In early 2012, my wife Cathy was given some not so good health news. I had first met Cathy at the beginning of 2001 and she subscribed to a magazine called Tui-Motu. Soon after meeting Cathy I read a short piece, by a priest I had first met some 40 years before, about his trials and tribulations after setting out the year before. In a chat in early 2012, Cathy remembered that piece and said "when I am gone, you will be able to do that walk in Spain". My first training amble (4 km down hill) showed up many issues, obesity being but the least. I remember feeling pleased I had many years to get prepared.

Cathy died in late 2014 and often the next year my many neighbours asked when I was to get away: Cathy had told them. After winding up her estate I was able to get away in April 2016. Within four years preparation behind me, I was at Le Puy-en-Velay, mentally and physically ready to continue my ambling, this time for around 1,600 km.

I arrived at Le-Puy on the Monday evening and stayed two nights so I could rubber-neck for a full day and see the path away from the city. In the cathedral I noticed the, to my mind, awkward way to get from inside to great west door and so down the hill: you went out a side door, found some stairs, had some doors to get through, et cetera)

On Wednesday to the Cathedral for the 07h Mass with pilgrims blessing at the end. The bishop presided and a jovial fellow he was. Following a chat (Je n'ai pas compris) by the bishop after mass we went into the large sacristy to have our credentials stamped. Coming back to where I had sat to retrieve my pack I found the ventilation floor grills in the central aisle had been lifted up to reveal a stair case leading directly down to the great west door.

I put my pack on and started for the stairs. At the top I grabbed the handrail and was transfixed to the spot. It took quite a while to bring myself back to the moment and take my first step.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui (Be strong, confident and patient)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 & 2017
Camino Francigena, part off 2019
There isn't just one. But this one comes to mind. As I walked the C. Frances alone, I repeatedly ran into Lindsay, from Scotland. He is a guitar builder, and had built this travel guitar to carry along on the Camino. I mean, we met up in bars, on remote stretches on alternative routes, etc. without planning to. We didn't walk together and we didn't plan to meet again, but we did again and again, like you do...

Then when I got to Santiago, I ran into Lindsay again. We ending up hanging out and were having such fun, but it was getting late and everything was starting to close up. We saw a couple of men in a bar, but the door was locked, so we knocked and they let us in. These men were natives of Santiago, friends since childhood. The bar was closed, but they let us in and locked the door behind us. Lindsay got out his makeshift travel guitar ("Matilda") and started to play. It was a lovely, intimate time.

For some reason, this video is showing up sideways, so I hope you can flip it.
Thanks Jill
I remember that evening so well, my favourite part was just sitting on the flagstones in front of the cathedral, in the dark, watching some Spanish kids singing and playing guitar
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Hmm. Not my all time best, but two of my most memorable moments happened 2 years apart, and both involved my pants. As we all know, we only carry two pair, one to wear, one to wash.
I didn't know my pants were such a hot commodity.
Do tell more..
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
I can't think of a single all-time best moment - there have been so many.
And I bet I'm not alone in coming up with a single 'best.'
Hmmm...let me get back to you on that, Jenny...!
It’s so hard to choose the moment which goes to the top of the list! It’ll be wonderful to hear which one that is for you, @VNwalking !
Best wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
@JennyH94 , what a lovely idea, and a magnificent story. You have knitted together three different sets of connections, at least. I am very much of the moment, so my current best is this :
Hmmm....
Tears, here
Just beautiful
You have created a world in a lane

It was the little weed flowers that got me.... (@David S. Coleman)
I
I love being in the here and now.
It is where I belong!
And here and now I am on a camino like no other.
Not in any
guide book, and anyone is capable of doing it!
Maybe I need to add a link to a poem that speaks more eloquently than I could ever do.
Hello @kirkie ! Thank you for sharing the beautiful Ithaca video - listening to those wonderful words, spoken by Sean Connery, is such a balm - they go straight to our pilgrim hearts.
Best wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Today in total confinement here in rural France this memory seems like a dream from another life.
However without a doubt for me it has always been and shall be January 24, 2009 in Roncesvalles. I walked 18 k in 5 hours through strong wind, heavy rain, sleet and eventually dense snow up the Valcarlos road to the almost mythic monastery ! Saw few people and no other pilgrims; I was the only one staying in the tiny old winter albergue.

The monk who stamped my Credential invited me to the evening benediction for pilgrims. It was lovely. The service was held in the ancient Romanesque church (wonderfully heated!!) in front of the magnificent silver sculpture of the Virgin. Three monks assisted and asked me to stand with them at the altar. ...In retrospect how special it was that snowy night to be the single pilgrim where crowds have stood throughout time. ...

May thankful crowds stand for their blessing at that special altar soon again.
What a wonderful experience, @mspath - and what a privilege. How thrilled and blessed you would have felt.
Thank you for sharing it with us all.
Best wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Thank you so much for posting this.I confess I have never heard this before,but I am sat in my back garden as the morning sun slowly edges over my rooftop reaching it's warming fingers towards where I am sitting,and my eyes are filled with teardrops as I relisten to the magic tones of Sean filling the beautiful words with magical wonder.Perhaps it's because I am older now and find emotion and teardrops are so much closer to the surface,but this is something I shall always keep.
Hi Philip - thank you for these lovely sentiments. Yes, the Ithaca words are filled with magical wonder. What a beautiful picture you paint of sitting in your back garden in the morning sun too.
Tears come very easily to me too - and it’s often something just like the Ithaca video - the beauty of those words - which will bring them.
Best wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Jenny, what a lovely idea for a thread! I will have to ponder to see if I have "one" outstanding moment to share out of sooo many wonderful Caminos.
In the mean time I would like to say that I have always called @David a selfless and true "Camino Angel".
Thank you @Camino Chrissy! I hope that one day you’ll meet @David on The Way - and share stories and thoughts together. There’ll be wonderful Camino memories there.
Best wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Ok, this Camino moment popped into my head first, so here goes...
In 2015 just before Portomarin I stayed at Albergue Mercadoiro. At the communal dinner table that evening sat two men friends from South Korea. One was bald, saying that in his own country he always wore a hairpiece out of embarrassment, but had decided to leave it at home and for the first time be natural and how freeing it was. His friend kept smiling and nodding throughout the meal as he had taken a vow of silence for 7 days. Both stories really touched me in a special way.
View attachment 72925
Oh @Camino Chrissy ! I love this! How liberating it must have been to leave the hairpiece behind. I hope that he was able to start living without the hairpiece once he returned home - a new life, living with what is natural. He looks very handsome in the photo! And what a beautiful, personal, thing he shared with you - to share his story - it’s wonderful.

Best wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
There are many wonderful moments from the 2 Caminos walked by my wife and myself. My most memorable was in 2018 when I and my wife walked up to the cathedral with a dear Dutch friend (plus his wife and another dear mutual friend) who had planted the idea of doing a Camino 25 years earlier after suggesting a book that he had just completed reading.
Gosh, Hugh - to see the flowering of a seed sown 25 years before would have been joyously overwhelming. Thank you for sharing your most memorable moment and for the lovely photo.
Best wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Hi Sue - I hope that you will meet David on The Way. Wonderful conversation, understanding and much laughter is always a feature of any catch up with him.

Best wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Hmm. Not my all time best, but two of my most memorable moments happened 2 years apart, and both involved my pants. As we all know, we only carry two pair, one to wear, one to wash.
I didn't know my pants were such a hot commodity.
Oh Kathy! This sounds like your All Time, Absolute WORST Camino moment!
You have to put us all out of our mystery and share!

Best wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Just what I needed this morning, isolating at home and need me some Camino, so here goes.
It was 2 moments actually, back to back, on my 1st Camino Frances. Walking in to Viana, it was probably mid morning, and I stopped at an outside table for a coffee, across from the church. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful day, I was finally getting my legs, felt great. I sat and sipped my coffee watching my Camino friends walk by. I was feeling on top of the world.
Part 1
I finished my coffee and strolled over to the church, went inside, sat down just to breath as I have been doing. I became just overwhelmed with the whole experience, sat there and wept like a baby. I'll never forget that feeling. It was part of a healing, as I was later to come to understand.
Part 2
Before leaving Viana, I was loving the ambiance so much, I stopped again on the main street for another snack, coffee, juice and a piece of tortilla. I sat outside again in one of the 6 empty tables. Along walked an elderly man and I noticed that when he saw me he picked up his pace, entered the bar and came out with a glass of red wine, it was noon. He sat with me at my table even though the other tables were empty. He spoke no english, I spoke no Spanish but we communicated for 20-30 minutes. When I was leaving I pinned a Canadian flag to his sweater, he sang to me a song as I put on my pack and walked away. I took his picture and remember him often, especially these days.
Thanks for reading and allowing me to relive these moments this morning.
Hi @efdoucette - thank you so much for your wonderful story and the photo. What an exceptional day that would have been.
I know a little of how you felt in the church - I had a similar experience in the chapel at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago the first time I was there - I was completely overwhelmed with joy and could not stop crying.
And to have that special connection with the elderly man ... a day to remember.
Best wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Hi @darealdeal77 - thank you for your Roncesvalles story and applying it to the difficult times we all find ourselves in - I feel for the millions in turmoil - the worry, the loss of loved ones and very difficult financial times - also the isolation for so very many.
May sun follow this rain and may happy times be with us again soon -
Best wishes - Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
@JennyH94, thank you for starting this thread.

Like others, I have so many memories. I think my all time absolute best camino (chemin / route) moment was hour one, day one. But, like many stories, there is a pre-story.

In early 2012, my wife Cathy was given some not so good health news. I had first met Cathy at the beginning of 2001 and she subscribed to a magazine called Tui-Motu. Soon after meeting Cathy I read a short piece, by a priest I had first met some 40 years before, about his trials and tribulations after setting out the year before. In a chat in early 2012, Cathy remembered that piece and said "when I am gone, you will be able to do that walk in Spain". My first training amble (4 km down hill) showed up many issues, obesity being but the least. I remember feeling pleased I had many years to get prepared.

Cathy died in late 2014 and often the next year my many neighbours asked when I was to get away: Cathy had told them. After winding up her estate I was able to get away in April 2016. Within four years preparation behind me, I was at Le Puy-en-Velay, mentally and physically ready to continue my ambling, this time for around 1,600 km.

I arrived at Le-Puy on the Monday evening and stayed two nights so I could rubber-neck for a full day and see the path away from the city. In the cathedral I noticed the, to my mind, awkward way to get from inside to great west door and so down the hill: you went out a side door, found some stairs, had some doors to get through, et cetera)

On Wednesday to the Cathedral for the 07h Mass with pilgrims blessing at the end. The bishop presided and a jovial fellow he was. Following a chat (Je n'ai pas compris) by the bishop after mass we went into the large sacristy to have our credentials stamped. Coming back to where I had sat to retrieve my pack I found the ventilation floor grills in the central aisle had been lifted up to reveal a stair case leading directly down to the great west door.

I put my pack on and started for the stairs. At the top I grabbed the handrail and was transfixed to the spot. It took quite a while to bring myself back to the moment and take my first step.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui (Be strong, confident and patient)
Oh @AlwynWellington - how your story touched my heart! How you must miss your beloved Cathy.
What an impact the early Mass and your experience there would have had at the start of your Camino. I hope it was a camino full of blessings.
Best wishes -
Jenny
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
I hope it was a camino full of blessings.
Thank you. I put this one up as it was the first of many best moments.

Three connected best moments happened a world apart. The first was at Livinhac-le-haut (day 8 since Le Puy). For the communal dinner at the gite, the woman to my left was an Australian: she warned me her husband was writing a book about a camino journey and to be careful what I said. The second happened near my home late the next year. I was on a training walk when a district nurse (who had attended Cathy) stopped to ask if it was me that was mentioned in a local radio interview with an Australian author. Intrigued, I got the audio file and all the memories of the meal flooded back. The last question: was there one person who helped with the story line? The author replied an older man wearing a kilt who was walking to honour his wife's request. So, yes it was me. The third was reading the book itself (and finding husband and wife were co-writers). The book: Two steps forward (2017) by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist.

An elderly (much older than me) neighbour in my village said I was going on a great adventure. And so it turned out. Many private moments that I have shared with Cathy's friends. And so many blessings.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 & 2017
Camino Francigena, part off 2019
O.K!
Three best moments from CF 2017

The first was on the trail from Burguete when I realised that this was now for real. No more false starts or promises this was me on the Camino. I wept and saw the world, literally in a new light.

Number two was an early start from Astorga, in the dark with a full moon in the western sky and what I now know was Saturn behind me.
The rising sun cast ascending colours silhouetting the Astorga skyline and ahead was a single earthly light that turned out to be a welcoming small chapel occupied by a solatary pilgrim. I had been given the full celestial works and now the opportunity to say thank you! And I say thank you again on this Easter Sunday.

The third best moment was in Santiago when I woke up to realise that I had survived not only the pilgrimage but also the previous evenings celebrations.

When it becomes possible again I want to do it all again!

Great thread Jenny!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I felt strongly called to my first camino in 2015, although I had, and have, no idea how I heard about the camino. On the November day that I passed through Sarria, I stopped for the night at an albergue just past the village of Barbadelo. After my shower, I walked over to the Igrexa de Santiago. The cemetery next to the church is walled, like many in Galicia, and the tombs were heavily decorated with flowers, placed on family tombs to honour family members at All Souls Day, the day after All Saints Day (Nov. 1). I walked briefly in the cemetery/garden, then left to go around to the front of the church and see if it was open. As I walked around, a voice from a man in the cemetery called out to me. I thought it was the gardener. I stopped and he went around to the church door with me and we went in together. I had my credencial to be stamped and noticed some coins in the box with the sello. A search in my skirt pocket did not yield my change purse, which was still in the pocket of my walking clothes, so I pulled out a bill from my wallet and put it in the box with the words, "por l'iglesia." I then went to sit in the front row of the church, while the man went out a side door at the front of the church. He returned a few minutes later and set up the altar for the mass. I was still thinking that he, in his simple garments, was a lay assistant. But I was not too surprised when he returned a few moments later in liturgical robes and I realized that he was about to offer mass, with me as the only member of his congregation. As my Spanish was very basic, he helped me with the responses. At some point during the service, Jesus spoke to me and said, "I love you enough to die for you." [No audible words]. I am sharing this with you on this Easter Day, because He has made it clear to me that these words are not just for me, but for all of you. This was not just my best camino moment, but the best moment of my life.
 

Paul J W

Paul J
Camino(s) past & future
Miscellaneous camino routes since 2000.
So many moments but, without doubt, the most memorable was 20 April 2004!
Having completed 41 days walking the Ruta de la Plata (meeting so very few pilgrims over the near 1000km) from Sevilla, my wife and I arrived in Santiago.
At the sight of the Cathedral below us we paused, looked at each each and unashamedly wept.
It was her 60th birthday.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 & 2017
Camino Francigena, part off 2019
I felt strongly called to my first camino in 2015, although I had, and have, no idea how I heard about the camino. On the November day that I passed through Sarria, I stopped for the night at an albergue just past the village of Barbadelo. After my shower, I walked over to the Igrexa de Santiago. The cemetery next to the church is walled, like many in Galicia, and the tombs were heavily decorated with flowers, placed on family tombs to honour family members at All Souls Day, the day after All Saints Day (Nov. 1). I walked briefly in the cemetery/garden, then left to go around to the front of the church and see if it was open. As I walked around, a voice from a man in the cemetery called out to me. I thought it was the gardener. I stopped and he went around to the church door with me and we went in together. I had my credencial to be stamped and noticed some coins in the box with the sello. A search in my skirt pocket did not yield my change purse, which was still in the pocket of my walking clothes, so I pulled out a bill from my wallet and put it in the box with the words, "por l'iglesia." I then went to sit in the front row of the church, while the man went out a side door at the front of the church. He returned a few minutes later and set up the altar for the mass. I was still thinking that he, in his simple garments, was a lay assistant. But I was not too surprised when he returned a few moments later in liturgical robes and I realized that he was about to offer mass, with me as the only member of his congregation. As my Spanish was very basic, he helped me with the responses. At some point during the service, Jesus spoke to me and said, "I love you enough to die for you." [No audible words]. I am sharing this with you on this Easter Day, because He has made it clear to me that these words are not just for me, but for all of you. This was not just my best camino moment, but the best moment of my life.
Thank you
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances & to Finisterre (2009), Camino Podiensis (2011), Aussie Camino (2018)
A late entry.
Some of our best moments were on the Camino Frances in 2009 with the Easter Parades. On Palm Sunday we were in Pamplona when along came the procession towards the cathedral. The locals 'pulled' us into the procession and gave us palm leaves to wave. Shortly afterwards we were all in the cathedral for the service.
Five days later it was Good Friday. We had walked from Viana to Logrono for coffee and then headed out of town. I perceived that Elizabeth was a bit tired so I said "let's go back to Logrono and stay the night". We retraced our steps - and as we got back into town we could hear the beating of drums. We walked towards the sounds and came across a huge procession - with giant floats being supported by 16 men - and plenty of people in coloured 'ku-klux-klan' style costumes covering their bodies. You could only determine their sex by looking at their feet !
Then on Easter Sunday we were in Los Arcos. We went to the evening service and afterwards watched the procession through the town. There were lots of children in that procession. We wondered why there were so few people lining the streets watching. It then dawned on us that just about all the townspeople were in the procession.
Memorable times.
 

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 have enjoyed reading many of the special stories that have been shared on this thread and we each remember ours so very vividly. I have had many incredibly beautiful vacations in my lifetime, but it's the many memorable experiences on the Caminos that are set apart in a category all their own to be recalled and cherished.
 
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Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Like many, mine is more a collection of moments from my second Camino. Spending 6 weeks with my younger son after he had spent 5 yrs away from home is near the top of my life experiences, not just Camino experiences. I will never regret spending those days with him.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Thank you. I put this one up as it was the first of many best moments.

Three connected best moments happened a world apart. The first was at Livinhac-le-haut (day 8 since Le Puy). For the communal dinner at the gite, the woman to my left was an Australian: she warned me her husband was writing a book about a camino journey and to be careful what I said. The second happened near my home late the next year. I was on a training walk when a district nurse (who had attended Cathy) stopped to ask if it was me that was mentioned in a local radio interview with an Australian author. Intrigued, I got the audio file and all the memories of the meal flooded back. The last question: was there one person who helped with the story line? The author replied an older man wearing a kilt who was walking to honour his wife's request. So, yes it was me. The third was reading the book itself (and finding husband and wife were co-writers). The book: Two steps forward (2017) by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist.

An elderly (much older than me) neighbour in my village said I was going on a great adventure. And so it turned out. Many private moments that I have shared with Cathy's friends. And so many blessings.
Wow @AlwynWellington! What a Camino experience! What a special memory that dinner would be! Wasn’t “Two Steps Forward” a fantastic read? How wonderful that you helped with the story line. I loved the main character, Martin and I loved how the book came together at the end. If you follow the Via Francigena group Facebook page you might know they’re writing another Camino book. Anne Buist posted on that page a couple of months back, from Italy, just as It was going into lockdown - luckily they were heading home. I recognised her name and asked if they were in Italy with thoughts of writing another book and the great news came back to say, yes, they were! It’ll be something to look forward to.

The wisdom of the elders given via your elderly neighbour ... and yes, so it turned out just as he predicted. And those moments you’ve shared with Cathy’s friends will stay with you all - just as the Camino stays with you.

Best, BEST wishes -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
I had to stop reading this thread as i was one moment crying and the next laughing thank you pilgrims be safe
Oh Steve! Threads on the Forum will do that, won’t they! I frequently find myself in tears when I read the posts Forum members share! Laughing too - we have more than a few comedians here on the Forum! What a place of true community this is!
Thank you for your post and for sharing your thoughts - and stay safe.
Best wishes from Oz -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
O.K!
Three best moments from CF 2017

The first was on the trail from Burguete when I realised that this was now for real. No more false starts or promises this was me on the Camino. I wept and saw the world, literally in a new light.

Number two was an early start from Astorga, in the dark with a full moon in the western sky and what I now know was Saturn behind me.
The rising sun cast ascending colours silhouetting the Astorga skyline and ahead was a single earthly light that turned out to be a welcoming small chapel occupied by a solatary pilgrim. I had been given the full celestial works and now the opportunity to say thank you! And I say thank you again on this Easter Sunday.

The third best moment was in Santiago when I woke up to realise that I had survived not only the pilgrimage but also the previous evenings celebrations.

When it becomes possible again I want to do it all again!

Great thread Jenny!
Hi @Lindsay from Scotland - thanks for your wonderful thoughts in this post, as well as your previous post - btw - ‘love the guitar! And thank you for the lovely compliment.

That moment when you realise where you are - and that wonderful ‘unknowing’ of what’s ahead - the bigger picture - really is overwhelming. @jl here on the Forum calls that realisation beginning to ‘look at the world through Camino eyes’ - gosh that’s an apt description of what can happen.

Your experience out from Astorga was a profound one - how that experience would stay in your heart.

And Santiago! The joy of arrival there! I hope you didn’t have far to walk that day! It sounds as though you might have had more than ONE toast to the Camino the night before! Fantastic!

I think we all need to make a pact - when the Camino’s safely back - we’re back.

Best wishes from Oz -
Jenny
 

digger

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mozarabe; Almeria to Santiago May & June 2016
Oh Jenny, What a good idea!
Gripped by cabin fever, and heartily sick of bathroom renovation, your thread prompted me to look back through my old journals. This excerpt describes what has to be right up there amongst my best moments (so far).

10 May: Quéntar to Granada -20. Up early again - had to wait 10 minutes for enough light to walk safely beside the river. The banks are a little overgrown and it’s hard to see things that could easily trip a numpty. Easy going at first but then up, and up, and up to a long high ridge that totally dominates the surrounding area. From the crests there are stupendous views back toward the snow-topped Sierra Nevada and down into the valleys either side. Walking easily on a wide, crushed gravel road along a knife-like ridge with visibility out to 20 miles, eagles overhead in cold clear skies, a stiff breeze blowing the wildflowers about and nothing but beauty all around, it’s easy to get a little emotional. In such an environment one tends to consider one’s blessings. I’m blessed with a loving wife who understands my need to do this stuff.

Thank you and all the other posters for this uplifting thread
Digger
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
I felt strongly called to my first camino in 2015, although I had, and have, no idea how I heard about the camino. On the November day that I passed through Sarria, I stopped for the night at an albergue just past the village of Barbadelo. After my shower, I walked over to the Igrexa de Santiago. The cemetery next to the church is walled, like many in Galicia, and the tombs were heavily decorated with flowers, placed on family tombs to honour family members at All Souls Day, the day after All Saints Day (Nov. 1). I walked briefly in the cemetery/garden, then left to go around to the front of the church and see if it was open. As I walked around, a voice from a man in the cemetery called out to me. I thought it was the gardener. I stopped and he went around to the church door with me and we went in together. I had my credencial to be stamped and noticed some coins in the box with the sello. A search in my skirt pocket did not yield my change purse, which was still in the pocket of my walking clothes, so I pulled out a bill from my wallet and put it in the box with the words, "por l'iglesia." I then went to sit in the front row of the church, while the man went out a side door at the front of the church. He returned a few minutes later and set up the altar for the mass. I was still thinking that he, in his simple garments, was a lay assistant. But I was not too surprised when he returned a few moments later in liturgical robes and I realized that he was about to offer mass, with me as the only member of his congregation. As my Spanish was very basic, he helped me with the responses. At some point during the service, Jesus spoke to me and said, "I love you enough to die for you." [No audible words]. I am sharing this with you on this Easter Day, because He has made it clear to me that these words are not just for me, but for all of you. This was not just my best camino moment, but the best moment of my life.
Gosh, @Albertagirl - what an intensely faith-affirming experience this would have been. Yes, I can see why it would have been the best moment of your life. How you were led to the church, to have the mass said, the sharing of the responses and to receive Jesus’s message is beyond coincidence - it was meant to be. What a joyous experience - an experience which will be with you forever.

Thank you for sharing this most wonderful experience with us.

I hope that your Easter, despite all that is happening, was a very special one.

Best wishes from Oz -
Jenny
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Gosh, @Albertagirl - what an intensely faith-affirming experience this would have been. Yes, I can see why it would have been the best moment of your life. How you were led to the church, to have the mass said, the sharing of the responses and to receive Jesus’s message is beyond coincidence - it was meant to be. What a joyous experience - an experience which will be with you forever.

Thank you for sharing this most wonderful experience with us.

I hope that your Easter, despite all that is happening, was a very special one.

Best wishes from Oz -
Jenny
Hi, Jenny:
When I related this experience to my pastor at church, he pointed out to me the story in the gospel of John 20:11-18, where another Mary on another Easter morning meets Jesus in a garden and is spoken to by Him. This is one reason why I felt it appropriate to post it on the forum on an Easter Day when we are trying to deal with great loss and sorrow.
Mary Louise
 
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JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
So many moments but, without doubt, the most memorable was 20 April 2004!
Having completed 41 days walking the Ruta de la Plata (meeting so very few pilgrims over the near 1000km) from Sevilla, my wife and I arrived in Santiago.
At the sight of the Cathedral below us we paused, looked at each each and unashamedly wept.
It was her 60th birthday.
Thanks so much for your post, Paul. To share a quiet Camino with your wife - meeting so few other pilgrims - and to have all the time walking together - would have been very special.
The arrival in Santiago - it really is overwhelming - to walk through the arch, hearing the piper, and then into Praza do Obradoiro - can bring up so many emotions - gratitude, euphoria, and utter joy are but a few. And to have that experience on your wife’s 60th birthday! Now that would have been completely overwhelming - tears of joy.
Best wishes from Oz -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
A late entry.
Some of our best moments were on the Camino Frances in 2009 with the Easter Parades. On Palm Sunday we were in Pamplona when along came the procession towards the cathedral. The locals 'pulled' us into the procession and gave us palm leaves to wave. Shortly afterwards we were all in the cathedral for the service.
Five days later it was Good Friday. We had walked from Viana to Logrono for coffee and then headed out of town. I perceived that Elizabeth was a bit tired so I said "let's go back to Logrono and stay the night". We retraced our steps - and as we got back into town we could hear the beating of drums. We walked towards the sounds and came across a huge procession - with giant floats being supported by 16 men - and plenty of people in coloured 'ku-klux-klan' style costumes covering their bodies. You could only determine their sex by looking at their feet !
Then on Easter Sunday we were in Los Arcos. We went to the evening service and afterwards watched the procession through the town. There were lots of children in that procession. We wondered why there were so few people lining the streets watching. It then dawned on us that just about all the townspeople were in the procession.
Memorable times.
Hi John! It’s terrific to be in contact with you here on the Forum! (For those following this thread John and I occasionally see each other at Camino catchups in Sydney and the conversation is always fantastic!).

Easter on the Camino must surely be one of the most wonderful times of the year to be on pilgrimage, with the parades and celebrations in almost every village and town. What a spectacle they are - people in costume, statues aloft - and the participation of so many in those parades and celebrations.

What a beautiful gesture of goodwill to be given the palm fronds and to be pulled into the procession - gosh, how your hearts would have swelled.

What memories these are to treasure always.

Best wishes to you and Elizabeth -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
I have enjoyed reading many of the special stories that have been shared on this thread and we each remember ours so very vividly. I have had many incredibly beautiful vacations in my lifetime, but it's the many memorable experiences on the Caminos that are set apart in a category all their own to be recalled and cherished.
Hi Chrissy - thank you for your lovely post. I’ve really enjoyed reading of the memories and experiences of Forum members and I’ve appreciated so much everything that has been shared.

Like you, I’ve had some fabulous vacations and there are places which I just love visiting, but, you know, when I had my first Camino in 2012, I think I was ruined for everywhere else - the impact of the Camino was so strong. Look at all of us who return again and again - there’s a sacred magic on the Camino which I think can only be felt when one is travelling to a holy place.

Best wishes from Oz -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Like many, mine is more a collection of moments from my second Camino. Spending 6 weeks with my younger son after he had spent 5 yrs away from home is near the top of my life experiences, not just Camino experiences. I will never regret spending those days with him.
@Phoenix - thank you for your beautiful post. To be able to share six weeks on the Camino with your son, after the five years he lived away from home, would have been absolutely wonderful. The bond you would have shared in that time together - the conversations, the memories and stories - all that you both shared - would stay with you both forever.

Best wishes from Oz -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Oh Jenny, What a good idea!
Gripped by cabin fever, and heartily sick of bathroom renovation, your thread prompted me to look back through my old journals. This excerpt describes what has to be right up there amongst my best moments (so far).

10 May: Quéntar to Granada -20. Up early again - had to wait 10 minutes for enough light to walk safely beside the river. The banks are a little overgrown and it’s hard to see things that could easily trip a numpty. Easy going at first but then up, and up, and up to a long high ridge that totally dominates the surrounding area. From the crests there are stupendous views back toward the snow-topped Sierra Nevada and down into the valleys either side. Walking easily on a wide, crushed gravel road along a knife-like ridge with visibility out to 20 miles, eagles overhead in cold clear skies, a stiff breeze blowing the wildflowers about and nothing but beauty all around, it’s easy to get a little emotional. In such an environment one tends to consider one’s blessings. I’m blessed with a loving wife who understands my need to do this stuff.

Thank you and all the other posters for this uplifting thread
Digger
Hi @digger - thank you too for your lovely post and for your thanks to all who’ve contributed to this thread. Gosh - our stories! All wonderful.

Your account of Day 10 - Quentar to Granada had me smiling as you carefully navigated the riverside walk and then your description of how you felt as you walked along the ridge - the eagles soaring and the view stretching out for miles - I think you had all reading your post right there with you in spirit!

Yes - we who have partners who ‘get’ how we feel are blessed. Their support is key as we leave our homes and our countries to once again experience the magic of the Camino.

Best of luck with the bathroom reno -

Cheers from Culburra -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Hi, Jenny:
When I related this experience to my pastor at church, he pointed out to me the story in the gospel of John:11-18, where another Mary on another Easter morning meets Jesus in a garden and is spoken to by Him. This is one reason why I felt it appropriate to post it on the forum on an Easter Day when we are trying to deal with great loss and sorrow.
Mary Louise
Hi Mary Louise - thank you so much for your further post and the sharing of your conversation with your pastor.

It is profoundly appropriate that this message was shared on Easter Day, in a time when the entire world is trying to come to terms with something so immense - so sad and so far-reaching. Thank you - thank you - for sharing this message.

Best wishes -
Jenny
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
It is so hard to come up with one particular moment, when I look and remember a particular event I realise that there is something else which deserves a to be thought of in the same way as a sublime moment. However I realised that there is moment which isn't my all time favourite, which would be the wrong words for it,but holds a special place in my heart.
In may 2012 I started near Bordeaux on the Voie Littoral, prior to starting my best friend had died unexpectedly at the age of 42 in March on my birthday. I wasn't sure about doing this Camino,but to be truthful I was an emotional mess and just wanted to go away,hide. I was ok on the VL part of the Camino, I was alone and didn't have to interact with anyone apart from keeping in daily contact with my partner. At Irun I found it harder, more pilgrims joined and I kept myself to myself, not really wanting to chat or even meet them. My general mood detoriated after I split up with my partner by a telephone call after San Sebastian, I took exception to something and pressed the detonate button. So my Camino continued like this, I wasn't sure if I wanted to be on it but I didn't want to go home and I wasn't really opening up to other people,with one exception a French Peregrina who I would walk off and on with, who at every open Church would go in a and sing Ultreyia.
My Camino continued like this for weeks, it all came to a head at Bodeneya on the Camino Primitivo, I had a crazy night of drinking with a Johan who had walked from Belgium and I had been a general pain in the rear for the hospitalero -Alex. I woke up the next day and felt shame and regret and decided to go home. at the same time as climbing of the bunk bed something gave in my knee and I realised that was it anyway.
Alex was friendly and open with me that morning and seemed shocked when I told him that was it, he said go to Borres it is isolated and will give you time to clear your mind. When he realised that I was definitely going he came and gave me the biggest hug, I started crying, his hug allowed me to let out the weeks of pain and turmoil, it was such a genuine hug and totally unconditional on me having been a good or bad pilgrim or anything really. This hug has remained with me, and gives me a reference on noble behaviour when someone like me has been totally undeserving of it. So not my best or favourite but a very special one,that carries over into all my subsequent Camino's.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I am absolutely loving this thread!! I don’t know really .. so many things have happened …. in a general rather than specific moment … I have always been on Camino by myself, doing first aid, and pastoral care …. it is a singular thing .. most pilgrims I will never see again and it is a strangely sad thing that when a pilgrim is repaired and they walk off with their pilgrim friends they never look back … they are in the moment and walking onwards. I have altered my strategy now and sometimes leap ahead a few days so I can meet pilgrims again and check on how they are.

But – when my friend Jenny (who started this thread) accepted my invitation to Camino with me as she was injured and unable to do the Camino she had planned, for me it became a completely different experience .. someone to share the highs and lows with (and occasionally fall out with, my bad, ;) ) … a completely different experience – I loved it, helped by Jenny being so enthusiastic and positive about life, her empathy for others, and her brilliant sense of humour – we laughed so much, and she helped me with the casualties, sometimes turning her phone into a torch and focussing tirelessly as we worked late. She was a laughing Camino Angel!

So, a singular moment? This would be back in the year 5, fifteen years ago on my first Camino. I was walking through France along a slowly descending track with overhanging trees. Spring, sunny, hot, with the occasional small cloud. I wasn't really noticing my surroundings as I was deep into thinking.

My background is theology and my special interest was the development of early Christianity … you know how it is when you walk .. the blood is oxygenated, the frontal brain takes care of the walking and the rest of the oxygenated brain is free to ponder, to think … so I was thinking about what I knew about the development of Christianity, from Yeshua's brother and the Jewish followers still teaching in the temple in Jerusalem, to the alteration of the message by Paul .. the Roman war and destruction of Jerusalem and dispersal of those Christians, the successful spread of Paulist Christianity, defeating heresies and becoming orthodox …. and suddenly it all became clear and I could see the whole thing, the way one can look at one of those pendulum clocks under a glass dome where one can see all the workings and how they fit together ….
…… at that point I stopped dead in my tracks and thought “but, if this is so what does it say about an interventionist God?” - and then looked around me – I had arrived at the bottom of a small valley, a glade really, with grass cropped by rabbits … there was a beautiful bubbling stream with a tiny wooden bridge, the glade was edged with trees, green with Spring life … at that moment a cloud moved away from the sun and the rays came down, dappling everything through the branches .. and as I stood in utter wonder, a dozen small pale-blue butterflies rose up and danced around my naked legs – I laughed, so loud, deep laughing – Blessed the Good God for such a perfect answer, crossed the bridge, and walked on.

Buen Camino fellow pilgrims - hope to see you out there one day (preferably healthy of course :) )
 
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Hugh Larkin

Perpetual Wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Sanabria 2018
Pieterpad 2018
Kumano Kodo (202??)
Gosh, Hugh - to see the flowering of a seed sown 25 years before would have been joyously overwhelming. Thank you for sharing your most memorable moment and for the lovely photo.
Best wishes -
Jenny
Thank you. And I like the way you phrased your observation. The last few weeks, I have been enjoying tulips brought over by the same Dutch friends years ago bloom and bring forth such memories.
Hugh
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
It is so hard to come up with one particular moment, when I look and remember a particular event I realise that there is something else which deserves a to be thought of in the same way as a sublime moment. However I realised that there is moment which isn't my all time favourite, which would be the wrong words for it,but holds a special place in my heart.
In may 2012 I started near Bordeaux on the Voie Littoral, prior to starting my best friend had died unexpectedly at the age of 42 in March on my birthday. I wasn't sure about doing this Camino,but to be truthful I was an emotional mess and just wanted to go away,hide. I was ok on the VL part of the Camino, I was alone and didn't have to interact with anyone apart from keeping in daily contact with my partner. At Irun I found it harder, more pilgrims joined and I kept myself to myself, not really wanting to chat or even meet them. My general mood detoriated after I split up with my partner by a telephone call after San Sebastian, I took exception to something and pressed the detonate button. So my Camino continued like this, I wasn't sure if I wanted to be on it but I didn't want to go home and I wasn't really opening up to other people,with one exception a French Peregrina who I would walk off and on with, who at every open Church would go in a and sing Ultreyia.
My Camino continued like this for weeks, it all came to a head at Bodeneya on the Camino Primitivo, I had a crazy night of drinking with a Johan who had walked from Belgium and I had been a general pain in the rear for the hospitalero -Alex. I woke up the next day and felt shame and regret and decided to go home. at the same time as climbing of the bunk bed something gave in my knee and I realised that was it anyway.
Alex was friendly and open with me that morning and seemed shocked when I told him that was it, he said go to Borres it is isolated and will give you time to clear your mind. When he realised that I was definitely going he came and gave me the biggest hug, I started crying, his hug allowed me to let out the weeks of pain and turmoil, it was such a genuine hug and totally unconditional on me having been a good or bad pilgrim or anything really. This hug has remained with me, and gives me a reference on noble behaviour when someone like me has been totally undeserving of it. So not my best or favourite but a very special one,that carries over into all my subsequent Camino's.
Oh @Isca-camigo - thank you for your wonderful post - it resonated with me deeply. What sadness you were carrying - for your dear friend who had died and then the breakup of your relationship - no wonder you were feeling as you did. The burden would have been terrible.

As we all know, sometimes when we’re so burdened and there’s an opportunity to cut loose, we just want to put aside those burdens and get on with that cutting loose, as you did with Johan. Alex sounds like a very perceptive and empathetic hospitalero - how his hug enabled you to begin to grieve - healing tears. What a Camino angel he was.

Your words “His hug has remained with me and gives me a reference on noble behaviour when someone like me is totally undeserving of it” has special resonance for me - this is something I will keep close and bring forth - particularly reflecting on my own behaviour at times which I still regret. How your thoughts have helped me - Thank you.

Best wishes from Oz -
Jenny
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
Thank you Jenmy.

It was a tough Camino, it's hard to walk for most of us at the best of times and the repeated daily walking needs a focus and determination, which I was lacking. After Bodeneya I caught a bus and train to Llanes and spent 4 nights there, I realised after about the 3rd night that I really wanted to finish my Camino, and that was all that I needed a time out and just to do something non - Camino related, however my knee wasn't capable of it, so I got the ferry home from Santander.
I reflected a lot on the whole experience and realised there was a lot of unique and special things happening around me but I wasn't capable of reaching out or opening up to them at that time.I used this knowledge to prepare myself for my next Camino from Montpellier to Santiago in 2014, patience was my partner on this journey. It became a special Camino for me.
Alex is a special person and if I was ever in position to have a place on the way and opened it for pilgrims then his living example would be in my thoughts.

Lots of hugs to you Jenny from Exeter in Lockdown.

Mike
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
I am absolutely loving this thread!! I don’t know really .. so many things have happened …. in a general rather than specific moment … I have always been on Camino by myself, doing first aid, and pastoral care …. it is a singular thing .. most pilgrims I will never see again and it is a strangely sad thing that when a pilgrim is repaired and they walk off with their pilgrim friends they never look back … they are in the moment and walking onwards. I have altered my strategy now and sometimes leap ahead a few days so I can meet pilgrims again and check on how they are.

But – when my friend Jenny (who started this thread) accepted my invitation to Camino with me as she was injured and unable to do the Camino she had planned, for me it became a completely different experience .. someone to share the highs and lows with (and occasionally fall out with, my bad, ;) ) … a completely different experience – I loved it, helped by Jenny being so enthusiastic and positive about life, her empathy for others, and her brilliant sense of humour – we laughed so much, and she helped me with the casualties, sometimes turning her phone into a torch and focussing tirelessly as we worked late. She was a laughing Camino Angel!

So, a singular moment? This would be back in the year 5, fifteen years ago on my first Camino. I was walking through France along a slowly descending track with overhanging trees. Spring, sunny, hot, with the occasional small cloud. I wasn't really noticing my surroundings as I was deep into thinking.

My background is theology and my special interest was the development of early Christianity … you know how it is when you walk .. the blood is oxygenated, the frontal brain takes care of the walking and the rest of the oxygenated brain is free to ponder, to think … so I was thinking about what I knew about the development of Christianity, from Yeshua's brother and the Jewish followers still teaching in the temple in Jerusalem, to the alteration of the message by Paul .. the Roman war and destruction of Jerusalem and dispersal of those Christians, the successful spread of Paulist Christianity, defeating heresies and becoming orthodox …. and suddenly it all became clear and I could see the whole thing, the way one can look at one of those pendulum clocks under a glass dome where one can see all the workings and how they fit together ….
…… at that point I stopped dead in my tracks and thought “but, if this is so what does it say about an interventionist God?” - and then looked around me – I had arrived at the bottom of a small valley, a glade really, with grass cropped by rabbits … there was a beautiful bubbling stream with a tiny wooden bridge, the glade was edged with trees, green with Spring life … at that moment a cloud moved away from the sun and the rays came down, dappling everything through the branches .. and as I stood in utter wonder, a dozen small pale-blue butterflies rose up and danced around my naked legs – I laughed, so loud, deep laughing – Blessed the Good God for such a perfect answer, crossed the bridge, and walked on.

Buen Camino fellow pilgrims - hope to see you out there one day (preferably healthy of course :) )
Hi David - thank you for your wonderful post and your thoughts about the time we shared on your September 2015 First Aid Camino - it was such an excellently memorable time!

What a revelation you experienced on your first camino - to see the whole thing from those early times of Christianity so clearly - so powerfully - and to have your question answered beautifully and vividly in the form of the dancing butterflies.

Buen next First Aid Camino, David!

Best wishes from Oz -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Thank you Jenmy.

It was a tough Camino, it's hard to walk for most of us at the best of times and the repeated daily walking needs a focus and determination, which I was lacking. After Bodeneya I caught a bus and train to Llanes and spent 4 nights there, I realised after about the 3rd night that I really wanted to finish my Camino, and that was all that I needed a time out and just to do something non - Camino related, however my knee wasn't capable of it, so I got the ferry home from Santander.
I reflected a lot on the whole experience and realised there was a lot of unique and special things happening around me but I wasn't capable of reaching out or opening up to them at that time.I used this knowledge to prepare myself for my next Camino from Montpellier to Santiago in 2014, patience was my partner on this journey. It became a special Camino for me.
Alex is a special person and if I was ever in position to have a place on the way and opened it for pilgrims then his living example would be in my thoughts.

Lots of hugs to you Jenny from Exeter in Lockdown.

Mike
Hi Mike -

Thank you so much for your this post and for sharing what happened after you needed to stop your 2012 camino. The wisdom you gained by reflection on the pain and burdens from that camino would have served you so well on your 2014 camino. As you say, it was a special camino.

Pilgrims would be blessed to have you as a hospitalero - and what a fine example Alex is for all of us thinking of serving as hospitaleros.

I hope life is good for you in Devon despite all that everyone in the UK are facing.

Huge Camino hugs from Culburra -
Jenny
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
Thank you. And I like the way you phrased your observation. The last few weeks, I have been enjoying tulips brought over by the same Dutch friends years ago bloom and bring forth such memories.
Hugh
Thank you, Hugh, for your kind words.

What a lovely reminder of your Dutch friends and your shared camino the tulips would be - each Spring seeing the floral acknowledgment of a wonderful friendship which continues to bloom over many years.

Best wishes from Oz -
Jenny
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugwe da Costa (2019 July)
Lisboa - Porto (2020 July)
We had some funny moments during our Camino in July 2019. The ferry in A Guarda was broken. But it wasn't a trouble because there were marvelous senior Marko with his boat. It was interesting to look around during crossing the river. But suddenly he shouted: "Down! Down!" We were scared, but he laughed and said: "I must see fairway (waterway). Then we joked that he saw border guards.
In Redondela at Hospedaje Bahía de San Simon was a very interesting owner. He was fond of learning new words of different languages. In the eveningh he asked us to explain some words in Russian, tried to pronounce them. He made coffee for us, then one more and one more, one more... Coffee was good, we coudn't sleep. It was great lesson of Russian!
 

MaryLP

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago - May 2014
St. Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona - Starting September 27, 2015
Today in total confinement here in rural France this memory seems like a dream from another life.
However without a doubt for me it has always been and shall be January 24, 2009 in Roncesvalles. I walked 18 k in 5 hours through strong wind, heavy rain, sleet and eventually dense snow up the Valcarlos road to the almost mythic monastery ! Saw few people and no other pilgrims; I was the only one staying in the tiny old winter albergue.

The monk who stamped my Credential invited me to the evening benediction for pilgrims. It was lovely. The service was held in the ancient Romanesque church (wonderfully heated!!) in front of the magnificent silver sculpture of the Virgin. Three monks assisted and asked me to stand with them at the altar. ...In retrospect how special it was that snowy night to be the single pilgrim where crowds have stood throughout time. ...

May thankful crowds stand for their blessing at that special altar soon again.
Over the past weeks, out walking in our sleepy South Coast, New South Wales town of Culburra Beach, my thoughts inevitably turned to the Camino and in particular to the countless wonderful experiences I’ve had whilst on camino.

Many experiences came to mind, so I examined those experiences in turn and drew up a shortlist of those Camino Moments which gave me utter joy. Here is the Camino Moment which eclipsed all others:

In 2015, after a bike fall prevented me from joining @Saint Mike II on a bike camino from Pamplona, I joined @David on one of his many first aid caminos. David did the diagnosis, carried out the first aid and we both chatted to the pilgrims as he worked.

One night, at the fantastic Santiago Apostol albergue at Puente La Reina, David carried out first aid treatments for hours. The albergue was packed - so many pilgrims staying - the noise from the dining room was something you just had to be there to hear and to appreciate - the pilgrim community at its best. Many pilgrims needed first aid help and a long line formed.

One of the pilgrims needing that help was Max, a young American pilgrim, who was super-enthusiastic about everything on the Camino. His enthusiasm had him racing out of the ‘barrier’ that is St Jean Pied de Port and each day he walked too far and too fast. He had blisters and very sore legs. David suspected he might be heading towards shin splints. After David treated the blisters and tried to teach him how to walk so he didn’t get shin splints, which is an hilarious story in itself!, he asked Max to wait for him while he disappeared for a couple of minutes, without telling him why. He returned with a staff he’d made - he makes one before each first aid camino to give to a pilgrim in need. It was a beautiful thing with a proper handgrip, a metal tip at the bottom of the staff and adorned with a small metal scallop shell. He presented it to Max, who was completely overwhelmed - he was profuse in his thanks to David.

Here’s my All Time, Absolute BEST Camino moment! When Max went inside and into the dining room, David turned his attention to the next pilgrim needing help. A moment later we heard a massive roar, cheering and applause. We looked up to see Max, holding the staff in the air like a Viking - every pilgrim cheering and clapping. Gosh - the feeling! My heart nearly burst with joy.

Without doubt, this is what the Camino is all about.

In a recent email, David told me he has a staff ready to give to another pilgrim in need. Who that pilgrim will be is unknown, as is the time when it will be gifted. My hope is that it won’t be too long.

Here are a few photos of the new staff - beautiful, isn’t it?

View attachment 72898

I’d love to hear the stories of your All Time, Absolute BEST Camino Moment - please share your stories.

Cheers and best wishes from Oz -

Jenny
 

Dancing Rain

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Salvado (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
I felt strongly called to my first camino in 2015, although I had, and have, no idea how I heard about the camino. On the November day that I passed through Sarria, I stopped for the night at an albergue just past the village of Barbadelo. After my shower, I walked over to the Igrexa de Santiago. The cemetery next to the church is walled, like many in Galicia, and the tombs were heavily decorated with flowers, placed on family tombs to honour family members at All Souls Day, the day after All Saints Day (Nov. 1). I walked briefly in the cemetery/garden, then left to go around to the front of the church and see if it was open. As I walked around, a voice from a man in the cemetery called out to me. I thought it was the gardener. I stopped and he went around to the church door with me and we went in together. I had my credencial to be stamped and noticed some coins in the box with the sello. A search in my skirt pocket did not yield my change purse, which was still in the pocket of my walking clothes, so I pulled out a bill from my wallet and put it in the box with the words, "por l'iglesia." I then went to sit in the front row of the church, while the man went out a side door at the front of the church. He returned a few minutes later and set up the altar for the mass. I was still thinking that he, in his simple garments, was a lay assistant. But I was not too surprised when he returned a few moments later in liturgical robes and I realized that he was about to offer mass, with me as the only member of his congregation. As my Spanish was very basic, he helped me with the responses. At some point during the service, Jesus spoke to me and said, "I love you enough to die for you." [No audible words]. I am sharing this with you on this Easter Day, because He has made it clear to me that these words are not just for me, but for all of you. This was not just my best camino moment, but the best moment of my life.
I remember that priest calling us in as we walked by, and making us so welcome
 

Terje Svalbard

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013 part), Camino Frances (2014), Camino Primitivo (2015), St. Olav's Way (2016)
Over the past weeks, out walking in our sleepy South Coast, New South Wales town of Culburra Beach, my thoughts inevitably turned to the Camino and in particular to the countless wonderful experiences I’ve had whilst on camino.

Many experiences came to mind, so I examined those experiences in turn and drew up a shortlist of those Camino Moments which gave me utter joy. Here is the Camino Moment which eclipsed all others:

In 2015, after a bike fall prevented me from joining @Saint Mike II on a bike camino from Pamplona, I joined @David on one of his many first aid caminos. David did the diagnosis, carried out the first aid and we both chatted to the pilgrims as he worked.

One night, at the fantastic Santiago Apostol albergue at Puente La Reina, David carried out first aid treatments for hours. The albergue was packed - so many pilgrims staying - the noise from the dining room was something you just had to be there to hear and to appreciate - the pilgrim community at its best. Many pilgrims needed first aid help and a long line formed.

One of the pilgrims needing that help was Max, a young American pilgrim, who was super-enthusiastic about everything on the Camino. His enthusiasm had him racing out of the ‘barrier’ that is St Jean Pied de Port and each day he walked too far and too fast. He had blisters and very sore legs. David suspected he might be heading towards shin splints. After David treated the blisters and tried to teach him how to walk so he didn’t get shin splints, which is an hilarious story in itself!, he asked Max to wait for him while he disappeared for a couple of minutes, without telling him why. He returned with a staff he’d made - he makes one before each first aid camino to give to a pilgrim in need. It was a beautiful thing with a proper handgrip, a metal tip at the bottom of the staff and adorned with a small metal scallop shell. He presented it to Max, who was completely overwhelmed - he was profuse in his thanks to David.

Here’s my All Time, Absolute BEST Camino moment! When Max went inside and into the dining room, David turned his attention to the next pilgrim needing help. A moment later we heard a massive roar, cheering and applause. We looked up to see Max, holding the staff in the air like a Viking - every pilgrim cheering and clapping. Gosh - the feeling! My heart nearly burst with joy.

Without doubt, this is what the Camino is all about.

In a recent email, David told me he has a staff ready to give to another pilgrim in need. Who that pilgrim will be is unknown, as is the time when it will be gifted. My hope is that it won’t be too long.

Here are a few photos of the new staff - beautiful, isn’t it?

View attachment 72898

I’d love to hear the stories of your All Time, Absolute BEST Camino Moment - please share your stories.

Cheers and best wishes from Oz -

Jenny
Early mornings on the Camino are my best moments. DA9213A0-825C-4A9D-9146-2850A826196D.jpeg
 

WalkingJane

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
As everyone seems to be saying, there were so many. However, that very first morning, walking up to Orisson stands out. Next, walking along the river lined by giant chestnut trees....
 

Jackie Robinson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Time this year
The very best moment for me has to be reaching my destination but there were a great many memorable moments along the way, here's one of them;

I decided to follow the CF in 2015 having heard great things about it from dear friends of mine who'd already done it and although I always spend my birthday off somewhere, this would definitely be a different kind of 'somewhere'.

I was heading towards Villa France and looking forward to my birthday treat of a private room, a soak in a bath and something other than a Pellegrino meal when I got a call from my friends who sounded like they were also out walking so I struggled to hear a lot of what was being said. They wished me a happy birthday and I gave them a progress report (always keen for tips re. accommodation etc)

So imagine my total surprise not to mention absolute delight to discover that not only had they returned to walk part of CF they'd previously had to miss due to sickness but were also aiming to, by means of subterfuge and cunning, attempt a link up with me at the same to help me celebrate my birthday which we did with wine, a fabulous meal and balloons!

We set off the following morning and walked together for the day, parting as we had different destinations planned but then linked up again a little way further along the route and spent another lovely evening together before the time came to part company; they to return home to Blighty and me to continue along the route they'd previously followed, tales from which were definitely the prompt for my subsequent journey..

Happy days indeed

Villa Franca on CF [14052015].PNG
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
It is, of course, really difficult to pick out "best" moments. But two moments really stand out for me, one from my 1989 Camino and one from my 2016 Camino.

In 1989 I arrived late in O Cebreiro in inclement weather. This was before they had built the albergue, and before it became the tourist destination it is today, filled with hotels and souvenir shops. Back then there was only one inn, and it was full. But the innkeeper said it would be okay if I laid out my sleeping bag by the fireplace in the common room and slept there. I never felt more like a medieval pilgrim.

For my 2016 Camino, the best moment was after I arrived in Santiago. Not the typical moment of walking past the pipers into Obradoiro Square. This was a bit later on one of the side streets, where I happened to run into a fellow pilgrim. It wasn't one I had been walking with. I had just seen him one evening a few days before when he hobbled into the albergue, stricken by foot, ankle, and knee. It was just a few days until Santiago and he wasn't sure he would make it. And here it was, a few days later, he had made it to Santiago and was walking okay. I was just so happy for his success that it became a highlight of the Camino and the moment came to be entrenched in my soul as a symbol for what I took away from the Camino.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
Like all other posters...so so so many moments during so many walks. This one comes to mind, after walking hours in the cold driving rain up to Cruz de Ferro, the moment I placed my little stone on the mound and stepped away, the sky opened up and God smiled ❤
 

Attachments

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
Indeed

And is that the moon at bottom left, just above the treetops?
Yes...felt like I had it all in a few moments...the driving rain, the clapping thunder, the still, the sun, the moon, the feeling of accomplishment, relief, exhaustion & peace...was rather surreal ( as some experiences on the camino often are )
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
I expected my first Camino to end in Santiago, but when I reached there, I didn't feel at all like I was done walking. The evening I arrived in late June, I ended up having a couple glasses of wine in la Plaza de Cervantes with a couple of guys who talked me into walking with them the next day onto Finisterre and then Muxia.

One was a rather domineering, extroverted Brit, who had walked many caminos before. The other was a quiet, spiritual, bearded guy from South Africa. The two had met up on the Primitivo a week or so before and - odd couple though they were - they ended up being inseparable. (Neither of them spoke Spanish, which is why I think they thought it would be handy to have me along.)

The next morning the three of us headed out together and, after a long day of walking, we started looking for a place to stop for the night. I was noticing women hanging bunches of plants and herbs on doorways, but I didn't know what that was about. As evening fell, people were lighting bonfires in their yards, which bothered the Brit enough that he stopped to reprimand one old fellow for creating such pollution.

After setting down our things in an albergue next to a beautiful tiny church on a stop in the road, I headed out to look around and was immediately roped in by a couple of local elderly women who explained to me that it was La Noche de San Juan and they insisted that I join them for some obligatory rituals. I went to get my friends, and the ladies led us in jumping over a bonfire nine times for good luck and then they grilled sardines, which we enjoyed on hunks of bread. Later came powerful Orujo punch and more pilgrims showed up. Although it was a Catholic holiday, it had a distinctly Galician pagan feel to me.

The quaint little church was locked, but an abuelita told me that the next day, June 24th, a priest from the capital of the parish would be coming... one of only a couple of days of the year the church would be opened and the mostly elderly locals (about 14 of them) would have the chance to celebrate Mass together on Saint John's day. She told me it would be nice if I could come, too.

This seemed important, especially after the way they had thoughtfully included us in the festivities the night before. So I went back to the albergue and announced to all the pilgrims that we would be staying for Mass the next morning. Everybody had other plans. All wanted to get up early and start walking. I insisted, even though I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere.

But the next morning the church was full, probably for the first time in many years. Twenty three foreign pilgrims joined the local elderly folks for Mass and stayed until early afternoon before walking on.

I don't remember the name of the town. I have pictures somewhere. But this was a special moment on the Camino for me.
 
Last edited:

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
I expected my first Camino to end in Santiago, but when I reached there, I didn't feel at all like I was done walking. The evening I arrived in late June, I ended up having a couple glasses of wine in la Plaza de Cervantes with a couple of guys who talked me into walking with them the next day onto Finisterre and then Muxia.

One was a rather domineering, extroverted Brit, who had walked many caminos before. The other was a quiet, spiritual, bearded guy from South Africa. The two had met up on the Primitivo a week or so before and - odd couple though they were - they ended up being inseparable.

The next morning the three of us headed out together and, after a long day of walking, we started looking for a place to stop for the night. I was noticing women hanging bunches of plants and herbs on doorways, but I didn't know what that was about. As evening fell, people were lighting bonfires in their yards, which bothered the Brit enough that he stopped to reprimand one old fellow for creating such pollution.

After setting down our things in an albergue next to a beautiful tiny church on a stop in the road, I headed out to look around and was immediately roped in by a couple of local elderly women who explained to me that it was La Noche de San Juan and they insisted that I join them for some obligatory rituals. I went to get my friends, and the ladies led us in jumping over a bonfire nine times for good luck and then they grilled sardines, which we enjoyed on hunks of bread. Later came powerful Orujo punch and more pilgrims showed up. Although it was a Catholic holiday, it had a distinctly Galician pagan feel to me.

The quaint little church was locked, but an abuelita told me that the next day, June 24th, a priest from the capital of the parish would be coming... one of only a couple of days of the year the church would be opened and the mostly elderly locals (about 14 of them) would have the chance to celebrate Mass together on Saint John's day. She told me it would be nice if I could come, too.

This seemed important, especially after the way they had thoughtfully included us in the festivities the night before. So I went back to the albergue and announced to all the pilgrims that we would be staying for Mass the next morning. Everybody had other plans. All wanted to get up early and start walking. I insisted, even though it seemed pointless.

But the next morning the church was full, probably for the first time in many years. Twenty three foreign pilgrims joined the local elderly folks for Mass and stayed until early afternoon before walking on.

I don't remember the name of the town. I have pictures somewhere. But this was a special moment on the Camino for me.
What a wonderful experience you had @JillGat - to be welcomed and included in the celebrations, as well as the Mass in the tiny and packed church - would be joyous. The kindness of strangers on the many different caminos is something exceptional.
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

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