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Please Play Nice!

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Leslie, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. grayland

    grayland Member

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  2. grayland

    grayland Member

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    Wily.....I would not recommend walking the VdlP in August. It was 55c (over 120F) for the first two weeks. I was the only pilgrim walking and was alone at all albergues. I did meet my wife in Salamanca (about half way) and the temp cooled into the high 90+. It is a long camino of 1000 km so both the terrain and weather changes as you walk.
    Most people walk the VdlP in late September/October or April/May/June.

    Most serial pilgrims tend to fall in love with the VdlP and I think you might want to give it a look.
     
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  3. Kim Federici

    Kim Federici Active Member

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    I walked Sept and Oct on the CF last year and began my Camino knowing it was established as a deeply spiritual pilgrimage for those who walked it in the early days of James' establishment as a saint in the Catholic faith. Personally, I was not headed out with that particular perspective, but I wanted to see how it had become what it was. I also wanted to see what a nice long walk would bring me at a transitional point in my life. For me it was most simply the walking as the means to discovering reverence and mindfulness.
    It was incredibly interesting and touching to meet up with others and have times to talk about each person's experience and hopes. One particularly poignant memory was probably in the beginning 'third' of the walking when our room for 10 in the hostel was filling up as we arrived and showered. The room was filling with a few men, but mostly women and gradually we found ourselves sitting on our beds in conversation. It started with a woman who was walking for the third attempt to complete the CF from SJ. She had been forced to quit due to injury 2 other times and was having difficulty with her knees that was obviously very discouraging for her. She and I began talking and gradually the discussion moved into how she was also disappointed at how difficult it had also become for her to walk as an 'originalist' or what I would think of as a true pilgrim. I was touched by how commercialism has changed the Camino simply with the increased numbers who have found it. She wanted to walk each day, not needing to reserve ahead because that was not the way the penitents had done it; not needing to take a bus, because the penitents had been simply forced to stop until they could actually move forward again. It touched me and made me realize how my casual love for Jaco Trans had already increased my love for the trail because it took away the pain and made my walking more of a joy. Everyone around the room, in that brief before-dinner discussion, had something that was shared in the discussion, but my deepest takeaway was the sadness for this 'originalist' who had lost the dreamed of possibilities she longed for. TIme had thwarted her intentions. Hopefully the Camino helped her come to an understanding of how the new reality could combine with what she most needed. I did not see her again, but I think of her often
    Change is truly inevitable and doesn't really move backwards too effectively, but becoming aware of the depth of hope she was searching out in her pilgrimage made me want to be more open to the paths of those with whom I might share time but not necessarily this deeper sort of conversation. It is sometimes difficult in the exhaustion at the end of a long day or the competition for beds and space, to allow the empathy to flow, but it was one of my best take-aways - realizing that even as I am now re-established at home again, it is the openness for the flow of empathy that forms our most meaningful Way. And I am an atheist.
     
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  4. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Beautifully said, Kim. Thank you!
     
  5. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Yes Kim – Very nicely put :)

    As you say – Change happens and there is nothing that we can do about this, especially with films like “The Way” that has brought The Camino Frances to the attention of so many, but also with the increased ambitions and fitness of slightly older people who a generation ago would have never even dreamed of walking a Camino and now many are having a go, and in the majority of cases succeeding. So, with the added amount of people walking, then I suppose that commercialism was inevitable as where there is a demand, there is someone trying to fill it.

    I have also noticed huge differences on The Camino Frances between when I first walked it starting in 2001, and when I walked the last sections of it as part of my Big Camino (Starting in my home in Cumbria) in 2014.

    However, I do believe that much of the original Camino Spirit remains on many of the lesser walked routes where there is little completion for beds and services, so maybe pilgrims in search of a more authentic experience should consider walking one of these – Do you agree ??

    I have many wonderful Camino Memories but one that often comes to mind was from the second part of my Camino Frances when my friend and I met up with a beautiful young Polish woman called Asia – Asia was from Poland and was walking the Camino for her Parents and Grandparents who, because they lived behind the Iron Curtain, weren’t able to walk it for themselves – Many of us (Including myself) take our freedom for granted, yet this still isn’t the case for everyone :-(

    As is often said on here, “We All Walk Our Own Camino’s” – We do it for different reasons and have different expectations, but as Leslie said at the start of this forum, if we “Play Nice” then we can all get along very well together and hopefully enhance each-others Camino Experiences.

    Good Luck and Buen Camino to One and All
    Rob
     
  6. Patty van Hest

    Patty van Hest New Member

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    Well Grayland, you put into words exactly what three of us were feeling when we walked the Larapinta Trail (Australia). that profound feeling of just KNOWING the spirits of thousands of others have walked, breathed, laughed, suffered and çontemplated their navels' before us. I think it helps since their very first entry on those lands/trails no cars or or other vehicles have been there. It could well be the same as 1000's of years ago, what would we know! I had the same feeling at Machu Pichu....there is more to life than we can see. And sometimes we are lucky enough to be made aware of it!
     
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  7. Patty van Hest

    Patty van Hest New Member

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    One of our children has this saying: ''You do you...", so very true! You are the only one qualified!
     
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  8. Nev Sheather

    Nev Sheather New Member

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    My reasons for walking the Camino are not relgious, but I enjoy the beautiful architecture, paintings, satues etc and the history of the walk and places visited. When I walked from St Jean in 2017 I did not meet one person who questioned, in a bad way, the reason I was walking. However, on facebook pages and forums I have seen religious people stating bluntly or implying that 'secular' walkers should not be on the Camino. I think that is real shame. ps I'm 68 and Australian! Intend to do the Camino Norte this May 2019.
     
  9. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things

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    Hello Nev Sheather........ You are right, it is a shame. But in my opinion it just boils down to an EGO problem. And well, we run into that wherever there are people, right? I just look at that as a character builder. I am learning to love right thru that!!! I hope that you have an AMAZING Camino coming up in May!! Keep smiling and enjoy every minute of it!
     
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  10. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Nev - Great post! And, Hindsy is spot on with her observations! I leave in two weeks for another Camino (my fourth). As I have said more than once on this Forum, it’s all about the people one meets along The Way that makes it the special experience it is. And, from where I sit, it all comes down to one simple issue. We’re all out there for our own reasons whether religious, spiritual, secular, or something else. No one reason is more valid than another. They’re all the “right” reasons for walking. The reason reflects who you are, your needs, and why you are there. For those thinking that they’re “real” pilgrims while others aren’t, I believe that they’ve completely missed what the Camino has to teach. I, like you, have met the most wonderful people traveling the Camino as well as locals. I can think of no other place that reflects what The Way seems to be to many of us - a “judgement free zone.” Regardless of your gender, race, ethnicity, country of origin, or reason for being there, the reason Camino camaraderie develops is due to an acceptance of one another we all seem to understand and be open too. In the end, we’re all richer for it. Enjoy your Camino this spring! Buen Camino!
     
  11. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I just like to travel around and this seems to be a great way to do that on social security. I have tried twice now and not yet made it all way. Every year I get older, I am now 77, and this level of effort is getting difficult. "The spirit is willing but the body is questionable". I guess that this walk is better than blowing all my cash on a hot car, etc.
     
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