Tuesday, 15 November 2011

People on Camino

A short note to say thank you to all the people I met on the Camino.
Because people you meet there are the most important part of it, they make it all worthwhile. Camino IS people.
Eric from Canada with whom I started my trip in St Jean Pied de Port, optimistic, easygoing, keeping things simple and good.
Four retired ladies, also from Canada, travelling around the world, hungry for new experiences, running marathons… they seemed so young and full of life!
Nancy from San Francisco – a girl who lives to travel. She works, then quits her job and travels. When she runs out of money, she finds a new job, just to be able to travel again. When I said it hadn’t been easy to find a free month she simply said: “it’s only a month out of your whole life”. A nicely refreshing attitude to life :)
Bruce and Patti from British Columbia, travelling despite medical issues. “I thought I can be ill at home or I can be ill travelling. The choice was simple.” Always together, full of love and taking care of each other. It was so nice to chat with that couple.
Jane from Scotland who I go through Pamplona with. Talking to her I felt weird having lived in only two countries and speaking only two languages ;)
A big crowd of Koreans, with Darae being a link between the Asian and European worlds. And always smiling Takako from Japan. So positive and bright, she was a smile! That was a surprise that some path in a remote country on a different continent was so popular among the people from Asia!
Anette from Denmark, who I was walking with for almost a week, until we eventually split up. We could spend together a whole day without talking much, whenever one of us needed silence, and then chat for hours. It was a good time we spent together.
Monika and Dorota from Poland. Dorota had walked Camino before with her dog who was too little to walk long distance so was carried in a bag for a majority of their trip. Some interesting stories there ;) The three of us walked together for a few days however each at completely different speed. So we stopped in every town at the churchyard, rejoined, had a coffee or a snack before we went off again, to meet in the next town. It was with them when I realized how much I missed such travelling – not for races, not for family meetings, just for fun, just travelling for its own sake.
Simona from Romania, Matijas from Germany, Ariel form Spain – we were walking at different paces, staying in different places and yet ending up in the same towns every few days, always happy to spend some time together.
Francesco the Brazilian, whose mother was Polish and father Italian. He didn’t speak English, I didn’t speak Spanish, yet we spent a long day communicating. Those few words we had somewhere in our heads, together with hand-language and a good dose of good will were enough J He told me the story of his family dating five generations back. It was fascinating to listen to that.
Darek and Christos… I could write a separate blog about those guys and about how much they meant to me.
And dozens of other people met every day during that month and countless stories they shared. People who came there from all over the world, for various reasons. Speaking different languages, from different backgrounds, looking for different things in life… But it didn’t really matter. In most cases, when we met, something “clicked” and after a minute we were chatting like if we’d known each other for years. Many people refer to “magic of Camino” but I don’t think it’s Camino. I think it’s us. We had our minds open, we were willing to make an effort, and no matter how different we were, we were all in the same boat. Like in a “normal” life, really…

For me Camino is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Even if you go to the same places, you meet different people and because of that everything is different. In Camino, just like in life, it’s all about people…
And I’ve been lucky to keep meeting amazing ones.


  1. I love your photos and your story. Your post about all the people you met gave me a much clearer idea of the social interaction along the Camino. I'll be doing the Camino de Frances in Septemer/October next year (2013) and I'm doing my research now. Thanks for the great post :).

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed my post Dana. Walking Camino is an amazing experience, difficult to compare to anything else. And although the places, food, culture are all very interesting, it's all about the people you meet there, the people are the hearth of Camino.
    Good luck with doing your Way, I'm sure you'll enjoy it!