The Camino in Snatches From 40 Conversations

Buen Camino. Good walking

!Nueva Zealanda! The Antipodes! So far!

No Hablo Espanole. I do not speak Spanish

Is this your first camino?
It's my second. Or third, depending on how you count them.

Last year I walked from Irun to San Salvadore. This year I am walking to Oviedo. I will complete my camino in about 5 years time.

I started in Irun. You?
Le Puys.
Wow! How long have you been walking?
Since the middle of April.

Are you taking the hospitales route?
It looks a bit foggy don't you think?

Perdon senor/senora. Donde es el Camino Santiago? (or el albergue de peregrinos; or el supermercado; or el bano)
Excuse me sir/ madam. Where is the Camino Santiago? (or the pilgrims hostel; or the supermarket; or the toilet)

We have made pasta. There's plenty. would you like some?

I got my arrow in the albergue in San Sebastian. The hospitalera makes them and gives them to pilgrims.

Spain is so beautiful. We love it.
Yes. But how are you finding the Basque Country?

Senor! Senor! Usted va por el camino equivacado! Sir! Sir! you are walking the wrong way!

The Mass is at 7. You wish to go? Really? Oh. Come, I will show you the way.

I'm not religious. But if there is a God, then God told me to walk the camino

I'm so sorry to hear about your wife. From what you have told me of her I know she was a very special person indeed.

I would like to come to New Zealand. But not yet. Perhaps when I am older. I am going to Cambodia soon. Some people there are working with orphans and doing really powerful work. I wish to be part of it.

I am not religious. But for me the camino is a spiritual journey.

I too have prostate cancer

That last 5 km seemed more like 15 to me.

The best thing for blisters is a syringe. You can get one at any farmacia.

Aloe vera cream works very well. Here, take some. I have plenty.

Your passport and credencial please. Name? Nationality? Ah! New Zealand! Such a beautiful country! You have come so far!

Are we still on the Camino?
I'm not sure. I haven't seen a yellow arrow for a while.
Look on your app.
Oh darn. We're quite a way off.
Look. The Camino runs through that village. If we follow the N-634 we'll rejoin the Camino in about 2 km. And we won't have lost much ground.
But we've lost a nice walk through that woodland.

Yes. The camino is an addiction. I have walked the path 32 times.
Yes. 32. And I am not finished yet.

Bon jour!

Hallo! Guten tag!

Ciao! Buon giorno!

Where are you stopping?
Guemes. I have heard the albergue there is wonderful.

Elasticised bandage works well for swollen ankles. I think I have some to spare in my pack.

Would you like a beer?

Dos cafes con leches por favor. Y dos boccadillos tortillas. Two coffees with milk please. And two omelet sandwiches.

Tiene una cama?
Si. Adelante. Ponga su mochila ahi abajo.
Oh. Muy bueno.
Do you have a bed?
Yes. Come in. Put your pack down there.
Oh. Great!

I think there is purpose and order in everything.

I have been practicing a form of meditation for a while now. But you are a bishop. Maybe you wouldn't approve?
I too meditate. I use a practice called Centering Prayer.
Really? What sort of practice is that?
I guess you might call it a surrender practice. What is your way of meditating?

Lord Jesus Christ
Son of the living God
Have mercy on me
A sinner.

When my daughter died I couldn't believe in God anymore. All I could do was sit in the church and look at the statue of the Holy Mother. Her child, also, suffered a violent death.

Hail Mary full of grace
the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou amongst women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for me a sinner,
now and at the hour of my death.

Thank you for walking with me today.


Muchos gracias.


Elaine Dent said…
Absolutely loved this!(And laughed) Thank you. Pilgrimage conversations are indeed unique. If I were to write about my conversations, what would I include??? May I borrow your idea (giving you credit of course)?
Kelvin Wright said…
Borrow away Elaine. I'd love to see your take on this.