Lessons learned: Fellowship

I have already said that I always start the Camino alone. To be exact, I have always done it on foot since the first time I did it by bike with my little brother. Maybe I’m getting weird with time but it’s a way to return to the Camino without pressure or expectations: I can follow my own pace both walking and indoors.

Besides, except for the first time I did it in the middle of August (never again), I always do it in winter. It is not a good time to organize outings and, to be honest, the weather may not be suitable.

Does that mean it’s lonely? If we think about the volume of people you meet, even on the French Camino, the truth is that it is not very large. Above all, the number of Spanish pilgrims is decreasing, so the probability of encountering pilgrims of other nationalities increases.

Some of my fellow pilgrims
Some of my fellow pilgrims

And this is where the Camino works its magic: hardly a day goes by when you start sharing a thousand stories, fatigue and small worries with some of the pilgrims you meet. And also in the most natural way, you start to worry about them (and they about you): “Have you arrived safely, do you have water, shall we meet in the next village for a beer?

And you don’t really expect anything in return because those moments are payment enough. You can’t imagine how good it feels to be able to help someone by sharing a simple energy bar or a skewer of cold tortilla… but above all, knowing that if you need something or you feel bad, you will have someone close by to lend you a hand. The Camino Provides maxim.

You always start alone… but you never finish alone. You just have to be a little bit open to meet those people who carry a backpack like yours but with their own burdens.