So I’ve Been Asked To Talk About The Camino…

Before my previous Camino in May, I met up with some friends and took in one stage of the Lough Derg Way. It was a fab day, and we were treated with great weather, even though my calves were giving out to me for a few days. When we finished, we had a few cervezas and we were told that a group of people in Tipperary (where one of my friends is from) would like to know and learn about the Camino de Santiago. Now we all have walked the Camino Frances so we thought that we would have no problem. We just need to meet and sort out who will be talking about what.

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We have a storyteller on board who has walked from St Jean Pied de Port three times and has walked in France also. He loves to talk about the funny side of life and his storytelling nights can be pretty entertaining. I’m hoping to talk about facts and figures; for example, the best time to go; how to get there; the weather; the costs; how many people have collected their compostelas and at what time of the year. All this information is freely available online but the most important thing about this is we would like to leave an impression. We hope to have people talking about this trip to Spain so their next step is booking flights.

At this stage, the talk is planned for September which leaves me with plenty of time to put something together. Speaking to a group is slightly intimidating however, but I can worry about that when I get there.

So, if you wanted to walk the Camino and had little information, what would you like to hear about in this talk?

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5 thoughts on “So I’ve Been Asked To Talk About The Camino…

  1. I think one thing that nearly all prospective Camino walkers like to know is: what is the Camino actually like? Is it a road, a path, or what? So, make sure you show plenty of photos. (If you want any of mine to supplement your own let me know).

    Next is the worry that people have about their fitness. Assure them that they do not have to be athletes to do it.

    Don’t assume that just because info is available online that people in the group thinking of doing the Camino will have accessed it – they almost certainly will not have done so, or, if some have, it will bear repetition.

    Don’t diss those who may prefer to stay in hotels/guesthouses rather than in albergues. The latter are not for everyone (I do *not* like them). And while my preference is to book flights and accommodation directly there will be people who prefer the comfort factor of going on an organised trip. Again, be careful not to disparage that option.

    Encourage people to walk on their own rather than in groups and emphasise how safe it is (single women can be nervous about doing it on their own) but, again, that may not be for everyone.

    Emphasise the sheer enjoyment of the experience, the spiritual (with a small “s”), mental and physical rewards of what is a challenging physical undertaking.

    Tell stories about interesting people you’ve met, why they were doing the Camino, etc. Make sure you tell them why you do it. Some people think it’s some kind of religious procession with walkers reciting prayers as they go along!

    I’ve given a talk to a group of people about the Camino using a PowerPoint presentation and it went down very well and I’m sure yours will to.

    • I agree with the roads part especially! I’m currently walking from Paris and there’s a lot more bitumen than my research told me. I’d be interested to know about the path situation further down in Spain, and I’m sure any group of potential walkers would be too!

      • Thanks very much for your comment and I’ll be following you on your long trip from Paris! The next best thing to actually being on the Camino, is reading people’s accounts while they walk 🙂 You will notice that it will be much busier in Spain when you arrive.
        In Spain, you will be walking along main roads (on what are called sendas) asphalt tracks, secondary roads and dust tracks created only by feet. There are a number of steep climbs, but nothing to be alarmed about. The highest point is 1515 metres. There are a number of rocky descents also, that need to be given consideration especially if the weather is poor.

      • Thanks! Yep, we are pretty much on our own at this stage. 9 days in and we’ve only met two other pilgrims!

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