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[at-l] The Camino
Interestingly enough, there's a modern-day pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella that's a whole heck of a lot like the A.T. scene. I'm in the process of writing a book review of Nancy Louise Frey's PILGRIM STORIES: ON AND OFF THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO for the next ATN. Fascinating book, that tells the story of the modern-day pilgrims (there's been a revival of interest that coincides exactly with the boom of thru-hiking on the A.T.) but to sum up, a couple of thousand of them try to walk the whole Camino de Santiago ("Way of St. James) each year, most going about 700 km across northern Spain, but some walking a longer route that takes them across France and the Pyrenees into Spain, and from there to the cathedral. A lot of them are not Catholics, but are taking the pilgrimage for personal reasons. There's a marked route, with hostels and refuges in every town along the way. The route travels along roads, mountain trails, ancient Roman highways, and through farm fields. They have tr!
ail names, there are shelter registers (or at least hostel registers), there are arguments about "purism," and they even have their own equivalent of the A.T. patch--a scallop-shell patch.
Here's a quote from the book, does this sound familiar?
"The social element is vital for those on the Camino, not only for those people who live along the way but aespecially for those who are cycling or walking to Santiago. It is commonly said that many people start alone but always end accompanied by others. The formation of friendships and groups of walking and cycling companions that cut across normal divisions such as gener, age, class, nationality, and marital status is an important aspect of pecoming a pilgrim and feeling part of a larger community. ... In the open social contexts of the pilgrimage participants come to trust themselves and others--even all of humanity--to a greater extent. Robbery is the exception in refuges and very rare among pilgrims. Values that participants believe have been lost in modern city life are found again through the simplicity and face-to-face relationships that the Camino makes possible and that pilgrims themselves nurture and strive to maintain. ... As participants feel themselve more a pa!
rt of a community and perhaps more fully "pilgrims," they often acquire nicknames or reputations among their companions relating to who they are on the road. An informal gossip network develops. ...
Very interesting book.
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2000 17:44:31 EST
Subject: [at-l] cloaks