The Camino Cafe

100 - Lindsay Teychenne - Gaining Confidence and More: An Australian Pilgrim's Transformation on the Camino de Santiago

January 21, 2024 Leigh Brennan Episode 100
100 - Lindsay Teychenne - Gaining Confidence and More: An Australian Pilgrim's Transformation on the Camino de Santiago
The Camino Cafe
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The Camino Cafe
100 - Lindsay Teychenne - Gaining Confidence and More: An Australian Pilgrim's Transformation on the Camino de Santiago
Jan 21, 2024 Episode 100
Leigh Brennan

Meet Australian pilgrim, Lindsay Teychenne, whose transformative first journey on the Camino de Santiago led him to walk several more Caminos and even embark on a year-long hiatus on the Camino this year.  His story highlights how walking a Camino can help you regain your self-confidence and feel empowered again. Catch updates about his current walk on the Via de La Plata on our new show, The Camino News Update, available every week on our YouTube channel and here on the podcast. https://youtu.be/Xj0j-dO8QKs?si=HRccBfSk8YY3PLvb
 

Camino for Good
https://caminoforgood.com/




Connect with Leigh:

Camino News Update - Every Wednesday!
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9jRyUVnjI4WJMbM7rEbXW9ycGuQwm8Ae&si=vKPxgrYLQfyC_m4H

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6VN9ze3z61n6tRLtDXWuQw

Follow us on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thecaminocafepodcast/

The Camino Cafe's intro and outro song with thanks to fellow Pilgrim, Jackson Maloney. Original Song - "Finnis Terre" - written and performed by Jackson Maloney - Singer, Musician, and Songwriter. Connect with Jackson: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3fdQsSqq9pDSwKcWlnBHKR

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Meet Australian pilgrim, Lindsay Teychenne, whose transformative first journey on the Camino de Santiago led him to walk several more Caminos and even embark on a year-long hiatus on the Camino this year.  His story highlights how walking a Camino can help you regain your self-confidence and feel empowered again. Catch updates about his current walk on the Via de La Plata on our new show, The Camino News Update, available every week on our YouTube channel and here on the podcast. https://youtu.be/Xj0j-dO8QKs?si=HRccBfSk8YY3PLvb
 

Camino for Good
https://caminoforgood.com/




Connect with Leigh:

Camino News Update - Every Wednesday!
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9jRyUVnjI4WJMbM7rEbXW9ycGuQwm8Ae&si=vKPxgrYLQfyC_m4H

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6VN9ze3z61n6tRLtDXWuQw

Follow us on Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/thecaminocafepodcast/

The Camino Cafe's intro and outro song with thanks to fellow Pilgrim, Jackson Maloney. Original Song - "Finnis Terre" - written and performed by Jackson Maloney - Singer, Musician, and Songwriter. Connect with Jackson: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3fdQsSqq9pDSwKcWlnBHKR

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Camino Caffeine Podcast. I'm Lee Brennan, your host. Today's episode is from a conversation I had this past November on a really cold and rainy day with Lindsay Taysha-Nay. We are so grateful that the Pilgrim House allowed us to record this conversation. We sat in the very back room. If you know this space, you know it's the one with the candles right by the courtyard. It's just a lovely place for pilgrims to relax.

Speaker 1:

I met Lindsay about a year ago, before this conversation, and we just sat down and had a glass of wine and talked about pilgrim things. But it was during this conversation at the Pilgrim House that I really got to understand a little bit more about Lindsay and his journey. I found myself over and over again during this conversation, nodding in agreement, feeling many of the same things that he felt when he walked that first Camino and the things that draw him back to walk again and again. In fact, he's actually moved to Spain for a year. That's how much the Camino has helped him. So let's hear directly from Lindsay. I think you're going to enjoy this conversation. You know, when I met you last year, you were just kind of thinking about moving to Spain.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

And now you're here.

Speaker 2:

I'm here for 12 months. Yes, this is amazing.

Speaker 1:

So for folks that aren't familiar with you, you're from Australia.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

And what town do you live in?

Speaker 2:

At the moment I live in a place right up the north called Cairns.

Speaker 1:

And how far is that? Just give us an idea, like from Sydney or Melbourne.

Speaker 2:

About two and a half thousand kilometers north of Sydney. Wow, yeah.

Speaker 1:

You're really out there. Is it a small town?

Speaker 2:

It's about 150,000, which is it's a regional center. It's probably the last city you come to going north in Australia. Yeah, it's in the tropics, so we've got crocodiles and jellyfish and so we can't swim in the ocean, but it's beautiful, it's beautiful.

Speaker 1:

So what made you decide to try a year of living in Spain?

Speaker 2:

So I guess I won my first Camino in 2018. And it was such a profound experience for me that I knew I had to come back, and every time so I've been back three times before now and every time I felt I went home with more confidence in myself, because it's something I had some traumatic experiences happen a few years ago that I've been in recovery from, and each time I walk I find I'm, it feels like I'm getting my life back, or getting my soul back or something. Yeah, so, and it's a long process. So I figured, if I'm getting that benefit coming back, and then we're from Australia, we're only allowed to stay for 90 days, so it feels like I just arrived here and I've got to go home and I've got to live and, and you know, the longing to go back to Spain is still there. So I figured I'd bite the bullet and go through all the process of getting here for some period of time. So six weeks, six weeks you've been living in Spain.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

All right. So how does that feel?

Speaker 2:

It's different from a couple of different aspects. One is, when I walk a Camino and I arrive in Santiago, it's not like it's not the same feeling as well. Now I've got to go back home. The feeling is, hmm, I wonder what I can do now. I wonder what Camino I can do next. Maybe I can do this one, maybe I can do that one. So that's one thing about the Camino. But in the past, when I've come for three months, I was just really happy to get out of Australia, knowing that I'd go back, you know, and see my family. But arriving here now for the first couple of weeks, it's like I had a homesickness because I knew this was a long term commitment, yes, and the opportunities to see my family maybe limited in the future. I don't know what the future holds, but it took me a little while to adjust. Being here it's like a part of me was still in Australia, but that's all gone now.

Speaker 1:

I'm here.

Speaker 2:

It feels like I've landed in Spain now.

Speaker 1:

And this is your first or second time walking into Santiago since you moved here.

Speaker 2:

My second time walking into Santiago. So after the primitivo, I came in town for a couple of days into Santiago, and then I caught the bus to Acaronia and walked back in the Inglis, which I really loved.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow, okay, so you walked the primitivo and the Inglis in the past two weeks, basically.

Speaker 2:

Yes, we've had some weather.

Speaker 1:

Have we? I don't know, did you get some rain?

Speaker 2:

or wind.

Speaker 1:

What happened?

Speaker 2:

I think the first day on the primitivo out of eight, so it rained. I got into OV8 about 10.30 at night and it started raining that morning, but it wasn't the next morning when I left, so it wasn't particularly heavy. But the outlook looked, you know. You looked on the weather forecast and it was going to rain, rain, rain, rain. I didn't really know what Spanish rain was like. Where I'm from in the tropics, you get like a downpour for half an hour and then you know it's so hot it all dries up and you're right for the rest of the day You're welcome to rain.

Speaker 2:

But it's a different thing what I found on the primitivo. So 14 days it rained every day and some days it rained all day. I think it was two days when I saw a patch of blue sky and I know from the reports of other people that that was the similar experience. It didn't matter what came in or what you were on. This is the experience you're having and it was really important for me to go through that because I'd always been timid of walking in the rain. Yeah, because I had some bad experiences when I was in the military years ago with my feet basically getting fishes from being wet the whole time, and I didn't want that to happen, but there were a few days when the rain was really uncomfortable it was cold and wet, my feet were wet, I wasn't thinking straight, and what I found on the Camino is that I have to do a lot of self-talk.

Speaker 1:

You too, huh.

Speaker 2:

It's not as bad as you think. And what I said? Look what I was saying to myself in the worst days when it was cold and some days I couldn't move my fingers because it was so cold. So I just sort of had the grip on the poles and that was as good as I could get and there was no way I could unbolt them. But it was just cold and I knew that within a few hours I'd be in an albergue, I will have had a hot shower, I've got dry clothes in my pack and everything would be fine and that's the way it was.

Speaker 2:

So, no matter how uncomfortable it got during the day, I always knew that there was a place to come to. And I suppose for me the fact that there's all that infrastructure there means that people have been doing this for hundreds of years, because that sort of infrastructure and the ethos, the mentality that goes with it, means that support has been provided for a long period of time. So, as uncomfortable as it was, it was comforting to know that I was being held by the Camino. I guess there's no other way to put it.

Speaker 1:

Kind of gives you some faith maybe.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, certainly does.

Speaker 2:

Yeah yeah, yeah, a lot of faith, but it's I mean, faith is a multi-level word. We're sitting in this beautiful room here and we're seeing faith in God and all that sort of stuff. But there's something more than that faith to me, because there was one time it was getting so risky the cold and the wet was getting so risky and it was unrelenting that if I had have continued I think I would have been a rescue risk and that would have put, because there was a river crossing that was coming up that had broken its banks, and so had I continued. I didn't want to put the local community at risk for my bravado to be, you know, to go through that. So I ended up knocking on the door of a house in this village, didn't know the language but just gestured can you call me a taxi? And the woman was just wonderful. She invited us.

Speaker 2:

I was walking with another pilgrim. She invited us into the house. She had a warm fire, she cut up some bread and some churros, she gave us a cafe con leche and while her daughter called us a taxi and 15 minutes later we were in the taxi and pilgrims had horror stories from going through that river and whatever. So I'm glad we caught the taxi about 10 kilometers to get to the town and, once again, hot shower, warm clothes, and I could put all that behind us. So so it's the people that are also supporting.

Speaker 1:

You know, it's not necessarily the hospitality industry, it's just people that live on the Camino, are very welcoming and and I get a lot of heart from that- I'm glad you brought this story up, lindsay, because one of the things when you and I were talking yesterday, you know I really wanted to talk about walking in this weather and you know we're almost mid November right now and you know I often think, when it comes to the colder months, using good judgment is more important than everything.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes, and I can't stress enough. When I got into Santiago the first time after the, I got rid of most of the clothes that I had because they weren't supporting my. I had to get new shoes, I had to get a new jacket, I had to get new socks. The reason for the new socks I couldn't walk into my room while they were drying out. That's another story.

Speaker 1:

But you bring up a good point. I think equipment and proper judgment right, because you know we all worry about what shoes, what socks, what we put in our backpack.

Speaker 1:

but when you're coming in the winter months and there's a risk of nonstop ring, we're talking to wrench or a hour upon hour, right, potentially snow, depending where you are, altitude, wise equipment and, like you said, crossing a river that can pose a lot of danger, not only for yourself, maybe whoever else you're walking with, as well as anyone that might have to come and rescue you, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I had to think about that a lot, and so it is a matter of it is a matter of taking personal responsibility. The thing that all my communos have taught me is that I need to take personal responsibility for my own life. I can't blame someone else because I'm wet. I can't blame someone else because I missed a bus. I have to take personal responsibility and I have to deal with the consequences of that. I felt that day when we made the decision to take the taxi, I was taking that responsibility and it wasn't up to the Camino, it wasn't even up to this woman who I knocked on the door. If she had a reject, there's another door to knock on. I think there was about three in the town, so I had to hedge them a bit. Well, I did try on one, but nobody answered. But yeah, it does come down to that personal responsibility for me, and that's what I learn every time I do the Camino.

Speaker 1:

It's a beautiful lesson. We talk often about the Camino providing and you have a beautiful story there. You just knock on the door and this one lets you in Not only does it just cause you a taxi, but lets these wet pilgrims come in, and they're where you.

Speaker 2:

Well, there was two of us, two of you.

Speaker 1:

And you're total strangers to her.

Speaker 2:

And we're almost strangers to each other, so my companion didn't speak much English. She spoke no Spanish. I knew about three words that were useful in Spanish, thankfully, the word taxi is the same, and that's about as far as it went.

Speaker 1:

And were you soaking wet at this point as well? So you're walking into her house.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, soaking wet into her kitchen. She insisted Her house had a little foyer and we can't come in, we're dropping in. She just dragged us in and cut up things, made us a cafe con leche, which we where. We left in the morning. There was no cafe open and so we started walking in the wet so we hadn't even had our morning coffee at that stage, which for me is not Don't talk to me until after that first cafe con leche, right.

Speaker 1:

So you get your first one there with her. She welcomes you in. I mean, that's quite a story. I mean the people that live along the Camino route, like you said, not just the Albergue owners, not the rest, not just the restaurant people, but just the people that live along. It have such big hearts, typically for a week. We're so blessed.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely, and I think you know I have. I have just this one example. But taking that as an example, anyone who does live on the Camino, I think, realises their responsibility to the pilgrims. They may not have any commercial responsibility or profit from them, but they're on this ancient pathway and that comes with the territory of buying a house. You know, maybe maybe I'm living in a fantasy world, but my experience so far, my experience of one so far, but it's not only that, I mean other, when I've got lost on other pilgrimages, you've got the locals coming out of the house. No, no, camino, camino, camino, all right back up there, you know. So it's like they're taking that responsibility to, you know to, because they could just let us go. It's nothing, nothing to do with them, but there's that hard every time, and even when I've been in towns where all I've wanted to do is find a cafe in it, slightly off track, but everyone's no, no no, no, no, no no.

Speaker 2:

You're like no, I know, I know. And then I feel guilty for it. Or I just said I walked to Camino. I'll go to the next cafe.

Speaker 1:

That's really great, you know, I think it's one of the things. So for me as a pilgrim, it gives me confidence back in the spirit of human, human heart and kindness that really almost everyone deep down you know we're all kind. It's just sometimes that gets covered up by the stress of life.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, look, my personal view on that is that anyone who comes to do a Camino knows a bit of the backstory of it it's not just a hike and they've heard from either they've seen a movie or they've seen multiple movies or they've spoken to someone, and I think they come prepared to be trusted, you know, and trusted. If someone's in help, if someone needs help, they're prepared to help them. But also they also trust others. If I get into difficulty, I have to trust that someone will help me. And I think we all come regardless of where we sit on the spectrum of true pilgrim all this discussion about true pilgrim, my views on that it doesn't matter if we're having our packs forward or what type of Camino we have.

Speaker 2:

I think I've never met someone who hasn't come prepared to be trusted and prepared to be vulnerable, and I think that's a really important part of the Camino in Spain, particularly because I've done a lot of bush walks in Australia and it's not the same thing. It's not the same thing. People don't bring that vulnerability, they bring their machoism to it. No, I can do this. My pack's better than your pack, sort of thing. I've never heard that on the Camino Because there's a lot of support from. There's a lot of support in the attitude that other people bring to the Camino.

Speaker 1:

You're the first person I've ever heard you say this. On that flip side, though, also trusting and believing in other people, you know that we're so much more open-hearted to believing that if we do run into a problem, someone will be there to help us and we also know that we can trust ourselves that will help someone.

Speaker 1:

But, yeah, I don't think I feel that way if I'm walking one of the trails in the United States, but I definitely feel that every time I love it. It's a beautiful thought. You know, lindsay, you said earlier that one of the things that the Camino has given you is giving you the feeling that you can trust in yourself again, that you can have confidence. Can you speak to maybe a situation that's happened on the commune for you, whether it's this last primitivo or the Inglas or one before, where you were able to have a moment or experience that helped you regain some confidence?

Speaker 2:

Okay. So while I'm thinking of an answer for that, I'll talk about the people I meet Now. I'm quite shy. I always have been quite shy, and after I had my traumatic experiences I lost confidence in myself and didn't think I had any qualities that would be compelling for people to want to be around me. I know it sounds silly, but it's a mental health thing. I'd have to say it's a mental health issue as a response to trauma. I'm just trying to sum it up the people I've met along the way and the people that are willing to walk with me and the people that are.

Speaker 2:

I'm always surprised when someone wants to walk with me. I'm always surprised because my initial reaction is why would you want to walk with me? But the fact that people do want to walk with me and these are people I respect. So if I was to believe that they didn't want to walk with me and therefore they were lying, I'd be calling them a liar. So I have to trust that they see something in me that I don't see in myself, and then I have to believe it. Because if I start to believe that I have worth, that I'm worthy of these people's company, then I have to start to believe in myself.

Speaker 1:

So kind of returning your self-worth, yeah, absolutely Some way, is a validation that I'm really okay.

Speaker 2:

And so that's come from the people I've walked with. So that's one side of the equation. The other side of the equation is and it has to do with the logistics. So here I am in a foreign country. I don't know how the public transport system works, I don't know how to buy a ticket. I don't know anything. I come here and my cards don't work online because I've got to get some extra validation that goes to my phone number in Australia, which I don't have because I've got a spending SIM card.

Speaker 2:

All these things are challenging and systematically I feel like I have to knock one off. At the time I have to tell myself I can buy a ticket. I know how to buy a ticket. I can do it in Australia. There must be a way, and so I work it out. Or I ask someone, or that's where the vulnerability is Like.

Speaker 2:

Here we are in Pilgrim House. If I have any doubts about that, I know that I can come here and I can ask the people at the desk and they'll be able to help me. Or if I'm stuck, I'll have to find another way, and every time I'm successful I get that little bit of extra confidence. You know, I've battled the challenge of the languages. You know, I've used Google Translate or whatever it takes, and I've become an expert at mine. Trust me, I've become an expert at mine.

Speaker 2:

So every time I have a little achievement like that and to others it might seem so small, right, it might seem so small, but every time I have one of those, my confidence builds and I notice that when I go back to Australia I feel like I'm walking taller and I feel like, even though now I'm in my own country, I have my own language, I know the system, but I feel more joyful, I suppose because I've had these experiences of beating those little tiny challenges. Sure, walking over the Pyrenees and you know all that stuff, and yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I've done that, but that's just walking. For me that wasn't a challenge, because I knew I could do that. But catching a bus in Spain, that was a challenge.

Speaker 1:

Lindsay, I'm so glad you're saying all this I mean, of all people who relate to that in so many ways, what I'm hearing from you and what I felt was empowerment. You know that I knew that I could do some things that I really didn't know if I could, right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. That's exactly how I feel. And now, of course, it becomes more important, because now I'm a resident of Spain and that big. I've got about another six weeks before. I can't use my passport anymore and I've got to use my ID card, which I don't have yet, I don't know where it is. I've got a number and a document, so I'm legal, but after a few weeks I'll have to start to act like a resident. Now that's scaring me.

Speaker 1:

Hi, I asked Lindsay what kind of things did give him courage.

Speaker 2:

My first came here, my first Camino I knew it was a spur of the moment being a friend said we're going to Spain, we weren't going to walk together, so I was dumped on the Camino. I'd heard the word albergue. I heard the word albergue and I'd overheard someone saying municipal Right. So I put those two words together and I was on my own for the first time, coming into Zabiri, and all I saw was the sign municipal albergue and I thought, okay, I know that's something, I'll go there. And then, of course, I'm in a line. I don't know what the line is, I don't know the protocol, I don't know anything. I've got my pack and I think it was eight euros at the time, so sorted that out, got a little thing, got my bed number and I was there. And the funny thing is I imagined that and this was a room of about, I guess, 80 bunks. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And I imagined that everyone in that room was experienced. They'd done it all before they knew what they were doing, and I was the only one that didn't have a clue, didn't have a clue. Looking back now, I think most of them were feeling exactly the same as me and I just wished I had engaged with someone, but I felt so inexperienced and so lost. I suppose that I was in my own little huddle, just grateful that I actually had a bottom bunk.

Speaker 1:

To be honest, but what a powerful life lesson. You know and then see that in that situation I think that I'm the only one that's lost, I'm the only person that doesn't have it together, because on the outside we've learned to present this perfectly packaged person right, and yet we bring that to the commuter right, looking around like everybody else on the side of this albergue thing other than me. But you start learning that deep down we're all so much more alike and we're all scared at times and we all have issues right.

Speaker 2:

We're all walking for a reason, and I think that starts to fall apart after Pamplona.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Like I think we're able to hold it together after Pamplona. And then it's like, yeah, the realness comes out right.

Speaker 1:

I'm a mess, you're a mess we're all in.

Speaker 2:

That slits off top right, yeah, yeah yeah, so you waff the English. Oh, yes, just now, just now.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, this is so hard.

Speaker 2:

Once again, this is where the confidence comes in. So I was in Santiago one day. I walked out to the Big Decathlon so, and that was about four and a half Ks out of town, so I walked out there armed with a credit card and just bought everything I believed I'd needed. When I got to Acaranya which just love Acaranya, my favourite city so far, so there's not a lot of tourists yes, the people will look you in the eye when they're walking past you and they'll break into a smile if you smile at them. Yes, to me, if a city does that, it's alright.

Speaker 2:

So then I started walking from Acaranya and I was confident in my gear because I knew I'd had enough experience to choose what the Primitivo taught me what I needed, seeing other pilgrims and the gear. They have taught me what was working and what wasn't for them, and so I was able to, with some confidence, buy what I needed, and then that supported me. When I did the Inglays, I felt very confident. My feet got wet a little bit, but for the most part I was dry and happy and even dancing.

Speaker 1:

Even dancing. Yes, okay, people, the fact that you were dancing, but I was by myself. The fact that you were dancing because this weather has been trying. We know that we can get just about anything we needed for in one of the bigger cities, right, and you know, say Santiago or León or whatever. But you can get some things in smaller villages.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, look, I've been to villages like I remember one time I was in I can't remember the name of the place, but I really wanted a mattress, you know, and I just went into this store that I can't even describe the store and I just asked. I think I mined mattress.

Speaker 1:

I don't even know how you so you mean like a sleeping pad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay and you mined this. I'm very clever and anyway, the guy was delighted and I got it and I was surprised and it was cheaper than I would have got in the city. So you know, there's gems to be found in these little places and it's just a matter. Once again, it's just a matter of having the courage to reach out. You know Like it's having the courage to make a mistake. Yeah, and to ask questions and mime a lot.

Speaker 1:

And I'm guessing you were at one of the bizzars, maybe because we do have all these little stores that you kind of walk in and it's like a no or something else.

Speaker 2:

No, it wasn't a bizarre. It was more a clothes shop, like a sporting clothes shop, and I think he just went out to the back room, like he didn't have these things on display, and went out to the back room and came up with it. He was delighted, I think, because he got to sell one of these things that they'd sit in their parades. If you've got the courage you can do it, but it takes that courage. It doesn't come all at once. For me it's coming little tiny bits and little tiny bits and little tiny bits.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, it certainly has, because you've gone from walking Parminos to now living in Smaid.

Speaker 2:

I know right.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing really when you think about it. Yeah, I try not to think about it too much.

Speaker 2:

That would be scary in a salt rate right.

Speaker 1:

Like what have I done? Yeah, I've never felt that way. I'm not going to miss if I didn't talk about some of the work that you did, especially with Camino for Good. That's really when I first became acquainted with you, so can we talk a little bit about that, because I think you guys did some really powerful stuff during COVID. So for those that maybe you're listening aren't familiar with Camino for Good, could you just talk a little bit about what you guys did and how many people you supported?

Speaker 2:

So what happened was I got a phone call from one of my Camino family right at the start of COVID. At the time I was living in a tent in my future, my son's future parents in the Lord's Backyard because it was locked out, and she suggested that, as a COVID project, we get together and create an app, a virtual community Camino app, for people to be able to walk during COVID. And we decided right then that any money we were able to raise would go to help albergues who we knew would be suffering as a result of the loss of things. So that became our lockdown project and so we were able to, long and the short of it is, we created an app using our own photos and photos that people had generated, so people could download the app, walk in their own community where they were allowed and they could progress along the Camino, and there were a lot of features to support the Camino experience, like you get a stamp and whatever. But the fundraising side of it all up, we ended up raising around a little under 80,000 US dollars Amazing. So we were able to support not solve their problems, but able to help a number of albergues get through the winter, fuel and whatever they needed.

Speaker 2:

Now, not all those albergues survive, but what we did find we lost half of our water, and this was the touching part for us.

Speaker 2:

What we did find was that here we were, on the other side of the planet to these albergues that have been supporting pilgrims for the oldest time, and someone was offering to help them and it was like there was a light at the end of the tunnel for them. They were so grateful that and couldn't believe it. Actually, even though that do it every day of their lives, they couldn't believe that someone would go to the trouble of supporting them, and I think that was the touching thing from my point of view, and I think we had at one stage we had about 3,000 pilgrims a virtual pilgrims walking, and my role in that was encouraging them via Facebook and keep on going, and I was like, yeah, she could do it and send us your photos and tell us your story, and so that was. It was an absolute delight for me and we're just talking there.

Speaker 2:

Our leader, bill Austin, unfortunately had a boating accident and after that we had trouble putting it together and someone else is now taking it over and I'm helping him with my knowledge of it, I'm helping him and as I walk, I'm taking photos and that's going to go into future upgrades of the app. So it's still going along and I'm looking forward. I'm enjoying still being part of it.

Speaker 1:

To me it just seemed like the just in time app, right.

Speaker 2:

We were all stuck.

Speaker 1:

We were missing the Camino for those that had walked before, or for people that had been planning on coming, and all of a sudden the trip was canceled. It was a way to still feel like you were walking in a community and then, like you said, on the flip side, you were walking, but it was also for good right.

Speaker 1:

Because any money that was raised was going to help the infrastructure of the Camino, which was really suffering. You know, a lot of these religious communities depend upon programs walking through, buying the Catholic home, spending the night as a small outbreak, so it was a win-win all the way around, at a time that just was really needed. Yeah, and for me look.

Speaker 2:

I've made so many friends through it. In real life I can touch them, friends like right here, but also virtual friends, and you know that friends-belief thing. I discovered that a friendship can be just as deep online as it is in real life and I wouldn't have believed that up to this.

Speaker 1:

And when you think about like that, for you, the podcast, for me, people that were writing books and they were talking about their books during Zoom calls and all these meetings, you know, with all the associations, we all had this amazing opportunity to expand our Camino family with people that from all over the world, again that we didn't have to even have a walk.

Speaker 2:

I know.

Speaker 1:

And it's been so much fun since COVID has ended right and now we're getting to actually meet these people in real life. Yes, yes, right.

Speaker 2:

I know it's amazing.

Speaker 1:

This Camino has worked on so many levels in so many of our lives.

Speaker 2:

When we first started, we reached out to John Bro, yes, and we had the question can a virtual Camino have the same impact as a Camino? And he reassured us yes, it can, you know, you don't have to be on the track, and I think we're living proof of that, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

I think we're living proof of that and the people we've met and I know many of them have come to the Camino, but I also met a lot of people online doing the virtual Camino who will never get here because of health or money or time Right, but they're still part of our community and in a way, I feel like when I walk I pretty much post every day with lots of photos and in a way I feel like I'm walking for them and walking for my family as well. You know, they're seeing a more in contact with my family now than I ever was in Australia.

Speaker 1:

Well, lindsay, thank you for doing this. This was I learned. I learned even more about you today, and I love these little. You've brought up some really unique lessons that I think we don't talk a lot about. No no, no, and I love that we got to talk about it here today, and I just know somebody else who's going to benefit from hearing your story. How about we catch up with you again in a couple of months?

Speaker 2:

because you're going to be walking a lot. I'm going to be walking a lot. My plan is to not do the same one twice, which means I'm going to be doing some really out there ones that people may be here.

Speaker 1:

Yes, all right. Well, I'm looking forward to hearing about it. And that was Lindsay Taysha-Nay. Lindsay is currently walking again. It's January and he's on the Via de la Plata, and if you'd like to follow his journey a little more closely, check in for the Camino News Update with me and Johnny Walker. That's every Wednesday night and Lindsay has been giving us a little weekly update so you can catch up with him. And that's it for this week's episode of the Camino Cafe podcast. You can hear the bells in the background. I'm coming to you from Santiago de Compostela and, pilgrims, I can't wait to see you here this summer. Please take care until next week.

Lindsay's Journey on the Camino
Kindness and Trust on the Camino
Building Confidence and Overcoming Challenges
Virtual Camino App Creation During COVID