Ep1 – The Camino Talk Show, with Erik Op Ten Berg

The Camino Breaks Hearts and Unites Hearts. 

This is the very first episode of the Camino Talk Show with Julia Doherty and Erik Op Ten Berg.

Simply click the video below, or feel free to read the transcript below.  (Also available on iTunes as a podcast, simply search The Camino Talk Show” in the iTunes store).


1.40  Julia explains what the Camino is and Erik shows his t-shirt, along with his Compostela and pilgrim passport.

2.40 Julia introduces Erik and tells you all about him, including how they both met.

3.27 – First mention of a Pizza Massage!

5.06 – Do you remember how you first heard about the Camino?  Yes, it was over 30 years ago.  Erik had his summer vacation in the Pyrenees and he saw people with backpacks and this got his attention.  Every time he returned to Spain he would see the pilgrims and he felt the calling.

6.15 – Was this your first long distance hike?  Yes.  I have walked a few short hikes previously but the route in October 2017 was his first long distance hike.

7.54 – Erik talks about his journey and also how he continued with his wife who he met in Santiago and then walked to Finesterre and Muxia.

8.50 – The full pizza massage episode is explained.  This is how Erik gave people energy on The Way.

10.50 – Here is the link to the TED talk that Erik presents – Creativity without Borders.

11.45 – Why were you walking the Camino?  Erik talks about the purification of the soul.  He was walking for 50 days, and the days after the Camino the purification or reset button became more apparent after his Camino.

14:00 – Do you feel that people learn different lessons if they walk more than one Camino?  Yes.  Erik confirms that various Camino's that he has walked (Portuguese, Frech and the Norte).   Every Camino has different layers and a different purpose.

14:55 – Are you a spiritual person or a religious person?  It is very much a spiritual journey for Erik.  He thinks about whether he is doing the right things in life, or what is his purpose in life?

15:49 – Julia talks about “thin places” – where the regular world meets the spiritual world.  Did you experience any thin places on the Camino?  Yes, sometimes they were attached to a church, or the sunrise/sunset, a field of stars or just the scenery.  The whole Camino has a whole thin layer.  All senses are loud and present on the Camino.

18:25 – Creativity is looking at the ordinary and seeing the extraordinary (famous quote).   This is what happened to Erik on the Camino.  Often you see things that other people do not see.

19:19 – Julia tells the story of the German guy who played his harmonica in the church which was simply surreal.

20:58 – Erik tells a story about “The Camino Provides” – and the church with a tour of The History of the Camino, which was amazing.

22:22 – Quickfire round questions.  Were you carrying a lot of weight?  No, his wife was getting mad at him for continuing to talk about his weight of his pack.  He ended up with 9kn – 20lbs.

23:28 – Did you take anything with you that you didn't use? Only a few things.  Erik took a book that he never read, and another thing he talks with me was a rain poncho that he never used.  The poncho was quite heavy.

24:14 – What was your luxury item?  A sit pad!  It is soft and it is warm and it was super light.

25:19 – Erik explains that he used his seat mat to rest his feet and take off his socks and shoes.

25:12 – We chat about food!  Erik did not eat pilgrim foods very often, and he would find these super little restaurants in the back streets that supply lots of food.  Erik talks passionately about Spanish food.  His advice is to eat where the local Spanish people eat for the best food.

27:24 – Julia talks about tripe, but Erik reassures us that this is not normal.

28:20 – Let's talk about hostels and Albergue.  Erik talks about the special Albergue in Santiago which he throroughly enjoyed in true pilgrim style.

29:00   Erik talks about his last day as he walked into Santiago – he stayed at “The prison camp” which was only 8km away from Santiago.  They took their time but when they arrived at the plaza there was a mix of feelings.  Some sadness and some happiness.  Erik was not in a hurry, but others were flying out the day after or the same day.  He had time to explore the city and embrace St James a few time!

31:47 – How did you feel when you got to Finesterre?  He loved this hike as he was walking with his wife and he had the opportunity to tell her his Camino stories. He had time to admire the sunsets and spend some special time with his wife.

33:00 – Erik was sending a WhatsApp message to his family once a week.   He shared with me his quote of the day.


The Camino Breaks Hearts and Unites Hearts.