Andy Max Jensen ✝

I have some deeply sad news to share from Spain. I am sorry to say that our dear friend Andy Max Jensen, AKA the Camino Ninja, or Ninja, has died. He was 49 years old. Andy’s body collapsed last week and his heart stopped in León, it was sudden and unexpected and he didn’t make it out alive. He loved what he did for the Camino and pilgrims around the world and he had plans for a good long life. It is the Camino’s great loss to lose a Legend so soon.

Andy (1973-2022) was the creator, founder, and full-time programmer of the Camino Ninja App. He built it from scratch after walking over 20,000 Camino kilometers tracking routes all throughout Spain, France, and Portugal.

Andy was fierce, strong, quick-witted, and unexpected. Andy was also an advocate: friend, confidante, pilgrim, and fellow wanderer. He loved deep conversation as much as a good laugh. Andy somehow “got it” and never took life too seriously.

Andy loved life—the adventure, always ready to challenge himself and the world—he was open to the deep intricacies of life’s perpetual and constantly shifting nature.

Andy was always ready to give the clothes off his back, the shoes off his feet, Camino tips and tricks, whatever people needed, if he had it he gave it freely. He was deeply giving and kind.

Andy was a computer programmer for over twenty years. Before that he worked in the music industry in Copenhagen. Andy captured memories in his photography, he had an eye for seeing the world. Andy is from Denmark originally but was a global citizen the past fifteen years, most recently spending his time tracking the Caminos in Portugal, France, and Spain.

And he lit up the world: his eyes spoke volumes and his friendly hug enveloped. Andy would walk for awhile, hear someone’s story, listen, chat, share. He could befriend folks from all backgrounds and walks of life.

Andy had friends and fellow pilgrims he connected with from all over the world—Spain, Korea, Italy, UK, US, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Mozambique, Brazil, Mexico, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Estonia, Canada, Japan—you name it—the whole world met on the Camino and for the past decade, the Camino was his world.

Andy built an empire from the ground up. He was a force to be reckoned with, yet also kind and empathic, a great friend to us all. He liked to see people happy and was deeply satisfied to know his ideas and work as the Camino Ninja made the journey a pleasant go for pilgrims along the Way. With 100 plus Caminos under his belt, Andy met people as they were, wherever they were at, and found great joy, love, and connection in conversation and friendship.

When in the zone, Andy didn’t walk, he’d glide. There was a musicality to the way he moved, worked, played.

Over the last year Andy had grown consistently more recognized on the Camino—nearly every time he walked or took a pit stop there were excited pilgrims asking for selfies, happy to meet the Ninja. The app made people happy and he loved that. He took the effort to respond to each email individually and was adamant the app was free to all, businesses and pilgrims, with no advertising—he just wanted to make the best app that he could offer—logical, streamlined, convenient, and functional—the app he wanted for himself the first Camino 20,000 plus kilometers back and fifteen years ago.

Andy never pushed the Camino to be a particular way—everyone had an individual journey, transformation, story, and challenge to face head on along the path.

He loved all of you and loved your stories, your moments together, your notes, suggestions, frustrations, walking extra kms or stopping early, walking through the night, eating meals together, detours, late night chats. He loved everything about the Camino experience, how it could make us all connect. So thank you for being a part of his world fellow pilgrims, it really brought him so much joy.

Please share your own stories, photos, and memories of Andy in the comments. If you’d like to add your pics with him to his Instagram, Facebook, or App please do. Please share videos, photos, memories, or comments here or via PM that you would like to be shared in his service from León, Spain, details to be announced.

Andy loved the Camino, loved all of you—made all of the hard work worth it. Thank you for being a part of his journey. He will be very much missed.

Andy Max Jensen (January 1973-July 2022)