Some words from a pilgrim that has returned home

Santiago de Compostela

A pilgrim from California has just returned home. This is what she shared from her trip:

I just returned home (Paso Robles, California) after completing the Camino. I left St. Jean Pied de Port on the 7th of Sept. and arrived at the Cathedral in Santiago the morning of the 8th of October. I had an absolutely wonderful time, the camaraderie that develops among pilgrims contributed largely. I did develop a small blister at the side of my right heel but that healed with a Compeed patch. The last week I developed some tendonitis about my left ankle but was able to walk on. I carried a 36 liter Osprey pack which I found was ample. The weather was great, one stormy day on the way to Calzadilla de los Hermanillos and two days of light rain, drizzle in Galicia. Walking up to O’Cebreiro the weather was gorgeous with completely clear skies and spectacular views.
For all you older people who have concerns, I’m 69, I did train with my pack beforehand which paid off, and I had no significant problems making the climbs. The most important advice I can give is pay attention to your feet. I greased mine every morning with Aquaphor (fancy vaseline) wore liner socks with Smartwool hiking socks over those. I turned the hiking socks inside out so the smooth surface was toward my skin. Unless I felt a hot spot, which was rare, I did not need to take my shoes off until I was done walking for the day.
I stayed in hotels, pensions, but mostly in albergues.

Read the questions and comments she received on her “thoughts after coming home“.

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Posted in From the Camino de Santiago forum
  • leonacenter

    I’ll be returning for second time in July. Your sharing builds my enthusiasm.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Rev.Beth.Foote Beth Lind Foote

    thanks, this is great advice and inspirational!

  • victor Morgado

    I still recall the feeling of returning from my first Camino…that was at the end of August 1991…I lived in Paris at the time, and the first thing I did was to get up and get “magdalenas”, those little cakes they eat in Spain..That is what I used to have for breakfast in the Camino. I had Tendonitis before I got to Burgos, and due to the change in walking, I developed blisters, huge ones in both feet..but somehow I made it through..I even got the money to get back to Paris. I was broke in Santiago. I was told that there was a special little grant given by the townhall to those from the European community. I had to wait two more days in the shelter to go speak to them. But on my first night, a pilgrim woman from Zurich who had heard of my issue came to see me and gave me enough money to buy a ticket and food to get to Paris..that was my last miracle of el Camino….

  • http://www.facebook.com/bernard.coughlan Bernard Coughlan

    Hats off..or shouuld be shoes off!..God Bless You..one day I’ll have your guts and stamina..I’m 55! all love bernardo london

  • flewitheagles

    Thank you. I, too, did the Camino at 62 and will do it again at about 68 (probably the Portuguese route). My foot experience wasn’t so good (stress fracture) but I made it and survived! The weather was wonderful in late May – June!

  • Liisa Nilsson

    Thank you :)for sharing your camino… We, my husband and I did our Camino 17/9-21/10 2013! We are 64years and all experience was great. My high blodypressor down deed and my husbands had two disc broke one years ago but his back works very well the hole way and get stronger and stronger!

  • gailzmoon

    Thank you for sharing- very inspirational. I will be starting out June 1st at 58 yrs old. You give me hope!

  • blisterfeet

    My husband (64yrs)and I (62 yrs) are doing the last 100 km from Saria starting in 3 days time on 9 May and I would be grateful for any NEW tips on looking after my feet.
    During training I lost one toe-nail due to blisters and have just spent the best part of a week with my feet up and in bandages!
    I have tried many different types of socks none of which seem to suit me very well – the 1000 mile socks are probably best, but they are too tight for my wide feet. I’m currently trying ‘blister’ socks which only seem to be made for men.
    My well-worn ‘BRASHER’ boots are too warm for Spain, but I have ‘MERRELL’ walking shoes which feel like walking on air, and a pair of ‘ECHO’ walking sandals

  • Regina Saunders

    Thank you. I am 50, but walked it with my 10 year old daughter, which evened the playing field somewhat. We wore our boots in for nearly 3 months, but other than the odd 6km walk to and from school, there was no serious training.
    The pack. The pack. The pack. It all comes down to the pack. Try the pack on, live in the pack. carry bricks for a day and you’ll figure out how important it all is or isn’t.
    I nearly gave up just walking to Roncesvalles. I don’t believe it is an easy walk. Once you get that over and done with though, of course it is. But you should be warned – it’s a killer climb, and heartbreaking to push your daughter up and over. Yes. It was wonderful to have done it, and I would probably have done it again, but I don’t believe many people (Pride?) have opened up to the level of difficulty it really was.
    I also walked less than 20km a day for over 3 weeks. Yes!! 3 weeks. Again, the performers were mortified at us as they wrapped their blistered toes while I forgot to take my shoes off because they were still comfortable.
    It’s not a race. It’s not a performance trial. And I don’t know about you, but I was on a walk with God and my daughter. We woke in the morning and walked as far as we felt like – then stopped. We stopped plenty of times in between – plenty!! It was a running joke to my husband that I had taught our daughter to never walk past a bar!! Why would we? That’s where the people were!
    Try and remember, regardless of all the input you’re getting, that you are interested in walking YOUR Camino. Your way. For Your reasons. You will be tested on this ♥

  • GabrielleNZ

    Wonderful to read of your experiences – I am 55 and right at this moment trying to make up my mind whether or not to go…………you make it hard to resist!


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