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60 and over on the Camino

Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (9/2012)
#1
I would love to hear from some senior trekkers about how they planned their Camino adventure. I am planning to walk next year in my 60th year with my 63 yr. old brother. We have concerns about being too ambitous about the distance we can reasonably walk in any given day. We are in good health, but not experienced long distance hikers. Should we join a tour with support van? We would like to try the Camino del Norte in September. We want to walk, but be realistic about it. Any advise would be appreciated.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#2
Welcome to the Forum.
Many people over 60 walk the Camino. We were not long distance walkers but have both walked carrying our packs.
Terry first walked in 2009 when he was 65. Started in Exeter, took the Plymouth ferry to Santander, then walked the Norte/Oviedo/Primitivo route. He built up the distance walked daily as he went and allowed 5 weeks, with some rest days. In fact he reached Santiago a few days early.
This year we walked the Camino Inglés together (Terry now 67 and me 62). We walked shorter daily distances - around 15kms a day to suit my capabilities and took 9 days. (Some folk do it in 5.) Terry's comment was that if I could manage the Inglés then he thought that with planning we could complete the Primitivo - we walked a part together in 2010.
So (DV) we will walk from Tineo to Santiago in 2012. We walk regularly to keep in training, last year 5km;7km and 10km walks with packs at around Camino weight. This time, in recognition of the need to walk 15-20km daily we are walking 7km; 10km and 12km training walks with packs at part weight at present. We'll build up to full weight in the New Year.
We use the CSJ guides and plan our prospective days/time needed round them, using the distances not a given 'stage' per day.
There are many useful threads here on the forum, including the one Terry started 'Walking with a Companion'.
I would say 'Go for it' and enjoy yourselves
Buen Camino
Tia Valeria
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#4
As part of that over-60 crowd for 7 caminos, I think you can do it. Press yourself just enough for the first part to be "conditioning." Avoid overdoing it. You aren't 20, and your recovery time will be longer than in your youth. Take care of your feet. Take breaks. Stop when you are tired. Do not follow the standard camino stages; if you are good for only 6 km, then walk only 6 km. Do not try to keep up with the interesting people you meet. It will only pull you off of your own pace. Expect to hurt. Expect most of the hurt to go away each night. Accept discomfort. Avoid misery. Everything about a camino is optional, so do not burden yourself with a lot of artificial rules or expectations, particularly the rules and expectations of others. There is no right way. There is no official route, just the path the local juntas set. Most of the traditional route of yore is under pavement. There is no such thing as cheating (except if you accept a Compostela when you did not meet the criteria).

One step at a time. Have no goal except that next step. Have fun! Buen camino.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#5
Labtails:

I am over 60 and walked the Camino Frances last year. The walk is not easy but doable by anyone. The key is to start slowly and work your way into it.

As far as training, I had never completed more than a day hike prior to walking the Camino. That said, I think it is important to at least do some long walks prior to doing your Camino. The first thing to do is get some good shoes. I recommend you go to an REI store or the equivalent where you live and get fitted for a good pair of hiking shoes. Tell the sales person what you plan to do and a good one will make some recommendations. As your feet go, so does your Camino. Then just start walking and increasing your distances.

If you plan to start from SJPdP, I recommend you break the first day into two days by stopping in Orisson. The first day, in my opinion, is the toughest on the Frances. Orisson is only 8km and you need to make a reservation in advance.

I am getting ahead here with advice. Take some time to browse through the forum and afterwards ask any and all questions you might have. Many others and I will be willing to give our opinions.

Remember this, It will be your Camino to do however you choose.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Alan Pearce

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
#6
Hi Labtails

I walked the Via de la Plata this year, and the last 10 days was in the company of ilse, from Germany. She is 77 years old, and walked the 1000 km from Seville to SdC with her backpack. Those of us who have walked the various caminos will all have similar stories,

I personally never walk a camino [I have done three] without doing at least 2000 km of training with my backpack on, and the boots I am going to wear on the trail, Others do very little. Whatever, there is no argument that you must wear your camino footwear for extended periods before you go so that your feet are familiar with them.

If you decide to do the del Norte, be warned that the first section from Irun to Bilbao is tougher than anything on the Frances. By skipping this section and starting at Santander, you will find the going less arduous.

buen camino

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (9/2012)
#7
You all are terrific. Thanks. My brother & I have been athletes all our lives so at least begin with that attitude of meeting the challenge & practice makes a huge difference. I have played tennis all my adult life with plantar faciitis & sore achilles. I do understand the importance of decent footwear, proper rest & ice. I intend to avoid foot trouble so I can focus of the Spanish countryside. Will begin working on my Spanish after the holidays. We may start at Bilboa to see the museum there. I can assure all that I would never accept a certificate I have not honestly earned.
All your comments are most helpful. Keep them coming & mil gracias.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Hi,
My daughter say's that age is only a number and we are as old as we feel.
She has asked that the next woman I bring home be at least older than she (36).
Finished the Caminho Portugese two weeks ago at 66. The Camino Frances at 62.
Take your time, smell the roses and..,
Buen Camino,
Arn
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#9
Sixty is definitely not too old. We're trying to get throught the harder routes in our 60's so that we can do the easier ones in our 70's and 80's.

We don't stay in those refugios with all those kids much though....
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#10
If you are 60 then you count as a "spring chicken" when walking in September in France. Really! But to add to the good ideas already presented: pay strict attention to your pack weight; plan for 15 km days during the first week, and if you know you have plantar fasciitis, please consider getting your orthotics before the trip (rather than afterwards, ahem - she says from painful personal experience).

Use those training walks to get your footwear system and your packweight all sorted out. You can do it! It will make you younger!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (9/2012)
#11
Based on customer reviews I have bought myself a sturdy pair of Oboz walking shoes which have the best insoles. They are quite comfortable with great heel & arch support. No need for adding on as I usually do. As for being a "spring chicken" I have always been the baby of my family with three older brothers & being the youngest cousin too.LOL My turning 60 is a big deal for all the others in the family. I view it as just another challenge to keep moving & finding the next adventure on my road. I am being filled with new confidence to go ahead with my plans.
Many thanks.
 
#12
60 On the Camino is a spring chicken. Not to worry. Jane, my wife, at 61 and I at 64 just finished last week. Most importantly, start out slowly, don't do big kilometers and pack light and you'll have no problems. Most make the big mistake of assuming that in the first few days nothing has gone wrong, so they start dramatically increasing the distance...big mistake.

Your body doesn't acclimate that quickly and when the distance increases without time to get used to it, the blisters and shin splints creep in. Even though you feel like you can go further, force yourself not to in the beginning. Stop to smell the roses and let those feet and legs have time to build up.

I celebrated turning 60 by hiking the Appalachian Trail. I did the first 600 miles (1000 km) with no problems, and then I had a little problem with my heart and had to have a six-artery bypass done. I took 300 days off to recover and then got back on the trail and finished the other 1600 miles (2000 km). I even wrote a book about it, THREE HUNDRED ZEROES. Chapter six deals with the heart surgery etc. The AT is much more demanding since you have to carry all of your gear for sleeping out in the wilderness and food. The Camino is much more forgiving and you can carry much less weight, and so should have no problems if you start out slowly.

Buen Camino and keep us posted.

Dennis "K1" Blanchard
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
#13
Hi Labtails,

As a precocious 52 year old I've found that there are advantages to walking when you are older. In fact the older I get the more Im walking and along much less travelled routes. So while not getting younger, or in fact that much fitter, I'm definitely getting to be a 'better' walker the older I get. I think because:-
I don't expect to rush along at a rate of knots or rather a nice strolling pace is my 'rate of knots'
When every step is a 'win' (sometime the simple acts of putting your clothes on and starting walking feels like the most important thing you've done in a long time) the opportunities for disappointment radically decrease.
I've learnt that, as it always has the last word anyway, if I listen to what my body says (e.g.hot spot blister deal with it) things are ok.
I don't need as much 'product' as the younger folk (but this probably balances out with the need for some prescription meds :? )
I've learnt to accept help with grace.
Getting up and going to bed earlier?-heck I do that anyway.
I have (hopefully) also learnt that 'Perfection' is an unforgiving mistress and 'Good enough' (though a bit of a slattern) has a heart of gold.

There is a saying in Ireland that about sums it up
"The old dog for the road and the pup for the gutter" :lol:
Nell
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#14
Not to bore you, but
assuming that in the first few days nothing has gone wrong, so they start dramatically increasing the distance...big mistake
is deadly accurate. On my second walk, I met a 60+ man in Calzadilla de la Cueza that began to feel like he was twenty again, so he kicked it up to a 40 km day. He was spending three days of forced rest with shin splints. Once you have seen the sheep being herded into the barn in Calzadilla, there is nothing left to see but the bar (and two overgrown playgrounds for a town that has no apparent children).

Here is the blog of a trained ultra-marathoner who seems to have done the Camino to set a record (the $2,000 raised for charity is dwarfed by her expenses in the stunt), but pushed herself past her limits, and ended up with one knee twice the size of the other. I don't endorse her motive, but she illustrates that we all can break if we push too hard:

http://jennyjourney.wordpress.com/
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9 2011 (C.F 2015)
#15
I am 68 today. I have walked the C.Frances from Roncesvalles to Santiago over three years. and most of Pamplona to Santiago last year. I was hoping to do part of Camino del Norte next spring. but have just read that the bit from Irun to Bilbao is harder than anything on the Frances. so maybe it is not for me.

I would love to start in St.Jean and go over the Pyreenees. Can anyone give me a bit of encouragement.???

Flights from Dublin to Bilbao in May are just €9.99 at present. It seems a pity to waste such good value.
I want to book and know what I am going to do. I know I can book and keep options open. bus to San Sebastian or Pamplona or Biaritz ??
Please encourage me somebody. The family here think me a bit cracked!!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#17
If you can land in Bilbao Lydia can you not start to walk from there? If we were walking the Norte we would start from Santander as being the place we arrive in Spain. Just a thought.
Buen Camino whichever finally calls you
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
#18
Lydia Gillen said:
I am 68 today. I have walked the C.Frances from Roncesvalles to Santiago over three years. and most of Pamplona to Santiago last year. I was hoping to do part of Camino del Norte next spring. but have just read that the bit from Irun to Bilbao is harder than anything on the Frances. so maybe it is not for me.

I would love to start in St.Jean and go over the Pyreenees. Can anyone give me a bit of encouragement.???

Flights from Dublin to Bilbao in May are just €9.99 at present. It seems a pity to waste such good value.
I want to book and know what I am going to do. I know I can book and keep options open. bus to San Sebastian or Pamplona or Biaritz ??
Please encourage me somebody. The family here think me a bit cracked!!
Hi Lydia,
Go for it :lol: We first met you battling your way through freezing sleet and rain on the way down from the Cruz de ferro. Then we met up again at Tria Castela went to mass and had a lovely dinner together. Hearing about the obstacles you'd had to overcome on your journey we thought you were a very courageous person indeed. Lydia the Lionheart wouldn't be understating the case but if you need some encouragement well Frances and Nell say do what your heart tells you. As for being a crackpot sure everyones kids thinks their mums are a bit crazy at some level :wink:
Nell
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#19
Lydia:

Go for it. Just split the first day into two by staying at Orisson.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Bozzie

Continuing to walk my camino daily. Blessings!
Camino(s) past & future
2012/2016
#21
newfydog said:
Sixty is definitely not too old. We're trying to get throught the harder routes in our 60's so that we can do the easier ones in our 70's and 80's.

We don't stay in those refugios with all those kids much though....
Hi, Newfydog:
Where do you stay, then? Have any suggestions for places to stay on the Camino Frances?
I'm going in late May 2012 and trying to figure the best way to get rest and have a little privacy.:)
Being in the "2nd half of my life," I'm thinking I'll need a bit more rebound time than those fabulous youngsters! :)

Thanks!
Boz
 

Bozzie

Continuing to walk my camino daily. Blessings!
Camino(s) past & future
2012/2016
#22
Lydia Gillen said:
I am 68 today. I have walked the C.Frances from Roncesvalles to Santiago over three years. and most of Pamplona to Santiago last year. I was hoping to do part of Camino del Norte next spring. but have just read that the bit from Irun to Bilbao is harder than anything on the Frances. so maybe it is not for me.

I would love to start in St.Jean and go over the Pyreenees. Can anyone give me a bit of encouragement.???

Flights from Dublin to Bilbao in May are just €9.99 at present. It seems a pity to waste such good value.
I want to book and know what I am going to do. I know I can book and keep options open. bus to San Sebastian or Pamplona or Biaritz ??
Please encourage me somebody. The family here think me a bit cracked!!
Lydia...I have not one bit of experience (YET! May 2012 is my first) of walking any of the caminos, but I do want to encourage you to know your body and, if all feels right, go for it! We may need a slower pace, but hey! we're still alive and have lots of things to do in this life. Take care to listen to your body and get a check-up before you go. Then, GO! Find out something else that is wonderful about yourself!
Cheering you onward,
Bozzie
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9 2011 (C.F 2015)
#23
Thank you all,

I am encouraged. Off to Nerja in Andalucia for a week in the sun in ten minutes time.
Will make a booking to Bilbao next weekend when I return

You have put ANIMO into me.

Lydia
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#25
Age (67) and experience have served me well on the camino. I make better decisions, take better care of my body, and am not quite as reckless as I was back in the day. I take more time and care to reflect and contemplate, enjoy companionship, and I'm just generally more at peace. Despite the inevitable aches and pains, I love being this age on the camino.

Lydia, I too will walk the Pyrenees again, but as Joe says, not all in one go this time. Do it!

Buen camino!

lynne
 

johns

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF "2010" Ingles and Finisterre "2011" CP - L-P-S "2012" F /M "2013" c norte may 2014 CP 2015
#26
hi walked camino francis 2010 at 68 walking the ingles from 29 11 2011 then on to finisterre an muxia start training early good luck john 8)
 
#27
I just did a part of the Camino del Norte (San Sebastian to Santander) and I am in my late 50's. I will definitely say that it was much harder than the part of the Camino Frances that I had done the previous year (Astorga to Santiago),but it is much less traveled and breathtakingly beautiful so I would do it again--only this time be more prepared for the difficulty. You can see my blog at http://www.dustyscamino.blogspot.com. Have a great camino!
 

tastrom

Passionate long distance walker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC (9-10/2011), SJPP - SdC (4-5/2013), Sevilla - SdC (9-10/2014
#28
I walked the Camino from SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela. I started on September 9 and finished on October 12. I am 68 years old and found it was no big problem for me to walk to whole distance. i took some extra time for the steep uphills. I was well prepared with a lot of training before I started.
Regards Tom
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
#29
What everyone has said is so positive, and I would only disagree with the 2000 kms of training. But the more pre departure training you can do the better.
I walked my first Camino, the Frances, at the age of 79, and due to lack of time, had to bus it from Burgos to Leon, but I did the 625 km in 39 days, an average of 16 km per day. I then walked on to Finisterre. There were heaps of retirees over 60. This was in Sept and Oct.
I have just returned from my second Camino, from Oloron St Marie in Frances to Santiago, a bit over 900 kms, at an average of 18 kms per day. Again the were very many walkers aged over 60. I even heard of an Italian doctor and his wife aged 88 and 86. Age is only a number.
Start slowly, do not try to keep pace with faster or slower walkers, smell the flowers and take lots of photos and talk to people and enjoy numerous coffee stops. I stayed almost exclusively in Albergues.
Just go; if you don't, you will regret it for the rest of your life.
Buen Camino. David
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#30
As long as you, yourself feel in good shape and know your physical disabilities - especially in the foot and leg area, there should be no reason at all why you can't walk the Camino. Since 2007, Adriaan and I have walked: Camino Francés in two parts - 2007 and 2008, the complete Camino Francés in 2009, the Mozarabe in 2010 and this Sept/Oct the Camino Frances again. Adriaan is 73 and I am 69.
At home, do walk about 6 kms most days of the year and when on the Camino, we keep strictly to our backpack versus body weight of 10%. This year our average was 20/22 kms a day, in the past we have walked sometimes up to 30 kms, however this year the weather was exceptionally hot (30 - 34 degrees at midday for days on end) and that seeps your energy! Actually we often walked under the shade of an umbrella, which helped a lot. So often we arrived at the same albergue as other younger people on the trail, who we had met on many occasions. We just arrived a bit later in the day. Anne
 
#31
annakappa said:
As long as you, yourself feel in good shape and know your physical disabilities - especially in the foot and leg area, there should be no reason at all why you can't walk the Camino. Since 2007, Adriaan and I have walked: Camino Francés in two parts - 2007 and 2008, the complete Camino Francés in 2009, the Mozarabe in 2010 and this Sept/Oct the Camino Frances again. Adriaan is 73 and I am 69.
At home, do walk about 6 kms most days of the year and when on the Camino, we keep strictly to our backpack versus body weight of 10%. This year our average was 20/22 kms a day, in the past we have walked sometimes up to 30 kms, however this year the weather was exceptionally hot (30 - 34 degrees at midday for days on end) and that seeps your energy! Actually we often walked under the shade of an umbrella, which helped a lot. So often we arrived at the same albergue as other younger people on the trail, who we had met on many occasions. We just arrived a bit later in the day. Anne
This was good info especially about the ratio for back pack weight. What kind of pack did you get and where can I find good list of what to bring? Thank you
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#32
If you enter "Packing List" in the Search tool above, you will find several examples of packing lists. The general rule is: Don't take anything "just in case". You can wash your clothes every night, so the other rule is "Wear one - carry one" in relation to clothing. No cotton - takes too long to dry, and that applies to socks and shirts.No big containers of anything ( contact lens solution, sun screen, shampoo, etc. You can buy all that on the camino. Take travel-sized items, and make them multi-purpose (there are many cleansers that are great for hair, body and clothes). You may think "Oh well, this is only one extra item - I'll just "throw it in". Don't.

Start your packing a few weeks before you leave - lay everything out (I lay it all out on the floor in a spare room) in little piles (after weighing it). Then review the piles every day - critically, and discard what is not necessary (if you're buying new gear, keep all your receipts - this is when you return stuff you don't need). If you've taken things you don't need, or you need things you don't have, use the donation boxes in the albergues. Also you can buy what you need at many places along the camino.

The comfort and well-being of your feet are paramount to a great camino. They will depend on you carrying the lightest load possible.

Buen camino!

lynne
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#33
We'll second that. Also add:- When you think it is light enough walk with it not just once but several times and over a reasonable distance. Carry your full water allowance too. If it feels too heavy it will feel heavier on the Camino.
Buen Camino
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#34
I had a North Face, 40 lt, but it has now just about disintegrated, so wouldn't recommend it! As Lynne mentioned enter Packing List on the search tool. You will finds loads of good information. Of course, what is necessary for one person does not always apply to another. And as mentioned, don't take anything that you consider "Just in case". You can buy anything you want in Spain, if you really need to. Also by then, you will probably have been walking a while, so you will have become used to the weight of your pack and so you can safer add some extra items, (not too much though), further on in your walk. Anne
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (9/2012)
#35
This thread has turned out to be much better than I ever hoped for. Thank you all for your advise. I'm sure others are benefiting from the responses & enjoy comparing notes as well.

One other question I have not found elsewhere. If one does not drink wine/liquor will I find other things to drink? Or be laughed out of the restaurants?
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#37
Soliwo said:
The will have soda's, tea and coffee as well. It is just that wine is often free/ included in the menu price and the rest isn't.
There are all types of drink to buy.
The free drink with a meal is wine or bottled water (sometimes a choice of still or sparkling). We were never only given wine.
Also some menus offer a sweet course but will give a coffee as an alternative.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#38
If one does not drink wine/liquor will I find other things to drink?
As mentioned, a pilgrim menu includes wine or water (bottled).

In bars, the price hierarchy is:

Wine .60 Euro
Coffee 1.00 Euro
Orujo 1.00 Euro
Bottled water 1.20 Euro
Beer 1.50 Euro
Soda 1.80 Euro

(All prices approximate, but usually scale-relative.)
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#40
Soliwo said:
Sorry, I forgot to mention the bottled water. I am so used to it by now that I forget it is not really the standard in the world.
I would probably have forgotten the wine!! :lol:
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#41
I would have forgotten the orujo, except so many laborers were having it put in their morning coffee.
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9 2011 (C.F 2015)
#42
When everybody else was having first coffee of the day I would have a glass of hot milk (vaso de leche caliente) and as the day got hot I would have Peach Juice (Zumo de melacoton) A drink to die for. Nectar from the gods
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#43
Peaches....in tins. Aaaah.
We bought one in Segueiro for our supper but didn't use it. Reluctant to just ditch it in the hostal we carried it on next day - a Sunday. With all the cafe-bars we passed closed we sat on the outskirts of Santiago, ate the peaches and drank the juice. Wonderful. Two minutes down the road we passed the open cafe :)
Then there was the tin we had sat in a bus stop last year.........
Thanks for reviving the memories Lydia.
We have had the fresh orange but never the fresh peach juice. Must try it next year.
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9 2011 (C.F 2015)
#44
I have just booked my flight to Biarritz for Monday 7th May and home again from Bilbao on 28th, which gives me oodles of time to get to Burgos and to have a day in Bilbao to see the Guggenheim Museum. The two flights including rucksack into hold each time comes to €115.00 only. There is amazing value if one can make a definite decision so far ahead.

Thank you all for your encouragement. Now I have to get fit and learn some French. I'm not sure which I will find hardest.

Lydia
 

dkenagy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April-June 2009 (Frances) (little bit of bus-riding)
March-May 2012 (Frances) (walked every inch)
April 2017: VDLP: I'll be 75
#45
We (wife and I) walked St. Jean to Santiago April 25 to June 8, 2009, at ages 67 and 64, with very little training/preparation. Never got particularly tired but did find that our feet would start hurting after 10 miles. I doubt you can "train" this problem away. So, not being in any particular hurry, we adopted that pace. Upon returning home we realized that was too fast -- we missed a lot -- so we are allowing 70 days for our next pilgrimage, beginning March 17 2012. We want to take a lot of detours and sometimes hang around for a church to open even if it costs us a day.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#46
Good to read of other slower walkers. We are planning on 18+ days on the Primitivo from Tineo to Santiago. We are only planning on walking over 16kms a day where lack of accomodation demands it. Also by going through La Mesa and turning onto Camino Francés at Palas de Rei it means we walk some places where Terry didn't in 2009 and keeps our days short. Plenty of time to look around and explore as we go without straining our joints etc.
Have a great Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#47
I prepared by buying bits of kit and the wrong rucksack - too heavy, but there you go - then trained by packing it and going for one 11km circular walk, stopping for a sandwich lunch by a small lake.
That was it.

I then lay around for another ten days and went off and started. But I chose to start in Moissac, in France, which allowed me many days of green, soft, beautiful and gentle terrain to get fitted up, as it were, before getting to St. Jean and the first real mountains.

Seemed ok.

Have no fear, all will be well. If you find it a little hard? Just be kind to yourself and have a couple of short days - no problem :wink:
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (2011),Porto-SdC (2016), Frances,Salvador, Primitivo (2017)
#48
OK, so I'm not over 60, but I was an inexperienced hiker, walking the Camino for my 40th birthday with my 13 year old daughter, so I had similar concerns. I don't recommend a tour group....the beauty of the Camino is the freedom to go at your own pace; stop when you're tired, eat when you're hungry, etc. My daughter called us "team snail" because although we'd leave very early in the morning, we were often the last to arrive at our destination. We took frequent rests to air out our feet (neither of us had a single blister from SJPP - Santiago because of this) and change into dry socks, snack, and enjoy the scenery. We kept the "slow and steady" discipline, and ended up finishing a few days ahead of people who were flying past us the first 1-2 weeks.
Pad your budget for bag transfers (7 Euro per pack) in the event that you need it. We did this about 4 times to relieve weight from our aching knees. It's a very easy process...pretty much every albergue has envelopes for the local bag transfer service. You put the money in the envelope, attach it to your bag and leave it in the albergue in the morning. It will be waiting for you at your destination. Then, take a light daypack - the kind that stuffs into a palm-sized sack for water and snacks. The only drawback is that you need to make it to the destination you designate. Without our trekking poles and bag transfer, I am certain that our camino would have ended on one of those "knee flare up" days.
You can do it! The peregrinos over age 70 were my true inspiration for how I hope to age; fit and adventurous.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#49
I have done several Caminos at over 70. in 2012 (at 74) we plan to walk the Le Puy route to SJPP and then a couple of hundred km into Spain.
Age is not the big factor....fitness and condition is.
I actually see very little difference between myself and younger pilgrims...except of course the twenty something Germans. :?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2011
Porto -Santiago 2012 inland
Porto-Santiago June 2014 coastal route
#50
I turned 60 last Augst, start at SJPP on 13th September with my daughter and partner. Just go ojn and do it yo will not regret it. The start will be hard but it gets easier. Just remember a good pair of shoes and definitely merino wool socks, as I didn't have 1 blister.

It has been the most amazing thing I have done in my life and not a day goes by that I don't think of our time on the camino. We finished on 13th Octber and came back to Britain on the 14th. Brilliant weather, we enjoyedmost days - do it your way and you will be fine.

Buen Camino
 

rubyslippers

Ruby Slippers
Camino(s) past & future
April-May (2008) September (2012)
#51
When I hiked the Camino the first time I was 56 and now I'm 60. I went to Peru and hiked again this year. The thing I can say about the Camino is that it's an individual thing. I saw people who normally climbed ice blow out their knees and people who hiked all the time twist their ankles. I believe the Camino is about more than hiking. It's about listening to the committee in your head and whittling that committed down to one and THEN replacing that one voice with Spirit. Listen to your body and hear your own steps. Even people who hike together all the time hike at different paces. The Camino isn't a race, not even with yourself. It's a Journey.

On a practical note, the downhill can be as difficult as the uphill. Place your feet and don't just let them flail. Don't get ahead of yourself. I saw one young man hiking who was at least 100 pounds overweight. His face was bright red every time I saw him. As I passed him I felt sorry for him. I saw him occasionally throughout the six weeks. At the end I was sitting in the Cathedral in Santiago and there he was. Looking GOOD! Lighter, healthier and happy. The fact that I felt sorry for him spoke volumes about me not him! He is a hero of mine though we never met.

Be patient with yourself. Buen Camino
 
#53
Regarding drinks, this stuff is to die for, the best hot chocolate on earth! It should be a controlled substance!


If you can think of things you like to drink, you'll find it in Spain. Didn't see prune juice, but I wasn't looking for it. :)

Dennis, K1
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#54
From 2004 through 2011 I have walked the entire Camino Frances seven times from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago; I am 72. Here are some basic tips for walking at any age.

Remember
Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much....Ralph Waldo Emerson

Plastic bags
Separate categories of my kit, ie. clothes, toiletries, sandals and sleeping bag travel in sturdy plastic bags within the backpack. Thus all is relatively waterproof as well as easier to locate than if 'lost' within the pack.

Comfort
Take anti-diarrhea medicine and pocket packs of tissues for toilet paper. There is nothing worse than diarrhea on the trail first thing in the cold morning air!

Money
Carry some euro bills in small denominations; breaking a 50 euro bill in a remote village can be impossible! However, gas stations will often make change even if you don't buy gas!

Get up early
Since pilgrims must vacate each albergue by 8 am, nearly everyone wakes around 6:30. After waiting in a few cold lines to use the toilet facilities one quickly learns to rise by 6:15 to beat the rush!

Language
When all else fails the commonality is pantomime.

Simple pleasures
At each day's end what a great pleasure it is to remove your pack and only sit! If you have never hiked wearing a pack just imagine carrying 15 pounds of potatoes continually for half a day.

Drink lots of water and relax.
Water helps prevent painful tendinitis. One of the most important 'rules' of the Camino (and life) is to 'let it be'.

Food on the Camino
Breakfast and a big late lunch after walking are my norm with periodic bar stops throughout my walking day for coffee, hot chocolate or fresh orange juice and the loo. In Léon hot chocolate is so thick that the spoon almost stands in the cup. Served with freshly made crullers it is a delicious, caloric treat and fuel for trekking! For a delicious pick-up try freshly squeezed zumo naranja or orange juice. No champagne has ever tasted better!...In those albergues which offer kitchens many pilgrims for either dietary reasons and/or to cut costs prepare their own meals; except in emergencies I generally don't. However we all realize that today's food provides the fuel necessary for tomorrow's walking. Furthermore basic rations are always carried since the only shop or bar in town may NOT be open! My basics include tea bags, packets which make a cup of soup (even including croutons), firm cheese, small sausage, simple cookies and some chocolate. Often these same ingredients serve as a predawn breakfast hours before any Spanish bar would dream of opening!...Some hospitaleros provide delicious dinners; communal meals at Eunate and Granon are always memorable feasts. Generally for lunch or dinner many places along the way offer a standard three course Peregrino Menu (Pilgrim Menu) for 8€ or 9€. Although edible these often are only basic courses. A better alternative is the Menu de Dia (Daily Menu) which costs a bit more but provides much better quality and choice.

Walking pace and determination
Start walking slowly and go very easy for the first week. Daily distances cited in the guidebooks are not sacred; do not attempt 40 km the first day! ‘Slow, but dependable’ could be my motto. Since I am old I average 20 km per day for 55 days to walk from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago and continuing to Finisterre. The furthest I ever walked was 33k in heavy rain to Olveiroa ; this was one of the WORST days ever and as exhausting as my first time up to Roncevalles!... Consider the topography and the weather plus your health and pack weight as well as personal strength and ability to endure. On the Camino everyone moves as he wishes; only the last 100km MUST be walked in order to receive the treasured Compostela or pilgrim certificate in Santiago.

Although I do get weary I love to walk! Hearing the continual crunch of one's footsteps is very reassuring. You know that you can do it and can continue to do it as long as you have the energy. ...In sunshine my shadow is a constant companion. Always slightly to the right when the morning sun is behind, it is an uncomplaining, intimate presence. ... Shades of Peter Pan! However, it does seems to slouch a bit!

Stormy weather walking
When the path is hidden by mud, rain or snow for safety walk on the road. In winter Gendarmes warn pilgrims not to cross the mountains by path since conditions can be too dangerous; if you fall you are hidden. Hence follow the lanes.

Cold nights
In autumn and winter albergues are often frigid, without heat or hot water. Be prepared! Make a cozy 'sandwich' for sleeping by folding a blanket in half the long way, place your sleeping bag on top of the bottom half and pull the top half over all. If there are no blankets put your poncho beneath the sleeping bag to block the cold from rising.

Can you do it
Is the Camino appropriate for you ? Or more accurately could you endure such an effort as walking every day, carrying a full pack and staying with a group of strangers in albergues each night? Here are some additional alternative views to help clarify this decision.

1 This is NOT a walk in the park! Just because so many pilgrims have been successful does not guarantee that you will be. Anybody any moment can fall or pull or break anything. The most common injury is the result of trying to walk too far too quickly carrying too much! Easy does it. Be a snail; slow but, determined, like me.

2 To get an idea of how it feels to walk for a day with a loaded backpack carry 6 kilos or 13 pounds of potatoes continually for at least six hours around the house rarely sitting down.

3 Do bugs, dust, dirt, mud, rain or snow bother you? Can you pee in the woods? If you need a sanitized toilet seat and/or spotless surroundings this is definitely NOT your thing!

4 Can you share a dorm with others and/or sleep next to a stranger? Do you tolerate snoring? Or do you snore? What about smelly socks, garlic breath or worse?

5 Do you need hot water for a shower? Can you balance soap, shampoo, and sponge in one hand while trying to regulate water temperature and/or flow with the other? When done can you put your clean clothes on while balancing on one leg to avoid puddles on the floor?

6 Can you be up, dressed,packed and walking by 8am in summer or dawn in winter? Such are the rules for using municipal albergues.

7 Can you accept that nothing you carry on the Camino is ever truly clean or dry or tidy? Reality is a gradation of grey and damp and mess! Nevertheless that's life.

8 Do you meet people easily? Can you chat and share ideas, food, or help? Are you ready to smile and offer your hand in friendship? A smile returned by a new friend is one of the Camino's many joys. Just try it!

...
What matters is to DO IT!

As pilgrims said in the Middle Ages Ultreia! or Further!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
#55
What a super reply from "mspath" - you should write a pamphlet about it! I can't disagree with anything. :)
Age simply doesn't matter. Relative fitness does. I'm 73 and am looking forward to my second camino [Salamanca to SdC] in May. I thank God I am well and fit, even is very overweight! I limit each day to 15 to 20 kms and take hundreds of photographs.
Just relax and enjoy! There will probably be many other peregrinos to help you with any problems, unless you're taking a remote camino. Even then, no pilgrim is completely alone...
Buen camino!
check out http://www.calig.co.uk/camino_de_santiago.htm
Stephen
 

tastrom

Passionate long distance walker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC (9-10/2011), SJPP - SdC (4-5/2013), Sevilla - SdC (9-10/2014
#56
Hi,
I am 69 years old and walked the whole way from SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela last year. I started on Sep 8 and finished on Oct 12. You can read my blog at http://tastrom43.wordpress.com/ to read about my experinces.
Regards
Tom
 
#57
I walked last year from Sept. 4 thru Oct 14. I was 61 and got ready by toughening my feet months before I left,I wore Chaco sandals for the whole walk. I worked with a trainer for 8 months, who understood what I needed and we worked on my core strength and my legs. I hiked a mountain in the Spring to see how my lungs would do, because we are seriously Flatlanders in Indiana, USA. I took a class on hiking and I read numerous books and collected all kinds of advice, finally settling on Just Do It! It's your Camino. This said, I had far fewer problems with my feet and legs than many around me. When I needed help other pilgrims immediately offered help.. and I did the same. It was hard.. about the fourth day a pilgrim walking by said "this isn't a walk in the park"! It was hard..and soo worth every step.
 
#58
I have not walked the Camino (planning to begin about September 1, 2012), but I have hiked a few hundred miles on the Appalachian Trail, a few days on the RheinBurgenWeg, and a lifetime of backpacking. . I will be 73 when my walk begins in September. Advice:(1) if you have the time, take it slow. I estimate a reasonable pace will be about 12 miles a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. and I plan at least two rest days along the way. So I think I can finish in 40 days or so. I'm booking my return flight for 45 days, maybe a couple more, so if I need them for the Camino they are there. If not, there is always Finisterre, and what's so bad about a couple of days in Seville, Madrid, or Barcelona. My doctor says I should survive, but plan to be sore. Oh yes, pack light. I've weighed my pack and, with two 1 L. water bottles filled, it weighs about 24 pounds, including an extra pair of sandals, raingear, sleeping pad, and a stash of energy bars for days I miss scheduled meals.
[I live in Chicago, USA.]
 

Kialoa3

Active Member
#60
I Couldn't help but burst out laughing at Falcon's reply. How true. A 24 pound pack is too heavy. More packing discipline will pay a hefty dividend once you are on the Camino. To the point, I found myself in Moratinos pondering a corkscrew and a large nail clipper (Hamlet like) amazed a how heavy they felt. The corkscrew arrived in Santiago with me. Tha nail clipper, well ....
 
#61
Heights-Vertigo - for over 60

Hello all,
I am a Canadian woman, now 59, who will be doing the Camino in 2014 when I am 61. My concerns are not so much the walking, but the heights and inclines as I do have a fear of heights. I've heard horror stories about the Pyrenee crossing (Jane Christmas calls it Hell in her book).

I have lived in mountainous regions of Alaska and the Yukon (Canada), so can handle heights in certain circumstances - but if the incline is so steep as to be like the Gold Rush Chilkoot, straight UP with the possibility of sliding down and into oblivion, then I have to rethink.

I'm the one who went to the pyramids in Mexico only to be unable to climb the steps due to the steepness.

I'm the one who tried to do the Chilkoot, only to turn back after 5 steps as it was too steep and I got vertigo.

Having said that, I have been to the top of the major Towers in the world, lived on a 32nd floor, etc. and they were OK.

But if there is no path, no road, and if I can see Down Below with the incline so steep the mud is touching my nose, I don't stand a hope in hell.

I have no problem hiking hills and train on a treadmill at the top incline....but it's Vertigo I'm most worried about.

Can someone comment on the incline, vertigo, and whether anyone was paralyzed by it???

Thanks,

Yukon Chick
 

MichaelB10398

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
#62
Re: Heights-Vertigo - for over 60

yukonchick said:
Hello all,
I am a Canadian woman, now 59, who will be doing the Camino in 2014 when I am 61. My concerns are not so much the walking, but the heights and inclines as I do have a fear of heights. I've heard horror stories about thePyreneese crossing (Jane Christmas calls it Hell in her book).

I have lived in mountainous regions of Alaska and the Yukon (Canada), so can handle heights in certain circumstances - but if the incline is so steep as to be like the Gold Rush Chilkoot, straight UP with the possibility of sliding down and into oblivion, then I have to rethink.

I'm the one who went to the pyramids in Mexico only to be unable to climb the steps due to the steepness.

I'm the one who tried to do the Chilkoot, only to turn back after 5 steps as it was too steep and I got vertigo.

Having said that, I have been to the top of the major Towers in the world, lived on a 32nd floor, etc. and they were OK.

But if there is no path, no road, and if I can see Down Below with the incline so steep the mud is touching my nose, I don't stand a hope in hell.

I have no problem hiking hills and train on a treadmill at the top incline....but it's Vertigo I'm most worried about.

Can someone comment on the incline, vertigo, and whether anyone was paralyzed by it???

Thanks,

Yukon Chick
My dear Yukon Golden Pilgrim,

I grew up in Alaska and loved every day I was there. You will have no problems on the Camino and you will do smashingly well on the Way from St. Jean over the Pyrenees. Have no concerns whatsoever.

The Chilkoot is not the Camino; thank God. The Chilkoot was only taken because there was gold at the end of the trail. The Way of the Camino was easiestbecause it was the easist ways to get to Santiago de Compostela. If one way does not work there was always another way around.

Geez, thinking about Alaska I long for a good bite into a sourdough pancake. We lived on the Salcha River and had a huge smoke house where we smoked enough salmon and dolly varden to last all year for our family and several others. I only remoccasionallyuying hamburger occaisionly; all the meat we ate was moose or what we caught in the river.

The trail is wide on the Camino; a good 49'er gal will do just fine.
 
#63
My youngest daughter & I walked the stretch from O Cebreiro to Santiago in December/January '06-'07. That is, the last 100 miles or so. Blistering cold in the mountains. Now and then, snow fields as far as the eye could see. Lots of rain as the altitude gradually diminished. I was 66 then. I walked the same stretch again in October '07 with my wife, by which time I had become 67 years old.

My progress in the ascent was at a snail's pace. Twenty-five meters at a time due to lack of oxygen capacity because lung cancer had taken two of the three lobes on the right. Recovery was quick, however and, indeed, I found it more of a challenge sometimes to walk downhill. We had all the right clothing. My daughter carried a water camel (her idea) that added a lot to her carrying weight. I packed a brandy flask. We spent the night in hotels along the camino on both treks. Mine was a military career and communal living has lost its charm. Prices were higher in October. We encountered pilgrims on both occasion though there were many more in October.

Winter attempts need to take in account that the sun doesn't rise much before 9AM and is gone by 4PM-ish. Refugios in winter are empty, as are the auberges. We stopped here and there in the winter effort for bio breaks and to eat a meal. Most restaurants in the remoter sections of the camino are closed in winter.

Eric Dietrich-Berryman
757-496-2473
 
#64
Even though I have experienced a heart attack and 5 back surgeries, my largest concern is my sleep apnea and the breathing machine that I use (about 15" X 12" X 6"--11lbs and very fragile). The apnea is what caused my heart attack 9 year ago. I am wondering if there is a service that could carry this machine between albergues. I do not think I can carry the machine and my pack. Thank you for your thoughts ahead of time!
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9 2011 (C.F 2015)
#65
Hi Bassballmh,

There is service that brings backbacks from one stage to the next it is http://www.jacotrans.com
There are different phone numbers for different regions.

I imagine that if you put you breathing machine into your sleeping bag and packed it into the center of you rucksack it would be Ok. You could also attach a label in red saying contains fragile medical appliance

Buen Camino to you,

Lydia
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9 2011 (C.F 2015)
#66
Hi everybody,
I will be off in just over 12 hours. All the family and the children came out to say goodbye. So we had roast beef and roast potatoes and carrots and peas and gravy, followed by lemon cheesecake. coffee and biscuits. I really do enjoy having them and it is kind of them all to come, but I just wonder if at some time in the future one of them might think "Ma is off on the Camino early tomorrow wouldn't it be nice to take her out to dinner today" :lol:

Then the final pack of the rucksack. I suddenly think 'Maybe instead of wearing my boots on the plane I will see if I can fit them into the ruck and I will wear the little sandals, much more comfortable" So I unpack the sandals,only to discover that I had not included the orthotics that fit into them. My Oh My. Did you ever get the feeling that your guardian angel was taking really good care of you? I hope this angel continues to watch over me all the time. :wink:

So now, all is packed and all that remains is to have a good nights sleep and to wish all other pilgrims Buen Camino.

Lydia (Gillen)
P.s. I see that there is now another Lydia on the forum
 
#67
Lydia Gillen,
Thank you so much for the link and advice for my machine. I appreciate your thoughts and quick response! This was my only real concern.
 
#68
Hi Lydia
good saw you where leaving today,glad you posted gives me a chance to say have a great time-plus if you get tired on the first day there is a great place with Yurts (donotivo) at the crest of the hill before you walk down into San Sebastian,I found it a good place
Buen Camino
Ian
 

sulu

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ronces-SdC (03-04/10);Oporto-SdC (10/2011); VdlP via Portugal 03/04 2012/2013;Part Invierno 2012; Toulouse to Sarrance 2012; Ingles to Muxia June 2013 Cami Catala and Aragones 2014; El Salvador & Primitivo 2014; Camino de Madrid 2016; Levante 2015,2017
#69
Hi Lydia,
All the best with the walk. Keep posting, I'm interested to see how it goes.
Buen camino
Sue
 

dkenagy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April-June 2009 (Frances) (little bit of bus-riding)
March-May 2012 (Frances) (walked every inch)
April 2017: VDLP: I'll be 75
#70
I am 70. I'm in Santiago now, having completed my 2nd walk from St Jean yesterday. Here's how to do it: SLOWLY.

The first time I spent 46 days that was too fast. This time I averaged a little over 13 KM/day and spent 59 days. This pace allows many hours each aft & evening for church visiting, museum attendance, smoozing with people from everywhere and consuming as much local red wine as is consistent with the need to walk each morning.

Other tips: Bring practically nothing. Spain is not wilderness. If you need something you can buy it here. (You will need far less than you think). And utilize the essentially free Ibuprofena here. It costs 2 Euros for FORTY 600 mg pills!!!
 
#71
Re: Heights-Vertigo - for over 60

MichaelB10398 said:
[
My dear Yukon Golden Pilgrim,

I grew up in Alaska and loved every day I was there. You will have no problems on the Camino and you will do smashingly well on the Way from St. Jean over the Pyrenees. Have no concerns whatsoever.

The Chilkoot is not the Camino; thank God. The Chilkoot was only taken because there was gold at the end of the trail. The Way of the Camino was easiestbecause it was the easist ways to get to Santiago de Compostela. If one way does not work there was always another way around.

Geez, thinking about Alaska I long for a good bite into a sourdough pancake. We lived on the Salcha River and had a huge smoke house where we smoked enough salmon and dolly varden to last all year for our family and several others. I only remoccasionallyuying hamburger occaisionly; all the meat we ate was moose or what we caught in the river.

The trail is wide on the Camino; a good 49'er gal will do just fine.

Michael:
THANK YOU! :) What part of Alaska? I lived 2 years in Eagle River, before coming back to Canada and landing in Whitehorse. What brought you to the other side of the world??

Your encouragement was terrific - I've had such miserable luck with the Chilkoot (made it about 20 ft. and it was too steep and I had to back up and down...) and things like Pyramids (too steep a climb)...

I've been immersing myself in YouTube videos, just to catch a glimpse of the terrain - I don't want to dissect every inch as I need to have some surprises en route...but if I can see visuals, it helps dispel my fear.

Been reading a lot of books - again, I worry that they will colour my Camino, but I know my experience will be different - and it's another 24 months away, as I need/want to get back to Toronto first - but for now, I am soaking it all in.

Amazing what you can learn in just 3 months!!

Yukon Chick
 
#72
dkenagy said:
I am 70. I'm in Santiago now, having completed my 2nd walk from St Jean yesterday. Here's how to do it: SLOWLY.

consuming as much local red wine as is consistent with the need to walk each morning.

Other tips: Bring practically nothing. Spain is not wilderness. If you need something you can buy it here. (You will need far less than you think). And utilize the essentially free Ibuprofena here. It costs 2 Euros for FORTY 600 mg pills!!!
Congratulations on your fantastic achievement!

Funny, I was just thinking about Ibuprofen yesterday....I was going to bring a big bottle, but I guess I don't need to. ;-)
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
#73
yukonchick said:
[quote="dkenag

Other tips: Bring practically nothing. Spain is not wilderness. If you need something you can buy it here. (You will need far less than you think). And utilize the essentially free Ibuprofena here. It costs 2 Euros for FORTY 600 mg pills!!!
Congratulations on your fantastic achievement!

Funny, I was just thinking about Ibuprofen yesterday....I was going to bring a big bottle, but I guess I don't need to. ;-)[/quote]

Unless you need a prescription medicine, don't bring more than a couple of pills of any medicine you THINK you might need. That will get you over your emergency by which time you will have found a pharmacy. Anne
 
#74
This is a little off topic but at soon to be eighty I fall within the age range: I have a Sony Walkman MP3 Player with FM radio access. Can anyone tell me if there are any English language radio stations in the Sarria to Santiago area or coming in from an English speaking country. I am learning to speak Spanish but in no way fluent.

If I can sneak in another question: has anyone tried the ready-to-use cellphones that are sold in supermarkets and other stores? Have they worked well. Anything I should know?

I'm leaving Monday 28 from Sarria, my prospects for walking the 100kms is questionable due to some limitations, but with luggage and accommodations arranged I begin this journey happy. :) I have particularly enjoyed mspath's postings, advice, blogs and philosophy. Thank you.

Koby
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#75
Koby..
In answer to your questions about English language FM radio. I have never found a station in several Caminos so would not count on it. Stock up on a lot of different music for your MP3.

Many people use the prepaid cell phones with very good success. Since you are starting in Sarria you should have good coverage most of the time. I would, however, go with one of the major carriers (Orange, Movistar, Vodaphone, etc.) as some others may not have the coverage where you want. The phone can be a nice security blanket when you are out there alone.

I am not very much younger than you and have just returned from doing another Camino at over 1100 km with no problems. I generally keep up with most other pilgrims at my normal speed and pace so age is really not the factor. Conditioning and determination are what seems to be the important aspects.
Go for it.
 

Sedona2012

Bobbie Surber
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances st Jean to Santiago (Sept/Oct 2012) Finisterre Oct 2012
Part -Portugues (Oct. 2012)
Camino del Norte June-July 2013
Part of Camino Vezelay July 2013
Leon to Santiago October 2015
#76
yukonchick said:
dkenagy said:
I am 70. I'm in Santiago now, having completed my 2nd walk from St Jean yesterday. Here's how to do it: SLOWLY.

consuming as much local red wine as is consistent with the need to walk each morning.

Other tips: Bring practically nothing. Spain is not wilderness. If you need something you can buy it here. (You will need far less than you think). And utilize the essentially free Ibuprofena here. It costs 2 Euros for FORTY 600 mg pills!!!
Congratulations on your fantastic achievement!

Funny, I was just thinking about Ibuprofen yesterday....I was going to bring a big bottle, but I guess I don't need to. ;-)

While 51 yrs old I have never been athletic and not into hiking so what a shock for everyone to find out I was really going to do this. I also have a fear of heights and now feel after reading the post capable of starting from St. Jean. Leave
September 16th and have 43 days to walk the Camino and explore more if I finish sooner. This site has been such a blessing!
 

robertt

Active Member
#77
Dknagy,

Many congratulations!

I'm a mere 63, but I've done both my caminos in well over 50 days. I don't mean to show off, but you know the kind of grit it takes to stick to that mattress or keep dozing under that tree - cueste lo que cueste.

Congrats again

Rob
 
#78
Grayland,

Thank you for your answers to my questions. I knew about the ready-to-use cellphones but could not contact them for information and they did not reply to emails. I feel more secure now in buying a phone in Spain. I enjoy listening to the radio and here in Canada the CBC has quite a lot of interesting topics that make for good listening on the road. Also loaded MP3 with music.

I admire those who walk the long distances of the Camino at any age. I have limitations but will do my best from Sarria. Thank you.

Best wishes to Sedona.

koby
 
#79
I am 67 and have been walking parts of the Camino for the last 8 years, (from Le Puy and from Arles) around 150/200 miles each spring. As you have guessed, I've become obsessed by it! I am a regular walker so don't do any extra training, but just follow a few simple rules that I've worked out for myself over the years - i've walked on my own, with an older and slower friend, and recently with a much younger one. I find it's very important to get your boots and socks right - and I apply vaseline to my feet every day. I limit my rucksack to 7.5k (without food or water), though many people do have their luggage carried - but that can limit where you stay, and it costs 8 euros a day. I don't walk too fast or too far, maximum 25k, less than that if it's very hot. You can't book into the municipal albergues but you can in the private ones - we usually phoned the night before. There are albergues about every 8k so you can go at your own speed, There are buses to cut out industrial foot-slogging parts, the support system is amazing.
The camino is magical, and you'll meet so many more different cultures and nationalities if you dont go with a support group.
 
#80
I agree being over 60 that the Camino Frances would be the best route to take to Santiago. Many people want to experience crossing the Pyrenees, so go ahead and do it. For me it was one of the highlights and something I recall often. I was over sixty when I first walked the camino and chose the Camino Frances as it was well worn by so many others walking over the centuries and there are many others walking from May through the fall. Be sure someone calls to make your reservation at Orrison lodge for the first night, though. The hotel manager where I stayed the night before said he was going to call in my reservation, but then forgot. I would ask to be there to hear your reservation being made if possible. As it was, I had to wait in a chair after dinner at the lodge until 8PM when at that time a driver came to take me to another place to stay. We backtracked as we drove, but they did deliverer me early enough to the lodge the next morning where I could start where I left off. Those arrangements were made by the Orrison lodge, so at least I wasn't left without a bed for the night. Be sure to apply suntan lotion before you walk and every two hours along the way. I applied suntan lotion on my second day of walking when it was a cold morning and I had already had my jacket on. I only applied lotion to my face, thinking it was only going to be colder and I wouldn't need it anywhere else. When I took my jacket off later that afternoon I did not apply lotion to my bare shoulders and ended up with blisters that a couple of days later prevented me from carrying my backpack for a few days. It's better to learn from other people's mistakes, so that's why I am mentioning these things. Be sure to take a walking stick from the start, you will need it for balance, to help pull you uphill and to keep you from slipping going downhill. I was lucky to already have a good boots that don't give me blisters, but I hear that is very important. The lighter your backpack the better. Also get fitted for a backpack. You need to have a good waistband strap that fits as to take up much of the weight on your hips rather than pulling on your shoulders. I took water in small bottles, but be sure to take ample. There is a stopping place with a handy post office in the town of Puenta de la Reina. The post office there is used to assisting pilgrims ship a box home, when you find there are things in your backpack you would rather not carry any further. Take it slow and easy, you don't want to pass up a place to stay for the night just to push a little further as the next place could be full. Hotels or country inns, as a last resort can be expensive, and in my opinion not as much fun. The albergues usually run $=5 euros, but I liked staying in some private ones for $10 at times. Other times I stayed in those that are free unless you are able to donate. These places run on donations, so I always did leave something in the box by the door. Remember to get your camino passport stamped all along the way. Since you are only required to walk the last 100 km on the camino to be eligible for a compostela certificate, be sure you get two stamps each place during that last 100 kilometers. Stores, bars, as well as hotels among other establishments will give you a stamp just for the asking. The last 100 kilometers are the easiest even though you will encounter more people. There are more places to stop, more places to eat and more bathrooms available. Don't wear jeans as they hold too much water too long and get heavy when wet. I can't think of anything else except not to look ahead and wonder how much more uphill it is going to be, it will just make it seem more difficult. Enjoy the journey step by step. It's your camino.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#81
Arn said:
Hi,
My daughter say's that age is only a number and we are as old as we feel.
And just what does a 36 year old daughter know about getting old?

We find being 60 might slow you down a bit, and like to take a day off a week, but many, many pilgrims are over 60 and do great. We just want to get in as many hard ones as we can now, because 70, now that's old!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#83
Stephen Nicholls said:
"because 70, now that's old!"

Hold on! Hold on! I'm still walking quite happily at 73.
90, now that's old!

Stephen.
I heartily agree with Stephen and am the same age.
As Churchill said after Dunkirk "we shall go on to the end!"

Carpe Diem!

Margaret
 

efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
2012 Porto
2013 Le Puy
2014 Francigena
2015 - 2018 More ...
#84
I'm only 58. You guys/gals are so inspiring!

Eric
 

DeadFred

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean-Los Arcos ,Sept, Oct 14'
Los Arcos - Logrono-May16'
Next Logrono to ? - Sept 2019
#85
Re: 60 and over on the Camino( Arkansas)

Names Joe , 66 yrs old , Springdale, Arkansas . My wife Laurie and I will be on the Camino Frances in Sept 2014.

Started my Camino two weeks ago when I quit smoking . Ive been exercising for awhile , walking daily and eating a balanced diet . I don't drink so this gives me plenty of withdraw time to get off my tush and walk , walk, walk. To educate ourselves we have been devouring Camino books.. Just finished

"What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on Spain's Camino de Santiago"
by Jane Christmas

It's a good read and hilarious to boot

also ... "Six Months Walking the Wilds: Of Western Europe: The Long Way to Santiago"
by Steve Cooper . This guy is a Master Trekking and a wealth of knowledge .

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português da Costa (Fall 2018)
#86
mspath said:
Comfort
Take anti-diarrhea medicine and pocket packs of tissues for toilet paper. There is nothing worse than diarrhea on the trail first thing in the cold morning air!
If you end up with an actual GI bug [as opposed to a one-off condition caused by something you ate at the last meal not agreeing with you], doctors recommend not using anti-diarrhoeal medications as they will actually keep the bug around longer than if you let your system clear itself, dragging out your healing. Some yogourt to re-establish good bacterial levels in the gut will help.

¡Ultreya!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português da Costa (Fall 2018)
#87
newfydog said:
We find being 60 might slow you down a bit, and like to take a day off a week, but many, many pilgrims are over 60 and do great. We just want to get in as many hard ones as we can now, because 70, now that's old!
A little off-topic, but age-related. My aunt was complaining that her arthritis was slowing her down and she did not enjoy her gardening and preserving as much as she used to. My Dad's comment: “It must be awful when you get old like that.”

At the time, my aunt was 89, and my Dad 93. :eek:

At Thanksgiving that year I arrived home to find dad in his coveralls, on his hands and knees on the sloped roof of the house, cleaning out the eaves troughs, “... because they needed doing, of course!”

Just keep on going until you are forced to stop ... :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (9/2012)
#88
My brother & I are off to Spain soon. Meeting up with a group in Bilboa on Sept. 3rd to walk on the Camino del Norte. Am very psyched & ready to go. Buen camino to all. Please make yourselves known to me should we meet along the way. Thanks so much to all who have given such great information & advice as I prepared for this special journey. > Cally & Denny
 

aloarb53

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPP to SdC (2011, 2012, 2013)
Primitivo (2018)
St. Frances Way (2019)
#89
OK -- so I'm not quite 60. I walked from SJPP to Santiago last fall (2011) and this fall, both times arriving a day or two before my birthday (58th in 2011 and 59th in 2012). The best advice, after urging you to keep your pack LIGHT, is to do whatever your body and spirit are telling you to do. If you want to walk 9km one day and 30km the next, do it. If you want to stay in municipal albergues or paradors, do it. If you want to stop every half and hour for coffee or walk straight through for hours and hours, do it. If you need to send your pack ahead or take a day of rest, do it. Just don't let anyone else tell you how fast or far to walk or where a "real" pilgrim stays. If you are on the Camino, you are a real pilgrim.

Next fall, for my 60th, I'm walking the Via Francigena from Vercelli to Rome (about 850km). And I'm going to keep backpacking each fall for the rest of my life -- as long as my legs, feet, back, and spirit hold up. Age is a state of mind.

Buen Camino,
Ann Loar Brooks
 

ffp13

Addicted pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Caminos: 2009 SJPP, 2011 Roncessvalle , 2012 Pamploma, 2013 Roncessvalle, 2013 Porto, 2014 Burgos, 2014 Porto

Future: Roncessvalle
#90
aloarb53 said:
OK -- so I'm not quite 60. I walked from SJPP to Santiago last fall (2011) and this fall, both times arriving a day or two before my birthday (58th in 2011 and 59th in 2012). The best advice, after urging you to keep your pack LIGHT, is to do whatever your body and spirit are telling you to do. If you want to walk 9km one day and 30km the next, do it. If you want to stay in municipal albergues or paradors, do it. If you want to stop every half and hour for coffee or walk straight through for hours and hours, do it. If you need to send your pack ahead or take a day of rest, do it. Just don't let anyone else tell you how fast or far to walk or where a "real" pilgrim stays. If you are on the Camino, you are a real pilgrim.

Next fall, for my 60th, I'm walking the Via Francigena from Vercelli to Rome (about 850km). And I'm going to keep backpacking each fall for the rest of my life -- as long as my legs, feet, back, and spirit hold up. Age is a state of mind.

Buen Camino,
Ann Loar Brooks

:) I like your point of view
 
#91
aloarb53 said:
Next fall, for my 60th, I'm walking the Via Francigena from Vercelli to Rome (about 850km). And I'm going to keep backpacking each fall for the rest of my life -- as long as my legs, feet, back, and spirit hold up. Age is a state of mind.

Buen Camino,
Ann Loar Brooks
I agree 100% with what you said about walking.

Starting from Vercelli will be like starting from Burgos in terms of the lie of the land. It is rice producing country much of the way to Piacenza and probably even flatter than the meseta. The cities of Vercelli, Pavia and Piacenza are really interesting though and you will be fit by the time you hit the Apennines after Fornovo.

Good luck.
 

tastrom

Passionate long distance walker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC (9-10/2011), SJPP - SdC (4-5/2013), Sevilla - SdC (9-10/2014
#92
I will be 70 this year and plan to walk my second Camino from SJPdP to SdC. I walked my first Camino when I was 68. I hope I will be fit and walk the whole way.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#93
I'm quite sad that the pilgrim office stats no longer show people over 70 or 80.
They stop at over 60 (28, 445 pilgrims last year)

2012 ages stats:

Age Number of pilgrims
30 - 60 109267 (56,78%)
< 30 54719 (28,44%)
> 60 28445 (14,78%)
 
#94
Hi, Sil and others,

I agree that it would be extremely interesting to see the statistics on "60 and over" broken down into 60-70, 70-80, and over 80. Since I'm now in that over-60 category and hoping to keep walking for at least another 20 years, I'd really like to see the breakdown. I think there must be a lot more of baby boomers like me.

We do have an "in" with the pilgrims office if Johnnie Walker thinks our cause is noble.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#95
Well after reading most of these posts I don't feel to bad. I knew I would not be the only " oldie" but I suppose it depends on timing and the route chosen. By the time I arrive in Granada in May 2013 I will be 64. I am not intending to walk all the via de la Plata -just the last 750 KM from Merida. I goal is to reach Santiago by early July. If anyone is going to be on the Camino at that time I will happy to say Hola!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
#96
Saint Mike II said:
By the time I arrive in Granada in May 2013 I will be 64.
Do you realise that if we were at secondary school together, I'd have left the 6th form before you'd even started in the 2nd form!!
64 is so YOUNG. :) But 'age' is just a number on a piece of paper. Mine says 74.
I'm tackling my third camino in May - hopefully walking Lisbon to Porto. Had my first training walk yesterday - 12 kms [7 miles] and realise how unfit I've become.
I agree with the comments about checking age groups in the office. Maybe we can have 60-70, 70-80, 80-90, 90-100 and over 100!!! :roll:
Buen Camino!

Stephen
http://www.calig.co.uk/camino_de_santiago.htm
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#97
In 2010 a 97 year-old Irishman walked the last 100km in 10 days with his son. He died at age 102 - perhaps the oldest pilgrim?
 

Sullykerry

A Humble Veteran
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Fall 2014
Caminho Portugues September 2015
#98
Many thanks to all the comments posted.

I will be walking, trekking, crawling (?) through my first Camino beginning around May 8th starting in StJPP. I have not done much long distance walking in preparation. I have had two hip replacements (either side). I know that when I begin to walk the hip acts up. Nevertheless my cranky hips simmer down after thirty minutes of walking.

I will try to keep my backup weight under 12 - 15 kilos (no more than 35 lbs). Sadly I also suffer from a bad back which will necessitate my carrying a back brace.

After reading several books on the Camino, I know I will develop blisters. I intend to take vaseline, moleskin and a first aid kit.

I intend to walk the Camino Frances and hopefully reach Santiago by the 45th day with planned 2 day stops in Pamplona and Burgos. Am I being realistic?

I am a faithful reader of the comments through this blog. Any further suggestions for a sixty year YOUNG man traveling alone.

Utreia e sus eia Deus adjuva nos!

John in NJ.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#99
Your low end of 12kg is still too much!

Moleskin will not work well, particularly with Vaseline. In France and Spain you can buy Compeed. It is much better than moleskin for both prevention and treatment of blisters.

Pack your backpack, then go through it as if you were in Pamplona, had decided it was too heavy, and were getting ready to ship things home. Use that as your baseline for a repack. Then review every item and decide if you will be using it, or are just carrying it because you MIGHT need it. Toss aside all the might-need items.

Unless you plan to camp most nights, take no camping equipment, including a sleeping mat. May will be getting warm, so take either a silk sleep sack or the lightest sleeping bag you can find. Should you encounter cold weather, albergues have blankets, as do hoteles and hostales.

Buen camino from another 60+.
 

Sullykerry

A Humble Veteran
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Fall 2014
Caminho Portugues September 2015
Thank you Falcon: Did you or anyone use tincture of Benzoine to treat blisters? Contrary to what I have learned in First Aid courses, the roof of the blister should NOT be removed after draining it.

I have used trekking poles in the past to help with balance and footing. However I have used them only while hiking with a light day pack for a few hours at a time. As a slightly overweight 210 lbs male at 5'11" would using them for a 45 day hike be advisable? Thank you again.
 

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