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LIVE from the Camino A Camino of blisters and broken things

Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
So I'm currently, finally, on the Camino from home I aways wanted to do, and oh man, it's so not going smooth during its first month.

As expected, I had to do some (many...) very long stages to avoid high to exorbitant hotel rates. Up to 40kms. Many around 30. I also took public transport a few times for the same reason. I knew before about that, no problem. That's okay. 20kms feel like a full rest day now.

But also, my backpack died after about two weeks. Or, to be more precise, I acknowledged what I had known before. My trusted friend of many years and kms had close to no padding anymore and gave me some serious pain in the shoulders.

Then also my sandals died. The soles came off. I've never had that happen with my Tevas. Ever. Not even after thousands of kms. It happened after only 400kms. Because of a bad mix of long distances, dissolving shoes, heat, and an uncomfortable backpack, I got blisters. I usually never get blisters when walking in sandals.

So, I went to the next big city by train, bought new sandals and a new backpack, which cost me about 1/2 month of walking. Which means poor diet for the next weeks, or to be more realistic, about a month. The backpack is great, but the new Tevas are not fitting as well as the old ones. There wasn't much to choose from. I'm now mostly walking in my old pair of backup sandals without any profile on the soles left.

I'm still getting blisters, currently at #10 or so. Some are in layers by now. I know how to deal with them, but it's so annoying. Didn't have that problem since Camino #1 in 2015. I've refilled my giant first aid kit three times already.

I also had an accident falling over a tent peg, which resulted in a nasty wound, which took almost three weeks to heal. Now that it's finally healed, today I had a stupid accident again and now have a painful haematoma on my hand. Another trip to the pharmacy it is then. So I don't just walk like the zombies from "the walking dead", I can't even use my hiking staff properly to help with that. Even typing this is painful.

Did I mention I've been stung by a bee and bitten by a spider also? It's ridiculous. My last bee sting was 30 years ago. Never have been bitten by a spider. Apart from bedbugs, I love insects! Not sure what's happening here!

The whole thing is still absolutely fabulous, though. I love it. So many incredible experiences. So much beauty to be found everywhere, in landscape, towns, and most of all people. But it's a very lonely path so far, and no other pilgrims to share the difficulties with. Certainly can't tell my family, or they'll probably try to come and take me home.

The only pilgrims I met so far I only saw for a few hours max. Most were on bikes. Met one person so far also walking the whole distance to Santiago, met them for about 5 min. And one peregrina on the way to Rome on foot - we exchanged blister stories and maps. That was really nice. Also, that was about two weeks ago.

Once there were two other pilgrims in one of the very few pilgrim hostels on this route. They went out to party until 1am, then came back totally drunk / on drugs? and continued partying until 2:30 am in the hostel, screaming, yelling, slamming doors, and taking night time showers. It also sounded as if they were moving and trashing the furniture in their room (thankfully, I was next door and had locked my room). They also brought a third pilgrim with them to sleep there, who, I'm pretty sure, had not payed. That much for "party pilgrims on the last 100km".... this was more like the last 2000kms, and still 🤣 I was happy they were walking to Rome, and not to Santiago!

Anyway. Sorry if this sounds like whining. It's not meant to be.

Today I walked a short day of 15kms. Had enough time to wash my clothes AND dry them, go to the supermarket, take a shower, and relax in the shade. It feels so good. I also sheltered in an elementary school today for an hour, during a thunderstorm, because there was no other shelter to be found. The children were so cute!!! The teacher even offered to drive me to the next town in case that the storm doesn't calm down soon, and to have lunch together with everyone else.

The hospitality you find on this rarely walked paths is incredible.

So, what do I want to say?

Should I ever make it to Spain, and you see this pilgrim with an expensive-brand-backpack walking into your donativo, please don't think I'm rich. It cost me several years of saving money, a career change, a burnout, quitting my job, and some painful weeks of walking with blisters and mainly eating bread and peanuts on my way. I'll still donate, of course, but it might not be as much as I'd like to.
 

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How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
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Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
@chinacat I've had more 'downers' now than on six different caminos in several countries before combined 😂 but it's okay. I'll just be happy to arrive somewhere with more pilgrims. That will still take a few weeks but I'm looking forward to all the hordes!!! The one 'downer' I'm still waiting for ist to be struck by lightning. Hopefully at least that won't happen!
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
I've had more 'downers' now than on six different caminos in several countries before combined 😂

But are’t you walking six times as far this time?
or, at the least, three times …?
I was hoping it was just ‘front-loading’ 🙃

Met one person so far also walking the whole distance to Santiago, met them for about 5 min.

When I read this, I wondered whether that person might have been at the extreme end of introversion ….
Two pilgrims, walking so far … meet for just 5 minutes ….🤔

Did you show him/her ‘Manny’?
 
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Get your today and start planning.
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
When I read this, I wondered whether that person might have been at the extreme end of introversion ….
Two pilgrims, walking so far … meet for just 5 minutes ….🤔
We just had a short chat, and I continued to my campsite, because I wanted to pitch my tent before the rain started.

As I said, I also skipped a few short sections. One because of the "shopping trip" I had to do, and a few to get to affordable accommodation without walking another 40km day. I'm still too scared to wild camp and too shy to ask people if I can camp somewhere on their land or in the village. Then also the long walking days. So I'm probably ahead of them now.

But I'm sure I'll meet more pilgrims soon. One local I spoke with told me he had seen many (not Manny!) during the last weeks. There are also quite a few people on long distance bicycle travels who stay at the campsites, which is nice. One night there were three other tents with cyclists next to mine, and everybody was snoring, it was like in an albergue!

Did you show him/her ‘Manny’?
🤣 No, he wasn't with me yet at that point, and even if, surely I wouldn't have! He's all taped up anyway.
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
Not to take away from your post but I am on the Camino Frances now and I feel your pain
I moved fine for about seven or eight days and then the blisters start coming up. I switched from boots to sandals and got more blisters 😟
I never had blisters from sandals before and I never had them at places that I got them : on the balls of my feet...
Had to buy new sandals which only added to (other) unexpected expenses and I can only hope for the best that they will work
Got into Burgos today and went to the hospital where they cleaned up and sanitized all the blisters; taking an extra day off most likely relaxing instead of playing a tourist which but I was hoping to do...
BUEN Camino fellow Peregrino!!!!
 

Gerard Griffin

Active Member
Bad luck amigo, but good luck always follows and you deserve it, I'd be spitting nails if I'd been thru what you have.

One tip may help ... I've wild camped on and off for four years on various Caminos, with never the slightest problem.

Sure, it's technically illegal but the Guardia Civil and landowners are totally cool with it. The 9nky people against it are snooty tourigrini on their way to the next Parador. Buen Camino 😎
 

bullingtonce

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I plan to do the Ruta de la Lana in August/September 2021
So I'm currently, finally, on the Camino from home I aways wanted to do, and oh man, it's so not going smooth during its first month.

As expected, I had to do some (many...) very long stages to avoid high to exorbitant hotel rates. Up to 40kms. Many around 30. I also took public transport a few times for the same reason. I knew before about that, no problem. That's okay. 20kms feel like a full rest day now.

But also, my backpack died after about two weeks. Or, to be more precise, I acknowledged what I had known before. My trusted friend of many years and kms had close to no padding anymore and gave me some serious pain in the shoulders.

Then also my sandals died. The soles came off. I've never had that happen with my Tevas. Ever. Not even after thousands of kms. It happened after only 400kms. Because of a bad mix of long distances, dissolving shoes, heat, and an uncomfortable backpack, I got blisters. I usually never get blisters when walking in sandals.

So, I went to the next big city by train, bought new sandals and a new backpack, which cost me about 1/2 month of walking. Which means poor diet for the next weeks, or to be more realistic, about a month. The backpack is great, but the new Tevas are not fitting as well as the old ones. There wasn't much to choose from. I'm now mostly walking in my old pair of backup sandals without any profile on the soles left.

I'm still getting blisters, currently at #10 or so. Some are in layers by now. I know how to deal with them, but it's so annoying. Didn't have that problem since Camino #1 in 2015. I've refilled my giant first aid kit three times already.

I also had an accident falling over a tent peg, which resulted in a nasty wound, which took almost three weeks to heal. Now that it's finally healed, today I had a stupid accident again and now have a painful haematoma on my hand. Another trip to the pharmacy it is then. So I don't just walk like the zombies from "the walking dead", I can't even use my hiking staff properly to help with that. Even typing this is painful.

Did I mention I've been stung by a bee and bitten by a spider also? It's ridiculous. My last bee sting was 30 years ago. Never have been bitten by a spider. Apart from bedbugs, I love insects! Not sure what's happening here!

The whole thing is still absolutely fabulous, though. I love it. So many incredible experiences. So much beauty to be found everywhere, in landscape, towns, and most of all people. But it's a very lonely path so far, and no other pilgrims to share the difficulties with. Certainly can't tell my family, or they'll probably try to come and take me home.

The only pilgrims I met so far I only saw for a few hours max. Most were on bikes. Met one person so far also walking the whole distance to Santiago, met them for about 5 min. And one peregrina on the way to Rome on foot - we exchanged blister stories and maps. That was really nice. Also, that was about two weeks ago.

Once there were two other pilgrims in one of the very few pilgrim hostels on this route. They went out to party until 1am, then came back totally drunk / on drugs? and continued partying until 2:30 am in the hostel, screaming, yelling, slamming doors, and taking night time showers. It also sounded as if they were moving and trashing the furniture in their room (thankfully, I was next door and had locked my room). They also brought a third pilgrim with them to sleep there, who, I'm pretty sure, had not payed. That much for "party pilgrims on the last 100km".... this was more like the last 2000kms, and still 🤣 I was happy they were walking to Rome, and not to Santiago!

Anyway. Sorry if this sounds like whining. It's not meant to be.

Today I walked a short day of 15kms. Had enough time to wash my clothes AND dry them, go to the supermarket, take a shower, and relax in the shade. It feels so good. I also sheltered in an elementary school today for an hour, during a thunderstorm, because there was no other shelter to be found. The children were so cute!!! The teacher even offered to drive me to the next town in case that the storm doesn't calm down soon, and to have lunch together with everyone else.

The hospitality you find on this rarely walked paths is incredible.

So, what do I want to say?

Should I ever make it to Spain, and you see this pilgrim with an expensive-brand-backpack walking into your donativo, please don't think I'm rich. It cost me several years of saving money, a career change, a burnout, quitting my job, and some painful weeks of walking with blisters and mainly eating bread and peanuts on my way. I'll still donate, of course, but it might not be as much as I'd like to.
What do I know? Life can be so complex and deep that, at times, it is best not to reflect on it so much.
However, having said this, I believe you passed the test. I believe you were being tested and, even though you had reason after reason to call off your Camino/stop you Camino, you did not!
I mean, those blisters . . . I got queasy just thinking about this. And continuing to walk in sandals? And this and that.
Congratulations on persevering. Life or someone up there is proud of you.
Chuck
 

zzotte

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
I’m sorry about your dilemas, but my friend let’s be serious LOL I try not laugh but it’s too much, you go out to walk however many miles 600 or so, with an old dilapidated backpack, a 400km old sandal? And too cheap to pay a place to stay more often and you wonder why you have blisters? You are riot, all in good fun and good health pelegrino

buen Camino
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I’m sorry about your dilemas, but my friend let’s be serious LOL I try not laugh but it’s too much, you go out to walk however many miles 600 or so, with an old dilapidated backpack, a 400km old sandal? And too cheap to pay a place to stay more often and you wonder why you have blisters? You are riot, all in good fun and good health pelegrino

buen Camino

You're a lucky person if you can afford to pay for hotel rooms / chambre d'hotes regularly on a 3-4 months pilgrimage. I'm just happy to reach a campsite in the evening, often after walking 12hours, because I'm slow. 8-20€/night for a place to sleep, compared to 50-200€, small difference in budget. It surely would be an easier walk with about double or triple the budget, but that's not going to happen within my lifetime. If you can afford that, then, lucky you. Go for it.

With regards to the sandals: I've used the models I brought for this trip on Caminos and other hikes for hundreds of kms, one pair for more than 1500kms, and never had a problem with blisters or soles falling off. Same with the backpack. Did many training walks before I left and it still felt ok. I knew it would not survive much longer, but hoped it might until Santiago. I had planned to retire it after that. I usually prefer to rely on gear I know well. This model of backpack is not made anymore, so I didn't want to replace it with something I don't know and hoped for the best. Well, bad luck. The new one is really nice, though, after some days of adjusting.
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Not to take away from your post but I am on the Camino Frances now and I feel your pain
I moved fine for about seven or eight days and then the blisters start coming up. I switched from boots to sandals and got more blisters 😟
I never had blisters from sandals before and I never had them at places that I got them : on the balls of my feet...
Had to buy new sandals which only added to (other) unexpected expenses and I can only hope for the best that they will work
Got into Burgos today and went to the hospital where they cleaned up and sanitized all the blisters; taking an extra day off most likely relaxing instead of playing a tourist which but I was hoping to do...
BUEN Camino fellow Peregrino!!!!

After your blisters have healed, your feet should be stronger than before. I hope you'll have a great Camino! Walk slowly, take many rest stops during the day, walk short days if possible. You can do it! Buen Camino to you!!!
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
After your blisters have healed, your feet should be stronger than before. I hope you'll have a great Camino! Walk slowly, take many rest stops during the day, walk short days if possible. You can do it! Buen Camino to you!!!
Thank you
Will definitely walk shorter days, which will require an overall to the whole schedule and may not walk the wole Meseta....but that's Camino
Ultreia!!!!!
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
So I'm currently, finally, on the Camino from home I aways wanted to do, and oh man, it's so not going smooth during its first month.

As expected, I had to do some (many...) very long stages to avoid high to exorbitant hotel rates. Up to 40kms. Many around 30. I also took public transport a few times for the same reason. I knew before about that, no problem. That's okay. 20kms feel like a full rest day now.

But also, my backpack died after about two weeks. Or, to be more precise, I acknowledged what I had known before. My trusted friend of many years and kms had close to no padding anymore and gave me some serious pain in the shoulders.

Then also my sandals died. The soles came off. I've never had that happen with my Tevas. Ever. Not even after thousands of kms. It happened after only 400kms. Because of a bad mix of long distances, dissolving shoes, heat, and an uncomfortable backpack, I got blisters. I usually never get blisters when walking in sandals.

So, I went to the next big city by train, bought new sandals and a new backpack, which cost me about 1/2 month of walking. Which means poor diet for the next weeks, or to be more realistic, about a month. The backpack is great, but the new Tevas are not fitting as well as the old ones. There wasn't much to choose from. I'm now mostly walking in my old pair of backup sandals without any profile on the soles left.

I'm still getting blisters, currently at #10 or so. Some are in layers by now. I know how to deal with them, but it's so annoying. Didn't have that problem since Camino #1 in 2015. I've refilled my giant first aid kit three times already.

I also had an accident falling over a tent peg, which resulted in a nasty wound, which took almost three weeks to heal. Now that it's finally healed, today I had a stupid accident again and now have a painful haematoma on my hand. Another trip to the pharmacy it is then. So I don't just walk like the zombies from "the walking dead", I can't even use my hiking staff properly to help with that. Even typing this is painful.

Did I mention I've been stung by a bee and bitten by a spider also? It's ridiculous. My last bee sting was 30 years ago. Never have been bitten by a spider. Apart from bedbugs, I love insects! Not sure what's happening here!

The whole thing is still absolutely fabulous, though. I love it. So many incredible experiences. So much beauty to be found everywhere, in landscape, towns, and most of all people. But it's a very lonely path so far, and no other pilgrims to share the difficulties with. Certainly can't tell my family, or they'll probably try to come and take me home.

The only pilgrims I met so far I only saw for a few hours max. Most were on bikes. Met one person so far also walking the whole distance to Santiago, met them for about 5 min. And one peregrina on the way to Rome on foot - we exchanged blister stories and maps. That was really nice. Also, that was about two weeks ago.

Once there were two other pilgrims in one of the very few pilgrim hostels on this route. They went out to party until 1am, then came back totally drunk / on drugs? and continued partying until 2:30 am in the hostel, screaming, yelling, slamming doors, and taking night time showers. It also sounded as if they were moving and trashing the furniture in their room (thankfully, I was next door and had locked my room). They also brought a third pilgrim with them to sleep there, who, I'm pretty sure, had not payed. That much for "party pilgrims on the last 100km".... this was more like the last 2000kms, and still 🤣 I was happy they were walking to Rome, and not to Santiago!

Anyway. Sorry if this sounds like whining. It's not meant to be.

Today I walked a short day of 15kms. Had enough time to wash my clothes AND dry them, go to the supermarket, take a shower, and relax in the shade. It feels so good. I also sheltered in an elementary school today for an hour, during a thunderstorm, because there was no other shelter to be found. The children were so cute!!! The teacher even offered to drive me to the next town in case that the storm doesn't calm down soon, and to have lunch together with everyone else.

The hospitality you find on this rarely walked paths is incredible.

So, what do I want to say?

Should I ever make it to Spain, and you see this pilgrim with an expensive-brand-backpack walking into your donativo, please don't think I'm rich. It cost me several years of saving money, a career change, a burnout, quitting my job, and some painful weeks of walking with blisters and mainly eating bread and peanuts on my way. I'll still donate, of course, but it might not be as much as I'd like to.
I am so curios to know which route you are on.
 
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Barbara

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I’m sorry about your dilemas, but my friend let’s be serious LOL I try not laugh but it’s too much, you go out to walk however many miles 600 or so, with an old dilapidated backpack, a 400km old sandal? And too cheap to pay a place to stay more often and you wonder why you have blisters? You are riot, all in good fun and good health pelegrino

buen Camino
I don't think your place is on this forum. Such an unpleasant post, I hope it's because English isn't your first language and you have made some errors of understanding.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I think this Camino doesn't even have a name, really. I read "chemin des allemands" somewhere - Trier/Trèves to Cluny. An easy walk so far with regards to the path, mostly flat and some rolling hills, just often long stages to get to the next campground.

Had a list of acceuils jacquaires up to Langres, but rarely got someone on the phone. Same when I tried through the tourist office. Bit of bad luck maybe. I tried walking this section before, some years ago, and had to quit due to budget issues. So I'm quite proud how I managed this year, even though I skipped some stages. I still walked most of it at least instead of skipping it completely again 🤣

I guess it all sounds much worse than it is, as I still enjoy this Camino a lot. I saved some of my budget for the later stages so I can feast on pilgrim menus and Rioja wine when I get to Spain and maybe afford some days of demi pension on the the way from Le Puy.

I think I posted this out of a bit of a dark mood. Had some bad news from home also, which didn't make it better. After walking only a short day, a rest day, a trip to a local piscine, and a nice meal in a restaurant, things are much better now. I'll also skip another stage to allow my feet to heal completely. No distance certificate for me I guess, but that's okay.

There are heavy storms in the forecast, so I'll treat myself to a room tonight, I think.

Thank you all for your kind replies.
 
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Leemac40

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria to Santiago
I recently returned from my Camino and feel your pain re. blisters! I always get them no matter what I do but each Camino provides lots of experience and I intend to eventually complete a blister free Camino! It's amazing how the bad experiences can turn into good memories and comical stories to share! Buen Camino, hopefully the worst is over ❤️
 

ckennedy4

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future - September 2022
So I'm currently, finally, on the Camino from home I aways wanted to do, and oh man, it's so not going smooth during its first month.

As expected, I had to do some (many...) very long stages to avoid high to exorbitant hotel rates. Up to 40kms. Many around 30. I also took public transport a few times for the same reason. I knew before about that, no problem. That's okay. 20kms feel like a full rest day now.

But also, my backpack died after about two weeks. Or, to be more precise, I acknowledged what I had known before. My trusted friend of many years and kms had close to no padding anymore and gave me some serious pain in the shoulders.

Then also my sandals died. The soles came off. I've never had that happen with my Tevas. Ever. Not even after thousands of kms. It happened after only 400kms. Because of a bad mix of long distances, dissolving shoes, heat, and an uncomfortable backpack, I got blisters. I usually never get blisters when walking in sandals.

So, I went to the next big city by train, bought new sandals and a new backpack, which cost me about 1/2 month of walking. Which means poor diet for the next weeks, or to be more realistic, about a month. The backpack is great, but the new Tevas are not fitting as well as the old ones. There wasn't much to choose from. I'm now mostly walking in my old pair of backup sandals without any profile on the soles left.

I'm still getting blisters, currently at #10 or so. Some are in layers by now. I know how to deal with them, but it's so annoying. Didn't have that problem since Camino #1 in 2015. I've refilled my giant first aid kit three times already.

I also had an accident falling over a tent peg, which resulted in a nasty wound, which took almost three weeks to heal. Now that it's finally healed, today I had a stupid accident again and now have a painful haematoma on my hand. Another trip to the pharmacy it is then. So I don't just walk like the zombies from "the walking dead", I can't even use my hiking staff properly to help with that. Even typing this is painful.

Did I mention I've been stung by a bee and bitten by a spider also? It's ridiculous. My last bee sting was 30 years ago. Never have been bitten by a spider. Apart from bedbugs, I love insects! Not sure what's happening here!

The whole thing is still absolutely fabulous, though. I love it. So many incredible experiences. So much beauty to be found everywhere, in landscape, towns, and most of all people. But it's a very lonely path so far, and no other pilgrims to share the difficulties with. Certainly can't tell my family, or they'll probably try to come and take me home.

The only pilgrims I met so far I only saw for a few hours max. Most were on bikes. Met one person so far also walking the whole distance to Santiago, met them for about 5 min. And one peregrina on the way to Rome on foot - we exchanged blister stories and maps. That was really nice. Also, that was about two weeks ago.

Once there were two other pilgrims in one of the very few pilgrim hostels on this route. They went out to party until 1am, then came back totally drunk / on drugs? and continued partying until 2:30 am in the hostel, screaming, yelling, slamming doors, and taking night time showers. It also sounded as if they were moving and trashing the furniture in their room (thankfully, I was next door and had locked my room). They also brought a third pilgrim with them to sleep there, who, I'm pretty sure, had not payed. That much for "party pilgrims on the last 100km".... this was more like the last 2000kms, and still 🤣 I was happy they were walking to Rome, and not to Santiago!

Anyway. Sorry if this sounds like whining. It's not meant to be.

Today I walked a short day of 15kms. Had enough time to wash my clothes AND dry them, go to the supermarket, take a shower, and relax in the shade. It feels so good. I also sheltered in an elementary school today for an hour, during a thunderstorm, because there was no other shelter to be found. The children were so cute!!! The teacher even offered to drive me to the next town in case that the storm doesn't calm down soon, and to have lunch together with everyone else.

The hospitality you find on this rarely walked paths is incredible.

So, what do I want to say?

Should I ever make it to Spain, and you see this pilgrim with an expensive-brand-backpack walking into your donativo, please don't think I'm rich. It cost me several years of saving money, a career change, a burnout, quitting my job, and some painful weeks of walking with blisters and mainly eating bread and peanuts on my way. I'll still donate, of course, but it might not be as much as I'd like to.
Hahah great reading - doesn't sound like winjing at all - it sounds like a reality check! :)
 
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walkinglover

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, '16 and '18; Portuguese '17; Ingles - 19
So I'm currently, finally, on the Camino from home I aways wanted to do, and oh man, it's so not going smooth during its first month.

As expected, I had to do some (many...) very long stages to avoid high to exorbitant hotel rates. Up to 40kms. Many around 30. I also took public transport a few times for the same reason. I knew before about that, no problem. That's okay. 20kms feel like a full rest day now.

But also, my backpack died after about two weeks. Or, to be more precise, I acknowledged what I had known before. My trusted friend of many years and kms had close to no padding anymore and gave me some serious pain in the shoulders.

Then also my sandals died. The soles came off. I've never had that happen with my Tevas. Ever. Not even after thousands of kms. It happened after only 400kms. Because of a bad mix of long distances, dissolving shoes, heat, and an uncomfortable backpack, I got blisters. I usually never get blisters when walking in sandals.

So, I went to the next big city by train, bought new sandals and a new backpack, which cost me about 1/2 month of walking. Which means poor diet for the next weeks, or to be more realistic, about a month. The backpack is great, but the new Tevas are not fitting as well as the old ones. There wasn't much to choose from. I'm now mostly walking in my old pair of backup sandals without any profile on the soles left.

I'm still getting blisters, currently at #10 or so. Some are in layers by now. I know how to deal with them, but it's so annoying. Didn't have that problem since Camino #1 in 2015. I've refilled my giant first aid kit three times already.

I also had an accident falling over a tent peg, which resulted in a nasty wound, which took almost three weeks to heal. Now that it's finally healed, today I had a stupid accident again and now have a painful haematoma on my hand. Another trip to the pharmacy it is then. So I don't just walk like the zombies from "the walking dead", I can't even use my hiking staff properly to help with that. Even typing this is painful.

Did I mention I've been stung by a bee and bitten by a spider also? It's ridiculous. My last bee sting was 30 years ago. Never have been bitten by a spider. Apart from bedbugs, I love insects! Not sure what's happening here!

The whole thing is still absolutely fabulous, though. I love it. So many incredible experiences. So much beauty to be found everywhere, in landscape, towns, and most of all people. But it's a very lonely path so far, and no other pilgrims to share the difficulties with. Certainly can't tell my family, or they'll probably try to come and take me home.

The only pilgrims I met so far I only saw for a few hours max. Most were on bikes. Met one person so far also walking the whole distance to Santiago, met them for about 5 min. And one peregrina on the way to Rome on foot - we exchanged blister stories and maps. That was really nice. Also, that was about two weeks ago.

Once there were two other pilgrims in one of the very few pilgrim hostels on this route. They went out to party until 1am, then came back totally drunk / on drugs? and continued partying until 2:30 am in the hostel, screaming, yelling, slamming doors, and taking night time showers. It also sounded as if they were moving and trashing the furniture in their room (thankfully, I was next door and had locked my room). They also brought a third pilgrim with them to sleep there, who, I'm pretty sure, had not payed. That much for "party pilgrims on the last 100km".... this was more like the last 2000kms, and still 🤣 I was happy they were walking to Rome, and not to Santiago!

Anyway. Sorry if this sounds like whining. It's not meant to be.

Today I walked a short day of 15kms. Had enough time to wash my clothes AND dry them, go to the supermarket, take a shower, and relax in the shade. It feels so good. I also sheltered in an elementary school today for an hour, during a thunderstorm, because there was no other shelter to be found. The children were so cute!!! The teacher even offered to drive me to the next town in case that the storm doesn't calm down soon, and to have lunch together with everyone else.

The hospitality you find on this rarely walked paths is incredible.

So, what do I want to say?

Should I ever make it to Spain, and you see this pilgrim with an expensive-brand-backpack walking into your donativo, please don't think I'm rich. It cost me several years of saving money, a career change, a burnout, quitting my job, and some painful weeks of walking with blisters and mainly eating bread and peanuts on my way. I'll still donate, of course, but it might not be as much as I'd like to.
Lubricate your feet well with Vaseline before starting and once 1/2 way through the day's walk.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Lubricate your feet well with Vaseline before starting and once 1/2 way through the day's walk.
Sadly the kind of blisters I got are not really those you get from friction, but from pressure. Heavy backpack+gained weight myself during the last years+long distances walked + often walking on asphalt to reduce kms/day. Bad combination. Vaseline doesn't help much with that, but I do use something similar in the evenings to keep the skin of the feet smooth. When I still wore closed shoes, the vaseline definitely helped a lot! With sandals it sadly just leads to all kind of dirt sticking to your feet (unless you also use socks,but it's too warm for that most days now).

But now that I'm carrying less guide books/maps, and also lost some weight myself (yay!!!) things hopefully will improve.

The feet are already much better now after two rest days / bus days. One thing I noticed is that my joints get happier the more I walk. Started with knee pain and an old ankle injury from last year, now no problems anymore at all. So, some things have certainly improved already.

I also saw other pilgrims yesterday!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I just want to say thank you again to everyone. This virtual albergue de peregrinos is truly an amazing ressource.

A few days and a few mountains later, and I think that I've just learned a well needed lesson about self care. Also, learned to trust again in the powers of this path called Camino de Santiago / chemin St. Jacques de Compostelle / Jakobsweg, and to stress less about many things, including finances and lodging. In the end, there's always a solution.

The feet have healed, and I've met amazing other pilgrims, wild camped for the first time (without being afraid), and had a family welcome me into their home for the night during a raging thunderstorm that had kept me from walking to the next campsite. Asked for temporary shelter in a barn, got a guest room, a meal, and a very warm welcome. Merci to that farmer who turned out to be also the mayor of the tiny village, and to his lovely wife. They'll be added to the growing list of people I'll light candles for and send postcards to when I arrive in Santiago.

I guess I've finally found my trail legs again, and a little peace of mind. Took me only about 1000kms to finally, really arrive on the Camino again 🤣

Only now do I realize how stressed I'd been before, residual stress from the Covid years and some very demanding months at work before I left, I guess, which is probably why it took so long to get "into the zone" again.

Greetings from a happy, now blister-less pilgrim, and may you all be blessed with wonderful caminos full of beautiful experiences and beautiful people that will make you smile, and sometimes cry, because it's just too much.

Buen Camino, peregrinos.
 

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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Thank you
Will definitely walk shorter days, which will require an overall to the whole schedule and may not walk the wole Meseta....but that's Camino
Ultreia!!!!!
CW, I hope your blisters heal up before you reach the Meseta as it is its own type of lovely. Being mostly flat I would think it would wreak less havoc on your feet.👣
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I just wanted to give an update, because I got some messages via PN, from people that were worried about my wellbeing.

I'm on a Camino with much more pilgrim infrastructure now, and have been for a while. Since I skipped some earlier sections to get into a more budget friendly area, I made up for the money I had to spend on the new gear, and I'm back within budget. Some days I even stay below now. I'm eating well, and stay in gites if the next campsite is too far away. All is well 🙂

Now that these problems are solved, it's only the heat that is making things difficult. It's scorching hot!!! Not always shade to be found, which probably makes it feel worse than it is on top of it all!

Even in the heat it is absolutely wonderful, though (but still very lonely!). One thing to look forward to at the moment ist that many campsites have a pool, which is perfect for cooling down in the evening. If there's an épicerie, café or bar with cold drinks, I always make sure to stop and have one, also!

For those on the way right now, be careful. I'm managing, but it's only possible to walk safely if you plan very well and listen to your body.

Today I walked all day (7,5 hrs) without coming through a real town = no water sources unless you'd find a local who is at home when you pass by the odd house or farm, or did a detour into town (several kms). Not even a bench to sit on. At some point I just lay down in the shade next to the road, because I had gotten a bit shaky. Scary.

I carried 3,5l water and needed it all. Electrolytes are an issue. Eat enough salted foods and carry electrolyte powder for emergencies.

Even starting at 5 or 6 am doesn't help much right now, because it already feels like burning hell at 10am 🥵. I guess nightwalking or 15km max. days are the best options right now for slow walkers like me. I just hope I'll make it to the next bar right now, 400m left, and then after one or two hours rest, another 3k to the campsite. Thank god it has a pool.

Stay safe, everyone!
 

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Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Cluny trip report june 2022

So, I was feeling a bit down the last days, and thought I'd do something productive and wrote a few words about the Camino from Cluny to Le Puy, which I recently walked on my way from home to Santiago.

This is not a detailed report, but more of an overall review afterwards.

Let me begin with the question why this Chemin does not have its own subforum in the "France" section? It totally deserves it.

It is very well marked, and the infrastructure for pilgrims is quite good for rural France. It has lodging for people of different budgets (gites d'etappes, chambre d'hotes, hotels, acceuils jacquaires, campsites...). Gites communal are about 15€/night and campsites around 8-12€/night. Campsites sometimes even include access to the local pool (or have their own).

There are enough water fountains so that usually you don't have to carry too much water (some exceptions like the day to St. Paulien). Small village shops, big supermarkets, bars, cafés and restaurants available. Public toilets in many villages, as well as picknick areas, often with a shelter / roof. Friendly, helpful locals.

Different kinds of landscape: mountains with forests (~1000m max, nothing too difficult), rolling hills with different kinds of crops and livestock (mainly cows, some sheep, even saw a Lama!), vinyards, the Loire valley. Beautiful tiny villages as well as some bigger towns with lots of things to explore (Cluny, Charlieu...).

Certainly no hordes, but you'll probably meet at least a few pilgrims (mainly french and german ones, since this is the natural path to take for many who walk from home, usually in sections over years).

I think it is a great french camino, especially for those who prefer a lesser walked route, but some pilgrim infrastructure. The 'guide orange' is all one needs for a guide book, it's available in the tourist office in Cluny (it's only in german and french, though). There are tourist offices in the bigger towns that will help you with reservations if you don't speak much french (unless you have a tent, reservations are needed, especially for the acceuil jacquaires, at least one day before).

To get to the starting point, you can take a train from Lyon to Mâcon I think and then a bus to Cluny.

It's a lovely chemin. I can see this being a nice prelude for the way from Le Puy, or even a shortish Camino section on its own, ending in Le Puy, but for some reason, there is not much info to find about it on the forum (mostly older posts). So I thought I'd mention it, at least, in case someone is looking for more recent information about this route.

If someone has a question about it I'll try to remember more details :)
 
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henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
Cluny trip report june 2022

So, I was feeling a bit down the last days, and thought I'd do something productive and wrote a few word's about the Camino from Cluny to Le Puy, which I recently walked on my way from home to Santiago.

This is not a detailed report, but more of an overall review afterwards.

Let me begin with the question why this Chemin does not have its own subforum in the "France" section? It totally deserves it.

It is very well marked, and the infrastructure for pilgrims is quite good for rural France. It has lodging for people of different budgets (gites d'etappes, chambre d'hotes, hotels, acceuils jacquaires, campsites...). Gites communal are about 15€/night and campsites around 8-12€/night. Campsites sometimes even include access to the local pool (or have their own).

There are enough water fountains so that usually you don't have to carry too much water (some exceptions like the day to St. Paulien). Small village shops, big supermarkets, bars, cafés and restaurants available. Public toilets in many villages, as well as picknick areas, often with a shelter / roof. Friendly, helpful locals.

Different kinds of landscape: mountains with forests (~1000m max, nothing too difficult), rolling hills with different kinds of crops and livestock (mainly cows, some sheep, even saw a Lama!), vinyards, the Loire valley. Beautiful tiny villages as well as some bigger towns with lots of things to explore (Cluny, Charlieu...).

Certainly no hordes, but you'll probably meet at least a few pilgrims (mainly french and german ones, since this is the natural path to take for many who walk from home, usually in sections over years).

I think it is a great french camino, especially for those who prefer a lesser walked route, but some pilgrim infrastructure. The 'guide orange' is all one needs for a guide book, it's available in the tourist office in Cluny (it's only in german and french, though). There are tourist offices in the bigger towns that will help you with reservations if you don't speak much french (unless you have a tent, reservations are needed, especially for the acceuil jacquaires, at least one day before).

To get to the starting point, you can take a train from Lyon to Mâcon I think and then a bus to Cluny.

It's a lovely chemin. I can see this being a nice prelude for the way from Le Puy, or even a shortish Camino section on its own, ending in Le Puy, but for some reason, there is not much info to find about it on the forum (mostly older posts). So I thought I'd mention it, at least, in case someone is looking for more recent information about this route.

If someone has a question about it I'll try to remember more details :)
Tremendous write-up; please do keep it going. Best wishes.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Let me begin with the question why this Chemin does not have its own subforum in the "France" section? It totally deserves it.
It's purely a matter of how many threads are devoted to that route. It is hard to categorize all the interconnecting routes, especially when one thread might address several routes. But it is worth considering.

Thanks for your posts!
 
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Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Time of past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
@good_old_shoes
re Tevas:
once putting real dirty trekking tevas in my dishwasher, they came apart.
Apparently they use enviromentally friendly glue btw uppers and the soles, so it was easily solved by using old fashioned tire glue, and they have never since come apart.
So could it have been the heat that did it !?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
@good_old_shoes
re Tevas:
once putting real dirty trekking tevas in my dishwasher, they came apart.
Apparently they use enviromentally friendly glue btw uppers and the soles, so it was easily solved by using old fashioned tire glue, and they have never since come apart.
So could it have been the heat that did it !?
Not sure. I've mainly used my old ones for the last weeks (probably well over 1000km on them by now) and they're still fine except the profile which is nearly nonexistant at this point. These had no problem with the heat. Maybe the others were stored wrong before I got them? Bought them "unused" but second hand, an older model that served me well before but isn't manufactured anymore, sadly.

I've still got another old pair at home with not much profile left, but at least a little more, maybe I'll have a family member send them to France if possible. Decathlon also has a model that might work for me (light camp sandals), but the next Decathlon is in Pamplona, I guess, so still a few weeks to walk 🤣. Until then I'm trying to get used to my new Tevas.

Edit: I sent the old ones home and will try to glue them when I return, thanks for the advice!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Wonderful to read your posts, @good_old_shoes! I'd been busy and missed the start, but it sounds like a fantastic walk. I'm so glad to know the blisters are better and hope those new shoes work out. The good old shoes must have freaked out, learning what you had in store for them.

In France are there comparable places to stay as in Belgium and Holland: space in homes offered donativo by pilgrims (and cycling enthusiasts)? If so it's a real joy to share the way this way.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
In France are there comparable places to stay as in Belgium and Holland: space in homes offered donativo by pilgrims (and cycling enthusiasts)? If so it's a real joy to share the way this way.

Yes, for the part before Le Puy I had lists with adresses of those, at least for some regions. Sadly I didn't have much luck contacting them the few times I tried, not even through the tourist office.

I did stay at private people's homes twice, though (not official "acceuil jacquaire" places). Two very special days :)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Yay! I crossed my half-way-point to Santiago. Time to celebrate!

I also got my first bed bugs of this trip, it seems. No idea how they managed to get to me, but somehow they must have found a way into my anti-bedbug-tent (which is treated) and then crawled into my insect-shield silk liner and had a feast. The icaridin I used on myself apparently doesn't help either.

Seems like I can just stop all precautions, because I get bitten anyway. Seriously considering ditching the bed bug tent. If it doesn't work, it's just useless weight. Still trying to figure out how they got in. Through the extra fine netting? The seams? The zipper? Who knows! There was a campsite in town, but I decided to sleep in a gite to meet some pilgrims... If that's the result maybe loneliness is not that bad!

The positive part: I didn't swell up like a balloon, as I did the last times I was bitten in Spain, so maybe my allergy has gotten less severe (or it was not bed bugs after all, but mosquitos at the campsite... didn't notice any, but one can hope).

Also finally know the current weight of my backpack... over 13kg 😳 it was ten when I left home, and I was certain it had not gotten much heavier! And that weight was before going to the supermarket! Damn.

Today no walking. Bought some new anti bed bug spray, will take a bus to next town, and then spend the day at the laundromat. Fun times!
 
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camino Frances Aug 21 doing norte June 22
I just want to say thank you again to everyone. This virtual albergue de peregrinos is truly an amazing ressource.

A few days and a few mountains later, and I think that I've just learned a well needed lesson about self care. Also, learned to trust again in the powers of this path called Camino de Santiago / chemin St. Jacques de Compostelle / Jakobsweg, and to stress less about many things, including finances and lodging. In the end, there's always a solution.

The feet have healed, and I've met amazing other pilgrims, wild camped for the first time (without being afraid), and had a family welcome me into their home for the night during a raging thunderstorm that had kept me from walking to the next campsite. Asked for temporary shelter in a barn, got a guest room, a meal, and a very warm welcome. Merci to that farmer who turned out to be also the mayor of the tiny village, and to his lovely wife. They'll be added to the growing list of people I'll light candles for and send postcards to when I arrive in Santiago.

I guess I've finally found my trail legs again, and a little peace of mind. Took me only about 1000kms to finally, really arrive on the Camino again 🤣

Only now do I realize how stressed I'd been before, residual stress from the Covid years and some very demanding months at work before I left, I guess, which is probably why it took so long to get "into the zone" again.

Greetings from a happy, now blister-less pilgrim, and may you all be blessed with wonderful caminos full of beautiful experiences and beautiful people that will make you smile, and sometimes cry, because it's just too much.

Buen Camino, peregrinos.
I am currently on day 22, on the Norte, had a rough few days, with the terrain, but reading your upbeat post has given me new strength, thanks, no matter how bad we feel, there's always someone else feeling worse.
A bad day only lasts 24hrs....
Take care perigrino
 

Ali@59

Alison
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Bad luck amigo, but good luck always follows and you deserve it, I'd be spitting nails if I'd been thru what you have.

One tip may help ... I've wild camped on and off for four years on various Caminos, with never the slightest problem.

Sure, it's technically illegal but the Guardia Civil and landowners are totally cool with it. The 9nky people against it are snooty tourigrini on their way to the next Parador. Buen Camino 😎
Bad luck amigo, but good luck always follows and you deserve it, I'd be spitting nails if I'd been thru what you have.

One tip may help ... I've wild camped on and off for four years on various Caminos, with never the slightest problem.

Sure, it's technically illegal but the Guardia Civil and landowners are totally cool with it. The 9nky people against it are snooty tourigrini on their way to the next Parador. Buen Camino 😎
Sure are a good few booking the expensive accommodation all along the camino and blatantly showing it on their YouTube videos
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
There's almost always a good side to everything. Before, I didn't want to spend the money for a washing machine, but now all my clothes are nice and clean and smell good again :) After two month of walking that's really nice. Found a dead bug this morning in my sleeping bag. The new sprays seems to work.

The person in the tent next to me seems to be a pilgrim, too, this morning their alarm went off at 6am and we're both rustling with plastic bags 🤣.

Have a good day everyone, on the Camino or not. It's going to be glorious weather here today, not too hot but sunny, perfect for walking.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
I know this sounds gruesome, but did you take a photo of the deceased? It could identify clearly if it is a bedbug or a mosquito. How are the shoes holding out?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I know this sounds gruesome, but did you take a photo of the deceased? It could identify clearly if it is a bedbug or a mosquito. How are the shoes holding out?
It was pretty smashed, I'm not 100% sure it was a bed bug without a microscope and in bad lighting. I'm usually quite good at identifying bugs though. Didn't take a photo, was happy to show him/her the way outside of my tent immediately!

My old Tevas are still doing great. Good quality from a time when the company still made outdoor sandals, not all the fancy stuff they've been doing recently 🙄 The newer ones are OK but not a good fit for me. But the feet are fine, overall. No blisters at all :)
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
It was pretty smashed, I'm not 100% sure it was a bed bug without a microscope and in bad lighting. I'm usually quite good at identifying bugs though. Didn't take a photo, was happy to show him/her the way outside of my tent immediately!

My old Tevas are still doing great. Good quality from a time when the company still made outdoor sandals, not all the fancy stuff they've been doing recently 🙄 The newer ones are OK but not a good fit for me. But the feet are fine, overall. No blisters at all :)
As a matter of fact, I am paying attention, as I too have a pair of Teva no longer available for women - Newport leather. I use them on my bike now. I will try to find a good old fashioned cobbler to see if they could be resoled.
Edit: mistake: Keen, not Teva. My original Teva pair lives in Pamplona, and I wear them while over there.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Thanks for comments about problem gear. My footwear is good, but I might have another look at my pack. I just noticed that it had become quite pale from time in the sun on various caminos, and it might be time for a new one. It is a challenge for long distance walkers to notice when favoured gear is past its best-before date.
 

Peetra1

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023 Camino Portugues (coast)
It was pretty smashed, I'm not 100% sure it was a bed bug without a microscope and in bad lighting. I'm usually quite good at identifying bugs though. Didn't take a photo, was happy to show him/her the way outside of my tent immediately!

My old Tevas are still doing great. Good quality from a time when the company still made outdoor sandals, not all the fancy stuff they've been doing recently 🙄 The newer ones are OK but not a good fit for me. But the feet are fine, overall. No blisters at all :)
I've read through all your posts and just want to say thank you for sharing your journey! I'm planning of doing my first camino next year. Buen Camino!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Damn it. I'm afraid the list of broken things now might include my foot.

Two days ago, shortly before arriving in the gite, I suddenly felt a sharp pain. Rested in the shade, it got much better quickly, so I continued to the gite. Next morning all was fine, no pain at all, I started walking. Funny enough, I had had a similar problem in the exact same town in 2017, and the problem was gone after only one rest day and never occurred again, so I didn't think much of it.

No problems again all morning, until about 10k before the town I had intended to walk to, but this time more severe. I should have stopped right there, there was a campsite not far from that spot, but in the middle of nowhere, and I thought with longer breaks it would be fine, and in town there's a pharmacy to buy some Voltaren... so I continued after having an early lunch break.

Well well, after just a few more kms it became clear that something not good is going on. There was some crying sitting on the wayside involved, which luckily nobody witnessed, but in the end I found a way to shift the weight in a way that allowed me to somehow stubbornly hobble into town, cursing, but happy to walk at all.

Now, the next morning, it's not better. The second metatarsal seems to be the problem. I'm afraid it might be a stress fracture. I hope I'm wrong. Since these are difficult to diagnose in early stages, and I really, really want to avoid going to a hospital for a MRI, I guess I'll just have a couple of rest days and hope for the best.

Things were going too smooth the last weeks, it seems. Feeling strong, walking well, fine weather (was coping so well with the heat!), gear working, Spain getting closer, pyrenees visible already, a friend to maybe meet on the Francés in a couple of weeks, family coming to meet me in Galicia.

Let's hope I'm just panicking and this is not a trail ending injury, but just some muscle pain... 🙁
 
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Barbara

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Damn it. I'm afraid the list of broken things now might include my foot.

Two days ago, shortly before arriving in the gite, I suddenly felt a sharp pain. Rested in the shade, it got much better quickly, so I continued to the gite. Next morning all was fine, no pain at all, I started walking. Funny enough, I had had a similar problem in the exact same town in 2017, and the problem was gone after only one rest day and never occurred again, so I didn't think much of it.

No problems again all morning, until about 10k before the town I had intended to walk to, but this time more severe. I should have stopped right there, there was a campsite not far from that spot, but in the middle of nowhere, and I thought with longer breaks it would be fine, and in town there's a pharmacy to buy some Voltaren... so I continued after having an early lunch break.

Well well, after just a few more kms it became clear that something not good is going on. There was some crying sitting on the wayside involved, which luckily nobody witnessed, but in the end I found a way to shift the weight in a way that allowed me to somehow stubbornly hobble into town, cursing, but happy to walk at all.

Now, the next morning, it's not better. The second metatarsal seems to be the problem. I'm afraid it might be a stress fracture. I hope I'm wrong. Since these are difficult to diagnose in early stages, and I really, really want to avoid going to a hospital for a MRI, I guess I'll just have a couple of rest days and hope for the best.

Things were going too smooth the last weeks, it seems. Feeling strong, walking well, fine weather (was coping so well with the heat!), gear working, Spain getting closer, pyrenees visible already, a friend to maybe meet on the Francés in a couple of weeks, family coming to meet me in Galicia.

Let's hope I'm just panicking and this is not a trail ending injury, but just some muscle pain... 🙁
Rest day called for, I think. Alternate ice and heat will help if it's muscle pain and not do any harm if it's a stress fracture. I doubt if any hospital would do an MRI straight off anyway. Plain old x-ray would be more likely.
Do you use poles? Might be a good idea.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Rest day called for, I think. Alternate ice and heat will help if it's muscle pain and not do any harm if it's a stress fracture. I doubt if any hospital would do an MRI straight off anyway. Plain old x-ray would be more likely.
Do you use poles? Might be a good idea.
Stress fractures usually only show up on x-ray late when there's already a callus forming. Not much help for a quick diagnosis. But you're probably right, even at home I wouldn't get an MRI immediately.

I'll take a few rest days and then decide what to do. Went to the supermarket this morning, 500m, so painful I cried and had to stop every few steps. No idea how I managed to walk yesterday.

I'm on a campsite, so no ice available, but I'm elevating and using Voltaren.

I can already hear comments from people at home, "what were you expecting anyway, walking to Spain on foot, in sandals, of course it wouldn't work. Told you it's a crazy idea".

If anyone has a good idea how to make something good from this, let me know. If I ask friends or family for support they'll just tell me to give up and go home immediately.

This is my second try walking from home and who knows if I'll ever get the opportunity again. It was a great risk to do this, quitting my job ect.

Maybe a train trip to Lourdes. Or crawl on hands and knees, but there's no box to tick for that in the credential.

I'm actually considering trying to get hold of some crutches and to continue that way after a week of rest or so. I can't Imagine not to arrive in Santiago or at least in Spain after all this.

Ideas?
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I've had this sort of foot pain multiple times, and whilst it's natural to worry about a potential fracture, so far I've not had one in the feet, toes excepted.

The fact that it comes and goes sounds like a good sign though (the pain from a fractured wrist was a lot more constant) and it might just be your foot whining for a rest day.

I hope it's not serious, and if not, I have found that tightening one's laces on the foot does tend to help.

Though I have been forced to interrupt my own current Camino from home three times for different reasons, including once for an injury, so if you do need some time out, which would suck on a first Camino from home, just restart when you can from the same location.

¡Buen Camino y suerte!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Where are you now? Someone may be able to help.....

To be honest, as someone walking alone and often sleeping outdoors, I prefer not to put online exactly where I am, especially now that I'm in a somewhat vulnerable position. Can't even run away if something happens...

Got info where the next doctor can be found, even though that won't help much, and info about bus connections to continue that way if needed. At the moment I'm considering buying a cheap used bike to keep moving, but with limited language skills, limited budget and on a national holiday it's difficult. Maybe tomorrow I'll know more. There is a bike Shop in town and I found second hand bikes on an online selling platform, but for the latter I need a french phone number to be able to create an account... it's complicated, but I'm not willing to give up yet.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
To be honest, as someone walking alone and often sleeping outdoors, I prefer not to put online exactly where I am, especially now that I'm in a somewhat vulnerable position. Can't even run away if something happens...

Got info where the next doctor can be found, even though that won't help much, and info about bus connections to continue that way if needed. At the moment I'm considering buying a cheap used bike to keep moving, but with limited language skills, limited budget and on a national holiday it's difficult. Maybe tomorrow I'll know more. There is a bike Shop in town and I found second hand bikes on an online selling platform, but for the latter I need a french phone number to be able to create an account... it's complicated, but I'm not willing to give up yet.
Do keep informed about the heat wave in much of Europe at present. As a person with limited mobility, you may be vulnerable to unknown dangers.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Do keep informed about the heat wave in much of Europe at present. As a person with limited mobility, you may be vulnerable to unknown dangers.
It's been extremely hot for weeks, probably heat wave #3 at least for me since I started in may. What's frustrating right now ist that I've adapted to the heat so well, but now there's a different problem...

At the moment I'm in a nice place with lots of shade and cold drinks, resting all day :) so no danger. But I'd happily walk in the afternoon if only I could 😭

You're right though, the heat is extreme, especially for those who are not used to it. 40°C expected the next days...! People have started to do night walks. One needs to adapt and be careful.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
How's the foot now ?

On my own Camino, about a week ago I was offered and took a 4-day rest, after someone realised I was more tired than I did myself, so I don't know, is there anything like a Monastery or Convent nearby where you could wait and heal ?

Or just continue camping out 'til so ?
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
How's the foot now ?

On my own Camino, about a week ago I was offered and took a 4-day rest, after someone realised I was more tired than I did myself, so I don't know, is there anything like a Monastery or Convent nearby where you could wait and heal ?

Or just continue camping out 'til so ?
The morning it was still bad. So I created a special walking boot that keeps the hurting forefoot off the ground, by glueing some layers of foam, cut from my sleeping pad, under the heel of my sandals (with kinesiotape). Looks funny but makes a huge difference. I also met a fellow pilgrim I thought I'd never meet again, which is good for morale. Also contacted family and they were very supportive, which I wouldn't have thought. Feeling much better at the moment. I'll still rest tomorrow and then I'll see.
Camping works well for me for resting, as I've always loved being outdoors all day.

Hope you're feeling better after your rest days :) Ultreia, fellow from-home pilgrim!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
A little over a week ago I didn't think I'd ever write this post, but I'm walking again.

Took me a full week of rest until it felt safe enough to try and walk. First goal was 3kms with backpack.

I took four rest days on the campsite (seeing fellow pilgrims leave each morning and not being able to walk myself, a nightmare - like a migrating bird with a broken wing that has to watch its flock leaving). After four days I couldn't handle it anymore and took public transport to St. Jean. Another full rest day there, soaking feet in the cold water of the river, then bus to Roncesvalles the next day.

No triumphant walk into St. Jean, not crossing the pyrenees on foot this year. I planned Roncesvalles-Burguete for my first try to walk again, with a timetable for the bus to Zubiri in my pocket.

When I left the albergue walking on day 8 after the injury, I cried. Still in pain, but walking again, I was so happy. I did not only walk to Burguete, but to Espinal, 6km which usually is nothing, but was so important for me. Walking pace of 1,5-2km/max, everybody passing by at lightning speed, but I didn't care.

Took the bus to Zubiri, then the next day walked the 12k to Zabaldika. Pain getting better. When I arrived I had a little emotional breakdown there in the chapel, when I suddenly realized that maybe, maybe there's actually a chance I might still be able to walk to Santiago. There was a lovely nun, wo let me go up the tower and ring the bell. She found a perfect balance between leaving me alone, giving me a quiet place to calm down, and being there to talk for a bit after that. So much kindness.

Up on the church tower, after ringing the bell, I sent a massive thank you up to the sky.


What a humbling experience. I can't even put in words how grateful I am that I'm walking again. Not sure if it will get better, stay like this, or get worse again - I am simply grateful for every step I can take. Each one is taken very consciously now. Every single one counts.
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Hooray !! And now you're getting it, and whilst puristically you should have waited a bit longer to heal, truth is that not on one single Camino from home have I ever not set foot into at least one motor vehicle.

You take what the Camino gives you in good and less good, against which it's pointless to even try and impose your will.

I would have loved to meet up with you, but you'll reach Santiago long before I will.

Buen Camino pilgrim !!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Hooray !! And now you're getting it, and whilst puristically you should have waited a bit longer to heal, truth is that not on one single Camino from home have I ever not set foot into at least one motor vehicle.

You take what the Camino gives you in good and less good, against which it's pointless to even try and impose your will.

I would have loved to meet up with you, but you'll reach Santiago long before I will.

Buen Camino pilgrim !!

While I theoretically have unlimited time, I do not have unlimited money. So since one week staying in the same town costs the same as one week walking, I sadly had to skip a part. It didn't feel good, but it is what it is, one has to adapt to the circumstances.

Maybe we will meet on another Camino, it will probably not be my last one!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
A little over a week ago I didn't think I'd ever write this post, but I'm walking again.

Took me a full week of rest until it felt safe enough to try and walk. First goal was 3kms with backpack.

I took four rest days on the campsite (seeing fellow pilgrims leave each morning and not being able to walk myself, a nightmare - like a migrating bird with a broken wing that has to watch its flock leaving). After four days I couldn't handle it anymore and took public transport to St. Jean. Another full rest day there, soaking feet in the cold water of the river, then bus to Roncesvalles the next day.

No triumphant walk into St. Jean, not crossing the pyrenees on foot this year. I planned Roncesvalles-Burguete for my first try to walk again, with a timetable for the bus to Zubiri in my pocket.

When I left the albergue walking on day 8 after the injury, I cried. Still in pain, but walking again, I was so happy. I did not only walk to Burguete, but to Espinal, 6km which usually is nothing, but was so important for me. Walking pace of 1,5-2km/max, everybody passing by at lightning speed, but I didn't care.

Took the bus to Zubiri, then the next day walked the 12k to Zabaldika. Pain getting better. When I arrived I had a little emotional breakdown there in the chapel, when I suddenly realized that maybe, maybe there's actually a chance I might still be able to walk to Santiago. There was a lovely nun, wo let me go up the tower and ring the bell. She found a perfect balance between leaving me alone, giving me a quiet place to calm down, and being there to talk for a bit after that. So much kindness.

Up on the church tower, after ringing the bell, I sent a massive thank you up to the sky.


What a humbling experience. I can't even put in words how grateful I am that I'm walking again. Not sure if it will get better, stay like this, or get worse again - I am simply grateful for every step I can take. Each one is taken very consciously now. Every single one counts.
Do you remember the name of the nun? Sounds like Nieves, to me. I will be going there soon, I will tell them about your experience.
Much more to the point - how are you? Sorry, I have missed the actual injury, but I do see that you are rightly reticent about divulging your exact location. I will shortly be in and around the church in Zabaldika for some days, and I would have LOVED to meet you there! Who knows, another time, another life. Mind yourself - while tomorrow should be easier temperature wise, Saturday or Sunday you may hide from the heat again.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Do you remember the name of the nun? Sounds like Nieves, to me. I will be going there soon, I will tell them about your experience.
Much more to the point - how are you? Sorry, I have missed the actual injury, but I do see that you are rightly reticent about divulging your exact location. I will shortly be in and around the church in Zabaldika for some days, and I would have LOVED to meet you there! Who knows, another time, another life. Mind yourself - while tomorrow should be easier temperature wise, Saturday or Sunday you may hide from the heat again.

I hope you'll enjoy your time there. It's a very special place :)

I'm not sure about the name of the nun, I'm very bad with names, but maybe it's her. She wore a skirt and had longer hair. She also explained a lot about the church to the pilgrims who arrived. If you know who it might be, please tell her a big thank you from me (again) and sorry for forgetting her name. But I'll never forget her kindness.

I'm fine right now. Enjoyed a perfect spontaneous, pilgrim-prepared communal meal. The hospitaleros were very moved and told us since they are serving there this was the first night pilgrims cooked together, and that before the kitchen was sadly not used at all. They even took pictures of all the pilgrim's eating dinner together. They seemed very happy to see that, and the pilgrims seemed happy also.

Maybe we too will meet on another Camino. Who knows. Certainly wish you all the best for your upcoming trip :)
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
This year, the Camino apparently doesn't want me to finish it.

After the one foot got better, the other started to hurt. OK, got better again with another day of public transport and some stretching. Lucky me, right? There's still a chance I might continue walking (at least most of the time).

I'm at new shoes #3 now, and that did help a lot. Realized there's more money left in the bank account than I thought, so could buy better foot wear without being too concerned about budget. Actually I feel like I'm living like a king right now on my normal daily budget. All was good.


So guess what I've got now?

Covid!!! 🤣
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
So sorry to hear this. What are your plans going forward, or are you trying to figure out what you will do?

I will rest in place until testing negative, then take a train/bus/whatever to get to a place that will allow me to walk to Santiago/Finisterre within reasonable time, or at least I'll try to. Who knows, maybe it's a good thing and at least my feet will be better after some additional rest days. Quite painful again at the moment.

Nothing I can do now apart from accepting it. I usually like to laugh about such things, but I do have to admit that recently it is getting more difficult to handle all this with a positive attitude. I'm a bit tired emotionally/mentally at this point.
 
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RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
So I'm currently, finally, on the Camino from home I aways wanted to do, and oh man, it's so not going smooth during its first month.

As expected, I had to do some (many...) very long stages to avoid high to exorbitant hotel rates. Up to 40kms. Many around 30. I also took public transport a few times for the same reason. I knew before about that, no problem. That's okay. 20kms feel like a full rest day now.

But also, my backpack died after about two weeks. Or, to be more precise, I acknowledged what I had known before. My trusted friend of many years and kms had close to no padding anymore and gave me some serious pain in the shoulders.

Then also my sandals died. The soles came off. I've never had that happen with my Tevas. Ever. Not even after thousands of kms. It happened after only 400kms. Because of a bad mix of long distances, dissolving shoes, heat, and an uncomfortable backpack, I got blisters. I usually never get blisters when walking in sandals.

So, I went to the next big city by train, bought new sandals and a new backpack, which cost me about 1/2 month of walking. Which means poor diet for the next weeks, or to be more realistic, about a month. The backpack is great, but the new Tevas are not fitting as well as the old ones. There wasn't much to choose from. I'm now mostly walking in my old pair of backup sandals without any profile on the soles left.

I'm still getting blisters, currently at #10 or so. Some are in layers by now. I know how to deal with them, but it's so annoying. Didn't have that problem since Camino #1 in 2015. I've refilled my giant first aid kit three times already.

I also had an accident falling over a tent peg, which resulted in a nasty wound, which took almost three weeks to heal. Now that it's finally healed, today I had a stupid accident again and now have a painful haematoma on my hand. Another trip to the pharmacy it is then. So I don't just walk like the zombies from "the walking dead", I can't even use my hiking staff properly to help with that. Even typing this is painful.

Did I mention I've been stung by a bee and bitten by a spider also? It's ridiculous. My last bee sting was 30 years ago. Never have been bitten by a spider. Apart from bedbugs, I love insects! Not sure what's happening here!

The whole thing is still absolutely fabulous, though. I love it. So many incredible experiences. So much beauty to be found everywhere, in landscape, towns, and most of all people. But it's a very lonely path so far, and no other pilgrims to share the difficulties with. Certainly can't tell my family, or they'll probably try to come and take me home.

The only pilgrims I met so far I only saw for a few hours max. Most were on bikes. Met one person so far also walking the whole distance to Santiago, met them for about 5 min. And one peregrina on the way to Rome on foot - we exchanged blister stories and maps. That was really nice. Also, that was about two weeks ago.

Once there were two other pilgrims in one of the very few pilgrim hostels on this route. They went out to party until 1am, then came back totally drunk / on drugs? and continued partying until 2:30 am in the hostel, screaming, yelling, slamming doors, and taking night time showers. It also sounded as if they were moving and trashing the furniture in their room (thankfully, I was next door and had locked my room). They also brought a third pilgrim with them to sleep there, who, I'm pretty sure, had not payed. That much for "party pilgrims on the last 100km".... this was more like the last 2000kms, and still 🤣 I was happy they were walking to Rome, and not to Santiago!

Anyway. Sorry if this sounds like whining. It's not meant to be.

Today I walked a short day of 15kms. Had enough time to wash my clothes AND dry them, go to the supermarket, take a shower, and relax in the shade. It feels so good. I also sheltered in an elementary school today for an hour, during a thunderstorm, because there was no other shelter to be found. The children were so cute!!! The teacher even offered to drive me to the next town in case that the storm doesn't calm down soon, and to have lunch together with everyone else.

The hospitality you find on this rarely walked paths is incredible.

So, what do I want to say?

Should I ever make it to Spain, and you see this pilgrim with an expensive-brand-backpack walking into your donativo, please don't think I'm rich. It cost me several years of saving money, a career change, a burnout, quitting my job, and some painful weeks of walking with blisters and mainly eating bread and peanuts on my way. I'll still donate, of course, but it might not be as much as I'd like to.

This year, the Camino apparently doesn't want me to finish it.

After the one foot got better, the other started to hurt. OK, got better again with another day of public transport and some stretching. Lucky me, right? There's still a chance I might continue walking (at least most of the time).

I'm at new shoes #3 now, and that did help a lot. Realized there's more money left in the bank account than I thought, so could buy better foot wear without being too concerned about budget. Actually I feel like I'm living like a king right now on my normal daily budget. All was good.


So guess what I've got now?

Covid!!!

This year, the Camino apparently doesn't want me to finish it.

After the one foot got better, the other started to hurt. OK, got better again with another day of public transport and some stretching. Lucky me, right? There's still a chance I might continue walking (at least most of the time).

I'm at new shoes #3 now, and that did help a lot. Realized there's more money left in the bank account than I thought, so could buy better foot wear without being too concerned about budget. Actually I feel like I'm living like a king right now on my normal daily budget. All was good.


So guess what I've got now?

Covid!!! 🤣
I love you attitude about the whole thing. Your trials are not funny but your delivery is hilarious. Hang in there!!!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Thinking of you and hoping you’re fighting the virus with your inherent resilience …
🕯
Thank you. I'm fine :) Only had very mild symptoms, and even those are gone now, apart from being tired and loss of appetite. That could be more connected to the overall situation though.

I'm just happy I slept outdoors and not in a dormitory the days before I noticed the symptoms, so hopefully didn't cause a wave of infected pilgrims or worse.

Not sure it helps much in the big picture though, since there seem to be many pilgrims in the albergues with possible covid symptoms, seems to be handled as normal now, just like a common cold. Strange situation.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I am walking again!!!

Foot still painful, but managable. Walked my first 35k again a few days ago, feeling something close to a "runner's high". Oh my, was I a happy pilgrim.

It's the first time since before the injury in France (almost a month ago!?) that I have walked such a long day again, and it feels sooooo good. A massive weight seems to have fallen off my shoulders. I finally feel like myself again!

Now I'm less afraid of not arriving in Santiago, but more that this sometimes very difficult and painful, but always amazing journey will soon come to an end. This final part has to be thoroughly enjoyed and celebrated, every second of it.

I want to say a giant thank you to all of you who commented in this thread, some even offering help via pm. Your support has made a massive difference to this solo walking pilgrim that has felt a bit lost sometimes this summer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Even if things turn south again from here for some unforeseen reason (who knows!), I can see the positive side of things again now.


[Just a few hours later after writing that post:

I've got a different problem now. 😂🤦 It's cute and has four legs and lay half dead in the middle of the road one morning. Please no lectures about "don't bring pets", I really didn't, it was just there and leaving him to die was no option.

If anyone knows pet friendly albergues/pensiones/hostales (or tent friendly places where the four legged one can stay with me in the tent) on the last 100k and to Finisterre, that would be very helpful...]
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I am walking again!!!

Foot still painful, but managable. Walked my first 35k again a few days ago, feeling something close to a "runner's high". Oh my, was I a happy pilgrim.

It's the first time since before the injury in France (almost a month ago!?) that I have walked such a long day again, and it feels sooooo good. A massive weight seems to have fallen off my shoulders. I finally feel like myself again!

Now I'm less afraid of not arriving in Santiago, but more that this sometimes very difficult and painful, but always amazing journey will soon come to an end. This final part has to be thoroughly enjoyed and celebrated, every second of it.

I want to say a giant thank you to all of you who commented in this thread, some even offering help via pm. Your support has made a massive difference to this solo walking pilgrim that has felt a bit lost sometimes this summer. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Even if things turn south again from here for some unforeseen reason (who knows!), I can see the positive side of things again now.


[Just a few hours later after writing that post:

I've got a different problem now. 😂🤦 It's cute and has four legs and lay half dead in the middle of the road one morning. Please no lectures about "don't bring pets", I really didn't, it was just there and leaving him to die was no option.

If anyone knows pet friendly albergues/pensiones/hostales (or tent friendly places where the four legged one can stay with me in the tent) on the last 100k and to Finisterre, that would be very helpful...]
Glad you are walking again! The pet sounds like another story branch from this one.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
What a walk - so many twists and turns.
Buen camino, @good_old_shoes !! It's so great to know you are on your feet again.

Where are you now, roughly?
That'll make it easier for people to share dog-friendly information.
 
Last edited:

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
If anyone knows pet friendly albergues/pensiones/hostales (or tent friendly places where the four legged one can stay with me in the tent) on the last 100k and to Finisterre, that would be very helpful...]
Glad to hear you’re walking again!

Is your new friend okay or will he/she need some vet attention? And definitely a stray and not a pet dog who got lost/run over? Would you need to contact APACA (charity which protects animals in need), they will be able to advise where to go etc… there have been some sweet stories of pilgrims rescuing stray dogs who after some time in shelter for medical care were later adopted by said pilgrims, one came from as far as Japan!

I contacted APACA on WhatsApp and there was always someone “on duty” to answer: +34 604 02 83 06

Fuji knows the answer to your next question 🐶 link to spreadsheet here: there were some campsites too (a lot of campsites are dog friendly, as you have seen already) but can’t remember if I listed campsites in last 100K… the black hole is Palas de Rei… we couldn’t find anything there so we stayed in a casa rural in Sambreixo. But maybe look further in at San Xulian/Campaña/Casanova?
 
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Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
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Glad to hear you’re walking again!

Is your new friend okay or will he/she need some vet attention? And definitely a stray and not a pet dog who got lost/run over? Would you need to contact APACA (charity which protects animals in need), they will be able to advise where to go etc… there have been some sweet stories of pilgrims rescuing stray dogs who after some time in shelter for medical care were later adopted by said pilgrims, one came from as far as Japan!

I contacted APACA on WhatsApp and there was always someone “on duty” to answer: +34 604 02 83 06

Fuji knows the answer to your next question 🐶 link to spreadsheet here: there were some campsites too (a lot of campsites are dog friendly, as you have seen already) but can’t remember if I listed campsites in last 100K… the black hole is Palas de Rei… we couldn’t find anything there so we stayed in a casa rural in Sambreixo. But maybe look further in at San Xulian/Campaña/Casanova?

Woooow, thank you so much!

Will go to the vet tomorrow. Certainly urgently needed.

And it's not a dog, but a kitten, which makes things slightly complicated, because I have to carry it (I got strange looks from other pilgrims for carrying that mysterious cardbord box in the middle of nowhere 🤣).

There might have been an owner on one of the farms around, but from the state it is in, I highly doubt anyone will care that it's gone (or even noticed that it existed in the first place). Wouldn't have kidnapped a healthy animal or one that might have a caring owner!

So tomorrow vet, and then I need to wrap my head around the logistics! It certainly would be better to find a place where it can stay until I finished my Camino, but I'm mentally preparing for carrying it with me all the way, if needed!

Thank you for the great practical info. Once again, this forum is amazing!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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PS: I dug out Fuji’s Camino guidebook and found options for Palas de Rei and the villages beyond
Could you maybe explain some of the symbols? Some are self explanatory, but what does the "paw" symbol mean, and the one on the right? Is that a dog in a house, or a tent, or a kennel...? I can't decide!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Yes, cats in Spain are not always well attended to or considered house pets.
Here is my little story about a cat, and a kitten, that I saw in Zamora last fall. A little boy was with his mother in a square watching a pigeon, when a cat leaped out from behind a car and captured the pigeon, taking it, still struggling, away with it. From my position, I saw both the misery of the child and the next stage in this story. The mother cat gave the freshly-killed pigeon to a kitten, who went away up the hill with it in its jaws: maternal love was visible in the mother comforting her child and the cat feeding its young. Cats do not often seem to be spayed in Spain, nor resulting kittens claimed by people who may have fed the mother cat.
 
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LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
Could you maybe explain some of the symbols? Some are self explanatory, but what does the "paw" symbol mean, and the one on the right? Is that a dog in a house, or a tent, or a kennel...? I can't decide!
Here! So they refer to sizes of dogs allowed in, max no of dogs in the room, and the ( ) is extra fee for bringing pet in. Yes it is very doggy oriented, I don’t know about cats!

PS: the owners of Los Tree Abetos (one of my fave albergue, in Arzua) has a stray dog, he doesn’t “live” there but would come and go with the owners. So best speak with them about cats, it might be that you need to keep the cat inside the room and not to meet the dog when the dog is around. 8064AAD8-6F63-4EA2-A26F-73DF4B4C3A95.jpeg
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
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Here is my little story about a cat, and a kitten, that I saw in Zamora last fall. A little boy was with his mother in a square watching a pigeon, when a cat leaped out from behind a car and captured the pigeon, taking it, still struggling, away with it. From my position, I saw both the misery of the child and the next stage in this story. The mother cat gave the freshly-killed pigeon to a kitten, who went away up the hill with it in its jaws: maternal love was visible in the mother comforting her child and the cat feeding its young. Cats do not often seem to be spayed in Spain, nor resulting kittens claimed by people who may have fed the mother cat.
It is a difficult topic I won't say much about, after this one statement, other than that I'm often appalled how cats are treated (in many parts of the world, not just spain).

Neither cats nor the typical city pigeon are wild animals, therefore they might somehow survive for a while without human help, often living off waste and whatever food they manage to catch/find, but since they've been domesticated for ages and bred to rely on people, it is a difficult, often miserable and short life for them. Nothing natural about a starving, sick pet, as some people claim. "Let nature take its course" someone said about my kitten. "Let this neglected pet die because it is more convenient for you as well as the irresponsible owner" is what that is for me.

Cats are usually great mothers, and will do everything for their young ones, just like the one you saw catch a pigeon. That the one I found looks the way it does tells me a lot about its mother, too. Probably starving and sick, also.

I know that often the circumstances are not good. Owners are poor, maybe not well educated about the topic. Old traditions, too. But for that individual suffering living creature that doesn't change a thing.

I've met some very happy spanish cats, though, farm cats as well as pets that looked well cared for (apart from not being neutered). Also noticed how helpful many spanish people were when they noticed my little cat problem, so it seems the times are changing.

I know people have different opinions about this kind of things, so I don't want to start any discussions and / or break any forum rules, and it is Off topic anyway. Just wanted to explain why I did what I did, because I know it will seem strange to some people.

I left behind an abandoned kitten before, on another Camino, and it has been haunting me for years. Not this time.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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I can now officially add "run over by a cyclist" to the long list of things trying to stop me from reaching Santiago 🤣. WTF is going on this year!?

I'd never thought this could happen to me, as I usually notice early when they come and step out of the way quickly.

Heard this one come too, he was too close already, though. So before I could check which direction he was coming from he was already screaming "noooooo!" because I had chosen the wrong side to jump to apparently, and he had chosen to keep on going full speed to pass by.

He crashed into a fence and we both hit the ground, but luckily nobody was harmed, including the cat.

I hope he learned that pilgrims don't have a rear view mirror on their hats, nor eyes on the back of their head. He did say sorry, at least (me too, not sure why).
 

Sue127

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal May 23
This cat hitched a ride, uninvited, for 12 minutes with my grandson. He bent down, so that I could take his photo next to the cat siting on a distance marker. Said cat jumped onto his shoulder. After a few tentative steps and bending down to let the cat jump off, it was obvious he was quite happy there. We stopped several times but it was only after 12 minutes that he decided to jump down. We wondered if it was a game, "how many pilgrims will give me a ride today?", was in beautiful condition.
Thank you for caring for the kitten. IMG_20220706_121627.jpg
 
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This cat hitched a ride, uninvited, for 12 minutes with my grandson. He bent down, so that I could take his photo next to the cat siting on a distance marker. Said cat jumped onto his shoulder. After a few tentative steps and bending down to let the cat jump off, it was obvious he was quite happy there. We stopped several times but it was only after 12 minutes that he decided to jump down. We wondered if it was a game, "how many pilgrims will give me a ride today?", was in beautiful condition.
Thank you for caring for the kitten. View attachment 130992

What a beautiful, well cared for cat!!! Thanks for sharing the photo :)
 
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