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Camino Newbie

2020 Camino Guides

Zeton walks

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Autumn 2020
I want to walk Francés next year Sept and Oct. It will be my first Camino, I'm female and will be 73. My son is considering joining me for a week "whenever I'll need him the most". I'd love opinions about when that or those "low points" might be.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I want to walk Francés next year Sept and Oct. It will be my first Camino, I'm female and will be 73. My son is considering joining me for a week "whenever I'll need him the most". I'd love opinions about when that or those "low points" might be.
You might want to have your son start out with you. If you are planning to walk from St Jean Pied de Port the first stage to Roncesvalles is one of the most difficult on the Camino Francés. I would recommend dividing the distance by staying in Orisson the first night (8km/5 miles from St Jean), or using Express Bouricott's Mountain Shuttle to walk half way the first day, return to St Jean, then they shuttle you back to where you left off the day before. Or you can take the Valcarlos route and spend the first night in Valcarlos.

Orisson - if you decide on this option you MUST reserve ahead as soon as you know your date. They only have 28 beds so fill up quickly, especially in busy months like September
https://refuge-orisson.com/en/accommodation/refuge-orisson/

Express Bouricott https://www.expressbourricot.com/persons-transport/
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I'll posit an alternative. Get him join you in Triacastela. You will be a seasoned Peregrina by then. You will have dealt with the highs and the lows all by yourself just like you have always done. And you can then gently lead your son, just like you have always done, into Camino, pilgrimage and Santiago.

Your only likely need is the need to share that glory with someone close. Your fellow pilgrims will get you over the hills in the way.
 

Duane

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Camino Frances
Trecile has given you some good advice. The first stage is much more palatable when taken in two bites. You may also find it more helpful to have your son with you at the beginning. I found the Camino more difficult at the beginning but after a week you will know so many people you will likely feel right at home.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
You could also consider, especially if you can't get a reservation at Orrison, to start at Roncesvalles. As for your son joining you - what about you walking alone to Santiago and the two of you then walk together to Finisterre/Muxia?

I don't know you but as a woman that walks her pilgrimages mostly alone, I can tell you that this is a very powerful experience ... doing it on your own.

BC SY
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
All good advice so far. I agree with trecile about stopping at Orrison if you start at SJPP. I would stop there, too, if it were my first day's walking and I'm not yet in my 70s. I also agree with SYates about considering starting in Roncesvalles. I started there on my two Caminos Frances (the first because that was where I was told it started and the second because I was retracing my steps with my son and so started in the same place) and it was a fine place to start.

Tincatinker's advice about having him join you for the last week is also good. Ultimately, you don't know where the "low point" will be. Physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, it can appear at any point in the Camino and is tough if not impossible to predict. But even if your son is not there to support you through it, chances are very good that there will be plenty of other pilgrims from whom you can draw support, as well as your own internal resources. Having your son with you to share your moment of achievement as you finish your Camino is a more predictable goal and probably more enjoyable.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
I want to walk Francés next year Sept and Oct. It will be my first Camino, I'm female and will be 73. My son is considering joining me for a week "whenever I'll need him the most". I'd love opinions about when that or those "low points" might be.
I just want to say Buen Camino and good for you! I walked solo (female, 28) in Sept/Oct of 2018. I had a low point after the first 7-10 days, when it changed from 'normal vacation period' to 'I'm away from home now' and I really missed my partner, and green grass. If my partner had joined me in Pamplona and come along for a week, it may have helped ease that transition. However, it perhaps may have also just delayed it? I did not have anyone join me along my Way, so I cannot say for sure.

I got pretty mission oriented after that. I did blog my journey day-by-day (well, actually, I wrote home to my Grandma & the rest of my family, then put it up on a blog later). If you're curious, the timeline lines up (sept/oct) and I did walk solo. Perhaps this can shed some light on areas where you may anticipate a low point. Blog here. An Packing List (keep it LIGHT!).
 

muddy-mama

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020
I will be doing my first camino leaving SJPP on the 31st August so cannot give you any advise but hope to meet you on the way. I will be stopping at Orrison because I have heard so many great things about it.
Buen Camino
 

steve 217

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances planning via del la plata
All great advice so far agree entirely about the first day , if you can get over that its all much easier .
Personally the hardest part mentally and when i could have done with a loved one with me was the Meseta which mentally i found hard but afterwards also the most rewarding.

There is a stretch where you walk along an incredibly quiet road arrow straight and flat , i was entirely alone no walkers in sight and i found myself singing at the top of my voice , i walked stupidly in the middle of the road as you could see any vehicles coming a long way off, there seemed on that day to be no traffic no birds no sounds other then my appalling singing
It was a part of the Camino which allowed for lots of contemplation but for some reason it was for me mentally difficult ,this was i suppose my low point.
 

rometimed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(SJPdP: 2015, June2020!) (Eng Way: 2015)
There's 3 sort of sections:

1. The first week

2. The next 2 weeks

3. The final week

The first week has the most strenuous physical up and down areas.

The second 2 weeks is the most flat, hot, dull, sections (this is the part I struggle with the most)

The final week is reflective and more thoughtful.

It all depends on what you may need help with.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
There's 3 sort of sections:

1. The first week

2. The next 2 weeks

3. The final week

The first week has the most strenuous physical up and down areas.

The second 2 weeks is the most flat, hot, dull, sections (this is the part I struggle with the most)

The final week is reflective and more thoughtful.

It all depends on what you may need help with.
Unless you are like us, in which case it is:

1. The first week
2. The next week
3. The next 10 days
4. Yet another week
5. The last week

The first week is really hard but it is new and fresh and you are riding the initial excitement.

The next week you are starting to settle into it but here is where you realize you are in it for the long haul. This is where my low point was in 2016.

The next 10 days are long and mostly flat and just stretch out straight ahead like the road in front of us.

Yet another week we get mountains again. You are starting to realize it is going to come to an end.

The last week brings us through green cattle country into Santiago. You are trying to wring every last bit of joy you can get from the Camino, sad that it is going to end, but looking forward to a rest and seeing the rest of your family again.
 

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