• In case you had not seen it, there is a new link in the top menu to the most popular contents on the forum from the last 90 days, 1 year and all the way from the beginning in 2004.
A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

Camino Repeat Offenders - I'd Like Advice

2020 Camino Guides

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
I've been on the Forum a while and you all have been very kind and supportive.

So now I would like some advice.

I plan to do CF #2 starting, again, in late May. This time, I am thinking of starting in Lourdes, walking to SJPdP, then continuing "as usual."

But I'm nervous. As I wrote on my blog, it's good that I know what to expect. But it's also bad that I know what to expect.

I had such a wonderful experience on the CF that first time. I gained a Camino family, members of which I remain in close contact to this day. I have been blessed by people asking me to share my experiences and have been able to see my accomplishment through their admiring eyes.

But there were times on the Camino when I didn't want to put one foot in front of the other, especially towards the end. The mountain was too steep, my fellow pilgrims too annoying. My dark secret.

I don't need advice to "keep it up, you can do it," etc. I've told too many people that I'm doing it, to turn back now (yes, I told people on purpose so I wouldn't be able to back out). And I WANT to do it.

But I'm afraid (there's the crux of the matter) that it is going to be harder than the first time - I'm two years older - and not as fulfilling.

Normal fear is not being balanced with the happy excitement of the first time. Am I the only one who felt this way before their second/third time on the Camino?

o_O
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@FooteK fear not. My second camino was much easier than the first - not for any physical reason but simply because I knew I could do it. Every time I walk there are the same fears and jitters, but as soon as my feet hit the path it is like an engine getting into gear. I still grumble, I still have those dark moments of the soul - but there is a deep seated confidence within.

Having said that - here's hoping it is not a case of pride before a fall. I'm trusting this coming camino goes OK for me.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hola - I've walked many of the routes multiple times. In the days leading up to departure I still get nervous with anticipation. But you now have the experience to pace yourself physically, the wisdom to withdraw if you need quiet and time to reflect and the confidence to join in with others when you wish.

Buen camino otra vez!

John
 

Kevin_A

--_
Camino(s) past & future
.
I've been on the Forum a while and you all have been very kind and supportive.

So now I would like some advice.

I plan to do CF #2 starting, again, in late May. This time, I am thinking of starting in Lourdes, walking to SJPdP, then continuing "as usual."

But I'm nervous. As I wrote on my blog, it's good that I know what to expect. But it's also bad that I know what to expect.

I had such a wonderful experience on the CF that first time. I gained a Camino family, members of which I remain in close contact to this day. I have been blessed by people asking me to share my experiences and have been able to see my accomplishment through their admiring eyes.

But there were times on the Camino when I didn't want to put one foot in front of the other, especially towards the end. The mountain was too steep, my fellow pilgrims too annoying. My dark secret.

I don't need advice to "keep it up, you can do it," etc. I've told too many people that I'm doing it, to turn back now (yes, I told people on purpose so I wouldn't be able to back out). And I WANT to do it.

But I'm afraid (there's the crux of the matter) that it is going to be harder than the first time - I'm two years older - and not as fulfilling.

Normal fear is not being balanced with the happy excitement of the first time. Am I the only one who felt this way before their second/third time on the Camino?

o_O
Ditto - start #2 tomorrow
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Repeat offender? Constant offender! Lourdes? Go if you must - far too much misery, far too many suffering people, too modern when I visited. It is a sad place.
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Though I'm not retracing my steps on the CF as yet-started my current pilgrimage in Nurnberg and am gradually inching towards Spain-I'm far more relaxed about trying to control what happens and when it happens. Though I still get those rather pleasurable pilgrimage butterflies before setting out once walking I'm content to go with the flow of each journey as others have said in this thread. That 'just wait and see what happens' approach to planning is pretty relaxing for me……. though perhaps a little exasperating for anyone that wants a detailed exposition of ones journey plans:oops:…….
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Don't expect it to be the same -- it will inevitably and necessarily be different.

And the Lourdes route via SJPP is brilliant !!! (just the final stage into SJPP is a bit lengthy)
 

Chacharm

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Frances (2012) Vie Del Norte (2015) Via Frances (2016) Le Puy (2017)
Well, you know some days will be an entirely new adventure...and some days will be same old, same old. It was easy to forget (once I was home) that there were plenty of days when I decided to leave the Camino. Plenty. But I woke up in the morning feeling refreshed and forgot all about leaving. There were days when I was so irritated by the crunch crunch crunch of my boots I couldn't stand it another minute. Days when I walked in a company and loved it and days when I was sola and loved it.
But you cannot step in the same river twice. Everything you loved about it will still be there. I think of it like going to camp when I was a kid.
I am going in early May - and I am going to walk the Via Del Norte. But every day I think about just walking the Frances again instead. And every day I tell myself again to go ahead and try something new.
The bottom line is that whatever else it is going to be it will definitely be the Camino and you will be very sad when it is over!
 

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
I've been on the Forum a while and you all have been very kind and supportive.

So now I would like some advice.......

I plan to do CF #2 starting, again, in late May.

But I'm afraid (there's the crux of the matter) that it is going to be harder than the first time - I'm two years older - and not as fulfilling.

Normal fear is not being balanced with the happy excitement of the first time. Am I the only one who felt this way before their second/third time on the Camino?

o_O
Hi FooteK,
No one can say what your second experience will be like. But as others have said - it is certain to be different from your first. It's hard to do, but try to keep your head out of expecting the same - especially the same wonderful experience with 'a camino family'. We are different on our first camino and everyone else is different. The camino is even different. So don't expect the same. Similar to Kanga - my second camino was physically much easier than my first - as was my third and fourth. My last camino I was 10 years older than I was on my first one and it was still physically easier. The body seems to remember. And I still get a nervous excitement every time.

As to the emotional/psychological/spiritual side of things - well I've told this story before but here goes - briefly. On my first camino I left having NO idea what to expect. But I had made some big changes and looked forward to some solo time to think and renew. I had some of that but one thing I did not expect, and received in abundance, was to meet and enjoy so many wonderful people (this was before forum days). The journey did not go as planned but it was terrific.....So when I went again I looked forward to again meeting, enjoying and making friends with more wonderful people. But it was not to be. Although I met lots of people and enjoyed them, none of that grabbed my attention. It was now time for my solo, inner journey. And it keeps changing and deepening each new camino. Try to let go of your expectations and just let it be what it is.

Have a wonderful journey. Muy buen camino.

Cecelia
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
as someone already said as well and so well: you can't step into the same river twice -
AND ... i believe that keeping this so-called ' Beginners Mind' is quite helpful ... not just on the camino.
you are not pushing the 'repeat button' -- you are on a new pilgrimage.
yet i do realize that this 'not as fulfilling' can be quite a trap. perhaps try to embark on this pilgrimage on the camino's terms, instead of yours ... and just see how it all flows?!?!
Many years ago, in a book by the italian Aldo Carotenuto - i found a line that struck like thunder: "In reality we are only free when we accept the possibility of remaining forever unsatisfied." - i realized that this looking for fulfillment is a thorny business ... plus one traps oneself in comparisions.... another endeveour full of inbuilt 'frustrations' . - just go ahead ...pack, prepare ... and proceed with confidence.
lucky and blessed you ... having a camino ahead of you! very best wishes - c
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I've been on the Forum a while and you all have been very kind and supportive.

So now I would like some advice.

I plan to do CF #2 starting, again, in late May. This time, I am thinking of starting in Lourdes, walking to SJPdP, then continuing "as usual."

But I'm nervous. As I wrote on my blog, it's good that I know what to expect. But it's also bad that I know what to expect.

I had such a wonderful experience on the CF that first time. I gained a Camino family, members of which I remain in close contact to this day. I have been blessed by people asking me to share my experiences and have been able to see my accomplishment through their admiring eyes.

But there were times on the Camino when I didn't want to put one foot in front of the other, especially towards the end. The mountain was too steep, my fellow pilgrims too annoying. My dark secret.

I don't need advice to "keep it up, you can do it," etc. I've told too many people that I'm doing it, to turn back now (yes, I told people on purpose so I wouldn't be able to back out). And I WANT to do it.

But I'm afraid (there's the crux of the matter) that it is going to be harder than the first time - I'm two years older - and not as fulfilling.

Normal fear is not being balanced with the happy excitement of the first time. Am I the only one who felt this way before their second/third time on the Camino?

o_O
No doubt in my mind that my best Camino was the first one. I did not know what to expect, didn't know what you worry about. I walked, found a bed, no matter the ratings, walked again the next day. Caminos since then have felt longer, boring, painful. But also allowed me different scenaries, cities, people. honeymoon is over, until I find it again, one day. I will find it, one day, right?
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
@FooteK fear not. My second camino was much easier than the first - not for any physical reason but simply because I knew I could do it. Every time I walk there are the same fears and jitters, but as soon as my feet hit the path it is like an engine getting into gear. I still grumble, I still have those dark moments of the soul - but there is a deep seated confidence within.

Having said that - here's hoping it is not a case of pride before a fall. I'm trusting this coming camino goes OK for me.
Kanga, your posts are always filled with wisdom and kindness. I was inspired by your assertion that there is a confidence built in after a person walks the walk. After reading your post, I laced up my boots and took a long walk. It was nice.

It's all a mental game, isn't it?

Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
I think that on subsequent Caminos one is not quite so driven. What I mean is that having walked once and gained whatever one has gained there is a more relaxed feeling about everything. You let go more. You are more prepared to go with the flow. Each Camino is different, just as enjoyable and has it's own lessons.
Al, I have to admit that I was pretty laid back for my first Camino. I was in slo-mo for most of it, since I didn't have a plane/train/automobile to catch. If you were me, would you stay at the same places you stayed at before or would you try new places - try to see things you skipped?
Perhaps we'll meet up on the CF this year! At the least, maybe at the Camino meet-up in Santiago?
Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
It is optional. I can quit anytime I want.

That sustains me.
True. That gives you a certain amount of freedom, doesn't it? When I walk around here, I always carry change because I know I can always just jump on a subway if I get too - what - tired? bored? and go home. So far, it has never happened.
Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
Hola - I've walked many of the routes multiple times. In the days leading up to departure I still get nervous with anticipation. But you now have the experience to pace yourself physically, the wisdom to withdraw if you need quiet and time to reflect and the confidence to join in with others when you wish.

Buen camino otra vez!

John
LOL!
Johnnie, you make me ready to be the Wise Old Lady of the Camino. I picture myself wrapped up in a brown cape, with a wooden walking stick, dispensing wisdom as I sit at a cafe sipping an icy cold cerveza in the middle of a hot afternoon. All in English, of course, which would really make me stand out :p
Seriously, your words make me realize that I may be better able to let the setbacks (like that A**hole who insisted on turning on the lights) roll off my back a little better.
Both you and Kanga refer to confidence. Could that be the key?
Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
Ditto - start #2 tomorrow
Kevin, thanks for not letting me feel weird.
You started today. I'm with you. Post occasionally and let me know how it goes.
Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
Repeat offender? Constant offender! Lourdes? Go if you must - far too much misery, far too many suffering people, too modern when I visited. It is a sad place.
Scruffy, I appreciate your point about Lourdes. No one has told me it was a sad place, but of course, it has to be, since everyone is looking for miracles to relieve their sufferings. I guess I'll be asking for something, too, in my own way. Relief for my sufferings . . . in advance??!!
I can also imagine how Lourdes will seem too modern. Will it be authentic? Or will it be designed to be what people expect it to be?
To be or not to be?
The same for the Camino, maybe?
Sorry, thinking too much. Need more coffee.
Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
Though I'm not retracing my steps on the CF as yet-started my current pilgrimage in Nurnberg and am gradually inching towards Spain-I'm far more relaxed about trying to control what happens and when it happens. Though I still get those rather pleasurable pilgrimage butterflies before setting out once walking I'm content to go with the flow of each journey as others have said in this thread. That 'just wait and see what happens' approach to planning is pretty relaxing for me……. though perhaps a little exasperating for anyone that wants a detailed exposition of ones journey plans:oops:…….
Let me know if you pass through Stuttgart - a cup of coffee on me!
I was pretty laid back the first time. I didn't go by any schedule and stopped along the way often. I never called ahead except for my first night in SJPdP, my last nights in Santiago, and one night along the way when it was getting dark.
I had forgotten about those pilgrim butterflies. Yes, they were actually rather pleasurable.

I had forgotten.

Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
Don't expect it to be the same -- it will inevitably and necessarily be different.

And the Lourdes route via SJPP is brilliant !!! (just the final stage into SJPP is a bit lengthy)
Jabba, you are clearly a repeat offender.
Must be worth it.
Any chance you can give me some insights on the path from Lourdes to SJPdP? It's a bit sketchy on-line. I'm trying to make that trek over the mountain to Roncevalles a little less daunting by putting in a few days practice in advance. Do you think it is a good idea?
Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
Well, you know some days will be an entirely new adventure...and some days will be same old, same old. It was easy to forget (once I was home) that there were plenty of days when I decided to leave the Camino. Plenty. But I woke up in the morning feeling refreshed and forgot all about leaving. There were days when I was so irritated by the crunch crunch crunch of my boots I couldn't stand it another minute. Days when I walked in a company and loved it and days when I was sola and loved it.
But you cannot step in the same river twice. Everything you loved about it will still be there. I think of it like going to camp when I was a kid.
I am going in early May - and I am going to walk the Via Del Norte. But every day I think about just walking the Frances again instead. And every day I tell myself again to go ahead and try something new.
The bottom line is that whatever else it is going to be it will definitely be the Camino and you will be very sad when it is over!
You nicely described the "loved it-hated it" relationship I occasionally had on the CF. Of course, the "loved it" far outweighed the "hated it," or else why would I be doing it again?
On the other hand, why did I even do it in the first place??
Be that as it may, I'm comforted that I'm not the only one who is compelled for reasons unknown to walk to Spain again.
I really like the analogy of going to camp. This is a very useful one for me.
You know, I had never slept in the top bunk of a bunk bed until I walked the Camino! LOL.
Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
You're thinking way too much about it.
Also, if it sucks and you don't like it, you can always go home. Not that big a deal.
:D
Just go home, tail between my legs, admitting defeat??!! NEVER!!
Seriously, I hear what you are saying. It's not a matter of life and death. If it stops being fun, just stop - no reason to practice to be miserable.
Are there people out there who have stopped in the middle simply because they didn't want to do it anymore (not because of time constraints, injuries, etc.)?
Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
Hi FooteK,
No one can say what your second experience will be like. But as others have said - it is certain to be different from your first. It's hard to do, but try to keep your head out of expecting the same - especially the same wonderful experience with 'a camino family'. We are different on our first camino and everyone else is different. The camino is even different. So don't expect the same. Similar to Kanga - my second camino was physically much easier than my first - as was my third and fourth. My last camino I was 10 years older than I was on my first one and it was still physically easier. The body seems to remember. And I still get a nervous excitement every time.

As to the emotional/psychological/spiritual side of things - well I've told this story before but here goes - briefly. On my first camino I left having NO idea what to expect. But I had made some big changes and looked forward to some solo time to think and renew. I had some of that but one thing I did not expect, and received in abundance, was to meet and enjoy so many wonderful people (this was before forum days). The journey did not go as planned but it was terrific.....So when I went again I looked forward to again meeting, enjoying and making friends with more wonderful people. But it was not to be. Although I met lots of people and enjoyed them, none of that grabbed my attention. It was now time for my solo, inner journey. And it keeps changing and deepening each new camino. Try to let go of your expectations and just let it be what it is.

Have a wonderful journey. Muy buen camino.

Cecelia
Cecelia, I'm so glad you wrote, especially about the difference in personal relationships between your first and second Camino. I always assumed that strong bonds would develop between people walking. However, in truth, 99% of the people I met on the CF were people I never bonded with, and I was OK with that. Each day brought a new person/s into my life, like chapters in a book, then the next day I moved onto the next chapter.
Am I thinking of the new people I will meet and nervous about them lessening the relationships I found while on my first Camino?
As I write this, I realize it makes no sense.
You're right. I need to let the expectations of finding a new, wonderful Camino family go and just let it be!
Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
as someone already said as well and so well: you can't step into the same river twice -
AND ... i believe that keeping this so-called ' Beginners Mind' is quite helpful ... not just on the camino.
you are not pushing the 'repeat button' -- you are on a new pilgrimage.
yet i do realize that this 'not as fulfilling' can be quite a trap. perhaps try to embark on this pilgrimage on the camino's terms, instead of yours ... and just see how it all flows?!?!
Many years ago, in a book by the italian Aldo Carotenuto - i found a line that struck like thunder: "In reality we are only free when we accept the possibility of remaining forever unsatisfied." - i realized that this looking for fulfillment is a thorny business ... plus one traps oneself in comparisions.... another endeveour full of inbuilt 'frustrations' . - just go ahead ...pack, prepare ... and proceed with confidence.
lucky and blessed you ... having a camino ahead of you! very best wishes - c
I love your quotes, even your Max Planck.

When I walked the first time, I carried a stone to lay at the base of the cross on the hill - you know the big metal cross at the top.

But, when I got there, I decided not to leave my stone.

The stone represents one's worries and cares. I don't actually have great worries and cares, especially compared to other people. My life is, I will be the very first to admit, undeservably blessed. I decided to keep my stone as a reminder that ones worries and cares - the valleys - make the mountaintops that much more beautiful. My stone is a small one and doesn't weigh me down.

You mention the word confidence, a word that has been repeated by others responding to my OP.

So, what kind of confidence - physical? mental? spiritual?

And I wish I could understand the compulsion to walk again now. Why not last year? Why not next year? Why not walk someplace different? Why? Why? Why?

Kathy
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
No doubt in my mind that my best Camino was the first one. I did not know what to expect, didn't know what you worry about. I walked, found a bed, no matter the ratings, walked again the next day. Caminos since then have felt longer, boring, painful. But also allowed me different scenaries, cities, people. honeymoon is over, until I find it again, one day. I will find it, one day, right?
*Sigh*
Anemone, you read my mind. " . . . longer, boring, painful . . . " is what I'm afraid of.
Afraid.
Come on, buddy, give me boost of CONFIDENCE!!
Kathy
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
My second canimo was also much easier. In all ways. Somehow there was less or no pressure at all from myself. I knew i could make it (with alot of pain from injuries), so i had nothing to worry about. I already did it once, i knew i could do it again. I also walked with the thought in mind that i could quit whenever, where ever i wanted. I did not have the drive that i HAVE to finish, like i had the first time. This all made it much much easier.

It also helped i had 00,00 blisters the second time, compared to 234.497 blisters the first time :)
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
My second canimo was also much easier. In all ways. Somehow there was less or no pressure at all from myself. I knew i could make it (with alot of pain from injuries), so i had nothing to worry about. I already did it once, i knew i could do it again. I also walked with the thought in mind that i could quit whenever, where ever i wanted. I did not have the drive that i HAVE to finish, like i had the first time. This all made it much much easier.

It also helped i had 00,00 blisters the second time, compared to 234.497 blisters the first time :)
Easier in all ways. Hmmm. I like that.
So, did you do it the same way? I mean, did you take more taxi's, stay in more hotels instead of albergues, walk shorter distances?
I appreciate the reflections on the blisters. Did you do things the second time which prevented the blister blooms that happened the first time?
Kathy
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
I walked in different shoes and socks after my first camin. Boots and wool socks/double socking ect weren't my thing. Gave me lots of trouble and many blisters. I ditched the boots/socks and went for trailrunners and the thinnest coolmax toesocks. Thats why i had no more blisters and injuries after camino no 1.

The second time i walked the Frances (as before from sjpp to SdC and finisterre) i took less taxis (again because of the no injuries vs lots of injuries).

All in all i think the second time i used slightly more albergues instead of hotels/private rooms/casa rurals than the first time.
I don't plan to stay in private rooms/hotels beforehand, it just happens when it happens or when i feel the need for some privacy or a longggggg shower :)

The second Frances i walked more longer distance days than the first time. Up to 50-55km a day. I also walked SdC to Finisterre in 2 days. I really enjoyed the long sunny days, still walking at 5 pm and feelling like the camino was mine, all mine.
I think the longest day on my first camino was 35 and i did not enjoy that AT all. My comfortzone on the first camino was somewhere inbetween 25-30km a day.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
:D
Just go home, tail between my legs, admitting defeat??!! NEVER!!
Seriously, I hear what you are saying. It's not a matter of life and death. If it stops being fun, just stop - no reason to practice to be miserable.
Are there people out there who have stopped in the middle simply because they didn't want to do it anymore (not because of time constraints, injuries, etc.)?
Kathy
Having walked the CF twice though, I can tell you it won't be miserable, just different feeling.
The second go around for me was definitely not as cool as the first. I suppose because there were less surprises, but it was still a good time and I met more amazing people. I made it a point to mostly stay in different towns.
I never felt the desire to stop and quit on the second CF, but there were a few times I asked myself, "why in the heck are you doing this again"?
What was kind of surprising was some of the other pilgrim's reactions when you tell them you are walking it for a second time. Some will ask why in the heck you are doing it again, ha ha, but I did meet several pilgrims who were on their second or third Camino. I met one hospitalero who had walked the CF eight times.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
Repeat offender? Constant offender! Lourdes? Go if you must - far too much misery, far too many suffering people, too modern when I visited. It is a sad place.
What do you mean by "sad"?
I would like to go to Lourdes someday, and I do realize that commercialism has sprung up in the city, and suffering people go there, but "sad"?
I guess what I would wonder is what is expected there?
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
What do you mean by "sad"?
I would like to go to Lourdes someday, and I do realize that commercialism has sprung up in the city, and suffering people go there, but "sad"?
I guess what I would wonder is what is expected there?
Mark, let me take you there someday. Sad=pathetic, really it is not a very uplifting experience. Bus loads of tourists buying trinkets and tiny bottles of holy water:rolleyes:.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
Mark, let me take you there someday. Sad=pathetic, really it is not a very uplifting experience. Bus loads of tourists buying trinkets and tiny bottles of holy water:rolleyes:.
Really.....damn. That's kinda disappointing.
I figured that despite the commercialization it still might be a nice town to hang-around for a couple of days. Visit the grotto and such.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Really.....damn. That's kinda disappointing.
I figured that despite the commercialization it still might be a nice town to hang-around for a couple of days. Visit the grotto and such.
Just imagine Branson, Missouri centered around a religious shrine!
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
Just imagine Branson, Missouri centered around a religious shrine!
Ha ha....gotcha.
What peaked my interest in it was a recent series on PBS about pilgrimages and it was one of the ones they did a show about. They did cover the commercial aspect of the place to some degree.
It doesn't look like it's that far from SJPdP and if I was there again would be worth a visit.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Ha ha....gotcha.
What peaked my interest in it was a recent series on PBS about pilgrimages and it was one of the ones they did a show about. They did cover the commercial aspect of the place to some degree.
It doesn't look like it's that far from SJPdP and if I was there again would be worth a visit.
I saw a similar tv production in France and it made my heart bleed but the reality is it is really kind of a Jim and Tammy Fay scam. It's a two hour drive from Biarritz, so not that close to SJPDP.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
I saw a similar tv production in France and it made my heart bleed but the reality is it is really kind of a Jim and Tammy Fay scam. It's a two hour drive from Biarritz, so not that close to SJPDP.
Ha ha....I remember those two dirt-bags from the 1980's. They actually had a religious amusement park of sorts.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Really.....damn. That's kinda disappointing.
I figured that despite the commercialization it still might be a nice town to hang-around for a couple of days. Visit the grotto and such.
Depends on why you are going. As a tourist sightseeing maybe not much but as a pilgrim, you can ignore the commercialism. My parents went there a number of times and my son and daughter have been there often as pilgrim helpers looking after the sick and infirm. They got a lot from it and would go back in a heartbeat. There is growing commercialism onthe camino and in Santiago but as pilgrims, was it not uplifting. Lourdes is not disappointing. Go and experience the feeling of being somewhere special. If you believe that the Blessed Virgin appeared here, you will feel an amazing inner peace. If you are a non believer, then it will be just another town
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
Depends on why you are going. As a tourist sightseeing maybe not much but as a pilgrim, you can ignore the commercialism. My parents went there a number of times and my son and daughter have been there often as pilgrim helpers looking after the sick and infirm. They got a lot from it and would go back in a heartbeat. There is growing commercialism onthe camino and in Santiago but as pilgrims, was it not uplifting. Lourdes is not disappointing. Go and experience the feeling of being somewhere special. If you believe that the Blessed Virgin appeared here, you will feel an amazing inner peace. If you are a non believer, then it will be just another town
Don't get me wrong, I would definitely would still go Lourdes if I do a third CF starting from SJPdP. I would have the time and resources.
I guess I'm a bit of both....pilgrim and tourist and yes, it is easy to ignore commercialization. I could see it on the Camino, especially in Santiago. Commercialization is just one of those things people do I suppose. People will be people.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
I have visited Lourdes over 20 times as a 'helper' in several different capacities on mainly diocesan pilgrimages. I lived for several years in Rome. Personally, (and your mileage may vary), I have never found it difficult to separate the blatant and crass commercial side of things (also to be found in SdC) from the spiritual/ reflective aspect. I can see how some people would be appalled on a quick touristy visit to Lourdes, or indeed Rome. There is more to both, I think. In truth I don't find Lourdes to be full of people to be looking for a miracle. That is simply not my experience, having travelled over the years with seveal thousand sick and handicapped people. Despite its strong Marian tradition (I am speaking as a Catholic Christian) it has in fact a very strong Eucharistic emphasis. (None of this of course will particularly appeal to many people who visit.)
I started my second camino from Lourdes, six years ago, spending just one night there and then headed for SJPdP. It took 6 nights I think. I very highly recommend it, especially if you already have experience of 'main' CF. You climb the 'zig-zag path' behind the grotto and turn right at the top and keep going. It is well enough, though subtly, signposted: not as garishly or obviously as in Spain. Within about half an hour you are in glorious countryside - although I must be honest and say it did rain pretty continuously. I went in September and there were just five people walking, whom I met every evening, spending all of every day (enjoyably) alone. Much lower key than in Spain. I think it would be difficult perhaps to start your first camino this way, but nice for a second. Great tiny albergues, and fantastically helpful people in them. Tourist offices in towns all VERY helpful. A bit of a shock to the system when turning the corner into SJPdP - it was a bit like a slip road on to a pedestrian motorway by comparison.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Mark, let me take you there someday. Sad=pathetic, really it is not a very uplifting experience. Bus loads of tourists buying trinkets and tiny bottles of holy water:rolleyes:.
I have to agree, and not because of the sick people looking for some sort of salvation but because it is all about cheap commercialism. To get to the main entrance you have to walk through rows and rows of commercial stands, in my opinion taking advantage of those going there with spiritual intentions. Horrible.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
A few years ago while in the Philippines I went to see a very old Catholic church in Manila. Walking up to it you pass many vendor stalls. I realize that would be considered commercialization of that site, but I suppose in that situation who am I to judge. I'm not busting my butt trying to make a living and feed myself in an economic strapped country.
Either way, the vendors had no effect on my enjoying visiting a unique, centuries old church in SE Asia.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
A few years ago while in the Philippines I went to see a very old Catholic church in Manila. Walking up to it you pass many vendor stalls. I realize that would be considered commercialization of that site, but I suppose in that situation who am I to judge. I'm not busting my butt trying to make a living and feed myself in an economic strapped country.
Either way, the vendors had no effect on my enjoying visiting a unique, centuries old church in SE Asia.
Noone was busting their butts trying to make a living in Lourdes. It was pure exploitation of those looking for a miracle. As fo the site itself: yeah, no. Nothing to see either. It is all about faith.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Perhaps consider begining from Moissac on the Le Puy Chemin? Much more inspiring abbey, wonderful Vespers and Morningsong sung by the nuns there, Altreia albergue serving the best of Irish food, one hour from Toulouse.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Some years ago, I took the train from Toulouse to Irún, in my way to CF. I looked wishfully at the fabulous Pyrenean landscape (mountains, farms, lush forests, little creeks, cute villages) and thought “I have to walk here, someday”. Maybe this is the year. My (still vague) plan is to start at Lourdes, or maybe SB de Comminges, to SJPP and then, consider again my options. There are many, as you know.
So, I am following the comments about this route with great interest –it seems it is not such a popular topic as others.
I have some questions. I was planning to go in early October, because I really can't stand hot weather. But I am now somewhat worried with the comments about rain. I don't object to some cold, rain and mud (even snow...) but a continuous, all day raining may be too much.
Also, I noticed the comment about loneliness and not being so good for a first pilgrimage experience, since this time I will be (probably) with my wife. This is great, but it adds some stress to my plans, because I don't want to take a bad decision. Usually, if I am wrong, it is only me. This time, I am a bit nervous...
 
Last edited:

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
But I am now somewhat worried with the comments about rains. I don't object to some cold, rain and mud (even snow...) but a continuous, all day raining may be too much.
Also, I noticed the comment about loneliness and not being so good for a first pilgrimage experience, since this time I will be (probably) with my wife. This is great, but it adds some stress to my plans, because I really don't want to take a bad decision. Usually, if I am wrong, it is only me. This time, I am a bit nervous...
Felipe, I think I was just personally unlucky with the rain that year! Don't let that put you off.
The six days to St Jean from Lourdes were MUCH quieter than the rest of the way. I think my 'companions' were two couples and a father and son all French. I went mid-September. Everyone was content! I didn't find it 'lonely'. You may with such small numbers find people with whom you don't share a language - but people who share an aspiration! And there are towns and villages along the way - just there is not the orientation towards peregrinos that there is along the CF. I'd still say, if you are tempted, go for it! You could turn off at Somport if you really are too lonely. I would guess that is busier.
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
I'm enjoying this conversation about Lourdes and about the CF. A woman I know who has volunteered at Lourdes for several years in a row now, has told me how moving an experience it is for her, assisting people in the waters.
You all have hit the nail on the head about why I am thinking of starting there instead of SJPdP - a new route before heading into the familiar. I hope to put my head in a good place, not to mention my feet. My first CF was very wet. Maybe I'll get a blister-free miracle? Maybe the Napoleon will be open this time?
I like the comments about staying in different places from your previous times - is that what most do on repeats?
Timr, your post about the trail out of Lourdes is encouraging.
Kathy
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Thanks for the comments, friends. Noticed duly the option to Somport; I am looking at it.

About the Piedmont way to SJPP (including Lourdes, as you know), I've found some resources

The well reputed Gronze guide (in Spanish)

An online guide ( (in français, the autorship is not evident, but seems well informed;
he promotes a guide apparently worth considering, from Olivier Guix

Not sure if this is another guide book

The Peterrobins downloadable maps for Google Earth

La Confrerie (Brotherhood) Fraternale des Jacquets (in français)

I am considering buying a guide (I am usually the "get some basic maps, lists of albergues and just go" type of walker, but this time I am being more careful). Even considering the GPS thing, which actually I am not sure how it works...) Any suggestion will be warmly appreciated.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
In France we rely on IPhiGeNie - it's an app with all the official topographical maps - down to incredible detail. There is a yearly license fee and it is easy to use. You download the maps for the area you want so that they are available when you are offline. There are other apps but I think only IPhiGenie and one other (Outdoors France?) have the official maps.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
In France we rely on IPhiGeNie - it's an app with all the official topographical maps - down to incredible detail. There is a yearly license fee and it is easy to use. You download the maps for the area you want so that they are available when you are offline. There are other apps but I think only IPhiGenie and one other (Outdoors France?) have the official maps.
Thanks. And does it work better on Ipad, Iphone or Idon'tknow? :)
I am thinking I really need to study some webpage titled "Mobil things explained to dummies". The only ones that I am familiar with are the Sun and the Moon.
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Jabba, you are clearly a repeat offender.
Must be worth it.
Any chance you can give me some insights on the path from Lourdes to SJPdP? It's a bit sketchy on-line. I'm trying to make that trek over the mountain to Roncevalles a little less daunting by putting in a few days practice in advance. Do you think it is a good idea?
Kathy
I definitely think it's a good idea !!! :)

1) Stay at Lourdes for two nights -- not only is the Albergue at Lourdes THE best one on the entire Camino (one or two Monasteries etc are superior, but they're not "Albergues" as such), but you can also stay there two nights because you're on two pilgrimages (Lourdes and Compostela)

2) skip down from the "official" route down to Arudy, the donativo parish refugio there is magical, and the parish priest is an absolutely delightful man, and so is his cat. Also a great place to resupply except sunday/monday. Sadly I arrived too late for Mass. The priest is both a true pilgrim and a true hospitalero, and he will be the man that will give you THE best advice about the Arudy > SJPP stretch.

3) There was a great pilgrims office in Oloron in 2005, hopefully it's still there -- try and get into town by about midday, as it's a great location for a good south of France lunch. Yes, splurge out for one. Lourdes is touristy, as is SJPP -- Oloron will be your only chance for some decent and simple French cuisine on your Camino.

4) The GR to Arudy is fairly straightforward, but you might want to consider hitting the tarmac for at least some of the Arudy > Oloron stretch ; it's tiny roads through picturesque and friendly villages.

5) My knowledge of the Oloron > SJPP stretch is likely out of date, except that the final stage into SJPP is a bit of a toughie. It's a long stretch, and it's a mountain hike up and over. Very friendly locals, but you should carry sufficient food and water to keep your strength up.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
What do you mean by "sad"?
I would like to go to Lourdes someday, and I do realize that commercialism has sprung up in the city, and suffering people go there, but "sad"?
I guess what I would wonder is what is expected there?
He's right in some ways -- but if you learn how to avoid the tourist trap part of town, then Lourdes is actually very beautiful.

I guess the quick Lourdes lesson is -- avoid all crowds, except for the Mass ; and if you see a street filled with plastic memorabilia shops, just switch streets.

Keep Calm And Contemplate the Beauty of the Mountains and the Virgin.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
You could turn off at Somport if you really are too lonely. I would guess that is busier.
Only marginally, until you reach Jaca -- and the Somport route is a bit less pleasant than the SJPP as far as the hiking is concerned
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
In France we rely on IPhiGeNie - it's an app with all the official topographical maps - down to incredible detail. There is a yearly license fee and it is easy to use. You download the maps for the area you want so that they are available when you are offline. There are other apps but I think only IPhiGenie and one other (Outdoors France?) have the official maps.
I have Opticartes on my Windows Phone, it's great and it's free -- but I don't know about its availability on other platforms
 
...If you were me, would you stay at the same places you stayed at before or would you try new places - try to see things you skipped?
Perhaps we'll meet up on the CF this year! At the least, maybe at the Camino meet-up in Santiago?
Kathy
I try to stay in some towns I haven't before, but there are some places I like to revisit. So a mix of the two reay.
Who knows maybe we will!
 

angelafinnigan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
I definitely think it's a good idea !!! :)

1) Stay at Lourdes for two nights -- not only is the Albergue at Lourdes THE best one on the entire Camino (one or two Monasteries etc are superior, but they're not "Albergues" as such), but you can also stay there two nights because you're on two pilgrimages (Lourdes and Compostela)

2) skip down from the "official" route down to Arudy, the donativo parish refugio there is magical, and the parish priest is an absolutely delightful man, and so is his cat. Also a great place to resupply except sunday/monday. Sadly I arrived too late for Mass. The priest is both a true pilgrim and a true hospitalero, and he will be the man that will give you THE best advice about the Arudy > SJPP stretch.

3) There was a great pilgrims office in Oloron in 2005, hopefully it's still there -- try and get into town by about midday, as it's a great location for a good south of France lunch. Yes, splurge out for one. Lourdes is touristy, as is SJPP -- Oloron will be your only chance for some decent and simple French cuisine on your Camino.

4) The GR to Arudy is fairly straightforward, but you might want to consider hitting the tarmac for at least some of the Arudy > Oloron stretch ; it's tiny roads through picturesque and friendly villages.

5) My knowledge of the Oloron > SJPP stretch is likely out of date, except that the final stage into SJPP is a bit of a toughie. It's a long stretch, and it's a mountain hike up and over. Very friendly locals, but you should carry sufficient food and water to keep your strength up.
Hi I'm on my way to Lourdes today, can you tell me the name and address of the Albergue you mentioned. Gracias. Angela
 

FooteK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to SdC, mid May-late June (2013);
CF, Spring/Summer (2015)
Hey, everyone!
Just a short update. I leave tomorrow 0800 for the CF. I will start in Lourdes 'cause that's where the train will kick me out. I'm looking NOW for potential places to stay, maps, etc.
Hey, don't judge me!! :p
Haven't even started to pack - been traveling and camping.
Any last minute advice would be appreciated.
Also, any last minute info on where to stay in Lourdes and along the way would also be great. You all have a vast library of information and I gleefully siphon your collective knowledge. I'm not a fan of re-inventing the wheel (if you know something I should know, I'm OK just asking you).
I expect the weather to be rainy and cold, just like last time.
YIPPEE!!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
any last minute info on where to stay in Lourdes
The tourist office will help you, or just go to booking.com and pick a price and location.

Bon chemin.
 

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)


Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 9 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 49 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 174 15.0%
  • May

    Votes: 283 24.3%
  • June

    Votes: 85 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 23 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 26 2.2%
  • September

    Votes: 331 28.5%
  • October

    Votes: 145 12.5%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.5%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
Top