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2019 Camino Guides

Conflicted about going, plane leaves Friday?

copado

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Fall or 2013 Spring
#1
Greetings


I have been conflicted about going for a while and not necessarily looking forward to it. What is finally proving to be the tipping point is the thought of being a 50 something, somewhat arthritic, portly fella ending up arriving later than most and being on the top bunk... getting up one or twice in the night and trying not to fall down the ladder. My arthritis is the auto-immune variety so grip and ariculation of semi fused joints can be a challenge.

I guess anything can happen, it seems very busy this year? Can anyone clue me in on the reality of what the bunks situation will be like?

Thanks and Peace.
 
Camino(s) past & future
StJeanPDP to Santiago: March23-May6 2016
#4
During the 43 days walking from St Jean PdP to Santiago last year I only slept in a top bunk once....my choice. It was no problem at all as it was solid and as comfortable as any bottom bunk. My wife slept on the bottom bunk that time and although being a light sleeper, she wasn't disturbed (or concerned!) by my 95kg (15 stone) hulk hanging overhead. Just let the Albergue manager know and he/she will sort it out for you if you require bottom bunk. You'll also find fellow Pilgrims will accommodate you by swapping bunks. Ask and you shall receive. I'm 61 and when I was on the top bunk the German fellow in the top bunk beside me was in his 80's.
Buen Camino Pilgrim.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#5
As others have so rightly said, many of us only stay in albergues part of the time. If you can't get a bottom bunk, get a pension (inexpensive hotel).

I'm well, well over 50 and slept in top bunks a few times--once when a younger woman I was traveling with was upset and could not sleep in a top bunk. I'm pretty stiff and sore in the joints and managed, although it wasn't my favorite way to sleep!

Seriously, though. Pensions will be your friend. I think you should go! You will have a lot of fun, and improve your ability to move.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#6
Copado, hi. You have problems, you know your physical problems - they must be painful too .. but there is more I think. You say that you have been conflicted about going and are not even sure that you want to go.

I'm assuming that this has been going on for a while now? Those thoughts and the reasons why are much more important than your arthritis and top bunks as the 'top bunks problem' is probably just another invented reason not to go.

Now, it is totally normal, just before setting off, to have deep reservations .. can I do this, do I want to do this, will I fail, will they all be fitter than me and I will look stupid, where will I sleep, and the classic wail "why did I think that I wanted to do this" - these are quite normal ... we have two minds, the frontal chattering mind and the deep silent one, the observer. The chattering mind is always afraid and it demands certainty so when something really new comes up it starts to put up all sorts of excuses not to do it and produces fear - lots of fear .... the other mind, the silent observer - the 'real you' if you like, has no such qualms.
Just about every pilgrim I have known who has had those pre-Camino fears has had them just drop away within a couple of days and they are replaced with calm confidence, happiness - funnily enough, even if it is painful - and then, after a couple of weeks or so - well! the sense of empowerment, the calm courage, the knowledge that life is easy, that possessions get in the way, that one can do anything .. and then there are the friends, the supporting pilgrims, that one meets - and also the opportunity to help and support others.

So, Copado - I would say do not listen to those fears, or, listen to those fears as an adult listens to a child's fears .. be kind, but carry on - go on Camino. But don't do it as an endurance test, do it as a stroll westwards towards Santiago .. stop when tired, look at the view, carry a bocadillo and a drink and picnic along the way, look back from hilltops to see how far - how far! you have come ...... ok, say, after a week or so you find that it is not for you - so what? You will have had the experience - take the rest of the time to play the tourist in Spain - all is well.

Sorry to go on for so long here - but, I say again, the pre-Camino fears are completely normal - the actuality is so very different - and you may find that your arthritis improves as constant gentle exercise has been known to ease up and lubricate those joints. I knew an old Irishman once who cycled 15 miles a day on an ancient heavy bicycle. He had arthritis and I asked him why he cycled so far each day and he told me that if he didn't he found that he couldn't walk!

So, Copado, what do you have to lose? nothing - what do you have to gain? Everything!

Buen Camino Copado - Buen Camino!!!
 

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
#9
Hi
As a fellow 50plus guy also flying out on Friday for my first camino I can't advise on the bunk bed situation. However the best advice I ever got when being fearful of some new unknown challenge is to think what is the worst that can happen.

In this case you might be unlucky and have an rough night or two. Even if you then decided to cut the camino short you would have walked on the way and experienced a little of it. On the other hand you could use the advice above and be lucky and have a wonderful adventure. You never know if you don't give it a go.

I hope to see you on the way. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#10
Now, it is totally normal, just before setting off, to have deep reservations .. can I do this, do I want to do this, will I fail, will they all be fitter than me and I will look stupid, where will I sleep, and the classic wail "why did I think that I wanted to do this" - these are quite normal
Just about every pilgrim I have known who has had those pre-Camino fears has had them just drop away within a couple of days and they are replaced with calm confidence, happiness - funnily enough, even if it is painful
@David is so right.

Not to worry, copado, you will not be alone in the older-than-many-slower-than-many-bigger-than-many boat. There are lots of us out there who are not young, sleek, or sylph-like athletes.

It's the quality of heart that matters most in this business of pilgrimage, not the body. That's just the vehicle - but one that we as pilgrims need to care for, with compassion and tenderness. So if you need a good rest, don't feel you must suck it up and take an upper bunk in a full albergue. Where you stay is the least important thing.

Muy buen camino, peregrino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#11
Greetings


I have been conflicted about going for a while and not necessarily looking forward to it. What is finally proving to be the tipping point is the thought of being a 50 something, somewhat arthritic, portly fella ending up arriving later than most and being on the top bunk... getting up one or twice in the night and trying not to fall down the ladder. My arthritis is the auto-immune variety so grip and ariculation of semi fused joints can be a challenge.

I guess anything can happen, it seems very busy this year? Can anyone clue me in on the reality of what the bunks situation will be like?

Thanks and Peace.
Get over yourself! As they say in these parts.......

From one who did his first Camino at age 57, about 15 kgs over weight and starting out with injuries that kept me down to at best, 3 kph...... Stop thinking too much!!!!

Just go. All will be well once you get there and you'll be looking back on this post with a degree of embarrassment ;) Because that happened to me :D

Just don't talk about the Rice Cooker :oops:

Lots of great advice above. Take it slow and steady. You'll get into a Routine and Rhythm after a week or so......
 
Camino(s) past & future
April / May (2016) CF
#13
I always found people in the albergues to be very accommodating. I'm sure someone without physical limitations won't mind taking a top bunk. Another option, if you know which towns you will stop in, is to call ahead the day before, make a reservation and ask for a bottom bunk.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#14
@copado @David had a great reply. Improve your odds by taking your time, walking at your pace, and stopping early. I am sure most want a bottom bunk, but I imagine the hospitaleros leave some bottom bunks for peregrinos in need.

Smile and try out your Spanish ... what;s the worst that could happen?
  • Quisiera una litera de fondo.
  • Es difícil usar mis manos.
  • Necesito usar el baño mucho por la noche.
Don't forget to "Dream big - live simply - leave a tiny footprint."

¡Buena Suerte Amigo!
 

Lmsundaze

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2016), CP (2017)
#15
Hi -- I am 71 with arthritis and osteoporosis who needs to use the bathroom many times at night. I am walked the CF last year and will walk the CP starting the end of next month. I need to walk shorter stages, under 20K a day and hopefully closer to 15K. I planned a route and in those towns without a lot of accommodations I wrote to albergues, explained my health situation, and requested to book a lower bunk. I got nice replies from most of them agreeing. Those places where I can't book, if I get a top bunk, I will find a private accommodation even if I need to get a taxi there. I'm not worried, last year I never stayed in a top bunk and usually low cost non albergue accommodations were available.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#16
If the hospitalero can't reserve a bottom bunk for you ask a pilgrim to swap with you. If that doesn't work ask if a bottle of wine might sweeten the deal. If that doesn't work ask the hospitalero if the mattress could be moved to the floor.

You'll also find fellow Pilgrims will accommodate you by swapping bunks. Ask and you shall receive.
Smile and try out your Spanish ... what;s the worst that could happen?
  • Quisiera una litera de fondo.
  • Es difícil usar mis manos.
  • Necesito usar el baño mucho por la noche.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
#17
Copado, hi. You have problems, you know your physical problems - they must be painful too .. but there is more I think. You say that you have been conflicted about going and are not even sure that you want to go.

I'm assuming that this has been going on for a while now? Those thoughts and the reasons why are much more important than your arthritis and top bunks as the 'top bunks problem' is probably just another invented reason not to go.

Now, it is totally normal, just before setting off, to have deep reservations .. can I do this, do I want to do this, will I fail, will they all be fitter than me and I will look stupid, where will I sleep, and the classic wail "why did I think that I wanted to do this" - these are quite normal ... we have two minds, the frontal chattering mind and the deep silent one, the observer. The chattering mind is always afraid and it demands certainty so when something really new comes up it starts to put up all sorts of excuses not to do it and produces fear - lots of fear .... the other mind, the silent observer - the 'real you' if you like, has no such qualms.
Just about every pilgrim I have known who has had those pre-Camino fears has had them just drop away within a couple of days and they are replaced with calm confidence, happiness - funnily enough, even if it is painful - and then, after a couple of weeks or so - well! the sense of empowerment, the calm courage, the knowledge that life is easy, that possessions get in the way, that one can do anything .. and then there are the friends, the supporting pilgrims, that one meets - and also the opportunity to help and support others.

So, Copado - I would say do not listen to those fears, or, listen to those fears as an adult listens to a child's fears .. be kind, but carry on - go on Camino. But don't do it as an endurance test, do it as a stroll westwards towards Santiago .. stop when tired, look at the view, carry a bocadillo and a drink and picnic along the way, look back from hilltops to see how far - how far! you have come ...... ok, say, after a week or so you find that it is not for you - so what? You will have had the experience - take the rest of the time to play the tourist in Spain - all is well.

Sorry to go on for so long here - but, I say again, the pre-Camino fears are completely normal - the actuality is so very different - and you may find that your arthritis improves as constant gentle exercise has been known to ease up and lubricate those joints. I knew an old Irishman once who cycled 15 miles a day on an ancient heavy bicycle. He had arthritis and I asked him why he cycled so far each day and he told me that if he didn't he found that he couldn't walk!

So, Copado, what do you have to lose? nothing - what do you have to gain? Everything!

Buen Camino Copado - Buen Camino!!!
Excellent reply and just what I needed to read this morning. My husband and I leave on Sunday and start our French Camino on the 10th. You described my frame of mind perfectly and gave me the support I needed. Thanks so much. Blessings, PanamaFrancis
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#18
Francis, thank you xx - as you are new pilgrims and are walking as a couple let me give you a Top Tip! If he walks a little faster than you don't, whatever you do, try and keep up. At the end of the day he will be fresh and you will be exhausted! When on Camino doing first aid I have met so many injured and/or exhausted women (nearly all women) who have become injured and exhausted because they have kept up with a slightly faster partner .. even if it is the tiniest tiniest amount, don't do it.
Have the conversation before you start - get it out in the open ... you can meet up at lunch time, in the evening .... and if you are the faster partner then give him that freedom.
You may already know this, but just in case ;)

Buen Camino to you both!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
#19
Francis, thank you xx - as you are new pilgrims and are walking as a couple let me give you a Top Tip! If he walks a little faster than you don't, whatever you do, try and keep up. At the end of the day he will be fresh and you will be exhausted! When on Camino doing first aid I have met so many injured and/or exhausted women (nearly all women) who have become injured and exhausted because they have kept up with a slightly faster partner .. even if it is the tiniest tiniest amount, don't do it.
Have the conversation before you start - get it out in the open ... you can meet up at lunch time, in the evening .... and if you are the faster partner then give him that freedom.
You may already know this, but just in case ;)

Buen Camino to you both!!
Great advice!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#21
Copado...welcome to "the south side of 50 set..."

I too, have arthritis in my hips, knees and ankles. Though not overweight ;) ...I maintain I am under-tall...I am of very stout build. I also have other chronic health issues and take several medications, some of which increase my sensitivity to heat and the sun.

As a result, I cannot do a Camino over the hot summer months. I am more prone to heat and sun stroke. The summer is when I travel to Santiago to work as a volunteer at the Pilgrim Office, usually for a month.

I cope with the fact that I KNOW the daily aches and pains will come once I have walked about a hour, each morning, by:

1. Slathering on Voltaren ointment, or other suitable analgesic, anti-inflammatory cream on the ankles, knees and hips. An alternative to Voltaren is "Fisiocrem" (purple tube / box), the spelling IS correct. The former is a straight out pharmaceutical product and contains paracetamol. The latter contains homeopathic ingredients.

Several folks with chronic pain issues in muscles and joints tell me the Fisiocrem works better than Voltaren. A good alternative to Fisiocrem is Luxoben Forte Ointment. The ingredients are similar...homeopathic. All three of these should be available at any Spanish farmacia. None require a prescription in Spain.

2. Lubricate my feet with a petroleum jelly-based product. Plain old Vaseline (Vasenol in Portugal and perhaps Spain) works fine for me. This reduces friction. In five Caminos, I have been blessed and avoided any blisters...not a one...yet. Callouses are my particular problem, and the vaseline helps with that issue.

3. Put on my thin, microfiber, liner socks first. Follow with ankles compression supports. Then, I put on my outer, cushioning Smartwool socks.

4. Put on both elastic, compression knee supports. I find the open kneecap stays in place better during the day.

5. Put on hiking / cargo pants. The ointment on my hips has dried and my underwear is on.

6. Boots are next, just before leaving my lodging.

7. "Breakfast" includes an appropriate dose of arthritis strength acetaminophen (Tylenol) / paracetamol, or whatever long-acting pain reliever you can take. My poison of choice is Tylenol Arthritis Strength caplets.

I take this AFTER eating something to avoid stomach upset issues. Also, the medicine will take an hour or more to act, just about the amount of time after I start walking that the pain starts. So, it heads off the worst of the pain and suffering early-on, before it can ruin my day. Sometimes, being predictable is good...

PLUS, as the medication is supposedly good for about six hours...the length of my walking day, I can safely switch to my beverage of choice vino tinto, or cold cervesa, after my shower and laundry chores are done in the afternoon, without fear of further destroying my liver...

Underlying all of this is that following every Camino, I carefully list things I either did not use, or things I mailed ahead to Ivar at Santiago (see 'Services by Ivar' at Santiago above). This has resulted in a lighter rucksack each Camino. I view it as continuous process improvement. I consider the Camino as a process and my accomplishment of it as an ongoing project. Hey, I am a retired analyst. Gotta do something to stay sane!

For example, after five Caminos and five centimeters of height loss due to spinal stenosis, I now have an Osprey Kestrel 38-liter rucksack. This replaced my "old faithful" Osprey Kestrel 48-liter rucksack, used for five years.

The last two Caminos, it was not completely full, and I finally "shrank" out of the M/L torso harness. While walking in Portugal this past May, I experienced shoulder and back pain, no matter what I did to try to better fit the Kestrel 48-liter M/L rucksack to my torso.

So, I wrote an e-mail to Osprey. They replied, advising me that my only choice was to downsize the torso harness to a S/M size.

When I arrived from Lisbon on the Portuguese route, in May this year, I donated my Kestrel 48 to the Pilgrim House at Santiago, and purchased a new rucksack once I got home.

Other than this regimen, I do what I can each day. Long gone are the days when I force myself, incurring more pain. Age has brought wisdom, in many facets.

Also, when I no longer have any more "get up and go" in me, and I am shy of my day's destination (usually where a lodging reservation awaits me) I go into the next bar / cafe and ask them to call a taxi to take me to the destination. This is usually perhaps 5 - 8 kilometers, depending on the weather, local conditions and my status.

One should not be disappointed or embarrassed by this. It is not cheating, except in the final 100 km before Santiago.

I view it thusly, if it were the Middle Ages and I was a poor pilgrim trudging towards Santiago, and a farmer came up in a horse or mule drawn wagon, offering me a ride into the next village, would it be a sin? I think NOT. So, take care of your body.

The cost for a taxi ride is about one euro per kilometer. I always cast about for others within hearing range who might be tapped out as well, and offer to share the free ride.

I hope this helps.
 

jo webber

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 9th 2017
#22
I understand the pain and difficulty you are speaking of. It hurts to get out of bed and hurts as you lay in bed waiting for sleep. It hurts to sit and walk and bend down. The medication helps - some.

The Camino will not make the pain leave, it may hurt worse in the first week or so. Go slow, stop as you feel the need or want. Have your pack transferred. Accept the help of those walking the same path. Stop for a rest day, or two. Your Camino begins where you start and ends where you decide it ends.

You can hurt sitting at home, or you can hurt walking a slow Camino.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#23
Francis, thank you xx - as you are new pilgrims and are walking as a couple let me give you a Top Tip! If he walks a little faster than you don't, whatever you do, try and keep up. At the end of the day he will be fresh and you will be exhausted! !
Wonderful advice @David!
My camino partner walks faster than me (well, he is younger and taller than me, tss!) so we each walk at our own pace and it works beautifully. We meet when we stop for a rest, I am not usually that far behind (unless I've got lost :rolleyes::oops:)
Doesn't work with my husband though which is why I don't enjoy walking with him. He is lovely and he waits for me (he's also 6 foot 3 :rolleyes:)
it spoils it, I think, for both of us.
Enjoy your camino. :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#24
Greetings


I have been conflicted about going for a while and not necessarily looking forward to it. What is finally proving to be the tipping point is the thought of being a 50 something, somewhat arthritic, portly fella ending up arriving later than most and being on the top bunk... getting up one or twice in the night and trying not to fall down the ladder. My arthritis is the auto-immune variety so grip and ariculation of semi fused joints can be a challenge.

I guess anything can happen, it seems very busy this year? Can anyone clue me in on the reality of what the bunks situation will be like?

Thanks and Peace.
When I left for my first Camino, I was worried just like you. From reading the posts above, most people are. For me it wasn't the top bunks but ... we all have our fears.

If the worst comes to the worst, put your mattress on the floor (make sure you put it back up in the morning). Sorted.

Go for it. You'll be glad you did, even if you can't stand any of it and decide on plan B! (Btw, have a plan B ready! :D).
Buen camino :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#25
If the worst comes to the worst, put your mattress on the floor (make sure you put it back up in the morning).
I should have thought of this earlier. Ask a person occupying one of the bottom bunks to help you move your mattress to the floor. I bet they will come up with an easier way to help you with your problem. :D
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#27
I should have thought of this earlier. Ask a person occupying one of the bottom bunks to help you move your mattress to the floor. I bet they will come up with an easier way to help you with your problem. :D
However....be sure you get the approval of the hospitalero as many albergues have very strict rules about taking the mattress from the bunks and placing them on the floor. There is concern with both dirty floors and possible insect ( :) ) contamination.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#28
However....be sure you get the approval of the hospitalero as many albergues have very strict rules about taking the mattress from the bunks and placing them on the floor. There is concern with both dirty floors and possible insect ( :) ) contamination.
Hi, more like health and safety – if the fire alarm goes off the pilgrim on the mattress on the floor will get trampled on :eek:
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#29
According to Google translate, that means I'd like a bunk bed. You need to make sure to ask for a lower bed - una cama baja.
No se. Just trying out my beginning Spanish. I wish I could see you tilt your head :). SpanishDict yields a different result. I am just learning and will defer to you. Thanks for clarifying.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
#30
Copado, you have been given excellent advice and support. I have another angle for this.

My first night on the Frances, I stayed at Beilari in St. Jean. I had a bottom bunk, and an older man (I was 67) had the top bunk. He did not ask for a lower bunk nor did I think to offer mine.

He did get up a few times during the night -- I was aware of it, but it was ok, I was tired and I would go right back to sleep. The next morning he apologized profusely. I assured him that it was no problem for me and wished him well.

I never saw him after that, so I don't know how his Camino went. But I was then more alert to the possibility that others might need my bottom bunk more than I did. I did spend a few nights in an upper bunk -- I offered my lower bunk a couple of times, and a couple of times I was a relatively late arrival.

If you find yourself in a 'bed race', you may want to shorten your days and arrive at an albergue before, say 2-3 PM, that is if you don't want to find a hostal or other option with more privacy.

Buen Camino! May your fears vanish quickly.
 

hotelmedicis

Commercial Interests
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2001 (+more)
VDLP 2013, 2018
#31
Go man go! As Ivar says, you can stop early! No need to follow any so-called "stages." Your days can be as long or as short as you like, and you can request a bottom bunk. If none are available, just ask someone to switch! Lots of nice people on the Camino looking to help someone out! :)

Have a wonderful journey!
 

Gillyweb

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Villafranca - Santiago (2013)
SJPP - Santiago (2014)
Portugues (2017)
#32
Copado, hi. You have problems, you know your physical problems - they must be painful too .. but there is more I think. You say that you have been conflicted about going and are not even sure that you want to go.

I'm assuming that this has been going on for a while now? Those thoughts and the reasons why are much more important than your arthritis and top bunks as the 'top bunks problem' is probably just another invented reason not to go.

Now, it is totally normal, just before setting off, to have deep reservations .. can I do this, do I want to do this, will I fail, will they all be fitter than me and I will look stupid, where will I sleep, and the classic wail "why did I think that I wanted to do this" - these are quite normal ... we have two minds, the frontal chattering mind and the deep silent one, the observer. The chattering mind is always afraid and it demands certainty so when something really new comes up it starts to put up all sorts of excuses not to do it and produces fear - lots of fear .... the other mind, the silent observer - the 'real you' if you like, has no such qualms.
Just about every pilgrim I have known who has had those pre-Camino fears has had them just drop away within a couple of days and they are replaced with calm confidence, happiness - funnily enough, even if it is painful - and then, after a couple of weeks or so - well! the sense of empowerment, the calm courage, the knowledge that life is easy, that possessions get in the way, that one can do anything .. and then there are the friends, the supporting pilgrims, that one meets - and also the opportunity to help and support others.

So, Copado - I would say do not listen to those fears, or, listen to those fears as an adult listens to a child's fears .. be kind, but carry on - go on Camino. But don't do it as an endurance test, do it as a stroll westwards towards Santiago .. stop when tired, look at the view, carry a bocadillo and a drink and picnic along the way, look back from hilltops to see how far - how far! you have come ...... ok, say, after a week or so you find that it is not for you - so what? You will have had the experience - take the rest of the time to play the tourist in Spain - all is well.

Sorry to go on for so long here - but, I say again, the pre-Camino fears are completely normal - the actuality is so very different - and you may find that your arthritis improves as constant gentle exercise has been known to ease up and lubricate those joints. I knew an old Irishman once who cycled 15 miles a day on an ancient heavy bicycle. He had arthritis and I asked him why he cycled so far each day and he told me that if he didn't he found that he couldn't walk!

So, Copado, what do you have to lose? nothing - what do you have to gain? Everything!

Buen Camino Copado - Buen Camino!!!
Oh my goodness. No one is going to say that better than David......
I'm 53 and on The Portugues at the moment. Today, blisters , shin splints and tiredness got to me. I cried a little - I walked at a snail's pace and stopped at every cafe. I booked a private room in a pension and am now sitting by the river with my second beer after a good dinner wondering if I'll be ok to walk as far as I want to tomorrow. Everyone I've met on the way is supporting me. I'll book another pension tomorrow if I have to so I'm ready for the final climb to Santiago on Friday. I'll walk slowly and smell the pine trees and hear the birds. Remember it's not a race - It might hurt sometimes, but other things make up for it. This is my third Camino and each time I've hit the wall around day ten, so expect that. Listen to your body and do what's right for you. But as David said - what do you have to lose by starting ? You'll always wonder what if, if you don't. Buen Camino.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#33
Copado, hi. You have problems, you know your physical problems - they must be painful too .. but there is more I think. You say that you have been conflicted about going and are not even sure that you want to go.

I'm assuming that this has been going on for a while now? Those thoughts and the reasons why are much more important than your arthritis and top bunks as the 'top bunks problem' is probably just another invented reason not to go.

Now, it is totally normal, just before setting off, to have deep reservations .. can I do this, do I want to do this, will I fail, will they all be fitter than me and I will look stupid, where will I sleep, and the classic wail "why did I think that I wanted to do this" - these are quite normal ... we have two minds, the frontal chattering mind and the deep silent one, the observer. The chattering mind is always afraid and it demands certainty so when something really new comes up it starts to put up all sorts of excuses not to do it and produces fear - lots of fear .... the other mind, the silent observer - the 'real you' if you like, has no such qualms.
Just about every pilgrim I have known who has had those pre-Camino fears has had them just drop away within a couple of days and they are replaced with calm confidence, happiness - funnily enough, even if it is painful - and then, after a couple of weeks or so - well! the sense of empowerment, the calm courage, the knowledge that life is easy, that possessions get in the way, that one can do anything .. and then there are the friends, the supporting pilgrims, that one meets - and also the opportunity to help and support others.

So, Copado - I would say do not listen to those fears, or, listen to those fears as an adult listens to a child's fears .. be kind, but carry on - go on Camino. But don't do it as an endurance test, do it as a stroll westwards towards Santiago .. stop when tired, look at the view, carry a bocadillo and a drink and picnic along the way, look back from hilltops to see how far - how far! you have come ...... ok, say, after a week or so you find that it is not for you - so what? You will have had the experience - take the rest of the time to play the tourist in Spain - all is well.

Sorry to go on for so long here - but, I say again, the pre-Camino fears are completely normal - the actuality is so very different - and you may find that your arthritis improves as constant gentle exercise has been known to ease up and lubricate those joints. I knew an old Irishman once who cycled 15 miles a day on an ancient heavy bicycle. He had arthritis and I asked him why he cycled so far each day and he told me that if he didn't he found that he couldn't walk!

So, Copado, what do you have to lose? nothing - what do you have to gain? Everything!

Buen Camino Copado - Buen Camino!!!
Wise words. And true.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#34
According to Google translate, that means I'd like a bunk bed. You need to make sure to ask for a lower bed - una cama baja.
Never trust Google Translate. See "A Wicked Deception" if you don't believe me. However, I can confirm that "cama baja" is closer to what people have generally said when I was hospitalero.

Also, for what it's worth, I've done at least a thousand kilometers since I retired at age sixty, about half on bike and half walking. And as hospitalero voluntario, I've checked in people who were 79 and 91.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#35
Greetings


I have been conflicted about going for a while and not necessarily looking forward to it. What is finally proving to be the tipping point is the thought of being a 50 something, somewhat arthritic, portly fella ending up arriving later than most and being on the top bunk... getting up one or twice in the night and trying not to fall down the ladder. My arthritis is the auto-immune variety so grip and ariculation of semi fused joints can be a challenge.

I guess anything can happen, it seems very busy this year? Can anyone clue me in on the reality of what the bunks situation will be like?

Thanks and Peace.
A big survey among people lying on their death beds, revealed that their biggest regret was the things/actions they didn't do/take. Reflect on that. And then:

Buen Camino!

Ultreia & Suseia! (Onwards and upwards/Go on, and rise (grow)!)
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#37
91?! Do you know their story, @WGroleau?
It may inspire some confidence.
Correction, sorry. I was not at the desk when she arrived. One of the other volunteers checked her in. She was walking with her son. If I remember correctly, he was 65. The one who was 79, I didn't get to talk to very much. We have had a lot of them older than me (I'm 63).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#38
A big survey among people lying on their death beds, revealed that their biggest regret was the things/actions they didn't do/take. Reflect on that. And then:

Buen Camino!

Ultreia & Suseia! (Onwards and upwards/Go on, and rise (grow)!)

Alex! So true! How many people when they take death upon themselves say "I wish I had worked harder or for longer, or I wish I had had less sex, or I am so glad that I chose not to take that adventure I became too afraid to go on ? ... None.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#39
Your profile says '2012 Fall or 2013 Spring' so it sounds like you have been thinking about this for far too long. If you have a plane ticket now, so just jump on it, start your camino and see how you get on. What's the worst that can happen? - you hate it, bail out and do a tour of Europe instead! Don't waste your ticket, give it a go.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#40

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#41
Greetings


I have been conflicted about going for a while and not necessarily looking forward to it. What is finally proving to be the tipping point is the thought of being a 50 something, somewhat arthritic, portly fella ending up arriving later than most and being on the top bunk... getting up one or twice in the night and trying not to fall down the ladder. My arthritis is the auto-immune variety so grip and ariculation of semi fused joints can be a challenge.

I guess anything can happen, it seems very busy this year? Can anyone clue me in on the reality of what the bunks situation will be like?

Thanks and Peace.
In my experience, they mostly save lower bunks for us geezers (or will grant your request at least most of the time)
 
#43
Greetings


I have been conflicted about going for a while and not necessarily looking forward to it. What is finally proving to be the tipping point is the thought of being a 50 something, somewhat arthritic, portly fella ending up arriving later than most and being on the top bunk... getting up one or twice in the night and trying not to fall down the ladder. My arthritis is the auto-immune variety so grip and ariculation of semi fused joints can be a challenge.

I guess anything can happen, it seems very busy this year? Can anyone clue me in on the reality of what the bunks situation will be like?

Thanks and Peace.
Greetings


I have been conflicted about going for a while and not necessarily looking forward to it. What is finally proving to be the tipping point is the thought of being a 50 something, somewhat arthritic, portly fella ending up arriving later than most and being on the top bunk... getting up one or twice in the night and trying not to fall down the ladder. My arthritis is the auto-immune variety so grip and ariculation of semi fused joints can be a challenge.

I guess anything can happen, it seems very busy this year? Can anyone clue me in on the reality of what the bunks situation will be like?

Thanks and Peace.
Here is my pledge to you. If we end up in the same place, I will give up a bottom bunk for you. In return, just try not to let me fall when I get down twice a night to use the bathroom. The rest of your worries,.....the really do have a way of working out. I say, go! Get on that plane. Walk what you can, then stop and rest. The next day, do it again. Let's see how you are feeling in a week or two. Things seem to get quite a bit better after week one!

Your Bunk Switcher.....on the Road!
MJ
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues (June 2013)
#44
Dear friend-
I was and still am - an overweight woman, who at 48, with her 62 year old husband, walked the 100kms from Valença Portugal to Santiago. Moments were difficult but in the end worth it. You can do this- set your own pace- respect your body and know we are with you every step of the way. I plan on going back and doing a longer camino in the next couple of years- why not- I say! Bring your pain meds and be gentle with yourself!
You can do this- with regards! Michele
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017
#45
I have to admit that I only quickly scanned all of the earlier replies. If this is simply an annoying duplication, well that's what the delete key is for.

Seek out private albergues since they usually take reservations. When reserving put in your request for a lower bunk and if necessary explain why. Like you I need to get up in the night, some nights more than once. Any time I requested a lower bunk, my request was granted.

Relax and enjoy your Camino it will all work out just fine.
 

mvanert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona - Santiago 2014, St. Jean to Estella June 2016, Estella to Santiago April 17, 2018
#46
Copado...welcome to "the south side of 50 set..."

I too, have arthritis in my hips, knees and ankles. Though not overweight ;) ...I maintain I am under-tall...I am of very stout build. I also have other chronic health issues and take several medications, some of which increase my sensitivity to heat and the sun.

As a result, I cannot do a Camino over the hot summer months. I am more prone to heat and sun stroke. The summer is when I travel to Santiago to work as a volunteer at the Pilgrim Office, usually for a month.

I cope with the fact that I KNOW the daily aches and pains will come once I have walked about a hour, each morning, by:

1. Slathering on Voltaren ointment, or other suitable analgesic, anti-inflammatory cream on the ankles, knees and hips. An alternative to Voltaren is "Fisiocrem" (purple tube / box), the spelling IS correct. The former is a straight out pharmaceutical product and contains paracetamol. The latter contains homeopathic ingredients.

Several folks with chronic pain issues in muscles and joints tell me the Fisiocrem works better than Voltaren. A good alternative to Fisiocrem is Luxoben Forte Ointment. The ingredients are similar...homeopathic. All three of these should be available at any Spanish farmacia. None require a prescription in Spain.

2. Lubricate my feet with a petroleum jelly-based product. Plain old Vaseline (Vasenol in Portugal and perhaps Spain) works fine for me. This reduces friction. In five Caminos, I have been blessed and avoided any blisters...not a one...yet. Callouses are my particular problem, and the vaseline helps with that issue.

3. Put on my thin, microfiber, liner socks first. Follow with ankles compression supports. Then, I put on my outer, cushioning Smartwool socks.

4. Put on both elastic, compression knee supports. I find the open kneecap stays in place better during the day.

5. Put on hiking / cargo pants. The ointment on my hips has dried and my underwear is on.

6. Boots are next, just before leaving my lodging.

7. "Breakfast" includes an appropriate dose of arthritis strength acetaminophen (Tylenol) / paracetamol, or whatever long-acting pain reliever you can take. My poison of choice is Tylenol Arthritis Strength caplets.

I take this AFTER eating something to avoid stomach upset issues. Also, the medicine will take an hour or more to act, just about the amount of time after I start walking that the pain starts. So, it heads off the worst of the pain and suffering early-on, before it can ruin my day. Sometimes, being predictable is good...

PLUS, as the medication is supposedly good for about six hours...the length of my walking day, I can safely switch to my beverage of choice vino tinto, or cold cervesa, after my shower and laundry chores are done in the afternoon, without fear of further destroying my liver...

Underlying all of this is that following every Camino, I carefully list things I either did not use, or things I mailed ahead to Ivar at Santiago (see 'Services by Ivar' at Santiago above). This has resulted in a lighter rucksack each Camino. I view it as continuous process improvement. I consider the Camino as a process and my accomplishment of it as an ongoing project. Hey, I am a retired analyst. Gotta do something to stay sane!

For example, after five Caminos and five centimeters of height loss due to spinal stenosis, I now have an Osprey Kestrel 38-liter rucksack. This replaced my "old faithful" Osprey Kestrel 48-liter rucksack, used for five years.

The last two Caminos, it was not completely full, and I finally "shrank" out of the M/L torso harness. While walking in Portugal this past May, I experienced shoulder and back pain, no matter what I did to try to better fit the Kestrel 48-liter M/L rucksack to my torso.

So, I wrote an e-mail to Osprey. They replied, advising me that my only choice was to downsize the torso harness to a S/M size.

When I arrived from Lisbon on the Portuguese route, in May this year, I donated my Kestrel 48 to the Pilgrim House at Santiago, and purchased a new rucksack once I got home.

Other than this regimen, I do what I can each day. Long gone are the days when I force myself, incurring more pain. Age has brought wisdom, in many facets.

Also, when I no longer have any more "get up and go" in me, and I am shy of my day's destination (usually where a lodging reservation awaits me) I go into the next bar / cafe and ask them to call a taxi to take me to the destination. This is usually perhaps 5 - 8 kilometers, depending on the weather, local conditions and my status.

One should not be disappointed or embarrassed by this. It is not cheating, except in the final 100 km before Santiago.

I view it thusly, if it were the Middle Ages and I was a poor pilgrim trudging towards Santiago, and a farmer came up in a horse or mule drawn wagon, offering me a ride into the next village, would it be a sin? I think NOT. So, take care of your body.

The cost for a taxi ride is about one euro per kilometer. I always cast about for others within hearing range who might be tapped out as well, and offer to share the free ride.

I hope this helps.
Great advice!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#47
Ha! You look like you're not a day over 50!
Ha, thank you, pero sin embargo, the hospitaleros/as identified me immediately as a geezer (63 on Oct. 1st!). I am not adverse to the top bunk, though. I may request it, in fact, so as to leave the lower bunks for those who need them more.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#48
Ha, thank you, pero sin embargo, the hospitaleros/as identified me immediately as a geezer (63 on Oct. 1st!). I am not adverse to the top bunk, though. I may request it, in fact, so as to leave the lower bunks for those who need them more.
Ah, yes! 1 October is the day!

I will say that this forum has completely changed all of my misconceptions about age: it truly is a number. I've seen twenty-somethings quit walking in Pamplona (from injury). I've seen 70-somethings do the CF front to back, and look happy and well.

You look great, and have two wonderful occasions coming up--your birthday and a delightful Camino!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#49
Last year I actually saw a number of young walkers who ended up with knee braces and foot problems, partly because they were too ambitious. I've never been accused of being too ambitious.
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#50
Last year I actually saw a number of young walkers who ended up with knee braces and foot problems, partly because they were too ambitious. I've never been accused of being too ambitious.
Oh, we've got your number, chickie!

Seriously, the showy-off racing thing does not do any favors for the young crowd. Nor does the tendency with younger women to go for the smaller size of shoe.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#52
In my observation, conversation and experience, too small footwear seems to be the proximate cause of pain, discomfort and wounds for the majority of pilgrims with problems that I meet, both male and female. I suspect part of the problem is that some pilgrims simply use a pair of athletic shoes or work boots they already own, thinking that, as they are broken in, they will do just fine on Camino.

Evidently, they did not get the memo, or read the many postings across many threads about up-sizing to allow for the second pair of socks, swelling do to heat and carrying a load. That is why so many of us strongly advise increasing the size footwear you wear on Camino by NOT LESS THAN one full size to all for these factors. Personally, I upsize by 1 1/2 sizes. It works for me. What works for you may differ.

That said, I have not yet, in five-years, met a single pilgrim with blackened, falling off toenails, or infected blisters who had upsized boots or shoes. When walking down-slope, if your toes contact the inside front of the toe box of our footwear, THEY ARE TOO SMALL.

After my five Caminos, I discovered that my feet are now permanently 1/2 size larger than before....from 45 to 45.5 or from US 11 to US 11.5. The tiny bit of extra space occasioned by even going up 1/2 size makes a HUGE difference.

Final point on footwear...I digress...(I always digress). Check the manufacturer's description of the particular model shoe or boot. Some will tell you if the style / model runs small or large, and by how much. Keen Footwear does this. It helps to select the correct size.

I hope this helps
 

nomadpeah

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015, (CF 2018)
#53
So, Copado - I would say do not listen to those fears, or, listen to those fears as an adult listens to a child's fears .. be kind, but carry on - go on Camino. But don't do it as an endurance test, do it as a stroll westwards towards Santiago .. stop when tired, look at the view, carry a bocadillo and a drink and picnic along the way, look back from hilltops to see how far - how far! you have come ...... ok, say, after a week or so you find that it is not for you - so what? You will have had the experience - take the rest of the time to play the tourist in Spain - all is well.


Ultreia Peregrino.
Great "rule" - don't pack your fears, leave those at home, and take each day as it comes. Each kilometer even. You will have more flexibility and choices than you realize. Take a few deep breaths and exhale all the worry and fears. I found the community and landscapes to be very fulfilling. They direct focus away from the hard stuff. And limiting my focus to the current day while walking, then the next day while resting, relieves those fears as well.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#54
And remember that "sizing up" on a shoe that doesn't fit your foot won't help. A longer shoe is not necessarily wider, for example, and if your heel is slipping, that's a common place for blisters, too. In fact don't get hung up on size at all, in my opinion. Try on different sizes until you find a shoe that is comfortably spacey, but not slipping in the heel or too flipperish in the front (which can cause tripping). And definitely don't get hung up on brand or even features at the expense of Fit.

Never seen a thread on this forum yet that doesn't devolve into a discussion about footwear. :)
In my observation, conversation and experience, too small footwear seems to be the proximate cause of pain, discomfort and wounds for the majority of pilgrims with problems that I meet, both male and female. I suspect part of the problem is that some pilgrims simply use a pair of athletic shoes or work boots they already own, thinking that, as they are broken in, they will do just fine on Camino.

Evidently, they did not get the memo, or read the many postings across many threads about up-sizing to allow for the second pair of socks, swelling do to heat and carrying a load. That is why so many of us strongly advise increasing the size footwear you wear on Camino by NOT LESS THAN one full size to all for these factors. Personally, I upsize by 1 1/2 sizes. It works for me. What works for you may differ.


That said, I have not yet, in five-years, met a single pilgrim with blackened, falling off toenails, or infected blisters who had upsized boots or shoes. When walking down-slope, if your toes contact the inside front of the toe box of our footwear, THEY ARE TOO SMALL.

After my five Caminos, I discovered that my feet are now permanently 1/2 size larger than before....from 45 to 45.5 or from US 11 to US 11.5. The tiny bit of extra space occasioned by even going up 1/2 size makes a HUGE difference.

Final point on footwear...I digress...(I always digress). Check the manufacturer's description of the particular model shoe or boot. Some will tell you if the style / model runs small or large, and by how much. Keen Footwear does this. It helps to select the correct size.

I hope this helps
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#56
That link suggests that people in UK can't agree on what it means!
I thought it was pretty clear; in the U.K., guy, a bloke, a person, a dude.

However, in the USA--a cranky OLD guy, bloke, person, dude!
 

Field Marshall

Field Marshall
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - Sept. 15 (2017)
#57
Copado, hi. You have problems, you know your physical problems - they must be painful too .. but there is more I think. You say that you have been conflicted about going and are not even sure that you want to go.

I'm assuming that this has been going on for a while now? Those thoughts and the reasons why are much more important than your arthritis and top bunks as the 'top bunks problem' is probably just another invented reason not to go.

Now, it is totally normal, just before setting off, to have deep reservations .. can I do this, do I want to do this, will I fail, will they all be fitter than me and I will look stupid, where will I sleep, and the classic wail "why did I think that I wanted to do this" - these are quite normal ... we have two minds, the frontal chattering mind and the deep silent one, the observer. The chattering mind is always afraid and it demands certainty so when something really new comes up it starts to put up all sorts of excuses not to do it and produces fear - lots of fear .... the other mind, the silent observer - the 'real you' if you like, has no such qualms.
Just about every pilgrim I have known who has had those pre-Camino fears has had them just drop away within a couple of days and they are replaced with calm confidence, happiness - funnily enough, even if it is painful - and then, after a couple of weeks or so - well! the sense of empowerment, the calm courage, the knowledge that life is easy, that possessions get in the way, that one can do anything .. and then there are the friends, the supporting pilgrims, that one meets - and also the opportunity to help and support others.

So, Copado - I would say do not listen to those fears, or, listen to those fears as an adult listens to a child's fears .. be kind, but carry on - go on Camino. But don't do it as an endurance test, do it as a stroll westwards towards Santiago .. stop when tired, look at the view, carry a bocadillo and a drink and picnic along the way, look back from hilltops to see how far - how far! you have come ...... ok, say, after a week or so you find that it is not for you - so what? You will have had the experience - take the rest of the time to play the tourist in Spain - all is well.

Sorry to go on for so long here - but, I say again, the pre-Camino fears are completely normal - the actuality is so very different - and you may find that your arthritis improves as constant gentle exercise has been known to ease up and lubricate those joints. I knew an old Irishman once who cycled 15 miles a day on an ancient heavy bicycle. He had arthritis and I asked him why he cycled so far each day and he told me that if he didn't he found that he couldn't walk!

So, Copado, what do you have to lose? nothing - what do you have to gain? Everything!

Buen Camino Copado - Buen Camino!!!
Dave,
Very kind & appropriate words of wisdom..to everyone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Sept 2016)
SDC/ Finesterre/ Muxia (2016)
#60
When my back went out
I chose albergues that took reservations
The current host would call ahead for me and I would put in a request for lower bunk and with reservation all I had to do was give a guesstimate of arrival time and the bed was held
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#61
I thought it was pretty clear; in the U.K., guy, a bloke, a person, a dude.
However, in the USA--a cranky OLD guy, bloke, person, dude!
Yes, the difference between "guy" and "old guy" was clear. But the U.D. site offered definitions from multiple people. At least one seems to say that criminal activities are part of the meaning. Another seems to think only a Cockney can be a geezer. Etc.

But language is like that. In Spanish, for example, depending on who is saying/hearing it, "chichas" could mean knick-knacks, peas, or a woman's breasts.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#62
Yes, the difference between "guy" and "old guy" was clear. But the U.D. site offered definitions from multiple people. At least one seems to say that criminal activities are part of the meaning. Another seems to think only a Cockney can be a geezer. Etc.

But language is like that. In Spanish, for example, depending on who is saying/hearing it, "chichas" could mean knick-knacks, peas, or a woman's breasts.

I grew up in the East End of London in the late forties and early fifties and we would never say "geezer" but only "old Geezer" as in, "look at that drunk old geezer" or "what does that old geezer know" etc - we never used it for just a male but only for a decrepit or drunken older male. We might just say "do you know that old geezer with the waistcoat and the big grey beard who hangs around the Bull and Crowbar pub?" I think that geezer came from the East End of London - Cockneys and all that, but I may be wrong.

What is totally, absolutely, impossible is that a female could be have been called a 'geezer'
 

Ricay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2013)
#63
Don't worry mate, I'm nearly 59 , had a pacemaker "fitted" in January 2017, & need to take so many pills I rattle...am a big old lump....seriously over weight, with arthritis & a meniscus op a couple of years ago & need to get up several times a night... we have just finished ours Camino at SDC & are marching on to Muxia.... go for it ! Build in a few rest days, do short early days, take your meds
Go for it mate !
Ps. Use a luggage transfer firm
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Leon (Sept. 2018)
#64
I am leaving in 9 days for the Camino Frances and also have conflicting feelings about it. Thank you David for your reassuring reply to copado. It all resounded with me. I know in my heart that I want to do this, but the mind chatters endlessly about little details and worries.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#65
Never trust Google Translate. See "A Wicked Deception" if you don't believe me. However, I can confirm that "cama baja" is closer to what people have generally said when I was hospitalero.

Also, for what it's worth, I've done at least a thousand kilometers since I retired at age sixty, about half on bike and half walking. And as hospitalero voluntario, I've checked in people who were 79 and 91.
FYI & FWIW, I have learned that the Microsoft Translator, available for iOS and Android smart phones provides a more fluid, colloquial translation. That is what several Spanish folks I communicate with tell me.

Google Translate is functional and basic, but sometimes lacks the sophisticated grammar. In my experience, making advance reservations and communicating with my friends at the Pilgrim Office, I found that the Microsoft Translator works better for me.

Both are FREE, nothing to lose there.

I hope this helps.
 

copado

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Fall or 2013 Spring
#69
Sagely advice from salt of the earth people. Thank you all for that. It was not about bunks. Clearly. Today I walked to Valcarlos Spain. St. Jean was lovely... The valley was amazing loved every second. 3 of us at the albuerge municipal. Glad I am here.

Best.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
#72
Sagely advice from salt of the earth people. Thank you all for that. It was not about bunks. Clearly. Today I walked to Valcarlos Spain. St. Jean was lovely... The valley was amazing loved every second. 3 of us at the albuerge municipal. Glad I am here.

Best.
Glad to hear it!! Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#73
Sagely advice from salt of the earth people. Thank you all for that. It was not about bunks. Clearly. Today I walked to Valcarlos Spain. St. Jean was lovely... The valley was amazing loved every second. 3 of us at the albuerge municipal. Glad I am here.

Best.

Marvellous - so glad you said Yes! Buen Camino Copado - Buen Camino!!!!
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Camino(s) past & future
2015 & 2016 (partial)
#75
FYI & FWIW, I have learned that the Microsoft Translator, available for iOS and Android smart phones provides a more fluid, colloquial translation. That is what several Spanish folks I communicate with tell me.
Knowing a little about languages, I won't trust either of them for anything important. I sometimes use Google to give me a head-start on a translation, but I've seen it drop or add a negative, reversing the meaning completely. I will take a look at the MS thing, but I've seen Bing make the same kinds of mistakes Google does.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#76
Knowing a little about languages, I won't trust either of them for anything important. I sometimes use Google to give me a head-start on a translation, but I've seen it drop or add a negative, reversing the meaning completely. I will take a look at the MS thing, but I've seen Bing make the same kinds of mistakes Google does.
For example, when you want to buy eggs, it's best not to ask the shopkeeper, "Tiene usted huevos?"
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJpdP to Santiago ( Sept-Oct 2018)
#78
Sagely advice from salt of the earth people. Thank you all for that. It was not about bunks. Clearly. Today I walked to Valcarlos Spain. St. Jean was lovely... The valley was amazing loved every second. 3 of us at the albuerge municipal. Glad I am here.

Best.
So happy and inspired to read your post!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
#79
Hi -- I am 71 with arthritis and osteoporosis who needs to use the bathroom many times at night. I am walked the CF last year and will walk the CP starting the end of next month. I need to walk shorter stages, under 20K a day and hopefully closer to 15K. I planned a route and in those towns without a lot of accommodations I wrote to albergues, explained my health situation, and requested to book a lower bunk. I got nice replies from most of them agreeing. Those places where I can't book, if I get a top bunk, I will find a private accommodation even if I need to get a taxi there. I'm not worried, last year I never stayed in a top bunk and usually low cost non albergue accommodations were available.
Also, many of the private albergue do not feature bunk beds. And, as many have said, ask for a lower bunk and arrive early..
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015,
Camino Primitivo (5 days in 2015)
Camino Portugal 2015,
Camino Muxia,Finiserra 2015,
Camino Primitivo complete 2016
Camino Norte Sept 2017
#80
Just go and get on the plane, I watched a 70 yr old man holding a stick at one end while his completely blind brother ( also about 70 yrs old ) held the other end . They walked the entire Camino Frances in 2015. Work within your limitation and enjoy every step. I leave tomorrow for the Norte and just can't wait to walk with other pilgrims. Buen Camino my friend
 

Tony Bobcat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#83
Greetings


I have been conflicted about going for a while and not necessarily looking forward to it. What is finally proving to be the tipping point is the thought of being a 50 something, somewhat arthritic, portly fella ending up arriving later than most and being on the top bunk... getting up one or twice in the night and trying not to fall down the ladder. My arthritis is the auto-immune variety so grip and ariculation of semi fused joints can be a challenge.

I guess anything can happen, it seems very busy this year? Can anyone clue me in on the reality of what the bunks situation will be like?

Thanks and Peace.
Greetings


I have been conflicted about going for a while and not necessarily looking forward to it. What is finally proving to be the tipping point is the thought of being a 50 something, somewhat arthritic, portly fella ending up arriving later than most and being on the top bunk... getting up one or twice in the night and trying not to fall down the ladder. My arthritis is the auto-immune variety so grip and ariculation of semi fused joints can be a challenge.

I guess anything can happen, it seems very busy this year? Can anyone clue me in on the reality of what the bunks situation will be like?

Thanks and Peace.
Hi Copado
The Camino always provides, two months ago I gave up my bottom bunk twice for older people then myself. Out of it I got talking to an erlderly person that gave me great advise. Don't worry you will be fine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Cycling Lisbon to Santiago - Oct/Nov 2015
2019? - TBD, I have 2-3 weeks and don't really like crowds
#84
Sagely advice from salt of the earth people. Thank you all for that. It was not about bunks. Clearly. Today I walked to Valcarlos Spain. St. Jean was lovely... The valley was amazing loved every second. 3 of us at the albuerge municipal. Glad I am here.

Best.
Congratulations! You made the decision to go, so happy for you. We all have our own journey to take, looks like you are now enjoying yours. Buen Camino!
 

Doti

Grateful Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2016)
Camino Madrid (planned 2017)
#85
Plan to have your pack forwarded, and just carry a lightweight day pack, even if just for the first few days while you warm up to the experience.
The pack forwarding service is CHEAP and what a difference it makes to be able to hike without the extra pounds and stress on your body.
 
#86
Hello Copado. The gallery of wonderful Souls have provided many useful tips to answer your question so I will not reiterate anything already given.

Instead, there is another issue, going as far as you can and finding there is not enough gas in the tank to get to the destination. That happened to me on the first day out of SJPP. I did finally make it to Orisson, beautiful place, but had I known the outcome of that day, I would have done it differently. I would have considered the Valcarlos route or hired a taxi to replace the climb up the mountain.

Taxis and backpack forwarding are both your friends. My prescription is, "use as needed." And be gentle with yourself.
 

Montana Jayne

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2015 - Camino Frances
? Camino Ingles
#87
Copado, GO, GO, GO!!! You will make your own pace. DO NOT try to keep anyone else's pace! We nearly always started 6:30am-ish and stopped between 1-2. Only had a top bunk once. BTW that is usually an early enough arrival time to pick any bed. And you can always take a bus if you need to do so. Just GO! BUEN CAMINO!
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do good and good will come to you.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#88
Copado, GO, GO, GO!!! You will make your own pace. DO NOT try to keep anyone else's pace! We nearly always started 6:30am-ish and stopped between 1-2. Only had a top bunk once. BTW that is usually an early enough arrival time to pick any bed. And you can always take a bus if you need to do so. Just GO! BUEN CAMINO!
I think he already made it to Santiago , last october 2017 .

Wish you well , Peter .
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
#89
Which months did you walk? I'm anxious about the "bed race" as I set out in May/June.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#90
Which months did you walk? I'm anxious about the "bed race" as I set out in May/June.
I walked in July/August and wasn't too worried about the bed race. Admittedly, we did leave really early to start walking. But that wasn't racing for beds. That was avoiding as much as possible walking in the hottest part of the day. When we ended up walking longer (for example, walking into Astorga mid-afternoon when our pace slowed to about 2 km/h due to my son's blisters being at their worst), we still weren't worried about finding a bed. It got trickier in Galicia towards the end of the Camino. But even then, we still didn't race for beds, preferring to reserve a day or two ahead where possible.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#91
@EmoJohnson I walked in September and October. There were a couple of days near the end of the day that you could see other peregrino's pace pick up as we neared a town. Just resist, don't get sucked into it. Everything worked out fine. I did not always get the exact accommodation I wanted, but I was never left without.

What's is the worst case scenario? You don't get a bottom bunk, you have to sleep in the overflow on the floor, or you may have to take a cab to the next town, or back to the last town. Several times I entered an albergue late with a buddy, and we were given a private room with bunks. Other peregrinos asked who we knew to receive such special treatment.

Leave your anxieties at home, take this opportunity to live in the now. The Camino provides.:D:cool:
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#92
I
Which months did you walk? I'm anxious about the "bed race" as I set out in May/June.
That is a beautiful time to walk. Flowers everywhere. I averaged 20k a day and usually stopped walking by 1 or 2 in the afternoon, so it wasn't a problem. In some cases, using WisePilgrim I booked a room ahead which is easy to do. Don't bail on your trip for this.
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
#93
I

That is a beautiful time to walk. Flowers everywhere. I averaged 20k a day and usually stopped walking by 1 or 2 in the afternoon, so it wasn't a problem. In some cases, using WisePilgrim I booked a room ahead which is easy to do. Don't bail on your trip for this.
I am so inspired by your mention of "flowers everywhere"! Curious, when would you typically begin walking each morning?
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
#94
I walked in July/August and wasn't too worried about the bed race. Admittedly, we did leave really early to start walking. But that wasn't racing for beds. That was avoiding as much as possible walking in the hottest part of the day. When we ended up walking longer (for example, walking into Astorga mid-afternoon when our pace slowed to about 2 km/h due to my son's blisters being at their worst), we still weren't worried about finding a bed. It got trickier in Galicia towards the end of the Camino. But even then, we still didn't race for beds, preferring to reserve a day or two ahead where possible.
Whew! Thank you.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#95
I am so inspired by your mention of "flowers everywhere"! Curious, when would you typically begin walking each morning?
I usually started walking around 7:30 or 8. I preferred spring to fall because of the flowers, especially the red poppies. I have so many pictures of hillsides with riots of purple, yellow, white and red flowers
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#96
Another old thread, ugh!
But allow me to add that I have been walking with neuropathy in my right foot for five years. It is very painful but then the walking is therapeutic. A lower bunk is obligatory because I can not climb a ladder and if I can't have one I go to another place where I can. We older guys need the loo more than once a night, just make sure the path is clear, upper bunk is a no-no!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#97
As @biarritzdon says, an old thread. Please read the date of the post before replying. These old threads have interesting information so we don't want to close them. It gets a bit bizarre when encouraging advice is given to someone years after they have completed their camino.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#98
We are alerted to new posts in threads that we responded to over a year ago, so sometimes respond again thinking they are new. What often has happened is that somebody new to the forum is looking up the questions they themselves have and unknowingly resurrect an old thread. But it seems like the new responses are sometimes helpful to the one who brought it up again. Not sure how to remedy this to keep the discussion but omit the confusion.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#99
As @biarritzdon says, an old thread. Please read the date of the post before replying. These old threads have interesting information so we don't want to close them. It gets a bit bizarre when encouraging advice is given to someone years after they have completed their camino.
Can these threads be closed to comments then?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
As @biarritzdon says, an old thread. Please read the date of the post before replying. These old threads have interesting information so we don't want to close them. It gets a bit bizarre when encouraging advice is given to someone years after they have completed their camino.
True, but EmoJohnson's question "Which months did you walk? I'm anxious about the "bed race" as I set out in May/June." was added this week. His question and concern are current. That's why I was giving advice.
 
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