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Did anyone regret walking the Camino?

2020 Camino Guides

HaveACuppaTea

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Feb "2018"
This site is mostly full of positivity about walking the Camino (which is good) but I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino? I imagine those people wouldn't congregate on here though, but anyway, just thought I'd ask it.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
This site is mostly full of positivity about walking the Camino (which is good) but I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino? I imagine those people wouldn't congregate on here though, but anyway, just thought I'd ask it.
I only regret not doing it sooner. That said, before my first Camino I gave myself permission to quit and go to a beach somewhere if I wasn't enjoying it. :)
 

Victoria65

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's SJ to Sahagun 2015, Sahagun to Santiago 2016, Le Puy Route, SJPDP to Santiago (2018)
I "almost" regretted it in May 2016. It rained non stop for five days, the camino had become ankle deep rivers of mud, then I got a nasty, high fever intestinal something or other, recuperated, more rain and mud, then my husband was hauled off in an ambulance near Palas de Rei for a heart issue. We both recuperated from that and then he caught the flu bug. Was really questioning why we were doing this. But for whatever reason, despite everything being thrown at us, we didn't quit. I cried in the Cathedral in Santiago. Still don't regret it, am leaving in five weeks to do it all again. Hopefully I will be able to laugh if I encounter any mud rivers again.
 

HaveACuppaTea

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Feb "2018"
I only regret not doing it sooner. That said, before my first Camino I gave myself permission to quit and go to a beach somewhere if I wasn't enjoying it. :)
Well, I'll be honest, I'm still deliberating on whether to do it or not, but like you, if I go and hate it, I'll just fast forward the trip and spend a few days in the main cities along the way and then visit Madrid.
 

HaveACuppaTea

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Feb "2018"
I "almost" regretted it in May 2016. It rained non stop for five days, the camino had become ankle deep rivers of mud, then I got a nasty, high fever intestinal something or other, recuperated, more rain and mud, then my husband was hauled off in an ambulance near Palas de Rei for a heart issue. We both recuperated from that and then he caught the flu bug. Was really questioning why we were doing this. But for whatever reason, despite everything being thrown at us, we didn't quit. I cried in the Cathedral in Santiago. Still don't regret it, am leaving in five weeks to do it all again. Hopefully I will be able to laugh if I encounter any mud rivers again.
Bloody hell, that's some determination, you must have been proud of yourselves...and you're doing it again! You must be a masochist.
 

Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
I don't regret doing the Camino...I knew from the time that I saw the movie "The Way" that I had to complete the Camino...what I regret during my Camino was listening to Pilgrims that attempted to tell me the "Right Way" to walk my Camino...or before my Camino was all of the people I knew that told me that I would never complete the Camino because of my medical history...and afterward my Camino some Pilgrims that attempt to make their Camino seem more important in comparison...so my advice is do your Camino "Your Way" for your own reasons and be proud of what you accomplish.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Don't do it! You will regret it for the rest of your life. You will be trapped in an endless cycle of caminos: forced to walk towards Santiago for ever. Your friends will shun you and their eyes glaze over, should you ever meet, as you tell them of your latest camino just completed or eagerly anticipated. You will clutter your bookshelves with guides and accounts and your computer with links to unreadable blogs and bad videos that you will watch for hours when you could have been doing something enjoyable.

Just tell yourself its only a walk: I could do that instead of getting the bus to work.

Regret the Camino? Of course I regret the Camino. Look at me now, on the forum yet again. Seven different guidebooks piled next to the mouse-mat. Google Earth open with a tentative route through the Sierras de la Demanda mapped out. Lunch still in the concept stage at 4:30 in the afternoon...

Some might suggest that if you don't want to do the Camino. If the Camino isn't calling you then you shouldn't do it. I won't. But I will suggest that you take a long look at the reasons for your hesitation and ambivalence.
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
This site is mostly full of positivity about walking the Camino (which is good) but I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino? I imagine those people wouldn't congregate on here though, but anyway, just thought I'd ask it.
As you have already found out, apart from people yet to walk, this forum is dominated by people who have positive things to say about a Camino, many of them blinkered by their passion.
I think you ask a very valid question on a site which is after all, about information on a Camino.
I'm sure that hundreds maybe thousands of people have a thoroughly miserable time.
My advice is this, don't give up when you start not enjoying it. You will almost certainly have bad days if you walk for say 2 or more weeks. These bad times may last 1 day, maybe 3 days in a row. But if you persevere you will very likely get back into the groove.
The bad times don't include the 1st couple of days when your body will be aching as it adjusts to the exercise.
ps don't overload your backpack, that way leads to misery.
 

HaveACuppaTea

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Feb "2018"
Don't do it! You will regret it for the rest of your life. You will be trapped in an endless cycle of caminos: forced to walk towards Santiago for ever. Your friends will shun you and their eyes glaze over, should you ever meet, as you tell them of your latest camino just completed or eagerly anticipated. You will clutter your bookshelves with guides and accounts and your computer with links to unreadable blogs and bad videos that you will watch for hours when you could have been doing something enjoyable.

Just tell yourself its only a walk: I could do that instead of getting the bus to work.

Regret the Camino? Of course I regret the Camino. Look at me now, on the forum yet again. Seven different guidebooks piled next to the mouse-mat. Google Earth open with a tentative route through the Sierras de la Demanda mapped out. Lunch still in the concept stage at 4:30 in the afternoon...

Some might suggest that if you don't want to do the Camino. If the Camino isn't calling you then you shouldn't do it. I won't. But I will suggest that you take a long look at the reasons for your hesitation and ambivalence.
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
I "almost" regretted it in May 2016. It rained non stop for five days, the camino had become ankle deep rivers of mud, then I got a nasty, high fever intestinal something or other, recuperated, more rain and mud, then my husband was hauled off in an ambulance near Palas de Rei for a heart issue. We both recuperated from that and then he caught the flu bug. Was really questioning why we were doing this. But for whatever reason, despite everything being thrown at us, we didn't quit. I cried in the Cathedral in Santiago. Still don't regret it, am leaving in five weeks to do it all again. Hopefully I will be able to laugh if I encounter any mud rivers again.
Hi, i walked all of May 2016 too, and only had 2 days of rain, one on the 1st day, and one about 3 weeks later (plus 1 on a rest day in Burgo, but i'm not counting that). It's all luck isn't it? Good luck next time.
 
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kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
It's just one of those things you have to get on with. No matter how introverted you are, someone will be more introverted than you. Same for everything really, if you think you snore loudly, someone will snore louder. If you think your feet stink after a long hot day, someones feet will stink more.
Maybe you could do what i did, stayed in a hotel twice. And another couple of times an albergue would have single rooms. If you treat yourself a few times it shouldn't add much to your cost. There are some good value hotel type places to be found.
 

Phil Smith

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)StJ to Viana (2017): Viana to Castrojeriz (2018) Castrojeriz to Leon
(2019) León to Sarria
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
I wouldn't worry about this. My experience has been that those who want that space have it respected by the others in a shared sleeping space. On the road ... that's easy ... if you want to be away from others just slow down for a bit or stop to drink/ eat. Others move on at their own pace. The pilgrims who stick to you like glue seem to be a real rarity - I've never encountered anyone who did this (though maybe that's because no-one wanted to once they'd shared the same sleeping area as me - sometimes being a snorer has its advantages!)
The Camino welcomes all types and all will be able to find their niche on The Way.
Buen Camino
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino
I did not like my last camino. Things that I didn't like, and couldn't control, happened. I suppose that they will happen occasionally, when one sets out alone on a very long walk. I chose to complete that walk.
I go on camino as a type of religious retreat which suits my personality and sometimes fulfills my desires or expectations. Not this time. But the results of a religious retreat do not always come from having ones hopes or expectations fulfilled. Oddly, I am most disappointed that I am unable to go on camino this year. When next I do, I shall plan more carefully. I shall try to find routes where churches with open doors and pilgrim blessings are more available. This will probably mean choosing routes through larger towns, or doing the Frances again.
What do you want from your camino? Plan around your desires and you will have a better chance of their being fulfilled. You can just do something else if you are not satisfied. Or you can explore what the camino has to give to you. The camino is a gift and a giver. If you want, choose whether to stay or leave if your hopes and expectations are not fulfilled. If you want, go with an open mind and just receive what is given. Your choice.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living... I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time
One can be surprisingly anonymous and self-sufficient even in a room full of other people, especially in the larger albergues.
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
Well, I'll be honest, I'm still deliberating on whether to do it or not, but like you, if I go and hate it, I'll just fast forward the trip and spend a few days in the main cities along the way and then visit Madrid.
That's pretty much what I thought going in. It seemed like a good idea, but I'd never done anything like that before, so I just didn't know. But yeah - if we got there and it wasn't a good fit, we'd be in Spain with loads of places to go and things to see - it was our plan and we could change it if we wanted. We went, it was great - we didn't get to finish due to an emergency at home - but we went back 2 years later.
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
I agree that this forum is mostly a self-selected group of Camino lovers. People who hated it are unlikely to be here.

We’ve seen plenty of news stories about the small number of people who have had truly disastrous caminos: serious accidents, psychotic breaks, cardiac arrests. Fortunately those are few.

I suspect that there are many more untold stories of people whose inner lives or personal relationships were not helped by a month-long, physically difficult, potentially isolating experience. There are probably quite a few camino divorces, some of which are ultimately a good thing and some of which aren’t. There are no doubt many pilgrims struggling with mental health issues who would be better off seeking professional help and then going on the camino rather than the other way around.

And then there are just the people who don’t like it after all, trade their boots for a swimsuit and go to the beach until their flight home.
 

Victoria65

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's SJ to Sahagun 2015, Sahagun to Santiago 2016, Le Puy Route, SJPDP to Santiago (2018)
I agree that this forum is mostly a self-selected group of Camino lovers. People who hated it are unlikely to be here.

We’ve seen plenty of news stories about the small number of people who have had truly disastrous caminos: serious accidents, psychotic breaks, cardiac arrests. Fortunately those are few.

I suspect that there are many more untold stories of people whose inner lives or personal relationships were not helped by a month-long, physically difficult, potentially isolating experience. There are probably quite a few camino divorces, some of which are ultimately a good thing and some of which aren’t. There are no doubt many pilgrims struggling with mental health issues who would be better off seeking professional help and then going on the camino rather than the other way around.

And then there are just the people who don’t like it after all, trade their boots for a swimsuit and go to the beach until their flight home.
Very nicely said! Man I could tell some stories as I am sure most of us could! Know your reason for walking. If the Camino is giving back, then keep going. If not, excellent advice given about trading in your boots. It just isn't for everyone! But you may never know unless you try....
 

Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
Know your reason for walking.
Every serious Pilgrim on the Camino is looking for something...God...adventure...self-realization...but the reality of that Camino is that it strips away everything but the basic survival instincts...which allows most Pilgrims to address personal issues that we never take the time to address or resolve in every day life.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I have walked it several times and never regretted a single moment on any of them. It was never that austere, accommodations bad, or even weather nasty enough to regret and wish I had not done it. Sure, I had some knee and foot problems from old injuries slow me down and would quietly mumble terrible expletives to myself, but dammit I'm walking freely across beautiful Spain, seeing and doing things I never expected I would.
I can say that of any holiday I have taken. How could I possibly regret a holiday. I'm not at work. Life is good.
I truly regret not knowing about the Camino 20 years ago.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Every serious Pilgrim on the Camino is looking for something...God...adventure...self-realization...but the reality of that Camino is that it strips away everything but the basic survival instincts...which allows most Pilgrims to address personal issues that we never take the time to address or resolve in every day life.
I'm not sure about "basic survival instincts". The Camino is a nice, occasionally challenging, walk across Spain, with plenty of café con leche, real beds, hot showers and wine! :D
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Regarding lodging options, I adapted to dormitory sleeping readily. That being said by one who traveled the world for business for over 20 years and stayed in some of the finest hotels and designed 3 and 4 star hotels in SE Asia while I was an architect in Sydney.
What I regret is how unkind pilgrims can be to one who snores. I snore and I have had some very regrettable morning of abuse by total strangers. Strangers who I never plan to associate with again.
 

Waka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
I will truly say that I never regretted my camino's to date, I will say that on some occasions I really questioned why I was doing it. It never came to a point of giving up, I was determined to finish even if it was on my hands and knees.
I'll be doing the VDLP next February and I'm sure that I will have some of the same questions, but whatever we do we always have questions.
 

RobertS26

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, (2013)
Camino Frances, (2014)
Camino Frances, (2015)
. . . the reality of [the] Camino is that it strips away everything but the basic survival instincts...which allows most Pilgrims to address personal issues that we never take the time to address or resolve in every day life.
Which in my opinion is the number one reason why people quit--they hate being alone with themselves and/or being forced to take inventory of their lives. And they can't wait to get back home to allow the Novocain of life (e.g. watching television, surfing the internet, going shopping, or attending sporting events, etc.) to dull the pain of their souls.
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018), Mozarabe and more (2019)
This site is mostly full of positivity about walking the Camino (which is good) but I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino? I imagine those people wouldn't congregate on here though, but anyway, just thought I'd ask it.
Yes, negative responses have been reported elsewhere, some of which have been copied to this forum, e.g.
http://christine-on-big-trip.blogspot.ie/2012/09/camino-del-norte-conclusion-and-tips.html
Those who remained immune from ‘caminitis’ seem to have found the Camino either too tough, too tame, tedious or touristy. Unsurprisingly, they will seek fulfilment elsewhere.
 

Waka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
Which in my opinion is the number one reason why people quit--they hate being alone with themselves and/or being forced to take inventory of their lives. And they can't wait to get back home to allow the Novocain of life (e.g. watching television, surfing the internet, going shopping, or attending sporting events, etc.) to dull the pain of their souls.
I tend to agree with you, I walked for 6 weeks on my own during the day (my choice) and socialised with fellow pilgrims in the evening. It allowed me into my inner thoughts (if that makes sense), I found that there were more questions appearing than being solved, but the experience to me was electric, something I can never explain and wouldn't want too.
Only 10 months to go for my 8 week journey.
 

Phoenix

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF: SJPdP to Burgos/Leon to SdC
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
I did for a brief period of time.

First time on any Camino (CF), I went as a teammate and part-time caregiver for a friend who wanted to walk it. At some point during day #9, I stepped on a rock that gave way and I partially tore my Achilles tendon at the heel. I hobbled for another few days before reluctantly making the decision to return home for treatment. During the time spent in a walking boot and going to physical therapy (fortunate that the injury did not require corrective surgery), I was somewhat disgruntled and didn't want to see/hear another word about the Camino.

By early 2015, I realized that even though I spent only two weeks on Camino/had a long recovery from the injury, I had been infected by the Camino bug. I began making plans to walk it on my own, but then decided to wait until the fall of 2016 so my younger son could go with me as a way for him to transition back to civilian life after the military. It turned out to be an experience of a lifetime. I am returning for Camino #3 in Sept, this time by myself.

The heel injury still bugs me from time to time, but that's just part of life. It's just been added to the collection of adventures/injuries/good times I've had.
 

Suzanne S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Camino Frances/Muxia/Fisterre (2017) Caminho Portuguese/Fisterre
(2019) Camino del Norte
This site is mostly full of positivity about walking the Camino (which is good) but I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino? I imagine those people wouldn't congregate on here though, but anyway, just thought I'd ask it.
Not for a single heartbeat!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
When I set off the first time, I had no idea if a) I could do it b) if I would actually enjoy it.... I just told myself I could quit any time....
You are not in the middle of nowhere, it is Spain! Buses, trains, taxis, planes are available. You don't like it? Go somewhere else or go back home, no hassle. That is the way I saw it, anyway. :) And still do. Buen camino ;)
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
This site is mostly full of positivity about walking the Camino (which is good) but I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino? I imagine those people wouldn't congregate on here though, but anyway, just thought I'd ask it.
Regret is a human thing, conjured up when we do not measure up to our own requirements or those of others who we hold in respect.

I regret my trip in 2016. I damaged my left leg and had to quit, third days out of SJPdP. So, I am going back in exactly five weeks from today, Good Friday.

Last year through recuperation, I walked over 1.3 million steps, enough to get me through the CF and on to Muxia and Fisterre.

Therefore, I also regret that it took two years to get back to it. This year would have been my Dad's 100th Birthday, my Mum's 95th so I am dedicating the pilgrimage to them. Now that they are both gone, I will find a stone from both their graves and take them to the Sea. Mum's ashes made it to Fisterre just before I came home in 2016.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
Regret is a human thing, conjured up when we do not measure up to our own requirements or those of others who we hold in respect.

I regret my trip in 2016. I damaged my left leg and had to quit, third days out of SJPdP. So, I am going back in exactly five weeks from today, Good Friday.

Last year through recuperation, I walked over 1.3 million steps, enough to get me through the CF and on to Muxia and Fisterre.

Therefore, I also regret that it took two years to get back to it. This year would have been my Dad's 100th Birthday, my Mum's 95th so I am dedicating the pilgrimage to them. Now that they are both gone, I will find a stone from both their graves and take them to the Sea. Mum's ashes made it to Fisterre just before I came home in 2016.
Buen camino Michelle :)
 

Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
I'm not sure about "basic survival instincts".
Which in my opinion is the number one reason why people quit--they hate being alone with themselves and/or being forced to take inventory of their lives.
Competing the Camino proves that "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs" is not always correct...you can achieve "Self-Actualization" and "Esteem" without satisfying your "Physiological" and "Safety" Needs...I think that is why you meet so many Combat Veterans and Cancer Survivors on the difficult parts of the Camino...there is a personal desire for these Pilgrims to conquer another goal while dealing with memories of the past.

Maslows-Hierarchy-of-Needs-1024x791.jpg
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Competing the Camino proves that "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs" is not always correct...you can achieve "Self-Actualization" and "Esteem" without satisfying your "Physiological" and "Safety" Needs...I think that is why you meet so many Combat Veterans and Cancer Survivors on the difficult parts of the Camino...there is a personal desire for these Pilgrims to conquer another goal while dealing with memories of the past.

View attachment 40772
Almost ;) all of my physiological needs were met on the Camino, breathing, food, water, sleep, homeostasis, and excretion. And all of my safety needs. It's not a wilderness/survival hike!
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
I didn't regret my walks afterwards-- but there were times when I was walking when I thought "This is it. I'm done. My feet are killing me, and I'm tired of looking for stupid flechas." But then something would happen. I would see a heron in a stream, or a kindness between pilgrims-- Once I stopped in a church and came upon a wonderful parish mass with about thirty children. And those bits of joy kept me going, and call me back.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014); Madrid, Salvador (2018)
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
I struggled with the dorms but then discovered that some of the private albergues that offered private rooms at reasonable prices. I still did some of the dorms out of necessity, and frankly they were a great way to meet people, but I found a balance and ended up satisfied.

On a related note, I agree with the person above about giving it a chance even if you are not enjoying it at first. I found that a lot of us hit a wall in Burgos, after walking from SJPP. But a day’s rest did the trick and on I and the others continued. I got all the way to Santiago — the final two weeks were the best of the whole experience. Four years later I am off on another long walk in a month’s time. I can hardly wait! Buen Camino!
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
My guess is that you won't be hearing from the regretters on this site... It's just us losers, not appreciating the here and now; just re-living our last caminos and anticipating our next ones.
 

Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
It's not a wilderness/survival hike!
My "survival hike" Camino from SJPdP to Pamplona as follows:

Day 1 - SJPdP to Orisson: Started in the early afternoon...100 degrees F...100% sunshine...100% humidity...no wind...no shade...drank 4x litter bottles of water and then missed the only water tap where the dirt trail reconnects to road...the only Pilgrims I saw hiking all day were going downhill back to SJPdP to hire a taxi...also passed numerous Pilgrims stalled on the side of the road resting from the heat...finally passed out from heat exhaustion on the side of the road near the treeline...30-minutes later...I got up and started walking again only to find out that I was 200-yards away from Refuge Orisson, a cold beer, and 10-minute cold shower.

Day 2 - Orisson to Roncesvalles: Started early morning...very cold, wet, and windy...then the chinook 30+ MPH constant winds started throwing Pilgrims to the ground...every time I saw a grave marker along the road I kept thinking that it must have been on a day like today...I finally made it to the top of the mountain pass and the rain started hard...finally arrived in Roncesvalles over an hour latter looking like a large wet fuzzy cotton ball.

Day 3 - Roncesvalles to Pamplona: Started late morning after the morning rain stopped...lost the Camino at least six times in the first few miles because of dripping water from the trees and trying to avoid mud puddles...about half way to Pamplona I noticed a large black cloud ahead moving towards Pamplona...in Colorado we call that type of black cloud a "storm burst"...on the Gulf Coast it would be called a "tropical storm"...Not Good...I arrived at the walled city of Pamplona just as it started raining with 30+ MPH gusting winds...so I lost the Camino again and started hiking up the long entrance ramp into the city center...while the winds increased to 50+ MPH gusts breaking branches off the trees and damaging cars driving down the street...finally...over an hour later I arrived at my hotel with inches of water in all of my pockets and travel bags.

Day 4- Pamplona: Stayed in town all day drying all of my clothes and equipment...waiting for the rain to quit...and wondering "What in the Hell am I doing?" (Pictures after the rain stopped)
 

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surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
No regrets. Both of my Caminos were challenging both physically and mentally but truly transformational. Strangely enough after walking my Caminos I now find little interest in travel just for the sake of travel. That's ok, but they don't give you such intensity and the feeling of utter power, clariry, companionship, fulfillment and beauty of this world at the end. Not necessary to plan, just pack and go, and keep walking, and see how it goes and where it leads you. Bom Caminho! :)
 
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SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I do not regret my Camino I walked in 2013. I just decided to stop at a certain moment due to different personal reasons. It was what it was.
Like @domigee wrote earlier : It is quite liberating to know you can decide to stop and go home.

But next week will be back...for the 7th time...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago May 2018
Haveacuppa - are you wondering about the time and money spent walking the entire Camino? Perhaps a shorter walk would be easier to commit to? Veteran member Mark McCarthy posted "Sarria to Santiago in Very Short Stages" in the Resources Section. I'm walking the first half of it this May, coming back next year to finish, sleeping in hotels the entire way (higher cost per night for fewer nights, it equals out). But I also know a guy who started in Paris and spent the entire summer walking and painting. It truly is an individual decision so you might take a week to walk the short camino just to see if you like it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
I had a similar concern about the albergues for the same reasons. But I found that I loved sleeping with (sometimes) 30 of my best friends, haha. I had booked a hotel in Burgos way ahead of time. And missed sleeping in an albergue.

You may have the same experience.

And about rain etc: I have a friend whose first Camino was in the spring. For the first 22 days, it rained. And many of those day, pouring rain. She goes back each year to do another Camino. Not sure I would have.

Buen Camino!
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018

David Pettee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
GPM '86; Soviet/Amer. Walk '88; Death Valley to Mt. Whitney '89; CF '18; Coast to Coast '19; CP '20
I've met a few people who started the Camino on a lark, were unprepared physically, mentally and spiritually and had a miserable time. They don't talk about it much, unless they are from the fellowship of the miserable, because their voices get drowned out by those who were transformed by the experience. There is the Camino in our heads, and the Camino that unfolds in real time, and sometimes the gap can be too large to manage. I ran marathons for years and learned never, ever disrespect the course.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Regarding lodging options, I adapted to dormitory sleeping readily. That being said by one who traveled the world for business for over 20 years and stayed in some of the finest hotels and designed 3 and 4 star hotels in SE Asia while I was an architect in Sydney.
What I regret is how unkind pilgrims can be to one who snores. I snore and I have had some very regrettable morning of abuse by total strangers. Strangers who I never plan to associate with again.
But Don, your snoring is truly epic... just sayin...:eek:
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
...about half way to Pamplona I noticed a large black cloud ahead moving towards Pamplona...in Colorado we call that type of black cloud a "storm burst"...on the Gulf Coast it would be called a "tropical storm"...Not Good...I arrived at the walled city of Pamplona just as it started raining with 30+ MPH gusting winds...so I lost the Camino again and started hiking up the long entrance ramp into the city center...while the winds increased to 50+ MPH gusts breaking branches off the trees and damaging cars driving down the street...
Great story! Thanks for posting. Strictly from my armchair I’m envious. I’m not so fond of walking in rain per se but I love a terrifying storm. Some people free climb or drive too fast but I get a thrill from wind that just might blow me away to the Land of Oz...
 

Julie Benyo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept/Oct '16
This site is mostly full of positivity about walking the Camino (which is good) but I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino? I imagine those people wouldn't congregate on here though, but anyway, just thought I'd ask it.
Well...I walked it 2 years ago. It wasn’t exactly the relaxing experience I’d hoped for. I found the bed rush to be annoying, causing me to either leave earlier and earlier each morning (often walki g in the dark for more than an hour), or booking ahead, which somewhat limited my options for how fat to go each day. And the unexpectedly long stretches walking along highways weren’t conducive to contemplation. I wouldn’t ever dissuade anyone from doing it, and im glad I did it, but I don’t think I’ll be one of the ones that does it more than once.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
Every serious Pilgrim on the Camino is looking for something...God...adventure...self-realization...
My first Camino was done because I just wanted to walk. I am an introvert. I wasn't looking for anything. Over five years and seven Caminos, I've had a multitude of experiences, met hundreds of people, and learned so much from all of them. Everything in life is a learning experience - how you choose to incorporate those experiences into your life is up to you. I've chosen positivity, and am so glad I went for that first walk on the Camino!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Not for moment.
Not that it is easy or always pleasant...but that's part of the point for me - strengthening resilience, so I don't crumble inside when something difficult or painful happens. And there is much more, of both joy and challenge.
The camino is a gift and a giver. If you want, choose whether to stay or leave if your hopes and expectations are not fulfilled. If you want, go with an open mind and just receive what is given. Your choice.
You are not in the middle of nowhere, it is Spain! Buses, trains, taxis, planes are available. You don't like it? Go somewhere else or go back home, no hassle. That is the way I saw it, anyway. :) And still do. Buen camino ;)
Can't say it better than that. :)
Go, and see what happens!
Buen camino!
 
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tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
I "almost" regretted it in May 2016. It rained non stop for five days, the camino had become ankle deep rivers of mud, then I got a nasty, high fever intestinal something or other, recuperated, more rain and mud, then my husband was hauled off in an ambulance near Palas de Rei for a heart issue. We both recuperated from that and then he caught the flu bug. Was really questioning why we were doing this. But for whatever reason, despite everything being thrown at us, we didn't quit. I cried in the Cathedral in Santiago. Still don't regret it, am leaving in five weeks to do it all again. Hopefully I will be able to laugh if I encounter any mud rivers again.
This is an amazing story. To go through all that you did and to finish it and then to choose to do it again, that is simply amazing. I’ve tried to explain the pull that the Camino has on us, but there is no better example I can find than yours. Buen Camino!
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
I don't regret doing the Camino...I knew from the time that I saw the movie "The Way" that I had to complete the Camino...what I regret during my Camino was listening to Pilgrims that attempted to tell me the "Right Way" to walk my Camino...or before my Camino was all of the people I knew that told me that I would never complete the Camino because of my medical history...and afterward my Camino some Pilgrims that attempt to make their Camino seem more important in comparison...so my advice is do your Camino "Your Way" for your own reasons and be proud of what you accomplish.
Amen to this! It is your Camino and no one else’s.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015)
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
While the Camino is a communal experience, I think you’ll find that people will give you your space. There are plenty of introverts walking the Camino.
 

Finnie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 2015 Camino Portugese (April 2016)
Which in my opinion is the number one reason why people quit--they hate being alone with themselves and/or being forced to take inventory of their lives. And they can't wait to get back home to allow the Novocain of life (e.g. watching television, surfing the internet, going shopping, or attending sporting events, etc.) to dull the pain of their souls.
I believe you have hit the nail on the head with this insightful and provocative response. The Camino experience strips bare who we are and what we want from life. My only regret is walking my first Camino with a companion who I thought was a friend. It was something of a disaster and now I go it alone, relishing the wonderful pilgrims I meet along the way but loving the freedom that comes from being responsible only for oneself.
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
Which in my opinion is the number one reason why people quit--they hate being alone with themselves and/or being forced to take inventory of their lives. And they can't wait to get back home to allow the Novocain of life (e.g. watching television, surfing the internet, going shopping, or attending sporting events, etc.) to dull the pain of their souls.
I keep thinking of the person I heard recently (I can’t remember where) who said that sitting meditation is the worst possible thing to prescribe for people with certain mental health conditions. When left alone with only their own minds, intrusive thoughts and obsessions and self-loathing take over.

I don’t want to judge people who have difficulty with solitude (not saying that you are doing so). It may not be about a moral reckoning with the choices they’ve made in their lives, but with mental issues beyond their control.
 
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zakosdad

CaminoWalkers
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2013 CF Sept (2019?)
This site is mostly full of positivity about walking the Camino (which is good) but I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino? I imagine those people wouldn't congregate on here though, but anyway, just thought I'd ask it.
Our only regret is that we started in Pamplona and not at St Jean. Three days after we finish in October 2013 both of us said we wanted to return and do the entire Camino. Unfortunately life got in the way and now with recent total hip surgery our return looks less likely. But who knows, I'm only 72 and the future may present an opportunity after I am completely recovered from surgery.
 

HaveACuppaTea

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Feb "2018"
Our only regret is that we started in Pamplona and not at St Jean. Three days after we finish in October 2013 both of us said we wanted to return and do the entire Camino. Unfortunately life got in the way and now with recent total hip surgery our return looks less likely. But who knows, I'm only 72 and the future may present an opportunity after I am completely recovered from surgery.
You seem to have the desire and motivation. I'm sure you'll be back.
 

zakosdad

CaminoWalkers
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2013 CF Sept (2019?)
Thanks for all of your responses, well, I've bought most of the gear now and I've booked the flight out there for 10th April. No going back now. I'll just take each day as it comes, hopefully I'll enjoy it, if I feel it's not for me, I'll just change my plans.
Expect nothing - be open to everything - Buen Camino
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
This site is mostly full of positivity about walking the Camino (which is good) but I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino? I imagine those people wouldn't congregate on here though, but anyway, just thought I'd ask it.
I find regretting it on every camino I have done but God willing this year will be my 7th and you can be sure I will regret it but what the heck. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked part of the Camino Frances and plan to start over in April 2018.
This site is mostly full of positivity about walking the Camino (which is good) but I was just interested in any different opinions/perspectives of people that didn't like the Camino? I imagine those people wouldn't congregate on here though, but anyway, just thought I'd ask it.
I hiked El Camino Frances with a group of 17 a couple of years ago and I did not like being in lock step with so many others. This year I am going back to hike it by myself and will go as fast or as slow as I want to go.
 

La Brique Jaune

Official member of la confradia del pinza del oro
Camino(s) past & future
2017: SJPDP to Finisterre
(201?): I hope and need to
Hi HaveACuppaTea

I'm still deliberating on whether to do it or not
And hi to all people hesitating to do a Camino. My first language is not English so maybe i will sound rude (in some phrases) but it's not my goal I want just to explain some things to sensitize some people. And it's just my opinion and a way to inspire people.

For me it's was an incredible experience, I started in St-Jean Pied du Port and I went to Finisterre. It's was physically very challenging in the first 3 or 4 weeks (really don't remember). I was not in the great shape (I'm forty years old) and I plan my Camino during 2-3 years before. I had blisters but nothing worse than that. I walk slowly, drink a lot of water and do some preventive stretchings while I was walking. So despite the fact I was not in great shape i did about 900 km, that was the time to do it. Yes the Time, I had enough vacations and I had the money needed (equipment, plane ticket). So I think if you have the time, the money to do this and you are interested, in my opinion you (and all others) maybe you should do it, this opportunity maybe never happen again. Yes Camino can be tough, but I realize (for myself) a shower erase the bad things of the day, it's make a reset. And after a shower I treat myself with a coca-cola and a small bag a chips, at home I try to avoid these but on Camino it's different :). It's was at the end of the day and after that I was ready for the next days.

If you ask me the "Why you want doing this again ?", my answer will be "When ? it's a better question". It's kind of weird making so much kilometers by walking. But maybe it's the life is too crazy and the Camino is simple, this simplicity can connect us to real things such humans, nature and ourselves. How many answers people can get by doing this !

Like you said you can always change your plans. I almost did it !:(, It 's was not because of physical problems. I was very irritating by people I called the "Compostella Seekers". They was in my personal bubble. Too much noise, singing at loud, music on the way. Walking 115 km it's not the same than walking 300 km of more. When you are on the Camino and the Compostella it's not your primary goal you are there for profound things. Hope theses people will understand to respect others people who walk more than 115 km. I don't know the real meaning of to be a Pilgrim but a I know it's not having a swinging concha;). that's was the rude part and to explain to you what was my ordeal. But even this was solved. I meet a guy who explain and put the rights worlds on this feeling. Four days before Santiago I wanted to abandon. So my advice ( I read before you said you are a introvert person...me too) it's to talk to people find someone to express your feeling it's worth it trust me. Camino was fantastic because I finished it. When i arrived in Santiago was one of greatest thing of my live. When I think about it only good memories came back and my spirit reconnect with the feelings I had on the 24 th of August in Santiago.

The people we meet, the conversations, the historical sites, the scenery theses things can answer all ours questions. I Hope everybody are inspiring by the Camino will do it. So I found it wonderful you book you tickets. Buen Camino, Bon Chemin.

La Brique
 

dfox

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (4/2017)
CP (5/2019)
CF (5/2021)
Well, I'll be honest, I'm still deliberating on whether to do it or not, but like you, if I go and hate it, I'll just fast forward the trip and spend a few days in the main cities along the way and then visit Madrid.
A pilgrim accepts whatever being thrown at him/her on his/her pilgrimage, does not he/she?
A tourist picks and chooses only the "good" stuff, doesn't he/she?
 

Bicigrino52

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I did the Camino French way, with my Bike last year on May 2017, and I Plan to do the camino Norte
Don't do it! You will regret it for the rest of your life. You will be trapped in an endless cycle of caminos: forced to walk towards Santiago for ever. Your friends will shun you and their eyes glaze over, should you ever meet, as you tell them of your latest camino just completed or eagerly anticipated. You will clutter your bookshelves with guides and accounts and your computer with links to unreadable blogs and bad videos that you will watch for hours when you could have been doing something enjoyable.

Just tell yourself its only a walk: I could do that instead of getting the bus to work.

Regret the Camino? Of course I regret the Camino. Look at me now, on the forum yet again. Seven different guidebooks piled next to the mouse-mat. Google Earth open with a tentative route through the Sierras de la Demanda mapped out. Lunch still in the concept stage at 4:30 in the afternoon...

Some might suggest that if you don't want to do the Camino. If the Camino isn't calling you then you shouldn't do it. I won't. But I will suggest that you take a long look at the reasons for your hesitation and ambivalence.
Spot on
Don't do it! You will regret it for the rest of your life. You will be trapped in an endless cycle of caminos: forced to walk towards Santiago for ever. Your friends will shun you and their eyes glaze over, should you ever meet, as you tell them of your latest camino just completed or eagerly anticipated. You will clutter your bookshelves with guides and accounts and your computer with links to unreadable blogs and bad videos that you will watch for hours when you could have been doing something enjoyable.

Just tell yourself its only a walk: I could do that instead of getting the bus to work.

Regret the Camino? Of course I regret the Camino. Look at me now, on the forum yet again. Seven different guidebooks piled next to the mouse-mat. Google Earth open with a tentative route through the Sierras de la Demanda mapped out. Lunch still in the concept stage at 4:30 in the afternoon...

Some might suggest that if you don't want to do the Camino. If the Camino isn't calling you then you shouldn't do it. I won't. But I will suggest that you take a long look at the reasons for your hesitation and ambivalence.
spot on!! Last year my first camino, Francese, this year, starting May the 8 will be my second Camino the Norte, and already thinking about next year the Portougese!!!
 

smp

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
spain (2017)
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
I like my own space as well and was feeling the same, not thinking I could do the dormitory thing. I pleasantly surprised myself!
 

Traveller747

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walken camino frances from st Jean in 2015(?) now think about walk from Porto or bike from Haarlem
I only regret not doing it sooner. That said, before my first Camino I gave myself permission to quit and go to a beach somewhere if I wasn't enjoying it. :)
I did the same but as little people I was meetng on my trip, I did finish without bus/taxi/train from sjpp. Must be said: also as little people I was meeting without injuries. Small blister on my little toe one day. I told myself: if the stretch is boring I can take a bus and if I really don’t like it, a plane to malaga.
I’m now close to do the trip by bike from Haarlem, The Netherlands and do it with the same attitude: not looking forward to the holland/ belgium stretch and if the weather is shit I allw myself to jump a train. If it works this time I have to experience.
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018), Mozarabe and more (2019)
Which in my opinion is the number one reason why people quit--they hate being alone with themselves and/or being forced to take inventory of their lives. And they can't wait to get back home to allow the Novocain of life (e.g. watching television, surfing the internet, going shopping, or attending sporting events, etc.) to dull the pain of their souls.
The majority of those who abandon the Camino do so on account of injury, illness, exhaustion or problems at home rather than spiritual alienation. I don’t think that earning a Compostela entitles us to dismiss the achievements of those who did not qualify.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
There is no such thing as a tourist on camino. No pilgrim would think there was.

Please don't drag this excellent thread into that petty debate.
I agree. It is sufficient to say that there are attitudes, which if adopted, will make the most positive impact for getting the most out of your pilgrimage :D. And that having certain negative attitudes will cause other pilgrims -- and locals -- to regret your presence. :eek:
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
Looking back on my life so far, like most I have some regrets and things I wish I had done differently. Walking a Camino is not in that group of regrets, not even close.

I guess my only regret was not discovering Camino life earlier in my life. But maybe I found it exactly when I was meant too. I do fully appreciate every moment when I am walking and maybe my accumulated life experience so far now makes me realize this.

I like to think my Camino walks have made me a better person. Not as quick to judgement and just more accepting of things that use to be out of my comfort zone.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I like to think my Camino walks have made me a better person. Not as quick to judgement and just more accepting of things that use to be out of my comfort zone.
I don't know if I'm a better person because of the Camino, but I'm definitely a happier person when I'm on the Camino.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
There is no such thing as a tourist on camino. No pilgrim would think there was.

Please don't drag this excellent thread into that petty debate.
Is not a petty debate, you just have to open your eyes a bit more, I try to explain what the camino is or should be, but my explanation was cancelled by because was religious and walking to Santiago is not (apparently), the only reason of my caminos is to reach where the apostle James is resting and pay my respect, I try every time to make it more hard as possible to offer my effort to James. This should be the reason for the pilgrimage, then you do what you like, you could call it excursion and nobody will argues for it.
Ultreia:)
 

marcdefaoite

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
Yes - I regretted going in June last year when the temperatures were up in the mid forties making it extremely uncomfortable to walk, or even not walk. I ended up cutting short the via Frances to take the train to Santiago. From there I used the time I had left to walk in Galicia instead. That part I definitely don't regret. It was all new to me, whereas I had walked SJPP to SDC before.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
A good question to pose.........

At times I hated my first Camino. But I took it as a learning experience and I'm not really a quiter.
I would always bounce back even though it might take 2 or 3 days.
90% of the time I loved it!

Do I regret going? Never. I want to go every year if I can.

You mention above the physical aspect being tough. Sure it can be.

But it is nothing compared to the emotional challenges that many face ;);)

For Camino walking, a tough mind is much more important than a tough body in my view. I'm over weight and unfit but determined when I want to do something :)
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
I regret not walking camino before 39, wish I'd know about sooner. I regret not walking every year since. I regret not being able to walk right this very minute.

Can not wait to get back. So, I'll have fewer regrets.
 

Frank66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2016 Camino Frances
September (2017) First stage of Camino Portugués
Hi, i walked all of May 2016 too, and only had 2 days of rain, one on the 1st day, and one about 3 weeks later (plus 1 on a rest day in Burgo, but i'm not counting that). It's all luck isn't it? Good luck next time.
I walked from May 5th 2016 and arrived in SDP on 8th June. 1 and a half days rain only.
Loved it - but the weather is always a lottery ☺
 

StuartM

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012)
I regretted walking the Salvador. Nice scenery for the first few days (pretty ugly in the last day or so) but really never enjoyed it. I like the social experience as much as the walk and the Salvador is a very solitary trek with not a lot of comforts on the route. I didn't consider myself a pilgrim, I was not interested in an extended period of hardship and reflection or whatever. I walked as a hiker and as a hiker it was a bit of a disappointment. I could have had a very similar walk in Scotland or Wales without traveling 1500 miles to do it. I walked the Frances the year earlier and enjoyed it very much. Life changing, maybe. But then I was walking for different reasons that would maybe align closer to others' ideas of pilgrimage (though probably not mine).

I guess the lesson is understand your motives before you go. If you want to go hiking then go hiking, if you want something more reflective then do that.
 

Thomas V

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 & 2017 FRANCES, 2018 Portuguese, 2019 Norte Irún to Santiago
Wow, very good reading in this thread!
Like many others I wish I had learned about the Camino in a younger day. I have spent my last two birthdays on the Camino. My 64th on the SJPP to Santiago, September 2016, and my 65th, Pamplona to Leon (we liked the Meseta so much we went back). This year my wife and I are doing the Caminho Portuguese from Porto with three other family members.
There are tough times on the Camino but they never last. It is good for the soul to be out of your comfort zone from time to time. Otherwise life would be boring. Walking into every town is a great experience. Cafe con leache in the morning and a beer at the end of a long road is a perfect day in my book. Not many days go by at home when the experience of the Camino is not discussed. The Camino bug is in me for life. Every world leader should be required to walk the Camino! When times got tough on the Camino I reminded myself how lucky I was to be walking the Way of St. James.
 

Galaxy1

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September to October 2017
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
I lay on my first bunk bed after my first day in the Pyrenees, and thought "Really? Am I going to sleep in such discomfort and listen to the dorm 'noises' for the next 5-6 weeks on the road? Really?" And within three days, I was adapting, enjoying the routine of a pilgrim day............oh, and let my lovely soft ear plugs guarantee a good night's sleep. The magic of the road helps to withstand the discomfort, and people will leave you in peace if you don't want to talk or engage. Buen Camino!
 

Carlos Capacete

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Villafranca del Bierzo to Santiago on Sep 2017. Want to do SJPP to Burgos spring 2018
Don't do it! You will regret it for the rest of your life. You will be trapped in an endless cycle of caminos: forced to walk towards Santiago for ever. Your friends will shun you and their eyes glaze over, should you ever meet, as you tell them of your latest camino just completed or eagerly anticipated. You will clutter your bookshelves with guides and accounts and your computer with links to unreadable blogs and bad videos that you will watch for hours when you could have been doing something enjoyable.

Just tell yourself its only a walk: I could do that instead of getting the bus to work.

Regret the Camino? Of course I regret the Camino. Look at me now, on the forum yet again. Seven different guidebooks piled next to the mouse-mat. Google Earth open with a tentative route through the Sierras de la Demanda mapped out. Lunch still in the concept stage at 4:30 in the afternoon...

Some might suggest that if you don't want to do the Camino. If the Camino isn't calling you then you shouldn't do it. I won't. But I will suggest that you take a long look at the reasons for your hesitation and ambivalence.
Love your answer... what I tell my friends is that the Camino caused me permanent brain damage --
 

Pink Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino September-October 2017
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
Walk alone during the day and you can always go do your own thing in the evening. You can have as much or as little ppl time as you want.

I have some friends from the Camino who didn’t have the experience they were expecting. Either they were injured most of the way or didn’t have the “spiritual awakening” they expected. I feel like regrets about the Camino only come if you put a lot of expectations on yourself.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Love your answer... what I tell my friends is that the Camino caused me permanent brain damage --
Why people do not get it, for century people from all over the world is reaching Santiago the Compostela because the Apostle James is suppose to be resting there and they want to pay they respect to Him, there should be no other reason, if you think otherwise you are on the wrong track, please do something else. the recent program about the camino on BBC it does not make any senses, the only good think about it compere to the film The Way, is that it show more the hardship you encounter on the actual camino and it does not portray the illusion of it to be easy for everyone. Please if your intention is not to reach James the apostle, do something else, do not give the camino any other responsibility, I do not go to the chemist to buy meat thinking that it could be better for your health because there you want find any meat.
Ultreia and buen Camino
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
I like the camino but met a fair few who didn't. I had a long chat with a couple of young women on a gap year who were in their early 20s. They were in Leon and totally fed up with being surrounded by people with one of the "3D's" to use their term (Death, depression, divorce). I could see their point of view and I suspect they would have been much happier partying in one of Europe's major cities! I think you can be too young for the camino and I'm not sure the camino is really suited to a "gap year experience".

I think experienced hikers tend to have mixed views. The camino is special because of its history and the religious nature of the walk rather than its level of adventure or scenery. If you go expecting a great hike you will probably be disappointed.

I think people seeking a religious bolt of lightning, readers of Shirley MacLaine's book, those seeking spiritual awakening and so on, tend to be a bit disappointed that the camino didn't meet their sky high expectations.

Finally, I met a couple of spouses who were there because their partner wanted to walk and seemed to make a point of explaining how unhappy they were to everyone in the vicinity!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I had the time of my life the first time I walked the CF, in 2001.
I walked again in 2010, and was disappointed and lonely for most of it, wondering why I was doing this. I still don´t know what that second trip was about, it was plagued with illness and angst, I never really connected to any other pilgrims. I was glad when it finished!
But I am going again in June, this time with my 17-year-old nephew. I hope to enjoy it afresh as I see it through his eyes.
 

Victoria65

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's SJ to Sahagun 2015, Sahagun to Santiago 2016, Le Puy Route, SJPDP to Santiago (2018)
"Why people do not get it, for century people from all over the world is reaching Santiago the Compostela because the Apostle James is suppose to be resting there and they want to pay they respect to Him, there should be no other reason, if you think otherwise you are on the wrong track, please do something else"

So hate me if you must. Regrets, Yes. I regret seeing posts like this and I do believe I am going to get a shirt printed up that says: Get off MY CAMINO, you are doing it wrong!

Sorry, but DNA was never done on said bones and I am not Catholic. So I guess I am not welcome, as I am doing it wrong!
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
"Why people do not get it, for century people from all over the world is reaching Santiago the Compostela because the Apostle James is suppose to be resting there and they want to pay they respect to Him, there should be no other reason, if you think otherwise you are on the wrong track, please do something else"

So hate me if you must. Regrets, Yes. I regret seeing posts like this and I do believe I am going to get a shirt printed up that says: Get off MY CAMINO, you are doing it wrong!

Sorry, but DNA was never done on said bones and I am not Catholic. So I guess I am not welcome, as I am doing it wrong!
The DNA as got nothing to do, but I am sure that St Thomas would have like it.
When I went to the chemist to buy a chicken I was told that always would have I be welcome to they shop but unfortunately they did not have any chicken and they never will. :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
Now I remember, I have an example of people (one person) who regretted starting the Camino! An English gentleman, we were having a 'group meal', all at a big table. He was complaining, non-stop. "Too much road walking, the scenery is nothing to write home about, it's so much nicer in the Lake District AND.... (Wait for it!) the churches!!!!' 'they're everywhere, religion is so much in your face, WHY? I don't like it, seems I am at someone else's party'.
 

Penny Kingma

M.S. Can't Stop Me !
Camino(s) past & future
May 29th to July 4th 2016
SJPDP to Santiago
And many, many more I pray
On days 1 - 3 was a mixture of awesomeness, fear, pain and what the *!!* do I think I’m doing walking this with M. S. and two bad knees. Even though I kept going....listening....encouraged and encouraging by and to others along the way.
The Camino ended up being the most life altering, soul healing experience of my life. The friends I met walking in 2016 remain today. I pray to return.
 

kanraj

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2018
Well, I'll be honest, I'm still deliberating on whether to do it or not, but like you, if I go and hate it, I'll just fast forward the trip and spend a few days in the main cities along the way and then visit Madrid.
Same. Doing this in July 2018. If I can't manage it, then take some sort of bus to Santiago and then to another city.
 

kanraj

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2018
I think I'll struggle most with the dormitory style living (won't be able to afford B&B's etc all the way) I am a bit of an introvert so I like my own space from time to time, I know the physical aspect will be tough, but it doesn't concern me as much.
I am the same. Glad you asked the main question about regret. I am hoping I will walk and use this time as a reflection. I am such an introvert that I am scared that I won't talk to anyone haha.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Thanks for all of your responses, well, I've bought most of the gear now and I've booked the flight out there for 10th April. No going back now. I'll just take each day as it comes, hopefully I'll enjoy it, if I feel it's not for me, I'll just change my plans.
Well, good morning, hope you have had a cuppa... and are on your way. I look forward to reading something of your experience. Your original post surfaced many angles in responses, and your own reports will hit the nail on the head for someone else who is looking for encouragement. Step it out, one foot after the other, eyes and ears wide open. If you can face it, take the hill up to the church in Zabaldika. A very short diagonal stretch of grass there contains the imprints of the thousands of people who have passed that way: leave your own, pick up theirs... and you do not need to go back downhill, the path connects with the other path leading to Trinidad de Arre after about ten minutes. Buen Camino.
 

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