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Discouraged in Florida

bill Burgess

New Member
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Many have said you can walk short distances, which is the case. However, to reinforce that and give you less stress, acquire a guidebook and study it. It will be broken down in stages but you do not have to follow them. However, for each stage there will be a map showing each village and lodging along the way. Check the distances between those lodging locations and put together a tentative daily walking distance based on those distances. You will see daily distance wise it is quite doable. You will be more comfortable and can work on getting equipment and in shape.
 

philmickm

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
first one Aug/Sept '18
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Hi, I walked Camino Frances at 61, and best experience of my life. Many older and frailer than me there, and walking with injuries and illness. If your 53 and fit, you will have no problems whatsoever, physically. There’s enough people to encourage and assist you all the way, and hopefully you will be ready to do the same. I would suggest you don’t go with the expectation of not finishing but with a clear intent to complete your Camino and accept whatever comes and goes, or stays with you. You won’t know til you do it, but you’ll never know if you don’t. Buen Camino 😊Phil
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Do your training walks with the pack that you will use. Load it up to about 23 pounds.

That's a very heavy pack @Doughnut NZ ! Over 10 kgs..... Not wanting to hijack the thread to discuss pack weights :oops: Is that a winter pack?
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
The Frances is loaded with places to stay. Not only are there the famous albergues, there are also pensiones, casas rurales, hotels....
About the anemia, I hope you're working on that. Being tired to start out with is discouraging. You could carry some nuts-n-raisins type snacks and see if that helps?
I imagine I will have to allow for snacks in my pack and not push myself to exhaustion. I do worry but I don’t want to not go because I’m afraid of it. I’m sure people have lots of medical issues and still go, right? lol I’m 53 138 # and my only ailment for now Is that I’m anemic and have an obsession with going to the beach lol. I’m sure the Camino is going to bring out so issues in the old girl LOL
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
Hi, I walked Camino Frances at 61, and best experience of my life. Many older and frailer than me there, and walking with injuries and illness. If your 53 and fit, you will have no problems whatsoever, physically. There’s enough people to encourage and assist you all the way, and hopefully you will be ready to do the same. I would suggest you don’t go with the expectation of not finishing but with a clear intent to complete your Camino and accept whatever comes and goes, or stays with you. You won’t know til you do it, but you’ll never know if you don’t. Buen Camino 😊Phil
Phil awesome encouragement MIL GRACIAS
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I imagine I will have to allow for snacks in my pack and not push myself to exhaustion. I do worry but I don’t want to not go because I’m afraid of it.
It's not necessary to carry a lot in the way of snacks. There are villages with bars/cafes rather frequently giving you an opportunity to stop, rest, have some café con leche and and meal or snack. I almost always carry my "emergency orange and chocolate bar," but they often stay in my pack for several days, because there are so many opportunities to buy food along the way.
I recommend that each day you check out the next day's route for the frequency of villages, and purchase snacks if there will be some long gaps between towns the next day.
I think that most of us, even veteran pilgrims who have walked multiple Caminos have some worry or trepidation before starting the Camino. The great thing is that it's perfectly acceptable to change your mind and go relax on a beach instead of doing the Camino. And, since most of us don't prepay for our lodging, you have the freedom to change your mind without penalty.
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
I live in Merritt Island Florida and most weekends I am on the beach. I would love to check out the beaches in Spain but did not want to do the Norte. Does anyone do part walking and part travel and then fully walk the last 100k. Like walk and ride through the first part I mean, sightsee. Maybe it’s more about the experience of being there than getting the Compostela by doing that.
I really feel I want to walk and finish it in one trip from wherever I start. So maybe I need to find a starting point that I can do in 15 days and get my first Camino under my belt so I can see what it’s like. Do people do that?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I live in Merritt Island Florida and most weekends I am on the beach. I would love to check out the beaches in Spain but did not want to do the Norte. Does anyone do part walking and part travel and then fully walk the last 100k. Like walk and ride through the first part I mean, sightsee. Maybe it’s more about the experience of being there than getting the Compostela by doing that.
I really feel I want to walk and finish it in one trip from wherever I start. So maybe I need to find a starting point that I can do in 15 days and get my first Camino under my belt so I can see what it’s like. Do people do that?
You certainly could do a 15 day Camino, then spend the rest of your time traveling and exploring Spain. Many people do that kind of thing.
You also might find that after 15 days that you want to continue walking, in which case you could walk on to Finisterre and/or Muxia on the coast.
Another option would be to walk the Camino Portugues. Many, if not most people start this route in Porto, so you will feel like you are starting with "the pack." This can be done in about two weeks.
I would definitely keep my walking journey separate from the rest of my travels.
 

Eddiebee

Eddiebee
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP to SDC May & June 2017
The first week to 10 days the only thing that kept me going was that I didn't want to quit that quickly. After about 10 days I started thinking that I didn't want it to end too quickly. That was in 2017 and I was only 70 at the time. If an overweight old man could do it, a healthy young girl should have no problem. :)
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)??
I live in Merritt Island Florida and most weekends I am on the beach. I would love to check out the beaches in Spain but did not want to do the Norte. Does anyone do part walking and part travel and then fully walk the last 100k. Like walk and ride through the first part I mean, sightsee. Maybe it’s more about the experience of being there than getting the Compostela by doing that.
I really feel I want to walk and finish it in one trip from wherever I start. So maybe I need to find a starting point that I can do in 15 days and get my first Camino under my belt so I can see what it’s like. Do people do that?


Hello @VintageElsa1967:

I also live in South Florida (East coast from you), and did my first Camino in 2018 at the age of 64. You can do this Girl! My wife and I walked from Sarria to Santiago on six days (it was not easy) and enjoyed two wonderful days visiting Santiago, and did not saw all the wonderful of it. Let me explain why I said it was not easy to do the walk. Although, we (wife and I) prepared ourselves for the journey; we did not anticipated the issues that it may bring to me. I am Parkinson’s patient and the medications we take to minimize the tremors also provokes other senses to react funny (move slower, sleepy head, reaction time, etc). Well, this made our planned stages a little longer that estimated. So, be ready to listen to your body signals and be prepared in case you need to take care of your situation. Consult your Doctor about your plans and make him participant in your plans.

At that time, I had no knowledge to this Great Camino Forum that I could have reach during my Camino preparations; Big Thanks to you all (I would not mention names, as too many that for sure I do not want to leave any out; except to, Ivar for creating this Forum). We were so deep touched by the Camino, that my wife and I are preparing for a return, so in Florida at least you have a weather that will help compensate for the lack of hills (being humid and hot) that you taking the Camino will be a breathe no matter the route you choose. I try to do my daily walks (weather permitting), so I encourage you do the same. If you have chance to live in a multi storied building, take the stairs and not the elevator to help build your stamina and endurance. Above all, practice with the equipment you plan to carry on your Camino.

You can find all the advice you need in this Forum, but it is your state of mind if Camino is for you. Want to vacation walk and beach, just do the last 100 km of any Camino (this should take six to eight day); that will give plenty of times to visit the beaches in Northern or Southern Spain. You, being from Florida’s West Coast, I think you may like the beaches in South Spain more to your like. The choices are on your side of the court. But one thing is for sure; do not underestimate Camino. Go for it and enjoy.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The first week to 10 days the only thing that kept me going was that I didn't want to quit that quickly. After about 10 days I started thinking that I didn't want it to end too quickly.
In my experience, it takes about a week to ten days before I feel like I have become "one with the Camino," and others that I have met have told me that they had the same experience.
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019
In progress: CP 2020 and/or CI
It's not necessary to carry a lot in the way of snacks. There are villages with bars/cafes rather frequently giving you an opportunity to stop, rest, have some café con leche and and meal or snack. I almost always carry my "emergency orange and chocolate bar," but they often stay in my pack for several days, because there are so many opportunities to buy food along the way.
This is probably true for most of the pilgrims who walk around 15 km or more a day.

I'm a slow walker, at the beginning I was only walking between 8 up to 12 maximum 14 km which is the distance VintageElsa mentioned she might start with. So sometimes I had, when it was a stage of 12 km no village inbetween, no possibility to buy anything or visit a bar or cafe. When I arrived in the afternoon at the albergue, often the shops were closed and sometimes I was very hungry.

So I always carried some nuts, dried apricots, a piece of fresh fruit and a carrot (if I could buy them one by one (both carried in a plastic can) with me plus some sort of soup which I could heat after arrival plus some bread and canned tuna. I replenished my supplies usually every other day.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I'm a slow walker, at the beginning I was only walking between 8 up to 12 maximum 14 km which ist the distance VintageElsa mentioned she might start with
@VintageElsa1967 said
I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day.
I don't take that to mean that she plans to walk 8 miles(approx 13km) days while on the Camino.

I know that when I was first training for the Camino that was about my limit too, but I was able to gradually increase that distance. A couple of months into my training period I did focus on walking 10 miles a day for 4 consecutive days, but mostly I just walked about 5 miles a day before my first Camino. Once I walked 15 miles, just to see how that felt, and I stopped several times to have a meal or rest. I found that once I was on the Camino, I was able to average about 25km/15 miles per day on my 35 days from SJPdP to Finesterra. My first day was the shortest from St Jean to Orisson, about 5 miles/8km, and my longest was my last (which I did with a terrible cold) Olveiroa to Finesterra - 21 miles/34km.

I say all this as encouragement to @VintageElsa1967 that although right now, you are only able to walk 8 miles in a day, that doesn't mean that is your limit, though it may be, and that's okay too.
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019
In progress: CP 2020 and/or CI
I don't take that to mean that she plans to walk 8 miles(approx 13km) days while on the Camino.
That might be the case, but there are also other slow walkers who will read this, who might be as slow as I was. I, for instance, was not able to increase my daily distance very much while walking the Camino.

Therefore I wanted to mention that in such case it might be better to plan differently concerning supplies than the average pilgrim does.

I did not at the beginning, because I read similiar responses like yours before starting my first Camino. So I did not plan accordingly. Which was not a big problem since I'm a fast learner. But no need for others to learn that lesson via trial and error 🌹.

While walking and making experiences on their own, everybody will find his or her own way to deal with all sorts of different matters.
 
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marylynn

Ontario Canada
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2019 CF, Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
I live in Merritt Island Florida and most weekends I am on the beach. I would love to check out the beaches in Spain but did not want to do the Norte. Does anyone do part walking and part travel and then fully walk the last 100k. Like walk and ride through the first part I mean, sightsee. Maybe it’s more about the experience of being there than getting the Compostela by doing that.
I really feel I want to walk and finish it in one trip from wherever I start. So maybe I need to find a starting point that I can do in 15 days and get my first Camino under my belt so I can see what it’s like. Do people do that?
Yes, some do. That is what I like about the Camino...you create your own itinerary, change it as needed, and enjoy the experience.
 

Mark B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF & Fin (4-5/2011); R'valles to SDdlC, CdN-Prim'o (2-4/2014).
Yes, it's different on the camino!

Given you don't have a date set for your camino, consider your current walking goal to be general fitness. Someone who is able to walk even 4 or 5 miles a day at a brisk pace - say over a period of 6 to 9 months - in my view is in excellent shape to do a camino. And if you can engage in some training a couple of months beforehand, all the better.

When you have a date for your camino, in the two months beforehand, focus your walking goal on gradually increasing your stamina and mileage. You can decrease the brisk pace of your fitness walks as you increase your mileage. Search old posts on this message board for specific ideas on training for the camino, but to give you a general sense of what would work, if you merely double your mileage (even if your fitness walks are 4 or 5 miles a day) only in the month before on a third of the days, you're still in great shape for the camino. Throw in some longer walks here and there, followed by some shorter days to rest. Start carrying a pack for at least the last several weeks before your camino, too, gradually increased the load from half to full. Take some days off during this camino training period, too.

But don't worry that you have to be walking 15 miles days for months before the camino. Honestly, I think you'd peak the stresses on your body way too soon, well before you even get there. You do not want that to happen. If you are able to prepare in the above manner, you will be amazed at how much more you and your body can do every day on the camino. And when you do get there, walk at your own pace and distance, rest frequently, and keep hydrated and well fed.

Lastly, learn to be gentle on your heels as you walk. It goes a long way to reduce stresses on the body. Personally, I do that by aiming for somewhat of a mid-foot landing, like I did in my running days (low/zero-heel hiking shoes can help with that (if you can find them), but they're not absolutely necessary). Had I transferred that technique to my walking on my first camino, my body would have been happier.
 

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)
I really feel I want to walk and finish it in one trip from wherever I start. So maybe I need to find a starting point that I can do in 15 days and get my first Camino under my belt so I can see what it’s like. Do people do that?
Sure.
Many of us. I only walked from Leon the first time I walked.

If you want a mix that includes the sea and want to end in Santiago, one thing you could do is walk either the Frances or Primitivo from Oviedo and continue to Finisterre after reaching Santiago. Or take a side trip by train for one day to A Coruña once you get to Santiago. It's a beautiful small city and very close by train.
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
You certainly could do a 15 day Camino, then spend the rest of your time traveling and exploring Spain. Many people do that kind of thing.
You also might find that after 15 days that you want to continue walking, in which case you could walk on to Finisterre and/or Muxia on the coast.
Another option would be to walk the Camino Portugues. Many, if not most people start this route in Porto, so you will feel like you are starting with "the pack." This can be done in about two weeks.
I would definitely keep my walking journey separate from the rest of my travels.
Is it true that people get mugged in the Portugese Camino ? I have seen this posted in other places and have only heard it mentioned of the Portugese Camino only. It is safer on the Frances Way?
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
I agree with the earlier suggestions - if you have 30 days, then you should consider starting somewhere other than St-Jean.

To walk 30 days and run out of time to reach Santiago and enjoy at least a full day and night there to celebrate with your walking companions could deprive you of the symbolic completion of the Way.

To begin in St-Jean and then skip a section or two in the middle will take you out of sync with your walking companions too.

Pamplona to Santiago can be managed within 30 days, but I'd recommend starting in Burgos, remembering your "8 miles a day" comment earlier in the thread.

Starting in Burgos should enable you to make it to Santiago in good time, and perhaps even a bus trip to Finisterre too.

Just a thought.
You are right, that makes sense. Thanks for the advice.
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
Sure.
Many of us. I only walked from Leon the first time I walked.

If you want a mix that includes the sea and want to end in Santiago, one thing you could do is walk either the Frances or Primitivo from Oviedo and continue to Finisterre after reaching Santiago. Or take a side trip by train for one day to A Coruña once you get to Santiago. It's a beautiful small city and very close by train.
I like trains, that would be cool to do. I have to get out of the mindset that there is one way to do the Camino.
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
A good tip is to pack full water bottles in your pack when you are training. If you decide that the weight is too much, you can simply empty some of them.

You may not need walking poles in Florida, but if you are going to use them on the Camino it's best to practice with them. Except when I am in towns and cities I use my poles all the time on the Camino, regardless of incline or terrain.
They help in numerous ways:
They help with my posture while wearing my pack, which changes my center of gravity
They have saved me from falls
They help propel me up hills
They keep my hands from swelling
They help keep my arms toned - why should my legs get all the exercise?!
I think I need walking poles now that you mention it. LOL I just watched a video last night and the lady said that it's best to buy them there..is this true?
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
Great explanation, I totally agree, it is your own camino and don't let others tell you any less! Know that you can start and if your not feeling it, you are in a most beautiful place to explore and still meet amazing people

I am so excited to go! I want to just be there NOW
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
I lived in Central Florida for ten years: Orlando, Maitland, Altamonte Springs and Hyde Park area in Tampa. Oh, did I walk Bayshore! I walked an hour a day, in thunder storms, on golf courses, on sidewalks, in all weathers. . I lived in and hiked alone in England, Scotland and Colorado without worry but the Ocala National Forest plain gives me the creeps!

Do your Forum homework for a backpack (it is remarkable how little you will actually need) and gradually add weight to your pack (liter bottles of water). I love TEVA sandals and Zappos is a great online option.

You do not need walking poles in Florida. You may choose to purchase-and-pack-as-luggage (again, use the Forum), or, take a day once in Madrid and UBER to sports store DECATHALON or similar for poles to use on hills and stony trails.

If it is the Camino Francais, I suggest beginning in Roncesvalles or Pamplona. That first day out from St Jean Pied la Port can definitely challenge the newbie peregrina. I know thousands do begin there and feel immense personal satisfaction in that accomplishment. And well done them: truly! However, that starting point is an option, not a necessity! If you fly into Madrid, there is ample Forum information on trains (my choice) or buses to Pamplona and buses or group rides to Roncesvalles.

Keep seeking information on the Forum and as cooler weather arrives in Florida, keep walking. And walking. And walking! Ultreya!
Thanks!! I will keep on searching
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
The best training in my view is being on your feet all day. The Camino is about the head and the heart over the body. I saw many young fit people leave the way because they tried to conquer it and found themselves counquered. The friends you make along the way will also carry you on those difficult days.

So, this is a crazy questions, DO alot of people quit the camino midway?
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
Hello! Walking is time for me to relax and not be pulled by things. Why do you walk? Maybe your motivation needs a revamp... do you love nature? Then the camino will nurture that. Do you love meeting people, then that will be nurtured. Foof motivates you??? Then that may be an incentive. I think that you need to set an intention each time you walk at home- to help motivate you. I took walking as a challenge(54 and very overweight!) and a time for me. Wishing you all the best.
I walk for sanity to reflect and just think and pray
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Is it true that people get mugged in the Portugese Camino ?
There have been reports of pilgrims being mugged on the Portuguese route in an area south of Porto, including a recent report here on the forum. I wouldn't let that dissuade me.
I just watched a video last night and the lady said that it's best to buy them there..is this true?
It depends on what kind of poles you like. I love the ergonomic grip of my Pacer Poles, which can only be ordered from England, so I bring them with me.
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
OMG 8 miles is more than plenty! Just give your self time with a few days off here and there - you have to rest. So if you want to do the whole thing (500 miles/8miles a day) that's about 62 days. So take 2 months at that pace without days off! Or take the bus for a few stages. You might find that as you go your mileage increases (especially after 3 weeks) and also the adrenaline of the journey will push you further than you think yourself capable of, you might also find that the distance between lodging might be longer than the 8 miles (13k) but that's unusual. Anyway, there are busses and cabs available in every stage so don't fear. Your pace ( just as everyone else's ) is perfect. Buen Camino. In FL you may want to explore the Florida trails system for some variety!

What time of year did you do your Camino?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
So, this is a crazy questions, DO alot of people quit the camino midway?
Personally, I've only met one person who decided that the Camino wasn't for her, and quit midway. I'm sure that there are quite a few who quit for various reasons.

I would go with the attitude that I'm going to walk a continuous Camino to Santiago, but with the knowledge that there are other options if I find it not to my liking.
That may mean that your continuous Camino starts a couple of hundred km from Santiago to give yourself some free time in Spain afterwards. I don't advocate skipping around. It's hard to describe the difference between a Camino walk and a series of hikes. Part of it is the community that forms around you as you walk with others with a common purpose and destination.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018; Munich to Lindau (Germany) Sep 2020
Is it true that people get mugged in the Portugese Camino ? I have seen this posted in other places and have only heard it mentioned of the Portugese Camino only. It is safer on the Frances Way?
There are many pilgrims and only very few cases of crime.
Portugal and Spain are rather safe countries:
And I think, the Caminos are safer than the average holiday regions. And in a group the crime risk is probably almost not existing... or at least much less than e. g. the risk of a traffic accident.

I think there are many reasons for choosing this or that camino... but I think it need not be thinking about crime... even if you are a woman and want to go (most of the time) alone.
 

TomAptos

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Camino Portugues 2017, Via St Francis (Italy) 2018
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 

TomAptos

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Camino Portugues 2017, Via St Francis (Italy) 2018
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
I would guess everyone has some doubts, but not to worry. Not a difficult walk and the fact that others around you are making the trek seems to make it easier. We walked with a young lady from Florida who practiced for the hills by using the interstate crossovers. Worked for her. Enjoy the hike.
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
I would guess everyone has some doubts, but not to worry. Not a difficult walk and the fact that others around you are making the trek seems to make it easier. We walked with a young lady from Florida who practiced for the hills by using the interstate crossovers. Worked for her. Enjoy the hike.
OMGISH what a fabulous idea !! I am going to do that...
 

kleckam

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April '12, May '18
Looking very relaxed, I can't wait to take the time and just be off for weeks. As an American I have never taken more than a week or two off unless I was hospitalized. I love the idea of just having nothing to worry about other than to get up and walk and contemplate life.
Elsa - I have not read through all of the replies, so I apologize in advance if I am repetitive. I find that most Forum posts generally are, but all are good. First, you will do fine. It will be an experience you will treasure forever. I can relate to your comment here about time off, and/or worry. My first Camino Frances in '12 (at 55) took 29 days. I hiked with my daughter, and without a phone. As a business owner, I was untethered ... and free. The Camino called me again, every day, until my return in '18. Ultreia!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@VintageElsa1967 and others reading this thread, it is indeed true that Portugal and Spain are generally very safe places, but so as not to mislead, we have issued a warning about one particular section of the Portuguese, not far out of Lisbon. See this post:

Many members have already seen the thread describing a recent (September 2020) attack on two pilgrims. We wanted to issue the following caution.

Female pilgrims should be aware that there have been violent assaults at locations on the first stage from Lisbon. Complaints about police indifference about these incidents have also been made. For anyone setting out in the near future, walking in that area seems very risky.

One easy way to avoid this section would be to walk from the cathedral to Parque Naçoes, and there hop on a commuter train to Vila Franca. Getting off in Alverca or Alhandra (several stops before) would also be an option,because those towns are beyond the area where the attacks happened.

There are of course many ways to do this, but one possible first day would be to walk the 7 km from the cathedral to Parque Naçoes, take the train to Alverca, then walk the 9 km to Vila Franca. People who like long distances could add on the next 20 to arrive in Azambuja. Gronze makes all of this very clear, and thecommuter train schedule is easy to understand.

We are hopeful that the responsible parties will be apprehended and brought to justice, but until that time, exercise extreme caution or better yet, take the train.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018; Munich to Lindau (Germany) Sep 2020
If you look for some videos, you can start e. g. here:

And this is my favourite short film:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/what-i-learnt-along-the-way-short-film.49141/

You can view the Camino Frances here and get a visual impression of the stages (but you can always choose different starting and end points):
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
They help propel me up hills
They keep my hands from swelling
They help keep my arms toned - why should my legs get all the exercise?!
They help to keep me from going too fast on steep downhills by positioning the poles in front to reduce the pull/speed of gravity.
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
Elsa - I have not read through all of the replies, so I apologize in advance if I am repetitive. I find that most Forum posts generally are, but all are good. First, you will do fine. It will be an experience you will treasure forever. I can relate to your comment here about time off, and/or worry. My first Camino Frances in '12 (at 55) took 29 days. I hiked with my daughter, and without a phone. As a business owner, I was untethered ... and free. The Camino called me again, every day, until my return in '18. Ultreia!

I am so ready to just not have a call or a text. I am ready to just think and be able to not be distracted by screens and Television. I am buying a MP3 player that only holds music so that I don't have to pull out a phone and become distracted to look online. I look forward to being in the moment and not thinking about i have to be at work in 2 days or 3 days or 7 LOL.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I imagine I will have to allow for snacks in my pack and not push myself to exhaustion. I do worry but I don’t want to not go because I’m afraid of it. I’m sure people have lots of medical issues and still go, right? lol I’m 53 138 # and my only ailment for now Is that I’m anemic and have an obsession with going to the beach lol. I’m sure the Camino is going to bring out so issues in the old girl LOL
You wouldn't believe the medical issues people walk with! (Or roll with.)

Where there is a will there is a way. So long as you keep moving forward, fast or slow, a little bit or a lot, eventually you'll get there.

One of the lessons of the Camino.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I live in Merritt Island Florida and most weekends I am on the beach. I would love to check out the beaches in Spain but did not want to do the Norte. Does anyone do part walking and part travel and then fully walk the last 100k. Like walk and ride through the first part I mean, sightsee. Maybe it’s more about the experience of being there than getting the Compostela by doing that.
I really feel I want to walk and finish it in one trip from wherever I start. So maybe I need to find a starting point that I can do in 15 days and get my first Camino under my belt so I can see what it’s like. Do people do that?
People do all of the above. Personally, I wouldn't advise part walking and part riding. It's a very different experience (speaking from experience here) and not, I think, as rich or rewarding.

If you are looking for a good starting point for a couple of week's walking to get a Camino under your belt and see if you are ready to commit to the long haul on a future occasion, I would recommend walking from Porto to Santiago on the Camino Portugues. If you are really set on the Frances, I would start at Astorga.
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
SJPdP to Belorado May (2019)
Walking 8 miles at home is like walking 16 miles on the Camino because you just do it. Once I was standing at the bottom of a hill and looking up and almost about to cry because I was worn out and this dear German pilgrim noticed me and said very sweetly to me, "You have to keep going because the beds are at the top of the hill." Then, we walked together up the hill.
My most difficult steps were the first ones leading out of St. Jean Pied de Port when I thought in a panic, "Oh no, I am not going to be able to do this." but then I did - one step at a time.
So,
1. YOU CAN DO IT,
2. You will not regret it, and
3. Buen Camino!
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Is it true that people get mugged in the Portugese Camino ? I have seen this posted in other places and have only heard it mentioned of the Portugese Camino only. It is safer on the Frances Way?
People can get mugged anywhere. I've heard terrible stories from the Camino Frances and the San Salvador. From what I've been reading, the vast majority of pilgrims don't experience them (although, with my privilege, I acknowledge that my experience is nothing to go by, which is why I refer to what I've read).

There have been some recent reports of incidents on the Portugues Camino, but if I read them right, they were shortly after leaving Lisbon and not near where you'd be walking if you set out from Porto.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I think I need walking poles now that you mention it. LOL I just watched a video last night and the lady said that it's best to buy them there..is this true?
I bought my walking poles there and they were inexpensive and useful and (in my opinion) saved my 2016 camino). The advantage of buying some at home is that you can practice walking with them because some find practice is useful for them to feel natural and to use them in a way that gives the most benefit.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Walking 8 miles at home is like walking 16 miles on the Camino because you just do it. Once I was standing at the bottom of a hill and looking up and almost about to cry
I live in a valley surrounded by mountains. After walking my first Camino - walking across an entire country, including mountains, I now look at those mountains and think "I can walk over them if I want." It's such an empowering experience.
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
I bought my walking poles there and they were inexpensive and useful and (in my opinion) saved my 2016 camino). The advantage of buying some at home is that you can practice walking with them because some find practice is useful for them to feel natural and to use them in a way that gives the most benefit.
I think I will do the same and purchase a them there and gift them when I leave.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
Is it true that people get mugged in the Portugese Camino ? I have seen this posted in other places and have only heard it mentioned of the Portugese Camino only. It is safer on the Frances Way?
As previously stated, the Camino Francés is pretty safe. But, situational awareness is still prudent. The girls seem to stay up-to-date with the Camigas Facebook group. We walked out of León with some girls from the albergue because they read a post on Camigas. Nothing happened.

¡Buena suerte! 👣 :D :cool:
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
I live in Merritt Island Florida and most weekends I am on the beach. I would love to check out the beaches in Spain but did not want to do the Norte. Does anyone do part walking and part travel and then fully walk the last 100k. Like walk and ride through the first part I mean, sightsee. Maybe it’s more about the experience of being there than getting the Compostela by doing that.
I really feel I want to walk and finish it in one trip from wherever I start. So maybe I need to find a starting point that I can do in 15 days and get my first Camino under my belt so I can see what it’s like. Do people do that?
I have spent countless hours on the beach and water. I walked part of the coastal route out of Porto last year, but I liked it better when we switched to the central. I think the law of diminishing returns kicked in. A couple of years ago, we went to Cambados after Santiago. There were some nice beaches with small mountainous islands that were pretty cool.

There is a lot to see in Spain. You may even consider sending some the time where you fly into. I always try to spend some time in Madrid. There is a lot to see, and there are many day trips (Toledo, Avilla, Segovia, El Escorial). In addition, the fast train to Sevilla or Cordoba.

Sooo much to do, sooo little time.👣:D:cool:
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
1) First think about doing one of the easy Caminos like the Portuguese from Porto. It's really flat. Way easier

( In Physics foot/pound is the amount of weight elevated each foot. Lifting 135 pounds 2 feet = 170 foot/pounds.)

The Primitivo in the Cantabrian Mountains (perhaps one of the hardest routes) will kill you --Continual elevations. -too much of a rollercoaster! ie too much work as defined by physics. Go on a flater route! The first leg of the French Route elevates up the Pyrenees from Saint Jean 1200 meters - that's a lot of Work (physics) = 3600 feet X a 135 pound woman =46,880 foot/pounds of work. The first leg on the Portuguese to Vilarinho stays at just 100 meters above sea level the entire 25 kilometers. Almost no work as defined by physics. Like 90 percent less.

2) I was 63 when it did the Central Portuguese (PS the food is much better in Portugal and the people are really friendly) And trained 8 miles/ day near the end of my 2 month workouts. Just like you!

3) Think about Chi Walking -because it is not poor muscle strength that will make you tied, it is poor balance and alignment. Walk from your center, not pushing with you extremities. Glide- don't push. Allow yourself to be pulled along.

4) Walk focused - do not amble along - you are a needle - strong and aligned and balanced - the extremities are light like cotton. Shorter steps. Don't compete with others - be more Zen --don't walk with folks going at a faster pace --it will burn you out. Don't feel like you have to join a Camino Family. Socialize at the Albergues, not on the route. Don't try to walk and talk at the same time. Deep slow rhythmic breathing and talking are mutually exclusive. Dump the cell phone and iPad.

5) I always get flack when I tell folks that Chi Walking doesn't really work with poles- too much transfer of energy to the extremities- less focus on the center. Poles are terrific for many Pilgrims. But they increase the cardio, and tire out the arms and shoulders. but they are not ideal for Chi Walkers - they are for Western type walkers with a Western approach to achievement. And most pilgrims use them and think they are great. Your extremities are light like cotton,, if you push with poles you are making you arms work (again a Chi Walking approach and not for everybody)
Don't push your way through so many miles. Empty out the ego. For many like me, it is the great lesson on the Camino. Find your physical center - you will find you spiritual center.

6) Why can a 70 year old Judo master win tournaments against a much younger stronger opponent? Because he has perfect balance and alignment.
You are too focused on your strength - please focus on balance, centeredness and correct alignment.

7) Stop at places between the official stops - less crowded. If there is a 28 kilometer stretch - take a taxi for part of it. Know your limits. Take a really light pack--- Like 15 pounds.

8) Hydrate - stop and take in the beauty. Be at one with nature.

9) Most importantly listen to the GREAT SILENCE - hard to do if you have the 7 people in a Camino Family staying together the whole time. It is the one opportunity to be alone with yourself. Sure you can pick up a walking companion from time to time - but I walked totally alone for 90 percent of 100 days on three Caminos. Don't be afraid to be alone -Spain has 17 % of the crime as in Florida. Take a loud police whistle - blow three times - it is a easy defense against any danger. Driving your car in Florida is a much greater threat to your personal safety than walking the Camino.

10) Achieving those miles will help you heal-- and it will give you the psychological strength to overcome your doubts and fears.. You will become a WARRIOR Woman
 
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FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
On my first Camino, I walked the first day or two with a group of women who really weren't in it to win it. One of them took a cab over the Pyrenees after about 5 kilometers, the rest were gone by the end of the week.

One of my Camino family started out walking with roommates, whose idea it was to walk in the first place, After a few days, the roommates decided it was not for them, quit - on her birthday!!! - and flew back home. My dear Christina continued solo.

Note that I said she was one of my Camino family members which means that I would never have met her on the Camino if she hadn't been walking solo.

There is no predicting in advance who will stick with it and who will quit. But one thing the quitters didn't do, which you clearly HAVE done, is prepare well in advance. The quitters were not driven to continue practicing walking, even when their heart wasn't in it. They didn't develop the mental stamina that is perhaps more important than the physical.

You clearly have what it takes to do this mentally.

I think everyone wonders, before that first day, "Am I really capable of doing this??? Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Have I made the biggest mistake of my life???"

Don't worry, I have a feeling that you've got this. You are in for a wonderful adventure. Don't give up. You are going to be soooo happy and grateful when you finish. If you didn't have self-doubts, I would be worried. But you are going to be OK. Keep us posted.

For the record, I did my first Camino when I was 62.
 

TheSparrow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2019) Walked Tomar to Coimbra - Porto to Ponte Vedra - Spiritual Variant to Santiago
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
You are fine, you have a lot of encouragement here as you can see :) I trained on the Georgia flat beach coast haha, and my first days of hills was not fun for me. But, as others say, you just go slowly, at a snail's pace, be passed by all, so what, you all sleep in the same albergue at night, the fast and the slow. And speed is a deception anyhow, many of the wonderful Europeans I saw fly pass me I would pass a couple of hours later as they ate a lovely lunch and maybe had a beer, all is well, the push and pull of the camino path is for you to enjoy on your own terms. My blog is on here somewhere, lol, but when you walk slowly you see things, you hear things, you will have memories after your camino of taking a short nap in a roadside field of daisies somewhere and think "that was really me, so free to be myself in the world"! If you hate it, and some do, just quit walking and take a train so Santiago and watch others walk into the square and know you were on the same path that they were on and marvel at the spectacle. All of the experience is perfect, because that is your camino. You will see others, and other times be alone for a while, you learn about yourself. Why quit now when you can try it and quit on the camino itself from a place of knowledge. There is no way to train for it unless you walk 16 miles a day for two weeks, so just do what you are doing now and you will get your "trail legs" like everyone does <3
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Poles are terrific for many Pilgrims. But they increase the cardio, and tire out the arms and shoulders. but they are not ideal for Chi Walkers - they are for Western type walkers with a Western approach to achievement.
For some, using poles is less about a Western approach to achievement and more about less weight on the knees. Without poles, as much as your attention may be focused on your centre, all the weight is (as you acknowledge at the start of your post in the discussion of foot/pounds) borne by your feet. And the knees have to bear the weight, too, on the way to the feet. Using poles can distribute the weight somewhat so it doesn't all have to flow through the knees to the feet, much as flying buttresses can distribute the weight of a cathedral's roof so it doesn't all have to be borne by the walls.
 

VintageElsa1967

PeacefulWarrior
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2021 or 2022
You are fine, you have a lot of encouragement here as you can see :) I trained on the Georgia flat beach coast haha, and my first days of hills was not fun for me. But, as others say, you just go slowly, at a snail's pace, be passed by all, so what, you all sleep in the same albergue at night, the fast and the slow. And speed is a deception anyhow, many of the wonderful Europeans I saw fly pass me I would pass a couple of hours later as they ate a lovely lunch and maybe had a beer, all is well, the push and pull of the camino path is for you to enjoy on your own terms. My blog is on here somewhere, lol, but when you walk slowly you see things, you hear things, you will have memories after your camino of taking a short nap in a roadside field of daisies somewhere and think "that was really me, so free to be myself in the world"! If you hate it, and some do, just quit walking and take a train so Santiago and watch others walk into the square and know you were on the same path that they were on and marvel at the spectacle. All of the experience is perfect, because that is your camino. You will see others, and other times be alone for a while, you learn about yourself. Why quit now when you can try it and quit on the camino itself from a place of knowledge. There is no way to train for it unless you walk 16 miles a day for two weeks, so just do what you are doing now and you will get your "trail legs" like everyone does <3

Excellent advice...thank you
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
the quitters
People can decide to leave for many reasons, and perhaps should be given credit for having tried in the first place. Sure - I understand that some people are lazy - physically and mentally - and I do admire people who set goals and work through adversity to achieve them. However, I hope @VintageElsa1967 understands that the camino is not for everyone, and she should not feel that she is a failure or "quitter" if she decides, for whatever reason, not to complete it!
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
I did the entire 500 mile of the French Route - no problem.

Then a year later did the Portuguese from Lisbon which is only done by one percent of pilgrims ( most start from Porto) Had the best Camino ever and fell in love.

I quit the Primitivo half way through, since it was too much elevation and it was too lonely in March. Did the Ingles route instead. I did not feel like I quit - it was just too much at 67 years old. I just shifted gears.

You can drive at 75 miles per hour on the highway- or you can just tool down a rural road at 40.

Christ fell down three times on his way to the cross.

The very best baseball players only get hits 3 times out of 10.

The very best high jumpers often don't clear the bar.

Set the bar a bit lower.

Taking up the challenge and shifting gears is not quitting-- it is adapting..
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I don't really understand the question.
To be honest IMO, if you don't enjoy walking for walking's sake, why walk the Camino? Why embark on a possibly 800 kilometre walking journey if you get bored by walking?
 

Jane A

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
I live in Florida as well, and I started the Camino in 2018. I say "started" because I work so can only do it in chunks. I Walked from SJPD to Estella. I get what you're saying that it's hard to prep to the level that you think you'll need in flat Florida. I'm 54, so close to your age. I also prepped by walking in the vicinity to 8-10 miles on the weekends. Hard to get those long walks in before it gets too hot. I felt that I was more than enough prepared for the Camino and also felt that I could easily have continued after Estella. I felt the Camino beckon to me. I wanted to go on, but just had to get back to work.
Yes, the Camino is different, with lots of elevation. Also different in that it's NOT boring. You can certainly stop for breaks, and you'll certainly find companionship. Some people will be passing you, but you'll be passing some people as well.
I plan on going back to continue the next segment in 2022, since I don't think the world will be ready yet in 2021.
 

Sglam

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, fall 2019
Hi Elsa-my husband and I walked the Camino lasT year, the dream of a lifetime. We are lucky to live in the mountains of Utah so we could train. However, nothing prepared me for the constant walking for 35 days. But I did it!!!
There were days filled with wonder and some boring ones too, but overall the entire experience was magical. We saw beautiful white horses, met people from all over the world, walked through wind and rain that made our boots squeaky, saw the majesty of Spain. We also walked on highways and down steep hills that were rainy and slippery. I am grateful every day that we did the Camino. I hope this answer helps you make your decision. Buen camino
 

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
People can decide to leave for many reasons, and perhaps should be given credit for having tried in the first place. Sure - I understand that some people are lazy - physically and mentally - and I do admire people who set goals and work through adversity to achieve them. However, I hope @VintageElsa1967 understands that the camino is not for everyone, and she should not feel that she is a failure or "quitter" if she decides, for whatever reason, not to complete it!
LOL. good point. I stand corrected.
 

alpalgata

New Member
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Hello
I am also in Florida, my plans were to do the Camino
in 2020, unfortunately the pandemic put a stop to my plans. Maybe next year, who knows. My plan was to bike the Camino Frances, rather than walking it. I figured the bike would make it easier on the body while also allowing me to see more points of interest along the route. That is an alternative you might want to consider. We will see what 2021 brings, I have been planning and dreaming Camino for a few years. For now I guess all I can do is live vicariously vía You Tube videos. Good luck to you.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I don't really understand the question.
To be honest IMO, if you don't enjoy walking for walking's sake, why walk the Camino? Why embark on a possibly 800 kilometre walking journey if you get bored by walking?
In my experience the Camino calls all kinds. One might as well ask why embark on a Catholic pilgrimage if you are not Catholic, or even Christian, yet people do. I've known plenty of people called to walk the Camino who had no history or experience of enjoying such long walks.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
In my experience the Camino calls all kinds. One might as well ask why embark on a Catholic pilgrimage if you are not Catholic, or even Christian, yet people do. I've known plenty of people called to walk the Camino who had no history or experience of enjoying such long walks.
If one is indeed called to do something, one would never be bored by it.
 

Anthony18

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
I'm from Florida. I agree, walking here isn't very exciting, but walking the Camino was IMHO very inspiring. There were tough days, but as others have pointed out, you decide how much to walk. Plus, the scenery will see you through it. My Way-Camino de Santiago
 

Island

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues 2019
Pilgrims' Way 2020
Via Francigena 2020
California Mission Trail 2020
Fellow Floridian here and - I understand what you are saying - walking near home can be uninspiring. But there are beautiful places to walk in Florida and - depending on where you are - many of them make for a wonderful day away. Here are a few suggestions for interesting walks in our home state:

1) St. Augustine (to/from/around) - wonderful church, lighthouse, fort presidio
2) Talbot Islands - excellent paths from island to island, breathtaking views all the way up to Amelia Island
3) Falling Waters State Park
4) Bok Tower Gardens
5) Osceola National Forest (Bell Springs To Big Shoals)
6) Ocala National Forest
7) Torreya Park
8) Paynes Prairie
9) St. Joseph Bay Trail
10) Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse / Tequesta
11) Bulow Plantation Loop
12) Indrio Savannahs

I enjoy the Florida Trail but many don't want a backpacking / camping experience, so these are some really great options that are easily driveable and offer varying lengths. Please reach out to me if I can help! :)
 

Nocheechako

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances in 2015 & 2016. Portuguese, Muxia next.
So, this is a crazy questions, DO alot of people quit the camino midway?
I would not say a lot. But I know people and witnessed people leaving the trail after day one right up to the day before Santiago. Sometimes it is a failing body sometimes a family emergency back home or even running out of funds. For me allowing myself permission to fail from the very beginning was very freeing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

I am the same age that you are, and I was fortunate enough to receive my first camino as a birthday gift when I was 46; I found the time to go just prior to my 47th birthday.

Thing is, I really wanted the adventure, but I really used to hate walking. Prior to my first Camino (3 under my belt now), I found the activity tedious, and I preferred to do almost anything else. ...and I am a non-driver, so it was not about cars. I simply preferred to bike, or ride transit.... didn't matter as long as I did not feel myself to be plodding along with my mind going in circles.

In preparation for the Camino I went away from home for 6 weeks and walked outside of urban areas. I got up to distances of about 24 km max, and not every day. I did enjoy it more out of the city though.

And so there I was, still an ambivalent walker, and totally worried about doing the kids of distances we might feel the pressure to so on a "once in a lifetime trip" that gives us only 42 days to get there and back and cross a country. In essence, 6 days are lost to travel, 3 at each end. So we have 36 days... some rest in there, or some slower days.... but there may be a real pressure felt unless one develops a certain comfort with not being a purist about pilgrimage from a given point to a given end.

Many of us find over time that those points are negotiable -- for whatever reason(s).

Here's the thing: maybe it's only your first camino that you are planning, even though it feels like your only one possible. I never dreamed I would do more than one, but I am already planning #4 (with my Spouse in 2022) and #5 (with my step-sister in 2023).... and #6 (on the Norte before I turn 60 in 2027)...

And so I think that the other answer to your question, implicit above, is that yes... we worry about distance... and then find that yes, other encourage us along, the road encourages us along, the sites and the adventure and the difference encourages us along....

And now, I could never say anymore that I dislike walking. Walking is my solace, my companion, my refuge, and my energization....

I wish the same for you....

And if you find that it is not, then leave the camino, and spend several days in each city along the way. It will be as fine a trip as any you might take.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
For some, using poles is less about a Western approach to achievement and more about less weight on the knees. Without poles, as much as your attention may be focused on your centre, all the weight is (as you acknowledge at the start of your post in the discussion of foot/pounds) borne by your feet. And the knees have to bear the weight, too, on the way to the feet. Using poles can distribute the weight somewhat so it doesn't all have to flow through the knees to the feet, much as flying buttresses can distribute the weight of a cathedral's roof so it doesn't all have to be borne by the walls.

I will add to David's very valid defence of the pole walking, that if one is tiring the arms and shoulders then the poles are not being used properly. Certainly my arms and shoulders became more fit when I began pole-walking (which I did for all the reasons David identifies, and not from some imagined/impugned effort to be faster or more efficient), but beyond that the poles bring pure alleviation of stress/strain.
 

Bilbo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
One started september 2020 ,Frances from sjpdp
I do lots of coastal walking but the first leg to Roncesvalles was definitely pushing me and sort of set me up physically for the days to come.
I didn't even want to go as I find social situations challenging but my ex persuaded me to go with her and it was an amazing ,magical experience .
Some would walk all day .we would set off with the bed race crowd very early ,reasons been last September's weather was very hot plus seeing the sunrise plus getting to the next stage near midday to explore the area .
every day at the moment I am looking back at the days photos and reliving that time ,it was ponferada today !
 
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Eamonrodden

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French, Norte, Primitivo, portuguese, via del plata, madrid
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Don’t think too much, just walk at your own pace and enjoy the walk.
 

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)
Edit ,can't find a way to update my Camino past and present status ,anyone any tips
Go up to where your avatar is on the Forum menu bar, click it to find settings - once you've clicked that, 'account details' will bring up a page where you can change many things.

Yes, its not for everyone, but ambivalence comes an goes on the camino. So if you want to quit, it's always wise to sleep on it, for more than one night. The majority of people I've known to quit tend to fall into two categories: the injured (who usually would give anything to be able to continue), and the (often) young supermen and women who start out too way too fast and hit the wall somewhere in the first week. It is easy to underestimate the challenge of simply walking day after day.
 

Aguanuay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (202?) - when allowed into Europe
Camino Francigena (?)
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Come to Tallahassee for a change of scenery - and hills! We have lots of parks, so you can vary your walk quite a bit.
 

GaTeach

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SdC 2017,
Considering same route in 2021 after swearing NEVER AGAIN.
Times are hard. It's easy to contemplate giving up, but sitting at home is just as boring as walking without any purpose. Start walking EVERYWHERE, to work, the store (with your backpack, to haul things home!), the beauty shop.
Haha! Yes! Walk everywhere! I teach school two miles from where I live (no sidewalks) and when I was training, I walked to school many times. Inevitably, a student or co-worker would stop and ask me if I needed a ride!
 

Krista Rogman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016), Camino Portugues (2017)
I have been wanting to do the Frances Way. I have been walking and trying get myself used to walking long distances. I am mostly able to do about 8 miles in a day. It is boring and uneventful to just walk here. I have tried walking the beaches and it is better. Still I feel like maybe I should not try to embark on a Camino. Is it different on the Camino? Will I get the motivation from others to continue and move on. I don't want to be a pre-quitter LOL but, I am afraid of getting there and not being able to walk the distance needed daily. I am 53 and in relatively good health. I imagine that walking on the Camino and not worrying about having to be somewhere or do something will make it easier, and also having company at times. Do most people think about not being able to walk the distance? any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
I have done the Camino Frances one time and the Camino Portuguese two times since retiring at age 65 y/o. I can walk 3 miles at a time then need a break. Doing this, I am able to walk 12 - 15 miles a day. One time I got lost and miscalculated the distance and ended up going 28 miles in one Day - yikes! A good meal, hot shower and good night rest and I was able to get back on the camino the next day.

On all three caminos I planned a day off for each 6 days of walking and had figured in a few extra days in case I needed them. It is your camino, do what is right for you. One day when it snowed so I took a bus to the next town. Some feel the need to walk every step, others don't.
Know, if you want a certificate of completion you will have to walk the last 100 Km.

I was hoping to do the Camino Ingles August 2020 before my 70th birthday. Covid changed those plans. I doubt that covid will allow me to walk next August 2021. God willing, I will walk the Camino Ingles August 2022.

I pray that both of us get to walk the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
I will add to David's very valid defence of the pole walking, that if one is tiring the arms and shoulders then the poles are not being used properly. Certainly my arms and shoulders became more fit when I began pole-walking (which I did for all the reasons David identifies, and not from some imagined/impugned effort to be faster or more efficient), but beyond that the poles bring pure alleviation of stress/strain.
Has anyone mentioned that if one's hands are down at one's sides while walking, after a while the fingers swell? If you use poles, aside from their help with balance, they help with the swelling of the hands. (And it's more work to swing your bent arms while walking than to rest the hands in the loops on the poles. ... Good to have loops that are not plain thin strings for this!)

Buen camino to all
(edited to fix spelling and capitalization)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Has anyone mentioned that if one's hands are down at one's sides while walking, after a while the fingers swell? If you use poles, aside from their help with balance, they help with the swelling of the hands. (And it's more work to swing your bent arms while walking than to rest the hands in the loops on the poles. ... Good to have loops that are not plain thin strings for this!)

Buen camino to all
(edited to fix spelling and capitalization)

I forgot to mention this bonus of the poles, but it’s a GREAT one! The relief of not having that burning discomfort in one’s hands (and I don’t think it has anything to do with fitness... I have great cardio-vascular health, am not overweight... walk all the time). It’s just plain old physics of fluid mechanics and motion.
 

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