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Dropout rate

Frogmarch

New Member
I know there is no statistical data available, but I'm wondering if those who have already completed the Camino have seen many people who have had to stop because of illness, accidents or plain fatigue?

If so, what sort of people, oldies or youngsters who run along faster than they should?

I suppose that I should add that I am neither very young, nor very fit nor in very good health. The good thing is that I am no hurry either. :)
 
We did the sixty day route from Le Puy last year. It seems that more people had to drop out in France rather than in Spain, but there were only a few.

One Swiss lady in Conques (France) had been suffering back pains and when we last saw her, the doctor had told her that she would have to suspend her camino if the pain persisted.

Another lady in Spain extended her knee crossing a swollen stream before Belorado, and when we last saw her, a friendly hospitaliaro was driving her to the clinic there. We are not sure if she had to rest a few days or also suspend her camino.

We met a German lady in Leon that had tendon problems and had gone to the clinic. She was under doctor's orders to rest four days therre and then resume walking at a more relaxed pace and distance.

A fellow that we had been walking with had knee problems and when we last saw him in Molinaseca (200 kilometers to go) he had decided to go slower, but had not gone to a clinic yet.

So, yes, some people did seem to get injured and maybe suspend their camino, but there were not too many. The main problems wer blisters and sore tendons that forced one to salow down or walk shorter etapes.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Like stated above, people drop out for many reasons, and no one seems to keep track of them. I think a very large number drop out between Roncesvalles and Logroño, during those first really tough day. It´s not hard to imagine why. The Camino makes you feel hurt and lonely, bored and grubby, put-upon and crabby and flea-bitten and over-done, sunburned, blistered, sprained, strained, hungry, thirsty, intoxicated, fed-up, misunderstood, and chilled to the bone.

One thing not talked-of much on these forums is the fact that the Camino is NOT a path intended for everyone. If this hike is too much, for whatever reason, there is no shame in stopping. If Santiago/God/The Universe has business to do with you, it will be dealt-with WITH or WITHOUT a long shlog across Iberia. If you hang in there, the reward may be wonderful.

But we´ve all been subjected to miserable people who should just pack it in and go home, too.
 

Hermanita

Active Member
Rebekah Scott said:
...The Camino makes you feel hurt and lonely, bored and grubby, put-upon and crabby and flea-bitten and over-done, sunburned, blistered, sprained, strained, hungry, thirsty, intoxicated, fed-up, misunderstood, and chilled to the bone.


But we´ve all been subjected to miserable people who should just pack it in and go home, too.

Oh gosh, Rebekah ...You make it sound like a cake walk!! :shock:
And I am leaving in less than two weeks to start my Camino.

But, I am a pretty positive person, so I feel pretty sure I can maintain that on the Camino when I am feeling any of the above mentioned maladies. I don't want to be one of those "miserable people" :lol:
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
I kept pace with an Italian senior citizen on the Via de la Plata in 2006. He was walking over 35 kms per day. Day after day. He developed a pain in his hip when we had just 200 kms to go. Livio just took painkillers without slowing down. It all became too much for him and he had to quit in the last 100 km. It was a dreadful disappointment to him because he was walking with a prayer that his daughter would have a healthy baby.

I believe that the problem may have been made worse by the distance each day and the pace he walked at. We seldom walked together because he walked too fast for me, but he would greet me each evening as I dragged into the albergue.

I think the lesson here is not to be in too much of a rush. Shorter distances and more breaks each day, and I think he would have made it.

David, Victoria, Canada.
 
Re: Unfit people

Hello.
I was several times Hospitalero in our Casa Paderborn in Pamplona.
Pamplona is the first really town south of the Pirenees.
My experience is: There are many inexperienced people daring to go the Camino without knowing how strenious it is. Under them are quite a few who have never done a hiking tour with a backpack in the middle high moutains in their homeland.
Especially the German so called "Kerkeling tourists".
Kerkeling is a well known TV comedian who did the Camino and wrote a book of his experience on the Camino. It bekame a bestseller!!! His book sold in 2008 more than three million!! copies!
They came virtually creeping into our refuge. Sometimes with a backpack more than 16 Kilos. Totally untrained. They have read Kerkelings book in their armchair besides their fireplace and said to themselves: "What he can do I can do also!" So they closed the book, loaded their rucksack on their back and off they went onto the Camino.
They where bound to collapse on the Camino.
Buen Camino
Jochen
 
Five years ago when we did the first leg of our camino Frances we spent our first night in Hunto and in the morning when we left to commence the really steep climb we came on a very elderly Frenchman walking very very slowly,carrying his stick in both hands in front of him, breathing very deeply and, while he seemed calm, we secretly were concerned for him and wondered if he could possibly make the climb. A few hundred metres later we came on two very young fit looking Americans, zigzagging across the path army style, looking like they would complete the camino in record time. Next day we met the Americans again, this time not so happy, complaining about the mud for which they were completely unprepared, wrong kind of shoes, etc. Later that day at Zubiri we met one of them, very upset as his friend had done damage to his knee and they were waiting for a taxi to Pamplona for treatment.
We continued our camino as far as Castrojeriz which was the end of that leg of our pilgrimage, and having walked all the way from Burgos to Castrojeriz in a day we were ahead of many of our fellow pilgrims. We spent the next day in Castrojeriz before returning to Burgos to come home and during that day we met up with almost everyone of our camino friends that we had spent time with during our 14 days of walking. ( This always seemed to happen to us at the end of each of our three stages) We did not however see our two young Americans and I don't know if they continued after Pamplona or not, but there coming down the street in Castrojeriz we spied our elderly Frenchman, still traveling at his own pace, still calm and happy. I am just sure he made it all the way to Santiago. There has to be a moral in this somewhere!
Anna
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
There was a lovely young woman I met who started in Roncesvalles, but she found the going tough. The last time I saw her was in Estella, after four days on the trail, where she went to the wonderful Red Cross people for help with her blisters. She was quite distressed that day. As is often the way on the Camino, we lost touch after that, but I have often wondered about her, and wondered if she continued walking. I hope that maybe she did. But if she stopped, I hope she will perhaps try another time after more 'training', or perhaps she will just be at peace knowing it was not for her.
Margaret
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
irishpilgrim said:
but there coming down the street in Castrojeriz we spied our elderly Frenchman, still traveling at his own pace, still calm and happy. I am just sure he made it all the way to Santiago. There has to be a moral in this somewhere!
Anna

Anna..... I am certain there is a moral, as found in the "Hare and the Tortoise" fable. I was a slow walker, and in my early days from Le Puy, there was a French family walking. The father was a professor of French literature, and he told me several times about how the tortoise was the one who completed the journey. I was more than happy to reach Santiago and be a tortoise!
Margaret
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
Gerard Hughes, the Jesuit priest who has written wonderful books about his very long pilgrimages to Rome and Jerusalem, distills what he has learnt on pilgrimage into three platitudes. These are:

1. Luggage is for the journey, not the journey for the luggage.
2. The more attached we are to our own likes and dislikes, the greater our capacity for misery along the way.
3. The burden does not lie in the goods we carry, but in the way we relate to them.

(Gerard W Hughes, 'God in All Things, p155)
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
I found this an interesting question (though 'drop out' is not really accurate as some just review the 'all in one go' approach). So I took the table I sat at for the pilgrims meal at Roncevalles and used the pilgrims intending on 'going all the way' as a sort of working sample. Out of that group of 8 there were definitely 2, and one 'probable but unconfirmed', pilgrims who terminated/postponed/changed their 'doing it all in one go' plan.
One of these was because of knee injury gained when having walked up to the Cruxeiro weather conditions meant she had to turn and walk down to Arneguy and along the valley route to Roncevalles-a long old haul in snow and rain. This lady slowed her pace and decided to break the journey up into 2 or maybe 3 segments with 'recovery' windows built in-so she will complete but over a longer timeframe.
One lad who drove very hard overextended himself and had to stop. His need to do the Camino seemed stronger, or at least more obvious, than any other member of that informal group.If he tries again I hope he gives himself permission to take the time he needs to make the journey.
The 'probable but unconfirmed'' was an american girl who realised that her walking partner was not a 'fit' for her both in terms of pace and intensity of approach-and that in fact she was walking his Camino not hers. She had made it as far as Logrono but that is the last time I spoke to her or that anyone else in that group, or indeed later starters I asked saw or heard of her. She was a very positive and fit person so maybe its a case of 'when' rather than 'if' she completes 'her Camino' I hope so.
These pilgrims were in the mid 20 to mid 30 age group with, insofar as I know, no serious pre-existing physical conditions and started walking in early April.
Don't know if thats a 'norm' or if there is such a thing and if not if its valid to try and establish one? I do know that I was scanning the faces in the square and at the pilgrims mass for the members of that initial group and that the fact that not everyone in it made it to Santiago this time left me a little sad, and even more appreciative of the fact that I was able to do so.
Personally I found that 'Festina Lente' provided a sustainable camino approach .
Bonne route
Pilgrim Tortoise!
 

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