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El Camino, just as nice an experience the 2nd time around?

Could walking the camino be just as nice an experience the 2nd time around?

  • No, Coelho is right. it's a once in a lifetime thing.

    Votes: 8 100.0%
  • Yes, but you would have to do a different camino.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, each time is special.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Staff member
Pualo Coelho said "I never again want to make the pilgrimage on foot", "there are experiences you can only go through once and you either live them or you don't, but they can't be repeated."
(More here: viewtopic.php?t=192)

Could walking the camino be just as nice an experience the 2nd time around?

Any opinions?
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I think he's half right. It's a mistake to think that going back to something (anything, not just the Camino) will recreate the same experience. Not only has it changed, but you've changed too. The longer ago that experience was, the more it and you will have changed. Other circumstances, especially the weather, are bound to affect your reaction to particular places. Memories are quite often wrong or exaggerated anyway. I found when I rewalked the Camino Frances after a gap of 10 years or so that the route was in places barely recognisable. I hardly saw anyone at all on my 1st trip, there were few refuges, waymarking was patchy - this is completely different nowadays.

On the other hand, if you approach things with an open mind, you will have a new, different experience, meet different people, etc. There's no reason why that can't be as good as, or even better than, the previous trip.

P.S. I did not find that the centre of Santiago itself had changed much. This is backed up by ... O=03300160 which has some photos taken in the early years of the last century. Much of this is easily recognisable, even if fashions have changed somewhat.


New Member
vote from a one time walker

Hi Ivar,

I had the feeling that your poll would get a bit distorted if not someone, who would not walk it for the second time, would react.

So, I am not going to do it for the second time, just because of the reason that Cuelho mentions.

It's just that I loved my first Camino so much that I would like to keep the memories as pure as posible. But this is very personal.

I do think that I would enjoy a second. In general, I would like to walk more long distances and meet people along the way.
For example, I think about walking to my starting point in France for the Camino, but that will be more of a holliday. No prob with that.

Best regards, Hugo


"True Pilgrim"
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Well, I had a botched pilgrimage in 1993, which gave me the desire to do it "properly". So in 1994 I walked from Paris (where I was living, I actually started from my front door) to Santiago in 1994, and it was a completely different (and far better) experience.

In 2000 I walked from Monaco (where I live) to Rome, again a completely dfferent pilgrimage.

This summer I am planning on walking from Monaco to Santiago and back again, which again will be a completely different pilgrimage.

I think each pilgrim path is different, even when it's the same person, it'll always be taking a different path :)
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