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LIVE from the Camino Ethics Question -- to walk or not to walk?

To walk or not to walk?

  • Bus

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Walk

    Votes: 8 88.9%

  • Total voters
    9
Status
Not open for further replies.

Chicago Seeker

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Winter Camino Frances (2018)
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Inglese 2021
CF started 22022
How comfortable is she travelling on her own in a foreign country? Does she speak the language or not? My wife is not and does not, so even though I'd rather walk I would probably take the bus or wait till she can walk. Alternatively you could spring for a cab to take her to Puente la Reina but even though that may minimize the other issues it may not do away with them.
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
How are you treating the blister? To me, whether or not you spend an extra day here or there is secondary to taking care of the feet! You still have many miles to go. Have you gone to a pharmacy? They can be very helpful. My treatment of blisters is very simple, but effective. Open the blister up so it drains. If you don’t already have done, pick up a roll of paper pharmaceutical tape. Cover the blister when walking; air it out at night. Even with good shoes, you might still get blisters. Take care of them immediately as they occur to keep them under control. If you get a hot spot while walking, stop and tape it up.

I’ve now walked three Caminos with my wife. We adjust to each other’s needs, usually physical ones, every Camino. Although we would probably spend an extra day in Pamplona, you need to decide if that’s best for you. It’s great to hike up the Alto de Pedron, but you both want to be able to enjoy it. Maybe one more rest day will be enough for her foot to heal enough so as not to be too uncomfortable.
 

Chicago Seeker

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Winter Camino Frances (2018)
How comfortable is she travelling on her own in a foreign country? Does she speak the language or not? My wife is not and does not, so even though I'd rather walk I would probably take the bus or wait till she can walk. Alternatively you could spring for a cab to take her to Puente la Reina but even though that may minimize the other issues it may not do away with them.
She is Mexican, I'm a Gringo. I can hold my own in Spanish, but she can of course discuss the most obscure topics with a university professor. We both have PhDs in Latin American history.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I say you should walk but in a way that doesn't fit into the poll. Walk to the Alto de Pedrón but then back to Pamplona and your wife to figure out what to do next. Before you go maybe you can find a peregrina willing to explore Pamplona with your wife for a day. It's a good way of showing both independence and support.
 
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Well, no. We purposely bought her shoes a size and a half bigger. She had on cotton socks for the first two days instead of the Darn Toughs I bought her.
I have rarely heard of people going up a full 1.5 size bigger in their Camino shoes. I myself only go up a half size. Add to all that extra room wearing only cotton thin socks, and it sounds a recipe for disaster. Her toes may very well be "sloshing" around rubbing in her shoes. My opinion is that she needs to switch immediately to wearing the Darn Tough socks, even if they seem hot in the heat.
 

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
@Chicago Seeker Chi town was home for me in a previous life.

What do you think the cause of her blister was? The shoes sound big enough. Is there any abnormality or seam in the shoe? Maybe sweaty feet from the cotton socks? I keep reading about the heat right now. Maybe change socks during the day. Let your feet dry before putting on a new pair. You need to eliminate the friction somehow. Maybe a thin nylon (stocking, liner, pantyhose type nylon) under the Darn Tough. Tape, Foot Glide, antiperspirant, etc. Do you know how to lace lock your shoes, so that your are not jamming your toes on the downhill? Are you walking too fast? Get the pressure off the blister. Maybe a gel toe sleeve, doughnut of mole skin, or drain it (threading) if needed but make sure to keep it clean.

I understand the cost issue, but do you also have time constraints? ... return ticket, enough days to complete the journey to SdC?

Is the Camino doable together? Have you both walked before starting? Hiked somewhere bedsides the local park? Is she up to it?

Why does she want you to take the bus? Does she speak some Spanish? Do you each have a phone with cell service or a SIM card? Can you stay in touch during the day?

Sorry more questions than answers, but it really is up to the both of you to work it out. How do you resolve issues and work out compromises at home? I wish you both luck!
 
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Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I have rarely heard of people going up a full 1.5 size bigger in their Camino shoes. I myself only go up a half size. Add to all that extra room wearing only cotton thin socks, and it sounds a recipe for disaster. Her toes may very well be "sloshing" around rubbing in her shoes. My opinion is that she needs to switch immediately to wearing the Darn Tough socks, even if they seem hot in the heat.
Have to agree with Chrissy. A size and a half seems way too large. While still in Pamplona, go to an outfitters that sells shoes. It could set the tone for the next 400+ miles.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
I have rarely heard of people going up a full 1.5 size bigger in their Camino shoes. I myself only go up a half size. Add to all that extra room wearing only cotton thin socks, and it sounds a recipe for disaster. Her toes may very well be "sloshing" around rubbing in her shoes. My opinion is that she needs to switch immediately to wearing the Darn Tough socks, even if they seem hot in the heat.
I’m a size 5 in ‘normal ‘ shoes and yet take size 6 1/2 for long distance walking, this year, I even took size 7!!! And yes, it was blissfully comfortable. We’re all different. So are the shoes.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
Whatever keeps your marriage happy! 😎 Me? I’d walk whilst she takes the bus or taxis. It’s a pilgrimage, it is our own journey 🙂
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I'm not sure why you think this is an ethics question. It doesn't appear to involve any moral choice, rather about your practical choices at this stage of your walk.

The first is whether to recover in place, and continue walking from there, or to use some form of transport to a point you might have reached should you have continued walking with an injury. Implicit in this is that you have made the choice to allow your wife to recover from her injury to the point where she can walk on it with whatever treatment she is implementing without further damage. Only you can weigh all the factors that might be involved here, but there doesn't appear to be a moral component to that.

If you were to pressure her to decide to walk while there is a risk of more debilitating injury, that would be a moral choice.

The second is whether you are to remain 'tied at the hip' like Siamese twins and experience everything together. Of course, there are superficial but nonetheless important activities which you won't do together, so the question is perhaps one of where one draws the boundary about this. It seems odd to me that someone would want you not to experience something just because they are not capable or willing to participate in some activity. Perhaps that requires more exploration to better understand her motivations, or your interpretation of those.

My wife lets me walk pilgrimage routes, and has only ever wanted to join me once, and even then she didn't insist on walking every day that I did. We see that as perfectly acceptable. That said, couples come in all shapes and sizes, and you need to wend your own pathway through how to deal with that.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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I’m a size 5 in ‘normal ‘ shoes and yet take size 6 1/2 for long distance walking, this year, I even took size 7!!! And yes, it was blissfully comfortable. We’re all different. So are the shoes.
We are all different! If I went up 1.5 size bigger, I would definitely be tripping over the toes of my shoes!
That said, many people's feet spread out and get a bit larger as they age.
 
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K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
You walk and she takes the bus(or a taxi). You meet up at the end of your walking day, have lunch, enjoy the town you are in, have dinner and repeat the routine tomorrow.

It is unfair to ask you to not walk and to take the bus when the agreed upon trip was walking across Spain.

This style of bandage is available at most pharmacies and saved my Camino. Slip them on, cut to length and go. No friction, didn't take up too much room and no compeed glue stuck to your socks. Take them off at the end of the day to allow the blister to dry out. https://www.amazon.ca/ViveSole-Toe-Sleeves-Pack-Compression/dp/B076KVPPGB
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
It is unfair to ask you to not walk and to take the bus when the agreed upon trip was walking across Spain.
No it isn't. The fact that this question is being asked is an indication to me that the discussion about what to do if one person were injured to the extent that they wanted more rest time to recover didn't take place before they started. Implicit in any agreement would have been that neither of them suffered injuries that might preclude them going on. They now need to work out what is or isn't fair in the context of their own relationship, about which we have just this little, very incomplete, snapshot.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, September 2022
The title here is "Ethics Question." Ethics connote questions of what is appropriate. You and your wife are on a spiritual journey and choices of your personal path/modes of transportation on the Camino are specific to your individual needs. There is no single appropriate pathway/method to accomplish the inspiration that the pilgrimage has in store for you. The initial challenges of the Camino are indeed challenging! Do not hesitate to take time to heal or take alternative transportation to accomplish your goal to arrive in Santiago.
 

Chicago Seeker

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Winter Camino Frances (2018)
@Chicago Seeker Chi town was home for me in a previous life.

What do you think the cause of her blister was? The shoes sound big enough. Is there any abnormality or seam in the shoe? Maybe sweaty feet from the cotton socks? I keep reading about the heat right now. Maybe change socks during the day. Let your feet dry before putting on a new pair. You need to eliminate the friction somehow. Maybe a thin nylon (stocking, liner, pantyhose type nylon) under the Darn Tough. Tape, Foot Glide, antiperspirant, etc. Do you know how to lace lock your shoes, so that your are not jamming your toes on the downhill? Are you walking too fast? Get the pressure off the blister. Maybe a gel toe sleeve, doughnut of mole skin, or drain it (threading) if needed but make sure to keep it clean.

I understand the cost issue, but do you also have time constraints? ... return ticket, enough days to complete the journey to SdC?

Is the Camino doable together? Have you both walked before starting? Hiked somewhere bedsides the local park? Is she up to it?

Why does she want you to take the bus? Does she speak some Spanish? Do you each have a phone with cell service or a SIM card? Can you stay in touch during the day?

Sorry more questions than answers, but it really is up to the both of you to work it out. How do you resolve issues and work out compromises at home? I wish you both luck!
Thanks for these questions! This is exactly why I wanted to post about this situation on the forum. My wife and I have been debating/arguing about this as if it were a black and white issue. Folks on here came with a more practical perspective. I think the resounding question I am hearing from the crowd is: what caused the blister, and what can we do to prevent this from going further so we can actually finish the Camino.

I will try to answer your questions as best I can.

Honestly, I think she has the wrong shoes. She LOVES these L.L. Bean shoes: https://global.llbean.com/shop/Womens-Trail-Model-4-Ventilated-Hiking-Shoes/91621.html While they are great for a day hike or a walk around the city, I told her I thought they were not the right shoe for the Camino. She insisted that she wanted these, and, of course, that is her prerogative. I insisted on her getting Darn Tough wool socks, but she hates them and says they make her feet sweat. I think they do the opposite, but the same as above. We tried both moleskin donuts and Compeed. Neither seemed to relieve her symptoms. I also threaded her blister for her tonight, so we shall see how she feels in the morning. I have been lace locking my shoes, but her's don't allow for that. We are certainly not walking too fast. We took 9 hours to get from Rocenvalles to Zurbiri. Part of it was because of the heat, most of it was because she just walks fairly slow.

We definitely have cost and time constraints. I built in 7 extra days for resting, mishaps, etc., but we have already burned through 3 of those.

I am a fairly experienced through hiker and multiday backpacker, but she is largely an amateur at this. I trained with her as best we could for the last 6 months, but I'm starting to think this might have been a bad idea. She is enjoying the culture, etc., but I'm not sure she is cut out for long-distance hiking like this.

I can't admit this to her, but honestly, I don't think the blister is that bad. It's already largely healed and there was barely any drainage. Working in healthcare, however, I understand that pain is completely subjective.

I previously answered the questions about her Spanish skills and the reasons she wants me to take the bus with her. We do have fully functional phones and long-distance walkie-talkies.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
One of the biggest challenges, imo, is walking with someone else. I would suggest you sit down over a glass of wine and both discuss your thoughts on moving forward. Then make a decision and proceed.

Buen Camino
Joe
 

Chicago Seeker

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Winter Camino Frances (2018)
No it isn't. The fact that this question is being asked is an indication to me that the discussion about what to do if one person were injured to the extent that they wanted more rest time to recover didn't take place before they started. Implicit in any agreement would have been that neither of them suffered injuries that might preclude them going on. They now need to work out what is or isn't fair in the context of their own relationship, about which we have just this little, very incomplete, snapshot.

The title here is "Ethics Question." Ethics connote questions of what is appropriate. You and your wife are on a spiritual journey and choices of your personal path/modes of transportation on the Camino are specific to your individual needs. There is no single appropriate pathway/method to accomplish the inspiration that the pilgrimage has in store for you. The initial challenges of the Camino are indeed challenging! Do not hesitate to take time to heal or take alternative transportation to accomplish your goal to arrive in Santiago.
@dougfitz and @Kobe I really appreciate both of your perspectives here. Obviously, if she was massively injured I would end my Camino immediately to attend to her needs. Since this is a minor injury that should heal itself soonish, I think the two quotes below are the key.
There has to be some give and take. How will your Camino be if you’re the one making all the compromises?

To me, this statement stands out on it's own, away from the shoes and socks and blisters and buses.

What do  you want?

I want to walk. I came here to walk the Camino for my own personal growth. Like the first time I walked, my life is at a crossroads. I am stuck in a dead-end job with few future prospects. I'm trying to find a way forward and I was hoping to connect to God/Universe/Higher Power to help me with that. The physical aspect of the Camino is such an important part of the experience for me.

The amazing insights from folks on this forum are making me realize that my wife and I's disagreement here is not about riding a bus, but something fundamentally deeper. Even more reason, I think, for me to continue this journey.

Hmmm, your wife is possibly fearful to ride the bus alone in a foreign country. I lean towards taking her side, but only because you have already walked up to Alto de Pedrón on your last Camino.
She is from Mexico and we have traveled to over 40 countries together. We have been on some rather scary bus rides. Spain is a walk in the park.
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks for these questions! This is exactly why I wanted to post about this situation on the forum. My wife and I have been debating/arguing about this as if it were a black and white issue. Folks on here came with a more practical perspective. I think the resounding question I am hearing from the crowd is: what caused the blister, and what can we do to prevent this from going further so we can actually finish the Camino.

I will try to answer your questions as best I can.

Honestly, I think she has the wrong shoes. She LOVES these L.L. Bean shoes: https://global.llbean.com/shop/Womens-Trail-Model-4-Ventilated-Hiking-Shoes/91621.html While they are great for a day hike or a walk around the city, I told her I thought they were not the right shoe for the Camino. She insisted that she wanted these, and, of course, that is her prerogative. I insisted on her getting Darn Tough wool socks, but she hates them and says they make her feet sweat. I think they do the opposite, but the same as above. We tried both moleskin donuts and Compeed. Neither seemed to relieve her symptoms. I also threaded her blister for her tonight, so we shall see how she feels in the morning. I have been lace locking my shoes, but her's don't allow for that. We are certainly not walking too fast. We took 9 hours to get from Rocenvalles to Zurbiri. Part of it was because of the heat, most of it was because she just walks fairly slow.

We definitely have cost and time constraints. I built in 7 extra days for resting, mishaps, etc., but we have already burned through 3 of those.

I am a fairly experienced through hiker and multiday backpacker, but she is largely an amateur at this. I trained with her as best we could for the last 6 months, but I'm starting to think this might have been a bad idea. She is enjoying the culture, etc., but I'm not sure she is cut out for long-distance hiking like this.

I can't admit this to her, but honestly, I don't think the blister is that bad. It's already largely healed and there was barely any drainage. Working in healthcare, however, I understand that pain is completely subjective.

I previously answered the questions about her Spanish skills and the reasons she wants me to take the bus with her. We do have fully functional phones and long-distance walkie-talkies.
Chicago Seeker, my first CF was done solo! Very different from walking with your life partner. Walking alone, I could be as self-centered as I wanted to be. Caminos 2, 3, 5, and 6 were with my wife. My solo Caminos weren’t better or worse than those that I walked with my wife. They were simply different, equally good. Different criteria apply! I was part of a team with the goal of having a great Camino “together” and doing our best to reach Santiago each time. It wasn’t about what we saw along The Way. It was about the journey itself. I believe we were successful on both accords.

I don’t know you and I don’t know your wife. But, as a psychologist, when I hear something, I also know that it might mean something else. Your wife saying that she doesn’t want to miss out on what you see might also be her saying that she doesn’t want to be left alone in a foreign place without you. I rarely accept what people say at simple face value.

You’re not on a solo Camino. You chose to walk the CF with your wife. I say to you wholeheartedly, if your wife has a good Camino, you, too, will have a good Camino. It seems to me that your biggest task is to see how you can help your wife over this hurdle. Your difficulties may be yet to come. The pilgrimage to Santiago offers physical, psychological, and spiritual challenges. Work through those and the decision to come to Spain will be one of the best you’ve ever made.
 
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Chicago Seeker

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Winter Camino Frances (2018)
Chicago Seeker, my first CF was done solo! Very different from walking with your life partner. Walking alone, I could be as self-centered as I wanted to be. Caminos 2, 3, 5, and 6 were with my wife. My solo Caminos weren’t better or worse than those that I walked with my wife. They were simply different, equally good. Different criteria apply! I was part of a team with the goal of having a great Camino “together” and doing our best to reach Santiago each time. It wasn’t about what we saw along The Way. It was about the journey itself. I believe we were successful on both accords.

I don’t know you and I don’t know your wife. But, as a psychologist, when I hear something, I also know that it might mean something else. Your wife saying that she doesn’t want to miss out on what you see might also be her saying that she doesn’t want to be left alone in a foreign place without you. I rarely accept what people say at simple face value.

You’re not on a solo Camino. You chose to walk the CF with your wife. I say to you wholeheartedly, if your wife has a good Camino, you, too, will have a good Camino. It seems to me that your biggest task is to see how you can help your wife over this hurdle. Your difficulties may be yet to come. The pilgrimage to Santiago offers physical, psychological, and spiritual challenges. Work through those and the decision to come to Spain will be one of the best you’ve ever made.
Grousedoctor, I appreciate your post more than I think I can express at this late hour (1am in Spain!). It's a good reminder that I need to get back into therapy when I get back to the States. It's difficult to keep track of other people's transference, much less your own. I think I need to listen to her a bit more carefully. I REALLY want her to have a good time, but I think I am forcing it a bit.
 

auburnfive

Active Member
It sounds like you and your wife are looking for different things, reading that each of you “insist” on certain things, there is or has been disagreements already. You want to walk, and she wants to experience the same things as you. Perhaps you could look at how you can both achieve what you want. Could you both bus a fair but further ahead than Puenta la Reina giving her the rest time she is wanting and shortening your overall Camino distance so that you can consider shorter daily distances and be within your time and budget needs.
 

hawkeyepierce

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances July 22
If you can't get to SdC on your schedule, you could either skip stages or only plan to go partway and come back another year to finish it.

Which Darn Tough socks do you have? I wonder if a lightweight merino sock might be the ticket here, if the current ones are mid/heavyweight. I also second the above suggestions about a liner sock.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
She should try some hiking sandals. Many people find it more comfortable to walk in sandals when they have blisters.
And rather than cotton vs wool socks, check out synthetic socks that might be cooler.
I walk all my Caminos in hiking sandals now, usually with WrightSocks double layer socks with Coolmesh.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
This feels like marriage guidance! Some non-relationship suggestions

(A) suggest your wife try open toed hiking sandals
(B) walk but only 14km stages (similar to a walk at home)
(C) think about hiring bicycles
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
You’re not on a solo Camino. You chose to walk the CF with your wife. I say to you wholeheartedly, if your wife has a good Camino, you, too, will have a good Camino.
A shorter version is well known, "Happy wife, happy life."

"It's your camino" is another saying well known here. I modified that to "It's her camino." It worked well for me even though I didn't get anything I planned on getting in Spain (other than Barcelona).

Maybe you should ignore my last post.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
I get it that she doesn't want to miss out, and wants to walk together. That is what you both set out to do so her feelings are understandable.

But a blister on a pinkie toe is hardly a show stopping serious injury - many (most?) of us just walk through the experience of much worse blisters. If your partner is not tolerant of a certain amount of discomfort, the camino will be miserable for her. Today it's a pinkie blister, tomorrow and next week it may be something else. So take care of to blister medically, so that it doesn't get worse. Then use the camino to cultivate resilience.

Or perhaps she has a ton of resilience and it's not about the blister at all. You will both have to parse this out with as much good sense, mutual respect, and sensitivity as each of you can muster. Walking together requires flexibility from both parties, and it brings a lot of hidden stresses to the surface. It's hard but immensely rewarding, because you can see and work through these things together.

It is her Camino. It is your camino. But more than anything since you are together it is both, equally. (So try to let go of whether she takes or doesn't take your advice, because that's her right, and not actually anything to do with the blisters. What is, is, regardless of how it got to be that way.)

All that said - practically? Trying hiking sandals can make a huge difference. Open toed Keen sandals saved my feet on my most recent camino, when I was getting deep blisters on top of blisters from shoes that didn't fit perfectly.
 

Sheesh

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2009, 2013, (2022)
How about arranging a taxi to take your wife to Uterga. Meanwhile you walk up and down Alto de Perdon and meet her there. The walk from Uterga to Puente la Reina is a lovely, non-taxing saunter that a well-wrapped pinky toe should be able to handle.

Meanwhile, you've received some good advice to get the footwear and any other issues sorted out, or they will continue to adversely impact your walk, even derail it entirely.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Portuguese
Norte
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
When we walked Francaise, our son had a health problem and had to go on the bus for several days. We, the parents, took turns going on the bus with him. One went on the bus, one walked. The next day, we traded. The day after, we traded again.

My husband says, if you want to walk, walk, and if your wife wants to take the bus, she should take the bus.
Buen Camino!
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 x 2, 2017, 2021, 2022
@Chicago Seeker , are you both still in Pamplona? If so, go to a farmacia for advice about the blister - Spanish farmacists on the Camino are wonderful, then go to Caminoteca - a smallish shop, with great gear on c/ Curia - not far from the Cathedral and the big albergue for wool socks and possibly different shoes. If Istvan is still the owner, he's very friendly, and knowledgeable AND just an amazing person! He will help you find what your wife needs.
When your wife is ready to walk, remember to stop periodically for her to air her feet. Think about going a bit more slowly until the feet are healed! Buen Camino!!!
 
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K_Lynn

Buen Camino!
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
No it isn't. The fact that this question is being asked is an indication to me that the discussion about what to do if one person were injured to the extent that they wanted more rest time to recover didn't take place before they started. Implicit in any agreement would have been that neither of them suffered injuries that might preclude them going on. They now need to work out what is or isn't fair in the context of their own relationship, about which we have just this little, very incomplete, snapshot.
If she was injured I would advocate staying with her. She has a blister.

By splitting up and meeting back up every day, she can have a relaxing holiday and he can walk and they can share their experiences when they get to the next town.

Yes, it’s not our relationship, but it sounds like he wants to walk and is disappointed.
 
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AKCaminoDuck

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019, Camino Frances 2022
I think this is not so much about a blister as it is lack of shared vision for this experience. As the person who has experienced the Camino before, please give your wife a bit of space to process feelings of vulnerability on starting something epic that’s new to her. Some helpful tips…don’t come to a board and post that she’s chosen the wrong shoes, the wrong socks etc. That’s just looking for a knowledgeable crowd to take your side. This is a long journey…take another day in Pamplona and have a conversation on how you’re going to manage hardship moving ahead. You’ll likely avoid a lot of future strife.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Your relationship is important. Will she be mad if you walk alone? Will it cause a divide if you don't walk? Someone will not get their way. Make sure you are both ok with that. My husband and I are usually on different paths/speeds and it can cause friction.
 
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
Take the first bus with her, get her settled. Take the bus back and walk and meet her at the hotel that evening. Win -Win. You get to walk, she can take the bus.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
You both want to know? I presume you share the thread...
However. By now, I hope you have resolved your dilemma, be it ethical or practical. You might know there are alternatives, for instance in Cizur Menor there is a donativo (Knights of Malta?) or certainly low cost where you can spend one night. It is easy to get a bus to there, less than 5km. Plus, a lovely church with cool steps to sit on and look around. Then there is a second albergue, rather famous, and likely cheaper than Pamplona. El Perdón is one of my favourite sections. Taken as a choice, with no need to rush whatsoever. Maybe have a look in Muga in Pamplona first, for walking sandals. An independent store, dedicated to the outdoor world. Or there is another place, Caminoteca, very central in Pamplona.
I am hoping to hear that the threading has worked. There will be differences of opinion on that - what's new? - but done properly, that is how I proceed.
Do let us all know how things work out. Often, the presenting problem is a cover for other things... with me, it certainly is! 😁

Edit: temperatures are due to rise again soon around Pamplona, so perhaps that might influence you to choose to take public transport for a few stages and then return to walking...
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Time of past OR future Camino
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Just stay put and wait for the blister to dry up. Wool not cotton. Then shorter stages while it finishes healing.

A marriage is for the long haul, so don't be surprised or distressed or worried that your shared Camino is too.
 
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Dancing Rain

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Salvado (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
I have walked long sections of the Camino Frances with my beloved husband. Our first ten days of walking together were particularly challenging as we adjusted to our different styles. We persisted through this and the experiences we shared have become one of the most precious experiences of our long marriage.

To start with we decided to focus on just the next week in our decision making. I put aside ideas of completing. We walked, rested and recovered together. We went at the pace of the slowest. We took rest days when either of us wanted. We stayed together in one town when days of recovery time were needed from illness or injury. We were kind companions to each other, and I learnt so much
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Do you know what caused the blister? Was it because her pinky toe slips underneath the neighboring toe? If so try to find toe socks. They have been game changers for me. I am walking with three pairs of darn tuff that I haven't worn at all (I think they are also too tight). I have also been walking in Chacos which has been great! My feet are always dry.
 

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Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I hesitate to get into family dynamics….
Does she want you to wait until she can walk with you? Does that seem realistic now? Will you harbor feelings of resentment if you can not walk this section?

Personally, I would not leave a beloved on the trail while I walked. I just could not do that. But I would easily take a bus to allow the other to walk.. I would like to think that your wife would encourage you to go on if it was really that important to you.
 

sarahchicago

Trail snail
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2022
You have walked the Frances before and she has not. You set out on this journey together this time but she has come down with a problem that has changed plans for your shared journey (more on the problem below). Could you consider inventing a new journey together? This new journey can get you off the stages and exploring out of the way places, maybe staying off Camino in a rural area for a few days and just soaking up peace and a slow pace. The Camino isn’t going anywhere. You can walk it again another time, alone or together. She might walk a Camino alone next time. If you can let go of the timeline and the “goal” you might find a beautiful shared experience is right around the corner.

Re: the problem. You know it’s not just the blister. As @Grousedoctor suggests, there’s more going on there. Time to explore that with a goal of finding a compromise that you both can enjoy. You are partners and can conquer this together. Btw, the hike over the Pyrenees, down into zubiri and the hot hot walk into Pamplona might have signaled to her this is not going to be fun and might have scared her a bit. Despite lots of training (in Chicago, too) those first three days had me worried whether my barely-recovered shin splints and I could complete my first Camino Frances alongside my husband on his second. Compassion and patience and “we’re in this together” (plus a lot of KT tape and ibuprofen) got us through.
After reinventing a shared vision for this shared camino, a slower pace with shorter stages and different footwear might solve a lot.
 

Harland2019

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April/May 2019, CF May 2022
Whilst not wishing to restate a lot of what has been said above, my view is that a blister on a toe is not an issue that should stop someone walking unless there are other reasons for not enjoying the walk. Taking care of a blister, small or large, should in my opinion be treated to the point that you would be able to continue walking accepting that at the start of the day it will sometimes take a little time to "bed in". Something needs to change, however, shoes, socks, accepting a bit of pain etc. as it is very likely that there will be further blisters having got one this early into the walk.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Primitivo Sep 2022 (planned)
She doesn't want me to experience something that she won't.
Well, then wait until she is fit to walk ... or, if you do not want to wait several days trapped in one place: Do very short days walking. No one forces you to stick to the most common stages. The tiny places in between can be lovely and you maintain the feeling of daily progress at least to some extent.

I do not want to sound too brutal, but often blisters are worse in perception than in actual medical relevance. In the army we had the saying blister pain (how bad it might feel) is no real pain. In most ( but not all) cases blisters do not need to be cured by resting but it is a mere annoyance that one can walk through. ATTENTION: I do not suggest to become a martyr at all costs and I am not saying her pain is not real and it might even be a serious medical condition. All I want to do is give an optional and totally different point of view – a thought worth considering.
Also I guess if she has had no real blister experience so far she probably lacks the routine in how to handle them while on the road, both mentally and by tending to them. So to approach the problem slowly might be a good way.
 

Shalaw

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2015
Portuguese is next!
When my partner and I walked in 2015, we agreed before we left that tired or injury trumped all, and so we would be together throughout the entire thing. Thankfully, neither of us got injured enough to stop walking. I did get a couple of small blisters, but only after walking through Galicia when I could not keep my feet dry, so even though many people frown on threading blisters, we did mine very carefully which worked very well and by morning I was good to go. Thankfully those were the only two blisters I got and he got none. Not sure if this makes a difference, but you've walked it before so maybe go at her speed? If you don't want to wait for her to heal so you can walk together, however, I would cab her to Puenta La Reina so you can walk and meet her there. Remind her it's only a few minutes in a cab, and it won't take her long to get there. It's incredible how big our world gets when were walking everywhere, and we need to remind ourselves if we need to take a cab, it's actually a quick ride to go 25kms! By the way, I highly recommend the albergue linked below, which is about 5kms short of Puenta. Carlos and Alicia and their children were amazing hosts and they have a pool so maybe your wife would like to spend the day relaxing there?!


Buen Camino!
 
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Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
Well, no. We purposely bought her shoes a size and a half bigger. She had on cotton socks for the first two days instead of the Darn Toughs I bought her.
Some feet swell and some don't. The "get a size bigger advice" is bad advice for some people. You buy a boot that fits not one you'll grow into. Put the boot on and kick you foot back against the heel and knot the lace second from bottom that should stop the foot from hitting the toe box, you don't want your foot moving in the boot.......or buy new boots.
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
To misquote LP Hartley

'Someone else's marriage is a foreign country: they do things differently there'

My wife and I do not live every experience together. How could we? We are not joined at the hip. We do however relate experiences whether she is telling me of her day at work or her meeting up abroad with college friends from decades ago.
Were we in a similar situation on the Camino my wife would be encouraging me to walk and I would be the reluctant one.

Apart from that, when I have had blisters I drained and taped them them and applied vaseline as a preventative measure. Although since using merino socks and sandals I've had no further problems.
 

Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
I have rarely heard of people going up a full 1.5 size bigger in their Camino shoes. I myself only go up a half size. Add to all that extra room wearing only cotton thin socks, and it sounds a recipe for disaster. Her toes may very well be "sloshing" around rubbing in her shoes. My opinion is that she needs to switch immediately to wearing the Darn Tough socks, even if they seem hot in the heat.

Well, no. We purposely bought her shoes a size and a half bigger. She had on cotton socks for the first two days instead of the Darn Toughs I bought her.
Remember wool will wick moisture from the feet and moisture is not your foots friend.
 
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JamesVT

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
Well, no. We purposely bought her shoes a size and a half bigger. She had on cotton socks for the first two days instead of the Darn Toughs I bought her.
There’s your answer. The cotton socks are causing her blisters and need to be changed to the Darn Tough wool socks.
 

Shazenalan

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2018
I have only ever worn 2pairs of liner socks, so two socks on each foot, with coolmax - never had a blister. Change or at least air your feet, socks and boots mid-walk.

👍🤞👣👣
 

Thebee6

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sept-Oct 2018)
I can't comment on the together/separately issue, but will say that shear pressure between two layers of tissue causes blisters. Sock liners are a way to keep tissue shear in between two layers of cloth, rather than between cloth and skin. You can find nylon stockings in any grocery store; in Spain they even sell ankle-high ones. Wearing a liner under either cotton or wool socks -- or some other material that your wife finds wearable -- will help keep her feet comfortable and eliminate the blister potential (as long as the shoes fit properly). A Camino friend of mine had dreadful blisters on his little toes, and once he started wearing ladies' ankle-high nylons he had no more blisters and enjoyed his Camino a great deal more.
 

isobelmtl

New Member
I’m a size 5 in ‘normal ‘ shoes and yet take size 6 1/2 for long distance walking, this year, I even took size 7!!! And yes, it was blissfully comfortable. We’re all different. So are the shoes.
We sure are different. I have huge feet (size 11) and couldn't imagine wearing even bigger shoes. Did the whole of the Camino Frances in regular size shoes last September. Did not go up even half a size and feel the solid "block" of thickish socks in shoes that fit me meant that I had no blisters or other issues with my feet. Moisture and friction cause blisters in my not-very expert opinion. Vasaline is recommended by some but...... I think this thread has two very distinct issues - physical and couple relations. I gave my opinion on the physical but wouldn't touch the couple issue with a .... ten-foot hiking pole.
Some feet swell and some don't. The "get a size bigger advice" is bad advice for some people. You buy a boot that fits not one you'll grow into. Put the boot on and kick you foot back against the heel and knot the lace second from bottom that should stop the foot from hitting the toe box, you don't want your foot moving in the boot.......or buy new boots.
 
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Lhollo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
I've only just come to this thread, and am wondering how you've been getting on today. Maybe much has changed in the past few hours! Bearing that in mind, things that strike me:

She wants to share everything with you, and loved the excitement of it all when it was at the planning stages.

Maybe the physical reality is different, even though you're both seasoned travellers? I may of course be wrong, but nothing you've said makes me think your wife sounds determined—grittily determined—to walk a camino. But she does want you.

Here's something that may or may not be useful… what would happen if you suggested to her that you both forget the idea of walking a camino and instead spend the time exploring Spain at leisure? You can go literally anywhere while you're there, should you so wish. I know you'll probably baulk at this idea, because you want to walk another camino. If she were also to feel reluctant to do this alternative—as though it would be giving up—then you'd have your answer. And if she said yes, she'd prefer to do the alternative, then you'd also have your answer. In that case, I guess it'd be a case of whether you yourself felt respected and could adapt, without feeling resentful.

Regardless, maybe it's a Way you never expected, but still very important?

Please also ignore all of the above that I've written, because there is a very good chance that I am far off the mark. I'm sure you'll find a good solution to this, though, and I wish you both very well.

On a completely different note: if you're still in Pamplona, the Caminoteca shop—on the left as you go up the hill towards the Cathedral—has an owner who is incredibly knowledgeable about everything from blisters to clothing and footwear and would sort out the foot trouble, should this still be a live issue.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
Stay in Pamplona till you’ve figured the blister problem. Plenty of shoe shops
Tincatiner's advice to me is perfect! Let the blister heal and get some smart wool socks or something similar. You can get them in Decathlon or if you want to support a local business go to Caminoteca. It is about a 2 minute walk from the Jesus y Maria albergue and they are wonderful people.
Unless her blister and the root cause of it is solved I have no doubt she will have more blisters in the near future.
Buen Camino
 

Dancing Rain

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Salvado (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
I have walked long sections of the Camino Frances with my beloved husband. Our first ten days of walking together were particularly challenging as we adjusted to our different styles. We persisted through this and the experiences we shared have become one of the most precious experiences of our long marriage.

To start with we decided to focus on just the next week in our decision making. I put aside ideas of completing. We walked, rested and recovered together. We went at the pace of the slowest. We took rest days when either of us wanted. We stayed together in one town when days of recovery time were needed from illness or injury. We were kind companions to each other, and I learnt so much
We usually live very independent separate lives, so being so together was intense & in the early stages we did have a lot of full on arguments as we navigated what worked for us.

Some things that helped - when I wanted to stretch out, me walking ahead very fast for about 40 steps then walking back. Walking shorter distances - best seemed about 15 km, sometimes as little as 6, sometimes a lot more. We were clear we both wanted to walk rather than use transport. We usually stopped about 12:00 - 1:00 pm. We didn’t book ahead. I used prolonged rest days while he recovered to be a “walking tourist” in the the town we were staying in.

Our style wouldn’t be for everyone. Each person has to find their way. For us this was the way we found worked for us, and we came to a place of deep peace and contentment. They weren’t the caminos I expected, and they were caminos deeply healing for my soul and our relationship
 

Brmickelsen

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May 2023
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
As you said, this is her FIRST time. Stay with her. Don’t leave her. This is HER Camino, this trip. All the sights, sounds, smells are brand new to her. Give this trips experiences to her to choose and by the next one she will be better prepared (mentally & physically) and able to give back to you or feel more confident riding ahead on her own. You are a good husband to ask.😊 Which shows you are deeply for her. And the circumstance really does stink. But there can be other Caminos. And she will always share highly your decision to stay, when telling her story to others, when they are how her first trip went.
 
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dreamwalker

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis August - October 2014
In that case, I would wait in Pamplona until she can walk.
Yes, stay in Pamplona and get her a different pair of shoes. It’s the shoes that caused the blister. New shoes and put coconut oil on her feet each morning prior to walking to stop the friction. Hopefully she has an extra pair of sandals to air her feet and get out of those shoes. Have her change out her socks a couple times a day. Damp socks are not good.
 

Schamber

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May and June 2022
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
You should walk. You’ll resent her deep down if you don’t.
 

Quinranda

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016)
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
Sounds like you've already had alot of advice here. I just finished my Camino from SJPP to Finisterre. I had myriad blisters and lost some toenails. Everyone has a different threshold for pain/desire to continue. Is it possible this is feeling too overwhelming or difficult to your wife in other ways? I think many people start w rose colored glasses and don't realize how physically challenging it is on a daily basis. For some this is daunting.

I walked wy daughter, not my husband, but we laid down some ground rules before we left. We didn't always walk together as we walk different speeds on ascents and descents (and trying to keep pace might contribute to foot pain and other issues). But we discussed this beforehand. Maybe a discussion moving forward would be helpful.

Hopefully you'll be able to make a decision that honors both your needs and come up with a plan moving forward. One small pinkie blister will most likely not be the only physical challenge you face. Good luck and Buen Camino.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2015, 2022?
Chicago, here are my $0.02:

You and your wife are already having different experiences walking the Camino, so that ship has sailed.

Purposefully choosing to wear cotton socks in spite of all advice sounds like a bit of self sabotage.

Perhaps the original blister was caused, not by footwear, but by trying to match your pace on that opening stretch. Of course, she would want to keep up with you, no matter what her feet were telling her. Your enthusiasm was probably infectious, she didn’t want to disappoint you, or that first day was more challenging for her than for you and she didn’t want to appear weak.

I think each pilgrim does their own Camino, even if traveling with a group. You clearly want to share a great experience with your wife, who wants to support you. But she cannot have her own great experience if each of you tries to be in charge of the other’s happiness/Camino.

Did she like long hikes before? What did she think about your first Camino - was she “chomping at the bit” to walk herself? Does she love to hear you talk on and on about your experience (we all do it)?

I think everyone would benefit from walking the Camino de Santiago for so many reasons. But not before they are truly driven to do it. It is challenging, it is hard, it is painful. You have to really want it. The rewards are inexplicable, but getting there is not easy.

Perhaps a long talk over some wine and tapas to get to the heart of why each of you is walking is in order? IMHO, if you are doing this for someone else and not for yourself, that is an issue that has to be dealt with.

And I hope you are both using hiking poles. That downhill to Zubiri can be a killer.
 
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Zordmot

3rd CF in May 2022
Time of past OR future Camino
April-May 2022
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
I developed a painful blister in May between Zubiri and Pamplona. I found a foot doctor (Podólogo) in Pamplona who treated it gently and kindly and got me back on the Camino the same day and I had no problems with it all the way to Santiago. On Google maps search for podólogo and you’ll find them all over town. Buen Camino to you both!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Or a synthetic if the Darn Tough socks are making her feet hot.
I have some Darn Tough socks and they are nice and cushy, but too hot in summer for me. I use cushy synthetic Wigwam socks in warm/hot weather; after a few Caminos they still have a lot of wear left for my daily local walks of 3-5 miles each.
 

dreamwalker

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis August - October 2014
I have some Darn Tough socks and they are nice and cushy, but too hot in summer for me. I use cushy synthetic Wigwam socks in warm/hot weather; after a few Caminos they still have a lot of wear left for my daily local walks of 3-5 miles each.
Merino socks are great! pack at least 3 pairs and switch out a couple times a day. I used a safety pin and hung my socks on my backpack to dry and alternated between the 2 pairs each day - washed them at the end of my day. You’ll always have that 3rd pair in case your other 2 pairs don’t dry out.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
Hi Nick, I've just been looking at your posts from 2019 when it seems you ran into similar problems of your own. An injury that changes or qualifies your plans. I also see that you got around that one and made a Camino journey that left you feeling good.

So, you know that Camino never goes quite as planned (unless you're paying for the mini-bus ;)). You know that Camino can be a life-changing adventure for anyone who wants to do it. Hopefully you know that it is just a meaningless hike for anyone that doesn't.

There is enough advice above to sustain a therapist for an entire career. I hope some of it helps.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
You know that Camino can be a life-changing adventure for anyone who wants to do it. Hopefully you know that it is just a meaningless hike for anyone that doesn't.

There is enough advice above to sustain a therapist for an entire career. I hope some of it helps.
@Tincatinker, you have such an "interesting" way with words. I always look forward to reading your posts and they often entertain and make me chuckle.
 
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Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
Or a synthetic if the Darn Tough socks are making her feet hot.

She should try some hiking sandals. Many people find it more comfortable to walk in sandals when they have blisters.
And rather than cotton vs wool socks, check out synthetic socks that might be cooler.
I walk all my Caminos in hiking sandals now, usually with WrightSocks double layer socks with Coolmesh.
Ive seen a lot of walkers in sandals and have read them as a shoe of preference, I tried walking one day in my sandals and battled small stones all day. Enough of them. New socks and boots that fit is this walkers only hope. As many have said the cotton socks and to big of boots was the wrong choice that were to big from the start and should have been left in Chicago. Taping the little toe to the next two toes will keep pinkie from the side of the boot. I would think an addition day and threading her blister (I know, I know but it's always worked for herself). And learn to lace and tie a boot.
Hope she/ he gets walking soon.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I agree, Scott, to a point, but the word "boot" has me cringe, especially on a summer Camino. I've never used them, but have always had impressive results wearing trail runners. They are lightweight and dry quickly after slogging in rain.
 

Scott Sweeney

Veteran Member
I agree, Scott, to a point, but the word "boot" has me cringe, especially on a summer Camino. I've never used them, but have always had impressive results wearing trail runners. They are lightweight and dry quickly after slogging in rain.
I've never walked in anything but mid boots. Always Keen or Oboz because of the wide toe box. I've never had an issue with summer or heat with boots. I want the support on my ankles and protection for the bottoms of my feetsies. Every body's feet are different.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
And powder your feet every day before you put socks on. I liked the toe socks as an inner layer, wool socks as outerlayer— but the powdering helped most.
I have never powdered my feet, and I did bring Injinji toe socks as my third pair for a back-up plan in case I got blisters. I have never yet needed to use them, but they will always wait in the wings.
 

Katherine Radeka

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2022, 2023)
Based on the timing of posts, the OP has already decided what to do today, and they are both already asleep or nearly so.

Agree with others that it's not the time to rush, even though it may seem like the buffer days are ticking away. This is the place where the reality of pilgrimage is settling in - for her, the reality of another month walking for many hours every day and for you, the reality of walking with her instead of solo.

Perhaps your Camino is partly about helping her walk her Camino, and in doing so, you'll find the other things you seek. Perhaps her Camino is partly about supporting you in walking yours. Probably a little of both.

The Camino is a great thing and a hard thing to do. There is no black / white "one right way." It's only what the two of you can work out for yourselves together, given what you've learned about walking together these first few days. A little time and care here can help you each walk your own Caminos, feeling supported by each other, even if your paths diverged today.
 

Sam - AU

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - Apr/May 2018, Feb/Mar 2019 .... upcoming Nov/Dec 2019
Obviously the comment “She doesn't want me to experience something that she won't.” Is one side of the story.

But at the core of everything, it doesn’t seem to be about the blister, or to walk or to take what is being suggested as one bus (now) early on.

A big piece of important information here that we are missing, that no one seems to have suggested, and possibly something a good day on the Camino would help her to figure out is:
Does she have her own motivations for doing the Camino, does she in her being actually want to walk the 500 miles OR is she simply there because she doesn’t want you doing it without her or because she wants a shared experience (but not specifically this one)?

If either of the latter, I’d throw it in and go have a holiday in Spain, come back later and do a solo Camino to scratch your itch, as you already know it’s a long way to Santiago. A blister today, a bus tomorrow, if the core problem is she doesn’t want THIS experience, there will be something the day after that and I can’t imagine that will feel good for either of you day in day out for weeks ahead.
 
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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Hi everyone! My wife and I just started the Frances this past weekend. This is her first Camino, but this is number 2 for me. Our first day from SJPDP to Rocenvalles was uneventful, but she got a blister on her pinky toe on Day 2 while descending into Zubriri (those darn rocks!). I remained uninjured.

Anyway, she hobbled with me into Pamplona the next day and we agreed to take a two day rest to give her time to heal. While I really wanted to go explore the town, I agreed to stay with her so we would have the same experiences.

Of course, sitting in Pamplona isn't the cheapest, so we agreed yesterday to try to walk tomorrow to Puente la Reina. This evening, she told me that even though her toe is healing, she is not going to walk tomorrow and wants to take a bus. While I respect that position, I would like to walk as it is the day you go over Mirador Alto de Pedrón. She really wants me to take the bus with her.

I know it is silly to ask a forum of strangers to weigh in on this, but we both want to know what you guys think. We are open to critiques in either direction. TIA!
It is the classic example of not agreeing on a strategy before setting off...a common lesson to learn...I had a similar issue on my first Camino with a friend...on later caminoes, with another friend, we agreed on basic principles and I had an injury and took a bus for a day or two, while my friend carried on walking.
I would continue walking...if I were in your situation, then reassess. May be your wife is having second thoughts anyway? May be it is not her thing to do the Camino?
Take your walking day to reflect, let her reflect bussing and talk to each other openly....it is, how it is.
 

Purple Backpack

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2012 VF 2016 VP w/Rocamadour variant 2022
"The Camino provides," they say. What they don't tell you is that it may not always provide what you want. My husband and I spent a month hiking in France this spring. We had everything from hail to heat waves, ran out of water and a day with no food (um, one of us insisted there would be places to buy stuff. On a Sunday. Sigh.). It came to a head when we figured out we were miles off the trail on a blistering day and we didn't agree on how to get back on track. I just wanted to walk alone at that point and took off. It was the right thing to do that day; we both cooled off, literally and figuratively, and had a wonderful evening over a bottle of wine and great dinner. Hiking the next day was fun again. And isn't that what it's all about?
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Time of past OR future Camino
CF whole & part 12-19, VF 17, VDLP+ptSbres22
Something else which might help is if you have your wife’s pack transported for a few days until the Camino groove kicks in. Walking with a heavy pack in hot weather is challenging and she might feel lighter and freer without the burden of the pack.
Jacotrans and Correos do a great job and the prices are reasonable.
Buen Camino to you both -
Jenny
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
Whatever keeps your marriage happy! 😎 Me? I’d walk whilst she takes the bus or taxis. It’s a pilgrimage, it is our own journey 🙂
Agree. I am reminded of Kabila Gibran's two trees. For me, even as I Camino couple I would hope we can each walk our own Camino. But that's just me.
 

Shaz Celeste

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
It sounds like a tricky situation and although I can't relate (since either I or my partner would have compromised at some point) perhaps the strategy for you and your wife as a team would be:

1. Sit it out in Pamplona until she feels pain free enough to walk with you so you can continue your Camino together. (and visit a store to fix her sock and shoe situation)
2. Since she can't walk too much around Pamplona to see the town, consider finding a cute sidewalk cafe and pull up a pair of chairs and enjoy some pintxos and drinks. Thursday night is the best night to be in Pamplona, cheap pintxos!! (sorry, I'm in Australia and it's Thursday today! You may well be on your way by now). If not, it's an option. Use this down time to have fun, focus on the positive side of this "set back". It's only a setback if you allow your mindset to convince you that it is. :)
3. If accommodation cost to sit it out in Pamplona is an issue, maybe consider a more budget friendly place for the next night or so?
4. Burning through 3 of your 7 bufffer days already isn't great and it's likely you will burn more. However, since you've done the Camino before you can possibly consider making up some of that time by taking transport on the stages that you're not too crazy about. Not ideal, but worth considering.
5. Most important - before you set out again, agree on a plan should this happen again on your Camino.

Wishing you all the best.
 
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