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For those of you walking alone...

Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Don't fret, it is my preferred mode of choice.

I will sound like a cliche but there is never "alone" on the Camino.

If you are on the Frances, within 3 days you will have met up with similar folk who walk at the same pace.
If you are lucky, they will speak your language.
If you are really lucky, they will be interesting.

But, let's face it, anyone who has committed to walking 500 miles across Spain is interesting for some reason or another.

If you take a road less travelled, like in my case, the San Salvador in the past, you will meet people too... Only this time it may not be fellow walkers, but rather townspeople and innkeepers. The random farmer tending sheep, the barkeep, or that lady in the tiny tienda greet you with enthusiasm as you walk by and willfully patronize their places of business.

Walking alone allows me expand on of my life stateside. Each trip is a new discovery.

Walking alone grants serious introspection, and freedom to reach out to strangers.

Walking alone is my preferred mode of choice.
 
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Michael Caleigh

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Primitivo September 2016
I agree with you. I am an introvert and love to walk alone. Makes it easier to get rid of people that are annoying sometimes.
It is amazing to meet different people from different cultures and backgrounds and if they are (as you said) interesting then even better.
I sometimes walk here with a group and must say that I prefer solitude.
 

Dutchwalk53

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015 with son #1, CF 2016 alone, CF 2017 with son #2 and husband , CF Sept 2018 with daughter
Can't wait to try it coming June :)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I walked the CF alone........and loved it.

I walked alone in nature and felt at one with it.
I walked alone in search of answers, and found them.
I walked alone and asked for guidance.....and was granted it.
I sought meaning....and found it.
Whenever I needed company I found it.
When others needed company, they found me and I was glad of it.
When I felt lonely, others found me.
When they felt lonely, I found them.
Walking alone, made me appreciate what I have, what I can give, what I can receive, and how lucky I am .....

Walking with someone, must be so hard ;)

To feel....to experience....to grow...to appreciate ... without distraction....walk alone......
 
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BShea

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(9/2013) Le Puy
(5/2015) CF
(5/2016) Le Puy
(5/2017) CF
(9/2017) Le Puy
(9/2019) RL Stevenson
@Damien Reynolds, once again a thought provoking post… Here are the reasons why I prefer to walk with others:

1. Security. I truly admire those women on the camino who are perfectly comfortable bushwhacking it alone through the remotest parts of Spain. Only in my dreams could I be so brave. I am definitely a nervous nelly when it comes to being alone in an isolated area and can only relax when I know there is someone in front of and behind me. Not only am I afraid of the “bad” guys, but in recent years, I’ve broken my wrist and my kneecap by tripping! On the Camino/Chemin, I can walk in peace knowing there will be someone behind me to pick up the pieces, if necessary.

2. Speed. I noted that my speed picks up when I am busily engaged in conversation with someone. When I walk alone, I seem to find myself just trudging along. I do appreciate the time to reflect, but even when walking with someone, there doesn’t necessarily need to be conversation. Walking with another also curtails the talking aloud to myself ;)

3. Socialization. I like to consider myself a life-long learner. I love to meet new people and discover their world, be exposed to alternate ideas and lifestyles.

This is why I love the Camino/Chemin so much. Thoughout my life, I have always had problems finding others who were willing to temporarily leave the security of their world to join me on an adventure. I love it that I can “run into” like-minded people who love to walk in the outdoors, chatting along the way, sharing a piece of ourselves.
 

GreatDane

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF to Burgos Sept/Oct 2014, Burgos to Astorga April 2016, Astorga to SdC 2017
Except for one day (the day I got one of the last beds at the Najera Albergue because we stopped for cold refreshments on our way into town) I walked solo. I enjoyed walking at my own pace, not relying on others because they spoke more Spanish than I did, I could stop when and where I wanted without having to take a vote (ok sometimes those voices in my head would steer me otherwise). I found myself smiling to myself more than I do on a usual day!
 

Mariann

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I have walked from Roncevalles to Leon (2006). Will continue from Leon in May this year
Don't fret, it is my preferred mode of choice.

I will sound like a cliche but there is never "alone" on the Camino.

If you are on the Frances, within 3 days you will have met up with similar folk who walk at the same pace.
If you are lucky, they will speak your language.
If you are really lucky, they will be interesting.

But, let's face it, anyone who has committed to walking 500 miles across Spain is interesting for some reason or another.

If you take a road less travelled, like in my case, the San Salvador in the past, you will meet people too... Only this time it may not be fellow walkers, but rather townspeople and innkeepers. The random farmer tending sheep, the barkeep, or that lady in the tiny tienda greet you with enthusiasm as you walk by and willfully patronize their places of business.

Walking alone allows me expand on of my life stateside. Each trip is a new discovery.

Walking alone grants serious introspection, and freedom to reach out to strangers.

Walking alone is my preferred mode of choice.
I agree With you, my preferred chice as well!
 
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movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Walking alone is my preferred mode of choice.[/QUOTE]

P.S. Damien you live not too far from my son…. Rancho Santa Margarita. He was quite proud that his Mom walked alone but certainly wasn't surprised.
 

BrienC

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2015
Via de la Plata, 2016
Camino del Norte, 2019
Portuguese, 2021
The mysticism of the Camino manifest in me as a peace, a serenity. I would never say I was excited to walk alone; I found myself in conversation with others quite often. Those other times when alone though were opportunities for practicing walking meditation, or simply, smelling the roses. As a result of that focus, this serenity, this calmness allowed me to stay in flow when tense moments arose. Moments of crossing a busy street; when a bar keeper was terse with me over my poor use of the Spanish language; or, when someone talked negatively to me or around me during the heat of the afternoon. I just seemed so at peace that those events simply could not enter, could not, would not interrupt my peace.

(A slightly modified excerpt from my book, Su Camino...)
 

BrienC

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2015
Via de la Plata, 2016
Camino del Norte, 2019
Portuguese, 2021
I actually read your book and enjoyed it very much! but dang - you did put in a lot of miles per day! I can't imagine...
I certainly don't recommend it;) As you read, it was due to other commitments and that we were confident we could do it. NEXT time though, I'm stopping much more, entering nearly every church, meeting more people, and smelling the roses.

So very glad you enjoyed the book.

Cheers,
 

BrienC

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2015
Via de la Plata, 2016
Camino del Norte, 2019
Portuguese, 2021
damien-reynolds.32215 Even traveling in a group, you can walk alone. Everyone walks at a different pace, unless the group chooses to walk as a chattering gaggle, all at the same pace. I walked for a while with a group of young people as we climbed to Villamayor de Monjardin. They were great fun, full of energy, even in the heat of a late afternoon in July. Never saw them again, but fun at the time. Then I spent a long day walking mostly by myself in the meseta, seriously in spirit, observing only nature and my footfalls. Lovely that.
 
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SusieQ2

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Future, within 18 months ('16 or '17)
@BrienC, I read it, too just a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't stop reading it. There's a lot of good info. Thank you for taking the time to share so many details in such an interesting way.

I'm torn about walking alone. I want to walk alone or rather I want to start out alone, which I'm feeling is selfish because my son now wants to go with me. And I will take him. I will never be alone, but we will both have memories that out live the journey. And his will hopefully out live me.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
That's a tough call. On my first Camino last year my wife planned to come with me but had to back out due to family health reasons.

Rather selfishly I was relieved :oops: I don't think we would have made it together without major drama!

This year we are just doing a short Camino together. If she enjoys it, we might do lone together in the future.

I found the 40 days last year quite tough. OK I had injuries that didn't help matters. But if I had to go through that, and at the same time think of someone else, and put their needs above mine. that would have been a very different Camino indeed. Buy hey, we are all different.

Maybe what you could try is this?

Agree with your son that you will both have some alone time. maybe 2-3 days? For example, we'll meet in Burgos on Sunday night at the Hotel xyz. Walk a couple of days together, and then pick the next point to meet up.

It's hard to miss each other. You are walking along the same path!

It would be good for him to get some alone time too ;)

And remember, it is highly unlikely that you will both be comfortable walking at the same speed anyway....;)
 

BrienC

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2015
Via de la Plata, 2016
Camino del Norte, 2019
Portuguese, 2021
@BrienC, I read it, too just a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't stop reading it. There's a lot of good info. Thank you for taking the time to share so many details in such an interesting way.

I'm torn about walking alone. I want to walk alone or rather I want to start out alone, which I'm feeling is selfish because my son now wants to go with me. And I will take him. I will never be alone, but we will both have memories that out live the journey. And his will hopefully out live me.

Awesome. So glad you enjoyed Su Camino... I would love it if my daughter had time to walk with me. Maybe one day. You will have a fantastic journey.

Thanks again, and buen Camino.
 

SusieQ2

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Future, within 18 months ('16 or '17)
@Robo Ah, my husband has expressed some interest in joining me, too. He is a seasoned world traveler but not a hiker. If he comes, it will be not be for the entire journey. The jury is still out on that one. I have never left the states/territories but my son and I have traveled cross country numerous times, camping along the way. I will be the tortoise and my son will be the hare. But he is only 14. He often goes ahead without me when we are hiking but I will be leery about letting him out of my sight on this journey. Yes, it would be nice to only have myself to worry about but on the flip side, it will be nice to have a sharp mind to help me make decisions.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
When I walked my first Camino Frances in 1988 it was quite possible - even normal - to walk all day and see no other pilgrims. I walked in July and August and probably slept alone in the refugios at least 1/3 of the time. When I got home a friend asked me if I felt lonely. For a few moments I couldn't even understand the question. How could you be lonely on a route you shared with so many millions who had walked before?

I just looked up the statistics. In 1988 I was one of 3,501 people who were given Compostelas. In 2015 there were 262,459. I think the challenge now is to find solitude rather than enjoy or endure it.
 
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Devon Mike

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Finisterre & Muxia (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 & 2019), Primitivo & Ingles (2017)
When I walked my first Camino Frances in 1988 it was quite possible - even normal - to walk all day and see no other pilgrims. I walked in July and August and probably slept alone in the refugios at least 1/3 of the time. When I got home a friend asked me if I felt lonely. For a few moments I couldn't even understand the question. How could you be lonely on a route you shared with so many millions who had walked before?

I just looked up the statistics. In 1988 I was one of 3,501 people who were given Compostelas. In 2015 there were 262,459. I think the challenge now is to find solitude rather than enjoy or endure it.
Despite the vast increase in the numbers each year, in June last year I found a lovely private albergue in a quiet village and I was the only person staying there. Had the whole place to myself!!
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Listed in my signature
@Robo Ah, my husband has expressed some interest in joining me, too. He is a seasoned world traveler but not a hiker. If he comes, it will be not be for the entire journey. The jury is still out on that one. I have never left the states/territories but my son and I have traveled cross country numerous times, camping along the way. I will be the tortoise and my son will be the hare. But he is only 14. He often goes ahead without me when we are hiking but I will be leery about letting him out of my sight on this journey. Yes, it would be nice to only have myself to worry about but on the flip side, it will be nice to have a sharp mind to help me make decisions.

If you and your son both carry unlocked smartphones, why don't you buy Spanish SIM cards for each of you so you can text your son (cheaply) if he pulls a "hare" and find out where he is, get him to stop, or even turn around! This will give you peace-of-mind and him the freedom to explore just a little bit further ahead?
 

solotraveller

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
going to walk Camino for the first time starting from Porto along the Atlantic coast
I did my first Camino last year in May - Camino Portugues da Costa - it's just awesome feeling - when you get on the road, your trekking boots were waiting for this moment for so long :) been alone on the way just for the first two days then two amazing companions joined me or i had joined them? The Camino got us together though no one was intended to go in group - nevertheless there's always that space reserved for yourself while you are walking.
Going to make it again in Setember 2016 - to wal alone Camino Portugues do Interior and...vamos ver!:)
 

Pray'nwalk

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015. Levante, Avila-Toro & Sanabres, Ourense-Santiago
2017. Invierno & Oseira monastery
I walked from Avila to Toro and from Ourense to Santiago alone last August-September, by design (only about 200 miles). I LOVED IT!! I would do it again in a heartbeat. (I am a woman over 65.) But on the days of total solitude, it did seem easier to focus more on the weight of my pack and the heat and lack of shade than on the days when I happened to link up with someone for awhile. Next time? Well, I'll consider a companion, but my preference will probably be to do it alone again.
 

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