• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

For those who have walked the Camino 2 or more times

MARSKA

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept/Oct 2023
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I have walked three different camino’s. Portuguese. Norte and Frances. I hope to do the VDLP soon, which is likely to be the final one as I like to different ones and the major ones. I guess you need to think whether you like to do the same walk or a different one (I acknowledge they will feel slightly different each time)!! I guess even doing different caminos in Spain will have a significant sense of sameness compared to doing something radically different (walking or otherwise) , which deters me from doing some of the lesser known and smaller caminos.
 
Last edited:
You know more now. You will be more familiar. The downside is that sometimes something that seemed magical the first time is sort of ordinary the second time, but the upside is that you will notice new things and have new experiences. I think trying not to "compare" is hard for some people, too. I have places I love on the CF and I return to them again and again, but I also enjoy finding new places to eat at, sleep in, and see.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I never completed a 2nd CF, but did walk quite a large part of it, in weekend stages, with friends from work. It was enjoyable to introduce them to the camino, and to take them to favourite cafes/restaurants/refugios, but I didn't feel the urge to go on and complete it. I found it much more satisfying to do different caminos after that.

It's been 25 years since that first spectacular winter camino, and I know I would struggle to recognise parts of it nowadays. I can't imagine myself repeating it, particularly not with so many others to choose from.
 
A huge increase in numbers between my first and second Caminos - roughly 10x the number of pilgrims the second time. Also a big increase in the number of albergues and other facilities for pilgrims. In many ways this made things easier but on the whole I preferred the ramshackle informality of my first walk. Perhaps the biggest difference was simply having advance knowledge of what comes next and so losing some of the joy of being surprised as the route unfolded.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Hi @MARSKA - every camino is different, whether the same path or a new one. I walked the Camino Frances solo in 2011, starting 25 September, and with a dear friend in 2013, starting 1 April.

Same path but different season, different landscape, different colours, different people. I stopped in a few favourite towns/albergues from the first time, but mostly in different places. Funnily enough both times it took me exactly the same number of days to walk from SJPP to SdeC.

I had no disappointments. The revelation, if you could call it that, was that each was a unique experience. It was exciting to sometimes anticipate what was ahead. But It didn’t feel like a repeat.

Yes, it will be different. But don’t concern yourself with how or why. Just go with an open mind for this new camino to unfold. You know you want to do it again so … best start looking at flights. March / April is not far away. 😎
 
Last edited:
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
Not sure how many times I have walked, but see under my avatar.

CF is my definitive favorite, and I will hopefully be walking it again from Apr.1 2024. It is always a joy to arrive and start walkiing the CF:

Buen Camino.
 
I agree with those who say it is never the same. Walking different stages helps to reduce the tendency to compare, I think, because there is so much that is totally new.

@mspath once posted a beautiful quote by a Portuguese writer, Jose Saramago (Nobel Prize for Literature, too!). I think it sums things up for me much more beautifully than I could say it.

"The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over them again or add fresh ones alongside them.You have to start the journey anew. Always"
Jose Saramago, A Journey to Portugal
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
I agree with those who say it is never the same. Walking different stages helps to reduce the tendency to compare, I think, because there is so much that is totally new.

@mspath once posted a beautiful quote by a Portuguese writer, Jose Saramago (Nobel Prize for Literature, too!). I think it sums things up for me much more beautifully than I could say it.

"The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over them again or add fresh ones alongside them.You have to start the journey anew. Always"
Jose Saramago, A Journey to Portugal
The reason for repeat walking:

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man."


 
Marska, the first thing to know is that the last week of March in 2024 is Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Spain, and Easter is 1 April. Depending on where you start, accommodations may be a bit harder to come by for that week.

Although I've never walked the entire CF, I walked Sarria to Santiago with my husband in July 2021 (height of COVID), and then Melide to Santiago (finishing the Primitivo) in late September 2023.

Indeed, I was not the same person, nor was I stepping in the same river twice. Even when I made myself stop at the Meson in Ribadiso a second time, it wasn't the same experience as the first. And, to be honest, portions of the last leg into old town Santiago felt like it had been re-routed slightly from my COVID memories. OTOH, I'm not too good with directions.

Like the first time. Leave your expectations behind, and you'll be fine. :)
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
Its very different in a different season. The good thing about spring is the birdlife, especially the cuckoos, and the storks, and the blossom everywhere. Cherries, flowers everywhere. I walked in Autumn twice, and spring once - i often haven't had the choice of timing. I do love spring., and if I have the chance that's my choice.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
"The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over them again or add fresh ones alongside them.You have to start the journey anew. Always"
Jose Saramago, A Journey to Portugal
Love this quote, how wonderfully true it is and a perfect response to this question👌
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?

Hola @MARSKA

Have walked the CF a few times, biggest gap was 20 years. Smallest was 18 months.

Each time I found and experienced some amazing people, locations and food.

A wise pilgrim many years ago said to me that if I intended to walk the same route again try to mix it up. Stay in different towns, visit places that weren’t open or I missed, eat different food and try walking the route variations (eg Invierno or Samos or the route that takes you around O Cebriero, catching the ferry on the Meseta, etc).

What it did for me was it keep the experience fresh.

Which ever way you choose you’ll bring home memories that will last a lifetime. New friends, great food, amazing scenery and new stories.

Buen camino
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
The first CF I completed was 2011. I started on March 23rd with 13 other people.
The second CF I completed was 2017. I started on April 17th with 300+ people.

Differences,
Napoleon route in 2011, ValCarlos in 2017
First day, Walked to Roncesvalles in 2011, Walked to Espinal in 2017. Roncesvalles was so crowded I was overwhelmed with people. The one and only time I had difficulty finding a bed.
2011 - 33 days, 2017 - 26 days.
2011 - Arrived in Santiago one day after my 61st birthday with a family of 21 others.
2017 - Arrived in Santiago a week after my 67 birthday by myself but spent the next two days catching up with some folks I met along the way.
2011 - Walking with others is nice for gatherings at night and making new friendships but restrictive on daily distances walked. 2017 - walking solo is much more my style while still meeting new people along the way. Both models had their pluses and minuses.
2011 - I met no other Americans the entire walk. 2017 - I met 8 Americans the first day including someone from my home state.

I have walked many Caminos over the last decade plus and have yet to be disappointed but I have been challenged. In regards to revelations, I learn more about myself and things I need to work on. As a bonus, I get to walk through nature, meet interesting people and immerse myself in the Spanish culture.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?

@mspath once posted a beautiful quote by a Portuguese writer, Jose Saramago (Nobel Prize for Literature, too!). I think it sums things up for me much more beautifully than I could say it.

"The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, ...

Another Nobel Literature winner, the poet T. S. Eliot, also had something to say in "Little Giddings", one of his Four Quartets:

We shall not cease from exploration,
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.

This may or may not be helpful to you @MARSKA, Eliot's philosphy in Four Quartets is beyond me, but the quotation at least looks as if may apply.
 
Perhaps the first post of my last camino explained best why I walked the Camino Frances ten times; thus although my situation has changed while I was able to walk it served as my apologia.

"Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas/ the heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing."
Pascal, Les Pensées

Unfortunately now at 84 I am only able to walk long distances in my memory
 
Walked my first Frances in 2019. Like you, i considered doing a camino again quite soon after returning home. But my first thoughts were inclined on something smaller, maybe taking a friend from home with me instead of going alone. Then came Covid.
In 2022 i found myself in a situation where i thought i could grant me the luxury of taking more than just 2 weeks of vacation, and after quite some consideration i decided on doing another Frances as my second camino.
It just ticks to many of my boxes and thus makes it a "perfect holiday" as well as a Camino for me.
A few things troubled me. First, i am aware that i am a wiseass. I did not want to be "that guy" that tells everyone what to do and what to avoid. So sometimes i bit my tounge and only gave advice when i was asked for it. (and thankfully another guy filled the gap better than i likely ever could on day one...)
Another thing i thought a fair bit about is how to avoid trying to recreate my first experience. This will never be possible and thus would lead to dissapointment. So for some part, i tried staying in different places. Taking different alternatives. Trying foods not known to me priorly. Sometimes i let the others on their first trip make the decision. And sometimes i just did what i liked the first time because, well, i liked it the first time.
And then i tried to go with the flow and let the camino do it's thing.

I have to say, my first camino will always have a special place in my heart. The second one was a great experience as well. Both had their share of unpleasentness, but both times outweighed by far by the positive aspects.

P.S. be prepared to answer the question about why you do the same camino a second time quite frequently...
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
A wise pilgrim many years ago said to me that if I intended to walk the same route again try to mix it up. Stay in different towns, visit places that weren’t open or I missed, eat different food and try walking the route variations (eg Invierno or Samos or the route that takes you around O Cebriero, catching the ferry on the Meseta, etc).
This is pretty much what I was going to say, so I second this.
My observation: is that people react differently to a first CF - some are inspired to go off and do something completely different, like a career change or voluntary work. Some just want to get as close to repeating the original experience as possible (harder than you may think). For others it's a window or platform to more testing adventures on less commercial and walked routes that also lead to Santiago (or not!).
My opinion: you can have too much of a good thing. And there are benefits in leaving a longer breathing space before walking the same camino again. But if you feel you have to go back so quickly, to the same camino, then it's a good idea to mix it up a bit, or maybe do a half-and-half by taking a route that joins the CF (Vasco, Madrid, Vadiniense) or comes off it (Invierno). I also think that if you came back and did something that took you off the CF bubble, like Primitivo, Vasco-Frances or Madrid-Frances it would give you a much richer perspective on the whole camino structure/meaning/experience/entity etc etc
 
I have walked the CF 2 and a bit times.
I wouldn't walk it again.
I have since walked 3 others routes and will always walk a new one from now on.
I like that 'first time' feeling of a new route and the unexpected.
I had similar thoughts about the CF and was fairly sure that I would not return to it after my third walk in 2016. But I couldn't resist a January walk this year and found it a very different experience. In some ways like stepping back a couple of decades. And I walked from SJPDP to Logroño with a friend in September - an experienced walker and pilgrim but one who has never seen the Frances . Interesting to see it through a fresh pair of eyes.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
I absolutely loved my first Camino (the Frances) and walked it with one of my sons. We had skipped the meseta and spent a week on the coast instead.
Two years later I had opportunity to go with my other son and his wife as they are avid travelers and we walked every step, so the meseta was a new enjoyable experience for me. I still loved the Frances the second time around, but I think part of my enjoyment was the excitement of sharing what I love with my first time family members.
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I've walked it all the way, twice, plus from Leon another time - coming off the Madrid route.

Each time, I see things I missed the previous time(s). While the first-timer sense of wonder and adventure is somewhat less, the ability to fully appreciate and learn more while you are walking is, at least IMHO, enhanced.

I looked at things differently. There was less of a bed rush on subsequent trips. I was able to allow myself to take the time to "smell the roses." I took more time to see interesting sights in the places I stopped at along the way.

It's kind of like a fine wine. At first you taste it, but you cannot yet fully appreciate it. In subsequent tastings you discover more of the essence of the wine - it's complexity and deeper flavors and aromas. You appreciate the wine far more with later tastings. I think the Camino is similar to this.

Also, while this paradigm holds true for most every Camino route, the Frances is the main route or spine of so many routes that join it along the way to Santiago de Compostela. While the Camino Primitivo may be the historic first-ever route, traveled by King Alphonso II (IIRC) - the Frances has long been the most favored route.

For more than one thousand years, this has been the case. Today, more than half or ALL pilgrims who end their Caminos at Santiago de Compostela, walk the Camino Frances, even if half of those only do so from Sarria. Back in the day, the Camino Frances was THE route, from points north of the Pyrenees, to Santiago de Compostela.

Hope this helps,

Tom
 
Last edited:
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
As best you can, try to walk in peace wth yourself, every camino will have disappointments and revelations, I have walked the CF many times and other caminos, along the way, can't remember where or when, I met a wise pilgrim, she said, "one day, I will arrive in Santiago..."
So, to you I wish a Buen Camino, make a safe journey.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
Hi, I walked the CF in 2015, the Norte in 2017 and the CF again in 2023. I loved all three. All three were different and they all exceeded my expectations!
 
The Camino to me is a gift. A place I can go and spend a month in my own head without distraction. The best advice I could offer someone, imo, is to just go and allow the Camino to be your guide. Try not to plan too much or have certain expectations, just let the Camino happen.
 
Last edited:
My first two full length Caminos were on the Frances. I first walked the trail in 2019 and loved every minute/step. The landscape, culture, people, food and adventure were just perfect. Then, for everyone, C19 arrived and everything went on hold. Before moving on to other Camino routes I decided to repeat the Frances in 2022 at the same time of year (May).
Firstly, one has to accept that going back for a second time to anything cannot really hope to be as special as the first time and that came true for me. Familiarity along the way sure dented the sense of adventure and the excitement and anticipation of what was round every corner.
Secondly, and more importantly for me, the trail was way busier in 2022. Anecdotally, it seemed to me that the volume of people was about 30% up but at the same time, the ‘quality’ of the people was about 40% down. Also, the local people and volunteers servicing the needs of peregrinos in and around the Camino generally seemed fed up and less eager to make it special for those passing through. This may have been a hangover from the pandemic but the feeling of being ‘processed’ in many bars, cafes, restaurants and accommodations was very real.
All of the above, in addition to the fact that I got Covid in Pamplona and was sick for days in the Spanish heat, rendered my second CF only a 5.5/10 compared to 2019 which was 10/10 in every way.
In 2023 I walked the Portuguese from Porto and loved it…..it restored my faith in the trail and all was back to 10‘s all round. I plan to repeat that in March next year to see if it fails to impress second time around, somehow I don’t think so. I’m then immediately heading up to Gijon on the north coast in Asturias to walk back to SdC on the Norte……well excited about that.
 
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
It's kind of like a fine wine. At first you taste it, but you cannot yet fully appreciate it. In subsequent tastings you discover more of the essence of the wine - it's complexity and deeper flavor sand aromas. You appreciate the wine far more with later tastings. I think the Camino is similar to this.
I mean, some of the quotes have been amazing, but this excellent comparison to a fine wine must win.

Viva la Camvino.

Definitely arguments for and against the same Camino, and I guess it comes down to attitude and expectation ultimately. I certainly think a bit of time needs to have elapsed though either way. But OMG the thought of walking the CF again and seeing the places where those memories and magic happened sometime down the road of life is a beautiful thought for now.
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I walked the same Camino the second time as I had done the first but it was immensely different. Not surprising as my first was in 1989 alone and my second was in 2016 with my teenage son. No disappointments. The first made a big impact but I think the impact of the second was even greater. It was the second that really got me hooked. Walked again (solo) in 2018 and 2023 and plan to walk with my daughter next May.

My advice - don't wait as long as I did between the first and the second. 😉
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I walked the Camino Frances this September for the second time (the first was Fall ‘21). I agree that there was something magical about the first one, but the second was also wonderful. There were some changes in the path. I think they have tried to keep pilgrims off the road and have added more parallel paths which are hillier and rockier, thus more difficult than earlier. Two more difficult places that come to mind are entering Castojeriz prior to the ruins and the long downhill after Cruz de Ferro. This makes it harder on your feet, knees, ankles, and shoes.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
The second time I walked the Camino Frances I was alone and I was not part of a Camino Family. I was able to walk at my own pace with no pressure. One thing I found funny when I walked the second time is that I remembered some places like I was only there the day before, but others I did not remember at all!
 
The second time I walked the Camino Frances I was alone and I was not part of a Camino Family. I was able to walk at my own pace with no pressure. One thing I found funny when I walked the second time is that I remembered some places like I was only there the day before, but others I did not remember at all!
I can relate to not remembering some places. I’ve walked the CF twice and so many places were “new” surprises to me the second time around.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
No walk is ever the same as a previous one. I’ve only walked two Caminos but have walked the South Downs Way ( about 100 miles) a large number of times. Nature itself will throw up enough surprises to keep you engaged and your fellow pilgrims will comes in all shapes, sizes and qualities. It is strange that stretches that were previously enchanting can seem much less so and vice versa. Similarly, difficult stages can seem easier than remembered and easier ones more challenging.
The main thing is to open yourself up to the experience and stimulation will follow.
Good luck and buen proveche!
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
Hi, I have walked the Camino in Spain 4 times. Twice the Frances way, once the Northern Way, Once along the Portuguese Way. I also walked the way of St Francis Assisi in Italy from Firenze to Roma. Each was different and begged for yet another return. Each brought a new awe of life. I am 67. I have a Canadian friend on his 8th Camino in Spain now. I remember meeting a nun in Leon on my first Camino who told me that "one never walks one camino". She was right. Go do it. As a side note, The Way of St Francis Assisi was beautiful but was more of a great hike than a spiritual way.
 
It's great to walk the same route a second (or more time). There's no way that you can see and experience everything on one journey. It's wonderful to stop and spend time in those towns that you just walked through previously. Add to that the change in landscape when walking during a different season, and the different people you will meet abd you've got an (almost) completely different experience.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I agree with those who say it is never the same. Walking different stages helps to reduce the tendency to compare, I think, because there is so much that is totally new.

@mspath once posted a beautiful quote by a Portuguese writer, Jose Saramago (Nobel Prize for Literature, too!). I think it sums things up for me much more beautifully than I could say it.

"The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over them again or add fresh ones alongside them.You have to start the journey anew. Always"
Jose Saramago, A Journey to Portugal
Once again @mspath shows us all her wisdom and insight of life and camino. If you rid yourself of expectations and rid yourself of "wondering" will this be the same, different, better or worse and do the thing that you know the camino is and why you are here is to just walk. Take one step at a time. Listen to your body, the birds, the wind, the earth beneath your feet. It is so simple. Why do we make it so complicated?
 
I think the question for me is how different you want it to be. Of course doing the CF twice can offer very different experiences over a number of variables, people, where you stay, your personal traits and needs, etc, but I guess it won’t be as different as doing a trek in another country, part of the world, or spending that money/time on something totally different. So for example I was planning to do VDLP in April but the opportunity to do something different has presented itself so that is my decision to make!
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I’ve thought about your questions, and I think you might be wondering that your next camino might be your last (‘I’m not getting any younger’...).
If it’s a question of nostalgia or sentimentality, then you will get that by repeating the CF, in one way or another. If, you are wanting to repeat the feeling of walking an unknown or unfamiliar landscape each day, then a different route is likely the answer.
A common second camino is the Portuguese. I’d suggest you look at what feelings come up when you look at a different route. If the excitement isn’t there, then the answer is a repeat of the CF.
 
Last edited:
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Perhaps the first post of my last camino explained best why I walked the Camino Frances ten times; thus although my situation has changed while I was able to walk it served as my apologia.

"Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas/ the heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing."
Pascal, Les Pensées

Unfortunately now at 84 I am only able to walk long distances in my memory
Thank you for the link back to your thoughts about camino walking. You are an inspiration.
 
It's great to walk the same route a second (or more time). There's no way that you can see and experience everything on one journey. It's wonderful to stop and spend time in those towns that you just walked through previously. Add to that the change in landscape when walking during a different season, and the different people you will meet abd you've got an (almost) completely different experience.
Yes, the main reason I want to walk the Camino Francés again is that I walked it in 32 days so that's an average of 25 km a day and I don't think I got to experience everything it had to offer in one walk. Places like Logrono and Leon and others have so much more to see than I could have experienced in one afternoon. Towns that looked so appalling to me that I didn't stay at the first time like Viana I would like to stay at on a second Camino. I would also like to see Samos. So many things I would like to do on my second Camino Francés that I did not do on my first. To be honest I was like a deer in the headlights on first Camino Francés that I think I would be more relaxed and could absorb more of what it hat to offer on my second one.
 
I loved doing the CF twice. I stayed in different towns, in different types of accommodations, when I could, but I also looked forward to once again being in places that were especially meaningful to me. Yes, some of the newness is gone, but I realized I also enjoy walking into a cafe and suddenly realizing it was familiar and comforting. I would do it again in a heartbeat...but next year, I'm doing the Portugues.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
One big difference is that you will be walking in the spring rather than the autumn. Our first Camino Frances started mid September and we returned for a second time in the Spring. What a difference. The sounds of cuckoos, the poppies along the trail and even fields full of poppies near Fromista made it, for us, a different Camino.
We walk the South West Coastal path near our home and have covered stretches of it many many times but it never fails to draw us back. So it is with the CF to which we will return in Spring for the fourth time.
The experience has changed in that we are now more selective. There are a few albergues which we make a point of using; others we now avoid. Similarly, we change around the length of our stages so that we stay in different towns or villages.
We have a more relaxed approach now. The first timer often has their sights set on Santiago but we have that T Shirt. I will dawdle on the meseta, especially out of Castrojeriz which is one of my favourite days. We have started to book ahead so that we can have a leisurely lunch (menu del dia) and a slower walk knowing that a bed awaits us. First time around it was more of a rush job with picnic style lunches and repetitive pilgrim menu dinners.
And with a fourth CF in the diary we now consider we are moving out of the beginner category; we met one Brazilian gentleman who was on his tenth!
Buen camino
 
I loved doing the CF twice. I stayed in different towns, in different types of accommodations, when I could, but I also looked forward to once again being in places that were especially meaningful to me. Yes, some of the newness is gone, but I realized I also enjoy walking into a cafe and suddenly realizing it was familiar and comforting. I would do it again in a heartbeat...but next year, I'm doing the Portugues.
I resonate with you.... After 6 CF's it's always something new, but I also have some things I need to repeat: Having an early beer in Hontanas, sitting in a cafe in Castrojeriz with a bed secured and watching pilgrims passing by, unaware that they will soon have to climb the Alto del Mostalars in the early afternoon heat, staying in Ponferrada looking at the Templar castle, contemplating on many things, and some more. But anyway all in all a different walk each time.
 
Last edited:
If I ever decide to walk the Frances again, I will be sure to spend the night at San Anton as I was not aware there was an albergue there and it sounds like it would be a very unique experience. I will also be sure to take the variant to Eunate, and the one to Samos. I will also, upon leaving Vilafranca Bierzo, head up the hill to the right instead of following the road, as recent pictures posted on the forum look amazing!
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I've walked the camino frances twice and found the second time to be totally different. I met different people, stayed in different places, noticed different things and it was still amazing. Do it , you won't regret it.
 
Perhaps the first post of my last camino explained best why I walked the Camino Frances ten times; thus although my situation has changed while I was able to walk it served as my apologia.

"Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas/ the heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing."
Pascal, Les Pensées

Unfortunately now at 84 I am only able to walk long distances in my memory
Yes, indeed; but what great memories you have. And I am always grateful you have shared them with all of us here on the Forum. May you have many more years of great memories.
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
Hi Marska,

You have received tons of good advice here; both before you walked, as a rookie/firsttimer, and also now..

By now, after your first walk, you have understood how the Camino works and how it is.

With your newfound knowledge of the Camino workings, you can now confidently walk again, being attentive to the things that was then all new to you on your first walk, and enjoy the fact that your new, deeper knowledge of the Camino makes you a pro, and you will discover many more revelations.

Smell the roses, vary your distances, help firsttimers, stay in new places/places you enjoyed, and have a h*ck of a time. You are a veteran now.

Welcome to the club of Caminoholics Anonymous.
 
Last edited:
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
"Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas/ the heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing."
Pascal, Les Pensées

Your quotation reminded me of Ralph Hodgson's poem, an apt response to those who appear mystified by the allure of The Camino.

Reason has moons, but moons not hers
Lie mirror'd on her sea,
Confounding her astronomers,
But, O! delighting me.
 
If I ever decide to walk the Frances again, I will be sure to spend the night at San Anton as I was not aware there was an albergue there and it sounds like it would be a very unique experience.
St Anton was by far my favourite night on the Camino, it was absolutely magical and I hope they never change a thing there. We slept out under the stars after the most wonderful communal meal eaten surrounded by the towering walls of the ruins, with the most amazing group of random people. A truly magical place and experience.
 
St Anton was by far my favourite night on the Camino, it was absolutely magical and I hope they never change a thing there. We slept out under the stars after the most wonderful communal meal eaten surrounded by the towering walls of the ruins, with the most amazing group of random people. A truly magical place and experience.
They recently installed a star viewing platform with binoculars and a telescope.

 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
They recently installed a star viewing platform with binoculars and a telescope.
Yes, that was there it was amazing! The most surreal thing we saw was the Elon Musk satellite train going past - although this was easily visible with the naked eye. There is zero light pollution so the stars were amazing, even more so viewed up through the ruins. One of the few times I would have loved to have had my proper camera with me as the phone just couldn't do it justice.

You can just see the telescope in this photo.
20231007_140334~2.JPG
 
The second time that I walked the Camino Frances I made the mistake of visiting a place that was very special for me during my first Camino. It had been special because of the people involved. Unfortunately on my second visit the people had changed and I was very disappointed.

Some of the special memories that you now have from your first Camino will be as a result of serendipitous circumstances. Trying to recreate those memories will probably result in disappointment.

In other parts of the Camino I walked different alternatives and made a point of staying in different places.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Echoing what others have mentioned. I met some people the first Camino who made places and moments very special. The second time they weren't there but those memories were definitely attached to certain albergues, towns etc

Not a day goes by that i don't ponder the people I met ( good bad and ugly ) or the Camino and wonder who is out there now

I wasn't the same after I got home and I bet a lot of us feel that way. I'd be back there right now if I could searching for some of the peace of mind I found
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
First Camino was Sep/Oct 2018. Second was Apr/May 2023. 2023 - too many tour groups. In 2018 the tour groups were limited to the last 100k. Now they start in SJPDP. Groups doing short stages. Tours will also impact albergues. I arrived early, 1230 to assure staying at my selected private albergue. There were two private and one municipal in this village. Both privates had "Completo" signs. Tour organizations had booked the entire private albergues. Luckily arriving early, I was 27 of 30 beds at the municipal. Andvthis was early. Also afternoons are spent with too many pilgrims hunched over their phones arranging accommodation. Not as much socializing.
 
First Camino was Sep/Oct 2018. Second was Apr/May 2023. 2023 - too many tour groups. In 2018 the tour groups were limited to the last 100k. Now they start in SJPDP. Groups doing short stages. Tours will also impact albergues. I arrived early, 1230 to assure staying at my selected private albergue. There were two private and one municipal in this village. Both privates had "Completo" signs. Tour organizations had booked the entire private albergues. Luckily arriving early, I was 27 of 30 beds at the municipal. Andvthis was early. Also afternoons are spent with too many pilgrims hunched over their phones arranging accommodation. Not as much socializing.
Sadly, you’ve nailed it for the CF as reflected in my post (above).
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I have walked the CF three times from SJPP to Santiago. I have also walked parts of the CF with my wife on another occasion. What I like most is visiting places where I have been before and telling the proprietor that I was there before on a certain day. I have sometimes taken pictures with people I meet at cafes, albergues, shops, etc who work there. Then when I return I show them the photos and ask, “Do you remember me.” I always get a smile and often special treatment. At one hotel in Hospital de Orbigo, the proprietor smiled when I entered, stopped waiting on other patrons, and handed me a key to a room, telling me I could pay later. In Navarette, the owner of a bar there proclaimed on my last visit this past August that I was not only a pilgrim, but also a friend. I have also stayed in contact with other pilgrims that I have met from various countries on all three CFs. My first CF was in 2017 when I was 66. Now at 72 I hope I have another CF sometime in my future. By the way, I’ve also walked the Ingles, the Portuguese, the final 200K of the Norte, and on to Finnistere and Muxia twice. I suppose the main difference is familiarity with the route and obviously different pilgrims with whom to share the journey.
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I plan on doing the CF starting right after Easter Sunday next year. Since my last Camino I’ve walked parts of the Jakobsweg/Camino in Germany, France, Slovakia, Latvia and Lithuania because they are all so amazingly different from Portugal and Spain.
 
If I ever decide to walk the Frances again, I will be sure to spend the night at San Anton as I was not aware there was an albergue there and it sounds like it would be a very unique experience. I will also be sure to take the variant to Eunate, and the one to Samos. I will also, upon leaving Vilafranca Bierzo, head up the hill to the right instead of following the road, as recent pictures posted on the forum look amazing!
CC- San Anton IMO was beautiful but I would not sleep in the facilities provided.

I stayed in Samos but unfortunately it was raining so darn HARD I couldn't see anything. I do not recommend sleeping at the monestary - stay somewhere else. The convent is much better. The mountain route out of VB is beautiful but difficult so be prepared!
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
CC- San Anton IMO was beautiful but I would not sleep in the facilities provided.
Apart from no electricity or telephone signal (which for me was part of it's character and difference) the actual facilities were perfectly acceptable IMO, both the beds and bathroom. Of course it's basic as you might expect, but that for me is part of it's beauty. I would say you ideally want to be there in fine weather though to enjoy it at it's best.

For contrast one of my friends who I met when we both stayed at St Anton stayed at Samos and was disappointed - although the weather was rubbish at Samos.
 
Hi, I have walked the Camino in Spain 4 times. Twice the Frances way, once the Northern Way, Once along the Portuguese Way. I also walked the way of St Francis Assisi in Italy from Firenze to Roma. Each was different and begged for yet another return. Each brought a new awe of life. I am 67. I have a Canadian friend on his 8th Camino in Spain now. I remember meeting a nun in Leon on my first Camino who told me that "one never walks one camino". She was right. Go do it. As a side note, The Way of St Francis Assisi was beautiful but was more of a great hike than a spiritual way.
Hi, contemplating Norte instead of CF for my second Camino (first being CF in 2022). I’ve heard Norte is more on roads than paths - did you find this so? And that hostels were less frequent. Any thoughts about that? Thanks
Rick
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Hi, contemplating Norte instead of CF for my second Camino (first being CF in 2022). I’ve heard Norte is more on roads than paths - did you find this so? And that hostels were less frequent. Any thoughts about that? Thanks
Rick
That is definitely true on both counts. It is a beautiful route, but be prepared for higher prices for both lodging and food.
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I walked the Francés from SJPP to Muxia twice within seven months. First time was Fall 2022 and the second was Spring 2023. It was amazing to see the Frances in different seasons. On the second Camino I spent more time in the areas that I loved the first time and stayed in towns that intrigued me the first time but had to pass by. So they were both very different experiences. I may do the whole thing again in the Fall of 2024–the Frances isn’t done with me yet. 🥰
 
I just turned 60, so maybe its a good time for reflection - and thanks for the opportunity to do so here! Few things in my life have allowed for such personal reflection and growth as my caminos. I'm a fan of the Norte and have walked all or portions of it (sometimes taking the Primitivo) solo, with a friend and with my daughter, but have also walked the Frances from Astorga to Santiago. I would say the difference in myself is that I am much more relaxed, kind and patient after the accumulated experiences. Relaxed: I'm going to find a bed. Its not a crisis if the intended albergue is full; if it rains I will be ok; I can be hungry without becoming hangry. Kind - Rather than jumping off my bunk and cutting off the lights and chewing out an inexperienced pilgrim who just turned on the lights in the albergue at 10 pm, I realize I should have first loaned them my mini flashlight, explained that a lot of pilgrims were sleeping, told them to just put my flashlight under my bunk when they were done with it. Don't get mad when your brand new REI socks that fit perfectly and were sent out for commercial permethrin treatment aren't on the drying rack in the morning. You packed three pairs "just in case", and yes, the pack felt a little heavy this time anyway. You assume an honest error instead, and hope the socks bring the person good service and protection from creepy-crawlies. Patient: Things are going to go wrong. Discount airlines are going to cancel with no notice, fly you to a different airport than intended, then bus you to your destination and you will arrive much later. The only bus drivers on strike will be the ones going to the Airport in Santiago when you need to go. The line for your Compostela will be 2 hours long. It doesn't matter. You are blessed just to be there, in those situations. They are features, not bugs.

Maybe you are starting out in the state where I have ended up after several caminos, if so, perhaps you stand to grow in more interesting and beneficial ways!
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I agree with those who say it is never the same. Walking different stages helps to reduce the tendency to compare, I think, because there is so much that is totally new.

@mspath once posted a beautiful quote by a Portuguese writer, Jose Saramago (Nobel Prize for Literature, too!). I think it sums things up for me much more beautifully than I could say it.

"The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over them again or add fresh ones alongside them.You have to start the journey anew. Always"
Jose Saramago, A Journey to Portugal
💚
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I've walked other caminos, but have walked the Camino Frances twice; once in the spring and once in the fall to see the difference. Many people prefer the fall, but I loved the springtime a lot more, so if you walked it in the fall last time, I highly recommend coming back in the spring. Some of the things I liked about spring: it gets light earlier in the morning, the FLOWERS, not least of all the red poppies, vast green fields instead of brown. And the STORKS are on their nests. It might have been just the point in time in which I started in late Sept. but the CF was more crowded in the fall in my experience.
 
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
Plan to take your time, don't hurry to the night's destination, dont fall in with other's schedules, go with the aim to better understanding and appreciate what the various rural and urban landscapes have to offer. Be inquisitive.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Some of the things I liked about spring: it gets light earlier in the morning, the FLOWERS, not least of all the red poppies, vast green fields instead of brown. And the STORKS are on their nests.
I prefer walking in the Spring, too, including fresh smells and the small green leaves budding out on the trees.
That said, I've walked in the fall twice and it has been special in its own way. I think I will keep passing on winter and summer though.
 
Prepare for your next Camino on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
Wow, so many replies!
My first CF late April 2016 - “I’ll never do that again” (such painful feet!) but……it was so beautiful.
Mid September 2022 - my second CF. Again so beautiful with the difference in seasons and although there was so much familiarity of course, it was new, not to mention the people I met.
In between times, there’s been the del Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, part of the Portuguese!!!!
Now I’m thinking the CF again in 2025 starting early April 👣👣👣
Buen Camino
 
I just turned 60, so maybe its a good time for reflection - and thanks for the opportunity to do so here! Few things in my life have allowed for such personal reflection and growth as my caminos. I'm a fan of the Norte and have walked all or portions of it (sometimes taking the Primitivo) solo, with a friend and with my daughter, but have also walked the Frances from Astorga to Santiago. I would say the difference in myself is that I am much more relaxed, kind and patient after the accumulated experiences. Relaxed: I'm going to find a bed. Its not a crisis if the intended albergue is full; if it rains I will be ok; I can be hungry without becoming hangry. Kind - Rather than jumping off my bunk and cutting off the lights and chewing out an inexperienced pilgrim who just turned on the lights in the albergue at 10 pm, I realize I should have first loaned them my mini flashlight, explained that a lot of pilgrims were sleeping, told them to just put my flashlight under my bunk when they were done with it. Don't get mad when your brand new REI socks that fit perfectly and were sent out for commercial permethrin treatment aren't on the drying rack in the morning. You packed three pairs "just in case", and yes, the pack felt a little heavy this time anyway. You assume an honest error instead, and hope the socks bring the person good service and protection from creepy-crawlies. Patient: Things are going to go wrong. Discount airlines are going to cancel with no notice, fly you to a different airport than intended, then bus you to your destination and you will arrive much later. The only bus drivers on strike will be the ones going to the Airport in Santiago when you need to go. The line for your Compostela will be 2 hours long. It doesn't matter. You are blessed just to be there, in those situations. They are features, not bugs.

Maybe you are starting out in the state where I have ended up after several caminos, if so, perhaps you stand to grow in more interesting and beneficial ways!
Wow, @Dan S. what an awesome reply! I haven’t read the million replies to this post, I just scrolled to the bottom to read the latest replies and your’s really spoke to me. Empathy and emotional intelligence is the greatest gift you can offer on the Camino and indeed life, bravo to you. I think how lucky are the Peregrinos that have the good fortune to cross your path.
 
Loving all these responses. Lots of food for thought here. I walked the CF twice, 2017 & 2018, just coincidentally starting on April 1 each time. Same route, same time — completely different weather. 2017, April & May were sunny, warm & bright, sometimes too warm (I dislike heat). But in 2018 it snowed in the Pyrenees, rained for almost three weeks, and we had snow at O Cebreiro, in late April! Muddy. Different. The same. Awesome. Even during holy week both times I was on the CF, I never made advance reservations, or had a problem getting a bed. Post-Covid, most reports indicate the Camino is more crowded than ever, which would certainly be a big change, and gives me pause about returning, much as I’d love to.

Crowds & weather aside: It seems to me the heart of your question is: Why do a repeat Camino? Why are so many of us drawn back? You wouldn’t be asking if you didn’t feel the pull, and perhaps feel mystified as to why, maybe doubting whether it’s “worth it”? I went through all of that, just as countless other pilgrims have. Welcome to the club!

On my first Camino in 2017, I met many repeat pilgrims, and I didn’t really understand why, with all of the world to explore, they would want to come back again & again. It seemed a bit odd to me. But by the time I got to Santiago, I knew I’d be back, and I couldn’t really explain it. I felt very blessed indeed to be able to return, and to volunteer in the Pilgrim Office at the end of my 2018 Camino. That was an incredible experience, highly recommended. Volunteering for a couple of weeks also helped ease the unexpectedly long-lasting culture shock I’d had coming back after my first Camino.

For me, the pull is the magic and simplicity of the relaxed Camino routine, the ease of community, the way so many strangers are openhearted and kind because they’re taking life at a slower pace. It seems nearly impossible to replicate all this away from the Camino. I believe we come back because there’s just no other place like the Camino, and our hearts are hungry for it.
 
Last edited:
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Wow, so many replies!
My first CF late April 2016 - “I’ll never do that again” (such painful feet!) but……it was so beautiful.
Mid September 2022 - my second CF. Again so beautiful with the difference in seasons and although there was so much familiarity of course, it was new, not to mention the people I met.
In between times, there’s been the del Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, part of the Portuguese!!!!
Now I’m thinking the CF again in 2025 starting early April 👣👣👣
Buen Camino
I have walked the CF 2x and CdN 1x, on the CF I would recommend staying in different places then your last Camino. The time of day, year, light, etc. will lead to new memories and experiences. Places I walked in early morning darkness were lovely to encounter at the end of the day and vice versa. Buen Camino.
 
The Frances is dear to my heart. I cannot walk it too many times. (BTW -- I enjoyed seeing you in October!) But have you considered the possibility of the Aragones? Starting at Lourdes, and walking over the Somport Pass? I did that in 2018 and found it to be memorable.
 
For me, the pull is the magic and simplicity of the relaxed Camino routine, the ease of community, the way so many strangers are openhearted and kind because they’re taking life at a slower pace. It seems nearly impossible to replicate all this away from the Camino. I believe we come back because there’s just no other place like the Camino, and our hearts are hungry for it.
Well said . Yes, our hearts are hungry for it...
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
The Frances is dear to my heart. I cannot walk it too many times. (BTW -- I enjoyed seeing you in October!) But have you considered the possibility of the Aragones? Starting at Lourdes, and walking over the Somport Pass? I did that in 2018 and found it to be memorable.
Hello friend! Yes, I have considered the Aragones. There are some distances that look difficult. I need to look into it further. Hope all is well! Kathy
 
Hello friend! Yes, I have considered the Aragones. There are some distances that look difficult. I need to look into it further. Hope all is well! Kathy
There a few longer stretches. Most can be broken into smaller stages. There's always a partial stage with a taxi if its needed. I've been a hospitalera at two albergues on the French way through Aragon. Really lovely and not crowded.
 
One cannot LIVE on the Camino. One can return again and again but at some point it does end. Maybe the body gives out, or the money runs out, or life responsibilities win out.

I go back and forth, back and forth... no I don't need to do that again ... its too expensive (the cc bills are now coming in from October!) ... what if I get sick again ... what if it rains every day again ... is it fair to my family ... kinda the same things going thru my mind before I committed to my fall 2023 CF.

But as Leichecerca said,
"... the pull is the magic and simplicity of the relaxed Camino routine, the ease of community, the way so many strangers are openhearted and kind because they’re taking life at a slower pace. It seems nearly impossible to replicate all this away from the Camino. I believe we come back because there’s just no other place like the Camino, and our hearts are hungry for it."

I've been back in the USA since Nov. 2 and returned to my home a couple weeks ago. It is wonderful to be with my husband again and to visit with my daughters, for sure. I love them with all my heart.

I anticipated soooooo loving my own bed and my favorite pillow, my own shower, my closet full of clothes. But I'm strangely lonely. I miss the simplicity, the community, the slower pace, the daily giving and receiving, the discoveries. My bed, my pillow, my shower, my clothes aren't bringing me as much joy as I had anticipated. My body is very comfortable, true. But my heart is hungry.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
One cannot LIVE on the Camino. One can return again and again but at some point it does end. Maybe the body gives out, or the money runs out, or life responsibilities win out.

I go back and forth, back and forth... no I don't need to do that again ... its too expensive (the cc bills are now coming in from October!) ... what if I get sick again ... what if it rains every day again ... is it fair to my family ... kinda the same things going thru my mind before I committed to my fall 2023 CF.

But as Leichecerca said,
"... the pull is the magic and simplicity of the relaxed Camino routine, the ease of community, the way so many strangers are openhearted and kind because they’re taking life at a slower pace. It seems nearly impossible to replicate all this away from the Camino. I believe we come back because there’s just no other place like the Camino, and our hearts are hungry for it."

I've been back in the USA since Nov. 2 and returned to my home a couple weeks ago. It is wonderful to be with my husband again and to visit with my daughters, for sure. I love them with all my heart.

I anticipated soooooo loving my own bed and my favorite pillow, my own shower, my closet full of clothes. But I'm strangely lonely. I miss the simplicity, the community, the slower pace, the daily giving and receiving, the discoveries. My bed, my pillow, my shower, my clothes aren't bringing me as much joy as I had anticipated. My body is very comfortable, true. But my heart is hungry.
Yes. Exactly. I’ve been away from the Camino for almost six years and I still miss it. In that time I have slowly shed most of my belongings, keeping only the basic necessities and things that “spark joy.” One big Camino lesson for me was how truly content I could be with nothing but a change of clothes.
 
The Frances is dear to my heart. I cannot walk it too many times. (BTW -- I enjoyed seeing you in October!) But have you considered the possibility of the Aragones? Starting at Lourdes, and walking over the Somport Pass? I did that in 2018 and found it to be memorable.
I think if/when I am lucky enough to do the CF again this is something I would seriously consider. Somport and the surrounding area hold a lot of precious memories for me from past road trips with souls that are no longer physically here, and to visit those places again on foot as a pilgrim would be wonderful and poignant - and it is a beautiful part of the Pyrenees.

I think that and then maybe the Invierno route would be very appealing. However, I would have no issue with doing the normal CF again either, especially in the spring having previously done it in the fall.
 
Last edited:
Yes. Exactly. I’ve been away from the Camino for almost six years and I still miss it. In that time I have slowly shed most of my belongings, keeping only the basic necessities and things that “spark joy.” One big Camino lesson for me was how truly content I could be with nothing but a change of clothes.
This is one of my biggest Camino lessons also, the simplicity of not staring into a full wardrobe trying to figure out what to wear because there's just too much choice. My wardrobe is to be greatly reduced.

I find myself still wearing most of what I wore on the Camino, but I've managed to slowly reduce the amount of times I'm still sleeping in my sleeping bag at home!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I was absolutely shocked that many, many of my favorite sights from #1 were missed by me on #2. And things I didn’t see the first time suddenly were unmissable the second! How can that be? Yet, that’s what happened.
 
This is one of my biggest Camino lessons also, the simplicity of not staring into a full wardrobe trying to figure out what to wear because there's just too much choice. My wardrobe is to be greatly reduced.

I find myself still wearing most of what I wore on the Camino, but I've managed to slowly reduce the amount of times I'm still sleeping in my sleeping bag at home!
Dave, I hear you. Wearing the clothes and sleeping in your Camino bag is a way of maintaining the simplicity, staying in touch with the magic. I did the same, only felt truly at home in my Camino clothes for a long long time, post-Camino. Isn’t that interesting? You’d think after weeks in the same stinky sweaty gear (albeit washed daily) we would welcome fresh clean clothing and a little variety, but no. Just feels like wasting energy on choices that don’t matter. (So what DOES matter? That’s a different thread!)
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
I am thinking seriously about walking the CF again late March - April 2024. I'm not getting any younger and I know I want to walk another Camino so the sooner the better

For those of you who have walked the CF 2 or more times, what was different the second time? Any disappointments or revelations? Did you walk the same Camino or something different?
I have done nine different Caminos and until August this year I hadn't done the Camino Frances but after walking it I needed to do it again so I am returning to Spain in March and will begin April 1. I want to experience a completely different countryside to the one at the height of summer with different colours and obviously cooler climate. So perhaps I should wait until I have completed it before answering your question but I know already what the answer will be
 
A huge increase in numbers between my first and second Caminos - roughly 10x the number of pilgrims the second time. Also a big increase in the number of albergues and other facilities for pilgrims. In many ways this made things easier but on the whole I preferred the ramshackle informality of my first walk. Perhaps the biggest difference was simply having advance knowledge of what comes next and so losing some of the joy of being surprised as the route unfolded.
Not sure when you walked your first CF. But I feel it would be the same as you described for me. 2015 was my first. And I have walk 2 more (Portuguese and Ingles) since then. Ive wanted to do the CF again for a little while now. But I too would feel that there may be differences in what I first felt. As the route unfolded itself to me.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
Not sure when you walked your first CF. But I feel it would be the same as you described for me. 2015 was my first.
My first Camino was in 1990. There were just under 5,000 Compostelas issued that year. By the time of my second Camino in 2002 that number had risen to about 69,000. The running total for this year so far is 443,042.

Along with the vast increase in numbers walking there have been many other significant changes on the Caminos over the years. There are now many alternative routes while in 1990 and to a lesser extent 2002 "the Camino" effectively meant "the Camino Frances". Luggage transport services did not exist at the time of my first Camino and advance reservations were almost unheard of. The English-language guidebook supplement from the Confraternity of St James which I carried did not list telephone numbers or even full addresses for most of the refugios along the Camino - only a rough indication of where they might be found. There were no private commercial albergues and very few hostals outside the major towns. Accommodation was more spartan and dispersed which meant there were some longer stages than are the norm today. Some refugios offered only floor space rather than beds so it was expected that pilgrims would carry sleeping bags and mats. My first Camino predated both the World Wide Web and digital mobile phones and so people usually arrived in France or Spain to begin their Camino journeys without having any prebooked accommodation and with no more advance knowledge of the route than could be gained from the very limited range of printed guidebooks which mostly focussed on route descriptions and maps rather than lists of refugios which tended to change quickly anyway as the route developed. Although there was no minimum distance rule for receiving a Compostela a far larger proportion of pilgrims chose to walk from SJPDP or Roncesvalles than is the norm today. The average age of pilgrims in 1990 was far younger than today and the peak walking season was midsummer rather than spring or autumn as most were around the typical school or university age and walked in long vacation times. My own impression is that with the advent of the internet and instant access to a massive range of information and services those walking today have grown much more risk-averse and often prefer to arrange their journeys in advance in minute detail. Something which is now far easier to do.
 
My first Camino was in 1990. There were just under 5,000 Compostelas issued that year. By the time of my second Camino in 2002 that number had risen to about 69,000. The running total for this year so far is 443,042.
WOW Seems like it would have been amazing to go in such times when its popularity wasnt as big. Although 12 years between caminos would definitely be different.
Cheers
 
Last edited:
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Pradella was a highlight of my trip. One albergue and I was the only guest. Homemade soup - very peaceful.

If I ever decide to walk the Frances again, I will be sure to spend the night at San Anton as I was not aware there was an albergue there and it sounds like it would be a very unique experience. I will also be sure to take the variant to Eunate, and the one to Samos. I will also, upon leaving Vilafranca Bierzo, head up the hill to the right instead of following the road, as recent pictures posted on the forum look amazing!
 

Most read last week in this forum

I just read this article. https://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/2022-08-19/descenso-peregrinos-camino-santiago-frances_3478222/ Here are some points in English: "That pilgrims abandon the French...
My blessing and I are planning to walk the Camino Frances in September 2025. We have another trip this year so… How long is the Meseta? About how long are we on it? What could in be like in Sept...
An article on the Church Times website today which I found interesting. Focussing on the work of the British Pilgrimage Trust - an organisation which promotes pilgrimage in the UK in a very broad...
I absolutely don't want to start a hard discussion, but just share some of my thoughts. At least something to reflect on, certainly not necessarily comply to. Maybe think more of them, if you...
A few friends and I are looking to do the Camino mid to the end of October. I know there will be likely some rain on each route but which route will likely have the least amount of rain at this...
Hello! Newbie here. I've been searching/reading for a while, and it's been incredibly helpful. However, I am still torn between several route options, and would appreciate opinions, suggestions...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top