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Four more days until SdC - and no motivation anymore to continue ...

2020 Camino Guides

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Thanks for sharing, @sugargypsy ! You are SO close to Santiago. Please don't give up now. If you need to (and if your schedule allows it) you can still take some time "off" from the Camino - you could even get the bus or train up to La Coruña and just sit on the beach for a day or two. Then, when your hunger for walking and for finishing up returns, you can get back on the trail and finish. There's nothing that says you must slog through and finish within the next 3 days - so take your time and then walk again when you're ready. Or, walk shorter stages and just enjoy the towns. But - having met many pilgrims who couldn't finish and were so disappointed and sad - I'd encourage you to finish and walk into Santiago when you can.
Buen Camino! Hope to see you when you're here!
Faith
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Who knows why it's happening, @sugargypsy . But that's not so important. What's important is that you don't feed the ennui by either giving in to it or making it more of a problem than it is. Kindly watch it out of the corner of your mind's eye, but don't give it the reins. The Camino is not always easy or even interesting. Just like life. But that feeling won't last forever. Just keeping going is so empowering: it frees us from being a slave to the whims of the mind.
I take a lot of inspiration at times like this from what Thomas Merton said:
'Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone.'
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
@sugargypsy,

I've no idea what's happening to you but I guess it feels horrible.

I wonder if it would help you if you reflect upon what you have achieved so far, both mentally and physically and why you chose to walk a Camino in the first place?

After all, I'm sure you didn't get to where you are now by accident, it usually takes a lot of planning and effort to get to and walk your chosen Camino.

Buen (happy ending to your) Camino
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@sugargypsy Camino can be a hard road to follow. So many of us walk in hope and expectation of all sorts of experiences, and what we find is a walk. A mostly very nice walk in generally good company and with a real "Bread and Circuses" spectacle at the end. It isn't always a life-changing or even life-affirming experience.

I guess you haven't found what you were hoping to find; and/or the experience hasn't been what you were expecting. I think that happens to many people, just not the self-selected bunch of camino enthusiasts that regularly post to this forum. Some have come back to tell us of their disappointment but not many. Again they are self-selectors.

So, I'll thank you for sharing. Your gift to others is the view through the mirror.

On my first, long desired and long planned Camino I shed tears as I walked into Santiago. Happiness for arrival, sadness for a journey ended. In the Cathedral I watched the spectacle and realised it offered me nothing that I could use. I left and walked to Fisterra and there my journey ended in a kind of quiet joy.

I can't offer you resolution. That is always in our own hearts. If I could I might counsel you to walk on to Santiago and so conclude this journey rather than leave it un-concluded. It isn't far now and then your journey is done.

May all your roads be kind
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
I had a very similar feeling shortly after leaving Sarria, the vibe changes, people and things annoyed me, the countryside resembled my home county and there were too many people. I was so disheartened, my original plan had been to go to Finisterre, on my last day I dawdled into SDC stopped at the only decent ice cream shop I had seen in a whole month, I then decided to call it quits and book a flight home for the next morning.

These things happen! I took the optimistic outlook I would be home a week earlier to see my family.
As far back as I can remember I have had dreams about wandering long distances through the country side, in the last 10 years I have heard tales of the "Camino". I quit my job and embarked on an adventure, they say the Camino is all about self realization, well, I found out that a long walk is really therapeutic but the destination does not matter.


Strange thing is that 6 weeks after my return my feet hurt, well, they hurt between 4 am and 6 a.m in the morning as soon as I get out of bed the discomfort goes. How odd .
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
I've not really liked the last few days and entry into Santiago - maybe because I just prefer the journey. But I've done it anyway - except once when I gave in to the "I just don't want to continue" feeling and found a taxi to take me the last 15/20 miles. I don't regret it - since I'd already done it - and have done it since. But each time, walking that last bit gave me a chance to look back - figuratively. Remembering all those experiences, people, visuals, Camino Moments -- it's ALL worth it. Don't wonder, just do what feels best... You CAN return.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
@sugargypsy, make your own Camino. If you are not goal oriented, and don't care if you make it to Santiago, just stop! It's your experience and no one can tell you how to feel. I think you should honor whatever it happening inside. Maybe you are homesick? Maybe the Camino isn't for you? Maybe sit where you are, eat, drink and journal your feelings?

I have not felt quite like you - I am too goal-oriented to give up the end-prize. But I haven't always "felt" it either! Santiago almost feels like just another city to me. I am tired of crowds there, and just about everything else. But I DO love to walk and share the camaraderie!

If your Spirit has left the Camino, so be it. Change course. That is what I would do if I were feeling like you and I wasn't so goal-oriented. 🙏🙏 and ❤❤ to you!
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('15)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
There‘s a latin saying:

solvitur ambulando = it is solved by walking.

Staying at the same place for several days, even if it‘s a nice place, might make things worse for you at the moment. It‘s not really how the Camino works. People walk by, it can make you feel lonely and lost.

Walk those few more days (you‘re almost there!), celebrate in Santiago (or not!) and then maybe go on to Finisterre. That‘s the place where you really can‘t walk any further, a good place to stop and think. Take a long look at the ocean and the sun as it goes down, and take your time to reflect on what you‘ve achieved during the last weeks.

You‘re in the last phase of your Camino now, the readjustment phase. It‘s when you start to disengange, to come back into the everyday life somehow. It‘s not an easy phase, but part of the Camino just like the first days where you "learn to walk".

Go, walk those final steps. Give yourself the chance to have a proper ending to your Camino. You deserve it.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Walking a camino is a completely optional activity. You can always stop and return in the future if your motivation returns. I hope there were good parts!!!:)
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
I found that I was on a continuous cycle between thinking that walking the Camino was the best idea I ever had to thinking that it was the worst idea I ever had. Some days I felt like I could just keep on walking every day for the rest of my life, some days were just normal, and some days were a total slog - very tedious, very boring, completely uninspired. But, you just keep going. I think that part of a pilgrimage is that even when things are tough, when you lose your motivation, and start questioning why you are even there, you just keep going - walk through it all.

I felt an odd bunch of emotions when I got to Santiago - not at all what I thought I'd feel - but I walked through the tunnel to go around to the front of the cathedral exactly at noon so the cathedral bells were ringing and a bag piper happened to be playing in the tunnel, so somehow I knew that whatever I was feeling, I was right where I was meant to be. Hard to explain, but I just knew it.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
I won't try to guess what is creating your dilemma. I faced something similar while only three months into a 5 month thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. I wanted to stop, I wasn't motivated, I just felt ambivalent about continuing. So, what to do?

I made a deliberate choice to continue on. I decided that as hard as it seemed to get moving again, that I would just start walking, and then I would decide whether or not to continue the next morning, and then the next, and then the next. . . .

By that next morning, something changed mentally and maybe physically. I felt like I wanted to keep going and that it wasn't an overwhelming chore.
 

ouroboros

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012) (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
I just finished my third camino...second on the Frances. I recognize how you are feeling, @sugargypsy. I decided to stop my camino before reaching Santiago this time. This was my first time solo, and I have two Compostelas at home, so going to Santiago did not have any urgent appeal. I found the increasing crowds annoying and I was in a deep and quiet space, a place where I felt I had finished my walk. I decided to climb O’Cebreiro and there lighted candles and offered up all my prayers in the lovely quiet church there, then sailed down the mountain and began my re-entry as I landed in Sarria. I have no regrets about ending my walk early having started in St Jean. If you are solo and enjoying your solitude as I was, then re-entry is a tough adjustment as you do disengage to prepare, as a pilgrim mentioned here, and it can feel a bit desolate.
I had no social connections with other pilgrims this time as i had in the past and that too affected my desire to return home early. I have come to accept that each and every camino is completely unique. Blessings to you!
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
SJPdP- Meseta (28/09/2019)
Whatever you decide this is a valuable lesson! Yes you can return but I expect the thought of coming back now is worse than the thought of continuing for another few days. Imagine you prepared and trained for a marathon and just before the end of your journey you decided to stop and not experience the feeling of crossing the line. Instead you take a bus to Santiago and return home. Everyone asks about your experience and you say 'it was great but my only regret was'....in the end we only regret the chances we didn't take 🤠
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
...It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal...
I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it...
How wonderful that you have this forum to lean on...and, you did!

Next, not knowing (nor am I asking) what your original motivation was for going on Camino, think about that and perhaps it will help you. It doesn't really matter what others did in the end yet, their reasons may strike a chord in you.

On my first Camino, I had to come face to face with a very hard truth which made me want to head straight back home. A few days later, my mind/heart had changed. Didn't even want to get my Compostela a month later but...two wonderful people I met on Camino, convinced me to do so. I have no regrets about walking that Camino and I'm so glad I got my Compostela because, it reminds me that no matter how bad or painful (emotionally more than physically, for me) it was...I did it.

Whatever you chose to do, think long and hard about it. You know yourself better than any of us, right? ;)
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
Hi,

.....
Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
I can empathize with your situation having been in a similar situation. My question is - what am I resisting? What am I afraid of moving forward? I set this goal up and was committed to it; what has changed and why?

You may be on the precipice of personal growth. It really depends if you want to put the work in to moving forward and allowing the answers to come to you. Remember who you are; why you went; and where you are going.

I know this is difficult to believe, but I am excited for you and I am a bit envious. Buen Camino
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
It happens. I felt somewhat similarly on the Sanabres several weeks ago. I felt toward the end I had had enough, and wasn't getting much out of it. I did finish it, but my feelings upon reaching Santiago were ambivalent. Tellboyo tells a thematically-similar story above. Personally, I think I need to desist from caminos for a while.

There is no point in feeling inadequate or despondent about it - it's just the way it is, and we are all different. Some have suggested you continue, in the belief that the arrival in Santiago will provide an epiphany. However, it seems to me that you are already beyond that. You are not obliged to finish it. Make the decision that will make you happiest, and lighten your heart.
 

DevereUx

Devereaux
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2018
It's not uncommon to feel the way you do in the last days. I saw many, many pilgrims simply slow down, taking extra days, not wanting the "experience " to end, nor the wonderful relationships formed along the way.
I was thinking, the day before I walked into CdeS, that I'd have a beer, look for some buddies and take a shower and a nap and go home.
HOWEVER, when I walked down the narrow streets toward the cathedral I began to get "weepy". Seriously!
And when I walked down the steps and through the portal onto the plaza to the bagpiper playing, I just lost it.
You have an amazing experience coming up.
Enjoy your triumphant entry and the knowledge that you accomplished a lifetime journey.
The lessons of the Camino will truly begin to unfold AFTER you have finished.
And....always communicate with your Camino Family here on the Forum!
Buen Camino!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
It can happen for various reasons, but you might want to investigate if you're not suffering from a lessening of energy for the brain, which can cause this sort of depressive reactions. Try increasing your fat intake, with cheeses, fatty meats, and so on maybe ? Your mitochondria can help you if you feed them properly ...

Otherwise more spiritually, a big part of Faith is knowing how to Keep Calm and Carry On.

In my experience, every proper Camino leads to a point along the Way when you want to stop, give up, go home. Overcoming that hurdle is a big part of becoming a "real pilgrim".
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
In my experience, every proper Camino leads to a point along the Way when you want to stop, give up, go home.
Indeed.
This is where the gold is.
So just keep going, one foot in front of the other.

You may have an epiphany, you may not. You may feel joy on arriving, you may not.
Your life may be profoundly changed by this, or not.
There's no telling, until the journey is done.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
How honest you are SugarGypsy, and it is nice to see posts that aren't all gung-ho.

So there you are, lost instead of found? I must admit that my immediate reaction was the same as JabbaPapa - diet ... a few weeks of poor (and it IS poor) nutrition via the dreadful pilgrim meals .... I was reading, a few days ago, an article written by a vegetarian who had been struggling with apathy, listlessness, and he decided to change his diet. He dropped carbs and went for a fat meat diet with dairy and said that within 48 hours he was energetic, mood positive, and just couldn't believe the change - so I would go for high nutrition, drop all cereal carbs out of your diet and go onto the 'caveman' fat meat, fat fish, and dairy only nutrition.

and then .... well done you for getting as far as you have .. fairly obvious from your post that you aren't a hiking addict and unless you have a religious/spiritual longing to kneel at the feet of St James, true, what is so big about Santiago?

Well, it is this - if you stop now, leave now, you will spend the rest of your life, when the subject comes up, of having to explain to people why you didn't finish - it will be tiring over the years .. so for completion, for an ending, for the ability to look back over the years and tell yourself "I did that!" I would say walk on .. walk on ...

.. and you may just surprise yourself you know ... I arrived in Santiago and completely unexpectedly burst into tears in the pilgrim office when asked "and why did you do the Camino?"

so thank you for your honesty and I am sorry for your ennui - but, you have to move geographically whether you go to Santiago or not don't you? So move geographically to Santiago ;) .

I wish you well ... will you come back on here and tell us what you did and what happened? Please do!

Buen Camino
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
Plod on. Stay at the little Albergue St. Irene also the Polish Albergue at Monte De Gozo then walk calmly into Santiago. The sense of achievement will be amazing, all those miles, the memories will stay with you forever.
As others said, enjoy some good food and you could get your rucksack delivered each day.
 

Turga

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I don’t have much to add to all the good things and good advice given above. We are all different and motivated by our own feelings and sentiments.

I too had this strange feeling of melancholy during the last few days into Santiago, but I think I know why and it was a simple (and selfish?) reason: I kept thinking back on all the good moments while walking; the silent, solitary moments alone in the nature, the long road stretching ahead of me, the good people I met, the jolly conversations with strangers, and so on… – and I didn’t like the thought that it was going to end.
 

willydp

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CI June 2019
I only did the Camino Inglés a few weeks ago with a colleague and we didn't like the last day because we knew it would end.
It gives a double feeling, finished and accomplishment. We looked for alternative roads all the time.
Mixed feelings, going home to the 'real live'... It eats at you and change the mindset without understanding why.
I can only tell you, what everything you do...never give up!
Finish and stop then.
Seek company to walk with.
Loneliness can be fine at some moments, now you should seek to keep you going.
Eat well, drink at every location.
Just get to the end.
There will be a moment in live that you will regret it.
Move on, the forum is with you on every step 👍
Carpe Diem - Buen Camino -Ultreia 😊
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
There's often a sense among pilgrims as they reach the last few K before "the end" (not actually the end as such) of a kind of frustration, when "the magic" hasn't happened -- and whilst I'm one of those that it has happened to repeatedly, both on and off the Camino, the simple truth is that there is no guarantee at all that it will or even should be given to every single pilgrim.

Sometimes, the spirituality of the Way simply translates into a long, hard slog of physical conflict against the be-arrow'd dirt track, and not much else besides that you couldn't find more readily and easily at home.

Having said that, there **are** some pilgrims who simply need a longer walk to Compostela than from SJPP -- it's less hard to overcome the sorts of doubts you're describing if you're 300 to 500 K from Santiago than having to combine it with the natural anticipation and trepidation of that final stretch before arriving.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
@sugargypsy, make your own Camino. If you are not goal oriented, and don't care if you make it to Santiago, just stop! It's your experience and no one can tell you how to feel. I think you should honor whatever it happening inside. Maybe you are homesick? Maybe the Camino isn't for you? Maybe sit where you are, eat, drink and journal your feelings?

I have not felt quite like you - I am too goal-oriented to give up the end-prize. But I haven't always "felt" it either! Santiago almost feels like just another city to me. I am tired of crowds there, and just about everything else. But I DO love to walk and share the camaraderie!

If your Spirit has left the Camino, so be it. Change course. That is what I would do if I were feeling like you and I wasn't so goal-oriented. 🙏🙏 and ❤❤ to you!
I think your answer is really spot on. Maybe the Camino isn’t for him. Sometimes I think people have built up such big expectations or believe some life altering experience will occur that a letdown occurs when ‘nothing’ happens. We who have made Camino a big part of our lives all may perpetuate this myth. We have such love and speak so passionately that, at least for me, some people are enchanted thinking there will be a mystical or transformative experience waiting for them. I think we often forget to say that for most people it happens, in small and precious moments. That are interspersed with some great fun, conversation and people. But it is also sandwiched in between some big cold, heat, rain, snow, wind, hills, blisters, bedbugs, dirty showers, rude noisy people, lousy nights of sleep 😴 etc. Etc. We all have letdowns and feelings of what am I doing here again?????
First Camino I did I thought the day when I arrived and saw our Cathedral would be amazing. Came through the tunnel and the bagpipes and was greeted by mobs of tour groups and those ridiculous tour trains. A big letdown, WOW!!! It didn’t dampen my spirits for long though as I met just about all the pilgrims I connected with on my Camino. By the time I finished my third Camino I was really sick of the crowds and the tourist of Santiago. This last Camino I just finished in the beginning of November and it was so quiet. I had just finished the Northe. By the time I finish my third Camino I was really sick of the crowds and the tourist of Santiago. This last Camino I just finished in the beginning of November and it was so quiet. I had just finished the Norte and it was really tough for me. When I got to the Square there couldn’t of been more than 100 people and it felt very quiet and intimate. It was the first time I was overcome with emotion arriving at the Cathedral. This year I will start on October 29 from Saint Jean and I look forward to walking this late in the year. I’m sure Santiago will have a much different feel to it when I arrive in early December. I don’t know when you walk or if you have constraints regarding when you can walk but maybe you can try if you
setting your Camino dates to a much quieter times of the year. It is nice to be there at a quieter time to hopefully see friends and have a chance to say goodbye.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
I think your answer is really spot on. Maybe the Camino isn’t for him. Sometimes I think people have built up such big expectations or believe some life altering experience will occur that a letdown occurs when ‘nothing’ happens. We who have made Camino a big part of our lives all may perpetuate this myth. We have such love and speak so passionately that, at least for me, some people are enchanted thinking there will be a mystical or transformative experience waiting for them. I think we often forget to say that for most people it happens, in small and precious moments. That are interspersed with some great fun, conversation and people. But it is also sandwiched in between some big cold, heat, rain, snow, wind, hills, blisters, bedbugs, dirty showers, rude noisy people, lousy nights of sleep 😴 etc. Etc. We all have letdowns and feelings of what am I doing here again?????
First Camino I did I thought the day when I arrived and saw our Cathedral would be amazing. Came through the tunnel and the bagpipes and was greeted by mobs of tour groups and those ridiculous tour trains. A big letdown, WOW!!! It didn’t dampen my spirits for long though as I met just about all the pilgrims I connected with on my Camino. By the time I finished my third Camino I was really sick of the crowds and the tourist of Santiago. This last Camino I just finished in the beginning of November and it was so quiet. I had just finished the Northe. By the time I finish my third Camino I was really sick of the crowds and the tourist of Santiago. This last Camino I just finished in the beginning of November and it was so quiet. I had just finished the Norte and it was really tough for me. When I got to the Square there couldn’t of been more than 100 people and it felt very quiet and intimate. It was the first time I was overcome with emotion arriving at the Cathedral. This year I will start on October 29 from Saint Jean and I look forward to walking this late in the year. I’m sure Santiago will have a much different feel to it when I arrive in early December. I don’t know when you walk or if you have constraints regarding when you can walk but maybe you can try if you
setting your Camino dates to a much quieter times of the year. It is nice to be there at a quieter time to hopefully see friends and have a chance to say goodbye.
@It56ny, I agree, that we veterans do pump up the Camino! So many folks have such high expectations, when indeed, often times it is just a lot of hard work and inconveniences. I suppose we are taking the conversation off-topic, yet it feels important to discuss this. Expectations and let downs are a real phenomenon, that I believe that if we were all honest, we would agree that this is so. We hope and pray that the better times on the Camino outweigh the not-so-great times. As Forest Gump said, "Life's a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get!" I like what St. Teresa says about spiritual experiences - it is God's choice, not yours, what experiences you have, and you have to just go with it!

I also like your suggestion of walking at a quieter time. This year, my walk will arrive in Santiago at the end of October - I am having high expectations that it will feel more intimate at this time. Ha - here's comes the expectations again!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I think we often forget to say that for most people it happens, in small and precious moments
The "magic" when it happens varies rather drastically between any individual and the next, but as far as I can tell I'm very unsure that it's "most people".

Sure, it can certainly be those small and precious moments -- but it can also be the mind-blowingly massive intrusion of the Divine into your life and your mind and your spirit when you weren't expecting any such thing in the first place. Or it can be the absolute pure abstraction of apparently nothing whatsoever.

The "magic" of the Camino is something, I've found, that it's impossible to generalise about.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
The "magic" when it happens varies rather drastically between any individual and the next, but as far as I can tell I'm very unsure that it's "most people".

Sure, it can certainly be those small and precious moments -- but it can also be the mind-blowingly massive intrusion of the Divine into your life and your mind and your spirit when you weren't expecting any such thing in the first place. Or it can be the absolute pure abstraction of apparently nothing whatsoever.

The "magic" of the Camino is something, I've found, that it's impossible to generalise about.
I think I often forget to say the key words, in my experience. In this case I should have said in my experience speaking with other. Yes it is impossible to generalize as I have only met a tiny sliver of people who have walked. I have met people who were walking for profound and life altering reasons. I guess you could say that if you meet 100 pilgrims you will get 150 answers as to why they are doing it. I have had my share of "mind blowing and massive experiences that if we met we could share them. But I guess in MY EXPERIENCE most pilgrims I have met have GENERALLY had smaller precious moments that have stayed with them. But come to think of it, you are right it ain't easy to generalize a Camino experience!!!!!
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
Doesn’t really matter if you don’t finish. You know now how much you can walk and what it means to you: perhaps it just mean ‘so what’s the great deal’ 😃
 

willydp

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CI June 2019
I'm reading this forum since 2015 and walked my first Camino last week and I don't think that you have to under estimate a short or long walk.
It is physical demanding and the things and feelings that happen (magic) are there to experience in the little things.
I don't think that the shared experience on this forum is to much of "creating to big expectations"
Some people build/create there expectations to high with everything in life.
Play the lottery, didn't win ...almost end of the world to give an exemple.
Being tired, not enough water, food can only make his experience worse...
He has to see that he takes care of these little things and then evaluate why he is feeling like this.
He is not reporting back...so we are guessing.
He is learning to know himself on this Camino...perhaps that is his experience to learn.
Keep on walking those extra days...it does matter for your self-esteem.
Overcome by walking shorter distances, sleep more....but get to Santiago.
Will be better to look back on it for the years to come 😉
Buen Camino 😎👣🍻🥪🥘
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
It does -- as the excellent mademoiselle Warcollier wrote all those years ago, the only important thing is to walk to Santiago. Words of true wisdom, as everything of the Camino is centred around that primal requirement.
Only if you are religious. Otherwise it’s the road that matters, not the destination.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
Thanks for posting this. Ive been appreciating all the insights in the responses and the reassurances that this is a normal, common, recurring mindset for our species. There can be ghastly things going on in your life and your response will be to feel sad, angry, depressed or uninspired. But there can also be nothing bad going for those feelings to come up. And then, on top of it, you can feel guilty for not having even a good excuse for feeling bad. (It doesnt help that the people around you usually arent expressing it when they feel like that, which makes one feel even lonlier.)

And then, for no reason at all, joy, humor and energy will come back. Its so strange and so hard to control. I like how VNWalking put it, to notice it but not to "give it the reins." I dont have any creative brilliant advice but, when I feel like that, i try to remember that it usually doesnt last and that, for no obvious reasons, it goes away.
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
I hear alot of disconnection and honestly, alot of "I". What were your reasons to begin walking in the first place? If it was a bucket list thing, you can't check it off until you get to Santiago. If it was religious reasons, you can't get the indulgence until you finish. Find a reason and finish.

Do it for all the pilgrims who HAD to go home because of injuries. Do it for all the people you will help if you lace up your boots. Do it for the family or employers/coworkers making sacrifices for you to be there. Do it because you deserve to finish what you started. Do it for me! My closest joy is hearing other's experiences! Find a reason, make it a power greater than you, offer it up to the great unknown and GO.

ULTREIA!! Onward pilgrim! You're so close.

If you want permission to give up, you don't need the forum for that. You need pardon from yourself. Fast forward, 40 years and you're at the end of your life. How will you feel about the decision? What will be the "What Ifs" you will face as you go into the for reals Dark Night of the Soul? It was a Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross that first put pen to paper to describe this state of spiritual suffering from which comes the most growth if face squarely on. What if what you're feeling stays with you?

Sometimes we struggle against powers and principalities that we cannot see or identify clearly. Another great Spanish mystic was St. Ignatious. His method for spiritual direction is taught and studied. If you are on a positive path and being moved to move from that path through forces like you describe, boredom, apathy, etc, you should move in the same direction, undeterred. Here is a quote:
Ignatius thought that decisions were made in three circumstances.


When there is no doubt. Sometimes the right decision is unmistakably clear. We know what the right choice is. This knowledge is a gift from God. All we need do is act on what we know to be the right direction. Often this takes some time. We put off acting on what we know we should do.


When feelings are unsettled. Sometimes our emotions are in turmoil when we ponder various alternatives. We experience many strong feelings as we face the prospect of choosing—fearfulness, confidence, confusion, hope, sadness. Decision-making in these situations means observing and interpreting these feelings. We discern their spiritual meaning and discover how they point to the right choice.


When emotions are calm. Sometimes we approach a decision in a tranquil and settled frame of mind. This is probably the most common decision-making circumstance. Here, the Ignatian approach has us prayerfully weigh the pros and cons of each alternative and conduct some exercises that help us clarify the options.

Hope this helps! I will pray for you! In the meantime, you can ask the plethora of Spanish saints for help:
St. John of the Cross
St. Theresa of Avila
St. Ignatious of Loyola
St. James the Greater (of course)
And a link to a list:

When I look at the number of them on this link, I am not surprised at the effects of many pilgrims walking the way over the centuries. Good luck and Buen Camino!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
as the excellent mademoiselle Warcollier wrote all those years ago, the only important thing is to walk to Santiago. Words of true wisdom, as everything of the Camino is centred around that primal requirement.
Only if you are religious. Otherwise it’s the road that matters, not the destination.
Not quite. What matters is how important it is to you personally to walk these last four days to Santiago. When you've travelled from Pamplona to Ferreiros/Portomarin, mainly on foot, for 30 days, you know that you are in principle able to do these four more days. It is not really that much of a challenge anymore. Would you regret it forever if you didn't walk that last bit? Would it hurt your self esteem if you didn't walk that last bit? Many posters believe that it is so and that she will miss out on a worthwhile experience the effects of which may reveal themselves only later. But these are their personal values and ideas of achievement and merit, not necessarily those of the OP.

BTW, Jeannine Warcollier was a prominent member of a French association and a pioneer in connection with the revival of the routes to Compostela. She did stellar work and deserves much admiration. But she herself never walked on foot to Santiago with a backpack.

"I do not have to prove anything to anyone, especially not to myself" .... Yep. I have no advice for the OP. Or perhaps: "You don't have to continue but you can ... ".
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Found this you posted back in March @sugargypsy :
My biggest challenge as well as anxiety is how I will able to deal with the daily walks. My physical condition is not the best despite training. It's a bit contradictory, but at the same time that's exactly one of the reasons to walk the Camino. I need and want the time to change, at the same time I'm afraid that it's going to be (too) demanding.

The only way to find out how I'll cope is to get going ...

... and to assure myself over and over again that I do not have to prove anything to anyone, especially not to myself. If it's only 5 or 10 km a day at the beginning, it's o.k.

Step by step, sounds easy but not to me,
I hope your own words minister to your spirit right now!
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
@sugargypsy, after all this input and discussion, PLEASE let us know what you decided, and how you felt about it all!!
I will let you know how I've decided as soon as I have. Today I did not walk - I still have more than enough time and not booked my flight back so far - tomorrow I will walk a short stage, see how it'll be.


Thanks for all your thoughts, there are some I will have to ponder on a bit more. I wished I could answer every one of you, but there have been just too many answers and writing on a tablet takes so much time.

As for now I know I won't go to SdC straight ahead, like tomorrow..

I might not continue, but then I will not go to SdC, but come back some time later. Being from Europe it's not that far off.

One big issue for me are the crowds at the moment which I am myself are part of, making it even a bigger crowd. I knew that could be a problem for me before I left, but the Frances was the only Camino when I left offering the infrastructure I needed.

What might be a solution for me, I have not decided yet, is to take a bus to Ferrol, or A Coruna like @natefaith suggested, but not for a break, but to walk from there to SdC. I am aware that I won't get a Compostela then, but that's no problem for me. There would be not so many pilgrims if I am informed correctly.

Well, whatever, I'll find out soon enough what I am going to do ;-).

I'll tell you in a couple of days.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe some made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
Allen Nobel ('Disruptive Witness') speaks of a "fragility of meaning", that our culture is impressively designed to keep us from the kind of reflection needed to identify, interpret and resolve such an anxiety of meaning. "Many people share a sense that their lives are granted meaning through their lifestyle rather than a belief system. If the world feels phony and thin, the answer is not a more rigorous turn inward to find the ground of being, but a turn outward toward God." I have just begun this read but it has already drawn me in.
I truly wish you well as you journey on, Sugar gypsy and may every day give you rich food for thought. fondly, sandi

Reply
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
I will let you know how I've decided as soon as I have. Today I did not walk - I still have more than enough time and not booked my flight back so far - tomorrow I will walk a short stage, see how it'll be.


Thanks for all your thoughts, there are some I will have to ponder on a bit more. I wished I could answer every one of you, but there have been just too many answers and writing on a tablet takes so much time.

As for now I know I won't go to SdC straight ahead, like tomorrow..

I might not continue, but then I will not go to SdC, but come back some time later. Being from Europe it's not that far off.

One big issue for me are the crowds at the moment which I am myself are part of, making it even a bigger crowd. I knew that could be a problem for me before I left, but the Frances was the only Camino when I left offering the infrastructure I needed.

What might be a solution for me, I have not decided yet, is to take a bus to Ferrol, or A Coruna like @natefaith suggested, but not for a break, but to walk from there to SdC. I am aware that I won't get a Compostela then, but that's no problem for me. There would be not so many pilgrims if I am informed correctly.

Well, whatever, I'll find out soon enough what I am going to do ;-).

I'll tell you in a couple of days.
Walking from Ferrol would make you eligible for a Compostela (not A Coruña unless you have completed a stage in Ireland already).
You could also opt for the walk in from Orense - I would say probably the quietest of the routes into SdC judging from my recent two weeks at the Pilgrims Office. It’s a lovely route.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Only if you are religious. Otherwise it’s the road that matters, not the destination.
There's nothing specifically religious about that advice from mademoiselle Warcollier, although I do personally disagree with this notion of the journey mattering more than the destination. It's always seemed in my eyes to be a fairly facile notion ; which is NOT to attack you, I'm just not at all convinced by it.

Nevertheless, without its material destination, there simply would be no Camino at all.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
I will let you know how I've decided as soon as I have. Today I did not walk - I still have more than enough time and not booked my flight back so far - tomorrow I will walk a short stage, see how it'll be.


Thanks for all your thoughts, there are some I will have to ponder on a bit more. I wished I could answer every one of you, but there have been just too many answers and writing on a tablet takes so much time.

As for now I know I won't go to SdC straight ahead, like tomorrow..

I might not continue, but then I will not go to SdC, but come back some time later. Being from Europe it's not that far off.

One big issue for me are the crowds at the moment which I am myself are part of, making it even a bigger crowd. I knew that could be a problem for me before I left, but the Frances was the only Camino when I left offering the infrastructure I needed.

What might be a solution for me, I have not decided yet, is to take a bus to Ferrol, or A Coruna like @natefaith suggested, but not for a break, but to walk from there to SdC. I am aware that I won't get a Compostela then, but that's no problem for me. There would be not so many pilgrims if I am informed correctly.

Well, whatever, I'll find out soon enough what I am going to do ;-).

I'll tell you in a couple of days.
A very good idea - to go up to Ferrol or A Coruña and walk in to SdC. The Inglés - at least 2 years ago - was a quiet trail and afforded a lot of time for solitude (but also a few other pilgrims to talk to every day). However, I booked all private rooms along the way, knowing I didn't want to compete with others for the limited number of beds in the albergues. Just a practical detail in case you're craving more solitude. Thanks for keeping in touch and Buen Camino! :)
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
Allen Nobel ('Disruptive Witness') speaks of a "fragility of meaning", that our culture is impressively designed to keep us from the kind of reflection needed to identify, interpret and resolve such an anxiety of meaning. "Many people share a sense that their lives are granted meaning through their lifestyle rather than a belief system. If the world feels phony and thin, the answer is not a more rigorous turn inward to find the ground of being, but a turn outward toward God." I have just begun this read but it has already drawn me in.
I truly wish you well as you journey on, Sugar gypsy and may every day give you rich food for thought. fondly, sandi

Reply
Love the first line - reflection is oh so important in my view. However, is God inward or outward? "The kingdom of God is within you." Only semantics, perhaps. Hope I'm not starting a theological debate. Not my intention. I like the "God as a ground of being" idea, whether it is inward or outward
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
I think it's important to listen to your feelings. If you do not come to Santiago this year, it does not mean that you will never come. And it does not mean defeat.
So far I've walked (from 2011) about 2,000km from different parts of Camino, and I have not been in Santiago so far. I waited to "call" me and accepted that it was possible not to happen. This May, I walked (again) from Salamanca to Astorga and it was fantastic. No crowds. And days ago - Santiago "called" me, I was surprised how clear and strong. And I'm already planning the way for next April. Even to me, there is an obstacle more people in the last part, so I was exploring alternatives ... in the end, I decided to go from Astorga to Santiago 😁
I wish you to listen to hear and find new joy - walking or returning home
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sep/Oct 2015
C Primitivo Sep / Oct 2016
Portugese Sep/Oct 2017
VdlP, Muxia 2018
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
The darkest hour is just before the dawn.
I cannot step into your shoes but I respect your honesty in posting this. Persevere, continue, please.
I experienced a very difficult down time on the VdlP last year and came through. Very hard to fully explain but I am so happy I continued on to Santiago and went on to a wonderful completion in Muxia. I wish you well in your decision and your camino. Buen Camino Sugargypsy. (wonderful name - I would love to hear the story behind it!)
 

willydp

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CI June 2019
@sugargypsy, thanks for coming back 😊
I think we all will waiting for your anwer.
Good luck whatever you decide👍

P.S. You don't need to answer all the responses. Read the good intentions as intended. The rest is your call.
I did the Camino Inglés 7-12 june 19 and yes less crowded but still did meet some special people.. :)
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe (01/2019)
SJPdP- Meseta (28/09/2019)
One big issue for me are the crowds at the moment which I am myself are part of, making it even a bigger crowd. I knew that could be a problem for me before I left, but the Frances was the only Camino when I left offering the infrastructure I needed.
Crowds, people, Pilgrims are a vital part of the Camino infrastructure and experience, without them it would be less in every way. Look at it as a people path of positive intention, focus your attention on talking to people on the trail and sharing your story. Make a concerted effort telling everyone from the Albergue volunteers to the cafe owners and supportive locals who encourage and inspire along the way. Embrace what it is that you know is holding you back, don't try to change, instead change your attitude towards it and don't expect anything, create no expectations and just listen and let the Camino show you the way. I sense this last 100km is your true Camino, that has only just begun, how lucky are you too be there, healthy, fit, financially able and you have the support of Pilgrims here who understand and will support your decision no matter what you decide but I, like many look forward to seeing your compestella which will inspire others you haven't or may never meet but that's the magic and in years from now you'll have the contentment and reassurance that the lessons, memories and little scroll of paper gathering dust in a box means more than you could have ever imagined. Ultreia Pilgrim
 
Last edited:

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
I do the Caminos to see the beauty of nature., and this makes me feel closer to my maker. Some parts are more beautiful than others. I walk about 20 miles a week with a long walk of about 10 miles. So, I have plenty of time to get the Camino mind. I have found that I don't neef to walk for a month. Two weeks at a time is enough for me. I am fortunate that I can go back the next year and do a different section or a different route. So be easy on yourself. You may have already accomplished all you needed to do.
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
I will let you know how I've decided as soon as I have. Today I did not walk - I still have more than enough time and not booked my flight back so far - tomorrow I will walk a short stage, see how it'll be.


Thanks for all your thoughts, there are some I will have to ponder on a bit more. I wished I could answer every one of you, but there have been just too many answers and writing on a tablet takes so much time.

As for now I know I won't go to SdC straight ahead, like tomorrow..

I might not continue, but then I will not go to SdC, but come back some time later. Being from Europe it's not that far off.

One big issue for me are the crowds at the moment which I am myself are part of, making it even a bigger crowd. I knew that could be a problem for me before I left, but the Frances was the only Camino when I left offering the infrastructure I needed.

What might be a solution for me, I have not decided yet, is to take a bus to Ferrol, or A Coruna like @natefaith suggested, but not for a break, but to walk from there to SdC. I am aware that I won't get a Compostela then, but that's no problem for me. There would be not so many pilgrims if I am informed correctly.

Well, whatever, I'll find out soon enough what I am going to do ;-).

I'll tell you in a couple of days.

Hi sugargipsy:

You have to decide, not the forum. The distinguished members of this forum has given you a great moral support.

I wish you the best and my prayers to help you guide into whatever you decide. Today after reading your original posting, which left me broken hearted, went to run some errands with my wife. In a store found this poster that touched me and hope it helps with your decision:
59638

Please let us know you final decision after all meditation and search deep into your heart.

My sister, have a great Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
@sugargypsy, whilst you might just be awakening and I am ready to follow suite with the Chicken's in my area and, it's with thanksgiving to your original post that I lay me down to sleep. Lord Willing, tomorrow is a new day for us all. Looking forward to what it may bring, in this thread! As one can plainly see, queries and replies end up benefitting ALL! 💕
 

RuediG

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Dovadola-Assisi-Rome (2019)
I have no idea why you're feeling the way you're feeling. And my only camino experience comes with two m's, as in cammino (that is, Italy: 500km on the Dovadola - Assisi - Rome route.)
The thing that really surprised me was that for me the end goal turned out to be a lot less important than the daily stages. As documents go, my two "credentiali" (the thingies with all the daily stamps on them) became and still are much more important to me than the two "testimonia" (I think in Spain they're called compostela) that I got at the two end points (Assisi & Rome.) It's really the process that counted for me, not the goal.
Having said all this, I will admit that I still did shed some tears when I finally entered the first church (not even St. Peter's yet...) in Rome. Not because I had finally reached some spiritual climax or promised land, but simply in recognition of the immensity that despite it all, we had made it. Lived through it all to come out on the other end. ("lived through it all and despite it all" refers to some very tough days of walking through rain, mud, water, even snow for hours.)
And thankfully, now as I look back I've already forgotten a lot of the pain. I know it was there, but I can't physically feel it anymore. And I have lots of pictures, and looking at them fills me with immense gratefulness.
I'm not sure any of this is helpful to you. But take it just as some thoughts, shared from one pilgrim to another.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
@It56ny, I agree, that we veterans do pump up the Camino! So many folks have such high expectations, when indeed, often times it is just a lot of hard work and inconveniences. I suppose we are taking the conversation off-topic, yet it feels important to discuss this. Expectations and let downs are a real phenomenon, that I believe that if we were all honest, we would agree that this is so. We hope and pray that the better times on the Camino outweigh the not-so-great times. As Forest Gump said, "Life's a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get!" I like what St. Teresa says about spiritual experiences - it is God's choice, not yours, what experiences you have, and you have to just go with it!

I also like your suggestion of walking at a quieter time. This year, my walk will arrive in Santiago at the end of October - I am having high expectations that it will feel more intimate at this time. Ha - here's comes the expectations again!
Expectations are like opinions we all got em!!!
 

Kathie Morton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
5/2017
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
My son and I started at SJPP. By the time we arrived in Sarria, I was happy, healthy and felt like I could walk another 400 km. But something change for me there, a kind of melancholy that I could only apply to the ending of my Camino coming. I walked slower and shed tears that I hadn’t before. I finished, did a bus tour of Finisterre, and still had that sadness. When I got home, it had changed to a serenity that I knew I could hold in my heart for the rest of my life.
This Sunday, my son and 2 grandsons will start another Caminho from Porto. It really resonates for me this time, it is not about the finish, it is about the journey.
I don’t know if this helps, but I hope you find your way, whether it be to Santiago or home.
Buen Camino 👣
Kathie
 

Rod Murray

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016) Portuguese Coastal (Sept 2019)
I recall, with 17km to go before SdC, even though I was in a group of 8 people, and the crowds had been with us since Sarria, finding myself alone in a stand of giant eucalyptus trees, and being in awe. The fragrance overwhelming. The quiet. It was beautiful. It was serendipity. Those moments will be with me for ever. As will walking into SdC and hearing the piper, seeing the Cathedral, feeling the emotion of your own achievement, as well as others, for what you’ve done. For how all that walking has changed you. For how all the introspection has made you a better person. Then, when you see that sign in the Compostela Office, "Your night that lacked light, has now become a torch of living faith," (Codex Calixtinus) you head on home to wherever life takes you, transformed. Be the fire!

God speed!
 

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Tracker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July (2014); Salkantay Trek (Peru), July 2016; Camino Portugues, June 2017
As others have noted here, many people approach the Camino with high expectations, only to be disappointed and disillusioned when the “epiphany” doesn’t happen. I’m here to tell you that....

Expectation is the place where fun goes to die.

Don’t fall into that trap. Just enjoy the good times, persevere through the bad times, and don’t place undue burden on yourself by believing that the epiphany is guaranteed. Be open to the possibility that so-called “epiphanies” are found in the smallest interactions or conversations that you had with others on the Way that you might have found insignificant, but something you said or offered might have been profoundly impactful to the other person. Maybe the epiphany wasn’t meant for you. Maybe you were meant to be the epiphany for someone else.

Just a thought.... 😊
 

Seamus68

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Apr 2017
Camino Del Norte April 2018
Camino Frances - St Jean to Burgos 2019
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
You have mental tiredness not physical... I had the same thing ... but continued .. so glad I did....
 

Ponygirl1961

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances or primitivo (2019)
I had a very similar feeling shortly after leaving Sarria, the vibe changes, people and things annoyed me, the countryside resembled my home county and there were too many people. I was so disheartened, my original plan had been to go to Finisterre, on my last day I dawdled into SDC stopped at the only decent ice cream shop I had seen in a whole month, I then decided to call it quits and book a flight home for the next morning.

These things happen! I took the optimistic outlook I would be home a week earlier to see my family.
As far back as I can remember I have had dreams about wandering long distances through the country side, in the last 10 years I have heard tales of the "Camino". I quit my job and embarked on an adventure, they say the Camino is all about self realization, well, I found out that a long walk is really therapeutic but the destination does not matter.


Strange thing is that 6 weeks after my return my feet hurt, well, they hurt between 4 am and 6 a.m in the morning as soon as I get out of bed the discomfort goes. How odd .
As an FYI... The first symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis are feet hurting when you first wake up or around 4 am! I used to wake up wondering why my feet hurt when I was sleeping and they were elevated... It's an autoimmune disease and I recommend getting it checked out... Usually the hurting goes away shortly after getting up but if you don't stop the disease, it messes with your joints big time and your lungs and organs...
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
Felt the same walking into Palas last month. Said to myself, "This is it, no compostela fo me, I'll just take the bus to Santiago from here and meet up with everyone in the square." Then I looked around and noticed how others seemed to be struggling as bad or worse than me. so I started walking for them.
 

andralynn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I am leaving for Barcelona May 20th, 2019 and will begin my Camino in San Sebastian May 27th, 2019
Who knows why it's happening, @sugargypsy . But that's not so important. What's important is that you don't feed the ennui by either giving in to it or making it more of a problem than it is. Kindly watch it out of the corner of your mind's eye, but don't give it the reins. The Camino is not always easy or even interesting. Just like life. But that feeling won't last forever. Just keeping going is so empowering: it frees us from being a slave to the whims of the mind.
I take a lot of inspiration at times like this from what Thomas Merton said:
'Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone.'
Well said! I’ve met a lot of people who hit a slump
Who knows why it's happening, @sugargypsy . But that's not so important. What's important is that you don't feed the ennui by either giving in to it or making it more of a problem than it is. Kindly watch it out of the corner of your mind's eye, but don't give it the reins. The Camino is not always easy or even interesting. Just like life. But that feeling won't last forever. Just keeping going is so empowering: it frees us from being a slave to the whims of the mind.
I take a lot of inspiration at times like this from what Thomas Merton said:
'Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone.'
Well Said!!! And True😊
 

Janade

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2018)
When I walked the Francis last year, by the time I got to Melide, I was in pain, very tired and feeling down. The weather had been dreary for several days and I opted to end my walk and take the bus into Santiago. I don’t regret it. My reasons for going on my Camino weren’t religious or to get a certificate - they were deeply personal and while walking from SJPdP to Melide, I had some incredible experiences, made wonderful friends, saw beautiful sights, and worked through so much. My journey was done - and for me it absolutely was the journey and not the destination.

Make your own decision on what to do. If you decide to stop, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed or that you’ll regret it. But you may decide to carry on - and that’s also OK, whether you take a break or travel to a route less crowded, or come back and finish another time. No decision is really final - you can walk a bit more and stop. You can stop and then start up again or come back. You don’t have to “explain yourself” to anyone!! It’s your Camino - you do what feels right for you!
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
I will let you know how I've decided as soon as I have. Today I did not walk - I still have more than enough time and not booked my flight back so far - tomorrow I will walk a short stage, see how it'll be.


Thanks for all your thoughts, there are some I will have to ponder on a bit more. I wished I could answer every one of you, but there have been just too many answers and writing on a tablet takes so much time.

As for now I know I won't go to SdC straight ahead, like tomorrow..

I might not continue, but then I will not go to SdC, but come back some time later. Being from Europe it's not that far off.

One big issue for me are the crowds at the moment which I am myself are part of, making it even a bigger crowd. I knew that could be a problem for me before I left, but the Frances was the only Camino when I left offering the infrastructure I needed.

What might be a solution for me, I have not decided yet, is to take a bus to Ferrol, or A Coruna like @natefaith suggested, but not for a break, but to walk from there to SdC. I am aware that I won't get a Compostela then, but that's no problem for me. There would be not so many pilgrims if I am informed correctly.

Well, whatever, I'll find out soon enough what I am going to do ;-).

I'll tell you in a couple of days.
@sugargypsy,

Thanks for checking in.

The last mile is the hardest.

Do try and not leave camino without your Compostela.

Buen camino!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Whatever you decide @sugargypsy just know that your 'virtual' Camino family here are 100% behind you. :)

I think many of us have gone through this emotional roller coaster that you are facing. I certainly have. It can be tough.

I would merely suggest, don't think too much, just walk.........
And talk..........to some of those people in the 'crowds' along the way........
Talk about anything............and listen to their stories too!

Maybe that's a kind of Camino Mantra? Walk, Talk, Listen......
 

Rj7797

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
My son and I started at SJPP. By the time we arrived in Sarria, I was happy, healthy and felt like I could walk another 400 km. But something change for me there, a kind of melancholy that I could only apply to the ending of my Camino coming.
I think this absolutely nails the way I felt. Everyone I knew and had befriended was anywhere between one and four days either direction of me. It was busy and loud. I was ready to go home. Closing in on 40 days I missed my dog, my bed etc. When I arrived in Santiago it turned out a few of the friends I had made were there and we had an incredible night. My eagerness to leave was replaced with a sadness which lasted until I was back home among family and friends. Now I pass my time looking forward to the day I can return for another go. As with life the swings of emotion are simply part of the the deal and vary in degree from person to person. I believe sometimes what we need isn't an answer at all but a question. What will you do with today?
 

Ctshagr

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances- Sarria to Santiago (2017)
Camino Portugués - Porto to Santiago (2018)
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
What can I say I kinda felt the same knowing it was ending. But this might help if after arriving in Santiago. Take in a Mass at noon Sunday is best, then while there gather your thoughts on your Camino enjoy the rest of the day eating tapas, maybe a wine or two just chill. If you have time the next day head to Finisterre out to the lighthouse maybe spent the night there. Next day head to Lire’s a short walk 10 miles stay the night. Next morning walk to Muxia another 10 miles and spend the day and night there. Catch the sunset this is a wonderful finish to your trip. To me it is the most relaxing and full of unforgettable scenery. For three years now I’ve ended my Camino’s out there. Next year I will do the same and I think it may jump start your experience. Buen Camino, Joe
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
So much great advice and wisdom above.

Regret - In the end the most painful regrets relate to the things we did not do for ourselves or others

Expectations - if possible, go forward with no expectations. Spend you psychic energy reminding yourself to be open to all people and experiences happening around you...instead of focusing inward, try to focus outward. This sets up the possibility for the majority of your day to feel special instead of mundane.

Stopping or Quitting: Many of the long distance hikers doing the Big 3 in the USA (Pacific Crest Trail 2,600 miles, Continental Divide 3,100 miles and Appalachian Trail 2200 miles) commit to a rule ahead of time about quitting. It's ok to quit but you are only allowed to come to that decision on a Good day. Your thinking can be different/flawed on a cold wet day when you are hungry, tired and unhappy...a bad day.
 
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freeflyer123

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
Your question reminds me of the time I was cycling the Camino de Santiago with my husband back in 2013. We were about half-way to Santiago when I was perusing the map and realised we were closer to Santander (and a ferry bound for home) than our destination. Suddenly I realised that we could divert and I was fraught with indecision. I dashed off a message to my son, my sister and one of my granddaughters. My sister never replied, my son simply sent back one sentence "Don't be such a woos", but my granddaughter send me the most encouraging words saying that it was such a shame that I wanted to give up, having got so far. She made me re-inspect my decision to join my husband in a journey that had proven to be both full of exhaustion and joy. My husband was happy to go with whatever I decided.

The following morning, I woke up certain that it was right to carry on. From that moment on, I never thought about returning home until we made it into Santiago. I remember feeling both joy and arriving and total sadness knowing our journey was now in its final stages.

Of course, your decision as to whether you should stay and carry on, or go back home is up to you. I see from reading what others have written above that it is normal to feel like giving up, and there's no shame in that. But I do know that I am overwhelmingly grateful to my granddaughter who sent such wise words (for a 15-year-old) which helped me to see that I would probably regret not carrying on if I had asked my husband to turn right towards Santander, instead of staying on the road towards Santiago.
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
I am still on my way ;-), still do not know where it will end.

I very much liked the posting of @m108 / #50.

I will walk up to Monte do Gozo to have a close look at Santiago, then I will decide how to continue.

Because I know myself well enough after all this years - I''m 54 after all 😏 -, if the timing is not right, but I will continue to walk to Santiago, I will visit it like a tourist will - leave for Finisterra and Muxia - and never return.

But I know there is some unfinished task - not an unfullfilled epiphany by the way, I already had two life-enlightening-moments in my life, they never occur when you hope or expect them ;) - for me.

Because this Camino has given me some answers which I hoped I might get, others which I did not want to know or acknowledge, but has also given me some new unexpected tasks to accomplish. Tasks which will acquire hard work for me. So that's why I am not yet sure when to arrive in SdC - in one or two days, next year or whenever? Or does the actual arrival in SdC not really matter?

Time will tell.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
That's GREAT news surgagypsy. I had thought your challenge was 90% physical but you sound like Monte do Gozo is doable for you. From a physical standpoint, once you reach that Hill, the physical aspect of the last few kilometers to Santiago could not stop you.

Based on your reference to post #50 that resonates most with you there are obviously other much more important things (emotional, spiritual, etc...) that need to be in place for you to visit the church in Santiago. If you are not feeling the pull, I like your idea of visiting the city as a tourist. Maybe the pull will happen when you are in the city and maybe it won't. It doesn't matter either way....when or if the pull ever happens.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
You are so close. Go for it. Perhaps you can try a different way another time.
Bon courage, Buen Camino

Ultreia
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
@twh
Some of my challenges are definitly physical, I just take my time - but it is often more time than I would like it to be and that is very difficult for me to accept.
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
You are so close. Go for it. Perhaps you can try a different way another time.
Bon courage, Buen Camino

Ultreia
I am already thinking about that, but I am not sure yet whether it would be better for me to finish in SdC when everything fits right for me - physically and mentally.
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
Dear @sugargypsy . I think I understand the words between the lines. I wish you a lot of courage, the hardest part is made (cognition and decision). Now it's a time to realization, and this is in some ways a lighter part, despite all the obstacles. I'm not talking about Camino. I really want you all the best, courage and peace. Life is Beautiful.
 

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Ste66

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Camino (Frances) Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela by bike 2015 completed walk from St Jean pied de port to Pamplona July 2016
Go with your heart because this is your camino, not anyone else's, if it's making you unhappy or uneasy it's not worth finishing.
At the end of the day you have to mind yourself
Buen Camino, Stephen.
 

longwayhome

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJpdP to Santiago ( Sept-Oct 2018)
Whether it is the journey or the destination that matters?

Excellent to ponder this. It is the journey that tests and teaches and stretches us in all directions if we are open to that at a physical and mental level. But it is the destination that is the soul of the Camino for me, Its that invisible magnetic force that pulled millions of pilgrims to its epicentre over centuries. This may be about epic human endeavour and countless lives lived and lost as much as a religious call. And you don't have to feel that spiritual pull to have a valid camino.

You can enjoy the journey and its physical and mental elements , learn and grow and conquer much without any destination as such! Or choose another destination like Fisterre or Muxia perhaps.

It feels odd to consider that the closer we draw to the spiritual epicentre of SdC the more frantic, busy, and noisily human the Way becomes. This was testing for me at many levels. I hope that OP can let all that pass and just enjoy the days available without needing to attach a purpose or destination that she/he does not feel is right.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
As the old saying goes, "think long, think wrong".
If you do not feel like walking into Santiago, simply go home. Get a taxi, bus or whatever. Not that big a deal. You made a mistake by going on the trip in the first place. You are not the first, nor the last person to do something like that.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I just can't see why someone having walked to Monte de Gozo wouldn't take the short stroll from there to Santiago's centre of town.

And I'm confused by the suggestion "as a tourist not a pilgrim" -- what could possibly be un-pilgrim-like in dumping your backpack up at the refugio then walking into town free of its weight, for example ? It's an extremely short and easy walk there and back again.

I dunno, it just sounds to me like too many weird hang-ups and perhaps some degree of false expectations -- chill out and relax !!

It's certainly a good idea to try and do one's first Camino as a "purist" -- doing a Camino in that way does help greatly towards getting the most out of it -- but I certainly didn't, and it wasn't 'til my second Camino that I walked from home in that manner, and even then it took me three weeks into the hike before I completely stopped compromising (which I've had to learn how to do again on this 2019 from a combination of medicals and financials and heatwaves and getting that little bit older and with knees hurting that much more LOL ; but also because that "purist" thing I had has turned into a bit of a "been there, done that" experience from the past).

So sure, there's a good degree of a learning process involved, but I still don't understand what any point there would be in deliberately avoiding that final short stroll ; I mean let's face it, if you've walked to Monte de Gozo, you have walked to Santiago de Compostela, simply because it's a part of the city.

---

And to add a personal perspective -- I only ever *really* became a pilgrim at the point of my second arrival in Santiago in 1993 after a VERY messy Camino that had involved giving up and going home and then getting dragged back in and onto it again to my surprise. Walking into the square in front of the Cathedral that year was certainly a joy ; but it was only upon returning after a trip to the Atlantic coast (not Fisterra or Muxia etc, further south) in darkness and solitude, unsure where I might sleep, walking up a deeply shadowed cobbled mediaeval street up towards the Seminario Menor refugio, that something hit me, and I realised : "no, wait, I've done things all wrong ; this is what the Camino is like, and I need to get back to it and do it properly next time".

And on the Rome in 2000, I gained what I had from that Cammino just as I started to make my way out of St Peter's Square to get home after it was done.

The point is you have no idea what walking right to the end of the Way will give you, not until you have actually been there and done it. Nobody else can tell you, but it's something only you can discover by yourself. To cut yourself off from that potential would just be counter-productive -- and just as importantly perhaps, you'll never get rid of your false expectations or even just apprehensions about it until you have.
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
My Dear Sugargypsy:

You have received many great advices from the distinguished members of the forum. Very wised ones from very veterans on The Camino. Me, just a simple novice having accomplished my first last year. Let me tell you, the task wasn’t easy; I’m a Parkinson’s ailment patient. Many times during the walk, my body was calling to quit; but deep inside, a voice said to continue. I listened and reached to Santiago!!!!

Yesterday, while meditating before mass and dedicating a prayer for you; it came to me that what’s happening is that your heart has lost the sense of direction. Immediately the parable of The Good Shepherd came into my mind. In the Gospel, Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27). The voice is the advices you have received on this forum , just open your heart, and listen to them. When you reach to Santiago, join the other pilgrims and celebrate your accomplishments, perhaps you need a little motivation; think in your dear ones, the pilgrims that started the pilgrimage with you, those that couldn’t finish their pilgrimage because of injuries, those pilgrims that died in the Camino, and the many other reasons that you could think about. Don’t give up, please.

After reaching Santiago, keep going to Finisterre, either walking or transportation. Go and seat on one of the rock and contemplate the wonders of God and find a meaning to YOUR Camino. I’m saying this from own experience, I’m still looking for my meaning, I’m not completely satisfied with my accomplishments to the point that I’m preparing to return to Camino on 2021 and try to find the missing part.

Paraphrasing the ending of a great movie in which the main character receives a note from a friend in which he is told not to be like a scarecrow in the middle of a field and instead to lower his arms to let the good thoughts come to him. Sugargypsy, lower the arms in your heart, and listen to the messages and follow them.

Hope that on 2021 we meet on the Camino and have the privilege of walking and reach Santiago together and celebrate in the Plaza with the rest of the pilgrims.

Buen Camino
 

Mary Anne R

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept2019
Hi,

I've arrived in Palas de Rei today and I have no idea what to do now. I just can't seem to motivate myself to continue to walk anymore. I took a two-days-break in Portomarin in a nice place, but it did not change anything.

I started in Pamplona a month ago, I had a hard time in the beginning, because I was not very well trained due to to bad pollen allergies and asthma bouts resulting out of that. But that improved almost instantly, when I arrived in Spain. Though it was hard in the beginning, I enjoyed my slow walks. Sometimes I needed to take a bus, when the stages were too long for me, but everything was fine.

Walking through Sarria was o.k., I liked walking through the woods, but when I was on my way to Portomarin, shortly after my stay at Ferreiros, everything changed - nothing special happened, I have no idea why since then I just seem to drag myself along the paths, seeing no more reason in this. (But also don't know really what to do instead …)

It's strange, because everyone else is excited to arrive soon in SdC, myself only thinking - so what? What's the big deal.

I actually don't even know what I hope to achieve in posting this, but maybe somebody else has made a similar experience and can tell me how they dealed with it.
Hi, I am about to begin my Camino journey this fall so have no Camino experience but do understand some of life's lessons and understand the experience of the Way parallels our life. Sometimes you must live through the trials. It is perseverance that is the lesson and only much later does the joy and satisfaction come to fruit. I wish you perseverance and strength for the journey and joy in the completion
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
Thanks, Kirkie & VNwalking.

Yes, I made it. It was hard, but at least I figured out one reason why I was dragging along the last couple of days. Pretty soon after I arrived in SdC on Tuesday, the same evening, I got fever & chills which wasn't so nice.

Since yesterday I am o.k. again, tomorrow I will move on to Muxia, to continue pondering ;-).
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
Thanks, Kirkie & VNwalking.

Yes, I made it. It was hard, but at least I figured out one reason why I was dragging along the last couple of days. Pretty soon after I arrived in SdC on Tuesday, the same evening, I got fever & chills which wasn't so nice.

Since yesterday I am o.k. again, tomorrow I will move on to Muxia, to continue pondering ;-).
So pleased for you. Fever and chills not so nice but could explain lack of motivation earlier on. Glad you are feeling better and thank you for letting us share your journey!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Since yesterday I am o.k. again, tomorrow I will move on to Muxia, to continue pondering
Ah, so good to hear what is unfolding for you, @sugargypsy, and that all is well.
Heartfelt congratulations, and may the deepening only continue.
Buen camino, peregrina!
♥
 

DevereUx

Devereaux
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2018
Well done!
Congratulations and I hope you felt the spirit of the Camino as you walked through the portal and onto the plaza.
BTW...here is a bit of wisdom I picked up while deliberating my Camino: the thing that distinguishes us from other animals which display curiosity is our ability to imagine where that curiosity takes us. So, never feel alone in your pondering. We all are curious, introspective and project ourselves into the future. It's what makes us unique. It's also what most of us do/did on the Camino!
Buen Camino
 

madobet

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
If there is one lesson I learned from my Camino... the road you choose is like LIFE itself... it’s how you do the planning/plotting on where your starting point to where your destination is.... getting from point B (birth) to point D (death), with the letter C in between.... C for choice.. either you choose to be good or to be bad in life.. decisions are yours to make...there are many signs (yellow arrows) along the way.. signs that tells you the right path... you can also make a short stop to rest, recharge your batteries, check your map or goals, adjust your waypoints, analyze what went wrong and learn from your mistakes... at the end of the day, when you reached your destination, you have achieved a part of your goal.. so, move on, dont give up
 

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