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Help me to sort my head out please?

Lhollo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
Hello Camino friends,

This is a bit of a personal post, but I'm going to trust that it's a good idea. I'll plunge into the middle.

I'm probably a fortnight away from booking myself back on a flight to Spain, and walking as much of the Camino Frances, or another route, as I can between early-mid August and mid September. I didn't expect this thought to appear, but it has been haranguing me for a fortnight and won't go away.

Personally, I think it's a ridiculous idea, even though it's a product of my own brain. I've only just got back from the CF, where I was walking Belorado to Sarria with my partner. We both had an absolutely brilliant, incredible, wonderful time. We both miss it. Despite this, I was happy to accept that it ended when it did, for now.

Relevant to my quandary: I'm writing about the Camino. I have funding for the book—it's memoir, but mixed in with life here in the UK—and want it to be the best I can possibly make it. And it's not as though I have nothing to say, because the Camino I've done so far hasn't always been a breeze for me. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, as you may know, and have worked around various troubles with it. But for the most part, I've managed very well. I even ran gleefully down sections where no one is supposed to run 😂 😳

This year, I spent almost the whole Camino in a sort of reverie of birds, Spanish, landscape, video, and conversation with my partner. But I didn't have much time to think, somehow. When I tried to, I felt a sort of empty quietness, which would quickly again be filled with wonder, birds… etc.

So far, we've been staying solely in private rooms, because of my need to sleep in a partly raised position. Dorm beds aren't always feasible for this, and they don't have enough pillows. However, a brilliant forum member ( @Peregrinopaul ) suggested I try a Thermarest sleep system, which I carried with me this year. I used it just once, but it worked well. (See my video of this, in Hornillos del Camino). I don't know how realistic this system will be for all albergues: I need some headroom, and don't think I could heat the inflating mattress enough to kill bedbugs, should that be a problem. I'm thinking that it might be ok in other ways, though, particularly now that I'm able to use it in a lower position than previously (it wouldn't be quite so strange to look at, for other people!).

So, I'm considering trying to do the whole thing in one go—probably the CF because it's busy and I know it, but not necessarily—and staying in albergues. Or maybe again walking only to Sarria but from SJPDP. I'd like to opt largely for off-stages if I did the CF, but either way, I'd be stopping when I felt like it. It'd have to be super-cheap, ideally rarely over €10-€15 per night, plus cheap food (realistic?). But maybe it'd give me time to think, and to learn how much I can do on my own, and how much my body lets me do.

I'm weighing up various pros and cons. I'm also talking a lot with my partner, because it's usually something we do together, and I don't want to upset him. We will return together next June, to walk from Sarria to Finisterre and Muxia, and have already booked some of those nights. But June is a long time to wait, and the book needs an ending (I thought I could work around this, but the nagging idea of returning is telling me… something). And I'm not sure I'll have the spiritual time next June, which I think I need. Sarria is too close to SdC.

Another factor… You may also recall my thread about ghosts and spookiness. I have a large background theme going on, which I'm trying to work out. Something happened to me in Barcelona, before I'd even started the CF last August. It's partly religious (I myself am not/was not, in a traditional way), at minimum spiritual, and I feel I need answers. I didn't get many answers this last May-June, but I went where things led me.

One last thing is that I know the Camino is safer than many places… but I am a tiny 5ft person, and I like to walk in short shorts because I overheat easily (I know the theory about covering up but haven't found anything that works for me). I also can't help myself speaking Spanish when possible, and am generally quite lively, albeit also a little intense at times. In the past, a similar combination of elements resulted in my being assaulted by a stranger severely enough that it was going to court. That was in Barcelona, back in the early 2000s. I had to leave Spain before the trial… (it's a long story). I am aware that it was the man's fault really, of course. Anywayyyy… I'm not sure how comfortable I'll feel walking sections alone, or being alone with some people, but I don't want to let things stop me. I do have Alert Cops, etc. I'm fine when I'm with other people, and I know that often this might be the case on the CF, at least. Then again, I want time alone to think! And I know that I'd like, in the future, to do many routes, for which I might have to be alone.

I intend to keep sitting on this for a while. But two weeks have now passed, and this feeling that I have to return soon hasn't gone away. So… I'll be glad of some perspective from you here.

Well done, and thank you, if you've made it this far. 🙂 🙏 And thank you in advance for any input you might have! 🙏🙏🙏
 
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Jsharing

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future- Portuguese Way, Camino del Norte
Hello Camino friends,

This is a bit of a personal post, but I'm going to trust that it's a good idea. I'll plunge into the middle.

I'm probably a fortnight away from booking myself back on a flight to Spain, and walking as much of the Camino Frances, or another route, as I can between early-mid August and mid September. I didn't expect this thought to appear, but it has been haranguing me for a fortnight and won't go away.

Personally, I think it's a ridiculous idea, even though it's a product of my own brain. I've only just got back from the CF, where I was walking Belorado to Sarria with my partner. We both had an absolutely brilliant, incredible, wonderful time. We both miss it. Despite this, I was happy to accept that it ended when it did, for now.

Relevant to my quandary: I'm writing about the Camino. I have funding for the book—it's memoir, but mixed in with life here in the UK—and want it to be the best I can possibly make it. And it's not as though I have nothing to say, because the Camino I've done so far hasn't always been a breeze for me. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, as you may know, and have worked around various troubles with it. But for the most part, I've managed very well. I even ran gleefully down sections where no one is supposed to run 😂 😳

This year, I spent almost the whole Camino in a sort of reverie of birds, Spanish, landscape, video, and conversation with my partner. But I didn't have much time to think, somehow. When I tried to, I felt a sort of empty quietness, which would quickly again be filled with wonder, birds… etc.

So far, we've been staying solely in private rooms, because of my need to sleep in a partly raised position. Dorm beds aren't always feasible for this, and they don't have enough pillows. However, a brilliant forum member ( @Peregrinopaul ) suggested I try a Thermarest sleep system, which I carried with me this year. I used it just once, but it worked well. (See my video of this, in Hornillos del Camino). I don't know how realistic this system will be for all albergues: I need some headroom, and don't think I could heat the inflating mattress enough to kill bedbugs, should that be a problem. I'm thinking that it might be ok in other ways, though, particularly now that I'm able to use it in a lower position than previously (it wouldn't be quite so strange to look at, for other people!).

So, I'm considering trying to do the whole thing in one go—probably the CF because it's busy and I know it, but not necessarily—and staying in albergues. Or maybe again walking only to Sarria but from SJPDP. I'd like to opt largely for off-stages if I did the CF, but either way, I'd be stopping when I felt like it. It'd have to be super-cheap, ideally rarely over €10-€15 per night, plus cheap food (realistic?). But maybe it'd give me time to think, and to learn how much I can do on my own, and how much my body lets me do.

I'm weighing up various pros and cons. I'm also talking a lot with my partner, because it's usually something we do together, and I don't want to upset him. We will return together next June, to walk from Sarria to Finisterre and Muxia, and have already booked some of those nights. But June is a long time to wait, and the book needs an ending (I thought I could work around this, but the nagging idea of returning is telling me… something). And I'm not sure I'll have the spiritual time next June, which I think I need. Sarria is too close to SdC.

Another factor… You may also recall my thread about ghosts and spookiness. I have a large background theme going on, which I'm trying to work out. Something happened to me in Barcelona, before I'd even started the CF last August. It's partly religious (I myself am not/was not, in a traditional way), at minimum spiritual, and I feel I need answers. I didn't get many answers this last May-June, but I went where things led me.

One last thing is that I know the Camino is safer than many places… but I am a tiny 5ft person, and I like to walk in short shorts because I overheat easily (I know the theory about covering up but haven't found anything that works for me). I also can't help myself speaking Spanish when possible, and am generally quite lively, albeit also a little intense at times. In the past, a similar combination of elements resulted in my being assaulted by a stranger severely enough that it was going to court. That was in Barcelona, back in the early 2000s. I had to leave Spain before the trial… (it's a long story). I am aware that it was the man's fault really, of course. Anywayyyy… I'm not sure how comfortable I'll feel walking sections alone, or being alone with some people, but I don't want to let things stop me. I do have Alert Cops, etc. I'm fine when I'm with other people, and I know that often this might be the case on the CF, at least. Then again, I want time alone to think! And I know that I'd like, in the future, to do many routes, for which I might have to be alone.

I intend to keep sitting on this for a while. But two weeks have now passed, and this feeling that I have to return soon hasn't gone away. So… I'll be glad of some perspective from you here.

Well done, and thank you, if you've made it this far. 🙂 🙏 And thank you in advance for any input you might have! 🙏🙏🙏
Your brain sounds like my brain, a bowl of spaghetti thought threads. After my first Camino, I felt like I had one foot on the trail and 1 foot in the world. I bought 2 books recommended on this site, "Your Inner Camino" and "After the Camino". I am currently using "After the Camino" and reflection prompts obtained at The Pilgrim House to carry my Camino forward. I will be walking another section of the Portuguese Way, hopefully next week, and will use "Your Inner Camino". I highly recommend these resources.

Jnet
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Personally, I think it's a ridiculous idea, even though it's a product of my own brain.
I'm weighing up various pros and cons. I'm also talking a lot with my partner, because it's usually something we do together, and I don't want to upset him.
Since you asked for input on sorting out your head, these two comments you have made are big stand outs for me. My opinion, since I don't personally know you, is that you and your partner together should come to an agreement, or find a way to compromise and feel good about the decision; not potentially damage what sounds like a good relationship.
Can you not find contentment and enough happiness with the fact you have had an excellent partial Camino recently and know you will be going back again in the not too distant future with your partner? Add in the concern you expressed on walking alone, my opinion "from the outside looking in" is that you should wait until a more approprite time and not let your mind run away, unless you possibly are feeling your health is a major concern for you in the future.
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
Since you asked for input on sorting out your head, these two comments you have made are big stand outs for me. My opinion, since I don't personally know you, is that you and your partner together should come to an agreement, or find a way to compromise and feel good about the decision; not potentially damage what sounds like a good relationship.
Can you not find contentment and enough happiness with the fact you have had an excellent partial Camino recently and know you will be going back again in the not too distant future with your partner? Add in the concern you expressed on walking alone, my opinion "from the outside looking in" is that you should wait until a more approprite time and not let your mind run away, unless you possibly are feeling your health is a major concern for you in the future.
Ah, I think my tone hasn’t come across, or at least, some subtlety hasn’t. I use ‘ridiculous’ in a sort of flamboyant way. It’d be more accurate to say that part of me thinks it’s come out of left field—I’m sort of shocked by the idea—but another part sees sense in it

I mentioned talking with my partner about it because I thought people might wonder about that if I said nothing! If I went, it would be with his blessing. He’s a writer too, and understands that aspect in particular. It’s best to throw oneself at things thoroughly.

But… yes, I’m obviously also not sure! It interested me that my reaction to your response was to feel a little more strongly that I should go back 🤔
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
Your brain sounds like my brain, a bowl of spaghetti thought threads. After my first Camino, I felt like I had one foot on the trail and 1 foot in the world. I bought 2 books recommended on this site, "Your Inner Camino" and "After the Camino". I am currently using "After the Camino" and reflection prompts obtained at The Pilgrim House to carry my Camino forward. I will be walking another section of the Portuguese Way, hopefully next week, and will use "Your Inner Camino". I highly recommend these resources.

Jnet
Thank you! I’ve hunted them both out on Kindle. I’m not sure which one I need 🤣
 
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woody66

This is my boy !
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal 2021 Frances 2023
Hi Lindsey!
This is my opinion but just like whether to finish the French way from Sarria was an opinion ; it was in the end your decision.
So is this one and the desire to return alone could be a manifestation of maybe what life has thrown at you before.
What drives us is a mystery that unfolds with the passage of time and it's the journey that makes our decisions!
You have had a incredible journey back to health with the support of others and your partner that has enabled you to now thrive!
You know your partner will let you go!

You wrote
But maybe it'd give me time to think, and to learn how much I can do on my own, and how much my body lets me do. For me that was your answer!

I had spent so many years myself being the recipient of the help and goodwill of others to the point i almost disappeared; walking the Camino alone was the journey to prove myself capable and independent; it lit a fire again!
That thought i think is pulling you back to Camino; if anyone can do it you can have faith in you😍
Woody
 
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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Welcome to the world of walking sickness. Like many on this forum, once you have fallen under the spell of simplifying our lives down to the daily duties of walking it can be hard to give up. So we go back, and back.

Reading through your post was like a rush of jumbled clothing, cast off in a hurry with tangles from one thread to another. It's hard for any of us to give advice as clearly you need to sort this tapestry out for youself.

I can understand the appeal of the Camino, and thinking this will give you the space and time to find some clarity. But I am not sure it does. As you found on your last walk, quiet contemplation doesn't come easily and sometimes we are just overtaken with the mundane tasks of finding a bed and enough pillows to sleep in comfort. And that's without dealing with the baggage you are clearly carrying.

I wish you well, it sounds like you are testing yourself and looking for more experiences that you can the process via your writting. I hope this approach works for you.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
… if you've made it this far.
Hi Lindsey
Let me tell you it was no problem getting through your long post! But I must say I loved @hel&scott’s comment that it ”felt like going through a pile of jumbled clothing.”:)
I’m reluctant to offer advice because as you know I’m not a walker. But I must tell you that my immediate reaction was that I get it.
It seems to me that the time-frame element, going back in two weeks, two months or two years is not relevant, provided that going soon is not going to turn your lives completely upside-down.
What you are proposing is not simply another Camino, but a completely different one because you will be alone. I have done two caminos with family, one with a friend and the others alone. All were wonderful, but the most intense were those alone.
not advice, just a gut reaction comment.
 

dbier

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Last 114km Camino Frances, Jul 21
2023 - Camino P
As someone bitten by the pilgrimage bug....there are a couple of observations from your ongoing story.

1, and most challenging, is your budget. In these more costly days, and with the compromises you may have to make for your health, I honestly don't know if you can keep to it. Spend some planning time with an app like Buen Camino to see if it's doable, I would suggest.

(It is absolutely financial why I'm not going to walk the Primitivo this extended Holy year, but will, God willing, walk in Sep of 2023. My husband and I walked in 2021).

2 is a caution. I would strongly encourage you to spend some uncomfortable time with yourself (ok, I'm projecting here, it can be uncomfortable for me ;) and grapple with your need and your why.
Is it for a tidy conclusion? (Life is not generally tidy, except in occasional phases. Then, you move on. As a philosopher once said, "The river is never the same twice.")

Is it because your soul thinks you've missed out the first time? Then, the question becomes, What are you looking for?
(Again, i am planning this second Camino alone, because I selfishly (?) only want to be responsible for myself in 2023. My husband and I hope to share a Camino in 2025, when we can afford it again)

When you've grappled with your why, you should also be closer to understanding the urgency. From there, and with your partner's support, decide.

Buen Camino.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
I didn't expect this thought to appear, but it has been haranguing me for a fortnight and won't go away.

Immediately after walking my Camino I strongly wanted to return. The more time that passes the weaker that urge becomes. On the other hand, when I overheard two people talking about the Camino before I walked it I realised that this was something that I would do and so I needed to prepare for it.

Only you will know if this call should be actioned.

I'd like to opt largely for off-stages if I did the CF, but either way, I'd be stopping when I felt like it. It'd have to be super-cheap, ideally rarely over €10-€15 per night, plus cheap food (realistic?).

This was certainly possible in 2019. I hear that some prices have gone up since then but I think that if you are careful then this daily budget is realistic.

maybe it'd give me time to think, and to learn how much I can do on my own, and how much my body lets me do.

For me, this is one of the greatest attractions of the Camino Frances. This ability to test yourself against a stretched goal in a real situation that requires confidence in yourself and your ability to deal with the things that life throws at you while being in a relatively "safe" situation.

You have special considerations because of your medical condition but everyone has their own challenges.

There is no real gain without risk. Risk is an integral part of testing yourself.

A very long time ago I used to race a motorcycle. I was okay but not a champion in any sense. A friend of mine from school and university also raced a motorcycle at the same time and he (Rodger Freeth - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodger_Freeth) ended up as a champion both in racing motorcycles and rally cars.

Early on during his motorcycle racing period Rodger crashed a lot and we had a nickname for him that reflected that. One day, at a racing meet, I chatted to him and asked him "how come you crash so much"? His reply got me thinking and maybe holds some insight for you. He said "The fastest line lies on the edge of crashing but if I never push beyond the line then I don't know where that fastest line is".

Until you test yourself you won't know how far you can go.

I guess the trick is to push yourself but survive to tell the story so that you can return here and tell us how you did.

One last thing is that I know the Camino is safer than many places… but I am a tiny 5ft person, and I like to walk in short shorts because I overheat easily (I know the theory about covering up but haven't found anything that works for me). I also can't help myself speaking Spanish when possible, and am generally quite lively, albeit also a little intense at times. In the past, a similar combination of elements resulted in my being assaulted by a stranger severely enough that it was going to court.

This was a nasty experience.

That it doesn't define you is all credit to you. I wish you a safe and testing experience.
 
Last edited:

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Hello Camino friends,

This is a bit of a personal post, but I'm going to trust that it's a good idea. I'll plunge into the middle.

I'm probably a fortnight away from booking myself back on a flight to Spain, and walking as much of the Camino Frances, or another route, as I can between early-mid August and mid September. I didn't expect this thought to appear, but it has been haranguing me for a fortnight and won't go away.

Personally, I think it's a ridiculous idea, even though it's a product of my own brain. I've only just got back from the CF, where I was walking Belorado to Sarria with my partner. We both had an absolutely brilliant, incredible, wonderful time. We both miss it. Despite this, I was happy to accept that it ended when it did, for now.

Relevant to my quandary: I'm writing about the Camino. I have funding for the book—it's memoir, but mixed in with life here in the UK—and want it to be the best I can possibly make it. And it's not as though I have nothing to say, because the Camino I've done so far hasn't always been a breeze for me. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, as you may know, and have worked around various troubles with it. But for the most part, I've managed very well. I even ran gleefully down sections where no one is supposed to run 😂 😳

This year, I spent almost the whole Camino in a sort of reverie of birds, Spanish, landscape, video, and conversation with my partner. But I didn't have much time to think, somehow. When I tried to, I felt a sort of empty quietness, which would quickly again be filled with wonder, birds… etc.

So far, we've been staying solely in private rooms, because of my need to sleep in a partly raised position. Dorm beds aren't always feasible for this, and they don't have enough pillows. However, a brilliant forum member ( @Peregrinopaul ) suggested I try a Thermarest sleep system, which I carried with me this year. I used it just once, but it worked well. (See my video of this, in Hornillos del Camino). I don't know how realistic this system will be for all albergues: I need some headroom, and don't think I could heat the inflating mattress enough to kill bedbugs, should that be a problem. I'm thinking that it might be ok in other ways, though, particularly now that I'm able to use it in a lower position than previously (it wouldn't be quite so strange to look at, for other people!).

So, I'm considering trying to do the whole thing in one go—probably the CF because it's busy and I know it, but not necessarily—and staying in albergues. Or maybe again walking only to Sarria but from SJPDP. I'd like to opt largely for off-stages if I did the CF, but either way, I'd be stopping when I felt like it. It'd have to be super-cheap, ideally rarely over €10-€15 per night, plus cheap food (realistic?). But maybe it'd give me time to think, and to learn how much I can do on my own, and how much my body lets me do.

I'm weighing up various pros and cons. I'm also talking a lot with my partner, because it's usually something we do together, and I don't want to upset him. We will return together next June, to walk from Sarria to Finisterre and Muxia, and have already booked some of those nights. But June is a long time to wait, and the book needs an ending (I thought I could work around this, but the nagging idea of returning is telling me… something). And I'm not sure I'll have the spiritual time next June, which I think I need. Sarria is too close to SdC.

Another factor… You may also recall my thread about ghosts and spookiness. I have a large background theme going on, which I'm trying to work out. Something happened to me in Barcelona, before I'd even started the CF last August. It's partly religious (I myself am not/was not, in a traditional way), at minimum spiritual, and I feel I need answers. I didn't get many answers this last May-June, but I went where things led me.

One last thing is that I know the Camino is safer than many places… but I am a tiny 5ft person, and I like to walk in short shorts because I overheat easily (I know the theory about covering up but haven't found anything that works for me). I also can't help myself speaking Spanish when possible, and am generally quite lively, albeit also a little intense at times. In the past, a similar combination of elements resulted in my being assaulted by a stranger severely enough that it was going to court. That was in Barcelona, back in the early 2000s. I had to leave Spain before the trial… (it's a long story). I am aware that it was the man's fault really, of course. Anywayyyy… I'm not sure how comfortable I'll feel walking sections alone, or being alone with some people, but I don't want to let things stop me. I do have Alert Cops, etc. I'm fine when I'm with other people, and I know that often this might be the case on the CF, at least. Then again, I want time alone to think! And I know that I'd like, in the future, to do many routes, for which I might have to be alone.

I intend to keep sitting on this for a while. But two weeks have now passed, and this feeling that I have to return soon hasn't gone away. So… I'll be glad of some perspective from you here.

Well done, and thank you, if you've made it this far. 🙂 🙏 And thank you in advance for any input you might have! 🙏🙏🙏
Sounds like at itch that you can't stop scratching. You probably can do the Camino more cheaply. But will it make you happy, I am not sure. I love the albergue idea and we stay in them often, but it isn't as easy as having a room where you can spread out your stuff easily and it sounds like you will have some things that others don't have to keep track of. For us it is CPAP stuff which makes it harder to be quiet when packing up. In a bunk room it is not about you, but about your new close bunk mate friends.

You may need to adjust your Camino to consider things like safety or your impact on others. Will you be shipping your pack and consider the added cost there? I would have back up cash for taxis if you don't find a bed and this also adds to the cost. Also consider the impact of a case of COVID. Several on the forum have had to adjust when they became ill.

If you can see yourself managing these kind of issues and it won't impact your work or personal relationships, then by all means scratch away and Buen Camino!
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Hello Camino friends,

This is a bit of a personal post, but I'm going to trust that it's a good idea. I'll plunge into the middle.

I'm probably a fortnight away from booking myself back on a flight to Spain, and walking as much of the Camino Frances, or another route, as I can between early-mid August and mid September. I didn't expect this thought to appear, but it has been haranguing me for a fortnight and won't go away.

Personally, I think it's a ridiculous idea, even though it's a product of my own brain. I've only just got back from the CF, where I was walking Belorado to Sarria with my partner. We both had an absolutely brilliant, incredible, wonderful time. We both miss it. Despite this, I was happy to accept that it ended when it did, for now.

Relevant to my quandary: I'm writing about the Camino. I have funding for the book—it's memoir, but mixed in with life here in the UK—and want it to be the best I can possibly make it. And it's not as though I have nothing to say, because the Camino I've done so far hasn't always been a breeze for me. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, as you may know, and have worked around various troubles with it. But for the most part, I've managed very well. I even ran gleefully down sections where no one is supposed to run 😂 😳

This year, I spent almost the whole Camino in a sort of reverie of birds, Spanish, landscape, video, and conversation with my partner. But I didn't have much time to think, somehow. When I tried to, I felt a sort of empty quietness, which would quickly again be filled with wonder, birds… etc.

So far, we've been staying solely in private rooms, because of my need to sleep in a partly raised position. Dorm beds aren't always feasible for this, and they don't have enough pillows. However, a brilliant forum member ( @Peregrinopaul ) suggested I try a Thermarest sleep system, which I carried with me this year. I used it just once, but it worked well. (See my video of this, in Hornillos del Camino). I don't know how realistic this system will be for all albergues: I need some headroom, and don't think I could heat the inflating mattress enough to kill bedbugs, should that be a problem. I'm thinking that it might be ok in other ways, though, particularly now that I'm able to use it in a lower position than previously (it wouldn't be quite so strange to look at, for other people!).

So, I'm considering trying to do the whole thing in one go—probably the CF because it's busy and I know it, but not necessarily—and staying in albergues. Or maybe again walking only to Sarria but from SJPDP. I'd like to opt largely for off-stages if I did the CF, but either way, I'd be stopping when I felt like it. It'd have to be super-cheap, ideally rarely over €10-€15 per night, plus cheap food (realistic?). But maybe it'd give me time to think, and to learn how much I can do on my own, and how much my body lets me do.

I'm weighing up various pros and cons. I'm also talking a lot with my partner, because it's usually something we do together, and I don't want to upset him. We will return together next June, to walk from Sarria to Finisterre and Muxia, and have already booked some of those nights. But June is a long time to wait, and the book needs an ending (I thought I could work around this, but the nagging idea of returning is telling me… something). And I'm not sure I'll have the spiritual time next June, which I think I need. Sarria is too close to SdC.

Another factor… You may also recall my thread about ghosts and spookiness. I have a large background theme going on, which I'm trying to work out. Something happened to me in Barcelona, before I'd even started the CF last August. It's partly religious (I myself am not/was not, in a traditional way), at minimum spiritual, and I feel I need answers. I didn't get many answers this last May-June, but I went where things led me.

One last thing is that I know the Camino is safer than many places… but I am a tiny 5ft person, and I like to walk in short shorts because I overheat easily (I know the theory about covering up but haven't found anything that works for me). I also can't help myself speaking Spanish when possible, and am generally quite lively, albeit also a little intense at times. In the past, a similar combination of elements resulted in my being assaulted by a stranger severely enough that it was going to court. That was in Barcelona, back in the early 2000s. I had to leave Spain before the trial… (it's a long story). I am aware that it was the man's fault really, of course. Anywayyyy… I'm not sure how comfortable I'll feel walking sections alone, or being alone with some people, but I don't want to let things stop me. I do have Alert Cops, etc. I'm fine when I'm with other people, and I know that often this might be the case on the CF, at least. Then again, I want time alone to think! And I know that I'd like, in the future, to do many routes, for which I might have to be alone.

I intend to keep sitting on this for a while. But two weeks have now passed, and this feeling that I have to return soon hasn't gone away. So… I'll be glad of some perspective from you here.

Well done, and thank you, if you've made it this far. 🙂 🙏 And thank you in advance for any input you might have! 🙏🙏🙏
Hi Lhollo, just ti say that I read your post to the end and the replies so far. As always with questions on this forum, or any other, you'll get varied responses. This may help or hinder your decision making process.
I'm not good on planning ahead, so my decisions tend to be guided by feelings and impulse first, then a bit of rationalisation to work out timing, dates, gear, finances etc. - but not too much!

Regarding the timing and dates, you can plan to suit other commitments and take into account weather, Covid, wars, fires, accommodation availability, etc. - all of which can change or not even be an issue WHEN you go. You could select a few chosen routes and put them in a hat and pick one at random - the roll the dice approach!

Regarding finances, it looks like relatively cheap travel, accommodation and food is a but beyond most of us at the moment, possibly for a long time, so doing anything on the super cheap is going to require some stealth strategy of some description or, at the very least, roughing it as much as you can bear. You can then afford a few "comfort" options when you really need them and still keep to a reasonably tight budget. But cheap Caminos are pretty much off the menu at the moment, at least for some of us it's becoming less affordable to do the longer routes, so a shorter route might be worth considering.

Regarding security and safety, there are various threads on this forum about this, so you could read up on what has been posted. Walking alone is generally not a problem, but I think one has the at least think about how to do two things: be aware of signs of possible danger (listen and act on guy feeling - don't wait). The other thing is to be prepared to defend yourself and/or escape any kind of awkward or threatening situation. You can still walk alone, but maybe keep within sight of other pilgrims or within sound range if you can carry a loud personal alarm or something to call for help.

Alternatively to all this, you could "walk alone", with your partner as a back up crew! He could walk ahead or behind you, while you have time to "not think" and "not talk" and just "be in the moment" as and when it occurs. At the end of each day, you'll be with your partner to bounce some ideas off, as he is a writer, which might help formulate your own way to put on to paper your own story. In which case, either bring forward your joint Camino plans or wait until you go next year.

Just some thoughts and ideas for you, but it's your decision, so meditate/pray/seek internal guidance and follow your heart. Good luck and Buen Camino.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2022
It'd have to be super-cheap, ideally rarely over €10-€15 per night, plus cheap food (realistic?). But maybe it'd give me time to think, and to learn how much I can do on my own, and how much my body lets me do.
My experience on a Camino earlier this year suggest to me that that budget would be difficult. You could probably do it, but you might spend a lot of time trying to save money.

I liked @DamienReynold advice, to just do it. Once you start putting 1 foot in front of the other, probably your doubts and questions will evaporate.

It’s interesting, how your rambling and seemingly chaotic Question was a good read. You’re a very good writer😊!
 
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Lhollo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
Hi Lindsey!
This is my opinion but just like whether to finish the French way from Sarria was an opinion ; it was in the end your decision.
So is this one and the desire to return alone could be a manifestation of maybe what life has thrown at you before.
What drives us is a mystery that unfolds with the passage of time and it's the journey that makes our decisions!
You have had a incredible journey back to health with the support of others and your partner that has enabled you to now thrive!
You know your partner will let you go!

You wrote
But maybe it'd give me time to think, and to learn how much I can do on my own, and how much my body lets me do. For me that was your answer!

I had spent so many years myself being the recipient of the help and goodwill of others to the point i almost disappeared; walking the Camino alone was the journey to prove myself capable and independent; it lit a fire again!
That thought i think is pulling you back to Camino; if anyone can do it you can have faith in you😍
Woody
You have a wonderful knack of giving me perspective on myself, Woody, and seem always to offer insight into what is actually happening. I always forget that things have genuinely been difficult; weird isn't it? Thank you. This really touched me 🙏
 

Lhollo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF pt2, Belorado to Sarria, May 21 – June 12, 2022
Early on during his motorcycle racing period Roger crashed a lot and we had a nickname for him that reflected that. One day, at a racing meet, I chatted to him and asked him "how come you crash so much"? His reply got me thinking and maybe holds some insight for you. He said "The fastest line lies on the edge of crashing but if I never push beyond the line then I don't know where that fastest line is".

Until you test yourself you won't know how far you can go.

I guess the trick is to push yourself but survive to tell the story so that you can return here and tell us how you did.
Thank you for this brilliant anecdote and quotation! Yes, there's definitely an element of this for me.

But cheap Caminos are pretty much off the menu at the moment, at least for some of us it's becoming less affordable to do the longer routes

My experience on a Camino earlier this year suggest to me that that budget would be difficult. You could probably do it, but you might spend a lot of time trying to save money.

What are people finding are the main increased costs? I was going off Buen Camino and Wise Pilgrim and €10 for an albergue seemed average, so I figured up to €15 should be ok. For food, we were finding menus del día for around €15 Euros. Plus coffees, snacks, etc, I figure around €50 per day?
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Small towns are still pretty much a bargain. I have from Azofra for example 10 euros for a shared 2 person room in the municipal and 13.50 for a lunch which included an extra coffee in addition to the menu, wine/water, bread. We bought groceries to cook a shared supper with others and to make the next day's walking lunch.

We usually give 25 euros each at the donativos that serve breakfast and supper. Great experiences, but may be difficult given your sleeping requirements (mats on the floor without pillows). I know you talked about shipping pillows and your sleeping support in the past. That could work for you and I think you'd find a lot of great material for writing in these kinds of albergues which are the essence of hospitality on the Camino.
 

ken2116

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Someday. But have hiked the Sierra and the Pyrenees.
Hello Camino friends,

This is a bit of a personal post, but I'm going to trust that it's a good idea. I'll plunge into the middle.

I'm probably a fortnight away from booking myself back on a flight to Spain, and walking as much of the Camino Frances, or another route, as I can between early-mid August and mid September. I didn't expect this thought to appear, but it has been haranguing me for a fortnight and won't go away.

Personally, I think it's a ridiculous idea, even though it's a product of my own brain. I've only just got back from the CF, where I was walking Belorado to Sarria with my partner. We both had an absolutely brilliant, incredible, wonderful time. We both miss it. Despite this, I was happy to accept that it ended when it did, for now.

Relevant to my quandary: I'm writing about the Camino. I have funding for the book—it's memoir, but mixed in with life here in the UK—and want it to be the best I can possibly make it. And it's not as though I have nothing to say, because the Camino I've done so far hasn't always been a breeze for me. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, as you may know, and have worked around various troubles with it. But for the most part, I've managed very well. I even ran gleefully down sections where no one is supposed to run 😂 😳

This year, I spent almost the whole Camino in a sort of reverie of birds, Spanish, landscape, video, and conversation with my partner. But I didn't have much time to think, somehow. When I tried to, I felt a sort of empty quietness, which would quickly again be filled with wonder, birds… etc.

So far, we've been staying solely in private rooms, because of my need to sleep in a partly raised position. Dorm beds aren't always feasible for this, and they don't have enough pillows. However, a brilliant forum member ( @Peregrinopaul ) suggested I try a Thermarest sleep system, which I carried with me this year. I used it just once, but it worked well. (See my video of this, in Hornillos del Camino). I don't know how realistic this system will be for all albergues: I need some headroom, and don't think I could heat the inflating mattress enough to kill bedbugs, should that be a problem. I'm thinking that it might be ok in other ways, though, particularly now that I'm able to use it in a lower position than previously (it wouldn't be quite so strange to look at, for other people!).

So, I'm considering trying to do the whole thing in one go—probably the CF because it's busy and I know it, but not necessarily—and staying in albergues. Or maybe again walking only to Sarria but from SJPDP. I'd like to opt largely for off-stages if I did the CF, but either way, I'd be stopping when I felt like it. It'd have to be super-cheap, ideally rarely over €10-€15 per night, plus cheap food (realistic?). But maybe it'd give me time to think, and to learn how much I can do on my own, and how much my body lets me do.

I'm weighing up various pros and cons. I'm also talking a lot with my partner, because it's usually something we do together, and I don't want to upset him. We will return together next June, to walk from Sarria to Finisterre and Muxia, and have already booked some of those nights. But June is a long time to wait, and the book needs an ending (I thought I could work around this, but the nagging idea of returning is telling me… something). And I'm not sure I'll have the spiritual time next June, which I think I need. Sarria is too close to SdC.

Another factor… You may also recall my thread about ghosts and spookiness. I have a large background theme going on, which I'm trying to work out. Something happened to me in Barcelona, before I'd even started the CF last August. It's partly religious (I myself am not/was not, in a traditional way), at minimum spiritual, and I feel I need answers. I didn't get many answers this last May-June, but I went where things led me.

One last thing is that I know the Camino is safer than many places… but I am a tiny 5ft person, and I like to walk in short shorts because I overheat easily (I know the theory about covering up but haven't found anything that works for me). I also can't help myself speaking Spanish when possible, and am generally quite lively, albeit also a little intense at times. In the past, a similar combination of elements resulted in my being assaulted by a stranger severely enough that it was going to court. That was in Barcelona, back in the early 2000s. I had to leave Spain before the trial… (it's a long story). I am aware that it was the man's fault really, of course. Anywayyyy… I'm not sure how comfortable I'll feel walking sections alone, or being alone with some people, but I don't want to let things stop me. I do have Alert Cops, etc. I'm fine when I'm with other people, and I know that often this might be the case on the CF, at least. Then again, I want time alone to think! And I know that I'd like, in the future, to do many routes, for which I might have to be alone.

I intend to keep sitting on this for a while. But two weeks have now passed, and this feeling that I have to return soon hasn't gone away. So… I'll be glad of some perspective from you here.

Well done, and thank you, if you've made it this far. 🙂 🙏 And thank you in advance for any input you might have! 🙏🙏🙏
I have to admit to not being confident I understand your question(s) in their entirety, though I feel I gathered several, several of which are very personal:
a) uncertainty about the safety of traveling alone
b) potential affect on your relationship of traveling without your partner
c) health problems impose some limitations, including sleeping comfort/position
d) restricted budget

a) Safety: My own attitude is to do what's important to me while minimizing risks to what feels to be a reasonable level. This might include getting in before dark and avoiding specific areas/times that feel risky, and generally being aware of your surroundings while trying to project confidence rather than fear. After that it's a roll of the dice. Perhaps you can cultivate relationships while on the trail and arrange for company at times and places where you don't feel comfortable alone.

b) An open, honest talk ahead of time might be the best way. Followed up with timely communication while traveling.

c) You appear to have a good handle on this - I especially like your sleep system which also might be suitable with those suffering GERD. I find an inflatable pad to be a big help with spinal problems, I must sleep on my side and, after inflation, bleed out sufficient air to allow my spine to assume a level configuration. Inflator bags are great.

d. I've known people to trade labor for lodging and meals - assisting farmers with chores in exchange for room and board, assisting in restaurants, mending clothes, taking photographs at events, etc. It requires one to be a bit outgoing and success will vary, but it can result in rewarding experiences and relationships. One couple did this for a season and wrote a book about it.
 
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Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
€25-€30 per day would be much better though!
HI @Lhollo - Thanks for bringing up the whole budget thing.
I am walking alone and also spending some time in Europe - 3.5 months in all. So I need to stay in charge of my budget, as costs while travelling can so easily escalate. After reading all your answers I am budgeting for €50 per day but would prefer to spend less. Luckily I am not too fussy and have no health problems. I know that buying/cooking your own food/ or cooking with a group is a real money saver. On CF in 2007 one group I walked with cooked lentil vege soup (with Chorizo) for dinner most nights - with flan for desert - and it came to about €2-3 each. But that sometimes means someone needs to carry the lentils and spices.
With another group we had a picnic dinner of salad, cold meats/cheese and bread for about €5 each.
PS When I say walked with a group - I was usually alone during the day and we met up in the evenings.
Anyway I wish you all the best. Follow your heart and see what unfolds.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Hello Camino friends,

This is a bit of a personal post, but I'm going to trust that it's a good idea. I'll plunge into the middle.

I'm probably a fortnight away from booking myself back on a flight to Spain, and walking as much of the Camino Frances, or another route, as I can between early-mid August and mid September. I didn't expect this thought to appear, but it has been haranguing me for a fortnight and won't go away.

Personally, I think it's a ridiculous idea, even though it's a product of my own brain. I've only just got back from the CF, where I was walking Belorado to Sarria with my partner. We both had an absolutely brilliant, incredible, wonderful time. We both miss it. Despite this, I was happy to accept that it ended when it did, for now.

Relevant to my quandary: I'm writing about the Camino. I have funding for the book—it's memoir, but mixed in with life here in the UK—and want it to be the best I can possibly make it. And it's not as though I have nothing to say, because the Camino I've done so far hasn't always been a breeze for me. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, as you may know, and have worked around various troubles with it. But for the most part, I've managed very well. I even ran gleefully down sections where no one is supposed to run 😂 😳

This year, I spent almost the whole Camino in a sort of reverie of birds, Spanish, landscape, video, and conversation with my partner. But I didn't have much time to think, somehow. When I tried to, I felt a sort of empty quietness, which would quickly again be filled with wonder, birds… etc.

So far, we've been staying solely in private rooms, because of my need to sleep in a partly raised position. Dorm beds aren't always feasible for this, and they don't have enough pillows. However, a brilliant forum member ( @Peregrinopaul ) suggested I try a Thermarest sleep system, which I carried with me this year. I used it just once, but it worked well. (See my video of this, in Hornillos del Camino). I don't know how realistic this system will be for all albergues: I need some headroom, and don't think I could heat the inflating mattress enough to kill bedbugs, should that be a problem. I'm thinking that it might be ok in other ways, though, particularly now that I'm able to use it in a lower position than previously (it wouldn't be quite so strange to look at, for other people!).

So, I'm considering trying to do the whole thing in one go—probably the CF because it's busy and I know it, but not necessarily—and staying in albergues. Or maybe again walking only to Sarria but from SJPDP. I'd like to opt largely for off-stages if I did the CF, but either way, I'd be stopping when I felt like it. It'd have to be super-cheap, ideally rarely over €10-€15 per night, plus cheap food (realistic?). But maybe it'd give me time to think, and to learn how much I can do on my own, and how much my body lets me do.

I'm weighing up various pros and cons. I'm also talking a lot with my partner, because it's usually something we do together, and I don't want to upset him. We will return together next June, to walk from Sarria to Finisterre and Muxia, and have already booked some of those nights. But June is a long time to wait, and the book needs an ending (I thought I could work around this, but the nagging idea of returning is telling me… something). And I'm not sure I'll have the spiritual time next June, which I think I need. Sarria is too close to SdC.

Another factor… You may also recall my thread about ghosts and spookiness. I have a large background theme going on, which I'm trying to work out. Something happened to me in Barcelona, before I'd even started the CF last August. It's partly religious (I myself am not/was not, in a traditional way), at minimum spiritual, and I feel I need answers. I didn't get many answers this last May-June, but I went where things led me.

One last thing is that I know the Camino is safer than many places… but I am a tiny 5ft person, and I like to walk in short shorts because I overheat easily (I know the theory about covering up but haven't found anything that works for me). I also can't help myself speaking Spanish when possible, and am generally quite lively, albeit also a little intense at times. In the past, a similar combination of elements resulted in my being assaulted by a stranger severely enough that it was going to court. That was in Barcelona, back in the early 2000s. I had to leave Spain before the trial… (it's a long story). I am aware that it was the man's fault really, of course. Anywayyyy… I'm not sure how comfortable I'll feel walking sections alone, or being alone with some people, but I don't want to let things stop me. I do have Alert Cops, etc. I'm fine when I'm with other people, and I know that often this might be the case on the CF, at least. Then again, I want time alone to think! And I know that I'd like, in the future, to do many routes, for which I might have to be alone.

I intend to keep sitting on this for a while. But two weeks have now passed, and this feeling that I have to return soon hasn't gone away. So… I'll be glad of some perspective from you here.

Well done, and thank you, if you've made it this far. 🙂 🙏 And thank you in advance for any input you might have! 🙏🙏🙏
For safety purposes, traveling in high season is ideal and consider leaving the alburgue around 6:30-7:00am when there are lots of people hitting the road so that you feel some degree of protection within the collective. Also consider maybe stopping your daily walk no later than noon, preferably 11:30 (ish) to get first pick of beds, shower and organize the rest of your day to be social or silent and think and write. If you end your daily walk and clothes washing early and want to be alone, at least it can be somewhere safe like a cafe or an alburgue backyard and your alone time will be less likely in a giant field or remote forest or whatever along the path. I walked with this type of early pattern 6:30am-11:30am and found it ideal for social and alone time.To move entirely away from social experiences on the camino during high season may negatively impact your story (and life experience), but also you need to be alone. Perhaps organize your time so you are social (ish) during the walk and exercise discipline in your writing and thought space after you've set up your bed situation. You might consider having only one large meal in the morning and another large meal after you sort your bed and wash your clothes so that you don't lose valuable writing and thinking time to three meals, but no need to be too prescriptive, play it by ear and see what works for you these are only some ideas. This worked for me, but may not be for everyone. Also even though it is memoir, you can generalize your notes and flush out your story when you get home. It might be good to prioritize the life experience over producing the ending and perhaps save the drafting and crafting for when you can reflect a bit more comfortably at home. It seems a shame to miss out on too many social experiences because the draft is taking priority, sort of like missing the story because you are writing the story so to speak. Nevertheless, I'm confident you will find a way to work this out and make it all a success. Best of luck to you:).
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
This isn't advice; its something to think over. How about if at the end of a day you find someone willing to walk with you the next day and talk about "things" along the way but indicate that it is a one day event and you will stay in a different place. The next day walk alone and think about the thoughts that you had with previous companions. Alternate or go with the option you feel is right at the time. This should keep your writing (and camino) interesting.
 
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Camino Finisterra 2022
A couple of things occurred to me as I read your opening:
1. If you’re serious about writing for a book on the Camino, you should go alone. I say this because if you’re with someone, they need your attention and you their’s. This makes note taking difficult, writing time scarce and your best thoughts may escape you.
2. Use the “voice memo” app on your smartphone to take notes along the way. This focuses you on getting ideas out quickly and you can do so while still walking. You can edit later.
3. Stop often for coffee and group-up with people for companionship and conversation. Some of your most memorable moments will come from conversations (people like to read about the “characters” you meet).
4. Stay away from the big/main stops on the CF when you can. The small villages are usually cheaper make for better stories.
5. Stop at churches and light a candle as often as possible. Think of someone or something that needs your prayer. It focuses you.
6. Don’t overthink it. Keep It Simple. Just go.
I never felt alone on the CF, unless I chose to be.
Buen Camino!!
 

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