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I REALLY hate to say this, but...

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
When I arrived in Santiago on Sept. 25 2009, I was happy I had reached my goal. On the way back (I took the train all the way through Europe to Northern Norway), I was glad it was over, and that I had had a great, once-in-my-life experience: I would not repeat the Camino: Been there, done that.

Right :?:

Then, back home....

  • I watched my pictures
    I thought about the mornings on the road; the sunrises
    I thought about the early morning I walked towards a full moon in front of me
    I thought about the stress for a bed and how unneccessary it is (find a place for your sleepingbag wherever)
    How I stressed a bit with mileage/day
    Not calming down enough
    Not pausing often enough (staying more than one day in places)
    Not taking time to reflect enough...

The list is endless...

Bottom line: I now understand that after having done my Camino, I am now really prepared for my Camino! Planning for 2011 (2010 will be a crowd) is seriously lurking in the back of my head..., but I will pay much more attention to details on the road, stay longer in some places, and not care about mileage or anything else that will take focus away from the important thing: The Camino itself.

PS: Rebekah, I still have the T-shirt: It lasted all the way. Thank you so much. Next time, I'll volunteer to work a few days in Moratinos, if I am allowed :wink:

A great lesson learned.

Meseta moonshine:

 

Caminando

Veteran Member
Yes Alex - nice one. :D

Please consider one of the many other routes (but not the Francés) you can take next time, to avoid the negative things you found on your Way. The Francés is/was wonderful, but is now under too much pressure.

If you want to avoid the stress of bedfinding*, consider the austere/severe VDP, (not in summer) though you will find that it offers very different challenges. But there are many other routes.

*or bring your bivouac sac and sleep outside.

:arrow:
 

elzi

Active Member
I really think there is nothing to beat that first time you walk into Santiago! Somehow that first arrival is very special, not that it's not nice to arrive now but everytime I'm into Santiago these days I feel a bit like "so what - i've finished my walk then - shrug!"...
...but as for the actual camino journey I think it gets better every time I go walking! I guess like everything you learn to do it better, you meet different people, you relax more knowing that it's probably all going to be ok, you know what you enjoy and what you don't.
I say go for it, every camino is different, the other routes can be lovely but if you're looking for people not places then the Frances is the place to be...
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
elzi said:
...but as for the actual camino journey I think it gets better every time I go walking! I guess like everything you learn to do it better, you meet different people, you relax more knowing that it's probably all going to be ok, you know what you enjoy and what you don't.
Indeed: That's what's on my mind. I will consider the Norte route, but the Frances is so blessed with people, I find it hard to resist: I met many very nice people, even if I was walking alone (and really enjoyed that).

But I know I now have the time to think, consider, and plan my next camino. When I just finished, it was out of the question, but I guess I'm being drawn into that position that so many others have: When's the next time :?:

I can live with that... 8)
 
Nice pic Alexwalker !

I absolutely love the sunrises.

It is so true. Now that I have completed my camino, I feel like I am much more prepared for it.

The next time, I will ......... but I suspect the next camino, on another route, will offer dfferent challenges, and I may find myself stressing out on a number of things just the same.

And I think it really does not matter.

Enjoy
Rebecca
 

Annette

Member
Very true Elzi, That first time is very speciel... but so is the 2nd and the 3rd and the 4th....

My first arrival was a mix of sadness and happiness... sad because the adventure was o ver and I has to say goodbye to all these wonderful people... and happy because "I MADE IT!"

My 2nd arrival was of non importance to me... I had arrived and YEAH... I did itt again...

However the 3rd arrival has been the far most special and emotional for me... I arrived... first with no big emotions... went to the pilgrimsoffice - got my compostela... and then I would just sit for at little while outside the catedral... - I sat there looking at the catedral... and I started crying... I just sat there for a long time crying... I am not sure why... but suddenly a lot of mixed feelings from this journey had appeared... also starting to rembere the other journeys...

You never know which arrival will be the most emotional... the most special... and it is really not important... - as long as you allow yourself the feelings you have... and accept them...

@Alexwalker... after my first arrival I was asked... soooo would you do this again... and my prrompt answer was "No! once is enough..." but only after a few weeks/months at home I heard the camino call my name again... and it keeps calling... and I will probably keep going back...
 

JIMBO

New Member
Completely agree with all these sentiments. It is perhaps good to reflect that this is a very normal process after completing a major venture.
The camino has many challenges and rewards and is a unique journey. After a period of reflection all the hardships and the " I'm never will do this again' become ' Well that wasn't too bad really and I think I can do this again, better'
" Absence makes the heart grow fonder" I can relate to those who have returned many times and I think they have always said in speaking with them that each camino has been a different experience.
I think if you set out to duplicate your previous experience there would be disappointment.

As someone on this discussion suggested, there is value in seeking an alternate camino path. However, to each his/her own.
There are many paths and trails to walk
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
By now, I just know one thing...

I have to do it again. It has become part of my blood, so to speak,

Do you understand the feeling :?:
 
A

AJ

Guest
alexwalker said:
By now, I just know one thing...

I have to do it again. It has become part of my blood, so to speak,

Do you understand the feeling :?:

One hit and you're hooked: yes I know the feeling. I was going to stay home in 2010...fat chance!!
 

coober

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009,
VdlP 2014
Del Norte 50% 2017
Primitivo 2017
alexwalker said:
Do you understand the feeling :?:

Like you I have just completed my first Camino St. Jean (20th September) Santiago (24th October) and like many others I thought once was it. I'm not getting any younger 68 next year and there are still many things on my bucket list.

But ....... perhaps .... another Camino is slowly creeping to the top of that list, ( did I say creeping, well maybe galloping up it), and for the first time since I joined this forum (01 May 2009) I have started to read the posts on the Camino Mozárabe / Via de la Plata forum. So who knows 2011 is still a long way away and I have many happy memories of Camino Frances to keep me going till then.

So, yes Alex to answer your question, I do understand the feeling.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
To Alexwalker.
The mesetapicture is great!
I finished my third camino 20.10.09. This year I started in Le puy 15.08.09. When I arrived in Santaiago at my first camino from Roncesvalles to Santiago in June 2005, I also said never again.
But it did not take long before I started planning the next from St. Jean in 2007. The first time I hated the meseta. This year after walking/ climbing the ups and down in France I loved it. It was really comfortable to be able to walk without minding the steps all the time. Time for thinking and relaxing.
Every camino will be different. I really enjoyed the autumntime with blackberries and grapes even if the colours were not as strong as in spring.
To Coober.
On the camino I met a young German woman who had walked a long way. You perhaps met her too. She had earlier walked the Via de La Plata so since I was curious about other routes I asked her about her experiences. She told me that it was a challenging road. She had walked with a friend in summer and she said:
Do not walk alone and not in the warmest summermonths.
Randi
 

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