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Indecision and questions about Camino for first time- helpful advice from pilgrims requested!

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Hi everyone,

My story is that I'm a 41 years old single female from Canada. I have had the Camino on my bucket list for years, since my early 20s after reading the Pilgrimmage by Paulo Coelho.

I've been working very long hard hours at my job and banked up a lot of vacation time. I was told that I need to take it so I booked two weeks off at the end of August/begininng of Septmember. I have no plans and am waffling in uncertainty about what to do and also about doing it alone. A coworker suggested that I do the Camino as she had done it before.

So suddenly it is on my radar but until this point has just been a big maybe, or could be or what if. I recently watched the movie "The Way" and felt very inspired. Since then, I joined facebook groups and have started doing more research, and now joined this forum for advice. The signs all seem to pointing to this being the time to do it. But my question is, can I do it with so little time to prepare? I haven't even started looking into flights, or planning what I need to take and buying a guide etc. etc. I don't want to be rushed so wonder if I should wait until next summer?

But another part of me feels I should seize the time and the future is so uncertain, that maybe the time is now. I feel I am at a point in my life that I would benefit from two weeks to myself just contemplating life, walking and meditating. Spiritually and mentally and physically I need time away to recharge but wonder if I can do it or if this is really for me.

I also feel anxious about going it alone as a middle aged female. And whether my level of fitness is adequate. I signed up for a local group that does practice walks and hoped to join them to help me prepare and talk to people. I was meant to go this morning but unfortunately miscalculated the bus and couldn't make it on time.

So, lots of questions. I thought it might help to join this forum and talk to others who are in the same boat or those who have done it before for advice and encouragement to just make the decision and do it.

I have two weeks so figure I would need to start somewhere around Leon but if anyone has advice on where to start for a two week walk that would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
Leon is a great place to start and the end of August/start of September is a good time to walk. You may start alone but you will quickly meet and make friends with fellow pilgrims. As for fitness, it is good to try and improve it before you leave but it is not essential, it just makes things easier.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
Just go for it ;-) The camino is hardly a 'wilderness walk', it is walking/passing through a lot of villages every day. As for walking alone as a woman, August/September are busy months, so you will be hardly be alone on the way. And, btw, with 41 you are far too young to think of yourself as 'middle aged'.

Buen Camino, SY
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Yes, just go. You'll meet people and won't be alone unless you want to be.
You could start further back along the trail - maybe at Roncesvalles - and just see how far you get this time. There would be no pressure to make certain distances each day. Then return next year and pick up where you left off. Lots of Europeans do this.
Or better still, take four or five weeks off!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF
Just a thought but if you're looking at Aug/Sep and also wanting time alone to contemplate life, walking the CF in SDC might not be the best option. It will be busy starting in Leon and after Sarria will be elbow-to-elbow and a race for beds. Have you considered any other routes like maybe the Portuguese? I think you could walk from Porto in that time frame I believe and the experience would be far more conducive to quite contemplation. Another thing to consider is that if you have two weeks and are flying in from Canada you really need to plan on 3-4 days of travel to and from Spain so you're really only looking at 10 full days of walking and since you'll be coming in without a tremendous amount of pre-Camino conditioning anything more than 200kms might be hard to achieve, at least in a pain-free way! Lot of things to consider but hope what ever you end up deciding makes for a great experience!!
Buen Camino,
Jordon
 

Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
Welcome Laluna,

It is tough for me to give unbiased advice whether or not you should walk the Camino this year. Since I have had a good/great experience on the Camino I would of course say absolutely do it this year instead of missing the opportunity. I do believe there is plenty of time to get ready. Leon to Santiago de Compostela is about 322 kilometers (200 miles) which might be a little too far for 11 days of walking. I would guess 25 km (15 miles)/day feels about right to me which would be 13-14 days walking plus maybe 3-4 days for transportation to and from the Camino. I do think León is a great place to start if you have the time.

Buen Camino!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
You will be just fine.

Find a light and comfortable backpack (Osprey Tempest 40 liter is what works for me, you could start there and compare it to others at Sail or MEC) and comfortable shoes. Loving Hoka One Ones because of their cushioning and how light they are.

Two changes of clothes, light and fast drying, including two short sleeve tshirts and 1 long sleeve one (sun or cooler temp protection). A liner shoukd be enough for that ti e of the year, no need for a full sleeping bag. So ething in case of rain, basic toulettries and some footcare items to prevent and/or treat blisters. There are lots of packing lists through the forum. 8kg at the very most.

Where to walk? If you don't need to walk into Santiago, and assuming you want to walk the Frances, I would walk from St-Jean-Pied de Port to Burgos, and then go back and walk from Burgos one day. I would avoid the last 100 km from Sarria as it will be mayhem. If you wmant to walk into Santiago, then the last 250km or so on the Norte, or the Ingles and then on to Fisterra or Muxia?

This would be 100km or so to Santiago, and then, you can play with the time you have left to walk/bus in part to the ocean.

Rome2rio.com cab help with buses and trains, so will the renfe and alsa websites.

You can reserve your albergue at the end of each day of walking for the next day if it makes you feel better, but do book for your first night and your time in Santiago book much earlier than that unless tou want to stay in an alberfue there as well.

Interesting sites include Eroski (google eroski camink), mundicamino and gronze.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Via Tolosana
Hi Laluna,
I would advise you to take the chance and go now, whilst you have the opportunity.
The main thing will be to take it slowly, walk at your pace, take a rest if you need it. Do not push yourself the first few days if you are not used to walking, especially with a backpack.
You'll be fine.
Pack very lightly, I'd say aim for 5 kg, you don't need more weight for a Summer camino. (Really!).
A change of clothes, something to sleep in, very basic toiletries and first aid items to see you through to the next farmacia (ie plaster tape, desinfectant, a few paracetamols...) You can buy Albuprofeno in Spain should you need it, as well as most other things.
Something to protect you and your stuff from the rain...
Choose your shoes carefully though, even better if you already own them and they fit you.
And , in a nutshell, that's it :)
All the best.
Dominique
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hi everyone,

My story is that I'm a 41 years old single female from Canada. I have had the Camino on my bucket list for years, since my early 20s after reading the Pilgrimmage by Paulo Coelho.

I've been working very long hard hours at my job and banked up a lot of vacation time. I was told that I need to take it so I booked two weeks off at the end of August/begininng of Septmember. I have no plans and am waffling in uncertainty about what to do and also about doing it alone. A coworker suggested that I do the Camino as she had done it before.

So suddenly it is on my radar but until this point has just been a big maybe, or could be or what if. I recently watched the movie "The Way" and felt very inspired. Since then, I joined facebook groups and have started doing more research, and now joined this forum for advice. The signs all seem to pointing to this being the time to do it. But my question is, can I do it with so little time to prepare? I haven't even started looking into flights, or planning what I need to take and buying a guide etc. etc. I don't want to be rushed so wonder if I should wait until next summer?

But another part of me feels I should seize the time and the future is so uncertain, that maybe the time is now. I feel I am at a point in my life that I would benefit from two weeks to myself just contemplating life, walking and meditating. Spiritually and mentally and physically I need time away to recharge but wonder if I can do it or if this is really for me.

I also feel anxious about going it alone as a middle aged female. And whether my level of fitness is adequate. I signed up for a local group that does practice walks and hoped to join them to help me prepare and talk to people. I was meant to go this morning but unfortunately miscalculated the bus and couldn't make it on time.

So, lots of questions. I thought it might help to join this forum and talk to others who are in the same boat or those who have done it before for advice and encouragement to just make the decision and do it.

I have two weeks so figure I would need to start somewhere around Leon but if anyone has advice on where to start for a two week walk that would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.
Hi, Laluna,

I would encourage you to go this year and use your free days. But with only 2 weeks and getting to/from Spain I'm suggesting either you start in St.Jean-Pied-de-Port and walk as far as time allows or go for shorter Camino. Like Ingles (from Ferrol: https://www.gronze.com/camino-ingles) and after that maybe even continue to Fisterra or Muxia.

Either way Buen Camino!
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
Just do it! Anyone who thinks they might like to do the Camino should do the Camino. It won't leave you alone until you do. Even a short time is worth it since you can do it in stages over multiple years, or next time figure out how to put together the 5-6 weeks you will really want to do the whole thing at once in some subsequent year.

Buy some comfortable shoes, and start walking. Its hilly, so make sure you do some hill walking as well. Your equipment is pretty easy this time of year, you can pick it all up at MEC or somewhere like it. Walk with your loaded pack before you go.

Where are you coming from? For most Canucks, it turns out to be easiest to come and go via Paris, with a TGV to your start point, and a flight back to Paris at the end point. If you are in the GTA you have more options.

You have time here. Buy some shoes. Figure the transatlantic flights out. Everything else can be solved between here and there. Don't worry about being a single female alone.....that describes 40% or so of your fellow pilgrims, and the trail is safer than rural Saskatchewan. You will get more advice than you need on this forum, take advantage. Just Do It!

Buen Camino!
 

frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
I agree with others that you should not postpone because you think it's not enough time to prepare. I decided to walk my first camino at age 60 just 10 days before I started, and it really hadn't been on my radar before. As to choosing where to start, I think it's a very personal choice, and the important thing is to make a decision and not second-guess yourself. I've walked the Frances first, then the Portuguese (from near Lisbon) and then Arles/Aragones. I've thought often about a first time camino, and I always come back to thinking the Frances is where one needs to learn about camino. And I think getting into Santiago itself is really cool. On the other hand, many people start at a given point and complete the walk only through several visits. The important thing is to make the decision and work it out from there. Buen camino!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Go, just go! I don't think it matters too much where you start, but for a first camino I always recommend the Camino Francés. It provides the infrastructure and plenty of companionship to give comfort to a first time peregrina walking solo.

If you want to finish in Santiago, then León is good. Two weeks will be pushing it - try to cadge a few more days off work if you can. From León you will get a taste of the meseta between León and Astorga, then the beauty of the Bierzo mountains, the Cruz de Fierro, the lovely villages of El Acebo and Riego de Ambros, the valley of the nightingale, Ponferada and its castle, then vineyards, a challenging walk up to O Cebrero ...... then party-time with lots of people walking the soft paths and beautiful green lanes of Galicia into Santiago. It is all gorgeous. I am jealous!
 

gypsy9

Active Member
Laluna,
Think of this imminent adventure as a well deserved gift to yourself. Yes, you have enough time to prepare and there is wonderful tips/advice on this forum: For example what to buy in terms of equipment (pack, shoes), how to get to places, guide books and basic training. Your Camino has already begun! My advice is not to over-think things; first and foremost, keep your itinerary as simple as possible (not too much travel involved) and also keep a light pack. The golden adage: less is more.

As you are Canadian, there is a (slim) chance that perhaps you speak French...?
The Le Puy route may be something you could consider or research. The first part of Chemin de Puy (Camino beginning from Le Puy en Velay) fits into your time-frame. There is a fabulous journey from Le Puy en Velay to Conques . There are plenty of places to stay and the road is well -marked. There is also public transport options from Conques and a helpful Tourist Information office. There are many beautiful places in the world to behold...
Whatever you choose...just go
Buen Camino!!!
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
If you banked a lot of vacation time then why not take more than 2 weeks?
1. You are most definitely NOT middle aged. stop that right now :)
2. The hardest part about the Camino for you at this point is going to be finding flights

so...just do it! If you feel you aren't in great shape then just plan an itinerary along the Frances that lets you walk less than 15km or something. Only you can be the judge of how far you can walk. Or just walk until you need to get back to the airport and stop the day before to give you travel time to Madrid. You know what I mean?
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Hmm. I must be more than middle aged then, sorry you brought that up! I will hit 70 before the end of this year. Buy shoes NOW and wear them all the time till you get on the first flight to Europe. Stick a pin in the map. Although it seems 11 years since I walked the Frances, I would probably start with that and count on an average of 20 to 25 km for the number of days left after flight days needed. As I write, I am waiting for the alarm. Just walking
companion and myself in bunk room in Pajares on Salvador route. Peasoup mist
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Thank you SO much everyone for your responses and words of positivity and encouragement!! It really is giving me the inspiration to make the plunge and do it. I've been thinking about it for a while now, and the Camino is definitely calling me big time, I feel.

I am going to see if I can take a few more days off. I don't think it will be a problem and I think it's a good idea as many have suggested to allow for the travel/transit time, adjusting to jet lag etc. and also so as not to feel too rushed.

I'm from Vancouver, BC. I've been looking at some flights to Madrid and Barcelona with Air Canada that don't seem too bad. It goes to Toronto and then direct to Madrid or Barcelona. I could take the bus from there to the starting point. But will definitely look around to see what the best deal and way to get there will be.

Thanks also for all the helpful advice about starting point. I do want to try to get to Santiago and get the Compostela if I can. I suppose if I find I can't do it, I can come back again. I already feel that I would like to return and do the whole thing from SJDPP if I can some day, or explore some of the other routes. It is tough for me to get anything more than two or three weeks off at a time in my current job which is why I feel I should seize the chance now and just do whatever I can with the time I have.

I do like the idea of doing the Camino Frances as a first introduction. But I am also open to the flow and suggestions! I imagine it will be really busy at that time of year and the last stretch especially. I don't like the thought of having trouble finding a bed but suppose that is what I'll have to contend with if I go on that route at that time. I know I said I was seeking solitude and contemplation but as a first time solo female I do like the thought of having other pilgrims around for companionship and help if it is needed. I am looking forward to the social aspect and meeting other interesting pilgrims from around the world, but also hope that I can spend some time walking in silence as I feel I need that time to clear my head and work through some things, which is one of the main reasons I want to do the Camino.

My next questions were about what to bring so thank you for all your great suggestions! There are plenty of good outdoor stores that I can find a good pack and shoes at. I will definitely take the suggestion to pack light!! Next step I think is to go read some of the guides and start actually planning the logistics of all of this! It's a bit overwhelming but very exciting!!

I walk a lot and do moderate exercise but I'm not a hiker. I have done trekking in Nepal and other places but was quite a bit younger then! (And thank you for all who said I am not middle aged!! haha I am so encouraged to see people of all ages on this forum!!) I plan to join the practice hikes here that are held every weekend and with my new shoes and packed backpack. I think that will be the plan and focus of my summer is to prepare myself physically and mentally.

Thank you everyone very very much for helping me on the first important step of my Camino and for alleviating many of my anxieties about taking this step!!

Buen Camino!
Laluna
 
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Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Oops, finger slipped. Peasoup must but forecast says just cloudy at times..
get the shoes, believe you can. And an earlier responder gave you the best advice, why not take five weeks?! Just go for it, and buen camino.
Kirkie, the thought of you and your companion going out into the pea-soup misty morning and starting your camino is very inspiring. Buen Camino!!
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
Thank you SO much everyone for your responses and words of positivity and encouragement!! It really is giving me the inspiration to make the plunge and do it. I've been thinking about it for a while now, and the Camino is definitely calling me big time, I feel.

I am going to see if I can take a few more days off. I don't think it will be a problem and I think it's a good idea as many have suggested to allow for the travel/transit time, adjusting to jet lag etc. and also so as not to feel too rushed.

I'm from Vancouver, BC. I've been looking at some flights to Madrid and Barcelona with Air Canada that don't seem too bad. It goes to Toronto and then direct to Madrid or Barcelona. I could take the bus from there to the starting point. But will definitely look around to see what the best deal and way to get there will be.

Thanks also for all the helpful advice about starting point. I do want to try to get to Santiago and get the Compostela if I can. I suppose if I find I can't do it, I can come back again. I already feel that I would like to return and do the whole thing from SJDPP if I can some day, or explore some of the other routes. It is tough for me to get anything more than two or three weeks off at a time in my current job which is why I feel I should seize the chance now and just do whatever I can with the time I have.

I do like the idea of doing the Camino Frances as a first introduction. But I am also open to the flow and suggestions! I imagine it will be really busy at that time of year and the last stretch especially. I don't like the thought of having trouble finding a bed but suppose that is what I'll have to contend with if I go on that route at that time. I know I said I was seeking solitude and contemplation but as a first time solo female I do like the thought of having other pilgrims around for companionship and help if it is needed. I am looking forward to the social aspect and meeting other interesting pilgrims from around the world, but also hope that I can spend some time walking in silence as I feel I need that time to clear my head and work through some things, which is one of the main reasons I want to do the Camino.

My next questions were about what to bring so thank you for all your great suggestions! There are plenty of good outdoor stores that I can find a good pack and shoes at. I will definitely take the suggestion to pack light!! Next step I think is to go read some of the guides and start actually planning the logistics of all of this! It's a bit overwhelming but very exciting!!

I walk a lot and do moderate exercise but I'm not a hiker. I have done trekking in Nepal and other places but was quite a bit younger then! (And thank you for all who said I am not middle aged!! haha I am so encouraged to see people of all ages on this forum!!) I plan to join the practice hikes here that are held every weekend and with my new shoes and packed backpack. I think that will be the plan and focus of my summer is to prepare myself physically and mentally.

Thank you everyone very very much for helping me on the first important step of my Camino and for alleviating many of my anxieties about taking this step!!

Buen Camino!
Laluna
Please let us know where you decide to start and keep us posted. Most of us enjoy hearing about everyone's trip.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2017
CF 2018
I'll share my own experience getting ready if that helps.

I was bitten by the idea of the Camino about three years ago and couldn't shake its calling.

I decided in march of this year that if I was going to do it, I should do it now. My window of opportunity presented itself for July and early August. So I took a deep breath, booked my flight in May. Then began preparing my route.

For me, starting in Pamplona made the most sense. And so here I am: writing this today while sitting in Barcelona waiting for my connecting flight to Pamplona. I start walking tomorrow.

It doesn't take a lot to get here. You'll make more decisions beforehand about what you don't need to pack.

I say do it. Run to what scares you. That's what I'm doing anyway.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17, 09/18 SJPdP - Fisterra
Portuguese ~05/19
+1 Carpe diem!

Since you liked the movie The Way:
Have you ever walked the Camino, senora? Never. When I was young, I was too busy. And now that I'm older, I'm too tired.

Buen camino.
 

Marti from Florida

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August-September 2017
Hi Laluna,

I will start in August 10 so if you start end of the August around the half of way maybe we will meet:) I will walk with my best friend but even i never did the El Camino i don't think you will be ever alone:) I am so excited about this trip and i hope we will meet on the Camino:)
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Lots of sound practical advice.
I'd add that...well, I suppose you already know that, but just in case...Coelho's book is a fictional account, not a real description of the Camino. Most walkers will be there just for the fun of it, or because it is a cheap vacation. They could also be a good company, evidently; they are just not particularly interested in religious or spiritual aspects.
"The Way" is more akin to reality, with many people with very diverse, sometimes quite mundane, motivations. As in the movie, you cand find at the end a sense of community, the success of personal quests, peace of mind...or not. That's up to you, and experiences vary.
Having said that, it is a great walk, with stunning landscapes and kind local people; and you can find your own personal space even in the middle of the summer crowds.
 

Naturalpace

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
Thank you SO much everyone for your responses and words of positivity and encouragement!! It really is giving me the inspiration to make the plunge and do it. I've been thinking about it for a while now, and the Camino is definitely calling me big time, I feel.

I am going to see if I can take a few more days off. I don't think it will be a problem and I think it's a good idea as many have suggested to allow for the travel/transit time, adjusting to jet lag etc. and also so as not to feel too rushed.

I'm from Vancouver, BC. I've been looking at some flights to Madrid and Barcelona with Air Canada that don't seem too bad. It goes to Toronto and then direct to Madrid or Barcelona. I could take the bus from there to the starting point. But will definitely look around to see what the best deal and way to get there will be.

Thanks also for all the helpful advice about starting point. I do want to try to get to Santiago and get the Compostela if I can. I suppose if I find I can't do it, I can come back again. I already feel that I would like to return and do the whole thing from SJDPP if I can some day, or explore some of the other routes. It is tough for me to get anything more than two or three weeks off at a time in my current job which is why I feel I should seize the chance now and just do whatever I can with the time I have.

I do like the idea of doing the Camino Frances as a first introduction. But I am also open to the flow and suggestions! I imagine it will be really busy at that time of year and the last stretch especially. I don't like the thought of having trouble finding a bed but suppose that is what I'll have to contend with if I go on that route at that time. I know I said I was seeking solitude and contemplation but as a first time solo female I do like the thought of having other pilgrims around for companionship and help if it is needed. I am looking forward to the social aspect and meeting other interesting pilgrims from around the world, but also hope that I can spend some time walking in silence as I feel I need that time to clear my head and work through some things, which is one of the main reasons I want to do the Camino.

My next questions were about what to bring so thank you for all your great suggestions! There are plenty of good outdoor stores that I can find a good pack and shoes at. I will definitely take the suggestion to pack light!! Next step I think is to go read some of the guides and start actually planning the logistics of all of this! It's a bit overwhelming but very exciting!!

I walk a lot and do moderate exercise but I'm not a hiker. I have done trekking in Nepal and other places but was quite a bit younger then! (And thank you for all who said I am not middle aged!! haha I am so encouraged to see people of all ages on this forum!!) I plan to join the practice hikes here that are held every weekend and with my new shoes and packed backpack. I think that will be the plan and focus of my summer is to prepare myself physically and mentally.

Thank you everyone very very much for helping me on the first important step of my Camino and for alleviating many of my anxieties about taking this step!!

Buen Camino!
Laluna
Hey Laluna! we are Tim and Donna ( 61 and 63) and have walked with the Camino group in Vancouver with the "other" Donna! they are awesome! We leave on the 8th of August and plan on staying in Barcelona for 3-5 nights before heading to St. Jean..so EXCITED!! we are on Vancouver Island right now but hope to walk with the Camino Walkers when we get to Vancouver on the 21st or 22nd..hope to meet you! Buen Camino!! ( I've met people who decided to do the Camino with less than a week to prepare...)
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Laluna you might consider getting your credential through the local chapter of Canadian Company of Pilgrims. Not to worry about your age; there are women of all ages out there and lots of Canadians. Wish you happy planning and Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -Ponferrada to Santiago
2016 - SJPP to Burgos
2017 - Burgos to Ponferrada
I say DO IT NOW. You never know what might come up a year from now. You only regret the chances you don't take. I took 19 days two years ago and walked from Ponferrada to Santiago. I took one day off in Sarria and two days off in Santiago. Then one travel day back to Madrid. Remember, you also lose a day flying to Spain. Good Luck!
 

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
Kirkie, the thought of you and your companion going out into the pea-soup misty morning and starting your camino is very inspiring. Buen Camino!!
Hi Laluna,
There are lots of people from Vancouver who have walked the camino and many of us would be happy to sit down and talk with you. There are also camino walking groups who walk together every Saturday and Sunday. This week on Saturday they're walking in the Surrey are and on Sunday in the Burnaby area. But they also walk all over the north shore and Vancouver trails as well. This would be a great way to start to get in shape if you are available on the weekends, as well as to meet some people who have walked one or more of the caminos. If you're interested , drop a note to Donna, who is the instigator of all of these walks at vancouver@santiago.ca

Start where your heart guides you, stop when your body insists. There is no proper length or time. It's all about what works for you (and always in consideration of others of course).You'll meet many people in the albergues and along the trail and as has been said above you will only be alone when you want to be. Have a wonderful camino.
 

pilgrim gurl

Jo Anne
Camino(s) past & future
(May 2018!)
Hi Laluna,

I’m from Vancouver area as well. Here's my perspective. I’ve twice postponed my time for doing the Camino (this fall, next spring...) and may need to do so again. I’m going on 68, but have faith I’ll become stronger, physically, mentally, spiritually, in the interim. I am content to have my preparations stretch further in time. One little chunk of Camino wisdom is that the pilgrimage begins when one steps out one's door. Mine has begun.

Look forward to meeting you on the Vancouver Camino walks,

Jo
 

james walter purdum iv

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino francés sept 1, 2015
Hi everyone,

My story is that I'm a 41 years old single female from Canada. I have had the Camino on my bucket list for years, since my early 20s after reading the Pilgrimmage by Paulo Coelho.

I've been working very long hard hours at my job and banked up a lot of vacation time. I was told that I need to take it so I booked two weeks off at the end of August/begininng of Septmember. I have no plans and am waffling in uncertainty about what to do and also about doing it alone. A coworker suggested that I do the Camino as she had done it before.

So suddenly it is on my radar but until this point has just been a big maybe, or could be or what if. I recently watched the movie "The Way" and felt very inspired. Since then, I joined facebook groups and have started doing more research, and now joined this forum for advice. The signs all seem to pointing to this being the time to do it. But my question is, can I do it with so little time to prepare? I haven't even started looking into flights, or planning what I need to take and buying a guide etc. etc. I don't want to be rushed so wonder if I should wait until next summer?

But another part of me feels I should seize the time and the future is so uncertain, that maybe the time is now. I feel I am at a point in my life that I would benefit from two weeks to myself just contemplating life, walking and meditating. Spiritually and mentally and physically I need time away to recharge but wonder if I can do it or if this is really for me.

I also feel anxious about going it alone as a middle aged female. And whether my level of fitness is adequate. I signed up for a local group that does practice walks and hoped to join them to help me prepare and talk to people. I was meant to go this morning but unfortunately miscalculated the bus and couldn't make it on time.

So, lots of questions. I thought it might help to join this forum and talk to others who are in the same boat or those who have done it before for advice and encouragement to just make the decision and do it.

I have two weeks so figure I would need to start somewhere around Leon but if anyone has advice on where to start for a two week walk that would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.
You could leave tomorrow... the Camino is always there anytime any length of time. I was only alone maybe 8 hours on trail out of 35 days walking the whole thing. Do this it is so nice
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
You could always start from Astorga instead of Leon. We were planning to start in Leon but when we got there it just seemed easier to catch the next bus to Astorga and so we did! We never regretted it and have returned three times since then. Have now done many routes but not that stretch between Leon and Astorga!
 
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Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Laluna,
Think of this imminent adventure as a well deserved gift to yourself. Yes, you have enough time to prepare and there is wonderful tips/advice on this forum: For example what to buy in terms of equipment (pack, shoes), how to get to places, guide books and basic training. Your Camino has already begun! My advice is not to over-think things; first and foremost, keep your itinerary as simple as possible (not too much travel involved) and also keep a light pack. The golden adage: less is more.

As you are Canadian, there is a (slim) chance that perhaps you speak French...?
The Le Puy route may be something you could consider or research. The first part of Chemin de Puy (Camino beginning from Le Puy en Velay) fits into your time-frame. There is a fabulous journey from Le Puy en Velay to Conques . There are plenty of places to stay and the road is well -marked. There is also public transport options from Conques and a helpful Tourist Information office. There are many beautiful places in the world to behold...
Whatever you choose...just go
Buen Camino!!!

Hi gypsy,

I do speak French having learned it in school. Mind you it is a bit rusty! I also studied Spanish for two years... Thank you very much for the recommendation, it is definitely something I will think about. Thank you!

Warm regards,
Laluna
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
+1 Carpe diem!

Since you liked the movie The Way:
Have you ever walked the Camino, senora? Never. When I was young, I was too busy. And now that I'm older, I'm too tired.

Buen camino.
Yes, I certainly remember this quote from the movie!! It's SO true and a part of what is compelling me to do it now, while I feel the time is right... Thank you for the reminder!
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
I'll share my own experience getting ready if that helps.

I was bitten by the idea of the Camino about three years ago and couldn't shake its calling.

I decided in march of this year that if I was going to do it, I should do it now. My window of opportunity presented itself for July and early August. So I took a deep breath, booked my flight in May. Then began preparing my route.

For me, starting in Pamplona made the most sense. And so here I am: writing this today while sitting in Barcelona waiting for my connecting flight to Pamplona. I start walking tomorrow.

It doesn't take a lot to get here. You'll make more decisions beforehand about what you don't need to pack.

I say do it. Run to what scares you. That's what I'm doing anyway.
Thank you so much for sharing your story!! How exciting you are in Barcelona getting ready to begin our Camino!! It's so great to hear of someone else' experience and also that you were able to plan and be there in a fairly short amount of time. Thank you for the inspiration and buen camino!!
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Hi Laluna,

I will start in August 10 so if you start end of the August around the half of way maybe we will meet:) I will walk with my best friend but even i never did the El Camino i don't think you will be ever alone:) I am so excited about this trip and i hope we will meet on the Camino:)
Hi Marti,

How wonderful, you are right there is a good chance we may meet along the way!! Let me know how your planning etc. is going as we get closer! Buen camino!!

Warm regards,
Laluna
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Hey Laluna! we are Tim and Donna ( 61 and 63) and have walked with the Camino group in Vancouver with the "other" Donna! they are awesome! We leave on the 8th of August and plan on staying in Barcelona for 3-5 nights before heading to St. Jean..so EXCITED!! we are on Vancouver Island right now but hope to walk with the Camino Walkers when we get to Vancouver on the 21st or 22nd..hope to meet you! Buen Camino!! ( I've met people who decided to do the Camino with less than a week to prepare...)
Hi Tim and Donna, how nice to meet you, fellow pilgrims from BC!! Thanks so much for the information, I have emailed with Donna from the Vancouver group and am on the mailing list now. I hope to join for a practice walk in teh near future now that I am getting serious about this. Yes, I hope to meet you both at the Vancouver walk on the 21st or 22nd!! Thanks for writing, and buen camino!!

Laluna
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Hi Laluna,

I’m from Vancouver area as well. Here's my perspective. I’ve twice postponed my time for doing the Camino (this fall, next spring...) and may need to do so again. I’m going on 68, but have faith I’ll become stronger, physically, mentally, spiritually, in the interim. I am content to have my preparations stretch further in time. One little chunk of Camino wisdom is that the pilgrimage begins when one steps out one's door. Mine has begun.

Look forward to meeting you on the Vancouver Camino walks,

Jo
Hi Jo, so nice to meet you!! I hope to see you at one of the Vancouver walks in the near future. :) And I do hope you will be able to go soon on your camino!!

Kind regards,
Laluna
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
You could always start from Atorga instead of Leon. We were planning to start in Leon but when we got there it just seemed easier to catch the next bus to Astorga and so we did! We never regretted it and have returned three times since then. Have now done many routes but not that stretch between Leon and Astorga!
Thank you for the suggestion of starting in Astorga!! Will look into this as a possibility. Thanks again!

Kind regards,
Laluna
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Hi Laluna,
There are lots of people from Vancouver who have walked the camino and many of us would be happy to sit down and talk with you. There are also camino walking groups who walk together every Saturday and Sunday. This week on Saturday they're walking in the Surrey are and on Sunday in the Burnaby area. But they also walk all over the north shore and Vancouver trails as well. This would be a great way to start to get in shape if you are available on the weekends, as well as to meet some people who have walked one or more of the caminos. If you're interested , drop a note to Donna, who is the instigator of all of these walks at vancouver@santiago.ca

Start where your heart guides you, stop when your body insists. There is no proper length or time. It's all about what works for you (and always in consideration of others of course).You'll meet many people in the albergues and along the trail and as has been said above you will only be alone when you want to be. Have a wonderful camino.
Hi cecilia, (Btw that is my name too!) Thank you very much for the suggestion. I am on the mailing list for the Vancouver area group and hope to join next weekend. I had planned to go to the Sunday walk but miscalculated the length of time to get there by transit. Oops! It's really great that there are these walks every weekend. Good way to prepare and also to see our area and get out in nature, I can't wait! Hope to see you there!! :)
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Astorga is a lovely city, a great starting point for a relaxed 2-week camino! You can take your time to get to Santiago and, if it happens that you finish earlier than expected, just enjoy a few days of leisure in awesome Spain!

I did not do the camino alone, but saw many girls doing it and they had no problem at all. A great thing is that you will be in position to decide everything: where to eat, when to stop, when to go on... so few times in our lives we can just decide everything our own way! :D

Although my parents had had a copy of Paulo Coelho's book in the bookshelf my entire life, I only read it after my camino - same with "The Way", which I did not know existed until many people told me about it along the trail. I felt like the trail was easier in parts that seemed tough in those stories, however there were big challenges in unexpected places. But there was always a pilgrim to help me, a place to sleep, some food to eat.

If you are interested in the camino, do not lose the chance and give a try. You will probably love it - but if you don't, son't be ashamed of changing routes and enjoying some other type of holiday in Spain. The camino of your life is yours to walk ;)
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Hi everyone!

Just wanted to respond again and say thanks so much everyone for all the super helpful advice. I am so glad I posted here. :)

Now I'm going to go read some threads about what to pack! ;)

Warm regards,
Laluna
I would recommend Pilgrim Tips & Packing List Camino de Santiago by S.Yates with Daphne Hnatiuk in the Resource section.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I vote for starting in Astorga, especially since you are not an experienced walker and you will be suffering from 9 hours of jet lag. I did my first Camino from there, in 13 days (20 km/day, on average), and thought it was a perfect plan for a first camino. Enough time to be not rushed. Also, allow a day to sightsee and socialize in Santiago. Starting in Leon would create pressure right from the start.
 
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kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
Walking "alone" is the best! I'd have never met so many people if I'd been with someone. Lots of good advice in this thread. I second the Astorga idea. Great town. By all means, get your shoes now and walk everywhere in them... and remember, get them a half size too big. Seriously. You'll be really happy you did. ¡Buen Camino!
 

james walter purdum iv

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino francés sept 1, 2015
Walking "alone" is the best! I'd have never met so many people if I'd been with someone. Lots of good advice in this thread. I second the Astorga idea. Great town. By all means, get your shoes now and walk everywhere in them... and remember, get them a half size too big. Seriously. You'll be really happy you did. ¡Buen Camino!
Yeah half size for shore your feet be a swelling!!
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Incomplete Le Puy / Francés
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
Two suggestions:

Pamplona -> Burgos. You'll see three amazing cities, some lovely small mountains, the iron statues in The Way where they say "What - you can do this by BIKE? What are we walking for?", some stunning little towns and scenery through Navarra, several fantastic churches like Los Arcos and Navarrete, and have plenty of solitude too if you need it.

Logroño -> Leon. You'll get more variety this way - some of La Rioja and some of the meseta, plus some Camino highlights like Santo Domingo with its rich history, cozy Ases, Burgos and León cathedrals, the charming Castrojerez with its castle on the hill and the singing nuns of Carrión. Depending on your walking speed this section might require you do the last 20-50km by bus to fit it into two weeks. If so cut the days off the end, not the start.

If you're worried about not doing the last 100km for your Compostela then you can return and carry on another year :)
 
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Gregory Graf

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
Hi everyone,

My story is that I'm a 41 years old single female from Canada. I have had the Camino on my bucket list for years, since my early 20s after reading the Pilgrimmage by Paulo Coelho.

I've been working very long hard hours at my job and banked up a lot of vacation time. I was told that I need to take it so I booked two weeks off at the end of August/begininng of Septmember. I have no plans and am waffling in uncertainty about what to do and also about doing it alone. A coworker suggested that I do the Camino as she had done it before.

So suddenly it is on my radar but until this point has just been a big maybe, or could be or what if. I recently watched the movie "The Way" and felt very inspired. Since then, I joined facebook groups and have started doing more research, and now joined this forum for advice. The signs all seem to pointing to this being the time to do it. But my question is, can I do it with so little time to prepare? I haven't even started looking into flights, or planning what I need to take and buying a guide etc. etc. I don't want to be rushed so wonder if I should wait until next summer?

But another part of me feels I should seize the time and the future is so uncertain, that maybe the time is now. I feel I am at a point in my life that I would benefit from two weeks to myself just contemplating life, walking and meditating. Spiritually and mentally and physically I need time away to recharge but wonder if I can do it or if this is really for me.

I also feel anxious about going it alone as a middle aged female. And whether my level of fitness is adequate. I signed up for a local group that does practice walks and hoped to join them to help me prepare and talk to people. I was meant to go this morning but unfortunately miscalculated the bus and couldn't make it on time.

So, lots of questions. I thought it might help to join this forum and talk to others who are in the same boat or those who have done it before for advice and encouragement to just make the decision and do it.

I have two weeks so figure I would need to start somewhere around Leon but if anyone has advice on where to start for a two week walk that would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.
Based on two weeks availability Astorga would be a great place to start. It will give you a comfortable amount of travel time on both sides. I met many Canadians on my Camino in May and most were solo women. You will meet people day one. Buy some wool socks; buy some good hiking lightweight shoes a size too big and start walking now. You will have a great time. Goo with God.
 

Scott Fraser

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018
Le Puy - SJPdP 2019
I would second the recommendation of Kiwi family: start from Astorga. There are too many stages from Leon if you are just starting out to it from Leon in two weeks. An Astorga start will cut two days off -- two days of walking by a road and will leave you with a gentle first day to Rabanal, followed by a hike up the mountain to Cruz de Ferro, then a brutal decent to Molinaseca, where you can swim in the river. (Alberque Compostella recommended there). Then you have a couple days of flat walking to Vega de Valcarce (Alberque El Paso highly recommended), and by then you will be ready for the trek up to O'Cebreiro where I sit at the moment enjoying the best views of the entire Camino.

From there on my advice is not worth much, but my count will be Astorga to SdC in twelve days. That gives you a bit of a cushion

More advice: Buy your boots now and try to wear them out in the next four weeks. Climb hills with weight in your back. Pack light -- much more important than I realized. If you find the pack is too heavy you can ship it forward every day (Euro 5) -- and carry a day pack with water etc.

I've done all from St Jean, except for a few days in the Meseta and this is the best of the Camino so far.

Don't worry about being a women alone. You will find friends. All the women I've spoken with have.

If you find the alberque experience stressful, you can usually find a single room for 25-35 Euro in many places. Hostel Gallegos in Cacabelos is an example (25 Eu).

Have fun!
 

JRO

Member
Camino(s) past & future
santiago to muxia
Hi everyone,

My story is that I'm a 41 years old single female from Canada. I have had the Camino on my bucket list for years, since my early 20s after reading the Pilgrimmage by Paulo Coelho.

I've been working very long hard hours at my job and banked up a lot of vacation time. I was told that I need to take it so I booked two weeks off at the end of August/begininng of Septmember. I have no plans and am waffling in uncertainty about what to do and also about doing it alone. A coworker suggested that I do the Camino as she had done it before.

So suddenly it is on my radar but until this point has just been a big maybe, or could be or what if. I recently watched the movie "The Way" and felt very inspired. Since then, I joined facebook groups and have started doing more research, and now joined this forum for advice. The signs all seem to pointing to this being the time to do it. But my question is, can I do it with so little time to prepare? I haven't even started looking into flights, or planning what I need to take and buying a guide etc. etc. I don't want to be rushed so wonder if I should wait until next summer?

But another part of me feels I should seize the time and the future is so uncertain, that maybe the time is now. I feel I am at a point in my life that I would benefit from two weeks to myself just contemplating life, walking and meditating. Spiritually and mentally and physically I need time away to recharge but wonder if I can do it or if this is really for me.

I also feel anxious about going it alone as a middle aged female. And whether my level of fitness is adequate. I signed up for a local group that does practice walks and hoped to join them to help me prepare and talk to people. I was meant to go this morning but unfortunately miscalculated the bus and couldn't make it on time.

So, lots of questions. I thought it might help to join this forum and talk to others who are in the same boat or those who have done it before for advice and encouragement to just make the decision and do it.

I have two weeks so figure I would need to start somewhere around Leon but if anyone has advice on where to start for a two week walk that would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.
 

JRO

Member
Camino(s) past & future
santiago to muxia
Hi everyone,

My story is that I'm a 41 years old single female from Canada. I have had the Camino on my bucket list for years, since my early 20s after reading the Pilgrimmage by Paulo Coelho.

I've been working very long hard hours at my job and banked up a lot of vacation time. I was told that I need to take it so I booked two weeks off at the end of August/begininng of Septmember. I have no plans and am waffling in uncertainty about what to do and also about doing it alone. A coworker suggested that I do the Camino as she had done it before.

So suddenly it is on my radar but until this point has just been a big maybe, or could be or what if. I recently watched the movie "The Way" and felt very inspired. Since then, I joined facebook groups and have started doing more research, and now joined this forum for advice. The signs all seem to pointing to this being the time to do it. But my question is, can I do it with so little time to prepare? I haven't even started looking into flights, or planning what I need to take and buying a guide etc. etc. I don't want to be rushed so wonder if I should wait until next summer?

But another part of me feels I should seize the time and the future is so uncertain, that maybe the time is now. I feel I am at a point in my life that I would benefit from two weeks to myself just contemplating life, walking and meditating. Spiritually and mentally and physically I need time away to recharge but wonder if I can do it or if this is really for me.

I also feel anxious about going it alone as a middle aged female. And whether my level of fitness is adequate. I signed up for a local group that does practice walks and hoped to join them to help me prepare and talk to people. I was meant to go this morning but unfortunately miscalculated the bus and couldn't make it on time.

So, lots of questions. I thought it might help to join this forum and talk to others who are in the same boat or those who have done it before for advice and encouragement to just make the decision and do it.

I have two weeks so figure I would need to start somewhere around Leon but if anyone has advice on where to start for a two week walk that would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.
You should definitely do this! You are much younger (15 years) than I was last summer when I did a week's worth of the Camino de Santiago. Unfortunately, that's all the time I had, but hope to return. A couple of things if you are worried about your fitness level: 1) any fitness level will work as long as you are willing to take it slow, and really listen to your body 2) there are many people who arrive as solo walkers. The ones who wish aren't solo for very long, as there is lots of wonderful company to be had, and in general, it's very safe (of course, one takes the common sense approach in keeping the important papers/belongings with one at all times, joining others if the situation feels wrong, etc.) 3) you have PLENTY of time to gather a good pack, two sets of clothes, maybe a sleeping bag or sack, etc. 4) that said, if you already have a pair of broken in walking shoes or boots, take those, otherwise, the first priority is the footwear, and wearing/using it to break it in in the next 4 weeks 5) add in anything that you need to help with your level of fitness. For me, this included a couple of simple knee braces, some special arch supports for shoes, and a pair of poles. These little additions made all the difference...not that I didn't have moments of sore this or that, but it prevented real injury from happening. You won't regret this!
 

hughwilliams

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1999, 2004, 2008,All camino frances. 2013(mini bike)from seville 2014 mini bike from france. 2014 walked from porto . Will coastal walk 2015 (may-june)
Hi everyone,

My story is that I'm a 41 years old single female from Canada. I have had the Camino on my bucket list for years, since my early 20s after reading the Pilgrimmage by Paulo Coelho.

I've been working very long hard hours at my job and banked up a lot of vacation time. I was told that I need to take it so I booked two weeks off at the end of August/begininng of Septmember. I have no plans and am waffling in uncertainty about what to do and also about doing it alone. A coworker suggested that I do the Camino as she had done it before.

So suddenly it is on my radar but until this point has just been a big maybe, or could be or what if. I recently watched the movie "The Way" and felt very inspired. Since then, I joined facebook groups and have started doing more research, and now joined this forum for advice. The signs all seem to pointing to this being the time to do it. But my question is, can I do it with so little time to prepare? I haven't even started looking into flights, or planning what I need to take and buying a guide etc. etc. I don't want to be rushed so wonder if I should wait until next summer?

But another part of me feels I should seize the time and the future is so uncertain, that maybe the time is now. I feel I am at a point in my life that I would benefit from two weeks to myself just contemplating life, walking and meditating. Spiritually and mentally and physically I need time away to recharge but wonder if I can do it or if this is really for me.

I also feel anxious about going it alone as a middle aged female. And whether my level of fitness is adequate. I signed up for a local group that does practice walks and hoped to join them to help me prepare and talk to people. I was meant to go this morning but unfortunately miscalculated the bus and couldn't make it on time.

So, lots of questions. I thought it might help to join this forum and talk to others who are in the same boat or those who have done it before for advice and encouragement to just make the decision and do it.

I have two weeks so figure I would need to start somewhere around Leon but if anyone has advice on where to start for a two week walk that would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.
Hi everyone,

My story is that I'm a 41 years old single female from Canada. I have had the Camino on my bucket list for years, since my early 20s after reading the Pilgrimmage by Paulo Coelho.

I've been working very long hard hours at my job and banked up a lot of vacation time. I was told that I need to take it so I booked two weeks off at the end of August/begininng of Septmember. I have no plans and am waffling in uncertainty about what to do and also about doing it alone. A coworker suggested that I do the Camino as she had done it before.

So suddenly it is on my radar but until this point has just been a big maybe, or could be or what if. I recently watched the movie "The Way" and felt very inspired. Since then, I joined facebook groups and have started doing more research, and now joined this forum for advice. The signs all seem to pointing to this being the time to do it. But my question is, can I do it with so little time to prepare? I haven't even started looking into flights, or planning what I need to take and buying a guide etc. etc. I don't want to be rushed so wonder if I should wait until next summer?

But another part of me feels I should seize the time and the future is so uncertain, that maybe the time is now. I feel I am at a point in my life that I would benefit from two weeks to myself just contemplating life, walking and meditating. Spiritually and mentally and physically I need time away to recharge but wonder if I can do it or if this is really for me.

I also feel anxious about going it alone as a middle aged female. And whether my level of fitness is adequate. I signed up for a local group that does practice walks and hoped to join them to help me prepare and talk to people. I was meant to go this morning but unfortunately miscalculated the bus and couldn't make it on time.

So, lots of questions. I thought it might help to join this forum and talk to others who are in the same boat or those who have done it before for advice and encouragement to just make the decision and do it.

I have two weeks so figure I would need to start somewhere around Leon but if anyone has advice on where to start for a two week walk that would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.
Two weeks gives you so many choices, I am in my seventies. last year Porto to Santiago solo along coastal route 10 full days while in 2015 the same but inland took 9 days so plenty of time .
The French route is really a must and I walked it several times as well as taking a folding bike from Seville 2013 and St Jean in 2014 (got to know plenty of bike repair shops)
Walking the stages from Sarria can turn into race to hostels "Musical Beds". August can be hot even in North West Spain so many people start walking well before daybreak and are in lines at hostel doors. in some cases hours before they open. These rushes are on stages in some guide books so there are "popular stops". see information offices and they will provide information. Try not to book ahead. I wish you well.
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Goodness, so much helpful advice here, thank you all very much!! Lots to think about for sure!!

I think starting in Astorga makes sense. I noticed there are a few l trains a day from Madrid and you can book online. Also it is only a few hours. I think that given the travel time and transit from and back to Madrid and accounting for time to recover from jet lag, I will have about fourteen to fifteen days to play with for walking. And I'd rather not have to push myself too hard or rush. So I think that sounds just about right for my first time. I am a bit worried about the last legs and how busy it will be but hopefuly will find a place to sleep hehe. I was wondering, do most people get up before dawn, stop somewhere for a quick breakfast and keep going, usually reaching the night's destination sometime around dinner time?

I am very glad to hear that there are lots of women out there doing this on their own, and also that there are opportunities to meet and talk with others on the camino as I don't want to have a completely solitary experience at all and would really like to meet and socialize with others too. ;)

I'm going on my first practice walk with the Vancouver group tomorrow so we will see how that goes. Planning to buy my shoes, pack, sleeping bag liner etc. hopefully next weekend. Lots to think about and plan.

Thank you again, this has been so helpful!
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
PERSPECTIVE: just to put your concerns / mind talk into some perspective ...

I had EXACTLY same situation same mind talk .... working long hours , stressful job , no time to train , mind tossing me to and fro .....

BUT 2016 turned 60 on Camino ... no training , unfit .... decided to rock up and see what happened ... started St Jean .... took it slow at first ... quickly gained fitness ... met people ... walked for 5 weeks ....

Don't wait to LIVE !!

Ultreia
 
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Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Well, I just bought my ticket. I'm so excited!! I arrive in Madrid on August 20th and depart on September 6th. The rest I will need to figure out, ie train and accomodations.

Another newbie question, sorry! What exactly is the credential? Is it the passport that gets stamped along the way? Thank you.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
The Members here have done a good job in illuminating what lies ahead. Forty-one? meh. I am from Canada too, btw. Do get out and walk, even a few km a day. Last year, I attempted the Camino, injured myself and stopped very early, too early for my semanding standards. But I did a good job as after 11 months, I am only just starting to heal. That was due to lack of exercise before starting the Camono and, more importantly, carrying too much weight. And I am here to tell you that this includes the weight of your pack as well as the weight that your shoes have to carry, without the pack. My 65cm frame carried 112kg and that is why my leg gave out.

If there is one thing that should stop you from going is that total weight. But again, I am close to a quarter century older.

Having said all that, I will return. I am tied to that same draw that many have mentioned. In fact, I do anticipate returning possibly as soon as next Spring or early Summer.

You mention going in Aug/Sep. I started in late Aug and planned to walk through most to all of September but the later it gets, the cooler and wetter it can become, and quieter.

Is it dangerous as a lone Female on the Camino? Not so much. Keep your wits about you. Avoid beggars and scammers, (there really are not too many), and for heaven's sake, remember that you are on an adventure.

You will be fine.
 

Kelvinfeeney

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 9 2017
Just a thought but if you're looking at Aug/Sep and also wanting time alone to contemplate life, walking the CF in SDC might not be the best option. It will be busy starting in Leon and after Sarria will be elbow-to-elbow and a race for beds. Have you considered any other routes like maybe the Portuguese? I think you could walk from Porto in that time frame I believe and the experience would be far more conducive to quite contemplation. Another thing to consider is that if you have two weeks and are flying in from Canada you really need to plan on 3-4 days of travel to and from Spain so you're really only looking at 10 full days of walking and since you'll be coming in without a tremendous amount of pre-Camino conditioning anything more than 200kms might be hard to achieve, at least in a pain-free way! Lot of things to consider but hope what ever you end up deciding makes for a great experience!!
Buen Camino,
Jordon
That's good advice there,,I just did that route with my brother and it's super quiet and beautiful plenty of accommodation,,met about 8 other pilgrams along the way,other than that no one ,but I don't think I'd do it alone ,some of the routes are very remote and isolated
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Incomplete Le Puy / Francés
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
Now starting in Astoria... that's a *real* camino ;-)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Glad to see you have got your ticket. You will pick up ideas about where to sleep in Santiago as you exchange information with other peregrinos. Not sure if rules allow so won't recommend one we found that was a bit of heaven. Hope your training walk encourages you, your companions will be trying their best to pass on as much info as you can handle.
Buen Camino!
 

Rod Murray

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016)
Hi everyone,

My story is that I'm a 41 years old single female from Canada. I have had the Camino on my bucket list for years, since my early 20s after reading the Pilgrimmage by Paulo Coelho.

....

I have two weeks so figure I would need to start somewhere around Leon but if anyone has advice on where to start for a two week walk that would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.
My wife and I (we are from Canada too) walked from Ponferrada to Santiago in 2 weeks last June 2016. We were 59 at the time and surprised to find that many Pilgrims were older than we. It was our first time. We met many single women on our Camino. Starting where we did was a perfect journey as we got to experience some of the easier sections as well as one very hard one in the climb to O Cebreiro. This part of the Camino is quite varied, with many quiet areas, some urban, wonderful little villages, wine country, great people. We walked around 20km per day with our longest 24km. You also get to experience Santiago de Compostela. Arriving at the end, made me want to go back, so that is something we may get to do in the next few years.
Go now! Please ask any questions here as there is a rich knowledge base in the information and equally in people on this forum who are eager to share their experience.
 
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Rod Murray

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016)
Well, I just bought my ticket. I'm so excited!! I arrive in Madrid on August 20th and depart on September 6th. The rest I will need to figure out, ie train and accomodations.

Another newbie question, sorry! What exactly is the credential? Is it the passport that gets stamped along the way? Thank you.
Yes, the Credential is your Camino passport for entrance to albuerges etc and a great keepsake too. It is used in Santiago to receive your Compostela certificate too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Thanks, Syates. El Ultimo Sello. It was brand new 4 years ago. Very near Casa Manolo, excellent food and cheap, and near Cathedral. They have a great kitchen, and we invited some of our fellow walkers to eat there with us which was a fine way to say au revoir. Breakfast in the Seminario is available to any pilgrim, even if you don't sleep there. Buffet, good price, and enough fuel for the best part of the day!
 

Rod Murray

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016)
Goodness, so much helpful advice here, thank you all very much!! Lots to think about for sure!!

I think starting in Astorga makes sense. I noticed there are a few l trains a day from Madrid and you can book online. Also it is only a few hours. I think that given the travel time and transit from and back to Madrid and accounting for time to recover from jet lag, I will have about fourteen to fifteen days to play with for walking. And I'd rather not have to push myself too hard or rush. So I think that sounds just about right for my first time. I am a bit worried about the last legs and how busy it will be but hopefuly will find a place to sleep hehe. I was wondering, do most people get up before dawn, stop somewhere for a quick breakfast and keep going, usually reaching the night's destination sometime around dinner time?

I am very glad to hear that there are lots of women out there doing this on their own, and also that there are opportunities to meet and talk with others on the camino as I don't want to have a completely solitary experience at all and would really like to meet and socialize with others too. ;)

I'm going on my first practice walk with the Vancouver group tomorrow so we will see how that goes. Planning to buy my shoes, pack, sleeping bag liner etc. hopefully next weekend. Lots to think about and plan.

Thank you again, this has been so helpful!
Here is another resource from a fellow Vancouverite who has walked various Caminos: Lindsay Cowie's Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/bathedinridicule
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Breakfast in the Seminario is available to any pilgrim, even if you don't sleep there. Buffet, good price, and enough fuel for the best part of the day!
It was 10€ a few uears ago, even for clients sleeping there, for cereal, yogourt, bread.

Have thigns changed?
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Thanks, Syates. El Ultimo Sello. It was brand new 4 years ago. Very near Casa Manolo, excellent food and cheap, and near Cathedral. They have a great kitchen, and we invited some of our fellow walkers to eat there with us which was a fine way to say au revoir. Breakfast in the Seminario is available to any pilgrim, even if you don't sleep there. Buffet, good price, and enough fuel for the best part of the day!
Thanks so much for the recommendation!! I will definitely look into this place. Hope your camino is going well!
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Thanks so much for the excellent tips and recommendations, and videos too! :)

I went on my first practice walk today, 11.4 km, and I was in pain and limping by the end. :( Not a good start. I'm feeling a little discouraged. I did not expect to have pain in my hips and knees from an 11 km walk that was mostly flat!! I am feeling very sore right now. Mind you I haven't walked any distance walks like this so I am hoping this is just my body's first initial shock and it will get better.

Received lots of great, helpful advice from people in the group. They recommended walking poles, and also that I start walking shorter distances every other day and try to build up. I will try that and hope that even though I have limited time to prepare this will avoid major pain and soreness and injury on the camino, although I know that can and still does happen. Just praying that my body will allow me to do this and I'll be able to walk 20 km per day!!. I also received lots of good recommendations about types of walking shoes to get and to pack light etc.
 
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GettingThere

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
Thanks so much for the excellent tips and recommendations, and videos too! :)

I went on my first practice walk today, 11.4 km, and I was in pain and limping by the end. :( Not a good start. I'm feeling a little discouraged. I did not expect to have pain in my hips and knees from an 11 km walk that was mostly flat!! I am feeling very sore right now. Mind you I haven't walked any distance walks like this so I am hoping this is just my body's first initial shock and it will get better.

Received lots of great, helpful advice from people in the group. They recommended walking poles, and also that I start walking shorter distances every other day and try to build up. I will try that and hope that even though I have limited time to prepare this will avoid major pain and soreness and injury on the camino, although I know that can and still does happen. Just praying that my body will allow me to do this!. I also received lots of good recommendations about types of walking shoes to get and to pack light etc.
@Laluna your group is right, you need to start slow and work up to the longer distances! Sorry to hear you are sore after your walk - that's just your body telling you to slow down and start with shorter distances. 11.4km is actually quite long if you haven't been walking distances before - and I know you wanted to start walking with the group, so it's understandable you went for the full distance. It sounds as though you got some great advice from the group about building up your walking. My first practice walks were only about 4km! And flat walks aren't necessarily easier - I find them harder on the feet, even if easier on the leg muscles.

So have a good rest, wait until you are no longer sore, then try again - on your own if necessary - with a (much) shorter distance. Do a couple of short walks, then increase by a few km each time. You still have several weeks, so you have time! And then when you start on your Camino, start with shorter stages there too (wherever you start from), and gradually increase your walking day as you get used to the distances. And I agree poles could be very helpful for you (they were for me!), if you learn to use them correctly (there are lots of videos on YouTube about this) - otherwise they can hinder rather than help.

You're on your way, @Laluna - don't be discouraged, you'll get there!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
I got good advice from the assistants in a reputable outdoor shop, they know their stuff. Whatever your weight, you should try not to carry more than 6kg, including water. So technical everything, to keep weight and bulk small. And not four sets. Good socks, and talk to the shoe people or your practice companions about sock liners, Vaseline, old fashioned sticking plaster (the stuff in a roll, if you can find it), duct tape. The last on that list, I am not sure if it is duck tape or duct tape! Choose your pick... walking poles for me are essential. Light, able to pack small.
I didn't mean to go on an advice rant. I just felt for you after the hope you had about your first practice walk. My last word on that aspect: I practised on canal walks, taking public transport to a certain distance and walking home. It wasn't good enough, too flat. So I took a loop walk with a varied height element and that was better. I began my first Camino 11 years ago not knowing if the first step would be the last step. I wish you all the best. You have your ticket. You have some stuff. You need to find out in the doing that one step at a time is such a gift, truly. I look forward to following your story! Buen Camino, Laluna.
 

Rod Murray

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016)
Thanks so much for the excellent tips and recommendations, and videos too! :)


Received lots of great, helpful advice from people in the group. They recommended walking poles, and also that I start walking shorter distances every other day and try to build up. I will try that and hope that even though I have limited time to prepare this will avoid major pain and soreness and injury on the camino, although I know that can and still does happen. Just praying that my body will allow me to do this and I'll be able to walk 20 km per day!!. I also received lots of good recommendations about types of walking shoes to get and to pack light etc.
We tried to walk at least 10-12km per day leading up to our Camino. We have a dog so we were already walking daily anyway. The most we did in preparation was about 15km. It turned out our first day of walking on the Camino was 24km (the longest day of all we walked), Ponferrada to Villefranca, and we were fine. No blisters, no injuries. I have to say that my walking poles prevented a severe fall in the village steps in Villefranca late in the afternoon that first day, and also on slippery climbs/descents later on. They take some of the pounding on joints especially on descents. I used them most of the time.
 

james walter purdum iv

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino francés sept 1, 2015
Thanks so much for the excellent tips and recommendations, and videos too! :)

I went on my first practice walk today, 11.4 km, and I was in pain and limping by the end. :( Not a good start. I'm feeling a little discouraged. I did not expect to have pain in my hips and knees from an 11 km walk that was mostly flat!! I am feeling very sore right now. Mind you I haven't walked any distance walks like this so I am hoping this is just my body's first initial shock and it will get better.

Received lots of great, helpful advice from people in the group. They recommended walking poles, and also that I start walking shorter distances every other day and try to build up. I will try that and hope that even though I have limited time to prepare this will avoid major pain and soreness and injury on the camino, although I know that can and still does happen. Just praying that my body will allow me to do this and I'll be able to walk 20 km per day!!. I also received lots of good recommendations about types of walking shoes to get and to pack light etc.
Pure adrenaline will get you Pamplona then you will have worked the kinks out
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Don't worry about being 41. I'm 63, and last year when I was voluntario, ladies of 91 and 79 stayed at our albergue.
Thank you WGroleau for sharing, I'm so heartened to hear that! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
August/September 2016
Laluna I did the FC last Sept/Oct. my pack was 20 lbs including water. I took a nylon line about 8 feet and safety pins large ones to wash and dry clothes. I tried to make sure that some of the equipment I took could do at least 2 jobs. Took big hiking boots and got a blister on my big toe switched to teva Sandels the rest of the trip. I started in SJ. Had silk sock liner and thick wool socks. For washing I used Lush soap for body hair and clothes. It's a small round Cake of soap that I stored in a metal round tin also from the store. I still had some left after 6 weeks. Left it to dry under my bed. Walking sticks are a must inused them up down hills and on flats... it gave me the extra push. I had 2 long zip off pants and only carried one set of lower legs weight. The two were the same pair. Some cut off tags from their clothes. I had mesh bass for clothes, toiletries, tech i.e. Phone cords and chargers. I bought a battery case for my phone which weighed less than an external charger and when I charged the phone the case also charged. Carried a duel plug so in the alburgues I was not a plug hog. Make sure you Stash your money all over. I had some under the sole of my boots, pocket of my pants some in a belly pack.

If you can wear your boots every day to get them used and your body adjusted. The last month I wore them everyday and I was lucky enough to carry my full backpack around town. My friends new what I was doing and they were ok but I did get a few stares going to the post office and grocery fully decked out as a pilgrim. I live in Texas so there are no hills so I walked the stairs in parking garages and at the stadium. I was 56 and it was my first hike ever. I did not have a problem doing it. Stayed hydrated and my friend from Sweden shared her magnesium tablets with me.
I met the most wonderful people on this trip. They were from Washington State, Colorado, Golden BC, Sweden and Australia. All but the Australian just had a reunion in Colorado. We are life long friends because of the Camino. It is life changing. We all said on this trip there was no turning back and it's your Camino. We learnt that things happen for a reason bad or good it was meant to be.
Have a Buen Camino.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Age and physical condition can affect one's experience on the Camino. Sounds like you had an amazing journey Nelia, with no major challenges or setbacks. Congratulations.
 
Camino(s) past & future
August/September 2016
Age and physical condition can affect one's experience on the Camino. Sounds like you had an amazing journey Nelia, with no major challenges or setbacks. Congratulations.
Movinmaggie I did have the most glorious journey. People have asked if I would do it again and I say no because it was perfect. The 33 days I walked it misted for about 3 hours one early morning. The ready of the time it was clear beautiful sky. The Mesata was hot but bareabl. I am also diabetic but control by diet. I am 5'2" and 108 so no one could tell. I did not feel any pain in my body. The first day was intimidating but with the help of Natan we made it going slow and readying often. I think what helped the most was I always had chocolate with me to get us to the next goal. I was amazed that I made it in the sandels after the first week. The poles really helped they were not on my pack often. The weight of my pack was important
Did you do a camino?
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Movinmaggie I did have the most glorious journey. People have asked if I would do it again and I say no because it was perfect. The 33 days I walked it misted for about 3 hours one early morning. The ready of the time it was clear beautiful sky. The Mesata was hot but bareabl. I am also diabetic but control by diet. I am 5'2" and 108 so no one could tell. I did not feel any pain in my body. The first day was intimidating but with the help of Natan we made it going slow and readying often. I think what helped the most was I always had chocolate with me to get us to the next goal. I was amazed that I made it in the sandels after the first week. The poles really helped they were not on my pack often. The weight of my pack was important
Did you do a camino?
You say you are 5'2" and 108 - I will assume the 108 is your weight :)
And yes, I walked the same route in 2015 (for my 80th birthday) and like you, it was perfect. This year I walked the Great Glen Way in Scotland, which was wonderful but could not be compared with 2015.
So many trails and now definitely, so little time. :rolleyes:
 

Laluna

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Astorga - SdC, August/September 2017
Thank you so much for sharing all these experiences and helpful tips and advice!! I'm definitely taking notes. :) The Lush soap is something I am definitely going to look into. I've been thinking about the fact that I have three bottles (body wash, shampoo, conditioner) and also was going to buy a small pouch of laundry detergent how that will be adding too much to my pack, so that will help cut down a lot I think!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
You say you are 5'2" and 108 - I will assume the 108 is your weight :)
And yes, I walked the same route in 2015 (for my 80th birthday) and like you, it was perfect. This year I walked the Great Glen Way in Scotland, which was wonderful but could not be compared with 2015.
So many trails and now definitely, so little time. :rolleyes:
Movinmaggie, if I had a hat... ojalá, I am heading for 70. If I can do the Great Western Way in ten years time, I would like to meet you after for a stiff Laphroig!
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
Age and physical condition can affect one's experience on the Camino. Sounds like you had an amazing journey Nelia, with no major challenges or setbacks. Congratulations.
Attitude has the most effect on a person's Camino!
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Movinmaggie, if I had a hat... ojalá, I am heading for 70. If I can do the Great Western Way in ten years time, I would like to meet you after for a stiff Laphroig!
You're on!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
You're on!
Movinmaggie, today I realised that you walked the Glen Way, not the Western Way. Looks much more possible for me. After the Salvador, I can't contemplate another uphilldowndale trek at the moment. I will have a look at the Glen Way, maybe for around Easter. I just flicked through a wiciloc post where a guy talks of midgets. Midgets! And he says, there are not just 'muchos' - there are 'muchisimos' ! So, where will I get anti-midget protection??? I was reared ten minutes from Milngavie. Can you pronounce that? I haven't a clue now where this post should be, essentially it is saying thanks for guiding me to the Great Glen Way, which should heal my muscle memory to take on another section of another Camino. Buen Camino.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Movinmaggie, today I realised that you walked the Glen Way, not the Western Way. Looks much more possible for me. After the Salvador, I can't contemplate another uphilldowndale trek at the moment. I will have a look at the Glen Way, maybe for around Easter. I just flicked through a wiciloc post where a guy talks of midgets. Midgets! And he says, there are not just 'muchos' - there are 'muchisimos' ! So, where will I get anti-midget protection??? I was reared ten minutes from Milngavie. Can you pronounce that? I haven't a clue now where this post should be, essentially it is saying thanks for guiding me to the Great Glen Way, which should heal my muscle memory to take on another section of another Camino. Buen Camino.
Kirkie so as not to drift from the original post, please feel free to send me a PM and I can give you more info...Maggie
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
Just go for it ;-) The camino is hardly a 'wilderness walk', it is walking/passing through a lot of villages every day. As for walking alone as a woman, August/September are busy months, so you will be hardly be alone on the way. And, btw, with 41 you are far too young to think of yourself as 'middle aged'.

Buen Camino, SY
I love you for saying that! ;)
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
Hi everyone,

My story is that I'm a 41 years old single female from Canada. I have had the Camino on my bucket list for years, since my early 20s after reading the Pilgrimmage by Paulo Coelho.

I've been working very long hard hours at my job and banked up a lot of vacation time. I was told that I need to take it so I booked two weeks off at the end of August/begininng of Septmember. I have no plans and am waffling in uncertainty about what to do and also about doing it alone. A coworker suggested that I do the Camino as she had done it before.

So suddenly it is on my radar but until this point has just been a big maybe, or could be or what if. I recently watched the movie "The Way" and felt very inspired. Since then, I joined facebook groups and have started doing more research, and now joined this forum for advice. The signs all seem to pointing to this being the time to do it. But my question is, can I do it with so little time to prepare? I haven't even started looking into flights, or planning what I need to take and buying a guide etc. etc. I don't want to be rushed so wonder if I should wait until next summer?

But another part of me feels I should seize the time and the future is so uncertain, that maybe the time is now. I feel I am at a point in my life that I would benefit from two weeks to myself just contemplating life, walking and meditating. Spiritually and mentally and physically I need time away to recharge but wonder if I can do it or if this is really for me.

I also feel anxious about going it alone as a middle aged female. And whether my level of fitness is adequate. I signed up for a local group that does practice walks and hoped to join them to help me prepare and talk to people. I was meant to go this morning but unfortunately miscalculated the bus and couldn't make it on time.

So, lots of questions. I thought it might help to join this forum and talk to others who are in the same boat or those who have done it before for advice and encouragement to just make the decision and do it.

I have two weeks so figure I would need to start somewhere around Leon but if anyone has advice on where to start for a two week walk that would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.
DO IT. Do it. You wouldn't be writing on this forum unless you wanted to be convinced by several passionate pilgrims. (I was in a similar situation and I leapt and I'm so glad I did.)
 

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