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Lonliness of the Long Distance Pilgrim


New Member
Planning on setting out from SJPP on March 11, 2010. Obviously there are other pilgrims this time of year but I am curious to know if anyone has an idea of whether there are very many, or alternatively one should anticipate somewhat of a lonely journey. Unfortunately English is my only language. Will that pose a significant communication problem interacting with other pilgrims?

Thank you for any fedback!
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Time of past OR future Camino
Sept-October (2009), Sept-Oct (2013)
Not sure about March but I did the Camino in Sept/Oct 2009 and had no problems with the language, I do speak some Spanish but found that there were always people who either had some English or were patient enough to understand my fractured attempt at the Spanish language. Almost without exception, other pilgrims had english as a second ( or third) language.

You will have no problems.



Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
We walked the Camino in March of 2009 and found that the numbers of Pilgrims were smaller back toward SJPP and Pamplona but increased as you moved west. Many people start in Burgos, Leon, Astorga, etc so it picks up steadily.
As a matter of fact, I am leaving SJPP on 14 March so will be just a couple of days behind you. I probably will not stop at Orrison (unless weather caused) so will catch up a day if you stop there.
You may not see a lot of people on the trail some days but will certainly see them at the evening stops. Actually, I prefer it to be a little more solitary rather than crowded and am starting early for that reason.


New Member
I am planning to leave SJPP on 10 March. Hopefully we may meet on the way. I also anticipate walking some of the Camino without company but from what I have read you are never really alone on the Camino. I am looking forward to meeting people from all over the world. All the very best to all other walkers and a big thank you the everyone who posed questions and the many helpful people who offered advice.

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
There are plenty of people on the Camino in March (me, too!). Here in the very middle of the Meseta we are seeing increasing numbers every day --- maybe 20 or 30? But the tough weather is keeping the numbers down. I talked to a pilgrim this morning who said there were only 5 people in the Ledigos albergue last night, and they all froze!

The big starting-point here is Easter. That´s when almost all the albergues open up and the great flood of pilgrims really starts up.

You still may have to suffer the presence of other hikers and bikers within your field of vision. But even if you walk in the most crowded season, you can be as alone or as accompanied as you choose to be.

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Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I walked in 2008 starting on March 8. I thought it was ideal. Unless you chose to walk with someone, you were generally alone most of the day (which I liked) but there were plenty of people to meet/socialize with at the albergues. I'm sure this year there will be plenty more. If you wanted to walk with others, you could do that too. I thought it was a great time of year to walk...snow and all.


Active Member
wayward said:
anticipate somewhat of a lonely journey.

Just a different perspective...I felt the most lonely during the last couple of weeks before reaching Santiago. Sure, there were a lot more people, and I met a cool group of Spanish that "took me in and gave me breakfast" during that period.

However, I began walking in SJPP, and as you get closer to Santiago it seems there are less and less pilgrims who began the trek that far back. I kind of felt different from the rest of the pack, sort of isolated because there were few to none with whom I felt a long-distance "Camino veteran" kinship with. Does that make sense? :arrow:


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