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My First Camino

2020 Camino Guides

tomp734444

New Member
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
 

Marla in CA

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September 15, 2019
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
I really enjoyed reading your post. You are an excellent writer. I think your reasoning for doing the Camino and the date you chose to embark, is so meaningful, and all the more reason this journey seems right for you. Our timing is off - I leave from St. Jean on September 18th and hope to be in Santiago by October 19. I would have loved to have met you. Pave the way for me and Buen Camino!
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
Nice to meet you! I'm an American on my first Camino. Today I am in Pamplona.

I was resuscitated twice at 27, and had a long recovery once off the ventilator. It really does change your life.

The Camino started calling me earlier this year, seemingly out of nowhere. I began dreaming of it every night and could think of little else. Now, here I am, still amazed by what I see around me.

I wish you all the best. Buen Camino!
 

Pronetowander

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July/Aug (2019)
Well done Tom and I know it will be an amazing adventure and you will be blessed in so many ways. I am just 2 weeks back from my first camino and when I wake in the mornings I am still out there walking somewhere. So you wont just be dreaming pre Camino but also post Camino.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
No apologies needed for your wonderful post! It is a fascinating story of adversity ending with some good news. Thank you for sharing it with us and I wish you godspeed on your soon coming Camino! I'm excited for you...somehow I think I possibly see a Camino addiction in your future! 😉
 

tomp734444

New Member
I really enjoyed reading your post. You are an excellent writer. I think your reasoning for doing the Camino and the date you chose to embark, is so meaningful, and all the more reason this journey seems right for you. Our timing is off - I leave from St. Jean on September 18th and hope to be in Santiago by October 19. I would have loved to have met you. Pave the way for me and Buen Camino!
Thank you for your kind words. I hope all goes well for you on your journey to Santiago. Stay safe and Buen Camino! ❤
 

CyndyC

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2019
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
The very best to you! I am 65 and will be walking my first - although abbreviated Camino (starting in Ponferrada on 9/1). I am walking with my two sons and am really looking forward to the challenge and experience of it. I wish you Buen Camino!
 

tomp734444

New Member
Hi Tom, beauitfully written post. I will be starting my Camino in Pamplona on Sept. 12, we just may meet!
Buen Camino! Dee from Cali
Who knows what the fates may bring. I will be leaving Pamplona on the 11th so you will probably pass me at some stage. Thank you for your comments; I do believe that the beauty of the English language should be preserved and enhanced where possible. (That does sound a bit pompous, but it’s not intended to be)
 

tomp734444

New Member
The very best to you! I am 65 and will be walking my first - although abbreviated Camino (starting in Ponferrada on 9/1). I am walking with my two sons and am really looking forward to the challenge and experience of it. I wish you Buen Camino!
Thank you. I hope that your Camino will be a good one. X
 

tomp734444

New Member
No apologies needed for your wonderful post! It is a fascinating story of adversity ending with some good news. Thank you for sharing it with us and I wish you godspeed on your soon coming Camino! I'm excited for you...somehow I think I possibly see a Camino addiction in your future! 😉
Thank you. I am not sure that an addiction will follow my efforts over the coming few weeks. It seems that you are a veteran of many Caminos. What brings you back?
 

tomp734444

New Member
Nice to meet you! I'm an American on my first Camino. Today I am in Pamplona.

I was resuscitated twice at 27, and had a long recovery once off the ventilator. It really does change your life.

The Camino started calling me earlier this year, seemingly out of nowhere. I began dreaming of it every night and could think of little else. Now, here I am, still amazed by what I see around me.

I wish you all the best. Buen Camino!
I hope all is going well. Do you have an ICD fitted. The wonders of Northern Spain are a joy to behold. My wife and I call it “God’s Wardrobe” so many changes of texture and colour. Ultreia!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Thank you. I am not sure that an addiction will follow my efforts over the coming few weeks. It seems that you are a veteran of many Caminos. What brings you back?
I thorough reply from me was posted on this thread below...(sorry I can't post it for you, I'm not very tech savvy).
An attempt at a secular Grand Camino Theory of Everything
 

strangecreature

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, (September/October 2019)
Hi Tom,

I will be a few days ahead of you, I leave SJPdP on Sept 3., but I plan to go fairly slow I am sure with our timing we will meet up at some point on the road. I hope you can talk when we do meet. My name is Steven, I’m a very large American with a bright red backpack 🎒 so I’d be hard to miss 😂

I also died, 20 years ago when I was only 15. I had an rare form of asthma attack that caused a 100% blockage of both lungs and my body shut down due to lack of oxygen. I was revived, ventilated, and woke up from a coma a few days later. I also saw no lights or anything of spiritual significance, though I did have hallucinations because of CO2 poisoning in the brain. Scary ones.

I think many people are like you and I, they hear about the Camino and it worms its way into their head and over the years they can’t stop thinking about it. I do believe this is a “calling” in the religious/spiritual sense, however you interpret it is up each individual. (Just my opinion, not trying to break the rule on religious discussion!)

Hopefully the answers are out there waiting for us. I do hope we meet along the road. Or maybe even in Santiago. Buen Camino!
 

Bodi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Astorga Oct. 2018; SJPP to Pamplona May 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, Tom. You won’t regret your decision to walk; you may not know exactly why you are called to it but the time on the trail will be an opportunity for reflection, prayer or whatever your heart needs. I wish you a Buen Camino! May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be at your back...
 

Wokabaut_Meri

somewhere along the Way
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2015
Pilgrims Way 2018
Via Francigena #1 Canterbury-Dover 2018
Hi Tom
A few years ago my husband and I walked Wainwright's Coast to Coast across northern England. When we reached Reeth we met up with another couple who had been on a very different journey. The husband had felt a 'muscle twinge' in his chest on the first day at the lighthouse up from St Bees.

Long story short, he had suffered a heart attack and was very lucky that there were locals nearby who called an ambulance. A stay in hospital and a few stents later, he'd got the pack transport company to deliver both he and his wife back onto the Walk to 'cab it | NO strenuous exercise' between his booked night spots.

A few days later we walked with both he and his wife up some fairly serious hills to the end of the Walk at Robins Hood Bay.

Life doesn't wait so I applaud your journey.

There is a famous saying on the Camino, told to us at the start in St Jean Pied de Port:
To arrive in Santiago like a young person, begin the Camino like an old man
Start slow and steady, listen to your body, rest when you need to.

Buen Camino

PS The south of England is great training for the Camino - my husband and I walked the North Downs Way last autumn.
 

Rover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
Good Day, Tom. I am excited for you as you prepare to embark on a trek of a lifetime. I walked the full CF three years ago; started my trek September 19th and completed it on November 4th! Like you, I am not a religious person; I chose the Camino simply for the challenge, nothing more or less. But here's the good part. At the beginning, everyone asked me why was I walking the Camino and at the end, everyone asked what I was going to tell people when asked to describe my experience. Interesting what happens between the two points. For me, it was transformational; an experience that was deeply personal; spiritual like; unequal to anything I have ever experienced - and I am an experienced hiker. So, Tom, go forth without any expectations; open your heart and mind to every new day and experience the wonder of it all. That said - I have a pence (one cent in $USD) of advice for you. Pack LIGHT; be frugal and pay attention to those pilgrims who have gone before you. Everything you take MUST have a reason otherwise leave it. Read the blogs - you cannot beat experience so listen to their sage remarks. Water is plentiful along the way, so start off with one or two liters, max. Anything above that is excess weight. Bottomline - remember, you are going to walk 500 miles - taking gear you "might" need is be out of the question. Either its functional or not. Be ruthless! That said, have an extraordinary experience. Happy Trail. Richard
 

tomp734444

New Member
Hi Tom,

I will be a few days ahead of you, I leave SJPdP on Sept 3., but I plan to go fairly slow I am sure with our timing we will meet up at some point on the road. I hope you can talk when we do meet. My name is Steven, I’m a very large American with a bright red backpack 🎒 so I’d be hard to miss 😂

I also died, 20 years ago when I was only 15. I had an rare form of asthma attack that caused a 100% blockage of both lungs and my body shut down due to lack of oxygen. I was revived, ventilated, and woke up from a coma a few days later. I also saw no lights or anything of spiritual significance, though I did have hallucinations because of CO2 poisoning in the brain. Scary ones.

I think many people are like you and I, they hear about the Camino and it worms its way into their head and over the years they can’t stop thinking about it. I do believe this is a “calling” in the religious/spiritual sense, however you interpret it is up each individual. (Just my opinion, not trying to break the rule on religious discussion!)

Hopefully the answers are out there waiting for us. I do hope we meet along the road. Or maybe even in Santiago. Buen Camino!
Hi Steven,

Great hear from you and that, like me, you are fully recovered from your ordeal. The points you make about mind worms sums it up perfectly. It would be good to meet somewhere along The Way. As a small, elderly Brit, the company of a large American would be comforting. However, I’m not sure that I can make-up 4 days head start. My plan (ha ha) is to complete the journey in 36 days including 3 rest days in Pamplona, Burgos & Leon. I’ll be watching out for you, but if we don’t see each other, Godspeed & Buen Camino.
 

tomp734444

New Member
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, Tom. You won’t regret your decision to walk; you may not know exactly why you are called to it but the time on the trail will be an opportunity for reflection, prayer or whatever your heart needs. I wish you a Buen Camino! May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be at your back...
And may God keep you in the palm of his hand.
 

tomp734444

New Member
Good Day, Tom. I am excited for you as you prepare to embark on a trek of a lifetime. I walked the full CF three years ago; started my trek September 19th and completed it on November 4th! Like you, I am not a religious person; I chose the Camino simply for the challenge, nothing more or less. But here's the good part. At the beginning, everyone asked me why was I walking the Camino and at the end, everyone asked what I was going to tell people when asked to describe my experience. Interesting what happens between the two points. For me, it was transformational; an experience that was deeply personal; spiritual like; unequal to anything I have ever experienced - and I am an experienced hiker. So, Tom, go forth without any expectations; open your heart and mind to every new day and experience the wonder of it all. That said - I have a pence (one cent in $USD) of advice for you. Pack LIGHT; be frugal and pay attention to those pilgrims who have gone before you. Everything you take MUST have a reason otherwise leave it. Read the blogs - you cannot beat experience so listen to their sage remarks. Water is plentiful along the way, so start off with one or two liters, max. Anything above that is excess weight. Bottomline - remember, you are going to walk 500 miles - taking gear you "might" need is be out of the question. Either its functional or not. Be ruthless! That said, have an extraordinary experience. Happy Trail. Richard
Thanks for the good advice. I won’t have any trouble starting like an old man - I am one! Good wishes. Tom
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Tom life is good. How great is this that we are still here to enjoy it. Have fun.
Just remember after a week you don’t feel the back bag anymore. We all have a melt down somewhere along the road. You doing everything perfekt right when you come to the point when you are asking yourself what devil was riding me when I thought this was a good idea. So you see all the best wishes. Hope you post along the way so in spirit I can walk with you 😌
 

Susan Momo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Timer! August 2019 Camino Frances
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
Buen Camino! I’m starting a few weeks before you, 🙏 for you, my first Camino also. I’ve had several brain surgeries, and place myself there as well!
 

Garry Collins

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Frances to Santiago de Compostella
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
Hello tomp, we have some things in common but first of all loved your story and look forward to following your Camino. ...my wife is from Sussex ! I south of England . I am 75 in September and walked the Camino Frances October 1 to October 31 ..2014 and late next month I start from Le Puy and walk the Chemin St Jaques through to St Jean . . You will be be fine lots of good people and support along The Way. This is your journey embrace it. My word of advice would be do not over train in the lead up to the walk ...Buen Camino ..Garry from Australia.
 

tomp734444

New Member
Hello tomp, we have some things in common but first of all loved your story and look forward to following your Camino. ...my wife is from Sussex ! I south of England . I am 75 in September and walked the Camino Frances October 1 to October 31 ..2014 and late next month I start from Le Puy and walk the Chemin St Jaques through to St Jean . . You will be be fine lots of good people and support along The Way. This is your journey embrace it. My word of advice would be do not over train in the lead up to the walk ...Buen Camino ..Garry from Australia.
Thank you Gary for your words of encouragement. I am saving my feet for the Camino and using the gym for endurance and strength training. Did you use trekking poles?
 

KerrieG

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part CF (2016), Camino Frances (2019)
Enjoyed your post, very well written. I'll be starting out from SJPP 24th September, so you'll be way ahead! Buen Camino!
 

Mycroft

Member
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
What a story! I love it when things "line up" like they did for you.
I am sure you have cleared all this with your physician, and have all your meds in hand. Text your family daily!
Do you wear one of those Med-alert bracelets?
 

Jon P

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk in Sept 2019
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
Buen Camino Tom - I'm thinking of doing a bit of the camino starting in a couple of weeks' time (and possibly asking a new friend to accompany me) and it also feels like madness!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Good for you!
Just take it slow and steady, don't get into the rush mode, and don't be afraid to hire taxi or bus when you feel it would help you.
God bless you and Buen Camino!
 

Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Camino(s) past & future
Bike: Mont St Michel-SdC. Budapest-Vezelay. Alicante-Burgos
Walk: Le Puy-SJPdP. Dax-(CF)-SdC.
Well written Tom. I think you're going to relish your adventure and possibly add something to the adventures of those who are lucky enough to meet you along the way!
Take it steady, the first few days especially.
It is easy to speed along focusing on the next destination, next meal, next bed, and forget to relish the moment, the view in front of you, the centuries of pilgrims before you, people around you and the feelings inside you. Eventually the daily routine of walk, shower, eat, sleep becomes all enveloping, leaving you room for a lot of thinking.
I'll be a few weeks ahead of you on the way, but look forward to reading some of your reflections during/after your walk.
Buen Camino!
 

tomp734444

New Member
Well written Tom. I think you're going to relish your adventure and possibly add something to the adventures of those who are lucky enough to meet you along the way!
Take it steady, the first few days especially.
It is easy to speed along focusing on the next destination, next meal, next bed, and forget to relish the moment, the view in front of you, the centuries of pilgrims before you, people around you and the feelings inside you. Eventually the daily routine of walk, shower, eat, sleep becomes all enveloping, leaving you room for a lot of thinking.
I'll be a few weeks ahead of you on the way, but look forward to reading some of your reflections during/after your walk.
Buen Camino!
Thanks for the good advice
 

Painter2808

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020 Camino Frances
Enjoyed reading your post Tom. I suspect a lot of people start on the Camino without knowing why. Buen camino and please let us know how you are getting on.
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
I hope all is going well. Do you have an ICD fitted. The wonders of Northern Spain are a joy to behold. My wife and I call it “God’s Wardrobe” so many changes of texture and colour. Ultreia!
I do not. I refused. My medical bills are sky high and I have kids to feed on SSDI. It's not just the financial aspect though. I have various complications from my connective tissue disorder that are progressive and can't be fixed.

On a lighter note, keep an eye on temperatures here and plan accordingly if heat causes any cardiac concerns. It really messed with mine and yesterday was brutal. Today it's 97F and although the incline of today's stages (Nájera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada) weren't huge, it was definitely a challenge with the temperature and lack of shade. I use the WeatherBug app to watch the temperature of upcoming areas and have a backup plan if I just can't continue.

Be good to yourself.

Buen Camino!
 

tomp734444

New Member
I do not. I refused. My medical bills are sky high and I have kids to feed on SSDI. It's not just the financial aspect though. I have various complications from my connective tissue disorder that are progressive and can't be fixed.

On a lighter note, keep an eye on temperatures here and plan accordingly if heat causes any cardiac concerns. It really messed with mine and yesterday was brutal. Today it's 97F and although the incline of today's stages (Nájera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada) weren't huge, it was definitely a challenge with the temperature and lack of shade. I use the WeatherBug app to watch the temperature of upcoming areas and have a backup plan if I just can't continue.

Be good to yourself.

Buen Camino!
I’m hoping for slightly cooler temperatures than those you are experiencing but, “it is what it is” so I will prepare myself. I can’t wait to get started - less than two weeks to go.

Luckily, I got my ICD fitted on our NHS so the cost of it, together with my treatment were free at the point of use.

How are the Albergues?

Ultreia!
 

mvanert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Bits and pieces - 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020?
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
I had a similar experience, in December of 2009 I had a mild heart attack, in January 2010 I had a quadruple bypass. As soon as my doctors would allow me, I began to take better care of myself through a regualr excercise program that last to this day. In 2014 my sister and I did over 350km of the Francis route ending in Santiago, it was hard for me. Since then I went back in 2016 to parts that I hadn't done the first time and this coming year, 2020, I am planning on doing the whole Francis with my business partner of over 25 years, he for the first time.
Please follow the advice from your doctor and to go at a comfortable pace for you, as many here have stated, it is not a race. Also, taking my own advice, this time if I need to rest, I will. Listen to your body and enjoy the people, the scenery, the food, the history of Spain and the wonderful vino!
 

TinaB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
From Leon to Santiago
Whole of Camino
Planning on walking in September 2019
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
Hi there,
I walked the Camino about five years ago, got two thirds of the way but had to stop as I got really bad tendinitis, but promised myself I would return the following year and pick up where I left off. Which I did and completed it. What a joy. I was 64 years old then. I walked alone and loved every minute. As they say “you are never alone on the Camino. There is always someone in front and someone following behind”. My husband didn’t want me to do it, in fact I think he thought I wouldn’t. Well this time he’s decided to come along. We set off from St Jean on the 8th September. So our paths may cross! When I walked alone I carried my rucksack. This time we are going to get them transported between places. Luxury! Good luck my friend. Take it steady and look about you and enjoy. It will be amazing. Best wishes, TinaB
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.
You will, or maybe not. But one guarantee is that when you walk into Santiago it will be a whole different experience than the first time from the hotel! And you will be carrying a heart-full of rich experience of having gotten there. This can transform without us being aware of it.

What brings you back?
I thorough reply from me was posted on this thread below...(sorry I can't post it for you, I'm not very tech savvy).
An attempt at a secular Grand Camino Theory of Everything
Here are the links to these threads, with their rich array of replies.
We all walk again and again for so many reasons.

And here is a reply in another thread that describes the gift of the camino better than anything else I've read in a long time:
Collecting sellos, pondering payment, wondering over the worthiness of the person asking for support, measuring your church offering according to the building's degree of decoration... it is all a very transactional approach to the pilgrimage. I give you this, I get that. I shop for months in advance, ask everyone which is the Best albergue, route, shoes, socks, prayers, airline, and guidebook. and if my expectations are not met, I complain on the Forum.

Beyond all this noise and preoccupation about Getting and Spending is the truly amazing truth about the Camino, maybe the thing that makes it so special. The Camino trail itself may have become a grab-that-cash theme park in places, but the pilgrim economy, practiced by the pilgrim community, is not based on transactions. It runs on Grace.
Something for nothing. Beauty, kindness, acceptance, brotherhood, in exchange for... just showing up, just walking. Just being what you are is enough. Just a place out of the rain, a bocadillo, a glass of tinto is enough. Yes, you are expected to pay your way. And you have so many opportunities to help others make their way, too -- and you find your heart is open, and your wallet is, too, and you can afford it just fine.
If you don't get a great bunk in the recommended albergue, your heart does not break.
If you have to walk another couple of km., you survive. Someone gives you his lower bunk, or lends you a sleeping mat, or tells you where there's a nice haystack. You give your last Compeed to the boy with shredded toes, and you don't fret about having enough for yourself. You walk freely. Free. It's grace. You find it on the Camino.
And when you get home, you realize it's there, too. It always has been. Even after your credential with all the fancy stamps is lost in a drawer, you still can give and receive without judging or fearing the other, because you are free. You've met grace, and she lives in you now.
One thing no-one has brought up is the challenge of reassuring your family. This may be weighing on you, and it's certainly weighing on them. I hope you can have a heartfelt talk before you go - not to try to quell their concern (you can't, of course), but you can express why it's important in this juncture of your life not to 'play it safe,' seeking a security that just isn't there. And that you will not be alone on the Frances, because you won't ever be far from help if you need it.
All blessings on your way, peregrino. Buen camino!
 

Sfrack

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
 

Sfrack

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
Hi Tom. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m heading out on my first Camino on September 7th as well. Hope to get an opportunity to meet you along the way.
 

Anthony18

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Hello,

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the long and rambling nature of this post, but I hope some of you will read it. My name is Tom and I live in the South of England. I will be 75 in December.

Twelve years ago, my wife and I were on a touring holiday in Northern Spain. We stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Santiago de Compostela for a night so that we could explore yet another beautiful Spanish city. In the morning, we decided to walk into the City, thus avoiding the problem of parking and on the way, we were overtaken by a group of people in full hiking gear. Coming up behind them was a solitary figure, also dressed for hiking. We fell into step with him and struck up a conversation. It transpired that he was from Ireland and had set-out 21 days previously from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the Camino Frances. We learned more about the pilgrimage, St James and his connection with Santiago de Compostela and eventually arrived at the Cathedral square amidst a tumult of other Peregrinos. It was fascinating stuff.

We enjoyed the experience and had a nice lunch in Santiago and returned to our Hotel, picked-up the car and continued our tour of Spain.

Four years later, whilst undertaking a charity bike-ride from John 'o Groats to Lands End (the far Northeast to the far Southwest of Britain), I suffered a cardiac arrest. I was lucky to be brought back after having been 'dead' for eight minutes. This happened on day 10 of my ride and was the only day when I would have a companion - my son-in-law - who had been on a course which included CPR. The event occurred just outside Bristol, which has one of the best Cardiac Units in the UK and the house near where it happened belonged to the local First Responder. I had no out-of-body experience, no bright lights or other manifestation of a religious kind. I am not a devoutly religious person and my life has been somewhat chequered to say the least. I do try to be a good person, but have a long list of people I have let-down in many different ways. I could not think of any good reason why i was spared. I completed the final three days of my thirteen-day bike-ride three months after my incident and I just got on with life.

However, over the following years, my thoughts occasionally turned to that Irishman and his determination to reach his journeys end at Santiago de Compostela.

I spoke sometimes of undertaking the Camino, but did nothing about it: until now!

I don't understand why I am doing it; my wife and family are against it because of what happened in 2011, I am getting old and whilst fit, I have never walked even one days' worth of distance. It is a kind of madness, but I know that I must make the effort. Is it a religious calling? I don't know. Am I just doing it for an egotistical kick? I don't know. I am hoping that I will find-out along the way.

I set-out from SJPdP on September 7th - the eighth anniversary of my Cardiac Arrest and hope to be in Santiago on October 12th. I've done my research thanks to this Forum and place myself in the hands of Fate.
Best of luck to you on your Camino. I finished my first Camino and it was amazing! Here's a little something to keep you inspired. My Way-Camino de Santiago
 

TinaB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
From Leon to Santiago
Whole of Camino
Planning on walking in September 2019
Hi there,
I walked the Camino about five years ago, got two thirds of the way but had to stop as I got really bad tendinitis, but promised myself I would return the following year and pick up where I left off. Which I did and completed it. What a joy. I was 64 years old then. I walked alone and loved every minute. As they say “you are never alone on the Camino. There is always someone in front and someone following behind”. My husband didn’t want me to do it, in fact I think he thought I wouldn’t. Well this time he’s decided to come along. We set off from St Jean on the 8th September. So our paths may cross! When I walked alone I carried my rucksack. This time we are going to get them transported between places. Luxury! Good luck my friend. Take it steady and look about you and enjoy. It will be amazing. Best wishes, TinaB
What brings me back? I wish I knew. My first night after leaving SJPP I stayed at Orisson and enjoyed the amazing communal meal and the round the table explanation from each person about who they were, where they were from and maybe reason for walking the Camino. (I’d heard about it from a former walker. I hope you are booked there). The thing that intrigued me most were the number of people who were back for the second, fifth, eighth...... etc time. Thinking why? But since completing my walk and come home I think of the Camino and yearn to return, hence our journey starts on the 8th September. Is it the simplicity, having a purpose each day, or it it the beauty, cobwebs decorated with dew drops, the cuckoo calling, the eagles soaring, the rain, the sun. It’s all of it. Especially standing still, listening and looking and soaking up the energy around you. But this time when I walk with my husband we are going to walk it in small stages. This time two weeks. But I know it won’t be enough for me. What will be interesting is walking at a different season of autumn this time. Before it was always early spring. Buen Camino. Go steady. TinaB
 

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Fisterra '20
Portuguese '20
Norte '21
GO TEAM CARDIAC!

I have had 2 heart attacks, 5 stents, and since have 2 Caminos under my belt.

Go kick some butt, be an inspiration for those folks with dicky tickers out there!

M
 

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