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LIVE from the Camino My first Camino

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
This afternoon I walked into Burgos and felt a wee bit of an accomplishment. It felt good. I started my walk back on the 5th (the 6th was my first full day) from Pamplona and I had a lot of concerns, mainly with my footwear and how my body would handle it and if I would even make it a few days. But so far my body is holding up. No major issues beyond tightness in the morning.

My footwear saga seems to have worked itself out. After starting with a pair of trail runners they quickly proved to be a bit ill fitting and caused some heel pain and blisters so I switched to my Chacos which have been good so far after getting the straps dialed in. I haven't come across any terrain yet where I felt uncomfortable (though the rocky ascent this morning between Ages and Burgos was a bit of a rolled ankle waiting to happen; I just went slow).

I have been realizing how much I enjoy this, which tool a few days. I think I started with the idea that this was going to be the Bataan death march, which of course, it isn't. It's nice feeling part of something bigger and sharing this experience with others, even if many people you just pass (or get passed by) on the road. It's nice to recognize faces as the days go by.

My longest day so far has been around 18mi but I think tomorrow I will push on to Hontanas which will be around 19 or so. I have been trying to alternate between long and short days with the idea of averaging 15mi a day to make my Aug 4th deadline.

I have been very happy with my pack, an Osprey Stratos 36. I knew from previous backpacking experience that I wanted a robust suspension and strap system and this definitely provides that. My shoulders haven't been sore at all.

I am starting to realize where I have overpacked a bit (I am at around 16#). Definitely have not needed: my USB power bank, fleece jacket, my liner socks or three pairs of darn tough socks and my Kindle.

My injinji midweight toe socks, with my Chacos, have been real winners. I never used them before this and have really grown to love having my toes separated. It helps prevent blisters forming between my toes (though I still have a small one).

Another item I am glad to have is a hydration tube that attaches to a regular water bottle (recommended on this forum) which has been great for refilling and easily staying hydrated. Which has been tough. With the high temps you really sweat a lot and I noticed the first few days that I wasn't urinating enough because I just wasn't drinking all I should have been.

For a few reasons I have mainly been staying in private rooms at cheaper hotels. While it has been good for sleeping I am realizing that you do miss out a bit on the social part of the Camino. I am not a very outgoing person to begin with which makes it harder. That being said I have enjoyed chatting with people while walking and it is nice to stop for a rest at a bar and have someone recognize you!

All in all it has been a good start and rather enjoyable. I am hopeful that I will be able to finish but don't want to jinx it yet! :)
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Yeah I will be leaving tomorrow no later than 5am. This heat is no joke!
Yes be careful of the heat and have lots of water. When I walked the Via de la Plata in October it was really hot, thankfully not 37 or 38C like in Burgos. But it was in the low 30" I had my one liter water bottle and bought two 1 liter plastic bottles that I froze and carried. I had cold water to drink and pour on my head and face. I thought it helped alot. The terrain is very similar to the Meseta. Very open with very little shade. The VDLP has many more stretches with no towns. Some days no towns at all. Buen Camino.
P.S. If you are still in Burgos you may think of buying one of those reflective UV umbrellas they are supposed to help shield you from the sun considerably and lower the temperature under the umbrella also.
 
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CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
Am I reading this correct? Your longest day has been 18 MILES not KM?
If so, slightly pushing it IMHO esp. in heat
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Be careful in the heat and don't push yourself too much! It looks like it's going to be really hot in Monday (104°F in Burgos) I would stick to shorter days until the heat breaks.

But a cheap umbrella so that you can carry some shade with you. I use a handsfree umbrella so that I can also use my poles, but in that kind of heat I would forego my poles and hold the umbrella in my hand if that was my only option.
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Am I reading this correct? Your longest day has been 18 MILES not KM?
If so, slightly pushing it IMHO esp. in heat
I did around 19mi today with a 5am start. The real heat seems to be in the late afternoon although even at 5 it was mid 60s. I felt pretty good, had tons of water with me and was done by 12. Others continued on another 10km which I thought was crazy haha. My biggest problem now is that my private room doesn't have ac or a fan and is like 80 degrees.
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Be careful in the heat and don't push yourself too much! It looks like it's going to be really hot in Monday (104°F in Burgos) I would stick to shorter days until the heat breaks.

But a cheap umbrella so that you can carry some shade with you. I use a handsfree umbrella so that I can also use my poles, but in that kind of heat I would forego my poles and hold the umbrella in my hand if that was my only option.
I picked up an umbrella in Burgos before I left and will give it a try tomorrow.
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
I left Burgos this morning and was glad to be on my way. I am a city boy and have visited Burgos before and even with one night I could already see myself pulled out of the Camino mindset. So, after a massage, a delicious bowl of salmorejo and a good night rest I was on my way at 5am.

I found navigating out of Burgos to be surprisingly difficult and had to keep referring to my phone map app to make sure I was still on track. I stayed near the river and in hindsight I should have just walked along it instead of winding through the city. But then I would have missed seeing a near full moon in between two of the cathedral spires. So...

I am now into the Meseta, spending the night in Hontanas and I really find this town to be adorable. Despite my aversion to descents I found the entrance to the town to be rather picturesque. It's hot. But that is expected. My room is super hot, which is less expected. Tomorrow I will head to either Fromista or Boadilla de Camino (prob this one; it's shorter)
 
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CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
I found navigating out of Burgos to be surprisingly difficult and had to keep referring to my phone map app to make sure I was still on track. I stayed near the river and in hindsight I should have just walked along it instead of winding through the city. But then I would have missed seeing a near full moon in between two of the cathedral spires. So...
WOW! So many people complain about getting out of Burgos! After thoroughly getting myself lost (at the tune of close to 2 hours extra each) in both Pamplona and Logrono I literally breezed out of Burgos by simply making it to the Cathedral and just following the markers from there....
Perhaps that was the moment that Gods of Camino began smiling at me (although I am still convinced that some of those smiles were smirks ;) )
Good Luck! ULTREIA!!! 🚶‍♂️
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Ha
WOW! So many people complain about getting out of Burgos! After thoroughly getting myself lost (at the tune of close to 2 hours extra each) in both Pamplona and Logrono I literally breezed out of Burgos by simply making it to the Cathedral and just following the markers from there....
Perhaps that was the moment that Gods of Camino began smiling at me (although I am still convinced that some of those smiles were smirks ;) )
Good Luck! ULTREIA!!! 🚶‍♂️
Ha! I found Logrono to be pretty easy (and I loved their Camino markers) and Burgos was fine until I passed through the gate.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @Mananath Really big congrats on how you have both approached this Camino and your attitude. I have just heard the weather/temp forecast for the next two or three days. Temps over 110F (over 46C) so yes an early start for tomorrow out of Hantanas. May I also suggest carrying extra water; take regular breaks and maybe finish your next day at Itero de la Vega rather than push on to Boadilla del Camino. That extra 10km/6 miles in the afternoon sun can not be recommended. Cheers and Buen Camino.
 

MaryLynn

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Yeah I will be leaving tomorrow no later than 5am. This heat is no joke!
Myvery favourite spot on the Camino Frances.
Hola @Mananath Really big congrats on how you have both approached this Camino and your attitude. I have just heard the weather/temp forecast for the next two or three days. Temps over 110F (over 46C) so yes an early start for tomorrow out of Hantanas. May I also suggest carrying extra water; take regular breaks and maybe finish your next day at Itero de la Vega rather than push on to Boadilla del Camino. That extra 10km/6 miles in the afternoon sun can not be recommended. Cheers and Buen Camino.
Or take a day off!
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I am now into the Meseta, spending the night in Hontanas and I really find this town to be adorable. Despite my aversion to descents I found the entrance to the town to be rather picturesque. It's hot. But that is expected. My room is super hot, which is less expected. Tomorrow I will head to either Fromista or Boadilla de Camino (prob this one; it's shorter)

One of the albergues at Boadilla del Camino has a swimming pool. Unless something has changed, it is an oasis. But I do agree about the distance - in that heat I would be stopping at Castrojeriz!
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
One of the albergues at Boadilla del Camino has a swimming pool. Unless something has changed, it is an oasis. But I do agree about the distance - in that heat I would be stopping at Castrojeriz!
I agree about stopping at Castrojeriz. And the next day you can walk to Población de Campos and stay at the wonderful Albergue La Finca, where each bunk is like a tiny room.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I was just thinking that you will have the perfect opportunity to escape to escape the heat by doing a moonlit walk on the long straight and flat stretch between Carrión de los Condes and Calzadilla de la Cueza. It's a great stretch for night walking because there are no real obstacles on the trail, and no turns to miss. I wish that I had thought of doing it when I was on the Francés. Book a private room and go to bed very early. I would try to start walking by 4:00 am or earlier. It should take a little more than 3 hours or so to walk the 17.2 km, depending on your pace.
 
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Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
I didn't need to look at my fitness tracker to know that I slept poorly last night. It was just too hot to sleep. I ended up opening the window at 12 am to find a nice breeze so I left the window open and opened the door to my room to get a little cross ventilation. Still at 445 the room thermostat read 24.1c and I struggled to get ready.

Soon enough I was on the road and decided that I needed to have a hotel with AC for the evening as I can't have another night of poor sleep. The only place I could find was in Fromista so I walked there. I also wanted a decent grocery store as I am starting to feel my caloric intake is lower than it should be.

Even at 515 the air felt pretty warm but I made good progress and enjoyed the numerous stray cats at the convent ruins. Breakfast was at Castrojeriz and I really liked wandering through through this town - the streets were quite pretty.

One of the highlights was entering Itero de Vega. One of the fields along the road had it's sprinklers going and quite a few overshot the field on to the road. I walked very slowly through this part.

My original plan was to overnight in Boadilla but I just stopped for a quick lunch and continued on. I am glad because I ended up really enjoying the canal that leads to Fromista- I would have passed that section in the dark had I stuck to my plan. There was even a boat on the canal offering trips to Fromista-I think it was 2 eur. It ended up arriving at Fromista the same time I did.

So now I am at Fromista in a room with AC (but sadly not American style AC) and I am planning a leisurely start tomorrow with a short day planned, just to Carrion De Condes. Today has been my longest day of the Camino (and my second longest walk ever) looking for a good rest!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
One of the albergues at Boadilla del Camino has a swimming pool. Unless something has changed, it is an oasis. But I do agree about the distance - in that heat I would be stopping at Castrojeriz!
Hola, if my 2017 memories are correct, yes there is a pool of some description but I think it was more a wading or soaking pool rather than swimming. It also needed a good clean (but hey it was May and noone was interested).
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Well, my super fancy and expensive hotel in Fromista - that I pushed hard to reach -- turned out to be a bust. The advertised AC either was broken or just couldn't keep up with the heat. The thermostat registered 28c my entire stay and when I opened the window at 1am there was no screen so of course mosquitoes came in and began feasting. It was a disappointment.

However since I only planned on heading to Carrion De Condes - my shortest stage yet -- I had a leisurely departure and headed off at 8am . Despite the length I found this walk to be rather uninspiring as it parraled the highway the whole time. I also noticed that I was starting to have muscle spasms in my legs during this section which I attributed to the heat and fatigue so doubled my electrolyte supplements.

Carrion proved to be a breath of fresh air. When I wandered in I found a great bar that served me the menu de dias despite arriving too early. The gazpacho and wine were fantastic.

my hotel was spectacular. It appeared to be brand new. The room was large, the bathroom thoughtfully designed and the ac worked. When the woman showed me the room and the controller for the AC I almost broke out in tears. It was quickly set to 19c for my entire stay. It was wonderful.

i am beginning to realize that issue with the heat is more about after you finish walking. It's easy to avoid the worst bit by starting early but if you end up baking in your room you can still dehydrate yourself as well as not getting restorative sleep.

In hindsight I should have taken a rest day here but instead moved on at 5am after a slow wakeup. It's getting harder and harder to get out of bed but once I get moving things seem to go fine. However today it felt like nothing quite fit.. I kept futzing with my pack and sandals and fanny pack. It's like a gremlin went through my stuff during the night and slightly adjusted my straps haha

I ended up walking to Moratinos as I had booked a hotel that advertised having AC. Of course it was a blatant lie and I checked out and moved to the albergue. There is no ac here but the staff is honest, the dorm is cool and empty.

Not sure what I will do tomorrow. Am planning a 4am departure and will head to either Burgo or Relegios. The latter will be a push but set me up for an arrival in Leon the next day and put me ahead of my schedule so I can have a rest day. Will see how it goes.

As I get close to the halfway point I am becoming more conscious of my daily distance as I have a hard finish date. I would like to arrive in Santiago on the 4th at the latest but would very much prefer the 3rd. On the 5th I leave Spain. We shall see....
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
I was just thinking that you will have the perfect opportunity to escape to escape the heat by doing a moonlit walk on the long straight and flat stretch between Carrión de los Condes and Calzadilla de la Cueza. It's a great stretch for night walking because there are no real obstacles on the trail, and no turns to miss. I wish that I had thought of doing it when I was on the Francés. Book a private room and go to bed very early. I would try to start walking by 4:00 am or earlier. It should take a little more than 3 hours or so to walk the 17.2 km, depending on your pace.
I left at 518 and arrived at 830. The bar was packed haha. There were obstacles though! During the night two trees fell down and were blocking the path. I passed the food truck owner operating a chainsaw to clear the path. Tough for the cyclists!
 

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Time of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @Mananath, there was an alternative to the highway/senda trail from Fromista. At or just after Poblacion de Campos (before you cross the Rio Uciaeza) take the right hand path. I walked in May 2017 and found it a welcome relief from the highway traffic noise. As there is no water or fountain on this track ensure you have both bottles filled.
You do come back to the main track at Villalcazar de Sirga where there is a refreshing bar/cafe and then its just a five km/3 mile walk to Carrion.
Not sure when you will see this but may I suggest you stop in Sahagun and then carry on again taking the Old Roman Road rather than the camino that follows the N120. Again ensure you have lots of water as there is none after Calzadilla. Cheers
 
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Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Today has been my best day on the Camino yet! The heat wave broke last night and when I left my albergue this morning it was mid 50s. And it stayed cool all day, even after lunch it was in the 70s with a brisk breeze. So different from the past few days.

I might have gotten a bit carried away with the good weather and flat terrain and ended up walking 40km! I am now in Reliogos and probably the most tired I have been so far. It was a long day. But tomorrow I only have a short 25km to Leon and then a rest day which I am looking forward to. I doubt I will repeat this distance again.

I have discovered a downside to wearing chacos, all of the dried out grass or wheat on the path can be very sharp when it gets stuck in your sock. Had to stop a few times to extricate the little daggers!

In a sign that I have spent too much time on the meseta I found myself getting very emotional at the sight of a field of thousands of dying sunflowers. Dying sunflowers look so sad, the epitome of giving up. It just went on and on. Lol

The biggest challenge today was remaining on the Camino path after leaving Sahagun. There is an area where the Camino forks to an alternate route and someone has removed all the arrows (literally painted over them) for the real Camino so it looks like the correct route is the alternate route. It took me about 15 min before realizing and backtracking.
 

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Time of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hol a- so glad to hear that the heat wave may be waning. Wow 40km even with the cooler day is still a looooong way.
Getting "teary eyed" over sunflowers is a typical "camino experience". Shame about those signs being painted out as I believe the Old Roman Road is the better trail.
A day off in Leon - well recommended. A lot of history in this city.
Now for the road ahead. Getting out of Leon can be a bit of an issue. The Camino goes past the San Marcos (Paraore) and then through 8-10 km (3-5=6 miles) in industrial zones. Another pilgrim trial!!
At La Virgen Del Camino (there is a church off to your left) you have another track choice - continue straight up the N120 (highway) or take the trail to the left (it should be well marked (don't worry about where the first 800/1000 yards leads to (over a motorway). Your destination is Villar de Mazarife (its a quiet rural walk on an unsealed road - virtually no traffic). There is a stopping point at Chozas (water fountain and coffee). Buen Camino.
 

Northpole

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo 2023
Carrion proved to be a breath of fresh air. When I wandered in I found a great bar that served me the menu de dias despite arriving too early. The gazpacho and wine were fantastic.

my hotel was spectacular. It appeared to be brand new. The room was large, the bathroom thoughtfully designed and the ac worked. When the woman showed me the room and the controller for the AC I almost broke out in tears. It was quickly set to 19c for my entire stay. It was wonderful.

Mananath, I am thoroughly enjoying your posts! I could imagine the relief when you turned on that AC!
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
This morning I arrived in Leon. I am pretty sure the entrance to Leon has been the worst I have experienced so far. I think I had gotten so used to there not being too much vehicle traffic the past few days that I found street crossings to be a bit challenging. Plus it seemed that there were quite a few of them that weren't controlled.

Found another section where someone painted over the official arrows and diverted the Camino into a small village. In hindsight I should have taken it. The route I ended up on had a pretty long ascent.

Fortunately I love Leon (I was here a few years ago) so once arriving all my frustrations were forgotten. I checked into a 3mo old hotel with good AC and one of those waterfall shower heads that is wider than me.

Now I am sitting in a lavadoras watching my few pieces of clothing slowly bounce around in the secadora and the radio is playing a song I heard a guy whistling a few days ago and had been stuck in my head ever since.

I will be in Leon for two days and am already doubting my decision to take a rest day. I really don't think I need it and am wary about being removed from my Camino head space. Still it will be nice to sleep in. Haha

I have been thinking about how remarkable the human body is. Yesterday I basically walked a marathon, after walking continuously for two weeks, and today I feel fine. Tired but not sore. My feet don't ache. Amazing. A few years ago I walked a marathon on the spur of a moment (during a covid quarantine) and found myself in agony for days after. Goes to show the importance of training etc
 
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Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
I am still not convinced I needed a rest day when in Leon but it did feel nice to get out of bed at 8 instead of the usual 5. It also felt weird to watch the pilgrims setting off in the morning and not join them.

I did very little while in Leon aside from reprovision, repack my bag (I swear half of the bag consists of things I am not using at all), visit the cathedral and nap.

However there were two happy occurrences that I would have missed had I walked. When eating breakfast near the cathedral I ran in to a pilgrim I hadnt seen in a week and didn't expect to see again (they were a day behind). Had a chance to catch up and see their gnarly blisters!

And I found out that a colleague from work had just arrived in Leon to start their Camino so we had dinner and then this morning I walked with them to their first stopping point (San Martin). It was nice to impart some of my gained Camino wisdom and see how much I have grown as a walker these past two weeks.

I continued on to Hospital De Obrigo and was suitability impressed by the bridge and a trout dish I had for lunch. This will be my resting place for the evening and tomorrow I head to Rabanal.

My route has gotten a bit wonky and I am still not entirely sure why I changed it up. Originally I was going to do San Martin Astorga Foncebaon Acebo which would have been a perfectly spaced out route. Now I am doing it in 3 days. So I gain a day but at a potential cost of tiredness/injury etc. We shall see if it works out....
 

denagigharbor

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, in Sep 2022
Mananath, your posts are so encouraging, especially considering your shakey start concerning footwear. It's amazing to hear how strong your feet and legs have become over 2 weeks. I'll be especially dialed into your adventures from now on, as my little group will be embarking from Leon in September. I'm still training with my Topos and breaking in my Chacos too! I think I'm just about ready to ditch my Darn Tough socks in favor of Injinji (which really surprises me!). Buen Camino!
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Mananath, your posts are so encouraging, especially considering your shakey start concerning footwear. It's amazing to hear how strong your feet and legs have become over 2 weeks. I'll be especially dialed into your adventures from now on, as my little group will be embarking from Leon in September. I'm still training with my Topos and breaking in my Chacos too! I think I'm just about ready to ditch my Darn Tough socks in favor of Injinji (which really surprises me!). Buen Camino!
The toe socks have been a game changer for me. I love em! I still wear the darn toughs at night sometimes but I have always found them to be too tight.

The true test for the Chacos comes in 2 days when I walk to Acebo..and further down.
 

FourSeasons

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Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2016, 2019 ---- the next is a mystery.
Hola @Mananath, there was an alternative to the highway/senda trail from Fromista. At or just after Poblacion de Campos (before you cross the Rio Uciaeza) take the right hand path. I walked in May 2017 and found it a welcome relief from the highway traffic noise.
I took this alternate during the heat of July 2019. My early morning departure brought me to this amazing sunrise. The silence was also a welcome sound.
6C5EA22D-A73E-4875-B432-B0367AA024EC.jpeg
 
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J Willhaus

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Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
This morning I arrived in Leon. I am pretty sure the entrance to Leon has been the worst I have experienced so far. I think I had gotten so used to there not being too much vehicle traffic the past few days that I found street crossings to be a bit challenging. Plus it seemed that there were quite a few of them that weren't controlled.

Found another section where someone painted over the official arrows and diverted the Camino into a small village. In hindsight I should have taken it. The route I ended up on had a pretty long ascent.

Fortunately I love Leon (I was here a few years ago) so once arriving all my frustrations were forgotten. I checked into a 3mo old hotel with good AC and one of those waterfall shower heads that is wider than me.

Now I am sitting in a lavadoras watching my few pieces of clothing slowly bounce around in the secadora and the radio is playing a song I heard a guy whistling a few days ago and had been stuck in my head ever since.

I will be in Leon for two days and am already doubting my decision to take a rest day. I really don't think I need it and am wary about being removed from my Camino head space. Still it will be nice to sleep in. Haha

I have been thinking about how remarkable the human body is. Yesterday I basically walked a marathon, after walking continuously for two weeks, and today I feel fine. Tired but not sore. My feet don't ache. Amazing. A few years ago I walked a marathon on the spur of a moment (during a covid quarantine) and found myself in agony for days after. Goes to show the importance of training etc
We always stay at the AC in Leon. Love shopping at El Corte Ingles. They have regular stick deoderant/antiperspirant instead of roll on or spray!
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
After a pretty poor sleep (super hot and street noise) at my place in Hospital Obrigo I departed at 5am and set off for Rabanal.

There are two routes, a scenic and road. Due to the early hour I decided to keep it simple and take the road route where I figured it would be flat and provide less chances for getting lost. Aside from one dangerous roundabout crossing it was fine and not much traffic.

When I was walking out of San Justo a friendly stray dog decided to join me and basically walked all the way to Astorga with me. Always about ten feet in front of me, leading me on with no need to consult the arrows. He knew all the proper turns to take. I did get a bit worried that he would get lost after walking so far from home and was thankful when I had to cross a rather complex bridge. He walked halfway up but then had second thoughts. As I walked away I noticed him staring at me from across the bridge.

About 30 min later I was sitting inside a cafe in Astorga and glanced out the window and noticed the dog outside the cafe!!! Amazing. Thankfully by the time I finished he had moved on.

Having been on the meseta for the last week or so it was nice to finally get past that section and notice the change to the terrain: mountains! Trees!

I found the last hour to Rabanal to be both tedious and hot. I probably shouldn't had stopped at the cowboy bar for a dry bocadillo and beer! I was not expecting the final bit of ascent on rocky terrain, esp at a time when I was pretty tired. Had to go real slow to avoid any ankle rolls etc.

Tomorrow I plan to walk to Acebo and I am a bit nervous. I've been dreading the steep downhill for awhile now. I have a history of difficulty with long descents which makes me wary. However I haven't had any problems so far on this Camino so hopefully it continues.... looking ahead at the terrain profile the final week seems to have a lot more hills than the first 2!
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
I love Leon too. I stayed at the Leon Hostel where I nursed an injured leg for many a day. I love reading your posts and your journey is definitely a Buen Camino!!
Keep Walking. 😎 You’re getting closer to Santiago.
Yeah, closer and closer but I am trying not to think about it yet..lots of miles to go. But the draw is definitely increasing....
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
When I was walking out of San Justo a friendly stray dog decided to join me and basically walked all the way to Astorga with me.

I am very pleased that this happens to other people and not just me. Somehow I seem to be a magnet for strays.

My last time the dog was a very cute, well trained and socialised Scottish terrier. It walked behind me. Initially I tried to shoo it away but I was on a busy road and I didn't want it to run out into the traffic and so I ignored for a while and sped up. It kept pace, just behind me.

I came to where I needed to cross the road and thought about rushing across before it got there but had visions of a squashed dog and so I waited for it. When it came to the edge of the road I told it to "sit" and it did. Again I thought about leaving it sitting there but decided that was too dangerous.

When there was a good break in the traffic I told it to "come" and it followed me at heel across the road and as I walked.

The further I walked the more concerned I became that it would never find its way back home.

Eventually I got to a service station and asked inside if anyone would take responsibility for the dog but no one was interested. Meanwhile the dog sat patiently just outside the door.

Outside there was a man sitting in a parked car and on a whim I asked him. He looked at the dog, said that he liked the look of it and bent down to pick it up. The dog ran away in fright.

I walked to where the dog was waiting and bent down to pick it up. It didn't run away and so I carried it to the man and handed it to him.

He looked on the dog's collar and found a phone number. I hadn't thought of that! Not a dog person.

I waited while he called the number on the collar but there was no answer but I heard the guy leave a message with his name and number. He then put the dog in his car and drove away.

I was a bit concerned that he seemed to like the dog too much and that he might keep it but there was no way that I could have done anything better and so I let it go.

It was a very nice dog, as dogs go.
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Oh boy. Today I felt my soul lift! What a walk, what views, what a day!

I had been stressing myself out a bit about this day-long downhills make me wary- and read a lot of reviews about the terrain etc but none mentioned the bugs. Oh the bugs. I call em gnats but I don't think that is what they are but they were plentiful in the covered areas this morning, just swarming and flying into my face. I got two in my nose, one in my eye and a few in my mouth. Infuriating. No amount of swatting could rid me of them and they always seemed to appear when the terrain was rough. Thankfully as the day went on there were less of them...

Today I walked to Cruz de Ferro, an image that had already been burned Into my head. I found the uphill walk to be rather easy and was focusing on the trail when the cross suddenly appeared. I wasn't sure if I would have an emotional reaction to it and I didn't. There was a scrum of cyclists all clambering up when I arrived so I just walked to the other side to toss my rock and sat down in the shelter to apply some sunscreen.

After leaving I started getting into my head a bit and thinking about the past 3 weeks and how I felt I have grown. I was thinking about how easy I was finding the walking despite already walking 300miles. I began to realize that while the Camino might provide it also teaches, if you are open to it, and there was nothing really different about today's walk than other days. I had already learned the best way to handle the walking obstacles.

Eventually I came to a food truck selling snacks and such. I wasn't going to stop but noticed they had Kas Limon (my go-to Camino drink) so I did and got a can. Sitting down at a table, with a cold Kas in my hand and gazing at the amazing scenery everything was just perfect and I was suddenly just overcome with emotion. Floored. It was so weird and it just came out of nowhere. Camino does weird things to ya haha.

Continuing, I was awed by the scenery. Today was just spectacular in that respect and I began to wonder what the bjg deal about the downhill section was...and then I came to it. lol.

This was not an enjoyable section. While I arrived in Acebo with no aches or pains I found the walk to be very mentally taxing and I went super slow over all the loose rocks. At one point some old guy about 30 years my senior stopped to ask if iwas ok before clambering down. I swear he was raised by goats. While the Chacos offered a good grip I was very aware of the lack of ankle support.

Not sure what I will do tomorrow, if I will walk the road or take the trail. Not really looking forward to a few more hours of super rocky downhill....also not sure where I will end up tomorrow. It all depends on how I feel after arriving in Molinaseca....

PXL_20220724_084031034.jpg
 

MaryLynn

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Oh boy. Today I felt my soul lift! What a walk, what views, what a day!

I had been stressing myself out a bit about this day-long downhills make me wary- and read a lot of reviews about the terrain etc but none mentioned the bugs. Oh the bugs. I call em gnats but I don't think that is what they are but they were plentiful in the covered areas this morning, just swarming and flying into my face. I got two in my nose, one in my eye and a few in my mouth. Infuriating. No amount of swatting could rid me of them and they always seemed to appear when the terrain was rough. Thankfully as the day went on there were less of them...

Today I walked to Cruz de Ferro, an image that had already been burned Into my head. I found the uphill walk to be rather easy and was focusing on the trail when the cross suddenly appeared. I wasn't sure if I would have an emotional reaction to it and I didn't. There was a scrum of cyclists all clambering up when I arrived so I just walked to the other side to toss my rock and sat down in the shelter to apply some sunscreen.

After leaving I started getting into my head a bit and thinking about the past 3 weeks and how I felt I have grown. I was thinking about how easy I was finding the walking despite already walking 300miles. I began to realize that while the Camino might provide it also teaches, if you are open to it, and there was nothing really different about today's walk than other days. I had already learned the best way to handle the walking obstacles.

Eventually I came to a food truck selling snacks and such. I wasn't going to stop but noticed they had Kas Limon (my go-to Camino drink) so I did and got a can. Sitting down at a table, with a cold Kas in my hand and gazing at the amazing scenery everything was just perfect and I was suddenly just overcome with emotion. Floored. It was so weird and it just came out of nowhere. Camino does weird things to ya haha.

Continuing, I was awed by the scenery. Today was just spectacular in that respect and I began to wonder what the bjg deal about the downhill section was...and then I came to it. lol.

This was not an enjoyable section. While I arrived in Acebo with no aches or pains I found the walk to be very mentally taxing and I went super slow over all the loose rocks. At one point some old guy about 30 years my senior stopped to ask if iwas ok before clambering down. I swear he was raised by goats. While the Chacos offered a good grip I was very aware of the lack of ankle support.

Not sure what I will do tomorrow, if I will walk the road or take the trail. Not really looking forward to a few more hours of super rocky downhill....also not sure where I will end up tomorrow. It all depends on how I feel after arriving in Molinaseca....

View attachment 130012

Take the road! Walk behind the guard rail so you don't wander into the road and surprise drivers speeding up the hill. I think that the path that goes through the woods is the worst rocky path on the Camino - very scary. Good luck!!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Not sure what I will do tomorrow, if I will walk the road or take the trail. Not really looking forward to a few more hours of super rocky downhill....also not sure where I will end up tomorrow.
This is probably too late but you are past the worst of it, stick to the trail on the descent into Molinaseca.
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
I took the trail and agree with your assessment. It was actually a really fun section with just the right amount of challenge. Wouldn't have liked it in the rain though. I was drinking a coffee in Molinaseca 2 hrs after starting. Great morning!
This is probably too late but you are past the worst of it, stick to the trail on the descent into Molinaseca.
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
IMHO the 2 sections combined were absolutely the worst descend I went through
At the afore-mentioned food truck stop (Manjarin) where I also enjoyed my go-to drink KAS Lemon the lady quipped that "its not so bad...its all downhill...and then you come to a beautiful river..."
The descent to El Acebo was (understandably) bad enough. At the very 1st Bar (name escapes me...but the Tuna salad was THE BEST!) there were lots of discussion about the upcoming "phase 2". There were 3 ladies from US who called a taxi to take them to Ponferrada. They graciously offered another Peregrina & I to give a lift to Molinaseca, at which point someone else stated that while "the looming descend is steeper the trail itself is better"... which cemented our resolve to decline the offered ride and continue walking
Needless to say the descent WAS steeper but the trail did not get better :confused:
To add to it all, i was so fixated on that 'beautiful river' that i surely must come to (and reasonably soon) that at some point (probably with 2-2.5 km left) I foolishly decided to change boots for sandals... which only added to the overall time it took me to descend (sandals, as I am sure lots will agree, is not a good footwear on steep downhills)
Not sure what river the lady was talking about - looking at the map there are quite lots of bodies of water in the area....but I didn't see any until i was literally face-to-face with Puente Romano

So... @Mananath - I am glad that you felt it was a really fun section! 👋
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
The past few days have been magical. The entry to Galicia has really been uplifting - all the green and hills -- esp after the meseta. Tomorrow I will arrive in Sarria!

My descent from Acebo passed uneventfully. I think I built the hazards of this section up in my mind so much that I psyched myself out a bit. While certainly not easy I found this downhill easier than the descent into Acebo (which had a lot of large loose rocks).

Having completed both this section and the entry into Triacastela I have decided to stop reviewing elevation profiles. Rarely do the terrifying descents represented on the graphs match the reality of the ground. For instance, the descent to Triacastela was quite gradual and though it was long I felt it to be rather easy.

When I entered Ponferada a few days ago someone stopped me to tell me that the back pocket of my backpack was wide open. I quickly zipped it up and began to wonder if I had lost anything. Later that night I discovered that everything was accounted for except my stick of Foot Glide, which I have been using daily on my feet and inner thighs to prevent chafing. Disaster.

The next night I ran into a pilgrim I hadnt seen in about two weeks and after catching up I mentioned the loss of my foot glide. Turns out they had one they never used and offered to me. The Camino provides, eh?

A friend of mine recently asked me for my low and high moments so far and after thinking about it for a few days I realized I can't answer her. I think to separate out the lows would negate the highs, the experience so far has been the totality. It just builds and each moment plays a role.

As I begin to look to the end of my Camino the weight of what I have done so far is beginning to hit me. It feels like I am riding a giant emotional wave, that began way back in Pamplona and has been growing everyday with each new experience. Now as I am less than a week from finishing I feel this wave has reached gigantic proportions and is just propelling me closer and closer to Santiago. I'm just along for the ride, hoping for a gentle landing in Plaza de Obradoiro.

My intention is to arrive the morning of the 2nd and spend two nights before returning to the US. It's so soon!
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
The past few days have been magical. The entry to Galicia has really been uplifting - all the green and hills -- esp after the meseta. Tomorrow I will arrive in Sarria!

My descent from Acebo passed uneventfully. I think I built the hazards of this section up in my mind so much that I psyched myself out a bit. While certainly not easy I found this downhill easier than the descent into Acebo (which had a lot of large loose rocks).

Having completed both this section and the entry into Triacastela I have decided to stop reviewing elevation profiles. Rarely do the terrifying descents represented on the graphs match the reality of the ground. For instance, the descent to Triacastela was quite gradual and though it was long I felt it to be rather easy.

When I entered Ponferada a few days ago someone stopped me to tell me that the back pocket of my backpack was wide open. I quickly zipped it up and began to wonder if I had lost anything. Later that night I discovered that everything was accounted for except my stick of Foot Glide, which I have been using daily on my feet and inner thighs to prevent chafing. Disaster.

The next night I ran into a pilgrim I hadnt seen in about two weeks and after catching up I mentioned the loss of my foot glide. Turns out they had one they never used and offered to me. The Camino provides, eh?

A friend of mine recently asked me for my low and high moments so far and after thinking about it for a few days I realized I can't answer her. I think to separate out the lows would negate the highs, the experience so far has been the totality. It just builds and each moment plays a role.

As I begin to look to the end of my Camino the weight of what I have done so far is beginning to hit me. It feels like I am riding a giant emotional wave, that began way back in Pamplona and has been growing everyday with each new experience. Now as I am less than a week from finishing I feel this wave has reached gigantic proportions and is just propelling me closer and closer to Santiago. I'm just along for the ride, hoping for a gentle landing in Plaza de Obradoiro.

My intention is to arrive the morning of the 2nd and spend two nights before returning to the US. It's so soon!
We fly out of Madrid Aug 4. Enjoy your time in Santiago. I am sure you'll be back when you are able.
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Today got off to a rough start. I walked out of Sarria and really wasn't prepared for the amount of new people on the Camino. I suspect I walked by at least 400 people today. In the previous few days I was seeing a dozen or so pilgrims.

I spent most of the morning being really annoyed. I was stingy with my "buen Caminos". I found myself being really resentful of everyone with their new packs, new energy etc crowding the path, singing, praying and taking up all the tables at various bars.

I started walking faster and during my first hour walked a mile more than my normal pace. I began calculating how I could knock this last section out in 2 days etc.

By lunch I realized that my attitude and pace was not sustainable. And while I can't do anything about the hoards of people I can adjust my attitude. So I have been working on that. And will stick to my plan to arrive in Santiago on the 2nd.

I think what I find most annoying is that the new people don't realize what they are missing out on by starting now. Thinking back I have found the meditative state that comes from doing the same thing day in and day out to be most rewarding. And I don't think you can obtain that in 100km.

Also, Galicia smells haha. All the cow poop is making me nauseous!
 

sarahchicago

Trail snail
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2022
There are over 100 people in this photo, way off into the distance. View attachment 130265
I think this adjustment is hard for a lot of folks, based on the number of posts here in the forum. My husband and I handled these feelings in a few ways. First, we stayed mid-stage to be out of more congested towns. Then, we started very early, around 5, to enjoy the first few hours with very few pilgrims nearby and none of the youth groups, who tended to be the loudest. Finally, we talked about the change and decided to observe individuals and groups and then talked about how Spanish teens are exactly like our American kids were at that age, how cool it is to see pilgrims who might have left their home countries for the very first time ( so felt the need for the support of a tour group) and, the best of all, how we saw many people with disabilities on this part of the Camino. My husband pitched in on a hill or two to help pull pilgrims in wheelchairs. It wasn’t as peaceful and contemplative as earlier stages and I don’t think I’ll walk the Sarria to SdC section in a high season again (but I could change my mind) but it has its beauties, too. Could you split your walking into very early morning and then after dinner to avoid all the groups?
 
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LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
Yes, unfortunately you’re caught in the middle of the weekend crowd.

I agree with Sarah’s tips, try to finish the day beyond the usual stages (so the next morning you’re already ahead of the other pilgrims), start walking between 5.30-6.30 OR way later like after 10 if you can sustain the heat (!!!! Seems everyone starts walking between 7.30-8.30?).

I remember getting a 3-course meal at O Pedrouzo for lunch and pushed on after lunch (all the energy from the various carbs) and there was nobody there! Only some cyclists - they would’ve reached Santiago on that day, and 1 other pilgrim who started even further back than me!
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Yes, unfortunately you’re caught in the middle of the weekend crowd.

I agree with Sarah’s tips, try to finish the day beyond the usual stages (so the next morning you’re already ahead of the other pilgrims), start walking between 5.30-6.30 OR way later like after 10 if you can sustain the heat (!!!! Seems everyone starts walking between 7.30-8.30?).

I remember getting a 3-course meal at O Pedrouzo for lunch and pushed on after lunch (all the energy from the various carbs) and there was nobody there! Only some cyclists - they would’ve reached Santiago on that day, and 1 other pilgrim who started even further back than me!
I had booked my final few days in advance as I was concerned about finding space. I am only staying in private rooms at this point. So I will be in Arzua tomorrow. But the following day I will push on for a long day and finish at Lavacolla. Then on the final day have like a 90 min walk into Santiago and hopefully avoid the bulk of people who stayed at Pedrouzo.

Today wasn't as bad. I think people spread out more and some are probably hurting as it is rheir second days. Also the long ascents probably slowed some folks down.

I thought about adjusting my walking times but at this point I think it would be too disruptive to my bodies routines. Haha. Plus I did a bunch of 5am starts for the heat and I am done with those. It has been a lot cooler lately.

So basically, I am dealing. And focusing on the coming arrival- 42mi, 14 hrs left!
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Today got off to a rough start. I walked out of Sarria and really wasn't prepared for the amount of new people on the Camino. I suspect I walked by at least 400 people today. In the previous few days I was seeing a dozen or so pilgrims.

I spent most of the morning being really annoyed. I was stingy with my "buen Caminos". I found myself being really resentful of everyone with their new packs, new energy etc crowding the path, singing, praying and taking up all the tables at various bars.

I started walking faster and during my first hour walked a mile more than my normal pace. I began calculating how I could knock this last section out in 2 days etc.

By lunch I realized that my attitude and pace was not sustainable. And while I can't do anything about the hoards of people I can adjust my attitude. So I have been working on that. And will stick to my plan to arrive in Santiago on the 2nd.

I think what I find most annoying is that the new people don't realize what they are missing out on by starting now. Thinking back I have found the meditative state that comes from doing the same thing day in and day out to be most rewarding. And I don't think you can obtain that in 100km.

Also, Galicia smells haha. All the cow poop is making me nauseous!
That is the smell of money as my farmer ex-husband used to say😉.
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Tomorrow morning I will arrive in Santiago!! I am getting super excited. Hard to believe that a bit more than a month ago I was sitting in the US stressing about my footwear and considering canceling for that reason. Glad I didn't. This has been such a wonderful experience!

Spending my last night on the Camino outside of Lavacolla at a rural hotel about 15 min off the Camino. I suspect tomorrow I will arrive around 930am. I will be in Santiago until the evening of the 4th so will have tons of time to relax.

I am finishing a few days earlier than I had originally planned which is fine but of course now I am wondering if I could have made it in time had I started from France. Or if I pushed it a bit more would I had time to walk to Finisterre. But can't do anything about that now. I'm just thrilled to be arriving and with no injuries!
 

LavanyaLea

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (May/June 2022)
I suspect tomorrow I will arrive around 930am
Yay!!! Well done you! Don’t miss the short detour at Monte de Gozo to see the pilgrim’s statues. I also arrived at 9.30, short queue at the Pilgrim’s Office, was out with my compostela just after 10!
 
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Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
After settling in for the night at Lavacolla I began to have doubts. I found the accommodation options to be quite poor and overpriced so I ended up at a place about 10 min off the Camino. I was the only pilgrim there and began to feel a bit lonely. Plus the proximity to Santiago made me think I should have just continued.

However morning came and I began to walk early at my customary 7am. My hope was to avoid the large groups and I did. The only pilgrims I saw were ones I had been seeing for weeks (including my Camino nemesis; after all the weeks of course we would finish together haha) and they were few. Most of the way into Santiago I was alone.

For some reason, after hundred's of miles of clearly marked trails the arrows dry up as you begin to approach Santiago which was a bit confusing and I was thankful for my gps to get me the final few bits.

A pilgrim arriving in Santiago is not much of a novelty and most locals were indifferent to my arrival and bubbling excitement. However when I was about 5 minutes from finishing I came to an intersection and a couple -strangers- going about their business spotted me, pointed the way, smiled and began clapping as I passed them.

This was my most memorable experience of the whole Camino. It was nice to feel seen and acknowledged. After passing them I had to stop and clear my eyes.

No bagpipes as I walked through the tunnel however there was an accordion player. Not the same haha. The plaza was fairly empty when I arrived and I sat down, stared at the Cathedral and thought the thoughts thousands of others have had before me. It had been a safe journey, a successful one, a memorable one and I was thankful.

I really wanted to see the botafumeiro swing but sadly, despite attending 8 masses, it was not meant to be.

After weeks of walking and staring at shells I decided that I wanted a more permanent reminder of this journey so I got a tattoo (my first) on my lower calf. I am happy with it and look forward to viewing it years from now and remembering.

Now I am heading to the airport. An overnight in Barcelona followed by a flight back to the US. Back to work in 6 days. It's all a bit disconcerting. Not sure if I will do another camino...maybe. probably. I am glad for this one.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago de Compostela (2022)
After settling in for the night at Lavacolla I began to have doubts. I found the accommodation options to be quite poor and overpriced so I ended up at a place about 10 min off the Camino. I was the only pilgrim there and began to feel a bit lonely. Plus the proximity to Santiago made me think I should have just continued.

However morning came and I began to walk early at my customary 7am. My hope was to avoid the large groups and I did. The only pilgrims I saw were ones I had been seeing for weeks (including my Camino nemesis; after all the weeks of course we would finish together haha) and they were few. Most of the way into Santiago I was alone.

For some reason, after hundred's of miles of clearly marked trails the arrows dry up as you begin to approach Santiago which was a bit confusing and I was thankful for my gps to get me the final few bits.

A pilgrim arriving in Santiago is not much of a novelty and most locals were indifferent to my arrival and bubbling excitement. However when I was about 5 minutes from finishing I came to an intersection and a couple -strangers- going about their business spotted me, pointed the way, smiled and began clapping as I passed them.

This was my most memorable experience of the whole Camino. It was nice to feel seen and acknowledged. After passing them I had to stop and clear my eyes.

No bagpipes as I walked through the tunnel however there was an accordion player. Not the same haha. The plaza was fairly empty when I arrived and I sat down, stared at the Cathedral and thought the thoughts thousands of others have had before me. It had been a safe journey, a successful one, a memorable one and I was thankful.

I really wanted to see the botafumeiro swing but sadly, despite attending 8 masses, it was not meant to be.

After weeks of walking and staring at shells I decided that I wanted a more permanent reminder of this journey so I got a tattoo (my first) on my lower calf. I am happy with it and look forward to viewing it years from now and remembering.

Now I am heading to the airport. An overnight in Barcelona followed by a flight back to the US. Back to work in 6 days. It's all a bit disconcerting. Not sure if I will do another camino...maybe. probably. I am glad for this one.
Thanks for your Camino story, it’s been a joy to read. I was touched by your emotion on entering Santiago. I’ve never been inclined to get a tattoo, but mentioned to my wife earlier this week that on completing, god willing, the Camino I may get one. Though I don’t like pain. 😂

I can’t wait until 20 September when we lock the house for 6-7 weeks and start our Camino Frances.

safe travel home
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Oh boy. Today I felt my soul lift! What a walk, what views, what a day!

I had been stressing myself out a bit about this day-long downhills make me wary- and read a lot of reviews about the terrain etc but none mentioned the bugs. Oh the bugs. I call em gnats but I don't think that is what they are but they were plentiful in the covered areas this morning, just swarming and flying into my face. I got two in my nose, one in my eye and a few in my mouth. Infuriating. No amount of swatting could rid me of them and they always seemed to appear when the terrain was rough. Thankfully as the day went on there were less of them...

Today I walked to Cruz de Ferro, an image that had already been burned Into my head. I found the uphill walk to be rather easy and was focusing on the trail when the cross suddenly appeared. I wasn't sure if I would have an emotional reaction to it and I didn't. There was a scrum of cyclists all clambering up when I arrived so I just walked to the other side to toss my rock and sat down in the shelter to apply some sunscreen.

After leaving I started getting into my head a bit and thinking about the past 3 weeks and how I felt I have grown. I was thinking about how easy I was finding the walking despite already walking 300miles. I began to realize that while the Camino might provide it also teaches, if you are open to it, and there was nothing really different about today's walk than other days. I had already learned the best way to handle the walking obstacles.

Eventually I came to a food truck selling snacks and such. I wasn't going to stop but noticed they had Kas Limon (my go-to Camino drink) so I did and got a can. Sitting down at a table, with a cold Kas in my hand and gazing at the amazing scenery everything was just perfect and I was suddenly just overcome with emotion. Floored. It was so weird and it just came out of nowhere. Camino does weird things to ya haha.

Continuing, I was awed by the scenery. Today was just spectacular in that respect and I began to wonder what the bjg deal about the downhill section was...and then I came to it. lol.

This was not an enjoyable section. While I arrived in Acebo with no aches or pains I found the walk to be very mentally taxing and I went super slow over all the loose rocks. At one point some old guy about 30 years my senior stopped to ask if iwas ok before clambering down. I swear he was raised by goats. While the Chacos offered a good grip I was very aware of the lack of ankle support.

Not sure what I will do tomorrow, if I will walk the road or take the trail. Not really looking forward to a few more hours of super rocky downhill....also not sure where I will end up tomorrow. It all depends on how I feel after arriving in Molinaseca....

View attachment 130012
I dislike that section too. These days I take the road.
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Thanks for your Camino story, it’s been a joy to read. I was touched by your emotion on entering Santiago. I’ve never been inclined to get a tattoo, but mentioned to my wife earlier this week that on completing, god willing, the Camino I may get one. Though I don’t like pain. 😂

I can’t wait until 20 September when we lock the house for 6-7 weeks and start our Camino Frances.

safe travel home
I didn't find it painful at all. A bit of discomfort but not terrible.
 
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Pilgrino21

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
After settling in for the night at Lavacolla I began to have doubts. I found the accommodation options to be quite poor and overpriced so I ended up at a place about 10 min off the Camino. I was the only pilgrim there and began to feel a bit lonely. Plus the proximity to Santiago made me think I should have just continued.

However morning came and I began to walk early at my customary 7am. My hope was to avoid the large groups and I did. The only pilgrims I saw were ones I had been seeing for weeks (including my Camino nemesis; after all the weeks of course we would finish together haha) and they were few. Most of the way into Santiago I was alone.

For some reason, after hundred's of miles of clearly marked trails the arrows dry up as you begin to approach Santiago which was a bit confusing and I was thankful for my gps to get me the final few bits.

A pilgrim arriving in Santiago is not much of a novelty and most locals were indifferent to my arrival and bubbling excitement. However when I was about 5 minutes from finishing I came to an intersection and a couple -strangers- going about their business spotted me, pointed the way, smiled and began clapping as I passed them.

This was my most memorable experience of the whole Camino. It was nice to feel seen and acknowledged. After passing them I had to stop and clear my eyes.

No bagpipes as I walked through the tunnel however there was an accordion player. Not the same haha. The plaza was fairly empty when I arrived and I sat down, stared at the Cathedral and thought the thoughts thousands of others have had before me. It had been a safe journey, a successful one, a memorable one and I was thankful.

I really wanted to see the botafumeiro swing but sadly, despite attending 8 masses, it was not meant to be.

After weeks of walking and staring at shells I decided that I wanted a more permanent reminder of this journey so I got a tattoo (my first) on my lower calf. I am happy with it and look forward to viewing it years from now and remembering.

Now I am heading to the airport. An overnight in Barcelona followed by a flight back to the US. Back to work in 6 days. It's all a bit disconcerting. Not sure if I will do another camino...maybe. probably. I am glad for this one.
Your assessment of the final walk into Santiago was similar to mine. Had the feel of approach into Leon and (maybe Burgos but didn't go by the road). Arrows disappearing (had to look down for shells on pavement) as well as just being part of the masses (meh another pilgrim coming through).

It's interesting to read that what we find memorable isn't the ones we've seen others have done before but the truly unexpected ones: in your case the clapping, no bagpipes or botafumeiro. It's unique to you. Truly humbling, gratifying, and satisfying.

I'm with you about whether to do another Camino (took me twice to complete it). Then again you just finished (been two months for me). People have their reasons for repeat Caminos or different ones. In the end, when it calls again we'll know and will respond accordingly.

Take the time you need to process and reflect. At least you have a few days before work again (I had one haha). If you need someone to chat with and feel like making a short trip my way I'm happy to meet (or I go your way). Again congrats on this achievement. Safe travels.

p.s. nice tatt
 
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FourSeasons

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2016, 2019 ---- the next is a mystery.
Mine was taken August 11, 2019. They cleaned up the area, removed or cut back the tree and brush and replaced or cleaned up the way marker. I’m thinking for the Holy Year? It’s nearly unrecognizable. I found that to be the case in some areas on the Frances from 2013 to 2019. Changed. 😢
0C822837-BDAC-4097-A192-5E3562025F1D.jpeg
 
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jasperg357

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning first Camino for April of 2023.
This afternoon I walked into Burgos and felt a wee bit of an accomplishment. It felt good. I started my walk back on the 5th (the 6th was my first full day) from Pamplona and I had a lot of concerns, mainly with my footwear and how my body would handle it and if I would even make it a few days. But so far my body is holding up. No major issues beyond tightness in the morning.

My footwear saga seems to have worked itself out. After starting with a pair of trail runners they quickly proved to be a bit ill fitting and caused some heel pain and blisters so I switched to my Chacos which have been good so far after getting the straps dialed in. I haven't come across any terrain yet where I felt uncomfortable (though the rocky ascent this morning between Ages and Burgos was a bit of a rolled ankle waiting to happen; I just went slow).

I have been realizing how much I enjoy this, which tool a few days. I think I started with the idea that this was going to be the Bataan death march, which of course, it isn't. It's nice feeling part of something bigger and sharing this experience with others, even if many people you just pass (or get passed by) on the road. It's nice to recognize faces as the days go by.

My longest day so far has been around 18mi but I think tomorrow I will push on to Hontanas which will be around 19 or so. I have been trying to alternate between long and short days with the idea of averaging 15mi a day to make my Aug 4th deadline.

I have been very happy with my pack, an Osprey Stratos 36. I knew from previous backpacking experience that I wanted a robust suspension and strap system and this definitely provides that. My shoulders haven't been sore at all.

I am starting to realize where I have overpacked a bit (I am at around 16#). Definitely have not needed: my USB power bank, fleece jacket, my liner socks or three pairs of darn tough socks and my Kindle.

My injinji midweight toe socks, with my Chacos, have been real winners. I never used them before this and have really grown to love having my toes separated. It helps prevent blisters forming between my toes (though I still have a small one).

Another item I am glad to have is a hydration tube that attaches to a regular water bottle (recommended on this forum) which has been great for refilling and easily staying hydrated. Which has been tough. With the high temps you really sweat a lot and I noticed the first few days that I wasn't urinating enough because I just wasn't drinking all I should have been.

For a few reasons I have mainly been staying in private rooms at cheaper hotels. While it has been good for sleeping I am realizing that you do miss out a bit on the social part of the Camino. I am not a very outgoing person to begin with which makes it harder. That being said I have enjoyed chatting with people while walking and it is nice to stop for a rest at a bar and have someone recognize you!

All in all it has been a good start and rather enjoyable. I am hopeful that I will be able to finish but don't want to jinx it yet! :)
Out of curiosity we’re you able to bring your pack on to the plane as a carry on? And do you think the size is large enough for walking the Camino?
 

Mananath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
July 2022
Out of curiosity we’re you able to bring your pack on to the plane as a carry on? And do you think the size is large enough for walking the Camino?
Yes to both. I flew on united, vueling and SATA and had no issues with bringing it on the plane. It was more than large enough. It's a great pack and my shoulders never felt sore.
 

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