• In case you had not seen it, there is a new link in the top menu to the most popular contents on the forum from the last 90 days, 1 year and all the way from the beginning in 2004.
A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

Our Experience on Camino Ingles

2020 Camino Guides

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Some thoughts concerning certain aspects of the pilgrimage.
Three days round-trip travel from Washington State. . One day visiting Ferrol and resting . . . Five days of pilgrim walking. . . two days in Santiago de Compostela. . . fourteen days of European road trip (showing Jill places I’ve been and exploring together new places and locations in six other countries). Twenty-five days of total time together.

Out of all those days, the most precious time together was our walk on Camino Ingles.

The dynamic with Jill was totally different than when I walk Camino or backpack with my oldest son, Caleb. Different. . but in a good way. As many couples have discovered, the Camino has a more intimate nature to companionship in terms of awareness, concern, and sharing of experiences. It surprised both Jill and me at the level of increasing ‘closeness’ we experienced.

My primary concern had been how ‘hardy’ Jill would be for long hours of walking in potentially adverse conditions. We had never backpacked together, so I had no clue as to her ‘meltdown’ threshold.

Everyone has a ‘Meltdown’ threshold. Sometimes it comes with prolonged fatigue and physical overexertion. Sometimes it comes from prolonged exposure to adverse weather, be it hot or cold or wet or desert dry. Sometimes the Meltdown comes from realizing that after days of effort, the destination is still so far away, and that it is going to be a wash-rinse-repeat cycle for more days to come. And of course, the Meltdown can come from aches and pains from the walking - - blisters, knees, shoulders, back, feet that hurt.

The Meltdown symptoms can range from a mild exasperation with a prolonged sit-down to gather thoughts, to a full-blown crumbling into a gooey mass of sobbing and surrender, leading to bailing out and heading for home. Sometimes the Meltdown is primarily psychological in origin, and sometimes it is primarily physical. There is usually a mixture of both components.

I was happily surprised (and somewhat relieved) at how resilient and accepting and determined Jill turned out to be. I shouldn’t have been, but in this context of distance walking over many days, I was.

Fair weather hikers will turn and run at the first sign of bad weather. That was my first insight into how Jill would respond to the pilgrimage. When we arrived in Ferrol the day before our 1st walking day, it rained. Hard. It started during the taxi ride into Ferrol and just kept pouring down. We had just gotten settled into our hotel room, when Jill got into her backpack and pulled out her poncho and asked me if I was ready to go out and walk around Ferrol.

From that day until we departed Santiago de Compostela at the finish, there was not really a single word of complaint from Jill. She would mention that she wanted to slow down during some steep downhill sections, or let me know that she wanted to check out a pressure point or hotspot on a foot, but never any Meltdown or griping or ‘What did I get myself into’ verbiage. Although I never thought about the issue of ‘nature breaks’, Jill became very adept and comfortable and speedy with the female version :)

Jill was never sure about enjoying or liking or appreciating doing a Camino, even a short one like the Ingles. But the last evening before walking into Santiago, I saw her tearing up before we went for dinner. I thought that maybe she was hurt or upset at something I did or said. When I gently asked her why she was crying, she responded, “I don’t want this to end”.

It was at that point that Jill decided that she wanted to do more Caminos, and that has now evolved into looking at doing the Camino Portuguese next Fall.

The physical aspects of walking Camino Ingles for us.
We found it to be a wonderful pilgrimage walk!!! It rained most of the time, but we stayed dry and comfortable. The walk itself was not difficult for us. . . yes, there is quite a bit of elevation change (ups and downs) in mostly short distances, but at no point did we feel that it was exceptionally difficult or required a huge physical effort. On some uphill sections, like leaving Betanzos, the grade could get fairly steep for a bit. But we would simply adjust the length of out strides and our pace and go as slow as we needed to go in order to keep a steady progress.

There are a few remarkably steep downhill grades along the Ingles, which can be problematic for some folks. At first, Jill experienced achiness in her knees, and eventually mentioned it to me. I gave her some tips on how to adjust for walking that type of downhill grade, and it helped her to relieve that ache.

If one is used to the frequency of the support infrastructure of the Camino Frances, it might be surprising to find out how sparsely interspersed places like bars, cafes, mercados, etc. are on the Ingles. They are there, but far more infrequent. I was prepared to deal with this difference, and we had some strategies worked out ahead of time.

In the evenings after we would settle into the place where we spent the night, Jill and I would always pick up some snacks and the supplies necessary to make something like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to carry with us for the next day. Since our walking days – with breaks – averaged 11 hours, it was nice to have the supplemental foods with us, so we didn’t need to wait for a café or bar to grab a bite to eat. Part of the reason we did so well while walking, was to make sure we took in enough calories to fuel the energy output.

Lodging was varied. Two places really stood out. One was an AirBnb in Betanzos that was right across the Rua San Francisco from the Igrexa de San Francisco, and near to the municipal alburgue (where we got our sellos). It was a beautiful apartment that was a last-minute replacement to a cancelled Booking.com-made reservation.

The other was Casa Rural Dona Maria near to Odes, which was came at the end of our longest walk (23 miles). We were the only people there that night. The owners provided a wonderful dinner and breakfast the next morning. This was the most expensive lodging choice for us on the Ingles, but it was wonderful.

The entire walking pilgrimage was wonderful, the scenery gorgeous, and the experience was relaxing, challenging, insightful, recharging, and spiritually renewing. We did not regret one bit the rainy weather walk. Seeing the countryside in the sun during breaks in the weather was wonderful, but the rainy weather had its own beautiful perspective of the land and sea which made us appreciate it as well.

There was one physically trying period of about three hours for me on the Camino on the very last day, while walking into Santiago (covered in a previous post). It did not spoil the Camino whatsoever, although there was a short period of worry from Jill. It resolved itself after entering the outskirts of the city, and it was a joyous walk into the Praza do Obradoiro.

Even for the second time over three Caminos, entering the Praza and standing in front of the Cathedral was an emotional experience for me. When I looked over at Jill as we were standing there, I could see her crying. At first, I thought it was because of the culmination of arriving at the goal, reaching the destination. I found out that this was part of it. But as with the night before, much of it had to do with this being the end for walking this Camino and all the time together spent together in that unique circumstance while on pilgrimage.

Post Camino
We spent that night in a suite in the Parador; a special treat that I wanted to give to Jill. We both found it to be a wonderful experience, especially enjoying the unique environment of the historic building, as well as the luxury of the service and staffing. Ahhhhh. . . a great day’s end.

The next day we checked into my favorite place to stay, Hostal Suso in room 24. A different lodging experience that let us participate in watching the flux and flow of the pedestrian street populations from a French door semi-balcony. Also being close to a great concentration of shops for souvenir shopping.

Also that day, I went by to pick up a package we had mailed from Ferrol to Ivar’s shop. It was fun to finally meet Ivar and get to know him a bit. I came to learn that he I have something in common: he spent time in Eastern Washington (where Jill and I live) attending and receiving a Degree from Washington State University. It was a pleasure to see you, Ivar!!! 😊

Early the next morning, Jill and I caught a flight from Santiago to Madrid. We spent the day visiting the Prado and exploring various areas including Plaza Mayor, where I made a happy finding of one of my favorite quick service restaurant chains in the U.S. . . a Five Guys Hamburger joint. I happily munched on cheeseburgers while Jill sat across the street eating at a local café. 😉

The next morning, we flew into Orly, to spend the next two days in Paris, including a visit to the Louvre. We headed back to Orly airport when we were heading out for Rocamadour, in order to pick up our rental car for the next 13-day road trip. Six more countries which would end with dropping the car off at the Frankfurt airport before catching our return flight back home.

Out of all our time in Europe, from Ferrol to Frankfurt, the worst part was driving through Genoa. The best part was. . . well, we can’t decide. What we do know, is that the Camino was the most precious time for us, as a couple, out of the entirety of the trip.

Edit: I didn't mention this because I had posted about it earlier. Jill and I met Faith (one of our Moderators of NateFaith fame) at the Pilgrim House while in Santiago. It was so wonderful and a blessing getting to know her and experiencing the ministry there. I decided that this was very much worth a second mention. If you have the opportunity, please think about visiting Pilgrim House.
 
Last edited:

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
What beautiful reflections Dave.
I second what you say about meeting Ivar and Faith!
And Genoa. Our family travelled in two motorhomes throughout much of Europe for a year and Genoa was hands down our worst day! We thought we'd stop by the beach for a picnic lunch. HAHA. We now value our Kiwi beaches so much more.
 

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
What beautiful reflections Dave.
I second what you say about meeting Ivar and Faith!
And Genoa. Our family travelled in two motorhomes throughout much of Europe for a year and Genoa was hands down our worst day! We thought we'd stop by the beach for a picnic lunch. HAHA. We now value our Kiwi beaches so much more.
I loved meeting Ivar and Faith, too!
I've been on a wonderful tour of many parts of Italy and loved all of our stops...you both make me glad that Genoa was not on the itinerary!
 

Flig

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles (2020)
It sounds like you both had a rich and rewarding journey. I enjoyed your post and I am looking forward to walking the Ingles this summer.

what really caught my attention though was your mention of peanut butter! When I last visited Europe peanut butter was nearly as plentiful as hen teeth. Can you get peanut butter in Spain? It’s my favorite hiking food.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
It sounds like you both had a rich and rewarding journey. I enjoyed your post and I am looking forward to walking the Ingles this summer.

what really caught my attention though was your mention of peanut butter! When I last visited Europe peanut butter was nearly as plentiful as hen teeth. Can you get peanut butter in Spain? It’s my favorite hiking food.
You can, but it can be sporadic. Nutella is plentiful, though, so I look in the Nutella section first :)
 

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)
It was at that point that Jill decided that she wanted to do more Caminos, and that has now evolved into looking at doing the Camino Portuguese next Fall.
Wonderful! You have created a monster. Welcome to the company of perennial peregrinas, Jill!
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
Sometimes best not to go on a Camino with picky, whining people.
Not worth it when constantly have to be concerned if the other person is gonna meltdown, whine, not be happy,... I gave up baby sitting years ago.

caminos are too beautiful, with wonderful people, to walk being constantly concerned if every aspect of their needs are being meet.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Sometimes best not to go on a Camino with picky, whining people.
Not worth it when constantly have to be concerned if the other person is gonna meltdown, whine, not be happy,... I gave up baby sitting years ago.

caminos are too beautiful, with wonderful people, to walk being constantly concerned if every aspect of their needs are being meet.
??????
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
And ????

was just venting my feelings when I saw people on the Camino whining and complaining.

istay away from them now

are you walking now Dave?
Or soon to be ?

give me a yell if going to be in Seville
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
And ????

was just venting my feelings when I saw people on the Camino whining and complaining.

istay away from them now

are you walking now Dave?
Or soon to be ?

give me a yell if going to be in Seville
I hear ya. :) Next Camino should be the Aragones in the October 2020; fingers crossed.
 

steve 217

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances planning via del la plata
Davebugg
that was a lovely ,moving ,enlightening ,post which has led me to book a trip with my wife /partner of thirty years to the Norte .

Thank you for sharing my Camigo
 

rometimed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(SJPdP: 2015, June2020!) (Eng Way: 2015)
I read this to my fiance and we 'awwwed' over most of it. :D
 

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)


Advertisement

Booking.com

Latest posts

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 9 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 49 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 174 15.0%
  • May

    Votes: 282 24.3%
  • June

    Votes: 85 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 23 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 26 2.2%
  • September

    Votes: 331 28.5%
  • October

    Votes: 145 12.5%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.5%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
Top