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Pilgrims friends who don't finish

SuperPilgrim

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 5, 2013
CF June 5, 2015
CF June 3, 2017
#1
I'm sitting here packing my gear for my second Camino I can't help but think of all the people I met on the first day and then watching so many of them suffer twisted ankles, shin splints, tendinitis and other injuries forcing them to leave the Camino early. They all wanted to walk all the way to Santiago but couldn't. Heartbreaking.

June 5th I will start my second Camino and I will undoubtedly meet many new pilgrims and make instant friends as pilgrims do. That said, it haunts me to know many of these smiling inspired people will not be able to finish.

What to do?
 

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cher99840

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
#2
It can happen to any of us at anytime. When I left to walk in 2013, my husband cautioned me to return home anytime that I felt the walk was too much for me. I assured him that I would finish IF I did not suffer an injury or become ill. I finished. Now I am about to embark on another pilgrimage and the same holds true. I will finish IF I don't become injured or ill.

What more is there to say or do?
 

SuperPilgrim

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 5, 2013
CF June 5, 2015
CF June 3, 2017
#3
It can happen to any of us at anytime. When I left to walk in 2013, my husband cautioned me to return home anytime that I felt the walk was too much for me. I assured him that I would finish IF I did not suffer an injury or become ill. I finished. Now I am about to embark on another pilgrimage and the same holds true. I will finish IF I don't become injured or ill.

What more is there to say or do?
cher99840,
When do you start your next Camino?

Bob
 

Peter Fransiscus

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#5
I'm sitting here packing my gear for my second Camino I can't help but think of all the people I met on the first day and then watching so many of them suffer twisted ankles, shin splints, tendinitis and other injuries forcing them to leave the Camino early. They all wanted to walk all the way to Santiago but couldn't. Heartbreaking.

June 5th I will start my second Camino and I will undoubtedly meet many new pilgrims and make instant friends as pilgrims do. That said, it haunts me to know many of these smiling inspired people will not be able to finish.

What to do?
I wish you a Buen Camino, but it could happen to you to. !!!
 

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Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#6
I suffered shin splints on my first Camino.
When I walked the Via de la Plata, the heat and lack of water forced us to quit.
I have gone back to complete the Frances several times and have walked several more sections of the VDLP.

I meet a LOT of pilgrims who are walking their 2d or 3d time, completing sections they missed.
It's not an unusual thing for pilgrims to finish the Camino in 2 or more starts - sometimes due to work schedules.

I'd just say do what you can, don't push so hard you injure yourself, and if you don't make it all the way, go back another time!
Eventually you'll make it to Santiago.

The last 100 k from Sarria is not difficult and if the goal is simply to get the Compostela, starting in Sarria isn't a bad choice.
Hundreds of people do it every year.
 

SuperPilgrim

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 5, 2013
CF June 5, 2015
CF June 3, 2017
#7
I wish you a Buen Camino, but it could happen to you to. !!!
Peter Fransiscus, You are so correct. I was injured last time but managed to finish. It easily could happen again. I mostly fear a twisted ankle or other sprain. So many thing can go wrong. I've got to hope for the best.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#8
I finished my first Camino ( Frances ) from Roncesvalles to Santiago and it took me 36 days.
I did not finish my second Camino ( part of Camino del Ebro and part Frances ) because of heavy flooding/ rain and after that just lack of interest ( can happen even if you had such high hopes ). I walked a total of fourteen days and then stopped in Carrion de los Condes and just had a nice regular holiday in Spain.
And last year on the Camino Ingles I had to stop 16 k before Santiago due to a minor heatstroke.
All three walks had their own special meaning to me and in no way I felt like I failed by not completing...
 

SuperPilgrim

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 5, 2013
CF June 5, 2015
CF June 3, 2017
#9
I finished my first Camino ( Frances ) from Roncesvalles to Santiago and it took me 36 days.
I did not finish my second Camino ( part of Camino del Ebro and part Frances ) because of heavy flooding/ rain and after that just lack of interest ( can happen even if you had such high hopes ). I walked a total of fourteen days and then stopped in Carrion de los Condes and just had a nice regular holiday in Spain.
And last year on the Camino Ingles I had to stop 16 k before Santiago due to a minor heatstroke.
All three walks had their own special meaning to me and in no way I felt like I failed by not completing...
SabineP, Thanks for sharing your story. Some people leave and are ok with it but others I've talked with carry a sense of leaving it unfinished with them for years. You have completed it on your first try so maybe the later Caminos never had that possibility of feeling undone? I finished my first camino as well but missed some sections due to injury. This is my second.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#10
Hi Super ~ I guess that's an interesting point -- if one has "succeeded" on the first try, does that make later, unfinished Caminos feel less "undone"? I don't know. Maybe it depends on one's outlook.

I walked twice - both times starting in SJPP and finishing in Santiago. But on the first one (43 days), I took a few buses, a train, two taxis and accepted rides from Spaniards twice - more for prevention - I turned 69 on that Camino, have arthritis in feet and knees and wasn't sure about (afraid of ?) some of the more severe down sections. The second time (60 days), I walked almost the entire distance (slowly - between 2 and 15 miles a day and taking several rest days) - I did not walk into or out of Leon. I was not hurt /injured or sick on either of my Caminos - they were - to me - practically perfect - both of them - the 2nd felt like a continuation of the first - but not in a geographical sense. Maybe I'm not qualified to comment on the point you raised. :oops:

But I wonder if it's really possible to "fail" a Camino? I don't have an answer to that either, but maybe there's a possibility that there is no failure. One learns SO much and meets SO many new people even in the planning stages, and even more when getting to the starting point, and a bit more still with the first day, second day, and so on. I don't know that one can be the same person after those experiences - even if one has to interrupt the fully-planned journey - it is just an interruption, and can be continued later. ...only a thought.

Try to hold fear and speculations at bay, and trust in your good intuitions. Best of luck to you on your second Camino!!
Terry
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
#11
No one fails the Camino, some choose to finish at different points some find it hard and know its wise to stop others just don't understand but no one fails, I have walked it twice first time ended in hospital in Santiago but after 8 days I made it to the Cathedral, the second time was to give thanks and in 2016 it will be a third time this time from Barcelona to Santiago but whatever happens I will not fail as its not a contest its a journey I started in 2013 and it is still going.
To all those leaving, or on the Way Buen Camino.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF011, CF012, CP013, CF014, CA015, S.Anton015, CF015, CI015
Ditch Pig016, CF017, CP017, CdN(018)
#13
Is it a western sense of "mission"
That is setting out to do it all and dog gone the torpedoes?
As Larry the Cable Guy puts it, "git'r dun!" Sadly that is the prevailing attitude, so failure is not an acceptable alternative to far too many people.
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#14
As Larry the Cable Guy puts it, "git'r dun!" Sadly that is the prevailing attitude, so failure is not an acceptable alternative to far too many people.
Maybe its a sign of intestinal fortitude,of mental toughness and a growed..up spirit...to bend before breaking
To, flow instead of stagnation
To give up is not surrender
It is not failure
It proves to those who have eyes to see,what it took to get this far,and to say...when...

Giving up is not giving in,if it is a tactical withdrawal to try again
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#15
So many seem to come to grief thanks to two Great Camino Myths: the Camino "starts" in St Jean pied de Port and that Napoleon was some kind of pathfinder pilgrim. Couple that with that bright-eyed enthusiasm and too tight a timetable and pilgrim sets off at a pace that would put a Sherpa to shame. In some ways it like driving faster in the car 'cos you need to get to a gas station before you hit empty.

But hey, as all those Human Resources handbooks will tell you: its a learning opportunity...
 

Denisealldridge

Camino Frances 2014- 2015 Camino Portuguese 2017
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 first half
2015 Camino Frances Completed -
Camino Portuguese 2017.
#16
My brother and I walked last September 2014 just to Santa Domingo from SJPDP. Only because that was the only time I could get off work. We are going again this year to do another portion. Two weeks , not long enough but just enough to get the Camino bug out of our system. It is hard to explain how addictive this walk is. In three years I turn 60, and I have warned my work that I will be walking the whole way , so I will take 6 weeks off, so they better plan for this . I am excited even now to plan for this and it is three years away. Right now I am looking for to October where I will meet my brother in Madrid and we will then bus and train to our starting point. He lives in Australia and I live in Canada. The best way to spend time together , walking the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/10/15
#17
Hi Super ~ I guess that's an interesting point -- if one has "succeeded" on the first try, does that make later, unfinished Caminos feel less "undone"? I don't know. Maybe it depends on one's outlook.

I walked twice - both times starting in SJPP and finishing in Santiago. But on the first one (43 days), I took a few buses, a train, two taxis and accepted rides from Spaniards twice - more for prevention - I turned 69 on that Camino, have arthritis in feet and knees and wasn't sure about (afraid of ?) some of the more severe down sections. The second time (60 days), I walked almost the entire distance (slowly - between 2 and 15 miles a day and taking several rest days) - I did not walk into or out of Leon. I was not hurt /injured or sick on either of my Caminos - they were - to me - practically perfect - both of them - the 2nd felt like a continuation of the first - but not in a geographical sense. Maybe I'm not qualified to comment on the point you raised. :oops:

But I wonder if it's really possible to "fail" a Camino? I don't have an answer to that either, but maybe there's a possibility that there is no failure. One learns SO much and meets SO many new people even in the planning stages, and even more when getting to the starting point, and a bit more still with the first day, second day, and so on. I don't know that one can be the same person after those experiences - even if one has to interrupt the fully-planned journey - it is just an interruption, and can be continued later. ...only a thought.

Try to hold fear and speculations at bay, and trust in your good intuitions. Best of luck to you on your second Camino!!
Terry
Perfectly said Terry! I'm going to actually slow down and enjoy my time there. I'm going to listen to my body completely. I have no expectations as to whether I finish or not....I just want to really enjoy everything I experience without rushing through life for a change!

Bel
 

HalfDomeOrBust

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis
(2014) SJPDP-SDC
(2015) SJPDP-Burgos
(2016)) Burgos-V-Franca -(2017) SDC
(2017) Fin-Mux-SDC
#19
I suffered shin splints on my first Camino.
When I walked the Via de la Plata, the heat and lack of water forced us to quit.
I have gone back to complete the Frances several times and have walked several more sections of the VDLP.

I meet a LOT of pilgrims who are walking their 2d or 3d time, completing sections they missed.
It's not an unusual thing for pilgrims to finish the Camino in 2 or more starts - sometimes due to work schedules.

I'd just say do what you can, don't push so hard you injure yourself, and if you don't make it all the way, go back another time!
Eventually you'll make it to Santiago.

The last 100 k from Sarria is not difficult and if the goal is simply to get the Compostela, starting in Sarria isn't a bad choice.
Hundreds of people do it every year.
That's a very sensible post Annie!!
 

HalfDomeOrBust

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis
(2014) SJPDP-SDC
(2015) SJPDP-Burgos
(2016)) Burgos-V-Franca -(2017) SDC
(2017) Fin-Mux-SDC
#20
After rereading all the posts in this thread, I must admit that I fell for the "western" get-er done theories and the need to push push push last year when I did The Camino. It took me me 26 days from SJPDP to the cathedral in Santiago. Once I was done and at home I realized just how much that I had missed. yes, i met many pilgrims and made many new forever friends, but I missed that mass at the cathedral, the communal dinner at the special albergue, the glass of wine that i did not take as i wanted to keep moving and that meant leaving my dear family. This year, there will be no pushing ahead. But rather, lots of stopping to smell the roses.

Our plan is 21 days to get from SJPDP to Burgos then go back home and come to finish the rest of the Camino next year.....I cant wait to see and experience what I missed...

Ed
 

William Garza

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, The Jakobsweg
#21
What to do...
Live with
Laugh with
Love
The people around you
A microcosm of life "out here"
Compressed into a life affirming experience no?

Live every single moment
The pain,the grind the wiping sweat off your brow and the momentary coolness after...
Lay yourself down and listen to the snores of your fellow man,and realize...
Centuries of shared experience...
Close thine eyes out among the clouds and blowing grass and receive benediction
Breath the air of France,of Spain..of Santiago himself and add your own
Look with love on your fellow pilgrim
What would you do?
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
#22
My brother and I walked last September 2014 just to Santa Domingo from SJPDP. Only because that was the only time I could get off work. We are going again this year to do another portion. Two weeks , not long enough but just enough to get the Camino bug out of our system. It is hard to explain how addictive this walk is. In three years I turn 60, and I have warned my work that I will be walking the whole way , so I will take 6 weeks off, so they better plan for this . I am excited even now to plan for this and it is three years away. Right now I am looking for to October where I will meet my brother in Madrid and we will then bus and train to our starting point. He lives in Australia and I live in Canada. The best way to spend time together , walking the Camino.
You go and walk it, work can wait as life stops for no one. Buen Camino, where abouts in Australia as that is where I am from. Off to a Camino dinner on Friday
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
#23
After rereading all the posts in this thread, I must admit that I fell for the "western" get-er done theories and the need to push push push last year when I did The Camino. It took me me 26 days from SJPDP to the cathedral in Santiago. Once I was done and at home I realized just how much that I had missed. yes, i met many pilgrims and made many new forever friends, but I missed that mass at the cathedral, the communal dinner at the special albergue, the glass of wine that i did not take as i wanted to keep moving and that meant leaving my dear family. This year, there will be no pushing ahead. But rather, lots of stopping to smell the roses.

Our plan is 21 days to get from SJPDP to Burgos then go back home and come to finish the rest of the Camino next year.....I cant wait to see and experience what I missed...

Ed
So many miss the wonders of the Camino because they have to few days, or the follow the guide book and rush on not thinking about health. I am lucky that both walks I just drifted no fixed time table and yet I know there is still more to see and experience so I am back in 2016 God willing.
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
#24
Perfectly said Terry! I'm going to actually slow down and enjoy my time there. I'm going to listen to my body completely. I have no expectations as to whether I finish or not....I just want to really enjoy everything I experience without rushing through life for a change!

Bel
Belinda, I wish you well as I was told before my first Camino "have no expectations and you will have no disappoitments" so true, just take time stop look around also stop and look back and say I have just done that walk or climbed that hill. Buen Camino
 

Denisealldridge

Camino Frances 2014- 2015 Camino Portuguese 2017
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 first half
2015 Camino Frances Completed -
Camino Portuguese 2017.
#25
You go and walk it, work can wait as life stops for no one. Buen Camino, where abouts in Australia as that is where I am from. Off to a Camino dinner on Friday
My Brother lives in Sutherland , south of Sydney. I live in Vancouver so we do not see much of each other. The Camino has been the perfect place to meet and spend time together as we both love to walk. You enjoy your walk this Friday, very envious, but time is coming soon.
 
#26
I am one of those people who had to leave before arriving in Santiago. And yes, it IS heartbreaking. We had a death in the family that caused us to end our Camino early. We had an incredible experience during our time on the Camino and we learned a lot about ourselves which we have incorporated into our lives. Having been on the Camino, I think that our frame of mind was such that we were able to deal with our loss, our grief, and the fun family dynamics that come with a loss much better than we would have otherwise. We do feel that we have unfinished business, so we have decided to go back - not so much that we didn't "complete" the Camino, as in didn't get to Santiago - we actually did get so Santiago, but in a car, so it was different - we feel that we didn't have enough time on the Camino. We both feel like we were just finding our Camino legs when we had to leave and are interested to know how it will be with more time on the Camino.

So anyway, back to the question about what can you do? Honestly, just carry your friends in your heart to Santiago - it is as simple as that. We took a lot of comfort knowing that our friends were continuing on and that they would remember us when they arrived in Santiago, say a prayer for us at the cathedral, raise a glass to us when they celebrated their arrival at the pub. We followed some of our friends on FB and it was incredible to see them get to Santiago. We celebrated at home for their accomplishment. We were inspired by them - it helped us remember the lessons we learned on our short time on the Camino, it helped us look forward to when we could return and we would be the ones celebrating in front of the Cathedral, it helped us to look forward to a time when we wouldn't be chest deep in grief.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Fall 2015)
#27
This is a good thread because I have been thinking for two years that I am training to end up in Santiago after 33 days or less. And, that is the wrong attitude. I used to hike in my job every day. I used to run for exercise and play waterpolo. That was before I got a "good, steady job" where I didn't have to travel and spent most of my time writing reports or watching people work. So, now I am 30 lbs heavier than when I was young and my knees make popcorn noises when going up steps. I am coming to terms with going on the journey and seeing where I end up, whether it be Pamplona, Burgos, Sarria, or Santiago. But, I will only do what I can safely do. A bit of a letdown, but I am older now and more sedentary. So be it. But, I am very excited to meet other Pilgrims who have also worked through the same issues mentally and physically to get wherever they end up. Buen Camino!
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
#28
This is a good thread because I have been thinking for two years that I am training to end up in Santiago after 33 days or less. And, that is the wrong attitude. I used to hike in my job every day. I used to run for exercise and play waterpolo. That was before I got a "good, steady job" where I didn't have to travel and spent most of my time writing reports or watching people work. So, now I am 30 lbs heavier than when I was young and my knees make popcorn noises when going up steps. I am coming to terms with going on the journey and seeing where I end up, whether it be Pamplona, Burgos, Sarria, or Santiago. But, I will only do what I can safely do. A bit of a letdown, but I am older now and more sedentary. So be it. But, I am very excited to meet other Pilgrims who have also worked through the same issues mentally and physically to get wherever they end up. Buen Camino!
Mooncat do not worry about your weight, just take your time and listern to your body and realise that the biggest problem is trying to race time or walk to others tempo and goals. If you have a good attitude and realise its not a race you will be fine. I have a bad back to crook knees and was overweight along with never hiked before, now I have done it twice and looking to 2016 to make it three. Buen Camino
 

OTH86

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#29
And, Mooncat, if you start slowly, you may notice that your body develops it's own stamina the further along you get until pretty soon, there you are - in Pamplona and Burgos and Sarria and Santiago...
Buen Camino!
Terry
 
#30
To those who have had their hearts broken and spirit badly bruised from Camino walking issues I will always offer you the warmest burn Camino. Weather you complete your Camino to Santiago or you think you failed...you have not. I tip my hat to your efforts.

Now to those who cheat their way along the way, well let's just say think about those who have been hurt and then think about the credential your going to show in Santiago!
We are following two tourists from Brazil, he walks sometimes and she busses each day. They meet a km before the albuergue and walk on as fresh a spring morning. They both walk out with credentials stamped.

Sometimes its difficult. So for pilgrims who were hurt, visit a sports Dr, he will provide you with exercises that can be done easily to make sure your Camino is completed. (And listen to your body not so many opinions on forums)

Dang the days are HOT!
 

vgen5122

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (August 19-sept 30,2013) (8/2017)
#31
I completed my Camino September 30th ,2013. I hurt my feet going down the Pyrenees. There were days when my feet hurt so much that the poles I had became my cruches. There were days when my feet were so hot that I believed them to be on fire. I just put one foot in front of the other and walked as best I could. I counted as I walked. 1-2-3 and so on. I Had come all this way from California to finish and I did.
My heart goes out to those who can not finish. It must be heartbreaking., but as it is in life, it is part of the journey. It is life throwing you a bump in the road. It is up to you to go around it. Burn Camino.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#32
I completed my Camino September 30th ,2013. I hurt my feet going down the Pyrenees. There were days when my feet hurt so much that the poles I had became my cruches. There were days when my feet were so hot that I believed them to be on fire. I just put one foot in front of the other and walked as best I could. I counted as I walked. 1-2-3 . Burn Camino.
Burn Camino? When your feet are on fire it is time to stop and pour some water on them!
 

SimLin

I am a miracle in motion! Buen Camino!
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPP to Logrono, May (2015)
Returning and ReStarting Frances April/May (2016)
The West Highland Way, May (2017)
Camino Frances, SJPDP-Finisterre, Aug/Sept/Oct (2017)
Machu Picchu, Peru - 2018
Camino Portugues or Norte 2018
Reunion Camino Frances 2020
#33
Sad to say, I also had to leave the Camino without finishing. I hurt my knee on the descent of the Pyrenees - I made it to Logrono...however, sleeping was even an issue for the pain. Decided to come home. I was very sad and yet, I had promised myself not to feel so pressured as to try and finish with an injury! It is what it is. I am proud of my accomplishment!
 
#34
Finishing?
If the camino is about the travel, about the way, is there a finish.
Could the 'finish' not also be Burgos, or Astorga or Salamanca.
In medieaval times there was a finish, the shrine. Or maybe even more a second finish, being home again.
Is it a western thought about 'having to finish', wouldn't it be nice to walk without these perhaps forced opinions.

Wishing all a buen camino!
With or without 'finishing', whatever ;-)
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#35
This is an insightful topic, and it shows that sometimes there *are* things more important than finishing the Camino! :) At some point if we get hurt or sick along the Camino, it's wisdom that makes us stop, rest, and perhaps have to go home. In that case our bodies are more important than finishing and we don't want to risk further serious injury. In other cases we lose loved ones back home, or dear ones become sick, and we're willing to drop what we're doing and fly home to be with family or close friends. That is so admirable! All the planning that went into our Caminos, and all the desire to finish, suddenly come second to what's going on back home. In those moments, we have perspective. Yes, the Camino is very important, and yes, we've invested so much time and effort, and money, into doing it, but as always it has to have its proper place in the world when other things are happening to our bodies or to important people in our lives.

It seems like the hardest thing about having to stop when you weren't planning on it is that it's unexpected and not under your control. I know I hate being at the mercy of circumstances, or feeling imposed upon. But, even in that, I know I've learned a lot when things suddenly don't go as I'd planned (and now I'm speaking not about my experiences on my short Caminos, but rather about life, especially life with kids!). Those lessons have been extremely humbling and valuable for my raging Type-A self.

Bob, thanks for starting this conversation, and enjoy packing up and heading out again! As you meet people, you can encourage them to take it easy and listen to their bodies, and that if they do have to go home, they're likely doing the right thing by putting their rest and recovery first. As you've seen with your friends from your first Camino, sometimes things are just out of our control. But we can exercise wisdom in how we respond, and hopefully if it comes to it, we can feel freedom to go, and peace about going, home if necessary.

Have a fantastic Camino!
Faith
 
#36
Sad to say, I also had to leave the Camino without finishing. I hurt my knee on the descent of the Pyrenees - I made it to Logrono...however, sleeping was even an issue for the pain. Decided to come home. I was very sad and yet, I had promised myself not to feel so pressured as to try and finish with an injury! It is what it is. I am proud of my accomplishment!
Sad to say you're sad leaving the camino without finishing. Don't be, who told you you had to 'finish', glad you're proud of your accomplishment.
I once wrote in my weblog: It would be an accomplishment if I didn't reach SdC! That would be victory to myself. I failed!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015
#37
My daughter and I walked the Primitivo from May 3 to May 15. A few months before departure I twisted my knee enough to aggravate arthritis. A month before my mother became increasingly ill. Shortly before our flight was changed so we had to overnight in Madrid both ways losing 2 days of walking. Up on starting we had severe jet lag, three days in my mother passed away, and then we both came down with severe colds. We decided to keep walking which was very healing given the scenery, and people we met, and the many chapels we passed where we stopped in remembrance.
Initially our dilemma was whether we should rush to Lugo and walk for a compostela or live our journey to the fullest. The first night we met several pilgrims that were going home due to pain and we decided that unless we deliberately wanted to suffer we would make different choices. We choose to experience the Primitivo. We took many photos, stopped to enjoy the scenery, walked to the rhythm of the cow bells, relaxed over cafe con leche or fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning, waited for the bakery to open, stretched every hour, visited historical sites etc. We took the taxi and bus on occasion when my knee hurt.
We did not qualify for a compostela but we were told by others that did that it ended up being the journey that was important, not the goal.
I would encourage any one to go. Know your limits, experience the moments. If you can't walk all the way, such is the journey.
Would I like to go back to walk every inch? Yes, but once again, I'll do the camino My Way.
 

SimLin

I am a miracle in motion! Buen Camino!
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPP to Logrono, May (2015)
Returning and ReStarting Frances April/May (2016)
The West Highland Way, May (2017)
Camino Frances, SJPDP-Finisterre, Aug/Sept/Oct (2017)
Machu Picchu, Peru - 2018
Camino Portugues or Norte 2018
Reunion Camino Frances 2020
#38
Sad to say you're sad leaving the camino without finishing. Don't be, who told you you had to 'finish', glad you're proud of your accomplishment.
I once wrote in my weblog: It would be an accomplishment if I didn't reach SdC! That would be victory to myself. I failed!
Thank you! I am proud of what I did do...my goodness, the memories will last a lifetime. I would highly recommend to start the Camino without the intense intent of finishing...I put that pressure on myself, that is the only "sad" part...the sadness was totally short lived!
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2015
#39
I'm sitting here packing my gear for my second Camino I can't help but think of all the people I met on the first day and then watching so many of them suffer twisted ankles, shin splints, tendinitis and other injuries forcing them to leave the Camino early. They all wanted to walk all the way to Santiago but couldn't. Heartbreaking.

June 5th I will start my second Camino and I will undoubtedly meet many new pilgrims and make instant friends as pilgrims do. That said, it haunts me to know many of these smiling inspired people will not be able to finish.

What to do?
I am one of the lucky ones who got injured and can keep going. 10 days ago about 1km from Akerrata I slipped on the steep path and broke my arm. With my husbands help I walked the rest of the way to Pamplona. Not once did I consider it would end my Camino, but it was a huge wake up call to be on the Camino in mind, body and spirit!! An hour before leaving that morning I had a phone call from home, that left me worried and concerned about a family member. My body was here, but mind and spirit were elsewhere!! My accident literally knocked me off my feet - be present, be here, be!
My broken arm is healing, I can keep walking, I have a story, I am grateful!
Everyone who can't keep going for any reason, must need to be somewhere else. Buen Camino!
 

barca54

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 - Camino Frances from St Jean to Santiago
2015 - Sarria to Santiago + Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia
#40
Last year started in SJPDP. Aimed for Santiago. Made many Camimo friends. Picked up injury from Barbadelo that took me out of the Camino at Melide - 52km & 2 days short. At first truly gutted, but helpful pilgrims helped me see sense. The diagnosed adductor strain later proved to be a serious stress fracture of upper femur. Met with my Camino family in Santiago who all cheered me. Just returned & completed from Sarria - Galicia with clear blue skies & sunshine & a flood of congrats from last years Camimo family. What more can one say
 

SuperPilgrim

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 5, 2013
CF June 5, 2015
CF June 3, 2017
#41
I started this thread a week ago and absolutely love the range of messages everyone has been posting. Reading the thoughts from different people are helping me see things from other point-of-views. On June 5th (this Friday), I will start walking out of SJPP and do this Camino once again. My best wishes are with every pilgrim on the Camino.
 

Rockfish

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June-July (2015)
#42
I leave tomorrow for my first Camino and am full of doubts about the first two days. I'm in relatively good shape and have practice-walked with my pack up and down some very steep slopes, but they're shorter than the ones I expect in the Pyrenees. I have a reservation at Orisson to break up that first long stretch. If it seems too much I guess the best thing would be to taxi back to SJPP in the morning, bus to Roncesvalles and walk on from there. I have about 55 days available from the time I start walking until I have to stop walking to head home. I'd hate to trash out knees and feet on the 2nd day. Maybe I'll have a better sense of the terrain when I get there. Whirling thoughts!
 

SimLin

I am a miracle in motion! Buen Camino!
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPP to Logrono, May (2015)
Returning and ReStarting Frances April/May (2016)
The West Highland Way, May (2017)
Camino Frances, SJPDP-Finisterre, Aug/Sept/Oct (2017)
Machu Picchu, Peru - 2018
Camino Portugues or Norte 2018
Reunion Camino Frances 2020
#43
I started this thread a week ago and absolutely love the range of messages everyone has been posting. Reading the thoughts from different people are helping me see things from other point-of-views. On June 5th (this Friday), I will start walking out of SJPP and do this Camino once again. My best wishes are with every pilgrim on the Camino.
Buen Camino! Will be watching for posts should you choose to do so!
 

SuperPilgrim

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 5, 2013
CF June 5, 2015
CF June 3, 2017
#44
I leave tomorrow for my first Camino and am full of doubts about the first two days. I'm in relatively good shape and have practice-walked with my pack up and down some very steep slopes, but they're shorter than the ones I expect in the Pyrenees. I have a reservation at Orisson to break up that first long stretch. If it seems too much I guess the best thing would be to taxi back to SJPP in the morning, bus to Roncesvalles and walk on from there. I have about 55 days available from the time I start walking until I have to stop walking to head home. I'd hate to trash out knees and feet on the 2nd day. Maybe I'll have a better sense of the terrain when I get there. Whirling thoughts!
Rockfish,
The first two days kicked my butt two years ago. It is where 50% of the injuries happen on the Camino but many of them can be avoided. I've spent two years interviewing doctors from the Camino and sports medicine guys back in the USA. I've learned tons and tons. Here is my absolute best advice in bullet form:
  • Make sure your pack is as light as you can make it. Most people say 10% of body weight is ideal. I try to go even less.
  • Start as early in the morning as possible. This is the single most important tip that I heard over and over and over from doctors on the Camino. Start at 5am. When you walk in the early morning their is plenty of water in the cool air. Your body is tremendously more efficient.
  • Start early part II. Your biggest enemy for exhaustion is the mid-day heat. Mid-day you walk significantly slower and burn almost 4 times as many calories per kilometer/mile. Avoid the mid-day heat if possible Start early.
  • Stretching after you're done with your hike for the day is critical. Stretch your hamstrings immediately after they hike and once again before bed. Remember that the seated position (in a chair) is probably the worst position for you after a long hike because it allows all of the tendons in your legs to shorten. Obviously you will spend a lot of time seated, but try to stretch those legs whenever possible.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Go at your own pace.
You can do this. Enjoy the day. Start early. Start early. Start early.

Bob
 

SimLin

I am a miracle in motion! Buen Camino!
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPP to Logrono, May (2015)
Returning and ReStarting Frances April/May (2016)
The West Highland Way, May (2017)
Camino Frances, SJPDP-Finisterre, Aug/Sept/Oct (2017)
Machu Picchu, Peru - 2018
Camino Portugues or Norte 2018
Reunion Camino Frances 2020
#45
I leave tomorrow for my first Camino and am full of doubts about the first two days. I'm in relatively good shape and have practice-walked with my pack up and down some very steep slopes, but they're shorter than the ones I expect in the Pyrenees. I have a reservation at Orisson to break up that first long stretch. If it seems too much I guess the best thing would be to taxi back to SJPP in the morning, bus to Roncesvalles and walk on from there. I have about 55 days available from the time I start walking until I have to stop walking to head home. I'd hate to trash out knees and feet on the 2nd day. Maybe I'll have a better sense of the terrain when I get there. Whirling thoughts!
It is very hard to know the terrain until you are in it...just take it easy...the ascent is superb and exhilarating ... Buen Camino!
 

SimLin

I am a miracle in motion! Buen Camino!
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPP to Logrono, May (2015)
Returning and ReStarting Frances April/May (2016)
The West Highland Way, May (2017)
Camino Frances, SJPDP-Finisterre, Aug/Sept/Oct (2017)
Machu Picchu, Peru - 2018
Camino Portugues or Norte 2018
Reunion Camino Frances 2020
#46
Rockfish,
The first two days kicked my butt two years ago. It is where 50% of the injuries happen on the Camino but many of them can be avoided. I've spent two years interviewing doctors from the Camino and sports medicine guys back in the USA. I've learned tons and tons. Here is my absolute best advice in bullet form:
  • Make sure your pack is as light as you can make it. Most people say 10% of body weight is ideal. I try to go even less.
  • Start as early in the morning as possible. This is the single most important tip that I heard over and over and over from doctors on the Camino. Start at 5am. When you walk in the early morning their is plenty of water in the cool air. Your body is tremendously more efficient.
  • Start early part II. Your biggest enemy for exhaustion is the mid-day heat. Mid-day you walk significantly slower and burn almost 4 times as many calories per kilometer/mile. Avoid the mid-day heat if possible Start early.
  • Stretching after you're done with your hike for the day is critical. Stretch your hamstrings immediately after they hike and once again before bed. Remember that the seated position (in a chair) is probably the worst position for you after a long hike because it allows all of the tendons in your legs to shorten. Obviously you will spend a lot of time seated, but try to stretch those legs whenever possible.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Go at your own pace.
You can do this. Enjoy the day. Start early. Start early. Start early.

Bob
Another option is to have your bag transferred to Orisson and even more so to Roncesvalles! Just a thought!
 

Rockfish

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June-July (2015)
#47
Rockfish,
The first two days kicked my butt two years ago. It is where 50% of the injuries happen on the Camino but many of them can be avoided. I've spent two years interviewing doctors from the Camino and sports medicine guys back in the USA. I've learned tons and tons. Here is my absolute best advice in bullet form:
  • Make sure your pack is as light as you can make it. Most people say 10% of body weight is ideal. I try to go even less.
  • Start as early in the morning as possible. This is the single most important tip that I heard over and over and over from doctors on the Camino. Start at 5am. When you walk in the early morning their is plenty of water in the cool air. Your body is tremendously more efficient.
  • Start early part II. Your biggest enemy for exhaustion is the mid-day heat. Mid-day you walk significantly slower and burn almost 4 times as many calories per kilometer/mile. Avoid the mid-day heat if possible Start early.
  • Stretching after you're done with your hike for the day is critical. Stretch your hamstrings immediately after they hike and once again before bed. Remember that the seated position (in a chair) is probably the worst position for you after a long hike because it allows all of the tendons in your legs to shorten. Obviously you will spend a lot of time seated, but try to stretch those legs whenever possible.
  • Stay hydrated
  • Go at your own pace.
You can do this. Enjoy the day. Start early. Start early. Start early.

Bob
Great advice, Bob, thank you. I am naturally a late riser but will definitely get up early for this. I live in a hot, humid area and can see the value in cooler, drier walking conditions.
 

Chacharm

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Frances (2012) Vie Del Norte (2015) Via Frances (2016) Le Puy (2017)
#48
I started my second Camino on May 3. Exactly 7 days later I fell down the stairs in an Albuergue outside Gernika and sprained my left ankle on both sides pretty badly. So I rented a car in Bilbao and drove back to my friends in the Pyrenees and sat around with my foot in an air cast for a week. Then I talked a friend into joining me on a road trip. We have been all over France and today will drive into Switzerland and then on down to Lake Como, Genoa, Nice, Barcelona...maybe Valencia...?
No worries...there are all kinds of fun things you can do if you can't do the Camino!
 

Anne C

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP/Pamplona and Sarria/Santiago (Sept 2012)
Santiago/ Finnisterre/Muxia (May 2013)
Sarria/ Santiago (Sept 2014)
SJPDP/Santiago (April/May 2015)
Logrono/Santiago (may/june 2016)
#49
What an interesting thread! I'm home just 6 days after making the tough decision at Portomarin that my tendonitis was getting worse and I just could not walk any further. It started when I was coming into Carrion de los Condes and I walked on it the next day. Had to taxi to Sahagun and rested 2 days, then bus to Leon and rested 2 days. I decided surely it must be ok now and I walked, limped to Rabanal del Camino. met some lovely American ladies and shared a taxi to O'Cebreiro and walked to Portomarin. This was my 4th Camino and the first time I didnt 'finish' so I found it difficult to come to terms with what I thought was a 'failure' at the time. Now I can see that if I had not had my injury, I would have had a completely different journey and not met the fabulous caring people I did meet. The friends I left in Portomarin have just yesterday arrived in Santiago and are keeping me updated by text. They are loving it and today have taken a bus trip to Finnisterre. I have been to both places and Im so happy for them that they got to 'finish' their first Camino. One thing I know is that I will be back on the Camino again in the not too distant future.
 

Rockfish

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June-July (2015)
#50
Thanks to everyone for kind words and encouragement. I've also enjoyed other people's posts. My training walks proved adequate and I made the SJpP - Roncesvalles in two days as planned, quite well, loving the Pyrenees. Since then I've progressed steadily westward. My only regret in going a bit slower than others is that people who I've come to like tend to move onward. It has felt like each day takes a bit of a cumulative toll on the generally healthy feet, so after about 10 days on the trail I write this from a pension, at noon, with my feet stretched out happily on the bed. A little exploration, a nap or two and I'm excited to return to walking tomorrow.
 

Gailsie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Fall '09 ;
#51
I remember leaving the municipal albergue in Hornillos in Sept. 09 and seeing four French pilgrims crying together. One of them had to leave beause of blister problems and the other three were continuing to walk. It made my cry seeing them. Then in Acebo I ran into a woman I had met in Ponferrada who was having problems walking. She was leaving the camino in Acebo as the doctor advised her not to walk an any further. I was lucky to finish as I had a very sore hip that shortened my distances each day. But I made it!!!

Then last year I was only able to walk four days from Porto to Ponte de Lima as my ankle was bothering me. The cobblestone wwere to much for it. When I saw the mountain that I would have to climb the next day I knew I did not have the stamina to continue. So I headed to the Algarve to recuperate. Although I felt bad about not finishing I knew it was the right thing to do.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future and past
#52
hello! Started this year El Camino from Belorado (last year I walked from St Jean to Belorado) and I hoped to reach Santiago and Muxia. not far from Portomarin I felt and my Camino was over this year. a nasty fracture, surgery and maybe next year will be better.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago in 2011, Burgos to Santiago in 2014
#53
I saw someone yesterday struggling along the lovely path between As Seixas and Hospital das Seixas who clearly needed a pair of crutches at the least or better still to stop walking and allow an injury to recover. Congratulations to all those posters above who didn't push on regardless. I think it is better to recognise when it is time to change your plans and make the best of the situation rather than risking a more serious and even permanent injury.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
#54
I started this thread a week ago and absolutely love the range of messages everyone has been posting. Reading the thoughts from different people are helping me see things from other point-of-views. On June 5th (this Friday), I will start walking out of SJPP and do this Camino once again. My best wishes are with every pilgrim on the Camino.
So, SuperP! How did it go this time? I DO hope it was everything you hoped for!
All the best,
Terry
 
Last edited:

Nancy McD

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
#55
I absolutely felt like I failed. I started in Pamplona and made it to Astorga before the pretty excruciating pain of sciatica forced me to finish. I had to come home 3 weeks earlier than planned. Friends here at home have asked me how it felt to fail. Have only been home for 4 days and half of me says. "Go back and finish ". The other half doesn't want to fail again, I guess time and healing will help make that decision, anybody else feel that way?
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#57
half of me says. "Go back and finish ".
Sometimes the messages of a pilgrimage are slow to arrive in our inbox. Perhaps the Camino is advising you to revise your definition of "failure". The spiritual journey is not the physical journey; conversely, the physical journey is not the spiritual journey. Monastics make a spiritual journey without leaving their enclosed quarters. Many walking the pilgrimage route arrive in Santiago but never experience transformation.
 

SuperPilgrim

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF June 5, 2013
CF June 5, 2015
CF June 3, 2017
#58
I absolutely felt like I failed. I started in Pamplona and made it to Astorga before the pretty excruciating pain of sciatica forced me to finish. I had to come home 3 weeks earlier than planned. Friends here at home have asked me how it felt to fail. Have only been home for 4 days and half of me says. "Go back and finish ". The other half doesn't want to fail again, I guess time and healing will help make that decision, anybody else feel that way?
Go back and finish! Not necessarily now, but as soon as you have time and can make it happen. The Camino isn't easy and it often seems like everything in the world is trying to get you to fail, but you cannot fail until you quit. You're not quitting now but only stopping to regroup. Life is long. Find a way to finish. It is worth it.
 

SEB

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
April (2015) SJPdP to SdC; Porto to SdC April (2016)
#59
@Nancy McD I am so sorry that you had to end your walk prematurely because of sciatica, but be assured that it is impossible to fail when walking the Camino because failure is not an option as it is not a competition or personal endurance test. It is a pilgrimage, whether walked for religious or other reasons. I am sure that you will return when you are ready and @Tincatinker offers good advice for future planning. By my reckoning you walked over 450 kilometres which must have provided a myriad of new experiences the recollection of which will never fade, I wish you well for the future, Buen Camino!
 

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