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LIVE from the Camino Return to the CF after 10 years

12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
After my wife walked the CF from SJPP in 2007, I have always been intrigued by the Camino - it was such a transformative experience for her and I stayed home to work and take care of our kitty. So when we started doing the CF in stages back in 2012, I was sure we would finish it together. But after getting to Burgos that year, we ended up cancelling another stage a couple years later due to an injury I got while on a training hike (I know, the irony) and then life and work just got in the way.

I had a job where even if I could take off a couple weeks (which was extremely difficult) I would have to be on calls even while walking and have meetings/conferences on the front and back end. And I found it hard to get in the Camino state of mind when I was always thinking about what would come immediately after (will my feet be destroyed when I have to walk 3 days at a trade show in dress shoes?) rather than in the moment. Heck my last day there was over a month ago and i was doing extensive work even just last week. Hard to get away…

My wife always promised that when I left that job (we both assumed retirement several years from now) that I would finish the Camino as a capstone event. So when I left my job earlier this year we started talking about it. Then digging out our old gear. Then planning. Then booking flights. Then walking with a pack. And suddenly my Camino had begun before I arrived in Spain.

Rather than start over, I decided to start where I got my last stamp at the Burgos Cathedral. So here I am at Terminal 4 in Madrid, waiting for the Alsa bus to Burgos, completely jet lagged, and planning to walk 10km to Tardajos this afternoon.

I am hoping (if that is not an "expectation") that this will help draw a thick line between that phase of my life and the next. I probably over-planned, over-packed, and under estimated how tough this will be without my wonderful wife. But I guess we will see…

So please wish me luck and I wish you all Buen Camino.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
12-22Pilgrim,

Wishing you all the best as you continue on your way. Remember to go easy during the first week or so as you re-gain your walking stride.

Stay safe, Carpe diem and Buen camino!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Best wishes for your Camino. You'll find an awful lot has changed in the past 10 years - not the least because of Covid - mostly for the better: more places to stay, more shops and bars in small communities but also a lot more commercialisation.
Everybody's Camino is different and I quite envy you as you'll be seeing places familiar to me for the first time.
As @mspath says - take your time this first week, Santiago will still be there waiting for you!

Buen Camino.
 
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12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
Many people walk The Way during life transitions. I hope it is what you need to make the break and everything you are hoping for. It seems from your post that you are walking alone rather than with your wife this time? Buen Camino!
Yes, while I held down the home front for her during her Camino, this time she is doing it for me. So I am walking alone, which I am sure will be a very different experience than my past stages with her. I already know it is going to hurt but she is extremely supportive and encouraging.

I certainly appreciate the encouragement and advice not to push too hard the first week. We’ll see if I am capable of heeding it, LOL.
 

skevin

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sept/Oct 2015 - SJPP to SdC
Best wishes for your Camino. You'll find an awful lot has changed in the past 10 years - not the least because of Covid - mostly for the better: more places to stay, more shops and bars in small communities but also a lot more commercialisation.
Everybody's Camino is different and I quite envy you as you'll be seeing places familiar to me for the first time.
As @mspath says - take your time this first week, Santiago will still be there waiting for you!

Buen Camino.
How is more commercialisation a good thing?
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Sorry, where did I say commercialisation was a good thing?
I agree that you made no reference to the pros or cons of things becoming more commercial. With a growing number of pilgrims over the years infrastructure and those looking to profit are just a natural outgrowth of population growth. I can say, especially on the Meseta that I am sure that many local Spaniards have greatly benefited economically by Pilgrims. When I first walked the Meseta towns looked and felt far differently then they do today. Most of the villages had maybe a bar or a very small tienda. You barely ever saw anyone under 70 years old and their were closed businesses and what looked like abandoned farms. Now those same villages are vibrant with life thanks in very large part to the Camino. Young people have a reason to stay now. I guess that is commercialism at its finest. I guess
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Commerialism can be either positive or negative. Infrastructure supporting pilgrims may mean increased stores, albergues, signage, etc. This could be positive or negative depending on how it is viewed.
 

samba

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francesca(2007),de la Plata /Sanabres ( May 2015),Mozarabe ( 2016) Norte (2018)
La Lana((2019)
After my wife walked the CF from SJPP in 2007, I have always been intrigued by the Camino - it was such a transformative experience for her and I stayed home to work and take care of our kitty. So when we started doing the CF in stages back in 2012, I was sure we would finish it together. But after getting to Burgos that year, we ended up cancelling another stage a couple years later due to an injury I got while on a training hike (I know, the irony) and then life and work just got in the way.

I had a job where even if I could take off a couple weeks (which was extremely difficult) I would have to be on calls even while walking and have meetings/conferences on the front and back end. And I found it hard to get in the Camino state of mind when I was always thinking about what would come immediately after (will my feet be destroyed when I have to walk 3 days at a trade show in dress shoes?) rather than in the moment. Heck my last day there was over a month ago and i was doing extensive work even just last week. Hard to get away…

My wife always promised that when I left that job (we both assumed retirement several years from now) that I would finish the Camino as a capstone event. So when I left my job earlier this year we started talking about it. Then digging out our old gear. Then planning. Then booking flights. Then walking with a pack. And suddenly my Camino had begun before I arrived in Spain.

Rather than start over, I decided to start where I got my last stamp at the Burgos Cathedral. So here I am at Terminal 4 in Madrid, waiting for the Alsa bus to Burgos, completely jet lagged, and planning to walk 10km to Tardajos this afternoon.

I am hoping (if that is not an "expectation") that this will help draw a thick line between that phase of my life and the next. I probably over-planned, over-packed, and under estimated how tough this will be without my wonderful wife. But I guess we will see…

So please wish me luck and I wish you all Buen Camino.
Buen camino . I loved reading this . On the Madrid at moment and struggling a bit
 

markmcilroy

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances August/Sept 2016
Camino Frances Sept/October 2017
Le Puy to Conques May 2018
You may already know this......As you walk out of Burgos you walk parallel to a long concrete wall on your left, if you go to to the other side of the wall you will be in a park walking on a gravel path. This is the path with the iron gates at the end that the pilgrims in the movie "The Way" walked with the gypsy father and son who stole Toms back....just a bit of movie trivia. Buen Camino.
 

Nancyheathcote

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Northern route - 2019

Irun - Bilbao August 2022
After my wife walked the CF from SJPP in 2007, I have always been intrigued by the Camino - it was such a transformative experience for her and I stayed home to work and take care of our kitty. So when we started doing the CF in stages back in 2012, I was sure we would finish it together. But after getting to Burgos that year, we ended up cancelling another stage a couple years later due to an injury I got while on a training hike (I know, the irony) and then life and work just got in the way.

I had a job where even if I could take off a couple weeks (which was extremely difficult) I would have to be on calls even while walking and have meetings/conferences on the front and back end. And I found it hard to get in the Camino state of mind when I was always thinking about what would come immediately after (will my feet be destroyed when I have to walk 3 days at a trade show in dress shoes?) rather than in the moment. Heck my last day there was over a month ago and i was doing extensive work even just last week. Hard to get away…

My wife always promised that when I left that job (we both assumed retirement several years from now) that I would finish the Camino as a capstone event. So when I left my job earlier this year we started talking about it. Then digging out our old gear. Then planning. Then booking flights. Then walking with a pack. And suddenly my Camino had begun before I arrived in Spain.

Rather than start over, I decided to start where I got my last stamp at the Burgos Cathedral. So here I am at Terminal 4 in Madrid, waiting for the Alsa bus to Burgos, completely jet lagged, and planning to walk 10km to Tardajos this afternoon.

I am hoping (if that is not an "expectation") that this will help draw a thick line between that phase of my life and the next. I probably over-planned, over-packed, and under estimated how tough this will be without my wonderful wife. But I guess we will see…

So please wish me luck and I wish you all Buen Camino.
Buen Camino!
 
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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 @12-22Pilgrim As one who had to abandon my first camino I know the feeling of longing to retur,. Tardajos is an easy 10km and the reports I saw about La Fabrica (on the left as you enter the village) were good (although now a few years out of date). How you approach the subsequent days is really up to you. But let your body (and especially your feet) be your guide. Take it easy. Buen Camino.
 

Airfix

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French 2019
Portuguese 2021 Central
2022 Coastal
After my wife walked the CF from SJPP in 2007, I have always been intrigued by the Camino - it was such a transformative experience for her and I stayed home to work and take care of our kitty. So when we started doing the CF in stages back in 2012, I was sure we would finish it together. But after getting to Burgos that year, we ended up cancelling another stage a couple years later due to an injury I got while on a training hike (I know, the irony) and then life and work just got in the way.

I had a job where even if I could take off a couple weeks (which was extremely difficult) I would have to be on calls even while walking and have meetings/conferences on the front and back end. And I found it hard to get in the Camino state of mind when I was always thinking about what would come immediately after (will my feet be destroyed when I have to walk 3 days at a trade show in dress shoes?) rather than in the moment. Heck my last day there was over a month ago and i was doing extensive work even just last week. Hard to get away…

My wife always promised that when I left that job (we both assumed retirement several years from now) that I would finish the Camino as a capstone event. So when I left my job earlier this year we started talking about it. Then digging out our old gear. Then planning. Then booking flights. Then walking with a pack. And suddenly my Camino had begun before I arrived in Spain.

Rather than start over, I decided to start where I got my last stamp at the Burgos Cathedral. So here I am at Terminal 4 in Madrid, waiting for the Alsa bus to Burgos, completely jet lagged, and planning to walk 10km to Tardajos this afternoon.

I am hoping (if that is not an "expectation") that this will help draw a thick line between that phase of my life and the next. I probably over-planned, over-packed, and under estimated how tough this will be without my wonderful wife. But I guess we will see…

So please wish me luck and I wish you all Buen Camino.
Welcome back after your break from the Camino. I am sure it will be a busier route this time. If you do find the changes since your last Camino "difficult" then consider travelling another route. The Portuguese from Porto to Tui perhaps, the Litoral was relatively quiet this May.
 

12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
I made it to Tarjados yesterday - the walk from Burgos was pleasant as the weather was cool, it was cloudy, and there was a nice breeze. And I could finally take off the mask I had been wearing since flying to Madrid that morning (mandatory on the Alsa bus as well). I had booked a private room at La Casa de Beli. Thank goodness, because I had so much airplane, autobus, and road sweat and grime to wash away from my body and travel clothes. After showering and doing dry sack laundry, I sat in their garden relaxing and trying not to fall asleep from jet lag before dinner. I almost didn’t make it, even going back to my room at one point. But the menu del dia was worth it after not eating since breakfast and I went to sleep by 830 despite a band playing and the sun shining outside.

I woke at 630 and after repacking my bag from flight configuration to Camino, hit the road early before breakfast and coffee. I was able to talk to my wife before she went to sleep on the way to Rabe and with my Air Pods we both agreed it was like walking next to me, her hearing my footsteps and the birds singing. I am in Hornillos now getting a much needed coffee and a little breakfast. Next stop Hontanas, with a choice there of whether to push on to Castrojeriz and the Albergue Orion I have heard great things about.
 

12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
Made it to Hontanas for lunch. Beautiful fields of poppies along the way. At one point a group of pilgrims had waded into one of the poppy fields - it looked like they were swimming in a sea of them. Much warmer and sunnier today but not finding it too bad. I can’t stop smiling - I will notice when I am walking that even when I am breathing hard, it is through a wide grin. Keeps me from swallowing bugs I suppose, hopefully don’t look deranged to other pilgrims 😅
 
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12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
Made it to Castrojeriz and Albergue Orion. Looking forward to the Korean dinner there tonight at 6!

In the meantime, I am walking around the town trying to find a phone charger or euro plug adapter because I must have left mine behind in Tardajos. Waiting for the Supermercado to open or maybe a Pharmacia. I can see one in the window of the gas station but it is only open 10-2. If not here, maybe Fromista tomorrow.

It was much warmer today and as well expected there was less shade. Glad I had a buff and 100 sunblock.

It doesn’t seem as busy here as expected - although there are a ton of Albergues. I see other pilgrims from time to time but mostly walk alone. Maybe there was a rush earlier in the year or in later stages of the Camino?
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Made it to Castrojeriz and Albergue Orion. Looking forward to the Korean dinner there tonight at 6!

In the meantime, I am walking around the town trying to find a phone charger or euro plug adapter because I must have left mine behind in Tardajos. Waiting for the Supermercado to open or maybe a Pharmacia. I can see one in the window of the gas station but it is only open 10-2. If not here, maybe Fromista tomorrow.

It was much warmer today and as well expected there was less shade. Glad I had a buff and 100 sunblock.

It doesn’t seem as busy here as expected - although there are a ton of Albergues. I see other pilgrims from time to time but mostly walk alone. Maybe there was a rush earlier in the year or in later stages of the Camino?
We have also left a phone chargers more than once. Maybe another pilgrim will let you charge your phone in the meantime? Doesn't hurt to ask.
 

12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
Wow, the temperatures just keep rising on the Meseta - 90F+ and going to be even hotter through mid-next week.

Had a really nice time in Castrojeriz - we had a Korean pilgrim dinner at Albergue Orion which was extremely tasty and let me meet a lot of new people - a mother and daughter from Albuquerque, NM; a couple from Calgary restarting the Camino after several years away; a couple from Lille France doing another stage from their starting point in Le Puy many years ago; a very nice gentleman from Poland; a peregrina from Rome; and a pilgrim from London who is doing the Camino against a hard work deadline and is doing 50-75km days!!! Then hung out in the courtyard with an Albergue tuxedo cat on my lap talking to the peregrina as she petted a tabby. I am a huge cat person so that was quite restorative.

Departed at 6am from Castrojeriz and tackled the Alta early (thank goodness), slogged to Itero (which seemed much longer in km than it was, made it to Boadilla before many things were open (crushed - one of my wife’s favorite places), and made it to Fromista at 1pm. Was kind of a brutal day and I was hurting when I arrived. But it only got worse for those who started later or were moving a little slower due to the sun and intense heat. There are still beds at the Albergue Luz so again not seeing the bed race at the moment.

I hope everyone is drinking lots of water, taking sun and heat protective measures, and setting their own pace, maybe stopping early.

Be safe and Buen Camino!
 

Pilgrino21

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
Continue with the updates. I enjoy reading them. And best wishes for finally continuing what you started 10 years before. You seem to be adjusting with the conditions nicely.

Fromista was one of my best stops last year on part 1 of the CF. Albergue Luz was awesome and the hospitalero was very kind and understanding. I should also mention that one of my best connections was with hospitaleros and locals. I know we tend to focus on other pilgrims but others can definitely enrich the experience. You're probably doing this now so keep enjoying those moments!

And don't forget to smell the roses when you can along the way (literally and not allergic I hope). I found even on my tough days just stopping for a second was enough to renew what aches at that moment.

Buen Camino and Ultreia!
 
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12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
Yes, I think I am adapting ok. It is funny to say that on day 4 with Pilgrims that have been walking 14-15 days (SJPP) or longer (one today, the appropriately named Roland, started in Le Puy and asked me to join his 37km day - I politely declined).

The weather was much better today! I noticed that pilgrims departed early to avoid the sun and heat (saw some departing at 430…I rolled over in bed till 530) and the road was pretty busy when I pushed off at 6am. It was very cool and breezy - finally got to wear my Patagonia Cap Air sweater for a few hours.

I took the optional path away from the Senda first thing in the morning - it was cool, shaded with trees, the sun was just rising, and it was very quiet. The only downside was that the cafe/bar along the way was closed. Still a chance to air feet, change socks, eat a little before pushing on.

I arrived at Villalcazar de Sirga at 930 this morning, averaging 4km an hour. Only had 6km to go for the day so I tried to visit the church here when it opened at 10. It was closed - maybe because it is Saturday. But the bar was open and was grateful for two cafe con leches, a banana, and a couple complimentary cookies and felt much better 😀

My feet continue to suffer - I am truly done with compeed as I got another blister on my left small toe - it is a tiny toe but has had 3 successively larger blisters! The right small toe has done better with a bandaid and I am trying tape from here (worked well for the rest of the day. There is a blister forming under the footbed from my sandals, but it does not hurt yet. I am learning my feet like SmartWool and Icebreaker socks, but not Worn brand for this long distance stuff.

The last stretch to Carrion was no big deal. 6 km or so and I got there by 1120 if I remember right. Since I was pretty early, I went to the two churches in town and saw many exhibits adoring Mary (of course, I am in Spain) and walked around town a bit. Went to an awesome bakery and got a fresh loaf of twisty bread for tomorrow and a big crème filled sugar coated fritter, which I devoured. I saw many pilgrim friends around town - they are all staying (I think) at the Santa Clara because the singing nuns’ Santa Maria is closed for the next couple weeks - boo!!!
I splurged for a night at the my way to the Monasterio San Zoilo hotel and I am stunned by how nice it is. Soaking my feet in the tub as like heaven and I am glad I have my portable clothesline (thanks to my wife for calling it an essential for the weight). So it is a self care evening with the plan to walk to Ledigos tomorrow with the long, featureless meseta morning. I have enjoyed the meseta though - I think the pops of beauty (a church, a ruin, poppies and wild flowers, sunrise, etc.) are easier to find amidst the landscape.

I also don’t mean to bury my inner Camino - my wife and I are sharing a ton of thoughts and I am doing a lot of processing on my former job, life choices, challenges, and priorities. And trying to smell the roses too, talk to every other pilgrim I can, chat up hospitaleros (we had a long talk with the Korean woman who runs Albergue Orion), offer what encouragement and advice I can on injuries, and keep grinning as I go. More grinning today than yesterday (for everyone I assume - it was bloody hot till 10pm last night, but the cool breeze at 3am felt wonderful and I wrapped into my sleeping bag for the first time.

Buen Camino!
 

Rick M

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept 21
The hospitalero was able to lend me one and I am sure another pilgrim would too. I just feel bad borrowing, which is probably a bad hang up of mine for the Camino…
The people that run Orion are truly wonderful, as you have discovered. I often cousel fellow pilgrims who are beginning their journeys, that "A Pilgrim is Grateful". Perhaps you will find adopting a posture of gratitude, engenders a posture of giving to those you meet along The Way. Rather than feeling bad for borrowing, isn't it possible that the lender also receives something in giving to a grateful pilgrim?

Buen Camino
 

12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
I am typically good at giving (giving is fun!) but bad at accepting in life (feel guilty for asking). But it is something I hope to practice on The Way.
 
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12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
Ok, today I made a serious mistake. What I assume is a typical Camino error - you feel good until you absolutely don’t.

I planned to stop at Ledigos today and was looking forward to staying at the Albergue La Morena. I had been feeling pretty good all day, it was a lot of flat, not a lot of stops, but I was able to get coffee at a food truck as I went and was feeling fine at the first town. I sat with the Polish pilgrim (who started at the same place I did and is pushing to Sahagun today like a crazy person - about 40km - he just left here and continued) and a retired State Department guy, had a Diet Coke, a freshly baked chocolate banana cake (yum), and some water. Talked to a few other pilgrims I knew and we all talked about how Terradillo de Templarios was within reach.

But for whatever reason, I found it hard to get started again even though it was only 10am. I pushed through it and got into a rhythm and seemed ok. But it was a little warning sign I should have paid attention to.

But as I got into Ledigos I started hurting - feet and legs were sore, really winded. I found a water fountain, refilled my main bottle, drank two full bottles of the smaller bottle with electrolyte powder, and even then I felt my legs turning stiff. It was really hard to get moving again. It was probably dehydration and maybe the onset of cramps. Which I probably averted with the water surge, but I was burnt up.

It was also super hot today and VERY sunny on the Senda, unlike yesterday. Then it started raining - which was one of the reasons (forecasted thunderstorms later) I was going to stop in Ledigos. So on goes the poncho. Then it stops raining 5 minutes later - but I am sweating in the poncho and too tired to realize I can just take it off without removing my pack (because I am worried my legs will lock up). I know, all the experienced pilgrims are giggling right now because that is how it usually is, just a passing shower and you get more wet trying to stay dry…

I arrived at the Albergue Jacques de Molay with nothing left in the tank. Even after I got to my bed I was shattered. Took a bit to compose myself, shower, do laundry, and now get lunch. Really looking forward to the pilgrim dinner at 6 and an early night.

The contrast between an easier day like yesterday and a hard day like today is extreme and not about km. I am learning, I hope.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
12-22Pilgrim,

Sorry to read of your difficulties. Do take care during the extreme heat. Many years ago I stoped where you are now and found it very comfy.
Once you are rested read this re Jacques de Molay and ponder the immense impact of Friday, the 13th, 1307.

Hope that you feel better soon!
 
Last edited:

12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
And then the Camino provided a perfect evening. A table for 16 with 6 Italian and 6 Brazilian peregrinos and pereigrinas and a wonderful pilgrim’s dinner with so many new friends, and one old one from prior albergues. Just restored my soul, although my feet look like balloons right now. Maybe they will be restored in the morning.

Buen Camino!
 
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 - thanks for some great posts. They bring back many happy memories from May/June 2017. I also stayed at La Morena (my camino daughter and I took a private room). From Ledigos we decided on a short day to Sahagun (had our 11'am coffee at Morantinos (just as you enter the village). From Sahagun we took the alternate route which I can recommend - just carry two litres of water (at least) and fill up when you can. Buen Camino
 

dbier

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Last 114km Camino Frances, Jul 21
2023 - Camino P
Best of luck. If your feet ballooning is a new thing for you, it does sound a little like a too few electrolytes/too little food bonk. Hard to tell from here. Rest up, maybe a little less km tomorrow, and be rigorous about consuming electrolytes. After my husband bonked/ cramped in summer, I made him sip or eat electrolytes ( sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium) every mile, and drink water on the same schedule. Not a lot, but frequently.
 
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12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
We absolutely had coffee at that same bar - started early, ran into some Pilgrim friends and they bought me breakfast there. I returned the favor with “second breakfast” when we arrive in Sahagun. We were in Bercianos before we knew it! Ok, maybe that is a stretch.
 

12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
Best of luck. If your feet ballooning is a new thing for you, it does sound a little like a too few electrolytes/too little food bonk. Hard to tell from here. Rest up, maybe a little less km tomorrow, and be rigorous about consuming electrolytes. After my husband bonked/ cramped in summer, I made him sip or eat electrolytes ( sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium) every mile, and drink water on the same schedule. Not a lot, but frequently.
Yes, I think I have been too stingy with my electrolytes and water and am now absolutely focused on that. Also trying to eat more and better - I had a few days where it seemed like I was living on bread and water as mis-timed meals. Thank you for the advice!
 

12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
A MUCH better day on the Camino! I (and many other Pilgrims) were up by 430 and on the road by 5am or so. It was cold and windy - I.e. delightful! - and my micro headlamp finally made a contribution before sunrise.

Leaving earlier was a huge help (FYI, I have never left later than 630am, but every hour of cool out of the sun helps) - I didn’t have to suffer through the worst heat and sun and the coolness of the morning was so invigorating and welcome that I was able to ignore my swollen feet and poor little toes. I saw many Camino cats out hunting. One was even pacing me a little and would stop when I stopped but would not come say hi.

I caught up to some pilgrims from Calgary I met on my second day and per the post above, they bought me coffee and breakfast in the first town we came to. I thought they might want to go on alone (together) but our paces were perfectly matched and the conversation so interesting we made it to Sahagun by 10 and I returned the favor, Hobbit-style, with second breakfast :)

Amazing Camino moment of the day: somehow one of my flip flops fell out of my pack and a peregrino increase his pace for 5km to return it to me just before we entered Sahagun!

We walked the rest of the way together, eventually singing 1980s sitcom theme songs. But we mostly talked and then caught up with some American pilgrims that we have all gotten to know.

We arrived at our Albergues in Bercianos before noon - too early for me to check in, in fact, but the bar is open and I am having a huge cold water with my electrolyte mix and a couple snacks.

Apparently there is a huge festival in Sahagun tonight including a running of the bulls! So after some Albergue rest, we may share a taxi van with some other peregrinos at 430pm and go check it out. I mean, how many times would I be somewhere at exactly the right time to see something like that?

Thank you for all the advice and concern. I am sorry I am not responding to each note but they are very inspirational.

Buen Camino!
 
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Buen camino . I loved reading this . On the Madrid at moment and struggling a bit
Hi @samba. I’ve only just been reading this thread - and noticed your comment from a few days ago. Are you doing ok now? I love the Madrid Way but can be a solitary Way and maybe quite hot at the moment? Hope you are going well 🙏
 

12-22Pilgrim

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Went to the running of the bulls and an event in the Plaza del Toros in Sahagun (Feast of San Juan de Sahagun) with a bunch of other pilgrims. While we were worried about the health of the bulls and the runners, both emerged unharmed and it was a bit anticlimactic. The bands and stuff were really fun though.
 
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12-22Pilgrim

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Today was a tougher day than expected. I surprisingly slept in a bit (530, which is later for me) but slept and woke (like many pilgrims these days) drenched in sweat from the unseasonable heatwave. It was hot and humid from the start today, airless till later in the afternoon.

The first stretch to El Burgo Ranero was fine, despite the heat and I had breakfast with a number of other pilgrims. I was quite happy because I had tried lacing my shoes differently to relive pressure on my small toes - and it was working! So beginning the 13km stretch to Reliegos I was cruising. Then it felt like I had a stone in my shoe and I changed socks. Then it just kept going. And going. There were no water stops, nothing to really break it up. Some parked in the shade for a bit to recover (I should have done that) but all agreed it was a bad stretch in the heat and sun. I kept thinking I was almost there, which was the worst part. There is the airport on the map, just ahead. Little teases. But it just kept going. Finally got to Bar Teddy and was ready to collapse like a few days ago. But unlike Ledigos, where I pushed through, here I stopped for at least 90 minutes to drink water, eat, and recover. While it pushed me later into Mansilla de las Mulas, I felt a lot better arriving (though still super hot and exhausted from the last 6km. The first Albergue I tried was completo but the second had beds - they may have just now run out at nearly 4pm.

Did have a poignant moment today when the pilgrims from Calgary and I realized that we may get out of synch due to a rest day they plan to take. We had such a good time together and were so compatible that it will be sad if we do not see each other again. But the Camino is no set thing so who knows. And it was truly wonderful to get to know them and I know our paths will at least cross off the Way.

I think I will take the bus to Leon tomorrow to give my feet a day to recover. While it is only 18km of walking I am feeling pretty depleted from the heat. It is supposed to break and turn cooler later in the week. I will be very thankful!

Buen Camino
 

12-22Pilgrim

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I just did this now. Ridiculously hot out. Staying just outside of town curious about how busy it will be, even in the heat. Started in Burgos today.
We are, with great hope and prayers, only 2 days from the heatwave moving on from Spain. Since the heat wave began, I see Pilgrims starting everyday the earliest they can (430-630 is typical) and stop no later than 1 (1130-1230 even better). The sun is not so bad through about 1030-1100. Many of us are getting into our destinations early enough that Albergues are not open yet, so we sit and drink water and have lunch. Yesterday I was running later (left at 615 and arrived at 130) but that was because I needed almost a 90 minute recovery break before the last 6km. So please think about where you might stop early and often - and if you will have to walk in the worst of the sun and heat to meet some goal you have, consider whether it is worth it.

Per your point of staying outside of towns, I think that might be a good plan - the streets BAKE in the sun till long after 10pm and it was 37C late in the evening (98.6F) in Mansilla de las Mulas. Be safe.

Sorry for no big post today - I took the bus to Leon after “sleeping in” (6am, LOL - the Albergue was almost empty of pilgrims) and had coffee with Italian, American, and Welsh pilgrims before bussing to Leon. There were two other pilgrims on the bus - they were taking a couple rest days while I plan to push on tomorrow. I toured the Cathedral, its museum, San Isadore, and walked around the city while the temperatures were nice. I then took a nap - I have been sleeping poorly in the heat - and have been rehydrating constantly. I am now headed out to find some food, a Pilgrims’ mass and blessing, and some other sites. Leon is beautiful and I am very happy I have had time to explore a bit already.

Buen Camino!
 
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12-22Pilgrim

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So I pushed hard today and made it to Hospital Orbigo (32km). I truly enjoyed Leon and was sad to leave the city…but I did not love the walk out of Leon - that was by far ugliest part of the Camino for me so far.

I left at 515 and got immediately lost - I was lucky to get help finding the way out of the city from two other pilgrims (a peregrino from Antwerp and a peregrina from Budapest). They have been walking together for a while and I continued to tag along for the day to get to know them better.

They dragged me through the first part and I dragged them through the end.

The first part was miserable. Nothing was open in Virgen del Camino (too early) and all of the bars and cafes in Valverde were out of business. I didn’t have coffee or breakfast till San Miguel (13 km in - it was still very early).

We got to San Martin (25km) around 11am and had a longer break to drink water (a couple liters with electrolyte powder) and rest.
I could have stopped there but the peregrina wanted to get to Hospital so she could be back with some friends and we planned to escort her safely. Maybe I was inspired by Suero de Quiñones and felt a knightly duty to see a lady to her destination. But more like Quixote, I just have a head full of nonsense or maybe worse, like Sancho Panza, I just follow people around without thinking 😆

I am very pleased to land at a quiet and cooler Albergue tonight (the Karl Leisner), to have a short walk to Astorga (less than 18km), and an air conditioned room waiting for me after that.

Hopefully my last 30km plus day. And hopefully tomorrow is the last day of the extreme heat.

Buen Camino!
 

12-22Pilgrim

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I LOVED the Albergue Karl Leisner - such a beautiful garden, cooler dorms (on one level and shielded from the sun), and the atmosphere - some pilgrims playing guitar and singing songs, some (like me) sharing food, wine, and beer while conversing in so many different languages (our little circle was American, Spanish, Belgian, Hungarian, Italian, Sicilian, and German. Just had to find the right ways to connect everyone (not through me). It was so relaxing. Everyone went to bed pretty early and I guess I overslept because when I awoke at 6am nearly every other pilgrim was gone! I had a short day to Astorga so I wasn’t stressed about the heat and sun today but I guess everyone else still is. Will be interesting to see how that all changes when the temps get cooler. So I left at 645.

I started off with a very sore left foot but once the Advil kicked in I was hauling butt! I arrived at Astorga at 1030 - so I estimate I was going about 5km per hour (normal pace is 4). There were some ups and downs on the way but I know that is just a taste of what is to come.

The walk was absolutely gorgeous - the contrast between my segment yesterday and today couldn’t have been more pronounced. It is like the bridge at Hospital de Orbigo is also a bridge back to the Camino without a Zone Industrial. Maybe it was worth compressing that into one day to get the pure beauty and quiet today!

Once in Astorga I toured the cathedral and museum and the Gaudi Palace (and it’s Camino museum. Now for lunch and cleaning up and a visit to the Desportes store and a Farmacia to refresh supplies.

Buen Camino!
 

Pilgrino21

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I LOVED the Albergue Karl Leisner - such a beautiful garden, cooler dorms (on one level and shielded from the sun), and the atmosphere - some pilgrims playing guitar and singing songs, some (like me) sharing food, wine, and beer while conversing in so many different languages (our little circle was American, Spanish, Belgian, Hungarian, Italian, Sicilian, and German. Just had to find the right ways to connect everyone (not through me). It was so relaxing. Everyone went to bed pretty early and I guess I overslept because when I awoke at 6am nearly every other pilgrim was gone! I had a short day to Astorga so I wasn’t stressed about the heat and sun today but I guess everyone else still is. Will be interesting to see how that all changes when the temps get cooler. So I left at 645.

I started off with a very sore left foot but once the Advil kicked in I was hauling butt! I arrived at Astorga at 1030 - so I estimate I was going about 5km per hour (normal pace is 4). There were some ups and downs on the way but I know that is just a taste of what is to come.

The walk was absolutely gorgeous - the contrast between my segment yesterday and today couldn’t have been more pronounced. It is like the bridge at Hospital de Orbigo is also a bridge back to the Camino without a Zone Industrial. Maybe it was worth compressing that into one day to get the pure beauty and quiet today!

Once in Astorga I toured the cathedral and museum and the Gaudi Palace (and it’s Camino museum. Now for lunch and cleaning up and a visit to the Desportes store and a Farmacia to refresh supplies.

Buen Camino!
Liking your walk reports so far. Astorga has a special place in my heart as that was my staging spot for completing the rest of the CF just a month ago. Would be interesting how quickly you go through the stages since there seems to be no stopping you at this point.


Buen Camino.
 

12-22Pilgrim

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Liking your walk reports so far. Astorga has a special place in my heart as that was my staging spot for completing the rest of the CF just a month ago. Would be interesting how quickly you go through the stages since there seems to be no stopping you at this point.


Buen Camino.
I really like Astorga! It has a good vibe, the walk in was great(except for that super steep part to enter - ouch!), and it seems to have a lot of Pilgrims out preparing for the final push in the Pilgers Store and supermarcados.

By the end of tomorrow, I will be halfway on my journey from Burgos to Santiago. I have some cushion so I am trying to keep each day reasonable from here, listen to my body, and slow down on ascents and descents. It have definitely had hard days but each was rewarded with camaraderie that I could never have imagined. I guess that is the only downside of my plan to book hotels ahead of the trip in some cities - I miss the small town Albergue experience and it is a bit lonelier. But they are also great recovery days for my body - I guess that is the trade between body, mind, and soul you constantly face on the Camino. Or maybe I just miss some of the friends I have made along the way.

Buen Camino
 

cathietherese

Catherine Davis
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Thank you for your posts. They are evocative and also highlight just how unique each day can be, from a previous day, and a previous walk.
We are also returning to walk the Camino Frances after ten years. My husband, Tim retires in two weeks time. We also promised each other we would return at this life juncture to the CF. It is nice to know you are doing the same.
We both wish you buen camino and Ultreia in the heatwave.
In 2019 we walked the Via Podiensis and a heatwave came along, reaching high 30’s and then over 40. We took a rest day and a cab when it became too hot to walk, and felt this necessity was part of the journey for that Camino.
That said, I pray the heat eases for you and all experiencing it. Take care. Take heart.
Catherine and Tim
 
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Hola @12-22Pilgrim I walked the Meseta back in May 2017 and where I could I took Brierley's alternate track. For me a lot more enjoyable.
A point of geography and local time zones: Spain operates on European Central Time (Paris/Berlin & Rome) but in fact it is actually WEST of London. This means that "noon"(high sun) is later in the day (usually after 13 or 1.00PM). So I would suggest that on really hot days (over 35C/95F) stop walking before that time and also "take those breaks" - re-hydrate and shoes/boots off the 15 mins. Buen Camino.
 

12-22Pilgrim

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Thank you for your posts. They are evocative and also highlight just how unique each day can be, from a previous day, and a previous walk.
We are also returning to walk the Camino Frances after ten years. My husband, Tim retires in two weeks time. We also promised each other we would return at this life juncture to the CF. It is nice to know you are doing the same.
We both wish you buen camino and Ultreia in the heatwave.
In 2019 we walked the Via Podiensis and a heatwave came along, reaching high 30’s and then over 40. We took a rest day and a cab when it became too hot to walk, and felt this necessity was part of the journey for that Camino.
That said, I pray the heat eases for you and all experiencing it. Take care. Take heart.
Catherine and Tim
I am so glad it resonates and I hope you do return - in my experience it has drawn such a bright line between my previous job and whatever I do in the future. And I am meeting so many people on the Camino who have left jobs or retired just before doing it. It is amazing to share that with others on the road.

The heat absolutely eased up today. Partly because I am headed into the mountains and gaining altitude, but it was different from the start today out of Astorga. Here at Foncebadon it is absolutely perfect at 1pm where I would have been hiding before.

I wish you both the best!
 

12-22Pilgrim

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Hola @12-22Pilgrim I walked the Meseta back in May 2017 and where I could I took Brierley's alternate track. For me a lot more enjoyable.
A point of geography and local time zones: Spain operates on European Central Time (Paris/Berlin & Rome) but in fact it is actually WEST of London. This means that "noon"(high sun) is later in the day (usually after 13 or 1.00PM). So I would suggest that on really hot days (over 35C/95F) stop walking before that time and also "take those breaks" - re-hydrate and shoes/boots off the 15 mins. Buen Camino.
Absolutely! I haven’t walked past 130pm except the day I arrived (maybe one other day when I took a 90 minute break at noon due to exhaustion before finishing strong). When I see pilgrims arriving at 3 or 4 I have had such concern. But hopefully things will be better from here with the heat wave over.
 

12-22Pilgrim

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Today was a wonderful and hard day. I slept well in Astorga after having a delicious Maragato dinner at La Peseta - the cod with chickpeas in green garlic sauce was divine. I walked back to my hotel around 10pm with the squares still lively with soccer playing children and the cafes packed. I came back to the Hotel Gaudi to find they were having some kind of huge dinner for high school aged kids - like prom without the dancing. As I prepared for bed, I started to hear chanting, shouting, stomping of probably some kind of school song (think futbol chants). Earplugs tuned that right out :)

Woke up at 530 and was walking by 6. So easy to get out of Astorga and the walk was very pleasant. I saw a bunch of pilgrims I knew throughout the day, some from Hospital de Orbigo or Leon a couple days before, others from my second Albergue of the trip! So that was pretty special. Everyone seems to be trying for Foncebadon tonight. More on that in a bit.

Had a coffee and breakfast in Santa Catalina, another coffee at the Cowboy Bar in El Ganso (kinda hadta), pushed through Rabanal del Camino without a break (though I really wanted one) because I thought there might be a bed race in Foncebadon. The last 5km were kinda torture - I know why B stages his guide because a climb at the end of the day is probably a lot harder than in the beginning. And not only the climb, but the change in terrain to more rocky and rooty sections (ankle twisters and toe trippers). You not only have to pay more attention but it really slows your pace. There are some shorter steep climbs as well - whew, had to sit for a few to catch my breath on some of those. My feet were sore and my legs were tired but I was seeing myself climbing against the totally different backdrop.

When I saw Foncebadon as I turned a corner (always that way on the Camino - you don’t see that town you want till you are almost in it, with a couple exceptions of course). I cheared, then laughed, then was worried I would cry. It was just such a beautiful sight. I arrived about noon.

I went to three or four Albergues and Pensions - completo! I am so early but I guess people had booked ahead. I saw a lot of delivered bags as well. No judgment on either but was a bit stressful. Found a bed at the Albergue Chelo and was so grateful. It is very windy and cool here - after lunch I am going to nap so hard and probably need a sweater or jacket - you can’t know (unless you have been on the Camino during this heatwave) how different this feels. So excited!

So, like I said, a hard day but very rewarding.

Buen Camino!!!
 

cathietherese

Catherine Davis
Time of past OR future Camino
SJPDP - Finistere May/June 2012
Le-Puy-en-Velay to Cahors/ June 2019
I am so glad it resonates and I hope you do return - in my experience it has drawn such a bright line between my previous job and whatever I do in the future. And I am meeting so many people on the Camino who have left jobs or retired just before doing it. It is amazing to share that with others on the road.

The heat absolutely eased up today. Partly because I am headed into the mountains and gaining altitude, but it was different from the start today out of Astorga. Here at Foncebadon it is absolutely perfect at 1pm where I would have been hiding before.

I wish you both the best!
And to you, the absolute best. Ultreia.❤️
 
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12-22Pilgrim

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The benefit of the harder end of the day yesterday was a short walk to Cruz de Ferro at sunrise. As one of the major milestones for my Camino, I was very excited to bring my stones and prayers. One of the great things about it was being there with some of the other pilgrims I have met along the way (did NOT want a selfie there). I added three stones to the pile - 2 for me and 1 on behalf of two very good friends in the US. With the anticipation I have to say I at first it didn’t have the emotional impact I expected. But as I got a km or so away, it all really started to hit me - stuff I brought on the Camino, stuff I was trying to leave behind at CdeF - and I was pretty emotional for about an hour of walking alone. I think at certain points I was almost running. So there was power in that spot even as it might just seem photogenic.

So began the downhill section of the day. After the first one I was like “hooray, that wasn’t as bad as I thought, I must be half goat!” Then the second one was worse. And the third one was worse than that. And on and on, each one worse than the prior one. My right calf started cramping up or getting strained or something. I realized that since it was cooler (downright cold and misty at times) I had not been drinking anything but coffee all day. So a whole bottle of electrolyte water and a bunch of regular water later and I felt better.

That is not to say it was all upset and leg misery today. I stopped for coffee at a little pop-up stand in Manjarin and that was a huge pick me up. When I got to El Acebo I stopped for coffee again and was treated to a bunch of pilgrim friends having breakfast (almost in waves as each cluster arrived) and to a Maragato band marching and playing music through town with dancing, singing, free drinks (a fortified wine of some sort), and pastries. It was fantastically fun, even if the Jacotrans and taxis had to wait a bit. Apparently it was a feast day for the village and we were lucky to be there at the right time. That was very energizing as well.

While many pilgrims are pushing to Ponferrada today since the weather is cooler, the sun behind clouds, and the walk is pretty short, I couldn’t be happier to stay in Molinaseca tonight - what a delightful town! Lunch down by the river post clean up and I am in heaven. As everyone says, walk YOUR Camino.

And with that…

Buen Camino!
 

Pilgrino21

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Frances
The benefit of the harder end of the day yesterday was a short walk to Cruz de Ferro at sunrise. As one of the major milestones for my Camino, I was very excited to bring my stones and prayers. One of the great things about it was being there with some of the other pilgrims I have met along the way (did NOT want a selfie there). I added three stones to the pile - 2 for me and 1 on behalf of two very good friends in the US. With the anticipation I have to say I at first it didn’t have the emotional impact I expected. But as I got a km or so away, it all really started to hit me - stuff I brought on the Camino, stuff I was trying to leave behind at CdeF - and I was pretty emotional for about an hour of walking alone. I think at certain points I was almost running. So there was power in that spot even as it might just seem photogenic.

So began the downhill section of the day. After the first one I was like “hooray, that wasn’t as bad as I thought, I must be half goat!” Then the second one was worse. And the third one was worse than that. And on and on, each one worse than the prior one. My right calf started cramping up or getting strained or something. I realized that since it was cooler (downright cold and misty at times) I had not been drinking anything but coffee all day. So a whole bottle of electrolyte water and a bunch of regular water later and I felt better.

That is not to say it was all upset and leg misery today. I stopped for coffee at a little pop-up stand in Manjarin and that was a huge pick me up. When I got to El Acebo I stopped for coffee again and was treated to a bunch of pilgrim friends having breakfast (almost in waves as each cluster arrived) and to a Maragato band marching and playing music through town with dancing, singing, free drinks (a fortified wine of some sort), and pastries. It was fantastically fun, even if the Jacotrans and taxis had to wait a bit. Apparently it was a feast day for the village and we were lucky to be there at the right time. That was very energizing as well.

While many pilgrims are pushing to Ponferrada today since the weather is cooler, the sun behind clouds, and the walk is pretty short, I couldn’t be happier to stay in Molinaseca tonight - what a delightful town! Lunch down by the river post clean up and I am in heaven. As everyone says, walk YOUR Camino.

And with that…

Buen Camino!
If I would do it again, definitely would prefer stopping at Molinaseca than pushing on all that pavement walk to end a long tough day. I've grown more partial to smaller towns for stops. The things you learn along the way... Buen Camino
 

12-22Pilgrim

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While I have had my physically challenging days on this Camino, today was emotionally challenging. It started last night - while I enjoyed Molinaseca, I overheard some pilgrims speaking meanly (snarkily) about other pilgrims and the process and it sort of put me into a mood. I understand that everyone walks their own Camino and that while you meet amazing people not everyone is going to be amazing at any moment. And really it was none of my business. But they reminded me of some people I used to work with that were perfectly nice but would indulge in gossip and other stuff just like this. I am sure it is something in me as much as in them.

So I started the day down for sure, homesick, missing my wife, out of sorts, and just plain lonely. The walk to Ponferrada was nothing to write home about either - felt like I was spiraling in toward the city but you never really arrive. The little towns were all locked down tightly - except one house offering free water from a faucet, which in my mood was a significant pick me up for whatever reason. I tried focusing on the landscape, on certain animals, on my own feet.

There were also only a few pilgrims on the road, which only magnified the feeling of loneliness. I don’t know, it felt like maybe I had been left behind by other pilgrims, was sorta between stops or something (as mentioned yesterday, many pilgrims I knew were moving into Ponferrada rather than Molinaseca).

Ponferrada was neat city once I arrived - the castle, the churches. But nothing was open for coffee - not one cafe or bar even though it was later than usual for me. And city folk aren’t like the friendly townsfolk, so it felt kind of cold (or maybe that was just my mood).

There is a nice walk out of the city through a park that parallels a river. There my day changed completely!

I met a married couple of pilgrims I had seen off and on but never formally “met” from New Jersey. Like me, they were completing a Camino started several years ago that was paused due to work commitments. We talked about the impact of COVID on their business and lives, our families, our inspiration for the Camino, walking alone vs. with your significant other, vacations and trips, and our aspirations for it (including daily “intentions” and prayers we were bringing). That conversation continued through shared coffee and cookies, vineyards, busier than expected roads, and quiet small towns.

It was exactly what I needed. The walk increased in beauty, the weather cleared up - sunny but cool enough that we were not sweating (which after last week where you would sweat doing nothing at all seems like a miracle). It made the walk to Cacabellos seem like it took no time at all (we arrived around 1145). They then moved on toward Villafranca but I think I will see them again.

But once they separated I ran into the women from Albuquerque I met my second night and have kept in touch with.

Then a peregrina from Germany who is completely re-energized by new shoes walked up and gave me a hug. She joined me for lunch (I had a big salmon salad - one look at it and everyone was ordering it!) and we got to know each other better and talk about our Caminos, jobs, families, and lives. She then departed for Villafranca as well.

Then I met a woman from the states with literally the same shoes I was wearing and I heard her shoe story (which was funny). It was a short conversation because she had to get lunch but we now have a shared connection to laugh about later.

I walked to my Albergue and then saw an Italian peregrina from Castrojeriz who loved cats. She was supposed to have left the Camino a few days ago, but found herself in Astorga, crying on a bench till she missed her flight because she didn’t want to leave. So seeing her was a shock for both of us. She was in Foncebadon the other night and due to the bed race, slept in a tent (which she loved). We caught up a bit and she is also going to Villafranca but leaves a lot later everyday than I do.

Part of what I learned from all of this is that worrying about what town someone is staying in or whether you will be “behind” or “ahead” is a silly concept. After all, if I leave earlier I will be stopping in towns before they even arrive and then we can see each other when they pass through. Or maybe they will take a rest day or change plans. Or maybe we are meant to meet more people by not worrying about finding certain people. Whatever it is I have learned to be more open and less concerned with what other choose.

The other thing I (re)learned is that the Camino provides. It’s not something where you will feel joy every second of the day but when you really need it and are in the right frame of mind, you may receive its gifts.
Buen Camino!
 

12-22Pilgrim

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And to wrap up my day on even a brighter note, I had dinner at a cute Asian “corner diner” (hard to characterize the little food court here in Cacabellos). The meal was Korean spicy ramen, kimchi, a fried egg, and a side of spicy fries that are what I always wanted “patatas bravas” to be (and a couple beers and water for the spice ). It was an amazingly different meal (although I had Korean my second night at Albergue Orion) and so tasty. More importantly, I had a great conversation with Santiago, the owner. His family is from this village but he grew up in the Netherlands as the only Santiago. But he wanted to come “home” and support pilgrims on the Camino so he has this awesome little place.

I know there are criticisms of the increasing commercialism of the Camino, but we should be empathetic to the people trying to make a living and at the same time support pilgrims along the way. Especially how they suffered through COVID for a couple years. So if you find a place and host you like, find a way to spend a couple more Euros if you have the means. You will enjoy it too!
 

Pilgrino21

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Frances
And to wrap up my day on even a brighter note, I had dinner at a cute Asian “corner diner” (hard to characterize the little food court here in Cacabellos). The meal was Korean spicy ramen, kimchi, a fried egg, and a side of spicy fries that are what I always wanted “patatas bravas” to be (and a couple beers and water for the spice ). It was an amazingly different meal (although I had Korean my second night at Albergue Orion) and so tasty. More importantly, I had a great conversation with Santiago, the owner. His family is from this village but he grew up in the Netherlands as the only Santiago. But he wanted to come “home” and support pilgrims on the Camino so he has this awesome little place.

I know there are criticisms of the increasing commercialism of the Camino, but we should be empathetic to the people trying to make a living and at the same time support pilgrims along the way. Especially how they suffered through COVID for a couple years. So if you find a place and host you like, find a way to spend a couple more Euros if you have the means. You will enjoy it too!
Glad you got to spend time to listen to the locals' stories and what brought them to the CF. As mentioned previously, getting to know non-pilgrims may seem like contradictory but without these folks the infrastructure wouldn't be as appealing to a wide variety of pilgrims. I didn't have as much time as you have but those moments I did more than made up for the others. Walk on. Buen Camino
 
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12-22Pilgrim

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Ok, today was a bit of a crazy day. I started off in a much better mood than yesterday, re-energized from all of my socializing yesterday. So this morning I walked alone and was feeling really good. I also didn’t have a plan today - I was just going to go where the Camino took me. But I did not have to go very far because I was targeting Sarria for Friday.

I really enjoyed the walk to and through Villafranca - through the vineyards at sunrise, through Villafranca with a wonderful coffee and breakfast with other pilgrims from Colorado, and onto Tradadelo with the sounds of the rushing mountain river offsetting the road.

But I ran into a friend Belgian pilgrim from a few days ago (my fellow “knight” escorting the damsel to Hospital). We decided to walk together for a while…but like last time that became kind of an adventure. Each town was nice but maybe too small - so we kept going. We saw a bunch of pilgrims we each knew along the way, which was fun. And met some other really cool pilgrims along the way, including one from Bilbao who talked about his walk of the Camino Norte in February in the pouring rain and cold every day.

We just kept going and went all the way to La Faba (32km for me!) laughing, sweating, and panting all the way up. We arrived exhausted and saw other pilgrims looking all satisfied and kept laughing from there.

I am now exhausted and still grinning as we wait for dinner, share some wine, and hang out with a bunch of folks trying to keep warm.

You never know what a day will bring! Go with the flow :)

Buen Camino!
 

12-22Pilgrim

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Today I walked to Triacastela from La Faba - about 26km. The walk began at 630am with the climb toward O Cebreiro - it was so dark in some of the forest paths that I was using my headlamp. It was very cold and damp as well - I was wearing 3 layers and had to pull my sweater over my hands because they were very cold. My poles were sweating from the condensation and it was the first time I have seen my breath on the Camino (contrast that with 37C/98F one week ago!). I took O Cebreiro in two steps, with coffee and breakfast for energy at La Laguna about half way up. The last part wasn’t too bad and the views were absolute stunning - the clouds had not rolled in yet.

I then did the high route from there and the other couple Altos (some of which were soooo steep that they made the earlier climb seem sorta easy. But everything made for a great way to meet pilgrims, commiserate, and congratulate each other for making it through each part. I know I had been worried about losing touch with some pilgrims friends along the way - but on this day I was passing some of them even though they were starting from O Cebreiro - my legs felt really good today even on the ups and downs.

The most exciting part was having to pass two cattle drivers (one in each direction - came up from behind a herd the first time and straight into one the next time). I have to say I was a bit intimidated the first time as some of the cattle were kind jumpy (am I now reenacting the running of the bulls in Sahagun???). But a nice Italian pilgrim explained how cows see people at that distance and it was much easier the second time and very cool.

Around O Biduedo it started raining and the poncho came out. For once it didn’t instantly stop the rain - in fact it grew heavier as I continued on my downhill stage. It was still pretty cool so it worked extremely well and was breathable. The rain continued until I was about a km from Triacastela. I arrived about 1:15 and was very happy the Albergue Altrio had plenty of space. I was greeted there by my pilgrim friends from NJ who has pushed a bit ahead of me a couple days ago. There is no need to worry about losing folks - things work out. Had a huge lunch at the Complexo Xacobeo - pimientos, salad, steak, potatoes, bread, fried egg- then crashed for a nap.

I have to say that while the walk wasn’t as challenging as the day before, I am even more exhausted today. I am looking forward to a short stage to Sarria tomorrow - sort of a rest day for me.

I can’t believe how close I am getting to Santiago. I think it is starting to hit everyone (it is certainly hitting me) - that mix of excitement about accomplishing something so special and that anxiety that this wonderful journey may be ending soon. Many are taking about tacking on Finnesterre, Muxia, even the Camino Portuguese! We’ll see how we process these emotions over the next few days.

Buen Camino!
 
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I can also thoroughly recommend the restaurant at Complexo Xacobero ( have also stayed at their albergue twice = 2015 & 2017). It was also raining when we arrived. After a quick shower my travelling companions (an English couple) and I investigated lunch. We were given a time of 2.30/14.30 (a typical Spanish lunch time). Being later we were able to take our time (no rush to leave). We shared the table with two or three other pilgrims. The soup was freshly made and wonderfully warming after the morning rain, i can't remember the other courses but my English friends gave me a gold star for restaurant choice.. We polished off 3 bottles of vino tinto (between 7) and two bottles of water. With a later finish (well after 4.00/1600 ) we did not need an evening meal. So we did a walk around the village - stopping to talk to pilgrims we had seen over the past week or so. Bought some supplies for the days ahead.
Glad you are having such a great reunion with the Frances. Thanks for your story. Buen Camio
 

12-22Pilgrim

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I can also thoroughly recommend the restaurant at Complexo Xacobero ( have also stayed at their albergue twice = 2015 & 2017). It was also raining when we arrived. After a quick shower my travelling companions (an English couple) and I investigated lunch. We were given a time of 2.30/14.30 (a typical Spanish lunch time). Being later we were able to take our time (no rush to leave). We shared the table with two or three other pilgrims. The soup was freshly made and wonderfully warming after the morning rain, i can't remember the other courses but my English friends gave me a gold star for restaurant choice.. We polished off 3 bottles of vino tinto (between 7) and two bottles of water. With a later finish (well after 4.00/1600 ) we did not need an evening meal. So we did a walk around the village - stopping to talk to pilgrims we had seen over the past week or so. Bought some supplies for the days ahead.
Glad you are having such a great reunion with the Frances. Thanks for your story. Buen Camio
I thought the meal was also quite good. A bunch of us when to Bar Esther that night for a “tapas” type dinner of a lot of different plates and wine. It was right around the corner from the Atrio and clearly a very popular place with the locals later despite catering to pilgrims earlier. The food was very tasty and other pilgrims had just come back taking about their meal too. I recommend all carte rather than the pilgrims menu at Esther though - some of their best stuff was outside the “menu” though maybe on the combination plates.
 

12-22Pilgrim

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It was a rainy walk to Sarria today but a relatively quick and enjoyable one. We were all concerned it would rain all day but when I left the Albergue it was in a lull and just some drippings from trees. I started a conversation with an American pilgrim but then the rain started in earnest so I stopped to poncho up. I caught up with her not too much later down the trail (she did not bother with rain gear all day). Well I should say up the trail because there were a bunch of ups to start and while my poncho is breathable, I am not and was working up quite a sweat and breathing hard. But we settled into a great pace and started a wonderful conversation about all kinds of things - including how wonderful it was to do something where you can have deep and long conversations with strangers in the normal course of a day (ok, is anything on the Camino normal?). She was also walking without her husband but with a friend and sister and is between jobs too (purposefully so she could do her Camino). She had a very interesting background and we shared a ton of thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Only one coffee break to warm up and dry off and then back on the path. When we saw Sarria pop up on the horizon we could not believe it - time really flew. She saw her sister in town and we went our separate ways. It just shows that even this late in the Camino you can meet people for the first time that you really connect with!

I walked up to the upper part of Sarria, had coffee with some other pilgrims I knew and then just checked into my very nice hotel room at Casa Solance! Hope to arrive in Santiago by Tuesday the 28th but other pilgrims are pushing further today and hope to get there sooner. Some some goodbye blues even with meeting new people. But that is the Camino too.

Buen Camino!
 
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Pilgrino21

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It was a rainy walk to Sarria today but a relatively quick and enjoyable one. We were all concerned it would rain all day but when I left the Albergue it was in a lull and just some drippings from trees. I started a conversation with an American pilgrim but then the rain started in earnest so I stopped to poncho up. I caught up with her not too much later down the trail (she did not bother with rain gear all day). Well I should say up the trail because there were a bunch of ups to start and while my poncho is breathable, I am not and was working up quite a sweat and breathing hard. But we settled into a great pace and started a wonderful conversation about all kinds of things - including how wonderful it was to do something where you can have deep and long conversations with strangers in the normal course of a day (ok, is anything on the Camino normal?). She was also walking without her husband but with a friend and sister and is between jobs too (purposefully so she could do her Camino). She had a very interesting background and we shared a ton of thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Only one coffee break to warm up and dry off and then back on the path. When we saw Sarria pop up on the horizon we could not believe it - time really flew. She saw her sister in town and we went our separate ways. It just shows that even this late in the Camino you can meet people for the first time that you really connect with!

I walked up to the upper part of Sarria, had coffee with some other pilgrims I knew and then just checked into my very nice hotel room at Casa Solance! Hope to arrive in Santiago by Tuesday the 28th but other pilgrims are pushing further today and hope to get there sooner. Some some goodbye blues even with meeting new people. But that is the Camino too.

Buen Camino!
I had some deep meaningful conversations approaching Sarria, and even a day or two from Santiago. Journey is not over yet.
 

12-22Pilgrim

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As I was leaving Sarria this morning (a bit later than usual) I saw the mass of new pilgrims (a horde is an apt description) starting out from various Albergues. And without a booking for today (and Booking is pretty darned booked) I was booking it for Portomarin from the first few minutes. I knew this part was coming and no judgement intended - but it does change the character of the Camino a bit.

I ran into the retired English musician and we walked together a bit (he was fast as well) but then he started talking to a family from England for a long time. I then ran into a pilgrim from Holland who was at dinner and drinks with me and some other pilgrims last night. We settled into the same rhythm and walked all day together - talked about the Camino, work, walking alone, cryptocurrency, and life goals. Super interesting guy, well traveled, and also walking with his wife at home like I am. He is ready to be done and go home so we talked about what we miss from normal life - that was fun.

Got to Portomarin at 1230 or so and headed right to the Xunta Municipal Albergue (no reservations) and was about 6th in line. Doesn’t seem to be filling up too much but maybe that is because people are reserving the private Albergues? I decided to book my remaining nights ahead - I know, I am part of the problem…

It wasn’t too long a walk, it was cool and windy but didn’t rain, and there was even sun every once in a while. But for whatever reason I feel cold, tired, and sore. Maybe the reason is I am in Galicia and less than 100km to go ;)

I made sure I had two stamps today - more reason (as if I needed one) to get coffee often. It was odd today how many towns only had vending machines instead of cafes/bars.

The celebration in Sarria last night for San Xoán was apparently epic. I went to bed relatively early but the partying continued for many past midnight (and for one pilgrim I know, till 4am!). But the Albergues were understanding of the unique situation and didn’t enforce curfew. We will see if things continue here for a second day.

The landscape has been beautiful but I admit that I have not been as inspired to take pictures as many pictures as earlier in the Camino m. Maybe it is because I am just taking it all in, or you just don’t take as many when walking with someone else. Or maybe that the new pilgrims are on their first day and taking pictures of everything they see! But the paths with stone walls and trees - so much green - are lovely - maybe what one would imagine the entire Way would look like.

One moment that was interesting - when getting close to Portomarin we ran into a pilgrim walking toward Sarria and asking how far it was. He was a pilgrim (maybe refugee is a better word) from Ukraine since February and was walking back from Santiago, staying in a tent or in churches, looking for day labor work on small farms along the way. It was a good reminder that whatever troubles brought you to the Camino, many have it far worse.

Buen Camino!
 
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12-22Pilgrim

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Well, I was really getting the Camino blues last night at the Municipal Albergue. While it was not full, it was very busy, loud, and crowded in common areas as it was raining outside and everyone was sorta trapped unless eating or shopping. I was feeling cold and irritable even after lunch (including soup). A cookie and chocolate snack helped but I think my introverted side needed some space and that was mostly impossible in the circumstances. I had a really bad dinner as well (worst pizza of the trip as I craved comfort food) but that was sort of funny and I tried to find humor in whatever I could from that point onward. I read a bunch on my phone, listened to some music, anything to settle my mind. In the end I slept pretty well and felt better in the morning.

I woke up around 5 and people were starting to pack up so I eventually did too. It wasn’t going to be a super long day (about 25km to Palas de Rei) but I figured an early start was ok. And it certainly was - I got to see another Camino sunrise above wonderful landscapes, I was walking alone but happily, and found many coffee shops open along the way. It seemed like many pilgrims got an earlier start today - maybe to avoid crowds or the rain forecasted later - but it was a very pleasant walking morning.

But it was a consistently cold day. The early morning was cold and damp, then it was cold and sunny, then it was cold and cloudy, then it was cold and raining. So really I had all four seasons of cold in one day 😁

I booked a Pension for tonight, then Albergues the next two nights before Santiago. I have a hotels in Santiago. So hopefully I can better manage my over stimulation from this point forward. But making plans to see pilgrim friends tonight so I won’t only be hiding out. All things in balance.

Buen Camino!
 

12-22Pilgrim

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Longish walk to Arzua today (29km) but an enjoyable one. I slept in a bit - till 7am, which might as well be noon for my normal wake up times - and didn’t get on the road till 745 or so. But I felt very energetic after dinner and drinks with friends last night and was walking quickly. I ran into an Italian peregrina that I have seen off and on since my second night on the Camino. She was taking my picture coming out of the dense fog…without knowing it was me :) So we walked and talked for a bit, caught up on each other’s Caminos, and what we were getting out of it so far. She then split off with some other friends and I was on my own till Melide, stopping for coffee and a chocolate covered croissant in a beautiful cafe with park in O Coto with a friendly gray Camino gato.

Melide was hopping on a Sunday and I saw a cafe offering churros with chocolate, which I have not tried yet. Second breakfast was delicious! I paired it with my first Americano of the trip - perfect balance. Fully caffeinated I started down the road again and met a couple pilgrims from Asheville, NC who had been waking since SJPP - I have seen them a few times but never introduced myself. We walked together all the way to Ribadiso, joined at one point by a Spanish peregrina walking from Sarria who now lives in the US (Seattle). We all compared car pictures along the way - obviously they are all good people if they like cats :)

I then did the final stretch to Arzua alone, but it was pretty quick - my pace was very quick (for me) all day at nearly 5km an hour. After checking into a very nice Albergue (Cruce de Camino) I got some lunch (pulpo and croquettes) and a short rest. I will go out to see some friends for dinner and drinks later.

I cannot believe I am only a couple days and less than 40km from Santiago. It just seems impossible. Two more short days and I will be there!

Buen Camino!
 

12-22Pilgrim

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Made it to O Pedrouso without any problems…One Day More!!!

Started walking today and it was freezing cold - must have been in the 40s. So I stopped for coffee before I even get out of Arzuq, which I never do. But while it is open, I can’t get service and I do NOT wait for coffee when it is another few km down the road.
So off I went, all layered up and freezing. And then a pilgrim I met on the way to La Faba, from Bilbao walks up and says hi and we talked the entire rest of the way, including a coffee and breakfast break (2 bananas and 2 coffees for me - fasting after my chocoholic day yesterday, LOL). And we were perfectly in synch - not too much speed, but also not too slow.
We talked about nutrition and exercise, work, religion, philosophy, more religion, freedom and individuality, miracles (his dad grew up in this village during this episode: https://thecatholictravelguide.com/destinations/spain/garabandal-the-warning-and-the-miracle/), family, money, family money, geopolitics, Spanish attitudes toward politics, and even his attitudes toward various Spanish separatist movements (especially the Basque, for obvious reasons). It was a truly wonderful and expansive talk. It made the journey, which was not even so long, seem very short. As someone mentioned above, even in my final days since Sarria I have had some of my BEST conversations of the Camino!

We get to O Pedrouso and he is looking for his Albergue, not too far up the street. I plug mine into the GPS…and it seems awfully far away and I have already passed it! So I start walking back…and back…and the km are going up on the markers….and it is still 1.5km away! It’s not even in the right town and I would rather walk to Santiago tonight than add a bunch of km today and tomorrow (particularly because I had plans in town - pilgrims Mass and dinner with friends). So I cancel the booking, see a beautiful Albergue in town with a pool, march right up, and they have had 2 cancellation and available immediately for 15 euros. Sold!

A lot of my pilgrim friends are hurting, either physically or emotionally. We are all ready to arrive now, even as we don’t know how it will feel. I am truly blessed to be healthy and my legs and feet feel like new. In fact my left small toe nail fell off today and there was the renewed nail below it.

So that was my day - I am almost to Santiago - even added a couple km for fun 😅

Buen Camino!
 
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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola @12-22Pilgrim (and others). I do not know what it is about Sarria, but just does not "grab" me. In both 2015 and 2017 I pushed on to Barbadelo (Casa Carmen is my "go to place"). But hey - to each her/his own. I just love the rural aspect of the village. Carmen is up on a hill, great rural views and the sun and wind ensure clothes dry quickly. Cheers
 

12-22Pilgrim

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Hola @12-22Pilgrim (and others). I do not know what it is about Sarria, but just does not "grab" me. In both 2015 and 2017 I pushed on to Barbadelo (Casa Carmen is my "go to place"). But hey - to each her/his own. I just love the rural aspect of the village. Carmen is up on a hill, great rural views and the sun and wind ensure clothes dry quickly. Cheers
Many of my friends went to villages between the towns like Sarria and Portomarin instead of staying in the towns. I totally get it - I liked a lot of the small towns too. And perhaps on my next Camino (there always seems to be another…) I will try it differently. Some pilgrims I talked to today wish they had taken more time (do it more slowly) in the early days because they felt so rushed and crowded at the end.
 
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Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
But wow, I can’t believe it!!!!
One day at a time and you get there. I just found your thread today and am happy to read it while you are landing in Santiago. The welcome at Camino Companions upstairs from the office where you get your compostella and the welcome at Pilgrim House are wonderful opportunities to process what you just did.
May Sanitago be a joy.
 
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Pilgrino21

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Congratulations @12-22Pilgrim ! Wonderful. Enjoy Santiago, it is a wonderful city once you get to know it. If you need to take time to process, visit Pilgrim House in Rua Nova. It's a sanctuary.
Also recommending the Pilgrim House. Great friendly people and a nice oasis in a busy city. I enjoyed my times stopping there and they were all so helpful and welcoming when I was in the midst of processing it all in almost a month ago to the day.

Congrats @12-22Pilgrim on your accomplishment. Looks like the 10 years in between hopefully only made the journey this time around that much sweeter.
 
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Dani747

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I arrived in Santiago de Compestella today!!!! I was able to walk the last 5km or so with friends and arrive together (although “arriving” seemed to take forever!). I need time to process it all. But wow, I can’t believe it!!!!
Congratulations, what an achievement - thank you for taking the time to post! I have really enjoyed your posts along the way! Take your time to process and mind yourself! Buen Camino!
 
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 @12-22Pilgrim My heartiest congrats on completing your Camino Adventure. I know that feeling to stand in the middle of that square (on the central marker) and look up at that great 800 year old Cathedral. If you are getting a compostela remember that there is now a ticket booking system so you do not have to wait all day at the Pilgrim Office. So get you ticket and then off to have a beer or two. Again well done. Cheers
 

samba

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Francesca(2007),de la Plata /Sanabres ( May 2015),Mozarabe ( 2016) Norte (2018)
La Lana((2019)
Yes, I think I am adapting ok. It is funny to say that on day 4 with Pilgrims that have been walking 14-15 days (SJPP) or longer (one today, the appropriately named Roland, started in Le Puy and asked me to join his 37km day - I politely declined).

The weather was much better today! I noticed that pilgrims departed early to avoid the sun and heat (saw some departing at 430…I rolled over in bed till 530) and the road was pretty busy when I pushed off at 6am. It was very cool and breezy - finally got to wear my Patagonia Cap Air sweater for a few hours.

I took the optional path away from the Senda first thing in the morning - it was cool, shaded with trees, the sun was just rising, and it was very quiet. The only downside was that the cafe/bar along the way was closed. Still a chance to air feet, change socks, eat a little before pushing on.

I arrived at Villalcazar de Sirga at 930 this morning, averaging 4km an hour. Only had 6km to go for the day so I tried to visit the church here when it opened at 10. It was closed - maybe because it is Saturday. But the bar was open and was grateful for two cafe con leches, a banana, and a couple complimentary cookies and felt much better 😀

My feet continue to suffer - I am truly done with compeed as I got another blister on my left small toe - it is a tiny toe but has had 3 successively larger blisters! The right small toe has done better with a bandaid and I am trying tape from here (worked well for the rest of the day. There is a blister forming under the footbed from my sandals, but it does not hurt yet. I am learning my feet like SmartWool and Icebreaker socks, but not Worn brand for this long distance stuff.

The last stretch to Carrion was no big deal. 6 km or so and I got there by 1120 if I remember right. Since I was pretty early, I went to the two churches in town and saw many exhibits adoring Mary (of course, I am in Spain) and walked around town a bit. Went to an awesome bakery and got a fresh loaf of twisty bread for tomorrow and a big crème filled sugar coated fritter, which I devoured. I saw many pilgrim friends around town - they are all staying (I think) at the Santa Clara because the singing nuns’ Santa Maria is closed for the next couple weeks - boo!!!
I splurged for a night at the my way to the Monasterio San Zoilo hotel and I am stunned by how nice it is. Soaking my feet in the tub as like heaven and I am glad I have my portable clothesline (thanks to my wife for calling it an essential for the weight). So it is a self care evening with the plan to walk to Ledigos tomorrow with the long, featureless meseta morning. I have enjoyed the meseta though - I think the pops of beauty (a church, a ruin, poppies and wild flowers, sunrise, etc.) are easier to find amidst the landscape.

I also don’t mean to bury my inner Camino - my wife and I are sharing a ton of thoughts and I am doing a lot of processing on my former job, life choices, challenges, and priorities. And trying to smell the roses too, talk to every other pilgrim I can, chat up hospitaleros (we had a long talk with the Korean woman who runs Albergue Orion), offer what encouragement and advice I can on injuries, and keep grinning as I go. More grinning today than yesterday (for everyone I assume - it was bloody hot till 10pm last night, but the cool breeze at 3am felt wonderful and I wrapped into my sleeping bag for the first time.

Buen Camino!
Hello glad you enjoying . Re feet . I just use fixamil on all my toes . Have tried comped, made toecaps, Vaseline etc etc .find no matter what I do or how careful I am now , I get blisters on toes . Some worse than others . Comped when Blister fully formed , fixamil when just red and swelling .Farmacia has it . Called Mefix here
Good walking !
 
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12-22Pilgrim

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Hello glad you enjoying . Re feet . I just use fixamil on all my toes . Have tried comped, made toecaps, Vaseline etc etc .find no matter what I do or how careful I am now , I get blisters on toes . Some worse than others . Comped when Blister fully formed , fixamil when just red and swelling .Farmacia has it . Called Mefix here
Good walking !
What finally worked for me was changing the lacing pattern on my shoes to relieve pressure on my toe box (particularly the small toes), sticking to SmartWool socks (though that may have been superstition) and changing them 2-3 times a day, and just waiting for cooler temps (we got a huge cold wave after the heat wave). Though I got a couple minor blisters later, for the last week I did nothing but heal despite some long days. My feet felt like new and that was such a blessing in the home stretch!
 

12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
So my 10-year Camino ends. After arriving at the Cathedral and celebrating with the friends I walked in with, we went to the Pilgrim’s Office to get our Compestellas and distance certificates. We then split up to find our accommodations. Another pilgrim friend from Bilbao asked if we could visit the Cathedral together and get a beer. That short visit turned into 5-6 hour discussion of psychology, philosophy, and mysteries over beer, wine, and lunch. We finally parted and I found myself eating a Tarte de Santiago for dinner later because everything was closed by the time I was hungry again 😂

After a leisurely breakfast, I went to the 930am pilgrim’s Mass at the Cathedral and got to see them swing the botafumiera for a packed house. I wandered the city a bit, had a great lunch, but despite reaching my goal, I have to say I felt more sad and empty than fulfilled. Maybe it is the accumulated tiredness or a sense that my purpose was at an end. After all, the purpose of each day, of each hour of every day, is so clear on the Camino. “Free time” is earned. Maybe it was the lack of positive chemicals I get from exercise or a sense of loss of many of the friends I have made, who will go home, to the coast, or onto their next adventure from here.

But after giving it a lot of thought and prayer, I realized I just really missed my wife. Doing the Camino alone was a very special experience, one we now share because she did it alone 15 years ago. But as people realized on the Camino, it is a microcosm of life, compressing so many experiences, families, and friendships into these intense and short (seemingly long) days.

And in my life Camino, the person I want to walk with is at home, not in Muxia or Santiago. I spent the afternoon changing my flights, trains, hotel, and other plans so that this Camino can end and that Camino can continue.

So hear I sit at Casa Barbanted near the Cathedral drinking an Estrella del Camino wit beer, eyes tearing up, thinking about the end of one journey and the rejoining of another, the most important one. I can’t wait to be home!

Thanks for reading this thread and following my Camino. I have truly appreciate the kind words and advice and know that I was in the prayers of many others resting but not posting. We are truly blessed to have this forum and the experience of the Camino to share.

This may not be my last post to the forums - I greatly appreciated all the packing and preparation advice and may share some of my own thoughts and outcomes.

Ultreia!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
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 @12-22Pilgrim . I can understand that feeling - what do I do next??!! For you the decision to return home to your love one is perfectly natural. Thank you for sharing not only your Camino Adventure but something of your persona. Maybe the two of you can return next year to walk from Porto. A truly Buen Camino.
 

katie@camino

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF, SJPDP-Finisterre 2016;CP (Central) Porto-SdC 2017;CP (Coastal) Porto-SdC 2018;CF Leon-SdC 2019
So my 10-year Camino ends. After arriving at the Cathedral and celebrating with the friends I walked in with, we went to the Pilgrim’s Office to get our Compestellas and distance certificates. We then split up to find our accommodations. Another pilgrim friend from Bilbao asked if we could visit the Cathedral together and get a beer. That short visit turned into 5-6 hour discussion of psychology, philosophy, and mysteries over beer, wine, and lunch. We finally parted and I found myself eating a Tarte de Santiago for dinner later because everything was closed by the time I was hungry again 😂

After a leisurely breakfast, I went to the 930am pilgrim’s Mass at the Cathedral and got to see them swing the botafumiera for a packed house. I wandered the city a bit, had a great lunch, but despite reaching my goal, I have to say I felt more sad and empty than fulfilled. Maybe it is the accumulated tiredness or a sense that my purpose was at an end. After all, the purpose of each day, of each hour of every day, is so clear on the Camino. “Free time” is earned. Maybe it was the lack of positive chemicals I get from exercise or a sense of loss of many of the friends I have made, who will go home, to the coast, or onto their next adventure from here.

But after giving it a lot of thought and prayer, I realized I just really missed my wife. Doing the Camino alone was a very special experience, one we now share because she did it alone 15 years ago. But as people realized on the Camino, it is a microcosm of life, compressing so many experiences, families, and friendships into these intense and short (seemingly long) days.

And in my life Camino, the person I want to walk with is at home, not in Muxia or Santiago. I spent the afternoon changing my flights, trains, hotel, and other plans so that this Camino can end and that Camino can continue.

So hear I sit at Casa Barbanted near the Cathedral drinking an Estrella del Camino wit beer, eyes tearing up, thinking about the end of one journey and the rejoining of another, the most important one. I can’t wait to be home!

Thanks for reading this thread and following my Camino. I have truly appreciate the kind words and advice and know that I was in the prayers of many others resting but not posting. We are truly blessed to have this forum and the experience of the Camino to share.

This may not be my last post to the forums - I greatly appreciated all the packing and preparation advice and may share some of my own thoughts and outcomes.

Ultreia!
This is so bloody beautiful. Congratulations on your arrival and Buen Camino for the next part 😊
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Congratulations @12-22Pilgrim ! Wonderful. Enjoy Santiago, it is a wonderful city once you get to know it. If you need to take time to process, visit Pilgrim House in Rua Nova. It's a sanctuary.
Hola @12-22Pilgrim . I can understand that feeling - what do I do next??!! For you the decision to return home to your love one is perfectly natural. Thank you for sharing not only your Camino Adventure but something of your persona. Maybe the two of you can return next year to walk from Porto. A truly Buen Camino.
Well said, both of you. There are too few threads like this one. I often wish pilgrims would forsake personal blogs and instagram and keep us "true believers" included in their progress. Thank you @12-22Pilgrim.
 

12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
A short post script: Yesterday was my final day in Santiago and since my train was not till nearly 5pm, I decided to sit in the Cathedral Square and wait for friends that were supposed to arrive in the morning. Even before they had arrived I was hugging a crying Italian peregrina I had not seen for over a week (she said it was “her second best hug of the day” - I will take it!). Then my friends arrived and we all hugged, took pictures, and I walked them to the Pilgrims Office and Cathedral entrance for the 1230 mass. And I continued to run into pilgrims I had walked with for the next 2 hours as I sat quietly.

At 1pm I met my friends at the Pub Albaroque on the Via Sacra for drinks and there we sat with wine and beer for hours. The bar straddled the street that pilgrims use to arrive, really the perfect location. We cheered and hugged the pilgrims we knew (my friends seemed to know EVERYONE), we cheered and toasted the pilgrims we didn’t know. There was a lot of laughing, crying, hugging, hellos, and goodbyes all at the same time.

It was very hard to leave but I ran back to my hotel for my bag and made my train with joyful tears in my eyes again. I am sure my friends will continue their vigil on the Via Sacra and then hand that role off to another set of pilgrims after that. But it was a magical day to cap off a wonderful Camino.

And now I am boarding my flight home where my life Camino will continue with my lovely wife.
 
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Bobcat77

CF March-May 2019
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 2019
Hola @12-22Pilgrim As one who had to abandon my first camino I know the feeling of longing to retur,. Tardajos is an easy 10km and the reports I saw about La Fabrica (on the left as you enter the village) were good (although now a few years out of date). How you approach the subsequent days is really up to you. But let your body (and especially your feet) be your guide. Take it easy. Buen Camino.
I was supposed to walk to Valcarlos on my first day, but a 'friend' encouraged to to go on to Roncesvalles. BAD mistake. But I made it. However, after 6k the following day, I knew I'd had enough. Great decision. Lovely restful day, sat in sunshine, vine tinto coffee ... what's not to like. Never needed to do it again. 6 wonderful weeks at 70.
Buen Camino.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
I was supposed to walk to Valcarlos on my first day, but a 'friend' encouraged to to go on to Roncesvalles. BAD mistake. But I made it. However, after 6k the following day, I knew I'd had enough. Great decision. Lovely restful day, sat in sunshine, vine tinto coffee ... what's not to like. Never needed to do it again. 6 wonderful weeks at 70.
Buen Camino.
Hola @bobcat - I have my own philosophy about the first 4 or 5 days on the Camino. Take it slow and steady allow your body (and by extension your mind) to become what I call "Camino Fit". Regardless of how much training you have done it does not equate with walking with your pack (just a couple of kilos or pounds above desired); sleeping in a strange bed with 10 or 20 strangers; all those "foreign noises" etc.
So a small tip - if walking the Frances - add an extra day above what Saint John (Brierley) recommends for the Saint Jean to Pamplona section. Buen Camino.
 

Hlp

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013 and 2016
After my wife walked the CF from SJPP in 2007, I have always been intrigued by the Camino - it was such a transformative experience for her and I stayed home to work and take care of our kitty. So when we started doing the CF in stages back in 2012, I was sure we would finish it together. But after getting to Burgos that year, we ended up cancelling another stage a couple years later due to an injury I got while on a training hike (I know, the irony) and then life and work just got in the way.

I had a job where even if I could take off a couple weeks (which was extremely difficult) I would have to be on calls even while walking and have meetings/conferences on the front and back end. And I found it hard to get in the Camino state of mind when I was always thinking about what would come immediately after (will my feet be destroyed when I have to walk 3 days at a trade show in dress shoes?) rather than in the moment. Heck my last day there was over a month ago and i was doing extensive work even just last week. Hard to get away…

My wife always promised that when I left that job (we both assumed retirement several years from now) that I would finish the Camino as a capstone event. So when I left my job earlier this year we started talking about it. Then digging out our old gear. Then planning. Then booking flights. Then walking with a pack. And suddenly my Camino had begun before I arrived in Spain.

Rather than start over, I decided to start where I got my last stamp at the Burgos Cathedral. So here I am at Terminal 4 in Madrid, waiting for the Alsa bus to Burgos, completely jet lagged, and planning to walk 10km to Tardajos this afternoon.

I am hoping (if that is not an "expectation") that this will help draw a thick line between that phase of my life and the next. I probably over-planned, over-packed, and under estimated how tough this will be without my wonderful wife. But I guess we will see…

So please wish me luck and I wish you all Buen Camino.
Wish you all the best. We stopped working in 2013, moved to France and decided that the best transition from work to retirement was to do Le Saint Jacques de Compostelle. So we bought all the stuff needed and locked our door and walked from Beauregard in the Lot in France and all the way to Santiago. 9 weeks later we arrived, tired , happy and agreeing that, that was the most amazing thing we had ever done. Hope you will feel the same . Btw. We are from Denmark and had never walked all the much before 😊
 
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12-22Pilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF stage 2012
CF finish 2022 (hopefully)
Wish you all the best. We stopped working in 2013, moved to France and decided that the best transition from work to retirement was to do Le Saint Jacques de Compostelle. So we bought all the stuff needed and locked our door and walked from Beauregard in the Lot in France and all the way to Santiago. 9 weeks later we arrived, tired , happy and agreeing that, that was the most amazing thing we had ever done. Hope you will feel the same . Btw. We are from Denmark and had never walked all the much before 😊
It does feel like an amazing experience and I am very happy I did it. My wife and I are already discussing future Caminos 😀
 

NewYorker

New Member
Made it to Castrojeriz and Albergue Orion. Looking forward to the Korean dinner there tonight at 6!

In the meantime, I am walking around the town trying to find a phone charger or euro plug adapter because I must have left mine behind in Tardajos. Waiting for the Supermercado to open or maybe a Pharmacia. I can see one in the window of the gas station but it is only open 10-2. If not here, maybe Fromista tomorrow.

It was much warmer today and as well expected there was less shade. Glad I had a buff and 100 sunblock.

It doesn’t seem as busy here as expected - although there are a ton of Albergues. I see other pilgrims from time to time but mostly walk alone. Maybe there was a rush earlier in the year or in later stages of the Camino?
I’m currently in Sahagún and it’s very quiet here as well. I was also here in 2012. Beds readily available. I’m a people person but loving the time alone. Buen Camino!
 

elviento

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017
This was such an enjoyable read! I'm so happy you were able to complete your journey, and you learned it was okay to say goodbye to fellow pilgrims. It's a lot like life isn't it? It truly is remarkable how many lessons we learn along the way...
 

Jmmmpr

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino(2012,2016)
Porto-Santiago(2013)
LePuy-St Jean (2014)
EPW(2017)
Via Francigena(2018)
A short post script: Yesterday was my final day in Santiago and since my train was not till nearly 5pm, I decided to sit in the Cathedral Square and wait for friends that were supposed to arrive in the morning. Even before they had arrived I was hugging a crying Italian peregrina I had not seen for over a week (she said it was “her second best hug of the day” - I will take it!). Then my friends arrived and we all hugged, took pictures, and I walked them to the Pilgrims Office and Cathedral entrance for the 1230 mass. And I continued to run into pilgrims I had walked with for the next 2 hours as I sat quietly.

At 1pm I met my friends at the Pub Albaroque on the Via Sacra for drinks and there we sat with wine and beer for hours. The bar straddled the street that pilgrims use to arrive, really the perfect location. We cheered and hugged the pilgrims we knew (my friends seemed to know EVERYONE), we cheered and toasted the pilgrims we didn’t know. There was a lot of laughing, crying, hugging, hellos, and goodbyes all at the same time.

It was very hard to leave but I ran back to my hotel for my bag and made my train with joyful tears in my eyes again. I am sure my friends will continue their vigil on the Via Sacra and then hand that role off to another set of pilgrims after that. But it was a magical day to cap off a wonderful Camino.

And now I am boarding my flight home where my life Camino will continue with my lovely wife.
Thank you for taking us along on your Camino. I appreciated your day to day experiences - so many reminders of my two solo hikes on the CF (2012 & 2016). I missed my husband so often. He is now retired and the two of us will be walking the CF together from Roncesvalles to Santiago, starting in September. Can’t wait!!
 

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