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Second Camino - ideas for avoiding trying to recreate the first?

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Jellycat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1st Camino, March 2011. 2nd Camino planned for March 2015.
Hi,

I did my first Camino (Frances) four years ago in 2011 and it was as perfect as it could possibly have been. Other than the usual aches and pains and occasional tears, I had the most incredible 5/6 weeks of my life. The weather was beautiful, very warm and sunny for March, I met incredible people and made 2/3 lifelong friends, I cried with happiness, laughed and sang and listened and talked and had so many 'I'll never forget this moment' moments I lost count. I became fit and strong and healthy while eating endless delicious food (and equally delicious wine!). I loved all the albergues I stayed in (almost - won't be staying in Larassoana this time!) - I could go on...

So, next week I set off for my second Camino. I've deliberated for the last 3 years on whether to do it again, I looked at other walks/experiences and they just didn't appeal as much and finally I just went with my gut feeling which was to go back and walk the same route again.

How do I avoid trying to recreate the experience of four years ago? Have others who have done the Camino more than once got any advice? I worry that there are times I will be overwhelmed with nostalgia and see the faces, hear the voices from those wonderful people I met last time and feel sad that I'm not with them. Should I intentionally stay in different albergues and take different forks in the road, despite the fact I loved the places I stayed and choices I made last time?

Any help and advice would be really appreciated,

Angela
 
I won't be the same, trust me. Every Camino is different and in a way the having "Been there, worn the T-shirt" makes it so much less stressful. It's easier to go with the flow without planning much more than a day ahead. Yes, do try stopping in different places anyway but maybe staying in those albergues that are extra special to you. That's what I do. Obviously you are already organised to go the same time of the year else I would suggest shifting the time-scales. Buen Camino Manc.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
I had the same feelings and problems before I went back last year. I walked from SJPdP to Santiago in 2012, then returned and walked from Astorga last Autumn - and will be walking from Astorga again this March! My advice is to just go and see what happens. Sometimes you will have a better or harder walking day on one stretch and want to go past the place you stayed last time, or not make it all the way there. You don't have to intentionally stagger them to create a new experience - even if the town and albergue are the same, the people will be different, you will be different, the day that came before it and the one you wake up to next morning will be different. You will have many flashbacks of happy memories, but trust me, you will make a lot of new ones too! My entire plan for my 2014 Top-up camino was centred around avoiding staying in the same places, but that went out of the window on Day 2, when I met someone I ended up walking with all the way to Santiago! In '12 I stayed in Molinaseca; in '14 we stopped in Acebo. This time, who knows? Every camino is different. Just go with the flow!
 

Fritz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP- Muxia (2013)
Frances San Sebastian-Bilbao-Belarado-SDC (2016)
Frances SJPDP(2019)
Jellycat, great question. While I walked the CF one time, I walked with several people who had walked once, twice even 3 times before. Each of them said each of their camino's were different. Some had one or two alburgues they specifically wanted to return to, others just made it up as they walked each day. And based on a few photos I have seen, you may find much has changed in 4 years?

I think if I were walking again, I can think of 2 or 3 alburgues as "must stay again" and then probably change my layover towns on each stage. It's great to hear you are going again. Buen Camino!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
I walked the CF two times and part of a third. My first was in 2009, then 2010. They were close enough together to be pretty much the same. The third (2012) after walking from LePuy and on into Spain as far as my time permitted. The 2012 (Spain portion) was a disappointment due to the many changes in numbers, commercialization, and overall change of attitude of pilgrims.

I have since changed to walking different routes (Norte, VdlP, Sanabres,) where I have nothing to compare things to. I still prefer the Frances but would rather keep the memories from earlier times.

Consider walking a different route if that is something that would work out for you.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
It is NEVER the same; each day is unique! From 2004 through 2014 I have walked the Camino Frances in its entirety ten times; although the path may have always been basically west actual realities varied greatly. Each day was a new juggle of weather, topography, pack weight, personal strength and endurance; I never knew how it would evolve. Of course I remembered but never expected while hoping for serendipity or fortuitous chance to occur.
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
My biggest advice is plan in ADVANCE the 2-3 albuergues you "definitely" want to re-visit. Do this because you will want some nostalgia. But mostly do this because it will then free you from thinking about that the other 28-30 nights. You'll have already decided which 2-3 really, really mattered.

And if it isn't as perfect as the first, don't fret about it. Our honeymoon (2/3 spain, 1/3 france) went perfect. Like uncanny. Things happened to only be in a city for the day we happened to be there. We randomly stumbled on to this that and the other. No transportation problems (in spite of a lot of complicated train plans). So two years later we decided to go again (this time 2/3 france and 1/3 spain). Everything went wrong. We missed trains, trains got canceled, my wife got sick, we had to cancel one city and spend the night in another we didnt even want to go to (because of train problems). Things were randomly closed on the days/weeks we were there. And five years later guess which trip we have fonder memories of? The second one. Truly.
 

Jellycat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1st Camino, March 2011. 2nd Camino planned for March 2015.
Ha! I love that waveprof! What a great story.

Thanks for your thoughts everyone. I think I know deep down that it will be OK and probably a lot more than that. It will be different but I'll have fond memories too and I'll enjoy them. Some places, parts of the path I can't wait to return to. I think I just needed some reassurance and you have given me that, thank you.

That's a great idea about the 2/3 albergues. The first two that spring to mind are the church attic in Grannon (a truly magical place) and the one on the main path in Foncebaddon. Hmm, the 3rd... tricky. There was a little place just off the path, the last stop before Santiago. I stayed in a little room at the top of the house and it reminded me of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' - tiny beds, all in a row, beautifully made up with quilts and blankets. Or maybe Eunate, how could I forget Eunate?! But I think you can't stay there any more.... Seven Dwarfs house it is :O)

There area LOADS I missed last time that I want to try this time - but only if it works out that way. Let fate take its hand...

9 days!!
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Your description of the "Snow White and Seven Dwarfs" house makes me think of Santa Irene. It is a wonderful stop before Santiago, run by a very nice mother and her daughter.
I wanted a repeat of my first Camino experience where I shared some fantastic days with a group of people I still communicate with today; but my second Camino was, to say the least, an unmitigated disaster walking with people I could not relate to and could not escape. (I have since devised a strategy to either take transport ahead or take several rest days to find a new "family.")
My third lived up to every expectation I had about walking to Santiago but I also took a geographic cure b/c I did the CP.
Last year was a blessing walking with some great new friends, visits to all my favorite places and finding some new gems thanks to the resources of my fellow pilgrims.
I'm looking forward to hitting the road again in 3 months.
 

rometimed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP: May/June 2015; English Route Nov 2015; Lycian Way Oct 2015; Coast to Coast Aug/Sep 2015; West Highland Way July 2015; Hadrians Wall June 2015; Westweg Jul/Aug 2015..... ..... .... ... .. . SJPdP May/June 2020; A Coruna 2020... ... .. . SJPdP May/June 2025... .. . SJPdP May/June 2030... .. . SJPdP May/June 2035... .. .
I haven't done the Camino before but will be doing two by the end of this year, doing the French route May/June... doing the Silver route (starting in Granada) Sept/October. I'm doing this because there's some cities I really want to visit on the Silver route (Merida, Zamora, Cordoba and Salamanca) but I also really want to hit the more social aspects of the French route.

Hope your 2nd time is amazing. :) Buen Camino.
 

norelle

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
Hi Jellycat

I had similar thoughts to you as I set off on my second camino last year. What I found was that the camino was so familiar but..... I was different! I was so much more relaxed and accepting of the 'ups and downs'.
It was nostalgic at times and utterly new and different at others.
Enjoy!

buen camino
 

drvnsmiln

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC Sept-Oct 2014
SdC - Finisterre-Muxia. Oct 2014
Sarria - SdC Nov 2014
VdlP April - May 2017
Hi Jellycat

I had similar thoughts to you as I set off on my second camino last year. What I found was that the camino was so familiar but..... I was different! I was so much more relaxed and accepting of the 'ups and downs'.
It was nostalgic at times and utterly new and different at others.
Enjoy!

buen camino
On a purely practical note, I walked SJPP to Santiago, then to Finisterre/Muxia
last fall. then I went back to Sarria and walked that bit again with husband. Places that had seemed difficult or long the first time were not the same when I had experienced them the second...
How wonderful it will be to pick up your pack, walking out the door, and know that you know what you are doing!
Buen Camino!!! (I'm jealous!)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
This is one of my favorite travel quotes, and I know others like it too (Margaret, I'm surprised you didn't post it in here. :))

By Jose Saramago: ‘The journey is never over. Only travellers come to an end. But even then they can prolong their voyage in their memories, in recollections, in stories. When the traveller sat in the sand and declared: “There’s nothing more to see” he knew it wasn’t true. The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you’ve missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in the springtime what you saw in the summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see the crops growing, the fruits ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over again or add fresh ones alongside them. You have to start the journey anew. Always. The traveller sets out once more’.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
It was very different the second time. Knowing a bit more of what to expect helps. It was easier, in a way. Less to worry about as you know what is coming, the hills, the downs etc... I loved it the second time just as much but in a different way. I fondly remembered the people I had met in various places, the things I had lived through. I sometimes decided to stay in different albergues, I sometimes stayed in the same ones but it was different because of new hospitaleros...
It'll be a different experience altogether, a new one. It was for me anyway.
I wish you all the best for your new camino,
Dominique
 
P

PANO

Guest
This should by no means discourage any "repeaters” of course, but the unanimously positive opinions in this thread should not lead to the assumption that it works well for everyone. My repeat of the 2013 CF last year was a disaster, the "déjà-vu" unbearable. Remembering almost every stone on the way, what I missed the most was the adventure of taking the road in the morning without knowing what lies ahead. On the positive side the fortune of meeting lovely new companions, which kept me going for a while. When a heat-stroke and dehydration struck me near Viana, I took it as an excuse to bail out. I guess that some people are just not good in doing repetitions and my recommendation to those would be to take an alternative Camino.

PS: I just ended this week an invigorating trip with my sons -by car and with 4 days walking in-between- from Bilbao along the coast to A Coruña, SdC, over the snowed-in O Cebreiro to Leon and Logroño, that satisfied my yearning to revisit places in a different way.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Hi, Angela,
A natural thing, to remember and compare. But you can't ever step into the same river twice...so as I start my second Camino, I hope to be able to be right here, right now, one step at a time.
It's simple but not easy....and an essential ingredient for happiness, regardless of what unfolds!
May you have all blessings of the road!
Vira
 

m108

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2016
Stop worry, just go! from my own experience I can tell you - every time (even on the same route) is incredibly beautiful - because it is a reflection of that moment. And is a reflection of infinity
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
If you expect a second time round to be different then you can IMO make it just as meaningful but in a different way. We will be walking the Inglés together for the 2nd time later in the year. We have set out to make it different as far as we can. This is partly by staying in different hostales and pre-booking (for various reasons). We will spend 2 nights in Betanzos to have time to look around. Little things but hopefully they will make a difference. Walking the Primitivo the 2nd time for Terry was different as I was with him.
There can be disappointment as places can change:- Terry's sadness on the Norte when we found the lovely little bridge and river he remembered virtually detroyed by the new road works. Old villages which have become touristy and commercialised to a great degree (We remember when they still kept the cows in the houses in Santillana and walked them through the streets, until the tourists arrived and the cows had to move outside of the village).
So be prepared for mixed feelings and enjoy your return to the Camino
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2008 09 14
Del Norte 2011. Portuguese 2015, 2017Ingles 2015 Fisterre 2015.
Hi,

I did my first Camino (Frances) four years ago in 2011 and it was as perfect as it could possibly have been. Other than the usual aches and pains and occasional tears, I had the most incredible 5/6 weeks of my life. The weather was beautiful, very warm and sunny for March, I met incredible people and made 2/3 lifelong friends, I cried with happiness, laughed and sang and listened and talked and had so many 'I'll never forget this moment' moments I lost count. I became fit and strong and healthy while eating endless delicious food (and equally delicious wine!). I loved all the albergues I stayed in (almost - won't be staying in Larassoana this time!) - I could go on...

So, next week I set off for my second Camino. I've deliberated for the last 3 years on whether to do it again, I looked at other walks/experiences and they just didn't appeal as much and finally I just went with my gut feeling which was to go back and walk the same route again.

How do I avoid trying to recreate the experience of four years ago? Have others who have done the Camino more than once got any advice? I worry that there are times I will be overwhelmed with nostalgia and see the faces, hear the voices from those wonderful people I met last time and feel sad that I'm not with them. Should I intentionally stay in different albergues and take different forks in the road, despite the fact I loved the places I stayed and choices I made last time?

Any help and advice would be really appreciated,

Angela
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2008 09 14
Del Norte 2011. Portuguese 2015, 2017Ingles 2015 Fisterre 2015.
I can guarantee that even if you tried you would not be able to recreate your first Camino. First there is the seasons. Weather. Festival schedules. Injuries. Camino family or not its not likely to be the same social structure. Illness. Pace. Open/closed albergues. Hospitaleros. Rerouting. Starting/ending date. Weight carried. Equipment included forgotten or left behind.

I hate to say this unequivacolly but there are just too many variables...and the things that made your first one so special will be absent or changed .
My 2 cents
Jim
 

Jellycat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1st Camino, March 2011. 2nd Camino planned for March 2015.
Yes, I'm sure some things will be absent or changed and there will be new things that make this one special, in different ways.

One thing I'm hoping will be the same however is my total absence of blisters last time - however that might really be a bit too optimistic!

Thank you for your thoughts everyone, much appreciated.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Hi,

I did my first Camino (Frances) four years ago in 2011 and it was as perfect as it could possibly have been. Other than the usual aches and pains and occasional tears, I had the most incredible 5/6 weeks of my life. The weather was beautiful, very warm and sunny for March, I met incredible people and made 2/3 lifelong friends, I cried with happiness, laughed and sang and listened and talked and had so many 'I'll never forget this moment' moments I lost count. I became fit and strong and healthy while eating endless delicious food (and equally delicious wine!). I loved all the albergues I stayed in (almost - won't be staying in Larassoana this time!) - I could go on...

So, next week I set off for my second Camino. I've deliberated for the last 3 years on whether to do it again, I looked at other walks/experiences and they just didn't appeal as much and finally I just went with my gut feeling which was to go back and walk the same route again.

How do I avoid trying to recreate the experience of four years ago? Have others who have done the Camino more than once got any advice? I worry that there are times I will be overwhelmed with nostalgia and see the faces, hear the voices from those wonderful people I met last time and feel sad that I'm not with them. Should I intentionally stay in different albergues and take different forks in the road, despite the fact I loved the places I stayed and choices I made last time?

Any help and advice would be really appreciated,

Angela
I start again 15th April and was thinking along the lines of, where there is an option in the route, I take the one I did not take last time with the exception of Villar de Mazariffe. The paella in the St Anthony of Padua albergue is just too good to miss :)
 

NadineK

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
This is one of my favorite travel quotes, and I know others like it too (Margaret, I'm surprised you didn't post it in here. :))

By Jose Saramago: ‘The journey is never over. Only travellers come to an end. But even then they can prolong their voyage in their memories, in recollections, in stories. When the traveller sat in the sand and declared: “There’s nothing more to see” he knew it wasn’t true. The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you’ve missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in the springtime what you saw in the summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see the crops growing, the fruits ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over again or add fresh ones alongside them. You have to start the journey anew. Always. The traveller sets out once more’.
This was beautiful, thank you for sharing it, Peregrina2000.

Jellycat, I'm having such similar thoughts; I walked the CF last summer, and am returning to Spain this summer for another Camino. I'm not going to repeat the CF (for me, it's just too soon), but when I arrived in Santiago last July I had such a strong feeling of wishing that I could keep walking. Even though I plan to walk a different route (maybe Norte, maybe Primitivo depending on time), I have very similar worries. Will I be chasing the magic of the first Camino? Will I compare the experiences? Will I have to walk in the rain? Will I find another Camino family?

But I loved reading what others have posted here, and these comments are so encouraging and echo what I have heard from others: every Camino is truly a different experience. I can't wait to see what the second one has in store for me. Good luck, Jellycat, and Buen Camino!
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
Just back from my second, yes it was different new friends, I also think it was easier as I knew to stop on the up to slow down on those rocky paths. Stay in different towns rush into those that held great memories cry, oh boy did I cry at the site of a hill an alburgue a bar which held memories of friends and laughter. Just go, I am looking forward to my next trip.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
When you get to Leon turn right and take the San Salvador. When you get to Oviedo turn left and do the Primitivo. You will never regret it!
 

tinavdg

New Member
Remember that you make the way by walking. Each Camino for me (3 of the CF) have been so vastly different I couldn’t have imagined it. Not all good;) but that is also part of the Camino. Drop your expectations and take each day as a fresh experience.
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
I think it is impossible to have a 'same experience'. But I would do research to find some different towns and albergues. And maybe take some extra time at some of the village churches that you might have skipped the first time. But much will be different. After a number of times, I have still hit sections that I swore I had never seen before!! And some I remembered so fondly it almost brought tears of nostalgia.
Buen Camino
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Members might pay heed to the "last posted" time & date on threads - easily found at the top left of the post next to the Members Avatar. Or when the OP first posted their question, again top-left, of the OP, or when the member last visited the forum (found by clicking on the members Avatar) in search of information, advice or encouragement: in @Jellycat's case August 2017.

I hope and trust that she and we found resolutions to her concerns ;)
 

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