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LIVE from the Camino Struggling with doubt on the Camino Frances

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This is why I always advise people, especially for a first Camino, to budget significantly more time than they think they might need. You never know until you are walking what the right daily distance will be for you.
In addition, I advise people not to reserve every night before they start the Camino, since they are very unlikely to know exactly how far that can/want to walk each day. And of course no one can know if illness or injury will slow them down, or when they might just want to take a rest day.
 
Tomorrow could be a long day with a long stretch with no water, expecially if it is hot. Glad you are able to use the time and walk your own Camino.
 
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So good to read your updates, @Sssnek - you definitely have this! Well done.

I woke up a total grump this morning, cried before the sun even came up, and then walked for five hours with a couple who absolutely turned my day around
Isn't this the best bit of down to earth camino truth? We can catastrophize all we like, but no awful state stays the same for long.

potentially infected blister
Very wise to deal with this when it's potentially rather than full-on infected!

The Camino is HARD! But it is already the most moving thing I’ve ever done.
Yes. Absolutely. Patience and perseverance are our best friends. One step at a time.

One thing to try down the road when you're feeling strong and want to stretch a bit more is to put the earbuds away and just walk. Distraction can be useful, but it's a crutch.

I’m still not sure why I’m doing this. My reasons originally don’t seem to fit, and new reasons have popped up. For now I’m just feeling happy to be here
So wonderful. The reason? You may only know that long after the fact. For now, all you can do is be a sponge, soaking up everything the Camino offers, fun and not so fun.
Buen camino, peregrina!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Very wise to deal with this when it's potentially rather than full-on infected!
Four years of studying bacteria in university have me 100% agreeing with you. Unfortunately, it is no longer a hypothetical, that blister is definitely infected. I’ve got some amoxicillin in my left pocket, and the feeling that I might as well lance the blister on the bottom of my foot if I’m going to be wiping out my gut microbiome anyways. Lots of probiotics and yogurt on the Camino in my future!

As a side note: I thought I was prepared for how cheap medical care is in Spain and I was wrong. Through an interesting series of events, the entire diagnosis and treatment process was only €12.60. My little American jaw was basically dropped for the rest of the night.
 
Unfortunately, it is no longer a hypothetical, that blister is definitely infected
Oh, dang. Sorry to hear that.
One thing to check at a pharmacia is if you can get topical Mupirocin without a precsrcripn in Spain (you need it in the States). I was given it for a nasty infection and it worked wonders without messing up my gut flora.
 
@VNwalking unfortunately, the infection is entirely under the skin, no openings to be seen. Unless I want to pop it (and that seems like maybe a questionable choice at this stage) we gotta go the oral antibiotics route. If there had been an opening I probably would have given that a shot though, thanks!
 
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Ah well. It was a good thought. I'm glad you could see a doctor and get it treated, stat - may it heal quickly! And of course with the least discomfort possible.
 
I am 6 days out from Porto. I cried a few times one day. I just had to sit down for an hour and rest. If you are staying in abergues, splurge for nicer accommodations. I have found the good night of sleep has done wonders for me. Just listen to your body.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
If you are staying in abergues, splurge for nicer accommodations. I have found the good night of sleep has done wonders for me
I see this piece of advice all the time and in general it’s a good one! For me though, it doesn’t work as well. I think I might be the only peregrino who sleeps just fine in the dormitory rooms! I’m a pretty deep sleeper so the snoring doesn’t bug me, and I haven’t found many of the beds to be that uncomfortable either.

Honestly, a private room lets me isolate myself and get too far in my own head. I didn’t fully get it in Estella at the beginning of this thread, but over two weeks later and I’m realizing the thing that keeps me going when things get hard is admitting my doubts to other peregrinos and hearing that they feel them too. The sense of community and the idea that we’re all fighting doubts and worries is what makes it easier for me to keep walking.

Good luck on your Camino! If I get to the end of this thing and still feel like I want to walk anywhere ever again, the Portuguese route looks pretty cool 👀
 
::::chuckle:::: I suspect you will walk again - and again, and again - but allow yourself to finish this one first.

I will walk a Camino again - but never the Primitivo again in the usual stages, and probably never trying to carry a full pack. That original fantasy lasted less than 24 hours. ;-)
 
This is an amazing journey (although every part of my body and clothing is soaked).

I hope everything gets better for you!
 
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Alas we must take the good with the bad: Took a rest day in Leòn because my left ankle (anterior, not Achilles) started hurting a ton, but while the rest day was good for my body, it was hard on my mind.

So now I’m returning to everyone’s good advice from three weeks ago. I can do it! I am strong and powerful and have already done something super impressive! The voice in my head is lying to me! I have come so far! I will finish!
 
Yes, you will!
How's the Camino book list going?
since Hitchhiker’s Guide I have almost exclusively been listening to/reading romance lol

I will say though I’ve been craving some good witchy books, so I read A Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches which had some nice themes of found family and some stuff about feeling lonely surrounded by people which was pretty topical for my Camino. Not really a “Camino Book” though.

A peregrina I met really wants me to read Project Hail Mary, so I downloaded it, but I haven’t really been in the mood for super serious (hence Douglas Adams)
 
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A peregrina I met really wants me to read Project Hail Mary, so I downloaded it, but I haven’t really been in the mood for super serious (hence Douglas Adams)
Hey I'm certainly not suggesting REAL camino books - I'm all for stuff that lightens the mental load such as hitchhiker's guide or indeed your witches books!
Not being somebody that listens to their books - I'm old-fashioned, I like to read mine - is there any Terry Pratchett perhaps?
 
OH!!! I do think I might finish my Camino in 42 days, or close enough that I might wiggle some things around to make it happen
Hey, if it is important for you, go for it ! Personally I don't think it's worth stressing about. I'd rather plan for longer and finish quicker than the other way around but that's just me. I'm forever planning for the worst and hoping for the best it's simply how I live. Gotta say it generally works!
And if the s*** really does hit the fan well, that's when the plan comes in right!
Not to say that occasionally I don't have to revert to Plan B or even C - ( which is just wing it!).
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
is there any Terry Pratchett perhaps?
I read Good Omens and enjoyed it, but was never super interested in reading discworld. But to answer your question: most popular books have an audiobook version! And even some less popular ones. It’s become super common in the last several years
 
I'd rather plan for longer and finish quicker than the other way around but that's just me. I'm forever planning for the worst and hoping for the best it's simply how I live. Gotta say it generally works!
Oh definitely! Mostly it’s that I’m shooting for 20-25 km days with at least one more rest day before the end. That plan would just so happen to land me somewhere around 40-43 days total, so we’ll see how things go!
 
I read Good Omens and enjoyed it, but was never super interested in reading discworld. But to answer your question: most popular books have an audiobook version! And even some less popular ones. It’s become super common in the last several years
Yeah I get he's not for everybody, I just personally love the wacky sense of humour and the offbeat parallels with the universe in which we live.

Mind you I also read lots of crimmies, sci-fi, science fantasy, Adventure stories, etc - it would be fair to say my tastes are fairly eclectic.
I have everything from Agatha Christie, Patricia Cornell, Mark Gimenez, Henning Mankell, Kathy Reichs, Michael Connelly,; Lee Child, Clive Cussler, Dan Brown; and heaps of science fiction such as Assimov, Clarke, Heinlein; Jean M Auel, Anne McCaffrey, plus several of the older writers - Way before your time! - like CS Forester, Alexander Kent, Neville Shute , Alistair McLean, and Hammond Innes. Plus quite a lot more..... .


Re: the audiobooks, figured that was probably the case but just wasn't sure. I've got several friends who love to listen to their books, often while doing other things. Personally that's how I chill - feet up, pull a book off the book shelf and just lose myself in a different world..... .
Hey, if you like crimmies, what about Martin Walker - there's a whole series of Bruno, chef de police books. French setting, rather humorous at times, quite light stuff.
Or if you want to stick more with the sci-fi comedy - similar to hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, try 'Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.' Alternatively 'Gideon the Ninth'. By Tasmyn Muir. ...
There is also, rather ironically 'Santiago' .By Mike Resnick. ...
 
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I see that your last post Sssnek was on 10 October. How are you now? Where are you? I finished the Frances on 5 October, now resting in Paris, until tomorrow. Do you still have injuries? If you do, can you afford time to stop and rest and heal, and then continue? Or is your return date booked? It’s pretty tough walking it solo. I did too. But you meet pilgrims along the way and often walk with them for a day or two. Try that, don’t be shy. Pilgrims support each other. And there are many solo pilgrims too that you can join. Anyway, I hope you’re healed and feeling better. Keep going if you can. It’s a great feeling getting to Santiago.
 
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I see that your last post Sssnek was on 10 October. How are you now?
She has several posts today, starting with this one:

Alas we must take the good with the bad: Took a rest day in Leòn because my left ankle (anterior, not Achilles) started hurting a ton, but while the rest day was good for my body, it was hard on my mind.

So now I’m returning to everyone’s good advice from three weeks ago. I can do it! I am strong and powerful and have already done something super impressive! The voice in my head is lying to me! I have come so far! I will finish!
 
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I will say though I’ve been craving some good witchy books
If you are looking for some good witchy books let me highly recommend any of Terry Pratchett's Witch or Tiffany Aching books. You can start with Equal Rites or Wyrd Sisters for the former and with Wee Free Men for the latter.

Edited to add: I see Peter has started this conversation before me. If you were turned off Discworld by the first couple of Rincewind books, I would give it a try with a of the more recent books in one of the other sub-series. It did get much better.
 
Update time! It is the morning of Day 32 and I am leaving Cacabelos. Probably 9-11 more days until Santiago!

I did almost lose my shit yesterday. The day before had POURED (miserable) and it was pretty cold and rainy yesterday morning. I left my albergue and said a very long string of choice words out of earshot.

The thing that is keeping me going: a week ago was an important anniversary to me. Four years and seven days ago was my last day in my wheelchair! I broke both my feet when I was 19 and it took three months before I could fully transition from wheelchair to crutches. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, especially when I speed walk (the rolling off the toe muscles take a long time to build back!). Putting this walk into that context makes me feel even more proud and joyful. I made a promise that I wouldn’t take walking for granted when I could do it again, although this was definitely not what I meant.

So yay me!! My ankle hurts and I’m a little miserable but I’m going to make it and it will be awesome.

IMG_0479.jpeg

(The puppy is my cousin’s dog who was happy to lend his emotional support that summer)
 
@Sssnek , how you can doubt yourself when you’ve come back from that is beyond me. Well done you!
I get not wanting to head out in the rain. Personally, I’m a fair weather walker, unless of course I’m on the Camino - don’t think a Hospitälero would take too kindly to my desire to hang around for the day….

Rather like now- it’s been raining the last four days, finally cleared today- so I’m on the trail again! Just got in, 3 more days to Leipzig - but more about that elsewhere… .
 
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I have arrived!!! Day 39, and I walked into Santiago de Compostela today with some powerful winds and impressive sheets of rain! I cried walking down the hill into the city, and again walking out of the tunnel and seeing the cathedral.

Thank you to everyone who helped lift me up a month ago. This has been the coolest, scariest, and hardest thing I have ever done, and I am so immensely proud of myself for making it.

I also want to share this from those early days, because Peterexpatkiwi has said many lovely and encouraging things, but this is the one that stuck with me:
You are very far from alone in feeling like this. For any number of reasons there doesn't seem to be a month go by that somebody doesn't post along similar lines here on the forum. And those are the handful that, like you, reach out for help to your fellow forum members. Which to me means that consciously or unconsciously, you don't want to quit.
And you know what?
ALL of the pilgrims that I've followed with these issues in the last few months have completed their Camino.

Every. Single. One.

YOU can too

I repeated it to probably half a dozen peregrinos on the Way, saying something along the lines of “You’re reaching out, practically begging for a reason to keep going. That’s how I know you’ll make it.”

And we all did, in the end. Buen Camino everyone! I can’t believe I’m saying this, because I still don’t really like walking, but I hope I’ll see some of you on my next Camino.

IMG_3847.jpeg

(I listened to 55 hours and 5 minutes worth of audiobooks along the way)
 
I have followed you. I am very proud of you. I hope the Camino has given you wisdom for life (I am sure about that). Hope to meet you on your next Camino: You have truly showed stamina: Good, very good, on you! Take this from a 69 yo oldtimer pilgrim.
 
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I am not sure what your motivation was to walk the Camino but I am sure you definitely have gained some insight into yourself.

Like the famous philosopher Mick Jagger said, "You don't always get what you want but you find sometimes you get what you need".

The Camino is that Petri dish, environment, where without life's distractions we are open to learning more about ourselves and our capabilities.

There are also those side benefits of meeting lots of wonderful people, immersing oneself in another culture, enjoying being in a constantly changing environment, architecture, etc. etc..

Ultreya
 
I have arrived!!! Day 39, and I walked into Santiago de Compostela today with some powerful winds and impressive sheets of rain! I cried walking down the hill into the city, and again walking out of the tunnel and seeing the cathedral.

Thank you to everyone who helped lift me up a month ago. This has been the coolest, scariest, and hardest thing I have ever done, and I am so immensely proud of myself for making it.

I also want to share this from those early days, because Peterexpatkiwi has said many lovely and encouraging things, but this is the one that stuck with me:


I repeated it to probably half a dozen peregrinos on the Way, saying something along the lines of “You’re reaching out, practically begging for a reason to keep going. That’s how I know you’ll make it.”

And we all did, in the end. Buen Camino everyone! I can’t believe I’m saying this, because I still don’t really like walking, but I hope I’ll see some of you on my next Camino.

View attachment 159329

(I listened to 55 hours and 5 minutes worth of audiobooks along the way)

You walked through doubt.

Congratulations!

Buen camino.
 
At 23 you should be so proud of yourself for being wise enough to recognize what a valuable gift you are giving yourself. Your journey will give you strength long after you go home and return to so called life. I would give you a big hug !!! Tell you to cry and embrace all the emotions as they arise. It’s healing. Thank your body for being able to carry you so far. Can you change to different pair of shoes ? Hikers wool if you can get any will help a lot with the blisters. I swear by comped bandaids. Just make sure you remove them in or after a shower !!

You will find your way. You are doing wonderfully already. ♥️♥️♥️♥️
 
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Congratulations on completing.

Update time! It is the morning of Day 32 and I am leaving Cacabelos. Probably 9-11 more days until Santiago!

Just a quick question. Did you grab a swim in the river while you were there? It was one of the things i really enjoyed when I was there and yes it also rained when I was there.
 
Interesting…look at the number of replies,,,,many people have the same experience..
I call it …This isn’t fun anymore period,,,, mind and body are in confused state…this is all new. I kind of Regroup,,, slowdown, honor your body,,, you’ll find your legs,, mentally,,,I kind of Look back,,,acknowledge what you have accomplished,,,, you’ll surprise yourself.
then take the Camino one day at a time,, most important,have fun,,
 
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