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2019 Camino Guides

The 'What Was I Thinking Day"

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#1
Without a doubt you will face a day when you will question the sanity behind your decision to walk. It's the WHAT WAS I THINKING? Day. Most pilgrims will experience it, get through it, and walk on. Some will cry more than others...lol But rest assured that along your journey, it is quite normal to have this feeling when you might be a bit more tired and it feels overwhelming. Be kind to yourself.

"Go they said".... "It'll be fun they said"... Lets post our best WWIT photos and let others know it'll be okay !
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#2
Without a doubt you will face a day when you will question the sanity behind your decision to walk. It's the WHAT WAS I THINKING? Day. Most pilgrims will experience it, get through it, and walk on. Some will cry more than others...lol But rest assured that along your journey, it is quite normal to have this feeling when you might be a bit more tired and it feels overwhelming. Be kind to yourself.

"Go they said".... "It'll be fun they said"... Lets post our best WWIT photos and let others know it'll be okay !
My WTHWIT (what the hell was I thinking) moment(s) was (were) so bad that I didn't think even for a second to take a photo :D

And next year I came back...
 
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KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#6
I’m also thinking that and we’re starting September. And worst of all I’m not a morning person! And Ian is just ‘you’ll be right’
Your days are going to be all messed up just by the nature of the trip...travelling ( maybe to different time zones ) , then walking all dat to the point of exhaustion. You'll be surprised how early people go to bed who were always night owls. And even the heartiest of early risers can struggle getting up after walking in the scorching sun for 28K the day before. Even though you are planning a team camino, go your own pace. If you need more than a few minutes to get your body going in the morning, just honor that. Your partner can go up ahead if he/she is that antsy and you'll not be alone walking until you catch up. Honor YOUR body and YOUR pace! Walk with joy !
 

CaminoDebrita

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to SdC Oct/Nov 2015
Frances Burgos toSdC March/April 2016
W. Highland Way August 2016
Camino Somewhere September 2017
#7
I felt like "What Was I Thinking?" on so many occasions. What was I thinking in 2015, on the day I stubbornly stopped drinking water? What was I thinking on a Camino in 2016, when I walked more than 32K to get to Santiago DC a day before my friends? What was I thinking in 2017, when I shared how sick I was on the forum? (got knocked back for it, which I haven't forgotten yet! sorry, folks. Camino isn't finished with me yet!).

What was I thinking a few days ago, when I passed up the 800 dollar RT to Paris?

Oh, not to worry! I will be back, Spain!
 

MeandIan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May2018
#10
Your days are going to be all messed up just by the nature of the trip...travelling ( maybe to different time zones ) , then walking all dat to the point of exhaustion. You'll be surprised how early people go to bed who were always night owls. And even the heartiest of early risers can struggle getting up after walking in the scorching sun for 28K the day before. Even though you are planning a team camino, go your own pace. If you need more than a few minutes to get your body going in the morning, just honor that. Your partner can go up ahead if he/she is that antsy and you'll not be alone walking until you catch up. Honor YOUR body and YOUR pace! Walk with joy !
Fortunately we are going to Rome and Croatia for two weeks before we start. Ian also walks at my pace. It’s the thought of getting up and starting early that makes my head spin. He also brings me coffee in bed every morning. Hope he doesn’t break that habit
 

Terri B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
1998 St Cuthberts Way
1999 West Highland Way
2016 Camino Frances SJPDP to Santiago
#11
I was thinking that when I was walking during the 2016 heat wave. People I meant said "you're Australian, you should be used to this!" Forgetting that it was Winter when I left home.
The nearest I got to a selfie at that time was taking a photo of my sopping t-shirt once I'd reached my destination for the day,! Hopefully this won't be repeated next year!
 

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Glenshiro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
#12
On my first walk, in 2012, which was only from Le Puy to Aumont Aubrac, I carried an unnecessarily heavy pack. I found myself struggling up a long, stoney hill, in temperatures of 30 degrees, sweating profusely and thinking to myself "you daft bugger, you're nearly 60 - why are you doing this to yourself?"
Later on, after a hot shower and a change of clothes, I felt content. And just a bit pleased with myself.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#13
I was thinking that when I was walking during the 2016 heat wave. People I meant said "you're Australian, you should be used to this!" Forgetting that it was Winter when I left home.
The nearest I got to a selfie at that time was taking a photo of my sopping t-shirt once I'd reached my destination for the day,! Hopefully this won't be repeated next year!
I walked in that heatwave! Got off the bus at SJPDP and panicked at the idea of walking in that heat.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to leave South Africa on 15 September and return on 14 October 2018.
#14
I’m also thinking that and we’re starting September. And worst of all I’m not a morning person! And Ian is just ‘you’ll be right’
I find it so amazing that these matters come up regularly on the forum as they are happening to me. So glad that I am not the only one having doubts!
 

ScaryB4Coffee

Put your feet up after walking. It's good for you.
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte May/June (2016)
Frances September (2018)
#19
WWIT when I shipped forward my nice poncho because it had been so sunny and it was heavy? Of course I got caught in a day so rainy I was soaked before noon. The Camino does provide - the store by the albergue that night had a bunch of them!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#20
WWIT when I shipped forward my nice poncho because it had been so sunny and it was heavy? Of course I got caught in a day so rainy I was soaked before noon. The Camino does provide - the store by the albergue that night had a bunch of them!
Yes, we can blame everyone who sends their poncho forward for the rainy days upon us! LOL WWYT?!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, fall of 2015
#22
No picture, but our worst day was walking into Astorga. It was about a 32km, super hot day, and usually, when we were crabby, it was either my partner or me, but not usually both of us. Except for this day......lol. We made things better for us by getting a hotel room for the night and pampering ourselves and went out for a great dinner. And then things were all better the next morning!!

Buen Camino!!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ) ,Via San Francesco, Italy (2017 )
Camino Portugese (2018 )
#23
No picture, but our worst day was walking into Astorga. It was about a 32km, super hot day, and usually, when we were crabby, it was either my partner or me, but not usually both of us. Except for this day......lol. We made things better for us by getting a hotel room for the night and pampering ourselves and went out for a great dinner. And then things were all better the next morning!!

Buen Camino!!
Indeed we need to be kind to ourselves. The camino is a walk, a journey, a pilgrimage ...not a fast track to martyrdom. ( I stayed in the Hotel Gaudi in Astorga...I needed to regroup on that day ) ...and yes, it does get better in the morning :)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18
#24
Reminds me of my feelings when I struggled into La Robla on a very hot day. I thought ",I cant do this" and checked where the bus stop back to Leon was for the next day. However next morning I felt good and continued on a wonderful journey to Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
#25
Reminds me of my feelings when I struggled into La Robla on a very hot day. I thought ",I cant do this" and checked where the bus stop back to Leon was for the next day. However next morning I felt good and continued on a wonderful journey to Santiago.
Loved your post! I have had any number of "What was I thinking days? " and I'm not even on the Camino yet. Probably the latest was when I came off my grand daughter's Razor scooter. My second childhood experience resulted in two cracked ribs, skin off both knees, elbow, arms etc and bruising in too many places to mention. My husband's first words were "What were you thinking? What about your total hip replacement?" Fortunately it survived and I didn't end up on a TV video show focusing on unfortunate mishaps! LOL!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#26
The hardest day on our camino for me was the day after Grañon. Don't get me wrong, Grañon was very nice. The people were wonderful, the ambiance, the shared meal, the service after supper - all were great. But the sleep was probably the worst I had on the Camino. Mats on the floor instead of mattresses on a bed, with no pillows, weren't the best for my back or my sleep. And my son found his allergies really acting up. So the next day had a rough start to begin with. As well, my son really missed his wifi (I was hearing about it) and we had a backlog of laundry. So I really wanted to to pamper us a bit the next night with a materially nicer albergue that would have laundry machines, wifi and real beds. I didn't regret Grañon and I would do it again. Just not the very next night.

We walked far the next day (for us). We walked to Belorado and we were done but we kept walking on to Tosantos. I had read in a number of guidebooks about a very nice albergue there. Actually, there are two albergues in Tosantos and I'd read nice things about both of them. One seemed just like the albergue in Grañon that we had left behind. Nice as it was, we just weren't up for another night like that in a row. The other was materially nicer. But one thing we discovered that the guidebooks, apps and websites hadn't mentioned was that this albergue was closed on Mondays. Guess what day it was.

That was for me the low point on the Camino. We weren't ready to face another night on floor mats like the previous one that night. We didn't want to backtrack. We didn't have energy to walk on (and, when I phoned the number I had for the albergue in the next village, they said they weren't an albergue any more and had closed). I wasn't sure what to do.

But even at that lowest point I never asked myself "What was I thinking going on Camino?" No matter how bad it got and what physical pain I was in, I always knew that being in Spain on the Camino was just where I wanted to be. I'm pretty sure, however, my son was different. He kept saying "What was I thinking choosing this?" when he was hot and tired and his many blisters were acting up. But not me. I knew I was where I wanted to be (in general, not specifically in Tosantos).
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2018)
#28
Without a doubt you will face a day when you will question the sanity behind your decision to walk. It's the WHAT WAS I THINKING? Day. Most pilgrims will experience it, get through it, and walk on. Some will cry more than others...lol But rest assured that along your journey, it is quite normal to have this feeling when you might be a bit more tired and it feels overwhelming. Be kind to yourself.

"Go they said".... "It'll be fun they said"... Lets post our best WWIT photos and let others know it'll be okay !
Funny you should say this, and thank you for confirming my feelings are most normal...i had this experience just yesterday! And i dont even depart for a month!
 

Thomas V

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
FRANCES, St. Jean to Santiago, 2016
Camino Frances #2 Pamplona to Leon 2017
#29
September 6th 2016...Day one, after a LONG warm haul over the Pyrenees, we got the Roncesvalles later than most. We stood in line for almost two hours to find we missed getting a room in the albergue and were assigned a bunk with 8 other pilgrims in the overflow section. They called this section the cabins. Lol, the cabins turned out to be large storage containers with bunks. Still not discouraged, I went to shower in the portable restroom where the water dribbled out drop by drop and stopped as I was fully soaped up. Ok, I got through that and my wife and I went to the bar for a sandwich dinner. This was actually pretty good. When we returned to the “cabins” a volunteer was outside informing all cabin pilgrims that there was no water for the rest of the night! My wife asked about what if we have to pee? The volunteer just pointed to behind the sleeping container! (WWIT day one). Day two, despite day one, we awoke with a great attitude because everyone knows day one is the hardest! We started out happily on or journey still very positive, looking forward to the day ahead. Well the morning was great but as the day went on the temperature went up! It heated up to 96 degrees. We made it to Zubiri which was very crowded. The WWIT moment came when we decided to walk the Larrasoana in the heat. It was late afternoon when we plowed into town, we were not counting on another 9 hour day. Even worse, we were not counting on Larrasoana being COMPLETELY out of beds! No beds, not even at the municipal albergue. The volunteer at the municipal called ahead and got us a room and a taxi to Arre, a town about 10k west of Larrasoana. A priest greeted us at the door of this old albergue that was actually part of the old church. Both of us hot and sweaty, he checked us in, and took our picture at the alter, since we were married lol. Now things were looking up, we washed, showered, ate. But it was hot, a record breaking heat for this day. We did have a private area in the albergue, bottom bunks and what lil air that came in from outside hit us in our bunks. The real WWIT moment came, when the priest came in to wish us all good night and closed the only door that allowed air into this already very hot albergue! As I layed there sweating on my bunk thinking about our first two days on the Camino I thought...WDIGMI....WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO! LOL ,,the next day and the ride back to Larrasoana (we whet back to where we got the taxi, not to skip any Camino miles) is another story for another day. Our Camino was fantastic and I would not have traded it for the anything!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles A Coruna to Santiago
#31
My sister (65), me (62) and her grandson (20) start in Inglese Way mid-August. Your posts are very helpful and inspiring. I read & copied the list of items for my day pack from another post, too. We're getting excited! I expect heat. What about humidity? oh, and how early is early in the morning?
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#32
My sister (65), me (62) and her grandson (20) start in Inglese Way mid-August. Your posts are very helpful and inspiring. I read & copied the list of items for my day pack from another post, too. We're getting excited! I expect heat. What about humidity? oh, and how early is early in the morning?
We started on 1 Sept which was two weeks later. It wasn't humid, but very very hot. We were told Sept 2016 was unseasonably hot. We were covering about 25-28 kms a day, leaving at 6-6.30 and walking with headtorches for the first 45 mins or hour until light. I actually loved walking as the sun rose and the light took over. Its cool initially, and we planned to stop no later than 2 pm. the days continue to heat up.
I remember walking into Zubiri, and it was so hot, by the time we showered, and sorted our stuff we went to wander around outside, and it was just too hot, re had to retreat back to the shade.
 

MeandIan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May2018
#33
We had one of those moments this week on a training walk when we ran out of daylight on mt. Oberon at Wilson Prom in Victoria during a 20ish km hike. We had to climb over rocks and wade through two rivers with the incoming tide. We were so scared of falling over rocks. Ian’s phone was dead and I had 15%. We had our packed Camino bags so knew we had sleeping bags. We discussed the ahem rescue the next day: Two elderly hikers were rescued on mt.Oberon... and the whole Australia saying wth were two old people hiking in the dark. Fortunately with about 2k to go the path turned inland and the ground on the path had white sand and our vision was better. Half an hour later we were back in the van and out of the cold. But I was scared of snakes and kangaroos. The attached photo shows how dark it was. Lessons to selves: ALWAYS take a torch. ALWAYS carry extra water. ALWAYS let someone know where you’re heading. ALWAYS assume you’re going to take longer because of the unexpected eg treating blisters, crossing rivers, rocky terrain etc. The upside: we were tested physically and mentally and came through. I mastered walking with hiking poles, without which I would never have gone over the rocks and sharp inclines and declines, as well as carrying my Camino packed bag
 

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Paul S.

Absolute Beginner
Camino(s) past & future
Almere-Fisterra via Namur, Vézelay, St. Jean PdP, Irun, Camino del Norte (February-June 2016)
#34
Somewhere between Gijon and Avilés I managed to break my foot: a stress fracture. That flipping hurt, and it slowed me down to something like 2km/h. As I was staying at a pilgrims refuge, I had to go back on the road again the next day. It still flipping hurt... The thought of seeing a doctor crossed my mind, but I dismissed it because I didn't want to hear about six to eight weeks of compulsory rest. So I just slogged on, and after discovering the paracetamol I'd been carrying around for three months I even got back to a decent speed.

Long after I returned home, I finally had the WWIT moment. That was when I goooooooooooogled 'stress fracture' and found that NOT taking those six to eight weeks is a very unwise thing to do, possibly leading to all kinds of nastyness (none of which actually materialized, as luck would have it).

Then again... life without those WWIT moments sounds kind of boring, don't you think? ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#35
It hasn't always been fun but I haven't had one WWIT moments.
Well, I mean I've had plenty of them in other situations and places, but never on the Camino. Yet.
I must be doing it wrong. :eek:;)
Edit (Beatrice has jogged my memory): But I have gotten ridiculously mad at the kind of mud that sticks to the bottom of the shoes in a huge lump.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: ?+VdlP (Sept 2018)
#36
My first WWIT-moment was on Camino Portuguese when I ran in to some really rude people at the albergue in Caldas de Reis and I was hungry and angry the whole night, just wanted to go home. I had planned to do one more stop before Santiago as I like to do a short morning walk into Santiago, take a shower and then go to the pilgrim mass. But I overheard the rude people that they aimed for the same place as me so I just walked the 43,66 km to Santiago with just some muffins for dinner the night before, just 2 rice crackers for breakfast and less than half of a burger (without read) for lunch, a banana and 2 plums. I was angry and disappointed the whole say and said to my self to never do an other camino.

My second WWIT was on camino norte when I has to walk in 2 dm mud in my sandals. I came nowhere and I just wanted to be picked up by a cab and be sent home to never return. Wrote on Instagram "10:45 I hate this. I want to go home. Can someone call me a cab as my card don't work anymore. Thanks @holidayphone for that. Hope it will be fixed on Monday. Mud mud and more mud. I guess this was Alto de Artxabalgane. #mud #trailish #altodeartxabalgane #spain"

The pic was taken when the road was almost walkable again.
mud.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Villafranca del Bierzo to Santiago on Sep 2017. Want to do SJPP to Burgos spring 2018
#37
Without a doubt you will face a day when you will question the sanity behind your decision to walk. It's the WHAT WAS I THINKING? Day. Most pilgrims will experience it, get through it, and walk on. Some will cry more than others...lol But rest assured that along your journey, it is quite normal to have this feeling when you might be a bit more tired and it feels overwhelming. Be kind to yourself.

"Go they said".... "It'll be fun they said"... Lets post our best WWIT photos and let others know it'll be okay !
Without a doubt you will face a day when you will question the sanity behind your decision to walk. It's the WHAT WAS I THINKING? Day. Most pilgrims will experience it, get through it, and walk on. Some will cry more than others...lol But rest assured that along your journey, it is quite normal to have this feeling when you might be a bit more tired and it feels overwhelming. Be kind to yourself.

"Go they said".... "It'll be fun they said"... Lets post our best WWIT photos and let others know it'll be okay !
After my first Camino incursion, a good friend asked me the WWIT question. I could not come up with a moment where I said WWIT!!! I’m getting ready for my third Camino next month and already planning the fourth (San Salvador and Primitivo?).

Although there are times that are not easy and sometimes others that are a bit more challenging, there was never a time when I felt I should be back in the office dealing with inconsequential bs. In the office I’ve had frequent WWIT moments.
 
#38
I wasn’t seriously considering ending my camino (since I’ve been through these low points before and know that you’re right that they pass.) But I was totally wiped to the core and unsure I could keep on straggling. A woman breezed by me and didn’t even say hi. Little did I know that the next day I would spend several hours with her and the Guardia Civil after she came running back towards me screaming that a guy had pointed a gun at her and told her to get down on the ground.

26BFDFE9-78C6-4796-9F13-269947FED593.jpeg
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Frances, 2017 Frances, (2019 ???)
#39
I’m also thinking that and we’re starting September. And worst of all I’m not a morning person! And Ian is just ‘you’ll be right’
You might want to go to your local library and familiarize yourself with Arthur Millers Morning Comes Elektra, not to mention, sometimes, very soon. But, if you have had a good walk that day sleep comes to wash over you. You may find as the footsteps wear on and as you adjust, sleep will be shorter and more fulfilling and, 5am beginnings become easy and very rewarding.
Last year I left Mt Jardin at about 5am (not planned) and as I descended the moon was ebbing on my right and the sun was waxing on my left. The only sound was that of my feet crunching the gravel. Wouldn't have missed it for the world.
So, yeah... You'll be alright.

Peace be with you.

Buen Camino.
 

MeandIan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May2018
#40
You might want to go to your local library and familiarize yourself with Arthur Millers Morning Comes Elektra, not to mention, sometimes, very soon. But, if you have had a good walk that day sleep comes to wash over you. You may find as the footsteps wear on and as you adjust, sleep will be shorter and more fulfilling and, 5am beginnings become easy and very rewarding.
Last year I left Mt Jardin at about 5am (not planned) and as I descended the moon was ebbing on my right and the sun was waxing on my left. The only sound was that of my feet crunching the gravel. Wouldn't have missed it for the world.
So, yeah... You'll be alright.

Peace be with you.

Buen Camino.
I may just do that because, even now as I’m trying, I’m struggling. I wake up very early because I also have chronic insomnia. I just find it very hard to move purposefully within a short time. And yet I have no problem when I have to work. Perhaps, and this is my wish, I’m so filled with the Camino spirit, that I get my vuma back
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#41
Without a doubt you will face a day when you will question the sanity behind your decision to walk. It's the WHAT WAS I THINKING? Day.
I never doubted my decision to walk, and haven't woken up during any of my Caminos thinking that I didn't want to walk that day. Which is probably the reason behind my WWIT day. After 28 days on the Norte with no foot problems or pain other than sore feet at the end of the day I started having pain in my shin, and ignored it and carried on, walking too fast with a fellow peregrina. And then I walked four more days until I could barely hobble. Why didn't I listen to my body, slow down and take a rest day or two?!
 

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