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Totally Clueless Beginner

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Hi sorry in advance for the inevitably annoying noob thread :p but I'm in a bit of a panic/rush

I have been suffering from an illness (no not that one) it was a mental one and I am mostly better now and on a whim I have decided to walk the camino as someone who inspired me said it changed their life. The trouble is the illness has left me quite anxious so it's kind of difficult for me to slowly assimilate info
I'm flying to Barcelona on tuesday but I have no clue as yet what to do
I know there is some route to Montserrat? and from there where do I go? I have two week return flights. I am fit enough although not an experienced trekker but I won't get too tired but probably lost (definitely)
Looking for some help here . Can someone tell me the simplest way to go about this? When I am there how do I get water (my biggest concern with the heat). Where do I sleep? I am not fussy but I'm only taking a small ryanair size bag so no tent or anything
How do I know where to go? Would I be better off as a beginner travelling to the start of the camino frances (the most popular?) Would that be easier to navigate?

My concerns - dying of dehydration , getting lost or not knowing where to go in the first place , turning up at refugios or wherever I am supposed to stay only to be told they are closed or I had to book in advance etc etc

Again , sorry for these questions which Im sure I could find answers to eventually by reading other threads but as I said I have difficulty at the moment doing that so I'm hoping someone can give me a simple bit of guidance to at least get me looking in the right place for more info? I don't care what camino I do really. The goal is to be on my own in nature and have an experience and an accomplishment
Thanks if you can help ❤

EDIT : I'm on a tight budget too - should have mentioned that
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Okay, you can walk from Barcelona to Jaca and join up with the Aragones to join up with the Frances in Pamplona or Puenta la Reina. I have considered this route several times after walking the GR 78 from Oloron-Ste. Marie in France through Jaca in Spain. From my previous research most of the accommodations are modestly priced albegues and dehydration would not be an issue.
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Okay, you can walk from Barcelona to Jaca and join up with the Aragones to join up with the Frances in Pamplona or Puenta la Reina. I have considered this route several times after walking the GR 78 from Oloron-Ste. Marie in France through Jaca in Spain. From my previous research most of the accommodations are modestly priced albegues and dehydration would not be an issue.
Thanks for this . That's what I need some sort of definite route so I can look into it more deeply. With covid19 do you think I will encounter any extra difficulties or are the accomodations most likely open as normal? Im guessing it will be a lot easier to find accom than a normal year due to covid19?
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Depending on when you plan to start, there are already regions of Spain banning travel. Check the advisories.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
How do I know where to go? Would I be better off as a beginner travelling to the start of the camino frances (the most popular?) Would that be easier to navigate?
As a beginner, yes, that would be easier to navigate, have more pilgrims (but not tons right now), and have more infrastructure.
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
As a beginner, yes, that would be easier to navigate, have more pilgrims (but not tons right now), and have more infrastructure.
I can get a bus from barcelona to St Jean Pied de Port ? Or Roncesvalles? I think I may be better off doing this and doing a section of the camino frances

What sort of budget per day will it cost if you try to do it cheaply ?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
If you are anxious my recommendation is to take the train to Pamplona and walk the Francés. The infastructure is better and there will be more pilgrims to help you out. I walked the Catalan and Aragonese last autumn. I met only one pilgrim going my way on the first (for one day, he was fast) and 3 on the second.

But, that said, if you do want to walk on the Catalan I suggest doing something like what I did on my second half of my walk. First take transportation to Huesca for your start.

1 Huesca to Bolea
2 Bolea to Sarsamarcuello
3 Sarsamarcuello to Ena
4 Ena to Santa Cilia (with a visit to the old monastery at San Juan de la Peña)

Now on the Aragonese maybe two or three days walking from the start. More below.

5 Santa Cilia to
6 Ruesta to
7 Sangüesa to
8 Monreal to
9 Tiebas to Puente de la Reina (with a visit to the little church at Eunate)

Now on the Francés, go in reverse to Pamplona

10 Puente de la Reina to Pamplona

Once on the Aragonese you could bus to Jaca and then to Somport to walk the full Aragonese.

You could spend more tour time in Barcelona and or Pamplona or do the first part of the Aragonese to fill up your time.
 
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lindam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Hello Frogman7777 and welcome to the Forum. Having walked the route beginning in Barcelona twice, I am familiar with this route. There are sections of the route where accommodations for pilgrims are limited and at the present time not all of these facilies are open. In addition, there is currently a lockdown in Llieda which would certainly pose problems for you as a pilgrim as you would have difficulties navigating your way around that section of the route. I would suggest to you that from Barcelona there are frequent bus and train connections to Pamplona. You could begin walking the Camino Frances from there and would be more likely to find places to stay along the way. Also, as a first time walker, you will find the trail to be more clearly marked and more services such as grocery stores and restaurants. Enjoy your walk!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I can get a bus from barcelona to St Jean Pied de Port ? Or Roncesvalles?
You can bus, train or fly between Barcelona and Pamplona. From there one bus line will take you to SJPdP usually a few trips a day. Another bus line takes you to Roncesvalles once a day but I think not on Sunday.
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Thanks for all the replies

I think it may be best if I get the train to Pamplona and try to do the most popular route then maybe I will find it easier to get help if I need it etc

So I get to Pamplona and then what? Sorry I have been researching it but as I said I have difficulty retaining the info at the moment
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Ok perfect, thank you for the help :)

So train to Pamplona then bus to SJPdP , then get my pilgrim passport? Then find out where to start walking lol . Do I need to take a sleeping bag? Obv I want to travel light
I'm planning to pick up a guide book before I leave
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Hi Froggman! Welcome to the Forum.
There are lots of us here who will be willing to provide you with assistance.
Starting on the CF is a good idea. Where to start and end is another question.
is your return flight from Barcelona?

If so you might want to get a train to Pamplona.
You might want to start there and walk toward Burgos?
Use the website http://www. Renfe.com/ for spanish train schedules.

For accommodations see. https://www.gronze.com/

Or, take a bus, and maybe from Pamplona and start in Roncevalles or St. Jean Pied do port.
Bus from pamplona to SJPdP take a bus, and maybe start in Roncevalles or St. Jean Pied do port.
Bus from pamplona to SJPdP use https://www.alsa.com/en/web/bus/bus-schedules

Before you go read the following about packing in covid times for camino.


Be aware that there are some flare ups in Spain with Covid, so be flexible in your planning.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
So I get to Pamplona and then what?
You can start walking from there. Guidebooks suggest 9 days to get to Burgos. The next day is the start of the meseta if you want a taste of that. Otherwise get to the bus station in Pamplona and buy the ticket to your start point.

At this stage of planning I suggest starting a new thread on the Francés sub-forum where many more members watch and so you can get more help.
 

lindam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Ok perfect, thank you for the help :)

So train to Pamplona then bus to SJPdP , then get my pilgrim passport? Then find out where to start walking lol . Do I need to take a sleeping bag? Obv I want to travel light
I'm planning to pick up a guide book before I leave
Yes, you will need a sleeping bag. Given the season, you can pack a light weight bag which will probably weigh less than 1kg. A guidbook will certainly be useful.
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Ok great. I will read those links , thank you
My return flight is 2 weeks later, however I am considering lenthening that (I am from UK so it's not too much of a disaster even if I miss my flight and have to buy a new one). It's more a question of costs. If I am really enjoying it and finding it not too expensive I may well try to lengthen my stay. I want it to be a challenge and having no experience of it I don't know how challenging I will find it
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Yes, you will need a sleeping bag. Given the season, you can pack a light weight bag which will probably weigh less than 1kg. A guidbook will certainly be useful.

Look at the reference I gave you for packing. A sleeping bag, masks, etc are required!
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Look at the reference I gave you for packing. A sleeping bag, masks, etc are required!
Will do , thanks . Yes was going to take a mask of course , wasn't sure of sleeping bag given it will probably be pretty hot but I guess you need one for sanitisation reasons anyway
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@Frogman7777 I've read your posts with care, and with sympathy. My advice is cancel your flights or move them to a later date. "That" illness is still having a massive impact in Spain and along the camino routes. Many of the usual pilgrim accommodations are closed or are operating under very strict control and with very restricted availability. One consequence is that accommodation costs will be higher than in past times - you may find yourself in hotel rooms rather than the inexpensive pilgrim Albergues. Free passage is being restricted by local lock-downs which could occur at any time and in any place.

That said I sense your enthusiasm and desire. You've said you're inspired by someone who found the camino "life changing". Many find that so. However, some get to Santiago and wonder why they've spent 6 weeks slogging through the heat and the mud and the rain and the blisters. Those tend not to enthuse about camino or try to convince others to try it or ever post comments on forums like this. It's a Holy road and a hard road and you need to understand why you are walking it. I guess you booked your flights on impulse. Impulse is no bad reason to walk camino but it will take a good 8 weeks to get from Barcelona to the shrine of St James on foot, maybe 6 weeks from Pamplona.

If you choose to go I wish you good roads (buen camino) but be prepared for a hard road.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Thanks for all the replies

I think it may be best if I get the train to Pamplona and try to do the most popular route then maybe I will find it easier to get help if I need it etc

So I get to Pamplona and then what? Sorry I have been researching it but as I said I have difficulty retaining the info at the moment
You will usually find yellow arrows outside the cathedrals or churches (in Pamplona old town, bronze camino markers are embedded on the road). Tourist info offices can give advice also, and a list of albergue accommodations in their region. The Jesus y Maria albergue in Pamplona (if open) can also give advice and you can get a credential.

You say you have ‘two week return flights’, so a bus or train to Pamplona and when you get to Burgos, catch a bus back. Given your anxiety, I agree do not attempt to start walking out of Barcelona, as you will be too alone and the infrastructure isn’t enough.

Carry a water bottle and top it up at fountains and bars. Drink your fill at each fountain.

As Tink says, consider if you could postpone this to allow more planning.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
What Tink is saying is very true! It is NOT the best time to be on the camino. Having said that, take your time. You still have 3 days! Have you been walking? How far can you walk daily with a pack? Do you have a backpack and good hiking shoes that you have previously used. I would not start in St. jean Pied dePort if you are not in good physical condition with tested hiking shoes/ trail runners or cross trainers of some type. Better to start in Roncevalles, where most Spanish start.
You suggested that you have trouble absorbing info because of anxiety. You still have three days before you are scheduled to go. Take time to sort through what has been presented so far. Look at the various websites. Use the search engine on this website...it has a plethora of advice on just about every topic.
Buen Camino!
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Hi sorry in advance for the inevitably annoying noob thread :p but I'm in a bit of a panic/rush

I have been suffering from an illness (no not that one) it was a mental one and I am mostly better now and on a whim I have decided to walk the camino as someone who inspired me said it changed their life. The trouble is the illness has left me quite anxious so it's kind of difficult for me to slowly assimilate info
I'm flying to Barcelona on tuesday but I have no clue as yet what to do
I know there is some route to Montserrat? and from there where do I go?
The route out from Barcelona is called the Camí Catalan, or Catalan Way -- though more people start at Montserrat than from Barcelona itself.

There are a half dozen or so different routes leading up to Montserrat from Barcelona -- and whilst I myself would probably start out from the Sagrada Familia and head "north" on the street grid (north west) to where the hiking trail begins leading up to Sant Cugat and onwards, it's a pretty DIY route (even though the Spanish waymarkers are OK) leading to a complex network of variants.

So, as a beginner, I would suggest taking the little train up to Montserrat, sleep at the Pilgrims Albergue there, where they cazn give you info about that route.

BUT (and this is a biggie) both of the routes of the Camí Catalan are currently obstructed by a Covid19 lockdown around Lleida.

And Montserrat to Tárrega is too short of a route for 2 weeks hiking.

Finding places to sleep on that particular Camino can also be a bit problematic, especially on a budget.

I have two week return flights. I am fit enough although not an experienced trekker but I won't get too tired but probably lost (definitely)
Looking for some help here . Can someone tell me the simplest way to go about this? When I am there how do I get water (my biggest concern with the heat). Where do I sleep? I am not fussy but I'm only taking a small ryanair size bag so no tent or anything
How do I know where to go? Would I be better off as a beginner travelling to the start of the camino frances (the most popular?) Would that be easier to navigate?
So yes, in your circumstance, and in the circumstance of this lockdown around Lleida, I would definitely suggest getting onto the Camino Francès instead.

Start maybe at Ponferrada ? Or Astorga even ?

My concerns - dying of dehydration , getting lost or not knowing where to go in the first place , turning up at refugios or wherever I am supposed to stay only to be told they are closed or I had to book in advance etc etc
It would be very hard to die of dehydration, and if you're on the Francès it's very unlikely any of your other concerns would materialise -- getting lost at one point is probably inevitable, but don't worry, it's part of the Way.

And on the Francès, you will more easily find people to assist and guide you in case of doubts or problems.

Just make sure you have a sleeping bag plus all the Covid19 gizmos.

If you can lengthen your stay, then yes, starting from either Pamplona or Logroño or even Zaragoza (Zaragoza to Logroño is the final section of the Camí Catalan on the Lleida variant) or Jaca (endpoint of the Camí Catalan on the Huesca variant and start of the Camino Aragones) would be good ideas -- starting from Zaragoza or Jaca would be more solitary, but there are plenty of villages along both of them, and so no dearth of infrastructures unlike some parts of the earlier sections of the Camí Catalan.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
Hi sorry in advance for the inevitably annoying noob thread :p but I'm in a bit of a panic/rush

I have been suffering from an illness (no not that one) it was a mental one and I am mostly better now and on a whim I have decided to walk the camino as someone who inspired me said it changed their life. The trouble is the illness has left me quite anxious so it's kind of difficult for me to slowly assimilate info
I'm flying to Barcelona on tuesday but I have no clue as yet what to do
I know there is some route to Montserrat? and from there where do I go? I have two week return flights. I am fit enough although not an experienced trekker but I won't get too tired but probably lost (definitely)
Looking for some help here . Can someone tell me the simplest way to go about this? When I am there how do I get water (my biggest concern with the heat). Where do I sleep? I am not fussy but I'm only taking a small ryanair size bag so no tent or anything
How do I know where to go? Would I be better off as a beginner travelling to the start of the camino frances (the most popular?) Would that be easier to navigate?

My concerns - dying of dehydration , getting lost or not knowing where to go in the first place , turning up at refugios or wherever I am supposed to stay only to be told they are closed or I had to book in advance etc etc

Again , sorry for these questions which Im sure I could find answers to eventually by reading other threads but as I said I have difficulty at the moment doing that so I'm hoping someone can give me a simple bit of guidance to at least get me looking in the right place for more info? I don't care what camino I do really. The goal is to be on my own in nature and have an experience and an accomplishment
Thanks if you can help ❤

EDIT : I'm on a tight budget too - should have mentioned that
Trust in yourself. You have the ability to get to where you want. You have already taken the first steps.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Hi @Frogman7777 - Welcome to the forum, which is an excellent place to get information about the Camino. You have already got some good advice.

I am concerned about whether this is a wise idea under the current circumstances. You said that you have been ill and are suffering from anxiety, and you really have no idea what you are getting into. It would seem to me that going on a trip to Spain during a pandemic, with almost no preparation, would increase my anxieties rather than help them. In fact, many forum members who are experienced walking various Caminos, who speak Spanish fluently, and who would LOVE to go, have decided not to go because there are too many unknowns and risks.

Many accommodations are closed, closures and travel restrictions are changing daily, and you may find yourself needing to isolate in one place for 14 days, or come home early if you can. You need to be able to cope with unknowns and changes in plans, but you said that you are having trouble assimilating and retaining information. Do you speak Spanish? Normally this would not be a problem on the Camino Frances, but it could be another source of stress for you.

If you decide to go, I strongly support the suggestion to take a train or bus to Pamplona (or even Leon, Burgos or Astorga) and keep things simple by starting there. Go to an albergue, ask the people where the arrows are, and start walking west the next day.

I assume that you will have a cell phone with data and voice service, appropriate documentation for medical services if you need them in Spain, and the ability to pay for whatever change in plans might be needed - early trip home, isolation on arrival home, hotels if no cheaper lodging is available, etc.

About your specific concerns...
  • dying of dehydration - This is easily addressed by carrying a couple of 500 mL bottles of water and refilling them when you can.
  • getting lost or not knowing where to go in the first place - Anybody can tell you where to find the first arrows that you need to follow out of Pamplona. Yes, you could get lost. You need to be able to cope with that, without panicking. Carry a map showing the route, and a phone with GPS location.
  • turning up at refugios or wherever I am supposed to stay only to be told they are closed or I had to book in advance etc etc - Yes, this will very likely happen during this pandemic period. Many places are closed. Even those that are officially open may need to close on short notice. That is one reason many people are choosing not to walk at this time.
If you decide to postpone your trip, or if you do start and then need to cut it short early, don't consider if to be a failure. Take the time to plan for a future trip when circumstances are more favourable.

Sorry to be pointing out the negatives, but it is important that you understand them. Whatever your decision, please let us know how things progress for you. I wish you well!
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
Hi!!

I think taking into account the low number of pilgrims this year (due to covid restrictions), it would be better to take a camino that is better established, with more facilities, albergues, etc. If I were you, I would go from Barcelona to Pamplona or León and I would start the Camino there.

Even if traveling from Barcelona to León is a little more complicated, I would choose León better than Pamplona. The weather will be more pleasant and I also like the landscape more.

Once in Pamplona or León, just go to the first albergue and they will inform you of everything. You will not have any problem from this point. On the gronze site https://www.gronze.com/camino-frances you will find the list of albergues in each city, just choose one and go there, as I said, once you enter the first albergue they will inform you, you will meet other pilgrims, etc.

If you decide to start in Leon, probably the best combination would be plane to Oviedo and bus from Oviedo to Leon. You have several planes and several buses ... it will be easy to find a combination within your schedule.
 
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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)
Welcome @Frogman7777!
As you can see there's a diversity of opinion here.
As others have said, it will not be an easy road right now. Or at least not as simple as usual - walking the camino is a challenge no matter how you cut it, and the pandemic has added another layer of complication. And going cold like this under these conditions ups the ante even more.

If I were in your shoes right now, what I would be pondering is whether walking under current conditions and with minimal planning will help or hinder; pushing past a certain inner threshold traumatizes instead of transforming. You know yourself better than any of us and know how resilient you feel, and how capable you are of dealing with situations that create experiences of vulnerability and uncertainty - which walking can evoke.

To a large extent, planning and learning about what you will face and what you'll need really help mitigate those challenges. If you feel a little uncertain about how you'll fare, you'll benefit from delaying a month or so that there is sufficient amount of time to plan and prepare.

I'd definitely agree with the others who have said walk the Frances. And there is no need to go farther than Pamplona - just hop off the train and start walking. But do get a guidebook. Many of us no longer use them but at first they are a Godsend. You can order one here at Ivar's store if you have no bookshops nearby.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
You questioned the cost, excluding airfares and other forms of transportation some pilgrims manage to do it for as little as 25 to 30 euros/day, I budget 50 to 60 euros/day because I enjoy trying the local restaurants and wines and avoid the menu del dia. I also mix up my choice of nightly accommodations from crowded albegues to private rooms in hostels. There are number of threads addressing this topic.
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
Would I be better off as a beginner travelling to the start of the camino frances (the most popular?) Would that be easier to navigate?
I can get a bus from barcelona to St Jean Pied de Port ? Or Roncesvalles? I think I may be better off doing this and doing a section of the camino frances
If you are anxious my recommendation is to take the train to Pamplona and walk the Francés
There are sections of the route where accommodations for pilgrims are limited and at the present time not all of these facilies are open
If so you might want to get a train to Pamplona.
You might want to start there and walk toward Burgos?
@Frogman7777, like other I welcome you to the forum and to walking towards Santiago de Compostela.

Like you, I also suffer from anxiety.

For me the only way I could overcome that and start walking towards Compostela was to take as much time as possible to prepare my body, my mind, my gear and to become familiar with my chosen route. By reasons of external circumstances that was four years.

While I never quite overcame that anxiety, it did settle down. And I put that down to having (and taking) time to prepare.

I've made a selection of what, for me, are the most relevant points made by others.

My very strong suggestion is put to one side mentions of particular routes as such. Rather I suggest you think about where the most accommodation (hostels / albergue) etc will be at this time. Others have said above (and I agree) the towns across northern Spain between Saint-Jean and Compostela is the winner here.

This route (which is the Camino Frances) is also well marked, you are always likely to find someone going your way and finding food will normally be easier.

Along with others above I suggest a train to Logrono. Barcelona Sants is the principal station for the fast trains and the journey is about four hours. This means you will most probably need a hostel bed that day.

From Logrono, head west towards Burgos. This is about 6 days, possibly less, with many hostels. The only difficult bit is the hill and the (some would say boring) trek through production forests a day before Burgos.

At Burgos you can reflect on whether to carry on to, say, Leon with decision points (= rail station) at Sahagun and Fromista along that 8 day (again, possibly less) section.

Because of that disease, the relatively relaxed rules at hostels that we have been used to may be more rigid at present. Social distancing still applies at all times, even if only as a courtesy.

I wish you every success whatever you choose to do, even if it is to forego the airfare to Barcelona at this time.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can)


PS: I hope you will keep us all informed of your decision and subsequent progress (whenever that may be)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Alwyn Wellington suggested
“From Logrono, head west towards Burgos. This is about 6 days, possibly less, with many hostels. The only difficult bit is the hill and the (some would say boring) trek through production forests a day before Burgos.

At Burgos you can reflect on whether to carry on to, say, Leon with decision points (= rail station) at Sahagun and Fromista along that 8 day (again, possibly less) section.”

If you start in Logrono, and then continue from Burgos...you will be on the Mesata walking toward Leon. The mesata in July is very hot with almost no cover and few places to support you infrastructure wise right now. I think you would find more support between Pamplona to Burgos for accommodations and food.

Can you let us know what you have decided?
 
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José F.

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones in 2015
Okay, you can walk from Barcelona to Jaca and join up with the Aragones to join up with the Frances in Pamplona or Puenta la Reina. I have considered this route several times after walking the GR 78 from Oloron-Ste. Marie in France through Jaca in Spain. From my previous research most of the accommodations are modestly priced albegues and dehydration would not be an issue.
Hi, Biarritzdon,

I can see that you have a lot of experience on the Camino (might be the understatement of the year). I'm very interested to do the Oloron-Ste-Marie to Jaca when the weather and pandemia permit. Is there a link with details and resources (routes, difficulties, worthy and unworthy detours, auberges, luggage transport to Somport, etc) to which you can point me, particularly with regards to the French side (Oloron to Somport). I have found plenty of information about the Spanish side, but little in regards to getting there from Oloron. Any help or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

Best regards, José
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
Hi, Biarritzdon,

I can see that you have a lot of experience on the Camino (might be the understatement of the year). I'm very interested to do the Oloron-Ste-Marie to Jaca when the weather and pandemia permit. Is there a link with details and resources (routes, difficulties, worthy and unworthy detours, auberges, luggage transport to Somport, etc) to which you can point me, particularly with regards to the French side (Oloron to Somport). I have found plenty of information about the Spanish side, but little in regards to getting there from Oloron. Any help or suggestion will be greatly appreciated.

Best regards, José
Hi José
No doubt Don will be able to give you info ; but I notice there is a recent post covering the route you are looking at (from Oloron-Ste-Marie). https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/one-more-time.67852/#post-857035
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
On the French side it is know as the GR 653 and there are resources for it online.
It is a very difficult climb to Somport the final day and not recommended in the rain, by me.
Accommodations are about 27 km apart and as far as luggage transport, forget it.
I had no problem with a solo place to sleep until I crossed one of the Pyrenees routes on day 3 where trekker were showing up for a good sleep and provisions for their sacks.
It is a lovely walk but major portions are along a path overlooking a very steep fall to a river below.
I would love to go back and improve the signage, the arrows are few and far between becuase you are basically going from one small mountiain village to aother, so who could possibly get lost, right?
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
It is a very difficult climb to Somport the final day and not recommended in the rain, by me.
hmmmm, but it's not as hard as the full SJPP to Roncesvalles hike.

It is more solitary though, and it's necessary to carry more water than usual on that climb.

Accommodations are about 27 km apart and as far as luggage transport, forget it.
I had no problem with a solo place to sleep until I crossed one of the Pyrenees routes on day 3 where trekker were showing up for a good sleep and provisions for their sacks.
It is a lovely walk but major portions are along a path overlooking a very steep fall to a river below.
I would love to go back and improve the signage, the arrows are few and far between becuase you are basically going from one small mountiain village to aother, so who could possibly get lost, right?
Indeed.

I think there's an ongoing project to improve not just the signage but the route itself.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Ok perfect, thank you for the help :)

So train to Pamplona then bus to SJPdP , then get my pilgrim passport? Then find out where to start walking lol . Do I need to take a sleeping bag? Obv I want to travel light
I'm planning to pick up a guide book before I leave
I would suggest that you just get your pilgrim's credential in Pamplona. There is no rule which says you must start from SJPdP. I would recommend Pamplona west to Burgos, rather than from Logrono, but either are good. I would also recommend that you forget about the classical guidebook stages and just go as far as you are comfortable with. It's not a race and, for many, walking the route is the goal.

Having done the Cami Catalan a few times, there are fewer fuentes/public fountains, and the pueblos are farther apart, so if you want to avoid occasion of anxiety on this account, go to the Frances which has the best infratructure of all the routes.
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Hi @Frogman7777 - Welcome to the forum, which is an excellent place to get information about the Camino. You have already got some good advice.

I am concerned about whether this is a wise idea under the current circumstances. You said that you have been ill and are suffering from anxiety, and you really have no idea what you are getting into. It would seem to me that going on a trip to Spain during a pandemic, with almost no preparation, would increase my anxieties rather than help them. In fact, many forum members who are experienced walking various Caminos, who speak Spanish fluently, and who would LOVE to go, have decided not to go because there are too many unknowns and risks.

Many accommodations are closed, closures and travel restrictions are changing daily, and you may find yourself needing to isolate in one place for 14 days, or come home early if you can. You need to be able to cope with unknowns and changes in plans, but you said that you are having trouble assimilating and retaining information. Do you speak Spanish? Normally this would not be a problem on the Camino Frances, but it could be another source of stress for you.

If you decide to go, I strongly support the suggestion to take a train or bus to Pamplona (or even Leon, Burgos or Astorga) and keep things simple by starting there. Go to an albergue, ask the people where the arrows are, and start walking west the next day.

I assume that you will have a cell phone with data and voice service, appropriate documentation for medical services if you need them in Spain, and the ability to pay for whatever change in plans might be needed - early trip home, isolation on arrival home, hotels if no cheaper lodging is available, etc.

About your specific concerns...
  • dying of dehydration - This is easily addressed by carrying a couple of 500 mL bottles of water and refilling them when you can.
  • getting lost or not knowing where to go in the first place - Anybody can tell you where to find the first arrows that you need to follow out of Pamplona. Yes, you could get lost. You need to be able to cope with that, without panicking. Carry a map showing the route, and a phone with GPS location.
  • turning up at refugios or wherever I am supposed to stay only to be told they are closed or I had to book in advance etc etc - Yes, this will very likely happen during this pandemic period. Many places are closed. Even those that are officially open may need to close on short notice. That is one reason many people are choosing not to walk at this time.
If you decide to postpone your trip, or if you do start and then need to cut it short early, don't consider if to be a failure. Take the time to plan for a future trip when circumstances are more favourable.

Sorry to be pointing out the negatives, but it is important that you understand them. Whatever your decision, please let us know how things progress for you. I wish you well!
Hey first of all , thank you to all the replies from the very helpful people on this forum ! Much love to you all

I have decided to postpone the trip and be more prepared both mentally and practically , plus of course wait for covid19 events to settle (if that is possible)
I have bookmarked this page , so I can return to it for tips :) when I am fully prepared and set to go
I was rushing into it... again , probably a symptom of the mental struggles I have been experiencing , which are getting better but as C CLeary (and others) pointed out very well here it may well turn out to be a stressful experience which could be detrimental to my healing so for that reason I have decided to wait and hopefully return to the idea in the future

It was actually a very difficult and significant decision to make re:cancelling the trip so I really want to especially thank those who warned me about how it might cause me stress etc I was all ready to jump headfirst into it but then I realised it's that kind of mentality which got me into the crisis I am currently emerging from. So , slow down , take my time, have patience and the faith that I can go on this adventure when the time is right is a very important lesson for me to learn moving forwards. So much appreciated to everyone who helped me realise that

Thanks again to everyone for the help and advice ❤
 
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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)
It was actually a very difficult and significant decision to make re:cancelling the trip
Wow, @Frogman7777, it takes a lot of confidence to do that. I hope you're giving yourself a pat on the back right now — not everybody would have the strength of heart to be so flexible.
When the when the time comes, you will be ready.
Buen Camino peregrino — it has begun already!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Normally, I'd say that doing a Camino is a great idea for those with anxiety (I can have some frankly quite ghastly anxiety attacks myself) -- but not right now, not a first Camino, not in the midst of all this nonsense.

The very fact that this is even a question demonstrates that the Camino 2020 is dodgy.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@Frogman7777, as well as this thread, there is a lot more to find through the entire forum. As you understand all members are just urging you on to succeed and start and finish your pilgrimage, when you are ready. It is your journey and I am sure you will travel it in style and enjoy every moment.

I see you live a bit closer to all these marvellous routes in Spain than me. So, when you do start, you may think of stopping when your comfort level is getting low. And next year, or whenever, return and continue some more. Rather than trying to complete a long route to Compostela in one "sitting". This approach might help with anxiety.

I continue to wish you every success. And hope to hear about them. Kia kaha
 

Damico Walking

Ready, and waiting, to walk
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal route May 2020 (not to be)
Portuguese coastal route TBD post COVID-19
@Frogman7777 I am encouraged by both your enthusiasm and courage. I agree with many that have posted so far the encouragement to walk as well as the support for you decision to delay. I have been planning my camino for about a year, after a year of pondering if we could even do it. Now convinced we were to begin in May, but due to "That" disease we have had to delay. Our current hope is that we will be able to proceed May or September of 2021.

But having said that I feel it is important to note that it took the better part of a year to prepare for the camino both mentally and physically. I have participated in triathlons, marathons, and century bike rides. But realized quickly that walking 15 - 25k a day is a different strain on the body than running 25 miles then resting. This group has been an invaluable wealth of knowledge and support. I sincerely hope you continue to check in here as you proceed with your planning.

Most of all, maybe we will see you on the camino or at the cathedral next year. Good health, good thoughts, and Buen Camino.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@Frogman7777 very glad you joined this forum!! In raw honesty, you were able to reach out to pilgrims here, and then, sort through the affirming, but concerned responses from your new camino family. I am joining the chorus of pilgrims who think you made a good decision for the current circumstances in deciding to postpone your journey.

Do consider your membership the beginning of your camino. Preparing, getting ready, reading, can really be an opportunity to begin to savor the camino experience. There are video links on this website as well as book recommendations that will also keep you engaged and motivated to walk it.

Keep in touch...
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
@Frogman7777 I am encouraged by both your enthusiasm and courage. I agree with many that have posted so far the encouragement to walk as well as the support for you decision to delay. I have been planning my camino for about a year, after a year of pondering if we could even do it. Now convinced we were to begin in May, but due to "That" disease we have had to delay. Our current hope is that we will be able to proceed May or September of 2021.

But having said that I feel it is important to note that it took the better part of a year to prepare for the camino both mentally and physically. I have participated in triathlons, marathons, and century bike rides. But realized quickly that walking 15 - 25k a day is a different strain on the body than running 25 miles then resting. This group has been an invaluable wealth of knowledge and support. I sincerely hope you continue to check in here as you proceed with your planning.

Most of all, maybe we will see you on the camino or at the cathedral next year. Good health, good thoughts, and Buen Camino.
@Frogman7777, as well as this thread, there is a lot more to find through the entire forum. As you understand all members are just urging you on to succeed and start and finish your pilgrimage, when you are ready. It is your journey and I am sure you will travel it in style and enjoy every moment.

I see you live a bit closer to all these marvellous routes in Spain than me. So, when you do start, you may think of stopping when your comfort level is getting low. And next year, or whenever, return and continue some more. Rather than trying to complete a long route to Compostela in one "sitting". This approach might help with anxiety.

I continue to wish you every success. And hope to hear about them. Kia kaha
That's interesting because the person I know who has completed a camino (Frances I think) is a very fit but even more so determined individual . I greatly admire her and because of that I wanted to prove to myself that I could also be determined and achieve something. As I said I have been going through a crisis and felt lost and inadequate/weak I suppose

I find it very difficult and sad to not be going :( I completed a half marathon in March and my next step was to walk the camino. I feel really unhappy that I am not flying today , ready to start walking. Maybe I should have gone?
It really hurts not to be going but as you can see from my approach in this thread - I'm just not ready, for whatever reason :(
I haven't even done any long walks for about a month , whereas before I was training but I stopped
Maybe I'm not supposed to do it, maybe it is not right for me and my mental health ?
It really hurts though , not going to lie . Now I'm stuck at home thinking ok I need to change my life direction rather than going on a walk which would probably be an escape
Ha better stop typing before I try to turn this into a therapy thread but I want to thank the people who said it takes courage to make this decision ❤ I didn't see it that way but now I understand because I yearn to go but something inside is telling me to slow down and be patient and kind to myself, so I have to leave it but it hurts
When I was young I would travel and sleep rough often and live quite hard like that and it took it's toll on me. Now I have to accept I'm not the same. I am older and I need to be calmer and more relaxed , slower or I will cause myself even more damage. So going to walk a camino without knowing where I'm going , where to stay and all the covid19 troubles is just a bad idea overall and probably dangerous to my currently fragile mental health
It hurts to accept though :( Never mind

Thanks again to everyone and I will stick around on the forum and read about other's journeys and try not to feel too envious 🤦‍♂️ Good luck to everyone and stay safe 😊
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
@Frogman7777 very glad you joined this forum!! In raw honesty, you were able to reach out to pilgrims here, and then, sort through the affirming, but concerned responses from your new camino family. I am joining the chorus of pilgrims who think you made a good decision for the current circumstances in deciding to postpone your journey.

Do consider your membership the beginning of your camino. Preparing, getting ready, reading, can really be an opportunity to begin to savor the camino experience. There are video links on this website as well as book recommendations that will also keep you engaged and motivated to walk it.

Keep in touch...
Hey that's a really nice way of looking at it , thanks
Small steps are important . Joining this forum was a small step and reading and learning about it. Being patient that I will do a camino when the time is right - This is a lesson for me . The old me would have rushed into it (as you can see) but the old me got himself in a very sorry state 🤦‍♂️ So patience and faith that I am on a path/journey of my own is the way forward I feel

Thank you
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Ok last post but I'm still really unsure about my decision. I feel so bad about not going but it's too late now for this time anyway and I don't see the point of rebooking a flight just to cancel again...
Guess I need to plan it duh 🤦‍♂️
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
I will stick around on the forum and read about other's journeys and try not to feel too envious
Just bear in mind that the camino experience that many are describing who have walked the most popular path, the Camino Frances, in recent years is just not there at the moment. For many, meeting other walkers and experiencing a sense of global community of like minded people, was an essential part of their experience. This global camino community is not there right now. Very few people are walking right now.
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Started Camino de Levante (2019).
Hi sorry in advance for the inevitably annoying noob thread :p but I'm in a bit of a panic/rush

I have been suffering from an illness (no not that one) it was a mental one and I am mostly better now and on a whim I have decided to walk the camino as someone who inspired me said it changed their life. The trouble is the illness has left me quite anxious so it's kind of difficult for me to slowly assimilate info
I'm flying to Barcelona on tuesday but I have no clue as yet what to do
I know there is some route to Montserrat? and from there where do I go? I have two week return flights. I am fit enough although not an experienced trekker but I won't get too tired but probably lost (definitely)
Looking for some help here . Can someone tell me the simplest way to go about this? When I am there how do I get water (my biggest concern with the heat). Where do I sleep? I am not fussy but I'm only taking a small ryanair size bag so no tent or anything
How do I know where to go? Would I be better off as a beginner travelling to the start of the camino frances (the most popular?) Would that be easier to navigate?

My concerns - dying of dehydration , getting lost or not knowing where to go in the first place , turning up at refugios or wherever I am supposed to stay only to be told they are closed or I had to book in advance etc etc

Again , sorry for these questions which I'm sure I could find answers to eventually by reading other threads but as I said I have difficulty at the moment doing that so I'm hoping someone can give me a simple bit of guidance to at least get me looking in the right place for more info? I don't care what camino I do really. The goal is to be on my own in nature and have an experience and an accomplishment
Thanks if you can help ❤

EDIT : I'm on a tight budget too - should have mentioned that
Hi Frogman 7777
I am sure that you will get some really great practical advice here, but I would be asking myself some fundamental questions first before planning the journey. Are you doing this alone and are you mentally up for the challenge of being on your own much of the time, especially when you have not been well? At times, when it is hot, or where camino markings might not be as clear as you would want, or when you are just alone, are you likely to get so anxious that it totally takes away from the enjoyment of the Camino?
I would also observe that you might be rushing into this with little planning, as an absolute beginner. Your questions would suggest to me that you are a long way off making plans that will keep you safe and well and minimise stress and anxiety.
I am not suggesting not going, but the more detailed plans you have, the less stress and anxiety you will experience. And don't underestimate the heat at this time of year. Looking at your concerns above and the fact that you have not been well, please make sure that you are doing this at the right time and with the appropriate level of planning. And ensure that you are mentally up for the challenge at this time. A friend going with you would make a big difference.
Buen Camino Frogman and stay healthy and safe.
Dave
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
@Frogman7777 has already made the decision of not going on Camino right now but @murraydv raises a point that has not been mentioned yet, I think: it's July and it's hot in Spain in general. Again, I daresay that the majority on the forum who report about their previous Caminos do not live in Spain and do not walk in the hot summer months of July and August. And for good reason. I hope this thought helps @Frogman7777 to come more to terms with his decision to cancel the flight. ☺
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
The heat was going to be part of the challenge but you are right

I think the issue is with acceptance . I don't want to be unwell (obviously) I want to be able to push myself to the limits , do something special etc but the reality is that if I try to jump in this headfirst it is reckless and could well damage me and the progress I have made so far. So it's with a heavy and painful heart that I have cancelled . I'm sure I will get used to the idea eventually. I need to take small steps and this would be too big a step , basically
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
The heat was going to be part of the challenge but you are right
Some people cope better with walking in the heat, especially the younger they are I think; some people are happy to get up before 5 o'clock, walk without interruption and end their walking day long before 1 pm to escape the heat. I myself don't regard the heat as a challenge but as something that seriously restricts my freedom ☺. My freedom to start when I want, my freedom to stop during the day where I want and for as long as I want and my freedom to arrive really late. ☺

Anyway, have a look at today's comment from someone who lives in Spain - so someone for whom it it is easy to travel to and from a point on a camino - and provides up to date details about finding a place to stay and about costs under the current circumstances: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/who-goes-camino-del-norte-now.68031/post-861327. They abandoned walking after 6 days. This refers to the Camino del Norte, the second most popular camino in Spain.
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Ok guys,
I have thought about everything , obviously my flight has left already so I'm not going
However, I feel really bad about not going and I have come up with a solution which I think will work
I live in cornwall , england and we have the southwest coast path here which I have walked along for a few miles many times but never tried to do as a complete walk. It is 630 miles in total but I will be starting from where I live (Falmouth)
Anyway I can literally walk out of my front door and join the coast path in about 15 minutes. From there to Land's End is 125km . I will take a pack , a tent , food etc and a phone of course. The plan is to make it to Land's End :) but if I want to continue after then I will. This feels like a great entry point into having the walking experience without setting off my anxiety too much. I am really really happy to be doing SOMETHING and the weather is set to be nice for the next week, with no rain crucially (rare for England)
I am busy packing now , ready to leave tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone for the inspiration. I was taking it too lightly. This is a much better step for me
If it comes to it I can always phone a friend like who wants to be a millionaire and they can come and get me lol . Or I can get a bus home :p
With covid19 this seems like the best solution and I'm so glad because I felt really really bad that I wasn't going but actually it's made me realise I can do something from my own doorstep and it will mean a lot to me
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Ok guys,
Anyway I can literally walk out of my front door and join the coast path in about 15 minutes. From there to Land's End is 125km . I will take a pack , a tent , food etc and a phone of course. The plan is to make it to Land's End :) but if I want to continue after then I will.
That is an excellent plan!
I wanted to prove to myself that I could also be determined and achieve something...
I want to be able to push myself to the limits
I think that the best way to achieve the above is to tackle challenges that you want to do for their own sake or reasons other than proving yourself. Remember that sometimes (even most of the time) we do fail to accomplish the plan, and it is very important to benefit from the experience anyway.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Ok guys,
I have thought about everything , obviously my flight has left already so I'm not going
However, I feel really bad about not going and I have come up with a solution which I think will work
I live in cornwall , england and we have the southwest coast path here which I have walked along for a few miles many times but never tried to do as a complete walk. It is 630 miles in total but I will be starting from where I live (Falmouth)
Anyway I can literally walk out of my front door and join the coast path in about 15 minutes. From there to Land's End is 125km . I will take a pack , a tent , food etc and a phone of course. The plan is to make it to Land's End :) but if I want to continue after then I will. This feels like a great entry point into having the walking experience without setting off my anxiety too much. I am really really happy to be doing SOMETHING and the weather is set to be nice for the next week, with no rain crucially (rare for England)
I am busy packing now , ready to leave tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone for the inspiration. I was taking it too lightly. This is a much better step for me
If it comes to it I can always phone a friend like who wants to be a millionaire and they can come and get me lol . Or I can get a bus home :p
With covid19 this seems like the best solution and I'm so glad because I felt really really bad that I wasn't going but actually it's made me realise I can do something from my own doorstep and it will mean a lot to me
Fantastic idea, and I'm jealous. 😊
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Fantastic idea, and I'm jealous. 😊
Haha don't be jealous , I was in literally in tears earlier feeling so stuck and incapable of following through with the camino plan because making vague plans which never come to fruition is symptomatic of my ptsd . Then my friend said why don't you walk somewhere , start small and I can come and pick you up and that set me thinking... I don't even know if I can do it yet . I am definitely starting . I have already spent too much on gear and supplies not to but how far I get is another question entirely . Bear in mind I have been going through a serious crisis over the last year or so , particularly the last six months so I have no idea how big of a deal this will be for me but I have to at least try :) I definitely want to make it to Land's End (125km) that is the goal . After that will be a bonus if I continue or I may decide that's enough for now
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
“.....It really hurts though , not going to lie . Now I'm stuck at home thinking ok I need to change my life direction rather than going on a walk which would probably be an escape”

@Frogman7777. I, and many of us know, the loss of not only the price of a ticket, but the longing to return to the Camino....and then cancel and struggle with the decision. In March, April May, June, thru Dec., you will find many of us too canceled plans and lost airfares for tickets! I had actually stayed at the airport the night before we were supposed to depart March 1 for Spain. And I lost the entire airfare. But my inner self, my gut said, no. When I got home the next day....I wondered for about 5 days if I had made the right decision. But then, I was able to integrate it all. I am thankful we did not go...because within two weeks, Spain got locked down.

Many of us were unsure about our plans. So how about being kind to yourself right now! Your decision will settle. Now you have time to delve into
The many resources on this website. We are here for you! Be at Peace!
 
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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)
Bear in mind I have been going through a serious crisis over the last year or so , particularly the last six months so I have no idea how big of a deal this will be for me but I have to at least try :)
Here's a beautiful read - you're i good company with that wonderful idea.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)

Here is an interview with the author, Raynor Winn on NZ National Radio. I found the interview inspirational as she talks about how the walking healed her and improved her husband's health.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
For me, one of the lessons of the camino is to allow the universe to unfold as it will. Taking each hour, each minute as it comes. Allowing the worry of what will happen tomorrow or next week, or an hour from now to be suspended. Recognizing that what I have right here, right now is all I need concern myself with. And learning to trust that it will be okay.

Maybe things won’t be as I think they will be, or as I think they should be, but with kindness, patience, humility and a bit of resourcefulness, it’ll turn out fine.

Your camino already started.
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Here's a beautiful read - you're i good company with that wonderful idea.
That's a sign from the universe right there. I rang my friend who is lending me some gear (thank you darling) and she told me about that book but she had lent it to someone and then I looked to my left and on the table it was sitting there. "The Salt Path" This was last night, it belongs to someone I share a house with! Then this morning I read this thread again and find you have recommended it too

I have been up all night worrying. I decided not to go in my mind. Then I started to feel so bad again that now I think I have to go. It's not the walking, it's being on my own with my mind, particularly at night. in unfamiliar surroundings.
It's unfortunate because it's not a happy feeling. With all the stress and anxiety I have been through , nothing feels happy , everything feels potentially traumatic
I know I could take more time but I think there's no point. I go or I don't.
Wish me luck. This could well be the hardest thing I have ever done. I used to be homeless and live in a tent. Going off with just a tent feels like revisiting that place. It invokes a lot of traumatic feelings but that's what has to happen so I can move on. I hope anyway. If I have to I will book a room but I will try a campsite first night at any rate. I may well end up camping wild but probably not the first night
The point I am trying to make is that I think it's always going to be a very difficult journey and decision for me to go. There is no good time mentally because my mental state won't improve until I do what I need to. I either go or I don't and if I don't then I am stuck where I was and I can't have that. Practically , the weather forecast is good and I have the money/time so why postpone?
This might sound very dramatic but it's ptsd , sorry. Still not 100% sure I'm going in my mind but practically I am all set...

EDIT : Am off now ! Take care
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
@Frogman7777 please keep in touch, let us know where you are?! You may have questions as you go? But Many of us will want to follow your experience,if you desire to share it with us. Have a great Trip!
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
EDIT : Am off now ! Take care
You can do it !
What you are feeling does not make you incapable. It is a feeling that visits many of us before we take off on our first (and sometimes subsequent) camino.
It’s not until you are on the path and have managed your day 1 that you realise that you’ve beaten that little voice in your head. You’ll be smiling and happy with yourself. You’ll talk to others you see and maybe swap stories. You’re really on your way ♥👏♥👏

It sounds to me like you have a good ‘book’ of your own brewing.

Remember ... just one foot in front of the other.

Buen camino
Annie
 

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)
Frogman, you may not have much opportunity to reply — or even the desire to do so. But please know that many of us are here on the sidelines thinking of you and wishing you a deeply healing walk. It may not be easy, but few valuable things are. You have taken the first step, and that's one of the hardest things to do. Well done, and heartfelt well wishes!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I'm excited to hear about how @Frogman7777 gets on. As I said above, I'm jealous - while I do live close to the PCT, I'm not a camper, I'm a Camino walker. So while I probably could be hiking, I don't relish being in the wilderness. I want a shower, a bed, and a glass of vino tinto at the end of the day. 😊
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Well I made it. Falmouth to Minehead. 330 miles plus all the distance I walked getting lost or looking for food and water. Took me 3 weeks in total

I enjoyed it overall although I had big problems with my feet which nearly forced me to quit after the 1st week but I got through that really bad stretch although I suffered from bad feet the whole time unfortunately

I noticed I was on a different vibe even from most of the other walkers let alone the tourists and daytrippers. It was definitely a healing experience. I often pushed myself to walk late into the evening , wild camped and then was up early and walking again. That feeling of having been awake for 15 minutes and you're already pushing up a steep climb on legs aching from the day before 🥴

Some parts I really enjoyed the freedom , some I close to hated (foot pain combined with being stuck in woods/nowhere to camp etc) but it really gave me something I could never have bought. It wasn't an emotional journey , although I did sob my eyes out when I reached Minehead but rather it was more meditative . No matter what my thoughts were I still put one foot in front of the other . I didn't have any anxiety apart from the 1st couple of days and the last 2 days but even that was nothing in comparison to how I was before I left. Now I amback and things feel different - I feel different

What did I learn?

The main thing I learnt on a personal level is that it's ok to be unemotional/pragmatic . I coped extremely well with everything from the rain to camping in woods at night to dehydration and drinking from streams etc . Ok , southwest England is a pretty safe place but it gave me the confidence to feel I could cope with a big expedition in more remote places if I choose to do so (I expect i will now i have a taste for it)

The other main psychological lesson I learnt is to make the walking your destination . If you're trying to get somewhere , the next town , for example , then it becomes more of a chore , especially when wild camping because towns are places you need to get away from - they are just pitstops to find food and water but trudging around a town with a heavy pack dodging tourists is not the highlight of the trip. When you get out onto a path on a clifftop that's when you feel like you belong and you're doing something that makes sense. Counting the miles sucks . Enjoy the walking , even when the signs take you on a 4 mile trip round a headland only to end up a hundred yards from where you started 😓 . I didn't have a map so this sort of thing happened a lot but I think learning to accept these times of no "progress" or getting lost and spending an hour or two just to get back where you began was an important lesson for life too

In a practical sense I learnt not to camp on a slope , some sort of mat to sleep on is essential and that one should probably invest in decent walking shoes and a tent that weighs less than 5 kilos but that's another story lol. Oh and stocking up on lots of food and litres of water makes you feel good except when you try to move and realise you just added the weight of a small hippo to your back

I'll write about the actual trip if people want to hear about it . South West Coast Path from Falmouth to Minehead (the wrong way round apparently) but I think I did the toughest and most interesting sections over that 330 miles . The whole route is 630 miles so I have 300 miles heading the other way from Falmouth to complete at another time . Not right now though my feet are in shock currently

Been back 1 day and feeling good about the future. Hopefully I will be heading out again soon for another trip 🤗
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
@Frogman7777
Congratulations! This is a wonderful report! I’m so pleased for you that your pilgrimage was a success.

There is likely a section on the ‘other routes’ where you can post a detailed report on this route’s details/conditions, where future pilgrims can easily find it.

Thank you for your honesty and heartfelt sharing.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Congratulations! Thank you for letting us know how you are! Your quick departure left me wondering how you were? I rejoice with you and your ability to complete your desired route! Indeed, being mindful along the trail opens one up to breathe in the beauty of the moment or respond to current circumstances. In contrast, focusing on the destination diminishes the ability to be mindful of the here and now. Do continue to post on your various journeys. Blessings!
 

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)
Wonderful, @Frogman7777 ! Thank you for coming back with your reflections. I see from @Marbe2's post that I was not the only one wondering how you were going. It sounds like you had a deep dive into the kind of inner world that opens up on a solo walk - and it will take a while to digest the experience. So the fact that those feet are in shock is not a bad thing; it'll give you some time to integrate it all.
Not to mention planning the next journey.
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Enjoy the walking , even when the signs take you on a 4 mile trip round a headland only to end up a hundred yards from where you started 😓 .
Congratulations! That path is quite tough in places. I learnt quite early on to check the map for those shortcuts! Great that you could wild camp so you could save a lot on accommodation costs. Sadly I developed tendonitis in my ankle after about 10 days. When I spotted a lady putting her dog into her car to drive away after their cliff top walk, I limped over and asked if she could give me a lift into the nearest town. She kindly deposited me at the cheapest pub with rooms above, and she checked there was availability before she left. After 3 nights in the pub my sister was able to drive down and rescue me. It took another month before my ankle healed and I could walk normally again.
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Congratulations! That path is quite tough in places. I learnt quite early on to check the map for those shortcuts! Great that you could wild camp so you could save a lot on accommodation costs. Sadly I developed tendonitis in my ankle after about 10 days. When I spotted a lady putting her dog into her car to drive away after their cliff top walk, I limped over and asked if she could give me a lift into the nearest town. She kindly deposited me at the cheapest pub with rooms above, and she checked there was availability before she left. After 3 nights in the pub my sister was able to drive down and rescue me. It took another month before my ankle healed and I could walk normally again.

Westward Ho! was the worst. The signs took me all around the dunes only for me then to realise I was walking in a circle for several miles due to the estuary until I reached a point I could have just strolled over to about two hours previously
Ah that's a shame about your ankle :( glad it healed in the end though . Yes, people went out of their way to be kind I found , often walking with me to show me the way to the one shop in the village , things like that.
I like your lessons from the Camino posts :) . Will be sure to read up on those again when I get the opportunity to tackle that walk
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Congratulations! Thank you for letting us know how you are! Your quick departure left me wondering how you were? I rejoice with you and your ability to complete your desired route! Indeed, being mindful along the trail opens one up to breathe in the beauty of the moment or respond to current circumstances. In contrast, focusing on the destination diminishes the ability to be mindful of the here and now. Do continue to post on your various journeys. Blessings!
I really enjoyed the times where I was walking and not really knowing where I was or where I was heading - just walking. Whenever I came across another walker/camper type who was keen to talk (obviously heading in the other direction) I told them "don't tell me how far it is!" haha I don't want to know , just let me walk, happy in my ignorance
Ignorance is Strength , lol I read "1984" by George Orwell whilst i was there. Also read "The Salt Path" which a lot of people recommended , although i think that's a book you might want to read when you're not actually walking the route as it's a bit overload to walk and read about the walk at the same time
I didn't have a phone , a watch , a map or guidebook , no music - just me a couple of books and the essentials - clothes , tent sleeping bag etc . I know what you mean about being mindful because there were no distractions . Sometimes I just lay on the grass in a quiet spot for ages. The walk gave me purpose but being there was the most important. I loved the wide open spaces with no one around , especially when I camped there. The only part I didn't like was walking through woods , quite enclosed with narrow paths. You were near the sea but couldn't see it and they sometimes went on for miles. It's all part of the journey though. The variety was amazing
A map probably is essential for most walks lol but since it's a coast path there's quite a large obvious landmark to ensure you never stay lost for too long. The only part where I nearly came unstuck was near the end where it crosses the top of Exmoor national park and it's quite a distance between any kind of settlement. I did run out of water there but I found a stream and it all ended ok.
 

Frogman7777

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino from Barcelona
Wonderful, @Frogman7777 ! Thank you for coming back with your reflections. I see from @Marbe2's post that I was not the only one wondering how you were going. It sounds like you had a deep dive into the kind of inner world that opens up on a solo walk - and it will take a while to digest the experience. So the fact that those feet are in shock is not a bad thing; it'll give you some time to integrate it all.
Not to mention planning the next journey.
Definitely need a bit of time to recuperate and reflect . I haven't moved at all today and it's 5pm. Ate a huge brunch and went back to bed. My feet feel like lumps of wood at the end of my legs
I know I will do another walk/challenge soon. Everyone I know here was amazed and inspired - I think particularly because they live here and they could just walk out of their house and do it too so it's very accessible but I feel physically it was well within my capabilities as long as i can get my feet performing better. I'm sure I need better footwear , lighter backpack etc and probably to take it slower initially to get my feet warmed up. Inevitably I made the mistake of pushing too hard early on in the trip and once I had got my feet to the debilitating point they never really healed. So don't let them get to that point is the obvious approach but maybe I just have weak susceptible feet , I don't know 🤨
Mentally it was pretty tough for me to complete . I think for a first proper walk it was the perfect duration. I really wanted to stop walking by the last day and if it had been another week to go I doubt I would have made it.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Try soaking your feet frequently in cool/cold water. If there are any abrasions, add salt to the water.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Well done !!

FWIW, the experience of the Camino outside of the well-trodden paths is a lot like that, certainly very similar to my own experiences in the French part of my 1994 from Paris, the French part of my 2005 from Monaco, and even this current Camino in 2019 between home and Aix on the Provençal Way, and in French Catalonia and Spanish Catalonia 'til I reached the principal Cami Catalan at Igualada.
 

Dancing Rain

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Salvado (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
The heat was going to be part of the challenge but you are right

I think the issue is with acceptance . I don't want to be unwell (obviously) I want to be able to push myself to the limits , do something special etc but the reality is that if I try to jump in this headfirst it is reckless and could well damage me and the progress I have made so far. So it's with a heavy and painful heart that I have cancelled . I'm sure I will get used to the idea eventually. I need to take small steps and this would be too big a step , basically
You could plan to do a small section, to see how you find it, at a time that seems right. An app like WisePilgrim & it’s associated book could be useful
 

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