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Traveling after the Camino

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Vivello

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, September/October 2014; Portugues, October 2015; Frances planned June 2018
Hello! I start my first Camino in Pamplona about five weeks from now, and I've loved reading these forums and preparing for my trip. My question is about traveling after completing the Camino.

I'm walking alone, and my husband is planning to come out and meet me after I finish. We're from the US, so it's a significant trip. It'll also be our anniversary. We've debated options, but right now I think I'll fly Ryan Air to London and meet him there. Then we'll visit some friends and hit a few places in Britain.

I'm wondering if anyone can share their experience of traveling after the Camino. I'm excited to do this with my husband, but I also wonder if the intensely personal experience of walking for a month will jibe with big cities and more moving about. I know no one can tell me this, but I'd love to hear if you traveled after being a pilgrim and what the experience felt like for you. Thanks!
 

freescot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
La Plata (2010) Portuguese from Coimbra(2010) Levante (2011) La Lana (2013) Francés from Roncevalles to Molinasaca then the Camino de Invierno (2014)
As you will see elsewhere on the forum, many people have a sense of "what now?" after the Camino. Many Europeans I have met have return by rail or road saying flying is just too fast. Others prefer to wind down gently if they have the opportunity because what is certain is that a Camino often leaves a lot of processing in process. I met two Canadians on one camino who came to a wild bit of land I have in Spain and they stayed in almost total isolation for six weeks until arrested for overstaying their visas. I myself have travelled to Iona, a sacred island in Scotland twice after a Camino which I have loved. Other times I have returned to life in Madrid and that I find more difficult. Comfort, for me, erases rapidly many of the benefits of living very simply- Cities are full of conveniences and comforts as well as traffic, people in a hurry and noise.
For me the Camino on which I resolved to set aside time every day for reflection and contemplation, for reading and silence is the one which has had the most lasting effect - on that one I took a plane (yes, Ryanair) straight back to Madrid.
Buen Camino
 
W

Wanderer64

Guest
Good question!

Coming all the way from Canada, I personally felt it would have been a missed opportunity to not do some further exploring of Spain after my Camino, thus I gave myself plenty of extra time to do just that. From Santiago, I took the fast train to Madrid and soaked up the world-renowned museums, culture and food for a few days. I then continued via rail to Granada, which was a highlight; The Alhambra, alone, was almost worth my entire trip, Camino and all, not to mention a chance to visit one of my favourite poet's (F. Garcia Lorca) summer home. Granada is such a unique, interesting crossroads of history, religion and culture, I'm so happy I took time to visit here. I then flew to Barcelona and just loved the city, a fantastic walking city. For me the Camino was not as singular a focus as it seems to be for some others. It was as much a means to other travel ends and goals in the region.

Being in Europe, the post-Camino travel opportunities are endless. It will all depend on your time, budget and desire to see more.
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
ola Vivello - a very good question indeed - well worth to consider ahead of time.
I for one retraced steps by train, so to speak, from Santiago to Portugal. I eventually I ended up again in Lisbon, but took my time.... because it felt too jarring to plunge back into big-city life. Initially I had thought to spend more time in Porto and do a few 'tourist' thingy's ...but after one night it all felt just too busy, too noisy, too fast ... So i left Porto and made another stop in Santarem in a lovely hostel where i stayed before. Even that small town seemed too busy (there was though a big national festival being prepared, so it was indeed busier than usual) -
what was my saving grace was that i 'parked myself' in a remote, peaceful, tranquil Quinta (Porto de Muge) where i stayed before. i had contacted the owner ahead of time and asked if a five day stay would be possible. It was, lucky me.
So i slowly 'de-pilgrimed' - at least i tried to, if that is even possible.
it was a perfect location - with nothing to do and nothing to be.
very serene.
i missed so much the walking. even going about without 8kg on my back was initially odd. One day i decided to have a caffe' and walked to Valada (spelling?) for 3km - had a caffe, a small lunch ... and walked back for 3km. even bought a bottle of vinho branco so i had some 'weight' when walking back. how very odd is this? i wondered, while i traipsed back to the quinta.
in short: i did need and wanted time to ease out of the pilgrim mode ... and was very happy that i chose the slow road also after the caminho.
after five days i left for another three days NEAR lisbon before i had a flight to the UK for a seminar in west yorkshire ... and duly avoided London or anything that sounded too big and too noisy, too fast.
in all - it was another four weeks of travel before i landed back in SFO.
am still arriving ...
Enjoy the caminho - perhaps your husband can read some of these great posts on this forum - all the shares of people who have returned and tell their tales.
it might help to assist him with some insights ? (if so desired)
everyone is different with circumstances very varied - but if you can choose and do have some time: easy does it, less is more!
Have a blessed journey - best wishes, Claudia
 

Vivello

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, September/October 2014; Portugues, October 2015; Frances planned June 2018
Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I've loved reading about your experiences.

From what you've said and what I've seen elsewhere, I'm going to aim to give myself some more stationary and quiet time before I get on a plane to meet my husband in Britain, just to start absorbing the experience and preparing for the transition. I'm approaching the Camino very open to how it will unfold in terms of timing and distance. I know I'll need to bus/taxi a bit in order to get to Santiago in time, as I've got four weeks and not five. Perhaps I'll try to do that enough to allow myself several days or even a week in Santiago or Finisterre for reflection and contemplation. That way I won't go directly from walking to flying to London.

Like Wanderer64, I feel like coming all this way, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. I don't know when I'll have this length of time off again before retirement. (It took a lot of negotiating at work.) So I just need to think of the second trip as part of the whole experience. Plus, it's a gift to get to do this and to spend time with my husband reconnecting before we arrive back at home with its responsibilities and dailiness. I want to enjoy that as fully as possible.

Thanks for your generosity!
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
Last year after the Frances i met my girlfriend in london where she was for work. I arrived early in the morning, but we didnt meet untill late at night, so i had a full day (alone) of "detoxing" from the camino and pilgrim lifestyle. That was really nice. We stayed for 2 nights. After that i was ready to go home.

This year, after my portugees/finisterre camino we met in Barcelona where she was, again, for work (that was a surprising coïnsidence). I could have gone by plain to barcelona in aprox 1,5hours for 19 euro, but i chose to go by overnight train, leaving at around 7pm in SdC and arriving at i believe 8am in Barcelona. I again took this time train to "detox", if you will. Again, this felt good. Needed.

I dont really want to go straight home to normal life after the camino. I kind of enjoy the transition fase of 1 or 2 nights somewhere else, somewhere not camino, but also not home.

After my upcoming camino i hope again we can meet somewhere else before i go home. If its not for (her) work, then we're gonna plan something nice, just for fun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept/Oct (2013) SJPDP - Ponferrda
Prepping for Sept/Oct (2014) Leon - SDC
Do I as a Canadian need a visitor visa for Spain?
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I've loved reading about your experiences.

From what you've said and what I've seen elsewhere, I'm going to aim to give myself some more stationary and quiet time before I get on a plane to meet my husband in Britain, just to start absorbing the experience and preparing for the transition. I'm approaching the Camino very open to how it will unfold in terms of timing and distance. I know I'll need to bus/taxi a bit in order to get to Santiago in time, as I've got four weeks and not five. Perhaps I'll try to do that enough to allow myself several days or even a week in Santiago or Finisterre for reflection and contemplation. That way I won't go directly from walking to flying to London.

Like Wanderer64, I feel like coming all this way, it would be a shame not to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. I don't know when I'll have this length of time off again before retirement. (It took a lot of negotiating at work.) So I just need to think of the second trip as part of the whole experience. Plus, it's a gift to get to do this and to spend time with my husband reconnecting before we arrive back at home with its responsibilities and dailiness. I want to enjoy that as fully as possible.

Thanks for your generosity!
Hi Vivello - if you CAN manage it, try to have as much time in Santiago as you can. I was in Santiago for 10 days last month after volunteering as an hospitalera and I did most of Johnnie Walker's 'Twenty Things for Pilgrims to do in Santiago'. All from the list that I managed to do were fantastic - great recommendations. For an unbeatable place for contemplation, it's beautiful just to sit in the Cathedral between Masses. You'll hear the voices of those passing you as you sit, of course, but it's all part of the Cathedral experience - it's really, really special.
Consider staying in a small studio apartment if you can afford it - the tranquillity and solitude that you'll experience in an apartment is possibly just what you might need by the time you get to Santiago. Also, you might appreciate the opportunity to cook some simple meals for yourself after your weeks 'on the road'. You'll realise how much you missed broccoli! :D
Make the most of any time you have in Santiago - it's the best place for you to hold on to that Camino magic for as long as you can.
Take joy in every step -
Cheers - Jenny
PS - Make sure to visit Ivar at the Forum Office too! Address: Travesia da Universidade 1 - office hours: 10.00-14.00 weekdays.:)
 

TheTinkerBell

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC (2013);
OCebreiro - Fisterra (2019)
A day chilling out in Santiago is a very good idea to let everything wash all over you. After that, I'd say you'll be ready to head off to another destination.
Britain has much to offer in the relaxation stakes and I've heard unconfirmed reports that they even have walking trails there too!!
And then, of course, there's Ireland........
 

molly.carey59

New Member
Checkout www.dragoman.com I'm doing a 50 day Camino starting in 3 weeks. I know I'll be knackered! But I also know that nothing quenches the traveling spirit. Dragoman are awesome. Wild camping traveling in a converted US school bus! I'm doing Bangkok to Hanoi in feb!!
 

JohnG

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future Frances ~ May 2014
Hello! I start my first Camino in Pamplona about five weeks from now, and I've loved reading these forums and preparing for my trip. My question is about traveling after completing the Camino.

I'm walking alone, and my husband is planning to come out and meet me after I finish. We're from the US, so it's a significant trip. It'll also be our anniversary. We've debated options, but right now I think I'll fly Ryan Air to London and meet him there. Then we'll visit some friends and hit a few places in Britain.

I'm wondering if anyone can share their experience of traveling after the Camino. I'm excited to do this with my husband, but I also wonder if the intensely personal experience of walking for a month will jibe with big cities and more moving about. I know no one can tell me this, but I'd love to hear if you traveled after being a pilgrim and what the experience felt like for you. Thanks!
Personally I found the transition a difficult one. My Camino ended abruptly en route to Finnesterre when my wife came down with a severe bout of the vomits. We bussed back to Santiago and tried again in a car. Every track crossing and every walker that we passed caused pangs of longing and a swelling of the throat along with the feeling of being a good deal betwixt and between. A peregrino no more! Not yet a tourist, or wanting to be one, although of course it sort of came with the car.

Having a few more weeks we then continued travelling in the car through Spain and for a while felt quite displaced it is such a different experience, fuelled by such a contrasting intention.

We come form Oz and had planned to continue our Spanish experiences trip post Camino, it is such an effort to get there, and I am not sure what one can do. We had decided to walk first otherwise the preceding weeks would have been spent 'chaffing at the bit.' Eventually I came to the realisation that there is no 'post camino' and that remains so still a month later.

This an excellent post, the part of the walk not often spoken about ~ cheers.
 

jennie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
from st jean - estella 2013 ponferrada-santiago 2012.hope/expect to do full camino with y
sister in sept 14. we completed our walk in 2014?puenta la reina to belarado june 2016,
Personally I found the transition a difficult one. My Camino ended abruptly en route to Finnesterre when my wife came down with a severe bout of the vomits. We bussed back to Santiago and tried again in a car. Every track crossing and every walker that we passed caused pangs of longing and a swelling of the throat along with the feeling of being a good deal betwixt and between. A peregrino no more! Not yet a tourist, or wanting to be one, although of course it sort of came with the car.

Having a few more weeks we then continued travelling in the car through Spain and for a while felt quite displaced it is such a different experience, fuelled by such a contrasting intention.

We come form Oz and had planned to continue our Spanish experiences trip post Camino, it is such an effort to get there, and I am not sure what one can do. We had decided to walk first otherwise the preceding weeks would have been spent 'chaffing at the bit.' Eventually I came to the realisation that there is no 'post camino' and that remains so still a month later.

This an excellent post, the part of the walk not often spoken about ~ cheers.
dad and i started in sjpdp and had only one week, i had to remind him that we MUST stop walking and start thinking about getting back to the airport,on the bus back as we looked out the window for a little way we could see pilgrims walking and we pointed some out in the distance thinking maybe they were people we had spoken with,in short we were deflated ! our happy bubble had been burst !i said to dad it was like coming almost to the end of the the best book ever and someone takes it away before you finish it,really hard to explain to family n friends when we got back,,
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
Another thing to do to help 'resettle' after your Camino - is to look out for pilgrim stuff wherever you go. In London you can visit St. James Garlickehythe and others, find pilgrim badges in museums (a lovely collection in King's Lynn) look out for statues/pictures etc of St. James - and St Roche, St. Martin and other saints of pilgrimage... You WILL find scallop shells everywhere - and always, always be alert for yellow arrows...
You may find that you are always on pilgrimage...!
 

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