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Walking the camino over the age of 60

Hermanita

Active Member
I am planning to walk the Camino Frances in September. It will be my first camino. I am a 62 year old woman and would like to hear from others (especially women) over 60 who have walked the camino.
I am a bit nervous about walking alone, especially since I am an early riser and will undoubtedly start walking in the dark. Any tips??
I am also wondering how you other "boomers" have trained for your walk and other preparations you took.
I am not on any meds, so that is not a worry.

Any ladies over 60 starting the walk on or around September 1??? I would love to hear from you!!

Any advice will be a greatly appreciated
Rita
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
Well I am older than you and I am beginning my first Camino in September too. I have done long distance hiking in the past (completed over half of the AT) so I have few fears about hiking alone. I always hike alone. My family gets hyper about this but over the years they've gotten used to the fact. As long as I carry a cell phone for emergency use, they no longer give me a hard time other than the old eye roll. I enjoy my solitude while walking but I also enjoy the fellowship that comes with settling in for the evening. Given the large numbers of people, you will not need to worry about loneliness! We're all headed in the same direction even if we're not on the same path............ If you want to walk with others, you will find people. If you want your solitude during the day, you can claim that too. It's your Camino. For me the fear is traveling so far to a foreign country where I do not know the language (other than very basic) and navagating to the starting point all by myself. But many have done it before me so I suspect all will finally be well!

As far as rising early, I have tracked dawn vs sunrise and the times will be changing several minutes a day by that time. So yes, it will still be dark until around 6:45 a.m. and getting later as the days go on. If you are going to walk in the dark, you will want some kind of illumination source (I take a tiny LED with a red light for night vision) and probably go with one or two others because it can be difficult to see the markings in the dark. Several heads are often better than one in this case.

Preparation is walking with your loaded pack--if you can walk in a 10 mile stretch at least once a week and walk an hour every day, you'l be in good shape--and wear the shoes/boots and sock combination you plan to wear. I know it has been said many times on this site--KEEP PACK WEIGHT TO A MINIMUM. Can't stress that enough. It will make all the difference. Fear is what makes our packs heavy--we try to prepare for all the eventualities and suddenly we are looking at pounds of stuff. I know because I started at Springer Mountain (southernmost starting point of the AT) with a pack weighing 50# when I was 55 years old. Hauling that sucker up and down thousands of feet of mountain convinced me that it was (I was) nuts! I ended up with pack weight of no more than 25# with five days of food and full water bottles. After a few days of hauling stuff, sentimentality starts to go out the window. The older you get, the more you need to pare down to bare necessities because our bodies simply can't/don't recover as quickly.

I don't know if it helps but I posted my tentative pack list a few days ago under the equipment listing. I have trimmed it even more since then.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Rita, many 'senior citizens' walk el camino!
The pilgrim office used to give stats on ages in groups of 10, such as 36 to 45 and then 46 to 55 and so on.
The highest number of pilgrims receiving the Compostela is the 26 - 35 age group followed by the 36 to 45. In 2007, pilgrims in the 56 to 65 agr group were the third highest number to obtain a Compostela - 18,888. There were 468 pilgrims of over 75 who received the Compostela that year.

My advice to an over 60s walker is, walk at your own pace. Don't get caught up in the race for beds and find yourself slogging to keep up with the 35 year-old age group!
Although most younger people are polite and respectful, don't expect preferential (or deferential) treatment. Everyone is a pilgrim and it is first come first served at albergues, cafe bars, at the laundry tub or the dinner table. You might have to climb up onto a top bunk even if there is a 19 year-old on the bottom.
Be open to the different pilgrims en route: I 'adopted' a young man with dreadlocks who had studs in his cheeks, eyebrows, tongue and ears. He was a delightful person who most people eyed with suscpicion!
Lights out time in most albergues is 10:30pm or 11pm - so if you are an early to bed person, don't expect people to whisper or keep the lights low for you.
Although you are not on meds, start talking calcium supplements or a multi-vitamin before you go. Our bodies are like old cars and will benefit from a good service and fill up before we embark on a long journey!
If you are, or ever were allergic to anything, take antihistamines with you. New pollens, different grasses, exotic insects could pay havoc with your old allergies.
Have a ball - and buen camino!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Shirley MacLaine was 60 when she walked the Camino in 1994. She seemed worried about dogs and dark roots. The number of pilgrims was much smaller, and the number of reporters much larger. She was in good shape, but still had the first week of aches and pains. She did not start alone, but set out on her own after a few days. The rain, mud, and closed albergues were not deterrents for her. She met helpful people regularly, a few lotharios, and had the regular experience of meeting again some pilgrims encountered earlier. She took her imagination with her, and found most of her Camino there. You will meet a lot of pilgrims who heard Beatles releases when they first came out, so you are not likely to feel alone.
 

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1988)
sillydoll said:
Although most younger people are polite and respectful, don't expect preferential (or deferential) treatment. Everyone is a pilgrim and it is first come first served at albergues, cafe bars, at the laundry tub or the dinner table.

Is anyone else bothered by this statement (if, in fact, this is tuly commonplace on the Camino)? I think the younger folks SHOULD make way for our older peregrinos ,no differently than giving up your seat on the bus.

The thought of some 19 year old sleeping in a bed while a slower sexagenarian gets the floor doesn't sit well with me. C'mon folks, let's not forget our manners as we race toward our halos!

John
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I'm thinking that anyone who can walk 450 miles can make it to the top bunk. That begs the issue of courtesy, I agree, but we are pretty equal out there! (I'm 63.)
 
Rita,
Go and enjoy,I will be sixty three in September somewhere on the Camino.Training underway today I did 7 miles, up and down Ben Lomond (Scotland)3,200 ft.I am new to this kind of walking,have all the usual aches pains,enjoy my golf.
Buen Camino,
stpatricksbhoy.
 

Hermanita

Active Member
Portia1 said:
Well I am older than you and I am beginning my first Camino in September too.

.....I always hike alone. My family gets hyper about this


I don't know if it helps but I posted my tentative pack list a few days ago under the equipment listing. I have trimmed it even more since then.

Portia, maybe I will see you on the trail in September. Thanks for all the great advice and encouragement.

The part about your family getting hyper, well....my family thinks I have gone over the edge, even my husband thinks I am nuts. But he knows me and that once I make up my mind to do something I won't be backed down by him or a whining family.

I will check out your packing list.
Thanks again
 

Hermanita

Active Member
Telluridewalker said:
The thought of some 19 year old sleeping in a bed while a slower sexagenarian gets the floor doesn't sit well with me. C'mon folks, let's not forget our manners as we race toward our halos!

John
[/quote]

John, Thanks for the reply.

I have to agree with falcon though, if we can do a trek like this we should be treated the same as the others.
 

Hermanita

Active Member
stpatricksbhoy said:
Rita,
I will be sixty three in September somewhere on the Camino.

Training underway today I did 7 miles, up and down Ben Lomond (Scotland)3,200 ft.I am new to this kind of walking,have all the usual aches pains,enjoy my golf.
Buen Camino,
stpatricksbhoy.

stpatricksboy
If I don't see you on the trail in September have a happy birthday. If I do see you, I will buy you a drink for your bday.

My training has started as well. I am lucky to live near some beautiful hiking trails. And the moutains of New Hampshire are not far. Tomorrow we do our first spring climb in the mountain. Hope the snow is pretty much gone!!
 

Hermanita

Active Member
sillydoll said:
Although you are not on meds, start talking calcium supplements or a multi-vitamin before you go. Our bodies are like old cars and will benefit from a good service and fill up before we embark on a long journey!

Sil
Thanks for all your good advice and tips. I read your blog. Anyone who is considering walking the Camino should read it. It is packed with good info and lots of good tips.

Although not on meds, I do take lots of vitamins and calcium, so they will travel with me.
Rita
 

ajp

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept-October (2009), Sept-Oct (2013)
I will be 61 in November and am planning to walk the camino this Sept, starting the second week.
As far as getting in shape goes, I have been walking on trails near home once a weekend, covering 25KM with a 5KG pack on my back, will work up to the planned 8KG max over the next couple of months, and closer to departure increase the frequency.
I attended a "Friends of the Camino" gathering here in Victoria last month and met a number of over 60's who had done the camino in the last couple of years. They all stressed minimum weight ( the advice to "pare down" is bang on) and to break in your walking boots/shoes before you go. None of them experienced any real problems and all would like to do it again.
My wife is supportive but not interested in going along. My co workers think I am nuts, ( " and tell me again why are you doing that??"). A few years ago I would probably had the same reaction, but now, for some reason, this "camino thing" is very important.
I am looking forward to meeting and spending time with pilgrims of all ages, I don't think or expect to be treated any differently on account of my age, I like to think I am as healthy and as active as most young people half my age, so maybe that young person on the bottom bunk needs it more than I do!
Anyway, since I decided to do this walk it has added a whole new dimension to my life, I find myself thinking about it a lot, the planning and preparation is fun, and the thought of being away from work for two whole months, first time in my life, is really exciting......and a little scarey.

Looking forward to seeing all you geezers on the camino!

AJP
Victoria
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
John I can hear that you are old school (which is great!) but there is an accepted pecking order on the camino.
A hospitalero might ask a group of youngsters to move if they arrive first, hog all the lower bunks and a group of octagenerians arrive! Generally though, you take the bed assigned to you and very rarely will you be asked to give it up.
In cafe-bars, supermecados, restaurants etc, you are just another customer and you stand in line with all the other peregrinos. Nobody minds this and most accept it.
 

Hermanita

Active Member
ajp said:
My wife is supportive but not interested in going along. My co workers think I am nuts, ( " and tell me again why are you doing that??"). A few years ago I would probably had the same reaction, but now, for some reason, this "camino thing" is very important.

Looking forward to seeing all you geezers on the camino!

AJP
Victoria

AJP
My husband isn't even "supportive". He accepts that I am going, but that is about it. I really wish he would go with me, but maybe it is meant to be that I do it alone.

As for "this 'camino thing' is very important"...

yeah, I just don't get it....it started out as a thought in the back of my head many years ago when in Spain and read an article about the camino in the newspapaer, then I started reading books about it off and on over the years.

Then all of a sudden last year I bought a pair of hiking boots and started hiking to see if I was fit enough to make the long trek to Santiago. Like someone else inside my head had already decided for me that I was going. It just happended.
I am having fun preparing, buying gear and I think about it all the time now.
Glad I found this forum. I guess I am not the only one it just hits over the head.
Rita
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Rita said:I guess I am not the only one it just hits over the head.

There are folks that will tell you that the Camino is "just something to do", "a cheap vacation" and not "personally symbolic or religious in nature". I guess it's all in your perspective.

In your case Rita...it hit you and now it calls to you, regardless of whom questions or is passive about you walking the Way.

Keep on packing and repacking your pack, remove this and replace in in a few days...only to remve it once more just before you leave the airport.

The Camino is drawing you today, will be forming you as you walk the Way and...will stay with you always.

Buen Camino,

Arn
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Sometimes the camino calls, but while you are walking it, it is just a long, hard, slog! It is often difficult to have profound thoughts whilst watching where you put your feet. If you don't concentrate, you could go tumbling down a river boulder path or tramp in a great, big pile of steaming cow dung!
At night when the pilgrims around you are snoring, coughing, mumbling in their sleep you wonder what the hell you are doing there and when the romantic notions of pilgrimage will hit you.
Sometimes it only manifests itself when you are back home, looking at your photographs, trying to figure out where you got that extra charming sello.
It is so hard to tell your family and friends about your journey because you still haven't been able to process all the experiences yourself.
And then you start longing to go back - the camino calls again, perhaps because you have unfinished business for perhaps the camino isn't finished with you!
At the end of June I will walk to Santiago for the fourth time. Am I crazy, or what???
 

grilly

Active Member
Rita, you will just have the time of your life. An hospitalera in Ages told me that the Camino is much better when you do it alone as a woman. I guess it's good for the soul.

I will be 63 also in September, and will return to the Camino for the sixth time, I guess. The first time was in 2005 when we walked from Le Puy to Santiago. This year, it will just be from Burgos to Santiago.

Make sure you get in the habit of walking three to four hours once or twice a week, if you can. See that your backpack sits right on your hips. Know that your Camino has begun the minute you decided to do it and started walking to get ready... And it will continue walking you once you're back.

Listen to your body (I broke mine last year). Don't take ibuprofen during the day for aches and pains because you won't feel the pain anymore and that's not good. Drink a lot of water to avoid tendonitis.

Have fun reading all the posts here...

I am so happy for you. Your husband should expect a really 'exciting and fun' wife when you return.

In a way, the first Camino is the best. After that, it is just a question of going deeper and deeper in a lot of different ways.

Buen Camino, claire
 

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1988)
sillydoll said:
It is often difficult to have profound thoughts whilst watching where you put your feet.

Sillydoll,

I'm quite surprised that you wrote this, considering your extensive Camino experience. (The amount of Camino detail you post on this website is breathtaking, to say the least.) This was where I found the core of the Camino experience- a la Thoreau ("Walking") or the Buddhist idea of meditation via walking or repetitive movement. Watching where you put your feet IS the experience, IMHO.

John
 

Hermanita

Active Member
sillydoll said:
Sometimes the camino calls, but while you are walking it, it is just a long, hard, slog!

I find that is true even on a regular hike around here. I was so excited to hike in the mountains yesterday...first spring hike, gorgeous weather, good company. But when I was trudging up through some long ,steep and icy spots, and got so winded, I asked myself if I am crazy.

If I get discouraged during a 3 hour mountain how can I possibly think of the Camino???

But then I got home and started plans for my next hike.

Thanks to all in this forum for all your advice and encouragement.
Rita
 

Hermanita

Active Member
grilly said:
Rita, you will just have the time of your life.
Buen Camino, claire

Claire, Thank you for all your adice on preparing for the Camino. I am learning so much from everyone here. Everyone in this forum has been so helpful and supportive.

Each little tip helps while preparing for the unknown that lies ahead for me.

But I do keep asking myself if I am nuts to be doing this.
Will I ever get over that "fear" that this is a stupid thing to try to accomplish????

Rita
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Rita
Stupid is as stupid does. And many stupid people judge others without cause. Don´t judge yourself by anyone else´s uninformed, stupid standards. It´s your life, your body, your camino. It´s none of their business what you choose to do.

Once you do your camino, what other people think of it will mean little or nothing to you.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
John, I am just an evolving pilgrim.
Some pilgrims are already on a high spiritual level when they walk the camino, others like me require repeat experiences to reach the Zen-zone!
When I started researching the camino in 1999, all I really wanted was a good, long walk in a different country. At no stage did I consider myself a ‘pilgrim’ to Santiago.
I more-or-less followed the Loney Planet’s camino guide and walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago in 27 days (they suggest 28 stages). It was definitely more of a physical experience than a spiritual one. I think I was carrying more than just baggage in my backpack.
On that walk we avoided albergues described as basic, no electricity, no beds, no running water, and sought out the more up-market, home from home establishments.
I love the meditative benefits of walking – fresh air, nature, the earth beneath my feet - but I can’t say that I had any major new insights or profound thoughts whilst on the camino in 2002. I have walked to Santiago 3 times now and each time I learn more about myself, about people, about living in the moment.
I always suggest to wanna be pilgrims that they try not to follow a rigid, prearranged daily schedule, that they leave their everyday rational mind (or ‘self’) behind and go with no expectations and no preconceived ideas.
It’s not that easy – for some of us – we have to practice letting go.
Un abrazo,
 

Sansthing

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino (2009), French Camino (2011), Via de la Plata (2012), Camino Inglês (2014),
As a wanna be pilgrim I am very happy to read your words, Sil. I have less than 4 weeks to go before my Camino and I was beginning to wonder whether I had got it all wrong. My plan is to have absolutely no plan at all. I shall set off in the morning and go as far as my feet want to take me. I shall check my Brierley map to see the distance to the next aubergue and decide to stop where I am or go on according to how I feel. After reading about other pilgrims´meticulous research and plans I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of my choice. Thank you :D .

On the subject of bunk beds - some of us who are over 60 may be fine walking, but we are not necessarily as limber as someone half our age and may find it difficult to clamber up into a top bunk. Personally I see no harm in younger pilgrims showing some courtesy and consideration by swapping a lower bunk.

Sandra
 

Hermanita

Active Member
Sansthing said:
As a wanna be pilgrim I am very happy to read your words, Sil. I have less than 4 weeks to go before my Camino and I was beginning to wonder whether I had got it all wrong. My plan is to have absolutely no plan at all. I shall set off in the morning and go as far as my feet want to take me. I shall check my Brierley map to see the distance to the next aubergue and decide to stop where I am or go on according to how I feel. After reading about other pilgrims´meticulous research and plans I was beginning to doubt the wisdom of my choice. Thank you :D .

Sandra

Hi Sandra
The more I read in this forum the more I learn.

One thing I am thinking is that you are sooo right. Have no plan and great each day with new eyes.
I am reading a lot in books as well as here in the forum, but will travel like you.

Hope you plan on posting to your blog or here during your trip, as I would love to follow your progress. I don't start my Camino till September.

Buen Camino
Rita
 

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1988)
sillydoll said:
John, I am just an evolving pilgrim.

Sillydoll,

From what I know of you via this forum, you seem a quite evolved pilgrim to me. You have a knack for answering some tough questions:

"How do I get from (insert tiny Spanish hamlet name here) to (insert another tiny Spanish hamlet name here) at (insert ungodly hour here) o'clock?"

Immediately you come up with the bus company, route, schedule, fare and sometimes the driver's name! :) And the photos on your assorted blogs are incredibly all encompassing.

I think it's always good to remember the Camino has many moving parts, not just the solitary walker in the spotlight. Hospitaleros, restaurateurs, the folks back home tending the homefires, Forum members, clergy, etc. etc. all are doing their part to keep this crazy idea alive. I have a special place in my heart for historic preservationists along the route, like Rebekah, who are breathing new life into old buildings, churches and such.

So don't sell yourself short, Sil- you're a tremendous slouch!* :)

Abrazos a ti tambien,

John

*Tongue-in-cheek US movie reference: Caddyshack.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Sandra,
Sometimes the space on a lower bunk is very cramped. You can't even sit up straight without banging your head under some of them. Often the top bunk is the best place to be! Fresh air above you, room to stretch, no bedbugs falling down on you.
I often found a bunk at the very back of the room and if there was space, I'd take my mattress down from the top bunk and place it on the floor. I prefer a hard surface anyway.
 

Sansthing

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Camino (2009), French Camino (2011), Via de la Plata (2012), Camino Inglês (2014),
I like the idea of putting a mattress on the floor, must admit it hadn´t occurred to me that bedbugs can drop on you from above :roll:
Sandra
 

ajp

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept-October (2009), Sept-Oct (2013)
Rita, nice to hear from a kindred spirit, seems there are a lot of us who are not really sure why the camino is calling us but its definitely something that cannot be ignored.

I spend a lot of time looking at the gear I have already bought, making lists, and more lists and more lists, and I spend a lot of time in the local outdoor stores, becoming a bit of a fixture when the staff start greeting you by first name!

I met with a couple of fellows my age today, long term clients and friends and told them what I was doing this September.....its funny how the reactions vary, from envy, to incredulity, to complete bafflement. Got a mixture of the first two in today's reaction, and it felt good.

Hope your camino goes well, days are going by quickly and although Sept 8 seems a long ways away, we know how quickly time goes by.

Thanks for your reply,

AJP
Victoria
 

grilly

Active Member
Sansthing said:
On the subject of bunk beds - some of us who are over 60 may be fine walking, but we are not necessarily as limber as someone half our age and may find it difficult to clamber up into a top bunk. Personally I see no harm in younger pilgrims showing some courtesy and consideration by swapping a lower bunk.
Sandra

I can't help smiling as I think of myself climbing on bunk beds. I am not getting particularly agile but i can still climb on a bunk bed using the chair next to it or the lower bunk, clutching the mattress to pull myself up and apologizing already to the pilgrim below.

One thing about the upper bunk: I read somewhere that bed bugs somehow remain on the lower bunk. Do you know whether there is any truth to this?

claire
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Some albergues - only a few - have triple bunks!! I get vertigo so avoid those altogether!

PS: John - you ARE old school, a real old charmer!
 

Telluridewalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (1988)
I'll throw out one more Camino story on walking the Camino over the age of 60.

When I walked, back in 1988, there were a lot less pilgrims on the Camino Frances, so you got to know, or at least recognize, the people that were walking about your pace and would see them every so often, either on the path or at the refugios.

Somewhere shortly after Puente Reina, I found myself walking with two older French women, I'd guess they were both in their 60's, possibly older. One was very petite, and seemed to be struggling with the whole endeavor, while the other was more hale and hearty and was the cheerleader between the two. They didn't speak English or Spanish and I don't speak French- we smiled a lot. I did learn the word mange (eat) in French, so when we would invariably arrive at the same refugio (there was generally only one per town in those days) whoever arrived later would ask the other mange?, which loosely translated to, "Where does one eat around here?" I shared a lot of basement stays with those women.

I suppose we were about as opposite as we could get: they, the white haired, lightly backpacked, older European females in tennis shoes; me, the solitary, scraggly haired and bearded young Americano with the huge frame backpack and full bore hiking boots (I told you I'm no gram weenie :lol: ). Whenever I think of the Camino, their image always springs to mind.

The French women and I hopscotched along until Ponferrada, where I could see that 1) the smaller of the two women was not going to make it- her feet were a mess, her body was wracked and you could see the defeat in her face and 2) the two women were quite at odds with each other. The larger woman was continuing to urge her companion onward but the smaller woman had stopped listening. She had had enough.

I continued on, saddened by the loss of some regular, though silent, companions. I kept my pace and didn't run into them in any of the subsequent refugios.

Finally, I made it into Santiago. Having toured the church, the plaza and being told to "come back tomorrow" for my Compostela, I made my way to the refugio, which I vaguely remember as being in a school or college somewhere downtown. I made my way up to the third floor bunk room and there, sitting on one of the bunks in the midst of many empty bunks, were my French co-caminoistas! They had made it to Santiago ahead of me! The smaller woman, in particular, saw me and had a smile on her face that was resplendent and simply filled the room- I'll never forget that face or that moment. She jabbered at me excitedly in French, knowing full well I had no idea of what she was saying, although the feeling in her words came through- she had made it. I never did get their names.

So, over 60? I've got to say, go for it!

(TMI for Sil: I've always enjoyed and respected older women- I ended up marrying a wonderful woman 10 years my senior. -John)
 

Gailsie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Fall '09 ;
I also will be 60 when I start my camino in September - my first camino. I have been lurking, reading posts for the past year and making plans. I retire at the end of May and have already started walking. However, starting June 1st I plan to walk almost every day and hopefully lose some more weight before leaving for Spain. I am in a heart healthy program and that has helped me get started the proper way.

I thank everyone for all the posts as I enjoy trying to figure out what to expect - the top bunk was not even on my radar until I read it. I haven't been on the top bunk in over 45 years.

I purchased my pack when I was in Halifax for an eye appointment last week. Now it is getting orthodics so that I can get my hiking boots and start to break them in. Mine will be a spiritual pilgrimage and I plan to go slow and enjoy the way. If I don't make it all the way to Santiago, I am sure that my experiences will change my life.

I hope to see some of the other posters somewhere along the Camino. Happy planning.

Gail
 

Hermanita

Active Member
Gailsie said:
I also will be 60 when I start my camino in September - my first camino.


I hope to see some of the other posters somewhere along the Camino. Happy planning.

Gail

Hi Gail
Glad to hear from you. I will be walking in September, maybe we will meet on the road.

Check out the thread September starters, I guess there are lots September starters...some "oldies" like us, too ..Haha

Oh, by the way....which back pack did you get? I am still trying to find the right one.

Good Luck
Rita
 

lillypond

Member
Hi :)

Rita commented :-

*****Check out the thread September starters, I guess there are lots September starters...some "oldies" like us, too ..Haha*****

I checked out 4 pages but could find this thread ! Any more hints as to where it might be ?

thank you,
lilypond.
 

xpatpilgrim

New Member
Hi Hermanita,

I am not that much behind you in age . . . i am sort of celebrating the last year in my 50's and in doing so i am embarking on my camino on the 20th of May. This kind of marks a farewell to the fab 50's. I will begin the pilgrimage from Pamplona and i have no idea how long the journey will be to Santiago. I am very happy for you that you are doing the camino as well and i wish you "un buen viaje".

Kindly,

Adele
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Hi Rita,
The "September Starters" thread is under Pilgrim Introductions.
Buen Camino,
 

Hermanita

Active Member
i am sort of celebrating the last year in my 50's and in doing so i am embarking on my camino on the 20th of May. This kind of marks a farewell to the fab 50's.

Hi Adele
I think the idea of doing the Camino started in my late fifties with the intention that I would have done it before I reached "old age" ( the 60's)
Ha!!! I blinked my eyes and I was recieving my first Social Security check at 62!!!
But I must say the 60's are just as good as the 50's. I guess it's all what you make of it.

So keep up the good attitude and vibes and enjoy your Camino!!!

I hope to hear all about your progress while you are walking....as I will be in full training when you are enjoying your Camino.
Will you keep a blog?
Rita
 

Gailsie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Fall '09 ;
Hi Rita, I chose a GregoryZ30 from Mountain Equipment Coop. Or perhaps, more realistically, it chose me as I kept going back to it. I wanted a smaller size to keep me from carrying too much. This should force me to be careful in what I carry. I am planning to mail ahead to the larger cities to help keep the weight down. It was a huge decision on my part as I have never done anything like this before. But I trusted in my higher power and bought it.

Still lots of plans to make and I have not bought my airline tickets yet but plan to fly from Fredericton to Madrid and take just over 6 weeks.

Gail
 

norway

New Member
Hello! I am older than you and walked alone from St Jean P d Port to Santiago alone in 2007 - it was great! Will walk the Aragones way this year. Have a great time and buen camino!!

Gerd :D Norway
 

Sagalouts

RIP 2015
Having read the thread and also being over 60 (62) have decided to do the camino this year rather than wait till next ( while I can still climb onto that bunk)
so a June the 10th start from SJPP it is.
Ian
 

Hermanita

Active Member
sagalouts said:
Having read the thread and also being over 60 (62) have decided to do the camino this year rather than wait till next ( while I can still climb onto that bunk)
so a June the 10th start from SJPP it is.
Ian


AND you'll have more "breathing room"...as next year is a holy year...will be full of repeat offenders as well as newbies!!! :lol:

Can't wait to hear about it. Will you be blogging during yur Camino?
Have a wonderful time
Rita
 

cloosh

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April - May 2013
I am 66 years old and will start my pilgrimage beginning of April this year from Newfoundland, Canada.
Although I have travelled considerably in my life; single, married, with family, and since the kids flew the nest, with my wife once again, I have never done anything like this and will be travelling on my own for this adventure.
I do not consider myself yet a "pilgrim" in the true sense, as I am neither Catholic, nor for that matter, have I always, throughout my life, been a dutiful Christian, but have a few "warts and all".
I have now retired with no regrets about that part of my life being over. At the end, I did not find work very satisfying.
During my time from SJPDP to SDDC I intend to; consider what I have done and not done in my life, say thanks for many things I have not considered saying thanks for before now, forgive and ask for forgiveness, meet some great people, laugh, walk and enjoy to my ability and rest when I feel like it, not worry about finishing because I have to get back to the office, eat some new food, get no blisters, sleep in barrack room conditions, which I have not done in 40+ years, listen, watch, taste, smell, touch and hopefully and most importantly, come home a better, wiser person than I set out.
All the questions I have had about the trip are well dealt with in this forum.
I congratulate the genuine interest you all give in answers, regardless of how trivial or ridiculous some may seem to you seasoned pilgrims.
Thanks for this forum
Neil.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
consider what I have done and not done in my life
Bring your time machine! :D

I know what you are saying, though. They have laid the foundation for where you are today, so you need to understand them. All the other things, though, emphasize where you go from here, and that is something you can do without the time machine. Buen camino (and have fun).
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
To ease the worries of "older" people (I am soon 59 and about to embark on my fourth walk), I can tell you that I have tended to the damaged feet of people in their 20's more than once in albergues, while I walked on comfortably by myself the next day :lol:

And being retired (as I am) gives you a fantastic opportunity to walk at your own pace. Each time on the camino I have started without having a fixed return ticket (on purpose). Just listen to your feet and body, and stop when needed. Shorter days are not a defeat.

My first camino (Frances; Pamplona-SdC) actually gave me a revealing experience, which I learned a lot from: I had lost a few things: A marrigage, a brother, my work had to stop, +++... Worrying about what was lying in the future.

I was sitting on a rock along the way one day, and when I suddenly looked at the sky, I saw the trails after two planes, forming a big X in the sky. It suddenly struck me: "Put an X over your past and worries, and just go on into the future, one day at a time".

I became very relieved, and from then on, my thoughts were much lighter, and I could feel, all the rest of the way, that truly, the camino had given me what I needed.

If you are normally fit for your age, the camino is ready for you; you just get ready for your camino. You will have a lifetime experience, I am sure!

PS: I should say that this year, I will walk together with my camino friend from last year, Jurgen from Germany. Jurgen is 70 this year... 8) We walked together for nearly 3 weeks last year.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
alexwalker said:
I was sitting on a rock along the way one day, and when I suddenly looked at the sky, I saw the trails after two planes, forming a big X in the sky. It suddenly struck me: "Put an X over your past and worries, and just go on into the future, one day at a time".

I became very relieved, and from then on, my thoughts were much lighter, and I could feel, all the rest of the way, that truly, the camino had given me what I needed.

If you are normally fit for your age, the camino is ready for you; you just get ready for your camino. You will have a lifetime experience, I am sure!

PS: I should say that this year, I will walk together with my camino friend from last year, Jurgen from Germany. Jurgen is 70 this year... 8) We walked together for nearly 3 weeks last year.

Indeed, how right you are Alex!

For those who ask why ? My answer is why not? Remember what Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote in Morituri Salutamus

"...What then? shall we sit idly down and say the night has come; it is no longer day? The night hath not yet come;...For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day."

Buen Camino to you both and Carpe Diem!

Margaret Meredith
 

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