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Walking the CF for the Second Time?

howlsthunder

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
Camino Francés (2020)
After my first Camino last year (the CF) I am eager to walk again. I'm relatively young so I have time in my life to hopefully walk a variety of Caminos yet I find myself wondering how other pilgrims felt about their second time on the Frances?

The reason I will be walking the Frances a second time is because I want my sister to experience the Camino and she has chosen the Frances for her first walk. A small part of my mind, largely due to the comments of others here at home who have never walked a Camino, questions what I'll get out of walking the same path twice. But another part remembers how I felt as I was actually walking it, knowing there was much I missed that I'd love to see in the future. I also am aware that so many factors play a part in making any trip to the same location different from other trips (like, maybe next time the Camino won't be flooding the first two weeks! :p)

So! Any thoughts from pilgrims who have walked the Frances multiple times? Why did you walk it again and how did you feel about it?
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I have walked it twice and a 'bit'.
2015 from St Jean alone. Wonderful.........
2016 from Sarria with my wife to give her a taste of it. (plus added an earlier short section in the hills)
2018 from St Jean with Pat.

I enjoyed the 'repeat' one from St Jean.
I remembered a lot of the route which was nice.
And didn't remember some, which was also nice.

Some places I really liked, we stayed in again.
But mostly we stayed in different places which was nice too.

Walking it with someone else also gave me a chance to relive that joy of a first Camino through their eyes.
And knowing the route gave me a chance to plan ahead a bit each day, if I knew that section was hard, easy, had a great lunch stop or whatever.

But I think my next lone Camino will be a new route, as I'd like to rekindle the adventure of not really knowing what lies ahead :)

But I'm sure I'll walk the CF again some time..........
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
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Camino Chris

One step forward...
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have walked the Frances twice and loved it both times. First with one of my adult sons, then 2 years later with my other son and his wife, who also chose the Frances. It was pleasurable the 2nd time for me, watching their enthusiasm as we went along, which made it a fulfilling and rewarding experience for me once again. I'm sure you will find the same to be true when walking with your sister! Being young, you still should have many other adventures ahead of you.
Since that time, I have walked other routes and loved them each in their own way.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I've done the Frances twice. The first time solo, and the following year my fried joined me from SJPDP to Logroño. I made an effort to stay mostly in different towns than the first time. It was great to have the time explore places that I had only walked through the first time. Last year I walked the Norte which was beautiful but had a distinctly different vibe - very much less pilgrim oriented. This year my plan is a hybrid Camino. I'll start on the Francés in St Jean, then take the Salvador from León to Oviedo where I'll connect to the Norte, which I had to stop about 100 km short of Santiago lady year because of injury. At least that's the plan. 😊 If I fall in with a group that I enjoy I might continue on the Frances with them, then take a bus to the place where I had to abandon the Norte so that I can finish that. I'll be going in the spring this year, rather than summer/fall, and I'm looking forward to a green Meseta.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Hola @howlsthunder : Doing the Frances Twice.
After cycling from Pamplona in Sept 2015 I wanted to walk it (from St Jean) so I chose to walk in Spring, departing St Jean on May1. The change from the "brown/dry" summer & fall; to the green (and some rain) of Spring could not have been greater.
On my first day I met a young woman from Denmark and over the next week we crossed paths and eventually walking into Burgos together. Having seen the Meseta I suggested that she walk (at least the first two or three days on her own). We met up a day or so before Sahagun and walked together to Leon. From Rabanal I again suggested she walk to the Cruz de Ferro and for the last two or three days into Santiago on her own. So this is what happened.
What I trying to say is that you will be walking with your memories and experiences but for your sister it will be all new. So maybe you need to do some planing : agreeing to walk the first 4 or 5 days together but then separate but catch up at Burgos etc.
Even when you are walking "together" you will often find that on one day she walks faster and the next day your the speedy one.
So yes go with your sister, but let her have some personal time. Buen Camino! ;)🚶‍♀️🚶‍♂️
 

frank rawley

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March 2016 French Way (awesome)
March 2018 French Way (even better)
March 2020 French Way soon!
Walked from st Jean twice. I was a little worried that it would be a little of a letdown since I had already seen "everything" already. It was just the opposite! My first French way was great and the second was even better. I saw countless things I had missed the first time and when I did come see things I remembered from my first trip it was like meeting an old friend again. Also the people I met and walked with made it an entirely different experience. Planning a third french way March of 2020!
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I'm about to set off on my third. I love the Frances - When I reached Santiago, I was ready to do it all over again.Each time its different, the season the people, the experiences .

I like walking on gravel, my knees don't like hard surfaces, so the Norte and the Portuguese are not on my list because of this. The worst days for me were walking on pavements in and out of cities. Concrete and cobbles are not my friend.
Plus I like the people and the pilgrimage experience on the Frances.
 

MichaelB10398

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
Walking with another pilgrim for their first time has its own challenges. First, the most common is that their pace does not match your own. How will you deal with it? Another is being a silent observer - to allow them to discover their Camino for themselves; they may find their Camino in parts that were not your own.
Finding that balance between silence and friendly conversation and their discovery.
You both will have a great Camino together.
 
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TonyC

Geriatric
Camino(s) past & future
(2014) Frances Pt1
(2015) Frances Pt2
(2016) Portuguese, from Lisbon
(2108) Frances in Sep/Oct
My wife and myself have walked the Frances twice. The first full journey was done in two halves, September 2014 and May 2015. The second walk was to prove that we could walk the full distance in one go, and was successfully completed in September and into October 2018.

As we were planning for last autumn's walk we said to each other, many times, "We must try to avoid saying to each other that we remember the places we walk through". The reality though was that we found ourselves constantly saying "I don't remember this, have we been here before?"

We were amazed just how little we remembered in any detail. It was almost like a completely new journey. What we did feel though was that we much more confident knowing that having done it once, (and also the Portuguese, from Lisbon in 2016), we had many less worries and more time to just enjoy the whole experience.

It's unlikely that we will repeat this route again for a while, but we are hooked on long distance walking, planning to do 250+ miles in Yorkshire, UK, this spring, so we may well be back on the Camino sometime soon.
 

cathn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed one 550 Miile and six partial caminos
After my first Camino last year (the CF) I am eager to walk again. I'm relatively young so I have time in my life to hopefully walk a variety of Caminos yet I find myself wondering how other pilgrims felt about their second time on the Frances?

The reason I will be walking the Frances a second time is because I want my sister to experience the Camino and she has chosen the Frances for her first walk. A small part of my mind, largely due to the comments of others here at home who have never walked a Camino, questions what I'll get out of walking the same path twice. But another part remembers how I felt as I was actually walking it, knowing there was much I missed that I'd love to see in the future. I also am aware that so many factors play a part in making any trip to the same location different from other trips (like, maybe next time the Camino won't be flooding the first two weeks! :p)

So! Any thoughts from pilgrims who have walked the Frances multiple times? Why did you walk it again and how did you feel about it?
No two Caminos are the same.the first time I walked the CF with my husband and another couple, the next time I walked by myself. Both trips have special memories and people. I am in no doubt that your experiences will be different but good and rewarding.
I think the CF draws you back and it is hard not to resist.
Buen Camino
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
My first time on the Frances wad I winter, snow, rain, sleet and hail and very little sunshine. I can't wait to walk it the second time with out snow, though my first walk was really good and my life was changed by it. I will walk in cool weather fall or spring. I don't do well in the heat.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
I walked the CF 3 years ago and met up with my brother in Santiago. We walked together to Muxia and Finisterre.

As I was thinking about which Camino I wanted to walk next, I felt strongly called to walk the CF again. (I'm also the one who, when I've ordered a dish at a restaurant that I really liked, I keep ordering it again).

This time I'm walking from SJPP to Leon, meeting up with my brother, and walking with him on the Salvador and then the Primitivo to Santiago. I know, though, that a part of me will really miss walking from Leon to Santiago.

May you enjoy whatever Camino you decide to walk!
 

c0484

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
After my first Camino last year (the CF) I am eager to walk again. I'm relatively young so I have time in my life to hopefully walk a variety of Caminos yet I find myself wondering how other pilgrims felt about their second time on the Frances?

The reason I will be walking the Frances a second time is because I want my sister to experience the Camino and she has chosen the Frances for her first walk. A small part of my mind, largely due to the comments of others here at home who have never walked a Camino, questions what I'll get out of walking the same path twice. But another part remembers how I felt as I was actually walking it, knowing there was much I missed that I'd love to see in the future. I also am aware that so many factors play a part in making any trip to the same location different from other trips (like, maybe next time the Camino won't be flooding the first two weeks! :p)

So! Any thoughts from pilgrims who have walked the Frances multiple times? Why did you walk it again and how did you feel about it?
I walked it in 2013 and again in 2016 and will walk it again in 2020 to celebrate my 75th birthday. The second time was far more relaxing because I knew what to expect and where to stop. For 2020 I am slowing down a little to enjoy the experience and the other pilgrims.
 

c0484

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
Has anyone got any idea when the next albergue summary will be posted.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I walked the Frances on my first camino in 2015 and the Aragonés to the Francés at Puente la Reina to Santiago for my second in 2016. I enjoyed the experience of walking two ancient routes from France to Spain to Santiago and becoming more familiar with the scenery on my second time through. Now I feel that there were a few places which seemed to lose their charm the second time through. I would choose some different options on a third visit. But there will be a third visit. This year I shall be walking the central portion of the Frances, from Sahagun to Ponferrada, in between my walks on the Madrid and the Invierno. I look forward to all of it. Buen Camino to you and your sister.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I've only done one camino but decades ago I spent about 9 months touring the lands down under. About 5 years after Peg and I married we visited Australia and a few years ago New Zealand. Each time we mixed it up to visit spots that I saw before (to share a bit of my previous life) and spots new to both of us. This worked out well.

So, my suggestion is to take a good number of detours and alternate routes. I like @trecile's idea of staying in new towns too.
 

howlsthunder

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
Camino Francés (2020)
Thank you so much to everyone's responses! I feel a bit better about my decision to walk the Frances again, even with other parts of me wanting to walk ALL THE CAMINOS NOW. :)

Ah, thank you! I must've missed this post when I looked for info on this topic - I look forward to reading more thoughts!

Hola @howlsthunder : What I trying to say is that you will be walking with your memories and experiences but for your sister it will be all new. So maybe you need to do some planing : agreeing to walk the first 4 or 5 days together but then separate but catch up at Burgos etc.
Even when you are walking "together" you will often find that on one day she walks faster and the next day your the speedy one.
Walking with another pilgrim for their first time has its own challenges. First, the most common is that their pace does not match your own. How will you deal with it? Another is being a silent observer - to allow them to discover their Camino for themselves; they may find their Camino in parts that were not your own.
Finding that balance between silence and friendly conversation and their discovery.
Yep; I failed to mention but my first Camino was partly done with a friend; she had less time than I but we started together, separating in Logroño due to her injuring her ankle, meeting up again in Léon, and separating again a bit after Sarria. We had previously agreed that it was fine to separate and we rarely walked the same pace during the day. I plan to have a similar agreement with my sister because I do want her to experience the same independence I enjoyed on the Camino, yet having the comfort of knowing a familiar face is relatively nearby.

The second time was far more relaxing because I knew what to expect and where to stop. For 2020 I am slowing down a little to enjoy the experience and the other pilgrims.
THIS^. One of the many lessons I learned on the Camino is what it REALLY means to slow down! I used to be a very fast hiker and I knew I'd need to slow down on the Camino. But my idea of slow and the actual definition of slow were two very different things and my body let me know with some good ol' tendonitis. I look forward to walking a Camino again but starting out with this knowledge. :D

So, my suggestion is to take a good number of detours and alternate routes. I like @trecile's idea of staying in new towns too.
Yes! I'm planning on giving myself at least 50 days this time (last time I walked in 39, 2 days of which were rest days and I had a couple days leftover to explore Santiago and take a bus to Finisterre). There are a few side routes I wasn't able to take before and I look forward to trying different villages for stopping points. :)
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
other pilgrims felt about their second time on the Frances?
Walked CF Sept/Oct 2017 with my wife.
Walked CF Sept/Oct 2018 with a neighbor.

Both great times - different but great!

Half planing a solo CF April/May 2019 - will be different again.

Not the same sense of wonderment as the first time, compensated for a better understanding of the conditions, distances and food/accommodation options.

Knew a few albergues and bars to avoid. Knew a few very much worth the return visit.

Perhaps the biggest difference was the sense of achievement in 2018 when we arrived at the Santiago Cathedral - something that was largely absent in 2017.

Everyone walks their own camino(s) - personally, I wouldn't pass up a sencond (or third) CF, just because I had done it before...
 

howlsthunder

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
Camino Francés (2020)
Perhaps the biggest difference was the sense of achievement in 2018 when we arrived at the Santiago Cathedral - something that was largely absent in 2017.
Why was that, if I may ask?
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Why was that, if I may ask?
Good question - wish I knew the answer...

I was hoping for a brass band to welcome me to the end of CF 2017, but that didn't happen (gather they had a conflicting engagement). Seriously there seemed to be little in Santiago that marked the end of what was quite a momentous effort...

I am not sure what I would suggest - nothing really comes to mind (other than aforementioned brass band) but there did seem to be a bit of a sense of emptiness... Maybe the change from consecutive days of "walk, eat, sleep" to a day with no agenda?

What did change the second time was that I spent a bit more time in the square (Praza do Obradoiro?)
in front of the cathedral (alon
g with many many other pilgrims, none of whom I recognised) basically savoring the moment... reflecting on the previous 40 days and what I and my travelling partner has seen and done.

If I do manage a CF (or CP) 2019 (or 2020), I will certainly be making a conscious effort to 'savor the moment' when I am able to drop my pack on front of the Cathedral and reflect on the journey.... The Pilgrim's Office and the Composetela can wait!
 

howlsthunder

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
Camino Francés (2020)
I am not sure what I would suggest - nothing really comes to mind (other than aforementioned brass band) but there did seem to be a bit of a sense of emptiness... Maybe the change from consecutive days of "walk, eat, sleep" to a day with no agenda?

What did change the second time was that I spent a bit more time in the square (Praza do Obradoiro?)
in front of the cathedral (alon
g with many many other pilgrims, none of whom I recognised) basically savoring the moment... reflecting on the previous 40 days and what I and my travelling partner has seen and done.
Thanks for sharing. I'm wondering what it'll be like for myself as I had a similar experience to your first Camino. For me I think I mostly just didn't want to be done. If you'd of told me I had to walk back to St. Jean I would have!

A friend of mine (from whom I learned about the Camino in the first place) had a similar experience on his first Camino. The front of the cathedral was completely covered in scaffolding and he was bummed that he couldn't enter through the front doors. Everything was just completely opposite of what he expected. After awhile he decided, I think like many of us do, that it was about the journey and this was just one more Camino lesson and he spent the rest of the day greeting pilgrims who entered the square and congratulating them for making it.

So I was prepared to be underwhelmed when I made it to Santiago. A bit after Sarria I was on my own but I made an effort to catch up to some good friends I made along the way. We were all apprehensive about the journey ending and I'm glad I made the effort to walk with them in the end and share the moment and find the good in it. We, too, sat in the square for a long time. I came back a couple more times to just sit and "be" and soak it in, though I really didn't get closure until I watched the sunset at Finisterre. It will be interesting to see how it is next time.
 

LynneR

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF in 2016
CF in 2018
Planning a CP for June 2019
I walked the CF 3 years ago and met up with my brother in Santiago. We walked together to Muxia and Finisterre.

As I was thinking about which Camino I wanted to walk next, I felt strongly called to walk the CF again. (I'm also the one who, when I've ordered a dish at a restaurant that I really liked, I keep ordering it again).

This time I'm walking from SJPP to Leon, meeting up with my brother, and walking with him on the Salvador and then the Primitivo to Santiago. I know, though, that a part of me will really miss walking from Leon to Santiago.

May you enjoy whatever Camino you decide to walk!
Is this a common bypass? From Leon to go Primitive to SdC? Interested in hearing about this because I have walked 2 partial CF and would like to do the full walk, but I don't want to some place to lose their magic because I've seen them so much.
Thanks,
Lynne
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Is this a common bypass? From Leon to go Primitive to SdC? Interested in hearing about this because I have walked 2 partial CF and would like to do the full walk, but I don't want to some place to lose their magic because I've seen them so much.
Thanks,
Lynne
I don't think that it's common, but it's there if you want to try it. :)
 

Tom Brown

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
After my first Camino last year (the CF) I am eager to walk again. I'm relatively young so I have time in my life to hopefully walk a variety of Caminos yet I find myself wondering how other pilgrims felt about their second time on the Frances?

The reason I will be walking the Frances a second time is because I want my sister to experience the Camino and she has chosen the Frances for her first walk. A small part of my mind, largely due to the comments of others here at home who have never walked a Camino, questions what I'll get out of walking the same path twice. But another part remembers how I felt as I was actually walking it, knowing there was much I missed that I'd love to see in the future. I also am aware that so many factors play a part in making any trip to the same location different from other trips (like, maybe next time the Camino won't be flooding the first two weeks! :p)

So! Any thoughts from pilgrims who have walked the Frances multiple times? Why did you walk it again and how did you feel about it?
I'm returning this year. Although my travel philosophy has usually been not to repeat because there is so much to see and do around the world, and so little time. I just loved so much about it before and want to have more! And of course there will be so many places to visit that were missed the first time.
 

Jim Stinson

ibrew4u
Camino(s) past & future
5/2015 CF
4/2017 CF
(4/2019 Madrid)
Be prepared for your second time to be a completely different experience.
My second CF I had a different level of preparedness, a different pace, a different outlook, a different posse.
I landed at different stopping points. Picked a couple favorites to repeat. Reminisced at some memorable places. Found some new ones.
Coming in to Santiago was just exciting and powerful.
Enjoyed the second one so much, going for number 3 this May.
 

Debora

Beautiful Burgos
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago May (2016)
I walked CF in May 2016 and will again this May. When I got home from my first camino I realized I didn't pay close enough attention. I was looking to get to the destination more than enjoying the journey of getting there. This time I know I will have a much more "stay in the moment" approach. Buen Camino
 
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
When I got home from my first camino I realized I didn't pay close enough attention. I was looking to get to the destination more than enjoying the journey of getting there. This time I know I will have a much more "stay in the moment" approach. Buen Camino
A coomon mistake. Me too.

"The Way is the goal". True.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Your experience, Debora, mirrors my own. After letting people know I was doing the CF in May of 2017, fear of failure became my daily companion. Consequently, I was focused on the objective. I had to make it. I just had to. Only during the last five days before Santiago did I slow down my pace thinking that if something happened I could will myself to the finish line—crawling if I must. I will be coming back to the CF again. It will be a different river when I do...
 

Rj7797

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
I've only done one but echo a lot of the same thoughts as others. I had a funny thought of doing the Frances again but knowing the locations a little better as not to take a break on the side of the path 200 meters from a bar around a corner. Which happened at least 5 times. 🆒
 

janeen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2015 sept 2018
The second time I walked the camino was so different to the first. I wasnt the same person as i was 3 years before. I saw things i had missed remembered some places and saw it through different eyes. Also the people were new adding to a different experience. There are many caminos on the camino every time you go will be different.
 

Bert45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo
On my first CF I had to take the Valcarlos route as there was snow on the Napoleon. I also took the shorter route from Triacastela to Sarria, missing Samos. On my second CF I took the Napoleon and went via Samos. On my third CF I took every alternativo that I could. I would suggest that you take the alternative routes that you didn't take on your first CF. But I wouldn't miss Samos.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
This years Camino (Sept/Oct) i am planning to walk Pamplona to Fromista since last year (april) it rained pretty much the whole way I hope for sunshine this year. Bus to Astorga then walk to Sarria taking in Samos this time. Train to Porto to do the CP to Santiago. Can’t wait to see the Cathedral sans scaffolding.
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Thanks for sharing. I'm wondering what it'll be like for myself as I had a similar experience to your first Camino. For me I think I mostly just didn't want to be done. If you'd of told me I had to walk back to St. Jean I would have!

A friend of mine (from whom I learned about the Camino in the first place) had a similar experience on his first Camino. The front of the cathedral was completely covered in scaffolding and he was bummed that he couldn't enter through the front doors. Everything was just completely opposite of what he expected. After awhile he decided, I think like many of us do, that it was about the journey and this was just one more Camino lesson and he spent the rest of the day greeting pilgrims who entered the square and congratulating them for making it.

So I was prepared to be underwhelmed when I made it to Santiago. A bit after Sarria I was on my own but I made an effort to catch up to some good friends I made along the way. We were all apprehensive about the journey ending and I'm glad I made the effort to walk with them in the end and share the moment and find the good in it. We, too, sat in the square for a long time. I came back a couple more times to just sit and "be" and soak it in, though I really didn't get closure until I watched the sunset at Finisterre. It will be interesting to see how it is next time.
You have been very kind to other peregrinos, helping them 'finish' their Camino, and in doing so, no doubt signalled the end of yours (as much as a Camino ever "ends"...

My wife said that her Camino (2107) would be finished when she bathed her feet in the water of the Atlantic Ocean - I didn't have a view of what the "end" would be for either CF2107 or 2018... I couldn't even claim the end as per "The Way" of entering the cathedral through the front entrance...

I too think that the 'finish' was watching the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Finisterre - this seemed to be the moment (and it was a long moment) when the efforts of the last 45 days seemed to come together fo rme. .

The finish of CF (or CP) 2019 will be the the time taken to 'savour the moment' - it may be an hour, it may be more - n front of the cl...

Take-home message for other peregrinos? maybe "plan for finishing the Camino" - know what will signal the completion of your Camino.
 

camino.ninja

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (05, 06, 16, 17, 18, 19)
Portug. (17, 18)
Cantabrico (18)
Catalan (17)
Norte (17)
Plata (18)
After my first Camino last year (the CF) I am eager to walk again. I'm relatively young so I have time in my life to hopefully walk a variety of Caminos yet I find myself wondering how other pilgrims felt about their second time on the Frances?

The reason I will be walking the Frances a second time is because I want my sister to experience the Camino and she has chosen the Frances for her first walk. A small part of my mind, largely due to the comments of others here at home who have never walked a Camino, questions what I'll get out of walking the same path twice. But another part remembers how I felt as I was actually walking it, knowing there was much I missed that I'd love to see in the future. I also am aware that so many factors play a part in making any trip to the same location different from other trips (like, maybe next time the Camino won't be flooding the first two weeks! :p)

So! Any thoughts from pilgrims who have walked the Frances multiple times? Why did you walk it again and how did you feel about it?
The Frenchroute is the only route I never get tired of walking :)
 

Jackieduda

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2018)
After my first Camino last year (the CF) I am eager to walk again. I'm relatively young so I have time in my life to hopefully walk a variety of Caminos yet I find myself wondering how other pilgrims felt about their second time on the Frances?

The reason I will be walking the Frances a second time is because I want my sister to experience the Camino and she has chosen the Frances for her first walk. A small part of my mind, largely due to the comments of others here at home who have never walked a Camino, questions what I'll get out of walking the same path twice. But another part remembers how I felt as I was actually walking it, knowing there was much I missed that I'd love to see in the future. I also am aware that so many factors play a part in making any trip to the same location different from other trips (like, maybe next time the Camino won't be flooding the first two weeks! :p)

So! Any thoughts from pilgrims who have walked the Frances multiple times? Why did you walk it again and how did you feel about it?
I walked only once, 2018, but met so many people who had been on their second, third, or more walks. I asked them exactly why. Why do the same thing twice?! The best answer: each time they take a slightly different route. They go at a different season, they stay at different places, and they meet an entirely new set of camino friends. Then i understood it more like any vacation where you go back to your fav hiking trail, beach, campground, etc year after year. In fact, i would love to do the CF again, if only i could get my sister to come along so i could share it with her!
So buen camino, again and again!

(My camino blog is at: jacscamino.wordpress.com)
Jackie D
 

Pipmahoe

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2018
Coastal/Central Portuguese April 2019
Good question - wish I knew the answer...

I was hoping for a brass band to welcome me to the end of CF 2017, but that didn't happen (gather they had a conflicting engagement). Seriously there seemed to be little in Santiago that marked the end of what was quite a momentous effort...

I am not sure what I would suggest - nothing really comes to mind (other than aforementioned brass band) but there did seem to be a bit of a sense of emptiness... Maybe the change from consecutive days of "walk, eat, sleep" to a day with no agenda?

What did change the second time was that I spent a bit more time in the square (Praza do Obradoiro?)
in front of the cathedral (alon
g with many many other pilgrims, none of whom I recognised) basically savoring the moment... reflecting on the previous 40 days and what I and my travelling partner has seen and done.

If I do manage a CF (or CP) 2019 (or 2020), I will certainly be making a conscious effort to 'savor the moment' when I am able to drop my pack on front of the Cathedral and reflect on the journey.... The Pilgrim's Office and the Composetela can wait!
Hi Les,

I am so glad that you shared this very personal experience with us all.

All this time I thought there must be something wrong with me as I wasn’t sure what to expect from ‘the end’, I only felt sad. Whilst sitting in the square beside the cathedral on our arrival, where we spent a couple of hours taking in the atmosphere and meeting many of the pilgrims that we had met along the way. There was a lot of crying, jumping up and down and happiness -I didn’t feel any of these emotions, I just felt empty and sad that it was over and reality waited for my return. Like you I was expecting ‘something’ (not a brass band) to happen on my arrival and was very disappointed. I did enjoy my experience, the whole pilgrim experience -the walking, meeting other pilgrims, the food, the masses etc and immediately started thinking about when I can I might be able to go again - perhaps with a different mindset the next time-to enjoy each and every day for what if brings, to be more relaxed and actually savour each experience as it happens, not to be worried about getting to the end of each day and finding accommodation- just to let it happen. Writing this I am certainly understanding what it means to live in the “NOW” which I never really got before, I’m alway thinking about what’s happening next!

So I thank you LesR and Howlsthunder for your posts, as reading and replying to them has helped me to understand that I am not alone in my feelings arriving in Santiago and how important it is to live in the NOW and how to achieve this!!!!
Penelope
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
I might be able to go again - perhaps with a different mindset the next time-to enjoy each and every day for what if brings, to be more relaxed and actually savour each experience as it happens, not to be worried about getting to the end of each day and finding accommodation- just to let it happen.
That was my attitude CF 2018, with one exception - I booked ahead Orisson, Rouncevalles and Zubiri before I left home (I knew how crowded these coud get in September from CF 2017) and then booked ahead each day after that, simply to reduce the stress of finding accommodation each night...

Would do CF 2019 the same... give myself plenty of time, be prepared to take short days in interesting places, savour the walk and treat Santiago as part of the journey, not the destination!
 

camino.ninja

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (05, 06, 16, 17, 18, 19)
Portug. (17, 18)
Cantabrico (18)
Catalan (17)
Norte (17)
Plata (18)
Hi Les,

I am so glad that you shared this very personal experience with us all.

All this time I thought there must be something wrong with me as I wasn’t sure what to expect from ‘the end’, I only felt sad. Whilst sitting in the square beside the cathedral on our arrival, where we spent a couple of hours taking in the atmosphere and meeting many of the pilgrims that we had met along the way. There was a lot of crying, jumping up and down and happiness -I didn’t feel any of these emotions, I just felt empty and sad that it was over and reality waited for my return. Like you I was expecting ‘something’ (not a brass band) to happen on my arrival and was very disappointed. I did enjoy my experience, the whole pilgrim experience -the walking, meeting other pilgrims, the food, the masses etc and immediately started thinking about when I can I might be able to go again - perhaps with a different mindset the next time-to enjoy each and every day for what if brings, to be more relaxed and actually savour each experience as it happens, not to be worried about getting to the end of each day and finding accommodation- just to let it happen. Writing this I am certainly understanding what it means to live in the “NOW” which I never really got before, I’m alway thinking about what’s happening next!

So I thank you LesR and Howlsthunder for your posts, as reading and replying to them has helped me to understand that I am not alone in my feelings arriving in Santiago and how important it is to live in the NOW and how to achieve this!!!!
Penelope
Penelope, you completely got it! Cool!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Hi Les,

I am so glad that you shared this very personal experience with us all.

All this time I thought there must be something wrong with me as I wasn’t sure what to expect from ‘the end’, I only felt sad. Whilst sitting in the square beside the cathedral on our arrival, where we spent a couple of hours taking in the atmosphere and meeting many of the pilgrims that we had met along the way. There was a lot of crying, jumping up and down and happiness -I didn’t feel any of these emotions, I just felt empty and sad that it was over and reality waited for my return. Like you I was expecting ‘something’ (not a brass band) to happen on my arrival and was very disappointed. I did enjoy my experience, the whole pilgrim experience -the walking, meeting other pilgrims, the food, the masses etc and immediately started thinking about when I can I might be able to go again - perhaps with a different mindset the next time-to enjoy each and every day for what if brings, to be more relaxed and actually savour each experience as it happens, not to be worried about getting to the end of each day and finding accommodation- just to let it happen. Writing this I am certainly understanding what it means to live in the “NOW” which I never really got before, I’m alway thinking about what’s happening next!

So I thank you LesR and Howlsthunder for your posts, as reading and replying to them has helped me to understand that I am not alone in my feelings arriving in Santiago and how important it is to live in the NOW and how to achieve this!!!!
Penelope
That feeling of 'sadness' is very common I think.
After my first CF I certainly felt it, and a sense of 'loss' that it was all over and I would have to return to the tread wheel of my regular life.

Thankfully I was prepared for that feeling having spent a year or so on here pre camino ;)

Whilst I love the mass in the Cathedral, Santiago held nothing for me.

So I took a bus to Muxia. That made all the difference.

It was there looking out at the Ocean that I felt my Camino was finally finished.

And a lesson I kept reminding myself, all through that first Camino, was that it was all about the journey.
I got to finally understand, what the 'journey is the destination' actually means.

Now I go slowly, savouring every step.:)
Because I don't want it to end too quickly.....
 

CaminoMatt73

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances & Portuguese 2016. Via de la Plata & to Porto Mar-June 2017, Norte Way in Sept.
After my first Camino last year (the CF) I am eager to walk again. I'm relatively young so I have time in my life to hopefully walk a variety of Caminos yet I find myself wondering how other pilgrims felt about their second time on the Frances?

The reason I will be walking the Frances a second time is because I want my sister to experience the Camino and she has chosen the Frances for her first walk. A small part of my mind, largely due to the comments of others here at home who have never walked a Camino, questions what I'll get out of walking the same path twice. But another part remembers how I felt as I was actually walking it, knowing there was much I missed that I'd love to see in the future. I also am aware that so many factors play a part in making any trip to the same location different from other trips (like, maybe next time the Camino won't be flooding the first two weeks! :p)

So! Any thoughts from pilgrims who have walked the Frances multiple times? Why did you walk it again and how did you feel about it?
The CF was my first back in September 2016. After the CF, I walked Portugal, both all in 9 weeks and then I was addicted. I went back 5 months later, March 2017 and walked VDLP and Portugal backwards and then September 2017, I walked the Northe and Madrid.

Every time I walk a Camino that runs into the CF, I get excited. I remember what’s a head and believe it or not, I believe my legs and muscles remember as well. Crazy hey? Perhaps it’s just in my head where the anxiety and relief and familiarity of something I’ve done before affects my now ailing body but CF is worth walking again.

I’m looking to work at an albergue for one month between May and October this year and of course, I’m looking for a place on the French Way. This path has more hikers, more Albergues and is quite simple compared to other Caminos. I want to walk the French way again but will divide my walk this time.

I wish you the best on your journey with your sister. MJ
 

Jackieduda

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2018)
As i ended the Camino, headed for the Cathedral, my body sideways from the strong wind, rain pelting me from each direction, i didn’t expect a brass band, and didn’t get one. I was pretty much alone in the rain, but for the beggars on their knees....but the saving grace was that i went straight to the Pilgrim office to get my credential. There i found a mass of people in a long line snaking its way up and down the hallways. All of us strangers, we talked and hugged and tolerated each others dripping bodies like one big loving family. That was the brass band for me!
Jackie
(Jacscamino.wordpress.com)
 

Jackieduda

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF September (2018)
Forgot another thing: the day after i landed at the Cathedral, and it was sunny and warm again, my friends and i hung out in the square and cheered other peregrinos just arriving. For me, this was as good as being cheered in myself. A wonderful experience!
 

Mudcrone

Member
After my first Camino last year (the CF) I am eager to walk again. I'm relatively young so I have time in my life to hopefully walk a variety of Caminos yet I find myself wondering how other pilgrims felt about their second time on the Frances?

The reason I will be walking the Frances a second time is because I want my sister to experience the Camino and she has chosen the Frances for her first walk. A small part of my mind, largely due to the comments of others here at home who have never walked a Camino, questions what I'll get out of walking the same path twice. But another part remembers how I felt as I was actually walking it, knowing there was much I missed that I'd love to see in the future. I also am aware that so many factors play a part in making any trip to the same location different from other trips (like, maybe next time the Camino won't be flooding the first two weeks! :p)

So! Any thoughts from pilgrims who have walked the Frances multiple times? Why did you walk it again and how did you feel about it?
I liked it better the second time. All the first time concerns and jitters were not there.
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
We started as a group of three men in Cologne/Germany and walked to the Luxembourg border. Then, in two years, we crossed France with a bike and 2009 + 2011 we did St. Jean-Leon and Leon-Santiago.

It was a great experience with my friends, but I was a bit "jealous" to the pilgrims who were alone on this way. I was the only one who dared to use his English, another could understand something and the third could only speak German. When you come as a group to a place you look to the other pilgrims more or less as a block. The little silver table in front of a bar was full with us and no one joined such a group. If we had a meal with other pilgrim I couldn´t talk by myself to the unknown pilgrims, because I had to translate everything, otherwise "the only German speaker" was excluded. I was a little bit the Camino manager for or group. So for me it was clear, that I want to walk it once more, but alone.

I started in June 2012 in St. Jean and it was so fantastic. I never expected, that it would be so different and so much better. It sounds maybe to bad if I look back to the Camino with my friends, but I found the second Camino much more beautiful and intense.

Day by day a little group was build and after a few days we were seven pilgrims from seven countries with six languages and we "had to" talk english to each other. We walked only two days together and then we splitted in a little group and couples. I often did not sleep in the places or Albergues I already knew - I wanted something completely new.

Even if I planed to walk only alone, I was together with Valerie from Belgium for example for 28 days. It was so good, everybody started alone and we walked together, because we wanted it, and not because we promissed it at the beginning or at home.

For the first time I was really the boss of my life for five weeks and I was open to others as I was never before in my live. I was not the friend, not the brother, not the husband, not the son - I was just Michael. Nobody knew me, nobody expected something because I do it at home usually in this or that way. Everybody expect in the first moment only normal kindness towards strangers from the other pilgrims.
You make all decisions and you have to answer only to yourself. Too many kilometers, only one liter of water in the backpack, the "wrong" Albergue selected - nobody to blame for it - only own decisions.

My first time in Santiago was not so full of emotions. But when we arrived 2012 very early in the morning, we could go directly with all our stuff into the cathedral and we were nearly alone inside. I was just overwhelmed and full of joy.

Whe had a great meal with our group, everybody could manage it to arrive only with one day difference.
Then I walked with Valerie two days in the direction to Finisterre and then we splitted - she went to Finisterre and I to Muxia. So at the very end I had a day to look back to my way, to my new friends and to all the unbelievably greats gifts I got on my way.

And the way was not over yet. Our group meets once a year. We were at weddings and baptisms in Italy, Belgium and Romania, were hiking in the Carpathians and the Alps and know now the home area from all friends.

I wish each of you that your way will be such a great experience as my Camino was.
 
Last edited:

PiryatJos

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Oct/Nov '18)
I had been planning on walking the Portugues this year before summer. I would have had at least the minimum money I was comfortable taking, and more likely 50% more for total peace of mind. All my gear is sorted, except a new hip strap for my bag. All that was left was fixing the exact date but my company scheduled a mandatory meeting in that time period in the middle. Just a FOUR HOUR mandatory meeting! The rest of the time is okay to take off but not for that meeting that I could be updated all that is relevant to me on half a post-it note. I didn't book anything in the end.

I picked the Portugues because I wanted different scenery but still have the same Frances experience. Now, I'm wondering if I should just do the Frances again. I did what I wanted previously except keep up with the diary. There's a few places I would stay this time now I know that I would be into it so I wouldn't lose out. I would look to plan to go mid September to October instead of mid October to November.

I was worried that I would lose a chance to go somewhere else and not gain that experience but I know there's still unfinished business on the Frances. I will walk the Norte from the ferry from my house to Portsmouth, UK to Spain in Holy Year 2021 so hopefully that can be a fourth if I do the Portugues next year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
For me it sounds, there is something to do on the Frances for you.

Every season has its charm and makes everything very different, you are not exatly the same than on your first Frances and the other pilgrims are totally unknown.

The Portugues is so short, you can do it, which much less problems to get the few days free..

So - why don´t you want to taste a good cake a second time?;)
 

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