A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Walking to SdC and back.

2020 Camino Guides

p3nny

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2013), June (2015), June (2018) July (2019)
I have searched for posts by members who have walked to Santiago de Compostela and then back to their starting point. I have found some discussion about the availability of albergues for pilgrims walking Contrario and the difficulty of following the arrows in reverse, but I cannot, yet, locate posts from members who have walked "there and back." (I did meet a few pilgrims who were returning on foot from SDC. One fellow was almost to SJPdP when we met.)
I'm not sure this extended Camino is possible for me. Twice I've had mishaps just trying to make it one way. But I'd love to hear from anybody who has accomplished this incredible journey both ways. Alternatively, can anyone can recommend a book describing such a pilgrimage?
Thank you Forum peeps!
~Penny
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
Sorry, can't help you there. did meet an American Camino writer once who was walking towards St Jean, was near Los Arcos, and she said that finding the waymarkers was difficult at times and more than once she had accidentally gone off Camino .

When out doing first aid I used to sometimes walk "upstream" for half a day and then back "downstream" to where I started, looking out for injured pilgrims (I can temporarily patch them up and then get to see them again at their refugio in the evening), and to me it feels a little odd as the pilgrims are walking towards you and you find yourselves looking at each other for what seems like ages as you get closer, they are intrigued by seeing a pilgrim coming towards them I guess - don't know if anyone else has found this, but because of this walking against the flow makes me feel self-conscious.
I tend not to do it anymore - but think it a Fab thing, the idea of walking all the Camino both ways!
 
Last edited:

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
I never did. But, winter camino 2014, I met a Frenchman who lived on camino doing just that. He claimed to stay in albergues either way and had no waymarking problems.
Go for it. Maybe you are the one to write the book.
Buen camino going and coming.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
October 2015 while walking towards El Acebo slowly from the distant horizon appeared a figure walking towards me; tall, tanned, wearing a beret and bearing packs on both his chest and back he strode smoothly along. When I said "Hola" he graciously greeted me in several languages and explained that early in summer he had walked from his home in Germany down to Saint Jean Pied de Port and on to Santiago. Now he was walking back to southern France, Rome and eventually home in Germany. What an itinerary! What determination!

After a short pause sitting on a rock while sharing a few cookies as well as several camino confidences we shook hands and sincerely wished each other Ultreia and Adieu. Each of us moved towards our different horizons but strangers no more. ...He to continue his long distance way and I to go only a short distance further.
 

canesvenatici

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
I wish you the very best. Walking there and back. True pilgrim style! Meaning that’s what pilgrims had to do in the Middle Ages with no planes, trains or buses for the return leg.

Hear tell that pilgrims of yore purchase their scallop shell from the locals in town when they arrived at SdC and wear them as a badge of honour on the return leg.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I think I remember that @DaveyBoyd had planned to start in SdC and walk backwards this past Spring, but I never saw any further updates after his announcement. A year or two earlier he had walked the LePuy route and had lengthy daily postings that I enjoyed reading. Anyone hear anything from him since he was to walk his backward Camino Frances??
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Episode 24 of The Camino Podcast features an interview with someone who walked the Camino Frances from Finisterre to SJPP. Perhaps you will find that useful.
 

p3nny

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2013), June (2015), June (2018) July (2019)
Sorry, can't help you there. did meet an American Camino writer once who was walking towards St Jean, was near Los Arcos, and she said that finding the waymarkers was difficult at times and more than once she had accidentally gone off Camino .

When out doing first aid I used to sometimes walk "upstream" for half a day and then back "downstream" to where I started, looking out for injured pilgrims (I can temporarily patch them up and then get to see them again at their refugio in the evening), and to me it feels a little odd as the pilgrims are walking towards you and you find yourselves looking at each other for what seems like ages as you get closer, they are intrigued by seeing a pilgrim coming towards them I guess - don't know if anyone else has found this, but because of this walking against the flow makes me feel self-conscious.
I tend not to do it anymore - but think it a Fab thing, the idea of walking all the Camino both ways!
Thank you for this response. Self-consciousness was an unexpected and interesting reaction.
 

p3nny

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2013), June (2015), June (2018) July (2019)
I never did. But, winter camino 2014, I met a Frenchman who lived on camino doing just that. He claimed to stay in albergues either way and had no waymarking problems.
Go for it. Maybe you are the one to write the book.
Buen camino going and coming.
I'd love to try. Better start training.
 

p3nny

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2013), June (2015), June (2018) July (2019)
October 2015 while walking towards El Acebo slowly from the distant horizon appeared a figure walking towards me; tall, tanned, wearing a beret and bearing packs on both his chest and back he strode smoothly along. When I said "Hola" he graciously greeted me in several languages and explained that early in summer he had walked from his home in Germany down to Saint Jean Pied de Port and on to Santiago. Now he was walking back to southern France, Rome and eventually home in Germany. What an itinerary! What determination!

After a short pause sitting on a rock while sharing a few cookies as well as several camino confidences we shook hands and sincerely wished each other Ultreia and Adieu. Each of us moved towards our different horizons but strangers no more. ...He to continue his long distance way and I to go only a short distance further.
Lovely response! I wonder why these "round-trippers" are not writing their experiences? I've searched and found little. Maybe after going there and back, they are just too tired.
 

p3nny

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2013), June (2015), June (2018) July (2019)
I wish you the very best. Walking there and back. True pilgrim style! Meaning that’s what pilgrims had to do in the Middle Ages with no planes, trains or buses for the return leg.

Hear tell that pilgrims of yore purchase their scallop shell from the locals in town when they arrived at SdC and wear them as a badge of honour on the return leg.
I, too, have heard this particular shell story. Perhaps one day I can give the round-trip pilgrimage a try. I found one way challenging...twice.
 

p3nny

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2013), June (2015), June (2018) July (2019)
Episode 24 of The Camino Podcast features an interview with someone who walked the Camino Frances from Finisterre to SJPP. Perhaps you will find that useful.
I will check this out. Still on the lookout for those rare souls who go there and back...and live to write about it. :)
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
I noticed this year on the CF after walking the same camino in 2015 that there were lots more reverse arrows. Furthermore the forward arrows were the traditional yellow and the reverse arrows instead of being the uturn arrow in yellow were a normal arrow in turquoise. Which at the time, I thought was really clever. So hats off to whomever came up with that idea.
 

p3nny

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2013), June (2015), June (2018) July (2019)
I noticed this year on the CF after walking the same camino in 2015 that there were lots more reverse arrows. Furthermore the forward arrows were the traditional yellow and the reverse arrows instead of being the uturn arrow in yellow were a normal arrow in turquoise. Which at the time, I thought was really clever. So hats off to whomever came up with that idea.
I walked in 2015, and don't remember any reverse arrows. I seriously need to pay more attention! (Especially if I manage to walk a Camino Contrario one day.)
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
I walked in 2015, and don't remember any reverse arrows. I seriously need to pay more attention! (Especially if I manage to walk a Camino Contrario one day.)
So clever because yellow and turquoise are the camino colours. Here’s a pic. I might find a better one but this is the first I found. Sorry about high no. of pixels. I used to be able to reduce pixels by texting to myself but have recently uploaded latest Apple ios to my very old ipad and it now no longer talks to my Korean phone. I’ve told both of them firmly to stop watching the news!!! Because politics is NOT allowed on this forum. Meanwhile here’s the big pic.
BBBF70D9-3007-4502-BE6E-F5E233F318CF.jpeg
 
Last edited:

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
From what Jen Hoffman said in the interview, the reverse route was fairly well marked between Finisterre and Santiago, not so well marked after that. One useful trick she learned was looking for the well trodden path when she came to a fork or an intersection. That would often show her the route that all the pilgrim's had walked along. Myself, I would probably take one of the Camino apps that has a map with the route marked on it and uses the GPS to show you where you are on the route. Then whenever you are unsure you can zoom in and see which way to go.
 

p3nny

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2013), June (2015), June (2018) July (2019)
So clever because yellow and turquoise are the camino colours. Here’s a pic. I might find a better one but this is the first I found. Sorry about high no. of pixels. I used to be able to reduce pixels by texting to myself but have recently uploaded latest Apple ios to my very old ipad and it now no longer talks to my Korean phone. I’ve told both of them firmly to stop watching the news!!! Because politics is NOT allowed on this forum. Meanwhile here’s the big pic.
View attachment 36490
Thank you for this! :)
 

p3nny

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September (2013), June (2015), June (2018) July (2019)
From what Jen Hoffman said in the interview, the reverse route was fairly well marked between Finisterre and Santiago, not so well marked after that. One useful trick she learned was looking for the well trodden path when she came to a fork or an intersection. That would often show her the route that all the pilgrim's had walked along. Myself, I would probably take one of the Camino apps that has a map with the route marked on it and uses the GPS to show you where you are on the route. Then whenever you are unsure you can zoom in and see which way to go.
Frankly, there were a couple of times when I was looking for the beaten path while walking toward SdC. I cringe each time I hear how dumb you'd have to be to get lost. I could write a book on getting lost!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Frankly, there were a couple of times when I was looking for the beaten path while walking toward SdC. I cringe each time I hear how dumb you'd have to be to get lost. I could write a book on getting lost!
It's all part of the Camino experience. I'm sure there is some grand metaphor about having to get lost so that you can find yourself on the Camino.
 
Last edited:

Get on our Mailing list for new products on the Camino Store and news from the Camino Forum








Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter






Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 54 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 193 15.2%
  • May

    Votes: 318 25.0%
  • June

    Votes: 92 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 23 1.8%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 363 28.5%
  • October

    Votes: 154 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock