• This section is a collection of FAQs on the Camino. No new questions can be posted here, but questions that are asked often will be move here by a moderator.
  • Missing the daily forum e-mail? Subscribe again.
A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Camino Forum Donation

Walking with a companion

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
On our recent pilgrimage on the Camino Inglés we met a number of people who, like ourselves, were walking together. It can, it seems, raise a number of problems and tensions, some of which could possibly be avoided with a bit of 'forward planning'! This kind of comment for example
. . . . . . . I was walking with somebody who was a much stronger and faster walker than me. Tiredness build up then exhaustion.
This year was my second Camino and my wife's first. In 2009 I walked from Santander on the Norte to Oviedo and then the Primitivo to Lugo, Melide and on to Santiago. Walking alone much of the time, I could manage 25 to 30 kilometers a day without any problem. I tackle hills by charging straight up with mini breathers as needed, and usually walked from 7.00 a.m. through to 1.00 / 2.00 p.m. with only one coffee break and very brief stops for water and a chew bar. Valerie plods steadily up and we communicate with each other at the 'breathers'.
Fortunately we do communicate with each other after 40+ years of marriage and had made the decision from the beginning that, this year, it was Valerie's Camino. I needed to let her decide on the daily distances and where to stop for food. This year on the Inglés we were averaging 12 to 15 kilometers a day. We had frequent stops for 'a little something' and we never walked past an open Cafe / Bar without thinking about stopping for a cafe con leche! :) As we had done all our training walks together we knew what to expect of each other. Among other things - we each walked uphill at our own pace. I waited at the top and then we walked on together.
If you are planning to walk with a companion, it is really helpful if you can do at least some training walks together beforehand. If you do walk at different speeds, have different metabolic needs or any other incompatibility, it is good for it to show up before disaster strikes! It would be so sad if what should have been a wonderful experience turns out to be the end of a long term friendship /relationship. Judging by some of the comments we heard that is a real possibility!
Having aired the subject, I need to say that we loved the time walking together and are looking forward to, and planning for, more of the same.

Blessings on your walking
Tio Tel
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Terry made my Camino possible, by adjusting his speed to suit mine, right from the start of our training together. At first this was really very slow, and over short distances, but built up to about 4km an hour and a maximum of 20kms in any one day. I am most comfy around 16km, so our stages on the Inglés were planned to make sure I would manage.

Our method of tackling hills was also a result of practising together. Terry needs to 'attack' a hill, I start slow and plod up gaining some speed as I go. Terry would take his 'breather' and as I caught him up I could opt to stop or keep going. My general cry as I plodded up to him was 'I'm not stopping' unless unsure of his needs. Then it was 'Do you need to stop longer?' only breaking step if he said 'Yes'. In truth I was never far behind, apart from the time I stopped to take some photos and he hadn't realised and even then I wasn't that far back! This way of walking also gave us both some 'space' as well as 'togetherness'.

Snacks, meals etc; I need something about every hour/ hour and a half, hence the coffee stops or snack and water. Five to ten minutes will do, unless in a cafe or eating sandwiches when we might stop for 20-30 minutes. (This was actually easier on the camino than at home.) Water we often drank while standing for a few moments looking at the views - we use bottles. This all made lunch at Spanish times very easy, nearly 3pm on one occasion.

The joint decisions, made both before and during 'our' Camino, were part of what made it special for me; along with 'listening' for what was right on any particular day. Some of the comments we heard before, during and after our time on the Camino made me sad for the people concerned.
Buen Camino
Tia Valeria

PS
Putting these 2 posts up 'together' also took some communication, not least on the computers. :lol:
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
Hi Terry and Valerie,

Thanks for the post, i am walking with a friend from Exeter in September on a camino, and his way of walking is different from mine. I usually plod along stopping whenever i feel like it, his way is to put his ipod on and march off as quickly as possible. I have been thinking about this subject a lot recently, i know that if one of us has to change or even meet in some unsatisfactory compromise then the hard physical part of the camino will seem doubly so. My solution at the moment is we agree to stop in the same place for the stage, have a laugh and swap our stories, then hasta luego again for the next day.

Mike
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Walking together with a companion, unless you walk virtually identical, can lead to tension. I walked with a very close friend. She decided, after a few days, to ship her pack ahead and just walk with a day pack. While this was beneficial, it lead to a situation each evening of deciding where we were going the next day. There were several times when I wanted to stay somewhere a little longer or heard about an interesting Albergue/church etc. just another 5 km up the road but was restrained by the pack. There was also the evening call that had to be made to the service. I realize this is petty but it did take away from the natural flow of the hike. That being said, I truly enjoyed her companionship.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
Mutual acquaintances referred to me two local women who were planning to start the walk in Le Puy this September. So I inquired, and it turns out they've worked together on local community projects for several years, but: no travel together of any sort.

I encouraged them to have a conversation:
1) Are you an early riser or late? Are you early to bed or late?
2) Are you a picky eater? How flexible are you around menus?
3) How do you feel about time? Promptness? Schedules - both the developing and the observing?
4) How do you normally deal with challenges, discomforts, inconveniences, plans gone awry?
5) (discussion about walking/stopping style as outlined by previous posters here)
6) and a final reminder: you are not joined at the hip; you need to give each other space - and agree in advance that splitting up is perfectly fine. (Splitting up does not work well if one is language-proficient and the other is totally dependent. Be able to carry your own end of the communication load.)

We so often assume that everyone else is exactly like us, and surprises about how different we are can be unpleasant.
 

Alan Pearce

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
No one has yet dicussed money as a potential source of conflict with a walking companion. On my first 2 caminos I went with pre-arranged companions, and money,or my lack of it, became a real issue. Each time I was with people who were well off financially [which I did not realise at the time that I arranged to walk with them]. I preferred the cheaper peregrino menu meals while they wanted to eat more expensive restuarant meals. I loved the albergue life-style, while they wanted to stay in private hostals. While there was a veneer of politeness, I know at times that my companions resented being with someone who could not afford to do what they wanted to do, and was holding them back from enjoying themselves. As for my side, I was pressured on occasions to spend more money than I could affortd. Please talk before you go on what each expects of the other regarding finances, and agree on what is a daily amount of money that each would like to spend.

I have just finished the VdlP, walking solo, and so without the stresses of having to fit in with the wants/wishes of anyone else. It was wonderful. Ironically, for the first time on a camino I had sufficient finances to be able to stay in Hostals and to eat out regularly. But apart from a two-night stay at a hostal in Salamanca over Easter, where the laundry bill alone cost more than 3 nights in an albergue would have, I followed the same routine as before. staying in albergues and loving the peregrino meals. The trip cost an average of 30 euro per day, which would have been a bit less if I had drunk less cerveza and vino tinto.

buen camino


Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
This is such a good point, I had a very similar experience, thankfully only for 3 days on my very first Camino and I was at a loss how to handle it. I did not want to sleep in a hotel, like my friend, partly for financial reasons, but also because I thought I would then find it hard to get used to the refugio environment again. I like to leave early, she liked to leave late. I like to walk without stops, she stops often for a long time. We did not know this about each other until after we set off and am sure the irritation was mutual. My friend and I kind of " lost" each other on day 4 and we ended up going separately. She only walked 5 days anyway and I was in for the long haul. Nowadays when I have the occasional walking companion I make things very clear. I am a bit inflexible in my walking habits, I like to stay in athmospheric, yet cheap places and eat good authentic peasant food. I set off early and tend to walk til I get to wherever with minimal breaks, take my own simple lunch. I don't like to talk much while I walk, but love being sociable in the evening. It is only fair to let companions know of ones "crusty old habits" and I am no longer shy of declaring my budget. Spain 30 Euros, France 37 Euros on average. I have to live within that normally and there is no room for luxuries, perhaps just one???
Strangely I met a swiss woman last year on the Via Gebenennsis, we walked together for about 5 days. It was fantastic as we totally snapped with our rhythms and tastes and budgets, quite by chance.
Regards, Gitti
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
I know there are potential problems when walking with another person but it can work out. I walked the CF in 2009 with an old friend. In fact as two teenagers we had made a promise to walk the Camino together 'when we are old'! We read the same subjects and shared rooms in Collage, had been excavation slaves in Sicily and Calabria, lived in various dives as summer 'guest workers' all over Europe, maintained a close friendship with each other and our families for over 33 years, went on holiday together, trained together (not enough!) in our vain attempts to get fit. We planned and researched our journey together. Good grief we even bought our Camino gear together. Despite all this shared 'history' I found there were still things that I didn't know about her -a desire to drive a formula 1 racing car, her unexpected positive response to bull fighting (frankly she became an addict) a previously well hidden penchant (insatiable craving in fact :lol: ) for chocolate and sweet cakes especially Macaroons (I don't know how I managed to get her out of Astorga where one of the main industries is manufacturing cakes), a surprisingly fiesty temper (she is known for being the most moderate and well balanced of beings) , a delight in the ridiculous and whimsical, and a sort of piggy snort when trying to suppress illicit laughter (well actually I did know I just hadn't heard it for about 25 years). So whilst the friendship was certainly tested by our journey it was found true. And that was one of the gifts of our Camino.
We had agreed well before leaving that whatever 'goes on Camino stays on Camino" and that even if we decided to walk alone that would be OK. Perhaps that agreement and the fact that, as our expectations of ourselves were so low (neither of us really believed we could actually do it so every slow 10km was a victory), we ended up having lots of 'little wins' every day (e.g.being able to get into and out of bed despite the stiffness, put our boots on, breath etc) helped?
Though more recently I walk mostly alone I wouldn't have missed that shared journey for the world.
 
Last edited:

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino F 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 C Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016 & 17 Primitivo 2018
I experienced the whole gambit of the Camino - i.e walking with a friend, walking on my own and then walking with another pilgrim. I started off with a friend and we lasted 5 days, but fortunately had acknowledged that we had different goals and agreed to walk separately. We had different rhythms (he liked to sleep every afternoon), liked walking different distances and at different speeds, and so the list of incompatibilities grows. Because we had a prior agreement, nothing has changed and we are still very good friends. I then walked for the next 300 kms on my own, which was wonderful, and then was privileged to meet a pilgrim in Leon, and we journeyed together for the rest of the way into Santiago. I am sure the meeting was not by chance as we were amazingly compatible to the point that it was quite scary, even though we came from totally different cultures and he could only speak some English. We liked walking at the same speed, the same distance each day of about 30km, loved the same food, we sang songs as we walked, discussed philosophy, religion, history, politics, art, music, movies, etc. but also walked together in silence.

I encountered 2 different sets of friends who had a fall-out along the way and, whose friendships have been ruined forever. I think that if you walk with a friend, you need to decide before you start walking on how you will handle any differences.
 

pcurtin

Member
Hi, I start my Camino on 6/8 from St Jean, looking for walking partners, Im Australian male, 64, fit and healthy, still working (golf magazine) after reading all the message in my latest camino email, I eat anything and will stay at mid of the road accomm or cheap ones, doesnt really worry me, after walking 25kms per day, once I have dinner I away to bed, good company, like jokes, singing, some drinking (special times), opps this is a special time. I cannot wait to walk the Camino, I have the movie THE WAY, seen 6 times now, great movie, very motivating for us first timers.
Talk soon
my email address - pcurtin@next.com.au
Peter
 

jujuaway

Member
Hi there Peter, alas i will be walking a month behind you so i doubt we will cross paths but enjoy, enjoy.

i too am from australia and wondered how you were able to access the way film, i have been looking out for it with little luck.

any leads appreciated, regards juju
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
On my first Camino I began alone. That was the way I wanted it to be. Then I met Andrea (Alex in Pilgrimage to Heresy). We bonded immediately despite being quite different. By the time we reached Santiago there were 13 of us speaking 9 languages. We were a family and most of us have kept in touch 12 years later.
I truly believe that you should NOT walk with a pre-arranged companion or companions. (Sorry Sue K) There are lessons to learn on the Camino; there are people who must come into (and out of) your life for reasons of their own, and yours. You need to learn how to "listen" to the Camino. It doesn't come all at once. You can't do that with the chatter of others in your head - and I mean this mostly metaphorically, but literally holds true too. You are a virgin soul "out there" looking for your way home.
One thing I would say is this: if you find yourself in company which doesn't fit, have the courage to admit it to yourself and the other(s). Stay behind a day and let them go on.
Who knows who is walking behind you...?
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Thanks for all your contributions to this thread. One other thing comes to mind, and that is the loneliness felt when others have made friends and are happy in their group, and you - needs must- continue alone! I wrote this about arriving onto the Francés in Melide:-

"Melide heralds a change of life
and pace on this pilgrimage.
Here there are crowds
All heading westward.
Some with heads bowed down
Concerned now only with food and rest.
Some with a spring in their step
Their sole concern their destination,
Santiago de Compostela.
And this stranger pilgrim,
Drifting down from off the Primitivo,
Is unknown to all, who
Have found companions and friends
On the long road from Roncesvalles
And beyond." **

If you are walking in a tight knit, supportive group, spare a thought for someone who may be struggling through being alone! There is nothing so off putting as those who literally or metaphorically "turn their backs"!

Blessings on your walking
Tio Tel

** If you want to read the rest of my 'epic' it is at :-
http://www.countrysidematters.org.uk/pilgrimage1.html
If you want to use it in any way, please acknowledge copyright - "Text © T Brighton 2010"
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
Much wisdom here. I recognise all of those scenarios as I have walked with companions and solo.

When you go solo (not alone) there can be real loneliness, especially when there are plenty of groups around, but that is part of the Camino experience.

In 2005 and 2006 my son came with me. He was very good at fitting into my schedule, but then I was paying his way and he didn't speak any Spanish at all, so he was reliant on me. I tried to be careful not to abuse that power, and constantly consulted him, but the truth is he could walk twice as fast as I did, yet had to fit into my pace.

We walked Sarria to SDC in 2005 and then Villalba (Norte) to Finisterre in 2006, which meant that the journeys were relatively short. Had they been longer we might have had real problems.

My father and I set out from SJPP in 1998 but he had to give up after 3 days when health issues kicked in. It is the biggest disappointment of my life that we did not walk together. The fact that my son and I have managed to share the Camino is so precious to me, it is almost beyond words. Our hug under the Milky Way at the Finisterre lighthouse was one of the best moments of my life.

However, Tim has said, never again and he's right.
 

koby

Member
A insightful thread and I thank you for it. I am a 79 yr. old female poster recently joined, considering the walk from Sarria to Santiago in spring 2012. I have been to SDC many years ago by car and have had an unspoken desire to make this spiritual journey by myself for a number of years. Because of some physical difficulties I will have to have pre-arranged accommodation and luggage service.

I have not broken the news to my family yet (other than my husband) and this will probably give rise to questions of safety and loneliness at my age. I am friendly and don't foresee a problem with safety. But I can anticipate there might be periods of loneliness -- does a slow, elderly walker invite companionship from time to time? Is age an issue in this respect? I am considering asking someone to join me but I sense even before leaving it might be a mistake for some of the reasons already given -- even with my family members. At home I enjoy friendships of all ages.

Any thoughts?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)
In 2009 one of the walkers was an Italian lady turned 80. She not only walked from SJPP she went on to Finisterre. This was with a rucksack on her back. She walked at her own pace and was quite happy to arrive late in the day. My impression was she chose to walk alone so she could set her own pace, but told others where she was heading for. They made sure that she had arrived safely at night and they enjoyed her company.

Anyone walking solo will experience some loneliness, but it can also be welcome at times.

It is possible that whatever decision you make - solo or companion - could well turn out to be wrong. Only doing the Camino will tell. Choose the option you feel most comfortable with.

One piece of advice I would give is, if you take a companion do not be afraid to walk seperately during the day. If you are having your luggage moved then you will have to reach a nightly destination that is already fixed. If you go with someone they will keep a careful check on you and secondly they will be company at night.

I would finally add that while some young people will be wrapped up in their own age range, that is not true across the board and many pilgrims like to share with people of all ages. The important thing is you have a common bond. You are on the Camino because you want to be and that is a very powerful glue.
 

+@^^

Active Member
sheesh - this is touchy territory !
.
i am a crotchety and selfish fakir
and as in life, as on camino
i preferred to walk alone
i really value my solitude
and to select the company i wanted on that particular day
.
my partner and i came to a great agreement - she would go to Morocco with our teenage daughters
and i'd wave to her across the Straits of Gibraltar from the vdlp
.
i wanted a newfresh experience, and could think of nothing more distracting than having old relationships, old conversation, etc etc follow me onto a life changing event
.
my mum had died 5 days before i started walking and that was her gift to me
i had all that time to process our lifetime together
without any distractions
i cried for 2 days at some undone stuff that i regretted
and laughed histerically at some arbitrary events that we'd shared together
.
this was only possible because i was unrestricted and totally unencumbered
.
i walked with a Spanish man who could have been my father's age 80ish (i miss you Pascual), a Dutch woman who i fell in love with (missing you Hilde), and a French older guy i really got on well with (where you Francois)
.
and despite very little common in language
and i connected with them on a level which imho would not have been possible had i been accompanied by a friend
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Doesn't this show how different we all are, and our different needs at various times.

Terry walked his first Camino alone, and that was right. This year we made the decision to walk together and that was right too. It meant we had to decide various issues before we set off - one being that we needed to find a comfortable walking speed when together. That we worked out during training walks as I began to be able to walk faster and Terry found a comfortable slightly slower pace to fit with me. As said before we tackled hills in our own way, getting back together at the top. The need to work at decisions and practicalities was for us another strengthening influence on our relationship. (We have been married 42 years, and 'yes' it still needs working at!). We can see that for others they are best walking solo and away from all ties .

We were also conscious of the need to be aware of those around us, particularly solo pilgrims who could have felt excluded by our 'togetherness'. We enjoyed conversations with the locals in various villages as we passed through - easier perhaps, for me, because we were together.

Next year we plan to walk together again and are already begining to consider the issues:- speed, distances covered daily, expectations...... etc. It is part of what will make the Camino special for us personally, and also being able to share the memories again once back home
 

hairescue

New Member
Thank you sooooo much for directing me to "Walking with a companion" my husband is a much stronger walker than myself! I will practise walks with hills with him and I will have him read this thread. We get along very well, I know we will walk solo at times and we will have mutual respect. I will get in better shape and not talk all the time for I will be in deep thought. I will sit with hubby about Camino issues to help make this a great and life changing experience. :)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I have been greatly relieved to find that my experience of starting the Camino with a companion, and finding that we were not really compatible, is not unusual.
 

wawpdx

Active Member
Can anyone comment on their experience related to this situation: I walked with joy and laughter the final ten or so days with someone I met on the Camino. Even the last day to Santiago was "just right", despite the language barriers, because I walked most of it as I had started, alone, and then the final 3 km together.

But now I am going back, to walk my "someday ..." journey, starting in Le Puy. I understand that two untested friends might not be good walking companions. My question is, does a former "team" partnership work on a new journey??? Should I inquire whether my former "discovered" walking partner might want to walk part of this route also, or should I just accept that that person was a Camino angel? In your experience, is a good walking partnership more a matter of timing and circumstances or would it carry over to a future journey???

Of course, my bigger fear is, can I do this myself, so I fear roping someone else into my plan.
Nancy
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Nancy:

First and foremost you can make it. Just start slowly and let the Camino show you the way. If you are starting in SJPdP, I recommend you stay at Orisson. It is only 8km but very steep and you will need a reservation.

As far as walking with someone else, in my opinion, it is tough. First, very few people walk at the same pace. If you can agree to walk at your own pace and meet at agreed upon locations for coffee, lunch or the Albergue it can work. This approach can take away from the impulsiveness of the Camino. A place you hear about up the road or off piste that was not in the daily plan. That said, I have seen couples walk very well together. I guess it depends a little on why you are walking. Is this a physical challenge, a spiritual journey, a trip to discover or rediscover yourself or maybe a transitional time in your life, or ..............................?

Ultreya,
Joe
 

cecelia

several caminos- '03-'13
koby said:
But I can anticipate there might be periods of loneliness -- does a slow, elderly walker invite companionship from time to time? Is age an issue in this respect? I am considering asking someone to join me but I sense even before leaving it might be a mistake for some of the reasons already given -- even with my family members. At home I enjoy friendships of all ages.
Any thoughts?
Hello Koby,
I strongly urge you NOT asking someone to join you, but perhaps be open to it if someone asks you. I was 59 the first time I walked the camino and really wanted to walk alone. But I met many others - some who walked with me for short times and others for longer times. Different people mentioned that they kept an eye out for me in the afternoons until I arrived - usually a bit later than many others. I have had some wonderful Basque people check with me daily to make sure I was okay (and frequently offer to buy me coffee and wine). Various Germans were continually offering to buy me beer making sure I was okay, and I shared meals or drinks with Italians, English, Irish, New Zealanders, Australians, Brazilians, Finnish, Americans, Swedish and Dutch people - and fellow Canadians. You may be lonely but you certainly don't have to be. As I'm sure you know loneliness or at least alone-ness has many lessons for us. I don't believe your age will be a barrier.

I have done partial planned walks with friends but they really weren't that successful and both were cut short for one reason or another. I was sure after that I would always walk alone for future caminos.
At the moment I am planning to walk from Le Puy to Finisterre in 2013 - the year I turn 70. My neighbour (someone I barely knew) who also turns 70 that year, asked me one day if she could go with me and somehow it felt like it would work. So we're walking together and talking things through - discussing how we will handle any disagreements, how we will signal to each other that we need some alone time, or silence or more coffee and all the many things that could come up. Possibly we will have days when we will be better only being together for brief periods during the day but I think, I hope we will handle that well. As it happens our pace seems to match amazingly well but time will tell and we have over a year to work through things.

I encourage you not to push for someone you know to walk with you. The camino is definitely not for everyone. If you talk someone into coming you both may regret it. A surprising walking partner may show up to walk with you before you go, but if not, and you go alone, you will meet some of the most interesting, caring and wonderful people you have ever met.
Just my point of view.
Buen camino
Cecelia
Cecelia
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
This is indeed a very insightful and thoughtful thread. I am so glad that I took the time to read through all the posts. I too would like to add my thoughts on this matter, which are quite "fresh" as I was transported back to The Netherlands due to a medical issue on August 3rd making my Camino come to an abrupt end.

Last July I walked my first Camino, completing the Camino Frances from SJPdP to Finisterre in 23 days. I set off alone, had no real plan and in fact never expected to reach Santiago in the time alloted. Even though it was a holy year and July, I was able to walk in solitude. This was a great gift to myself, one much needed. I would now and again walk with someone - at times for hours, at other times for a few days. In all cases fleeting encounters. Of course this was also due to my walking pace and kilometer average of 40 km per day. There were but a handful of us that did that kind of average and we would touch base from time to time. I walked into Santiago alone and again into Finisterre. But this was all good.

My Camino this year could not have been more different...something I could never have imagined even if I had tried!!! As so I will tell of my experience walking with a fellow pilgrim who has become and dear friend.

I started off in Sevilla on July 7th, staying at the Triana Backpackers Hostel. I took off on the first stage to Guillena at 7 a.m. without a pilgrim in sight. I stopped in Santiponce to visit the Roman ruins and then for coffee but still not a soul. I had heard that the VdlP would be quiet in the summer but this quiet I wasn't expecting. So it was not until later that day at the Municipal Aubergue that I met G. an Italian man who would become my walking companion and friend for the next three weeks. So I experienced much of what Jennysa mentioned - it was uncanny and at times unbelievable how similiar we were although from different countries and backgrounds. I often thought to myself, "is he a male version of myself?". Very odd.

The previous year I was used to waking up early, setting off without breakfast and walking till I reached my destination nibbling nuts and fruit alone the way. I never ate at a restaurant and in fact only had a Pilgrim's menu my last day in Finisterre (the fact that I am vegetarian influenced this). G. who was on the Camino Frances last year at the same time as me (I must have passed him somewhere along the way haha) preferred shorter distances, eating a proper meal and taking now and again a rest day. So how was this to work? It just did, as if it was just meant to be. A Camino angel? Possibly but then I guess it went both ways.

Some days were longer than he was used to (he could have easily walked 40+ km per day but chose not to) others shorter than I usually walked but that was all okay. But one of his daily routines I learned to appreciate and thoroughly enjoy: sitting down to a proper meal along with all the Spaniards. Between 3 and 4 p.m. after having showered and done our laundry we would set off for lunch. And I am not talking about a bocadillo but a true sit down lunch in a restaurant (a separate room from the cafe). A menu du dia was always available for E8. but excuse me I am digressing.

So it is possible. And we have had daily contact since. In September he is coming to visit me. Would I ever walk with him again? Something Nancy so rightly asks about. Tough question but probably not. Not because I do not care enough about him but because I care that much about him. The Camino is something you do alone and what happens along the way is what makes the Camino so special.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
This time I walked with five companions. People ask me how the Camino was and I say it was very different this time. Then they look at me and wonder if they should ask why. And it was different. One of the people I walked with this time is someone I met on the Frances. We have a similar walking pace, we enjoy companionable silence sprinkled here and there with a little conversation, and we have similar tastes in food, etc. We agreed that when we do this again, it will be just the two of us! (Notice that we are already talking about doing it again.)

Taking people with you who have heard the stories but are not prepared for the reality and its demands can be a substantial change in the experience. "I know you said it was hard, but I didn't think it was going to be THIS hard." "You're the leader, YOU tell us where the arrow is" (when there are no arrows and no one else takes any initiative to noodle it out). "I don't like the alberques--sharing a bathroom, having to wait, listening to all the noise, having to share space........ Why don't we stay in a hotel?" It was draining at times to be with people who wanted what you had but were not willing or able to let themselves be opened to it. It was also difficult managing all the different expectations, the unwillingness at times to communicate that someone wanted to go slower or faster and that it was OK for others to move along at their own pace, the whining when things did not go as planned--as though someone else could have made it much better. I think it is best to do your own Camino by yourself the first time so that you know for yourself what it makes it work for you. I know there are those (believe me, they were the ones who wanted to go but only if someone else took the responsibility) who would never attempt this by themselves--but if I learned anything this time around, it is that the Camino cannot do its work if you are distracted by trying to push spaghetti around on a plate!

In addition, when you are moving along as a "pack" it is harder to encounter and get to know fellow pilgrims who are not part of the group. I/we did but it took special effort. And later in the walk, when there was enough grumbling that we began staying in hostels rather than alberques, it was even more difficult. I treasure the challenges of sharing space with people who are not always kind or considerate or even sane.

I finished this time with a sense of incompleteness. Perhaps it was that we walked for only two weeks. Perhaps it was because the group dynamics required so much energy and I discovered that I barely had any time to journal. Perhaps it was because two of our number were chatters. Who knows exactly what gave me this sense but it is there........ And yet when I returned home, I discovered that peace/serenity had indeed entered my heart and gave me strength for the whirlwind I encountered first thing.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
"I don't want to be the Daddy!"
Bruce Dern
Middle Age Crazy, 1980
It is a whole new camino when you take responsibility for someone else.
 

+@^^

Active Member
! this is a wonderful thread
i remember starting out one morning in the pitch black
with a dim tourch
that could hardly light up my feet as i walked
in the darkness i missed said crucial arrow
but marched on oblivious for another hour
until i came to what was very obviously a dead end
.
i remember the feeling soo well
i cussed in an ungentlemanly-like fashion
kicked a few stones
threw my hat on the ground
.
and the started back to find the lost arrow
with nobody to bitch and moan
nobody to blame
so pointed sighing
nobody to lecture
total acceptance of the situation
.
how wonderful
.
but how different it could have been
i shudder to think about the possible scenarios that could have unfolded
.
yes Falcon - i didnt want to be daddy
 

cilento

Member
If you live alone, as I do, it is hard to spend so much time with another person.

I wanted to walk alone, but couldn't say no to a friend who wanted to join me. One thing that really helped us get through the 5 weeks together was a plan we created for our daily routine. We each dedicated the day's segment of the Camino to a special person in our lives. From wake-up/breakfast to our first break, we would walk in silence and meditate on the people to whom we were dedicating the day. Then, after the break, we each took an hour to tell the person's story. Many times the stories lasted more than an hour. We got very involved in these life stories, and each time we tried to determine what lessons we learned from that person in our lives. At lunch we'd choose cards from a deck of Angel cards and see how the card's message related to the people in the stories or to each of us. After lunch we'd walk again in silence, but we'd be looking for signs that reminded us of either the day's special person or the message in the Angel card.

This may seem neurotic, but it worked brilliantly. We never fought, shared some of our most intimate thoughts and feelings with one another, and never felt like we had awkward silences or ran out of things to talk about. It actually allowed us to spend our down time just shooting the breeze.
 

dazzamac

Active Member
A few years back, myself and my father used to cycle together - taking part in a few endurance/ leisure cycle events together. While training, we'd cycle side by side amicably chatting about the week's events or whatever happened to crop up in the course of the training ride. However, on the day of the events, Dad would always tell me to go at my own pace and that we'd meet up at the end of the day.

I started my first Camino as a solo traveler, confident that I would meet people along the way but also assured that I was more than capable of keeping my own company for hours on end. After falling in with a group, I was reminded of my father's advice all those years ago - go at your own pace. Fortunately everyone else in the group agreed that while we enjoyed each other's company, there was no need to spend all day, every day together.

I think that as long as you communicate the differences, there shouldn't be too many problems.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: September - October 2016
Porto > Santiago - April 2018
On reading so many good ideas on walking with a companion, I am reminded of the late Colin Fletcher's advice in The Complete Walker to the effect that one should walk alone unless the newly in love with the companion. That is not exactly how he said it, but you get the idea. For many, this is good advice. But as some others remarked the joys of the shared experience are balanced by the constraints the companion presents.
 

jujuaway

Member
i couldn't agree more.

I would recommend that anyone walking the Camino, walk alone... i loved being able to stop when and where i wanted to stop, to be able to bask in the luxury of eating an orange on the side of the path and then having a little nap... no where to be, no time to be there.

Often i would head off in the morning, thinking i would stay in a certain town and on arrival i just didn't like the feel of the place, so i could just walk on until i did find a place that i felt good about.

Later in the walk i found i would have a long lunch break and then have the freedom to start walking again, often all through the afternoon and early evening... magic light at that time if day and not many people about on the path! Several times i arrived in town and it was already dark and getting a bed was a bit tricky! For once in my life i could "just suit myself".

i never felt alone, people were so friendly, even when there was no common language i felt peoples support.

if i found myself walking for a bit to long with newly acquired friends i would just hold back and take some photos and say i'd see them up the way.

best wishes juju.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Agree 'Oldbikerider'; walking with my husband of 42 years was important, it was part of the reason for our pilgrimage. We didn't have to talk or walk together all the time (see original posts above :) ) but we had worked out our walking pattern. Communication - well we often hear the other's thoughts before they are spoken :lol:

For those who are walking with family, or long term friends, there can be issues which need thinking about. For those walking with new friends or looking here for a walking companion there is always the possibility of being incompatible. There needs to be much 'give and take', even admitting that it is best to walk alone after all or with a different group of people, as 'juju' says.

Those of us able to work things out before going on the Camino are fortunate and blessed. I am so glad that Terry walked alone on his first Camino, because it was right at the time, and that we are working on walking together again this year
 

Torrent1964

Member
Tia Valeria said:
Agree 'Oldbikerider'; walking with my husband of 42 years was important, it was part of the reason for our pilgrimage. We didn't have to talk or walk together all the time (see original posts above :) ) but we had worked out our walking pattern. Communication - well we often hear the other's thoughts before they are spoken :lol:

For those who are walking with family, or long term friends, there can be issues which need thinking about. For those walking with new friends or looking here for a walking companion there is always the possibility of being incompatible. There needs to be much 'give and take', even admitting that it is best to walk alone after all or with a different group of people, as 'juju' says.

Those of us able to work things out before going on the Camino are fortunate and blessed. I am so glad that Terry walked alone on his first Camino, because it was right at the time, and that we are working on walking together again this year
I am in the midst of preparing for April 2013. We are currently 4 possibly 5 and we are cycling. 3 of us are family (Father, Son & Grandson), two are almost family (friends). We will be cycling MAdrid through to Muxia and Finisterre. From the outset, although we are all close, we recognised the difference in approach and experience for us of Christ and thus although we are training hard together, we have determined that we will pilgrimage alone but in our group, using the evenings to share if we so desire. This way we pilgrimage rather than ride and journey rather than race.

I find it interesting that 2 months into our training, already we are finding our way with each other... in this sense our pilgrimage has already begun for us and we are cycling it now with Madrid to Santiago merely a stage.

I have truly enjoyed this thread, it is rich in experience, questions and advice, but most of all, it has brought home the importanceof GRACE again. :D

Thanks all so much for your contributions and may our threads be many and as rich Beun Camino.

Torernt1964
 

speyview

New Member
Hi,
Like all the others I've found this forum really useful, but I'm still in a quandry.
2 years ago I started on my own from Le Puy. A few days into the walk i met a young French lady - 30 years younger than me! - We got on so well together that we agreed to walk together again last year - again a wonderful experience, despite the fact that we walk at different paces. I do enjoy walking on my own but also like meeting other pilgrims and sharing experiences with them over a meal and/or a drink each evening. This spring I walked again with my young friend but also with her boyfriend. I was happy for her to have someone with whom to walk at her pace and, again it's good to have the knowledge of company in the evening, and usually at breaks along the way, but I have found it a rather lop-sided threesome and wonder about how to approach our next etape for 2013 - we are still 400 miles off Santiago/Finisterre.
 

Silvester

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Salvador (2014)
Camino Primitivo (2014)
Camino Muxia (2014)
Camino Fisterra (2014)
On most of the routes I would not have a problem with walking alone for most of the time. However, I have misgivings about going solo on sections of say the San Salvador or the Pyrennees section of the Frances where the route may not be so clear and in low visibility or bad weather or later in autumn/winter it could be plain foolish from a mountaineer's perspective. It is very tempting to press on rather than wait for someone else to happen along. I liked the comments about people informally keeping an eye out for other pilgrims.
Mary
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
I liked the comments about people informally keeping an eye out for other pilgrims.
Pilgrims do that on all the routes, but there aren't that many pilgrims around on some routes, so the comment is most pertinent on the Camino Frances, where there is a continuous stream of pilgrims most of the year. I walked the reverse route from Fisterra to Santiago, a reasonably well-traveled route. At one intersection that was not marked for a reverse route, I had to wait about a half-hour until pilgrims walking the correct direction appeared. So if you pick a less-traveled route, expect to be on your own!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
This thread isn't so much about walking alone but more about the need to discuss issues/compatability with one's companion. This is more than the informal 'keeping an eye out', or expectations of walking with or without company. If pilgrims are 'walking with a companion' (ie the same companion) for the entire pilgrimage then mutual expectations and abilities can be important issues, many of which are raised in the older posts here.
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
I always walk alone - by choice. However, the other pilgrims I meet become my "camino family". We don't walk all the way together, but meet up by chance in the evenings, or at cafes along the route. They are an important part of my camino experience. Nothing puts a smile on my face more than hearing "Steve! How are you getting on?" from another pilgrim. That usually signifies it's time to sit together and have a coffee before making our separate ways again.
 

cableseller

New Member
Having recently completed Astorga to Santiago with two college buddies heres my experience. They were the hares and had a much faster natural pace than me (the turtle aka el tortuga). What worked for us was a predetermined stopping point. I would arrive dusty and tired and find them at a cafe sipping Mahou having arrived an hour or so earlier. I putter around, take lots of pics and stare off in wonder a bit more than the 2 wabbits and its an agreement that worked for us
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Cableseller - Glad you had it worked out and that it went well for you. As we said at the start of this thread it is well worth talking about differing speeds, abilities, or expectations and making some pre-Camino decisions about how to travel with ones companions. This is so different from the type of companionship that happens along the Camino where folk choose to walk together for a time. Those who are actually making their Camino together really do need to discuss issues beforehand. I hope that when we return to the Inglés next year we do not see again the difficulties caused for folk, particularly couples, who have not done so.
Buen Camino to all walking with a Companion
 

indyrem

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June-July (2013) Camino Ingles (2015)
This time I walked with five companions. People ask me how the Camino was and I say it was very different this time. Then they look at me and wonder if they should ask why. And it was different. One of the people I walked with this time is someone I met on the Frances. We have a similar walking pace, we enjoy companionable silence sprinkled here and there with a little conversation, and we have similar tastes in food, etc. We agreed that when we do this again, it will be just the two of us! (Notice that we are already talking about doing it again.)

Taking people with you who have heard the stories but are not prepared for the reality and its demands can be a substantial change in the experience. "I know you said it was hard, but I didn't think it was going to be THIS hard." "You're the leader, YOU tell us where the arrow is" (when there are no arrows and no one else takes any initiative to noodle it out). "I don't like the alberques--sharing a bathroom, having to wait, listening to all the noise, having to share space........ Why don't we stay in a hotel?" It was draining at times to be with people who wanted what you had but were not willing or able to let themselves be opened to it. It was also difficult managing all the different expectations, the unwillingness at times to communicate that someone wanted to go slower or faster and that it was OK for others to move along at their own pace, the whining when things did not go as planned--as though someone else could have made it much better. I think it is best to do your own Camino by yourself the first time so that you know for yourself what it makes it work for you. I know there are those (believe me, they were the ones who wanted to go but only if someone else took the responsibility) who would never attempt this by themselves--but if I learned anything this time around, it is that the Camino cannot do its work if you are distracted by trying to push spaghetti around on a plate!

In addition, when you are moving along as a "pack" it is harder to encounter and get to know fellow pilgrims who are not part of the group. I/we did but it took special effort. And later in the walk, when there was enough grumbling that we began staying in hostels rather than alberques, it was even more difficult. I treasure the challenges of sharing space with people who are not always kind or considerate or even sane.

I finished this time with a sense of incompleteness. Perhaps it was that we walked for only two weeks. Perhaps it was because the group dynamics required so much energy and I discovered that I barely had any time to journal. Perhaps it was because two of our number were chatters. Who knows exactly what gave me this sense but it is there........ And yet when I returned home, I discovered that peace/serenity had indeed entered my heart and gave me strength for the whirlwind I encountered first thing.
I experienced the same walking with a friend. My original plan was to walk alone from SJPP but a friend of 30 years begged me to let her come with me. I explained to her that this is not a vacation tour but a pilgrimage that requires self sacrifice & that it's not a "walk in the park". She still insisted on coming. My ordeal started when her iPad mini's camera function went on & off. She would slam the iPad with her hand & start cussing. This happened so often I had to tune her out. Not only that she would continuously whine about the food on the Camino-coffee was too strong, Spanish ham was not good, bocadillos are boring , etc. If she couldn't email even if there's wifi and I can, she'll throw a fit! She could walk faster than me so I told her to keep on going & not to wait for me. These were the only times when I'm alone that I truly enjoyed my Camino. What I'm trying to say is you really won't know what a person is really like unless you spend 35 days walking together. I felt like I walked with a stranger. Plus I was so embarrassed when she cut in line to dry her clothes at the albergue in Pamplona, getting in the bus , buying train ticket to Lourdes. Her attitude & rudeness got to me so I finally told her we should part ways. Only then did she change her demeanor & it got better until we arrived in Santiago. But I promised myself to never again bring anybody with me. I will walk again in 2115 & this time I will walk alone.
 

MichaelB10398

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
Going on pilgrimage with acquaintances or friends should begin with laying down rules: 1) going together does not mean walking together or being together the whole time, 2) walking alone will occur; when someone asks to do so, respect their wish 3) define what each means by going on pilgrimage and confirm that the two are compatible, 4) be honest in your communication.

Pilgrimage is begun with personal objectives; sometimes those objectives are completely unknown. The joy of pilgrimage is finding joy in serving others.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
But I promised myself to never again bring anybody with me.
I hope you mellow a bit. You must have some deserving friends! You have learned the lessons of a camino buddy, so you can make it different next time. Certainly avoid the high maintenance companion, but I hope you would open to sharing the camino experience with some normal friends.;) They will thank you for it.
 

sempervivum

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2013)
Camino Portuguese (2018)
The decision of walking or being on the Camino is made (I suppose) because of a personal need or hope. We choose this Way by ourselves. I think we should walk it by ourselves. It doesn't mean that we don't have wonderful friends or family to walk or be with. It means that we (should) look for an experience to fulfill our need or wish. That will never happen with a companion. There are also his/her needs to consider which unwillingly will have an impact on your own needs. Please, have, walk, live your Camino, and then, if you feel like, walk with a companion.
 
The decision of walking or being on the Camino is made (I suppose) because of a personal need or hope. We choose this Way by ourselves. I think we should walk it by ourselves. It doesn't mean that we don't have wonderful friends or family to walk or be with. It means that we (should) look for an experience to fulfill our need or wish. That will never happen with a companion. There are also his/her needs to consider which unwillingly will have an impact on your own needs. Please, have, walk, live your Camino, and then, if you feel like, walk with a companion.
Reading this thread is thought provoking. It reads to me as giving insight into 'how to walk with a companion' rather than whether to do so or not. It goes well with the thread about walking as a couple.
I see myself as a 'happy hermit', but reading these two threads gives a lot of help to making a good Camino as a couple, or family group, I think. For me it is very much about walking together through life as well as on the Camino.
Can one 'like' a thread??
HH
 
Last edited:

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
Is any of this different then going on vacation with somebody?

The same people that will cause your hair to fall out will give you ulcers on a long weekend.

I know people that just going out to dinner can push buttons.

Know yourself. Know your friends. Not everybody is perfect for a long term .
 

Brigitte Klaib

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August (2013)
I heard people talk about this a lot along the Camino. The thought is that if you go with a friend you end up losing your friend. If you make a friend along the way you have a friend for life.

I did meet many people who after coming with a friend were walking alone after realising it was too difficult to spend that much time with them. However, I also met people that stayed friends at the end.

It is nothing like a vacation!
 
Reading this all againI think it is more about couples/partners than just friends, so much more important to discuss and also practise walking together. I am sure that many will want to walk together and not alone.
I might be a 'happy hermit' but that wouldn't stop me walking with my 'other half' - in fact the reverse would be true
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
My girlfriend and I are going on our first trip abroad in December...litter picking on the Camino!

Maybe I should be worried.... :eek:
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013 Ingles 2014 Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017 Via Francigena 2018 -(2019)
My girlfriend and I are going on our first trip abroad in December...litter picking on the Camino!

Maybe I should be worried.... :eek:
No you will be ok Tyrrek, just don't do any nit-picking mate!!!! :eek:
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
....and they say Romance is dead.........;)
Do I detect a note of sarcasm, Nellpilgrim? It will be very romantic. I've even bought 'his and hers' gardening gloves from Poundland. :cool:
We've got a nice hotel booked in Madrid on the way back so she'll be spoilt a little bit. (I believe the room even has its own sink!) :)
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
It will be very romantic. I've even bought 'his and hers' gardening gloves from Poundland. :cool:
We've got a nice hotel booked in Madrid on the way back so she'll be spoilt a little bit. (I believe the room even has its own sink!) :)
......very smooth indeed. :D
 

pilgrim b

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances 2013 Ingles 2014 Frances 2015
St Cuthbert's Way 2017 Via Francigena 2018 -(2019)
Do I detect a note of sarcasm, Nellpilgrim? It will be very romantic. I've even bought 'his and hers' gardening gloves from Poundland. :cool:
We've got a nice hotel booked in Madrid on the way back so she'll be spoilt a little bit. (I believe the room even has its own sink!) :)
Awe come on mate gloves from "pound land" is that the best a lad from Halifax can do?
You could have got a very nice pair on ebay!!!!:)
 

hnguyen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2013; (September 2014)
Here's my 2 cents of walking with friend/s: on my first camino (CF) in 2013 I walked alone but ended up with hiking companions on many occasions, for several days at a time. The companions were younger (20) and older (75), male and female, slower and faster, from various nationalities. One, an Italiano, spoke not a word of English! The days that we walked together were never really planned - they just happened by mutual sentiment! When I did have walking companions we chatted at times on various topics, from the hilarious to the serious - but we also walked in silence at other times. At the end of the day we always shared meals over vino tinto and laughter. The companionship and fellowship forged from common experience (and pain!) are unforgettable and truly enriched my camino experience (I neither knew nor expected this before the hike!) Some of these hiking companions are now good friends and we intend to stay in touch - even visiting each other's homes/coountries! However, I also valued my solo hiking. Those mornings when I started out before the sunrise, with no other soul in sight - those lonely afternoon when my only companions were the wind, the empty horizon and the vast expanse of the Spanish countryside - were priceless!! So for my next camino (CP) I again plan to walk alone. If a friend or relative suggests that s/he wants to join me, I will have to politely but firmly decline. Solitude, freedom and independence (as others pointed out) are lost when there's a group (unless one has been married to the same partner for 42 years like Valerie and Terry!) Loneliness is never a problem on the camino as there are other pilgrims with whom one can share the trail for a few hours or a few days - without any expectation from each other.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
It is nearly 45 years now (in July) :) so we are off again having now happily walked the Camino Inglés (2011), then the Primitivo (2012) followed by part of the Norte and to Covadonga (2013) together. Communication is still all important as we plan and walk together -both on the Camino and in life in general.
One thing we need to remember, as a couple, is to communicate with our fellow pilgrims as we walk. We have met some lovely folk and had good meals with them, but that is different to the daily walking with a permanent companion. We can walk with one another in a companionable silence, but often can 'hear' the other's unspoken thoughts........well it has been nearly 45 years:):)
Buen Camino hnguyen
 

angie

Member
I doubt anyone will want to walk with me for the first week or 2 as i will be one hell of a cranky old mare cusing continiously and crying alot asking ,why the heck did i think this was a good idea, my poor husband will no doubt get a few abusive pgone calls from me blaming him for allowing me to do this and not putting up more of a fight to stop me. I'll be the mad old lady stood in the middle of a field screaming at the gods ! But, once the pain subsides and i start to smell the roses and appreciate that im fortunate to be able to have this oppertunity i'll be fantastic company hahahahaha.
 

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)
What a fascinating thread. And some very wise counsel. I can see that we will have some serious 'communication planning' to do ahead of time :)

I can really see the joy and freedom one gets when walking alone. And to some extent I envy that. But quite honestly I cannot imagine walking without my 'soul mate' and sharing the experience. I'm sure through good communication and planning before we depart, we'll be fine.

Some great tips here. Many thanks to those who have shared.

After note: Whilst I cannot imagine making this journey without my 'soul mate' I am not naïve enough to think it will be a 'walk in the park' from a relationship perspective. Does anyone regret walking the Camino with their spouse? :eek:
 
Last edited:

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
I doubt anyone will want to walk with me for the first week or 2 as i will be one hell of a cranky old mare cusing continiously and crying alot asking ,why the heck did i think this was a good idea, my poor husband will no doubt get a few abusive pgone calls .
Angie, this did make me laugh. I'm usually OK by myself because I've got no-one to blame. But when my poor husband comes with me he very patiently listens to my complaints for the first two weeks.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
"Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into
the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels
and baggage and chatter."
John Muir, letter to wife, 1888
 
Last edited:

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
What a fascinating thread. And some very wise counsel. I can see that we will have some serious 'communication planning' to do ahead of time :)

I can really see the joy and freedom one gets when walking alone. And to some extent I envy that. But quite honestly I cannot imagine walking without my 'soul mate' and sharing the experience. I'm sure through good communication and planning before we depart, we'll be fine.

Some great tips here. Many thanks to those who have shared.

After note: Whilst I cannot imagine making this journey without my 'soul mate' I am not naïve enough to think it will be a 'walk in the park' from a relationship perspective. Does anyone regret walking the Camino with their spouse? :eek:
When we started this thread we had met a few folk who did seem to be really struggling, if not regretting, walking with their spouse/friend. This seemed so sad when some basic communication and thought could have made a different situation. However it may well have reflected their actual usual relationship.
Like you Robo I cannot imagine at present walking without my 'other half', although he would be willing for me to do so if it was right (for both of us). So we continue to make our future Camino plans for walking together. Situations change, and age and health mean that next Camino may well be more 'organised' for accomodation than previously as we need to know we have a bed and also will lighten our loads by not carrying sleeping bags. Our next Camino (postponed from this year) will be celebrating 45 years of marriage (and communication, thinking of one another's needs, looking after one another etc)......So personally we have never regretted walking together, neither in training nor on the Camino.
Buen Camino
 

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)
When we started this thread we had met a few folk who did seem to be really struggling, if not regretting, walking with their spouse/friend. This seemed so sad when some basic communication and thought could have made a different situation. However it may well have reflected their actual usual relationship.
Like you Robo I cannot imagine at present walking without my 'other half', although he would be willing for me to do so if it was right (for both of us). So we continue to make our future Camino plans for walking together. Situations change, and age and health mean that next Camino may well be more 'organised' for accomodation than previously as we need to know we have a bed and also will lighten our loads by not carrying sleeping bags. Our next Camino (postponed from this year) will be celebrating 45 years of marriage (and communication, thinking of one another's needs, looking after one another etc)......So personally we have never regretted walking together, neither in training nor on the Camino.
Buen Camino
My wife and I have discussed walking alone v together. I would be quite happy to walk alone and imagine that the experience would be great. Probably much less stressful, not having a partner to consider all the time. (Though Pat would not want to walk on her own, she is happy for me to go on my own).

The 'calling' to walk the Camino, is certainly stronger in me. Maybe I feel I 'need' it at this stage in my life and work. My wife is keen to gain the experience, and enjoys our training walks together, but is nervous about not being able to cope. She is much more a City girl, than an outdoors type.

We both worry, that if I was to walk on my own, I might go through some kind of transformation ... realisation ... or other 'enlightening' experience, that might in some way 'leave her behind'. Not literally. But in simplistic terms, if I came back with a new 'view of life' and our future, that she has not had a chance to be exposed to or to understand; that could make things hard. So we are going to give ourselves the 'best chance' of having a valuable and rewarding experience together, by minimising external stresses such as time, bed races etc. Part of the reason we'll use private accommodation and go slowly (we'll block out about 50 days, though we may not use it all of course).

All of the great things in our life, we experience and cope with together. So I think this needs to be the same.... But of course things could change :eek:
 

AMDG56

Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2013
Last year I walked the CF alone but after Burgos was part of a Camino family of 6 initially and 4 ultimately. This companionship and support was wonderful.
In September I am walking the Le Puy route with one of the 4. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic will evolve.
I will be the one with the phone and the French.
Did anyone else walk another Camino with someone "picked up" from a previous year?

AMDG56
 
S

simply B

Guest
AMDG -

A friend of 40 years lets me know last August that he wished to walk the Camino. We both knew that it probably was not a good idea for him to attempt on his own.

I am a long-distance walker; he not so much. I already had a Camino under my belt, his longest walk was maybe 5 miles... and never repeated days of walking.

I found and read the entire string above through October and said that, yep, we'd go for it... on the following conditions:

- we would be companionable but allow each other most of the day to be alone or sociable as needs be.

- we would look out for each other at every stop re-establish connection.

- any decision regarding albergue would have to be mutually agreeable... if one of us had intuition against a stay then we would move on.

- we split chores of shopping, laundry, pharmacy runs.

- no arguments... we'd agree to disagree and that would be it.

- the first seven days were to be a grace period for us to get used to each other's walking style and we'd refine the "rules" from there.

Those are just my interpretation of the wisdom found in this great thread; re-read it a few times to distill what is applicable for you.

Buen Camino,

B

PS. Despite the fact that I can be a royal pain in the backside, we made it through just fine despite boatloads of challenges. But we're sure there is a Camino miracle in there as well. :)
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I love walking alone. I also love walking with my dear friend Kathy, or sometimes John.
Because Kathy and John also love walking alone.
Walking alone gives you all that space and time for deep thinking, bad singing, hearing the birds sing and the church bells ring, etc. etc.
But having a companion gives you all the benefits of a sounding board -- that spectacular bottle of tinto/plate of pulpo/hot shower/clean hostel/sweet chapel just isn't as piquantly wonderful without anyone to share it. With a companion I do not get lost so often, nor so easily. With a companion I slow down and rest more often, so I do not get so physically beat-up or so financially strapped. Companions keep me from settling for the first option to come along at the end of the day. They often keep me hydrated (for better or worse, depending on their tastes in consumables.)

Walking with a carefully chosen friend gives me all the benefits of both options. We both know how to take care of ourselves, so neither of us feels like the "nanny." We know how to keep silence, how to pray, how to wait patiently with a beer and a book, sometimes for hours. We know how to chivvy along the laggard, kick the lazy ass, and how to respect the needs of the one who is simply at the end of himself, finished. At least for today.
We can listen carefully, without judging or suggesting solutions.
And we can, at the end of our separate days of solitude, take out and share together the shiny little truths we may have found along the path that day.
That is the best thing of all about a well-chosen walking companion -- she is a respectful witness to the deepest parts of my pilgrimage.

...And s/he lets me choose the wine at dinner!
 

efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
2012 Porto
2013 Le Puy
2014 Francigena
2015 - 2018 More ...
Last year I walked the CF alone but after Burgos was part of a Camino family of 6 initially and 4 ultimately. This companionship and support was wonderful.
In September I am walking the Le Puy route with one of the 4. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic will evolve.
I will be the one with the phone and the French.
Did anyone else walk another Camino with someone "picked up" from a previous year?

AMDG56
Oh yeah. In 2011 coming from Canada I met a French friend on the Camino Frances. The next year we joined to walk the Portuguese route and met another friend from Germany. Last year the 3 of us walked from Le Puy. This year we are joined by an American who we met on the Camino and the 4 of us will walk to Rome in Oct. If we keep this up we will have our own football team in a few years :)
 

pilgrim68

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
On our recent pilgrimage on the Camino Inglés we met a number of people who, like ourselves, were walking together. It can, it seems, raise a number of problems and tensions, some of which could possibly be avoided with a bit of 'forward planning'! This kind of comment for example

This year was my second Camino and my wife's first. In 2009 I walked from Santander on the Norte to Oviedo and then the Primitivo to Lugo, Melide and on to Santiago. Walking alone much of the time, I could manage 25 to 30 kilometers a day without any problem. I tackle hills by charging straight up with mini breathers as needed, and usually walked from 7.00 a.m. through to 1.00 / 2.00 p.m. with only one coffee break and very brief stops for water and a chew bar. Valerie plods steadily up and we communicate with each other at the 'breathers'.
Fortunately we do communicate with each other after 40+ years of marriage and had made the decision from the beginning that, this year, it was Valerie's Camino. I needed to let her decide on the daily distances and where to stop for food. This year on the Inglés we were averaging 12 to 15 kilometers a day. We had frequent stops for 'a little something' and we never walked past an open Cafe / Bar without thinking about stopping for a cafe con leche! :) As we had done all our training walks together we knew what to expect of each other. Among other things - we each walked uphill at our own pace. I waited at the top and then we walked on together.
If you are planning to walk with a companion, it is really helpful if you can do at least some training walks together beforehand. If you do walk at different speeds, have different metabolic needs or any other incompatibility, it is good for it to show up before disaster strikes! It would be so sad if what should have been a wonderful experience turns out to be the end of a long term friendship /relationship. Judging by some of the comments we heard that is a real possibility!
Having aired the subject, I need to say that we loved the time walking together and are looking forward to, and planning for, more of the same.

Blessings on your walking
Tio Tel
Hello Terry, I am new to this forum and i will be walking the Camino in late 2017. There will be times that i will be by myself but it is always nice to be apart of a group or buddy up with someone. There are some follow countryman on this forum that have already walked the Camino and they have some interesting stories to tell. I hope there is someone out there planning there trip. Thank you for your advice and post.
 

Hedley49

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP - Santiago Apr-May "2013" Completed.
SJPdP - Santiago - Finisterre Apr-May "2014" Completed.
Via De La Plata Apr-May 2015 planning at present.
On our recent pilgrimage on the Camino Inglés we met a number of people who, like ourselves, were walking together. It can, it seems, raise a number of problems and tensions, some of which could possibly be avoided with a bit of 'forward planning'! This kind of comment for example

This year was my second Camino and my wife's first. In 2009 I walked from Santander on the Norte to Oviedo and then the Primitivo to Lugo, Melide and on to Santiago. Walking alone much of the time, I could manage 25 to 30 kilometers a day without any problem. I tackle hills by charging straight up with mini breathers as needed, and usually walked from 7.00 a.m. through to 1.00 / 2.00 p.m. with only one coffee break and very brief stops for water and a chew bar. Valerie plods steadily up and we communicate with each other at the 'breathers'.
Fortunately we do communicate with each other after 40+ years of marriage and had made the decision from the beginning that, this year, it was Valerie's Camino. I needed to let her decide on the daily distances and where to stop for food. This year on the Inglés we were averaging 12 to 15 kilometers a day. We had frequent stops for 'a little something' and we never walked past an open Cafe / Bar without thinking about stopping for a cafe con leche! :) As we had done all our training walks together we knew what to expect of each other. Among other things - we each walked uphill at our own pace. I waited at the top and then we walked on together.
If you are planning to walk with a companion, it is really helpful if you can do at least some training walks together beforehand. If you do walk at different speeds, have different metabolic needs or any other incompatibility, it is good for it to show up before disaster strikes! It would be so sad if what should have been a wonderful experience turns out to be the end of a long term friendship /relationship. Judging by some of the comments we heard that is a real possibility!
Having aired the subject, I need to say that we loved the time walking together and are looking forward to, and planning for, more of the same.

Blessings on your walking
Tio Tel
Love this article and totally agree with every word. The couple that plan together stay together. I walked the Frances last year with a Lady that was not my partner but a friend that shares my passion for walking. We trained together before and had an agreed plan that managed our different needs. The experience was fantastic and there was never ay tension, even on bad days like slogging through boot gripping mud for hours on the Meseta.
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Camino(s) past & future
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
Oct 2018 (Via Francigena stage)
The moment I told my (large) family that I intend to walk the Camino France (first time) in September this year, several of them said they'd like to join me for maybe 5 - 7 days along the way (individually). Whilst I would love to have my daughter, son, sister .... spend a few days with me, my concern is the walking pace.
I intend to start my walk slowly (probably a few days inside France before SJPDP) whilst gaining my 'legs' - since this will be the month I retire, I've no pressure of time. But if a 'newbie' family member joins me, I'll be back to walking a cautious pace so that they avoid injury.
As I write this, I'm realising that I must 'go with the flow' and accept this 'limitation' so that I may enjoy the company of each family member......
However, knowing the wealth of experiences / opinions in this forum, I will still post this and see if anyone has had a similar experience, and any suggestions.
Thanks Suzanne :)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
However, knowing the wealth of experiences / opinions in this forum, I will still post this and see if anyone has had a similar experience, and any suggestions.
Not directly, but when walking St Olav's Way, I stayed at the same herberge as a woman whose sons were taking turns walking with her. The one keeping her company at the time was unwell, and as a result, they were going to get a lift to the next major town the next day to arrange for treatment.

I think you are right to be cautious that a new companion might not be capable of keeping up, or vice versa. It is always going to be a compromise in that circumstance. Perhaps you need to discuss having a walking pattern where you walk together for the first part of the day, and then the faster walker goes ahead and meets the slower one at some pre-arranged point, such as a bar or perhaps the albergue you are thinking you might stay at. Not on the Camino, but my wife and I have used a similar pattern with my much speedier granddaughter when we have done multi-day walks with her.
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Camino(s) past & future
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
Oct 2018 (Via Francigena stage)
So the Bad News: I will not be walking the Camino in September when I retire; the Good News: My husband has agreed to accompany me, so we will wait until spring 2016 (when he's recovered from a hip replacement last month) and go together.
That means I need to re-read @TerryB and @Tia Valeria's advice on walking with a companion, so that we can both get the most out of our pilgrimage.
Suzanne :)
 

menna

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
no experience at all.
Hi, I'm planning to go the Camino de Santiago walk with someone so I would not be alone. Planning to go around July 15-August 10. If there is anyone like me. Please contact me!
thanks!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Hola Menna and welcome to the forum.
You might want to post your request for a companion in the section of the forum about the camino you plan to walk. This thread is talking through issues of walking with companions you already know, so may not help you to find a companion. Pilgrims often do ask if anyone will be walking when they do and also groups do form naturally, you can also check the calendar. Some of the issues discussed here will be helpful if you do find a companion or group to walk with and you might have something to add after your Camino too.
Buen Camino and happy planning
 

Melensdad

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP to Santiago, Finisterre. Hadrian's Way, 2015. Sections of the AT + National & State Park trails.
I walk with my wife at home, we live in a rare hilly area in Indiana and our daily (ok, not quite every day) walks are in the 5 -6 mile range. I can easily walk faster than my wife but I do slow my pace to match her pace.

This spring we walked the Hadrian's Wall National Trail across England with our daughter, first time walking with her.

Our daughter walks much faster than my wife. But cannot manage long distances day after day so she fades in the later part of the walking day. She doesn't walk often and while she has more energy at the onset, the day after day walking takes more of a toll on her than it does on the old folks who paid for her trip!

On the Hadrian's Wall trail I tended to split my time between the 2 of them, which seemed to reduce much of the stress. I'm also an avid photographer so I have lots of pictures of my daughter's back up in the distance ahead of me and lots of photos of my wife, pulling up the rear behind me. But walking with my wife for a while, then catching up to my daughter and walking with her, then taking a break and waiting for my wife to catch up seemed to work pretty well.

We are planning a late spring CF for 2016, unsure if our daughter will make that trip due to college studies. So I expect that the pace will be set by my wife, and I hope that I am OK with that. I suspect that I may take even more photos, which tend to cause me to walk ahead and set up photo ... or cause me to lag behind while I get that 'perfect' shot and then catch up. In any case, I think we walk enough together to know what to expect.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I walked with an Aussie family, for over half of my distance. But we did not stay together, our pace was much more our own & we would end up in the same place not every day, but for the most part.
I really thought the three of them had it figured out, they would pick certain days & walk alone & then meet up in a specific place.
 

Symphony

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2016
This is a very helpful thread to read - as I am very tall (6ft 2 in bare feet) I tend to walk much faster than anyone I'm friends with. I am planning to do the camino with a friend next year, and it hadn't occurred to me prior to this that we will need to do quite a bit of training together so that I can adjust to her pace - as most friends even when we are just walking to shops or cinema, have to quicken their paces to keep up with what I call my slow walk!
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
... as I am very tall (6ft 2 in bare feet) I tend to walk much faster than anyone I'm friends with. I am planning to do the camino with a friend next year, and it hadn't occurred to me prior to this that we will need to do quite a bit of training together so that I can adjust to her pace ...
Adjusting to somebody else's pace might seriously impact your own camino. Just food for thought. Buen Camino! SY
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
At times we can adjust our pace to walk together, at other times we have found what works for us (as in posts above). Walking too fast can damage joints, particularly hips; walking too slowly can be very tiring. However practise walks before the Camino allowed us to find what worked well. There are many suggestions on how to 'make it work' and IMHO it has to be two-way. He would struggle to walk at my slow speed uphill and I would struggle to maintain his pace.......So I am quite happy to slowly plod alone up hills (even that long one at Casa Julia) while Terry happily makes his quick way up and takes short breaks to check I am still OK and happy to keep going.
Maybe @Symphony will have to amble (not walk) along some parts of the Camino...., but it is good to see that there is already thinking and planning going on.
PS: Just noticed you are a new member so welcome @Symphony and Buen Camino
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
Mutual acquaintances referred to me two local women who were planning to start the walk in Le Puy this September. So I inquired, and it turns out they've worked together on local community projects for several years, but: no travel together of any sort.

I encouraged them to have a conversation:
1) Are you an early riser or late? Are you early to bed or late?
2) Are you a picky eater? How flexible are you around menus?
3) How do you feel about time? Promptness? Schedules - both the developing and the observing?
4) How do you normally deal with challenges, discomforts, inconveniences, plans gone awry?
5) (discussion about walking/stopping style as outlined by previous posters here)
6) and a final reminder: you are not joined at the hip; you need to give each other space - and agree in advance that splitting up is perfectly fine. (Splitting up does not work well if one is language-proficient and the other is totally dependent. Be able to carry your own end of the communication load.)

We so often assume that everyone else is exactly like us, and surprises about how different we are can be unpleasant.
I loved this. And I would add a few more:

7. Do you enjoy meeting new people and making new friends or are you rather a loner?
8. Can you be honest about your needs and not stay quiet and breed resentment?
9. Can you hear and accept another person's needs without taking it personally?

I do enjoy making new friends, and I enjoy socializing, at times.
However, there are times I just want to be alone, to NOT talk but to hear the wind, the birds, the water.
For me, a walking partner needs to understand this and be ok with it.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
It was nearing Santiago and I was walking slowly, having grown weary since starting in SJPP. A man and woman caught up to me and the woman and I got chatting - a pleasant chat, I thought. After a while the man urged the woman on saying something about getting to a certain town by nightfall. The woman obliged, we parted company and they picked up the pace. As they headed off, I smiled to myself and thought, "Now there's a reason to walk by oneself."
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
So long as she was happy with that it is OK, maybe they had made the decision together previously. However, some people are better walking alone if that is what they need or prefer. It is the effect on long term friendships or relationships that prompts the need for discussion on daily walking, and sadly some don't discuss the issues. It is always good to see folk who do - whatever decisons they come to re walking (or not) with a companion.
 

Symphony

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2016
At times we can adjust our pace to walk together, at other times we have found what works for us (as in posts above). Walking too fast can damage joints, particularly hips; walking too slowly can be very tiring. However practise walks before the Camino allowed us to find what worked well. There are many suggestions on how to 'make it work' and IMHO it has to be two-way. He would struggle to walk at my slow speed uphill and I would struggle to maintain his pace.......So I am quite happy to slowly plod alone up hills (even that long one at Casa Julia) while Terry happily makes his quick way up and takes short breaks to check I am still OK and happy to keep going.
Maybe @Symphony will have to amble (not walk) along some parts of the Camino...., but it is good to see that there is already thinking and planning going on.
PS: Just noticed you are a new member so welcome @Symphony and Buen Camino
I think, as it is a journey we are taking on together, I would be happy to adjust to her pace (rather than taking longer strides) and experience the camino with her, rather than stick to my usual and leave her behind. That said, I am sure there will be sections where one of us struggles a bit or falls into conversation with others. We will play it by ear :) And also thank you for the welcome :D Sorry for the delay in seeing this - I took a few days to just read read read in the forum so that I wasn't going to start out my membership here with loads of previously answered questions ;) (which I will probably still do at some stage)
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
I met many couples and small groups of friends, walking the Camino together. It's not for me. I meet new friends along the way, but I hate to compromise. And I relish the alone time. I have also found that it is almost always possible to get a bed in the albergue if you are alone. Much harder for two people.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I met many couples and small groups of friends, walking the Camino together. It's not for me. I meet new friends along the way, but I hate to compromise. And I relish the alone time. I have also found that it is almost always possible to get a bed in the albergue if you are alone. Much harder for two people.
That is very honest of you and obviously you walk the Camino as is right for you. Others sadly find that they have difficulties walking with a partner/spouse/close friend while on the Camino. Sometimes with sad and lasting consequences. Others of us joyfully find it strengthens our relationships.
We have walked together through life for 50 years and walking together on the Camino is an expression of our gratitude as well as actually deepening our relationship. @Terry B started the thread after we met up with a couple for whom it was not working well.
Thinking ahead and about walking the Camino together we felt was an important part of preparation. Joining up with others while on Camino is a very different issue. Yes - we have to compromise and adapt, as we said in or first posts. Walking speed, the way we walk up hills, waiting for the slower walker etc are all important issues.
Making sure of joint accommodation can be an issue but sometimes actually makes it easier, accepting a shared room/double bed etc which some folk would not want.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
I met a mother/daughter duo walking together last year, who were getting very frustrated with each of their different expectations, energy levels and goals. I encouraged them to walk separately and just meet up at the end of the day. The mother was nervous about this, so I told her I'd walk with her 17 year old daughter that day. I met them a couple of weeks later again, and they were happily walking separately and enjoying the Camino in their own ways. It seemed like a great experience for the daughter especially, having some independence.
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Camino(s) past & future
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
Oct 2018 (Via Francigena stage)
...Joining up with others while on Camino is a very different issue. Yes - we have to compromise and adapt, as we said in or first posts. ...Making sure of joint accommodation can be an issue but sometimes actually makes it easier, accepting a shared room/double bed etc which some folk would not want.
I met my Camino ‘family’ late into my two month pilgrimage (autumn 2016). By then we were all ‘seasoned’ walkers & were able to separate when needed (sometimes just during the day; other times maybe one stopping earlier than the others & staying in a different village).
The last week, walking into Santiago in pouring rain & cold weather, our mutual support was key to finishing the pilgrimage.
Walking with others, isn’t a ‘walk in the park’, you need to be aware of others needs.
Suzanne
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
One of those times when companions make the difference in the best possible way. Good that you could encourage one another - the weather has been truly appalling hasn't it!!
The 'being aware of others needs' was the thinking behind this thread when we started it...:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
That is very honest of you and obviously you walk the Camino as is right for you. Others sadly find that they have difficulties walking with a partner/spouse/close friend while on the Camino. Sometimes with sad and lasting consequences. Others of us joyfully find it strengthens our relationships.
We have walked together through life for 50 years and walking together on the Camino is an expression of our gratitude as well as actually deepening our relationship. @Terry B started the thread after we met up with a couple for whom it was not working well.
Thinking ahead and about walking the Camino together we felt was an important part of preparation. Joining up with others while on Camino is a very different issue. Yes - we have to compromise and adapt, as we said in or first posts. Walking speed, the way we walk up hills, waiting for the slower walker etc are all important issues.
Making sure of joint accommodation can be an issue but sometimes actually makes it easier, accepting a shared room/double bed etc which some folk would not want.
I started to 'like' some of the first posts till I saw the dates! I still like them. I walk with a friend. We have walked the CF, from Porto to Santiago, and the Salvador. We are still friends... thank God!
 

OLDER threads on this topic


Book your lodging here

Booking.com


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: 12 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 37 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 133 15.6%
  • May

    Votes: 205 24.0%
  • June

    Votes: 60 7.0%
  • July

    Votes: 17 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 13 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 254 29.8%
  • October

    Votes: 100 11.7%
  • November

    Votes: 12 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top