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want solitude

lmans

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2025 sometime
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
 
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While many people love Camino families and the social aspect of the Camino, there are also many who are looking for solitude, as you are. In general, people will respect your desire to be alone.

Here are some threads about introverts on the Camino that may have some good strategies and advice:



 
Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite.

It sounds like you will be starting your Camino with a lot of expectations.

In my experience, this leads to a disappointing and boring Camino.

My advice would be to worry less about your Cumbayá avoidance strategies and go with an open mind and open heart and see what happens.

Of course, this might not be you!
 
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This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.
There are other routes that are similar in length to the Francés but with much more solitude. For example, the Vía de la Plata sounds like it could be what you’re looking for. Look up some alternative routes and see if you find something that speaks to you.
 
You can have solitude on the CF. Be the last to leave an albergue (usually around 8am) and you’ll likely have the trail completely to yourself. Spend more time in churches than in bars, pack your lunch so you can picnic solo, and choose private rooms over public dorms. If you want to be alone, be alone. It’s your choice and others will respect it.
 
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This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Why the France then, just start elsewhere, I recently crossed from Tangier to Algerciras and noticed Camino markers there. I think the France is just a made up thing, you can literally start anywhere, the only rule being you will need a few stamps in the book for the last 100kms, if you are bothered about a certificate. I could imagine a lot if not most Camino routes are deserted, no one for miles and miles. Or possibly something inside you wants to interact with other people, and is frightened this is what you will find on your Camino.
 
I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route?

High season on the Frances is probably not for you unless you can practise khilwat dar anjuman.

A less travelled and still lengthy route was my first, starting Malaga on the Mozarabe, joining the VdlP at Merida and finishing on the Sanabres. You could continue to Fisterra if you wanted. Longer than the Frances. April is a good time to start.
 
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you can literally start anywhere, the only rule being you will need a few stamps in the book for the last 100kms, if you are bothered about a certificate.
True BUT... to stay in some pilgrim albergues on some routes, you must demonstrate that you are walking towards Santiago. Your credential with stamps is the evidence. On the Mozarabe from Almería, for example, the wonderful volunteers of the Asociación enforce this rule.

I reiterate the suggestions that the OP pick another route such as the Vía de la Plata or the Mozárabe.
 
True BUT... to stay in some pilgrim albergues on some routes, you must demonstrate that you are walking towards Santiago. Your credential with stamps is the evidence. On the Mozarabe from Almería, for example, the wonderful volunteers of the Asociación enforce this rule.

I reiterate the suggestions that the OP pick another route such as the Vía de la Plata or the Mozárabe.
Why do you think the OP wishes to stay in Albergues and I have only suggested a different start point, not end point.
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Pay attention to all above, especially @jungleboy.
Buen camino, not trail!
Trail, anywhere.
Camino, intentional.
 
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Hi! I walked in one of the busiest months last September.
You will meet people when you want to and find solitude when you need it.

Walking from Leon to Sarria i met a few pilgrims on the path; obviously at the end of the day in accommodation those who have walked meet up!

When i got to Sarria the beginning of the last 100km i thought here comes the madness; well the first two days out were pretty busy i could see pilgrims on the path constantly. Not sure where i took this but you can find this sort of solo walking if you want it.
By day three it was much quieter.
Body cam vid with no bad language (mammoth task to find one🤣)
 

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  • BEEN NO ONE FOR AGES.MP4
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The Camino tends to give you what you need, not necessarily what you think you want. You just need to choose your path taking into consideration the wise words above - and walk, without any pre-conceptions or notions of what might or might not be*

*spoken by a self-confessed introvert who couldn't bear the thought of crowded Albergues at the start of the CF, to someone who couldn't bear the thought of an isolated hotel room by the end.
 
If you truly want solitude, maybe pick a quieter route. There are so many.......

Depending on the time of year, on the Frances you may have to 'find' solitude. By leaving earlier or later than others, staying in smaller places/villages.

On routes like the VdlP or Invierno and many others, you might not see another Pilgrim all day.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I finished the VDLP on Good Friday after 5 weeks, and walked all of it alone. On leaving for the airport I saw untold groups tramping into Santiago. Albeit holy week, the Frances is a busy Camino most of the year.

I did the Mozarabes last year, Almeria to Merida. After Granada I walked it alone.
However because Nely and the team do such a great job, it's a pilgrim party from Almeria to Granada. But you could miss out that stage.

Other than brief exchanges about trail conditions, openings and closings, food etc. talk on the Camino can easily be very short.

The Invierno? Why that's almost spelt the same as introverted. I'll look into that.
 
I've walked a bunch of Caminos and while I do love the connections I've made and some social interaction, I'm also an introvert and the alone time I get on a long walk is really important to me. I now walk a mix of more popular routes and more quiet ones, and almost always in the summer (this is when I have time off but also when the routes can be a bit more crowded).

All of this being said... when I've been on the Frances, I can still find lots of solo-time! It helps if you stay "off-stage" (so, before or past the typical starting/stopping points listed in many guidebooks). And starting a bit later in the morning and/or walking into the afternoon will also generally give you time alone on the path. If I'm walking long into the afternoon I might consider booking ahead for a place to sleep, just so I can relax into the walk and not worry about finding a bed (but that all depends on which route/when you're walking/how "crowded" the trail is, etc)
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I've walked a bunch of Caminos and while I do love the connections I've made and some social interaction, I'm also an introvert and the alone time I get on a long walk is really important to me. I now walk a mix of more popular routes and more quiet ones, and almost always in the summer (this is when I have time off but also when the routes can be a bit more crowded).

All of this being said... when I've been on the Frances, I can still find lots of solo-time! It helps if you stay "off-stage" (so, before or past the typical starting/stopping points listed in many guidebooks). And starting a bit later in the morning and/or walking into the afternoon will also generally give you time alone on the path. If I'm walking long into the afternoon I might consider booking ahead for a place to sleep, just so I can relax into the walk and not worry about finding a bed (but that all depends on which route/when you're walking/how "crowded" the trail is, etc)
I appreciate all that have chimed in....apparently everyone tailors a camino to fit their own challenges/needs..... So people have provided sound advice. My challenge is 'personal perseverance' along with the challenge of overcoming the physical side obviously. For me, personal perseverance is solitude and moving oneself into more a zen like experience for the camino. Others obviously go the opposite so each their own.

But starting later to avoid the crowd along the trail......eating apart.....packing a lunch etc.... and yes, planning ahead by booking if possible. Otherwise the lack of a bed is always going to be niggling at one's mind.

While am an introvert....I am not a hermit....as I taught school for many many many years...so perhaps a need to find myself and nourish who I am....is what my Camino is about. Thus, the desire for solitude.
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Why not start on the Via de La Plata at Zafra, it is approximately 6 or 7 days after Seville, the "families" will have formed by then, and it is about 850 Km. from Santiago. Zafra is a beautiful historic town and worth the visit. Walk to Granja de Moreruela, and take Sanabres route to Santiago. Less pilgrims, and longer daily distances ensure plenty of time to enjoy the "I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge" . Be sure to carry enough water.
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
I am not an introvert, but I have found a lot of alone time on my seven casinos. I leave early 5:30-6:00 AM, ahead of the pack. I walk slowly (others pass me). Leaving villages you can again wait for groups to pass. It is best not to fear the unknown, meanwhile I am an advocate for Camino Families which are formed by meeting and talking to other Pilgrims.
 
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Just offering my experience. I don’t think you’ll have a problem. i’m on my second Camino, currently half way through the Camino del Norte. About same length as Frances, but with more ups and downs. I’m also an introvert. This is off-season for regular tourists and early season for Camino pilgrims. I have been alternating staying in albergues and pensiones/inexpensive motels. The latter cost about 40 euros at this time of year, so roughly double the cost of albergues. However, I get my own room, own bath. I have loved it. A night of a quiet socializing, then a night (& morning) on my own. The accommodations have all been quiet, clean and well-maintained. Usually I can check in by 1pm, and have until 11 to check out. The owners and staff have been great to work with, and often very helpful with local advice.
On the walks themselves, I have been alone 95% of the time. In fact, due to being off-season, there seems to be very few locals about. At times, it feels almost post apocalyptic! Outside the major towns, I have seen many more cattle than people. They watch me go by, but never try to start a conversation. 😉
In albergues, I find people very respectful of space. I think most are introverts. If you are interested in potentially chatting, you go out to the common space and make eye contact. If you just want to chill, you can prop yourself up in your bunk with a book (you won’t be the only one) or wander out to the local beach or old town.
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Hi Imans,
I am walking the Camino Madrid now. Very few people! Once I arrive at the Frances I will most likely continue the Salvador route from Leon, and then the Primitivo. I don’t know about the the other two yet, but if solitude is what you are after, the Madrid might be a good start. I am in Medina the Rioseco at the moment, and the last few days it has only been me and another pilgrim. So far from Madrid I met a total of 9 pilgrims. Good luck deciding, I am sure you will find something that suits you. Saludos
 
developing a camino family is so important
That's Hollywood. Many of us are totally not into contrived camino families. It's both not true and not the situation on the ground. If you want quiet, you can find it. But as others have said, quieter caminos might be more your cup of tea.
 
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I’m currently on the San Salvador and am completely alone on the path and in the albergues! It’s stunning and I’ve been very lucky with the weather. If possible, try not to pick a time when it’s supposed to be very wet. Footing will be tough
Hi Imans,
I am walking the Camino Madrid now. Very few people! Once I arrive at the Frances I will most likely continue the Salvador route from Leon, and then the Primitivo. I don’t know about the the other two yet, but if solitude is what you are after, the Madrid might be a good start. I am in Medina the Rioseco at the moment, and the last few days it has only been me and another pilgrim. So far from Madrid I met a total of 9 pilgrims. Good luck deciding, I am sure you will find something that suits you. Saludos
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Currently on Camino Frances, started 14March. Have had a couple of days meeting zero pilgrims, but now in Mid-April many more. My suggestion
Go early March, walk off-stage which is what I did and start later in the morning, stay in private rooms, don’t do pilgrim dinners. These will minimise the number of fellow travellers you have to interact with.
When someone starts talking while you are walking, wish them Buen Camino and keep going.
Other times, just say, “Sorry, I am wanting some alone time “ & turn away.
 
Also an introvert, have walked SJPdP to Santiago starting late May, and Burgos to Muxia starting late August. Except for a few days on each, I walked alone as per my preference. Do not worry, over 800km you will have no problem finding solitude. I did enjoy sereptitiously running into someone I had met at an albergue, or at dinner, and have stayed in touch with a few, but felt no need or desire to find a contrived "family'. I am confident you can find what you need on the CF. Buen Camino!
 
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Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

I'm sure many set out hoping to develop a Camino family.
Some set out dreading the prospect!
I tend to prefer solitude.
Though I have always enjoyed the company of others, and ended up walking with others for a couple of weeks.
Perhaps I fall into the 'inbetween' category.

I'm happy to be totally alone and not see another Pilgrim for weeks.
But equally happy enjoying the company of others, in small doses.
The large social gatherings and large camino families, tend to have me running for the hills.
Just not my thing.

But the Camino tends to throw you curved balls.
That's why it's important not to go with any expectations.
Every Camino I have walked has been great.
And usually not what I expected, at all.........

The only choice I seem to get regarding a Camino, is the route and the start point.
After that, The Camino decides the experience I'll have............. ;)
 
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This is my first don't think the Frances ias I look atis the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
I appreciate all that have chimed in....apparently everyone tailors a camino to fit their own challenges/needs..... So people have provided sound advice. My challenge is 'personal perseverance' along with the challenge of overcoming the physical side obviously. For me, personal perseverance is solitude and moving oneself into more a zen like experience for the camino. Others obviously go the opposite so each their own.

But starting later to avoid the crowd along the trail......eating apart.....packing a lunch etc.... and yes, planning ahead by booking if possible. Otherwise the lack of a bed is always going to be niggling at one's mind.

While am an introvert....I am not a hermit....as I taught school for many many many years...so perhaps a need to find myself and nourish who I am....is what my Camino is about. Thus, the desire for solitude.
A beautiful way with very few fellow pilgrims and certainly also a physical challenge would be the camino mozarabe starting in Almeria or Malaga. It is stunningly beautiful and peaceful. I really don't think the Frances is for you. The most crowded camino of all. Google both. Portuguese also much frequented. Via de la Plata may be good if you are able for long distances.
I hope you find the right road for you 🙏
 
I don’t particularly like my own family, so I’m most certainly not soliciting a ‘Camino family’ when I’m walking.

I do like meeting others, and nowhere else have I spent time with so many nationalities and age-ranges where I have something in common - but basically on my own terms. The option of speeding up and slowing down, walking further or stopping short or simply staying elsewhere is always open.

From October through to March I’d say that even the Frances is a slow-moving convoy of introverts all keeping a mutually respectful distance from each other.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Why do you think the OP wishes to stay in Albergues and I have only suggested a different start point, not end point.
Sorry for any offense. I was just trying to add a piece of information that might be relevant to a person who is new to Camino planning and is thinking about starting "anywhere" and maybe walking in any direction. We recently had a thread that described how some walkers were upset to discover that they couldn't stay in certain albergues because they were walking in the wrong direction.
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Sounds like you would be better off with a retreat. The Camino today is a joyous, inclusive experience.TG.
 
I don't think a "Camino Family" is as common as the myth. If you want solitude it's as simple as merely nodding at people when you pass each other, they will take the hint. You aren't forced to socialize with anyone. You can sit alone for coffee or meals. You can choose private accommodation if you want more alone time.

I was social during the day while walking. Then checked into my private room at the end of the day and enjoyed peace and quiet. Sometimes I ate with others, most days I ate alone.

Late autumn to early spring has fewer pilgrims. Other routes are less travelled, as others have mentioned, Via de la Plata would grant you long days with few interactions.

Buen Camino!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Sounds like you would be better off with a retreat. The Camino today is a joyous, inclusive experience.TG.


The Camino can mean lots of things.
Yes, for some it can be joyous and inclusive, but that is so utterly limiting IMO.

To me it is certainly not always " cheerful ecstatic exuberant festive heartwarming joyful jubilant merry upbeat wonderful" ( quick internetsearch for synonyms of joyous ). And thank heavens for that!
 
But the Camino tends to throw you curved balls.
That's why it's important not to go with any expectations.
Every Camino I have walked has been great.
And usually not what I expected, at all.........
Yes, and if you try to dodge them then you are missing a large part of what makes the Camino what it is.

I for one sure appreciate not wanting anyone near me, or anyone shattering what feels like a very fragile existence sometimes - but for me the Camino and the people and the places helped stick me back together a little stronger than when I went.

It's a shame to shut yourself out from that before you've even taken your first foot step. By all means go craving solitude which would be far easier found someplace else, but keep a tiny little place in your heart for the unexpected.

Zen is all about letting go and living in the moment🙏
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Hey,
I am about to walk my first Camino. Solo. I truly understand you, but in a different way. I like people (for a while😅) but I like nature best on my own. But to experience the peregrina-feeling I start at the Frances, St Jean PdP, walk to León. There I continue the San Salvador to Oviedo, not many people walk there. And at Oviedo I start the Primitivo, also more silent. I know I love to wander around alone in The Netherlands, I don’t know (yet) what my way of enjoying Camino’s will be. So I made a mixture plan, which can be changed in ??? Whatever😊 let it be/grow/florish🌼

But please:
Don’t give yourself a ‘stamp in behavior’ in a situation you have not yet experienced.
Stay open to yourself, to whatever change and to new experiences and maybe to a new you to explore😊

Buen Camino!!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
I'm not an introvert, but I'm big on solitude. My three top tips for a solitary Camino are:

1. Stay off-stage where towns are quieter;
2. TELL PEOPLE that you want to walk quietly/alone/solo/without talking. You are allowed to want to walk by yourself and the sooner you get a reputation among your walking cohort for that, the better;
3. If you're physically able, walk long and walk far. Even 5-7k beyond the usual distance will make a huge difference. That way you meet different people every night and it's easier to 'rest lightly' in the communal aspect of things.

My guess is that, after a day of walking solo/silently, you will welcome the conviviality of the albergues and shared meals, but if you don't, that's okay too! I am in the habit of telling people "oh, thank you, I like to walk alone, but I'll see you at X town for a coffee break or X town for the night."
 
Sounds like you would be better off with a retreat. The Camino today is a joyous, inclusive experience.TG.
Who says the Camino can't be a retreat? It is for me. You can party or socialize all you like on the Camino but not to forget that not everybody has your experience.
 
Sorry for any offense. I was just trying to add a piece of information that might be relevant to a person who is new to Camino planning and is thinking about starting "anywhere" and maybe walking in any direction. We recently had a thread that described how some walkers were upset to discover that they couldn't stay in certain albergues because they were walking in the wrong direction.
No offence taken, no problems, thanks for replying.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I appreciate all that have chimed in....apparently everyone tailors a camino to fit their own challenges/needs..... So people have provided sound advice. My challenge is 'personal perseverance' along with the challenge of overcoming the physical side obviously. For me, personal perseverance is solitude and moving oneself into more a zen like experience for the camino. Others obviously go the opposite so each their own.

But starting later to avoid the crowd along the trail......eating apart.....packing a lunch etc.... and yes, planning ahead by booking if possible. Otherwise the lack of a bed is always going to be niggling at one's mind.

While am an introvert....I am not a hermit....as I taught school for many many many years...so perhaps a need to find myself and nourish who I am....is what my Camino is about. Thus, the desire for solitude.
A lot of people have suggested walking a solitary route to achieve solitude. I'm not going to join them. Not for a first Camino. Solitary routes can certainly be wonderful. But they tend to come with less infrastructure to support a pilgrim and less flexibility to allow a first-time pilgrim to adapt their Camino to what they discover, on the camino, that they need. I think that you are looking for 'personal perseverance' challenges, and physical challenges, but not necessarily logistical challenges.

I think you are on the right track in terms of looking for strategies to adapt the Camino Frances to your needs. And, part of the benefit of all that infrastructure on the Camino Frances, is more flexibility to adopt these strategies. Whether it is more grocery stores and supermarkets to allow you to pack lunches, or more places to stop for the night. Stopping at a place "off-stage" (between the places recommended in the popular guides and apps as stopping places) can be a very effective way of achieving solitude. As effective or more so than starting late, and not leading you to arrive late. As an example (one that I trot out often, because it made such an impact on me), last summer at the height of the season I was walking the last 50km of the Frances. That's the busiest time of year on the busiest part of the busiest route. I had plenty of solitude. As much as I had experienced on the Primitivo or even the San Salvador (much less walked routes). How did I achieve this? Instead of stopping at Arzua and O Pedrouzo I stopped at Salceda and Lavacolla. That's all it took.

You talk about planning ahead by booking if possible. My advice would be not to plan and book your whole Camino ahead. The first few days, sure. After that I would only plan and book a day or two in advance. Keep that flexibility.
 
Sounds like you would be better off with a retreat. The Camino today is a joyous, inclusive experience.TG.
While I agree that the Camino should be an inclusive experience, I'm not sure that you are demonstrating that by sending this pilgrim off to a retreat. The Camino is just as inclusive of introverts who want solitude or limited social contact as it is of extroverts who find joy in the larger, louder groups. You may want to consider what "inclusive" means to you.

I think the Camino has plenty to offer this particular pilgrim. I'm sure that if they want a retreat, they are capable of recognizing that.
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
I find plenty of solitude on CF, even in the busy seasons. I start walking between 0600-0700, and at a bit faster pace (physical challenge). Sometimes I do not see anyone for 2-3 hours. Just keep walking until 1800 or later each day. Usually by 1400, 90% of the people are off the trail, and you will have it mostly to yourself. The added time and mileage will give you more physical challenge. As others have posted, del Norte is an option for you: pretty good infrastructure, same distance as CF, much more of a physical challenge, and many fewer pilgrims.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I find plenty of solitude on CF, even in the busy seasons. I start walking between 0600-0700, and at a bit faster pace (physical challenge). Sometimes I do not see anyone for 2-3 hours. Just keep walking until 1800 or later each day. Usually by 1400, 90% of the people are off the trail, and you will have it mostly to yourself. The added time and mileage will give you more physical challenge. As others have posted, del Norte is an option for you: pretty good infrastructure, same distance as CF, much more of a physical challenge, and many fewer pilgrims.
I certainly agree re walking later into the day. I also start early but as I am such a slow walker, and I like to get at least 30kms in, I also walk into the late afternoon / early evening. Many people seem done by 1400-1500 so it is much quieter and very different vibe!
 
I have walked Camino Frances twice in October/November and once in March. So quiet, few people. But always nice people, good to experience the warmth between people. Nice brief meetings. Some really special. Mostly solitude. (Camino Portuguese in April, also few people.) I don't know what is really meant by "Cumbaya", if it is singing together and/or being asked to share "why pilgrimage" or something personal during a communal dinner - that is not something for me either. But some like it. It is not a very common experience. When staying in Hontanas in an albergue and somebody had a guitar, started singing together, I actually enjoyed having it in the background while relaxing in my bed. I think you will have a wonderful time, exactly as you want it and a lot more.

I start (not too) early, walk slow, but long daily distances (30-40km , sometimes little more), and I bring lunch/food and have several stops anywhere and in bars/cafes and arrive late in the evening. (I prefer staying in villages, not big cities.) Therefore, new people every day as few walk such long distances. Start low, go slow and build up the distance that suit your physical health. Buen camino!
 
Hi! I walked in one of the busiest months last September.
You will meet people when you want to and find solitude when you need it.

Walking from Leon to Sarria i met a few pilgrims on the path; obviously at the end of the day in accommodation those who have walked meet up!

When i got to Sarria the beginning of the last 100km i thought here comes the madness; well the first two days out were pretty busy i could see pilgrims on the path constantly. Not sure where i took this but you can find this sort of solo walking if you want it.
By day three it was much quieter.
Body cam vid with no bad language (mammoth task to find one🤣)
 
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Hi, I walked the 800kms in September. I agree and believe Woody66's statement. says it best. You will meet people when you want to & find solitude when you need it. Just remember this is your journey, no rules.
 
The Camino can mean lots of things.
Yes, for some it can be joyous and inclusive, but that is so utterly limiting IMO.

To me it is certainly not always " cheerful ecstatic exuberant festive heartwarming joyful jubilant merry upbeat wonderful" ( quick internetsearch for synonyms of joyous ). And thank heavens for that!
Perhaps you would prefer “ sombre”.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I relate to Iman's situation. I too will be seeking solitude when I do my Frances in September - October. I was dreading the "Camino family" involvement, so the comments have relieved my concerns.
I had not walked seriously - and I use that term deliberately, because I abandoned walking with local groups on "strolls" - before I started planning my Camino, and as my training progressed, I found that I yearned for the early, often just on dawn, starts to my solitary walks. I get into my walking rhythm and can stay there for hours (time seems to fly) and have to remind myself to stop to hydrate, or just stop for a while and have a coffee. I am wondering how I can stretch out a 5 or 6 hour walk from 0800 to 1600. What will I do during those 2 to 3 hours not walking? My sit-down "pauses" last usually 20 minutes at most - I need to get up and get going.
Oddly, I am looking forward to those lovely long straight dirt tracks on the Meseta!
I could not possibly walk with someone else - even if they were in my rhythm, as they would be a distraction. I must be a true introvert.
 
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This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposit

This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
I would label myself a introvert and walked the camino frances from mid May to end of June last year. Looking for solitude was relatively easy from SJPP TO Saria (after saria it can get busy). You will encounter people on the way but there is no need to feel you must be part of a "family" it is up to you. I found being part of a group quite stressful. What I enjoyed was being on my own and the freedom. I could decide what to eat, when to eat and where, my preferred speed to walk and when to stop. In towns what to visit or not, whrte to stay etc.... And when to take photos! Who to speak to - piligrims and/or the Spanish. If you are not keen on domitories you could always alternate it by booking a room - eg a couple of nights in Leon and Burgos for a rest. I should add i did meet some great people on the way. Have a great camino.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route...
I read about bed races and the last 100km after Sarria on the Camino Frances... and I decided to start in August 2018 with the Camino Aragones from Somport -> Camino Frances -> Camino de Invierno and so I had more solitude than if I would have walked only the Camino Frances.

Another important point is the time of year (older statistics):

But I think now... it is very different to walk on a lonely camino (e.g. a little bit of Spanish is more important)... but I like both more or less the same.
 
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I too prefer solitude on the trail. Your best bet is to leave late since most try to get an early (sometimes very early) start. By leaving late most will already be far down the trail. And also concentrate on hiking in the later afternoon when you'll mostly have the trail to yourself. Most pilgrims try to finish the stage in the early afternoon which is the time for you to have it all to yourself till very late.
 
Perhaps you would prefer “ sombre”.
it is not a question of preference. Some people walk through grief. Believe it or not, it is not uncommon on the Camino. To expect these pilgrims to walk a Camino that is "cheerful ecstatic exuberant festive heartwarming joyful jubilant merry upbeat" strikes me as somewhat absurd. And to suggest that if their Camino is not that way, the Camino is not for them is, in my opinion, contrary to the spirit of the Camino as I have come to know it.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
A lot of people have suggested walking a solitary route to achieve solitude. I'm not going to join them. Not for a first Camino. Solitary routes can certainly be wonderful. But they tend to come with less infrastructure to support a pilgrim and less flexibility to allow a first-time pilgrim to adapt their Camino to what they discover, on the camino, that they need. I think that you are looking for 'personal perseverance' challenges, and physical challenges, but not necessarily logistical challenges.

I think you are on the right track in terms of looking for strategies to adapt the Camino Frances to your needs. And, part of the benefit of all that infrastructure on the Camino Frances, is more flexibility to adopt these strategies. Whether it is more grocery stores and supermarkets to allow you to pack lunches, or more places to stop for the night. Stopping at a place "off-stage" (between the places recommended in the popular guides and apps as stopping places) can be a very effective way of achieving solitude. As effective or more so than starting late, and not leading you to arrive late. As an example (one that I trot out often, because it made such an impact on me), last summer at the height of the season I was walking the last 50km of the Frances. That's the busiest time of year on the busiest part of the busiest route. I had plenty of solitude. As much as I had experienced on the Primitivo or even the San Salvador (much less walked routes). How did I achieve this? Instead of stopping at Arzua and O Pedrouzo I stopped at Salceda and Lavacolla. That's all it took.

You talk about planning ahead by booking if possible. My advice would be not to plan and book your whole Camino ahead. The first few days, sure. After that I would only plan and book a day or two in advance. Keep that flexibility.
I'm about to do my final day on the Mozarabe, which is my first camino. There weren't many people during the day but plenty of birds for company. It was fine, it felt safe, and the nature is beautiful.

The distances between Granada and Cordoba can be between 20 and 30km. Logistically, in terms of accommodation, I booked ahead due to the lack of albergues. Only thing that I'd be a bit concerned about is the lack of water between Alcalá la Real and Córdoba on a hot day as there weren't any other villages on the way. I had a 3l water bladder and that was enough in 30°C. I brought salted nuts and dates for the trail but didn't actually eat while walking, because I tend not to feel hungry during long hikes.
 
I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Hello @lmans
At lot of the stuff you may read about doing a Camino is not to true for everyone.

For example, I have never felt the need to join a Camino family. Sure I speak to people, but I don't attach myself to them either. The choice is entirely yours.

As for Albergues, there are people that want to use them exclusively (or as much as possible). For me, I try to avoid communal sleeping (Its an age thing for me). I do it of course, as there is not always the choice. You will also have a choice to (mostly) avoid communal sleeping if that would be a problem for you.

The CF can be busy, especially after Sarria. But, its a great route for a first Camino.

With all of the advice above I'm sure that you will make a great decision for yourself
 
I believe that there are many that try to overthink, or read too much into this walk. Yes, a long walk but a walk none the less as one can gain spiritually from many aspects of any long walk. The Camino to me, is no different than walking the Pacific Trail in the states in terms of building physical touchness and mental toughness to succeed. They both are difficult.... The important thing for me is that on the Pacfic Trail, it is a give-me that there will be solitude and one can easily get into a personal contemplative existence / zen like feel. That makes for that 'walk'.... An occasional person is okay.

On the Camino, it is more like....an occasional time when no one is around, unless one purposely avoids by going in the later hours etc.... Not to say the Camino is bad, as for extroverts this walk feeds into their needs. For an introvert, a more purposeful need to orchestrate the Camino on a mental basis is needed above and beyond the basics of finding a bed, feet issues, water etc...
 
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Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
I believe that there are many that try to overthink, or read too much into this walk. Yes, a long walk but a walk none the less as one can gain spiritually from many aspects of any long walk. The Camino to me, is no different than walking the Pacific Trail in the states in terms of building physical touchness and mental toughness to succeed.
I am having trouble understanding your motivation for walking the Caminos in particular if you feel that (a) any long walk can be a source of spiritual gain (a position which I totally accept and agree with) and (b) you feel a very strong wish for solitude. On the main Camino routes real solitude can be difficult to find for much of the year. Certainly if your standard for comparison is a long-distance wilderness trail like the PCT or the AT. Would it not make more sense to look elsewhere at roads less travelled if the road itself has no distinctive intrinsic value for you?
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
People may greet you but if you just wave they almost never persist. Numbers thin out after Logroño, lots of time with few people. Also set off a bit late after the 7am rush hour, and you hit the spaces. Sit in quiet churches, eat alone. Stop in unusual places and above all avoid big towns on Sundays.
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Why not do the north as it is quieter and as long. Cooling breezes from the sea and great variety of terrain.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Many US hikers want to try to compare the Camino to a thru-hike or a back country hike like the AT or the PCT. It isn't really like those. It is long distance, but often through small towns and the majority of sleeping is done in structures like albergues.

I know I thought it would be similar to a US hiking experience, but it wasn't really for me. While you do walk through some beautiful areas, they may be filled with fields of crops, cattle, sheep, etc. Instead of wilderness. There will likely be people. The CFis a well-traveled path with a worldwide reputation so unless you go in winter or take a less traveled route, you should expect that you won't be alone.
 
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This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Do the Camino del Norte instead of the Frances would be my advice . . . It's pretty much the same distance, but a lot less popular
 
This is a long thread and I have not read every entry. So, I apologize if this recommendation has already been given.

If solitude and challenge is what you seek consider the Arles. I walked most of this in late August and September in 2019 (pre-Covid) and encountered about 12 other pilgrims along way between Arles and Castres. It is a challenging route as there is a lot of elevation change, little by the way of infrastructure in many places (e.g. no buses or trains or larger towns), and very little English.

It happened to feature a heat wave that year and this may have been the most demanding outdoor adventure I have ever embarked on as it challenged me mentally, emotionally, and physically. That said, I still highly recommend this route. I live posted about it at the time and I’m sure those threads can still be found with a small amount of searching.

Bonne route!
 
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This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Choose another route, or cobble something together. I am doing Camino Vasco de Interior from Irûn, joining the Frances at Burgos. Leaving the Frances at Leon for the Salvador to Oviedo, then on to the Norte to Ribadeo or Vilalba where I will bus to the Ingles and enter Santiago from a less crowded path. Anyway that is my plan. There are so very many options. Don’t limit yourself.
 
I am having trouble understanding your motivation for walking the Caminos in particular if you feel that (a) any long walk can be a source of spiritual gain (a position which I totally accept and agree with) and (b) you feel a very strong wish for solitude. On the main Camino routes real solitude can be difficult to find for much of the year. Certainly if your standard for comparison is a long-distance wilderness trail like the PCT or the AT. Would it not make more sense to look elsewhere at roads less travelled if the road itself has no distinctive intrinsic value for you?
Because the Camino has multiple resources along the way, unlike any other long walk. Little towns, cafes, spots to rest and grab a bit...scenic etc.... So the Camino has a ton to offer, thus the reason to find how it might work for those that seek solitude as way. As stated, it can be achieved, but my last posting was to show how to succeed at that, one has to purposely make a point to avoid, rather than embrace what is abundant.
 
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This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans

Being an introvert with a hermit’s heart and having walked 3 Camino’s (2 solo), I say you will find your own solitude. Some things that were helpful to me were: start early, even before light and the masses start out; stop and gaze out to let noisy pilgrims/groups get farther ahead or pass you; and lodge at places in between the “established” stages. At a hostel or a cafe, you do not have to engage with others and I did not partake of communal meals mostly because too late to eat so much but also aids the solitude. On the other hand our fellow pilgrims are a gift and important to let engagement happen naturally. Be open to surprise and blessing. Buen camino!
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
i'd suggest relieving yourself of all expectations either way. Go and have the time you are meant to have day to day. If you want solitude, no one will be forcing you to interact. You always have the ability to be kind and polite in expressing your desire to walk alone, if need be. I don't think you can really know what will be important to you on the Camino until you are there and on it. As the owner of an albergue in Sansol shared with me in conversation - "Pilgrims always tell me why they've come to walk the Camino but it's the Camino that will tell you why you are there...and you might not know that until you get to Santiago." I'd suggest just releasing expectations and see what the Camino has in store for you. I didn't find any "pressure" to talk or hang out. When I did talk or "hang out" (I really dont think socializing I did would be categorized as hanging out), it was because I formed organic connections at a given time along the way and shared whatever moment that occured in the time that it did. Buen Camino.
 
I am similar being an introvert myself. I just pop in my ear buds. I don't always even listen to music or audio books, just wear them.
But ear buds generally discourage conversation without you looking overtly rude.
Works good for me.
Usually my conversations are limited to food related or getting settled at an Albergue.
Not all of us need idle conversations for our Camino experience to be awesome.
 
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This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Hello Imans - I completely understand what you are saying and have the same feelings. I wish you well and the peace you need
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
I read through most of the replies, and didn’t see this anywhere so here’s one more thought for you: simply learn to gracefully say “today I’d prefer to walk alone”.

I have walked 6 caminos and I have developed lifelong friends all over the world through this. But I have never had what some refer to as the “Camino family” simply because most days “I prefer to walk alone”.
 
I am similar being an introvert myself. I just pop in my ear buds. I don't always even listen to music or audio books, just wear them.
But ear buds generally discourage conversation without you looking overtly rude.
Works good for me.
Usually my conversations are limited to food related or getting settled at an Albergue.
Not all of us need idle conversations for our Camino experience to be awesome.
I agree with this. I had my ear buds on: listened to 20 audio books on the Frances, and it works like a charm for walking alone.
 
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Because the Camino has multiple resources along the way, unlike any other long walk. Little towns, cafes, spots to rest and grab a bit...scenic etc.... So the Camino has a ton to offer, thus the reason to find how it might work for those that seek solitude as way. As stated, it can be achieved, but my last posting was to show how to succeed at that, one has to purposely make a point to avoid, rather than embrace what is abundant.
Ok so now I get it. You want to walk a path with many people in order to avoid many people in order to achieve Zen.
 
I believe that there are many that try to overthink, or read too much into this walk. Yes, a long walk but a walk none the less as one can gain spiritually from many aspects of any long walk. The Camino to me, is no different than walking the Pacific Trail in the states in terms of building physical touchness and mental toughness to succeed. They both are difficult.... The important thing for me is that on the Pacfic Trail, it is a give-me that there will be solitude and one can easily get into a personal contemplative existence / zen like feel. That makes for that 'walk'.... An occasional person is okay.

On the Camino, it is more like....an occasional time when no one is around, unless one purposely avoids by going in the later hours etc.... Not to say the Camino is bad, as for extroverts this walk feeds into their needs. For an introvert, a more purposeful need to orchestrate the Camino on a mental basis is needed above and beyond the basics of finding a bed, feet issues, water etc...
I can see not only from your profile, but from this post, that you haven't walked the Camino yet. When you do, I think you will discover quite a number of other differences between the Camino and walking the wilderness trails like the Pacific Trail, AT, CDT, etc. At least, so it is apparent from discussing things with people who have walked both.

For sure, solitude is more a feature of the wilderness trails than it is of Caminos. You are walking through populated areas, after all. And even where there are no other pilgrims you may see farmers and locals. But in my experience, solitude is more than occasional and doesn't generally, outside of a few, very limited in time and location, sections, take a special amount of orchestration to find.

Sure, there are some threads with tips on achieving solitude. There are also threads where people have complained about too much solitude and tips have been shared for finding and connecting with others. It's all there in the Camino. It's up to you what you choose to see and pursue.
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Simply put, you won't have any problem finding solitude. I walked the France route and loved it. You may even be surprised if you are like me, an introvert who has learned how to be an extrovert when required, with the simple, yet very pleasant conversations you have with others along the Way.
 
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I don't think a "Camino Family" is as common as the myth. If you want solitude it's as simple as merely nodding at people when you pass each other, they will take the hint. You aren't forced to socialize with anyone. You can sit alone for coffee or meals. You can choose private accommodation if you want more alone time.

I was social during the day while walking. Then checked into my private room at the end of the day and enjoyed peace and quiet. Sometimes I ate with others, most days I ate alone.

Late autumn to early spring has fewer pilgrims. Other routes are less travelled, as others have mentioned, Via de la Plata would grant you long days with few interactions.

Buen Camino!
I’ve only done the Camino Frances. I shared a table for dinner at O Pedrouzo with a gentleman from Germany. He had walked from Germany using the coastal route and was a bit upset with the number of pilgrims he had encountered after Sarria. Compared to beginning in SJpdp, I thought the same section was fairly uncrowded.

So maybe the northern route would suit you?

In any case, Buen Camino!
 
I returned last week from 3weeks on the Frances. In some cases, I was the only person in an albergue. Walked from Logrono to Ponferrada. The earlier in my Camino it was the fewer people, by the time I climbed to the Cruz de Ferro their numbers had risen, but still a lot of time I was walking by my lonesome.
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
I appreciate your post...I've been trekking various caminos in Europe for well over a decade as a way to enter into that place of solitude that we "introverts" desire, and walking the French route between now and late September is not the place to find it. Even if you stay in private rooms at night, you will encounter hordes of people during the day along The Way in the months ahead, especially between Sarria and Santiago. To clarify, the numbers of people are not the problem in so much as it is the self-centered behavior of those oblivious to the benefits of just being quiet for a few hours. You will no doubt find the constant chatter along the trail and and the use of cell phones on speaker - at every stop and in the albergues - especially disturbing. I've also witnessed bands of young people walking while blaring music from speakers and wildly carrying on as youth simply do, which is fine for them but not so good for an introvert. In other words, the French route at this time of year and through the summer is not a quiet place to be. Since we cannot control the behavior of others, I'd recommend avoiding both the traditional Spanish route (and Portugal as well these days) and consider the northern route along the Bay of Biscay or the route from Le Puy en Velay to Saint Jean in France. Another tip; book private rooms or try to stay in religious houses or convents, regardless of your faith. Most importantly, don't let others sway you into believing that you either have the wrong expectations or that you just need to be more "open" to the experience. Rubbish! I hope that you find the quiet and solitude that you seek. Peace!
 
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Also I wonder if Solace is sometimes the word instead of Solitude.

Solace meaning finding peace within difficult circumstances

Solitude meaning generally avoiding it.
 
I appreciate your post...I've been trekking various caminos in Europe for well over a decade as a way to enter into that place of solitude that we "introverts" desire, and walking the French route between now and late September is not the place to find it. Even if you stay in private rooms at night, you will encounter hordes of people during the day along The Way in the months ahead, especially between Sarria and Santiago. To clarify, the numbers of people are not the problem in so much as it is the self-centered behavior of those oblivious to the benefits of just being quiet for a few hours. You will no doubt find the constant chatter along the trail and and the use of cell phones on speaker - at every stop and in the albergues - especially disturbing. I've also witnessed bands of young people walking while blaring music from speakers and wildly carrying on as youth simply do, which is fine for them but not so good for an introvert. In other words, the French route at this time of year and through the summer is not a quiet place to be. Since we cannot control the behavior of others, I'd recommend avoiding both the traditional Spanish route (and Portugal as well these days) and consider the northern route along the Bay of Biscay or the route from Le Puy en Velay to Saint Jean in France. Another tip; book private rooms or try to stay in religious houses or convents, regardless of your faith. Most importantly, don't let others sway you into believing that you either have the wrong expectations or that you just need to be more "open" to the experience. Rubbish! I hope that you find the quiet and solitude that you seek. Peace!
Fascinating..... I am sure there will be times of contentment, solitude.... no doubt especially along the majority of the camino and especially if I leave late, after all others. But unless I book a bed prior, I might be worrying about a bed all day. But I am expecting some of what you stated from Sarria to Santiago. Anytime the 'masses' find something, it is usually ruined.
 
Fascinating..... I am sure there will be times of contentment, solitude.... no doubt especially along the majority of the camino and especially if I leave late, after all others. But unless I book a bed prior, I might be worrying about a bed all day. But I am expecting some of what you stated from Sarria to Santiago. Anytime the 'masses' find something, it is usually ruined.


You are aware that as soon you reach Sarria you are " part of the masses "?
Ruined is such a strong concept.
I really feel you are seriously overthinking all of this.
Even when you are walking you can decide to stop, take another route or take public transport to whatever place you fancy.
 
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Hi Imans,
I am walking the Camino Madrid now. Very few people! Once I arrive at the Frances I will most likely continue the Salvador route from Leon, and then the Primitivo. I don’t know about the the other two yet, but if solitude is what you are after, the Madrid might be a good start. I am in Medina the Rioseco at the moment, and the last few days it has only been me and another pilgrim. So far from Madrid I met a total of 9 pilgrims. Good luck deciding, I am sure you will find something that suits you. Saludos
I have just completed the Camino Madrid. The penultimate Albergue at Grajal de Campos is well worth the stay (10 euros +2 euros for sheets). It is in the stables of an old palace. This leaves you 5.9 klm to Sahagun.
I saw 2 other people on the actual route during the course of 12 days.
In my first 20 minutes in Sahagun I saw 20 plus walking, sipping coffee or milling about the Albergue Municipal.
If solitude is your thing (it is mine as well) then your arrival at Sahagun will provide every reason why not to walk the Frances.
Buen Camino.
Don.
 
I have just completed the Camino Madrid. The penultimate Albergue at Grajal de Campos is well worth the stay (10 euros +2 euros for sheets). It is in the stables of an old palace. This leaves you 5.9 klm to Sahagun.
I saw 2 other people on the actual route during the course of 12 days.
In my first 20 minutes in Sahagun I saw 20 plus walking, sipping coffee or milling about the Albergue Municipal.
If solitude is your thing (it is mine as well) then your arrival at Sahagun will provide every reason why not to walk the Frances.
Buen Camino.
Don.
I stayed in Grajal de Campos, too, last year. How could I resist staying in a renaissance palace (even if only in the stables)? I was the only person in the building once the hospitalero had checked me in and left. That was the night I spent most of my time in the washroom, so it was just as well I was alone!

I remember thinking that there were more pilgrims at the communal dinner the next day in Sahagun than I had seen on my entire Camino de Madrid (which I stretched out over 19 days with a start in Carabanchel and a number of detours). Nevertheless, I didn't have much trouble finding solitude on the Frances, either between Sahagun and Leon or between Melide and Santiago.
 
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This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
I walked in Sept 2018. I am a solid introvert that shuns, dreads large groups. I avoided the Camino families but I met wonderful people to talk to occasionally one on one which I enjoy. I wanted my walk to be a solo spiritual walk and physical challenge.My time to talk to God. What worked great for me is that because I rarely sleep more then 6 hrs and with the albergues lights out at 10 I found myself awake around 4-4:30. I would get up and leave. The alone time predawn under the moon and stars, watching the glorious sunrise is what my Camino so deeply special.
 
Thanks for the very interesting conversation, Imans. So many good thoughts here.

I completely relate, scoring as 99% introvert on most tests. During lockdowns my husband (also an introvert) and I dug into psychology. Very interesting were different aspects of introversion. We learned that there are four possible leading parts: sensing, intuitive, thinking, feeling. (Si, Ni, Ti, Fi.)

We are both introverts, but different - my idea of valuable solitude is "time to think" (Ti), his idea of valuable solitude was "time to envision" (Ni). It definitely played out in our Caminos.

Having learned more about our own styles of introversion, it helped to connect better with extroverts in our lives - their second function will always be introverted.

I know this very random info doesn’t help you choose a path - and there are so many good suggestions above - but I am sure you will choose your path wisely!! Wishing you a very Buen Camino.
 
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish.

I walked the Frances in September/October last year (2023) from SJPP. I worked out pretty quickly to avoid leaving with everyone else. I would leave about 7.30am, long after the predawn 'backpack zippers' had left (sun didn't rise till about eight, so there were plenty of beautiful dawns), and would pause along the way whenever something piqued my interest. I walked happily solo most days, and although people would often wish me 'buen camino', if they started walking with me I would simply say that I was a slow walker, or I would take a rest on a rock, and tell them to go on ahead. They were happy to do so, and I was happy to walk alone, as that was my preference. I was happy to commune with people at the albergues, but walking- that was just for me. While I'm sure people would understand if you explained that to them, it could get tiring doing that a dozen times a day!
NB the late start got a bit later at Sarria - I was shocked at how many people were suddenly on the path! I left at eight, stopped into a cafe for breakfast, and by then most of the crowds with their mini packs and bluetooth speakers had moved on. Good luck with your solo walk - hoping it is as brilliant and fulfilling as mine was.
 
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Hi,

I’m currently walking the Camino. About to go up O Cebreiro! Last year I walked from St Jean but due to a family matter had to cut short my trip. Picked it up again this year where I left off from Burgos. Since being on the road, solo female walker. I can honestly say I have no Camino family. I started on my own and am still very much cultivating “me time”. I think since my journey started I’ve had about three quick chats with people as they walked past. I have had a couple of nice pilgrims meal experiences but they’ve been thin in the ground. Still my walking adventure has been amazing so far and I’m still enjoying the Camino but my experience has been different to say the least. It’s not that I’m the hermit type just the way things have gone.
 
You can have solitude on the CF. Be the last to leave an albergue (usually around 8am) and you’ll likely have the trail completely to yourself. Spend more time in churches than in bars, pack your lunch so you can picnic solo, and choose private rooms over public dorms. If you want to be alone, be alone. It’s your choice and others will respect it.
I wholeheartedly agree you will have no trouble finding solitude if you leave just a little bit later in the morning. I rarely saw anybody on the trail when I went in 2022 as I was a slow walker and usually didn't leave until about seven or eight in the morning, if you decide to be sociable in the evening, of course then that's when you could meet more people and have dinner, etc! I was amazed at how empty the trail was and it was supposedly a humongously busy time during the holy year in April and May! So no worries just pace yourself to avoid the pack if you want the camino to yourself xo
 
The first edition came out in 2003 and has become the go-to-guide for many pilgrims over the years. It is shipping with a Pilgrim Passport (Credential) from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
This is my first posting but as I look at the Camino, I worry about 'lack of solitude' given the number of people on the trail. I am looking to do the France route....as I want to have the experience of a long walk....I know enough from what I have read and just from life's experiences to know that sometimes you need a rather lengthy time to experience the high's and lows'...thus the France route with a nice length in KM/Miles is what I need.

But....I am doing this for a challenge.....I am retired and have accomplished a lot in life, ....I have no regrets. But now I want the experience that one gains from the camino.... Yet, being an introvert, I can see that looking for solitude on the camino may be a difficult part to accomplish. I know....I know....toss out the Cumbaya stuff and how chatting with people and being with people and developing a camino family is so important but frankly, I don't want that. I am doing this for a mental challenge...a physical challenge and not the Cumbaya stuff that many might desire. I am not knocking it, ...just don't want it. It isn't me, so understand that.

Are there any other introverts who have completed the Camino France and have done so in relative peace without the pressure to 'have to talk' and hang out along the route? I am not against an occasional chat....I am not that introverted, but feel I prefer an introverted spin to my camino as opposed to the opposite. lmans
Your expectations lead me to believe you will be very disappointed with the Frances. Combining that with your experience, and your desire for challenge, I would recommend the Primitivo. But keep in mind that many caminos are much less busy in November, a challenge in itself. Consider off season. After my wife and I walked our first camino, the Frances, which we loved (and was much less busy many years ago), we still sought lesser walked caminos. We start on the Camino Baztan later this month. There are very few walkers on this lovely camino. Check out Nadine's videos at youtube. She walked it alone and loved it.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
OP, I don't think you need to worry about a lack of solitude. People are not going to force themselves on you.
 

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