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What causes people to stop their caminos?

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Since I've left, I've dreamed of myself walking the Camino every night. I plan on going back next year - having learned from my mistakes.

Don't give up on this. I do think many people don't take enough time at the start to get oriented. Jet lag, culture shock, lack of sleep, unfamiliarity - they all can make us irrational prisoners. We now take a stopover somewhere along the long plane trip from Australia, and spent a night or two in our European entry port in a pre-booked hotel, then take a leisurely train trip to our walking start, and a short first day of sightseeing and walking, usually with accommodation booked for that first night. Maybe it is just age but I like to ease into things these days.
 
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november_moon

Veteran Member
Jet lag, culture shock, lack of sleep, unfamiliarity - they all can make us irrational prisoners.

I travel a lot and this still sometimes gets me. A fair amount of my travel is for work, so I don't always have the time to allow myself to adjust - just kind of keep going and hope for the best, and usually it is ok, but sometimes it isn't. I've had some pretty rough days on the road.
 

Rachael

I love to laugh.
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: March-April (2013)
Vezelay to Le Puy, Via Podensis, Camino Frances (March-June 2015)
I found out (due to hyperextending my knee) that I have an inherited condition that requires good braces for walking down hills without damage. So despite my last Camino being a few short days, I learned something important--- and I'll be back next year. :)
 

compliance51

member 2013
Year of past OR future Camino
april (2013) SJPP to SDC.
MAY (2015 )Via Podensis
I was one of those who watched The Way but planned to arrive after the snow melted. Not a lot of physical prep but this forum gave me immense prep. I started and finished 500 miles and sang "I would walk 500 miles" the whole way. It changed my life and next year Le Puy. At 58 it has been the most amazing adventure so far and the movie inspired me to leave S.C. with a backpack all by myself with 500 new friends along the
way. I'm with you on the toenails..permanent damage but I'll go again. People will inspire you and miracles will open your eyes to keep walking with all the other pilgrims who have one common goal "Santiago de Compostella".
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
Ending a Camino prematurely is a matter of interpretation. What does prematurely mean? Does it mean leaving the Camino before you reach Santiago, or ending it before you are ready to end it? The importance of the Camino experience is the journey, especially the internal journey, so actually reaching a prescribed physical destination is not necessarily the point of completion of the inner journey.

Cat - I was just re-reading this thread and your post jumped out at me because my husband and I had a conversation about that exact subject just the other day. I mentioned earlier in this thread that we had to leave the Camino early due to a family emergency. The other day we were talking about going back to "finish" - my husband asked what "finishing" meant to me. We walked 150km on our Camino, so we proved that we were capable, we had some incredible experiences, we learned a lot about ourselves, etc. What is it that I need to get out of the journey that I didn't get on our first try? This lead to an incredible conversation - simple question, but deep answers. You are absolutely right, it isn't about the physical destination so much as the inner journey - and I realized that the reason I feel the pull to return so strongly is because that inner journey is unfinished.
 
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Diane55

Wandering
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances May 2014, Camino Portuguese 2016, 2017 and 2018 also Via Algarvia (not a Camino)
Some great stories in this thread. Mine began a year before my April walk. I walked everyday at least 10,000 steps. I trained my 59 yr old body to be used to daily walks, in all kinds of weather and on the flat and hills. I also did weight training for core strength. I've had 4 surgeries on my feet and knees in the recent past, the large joint in both big toes has been removed and I am fused from my toes to my ankle, and 2 ACL replacements with little cartilage left in either knee. I'm full of screws and in pain every day, that being said, I walked the full 500+ miles of CF in 34 days because I prepared my body ahead of time, carried only what I really needed (14 lbs) and paced myself. I was ready when I began in SJPP many people I met were not.

The first day I walked the last 1/2 from SJPP to Roncesvalles with a seemingly fit a young man (about 25) from Florida. He came to the Camino on a whim, no preparation, too much gear, bad shoes and little water. He was miserable, nearly quit in the woods. I had to continuously encourage him to continue, at times physically lift him up and support him down the hill. He slept for 12 hours, blistered, bruised (from backpack straps) and exhausted, he nearly quit. Instead he gave much of what he had in his pack away, bought new shoes, and water bottles in Zubiri. However, all was not well, I saw him a week later, dehydrated, badly chaffed and completely exhausted. I do not know if he continued. It's not about your age, the Camino takes it's toll on those young and old not prepared mentally or physically.

I completely agree with those that say, plan your Camino then be flexible, stop when you are hurting, rest when you can. My plan lasted 3 days, then I trusted my body to decide where to stop each day. I never thought about transporting my backpack, or reservations because I never knew exactly where my feet or legs would give up for the day. The people I met that had a plan and were determined to keep, under time pressure to finish or had a hotel reservations were doomed or taking taxis to keep to their plan. If you can only spare a month then start closer to Santiago, perhaps in Burgos, prepare, take your time, enjoy your Camino!

After my Camino I still walk everyday, 15,000+ steps, which feels like a warm up for the real thing....again!
 

woodswoman

Member
This is my first post. I have been reading this forum and intensely researching the Camino de Santiago for a few years now. I am very interested in walking the camino for about three weeks starting in Le Puy in June 2015. I am wondering what are the reasons some people end their walks prematurely? I would appreciate specific examples if you yourself stopped your walk or if you know of others who stopped.

I am a sort of "parlor" person or an "indoors girl" (acutally I'm a single woman in my 60's). I have never backpacked or hiked in my life, but I am keenly interested in doing this. I have this mental picture of myself standing in front of a Le Puy hotel one morning in June with my backpack on, pacer poles in hand, vaselined feet with inner liners and merino socks in my well-fitting, broken in, lightweight hiking shoes wondering what in the hell am I doing. Thank you.

I too am (was) not a backpacker or hiker, but I walked the full Camino Frances in September and October 2014 and will return to either the Frances or the Norte in September 2015. I went alone, wanted to go alone, and though I met many wonderful people along the way, did NOT want to pick up a walking partner. I needed the solitude. Trained on and off for many months, but that meant doing a 3-6 mile walk at least a couple of times a week, and sometimes a longer one, depending on where I traveled in the year before I actually embarked on the Camino. Did a few real hikes at 8500 feet, and a few 10-12 mile walks here and there.

When I was on the Camino, I took a day off every week, didn't worry about trying to keep up with anyone, paid attention to my feet every time I walked during that pre-camino year, and let Walgreen's foot care department become my best friend. I was lucky. I got NO blisters, lost no toenails, etc., though the first week I was too hot, too tired, and hoped things would get better.

I never considered quitting. Just knew that I had an open ticket home, and that if it took me longer than I had imagined (with no real timetable in mind), I had the time. I'm not sure what your plan is for three weeks, but if you aren't considering taking a bus for some big chunks, three weeks won't be enough. If all you have is three weeks, map out the first week of your trip, just roughly, and the last week, since you MUST walk from Sarria to Santiago in order to get your compostela. If you don't care about the Compostela, you can do whatever your heart desires within that three weeks.

Just know that if you take your time, you can accomplish almost anything. However, I highly recommend at least doing a bit of training, walking for a couple of hours every day or a longer walk three or four times a week until you leave. The last week before you begin, put on at least a 16-lb pack to see how you feel carrying most of your belongings.

Good luck!
 

Jennyallan

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First this year
Wow, thank you everyone! This is so encouraging and helpful. I have a year to shape up (I've already started). A young man I know wants to come along, but I am making it very clear to him that we are likely to go at different speeds and have different requirements. I have a strong sense that I should not rush this walk due to my untested body. I also like to eat well and often. And I am curious about my surroundings and like to investigate. It might be best if I do this alone, although he is charming and fun.

Let me add that my introduction to the Camino de Santiago was a chance reading of an article in an old Gourmet Magazine. I collect cookbooks and cooking magazines and happened upon an article by Herb McGrew, a psychiatrist from California, in the September 1990 issue. He and a pilot, an artist, and a vineyard owner started their camino in Le Puy and walked for three weeks. They finished the camino in four yearly vacations. I had to rifle through hundreds of magazines and found all four articles (Gourmet, May 1991, August 1992, and April 1996)! It was a real Eureka! moment for me. Gourmet is no longer in publication, but if anyone can get these articles I highly recommend that you do. They are wonderful, charming accounts of their caminos. I often find old Gourmets at book fairs and resale shops. He could very well be a member on this site, and it would be fantastic if he would give the rights to re-publication in some form.

Keep the answers coming. Thank you.
This is my first post. I have been reading this forum and intensely researching the Camino de Santiago for a few years now. I am very interested in walking the camino for about three weeks starting in Le Puy in June 2015. I am wondering what are the reasons some people end their walks prematurely? I would appreciate specific examples if you yourself stopped your walk or if you know of others who stopped.

I am a sort of "parlor" person or an "indoors girl" (acutally I'm a single woman in my 60's). I have never backpacked or hiked in my life, but I am keenly interested in doing this. I have this mental picture of myself standing in front of a Le Puy hotel one morning in June with my backpack on, pacer poles in hand, vaselined feet with inner liners and merino socks in my well-fitting, broken in, lightweight hiking shoes wondering what in the hell am I doing. Thank you.
Hiya train on hard surface eg roads pavements (sidewalks) I'm 54 my husband is 64 and we swear the reason we never got one single blister is because we done this, hardening up the feet on the worst terrain puts you in good stead for any surface on the camino and there's a lot of solid surface to walk , don't worry about the distances the adrenaline and people you meet will keep you going as long as your feet are ok ,backpack keep it light listen to the experts which say no more than 10% of your body weight without food and water no need to carry litres and litres of water there are loads of places everywhere to fill up don't be tempted to put in unnecessary items into your pack we meet lots of people who had thrown things away posted on ect get the right gear doesn't have to be expensive cheaper stuff works just as well ...well it did for us lol the only thing we would do different is to get a good poncho for Galicia area we ended up buying those rubbish 5euro ponchos that didn't last two days we did eventually buy some good one 3 days before Santiago !! Bit late then , anyway last but not least have the most wonderful time it's truly magical and more than you can Imagine ..Buen Camino
 
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DeadFred

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
St Jean-Los Arcos ,Sept, Oct 14'
Los Arcos - Logrono-May16'
Next Logrono to ? - Sept 2019
In my case my right hip gave it up and my knee was bad . The pain was to much . I started in SfPDP and made it to Logrono before I threw the towel in . I had been training for a couple years , had Professional PT for a bad back one year before leaving and again to get myself in tiptop shape ( as much as possible for a 68 yr old ) . Also ... I mis-judged my ability , The Camino was much more difficult then I anticapated especially during the first day to Orission. Man was THAT day a wakeup call.

Lo and behold upon my return home I find out from my local Orthopedic Surgeon that its not my hip but rather I have two bulging discs and arthritis in lumbar area. So now I get these repaired as best as possible then get back training for a Sept 2016 reboot where I left off ..Logrono

Joe
 

Big GW

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJP to Santiago Aug/Sept 2013
Smile and No Whining ! This philosophy has gotten me through many tough and long spots. It worked brilliantly on the Camino; though blister, tendonitis, and massive hangovers. Everyone on the Camino is managing some type of pain, just smile and soak it all in. I wake a lot of mornings now wishing I was in the company of the intrepids I walked with and thanking god i had the courage to go meet them and the Camino.
 

Liz444

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Finisterre / Muxia 2015
My husband and I, both in our 70's started our Camino in May 2014 from STJPDP.
on the Napoleon route. Yes, it was tough, but what an experience. Unfortunately my feet suffered badly and I virtually hobbled into Logrongo. At this stage we thought that this was the end of the road. We took a bus to Burgos and enjoyed seeing the magnificent cathedral, another bus to Leon where we treated ourselves to a night in
"The Paradores", as compensation for our shortened camino.
Sitting on the balcony of our hotel room (and enjoying a couple of vino tintos) I suggested that we attempt the last 111kms from Sarria. My concerned husband was a little reluctant knowing of my pain, but agreed with the proviso that we would give up if necessary.
We bussed from Leon to Sarria and completed the journey to Santiago de Compostela. It was a painful walk but well compensated by the wonderful people we met, the ever changing scenery and the compulsion of "El Camino".
Would we do it again? Most definitely.
 

s3sfamily

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I'm going on my camino September 24 thru October 10, 2014.
I heard stories of why people had left the camino…a bed bug scare that was to much for one girl to get over, breaking an ankle from a fall etc. But then I also met people who had crazy things happen to them, they went to the clinic and kept on walking! I started in Leon and day 1 only walked about 8km, I could barely walk when I got to a town and took the first room I found. Day 2 I walked a little farther and my aches and pains had moved to somewhere else. During my camino I realized that I hurt myself on the first day by trying to keep up with someone who was much faster then myself. Once I realized that I should go my speed and no one elses my camino became perfect! Since I only had a couple wks to walk and realized I wasn't going to make it to Santiago I took a bus to a more reasonable distance and finished my camino from there. I was able to stop in the mornings for cafe con leche, spanish tortilla and fresh OJ. I was able to stop at any spots along the way that I wanted to look, enjoy, chat, take pictures…My advice, whatever you decide to do do it on your terms…enjoy your camino because the enjoyment is in the journey:)
 
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Labtails

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte (9/2012)
"Your Camino starts the day you hear about". Sounds about right. As soon as you decide to go start preparing mentally & physically. As a lifetime athlete I thought I would be okay after all the normal prep >> good boots, practice walking for endurance, study Spanish language, read some Spanish history, get psyched for the total experience. It is probably the unforeseen things that will challenge you and your determination to finish. On my 3rd day of walking I developed a large blister on the ball of my foot. I was stoic and treated it, but kept walking. Many days on I knew my foot was becoming infected. I switched to sandals for the sake of airing my foot. My sandals got me through. Not every day was fun. Meeting the challenge was a big part of my experience. The day I walked down the steps by the Cathedral into the Plaza I wept.
Ask yourself >> why am I doing this? what am I willing to do to reach my goal? Being psychically prepared and mentally strong will take you far towards reaching that goal.

Buen Camino.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
The few pilgrims I saw quit the Camino early did so due to foot/leg injuries. Seems like these were due to poor choice of footwear, or walking too far everyday and too fast, or a combination of all. You got to know your limitations. The wear and tear is cumulative.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
My first Camino in 2011, the Frances, went without any problems.
My second one...the planned Ingles in 2012 I had to postpone due to my father's death.
In 2013 I walked part of the Ebro Camino and then part of Frances. A combination of infected toenail, heavy storms on the Camino del Ebro and too much crowd on the Frances made my state of mind less flexible. Felt down and wasn't feeling any good vibe at all. So I did quit and stayed for some days in Spain hanging out the tourist.
Last year I walked the Ingles but had to stop the last day before Santiago due to minor heatstroke...This happens when you don't listen to your body ;-)
Must say I don't feel bad about having to stop : if the Camino has learned me anything then it is the fact that everything happens for a reason.
 

s. brown

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2015
My first Camino in 2011, the Frances, went without any problems.
My second one...the planned Ingles in 2012 I had to postpone due to my father's death.
In 2013 I walked part of the Ebro Camino and then part of Frances. A combination of infected toenail, heavy storms on the Camino del Ebro and too much crowd on the Frances made my state of mind less flexible. Felt down and wasn't feeling any good vibe at all. So I did quit and stayed for some days in Spain hanging out the tourist.
Last year I walked the Ingles but had to stop the last day before Santiago due to minor heatstroke...This happens when you don't listen to your body ;-)
Must say I don't feel bad about having to stop : if the Camino has learned me anything then it is the fact that everything happens for a reason.
What are the symptoms of heatstroke? What was happening with your body that you didn't listen to? Thanks for your input.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Hi S. Brown,
In my case it was a red face and dry skin , headache and dizziness and wanting to vomit. So drink and drink water ...and keep drinking water!
The people at ER at one of SdC 's hospitals are brilliant but I felt really stupid when I was there.
 
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cher99840

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
The few pilgrims I saw quit the Camino early did so due to foot/leg injuries. Seems like these were due to poor choice of footwear, or walking too far everyday and too fast, or a combination of all. You got to know your limitations. The wear and tear is cumulative.
That is exactly what I saw. Both cases were groups of 3 friends, 2 being uber fit, and 1 coming along on a lark. In both cases the less prepared one suffered dreadfully trying to maintain the speed and distance set by the other two until the legs/feet couldn't go anymore.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
Hi S. Brown,
In my case it was a red face and dry skin , headache and dizziness and wanting to vomit. So drink and drink water ...and keep drinking water!
The people at ER at one of SdC 's hospitals are brilliant but I felt really stupid when I was there.
Yeah, you got to drink water, especially if you do a Camino during the summer. I probably on average drank at least 4-6 liters of water a day. I would drink one liter before I left the albergue in the morning. You are more dehydrated when you wake up than you think. Also coffee is a diuretic. I love my coffee in the morning, but I also know I need to compensate for drinking it by drinking additional water. If your urine is not clear, you are dehydrated.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Too much weight in the backpack leading to related injuries/ problems like blisters. Wrong expectations of what the Camino is really like being a close second one. Buen Camino, SY
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
This is my first post. I have been reading this forum and intensely researching the Camino de Santiago for a few years now. I am very interested in walking the camino for about three weeks starting in Le Puy in June 2015. I am wondering what are the reasons some people end their walks prematurely? I would appreciate specific examples if you yourself stopped your walk or if you know of others who stopped.

I am a sort of "parlor" person or an "indoors girl" (acutally I'm a single woman in my 60's). I have never backpacked or hiked in my life, but I am keenly interested in doing this. I have this mental picture of myself standing in front of a Le Puy hotel one morning in June with my backpack on, pacer poles in hand, vaselined feet with inner liners and merino socks in my well-fitting, broken in, lightweight hiking shoes wondering what in the hell am I doing. Thank you.
S. Brown -- I did not have to stop my Camino so I can't give you examples, but I write to encourage you to just DO IT! I am like you. I have never, never been a walker in the past. I haven't been much of an outdoors person. And I have had a visceral dislike of backpacking after a bad experience backpacking with Girl Scouts when I was in high school.

I loved every minute of my walk and I can honestly say it has changed my life! I packed light, bought or borrowed good gear and carried through with a training program of walking with my pack for several months before we left. Anyone can have injuries and blisters. But preparation and planning helps a lot. I hope you decide to walk! Liz
 

KiwiBee

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Leon to Melide (Feb 2014)
Melide to Santiago (Feb 2015)
I did not complete my first attempt.
My goal had been to do the whole Camino in one go before I was 50. I decided to go and see my sister in the UK last year and discovered that her husband was on holiday the same week I arrived. So I suggested she leave the kids and join me and we could walk the 112 kms from Sarria to Santiago in the week she had free. I did LOTS of practice walking before I went. I am very lazy when it comes to physically exerting myself!

I flew straight from New Zealand to London, a 40 hour trip, stayed the night in London, then was supposed to fly to Spain at 8am the next morning. The flight was delayed so we spent the whole day in the airport and didn't get to Spain until 6pm. We then stayed the night somewhere near Santiago and made our way to Sarria the next day.

I walked about 22 kms the first day, and then 21 kms the second day. I was totally and utterly exhausted. In hindsight (always 20/20 vision!) I should have allowed myself even one day to just stop, relax, and get over some of the jetlag, but preferably two or three days! I have never known exhaustion like it. But we had a very tight time limit that had just been cut short by a day.

By day three I realised I could not do it in the time we had left, (and didn't even care if I finished or not) so we walked a couple more days at a gentle pace, then caught a bus to Santiago. Also at this point, I insisted my sister walk ahead of me. She is naturally more athletic than I am, is taller than me with a longer stride, and wasn't at all jetlagged. This made a HUGE difference to me. Even though she tried to walk at my pace, I knew I was speeding up to try and match her, which really wasn't doing me any good! She would walk a couple of kms and then sit and wait for me.

One thing I did right last time was to do lots of walking beforehand on tarseal surfaces in the shoes I was going to wear. I wore good sneakers which I found perfect for the terrain. Even still, my feet bones really hurt at the end of each day! And aside from all the pain and exhaustion, I did have so much fun with my sister every time we met up or stopped for the day. My sister lost the skin on the bottoms of both feet not long after getting back!

So I'm going back to finish my Camino in Feb and really looking forward to it! I'm having FIVE days in the UK beforehand this time, so should be well acclimatised this time. And I'm doing it on my own, in my own time. Buen Camino!!

ETA: We left from Sarria not Lugo sorry.
 
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KiwiBee

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Leon to Melide (Feb 2014)
Melide to Santiago (Feb 2015)
Hey KiwiBee

I would be interested in hearing how you get on walking in February. Being a North Island Kiwi I dont have any experience walking in Winter (snow) conditions.
My two Camino's have been in Aug/Sept. I never had rain and it was hot. I am wanting to do my next in Feb/March.

Best wishes for your next Camino!
Kia Kaha!!!

P.S Totally understand about the jet lag. Took me three days to get over mine.
Hey Lise,
Last Feb we had one morning of very light snow, but that was it. However there was very bad flooding everywhere. There were a number of times we had no option but to wade through flooded paths or streams. I had proper 'walking' merino wool socks covered by some thermal socks (from The Warehouse lol) and my feet warmed up really quickly again after the initial shock of freezing water!

I wore long johns and track pants, and a t-shirt under a down jacket. And it rained a couple of days, so raincoat over tshirt. I may have had a bug or something though, as I was often sweating before I even started out and it was around 2 degrees - although I did not feel ill. My sister wore a lot more clothes than I did.

The plus side was we had a couple of albergues to ourselves :) And I am quite a solitary person, so I liked having so few people on the path. We met the ones we were supposed to meet.

I am in Wellington, where abouts are you?
 

s. brown

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2015
I did not complete my first attempt.
My goal had been to do the whole Camino in one go before I was 50. I decided to go and see my sister in the UK last year and discovered that her husband was on holiday the same week I arrived. So I suggested she leave the kids and join me and we could walk the 112 kms from Sarria to Santiago in the week she had free. I did LOTS of practice walking before I went. I am very lazy when it comes to physically exerting myself!

I flew straight from New Zealand to London, a 40 hour trip, stayed the night in London, then was supposed to fly to Spain at 8am the next morning. The flight was delayed so we spent the whole day in the airport and didn't get to Spain until 6pm. We then stayed the night somewhere near Santiago and made our way to Sarria the next day.

I walked about 22 kms the first day, and then 21 kms the second day. I was totally and utterly exhausted. In hindsight (always 20/20 vision!) I should have allowed myself even one day to just stop, relax, and get over some of the jetlag, but preferably two or three days! I have never known exhaustion like it. But we had a very tight time limit that had just been cut short by a day.

By day three I realised I could not do it in the time we had left, (and didn't even care if I finished or not) so we walked a couple more days at a gentle pace, then caught a bus to Santiago. Also at this point, I insisted my sister walk ahead of me. She is naturally more athletic than I am, is taller than me with a longer stride, and wasn't at all jetlagged. This made a HUGE difference to me. Even though she tried to walk at my pace, I knew I was speeding up to try and match her, which really wasn't doing me any good! She would walk a couple of kms and then sit and wait for me.

One thing I did right last time was to do lots of walking beforehand on tarseal surfaces in the shoes I was going to wear. I wore good sneakers which I found perfect for the terrain. Even still, my feet bones really hurt at the end of each day! And aside from all the pain and exhaustion, I did have so much fun with my sister every time we met up or stopped for the day. My sister lost the skin on the bottoms of both feet not long after getting back!

So I'm going back to finish my Camino in Feb and really looking forward to it! I'm having FIVE days in the UK beforehand this time, so should be well acclimatised this time. And I'm doing it on my own, in my own time. Buen Camino!!

ETA: We left from Sarria not Lugo sorry.
Thanks KiwiBee. This is a wealth of good information.
 

Annie G

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
Don't give up on this. I do think many people don't take enough time at the start to get oriented. Jet lag, culture shock, lack of sleep, unfamiliarity - they all can make us irrational prisoners. We now take a stopover somewhere along the long plane trip from Australia, and spent a night or two in our European entry port in a pre-booked hotel, then take a leisurely train trip to our walking start, and a short first day of sightseeing and walking, usually with accommodation booked for that first night. Maybe it is just age but I like to ease into things these days.


I very much like this approach. I just recently told some friends that I have plans to do the Camino in 2016 and that I need to take time to train over the next 18 mos. or so. I will be 68 then and figure that it will take that amount of time to adequately prepare. Many of them were perplexed as to why I would take so long to actually start my journey, as though I were hiking one of the local hills. I suppose that there are some people who have the capacity to 'finish their Camino' without taking the time to reflect and get ready but I am not one of them. After losing my husband three months ago to a sudden heart attack, more than ever I value the idea of advance planning.
 

hughb

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte June 2013 plus Finisterre
Norrte 2015
Ingles 2016
Portuguese 2018 and 2019
Fatima routes
This is my first post. I have been reading this forum and intensely researching the Camino de Santiago for a few years now. I am very interested in walking the camino for about three weeks starting in Le Puy in June 2015. I am wondering what are the reasons some people end their walks prematurely? I would appreciate specific examples if you yourself stopped your walk or if you know of others who stopped.

I am a sort of "parlor" person or an "indoors girl" (acutally I'm a single woman in my 60's). I have never backpacked or hiked in my life, but I am keenly interested in doing this. I have this mental picture of myself standing in front of a Le Puy hotel one morning in June with my backpack on, pacer poles in hand, vaselined feet with inner liners and merino socks in my well-fitting, broken in, lightweight hiking shoes wondering what in the hell am I doing. Thank you.
When I started I had a good friend walking with me. He knew best. He lasted a week! His bag was full of un-necessary items and it weighed 4kg more than mine. We trained together for 6 months until the last month when I was away working and walking everyday for up to an hour morning and evening. He sat at home! Enough said. Enjoy your Camino. I will be back again in July without a companion. I know I will never be alone.
 
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newfydog

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
We have stopped short once.. We were on bikes, rain had turned the entire trail to muck, and the forecast was for 9 days of rain in the next 10.

That alone would not have done it, but it was sunny in the south of France and we were in the Champaigne district. There was only one solution..... buy a case of bubbly, rent a car, and retreat to Provence!
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
This is my first post. I have been reading this forum and intensely researching the Camino de Santiago for a few years now. I am very interested in walking the camino for about three weeks starting in Le Puy in June 2015. I am wondering what are the reasons some people end their walks prematurely? I would appreciate specific examples if you yourself stopped your walk or if you know of others who stopped.

I am a sort of "parlor" person or an "indoors girl" (acutally I'm a single woman in my 60's). I have never backpacked or hiked in my life, but I am keenly interested in doing this. I have this mental picture of myself standing in front of a Le Puy hotel one morning in June with my backpack on, pacer poles in hand, vaselined feet with inner liners and merino socks in my well-fitting, broken in, lightweight hiking shoes wondering what in the hell am I doing. Thank you.
You will wonder that many times before you finish but finish you will. I started on 18th March 2013 from Pamplona. In my 60's, never backpacked, 35 years behind a desk getting fat and lazy. On my first day I was never so shattered in my entire life, it was physically, the toughest day of my life. But I made it to Castrojeriz. On Holy Thursday, the constant rain started to sap my will to go on. On Good Friday the deep clinging mud of the Meseta really drained me and then the heaviest rain I ever walked in soaked me to the skin. My waterproof jacket did not do the job. I had sent my extra clothes home with my son when he left me at Burgos so I only had one set of dry ones. The forecast for next day was more of the same so I reckoned I would be walking in wet clothes for a while. Meanwhile at home in Belfast my wife and daughter were snowed in with the worst weather since 1963 with no heating or electricity. My will to go on was completely gone so I headed back to Burgos, on to Madrid and flew home. My marvellous wife told me to forget going back to finish the following year and sent me back to Spain that September and I did then finish it. As an aside, I took the waterproof back to the store, got a refund and bought a better one which was just as well. In Galicia one day it rained so bad it made the other days seem sunny, in fact there was a guy called Noah trying to borrow a hammer and nails :). But this time I made it
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
Sorry to hear you news Annie G, my sympathy. Your Camino has already started the moment you decide to go. Enjoy your planning and your training. 18 months instead of 18 days just means that you have more time to train and prepare better. I'm sure that your husband will be in your thoughts and by your side throughout your Camino experience. Maybe you could consider having your Compostela dedicated to him? You could also get to Credentials and he could be a closer part of the walk? Buen Camino
 

SamanthaMarie

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, September (2016)
Someone told me...your Camino starts the day you hear about it..


Sent from my iPhone using Camino de Santiago Forum

That is SO true!! Once you hear about it for the first time - it starts popping up EVERYWHERE and in so many unlikely places. The only downside is you want to GO NOWWW!
 

Annie G

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
Sorry to hear you news Annie G, my sympathy. Your Camino has already started the moment you decide to go. Enjoy your planning and your training. 18 months instead of 18 days just means that you have more time to train and prepare better. I'm sure that your husband will be in your thoughts and by your side throughout your Camino experience. Maybe you could consider having your Compostela dedicated to him? You could also get to Credentials and he could be a closer part of the walk? Buen Camino

Thank you Allan for your kind words and encouragement. In retrospect, I think that my Camino began when I was informed of my husband's death but I had not attached a 'word' to it yet. I had not heard about this pilgrimage until one month ago. Since then, I have immersed myself into information about it, including this forum. I am familiar with Compostela dedication but what do you mean by '...get to Credentials...'?
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
You can't get two credentials, carried by one person, but you certainly can dedicate your Compostela to another person. Buen Camino and very sorry for your loss @Annie G just the words "when I was informed of my husband's death" makes my heart go out to you. Hugs, SY
 

Annie G

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
You can't get two credentials, carried by one person, but you certainly can dedicate your Compostela to another person. Buen Camino and very sorry for your loss @Annie G just the words "when I was informed of my husband's death" makes my heart go out to you. Hugs, SY

Thank you. I know that many people walk the Camino following the deaths of someone dear to them. I wonder how their grief is affected by the journey. Was it helpful? Was it more for themselves or for dedication to the deceased?
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
When I did my first Camino in 1999 for similar reasons to yours it frankly saved my life/sanity and yes, I did it entirely for myself as the person I had lost was gone and I had to come to grip with that. SY
 
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Annie G

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
When I did my first Camino in 1999 for similar reasons to yours it frankly saved my life/sanity and yes, I did it entirely for myself as the person I had lost was gone and I had to come to grip with that. SY

I understand completely. After losing someone so significant it feels like coming to the end of a timeline on video software. Where do I go from here? You know it just can't stop but can't seem to find the right 'clip' to insert without that person being a huge part of it. Then you realize that the storyline must change. That's hard.
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
Yes, two! Not corrective text, just clumsy fingers. You can get a Credential in another's name by getting a blank one and filling in their details. I found that not only were people happy to stamp the two, but also delighted with the idea when doing so. The one option of course is to get your's stamped at night and the other during the day. Obviously this Credential plays no part in the Compostela awarding in the Pilgrim's Office. There you just present your own Credential and ask that your walk (which is recorded in your name) be dedicated to your husband. They then add a note that it is on his behalf and his name. It was only a suggestion, but it is what I did for my still born grandson Jakob. It was for both myself and his parents a statement of his presence in our lives.
 

Annie G

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
Yes, two! Not corrective text, just clumsy fingers. You can get a Credential in another's name by getting a blank one and filling in their details. I found that not only were people happy to stamp the two, but also delighted with the idea when doing so. The one option of course is to get your's stamped at night and the other during the day. Obviously this Credential plays no part in the Compostela awarding in the Pilgrim's Office. There you just present your own Credential and ask that your walk (which is recorded in your name) be dedicated to your husband. They then add a note that it is on his behalf and his name. It was only a suggestion, but it is what I did for my still born grandson Jakob. It was for both myself and his parents a statement of his presence in our lives.

Thanks for clarifying that. Quite poignant.
 

El Gallo

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances; Sept.2015
This is my first post. I have been reading this forum and intensely researching the Camino de Santiago for a few years now. I am very interested in walking the camino for about three weeks starting in Le Puy in June 2015. I am wondering what are the reasons some people end their walks prematurely? I would appreciate specific examples if you yourself stopped your walk or if you know of others who stopped.

I am a sort of "parlor" person or an "indoors girl" (acutally I'm a single woman in my 60's). I have never backpacked or hiked in my life, but I am keenly interested in doing this. I have this mental picture of myself standing in front of a Le Puy hotel one morning in June with my backpack on, pacer poles in hand, vaselined feet with inner liners and merino socks in my well-fitting, broken in, lightweight hiking shoes wondering what in the hell am I doing. Thank you.

I too have been planning the camino for a while now, over a year I believe. I will hopefully be there this September 2015 through the beginning of October. The thought of the whole experience sometimes brings ecstasy to mind and sometimes sheer terror. Either way, it makes you feel alive!
I read a book about the camino that stated that "there is one emotion that trumps fear, and that is regret!" I agree. Plan, prepare, and DO IT!
 
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The_Moo

looking into the heart of light
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013-15

Le Puy 2015 - 2018
Going with a friend / companion can be more difficult than starting out alone. Not just potential differences in fitness, walking speed, finances. What I've found hardest to address about walking with a friend is our very different ways of coping when things get tough - and they almost certainly will get tough, whether that's emotional, physical or spiritual. My way is to turn inwards and become very silent and draw strength from within; my friend's is to become more outgoing and get strength from connecting to other people. Both are fine but not always a good match unless there's understanding on both sides. Best to sort out how to cope with this before you go. We have walked in stages with longish breaks between them and if we hadn't I think those differences may have stopped one or both of us.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
This is my first post. I have been reading this forum and intensely researching the Camino de Santiago for a few years now. I am very interested in walking the camino for about three weeks starting in Le Puy in June 2015. I am wondering what are the reasons some people end their walks prematurely? I would appreciate specific examples if you yourself stopped your walk or if you know of others who stopped.

I am a sort of "parlor" person or an "indoors girl" (acutally I'm a single woman in my 60's). I have never backpacked or hiked in my life, but I am keenly interested in doing this. I have this mental picture of myself standing in front of a Le Puy hotel one morning in June with my backpack on, pacer poles in hand, vaselined feet with inner liners and merino socks in my well-fitting, broken in, lightweight hiking shoes wondering what in the hell am I doing. Thank you.

So, S.Brown, are you ready?
 

donna-leah

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
sept/2015
Hiya train on hard surface eg roads pavements (sidewalks) I'm 54 my husband is 64 and we swear the reason we never got one single blister is because we done this, hardening up the feet on the worst terrain puts you in good stead for any surface on the camino and there's a lot of solid surface to walk , don't worry about the distances the adrenaline and people you meet will keep you going as long as your feet are ok ,backpack keep it light listen to the experts which say no more than 10% of your body weight without food and water no need to carry litres and litres of water there are loads of places everywhere to fill up don't be tempted to put in unnecessary items into your pack we meet lots of people who had thrown things away posted on ect get the right gear doesn't have to be expensive cheaper stuff works just as well ...well it did for us lol the only thing we would do different is to get a good poncho for Galicia area we ended up buying those rubbish 5euro ponchos that didn't last two days we did eventually buy some good one 3 days before Santiago !! Bit late then , anyway last but not least have the most wonderful time it's truly magical and more than you can Imagine ..Buen Camino
What is a good poncho
 

s. brown

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2015
So, S.Brown, are you ready?
Thanks so much for asking! My Le Puy camino got cancelled for 2015, but I am now shooting for June 1 2016. On a different note, I have a hurt knee that is responding well to the doctor's prescribed treatment so I'm actually starting all of my self-imposed camino stretching now in order to be in shape for 2016. Here's hoping!
 
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Thanks so much for asking! My Le Puy camino got cancelled for 2015, but I am now shooting for June 1 2016. On a different note, I have a hurt knee that is responding well to the doctor's prescribed treatment so I'm actually starting all of my self-imposed camino stretching now in order to be in shape for 2016. Here's hoping!
Yeah. Things happen. Don't give up!
 

bogtotter18

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
This is my first post. I have been reading this forum and intensely researching the Camino de Santiago for a few years now. I am very interested in walking the camino for about three weeks starting in Le Puy in June 2015. I am wondering what are the reasons some people end their walks prematurely? I would appreciate specific examples if you yourself stopped your walk or if you know of others who stopped.

I am a sort of "parlor" person or an "indoors girl" (acutally I'm a single woman in my 60's). I have never backpacked or hiked in my life, but I am keenly interested in doing this. I have this mental picture of myself standing in front of a Le Puy hotel one morning in June with my backpack on, pacer poles in hand, vaselined feet with inner liners and merino socks in my well-fitting, broken in, lightweight hiking shoes wondering what in the hell am I doing. Thank you.
For myself, (walked CF in Oct/Nov 2013), I found the pilgrimage to be 50% physical, 40% mental & the 10% spiritual/undefined. The physical bit got easier after 2 weeks when the body became tuned. However I really believe it's the mental/spiritual part that keeps people going. I saw walkers with really sore knees on the afternoon, yet they were up and walking the next day. That takes a lot of willpower. You'd have to honestly decide what sort of person you are to know if you can do it. Are you a determined person who never quits at most things you do? Or if the going gets tough, do you decide to give up? If you look at the famous explorers of recent times, they were not exceptionally physically ft , but had amazing mental strength and willpower. The camino is a personal challenge, and I would agree with some of the other comments that you walk it at your own pace, and have the odd rest day if you need to. And enjoy it at the same time!
 
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Deleted member 3000

Guest
Are you a determined person who never quits at most things you do? Or if the going gets tough, do you decide to give up?
Personally, I think you can be both. A pilgrimage is an optional activity. You can quit anytime you want, for a few minutes, for a few hours, for a few days, or forever. It can be like stopping eating when you are full, and you do not beat yourself up over THAT. Go. Stop. One more step. They are all valid choices. Anyone feeling driven to keep going past all reasonable discomfort should examine whether they are really doing it for themselves. Many times the drive is actually coming from outside, and that is not good. :)
 

Mysticl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances May (2015) - pending
I am on the Camino now but heading home due to illness. I caught a cold right off the plane but had a week before I was to walk and I thought I was over it when I finally started in St Jean on May 5. The walk up to Orrison however must have taken a lot more energy than my body had to give and the next day I felt that I needed to take a taxi to Roncesvalles where we rested for 2 days before continuing ... But my energy levels stayed low and while I was able to walk I found myself much more fatigued at the end of even a very short day ... 5-10 km ... Than I should be. I am used to walking, with hills up to 8 km a day back home no problem ...so my tiredness was unusual. We continued to take it easy but my cold came back after about a week of walking, despite several attempts to rest a couple days along the way ... In Pamplona and elsewhere .... Eventually it finally blossomed into either walking pneumonia or at the very least severe bronchitis ... still we would walk the very shortest sections moving ahead as I was able but stopping early each day ... Today, even though I think I am finally getting over the worst of my cough, I have decided I will need at least a week maybe two. Before I would be strong enough to continue so we are heading on by bus to Santiago to retrieve the parcels we sent to Ivan for safekeeping ... And then we head home ...

With all that I have NO regrets ... We had a wonderful time, my illness notwithstanding. Because of my cough we stayed mostly in private rooms however, not wanting to expose anyone else to my germs and night time hacking. But shared many a pilgrim dinner and met many lovely people. We are already talking about how we will tackle our return visit ;) also because of our somewhat forced slow walk we also got to stay in many wonderful villages along the way that we otherwise would have passed by ... We rarely passed through anywhere without stopping .... Not our original plan but it gave us a lot of time to explore and smell the roses ... As they say :)
 
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s. brown

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2015
I am on the Camino now but heading home due to illness. I caught a cold right off the plane but had a week before I was to walk and I thought I was over it when I finally started in St Jean on May 5. The walk up to Orrison however must have taken a lot more energy than my body had to give and the next day I felt that I needed to take a taxi to Roncesvalles where we rested for 2 days before continuing ... But my energy levels stayed low and while I was able to walk I found myself much more fatigued at the end of even a very short day ... 5-10 km ... Than I should be. I am used to walking, with hills up to 8 km a day back home no problem ...so my tiredness was unusual. We continued to take it easy but my cold came back after about a week of walking, despite several attempts to rest a couple days along the way ... In Pamplona and elsewhere .... Eventually it finally blossomed into either walking pneumonia or at the very least severe bronchitis ... still we would walk the very shortest sections moving ahead as I was able but stopping early each day ... Today, even though I think I am finally getting over the worst of my cough, I have decided I will need at least a week maybe two. Before I would be strong enough to continue so we are heading on by bus to Santiago to retrieve the parcels we sent to Ivan for safekeeping ... And then we head home ...

With all that I have NO regrets ... We had a wonderful time, my illness notwithstanding. Because of my cough we stayed mostly in private rooms however, not wanting to expose anyone else to my germs and night time hacking. But shared many a pilgrim dinner and met many lovely people. We are already talking about how we will tackle our return visit ;) also because of our somewhat forced slow walk we also got to stay in many wonderful villages along the way that we otherwise would have passed by ... We rarely passed through anywhere without stopping .... Not our original plan but it gave us a lot of time to explore and smell the roses ... As they say :)
Mysticl, I am sorry to hear this! I can remember at least two transatlantic flights where I got sick "right off the plane," including my last trip. It is no fun. On one trip to Paris I went to sleep in my hotel one morning and woke up the next day! It took me a few seconds to know where I was or what day it was! I remember that trip as one where I was in a feverish delirium for the first week. I am currently recovering (week 7) of "acute bronchitis and respiratory infection." I am still hacking. The doctor said she was seeing a lot of it, and I know of two people who recently had it and had relapses. See a doctor when you get home. I was given five prescriptions!

At any rate, I am happy to read that you had a good time and no regrets. The tortoise walk sounds good to me. I guess you need to start planning that next trip. I plan on taking sanitizing wipes to use on the plane tray and arm rests etc. I don't know if it will help, but I'm willing to try it. Some people I know swear by Emerg-C. I'm going to try that too.
 

Tio Huero

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPDP to Pamplona 2011
Pamplona to Longrono 2012
Sarria to Santiago 2018
Someone told me...your Camino starts the day you hear about it..


Sent from my iPhone using Camino de Santiago Forum
That someone was correct, at least in my case. Doing mine in stages and always thinking about the next one.
 

karenfromcali

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014
Wow, thank you everyone! This is so encouraging and helpful. I have a year to shape up (I've already started). A young man I know wants to come along, but I am making it very clear to him that we are likely to go at different speeds and have different requirements. I have a strong sense that I should not rush this walk due to my untested body. I also like to eat well and often. And I am curious about my surroundings and like to investigate. It might be best if I do this alone, although he is charming and fun.

Let me add that my introduction to the Camino de Santiago was a chance reading of an article in an old Gourmet Magazine. I collect cookbooks and cooking magazines and happened upon an article by Herb McGrew, a psychiatrist from California, in the September 1990 issue. He and a pilot, an artist, and a vineyard owner started their camino in Le Puy and walked for three weeks. They finished the camino in four yearly vacations. I had to rifle through hundreds of magazines and found all four articles (Gourmet, May 1991, August 1992, and April 1996)! It was a real Eureka! moment for me. Gourmet is no longer in publication, but if anyone can get these articles I highly recommend that you do. They are wonderful, charming accounts of their caminos. I often find old Gourmets at book fairs and resale shops. He could very well be a member on this site, and it would be fantastic if he would give the rights to re-publication in some form.

Keep the answers coming. Thank you.
My husband and I walked part of the Camino together in 2015. We hit problems pretty quickly as we both had different expectations that we didn’t realize we had before we left. I like to walk quickly, ponder, and talk to God. He wanted to walk slowly and take pictures constantly which drove me nuts. Lol. I suggest if you do walk together that you discuss up front what you both want to get out of your Camino. If your expectations are very different it may be best you walk alone and catch up at a designated spot. Buen Camino!
 

malingerer

samarkand
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
This is my first post. I have been reading this forum and intensely researching the Camino de Santiago for a few years now. I am very interested in walking the camino for about three weeks starting in Le Puy in June 2015. I am wondering what are the reasons some people end their walks prematurely? I would appreciate specific examples if you yourself stopped your walk or if you know of others who stopped.

I am a sort of "parlor" person or an "indoors girl" (acutally I'm a single woman in my 60's). I have never backpacked or hiked in my life, but I am keenly interested in doing this. I have this mental picture of myself standing in front of a Le Puy hotel one morning in June with my backpack on, pacer poles in hand, vaselined feet with inner liners and merino socks in my well-fitting, broken in, lightweight hiking shoes wondering what in the hell am I doing. Thank you.
Join the clan lady! I've been doing Camino since 2003 and am still awaiting enlightenment :) And then BAH! sez me and carries on regardless! Buen Camino.

Samarkand.
 
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Sean Lad

Member
Inspiration without preparation often results in frustration.

Train to get your body in shape (you'll probably benefit more form a solid base from daily walking more than you need long distances). Endurance and distance will grow if you take it easy in the early stages. Don't avoid bad weather during training; it won't avoid you on the Camino.

Make sure you know your equipment. Shoes/boots and pack must be properly fit. Break them all in during your practice hikes. Know exactly why you are taking each item (often we pack our fears, hedging against all kinds of unlikely occurrences, though prudence remains necessary) and pack only what you truly need. Spend time on the forum and you'll see a lot of opinions, advice, and disputes on various types of equipment. Make your own judgement and learn from the success/failure (better during practice, but some lessons will only be learned along the way). In a pinch, you can adjust gear (leave behind/ship forward/replace) along the way.

The camino is all about adapting to the conditions you face, not the ones you planned to face. Therefore, spend time learning the route using the forum and good guidebooks. Make your plans, but keep them flexible because you'll have a better understanding of the route and your options when faced with a condition you didn't plan for initially.

Mental toughness counts for a lot, especially when things happen that might make another person leave when they really didn't need to.
Wind rain or no privicy
List endless
I am lots older than you but be ready for some lovely happy days and some slog and enchanting day
You will always remember the good days and forget the hardship
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Injury usually but in 2005 in March I was in St Jean Pied Du Port and received a telephone call from an agent about a possible job. As I had been on sabbatical for the previous 18 months it seemed like a good idea to attend the interview so I walked to Pamplona and flew back to the UK. I did get the job and spent the next 12 years with the firm.
 

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