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Where did you find the courage?

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#1
I've spent a week looking at routes, and blogs and posts thinking about where I will walk next year.

After walking the VdlP I have a perchant for longer, quiter walks but I didnt have to walk the VdlP alone. I look at all the great trails across Spain and could easily plan for the next 10 years but... as much as I want to walk some of these routes, I doubt I would have the courage to go totally alone.

Don't you worry about safety? Do you consider dogs, cows, people? Am I the only one? I'm in awe of folks like @Magwood or @peregrina2000 (especially after the recent incendent on the Norte)... @gracethepilgrim @domigee and so many more. You all go long distance wandering on the less travelled routes, knowing that you may not see other pilgrims... whats the secret? How can I overcome my own fears?
 

RedRuby

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept 2017)
Le Puy to SJPP (Sept 2019)
#2
I've spent a week looking at routes, and blogs and posts thinking about where I will walk next year.

After walking the VdlP I have a perchant for longer, quiter walks but I didnt have to walk the VdlP alone. I look at all the great trails across Spain and could easily plan for the next 10 years but... as much as I want to walk some of these routes, I doubt I would have the courage to go totally alone.

Don't you worry about safety? Do you consider dogs, cows, people? Am I the only one? I'm in awe of folks like @Magwood or @peregrina2000 (especially after the recent incendent on the Norte)... @gracethepilgrim @domigee and so many more. You all go long distance wandering on the less travelled routes, knowing that you may not see other pilgrims... whats the secret? How can I overcome my own fears?
@LesBrass I think it's more a question of letting go of fears rather than overcoming them. Planning and preparation are always very useful in decreasing uncertainty and worry but ultimately it when all that is done, it's a matter of letting the fear go and surrendering oneself to the adventure which is when amazing things happen.
 
#4
Hi, LesBrass, I'll take a stab at this. But I don't presume to have the answer to your questions, just my own experiences to share. My habit of walking alone evolved slowly. My first three or four caminos, I went with a specific walking partner, either my husband (who later decided he HATES the camino :mad:) or a good friend. As everyone knows, walking with someone involves a lot of compromises, changes, adjustments, etc, that just don't come up when you walk alone -- but the desire to be free of those entanglements was not what led me to start walking alone. It happened when one of my pals had to bail out of a planned walk together at the last minute. At that point, I really had no choice, other than staying at home. So off I went, and I discovered that I LOVE it. I love the freedom, the challenge, the self-sufficiency, the solitude. So that was easy, really, starting to walk on traveled routes like the Primitivo, Sanabrés and Vdlp. Walking "alone" on those routes is usually a misnomer since I have always had companionship but could also always just walk on my own, knowing that there would be people at night, at the breaks, etc. So from there, it turned out that there were all these amazing routes out there that nobody walks. Maybe the first was the Salvador (oh how that has changed, no longer solitary!!). In 2008, I had company for the first two days, and then off by myself, all alone in the albergues, on the route, etc. Those first two days were really kind of like getting ready to push me out of the nest, in some sense. I was fine, and fact is, I never really thought this through consciously till now.

Then a few years ago, my family insisted I get a GPS. I was going to walk the Camino Olvidado from Bilbao to Ponferrada, a route no one walks, and I hooked up with a forum friend who was also interested. Turns out she had to leave after a week, so I had to sink or swim with the GPS. Now I am only marginally competent, but it gives me a HUGE amount of comfort and confidence. Having the tracks eliminates all the moments of what might otherwise be panic if you are on a solitary route and can't figure out where to go (there were several of these moments on my Castellan0-Aragonés and I am now a firm believer, not for the traveled routes, but for the solitary ones).

The incident at Baamonde, along with the 7 or 8 incidents of flashing that I've witnessed over the years, did put a bit of anxiety into the whole equation. This is the point at which I would never pooh pooh anyone else's fear. If you can't overcome it with rational thinking, which I did after Baamonde, you just shouldn't push it because you will be a nervous wreck and not enjoy the walk. My reason tells me that I am exponentially safer on the camino than in my own country (I have read statistics on the numbers of violent crimes on all Caminos in Spain over the past twenty or so years and the number is under 20, this is astonishing) and that the "bad guys" are unlikely to hang out waiting for peregrinas on the untraveled paths (and in fact, all of my incidents have been on the Francés or the Norte), and that I just have to box up my worries and send them home.

So maybe the "secret" for those of us who wind up walking alone is that we started down that path unintentionally and then at some point found out that we were doing it and loved it. Sorry if this is rambling, buen camino, Laurie
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#5
What @peregrina2000 said plus, in my case, statistics. Compared to a town of the same size (pilgrims+locals) the Camino has a comparatively low crime rate. We are just used to how the towns we live in work, a new Camino is more of an unknown - but then that is the attraction for me plus, yes, experience. The more I walk and the less traveled the Camino the more I learn that a) the world is a good place and b) people are good. Buen Camino, SY
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#6
Pilgims I love these replies! Keep them coming as they give me confidence!

So maybe the "secret" for those of us who wind up walking alone is that we started down that path unintentionally and then at some point found out that we were doing it and loved it. Sorry if this is rambling, buen camino, Laurie
Not rambling at all... in fact it's really interesting that you say it happened by accident. I always imagine all you solo walkers as camino warriers :D Brave enough to set off alone without a care in the world. So this admission gives me some hope that I can do it too!

@LesBrass I think it's more a question of letting go of fears rather than overcoming them.
I love this! Thank you!

When I first walked the CF everyone at home thought I was soooo brave going it alone but in my heart I already knew that there would be lots of people on the path. Today I would happily walk the CF alone without a second thought because I know I wouldn't ever really be alone... although it would need be out of high season when it's quieter.

But I dont want to walk the CF again. There are so many routes that I would like to walk and I know that if I want to do that then I have to step out alone... Courage, as the French would say, is what I need! Or more sage words from you wonderful people!
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
#7
LesBrass can we agree that 'Worries' are you creating possible circumstances in your mind and fixating on them.

I am sure you leave your house alone at home? I am sure there are crimes, and dogs and cows and people in your home country, but hopefully that doesn't prevent you from going out. I assume you are a competent, self sufficient adult who can fix a problem. I am not mocking or trying to make light about what you have chosen to focus on, I just want to point out, that although we as humans have fallen into a habit of creating worries about the unknown, really they are just self created hills for us to hide behind so we don't do things.

So, if we can agree that the worries are self inflicted, you can also create positive, possible circumstances to think about, might be able to add dreams into the Worry rotation and then crowd out the worries with these dream scenario's.

For example: Don't you worry about safety? You have a situation where someone is threatening to you, think it through - a local teen comes to your defense, and invites you back to his family home to join his family for a party that is happening that night. A wonderful result from a possible difficult situation. (If you were not threatened you would not have met the teen.)

For every bad situation you can imagine - also imagine a positive result and hopefully the worries will start to dissipate.

I have traveled the world on my own for 30 years, things often go wrong or not just to plan and I am always "rescued" by kind considerate strangers. I was going to say I am amazed at the kindness of the people all over the world who step out of their daily lives to help direct, or house or feed or protect a stranger travelling on her own, but I am no longer amazed as I have ALWAYS found the kindest people to hold my hand through a challenge.

Of course there are people that are indifferent or unkind, but if you look past them the nicest people are waiting to offer their assistance.
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
#8
You all go long distance wandering on the less travelled routes, knowing that you may not see other pilgrims... whats the secret? How can I overcome my own fears?
As for some practical advice, I take phrases that I think I might need - and translate them into the local language. Keep the English and the translation together and have it with you for the times when your cell phone is dead or google translate just doesn't work. Did this for Morocco recently - had the Arabic and English, it made a cab driver laugh for a full 5 minutes when I tried to pronounce the Arabic words! *Turns out French is a common language used in Morocco and that might have been easier! :D
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#9
I was going to say you should worry more about being hit by a car, which is much more likely to happen than getting attacked by a person, cow or dog, but that wouldn't help build your confidence, necessarily! ;) My father used to tell me that I was safer where I was alone or on a path less taken, because the people who are looking for somebody to accost tend to hang out near the "main path" where they are likely to find them! I still think of that sometimes. I rode my motorcycle alone through Mexico and nobody expected me. By the time they thought about doing something bad to me, I was already gone :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Way (2017)
#10
I do a lot of things on my own, for a variety of reasons, but most of them boil down to the reality that if I don't do it on my own, I won't get to do it (friends with different interests or abilities make for some hefty and uncomfortable compromises).

This includes hiking on various trails, in areas that have different levels of remoteness; camping; motorcycle trips; Bus trips across Canada and many others.

It really started when I wanted to go for a hike and couldn't find a companion. I was always told "never hike alone" and I was scared. In fact, I am still nervous and scared - and I listen very carefully to that fear because it is entirely rational and helps me make intelligent decisions while out alone, including planning for some emergencies, doing research into the trails, making sure I have a check in plan with someone who isn't hiking - and they know who and when to call if I don't check in.

The alternative is to not do something that I love; something that makes me feel better with life. To me, the risks of regret and reduced well being are far greater risks then the risks associated with the doing the activities that I love and am called to do.

But don't ignore your fear - it will keep you alive and well. Acknowledge it, embrace it, make friends with it, or even laugh about it; and then set about listening and learning about how best to take care of yourself. And be comforted by the fact that the fear will slowly abate over time as you become more comfortable with new ways of being.
 
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
#12
Ok, it’s my turn to have a go at answering @LesBrass question.
Like Laurie, it all started a long time ago on my first camino (2003) when my walking partner pulled out at the last minute.
I’d previously travelled throughout Asia on my own and always seemed to meet up with like-minded people. I guses I just had faith that this would happen again on the Camino Frances.
It was a wonderful journey and fullfilled all my dreams. There was one particular moment of ‘dog-fear’ when I had two choices. It was just on dawn, several kms out of the nearest village and I was completely alone. I had two choices - stop and wait for someone else to come along. Or walk past the gruesome growling filthy matted dog barring my path. I pondered a while and knew that this was a defining moment in my life. I therefore chose the latter, prepared my pole and a handful of rocks and just walked forward. As I got closer I noticed that there was a recently killed rabbit between me and the dog. By moving my path away from the kill, I was able to pass unharmed (albeit shaking like a mad woman) and learnt a valuable lesson about walking through fear. Now, in situations when I feel that fear wants to stop me, I just prepare for the best and walk through it.

I’ve since headed off on my own for all my subsequent caminos. Sometimes I’ve met someone on the first day and walked all the way to Santiago together. More often than not I have stop-start mini friendships but never have I walked alone for an entire camino.

The Levante was a very different adventure and I expected it to be solitary. I did manage a few days of shared walking but much of it was solitary. It was magic and I was so thrilled to see parts of Spain that are waaaayyyy of the tourist routes. I’ve still got the Toledo to Zamora section on my radar for a future camino - most likely alone (unless @sulu and I can co-ordinate :))

I absolutely love the freedom of choosing when I leave in the mornings, where stop for rests and how to amuse myself in the afternoons. This is my favourite time. I try to see as much of the village/town as possible and discover the hidden gems. I avoid eating in the ‘obvious’ places instead hunting out side streets with local gems. My current favourites are the ‘casinos’ and ‘hogar de pensionistas’. Pilgrims are always welcome and the elderly love a good chat. Local schoolkids are also eager to show you their town.

I’ve walked the VdlP two and a half times (including both upper and lower Sanabres legs and also the Portuguese variant from Zamora). I’ve never walked alone on the VdlP so @LesBrass you needn’t worry too much.

There have been a few times when I have found myself in a situation that didn’t ‘feel’ right (twice on my recent Camino Levante) but after exercising sensible precautions, they ended up being innocent. I’d prefer not to go into details but just to say it’s a common lone female issue. Happy to provide details via PM.
Useful tips - take out your mobile, have 112 ready to dial and look like you’re taking a photo. (from a reasonable distance of course)

Many of my family and friends continue to ask me why I walk alone in Spain. My stock answer is that if I waited for a like-minded person to join me I’d still be waiting.
It’s a bit of a flippant answer but the truth is that I love the adventure of ‘girl-scouting’ my way across a counrty. It makes me smile a lot and often :p
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#14
@Kanga I love this thread too!

Ladies... (and I didnt specifically aim the thread at women but I think predominatly it was in my thoughts)... anyway, Ladies you rock!

Everything you have all said rings a bell with me. The idea of not being afraid of stuff at home, knowing that I would not do things if I waited for someone else, trusting in my own judgement (not scuba diving alone and good road safety!)... and as many have said, simply finding yourself walking alone and realising it's ok.

Thank you all... I'm going to keep all of these words and ideas close to hand to remind myself to be braver! There are so many things I want to do, but I simply dont because I find a reason why I shouldn't... I think it's time for me to find reasons why I should!

Please feel free to keep offering the good advice! :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 16/ 2016. Leon to Santiago . SJPDP to Santiago. (Sept/ Oct 2019 ).
#16
I've spent a week looking at routes, and blogs and posts thinking about where I will walk next year.

After walking the VdlP I have a perchant for longer, quiter walks but I didnt have to walk the VdlP alone. I look at all the great trails across Spain and could easily plan for the next 10 years but... as much as I want to walk some of these routes, I doubt I would have the courage to go totally alone.

Don't you worry about safety? Do you consider dogs, cows, people? Am I the only one? I'm in awe of folks like @Magwood or @peregrina2000 (especially after the recent incendent on the Norte)... @gracethepilgrim @domigee and so many more. You all go long distance wandering on the less travelled routes, knowing that you may not see other pilgrims... whats the secret? How can I overcome my own fears?
Hi, Please remember that you are never alone, take hold of that and never let it go, the Camino is a wonderful gift where we can immerce ourselves and soak in complete utter wonder. Enjoy what has been given to you, go and embrace the gift, let the Camino do its work in you and do not be afraid, you will never be alone. God Bless, Buen Camino.
 
P

pilgr

Guest
#17
I recently walked the Levante and Invierno, 60 days of barely seeing any other pilgrims. My big fear before starting was loneliness. But then @peregrina2000 put me on "Live on the Camino" where I got to blog about my experience and dialogue with the fine community here daily through my smartphone. The other big factor is the main reason I love walking the caminos is the cultural friendliness of the Spaniard. Nowhere have I felt more welcomed than walking through Spain.

As to safety, I will offer what has worked for me. I know many people will object to my approach. But after I read about a few of the off-leash dogs on the Invierno, I opted to purchase a small can of dog pepper spray. Personally, I love dogs and would never want to cause discomfort to them. But if my life is at risk, I felt a lot of comfort knowing I could pull the trigger at any moment. While I never used it, that can of pepper spray served more as a security blanket for me!
 
#18
@pilgr adds a great point. As wifi has become ubiquitous in Spain, the forum becomes a great companion during the non-walking times. Not to take away from the joys of interacting with the people actually living in those out of the way places, but sometimes it can be a real pick-me-upper to hear from a friendly forum voice. Not to mention the times when you just can't find the answer to a practical walking question about the next day's walk!
 

fraluchi

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
#20
[...]Don't you worry about safety? Do you consider dogs, cows, people? Am I the only one? I'm in awe of folks like @Magwood or @peregrina2000 (especially after the recent incendent on the Norte)... @gracethepilgrim @domigee and so many more. [...]
As you may have realized during past walks, Spain and it's people are pretty civilized and particularly welcoming to foreigners. Exceptions confirming the rule:D Stay on the defensive when you meet situations which you mention, but don't show fright. None of the "beings" which you mention will harm you without intrusion from your part. As far as human "beings" are concerned, you'll be able to handle them in the same ways you have so far been used to.;)
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#22
Folks once again many thanks for the kind words and good ideas. I am heeding the advice and making plans for my next few walks... with or without company!

I know it's a long way off... but I have to plan ahead and I'm resolved to walk The Levante in 2019... I told my husband, booked a block of time off the diary (who has a diary 2 years ahead!) and I will walk alone. So I have 2 years to improve my Spanish as I think this will help me a great deal. And I finally get to walk amongst the poppies. :)

There are so many great role models on this forum... honestly, we just assume we're all a bunch of folks that go walking but in reality you are all great adventurers... and I am grateful for your kind words and examples.
 

jagoca

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked Via de la Plata (Seville to Santiago) in spring 2017
#23
I've spent a week looking at routes, and blogs and posts thinking about where I will walk next year.

After walking the VdlP I have a perchant for longer, quiter walks but I didnt have to walk the VdlP alone. I look at all the great trails across Spain and could easily plan for the next 10 years but... as much as I want to walk some of these routes, I doubt I would have the courage to go totally alone.

Don't you worry about safety? Do you consider dogs, cows, people? Am I the only one? I'm in awe of folks like @Magwood or @peregrina2000 (especially after the recent incendent on the Norte)... @gracethepilgrim @domigee and so many more. You all go long distance wandering on the less travelled routes, knowing that you may not see other pilgrims... whats the secret? How can I overcome my own fears?
I walked the via de la plata too, alone in March and April, it was long at at times lonely but I speak fluent Spanish so I made sure to speak a lot with local people in the evenings (I went for the casa rurale option, not albergues as I am a light sleeper so prefer not to share) or I would hace had many days with no conversation . I enjoyed the solitude. Yes, I did get flashed at once but retaliated with feistiness and the pointed end of my hiking poles, and I did have a pervy casa rurale owner which meant I had to grab my stuff and find another accommodation late in the night but these things didn't put me off. Speaking the language made me feel very strong because I could get help when I needed. I rarely saw any other pilgrims and was lucky enough for four of my total days to walk with some Dutch retired gentlemen who were most pleasant and provided a welcome relief from the solitude. Yes I had some moments with dogs and cows but (and feel free to laugh), I sung gently to them, moved softly and slowly to show I wasn't a threat and they were fine, I actually appreciate their company, even if they sometimes made my heart rate rise a little :)

Have confidence that you already know a lot from your vdlp experience and trust in your instincts, you'll be fine. I am already thinking of doing the camino del norte for my next camino and will be happy to apply all the lessons learnt from the vdlp.
 

eeddowes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2014)
VDLP / C.Sanabres (2017)
#24
I’ve only walked two caminos, both sola: the first being Camino Francés (where, as you know, you’re never really alone), and I’ve just returned home from walking VDLP / Camino Sanabres. But here’s my take:
On both caminos, I was quite certain no one had the patience to walk with me as I am a slow walker, plus my approach is one that allows for change & adjustment. I plan multiple night stays in larger and historically significant cities so that I can tour and explore what they offer. I also love stopping to talk with locals in villages (I’m not fluent in Spanish, but I have enough that enables me this wonderful exchange opportunity). All this, I’m sure, is taxing for a walking companion.


Just like @peregrina2000, I, too, “love the freedom, the challenge, the self-sufficiency, the solitude” in walking alone. When encountering a problem or a decision point, there’s no committee – you, alone, think through the situation, weigh your options and then decide. Even with a wrong decision (and course correction), this is greatly satisfying and such a confidence builder.

And finally, being a lone walker, you have complete freedom for spontaneous decisions / choices. On this recent VDLP walk, 1) I spontaneously went for a swim in a reservoir to cool off (it was VERY hot this Spring!), and the time spent there altered my destination objective – but that was OK. 2) I had planned one day off in Zamora, but extended my stay when I discovered there was a Romería (a day-long religious pilgrimage with Nuestra Señora de la Concha) on the day of my intended departure. I figured the Camino would wait for me, and so chose to join 10,000 Spanish pilgrims for the day (filled with music, dance and food that were all part of the Romería experience). 3) Walking through Seixalbo on my way to Ourense (where I had planned a one-day stay), I saw posted notices announcing a Queimada ceremony at midnight the evening of my intended departure. Again, I was confident the Camino would wait for me. The people of Seixalbo were surprised to have a pilgrim amongst them, and they were gracious and most kind to me. And what fun it was! So, no deliberations. No comprises made for anyone else’s behalf. It sounds selfish, and I suppose it is, but spontaneous events, for me, are all part of the grand adventure which eclipses fear.

Don’t get me wrong – I love the pilgrim connections and looked forward to meeting up with everyone at day’s end. But walking sola gives you coveted time and space for contemplation, reflection, dreaming, and expressing yourself out loud without fear of embarrassment.

As for fear, @Northern Laurie is right in that “fear will slowly abate over time as you become more comfortable with new ways of being”. Entering both CF & VDLP as a lone pilgrim was scary for me at first, and I’m sure it was fear of the unknown. But both times the fear dissipated as I adjusted with my new surroundings. Dogs: on two occasions I met with aggressive dogs – and they were small ones. I’m a dog person and wasn’t afraid, but acknowledged they’re intent. So I instinctively crossed my walking poles to make an “X” barrier that I kept between them and my ankles. I also talked to them calmly and firmly, and after enough distance passed with walking, they eventually let me go. Luck is part of the equation, I suppose. Cows & bulls: - I talked to them, too, as @jagoca did. I also carried a (perhaps false) sense of security with amusing wisdom shared regarding encounters with bulls in a timely thread that appeared on this forum while I was walking. Sadly, I can’t seem to find it now to reference.

So, @LesBrass, set your fears aside and continue with your planning for the next walk. The Levante is waiting for you!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#25
The only adventure not to take on on one's on, in my book, is scuba diving.
I agree!

Can't believe PADI now do a "Solo Diver" (Self Reliant Diver) course - makes a mockery of all they crammed down our air-regulators on Basic Diver!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#26
I agree!

Can't believe PADI now do a "Solo Diver" (Self Reliant Diver) course - makes a mockery of all they crammed down our air-regulators on Basic Diver!
Are you kidding me?! Money speaks I suppose. I hope they offer it with the Dive Master level, or professional/technical diving levels, for people who could sometimes have a reason to dive on their own, such as to go fetch a student. :confused:
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#27
I look back fondly on the time when my biggest fear in life was not having done my school homework - what could be worse?

Loads of things, but you don't know that at the time.

Being male, 65 and lacking a febrile imagination (or any other kind it seems) I can't appreciate your fears or feelings.

I can only assure you that over 5 Caminos I have only ever experienced kindness and compassion.

Stide out bold Pilgrim and don't worry about walking alone - there may be some days when that's just what you want!

Have a great Camino and then come back and tell us all about it. Please. :)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#28
Are you kidding me?! Money speaks I suppose. I hope they offer it with the Dive Master level, or professional/technical diving levels, for people who could sometimes have a reason to dive on their own, such as to go fetch a student. :confused:
Nope, my great niece is an instructor but refuses to give the course - essentially briefings on being self-reliant, taking back-up resources and 3 dives . . . . PADI (Put Another Dollar In).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Camino Madrid/Levante/Sanabres (2016)
#29
I too am of the mind set that if I don't head out by myself I simply won't get to do things I consider wonderful - like my caminos. My friends and colleagues all express amazement and admiration (and for some - horror) at my 'adventures' - but I am a bit bemused by their attitudes. What is life for, if not to do things that make you feel truly alive - that bring anticipation, excitement, challenge...and yes, definitely some fear and trepidation as well.
Speaking of fear...and I'm chuckling to myself here...I do recall some heart-stopping moments on the Sanabres as a result of dogs, but not because I was in physical danger from them. Several times I was walking past a property, in a day-dreamy, not-fully aware state, when the property guard dog(s) suddenly burst into frantic fierce barking right beside me (but on the other side of the fence). Oh !*^@!!#&!. I'm not one for swearing but...!
I agree with the already mentioned up-sides to walking solo - stopping when and where you like, eating as much/little as you like, and again when and where (second breakfasts, elevenses, early/late lunches, etc), also singing loudly and off-key, baton practice with the hiking stick, practicing my spanish on cows and pigs (those tricky verbs)...etc.
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
#30
My friends and colleagues all express amazement and admiration (and for some - horror) at my 'adventures' - but I am a bit bemused by their attitudes.
Yes, that always amazes me, people who put their horrors on you and on your journey! and they expect you to agree with their issues!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#31
I had an alert for this thread today, which is timely given the awful crime I read about earlier. I just wanted to say again thank you for all your replies.

I have no idea why I am so fearful (or maybe I do but that's a really long story ;)) But... regardless I take on board all of your great advice and will stride out alone for sure one day in the not too distant future... maybe even next year!

Happy, safe walking pilgrims
 

Ahhhs

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago, May 2015
Porto to Santiago, April 2016
Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago, April 2016
Camino Del Norte, April 2017
#32
Love this thread.
I was feeling a little uncertain about my solo plans for Le Puy this spring.
And reading the latest crime report never helps.
I've done the CF solo but wasn't sure about a new country/new language, less traveled, less familiar route.
After reading all these great stories my usual confidence has returned.
Thank you all.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#33
I had an alert for this thread today, which is timely given the awful crime I read about earlier. I just wanted to say again thank you for all your replies.

I have no idea why I am so fearful (or maybe I do but that's a really long story ;)) But... regardless I take on board all of your great advice and will stride out alone for sure one day in the not too distant future... maybe even next year!

Happy, safe walking pilgrims
Thank you for starting this thread, albeit some time ago. I'm glad its been resurrected as I've been having similar thoughts myself, so I'm enjoying reading the responses. I think I am more timid than you. I've walked the Frances route twice and the Norte/Primitivo, but all with one or two family members, making me feel very safe. I now am venturing to walk the Le Puy route as far as Moissac, this time with two Camino friends in June. One of these friends has had a family crisis recently and may not be able to come after all, and my other friend had always planned to leave a week earlier than us. This means I may possibly now spend my last week on the Le Puy alone, including trains back to the airport at CDG. Yikes! I am apprehensive, yet a little excited. I have led a sheltered life, in that I've been married since age 19, so have never really been independently on my own.

That said, I too, am becoming interested in some of the less travelled Caminos, although I envision hopefully someone coming with me. I know very little Spanish and I'm sure knowing more of the language would help on the more obscure routes. I have recently been thinking of asking Laurie for some ideas, but have yet to enquire.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#35
@Camino Chris hi there.
Feel free to PM me (or public query) if you have any specific questions.
I’ve walked a few of the lesser caminos and loved them all. Very different experiences each time, and always I return home with unexpected joyous memories.
Cheers, Grace
Thank you, Grace, for your kind offer. I will be contacting you soon with a few questions and for some ideas!
 

Ahhhs

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago, May 2015
Porto to Santiago, April 2016
Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago, April 2016
Camino Del Norte, April 2017
#36
Any specific thoughts about a solo female on the Le Puy route?
It sounds like it may be a bit more rural...perhaps more scenic than some but maybe more isolated areas?
 

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