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Poll Why did you have to abandon your Camino? Anonymous

Why did you have to abandon your Camino?

  • Physical Injury or Illness

    Votes: 72 61.0%
  • Mental and Emotional Strain

    Votes: 11 9.3%
  • Lack of Preparation (gear, training etc)

    Votes: 7 5.9%
  • Financial Constraints (You spent more than planned)

    Votes: 4 3.4%
  • Time Limitations (it took longer than planned)

    Votes: 8 6.8%
  • External Obligations (family, work etc)

    Votes: 14 11.9%
  • Accommodation Challenges (often couldn't find any, or the type you wanted)

    Votes: 7 5.9%
  • Weather Conditions (worse than expected, hot, cold, wet etc)

    Votes: 13 11.0%
  • Lost Motivation or Purpose

    Votes: 14 11.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 13 11.0%

  • Total voters
    118

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 15,16,18
VdlP 23, Invierno 23, Fisterra 23
It's Anonymous (you can pick 3 choices as they may have been contributory)

We have many new members on the Forum asking lots of great questions about their first or subsequent Camino. It gives the 'old timers' a chance to share and chat Camino endlessly!

And then some, we never hear from again. Which is sad in a number of ways.

It's great to hear their feedback on the Camino.
It's wonderful to hear that they made it OK.
What they gained from it and so on.
And we all get to learn about new things or changes along the way.

But perhaps some don't make it.

It could be for a wide variety of reasons, and maybe they feel awkward in some way sharing their experience.
I get that.
I've met Pilgrims along the way who had to cut short their Camino for many reasons.
They were 'gutted'.
But sometimes stuff just happens.

It would certainly be interesting to many I think, to understand the main reasons for people to cut short a Camino. It would help those planning their first, and maybe help those who like to give advice to first time Pilgrims?

The poll has 10 options. I used my buddy at ChatGPT to come up with the options. They look reasonable to me!

The poll Is ANONYMOUS. So do please share. It will help others prepare I'm sure.

But of course if you want to add further comment feel free to do so.

The Question is quite simple.

Why did you have to abandon your Camino?
i.e. You had to leave the Camino, go home, go on a holiday etc, regardless if you came back some time later to finish it.

You can pick 3 choices as they may have been contributory.
i.e.
funds ran low, you got sick, and lost motivation...
 
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Thank you to those who are voting.
I'm sure it will help us all, Newbies and Old Timers, to better prepare and help others prepare.
 
I've had to abandon the Primitivo twice - both times for reasons of illness. The first time was a really severe case of 'flu, and the second time I caught some kind of evil stomach bug which was running rampant in the valley where Pola de Allande sits. I'm hoping it will be 3rd time lucky on that route in March next year.
 
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I've had to abandon the Primitivo twice - both times for reasons of illness. The first time was a really severe case of 'flu, and the second time I caught some kind of evil stomach bug which was running rampant in the valley where Pola de Allande sits. I'm hoping it will be 3rd time lucky on that route in March next year.
I'm sure the odds will be in your favour!!
 
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First time was just after covid and there was a shortage of beds from Pamplona onwards, over the next few stages so I went home and left the beds for those from further afield (I’m in Scotland)

Second time it was the dread shin splints I tried resting for a few days but my leg gave way just after Burgos 🤦🏼‍♂️

I’ve been back since though and will continue to return 👍
 
An interesting poll, @Robo. I am one of the lucky ones and after nine Camino walks in Europe I have never had to abandon any of them. That said, I fractured the upper humerus in my arm in two places in May of this year on my way to the airport going home (don't run with a backpack to catch a train!). If it had happened a few days earlier I would have had to abandon the Camino, but at least it would have been nearly complete.

P.S. I did abandon my 2020 Camino before I went due to Covid, as did many others. Not sure it qualifies as "other", but you could consider adding another category for it.
 
An interesting poll, @Robo. I am one of the lucky ones and after nine Camino walks in Europe I have never had to abandon any of them. That said, I fractured the upper humerus in my arm in two places in May of this year on my way to the airport going home (don't run with a backpack to catch a train!). If it had happened a few days earlier I would have had to abandon the Camino, but at least it would have been nearly complete.

P.S. I did abandon my 2020 Camino before I went due to Covid, as did many others. Not sure it qualifies as "other", but you could consider adding another category for it.

Sadly polls only allow 10 and they can't be altered once the poll has responses :(

I think for the sake of the Poll, and for us to learn from the results, it's good to know why people have to abandon their Camino once they start. This may lead us to better understand what we could do differently in preparation maybe? Or if our expectations were unrealistic.

Having to cancel a Camino before you even go, would be a whole new Poll I reckon.
Could be interesting though! Let's see what ChatGPT suggests...........

Not a bad list. I wondered if it would include Covid as it only has data up to 2020 I think.

Certainly, planning and then cancelling a Camino de Santiago trip can be disheartening, but various factors can contribute to such decisions. Here are the top 10 reasons why pilgrims might cancel their Camino before even starting:

1. **Health Issues**: Unforeseen medical diagnoses, injuries, or worsening of pre-existing conditions might make it impossible for someone to undertake the physical challenge of the Camino.

2. **Personal and Family Emergencies**: Unexpected events, such as a death in the family, an illness of a loved one, or other family emergencies, can abruptly change plans.

3. **Financial Setbacks**: Losing a job, unexpected expenses, or other financial challenges might make it financially unfeasible to embark on the journey.

4. **Travel Restrictions**: In recent times, global situations like the COVID-19 pandemic have imposed travel bans or quarantine measures, making international travel challenging or impossible.

5. **Safety Concerns**: Hearing about certain issues related to safety, whether actual or perceived, can deter some pilgrims. This can range from civil unrest in certain areas to concerns about personal safety along lesser-travelled routes.

6. **Logistical Issues**: Problems securing the necessary visas, lost passports, or challenges with booking transportation might complicate plans.

7. **Change of Personal Circumstances**: Major life events, such as getting a new job, moving houses, or unexpected personal commitments, can conflict with Camino dates.

8. **Mental and Emotional Preparedness**: As the departure date nears, some might feel they're not mentally or emotionally ready to take on the introspective and physically demanding nature of the Camino.

9. **Lack of Preparation**: Some pilgrims, upon realizing they haven't trained adequately or gathered the necessary gear, might choose to postpone their journey to be better prepared.

10. **Weather and Environmental Factors**: Natural disasters, unfavourable seasonal forecasts, or other environmental concerns might dissuade pilgrims from embarking during their intended time frame.

Deciding to walk the Camino is a significant commitment, and while many factors might cause someone to cancel their plans, it's essential to remember that the Camino will always be there, welcoming pilgrims from all walks of life when the time is right for them.


Spooky thing! I think it's been reading this Forum.........
 
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I have twice abandoned Caminos and I am here on the forum quite often. So perhaps yes. :)

Of course you are - I had to abandon a walking Camino halfway due to leg injury, bought a bike and finished on that - my point is that it is probable that many who abandon Camino also abandon all thought of it? So wouldn't be on the forum?
Perhaps it is wording - if it was 'a' Camino rather than 'your' Camino?
 
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Spooky thing! I think it's been reading this Forum.........
Wow, @Robo, this is very interesting and a very detailed list! I think @gchat has not only been reading the forum, but Ivar should make him/her an esteemed moderator who lives and roams in all time zones! 😁
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
had to abandon the Camino de Frances at Rabanal due to broken wrist from fall in bathroom of albergue. And here I am feverishly planning my return in Dec.

my tip from my accident? if you have flip flops, crocs or Tevas etc, take them into the shower with you and put them on before stepping outside onto the bathroom tiled floor….
 
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I stopped twice, due to injury. But it was always with the intention that I'd be back to finish. It took me three years, but I did it.

So I'd say it was more of interruption each time than abandonment. To me abandonment implies "I'm otta here!" I never felt that way. 😄

My guess is people who truly "abandon" the Camino, as in "I quit," don't come back on to Camino social media. On the other hand, there may be many who say, "Glad I did it, but I'm one and done," yet still maintain an interest. Those are the ones mostly likely lurking, remembering, and, who knows, finally deciding to go back.
 
my tip from my accident? if you have flip flops, crocs or Tevas etc, take them into the shower with you and out them on before stepping outside onto the bathroom tiled floor….
A bit off topic, but similar to your post is this little story...My brother-in-law always takes flip flops to use in hotel rooms to keep his feet off the carpets/floors. He'd gotten up to use the bathroom in the night, and slipped into his flip-flops in the dark heading to the bathroom. He tripped over them and fell down, hitting his head on the edge of the granite sink incurring a huge bleeding gash on his forehead. First was a trip to the ER, then plastic surgery a few days later to repair it properly.
 
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I stopped twice, due to injury. But it was always with the intention that I'd be back to finish. It took me three years, but I did it.

So I'd say it was more of interruption each time than abandonment. To me abandonment implies "I'm otta here!" I never felt that way. 😄
I tend to agree. I take abandon to mean to leave without intention to return. That’s the connotation it has for me. I think many who have to discontinue a camino hope to (and do) return. But I get what @Robo is getting at 🙏
 
A bit off topic, but similar to your post is this little story...My brother-in-law always takes flip flops to use in hotel rooms to keep his feet off the carpets/floors. He'd gotten up to use the bathroom in the night, and slipped into his flip-flops in the dark heading to the bathroom. He tripped over them and fell down, hitting his head on the edge of the granite sink incurring a huge bleeding gash on his forehead. First was a trip to the ER, then plastic surgery a few days later to repair it properly.
It’s a minefield, I tell ya :)
 
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I voted, although I did walk into SdC - I just didn’t walk all of the 100 km before that. I was both ill-prepared physically and sick, probably due to medication I was taking and not realizing how much it affected my metabolism (because in my daily life I’m not usually walking 12 miles a day). Because I had limited time and prebooked accommodations (and was walking with someone who would have walked 20 miles a day), a few days I taxi’d part of the stage.

But once I gave myself the grace to do that, and decided that being miserable was not part of my Camino (recognizing that for some overcoming what they thought were their physical limits *is* part of their Camino), I had exactly the experience I wanted. It was magical and fulfilling and, yes, I’ve already got April, 2024 blocked out to do it again - hopefully without taxis.
 
I tend to agree. I take abandon to mean to leave without intention to return. That’s the connotation it has for me. I think many who have to discontinue a camino hope to (and do) return. But I get what @Robo is getting at 🙏
I took abandon to mean, for a variety of reasons, some had to abort their camino, but are open to returning to finish, or begin a new one when circumstances improve, whatever that entails.
 
I took abandon to mean, for a variety of reasons, some had to abort their camino, but are open to returning to finish, or begin a new one when circumstances improve, whatever that entails.
Yep. I wasn’t meaning to be pedantic with my comment just that I could relate to the other poster who said they didn’t feel they had ‘abandoned’ their camino given their understanding of the word. I don’t think it will affect the poll results 🤣
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
It's Anonymous (you can pick 3 choices as they may have been contributory)

We have many new members on the Forum asking lots of great questions about their first or subsequent Camino. It gives the 'old timers' a chance to share and chat Camino endlessly!

And then some, we never hear from again. Which is sad in a number of ways.

It's great to hear their feedback on the Camino.
It's wonderful to hear that they made it OK.
What they gained from it and so on.
And we all get to learn about new things or changes along the way.

But perhaps some don't make it.

It could be for a wide variety of reasons, and maybe they feel awkward in some way sharing their experience.
I get that.
I've met Pilgrims along the way who had to cut short their Camino for many reasons.
They were 'gutted'.
But sometimes stuff just happens.

It would certainly be interesting to many I think, to understand the main reasons for people to cut short a Camino. It would help those planning their first, and maybe help those who like to give advice to first time Pilgrims?

The poll has 10 options. I used my buddy at ChatGPT to come up with the options. They look reasonable to me!

The poll Is ANONYMOUS. So do please share. It will help others prepare I'm sure.

But of course if you want to add further comment feel free to do so.

The Question is quite simple.

Why did you have to abandon your Camino?
i.e. You had to leave the Camino, go home, go on a holiday etc, regardless if you came back some time later to finish it.

You can pick 3 choices as they may have been contributory.
i.e.
funds ran low, you got sick, and lost motivation...
Physical injury one year, time limitations another year.
 
It's Anonymous (you can pick 3 choices as they may have been contributory)

We have many new members on the Forum asking lots of great questions about their first or subsequent Camino. It gives the 'old timers' a chance to share and chat Camino endlessly!

And then some, we never hear from again. Which is sad in a number of ways.

It's great to hear their feedback on the Camino.
It's wonderful to hear that they made it OK.
What they gained from it and so on.
And we all get to learn about new things or changes along the way.

But perhaps some don't make it.

It could be for a wide variety of reasons, and maybe they feel awkward in some way sharing their experience.
I get that.
I've met Pilgrims along the way who had to cut short their Camino for many reasons.
They were 'gutted'.
But sometimes stuff just happens.

It would certainly be interesting to many I think, to understand the main reasons for people to cut short a Camino. It would help those planning their first, and maybe help those who like to give advice to first time Pilgrims?

The poll has 10 options. I used my buddy at ChatGPT to come up with the options. They look reasonable to me!

The poll Is ANONYMOUS. So do please share. It will help others prepare I'm sure.

But of course if you want to add further comment feel free to do so.

The Question is quite simple.

Why did you have to abandon your Camino?
i.e. You had to leave the Camino, go home, go on a holiday etc, regardless if you came back some time later to finish it.

You can pick 3 choices as they may have been contributory.
i.e.
funds ran low, you got sick, and lost motivation...
I just had an article published on the CBC First Person page about just this. Successfully completed the Camino Frances in 2021 but had to stop the Camino Portuguese this spring. The twist, however is the positive side of what came out of the “ failed” Camino
 
Broke my wrist really badly, after just 11 days on the CF in 2018.
Thought I was going to have to go home in 2015 after walking 300km, due to some medical issues. Trained ahead and spent 9 days walking slowly from Sarria.
I always seem to get some kind of medical problem. Had salmonella (I think) this year and that caused a lot of problems for about 5 days. Had a 24 hour virus in 2018, 2 colds last year and 1 cold this past spring.
 
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Broke my wrist really badly, after just 11 days on the CF in 2018.
A friend of mine, on her first camino in 2016, broke her wrist near Leon. It was pit in a cast and she was going to go home, but decided to stay and was able to persevere and finish in Santiago.
 
I haven't (yet) had to cut short a Camino. After my 2016 Camino I posted a short article in our work newsletter about it. I was approached by a work colleague who told me she had had to abandon her Camino in Leon due to back problems she developed on her Camino. She said that she hadn't realized it was possible to walk different stages than in her Brierley until she read my article. Had she realized that during her Camino, she thought, she might have been able to complete it.

I didn't ask her why she though Brierley listed the albergues in the intermediate villages. She had suffered enough.
 
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Perhaps it is wording - if it was 'a' Camino rather than 'your' Camino?
Yes. That would work better for the repeat pilgrims on the forum. I had to cut short my second Camino in Sahagun due to a death in the family. I didn't feel that I had "abandoned" it. I simply had some other priorities that took me away at that point. The following year I started over in SJPP again and walked to Santiago.
 
Yes. That would work better for the repeat pilgrims on the forum. I had to cut short my second Camino in Sahagun due to a death in the family. I didn't feel that I had "abandoned" it. I simply had some other priorities that took me away at that point. The following year I started over in SJPP again and walked to Santiago.

Sorry if the word 'abandon' wasn't appropriate for some, but hopefully we get the intention of the meaning here.
 
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eerrmmm ... would there be many people who abandoned their Camino on the forum?
I had to stop earlier than expected last year on the Chemin d'Arles - you can read my story in my thread "Je m'en vais! I'm off!" (in the Routes in France/Chemin d'Arles - Via Tolosana section in this Forum). I'll try and insert a link, just a minute.... nope, can't figure it out, sorry. I will just add that I hated to abandon my planned itinerary but last year's heat wave was punishing. It was the right decision for me at that time (I continued a sort of pilgrimage using public transport for 2 more weeks last year and I'll return to walk again in 2024, but not in May-June!)
 
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Since 2016 I do every tear a part of the camino by wheelchair. This year I was already packed but instead of 2 months (pilgrimage and travel time) camino in France from Rocamadour to the Spanish border I ended up for (back) surgery in hospital and had months of rehabilitation.
I look forward to next spring. I am healthy enough again to plan my next pilgrimage again (I even managed a small, just a week, pilgrimage in the Netherlands.) So, spring I go to Rocamadour and roll on!

www.rolstoelpelgrim.nl
 
First time was just after covid and there was a shortage of beds from Pamplona onwards, over the next few stages so I went home and left the beds for those from further afield (I’m in Scotland)

Second time it was the dread shin splints I tried resting for a few days but my leg gave way just after Burgos 🤦🏼‍♂️

I’ve been back since though and will continue to return 👍
Those shin-splints nearly did me in as well. Twice on the same camino. First one (right leg) around najera and it was close to having me give up - The second one (left leg) 10 km from santiago - and ruined my days in santiago.
 
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It's Anonymous (you can pick 3 choices as they may have been contributory)

We have many new members on the Forum asking lots of great questions about their first or subsequent Camino. It gives the 'old timers' a chance to share and chat Camino endlessly!

And then some, we never hear from again. Which is sad in a number of ways.

It's great to hear their feedback on the Camino.
It's wonderful to hear that they made it OK.
What they gained from it and so on.
And we all get to learn about new things or changes along the way.

But perhaps some don't make it.

It could be for a wide variety of reasons, and maybe they feel awkward in some way sharing their experience.
I get that.
I've met Pilgrims along the way who had to cut short their Camino for many reasons.
They were 'gutted'.
But sometimes stuff just happens.

It would certainly be interesting to many I think, to understand the main reasons for people to cut short a Camino. It would help those planning their first, and maybe help those who like to give advice to first time Pilgrims?

The poll has 10 options. I used my buddy at ChatGPT to come up with the options. They look reasonable to me!

The poll Is ANONYMOUS. So do please share. It will help others prepare I'm sure.

But of course if you want to add further comment feel free to do so.

The Question is quite simple.

Why did you have to abandon your Camino?
i.e. You had to leave the Camino, go home, go on a holiday etc, regardless if you came back some time later to finish it.

You can pick 3 choices as they may have been contributory.
i.e.
funds ran low, you got sick, and lost motivation...
I voted physical illness but it wasn’t mine! Husband cycling in the mountains near Oviedo fell off his bike and ended up in ICU so I had to go help get his very sore body and bike back to the UK!
 
A friend of mine, on her first camino in 2016, broke her wrist near Leon. It was pit in a cast and she was going to go home, but decided to stay and was able to persevere and finish in Santiago.
Everyone has to make their own decision, but having done my wrist I couldn’t see how I could continue walking one-handed, wrist in a cast, the remaining 230km to Santiago. Up and over Cruz del Ferro, up and over O Cebreiro. Even Sarria onwards isn’t exactly flat (I did consider it very briefly, studying the profiles). But I thought I’d be a risk to myself and frankly others. The weather was very nasty, adding to the risk.

So taxi it was, hopping via Ponferrada, Villafranca, Lugo and SdC, turning tourist and eating my way across Galicia.

I’ll return. It’ll always be there.
 
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Walking the route from Perpignan a couple of years ago I came a cropper after Vinça, falling down many boulders and getting caught literally between a rock and a hard place. So badly bruised and miles from anyone or anything I laughed insanely, picked myself gingerly up and walked into the next town where I struggled with broken/bruised ribs for another 5 days until I could go no further along La Segre through the Cerdanya Valley; and coming off the Pyrenees area I was plunged back into another Spanish heatwave. I gave up, but swore I would do it again...
 
I left one Camino because I hated the dirty conditions on part of the Frances. I don't want to walk through drifts of toilet paper. I've been back since but not that route, thank you.
 
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I didn’t abandon my Camino, but I came across at least two people who did. One I met just outside Lagroño. He was a 60+ tall guy who had a preexisting knee issue. He knew he needed knee replacement prior to walking but thought he’d get his Camino in before surgery. His knee thought otherwise. He was going to walk to the next town and end his Camino there. Another was a woman I met much later on who was suffering from plantar fasciitis. She could barely walk. She was going to take a bus/train to Santiago. Another woman I met had just finished a grueling day of about 30 miles if memory serves correct. She was trying to keep up with a younger person who was flying through the miles. The next time I saw her in Leon she was using a walking stick for a crutch and could barely walk. I don’t know if she continued her Camino, but she looked as if her Camino was done. The common thread in all these cases was injury. Walking 10-15 miles day in and day out takes a toll on the body.
 
I just had an article published on the CBC First Person page about just this. Successfully completed the Camino Frances in 2021 but had to stop the Camino Portuguese this spring. The twist, however is the positive side of what came out of the “ failed” Camino
I read and loved this piece! Thank you!
 
TW: suicide





I left a camino (Frances) halfway through last year, after discovering a fellow pilgrim in the throes of a suicide attempt. With the help of a doctor (who just happened to be walking by...because camino magic) we got him to safety, but after another week on the trail, I was just too traumatized to continue. I went back earlier this year to complete the section I'd abandoned, as I felt I couldn't heal from the experience until I did. I imagine this happens more than people think and I would be curious to know whether anyone else here has experienced something of the kind. It was a dark time, but the camino held me, as it always does.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
You made it work for you to stay in Spain and it sounds like you turned your lemon into lemonade.👍
I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy at first, I was SO disappointed. Especially when I was in Villafranca and THERE were the mountains - mountains are my happy place...
 
Let us remember,
Camino1 - the year of learning that boots needed to be at least one half larger (year of blisters and loosing toe nails). I could have and should have stopped; but where else are you going to learn (and later teach) toe & blister care techniques. Walking in rain and snow is easier than painful blisters.
Camino 2 - the year of learning that stomach/lower GI issues come to the most careful. I could have and should have stopped, but thanks to pharmacist, white rice, eggs and plain yogurt you can proceed.
Camino 3 - the year my knee said no more. I left the Camino in Najera and had a total knee replacement. I returned to Najera 11 months later and finished.
Camino 6 - the year I couldn’t climb hills…after 2 weeks of sheer exhaustion I left forever…somethings can’t be fixed.
The Camino taught me that I need physical, mental and spiritual development, your family (Personal and Camino) are absolutely necessary for my journey and I can be tougher than I ever imagined.

I am still here …walking with you; it’s better than a rocking chair on the porch!
 
Interesting topic and I love polls! I could check 2 boxes: physical injury and lost motivation.

- Last year I had to abandon the Camino Sanabrés because of my achilles tendons (older injury that came back). I am going to try again in December, but unfortunately it is a very persistent injury.

- In 2017 I decided to quit the Camino del Norte to become a hospitalera overnight. It was already itching a couple of days, the feeling that I had walked enough. But I didn't know what to do. And then at the communal dinner the owner of the albergue told that she was looking for help and I read that as a sign that the Camino provides. So the next morning I was serving breakfast to my fellow pilgrims.
 
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The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I returned from the Camino two weeks ago after having completed roughly half. I had to hang my pack up due to a nasty shin splint in my left leg, tendonitis, torn hip flexor, and possibly labrum on my right leg. I knew I had to quit when one night, I had to crawl to the bathroom. It wasn't the pain that stopped me, it was the fact that when I tried to lift my right leg up, there was just nothing there. There was no strength or mobility, and my leg would collapse if I tried to put weight on it.

This was a lesson in humility for me. I am (or rather was) a long distance runner. I ran every other day, clocking as much as 18 miles. I was an athlete. So the Camino should have been a breeze. And it was until my legs blew up. I was doing 25+ miles a day. Everything was awesome, until my shin felt hot one day... One emergency room visit, one X-ray, one MRI, and one Ultrasound later, come to find out I self inflicted some serious overuse injuries on myself, that might have permanent affects on my body.

In the couple of weeks since, it's been really REALLY hard coping with the fact that I had to give up. What's worse, I met an amazing trail companion and I feel like I failed her as well. I think of the Camino every day and dream of it every night. It was embarrassing telling friends and family that I didn't finish. It was a lesson in humility that I will never forget.

I find out tomorrow if my injuries require surgery. If not, then I will try the Camino again, from SJPDP in the late spring. I am more determined than ever to try again, from the beginning.

So what lesson did I learn? To take it slower than you think you need to. Take breaks, stretch, eat as much food as you possibly can (malnutrition was definitely a contributing factor), drink more water than you think you need, take rest days, and otherwise, walk gently.

With a little luck and good graces, I will be wearing my kilt proudly as I walk mile by mile, much slower this time. Buen Camino folks.

Update: well my results came back. Turns out I have a broken femur which is much more serious than a torn muscle. Feeling pretty discouraged.
 
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I returned from the Camino two weeks ago after having completed roughly half. I had to hang my pack up due to a nasty shin splint in my left leg, tendonitis, torn hip flexor, and possibly labrum on my right leg. I knew I had to quit when one night, I had to crawl to the bathroom. It wasn't the pain that stopped me, it was the fact that when I tried to lift my right leg up, there was just nothing there. There was no strength or mobility, and my leg would collapse if I tried to put weight on it.

This was a lesson in humility for me. I am (or rather was) a long distance runner. I ran every other day, clocking as much as 18 miles. I was an athlete. So the Camino should have been a breeze. And it was until my legs blew up. I was doing 25+ miles a day. Everything was awesome, until my shin felt hot one day... One emergency room visit, one X-ray, one MRI, and one Ultrasound later, come to find out I self inflicted some serious overuse injuries on myself, that might have permanent affects on my body.

In the couple of weeks since, it's been really REALLY hard coping with the fact that I had to give up. What's worse, I met an amazing trail companion and I feel like I failed her as well. I think of the Camino every day and dream of it every night. It was embarrassing telling friends and family that I didn't finish. It was a lesson in humility that I will never forget.

I find out tomorrow if my injuries require surgery. If not, then I will try the Camino again, from SJPDP in the late spring. I am more determined than ever to try again, from the beginning.

So what lesson did I learn? To take it slower than you think you need to. Take breaks, stretch, eat as much food as you possibly can (malnutrition was definitely a contributing factor), drink more water than you think you need, take rest days, and otherwise, walk gently.

With a little luck and good graces, I will be wearing my kilt proudly as I walk mile by mile, much slower this time. Buen Camino folks.

Update: well my results came back. Turns out I have a broken femur which is much more serious than a torn muscle. Feeling pretty discouraged.
Sorry to hear that. Getting older is a bitch; overuse injuries are so common in all weight bearing sports. (Been there, done that.) Mow that I am a senior and wiser, I look to the experienced for sage advice. When asking pilgrims what they would do differently they universally said 1) study more Spanish 2) slow down and “smell the roses” - both speed and daily distances and 3) don’t pack for the “what if’s”.
It has been proven that most elite athletes stop entirely when they can’t compete successfully. How very sad.
 
I didn't.

I've had to stop a few times then re-start from there, but abandoning ?

Absolutely NOT !!

The poll would have been better with an "I did not abandon the Camino" option.
 
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I didn't.

I've had to stop a few times then re-start from there, but abandoning ?

Absolutely NOT !!

The poll would have been better with an "I did not abandon the Camino" option.
I think the poll gave a voice and some insight into the disappointments that can be glossed over in a blaze of self congratulation, satisfaction, and genuine joy in walking the Camino. It isn’t always possible for people to overcome physical or mental problems on the walk. Understanding why can encourage compassion for those who didn’t manage to make it.
 
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I think the poll gave a voice and some insight into the disappointments that can be glossed over in a blaze of self congratulation, satisfaction, and genuine joy in walking the Camino. It isn’t always possible for people to overcome physical or mental problems on the walk. Understanding why can encourage compassion for those who didn’t manage to make it.
Certainly -- but the poll options do still exclude those who do overcome physical or mental problems on the walk and so on.
 
Let us remember,
Camino1 - the year of learning that boots needed to be at least one half larger (year of blisters and loosing toe nails). I could have and should have stopped; but where else are you going to learn (and later teach) toe & blister care techniques. Walking in rain and snow is easier than painful blisters.
Camino 2 - the year of learning that stomach/lower GI issues come to the most careful. I could have and should have stopped, but thanks to pharmacist, white rice, eggs and plain yogurt you can proceed.
Camino 3 - the year my knee said no more. I left the Camino in Najera and had a total knee replacement. I returned to Najera 11 months later and finished.
Camino 6 - the year I couldn’t climb hills…after 2 weeks of sheer exhaustion I left forever…somethings can’t be fixed.
The Camino taught me that I need physical, mental and spiritual development, your family (Personal and Camino) are absolutely necessary for my journey and I can be tougher than I ever imagined.

I am still here …walking with you; it’s better than a rocking chair on the porch!
The year of learning: I love that. My first Camino, May 2023, stopped at Cruze de Ferro. The Camino is addictive, I learned to have bigger shoes, trust that going slow is OK. Believe that taking an extra three or four days to rest my injured foot would have been better than going home. At 76 years old and alone, I encourage anyone that wants to go to have fun. I had a wonderful time.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I don't normally respond to polls but here goes, I put down Physical Injury, it wasn't life threatening..
I did the CF in 2015 on my own and had a magical experience, my wife joined me in Sarrtia and we did that last week together. The journey understand how lucky I've been in life and made me realise that I had to do another.
I choose the VdlP and trained hard for it setting off in 2019, unfortunately after two weeks I was mugged and beaten , not too bad but enough to sour my camino. I decided to walk to the nearest town where ``I could get a train to Madrid and a flight home.
I was so dossapointd that I vowed never to walk in Spain again. Now in 2024 I'm walking the CF again, I'll be coming up to 76 when I start in September and M
my good friend will be 83, we'll make Santiago even if it means crawling on our hand and knees. I think for me it will be my last camino, but who knows; I did say earlier that I wouldn't walk in Spain again, yet here I go.
I have to say that after the VdlP incident my good lady is worried, lets hope all goes well.
 
Certainly -- but the poll options do still exclude those who do overcome physical or mental problems on the walk and so on.
I think it is a fair poll without the option you suggest. It is looking for the reasons people abandon their Caminos. The stories of folks who overcome physical or mental problems and don't abandon their Caminos, while certainly of value, don't help to answer that question.

People who walk on are not being excluded from expressing themselves. You are still welcome to share your experiences and start a thread to collect the experiences of those who overcome physical or mental problems on the walk. If you have questions that a poll of them will help answer, feel free to post your own poll.
 
I thought I'd responded but maybe it was on a different poll.
COVID forced us to abandon, not our last Camino, but the one that year.
We went to bed and everything was great.
We woke up to a message that we had 24 hours to get to Madrid and out of Spain.
The airport at Madrid was a ghost town - literally - it was so bizarre.
 
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The poll would have been better with an "I did not abandon the Camino" option.
The wording of the question is fairly unambiguous. Specifically,

Why did you have to abandon your Camino?​

So answering it with 'I did not abandon the camino' would be pretty pointless wouldn't it.
 

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