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Doing it again?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Bob Walker, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. Bob Walker

    Bob Walker New Member

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    I'm seriously thinking of doing the Camino for a second time. Maybe the Del Norte. I don't know yet.

    But my big worry:

    It was such a brilliant experience this summer..something I will never forget...

    Am I in danger of a terrible anti-climatic experience the second time round?

    They say you should never go back (on anything in life....)

    Thoughts from those who have done it would be welcome...
     
  2. MissQ

    MissQ New Member

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    Hi Bob

    Although I've not re-walked yet, here is my two pence worth....

    I've decided to walk the Camino for a second time, and I am really looking forward to it. I'm planning on spending two weeks re-walking from SJPDP to somewhere around Burgos in April. My second Camino will be different from the outset, this year I travelled and walked with a friend but next I will be going it alone. I'll also be taking it slower and don't plan on making it to Santiago until 2013.

    I think in my case that I'm concentrating on the fact that there will be a lot of different people to meet and talk with, and that I will get to see the beautiful landscapes again. Also I am approaching the whole "experience" with a slight mind shift this time - my first Camino was a steep (and depending on where you walked you'll know what I mean) learning curve and I'm taking those lessons and learning from them -- I also think I'll learn some new ones!!

    So I think, perhaps (and at the risk of sounding a wee bit corny), it would help to think of the Camino as a new friend who you spent a relatively short time with, and your next trip will be more time to get to know your friend better.

    Nicola
     
  3. Lipka149

    Lipka149 Active Member Donating Member

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    I think that's a great way to look at it, Nicola. :)

    Can't answer your question, Bob, but there are many others who I believe can. I would like to know their thoughts as well.

    And like Nicola, I am looking forward to a return as well. This time with my wife. There is a certain amount of comfort in knowing the road, especially because there is so much to share with her !
     
  4. grayland

    grayland Member

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    The second time I walked the CF was a bit anti-climatic as you fear but still great. I was with a friend from Belgium that I had met the year before and we did hook up with an outstanding group of fellow pilgrims.
    However, I found that I actually remembered the way most of the time and knew what was coming around most bends or recognized it as soon as it came in sight. There was not the excitement of new and wonderful things that was there on the first Camino.
    I enjoyed the second one almost as much as the first....but something was lacking.
    This year I walked from Le Puy and then on into Spain. The 800km from Le Puy was all new and very different from Spain. The sleeping arrangements were different (gites vs albergues) but the countryside was similar.
    As soon as I got to SJPdP I was dismayed by the numbers of pilgrims filling streets and then by the long lines walking on the trails. It was nothing like the first two experiences. I walked on as far as Estella in Spain and turned around and walked back to Pamplona.
    I have to admit that walking against the flow was different as the huge numbers I encountered walking toward me was astounding.
    As in all things....you can never repeat the wonder of that first experience.
    Having said all that....I will be back again but probably will walk the Via de la Plata or the Camino del Norte. I am afraid that the changes in the attitudes and numbers on the Camino Frances would be too big a disappointment.
     
  5. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    My first experience of the Camino was to join my eldest son (who was walking from Roncesvalles) at Sarria for the last stage to Santiago. By the time I got to Santiago I knew I was going to come back the following year and start at St Jean. Sarria had taught me what I really needed to carry and what should be left behind (wives, girlfriends, camping kit, satnav etc etc)

    I have walked the CF four times and each was different in some ways. Each year there were more private albergues, but the numbers walking the CF kept increasing rapidly. The Holy Year was bad! Large numbers of Pilgrims rushing each day to find a bed. They were up before dawn and sleeping at 5pm to get ready to do the same thing the next day. Nobody had time to look around and enjoy what they were doing, they just needed to find a bed!

    I walked from Lisbon to Santiago last year and that was totally different. I saw around 6 pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto. Porto to Santiago was nice and not as hectic as the CF.

    I have started my CF walks in July and September. July is noisy and a little frenetic, but was actually good fun as the Way was mainly teachers and university students!. September starts bring out the older generation of Pilgrims, and the pace slows down a little, but the numbers starting in September can still mean a rush for beds.

    My first trip through Arzura was in the days when there was just the official albergue there, 46 beds and another 40+ pilgrims sleeping on the floor. As it was 38kms to Santiago, it was the last albergue for us before the delights of a 5* hotel in Santiago. Now Arzura has six large private albergues on the main street.

    I never like the Sarria to Santiago section. It reminds me of a giant conga dance as the trail is packed with hoards of ambling tourists almost all armed with two walking poles making an horrendous noise from the chattering and the metal poles on tarmac.

    Give me the wide open spaces of the Meseta where you can see for ever! I had thought of walking Madrid to Santiago next year.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  6. HuskyNerd

    HuskyNerd Super Moderator

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    I loved the Camino Frances on my second time last year and look forward to doing it again. With one experience behind me I knew how to pace myself this time, what to savor, different new adventures to undertake, and sometimes what to avoid. I see the Camino as a framework onto which we create our experience. The foundation of it all is the walk, but to me the most interesting piece of the Camino is actually the pilgrims themselves. I don't know any other experience in the world where one can find so many diverse and fascinating people, and then spend hours and days together in a common goal. Camino crowds are not a bother in any way -- after all they consist of real people, each with a story and the possibility of a smile. I've now walked most of the Camino del Norte and some of the Via de la Plata, and while the scenery was nice on each of them I had much more time in solitude, which of course is a blessing to some and a burden to those like me who enjoy people.

    I'm walking in Italy this coming year, but in 2014 I hope to walk the Camino Frances once more and I know I will once again absolutely love it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  7. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    I think "pace" is almost the most important thing once you have started your Camino. Many Pilgrims seem to be wedded to The Plan and if it says tomorrow is a 30km stage, then that is what must be acomplished. On my first walk down the Camino Frances, I tended to stick to the plan, cos that is what everyone else seemed to be doing, but I kept meeting some who were only doing 12-15kms a day.

    They viewed the dawn rush to the front door of the albergue from the alledged comfort of their bunk, set off walking at 9am and wandered down the trail stopping frequently for something to eat and drink before finding a bed for the night. The thing was that they had time to look around and enjoy the countryside and the flowers. They had time to wander the backstreets of the towns and villages along the Way and had the time to stop and take in the wonderful views and ancient buildings. Their Camino was gentle on the feet and knees.

    And the rest of us? Rushing along trying to keep up with The Plan. We had the blisters and sweat soaked shirts and the stress injuries.

    One year I met a wonderful Canadian lady in Najera who had an artificial leg. She was finding the going a bit hard and she could only manage 12kms on a good day. Nobody would walk with her because they were following The Plan. I walked with her from Najera to Burgos and it was fantastic. We just ambled along from albergue to albergue, smelling the flowers and enjoying the countryside. We watched the rest of the Baggage Mules thrashing past in a hurry to get to the next place and I promised myself that one year, I would walk a gentle slow Camino.

    The only problem is that you meet folks who are fun to be with and you don't really want to lose their company, so its back to The Plan!
     
  8. moostewart

    moostewart New Member

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    I definately would like to walk the Camino Frances again.
    "I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure" as Mae West says...

    I'm sure it will be a very different experience as I will choose different albergues, make new friends and take alternative routes. As with all experiences in life they are what you make then. I enjoy walking a route for the second time as I notice new things. I will try to take it slower but as some have said it's hard to let go of groups you bond with.
     
  9. zngsj

    zngsj New Member

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    I finished the Camino Frances on Oct 10th. It was my first one and therefore was an entire learning experience. Not knowing how my 70 yr old body would hold up I followed the Brierley schedule fairly closely. I hope to go back but since I speak Spanish and lived in Latin America I would take a segment and just go slowly and stop at albergues in the smaller towns and spend more time talking with the locals especially the bartenders!!!!!!!!! This was my first trip to Europe/Spain and I felt very much at home. One disappoint of the trip was that I did not hear hardly any Spanish/Latin music in the albergues and bars. For that reason I will take an IPOD next time. At Los Templarios albergue in Terradillos I met a barmaid from Ecuador who would have made a great merengue/salsa partner...
     
  10. LolaLil

    LolaLil New Member

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    I finished Oct 1, my first Camino. And yes, I would do it again, but a different route. Perhaps the Portuguese route. It was an amazing journey, and the pilgrims I met made it an unforgetable experience. I met and made friends, both young and old, and exchanged email addresses. However, there were others I met in cafes, villages, albergues, shared dinner and cerveza whom I lost track along the way and wished I had seen again in Santiago. But in spite of that, they will always be part of my first Camino. I'm happy to be home again (after 51 days of being in Europe), but miss the Camino. Where are the yellow arrows??
     
  11. Lipka149

    Lipka149 Active Member Donating Member

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    Yup. Our plan.

    ;)

    :D
     
  12. vincenzo

    vincenzo New Member

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    G'day zngsi,
    Congratulations on completing the Camino Frances. Well done. Been reading through your posts and they are of special interest to me as I am 71 and stlll in two minds about the Camino next September/October. I am unsure whether I will be accompanying my wife step by step or perhaps following her in a more supportive role. However I am training for a full step by step of the whole camino and my state of fitness in three months time will help me arrive at a more informed decision. There seem to be a reasonable number of pilgrims in the 65 to 75 age bracket who undertake (?) the Camino in September/October. So, well done. Vincenzo
     
  13. Covey

    Covey Active Member

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    Vincenzo............... You seem to have forgotten one of the basic laws of those walking the Way with a partner/wife!!!!!

    He who walks with a partner, carries the larger pack! The phrase Baggage Mule will implant itself in your mind as you struggle up the hills with something that weighs more than a London bus, and it will be full of the little comforts to look after Senior Management. Your kit will fit happily in to a small corner of the bag, whilst She Who Is Obeyed skips gaily along with something just large enough to hold your lunch if you are lucky.

    I met a young couple once who had both just finished university and they were walking the Camino to see if their Uni relationship was of a lasting nature, or merely one of life's more transient stops. They got engaged on the steps of Santiago Cathedral which was nice, and I hope they are still together.

    Anyway, back to more serious matters. Hopefully your wife is not French, otherwise you will have the pleasure of carrying a hair dryer to Santiago. The Camino Frances is a Low Rent, Low Maintenance exercise, so any aspirations Senior Management might have about a decent social life should be avoided at all costs, if only because you will want to avoid carrying the wardrobe as well.

    I realise that the mere mention of the phrase "minimal packing list" is not one which Da Ladies are generally familiar with, but you need to be strong and insist on vetting what is being laid out for you to carry. It is time to assert your rightful seniority in this partnership and put your foot down!! Equal weight for all!

    Anyway, at 71 you are a relative youngster on the Way.
     
  14. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    Vincenzo, I finished the camino two days ago. I'm 77 and took it easy, stopping three times for a day to rest the legs. To take an extra day usually means staying at a hostal or pension though I was allowed to stay an extra day in one albergue because of my age. Last night I ate with about 10 fellow peregrinos and I found that there was another 77 year-old in the group (older than me by two weeks!). If, as you plan, you achieve a reasonable level of fitness and don't push yourself too hard you will be able for the camino.

    I wish you every success with your preparation and hope you complete the camino. It is a unique experience.
     
  15. dhansen

    dhansen New Member

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    I had to laugh when I read this. My husband and I are planning to walk the Camino next May to celebrate my 50th birthday. Given his weight "advantage" he can carry more than me, but in all our previous trips I am the one with just carry on, and he is the one who loads his bag with all sorts of things he thinks he will need. I fully intend to be self sufficient in case we have philosophical differences in our Camino approach. On the other hand, my intermediate Spanish ability next to his very rudimentary level could mean all sorts of fun for me. "Honey, could you ask the waiter for.........." "Of course, dear."

    Donna

     
  16. BoxOfFrogs

    BoxOfFrogs Member

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    Covey, during my camino, I would every few days bump into a young English couple whom I met at the pilgrims office in St Jean. Your absolutely correct, Mrs English's bag was shrinking by the day. Whilst poor mr English had a rucksack the size of a small car. It became something of a running joke when I saw them.

    I know that I will one day return to the camino, which camino? I don't know yet but the camino and I still have unfinished business. We have barely met. However, there are many other places to see and many more paths to walk. Next year I imagine I will undertake a camino lite as Covey has once described it.. Somewhere between 7-10 days along the way. I'd like to take the significant other, so she can see why I disappeared for 5 weeks..

    Steve.
     
  17. larrybarrett2

    larrybarrett2 New Member

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    Boy,are you spot-on....I walked the CF from April19th through the 26th of May......hated the post Sarria,and loved the Meseta.Spent extra days in Logrono,Burgos,Leon and Burgos......1spent my 68th birthday on the Road,and plan to be there for my 70th....God willing
     
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