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  • Anyone done the Camino

    Has anyone here on this forum done the Camino de Santiago?

    If so did you do the popular, classical Camino Frances, covering 500 miles. Or the Norte or the Portuguese version from Lisbon. Or maybe a short 1-2 week part hike.

    I am not a spiritual person or a religious person or a Catholic / Christian. But part of me wants to discover what it is to walk and maybe discover who I am, without any electronic or work distractions. People who have done it seem to think ti has changed them. I am curious to see if any physicians here have undertaken the journey.
    Last edited by Kamban; 02-16-2022, 02:01 PM.

  • #2
    No, but how bout the AT or PCT here…. Many have called it a life changing experience also.

    https://homemadewanderlust.com/videos/











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    • #3
      I had a patient who did it and loved it.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jaqen Haghar MD View Post
        No, but how bout the AT or PCT here…. Many have called it a life changing experience also.
        You can add the Colorado Trail to that list as well - 500 miles from Denver to Durango.

        I suspect the Camino de Santiago has more support stops on the route than any of the North American long trails do, though, which would make it a bit easier logistically.

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        • #5
          IIRC Cory Fawcett did it and blogged about it

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          • #6
            My husband's boss did part of it a few years ago. He's still an a** so I don't think it changed him much at all 😉

            My husband and I love to walk and this is definitely on my small list of things I'd like to do internationally in the next 10 or 15 years.

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            • #7
              Another Forum, specific to Camino de Santiago.
              https://www.caminodesantiago.me

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              • #8
                Found it. I want to do this one of these days too. I’ve traveled through this area and love it. https://financialsuccessmd.com/my-ca...ire-adventure/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Anne View Post
                  Found it. I want to do this one of these days too. I’ve traveled through this area and love it. https://financialsuccessmd.com/my-ca...ire-adventure/

                  I read that, quite in interesting. Unfortunately steep hills are not for me. I might do the flat Portuguese version or a short 1 wek-10 day Spanish walk.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jaqen Haghar MD View Post
                    No, but how bout the AT or PCT here…. Many have called it a life changing experience also.

                    Part of the appeal is meting people from different nations and backgrounds and the Camino offers that.

                    Another is safety. I would not like the loneliness of the AT or PCT, and risks from falls, animal attacks or even the rare human attacks is still present. The Camino is much more safe.

                    The AT and PCT are much more physically challenging than Camino and I am not in the best of physical shape for 1000 mile+ trails..

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                    • #11
                      Kamban, in addition to the Camino another activity you might consider would be hiking from village to village through the Cotswolds. Walk all day through relatively gentle terrain, sleep indoors in an actual bed each night. And there's also the Tour de Mont Blanc, although it's a bit more rugged: https://wildlandtrekking.com/blog/tour-du-mont-blanc

                      So many options, so little time!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kamban View Post


                        Part of the appeal is meting people from different nations and backgrounds and the Camino offers that.

                        Another is safety. I would not like the loneliness of the AT or PCT, and risks from falls, animal attacks or even the rare human attacks is still present. The Camino is much more safe.

                        The AT and PCT are much more physically challenging than Camino and I am not in the best of physical shape for 1000 mile+ trails..
                        You obviously haven’t read Grandma Gatewood’s Walk😁.
                        Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                        • #13
                          My parents did the Walk Across Scotland. It was 8-10 days (I think), and each night they stayed at a pre-arranged hotel or B&B. Their luggage was carted from sleeping spot to sleeping spot so all they had to carry was what they needed for the day. The weather was a bit of a challenge, but they seemed to really enjoy it.

                          I’ve heard about people doing the Camino for religious reasons, but haven’t considered it myself.

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                          • #14
                            Sorry for the late reply; I don't read the forums every day.

                            I walked the Camino in 2018 with my wife and then 9 & 6 year olds. I also, incidentally, thru-hiked the AT. Both are incredible trails, but the Camino is definitely the more manageable of the two. The AT is a physical and emotional endurance test, and even if you're relatively fast will take you four months to complete. I wouldn't worry about loneliness on either of them unless you are going off season or against the prevailing direction. You'll meet new people frequently and strike up very quick friendships as everyone is in the same boat which makes it a great bonding experience. You'll probably fall in with a group going roughly your same pace, and wind up with a "trail family". As for dangers from animals and people, both the Camino and AT have their dangers - people are the bigger worry on either trail, although both are generally very safe.

                            As for routes on the Camino, we took the Frances from St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago. It's generally the route that's most recommended for your first time, and has the most established support. If you want a flatter or shorter route, though, the Portuguese is a good choice. The Frances isn't particularly strenuous, though; a few places were difficult, but there was very little truly steep terrain. And you always have the option of taking a taxi around any section you don't want to walk.

                            The link above to caminodesantiago.me is an excellent resource. I also particularly liked Efren Gonzalez' YouTube series on the Camino Frances; it used to be free but he set a paywall up for some of his videos. Nonetheless, it's worth a look. There's also the American Pilgrims on the Camino; they have get togethers and walks in a lot of major cities if you're looking to talk to someone who's done the Camino in person.

                            Going back to the Camino vs AT discussion, if you're looking to meet people from all over the world, enjoy some European history, walk long miles but sleep in a bed and eat a real meal every night, the Camino is definitely the way to go. We're Catholic, so the pilgrimage aspect of it was also very important to us, but people of all faiths and none walk the Camino. Bottom line: I recommend it to anyone who's thinking about it.

                            Photos attached for the "pictures or it didn't happen" crowd.
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by Differential; 02-24-2022, 10:07 PM.

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                            • #15
                              An incredible and unforgettable experience for sure. I walked the 500+ mile pilgrimage in 2017 after finishing residency and before starting my first job. Started in SJPP and took the Camino Frances all the way to Finesterre. I planned on it taking 34 days but finished in 28 days. While I started the walk solo, I had met hundreds of new people and made nearly a dozen friends from all over the world who I still remain in close contact with 5 years later. I recently met up with some of these friends in Italy this past August and it was as though no time had passed. The reasons that bring people to the camino are deep and intimate, not necessarily religious or even spiritual. Personally, I decided to walk as a celebration and to give thanks to the universe. I grew up homeless and with the help of many, became the first in my family to graduate from HS and then go on to college and med school--in the end having received nearly $600,000 in scholarship. When I finished residency I was overwhelmed with gratitude-a state of being that has persisted the last 5 years and even today. While you will surely meet people of all ages, backgrounds and identities-you will also find hours and sometimes entire days alone with yourself-reliving, retelling, reimagining your life, choices and dreams. The hospitality and kindness of strangers is out of this world. The food and drink was delicious and not to mention the endless sunflower fields, thousand year-old vineyards, villages, and ancient cities that you will find yourself exploring each and every day. There is so much to say about this walk (that I can't put into words right now) but which is why dozens of books have been written on it and movies made with the goal of capturing just a touch of what it has meant to so many. If the camino calls, answer

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