What If One of Us Can’t Make It?
From the beginning of our discussions, my Camino Cuz and I have been very much in agreement that although we are doing the Camino together, each of us is also walking our own. That means that sometimes we’ll walk side by side, other times apart, sometimes talking, sometimes quietly reflecting. It is this agreement that has made our partnership on this adventure ideal – we simply could not do this kind of personal-yet-together Camino with very many other people.
Our hope is to combine the best of both worlds – adventure with safety and solitude with company. But what if something keeps us from continuing, or continuing together? Regardless of our preparation, either of us could get sick, injured, run out of coffee, or discover that the route is too challenging to complete by our planned departure time.
If One Cannot Finish At All
Although this possibility seems the most dramatic, it’s actually the easiest to deal with as far as choices are concerned. If one of us cannot complete the Camino, there are basically two options: catch a bus to Santiago and wait for the other one, or – if the cause is a danger for the non-walker, then we’ll probably need to either check in to a hospital and / or arrange an early return home.
If there is no imminent danger and we can both stay in Spain until our chosen departure date, one person waiting out the clock in various towns until departure day or see about leaving even earlier. Naturally we’d stay together we each was safe.
The remaining person would need to decide if continuing on the Camino was wise. If we’ve been walking for at least a few days, we’ll know a lot more about real-world Camino travel at that point. If only one of us can complete the Camino and feels confident about going on alone, that will be OK.
If One Cannot Finish On Time
Another possibility is that – whether due to fitness or injury or something else – one will simply not be able to keep up a pace that will get us to Santiago by our departure date. The difficulty here is two-fold: (1) how to handle the overall walk time and (2) how to deal with daily walks.
As to the dailies, we’d likely split up each day as our paces separate us. To keep from completely separating, though, we’d likely want try to end up in the same place each night. If the pace differential is extreme, one could arrange transportation each day to supplement the walk, or we’ll just keep in touch the best we can via text.
My cousin has an open departure date, so she’s got flexibility built in to her Camino. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that. Most likely I will have a fixed date, but I’ll add a few extra days so I don’t feel like it’s a race. If I was the walker, I’d still need to shoot for that. If I was the injured / slow one, I’d try to stay on the route by using transportation when needed and we’d just meet up when we could.
Probably Nothing Will Happen
I’m pretty sure everything will be fine, but you never know for sure. Many people don’t complete their walk, and people have even died on the Camino. Part of what makes this a serious pilgrimage journey is that there are no guarantees.