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How many days from St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago to Finisterre for a novice?

Discussion in 'Santiago to Finisterre' started by Image, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Image

    Image New Member

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    Hello everyone :)

    I've been reading the forum looking for an answer to this question, suggestions range from about 30 to 42 days? Is this for a expert walker? Novice? Does this assume a few days break in cities or is it straight through without rest days?
     
  2. cw18

    cw18 New Member

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    The John Brierley guide suggests allowing 35 days for St Jean to Santiago, which is 33 days walking (average of 24km / 15miles a day) and 2 rest days.

    Santiago to Finisterre and Muxia (then back to Santiago) is an additional week according to the accompanying guide book for the additional miles. Don't have that book to hand at the moment (I've put it away somewhere safe!), but as it's 125 miles I'd assume walking every day (giving an average of almost 18 miles a day).

    I certainly wouldn't do it without some fairly serious training! I consider myself a lot fitter than most of my friends and family, but a 15 mile walk yesterday with next to nothing weightwise for the first half (walked to a retail park, did some shopping, then walked home) with minimal incline compared to the looks of some of the Camino has left me not wanting to do anything today. And the 10-12 mile I've done as 'one-offs' over the last few months have been much the same.
     
  3. RoamFarAndWide

    RoamFarAndWide New Member

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    I was a total novice with no training and pretty bad fitness. It took me 46 days and that included roughly ten days off in major cities for sightseeing and rest.

    You can read my Camino story and see the outline of days here: Roam Far and Wide - Camino Posts

    Best wishes!
     
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  4. Image

    Image New Member

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    Thanks for your reply, I havn't done any walking before would 45 days St Jean-Santiago-Finisterre and back to Santiago be ok or more maybe 50?
     
  5. divinelove59

    divinelove59 New Member

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    I know you might think this is hocus pocus but there is something about the Camino that will be different than any training you did before. I walked 13 miles from one town to the next where I live and had the worst time with hip pain and blisters. I am in fairly good shape, 54 year old woman who hikes a lot in my home state of Colorado in the states. This training hike struck the fear of God in me making me think that I might not be able to finish my Camino. I resigned myself to be open to whatever happened...such as, if I had to bus forward I would be willing to do that, if I needed to send my pack forward I would be willing to do that if need be. But I was able to walk the entire thing including Finisterre in 45 days every step with my backpack with no problems at all. I am still amazed. Don't worry, you will be fine. I took rest days in the bigger cities of Pamplona, Logrono. Burgos and Leon. The Camino has energy. It will support you if you are willing. I truly believe this. Buen Camino!!
     
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  6. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    Hi Image. You give very little - in fact no - information about your level of fitness or the amount of walking you do. As long as you are reasonably fit, i.e. if you can walk up the stairs and go to and from the shops without getting breathless, then you can do the camino. But the level of fitness dictates the length of time it will take because the fitter you are, the less rest days you will need. I was 77 when I walked the Camino Francés in 2012. I had severe doubts before I set off as to whether I was capable of a walk of that length. I do walk regularly, about 3 to 4 miles every day at a brisk pace and a 5 to 8 mile walk every couple of weeks. The regularity of exercise is important because it keeps the heart, lungs and muscles toned up. If you are not a regular walker, getting fit for the camino will be much tougher. In my case I walked for 34 days and rested for 5 days as far as Santiago. After Santiago I walked on to Finisterre, another 4 days. I carried a 10kg pack all the way. The main thing to bear in mind is that if you are really committed to doing it, you can. Strength of determination is even more important than fitness but it is fitness that determines how long it will take.
     
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  7. Magwood

    Magwood Super Moderator Donating Member

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    hi image. I was a total novice, had never done any hiking before I commenced training for my camino Frances last year. At the time of walking I was an averagely fit 59 year old. I walked with my daughter, aged 30. We walked every day, no rest days, shortest day 20km, longest 37km, average over the whole journey 27km per day.

    We did not stop for sightseeing, preferring the sights from the countryside tracks and the tiny stone villages we passed through. We arrived in Santiago on day 29 and continued the next day to Muxia and on to Finisterre, finishing on day 34.

    I probably walked slightly outside my comfort zone during the first week, and if I had been walking alone may well well have taken longer. But it was all easily achievable, and I spent a few days in the sunshine in Santiago at the end of my journey which was a wonderful way to finish my adventure.

    I am now planning my next camino on the Portuguese route starting 1 May this year. I shall set off from Lisbon walking solo, although my daughter may join me in Porto. Be aware, walking the camino becomes addictive. I am already considering whether I might walk the Via de la Plata next year! You have been warned......

    if you want to see the stages we walked, take a look at my blog, address below.
    good luck and buen camino!
     
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  8. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    That sounds more than adequate to me but bear in mind what I said about getting in some regular walking before you go. It doesn't have to be a great trek each time but get it into your daily routine and try to manage 30-40 minutes a day. You will need to do this for some weeks before you go. You will also need to carry whatever pack you will carry on the camino for at least one or two longer walks before you leave for the pilgrimage just to be sure that you are happy with the fit of your pack to your body. I don't know whether you intend to carry a full size pack all the way or to carry only a day pack and have the rest conveyed by one of the several courier services. I guess you need to do a lot of research on this wonderful website. It sounds like you need a great deal of information and there is no better place to get it. Good luck.
     
  9. El Condor 2014

    El Condor 2014 Active Member Donating Member

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    I will be walking El Camino From SJPDP to Finisterre in May 2015. Having walked El Camino from SJPD to Santiago in 41 days last year (2014) at an average of 20 km per day. I believe 45 to 46 days is about right for a total novice. ( that is what I planned to do it in,) allowing one free day in Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, Santiago and Finisterre
    Good luck
     
  10. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I walked my camino according guide, with no stop days - so 31 days to Santiago (i finished there) plus 4 to Finisterre/Muxia (according guide). Never walked that much before, near no training. First week was ..terrible, but then it was better and after arriving to Santiago - if i had many free days (and enough money) :) I could also go back to SJPDP or even home (ca 3000km) - simply after few days your body becomes strong and you can walking to the end of your life with no problem :D
     
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  11. Hobbler

    Hobbler Active Member

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    That's exactly right, Danvo. It is amazing how quickly the body adapts to the camino. But I found that, even though you are stronger and fitter, it does not stop you getting tired by the end of each day. A good night's sleep works wonders.

    My love to Bratislava where I spent some happy days in 2005 and 2010. A lovely city.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
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  12. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    :D Yes!! Exactly!! Going to bed at 10PM is great - at home this is totally exceptional :D
     
  13. mike gordon

    mike gordon musico

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    I would not consider doing the Francis in any less than 45 days. After trail hardening was easily able to do 22 to 25km per day. I'm 65btw. I did it in the bookish 36days and as I go over pictures taken by others I start to realize what I missed. Your not Rocky and this is not an Olympic event. I think the one thing that kept me on that pace was wanting to keep seeing those that I had come to know as many of them were on that 32-36 day pace. Talk about ambivalence! Next time I'm gonna add five days to the trip..el Norte spring 18 or one of the southern routes and smell the roses or lament that the blackberrys are not ripe. Buen Camino
     
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  14. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Active Member

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    Last fall, my wife and I followed the Brierley suggestion and allowed 35 days. My wife developed knee pain, so we slowed down our pace / distance per day and only took one rest day, in Leon - arriving in Santiago as planned on day 35. We're planning on hiking the camino frances again next fall and will "smell the roses" by allowing a few rest days, reduce Kms / day. We're allowing 38 days from SJPDP to Santiago.
     
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  15. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés May 2016

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    The number of days one chooses to walk the CF is really a very individual issue. So many variables! I walked it in 31 days, no rest days, and found it a bit too fast for my liking. It wasn't that I didn't smell the roses or appreciate all that I saw, but it was more a matter of a cumulative fatigue factor as days of walking built up. For me, the magic of the Camino was in the walking. I don't believe I necessarily needed more or fewer days to experience that. And although I was in excellent conditions, a problem of blisters zapped my energy enough that some rest along The Way would have been warranted and welcomed. Personally, I like Bob's suggestion of a 38 day Camino. One could basically follow the Brierley guide and build in rest days along the way as well. I had a few 18-20 mile days and those truthfully were very tiring. My plan in the spring on the Camino Portugués is to not do more than 25 kms. a day. Again, it's not that a faster pace causes you to necessarily miss things, but so as to decrease the fatigue factor so as to enjoy everything at it's fullest as I walk. I've also learned that to walk far, carry less. My backpack this time will be significantly lighter. Buen Camino!
     
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  16. El Condor 2014

    El Condor 2014 Active Member Donating Member

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    I did it in May this year with my son. We allowed 40 to 45 days, we did it in 43 days to Finisterre. Rest days in Pamplona, Leon, Burgos, Santiago. We had a great time and took over a thousand photos, Met great people and made great friends.
     
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  17. Manuel Blanco

    Manuel Blanco New Member

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    Hey...I need feedback from you....How many hours per day did you required to cover your average 24 km per day? And At what time did you normally set out to walk them?
     
  18. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Active Member

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    My wife and I averaged 24 km / day. We only took one rest day out of 35 days (SJPDP to Santiago). We started in late Sept and arrived on Oct 31. Most days we began walking at 7 am and including breaks we hiked six to seven hours (some days shorter, some days longer). This allowed us to reach our destination between 2 and 3 pm and gave us plenty of time to check into the albergue, take a shower, wander the town, see any sights, and pick up snacks for the next day.
     
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  19. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Donating Member Donating Member

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    What do you want from your walk? Is it getting the completion certificate, walking in an interesting country, meeting interesting people or general low cost sightseeing? The answers to these should indicate what type of walk to plan. Then see how you walk on several training walks, with your pack. Then you will be able to get a reasonable estimate of the required time needed. Everybody is different and walking the Camino is for you, everybody walks their own walk.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
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  20. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés May 2016

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    Hey Manuel - Unklehammy brings up a good point about your pack that I didn't mention. Wearing a pack does alter your gait! So, as he said, practice walking with it. Second, keep it as light as possible! If you pare down to the essentials, which will be plenty for your Camino, there is no particularly good reason to have to carry a heavy backpack. Although it might not effect your speed, At the end of the day, you'll be glad to have packed light. Over the course of 30+ days on the Camino, it has an effect.
     
  21. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Active Member

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    Hi Manuel, welcome to the forum, one of the greatest repositories of knowledge and advice on the Camino. Don't be afraid to make use of it by asking lots of questions.

    Wily, Bob and Unkle Hammy have all given sound advice. They only thing I would add at this stage is to think about taking a break in Pamplona if you are starting from St Jean Pied de Port. The first day over the Pyrenees is wonderful and not to be missed but it can be hard. You then have two days walking to Pamplona and for many people it is their first experience of that kind of consistent walking with a backpack. So I would suggest thinking about taking a half day or even a day to recover in Pamplona. This would leave you ready for the next climb up to the Alto de Perdon (nothing like the Pyrenees but still a bit of a challenge.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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