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My Frist Camino

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Bernard O'Connor, Jun 4, 2018.

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Is this a Feasible plan?

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  1. Bernard O'Connor

    Bernard O'Connor New Member

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    Hi I am new to the chat,

    I will be starting my First Camino in July and my plan is start
    in France, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and walk to Burgos which I plan to take 14 days. Then Bike from Burgos to Santiago in 10 days.

    Is this a Feasible plan?

    Bernard
     
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  2. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Bernard, my wife and I have walked Camino Frances twice. Both times it took us 13 days to hike from St Jean to Burgos. We took our first (of two) rest days in Burgos. So the first phase of your trip is certainly doable. The distance from Burgos to Santiago is approx. 510 kms. Without rest days, this equals 51 kms per day by bike which seems reasonable. Bob
     
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  3. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Bernard - I agree with Bob on both points. I took 12 days to comfortably walk from SJPP to Burgos. As for cycling, 50 km a day on the average is very reasonable. In fact, on days on the very flat Meseta, even longer distances are quite feasible depending on the pace you want to go. As someone who does a great deal of off road biking, your plan looks like one that would work fine. I wouldn’t be surprised to see you get to Santiago in less than ten days. Sound like a good combo. Buen Camino!
     
  4. Bernard O'Connor

    Bernard O'Connor New Member

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    Thanks Bob.
     
  5. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Bernard

    Great advice from Bob and Wily as usual. Sounds like you are pretty fit and well prepared. One small caveat. From my own experience and that of others, the impact of the walk on that first three days from St Jean to Pamplona, with the climb over the Col de Lepoeder on the first day, should not be underestimated. It's pretty hard to simulate that first climb followed by two days of walking and my advice would be to try and build in even a half-day's break or late start from Pamplona ( a full day is even better). It does depend on your fitness level but I would still allow for the possibility as you don't want to ruin your Camino by pushing too hard in the first few days.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  6. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Greg - From where I sit, your advice on fitness and breaks is spot on! That first day over the Pyrenees is demanding! I, too, like the idea of taking some length of break in Pamplona. My solution, for a couple reasons, was on day 2 to push on past Zubiri and walk until Larrazoaña. It left a shorter day 3 then where I was able to reach Pamplona in the late morning. Arriving that early, I was not only able to get more than a half day’s rest, but was also able to spend additional time enjoying a great city. Feeling pretty fresh then, the following day’s climb over the Alto del Perdón was just that much easier. Listening to your body is one of the keys to having a successful Camino. When you feel you need a break, rest! That strategy will pay off in the long run. Buen Camino!
     
  7. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Good for you Wily. By the time we reached Zubiri on day two I wasn't sure I'd make it across the bridge :) and one of my walking companions was already developing blisters from wearing the wrong boots!
     
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  8. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Believe me Greg, I was plenty tired by the time I reached Larrazoaña. In many respects, the second day on the Camino was more difficult than the first day crossing the Pyrenees since I started out sore (mostly the shoulders) and tired. But, having the shorter walk into Pamplona proved to be a good move. Getting in early allowed for a bit more down time and more opportunities to each tapas. Working on some plans right now for an October Camino including spending a bit more time in Pamplona. Buen Camino!
     
  9. Bernard O'Connor

    Bernard O'Connor New Member

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    Sorry for the late reply. I wouldn't say fit, crazy maybe. I hiked Yellow Mountain in China a couple of week ago and it took me and other seasoned hikers a week to completely recover. Yeah your right I don't want to push start, my plan walk the minimum required for each day, but rest when I need to. I did plan to take a break in Pamplona. Probably, A day. Great Advice thanks for sharing.
     
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  10. Bernard O'Connor

    Bernard O'Connor New Member

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    Thank you Willy
     
  11. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    When I walked my Camino Frances, due to time constraints, I split my walk into 2 sections, I had just over 2 weeks for my first stage and also planned to get as far as Burgos in stage one – But I made better progress than I envisaged and still had 3 days when I got to Burgos, so continued on to Fromista which is another reasonable sized town with both good rail and bus links.

    Now for a few more “Tips” that you might find useful :)

    1. Definitely reserve your bed / room at Saint Jean Pied de Port – Sites like booking.com have both beds in private Albergue’s and rooms in hotels, but book ASAP as the cheaper / better options get booked up early
    2. If you are considering staying at Orisson then it’s essential to book your bed there http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/ – Many pilgrims walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles in a single day (I did so myself, but at that time there wasn’t the option of staying at Orisson) – However, I now recommend that unless you are a hardened experienced trekker then staying at Orisson is a good idea and has the advantage that this allows you to do some sightseeing in Saint Jean Pied de Port before you start your walk (Many Pilgrims miss doing this and Saint Jean Pied de Port is a really beautiful; place and far too nice to miss) – So, apart from the obvious of it easing you into your pilgrimage by splitting the first and usually considered as the hardest day of the walk into two. You needn’t set off until you have taken an early lunch and can then walk the 8k uphill to Orisson and have a leisurely start to your pilgrimage.
    If Orisson is already full up when you try to reserve your bed, ask if they had any beds available at the nearby Kayola gîte ?? - And if Kayola gîte is also full then there was a thread on here where someone also wanted to break the Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles section into two stages and couldn’t find accommodation to enable them to do this, so, they walked up to Orisson one afternoon, returned to Saint Jean Pied de Port by taxi, then spent the night at Saint Jean Pied de Port, caught a taxi back to Orisson the next morning and continued their walk to Roncesvalles. - Now this may sound somewhat convoluted, but, especially if you aren’t an experienced walker, better than burning out on your first day.

    Just one thing to be aware of when making your booking and that is Not to use the contact from on the above website, but to reserve your beds using the email address next to the contact form, then, as there have been a few reports of people who haven’t had confirmation emails sent, if it were me, I would telephone them just so that I was 100% sure that I had a bed waiting for me when I arrive :)

    1. It is now also possible to book a bed in the municipal Refugio at Roncesvalles on their website at http://www.alberguederoncesvalles.com/
    2. Then after Roncesvalles, you should be OK and not have to book beds until you get closer to Santiago de Compostela – The closer you get to Santiago de Compostela, the busier the “Way” will get – You will see this slowly happen and be able to judge for yourself when there is a need to book a bed in advance, but I would certainly expect that, IF you are intending walking well into the afternoon then you will have to book in advance after Sarria and probably even before – But if you are stopping walking soon after mid day then it might well be possible to walk all the way from Orisson without reserving a bed
    Usually (Apart from Roncesvalles) if you need to reserve a bed, you can only do so in private Albergue’s and hotels, Municipal Refugio’s operate on a first come, first served basis – But If you need to reserve a bed, you will be able to do this on a day to day basis, so will still be able to maintain most of your flexibility.


    I am afraid I have no experience biking Camino’s so I can’t offer you any “Advice” on that :)

    I hope the above info helps

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
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  12. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Bernard - I’m sure that was a great hike in China. Planning a break in Pamplona would be my recommendation. There’s some acclimation those first few days in the Camino. Although it’s only three days walk to Pamplona, it’s not to early to take a break. Let me also recommend the Albergue Plaza Catedral (you can also check it out on Booking.com to get a sense if it).

    http://www.albergueplazacatedral.com/en/

    Lots to see and great food in Pamplona. Here’s a article you might find interesting as you prepare for your trip.

    https://www.spain-holiday.com/Navarra-province/articles/best-tapas-bars-in-pamplona

    Buen Camino y Buen Provecho!
     
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