Welcome to the Camino de Santiago forum. This community is here to help you with questions on walking any of the Camino routes. Hopefully you too will stay and help others after you have been on your Camino.

If you register and login you are shown no Google adverts. Please note we also use cookies on this forum – not for anything evil but to allow you to login and use the forum software. We do not collect personal data and never pass your details on to anyone. Come and joins us on your pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

New Pilgrim Looking For Advice

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by JJB, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. JJB

    JJB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    13
    My wife and I recently lost our oldest son and are considering walking the Camino for some solace. We are both in our early 50's and have two younger children that we would leave at home. Realistically we could not do the entire walk and for our first trip would only have 14 days. If anyone has any suggestions on where to start for an adventure of this length of time and any other advise to make this a meaningful trip it would be appreciated.
     
  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Hey JJB - Welcome to the Forum. First, there is no bad place to start your Camino. There are a number of fairly common starting points, but most people begin in France in Saint Jean Pied de Port. Your first day will be a tough, but glorious, crossing of the Pyrenees. From there, it's another two days to Pamplona. In two weeks time, you could cross Navarra and end in Burgos which has one of the most spectacular cathedrals to be found in Europe.

    With just two weeks to walk, another starting point for you might be Leon. In the time you have to walk, you could finish in Santiago de Compostela. Another great city and the ending spot for many pilgrims. Walking from Leon, you would also qualify for your Compostela.

    I would be pleased to hike either section again and can assure you that if you pick either one, your Camino will be most meaningful. Let me suggest that you pick up a copy of the Brierley guidebook so as to get better acquainted with the Camino Francés. Reading through the various older threads on this Forum will provide you with a wealth of information and undoubtedly many more questions. Buen Camino!
     
  3. JJB

    JJB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Thank you Wily for your quick response. I have ordered the Brierly guidebook and look forward to gathering as much information as possible. One other quick question. Our schedule will open up anywhere from mid-May through the end of September. Is there a time of the year you would recommend?
     
  4. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    762
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Oh, JJB, I'm so terribly sorry. I hope you and your wife experience much that is soothing and strengthening about this journey - the continuous days of just putting one foot in front of the other, being among kind people, having some quiet and solitude to just move through nature and beauty. The Camino, although not without it's adversity, can be a time and space apart from the world that can be so broken.

    Wily has told you about the sections above. I don't know if you have 14 days TOTAL or 14 days of actual hiking time - and as he said, either section would be rewarding. I'm hoping you might start in St. Jean Pied de Port just because the town has the slight buzz of excited pilgrims starting out, the town is unique, and the Pyrenees are stupendously beautiful (although also stupendously strenuous for the first 5K - that part can be bypassed).
     
  5. JJB

    JJB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Thank You C4S. Our dates are flexible. I would like to take as much time as possible but my wife is nervous about leaving our other 2 behind. Is there a time of year that you would recommend? We will be open from mid May to end of September?
     
  6. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Hey JJB - I walked during the month of May last year. A tremendous time and highly recommended! July and August are the hottest and most crowded months and, personally, I would avoid mid-summer if you can. September would also be a great time, but I'd start the second week or so of the month. I think the crowds should be just a bit better by then. I'm heading off to a different Camino mid-September and anticipate glorious weather as I cross the Pyrenees and head for Pamplona on the Aragones route. I don't believe you can go wrong with either May or September.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
  7. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    762
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I understand about the time away with 2 kids at home. When our daughter was little, we left her for 2 weeks with relatives and when we returned realized that she had really missed us (she's 27 now, and I could probably drop off the face of the earth for 2 weeks and she might not know I was gone:0))).

    I've walked both in May/June and September/October. It was still freezing cold in the Pyrenees (and by that I mean sleet and hail) in later May, but as many will testify, the weather in the Pyrenees is predictably unpredictable at best. The Spring flowers were nice. During September, they were working in the vineyards. In mid-October, it was freezing in Santiago and the heat doesn't get turned on anywhere in Northern Spain (even at the higher-end airport hotels) until sometime after that. Some of the albergues are completely unheated, but other than Roncesvalles, most seemed to have blankets. Non-albergue lodging usually seemed to have adequate bedding, but I used my sleeping bag as a blanket anyway (see a theme here?). The high school and college kids are mostly gone at those times. I'm not fond of being teeth-chatteringly cold for long periods, and most are probably hardier than I am in that respect, so others might be better reporters on that subject. The problem can become not only staying warm, but getting things dry enough. If you take good rain gear, though, and use places with dryers that would help. Next time I'll likely choose June/July if only for the more guaranteed heat!:0)).
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
  8. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2014
    Messages:
    938
    Likes Received:
    1,003
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Cumbria UK
    Home Page:
    Hi JJB and welcome to the forum

    You already have some excellent advice posted and I can only add my condolences on your loss and maybe add a few small snippets of “Advice” gleaned from my own experiences of Camino walking

    When to start off – I agree that May is an excellent time as you shouldn’t have to walk in the worst of the summer heat, yet the weather should be mainly fine and sunny (But with some wet days so go prepared) and you will have long days

    As for where to start – IF you think that you might want to return another year, then my own recommendation would be to start in Saint Jean Pied de Port and split the first days waking over the Pyrenees by staying at Orisson – As already mentioned, this is one of the most dramatic sections of the Camino Frances and it would be a shame to miss it – Then book your return flight home from Madrid as it is relatively simple to get from almost anywhere in Spain to Madrid by public transport – Then just walk as far as you get and then return when you can to continue your pilgrimage – In fact this is how I tackled my own Camino Frances and that worked out very well for me.

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob

    PS, Leslie, the owner of this forum also has a guidebook that you should also consider – Details about this are at https://www.amazon.com/Camino-Santiago-Frances-2015-ebook/dp/B00WGFUF0M/


    In addition to this, I would also recommend the little guidebooks published by The Confraternity of Saint James – These are very good and don’t cost much money :)
     
  9. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    243
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    So sorry for your loss JJB :( I hope you guys have some closure - walk with peace and love
     
  10. JJB

    JJB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Thank you all for some solid advise. I am just beginning my research and appreciate your help. My wife was wondering do families ever make the trek together? This summer my second son will be 18 and my daughter will be 15. I am not sure that is something we want to do but was wondering if this is a common occurrence?
     
  11. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Hey JBB - Funny that you should ask this question. A couple new folks to the Forum are planning walking the Camino with a child. I'm sure Danvo will respond here because he walked it with his son. IMHO your kids are a perfect age not only to walk, but to get a lot out of the experience. Without being able to put myself in your shoes, I have to believe it could be a very healing experience for the entire family. Just this past summer, I backpacked around Mexico with my 10 year old grandson. I regularly go south, but this trip with him was definitely one of my most rewarding experiences. I would wholeheartedly encourage you, your wife, and your kids to at least talk about it and see if it is something you want to do as a family. An exciting possibility!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  12. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2014
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    590
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Bratislava, Slovakia
    @JJB - I'm sorry for your lost... ...thanks @Wily for his last post. I thought for it, and you answered my question.. My recommendation is- take a longer time for your Camino, and go with your children. I walked with 13-y old son, whole Camino Frances to Muxia and Finisterre. Your children are older so it is much better - they are old enough for exploring (I don't know if it is proper word) and enjoying all positives of Camino, and it can be healing time for them (for your whole family) too. I recommend it, very much....
     
  13. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Dublin
    Dear JJB

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I walked my first part of the Camino shortly after my mother died and it certainly helped me. I brought a little reminder of her and my father's watch along so that it was like they were with me in some small way as I walked. They will accompany me again when I embark on my third stage from Navarrette in March.

    I would strongly agree with everyone who suggests starting in St Jean Pied de Port. I know that the true start of the Camino is where ever you begin but starting in St Jean is special. There is a lovely buzz of expectation about the town and the town itself is quaint. There is also something special about the Pilgrim office there and the people who staff it. There is a kindness and a genuine interest about them and their Credencial (pilgrim passport) is lovely.

    Then there is the climb over the Route Napoleon. It reaches a height of 1429 metres and the first 8 km are a real test. But it is a truly wonderful experience. The views are magnificent. You will encounter wild ponies, griffon vultures and kites. You will pass the Virgin of Orrisson, where many pilgrims stop to pray and leave intentions. And most of all you will meet fellow peregrinos and hear their stories and perhaps become part of another family. The sense of achievement at the end of that first day on reaching Roncesvalles is incredible. Then there are two more wonderful (sometimes tiring) days walking to Pamplona. It really is a most wonderful way to start your Camino.

    If you do decide to start in St Jean, I would urge you not to miss visiting the church at Zabaldika. It is a few hundred metres off the route between Zubiri/Larrasona and Pamplona and a bit of a climb but it is probably my greatest memory of the Camino. The church is maintained by a lovely group of nuns who will allow you enter. It is very small but really beautiful in its simplicity. They will give you a copy of their pilgrim prayer (which I keep to this day) and then you can climb to the top of the church where you may ring the bell (one of the oldest in Navarre) and send your prayers out over the valley. It really is an experience not to be missed.

    As to when. Well I've walked at the end of September into October for my first two parts of the Camino. I have to say that in the main we experienced absolutely gorgeous weather. It was a little too hot sometimes and there was very occasional rain (well you are walking near the Atlantic coast of Northern Spain) but all in all really gorgeous weather. We really didn't have any problems with heating (in fact on one or two nights we had to ask the hotels/B&B to put the air-con back on).

    I'm not sure I would like to undertake the Caminon in the heat of high summer. Temperatures even in Northern Spain can reach up into the 30s and even 40s centigrade and there are many sections with absolutely no cover. I would suggest May/June or mid September/October but that's only my view.

    For now I wish you the very best for your planning. There is lots of help and good advice available here on the forum so please ask any question you may have.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  14. JJB

    JJB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    13

    Thanks Greg, Your insight has been terrific. My son starts University in late August so our plan now is to go the end of May from St. Jean with him and meeting my wife and daughter in Leon. My daughter is younger and gets out of school in June. We are still in flux but all of the information you and everyone has provided has been extremely helpful and makes us more determined to find a way to make the trek.
     
  15. JJB

    JJB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    13
    T
    Thanks Danvo,

    It I truly believe this could be a tremendous experience for the entire family.
     
  16. JJB

    JJB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Wily you are a wealth of information. I appreciate your wisdom and if you dont mind I may ask you more insight as we determine our journey.
     
    Gerry Vandermaat, UnkleHammy and Wily like this.
  17. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Hey JJB - It's completely my pleasure to be of assistance. It wasn't all that long ago, exactly one year, when I was planning my Camino. I can't tell you how helpful it was to get answers from people who had already walked The Way. I believe that all of us here on the Forum genuinely want to just give back a little of what the Camino gave us. I'm sure that you, too, will find your walk with your family most magical. I look forward to hearing more from you as your planning continues.
     
  18. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Dublin
    JJB you are more than welcome. As Wily says, all of us on the forum have benefitted from the advice and experiences of others, so anything I can do to help.

    If you decide to start in May can I offer some small pieces of advice:-

    1. Start walking now. Practice as much as you possibly can wearing the shoes/boots you will use in May. Practice as much as you can carrying your pack with some weight in it. There are lots of helpful posts about how to build up your walking time on these boards.

    2. The first day over the Pyrenees to Roncesvalles can be tough going, even for experienced walkers. It is quite a climb (1429 metres or almost 4700 feet) and the first 5 to 8 km are quite steep. Don't get me wrong, it is entirely doable but just be prepared. I work on the 1oth floor of an office building and I tried to take the stairs two or three times a day and also walked a local hill which climbs to 450 metres over quite a short distance. That was pretty good prep for that first day but I was still blowing at certain points along the way. We brought snacks with us and took frequent rest stops.

    3. The couple of days after the crossing to Roncesvalles are nothing like that first day but the cumulative of the first hard day followed by two more days walking can take its toll. Therefore I would strongly recommend you take a day's break in Pamplona. This allows you to recover before the next climb over the Alto de Perdon (at 800 metres not too bad).

    4. Take your time. Many people, including myself, can get carried away with the walking and race to find somewhere to sleep and while this is not a crime in itself the danger is you get so caught up in it that you miss the beauty of the Camino. Take time to pause and be in the moment on the Camino. It is really a wonderful experience. It might be wise to book ahead for some accommodations taking away that stress at least.

    5. And last one for now, travel as light as you possibly can. This applies to your footwear, your clothing and your pack, everything in fact. To quote Wily again "to walk far carry less".

    The very best of luck in your preparation and don't hesitate to ask anything.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
    Gerry Vandermaat, UnkleHammy and Wily like this.
  19. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Hey JJB - Greg has a lot of excellent advice here in just a few paragraphs. Let me just follow-up a bit on his third and fourth points based on my experience.

    By all standards, the Camino Francés is a long walk - 500 miles. Pace and rest are important ingredients for an enjoyable and successful trek. Although it seems early in the Camino, as Greg suggests, take a break in Pamplona. Besides being a great city to visit, rest your body after coming over the Pyrenees. I walked the Camino in 31 days without any breaks. I won't do that again! Build in breaks and try to also have some shorter walking days in there. Even if you are in good shape for the walk, there is a fatigue factor that builds as you walk day after day sfter dsy. It's a great experience, so you want to make sure you enjoy every step of The Way.

    I walked in May. It was a busy month. There were pilgrims who got up every morning at 4:30 to rush off to the next municipal albergue so as to get in line to get a bed. Not wanting to do this, I made albergue reservations in advance either through emails to the place or by using booking.com. The municipales don't accept reservations, but most of the private albergues do. I found the website gronze.com very helpful in my planning for identifying albergues, hostels, and hotels in particular towns along The Way. As you will see, many have links to booking .com. Definitely reserve in SJPP. For me, having reservations made for a much more relaxing daily trek since I knew where I would be staying that night. It's not what everyone wants to do, but I found that it worked quite nicely.
     
  20. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Messages:
    573
    Likes Received:
    692
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    I have a quick comment about starting in May. That is in France VE day (Victory in Europe), May the 5th, is a big thing and unexpected places may be closed.
     
    Gerry Vandermaat likes this.
  21. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Keep in mind that once you get to SJPP, you're out of France on that first day of hiking. My guess would be that July 14, Bastille Day, could possibly present bigger travel problems. But in a tourist spot like Saint Jean, one that thrives on the existence of pilgrims passing through, I'm confident that it will be business as usual. Definitely have your albergue booked there, VE Day or not. If anything, trains might be busier, so if I were traveling down from Paris on the 5th of May, I'd definitely book my ticket ahead on either the SNCF website or from RailEurope. I was near Los Arcos last year in VE Day. I have to say that there was no indication of anything special about the day. Although May 8 is a national public holiday in France, it's not in Spain.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
    Gerry Vandermaat likes this.
  22. JJB

    JJB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Thanks everyone for such great advise. Although details are still in flux plans are slowly coming together. I plan to leave the States the last week of May. Still working on where to start and how long. I will be walking a minimum of two weeks. Our thoughts are I will start the trek by myself. We are waiting on some issues with my children (college decision, when mother in law is available, possible teachers strike for my daughters school), my wife may or may not join me. If I go alone I think I will walk for a while then come home when I feel it is time. We would then come back in the fall and start where I left off and finish the journey. If we find out she can join me she will either start with me or join me along the trip.

    Just some quick questions that maybe you all could help with:

    1) Leaving in late May and June would you suggest mid-level boots or trail shoes?
    2) Any recommendations on stores in the states that custom fit boots? (Rei? I live in Pennsylvania but would travel to New York or New England to find a recommended store.
    3) I plan on flying into Madrid. With no return date in mind is it better to purchase a one way flight or are there better suggestions?
    4) I speak no Spanish. I plan on trying to pick up as many phrases as possible but my linguistic talents are limited.
    5) Finally I keep hearing travel light! What is the smallest size pack I can get away with? I saw one as small as 35 L. Too small?
     
    Gerry Vandermaat likes this.
  23. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Messages:
    573
    Likes Received:
    692
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    I had an unexpected problem and I had to return before my round trip ticket was set for. I recommend having an open return type of ticket.

    I speak almost no Spanish and recommend using the app Dulingo, or whatever it's correct name is.

    There has been much discussion here about what type of foot wear to use. I used boots and have now switched to light weight Trail runners.

    The smaller sized pack, such as you mentioned, will fit in the overhead bins so that it does not have to be checked in and will be sure to arrive when you do.
     
  24. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2015
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    741
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Dublin
    Hi JJB

    Lot's of good advice from UnkleHammy.

    I would have previously advised using a lightweight mid-level boot for crossing the Pyrenees for the ankle support but over my last trip I wore Merrell Moab GTX shoes with support insoles (Superfeet). I found the Merrells with the support insoles to be a perfect combination for me when it came to both weight and support. However it really is a personal choice. If you have any hiking/outdoor shops near you they should be able to let you try fitting some on. Lots of people have lots of different preferences so I would recommend you try some out if you can. But at that time of year you propose to walk I wouldn't really think you would need boots. Also I remember reading somewhere that each pound weight you carry on your feet is equivalent to four or five pounds on your back!

    Sorry I'm in Ireland so no idea about stores in your area or flight costs etc.

    While it is nice to be able to speak the language you don't really need to be able to. The Camino is really quite international and the lingua franca amongst most peregrinos is english. However if you can manage to accumulate some phrases in Spanish it will help and will be appreciated by the Spanish people along the route. (Mind you it is very important to remember that either side of the French Spanish border and at least until you leave Navarre you are in the Basque country. The language and culture here is Basque and they are a very proud people. It's just something to be aware of.)

    And yes the most important rule is to travel light. That applies to clothing and pack. I've used a 36l Osprey Sirrus and found it just about adequate (I'm still working on figuring out just what I need rather than what I want to bring :)). Again if you possibly can try out different packs and pack sizes to make sure they fit you comfortably.

    One other piece of advice - you might want to consider using walking poles. I was reluctant at first but having used them over two Caminos now I absolutely would not walk without them. They provide support both climbing and (more importantly descending) and help spread the weight you will carry. Again try them out and have a look on youtube for videos on how best to use them.

    I do hope everything works out so that you all get a chance to experience the Camino.

    Buen Camino.

    Greg
     
    UnkleHammy and Wily like this.
  25. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Hey JJB - All good questions with already lots of good advice. Let me see what I can add.

    1. Like Greg, I have a pair of the Merrell Moab GTXs. It's a comfortable shoe with a wide toebox (at least for my feet). As you will encounter a certain amount of rain, I went with this Gor-tex lined shoe for helping keep the feet dry. I, too, wear the Superfeet insoles for support in my hikng shoes just as I also use them in the trail running shoes. The low cut Merrell is more than enough for the Camino. In general, the terrain is pretty friendly! However, as with any hiking shoe, break it in well before leaving. I then carried a light pair of sandals for use later in the day. One addition to my kit this year are gaiters. On the very wet days, these, too, can help keep the feet dry.

    2. Unless you need special shoes, there is no need to get custom boots. My Merrells came right off the rack. However, if an REI store isn't too far away, I'd encourage you to make a trip there to look at other gear. You want to make sure your pack fits and you'll need a one season sleeping bag. They also have a great selection of light weight hiking clothes.

    3. In my travels, I have always bought round trip tickets and based my trips around a particular return date. Buying a one-way return ticket from Europe close to that date is probably pretty expensive. UnkleHammy has suggested an open ended ticket which may cost more than a RT, but give you the flexibility you may want and still be less expensive than buying a last minute one-way ticket. Chat with the airlines you think you might use. Madrid is a good choice of cities to use with several options once there for continuing on to SJPP. Last year, I flew into Paris and out of Madrid that worked fine. Connections to SJPP from either city are good.

    4. You'll be fine without Spanish, but it's always better to be able to ask for certain things in the language spoken in the country you're visiting. The Duolingo app mentioned by Hammy, besides being free, presents language learning in a fun and effective way. It's broken down into sets a small modules mostly focusing on useful Spanish for the beginner.

    5. Regarding backpacks, you don't need anything larger than a 35L. With anything larger, you'll be tempted to take more. I really, like Greg, like the Osprey packs. My wife has the Sirrus 36 while I use the Stratos 36. As there are so many packs designed even by a single maker, all the more reason to visit an REI store. Keep your load light! You shouldn't need more than about 7 kg of clothing and gear. I, too, will recommend getting a pair of walking sticks. They don't take long to get used to and they will greatly assist you walking. "To walk far, carry less."
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
    UnkleHammy likes this.
  26. Jantina

    Jantina New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    3
    First of all I am very sorry for your loss. Lossing a child is the hardest thing a parent can have to go through as I experienced about 26 years ago. I lost my 9.5 year old, half of a twin, son. (This may seem like a long time ago but in real life it isn't. You don't get over it but it gets a place in your life)
    The reason why I am answering your post is out of concern. You say you have 2 younger children, you are leaving at home, while going on this trip. It's hard to begin telling you the many, many reasons why you should not do things this way. Your other children have suffered a loss too. Now you want to leave them home while you try to find some solace. In my experience the closer the rest of the family is the better. Take your other kids out of school and take them on this trip. Money, time it's all unimportant when faced a situation like this. If you are doing this trip you should do it as a family. As a new start. Something to spike new memories. You have to start somewhere creating memories that are not hurtful to remember. Please rethink this situation. Not only for the reason given but I can assure you that you will feel lost being without the remaining of your family in a strange country, doing something you may never have done before.
     
    Josh unçu, Wily and UnkleHammy like this.
  27. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Jantina suggestion of doing this as a family is a superb idea. The idea of "a new start" for the family makes a lot of sense. And, what a great trip to first plan together and then later experience as a family. Having walked it alone, I can assure you that there will be times when you want to share your daily adventures with your loved ones. Your kids may already be old enough to enjoy the walk. In that case, all the more reason to make it a family affair. I leave in a few weeks for Portugal. I'm certainly looking forward to the walk to Santiago, but more importantly, this time, I'm doing it with my wife. Her enjoyment of her first Camino is my first priority! Lots of good thoughts from Jantina above.
     
    UnkleHammy and Jantina like this.
  28. Jantina

    Jantina New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    3
     
  29. Jantina

    Jantina New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I have finalised my flights etc to start the Camino du North on April 25. It is my first camino. I can't wait. I am flying to Bilbao from there I take a bus to Hondarribia on the 24th. I am flying back from Vigo precisely 1 month later. In the meantime I am practising walking and a very fun part, purchasing new gear. My old hiking boots are starting to fall apart and there are so much better and lighter options available these days. Same with my old framed backpack. My new one weighs less than 2 pounds and it fits a lot more of stuff. Ultra light weight is my motto. I heard on the north route I might need a tent. Is this true? I don't mind bringing it. (my total weight on sleeping gear including tent, cook set, sleeping bag and liner is only about 5lbs.) Throwing away about 6lbs in shoes and replacing them with 1lbs Salomon Quest Prime GTX hiking shoes, I can easy carry the weight. I just don't want to be stuck with it when not necessary.
     
    UnkleHammy likes this.
  30. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    3,063
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Hey Jantina - I haven't walked the Camino del Norte so, many others can speak to the specifics of this route. However, if you check out gronze.com, you'll quickly see lots of albergues on every stage on this route. It seems that you would only need a tent if you preferred to camp rather than stay in an albergue.

    Nice choice of shoes! I think you were wise going with the GTX model. Spending a few extra dollars for the Gor-tex will be a decision you won't regret on any rainy day you encounter. The only other thing that I might suggest to go with them is a pair of light-weight low gaiters. Buen Camino!
     
    Josh unçu and UnkleHammy like this.
Loading...

Share This Page