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Next Summer.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by niallohagan, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. niallohagan

    niallohagan New Member

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    Hi all. Planning to doing the Camino next summer. Well some of it, hence this post. Will probably only be able to do a week or ten days. Could anyone give me any suggestions for a route or part route.

    Many thanks

    Niall
     
  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Niall - Welcome to the Forum. I know you'll have great fun planning your first Camino. There are really no bad parts of the Camino Francés. A number of folks will offer you some good suggestions. Let me suggest that you also pick up a copy of Brierley's book so you can examine the different part of the CF is more detail.

    With a week to 10 days to hike (and hopefully closer to the 10 day possibility) the part of the Camino that I would walk would be Pamplona to Burgos. This is about a 9 day trek and takes you across my favorite province - Navarra. Of course, if you had more time, I'd tell you to start in SJPP and enjoy crossing the Pyrenees. But, that would add on an additional three days.

    Starting in Pamplona and finishing in Burgos are easy destination to get to and to leave from. In addition, both offer great cultural city experiences as bookends to your hike through rural Spain. You'd also get to hike up the Alto de Perdón and visit wonderful towns such as Puente la Reina, Los Arcos, and Santo Domingo. In this short section of the Camino, you'll also get to visit theee excellent cathedrals. The food and wine found in Navarra is some of the best Spain has to offer. The infrastructure of accomodations is excellent just as it is on other sections of the CF.

    So, hopefully others offer you some suggestions. Do more research and explore what each section of this Camino has to offer. In any case, you can't make a bad decision. Buen Camino!
     
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  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi Niall and welcome back you the forum – Nice you see that you are now finally going to be able to walk your first Camino :)



    With a timeframe of around 7 to 10 days, your choices are almost limitless, unfortunately this makes deciding exactly which section of which Camino a hard decision, but posting your question on here is a good way to start the process as you will get a lot of “Advice” ;-)



    The first thing to decide will be which Camino you are going to walk – Reading the route descriptions on the website of The Confraternity of Saint James at https://www.csj.org.uk/planning-your-pilgrimage/routes-to-santiago/ is as good a place as any to start your research – There is also a link at the bottom of this post to my own trek notes from the routes that I have walked, but alas, since Trip Advisor closed VT down, a lot of the content of this has now been wiped :-( - But there is still a few bits and pieces that you might find useful.



    Then, once you have chosen your route, you then need to decide where on that route to start your walk – Here there are three main choices

    1) Start your Camino at the traditional Starting point (Saint John Pied de Port for The Camino Frances, Irun for The Camino Norte etc) and then walk as far as your timeframe allows – Then, at a later time, come back and continue the route – This would be my own recommendation as the big advantage is that you don’t have to over-plan anything as you could just get your flight home from Madrid as it is a relatively simple exercise to get there from almost anywhere in Spain using the excellent public transport network – This option also means that you don’t miss anything and that eventually you will get to Santiago de Compostela and be able to claim your own Compostela (Certificate showing you walked the Camino)

    2) Work out how far you can comfortably walk in a day, decide your timeframe and then multiply the days you have available with how far you can walk and then choose a starting point that distance from Santiago de Compostela (Say you decide you can walk 25km per day and have 10 days available, that would be 250km, so somewhere like Rabanal on The Camino Frances which is 233 from Santiago de Compostela would make a good starting point) – This would be my own second option as you would qualify for your Compostela (All you have to do to qualify for this is to walk the last 100km into Santiago de Compostela and collect the stamps in your credentials to prove that you have done this), but it does have the disadvantage that you might then start to wonder about what the Camino was like in the earlier sections you didn’t walk – You will talk to a lot of fellow pilgrims and they will certainly tell you all their own stories :)

    3) Just choose a random starting point and walk as far as your timeframe allows – This to me is the least attractive option as there is no true beginning or end to your Camino – It’s all just a bit too random for me ;-)



    Finally – Pitfalls – The only one that I can think of is that you shouldn’t over estimate your own ability to how far you can walk in a day and end up either having to rush your Camino, or not having the time to finish it



    Good Luck and Buen Camino – Whichever route you choose to walk

    Rob
     
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  4. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Hi Niall - Excellent advice above. I would only add that to me there is an advantage in starting in SJPP. The spirit of the town and the first day's walk with excited others really set the stage for my first Camino, and it is an exhilarating day. Some like staying at Orisson to break up the first day. If you're a strong hiker, you could do the whole day in one (then collapse at Roncesvalles) or you could also use Caroline's Bourricot Express to take you and your backpack up the first 7K or more to miss the less scenic, most grueling first part of that day.

    After that, you have numerous choices to bus and/or train back to Madrid easily from anywhere you could hike to along the Frances in your week or 10 days. I'm biased because to me the Pyrenees are spectacular, but you'll get more great mountain views later on the Frances even if you decided to skip them at the beginning. Happy planning!
     
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  5. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Yes C4S, I agree with all you day as I too remember my own first day on The Camino Frances Very Fondly, even though this was over 17 years ago !!

    This was also my first Camino and I just loved Saint Jean Pied de Port, then, the first days walking – Just Awesome and although I have walked a fair few camino’s since, my first day on The Camino Frances would certainly be difficult to better !!

    Back then, there wasn’t the option of staying at Orisson, but unless you are an experienced walker, IF you opt for The Camino Frances starting at Saint Jean Pied de Port, then I would suggest that you seriously considered staying there. - However, you should k now that it’s essential to book your bed there http://www.refuge-orisson.com/en/ well in advance by sending them an email (Email address on website) –Staying at Orisson also 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.

    Good Luck and Buen Camino – Whichever route you end up choosing :)

    Rob
     
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  6. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Niall - I know you haven't received too many other route ideas yet, so let me throw out another suggestion. With ten days to hike and if you're not restricting yourself the the CF, let me suggest that you consider walking the Camino Portugués from Porto to Santiago. This 250 km trek can be done in that timeframe and will offer you the full Camino experience as the Francés does. Depending on the time of year you walk, you might also find it a little less crowded. By completing at least the Tui to Santiago segment of the CP, you'll also qualify for your Compostela.

    Neither the CF nor the CP are difficult from a hiking perspective. In fact, the section of Camino from SJPP to Roncesvalles is primarily on road or paved path. The only key to doing that segment in a day, as most pilgrims do, is strength or conditioning. If you are in top physical condition, which certainly you could be by next summer when you walk, no section of either the CF or the CP will give you any difficulty. Although one walks on cobblestones most of the way from Porto to the international bridge at Valença/Tui, the terrain is pretty flat with some rolling hills. Having just walked it this soring, I csn tell you that it's a most pleasant Camino.

    Although you might only be walking ten days, prepare for your Camino by training and getting your body ready for day after day walking. Get good hiking or running shoes, prepare a light backpack with only essential gear, and physically get yourself in shape, which of course you might already be in, so that you enjoy your Camino even more. Buen Camino!
     
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