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Starting In Brussels In April 2018 - Any Experience?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by EllaBXL, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. EllaBXL

    EllaBXL New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I'm thinking of walking from Belgium to Santiago in April 2018. Either I'd go from Brussels to Paris and follow the traditional route... or... head straight south through France and join the pilgrimage route in Arles. Does anyone have experience crossing France, and can you advise on the potential benefits and problems?

    I'm solo, female, Canadian, mid 30s. I already did the Camino twice from SJPP, but now I'm living in Brussels and would love to start my Camino directly out my front door. I'm healthy, active, and usually do a hike of 20-40km on the weekend. My French is basic but good enough. I have a decent app on my phone for the gpx of the GR trails so I'm not worried about waymarking / signage in France.

    My main concerns so far are:
    - availability of accommodation and food at regular intervals. Villages with places to sleep, shops and cafés?
    - cost. Due to life changes (some good, some bad, but all difficult) I'm on a tight budget, and while I'd normally average €20 per day in Spain, I'm concerned that France will be €50+ a day.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my thread. Any thoughts you have are appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Ella
     
  2. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Active Member

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    Not directly relevant but know of someone that did the Via Francigena part of which consists of 1000km through France. Their costs were €30+ per day but they camped for almost all of the route.

    This might be useful but you may have it https://www.aubergesdejeunesse.com/Europe/France

    And with regards to the expense, think of it as an investment in life rather than a cost.

    And if you pop over to this thread, there is someone who is already thinking along the same lines. Might be worth contacting SabineP

    https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...your-pilgrimage-bucket-list.52456/post-578771
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  3. MichaelSG

    MichaelSG Active Member

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    We walked the Primitivo with a wonderful young man who walked from Brussels through France to SJPdP, then to Irun, then the Norte to Oviedo, then the Primitivo to Santiago, then to Muxia / Finisterre. You can see some of his information including stages here: http://www.bloggen.be/jenstocompostella/ He doesn't include costing but I know that he stayed in gites / albergues as much as possible.
     
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  4. EllaBXL

    EllaBXL New Member

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    Thank you :)
    I'll check it out
     
  5. EllaBXL

    EllaBXL New Member

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    Thanks for your insight :)

    I looked at SabineP's post.

    €30+ a day when camping makes €50+ for not camping appear to be a reasonable but maybe slightly low estimate. I would cook when facilities are available and that helps keep costs down.

    Unfortunately for me it is a cost. I've been investing in my future the last two years, without an income, so my proposed Camino is sort of part of a transition to a new phase of my life (full of excitement but also uncertainty). I have lots of time to do it but, financially, what I can afford to do is limited. However, I don't know when I'll have the opportunity again (especially if I don't stay in Europe and get no vacation time at a new job in N.America) and have the time and personal / emotional / spiritual desire to do it.
    Doesn't it seem to be the case where we have money or time, but we never have both together?
     
  6. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Active Member

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    You can [almost] half your costs in France by cycling the first part up to the Pyrenees. Search for Eurovelo 3 which goes through Namur. It's pretty flat until you get the edge of the Landes in SW France.

    If you Ride & Stride, the cycling distances are twice those of a walker (or more) but you have the initial costs of the bike unless you have one.
     
  7. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    There is an additional problem if you "wait another year or so" and that is if you wait too long you may find walking the Camino in your 70s gets diffucult.
     
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