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Travelling With A Family

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Tammy, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. Tammy

    Tammy New Member

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    Hi there, we are a family of 6, and we are hoping to do the camino in October on bikes. Our 10yr old will hopefully be in remission from cancer at the time that we want to go. We will have any concerns for his health dealt with before we go. We travelled to Spain on his wish trip last year and fell in love with the country and decided that doing the el camino once he is in remission would be an amazing way for our family to start our healing. So, I have a number of questions. What would be the best route to take on bikes and with kids? Are there any issues with getting accommodations along the way that I should be aware of? Is October a good time to travel with kids? Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Tammy - Welcome to the Forum and let me say that you're planning an extraordinary trip for you and your family! One sees many cyclists on the Camino Francés, but I wouldn't know how to advise you on a family trip. Therefore, let me at least direct you to the website of one of the major bicycle outfitters for the Camino. Check out what Bike Iberia has to offer regarding everything from bike rentals to self-guided tours. Buen Camino!
     
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  3. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Tammy, welcome to the forum.. I hope your son will be ok - forever. October is relative "worse" month (what is worse???) :) - it can be colder weather, rainy.. So it need to be prepared for that type of weather. Last year I walked whole Camino frances with my 13-y old son, he was without any problem. On bike there are few hard parts - Pyrenees of course, Alto de perdon, Cruz de ferro, O'Cebreiro... they will be too difficult for him. I don't know if there is any transport service which can transport your bikes, maybe someone can help you with this. These parts you can do on foot.
     
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  4. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tammy

    The whole family on Camino! What a wonderful idea. I only have experience of the Camino Frances but I can say it would be worth considering given that it is the most popular and has excellent support services by way of accommodation, food, shops etc along the way.

    There are also very good baggage transport services (see http://www.jacotrans.com/p/english.html or http://hike-tech.com/). You might want to make contact with Hike Tech to enquire about bike transport.

    As to the weather, I've walked in late September into early October and the weather can be mixed. We didn't experience much rain but there were some chilly mornings and some very hot afternoons so having layers of clothes can be the way to go.

    I have walked rather than cycled so I cannot comment on the level of difficulty. As Danvo said, I imagine the climb up the Pyrenees (approx 1450 metres) and Cruz de Ferro might be challenging for young kids. On average people walk around 20 to 25 kms per day and I am told cyclist do double that. This means between 4 and 6 hours walking/cycling per day on average but you could always shorten the distance you decide to travel, after all it is your Camino. Apart from the climbs there are sections where I saw cyclists having to carry their bikes down steep clay and stone inclines (e.g. just outside Ciraqui), again I'm not sure how that would be for your kids but I'm sure there would be alternative road routes.

    I would recommend doing lots of research, get the Brierly and maybe Sergi Ramis guides (Brierly gives distances whereas Ramis gives both distance and estimated walking times between towns). Ask lots of questions on the Forum and most of all be sure to enjoy every last minute of the prep and the Camino itself.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  5. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Last year when crossing the Piranies (sorry about that spelling, my auto-correct could not fix it) many of the cyclists were walking their bikes up the hill, I assume that they had a great time riding them down the other side. None of them passed me in the forest so I assume that they turned right and followed the road instead of going through the rocky trail in the forest.
     
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  6. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Yes indeed UnkleHammy! I, too, saw cyclists walking their bikes up the Napoleon Route. Even though it is a paved path, it's still a long steep climb with no breaks until the top. I believe that I ran across a reference somewhere recommending that cyclists should use the Valcarlos Route. But, I don't think that's a cake walk either. There are some real steep parts there as well and you'd be on the road. And as Danvo mentioned, there are a number of other uphill sections and tricky downhills on the CF once you get past the Pyrenees. I do a lot of riding with my 12 year old grandson here in the mountains of upstate New York. He wouldn't be able to do a number of the sections of the CF nor ride at the pace most cyclists do covering two stages a day. But, with this said, I have to believe that there may be other Caminos other than the Francés that might be great for a family cycling together. That's why I'd speak with the folks at Bike Iberia to find out what they'd recommend.
     
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