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Camino de Santiago
Old 04-08-2014, 04:28 PM   #1
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Camino de Santiago

DW and I just finished a 33 day Camino Frances walk starting in Pampolona and ending in Santiago, Spain. A great experience which we did for the adventure. Meet people from all over the world. The people of Spain were great hosts. If you are considering going, I would be happy to try to answer your questions
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:26 PM   #2
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I have a French colleague, now retired, who walked it in stages - one section each summer. I think it took him 10 years to finish! It seems that the trek is more popular now.

Have you seen the movie "The Way" with Martin Sheen?(The Way (2010) - IMDb)
If so, do you think it was accurate in how the journey goes?

We'll probably never get to do it but you never know...
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:44 PM   #3
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Hi BrianB. There are people who do it in stages, those that repeat and some who do the alternate caminos. We met a few people who had walked the Portuguese Camino.

I watched the Way a few years ago and really do not remember. I did have a friend ask us a few questions, referring to the movie and based on that it seems the movie was fairly accurate. But it was only a few questions.

The last 100 kilometers, 60 miles, is popular for many pilgrims. It is beautiful and not too hilly but there are hills. Perhaps that could be an option for a week in Europe.
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:47 PM   #4
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I just watched a very interesting documentary at my local indie theater on walking the Camino... highly recommended.

Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:55 AM   #5
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Davef, thanks for sharing your experience. That one is one my bucket list; when I turn 50 is the plan.

I've read a few blogs about it and the only thing that has me worried are the blisters!

So glad your experience was a good one. Did you stay at hostels or hotels along the way?
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:24 AM   #6
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Blisters are not uncommon but we were either very prepared or lucky. We did not get blisters. I wore hiking boots, 1/2 size larger than my walking shoes. And, most of the time two pairs of socks. I washed by liner socks daily and most days my other pair. When I felt irritation, I taped that area of my foot. Having said all this, it was not hot or very wet. Perhaps in different conditions, we would have required different approaches.

Most of the time we stayed at the Albergues (hostels). We wanted to support the municipal ones but the private ones seem to be operated better. They were slightly more expensive since municipals were around $5 and privates around $10. I think part of the experience is staying in the Albergues and I would recommend it. Having said that, the privacy of your own place is really appreciated when you treat yourself.

I was happy that we selected this time of year with enough but fewer Perigrinos (pilgrims). With Easter so late, there were not as many Perigrinos. So, the Albergues were at a low capacity. However, many were still closed so in a couple of cases our days lengthened since we could not find a place to stay. I preferred this problem to what I heard happens in the high season when beds fill up quickly and Albergues are very crowded. In the few cases where our Albergue was crowded, it was OK but I got relief the next day.

It is a safe, fun healthy trip. Be prepared to eat a lot and still lose weight. Since we rarely repeat vacations, we likely would not do the Frances again. We might do the Portugese starting in Porto since we have been told that finding accommodations before Porto can be difficult.
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:05 AM   #7
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Have you considered the Lycian Way? Hiking the Lycian Way FAQs - Ottsworld Unique Travel Experiences

It sounds quite interesting as a comparison to the Camino de Santiago.
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:54 PM   #8
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It peaked my interest and looked it up. Interesting. I am debating if I should add this (or something similar) to my bucket. I want to do it but DW will strongly object.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:22 PM   #9
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I think the Lycian Way would be fun but perhaps a greater physical challenge than we are prepared to tackle. The packs would be much heavier since a tent, food and cooking utensils would be required. For trips that require that amount of equipment, we will probably stay with our trusty bikes. The additional weight on a bike does not require that much more effort. Our next big hopeful trip is to bike the North Sea cycle route. North Sea Cycle Route As you will see from some of my other posts, bicycle touring is typically the way we roll. The Camino was the first hike we had done in a while.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:49 PM   #10
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Oh, wow, the cycle trip looks amazing. That's a lot of ground to cover.
We are way too lazy for that, lol. I'll stick with my short bus for now, but think I'd like to do one decent hike before my knees wear out.
Good luck with the North Sea!
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:10 PM   #11
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Camino de Santiago is at the top of my bucket list. I will probably walk it alone as DH is not interested. I have "The Way" on DVD and have read several books. My only concern is that I was diagnosed this year with Celiac. It sounds like most of the meals are centered around the bread (pan) and wine.
I'm hoping to do the hike/walk within the next three years.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:44 PM   #12
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Camino de Santiago is at the top of my bucket list. I will probably walk it alone as DH is not interested. I have "The Way" on DVD and have read several books. My only concern is that I was diagnosed this year with Celiac. It sounds like most of the meals are centered around the bread (pan) and wine.
I'm hoping to do the hike/walk within the next three years.
Hi Dog - I think the movie (not sure about the books) romanticizes the communal meals . We actually had very few. You can choose to eat anywhere and in the first half of the Camino, a lot of Albergues had kitchens. So, we often prepared food for ourselves. You might have some trouble in the smaller towns, (but I think you will be able to find appropriate food) so carrying some emergency food might be helpful. Wine is a favorite drink and served as part of the restaurant's Pilgrim meals. It is really inexpensive. But, you do not have to drink wine as there are alternate choices.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:53 PM   #13
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My sister and I have discussed this for several years now. My DW and my BIL are not interested or unable to, so perhaps we will walk to Santiago and meet them there. Oh well, in due time.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:55 PM   #14
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Dave, The only downside of the Camino I've heard of is that many parts of the walk you are walking on the shoulder of some busy roadways. What was your experience?
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:09 PM   #15
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Thanks Dave. No issues here with wine . Actually would be better for me to cook my own meals too - just love "pan" and disappointed I won't be able to partake.

I'm also curious about the portion of the walk that is on heavy traffic areas. I read about that on a blog, bruit wasn't shown in the movie or mentioned in the books I've read.


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Old 07-22-2014, 07:09 PM   #16
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Dave, The only downside of the Camino I've heard of is that many parts of the walk you are walking on the shoulder of some busy roadways. What was your experience?
None that I really remember. The Senda is like a sidewalk/bike path next to a busy road. Very loud but you are not on the road. The big towns have sidewalks and small towns are not busy.

I never felt any issues with traffic. I was not fond of walking through the large towns like Borges and Leon. When you arrived at the old city it was great. But walking (on sidewalks) by factories with cars going by, and the sun pounding the concrete is not fun. Taking a bus into and out of town is not a bad idea. We did that once in Leon and felt it was a good decision.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:59 PM   #17
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For people here is this religious or mainly a bucket list kind of thing?

Ha
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:07 AM   #18
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My desire is a secular bucket list thing. I did see "The Way" a couple years ago. I have been to Spain a few times and it has been my favorite country to travel in so far. I've never traveled the north before so why not walk the camino. I'm not fire'd yet but hopefully I will make the trip in the next five years.

From what I have read the majority of people who walk the camino do it for non-religious reasons.
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