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Walking The Camino de Santiago

Discussion in 'Spain & Portugal' started by Kathy (Trekcapri), Mar 26, 2016.

  1. Hi Ellen, I know what it feels like to plan, prepare and postpone. In the end, it turns out that the timing to go this Sept. was a much better time for me. I know that when the timing is right for you that you'll be on your way as well.

    Yes, I will be doing this solo, which I don't mind. It would be nice if one of my friends could do it with me, but it was just not their thing. I'm a bit nervous, but hopefully I'll meet some fun and interesting people along the way. I hope to have Wi-Fi, so I can post and share some of my experiences.
     
    Pauline likes this.
  2. Pauline

    Pauline Forums Admin

    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    The walking that we do is nothing compared to what you will be doing, but we frequently walk on long distance trails (Cotswold Way when we lived in Painswick and now the South West Coast Path here) and end up talking with a lot of walkers, and even walking with some for the day. @Kathy writes about that too in her FB posts about their long distance walks. From what I have read, the Camino is very social since you are all walking for a long time and run into each other in different towns. I think you will have no problem meeting people and walking with others when you want to.

    I can't wait to read about your walk!!
     
  3. Hi Pauline, I've done day long hikes like Yosemite & Grand Canyon, but this will be my first long distance walk so I'm a bit nervous. I'm going to start out very slow (with shorter distances) then as my body gets used to the daily routine, I'll try to walk longer stages. I have 45 days before I leave and I'm getting excited. Thanks to Kathy, I successfully booked my train tickets using her recommended Captainetrain site (Paris to Bayonne to SJPdP).

    My first stage is only 4.7 miles to Orisson but it is all up hill. Then on to Roncesvalles. Since I've booked my lodging already I will ship my pack ahead and only walk with my day pack and will take it slow. I think you are right about the social aspect. I've read and seen youtube videos from others who have doen the Camino. And it seems to give an opportunity to bump into and social will others and still have that alone time for reflections as well. Sounds like fun. I hope to post here as often as I can and whenever I can catch Wi-Fi.

    Hopefully, I'll get to do more long distance walks in the future. You're very lucky to have such wonderful walking paths where you live. I've read some of Kathy's posts about her wonderful walks also, like the ones near the lavender fields
     
    Pauline likes this.
  4. Hi Again, I'm now 20 days to my Camino and although I'm very excited I'm getting super nervous. So to distract from all my camino preps, I want to think about my post Camino Plans to Barcelona & surrounding areas in Costa Brava.

    I'm thinking of day trips to Girona, Figueres, Cadaques, Monsterrat, Tarragona. I'd like to mainly take public transportation, but I'm thinking taking the train to Girona, renting a car then checking out the towns of Figueres then overnighting in the small town of Cadaques. Or I could train to Girona, train to Figueres then rent a car from there to drive to Cadaques? Is there a town(s) that warrants more time than the other? I have 5 weeks for this part of my trip so I'm pretty wide open. I don't know if it is necessary in Spain, but I'm thinking I should get a International Driver's License from Auto club (just in case?).
     
  5. Andrew

    Andrew 100+ Posts

    Location:
    Vermont
    Kathy (Trekcapri) likes this.
  6. Hi Andrew, I actually was contemplating maybe possibly not getting it since the past few times I've rented a car, I've never been asked for one at the counter. Never thought about if I were stopped that I might need one. Definitely don't want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere and responsible for impound costs. I'll invest in a trip to Auto Club to get one. Thanks so much for your reply and the link.
     
  7. Update: Got my International Driving Permit from the Auto Club and while I was at it I also got some emergency medical insurance coverage as well (just in case). I'll start a new thread in Trip reports to post my progress, my experiences, some photos and videos in case anyone would be interested in following along. I'll post a bit more details also on my itinerary, route information and my packing list. I'm very excited and super nervous but I'm ready for my journey to begin. I have 16 more days to to before my Camino.

    Thanks so much everyone for all the wonderful tips, replies, and recommendations.
     
    Anne likes this.
  8. Anne

    Anne 100+ Posts

    Yes!! Most definitely interested, in fact I can't wait to follow along! :)
     
    Kathy (Trekcapri) likes this.
  9. Hi Anne, cool. I hope I'll do the experience justice in my trip report. :)
     
    Anne likes this.
  10. Kathy, I'll also be following along! I'm envious of your upcoming walk... still hoping to do this myself one day. We've talked about taking the route from Arles and starting from our village of Bonnieux in Provence. We'll see...

    You might enjoy this article: www.cntraveler.com/story/tips-walking-spains-camino-de-santiago
     
    Kathy (Trekcapri) likes this.
  11. Hi Kathy, that was a great article, thanks so much for sharing it. I've heard from others of the Arles route. I think that is cool that it starts from your village. It's interesting how many people have done multiple routes, once they have done one. Who knows, maybe I will enjoy this too. I do plan on using one of the pack transport services for the first few stages (over the Pyrenees) as mentioned in the article and have pre-booked my accommodations already in the first stages (until I reach Pamplona) already so I know I have a bed & won't feel rushed. I won't feel less accomplished because of it. My purpose is not to suffer (although I'm sure that I will ), but to walk, enjoy the landscape, people and the experiences. 14 more days to go...
     
    Pauline likes this.
  12. Chris

    Chris 100+ Posts

    Your enthusiasm is really contagious, Kathy! I can hardly wait to read about your trip.
     
    Pauline and Kathy (Trekcapri) like this.
  13. Kathy, just to clarify...

    The Arles route doesn't start in our village or even go through it. I think it just starts in Arles. But there's a feeder route that comes through the Alps and eventually follows the old Via Domitia Roman road, passing through the Luberon Valley a few miles below our village. (This is the GR 653D.) We just liked the idea of beginning the pilgrimage from our French home. I think it would be about a week to walk to Arles.

    I'm not sure when/how we can ever work this out. We're limited to how much time we can stay in the Schengen area, and right now we use all our time in the warmer months to lead our tours. So we've focused our long-distance walking in the UK, which is also cooler in August, our normal vacation time. One idea I had is to do the Camino over a few years, maybe in two or three week blocks in March when we have the flexibility to be in the Schengen area. Definitely a dream for me.

    Meanwhile I'll be enjoying following along with you. It sounds like you have a good plan!!
     
    Kathy (Trekcapri) likes this.
  14. Thanks so much Chris, I hope to do justice in my ability to describe the experience.
     
  15. Thanks for the clarification Kathy. I know so little about the other Camino routes. I look forward to reading about your Camino when the time is right. It was a dream for me too and now I am only two weeks away. I still can't believe it. It's very exciting. I wonder if long distance walking is growing in popularity around the world. I also heard of a Camino in Japan. I think it's all very cool
     
    Anne likes this.
  16. susan

    susan 100+ Posts

    Location:
    Colorado
    Hi Kathy,

    Can't believe you close your trip is now! I am also looking forward to following along on your adventure.

    susan
     
    Kathy (Trekcapri) likes this.
  17. Pauline

    Pauline Forums Admin

    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Me too!!
     
    Kathy (Trekcapri) likes this.
  18. Pauline

    Pauline Forums Admin

    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    I read a book where the author did 3 religious walks. The one you are doing, one in Germany and one in Japan.

    I think hiking and long distance walks are more popular than 20 years ago. The trails and signs are much better now in Italy and France. The UK was good even 20+ years ago - so was Switzerland - but Italy and France were not. Now there are lots of great hiking books too.

    I have a Michelin map showing all the main religious routes through Europe and they all connect to your route. One even starts in Ireland and goes through England.
     
    Kathy (Trekcapri) likes this.
  19. Thanks Susan. I can't believe it is close too. Part of me is super nervous and the bigger part of me is looking forward to the adventure.
     
  20. It is very interesting. I read of one person who did Camino Frances and the one in Japan (which also gives out Camino Certificates of completion). I think there is also a certain certificate when you complete both routes. If I remember the name I'll post it here. It's funny you mention Switzerland here Pauline. For many years me and my friends have considered doing the Hut to Hut hike in Switzerland. I'm surprised how many routes connect to the Camino de Santiago.

    I read of one American pilgrim who did the one to Rome. I hope to meet her in Estella where she is volunteering at an Albergue (if I can get there by Sept. 30 which is her last day of volunteering there). I would love to talk to her more about it because she's done 3 already and is currently doing the Norte route.

    Thanks for the discussion. I think now that I'm retired I'll have loads of time to explore. Next year I already have plans, but maybe in 2018 I can try another long distance walk.
     
    Pauline likes this.

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