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El Camino in Northern Spain - Would you share some advice?

El Camino in Northern Spain - Would you share some advice?

Aug 14th, 2009, 12:22 PM
  #1  
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El Camino in Northern Spain - Would you share some advice?

I am planning to walk part of El Camino sometime in May 2012. I am beginning my training and planning. I need advice on where I should concentrate my training, what type of shoes you wore, etc.

I also need advice on stops, hotels along the way. I wonder if I can mix pilgrimage with sightseeing. If not, can I do it at the beginning or at the end.

Any comments on the region (northern Spain) are welcome.
Robin4 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 12:41 PM
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My wife walked the Camino last year, 500 miles.

She tried various boots until she found the ones that were suitable and she wore her 20 lb backpack when she walked as part of her training. Her sister walked the entire route in sandals and socks, so it is completely personal.

She took the well traveled Camino Frances. Except when you pass through larger towns the hotel selection will select you and there are protocols about staying there.

Learn about refugios and albergues.

Learn about quick drying clothes

Learn about foot care, blisters, black toes.

Learn about how to get yor pilgrm passport stamped.

And much, much more

There are many sites and I will find the books she used.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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Lots of nice hostels and B&Bs on a first come first served basis. I think its part of the spiritual process to talk to the others on the walk

Its Hilly and much of the area is called green spain (guess why).

Until the first republic this was the only area from which spaniards were allowed to go to the new world. It is testement to how aweful it was in spain at the time that the area is empty of people with barren villages along the way.

I agree read a book, I enjoyed "pilgrim snail". The walk starts way out in central and northern europe so you can start where you want but again a good book will suggest a natural cathedral as a start point

Boots, break them in before you go, don't let them be too expensive (people do steal) and ensure they are walking boots so you rock forward easily.

Visit places whenever you want. There is, for instance, the gold mine that funded the Roman Empire in this area, a good museum and Rioja
bilboburgler is online now  
Aug 14th, 2009, 01:13 PM
  #4  
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Thank you. I've been reading various sites.

You've already answered a very important question. I was concerned about the shoes. There are so many completely different ideas that confusion was setting in. So, I've got to start with what I think will work for me (light and mid top) and see what happens.

I am training for endurance right now, walking about 1 1/2 hours per day. I'll slowly increase it. My next question was how hilly - thanks for the answer. I'll guess I'll have to find some hilly trails in my area.

I've been reading about refugios and albergues. I am not sure if this is a crazy idea but I'll throw it out there just in case. There are 4 of us. I thought two of us could do a portion of the trail, the other two (maybe just one) could drive the car with our stuff to the next stop. That would give us a break and relieve us of any packing and weight problems. We are all very light packers anyway, not a problem to live with little and make do with the same, day in and day out. The last trek Leon to Santiago will be walked by all of us, otherwise no stamps, I gather.
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Aug 14th, 2009, 01:25 PM
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Robin 4, I have not done, nor do I plan to do the Camino. However, I did visit Santiago de Compestela a few years ago. What a moving experience to see pilgrims approach the magnificent cathedral after such a long, painful, awe inspiring journey. Indeed, it is a very special place.

In my travels there I met an older couple from Australia. The husband, Brian, had brought his wife Ann to Santiago to show her his destination when he did the Camino with a friend in 2000. What a charming couple. Here is an account of his adventure that I re-read from time to time.

http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~fit...n/ElCamino.htm

You will find tons of other accounts of this most remarkable journey. Godspeed to you on your way.
latedaytraveler is offline  
Aug 14th, 2009, 08:03 PM
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I've been reading Brian's blog. I think I was looking for a journal all this time and I didn't know it. I am jotting down tips on what to skip, trouble points, etc. It is very interesting.

I started thinking about this a couple of years ago but I knew that physically it was well beyond my capabilities. My health has improved so much because I started walking on a daily basis, I began to dream and now I think it is within my reach. I am taking my time, once you retire you have the great luxury of time. Thanks for your good wishes.
Robin4 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2009, 05:34 AM
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"Visit places whenever you want. There is, for instance, the gold mine that funded the Roman Empire in this area, a good museum and Rioja" they are both nearer El Camino Frances rather than El Camino del Norte
I would suggest you also read or post of the following forum as there is loads of good information about any Camino route there.
http://www.pilgrimage-to-santiago.com/board/
ribeirasacra is offline  
Aug 15th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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Robin - I have an interesting journal that was serialized in the UK Telegraph in 2001. A 67 year old man walked 1,000 miles from Le Puy in France to Santiago. The links to the newspaper no longer work but if you email me (email id in my profile) I'll send you the Word document.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 15th, 2009, 08:54 AM
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Robin 4, I am happy that you enjoyed Brian's blog of his journey to Santiago. I am sure you will be with very special people like him on the way...
latedaytraveler is offline  
Aug 15th, 2009, 09:49 AM
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If you drive you will have trouble getting your passport stamped and getting Certification in Santiago. The only ones who get certifcation are walkers, bikers, and horse back riders.

My sister-in-law was 73 when she made the walk.

The accomodations along the way are a decidedly mixed bag. There are many smalls towns along the way where the accomodations are clean and simple and run by volunteers. Other towns have very nice places to rest and clean up.

And unless you have a car and time, it is difficult to see the sights away from the route.

Buy a few books nad my wife's favorite was Camino de Santiago by John Brierley. It was light to carry. My SIL made an elaborate spreadsheet of how many miles to walk each day and where to stay.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 03:55 AM
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adrienne, just curious, how does one access/create profiles on Fodors? I could not find a link.

Thanks so much....
latedaytraveler is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 04:02 AM
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lateT...just click on the name of the person you wish yo see the profile of and all will be revealed.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 06:33 AM
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My new must read list: Pilgrim snail, Camino de Santiago by John Brierley. E-mail on the way Adrienne, grateful for the offer. Read Brian's blog, over and over again.

I'll continue walking, looking forward to avoiding blisters, black toes and sprained muscles. Will stop doubting and get my first set of "serious" shoes. I must admit, I'm afraid of those hills.

I think my list is looking good for the next few months. Thanks for your advice. I may have to pick your brains later on as things progress.
Robin4 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 07:32 AM
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BTW, ribeirasacra, I've been using your link constantly. It is one of the best sites in my opinion. I also use http://www.caminosantiago.com/web/foroperegrinos.php although it is in Spanish, it is pretty much up-to-date and very helpful.
Robin4 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2009, 03:05 AM
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Ribeirascaro, thanks for info on accessing/creating Fodors. blogs. That was easy...
latedaytraveler is offline  
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