Can I walk to Santiago, and then back?

Camino de Santiago

The question was:

This may be the raving of a lunatic, but my dream is to start in LePuy, hike to Santiago via SJPDP and then RETURN via the ruta Norte and end my hike in Vezelay. I am a fit appalachian trail hiker, and I have already been training for my camino for nearly a year, so I am at least not completely delusional. My hike would begin in late Feb/March 2013 and end in July. How difficult is it to hike these trails in the “wrong” direction? Anyone here done this hike?

Read the interesting advice regarding walking the Camino to Santiago, and then back.

4 Replies to “Can I walk to Santiago, and then back?”

  1. I think it will be easier to do it the other way, going on the Norte and back on the Francès. Why ? it is easier to find the marks to walk backwards on the Francès than on the Norte. And on the Francès, if you have a doubt at a crossing , you just have to wait a little bit to see arriving the pilgrims from the right direction. In Ffrance it is easier to walk backwards to le Puy than to Vezelay.But I never did it myself. Just my idea. You could ask on the forum of Coeur du Chemin, you can find there profesionnal pilgrims , I am sure some of them have done it.

    good luck.

  2. Having walked from Le Puy, I would add that walking “backwards” in France is easier than in Spain, where the Camino routes are laid out and waymarked specifically to bring you to Santiago. The French routes also function and are mapped as hiking trails, and on the Le Puy route I met many people walking in the opposite (eastward) direction.

  3. Several years ago, near Conques, I met a pilgrim who had walked from Le Puy to Santiago and was walking back to Le Puy. He looked like he was in very good shape. He said by the time he got to Le Puy it would be four months. He had a notebook with all of his observations. You will have a different return route, but just so you know that there is at least one pilgrim who has undertaken such a challenge.

  4. I met quite a few returners. There is a different mark to guide the way, a kind of circular spiral. Perhaps someone could let us know what it’s supposed to be!

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