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1st Time over Xmas week +2 Irish teen boys

DemeterPeneleapai

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
1st time: Christmas week 2022 with 2 teen boys Fin
how is everyone?
I'd love to bring my sons (level 15, level 17) to the Camino over Christmas week..
22 - 28 Dec if possible.

Is it too idealistic / how realistic is it
to bring a sleepingbag and a few socks, underwear, and do the Finestere route ?

I know it's only a week, but i thought if our first time can be wonderful, then THEY THEMSELVES will one day off their own bat, WANT to return (and walk MORE!)
They are not the obvious choice (being into video games as their biggest activity), but they are open to it...

My lovely neigbour Stephen helped point me here, and to the route.
My question is:


Give me the lowdown on what are ESSENTIALS for ensuring that teenagers will love the Camino experience.

I've never done it but I'm a nature-crazed mystical kinda woman anyway (artist and holistic therapist), so i KNOW that i will love it.

My concern is for the lads.
Pragmatic issues.
I know it's late to begin asking
But sure.. got to start somewhere.

If it's too much, when else wouldyou recommend if all we have is a week or so for that first Camino encounter ?


Grá mór to all
(big Love)
 
Join the Camino Cleanup in May from Ponferrada to Sarria. Registration closes Mar 22.
Check this earlier thread for useful tips re teens on trips.

Before you do go check out this Gronze on line guide to see what accommodations will be open on the Finisterre and/or Muxia camino. You can automatically translate the guide using Chrome. A schematic map is included.
Enjoy your planning and Happy Christmas!
 
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Give me the lowdown on what are ESSENTIALS for ensuring that teenagers will love the Camino experience
Not being a teenager I have no idea.
Others who've walked with kids will have their own advice. But I would say of the top of my head to give them a lot of space to walk their own walk. Let them be themselves without being tied together with you all the time, and see what happens.
 
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Watch the weather, too. I think be flexible just in case. Plenty of things to do in Santiago and a bus to Finisterre or Muxia for a few days if the weather is just intolerable may be an alternative thought. Roof tour of the cathedral, Pilgrim museum, walking tour of the city, City marketplace, Coffee at the Alameda park?

You could also consider a few days on a Camino route were there is something interesting for boys? Ponferrada has a castle. Don't know if the horses are going up to O'Cerebrero at this time of year? I think you may be able to rent bikes down to Tricastella or at least you could a few years ago. Be sure to stop in Melide to see the pulpo being cooked.

Or maybe start in Lugo with the ancient Roman walls and you would go through Melide then onto Santiago? Xunta albergues should be open in Galicia all winter. Some more comfortable than others.
 
Depends on how you want to present it. It's more likely to be a learning experience for teens in seeing how other countries enjoy themselves, and Spanish teens do like to party. Or so my Spanish niece tells me.

In every Spanish city I've been to, there have been plenty of evidence of people enjoying themselves in groups and as part of families. Then there is the fiestas too.

The camino might just be a means of getting from party to party
 
Depends on how you want to present it. It's more likely to be a learning experience for teens in seeing how other countries enjoy themselves, and Spanish teens do like to party. Or so my Spanish niece tells me.

In every Spanish city I've been to, there have been plenty of evidence of people enjoying themselves in groups and as part of families. Then there is the fiestas too.

The camino might just be a means of getting from party to party
Haha ok. Taken in. That's fab.
Always good to experience connections with other humans.. especially as my lads are not much passionate about much besides gaming, i reckon twil be lovely. The lodging needs to be sorted out tho for sure. They won't be happy being too much on the edge... cheers for sharing.
Well,
 
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Watch the weather, too. I think be flexible just in case. Plenty of things to do in Santiago and a bus to Finisterre or Muxia for a few days if the weather is just intolerable may be an alternative thought. Roof tour of the cathedral, Pilgrim museum, walking tour of the city, City marketplace, Coffee at the Alameda park?

You could also consider a few days on a Camino route were there is something interesting for boys? Ponferrada has a castle. Don't know if the horses are going up to O'Cerebrero at this time of year? I think you may be able to rent bikes down to Tricastella or at least you could a few years ago. Be sure to stop in Melide to see the pulpo being cooked.

Or maybe start in Lugo with the ancient Roman walls and you would go through Melide then onto Santiago? Xunta albergues should be open in Galicia all winter. Some more comfortable than others.
WHICH route would you take, given 3 soft Irish newbies, flying from Dublin to Santiago on 22 Dec?
Our neighbour had suggested Finistere, but idk if that suits with our airport of Santiago ?
 
Check this earlier thread for useful tips re teens on trips.

Before you do go check out this Gronze on line guide to see what accommodations will be open on the Finisterre and/or Muxia camino. You can automatically translate the guide using Chrome. A schematic map is included.
Enjoy your planning and Happy Christmas!
Aw. Beannacht Nollaig duit.
Blessings of the season to you.
I better go and see what accomodation is available. I just checked airfare and it's nearly €800 to just bring us over there 🙁😖 we might not get very far at all at this rate.
Thank you for your most useful and important tip. Warm regards!
 
There will be the most infrastructure and other pilgrims on the Camino Frances and there may be time to walk the last 100 km and get them a Compostella? Getting to know other pilgrims from different lands is always pretty neat.

I don't know if you can fly into A Coruna. From A Coruna you could begin walking on the Ingles route without much delay? If you can document that you walked in your own country the requisite number of Km's and then walk from A Coruna, I believe you will qualify for a Compestella. If not, you can get a distance certificate which would be a great reminder of the journey.
 
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Aw. Beannacht Nollaig duit.
Blessings of the season to you.
I better go and see what accomodation is available. I just checked airfare and it's nearly €800 to just bring us over there 🙁😖 we might not get very far at all at this rate.
Thank you for your most useful and important tip. Warm regards!
Dunno where you’re getting those prices from. Ryannair are offering at under €100 return for your dates. Accommodation will be more of a challenge but surmountable. Which just leaves you with two teenage boys who would probably be happier eating cold turkey with one hand while gaming with their spare thumb.
My advice to most people who have an impulse to do something unplanned, unprepared and with no real idea or understanding of what it is that they’re trying to achieve is do it - this time I’ll suggest maybe some serious research and a bit of planning is required. You are at liberty to do what you like with your life: teenagers ain’t. They don’t have the liberty of choice
 
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Dunno where you’re getting those prices from. Ryannair are offering at under €100 return for your dates. Accommodation will be more of a challenge but surmountable. Which just leaves you with two teenage boys who would probably be happier eating cold turkey with one hand while gaming with their spare thumb.
My advice to most people who have an impulse to do something unplanned, unprepared and with no real idea or understanding of what it is that they’re trying to achieve is do it - this time I’ll suggest maybe some serious research and a bit of planning is required. You are at liberty to do what you like with your life: teenagers ain’t. They don’t have the liberty of choice
Appreciated!
send me a link from where you're getting those prices!

I just restarted the search and the same prices came up.

R you looking up
Dublin-Santiago 22Dec outgoing.. ?

I am trying to understand what you're trying to say
Is it basically
"As an adult i can do what i like,
But leave my teens out of it, if it's not their thing?"
 
having walked with a teenager whose favorite activity was gaming and who had little real clue what he was getting into... No. Not a great idea. Unless the pilgrim is very fit and also keen to go, it's just too much.
O dear
Thanks - i do appreciate!!
What age was he do you mind me asking?

I did ask them both, individually, in private if they wanted to go ? None of us have done it, so it's in the spirit of
Hey ho let's go!

But i get what youre saying of course!!!!!!!
 
Yes I just did a straight search on Ryan for your flight dates. Try clearing your cache and starting again or better still pop in to your local high street travel agent.
On the other bit - yes. I used to work with teen age offenders referred by the youth court to outward bound. The only ones who ever got anything out of their sentence were the ones who had tried their very hardest to get that sentence. “Anything to get away from home” as one put it.
If you really want to take them on a winter Camino you would be best to be assured that that’s what they want to do too.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Yes I just did a straight search on Ryan for your flight dates. Try clearing your cache and starting again or better still pop in to your local high street travel agent.
On the other bit - yes. I used to work with teen age offenders referred by the youth court to outward bound. The only ones who ever got anything out of their sentence were the ones who had tried their very hardest to get that sentence. “Anything to get away from home” as one put it.
If you really want to take them on a winter Camino you would be best to be assured that that’s what they want to do too.
How does one clear the cache on the MacBook 😖🙁

Well i asked them if they want to do that?
And they both, privately to me, said YES I DO!

anyting else i should be saying ?
 
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Not being a teenager I have no idea.
Others who've walked with kids will have their own advice. But I would say of the top of my head to give them a lot of space to walk their own walk. Let them be themselves without being tied together with you all the time, and see what happens.
Sure of course. They would get plenty of space from me anyway, normally speaking!
 
Watch the weather, too. I think be flexible just in case. Plenty of things to do in Santiago and a bus to Finisterre or Muxia for a few days if the weather is just intolerable may be an alternative thought. Roof tour of the cathedral, Pilgrim museum, walking tour of the city, City marketplace, Coffee at the Alameda park?

You could also consider a few days on a Camino route were there is something interesting for boys? Ponferrada has a castle. Don't know if the horses are going up to O'Cerebrero at this time of year? I think you may be able to rent bikes down to Tricastella or at least you could a few years ago. Be sure to stop in Melide to see the pulpo being cooked.

Or maybe start in Lugo with the ancient Roman walls and you would go through Melide then onto Santiago? Xunta albergues should be open in Galicia all winter. Some more comfortable than others.
Eee too many choices. I mean, so good all the choices.
Thank you so much for stimulating the Camino appetite. I see it is or can be much more than simply walking and trekking. I totally didnt think of the 'touristic' or 'sightseeing' aspect of the trip AT ALL.

til now!


Another (maybe separate?) Question:

Is there an ideal time to go for first-timers including teenagers?
 
Given that teenagers aren't monolithic in reasonings, motives, or preferences, I'd say any time they're not missing school *could* be good. The rest is dependent upon what they're willing to do to stretch their comfort zones...and what you're willing to do, as well.
;)

Buen Camino.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
WHICH route would you take, given 3 soft Irish newbies, flying from Dublin to Santiago on 22 Dec?
Our neighbour had suggested Finistere, but idk if that suits with our airport of Santiago ?

I would not choose the Camino to or from Finisterre because there's not likely to be too many others walking at that time. I would do the Camino Francés from Sarria because you are more likely to have others to walk with, and more importantly, a better chance of encountering other teenagers.

Make sure to stress to them that not all of Spain is sunny all the time - especially Galicia, so they will need to bring the same cold weather clothing that they would wear at home.

And remember, if the whole thing starts to go sideways you can always take a train or a bus to some other city in Spain and soak up the culture.
 
Given that teenagers aren't monolithic in reasonings, motives, or preferences, I'd say any time they're not missing school *could* be good. The rest is dependent upon what they're willing to do to stretch their comfort zones...and what you're willing to do, as well.
;)

Buen Camino.
I hope you are authoring more than just forum questions @dbier
Yes i 100% concur, that was my premise before launching into the thing.
It seems like it won't be Xmas endeavour afterall.

Their father just informed me that he didn't renew our 15yr old's passport. (insert silent groan here)


So my next/new question is now:

Given same constellation of would-be newbie trekkers, which equipment or packing tips would you recommend from experience or direct knowledge? and all importantly:
What time of year / what route?
 
I would not choose the Camino to or from Finisterre because there's not likely to be too many others walking at that time. I would do the Camino Francés from Sarria because you are more likely to have others to walk with, and more importantly, a better chance of encountering other teenagers.

Make sure to stress to them that not all of Spain is sunny all the time - especially Galicia, so they will need to bring the same cold weather clothing that they would wear at home.

And remember, if the whole thing starts to go sideways you can always take a train or a bus to some other city in Spain and soak up the culture.
Now that sounds like some pragmatic strategy there (thank you!).
I am given a reprieve now, as it turns out i was informed of a missing passport tonight. So I'll have to / we get to
Rearrange any ideas/intents/plans of a virgin Camino for another time .. in 2023.
Any suggestions as to routes / times in the year / and packing wisdom appreciated!!

At least now i have time to save up for better shoes for them... they live in (and only have one pair of ) trainers/runners/sneakers. Boo!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Hmm.
OK i will look at flights.. wait which airport would one fly into for Sarria ?
It wouldn't work late June tho.
My boys are out of secondary school in late May (at which time my level 17 will turn 18 !)
So i hope there's equally good chance of other teens in earlier June ???
 
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Given same constellation of would-be newbie trekkers, which equipment or packing tips would you recommend from experience or direct knowledge? and all importantly:
What time of year / what route?
Explore the forum. There are tons of subforums, such as gear, route selection, etc., and "tagged" topics which you can see here: Tag Topics
At least now i have time to save up for better shoes for them... they live in (and only have one pair of ) trainers/runners/sneakers. Boo!

Trainers should be fine for Sarria to Santiago.
Summer. It will be hot, but in Late June early July, there will be lots of other young people especially starting from Sarria!

OK i will look at flights.. wait which airport would one fly into for Sarria ?
It wouldn't work late June tho.
My boys are out of secondary school in late May (at which time my level 17 will turn 18 !)
So i hope there's equally good chance of other teens in earlier June ???
You can fly to Santiago airport and take a bus to Sarria.
Check out Rome2Rio for travel options.

Since you now have months instead of weeks to plan I would get the kids involved in the planning (and excitement!) as much as possible.
 
Explore the forum. There are tons of subforums, such as gear, route selection, etc., and "tagged" topics which you can see here: Tag Topics


Trainers should be fine for Sarria to Santiago.



You can fly to Santiago airport and take a bus to Sarria.
Check out Rome2Rio for travel options.

Since you now have months instead of weeks to plan I would get the kids involved in the planning (and excitement!) as much as possible.
Thank you !... o believe me there is always LOAAAADS to do with this clann. Lol. But yes. I shall. Thanks for all the good counsel and spirit!
 
Hi DemeterPenelea !
Loads of good advice .
Now you have got months to plan it might be a good idea to go on a couple of long walks with the kids to see how they cope;unless you already know they are up to it!
Walking 6 to 7 hours a day is a big ask if they are not really into it and the weather is bad.

Also if this Camino is defo going to happen get all your gear sorted so you know everything works; it doesn't take long for no prep and the wrong gear to finish you!

I walked with a German guy who had spontaneously flew to Camino!
After two days of walking his feet were a mess blistered and bleeding.
A couple of days later , i met someone walking on their third day her shoes were bad fit and all her toe nails were black and probability going to come off.
But if you prepare you can hopefully minimize the chance of a problem.

All the best
Buen Camino
Woody
 
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Absolutely no shortage of training routes on the Burren. Keep in mind the need to tackle the hills. A relation who live on Inis Meáin done all the training on the island!
Na Dal gCais abú.

OBJ i na Déise
 
If you take them in summer take them on the Camino Ingles, NOT from Sarria. The Sarria route in summer is a bun-fight. Camino Ingles is much more quiet, well-served with albergues, never far from civilization, but still well-traveled. You will have lots of company, great scenery, and you'll be walking the route Irish pilgrims often took when they came ashore hundreds of years ago.
 
I agree with all the advice to encourage your sons to do as much of the the trip preparation as possible. Now you have time. Raise questions about the itinerary, what to bring, conditioning, route finding, etc. . Acqaint them with the amazingly rich resources on this website, and suggest that they do their own searching and todo lists. Are there local rambling groups for teenagers? As you know, teens learn like crazy with peers and a competent leader, probably better than from parents. From my experience teaching teenagers outdoor survival skills, they will be helped by learning the little masteries that bring delight; skills, like staying warm in adverse conditions, even learning how to hike efficiently, like varying speed by leaning over their feet, pacing by time intervals rather than distance, which can reduce the focus on “how much farther?”) , and so on. Any age is good to start hiking, trekking, backpacking! As we all know, being exposed to the grand and permanent things in nature and the history and culture of pilgrimages is always good. My motto is that you have to have trouble to get to know a country but I don’t think you want your boys to have so much trouble that they mainly end up with a good story for their friends. Cheers for your adventuresome spirit.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
Hi, Just saw this post. Given that you have teenagers I presume you are tied to the Irish school holidays. I have found that May and September are the best times for a weeks walk on the Camino, so maybe end of Aug and first week of Sept. The Finestere Camino is approx. 75 Km and can be done comfortably in 4 days walking. Have you considered maybe walking a different section and having a bit more of an adventure. Get cheap Ryanair flights to Madrid and pre book (for cheaper tickets) train from Madrid Chamartín station to Pamplona then walk 110K to Logrono. ( great tapas ) and train or bus back to Madrid. Allow a day for travel at each end and you can walk for 6 days. plenty of hostel accommodation along the way. this is a lovely section of the Camino. It was my introduction to the Camino when I retired in 2015. I have walked it a couple of times since then. There are so many sections that can be done in a week. I have also walked the Inglese but did not enjoy it very much. Many parts of it are walking on rural roads. The only way to get to A Coruna is to fly to Santiago and get a train up.

enjoy the planning

Buen Camino
 

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