20 Days on the Camino, where would you start?


2018 edition Camino Guides

Stets

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2018)
#1
I'm planning on 20 days or so on the Camino in late August-Early September of 17. I'm thinking Camino Frances, simply because I know I will not do any planning beyond deciding where to show up and booking a flight

My initial thinking is to start in Pamplona, which seems like an easy spot to get to early on. This would allow me to walk at whatever pace I feel like (which, though I'm fairly young and in pretty good shape, will likely be quite slow, because that's what I generally feel like) and then leave from where ever I am when my time runs out. I should have time next spring to "finish" in Santiago next spring, should I enjoy it enough to want to.

What do people think? Are there stretches that are a nicer walk/better experience? Will not walking specifically towards the end point of Santiago miss an essential part of the experience?
 

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falcon269

sidra; no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#2
Pamplona is a great place to start. You probably won't make it to Santiago, but you hint that it is not the goal. Every section has its good and bad points. The experience is more the people than the trees. If you fall in with a good group, you won't miss any of the experience.

Buen Camino.
 
#3
Pamplona is a great place to start. You probably won't make it to Santiago, but you hint that it is not the goal. Every section has its good and bad points. The experience is more the people than the trees. If you fall in with a good group, you won't miss any of the experience.

Buen Camino.

Sjp, roncesvalles, Pamplona, logrono. Burgos or leon
 
Camino(s) past & future
Completed CF in Oct 2016
#4
Burgos to Santiago would give you a little of everything, big towns, small towns, Meseta, hills, Cruz de ferro, Galacia. It would also start you out in a section that will warm you up for tougher topography which would have been helpful.
 

Saint Mike II

Vetran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#5
I would be inclined to agree with Falcon269. Since Santiago is not your specific goal and given the time of year you are starting, a starting point in the cooler mountains does make sense. It will still be warm to HOT once you are on the Meseta so a hat providing good head/face/neck coverage is important - as well a a couple of water bottles. Your comment about "being a slow walker" is useful and thus I would suggest that your goal should be Leon (its about 18 stages from Pamplona according to Brierley) so with a rest day in Burgos (fully recommended) and an extra day on the Meseta will see you through. Buen Camino
 

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Lurch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
looking at 2018-2019
#6
thanks for the question. I have similar concerns, although I will have 30 days in April/May 2018. Being as I am a bit older, 73 then, I may be a bit slower myself. My training regemin is in place, so in a year should be abler to gimp 10-12 miles a day; maybe more, maybe less. I had thought from Burgos and might have time and energy to make to Finisterre. A lot will depend on my knees (right been replaced 4 times, lucky me) condition. Hopefully there will be no problems but if I have to walk from Leon using forearm crutches I will. So any advice regarding potential areas to skip because of less allure or steeper gradients would be greatly appreciated.
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#7
The way from Leon is nice - lots of infrastructure, so you'll be able to walk short days.

Unless you absolutely love heat, the earlier in the year, the better.

Several people here have walked with knee replacements, I hope your new one behaves properly and is good for another 20 years, the way they're supposed to be. I have a knee replacement in my future, unless one of the four trials currently ongoing comes up with a really good artificial meniscus, so I'm following the literature and making note of all the people walking with spare parts!
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#8
Have you considered starting in St.JeanPied de Port? It is such a lovely setting; almost storybook like. For me those first few days were the most beautiful. I was fortunate to have perfect Sept weather. The views are spectacular.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Completed CF in Oct 2016
#9
My experience was the most difficult day for climbing if injury from repetitive trauma is a meaningful concern is the decent from Foncebadon to Ponferreda. You could visit Cruz de ferro and then take some form of transportation and avoid this section. The surfaces you walk on during the first 10-12 days are pretty brutal in some sections especially the downhills which can be tougher on knees and hips than uphill. The change in topography will be much tougher than distance on someone with bad knees an hips because the footing is precarious, especially in the first half of the walk. With only a couple exceptions, the second half of the walk can be done with much less chance of aggravating injury concerns.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#10
My experience was the most difficult day for climbing if injury from repetitive trauma is a meaningful concern is the decent from Foncebadon to Ponferreda. You could visit Cruz de ferro and then take some form of transportation and avoid this section. ....
After continuing from Foncebadon to Manjarin on the path you could walk down to El Acebo and Ponferrada on the left-sde verges on the LE-142 road thus avoidig the rough terrain.
 

Saint Mike II

Vetran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#11
After continuing from Foncebadon to Manjarin on the path you could walk down to El Acebo and Ponferrada on the left-sde verges on the LE-142 road thus avoidig the rough terrain.
Hola MS - having cycled this road (from Rabanal to Ponferrada) I would not recommend walking this section of the road. I came down on a Sunday, which should have been quieter, but I still had to really keep my eyes open for cars & trucks, the drivers of many were cutting the corners - ie onto my side of the road. OK I have not walked the section you refer too - but I did see bits of it as I rode past and except in really wet weather I would recommend it. (Not long now till I fly out for Paris!!). Cheers
 

Stets

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2018)
#12
Thank everyone! I appreciate the replies. Doesn't sound like I can go wrong whatever I decide. I'm really looking forward to my first Camino
 

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