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4 days - First timer

dramig

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Timer
#1
I am so glad I found this resource. I have learned a lot from all of the input from everyone on this forum. My 3 siblings, uncle and myself are heading over for a fast and first time mini-camino. I wish we had more time. I have done a good amount of research. I just have a few doubts about the section or trail to take. We are flying into Barcelona at the end of March. Train to Pamplona. My initial thoughts are to do a 4 day section between Pamplona and Logrono. Which sections would you chose? Does this sound like a good section from our Barcelona / Pamplona start?

Originally I wanted to do the norte route. After researching, it seems that there will be little resources available at this time of year and the hike may be a bit tough. We are not really looking for a tough hike nor a hike that challenges us physically. I know this is not a norte thread, but i figured i would ask. Any input from anyone about the norte route at the end of March?

Should I consider a different route? We are very social and somewhat fit. We are looking for a scenic and moderately easy hike. I have spent a month in Spain and fell in love with the people and culture.

If you had 4 days and were taking a few of your family members on a camino of their lifetime what route would you choose?

Any insight would be great. Thank you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#2
With only 4 days to walk, my choice would be to do the Pamplona to Logrono section of the Frances route, especially since it's your first Camino. You could save the Norte for another time when you would be able to walk a longer distance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#3
An interesting challenge :)

If you had 4 days and were taking a few of your family members on a camino of their lifetime what route would you choose?

I'm not sure that can be achieved in 4 days sadly. That's the dilemma of walking a Camino.
IMHO 4 days will give you a slight taste....... but not much more. I think 8-10 days is probably the minimum to get anything meaningful from it.

As for which section? Pamplona to Logrono is very nice. You can start with some great Roast Lamb in Pamplona and great Tapas in Logrono :D

I love all of the CF route.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#5
Thank you for the replies. I know the 4 days is tough....the slight taste will just set up a longer trip in the future.
I was just concerned that you wanted everyone to have a 'Camino of a Lifetime'

It would be a bit like having the best Gourmet Meal of a lifetime, but only staying for the Entrée (1st Course) ;)
 
Last edited:

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
#6
Pamplona to Logrono was our first Camino. A great start. Scenic, and wonderful stopping places. And it got me hooked. Now 5 caminos later, and (I hope) lots more to come . . .
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#9
Don't you mean only the appetizer?
Usage is different in different countries. "Entree" is used for the main course in North America, but not elsewhere. The differences apparently evolved from the time when there were many more courses.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#12
If you wanted to “save” the Camino Frances to do in its entirety another time, a different four day option would be the Camino Baztan from Bayonne to Pamplona. But maybe that’s a bad idea - can someone say if there would be snow on the climby day?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( March 2015 )
Camino Portugues ( September 2015 )
#13
Sounds great. Just outside Pamplona you have the iconic Alto del Perdon. After this Puente la Reina and Estella are both great towns. Then the well known Bodegas Irache. Torres del Rio feels like a typical Camino village and the church is fabulous. Logrono has everything you need to celebrate a first look at the Camino
What's not to like?
Buen Camino
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#14
Having walked both Cominos I think your choice from Pamplona to Logrono is a good stretch of the Camino. Pretty easy with lots of services. Someone previously wrote that you need at least 8 to 10 days to have a Camino experience. For some that may be true, but for someone like me I think you need a longer Camino. But that is a personal feeling that changes with each person.
I just finished the Camino Norte on November 2. There are much fewer services. But I know you can walk it all year. If you’re looking for an easy to moderate Camino stick to the Camino Frances or the Camino Portuguese. Compared to the Camino Norte the Camino Francis is a stroll in the park on a Sunday afternoon. I am 64 years old and I am sure that younger pilgrims would say it’s not that tough. I found it to be very difficult especially the first part from Irún to Bilbao. But the pay off of those hills up and down and up and down and very steep, I may add is worth it for the views. Have fun on your excursion.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#15
I suggest you keep your plans simple and easy.
For a first walk, the Frances is very good -plenty of landscapes, monuments, services and transportation options. In late March, there will be many walkers, but it will not be so crowded.
Plan for some moderately cold and rainy days, bring shoes/boots good for muddy trails. And be careful with the descent of Sierra del Perdon, just after Pamplona -not difficult but a bit tricky.
Madrid has good train and bus connections to Pamplona and Logroño.
Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#16
Yes, I prefer 4-6 week Caminos too, but if the OP only has 4 days to walk, so be it. I would not want to discourage her as a 'taste' is better than nothing, especially as she seems excited to plan to go.
 

MarkyD

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
#17
I am so glad I found this resource. I have learned a lot from all of the input from everyone on this forum. My 3 siblings, uncle and myself are heading over for a fast and first time mini-camino. I wish we had more time. I have done a good amount of research. I just have a few doubts about the section or trail to take. We are flying into Barcelona at the end of March. Train to Pamplona. My initial thoughts are to do a 4 day section between Pamplona and Logrono. Which sections would you chose? Does this sound like a good section from our Barcelona / Pamplona start?

Originally I wanted to do the norte route. After researching, it seems that there will be little resources available at this time of year and the hike may be a bit tough. We are not really looking for a tough hike nor a hike that challenges us physically. I know this is not a norte thread, but i figured i would ask. Any input from anyone about the norte route at the end of March?

Should I consider a different route? We are very social and somewhat fit. We are looking for a scenic and moderately easy hike. I have spent a month in Spain and fell in love with the people and culture.

If you had 4 days and were taking a few of your family members on a camino of their lifetime what route would you choose?

Any insight would be great. Thank you.
4 days is very short, but if that's all you can do then I would suggest a flight to Santiago de Compostela then get bus to Portamarin to walk back to Santiago from there. It's likely to be wet that time of year, so take good rain gear.
If you can fly to Santiago instead of Barcelona, then another option would be to walk from Santiago to Finisterre, and get bus back to Santiago.
however, if you are committed to flying to Barcelona, then Pamplona to Logroño would still be a good choice part of the Camino.
I'm sure any 4 day route would at least give you a taster to come another time.
In the north of Spain, March can be quite cold too, depends on what luck you have with the weather.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('15)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
#19
Just to keep in mind as another option:

You could also walk from St. Jean to Pamplona via Valcarlos (which goes through the valley, instead over the mountain pass), that way it‘s not too difficult, and doable in march.

1. First day would be 12km (?) from St.Jean to Valcarlos, nice and easy walk. The albergue in Valcarlos is very good but small, maybe make a reservation.

2. Second day Valcarlos/Roncesvalles (12km?), steep but beautiful (some roadwalking, but not much). Take the hiking paths and not the road wherever you can, unless there‘s too much snow. Since you have all day for that short stretch, you can enjoy the nice views and take your time. Also, take water and snacks (nothing inbetween Valcarlos and Roncesvalles).

3. Third day Roncesvalles/Zubiri, 22 kms, mostly downhill, through beautiful farm land and forests.

4. Fourth day, Zubiri/Pamplona, easy, 20kms. Celebrate your last day on the Camino in Pamplona (which is always a great place to celebrate!). From there you can also get wherever you need to go for travelling back home easily.

I am suggesting this option because you said you‘re very social. In that case you might really enjoy starting in St. Jean, because the atmosphere will be very, very special – many people do start from there. You‘ll enjoy the general excitement of starting "the great pilgrimage" and be part of that, even if you only walk for a few days this time :) Then the next time, if you want, you can continue from Pamplona (which for me feels more than a place to continue from, while St. Jean has the atmosphere of a starting point – but that‘s just my opinion).


Whatever you decide, buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#20
Someone previously wrote that you need at least 8 to 10 days to have a Camino experience. For some that may be true, but for someone like me I think you need a longer Camino. But that is a personal feeling that changes with each person.
I guess I was just trying to encourage a 'slightly' longer Camino ;)
IMHO by the end of 8-10 you might start to get the true flavour of a Camino journey........ by the last day or two. My wife did on her first Camino.

Which was also frustrating for her, because she wanted to keep going.


For me?
I wouldn't be that interested in a Camino of less than 4 weeks...........
It takes me a week or two to really get into the flow........

For someone who hasn't walked a Camino before it would be very hard, almost impossible I think, to understand the physical, emotional and spiritual processes that often take place. And that the process actually takes time.

So the idea of of a 4-5 day walk to 'try it out' might seem quite appealing.

I don't want to encourage a debate of what is a Camino or what is a Pilgrim. Those always end badly!

But it probably raises the question of why someone would want to only walk for 4 days. (physical limitations apart) For me it's an indication that the person might consider walking a Camino as merely a nice hike.

When visiting Tasmania a few years ago, Pat and I did a day hike near Cradle mountain. It was a nice hike, great scenery. Many people I'm sure walk a Camino for the first time with the same aim. A nice hike.
And maybe that's all they experience? Heck, some people might walk 40 days on a Camino and only experience that. A nice hike.

Those of us who are encouraging a much longer walk than 4 days, are perhaps trying to encourage the OP to do so, in the hope that they might experience much more than a nice hike ;)

But then it comes down to the intended purpose of this 4 day walk, doesn't it?
If that's just a nice hike, go for it.

Hmmm, I realise I'm rambling........again..:oops:

Maybe those who are encouraging a longer walk, realise that to gain that 'Camino of a lifetime' experience the OP mentioned, takes time. Time to get used to the rhythm of the Camino day, get used to the physical demands, experience and overcome the emotional hurdles, deal with those painful moments along the way, have bad days and good days, and have time to process and work through the bad days........... and come through all of that with...........what is it we come through with?

For me it's a wonderful sense of peace and happiness and knowing where I 'fit' in the World and what's important to me.

You might, just might, get that in 20 days walking ?
But 40 or 50 days is way better ;);)

For me at least, it's not about walking at all, or how many kms I walk per day.
It's 'days on the road'.
Walking is just the 'vehicle' that facilitates the Camino processes to occur.

Here endeth the lesson ! :oops:

But hey, if you only have 4 days?
Go for it.
Maybe you'll be encouraged to come back for the 'full feature' after you experience the trailer :)
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#21
@dramig , greetings

I would also support Pamplona to Logrono. The principal diificulties are on day one and revolve, in my view, around Alto del Perdon. A stream on difficulties on the route noted this one.

The gentle climb from Cizur Menor (on the western outskirts of Pamplona) can mask the 'interesting' descent. The marked path is both steep and littered with rubble - loose stones. Great care is needed.

A possible work around is:
1) at Alto del Perdon turn right down the ridge - about 1.8 km
2) turn left on to NA 1110 for about 1.8 km to cross A12
3) continue on NA 6016 to Uterga - about 2 km

This 5.6 km route compares with 3.7 km for the direct route.
The choice comes down to your groups comfort level with a unique surface.

And the use of walking poles would be a great help, if your group is comfortable with them.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

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