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5-10km/day pilgrims

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MyWay2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for May/June 2019
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
 

sugargypsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
Hi,

on this website you can check the distances between each stop on the CF. As far as I know there are two stages, where one has to cover more than 10 km, because there is no village to stay overnight.

Orisson - Roncevalles 17 km (check Express Bourricot for transport) or start at Pamplona, then you can skip that part at the beginning altogether, because it's steep up- and downhill. I'm still debating with myself whether or not to do that too).

Carrión de los Condes - Calzadilla de la Cueza 17,5 km

There are also some other stages where the distance is about 12 to 13 km.

About the practical aspects later on I've got no experience, but I'm interested in those as well.
 
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Camino Addict

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues (2013), Caminho Costa (2013), Frances (2014, 18) Mozarabe (2017), Portugues (2019)
Hi MyWay2019,

To answer your questions...

1. There are buses, trains, and taxis all along the Camino Frances if you need to go motorized during any part of your Camino.

2. There are few, but not many albergues that are 10 km apart from each other on any of the Caminos.

3. 112 is the emergency number in Spain.

4. There are multiple guidebooks about the Camino Frances that detail the topography and terrain.

A couple points I also want to mention is that there are pack hauling services all along the Camino Frances that are not expensive to use, and maybe even consider cycling as well.
 

DevereUx

Devereaux
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2018
I would recommend starting in Pamplona. The trek over the Pyrenees is steep...up the first day and very steep down he second. And there are many ups and downs between Roncesvalles and Pamplona. Many, many pilgrims start in Pamplona.
As a rule, you could find an albergue between 10 & 15 km a day. However, there are some very long sections and there it is more than permissible to take a ride, or have your pack shipped to lighten the load. As mentioned above, 112 will get you help in Spain. Also, find the. Umber ahead of time for the taxi services that are ubiquitous on the Camino.
It's really important that you get a guidebook or two and study the route. You can map out your stops and alternative transportation that way. Somewhere on this forum are listed all the albergues along the route. It's excellent!
Most of all, don't not go. Very, very few of us pilgrims did the entire Camino without problems of some sort. You will be rewarded; so rewarded. Go slow and go easy and enjoy the journey!
Buen Camino!
 

Ricardo Moretti

Camino Frances x 2: Apr./May 2018 & Apr./May 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Two Camino Frances:
April-May 2018
April-May 2019
Hi,
1. My first recommendation is to consult your doctor before anything.
2. There are many hamlets, villages, towns and cities along the way, and, for the most part, they are close enough to allow you to walk 5, 10 or 15 km days. There are a few exceptions though. I recommend a guide book and use google maps to plan your stops ahead of time. Google will also inform, to a certain degree, but not perfectly, the meter climb and descent of a given route - use this to gage whether you should tackle a given section of the trail.
3. There is an abundance of public transportation available all along the way... for the most part. Each location, usually has taxis or you can ask for the local taxi telephone numbers at the Albergues or hotels and note them down: should you feel that enough is enough. Also, I recommend using public transport such as buses to avoid the hills - after all you will be crossing the Pyrenees.
4. Walk light, use the backpack or luggage carry forward services available.
5. Walk with padded running shoes (shock absorption) - maybe you require special footwear - ask your doctor.
6. Use walking poles and learn how to use them before going. This will/should help reduce the impact on your joints.
7. Myself, I brought Voltaren and Ibuprofen for pain relief. Plan for the worst and prepare accordingly: stock up on medication that your doctor prescribes for you.
8. Remember the adage "RICES" = Rest, ice, compression, elevation and stretch. Stretching, taking days off to rest and hot baths (muscle stiffness) also help the soreness of it all.
9. Note the locations where medical services are available. Part of planning for the worst.
10. Walk but take frequent breaks as needed: Listen to your body, it really does talk.

Good luck and buen camino.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I think Pamplona is a great place to start. However, I'd point out that the downhill part after Alto de Perdon is one of the challenging downhill sections of the Camino Frances. You don't want to ruin your knees on day 1 or 2! You could go to Zariquiegui, stay the night, and probably arrange a taxi on to Uterga the next day. As others have pointed out, a guide book will be helpful to show you where you might need to take alternative routes or transport. it certainly can be done. Taxis will be available when necessary.

Definitely use poles, a light pack, and take your time.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route?
  • The descent from the Napoleon Route into Roncesvalles. Easily dealt with by walking the completely delightful Valcarlos route.
  • The descent into Zubiri is also not so fun - you can go on the road, but be careful.
  • The descent from the Alto to Perdon is a killer - not so steep, but you're walking on rocks and loose rubble. Agree entirely with @C clearly.
  • The descent into Acebo after the Cruz de Fero. Not so bad as after the Alto de Perdon, but similar.
  • The descent into Molinaseca (after Acebo) - I didn't think this was as horrible as others have found it, but it was dry. And it is steep and rocky in places. You can get a taxi...
2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days?
Yes, on the Frances, with only a few exceptions, eg, the 17 kms after Carrion de los Condes. But it's completely flat.

3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury?
God forbid. Just take a mobile, and call the universal emergency number. You'll get help in a hurry.

4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail?
Wise pilgrim Guides, Brierley. Both are here in the Forum Store.

Buen Camino, @MyWay2019 !
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I think Pamplona is a great place to start. However, I'd point out that the downhill part after Alto de Perdon is one of the challenging downhill sections of the Camino Frances.
Yes, I was going to mention the same thing. And the walk to the top of Alto de Perdón isn't the easiest either! Screenshot_20190318-194531_Firefox.jpg
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
And the walk to the top of Alto de Perdón isn't the easiest either!
I'm hardly a gazelle, but I'm always surprised to hear it described as steep or hard.
That downhill on the other side, OTOH...oooo...grf. The first time was the worst because I wasn't prepared. For some reason, expecting it made the descent much easier. Slow and steady and it's fine.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
Somebody posted a screenshot from gronze.com, a superb on line guide book. It will show you all the grades, towns, and albergues with distances. It's in Spanish only, but if you access it from a chrome browser, it will translate it just fine.

What you want to do can be done with some planning and a handful of cheap taxi rides through the worst sections.

Buen Camino!
 

MyWay2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for May/June 2019
Hi MyWay2019,

To answer your questions...

1. There are buses, trains, and taxis all along the Camino Frances if you need to go motorized during any part of your Camino.

2. There are few, but not many albergues that are 10 km apart from each other on any of the Caminos.

3. 112 is the emergency number in Spain.

4. There are multiple guidebooks about the Camino Frances that detail the topography and terrain.

A couple points I also want to mention is that there are pack hauling services all along the Camino Frances that are not expensive to use, and maybe even consider cycling as well.
This is all great, thanks so much.
 

MyWay2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for May/June 2019
I would recommend starting in Pamplona. The trek over the Pyrenees is steep...up the first day and very steep down he second. And there are many ups and downs between Roncesvalles and Pamplona. Many, many pilgrims start in Pamplona.
As a rule, you could find an albergue between 10 & 15 km a day. However, there are some very long sections and there it is more than permissible to take a ride, or have your pack shipped to lighten the load. As mentioned above, 112 will get you help in Spain. Also, find the. Umber ahead of time for the taxi services that are ubiquitous on the Camino.
It's really important that you get a guidebook or two and study the route. You can map out your stops and alternative transportation that way. Somewhere on this forum are listed all the albergues along the route. It's excellent!
Most of all, don't not go. Very, very few of us pilgrims did the entire Camino without problems of some sort. You will be rewarded; so rewarded. Go slow and go easy and enjoy the journey!
Buen Camino!
Thanks so much. This is great. Love that you've said "Don't NOT go"....thank you
 

MyWay2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for May/June 2019
Hi,
1. My first recommendation is to consult your doctor before anything.
2. There are many hamlets, villages, towns and cities along the way, and, for the most part, they are close enough to allow you to walk 5, 10 or 15 km days. There are a few exceptions though. I recommend a guide book and use google maps to plan your stops ahead of time. Google will also inform, to a certain degree, but not perfectly, the meter climb and descent of a given route - use this to gage whether you should tackle a given section of the trail.
3. There is an abundance of public transportation available all along the way... for the most part. Each location, usually has taxis or you can ask for the local taxi telephone numbers at the Albergues or hotels and note them down: should you feel that enough is enough. Also, I recommend using public transport such as buses to avoid the hills - after all you will be crossing the Pyrenees.
4. Walk light, use the backpack or luggage carry forward services available.
5. Walk with padded running shoes (shock absorption) - maybe you require special footwear - ask your doctor.
6. Use walking poles and learn how to use them before going. This will/should help reduce the impact on your joints.
7. Myself, I brought Voltaren and Ibuprofen for pain relief. Plan for the worst and prepare accordingly: stock up on medication that your doctor prescribes for you.
8. Remember the adage "RICES" = Rest, ice, compression, elevation and stretch. Stretching, taking days off to rest and hot baths (muscle stiffness) also help the soreness of it all.
9. Note the locations where medical services are available. Part of planning for the worst.
10. Walk but take frequent breaks as needed: Listen to your body, it really does talk.

Good luck and buen camino.
Thank you so much, this is super helpful. I was also thinking that it would be best in my usual running/walking shoes as these are very supportive and cushioned. Not waterproof though so not sure if that's a huge problem.
 

MyWay2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for May/June 2019
I think Pamplona is a great place to start. However, I'd point out that the downhill part after Alto de Perdon is one of the challenging downhill sections of the Camino Frances. You don't want to ruin your knees on day 1 or 2! You could go to Zariquiegui, stay the night, and probably arrange a taxi on to Uterga the next day. As others have pointed out, a guide book will be helpful to show you where you might need to take alternative routes or transport. it certainly can be done. Taxis will be available when necessary.

Definitely use poles, a light pack, and take your time.
Thanks so much. I do like the idea of using taxis so i can still see the scenary and visit all the towns even if not walking a particular section. Poles sounds great.
 

MyWay2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for May/June 2019
  • The descent from the Napoleon Route into Roncesvalles. Easily dealt with by walking the completely delightful Valcarlos route.
  • The descent into Zubiri is also not so fun - you can go on the road, but be careful.
  • The descent from the Alto to Perdon is a killer - not so steep, but you're walking on rocks and loose rubble. Agree entirely with @C clearly.
  • The descent into Acebo after the Cruz de Fero. Not so bad as after the Alto de Perdon, but similar.
  • The descent into Molinaseca (after Acebo) - I didn't think this was as horrible as others have found it, but it was dry. And it is steep and rocky in places. You can get a taxi...
Yes, on the Frances, with only a few exceptions, eg, the 17 kms after Carrion de los Condes. But it's completely flat.

God forbid. Just take a mobile, and call the universal emergency number. You'll get help in a hurry.


Wise pilgrim Guides, Brierley. Both are here in the Forum Store.

Buen Camino, @MyWay2019 !
Thanks so much. This is so helpful. I will definitely skip all those downhills as it would be too much for sure.
 

MyWay2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for May/June 2019
I'm hardly a gazelle, but I'm always surprised to hear it described as steep or hard.
That downhill on the other side, OTOH...oooo...grf. The first time was the worst because I wasn't prepared. For some reason, expecting it made the descent much easier. Slow and steady and it's fine.
Downhill sounds brutal even for the fit and able!
 

MyWay2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for May/June 2019
Somebody posted a screenshot from gronze.com, a superb on line guide book. It will show you all the grades, towns, and albergues with distances. It's in Spanish only, but if you access it from a chrome browser, it will translate it just fine.

What you want to do can be done with some planning and a handful of cheap taxi rides through the worst sections.

Buen Camino!
That's great thank you. This guidebook looks great. Thanks so much for the encouragement. So glad to hear from you and others that this is possible.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
My Tricky descents
Alto de Perdon - the down side is steep and covered in round boulders
From Acebo to Molinesica (see the image below) rocky, steep - needs concentration and 2 poles, I see someone else mentioned from Cruz Ferro to Acebo, below that isnt any better, I found it worse (may have something to do with tired feet by that stage). I wish I had taken a photo of the descent from Alto de Perdon.
The hill out of Castrojerez is a bit rough of the knees, concrete but quite steep. the up is fine, the down needs poles for knees.
There were tricky slatey bits on the way into Samos as well, but not for very far - it was also raining hard, so that probably added to the general slipperiness.
Zubiru has ridges of limestone down the track
Down into Roncesvalles was fine, but I walked down the road.

For maps showing terrain I found the best option was the small Michelin guide book. Small enough to put in your shorts pocket with decent sized maps and a useful key for stops.
There are a few long stretches and if you know where they are you could taxi across two days, starting where you left off or bus the whole way. For instance after Carrion there is a long stretch but it is flat.

Walking poles are brilliant, worth learning how to use them
I found it useful to to ask for ice (cafes will give you ice in a bag)20170610_073718.jpg
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
That's great thank you. This guidebook looks great. Thanks so much for the encouragement. So glad to hear from you and others that this is possible.
It's actually a website

 

MyWay2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for May/June 2019
It's actually a website

Thanks
 

MyWay2019

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for May/June 2019
My Tricky descents
Alto de Perdon - the down side is steep and covered in round boulders
From Acebo to Molinesica (see the image below) rocky, steep - needs concentration and 2 poles, I see someone else mentioned from Cruz Ferro to Acebo, below that isnt any better, I found it worse (may have something to do with tired feet by that stage). I wish I had taken a photo of the descent from Alto de Perdon.
The hill out of Castrojerez is a bit rough of the knees, concrete but quite steep. the up is fine, the down needs poles for knees.
There were tricky slatey bits on the way into Samos as well, but not for very far - it was also raining hard, so that probably added to the general slipperiness.
Zubiru has ridges of limestone down the track
Down into Roncesvalles was fine, but I walked down the road.

For maps showing terrain I found the best option was the small Michelin guide book. Small enough to put in your shorts pocket with decent sized maps and a useful key for stops.
There are a few long stretches and if you know where they are you could taxi across two days, starting where you left off or bus the whole way. For instance after Carrion there is a long stretch but it is flat.

Walking poles are brilliant, worth learning how to use them
I found it useful to to ask for ice (cafes will give you ice in a bag)View attachment 53460
Thanks so much. From what that photo shows, that is way too hard for my injuries. Would need to take the transport option. SO good to know this ahead of time, thank you
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis
I'm 54 with similar -- and I think you'll actually end up surprising yourself and doing more than your projected 5 to 10 K, and if 1) you stick to the Camino Frances inside Spain (so start closer to Santiago than SJPP), and 2) you make sure to carry sleeping kit for those times when you simply get stuck somewhere from the pain, you should be fine.

Especially I think you'll do better on the hiking than you fear -- but do grab a pair of knee braces to provide the extra support, and be prepared for needing some emergency adaptations on the Way ; I found on my 2014 when these problems were at my personal worst that my 5 to 10 K days were rare, and mostly towards the beginning of that Camino. The longer stages also tend to be fairly flat, and with fewer difficulties than most ; though there are some exceptions on the two mountain sections towards Galicia. There's one notably difficult descent after the Cruz de Ferro ...
 
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Felipe

Veteran Member
Two issues you have to consider. Unless you walk very slowly, you will end your stage before midday. But many albergues don't receive walkers before 2 PM. Some private ones could be more flexible.
Also, you will be in the albergues many hours, with not much to do, even after getting some rest, doing the laundry, etc. And many end of stages are in little villages. So, you will need to think beforehand how you will spend your evenings -cooking, reading, and so.
Buen camino!
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
... 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? ...
You can find the contour / profile of the Camino Frances in the resource section as well (download-button on the right):

Probably the most important tips are already here in the thread. Maybe there are additional hints in this old thread:
 
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Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
The final section of the Camino from Sarria on has good accommodation every 10 kms or so. In the earlier sections you might need to arrange pick-ups and drop-offs each day if you want to stick to 10k max. I met a couple of people with problem joints who did this - apparently taxis are not hard to arrange - they will pick you up, take you to an accommodation off track whenever needed and bring you back to the same spot the next day. However, it might be easier start with the final section - from Sarria - do your 100 k, get your Compostella and see how you feel? The rest of the track will always be there - you can come back once you have had a feel of the road.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2014
Pamplona to Santiago 2017
Norte. 2018
I too have severe knee problems and I’m 70 and getting ready for Camino #4. Have you tried the gel injections in your knees. They have kept me walking for 14 years.
Start packing, find comfortable shoes, get walking poles and just start walking around your neighborhood (your neighbors stop staring after awhile when you tell them where you are going). You’ll be surprised how your distance increases. Set a goal to walk to- I started just trying to get to the closest Starbucks and now I have about 5 I walk to different distance apart.
There are some serious down hills but many times you can walk on the road, which can be more dangerous, but I felt I was safer because the risk of falling was less.
The 17km stretch from Carrion is long but ask around as there is is a guy with a horse cart that will take you and the steep uphill to OCebreiro you can ride a horse. And ship your pack ahead as it is very easy.
Start planning and you will love it. 2081230C-DD0E-4B90-88AF-8EA5E28044CA.jpegB20F025B-6393-4E28-ADC6-A99E1BFF453C.jpeg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Ruta Asturianos Lebaniego / Apr 2018 Asturias / May 2016 CP: Portuguese
From Acebo to Molinesica (see the image below) rocky, steep - needs concentration and 2 poles...up is fine, the down needs poles for knees...Walking poles are brilliant, worth learning how to use them... 👍
View attachment 53460
@MyWay2019,
First off Welcome, from someone who prefers no more than 10-13km a day. Because of this, we stayed at many places, not listed in any guidebooks and this was lovely (well, barring 2 iffy stays). I did my 1st Camino at 59 years without special training (not advising that). I regularly walk, take the stairs multiple times daily and bike ride a one speed Beach Cruiser with my dog. I consider myself to be in relatively 'good shape'. That said, I carried 1 collapsible walking pole and am so glad I had that! Going up then down a mountain in Portugal named La Bruja (the witch) that is the same as that which @Anamiri posted, is when I first realized "Hey, my knee hurts"! The rest of my Camino, I had my knee wrapped for support. Because of this we took buses a few times and truly enjoyed the scenery. I really hope you DO Camino and take it at your own pace. 😉
 

Old Git

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 Portuguese
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
Hi peregrino I sympathize with you ive got a rebuild on 2 knees a shoulder, back and a foot (mis spent youth haha) Last year I did the Portuguese route averaging 15 km with plenty of bar stops for ice to cool the joints.
There is no shame in using a bus just listen to your body it will tell you when you have done enough for the day. If the medical aspect becomes serious dial 112 which is the emergency number.
Buen camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Part of (2018)
Primitivo (2019)
Finistere (2019)
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
You've chosen a good place to tackle matters life in its various expressions. I've walked the last 165kms of the Frances over 11 days last year with a Christian friend. I was then 58. My pace was slow as my right knee carries and old sports injury from my civilian army days. My friend was very patient with my 3kms per hour progress. Struggles you will encounter along the way. The other side of the experience however is the faces, places and open spaces that you meet along the way and a deep work within yourself as you wrestle with life's stuff and receive guidance and solutions in the simplicity of the multiple daily experiences.
Folk have given you excellent advice in the previous responses to your question. Go most definitely and add to the narrative of your life in most remarkable setting. Enjoy the journey.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
You've chosen a good place to tackle matters life in its various expressions. I've walked the last 165kms of the Frances over 11 days last year with a Christian friend. I was then 58. My pace was slow as my right knee carries and old sports injury from my civilian army days. My friend was very patient with my 3kms per hour progress. Struggles you will encounter along the way. The other side of the experience however is the faces, places and open spaces that you meet along the way and a deep work within yourself as you wrestle with life's stuff and receive guidance and solutions in the simplicity of the multiple daily experiences.
An excellent contribution, thank you !!

One particular difficulty of the slowest and fastest walkers alike is simply in never really seeing many of the same faces much more than one day to the next, and then poof! they're gone, either way ahead or way behind.

But it's definitely not the heart of the pilgrimage, nor even is the walking, but it is the land and the people and the Spirit. The others that you meet along the Way are the guides to help take you into Him.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May / Jun 2015
Camino Frances Oct / Nov 2016
Camino Frances May June 2018
CF(2020)
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
Greetings, and buen camino. You have received a lot of very good advice from other members. I would like to add my few cents worth. First, and foremost, as others have opined, THIS IS YOUR CAMINO, DO IT YOUR WAY. Here is a personal example. Prior to May, 2015, the start of my first Camino when I was closer to 71 than 70, I had been corresponding with a fellow pilgrim-to-be, Stephen. He was my age, and in great physical shape, except for his knees, which had suffered a lot of damage due to college football. We were to meet in Roncevalles and start our hike together. From the get-go it was apparent he could not sustain anything more than about 10-12 km / day. While at Roncevalles Stephen met Pepe, a Spanish national our general age that did not speak any English. Stephen's Spanish was limited to "hola, si, gracias, and buen camino". Yet he and Pepe quickly formed a friendship.

After about 10-12 km a day, they took public transportation to the next destination, staying in municipal albergues, seeing the local sights, doing what pilgrims do. Pepe's home was somewhere about halfway between SJPPdP and Santiago. He and Stephen took a couple of days, spending time with Pepe's family, who, like Pepe, spoke no English. Yet they enjoyed their time together.

I was fortunate to meet up with Stephen and Pepe several times during that hike. They had the true spirit of the Camino. At the end, they walked the last 10km into Santiago. They did not get a compostala, but they did get the spirit of the Camino, the true reason for walking and sharing, experiencing the Camino at their own pace. It was their Camino.

Do it your way. Buen Camino.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
Hi MyWay2019 -

I can sympathise with you regarding your leg problems - mine are very similar.

On the subject of the ascent and descent from the Alto de Person - last year I took ages to walk the path up to the Alto de Perdon - I used the steel tips on the hiking poles and kept to the left - the high side - on the very steep parts. The soil seemed a bit softer here and the pole was able to get greater purchase into the ground so I was able to anchor myself more.

I chose to walk the slow winding road down from the summit. I believe it added around 4km to the walk to Uterga. I was much happier taking this route rather than risk slipping on the loose stones on the path down from the summit and also putting a lot of pressure on my weak left knee. It was easy following the road down and eventually I saw the sign to Uterga and made my way there. At one point there's an option to go left or right - no signage there - so I used logic and took the road to the left. No worries.

I walked with a hiking trailer which worked really well - all that weight off my body was fantastic. You might want to look into investing in a hiking trailer if your funds permit that. There are threads on both commercially available and DYI hiking trailers on this Forum which will give you tons of information.

Buen Camino!
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

BPG2017

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
My two cents' worth:

Do book ahead. You'll arrive at your destinations early enough, but still, you might find that they are booked up. You don't want to have to walk an extra 7 km. or have to call a taxi at that point!

Bring a Kindle reader with plenty of books. You'll have plenty of time to fill!
 

mikebet

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
I like Hurry Krishna's suggstion to start from Sarria and do the last section into Santiago. That will give you a taste of the Camino on a segment where there are lots of albergues, hotels, cafes, and public transportation should you need it. After arriving at Santiago you can always hop on a bus to go to another starting point anywhere along the route if you feel up to it. Use a pack forwarding service to lighten your load, take a couple of poles for steep descents, and stop often. I think a lot of first-timers (me included) tend to see this walk as a challenge rather than the memorably wonderful experience that it is and should be. Suffering may have spiritual benefits, but at 73 I've already had a full measure of hardships and will not hesitate to take measures necessary to keep my enjoyment meter at the high end of the scale.
 

Karl G

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2019 - Somport to Santiago de Compostela
As a choice of guidebook I recommend considering the Rother Guide. A really nice feature is the graphic of each stage which includes the key locations before and after. This makes piecing together non-standard stages pretty straightforward. The graphic also includes distances at the top and symbols so you know at a glance what amenities are available ahead and how far off they are.
 

Attachments

Thundrla

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014)
Muxia (2014)
Frances (2017)
Finisterre (2017 - 2x)
Portuguese (2018)
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
For reference I'm 65, but with none of the issues you refer to. If I did have those aches and pains, I'd SERIOUSLY consider starting in Pamplona. That would take out the Pyrenees with its very steep descent at the end of day one, as well as the very steep descent into Zubiri on day 2.

From Pamplona you would have a more gentle start, except for the steep (but shorter) descent after about 12 km.

From Pamplona on there are not many places where you would have to walk more than 5 to 7 km between sleeping spots, and by then you would have a better idea of how your body was responding,
 

BShea

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(9/2013) Le Puy
(5/2015) CF
(5/2016) Le Puy
(5/2017) CF
(9/2017) Le Puy
(9/2019) RL Stevenson
My favorite resource for planning: https://godesalco.com/plan/frances. The first step is to choose where you want to start and end your camino. The second page shows you distances between each village and what type of accommodations are available. When you've planned it all out, you can print out your stages as well as the profile maps. Hope this helps. Buen camino!
 

treefrogs

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2013 Portuguese) , June 2019 Frances
I'm also 57 with arthritic knees. This June will be my 2nd Camino. I have my pack transported each day to lessen the load on my joints. I also swear by my poles. I've been hiking with them everywhere for 8 years and they allow me to go further and do harder treks than I could consider without them. I use Urban Poles as there is no wrist strap, so if you fall your hands are free. It's crucial to use them properly and be well used to them before you go. They become part of you with time. And I've had the same pair for many thousands of kms.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
These are all useful questions for older hikers and/or those with physical limitations. I’m both of these— lol.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Primitivo, Oct 2019
Hi MyWay2019 -

I can sympathise with you regarding your leg problems - mine are very similar.

On the subject of the ascent and descent from the Alto de Person - last year I took ages to walk the path up to the Alto de Perdon - I used the steel tips on the hiking poles and kept to the left - the high side - on the very steep parts. The soil seemed a bit softer here and the pole was able to get greater purchase into the ground so I was able to anchor myself more.

I chose to walk the slow winding road down from the summit. I believe it added around 4km to the walk to Uterga. I was much happier taking this route rather than risk slipping on the loose stones on the path down from the summit and also putting a lot of pressure on my weak left knee. It was easy following the road down and eventually I saw the sign to Uterga and made my way there. At one point there's an option to go left or right - no signage there - so I used logic and took the road to the left. No worries.

I walked with a hiking trailer which worked really well - all that weight off my body was fantastic. You might want to look into investing in a hiking trailer if your funds permit that. There are threads on both commercially available and DYI hiking trailers on this Forum which will give you tons of information.

Buen Camino!
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
😲 There's a road???!!!?? I looked for one & didn't see it.
 

Moorwalker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
none yet
There is lots of good advice from people who know the way first hand, which I do not. But I do have experience of having my knee replaced and it's also possible to repair the sort of problem you describe. The surgery is not easy, but after 18 months my replacement knee is near perfect and i can now walk without pain over much greater distances than I have done for a long time.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Primitivo, Oct 2019
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
Yikes! I know how all that feels. First of all what I would say is spend these weeks before your Camino building up the strength in you legs as much as possible. The loose rocky terrain is really off-putting on the downhill sections, more strength in the legs will just give you more confidence in those sections, which in most cases are not steep at all, just very unstable. A couple of YouTube physiotherapists (Bob & Brad) have some good advice on helpful exercises.

Now here's the thing about using a pack transport service. While it takes a lot of extra stress off your knees, when you get tired or are in too much pain to continue for the rest of the day, or just find a really nice albergue where you'd like to stay, your pack may be someplace else further along. Or you might send your pack along to a place where you really don't want to stat at all. I've decided to bust down to a 30 litre pack (some can work with 25 litres), no more than 7 kg. And to hike with it as much as possible before I leave again.

The only steep downhill in the Pyrenees is that last (2k?) section to Roncesvalles, but there is a road option (think it adds an extra 4k) that's kind of winding but not too steep. Orisson was closed when I went, so the pack transport in SJPP took some of us up to La Vierge d'Biakorri, which took 10k off the walk. But there was still another 20 or so to go, although on very easy terrain.

The issue with steep (& rocky) downhill sections is that they're usually more remote, and if there is a road alternative it's one with a lot of switchbacks that make it dangerous to walk along, as was the case from Alto d'Erro into Zubiri. Cars were racing up and down the road like mad, so I continued along the path, at about 1k an hour!

Which leads to the next thing to think about - the lack of public transport on the weekends. The majority of the small towns and village do have bus service, but not on a Sunday. Nothing like sitting at a bus stop in the pouring rain knowing you have another 10k to go through a forest on rocky terrain.

Eventually it dawned on me that I needed to plan my Camino more carefully than most. Really checking the nearby roads, finding out about regional bus service when I was in the larger towns, getting the number of a taxi service before I left the albergue in the morning (they often have to come from 10 - 15k away, so it can be quite expensive).

And check out the Village to Village Guide. You can download it onto the Kindle app on your phone (less weight). It lists almost all the albergues you'll pass along the way, with contact numbers.
 
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cbacino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
Trekking poles will take considerable weight off your feet, knees, and legs. They are specially helpful on the downhills.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I think you should contact one of the companies that do Camino tours. They can arrange pack transfer, accomodations, and might be able to work out an itinerary for you.
 

CatherineAnn

CF summer 2016
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012)
Camino Frances (2016)
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
I would start in Pamplona, get Pacer Poles, use a pack service, and take transportation when needed. Get some of the tape to support your knees on the downhill. Be careful of taking Spanish ibuprofen as it’s stronger and can be hard on the liver. I found liniments and topical pain relievers worked well. Pacer poles are like using canes and offer support to all the joints. Google if interested, they are in the UK.

Buen Camino!
 

Rob_Shill_Wales_UK

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019- will it be my year for the Camino- I certainly hope so!
Hi,

on this website you can check the distances between each stop on the CF. As far as I know there are two stages, where one has to cover more than 10 km, because there is no village to stay overnight.

Orisson - Roncevalles 17 km (check Express Bourricot for transport) or start at Pamplona, then you can skip that part at the beginning altogether, because it's steep up- and downhill. I'm still debating with myself whether or not to do that too).

Carrión de los Condes - Calzadilla de la Cueza 17,5 km

There are also some other stages where the distance is about 12 to 13 km.

About the practical aspects later on I've got no experience, but I'm interested in those as well.
What an excellent website! I am going to be a short distance walker on the Camino. Its definitely not about the destination - its all about the journey. By my planning judgements, it will take me almost 3 months. I plan however on starting in the High Pyrenees and i want to end up in Fisterra. Good luck with your planning!
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Camino(s) past & future
The Frances from Pamplona and part VF, first-aid helper and hospitalera
😲 There's a road???!!!?? I looked for one & didn't see it.
Hi gerip - yep - there's a road - a long and winding one - which will get you to Uterga. If you remember the steep path down was opposite the beautiful pilgrim statues ... you cross a quiet road to get over to that path. That is the road which will take you down the hill and on to Uterga.
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

Patrick Neary

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, (2018)
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
You got great advice here already; let me re-emphasize it. My wife and I walked SJPdP to Santiago last May, averaging between 10-15 kilometers a day. We were in great shape, but were challenged like you by downhill segments.
1) Start in Pamplona. No sense ruining your entire camino with a bad day one/two. At the very least go along the road, not the Route Napoleon.
2) Learn to use poles: they provide stability and lessen the shock on your knees/legs.
3) Guidebooks and websites can help you plan ahead a day or two at a time. Use them and send your gear forward so you can focus on your hiking. The Brierly guide is useful, but NOT for its slope data: it makes everything look less steep than it is. There are more literal ups and down than you can imagine on the camino.
4) At 10 kilometers a day, you're looking at 80 days for the JPdP-Santiago! This almost guarantees some inclement weather, which can really be a problem. We faced daily rain last May, which turned those loose rock downhill paths into small streams: very dangerous. You need to find ways to shorten the trip.
5) Plan rest days in big cities. Lots of things to do, easy to rest. Also, consider using buses/trains heading into and out of such cities. Its a good way to skip some distance, much or which is suburban which we found boring.
6) Use the horses heading up to O'Cebreiro. Just do it! I think there was a horse wagon somewhere on the Meseta, too. Fun and a nice break.
Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Hi new friends, I'm completely new to this forum and to long distance hiking in general. I'm age 57 with advanced osteoarthritis of patellofemoral joints (under patellas), but main knee joints are mostly fine. I am at a turning point in life and would like to walk the Camino Frances to help me process my new situation and restart in life. However I would need to limit each day to no more than 10km and maybe have some rest days as well. I am ok walking uphill and on the flat up to 10 km max to keep swelling down, but downhill is very painful and causes significant swelling due to bone on bone action of maligned patella's on bottom of femur (cartilage worn out). I don't have a time limit for completing the trail. For me it is more important to respect my physical limitations and care for my body along the way. I was wondering if someone might be so kind as to advise me on the following, along with any other thoughts you might have that could help me protect my knees please. 1. Are there any sections that have long and/or steep descents and which can be skipped in some way such as by using a bus or alternative route? 2. Are there accomodation options along the trail (especially low cost options) within approximately 10 kms of each other or less, so that I could do these shorter days? 3. How do you call for medical assistance along the trail between towns if there is a significant injury? 4, Where could I find a good resource that shows the accomodation options and also the contour and surface type of the trail? Thank you everyone, I really appreciate your guidance.
this website, recommended above, https://godesalco.com/plan/frances is much mre than what appears at first glance: It is an excellent planning resource: Here, you can set your starting and ending points, and then choose daily etappas, with indications of what sleeping alternatives exist at each place,, you can produce maps with daily ascents/descents, elevations, distances m.m.

Have fun playing with it!

And last but not least:

Buen Camino! You will be fine. Just take care.
 

DevereUx

Devereaux
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept-Oct 2018
Several people have suggested using trekking poles. I agree 100%!
If used correctly, it will,save your legs. Watch several different videos on how to use and then practice, practice, practice. Here's a good video on YouTube:
There are others. But, make sure you know how to use them. On my Camino, I saw some 60% of walkers with poles use them incorrectly.
 

Delphinoula

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C Franconia 2019
Camino desde Algeciras Sevillia (2019)
Aches, poles and knees. Here is the summery two oldish retired police officers from France told me in Santiago after their walk from Bordeaux:” You do not walk with your legs but with your head.”and let me add with your heart. What I saw in Portugal on my Camino. Volenti nihil dificilis est. Plan, prepare and don’t listen to that inner critic. Bon Camino.
 

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