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Advice in walking with grandmother

debra

Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
hello

At this time in my grandmothers life she is in need of a goal that doesn't end when my grandfather dies. It has been suggested that I take six and walk the Camino with her carrying a good part of her things as well as my own. She mainly carrying rain poncho, camera, water, medicine, and blood sugar tester.
She can walk 10-15 km a day under a light load. Her or we taking a bus for the hard parts like the climb to O cebriero. At 84 she does not really care about taking some stages by bus to save her body strain.

Rough thought is go late April/may for good weather.
Fly to London relax for a few days
Fly to Madrid and bus to Leon
Start walking
Plan walking of about 30 days so looking at 300-375km
At Santiago fly back to London
Relax in London for a few days
Fly back to San Francisco

Is this a crazy plan?
I walked the Camino in college 2010. Can we plan on finding alburges at every 10-15 km after Leon? Is there a better starting point with a bus forward bit. She is interested in see architecture and the culture. I know that May is very busy but we can walk in the heat of summer, and spring sounds nicer than fall for walking.


Thank you for your advice
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
This is not a crazy plan. I have walked with my 85 year old father-in-law after serious spinal surgery. It gave him something to work towards (although as he lay at death’s door it seemed an impossible goal!)
If getting to Santiago on foot is not important I would suggest starting in Pamplona and seeing how far you get. The scenery is delightful and there is some good architecture along the way.
If Santiago matters, then Leon is a great place to start!
Will you blog? I am trying to convince my f-i-l he can manage another walk with shorter stages like you are suggesting!
 
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SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
@debra : All the best ! I think it is a splendid plan.
Leon as a starting point sounds wonderful. That way you can still experience a bit of the Meseta.
If the budget is a bit flexible then taking a taxi from point A to B is an option too.
And don't forget that a double room in a pension/ hostal is sometimes the same price as a bunkbed in an albergue.

Ultreia!!
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Here is some further info for planning your journey.

Following the camino leaving Leon can be dreary. However, it is only 7 km to La Virgen del Camino and an extraordinary 20th century church. The town is named for a famous 15th century figure of the Virgin holding the dead body of Christ. Today the figure is in a splendid church designed in the 1960s by a Dominican monk, Francisco Coello, a follower of the Brutalist style of Le Corbusier. Located directly on the Camino Frances at Av Astorga, 87, in the midst of chaotic suburb the church is a superbly maintained architectural gem as well as a haven of peace. Be sure to enter it; the calm interior is splendidly lit with deep chrome yellow glass.

Opposite the church you can choose to either continue on the main camino which parallels the highway or pick up the peaceful alternative camino route going slightly southwest towards Villar de Mazarife. It is always very pleasant to escape the N120 highway noise and suburban sprawl while crossing wide flat plains up to V de M where there are several pilgrim albergues and regular accommodation. From V d M the alternative camino continues to Hospital de Órbigo to rejoin the main CF. You can read more about the alternative more rural route in this earlier Forum thread .

Hospital de Orbigo offers many accommodation options; my favorite is the Albergue Verde. They accept reservations and offer wonderful group meals each evening. Leaving HdO turn right to follow the camino towards Astorga via Santibanez de Valdeiglesias on a wonderful rolling rural path.

Carpe diem and Buen camino to you both!
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Albergue Leo in Villafranca and the private one in Trabadelo (will have to look up the name) would be great places to stay and comfortable for an older pilgrim.
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
Actually, unless London is a particular interest to either of you, I would omit that stop. Heathrow is awful, and London is expensive. Plus transiting airports is not exactly relaxing, whether young or old. How about relaxing for a few days in Madrid instead? Or even side trips to Barcelona or Seville?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF
I love the idea and wish it were an option still for me to walk with mine! One of my thoughts for you is that the weather in any part of April may be quite wet still, especially as you enter Galicia and towards SDC. Perhaps researching historic average rainfall from Leon onwards would give insight to the best combination of dry but not too hot. By May most Albergues should be open so with a little fore planning you should find a bed at the right interval. It might be worth it to call ahead to private Albergues to make reservations so you take away some uncertainty. My last thought (that I’m sure you’ve already considered) is to not be shy about the occasional use of a bus/taxi if the intervals are too great for your Grandmother.

I wish you both a very Buen Camino.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
No, your plan is not crazy. I wish my 85-year old mother would indicate a similar interest. I would do this for her in a heartbeat. I believe she can walk the final 118 Km from Sarria, but whatever...

Here are several suggestions that come to mind...

- Use a mochila transport service to move a piece of rolling luggage from one night's stop to another. These services are VERY well developed along the Camino Frances. Each night's segment usually costs about €7, mas o menas...

- Reserve accommodation ahead using booking. com or gronze.com (Spanish only)

- Place the medical devices and anything not absolutely needed for a day hike in the luggage. It will be waiting for you when you arrive. IMHO, mom should have to carry only snacks, water, essential medications, and a poncho or sun / rain gear. You could carry everything else needed between nightly stops.

- Whether mom wants to or not, get her walking sticks / poles, and train to use them whole at home. Get rubber tips to cover the tungsten tips. it can make the difference between doing it and not, and will give her a lot more confidence walking over uneven surfaces. Falling is NOT a good thing...

- Make absolutely certain that mom has properly fitted hiking shoes or boots, with appropriate socks. Keep her feet happy and the rest of her has a chance...

You can find further information and advice about each of these subjects here in the forum. Use the search function located at the top right of this page..

I hope this helps.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
hello

At this time in my grandmothers life she is in need of a goal that doesn't end when my grandfather dies. It has been suggested that I take six and walk the Camino with her carrying a good part of her things as well as my own. She mainly carrying rain poncho, camera, water, medicine, and blood sugar tester.
She can walk 10-15 km a day under a light load. Her or we taking a bus for the hard parts like the climb to O cebriero. At 84 she does not really care about taking some stages by bus to save her body strain.

Rough thought is go late April/may for good weather.
Fly to London relax for a few days
Fly to Madrid and bus to Leon
Start walking
Plan walking of about 30 days so looking at 300-375km
At Santiago fly back to London
Relax in London for a few days
Fly back to San Francisco

Is this a crazy plan?
I walked the Camino in college 2010. Can we plan on finding alburges at every 10-15 km after Leon? Is there a better starting point with a bus forward bit. She is interested in see architecture and the culture. I know that May is very busy but we can walk in the heat of summer, and spring sounds nicer than fall for walking.


Thank you for your advice
Hi, Debra,
First let me say that your grandmother is most lucky to have you as a granddaughter. I think this will be an amazing time for you both.

Since you have walked the Camino Francés already, you probably have a good handle on what to expect. Since 2010, the main change you will probably see is many more albergues and private accommodations and also many more people. To get a specific and accurate idea of whether there are places every 10-15 km after León (my sense is that it's probably close to that), you should look at gronze's website. In my experience they have the most up to date information on accommodations. https://www.gronze.com/camino-frances

I agree with your sense that spring is a nicer time to walk than fall, but I may be biased in that I prefer the blaze of color in spring to the brown of fall.

I also think that, depending on your grandma's interests and travel history, there might be nicer places to relax than London. León itself is a beautiful city, lots of nice things to see and neighborhoods to explore, and it would be the least crazy urban place of the other possibilities.

Knowing that transportation (for both your grandmother and her pack) is readily available really should take a lot of the need to plan out of things.

Lots of us wish you a wonderful camino and would love to hear how things go as you prepare and then ultimately walk with your grandmother. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Micah26

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2018)
Dear Debra,
You are doing what I wish I could have done with my own mom. Mom was a walker all her life even the last month of her life she struggled to walk a little ride a little as I faithfully walked 5 miles a day training for the Camino.
I have no good advice to give about where to start or routes. However, go at her speed take a day off here and there if needed and enjoy all the history and culture along the way. Blessings to you both!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Albergue Leo in Villa Franca and the private one in Trabadelo (will have to look up the name) would be great places to stay and comfortable for an older pilgrim.
We stayed at Albergue Leo and liked it but contact them. I think they have something else in town a bit more posh. I don't remember the name of it though.

Consider carrying a folding stool for your grandmother. Perhaps a sheet too for privacy if needed along the way. Some training walks beforehand would let you know if these are necessary, nice, or not needed.
 

debra

Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
Thank you all for replying.

The main reason for London is that she enjoys the U.K. And the great flight prices there. Madrid is about two times the cost of a flight to London.

As to paying daily for bag service I will look in to it but from having gone before I know that carrying the bag gives more flexibility in walking distance for the day/stopping earlier.

A odd question if anyone knows, how hard is it to get blood sugar testing strips in Spain on the Camino if she ends up needing to test more often than normal?

A second stating point I looked at is Burgos with planing on busing Cruz de ferro hill and o cebriere hill.
Would it be a better plan to walk the Portugal route? That is looking bad as at the 400km mark the places to stay are to far apart

Thank you again for all your help.
Debra
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
A second stating point I looked at is Burgos with planing on busing Cruz de ferro hill and o cebriere hill.
[EDIT: It appears from the Hotel Jakue webpage that the rafting trip I mention below is no longer being offered.]

Your mentioning the hills brought up a thought. Just in case you decide to start from Pamplona you can avoid the Alto Del Perdon by taking a raft trip around the mountain. The Hotel Jakue has a Pamplona to Puente de Reina trip. Their webpage (in Spanish) is http://www.chofert.com/detalle/paseo-fluvial-camino-de-santigo-pamplona-puente-la-reina-barcas-raft-rally-fotográfico and a Google translation is at https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http://www.chofert.com/detalle/paseo-fluvial-camino-de-santigo-pamplona-puente-la-reina-barcas-raft-rally-fotogr%C3%A1fico&edit-text=&act=url
 
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Sharonih

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
hello

At this time in my grandmothers life she is in need of a goal that doesn't end when my grandfather dies. It has been suggested that I take six and walk the Camino with her carrying a good part of her things as well as my own. She mainly carrying rain poncho, camera, water, medicine, and blood sugar tester.
She can walk 10-15 km a day under a light load. Her or we taking a bus for the hard parts like the climb to O cebriero. At 84 she does not really care about taking some stages by bus to save her body strain.


That sounds like a fabulous plan and what a wonderful thing to share with your Grandma, with the ability to send bags ahead, booking places to sleep and also listen to the Camino and your Grandma you will have a fantastic trip. My Dad is 90 and the walking would not be a problem with him so age is not a factor. That being said if at some point your Grandma or yourself say that is enough then listen and have a sweet back up plan for your time in Europe.
 

marylynn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18-(19) CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
A second stating point I looked at is Burgos with planing on busing Cruz de ferro hill and o cebriere hill.

I thought your plan to start in Leon was an excellent idea, but now I think that starting in Burgos is even better. Accommodations are plentiful and the terrain is not particularly challenging at the beginning, and you can bus or taxi around or through the difficult parts (Alto de Mostelares after Castrojeriz, Cruz de Ferro, the walk into El Acebo and Molinaseca, O'Cebreiro, etc .) After several days, you will probably have your routines and walking pace in place, and know your/her limits. It will be a wonderful experience for both of you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Thank you all for replying.

The main reason for London is that she enjoys the U.K. And the great flight prices there. Madrid is about two times the cost of a flight to London.

As to paying daily for bag service I will look in to it but from having gone before I know that carrying the bag gives more flexibility in walking distance for the day/stopping earlier.

A odd question if anyone knows, how hard is it to get blood sugar testing strips in Spain on the Camino if she ends up needing to test more often than normal?

A second stating point I looked at is Burgos with planing on busing Cruz de ferro hill and o cebriere hill.
Would it be a better plan to walk the Portugal route? That is looking bad as at the 400km mark the places to stay are to far apart

Thank you again for all your help.
Debra
Wow, when I looked at your post there were no replies, and look now! You are so lucky, to have this chance. If it does interest you to start near Pamplona, the bus station is where you can take a local bus to Puente La Reina, about half an hour...
Your gran is going to be in great hands. Buen Camino!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
The advice and options presented above are all good. I also think your overall goal is excellent - the planning and preparation for a camino make a very healthy life style in themselves, no matter how far on the Camino de Santiago one goes.
I'll add some comments...
  • Yes, train with poles. They are excellent aid for older people anyway. I fully expect to be using them regularly around home on my daily walks when I am 85.
  • Does your grandmother currently use a phone and text messaging? If not, you should include that in her training! Even if you are planning to be constantly together, I think it would be wise to have easy access to talk and text. You should have a smart phone with data so that you can make calls and reservations on the way. Maybe she can use whatever plan she is accustomed to at home, and accept the extra cost of a few international calls or text messages. I found that the Spanish plans did not necessarily include text phone messages, and I had to rely on WhatsApp or Facebook. Your grandmother may not be willing/able to learn them, but the basic phone text message are simpler and she can get used to them at home. If she's used to a smart phone and can use Facebook messenger, then getting her a SIM card with data in Spain would work. Nothing other than her phone number needs to change on her phone.
  • If you assume that you'll be staying in private accommodation (which seems appropriate to me), then you don't need sleeping bags. That should mean that you can carry quite much of your grandmother's load. I would prefer backpacks to a rolling suitcase even if I were using daily luggage transport. Your grandmother should use her good backpack for walking, as it would be properly fitted and comfortable. Something around 30L would be more than enough without a sleeping bag. Have an alternative light weight bag (even a large roll top dry bag would work) for bag transport if it is needed.
  • Personally I would skip the London stop on the way over. I think it would be very tiring in itself, you would be tempted to overdo things in London when you are jet-lagged, and you'd be tempted to bring extra clothes for London. I think it would be better to get quickly to your destination and relax there. Perhaps spend a couple of nights in Madrid to relax. Maybe do the stop in London on the way home.
  • I vote for the Burgos start, with the relatively easy days after it. Then you might want to identify a few stages in the rest of the journey that could be avoided if necessary. For example, the urban walk out of Leon (easy to take a city bus), the awful alternative through Viladangos (take the route through Mazarife), the steep/rocky walk from Acebo down to Molinaseca. Stay overnight in Vega de Valcarce or Herrerias so you are walking up to O'Cebreiro early in the day.
Good luck with this! What year are you thinking about?
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9 2011 (C.F 2015)
Plenty of good advice given.

Just one thing I would add. As we get older it takes our body (muscles etc.) a lot longer to recover from exercise. At the end of a day's walk your grandmother may need to just rest whilst you may still have energy to sight see.

Buen Camino to you both
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
Correos has great flat rate for transporting bag from Leon all the way to Santiago.

http://www.elcaminoconcorreos.com/en/transporte-mochilas.php
MY sister has blood pressure issues so we transported a bag with a blood pressure machine and a pulse-ox machine which came in handy on several occasions.

YOu may want to look at a site like booking.com. THere are
Lots of nice private accommodations including albergues listed. AS an older person she may appreciate sharing a private room.

You may well be able to manage going from Rabanal to El Acebo. The tougher part may be going down to Molinesca from there. We stayed on the road which was not well trafficked in March. You could always get a taxi from elAcebo to Molinesca if the traffic is heavy when you walk. THe road has quite a few steep curves so you would need to be very mindful of staying in view around the curves so that oncoming traffic both ways could see you.

Hiking poles were invaluable for stability, especially coming down the hills.

Wishing you a wonderful journey. I am sure it will be as meaningful for you as it will be for her!
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Albergue Leo in Villa Franca and the private one in Trabadelo (will have to look up the name) would be great places to stay and comfortable for an older pilgrim.
Casa Susi - has just 12 BEDS (not bunks) so agree good for older pilgrims...
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Wow, Debra I never cease to be amazed at (1) the people, old & young, who wish to walk the wilds of Spain; & (2) the truly fantastic advice that can be found on this forum. I know I have made this comment before but after 6 or so years I thought I had seen it all!!
Now to get to your queries: agree Leon is a good place to start. As day one is the testing day you & your gran could walk to La Virgen (I don't imagine you are going to experience the usual 6.30 am pilgrim starts), explore the church and then stop at albergue D. Antonino and head out the next day to Mazarife;
I do have some concerns about the descent into Molinaseca - you might wish to consider a taxi from Manjarin or Acebo;
Diabetic strips - I think you will have no problems Ponferrada is a large city (70,000 pop) and even Sarria should have a hospital or pharmacy that can supply your gran's needs;
Totally recommend Casa Susi (its owned and operated by a fantastic Australian woman who did much of the rebuild herself); the climb to O'Cebreiro might be another taxi consideration. Best wishes for a mucha Buen Camino.:)
 

Bob from L.A. !

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Go Grandma !!!!!!!!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
What do you all mean? That an older person will prefer private accommodation? ;-)
We just dragged our Grandpa/father-in-law to albergues and he loved it!
He would often take a nap on his lower bunk while we went out to find food and cook. Sometimes he surprised us and came out for an evening walk too!
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2017), Norte (2017), Frances (2017), Portugues (2018), La Plata (2018)
Hi!!

Your plan sounds great.

This about going first to London was looking me a little too comnplicated and tired, but you already explained the reason.

I would only add two ideas:
  • Book the albergues the previous day and require them a lower bed or even an individual bed if avalaible (many albergues have some).
  • Ask the ¨hospitaleros¨every day how difficult is the next journey. As you know some sectors are very difficult, with sloppy terrains, etc... better you skip by bus or taxi those complicated sections.
Basically the Camino goes quite in parallel with existing roads and the bus service between towns is quite cheap and good.

Buen Camino & Ultreia!!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
On our first camino we spent a week in Paris before walking and a week in London straight after (we were the only ones wearing pilgrim clothes on Fleet Street at 8am!!)
I would not try to convince you not to spend a few days in London especially if grandma likes London. Enjoy!!
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Casa Susi - has just 12 BEDS (not bunks) so agree good for older pilgrims...
Trabadelo ; Albergue Camino Y Leyenda is the albergue where we stayed. Several rooms there just for 2 in single beds. www.alberguecaminoyleyenda.com Lovely Spanish owners (2015) who served dinner and breakfast.

At Hostal San Martin in Leon nr. Cathedral we had twin room en suite. Beautiful room and very close to cafes etc for meals.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Definitely take bus to La Virgen del Camino to get out of Leon suburbs.
The Don Antonio albergue had very high top bunks and quite big shared dormitories. Lovely place but maybe not a good choice for an older person.
In Villarreal de Mazarife the San Antoniio de Padua had some twin rooms. Good meals there as well. (2015)
My husband (not walking with us) stayed at Villavante wwwmolinogalochas.com . My friend and I only called in for coffee but the owners were lovely (2015) and and their house is fascinating. They have albergue (shared) rooms but also private rooms in the house.
In El Acebo a good, modern hotel like albergue CASA DEL PEREGRINO with dormitory and private rooms en suite and they serve pilgrim meals.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Thank you all for replying.

The main reason for London is that she enjoys the U.K. And the great flight prices there. Madrid is about two times the cost of a flight to London.

As to paying daily for bag service I will look in to it but from having gone before I know that carrying the bag gives more flexibility in walking distance for the day/stopping earlier.

A odd question if anyone knows, how hard is it to get blood sugar testing strips in Spain on the Camino if she ends up needing to test more often than normal?

A second stating point I looked at is Burgos with planing on busing Cruz de ferro hill and o cebriere hill.
Would it be a better plan to walk the Portugal route? That is looking bad as at the 400km mark the places to stay are to far apart

Thank you again for all your help.
Debra
The Portuguese route has several hilly stretches. Moreover, the Porto to Santiago segment (internal route) has one REALLY steep climb up a large hill that has you clambering up a rocky path. It is only perhaps .5 Km long, but it is a doozie, especially for a more mature person.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Blood testing strips for glucose should be readily available at most any farmacia. However, if you use a tester device that requires very proprietary testing strips, you may have a problem finding a specific brand. If in doubt check to see if the device mom uses is distributed in the EU and specifically in Spain. The manufacturer will know.

Over the years, I have walked with several folks with diabetes, both Type I and II. I do not recall hearing about this issue being a problem.

All said, I will defer to others in the Forum with more direct knowledge.

Hope this helps.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
What do you all mean? That an older person will prefer private accommodation? ;-)
We just dragged our Grandpa/father-in-law to albergues and he loved it!
He would often take a nap on his lower bunk while we went out to find food and cook. Sometimes he surprised us and came out for an evening walk too!
It depends on the person. Some more senior walkers may happily share multi bunk, mixed dormitories, some may prefer a little privacy.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
It depends on the person. Some more senior walkers may happily share multi bunk, mixed dormitories, some may prefer a little privacy.
Absolutely! Spot on. I sensed an assumption that older people will want private lodgings so I wanted to offer the flip side - Grandpa LOVED the communal rooms and was highly amused by the 30-something chick who asked him to put her sheet on her bunk! But then he’s the kind of guy who would hate to go cruising because he’d be “stuck with all those old people”.
You never know, the Original Grandma in this thread might surprise us all by telling us she’s bought a pullalong trailer and is going to carry her own tent!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Trabadelo ; Albergue Camino Y Leyenda is the albergue where we stayed. Several rooms there just for 2 in single beds. www.alberguecaminoyleyenda.com Lovely Spanish owners (2015) who served dinner and breakfast.

At Hostal San Martin in Leon nr. Cathedral we had twin room en suite. Beautiful room and very close to cafes etc for meals.
Is that really the right link? I get ads for skin cream........
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Tried a quick search and like you I came up with various skin cream ads. However this albergue is listed on the Gronze list for Trabadelo and I believe it's open from April to October.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
What a wonderful thing for you to do with your grandmother! I hope to walk with my grandchildren one day, but my kids better get busy because I don't have any yet!:p
Here's an inspiring story of a 93 year old woman who walked from SJPDP to Santiago with here daughter: https://www.goanacortes.com/all_access/article_ebec5774-be72-11e7-80b8-5b4a77cf52cf.html


Your mentioning the hills brought up a thought. Just in case you decide to start from Pamplona you can avoid the Alto Del Perdon by taking a raft trip around the mountain. The Hotel Jakue has a Pamplona to Puente de Reina trip. Their webpage (in Spanish) is http://www.chofert.com/detalle/paseo-fluvial-camino-de-santigo-pamplona-puente-la-reina-barcas-raft-rally-fotográfico and a Google translation is at https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http://www.chofert.com/detalle/paseo-fluvial-camino-de-santigo-pamplona-puente-la-reina-barcas-raft-rally-fotogr%C3%A1fico&edit-text=&act=url
@Rick of Rick and Peg , I remember seeing that raft trip option last year, but on the web page it says that it ended in August of 2014.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I remember seeing that raft trip option last year, but on the web page it says that it ended in August of 2014.
I'm embarrassed; It is right on the page in big print. I saw a flyer for it a few years back and the webpage was up so I assumed they were still offering the service. I'll edit my previous post. Thank you.
 

Portach

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
hello

At this time in my grandmothers life she is in need of a goal that doesn't end when my grandfather dies. It has been suggested that I take six and walk the Camino with her carrying a good part of her things as well as my own. She mainly carrying rain poncho, camera, water, medicine, and blood sugar tester.
She can walk 10-15 km a day under a light load. Her or we taking a bus for the hard parts like the climb to O cebriero. At 84 she does not really care about taking some stages by bus to save her body strain.

Rough thought is go late April/may for good weather.
Fly to London relax for a few days
Fly to Madrid and bus to Leon
Start walking
Plan walking of about 30 days so looking at 300-375km
At Santiago fly back to London
Relax in London for a few days
Fly back to San Francisco

Is this a crazy plan?
I walked the Camino in college 2010. Can we plan on finding alburges at every 10-15 km after Leon? Is there a better starting point with a bus forward bit. She is interested in see architecture and the culture. I know that May is very busy but we can walk in the heat of summer, and spring sounds nicer than fall for walking.


Thank you for your advice
I am afraid I don't have any advice but I loved your post. Walked my first Camino last year and looking forward to setting off again on Apr 4th. Am buoyed up by the thought that in 22 years time my now 1-year old grandson might consider walking with the 84 year old me! I wish you both a wonderful trip and look forward to hearing all about it.
Buen camino
 

JoEllen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
hello

At this time in my grandmothers life she is in need of a goal that doesn't end when my grandfather dies. It has been suggested that I take six and walk the Camino with her carrying a good part of her things as well as my own. She mainly carrying rain poncho, camera, water, medicine, and blood sugar tester.
She can walk 10-15 km a day under a light load. Her or we taking a bus for the hard parts like the climb to O cebriero. At 84 she does not really care about taking some stages by bus to save her body strain.

Rough thought is go late April/may for good weather.
Fly to London relax for a few days
Fly to Madrid and bus to Leon
Start walking
Plan walking of about 30 days so looking at 300-375km
At Santiago fly back to London
Relax in London for a few days
Fly back to San Francisco

Is this a crazy plan?
I walked the Camino in college 2010. Can we plan on finding alburges at every 10-15 km after Leon? Is there a better starting point with a bus forward bit. She is interested in see architecture and the culture. I know that May is very busy but we can walk in the heat of summer, and spring sounds nicer than fall for walking.


Thank you for your advice

I don't think your overall plan is crazy at all. Just to be safe, you may want to reserve ahead for your bed - many albergues take reservations and there should be some within your range after Leon. I'm so moved that your grandmother at 84 is looking at a new goal. I walked the Camino in May 2017 - the weather was perfect (except for one nasty, cold rainstorm between Najera and Santo Domingo de la Calzada). On a couple parts of a stage here and there, we did the bus. Our feet were hurting with blisters, or somebody had a bad knee that day - there's no harm in that and it should not diminish your Camino experience. I hope all works out for you two - Buen Camino!
 

journeycakes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2-October 7 (2013)
May 5-28 (2015)
I recommend having your grandmother avoid the treacherous descents at all costs, but if there is a way to visit special places such as Alto Del Perdon, Cruz de Ferro and O Cebreiro with trips to these places as a quasi-tourist with a pilgrim's heart (!) it would be nice for your grandmother to experience those parts of the Camino. Perhaps you can arrange some elements of tourism on your rest days, or save a few days at the end and rent a car in order to visit a few places you don't think she should miss, in which case I might add The Abbey/La Abadia where I had a lovely visit, about a mile past Zubiri, and maybe even a visit to Saint Jean Pied de Port just to explore. I do know that in Rabanal del Camino where there is no local taxi (you have to call one from Astorga) someone at Albergue Pilar knew of someone with a "coche privado" who was happy to drive my friend to the next place for half the prevailing taxi rate in her private car. Here is a Camino Forum page to do with navigating Alto Del Perdon (there are a lot of posts with opinions and digressions but an interesting read) by walking up to the monuments, preferably in good weather, and arranging a taxi to the next village or place of interest (Eunate?) from where it is an easy walk to Puente de la Reina. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/avoiding-the-alto-de-perdon.17036/ Also, I would consider the horse and wagon experience between Carrion de los Condes and Calzadilla de la Cueza because of the lack of services for 18 km, although the route is a mostly level gravel roadway, and you never know, your grandmother might surprise you with her determination and pluck! On my second journey I stayed at Albergue de las Hermanas Filipenses de Carrión de los Condes (aka Casa de Espiritualidad Nuestra Señora de Belén, de las religiosas filipenses en Carrión de los Condes, which translates to House of Spirituality, Our Lady of Bethlehem of the Religious Filipina Sisters.) In May 2015 their price of 28€ included my small private room with its own bathroom plus the evening meal plus breakfast the next morning. The aging nuns will cherish your grandmother and you, the granddaughter! For myself, I loved being a tourist for a couple of jet-lag recovery days in Barcelona, and on my second trip I began with a rest/tourism day and a half in Madrid followed by another extra day in Pamplona because I love the Camino vibe in that city and the array of inexpensive pinchos in the bars on Calle San Nicolas and nearby; however, if the UK is where your grandmother's tourist heart is set on, she might feel a certain regret if she doesn't go there. And if you fly to Heathrow and choose to immediately continue on to Spain by air, make sure your connecting flight also departs from Heathrow, as to me it looks like one more headache to have to take a shuttle bus to Gatwick amid time constraints to fly out of a different airport. Buen Camino!
 

CatherineAnn

CF summer 2016
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012)
Camino Frances (2016)
I suggest starting by taking the bus out of Leon to La Virgen del Camino. It is industrial and a lot of pavement. You don't want to put your grandmother into a bad mood about walking on the first day. Be sure to stop at look at the church in La Virgen.
This is a great suggestion. My 70 year sister was sick from the exhaust fumes walking out of Leon and was in a very bad mood our first day out.
 

redgoonerinoz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Have walked( may 2015)
Actually, unless London is a particular interest to either of you, I would omit that stop. Heathrow is awful, and London is expensive. Plus transiting airports is not exactly relaxing, whether young or old. How about relaxing for a few days in Madrid instead? Or even side trips to Barcelona or Seville?

Hi there fly into gatwick from Santiago and then easy walk to train into London. Regards David
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Camino Frances 2016
Wow, Debra I never cease to be amazed at (1) the people, old & young, who wish to walk the wilds of Spain; & (2) the truly fantastic advice that can be found on this forum. I know I have made this comment before but after 6 or so years I thought I had seen it all!!
Now to get to your queries: agree Leon is a good place to start. As day one is the testing day you & your gran could walk to La Virgen (I don't imagine you are going to experience the usual 6.30 am pilgrim starts), explore the church and then stop at albergue D. Antonino and head out the next day to Mazarife;
I do have some concerns about the descent into Molinaseca - you might wish to consider a taxi from Manjarin or Acebo;
Diabetic strips - I think you will have no problems Ponferrada is a large city (70,000 pop) and even Sarria should have a hospital or pharmacy that can supply your gran's needs;
Totally recommend Casa Susi (its owned and operated by a fantastic Australian woman who did much of the rebuild herself); the climb to O'Cebreiro might be another taxi consideration. Best wishes for a mucha Buen Camino.:)
I'm walking the CF again this summer. Where is Casa Susi? Thank you!
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Casa Susi is in Trabeldo - main street, left hand side (heading towards Santiago) mid-town.
 

Chris Melbourne

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2016
Hi Debra. What a wonderful idea.

I would agree Burgos is a good start point. Walking the Mesita is relatively easy and there is great accommodation.

If you decide not to stay over in London, it may be worth flying from San Francisco to London Gatwick Airport. You can then get cheap flights with Easyjet to Asturias in Northern Spain or to Madrid and take the bus or train to Burgos or Leon if you prefer. Please be especially wary of luggage thieves at large railway stations. I placed my backpack under my seat at my feet at Madrid railway station last year and while talking to a lady from San Fran it was stolen!

I echo the comments about poles, boots, socks and feet. In the case of my 80 year old mother-in-law and 90 year old mum, feet are key and a visit or two to a podiatrist or chiropodist could be a good idea to make sure toe nails are properly trimmed and calluses removed etc. well before the trip starts.

Twin rooms in hostels or pensiones etc. can be the same price as two beds in an albergue. It is also easier to book ahead in private accommodation by phone on the morning before you set off.

Good luck and have a wonderful time
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Casa Susi is in Trabeldo - main street, left hand side (heading towards Santiago) mid-town.
TRABADELO I believe is the correct spelling.
(I'm only correcting this because this might be important when searching for the route and accommodation.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
I'm walking the CF again this summer. Where is Casa Susi? Thank you!
Casa Susi, is a very new albergue in Trabadelo, about 9.2 km (say 6 miles) west of Villafranca del Bierzo. If you walk the valley floor route (following the N-VI (old highway) its the first albergue on your left as you enter the village . Just in case you are wondering the lady (Susan ) is an Australian so she flies the Australian flag. I think she will re-open in late March or early April - given that Easter is 30 March to 3 April I would expect her to be open the Monday before Easter. Its a donativo establishment - but evening meals are around E8-10 phone 675242114 (in Eng) or 602616968 (in Spain). She is also on Facebook - search Casa Susi. I fully recommend it. Cheers:)
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
TRABADELO I believe is the correct spelling.
(I'm only correcting this because this might be important when searching for the route and accommodation.)
I stand corrected - thank you
 

debra

Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2010, Frances 2010
Via Francigena 2014 bicigrino
Way of St. Francis 2017 bicigrino
Thank you all again for your kind words and information.
 

Trude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
I suggest starting by taking the bus out of Leon to La Virgen del Camino. It is industrial and a lot of pavement. You don't want to put your grandmother into a bad mood about walking on the first day. Be sure to stop at look at the church in La Virgen.
Good idea Rick.....
 

Helen Aussie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Camino de Saint Jacques 2018
I stayed at Casa Suzi 2017. It is no longer donativo. The meal from the garden and setting near a river spectacular plus a lovely couple ran it.
 

hfbloomer

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances began May 14, 2018, ended in Logrono. Beginning again from Logrono on May7, 2019.
One reason for flying through a London airport is to break the journey across time zones. I am an 84-year old pilgrim-to-be from the US, and I plan to take three days in London en route to St Jean PdP. (I have family there.) I hope this will be enough to get over the jet lag before I fly on to Biarritz and begin walking. I have made the mistake of stressing my old body too soon after an overnight flight.
 

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