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Advice on Route/Stops

stsantia

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Sept 2022
Hello All,

I am planning my first Camino Frances in 2022.
I've been summarizing some of the routes that have been used attached
I've compared it against the routes in John Brierley's guide.

Keen to understand if others have taken the other routes and their experience.
 

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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Hello All,

I am planning my first Camino Frances in 2022.
I've been summarizing some of the routes that have been used attached
I've compared it against the routes in John Brierley's guide.

Keen to understand if others have taken the other routes and their experience.
These are not different routes, they are different places to stop along the way.

In order for people to help you the most we would need to know what months you intend to walk, if you like crowds or prefer to be more solitary, how fit you are and what prior experience you have doing long walks.
 

stsantia

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Sept 2022
Thank you for the clarification and providing more pointers

I'll be planning for Sept.
Preference is more towards avoiding large crowds.

I am an avid runner and do 5-7km runs on weekdays.
I've not done long walks that stretch over 5-6hrs at a time though.
It's something i will start gearing up for in prep for this.
 

Walkerooni

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
Hi! Your running/training base will serve you well. Also a runner, but quit my 2-3/weekly runs about 6 months prior to my Camino, because walking/running are completely different. Instead, I upped my walks to 15-18k/day gradually carrying more weight, and doing weights several times a week, so pack weight was irrelevant. If that’s your approximate base, you should not anticipate any surprises. You can add or subtract distances in Brierley guide, go with the flow and make it your own. Buen Camino!
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Stroller is correct, let you body decide how far it can go each day. I would consider Orrison for the first night if you plan to meet people along the Way. It is a good place to start your Camino "family." Also think about rest days where you can explore a city, sit by a swimming pool or have a great meal.
 

MickMac

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2013
Frances 2016
Frances 2017
Frances 2018
Frances 2018
Ponferrada-Santiago
July 2019
Thank you for the clarification and providing more pointers

I'll be planning for Sept.
Preference is more towards avoiding large crowds.

I am an avid runner and do 5-7km runs on weekdays.
I've not done long walks that stretch over 5-6hrs at a time though.
It's something i will start gearing up for in prep for this.
Are crowds still a problem? doubt it? given the time that's in it.
 
Past OR future Camino
April / May (2016) CF
When we planned our Camino for May 2016, we looked at the Brierly guide and then planned to stay before or after the recommended stages to avoid bed races in those areas. hat being said, the patterns may have changed over the last couple of years due to the reduction in international air travel. I found 20 - 25 km per day to be comfortable. 30 km was a bit much. The good thing is you can adjust after you've started and have a good idea of what reasonable mileage will be each day.
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Thank you for the clarification and providing more pointers

I'll be planning for Sept.
Preference is more towards avoiding large crowds.

I am an avid runner and do 5-7km runs on weekdays.
I've not done long walks that stretch over 5-6hrs at a time though.
It's something i will start gearing up for in prep for this.
As others have said, listen to your body and stop when your body is telling you to.

Especially in the beginning don't over walk, take it easy and you will develop your own rhythm.

The pilgrims that I saw with the worst blisters and injuries were all either young or (over) confident or both.

From Saint Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona can be a bit busy and so many people like to book a bed for those days.

After Pamplona pilgrims get more spread out and it is less busy and many people like to walk day to day without a fixed plan of where to stop. If this suits your personality then this freedom can be one of the main highlights of your pilgrimage.

If you prefer less crowds then try to stop before or after Brierley stages but don't have this as a fixed rule, be flexible and adjust to how you feel.

Most importantly, walk at your own pace. Don't be tempted to synchronize with a companion that you meet along the way. By all means agree to meet for breaks or for the day's overnight stop but walk at your pace.

The more that you allow yourself to be open to serendipity the deeper your experience will be.

Enjoy your pilgrimage, Buen Camino 🚶‍♀️
 
Last edited:
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Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
One good use for the Brierley guide and the other lists that you have is to work out how many days you might need to walk your Camino.

If you don't have any time pressure to be back home then take the longest and add seven days to it. If you do have time pressure then add four days.

The people who I met who were still worried about things by the time that they got to Sahagun were all people who had tight timelines that meant that they were worried about not being in Santiago de Compostela in time to catch a flight home. Or who had organised to meet someone towards the end of the way, beforehand.

Don't do this. If you end up with extra days when you get to Santiago then there are plenty of other wonderful and cheap things to do in Spain. You can do further walking, sit on a beach somewhere in Southern Spain or even find a way to volunteer to help other pilgrims.

By the way, be sure to spend the night in Sahagun at donativo Albergue de la Santa Cruz. There you will enjoy a deep sense of camaraderie and you will have the opportunity for introspection.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I'll be planning for Sept.
Preference is more towards avoiding large crowds.

Are crowds still a problem? doubt it? given the time that's in it.
September and May are generally the busiest months from SJPP, so crowds could definitely be a problem. I think the later a start in September, the better. Also, try to start in SJPP in mid-week, rather than a weekend.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
September and May are generally the busiest months from SJPP, so crowds could definitely be a problem. I think the later a start in September, the better. Also, try to start in SJPP in mid-week, rather than a weekend.
Or start in the latter part of August. I started my first Camino on August 21st and never had a problem getting a bed. Since it was already well into September by the time that I reached Sarria there were no issues with the last 100 km crowds.
 

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