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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

Alternative Routes to Santiago on Camino Frances

richeyboy

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdeC: Oct 2011; SJPP-Leon, Oct 14; Tomar (PO)/SJPP Oct 15
Hi,
I am planning to do the Camino Frances, at last, this coming autumn. It seems that the last 100ks or so can be very crowded even in the second half of October so I am wondering if there are any alternative routes from Sarria or further back say from Ponferrada to Santiago which do not require an inordinate amount of extra distance. Anybody got any ideas or indeed has tried this, it would be great to have your opinion - maybe someone would like to pioneer a new route with me. It is not that I don't want to be with other pilgrims, far from it, but it does seem that that final bit could do with a little less pressure. Richeyboy.
 
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Sansthing

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
French Camino (2009), French Camino (2011), Via de la Plata (2012), Camino Inglês (2014),
A new route could mean that you won't have enough stamps to get a Compostela. I think the ruling is two stamps per day to ensure people have walked the last 100km. Of course if you don't want a Compostela or Certificate then it won't matter. Good luck anyway if you decide to branch off.
Sandra :arrow:
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Unless many more people are walking this year, having renounced on doing the Camino in 2010, you should be OK for accommodation at the end of October. In 2009, we arrived in Santiago on 23rd October and we had no problems with finding accommodation in the Albergues (with the exception of Melide, because the albergue was closed for restauration). That was the only place on our whole Camino where we had to sleep in a hotel. Although there were definately more people walking after reaching Sarria, the Camino was never crowded. It's a beautiful time of the year to walk. I think that you will get a better idea of what is going on, regarding numbers and statistics say by July/ August. Anne
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Year of past OR future Camino
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
I agree with Anne...I think the numbers will be much lower this year in the "shoulder" season on the Camino. I'm actually looking at doing the Camino again next fall, probably mid-September to mid-October. Still trying to decide what route to take. I think you will be fine.
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Get a bus from Sarria to Lugo - half hour journey. Take a walk around the best preserved Roman walls in Spain - about 3.5km along the top of the walls.
Get a bus or train to el Ferrol and walk the Camino Ingles back to Santiago. Guaranteed to be solitary! Same landscape as the Camino Frances and you'll qualify for the Compostela.
Download an up-to-date route guide compiled by our John Walker here:
http://www.csj.org.uk/guides-online.htm
 

Sagalouts

RIP 2015
Hi Richeyboy
It's your Camino and you decide,but as someone who has walked through Sarria 3 times I feel you will miss out on so much by cherry picking the Camino Frances why dilute what is an unique experience because of unfounded facts,yes there are more people on the last bit,but with their joy to be walking they bring things to the party not detract. like you I have sat in East Anglia pre Camino planning this and that before walking and then to have it all change once your there. mainly the fact that by the time you get to Sarria you will have bonded with so many people you will want to finish the job along side your fellow pilgrims.The Camino is what it is you will miss out on so much if you pick n mix.
Ian
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Arrived in Santiago late october 2009 having walked from Le Puy.Like Annakappa I do not think the last part of the camino was very crowded. The worst crowd was the first few days from Roncesvalles end of September. Pilgrimdinner at la Posada was a shock after walking on lonely paths in France for a month meeting very few people. Trying to get some breakfast in Burguete next morning was hopeless.
In 2010 I walked St. Jean - Pamplona first week in October, stayed first night in Burguete and only saw 4 pilgrims the next morning.
October is a nice time on the camino. Not too hot. Blackberries still eatable. Ripe grapes. Mushrooms. People get up later in the mornings because of the dark mornings.
In Melide there was a new albergue at the entrance to town. Not many people there when I passed. At the entrance to Palas do Rei was also a new albergue. Had booked a room but was allowed to go into the albergue to have a look. Very nice place, lots of empty beds. I guess I could say the same about most of the places the last week.
You have to make a choice but it is a chance you will feel something is undone if you leave the last part of it.
Randi
 

richeyboy

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdeC: Oct 2011; SJPP-Leon, Oct 14; Tomar (PO)/SJPP Oct 15
Hi annakappa, renegadepilgrim, sillydoll, sagalouts and ranthr thanks a million for your wonderful advice: it seems I nearly stumbled before I had even started but with your guidance the way has been pointed out again and I am truly grateful. Sillydoll, I will keep your tip about the camino ingles for another time but for this year it will be westwards and onwards from Sarria with all the wonderful fellow pilgrims met on the journey. Really looking forward to it. Buen viaje to you all wherever and whenever that is.
 

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