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Begin SJPDP or Burgos?

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Bonnie M

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Frances - Burgos to Santiago (2019)
While we would like to complete the entire Camino Frances, we are limited on time. We will be in Madrid on Sep 12 and leave Oct 10. We are considering
1) taking train from Madrid to Biarritz and starting at SJPDP and walking to Pamplona and then taking a bus to Leon and walking to Santiago -- we understand the Pyrenees crossing is to be experienced OR
2) taking bus from Madrid to Burgos and walking to Santiago -- less complicated and we get to see Burgos but will miss Pyreness & Pamplona
Thoughts on Pyrness/Pamplona vs Burgos? Thank you!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I recommend simplifying your life, and walking one continuous stretch. With your options, that would be Burgos to Santiago. Sure the Pyrenees are lovely and the walk has a special excitement for starting pilgrims, but I'd rather focus on a single continuous portion, than break it up. One day of (possibly) special views is not worth the wasted travel time and frustration of leaving the new friends you make that day.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I feel the Camino is not about "highlights" or "beautiful landscapes", but about the experience. There is something that happens after four or five days, a kind of alternative reality where your daily worries and priorities don't seem so important. Taking a bus, jumping some stages, breaks the magic. Sorry if this sounds as seudo mystic nonsense, but it is (or it could be) real.
You can start in SJPP, walk along the Camino, and in your last week decide if you want to go just as far as you can (and come back another year) or take a bus to Sarria, to finish in Compostela.
As a rule of thumb, the simpler you keep your plans, the better.
 
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november_moon

Veteran Member
I would (and did) start in Burgos. It would have been nice to walk in the Pyrenees, but I agree with the others that part of the magic of the Camino is to just start walking and keep going. Plus, you will likely meet people on the Camino, and if you skip around, you'll have to say good-bye to them when you move ahead. There is something wonderful about the continuity of seeing the same faces here and there - maybe not every day, but you'll keep running into people over the days and weeks.
 

Jean Ti

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte, Primitivo, Frances,Via de la Plata

Trying to do one camino every year
Bonnie,

Both of your options are very interesting! Choose with your heart and I am shure that you will enjoy YOUR Camino!
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
I think the "something not to be missed" is that special sense of continuity that comes from walking day after day along the same path. Jumping forward and taking motor transportation disrupts the whole process.

The Pyrenees are not the only mountains to cross along the Camino Francés. If you start in Burgos and through-walk to Santiago, you will experience two amazing mountain vistas -- climbing up to and then down from the Cruz de Ferro, and a few days later, the stunning climb to O Cebreiero, followed with the amazing vistas as you continue along the mountain ridge.

I think you'll miss something very special by breaking it up. Let the Camino unfold its magic for you in its own way.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Count me as another vote for a continuous walk without breaks or buses.
I think the "something not to be missed" is that special sense of continuity that comes from walking day after day along the same path. Jumping forward and taking motor transportation disrupts the whole process.
👍👍👍
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
If you want the experience of starting is SJPdP and walking over the Pyrenees, you have plenty of time to walk to Roncesvalles, then catch a bus to Logrono and continue walking from Logrono to SdC. This will provide a taste of the varied terrain on Camino Frances.

However, I agree with those who favor starting at one location and doing a continuous walk without taking transportation to skip a section(s), then completing the journey at another time. If the goal is to reach Santiago de Compostela on this trip, Logrono is a good starting point which is easily reached from Madrid.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I feel the Camino is not about "highlights" or "beautiful landscapes", but about the experience. There is something that happens after four or five days, a kind of alternative reality where your daily worries and priorities don't seem so important. Taking a bus, jumping some stages, breaks the magic. Sorry if this sounds as seudo mystic nonsense, but it is (or it could be) real.
You can start in SJPP, walk along the Camino, and in your last week decide if you want to go just as far as you can (and come back another year) or take a bus to Sarria, to finish in Compostela.
As a rule of thumb, the simpler you keep your plans, the better.
I am about as mystical as a bathroom sink and I think your thoughts about what happens on the Camino is 1,000% correct!!! I would also add that walking one direct route without skipping around on buses is the way to go. I also think people who avoid the Meseta are making a HUGE mistake. Having said that I think you need that first week or so before the Meseta to get your body ready for your mind to go blank and throw away the garbage that is our brain on the Meseta.
 

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