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Beginner looking for advice!

Camino(s) past & future
I have completed no Caminos as of yet.
#1
Hello Everyone,

I am determined to complete my first Camino this year and hopefully sometime in late April or early May. From the research I have done I must say I am really attracted to the idea of completing the Camino Aragones route; it seems relatively quite and the scenery looks rather wonderful.

Would anyone recommend it as a good route for a beginner? I have never undertaken walking such a distance in such a short amount of time (about 6 to 7 days); actually I have never even attempted anything like this before. I am 24 and relatively fit. Would it be much better if I started with the most popular route?

Thank you all!
 

jo webber

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 9th 2017
#2
How far can you walk now, with your loaded pack? If you can go the distance you would need to walk each day now, no reason why you can't in April.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#3
If you are coming from the US, the logistics of getting to the starting points on the Aragones is an issue. Somport is at the top of the mountains, Oloron/Ste. Marie is on the other side of the Pyrenees and both would take several days to access from major cities. That part of the mountains can still be snow covered as late as May. Jaca would be a good starting point because it is down in the Aragones River valley but still would take a day by bus from Barcelona.
I have walked the CA from France and it is lovely and very quiet. You should do some research on which albergues will be open that time of year.
 

wayan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Fisterra (Oct-Nov 2013)
Camino Aragones, Frances, Portuguese (Sep-Nov 2015)
#4
I flew into Madrid then caught the train to Zaragoza and a bus to Jaca. Late in the afternoon there was a bus to Somport from Jaca. Check to see if the bus up to Somport is running when you plan to be there.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Aragones/Frances/Finisterre (2018), Operation Sabre (2018), Marin Ramble (2017)
#5
The Rome2Rio app show great bus or bus/train options, depending upon what city you plan to fly into. If you are flexible, you can try for Somport but have Jaca as a Plan B if the snow is still bad.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#6
Madrid, Zaragoza, Jaca, Canfranc. There is a train from Zaragoza to Canfranc, and a bus from Jaca to Canfranc (and up to Somport if you want).

There is interesting scenery from Canfranc, and you have enough time to go from there to Puente la Reina. There are buses from there to Pamplona several times a day, so it would be a good choice for returning home.

Also, there are buses from Pamplona to Jaca, if you want to start and finish there.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
#7
I am planning on walking the Argonne next year. It is cheapest for me to fly to Paris and then fly to Pau, France,walk to lesser and walk up to the pass. There is a train from Pau to Orlon,and buses to the pass.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
#8
I would fly to Madrid, then train to Zaragoza, change trains and take another train from Zaragoza to Canfranc, the last 100 km of that train route are unique. Then, you can take a 20 minute bus ride to Somport. Easy enough to do!
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
#9
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
#10
I am intrigued by the suggestion of @amancio to take the train from Zaragosa to Canfranc instead of the bus, even though the train takes one hour longer. I see that the regional train stops first at station Portillo in Zaragosa then 2 minutes later at station Goya. Would one of these stations be preferred for boarding the train? Would possibly more people board at Portillo and fill up the car leaving fewer seats available at Goya?
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
#11
The main station is Delicias, that is where you should normally take the train, it is the departure point.
Keep an eye open after Ayerbe, the train will slowly go past the Mallos de Riglos, a stunning towering rock formation full of vultures and large prey birds, then the route up river Aragón is just a dream train trip, beautiful views, a windy railroad uphill, slowly, slowly up the hill... And then you get off the train in Canfranc station in the evening, and you think you just travelled back in time. It is one of the most beautiful railway routes in Spain. You will love it!

Also, past Sangüesa, I would never miss the Foz de Lumbier diversion, being there first thing in the morning on your own, after crossing an old railway tunnel in complete darkness is something unique too. For that tunnel, let me give you a piece of advice; take a stick or a walking pole, hold it in your hand against the wall and let is slide as you walk. The stick gives you an indication of where the wall is, even if you do not see a thing and eventually you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I would try to make it september, I would not be sure the albergues in Arrés and Ruesta, two magical places, will be open in october.

Anything else, just whistle, amigo!

I am attaching a couple of photos, los Mallos de Riglos

1530037675416.png

You can find information about historical Canfranc station here, only thing is, the photo with Hitler and Franco was NOT taken in Canfranc, but in Hendaye, France. When I got of the train there, I was the only passenger in the train, it was just me and the driver/engineer. Eery!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ecret-laboratory-researching-dark-matter.html

Finally, another unique place off-route (there are quite a few more, like San Juan de la Peña romanesque cluster embedded in the rocks), or the castle in Arrés, the abandoned town of Ruesca where everybody left the place one morning and abandoned it, or my favourite Foz de Lumbier gorge

1530038048265.png

I can only praise this incredible Camino, I did it end of September 3 years ago. Unique, it is a pity fewer and fewer pilgrims choose this route.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Aragones/Frances/Finisterre (2018), Operation Sabre (2018), Marin Ramble (2017)
#12
I agree with everything Amancio posted!!!!! Walked it in April 2018 and it was all that and more!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
#13
Hello Everyone,

I am determined to complete my first Camino this year and hopefully sometime in late April or early May. From the research I have done I must say I am really attracted to the idea of completing the Camino Aragones route; it seems relatively quite and the scenery looks rather wonderful.

Would anyone recommend it as a good route for a beginner? I have never undertaken walking such a distance in such a short amount of time (about 6 to 7 days); actually I have never even attempted anything like this before. I am 24 and relatively fit. Would it be much better if I started with the most popular route?

Thank you all!
I do not know where you are coming from,but from the U.S. it is cheapest to fly to Paris and catch a plane to Pau and walj from there. The arles valley is very beautiful and you can walk up to the pass and earn the way without taking a train or bus. I am going to stay at Lescar and walk some in France before the Argonne,but of course what you do is up to you. I think walking a route besides the Frances is always a good idea. Whatever you choose, Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
#14
@Beeman, you are absolutely right that whatever each of us chooses is our personal choice, we each have our own reasons. You will walk the very beautiful Arles Valley, I will ride the little train to Canfranc Station, each a different journey to the same destination. Isn't this some of what we gain from the Camino? I do mean this sincerely, I hope that I do not sound snarky.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
#15
@Beeman, you are absolutely right that whatever each of us chooses is our personal choice, we each have our own reasons. You will walk the very beautiful Arles Valley, I will ride the little train to Canfranc Station, each a different journey to the same destination. Isn't this some of what we gain from the Camino? I do mean this sincerely, I hope that I do not sound snarky.
Well put.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
#16
As I study the Aragones route more I am slowly figuring out some things. Earlier in post 10 of this thread I asked about two additional train stops in Zaragoza going to Canfranc. Now I understand better that because the train from Zaragoza to Canfranc is a regional train, there are a number of stops along the route. It seems that most pilgrims take the bus because of the shorter travel time, nevertheless, to me the train is a unique experience that I am looking forward to.

@amancio also suggested to check the closing dates of albergues along the route. Almost all that I found are open year round, but double checking is a good idea.
 
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