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Camino for someone who is unable to walk a lot. Is it possible?

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Olga_O

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'm planning my first camino on august 2019
Hello, everybody!

I'd love to go coastal route, but have some doubts.
I have little problems with my knees. Walk a lot at my home city, but never tried more than 10 km at a time. So I'm not sure if 20-25 km daily is Ok for me. Do not want to face big problems and give up at some point.

So I decided to take a very short part of the route, starting at A Guarda. Аnd now I'm trying to make a plan with short daily segments, which not seems to be easy at some points.
For example, It is Ok for me to stay at hotel in case albergue is too far, but I see few of them and worry about avaliability in August.

So I will be gratefull for any kind of advice (even if you say me the idea is hopeless).

I read a lot about very old people going Camino with very modest dayily plans. But never met detailed reports about it. If you know some, please share.
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
I've never enjoyed walking huge distances in a single day, apart from anything else you end p not actually looking at anything along the way. I've just done the 12 mile St Michael's Way in Cornwall over 2 days and enjoyed it very much partly because I could saunter along.
 

Bert45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo
I'd like to tell you not to worry; I walked the del Norte/Primitivo last year at the age of 70. But I'm not you. I didn't do any training, but my knees and hips are fine. [There's this pain I get in my right hip occasionally, but it comes and goes.] You will get sick of people telling you "It's YOUR camino!" You can do it any way that you want for any reason that you want. It is NOT cheating to stay in a hotel whenever you want to, every night if you want to. It is NOT cheating to have your heavy bag sent on to the next village (hotel, albergue, whatever -- you just have to give the carrier the address) and just carry a day-bag. I walked the Portugués in 2016 -- I see that you are hoping to travel back in time to do it in 2017 :D . I'm no expert on the CP, however. I think that the albergues are a bit fewer and further between than on the CF. You need to get a good guide and try to find places that are only 10 -12 km apart. If that's not possible, do some training to try to increase the distance you can walk without too much pain. Take pain-killers. Also it's not cheating to take a bus or call a taxi, so long as you get another to take you back to where you caught the bus or took the taxi the next day.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
Hello, everybody!

I'd love to go coastal route, but have some doubts.
I have little problems with my knees. Walk a lot at my home city, but never tried more than 10 km at a time. So I'm not sure if 20-25 km daily is Ok for me. Do not want to face big problems and give up at some point.

So I decided to take a very short part of the route, starting at A Guarda. Аnd now I'm trying to make a plan with short daily segments, which not seems to be easy at some points.
For example, It is Ok for me to stay at hotel in case albergue is too far, but I see few of them and worry about avaliability in August.

So I will be gratefull for any kind of advice (even if you say me the idea is hopeless).

I read a lot about very old people going Camino with very modest dayily plans. But never met detailed reports about it. If you know some, please share.
Hi Olga, welcome to the forum. Your planning will become easier if you include taxis so you can walk what feels good for you.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
The other day I stumbled upon a blog of someone who was walking one of the Caminos and it took me a while to figure out what was happening there. This pilgrim was accompanied by friends or family, and the family would drive by car to the next destination, they would hire an apartment where they would stay for a few days and pick up the pilgrim at the end of the day and bring him to his starting point the next day. To the author of the blog, this arrangement came so naturally that he only mentioned it in the passing, and for the rest, he seemed very happy with it.

This is perhaps not the most obvious approach for a Camino, but several pilgrims organize themselves like that. I quite liked this plan and I guess if your knees could do the talking, they would start looking immediately for a beach lover with a driver's licence as a companion.
 

Olga_O

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'm planning my first camino on august 2019
Hi Olga, welcome to the forum. Your planning will become easier if you include taxis so you can walk what feels good for you.
Thank you, everyone!!!

Is it really so easy to call a taxi from wherever I need it on the way? I do not worry about any cheating the rules, only about not being trapped in some place where it is impossible to find a taxi or bus.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
Thank you, everyone!!!

Is it really so easy to call a taxi from wherever I need it on the way? I do not worry about any cheating the rules, only about not being trapped in some place where it is impossible to find a taxi or bus.
The best course of action would be to ask the albergue or the hotel about it before you leave in the morning.
 

AllanHG

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France 2015
Camino Portuguese 2017
Thank you, everyone!!!

Is it really so easy to call a taxi from wherever I need it on the way? I do not worry about any cheating the rules, only about not being trapped in some place where it is impossible to find a taxi or bus.
I walked the Portuguese Camino in 2017 with my wife, who has challenged with her knees. There were a couple of days when we needed to call taxis (because of distance or elevation) and we just went into bars or restaurants and asked them to phone for the taxi. We usually had lunch or coffee while we were there. The people were always gracious and did not hesitate to call for us. We thought it was better to do that than to suffer with a knee injury or have to give up the rest of the Camino.
Good luck!
 

Bert45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo
You will see notices on boards or bits of laminated paper with phone numbers for taxis pinned to trees or poles along the way [but never when you actually need one of course! :D] Or, as AllanHG has suggested, find a bar, even if it means walking back a short way. It helps to know how far you are from the nearest bar ahead or behind. I'm sure there must be some technology that will tell you this. I agree with Antonius that cheating or not depends on the goals you have set for yourself. But if your goal is to walk a camino, then doing parts in a taxi doesn't fit in with that goal. If you get a distance walked certificate, it won't have a true figure if you have done parts sitting in a taxi.
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
I have done an 18 stage plan for Sarria to Santiago https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/resources/sarria-to-santiago-in-very-short-stages.627/
The plan basically uses cafes/bars as stopping point from where you can call a taxi to pick you up and take you back there in the morning to restart. The taxis telephone numbers I found by just doing a google search of the towns on the main stages. If you do put together a plan I am sure others would benefit from it, so please share it.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Hello, everybody!

I'd love to go coastal route, but have some doubts.
I have little problems with my knees. Walk a lot at my home city, but never tried more than 10 km at a time. So I'm not sure if 20-25 km daily is Ok for me. Do not want to face big problems and give up at some point.

So I decided to take a very short part of the route, starting at A Guarda. Аnd now I'm trying to make a plan with short daily segments, which not seems to be easy at some points.
For example, It is Ok for me to stay at hotel in case albergue is too far, but I see few of them and worry about avaliability in August.

So I will be gratefull for any kind of advice (even if you say me the idea is hopeless).

I read a lot about very old people going Camino with very modest dayily plans. But never met detailed reports about it. If you know some, please share.
First of all, it is okay to stay at hotels rather than albergues. Many people do. You may consider it a service for those who can't afford a hotel and are benefiting from the fact you will be freeing up an albergue bed for them.

Second, walk the pace/distance that works for you. If it doesn't work out exactly to where accommodations are, you can always call a cab to take you somewhere and back to where you left off in the morning.

Third, as someone who has walked the Camino Frances and the Camino Portugues, I can tell you that the Camino Portugues is much easier on the knees! I developed real knee problems on the Frances and had to wear a knee brace and take lots of ibuprofen every day to get through. A couple of years later, I had no knee issues on the Portugues, and I've heard that the Coastal is even easier on the knees than the Central. So it seems to me you've picked the right route for your knees, for what it is worth.

Finally, the piece of advice I always give is to book more time than you think you will possibly need. When I was walking from Porto to Santiago, I figured it would take 10-13 days to walk. I booked my flights 3 weeks apart. Then, if you need rest days, if you get tendonitis or something and have to take a break, if you aren't walking as far each day as you thought you would, you won't find yourself racing to Santiago to catch a plane and putting even more stress on yourself and your body. And if you find that you don't need the extra days, there is plenty to see in Spain and Portugal after your Camino is done.
 

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