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Camino hunger

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BrianLCrabtree

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 Primitivo to Muxia and Finisterre
I walked the Primitivo, departing from Villaviciosa, arriving in Santiago 6 June, continuing to Muxia, then down to Finisterre on 12 June, 19 days of walking plus cultural days in Oviedo, Lugo, and SdC, a fantastic experience in all ways. I ate generously during the walk, much more than my typical consumption, and definitely felt an increase in appetite within a week or so. I expected as much and enjoyed hearty eating as part of the whole experience. I especially enjoyed the menu del dia, which is almost always delicious, abundant, and an amazing value. A similar meal here in the U.S. would be several times more expensive, especially considering the wine. Now, back to my normal daily routine at home, including my normal fitness activity, 10 days later I find myself still pretty ravenous at mealtime, only gradually returning to my pre-Camino level, and watching consumption more carefully. I lost only a couple of pounds, about a kg, on the trip. And let me just say, caldo gallego with crusty bread dropped into it in large chunks ... well, it is a gift from God. And cafe con leche is practically a dessert coffee. I could go on!
 

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Ultreia et Suseia!

Walking from Porto (da costa/litoral) Sept 2022!
Past OR future Camino
1st walk from O Porto in September!
There's so much good food in Spain and Portugal!!!! 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩 I know for me it will be head-to-trough every day....
Empanadas (galician specially), rice with seafood, grilled seafood, sardines, bread, angler fish, pan de neda/carral/cea, pimientos, pintxos, asparagus, faba beans, cod, petiscos....
 

Anthony18

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I walked the Primitivo, departing from Villaviciosa, arriving in Santiago 6 June, continuing to Muxia, then down to Finisterre on 12 June, 19 days of walking plus cultural days in Oviedo, Lugo, and SdC, a fantastic experience in all ways. I ate generously during the walk, much more than my typical consumption, and definitely felt an increase in appetite within a week or so. I expected as much and enjoyed hearty eating as part of the whole experience. I especially enjoyed the menu del dia, which is almost always delicious, abundant, and an amazing value. A similar meal here in the U.S. would be several times more expensive, especially considering the wine. Now, back to my normal daily routine at home, including my normal fitness activity, 10 days later I find myself still pretty ravenous at mealtime, only gradually returning to my pre-Camino level, and watching consumption more carefully. I lost only a couple of pounds, about a kg, on the trip. And let me just say, caldo gallego with crusty bread dropped into it in large chunks ... well, it is a gift from God. And cafe con leche is practically a dessert coffee. I could go on!
Everything during my camino tasted Heavenly!
 
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JudyWanaWander

New Member
Past OR future Camino
PlanFuture(2020)
I walked the Primitivo, departing from Villaviciosa, arriving in Santiago 6 June, continuing to Muxia, then down to Finisterre on 12 June, 19 days of walking plus cultural days in Oviedo, Lugo, and SdC, a fantastic experience in all ways. I ate generously during the walk, much more than my typical consumption, and definitely felt an increase in appetite within a week or so. I expected as much and enjoyed hearty eating as part of the whole experience. I especially enjoyed the menu del dia, which is almost always delicious, abundant, and an amazing value. A similar meal here in the U.S. would be several times more expensive, especially considering the wine. Now, back to my normal daily routine at home, including my normal fitness activity, 10 days later I find myself still pretty ravenous at mealtime, only gradually returning to my pre-Camino level, and watching consumption more carefully. I lost only a couple of pounds, about a kg, on the trip. And let me just say, caldo gallego with crusty bread dropped into it in large chunks ... well, it is a gift from God. And cafe con leche is practically a dessert coffee. I could go on!
Your description of the trip and the FOOD sounds wonderful. I haven't done the Camino yet, but am planning for next spring. One of my fears, which I promise not to bring with me, is around food. It seems like all the information I have come across talks about mostly high carb foods, like breads for instance. I have to keep my carbs VERY LOW to maintain my health even when putting out a lot of energy. I eat a HIGH fat, MODERATE protein and LOW carb diet. If I don't I get sick and will be in pain. Will I be able to find meals to suit my needs in the cafes/restaurants? Or will I have to supplement by shopping at grocery stores for my protein and fats? Thanks
 

BrianLCrabtree

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 Primitivo to Muxia and Finisterre
Your description of the trip and the FOOD sounds wonderful. I haven't done the Camino yet, but am planning for next spring. One of my fears, which I promise not to bring with me, is around food. It seems like all the information I have come across talks about mostly high carb foods, like breads for instance. I have to keep my carbs VERY LOW to maintain my health even when putting out a lot of energy. I eat a HIGH fat, MODERATE protein and LOW carb diet. If I don't I get sick and will be in pain. Will I be able to find meals to suit my needs in the cafes/restaurants? Or will I have to supplement by shopping at grocery stores for my protein and fats? Thanks
I think you will probably have to do both, find what you need in restaurants, but carry a lunch or day's worth of rescue food just in case. Fat is no problem. Meats are plentiful, but so are carbs. For example, breakfast in the albergues and cafes is often just bread, pastry, juice and coffee. Many have the Spanish tortilla, an omelette of eggs, potatoes, and onions (delicious) or ham and cheese sandwiches. Bread is served with every meal and for me, I would have had trouble getting enough to eat without the bread. I wanted some healthy, whole grain cereal for breakfast but that was rare. I actually bought muesli (one bag), then oats (one bag) in larger towns and carried them with me and bought milk and fresh fruit on the fly to eat at the albergue when I had the opportunity and facilities. Also be mindful that the Primitivo is mostly quite rural and not every village has a supermarket. I carried enough canned tuna, sardines, dried and fresh fruit for a single lunch, but only had to eat out of my pack three or four times. Many people carry charcuterie, cheese, bread, and fruit. I think you'll be fine but you'll have to plan day to day to get what you need. Perhaps someone with a similar diet can comment. As an aside, food and water is another reason to keep your base weight as light as possible so you have some wiggle room to carry enough food, water, and other items you need along the way without your pack weighing a ton. I wanted a bar of soap. My base weight was 11.5 lbs (5.25 kg), but the skin-out weight (includes the clothes I wear, trekking poles, stuff in pockets) with water, food, etc, probably added up to another 5 lbs at the beginning of the day. If your pack is heavy when you start and you add a liter of two of water, a day's food, and a few other items, you can have a very heavy pack before you know it, which will make you pay on the Primitivo. The only item I had in my pack that I never used was a headlamp, but I'm glad I had it. Just don't take things you're not sure you'll need. It's just extra weight. If there's something you need, you can get it along the Camino. I digress.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 CF
Don’t ever walk a camino in France. If you are always hungry after a Spanish Camino you will end up being as big as a house after walking a month or so in France and eating in the Gites and bakeries and bread and French wine!!!!
I have always struggled to find food when walking in France! 😳
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have always struggled to find food when walking in France! 😳
I agree that during the day it was sometimes difficult to find food. There never seemed to be a standard time that most restaurants or shops were open from town to town. When I got my credential in Paris the pilgrim office begged me to buy the Miam Miam Dodo guidebook. It was in French so I didn't want to buy it. I bought the Michelin guidebook which i found pretty useless. Late in the camino i found a Miam Dodo guidebook in a Gite and I know my life finding food and gites/hostels/albergues would have been much easier.
I was especially referring to the Gites where I stayed where we had just wonderful dinners with as much food as you could stuff down your throat. There were many nights that I know in a large cosmopolitan city would have cost 5 or 6 times what the dinner I was having cost me.
The pastry shops were out of this world. I have enjoyed the food in Spain and Portugal on but to me it is almost like eating at McDonalds compared to France. Especially the cost/benefit ratio. Meals in Spain on the level of what I had many nights would have been far more expensive. Which would make me broke before I got to Burgos or Santander or Porto or Caceres.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 CF
I agree that during the day it was sometimes difficult to find food. There never seemed to be a standard time that most restaurants or shops were open from town to town. When I got my credential in Paris the pilgrim office begged me to buy the Miam Miam Dodo guidebook. It was in French so I didn't want to buy it. I bought the Michelin guidebook which i found pretty useless. Late in the camino i found a Miam Dodo guidebook in a Gite and I know my life finding food and gites/hostels/albergues would have been much easier.
I was especially referring to the Gites where I stayed where we had just wonderful dinners with as much food as you could stuff down your throat. There were many nights that I know in a large cosmopolitan city would have cost 5 or 6 times what the dinner I was having cost me.
The pastry shops were out of this world. I have enjoyed the food in Spain and Portugal on but to me it is almost like eating at McDonalds compared to France. Especially the cost/benefit ratio. Meals in Spain on the level of what I had many nights would have been far more expensive. Which would make me broke before I got to Burgos or Santander or Porto or Caceres.
I am so glad you had such a good experience with French food! 😎 Nice to hear 🙂
I walked from Calais to the Swiss border (Via Francigena) and also from Toulouse to the Spanish border (via Tolosana). The gîtes were fine, especially on the latter but there was often no food offered. Sometimes there was a little ‘emergency’ shop where you could buy tinned soup or salads in a tub, which was a godsend as there had been nothing else on offer for the last 30 kms…. I can cope with the funny opening times (I’m French 😁) but I was in shock to see how few places there were -AT ALL - to either have a meal or buy some food, let alone have a coffee 😔
I am now planning the Vézelay way and studying the Miam Miam Dodo with great care! The good thing is, I could do with losing a few kgs 😂😉
 

ginniek

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 2017
Don’t ever walk a camino in France. If you are always hungry after a Spanish Camino you will end up being as big as a house after walking a month or so in France and eating in the Gites and bakeries and bread and French wine!!!!
The first time I was in France (almost 50 years ago) I was young and thin and skiing in the Alps. The food was so good, and I squeezed in extra croissants and pain au chocolat whenever I could find time. When I returned home I literally dreamed about the food every night for a while.
 
Past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
The LePuy route had exceptional food in the gites, which were the majority of our lodging overnights. There were very few opportunities for lunch stops along the way, so we always carried a few snack provisions with us day to day to tide us over until the evening dinners.😋
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
"Hiker hunger" is a very real thing.
Knowing I always lose a lot of weight while on a long thru hike I find myself eating anything and everything in sight to maintain some weight on my body.
I returned home last night and I stepped on the bathroom scale and found I had lost 15 pounds while walking the Norte over the last 42 days.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
I returned home last night and I stepped on the bathroom scale and found I had lost 15 pounds while walking the Norte over the last 42 days.
Wow. I am ‘up’ 5kgs ☹️☹️☹️ On my April pre camino weight. Trying hard to get at least a couple off.
Do you drink wine there ?
I tried to have the menú del día between 2 & 3.30pm in order to only have a nibble or a tapas in the evening (if I went near food that is). ☹️☹️
I did visit friends in Ireland for a week after I finished walking my camino but even though we hiked there too :: They fed me well and I love the porridge
 
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