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Camino Ingles First Timers

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n.white51

New Member
Hello to other members, my wife & I are planning to walk our first Camino in May/June 2011. We are not really ‘walkers’ but would to walk the Camino Ingles, from Ferroll, as a starter. We made the decision, after staying in Santiago last year, we could only admire all the pilgrims that had walked from so many, far away places, so we said ’Shall we do it?’ and we both said yes.

As we are not really used to long walks, we are planning to take our time and stay in a mixture of hostels and hotels, walking, hopefully, except for the long stage between Betanzos and Bruma, between 6 to 10 miles per day, we are looking forward to seeing the countryside and apart from the spiritual side of the Camino , we are planning to make it a holiday as well.

We are training hard for our walk, we will be 63 & 65 respectively when we do this, and would like any advice from other walkers. I have really enjoyed reading the articles from other members about the Camino Ingles, and have downloaded lots of information and maps on the route from other’posts’.
We have the boots, need to buy some light weight backpacks, made our packing list and have the willpower!!!!, and really can’t wait to book the flights when they become available.

Now I have introduced ourselves, here are my worries.

We have most of our stops planned out, but are really worried about the stage between

1_Betanzos and Bruma, I have been looking for B&Bs along the route but all my searches have drawn a blank. We would really like to get to the Hostel at Bruma, but think its too far for us, do the owners of, O Meson Novo Pension in Meson do Vento, really pick you up from Bar Julia

Can anyone tell me if the route from Betanzos to Carrell would be better, both from a walking point of view?, and also places to stay, and is there a particular route to follow.

2_Can ‘sellos’ be obtained easily, and from where?, can we get them at hotels we stay at along the way, would it be best to get them during the day,and also when we stop at night, and does it have to be an official place.

3_‘The Hills

4_‘Blisters

I hope we don’t appear to be naive, it’s a big ‘thing’ for us and we don’t want to fail at our first attempt.

Best wishes
Neil
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Hi and welcome to the forum!

We are also seniors and have walked 5 caminos over the last few years. We were not "walkers" nor were we particularly fit when we walked our first camino - we had the same trepidation then that you do now! We walked the Ingles last year and enjoyed it very much, as I'm sure you will do too. There are a couple of stretches that took a little bit more work, but they were certainly not daunting or impossible. Honestly.

I suggest you gather all the advice, information and recommendations that other members of this forum will offer you. It is derived from peregrinos' real experiences on various caminos. If something strikes you and you wish to learn more, you can use the PM button to privately message an individual. The issues of hills, blisters, sellos have been discussed at length and you can access those previous discussions by using the "Camino de Santiago Search" section below. And indeed, ask any questions you like and you will get thoughtful responses!

And in the meantime, walk several times a week for awhile, then walk with your full packs to get accustomed to how they sit on you, and how to properly adjust them. Walk with your poles if you intend to take those.

You are not naive - you're a first-time peregrino, as we all were. And remember, it's not a race, there is no "proper" camino and there is no failure. It is your camino. One step at a time.....

We will be walking also in the spring, but on another route - not sure which one yet.

Best wishes for happy planning, and buen camino!

Regards,
lynne
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Neil,
Here's another senior reporting in. :D I think you'll be surprised at how many people over 60 you meet on the Camino. I walked the Via de la Plata this summer and met a number of people over 70 who were walking just fine -- shorter days and a few taxis here and there, but they were having a great time. It always makes me happy to think I have maybe 20 more caminos to go before I have to stop!

I walked the Camino Ingles with my husband several years ago, and he took a taxi from Bar Julia to the pension O Meson Novo while I walked. I am not aware that the meson owners will come pick you up, but the people in the Bar Julia called a taxi and it cost about 15 euros, I think. (We have found that taxi fares in rural Spain average about 1 euro a kilometer).

Now, because my husband wanted to get the compostela, the next day we both took a cab back to Bar Julia and walked the remaining kms back to Meson Novo and spent another night there. I add that only because you mention getting "sellos," and the only need to worry about getting them is if you want the compostela in Santiago. And if you do, you must walk the entire last 100 kms.

So one solution is to spend two nights in the Meson Novo, ending the day's walk from Betanzos in Bar Julia and then taking the second day to walk from Bar Julia to Meson Novo. (an added benefit would be to be able to leave your backpack in the pension that day)

Sellos are available everywhere, in hotels, bars, even farmacias, fruterias, banks, post offices. Offices of tourism and municipal town halls are also good places to get them.

as far as hills on the Camino Ingles, if my memory is correct, the only real ascent is right after Bar Julia, and if you start the day there, you'll be nice and fresh. And it really isn't very steep, and the elevation gain is 240 meters. Enjoy the planning, it's one of my favorite pastimes, second only to walking!

Buen camino, Laurie
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Oops, as soon as I hit the send button, I realized I forgot to add a random recommendation -- we really liked Betanzos a lot, and stayed in the very comfortable Hotel San Roque. I don't remember the price, but there was a special pilgrim price that made it cheaper than the two star hotel in town. Plus, they serve a very nice breakfast in the adjacent cafeteria, included in the room price. I'd recommend it highly. Laurie
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hola

It is great to see so many people interested in the Camino Ingles - it is a lovely route. I understand your anxieties and even although it is a 5 day route from Ferrol it has some real challenges and a sense of achievement at the end.

Your questions:

1 Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma (Meson do Vento)

This is the longest stage with a 4 kms climb over to Bruma at approximately 18kms from Betanzos. The route is generally flat and manageable apart from the steep climb which is taxing in places - but not for long!

I think there are 5 options:

Walk the 29 kms. Take your time, leave as early as you can. Carry food. There is water along the way.
or
Check that the Bar Julia will be open (telf. 981630242) and when you reach there arrange for a taxi to take you to Hospital de Bruma which is only 10 kms or so away and you may decide to be taken back in the morning.
or
Arrange for Antonio from Meson do Vento to come and pick you up. This is a service he announced when I was there and he had produced leaflets. However when Sil from the Forum tried to arrange this he went to the wrong bar Julia! Hopefully it is all sorted out now but you should make sure if you e mail him to arrange this. He speaks english. Make sure that he knows to pick you up at the Bar Julia, San Paio de Vilacoba, telf. 981630242
or
Before you leave Betanzos arrange for a taxi to pick you up at the Bar Julia (for example if it is closed) and either take you forward to Hospital de Bruma or back to Betanzos to sleep and go back the next morning. The staff of the Tourist Office in Betanzos are very helpful and will assist with this.
or
Use the route which TiaValeria and Terry intend to take which is to miss out this section and to go via Carral where there is accomodation. I am sure they will tell you more of their plans. The Tourist Office in Betanzos will give you a map of the area which I am sitting here looking at and it is perfectly feasible. Google maps will also help.

Of all of these my own preference would still be to walk the Camino route and go over the hill to Bruma even if it has to be done in two halves.

2 Sellos

Sellos are available all along the route. The Guide mentions a lots of places with sellos - tourist offices, cafes, churches and so on. Get a sello wherever you sleep and make sure you get one in Ferrol. You will have no difficulty with sellos.

3 Hills

Most mornings you will do a little cardiovascular exercise as you walk out of places :) If you leave early and take your time this will present no difficulty. The Camino Ingles isn't a difficult route but it does have a little bite from time to time. My advice is to breakfast well and to carry some energy food - chocolate, dried fruit etc - you won't need a lot!

4 Blisters

If you prepare well by walking as often as you can and perhaps go for a full day hike or two before you go AND you treat your feet well you should be fine. There is a lot of advice here on avoiding blisters. If I were you I wouldn't take the risk of discovering "what is best for you" I'd simply follow the recieved wisdom by covering your feet in vaseline (or similar) at least once per day and then wear a thin pair of liner socks and a thicker pair of walking socks. There and places all along the way where you will be able to take your boots or shoes off to rest or bath your feet in the cold water of Galicia. Lovely :)

If a spot on your feet becomes uncomfortable stop immediately and deal with it. Often socks off and back on again works fine. In the event you do get a blister my own preference is simply to clean the area and pass a sterilised threaded needle through the blister leaving the thread in situ to drain the blister. Cover with a plaster and all will be well.

Going on pilgrimage is a big thing so you are right to ask whatever questions you have - don't hesitate.

If there is time later in the year I'll try to get out and explore the Carral alternative to write it up for the guide if someone doesn't volunteer to do this sooner! - but the Betanzos to Bruma stage is very rewarding - you'll be proud of yourselves!

Best wishes

John
 

n.white51

New Member
Thank for your replies, they have reassured us, that we could make Bar Julia, get a taxi to the hostel at Bruma and continue back again from Bar Julia the next day. We will continue with our planning and
get plenty of walking practice in.

thank you
Neil
 

muse

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2010) Camino Portugues (2011)
Hello,
I'm planning camino Ingles in october. It is my first camino and I have silly question considering albergues :oops:

Is there a person who is waiting for piligrims, or maybe i'll found locked doors and a note saying 'please call no. 123.... if you want enter the albergue'. Do I need to carry mobile phone?

Another question: where to buy an inexpensive knife in Ferrol or Santiago?

thanks :)
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hola - yes you need a mobile phone on this route. The albergues in Neda and Mino have the numbers of the hopsitaleros on the door, just call them and they will come. Similarly in Bruma but Carmen is usually there in any event. The details and numbers are all in the guide.
There are a number of hardware shops in Ferrol.

Best regards

John
 

johnBCCanada

Active Member
Hi

I am wondering about the statement that a mobile phone is needed on this route. I tend to walk longer distances so don't expect that I will be arriving at an albergue early in the day. I don't have a mobile phone now. I could buy one and figure out how to get the sim card and some prepaid time when I get to Spain but my preference would be not to less for the money than to avoid further complications. I know I am a techno-dinosaur but I really don't need a mobile phone at home and prefer not to acquire what I don't need.

Is the mobile phone really necessary?

John the techno-dinosaur
 

madrid12

member
Hola - last time I walked the Ingles I only took my mobile to text family where I was staying, otherwise I never take it, I usually use a phone in the bars if I need one. But walking the CI I planned to stay in hostels anyway, but in Bruma you normally see the hospiteleros [or they see you] and Mino and Neda are bigger places. Hope this helps.
Liz
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
johnBCCanada said:
Hi

I am wondering about the statement that a mobile phone is needed on this route. I tend to walk longer distances so don't expect that I will be arriving at an albergue early in the day. I don't have a mobile phone now. I could buy one and figure out how to get the sim card and some prepaid time when I get to Spain but my preference would be not to less for the money than to avoid further complications. I know I am a techno-dinosaur but I really don't need a mobile phone at home and prefer not to acquire what I don't need.

Is the mobile phone really necessary?

John the techno-dinosaur
No it isn't essential if you are happy to use the telephone numbers in the guide to phone ahead to alert Hospitaleros that you will be arriving and arrive when you say you will.

This route isn't the Camino Frances. If you run into problems there won't be someone along in 10 mins to assist you. There are times when there are very few pilgrims. The hospitaleros only attend the albergue when they know that pilgrims are there. They do not go every day and sit and wait for pilgrims - possibly with the exception of Bruma where you pass the hospitaleras house on the way in. If you don't phone the albergues in advance and arrive when you say you will or you don't have a mobile phone to telephone them you will be sitting waiting in vain because they won't know you are there and won't come and you won't have a bed. Of course an option would be to arrive, write down the telephone numbers on the door and go off to find a bar or telephone to phone them.

Good luck

John
 

guzzista

New Member
My wife and I completed the Camino Ingles. We are 53 and 59 yrs old so we're right there with you. The Camino is up and down elevation wise.... it is quite steep coming out of Pontedeume but slow going, taking breaks, and knowing that you are going to hike 12 km will do it.... Leave Ferrol and stay in Neda or Fene, then on to Pontedeume, then to Mino, then Betanzos - stay at the hotel San Roquie (telepone (0034) 981-775- 555 - they can meet you anywhere and take you to drop off points -- when you are ready, shift to Bruma (which is very small and has no accommodations other than the alburgie) and go to Meson do Vento and stay at the Pension O Meson Novo ( tele 981-692-776). Go from there to Bar O Cruciero - ask Carolina the owner to call a cab to take you 3 km into Ordes to a hotel. A cab can easily take you bake to the bar O Cruciero and off again for Sigueiro. There is a hotel there - book that one ahead.... download and read the manual for the Camino from this website - print that and bring and bring two copies with you!

You will learn to adjust as you go, talk to folks, and find your way. Help is usually close - the way from Bar O Cruciero into Sigueiro is pretty "country" - take your time and take breaks. You will make it. Bring your Rosary!

Good luck

Thomas and Stephanie
 

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