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Can I have my cake and eat it too?

gertrong415

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping for summer (2020)
I am just in the early planning stages for my first Camino to begin in May 2020. I have decided that Camino Frances is the right choice for me, but I am very conflicted on how to approach it. I want to experience the excitement of the traditional start in St. Jean Pied de Port, as well as the challenge and reward of crossing the Pyrenees. I also want to experience the mental, physical and spiritual challenge of traversing the meseta. I live in the US and I am at a point in my life where going back for more might be an option, but is certainly not something that is guaranteed. I can probably swing 3, possibly 4, weeks away from work/home, but the often quoted 35 days to walk the full Camino Frances is not realistic for me in one shot right now.

So... my question is this...

Is it possible to do something akin to the beginning, the middle and the end and skip some of the route in between? I know this is not the full experience and I also know there is no right or wrong way to walk the Camino. I am really just asking if this is logistically possible and if so, what are travel options between cities/towns/outposts? What sections would you skip? I realize there is no single answer, just looking for wisdom and thoughts from those who have walked this path before me.

Thank you. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I am just in the early planning stages for my first Camino to begin in May 2020. I have decided that Camino Frances is the right choice for me, but I am very conflicted on how to approach it. I want to experience the excitement of the traditional start in St. Jean Pied de Port, as well as the challenge and reward of crossing the Pyrenees. I also want to experience the mental, physical and spiritual challenge of traversing the meseta. I live in the US and I am at a point in my life where going back for more might be an option, but is certainly not something that is guaranteed. I can probably swing 3, possibly 4, weeks away from work/home, but the often quoted 35 days to walk the full Camino Frances is not realistic for me in one shot right now.

So... my question is this...

Is it possible to do something akin to the beginning, the middle and the end and skip some of the route in between? I know this is not the full experience and I also know there is no right or wrong way to walk the Camino. I am really just asking if this is logistically possible and if so, what are travel options between cities/towns/outposts? What sections would you skip? I realize there is no single answer, just looking for wisdom and thoughts from those who have walked this path before me.

Thank you. :)


Yes, it's very possible.
Here is a 22 day schedule I use for my Anniewalkers - it would work for anyone, and you hit all the "good" places, in my opinion. It would be an easy one to rework for your own use. For one person, I would bus between Viana/Logroño - Burgos - Leon instead of taxi. The bus is very reasonably priced and has morning departures for each city.:

Itinerary
Day 1: Pamplona
Day 2: Taxi to SJPP
Day 3: Walk to Orisson (8 k)
Day 4: Walk to Roncesvalles (13 k)
Day 5: Walk to Zubiri (22.2 k)
Day 6: Walk to Pamplona (21 k)
Day 7: Walk to Puente la Reina (24 k)
Day 8: Walk to Estella (21.9 k)
Day 9: Walk to Los Arcos (21.1 k)
Day 10: Walk to Viana (19 k)
Day 11: Taxi to Burgos
Day 12: Bus to Leon
Day 13: Bus to Astorga
Day 14: Walk to Rabanal del Camino (21.4 k)
Day 15: Walk to Molinaseca (26.5 k)
Day 16: Walk to Villafranca (23 k)
Day 17: Taxi to O'Cebreiro, then to Samos, walk to Sarria (15 k)
Day 18: Sarria to Portomarin (22 k)
Day 19: Portomarin to Palas de Rei (24.8 k)
Day 20: Palas de Rei to Castañeda (22.8 k)
Day 21: Walk to O Pedrouzo (22.1 k)
Day 22: Walk to Santiago (20.1 k)
Day 23: Enjoy Santiago - see the Cathedral, get your Compostela, see the museums
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
You do realise that St. Jean has never been a traditional start of the Camino? Not until a certain film came out anyway! St Jean is the last (major) town on the Via Podiensis that crosses France. The Camino Frances starts in Spain. There is no one 'starting point' of the camino. Start from wherever you wish.

How about working out how many days you have to walk, work back in km per days from Santiago and start there. Then walk all the way to Santiago. Pamplona, Logrono, Burgos are also common starting points on the Frances and easy to get to.

Whatever you choose, happy planning
Buen Camino!

Davey
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Note that Annie's itinerary skips the meseta, and you can walk some or all between those towns she's mentioned.

The only area of the meseta that can be troublesome to catch a bus out of, is between Hornillos and Castrojerez, between Castrojerez and Carrion de las Casas, and between Carrion and Sahagun. There are buses to those towns that will take you north or south (and maybe west) where you can transfer to something westward.

The downside to hopscotching along, is losing contact with your new friends.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sep/Oct 2018)
Camino Portugues (May 2021)
If I had only four weeks to walk the CF, I would start in Pamplona and do it uninterrupted. Breaking it up, to me, would feel like a series of day hikes interspersed with travel (bus) days. Again - personal opinion, what tied the Camino together as a journey was getting up every day and walking. Crossing the Pyrenees was an experience, but part of what made it special was the thought of it being day 1 of 35 on the road. It would not have felt the same if I knew I was going to get on a bus in a few days and skip ahead. Opinions will vary, But there was no section that I would willingly skip. You can bus or taxi from most of the towns on the route. If you do need to break up your journey, I would suggest trying to maximize the number of consecutive days you walk, and make sure you walk the last 100k if you want to get a compostella.

Buen Camino!

P.S. - If you walk any of the Camino, I'm sure you will want to go back for more :)
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Yes you can skip along and do bits here and there, it's also possible to walk from St Jean like we did in 4 weeks. Personally I would not skip stages, the thing that makes the Camino more then another Spanish holiday is the commitment you make to reaching your goal, this means focusing as much as the journey within as the places you pass through. Pick a start point that best suits your fitness and time frame, As said above Pamploma, Burgos or Leon are all good start places if you are looking for a 4 week Camino and can only manage around 20kms a day.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Others have said it and I just want to amplify their voices:
There is no one 'starting point' of the camino. Start from wherever you wish.
You do realise that St. Jean has never been a traditional start of the Camino? Not until a certain film came out anyway!
Pick a start point that best suits your fitness and time frame

There is no need to cherry-pick this - it diminishes the experience.
Unless you're walking as a tourist, and then it doesn't matter - choose the 'nicest' parts and walk them. But just so you know - you'd be settling for the crumbs when the whole meal is completely within your reach.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...
How about working out how many days you have to walk, work back in km per days from Santiago and start there. Then walk all the way to Santiago. Pamplona, Logrono, Burgos are also common starting points on the Frances and easy to get to.
...
That's exactly what I would suggest given your available time. After all many other Caminos have nothing in common with Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port ;)
Levante starts in Valencia, Ingles in Ferrol or A Coruna, Via de la Plata in Sevilla and so on.

So is it Camino or is it Camino Frances for you? That's the question I would try to answer first and then decide what, when, how and why etc.

Anyway Buen Camino!
 
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gertrong415

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping for summer (2020)
Yes, it's very possible.
Here is a 22 day schedule I use for my Anniewalkers - it would work for anyone, and you hit all the "good" places, in my opinion. It would be an easy one to rework for your own use. For one person, I would bus between Viana/Logroño - Burgos - Leon instead of taxi. The bus is very reasonably priced and has morning departures for each city.:

Itinerary
Day 1: Pamplona
Day 2: Taxi to SJPP
Day 3: Walk to Orisson (8 k)
Day 4: Walk to Roncesvalles (13 k)
Day 5: Walk to Zubiri (22.2 k)
Day 6: Walk to Pamplona (21 k)
Day 7: Walk to Puente la Reina (24 k)
Day 8: Walk to Estella (21.9 k)
Day 9: Walk to Los Arcos (21.1 k)
Day 10: Walk to Viana (19 k)
Day 11: Taxi to Burgos
Day 12: Bus to Leon
Day 13: Bus to Astorga
Day 14: Walk to Rabanal del Camino (21.4 k)
Day 15: Walk to Molinaseca (26.5 k)
Day 16: Walk to Villafranca (23 k)
Day 17: Taxi to O'Cebreiro, then to Samos, walk to Sarria (15 k)
Day 18: Sarria to Portomarin (22 k)
Day 19: Portomarin to Palas de Rei (24.8 k)
Day 20: Palas de Rei to Castañeda (22.8 k)
Day 21: Walk to O Pedrouzo (22.1 k)
Day 22: Walk to Santiago (20.1 k)
Day 23: Enjoy Santiago - see the Cathedral, get your Compostela, see the museums
Thank you for your wonderful succinct and practical information. I really appreciate it! 😊
 

gertrong415

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping for summer (2020)
That's exactly what I would suggest given your available time. After all many other Caminos have nothing in common with Saint-Jean-de-Port ;)
Levante starts in Valencia, Ingles in Ferrol or A Coruna, Via de la Plata in Sevilla and so on.

So is it Camino or is it Camino Frances for you? That's the question I would try to answer first and then decide what, when, how and why etc.

Anyway Buen Camino!
Wonderful advice! Thank you so much. Now I can move on past that crazy thought and focus on what works best for me.
 

gertrong415

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping for summer (2020)
That's exactly what I would suggest given your available time. After all many other Caminos have nothing in common with Saint-Jean-de-Port ;)
Levante starts in Valencia, Ingles in Ferrol or A Coruna, Via de la Plata in Sevilla and so on.

So is it Camino or is it Camino Frances for you? That's the question I would try to answer first and then decide what, when, how and why etc.

Anyway Buen Camino!
Thank you so much! Excellent advice! I just want Camino. Enough said. 😀
 

gertrong415

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping for summer (2020)
Yes you can skip along and do bits here and there, it's also possible to walk from St Jean like we did in 4 weeks. Personally I would not skip stages, the thing that makes the Camino more then another Spanish holiday is the commitment you make to reaching your goal, this means focusing as much as the journey within as the places you pass through. Pick a start point that best suits your fitness and time frame, As said above Pamploma, Burgos or Leon are all good start places if you are looking for a 4 week Camino and can only manage around 20kms a day.
Thank you so much for your sage advice. I will definitely pick a starting point and keep walking. No skipping.
 

gertrong415

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping for summer (2020)
Others have said it and I just want to amplify their voices:




There is no need to cherry-pick this - it diminishes the experience.
Unless you're walking as a tourist, and then it doesn't matter - choose the 'nicest' parts and walk them. But just so you know - you'd be settling for the crumbs when the whole meal is completely within your reach.
Well said. Thank you so much for crystalizing that for me. It’s exactly what I needed. 😊
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
One thing to consider if you want to do the camino under your power but don't have enough time to walk the whole way is to rent a bicycle for the meseta section. (I am neither for nor against doing this; I'm just just presenting the idea.)

In Burgos (and maybe even earlier in Logrono) you can rent bikes to be returned in Leon or Astorga. Burgos and Astorga are end points of the meseta where the Camino Frances runs. Roughly, they are 240 kilometers apart (that's 150 miles) and that should be able to be biked in four days, maybe three. Brierley's guidebook suggests 10 days to walk this distance so this could shave a week off the time you need to do your camino.

There are a number of places where you can rent. Here are some links I've collected (but the list may not be complete):Some other thoughts:
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
I have decided that Camino Frances is the right choice for me, but I am very conflicted on how to approach it. I want to experience the excitement of the traditional start in St. Jean Pied de Port, as well as the challenge and reward of crossing the Pyrenees. I also want to experience the mental, physical and spiritual challenge of traversing the meset

I can probably swing 3, possibly 4, weeks away from work/home, but the often quoted 35 days to walk the full Camino Frances is not realistic for me

It took me 5 weeks to walk from St.Jean to Santiago but I ended up walking someone else's timeframe subsequently choose to take the bus from Burgos to Leon (aka , Meseta) Others I met at the same time completed it in 29 days walking. When I reached Santiago I continued to Finisterre then walked from Porto back to Santiago to compensate for what I believed to be missing the 150 miles of the Meseta. When I got to Santiago for a second time it had more of a personal significance, it went from spiritual awakening to religious intent. My transformation felt a little empty so I shared this with a volunteer at the pilgrim office. They provided me with a illustration of what he described as his theory of the Camino in his 50 years walking it, before, during and for the 40 days after. He asked me to not hand out or share the actual document but the main core message is one than you hear often. That the walk taken as a whole is broken into 3 stages, the body (physical), mind (emotional) and spirit (soul) and its path is aligned with our Milky Way from Ronsevalles to Finisterre hence the universal energy and lay lines. The St Jean starting point for me was necessary to test my physicality and it earned my respect from day 1. The bit I missed and don't regret my decision was between Burgos and Leon, the reason I decided to pass it by is because I knew the person I was walking with had time constraints and would have to compromise if we were to walk our camino in our own way together. When I returned home after walking the Francè and part of the Portuguese alone I wanted to go further so I answered the call and finished my 3rd Camino. I eventually returned home after walking 2,000 Kms across fours countries and two time zones. Recently I started thinking about the stage I missed on the Meseta so I'm answering the call and return again at the end of next month too walk again. This time I will walk from St. Jean to Leon in 3 weeks the body and mind. The soul part is already achieved and if I wanted to experience the 3rd stage and where 50% of pilgrims begin there camino I would travel by bus from Leon to Sarria and walk for 4 days from Sarria to Santiago with Extra couple of days to bus to Finisterre and experience the end of the world. It's likely that I may end up taking the same route but based on experience what you think you will do is further away from what you end up doing, either way, pick your start and keep walking with no expectation and when your on the way instinctly you'll know where you will end up and it will be the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. Ultreia 🤠
 
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Micah26

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2018)
Dear Gestrong...

Welcome! I walked my 1st and only Camino to date last Sept-Oct. I had a strong so I have some limitations. With that in mind, I started in Pamplona. The first day out was very difficult for me despite walking 5 mi a days for 2 yrs... but at sea level no hills! I made no plans as to where to stay or how far to travel. Stopped when I got too tired or if I thought the town was cute... often off the Brierly suggestions. I finished a little over 30 days (I think 33). I injured my foot so rested a couple days and bused 1/2 thé Meseta. I decided it wasn’t the 500 miles but the journey be it just to the next town or to Finesterre. I walked for my dear friend who died of lung Cancer, for my mom who passed from blood cancer and for me to grieve and create a new life at 55. The spiritual and cultural parts were very important. I lit many candles, went to many masses and enjoyed my time alone just breathing. Culturally I wanted to eat different foods talk to people in my poor Spanish and enjoy the beauty and history of the Camino. Primary were the wonderful people I met along the way. Whatever you decide it’s ok. You will be touched in ways unknown... go beyond what you thought you could do. Enjoy each step, each day is a blessing even when you don’t get that last bed, or might have to have a snack for dinner😊Buen Camino
 

Walkerooni

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
Thank you for your wonderful succinct and practical information. I really appreciate it! 😊
But it does take out the Meseta, which sounded important to you. And you are correct about the spiritual aspect of the Meseta. Many skip it because someone has told them it is “boring”. That is nonsense and a line many have fallen for when looking for a reason to not walk the whole thing. I agree with others that you would be better to start further along and then go continuously, if that spiritual connection is what you seek.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
How you appreciate skipping parts of "the camino " is totally a matter of personal preferences, goals and so on. One effect of skipping stages is that you will lose contact with other walkers and have to build new caminofriendships each time you start from a new city. If the social aspect of walking a camino is important to you, this a point to consider.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Thank you so much for your sage advice. I will definitely pick a starting point and keep walking. No skipping.
Glad you took the advice in the spirit it was intended. It's hard to pitch comments in the right tone without coming across judgemental, it's one of the reasons I usable stay of the CF posts. But I think the advice given to you by a number of posters is to encourage you to go and get the most out of your experience. There is no right way of doing it, as you will find out, your Camino will be the way you make it and only you can say if that was right for you.
 

Terri B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
1998 St Cuthberts Way, 1999 West Highland Way, 2016 & 2019 SJPDP to Santiago, 2020 Porto to Santiago
I had to skip some bits in 2016 due to illness and injury and some to time pressures. Deeply regret it so I'm heading back in a few weeks for a do over. I would say don't miss the Mesetta. Beautiful sunrises over freshly harvested wheat fields and glorious stacks of hay. I took many many photos.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
You´ll find that you possibly need 35 days plus the traveling days, when you come so far away from Spain.
I would advice againt the skipping part, but that is just me.

On my first Camino I did not know my strengths and weaknesses, so starting out from Burgos left me ample time to test the Meseta. Here I met a lot of first timers that had suffered crossing the Pyrenees 13 days earlier and still had serious blisters, due to wrong socks, wrong laces, wrong footwear etc
I started from Burgos with a planned time of reaching SdC in 21 days and the chance of having down days, layover due to unexpected impulses and the odd lazy day....
Luck would have it that I did not have breakdowns, but just minor afflictions and ended up taking extra time in Finisterre and Bilbao, and came back a seconf time to do the SJPdP stretch. My torture was not the crossing , but the going down after Zubiri on lose stone...
I remember Meseta like a balming walk and introducing my body and especially feet to the new task at hand...
So, please do not make a Herculean test out of it, when you do not have enough time. You do state that you want to experience the Meseta.....
If you are really smitten, chances are, you will come back anyhow....!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Get a good guidebook. The Brierley one preferably. Make sure you start in saint Jean. It's wonderful. Make sure you walk the last 100 km from Sarria. Everything in between just tailor to your needs by bus or taxi. Don't overthink it. It's quite uncomplicated. Use caution when asking for advice on this forum. The simplest inquiry becomes a spider's web of complication.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Gestrong,

How many kilometers do you think you can do a day? How are you on uphills and downhills. More information will help us better answer your question.

It would be bel
 

Mycroft

Active Member
As mentioned above, if you want a compostela, remember the last 100 kilometers to Santiago, from which ever route you are on, need to be contiguous.
 

gertrong415

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping for summer (2020)
Gestrong,

How many kilometers do you think you can do a day? How are you on uphills and downhills. More information will help us better answer your question.

It would be bel
Not super strong right now - have some training to do...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
You have gotten a lot of responses here, but I'll pipe in as well with my thoughts. I took 30 walking days from SJPDP to Santiago. I agree with the thoughts of many here that the continuous walking under my own power was a powerful part for me. I'll add the thought here that based on my experience, the portion from SJPDP for the first few days was the most crowded/busy because of the 'waves' of everyone starting together out of SJPDP. It settled out a bit after the first week, as people got spread out. Making a reasonable estimate of possible daily distance and calculating backwards from Santiago would be how I would do it in your situation. Also, I found I covered a lot more distance each day across the Maseta than I did through the hills near the end, so keep that in mind for distance estimates.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Frances, 2017 Frances, 2019 Frances
I am just in the early planning stages for my first Camino to begin in May 2020. I have decided that Camino Frances is the right choice for me, but I am very conflicted on how to approach it. I want to experience the excitement of the traditional start in St. Jean Pied de Port, as well as the challenge and reward of crossing the Pyrenees. I also want to experience the mental, physical and spiritual challenge of traversing the meseta. I live in the US and I am at a point in my life where going back for more might be an option, but is certainly not something that is guaranteed. I can probably swing 3, possibly 4, weeks away from work/home, but the often quoted 35 days to walk the full Camino Frances is not realistic for me in one shot right now.

So... my question is this...

Is it possible to do something akin to the beginning, the middle and the end and skip some of the route in between? I know this is not the full experience and I also know there is no right or wrong way to walk the Camino. I am really just asking if this is logistically possible and if so, what are travel options between cities/towns/outposts? What sections would you skip? I realize there is no single answer, just looking for wisdom and thoughts from those who have walked this path before me.

Thank you. :)
You have posed a question that, is in reality, a cliche. What you haven't yet told us why you want to walk the Camino. It seems that you want to participate in an event. Something that will make good conversation when you return to your home???
So... What is the motivation??? Another notch on the belt??? Another accomplishment???
Sorry if I'm coming off as rude/abrupt, but your premise is unknown to me.
Many aspiring 'pilgrims' have questions, but give no clue as to why they want to have the experience.
Maybe you should start there...

Peace be with you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Frances, 2017 Frances, 2019 Frances
Note that Annie's itinerary skips the meseta, and you can walk some or all between those towns she's mentioned.

The only area of the meseta that can be troublesome to catch a bus out of, is between Hornillos and Castrojerez, between Castrojerez and Carrion de las Casas, and between Carrion and Sahagun. There are buses to those towns that will take you north or south (and maybe west) where you can transfer to something westward.

The downside to hopscotching along, is losing contact with your new friends.
The Me says is the soul of the Camino
Note that Annie's itinerary skips the meseta, and you can walk some or all between those towns she's mentioned.

The only area of the meseta that can be troublesome to catch a bus out of, is between Hornillos and Castrojerez, between Castrojerez and Carrion de las Casas, and between Carrion and Sahagun. There are buses to those towns that will take you north or south (and maybe west) where you can transfer to something westward.

The downside to hopscotching along, is losing contact with your new friends.
The Mesata is the soul of the Camino. You don't 'skip it'. If you don't have the time to do the Camino it's alright to wait until you do.

Peace be with you.
 

gertrong415

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping for summer (2020)
You have posed a question that, is in reality, a cliche. What you haven't yet told us why you want to walk the Camino. It seems that you want to participate in an event. Something that will make good conversation when you return to your home???
So... What is the motivation??? Another notch on the belt??? Another accomplishment???
Sorry if I'm coming off as rude/abrupt, but your premise is unknown to me.
Many aspiring 'pilgrims' have questions, but give no clue as to why they want to have the experience.
Maybe you should start there...

Peace be with you.
None of the above. I want a pilgrimage. Since I first learned of the Camino 6 or 7 years ago, it has been calling to me. I want the physical, mental and spiritual test. I want to walk the path that millions of pilgrims have walked for centuries. I want to strip away the busyness and distractions of everyday life and be allowed to focus on what matters most in life. I want to prove to myself I can do it, but is it "another notch in my belt?" Not hardly. That's not how I work. I apologize for not providing more personal information in my original post, but I am a newbie here and this was my first post. I was writing from my desk at work, with limited time and trying to keep it simple for people to read. I realize now, though, that more information does help get more useful responses from others.

My concern is that by not having the opportunity to experience the physical challenge of crossing the Pyrenees or the mental challenge of the meseta, I would not fully experience the opportunity for introspection, personal reflection or the complete essence of the Camino. As I said, I am in early planning stages - still trying to figure out how much time I might be able to get away from work. I know, however, that it will not be 6 weeks. I was just trying to get a sense of what the options are from a logistical stand point.

Since I originally posted this question, thanks to the many responses, I have been able to develop a better sense of my best, personal approach to the Camino. I know there are many paths and there is no one right or wrong way. I have come to understand that, for me, I need to choose a distance that I can walk, uninterrupted, in the time I have available. I have come to understand that I will face plenty of physical challenges without the Pyrenees and plenty of mental challenges without the meseta.

Thank you for your reply.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
My concern is that by not having the opportunity to experience the physical challenge of crossing the Pyrenees or the mental challenge of the meseta, I would not fully experience the opportunity for introspection, personal reflection or the complete essence of the Camino. As I said, I am in early planning stages - still trying to figure out how much time I might be able to get away from work.
@gertrong415, earlier I posted about the possibility of renting a bicycle to cross the meseta. Based on your followup post above if we were to have a conversation I would be inclined to talk you into starting from SJPdP and just keep on walking (until you have to quit to go to back to work; I don't suggest quitting work to complete the camino even though I think that thought will have entered your mind by Leon anyway). I think that trip will be your best physical, mental and spirtual challenge. Whatever way you go make it a good way. Buen camino.
 

gertrong415

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hoping for summer (2020)
Rick, thank you so much for your reply and excellent advice. I am definitely considering the option of starting at SJPdP and walking as far as I can get. This is what my heart wants to do, but I am not certain that would be the best choice for me physically. Since I am going in May, I still have time to train, but I am concerned that those first few days out of SJPdP would do me in. I am a long way from the shape I would want/need to be in to tackle that and will have to see how my training progresses. I know that people of all fitness levels can/have done it, and if I had unlimited time, I would, without a doubt start there and just go as slowly as I needed to go. I have little doubt, from all I have read and heard from others, I would prefer to walk this part of the Camino, as opposed to the end. However...I am currently leaning toward starting in Leon and walking to SdC. I have many conflicting emotions about this and it is probably not my #1 choice/preference, but if I am being realistic, it probably makes the most sense. I’m still mulling things over, but that’s where I am atm. TBH, it would take me an hour to explain all my thoughts on this and I doubt anyone here really wants inside my head. At the end of the day, I know that whatever ground I end up covering, whatever path I choose to walk, it will be an amazing experience. It is my hope that someday in the future, I will have the time and opportunity to tackle the entire ~800km.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sep/Oct 2018)
Camino Portugues (May 2021)
...I am currently leaning toward starting in Leon and walking to SdC. I have many conflicting emotions about this and it is probably not my #1 choice/preference, but if I am being realistic, it probably makes the most sense
No Camino is a bad Camino. While it may not be your first choice, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. From Leon to SdC there are a lot of wonderful things to see. Enjoy and Buen Camino!
 

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