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Compare VF to Primitivo, difficulty-wise

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
C. de Salvador/Primitivo (2018)
#1
I keep reading about how challenging the Via Francigena is to walk. Is it because of distances of stages or because of ascents and descents? Can someone who has walked the Camino Primitivo and the Via Francigena (Lucca - Rome) compare them for me, as for physical effort?
 

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davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#2
I keep reading about how challenging the Via Francigena is to walk. Is it because of distances of stages or because of ascents and descents? Can someone who has walked the Camino Primitivo and the Via Francigena (Lucca - Rome) compare them for me, as for physical effort?
I have no answer for you, Jill; I'm excited to think you may be doing the VF. I hope to someday move that off my bucket list. :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? CF, again :-)
#3
I keep reading about how challenging the Via Francigena is to walk. Is it because of distances of stages or because of ascents and descents? Can someone who has walked the Camino Primitivo and the Via Francigena (Lucca - Rome) compare them for me, as for physical effort?
Hi! Unfortunately I haven't walked the Primitivo so cannot compare. You'll hear people say the VF is demanding (and I am one of them!) because it is a long trek, made of many different parts with different challenges. The French part I found challenging: long distances with often no food, bars, etc. but the walking was straightforward.
The Alps were difficult, the steep descents hard on the legs. The flats rice plains were also difficult because of the mosquitoes. No way could I stop to even re-tie my shoelaces for instance without being attacked from all parts.
The hardest part (for me) were the Apennine mountains (around Pontremoli). Bear in mind I walked it in July/August during a heatwave....There were some steep climbs.

But starting from Lucca...I really can't remember that stretch especially demanding, maybe my memory fails me, maybe others have different views? :) All the best!
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria 10
Le Puy 16
Thames Path 16
Southwark-Canterbury 16
Estella 17
Paisley-Whithorn 17
#4
@JillGat , thanks for starting this thread.

In August 2018 I propose to continue a pilgrimage I started at Southwark Cathedral in August 2016 by returning to Canterbury Cathedral and walking (Channel excepted) to Reims Cathedral.

I note your interest is from Lucca to Rome..

I note @domigee has no particular memories of difficulties on that section. I hope that is right, for my sake.

As an aside I hope I do not repeat her experiences in France.

As a further aside: yesterday I looked at accomodation on my route. In doing so I noted I will pass across many areas soldiers from here (the uttermost ends of the earth) were fighting through almost exactly 100 years ago.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? CF, again :-)
#5
@JillGat , thanks for starting this thread.

In August 2018 I propose to continue a pilgrimage I started at Southwark Cathedral in August 2016 by returning to Canterbury Cathedral and walking (Channel excepted) to Reims Cathedral.

I note your interest is from Lucca to Rome..

I note @domigee has no particular memories of difficulties on that section. I hope that is right, for my sake.

As an aside I hope I do not repeat her experiences in France.

As a further aside: yesterday I looked at accomodation on my route. In doing so I noted I will pass across many areas soldiers from here (the uttermost ends of the earth) were fighting through almost exactly 100 years ago.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
The war cemetaries are something else.... I plan to go back there with my husband, not walking, just as a remembrance journey. It was.... Words fail me. So moving. so many crosses, as far as the eye could see. It will stay with me for ever. It is in my mind for ever.
 

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Camino Chris

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#6
I keep reading about how challenging the Via Francigena is to walk. Is it because of distances of stages or because of ascents and descents? Can someone who has walked the Camino Primitivo and the Via Francigena (Lucca - Rome) compare them for me, as for physical effort?
I am very curious about a comparison on difficulty, too, Jill. I've walked the Primitivo, but not the VF...yet. :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? CF, again :-)
#7
I am very curious about a comparison on difficulty, too, Jill. I've walked the Primitivo, but not the VF...yet. :)
But the VF from where? It starts in Canterbury and ends in Rome. How can It be compared to the Primitivo? Which bits???
 

Camino Chris

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#8
But the VF from where? It starts in Canterbury and ends in Rome. How can It be compared to the Primitivo? Which bits???
Same as the OP's question, the section from Lucca to Rome. Thanks ahead of time for some bits of info! ;)
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria 10
Le Puy 16
Thames Path 16
Southwark-Canterbury 16
Estella 17
Paisley-Whithorn 17
#11
@JillGat , difficulty can often be in the eye of the beholder.

My circumstances were not typical, but held a blessing. From the decision in early 2012 to begin my pilgrimage (starting at Le Puy) I had four years before I was able to set out in April 2016.

In that time I did 158 (mostly one day) trips, covered nearly 3,400 km, lost 20 kg of weight and got my gear right for me.

A local advantage are hills. One route I took had an elevation increase on 150 m over 1.5 km with cafe at either end. Another gave 400 m of elevation over 6 km starting from my home. I like this one as I would have my breakfast at the top before descending into the neighbouring valley.

Over time I developed a regime that included as many of these elements as possible:

1) attain 15 km before stopping for breakfast
2) attain 300 m of elevation gain
3) aspire to more than 30 km each trip

And I remembered by grandfathers advice to walk long, not quick. I adjusted his advice to suit the topography. This was to try for a constant rythm for each step and adjust the length to suit the gradient. For a steep grade (out of Saint-Jean or up to O Cebreiro, for example) use a very very short step but at a constant speed, breathing in and out on each foot fall. That way you save energy by hardly lifting your feet (and legs).

In relatively flat places you might be able to find a friendly multi-storied building with a suitable stairs ...

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

Harington

una abuelita inglés
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
#12
I keep reading about how challenging the Via Francigena is to walk. Is it because of distances of stages or because of ascents and descents? Can someone who has walked the Camino Primitivo and the Via Francigena (Lucca - Rome) compare them for me, as for physical effort?
This has been extensively discussed on the VF Facebook page. I have done both. The Primitivo is more mountainous. Between Lucca and Rome there are hills, but nothing serious. As I said on FB the only challenging stage is San Quirico d'Orcia - Radicofani, but it's not difficult, just long and uphill and open country. I did it in atrocious weather conditions, and survived. I was 69 at the time.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
C. de Salvador/Primitivo (2018)
#13
Thanks, Harington! I haven't seen any other threads comparing these two walks, so I appreciate it.
 


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