A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Camino Forum Store

Advertisement

Experiences and SJPP to Santiago de Compostela?

sadaigh

Camino Frances, July 2017
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (July 2017)
#1
I know everyone moves at their own pace, but the math teacher and planner in me want numbers! Plus, I'm just super curious about everyone else's experience. I'm also super excited. 135 days and counting until I leave SJPP!

So, how long did it take you to get from SJPP to Santiago de Compostela? How long did you plan for? What road bumps did you hit along the way?

Who did you walk with? How did that go?
 

Advertisment

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#2
Well, I started the first time in Roncesvalles, never had the intention to start in Saint-Jean in the first place.

Walked 35 days and one day public transport ( minor medical issue ).

The idea of walking a Camino...ripened for years in my head. Practical planning : six months when I got the ok from my boss for a sabbatical and getting the paperwork for this sorted.

Road bumps : small blisters, rain, being aggrevated by noise, missing a flecha, being annoyed of myself when confronted with my own negative thoughts sometimes. But the wonderful nature, the delightful human encounters outweigh the bumps in the road.

Who did I walk with ? : Alone and sometimes walking for an hour or so with other people and then we went our separate ways.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Portugues 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#3
40 days are a perfect time for me to walk the CF but YMMV ;-) Buen Camino, SY
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#4
more than one CF...varied in duration, but all done between 33-35 days
almost no planning or training for any of them besides buying some gear and making travel reservations online
few road bumps along the way...very little rain, zero bedbugs, bad indigestion once, two hangovers and one strained knee (that actually sucked...don't strain your ACL! ha ha). almost no blisters and always found a bed for the night even if I had to shell out a few more euros for a private room at a pensiones
walked by myself mostly, but inevitably you will walk with others....and in my case, all get together and stay at the same albergue, go out for dinner and drinks, etc...but then a few days later by myself again. that's the beauty of it
 

RobertS26

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Oct 2013
Camino Frances, Aug 2014
Camino Frances, Apr 2015
#5
I have told this story from time to time on this Forum and I think it worth repeating.

On my second Camino, I met a very skilled surgeon from the United States who was a complete and total perfectionist. In planning his Camino, he read hundreds of books, consulted maps, poured over elevation charts, and looked up historical weather data. He left nothing to chance. The invasion of Normandy in 1944 took less planning. He was so precise that he booked a room for every night along the way to Santiago--some 40 carefully planned out reservations. In all, he spent almost a thousand hours planning out the perfect Camino. The most absolutely glorious, never been done before, perfect Camino. It was a piece of art work that rivaled the David or Mona Lisa.

Then his Camino started.

On the first day he fell in with a Camino family. He loved his Camino family and they loved him. But there was only one problem. His Camino family was being spontaneous. They were living in the moment. As a result, they would not decide on where to stop for the night until mid-afternoon each day. Rarely did his Camino family stop where he had a reservation.

His solution? He would stop where they stopped, have a beer with them, grab a taxi, rush forward/backward to the village where he had a room, check in, shower, change clothes, grab a taxi back to his Camino family, have dinner with them, grab a taxi back to his room, sleep, get up, grab a taxi back to his Camino family, and resume walking with them. I observed this odd behavior all the way from SJPP to Leon.

Finally one day I asked him, "Why don't you just cancel the remainder of your reservations and stay in the same town as your Camino family?" Before he responded, he look left, then right, and then leaned in toward me to make sure no one could hear his answer. In a hushed voice he quietly said, "I don't want to admit that being a perfectionist about my Camino was a complete and total waste of time."
 
Last edited:

Advertisment

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#6
For the math teacher, last year I walked 593 km of the CF in an elapsed time of 9 days 21 hour and a moving time of 6 days 17 hours and 14 minutes! My wife and I started in SJPP on 2 May and arrived in Santiago early on 15 Jun, having stayed in San Marcos the previous night. We didn't walk the meseta.
 

Ahhhs

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago, May 2015
Porto to Santiago, April 2016
Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago, April 2016
Camino Del Norte, April 2017
#7
I took 6 weeks. It was about right for me. I like to take my time, enjoy the scenery, take photos, enjoy the bars and little towns, practice my lousy Spanish with the locals, and visit with other pilgrims. I'd take even more time if it was practical and spend a few extra days sightseeing.

Never quite understood those who rush in to the albergues at night exhausted from having walked an astonishing number of kms and then "brag" about how they fast they walked. Did they miss something? Who knows. I realize limited time is an issue for some people. But it really isn't a race or a competition. And as always, to each their own Camino. Whatever works for you, works.

Buen Camino
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
#8
I know everyone moves at their own pace, but the math teacher and planner in me want numbers! Plus, I'm just super curious about everyone else's experience. I'm also super excited. 135 days and counting until I leave SJPP!

So, how long did it take you to get from SJPP to Santiago de Compostela? How long did you plan for? What road bumps did you hit along the way?

Who did you walk with? How did that go?
I went from deciding to go mid Sept to being there 23 Oct.

50 days from SJPdP to Fisterra. 24 Oct to 12 Dec 2012.

I walked mostly alone. I tried to find someone to have dinner with every night ... sometimes there wasn't anyone.

I got rained on sideways going over route Napoleon. My boots got soaked and my feet got soft. Next day the blisters started early and were a nuisance the rest of the walk.

I mailed a lot of stuff home. My planning was based on taking stuff out of my backpack that I knew I wouldn't need ... tent stove etc that usually goes on a hiking trip ... but I still took too much stuff.

My boots developed a hole near Melida. New shoes were purchased in Santiago.

Slipped just a bit on the slick washroom floor at the Plaza facing the Cathedral. The shoes don't have vibram soles. I must have done some minor damage to the knee. It was killing me by the time I got to Fisterra.

My plan was to use up remainder of 90 days in the south of Spain and ended up going home just before Christmas instead.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#9
31 days, but in two different years.
Planning: First time, I dreamt about it for years, but I did not plan it too much (not equipment, nor stages). I just went, took a list of albergues in the pilgrim's bureau, and followed the yellow arrows. My second time was much more organized, but I am not sure if it was actually better.
Problems: First time, a, hum, bout of digestive problem (lasted three days, annoying but not big thing). Then painful knee bursitis, half of the way; I could not walk anymore.:(
No noticeable problems in my following Caminos (three of them),
A note for your mathematician mind: in my first travel back, I took a bus from Leon to Burgos to catch the train there. This highway goes along the Camino, and I entertained myself watching nostalgically the pilgrims. After a while, I noticed a pattern: they walked basically in clusters, 15 or 20 of them along a stretch of 6 0r 8 km; then there was an interval of maybe 20 kms, and there was another cluster, and so on.
I later commented this with a physic and he went enthusiastically into a explanation of a theory of mollecular movements apparently random but with discernible patterns (that I frankly did not understand). :cool:
 

eviemonkey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August 2016
#10
How long? 31 days.

Planning? Two/three weeks between the initial idea popping into my head and arriving in France. Just enough time to book a flight, buy equipment and squeeze in 5 days walking as a belated training strategy. It didn't feel enough on the first day's climb out of St Jean but I was flying by the time I reached the top and never looked back.

Road bumps? Few, if any. I got lucky in truth, avoiding blisters, sickness, injury, bed bugs, full albergues and bad weather. Even the hangovers were milder than I deserved. I was blessed with good fortune and acknowledged this to myself regularly.

Walking? Started off on my own, met a small group on day one who I walked with for 3/4 days, walked alone again, met another group for 2/3 days, walked alone again, then walked for the last two weeks with most of the two previous groups. I was glad to experience both. The days of truly being alone were exhilarating and liberating in equal measure. The days where you walked with others allowed you to share reflections and communal experiences. The further I went on the Camino, the more I had to reflect on. Sharing the company of others, and gaining fresh perspectives kick-started a lot of those reflections, even now four months on.
 

Dan Murphy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 25, 2016
#11
Late August, September, few days into October 2016. Thirty-three days, read the first few pages of my guidebook, one day I didn't even knew the name of the village I was in when asked. Never regretted getting up in the mornings, never had a blister. The Camino, as told to me by a 77 year old gentleman from Germany on his seventh Camino, "is a gift from God" ....... :) :)
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#12
Math teacher. Camino one Roncesvalles-to-Santiago, little planning took mom, at her insistence, I was 39 she was 70. She walked a few kms with rolling backpack until first brook after leaving Roncesvalles. Back was ditched, her belongings parceled out amongst myself and other pilgrims to be reclaimed in Larrasoana. After a few days she took buses from town-to-town while I walked we had a grand time--about 30 days. Second camino last minute, alone this time, 40 never been married, kind of hoping to meet Mr. Right, as some do on pilgrimage. Bumps: got ill in Astorga, everyone knew I was ill in Rabanal, when I apparently moaned and groaned in my sleep all night long. Did not meet Mr. Right. However, I did meet 7, yes, 7 Catholic priests, and saw a half-naked Catholic Bishop from Germany in hallway in albergue Nicolas del Flue in Ponferrada. Three of the priests lived in USA, two of whom lived in my city. Those three priests, others, and I comprised a fun camino family, very magical. Took about 36 days, SJPP to Fisterra. Winter 2014, ten years since last pilgrimage. Oh my! I completely underestimated the toll time takes on the body after years of inactivity. I used to dance, ballet, modern, that sort, will again, but had neither worked out nor taken class in years, and I was 52. Um! Bumps: slipped in mud, sprained ankle, and walked another few weeks on one ankle and one eggplant: 52 in years about 12 in mindset. R&R in Ponferrada for eight glorious days. Received favor because it was winter and few pilgrims, and I had been a hospitalera there 12 years prior and the priest remembered me. While recouping in Ponferrada, two thirty-somethings a German woman and American man, met, walked, fell in love, and have been wed for two years. Pilgrimage SJPP to Fisterra, 40 days or so.
Buen camino.
 
Last edited:

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#14
Mark Lee,
Were you walking Feb-Apr? If so, I wonder if you met the same young German woman.
 

trecile

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#16
I decided to do it in March, and started late August. It took me 33 days to reach Santiago. That included one rest day, and I split the Pyrenees and stayed at Orisson the first night. Then I walked three days to Finisterre, with a bad cold the 2nd and 3rd day. :(
I didn't take a guide book, but used apps to determine distances, find albergues, etc. I did train in the months before the Camino, walking 5-10 miles a day, and had no problems walking an average of 15 miles a day with my pack while on the Camino. (this was my first ever backpacking experience) I don't know if you are using age as a variable in your computations, but I turned 59 in Santiago.
 

HedaP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#17
48 days for lots reasons. Got smashed crossing the Pyrenees by gale force winds which triggered an autoimmune flare and slowed me down to short kilometre days for the first week. My companions were kind enough to keep at my pace even though I kept telling them to leave me for dust. Two to three weeks in when feet start to swell, my two walking companions got bad blisters which again slowed us down for the next couple of weeks. (I walked in low rise, big toe box, hobbit sneakers and never got a single blister the whole way.) By the time we'd sorted that issue we decided we were having so much fun going slow (we averaged 18 kms per day) that we just kept on keeping on. Thinking back trying to decide which albergue or which town I wouldn't stay at, I can't name one. Each day and each night and each town was special. Planning to do the camino again in a few weeks and this time I've allowed 8 weeks. I'm lucky to be retired and can take that time. I plan to stop frequently and take detours and enjoy where I am. If I finish early I'll walk to Muxia or head down to Portugal. There's lots of options.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, SJPdP to Santiago, May/June 2013
#18
33 Days. I used John Brierley's guide to the Camino de Santiago and he shows you how to do it in 33 days. I never had any problems or bumps or blisters! At that time I was 53 and I did not have any days to spare for rest days so I had to do it in the 33 days.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#19
36 days the first time, one or two days less the second and third time, 30 days the fourth time (but we skipped sections), 30 days the fifth time but I stopped at Sarría. I still think 36 days is good; it gives time to sightsee along the way and have some short days, but keeps the momentum.
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#21
We only walked one camino, the Camino Frances from SJPdP, starting mid-May 2015 right after we both retired. Although we went beyond Santiago the trip from SJPdP to SdC took 58 days but with only 48 days were we walking. There was a day each exploring Burgos and Leon (Pamplona we revisited for a few days on our return.) Peg got food poisoning and there was a sick day taken in Villalcaza de Sirga just before Carrion de los Condes and some really slow going from there to Sahagun where we took 2 full recovery days. Then it was a 3 day march to Leon, the touring day and then a day's walk out from Leon where Peg got tendonitis from the pavement. We spent a recovery day at the albergue and then was driven to the clinic in Astorga where we spent another 3 full days resting and touring (Peg in a borrowed wheelchair.) Then more slow going until SdC. We averaged about 10 miles a day when walking while the average for our Brierley guide would have been about 15 miles (16km/24km.)

Beforehand I did a fair bit of reading to get tips but there was really little planning. I used the AAA auto club to get plane tickets. Online I booked a room in Barcelona for a few nights, a train ticket to Pamplona and a room there and the bus to SJPdP. That was it. We owe a friend a few months of dog-sitting her mutt in exchange for her taking care of ours. We didn't plan on spending much so we didn't concern ourselves with the cost. Peg spent about an hour a day on Spanish language websites for a year but really didn't study other than that. She got the gist of conversations and could read a bit. I relied on my high school Spanish. I think I did OK because I remember conversations and I can't recall what language they were in but I suppose they were in Spanish.

We walked together at Peg's pace which was slow. I only remember us passing one person who was moving at the time. Since almost everyone else was faster we didn't have a chance to join a group. We did occasionally meet a few people from time to time who slowed down for a few rest days. Way before reaching Santiago I was getting pretty tired of saying Buen camino to everyone passing us by on each stage. Someday I have to work up an estimate of the number of people who passed us. We stayed a few days in Santiago where we did meet walkers we had met along the way (most having returned from Finisterre and/or Muxia.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
#22
25 days with half day zero in 2014. Solo.

Planning? We don't need no stinkin' planning? :)
Seriously, I'm not a fan of too much pre-planning other than browsing this or similar forum, checking distance and elevation loss/gain and determining where I'll stay the first night. Also not a proponent of training. Training is the first 4/5 days.
 

wcsjms

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) ; 1st Camino ; Frances Way ; 2017 Camino Frances begins August 10,2017
#23
We were 66 and 64 yrs, not in Camino shape even though we thought we were. We left SJJP Sept.22, 2016 and arrived in Santiago Nov. 4, 2016. We had broken bone in foot days, stomach virus days and general fatigue days. We actually finished earlier than we expected and spent until Nov. 19,2016 traveling around Portugal an Spain. Schengen Rule took effect then and needed to leave . Unless you have to be somewhere on a specific date, don't box yourself in, you never know when you just want to kick back and enjoy the sights for an extra day or two Buen Camino p.s. we're coming back in Sept. to do the Camino Norte' !!:)
 

sadaigh

Camino Frances, July 2017
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (July 2017)
#24
For the math teacher, last year I walked 593 km of the CF in an elapsed time of 9 days 21 hour and a moving time of 6 days 17 hours and 14 minutes! My wife and I started in SJPP on 2 May and arrived in Santiago early on 15 Jun, having stayed in San Marcos the previous night. We didn't walk the meseta.
This makes the math teacher in me so happy. Thank you!
 

sadaigh

Camino Frances, July 2017
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (July 2017)
#25
After a while, I noticed a pattern: they walked basically in clusters, 15 or 20 of them along a stretch of 6 0r 8 km; then there was an interval of maybe 20 kms, and there was another cluster, and so on.
I later commented this with a physic and he went enthusiastically into a explanation of a theory of mollecular movements apparently random but with discernible patterns (that I frankly did not understand). :cool:
I notice this with cars when I drive for long stretches... you end up in "packs" and sometimes end up between these packs with no cars for awhile!!! hahaha I'm actually excited to see this on the Camino. I'm such a weirdo.
 

sadaigh

Camino Frances, July 2017
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (July 2017)
#26
Feb-April?! Oh, heck no! Too cold in Europe for my southern a** that time of year, ha ha.
It was a June-July CF. That was nice weather. Like the Texas Hill Country in spring.
I have no idea what a Texas Hill Country in spring is like, but I will be completing my Camino in June-July, so I look forward to finding out!
 

Colette Zaharie

Happy Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Fisterre-Muxia March 2017
Slovakia Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017
El Norte March 1 2018
#27
I have told this story from time to time on this Forum and I think it worth repeating.

On my second Camino, I met a very skilled surgeon from the United States who was a complete and total perfectionist. In planning his Camino, he read hundreds of books, consulted maps, poured over elevation charts, and looked up historical weather data. He left nothing to chance. The invasion of Normandy in 1944 took less planning. He was so precise that he booked a room for every night along the way to Santiago--some 40 carefully planned out reservations. In all, he spent almost a thousand hours planning out the perfect Camino. The most absolutely glorious, never been done before, perfect Camino. It was a piece of art work that rivaled the David or Mona Lisa.

Then his Camino started.

On the first day he fell in with a Camino family. He loved his Camino family and they loved him. But there was only one problem. His Camino family was being spontaneous. They were living in the moment. As a result, they would not decide on where to stop for the night until mid-afternoon each day. Rarely did his Camino family stop where he had a reservation.

His solution? He would stop where they stopped, have a beer with them, grab a taxi, rush forward/backward to the village where he had a room, check in, shower, change clothes, grab a taxi back to his Camino family, have dinner with them, grab a taxi back to his room, sleep, get up, grab a taxi back to his Camino family, and resume walking with them. I observed this odd behavior all the way from SJPP to Leon.

Finally one day I asked him, "Why don't you just cancel the remainder of your reservations and stay in the same town as your Camino family?" Before he responded, he look left, then right, and then leaned in toward me to make sure no one could hear his answer. In a hushed voice he quietly said, "I don't want to admit that being a perfectionist about my Camino was a complete and total waste of time."
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#28
I have no idea what a Texas Hill Country in spring is like, but I will be completing my Camino in June-July, so I look forward to finding out!
Not much different than parts of southern CA in the spring (spent a spring in San Diego and Coronado once). Cool mornings. Blue skies (did get a couple of rainy, kinda cold days in Galicia). Maybe in the 80's during the day and cool evenings (fleece pullover weather).
All in all, was very nice.
 

sadaigh

Camino Frances, July 2017
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (July 2017)
#29
Not much different than parts of southern CA in the spring (spent a spring in San Diego and Coronado once). Cool mornings. Blue skies (did get a couple of rainy, kinda cold days in Galicia). Maybe in the 80's during the day and cool evenings (fleece pullover weather).
All in all, was very nice.
I grew up in So Cal, so now you are speaking my language! Thanks!
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#31
I have no idea what a Texas Hill Country in spring is like, but I will be completing my Camino in June-July, so I look forward to finding out!
The stretch of the Camino between Ages and Burgos, the hilly part, reminds me of the Texas hill country very much, and some parts of California. Rolling hills, rocks and a lot of those smaller post or live oaks. It's very nice.
 

Oddyspapa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Finished full of Camino Frances two times; 2014, 2016
Have a plan to go again May/Jun 2018
#32
Me and my wife(middle of 50's) walked 2 times from SJPP to Santiago. First camino was started May 15, 2014 and the second one was May 14, 2016. At the first time, how many days took, is totally depended on my wife because she never walked this kind of long way. Fortunately, she walked faster than I expected, even though she couldn't control her pace. I just helped she kept her pace, not over, not under. Finally it took 27 days.
At the second time, we planned to walk slowly. But from the first, the plan was broken, because my wife wanted to stay in Zabaldika when we started second day from Roncesvalles. So, finally we stayed there and next day we went to Puente la Reina.(Because Pamplona is too close, when we arrived Pamplona before 9am) So we already saved one day at the beginning part that compared to 2014. We used that saved day in the section of Sarria to Santiago. So, it took 27 days again.
I don't know what this does means but wish it could help someone.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#33
33 Days. But I would rather do it over more days, 36 sounds about perfect as a minimum. We had a rest day sightseeing in Burgos and Leon, but we did have some big days walking (37-40kms) as well. I would rather have reduced the number of hours on those bigger days (I think we had 4 of them, 1 by accident as we got lost). I prefer to have more time to look around and relax, chatting to people.
I completely overthought everything before I went, obsessively reading everything I could. But when we got there, most of the planning went out the window and we just made it up as we went along. After reading the guide book, when I got home, I found we had missed out on things because of those long days. Not only do you come in late, but you're knackered. I found walking in the heat of the afternoon quite draining. Up to 30kms, gave me time to look around more.
However the Camino is still one of the best experiences I've ever had and I cant get wait to get back.
 
Last edited:

Laurie Sanantone

New Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Burgos-SdC May-June 2016; the whole enchilada April-June 2018?
#34
more than one CF...varied in duration, but all done between 33-35 days
almost no planning or training for any of them besides buying some gear and making travel reservations online
few road bumps along the way...very little rain, zero bedbugs, bad indigestion once, two hangovers and one strained knee (that actually sucked...don't strain your ACL! ha ha). almost no blisters and always found a bed for the night even if I had to shell out a few more euros for a private room at a pensiones
walked by myself mostly, but inevitably you will walk with others....and in my case, all get together and stay at the same albergue, go out for dinner and drinks, etc...but then a few days later by myself again. that's the beauty of it
Good to see you back on the forum, Mark! Buen whatever Camino you are doing/contemplating!
 

GaTeach

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Beginning from SJPP on June 9, 2017
#37
Math teacher. I said several times that I did more math on my camino than I have my whole life-converting kilometers to miles in my head and then converting my time back to EST.
 

OLDER threads on this topic



Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 7 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 24 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 84 15.8%
  • May

    Votes: 141 26.5%
  • June

    Votes: 43 8.1%
  • July

    Votes: 12 2.3%
  • August

    Votes: 9 1.7%
  • September

    Votes: 143 26.9%
  • October

    Votes: 57 10.7%
  • November

    Votes: 6 1.1%
  • December

    Votes: 3 0.6%
Top