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Family of 4 with a son in a wheelchair wish to walk Sarria to Santiago

Sunwalk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
My daughter has wanted to walk the Camino since our family watched The Way. We would like to become pilgrims on the Sarria to Santiago portion of the Camino Frances and earn our Compostela. We are beginning to plan our trip for June 2017 following her high school graduation.

Our son, who will be 16 at the time, is handicapped and we will be pushing him in a sport, umbrella style wheelchair. First, I am trying to determine if this is possible, what the best route would be and if a tour company would provide the best option for our journey. Does anyone have suggestions of good tour companies? Other thoughts and experiences?
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
It is certainly possible to do the camino in a wheelchair! Around 1-2 dozens of wheelchair pilgrims do it each year. A tour company is not really necessary, unless you do need to transport a lot of medical equipment for him along. Your best bet will be to buy a good Camino guidebook and concentrate on the sections/advice for pilgrims on a bike. Also do a forum search (top right corner) here for wheelchair, you will find a wealth of information already posted here. Buen Camino, SY
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Welcome to the forum!
As SY has already said, tour company is not essential. You might like to consider using a baggage transport service to move a pack each day to relive the load for whoever is pushing the wheelchair.
These sites might be of use to you:
http://www.gronze.com/camino-de-santiago/caminos/guia-del-camino-frances (scroll down to the relevant sections near the bottom)
http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/los-caminos-de-santiago/frances/

And a distance calculator....http://www.godesalco.com/plan/frances

And the experience that may be of most encouragement to you of all that I have had...seeing pilgrims help a parent push a bike trailer with toddlers in it up a hill!
 

DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
If you would like a recommendation on a tour company, a group of us used Marly Camino to walk from Sarria to Santiago last April. They were wonderful. They're kind of high end, but the services they provide make the camino very easy and enjoyable. And if any of you are a little averse to the idea of sleeping in a room full of bunk beds with a whole bunch of people you don't know . . . . . . . as well as sharing meager bathroom facilities . . . . . . . .

Here is a brief list of some of the services they provide:
  • A guide (more of a manager, (s)he does not walk with you) - ours was fantastic, a wonderful fellow. Took care of everything, including the tending blisters and other pediological maladies
  • Nice private in-suite lodging in casa rurals with breakfast and dinner
  • A bus with a dedicated driver (ours was also a wonderful fellow) who, along with the guide, meets you several times during the day to ensure you are okay, provide water and snacks, and if anyone decides they can't go on for the day . . . .
  • Cell Phones for emergencies
  • Luggage transport (you only need small day packs, which they provide)
  • Guaranteed Botofumiero Swing (they pay the Cathedral to ensure it happens)
I could go on (and on), but I think you get the idea. I personally prefer the "regular" pilgrim way, but the other 5 people with me (well, the four ladies anyway) last April were NOT up for that type of camino; but they absolutely LOVED our camino with Marly.

I do not work for Marly Camino, nor do I derive any benefits for recommending them. I only do this because you asked about a tour company. Since it is your daughter that wants to walk the camino, there is the possibility that you might not be so keen on the whole "albergue" thing. ;) Also, they might be able to provide any needed assistance or advise required for your son

Best of luck with your planning and I hope you have a great and enjoyable camino.

http://marlycamino.com/
 
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DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
Some pilgrims in wheelchairs from that April Camino.
 

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grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Hopefully, you will stay in close contact with the good people here on this forum.
Ask questions as they occur to you and I am certain that you will receive advice that will enable you to make this come true.
I also advise against a "tour" company unless, as Sy points out, you need specialized care that you will not be able to provide.
 

Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
Hello...It is very possible to push a wheelchair from Sarria to Santiago...I passed a man pushing a wheelchair through the Meseta between Burgos and Leon and that was dirt trail and you will be mostly on paved trails and roads...but I will warn you that there are several memorable hills with some great downhills...but it is also possible to receive a Compostela if you start in Ponferrada (200 KM from Santiago) and hire a horse or rent a three wheel bike for your son if that is possible...and also there are horses for hire at most of the memorable hill climbs if you need to hire a horse to help pull the wheelchair up hills...lastly I am also a permanently disabled person and I made it on a mountain bike from SJPDP to Muxia (I had not rode a bike for over 10-years before my Camino) and it was an experience that I will never forget...Buen Camino
 

Diane Borden

Member
Camino(s) past & future
July/August 2017 - Astorga to Finesterre
July/August 2020 - SJPP to Santiago
My daughter has wanted to walk the Camino since our family watched The Way. We would like to become pilgrims on the Sarria to Santiago portion of the Camino Frances and earn our Compostela. We are beginning to plan our trip for June 2017 following her high school graduation.

Our son, who will be 16 at the time, is handicapped and we will be pushing him in a sport, umbrella style wheelchair. First, I am trying to determine if this is possible, what the best route would be and if a tour company would provide the best option for our journey. Does anyone have suggestions of good tour companies? Other thoughts and experiences?
Did you make it? How did it go? Our 14 year old has an autonomic syndrome and we are hopeful she can walk, yet are trying to be prepared if we need to push her. Love to hear about your journey.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
The only real problem I can forsee may be acess to albergues, hotels, casa rurales, cafe/bars and restaurants. In towns should be no problem along the Camino perhaps not so easily solved.
 

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