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finding my way around

2020 Camino Guides

yellowskin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles, French Camino
Dear All
I planned to walk the coastal route from Porto to Santiago alone in September 2020. This will be a big challenge for me, not only from physical point of view but from finding my way around. I have made a reservation for Caminoways to arranging accommodation along the way as a safety net. They did not give me much confidence after a few telephone enquiries. My first question is: Are they reliable (mixed reviews from Tripdvisor). 2; Is it safe for a women (old) to walk alone on this route.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
Are they reliable (mixed reviews from Tripdvisor).
They do get mixed reviews. Part of the problem is that their stages may not fit YOU. Finding accommodations will not be difficult. You can do it on a daily basis. Get help from your host if phoning is difficult for you, or use one of the many iphone applications for booking the bed for the next day. Many albergues are now on sites like booking.com. Have fun doing it at your own daily pace.
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Dear All
I planned to walk the coastal route from Porto to Santiago alone in September 2020. This will be a big challenge for me, not only from physical point of view but from finding my way around. I have made a reservation for Caminoways to arranging accommodation along the way as a safety net. They did not give me much confidence after a few telephone enquiries. My first question is: Are they reliable (mixed reviews from Tripdvisor). 2; Is it safe for a women (old) to walk alone on this route.
Dear All
I planned to walk the coastal route from Porto to Santiago alone in September 2020. This will be a big challenge for me, not only from physical point of view but from finding my way around. I have made a reservation for Caminoways to arranging accommodation along the way as a safety net. They did not give me much confidence after a few telephone enquiries. My first question is: Are they reliable (mixed reviews from Tripdvisor). 2; Is it safe for a women (old) to walk alone on this route.
Not sure what ‘old’ is in your view. I am over 60 and last year I walk several days with a woman over 70 (she was walking alone, technically, but always had company, whenever I saw her) and in the last 100k into Santiago (admittedly this is a stretch with lots of accommodation) met a man who was turning 80.
 

dfox

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (4/2017)
CP (5/2019)
CF (5/2021)
I was with a group of 16 friends walking CP started at Porto this May.

#1 - All of us using either booking.com, expedia, etc. booked "hotels" with free cancellation without experienced any issue. We chose the ones with rating of 8-9 and sensible customer reviews.

#2 - During the walk, we met a "old" lady, she walked very slowly by herself, using two trekking poles. Nevertheless, she was not far behind us. We all admired her determination.

Additional:
The trail were well-marked as far as the "Central route" is concerned, but one still needs to pay attention.

By the way, there were a few new "complimentary" routes diverted from the "traditional", which were easier to walk, e.g., in O Porrino area. The traditional route, about 4km, passed through an industrial area without shade. Some of us took the "complimentary" route, although it was 1 km longer, but in shade and along a creek. The government departments along CP seems working hard to improve the route.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
I think you will find it easier than you think. Porto to Santiago, while not as crowded as the Camino Frances, has a number of pilgrims and is a very pleasant walk. If you are taking the coastal route, there are many places to stop without problems (lots of cafes along the beaches).

I've used walkthecamino.com as my goto for accomodations. I like to have a place booked so that I can take my time on the daily walks. They will set up an itinerary to your specifications (length of time or k's per day, type of stay, etc.). They have a default route but will customize as needed to a requirement (say not more than 15k per day) unless it is impossible to do so. I know that not everyone likes to book ahead but I find it freedom giving rather than restrained.

The important thing is to listen to all the advice that you get on the forum, evaluate it, and then build your own Camino based on your requirements, limitations, strengths, and interests. The walk from Porto to Santiago is about as safe as it gets. The food is great. The people are friendly.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Not sure what ‘old’ is in your view. I am over 60 and last year I walk several days with a woman over 70 (she was walking alone, technically, but always had company, whenever I saw her) and in the last 100k into Santiago (admittedly this is a stretch with lots of accommodation) met a man who was turning 80.
I met an 84 year old man on the Norte this year doing his umpteenth Camino. The only concession that he made to his age is that he now has his pack transported.
I think you will find it easier than you think. Porto to Santiago, while not as crowded as the Camino Frances, has a number of pilgrims and is a very pleasant walk
I just finished the walk from Porto, and found it quite crowded after Tui with large groups.

Dear All
I planned to walk the coastal route from Porto to Santiago alone in September 2020. This will be a big challenge for me, not only from physical point of view but from finding my way around. I have made a reservation for Caminoways to arranging accommodation along the way as a safety net. They did not give me much confidence after a few telephone enquiries. My first question is: Are they reliable (mixed reviews from Tripdvisor). 2; Is it safe for a women (old) to walk alone on this route.
Personally, I think that's it's totally unnecessary and possibly a bad idea to have your accommodation pre-booked. It's very easy to use booking.com to book your own accommodation as you go, and you aren't stuck walking stages that are too long or short because you already have a place booked. You will also probably meet other pilgrims that you want to walk with, and your pre-determined stages might separate you from them.

Or perhaps you want to spend more time in one town, or have an injury that requires some rest or shorter walking days.

As far as your age goes, if it's between 55 and 75 you are probably about average age. 😊
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2018
(Camino Ingles 2019)
I used Camino Ways last year when I walked the Portuguses Central route alone. At 61 and with with no prior relevant experience I needed to eliminate the aspects that were scaring me from attempting a Camino.

The accommodation varied quite a lot in standard but was always ensuite. A couple of days included making a phone call to the accommodation to be picked up (then dropped back to same place next day). I chose their easy stages which turned out to include a couple of long stages later on (quite tough but I made it). I learnt I could walk day after day and get all the way to SdC 😊

It was the right approach for me. Having experienced that Camino I now feel able to go solo and carry a full backpack. There are lots of options available and I know if I struggle to carry my pack I can get it transported as and when. That helps my confidence. What I gain is freedom from the pressure of reaching a set place. But I know that will make me a bit anxious until I get used to it.

I chose the central route partly because I live by the sea but also I felt in October it might be more sheltered if the weather was bad. In fact the weather was very hot! I also felt a slightly busier route might feel more reassuring as I was on my own. I often had hours walking alone, which I wanted. At a coffee stop I realised I was on a sort of moving carpet of pilgrims all heading the same way. Sometimes I chose to walk in company. It's easy to dip in and out.

I hope you work out what is your best approach. This forum is a fantastic resource and full of very useful advice and tips. Oh and the odd argument 😉 so very human!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
A couple of days included making a phone call to the accommodation to be picked up (then dropped back to same place next day).
It would concern me to be staying in a place off the Camino path and far away from other pilgrims.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2018
(Camino Ingles 2019)
It would concern me to be staying in a place off the Camino path and far away from other pilgrims.
I didn't like being away from the path.
One of the places was a golf resort and despite it being by far the best quality accommodation I found it very mentally challenging! It was Ponte de Lima too which would have been lovely to explore after a rest.
 

Caligal

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
It would concern me to be staying in a place off the Camino path and far away from other pilgrims.
I used to feel the same until yesterday, arriving in Hornillos with everyplace completo, i asked Samuel at de sol a sol he said he had a friend who had a place off Camino who could p/u drop off next day. 2 other pilgrims came along. Turns out it was el Molino where much of “the Way” was filmed!! The owners are parents to Julia who married Martin Sheens grandson, their Casa Rural is totally awesome. We ate very well, even got to look at Taylor and Julia’s wedding album. CAMINO MAGIC!! By far my most memorable Camino expierence! 😊😊😊😊
 

TatiLie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues Variante Espiritual July 2019
Finisterre next!
I used them for my Camino Portugues Variante Espiritual and I'm livid! I would NOT recommend them.
(I had written all the offences but it's so triggering that I had to stop. Enough to say that if we had not questioned the instructions they gave us we would not have gotten the Compostela. Seriously)

PS: We met a Californian woman doing the Camino on her own. We saw also many young women doing it on their own when we reached Redondela
 

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