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Frances or ingles route in May - solo walker

2020 Camino Guides

TinaER

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French 2020
Hello fellow Camino’s. Newbie here planning my first time trail in May this year. I’m a solo fit 47yo Australian female and not sure if to tackle the frances way or the ingles way? Any advise of which to do for a first time walker? I’m a pretty brave sole just a little nervous about making sure I’ll have A Bed each night on either route? I’ll have a guide book, phone and my own common sense but not speaking local languages I’m just a little worried I’ll get stuck at dark with no place to stay.
Any advise for a solo hiker looking forward to the physical and mental challenge of doing solo...
any advise be helpful.
Thank you in advance.
Tina on your :)
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Hello fellow Camino’s. Newbie here planning my first time trail in May this year. I’m a solo fit 47yo Australian female and not sure if to tackle the frances way or the ingles way? Any advise of which to do for a first time walker? I’m a pretty brave sole just a little nervous about making sure I’ll have A Bed each night on either route? I’ll have a guide book, phone and my own common sense but not speaking local languages I’m just a little worried I’ll get stuck at dark with no place to stay.
Any advise for a solo hiker looking forward to the physical and mental challenge of doing solo...
any advise be helpful.
Thank you in advance.
Tina on your :)

Hi Tina and welcome here on this forum.

Take your time to browse through the threads.
Couple of questions : is reaching Santiago and obtaining a Compostela important to you?
How many days will you be walking?

Common sense : check!

As a first time walker there is an attraction in the Camino Francès. Plenty of albergues and lodgings to choose from.
I like the Inglès because it really feels like a complete pilgrimage!

Happy preparations!
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
Hello, Tina, and a warm welcome to the Forum. :)

Here is a link which also may be of help as you begin: The Confraternity of St James

The good news is, you are in a forum with a wonderful group of people. Most are here to help people like you to achieve their pilgrimage goals. We can offer you encouragement, knowledge, and point you in the direction that will help you help yourself.

My suggestion to start is this:
  1. Take a deep breath. Write down in large letters the reasons why you want to go on Camino. Place that piece of paper where you can see it every day. That way, if anxieties and fears threaten to overwhelm you as you plan, you can just breath, read what you have written, and focus on those reasons until the negative stuff fades.
  2. Make a list of questions and concerns that you have.
  3. Go to the Search Engine at the top of the Forum pages.
  4. Enter the words or phrase that you want more information about. You will get a huge amount of information to explore.
  5. If you find that you need help with anything, post a new thread so that your question or concern can be readily seen. If you post a question within someone else's thread, you won't receive as big of a response.
  6. Remember that perfect timing as it relates to how you feel, scheduling, and day to day life issues, seldom align themselves perfectly. If one waits for such to occur, doing something like a pilgrimage will always be in danger of taking a back seat while you wait for that perfect alignment to happen.
AS to your question about which Camino to choose, some of that may depend if you want more or less infrastructure and support. While both the Frances and Ingles have albergues and other lodgings, restaurants and other eateries, etc. the Camino Frances is probably more user friendly for a solo novice.

Some other considerations worth exploring are: how long do you have for your walk, and are you wanting to complete a Camino in order to obtain the Compostela for a Pilgrimage?

As I wrote, there is a lot of help and many resources to explore. You have plenty of time. :)
 

AnnOz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
september 2019
Hi Tina,
I'm also a solo Australian female pilgrim and I just completed my first Camino in September /October. I chose the Frances because from my research I thought it would be the safest and easiest to navigate. I just used common sense and a guide book and had no problems at all. Even lost my guidebook with 150km to go and wasn't bothered. I didn't book accommodation ahead and always found a bed in an albergue but some Pilgrims did either phone ahead or use booking.com for piece of mind. If you do that bear in mind that you can't change your mind during the day about where you will stop for the night.
Based on my experience I would recommend the Frances Way although I haven't done the Ingles.
Buen Camino
 

TinaER

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French 2020
Hi Ann, thank you so much and yes I think the Frances way best for me to as most common and easiest for my first Camino. So wow how was it from you? Where did you start from and how easy was it for you to get up your starting point? I’m getting excited now starting to plan the starting point. I’ll think I’ll fly into Bilbao and bus to Pamplona and then ontoRoncesvalles!!! So think Roncesvalles will be my start point.
Tina

QUOTE="AnnOz, post: 817115, member: 87328"]
Hi Tina,
I'm also a solo Australian female pilgrim and I just completed my first Camino in September /October. I chose the Frances because from my research I thought it would be the safest and easiest to navigate. I just used common sense and a guide book and had no problems at all. Even lost my guidebook with 150km to go and wasn't bothered. I didn't book accommodation ahead and always found a bed in an albergue but some Pilgrims did either phone ahead or use booking.com for piece of mind. If you do that bear in mind that you can't change your mind during the day about where you will stop for the night.
Based on my experience I would recommend the Frances Way although I haven't done the Ingles.
Buen Camino
[/QUOTE]
 

rometimed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(SJPdP: 2015, June2020!) (Eng Way: 2015)
Hi Tina!

These are the two routes I've walked (both in 2015).

From my experience there are positives and negatives to each of these Caminos and it depends on what you are looking for.

Camino Frances: Much more variety of climate... scenery... people... situations... town sizes. Some very different cultures if you are walking the whole way across Spain. Many many many more people. Due to more people higher odds it may be harder to find accommodation exactly where you expect to though I'd say having more people help you find a place may also be beneficial.

Camino Ingles: Short and quick and to the point. All Galician, all the time. Some neat towns but all mid-sized. Very, very quiet... the most other piligrams I spotted in a day was 4. Each night I stayed in the main Albergues in each stop and there was never more than a handful of people around.

...

I'm partial to Orisson so I have to recommend starting in France :) but Roncesvalles is a great place.
 

AnnOz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
september 2019
Hi Tina, I started at Saint Jean. Flew to Paris and caught a train straight from the airport to Bordeaux staying the night before taking 2 trains the next morning via Bayonne. It was easy, no problems.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Frances - May/June 2019)
Hi Tina, keep on the lookout for a family of four! I am going with my wife and two teenage sons (16, 13) - we are starting the Camino Frances on Monday, May 18 from SJPdP... So, we will be leaving from Roncesvalles, Tuesday, May 19... after that, it's anyone's guess! :)
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Route - 2016
Santiago to Finestiere and Muxia - 2017
Frances Route - May 2018
Camino Ingles
Hi Tina!

These are the two routes I've walked (both in 2015).

From my experience there are positives and negatives to each of these Caminos and it depends on what you are looking for.

Camino Frances: Much more variety of climate... scenery... people... situations... town sizes. Some very different cultures if you are walking the whole way across Spain. Many many many more people. Due to more people higher odds it may be harder to find accommodation exactly where you expect to though I'd say having more people help you find a place may also be beneficial.

Camino Ingles: Short and quick and to the point. All Galician, all the time. Some neat towns but all mid-sized. Very, very quiet... the most other piligrams I spotted in a day was 4. Each night I stayed in the main Albergues in each stop and there was never more than a handful of people around.

...

I'm partial to Orisson so I have to recommend starting in France :) but Roncesvalles is a great place.
The Camino Ingles is much busier now than when you walked in 2015. Its less busy than the CF and there are only a few hostels as you say. However, I walked both in April/May 2018 and most of the main hostels were full each night on the Ingles.
 

jennysa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
The Camino Ingles is much busier now than when you walked in 2015. Its less busy than the CF and there are only a few hostels as you say. However, I walked both in April/May 2018 and most of the main hostels were full each night on the Ingles.
We are walking the Camino Madrid in May and going on to the Ingles, which I thought was fairly quiet, so that is not good news. I dont ever want to get involved in the bed rush again.
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Route - 2016
Santiago to Finestiere and Muxia - 2017
Frances Route - May 2018
Camino Ingles
I think you just need to ensure you are there at a reasonable time. If you want to arrive late in the afternoon it is worth booking somewhere to be sure.
 

rometimed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(SJPdP: 2015, June2020!) (Eng Way: 2015)
The Camino Ingles is much busier now than when you walked in 2015. Its less busy than the CF and there are only a few hostels as you say. However, I walked both in April/May 2018 and most of the main hostels were full each night on the Ingles.

Wow that is interesting! Though I was doing the CI near the end of October so perhaps it was the timing? But it was much much much different for me than the CF in May/June.
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Route - 2016
Santiago to Finestiere and Muxia - 2017
Frances Route - May 2018
Camino Ingles
I agree. It is totally different. Less people, less hostels etc, but the main hostels just did fill up so if you pitched up after 4pm you would be unlikely to get a bed.
But these things come in waves don't they?
 

cosan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
july 2016
Hi Ann, thank you so much and yes I think the Frances way best for me to as most common and easiest for my first Camino. So wow how was it from you? Where did you start from and how easy was it for you to get up your starting point? I’m getting excited now starting to plan the starting point. I’ll think I’ll fly into Bilbao and bus to Pamplona and then ontoRoncesvalles!!! So think Roncesvalles will be my start point.
Tina

QUOTE="AnnOz, post: 817115, member: 87328"]
Hi Tina,
I'm also a solo Australian female pilgrim and I just completed my first Camino in September /October. I chose the Frances because from my research I thought it would be the safest and easiest to navigate. I just used common sense and a guide book and had no problems at all. Even lost my guidebook with 150km to go and wasn't bothered. I didn't book accommodation ahead and always found a bed in an albergue but some Pilgrims did either phone ahead or use booking.com for piece of mind. If you do that bear in mind that you can't change your mind during the day about where you will stop for the night.
Based on my experience I would recommend the Frances Way although I haven't done the Ingles.
Buen Camino
[/QUOTE]
Hi Tina
Another suggestion would be to fly to Biarritz then bus/train to St Jean De Pied De Port to start Camino Frances
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hello fellow Camino’s. Newbie here planning my first time trail in May this year. I’m a solo fit 47yo Australian female and not sure if to tackle the frances way or the ingles way? Any advise of which to do for a first time walker? I’m a pretty brave sole just a little nervous about making sure I’ll have A Bed each night on either route? I’ll have a guide book, phone and my own common sense but not speaking local languages I’m just a little worried I’ll get stuck at dark with no place to stay.
Any advise for a solo hiker looking forward to the physical and mental challenge of doing solo...
any advise be helpful.
Thank you in advance.
Tina on your :)
How much time do you have?
 

Gerry McCulloch

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
23 May 2019
Hi Tina, keep on the lookout for a family of four! I am going with my wife and two teenage sons (16, 13) - we are starting the Camino Frances on Monday, May 18 from SJPdP... So, we will be leaving from Roncesvalles, Tuesday, May 19... after that, it's anyone's guess! :)
Hi Tina
We are a group of 24 starting from Sarria on 20th May...you are welcome to join us if you wish
 

philbus65

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Unsure!
Hello fellow Camino’s. Newbie here planning my first time trail in May this year. I’m a solo fit 47yo Australian female and not sure if to tackle the frances way or the ingles way? Any advise of which to do for a first time walker? I’m a pretty brave sole just a little nervous about making sure I’ll have A Bed each night on either route? I’ll have a guide book, phone and my own common sense but not speaking local languages I’m just a little worried I’ll get stuck at dark with no place to stay.
Any advise for a solo hiker looking forward to the physical and mental challenge of doing solo...
any advise be helpful.
Thank you in advance.
Tina on your :)
Hi Tina.

Fellow aussie here, 54yo and also planning a first-time Camino in May!

After much reading, I decided to go Frances. All obviously have some pros & cons, however the the flexibility of accomodation options etc. made it the attractive option. Also, quite excited to start in St Jean Pied de port and tackle that first day's walk through the Pyrenees. I already booked nights 1 & 2 in hostels, just be to safe for the start.

Logistically I'm flying into Paris and getting the train for CDG to Bayonne, then train to SJP. Seems pretty simple to me.

Hope that is helpful. See you out there!
 

Camino Madonna

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
SJPP to Santiago (2019)
Finisterre/Muxia (2019)
Hi Tina another Aussie here. 55. I did the Frances & onto Fisterra Muxia solo May/June 2019. Loved it. Had both the solitude I wanted & also made the very best of friendships on the way. I felt much safer than walking solo in Australia. I guess because proximity of towns are so close & plentiful water bubblers along the way. I stayed combo of dorms & private rooms in albergues. I usually booked a day ahead - you hear where the accomm bottlenecks are when you are on the trail & can plan your day accordingly. Great mix of beautiful rural Spain & villages towns & cities. Feel free to personally message me if a chat would assist....donna
 

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