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Has anyone ever cheated.....?


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What I mean to ask is.....has anyone ever walked part way, then driven some, then walked some....? It was an idea that occured to me as I planned my itinerary and found myself a bit time crunched. The truth is, I would like to take it slow ( real app. 15K - 20K a day ) and still have some time at the end to enjoy Santiago. Figured I could cut off a few days by hitching about 100 K. My first feeling about this is that it would be ' cheating ', and I may somehow be disappointed in the end. So I find myself torn....slow and leisurely or a little more aggressive to make it in my available time. Any opinions, ideas and/or thoughts would be much appreciated. Thank you all so much.....

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if people bus across the Meseta then I would not hold it against them

seriously, loved every minute of it, but some of the routes through the industrial agricultural areas weren't exactly visually spectacular


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There is no such thing as cheating! Most people get a plane, train, bus to the place they choose to start. In the medieval sense that is cheating! They should walk all the way from home. (Bit difficult if you live on a different continent!)

Seriously though, you only have to walk the last 100kms to earn the Compostela - how you cover the rest of the way is not important so don't feel guilty if you have to take an occaisonal bus, taxi, donkey or camel (yes they are there too!).

1000's of pilgrims (especailly Spanish pilgrims) start at Sarria and only walk the last 114kms to earn the Compostela. One can't accuse them of cheating because they didn't start further back or in a different country.

I walked every inch of the way from Roncesvalles to Santiago in 2002.
In 2004 I walked most of the way from Paris to Roncesvalles (taking a couple of detours to Lourdes etc and thereby cutting a few corners) and then we hired a car and drove from Pamplona to Lugo. We got a bus to Sarria and then walked to Santiago from there.

You do your camino the best way you can in the time you've got and don't feel guilty of you have to make up time by using transport. I'm sure that even the medieval peasant hitched the odd ride on a donkey or mule!


True. The only way that you can 'cheat' the pilgrimage is to lie to yourself and/or others.
If you are drawn to Santiago then go to Santiago. If you want to feel 'proper' and get the Compostela then walk the last 100 in unbroken days (they will check your passport).

I don't know about your God but if he's the same as mine he doesn't give a monkey's how you get anywhere as long as you respond to inner calls and don't lie - either to yourself or others .... so go - enjoy.

St. Teresa of Avilia didn't walk, she did it in a coach and four (coachman turned the whole thing over into a ditch in a storm. She scrambled out, soaking and covered in mud, shook her fist at the sky, and shouted "God! If this is how you treat your friends it's not surprising you have so many enemies!").


Active Member
Erm.. I'll happily admit to getting the train from El Burgo Raniero to Leon. I'd have missed my flight or had to seriously rethink my walk plans otherwise... I think it was El Burgo, anyway... I'm not gonna flagelate myself for the sake of one day's walking!

Re: the meseta... Yeah, it's a bit of a chore at times... My favourite part was the route up to Burgos... Stunning, I thought!
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Maggie Ramsay
Year of past OR future Camino
Santiago de Compostela (2005) Via Francigena (2010) Le Puy to St Jean (2014)
We took a train for an hour (which equalled 3 days walking in distance!, 100 km) that took us into Leon, as we battled fierce, icy headwinds and total fog on the meseta and our knees and feet became more and more worrying. A couple of days in Leon restored us physically and mentally, it was very worth while, we might not have finished otherwise either from becoming miserable or from injury. We also twice took a bus 5km through a dreary industrial patch. Again, it was great.Walking for us was joy and we walked with great pleasure 700 km, ending in Santiago. Do it your way, it's your camino.


I don't care how people choose to do the distance on the camino. everybody does it the way they feel is best

but what IS important is that people who have taken a train or a bus or whatever during the day should wait before checking in at the refugio until all the pilgrims who did the distance the hard way have a bed.
I've had it happen a few times that i arrived late in a full refugio and found 4-5-6 ppl chilling in their beds after a whole day on the bus. Most of the time i only had to ask politely and someone would give up their bunk, but once or twice I really had to get very angry... and that is a shame because getting angry on the camino is a silly thing to do...


Active Member
Totally agree with you, Wannes. It's not fair that someone who's walked for a day can't get a bed just because someone took alternative means of getting to their destination!

When going up O Cebrero I noticed a load of people had their packs sent to the top... I've got no problem with that, but can't really understand it, when you're carrying it the rest of the time!!
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