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Help .....I have no idea where to start!

Caz323

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
camino-ingles
Hi everyone!

I have had a pretty tough year and really want to do this so I can find some peace and time for reflection! The only issue is I've never done anything like this before and feel a little overwhelmed at where to begin :(

Can anyone offer any advice and how do I even approach planning this trip? I am hoping to leave the UK around the 26th of Sept

Thanks in advance
Caz
 
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Corned Beef

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
Routes and stages are shown in Gronze. If you give everyone an idea of how much time you want to spend, we'll all chip in with starts and routes.

 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Yup, a good way to start is calculate how much time you can spend in Spain.
Are you taking leave form work? Do you have to be back by a certain date?
Once you know how much time you can (or want) to spend on the Camino, it becomes really easy.
1) Choose a starting point that works for your dates;
2) find out how to get there (planes, trains)
3) Get your most comfortable pair of walking shoes and a good backpack
4) start walking around where you live, with the shoes and the backpack, to get used to it
5) sort further details in this forum :)
 

Caz323

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
camino-ingles
Thanks everyone!

After speaking to a friend I may do the Sarria - Santiago route

I am taking leave from work and need to book this off ASAP! I was hoping to have 10 days from start to finish and can see some cheap flights from London at the end of Sept flighing into Santiago and then getting the bus the next day to Sarria. I did wonder if I got the but I think arrives at Sarria around 1pm how far I could really get on the first day?

I have some good boots aready and although slightly neverous I do feel I could manage the walking ok!
 
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Shaz Celeste

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Thanks everyone!

After speaking to a friend I may do the Sarria - Santiago route

I am taking leave from work and need to book this off ASAP! I was hoping to have 10 days from start to finish and can see some cheap flights from London at the end of Sept flighing into Santiago and then getting the bus the next day to Sarria. I did wonder if I got the but I think arrives at Sarria around 1pm how far I could really get on the first day?

I have some good boots aready and although slightly neverous I do feel I could manage the walking ok!
How exciting for you! Planning is a lot of fun but if you don't have much time I can see that it could also be quite stressful. This forum has threads on every Camino topic you can imagine, I have found it quite helpful to not only work out what I want/need, but also what I don't want/need. Boots for example. I changed my mind on that quite quickly and will instead opt for light trail runners when my time comes.

I'm sure others will jump in with more useful advice than my post. Read it all, discard whatever doesn't apply or feel right for you, take the good stuff that bubbles to the top and you will be set! Buen camino!
 

Caz323

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
camino-ingles
Routes and stages are shown in Gronze. If you give everyone an idea of how much time you want to spend, we'll all chip in with starts and routes.

Hi thanks for your reply :)
It seems there is only 1 bus rfom Santiago to Sarria @11am getting in around 1pm - Is it unrealsitc to think you can get to Portomarín the same day? I was just thinking of accomodation booking
 

CarolamS

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Hi and welcome to the font of all Camino knowledge and every possible opinion based on that knowledge ;)

Sarria to Santiago is a beautiful route by all account, I've not yet walked it. For short Camino's you can also look at the Ingles from Ferrol which I have walked. Also, and as a first timer I suggest you take a good look, the Camino Portuguese from Valenca or Tui. (The Ingles has a lot more incline than the Portuguese.)

From the UK it is very easy to fly to and from Porto directly. From there you can take a bus (Alsa) to Valenca which is the Portuguese side of the river with Tui on the Spanish side. It is fun walking across the bridge and crossing the border, marked by red and yellow footprints either side of a line on the floor. Once you reach Santiago you can easily bus back to Porto (a lovely spot to visit if you have the time).

Gronze.com is a great place to do some research. If you Google this you can use 'Translate this page' and get an English version. They have overviews of the various routes then stages with route maps and information on available accommodation. You can also see the stage profile if you click the link under the stage map.

An important point is that you don't have to walk the set stages, you can walk less far or further. All guides tell you where there is accommodation available. For instance Gronze lists Tui to Redondela as a stage. If you are just starting it would be a good idea to consider breaking this up and stopping in O Porrino, in the middle.

Enjoy the planning and Buen Camino for which ever you walk.

BTW you do not need boots, but you do want comfortable footwear.
 

Wandalina

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese in September '18
Primitivo in September '19
Id also suggest the Portuguese camino from porto to Santiago even the first week of it. Its beautiful and it sounds like after a tough time maybe you might need to be somewhere beautiful. I didn't find the Sarria to Santiago leg as magical as everything else ive done on the camino. For you to get a true sense of the Camino magic. Lots of flights to porto cheap enough too.

I guess re prep you need to be sure your boots are going to work out and try to be getting some miles in your legs before leaving. At least to be comfortable doing 15-20 km before leaving.

Packing is an art in itself. The key is keep everything to a bare minimum. Question everything you put in your pack... Can i survive without it, do i really need a few of them? I find anxiety of the unknown creeps in a little when packing especially for the first time but everyone on here will give you great advice.

The real joy comes in facing the unknown, and discovering that you are well able to deal with everything that is thrown at you.

The people you meet on the road will take you for who you are in that moment. No one cares about your history, status etc.
Its very liberating

There is so much kindness and solidarity on the road
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Sarria to Santiago is a beautiful route by all account, I've not yet walked it. For short Camino's you can also look at the Ingles from Ferrol which I have walked. Also, and as a first timer I suggest you take a good look, the Camino Portuguese from Valenca or Tui. (The Ingles has a lot more incline than the Portuguese.)
This is my recommendation (including Variante Espiritual). It has all the pilgrim infrastructure you need and while busy, it's not at the level of the CF from Sarria. I also think it has more to offer in terms of nature and history/culture (just my opinion of course). Tui is easy to reach from Santiago - bus to Vigo and then local bus to Tui.

Buen camino whatever you choose!
 
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howardd5

Active Member
Hi everyone!

I have had a pretty tough year and really want to do this so I can find some peace and time for reflection! The only issue is I've never done anything like this before and feel a little overwhelmed at where to begin :(

Can anyone offer any advice and how do I even approach planning this trip? I am hoping to leave the UK around the 26th of Sept

Thanks in advance
Caz
The best place to start is at the beginning . Start at St John Pied port . In France on the border . It’s the most common starting point . Most everyone you meet there will be just like you, apprehensive and ready to start . It’s easier to talk and make friends if you all start together. It’s a tough beginning but everyone will be in the same boat .
 

woody66

This is my boy !
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal 2021 Frances 2023
For short Camino's you can also look at the Ingles from Ferrol which I have walked. Also, and as a first timer I suggest you take a good look, the Camino Portuguese from Valenca or Tui. (The Ingles has a lot more incline than the Portuguese.)

From the UK it is very easy to fly to and from Porto directly. From there you can take a bus (Alsa) to Valenca which is the Portuguese side of the river with Tui on the Spanish side. It is fun walking across the bridge and crossing the border, marked by red and yellow footprints either side of a line on the floor. Once you reach Santiago you can easily bus back to Porto (a lovely spot to visit if you have the time).
This is my recommendation (including Variante Espiritual). It has all the pilgrim infrastructure you need and while busy, it's not at the level of the CF from Sarria. I also think it has more to offer in terms of nature and history/culture (just my opinion of course). Tui is easy to reach from Santiago - bus to Vigo and then local bus to Tui.
Hi everyone!

I have had a pretty tough year and really want to do this so I can find some peace and time for reflection! The only issue is I've never done anything like this before and feel a little overwhelmed at where to begin :(
Hi Caz323!
You guys can shoot me down if you think i am wrong!!!!

I haven't walked the Frances so not done Sarria to Santiago yet; but flights booked beginning of May to Biarritz! (the final hundred km i am not looking forward to)

For my first Camino i loved the Portuguese Coastal, Senda Litoral and Variant Espiritual from Porto.
I love the sea plus was an easy walk (i'm a lazy old s*d)
I had space when I wanted it and companionship when i needed it.
The Variant was brilliant!
Of all the places i loved Porto the most; great vibe great people.

Nick and Carolams suggestions are great; but they to will get busier nearer to Santiago.


On the Portuguese the Camino changed at 100 km as more people walked to Santiago; coach loads all walking together.
It appears to me the same sort of scenario from Sarria; like a queue going to a football match or the January sales.(my opinion again it lost it's joy; i think that's the right word as i shuffled along with the mass of pilgrims)

Whatever route you choose have a wonderful walk
Buen Camino
Woody
 
Last edited:

Caz323

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
camino-ingles
This is my recommendation (including Variante Espiritual). It has all the pilgrim infrastructure you need and while busy, it's not at the level of the CF from Sarria. I also think it has more to offer in terms of nature and history/culture (just my opinion of course). Tui is easy to reach from Santiago - bus to Vigo and then local bus to Tui.

Buen camino whatever you choose!
Thank you! I did look at this but cannot seem to see a bus on the say I was due to arrive but will keep looking
 

Corned Beef

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
Do you want to meet people - and a lot of them at once? Then stick to Sarria - Santiago.

Going from Porto will be lonely - but it may be what you want.
 
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julia-t

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
Hi thanks for your reply :)
It seems there is only 1 bus rfom Santiago to Sarria @11am getting in around 1pm - Is it unrealsitc to think you can get to Portomarín the same day? I was just thinking of accomodation booking
Unlikely, it’s a long way to Portomarin
But you can easily walk to Barbadelo and stay there, it’s a really nice albergue and there are private options in the village too.
It means you can look round Sarria, get a stamp in one of the churches, before setting out through the woods and fields.
I walked the Camino from Saint Jean Pied de Port, in stages, travelling from the UK a couple of times a year, so you could also consider doing that.
 

Merryl James

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
want to walk in late summer next year (2019)
Id also suggest the Portuguese camino from porto to Santiago even the first week of it. Its beautiful and it sounds like after a tough time maybe you might need to be somewhere beautiful. I didn't find the Sarria to Santiago leg as magical as everything else ive done on the camino. For you to get a true sense of the Camino magic. Lots of flights to porto cheap enough too.

I guess re prep you need to be sure your boots are going to work out and try to be getting some miles in your legs before leaving. At least to be comfortable doing 15-20 km before leaving.

Packing is an art in itself. The key is keep everything to a bare minimum. Question everything you put in your pack... Can i survive without it, do i really need a few of them? I find anxiety of the unknown creeps in a little when packing especially for the first time but everyone on here will give you great advice.

The real joy comes in facing the unknown, and discovering that you are well able to deal with everything that is thrown at you.

The people you meet on the road will take you for who you are in that moment. No one cares about your history, status etc.
Its very liberating

There is so much kindness and solidarity on the road
What a refreshing and encouraging response to those of us who are “newbies on the journey “.
 

JulieandPeter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015, 2017, 2019, 2022
Le Puy - SJPDP 2018
I have found this to be one of the best planning tools: https://godesalco.com/plan . There are multiple routes listed including Camino Frances and Camino Portugues.

For Frances, choose Camino de Santiago, select your start point and end point (I chose St. Jean to Logrono for my example) then submit. On the next page, choose your stops (I base these choices on how far I can walk in one day - there is also a key for the types of accommodations available at each place) then submit.

The site will immediately give you links to a profile map based on your choices along with several other tables of information including a list of accommodations for the entire route. You can experiment with a variety of selections. The site is free.

For planning air and train transportation I like Rome2Rio, and I found OMIO to be a life saver this summer when I could not get the ticket kiosk at a train station to work and was able to buy a train ticket online via OMIO moments before the train departed.


Happy Planning!!!!

St Jean to Logrono.JPG
Results.JPG Stages.JPG
 
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Wandalina

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese in September '18
Primitivo in September '19
The best place to start is at the beginning . Start at St John Pied port . In France on the border . It’s the most common starting point . Most everyone you meet there will be just like you, apprehensive and ready to start . It’s easier to talk and make friends if you all start together. It’s a tough beginning but everyone will be in the same boat .
This is a great point id totally agree.

Its funny you never seem to get exactly what you 'think' you need on the camino, the Camino provides and a lot of the time you get what you actually need.

My first camino was the Portuguese, a few months after a serious illness and breakup. I thought i needed peace and tranquillity, i did get a nice bit of that, but really what i got friendship, solidarity, laughter, and a good few glasses of wine.

For me choosing to do the camino alone was an act of self determination, reasserting control over my life and learning to trust my body again. When you are broken and your life has been taken completely out of your hands, the simple act of walking every day is so enriching and healing.

Whatever route you choose will be the right choice.

Im very excited for you ❤️
 
Last edited:
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AidaYYC

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future Camino Frances
Hi everyone!

I have had a pretty tough year and really want to do this so I can find some peace and time for reflection! The only issue is I've never done anything like this before and feel a little overwhelmed at where to begin :(

Can anyone offer any advice and how do I even approach planning this trip? I am hoping to leave the UK around the 26th of Sept

Thanks in advance
Caz
Just arrive at any of the starting points, you find the way 🤗
 

Salty

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning : Camino Frances - Sept 2022
Thanks everyone!

After speaking to a friend I may do the Sarria - Santiago route

I am taking leave from work and need to book this off ASAP! I was hoping to have 10 days from start to finish and can see some cheap flights from London at the end of Sept flighing into Santiago and then getting the bus the next day to Sarria. I did wonder if I got the but I think arrives at Sarria around 1pm how far I could really get on the first day?

I have some good boots aready and although slightly neverous I do feel I could manage the walking ok!
From what I hear the vibe from Sarria onwards is very different than on the earlier stages in the CF. I also plan to walk my 1st Camino, soon and I am not walking the entire thing. Sarria onwards might be very rainy.Also more tricky to find accomodation. I dont want that and I also want the nicer more authentic Camino vibe. I also want to walk a very scenic route. I will start in SJPP.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
From what I hear the vibe from Sarria onwards is very different than on the earlier stages in the CF.
Yes, the vibe is different, but not bad, at least IMHO.

It all comes down to expectations and attitudes. If one expects the Camino to be the same from SJPdP all the way to Santiago they will be disappointed.

If you arrive at that stretch knowing that you will be walking with many more very exuberant pilgrims you can adjust your mind set. They are as excited to be on the trail as you were when you first started in SJPdP, Pamplona, Irun, or Porto.

Remember, that most of those walking only the last 100 km are Spaniards enjoying their own culture in their own country.

They are also pilgrims who don't have the luxury of time and money that many of us have to be away from their "real life" for 5-6 weeks.
 

Caz323

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
camino-ingles
Thanks everyone for your reply! I have booked my flights so the nerves have kicked in! I have gone for Sarria to Santiago in my mind as it seemed easy to plan and fitted my times!
I hope if I enjoy this experience to return and do a longer trip possible the Portugese coast as some have suggested

Now the real fun begins!
 

Wandalina

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portuguese in September '18
Primitivo in September '19
Thanks everyone for your reply! I have booked my flights so the nerves have kicked in! I have gone for Sarria to Santiago in my mind as it seemed easy to plan and fitted my times!
I hope if I enjoy this experience to return and do a longer trip possible the Portugese coast as some have suggested

Now the real fun begins!
Woohoo go you! The nerves are part of the fun. Just remember whatever happens you will be fine! Have a wonderful trip!
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
The best place to start is at the beginning . Start at St John Pied port . In France on the border . It’s the most common starting point . Most everyone you meet there will be just like you, apprehensive and ready to start . It’s easier to talk and make friends if you all start together. It’s a tough beginning but everyone will be in the same boat .

Actually Sarria is the most common starting point .
But who's counting.... ;)

From the Pilgrim Office stats for the year 2019 (last full prior Covid year)

Stats.jpg
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
Thanks everyone for your reply! I have booked my flights so the nerves have kicked in! I have gone for Sarria to Santiago in my mind as it seemed easy to plan and fitted my times!
I hope if I enjoy this experience to return and do a longer trip possible the Portugese coast as some have suggested

Now the real fun begins!

Well done. You'll love it :)
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
Thanks everyone for your reply! I have booked my flights so the nerves have kicked in! I have gone for Sarria to Santiago in my mind as it seemed easy to plan and fitted my times!
I hope if I enjoy this experience to return and do a longer trip possible the Portugese coast as some have suggested

Now the real fun begins!
Great plan. If you need any help with travelling to Sarria or choosing where to stay there is plenty of help here on the Forum. Have a wonderful pilgrimage. Buen Camino!
 

Ricardo Moretti

Camino Frances x 2: Apr./May 2018 & Apr./May 2019
Time of past OR future Camino
Two Camino Frances:
April-May 2018
April-May 2019
Hi everyone!

I have had a pretty tough year and really want to do this so I can find some peace and time for reflection! The only issue is I've never done anything like this before and feel a little overwhelmed at where to begin :(

Can anyone offer any advice and how do I even approach planning this trip? I am hoping to leave the UK around the 26th of Sept

Thanks in advance
Caz
Hi Caz,

First, don't worry. However, the process starts by deciding which route to walk. For example the Camino Frances, Camino Portugues, Northern Way, etc. Regardless of the route chosen, where to start depends mostly on how much money and time that you have available for this adventure. So if you have enough money and time then start from St-Jean Pied de Port, France (Camino Frances) - 33 to 35 days suggested. A very short distance is to start from Saria, Spain - slightly more than 100km or 3 to 5 days. A slightly longer route would be to start from Porto, Portugual (Portuguese Way) which is about 540km.

Second, don't get overwhelmed. Simply select a departure point such as St-Jean Pied de Port, France (Camino Frances) and stick to it. And, if you run out of time or money, you can always go back in the future complete another section of the trail or the entire path.

Third, don't get overwhelmed. Get a backpack, 2 to 3 changes of light quick dry clothes (synthetic such polyester or wool or wool blends), a pair of walking shoes and start walking PERIOD....try to keep the weight under 20 pounds or ideally under 15 pounds. You don't need food or other items since they are available on the Camino. A canteen or water bottle is highly recommended. There are several videos on Youtube and packing lists on this site and on the Internet if you want a detailed list. Also, Youtube has many videos and testimonials on the subject.

Fourth, there is probably a Camino de Santiago association in your neck of the woods so you might want to look them up.

Buen Camino,
Ricardo
 

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