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How much of the trail is on roads?

JohnBeattie

New Member
How much of the trail is on roads? Is it worth carrying a backpack that has wheels for rolling on tarmac? It sure beats carrying everything on your back for 500 miles!!
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
If you are referring to the Camino Frances, then the Brierley guide is the one to look at.

The guide splits the miles for each day into “paths –quiet roads – main roads” and the 798kms from St Jean works out like this:

505 km on paths/tracks
202.6km on quiet roads (mostly through small villages)
90.6km on main roads

If you decide on a wheeled backpack you might have to resort to the roads for the whole route. That would be quite dangerous though and you might be stopped by the police and guided back to a path.

Rather find a wheeled trolley, with a strong axle and fat tires that can cope with the 505 km of rocks, gravel and muddy ruts.

I have a post on my blog devoted to stages and paths on the camino Frances.

http://amawalker.blogspot.com/2008/01/s ... rances.php
 
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I met a Swiss gentleman with the solid physique of a fire plug who was towing a single-wheel cart with a harness, all of his own design and manufacture. He was quite pleased with the rig, had already pulled it from Geneva to Ostabat, and was headed for Fisterra.
 

Hermanita

Active Member
sillydoll said:
If you are referring to the Camino Frances, then the Brierley guide is the one to look at.

The guide splits the miles for each day into “paths –quiet roads – main roads” and the 798kms from St Jean works out like this:

505 km on paths/tracks
202.6km on quiet roads (mostly through small villages)
90.6km on main roads


Is there anywhere to obtain this information for each stage of the journey without buying the guide?

I already have a guide that I got from the Spain Tourist Bureau here in the USA. It has individual one page map and info for each stage(easy to eliminate as you go, to lessen weight), but does not give a break down between paths, quiet roads, and main roads.

Rita
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
John, If you don't have a medical reason for not carrying your pack - and if you keep to the recommended 10% of your body weight, you should have no difficulty in carrying it. You will find that your pack becomes part of you and after a few days should be totally accustomed to it! Personally, I think that to have to pull my pack on wheels would turn out to be somewhat uncomfortable.
As far as paved roads are concerned - you usually find them at the entrance and exits of most villages, not to mention the long drags into and out of some of the cities (Burgos, Leon, etc). These are places where we are obliged to walk on asphalt, so it's far more pleasant to be able to walk on the paths and trails, than to keep to the paved roads when we have the opportunity. Not to mention that to walk on asphalt all the time is tiring on your feet! If you have your pack on wheels, you will be condemmed on many occasions to take the paved road and therefore miss so much of the beauty of the Camino. Anne
 
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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Camino Portuguese and Primitivo
Hi John, most of what I want to say has been said. The John Brierley guide book is the best guide book I have ever seen and I would not have wanted to be without it. It gave so much valuable info about each stage, historical and spiritual as well as totally practical info and the maps were great. I bought a Miam Miam Dodo for the Le Puy route and also an Alison Raju guide, but I must say I am grieving for the John Brierley version, it made everything so easy. I really liked the day by day breakdown of how much of the route was on quiet paths, roads etc and the height elevations were brilliant too to help you prepare for your day.
I would not mess about with a thing on wheels, too hard on the picturesque narrow bits of paths, which are the most beautiful and a shame to miss for the sake of transporting a cart on wheels.
My advice is to get really good at packing, I have done the Camino, the Jakobsweg in Austria as well as the Czech Greenways, mostly during May and June and after learning a fast lesson in the first 3 days of walking, my pack has never exceeded a total weight of 5 to 6 kg plus water. This includes taking a lightweight sleeping bag. My pack felt like it was part of my body and I actually missed carrying it on a day when I walked without it. I am about to walk the Le Puy route this year and am aiming at lightening my pack even more. Regards, Gitti
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I find the Pili Pala Press Camino map book very good for picturing where the Camino follows along highways, where it uses roads, and where there are trails. Very usefully, it also shows the alternative routes for those of us who prefer to avoid the roads (such as the path from Poblacion de Campos to Villacazar de Sirga). Using a wheeled carrier-- unless medically necessary -- would preclude a pilgrim from taking many of these very agreeable paths.
 

Barbara

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
"Is there anywhere to obtain this information for each stage of the journey without buying the guide?"

Probably, but if no-one ever buys a guide then the writers and publishers will probably stop producing them :(
It won't be a large part of your budget.
If you don't wan't to carry a backpack, take a donkey :D
 
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Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
You can have your backpack forwarded along the route. It costs 3 Euro and they can, and do, deliver, up to 35 kms towards Santiago. Most albergues have small tags that you attach to your pack on which you write the your name, the name of the town/city you want it delivered too and the name of the albergue. EASY!!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
It has been my experience that 800km from Santiago, luggage transfers can cost up to €7 per bag per stage.
Only when you get to the 100km mark and you are in Xacotrans territory, do you have bags transported for €3 per stage. That is because competition is stiff on the last 100km.
 

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