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How to pick where to stay the night.

NCfishboy

New Member
Just wondering if people plan out there days or just kind of wing it as far as how far to walk each day and where to stay each night. I am going to have 30 to 32 days that I will be able to walk and and going from St. Jean to Santiago but would also like to make it to Muxia if possible. I have been looking at plane tickets and just applied for my passport and buying gear that I will need. I guess my question is do most people make a list to towns to stop at based on mileage and if so do you tend to stick to the list. I know a rest day or two is nice and sometimes unavoidable due to illness or injury, but in general do you just start walking and say I will see how I feel when I reach spot X on the map or what?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, NC,

How exciting to be planning your first Camino. I think your question will elicit a lot of different approaches to this question.

I'm a big planner, so I always spend hours pouring over websites, blogs, forums, to come up with a reasonable day-by-day itinerary. I then add a few days for unexpected things and a couple of rest days, add on the travel time to and from the camino and buy my ticket. This is something that the Europeans on this forum don't have to worry about because they can just figure out how to get home when they arrive in Santiago -- if you're from North America, you have to buy a RT ticket, so you have to figure out how many days you can walk.

I don't make reservations ahead of time and I don't feel tied to my "itinerary" once I start walking. Things always change and I just don't want to have a rigid schedule. But I have some benchmarks -- e.g., want to be in Caceres by X date, want to be in Ourense by Y date, etc. So when I take stock of my progress I can tell whether I need to pick it up or slow down or what.

But the more difficult question is how you figure out how many kms you will plan on walking per day. I know what I'm comfortable with after all these years, but if it's your first camino, you aren't likely to know what your body will want to do for 750 or 800 kms. I think the average is about 25-28 kms a day, which divided by 25 is 32 days for St. Jean - Santiago.

Most people probably leave the albergue in the morning with an idea of where they want to spend the night, subject to the unexpected, of course! I don't think too many have a rigid day by day schedule set, at least that's not what I've seen.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

fortview

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances Sept/oct 2012 , Salvador, Primitivo 2013
Cotswold Way July 2014
European Peace Walk August 2014 (John)
Hi,
We started every day with a plan . Every day it changed ! We found it best to avoid the " stages " in the Brierley guide since these seemed to be the busiest places to find a bed . The beauty of this camino is being able to be flexible, and stop when you feel like it. Listen to your body, and listen to your heart as well. You do have a time schedule, but don't let that rule your journey completely. :)

Buen camino,
Helen
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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:
On my first Camino we had 27 days to walk from Roncesvalles, average 28km per day.
It didn't work! Some days we walked 40km to find a bed and others we stopped after 23km because the next place was just too far.

We more or less tried to stay on track and if we walked extra kms, we called those 'miles in the bank'. So, if we had walked 40km instead of 28km, we had 12km in the bank to use another day when the going got tough.

The day we walked to Leon was a short 17km day because we had more than 11km in the bank and could call that our rest day!

If you want to start at St Jean and walk to Fistera and Muxia in 32 days you'll have a similar goal - about 892km in 32 days = 27.8km per day.

My advice? Start out slow. Don't worry about the mileage too much in the beginning. Once you are feeling fitter, add a couple of km each day. By the time you get onto the meseta, you'll be able to do 40km days with no problem. Slow down again in the Monte Irago and then get back on track after O Cebreiro.

If you are young and fit you can do it! (I was 55 years youg and fit and I made it!)
PS: I forgot to mention that my walking buddy, Georgette was 74 at the time.
 

Homer-Dog

Member
I went with a detailed plan that was promptly thrown out after the third day. My plan was too conservative and I didn't take into account the desire to stay with my new found Camino family. I talked with the people I met in the albergue each night and made a plan for the next day based on where my Camino family was going and how my body felt. The key is flexibility.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
To me, a plan is like a map. Without it, I don't know if I am off course. I deviate from the plan, but I know the impact of the deviation.
 

tyrrek

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
Hi!

I take a similar approach to Laurie. You want some kind of goal each day, but circumstances sometimes intervene for either yourself or your group of friends and plans change.

If I were you I would put Muxia on the 'nice to have' list, but don't make it your expected destination. You'd have to walk further than most people do each day so you won't make so many lasting friendships unless you happen across people on a similar schedule.

Enjoy your preparation! Buen Camino!
 

NCfishboy

New Member
Thanks for the replies, I am semi young at 36 and I am a runner and swimmer so am pretty fit so the mileage should not be a problem and the goal is to get to Santiago but then I said it would be really neat to see the other side of the Atlantic. So for now its Santiago with a hope to see the ocean. So I will make out a rough plan on both ending points on paper and see what happens.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If you're following violinpatrick's blog from Lisbon to Santiago, http://blueponykorea.blogspot.com/ you'll see how he handled this very common problem. After a few days they realized they couldn't handle 30 kms a day, but what to do since they have plane tickets home? Only solution was to re-configure the stages for shorter distances, and then take a bus to make up the distance. They've taken a bus from Santarem to Coimbra, I think, which means they've missed a couple of nice spots but hopefully will now be able to walk the rest of the way to Santiago.
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
I too must count myself in Laurie's camp with one BIG difference. I plan the route, I plan the most recommended albergues and restaurants, I plan the most interesting sites on the Camino but then my deviant personality takes over and I look for side trips, I look for interesting sites 5-10 kilometers and more off the Camino, I look for vineyards and wine producers, I look for historical places of interest, Romanesque churches, monasteries with world renowned choirs singing Gregorian chants, nature preserves, and suddenly the pilgrimage becomes something which can be repeated in a totally different fashion year after year and only Santiago remains the same. Plan and plan well, the Camino is a universe unto itself, pick and choose as you wish, much more than just pretty sights and pretty lights but remain flexible enough to stop to change or to go on if something pops up or seems to be not quite right for yourself. It is an amazing world much beyond your expectations-if you allow it to happen.
S
 

thomryng

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring 2013), Francés (Spring 2016), Galician Francés (Oct. 2018), planning Francés 2020
falcon269 said:
To me, a plan is like a map. Without it, I don't know if I am off course. I deviate from the plan, but I know the impact of the deviation.
This is exactly how I operate. You have a plan. If you're like me, you have a very detailed plan.

But then you are prepared to modify it (or ditch it entirely) if/when it's not working.

There's an old military adage that "no plan survives contact with the enemy", and for me I've found it to be true in travel as well.
 

Freetime

Member
Camino(s) past & future
0 currently. Shooting for 2014
I haven't bee yet myself but I've read over and over about people taking a bus or taxi if they find themselves behind. I say to take it at what ever pace you feel comfortable in and really listen to your body. Running and swimming aren't done everyday for a month with a pack on your back.

Take care of you. Its the only you we've got.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Camino de Santiago Forum mobile app
 

nreyn12

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked (2005) (2007) (2008) (2009) (2010) (2011) (2012) (2013) (2014) (2015); Guide leading groups 2013-present
sillydoll said:
My advice? Start out slow. Don't worry about the mileage too much in the beginning. Once you are feeling fitter, add a couple of km each day. By the time you get onto the meseta, you'll be able to do 40km days with no problem.
Excellent advice. Except that I was never able to get in a 40 km day, no matter how strong I got on the Camino. Max was 33kms, and then I was crippled for the evening and next day I could do only 15 kms or so.

The important thing is to pay attention to what your body needs and wants.

I love to plan and then use the plan as a maybe-I'll-do-it guide only. You never know what will happen on the Camino. You might find yourself part of a group and choose your stops based on where they are staying. You might get in synch with the Olympic Snoring Team and decide to slow down for a day to lose them. Or anything else could happen...
 

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