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Is it all hills??

Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP to SDC May & June 2017
#1
I'm only 4 days in so things should improve as in gain strength, but the long hills both up and down walking on loose stones of varying sizes, have about killed my feet and ankles. The most enjoyable walk so far was the walk beside a river before Pamplona. That was great. Have not had a bad meal or a bad glass of wine. Who knew wine could be so cheap and so good. I am spending more money to dry my clothes than for a bed. Well maybe not I ran the dryer 2 times last night for a total of 6 euro and it cost 10 for the bed. For 6 euro I could get two bottles of good wine. I am having the time of my life. Buen Camino. Ed
 

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rector

ONE HALF
Camino(s) past & future
MAY (2011)
MAY (2014)
Camino Porto-Santiago Aug 2015
#2
The short answer to your question is, that with the exception of the fat bits, it is all hills, but then the camino, like life has it's ups and downs, however if you drink enough of the vino callapso you do not notice them. Have a great experience.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#3
I'm only 4 days in so things should improve as in gain strength, but the long hills both up and down walking on loose stones of varying sizes, have about killed my feet and ankles. The most enjoyable walk so far was the walk beside a river before Pamplona. That was great. Have not had a bad meal or a bad glass of wine. Who knew wine could be so cheap and so good. I am spending more money to dry my clothes than for a bed. Well maybe not I ran the dryer 2 times last night for a total of 6 euro and it cost 10 for the bed. For 6 euro I could get two bottles of good wine. I am having the time of my life. Buen Camino. Ed
:) Enjoy the wine! In a short while you'll enter the Rioja district, and the wine will seriously improve! :)

No, the CF is easy. A few big climbs, but you'll take them by using some time. Take a vino/beer break! :)

Enjoy!
Buen Camino!
 

Scottlovelace87

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -Ponferrada to Santiago
2016 - SJPP to Burgos
2017 - Burgos to Ponferrada
#4
;) There were times in my Camino when I thought to myself "I took vacation for this?". The first 5 miles up to Orrison from SJPP on a 90+ degree day almost wiped me out! The challenges are part of what makes the Camino an awesome experience. It's not easy, you will have days where you feel like a superman and the walk will feel easy, however the next day is quite hard and a humbling experience. In the end it takes you out of your comfort zone and that is how we grow as human beings.

THE WINE! I totally agree, the best wine I have ever had, and for a shockingly low price! I'm mainly a beer drinker here in the states, however I am mostly a wine drinker when I am on the Camino:)

Enjoy the rest of your Camino.
 
Last edited:

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18)
#5
Two things to keep in mind.

The first is, you have just crossed the Pyrenees (for the first time) and you will get a bit of a break from the really big climbs for a few weeks. The condition of the trail varies from day to day, and across the meseta, its really very good. You're not done though, there are more patches with rocky climbs in your future, but no, its not all like that.

The second is your conditioning. The first few days really challenge some pilgrims particularly those who are older, and those that did limited training. Take your time, and don't break anything. The body will respond. As the days go by, you will get stronger and stronger. It will never be easy, but it will get far less unbearable.

On a final note, the weather will improve. Then it will get worse. Then it will improve again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Buen Camino!
 

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Coleen Clark

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked August 2015, planning on walking August 2017
#6
I'm only 4 days in so things should improve as in gain strength, but the long hills both up and down walking on loose stones of varying sizes, have about killed my feet and ankles. The most enjoyable walk so far was the walk beside a river before Pamplona. That was great. Have not had a bad meal or a bad glass of wine. Who knew wine could be so cheap and so good. I am spending more money to dry my clothes than for a bed. Well maybe not I ran the dryer 2 times last night for a total of 6 euro and it cost 10 for the bed. For 6 euro I could get two bottles of good wine. I am having the time of my life. Buen Camino. Ed
I love your attitude!
"Oh it's hard mountain walking!"
"Oh my clothes are so wet!"
"I'm having the time of my life!"
And that, dear ones, is how you explain the Camino (but don't tell Everyone about the wine)
 

NicP

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata, Seville to Santiago de Compostella via Astorga, then Finisterre... April and May 2016
#7
It sounds like you're having a great time! If the ups and downs of the terrain are troubling you, slow down for a couple of days, and take the time to explore the wine (but not too much!)

It does take a little while for the body to catch up with the mind's desires, in terms of covering the distances and the hills, but you'll get there. It really does sound like you're enjoying it. I am envious!
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
#8
The hills will get you in great condition and in a week or two when the map says " difficult hill section tomorrow " you will think after the climb " that wasn't difficult ! :cool:

Your condition will improve markedly .

How I miss those days now I have been back at work 6 months .... Camino is on my mind constantly ! ..... I use it in all my computer passwords at work :D...helps me to remember what is important

Ultreia !
 

joecamino

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 CF
#9
Eddie, congrats and Buen Camino!

I left St Jean 17 days ago, and am now in Burgos. Those hills are still fresh in my mind-- and that wonderful river stretch you mentioned.

I didn't see in your post whether you're using walking sticks. I recommend them highly, as others did for me.

Here are three places ahead of you where these made a HUGE difference...
  • the very rough descent off Alta del Perdón, after Pamplona
  • a steep descent from Villamayor de Montjardín
  • the big up and down day between Los Arco and Viana
The stretch from Burgos to León is supposed to be pretty flat. I'm sure I'll be thankful for my sticks again after that.

Buen Camino, keep having fun!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#10
Eddie, congrats and Buen Camino!

I left St Jean 17 days ago, and am now in Burgos. Those hills are still fresh in my mind-- and that wonderful river stretch you mentioned.

I didn't see in your post whether you're using walking sticks. I recommend them highly, as others did for me.

Here are three places ahead of you where these made a HUGE difference...
  • the very rough descent off Alta del Perdón, after Pamplona
  • a steep descent from Villamayor de Montjardín
  • the big up and down day between Los Arco and Viana
The stretch from Burgos to León is supposed to be pretty flat. I'm sure I'll be thankful for my sticks again after that.

Buen Camino, keep having fun!
It sounds like that you will LOVE the Meseta from Burgos and some 9 days flat ahead. Just be aware to call it a day in Castrojeriz, 2nd day after Burgos: The hill just beyond Castrojeriz is called the Mata Burros (Mule Killer) and is best done in the cool morning, not in the heat of the afternoon...:);) After that, it is flat walking for a week. Great place for reflections: Probably one of the best parts of the Camino! :)

PS: I notice you use walking poles: It is always a very good advice to use rubber, also with your walking poles: Let other pilgrims walk in peace and solitude...;)
 

Jersey

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2017
#11
;) There were times in my Camino when I thought to myself "I took for vacation for this?". The first 5 miles up to Orrison from SJPP on a 90+ degree day almost wiped me out! The challenges are part of what makes the Camino an awesome experience. It's not easy, you will have days where you feel like a superman and the walk will feel easy, however the next day is quite hard and a humbling experience. In the end it takes you out of your comfort zone and that is how we grow as human beings.

THE WINE! I totally agree, the best wine I have ever had, and for a shockingly low price! I'm mainly a beer drinker here in the states, however I am mostly a wine drinker when I am on the Camino:)

Enjoy the rest of your Camino.
I would drink more beer too if I lived in Madison lol
Great Dane pub, Karben?
( my son lives in Madison )
If Spain is lacking one thing, it's beer.
But the wine more than makes up for it
 

John Sikora

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese/Coastal Sept
(2019) Via de la Plata - Seville to Santiago May
#12
That's the downside of every river. You have to go down to get to it and then up to get away from it. It's not all hills but the first part if probably the worst (worst condition and pretty bad hills). It gets better in two ways: you get conditioned so you don't mind it so much, and you meet some people along the way that you can talk as you walk which also helps pass the time.

Think of it this way also. What could you be doing that would burn up so many calories that it really doesn't matter what you eat and drink (as long as you don't drink too much of the wine). As someone else pointed out, you're almost to Rioja where the wine gets really good.
 

tomnorth

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); March/April (2019)
#13
Eddie, congrats and Buen Camino!

I left St Jean 17 days ago, and am now in Burgos. Those hills are still fresh in my mind-- and that wonderful river stretch you mentioned.

I didn't see in your post whether you're using walking sticks. I recommend them highly, as others did for me.

Here are three places ahead of you where these made a HUGE difference...
  • the very rough descent off Alta del Perdón, after Pamplona
  • a steep descent from Villamayor de Montjardín
  • the big up and down day between Los Arco and Viana
The stretch from Burgos to León is supposed to be pretty flat. I'm sure I'll be thankful for my sticks again after that.

Buen Camino, keep having fun!
How is your Camino going? I remember your post when you were trying to decide whether to go and were concerned about conditioning. I'm so happy to see you've made it to Burgos. Buen Camino!
 

tominrm

Hiking to Celebrate the End of Working Life.
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2014)
del Norte ( 2015)
Portuguese ( 2016)
Primitivo ( 2017)
VdlP (2018)
#14
Speaking of beer and wine, which causes you fat more? Are they both equal opportunity offenders?
After walking a month from Santander to do Camino Primitivo, I expected to lose serious amount of weight, but I haven't. I think it is all those beer and wine after the hard walk (hard climbs ) made up my energy used that day. Well, I guess I can't complain because at least I felt good after a hard day's walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP to SDC May & June 2017
#15
Eddie, congrats and Buen Camino!

I left St Jean 17 days ago, and am now in Burgos. Those hills are still fresh in my mind-- and that wonderful river stretch you mentioned.

I didn't see in your post whether you're using walking sticks. I recommend them highly, as others did for me.

Here are three places ahead of you where these made a HUGE difference...
  • the very rough descent off Alta del Perdón, after Pamplona
  • a steep descent from Villamayor de Montjardín
  • the big up and down day between Los Arco and Viana
The stretch from Burgos to León is supposed to be pretty flat. I'm sure I'll be thankful for my sticks again after that.

Buen Camino, keep having fun!
I am at Villamayor now. My knee is sore so I will definitely use sticks tomorrow. Please tell me that the steep descent is not loose stones!!!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#17
The Spanish beer is really good and refreshing. Not like most US beers: Remember that famous saying by the Monty Python gang? "Drinking American beer is like making love in a canoo: Fuc.ing close to water!" ;):)
 

Jersey

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2017
#18
The Spanish beer is really good and refreshing. Not like most US beers: Remember that famous saying by the Monty Python gang? "Drinking American beer is like making love in a canoo: Fuc.ing close to water!" ;):)
You would be absolutely correct, if the year was 1990 lol
America now has over 5000 breweries, many of them brewpubs that make the beer right on the premises.
I would think we have the best & largest selection of beer in the world right now.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#19
You would be absolutely correct, if the year was 1990 lol
America now has over 5000 breweries, many of them brewpubs that make the beer right on the premises.
I would think we have the best & largest selection of beer in the world right now.
Very good to hear. The last time in US (No doubt, some years ago), only Sam. Adams was drinkable! ;)
 

tominrm

Hiking to Celebrate the End of Working Life.
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2014)
del Norte ( 2015)
Portuguese ( 2016)
Primitivo ( 2017)
VdlP (2018)
#20
Have you ever noticed the price of Budweiser beer in the stores? It costs as much as other imports. Obviously someone buys, or they would not waste store shelves.
I like Galicia Estellas given a choice, but San Miguel and Mahou are excellent too.
 

Jersey

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2017
#21
Very good to hear. The last time in US (No doubt, some years ago), only Sam. Adams was drinkable! ;)
Yes Sam Adams was one of the leaders towards small breweries that make good beer. I thought I died & went to heaven when it first came out. I'm lucky that I live close to NYC. I can even find cask conditioned ales
without much problem
 

FrankieBallz

Wandering; Not lost.
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances & Camino Ingles -- Oct./Nov. 2016
#22
The hills will get you in great condition and in a week or two when the map says " difficult hill section tomorrow " you will think after the climb " that wasn't difficult ! :cool:

Your condition will improve markedly .

How I miss those days now I have been back at work 6 months .... Camino is on my mind constantly ! ..... I use it in all my computer passwords at work :D...helps me to remember what is important

Ultreia !
Me too Annie! Camino18 or Camino19, all the time dreaming of going back and which route I'm going to take. I've completely forgiven the overweight pack and the blisters and long to return. I must, however, keep reminding myself that I DO NOT have it all figured out so the next time will be EASY! What a trap that would be to fall in to!
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
#23
Me too Annie! Camino18 or Camino19, all the time dreaming of going back and which route I'm going to take. I've completely forgiven the overweight pack and the blisters and long to return. I must, however, keep reminding myself that I DO NOT have it all figured out so the next time will be EASY! What a trap that would be to fall in to!
:D Yes it's a bit like childbirth ... pain is in time replaced by euphoria :eek:....
 

TomAptos

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Camino Portugues 2017, Via St Francis (Italy) 2018
#24
I'm only 4 days in so things should improve as in gain strength, but the long hills both up and down walking on loose stones of varying sizes, have about killed my feet and ankles. The most enjoyable walk so far was the walk beside a river before Pamplona. That was great. Have not had a bad meal or a bad glass of wine. Who knew wine could be so cheap and so good. I am spending more money to dry my clothes than for a bed. Well maybe not I ran the dryer 2 times last night for a total of 6 euro and it cost 10 for the bed. For 6 euro I could get two bottles of good wine. I am having the time of my life. Buen Camino. Ed
Expect it to get a lot easier. Hills out of SJPP and into Roncesvalles plus the downhill into Zubiri were the worst of the Camino as far as I'm concerned.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#25
Speaking of beer and wine, which causes you fat more? Are they both equal opportunity offenders?
After walking a month from Santander to do Camino Primitivo, I expected to lose serious amount of weight, but I haven't. I think it is all those beer and wine after the hard walk (hard climbs ) made up my energy used that day. Well, I guess I can't complain because at least I felt good after a hard day's walk.
Beer. But the Spanish bread doesn't help either!
 
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