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Long days and double stages

Carl Remarx

Walking where you’re not
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning a a Camino de Carlos
After reading a rather heated recent thread about double-stage walkers, I wanted to hear some positive stories if long walks.
When the weather and my mood are lovely, I often don’t feel like stopping and walk on. I’ll never forget the time I started a second “day” of walking at 11:00 p.m. under the full moon with a Camino acquaintance. We walked until dawn. Quiet and contemplative.

I sometimes walk two to three long days as I approach a larger city, then take an extra night or two in town, something I’m surprised others refuse. My love of León and its street culture grew out of a three day stretch there in 2011.
All that said, distance walked is merely a function of time and effort and mood, without a moral component, as I see it.

And the rest of you? Any offbeat tales of off-schedule or extraordinary days/ distances?
I won’t likely participate, but would love to hear your stories.
 
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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Back in 2016 I walked right across Norway in a single day: from the Swedish border to the coast at Verdal. Admittedly Norway is pretty narrow there but it was still a 50km day. I was walking the ST: Olavsleden in May and it was VERY cold. With very few places open for indoor shelter I had to keep walking, set up my tent or freeze :)
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
Whatever a stage is... i guess i walked some longer days on my CF this year. Some days i just feel like walking. Some days i just did not want to stay in the places i passed. Some days i wanted to make up for shorter days. Most times the decision was a good one. Few times i did regret it. Orisson to Zubiri on day two was a mistake. Sarria to Santiago in 3 days was a good call.
For me the secret to success was not to try to finish quick but rather take my time, have a good lunch and not be afraid to call ahead to check if i can still get a bed when i knock on the door between 17:00 and 18:00.
 

gns

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
I have a rule of thumb which says that under 24km is short, 24km - 32km is normal, 32km to 40km is long and over 40km is a big day.

The big days are not common but are memorable in their own way. Perhaps the best was from Ciudad Rodrigo to Almeida. The daftest was walking 44km in the August sun to Reliegos in 2020, where I arrived definitely on the edge.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
The longest stretch I walked on the hot summer of 2019 was Puente de la Reina to Los Arcos, 43km in total.
The last 10km were quiet, hot and somehow very fullfilling.

The Bomberos were cruising the Camino to pick up the Pilgrims that wouldn't make it by foot to Los Arcos.
After that I had days of 38km (Villafranca to Burgos), 37km (Leon to Hospital de Orbigo and Hospital de Orbigo to Rabanal).
As long as my feet were ok and I got enough water, I walked. I didn't call ahead, I walked on until I had enough walking.
 
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RussB

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Still planning
Assuming you are fit and can get the calories it’s surprising how far you can go. Hydration and stretching are key for me once finished. Drink a little more and another round of stretching . Agreed feel tired but can keep going
 

Charles Ross

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Two people to walk the Camino de Santiago in the spring of (2018)
I've had this discussion about 'how fast' in forums centered on bicycle touring. 'Yeah, I did the Trans America in 32 days' or 'I did the Pacific Coast Bike Route (Vancouver BC - Mexicali) in 17 days'. My response then was the same I would give now. In all likelihood this is the ONE time you are doing the cross country or the coast or . . . . the Camino Frances. This is it! Your experience. What are you going to say to people who ask 'how was it'. How are you going to sum it up and give the questioner the sense of what doing the Camino de Santiago is like? What is the fullness of your experience going to be.
'It was fast!' Is that it?
 

Carl Remarx

Walking where you’re not
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning a a Camino de Carlos
Thanks, Charles Ross. I agree, and was looking more for the poetic than the athletic in responses. Okay, can anyone describe a great day of weird(?) walking WITHOUT any numbers? A particularly inspiring day of being lost or a serendipitous discovery down the road when the albergue one wanted was closed?
 

Charles Ross

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Two people to walk the Camino de Santiago in the spring of (2018)
Thanks, Charles Ross. I agree, and was looking more for the poetic than the athletic in responses. Okay, can anyone describe a great day of weird(?) walking WITHOUT any numbers? A particularly inspiring day of being lost or a serendipitous discovery down the road when the albergue one wanted was closed?
Yes, I just got back from a Camino and when people ask how much I walked i've answered '@ 975,000 steps'. That gets some odd looks!
 
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2012
I walked Borres, on the Primitivo, to the hotel above the dam at Grandas once. 43 km give or take. Hospitales was out 'cos of low cloud & high wind. I had "Breakfast" in Pola de Allende and just kept going. I got to La Mesa late afternoon but after a 30 minute rest I decided I wasn't prepared to stay. The Albergue was a sad old place in those days and a quick bug-check persuaded me that a night in the woods or a barn somewhere would be preferable. It was a great decision. The climb up to Santa Maria de Buspol was a bit of a grind but I rolled down through the forest (still a forest in the years before the fires) with birdsong and thunder and beautiful sunset lights. I made it to the hotel above the dam about 11 at night. No lights but the night-porter was sat on the benches out front having a smoke. We had a great night and in the morning he would only charge me for breakfast. Apparently I hadn’t spent long enough time in the room. I made it to Castro despite the hangover.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
A particularly inspiring day of being lost
Absolutely.
I was intending to walk from Santo Domingo de Silos (on the tail-end of the Lana) to Mambrillas de Lara (on the San Olaf) via Covarrubias. It meant about 16km on the Lana and then another 7 and a half or so kms on the SO to Mambrillas, all told about 24kms.

I left early, at first light, and noticed the waymarker at the edge of town said something like, "Covarrubias 22, and thought, "Hmmm, they need to correct their sign." Wrong. I was leaving on an entirely different and longer route than the camino, with only a screenshot of a map on my phone and no working mobile connection. It was such an amazing adventure, an up and down 30 rather than a tame 24. I had eaten no food for breakfast and had none all day, because I bypassed Covarrubias entirely - but boy was it worth it. I was mostly on a GR route that wound over and around the most amazing landscape, and past the surreal Sad Hill Cemetery site from the filming of The Good the Bad and the Ugly. If I ever walk that route again I'll go the same way. It was amazing. (But next time I'll eat something before I leave, and take food to go.)
 

wisepilgrim

Camino App Maker
Time of past OR future Camino
Many
Astorga to Ponferrada was an experience. I remember walking into Molinaseca (when there was only one Albergue in town) and having one other pilgrim join me for an evening stroll into Ponferrada. Oh, and if it were not for a bowl of soup courtesy of Tomás in Manjarin I don’t know if I would have made it.

The following year a good friend and I walked Negreira to Finisterre. We had a late start from the Xunta Albergue and by the time we got to Olveiroa the Albergue was full so we Forrest Gumped it all the way. There were not many options back then; it was get wet sleeping under the stars or get wet walking. The waitress at Mac Dous must have thought us to be savages the way we ate our food… and then reordered.

I remember being so tired the next morning that we didn’t wander past the port, let alone make it out to the lighthouse. By day two all was good again.
 
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roving_rufus

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
I did a bit of the Via Francigena in winter, and after Pavia accommodation options were limited to say the least- so a +40km day leaving in dark with freezing fog, and arrived in Oria Litta to see a worried woman looking out into the dark foggy night from the pilgrim accommodation watching for the crazy pilgrim to arrive ( having had to ring to book). I got the impression she was very worried about me and was about to ring for a search party given the foggy night. Not my favourite longer day! Quite comfortable at about 30km but any more I need a decent break and serious calories to refuel, which doesn't fit so well with short winter days. However the next day I was so tired on the long urban walk along a main road into the city of Piacenza that somehow I was drawn in by golden arches to McDonalds for burgers and icecream and coke.
 

Isabelpilgrim

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
After reading a rather heated recent thread about double-stage walkers, I wanted to hear some positive stories if long walks.
When the weather and my mood are lovely, I often don’t feel like stopping and walk on. I’ll never forget the time I started a second “day” of walking at 11:00 p.m. under the full moon with a Camino acquaintance. We walked until dawn. Quiet and contemplative.

I sometimes walk two to three long days as I approach a larger city, then take an extra night or two in town, something I’m surprised others refuse. My love of León and its street culture grew out of a three day stretch there in 2011.
All that said, distance walked is merely a function of time and effort and mood, without a moral component, as I see it.

And the rest of you? Any offbeat tales of off-schedule or extraordinary days/ distances?
I won’t likely participate, but would love to hear your stories.
I've walked double stages in Galicia in the past (near O'Cebreiro to Sarria-but then did a rest day in Sarria because it was Palm Sunday, on most of my Caminos I've walked past Palais de Rei, once going to Melide because I walked with someone else so I wasn't walking alone late in day, and I've walked Arzua to Santiago, again because it was Holy Week, but also after Pedrouza, there didn't seem to be any place open, that was in 2009.) This year was the first time I stayed in Palas de Rei, and then first time since 2005 I've stayed in Pedrouza, which has really grown since then! Got to see the church there for the first time.y feet have just been killing me this time. I always found the Galician stages easier in the past, but it was probably just because I'd worked myself into good shape by then. But then there's the bittersweet tension of wanting to arrive and also not wanting to end yet.
 

TravellingMan2022

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
After reading a rather heated recent thread about double-stage walkers, I wanted to hear some positive stories if long walks.
When the weather and my mood are lovely, I often don’t feel like stopping and walk on. I’ll never forget the time I started a second “day” of walking at 11:00 p.m. under the full moon with a Camino acquaintance. We walked until dawn. Quiet and contemplative.

I sometimes walk two to three long days as I approach a larger city, then take an extra night or two in town, something I’m surprised others refuse. My love of León and its street culture grew out of a three day stretch there in 2011.
All that said, distance walked is merely a function of time and effort and mood, without a moral component, as I see it.

And the rest of you? Any offbeat tales of off-schedule or extraordinary days/ distances?
I won’t likely participate, but would love to hear your stories.
My first Camino was June 2020. Porto to SdC. Peak Covid. I had to do short days or multiple day stays in certain locations as I started on 18 June and the Portugal Spain border did reopen until 01 July!

But more to the point my second Camino was July 2020.. the Frances. Started off with leisurely 20-25km days long leisurely lunches etc, but rumours of regional border shutdowns abounded, Leon, Galicia, so ended up virtually sprinting across with the last 10 days being around 40kms a day!
 

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