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Minimum time to get that Camino-feeling

MichaelC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug 2017: Le Puy to Santiago
Nov 2018: Kumano Kodo (partial)
Jul 2019: San Miniato to Bolsena
#1
I realize that this question is subjective & there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and yet: What would you all say is the minimum amount of time that a pilgrim should walk to get that full Camino-feeling? And does it differ on different walks?

I look back at my own experiences, and know that one week would not have been enough for me. Two weeks (equivalent to SJPP to Burgos, or León to Santiago) would make a great trip, but I still don't think it would be enough for that deep immersive experience. Three weeks (SJPP to León, or Le Puy to Moissac)? That might be enough ... but personally I think I'd still want more.

This is more than just a theoretical question! I'm already plotting how to return, whether in Spain, France, or Italy, and how long it will take me to save enough vacation time. And so I'm curious to hear what folks' experiences were who walked shorter caminos. Because I can pull off three weeks in Spring 2019, or four weeks in Fall 2019, or ... if I can hold out ... a longer walk in 2020. But I doubt I can hold out that long.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#2
I've done both long and short - and have been surprised how quickly the heart drops into that timeless camino place, even on day 1 of a short walk. For me the main difference between a short walk and a longer one is how 'done' I feel at the end. After a month I feel pretty 'cooked,' and ready to go. But not after 10 days; then I'm still eager to walk and seeing new things inside and out. So the leaving is much more reluctant.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#3
Coming from the US I need to make the best use of my air travel. I've walked for 6 weeks two different times and 5 weeks once, and they both felt like I was fully immersed in the Camino experience. This June I will be walking Le Puy to Moissac and have planned for 4 weeks total. I think this amount of time will be fine, too.

I would not keep postponing your dream indefinately....2020 sounds like a long reach away!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#4
I walk shorter times exclusively - I've been on a Camino (counting on my fingers) over 20 times now, but the longest time I've ever had was 19 days.

The moment I step out of my door with a backpack, knowing I have all I'll need with me, my walk changes and (says my husband) my eyes focus in the middle distance. I'm on my Camino, even walking to the airport bus.

Which I will be doing around lunchtime today, I just have to go to work for a few hours first.

Whee!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#5
My first camino was only 2 weeks and I was just beginning to get "that" feeling, so I was sorry to be leaving at that point. Subsequent trips have been longer, but I did not enjoy the 6th week of walking as much as the first 5. Of course, every camino is different, but I have decided that about 30 days of walking (about 5 weeks away from home) is generally more than enough to satisfy me. If I didn't have that much time available, I would still be happy with 3 or 4 weeks.

Come to think of it... I would be happy with 2 weeks. Even 1 week. No, one week isn't enough to get over the jet lag, so I draw the line at 2 weeks!
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
#6
Here's another vote for a two-week minimum. That gives 3-4 days to transition in, mentally, and 3-4 days of transitioning out, leaving a solid week's worth of pilgrim mental state in the middle.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#7
I realize that this question is subjective & there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and yet: What would you all say is the minimum amount of time that a pilgrim should walk to get that full Camino-feeling? And does it differ on different walks?
he he he he he, not just "subjective", but divisive ... :eek:o_O:p:cool::p

For me, as a "purist" (cough !!), I'd consider "the full Camino™" to be something I've not done, the 4000 K hike there and back again ; though I've done the "short version" of home to Santiago twice, from two different homes, which I'd certainly suggest was "good enough". But sure, that's a bit more difficult to do if you live outside Western Europe, which is why I often advise people to start somewhere a little further or more meaningful than just SJPP, like starting at your airport, or train station, or ferry terminal of arrival or say start at Lourdes or Saint Palais, Bayonne or Tarbes or Pau, and so on -- mainly to get a "feel" at least for the more solitary Camino prior to joining the more crowded main routes in Spain .

Which sure, would certainly vary from route to route -- starting in places like Gibraltar or Andorra, or Barcelona or even some short walking in Ireland or the UK before a ferry to Santander, or Madrid or Salamanca would do it too ... doesn't have to be 1500 to 2000 K !!! :)
 

simeon

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
#8
I walk shorter times exclusively - I've been on a Camino (counting on my fingers) over 20 times now, but the longest time I've ever had was 19 days.

The moment I step out of my door with a backpack, knowing I have all I'll need with me, my walk changes and (says my husband) my eyes focus in the middle distance. I'm on my Camino, even walking to the airport bus.

Which I will be doing around lunchtime today, I just have to go to work for a few hours first.

Whee!
Your making me feel so envious. Please take pity on your fellow forum members and curb your joy!!!!!

Seriously have a great time.....
 

Marcel234

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
Camino(s) past & future
2009/10/11/12/13/14/15/16 and this June 2017
#9
For me, there is no minimum time. Since 2009 I’ve been on Camino’s 11 times. Last year I went twice. First in June with 47 degrees from Mérida. I only had 5 walking days. It was awesome. In November I went with my father to the Francés. 4 walking days. Perfect.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#11
Fit or not that special Camino feeling has always occured when arriving at Saint Jean Pied de Port, the picturesque Basque mountain town in the French Pyrenees to begin another CF. Excitement grew while riding there on the local train from Bayonne. After hoisting my pack, walking uphill and through the old fortress walls to the 39 rue de la Citadelle office of the welcoming Amis du Chemin de St Jacques to obtain a Credential and bunk, I walked on. Nearby at 55 was the famous red door of the municipal albergue. Pushing it open began each new Camino adventure. Mme Jeannine, the tireless hospitalera greeted all and serendipity prevailed. ... Ultreia!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#12
@JabbaPappa, as long as I have my family and friends back home anxiously waiting for my return, I can not envision wanting to be away for over six weeks. For the more independently free souls who are able to walk 1000 k and more, you/they most likely are unencumbered from many of life's other responsibilities back home. "It's all good" as the saying goes.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#13
Sure, Camino Chris, but some people can do 1000 K easily within 6 weeks (I once did a 1800 K Camino in 44 days, though of course I was 29 at the time, and in extremely good training ... ), so as I said, the whole "what's long enough" thing is highly variable ... ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#14
Yes, Jabba, I admit to being a fairly slow walker. The good news with that thankfully I've been fortunate to have had no injuries thus far on three Caminos. I let the young ones sail on past me.
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug 2017: Le Puy to Santiago
Nov 2018: Kumano Kodo (partial)
Jul 2019: San Miniato to Bolsena
#15
I've still be pondering this, and I think 3-5 weeks is what I'm looking for. I understand how people feel the spirit of the Camino the moment they set out, and that for this it doesn't matter if it's a three days or three months. But there's also that sense of immersion that only comes with time.

Now if I only had three to five weeks every year.
 

Calum

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
0
#16
- Jabba papa you mention starting with a quieter walk. I do wonder what all the fuss is about when you think how busy it must be there.
 

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