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miss the Meseta???

#1
Why do so many people miss the meseta out? and is this true that they do?
While I was on the Camino I heard of many a peregrino getting a bus past this stage of the route but for me it was the best place for solitude and introspection and Some of the inner work that happened there for me was amazing and so valuable and today I see recomendations to miss this part out if you need to make up some time.

It just confirms I guess that we are all different and our reasons for pilgrimage are too but for me the pilgrimage was about the pilgrimage and not the views, the scenery or the weather, though of course I have to say they most definately made parts easier.
 

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#2
Oh boy, :oops: I haven't even started yet, and I am planning to bus a small part of the Meseta, only because I will be short on time. I don't want to miss any of it, it is just a matter of a time constraint.

So, given that I will have two or three days to make up, I chose the part from Leon to Astorga based on opinions in this forum. Of course, that may change when the time comes and I may choose another piece to miss.

Geoff, if you had to bus for part of it, which part would you miss?

Lora
 
#4
Hm

I agree with you Goeff. The pilgrimage is not supposed to be a walk through the garden. There are parts of it that may be tough and dull and tedious, but that's what it's all about, isn't it? If you want an easy walk, go to the zoo.
If I didn't have enough time to walk the whole camino, I would simply start closer to Santiago, rather than cut the pilgrimage in half with a bus trip somewhere in the middle. :?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#5
...I chose the part from Leon to Astorga... Of course, that may change when the time comes and I may choose another piece to miss. ..
:lol: U could be right, that may change + many other things, too, big time :!:

Get ready, peregrina... :lol:

Best,

xm 8)
 

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#6
what to miss?

Xm, loved the way I answered my own questions there :D

I started in Pamplona and so missed the begining from SJPDP, 3 days walking.
I think, personaly talking, your pilgrimage should be personal and the way you wish to do it. To take my advice on what if any parts to miss out would make it less personal.
Wherevr you decide to start, or whatever you may chose to miss out, it is your journey and it will be just the way it is supposed to be for you so go and enjoy it and if you cant do it all this time, then as I am you could finish it at a later date. I am going back to walk from St JPDP to Pamplona later this year.

Buen Camino Lora
 

Minkey

Active Member
#7
I think it's because a lot of people have little time to complete the Camino. There are some great places along the Meseta, but I guess the majority of the "attractions" are outside of this. I don't really mind it tha much to be honest... apart from that 41k day I stupidly decided on. DUR!
 
#8
41K!!!!!

Way too much for.
On my 2nd days walking I walked from Cirauqui to Villamayor de Monjardin, about 23k I think and both Albergues were shut... Arghhh!!! Then had to walk another 12 or more to Los Arcos.
Oh it was 8pm when I got there and all a little too much for the first days
 

iika

New Member
#9
why I didn't walk meseta?

I would/and did miss meseta just because my own country is SO flat. So this "endless horizon" feeling would not be new to me. To change from my normal scenery and to enjoy the nature I just do not want to miss mountains or anything not so flat. And when you really have to shortcut due time available, it was my option. Physically harder choice, but more rewarding mentally.
 

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:
#10
Miss the Meseta

Perergino Geoff,
There is no beginning to the Camino Frances - and I don't mean that metaphorically. It is only 20th C guidebooks that started writing their guides from St Jean Pied De Port that made people think that was the beginning. I can't imagine a Spaniard from Pamplona getting a taxi to St Jean so that he can start walking to the tomb of his Patron Saint!
I also LOVED the meseta in spring! Wide blue skies, white jet trails, wide horizons and little pueblos like Castrojeriz, Carrion los condes, Mansilla de Mulas. I also got into a Zen place walking the meseta and am looking forward to walking it again.
Hugs,
 

Javier

Active Member
#12
The Meseta ???

I love The MESETA........... under my point of wiew is the part more real of the Camino........









SALUDOS DESDE ESTA PARTE DEL CAMINO WITH MUCH RAIN AND MUD
 

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:
#13
Meseta

Hermoso, muy hermoso!
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#14
I thought the Meseta was absolutely gorgeous - I had beautiful clear sunny skies and as it was Spring the fields were soo green and the skies soo blue as in the above photos. I was disappointed it was over so quickly.... Time constraints are typical of Camino and bussing a great option, but you don't know what you're missing until you've walked it!

My previous Camino I had leg problems so I bussed ahead 3 days to 'rest' in a large city and started walking again from there (but only for a few more days until I had to quit altogether). This time round I'm starting from the point I first bussed ahead from as I don't want to miss anything. It's not necessarily that I feel I must do every step of the Camino, but that the walk is so beautiful and every horizon is different - I want to see it for myself.

The Camino will always be there, walk what you can, and hopefully you will return to it again one day!
 
#15
Miss the meseta?

Javier, what wonderful photos!
I'm looking forward to the meseta, because I feel it will remind me of the wide open spaces in my homeland, Australia.
The walking season has just started here in Western Australia (it's autumn) and I am looking forward to getting out in the bush next weekend for some peaceful walking and maybe a campfire on a section of the wonderful Bibbulmun Track, which wanders about 1000km from the capital, Perth, to Albany on the south coast.
Unlike the meseta, the track has lots of hills (and trees).
Via con dios y con Santiago.

Antonio
 

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:
#16
Where to Start?

I think pilgrims wanting to start on the French side should start from St Palais. Dr Clément Urruitbéhéty devoted most of hid lifetime creating a pilrim museum above the Musée de la Basse-Navarre and it is a fascinating place with scupltures, photographs, documents ect that he has collected on the Chemins de Compostelle.
Just 3km down the road is Gibralta with a stele shaped like a wheel and axle that marks the union of the three routes from Paris, Vézelay and Le Puy.
15kms from St Palais is Ostabat where they say over 5000 pilrims could be accommodated in the middle ages. (Local historians are now disputing this but it is a romantic notion all the same.)
19kms to St Jean Pied de port and you have 2 days walking in your legs before crossing to Roncesvalles.
So Peregrino Geoff, if you want to 'start at the beginning", think about starting at St Palais and do 5 days to Pamplona instead - you won't regret it!
 
#17
Changing the goal posts

Sil you will have me walking from Canturbury next!! :D


St Jean Pied de Port is fine by me for now and not if but more like when I walk another it will be the Portuguese way I`m pretty sure of that.

Thanks Sil
hugs
 

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:
#18
Where to Start

Not a bad idea for your next (after the next) walk.
Canterbury to Roma. Just 1800kms through England, France, Swizerland and Italy.
Follow in the footsteps of Archbishop Sigerico who left us a diary of his walk in 994 when he walked to Rome to collect his stole of office - the pallium - from the Pope.
And then you can walk to Santiago from Rome - like the pilgrims of old!


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#19
Via Francigena

Hmmm!!
You are so very all knowing Sil.
I just looked up the Via Francigena but I think it may be just a little to much for me, even though it surely is a wonderfull and beautifull way to go.
Maybe you could try it out and let me know if I would be able to manage it? :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#20
There's a section under "Pilgrims Blog" on the Home Page where other pilgrimages are mentioned. Hopefully we'll all help add more to the list. One pilgrim recently suggested a book re: world pilgrimages which, though I've already ordered it, I cannot remember the title. From the brief review I read, it looked very interesting. Also, we've contributed some lists of world pilgrimages to the forum, maybe we could put all this info under a new section? I know we've been talking about it. Best, xm 8)
 

Minkey

Active Member
#22
Geoff, Wanna walk to Canterbury? All you have to do is ask! ;)

Yeah, I can see the positives and the negatives of doing either... As Sil says, everyone's camino is different... Although I have been rather cruel about the last 100kers... Whoops.

Best bit of the Meseta? The top of the climb from Castrojeriz... The wrost bit? Seeing Sahagun from miles away and never seemingly getting any closer (known to my good self as the 'Najera Effect')

:)
 
#23
Walking

Minkey
Thanks for the invite but I`m sure I`m busy :wink: for a little while at least while my legs recover that is.
Actually I start walking accross the uk on Sunday, I really have caught some kind of bug as I never walked anwhere before the Camino and now I`m walking from Suffolk to Wiltshire and on to Devon then up through Hereford and on up to Scotalnd. Although I may hitch from time to time.

The Meseta was great for me, I kind of tranced out a lot and worked through some personal stuff and the freezing cold night I spent in Hornillos del Camino was the toughest challenge of inner strength on the whole way for me, pheww!!
As for walking down that hill just before it, I had such a swollen right ankle, it was tuff.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#24
I know PRECISELY what you mean... You can be in the company of friends and just trudge on... I vividly remember the day to Fromista... I said nothing to my companion, he said nothing to me... Then we both said at the same time, "Isn't it weird we're not talking?"... Not really!

Good luck with you endeavours, buddy... You'll of course keep us informed of your progress? It's nice to see such a free spirit... I'd be a free spirit if it wasn't for all my student debts. :(
 
#25
free

Sometimes I walked with people Minkey and sometimes I walked alone, quite often aactually, sometimes we would speak and sometimes I could walk in the company of someone else and not say a word for hours.
Some of the Camino I needed to do alone and be on my own, but some of it even though I needed to be silent and in my head was good to have the comfort of knowing someone was baside me if I needed them.
Silence really can be golden at times.

As for being a free spirit, I come at quite a price :lol:
 

Minkey

Active Member
#26
THAT, my friend , is why I always choose to go alone... You can opt in and opt out and people you barely know, will still talking to you... I have loved the Camino, I have sometimes loathed it... But it is for me, one of the greatest things... I can be myself (my job doesn't allow that... Personality is a big no. no)
 
#27
job

For years I did the work my father expected me to do Minkey, I hated it but from a young age it was what was expected of me and it was only 5 years ago I broke that chain and went back to college and learned a new skill, one I love to do, and one that I can do anywhere I chose, so it is easy for me to move about and be free but I do sometimes long to have some solid roots somewhere
 
#28
Wow

What fantastic photos! They are beautiful! I am very much looking forward to the meseta, although I have to admit I will probably be hapy to be biking it and not walking it. I can enjoy the beauty and views, and stop to indulge, but I will certainly be able to cover it faster than on foot :wink:
 

Javier

Active Member
#30
To XM.............

The next June perhaps I will go as Hospitalero to Cizur Menor-Orden de Malta. It open from June to October

 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#31
Good news, Javier, + nice shot of the entrance to St John 0f Jerusalem Church, across the albergue, and the beautiful view from there, too. I will be ur first peregrino check-in! Congrats, xm 8)
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#32
Re: The Meseta ???

Javier said:
I love The MESETA........... under my point of wiew is the part more real of the Camino........
Javier, your photos are so very beautiful. Thanks for sharing them, and all your knowledge of the Camino.
 
#33
I WISH I had time for the Meseta. My mom could only get 3 weeks off of work, though, and with travel time to and from North America that really only gives us 2.5 weeks of walking. We're starting in SJPP and we'll be skipping a huge bit in the middle. We didn't want to miss the Pyrenees and we wanted to see Santiagp. So we figure we'll just have to come back another time and see what we missed. Time contraints probably play a role for a lot of people.

Kerith
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#34
Re: free

Geoff3 said:
Sometimes I walked with people Minkey and sometimes I walked alone, quite often actually, sometimes we would speak and sometimes I could walk in the company of someone else and not say a word for hours.
Some of the Camino I needed to do alone and be on my own, but some of it even though I needed to be silent and in my head was good to have the comfort of knowing someone was baside me if I needed them.
Silence really can be golden at times.

As for being a free spirit, I come at quite a price :lol:
I can totally identify with that. That's how I usually feel too.
 
#35
meseta

Where does the meseta "start" and "end"?
I've seen a profile of the whole Camino, and the entire segment between let's say San Juan de Ortega and Astorga seems more or less entirely flat. That's a segment of more than 200 km!!!
We have decided to accelerate our pace over this part, because we decided to travel on to the End of the Earth, but we won't be skipping it for sure!!! :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#36
For me the meseta was not as much of a hardship as I had thought, just...boring. Again, for me. Best, xm
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#40
Minkey said:
Don't go thinking it's flat! It's obviously not as bumpy as the bits before or after, but it's not that flat.
Ok. My point was that it's not as spectacular as other parts and hence visually more boring. Which I don't think is a bad thing because your mind is not constantly distracted by 'nice things' ...
 

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:
#42
Meseta

5 STAGES OF THE CAMINO FRANCES

1. The first 50kms, starting in the Pyrenees, comprise undulating woodland until you reach Pamplona
2. The next 200 + km are varied - across Navarra and La Rioja vineyards with several hill ranges to cross.
3. For ±230 km between Burgos and Astorga you are on the meseta – hot in summer and bitterly cold in the winter with fewer villages and therefore, fewer monuments along the way.
4. The mountains of León take you up to 1,400 metres over 2 days, then very steeply down to the Bierzo plain. Two days later you have the Cebreiro range, again reaching 1,400 metres. Neither of these is as bad as the day from St Jean, because you start higher up
5. From Astorga to Sarria – 145kms takes you to the highest point at 1500m.
6. The last 115 kms from Sarria are fairly arduous with sharp up hills and steep descents.
 
#43
Charcoal!!

I`m not quite sure where it was, after San Bol I think, but you come to a rest place with shelter and a broken water pump and don`t forget this is miles from anywhere up there but there is a brick bar-B-Q?!??!?! Made I laugh!! :lol:
so dont forget your steak and brickettes
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
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#44
I recall posting an observation on another thread about the meseta. I would divide it into two stages, from Burgos to Sahagun, and then Sahagun to Leon.

The first stage is wonderful rolling countryside, reminiscent of the Qu'Appelle Valley in south Saskatchewan, with endless skies, punctuated by mediaeval villages in hollows in the ground. Castrojeriz and Fromista are both worth visiting. I kept on running into Australians who were glowing with delight over the experience, and I quite enjoyed it.

What was flat and boring for me, was Sahagun on, and too much of it by roadsides. I cannot say that I enjoyed the stretch from Mansilla las Mulas to Leon and would recommend a bus or taxi, so as to use spare hours in Leon itself.

I skipped the Burgos-Sahagun stretch on my first Camino, feeling pressured by time, and was warned by Caminoholics that I would want to come back and do it. Nonsense, I told them, but they just smiled at me. I am happy that I was able to come back and walk the meseta.
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#46
After having been there: Don't miss the Meseta! It has some of the most beautiful parts of the Camino, especially immediately after Burgos. There are boring parts of course as well. But it's a good exercise of the will to do them anyway :)
 
#47
Re: what to miss?

Geoff3 said:
Xm, loved the way I answered my own questions there :D

I started in Pamplona and so missed the begining from SJPDP, 3 days walking.
I think, personaly talking, your pilgrimage should be personal and the way you wish to do it. To take my advice on what if any parts to miss out would make it less personal.
Wherevr you decide to start, or whatever you may chose to miss out, it is your journey and it will be just the way it is supposed to be for you so go and enjoy it and if you cant do it all this time, then as I am you could finish it at a later date. I am going back to walk from St JPDP to Pamplona later this year.

Buen Camino Lora
some of the best advice I have read on this forum! as is said on the Appalachian Trail over and over "HIKE YOUR HIKE"
 

Pieces

Veteran Member
#48
nothing wrong with wishing to make an informed choice

for some this is a once-in-a-lifetime, not something that can be redone....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Lourdes v SJPDP - Santiago (June/July 2010) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (July/August 2015) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (June/July/August 2017)
#49
For me the highlight of the Meseta was after leaving Burgos, going on past Rae de las Calzados
going over the slight hill, and seeing the start of the Meseta out in front across the open plain,with
the Village of Hornillos del Camino in the distance and looking forward to a cold beer,after a very
hot day in July 2010
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (March 2015)
#50
I haven't walked the Camino yet but one part I am looking forward to is the Meseta. I had the pleasure of meeting Alan Pearce, a forum member here and a seasoned walker, and he showed me some photos of the Meseta. To me it looked amazing. I'll be on that section of the Camino in early April so I'm not sure what the weather will be like, but I'm hoping for some early spring blooms!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#51
I've not walked the Via de la Plata yet but I want to primarily because I loved the meseta. And the number of pilgrims encountered may be similar to when I first walked the Frances. When I told my husband and explained it is 1000km he just groaned and rolled his eyes.
 

robertt

Active Member
#52
I walked the meseta in winter. At one point there was no wind, no people, no insects, no vehicles,...just the sound of me walking and one bird in the stubble. Then the bird stopped singing. So I stopped moving, and even held my breath. For the first time in my life, I experienced zero sound in the middle of the day. Vivid memory, for some reason.
 

Olivares

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 1997 (Leon to Santiago); Sections Camino Frances: May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, October 2013, June-July 2014 (Sahagun to Santiago).
#53
Why do so many people miss the meseta out? and is this true that they do?
Yes, a lot of people, even well-trained people, skip the Meseta, which I think it is a HUGE, HUGE MISTAKE. I found the Meseta to be absolutely beautiful, most conducive to introspection, the most beautiful dawns and sunsets, and the NICEST people along the Camino. Some pics.

If you start at SJPDP, by the time you get to the Meseta you are either stronger, more focused, or exhausted, injuries compounding, or simply bored. So, regardless of geography, the Meseta is logistically and mentally at a desicion corner for most. Don't walk the Camino before walking the Camino. Get there and then see where you are at. Buen Camino.
 

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