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My First Camino

BrazenlySober

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to arrive in SdC 8 June 2023
Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. I have been searching around reading previous posts trying to piece together information based on what I’ve read, but sometimes a direct question is best.

I am in the very early stages of planning my first Camino. I anticipate travel dates towards the end of May and beginning of June 2023. I am thinking I will have a total of 24 days away from work. Considering travel dates and the likely desire to have an additional full day bookending my trip, I reckon I will have a total of 20 days for walking and rest. And if I factor in three rest days that brings a total walking count of 17 days. I’d like some feedback on possible starting points. I am thinking of beginning either in Burgos, Sahagún or León. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Welcome,
I love the Camino after Burgos and in 17 days you should have no problem reaching Sarria. Both Burgos and Sarria are reasonably accessible by train and/or bus from cities with major airports.
Buen Camino and good luck with your planning.
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
How exciting, planning your first Camino! Here are a few thoughts that come to mind with your parameters. I think that Burgos is too far out with just 17 days of walking. Now, you may or may not need three rest days in that period of time, but it’s fine to plan that way now. One possibility that I think is reasonable is to start in León. Even using two rest days with a third being Used in Santiago, you could then walk on to Fisterra or Muxía. All that could be done in 17-20 days.

Another option might be to think about walking a different Camino such as the Portugués and also continuing on to Fisterra. Either way, I think you can put together a wonderful experience and still stay within your time frame.
 

Suzanne H

Camino Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
CF'17; LePuy'18; Porto/Coastal'19; Portugal? '22
Very exciting and so many options! There really are no 'bad' choices and you do have a reasonable amount of time depending upon your fitness level. A few more details about you and your preferences might help us point you in the right direction. Do you have any specific interests or goals? Is the Frances your preferred route?
I really like your plan to bookend your trip with an extra day -- many people do not and find they are rushed, especially at the end. As for rest days, I'm not sure you'll need that many. Unless you want to spend an extra night in a certain location, (such as Ponferrada or Astorga or Burgos or Leon).... A lot of pilgrims find themselves wanting to walk every day once they begin -- even if it's a short 10-12km day.
Buen Camino~!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2020
I am facing the exact same question and time frame for an October 2022 camino with my brother. It will be his first camino. He is indicating that the time he could take off will leave us with about 17 walking days. The planning is up to me. I am leaning toward starting in Burgos because I think my brother will like the meseta. I don’t think that is enough time for us to walk into Santiago. But, I am leaning towards choosing the meseta over the Sarria to Santiago, segment. We could probably get to somewhere around Ocebreiro to Samos and then take a bus into Santiago. Or we may change our minds as we progress. Neither one of us will be too troubled by not walking all the way to Santiago. I have never faced any time constraints so I guess there will have to be some degree of picking and choosing.

I want to have a long continuous walk with no pressure to walk all the way to Santiago. But I would like him to see Santiago even if we take a bus there.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@BrazenlySober I find this website very helpful in planning out days and stages. Needless to say that once I am on the Camino it all goes out the window! But it does help to know approximately how long I need and when to buy my return ticket.

It all depends on daily distance. I do not like to walk longer than 25km a day, and like to throw in a few rest days.
 

Charlie Davenport

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 20- June 20, 2017
Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. I have been searching around reading previous posts trying to piece together information based on what I’ve read, but sometimes a direct question is best.

I am in the very early stages of planning my first Camino. I anticipate travel dates towards the end of May and beginning of June 2023. I am thinking I will have a total of 24 days away from work. Considering travel dates and the likely desire to have an additional full day bookending my trip, I reckon I will have a total of 20 days for walking and rest. And if I factor in three rest days that brings a total walking count of 17 days. I’d like some feedback on possible starting points. I am thinking of beginning either in Burgos, Sahagún or León. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
May 1, 2022 to May 20, 2022.... You should be able to see on the calendar out city stops.. 4 x 74 year olds in decent shape using booked rooms in each town... Camino Portuguese Coastal and Variante Espiritual... After the 20th was just touring, which we did for the balance of May and all of June...
1659102638237.png
1659102638237.png
 

Robi Diaz De Vivar

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. I have been searching around reading previous posts trying to piece together information based on what I’ve read, but sometimes a direct question is best.

I am in the very early stages of planning my first Camino. I anticipate travel dates towards the end of May and beginning of June 2023. I am thinking I will have a total of 24 days away from work. Considering travel dates and the likely desire to have an additional full day bookending my trip, I reckon I will have a total of 20 days for walking and rest. And if I factor in three rest days that brings a total walking count of 17 days. I’d like some feedback on possible starting points. I am thinking of beginning either in Burgos, Sahagún or León. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
You don't say but I think that the inference is that you are considering doing the Frances. As an alternative could I suggest the Primitivo. It is a beautiful walk and works out at almost exactly the time that you want to spend. It is physically demanding but not thronged with people but with enough peregrinos to make it interesting. Buen Camino.
 

BrazenlySober

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to arrive in SdC 8 June 2023
Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. I have been searching around reading previous posts trying to piece together information based on what I’ve read, but sometimes a direct question is best.

I am in the very early stages of planning my first Camino. I anticipate travel dates towards the end of May and beginning of June 2023. I am thinking I will have a total of 24 days away from work. Considering travel dates and the likely desire to have an additional full day bookending my trip, I reckon I will have a total of 20 days for walking and rest. And if I factor in three rest days that brings a total walking count of 17 days. I’d like some feedback on possible starting points. I am thinking of beginning either in Burgos, Sahagún or León. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
A little background about myself and motivations. I am in my mid-40s and will be traveling alone. Currently I am in relatively poor physical condition, though with 10 months prior to departure I am working on building stamina and strength. Starting with near daily walks and shorter hikes I am gradually adding length and difficulty. I am not wedded to the idea of walking the Frances, though that definitely seems to be the route people have recommended and which first attracted me to this adventure. My motivations are very much religious in nature. The Primitivo interests me though I’m slightly worried about the strenuousness of that way. I have little to no interest in going to Finisterre. Though I wouldn’t rule it out. I’m wondering if some type of a midpoint between Burgos and Leon might make sense as a starting point. I don’t think I’ll need three days rest, but I do like the flexibility that gives me
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
We don't know your age or fitness level or walking ability, so you might have people twice your age in far less fit physical condition giving you walking advice on here.
That being said you did specifically ask about the Frances, so I'm not going to recommend any other routes. On the Frances with that many days Leon would make a good starting point. It is beautiful and has good infrastructure and easily reached, bus and train. Sahagun is another option, and just a couple days walk to Leon from there. Get a guidebook or the like and study the maps and distances and knowledge of your physical abilities and decide.
 
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MaggieQYogini

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
End of May to June, 2020
Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. I have been searching around reading previous posts trying to piece together information based on what I’ve read, but sometimes a direct question is best.

I am in the very early stages of planning my first Camino. I anticipate travel dates towards the end of May and beginning of June 2023. I am thinking I will have a total of 24 days away from work. Considering travel dates and the likely desire to have an additional full day bookending my trip, I reckon I will have a total of 20 days for walking and rest. And if I factor in three rest days that brings a total walking count of 17 days. I’d like some feedback on possible starting points. I am thinking of beginning either in Burgos, Sahagún or León. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
I just finished my Camino Frances and created TikTok video for each stage. You can check it out to get a visual feel . It’s under MaggieQYogini. 🙏
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. I have been searching around reading previous posts trying to piece together information based on what I’ve read, but sometimes a direct question is best.

I am in the very early stages of planning my first Camino. I anticipate travel dates towards the end of May and beginning of June 2023. I am thinking I will have a total of 24 days away from work. Considering travel dates and the likely desire to have an additional full day bookending my trip, I reckon I will have a total of 20 days for walking and rest. And if I factor in three rest days that brings a total walking count of 17 days. I’d like some feedback on possible starting points. I am thinking of beginning either in Burgos, Sahagún or León. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
One way to work out the distance you can walk in 17 days is to calculate / or guess your personal average kilometres per day. Mine used to be 20 km but now probably 15 km per day. That means some days I will do more, some less. I never took a rest day on Camino Frances - the countryside was too beautiful (but my shortest day was 4 km) but took a couple of sight seeing days on Portuguese (from Lisbon) as there are some amazing cities on that route.
And if you don't need to get to Santiago your choice depends on what you want to see / what most attracts you.
 

Fr Scott

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting El Camino Norte in Irun June 3, 2015
Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. I have been searching around reading previous posts trying to piece together information based on what I’ve read, but sometimes a direct question is best.

I am in the very early stages of planning my first Camino. I anticipate travel dates towards the end of May and beginning of June 2023. I am thinking I will have a total of 24 days away from work. Considering travel dates and the likely desire to have an additional full day bookending my trip, I reckon I will have a total of 20 days for walking and rest. And if I factor in three rest days that brings a total walking count of 17 days. I’d like some feedback on possible starting points. I am thinking of beginning either in Burgos, Sahagún or León. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
Porto. I think that would be perfect for you. It’s cooler along the coast and you should be able to do it easily in your allotted time.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I have a soft spot for Sahagün, the unofficial halfway point of the Camino Francés. It is about 370 kilometers from Santiago. Brierley's guide has a pilgrim's average day covering about 25 km (15 miles) and so it is about 15 days walking from Santiago. You can get there by train, there are a number of sites to see and you can get a halfway certificate at the tourist bureau (I think you'll be qualified for it, see translation).
 

BrazenlySober

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to arrive in SdC 8 June 2023
I have a soft spot for Sahagün, the unofficial halfway point of the Camino Francés. It is about 370 kilometers from Santiago. Brierley's guide has a pilgrim's average day covering about 25 km (15 miles) and so it is about 15 days walking from Santiago. You can get there by train, there are a number of sites to see and you can get a halfway certificate at the tourist bureau (I think you'll be qualified for it, see translation).
Yes, I have to say I do have a strong pull toward Sahagún myself.
 
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@BrazenlySober, greetings

I can relate to your self-descriptions. When I started training, I weighed well over 90 kg (BMI says obese). My first training walk of about 4 km, all downhill, took well over an hour and I was totally buggered when I stopped. In a few months, some days saw 30 km. I can only encourage you to persevere and to also try out your clothing and other equipment on your day trips

Being on camino is a little different to training walks based from your home. There is a daily cycle, such as: arrive, find a bed, wash clothes, eat, talk, write up any adventures, sleep, repack, depart, breakfast, lunch, arrive, repeat. It can be a comforting cycle. If you are not used to it, it may take a few days for a daily round to settle for you.

You note 17 days for walking. With, say, up to 20 km a day that is about 300 km. As I know the Frances, I will stay with that. And 20 km a day suggests a start from Leon. That would give several days of relatively easy going to get acclimatised before the pull up to Cruz de Ferro and the interesting drop down the other side. Then generally easy going for a few days to the foot of the big hill to get into Galicia. A few days towards Sarria and then five or six days to Compostela.

Noting your stated motivations, my understanding would be you are most focused on the journey itself (and not the distance covered) and the eventual arrival at the tomb of Saint James.

So I say, kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (take care, be strong, confident and patient)
 

Sus1

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019 Camino Frances SJPDP to Burgos
Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. I have been searching around reading previous posts trying to piece together information based on what I’ve read, but sometimes a direct question is best.

I am in the very early stages of planning my first Camino. I anticipate travel dates towards the end of May and beginning of June 2023. I am thinking I will have a total of 24 days away from work. Considering travel dates and the likely desire to have an additional full day bookending my trip, I reckon I will have a total of 20 days for walking and rest. And if I factor in three rest days that brings a total walking count of 17 days. I’d like some feedback on possible starting points. I am thinking of beginning either in Burgos, Sahagún or León. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
Well if it was me I would start at St Jean Pied de Port and walk as far as your timeframe allowed… Because you WILL want to return and complete it from where you left off. 🙂
 

BrazenlySober

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to arrive in SdC 8 June 2023
Hello everyone, I hope you are all well. I have been searching around reading previous posts trying to piece together information based on what I’ve read, but sometimes a direct question is best.

I am in the very early stages of planning my first Camino. I anticipate travel dates towards the end of May and beginning of June 2023. I am thinking I will have a total of 24 days away from work. Considering travel dates and the likely desire to have an additional full day bookending my trip, I reckon I will have a total of 20 days for walking and rest. And if I factor in three rest days that brings a total walking count of 17 days. I’d like some feedback on possible starting points. I am thinking of beginning either in Burgos, Sahagún or León. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.
I am overwhelmed by the encouragement and supportive advice that I have received so far on this thread. I am coming to the realization that there is no right or wrong answer as to where to start, only limitations based on time frames and walking abilities.
 

Suzanne H

Camino Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
CF'17; LePuy'18; Porto/Coastal'19; Portugal? '22
Yes, I have to say I do have a strong pull toward Sahagún myself.
I believe you may have answered your own question! You are correct — there’s no right or wrong; there’s not one way or a ‘best’ way… just the way that is right for you. Listen to that voice! In my opinion, listening to that voice is part of your journey. I wish you the best as you finalize your decision. Buen camino~!!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Sahagun is easy to get to by train - some of the trains from Madrid north- and westwards stop there.
It's a nice little town, three days out or so from Leon - and then another couple of weeks puts you in Santiago. Perfecto.
(Of course, depending on your speed and natural pace, it could be a bit more or less.)
 
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CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
It took me exactly 17 days to walk to Santiago from Leon with no breaks...but I had some stages when I was REALLLY "LAZY" so they were short.
roughly 320 km - as @AlwynWellington said at 20km\day very comfortable
But then, if you DO have a 'strong pull' to Sahagun - then perhaps that's what it should be. You will get to understand exactly what "its your Camino" means as you move alone and maybe that is the start of your journey
Good Luck and Buen Camino!
 

BrazenlySober

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to arrive in SdC 8 June 2023
It took me exactly 17 days to walk to Santiago from Leon with no breaks...but I had some stages when I was REALLLY "LAZY" so they were short.
roughly 320 km - as @AlwynWellington said at 20km\day very comfortable
But then, if you DO have a 'strong pull' to Sahagun - then perhaps that's what it should be. You will get to understand exactly what "its your Camino" means as you move alone and maybe that is the start of your journey
Good Luck and Buen Camino!
What time of year did you go? I’m planning on going in April and am now debating whether or not to bring a sleeping bag or just a liner and plan on wearing comfy clothes to sleep. And the sleeping bag debate is mainly due to me trying to decide between a 24 L and 34 L pack
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
I was "just there" 😄
Started in St Jean May 21....made it to León on June 8, left kn the 9 and arrived SdC June 25
I brought a liner for using in albergues that didn't provide bedding (all in all about 7-8)
Saw absolutely no need for the sleeping bag
I walked with Gregory Zulu 35L

 

BrazenlySober

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning to arrive in SdC 8 June 2023
I was "just there" 😄
Started in St Jean May 21....made it to León on June 8, left kn the 9 and arrived SdC June 25
I brought a liner for using in albergues that didn't provide bedding (all in all about 7-8)
Saw absolutely no need for the sleeping bag
I walked with Gregory Zulu 35L

Excellent…. I’ve been near settled on an Osprey Manta either 24 or 34L. But I just noticed that Zulu comes in a 30L size which is a nice middle ground between the two I was considering.
 
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