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Netherlands - Santiago

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Gwaihir

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1-7-2019: Nijmegen-Santiago (Lim/Mon), Campaniensis, Voie Rocamadour, Podiensis, Norte, Primitivo
Hi Pelgrims,


I´m planning to walk from either Nijmegen (Gelderland) or Maastricht (Limburg) to Santiago.

I have a ton of questions! First of all, I´d like to get in touch with Dutch Pelgrims who have already walked this route, and who are willing to talk with me a bit about the experience.

Second I need some feedback on a few things, such as the route I´m planning to walk. Thus far, my plan looks like so:

Stage I. Via Limburgica + Via Monastica (Maastricht - Namur - Rocroi)
Stage II. Via Campaniensis (Rocroi - Vezelay)

From Vezelay, I´m hesitating whether I will choose

A. Via Lemovicensis (the "ordinary" route) or
B. Vezelay - Cluny - Le Puy > continue on Via Podiensis

I´m familiar with Spain, the North is the only region I don´t really know, so I´m planning to walk the Camino del Norte, and then maybe Camino Primitivo.

I´m taking a tent with me. I have to contend with a very limited budget and I think the pricing along Belgium & France might be expensive. I´m also worried that along the Vezelay - Cluny - Le Puy route, there might not be enough accommodation.

My other main worry is weather. The most logical thing is to take as few things with me as possible. But I imagine the mountains - Ardennes, Pyrenees -might still get cold around this time of the year (August - September - October).

There are a lot more questions I have, but these are the elementary ones, for now :p

Thanks for any insight!!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
You might want to reach out to Peter Franciscus or SabineP using the Private Conversation function of the Forum. They are from NL and BE respectively and know these routes. They can also connect you with their national pilgrim associations for more help.

Hope this helps.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
For more in Dutch or French re
Stage II. Via Campaniensis (Rocroi - Vezelay) onwards see
..
Part of the data here in France are simple spots for home stays or a Chain of Local (donativo) Hospitality offered for passing pilgrims. See more in French here. Those who offer such hospitality do so for the pleasure of meeting/greeting pilgrims as well as helping them find their way.

For example my husband and I live in a small Champagne village, facing the Marne river.
We have a b & b but also provide simple family hosting for passing pilgrims. My first pilgrim shell hangs at our door marking the path.

Just send me a PM for more info!

Good luck and happy planning!
 
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MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017
Hiya, welcome here!

Lots of blogs on the dedicated Startpagina if you have not found that one yet:

https://camino-de-santiago.startpagina.nl/

info on places to sleep:

https://www.santiago.nl/forums/slaapplaatsen-nl-forum

I remember reading the most frustrating blog ever on that list of the Startpagina.
Two friends are walking from Dordrecht? Breda? in the Netherlands to Santiago de Compostela. They do this in etapas, they return home after a week or two weeks and start again where they left, months later.
They always find a place to sleep, like a sports hall or an albergue-like pension or family home. They appear to know where they are heading, but they do not tell how they planned that. Also they always get lost and have trouble finding the right way. They will describe each and every wrong turn in detail and then say: hehehe we found it at last! and never mention HOW or WHERE.
It is a great blog, and the perfect illustration of how NOT to inform.

Perhaps it is just as well that I have not managed to find it again. If you happen upon it, please let me know, maybe the passing of time has mellowed my memories somewhat.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
My other main worry is weather. The most logical thing is to take as few things with me as possible. But I imagine the mountains - Ardennes, Pyrenees -might still get cold around this time of the year (August - September - October).
Hi @Gwaihir and best of luck with your endeavour. I'll just address this tiny part of your message: I've never thought of the Ardennes as mountains. The higher plateaus in the east of Belgium can get snow from time to time in winter when the rest of Belgium doesn't and it can get colder than in the rest of Belgium but the area where you will be crossing has a lower altitude and the weather will be just like anywhere else around it.
 

Thomas1962

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Porto - SdC - Finisterra 2011: E4 on Crete 2012: Le Puy - SJPdP 2013: Camino Madrid -> Del Salvador -> Primitivo 2014: European Peace Walk. 2015: Amsterdam - SdC & Barcelona -Burgos. 2016:Norte & hospitalero
In 2015 I walked from Amsterdam to Santiago, it was wonderful! It changed my life, now I have an albergue on the camino Primitivo. 😇 A tent is possible but not necessary, there are enough places to sleep. The route you plan are the familiar ones, I walked Vezeley via Nevers. My blog is https://antonius.reislogger.nl/.
The site of the Dutch Confraternity of Saint James (Nederlands Genootschap) can help you a lot, it is www.santiago.nl. You can download routes and accommodations for your smartphone. And if you look on the site for the blogs, you can select the ones you would like to see.
Also, in nearly every province there is a montly café where experienced and new pilgrims can meet, see the agenda of that site.
And there is a active Dutch facebookgroup: https://www.facebook.com/groups/genootschap/
If you have any specific questions, don't hesitate to contact me.
 

Gwaihir

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1-7-2019: Nijmegen-Santiago (Lim/Mon), Campaniensis, Voie Rocamadour, Podiensis, Norte, Primitivo
Thanks @MinaKamina !

I had found the santiagoforum.nl, unfortunately most threads there kind of desolate. Not a lot of active members.

I found one blog by a girl who walked from NL, her site is called"whenawayfarer". Other blogs tend to only describe the Camino in Spain... I´m fluent in Spanish, so that one is not so complicated.

@t2andreo Thanks!

I found one booklet on the Vezelay-Le Puy route (Sur le chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle
Vézelay – Le Puy-en-Velay) and a map made by someone called delhommeb, who outlined a basic route over the main roads.

The Santiago.nl/downloads site also hosts quite a good overview of alberques and such in France, including a list of those between Vezelay and Le Puy. Best thing seems to be to filter out the cheap ones and plan my walk accordingly.

The site you mention, @mspath also hosts information on "chaines de hospitalite locales" which I guess I might receive if I email them. My French is terrible but hopefully I can make something of it :p

The thing I´m wondering about is whether the regular Lemovicensis route will be much easier in terms of camping, given that I have never walked the camino before.
 

Gwaihir

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1-7-2019: Nijmegen-Santiago (Lim/Mon), Campaniensis, Voie Rocamadour, Podiensis, Norte, Primitivo
@MinaKamina yeah that sounds like a good way not to walk 😆

@Kathar1na makes sense. I think my mind has become too Dutch, in the sense that I think "mountains", then "snow" haha...

I was wondering how to prepare for that, given that it´s best to bring a lightweight pack. The Pyrenees might still be cold.

@Thomas1962 That´s awesome! I will definitely check out your blog. I thought the cafés were only in Utrecht, which (ironically) are a bit far for me, maybe there are other cafés nearby.
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018
Since you intend to follow the Norte - peregrina2000 has lots of suggestions for alternative stretches(?) which keep you closer to the coast and avoid walking on roads. I have stored them somewhere, but cannot get at them riht now as I am travelling. I suppose you can flind them in “Resources”.

Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Le Puy (2016)
Vézelay (2019)
Norte (2019)
There has already been mention of the Dutch association. On their site they have gps routes that can be downloaded onto Maps.me. It’s a bit complicated to do but there is a plot from Maastricht. Their information is dated in some places, but I just used their plots successfully through most of the Vézelay Route.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
I have done Amsterdam - Santiago as well. This was my itinerary: Pelgrimspad I - Via Monastica - GR 654 - Vezelay - Le Puy - SJPP - Camino Francés (more or less). Blog should be here: lonneke.gaatverweg.nl

Wonderful experience! Like @Thomas1962 it changed my life.
 

Gwaihir

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1-7-2019: Nijmegen-Santiago (Lim/Mon), Campaniensis, Voie Rocamadour, Podiensis, Norte, Primitivo
@pelerine great! I will take a look in resources. I am not a big fan of asphalt, so alternatives are more than welcome...

I checked out the Dutch Association´s website and it seems to be they have coffee next week in Oosterbeek, so I willl go there. Should be interesting! :D

@Luka I read a few of your posts about the Vezelay - Le Puy route when "researching". Did you create your own route or did you follow a guidebook?

I´m wondering what the pros and cons of each route are,"official vezelay route" (via lemovicensis) vs. vezelay-cluny-le puy. I read that the official route is more commercial, and maybe easier to follow.

I intend to camp here and there on the way, so I suppose I have to create a route according to campings and low-end gites/alberques.
 

Pilger99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
October is usually no problem in Spain. It still can be hot on the Francés. Rain and Wind is the more likely to be a problem and getting the statistics from the last years October is still very busy in Spain.
Staying in the albergues in Spain should cost less than 10€ a day for shower, electricity and often a kitchen. So the tent has not much value there. Wild camping is not allowed in central and southern europe. So finding the right places is essential.

Via Lemovicensis (Vezelay-Saint to Jean Pied de Port) is not officially connected to GR65 Via Podiensis (Le Puy).
Among the french main routes Le Puy should have best infrastructure and most pilgrims. It's usually filled with Swiss and German.
France GR655 to Paris and Via Turonensis to the south looks like the shortest choice from NL.

If the route in France is decided I would take the Miam-Miam Dodo guide for it. It's french, so the best source for France regarding eat and sleep. No real need for language skills either.
 

Purky

The Dutch guy
Camino(s) past & future
Reality is frequently inaccurate
Hey Gwaihir, Breda to Santiago here. I walked the Via Brabantica (Breda to Geldenaken), Via Monastica (Geldenaken to Rocroi), Via Campaniensis (Rocroi to Vezelay) and the Via Lemovicensis (Vezelay to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port). Have sort of a blog of the first 1000 km. If you're interested you can always PM me.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
@Luka I read a few of your posts about the Vezelay - Le Puy route when "researching". Did you create your own route or did you follow a guidebook?

I´m wondering what the pros and cons of each route are,"official vezelay route" (via lemovicensis) vs. vezelay-cluny-le puy. I read that the official route is more commercial, and maybe easier to follow.

I intend to camp here and there on the way, so I suppose I have to create a route according to campings and low-end gites/alberques.
[/QUOTE]

Good question. I chose Vezelay - Le Puy - SJPP for two reasons. I wanted to cross the Morvan and I chose the GR65 deliberately for its facilities and the landscape. But I didn't bring a tent and stayed in auberges. And they are definitely more expensive than in Spain.

If I recall well, after Vezelay I started with following the GR3 and then connected that GR with the chemin de Cluny myself. I remember that I stayed in a very nice little auberge of a Dutch couple the first day after Vezelay. At the end of the Morvan I stayed at a naturist campsite, also run by a Dutch couple. Perfect to wash all your clothes :)
 

Gwaihir

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1-7-2019: Nijmegen-Santiago (Lim/Mon), Campaniensis, Voie Rocamadour, Podiensis, Norte, Primitivo
Staying in the albergues in Spain should cost less than 10€ a day for shower, electricity and often a kitchen. So the tent has not much value there. Wild camping is not allowed in central and southern europe. So finding the right places is essential.
Maybe I can carry the tent to Jean Pied de Port, and then have it forwarded to Santiago, so I don´t have to carry it around there. I prefer to take it with me in Belgium and France: campings tend to be much cheaper, I also like having some back-up (in case I can´t find anything with affordable pricing)

Thanks for the Miam Miam Dodo recommendation. I have seen it pop up endless times, so will check that out.

@Luka thanks for the description! :) There is the booklet I mentioned before, so technically it should be do-able, but it helps. Do you remember the auberge´s name?
 

Gwaihir

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1-7-2019: Nijmegen-Santiago (Lim/Mon), Campaniensis, Voie Rocamadour, Podiensis, Norte, Primitivo
Hmmm... maybe the new owners will continue the practice?
Probably not soon, though.

Jammer :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
Maybe I can carry the tent to Jean Pied de Port, and then have it forwarded to Santiago, so I don´t have to carry it around there. I prefer to take it with me in Belgium and France: campings tend to be much cheaper, I also like having some back-up (in case I can´t find anything with affordable pricing)
Good idea about a tent in France. Quite a few campsites and they always have room for a small tent whereas the gîtes may be full. (If walking in Summer).
You won’t need it in Spain though.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Welcome to the forum. You will find a wealth of information here.
 

Gwaihir

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1-7-2019: Nijmegen-Santiago (Lim/Mon), Campaniensis, Voie Rocamadour, Podiensis, Norte, Primitivo
My departure date is sneaking up on me like a tiger in the wild

o_O

Scary.
But also good.

I´ve mostly packed everything now. As to the route in France, I´m still not exactly sure which one from Vezelay. I don´t think I will be doing the Cluny-Le Puy route, but I might either:

A. Take the train in Nevers and go to Clermont-Ferrand, to walk the Via Alvernha to the Via Podiensis; or
B. Walk from Vézelay to Benevent l´Abbaye to walk the Rocamadour route.

Both take less time than the Way of Cluny and still go through the volcanic national parks, which I would really like to see. Rocamadour is also a place worthy of seeing....

I have a pretty good overview of campings and guides, I feel like you can never be completely prepared though.

For people who want to follow my journey, check my signature...!
 

Gwaihir

Member
Camino(s) past & future
1-7-2019: Nijmegen-Santiago (Lim/Mon), Campaniensis, Voie Rocamadour, Podiensis, Norte, Primitivo
Yeah, I´m sticking to my original plan.
So starting in Nijmegen :)
 

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