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Plane free travel

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becksb85

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2020 Camino plan ( ? le puy route)
Dear All, apologies if this advice is available else where i have looked and feel overwhelmed.

I plan to do the French Way from 29 Feb to 3 April. I am flying to Europe from south Africa for this trip and for a month in Scotland ( home). I have committed myself to not using air travel for the 2 months in Europe - only the flight in and out of ZA (to london).

IT seems like a nightmare getting from london to SJPDP and then even worse from Santiago to London. Has anyone done the latter journey? I have found various options for getting to SJPDP which although not easy seems doable.

Any advice very welcome. I would love to keep my carbon emissions as low as possible.
thank you
Becky
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Nightmare? Eurostar to Paris, Night train to Bordeaux / Bayonne, train to StJean in time to walk to Valcarlos.

The return has some interesting possibilities - Bus to Ferrol, FEVE to Santander, Ferry to Plymouth, train to London. Or FEVE to Bilbao, Bus to Irun / Hendaye, train to Paris, Eurostar back to London. The FEVE trip will take 2 - 3 days but will provide an opportunity to enjoy some of the iconic spots along the Norte.

Happy planning
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I have travelled between the UK and Spain by train a couple of times. A slower and more expensive option than flying but not specially difficult. If you want cheap and simple but very slow then you might consider Flixbus: London to Bayonne with only one change of bus (in Paris). Then a quick train journey to SJPDP. Hard to think of anything more straightforward unless you take a taxi all the way :cool:
www.flixbus.co.uk
1579174553839.png
 

becksb85

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2020 Camino plan ( ? le puy route)
Thankyou for this :) when i say nightmare i think it is because I wanted to keep my travel to 1 day each way otherwise my walking time is cutting short. My dates are very fixed in terms of when i arrive in London and when i need to be back in Scotland. So as much as 3 days of idyllic scenery on a train sounds lovely it will take 2 days off my walk. BUT i must compromise if i dont want to fly... Thanks for the bus option too.
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
hi Becky,
Welcome to the forum. I go into my 30th anniversary of travelling plane free, and this has indeed its frustrating aspects as well. As you say, it is also about comprimizing - but it is no punishment to break up the London-SjdP journey by staying overnght in Bordeaux for example. For the return trip, consider taking a bus from Santiago to Paris (leaves 11.am, arrives 10.am) and then take a train to London (or take the bus all the way, but this will add some more time). I have taken the bus from Santiago-Amsterdam many times and rather enjoyed it - I found it a pleasant way to slowly return from the camino. Happy planning.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
IT seems like a nightmare getting from london to SJPDP and then even worse from Santiago to London.
A couple of years ago my wife travelled from the UK to visit family in Thailand and China. And also added in a couple of side trips to Japan and Korea. No flights - all the way there and back again by train, bus and ferry. I can promise you that in comparison London - SJPDP or Santiago - London is a piece of cake ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: Ponferrada - SdC (October 2017)
Frances: SJPdP - SdC (April 2020) cancelled
My journey out is Eurostar 07:55-11:27 to Paris, TGV 12:52-16:46 to Bayonne, local TER 17:09-18:11 to SJPdP.
Rather beautifully, on the return, the train across Spain to the French border is a named route and the name is Camino de Santiago. The return does take two days with 10:06-21:22 across Spain to Irun/Hendaye on the first day then TGV 07:29-12:13 to Paris and Eurostar 16:03-17:39 on the second day. It is three days travel for me, I suspect you'll need four days to come from Scotland. But, personally, I'd still do it if it were four/five days travel and I had to skip some walking/sight-seeing. As you say, some compromises are important.
I have done these journeys before although either in the opposite direction or not related to the camino. I love the Eurostar and TGV, the train across Spain is a little less comfortable - there's no 1st class ;-) - and you need to take food with you but I'm going to enjoy spending a day doing what took a month to walk.
 

becksb85

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2020 Camino plan ( ? le puy route)
A couple of years ago my wife travelled from the UK to visit family in Thailand and China. And also added in a couple of side trips to Japan and Korea. No flights - all the way there and back again by train, bus and ferry. I can promise you that in comparison London - SJPDP or Santiago - London is a piece of cake ;)
That sounds so amazing! I should rephrase. I have no issue with travelling for a long time. The nightmare is my lack of time and wanting to travel quickly. I guess i thought train services between Spain and London would be more readily available and fast and i could do it in a day..but it seems the return trip would be very difficult in a day... Will just have to skip some stages in order to make the travel time longer...
 

becksb85

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2020 Camino plan ( ? le puy route)
My journey out is Eurostar 07:55-11:27 to Paris, TGV 12:52-16:46 to Bayonne, local TER 17:09-18:11 to SJPdP.
Rather beautifully, on the return, the train across Spain to the French border is a named route and the name is Camino de Santiago. The return does take two days with 10:06-21:22 across Spain to Irun/Hendaye on the first day then TGV 07:29-12:13 to Paris and Eurostar 16:03-17:39 on the second day. It is three days travel for me, I suspect you'll need four days to come from Scotland. But, personally, I'd still do it if it were four/five days travel and I had to skip some walking/sight-seeing. As you say, some compromises are important.
I have done these journeys before although either in the opposite direction or not related to the camino. I love the Eurostar and TGV, the train across Spain is a little less comfortable - there's no 1st class ;-) - and you need to take food with you but I'm going to enjoy spending a day doing what took a month to walk.
I might just take this approach :) and skip the pyrenees stage as it is wintery in March and maybe not ideal for that part of walking anyway... compromises are hard :) Good luck with your walk and travel
 

BarbaraW

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances part (2019)
Hi Becky
Welcome to the wonderful world of European trains. I've travelled London to Spain by train many times, though only once to walk the Camino, starting at Roncesvalles rather than SJPDP. THE source of good train information for Europe and indeed the rest of the world is www.seat61.com.
If you compromise on your start point you could get from London to Pamplona in a day, getting an early Eurostar, then a TGV to Hendaye. From there it's a 40 minute metro journey to San Sebastian, a 15-20 minute walk to the bus station and then a bus to Pamplona (www.alsa.es) It look as if you could leave London 7.55 am and get to Pamplona at 20.30 or 22.15. Or you could stay in San Sebastian and get an early bus to Pamplona. The first one arrives at 8.15, which would still give you a decent walking day.
Coming back I don't think there's any option apart from an overnight stop in San Sebastian/ Irun/Hendaye. When I travel through this area I usually stay at Hotel Aitana, about 10 minutes walk from Hendaye station, but across the border in Spain where places to stay are generally cheaper.
Buen Camino
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
The CO2 for the return flight from South Africa to London equates to some 10 times the CO2 for the return flight from London to Spain - I'd be flying to Spain too (and it will be cheaper and much quicker as well)
 

becksb85

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2020 Camino plan ( ? le puy route)
The CO2 for the return flight from South Africa to London equates to some 10 times the CO2 for the return flight from London to Spain - I'd be flying to Spain too (and it will be cheaper and much quicker as well)
Yes this is exactly why i dont want to fly around Europe. I have london - spain, spain - london, london - scotland, scotland - london before getting back on the plan so it does add up. I make this trip back to europe once a year and that is my air allowance. But thanks to the lovely people on this thread it does seem to be possible and i just need to shorten my walking time a little.
 

becksb85

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2020 Camino plan ( ? le puy route)
Hi Becky
Welcome to the wonderful world of European trains. I've travelled London to Spain by train many times, though only once to walk the Camino, starting at Roncesvalles rather than SJPDP. THE source of good train information for Europe and indeed the rest of the world is www.seat61.com.
If you compromise on your start point you could get from London to Pamplona in a day, getting an early Eurostar, then a TGV to Hendaye. From there it's a 40 minute metro journey to San Sebastian, a 15-20 minute walk to the bus station and then a bus to Pamplona (www.alsa.es) It look as if you could leave London 7.55 am and get to Pamplona at 20.30 or 22.15. Or you could stay in San Sebastian and get an early bus to Pamplona. The first one arrives at 8.15, which would still give you a decent walking day.
Coming back I don't think there's any option apart from an overnight stop in San Sebastian/ Irun/Hendaye. When I travel through this area I usually stay at Hotel Aitana, about 10 minutes walk from Hendaye station, but across the border in Spain where places to stay are generally cheaper.
Buen Camino
Thank you so much - i will look into these suggestions :)
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Even if you fly to Bayonne/Biarritz, you should allow a half-day to get to SJPP, and that's only 50 km. Santiago is about 1800 km from London.

I suggest start to walk the Camino from Pamplona, which is a good place for bus connections. Then you can enjoy the travel to/from the Camino and you'll not be so rushed while on the Camino..
 

becksb85

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2020 Camino plan ( ? le puy route)
Even if you fly to Bayonne/Biarritz, you should allow a half-day to get to SJPP, and that's only 50 km. Santiago is about 1800 km from London.

I suggest start to walk the Camino from Pamplona, which is a good place for bus connections. Then you can enjoy the travel to/from the Camino and you'll not be so rushed while on the Camino..
Thankyou :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Dear All, apologies if this advice is available else where i have looked and feel overwhelmed.

I plan to do the French Way from 29 Feb to 3 April. I am flying to Europe from south Africa for this trip and for a month in Scotland ( home). I have committed myself to not using air travel for the 2 months in Europe - only the flight in and out of ZA (to london).

IT seems like a nightmare getting from london to SJPDP and then even worse from Santiago to London. Has anyone done the latter journey? I have found various options for getting to SJPDP which although not easy seems doable.

Any advice very welcome. I would love to keep my carbon emissions as low as possible.
thank you
Becky
hola, small question: why overfly Paris ? IE going to Scotland first! Unless there is a real need to be in Scotland early I suggest you fly to Paris and then train/ bus to St Jean. The reverse trip is more tricky/ more fiddle but can be achieved, just not in your 1 day time frame. Cheers
 

SEB2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2015), CP (2016), part of Vasco (2019)
Thank you @becksb85 for being so thoughtful.
Living in Scotland, and not being plane-friendly, I always travel by a combination of train, bus and/or ferry to walk in Spain. This might be throwing a spanner in the works :rolleyes:- and I haven't tried this route - but might it be worth considering the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam, then Thalys train to Paris and TGV to wherever in France/Spain is best for your starting point. It would be a long journey but cuts out the potential for delays on the rail service from Scotland to London - of which there were so many last year - with the possibility of missing your connection. There is always the option of the Caledonian Sleeper between London and Scotland, which more or less saves you a day, but since the service has been refurbished the cost is very high. If you are not already familiar with the website for the French railways, OUI SNCF EN is very good for alerting you to the cheapest fares for the date you wish to travel - see the relevant box on the website where you can fill in your details. I paid £26 last August for a first class ticket on the TGV from Paris to Hendaye. Whatever you choose, Buen Camino
 

becksb85

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2020 Camino plan ( ? le puy route)
hola, small question: why overfly Paris ? IE going to Scotland first! Unless there is a real need to be in Scotland early I suggest you fly to Paris and then train/ bus to St Jean. The reverse trip is more tricky/ more fiddle but can be achieved, just not in your 1 day time frame. Cheers
This is a very good quesiton. PArt of it honestly is just habit. I fly into London normally, i have friends there and after catching up i make the trip to Scotland. But more practically i will be coming from ZA with more luggage so planned to leave a luggage bag in London with a friend and only carry my backpack to Spain. I suppose i could consider left luggage or something in Paris. Thanks for the tip - I will look into it :)
 

Aidan21

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
VdlP Sevilla/Salamanca 2018
Becky,

I understand your motives (and I accept that humans are responsible for warming the planet), but I am not sure if your approach makes enough sense. Airline emissions contribute 2-3% of global CO2 emissions. If we humans have to get rid of access CO2 in the atmosphere then aviation is not the place to start. For your travels in Europe you will be jumping through all sorts of hoops to minimize your CO2 emissions but at the same time will be contributing to CO2 emissions via trains and buses.

If we want to contribute fewer CO2 emissions then we need a more comprehensive approach, e.g. what sort of car do we drive, how well insulated is our house, have we fuel efficient boilers in our own houses, do we use LEDs or low wattage bulbs in our own houses, have we solar panels on our roof, do we reduce, reuse and recycle, can we moderate our meat consumption, are we prepared to pay higher energy bills or taxes to support the renewable electricity sector etc. All of the above are all technically and financially doable right now.

We fly occasionally and the technology to make flying less damaging to the atmosphere is improving with more fuel efficient engines, but it is not on a par with electric vehicles yet. I am guessing that flying is the exception for you and not the norm and since you are flying from SA anyway, I suggest that you enjoy your trip and fly within Europe but (and I include myself in this) change all the other aspects of your life to minimize your CO2 footprint.

If we all stopped flying to help remove CO2 from the atmosphere the economic impact would be disastrous and we would end up doing a lot of unintended harm (and not remove enough CO2). So I suggest we all do what we can (which is a lot), but for occasional and perhaps life changing trips, be kind to yourself and allow yourself the option to fly if other means of travel become too time consuming or onerous.

Aidan
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
My thought is to fly standby. The plane is going to fly anyway, so by simply taking a seat that would otherwise remain empty, your personal Co2 contribution is zero.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I havem't read all thevreplies, so forgive me if this is redundant, but what about the ferry from Bilbao or Santander to either Portsmouth or Plymouth - and then the train from there? Of course you'd have to get to Bilbao/Santander first.

I thought I'd read here that there was going to be a ferry from A Coruña to Cork...but even if there were one that only gets you to Ireland. So it's complicated. Getting to Scotland from Southern England is easier.

Sadly, it may be a while before demand is enough to add more plane-free options...
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I thought I'd read here that there was going to be a ferry from A Coruña to Cork...but even if there were one that only gets you to Ireland. So it's complicated. Getting to Scotland from Southern England is easier.
I think you may mean the proposed service from Vigo to Cork. Which is supposed to stop in Plymouth in both directions. No definite starting date announced yet and unfortunately I have recently read that it will not be accepting foot passengers - only those travelling with a vehicle.
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
My thought is to fly standby. The plane is going to fly anyway, so by simply taking a seat that would otherwise remain empty, your personal Co2 contribution is zero.
Good try but no
You should divide the aircraft's total CO2 for the journey by the number of passengers (including those that fly standby)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
We have done the Santiago to London trip by train. We took a slow but interesting train to Hendaye on the French/Spanish border. You can stay in Hendaye, but there is a good local transit system that goes from San Sebastián to Bayonne. You can get on it right outside the Hendaye train station, so it would be easy to stay anywhere on that transit system. Then we got a fast French train from Hendaye to Paris, easily changed stations using Paris transit and took the Chunnel to London.
 

becksb85

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2020 Camino plan ( ? le puy route)
Becky,

I understand your motives (and I accept that humans are responsible for warming the planet), but I am not sure if your approach makes enough sense. Airline emissions contribute 2-3% of global CO2 emissions. If we humans have to get rid of access CO2 in the atmosphere then aviation is not the place to start. For your travels in Europe you will be jumping through all sorts of hoops to minimize your CO2 emissions but at the same time will be contributing to CO2 emissions via trains and buses.

If we want to contribute fewer CO2 emissions then we need a more comprehensive approach, e.g. what sort of car do we drive, how well insulated is our house, have we fuel efficient boilers in our own houses, do we use LEDs or low wattage bulbs in our own houses, have we solar panels on our roof, do we reduce, reuse and recycle, can we moderate our meat consumption, are we prepared to pay higher energy bills or taxes to support the renewable electricity sector etc. All of the above are all technically and financially doable right now.

We fly occasionally and the technology to make flying less damaging to the atmosphere is improving with more fuel efficient engines, but it is not on a par with electric vehicles yet. I am guessing that flying is the exception for you and not the norm and since you are flying from SA anyway, I suggest that you enjoy your trip and fly within Europe but (and I include myself in this) change all the other aspects of your life to minimize your CO2 footprint.

If we all stopped flying to help remove CO2 from the atmosphere the economic impact would be disastrous and we would end up doing a lot of unintended harm (and not remove enough CO2). So I suggest we all do what we can (which is a lot), but for occasional and perhaps life changing trips, be kind to yourself and allow yourself the option to fly if other means of travel become too time consuming or onerous.

Aidan

Whilst i appreciate your detailed response - i didnt ask for advice on lowering my carbon footprint - i asked for advice on plane free travel.... You do not know how many of those things i already do in my life. I am not judging anyone else or asking anyone else to travel by train/bus so i don't need anyone advising me to change my way of living... (no offense!)

The helpful responses on this group rather, have allowed me to decide to move my start date back by 2 days, start in Pamplona rather than SJPDP, and enjoy some slow relaxing journeys to and from the walk ( which will be enjoyed also).
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I havem't read all thevreplies, so forgive me if this is redundant, but what about the ferry from Bilbao or Santander to either Portsmouth or Plymouth
I was looking at those ferries recently, and the crossing takes a full day, so I don't know if that saves time. You can book a private berth which would make the trip more relaxing. I think that I would worry about seasickness - that wouldn't be relaxing at all!
 

becksb85

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2020 Camino plan ( ? le puy route)
I was looking at those ferries recently, and the crossing takes a full day, so I don't know if that saves time. You can book a private berth which would make the trip more relaxing. I think that I would worry about seasickness - that wouldn't be relaxing at all!
Yes sea sickness would be a worry for me too...I think I will stick to dry land!
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Good try but no
You should divide the aircraft's total CO2 for the journey by the number of passengers (including those that fly standby)
So, the plane produces less CO2 if a seat is left empty?🤔
 
Last edited by a moderator:

sunwanderer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago
Sep/Oct 2015
Very little indeed!

Some round numbers for a 747-100:

Aircraft weights:
160,000 kg for the airframe​
147,000 kg for aircraft fuel​

Number of passengers for one seating configuration = 266

Average passenger weights:
Passenger weight = 65 kg​
Carry-on weight = 7 kg​
Checked baggage weight = 30 kg​

Total weight per passenger = 102 kg

Weight for all passengers = 266 * 102 = 27,000 kg

Total weight of a flight:
160 + 147 + 27 = 334,000 total weight

Weight contribution of one passenger:
102 / 334,000 = 0.03 %

Weight difference for one empty seat:
Yes, there is a savings; yes, it is negligible.​
 
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