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plans changing.. WWYD?

Backagain

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2017)
Frances (2020)
For the past two years, I've had plans to walk the Frances with an old friend and a friend of theirs, beginning in SJPDP. In that time, I've changed jobs and have a bit less flexibility than before, and covid has seriously limited travel. As of today, the friend of my friend is out (travel is almost impossible from their country) and we are (reluctantly, sadly, and with much disappointment) looking at rescheduling the big trip until sometime next year.

I still have time and ability, but if I'm honest, I realistically have 2-2.5 weeks maximum, late august to mid-september, including travel to/from the Camino from the USA. So, I'm considering the following:

1) a shortened Camino, from Astorga to Santiago.
2) the Santiago-Fisterra-Muxia-Santiago walk.
3) a portion of the Portuguese route, from Porto or possibly the Portuguese Coastal route.
3) going somewhere else altogether. I want this time to be a genuine pilgrimage and would prefer something more active.

Any suggestions? I walked the Primitivo in 2017 and will almost certainly be back to walk at least a portion of the Frances, beginning in SJPDP in 2022.

What would you recommend?

ETA: one of my wonderings is about support/infrastructure on the less popular routes. Will I still find beds and meals easily if I am not on the Frances? Will I lose the sense of community that was such an important part of my last camino?
 
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Walkerooni

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I don’t think anyone else can recommend what you should do. But to answer your opening question WWYD— I personally would do something else this year. Given your stated restrictions of available time, travel distance, need to get home and back to new job...If you have 2 weeks and are flying from US, realistically with travel to Spain, losing a day, getting to start line, flying home, you are likely down to 9 or 10 walking days. Astorga to SdeC is 262km, so if you’re good with jumping off a plane and averaging 29k/day, you’re golden. This is not your first Camino so you can answer the question whether a short, quick walk will give you what you describe as a feeling of “a genuine pilgrimage”. Those things combined with the still moving target of COVID, with cases in Spain up 167% over last week, would give me pause, because even when fully vaccinated, who knows what changes may happen with bed availability, travel delays, etc as this unfolds? Best of luck with your decision and Buen Camino, wherever and whenever it happens! 😎
 

Backagain

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2017)
Frances (2020)
I don’t think anyone else can recommend what you should do. But to answer your opening question WWYD— I personally would do something else this year. Given your stated restrictions of available time, travel distance, need to get home and back to new job...If you have 2 weeks and are flying from US, realistically with travel to Spain, losing a day, getting to start line, flying home, you are likely down to 9 or 10 walking days. Astorga to SdeC is 262km, so if you’re good with jumping off a plane and averaging 29k/day, you’re golden. This is not your first Camino so you can answer the question whether a short, quick walk will give you what you describe as a feeling of “a genuine pilgrimage”. Those things combined with the still moving target of COVID, with cases in Spain up 167% over last week, would give me pause, because even when fully vaccinated, who knows what changes may happen with bed availability, travel delays, etc as this unfolds? Best of luck with your decision and Buen Camino, wherever and whenever it happens! 😎
thank you for responding. I think I have 2-2.5 weeks, up to 15 days of walking time, which makes the Astorga route possible at a gentle pace. The covid stats for Spain are a whole other issue, and something I will need more information about before I can make a good decision. I appreciate your insights!
 

Grousedoctor

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Let me offer my two cents as we’ve been in your shoes regarding the time constraints of 2 to 2 1/2 weeks. In 2018, we walked the Inglés, spent a couple days in SdC and the walked on to Fisterra. In August, we head to Porto to do the Coastal Route (cycling) and again after a couple days in SdC we head out walking again to Fisterra, but by way of Muxia. We finish our trip in Madrid for a couple nights before flying home to the States. Whatever route you decide upon, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
For the past two years, I've had plans to walk the Frances with an old friend and a friend of theirs, beginning in SJPDP. In that time, I've changed jobs and have a bit less flexibility than before, and covid has seriously limited travel. As of today, the friend of my friend is out (travel is almost impossible from their country) and we are (reluctantly, sadly, and with much disappointment) looking at rescheduling the big trip until sometime next year.

I still have time and ability, but if I'm honest, I realistically have 2-2.5 weeks maximum, late august to mid-september, including travel to/from the Camino from the USA. So, I'm considering the following:

1) a shortened Camino, from Astorga to Santiago.
2) the Santiago-Fisterra-Muxia-Santiago walk.
3) a portion of the Portuguese route, from Porto or possibly the Portuguese Coastal route.
3) going somewhere else altogether. I want this time to be a genuine pilgrimage and would prefer something more active.

Any suggestions? I walked the Primitivo in 2017 and will almost certainly be back to walk at least a portion of the Frances, beginning in SJPDP in 2022.

What would you recommend?

ETA: one of my wonderings is about support/infrastructure on the less popular routes. Will I still find beds and meals easily if I am not on the Frances? Will I lose the sense of community that was such an important part of my last camino?
Of course, the best option will depend on what is important to you. You haven't given us much indication. Here are the clues I've got:
"I want this time to be a genuine pilgrimage"
"I would prefer something more active."
"WIll I find beds and meals easily?"
"Will I lose the sense of community"

Taking those in order:
A genuine pilgrimage is in the heart and the intention, rather than the choice of route, or other externality, in my ever so humble opinion. If a genuine pilgrimage is important to you, it will be a genuine pilgrimage, no matter which route you take.

The Portuguese Coastal route is not the most physically challenging of routes, if you want something more active, although of course that depends to a certain extent on how far you choose to walk each day. Personally, I think the Portuguese Central route is a nice choice for a couple of weeks. I've also heard that the Ingles has some hills. It is a shorter Camino, but you could combine Ingles/Finisterre/Muxia to fill in your time. And, of course, if you start from Astorga, you get the climbs to Cruz de Ferro and O Cebreiro to provide some activity.

The Portuguese Central is the next most popular route after the Frances, with the Coastal trailing behind but catching up quickly. In normal years, none of these options (CP, CF, Ingles, Finisterre/Muxia) is terribly lacking in infrastructure. This year, I'm not so sure what the situation is on the Ingles or heading to the coast after Santiago.

In terms of community, I experienced good community on both the Camino Frances and the Camino Portugues Central. A few years ago, I was hearing from people that walked both that the community wasn't as strong on the Coastal as on the Central, the former being diluted somewhat by holidaygoers. It may have changed since then. While I wasn't alone on the Camino Finisterre, the community wasn't as strong there. And the Camino Ingles also has, I believe, a smaller community, although I have never walked it myself.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I've had a few friends back out on treks... initial enthusiasm (occasionally boosted by the adult beverages we consumed whilst discussing where to go) giving way to the hard work of getting in shape, arranging family matters, etc...
From personal experience, I've formed great friendships on both the CF and the CP, some of which, now eight years on, transcend national borders and pandemics.
For the length of time you suggested, the Camino from Porto sounds about right. For me, the segment from Astorga to Santiago became increasingly crowded and more of a moving party than what I experienced on the CP. Just my own observations.
Whatever you choose, cross over the disappointment and make this another Camino adding a different color to the tapestry of your life. And we will pray, as we often do for all pilgrims, that the universe will provide clear guidance and bless your choices.

Buen Camino.
 

Felicia V

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese 2017 Porto to SdC
Return to Camino Portuguese 2018 Tui To SdC
For the past two years, I've had plans to walk the Frances with an old friend and a friend of theirs, beginning in SJPDP. In that time, I've changed jobs and have a bit less flexibility than before, and covid has seriously limited travel. As of today, the friend of my friend is out (travel is almost impossible from their country) and we are (reluctantly, sadly, and with much disappointment) looking at rescheduling the big trip until sometime next year.

I still have time and ability, but if I'm honest, I realistically have 2-2.5 weeks maximum, late august to mid-september, including travel to/from the Camino from the USA. So, I'm considering the following:

1) a shortened Camino, from Astorga to Santiago.
2) the Santiago-Fisterra-Muxia-Santiago walk.
3) a portion of the Portuguese route, from Porto or possibly the Portuguese Coastal route.
3) going somewhere else altogether. I want this time to be a genuine pilgrimage and would prefer something more active.

Any suggestions? I walked the Primitivo in 2017 and will almost certainly be back to walk at least a portion of the Frances, beginning in SJPDP in 2022.

What would you recommend?

ETA: one of my wonderings is about support/infrastructure on the less popular routes. Will I still find beds and meals easily if I am not on the Frances? Will I lose the sense of community that was such an important part of my last camino?
Porto to SdC totally do able. I didn’t do coastal but did central at easy pace in 12 days
 

planetreker

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
For the past two years, I've had plans to walk the Frances with an old friend and a friend of theirs, beginning in SJPDP. In that time, I've changed jobs and have a bit less flexibility than before, and covid has seriously limited travel. As of today, the friend of my friend is out (travel is almost impossible from their country) and we are (reluctantly, sadly, and with much disappointment) looking at rescheduling the big trip until sometime next year.

I still have time and ability, but if I'm honest, I realistically have 2-2.5 weeks maximum, late august to mid-september, including travel to/from the Camino from the USA. So, I'm considering the following:

1) a shortened Camino, from Astorga to Santiago.
2) the Santiago-Fisterra-Muxia-Santiago walk.
3) a portion of the Portuguese route, from Porto or possibly the Portuguese Coastal route.
3) going somewhere else altogether. I want this time to be a genuine pilgrimage and would prefer something more active.

Any suggestions? I walked the Primitivo in 2017 and will almost certainly be back to walk at least a portion of the Frances, beginning in SJPDP in 2022.

What would you recommend?

ETA: one of my wonderings is about support/infrastructure on the less popular routes. Will I still find beds and meals easily if I am not on the Frances? Will I lose the sense of community that was such an important part of my last camino?
PONFERRADA to SDC.....DO IT....
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
For the past two years, I've had plans to walk the Frances with an old friend and a friend of theirs, beginning in SJPDP. In that time, I've changed jobs and have a bit less flexibility than before, and covid has seriously limited travel. As of today, the friend of my friend is out (travel is almost impossible from their country) and we are (reluctantly, sadly, and with much disappointment) looking at rescheduling the big trip until sometime next year.

I still have time and ability, but if I'm honest, I realistically have 2-2.5 weeks maximum, late august to mid-september, including travel to/from the Camino from the USA. So, I'm considering the following:

1) a shortened Camino, from Astorga to Santiago.
2) the Santiago-Fisterra-Muxia-Santiago walk.
3) a portion of the Portuguese route, from Porto or possibly the Portuguese Coastal route.
3) going somewhere else altogether. I want this time to be a genuine pilgrimage and would prefer something more active.

Any suggestions? I walked the Primitivo in 2017 and will almost certainly be back to walk at least a portion of the Frances, beginning in SJPDP in 2022.

What would you recommend?

ETA: one of my wonderings is about support/infrastructure on the less popular routes. Will I still find beds and meals easily if I am not on the Frances? Will I lose the sense of community that was such an important part of my last camino?
I was pretty much in the same boat as you. I was planning to start the French Way from SJPP this year with my daughter, till Covid cancelled that. Then it was spring of 22, and that still seems to be a moving target. I was thinking of one of the Portuguese routes this summer, but life got in the way and told me I had less time, so I'm still determined to do a walk and get my Compostela after my pilgrimage. I settled on the Camino Ingles because of time and I get to save the French Way for walking with my daughter. You seem to have a bit more time so you could add the the walk to the sea.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
In normal years, none of these options (CP, CF, Ingles, Finisterre/Muxia) is terribly lacking in infrastructure. This year, I'm not so sure what the situation is on the Ingles or heading to the coast after Santiago.
A few places are currently closed on the way to Finisterre but plenty of places are open, so lack of infrastructure wouldn’t be a concern.
 

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