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Please double check my route

BethN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
World Youth Day. Camino to Fatima
I'm planning a mini-Camino from Santarem to Fatima. We have some slow walkers and a wheelchair. I'd like to do the walk in three days.
Can someone please double-check my work? I'm leading a group of 15 young adults (plus 3 Priests).

I'm using this route
Bus from Lisbon to Santarem (Stay at Hotel UMU)
day 1-Satarem to Arneriro das Milharicas (approx 22km). Stay at Casa do Adro
day 2-Arneiro das Milharicas to Minde (approx 17 km) stay TBD
day 3 Minde to Fatima- (approx 18 km)
Bus from Fatima back to Lisbon

THANK YOU
We are so excited about the trip and we are looking forward to doing a full Camino in the future.
 
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22km may be a bit for slow walkers and the wheelchair, no? If you are shipping luggage ahead, that will help. However, if they walk 2km an hour, that’s an 11 hour day plus breaks!
 
We have some slow walkers and a wheelchair.
What do you mean by "slow walkers"? Does that mean they walk 2 km/h or that they get seriously tired after 10 km? You can see how that would make a 22 km day a bit of a challenge.

Have you tried long walks with the wheel chair? How far/fast is comfortable? Has anyone been training?

Have you planned how to handle situations such as some of your young people wanting to walk faster than others, and other walkers or the wheelchair not being able to do the 22 km?

Good luck!
 
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Here is the route from Lisbon over 5 days. Day 4 is from Santarem.

Looking at it from a elevation point of view you have half the climb over the first 2/3rd and the second half of the climb to Fatima over the next 1/3rd. So any issues which effort and fatigue won't likely hit your group until Minde.

You might want to plan for that eventuality as others have pointed out.

 
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I'm planning a mini-Camino from Santarem to Fatima. We have some slow walkers and a wheelchair. I'd like to do the walk in three days.
Can someone please double-check my work? I'm leading a group of 15 young adults (plus 3 Priests).

I'm using this route
Bus from Lisbon to Santarem (Stay at Hotel UMU)
day 1-Satarem to Arneriro das Milharicas (approx 22km). Stay at Casa do Adro
day 2-Arneiro das Milharicas to Minde (approx 17 km) stay TBD
day 3 Minde to Fatima- (approx 18 km)
Bus from Fatima back to Lisbon

THANK YOU
We are so excited about the trip and we are looking forward to doing a full Camino in the future.
I walked the Caminho de Tejo earlier this year, using the stages you are proposing. The section that would concern me most is between Covao de Fedo (after Monsantos) and Minde. There is a pretty steep climb to the top of Penas da Afetureira. It is a climb of about 240 m over about 1.5 km, with the steepest section about 160 m over 1 km. Once on this last section, the path is twisting, narrow, rocky and uneven. This section on path pretty much goes straight up the shortest, and steepest, line to the saddle. I don't think it is suitable for a wheelchair.

There are road alternatives, but I haven't checked how much longer they are. You might want to see if there is a cycling route that avoids this particular section.
 
I walked the Caminho de Tejo earlier this year, using the stages you are proposing. The section that would concern me most is between Covao de Fedo (after Monsantos) and Minde. There is a pretty steep climb to the top of Penas da Afetureira. It is a climb of about 240 m over about 1.5 km, with the steepest section about 160 m over 1 km. Once on this last section, the path is twisting, narrow, rocky and uneven. This section on path pretty much goes straight up the shortest, and steepest, line to the saddle. I don't think it is suitable for a wheelchair.

There are road alternatives, but I haven't checked how much longer they are. You might want to see if there is a cycling route that avoids this particular section.
Doug is right about that hill. It’s steep, rough, winding and narrow - you wouldn’t want to take a wheelchair. If you’re not fit (or even if you are maybe), you’ll be sucking for air by the time you reach the top. Perhaps there’s an alternative there, that would be known to the thousands of pilgrims that come to Fatima every year.
 
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I agree about the climb before Minde. It is very steep, rocky, etc. The chicken wire fence alongside was the only reason I made it up there, using the fence to pull myself upwards. Look for the nearest road up to the saddle instead. The rocky path down to Minde we decided was too dangerous & we walked down the road comfortably. Another pilgrim decided to climb down the path & arrived with a leg injury from a fall.
The albergue I stayed in was opposite the church & I can highly recommend it. The people in Minde were marvellous.
 
I walked it in August this year and I agree with the posters warning you about the section between cavao de feto and minde. I will go a step further though and say that you won't be able to get a wheelchair up or down that track. Down is especially difficult and I would have struggled without my poles.

It is actually a disgrace that pilgrims are expected to walk those two sections. It is by some distance the worst track I have ever walked on.
 
It is actually a disgrace that pilgrims are expected to walk those two sections. It is by some distance the worst track I have ever walked on.
I think this is a rather bleak assessment. There are similar sections of track with some combination of rough track surface and slope on almost all the pilgrimage routes I have walked. I didn't think this was the worst that I had met when I walked it this year.

In this case the particular section is not all that long, either during the ascent or the decent into Minde. It has the advantage of avoiding the road except at the top of the ridgeline, which is a good thing in my view anywhere on the Portuguese routes.

Faced with the choice of going straight up the Ridge or around the road network, I thought that choosing to cross the ridge line directly was a reasonable thing for the route planners to have done.

I guess we will all have our own views on this, but what is clear is that those who have walked it recently all agree that it's not a piece of path suitable for a wheelchair.
 
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I think this is a rather bleak assessment. There are similar sections of track with some combination of rough track surface and slope on almost all the pilgrimage routes I have walked. I didn't think this was the worst that I had met when I walked it this year.

In this case the particular section is not all that long, either during the ascent or the decent into Minde. It has the advantage of avoiding the road except at the top of the ridgeline, which is a good thing in my view anywhere on the Portuguese routes.

Faced with the choice of going straight up the Ridge or around the road network, I thought that choosing to cross the ridge line directly was a reasonable thing for the route planners to have done.

I guess we will all have our own views on this, but what is clear is that those who have walked it recently all agree that it's not a piece of path suitable for a wheelchair.
The road in that area is certainly dangerous - no footpaths, sharp curves and fast cars. Not safe at all for pilgrims. The track is brutal though. Crossing the Ridge is certainly far shorter distance wise.

I agree that there are many sections across the Caminos which host poor tracks. This is definitely the worst for me though. I felt that every step was dangerous especially the downward part. I do think it could be made much safer with a bit of work. Having said that, from what we saw, there possibly isn't enough pilgrim traffic to warrant the expense of improvements. We met just one other pilgrim between Santarem and Fatima.

She had left Monsanto about half an hour before me and when we met that night in Fatima she said she had been petrified on that descent, regretting for the first time her decision not to bring poles. She said she was reassured by the knowledge that if something happened, I wasn't far behind her!
 

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