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Ponferrada to Santiago - advice request


New Member
Hello to all

I have the wonderful opportunity to join a small group walking from Ponferrada to Santigo this coming Septemeber.The planned journey is described as a leisurely 14 days! so 12 days walking approximately 10-12 miles (16 to 19 kms) a day.

My only concern is that this may be a little 'too slow and easy', and would welcome the opinions of the forum.

In brief I am 41 years old of 'average' fitness (a little overweight) with no walking experience (though I am shortly starting a programme of training). Up until last year I was fit and used to run fairly regularly however (to muddy the waters further) I broke my ankle last year and it has taken a long time to recover.

I don't want to slog the journey out but at the same time don't want to feel under-acheived. Any thoughts?

Kind Regards

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Pilgrim since 2008
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés(2008,09 14)
Del Norte (2011)
Inglés 2015
Fisterre (2015 17)
Hello Arbie,

If you are joining a group your pace may depend on whether or not you plan to stay with that group or move along at your own pace. I found that my pace varied depending on whether or not I was with other pilgrims or alone. I tended to walk faster when on my own. Having said that I don't think there is a "standard" pace. You'll settle into something you are comfortable with I am sure.

I am a 56 year old male and walk about 5 k per day 5 days out of 7. Thats the only prep I do. Last year I averaged 25 to 30 k per day with days of as little as 15 to 20. I also took 2 days to rest.

Enjoy all aspects of your camino

Jacobus (James)


Active Member
Our family (parents, grandparents, 2 teen daughters) did that section a couple of years ago in 8 days without much strain. Doing it in 12 days would mean either walking very slowly or spending a lot of time sitting around. One approach is to agree on the overnight stop and have everyone go at their own pace. It can be very frustrating to walk with someone who is more comfortable going either faster or slower than you are.


Veteran Member
I don't want to slog the journey out but at the same time don't want to feel under-acheived. Any thoughts?

Hi Arbie, If you find you're one of the faster walkers in the group perhaps you could go ahead and prepare evening meal for your fellow walkers :D
How about looking for detours? e.g. Vilar de Donas from Portos as mentioned on other threads.


Past OR future Camino
September 2006
August - September 2017

If you choices are to go with the group, or not go, by all means go.

I walked from Ponfarada with a group in September of 2006, and we would just agree to meet at the next stop. If others were along for a while, great. If not, great. Dinners were a joy. The sharing of that day's journey and all.

There will be plenty of time to be alone. Even if you are in the company of others, your thought, and I might add prayers, are yours. The sights you see, the things you experience are all your.

The added benefit is if the group are friends, you have an instant reunion when you return. We still meet regularly and play "remember...."

I wish you the best,


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I weight more and am less fit that I should be, 41 years old, short and a girl and I can still walk about 4km an hour if it isn't too hilly and if my backpack isn't too heavy. So, you would be looking at 3 to 5 hours of walking a day. So, essentially, you could be finished the day's walking by lunch time (which is not a bad plan as you miss out on the afternoon heat). Having short days needn't be a bad thing as you can talk with peregrinos and be a tourist. In Cacabuelos, you can go swimming in the river (you cross the bridge to get to the albergue). That being said, I would be happier doing a 5 hour day than I would a 3 hour day (unless I ended up in a place with lots of tourist stuff to do). My boyfriend walks faster than me, so on the days he didn't want to 'snail it' he would just go ahead and wait for me at the next bar. It took us 9 days to do this section (and the last day was short as we stayed in Monte Gozo).

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