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Luggage Transfer Correos

Pyrenees or O'Cebreiro

Santiago Photo Book

Nezabudka

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Burgos (Oct 2018)
Hi all,
Looking for your opinions about the route selection.
Next year I will be doing a part of CF with my parents and a teenage daughter. It will be the first experience of this kind for them. We will have around 2 weeks in the first half of June.
My original plan was to do SJPP to Estella/Irache, to include Pyrenees, Alto del Perdon, then transfer to Sarria/Lugo and finish in SdC. But as we fly in into Barcelona, all these transfers would take a lot of time and energy, also we would lose some flexibility obviously.
Now, the other option would be to fly to Leon, then catch a train to Astorga, thus having Cruz del Ferro and O'Cebreiro ahead of us.
Money-wise both options are very similar, the second one saves time and gives an extra walking day. The first one seems more vibrant. As I myself last year did the first part to Burgos, I (of course :D) find this stretch the most marvellous and want to share the experience with my loved ones. I understand, that people who did the finishing part only would have the same feelings though ;)
So, just looking for other views on this. Perhaps I'm missing something... What you think, would be the best option for first-timers? Especially, as my parents though quite fit and eager to train, don't have hilly terrain to practice.
Thanks a lot :)
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
Mmmm. I don't know. It's hard to tell other pilgrims which is best for them. I could tell you about my experiences and what I liked best, but it wouldn't help you. What's best for me might not be best for you or your parents/daughter.

You will have to make up your own mind. Just following what somebody tells you to do might end up being a disappointment. Maybe asking yourself questions might lead you to an answer?

- Will it be a once in a lifetime experience for them or might they want to return to complete the Frances?
- What's important to them: the inner journey that walking a Camino can be or experiencing landscapes/towns as well.
- How important is it for them to get their Compostela?
- Would taking a bus/train in between cause a disturbing 'break' in the Camino feeling or not?
- Could it be important for them to leave a stone at Cruz de Ferro?

A fellow pilgrim once gave me a kind of spiritual description of the Camino Frances. He said the Frances consists of three parts:
- your 'old' life: from SJPP to Burgos. You start walking, but are still attached to your life back home.
- dying: on the Mesetas (from Burgos to Cruz de Ferro), the endless plains and deserts, you 'die'.
- your 'new' life: at Cruz de Ferro you leave a stone, symbolizing all that you wish to leave behind, what you can do without, walking to Santiago reborn.
 

Nezabudka

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Burgos (Oct 2018)
Thank you, @André Walker :) all sound things to consider.
Its probably once a lifetime experience for my parents. Thats why, I believe, we need Compostella, so they have a feeling of accomplishment. Very unlikely they ever come back without me.
For all of us its more a family bonding experience, as we live very far away from my parents and see them every second year for a few weeks only.
My mum also sees it as a chance to see the world - they hardly travelled in their lives, except for visiting us...
And yes, we are more after landscapes, nature wonders than ancient towns. Pyrenees amazed me, something I’d never seen, australian hills and mountains are different. Not sure if views from O’Cebreiro are as magnificent...
 
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André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
I see.

Well, the view from O'Cebreiro is (in my opinion) not so beautiful as the views on the first day out of SJPP. But after Roncesvalles the mountains quickly become more like hills, while walking from O'Cebreiro to Santiago has more mountains and hills. Please note that, concerning the view from O'Cebreiro, my opinion is obscured by the fact that (both times) there was a drizzle and quite a heavy fog.

That having said: Galicia is absolutely wonderful. A lot of mountains and hills (but not too demanding!), lovely green landscape, and picturesque towns. Léon is the last big city, Astorga being a large town/small city. After that Santiago is the next city. Still, a lot of worthwile towns to walk through and a lot of beautiful paths and stunning views.

If you have 14 days of walking, starting in Léon would leave you with a daily average of 23 km. Starting in Astorga 19,4 km. per day. Both very doable: there are plenty of albergues (every couple of kilometers there is one). And both have the advantage of the landscape gradually changing, preparing you for the Galician hills and mountains (with of course starting in Léon gives you more oppurtunity to get adjusted to walking and climbing). From Astorga to Cruz de Ferro is about 30 km., but the climb to Cruz de Ferro isn't that bad. Climbing to O'Cebreiro is 'worse'.

I can understand that for your parents and daughter earning a Compostela would be the cherry on the cake.

By the way: what does Nezabudka stand for? I know that there's a hotel in Slovakia by that name, but you're from Australia.
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
Voie de Paris / Tours Aulnay to Saintes 2017
Camino del Baztan 2018
For the benefit of all I think I would take your second option. We were fortunate and had beautiful weather around O'Cebreiro, with lovely views, late September. Take in the beautiful walk to Samos after O'Cebreiro .
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
Hi all,
Looking for your opinions about the route selection.
Next year I will be doing a part of CF with my parents and a teenage daughter. It will be the first experience of this kind for them. We will have around 2 weeks in the first half of June.
My original plan was to do SJPP to Estella/Irache, to include Pyrenees, Alto del Perdon, then transfer to Sarria/Lugo and finish in SdC. But as we fly in into Barcelona, all these transfers would take a lot of time and energy, also we would lose some flexibility obviously.
Now, the other option would be to fly to Leon, then catch a train to Astorga, thus having Cruz del Ferro and O'Cebreiro ahead of us.
Money-wise both options are very similar, the second one saves time and gives an extra walking day. The first one seems more vibrant. As I myself last year did the first part to Burgos, I (of course :D) find this stretch the most marvellous and want to share the experience with my loved ones. I understand, that people who did the finishing part only would have the same feelings though ;)
So, just looking for other views on this. Perhaps I'm missing something... What you think, would be the best option for first-timers? Especially, as my parents though quite fit and eager to train, don't have hilly terrain to practice.
Thanks a lot :)
I have done both and prefer the Leon to Santiago stretch. The scenes are more beautiful.
 

Nezabudka

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Burgos (Oct 2018)
Thank you everyone for their kind advice. Looked at pictures of Sierras de Ancares and Sierra de Courel (the Camino follows kind of between two) and both look very splendid.
I undestand, that after all, the final impression from mountains depends on the weather that day. I was lucky to have a sunny, bright day while walking to Roncevalles, thus it made me memorize it deep in my heart. Probably with the walk to o’Cebreiro it’s the same thing. :)
 

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)
@Nezabudka , to arrive in Santiago on foot having walked a distance is an unforgettable experience. So if it's a one-off for your folks, I'd say start in Leon.

And...if you want a bit of quieter family walking time than you'd get on the Francés, consider 2 weeks from Ponferrada to Santiago on the Invierno. It's special - full of history and gorgeous scenery.
 

Nezabudka

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Burgos (Oct 2018)
And...if you want a bit of quieter family walking time than you'd get on the Francés, consider 2 weeks from Ponferrada to Santiago on the Invierno. It's special - full of history and gorgeous scenery.
Thanks. I foolishly thought this route “operates” during winter only :D
I understand, it was originally made to avoid mountains climbs? Not sure, its what we want... Though, June being one of the popular months on CF scares me a lot - both me and my dad are uncurable introverts ;)
 

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)
If you're an introvert...the Invierno will suit perfectly. And it's not without some serious climbs, though not in big mountains. Nearly as big as anything on the Frances after Leon, though, and Monte Faro is a good deal higher than O Cebreiro.
Check out the threads here if you want a look:

Another option that does include more mountains is the Primativo. I haven't walked it, so can't say anything. But oyhers might chime in...
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Personally, I prefer option 2. I see a number have suggested walking from Leon. You know the fitness level of your parents better than any of us and how far they can be expected to walk in a day. A possible compromise between starting in Leon and starting is Astorga is to start in Hospital de Orbigo between the two. That would also take you past David's nice little donativo oasis just before Astorga. But if you do, be sure to look up the story of Suero de Quiñones before you go so you can appreciate the history of the long bridge you will see in Orbigo.

Also, make sure to visit the cathedral in Leon while you are passing through the town. It is probably my favourite in Spain.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Francés, Le Puy / Francés (parts), 2018 Norte (Biarritz), Francés, 2019 Portuguese (Lisbon)
Whichever start point you choose, I'd suggest staying on that path for the full time, not breaking it in half, even if this means you don't make it to Santiago. When you break your journey in half it really disrupts your social circle and internal flow. Imagine you or your daughter make some friends on the way. Will you really want to leave them behind and train ahead several hundred kilometers just to do the overcrowded last section, where you won't know anyone and where everything is much more commercialised, overcrowded and impersonal?

By the way... SJPP for parents? Sounds a bit challenging to me. Why not start at Pamplona?
 
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andralynn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I am leaving for Barcelona May 20th, 2019 and will begin my Camino in San Sebastian May 27th, 2019
Hi all,
Looking for your opinions about the route selection.
Next year I will be doing a part of CF with my parents and a teenage daughter. It will be the first experience of this kind for them. We will have around 2 weeks in the first half of June.
My original plan was to do SJPP to Estella/Irache, to include Pyrenees, Alto del Perdon, then transfer to Sarria/Lugo and finish in SdC. But as we fly in into Barcelona, all these transfers would take a lot of time and energy, also we would lose some flexibility obviously.
Now, the other option would be to fly to Leon, then catch a train to Astorga, thus having Cruz del Ferro and O'Cebreiro ahead of us.
Money-wise both options are very similar, the second one saves time and gives an extra walking day. The first one seems more vibrant. As I myself last year did the first part to Burgos, I (of course :D) find this stretch the most marvellous and want to share the experience with my loved ones. I understand, that people who did the finishing part only would have the same feelings though ;)
So, just looking for other views on this. Perhaps I'm missing something... What you think, would be the best option for first-timers? Especially, as my parents though quite fit and eager to train, don't have hilly terrain to practice.
Thanks a lot :)
I would recommend your 2nd option
 

andralynn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
I am leaving for Barcelona May 20th, 2019 and will begin my Camino in San Sebastian May 27th, 2019
Whichever start point you choose, I'd suggest staying on that path for the full time, not breaking it in half, even if this means you don't make it to Santiago. When you break your journey in half it really disrupts your social circle and internal flow. Imagine you or your daughter make some friends on the way. Will you really want to leave them behind and train ahead several hundred kilometers just to do the overcrowded last section, where you won't know anyone and where everything is much more commercialised, overcrowded and impersonal?

By the way... SJPP for parents? Sounds a bit challenging to me. Why not start at Pamplona?
I completed my Camino June 30th and found that as far as “Camino Family” is concerned, you meet lots of interesting, people along the way. I chose to walk with people some days and alone other days. There is always someone to walk with if that is what you want.
 

E V Waight

It's the journey, not the destination.
Camino(s) past & future
September (2017)
Possible September (2018)
Holy Year (2021) (all three Gladys, John and I)
@Nezabudka First of all allow me to say that the Camino de Santiago is a very personal experience. I do not think that any two person's are the same. Having said that, I would lean more on Leon through Santiago. I appreciate your wanting to share with your family what you experienced through the Pyrenees and that is understandable. The scenery there is stunning.
You did not mention your parents' ages or degree of fitness and if you did I missed it. The rolling hills and mountains of Galicia are stunning on their own. However, it's more "forest green" as opposed to "prairie" green in the Pyrenees. Of course depending on weather conditions you may have spectacular views from the mountains of Galicia or you may have it all covered in mist. I hope you have the former.
The first days' climb through the Pyrenees as you know is difficult. The comparable climb would be up to O'Cebreiro. Whatever you decide, please do not break continuity. You will meet and make friends that may become family along the way. The experiences shared are second to none. Family bond is important for you as well; you will have alone time with them as well as "family" time with fellow pilgrims. Whatever your choice, you will have an awesome time with family.
Buen Camino!!!
 

Nezabudka

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Burgos (Oct 2018)
Thank you, guys :)
We keep thinking. As we go as a family, sorry if it hurts anyone, we are not really looking for “Camino family”, though would be glad to meet new people every night. Especially, as my parents do not speak English, and unlikely my 14yo meets a lot of peers of her age to connect to. So, my concern about catching a train in the middle is mostly about it taking so long ;)
We realise, that after Sarria it will become very busy, thats why may train further to Lugo then. Though, probably in June it will be busy everywhere.
My parents are 63 and quite fit, and actually would like to see mountains. If we decide to start from SJPP, we definetely will stop in Orisson/Kayola. We plan to send mum’s bag ahead every day, and being able to have shorter days (15-25km max), thus leaving us with only more popular routes as an option - with infrastructure for it.
 

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)
We realise, that after Sarria it will become very busy, thats why may train further to Lugo then. Though, probably in June it will be busy everywhere.
Not on the Invierno. You'll see a few people, but not many. And no crush before Santiago at all - in fact it is one of the most beautiful entries into the city of them all. Unlike the Francés, you see the cathedral spires from a distance, as you walk down into the city.
And logistically it is very easy. Take the train to whete the Invierno starts in Ponferrada, from either direction - though it would be a much shorter train ride from Santiago than from Madrid.
 

Nezabudka

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Burgos (Oct 2018)
Thank you, @VNwalking :) I researched it a bit, looks doable. Just because it requires lots of pre-planning and advance reservation, I'm afraid to loose flexibility, especially as unsure if possible to find bag sending service before merging with Sanabres... I don't want mum to feel too much pressure because of it, she already is a bit hesitant she might be holding us back. But we'll see, how they go with training. 👍
 

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 pre-planned only one place, and it was just fine. And there were some guys from Barcelona who were forwarding their bags, I think by taxi. So all is possible. ☺
 

Wheat

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 2017
I tend to agree with the majority above, but if you start from Leon please consider taking the bus to Astorga and make that the first walking day. I’ve twice done that day and find it to be horrible and uninspiring. In a full Camino it’s part of the whole experience but making it the first day of your experience could be really off putting. In saying that whatever you decide to do with your family I’m sure will be wonderful.
 

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