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Questions about starting in Sarria in December

  • Thread starter Deleted member 39850
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Deleted member 39850

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Folks.... I completed the SJPDP Francés route to Santiago in Sept-Oct 2014, and it was glorious until O' Pino, when a catastrophe struck at home. I pretty much howled with maternal emotional pain all the way into Santiago and would not have bothered with it had I been able to get a train back to France and an emergency flight home in any other way.

In many respects, I still wish I had not had to endure that day in Santiago, with people twaddling on about how the Camino let them leave their problems behind.... So self absorbed in their own euphoria that they could not see that I was sitting in misery across from the people who had promised to help me find my somewhat obscure albergue "After just this little snack" (that became an enormous meal and several bottles of wine)...

I did make it to Santiago, and my "Camino family" (still dear friends) persuaded me to pick up my compostela. In the chaos that involved cancelled plans for Portugal, 2 trains, a cancelled flight, a re-arranged flight, and 2 hotels I had not planned on in the rush to leave for home 4 days early, I lost my compostela. I will be requesting a new one by mail in November when the office quiets for winter.

I'd like to go back and finish on my terms, but long term fallout at home from the catastrophe means that I cannot leave home for very long. I think 2 weeks tops... That means I have to get a flight, get to a point of departure, get to Santiago, and then get back to a transatlantic flight all inside of 10 days.

So... I'm thinking Sarria. My idea is to fly into Madrid, get the train to Sarria, walk like there's no tomorrow, arrive in Santiago, then reverse directions to get back to my flight and home.

So... Can I manage the Sarria to Santiago trip at that speed in December? Does anyone know? And if I do it when I want to do it, I will be landing in Santiago on Dec 22nd. Is that too close to the Christmas holidays to ask that things be open along the way and into the city? Advice?? What about weather? I recall snow flurries walking out of Vega de Valcarce in October one early morning...

For my last Camino, I did prepare for the walk, with regular treks over 20k at least 3 times per week, with a pack. Now I just walk 10-12 K every day. Every day. Not always with a loaded pack, but usually with a few pounds on me.

I am uncertain if this is enough to go into 25-30K per day every day for 5. Thoughts??

It is also rather sadly the case, as we know, that there are people ready to judge those who arrive in Sarria, but honestly, I've been on this Camino in a figurative way since 2014, and I've already completed the whole thing, literally. I don't want to snap at people I might meet out there, so I'll take advice from anyone who has walked from Sarria as a short trip. How do you handle the loud judges?

I want to walk into Santiago on my own terms; it does require compromise on time, and season.
 
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D

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Most albergues will be closed, and some that would be open will be closed for the holidays. So you will have to walk the major stages. A couple of albergues will be open in Sarria and Portomarin, and a couple in Palas de Rei, then Melide, Arzua, and Pedrouzo. Virtually all the small ones in between will be closed, though you may find some hostales open. Walking a stage and one-half will be a problem!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
So... I'm thinking Sarria. My idea is to fly into Madrid, get the train to Sarria, walk like there's no tomorrow, arrive in Santiago, then reverse directions to get back to my flight and home.

So... Can I manage the Sarria to Santiago trip at that speed in December? Does anyone know? And if I do it when I want to do it, I will be landing in Santiago on Dec 22nd. Is that too close to the Christmas holidays to ask that things be open along the way and into the city? Advice?? What about weather? I recall snow flurries walking out of Vega de Valcarce in October one early morning...

It is also rather sadly the case, as we know, that there are people ready to judge those who arrive in Sarria, but honestly, I've been on this Camino in a figurative way since 2014, and I've already completed the whole thing, literally. I don't want to snap at people I might meet out there, so I'll take advice from anyone who has walked from Sarria as a short trip. How do you handle the loud judges?

I want to walk into Santiago on my own terms; it does require compromise on time, and season.

I arrived in Santiago on December 23 one year and everything was open all the way. Certainly all the xunta albergues were open. I walked on the Via de la Plata, finishing from Ourense,which might be different from Sarria, but I doubt it is more open than the Frances (something like 10 or 20 times more people walk from/through Sarria than Ourense, so I would guess more rather than fewer places will be open on that route). Santiago itself was very quiet at lunchtime on Christmas day, but most (or enough, anyway) of the bars and restaurants were open that evening.

I very much doubt you'll get any judgemental twits talking about "real pilgrims" in late December. Nobody's quite sure where Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego started their pilgrimages - it might only have been 100km. You might get a spot of snow, or you might get brilliant sunshine - I got both last December, and both are fine (and indeed was excited to see wolf prints in the snow near the alto of Padornelo).

Hope you have a very buen camino and enjoy some justified if belated euphoria.

. snow self portrait.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 39850

Guest
Thanks folks. I don't mind hostales... whatever combination of things... I was very fortunate to have a lot of fresh figs, grapes, blackberries etc. on the trail when I walked in 2014, and I realize that won't be the case if I can go this december. So I will have to budget in a bit more for food per day. It's a toss-up where to take my fall Keens, or my winter Keens. The winter ones have a heavier thermal insole. But they are *heavier*.

Light-weight down jacket... OK? Sandbagger pants that repel water. And a merino base layer. My original wool Buff with the cross of Santiago (bought in Santo Domingo last time) a combo glove-mitten that is water repellant and has reflective features. And a merino top layer. Plenty of under things, and 3 pairs of socks. And my phone to stay connected to home, to read books on, and to carry my Smart Pilgrim guide...

And maybe I can turn 50 in Santiago.

Ultreia ...et Senseia, right?
 

Micah26

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino France's (2018)
I am sorry you didn’t get to experience the “high” of completing your Camino the 1st time- even more sorry about the circumstances that necessitated your quick return home. It is wonderful you have the time and finances to return and finish your journey in a way more peaceful. I have no advice to give but offer you good wishes on your journey! The judgement of others matters not...Have a very Happy Birthday! Buen Camino
 
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