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Realistic timeframe

Garry Ireland

Travel Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Walking from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostella with my daughter in April (2019)
#1
As a 62 year old reasonably fit male doing the full almost 800km of the Camino Frances for the first time, is 32 days to complete it realistic?
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#2
As a 62 year old reasonably fit male doing the full almost 800km of the Camino Frances for the first time, is 32 days to complete it realistic?
I walked from SJPDP to Finisterre at age 59 in 35 days on my first Camino, and very first time backpacking, which included an overnight in Orisson rather than doing that first stage in one day. So I'd say yes, that's perfectly reasonable. However, if you can, I think that you should build in some extra days for contingencies. This site http://santiago.forwalk.org/en/m/1s/guide/1-the-french-way/route-list/#trails has some plans for doing SJPDP to Santiago in 26, 31 or 35 days.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#3
It depends on how determined you are. How are you at walking 25 km days, for 32 days in a row? Even Brierley's guide shows 33 stages. Certainly many people do it in 32 days or less, but I would personally allow a bit more time or accept that I might need motor assistance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#4
I walked the whole route in 40 days, which included 3 zero days. I would feel less relaxed and more pressure if I'd needed to complete it in 32 days, but it is possible.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances from SJPP 2015, 2016, 2018
Way of St. Francis, Italy April 2017
Portuguese/Finister (2018)
#5
You will get many opinions on this question. I would say it will be tight and doesn't leave you room for rest, injury, visiting the sights, or bad weather. On my three Camino Frances I found that most people I made friends with walked between 35-40 days. I hated saying goodbye to those who were speeding through. So if you have the time then I recommend adding a few days, if you don't then just see where the Camino takes you. In any case, Buen Camino!
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
#7
Hi Garry!
So, as you can see from the above posts, the approach is to first truthfully determine how far you are able to walk each and every day, after day, after day, after day.
Then divide the estimate of your daily distance into 800, the K length of the Frances. You now have your initial timetable.
To this must be added an estimation for injury enforced delay, and rest/relaxation/sightseeing.
Don't forget to include time spent getting to the Camino start from your arrival point in Spain or France, and from the Camino end to your departure point. Most folk enjoy spending a day or so in Santiago at the end of their Camino.
It's all good fun figuring this out, and ensuring some flexibility.
Good travelling and buen Camino
Gerard
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018
#8
Yes, 32 days are realistic.

But if you ask... if there is a possibility to plan with more time, it can be more pleasant and less stress. I think strict / realistic schedules are one of the main reasons for the pain of many pilgrims (next to not-fitting shoes and overloaded backpacks)... it is a huge difference if you have a hotspot or a small injury and you have got enough time to rest... or if you feel stress because of your schedule.
If there is time left in Santiago you can go for example to Finisterre.

So if you want to do it in 32 days with your daughter I would recommend to be open for replanning like taking a bus for a part of the pilgrimage if something like an injury happens.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
C.F. april-may 2018
C.F. or C.d.N. +Primitivo in may/june 2019
#9
HI. I added to the chorus .... it is realistically possible if you can get a good average of Kilometers per day, considering that you will wear a backpack 7/9 kg (man), that you could accuse some pain and then as a precaution you will prefer to slow down the daily rhythm for a couple of days or more, that you may encounter days of rain, that you may not rest at best some night.
But I think you'll soon realize that doing so many programs will be a waste of time ))
good preparation for your journey :)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#10
As a 62 year old reasonably fit male doing the full almost 800km of the Camino Frances for the first time, is 32 days to complete it realistic?
Most people who are reasonably fit can walk the section of the Camino between SJPP/Roncesvalles and Santiago in about 4 to 5 weeks.

Realistically though, you might want to add a few extra days for potential rest or injury days, and for safety net purposes. And some people can take up to 6 or 7 weeks, whilst at the other end of the scale it's do-able by some in 3.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#11
realistic
/rɪəˈlɪstɪk/
adjective

having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.
"I thought we had a realistic chance of winning"
synonyms: practical, pragmatic, matter-of-fact, down-to-earth, sensible, commonsensical;
Gary, I would say the answer could be yes! Conditional, as has been suggested in previous answers. When we walked the CF, from Roncesvalles, our aim was an average of 25km per day. We arrived on day 29. No rest days. In the final few days we covered more ground simply because we had to walk further to get a bed. We had calculated 31 days, so if you are starting in SJPP, and not looking at taking rest days, it will be fine.
Buen camino!












 
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Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
#12
Hi Garry,

It's certainly doable, as you can see by my avatar I'm hardly an athlete and I've done it twice in 31 days with a couple of rest days thrown in, but it almost certainly means you'll find yourself doing two or three days around the 40km mark (or you could just up your average per day). While there's no hard and fast rule as some days have tougher terrain/ more interesting places to stop than others I now think about splitting my camino into thirds- during the first 10 days when I am not camino hardened I take it relatively easy looking to only do about 21km a day, in the middle third I step that up to 27km a day and then in the final third when walking comes more naturally I can make up for those easier days at the start by averaging 32kms a day.

I really enjoy starting early in the day and walking when it's not too hot and by doing this I had a good 8 hours a day to play with before albergues started filling up and I never really felt I was rushing to reach my goals which I would generally only set a day or two ahead.

There being two of you does complicate things a little bit as it doubles the chance of an injury that may slow you down but my camino philosophy is to only worry (which doesn't mean not to be prepared for) about things until they happen.

Buen Camino,

Rob.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#13
Just as an FYI, if you have John Brierley's Guide to the Camino Frances, and if IIRC, somewhere in the introductory material in front, there is a mention of how his 33 stages came about. Simply put, it is a subjective value based on the number of years Jesus Christ was said to have lived on earth.

From this, everything else fell into place. Over the years, this one guide has caused these 33 stages to become more or less, carved in stone. Most everyone accepts this as THE STANDARD outline for doing the Camino Frances.

However, this is just one construct. You can choose to do the Camino Frances as fast or as slow as you choose. On my first go in 2013, it took me 36 days, as I had injuries that required a three day stay at Burgos. Many folks from Europe take several years to do it in segments as they can more easily travel to and from the nodal points (SJPdP, Pamplona Logrono, Burgos, Leon, Astorga and Sarria) by train and or bus.

On my second go, in 2014, I intentionally stretched it to 40 days. This was predicated on wanting to add rest days at places I just blew through the first time "to keep on schedule," and to walk shorter daily stages. it was a far more relaxed and more productive Camino, IMHO.

My advice is to plan for SIX weeks, 42 days. Spend two nights at St. Jean Pied de Port before you start walking. Plan an extra "rest" day at Burgos, Leon, Astorga, and perhaps Sarria.

Plan to spend the remainder of the 42 days (3 - 4 days left) at Santiago de Compostela (SCQ airport code). I believe you will be happy that you did. Also, if you stake this longer plan out when you make air reservations, then work backwards from SCQ, you can adjust your daily travels as needed to arrive 'on time.'

Most of us traveling to France or Spain from off the European continent (AUS, NZ, US, CN, etc.) have to spend a lot of money, time and effort just to get to our starting point. My view is, what's the rush? You invested so much time and treasure to get there, you may as well make it enjoyable. Time is the most valuable commodity we have as humans. At the end, no amount of treasure will buy us another day, especially another day on Camino...;)

Heck, if you have more time than 42 days, you could plan to spend several days in Madrid or Lisbon on the way home. I have done this as well. Personally, I find that, after I've done a Camino, I am in NO RUSH to return home. Any activity I can find to spend more time in Spain or Portugal is worth the added expense, to me at least. Can't get enough!

Hope this helps.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
#14
Can I take a different approach. A lot of people ask what a realistic time frame is. I think that is the wrong question. If you want to make it a race, the shorter the better. If on the other hand, you want to see more of the people and country then you should take what most would consider an unrealistic pace (say 50 or even 70 days). Perhaps you want to really hone up on your Spanish. A realistic timeframe would be longer rather than shorter. The real question is how much time can you spend on an experience that you might not get the chance to do again. You have to match your objectives in walking the Camino (and if your only objective is to walk - just buy a treadmill :) :) :) ) and build the definition of realistic from there. IMHO
 
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
#15
Fair point @John Sikora ! But unless you have access to some kind of immortality and wealth serum you'd be willing to share (if you do PM me :)) we all have to balance our time and other resources out and presumably having asked the question that is the case for the OP.

I really didn't feel I was having anything other than a wonderful time during my 31 day caminos. Did I see and do everything there was to do? no, but I doubt that would have been the case if I'd taken six months.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#16
Certainly people have done an entire CF in that amount of time or less, but for a first time walking, you’d be cutting it close planning on 32 days. If 32 days is the absolute maximum amount of time you have, I’d think seriously about starting a few days in, say in Pamplona or Lagroño. If your heart is set on starting in SJPDP, another option would be to taxi or bus ahead on certain sections to save time. This wouldn’t be my preferred approach, but I see you’re planning to walk with your daughter, so I’m assuming your time constraints aren’t completely within your control.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
#18
As a 62 year old reasonably fit male doing the full almost 800km of the Camino Frances for the first time, is 32 days to complete it realistic?
I was a pretty fit 65 yr old when I did it with 37 days walking. I slowed down a couple of days when I hurt my shin. It became pretty grueling at times. Fortunately I linked up with another 65 yr old guy for the last 11 days. We were well matched for pace and daily distance. Also, I had little bad weather to discourage me. So, I'd say you CAN do it in 32 days, but you might struggle some. If possible, you might consider allowing a few extra days in your plan. I did and then did some sightseeing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#19
@Garry Ireland , gidday from across the ditch

A bit older than you and 30 days. I had done a lot of training, long walks of 30 km or more, a few multi day trips to settle my gear down and dispense with nice to haves, and trips with elevation gain.

A mantra I used was 15 km and/or 700 metres of elevation gain before stopping for breakfast. The intention was to prepare as best I could both mind and body for walking day after day for 30 or so days. And to minimise if not eliminate blisters or other similar issues.

Do allow several days to get to your start point and several more to wind down at your end point.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#20
I think you could do it with 32 days walking but I think you would enjoy it with more time. If you find you are going slower than needed there are a number of companies that will rent you a bicycle to pedal one way across the meseta from Burgos to Leon or Astorga. Brierley's guide has B to A as a 10 day walk. That possibly could be biked in 3 or 4 days. You would be parting company with any walking buddies though. On the plus side is making it the whole way under your own power in the time available.
 

Jopa57

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - April/May 2019
#21
I walked the whole route in 40 days, which included 3 zero days. I would feel less relaxed and more pressure if I'd needed to complete it in 32 days, but it is possible.
Hi, I'm interested in knowing where you spent your three "zero days", I'm open to zero days as well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#22
Logrono, Burgos and Leon. They are bigger cities with more things to see. I did take additional days after finishing in Santiago, Finesterre and Muxia, which added to the 40 days, but I did no considered them as zero days.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#23
Logrono, Burgos and Leon. They are bigger cities with more things to see. I did take additional days after finishing in Santiago, Finesterre and Muxia, which added to the 40 days, but I did no considered them as zero days.
They are also places where you will be able to get accommodation for multiple nights too so you can lock up your room and set off to check out the city, without having to pack up and relocate.
 
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Alan Pearce

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
#24
I walked the Frances last year from SPPDP in 29 days at age 69, and without being very fit. I started off taking only short distances, and worked up to longer stages as I got fitter. I did not have any rest days [I get bored when I'm not walking!], and by the finish I was regularly doing 30+ kilometres per day. I had reasonable weather without a lot of rain. It's up to you if you wish to take it more slowly and thereby keep pace with your camino family - much to be desired.

Alan

Be brave. Life is joyous.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#25
I did not have any rest days [I get bored when I'm not walking!],
Me too. I took one rest day on my first Camino, and was itching to get walking again. Now for a "rest day" I'll just walk a shorter distance. For instance it's nice to get to the larger cities early, and stay in a pensión. Then you have all afternoon to explore, and can sleep in a bit in the morning.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C.F. april-may 2018
C.F. or C.d.N. +Primitivo in may/june 2019
#27
Hi Garry,
There being two of you does complicate things a little bit as it doubles the chance of an injury that may slow you down but my camino philosophy is to only worry (which doesn't mean not to be prepared for) about things until they happen.

Buen Camino,

Rob.
Hi Rob.
This your philosophy can very well be considered valid for those like you have experience and different paths on legs. For those who face the path for the first time it is essential, in my opinion, to dose the forces well, the distances and stop at the first unpleasant signals of the body. I have also seen dramatic moments along my path: people who despite concrete physical damage (tendinitis, joint inflammation and severe muscular, even hernias to the linguine) have wanted to continue (pride? A sense of personal defeat? A spiritual path not yet found?) seriously risking a temporary pathology to become chronic. One of these was a guy known along the way and with whom I was doing a part of the journey. I accompanied him for a stretch of my last day with him, on my advice, he had rid of the backpack through the transport from hostel to hostel, he was wearing sandals of luck instead of boots, limped heavily ...... We have done 10 kilometers in almost 4 hours. Greeting, I looked seriously in the eyes telling him that he had to be helped and that although I could (somehow) understand his "stubbornness" was better to remember a stretch of the journey made of meetings and happy moments rather than remembering a "hovel" of the whole travel. I heard when I was in Santiago that he did not listen to me and that he was in the hospital :(
Fortunately they are rarer cases than frequent.
I agree instead that being able to have 50-70 days is not for everyone, for many reasons that we know.
Rather, it is preferable to plan to make the whole journey in two different moments, at least for those who do not have to fly over the ocean to reach Europe.

sorry for having dwelt.
A Good day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#28
As a 62 year old reasonably fit male doing the full almost 800km of the Camino Frances for the first time, is 32 days to complete it realistic?
Hola @Garry Ireland . There are 20 or more posts above this with recommendations, suggestions etc. So here is my 10 cents worth.
Unless there are other time constraints do not tie yourself up in some impossible schedule. At least for the first 4 or 5 days let the Camino unfold in front of you; let your body; your feet; your back become use to the camino life. Unless you are an unusual individual you have not spent any of the past 10 or so years living in communal situations. When asked I say take the time from St Jean to Pamplona to become "Camino Fit". Once you truly know what you let yourself in for, stop at the top of the Alto del Perdon (the 750m peak west of Pamplona) and start your camino from there. A special Buen Camino. Cheers;)
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#29
I agree that on my "rest days" I often walk as much as I do on a walking day - as it is usually in a larger place with much to explore. These days I do take the time to look at the cultural and historical wonders around me. While I can.
 

tony l

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
#30
As a 62 year old reasonably fit male doing the full almost 800km of the Camino Frances for the first time, is 32 days to complete it realistic?
HI Gary - I did St Jean to Santiago in 31 days September/October 2018. Its tough at times but you get into a rhythm.
Its worth training, I did 2 months preparation which was beneficial as no blisters. If you set off 6:30 a.m. daily you get to most destinations mid afternoon giving you plenty of time to get clean and sight see. Good luck and enjoy T:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2017
Camino Frances Sept 2020
#31
I can't help but chime in. I was 59 when I completed the Frances in 2018. I was well trained and originally planned for a 40 day trek. All the APOC meetings were helpful in planning our course with good tips and advice. Planning a realistic timeframe from the beginning will help you make your plane reservations. The most frustrated pilgrims we met were those that were rushing through because they had underestimated how long the trek would take. If you have the time...take the time to enjoy this adventure. There is something so magical about the pilgrimage that you won't expect or even understand until you start walking. The best advice we received was to break up the trek over the Pyrenees into two days, spending one night in Orrisson. It not only helps you to enjoy the first couple days, but unbeknownst to us...that was the day we met our 'Camino Family'. During the next 34 days, we deepened our friendships with these folks and had familiar faces and support for the duration of our pilgrimage. Because we had time, we were not driven to make a certain mileage each and every day. We only made reservations twice during our entire journey. We stopped when we were tired, or stopped when we read about a great albergue. We saw a sign for Casa Magica one day while eating lunch. The sign called to us and we ended up cutting our day short, having one of our favorite days on the Camino being pampered by them, lounging in hammocks, and eating a delicious evening meal they cooked for us. We loved having that flexibility. All this being said - we finished in 34 days, which gave us a few days in Santiago to welcome in our fellow pilgrim friends, enjoy a tour to Finisterre, and relax after our adventure. The difference for us was that we were relaxed each day because we were not on a tight schedule to make a pre arranged flight home. Giving yourself enough time will allow you the chance to relax and enjoy the adventure. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#33
On my first camino, the Frances, I decided to leave myself lots of time and built in one day a week to rest or do personal care. I found that I was an every day walker and did not want to stop, so I arrived in Santiago about two weeks before my flight home. I learned from that how to schedule my caminos: an average of 20 km a day on the less travelled routes, like the VdlP, but I can easily manage 25 km a day of a route like the Frances, where albergues are frequent. I suggest that you and your daughter might try walking together for a few days before you leave and determine for yourselves how far you feel comfortable walking in a day. You can build in rest days if you wish, or times to explore further. Just walking daily, 25 km a day is 32 days to Santiago. Once you know your own capacity and that of your daughter you can plan your walk together.
 

Garry Ireland

Travel Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Walking from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostella with my daughter in April (2019)
#34
I can't help but chime in. I was 59 when I completed the Frances in 2018. I was well trained and originally planned for a 40 day trek. All the APOC meetings were helpful in planning our course with good tips and advice. Planning a realistic timeframe from the beginning will help you make your plane reservations. The most frustrated pilgrims we met were those that were rushing through because they had underestimated how long the trek would take. If you have the time...take the time to enjoy this adventure. There is something so magical about the pilgrimage that you won't expect or even understand until you start walking. The best advice we received was to break up the trek over the Pyrenees into two days, spending one night in Orrisson. It not only helps you to enjoy the first couple days, but unbeknownst to us...that was the day we met our 'Camino Family'. During the next 34 days, we deepened our friendships with these folks and had familiar faces and support for the duration of our pilgrimage. Because we had time, we were not driven to make a certain mileage each and every day. We only made reservations twice during our entire journey. We stopped when we were tired, or stopped when we read about a great albergue. We saw a sign for Casa Magica one day while eating lunch. The sign called to us and we ended up cutting our day short, having one of our favorite days on the Camino being pampered by them, lounging in hammocks, and eating a delicious evening meal they cooked for us. We loved having that flexibility. All this being said - we finished in 34 days, which gave us a few days in Santiago to welcome in our fellow pilgrim friends, enjoy a tour to Finisterre, and relax after our adventure. The difference for us was that we were relaxed each day because we were not on a tight schedule to make a pre arranged flight home. Giving yourself enough time will allow you the chance to relax and enjoy the adventure. Buen Camino
Thanks for your advise. I have allowed an additional 3 days (35 in total) so hopefully all will be good
 

Garry Ireland

Travel Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Walking from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostella with my daughter in April (2019)
#35
Thanks for your advise. I have allowed an additional 3 days (35 in total) so hopefully all will be good
I can't help but chime in. I was 59 when I completed the Frances in 2018. I was well trained and originally planned for a 40 day trek. All the APOC meetings were helpful in planning our course with good tips and advice. Planning a realistic timeframe from the beginning will help you make your plane reservations. The most frustrated pilgrims we met were those that were rushing through because they had underestimated how long the trek would take. If you have the time...take the time to enjoy this adventure. There is something so magical about the pilgrimage that you won't expect or even understand until you start walking. The best advice we received was to break up the trek over the Pyrenees into two days, spending one night in Orrisson. It not only helps you to enjoy the first couple days, but unbeknownst to us...that was the day we met our 'Camino Family'. During the next 34 days, we deepened our friendships with these folks and had familiar faces and support for the duration of our pilgrimage. Because we had time, we were not driven to make a certain mileage each and every day. We only made reservations twice during our entire journey. We stopped when we were tired, or stopped when we read about a great albergue. We saw a sign for Casa Magica one day while eating lunch. The sign called to us and we ended up cutting our day short, having one of our favorite days on the Camino being pampered by them, lounging in hammocks, and eating a delicious evening meal they cooked for us. We loved having that flexibility. All this being said - we finished in 34 days, which gave us a few days in Santiago to welcome in our fellow pilgrim friends, enjoy a tour to Finisterre, and relax after our adventure. The difference for us was that we were relaxed each day because we were not on a tight schedule to make a pre arranged flight home. Giving yourself enough time will allow you the chance to relax and enjoy the adventure. Buen Camino
Certainly people have done an entire CF in that amount of time or less, but for a first time walking, you’d be cutting it close planning on 32 days. If 32 days is the absolute maximum amount of time you have, I’d think seriously about starting a few days in, say in Pamplona or Lagroño. If your heart is set on starting in SJPDP, another option would be to taxi or bus ahead on certain sections to save time. This wouldn’t be my preferred approach, but I see you’re planning to walk with your daughter, so I’m assuming your time constraints aren’t completely within your control.
Thanks for your advise. I have allowed an additional 3 days (35 in total) so hopefully all will be good
 

Garry Ireland

Travel Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Walking from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostella with my daughter in April (2019)
#36
Just as an FYI, if you have John Brierley's Guide to the Camino Frances, and if IIRC, somewhere in the introductory material in front, there is a mention of how his 33 stages came about. Simply put, it is a subjective value based on the number of years Jesus Christ was said to have lived on earth.

From this, everything else fell into place. Over the years, this one guide has caused these 33 stages to become more or less, carved in stone. Most everyone accepts this as THE STANDARD outline for doing the Camino Frances.

However, this is just one construct. You can choose to do the Camino Frances as fast or as slow as you choose. On my first go in 2013, it took me 36 days, as I had injuries that required a three day stay at Burgos. Many folks from Europe take several yeas to do it in segments as they can more easily travel to and from the nodal points (SJPdP, Pamplona Logrono, Burgos, Leon, Astorga and Sarria) by train and or bus.

On my second go, in 2014, I intentionally stretched it to 40 days. This was predicated on wanting to add rest days at places I just blew through the first time "to keep on schedule," and to walk shorter daily stages. it was a far more relaxed and more productive Camino, IMHO.

My advice is to plan for SIX weeks, 42 days. Spend two nights at St, Jean Pied de Port before you start walking. Plan an extra "rest" day at Burgos, Leon, Astorga, and perhaps Sarria.

Plan to spend the remainder of the 42 days (3 - 4 days left) at Santiago de Compostela (SCQ airport code). I believe you will be happy that you did. Also, if you stake this longer plan out when you make air reservations, then work backwards from SCQ, you can adjust your daily travels as needed to arrive 'on time.'

Most of us traveling to France or Spain from off the European continent (AUS, NZ, US, CN, etc.) have to spend a lot of money, time and effort just to get to our starting point. My view is, what's the rush? You invested so much time and treasure to get there, you may as well make it enjoyable. Time is the most valuable commodity we have as humans. At the end, no amount of treasure will buy us another day, especially another day on Camino...;)

Heck, if you have more time than 42 days, you could plan to spend several days in Madrid or Lisbon on the way home. I have done this as well. Personally, I find that, after I've done a Camino, I am in NO RUSH to return home. Any activity I can find to spend more time in Spain or Portugal is worth the added expense, to me at least. Can't get enough!

Hope this helps.
We have planned 2 nights in SJPDP, max 35 days walking and then 1 night in Santiago de Compestella. Hopefully all goes well
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
#37
I was super buff when I did it at age 60, having trained like a maniac and I did it in 33 walking days. My Camino buddies thought I was the Energizer bunny. Got into Santiago and waited for them all to arrive. I'd so like to do another, this time more slowly. Why zip by all those roses that probably smell so wonderful? Plan some down time, whether they are full or half days off.
 

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When is the best time to walk?

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