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Room for one more...

Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (2017)*

* I hope!
#1
Hello again all.

Still planning to do part of the Camino.
Still planning....
Still planning..........

My biggest hurdle right now is time.
I cannot take more than a week from work.
So if I leave on a Saturday, and return Sunday, that gives me about 7 days.

Does anyone do "short" trips like this?
Is anyone going and have room for a straggler?

The scariest part for my is booking a trip (October is my least busy time, so biggest chance of getting my time off request approved) and going out there with the best intensions, and realizing I don't know what the heck I'm doing and spending a week vegging in a quaint village (say Pamplona) stuffing my face and drinking lots of local wine and stuff (Tapas? Pinchos? Vino? YUM! :)).
This actually isn't too scary, and I would love to make that its own trip, but I would feel pretty bad because that's not what I set out to do.
So basically, I'm afraid to set a date knowing that I don't know squat.

Advice welcome, if anyone knows of anyone taking a short trip, or even a longer one that I could inject myself in for a week, please drop me a line.

Thank you all.

Alex
 

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davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#2
Between now and then, you will have ample opportunity to do some learning :) All you are doing is walking from town to town, carrying a pack with a couple of changes of clothing, some basic outerwear for the elements, a sleep system of some kind, some toiletries, etc. When you boil it down, walking Camino is a pretty simple and straightforward thing to do :)

Lodging is easy and requires not much effort at the end of the day other than to show up at the door :)

Lots of pilgrims go for short periods; your 7 days of walking is just fine to do. You have the flexibility to start anywhere you wish on Camino and to end anywhere that your 7 days will take you. Catching Buses, taxis, trains are pretty easy.

The folks on this Forum will help you out, just let us know what you need.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Norte/Liebana (Planning)
#3
Hi Alex!

Which country are you in? Do your 7 days include flying to your starting point?
Anyway, it should be plenty of time for a short - but not less amazing - Camino. Maybe choose a short rout, such as Sarria-Santiago or Tui-Santiago. You will surely get there in 7 days and will have time to explore the city.

If you are open to stay in albergues and also small inns, accommodation should not be a problem at all. October is a tranquil time at the Camino. And food, oh god, it's amazing!

Just book you ticket, your work leave and go. And let us know if you have any questions! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Portugués (2019)
#5
The scariest part for my is booking a trip (October is my least busy time, so biggest chance of getting my time off request approved) and going out there with the best intensions, and realizing I don't know what the heck I'm doing and spending a week vegging in a quaint village (say Pamplona) stuffing my face and drinking lots of local wine and stuff (Tapas? Pinchos? Vino? YUM! :)).
Off topic but Pamplona has a population of about 200,000-300,000 people (depending on the source), so it might be a quaint village in China but not Spain. :p

Best of luck with whatever you decide to do!
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#6
Many people walk short trips of less than 7 days. The whole Camino Ingles perhaps, or the final 100km of the Frances, the Primitivo, the Portugues or the Sanabres? Nothing says that you must walk the Camino Frances and start in SJPDP. You do not say where you will be travelling from. Whether it is worthwhile making a very long and possibly expensive international journey for such a short walk is a question only you can decide.
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#7
We do that - up to three times a year, because my husband is a teacher and only gets short holidays for most of the year, while summer is too hot for us to walk in Spain and Portugal.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Burgos, Camino Frances (2012 - 2018)
#8
I have been walking from Le Puy en Velay to SdC since 2012 - a week each year, covering about 150k/100 miles. I've still got a way to go, but I am in no hurry and have loved every minute of it. 7 days' walking would comfortably take you from St Jean PdP to Logrono, or if you haven't got that long, to, say, Estella, from either of which you can get a bus to (the substantial town of) Pamplona, or Madrid, depending on your point of entry. Where are you coming from?
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#9
Alex, I remember feeling absolutely clueless when I got to Pamplona. I had booked a bed at a hostal for 1 nite. The receptionist had to come look for me later to ask me if I wanted a stamp. I thought she meant postage stamp. If course she meant I should get out my credentials so she could stamp it as my starting point. The next morning, I had to go back inside after leaving to ask which way to go. Within 15 minutes of starting, I got 'lost' 3 times and each time a total stranger offered to help me. Within 2 hours, I learned about shells on the sidewalk, yellow arrows, looking for others with backpacks, and asking for help. By 3 hours, I met some fellow peregrinos (experienced, having been walking for 3 days) who showed me the ropes. Be not afraid. We are always being looked after, even though we don't realize it. Spanish people and peregrinos are kind. You just have to take the first step.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
#10
My first two Caminos were each only 5 days.

Partly because of time constaints, but the first because I didn't know if I could actually walk it, or if I'd like it. Well, I started out from Saint jean Pied de Port, and ended up in Puente de la Reina - and had only expectedto get as far as Pamplona. The second time I returned to Puente de la Reina and walked 5 days to Navarette, not far past Logrono.

Following on from those short walks, I again went back to Spain, and walked from Navarette to Carrion de los Condes over 12 days. A 4th return visit involved travelling to Astorga and walking to just past Barbadelo in 8 days. And finally a 5th visit allowed me to walk from Barbadelo to Santiago de Compostela, taking 6 days.

So it's absolutely fine to walk the Camino in short stages. Yes, it is hard to leave new friends to return home when they are continuing. But what's the alternative? Not walking? For me it was better to walk on the Camino just a few days at a time than not walk on the Camino at all. And hey, it's worth it for the fabulous pintxos and wine!

EDIT - up until Carrion de los Condes I flew into and out of Bilbao. It was an easy bus/train to and from that city, the journey usually around a couple of hours. After that,, I used airports Madrid, A Coruna and only once Santiago de Compostela.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
#11
And Alex, you don't need to to 'inject' yourself in with anyone - you may start out alone but you certainly won't be alone for long unless you really want to be. It is so easy to meet people as you walk, or in albergues, or even in the bars in Pamplona. In fact, you'd have a hard time not to meet with anyone. Trust me, you will be fine.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#12
Does anyone do "short" trips like this?
It is quite common to take a week's leave, travel, walk, return home within nine days (Saturday to Sunday following.

An issue will be ground travel to your start point and back from your end point. Assuming air arrival at Madrid, possible nine day trips (home to home) include:

1) coach to Pamplona, walk to Logrono (stopping at each bar!), coach to Madrid.

2) coach to Logrono, walk to Burgos (stopping ...), coach to Madrid

In that part of Spain, Alsa provides coach services between major towns and cities.

So, @Alex Krizel , kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (2017)*

* I hope!
#13
Hello all.
Thank you so much for the replies.
I am on the east coast in Allentown, PA.
My options are to fly out of New York, Philadelphia or Newark and fly into Lisbon or Madrid.
How are the hotels inn the villages?
I don't know if hostels will take me if I am not on pilgrimage.
How is the water situation?
What are some essentials to take with?
Do people typically carry cash or plastic?
If I do take along a [Camino] passport, where would I get it stamped?

Here's what I have so far for my bag:
Ruck: LLBean AT 40
Tent
Sleeping Bag
Inflatable Pillow
Water Filter
Small Stove
Odds/Ends (flashlight, canteen, First Aid Kit, Etc.)

This leaves room for at least 2 days worth of clothes and some snacks.
So what am I missing?
I know the stove and tent are extra, but really minimal space there.

I would like to leave on a Saturday, hike Sunday through Saturday and return on Sunday.
That's 2 travel days and 7 days of walking.
I hope not to be rushed or do things last minute.
My original plan was a 2 week from Porto to SdC, but I will never get that time off.
Another plan was Tuy to SdC in 5 then to Finisterre, but I don't think I can make that in 2 days.

So, many options and much to think about.
I am thinking middle of October.
Still nervous about the planning and the not knowing.
Really kind of afraid to set a date and buy a ticket because once I do, it becomes "real".

Anyway, thank you again for all the input.
Any and all advice is much appreciated.
And geographic insights (like Pamplona being larger than the town I live in :)) are also appreciated.

And it anyone has done this or has an itinerary, please feel free to post.

Be well,

Alex
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#14
Hello all.
Thank you so much for the replies.
I am on the east coast in Allentown, PA.
My options are to fly out of New York, Philadelphia or Newark and fly into Lisbon or Madrid.
How are the hotels inn the villages?
I don't know if hostels will take me if I am not on pilgrimage.
How is the water situation?
What are some essentials to take with?
Do people typically carry cash or plastic?
If I do take along a [Camino] passport, where would I get it stamped?

Here's what I have so far for my bag:
Ruck: LLBean AT 40
Tent
Sleeping Bag
Inflatable Pillow
Water Filter
Small Stove
Odds/Ends (flashlight, canteen, First Aid Kit, Etc.)

This leaves room for at least 2 days worth of clothes and some snacks.
So what am I missing?
I know the stove and tent are extra, but really minimal space there.

I would like to leave on a Saturday, hike Sunday through Saturday and return on Sunday.
That's 2 travel days and 7 days of walking.
I hope not to be rushed or do things last minute.
My original plan was a 2 week from Porto to SdC, but I will never get that time off.
Another plan was Tuy to SdC in 5 then to Finisterre, but I don't think I can make that in 2 days.

So, many options and much to think about.
I am thinking middle of October.
Still nervous about the planning and the not knowing.
Really kind of afraid to set a date and buy a ticket because once I do, it becomes "real".

Anyway, thank you again for all the input.
Any and all advice is much appreciated.
And geographic insights (like Pamplona being larger than the town I live in :)) are also appreciated.

And it anyone has done this or has an itinerary, please feel free to post.

Be well,

Alex
  • You do not need a tent or stove, it is extra weight when you need to minimize weight, Alex. :) You are walking town to town to village to city, you are not backpacking in the wild :)
  • The water filter is not needed as European water supplies are as safe as in the US. And there are lots of options to buy water, if you feel sketchy about a place, although I've not felt unsafe at any location yet.
  • It is a cash economy. Most folks will carry a couple of hundred Euros, and then hit the ATM when more are needed.
  • Your pack size is fine.
  • Lots of lodging options are available, the smaller the village the more limited the choice. Albergues are frequent and are an inexpensive option for pilgrims. Casa Rurals, hostels, hotels, etc can be found also. Booking.com can let you get a good look at those lodging options in any of the Camino locations. Just be sure, when looking at a specific choice, that it is located in that town :)
  • Buying the plane ticket is always a 'pulling the trigger, oh my gosh' moment for a lot of us. But, you just confirm you can get the time and then DO IT. There is a good side to committing oneself.
  • You avoid feeling rushed at the last minute by planning, making a checklist(s), and making needed arrangements far enough in advance so that you avoid stress. :)
  • No one can really plan for you, Alex. Once you set your goal as to where you wish to finish, and where to start, then there is a lot of information that you can read over at your leisure by plugging a topic you need to know more about into the search engine. The more you do on your own to read and gather information, the more confidence you will have as your mind sorts through things and the subject matter becomes more and more familiar.
  • Purchase a guide book from Ivar's store (store button above). It really doesn't matter which author, as long as it is for the route you want to walk. Read through it and become familiar with the information at your own pace.
  • Another good resource with a great FAQs section for beginners is on the APOC site (American Pilgrims On Camino) http://www.americanpilgrims.org/frequently-asked-questions-faqs- There is also a good section on the various Camino Routes: http://www.americanpilgrims.org/route-overviews
  • Take things one step at a time, instead of as a whole chunk. Your first focus should be when you want to go and getting your vacation time, then where to start and end, then putting your kit and gear together. Finishing one step before going to the next will keep the overwhelming feelings to a minimum.
  • There are a ton of good YouTube videos which show day to day life as a pilgrim. Watch some as they can help you pick up knowledge and acclimate you.
  • October is a great time for Camino... I'll be back on Camino Frances from September 18 til the middle or so of October myself.
  • The guidebooks, mentioned above, can help give you geographical insights into the various cities, towns, and villages along your chosen Camino route.
  • I've posted my gear list below to help you visualize a packing list. It is an example, not a biblical directive :)


1531360847367.png
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Norte/Liebana (Planning)
#15
Dear Alex, the comment above by Dave, who is an equipment specialist, says most f it.

There is really NO need to take the tent (as camping is illegal in many places along the trail), the stove or the filter. It's a bit of an overkill, even if they are light. There are so many options for accommodation and amazing food that you may feel a bit weird carrying those things. It's like taking your own ketchup to New York, imho.
Two days worth of clothing and snacks seem fine - maybe a third pair of socks very light rain jacket of poncho, as well? You can post your list here and we are all happy to help!

For the camino, it's all cash. Take some euros with you, and use the card only to get more euros from ATMs along the way. It's good to check if your bank charges fees to do that.

You mentioned Tui to Santiago. That is an amazing route, well marked and with cheap accommodation and food. I walked it last year (started from Porto) and loved it! The cities are not as large as Pamplona, but you will still pass by many places with 100,000+ people. And do not rush to go to Finisterre as well. Maybe focus in taking your time to get to Santiago (it may take more than 5 days), enjoy the city and keep walking only if you feel like. If not, take the bus there :)

About equipment, I don't have the weight of each item, but here is a quick list of my items (total = 5.3kg) for an April Camino:

(Does not include what I wear: Tshirt, knee-zip pants, hat, bra, underwear, socks, sneakers, sunglasses, neck buff, hairband and ziplock with money/documents)

Clothes
2 quick dry tshirts
2 microfiber underwear
2 socks
lycra leggings
shorts
flip-flops
puffy jacket
plastic poncho

Toiletries
airplane toothbrush
mini toothpaste
45ml contact lenses fluid
contact lenses case
mini hairbrush
90ml moistoriser with sunblocker
hotel-size shampoo (also used as soap and to wash clothes)
medicaments/band aids
microfiber towel

Others
Phone / phone charger
Small Tablet (my guilty pleasure item. Same brand as phone, uses same charger)
notebook and pen
minitorch
day bag
silk liner
water bottle
safety pins

All inside my faithful 26L backpack which I got for free with my laptop and is the most comfortable I've ever carried (besides being quite light) :)

- If any of those thing ended, I would just buy a new one, refill my containers and share with other pilgrims. Or get a new one from the ammenities set in case we stopped in a hotel/inn instead of albergue.

- If it got colder, I'd just wear everything layered.

- Phone took the (almost none) pictures I wanted. I rarely take pictures of anything. I wrote a lot, though.

I hope that helps. Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (2017)*

* I hope!
#16
Thank you again to everyone.
I am looking at the calendar and I am looking at Oct 20-28.
2 travel days and 7 walking days.
I guess I feel weird with a pack on my back and no tent, hammock, water filter, etc.
But you are 100% right.
I am walking town to town, not hiking the AT.

Quick aside, DaveBugg, what branch did you serve in?

Anyway, back to the trip.
What are the ATMs like?
How much of a fee do they charge?

How much are hotels?
I read Hostels are about 10-15 Euros.
What about food?
I am not looking for steak and lobster.
Just an idea what an average local meal is, and what the liquid nourishment costs.
What is the average to spend in a week?
How much should I realistically bring and how much should I get along the way?

Besides that, I am sure I will have more questions come up as time gets closer.

Thank you all again for your posts and replies.

Be well,

Alex
 

davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#18
Thank you again to everyone.
I am looking at the calendar and I am looking at Oct 20-28.
2 travel days and 7 walking days.
I guess I feel weird with a pack on my back and no tent, hammock, water filter, etc.
But you are 100% right.
I am walking town to town, not hiking the AT.

Quick aside, DaveBugg, what branch did you serve in?

Anyway, back to the trip.
What are the ATMs like?
How much of a fee do they charge?

How much are hotels?
I read Hostels are about 10-15 Euros.
What about food?
I am not looking for steak and lobster.
Just an idea what an average local meal is, and what the liquid nourishment costs.
What is the average to spend in a week?
How much should I realistically bring and how much should I get along the way?

Besides that, I am sure I will have more questions come up as time gets closer.

Thank you all again for your posts and replies.

Be well,

Alex
  • 40 Euros a day, if using albergues, and eating from the 'pilgrim menu' at eating establishments, would be more than sufficient.
  • Lots of eateries from fancy restaurants to simple establishments and bars. Again, there are filling and good menu selections that are inexpensive. Lots of places to grab bocadillos (sandwiches), Cokes, juice drinks, snacks, etc. There are also plenty of supermercados to do grocery shopping for picking up stuff.
  • A lot of pilgrims will carry between two and three hundred Euros, and use a debit card to replenish when down to 5 to 75 Euro. The fees are usually a combination of currency conversion fees, out-of-network ATM fees, the fees to use the ATM. Check with your bank for specifics. Many of us use a Charles Schwab account debit card (it is free to get when opening an account which is free, too. It is an example of a banking provider which will automatically reimburse or completely waive any of the usual fees associated with ATM use. If interested, go to their website (Google it) and check on it. it is easy to open an account, but does take a bit of time to get everything lined up.
  • A lot of your questions do have answers via the search engine :)
 

Aurigny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, 2016; Português Central, 2017; Português Interior, 2017; Primitivo, 2018.
#21
It depends on how fit you are. I'm a middle-aged man in a sedentary line of work, and wouldn't call myself any kind of athlete. But I covered the complete Porto-to-SdC route eighteen months ago in seven walking days -- actually just one hour short of a week (left the Cathedral after 11:00 Mass on Sunday, and arrived at the Pilgrims' Office in SdC at 10:00 the following Sunday). It wasn't a killing pace for me by any means. I did it in January; the weather in October should be more favourable still. It's perfectly achievable, then, if you're in decent shape and sufficiently motivated.
 
Last edited:

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#22
@Alex Krizel , gidday again

A lot of the queries you have seem to be the kind I had before setting off two years ago. Within less than a day I had a high comfort level. It was just like being at home, just a different language.

Most important is to keep your weight (your own and what you carry down. My pack weigt all up (including water, tablet, a snack, sleeping bag, two changes of clothes, camera, two changes of clothes and incidentals) is under 65 kg (under 14 lb)

And to have a good stamina before you start: it will make for a more enjoyable time.

PS: suggest you allow two days for travel each way = 4 days in total. If you start at Lisbon then 3 days total (1 to retrun to Lisbon).
 

Michael-FL

New Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
#23
Hello again all.

Still planning to do part of the Camino.
Still planning....
Still planning..........

My biggest hurdle right now is time.
I cannot take more than a week from work.
So if I leave on a Saturday, and return Sunday, that gives me about 7 days.

Does anyone do "short" trips like this?
Is anyone going and have room for a straggler?

The scariest part for my is booking a trip (October is my least busy time, so biggest chance of getting my time off request approved) and going out there with the best intensions, and realizing I don't know what the heck I'm doing and spending a week vegging in a quaint village (say Pamplona) stuffing my face and drinking lots of local wine and stuff (Tapas? Pinchos? Vino? YUM! :)).
This actually isn't too scary, and I would love to make that its own trip, but I would feel pretty bad because that's not what I set out to do.
So basically, I'm afraid to set a date knowing that I don't know squat.

Advice welcome, if anyone knows of anyone taking a short trip, or even a longer one that I could inject myself in for a week, please drop me a line.

Thank you all.

Alex
Alex, 7 days should be fine and enough to do the last 100km of either the Camino Portugues, starting in Tui, or the C Frances starting in Sarria. The Portugues is somewhat less crowded than the CF and is my favorite. The scenery is awesome, the people warm and friendly and the food is the best. 7 days should give you enough time dpending on where you’re flying from. 9-10 days might better accommodate your travel to and from. Buen Camino.
 

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