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Route Questions- Pamplona --> Rabanal (I need your expertise!!!)


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
If you are running short of time from Mansilla de las Mulas you could take a bus into Leon to avoid walking alongside motorways. This gives time to enjoy Leon. Also bus out from there then walk again from La virgin del Camino.
Hi, Joe, Welcome to the forum! Those stages look to me like the pretty standard Camino Francés stages. But rather than consolidate two days, I think you should think about rejiggering the whole thing. Add a few kms here and there and you will save a day and also have the advantage of being out of the typical end stages. Since you are walking at a time when there will be LOTS of pilgrims, staying in places other than those listed here is likely to be more relaxing and less stressful.

There is a wonderful website where you can play around with stages, go here: http://www.godesalco.com/plan/frances.

But of course all plans go out the window once you actually start to walk! Buen camino, Laurie
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
But rather than consolidate two days, I think you should think about rejiggering the whole thing. Add a few kms here and there and you will save a day and also have the advantage of being out of the typical end stages.
I agree with this and @FLEUR's bus advice is good too. Although I usually only recommend the bus out of Leon I didn't really have a great time entering Leon by foot.
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Welcome, Joseph!
If I were in your shoes, I'd be walking the whole thing rather than passing up the less pleasant bits - because it's a pilgrimage, and lots of deepening can happen in those less pleasant bits - but changing the stages as Laurie suggests. By stretching each stage just a wee bit you can make up a whole day here and there.
(I make a vague plan but do not to follow it rigidly. On the Frances where there are lots of options, I walk until I'm done for the day - and if I have to be someplace on a certain date, then I divide the Kms I need to walk by the number of days I have and try to go at least that far, if not farther.)
How wonderful to have that retreat time in Rabinal - it's such a special place.
Buen Camino!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
As VNwalking notes Rabanal is a very special place.

Imagine my surprise 17/11/2011 when entering that small Romanesque sanctuary to be greeted by cozy heat as well as the Abbot of the adjacent monastery who smiled as he directly asked "Do you speak English?". When I nodded he then handed me a selection on St Elisabeth and love to read aloud during the evening service. After briefly scanning the passage,
I went "live" in front of the assembled other pilgrims and parish members. After the service we all filed out into the frosty mountain night.

...Next morning cold fog swirled white and dense throughout the village. The local bread delivery truck was parked where the camino continues westward. Dressed in "civies" the Abbot was buying two huge loaves for his monastery. As we nodded to each other I thanked him for the past evening's service; he wished me a spiritual Buen Camino and then disappeared into the white. After these brief encounters each of us would follow our own path alone into the fog blanketed unknown.
Carrion to Sahagun is 40 km. !
Hontanos to Fromista is two days IMO. There is a killer climb after Castrojeriz.
So what we are learning from two observant people who have bothered to look at the actual stages is that as written they may already be overly ambitious for some. So I will retract my earlier recommendation that you tinker with these by adding a few kms here and there. My suggestion now is that you take @VNwalking's suggestion in combination with the godesalco planning site. Take the total number of kms, divide by the total number of days you have and then decide whether it's realistic for you. The planificador is excellent and you can play around till you get that answer. And remember that in a pinch, you can always hop on a bus anyway to make it to Rabanal, but my own pereference would be to walk as far as possible in one uninterrupted stretch and then get on the bus to take you that last bit. Rather than break it up in the middle, which always seems jolting and too manicured for me.
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
I always agree with Laurie because she's a good friend. She is correct in that you have a few stages that could be "jiggered" and made a bit longer. You need not depend of all of the popularly recommended stopping points because there are lots of midway stops. Take a look at your itinerary for stages 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18, 19, 20 there is some time you could make up there based on VNwalking's calculus. Don't forget rain and blisters can slow one down to a crawl.
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New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Fisterra (2014)
SJDP to Burgos (2018)
I couldn't do it. But I wasn't that fit last time. My longest day was 32km at the end when I had some additional fitness. I also got the largest blister as a direct result.


Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
It depends on your motivation. If you want to experience something different from a tourist trip, then do as Rebeccas suggests. Start at Pamplona or Logroño and just keep walking.

I would add that if I physically can, then I carry my own gear, taking as little as possible, and staying on foot. I let the camino bring me the terrain, landscape, village, city, industrial area, sun, rain, wind, dust, heat, mud.

My choice is to stop when I want, and sleep where I can.

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