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Sanabres Solo?

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Camino Frances planned for 2018.
#1
Hi,
Considering the VDLP from mid September 2018. I would like to take the Sanabres variant rather than continue on to Astorga and the Camino Frances, but I'm concerned that it might be too solitary. I've been reading a great blog (Margaret Caffyn. ) She walked at the same time of the year said she saw no others for days at a time. I've just finished the Le Puy Chemin which was also fairly quiet but not to that extent. What has been others' experience? This will be my third Camino and I will be doing it alone, as per the other two.

cheers,
Richard.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#2
I walked the Sanabres from A Gudina to Santiago in February this year. In ten days of walking I met only 2 other pilgrims. For eight of my ten nights I was entirely alone in the albergues. That suits me fine. I would expect there to be more pilgrims in September though. If having company along the way is important to you then I think you would do well to consider another route. The Sanabres is definitely one of the roads less travelled.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#3
I actually think that most people who were walking the VdlP when I last walked it did take the Sanabres rather than Astorga.
I started in Seville in mid-August...and probably turned toward Ourense in early September. There were others around most of the time and we
did connect with a small group of other pilgrims that stayed fairly close. It got pretty crowded after Ourense which is the official 100 km point.
The muni albergue in Ourense was full with most starting there and on a first time camino.

I found the Le Puy route to be much more quiet.
 

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Camino Frances planned for 2018.
#4
I walked the Sanabres from A Gudina to Santiago in February this year. In ten days of walking I met only 2 other pilgrims. For eight of my ten nights I was entirely alone in the albergues. That suits me fine. I would expect there to be more pilgrims in September though. If having company along the way is important to you then I think you would do well to consider another route. The Sanabres is definitely one of the roads less travelled.
Thanks for that. I'm for a happy medium. I'm fine walking alone all day if necessary, but two other pilgrims in 10 days - I'd be concerned about security at least as much as loneliness, more so probably. Easy to sprain an ankle, fall down a ravine, have a medical problem etc etc.
 

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Camino Frances planned for 2018.
#5
I actually think that most people who were walking the VdlP when I last walked it did take the Sanabres rather than Astorga.
I started in Seville in mid-August...and probably turned toward Ourense in early September. There were others around most of the time and we
did connect with a small group of other pilgrims that stayed fairly close. It got pretty crowded after Ourense which is the official 100 km point.
The muni albergue in Ourense was full with most starting there and on a first time camino.

I found the Le Puy route to be much more quiet.
Grayland didn't you fry in the heat at that time of the year?
 

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Camino Frances planned for 2018.
#7
Keep in mind that Bradypus walked in February. I would not expect to find numbers on most routes...except the CF...in February.
or....maybe the other pilgrims were just avoiding him...it is possible. :cool:
!
 

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Camino Frances planned for 2018.
#8
Yes I thought the same thing (February, not the other idea . ) LOL.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#9
Grayland didn't you fry in the heat at that time of the year?
Yes! It was 50c to 55c everyday for most of two weeks. Hot all night and in the pre-dawn morning.
As soon as the sun came up the heat just soared. Heat moderated from Salamanca on. My wife met me in Salamanca so did not get the high heat.
Much cooler on the Sanabres and we had to buy a fleece along the way as we only had tee shirts and shorts.

I did not see another pilgrim (except for a couple of bikers) until Salamanca.
 
Last edited:

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#10
or....maybe the other pilgrims were just avoiding him...it is possible. :cool:
I didn't give them any warning I was on my way :) But this sort of thing happens to me a lot. I walked for three weeks through France before I met another pilgrim - and that was pre-arranged through Facebook. And over 500km of the Olavsleden in Sweden and Norway I only met three! I like a quiet life and if walking in off-season makes that possible then that's fine by me :)
 

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Camino Frances planned for 2018.
#11
Yes! It was 50c to 55c everyday for most of two weeks. Hot all night and in the pre-dawn morning.
As soon as the sun came up the heat just soared. Heat moderated from Salamanca on. My wife met me in Salamanca so did not get the high heat.
Much cooler on the Sanabres and we had to buy a fleece along the way as we only had tee shirts and shorts.

I did not see another pilgrim (except for a couple of bikers) until Salamanca.
I'm not surprised you didn't see any pilgrims - freeze in February or fry in August. What time of the year did you do the Le Puy route? I'd usually see at least a couple of others each day. Can't remember if there were any days when I saw absolutely nobody, maybe there were one or two.....Mind you, interactions were usually minimal. Generally it was a quick "bonjour!" as the mainly French walkers scooted by.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#12
ADDED:
I did the CF in January of last year and hit some pretty serious snow and wind/sleet.
Now I have bookends and can take it off from my bucket list. :)

I reached St. Jean from Le Puy on May 1st. Heavy rain for almost every day. I did see others and had a few I walked with...but quiet most of the time.
The crowds in and out of SJPP were a shock after the quiet of the Le Puy...almost as bad as hitting Sarria after the CF (in the old days).
 

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Camino Frances planned for 2018.
#13
ADDED:
I did the CF in January of last year and hit some pretty serious snow and wind/sleet.
Now I have bookends and can take it off from my bucket list. :)

I reached St. Jean from Le Puy on May 1st. Heavy rain for almost every day. I did see others and had a few I walked with...but quiet most of the time.
The crowds in and out of SJPP were a shock after the quiet of the Le Puy...almost as bad as hitting Sarria after the CF (in the old days).
Bad luck about the rain. I think I got your share of the good weather - it was glorious with only a couple of days of heavy rain and only a very few more of intermittent showers. I did walk with some others for a few days on and off - and I will keep in touch with two of them, but generally speaking I was "seul au monde'
 

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Camino Frances planned for 2018.
#14
Bad luck about the rain. I think I got your share of the good weather - it was glorious with only a couple of days of heavy rain and a only a very few more of intermittent showers. I did walk with some others for a few days on and off - and I will keep in touch with two of them, but generally speaking I was "seul au monde'
And yes, the crowds in SJPP! - I was glad I wasn't going onwards. Very Sarria-like, you're right.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18
#15
I started from Salamanca on 9th Sept and there were a few pilgrims each night,more after Zamora . More still after Ourense so I was never alone unless staying in private accomodation. Could have done with more female company towards the end but my Spanish amigos were lovely.
Enjoyed it immensely. I only wore my rain clothes on the last morning but the sun shone for our entry to Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte?
#16
I walked the Sanabres in May, it was not busy, but there were most of the time 5 - 10 people in the albergues. Most of the people I met on the VdlP walked the Sanabres and not to Astorga
 

aisbr

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP (17), Frances (16,11,12&13), Portuguese (15), Norte & Primitivo (14), Finisterre & Muxia
#17
Last September I walked from Merida to Santiago solo & walked the Sanabres route. There were a core group of people every day & while I usually walked on my own each day there was always company in the evenings. The closer I got to Santiago the busier the albergues got. I often find on the quieter routes like this while there are fewer people on the route, those that are on it look out for each other & i feel you make stronger connections with people. I always felt safe on this route too. Loved it & will definetly return some day.
 

Dan the Man

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August 23,2015
#19
Hi,
Considering the VDLP from mid September 2018. I would like to take the Sanabres variant rather than continue on to Astorga and the Camino Frances, but I'm concerned that it might be too solitary. I've been reading a great blog (Margaret Caffyn. ) She walked at the same time of the year said she saw no others for days at a time. I've just finished the Le Puy Chemin which was also fairly quiet but not to that extent. What has been others' experience? This will be my third Camino and I will be doing it alone, as per the other two.

cheers,
Richard.
Richard

I too am interested in this same route but have the EXACT same concerns as you
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017
#20
Hi,
Considering the VDLP from mid September 2018. I would like to take the Sanabres variant rather than continue on to Astorga and the Camino Frances, but I'm concerned that it might be too solitary. I've been reading a great blog (Margaret Caffyn. ) She walked at the same time of the year said she saw no others for days at a time. I've just finished the Le Puy Chemin which was also fairly quiet but not to that extent. What has been others' experience? This will be my third Camino and I will be doing it alone, as per the other two.

cheers,
Richard.
Hi Richard, oh please put something in the Avatar box... otherwise you are just a big questionmark...lol Sanabres is wonderful, more pilgrims then you think are walking it... even myself, solo, 2015. go for it. Buen Camino
 
#21
September should be no problem. I've done the Sanabrés 3 times (twice in July and 1x October) and I was never alone.

September - October are lovely months to walk, there are apples on the trees and chestnuts on the ground (lovely to roast), it hasn't yet turned cold and no problem getting a bed. I would say do it!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#22
I actually think that most people who were walking the VdlP when I last walked it did take the Sanabres rather than Astorga.
I agree. From Granja de Moreruela, most people turned onto the Sanabres. I walked on to Astorga virtually alone, even in the high VDLP season of April.

I would think that in mid-October you will have company on the Sanabres. So, if that is your preference, plan to do that. If you find it too lonely and don't encounter others who are going to walk the Sanabres, then you can take a few more days of solitude and walk to Astorga, where you will find lots of company for the rest of the walk to Santiago. You might even decide to divert onto the Invierno.
 
#23
Hi,
Considering the VDLP from mid September 2018. I would like to take the Sanabres variant rather than continue on to Astorga and the Camino Frances, but I'm concerned that it might be too solitary. I've been reading a great blog (Margaret Caffyn. ) She walked at the same time of the year said she saw no others for days at a time. I've just finished the Le Puy Chemin which was also fairly quiet but not to that extent. What has been others' experience? This will be my third Camino and I will be doing it alone, as per the other two.

cheers,
Richard.
Hi Richard, thanks for reading my blog. The Sanabres would have to be my most favourite Camino. It is breath takingly beautiful. Yes, it is the road less travelled and that made it even more fabulous. Being a man walking alone would be fine. I don’t think I would recommend it for a woman. The only thing that would concern me is if anything happened like an injury. Take your phone. I walked in October and hardly saw anyone, but others have told me it was quite busy in September. DO IT though. It is incredible
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Aug 2016-Oct(2016); Leon-Sarria, Ourense to SdC May (2017)
#24
Hi,
Considering the VDLP from mid September 2018. I would like to take the Sanabres variant rather than continue on to Astorga and the Camino Frances, but I'm concerned that it might be too solitary. I've been reading a great blog (Margaret Caffyn. ) She walked at the same time of the year said she saw no others for days at a time. I've just finished the Le Puy Chemin which was also fairly quiet but not to that extent. What has been others' experience? This will be my third Camino and I will be doing it alone, as per the other two.

cheers,
Richard.

Hola Richard,
I wouldn't worry too much about it. I walked the Sanabres from Ourense in May and, while more solitary than the Frances, I came across other pilgrims on a daily basis. Never spent a night alone in an albergue, even at the monastery at Oseira (which is a worthwhile detour!). There was a Portuguese couple there along with me and we got to go back into the monk's quarters to listen to their vespers. My guess is that it will be similar in September. I loved arriving in Santiago from the south. Ultreia!
elle
 

handzondeck2

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (x2); VdLP (x4); Portuguese (x2); Madrid (x2); S/Salvador, Primitivo, Ingles ('17) Camino 19 tba
#26
Richard

I too am interested in this same route but have the EXACT same concerns as you
Hi Dan the Man you're never alone on the Camino. I'm walking again next year April and will get to the Camino Sanabre late April. It's a great walk with plenty to see do.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#27
Walked it in July and arrived on the 23rd. I was walking with 2 others most of the time but we would see 2 or 3 others along the way in each town we stopped at. Had people start in Zamora, Granja, A Gudina, and Ourense as the main starting points. Pretty busy in the last 5 days. Most of the VDLP pilgrims do the Sanabres as the crowds of the CF seem a little much when you are used to dealing with far fewer people.
 

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Camino Frances planned for 2018.
#28
Walked it in July and arrived on the 23rd. I was walking with 2 others most of the time but we would see 2 or 3 others along the way in each town we stopped at. Had people start in Zamora, Granja, A Gudina, and Ourense as the main starting points. Pretty busy in the last 5 days. Most of the VDLP pilgrims do the Sanabres as the crowds of the CF seem a little much when you are used to dealing with far fewer people.
Yes, I'd prefer the Sanabres - and I take your point about the crowds on the CF - especially after Sarria.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
#29
I took the Astorga option when I walked alone in September/October 2016 and .... after being alone so much on the VdLP I quite enjoyed the buzz of the Frances. This September I went back to Zamora and walked the Sanabres. There were quite a few pilgrims walking at that time. The VdLP is so beautiful. Buen Camino.
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#30
I'v e walked the VDLP,all or parts, several times from 2006. That year it was blissfully quiet but even a few years later it was busy to such an extent that Lubian was over crowded with beds in the kitchen...and that was in September. I usually walk in july/august..yes it is hot but I usually sterted about 8-9 and finished about 1 so no problem. Once I got to Galicia in late September it was FREEZING..I and the Swedish people I was walking with all bought gloves to combat the cold. There is a lot of hysterics written about the VDLP...it,s fine at least you don,t have the rampaging hordes you find on the CF.
 

Kkort

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances,2008 and 2010.
Via de la plata 2016
#31
Hi,
Considering the VDLP from mid September 2018. I would like to take the Sanabres variant rather than continue on to Astorga and the Camino Frances, but I'm concerned that it might be too solitary. I've been reading a great blog (Margaret Caffyn. ) She walked at the same time of the year said she saw no others for days at a time. I've just finished the Le Puy Chemin which was also fairly quiet but not to that extent. What has been others' experience? This will be my third Camino and I will be doing it alone, as per the other two.

cheers,
Richard.
Idif the entire VdlP in 2016 and walking alone was par for the course. Most evenings, though, there were other pilgrims to spend time with. If you want to walk in solitude this is a Camino for you
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mozárabe. Vía de la plata. Sanabres portugués
#32
Hey Richard, I Walked the Sanabres two years ago. There weren't a lot of other pelgrim but I Saw a few in the evening in the albergues. For me in 5 years walking the camino, the Sanabres is the most beautiful one. I always walk alone as a woman. You always have to be alert wether you walk the camino or in a city. Just do It and enjoy It.
 

handzondeck2

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (x2); VdLP (x4); Portuguese (x2); Madrid (x2); S/Salvador, Primitivo, Ingles ('17) Camino 19 tba
#33
Thanks for that. I'm for a happy medium. I'm fine walking alone all day if necessary, but two other pilgrims in 10 days - I'd be concerned about security at least as much as loneliness, more so probably. Easy to sprain an ankle, fall down a ravine, have a medical problem etc etc.
Richie its quite safe. No falling down ravines unless you're a thrillseeker. The local civil guardia also patrol some areas of the route and if you're lonely you can always socialize with the locals. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata Oct 17
Primitivo Aug 18
#34
Hi,
Considering the VDLP from mid September 2018. I would like to take the Sanabres variant rather than continue on to Astorga and the Camino Frances, but I'm concerned that it might be too solitary. I've been reading a great blog (Margaret Caffyn. ) She walked at the same time of the year said she saw no others for days at a time. I've just finished the Le Puy Chemin which was also fairly quiet but not to that extent. What has been others' experience? This will be my third Camino and I will be doing it alone, as per the other two.

cheers,
Richard.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata Oct 17
Primitivo Aug 18
#35
Hi Richo,
I did part of the VdlP and Sanabres 3 - 27 Oct 2017. I loved every minute. It was my first Camino and I wasn't expecting to meet many people so I was pleasantly surprised. I got tendinits ('cos I didn't train enough!), as a result I stopped for a couple days in a couple of different towns/cities but ended up walking 500+ kms. I kept catching up with others coming through as I rested. There were less pilgrms and cyclists after Tabara and it got cooler (and greener) going further north. Both the weather and the landscape were awesome!! I stopped in A Gudina and caught the bus (I ran out of time - as I knew I would 'cos I only had 4 weeks). I guess it's all about the timing as to whether you meet people or not, but we often meet others at the albergues (there were a few people ahead and behind us). I believe there were more people in Sep when the weather was warmer. I went alone, and as it was my first Camino, I have nothing to compare it to, but I loved all of it. Can't wait to go back and complete it. All the best with your decision. Buen Camino.
Tikitour
 

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese, sections of Northern, Portuguese, Mozarabic.
#36
Great comments on this thread, thanks. I'm walking from Seville on January 12/13. Has anyone walked it in January? What kind of weather is it like?
I was going to do it for only two weeks, but now I'm thinking seriously of going all the way, and taking more time off work. What would the Sanabres be like in February? Doable? Thanks.
 

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