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Santiago to Leon backwards?

Liltravlr

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés (2020)
Hi, I was going to just do the last 100kms in 2020 but of course canceled due to pandemic. In 2021 & 2022 my sister (walking partner) couldn’t get the time off (nurse). I was just laid off & after 22 years, I will have a solid break (May-August), & would like to do more, although not the whole Camino. However, I will be alone. I can do the last section & get my Compostela, but what if I want to do more?
1. I need taxi service to carry my large bag daily. I hear this service exists on the last portion from Sarría, but what if I were to go backwards from there to Leon?
2. Also, why do people say “the last 100km”? I hear it is actually more like 120km to get your Compostela. This makes a big difference to someone like me who will only walk 10km/day, as it adds on 2 nights necessary accommodation.
Thanks!
 
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1. There is bag transport on the full route from Roncevalles (some companies also serve the section from St Jean Pied de Port to Roncevalles) but you won't get a regular transport company to transport your bag backwards. Taxis are available almost everywhere but could be expensive and a bit time-consuming to arrange every day.
2. You can actually start nearer to Santiago. The rule is you must walk 100km so that is why people talk about it. You may need to take a taxis to reach the exact 100km point, though.
 
Hi, I was going to just do the last 100kms in 2020 but of course canceled due to pandemic. In 2021 & 2022 my sister (walking partner) couldn’t get the time off (nurse). I was just laid off & after 22 years, I will have a solid break (May-August), & would like to do more, although not the whole Camino. However, I will be alone. I can do the last section & get my Compostela, but what if I want to do more?
1. I need taxi service to carry my large bag daily. I hear this service exists on the last portion from Sarría, but what if I were to go backwards from there to Leon?
2. Also, why do people say “the last 100km”? I hear it is actually more like 120km to get your Compostela. This makes a big difference to someone like me who will only walk 10km/day, as it adds on 2 nights necessary accommodation.
Thanks!
I hope it works out for you.

1. I don’t know. It’s an interesting question. I suspect the providers are geared-up to transporting in the ‘conventional’ east to west direction.

2 From the centre of Sarria to the cathedral in Santiago is in the order of 110km. Given the minimum qualifying distance for a compostella on-foot, Sarria is simply cited as the nearest convenient starting point
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
I can't speak for other routes, but Sarria proper is about 114 km from the Plaza. That might be where you're seeing 120km.

The requirements for a Compostela from the Pilgrims Office are to walk or ride horseback continuously in one direction towards Santiago de Compostela on an acknowledged route and to obtain 2 stamps (sellos) per day that you travel.

If 20km is that large a concern, consider starting in Lugo from the 100km point, proceeding to Melide on the lower portion of the Primitivo, and then to Santiago on the Frances.
 
1. There are companies, including the post office that pick up bags and drop them off each day, but they are picking up and then driving west. They drop off in the next few towns along the way. I don't imagine there is any way they could then pick up your bag and go in the opposite direction. The post office web site, Correos, does not have that option.

But if you were going to return to Sarria to walk to Leon, you could choose to take a bus or train to Leon, and then walk to Sarria. Then you would be able to use the companies that transport the bags every day. Also, you would then have the arrows showing you when to turn on the route - you won't be able to see them if you are walking in the opposite direction.

2. The LAST 100 km is because you have to walk into Santiago to receive the Compostela. You can't get the Compostela for walking any 100 km of a route in Spain and then take transportation to Santiago.

Have you considered just starting in Leon? If you start in Leon, and feel it is too far, you can take a bus, taxi or train to Sarria and start from there. You just cannot take any public transportation after Sarria if you want to receive a Compostela.

You also should check the size of bags that the couriers deliver. I'm not sure what the weight allowance is.
 
1. I need taxi service to carry my large bag daily. I hear this service exists on the last portion from Sarría, but what if I were to go backwards from there to Leon?
The best thing to do, I imagine, is to make contact with any companies providing the service and asking them.

You've mentioned May to August but don't actually say how long you plan to be in Spain.

If you plan on walking no more than 10km per day Sarria to Santiago will take 10 days ish....
No reason why you couldn't go on to Finisterre? Or maybe using public transport head back to places like Leon, Burgos, Pamplona, etc. to soak up some of the Camino atmosphere with less of the stress. In fact no reason that you couldn't do that first, no? Walk a little, bus a lot, visit the places you want to visit then walk from Sarria?

Is it necessary that you spend the extra time (after Santiago) walking?
Spain is a pretty big and diverse place. It might be interesting to see the non-pilgrim side of it too? (Apologies for the heresy on a Camino forum :) )

By the way .... June, July and August are amongst the hottest times of the year. This year wildfires affected pilgrims on a few different routes to Santiago.
 
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1. There is bag transport on the full route from Roncevalles (some companies also serve the section from St Jean Pied de Port to Roncevalles) but you won't get a regular transport company to transport your bag backwards. Taxis are available almost everywhere but could be expensive and a bit time-consuming to arrange every day.
2. You can actually start nearer to Santiago. The rule is you must walk 100km so that is why people talk about it. You may need to take a taxis to reach the exact 100km point, though.
Thank you!
 
If you want to do more, I would suggest that you walk from Santiago to Finisterre and MuxIa, which would take between 4 to 6 days depending on how far you walk each day. If you want more after (or before) that you can take the train from Santiago to A Coruña (only a half hour train trip) and walk the Camino Inglés. Usually 4 days from Coruña or 5 days from Ferrol.

I don't think that I would enjoy walking "backwards" from León to Santiago, and I don't think that bag transport goes that way.

You may have been looking at current bag transport during the winter, and it's true that it's not generally available for the parts of the Camino beyond Sarria until around April.

Correos starts their full service in April.

 
The best thing to do, I imagine, is to make contact with any companies providing the service and asking them.

You've mentioned May to August but don't actually say how long you plan to be in Spain.

If you plan on walking no more than 10km per day Sarria to Santiago will take 10 days ish....
No reason why you couldn't go on to Finisterre? Or maybe using public transport head back to places like Leon, Burgos, Pamplona, etc. to soak up some of the Camino atmosphere with less of the stress. In fact no reason that you couldn't do that first, no? Walk a little, bus a lot, visit the places you want to visit then walk from Sarria?

Is it necessary that you spend the extra time (after Santiago) walking?
Spain is a pretty big and diverse place. It might be interesting to see the non-pilgrim side of it too? (Apologies for the heresy on a Camino forum :) )

By the way .... June, July and August are amongst the hottest times of the year. This year wildfires affected pilgrims on a few different routes to Santiago.
Absolutely all good questions!
Yes I will contact one or two companies. I have spoken to a few about doing a custom Camino because I don’t want to sleep in hostels; I’m a super light sleeper and I don’t want to get woken up at 5 AM and have to hurry to get the next booking. I would love to share some meals and wouldn’t mind doing that once or twice but mostly I want my own room, a nice hotel with a pool, centrally located, or maybe a parador/monastery/castle or some such unique accommodation, and I plan to take two or three rest days to explore the bigger towns, & do some different form of exercise like yoga or swim.
At this point all I know is I’m free around the end of the first week of May. I might be free as early as April 30 ( The trial I have to do is scheduled to finish April 28, but it may be extended a few days ), but if I do have April 30 to May 5 free, I plan to visit my friend in Oslo as there is a salsa dance conference there. I can really take as long as I want and go to Spain whenever I want within that 4-mo period. My original plan was always starting the Camino June 15, taking about two weeks, because my sister may be free then. I like it warm, & want to take advantage of the longest daylight.
I have many other plans for the 4 months: I will be taking a week to see a friend in Georgia and study Russian, before visiting Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia. I was in Georgia before in July and it was very hot, but I like it that way. There is a dance festival May 17 in Spain I would like to go to, so I was thinking possibly Seychelles, Mozambique, and Madagascar for the first two weeks of May, because the southern beaches in Spain I don’t think would be hot enough at that time of year for me and I really would like some beach vacation when I first finish work.😁 Then the dance festival, Tunisia & southern Spain (Cadiz, Alicante, Marbella, Málaga, a tennis workshop in Barcelona, Ibiza, then start the Camino.
Finisterre is an excellent idea. I could leave my pack with my friend and Santiago and I will suggest that to my sister. How many kms walking that segment?
That would take me up to July 3, when my sister has to go back to work. Then I could do transport as you suggest to Leon, Burgos & Pamplona, then go to the ‘Stans. I know Pamplona would be crazy around the San Fermin festival, but now that you mention it, maybe I’d like to do that! I did La Tomatina a few years ago and that was hilarious and fun.
Thanks so much for your ideas!
 
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If you want to do more, I would suggest that you walk from Santiago to Finisterre and MuxIa, which would take between 4 to 6 days depending on how far you walk each day. If you want more after (or before) that you can take the train from Santiago to A Coruña (only a half hour train trip) and walk the Camino Inglés. Usually 4 days from Coruña or 5 days from Ferrol.

I don't think that I would enjoy walking "backwards" from León to Santiago, and I don't think that bag transport goes that way.

You may have been looking at current bag transport during the winter, and it's true that it's not generally available for the parts of the Camino beyond Sarria until around April.

Correos starts their full service in April.

Thanks so much for the Correos tip!
For the Inglés, 4 days at average how many kms? I’d need a taxi after 10ish.
 
Thanks so much for the Correos tip!
For the Inglés, 4 days at average how many kms? I’d need a taxi after 10ish.
You should be able to create your own stages somewhat.
You can look Gronze (it's in Spanish, but if you use the Chrome browser it will automatically translate to English) for their suggested stages, but there should be enough intermediate towns for you to stop when you need to.

 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Hi, I was going to just do the last 100kms in 2020 but of course canceled due to pandemic. In 2021 & 2022 my sister (walking partner) couldn’t get the time off (nurse). I was just laid off & after 22 years, I will have a solid break (May-August), & would like to do more, although not the whole Camino. However, I will be alone. I can do the last section & get my Compostela, but what if I want to do more?
1. I need taxi service to carry my large bag daily. I hear this service exists on the last portion from Sarría, but what if I were to go backwards from there to Leon?
2. Also, why do people say “the last 100km”? I hear it is actually more like 120km to get your Compostela. This makes a big difference to someone like me who will only walk 10km/day, as it adds on 2 nights necessary accommodation.
Thanks!
Everyone else has pretty much said it. Travel from East to West. I would recommend Sarria to Santiago then see if you truly want to go further. Or in case you have an injury that limits you.
I have heard that there is indeed a weight limit on the bag service. Hopefully someone will post what the weight limit is.
May most important advice:
1. Make sure you get your passport stamped TWICE a day from Sarria to Santiago
2. Do walking before you arrive (I didn't the first time I came and was crippled by plantar fasciiti)
3, Stick to just essential items (there are many posts in regards to this.
4. After 3 walks in heat that really took a toll on me, I have now vowed to avoid the worse heat of summer. So I would recommend that you go in May.
 
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Everyone else has pretty much said it. Travel from East to West. I would recommend Sarria to Santiago then see if you truly want to go further. Or in case you have an injury that limits you.
I have heard that there is indeed a weight limit on the bag service. Hopefully someone will post what the weight limit is.
May most important advice:
1. Make sure you get your passport stamped TWICE a day from Sarria to Santiago
2. Do walking before you arrive (I didn't the first time I came and was crippled by plantar fasciiti)
3, Stick to just essential items (there are many posts in regards to this.
4. After 3 walks in heat that really took a toll on me, I have now vowed to avoid the worse heat of summer. So I would recommend that you go in May.
Thank you for the info, hadn’t thought about weight limit. My Eagle Creek bag can’t take much more than about 25lbs to transport. I will carry a tiny day pack with water & protein bars, umbrella & waterproof pants, & charger. I haven’t yet looked at paper maps for the Sarria to Santiago stage. I surely don’t want to get lost but I’m hoping there will be tons of signs, people, towns & cell service on that most popular portion.
Good point was made by earlier poster that wildfires may interfere in July; we’ve had that in Vancouver, & get it up the coast from California, but not that early. I would anticipate being done by July 1.
Thank you for reminder of 2 stamps/day! I’m just trying to look into all the details but I would hope that the company I hire for booking accommodation and transport would advise me on such things. I’m not going to have time before I leave. I’m trying to read all the daily & weeky posts here for relevant concerns but it’s all new to me!
I do speak Spanish (& French), & can walk, but I failed to summit Kilimanjaro because I tried to do too much. I know I can do 10km comfortably & not interested in pushing farther than that. If my sister confirms her time off, I will likely go then (mid-June) so I’m not alone for my first experience on the Camino.
 
mostly I want my own room, a nice hotel with a pool, centrally located, or maybe a parador/monastery/castle
I really would like some beach vacation when I first finish work.😁 Then the dance festival, Tunisia & southern Spain (Cadiz, Alicante, Marbella, Málaga, a tennis workshop in Barcelona, Ibiza, then start the Camino.
Then I could do transport as you suggest to Leon, Burgos & Pamplona, then go to the ‘Stans. I know Pamplona would be crazy around the San Fermin festival, but now that you mention it, maybe I’d like to do that!
I tried to do too much
Do you think that might be true for your current plans where you are squeezing the Camino in between salsa dancing, Russian lessons and a tennis workshop? I'm curious what sort of experience you are seeking on the Camino. There are probably better places to go, for hotels with swimming pools and yoga classes.
 
Do you think that might be true for your current plans where you are squeezing the Camino in between salsa dancing, Russian lessons and a tennis workshop? I'm curious what sort of experience you are seeking on the Camino. There are probably better places to go, for hotels with swimming pools and yoga classes.
I agree. No tennis😁
 
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If the camino is something on your bucket list - and if you want it to be comfortable in every way - by all means hire a tour operator.
Maybe try these folks:
 
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