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2019 Camino Guides

Sarria to Santiago an honest account from a first time pilgrim

Cbok82

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 18
#1
I completed my first Camino on 10th Sept from Sarria to Santiago and I can say with all honesty it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was apprehensive before leaving and even thinking of changing routes after reading a lot of negative opinions on this last 100km of the Camino Frances. So this is just my experience for those walking their first and are put off. And before I offend anyone, now I've walked my first, I absolutely understand why any veterans wouldn't want to do that route again. But as a first timer with time constraints it ain't so bad.

Personally I loved every minute. I met some fantastic people. The scenery in this section is beautiful. It is busy yes, but that can be avoided by leaving later in the day if that is what you prefer. I enjoyed the people. And the friendliness and the fact that (as cheesy as it sounds) in a world were people have become distant to one another, everyone came together, everyone could speak to one another if they wished. The willingness for people to help others was unreal. Basically the real world should take a leaf out of the Camino book. It's an experience I will never forget.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#3
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
#4
I was apprehensive before leaving and even thinking of changing routes after reading a lot of negative opinions on this last 100km of the Camino Frances.
Thanks very much for writing about your experience,

At the moment I'm planning my first Camino, reading a lot. Also considering to change the route somewhere, not to hit Sarria. Out of the same reasons you described. But maybe for a firsttimer, it's different. Because there's nothing to compare with and it might be just like you described: a fabulous experience :).
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#5
Thanks very much for writing about your experience,

At the moment I'm planning my first Camino, reading a lot. Also considering to change the route somewhere, not to hit Sarria. Out of the same reasons you described. But maybe for a firsttimer, it's different. Because there's nothing to compare with and it might be just like you described: a fabulous experience :).
As a first timer definitely take the classic Frances. It's experience in itself whatever it might be! On my first day from SJPdP to Roncesvalles I had everything but snow, hail included. And that was just a first day. Now think of another 30+ days what can happen and add people to that.
If you will be hooked despite the crowds on Sarria - SdC then you'll know why (an how) to avoid it next time ;)


Happy planning!
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#6
But maybe for a firsttimer, it's different. Because there's nothing to compare with and it might be just like you described: a fabulous experience :).
Yes it is different, the first time. Don’t be put off by what you hear.
I’ll give you an ex. Like you, before walking for the first time, I looked at forums. I was a bit worried too. I read that the first stretch should NOT be attempted in one go (St Jean pde Port to Roncesvalles) unless you were very fit. I panicked and booked Orisson.
I ended up arriving there very early and didn’t really feel like spending the rest of the day there, so cancelled my bed and ... walked on.
The advice given is always very well meant and with a genuine wish to help people....But we are all different?!
I loved the walk from Sarria the first time and also the second time... i met lovely people on that stretch, people with a different attitude and different expectations.
This year I was a bit grouchy and decided it was wayyyyyy tooo crowded.
If people read my comments, they’ll think ‘wow, I don’t want to be there!’ But it was only MY perception, my mood....on that day.
So yes, all the advice from people who have already walked it is useful but.... don’t take it too literally! ;) Go your own way:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#7
t. I panicked and booked Orisson.
I ended up arriving there very early and didn’t really feel like spending the rest of the day there, so cancelled my bed and ... walked on.
I recommend that people who will stop at Orisson not start early with the crowd that will be going all the way to Roncesvalles. Have a leisurely morning wandering the town and eating breakfast. Start around 11:00, you will still get to Orisson plenty early.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#8
I recommend that people who will stop at Orisson not start early with the crowd that will be going all the way to Roncesvalles. Have a leisurely morning wandering the town and eating breakfast. Start around 11:00, you will still get to Orisson plenty early.
I
@trecile
I have, so far, only been in St Jean pied de Port once, and saw almost nothing of it, as I arrived there in the morning, visited the pilgrim office, made a couple of purchases, and headed on up to Orisson. But you couldn't have stopped me. I was on the Way and I had to walk. I didn't mind getting to Orisson by lunchtime, as I was then properly started. But the call was too strong to wait around being a tourist in town.
 

itsmith3

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hopefully (May 2019)
#9
I completed my first Camino on 10th Sept from Sarria to Santiago and I can say with all honesty it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was apprehensive before leaving and even thinking of changing routes after reading a lot of negative opinions on this last 100km of the Camino Frances.

@trecile

Thank you! My husband and I are planning to do Sarria to Santiago next year and I was getting nervous also with all the "less than positive" comments about that section!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
#10
We walked the whole St. Frances and did sarria to Santiago in five days...July 5-10th. There were NO crowds, sometimes we walked alone and frequently wondered what all the crowd hype was about. We were in between the crowds that hit Pamplona and the Santiago on July 25th for St. James Day. Im sure there’s crowds, depending on timing. We just never saw them.
 

Mary Doll

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sarria to Santiago (2018)
#12
I walked this section from 4th to 8th September and loved my first Camino. Met so many great people and enjoyed seeing the beautiful Spanish countryside. Also loved the vino tinto, cerveza con limon and the cafe con leche. Can’t wait till I can take early retirement and start from St Jean and walk all the way to Finisterre. Only 2 years to go.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#13
thinking of changing routes after reading a lot of negative opinions on this last 100km of the Camino Frances
I think your reaction is typical for those who start in Sarria. It is the number one starting point. It does have more pilgrims than the sections leading up to it, so can be off putting for the longer distance pilgrims. There is a lot of resistance to change, so when the crowd grows from 500 to 2,000, it makes some folks a bit grumpy.:) They then bad mouth the last 114km, ignoring the beautiful terrain and the memorable fellow pilgrims. If you really want to see an abrupt change, walk the Aragones. When you hit Puente la Reina, your group of five people will suddenly become a crowd of 500!:eek:

The Pyrenees are spectacular, but the section from Sarria has the greatest variety of terrain, and presents it without being urban. I don't think that I have found any of it unpleasant. The city walk into Santiago may be as bad as going into (and out of) Burgos and Leon, but the thrill of arriving makes it lovable.

Congratulations on finding the silver lining in the walk from Sarria. With a bit more humility, I think many other pilgrims would see it your way.
 

Camino3

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#14
I too was worried about everything I read on how crowded it was. The first 2 days, we would only cross paths with other pilgrims maybe every 10 mins..although we soon found out that it was because we started 2 hrs later than others do. We had pre-booked accommodation so there was not much worry about not having a bed by starting late. Midway to Santiago we did start walking earlier to avoid the mid-afternoon heat. More pilgrims but it was a welcome sight. Didn't feel crowded at any point.

Seeing others on the way somehow gives you energy, too, at least for me. Especially on the first few days when we were mosty walking by ourselves, another km in the heat seems more doable when you see another pilgrim coming along. It's a psychological trick that I welcomed.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#15
I too was worried about everything I read on how crowded it was. The first 2 days, we would only cross paths with other pilgrims maybe every 10 mins..although we soon found out that it was because we started 2 hrs later than others do.
I think that your post makes the point very well that peoples' perception of "crowded" is relative and depends very much on their prior experience of walking the Caminos. For someone who has just walked from SJPDP or Pamplona meeting others every 10 minutes or so may well seem like a lot of people on the path. On my first Camino Frances I met perhaps 30 pilgrims in total between SJPDP and Santiago and I sometimes walked for several days without seeing another pilgrim. Over the past couple of years I walked for 20 days in winter on the Via de la Plata and met a total of 5 others. To me the crowding of the final 100km today is scarcely credible and very hard to bear. Those who come to it with different experiences and expectations will no doubt see it otherwise.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
#16
I think the issue is that many of us compare the CF from Sarria to the CF prior to Sarria.

However, if you are starting from Sarria then you have no comparator. You have no prior knowledge. Therefore, it doesn't really matter at all what the rest of the CF is like.

Just go out and love it .
 

Daran

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travelling in Oct 2018
#17
Thank you for your post Cbok82 as I am walking the same route in 3 weeks time and it is also my first Camino. I am really looking forward to it and hope that it will inspire me to do it again next year.

I am travelling with friends and we are not planning to book accommodation, preferring to see how we feel each day...large hostel room or possibly a guesthouse? Any advise?

We also want to send our backpacks ahead each day (for various reasons). Can we do this if we don't have a reservation but know what town we are heading to?

And finally, has anyone got any ideas of what the weather might be like?

Thank you in anticipation and I totally agree that people should do the Camino their way...I can't wait to get started!
 

suzTeach

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future (October 2018)
#18
I completed my first Camino on 10th Sept from Sarria to Santiago and I can say with all honesty it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was apprehensive before leaving and even thinking of changing routes after reading a lot of negative opinions on this last 100km of the Camino Frances. So this is just my experience for those walking their first and are put off. And before I offend anyone, now I've walked my first, I absolutely understand why any veterans wouldn't want to do that route again. But as a first timer with time constraints it ain't so bad.

Personally I loved every minute. I met some fantastic people. The scenery in this section is beautiful. It is busy yes, but that can be avoided by leaving later in the day if that is what you prefer. I enjoyed the people. And the friendliness and the fact that (as cheesy as it sounds) in a world were people have become distant to one another, everyone came together, everyone could speak to one another if they wished. The willingness for people to help others was unreal. Basically the real world should take a leaf out of the Camino book. It's an experience I will never forget.
Thanks for your lovely account. I love your comment "take a leaf out of the Camino book". I think that helps make any journey that much better. I can't wait! 25 days til we fly!
 

Tom Leonard

Boston Strong
Camino(s) past & future
Walking Sarria-Santiago Sept. 17,2015
#19
I completed my first Camino on 10th Sept from Sarria to Santiago and I can say with all honesty it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was apprehensive before leaving and even thinking of changing routes after reading a lot of negative opinions on this last 100km of the Camino Frances.

@trecile

Thank you! My husband and I are planning to do Sarria to Santiago next year and I was getting nervous also with all the "less than positive" comments about that section!
The reality ( did this 9/15/15 ) is that time / money restraints make this stretch doable before total commitment to the whole camino. It may be crowded at times but there is time for yourselves and great to meet people from everywhere . DON'T worry about "negative comments " it's about your ability to see Galicia and get that camino vibe . It is moderately challenging but with decent weather very rewarding .
 
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to leave South Africa on 15 September and return on 14 October 2018.
#20
I recommend that people who will stop at Orisson not start early with the crowd that will be going all the way to Roncesvalles. Have a leisurely morning wandering the town and eating breakfast. Start around 11:00, you will still get to Orisson plenty early.
Even if you are a slow stroller?
 

Bonnie M

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
#23
I completed my first Camino on 10th Sept from Sarria to Santiago and I can say with all honesty it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was apprehensive before leaving and even thinking of changing routes after reading a lot of negative opinions on this last 100km of the Camino Frances. So this is just my experience for those walking their first and are put off. And before I offend anyone, now I've walked my first, I absolutely understand why any veterans wouldn't want to do that route again. But as a first timer with time constraints it ain't so bad.

Personally I loved every minute. I met some fantastic people. The scenery in this section is beautiful. It is busy yes, but that can be avoided by leaving later in the day if that is what you prefer. I enjoyed the people. And the friendliness and the fact that (as cheesy as it sounds) in a world were people have become distant to one another, everyone came together, everyone could speak to one another if they wished. The willingness for people to help others was unreal. Basically the real world should take a leaf out of the Camino book. It's an experience I will never forget.
Thank
I completed my first Camino on 10th Sept from Sarria to Santiago and I can say with all honesty it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was apprehensive before leaving and even thinking of changing routes after reading a lot of negative opinions on this last 100km of the Camino Frances. So this is just my experience for those walking their first and are put off. And before I offend anyone, now I've walked my first, I absolutely understand why any veterans wouldn't want to do that route again. But as a first timer with time constraints it ain't so bad.

Personally I loved every minute. I met some fantastic people. The scenery in this section is beautiful. It is busy yes, but that can be avoided by leaving later in the day if that is what you prefer. I enjoyed the people. And the friendliness and the fact that (as cheesy as it sounds) in a world were people have become distant to one another, everyone came together, everyone could speak to one another if they wished. The willingness for people to help others was unreal. Basically the real world should take a leaf out of the Camino book. It's an experience I will never forget.

Thank you for sharing! I start on 10/2 on my first Camino and also from Sarria as that I am also time constrained. Your post was very reassuring. A logistics question for you, how did you get to Sarria?
 

Fluffy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
#25
I am delighted you enjoyed it! :) Congratulations on finishing :cool:
Im also a first timer , that has just finished the camino my honest opion !!!!!!
Well i dont want to upest the veterans or anyone else thinking about or doing this
This was the the worst thing i have done , its over priced, over rated , tourist trap
I nave traveled all over spain , but for a sentimental reason i choose to walk the camino
It did not enlighten me i felt all it was doing was crushing my spirit,
There us nothing nice about head down march on 7 mile + a day for what to get a bed if your quick !!! Or pay more or walk on to next town ,
I would go on but i can sense the fury ,,
As for starting in sjdp , please make people more aware how realy hard it is walking to orrisson .
Its not a walk in the park sorry ill go on
I was booked into orrisson but was sent down to kayola to sleep then go back up for food i was shattered no one gave a dam comaderie????????
The following morning i decieded to walk back down to SJDP because roncevelles was fully booked and take the bus to burgette, my husband said hello bon camino etc to about 50 people got plenty of grunts small handfull reciprocated
As i walked down i was looking a the faces of people walking up somewith so much pain all can say is why ? Why put yourself through it its more a test if endurence there has been one heart attack how many more will there be ,
Yes send bags on €4-12 a day it adds up ok if you have lots of money
I struggled no one came to our aid i carried my rucksack some one walking said to me people should not judge when your not carrying you bag , but then also have compasion for those that do and dont walk as fast !!!
We dont get the hot water
Beds are dearer
Nasty blankets
Some bloody misreable refuge owners
The only thing i can laugh about is i walked in my boots all the way got no blisters
Sorry if it offends anyone but thers the truth Bon Camino xxx
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#26
Im also a first timer , that has just finished the camino my honest opion !!!!!!
i walked in my boots all the way got no blisters
I thought you were starting September 15 from SJPdP? The Original Poster addressed starting in Sarria, and the pleasure s/he found. You clearly had a less pleasant experience, though quite as authentic. It is not for everyone, that is sure!:)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#27
Im also a first timer , that has just finished the camino my honest opion !!!!!!
Well i dont want to upest the veterans or anyone else thinking about or doing this
This was the the worst thing i have done , its over priced, over rated , tourist trap
I nave traveled all over spain , but for a sentimental reason i choose to walk the camino
It did not enlighten me i felt all it was doing was crushing my spirit,
There us nothing nice about head down march on 7 mile + a day for what to get a bed if your quick !!! Or pay more or walk on to next town ,
I would go on but i can sense the fury ,,
As for starting in sjdp , please make people more aware how realy hard it is walking to orrisson .
Its not a walk in the park sorry ill go on
I was booked into orrisson but was sent down to kayola to sleep then go back up for food i was shattered no one gave a dam comaderie????????
The following morning i decieded to walk back down to SJDP because roncevelles was fully booked and take the bus to burgette, my husband said hello bon camino etc to about 50 people got plenty of grunts small handfull reciprocated
As i walked down i was looking a the faces of people walking up somewith so much pain all can say is why ? Why put yourself through it its more a test if endurence there has been one heart attack how many more will there be ,
Yes send bags on €4-12 a day it adds up ok if you have lots of money
I struggled no one came to our aid i carried my rucksack some one walking said to me people should not judge when your not carrying you bag , but then also have compasion for those that do and dont walk as fast !!!
We dont get the hot water
Beds are dearer
Nasty blankets
Some bloody misreable refuge owners
The only thing i can laugh about is i walked in my boots all the way got no blisters
Sorry if it offends anyone but thers the truth Bon Camino xxx
I am certainly not offended by your comments (and I very much doubt anyone else will be), just sorry you didn’t enjoy it. Thank you for sharing though, it just goes to show walking the Camino isn’t for everyone!
Where did you get to in the end?
PS: One good thing is you didn’t have blisters :)
 

Fluffy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
#28
I am certainly not offended by your comments (and I very much doubt anyone else will be), just sorry you didn’t enjoy it. Thank you for sharing though, it just goes to show walking the Camino isn’t for everyone!
Where did you get to in the end?
PS: One good thing is you didn’t have blisters :)
We started earlier than we planed walked all the way i took my mums remains to santiago
I love spain and speak reasonbly good spainish hubby doesnt, love walking , just could not get my head around all this head down march on it was also very busy
Maybe because people have limited holidays ? Mybe ill just walk my Way ❤

The onlything ive got is a ghost bag feel like im still carrying my backpack
 

Fluffy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
#29
I thought you were starting September 15 from SJPdP? The Original Poster addressed starting in Sarria, and the pleasure s/he found. You clearly had a less pleasant experience, though quite as authentic. It is not for everyone, that is sure!:)
Thank you falcon started earler circumstances allowed
Each to are own thats what makes us xxx
 

Fluffy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2018
#31
I am certainly not offended by your comments (and I very much doubt anyone else will be), just sorry you didn’t enjoy it. Thank you for sharing though, it just goes to show walking the Camino isn’t for everyone!
Where did you get to in the end?
PS: One good thing is you didn’t have blisters :)
Dommgee l like your qoute
 
Camino(s) past & future
2005 2007 Frances
2016 Leon to Santiago
#32
It is very crowded in comparison to earlier in the route--almost half the 300k compostela do start there. That said, I think Astorga-Santiago and Pamplona-SantoDomingo are my favorite two sections for beauty. Certainly worth doing (more than once)..
 

Ctshagr

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances- Sarria to Santiago 2017
Camino Portugués - Porto to Santiago 2018
#33
I completed my first Camino on 10th Sept from Sarria to Santiago and I can say with all honesty it was one of the best experiences of my life. I was apprehensive before leaving and even thinking of changing routes after reading a lot of negative opinions on this last 100km of the Camino Frances. So this is just my experience for those walking their first and are put off. And before I offend anyone, now I've walked my first, I absolutely understand why any veterans wouldn't want to do that route again. But as a first timer with time constraints it ain't so bad.

Personally I loved every minute. I met some fantastic people. The scenery in this section is beautiful. It is busy yes, but that can be avoided by leaving later in the day if that is what you prefer. I enjoyed the people. And the friendliness and the fact that (as cheesy as it sounds) in a world were people have become distant to one another, everyone came together, everyone could speak to one another if they wished. The willingness for people to help others was unreal. Basically the real world should take a leaf out of the Camino book. It's an experience I will never forget.
That was my first also, now you try another which I think you will find even more exciting. I will try for my third this March and looking forward to a great adventure. Glad you had a good time.
 

Camino3

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018
#34
I think that your post makes the point very well that peoples' perception of "crowded" is relative and depends very much on their prior experience of walking the Caminos. For someone who has just walked from SJPDP or Pamplona meeting others every 10 minutes or so may well seem like a lot of people on the path. On my first Camino Frances I met perhaps 30 pilgrims in total between SJPDP and Santiago and I sometimes walked for several days without seeing another pilgrim.
I didn't think of that but you are right. The way we see the final 100km is very different based on where we start the walk. For a first-timer who has no prior impressions, I would say don't be hesitant to start from Sarria.

I still wish I can do the longer walks, whether from SJPP or elsewhere in future, but the present does not allow much time off from work.
 

PeteAJ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (May/June 2018),
Portugués (2019?)
#35
It's all the camino so it's all good. That's fabulous to have enjoyed from Sarria.

If a friend had a week, I would probably recommend SJPP to Logroño instead for the views and variety of scenery and more peace! I loved meeting the people who do pieces of it then come back. But we all have different reasons for these things. Do you want to see Santiago? Do you need the certificate? If that's part of it, or symbolically important, do it! The last 100K is surely more commercial than what preceded it and more crowded. Though as pointed out above, you wouldn't really know that only experiencing the camino from Sarria. There's lots of camino beauty to discover in the last 100K.
 

Kees Smit

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago (2019)
#36
Thank you for your post Cbok82 as I am walking the same route in 3 weeks time and it is also my first Camino. I am really looking forward to it and hope that it will inspire me to do it again next year.

I am travelling with friends and we are not planning to book accommodation, preferring to see how we feel each day...large hostel room or possibly a guesthouse? Any advise?

We also want to send our backpacks ahead each day (for various reasons). Can we do this if we don't have a reservation but know what town we are heading to?

And finally, has anyone got any ideas of what the weather might be like?

Thank you in anticipation and I totally agree that people should do the Camino their way...I can't wait to get started!
The Spanish PostOffice offers the service of sending luggage along the camino https://www.elcaminoconcorreos.com/en/rucksack-transfer
 

Bonnie M

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
#37
You did not ask me, but bus, train, and taxi are the options. Where do you want to get from?
We'll be arriving in Santiago and were planning to take a bus to Sarria. Have heard that there were more bus options from airport vs. Santiago bus station and that's what we're trying to figure out. We'll be in Santiago center
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
#38
Glad to hear that you enjoyed your first Camino experience. Camino's are like potato chips...you can't eat or do just one!
My first Camino was Ponferrada to Santiago in April 2014. This has started a bit of a obsession as my wife and I have been back to Spain every year since for a Camino walk and we just completed the Camino Primitivo last week.
I have now walked all or part of the section between Sarria and Santiago three times now. The first couple were in early April and I never understood why some of the veterans on this forum had negative opinions of this stretch as in early April my wife and and I had never found it particularly busy.
Now I know. When we joined the Frances at Melide from our Primitivo last Saturday afternoon, after the tranquility of the Primitivo, the sure number of walkers and bikers was a bit of a shock. Literally a dust cloud from the shear numbers on the trail.
But I didn't let it damper the Camino high of the Primitivo.
Even the walkers with Bluetooth speakers attached to their packs blasting their music did not really affect my feelings of serenity. I was more amused than anything.
My wife commented that we had walked by more coffee shops in a few hours than we had in the previous 10 days on the Primitivo!
We stayed in Bonte that night and met more amazing people and more people the next day that we formed a bond and new friendships with.
How you let your surroundings affect you is a personal choice. Getting mad because things are not completely to your liking is totally and utterly useless.
That said, we were walking by 6:30 AM on the last two days into Santiago and enjoyed our couple of hours on each of the days with largely empty trails.
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#39
I have now walked all or part of the section between Sarria and Santiago three times now. The first couple were in early April and I never understood why some of the veterans on this forum had negative opinions of this stretch as in early April my wife and and I had never found it particularly busy.
Now I know. When we joined the Frances at Melide from our Primitivo last Saturday afternoon, after the tranquility of the Pimitivo, the sure number of walkers and bikers was a shock. Literally a dust cloud from the numbers on the trail.
I think that for a lot of people there is an element of "Paris Syndrome" about their reaction to the Camino Frances and especially the final stages. Perhaps they have read journals and descriptions of the Camino written years ago in a much quieter time. Or watched some feelgood Hollywood fantasy. Or have simply deluded themselves by imagining something far more idyllic and rose-tinted. High expectations suddenly disappointed. A conflict between romantic dreams and a far more mixed and occasionally quite sordid reality.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_syndrome
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1st three stages in 2016 and finished in 2017)
#41
Im also a first timer , that has just finished the camino my honest opion !!!!!!
Well i dont want to upest the veterans or anyone else thinking about or doing this
This was the the worst thing i have done , its over priced, over rated , tourist trap
I nave traveled all over spain , but for a sentimental reason i choose to walk the camino
It did not enlighten me i felt all it was doing was crushing my spirit,
There us nothing nice about head down march on 7 mile + a day for what to get a bed if your quick !!! Or pay more or walk on to next town ,
I would go on but i can sense the fury ,,
As for starting in sjdp , please make people more aware how realy hard it is walking to orrisson .
Its not a walk in the park sorry ill go on
I was booked into orrisson but was sent down to kayola to sleep then go back up for food i was shattered no one gave a dam comaderie????????
The following morning i decieded to walk back down to SJDP because roncevelles was fully booked and take the bus to burgette, my husband said hello bon camino etc to about 50 people got plenty of grunts small handfull reciprocated
As i walked down i was looking a the faces of people walking up somewith so much pain all can say is why ? Why put yourself through it its more a test if endurence there has been one heart attack how many more will there be ,
Yes send bags on €4-12 a day it adds up ok if you have lots of money
I struggled no one came to our aid i carried my rucksack some one walking said to me people should not judge when your not carrying you bag , but then also have compasion for those that do and dont walk as fast !!!
We dont get the hot water
Beds are dearer
Nasty blankets
Some bloody misreable refuge owners
The only thing i can laugh about is i walked in my boots all the way got no blisters
Sorry if it offends anyone but thers the truth Bon Camino xxx

It's a tough hike...that is for sure. I had just about every emotion, but fun...it wasn't fun. I did find a lot of great and beautiful acts of kindness each and every day and I'll always appreciate that. I'm sorry it wasn't better for you
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#42
Im also a first timer , that has just finished the camino my honest opion !!!!!!
Well i dont want to upest the veterans or anyone else thinking about or doing this
This was the the worst thing i have done , its over priced, over rated , tourist trap
I nave traveled all over spain , but for a sentimental reason i choose to walk the camino
It did not enlighten me i felt all it was doing was crushing my spirit,
There us nothing nice about head down march on 7 mile + a day for what to get a bed if your quick !!! Or pay more or walk on to next town ,
I would go on but i can sense the fury ,,
As for starting in sjdp , please make people more aware how realy hard it is walking to orrisson .
Its not a walk in the park sorry ill go on
I was booked into orrisson but was sent down to kayola to sleep then go back up for food i was shattered no one gave a dam comaderie????????
The following morning i decieded to walk back down to SJDP because roncevelles was fully booked and take the bus to burgette, my husband said hello bon camino etc to about 50 people got plenty of grunts small handfull reciprocated
As i walked down i was looking a the faces of people walking up somewith so much pain all can say is why ? Why put yourself through it its more a test if endurence there has been one heart attack how many more will there be ,
Yes send bags on €4-12 a day it adds up ok if you have lots of money
I struggled no one came to our aid i carried my rucksack some one walking said to me people should not judge when your not carrying you bag , but then also have compasion for those that do and dont walk as fast !!!
We dont get the hot water
Beds are dearer
Nasty blankets
Some bloody misreable refuge owners
The only thing i can laugh about is i walked in my boots all the way got no blisters
Sorry if it offends anyone but thers the truth Bon Camino xxx
Why would anyone be offended? You are merely sharing your own experience and views ;)

I'm sorry to hear that it wasn't a good experience for you. I suppose there is a real danger that all the movies and the enthusiasm from forums like this can mask the fact that it's really not for everyone.

That can be said about most things in life :oops:

For many it is not a walk in the park by any means.
Personally I find it very hard. Physically, emotionally and spiritually.
But I still choose to do it because I like to stretch myself, and through doing that I learn a lot about myself and others.

Others will rave about meditation, yoga, mindfulness etc etc. Those............I just don't get. Sorry.

Same with the Camino. Just because others love it does not mean that you will. :eek:

Caveat Emptor!

Thank you for sharing an alternative view ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#43
It's a tough hike...that is for sure. I had just about every emotion, but fun...it wasn't fun. I did find a lot of great and beautiful acts of kindness each and every day and I'll always appreciate that. I'm sorry it wasn't better for you
Tend to agree. You don't walk the Camino for 'fun'............
I went through every emotion imaginable and was close to tears by the side of the path a couple of times on my first one :oops: But by going through that, and not giving up, I learnt a lot and I think came out a better person for it.

Maybe people misunderstand what it is?

IMHO it's not; a hike, a walk, a cheap holiday, a stroll through the countryside, a pleasant outing with friends, a walking trip/holiday................ It's a pilgrimage. The purpose and motivation for undertaking the journey are somewhat different..........and hence the experience will be.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#44
Im also a first timer , that has just finished the camino my honest opion !!!!!!
Well i dont want to upest the veterans or anyone else thinking about or doing this
This was the the worst thing i have done , its over priced, over rated , tourist trap
I nave traveled all over spain , but for a sentimental reason i choose to walk the camino
It did not enlighten me i felt all it was doing was crushing my spirit,
There us nothing nice about head down march on 7 mile + a day for what to get a bed if your quick !!! Or pay more or walk on to next town ,
I would go on but i can sense the fury ,,
As for starting in sjdp , please make people more aware how realy hard it is walking to orrisson .
Its not a walk in the park sorry ill go on
I was booked into orrisson but was sent down to kayola to sleep then go back up for food i was shattered no one gave a dam comaderie????????
The following morning i decieded to walk back down to SJDP because roncevelles was fully booked and take the bus to burgette, my husband said hello bon camino etc to about 50 people got plenty of grunts small handfull reciprocated
As i walked down i was looking a the faces of people walking up somewith so much pain all can say is why ? Why put yourself through it its more a test if endurence there has been one heart attack how many more will there be ,
Yes send bags on €4-12 a day it adds up ok if you have lots of money
I struggled no one came to our aid i carried my rucksack some one walking said to me people should not judge when your not carrying you bag , but then also have compasion for those that do and dont walk as fast !!!
We dont get the hot water
Beds are dearer
Nasty blankets
Some bloody misreable refuge owners
The only thing i can laugh about is i walked in my boots all the way got no blisters
Sorry if it offends anyone but thers the truth Bon Camino xxx

Hi @Fluffy

Your post got me thinking. The mark of a good post ;)

I was thinking about why people might not find what they expect in walking the Camino.
Or like you did, and articulated above, just really didn't get what you expected at all.

Could it be? Just possibly?

That the Camino has nothing to do with walking?

OK, that will sound strange. But people often ask me if I enjoy hiking. "Hmmm. Not that much".
or
Do you Hike in other areas of the World? "No. For me, I don't really see any point in it"
You must be very fit! "No, I'm not, at all......."

For me at least,the Camino really doesn't have much at all to do with hiking / walking.

The walking is purely the 'vehicle' that is used to experience the Camino. It's an emotional and spiritual journey rather than a physical one.

Maybe that doesn't make sense. But it could explain why some people don't 'enjoy' it perhaps.

They are expecting to 'enjoy' a long walk........... But it ain't about the walk ;)
 

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