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Solo woman in November: which Camino?

CathyCamino

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None
Hi

Although I have travelled to many places solo, the backpacking type has not been done solo by me for 30 years.

I am safety conscious and given the time of year I plan to walk (Nov), what would be a good camino to do where I will be sure to have the possibility of seeing other walkers?

The VDLP entices because it starts in the south but I think it would be too solo for my sense of peace and comfort. I am trying to reduce, not increase, anxiety. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 
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Jean Ti

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
Hi

Although I have travelled to many places solo, the backpacking type has not been done solo by me for 30 years.

I am safety conscious and given the time of year I plan to walk (Nov), what would be a good camino to do where I will be sure to have the possibility of seeing other walkers?

The VDLP entices because it starts in the south but I think it would be too solo for my sense of peace and comfort. I am trying to reduce, not increase, anxiety. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

I did vdlp in april may this year at peak time for this camino and you dont see many people during the day. I can not imagine in november how many people will be there.
 

marylynn

Ontario Canada
Year of past OR future Camino
2011-2019 CF, Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
I recommend the Camino Frances, as it has the best infrastructure, but in November a lot of albergues are closed and there are not a lot of people walking then. Last November, there were sometimes only a couple of us in the albergue...and a few times I was alone. The weather was fine until the last week when it got a bit rainy and cool. Despite my disappointment last November, I will be walking again from November 1 - 23.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
The Frances. Even in November you will see other pilgrims and find enough albergues to stay in, especially if you stop at the more popular towns/stages which at that time of year you won't have to worry about an albergue being full and no beds available.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
where I will be sure to have the possibility of seeing other walkers?
I agree that the Camino Frances would be good. I expect VDLP would have too few pilgrims in November. On the Frances, if you want to be almost 100% sure of seeing other walkers throughout the day and even walking with them (but only if you want to), you should stay in albergues and start walking early in the morning (once it is light). If you start much later, you will see fewer walkers.
 
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alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Year of past OR future Camino
Hope so!
I did VDLP ending 23 November 2010. Met maybe 6 pilgrims the entire way.
Needed to chase down the key to open most albergues.
Few restaurants open and stores with short hours.
I liked it, but with so little infrastructure working it was very difficult.
 

happymarkos

HappyMark
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
Hi

Although I have travelled to many places solo, the backpacking type has not been done solo by me for 30 years.

I am safety conscious and given the time of year I plan to walk (Nov), what would be a good camino to do where I will be sure to have the possibility of seeing other walkers?

The VDLP entices because it starts in the south but I think it would be too solo for my sense of peace and comfort. I am trying to reduce, not increase, anxiety. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
If you start in St Jean the pilgrims office will give you a list of all places to stay and when they close. Has phone numbers as well and if they have heating. We finished CF mid November last year and the last few weeks were very cold. So be prepared. Enjoy.
 

surya8

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
I'd say Portugues Central or Coastal (+Espiritual) could be ideal for this time of the year. Weather is mild, some sunshine, some drizzle, take some rain gear and warm clothes for the albergue. I walked Portugues in late Oct and mid Jan. It's almost as popular now as Frances, so the infrastructure is there. All the municipal albergues are open, some private might be closing for the winter in Nov, the albergue list is here: https://www.vialusitana.org/caminho/albergues It's safe to walk and there shoud be pilgrims on the route. We even managed to meet other pilgrims in Jan and walked with them part of the route. Portugues Central is busier in general. Porto to Santiago Central: 8-12 days, Coastal: 9-13 days in general, Variante Espiritual +2-3 days. Bom Caminho! :)
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
Hi

Although I have travelled to many places solo, the backpacking type has not been done solo by me for 30 years.

I am safety conscious and given the time of year I plan to walk (Nov), what would be a good camino to do where I will be sure to have the possibility of seeing other walkers?

The VDLP entices because it starts in the south but I think it would be too solo for my sense of peace and comfort. I am trying to reduce, not increase, anxiety. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
Avoid the Portuguese until Tui.
 

Carpe Diem

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Santiago via Portugal Route
Hi

Although I have travelled to many places solo, the backpacking type has not been done solo by me for 30 years.

I am safety conscious and given the time of year I plan to walk (Nov), what would be a good camino to do where I will be sure to have the possibility of seeing other walkers?

The VDLP entices because it starts in the south but I think it would be too solo for my sense of peace and comfort. I am trying to reduce, not increase, anxiety. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
How much time do you have? If you have about 7days then starting from Tui to Santiago de Compostela is very doable. It is about 118km. Tui is really magical and picturesque. You also bypass all the cobble stones, stony paths on the Portugal side. If you want you can take another 3 days from SDC and go all the way to Finisterre (the coast).
Bon Camino.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I agree that the Camino Frances would be good. I expect VDLP would have too few pilgrims in November. On the Frances, if you want to be almost 100% sure of seeing other walkers throughout the day and even walking with them (but only if you want to), you should stay in albergues and start walking early in the morning (once it is light). If you start much later, you will see fewer walkers.
You can also maximize your pilgrim community in the off season by stopping in the towns and villages that the guides recommend for their stages.
 

CathyCamino

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None
I have one of those hamster-on-wheel jobs that has caused me to neglect health for too long. Business is not doing well and my role is being made redundant (laid off for the US audience). I have a unique opportunity to take time to do this. Husband is willing to cover the home front (maybe join me for a leg) so I don’t have a time limit so to speak... other than I don’t want to selfishly burn too much money on myself and be away from family for too long. I have also had a plantar fasciitis Jan thru Aug which could flare up. I could get bored. I think based on posts I will do the CF for the infrastructure and safety in numbers but perhaps start in Pamplona as I don’t think I want to be away for more than 4 weeks and would like to get to SdeC. Hope my plantar fascia holds up! As a city girl who when living in NYC thought nothing of a Sunday am run in Haarlem alone (in the days when it wasn’t quite like it is now), being in a remote place alone freaks me out a bit. At least in an urban environment, if you shout for help,, the numbers are there and the likelihood is hat there are some non-psychopaths. On a remote trail, your sample of n=1 is not helpful if the one=psycho. That is how my mind works. So maybe the Camino will help me normalise a little!
 
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HeidiL

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
I think starting in Pamplona sounds like a good idea for your situation. Remember to check the winter albergues list before you leave, and bring a smartphone in case there are accommodation issues.
 

robertt

Active Member
While I walked the Le Puy route it struck me that I would be comfortable with any female family members doing what I was doing. That's regarding people and situations encountered and general politeness in France Profonde. There should be enough people about while the invasion of top spots by Parisian weekenders won't be so heavy in November.

As for terrain, the Aubrac should be okay early November, though I wouldn't traverse it later than that. After the Aubrac some cold season walking shouldn't be too arduous. Okay, maybe a bit arduous...

Should the above recommendation prove too optimistic this message will self-destruct and my lawyers will deny. No, but seriously, even I stayed polite on the Le Puy track.

Bon chemin, ultreia etc
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Year of past OR future Camino
Hope so!
Given the above, I too would suggest a Pamplona start--easy to get to. If you check Gronze.com or https://godesalco.com/plan/frances for planning you can see how frequent the albergues are--but many will be closed so check ahead. Short walks between albergues allow you to match distance to your plantar fasciitis-- and you have enough lead time to do all the stretches your PT probably gave you. And taxi can be a saving grace to prevent overdoing and a trip ending injury.
Anyway, the CF is hands down the 'easiest' in terms of company and flexible infrastructure.
Start slowly, listen to your body, have minimal expectations and you will have a buen camino
 

DreamHiker2

DreamHiker2
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I recommend the Camino Frances, as it has the best infrastructure, but in November a lot of albergues are closed and there are not a lot of people walking then. Last November, there were sometimes only a couple of us in the albergue...and a few times I was alone. The weather was fine until the last week when it got a bit rainy and cool. Despite my disappointment last November, I will be walking again from November 1 - 23.
Hi Marylynn, Thinking of just up and doing a winter CF in the next week on the spur of the moment but am worried about possibility of slippery ice and falling - is that a possibiity?
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Hi Marylynn, Thinking of just up and doing a winter CF in the next week on the spur of the moment but am worried about possibility of slippery ice and falling - is that a possibiity?


It is certainly not impossible that their could be snow and ice, but that would be rather more likely in January and February. In November you would be very lucky indeed to have many -or any - dry days.
 
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