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Starting in the middle...?

whatever77

New Member
Hi

Im walking the camino this august (Starting from July 31) and I must be back home in Canada for school by September 6. This gives me approximately 35 days to finish the camino from St-jean pied du port. I would love to start from here, however my parents have been urging me to start later in the path. This is my first camino, and since it will be in August (Hot!), they want me take the voyage slow and steady. I'm afraid that starting all the way from the beginning may be too long and I will be pressed for time.

What are your thoughts? If I do shorten my trip, Im planning on starting in Pamplona. My only concern with starting midway is that I personally could feel disorientated and confused starting in the middle. Im worried that I'll arrive in Pamplona and I will have no idea what to do or where to start. Can anyone give me advice?

Thanks Everyone
 
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Hi whatever 77, anywhere is good to start, there are thousands of kms of pilgrims' walks through Europe and people start over in the Eastern European areas and eventually end up on the Frances. Pamplona is a great place to begin, I started, unfit in Roncesvalles and took 35 days to get to Santiago from there.
You can always do what I have been doing in later years, which is to walk other parts that link up with the Frances, i walked part of the Austrian route and last year the Le Puy route, I still have not done the bit between St Jean and Roncesvalles, but will one day.
 
Hi Whatever77,
It's a great idea not to push too hard and give yourself time to savour the sections you walk.
However Pamplona is only 3 days, or if you break the walk over the Pyrenees in two, then 4 days after SJPP-not half way by a long shot!
Just look at the map at the top of this page and you'll get the idea.
Sahagun is halfway between Roncevalles and Santiago, and I guess Carrion de los Condes or Terradillos de Templarios would be eligible for an approx 'halfway house' for the route from SJPP. Perhaps Burgos might be an easier place for your Camino launch- great albergues, beautiful city, good bus and train services?
Depending on your pace Burgos would be approx 11-14 days from SJPP and 21-25 days away from Santiago. If you arrived 'early' into Santiago you could then push on to Finistere (3/4 days walk) which is really special and a great way to end the journey.
Lots of pilgrims have time constraints so choose to walk a condensed Camino or do it in sections over a few years. This means you'll meet others who are starting their Camino in Burgos or rejoining it to complete their next stage and in addition quite a few 'long haul' pilgrims giving themselves a 'rest day' in the city.
Wherever you 'start' you'll meet people at different stages in their journey. Last year in Castrojerez we met two Germans who were walking in stages and had started their Camino a few years before in Leon. They got to Santiago... and then decided to go back to the start in SJPP and walk the earlier stages. They were in the final week of their Camino when we met and they gave everyone a great 'lift' by sharing their anticipation and excitement all the way into Leon.
Have a wonderful journey wherever you start.
Nell
 
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You are obviously a young person (well, younger than me!) so I think that 35 days is more than enough to do the camino from Roncesvalles. Tell your parents that I walked my first camino in May/June from Roncesvalles when I was 56 years old - and I was the baby, my walking buddy was 74 years old! We walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago in 27 days, no bus, no train or taxi or burro - all 'a pie'.
Start at Roncesvalles and see how you go. The sun comes up early in August and sets after 9:30pm so you can get most of your walking done before the worst heat of the day. Then you do what all sensible Spaniards do - you have a siesta for 4 hours before stirring again!
Don't decide now to start half-way. Rather start at Roncesvalles and if you find that you are flagging and can't keep up with your scehdule, you can hop on a bus and go forward a day or two.
You might suprise yourself - and your family - by completing the whole Camino Frances in your allotted 35 days!
 
35 days is a lot of time. More then enough to start from St Jean. Don't start at Roncesvalles, the walk form St Jean to Roncesvalles is the most impressive!

Do it all the way, you won't be sorry. If you need help with the planning you can send me a message.

Buen Camino
 
Start WHEREVER you like and feel most comfortable. Once you get on the camino you'll realise that people start from lots of different places for lots of different reasons. Pamplona is a good place to start and you should be able to walk in 35 days from there but whatever you do don't push yourself. Ignore anyone who says you "have" to walk over the pyrenees etc.
YOUR camino will be just as meaningful to you as anyone else's no matter where you start.
Buen Camino!
 
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Interesting. The route Napoleon from St Jean de Pied Port is impressive but the vast majority of Spaniards who walk the route start at Roncesvalles or elsewhere in Spain - they wouldn't consider going into a foriegn country to start! I agree with the advice that you should start wherever you wish!
 
elzi said:
Start WHEREVER you like and feel most comfortable. Once you get on the camino you'll realise that people start from lots of different places for lots of different reasons. Pamplona is a good place to start and you should be able to walk in 35 days from there but whatever you do don't push yourself. Ignore anyone who says you "have" to walk over the pyrenees etc.
YOUR camino will be just as meaningful to you as anyone else's no matter where you start.
Buen Camino!

Ofcourse you have to start wherever you want. But how do you know what you want when you never experienced it? 35 days is a lot. When you start in St. Jean you don't have to push yourself to make it in 35 days. He is a young guys. His parents are worried, I can understand that. But he wants an honest advice. And honestly I think he can hike the 'whole'Caino Frances.

Aigain, if you want help with the planning, you can ask me :).
 
Marcel234 said:
And honestly I think he can hike the 'whole'Caino Frances.

I don't think this is the thread to get into this discussion but what is a "whole camino"? :? St Jean is not "the start" it is simply one of many starting points. People should feel free to start wherever they feel most comfortable.
 
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"The camino starts from your own front door" "The camino starts in your heart" etc etc etc
Its all semantics really. With most of the other routes there is an official start - the el Salvador starts in Leon, the Camino Ingles starts in el Ferrol, the Camino Aragones starts at Somport.
Today, most guide books for the Camino Frances start from St Jean Pied de Port (they used to start from Roncesvalles) giving about 32 - 35 days for the 'whole' route to Santiago.
The modern pilgrim has to physically 'start' walking from somewhere other than their home and I agree with Marcel, Whatever said
"This gives me approximately 35 days to finish the camino from St-jean pied du port. I would love to start from here,
This pilgrim would love to start from St Jean and has 35 days in which to cover the 'whole' route if he/she wants to.
 
elzi said:
Marcel234 said:
And honestly I think he can hike the 'whole'Caino Frances.

I don't think this is the thread to get into this discussion but what is a "whole camino"? :? St Jean is not "the start" it is simply one of many starting points. People should feel free to start wherever they feel most comfortable.

Pffff... I didn't say the whole camino, I said the 'whole' camino. Big difference... So you don't have to start the discussion, there is none.

He just wants the best for his camino. He has 35 days IMHO starting from St Jean would give him a the best overall experience. The pyrenees are so beautiful. Everybody with enough time and with the physical abilities should do that stage :)
 
The walk from St Jean to Roncesvalles is very impressive, I agree, and if you have the time which I think you do I would recommend it.

I am around the same age as you and completed the Camino from St Jean - Santiago in just over 4 weeks this was with a day in Burgos and a few short days walking in between.

M advice would be to set off from St Jean see how you get on and if you are running out of time get a bus further along the route...it's not a competition, it's to be enjoyed.

You're in for a treat that's for sure.

If you are interested I found this to be the most helpful & informative guide...http://amzn.to/citzlL

Buen Camino!!

Robert
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

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