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"Starting Points"

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
On another thread there has been some discussion about 'starting points'. I guess in this era of guidebooks etc, it is tempting to be trapped into the idea that there are places to 'start', and definite 'stages' to walk. But guidebook writers really have made suggestions for various reasons, and of course we are perfectly free to ignore them...

I find the statistics put out by the Santiago archdiocese interesting for all sorts of reasons, but one set of statistics that puts everything nicely into perspective is the PUNTO DE COMIENZO- the beginning point. http://www.archicompostela.org/Peregrinos/Estadisticas/estadisticas2006.htm#POR ITINERARIOS
When you look at these stats, you see how varied people's starting points really are. And when you walk the CF, you find that the trail from Leon just gets busier and busier, as more and more people begin from their chosen 'starting point'.
Margaret
 
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JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Absolutely! And what isn't analysed in these figures are the "catchall" categories used in the Pilgrims' Office - Rest of Europe (i.e. not usual starting points such as Le Puy) and Rest of Espana (i.e. starting points other than the usual such as Roncesvalles etc)
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Ahhhhh, so the DD's that I met about three weeks into walking on the Le Puy route, who actually left from their home in St Clair, some two weeks before they reached Le Puy, would come under the "Rest of Europe" category. If anyone wants to see some walking on a route not far from the Geneva-Le Puy route, you might like to check out the beginning of their Picasa album:
http://picasaweb.google.com/118291458448203957046/LesDDAllerStClairDeLaTourStJacquesDeCompostelle# (Then you could always check out their other album, as they walked home again from Santiago.....)
Margaret
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
There are traditional starting places for many camino routes in France and Spain. Le Puy, Arles, Vezelay, Somport, Oviedo, Leon, Bayonne, el Ferrol etc etc etc.
It seems that is mainly the camino Frances that elicites strong opinions and discussions on whether or not the route has a starting point! It comes back to that old onion - "The Camino"refers to more than just the Camino Frances.
Unlike medieval pilgrims, who had no option but to start from their front door, very few pilgrims today are able to start from home. In order not to confuse wanna-be pilgrims I always tell them that the Camino Frances starts either at St Jean or at Roncesvalles and that the 'whole route' is either 774km or 750km long.
In 1912, Catherine Gasquoine wrote about English pilgrims in her book 'The Story of Santiago de Compostela'.
"Today the path of the pilgrim is far different. He will journey from England to Vigo in one of the fine vessels of the excellent Booth Line, and will enjoy three days of most comfortable travelling. He will journey by train to the old seaport of Pontevedra ... where the West Galician Railway carries pilgrims to Santiago."
 

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