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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Ten Days with Children

#1
Our family is just beginning to plan our trip to Spain after Easter (early April 2006). I have found this site very helpful, and would appreciate any advice.

We are planning to walk the portion of the pilgrammage from Leon to Santiago de Compostela. As we are travelling with two teenagers and one seven year old, we wondered if the path would be appropriate for a Chariot (large baby jogger) for Laura in case she decided she needed a "rest".

Any suggestions for travelling with younger ones would be appreciate.
Thank you.
Cathie
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Hi and welcome Cathie,

I do not have personal experience walking with children, but one of your members did walk with her 9 year old son from Burgos this summer. I meet with them once they arrived in Santiago, and they had a great time. Read some of her posts here:
viewtopic.php?t=52

.. if someone have something to add to this, I hope they post a message here.

Welcome to Santiago!! :)

Ivar
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#3
Tha Camino with a child

I walked 405 kilometres of the Camino in 19 days in March-April 2005 with my husband and my (then) 8 1/2-year-old - Carrion de los Condes to Santiago. On the whole, it was a wonderful experience and we're planning to cover the first half next year - this Easter, I'm afraid it's going to be Machu Picchu instead...

Best advice: The lightest luggage possible, walk slowly, especially near the start, and take long, solid lunch breaks. Buy light shoes, one size too big, double socks (nylons next to the skin) to avoid blisters. Bring a pack of cards and learn some games in advance. And TALK the whole time, storytelling, singing together, explaining things. A child with a busy mind doesn't get tired, that seems to be mainly caused by boredom, I think...

I would NOT bring the Chariot, unless you want it for your luggage - your kid will have much more fun walking.

Also, expect to be the last people entering the refugio, and budget for hotel rooms for the times you're too late to get a bed.

Have fun - and contact me if you want to ask our son about the trip or see a few pictures!

Heidi
 
#4
Walking with children

Hi Cathie,
I am going with 2 friends and my 6 year old son, but probably will start outside Sarria and do the last 100km only. We are training by walking EVERYWHERE possible (got a pedometer-we were amazed). We walk all day on Sundays too, doing 10-15km and after only 3 weeks Sebastian still has the energy to run around when we get home now!!! We are building up to 20km a day with packs on. So training is the first advice. I agree with Heidi. I only hear "I'm tired" when he is bored - so games and talking/singing on the way is vital. We are learning Spanish while we walk! Eat slow energy release meals and keep handy sweets for a quick sugar burst when they're flagging - great reward system too if you're absolutely desperate to keep going! The solid meal stop is important but the short rests in between can be good too. If they say they want to rest get them to spot a really good place - takes their mind off why they want to stop and can keep them going quite a while longer. DOUBLE LINED SOCKS are AMAZING. Blisters? What blisters. Not easy to get for kids though!
I'm really excited about our trip and so is Seb. He writes a journal after all our walks and we all know how 6yr old boys hate to write!

Best wishes for you trip
Penny, Staffordshire, England
 
#5
Walking with Children

I have walked the Camino over 2 years ago, but I do not think it has changed that much so my advice is: do not take cariot as it will only add to the challenge. Better heed the advice above. I am also planning Camino Frances with my three children this May/June. They used to hike a lot, but now they refuse most of the time. Suprisingly enough they are not protesting the Camino. We will start on the French side of the Pyrenees, but on the stretches I know will be "boring" for my children (13, 14, and 17) we will take a bus. This way they can make it for sure. And in large cities we will stop for couple of days of geting spoiled: they must enjoy themselves, too. If anyone else has past experiences on the Camino walking with teenagers, please share.
 
#6
I came across a couple of people aged 60+ on the Sarria to Santiago section last October and they had a three wheeled contraption which looked more like a supermarket trolley!! At a guess they were custom made with 3 50/60cm wheels and the back two wheels had cycle brakes. The "buggy" took their rucksac, water, coats, cameras etc and was pushed from behind on a sort of handle bar.

They were pushing the buggys uphill through the woods at the back of Santiago airport, and seem to have no problem what so ever in coping with the rutted track.

When I asked them how they managed on really difficult stages, they said that they had a harness and pulled the buggy instead of pushing.

Regards,

Covey
 
Camino(s) past & future
Porto
#7
Tha Camino with a child

I walked 405 kilometres of the Camino in 19 days in March-April 2005 with my husband and my (then) 8 1/2-year-old - Carrion de los Condes to Santiago. On the whole, it was a wonderful experience and we're planning to cover the first half next year - this Easter, I'm afraid it's going to be Machu Picchu instead...

Best advice: The lightest luggage possible, walk slowly, especially near the start, and take long, solid lunch breaks. Buy light shoes, one size too big, double socks (nylons next to the skin) to avoid blisters. Bring a pack of cards and learn some games in advance. And TALK the whole time, storytelling, singing together, explaining things. A child with a busy mind doesn't get tired, that seems to be mainly caused by boredom, I think...

I would NOT bring the Chariot, unless you want it for your luggage - your kid will have much more fun walking.

Also, expect to be the last people entering the refugio, and budget for hotel rooms for the times you're too late to get a bed.

Have fun - and contact me if you want to ask our son about the trip or see a few pictures!

Heidi
Hi Heidi I like your posting and not sure whether you are able to give more info in terms of your preparation for this trip. It is such a long time for you and I'm preparing my son who is 9yrs old.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#8
What would you like to know? We did no special preparations at all, except making sure that our son had very well-fitting shoes (that he had walked around 20 km in, over a few weeks) and a very light (2.5 kg) backpack with one Harry Potter-book, one pack of cards and a water bottle...

We started on a stretch where we knew it would be impossible to give up early (Carrión de los Condes - 17 km to the next place) so we would be forced to continue walking, and chatted with everyone we met. We had ice cream or zumo natural everywhere, and managed to get the kid interested in collecting sellos (stamps in his credencial) , so he was very motivated to get to the next village. NOBODY had as many stamps as he did when we got to Santiago after 19 days!

The first three days were tough, with a lot of whining, and then he ran ahead of us for the next 16 days, and agreed to walk with us again another seven times. Last time this February, at 19, so I don't think he's permanently scarred.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Porto
#9
What would you like to know? We did no special preparations at all, except making sure that our son had very well-fitting shoes (that he had walked around 20 km in, over a few weeks) and a very light (2.5 kg) backpack with one Harry Potter-book, one pack of cards and a water bottle...

We started on a stretch where we knew it would be impossible to give up early (Carrión de los Condes - 17 km to the next place) so we would be forced to continue walking, and chatted with everyone we met. We had ice cream or zumo natural everywhere, and managed to get the kid interested in collecting sellos (stamps in his credencial) , so he was very motivated to get to the next village. NOBODY had as many stamps as he did when we got to Santiago after 19 days!

The first three days were tough, with a lot of whining, and then he ran ahead of us for the next 16 days, and agreed to walk with us again another seven times. Last time this February, at 19, so I don't think he's permanently scarred.
Thank you very much you have answered my questions and provided.

Since I posted my message, my son has decided that he would like to do the Camino next year in Aug/Sept. I think its a wise decision because it gives us time to prepare for it.

Thanks again and well done!
 

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