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The Meseta


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Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#2
Meseta means plateau so it is generally level but there are a few ups and downs. I've looked at elevation profiles before and I say it starts just a bit before Burgos and ends just a bit after Astorga.

There is no defined halfway point on the CF but you CAN get a halfway certificate in Sahagun.
 

RJM

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#3
Yes, approximately the section between Burgos and Leon. It is basically rolling hills and flat plains, filled with agricultural fields. It is lovely, not in the least ugly or boring and sometimes gets a bad and exaggerated rap by pilgrims. It does encompass the halfway point of the Frances.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan 2018
#4
Yes, approximately the section between Burgos and Leon. It is basically rolling hills and flat plains, filled with agricultural fields. It is lovely, not in the least ugly or boring and sometimes gets a bad and exaggerated rap by pilgrims. It does encompass the halfway point of the Frances.
Any thoughts or tips on biking Burgos to Leon and walk the rest CF?
 

David

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#5
To me the Meseta is wonderful, iconic pilgrim Camino and no, it isn't all flat. It may seem like that when driving a car but walking is different! There is a brilliant steep climb out of Castrojeriz, for instance.

As for dull - well, dull is in the mind isn't it? As our good William wrote in Hamlet "there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so".

It is an experience, with plenty of time for inner 'work' - enjoy!

Buen Camino.
 

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Bala

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (fall 2018)
#10
I also loved the Meseta. And I was hardly alone. It was a regular topic of discussion among pilgrims -- "How can people say this is boring?" It is beautiful.

And don't let anybody kid you. It is not flat! No, it's not the Pyrenees. But it's definitely not flat. (You want flat? Come see Delaware!:p).

I loved the rolling hillsides, and the villages tucked in the valleys that seemed to materialize out of nowhere. In April there were a thousand birds singing every morning, and the fields were a dozen shades of green, and the sky, brilliant, cloudless blue.

And mystical. Any regular reader of this forum will know three names that come up repeatedly as very special places on the Camino-- San Anton, San Bol, San Nicholás. All on the meseta. Connection? Think about it.

Shortly before Sahagun there is a slight alternate route to the hermitage of the Virgin of the Bridge. Just beyond that are statues and markers declaring you are crossing the halfway point between Roncesvalles and Santiago. You can impress your friends with a certificate to that effect from church museum up the hill as you leave town.

There were many bicyclers. I don't know the rental companies, but there seemed to be plenty. And, contrary to many reports I have read, my experience was that they rode at a moderate speed, alerted walkers they were approaching, and, almost without exception, wished us Buen Camino or Hola as they passed. They looked like they were having lots of fun.

Enjoy the Meseta. It's very special. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan 2018
#11
I also loved the Meseta. And I was hardly alone. It was a regular topic of discussion among pilgrims -- "How can people say this is boring?" It is beautiful.

And don't let anybody kid you. It is not flat! No, it's not the Pyrenees. But it's definitely not flat. (You want flat? Come see Delaware!:p).

I loved the rolling hillsides, and the villages tucked in the valleys that seemed to materialize out of nowhere. In April there were a thousand birds singing every morning, and the fields were a dozen shades of green, and the sky, brilliant, cloudless blue.

And mystical. Any regular reader of this forum will know three names that come up repeatedly as very special places on the Camino-- San Anton, San Bol, San Nicholás. All on the meseta. Connection? Think about it.

Shortly before Sahagun there is a slight alternate route to the hermitage of the Virgin of the Bridge. Just beyond that are statues and markers declaring you are crossing the halfway point between Roncesvalles and Santiago. You can impress your friends with a certificate to that effect from church museum up the hill as you leave town.

There were many bicyclers. I don't know the rental companies, but there seemed to be plenty. And, contrary to many reports I have read, my experience was that they rode at a moderate speed, alerted walkers they were approaching, and, almost without exception, wished us Buen Camino or Hola as they passed. They looked like they were having lots of fun.

Enjoy the Meseta. It's very special. Buen Camino.
Gracias Peregrina!
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-SDC 2012, Hospitalera Rabanal 2014, First Aid 2015, Burgos-Rabanal 2017, Part VF 2017
#12
Hi Humbertico - the Meseta is an absolute joy, for all the reasons everyone is posting here. IMO it's a cyclist's dream - please don't miss out on this very special and magical part of the Camino - those huge Spanish skies and the landscape which goes forever will stay with you and in future times you'll long to be back there.
Cheers from Oz -
Jenny
 

Saint Mike II

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#14
Hola @Humbertico ; I have both cycled and walked the Meseta and I think I enjoyed the walk more than the ride, even when it rained all the way from Rabe de las Calzadas to Hontanas. I rode in September and it was warm to hot and very dry; the walk was in May and very green. As for those half-way certificates - well good luck we tried for a number of hours and never found the establishment open!! Cheers
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
#16
We too have read of pilgrims skipping the Meseta or describing it as dull. For us it is the most wonderful part of the Camino. We'll take it any day over a wet Galician stroll through lanes smelling of cowpats.
 

Saint Mike II

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#17
The old convent is a museum now and so it is closed on at least one day a week, probably Monday. They also observe siesta.
Hola Rick sounds about right, except that the signage said nothing about Monday siesta!! But come to think of it it was a Monday as we had been in Ledigos on a Sunday. Cheers!
 

Irish Bernie

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017
#18
Finished the Meseta a few weeks ago,rain rain n more rain,oh and lot's of touristos booking most of the beds,not a pleaseant experience but the walking was ok,unfortunately the CF is now reduced to a circus of retired folk who smell of aftershave and hairspray :(
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#19
We too have read of pilgrims skipping the Meseta or describing it as dull. For us it is the most wonderful part of the Camino. We'll take it any day over a wet Galician stroll through lanes smelling of cowpats.
Did you mean that if the Camino ended in Leon would be more successful?
I don´t think so
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17 SJPdP - Santiago
(Portuguese: 09/18)
#20
I found the Meseta provided me an opportunity for introspection. Just me and my shadow. I am glad I did not skip it.:D:cool:
 

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jsalt

Jill
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#21
Any thoughts or tips on biking Burgos to Leon and walk the rest CF?
Hi, the problem with that idea is that you then get out of sync with your “camino family”. After 2 or 3 weeks on the road you find you are walking parallel with some pretty good companions. Two of my “family” one year had booked bicycles to cycle across the “boring” meseta. We (about 12 of us) had a big farewell party in Burgos, as these two on bikes would now get ahead of us. We never saw them again. I often wonder how it would have panned out if they hadn’t rented the bikes . . . .
Jill
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#22
Finished the Meseta a few weeks ago,rain rain n more rain,oh and lot's of touristos booking most of the beds,not a pleaseant experience but the walking was ok,unfortunately the CF is now reduced to a circus of retired folk who smell of aftershave and hairspray :(
And I guess it has been reduced even further by Judgements pulled out of one's wazoo.
 

RJM

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#25
Finished the Meseta a few weeks ago,rain rain n more rain,oh and lot's of touristos booking most of the beds,not a pleaseant experience but the walking was ok,unfortunately the CF is now reduced to a circus of retired folk who smell of aftershave and hairspray :(
I like walking the Frances. I am not retired, have not worn aftershave in 30 years and not sure what use hairspray would be to my shaved head.
 

Irish Bernie

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017
#26
I like walking the Frances. I am not retired, have not worn aftershave in 30 years and not sure what use hairspray would be to my shaved head.
Ah you'll be that bloke with the wee scruffy dog on a piece of string then :)
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#27
A wazoo that's walked it 7 times.
I am on my 5th camino this year. you should try some of the other ones (Maybe you have but it looks like your little bio only shows CF, forgive me if I am wron). I do not walk the CF anymore because of the crowds although I may do it in a year or two in the winter. I think it would be a very different Camino.The Le Puy Camino is really great. But there are a lot of old retired French and Germans, so maybe that will not work. I will be an old but not retired fart who will be walking the Norte in September. I will let you know how that goes.
 

Irish Bernie

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017
#28
I am on my 5th camino this year. you should try some of the other ones (Maybe you have but it looks like your little bio only shows CF, forgive me if I am wron). I do not walk the CF anymore because of the crowds although I may do it in a year or two in the winter. I think it would be a very different Camino.The Le Puy Camino is really great. But there are a lot of old retired French and Germans, so maybe that will not work. I will be an old but not retired fart who will be walking the Norte in September. I will let you know how that goes.
Yeah I'm planning the Portuguese route next year,one more Santiago-Finn-Muxia this Sept n that's me finished with CF.I know everybody is entitled to walk the CF,I'm just being a grump :)
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
#29
Did you mean that if the Camino ended in Leon would be more successful?
I don´t think so
Just saying... the Meseta was our favourite part, Galicia wasn't. Not sure where the idea of terminating in Leon arose.
 

trecile

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#30
One of the (many) great things about the Camino Frances is the variety of landscapes. Mountains, vineyards, rolling hills, the Meseta, cities and towns. It would be boring if it were all the same.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
#32
Just saying... the Meseta was our favourite part, Galicia wasn't. Not sure where the idea of terminating in Leon arose.
Leon is more or less the end of the Meseta on the Camino Francés If the end of the Camino was Leon instead of Santiago, Galicia would stay completely outside of the pilgrimage. In that case the number of pilgrims would be significantly lower (especially Spaniards). So green Galicia is very important on the Camino success.
 
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