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Towards a theory of difficulty

2020 Camino Guides

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (12-15); Muxia (15); Portuguese, Primitivo (17); Norte, Ingles, VF partial (18), Le Puy (19)
I'm always amused by all the posts that ask how difficult a particular route is. And having just come back from the Le Puy route, I'm asked the same question by fellow Camino addicts in the SF Bay Area: How hard was it? Of course there's no answer. My hard is your easy, and vice versa.

Insofar as we try to move beyond purely subjective feelings, we often look to total elevation gain (in addition to distance, of course) as a measure of difficulty. But I don't find that very satisfying. A 400 meter ascent spread out evenly over 20 kilometers on a smooth path is hardly noticeable, but if that ascent involves clambering over rocks and it comes in the last 4 kilometers of an otherwise flat 20 kilometer stretch, you'll arrive gasping for breath.

However, it did strike me that there are some semi-objective ratings out there, which can at least help us make comparisons between caminos --- the Gronze ratings of 1 - 5 stars in order of increasing difficulty. Presumably (I said to myself), whoever created those ratings has no ax to grind. So, as a fun kind of game, I decided to try and arrive at a difficulty rating -- per Gronze -- of all the caminos my wife and I have walked, with special focus on the Le Puy, since that's the last one we did.

In doing this, it first struck me that you can't just divide the total number of stars by the total Gronze stages and get a per stage rating. Instead, you have to compensate for the effects of stages of different distances. A 30 kilometer or more stage will almost always get three stars or more, no matter how undemanding the individual kilometers are; conversely, a stage less than 20 kilometers will rarely get more than two stars, even if constantly up and down.

So -- to compensate for these distance biases, I added up the total number of stars Gronze gives for the entire camino, and then divided that number by the camino’s total length in kilometers. I then multiplied that quotient by 25 to get a star rating for a typical stage of 25 kilometers.

Here's what I came up with for the long caminos we’ve walked, from easiest to hardest:

Frances - 2.24
Le Puy — 2.43
Norte (up to link-up with Frances at Arzua) -- 2.70

That actually fit our subjective impression, so it was reassuring.

Throwing in the shorter caminos we've walked adds to the fun (although it's misleading, as discussed below):

Portuguese coastal (up to link-up with central route) — 2.11
Portuguese central route (from Porto to Santiago) — 2.18
Frances - 2.24
Le Puy — 2.43
Ingles - 2.46
Norte (up to link-up with Frances at Arzua) -- 2.70
Primitivo (up to Frances link-up at Melide) - 2.98

Of course, mixing the shorter caminos into a comparison like this is unfair to the longer caminos. Demanding as the Primitivo may be, for example, there’s no way it’s more taxing to walk the two weeks it typically requires than to walk the five weeks most people take to do the Frances. Nor is it more taxing to walk the Ingles for 5 relatively difficult days than to walk the Portuguese’s easier stages for 10 or 12 days.

In fact, throwing the Primitivo (my favorite, actually) into the mix is totally misleading when you’re comparing it to the longer caminos. And with a little more juggling of the numbers, I was actually able to "prove" that in walking the Norte and Le Puy routes (the last two caminos we've done), we actually first walked a camino as difficult as the Primitivo, then still had 500 kilometers to go!

Here's how I arrived at that "proof." According to Gronze, the Primitivo runs 250 kilometers from Oviedo to the junction with the Frances at Melide. My calculations above show that the Primitivo’s per stage rating is 2.98. The stage rating of the first 250 kilometers of the Le Puy route, from Le Puy to Figeac, is actually 3.0, essentially the same. The Norte’s first 250 kilometers, through Guemes, earns a difficulty rating of 3.16, even higher. So, on these two caminos, you start out by doing a camino as difficult as the Primitivo, and when you've finished, you still have 500 kilometers to go! (Of course, if you cut off the Norte onto the Primitivo, instead of sticking to the Norte, you've now given yourself two Primitivos -- and then some).

Just for the fun of it, although it doesn’t relate to the Le Puy route at all, I also calculated the easiest way to get a compostela, from easiest to hardest:

Portuguese (Tui to Santiago): 2.16
Frances (Sarria to Santiago): 2.41
Ingles (Ferrol to Santiago): 2.46
Primitivo (Lugo to Santiago): 2.50 (est.)
Norte (Baamonde to Santiago, via Arzua on Frances): 2.50
Finisterre (Muxia to Finisterre to Santiago): 2.61

And finally, although I've never walked it, I was curious how the Via de la Plata fits into this. Adding up the stars and the distances given by Gronze (from Sevilla to Astorga on the Frances) yields a difficulty rating of 2.35, about the same as the Frances. Undoubtedly, that will stir up some grumbling because often it's hard to break up VDLP's longer stages (or so I've heard), and 35 kilometers is just plain hard. Plus, while it can be pleasant on the Norte in August, just try walking the VDLP at that time.

If you've read this far, you're probably grumbling away, with lots of "Buts" and strenuous disagreements. And that's the fun of it.
Bring it on!
 
Camino(s) past & future
September/October 2015 CF; October 2017 PC from Porto; Camino Ingles October 2019; Le Puy (2020)
I get the fun of the game, for sure, but it's still totally subjective, I think. For me, the distance walked in a given day is by far the greatest measure of the difficulty, absent any crazy challenges as I've mentioned in earlier posts. There is also another factor that I don't think you've mentioned, and that's the weather. If I'm walking in any heat at all, I wilt. The warmer it is, the more difficult it becomes. That's another subjective aspect, because some people love walking in warm weather. Rain is just another challenge, but it doesn't affect my perception of the difficulty of the walk in any measurable degree.
 

simeon

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
Id imagine that age doesn't matter as it would be a constant when you are walking it and the same would go for the level of your fitness. Weather might be different..... It all depends on what gronze did to calculate their score
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Geez, you must really suffer from that Post Camino Blues :D :D :D

How would you rate weather? And what about you getting older each year?

Just kiddin' ;)
I certainly don't rate getting older each year - not sure the added wisdom (if any) outweighs the aches and pains.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I'm always amused by all the posts that ask how difficult a particular route is. And having just come back from the Le Puy route, I'm asked the same question by fellow Camino addicts in the SF Bay Area: How hard was it? Of course there's no answer. My hard is your easy, and vice versa.

Insofar as we try to move beyond purely subjective feelings, we often look to total elevation gain (in addition to distance, of course) as a measure of difficulty. But I don't find that very satisfying. A 400 meter ascent spread out evenly over 20 kilometers on a smooth path is hardly noticeable, but if that ascent involves clambering over rocks and it comes in the last 4 kilometers of an otherwise flat 20 kilometer stretch, you'll arrive gasping for breath.

However, it did strike me that there are some semi-objective ratings out there, which can at least help us make comparisons between caminos --- the Gronze ratings of 1 - 5 stars in order of increasing difficulty. Presumably (I said to myself), whoever created those ratings has no ax to grind. So, as a fun kind of game, I decided to try and arrive at a difficulty rating -- per Gronze -- of all the caminos my wife and I have walked, with special focus on the Le Puy, since that's the last one we did.

In doing this, it first struck me that you can't just divide the total number of stars by the total Gronze stages and get a per stage rating. Instead, you have to compensate for the effects of stages of different distances. A 30 kilometer or more stage will almost always get three stars or more, no matter how undemanding the individual kilometers are; conversely, a stage less than 20 kilometers will rarely get more than two stars, even if constantly up and down.

So -- to compensate for these distance biases, I added up the total number of stars Gronze gives for the entire camino, and then divided that number by the camino’s total length in kilometers. I then multiplied that quotient by 25 to get a star rating for a typical stage of 25 kilometers.

Here's what I came up with for the long caminos we’ve walked, from easiest to hardest:

Frances - 2.24
Le Puy — 2.43
Norte (up to link-up with Frances at Arzua) -- 2.70

That actually fit our subjective impression, so it was reassuring.

Throwing in the shorter caminos we've walked adds to the fun (although it's misleading, as discussed below):

Portuguese coastal (up to link-up with central route) — 2.11
Portuguese central route (from Porto to Santiago) — 2.18
Frances - 2.24
Le Puy — 2.43
Ingles - 2.46
Norte (up to link-up with Frances at Arzua) -- 2.70
Primitivo (up to Frances link-up at Melide) - 2.98

Of course, mixing the shorter caminos into a comparison like this is unfair to the longer caminos. Demanding as the Primitivo may be, for example, there’s no way it’s more taxing to walk the two weeks it typically requires than to walk the five weeks most people take to do the Frances. Nor is it more taxing to walk the Ingles for 5 relatively difficult days than to walk the Portuguese’s easier stages for 10 or 12 days.

In fact, throwing the Primitivo (my favorite, actually) into the mix is totally misleading when you’re comparing it to the longer caminos. And with a little more juggling of the numbers, I was actually able to "prove" that in walking the Norte and Le Puy routes (the last two caminos we've done), we actually first walked a camino as difficult as the Primitivo, then still had 500 kilometers to go!

Here's how I arrived at that "proof." According to Gronze, the Primitivo runs 250 kilometers from Oviedo to the junction with the Frances at Melide. My calculations above show that the Primitivo’s per stage rating is 2.98. The stage rating of the first 250 kilometers of the Le Puy route, from Le Puy to Figeac, is actually 3.0, essentially the same. The Norte’s first 250 kilometers, through Guemes, earns a difficulty rating of 3.16, even higher. So, on these two caminos, you start out by doing a camino as difficult as the Primitivo, and when you've finished, you still have 500 kilometers to go! (Of course, if you cut off the Norte onto the Primitivo, instead of sticking to the Norte, you've now given yourself two Primitivos -- and then some).

Just for the fun of it, although it doesn’t relate to the Le Puy route at all, I also calculated the easiest way to get a compostela, from easiest to hardest:

Portuguese (Tui to Santiago): 2.16
Frances (Sarria to Santiago): 2.41
Ingles (Ferrol to Santiago): 2.46
Primitivo (Lugo to Santiago): 2.50 (est.)
Norte (Baamonde to Santiago, via Arzua on Frances): 2.50
Finisterre (Muxia to Finisterre to Santiago): 2.61

And finally, although I've never walked it, I was curious how the Via de la Plata fits into this. Adding up the stars and the distances given by Gronze (from Sevilla to Astorga on the Frances) yields a difficulty rating of 2.35, about the same as the Frances. Undoubtedly, that will stir up some grumbling because often it's hard to break up VDLP's longer stages (or so I've heard), and 35 kilometers is just plain hard. Plus, while it can be pleasant on the Norte in August, just try walking the VDLP at that time.

If you've read this far, you're probably grumbling away, with lots of "Buts" and strenuous disagreements. And that's the fun of it.
Bring it on!
Is the Ingles a 2.46 on the old (Hospital de Bruma) route or the current one that misses out Bar Julia?
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I get the fun of the game, for sure, but it's still totally subjective, I think. For me, the distance walked in a given day is by far the greatest measure of the difficulty, absent any crazy challenges as I've mentioned in earlier posts. There is also another factor that I don't think you've mentioned, and that's the weather. If I'm walking in any heat at all, I wilt. The warmer it is, the more difficult it becomes. That's another subjective aspect, because some people love walking in warm weather. Rain is just another challenge, but it doesn't affect my perception of the difficulty of the walk in any measurable degree.
I agree with you on heat, I hate it for walking! It totally zaps my energy and like you, I wilt and every kilometer is a real drag, both mentally and physically. Chilly weather invigorates me (if I can stay warm enough). I can walk fasterer with more energy as I work to stay warm. Add in a cup of cafe con leche and I'm especially "good to go"!
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
I'm always amused by all the posts that ask how difficult a particular route is. And having just come back from the Le Puy route, I'm asked the same question by fellow Camino addicts in the SF Bay Area: How hard was it? Of course there's no answer. My hard is your easy, and vice versa.

Insofar as we try to move beyond purely subjective feelings, we often look to total elevation gain (in addition to distance, of course) as a measure of difficulty. But I don't find that very satisfying. A 400 meter ascent spread out evenly over 20 kilometers on a smooth path is hardly noticeable, but if that ascent involves clambering over rocks and it comes in the last 4 kilometers of an otherwise flat 20 kilometer stretch, you'll arrive gasping for breath.

However, it did strike me that there are some semi-objective ratings out there, which can at least help us make comparisons between caminos --- the Gronze ratings of 1 - 5 stars in order of increasing difficulty. Presumably (I said to myself), whoever created those ratings has no ax to grind. So, as a fun kind of game, I decided to try and arrive at a difficulty rating -- per Gronze -- of all the caminos my wife and I have walked, with special focus on the Le Puy, since that's the last one we did.

In doing this, it first struck me that you can't just divide the total number of stars by the total Gronze stages and get a per stage rating. Instead, you have to compensate for the effects of stages of different distances. A 30 kilometer or more stage will almost always get three stars or more, no matter how undemanding the individual kilometers are; conversely, a stage less than 20 kilometers will rarely get more than two stars, even if constantly up and down.

So -- to compensate for these distance biases, I added up the total number of stars Gronze gives for the entire camino, and then divided that number by the camino’s total length in kilometers. I then multiplied that quotient by 25 to get a star rating for a typical stage of 25 kilometers.

Here's what I came up with for the long caminos we’ve walked, from easiest to hardest:

Frances - 2.24
Le Puy — 2.43
Norte (up to link-up with Frances at Arzua) -- 2.70

That actually fit our subjective impression, so it was reassuring.

Throwing in the shorter caminos we've walked adds to the fun (although it's misleading, as discussed below):

Portuguese coastal (up to link-up with central route) — 2.11
Portuguese central route (from Porto to Santiago) — 2.18
Frances - 2.24
Le Puy — 2.43
Ingles - 2.46
Norte (up to link-up with Frances at Arzua) -- 2.70
Primitivo (up to Frances link-up at Melide) - 2.98

Of course, mixing the shorter caminos into a comparison like this is unfair to the longer caminos. Demanding as the Primitivo may be, for example, there’s no way it’s more taxing to walk the two weeks it typically requires than to walk the five weeks most people take to do the Frances. Nor is it more taxing to walk the Ingles for 5 relatively difficult days than to walk the Portuguese’s easier stages for 10 or 12 days.

In fact, throwing the Primitivo (my favorite, actually) into the mix is totally misleading when you’re comparing it to the longer caminos. And with a little more juggling of the numbers, I was actually able to "prove" that in walking the Norte and Le Puy routes (the last two caminos we've done), we actually first walked a camino as difficult as the Primitivo, then still had 500 kilometers to go!

Here's how I arrived at that "proof." According to Gronze, the Primitivo runs 250 kilometers from Oviedo to the junction with the Frances at Melide. My calculations above show that the Primitivo’s per stage rating is 2.98. The stage rating of the first 250 kilometers of the Le Puy route, from Le Puy to Figeac, is actually 3.0, essentially the same. The Norte’s first 250 kilometers, through Guemes, earns a difficulty rating of 3.16, even higher. So, on these two caminos, you start out by doing a camino as difficult as the Primitivo, and when you've finished, you still have 500 kilometers to go! (Of course, if you cut off the Norte onto the Primitivo, instead of sticking to the Norte, you've now given yourself two Primitivos -- and then some).

Just for the fun of it, although it doesn’t relate to the Le Puy route at all, I also calculated the easiest way to get a compostela, from easiest to hardest:

Portuguese (Tui to Santiago): 2.16
Frances (Sarria to Santiago): 2.41
Ingles (Ferrol to Santiago): 2.46
Primitivo (Lugo to Santiago): 2.50 (est.)
Norte (Baamonde to Santiago, via Arzua on Frances): 2.50
Finisterre (Muxia to Finisterre to Santiago): 2.61

And finally, although I've never walked it, I was curious how the Via de la Plata fits into this. Adding up the stars and the distances given by Gronze (from Sevilla to Astorga on the Frances) yields a difficulty rating of 2.35, about the same as the Frances. Undoubtedly, that will stir up some grumbling because often it's hard to break up VDLP's longer stages (or so I've heard), and 35 kilometers is just plain hard. Plus, while it can be pleasant on the Norte in August, just try walking the VDLP at that time.

If you've read this far, you're probably grumbling away, with lots of "Buts" and strenuous disagreements. And that's the fun of it.
Bring it on!
Love the analysis. But with some butttt, of course. Can we get a rating for temperature and rainfall which we can overlay on length and elevation?? Here is my much less scientific take on setting out from Le Puy in late summer 😊 https://readingontheroad54893552.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/blogging-the-slog/
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (12-15); Muxia (15); Portuguese, Primitivo (17); Norte, Ingles, VF partial (18), Le Puy (19)
I get the fun of the game, for sure, but it's still totally subjective, I think. For me, the distance walked in a given day is by far the greatest measure of the difficulty, absent any crazy challenges as I've mentioned in earlier posts. There is also another factor that I don't think you've mentioned, and that's the weather. If I'm walking in any heat at all, I wilt. The warmer it is, the more difficult it becomes. That's another subjective aspect, because some people love walking in warm weather. Rain is just another challenge, but it doesn't affect my perception of the difficulty of the walk in any measurable degree.
Sure any given day is subjective, based on stuff like what’s the weather today, how hungover am I, how much did I sleep with that schmuck snoring next to me. But over time and distance, the subjectives even out, so if you want to compare caminos in a way that’s not just based on what you thought, it’s fun to look at some ratings someone else came up with. And of course, distance each day is probably the biggest factor in difficulty. That’s why I calculated this on a per 25 kilometer stage.


Is the Ingles a 2.46 on the old (Hospital de Bruma) route or the current one that misses out Bar Julia?
Current way. https://www.gronze.com/camino-ingles

Love the analysis. But with some butttt, of course. Can we get a rating for temperature and rainfall which we can overlay on length and elevation?? Here is my much less scientific take on setting out from Le Puy in late summer 😊 https://readingontheroad54893552.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/blogging-the-slog/
That’s the reason we started in late September. Would be fun to try and overlay temperature and rainfall, but maybe Gronze does that already. Actually, who knows what Gronze does? Probably just some old geezer (like me) sitting around throwing darts at a dart board.

If you really want to get an argument going, do a comparison of the Caminos based on Gronze’s beauty ratings. Like personally, I hated the Portuguese coastal route . . . .
 
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
@andycohn -

As a dedicated all-around "numbers guy", I love the analytical framework that you have spent some time on here.

That said, I regretfully suggest that the task of modeling "difficulty" of a Camino is impossible. There are a couple of reasons for this, elements of which exist in prior replies.

First of all...

Walking the Way, and the experience thereof, is too personal and complex a set of inter-locking factors to generalize.

Weather, landscape, the aspect of light presented, but most importantly the people around one, all play a part. My belief is that the coming together of all four derives from Providence as opposed to ‘coincidence’; I always have to work mightily to not confuse the two.

As to a less "mystical" (ie. more physical/objective) problem in the modeling...

From start to finish, a Camino can rightly be understood in physical terms as a "Work" function. [Work = Force X distance]. Given the same starting and end points, and all other conditions being equal, then EVERYONE would perceive the walk's difficulty in the same way. Day-by-day and from start to finish. Reduction to these simple terms eliminates variables of altitude change, distance per day, etc.

But, again in a simple framing of physical (objective) factors, "other conditions" are nigh impossible to be made equal:

Folks with heavier pack weight to body weight ratio are condemned to MORE work.

Those with higher BMI scores - same!

Base personal fitness - I think the impact is obvious.

Base body preference for ambient temperature - same deal. This is not a "personal preference" but rather a function of individual metabolism.

Back to the "simple" math aspect of modeling, I perceive only a 0.74 range from minimum to maximum values...and this on a 5.0 point scale. That is only a 15% spread! In a nutshell, though most readers eyes are already glazed over;), you COULD be tempted to add more factors into your model the end result is that you would get a number that seems "right" but it will not be universally applicable.

I have (without intent) performed a "paired-difference" analysis over many Caminos wherein my experience of any given day could be at complete odds of people who had walked exactly the same stage.

So, yeah - excellent attempt and a worthy effort and I hope it was fun for you.... but isn't there a more pleasurable hobby you could pick up?😀

B
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
But, again in a simple framing of physical (objective) factors, "other conditions" are nigh impossible to be made equal:
Not to mention mood and sleep the night before.....
;) Maybe there also needs to be a variable quantifying thr number of snorers the night before, multiplied or squared by their decible level.
 
Last edited:

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Sure any given day is subjective, based on stuff like what’s the weather today, how hungover am I, how much did I sleep with that schmuck snoring next to me. But over time and distance, the subjectives even out, so if you want to compare caminos in a way that’s not just based on what you thought, it’s fun to look at some ratings someone else came up with. And of course, distance each day is probably the biggest factor in difficulty. That’s why I calculated this on a per 25 kilometer stage.



Current way. https://www.gronze.com/camino-ingles


That’s the reason we started in late September. Would be fun to try and overlay temperature and rainfall, but maybe Gronze does that already. Actually, who knows what Gronze does? Probably just some old geezer (like me) sitting around throwing darts at a dart board.

If you really want to get an argument going, do a comparison of the Caminos based on Gronze’s beauty ratings. Like personally, I hated the Portuguese coastal route . . . .
I didn’t like Portuguese coastal route either!
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
Here's what I came up with for the long caminos we’ve walked, from easiest to hardest:

Frances - 2.24
Le Puy — 2.43
Norte (up to link-up with Frances at Arzua) -- 2.70
I remember walking into a small town on the Del Norte (back in 2016) at 11am, when I noticed a familiar looking pilgrim walking in front of me. I called out to her and asked if she felt like taking a break with me. She did, and we sat down outside a bar just before a corner. It was a hot, sunny day. So she was going to order a large, cool beer asked if I would like one as well. At first I wasn't planning to. It was only lunchtime and I wasn't done walking yet. But I knew, that if I was going to drink alcohol I wouldn't be going anywhere anymore. But by the time she ordered a second beer the thought of this cold beverage was so appealing to me that I ordered one as well. You know, one of these large ones. After that we had another one and another small one. By now it was close to 1 pm. And we both decided that we wouldn't walk any further. Strange how beer seems to end up in one's legs instead of one's metabolism. Mmmmm, must ask my doctor about this one day.

At that moment somebody came around the corner wearing flip flops. Obviously a pilgrim. A pilgrim without backpack and walking boots can only mean one thing: he/she has found an albergue. And he had. We asked him where it was and he replied: "Turn right at the corner and you'll find the albergue after 75 meters on the left side of the road".

My Camino friend and I decided to call it a day, so we payed the bill and started heading for the albergue. As we turned around the corner, across the street there was another bar. There were two pilgrims sitting outside that we had met before. They called us over and invited us to drink a glass of beer with them. And we did. Just a couple, mind you.

At last we checked in at the albergue at 3.30 pm.

The point being: on the Del Norte walking about 100 meters takes 4,5 hours.

So Andy's absolutely right: the Del Norte is one of the hardest Camino's.
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
I remember walking into a small town on the Del Norte (back in 2016) at 11am, when I noticed a familiar looking pilgrim walking in front of me. I called out to her and asked if she felt like taking a break with me. She did, and we sat down outside a bar just before a corner. It was a hot, sunny day. So she was going to order a large, cool beer asked if I would like one as well. At first I wasn't planning to. It was only lunchtime and I wasn't done walking yet. But I knew, that if I was going to drink alcohol I wouldn't be going anywhere anymore. But by the time she ordered a second beer the thought of this cold beverage was so appealing to me that I ordered one as well. You know, one of these large ones. After that we had another one and another small one. By now it was close to 1 pm. And we both decided that we wouldn't walk any further. Strange how beer seems to end up in one's legs instead of one's metabolism. Mmmmm, must ask my doctor about this one day.

At that moment somebody came around the corner wearing flip flops. Obviously a pilgrim. A pilgrim without backpack and walking boots can only mean one thing: he/she has found an albergue. And he had. We asked him where it was and he replied: "Turn right at the corner and you'll find the albergue after 75 meters on the left side of the road".

My Camino friend and I decided to call it a day, so we payed the bill and started heading for the albergue. As we turned around the corner, across the street there was another bar. There were two pilgrims sitting outside that we had met before. They called us over and invited us to drink a glass of beer with them. And we did. Just a couple, mind you.

At last we checked in at the albergue at 3.30 pm.

The point being: on the Del Norte walking about 100 meters takes 4,5 hours.

So Andy's absolutely right: the Del Norte is one of the hardest Camino's.
This is the best analysis ever :) Can I quote you on my blog please?
I remember walking into a small town on the Del Norte (back in 2016) at 11am, when I noticed a familiar looking pilgrim walking in front of me. I called out to her and asked if she felt like taking a break with me. She did, and we sat down outside a bar just before a corner. It was a hot, sunny day. So she was going to order a large, cool beer asked if I would like one as well. At first I wasn't planning to. It was only lunchtime and I wasn't done walking yet. But I knew, that if I was going to drink alcohol I wouldn't be going anywhere anymore. But by the time she ordered a second beer the thought of this cold beverage was so appealing to me that I ordered one as well. You know, one of these large ones. After that we had another one and another small one. By now it was close to 1 pm. And we both decided that we wouldn't walk any further. Strange how beer seems to end up in one's legs instead of one's metabolism. Mmmmm, must ask my doctor about this one day.

At that moment somebody came around the corner wearing flip flops. Obviously a pilgrim. A pilgrim without backpack and walking boots can only mean one thing: he/she has found an albergue. And he had. We asked him where it was and he replied: "Turn right at the corner and you'll find the albergue after 75 meters on the left side of the road".

My Camino friend and I decided to call it a day, so we payed the bill and started heading for the albergue. As we turned around the corner, across the street there was another bar. There were two pilgrims sitting outside that we had met before. They called us over and invited us to drink a glass of beer with them. And we did. Just a couple, mind you.

At last we checked in at the albergue at 3.30 pm.

The point being: on the Del Norte walking about 100 meters takes 4,5 hours.

So Andy's absolutely right: the Del Norte is one of the hardest Camino's.
This is the best analysis of walking difficulty I have ever read!!! Can I please this in a Blog post? 😃
I remember walking into a small town on the Del Norte (back in 2016) at 11am, when I noticed a familiar looking pilgrim walking in front of me. I called out to her and asked if she felt like taking a break with me. She did, and we sat down outside a bar just before a corner. It was a hot, sunny day. So she was going to order a large, cool beer asked if I would like one as well. At first I wasn't planning to. It was only lunchtime and I wasn't done walking yet. But I knew, that if I was going to drink alcohol I wouldn't be going anywhere anymore. But by the time she ordered a second beer the thought of this cold beverage was so appealing to me that I ordered one as well. You know, one of these large ones. After that we had another one and another small one. By now it was close to 1 pm. And we both decided that we wouldn't walk any further. Strange how beer seems to end up in one's legs instead of one's metabolism. Mmmmm, must ask my doctor about this one day.

At that moment somebody came around the corner wearing flip flops. Obviously a pilgrim. A pilgrim without backpack and walking boots can only mean one thing: he/she has found an albergue. And he had. We asked him where it was and he replied: "Turn right at the corner and you'll find the albergue after 75 meters on the left side of the road".

My Camino friend and I decided to call it a day, so we payed the bill and started heading for the albergue. As we turned around the corner, across the street there was another bar. There were two pilgrims sitting outside that we had met before. They called us over and invited us to drink a glass of beer with them. And we did. Just a couple, mind you.

At last we checked in at the albergue at 3.30 pm.

The point being: on the Del Norte walking about 100 meters takes 4,5 hours.

So Andy's absolutely right: the Del Norte is one of the hardest Camino's.
This is the most astute analysis of walking I have ever read! Hope you don’t mind if I quote you in a blog post? 😃
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
This is the best analysis ever :) Can I quote you on my blog please?

This is the best analysis of walking difficulty I have ever read!!! Can I please this in a Blog post? 😃

This is the most astute analysis of walking I have ever read! Hope you don’t mind if I quote you in a blog post? 😃
I don’t mind. On the condition that you share one of your Camino stories with me. ;)
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
I don’t mind. On the condition that you share one of your Camino stories with me. ;)
It’s a deal! 1) here again blog link I put in earlier in response to this string (you might have missed it) https://readingontheroad54893552.wordpress.com/2018/09/02/blogging-the-slog/
2) I am in the process of writing some short stories located on the Camino and need some Beta readers - so if you are into fiction, would love to get your comments on one or two of those 😉
 

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