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Walking partner

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
It is a good idea to have some guidelines in mind in the event that you do actually find someone who will be starting at the same time as you.
Keep the commitment very loose so that you can easily go your own ways if personalities are not a good match...or you find that your walking goals or abilities do not match.
Keeping the connection loose can make it much more comfortable.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
@Sean555
I would agree with what Grayland says. I enjoy walking alone and am quite happy to walk with others when it arises. I am not sure I would commit in advance to walking >2000km with somebody. ;)

I walked in 2018 starting on April 1 (which was Easter Sunday). I had only three encounters with other pilgrims between Canterbury and the GSB Pass. The way is not busy. I met a few more people in Italy but it was still very quiet until after Lucca or Siena. I met a couple in Canterbury, heading for Santiago de Compostela, a couple from New Zealand one night, and a group of thirteen French people who were walking a stage of a week. That was all.

However, I established contact on FB as I walked with a single person, and a couple (on their honeymoon) who were walking ahead of me, and two other separate people, one walking and one running(!) behind me. None of us met in person at any point, but it was without doubt a helpful source of virtual company and we were able to exchange tips, especially about accommodation along the way.

Buon Cammino
 

Sean555

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Camino Norte ((2018)only the beginning
That’s all good advice , thank you .
My main concern was walking through northern France where accommodation is scarce( and perhaps even scarcer in these Covid times) , I was hoping to wild camp most of the time , I just thought, not having wild camped before that it would be safer with two people .

I Will also be using a hiking trolley, which could carry everything for 2 people making the walk a lot easier with no need for a back pack . After France I hope access to accommodation would improve .
Thanks again
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
That’s all good advice , thank you .
My main concern was walking through northern France where accommodation is scarce( and perhaps even scarcer in these Covid times) , I was hoping to wild camp most of the time , I just thought, not having wild camped before that it would be safer with two people .

I Will also be using a hiking trolley, which could carry everything for 2 people making the walk a lot easier with no need for a back pack . After France I hope access to accommodation would improve .
Thanks again
I combined the VF with the PWC walking London to Rome setting off in March last year.
I'm not sure what you envision by 'wild camping' but I think your options would be limited. I'll caveat that by saying I'm not a camper (at all...ever!) so I don't look at my environment with an eye for potential spots to hunker down but the sections through northern France are largely wide open expanses of crops. Hauling a trolley behind you will further limit your ability to go 'off piste' to find those suitable little nooks.
I'm not trying to dissuade you at all but rather I'm suggesting you may need to be creative with the route you take. I only loosely followed the 'official' path through northern France, instead navigating my own way (based on accomm availability) which was a challenge I really enjoyed.
I agree with @timr wholeheartedly; other pilgrims will be few & far between. I didn't encounter my first until near the French-Swiss border. If you don't find a walking partner, you will need to be self-sufficient socially! From a safety perspective, once again I don't camp, but I walked the entire distance as a solo female with no issues at all.
Happy planning...& you will need a lot of it! especially in these more complicated times.
Sempre avanti.
👣 🌏
Examples of the environment walking through northern France..lots of big, flat nothing! 😄
 

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timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
That’s all good advice , thank you .
My main concern was walking through northern France where accommodation is scarce( and perhaps even scarcer in these Covid times) , I was hoping to wild camp most of the time , I just thought, not having wild camped before that it would be safer with two people .

I Will also be using a hiking trolley, which could carry everything for 2 people making the walk a lot easier with no need for a back pack . After France I hope access to accommodation would improve .
Thanks again
I don't know if you have seen this Sean.
The CPR in UK has just gathered all its previously available planning material into a collected pdf. It is free. There is some discussion about camping on it.
And there is much else on the website too.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
@kazrobbo, I watched Efren Gonzales youtube videos of the VF and noticed the same thing as your photos are showing in northern France.
I actually enjoyed the landscape. I captured some great shots (on camera not phone, so can't attach here) of wind turbines & electricity pylons marching off to the horizon.
Also navigating my own way, I could easily tell if I was heading in the right direction... 😁
I didn't even realise the apparent monotony of weeks in that environment until I came across my first patch of forest & then little hills...my brain started pinging at the change of scenery! 😄
👣 🌏
 

Sean555

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Camino Norte ((2018)only the beginning
I don't know if you have seen this Sean.
The CPR in UK has just gathered all its previously available planning material into a collected pdf. It is free. There is some discussion about camping on it.
And there is much else on the website too.
Many thanks for that, it will be very useful.
 

Sean555

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Camino Norte ((2018)only the beginning
I combined the VF with the PWC walking London to Rome setting off in March last year.
I'm not sure what you envision by 'wild camping' but I think your options would be limited. I'll caveat that by saying I'm not a camper (at all...ever!) so I don't look at my environment with an eye for potential spots to hunker down but the sections through northern France are largely wide open expanses of crops. Hauling a trolley behind you will further limit your ability to go 'off piste' to find those suitable little nooks.
I'm not trying to dissuade you at all but rather I'm suggesting you may need to be creative with the route you take. I only loosely followed the 'official' path through northern France, instead navigating my own way (based on accomm availability) which was a challenge I really enjoyed.
I agree with @timr wholeheartedly; other pilgrims will be few & far between. I didn't encounter my first until near the French-Swiss border. If you don't find a walking partner, you will need to be self-sufficient socially! From a safety perspective, once again I don't camp, but I walked the entire distance as a solo female with no issues at all.
Happy planning...& you will need a lot of it! especially in these more complicated times.
Sempre avanti.
👣 🌏
Examples of the environment walking through northern France..lots of big, flat nothing! 😄
Thanks for the reply , there are a few videos on you tube of walkers who wild camped all the way to Rome , also re the the hiking trolly , Efren Gonzales completed the Francegina with a hiking trolley and highly recommended it , his videos on all the Caminos are on YouTube and are well worth a watch .
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Thanks for the reply , there are a few videos on you tube of walkers who wild camped all the way to Rome , also re the the hiking trolly , Efren Gonzales completed the Francegina with a hiking trolley and highly recommended it , his videos on all the Caminos are on YouTube and are well worth a watch .
Yes, I was an addicted to Efren's VF blog prior to setting out...I'll just watch one more ep...maybe just another..etc! 😇 I had forgotten he had a trolley too...& adjusted his routing accordingly.
I was also thinking of the weather as I walked the same time of year as you're intending (Efren walked summer through autumn) so I know what you might expect. I'm guessing you're an experienced trolley-camping walker so you'd have the right gear for the temps & conditions.
FYI; the temperature range I experienced was (minus)-10deg c to 37deg c...quite a range to cater for!
Please keep us posted on your plans & especially once you head off.
Best wishes.
👣 🌏
 

Sean555

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Camino Norte ((2018)only the beginning
Yes, I was an addicted to Efren's VF blog prior to setting out...I'll just watch one more ep...maybe just another..etc! 😇 I had forgotten he had a trolley too...& adjusted his routing accordingly.
I was also thinking of the weather as I walked the same time of year as you're intending (Efren walked summer through autumn) so I know what you might expect. I'm guessing you're an experienced trolley-camping walker so you'd have the right gear for the temps & conditions.
FYI; the temperature range I experienced was (minus)-10deg c to 37deg c...quite a range to cater for!
Please keep us posted on your plans & especially once you head off.
Best wishes.
👣 🌏
Thank you , I was the same with Efrens videos , they are of superb quality and the updated he’s making now are an invaluable tool .
As for the trolley , it will be my first try at hiking with a trolley, unfortunately I managed to break both shoulders and find a ruck sack painful on long hikes now , after watching Efren I thought it was an ideal solution , especially as I’ll be carrying camping equipment water and food , fingers crossed it will all work out .....
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Thank you , I was the same with Efrens videos , they are of superb quality and the updated he’s making now are an invaluable tool .
As for the trolley , it will be my first try at hiking with a trolley, unfortunately I managed to break both shoulders and find a ruck sack painful on long hikes now , after watching Efren I thought it was an ideal solution , especially as I’ll be carrying camping equipment water and food , fingers crossed it will all work out .....
😯 😵 Yikes...I can't even imagine the pain of one broken shoulder, nevermind two!
I'm glad there is a solution which allows you to continue with long distance walking. Just look out for those stages where Efren got himself in a bit of a pickle with his trolley & you should be right. 🤗
👣 🌏
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Hi , I’m planning to start the via Francigena in March 2021 , is there anyone out there who would like to join me ?
I agree with what TimR says. It is vital, before you commit to walking with someone, that you know their interests (do they want to investigate every church, while you are more interested in local cuisine?), their walking speed and style, whether they prefer pilgrim accommodation, or want higher-end hotels or B&Bs. Etc etc etc. I would also point out that if you leave Canterbury on 21 March you are unlikely to get over the GSB (unless you are an extremely slow walker) as it will still be snow-bound. good luck.
 

roving_rufus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
Not sure I would want to commit to walking with someone...I walked through France solo on the VF, I met some pilgrims but felt fairly happy on my own. I did a mix of pilgrim accommodation and camping and the odd hotel. Many of those who have pilgrim accommodation or who host pilgrims are useful places to stay to make contact and get up to date info (eg the gite in Amettes is a fount of info!). There were some campsites on or close to the route, with several having pilgrim rates. I did wild camp occasionally but there are some days were finding a good spot would be difficult though often churches were a decent option.
 

evanscl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016
Hi , I’m planning to start the via Francigena in March 2021 , is there anyone out there who would like to join me ?
Hello, i do wish you well on your venture. We set off on march 10th from canterbury last year and northern france was at times very windy, wet and cold. This isnt to put you off but so you can be mentally prepared. Although France was the the least easy for accomodation it wasnt impossible, i used booking.com, the CPR accom list plus two blogs i found online that were very useful reference points and mentioned accom that wasnt on any list sometimes. We didnt always follow the ‘official route’ but made our way according to where we could stay. The main issue became miles and miles of roads and villages with nowhere to purchase food and drink, we had to check with our accom if they could provide meals for us as often they were isolated villages with no facilities, or buy where we could en route and eat that in the evenings. French hosts know this and most will provide the best and most generous dinners i have eaten, i could barely move aFter one memorable meal. Also shops may be shut from lunchtimes on sundays or closed mondays - its just something you need to plan for so you have what food you need, it is nothing like being on the camino. Having said all that, it is our time in northern france that sticks most in my mind, the traces of two world wars are still very much there and it is haunting. I want to go back and walk more there.
We did the vf in 3 stages over the year in order to walk over the pass but not walk in italy during the summer heat- someone mentioned you will be too early to walk over the pass but then you will also miss the heat and maybe the Po valley mosquitoes, so theres your compensation!
There are some bits i recall where trailing something behind you might be more difficult - some narrow wooded valley walks with rocks and tree roots, but you could probably find alternative routes and i am sure you are determined. Just something to be aware of.
I am in awe of kazrobbo who walked it as a single female, i am not sure i could have done that and persuaded my husband to take holiday and come with me. It would be a long way to go with someone who you dont know inside out.
Writing this response just makes me long to be back on that road again, its wonderful that you have it all before you - bon route!
 

Sean555

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Camino Norte ((2018)only the beginning
😯 😵 Yikes...I can't even imagine the pain of one broken shoulder, nevermind two!
I'm glad there is a solution which allows you to continue with long distance walking. Just look out for those stages where Efren got himself in a bit of a pickle with his trolley & you should be right. 🤗
👣 🌏
I do recall Efren saying he finished the VF without a single blister , which he put down to the trolley...... that’s as a good selling point as any .
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
thought, not having wild camped before that it would be safer with two people .

For my 20 days (Canterbury to Chaumont-en-haut-Marne in September 2018) I pitched my tent on 7 evenings, usually in or on the outskirts of villages at places suggested by locals, hostels on 4 evenings and hotels always in the cities or when I needed to recharge my tablet or phone.

I walked the roads, especially as any marked route seemed to take so many doglegs through fields. And signposting seemed to be almost non existent. Encountered GR signs late morning out of Reims and got led up the garden path. And three days later encountered a GR sign pointing west towards Compostela for a route that started in the east.

That was by way of wondering whether a hiking trolley would be safe. While some roads had good shoulders, many did not. It was fine to take a step sideways and pause in the rough when a large truck was bearing down, at speed. With a trolley, manoeuvring to be clearly of the road might be awkward, to say the least.

Kia kaha, kia mā'ia, kia mana'wa'nui (be strong, confident and patient)
 

Sean555

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Camino Norte ((2018)only the beginning
For my 20 days (Canterbury to Chaumont-en-haut-Marne in September 2018) I pitched my tent on 7 evenings, usually in or on the outskirts of villages at places suggested by locals, hostels on 4 evenings and hotels always in the cities or when I needed to recharge my tablet or phone.

I walked the roads, especially as any marked route seemed to take so many doglegs through fields. And signposting seemed to be almost non existent. Encountered GR signs late morning out of Reims and got led up the garden path. And three days later encountered a GR sign pointing west towards Compostela for a route that started in the east.

That was by way of wondering whether a hiking trolley would be safe. While some roads had good shoulders, many did not. It was fine to take a step sideways and pause in the rough when a large truck was bearing down, at speed. With a trolley, manoeuvring to be clearly of the road might be awkward, to say the least.

Kia kaha, kia mā'ia, kia mana'wa'nui (be strong, confident and patient)
Thanks for the info, it’s much appreciated.
Hello, i do wish you well on your venture. We set off on march 10th from canterbury last year and northern france was at times very windy, wet and cold. This isnt to put you off but so you can be mentally prepared. Although France was the the least easy for accomodation it wasnt impossible, i used booking.com, the CPR accom list plus two blogs i found online that were very useful reference points and mentioned accom that wasnt on any list sometimes. We didnt always follow the ‘official route’ but made our way according to where we could stay. The main issue became miles and miles of roads and villages with nowhere to purchase food and drink, we had to check with our accom if they could provide meals for us as often they were isolated villages with no facilities, or buy where we could en route and eat that in the evenings. French hosts know this and most will provide the best and most generous dinners i have eaten, i could barely move aFter one memorable meal. Also shops may be shut from lunchtimes on sundays or closed mondays - its just something you need to plan for so you have what food you need, it is nothing like being on the camino. Having said all that, it is our time in northern france that sticks most in my mind, the traces of two world wars are still very much there and it is haunting. I want to go back and walk more there.
We did the vf in 3 stages over the year in order to walk over the pass but not walk in italy during the summer heat- someone mentioned you will be too early to walk over the pass but then you will also miss the heat and maybe the Po valley mosquitoes, so theres your compensation!
There are some bits i recall where trailing something behind you might be more difficult - some narrow wooded valley walks with rocks and tree roots, but you could probably find alternative routes and i am sure you are determined. Just something to be aware of.
I am in awe of kazrobbo who walked it as a single female, i am not sure i could have done that and persuaded my husband to take holiday and come with me. It would be a long way to go with someone who you dont know inside out.
Writing this response just makes me long to be back on that road again, its wonderful that you have it all before you - bon route!
Thank you for all the info , it’s very much appreciated, funnily enough it’s walking through northern France that I find I’m looking forward to the most , it does sound like an adventure all on its own .
Thanks again
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
That’s all good advice , thank you .
My main concern was walking through northern France where accommodation is scarce( and perhaps even scarcer in these Covid times) , I was hoping to wild camp most of the time , I just thought, not having wild camped before that it would be safer with two people .

I Will also be using a hiking trolley, which could carry everything for 2 people making the walk a lot easier with no need for a back pack . After France I hope access to accommodation would improve .
Thanks again
 

AnaRosario

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pomplano to Santiago (March 29-May 6 2018)
Hi , I’m planning to start the via Francigena in March 2021 , is there anyone out there who would like to join me ?
Where are you living now? I’m in USA want to for sure,

(personal email deleted). Suggest that members use the Private Message function of the forum. Click on envelope icon at top of page to access PM.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Sean555

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Camino Norte ((2018)only the beginning
Where are you living now? I’m in USA want to for sure,

(personal email deleted). Suggest that members use the Private Message function of the forum. Click on envelope icon at top of page to access PM.
Hi, I live in London . Private message me if you’d like to chat about walking VF .
 

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