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Want to try a new Camino

dawn.amanecer

New Member
Hello!
My name is Kelly and last summer I did the Camino frances from SJPP to Santiago and loved every minute of it. I'm coming back this summer to try a new Camino. I'm on a very tight budget and will need to walk a Camino with plenty of inexpensive pilgrim albergues (I don't feel comfortable sleeping in a tent alone). I am a woman and will be walking alone so I would also like a Camino with a significant amount of people so that I feel safe and also won't get lost. I'm debating between the Camino Portugues beginning in Lisbon, a Camino in France such as Le Puy and also the Via de la Plata. Which would you recommend?
Thanks so much for your help!
:)Kelly
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Hi Kelly and welcome to the forum.

I loved the Le Puy route, but if you are on a budget, you possibly need to look at a route in Spain. The gites in France cost more than the Spanish albergues, plus food is dearer too. It is definitely cheaper to walk in Spain than in France.
Margaret
 

gyro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos: Frances, Ingles, Portugues, de Norte
Via(s): de la Plata, Mozarabe
Dear Kelly,
Like Margaret, I would advise a Spanish route.

The first 500 km of the Via de la Plata, from Seville to Salamanca, passes through Extremadura -one of the poorest regions in Spain (though quite beautiful). prices are thus low...
Gyro
 

dawn.amanecer

New Member
Dear Gyro and Margaret,
Thanks so much for getting back with me. Do you both think that there will be enough albergues along the Via de la Plata? Will there actually be other pigrims? I am a woman traveling alone and I felt very comfortable last year on the Camino frances from SJPP-Stgo., but I'm a little hesitant about the Via de la Plata because I'm afraid I'll be all alone. What do you both think?
Buen Camino,
:)Kelly
 

MermaidLilli

Active Member
I went to the Via earlier than you are planning and there were pilgrims most of the route. I was alone in albergues a few times only. You are going later than I did and will probably see more. Now I do know that the census drops in late July and August due to the heat. When I would read posts in the albergues' pilgrim books, I would take note of the day they were written. Most were in April and May. Then it dropped in July and August and picked up again.
You might also consider doing the Norte, if you are going in those hot months. It would be at least somewhat cooler. And the way the Caminos have gotten popular I would bet there will be many pilgrims this year on all routes.
Lillian
 

dawn.amanecer

New Member
Thanks for your input, Lillian. I could definitely begin the Via de la Plata late May/early June. Do you think it would be safe for a woman traveling alone? I heard rumors last summer that pilgrims would have to walk stretches of 35-40 km a day because there were not enough albergues. Is this true? Thanks.
Buen Camino,
Kelly
 

MermaidLilli

Active Member
No, it is not. There was only one stretch that is long, without the usual albergue. That part was by the Arco de Caparra. What we did, along with about 6 others was to wait at the arco and be picked up by a driver for a hostal several kms away from the Via. Then the next day we walked from the hostal back to the Via. Means we skipped about 7kms. Other than that, the albergues/towns were frequent.
The first day seemed eternal, out of Sevilla to Guillena, and very hot. That was definitely the hottest day on the Via. I do not remember how long it was.
Lillian
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Kelly - great question! for me it would have to be le Puy to St. Jean - yes it is less cheap than Spanish ones ... but there are quite a few (lots - plenty!) regular auberges, and quite a few pilgrims and, and this is the thing Kelly - it is in France.

France, Kelly - it is in France!

France! to walk through France ..... so green so ... olivey, so .. errmm .. French? ... Kelly, when you get old and withered like the last prune in a long-forgotten cardboard container of dried prunes and end up sitting on the park bench as the young and virile world struts by ... what would you like your memories to be? what would make you smile, and warm that wrinkled skin in memories of wild, warm, luxuriant, laughing, life? Surely the memory of a long long walk through a potent and herb-smelling, skin-sweating, rich, hot and vibrant French summer would count?

I rest my case ....... :wink:
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Kelly, I see you have had lots of replies while I was at work! I did notice you originally said VDLP in summer and knew that would be too hot a proposition for me! As far as the south of France goes, we were told in my gite in Moissac that the numbers of pilgrims really drop off in July and August with the heat, and pick up again in September. So maybe the Norte would be a cooler alternative, though I don't know much about it.
Margaret
 

dawn.amanecer

New Member
I'm starting to lean more towards France. I think that there will be more pilgrims on the Le Puy route. I'm really social and I think that I'll get lonely on the Via de la Plata. Br. David's persuasive writing is really convincing! I better get a move on before I start wrinkling up like a prune. The French countryside does sound amazing...
:p Kelly
 

dawn.amanecer

New Member
If I can get a flight to Paris, I'll start in Le Puy. If I can't, I'll either head to Samport and start from there or I'll head down to the Via de la Plata. I'll just let the Camino decide for me. If the going gets rough I can always turn around and go somewhere!
:D Kelly
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I walked the VDLP In 2006 and found it blissfully isolated,last year from Granda which joins the VDLP at Merida and was very surprised at the number of walkers. Some alberques I had stayed in with one other person in 2006 were now full with up to 14 people. I never needed to stay in hostels and I thought the albergues were reasonable spaced and never needed to resort to the stupid craze of lining up for a bed by 11am
I've also walked from le Puy-as has JL from this forum-and we both had a great time.This route joins the CF which for me was the worse part,crowded and yes as someone else has posted quite a lot of people seemed to travel in groups and stay together.
 

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