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Which Camino in May/June?

Normie2500

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Italy)
Hi all, I'm so sorry to beat a dead horse with this one, but thought I'd see if there might be any new insights.

I'm torn between the CF and the CdN at the moment, also somewhat considering the CdM. I know I'm going to appear very picky here, but I want to make sure I get everything I can out of the time and money I'm spending on the camino. I'm not a deeply spiritual person but I definitely think a lot to myself and enjoy the quiet.

I hiked the Via Francigena for a week last year in late April, from Lucca to Monteriggioni. Though time commitments forced me to leave from Siena, I would have had to face the biggest problem sooner or later: I was painfully ill-equipped. My 'goretex' shoes had holes in the toes so water could get in... And stay in all day. Then there was the heat. With my pale complexion I was really pushing it with a heavy bag on a stretch with few water fountains and very little shade in parts. Then the albergues (or whatever they were called in Italy), which were in varying states of cleanliness and a couple of which had some pretty nasty insect problems (roaches and/or bedbugs).

That said, I thought the hike was incredible - the vistas, the variety of scenery, the lovely forested stretches and the quiet mornings. There was limited pavement as well, if memory serves correctly. The ups and downs of the hike were never a serious issue, blaring heat notwithstanding. At any rate this time I'll be better equipped for my camino in Spain, having treated myself to a nice pair of boots this time around.

So my primary interests are: limited sun exposure (i.e. no or few multiple-hour-long shadeless stretches), places of historical interest, lots of greenery and wooded paths, but most importantly not too much monotony (and ideally as few crawling things in the albergues as possible). And while I do like connecting with people, I found it awkward the few times I walked alongside others for long, as we often found we had a different pace (or not much to talk about!).

With this in mind, I was wondering what options you all would recommend.
 

Normie2500

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Italy)
Ha, I know how it looks for me to be so specific. I'm more flexible than the post makes me out to be. These are ideals, not deal breakers.

That being said, this is why I'm considering the CdN, being hopefully not too hot in May regardless of the tree cover.

I've already done part of the Via Francigena so I know what I'm dealing with here, and I would much appreciate sincere replies.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
I think, the CF would meet most of your requirements, but there are some longer stretches without shade in the meseta. And it can be crowdet. The Camino de Madrid is not that common, so it is not very likely that you will enjoy the company of other pilgrims. I have not walked the Norte yet so I can not tell you about it. But to my mind comes another suggestion: How about the Primitivo?

It is easily doable in 11-17 days. So a three weeks holiday may allow you to continue to Fisterra/Muxía. It has montains and forests and some, but not too many other pilgrims. Only on the hospitales you should be carefull with the sun. I was badly burnt there last June.

BC
Alexandra
 

Normie2500

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Italy)
I think, the CF would meet most of your requirements, but there are some longer stretches without shade in the meseta. And it can be crowdet. The Camino de Madrid is not that common, so it is not very likely that you will enjoy the company of other pilgrims. I have not walked the Norte yet so I can not tell you about it. But to my mind comes another suggestion: How about the Primitivo?

It is easily doable in 11-17 days. So a three weeks holiday may allow you to continue to Fisterra/Muxía. It has montains and forests and some, but not too many other pilgrims. Only on the hospitales you should be carefull with the sun. I was badly burnt there last June.

BC
Alexandra

Hi Alexandra,

Thanks very much for your reply. I have been considering the CP as a possible alternative to continuing the CdN and appreciate the recommendation as it fits nicely with what I've already been thinking.

I've been reading all these posts about the CF and how busy it can be and that's a pretty big deal if one hopes to do self reflection. Especially considering how peaceful the CP looks to be, the CF somewhat concerns me.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
After Lugo you could go via Friol and meet the Norte at Sobrado dos Monxes again. There is a new alternative route which hits the CF only 10 km before Santiago.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
Or the Primativo?
The CF can be very sunny in the middle bit across the Meseta, without much shade to speak of. So if you are sensitive to sun, that might not be the way to go.
 

Normie2500

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (Italy)
After Lugo you could go via Friol and meet the Norte at Sobrado dos Monxes again. There is a new alternative route which hits the CF only 10 km before Santiago.
Wow, that is a fantastic suggestion. Thank you very much - part of my concern for the primitivo was running into the hordes so if I can cut across to the Norte again that solves the issue. I'm outlining the journey on a notepad now. Thanks a tonne!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011)
Norte (2014)
Norte (2016)
Salvador (2017)
Frances (2018)
Madrid-Salvador-Primitivo 19
Or the Primativo?
The CF can be very sunny in the middle bit across the Meseta, without much shade to speak of. So if you are sensitive to sun, that might not be the way to go.
The Meseta in May is not too sunny, but somewhat cloudy and cool. A few showers here and there.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
The Meseta in May is not too sunny, but somewhat cloudy and cool. A few showers here and there.
Cool in the morning maybe, but cloudy is hardly guaranteed. I've walked across the meseta three times in April or May and had far more sun than clouds.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
When I walked the CF in May/June 2006/2007 there was always a lot of sun in the Meseta. Only after Leon it started with some rain, but again, when Walking up to the Cruz the Ferro, I was sunburnt.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
The meseta section on the Frances, while flatter and with less patches of woods, does not really expose one to the sun any more than the rest of the Frances route.
Think about it. When you walk the Frances, how often are you walking under the shade of trees? In essence, how often do you walk through the woods on it? Not much, really.
Walking across farm fields on the meseta does not expose you to any more sun than say walking through the urban stretch (not the river route) into Burgos, or out of Leon.
No one part of walking the Frances is really any sunnier than the other, and what is most important is proper clothing for warm, sunny weather, hydration, sunscreen and a good hat/cap. Perhaps a good set of sunglasses as well.
 

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