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Which Route for my Second Camino

Justabob

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Camino Frances April/May 2015
Camino Portuegese April/May 2016
Norte and Primitiveo Sept/Oct 2017
I walked the CF this spring and it changed by life. Going back next spring and am torn between the Portuguese route or returning to the CF. Any advice would be appreciated...
 
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Pick one that fits the time you have. You can walk the Camino Frances again without repeating stops!
 
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Hey Bob - I haven't walked the Portuguese route, so can't add much value there, however, I have walked a few of the other popular routes all of which I recommend for various reasons...

You have walked the CF, so you have already experienced the most "developed" Camino of those I've walked. I say developed because this camino seems to have the most convenient stopping points, the most infrastructure, support for both hoteligrinos and albergrinos, many lavadoras y secadoras, vending machines on the side of the path, etc. The best part of the CF for me has been that this is the one where you'll always meet a bunch of like minded people, eager to explore, experience the "Camino Magic", many for the first time. Don't get me wrong, its fields of wildflowers, mountain vistas, everyday rural villages, and glorious historic cities make the CF a stunning visual experience. But when I choose to go back and do the CF (as I did again last year), it is because I know it is my best opportunity to form lasting relationships with interesting international souls and share some life changing interpersonal interactions.

One thing, being from the beach myself, that I missed on my first Camino experience was the sea. Only on a second trip along the CF, walking with my sister, did I realize Spain's coast offers a wonderfully Spanish interpretation of our common Mediterranean climate's coasts.

The walk on the Norte from Irun to Santiago is sometimes so fantastically beautiful that I found myself laughing out loud while eating a bocadillo on the side of a cliff overlooking the surf, or feeling jealous of horses enjoying lush grass fields with a beach view. If you like the sea, especially the first half of the Norte is awesome. The first few days are rather alpine, but then again you find the sea. Note, however, that because you're near the coast, the timing of this camino can be pushed slightly to the warmer times of year to avoid rain and naturally cooler temperatures. Also, when I went, the traditional Camino infrastructure was stressed somewhat, arriving in multiple locations with Albergues filled. Luckily, however, there seemed to always be a place to stay, where credit cards come in handy. There are fewer people generally, but still some lovely examples of "Camino Magic" such as at Guemes. This camino, for me, was about the coastal views.

The Primitivo - starting in Oviedo (some cross over from the Norte before, and some travel the San Salvador from Leon [as I did]), enjoys a good deal of vertical gain and loss among a forested interior. Its been a while for me, but I remember a constant up and down, and a more modest camino infrastructure. I never had trouble staying where I wanted to say, less so because of the availability of facilities, but rather because of fewer other perigrinos. I did have a magical dinner along the way with 14 other perigrinos of various nationalities, but for me, this camino was more about physical endurance and accomplishment in an alpine environment.

Sorry for being so verbose. I enjoy writing about the different paths as I can remember again each experience as if it was yesterday.

Someday I too will do the Portuguese. My next year's trip will be on the VdlP, which, this planning season has revealed to be a logistal challenge, though certainly doable with all the help offered here on this forum.

Buen camino,

Damien
 
Last edited:

sempervivum

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2013)
Camino Portuguese (2018)
It is about choosing between two attractive options. Both caminos have benefits so look for that having those that appeal the most to you. Of course, you haven't been on Camino Portuguese yet, but it isn't about what these caminos actually offer but what you think you'll find on the way.
falcon269 is right, if you prefer stability. Damien'e example is inspiring if you are the exploratory type.
Another thing I think is more important. You said CF has changed your life. Is it better? Did you have enough time to enjoy it? Do you know what to keep and what to leave out of it? One year apart for the same camino could be a bit "risky", especially if you have high expectations from it.
 

Justabob

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April/May 2015
Camino Portuegese April/May 2016
Norte and Primitiveo Sept/Oct 2017
Hey Bob - I haven't walked the Portuguese route, so can't add much value there, however, I have walked a few of the other popular routes all of which I recommend for various reasons...

You have walked the CF, so you have already experienced the most "developed" Camino of those I've walked. I say developed because this camino seems to have the most convenient stopping points, the most infrastructure, support for both hoteligrinos and albergrinos, many lavadoras y secadoras, vending machines on the side of the path, etc. The best part of the CF for me has been that this is the one where you'll always meet a bunch of like minded people, eager to explore, experience the "Camino Magic", many for the first time. Don't get me wrong, its fields of wildflowers, mountain vistas, everyday rural villages, and glorious historic cities make the CF a stunning visual experience. But when I choose to go back and do the CF (as I did again last year), it is because I know it is my best opportunity to form lasting relationships with interesting international souls and share some life changing interpersonal interactions.

One thing, being from the beach myself, that I missed on my first Camino experience was the sea. Only on a second trip along the CF, walking with my sister, did I realize Spain's coast offers a wonderfully Spanish interpretation of our common Mediterranean climate's coasts.

The walk on the Norte from Irun to Santiago is sometimes so fantastically beautiful that I found myself laughing out loud while eating a bocadillo on the side of a cliff overlooking the surf, or feeling jealous of horses enjoying lush grass fields with a beach view. If you like the sea, especially the first half of the Norte is awesome. The first few days are rather alpine, but then again you find the sea. Note, however, that because you're near the coast, the timing of this camino can be pushed slightly to the warmer times of year to avoid rain and naturally cooler temperatures. Also, when I went, the traditional Camino infrastructure was stressed somewhat, arriving in multiple locations with Albergues filled. Luckily, however, there seemed to always be a place to stay, where credit cards come in handy. There are fewer people generally, but still some lovely examples of "Camino Magic" such as at Guemes. This camino, for me, was about the coastal views.

The Primitivo - starting in Oviedo (some cross over from the Norte before, and some travel the San Salvador from Leon [as I did]), enjoys a good deal of vertical gain and loss among a forested interior. Its been a while for me, but I remember a constant up and down, and a more modest camino infrastructure. I never had trouble staying where I wanted to say, less so because of the availability of facilities, but rather because of fewer other perigrinos. I did have a magical dinner along the way with 14 other perigrinos of various nationalities, but for me, this camino was more about physical endurance and accomplishment in an alpine environment.

Sorry for being so verbose. I enjoy writing about the different paths as I can remember again each experience as if it was yesterday.

Someday I too will do the Portuguese. My next year's trip will be on the VdlP, which, this planning season has revealed to be a logistal challenge, though certainly doable with all the help offered here on this forum.

Buen camino,

Damien
 
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Justabob

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April/May 2015
Camino Portuegese April/May 2016
Norte and Primitiveo Sept/Oct 2017
Thanks, Damien for such a thoughtful reply. No I'm really confused!
 

Justabob

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April/May 2015
Camino Portuegese April/May 2016
Norte and Primitiveo Sept/Oct 2017
It is about choosing between two attractive options. Both caminos have benefits so look for that having those that appeal the most to you. Of course, you haven't been on Camino Portuguese yet, but it isn't about what these caminos actually offer but what you think you'll find on the way.
falcon269 is right, if you prefer stability. Damien'e example is inspiring if you are the exploratory type.
Another thing I think is more important. You said CF has changed your life. Is it better? Did you have enough time to enjoy it? Do you know what to keep and what to leave out of it? One year apart for the same camino could be a bit "risky", especially if you have high expectations from it.
Sempervivum...It changed my life in the best way. I went with no expectations and was able to live each day in the moment. In a way the route is not as important as just living in that transcendental state and putting one foot in front of the other, at least for me. I arrived in StJ solo and very much enjoyed meeting people along the way. It is for that experience that I'm leaning slightly to the CF. Thank you for your input.
 
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See signature. Too many to list here.
I went with no expectations and was able to live each day in the moment. In a way the route is not as important as just living in that transcendental state and putting one foot in front of the other, at least for me.

Bob,

Ok, well, here goes tho with an alternative point of view. Good luck going next year without expectations, especially if this year was a life changing experience! I have caught myself trying to "recreate" wonderfulness, but I have been sometimes disappointed when I knew what was around each bend.

I re-created my first Camino on my second for the sake of sharing with my sister what I had with our mother, who unfortunately sis would never share walking with. It was thoroughly engaging, as I had a new partner, a new prism to view the camino through. But even then I was a little stressed trying to make it as special as it was before. In may case, however, it was 4 years later, and my new partner meant a greater distance than I had walked before, despite starting from the same place.

How many Caminos do you have in you? Is it realistic to go next year, and maybe the next, or skip a year or two and then go again?

If that is realistic, I would suggest putting one foot in front of the other on a different path, then circling back to the Frances when it isn't so fresh in your mind as to create an eagerness to re-create a memory.

Still tho, you won't go wrong with any path you choose, as long as it is always one foot in front of the other.

Damien
 

sempervivum

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2013)
Camino Portuguese (2018)
Glad to be helpful, Justabob.
I perfectly understand what you mean by having your life completely changed for the best. I know now that on the Camino one doesn't have to look for anything in order to find what he or she needs. I found all I needed without going after it.
I also travelled alone and enjoying being with others for some parts of the way and in the evenings. I'll go again, in a year or two. Like you, not sure if will be CF or other camino. For sure, I'll go alone; for sure, I'll be again part of the way, next to the grass, the rocks...
 

Justabob

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances April/May 2015
Camino Portuegese April/May 2016
Norte and Primitiveo Sept/Oct 2017
Bob,

Ok, well, here goes tho with an alternative point of view. Good luck going next year without expectations, especially if this year was a life changing experience! I have caught myself trying to "recreate" wonderfulness, but I have been sometimes disappointed when I knew what was around each bend.

I re-created my first Camino on my second for the sake of sharing with my sister what I had with our mother, who unfortunately sis would never share walking with. It was thoroughly engaging, as I had a new partner, a new prism to view the camino through. But even then I was a little stressed trying to make it as special as it was before. In may case, however, it was 4 years later, and my new partner meant a greater distance than I had walked before, despite starting from the same place.

How many Caminos do you have in you? Is it realistic to go next year, and maybe the next, or skip a year or two and then go again?

If that is realistic, I would suggest putting one foot in front of the other on a different path, then circling back to the Frances when it isn't so fresh in your mind as to create an eagerness to re-create a memory.

Still tho, you won't go wrong with any path you choose, as long as it is always one foot in front of the other.

Damien
Damien.....good advice I think
 
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