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Will my poor old legs make it?

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#1
Greetings from Jerusalem and Shalom
I realize that this is a very subjective question, however I am starting the plans for another walk in 2013 from St Sernin Basilica in Toulouse, Lourdes, Pau and then oops the Pyrenees. I met some men in Puente La Reina last year who had walked from Barcelona through Jaca - flat on their backs from the effort and they were 40 years younger than I. Now that walk out of St Jean is difficult for me but its only one day and the going is easy after that, the climb after Castrojeriz is surprising but not difficult - O’Cebreiro is a piece of cake if one has already walked several hundred kilometers before arriving there. My question is thus: How difficult is the climb from Pau to Jaca? Pau to St Jean? Which has the nicer scenery - oh dear another subjective question. I walk slowly and distance does not frighten me provided one is able to break down the difficult stages into smaller sections. I would appreciate any advice comments and experiences.
Thank you and Happy Shevuot! Sorry, for the Christian majority out there, Happy Pentecost!
Scruffy
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
I think you are related to Dead Fred!! Maybe a long lost cousin?

The Aragones route is a tough old route.
The climb up to Somport is not particularly difficult though. It has stunning views and at 1640m its a little higher than the 1440m of the Col de Leopoeder on the route Napoleon from St Jean. However, the climb is more gradual than the St Jean route. (I really don't think the Route Napoleon is difficult at all except for the steepness. 13km on a tarred road and 15 on the a path.

St Jean is 163m above sea level.
Borce - the place where most people start the last stage to Somport - is 560m.
To get to Borce you climb gradually from Oloron Ste Marie - about 219m, to Sarrance - 314m.

Unlike the Route Napoleon, which brings you down to Roncesvalles through a Beech forest (largest in Europe) or on the road from Ibaneta, coming down from Somport is spectacularly beautiful - this is real mountain area and the views are breathtaking.

It is mainly from Jaca that the path deteriorates into a rock, gravel, shale, scree trail. If you take it slowly, your old legs will do just fine!
The best place to find a step-by-step description of the route (and all the other Camino routes) is http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/eta ... ort-a-jaca
Good luck!!
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
#3
One of the compensations of age is that time has little meaning any more allowing one to walk along at even a snail’s pace and still expect to reach Santiago. Having said that, I am now facing the consequences of a misspent youth, well, many misspent adult years as well, too many cigarettes, too many sun-downers which stretched out and became nightcaps, too many wonderful dining opportunities, too many well you must understand by now - going uphill there is no wind in my lungs and coming down my knees awaken to remind me of two bike crashes and other assorted insults laid quite literally at my own feet. Still, despite all, I will not stop walking the Camino I simply must plan my way better then most and you have certainly assisted me, thank you.
Scruffy
PS Dead Fred never made it to Israel,
 
#4
Scruffy and Sillydoll, you are both precious. I just decided to change my camino start from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Toulouse - hey, I am flying into Toulouse so why not start there and save the hassle of a train in the beginning. Your explanations have fortified my decision to start at Toulouse on August 29 or possibly the 30th, depending on how well I slept on the plane. BTW, I am 60 and have not be kind to my body either, so it is going to get a rude awakening, which I am sure it will make me pay for - for the Camino, it is worth it. Hope to see you both on the Way. I think I am going to wear a bell. Oh, on my backback.
moraneigel

08/07/2012 - Well the decision to change to Camino Arles at Toulouse was short lived. I calculated the mileage, even though the countryside makes up for it, and decided to stay on Camino Francas for my first time. The Camino Arles starting at Toulouse will be my second one, then I can compare. Regardless, I hope to meet you either this Camino or on a future one.
 

sulu

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ronces-SdC (03-04/10);Oporto-SdC (10/2011); VdlP via Portugal 03/04 2012/2013;Part Invierno 2012; Toulouse to Sarrance 2012; Ingles to Muxia June 2013 Cami Catala and Aragones 2014; El Salvador & Primitivo 2014; Camino de Madrid 2016; Levante 2015,2017
#5
O’Cebreiro is a piece of cake if one has already walked several hundred kilometers before arriving there
going uphill there is no wind in my lungs and coming down my knees awaken to remind me of two bike crashes and other assorted insults laid quite literally at my own feet.
Hi Scruffy,
Not sure if you are still thinking of doing this route. I will be in Toulouse on tuesday and start walking on Thursday. Unlike you I didn't find O Cebreiro a piece of cake, I haven't had bike crashes but I recognize the 'no wind in my lungs' and my knees frequently tell me that I shouldn't walk downhill! I hope very much that I will make it over the Pyrenees on my own two feet, I will let you know if I achieve it. The answer to your question is, probably, that if my old lungs and legs make it then anyones will. If I don't make it then that will not be a reason for others not to try, just a sign of my decrepitude, or that the weather came down against me.
 

sulu

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ronces-SdC (03-04/10);Oporto-SdC (10/2011); VdlP via Portugal 03/04 2012/2013;Part Invierno 2012; Toulouse to Sarrance 2012; Ingles to Muxia June 2013 Cami Catala and Aragones 2014; El Salvador & Primitivo 2014; Camino de Madrid 2016; Levante 2015,2017
#6
My poor old legs didn't make it. I had to stop at Sarrance with plantar fasciitis, but I thoroughly enjoyed the walk from Toulouse to Sarrance, despite torrential rain and heel pain.
 


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