Author Topic: Camino de Santiago  (Read 12541 times)

Lugo

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Camino de Santiago
« on: August 11, 2014, 09:47:25 AM »
We just completed the northern Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain.  We spent over 30 days walking 530 kilometers from albergue (dormitory) to albergue across the north coast.  Most albergues are 5 euros/night.  Most of the private ones are 10 euros.  Food, if you cook it, is maybe 7 or 8 euros per day.  Most albergues include a full kitchen with pots, glasses, plates and silverware.  If you want luxury, "Menus" at restaurants are about 10 euros, including two courses plus dessert, wine, bottled water and bread.  We often did the "menu" but had a simple 2 euro dinner consisting of Spanish ham (like prosciutto) with a cheap box of Don Simon wine (1 euro for a liter) and a fruit.  Fruits in Spain are amazingly delicious.  All in all, one can easily travel on less than 20 euros (about 25 dollars) per day.   In some albergues (Buelna, Asturias), the cost is 15 euros for lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner (no wine).  In another (Guemes, Cantabria), the same was by donation, and included wine! This was the best albergue of the entire trip, so I donated 20 euros.  In most albergues, you can wash your clothes by hand for free or pay 3 to 4 euros for a washer.  Wash on sunny days, it rains a lot in the north, so that you can hang dry.  The big expense are the plane tickets.  At $1,200 RT per person plus the bus rides to the start of the trip and at then end. 

Overall, the experience is wonderful.  The northern, or coast, route is scenic;  for 5 euros per night you can swim in great beaches, in resort towns, where tourists pay above 200 euros per night to stay in a hotel (e.g., Laredo and San Sebastian-Donostia).  At the end you are treated to one of the worlds great small cities (stay away from the tourists shops), Santiago de Compostela.  After Santiago, walk to Finisterre (end of the world), and watch the sunset.

This trip will definitely enforce your mustachianism and badassity.  You walk 10 to 20 miles per day carrying everything you need on your back.  Most likely you will get rid of a thing or two and not add anything to what your carrying (we did add a knife), but got rid of a t-shirt or two.  You can easily live on less than $1,000 a month, while living life to its fullest, including sharing a bottle of Asturian cider, Basque Txacoli wine or Galician Albarino with some new found friends.   We met folks who have done up to 17 caminos. 

By the way, I carried my new Republic Wireless phone on this walk.  $5  per month and there is Wifi in just about every bar.  Ask the waiter or bartender for the contrasena (password). 



Field123

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2014, 11:18:49 AM »
That sounds awesome. How does it work logistically -  is there a travel company that sets it up for you or do you just show up and start walking? Any links to recommended reading would be appreciated!

Lugo

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 02:18:46 PM »
These notes are from our experience on the northern route.  I do not know about the others other than to say that the French route is by far the most popular.  You will share the route with a lot of people and possibly need to be more creative about finding a place to stay.

We just showed up and started walking.  We flew into Bilbao, but if I did it again, I would just fly to Madrid (cheaper) and take an ALSA bus to Irun, or San Sebastian.  ALSA has very comfortable and clean buses that run on time.  We used ALSA to to go Irun from Bilbao and to return to Bilbao from Santiago.  In Irun, and in all cities, check with the Tourism Office (Oficina de Turismo) and ask for the Albergue de Peregrinos (Pilgrim's Dormitory).  Those are the least expensive, usually 5 euros and normally have kitchens, and sometimes have washing machines (clothes driers are a luxury).   Note:  Many albergues are in schools and do not open until July, when schools are out for the summer.   We started on June 20th and had some problems finding albergues until July.  We did not stay in Irun, but did go to the albergue to get our "credencial", which is used to verify your stay at albergues so that at the end of the journey you get your "Compostelana", a very nice certificate that indicates that you completed the pilgrimage.  We spent our first night in Hondarribia (5kms from Irun), in a hotel (San Nikolas).  After about 24 hours of travel we did not want to stay in a dorm.

There are several types of albergues.  The "Albergues de Peregrinos" are the official albergues, usually run by the local municipality.  There are private, for profit, albergues that are sometimes worth the 10 euros or so.  There are "Albergues Juveniles" (youth albergues) that I found to be disappointing (expensive and not so good).  I preferred the official albergue, followed by the private ones.  The best albergue is in Guemes.  I also highly recommend Via Lactea (private in Arzua), the private one in Buelna and Luarca as well as most of the official ones, I particularly liked Baamonde and La Isla. 

OK, so you have your "credencial" and spent the night in Irun.  Get up early (we usually started at 7 am).  Have breakfast in the albergue and follow the yellow arrows, shell markings or other indicators to the next albergue.  As you walk, at the first sight of an open cafe, you might want to give yourself the luxury to have a "cafe con leche", basically a cafe latte for 1 euro or so.  Use all the sugar they give you.  Don't worry, you'll burn it off.  The yellow arrows marking the route are ubiquitous on the route so there is little chance of getting lost.  I also had a map that I used just in case.  Once you get to the albergue, you pay and get your stamp.  We normally showered, took a nap, bought food for dinner and had most of the afternoon and evening to sightsee or go to the beach (it gets dark after 10 pm).   

One place that is worth spending two nights is Donostia (San Sebastian).  This is one of my favorite cities in the world and has an amazing beach.  We stayed at Ulia (right before) and La Sirena (at the end of the city).  It was a gorgeous day to spend at the beach.   Unfortunately, I do no recommend the La Sirena albergue (second night).  It is a expensive for what you get.  On the other hand, its cheaper than a 200 euro hotel.  If you start in July, you will be able to stay at the official albergue. 

Your feet are your primary assets.  Take care of them.  We had good wool hiking socks and polyester liners.  The liners keep your feet dry and also slide against the socks to that the socks don't slide on your skin and crate blisters.  Europeans favor light, high thread count wool socks without liners.  If you do get a hot spot, buy Compeet at the ubiquitous pharmacies (you will see them easily by thigh neon green crosses that mark them).  We ended the trip without a blister!

As far as guides go, I used this one, but it's in Spanish.

http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/los-caminos-de-santiago/del-norte/

Here is more information in English

http://www.csj.org.uk/route-coastal-route.htm


By the way, we plan to do the Camino Primitivo in a couple of years, followed by the Portugues in a couple more and the popular French in the Xacobe year of 2021.

Daisy

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2014, 08:02:28 PM »
I would love to do this someday, but I am already 56. Are there older people making the trek? How physically demanding did you find it?

56 is not old!!! You can do it!

This hike is definitely on my bucket list. My ancestors are from northern Spain and it is an amazingly beautiful part of Spain (no bias here, really...). Forget every cliche image of Spain you may have conjured up as a desert vastness and full of olive orchards. Northern Spain is a big contrast with the rest of Spain and is lush with greenery and beautiful mountains. In the north, you see these vast mountain ranges contrasted against the bright blue Cantabric Sea and are in awe of its beauty.

I visited northern Spain many years ago with my parents so that we could visit the land of our ancestors. We drove from Santiago de Compostela to Santander, and then down to Madrid eventually. So although I did the (opposite) trek caged in an automobile, I want my next trip there to be to hike the Camino.

That is also the land the Celts settled in Spain - a little known fact. I love playing my Spanish Celtic music to friends to freak them out a little.

eliza

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 08:17:18 PM »
My understanding is that the Camino Frances (the standard route) is a relatively easy walk if you have enough time to break up the journey into smaller stages.  Young, healthy people can do the Camino in 20-25 days; but if you have the time there is no reason that you couldn't take 30, 40, 50 days and break the Camino into smaller chunks with more frequent stops.   

I'm tentatively planning to do a Camino in 2-3 years after I have (1) paid off my debts and (2) vested into my portable cash pension at work.  I love dreaming about it -- and have the forum at: http://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/ to be very informative.

Lugo - do you have any tips on what to take/how to pack?  I think one of my struggles will be to figure out what needs to be packed and what is just dead weight.  I live out of a carry-on sized suitcase now, but it's a whole different ball game when you have to carry everything on your back.

Zikoris

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2014, 09:19:35 PM »
I've heard that the Camino is primarily walking next to major roads with cars whipping by?

I'd be a bit more inclined to do some of the walks in rural Scotland - more solitude.
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Liberty Stache

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2014, 01:22:57 PM »
This guy posted all about his walk.

http://pilgrimerrant.com/
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mrsggrowsveg

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2014, 02:32:10 PM »
Following because I want to do this someday.  I just finished reading Paulo Coelho The Pilgrimage.  Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Daisy

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2014, 02:51:05 PM »
Listen to a famous Galician musician:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOERvuCqeBI

Daisy

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2014, 08:09:14 PM »
Oh man...I checked out his website and he's in the middle of a North American tour! Nothing close to me, unfortunately, but putting it out there for anyone interested in the sounds of northern Spain. Looks like he's currently in the Midwest and is working his way to the Pacific Northwest (US and Canada) in the next couple of months.

http://www.carlos-nunez.com/

http://www.earlymusicguild.org/tickets/special-concerts-and-events/carlos-nunez-a-celtic-musical-pilgrimage-to-santiago/
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 08:10:54 PM by Daisy »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2014, 01:39:15 PM »
I learned that at a Celtic Music Festival in Montreal many years ago - someone from Asturia was playing there.  I'm listening to the Carlos Nunes link now, great music - we should go flood the "What are you listening to?" forum post  ;-)  Expand peoples' horizons and all that . . .

That is also the land the Celts settled in Spain - a little known fact. I love playing my Spanish Celtic music to friends to freak them out a little.
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canuckie

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2014, 02:23:48 PM »
I have a friend that just did this trek as well - she might have been on the trail at the same time as you! She absolutely loved it and cannot say enough good things about it. I think it took her around 30 days starting in France and ending at the coast.

Daisy

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2014, 08:50:24 PM »
I learned that at a Celtic Music Festival in Montreal many years ago - someone from Asturia was playing there.  I'm listening to the Carlos Nunes link now, great music - we should go flood the "What are you listening to?" forum post  ;-)  Expand peoples' horizons and all that . . .

That is also the land the Celts settled in Spain - a little known fact. I love playing my Spanish Celtic music to friends to freak them out a little.

Yes, I was surprised too. My grandparents never really talked about it. They were somewhat uneducated so I guess their upbringing was just normal to them. I didn't realize it until we went to visit Galicia and Asturias. They left as young adults to the Americas for a better life.

I'm dying to go back! My cousin just returned from Asturias to reconnect with some second or third cousins since he's working on a family tree.

One of the first things I wanted to do when FIRE'ing was to take a hiking trip. I had thought of Peru since there's a couple of beautiful hikes there. Reading this thread and realizing how cheap it is staying along the Camino in the albergues is making me think I should do the northern Spain trek instead. It could be a kind of spiritual awakening to my ancestral grounds to light up my newly FIRE'd life.

BTW, some of the language you hear on the Carlos Nunez album is Gallego (or Galego as they call it), the original language of Galicia. Several regions in Spain are now reverting back to their provincial languages after efforts to wipe out the local languages and force everyone to speak Castilian subsided.

garth

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2014, 09:30:55 PM »
Well done! My partner and I have been tossing around doing the camino after I graduate next year. We honeymooned in Spain and would love to go back. Maybe after I get my job stuff squared away, we can sit down and really think about whether we have the time to do it. Seems like a good way to give the marriage a real stress test :)

blueflipflop

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2014, 12:15:23 PM »
Lugo did you happen to run into anyone that had done the Portuguese route? I am considering that route since it seems to be a bit shorter and will be more limited in my time.

Did you find that it was very hot, something I had read about the Frances route is that it can be quite hot and dry during the summer. For that reason I was considering going next May but late summer may be better for purposes of getting off work. 

Sounds like you had a great time, thanks for sharing your experience!


Bateaux

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2014, 02:06:34 AM »
Right now Camino de Santiago is number 2 on my bucket list.  The AT is first, planning for April 2018 immediately after I FIRE.   This may be bucket list 2019.
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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2014, 02:44:45 AM »
You more hard-core guys should consider Te Araroa - a trail from the very top of New Zealand, down to the very bottom. It's definitely on my bucket list :D But I'd love to do el Camino de Santiago too.

http://www.teararoa.org.nz/

Annamal

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2014, 03:06:36 AM »
I would love to do this someday, but I am already 56. Are there older people making the trek? How physically demanding did you find it?

My grandparents did the Camino Frances in their 70's, they are pretty fit people (have done a lot of hiking etc) but they found it a pretty straightforward walk.

My mum (who has done the Camino Frances twice and Le Puy to St Jean pied deport) reckons that it's the younger people who tend to get injured more because they try and do too much too soon.


Personally the fittest person I met on the Camino was a tiny round French woman in her 50's who tended to do 40 kilometre days.

Annamal

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2014, 03:10:50 AM »
Lugo did you happen to run into anyone that had done the Portuguese route? I am considering that route since it seems to be a bit shorter and will be more limited in my time.

Did you find that it was very hot, something I had read about the Frances route is that it can be quite hot and dry during the summer. For that reason I was considering going next May but late summer may be better for purposes of getting off work. 

Sounds like you had a great time, thanks for sharing your experience!

I had some friends who did the Portuguese route backwards (i.e. leaving Santiago), from memory their impression was that it wasn't incredibly well sign-posted but everyone was very very friendly.

Annamal

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2014, 03:35:01 AM »
I've done the Camino Frances twice (once starting from St Jean and once starting at Oloron st Marie on the Camino Aragonese).

It's a truly amazing experience and about as mustachian as you make it.

It also lead to one of the weirdest and most parable-like encounters in my life, I swear the following is true (even though I wouldn't believe it if someone told it to me).

There was a group of us pilgrims standing at the foot of the mound of stones at cruz de ferro (this is the iron cross where you are supposed to drop a stone from your homeland although people had also left everything from credit cards to muppets).

I had accidentally managed to put myself at this location (which is one of the more significant locations on the Camino) during a partial eclipse, and a very nice lady from Puerto Rico had shared around her eclipse viewing glasses.

Everyone was a little bit giggly both from the eclipse and the early morning climb when a giant black SUV pulled up and a man got out.

He asked us whether we were pilgrims and after we all said we were he then asked us why we were doing the walk. This can actually be kind of a personal question and even if it is not it can be very hard to sum up so this very sincere man was presented with a lot of very flip un-serious answers.

At that point he might have got a little bit snippy because  he told us that he was traveling from Parador to Parador by car  and that he was, I quote, "doing it the rich way".

At the time I was a little amused, but these days I just feel sorry for him and what he missed by not doing the Camino on foot.

Winter's Tale

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2014, 08:56:24 AM »
I dream of doing this one day! Thanks for your account.

2ndTimer

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2014, 09:46:19 AM »
You have got me thinking very hard about this.  Thanks for posting

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2014, 07:51:30 AM »
Is it a good tour to take even for non-religious folks?
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garth

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2014, 09:58:09 AM »
Is it a good tour to take even for non-religious folks?

Uh, the Camino? You don't have to be Catholic to walk it.

Daisy

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2014, 05:46:16 PM »
Is it a good tour to take even for non-religious folks?

I'm curious about that too. I'm more of a spiritual-than-religious type person (whatever that means - no need to get into it here).

To me, the Camino would be spiritual in the sense that I'd be going back to my grandparents' home and reflecting on their journey through life and how it helped me get to where I am and how I had opportunities they never had. Since I plan to do this when I first FIRE, it will be very emotional to reflect on all of that.

My grandparents never really had a chance to FIRE or even come remotely close to it. My grandfather moved to the US when he was 65 and had to start over and work. I heard he even lied about his age to be able to get a job (good young-looking genes didn't hurt).

I know someone who did this trek recently and he was raving about it. I don't think he's the religious type and he doesn't speak Spanish. When he came back, he just kept saying "it was phenomenal, it was phenomenal" non-stop. I'd like to see what the fuss was all about.

Annamal

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2014, 07:34:20 PM »
Is it a good tour to take even for non-religious folks?

I'm an atheist and I got a lot out of it.

garth

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2014, 06:24:59 AM »
Is it a good tour to take even for non-religious folks?

Uh, the Camino? You don't have to be Catholic to walk it.

Sorry, I read this as "Is there..." and not "Is it...". My bad.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2014, 05:39:26 PM »
I would love to do this someday, but I am already 56. Are there older people making the trek? How physically demanding did you find it?

I finished my Camino when I was 27 and my walking partner on my last going into the Santiago de Compostela was 72.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2014, 05:40:31 PM »
I've heard that the Camino is primarily walking next to major roads with cars whipping by?

I'd be a bit more inclined to do some of the walks in rural Scotland - more solitude.

Of the Camino Frances I wouldn't say it was like this most of the time. The walk into Burgos being a notable exception.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2014, 05:44:07 PM »
Is it a good tour to take even for non-religious folks?

I would say the majority of people I met were doing it for "spiritual" rather than "religious" reasons (myself included).. though I did meet some hardcore Catholics there weren't as many as I would have thought. Everyone is pretty open-minded and easy going though.. I didn't have an issue with that on the trail .. as a Buddhist atheist.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2014, 05:45:33 PM »
We just completed the northern Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain.  We spent over 30 days walking 530 kilometers from albergue (dormitory) to albergue across the north coast.  Most albergues are 5 euros/night.  Most of the private ones are 10 euros.  Food, if you cook it, is maybe 7 or 8 euros per day.  Most albergues include a full kitchen with pots, glasses, plates and silverware.  If you want luxury, "Menus" at restaurants are about 10 euros, including two courses plus dessert, wine, bottled water and bread.  We often did the "menu" but had a simple 2 euro dinner consisting of Spanish ham (like prosciutto) with a cheap box of Don Simon wine (1 euro for a liter) and a fruit.  Fruits in Spain are amazingly delicious.  All in all, one can easily travel on less than 20 euros (about 25 dollars) per day.   In some albergues (Buelna, Asturias), the cost is 15 euros for lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner (no wine).  In another (Guemes, Cantabria), the same was by donation, and included wine! This was the best albergue of the entire trip, so I donated 20 euros.  In most albergues, you can wash your clothes by hand for free or pay 3 to 4 euros for a washer.  Wash on sunny days, it rains a lot in the north, so that you can hang dry.  The big expense are the plane tickets.  At $1,200 RT per person plus the bus rides to the start of the trip and at then end. 

Overall, the experience is wonderful.  The northern, or coast, route is scenic;  for 5 euros per night you can swim in great beaches, in resort towns, where tourists pay above 200 euros per night to stay in a hotel (e.g., Laredo and San Sebastian-Donostia).  At the end you are treated to one of the worlds great small cities (stay away from the tourists shops), Santiago de Compostela.  After Santiago, walk to Finisterre (end of the world), and watch the sunset.

This trip will definitely enforce your mustachianism and badassity.  You walk 10 to 20 miles per day carrying everything you need on your back.  Most likely you will get rid of a thing or two and not add anything to what your carrying (we did add a knife), but got rid of a t-shirt or two.  You can easily live on less than $1,000 a month, while living life to its fullest, including sharing a bottle of Asturian cider, Basque Txacoli wine or Galician Albarino with some new found friends.   We met folks who have done up to 17 caminos. 

By the way, I carried my new Republic Wireless phone on this walk.  $5  per month and there is Wifi in just about every bar.  Ask the waiter or bartender for the contrasena (password).

Congrats on finishing your Camino Lugo.

Lian

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2014, 07:46:27 PM »
On my bucket list too! And thanks for the info about Camino Frances and the Portuguese route - I will check those out. 

LadyStache

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2014, 12:05:42 PM »
This is so great. My boyfriend's brother did a short version of it. He told us about his trip and then we watched the movie The Way. Boyfriend and I discussed doing this once we retire. It can also be done on bike. Boyfriend wants to walk, but I think I would prefer to bike.

Annamal

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2014, 04:50:39 PM »
This is so great. My boyfriend's brother did a short version of it. He told us about his trip and then we watched the movie The Way. Boyfriend and I discussed doing this once we retire. It can also be done on bike. Boyfriend wants to walk, but I think I would prefer to bike.

Biking is a lot quicker but I got the impression from the bike pilgrims that it can be a little lonelier, when you're walking you tend to clump up with other people and see them night after night, when you're biking, you constantly meet interesting people and then lose them again as you outpace them.

A lot of Europeans do two weeks of Camino once a year (so it can take them 4 or 5 years to complete), that might be another option?

LadyStache

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2014, 10:05:13 AM »
This is so great. My boyfriend's brother did a short version of it. He told us about his trip and then we watched the movie The Way. Boyfriend and I discussed doing this once we retire. It can also be done on bike. Boyfriend wants to walk, but I think I would prefer to bike.

Biking is a lot quicker but I got the impression from the bike pilgrims that it can be a little lonelier, when you're walking you tend to clump up with other people and see them night after night, when you're biking, you constantly meet interesting people and then lose them again as you outpace them.

A lot of Europeans do two weeks of Camino once a year (so it can take them 4 or 5 years to complete), that might be another option?

Great idea. There would be two of us biking together (and maybe his brother and sister-in-law if they want to come too) so it wouldn't be super lonely, but you're right about it limiting the relationships we form with people we meet along the way. Maybe we'll bike the longer path one year and then go again on a shorter path another year and walk that one. Thanks!

fernandoredondoip

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #35 on: January 26, 2017, 05:15:05 AM »
We just completed the northern Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain.  We spent over 30 days walking 530 kilometers from albergue (dormitory) to albergue across the north coast.  Most albergues are 5 euros/night.  Most of the private ones are 10 euros.  Food, if you cook it, is maybe 7 or 8 euros per day.  Most albergues include a full kitchen with pots, glasses, plates and silverware.  If you want luxury, "Menus" at restaurants are about 10 euros, including two courses plus dessert, wine, bottled water and bread.  We often did the "menu" but had a simple 2 euro dinner consisting of Spanish ham (like prosciutto) with a cheap box of Don Simon wine (1 euro for a liter) and a fruit.  Fruits in Spain are amazingly delicious.  All in all, one can easily travel on less than 20 euros (about 25 dollars) per day.   In some albergues (Buelna, Asturias), the cost is 15 euros for lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner (no wine).  In another (Guemes, Cantabria), the same was by donation, and included wine! This was the best albergue of the entire trip, so I donated 20 euros.  In most albergues, you can wash your clothes by hand for free or pay 3 to 4 euros for a washer.  Wash on sunny days, it rains a lot in the north, so that you can hang dry.  The big expense are the plane tickets.  At $1,200 RT per person plus the bus rides to the start of the trip and at then end. 

Overall, the experience is wonderful.  The northern, or coast, route is scenic;  for 5 euros per night you can swim in great beaches, in resort towns, where tourists pay above 200 euros per night to stay in a hotel (e.g., Laredo and San Sebastian-Donostia).  At the end you are treated to one of the worlds great small cities (stay away from the tourists shops), Santiago de Compostela.  After Santiago, walk to Finisterre (end of the world), and watch the sunset.

This trip will definitely enforce your mustachianism and badassity.  You walk 10 to 20 miles per day carrying everything you need on your back.  Most likely you will get rid of a thing or two and not add anything to what your carrying (we did add a knife), but got rid of a t-shirt or two.  You can easily live on less than $1,000 a month, while living life to its fullest, including sharing a bottle of Asturian cider, Basque Txacoli wine or Galician Albarino with some new found friends.   We met folks who have done up to 17 caminos. 

By the way, I carried my new Republic Wireless phone on this walk.  $5  per month and there is Wifi in just about every bar.  Ask the waiter or bartender for the contrasena (password).

I have done the Camino Primitivo and it was wonderfull. Now i will try to do Camino francés in 2018. i think this pilgrimage is so spiritual and important for each person to know himself.

I tottally recommend it
« Last Edit: May 08, 2017, 01:52:18 AM by fernandoredondoip »

actionjackson

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #36 on: January 26, 2017, 09:07:26 AM »
Is it a good tour to take even for non-religious folks?

I would say the majority of people I met were doing it for "spiritual" rather than "religious" reasons (myself included).. though I did meet some hardcore Catholics there weren't as many as I would have thought. Everyone is pretty open-minded and easy going though.. I didn't have an issue with that on the trail .. as a Buddhist atheist.

My wife did the Camino de Santiago when she was younger - she isn't religious, and she said she had some awkward conversations towards the end. Apparently in the last 7 days or so, the trails get a lot busier, because there are a lot more people who hike the last part of the trail, the minimum 100k, in order to get the compostela. She said that meant you came across more 'tourists of convenience' in the last, so to speak, and they were a little less accommodating at the alburgues, and things got a bit busier. Still, she wants to do it again with our children one day. 

MikeDeMontreal

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #37 on: January 26, 2017, 10:21:11 PM »
I walked the Camino Frances in 2008, when I was 19. I'm an atheist, but it's not a problem at all, as long as you are open to other beliefs. Wether you look for it or not, it gets spiritual at some point, since you are basically by yourself for 7-8 hours a day and have a lot of time to think about your life.

My first walking buddy was a 40-something successful South African working in the mining industry who had just lost his family due to a divorce. Then, I walked with a 60 years old woman from France and finished with a Bulgarian guy about my age. You meet lots of new people. The fact that I did it in November made it easier, both because of the weather that was cooler and fairly comfortable for walking, but also because all of the albergues were open, and none were full. I did it in 25 days, but I walked the last 100 KM straight as a personnel challenge.

I strongly encourage everyone to do it. It's beautiful, cheap, and you'll meet lots of interesting folks. Honestly, I hate hiking in general but loved my experience. If you are afraid that you're not in good enough shape, I would only recommend that you avoid what is for most the first day, which consists in walking across the Pyrenees, from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Spain. While it is beautiful and satisfying, it's a rough start if you are not prepared (that was my case...). Just start from Leon instead.

Also, I suggest that even if you are walking with someone, don't hesitate to split during the day. It's much easier if you go at your own pace. I would just tell my walking buddies that we would meet for a beer at a certain time and the one who got there first would wait for the others.

Bonus: there's a wine fountain at some point that is only available to pilgrims. I made the mistake of emptying all of my water bottles, and filling them with wine. Big mistake. It was the last stop for 15-20 KM. I arrived completely drunk at the albuergues, to the delight of my new friends. 

Mon

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2017, 03:56:06 AM »
I got a bit emotional listening to my home land celtic music in this forum :). So thanks for bringing this here.
I am from Galicia, but have not done the Camino yet, so I canot be of much help. Well, maybe jut the locals quote: I recommend not to buy Don Simon wine, never!, hehehe, this is not even considered wine in Spain and it is only used by the youngest to mix with Coke, this horrible cocktail is called Calimocho. There are local Galician wines, and almost as cheap, available in any supermarket.


rageth

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2017, 09:55:40 AM »
I walked the Camino Frances in 2008, when I was 19. I'm an atheist, but it's not a problem at all, as long as you are open to other beliefs. Wether you look for it or not, it gets spiritual at some point, since you are basically by yourself for 7-8 hours a day and have a lot of time to think about your life.

My first walking buddy was a 40-something successful South African working in the mining industry who had just lost his family due to a divorce. Then, I walked with a 60 years old woman from France and finished with a Bulgarian guy about my age. You meet lots of new people. The fact that I did it in November made it easier, both because of the weather that was cooler and fairly comfortable for walking, but also because all of the albergues were open, and none were full. I did it in 25 days, but I walked the last 100 KM straight as a personnel challenge.

I strongly encourage everyone to do it. It's beautiful, cheap, and you'll meet lots of interesting folks. Honestly, I hate hiking in general but loved my experience. If you are afraid that you're not in good enough shape, I would only recommend that you avoid what is for most the first day, which consists in walking across the Pyrenees, from St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Spain. While it is beautiful and satisfying, it's a rough start if you are not prepared (that was my case...). Just start from Leon instead.

Also, I suggest that even if you are walking with someone, don't hesitate to split during the day. It's much easier if you go at your own pace. I would just tell my walking buddies that we would meet for a beer at a certain time and the one who got there first would wait for the others.

Bonus: there's a wine fountain at some point that is only available to pilgrims. I made the mistake of emptying all of my water bottles, and filling them with wine. Big mistake. It was the last stop for 15-20 KM. I arrived completely drunk at the albuergues, to the delight of my new friends.

The wine fountain is in Irache in Navarra. If I'm not mistaken it's a day or two past Pamplona.

SuperMex

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2017, 07:02:19 AM »
You started me thinking about this and I have done some research. I'm already in Europe so it's not a big trip for me, I'm going to talk to my son about it and hopefully he will want to go on a 2-3 week walk with me this summer.


josedesantiago

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #41 on: November 24, 2017, 03:53:00 AM »
We just completed the northern Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain.  We spent over 30 days walking 530 kilometers from albergue (dormitory) to albergue across the north coast.  Most albergues are 5 euros/night.  Most of the private ones are 10 euros.  Food, if you cook it, is maybe 7 or 8 euros per day.  Most albergues include a full kitchen with pots, glasses, plates and silverware.  If you want luxury, "Menus" at restaurants are about 10 euros, including two courses plus dessert, wine, bottled water and bread.  We often did the "menu" but had a simple 2 euro dinner consisting of Spanish ham (like prosciutto) with a cheap box of Don Simon wine (1 euro for a liter) and a fruit.  Fruits in Spain are amazingly delicious.  All in all, one can easily travel on less than 20 euros (about 25 dollars) per day.   In some albergues (Buelna, Asturias), the cost is 15 euros for lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner (no wine).  In another (Guemes, Cantabria), the same was by donation, and included wine! This was the best albergue of the entire trip, so I donated 20 euros.  In most albergues, you can wash your clothes by hand for free or pay 3 to 4 euros for a washer.  Wash on sunny days, it rains a lot in the north, so that you can hang dry.  The big expense are the plane tickets.  At $1,200 RT per person plus the bus rides to the start of the trip and at then end. 

Overall, the experience is wonderful.  The northern, or coast, route is scenic;  for 5 euros per night you can swim in great beaches, in resort towns, where tourists pay above 200 euros per night to stay in a hotel (e.g., Laredo and San Sebastian-Donostia).  At the end you are treated to one of the worlds great small cities (stay away from the tourists shops), Santiago de Compostela.  After Santiago, walk to Finisterre (end of the world), and watch the sunset.

This trip will definitely enforce your mustachianism and badassity.  You walk 10 to 20 miles per day carrying everything you need on your back.  Most likely you will get rid of a thing or two and not add anything to what your carrying (we did add a knife), but got rid of a t-shirt or two.  You can easily live on less than $1,000 a month, while living life to its fullest, including sharing a bottle of Asturian cider, Basque Txacoli wine or Galician Albarino with some new found friends.   We met folks who have done up to 17 caminos. 

By the way, I carried my new Republic Wireless phone on this walk.  $5  per month and there is Wifi in just about every bar.  Ask the waiter or bartender for the contrasena (password).

I have done the Camino Primitivo and it was wonderfull. Now i will try to do Camino francés in 2018. i think this pilgrimage is so spiritual and important for each person to know himself.

I tottally recommend it

Yes, I did the Camino de Santiago a few years ago through the Camino Primitivo and it was awesome. I will do the french way as well in 2018, probably from León but I still have to take a decision on where to start.

kaizen soze

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #42 on: November 27, 2017, 10:33:32 AM »
Right now Camino de Santiago is number 2 on my bucket list.  The AT is first, planning for April 2018 immediately after I FIRE.   This may be bucket list 2019.

I'm late replying to this.  But I just walked the Camino Frances after finishing a half thru of the AT in September. So you can do both In a single year if you're up to it. I highly recommend doing the Camino in the fall. Fewer crowds, cool temps, and Autumn colors.

Off topic, but I'd also recommend a SOBO or flip flop hike of the AT. The crowds leaving Springer in March were insane. Shelters filling up by 2PM. (We attempted a thru beginning Mid March and had to stop for a few months, which is why we only did half, and why we ended our hike in September).

Bateaux

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #43 on: November 30, 2017, 09:04:06 PM »
Right now Camino de Santiago is number 2 on my bucket list.  The AT is first, planning for April 2018 immediately after I FIRE.   This may be bucket list 2019.

I'm have a bit of OMY drama.   Probably working till 2019, could still be an AT attempt year.  Would have to be SOBO.  Spring 2020 Camino maybe.  Congratulations on your journey.

I'm late replying to this.  But I just walked the Camino Frances after finishing a half thru of the AT in September. So you can do both In a single year if you're up to it. I highly recommend doing the Camino in the fall. Fewer crowds, cool temps, and Autumn colors.

Off topic, but I'd also recommend a SOBO or flip flop hike of the AT. The crowds leaving Springer in March were insane. Shelters filling up by 2PM. (We attempted a thru beginning Mid March and had to stop for a few months, which is why we only did half, and why we ended our hike in September).
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2017, 09:06:29 AM »
AAUGH! Jealous. This is on my bucket list but I have no idea who would walk with me and I am working super hard right now to give my retirement accounts a boost, not near the point where I can justify it yet.
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MrSal

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2017, 12:08:17 PM »
Dont forget there;s also the Portuguese Camino to Santiago which is also considered one of the most beautiful... it's shorter as well ... i think it takes like 10-14days

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Camino de Santiago
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2017, 09:56:16 AM »
Yeah, this is on the (very long) bucket list...