Camino de Santiago

camino

A couple of days ago I wrote that after careful consideration, a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail was not going to happen. After consulting with my doctor, the fact that something could happen during a thru hike related to being dehydrated and my kidneys was too much to ignore. Also, if I were to get injured on the trail, I’m not confident that I would be able to either get out under my own power or be able to contact someone for help. This latest incident really made me think!

So what am I to do? A couple of years ago two of my colleagues completed a portion of the Santiago de Compostela. As I sat in my usual spot earlier this summer waiting and waiting for my ankle to heal, I thought about that and began researching what it would take to hike the entire Camino Frances.

What is the Santiago de Compostela you might ask? (taken from Wikipedia)

“The Camino de Santiago “Pilgrimage of Compostela”; known in English as the Way of Saint James among other names, is a network of pilgrims’ ways serving pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. It is also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and organized tour groups.”

Although there are many different routes to get to Santiago, “The commonly agreed-upon route for El Camino de Santiago (a.k.a. the Way of St. James) begins at Saint Jean Pied de Port, France, and travels 500 miles through four of Spain’s 15 regions, ending at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.” This is the route that I intend to take.

Because so many people choose to hike, walk or bike the Camino, it has actually become a livelihood for the poeple living there and as a result has been broken up into 32 stages. Although the distance of each of the stages are similar, the difficulty can range from really difficult to really easy. It all depends on the day. They say you should allow for a total of 35 days to hike the Camino Frances, but some take longer, some shorter. There are so many towns and villages along the way so that if you decide that you want to go longer one day or cut a day short, it’s all up to you.

This is the main reason I have chosen to hike the Camino Frances. The fact that being isolated along the Camino is next to impossible, water is plentiful and places to stay are in abundance makes this an ideal place to spend a month or two right after I retire. You can even add on mileage at the end to add a hundred or so miles to your trek!

So the dream for now to thru hike the AT is gone. That’s ok. The large amount of other places to experience what it offers can be found elsewhere and I think that I have found it.

Has anyone reading this hiked any part of the Camino de Santiago?  Is anyone planning to do so? Let me know. 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Camino de Santiago

  1. ozarkmountainhiker

    I’ve wished for a block of time to do this and look forward to hearing about your preparations. I’ve enjoyed reading an Arkansas author’s book, Pilgrim Strong. It isn’t about the logistics of hiking the path, but more about his own personal reflections.

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    1. The Zen Hiker Post author

      Thanks for commenting! I am looking at an early April 2020 date to do this so once I am on my feet again I can begin training. I do plan on doing some posts not only on how I am going to prepare, but also on what I will bring with me. Actually, that is also another great thing that I have seen about the Camino. Since you don’t have to carry days of food and water with you, your pack weight can actually be pretty light. We’ll see!! Thank again for the comments!

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  2. youcanwalk

    I’ve been contemplating this walk for a year, but I’ve been discouraged by the amount of road walking, and the number of people. I’m now planning on the Portuguese coastal route. I wish you a great time on the Way, and look forward to reading your posts. John

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. The Zen Hiker Post author

      Thank you! I also thought about other routes and hopefully after completing the Camino Frances I can do others. I am also hoping that by going in early April I can avoid the number of people that you might see during the summer months. Good luck to you as well!!!

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  3. Barb Knowles

    Would you consider bringing your dog? I’m asking that seriously. I know he (she? I think he) is a constant companion and might think it’s like Disneyland. I haven’t been back to Spain in 30 years and have never been to northern Spain. But loved Spain so much. I think this is a great idea and blogging about it will be awesome for us to read!

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    1. The Zen Hiker Post author

      Thanks for commenting! I’m not thinking right now that I’ll be able to bring my dog. I think it might be to much hassle to bring him into another country. I have never been to Spain but the pictures I have seen are unbelievably beautiful. For the time being I am planning on blogging what I am doing to prepare for the trip, both physically and in terms of gear. Maybe I’ll vlog later?? Who knows. Luckily for me, I already have 99% of what I am going to need so the gear cost will be relatively low. I just have to keep working on my Spanish!!!

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