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Planning the pilgrimage from San Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela in September of this year. Wondering if anyone has completed the pilgrimage or is planning to do so? Let me know.

May 4th 2014 new
My sister is going, this autumn, I think. And I have met a CMer who's done it several times; sadly, I don't recall his name or contact information. From what he told me, it's more challenging physically than many people expect, so a good conditioning program is in order.
Vaya con Dios!

May 4th 2014 new
(quote) Raul-1058787 said: Planning the pilgrimage from San Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela in September of this year. Wondering if anyone has completed the pilgrimage or is planning to do so? Let me know.

One thing I heard about it is that in doing The Way, it's encouraged for pilgrims to rely completely on divine providence for housing and food. Seems a big leap of faith in order to do that.
I too wish to go its way one day.

The movie "The Way" wasn't very good in my humble estimation.

May 5th 2014 new
May 5th 2014 new
The Way would be a small taste of what it would really be like. Thanks
May 13th 2014 new
I walked 200 miles on the Camino in 2002, so I guess that makes me an expert. ;-)

I suggest that you plan no more than 20 km per day, average. If you are 60 something I would cut that back to 15 km. You are talking well over a month. 750 km divided by 15 km/day is 50 days.

I don't suggest that you depend on divine providence for meals or a place to stay, to me that is freeloading. You will find on pilgrimage that you will need help at different times, and there is where the divine providence comes in. Meals and a place to stay are not expensive, I would figure 25 euros a day.

Amazingly, I never got one bad direction from anyone while I was on Camino. Ask for directions. Occasionally someone would say that they did not know, and occasionally someone would tell me without my asking that I was going the wrong way. ;-)

You have probably heard the joke where a man prays every day to win the Lottery. One day he has lost patience and cries out more than usual, "Why haven't you helped me Lord"? The Lord answers him, "Couldn't you at least buy a ticket?" Applying that to this case, you need to do as much as you can to be ready and to use good judgement on the trip.

While the movie the Way was Hollywood drama, there is a lot of truth in it. The dorms really do look like in the movie, at least some of them. You will also tend to keep running into the same people over and over, and some of them become your trip companions. Most people are not walking for religious reasons, but some are for vaguely spiritual reasons.

Obviously good hiking boots and a light pack are key. Getting in shape is also important, of course. If your pack is over 20 pounds you need to look harder at it and take some things out. No need for a tent or cooking gear.

I have mixed feelings about taking a phone or a smartphone. Part of going on pilgrimage is disconnecting from your regular life. But family and others will want to know how you are doing. I sent out an email to a list of people every few days. When and if I go back, I may bring a smartphone, but leave it turned off unless I really need it.

I remember the first email that I sent out, after having a very hard time on the first day. Rather than go into all the details, I just wrote, "It was hard in every way". Humbling also.

If you have specific questions, ask. I also suggest that you join a Camino email list or forum or Facebook group.

May 14th 2014 new
Thanks for taking the time to inform me. Will keep all your pointers in mind. Planning on making the pilgrimage in September.

Buen Camino
Aug 15th 2014 new
Congrats on the great idea. I did the Camino with my family (was still married when I did it, so it included my husband) when my daughters were 12 and 14 years old. We just did the last 100Km - from Sarria to Santiago de Campostella. We took a week to do it, with an average of about 12 miles per day. We came through it without even one blister -- with minimal prep, but good boots and a good backpack. Since we were traveling with young daughters, we tried to avoid the lower level hostels. It is an incredible experience and I hope to return to do the Camino again someday. Keep the phone -- but turn it off. Pack light, pack light, pack light! We had two outfits per person and a change of clothes for sleeping. We alternated between hiking boots and Chaco hiking sandals (those were used when we arrived to our accommodations at the end of the day to give our feet a break from the boots). Message me if you have any further questions -- I am happy to relive the Camino experience. There are also very good websites and guide books. We used this info to plan out our daily mileage and allow us to know how far to the next accommodations. Buen Camino! -- Diane
Aug 23rd 2014 new
Hi Diane
Thanks for the info. Had planned on making the trip next month but postponed to next March-April. Have lower back problems and want to sort that out before the trip. Planning to start at San Jean Pied de Port to Santiago, then on to Finesterre and Muxia. Really looking forward to it. Have done extensive research. Trying to determine which backpack Osprey or Deuter, as well as, size 38L or 48L. What size did you use? As you say pack light, light, light. Have got everything else even walking poles.
Buen Camino!

Dec 8th 2014 new
I agree the movie The Way was quite disappointing. It was marketed on EWTN and other catholic outlets quite heavily. I thought the acting was poor, there was no real suspense, no dramatic encounters or conversions. The scenery shots could have been much more beautiful.
actually, I felt and was misled. It was promoted as a spiritual uplifting movie, good for our spiritual moral and backbone.
Oh goes on..
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