I promise you I resisted the urge for as long as I could and it beat me in the end!!
I have just booked my flights to Madrid, Spain and I am in hyper-excited mode and itching to pull my backpack on right NOW!
My patience levels are going to get a serious workout as I still have 211 sleeps before setting out on yet another +820km walk through Spain.
Here are the initial plans…
- Start Day: Sunday 10 May 2020, from Madrid, central Spain.
- Finish Day: Thursday 11 June 2020, at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, north-west Spain.
- Walking Days: 31
- Rest Days: Two (Segovia and Oviedo)
- Camino Madrid: north-west from Madrid for 12 days to join,
- Camino Frances: in a westerly direction for two days until Leon to join,
- Camino San Salvador: due north for five days until Oviedo, then
- Camino Primitivo: for eight days heading south-west towards Santiago de Compostela, and finally,
- A little cross country for two days on the Camino Verde, crossing the end of the Camino del Norte and then a ‘freelance’ day to reconnect with the Camino Frances and into Santiago de Compostela.
- Why this route?: It has been three years since I walked my last camino and it appears that in that time, the popularity of walking a camino has gone through the roof. Last year over 320 000 people walked into Santiago de Compostela on one of the many camino paths. The large majority of those pilgrims stepped out on the Camino Frances, so I have tried to plan a route that avoids the Frances and is a little less-travelled. We will see how successful I am with this theory come June next year!
- Total: around 827km, give a take a kilometre or two as I accidently take the scenic route.
- Daily Average: approximately 26km, quite civilised.
- Longest Day: Yes, that will be a long day.
- Shortest Day: 21km, easy peasy.
- Camino Madrid: I am expecting mixed terrain with a couple of stiff climbing days leading into the Sierra de Guadarrama to a maximum of 1 796m. Thankfully it will be downhill all the way to Segovia and then relatively flat as I get closer to the Frances.
- Camino San Salvador: Climbing, climbing, climbing. Hopefully by this stage I am super-fit and can take it all in my stride! Ever the Optimist.
- Camino Primitivo: Mixed with plenty of climbs thrown in just so I don’t rest of my laurels. I have seen a few YouTube clips and the scenery looks stunning with lush forested paths and misty mountains.
- It will be late Spring in Spain so I will be expecting lots of lushness, green and Spring blossoms. I imagine this will vary considerably as I move from the hotter/drier Madrid region to Asturias and Galicia where “the rain in Spain falls mainly on Galicia”.
- Camino Madrid: based on historical weather data, I am expecting an average daily temperature of 10°C to 23°C with only a 20% chance of rain. That weather forecast is very appealing. I can put up with a lot of things when I walk, but wet weather really takes the shine off walking 30km.
- Camino San Salvador: based on historical weather data, I am expecting an average daily temperature of 10°C to 23°C with only a 17% chance of rain.
- Camino Primitivo: based on historical weather data, I am expecting an average daily temperature of 10°C to 20°C with only a 20% chance of rain.
- For the first time on a camino I will be taking a sleeping bag as I understand some of the more mountainous regions and albergues can get quite chilly at night.
Maps, Guides & Resources:
- As always I have been having great fun reading and researching the path on a large variety of forums and websites.
- Trepidatious Traveller: Maggie walked this same path combination in 2017. She is a font of knowledge and inspiration.
- Camino de Santiago Forum: This forum is excellent for connecting to people who have walked or are walking LIVE on the path. Everyone is very supportive and happy to share their knowledge and experience.
- Gronze: Although in Spanish, this site has excellent information and maps.
- Rutas A Santiago: same comment about this site as previous point.
- Apps: I would like to use apps again after my successful experience with this technology through Italy last year. At this stage I have yet to decide which one will serve me best. Do you have any recommendations?
- Qatar Airways: I have booked return flights from Sydney with Qatar Airways for AUD$1270. I have never flown Qatar Airways and TripAdvisor says very good things about them. Other than the price, one reason I chose them was because of their convenient departure and arrival times. I have been able to avoid additional accommodation nights due to their late-in-the-day departure times and early-in-the-day arrival times, allowing me to travel to/from airports on the same day. I particularly like the fact that I arrive in Madrid early in the morning, allowing me a full day to acclimatise and, jet lag permitting, start to explore this vibrant city.
- Internal Transport: Other than on foot, I plan to connect from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid on an Iberia flight, but at this stage it is not allowing me to book through their website.
That’s about it for now. You can be guaranteed you will be hearing a lot more camino chatter from me over the next six months. And I would welcome your advice and information if you have walked any or all of these paths.
Buen Camino Everyone.
#caminodesantiago #buencamino #pilgrimpath #caminomadrid #caminofrances #santiagodecompostela #pilgrimage #longdistancewalking