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Has anyone here hiked "El Camino de Santiago" in Spain?

1:32 p.m. on October 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Just curious, but have any of you folks hiked the 500 mile "Camino" or "The Way of St James" from the Pyrenees mountains in southern France across northern Spain?

Looking to plan a trip for a year or two out and I'd love to take that one. Looking for some first hand experience/advice on the hike.

3:18 p.m. on October 15, 2013 (EDT)
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It is on my bucket list. I have been reading this couples journal

http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?sid=daed3a5d3579d53fd7a95329346332a2&entry_id=41523

6:46 p.m. on October 15, 2013 (EDT)
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My sister has done it twice, once on a mt. bike.  And she's also done the trail from Seville to Santiago ( Camino de la Plata)

 

It is not a wilderness adventure in any way--you can often stay in hostels, the trail is at least a double track...

 

But a great adventure with lots of international company

7:40 p.m. on October 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Just watched "The Way" on Netflix a few nights ago. It looks like an enjoyable experience.

8:13 p.m. on October 15, 2013 (EDT)
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Just watched "The Way" on Netflix a few nights ago. It looks like an enjoyable experience.

 

Interesting movie. I think The Way makes it look very easy.

..........

My sister has done it twice, once on a mt. bike.  And she's also done the trail from Seville to Santiago ( Camino de la Plata)

 

Spent a bit of this past spring walking in/around Seville but I didn't go north, rather I went east/northeast.

6:33 a.m. on October 16, 2013 (EDT)
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Send a PM to RenegadePilgrim, http://www.trailspace.com/people/renegadepilgrim/

She has hiked it and also gives talks on it.  I know her and have done some hikes with her and she LOVES to talk about the Camino.  She also has a web site and can direct you to more places on the web to get info on it.  Tell her Wolfman sent you.  She should get a notice from the PM, if you don't hear back from her in a week PM me and I will let her know you are looking for some info.  I also think she has a FaceBook page on the trail, or it might be a group.

Wolfman

11:13 a.m. on October 16, 2013 (EDT)
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There are some famous trails in other countries worth considering. Lots of history on the Spanish trails. I would rent some donkeys for one of those.

I used to travel outside the US lots. It occurred to me one day in Italy that the wildness has been systematically beat out of a lot of places for centuries. North America has the best wild lands in the world with the possible exception of Siberia. There is really no reason to romance and dream about outdoor adventures in other countries in my opinion. The current issue of "Backpacker" magazine goes into lots of detail about adventures in other places. They are expensive and far away but not necessarily better. The ethics in other countries are different. Europeans love to build hostels and resorts everywhere so hikers and backpackers are never more than a day's hike from a bed and a meal. Lots of other countries have adopted the same ethos. I am agin it.

9:04 p.m. on October 16, 2013 (EDT)
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. . . . It occurred to me one day in Italy that the wildness has been systematically beat out of a lot of places for centuries. North America has the best wild lands in the world with the possible exception of Siberia. There is really no reason to romance and dream about outdoor adventures in other countries in my opinion. The current issue of "Backpacker" magazine goes into lots of detail about adventures in other places. They are expensive and far away but not necessarily better. The ethics in other countries are different. Europeans love to build hostels and resorts everywhere so hikers and backpackers are never more than a day's hike from a bed and a meal. Lots of other countries have adopted the same ethos. I am agin it.

 

So in your mind the only valid form of backpacking is the type where you hike the wilderness.

I reject that.

While I prefer to be in the back country, I think there is a lot to be said about urban and suburban trails too.

Each type of hiking is different, but none is any less valid than any other.

If you don't like civilization then choose wilderness for your trips.

But there is nothing wrong with other people making different choices.

10:41 a.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Melendad,

I agree with your post. My point is that spending a lot of money to travel in far away places does not necessarliy allow for better backcountry experiences than what we have in our own backyards. More exotic maybe, but usually not better.

I remember hiking between the small towns in Cinque Terra (the Five Lands) on the nw coast of Italy on the Ligurian Sea. A beautiful place with lots of history. People from all over the world. But no one would say hello on the trails except the Australians. People avoided eye contact. All of the things that come with urban experiences. Not my cup of latte.

10:53 a.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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I know what ppine means.  There is something vaguely disappointing about climbing to the top of a ridge in Europe, only to discover a shepherd, a café, or a tramway on the other side. 

 

I agree that hiking and biking through Europe can be a wonderful adventure in culture and people....but not so much in wilderness.

11:22 a.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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I agree that hiking and biking through Europe can be a wonderful adventure in culture and people....but not so much in wilderness.

 

But, in the spirit of THIS THREAD'S TOPIC, it is doubtful that anyone who hikes the Camino de Santiago would be hiking it for a back country~wilderness experience.

3:32 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Most people that travel across an ocean to hike 500 miles probably expect some degree of solitude and wild character to the landscape. Spain has been settled for thousands of years. It is a wonderful country, one of the best to visit, but I wouldn't go there to go backpacking.

4:38 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Most people that travel across an ocean to hike 500 miles probably expect some degree of solitude and wild character to the landscape. Spain has been settled for thousands of years. It is a wonderful country, one of the best to visit, but I wouldn't go there to go backpacking.

 

Love to have a source for your "most people" comment above.

Especially so given the title of this thread and the topic of hiking the Camino. Its typically thought of as a pilgrimage trail and known to be very crowded during certain times of the year.

I'd actually venture to say that most people who hike the Camino are expecting very little solitude and generally are expecting to meet fellow hikers, make friends, and enjoy the ever changing companionships developed along the trail . . . and that is based on the dozens of blogs that I've reviewed on the topic. Funny, but not one I found said that people expected the solitude or wilderness that you suggest "most people" would be looking to find.

8:01 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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I have to agree with melensdad, the Camino has nothing to with back-country or really even Backpacking.  It is a pilgrimage walking trail that it fairly commercialized.  It really has nothing to do with "wilderness".

Nor did melensdad's post.  He/She ask for anyone with experience on this hike, and not about a "wilderness" experience.  As for Hiking in Europe, it is a VERY different experience then most hiking in the US or Canada.  Worse? Better? Maybe just different. 

Derailing the thread and forcing your opinion on someone not asking for it is crap and not what I think this forum is about.  But then that is just my opinion too.

April 16, 2014
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