Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
#1
I had a really neat conversation with my parents yesterday.  Not only are they hoping for an offer on their house in France, but they also want to do the pilgrimage route to Compostela this fall.  They are 68 and 70 with health issues, so you can imagine this is quite the undertaking.  I have always wanted to walk that pilgrimage route myself, but never had the opportunity.  Has anyone here gone on that pilgrimage?  I have books on it, but it's not the same thing.  How hard is the walk?  Might it be too much for them to try it? 
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#2
My understanding from a Catholic friend who's been is that the camino is more of a network of trails than a single path. The trail varies from very light to strenuous and remote, which requires one to transport their own food and supplies via backpack.

A non-Catholic coworker is planning to do the trail (just cuz, not for a pilgrimage) with his wife. He's been researching it, and has told me the same description. Based off that, I'd suggest your folks not do the camino. Perhaps they can do a light segment of it with an escort.

The current trend, according to my non-Catholic coworker, is for all the new agers and hippies to hike the trail to the coast, then burn their clothes on the beach. Yes, that's what he and his wife want to do. How sad. On that note, your folks may want to avoid the coastal trails. :LOL:
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#3
(05-08-2016, 10:50 AM)Fontevrault Wrote: I had a really neat conversation with my parents yesterday.  Not only are they hoping for an offer on their house in France, but they also want to do the pilgrimage route to Compostela this fall.  They are 68 and 70 with health issues, so you can imagine this is quite the undertaking.  I have always wanted to walk that pilgrimage route myself, but never had the opportunity.  Has anyone here gone on that pilgrimage?  I have books on it, but it's not the same thing.  How hard is the walk?  Might it be too much for them to try it?
I did the pilgrimage on the Camino from Arles (France) to Santiago on bike by sept through Oct 2013. The ride is 1500 km long. Crossing the Spanish border is exactly half way. I enjoyed it a lot,  as much spiritually as physically.
Biking needed almost one month. Walking needs at least 2 months and half with daily walks between 25 to 30 kms.
It is not easy to recommend the best period. In my opinion early September through October and November are less hot while the albergues are less crowded, not necessitating to book every night beforehand.
The key is to walk without being overloaded. One must get rid of all the superfluous things. Too often I saw exhausted people carrying bags bigger than themselves, with big mountain shoes as if they were climbing the Everest, hurting their bloodied feet.  Sport shoes are better. The lanes are easy, seldom difficult. The steepest ones are at the spanish border, climbing the pass before Roncesvalles, then in Spain, the Cruz de Ferro pass (1500 meters high) and the Cebreiro pass almost as high, a few days before reaching Santiago.
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#4
Thank you both for the info!  I do worry that it's asking too much of their bodies.  I will pass on recommendations and see if I can convince them to take a shorter, easier section rather than doing the whole thing.  We shall see . . .
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