How to listen to advices about the Camino de Santiago
Once you have decided to do one of the pilgrim routes, you will hear a thousand tricks and tips to complete the Camino de Santiago. Some will be about the organization and the preparation of the trip. Others will focus on the route. Some people will even tell you what to do when you get to Santiago de Compostela.
It is normal and wise to hear the advice that other pilgrims give you. However, you should not forget that the experience that lives on the Camino de Santiago is very personal. Many people, with the best of intentions, will try to convince you to live the same experience they have lived and that is not possible.
In Santiago Ways, we always say, “There are so many paths, as pilgrims.” With this, we want to say that you listen to the tips to make the Camino de Santiago that you give. But don’t follow them all. That’s our main advice.
In this article, we made a compilation of 5 tips to complete the Camino de Santiago. It is a synthesis of the tips and tricks that we have given to those pilgrims that we have accompanied to Santiago de Compostela.
Some of them were very good. Others were based solely on the personal preferences of their friends and family. We share with you our reflection on each of them.
Advice on how to do the Camino de Santiago, volume 1: how to make your pilgrimage
Many people have their own idea of what it is to be a true pilgrim and what not. However, as we usually say in Santiago Ways: “There are so many ways to pilgrimage, as there are pilgrims on the Camino.”
Today, there is a great diversity of ways to make the Camino de Santiago. Actually, this has always existed. If you want to delve into this topic, don’t forget to read our article about the history of pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.
Related to how you should make your pilgrimage, you will hear some of the following tips. Draw your own conclusions.
You have to choose this route…
One of the first tips you will hear about the Camino de Santiago is what route you should make. Some people believe that the Camino Frances is the only valid Camino de Santiago. Others, on the other hand, completely criticize this pilgrim route because they consider that it has completely lost its pilgrim essence.
The only thing we will tell you is that all the routes on the Camino de Santiago are genuine. In this article, we explain how the Camino de Santiago and the origin of each pilgrim route are . You’ll see that they all are a Camino de Santiago.
Our advice is to make the Camino de Santiago that best suits what you want and your personal characteristics. In this article, we will talk about the characteristics of each Camino de Santiago.
Doing it in five days isn’t a real Camino de Santiago
Another point you will have to deal with is the time you devote to doing the Camino de Santiago. Some people will tell you that pilgrimage for a few days is not worth it.
Don’t even listen to them. A pilgrimage is always a fantastic experience, no matter how long you have.
Do not expect to have a month off to do the Camino to Santiago, it is not necessary. There are many pilgrim routes that you can complete in a few days. If this is your case, do not forget to read this post about routes on the Camino to do in less than a week.
You have to do the Camino de Santiago like this
Finally, you will also hear how you must complete the stages to be a good pilgrim. However, all the people who do the Camino de Santiago are pilgrims.
There are no good and bad pilgrims. Everyone carries their backpack and is invisible to the eyes of the rest. Decide depending on what you feel like doing and the effort you want to devote to doing it.
Not all pilgrims carry their backpack to Santiago. They don’t all sleep in shelters either. Not even 100% do it on foot. Each one’s motivations are different. However, they are all just pilgrims.
Advice on how to do the Camino de Santiago, volume 2: weight
The weight of the backpack on the Camino de Santiago is quite recurrent. The truth is that there is unanimity about that. However, as always, everything has its nuances.
The backpack should be light
If you’re going to carry your backpack on your back for many kilometres, it must be light. That’s more than advice, your body will demand it.
Preparing such light baggage has some complexity. So there are plenty of tips on how to prepare your baggage to complete the Camino de Santiago.
All the people who have gone on the Camino de Santiago before you will have their own tricks. On the Internet, you will also find endless information about it.
We also forewarn you about such advice. In this article on how to prepare your things for the Camino de Santiago, you will find some tips to know what recommendations to listen to.
The Camino de Santiago doesn’t have a baggage limit
The Affirmation “al Camino de Santiago hay que ir ligero de peso”, (“You have to travel light on the Camino de Santiago”) is only valid for those pilgrims who, for devotion or for not wanting to pay a backpack service, decide to carry their things.
If you decide not to carry the backpack during the tour, you can afford to take the luggage you want on the road. Baggage transport services on the Camino de Santiago don’t enforce a weight limit.
Advice on how to do the Camino de Santiago, volume 3: training
Preparing physically to do the Camino de Santiago is recommended. Any sporting or specialized entity on the Camino will tell you that you should start training between 60 and 90 days before you begin to do the pilgrimage.
We also feel the same way. Especially since in this way, some people who go from work to the couch and the couch to work, with the illusion of making the Camino de Santiago, are encouraged and start to do sport.
Yes, it’s happened to us! We have seen how, after a pilgrimage, sedentary people become sports lovers. The Camino de Santiago changes the lives of many people.
If you want to know how to prepare yourself physically for the Camino de Santiago read this article. We will tell you how to develop adequate physical and mental preparation . We also give you advice to avoid injury, but surely you’ve heard more than one.
You can’t do the Camino de Santiago without physical preparation
You don’t have to dramatize about training either. Obviously, many people decide in an improvised way to make the Camino de Santiago. Many of them no longer have time to make good physical preparation.
What if you haven’t started training two or three months before? It’s ok! You don’t have to give up on the Camino de Santiago for that. Start training as soon as possible, but do it sparingly or you’ll get hurt before you leave home.
It is usually recommended to start preparing physically a couple of months before so that the training can be progressive. Some people, seeing lack of time to train, undergo very hard routines, without counselling, and end up injured.
You have to be prepared to walk 20 kilometres a day
Remember that depending on the way of Santiago you decide to do; you will find a wide infrastructure. The Camino Frances, for example, is fantastic and you will find services every 5 or 8 kilometres, on most stages.
If you have not previously trained and are not in very good physical shape, you can make the first stages of the Camino de Santiago shorter. Therefore, you don’t necessarily have to walk 15 or 20 kilometres a day.
If you have time or have no pressure to get to Santiago de Compostela you can use the following trick. Train in the early stages of the Camino. Make them very short so you avoid injuring yourself during the first days of travel.
It doesn’t matter if during the first few stages you only travel a few kilometres. As your body gets used to to the activity, you will be able to increase the distance.
However, this is the alternative that we propose if you have decided to do the Camino de Santiago and you hardly have time to train. Our advice will always be to prepare yourself.
Advice on how to do the Camino de Santiago, volume 4: rhythm
One of the greatest mistakes that many people do the Camino is to concentrate only on the distance ahead. There are many pilgrims who, after completing their pilgrimage, repent not having stopped further along the way. I let myself be dragged along! they tell us.
There are many people who live in the villages that cross the Santiago network. They, the most experienced in the Camino de Santiago, have also told us: “Many pass through here and never stop to talk, where do they go so fast? The magic is lost”.
Because of this, our advice if you are going to make the Camino de Santiago is that you do not hurry. Take the opportunity to stop and talk to the locals, many of them have lots of anecdotes to tell. Stop at the square of that pretty town you’re going through, maybe you’ll never visit it again.
You often have to get up early on the Camino de Santiago
Get up early, yes, but not before the cock crows. It is important to start the day early, but it is not necessary to start it before sunrise.
A fact that we find often is that there are pilgrims who begin to walk practically in the dark. First thing in the morning, they’ve almost completed the stage of the day.
It is true that in this way they avoid having to walk during the warmest hours. But you miss one of the most beautiful things on the Camino to Santiago, its landscapes.
There are stages that have spectacular views. We generally, when we arrived at the end of the stage, commented on the beauty of the landscape with other pilgrims.
Some of us respond that they did not see them because they passed there when it had not dawned. It seems a pity to us. Think about it before you let yourself be swept away by this kind of impulse.
You have to do the stage quickly to make sure of a bed
It is true that in high season and on certain routes of the Camino de Santiago, finding a bed in a hostel is difficult from a certain time of day. This fact causes a great deal of haste and waking up early.
Our question is: Is it necessary? We don’t think so. The Camino de Santiago is there to enjoy.
Our advice is that if you are going to do the Camino de Santiago in high season and do not want to stress out with the possibility of not finding a bed, book your accommodation in advance. If not, you take the risk of having to go extra kilometres looking for accommodation. But, enjoy the Camino!
If you want, you can contact us and we will take care of everything. So you can walk peacefully and let yourself be surrounded by the magic of the Camino.
Advice on how to do the Camino de Santiago, volume 5: tourism
Unfortunately, many pilgrims miss the great historical and cultural heritage with which the Camino de Santiago is blessed. Stop and visit! Sightseeing is not at odds with pilgrimage.
Knowing about the history of the Camino de Santiago and the pilgrim path you have chosen will help you to enjoy much more of the experience. It is also advisable to have previous information about the places you will go through in the Camino de Santiago.
Use a guide, like ours, to get information about the places of interest that each locality has. Another option is doing the Camino de Santiago with a guide and tell you everything.
We hope that these 5 tips to make the Camino de Santiago will be useful to filter all the information you will find. You know, the trick to make the road is to listen to the tips and follow your heart.