Author Topic: Camino do Santiago  (Read 894 times)

GdS

  • Ship of the Fens
Camino do Santiago
« on: 01 October, 2021, 11:25:27 am »
Anyone done the section(s) in Spain? I've driven there but never done any of the cycling routes.

I'm looking at Santiago to Bilbao over 6 days using some of the French route via Leon but then skirting Picos de Europa and heading up to the coastal route. Possibly some train assistance.

Any advice on good roads / off road sections / accommodation would be great   :) most of the online routes seem to be for companies offering guided trips.

Re: Camino do Santiago
« Reply #1 on: 01 October, 2021, 12:16:23 pm »
I know Andrij has done some of the Camino on bike, hopefully he'll be along in a moment or two. I rode N-S Spain to Portugal, Asturias to Porto. Doing that meant I was in and out of the Camino route, it was great fun sharing the road and hotels.

Roads are all pretty fantastic and drivers accommodating. The hotels and restaurants that cater to the Camino are -at least in my experience - universally good and excellent value, it is hard to go  wrong. The old coast route is rugged and superb scenery, I'd nudge you to climb up a bit, it is wonderfully worth it


GdS

  • Ship of the Fens
Re: Camino do Santiago
« Reply #2 on: 01 October, 2021, 12:55:30 pm »
Thanks; I'm reversing it due to the logistics of arriving with a bike in a box and having to get back to a ferry terminal, the route doesn't have any spiritual significance personally.

SdC is an amazing place, a bit like JoG so I'm told in that every 30 mins or so another group of pilgrims arrive at the cathedral, when I was there a party of cyclists had just arrived from Peru!

Driving West out of Leon it was amazing to see a steady procession of walkers along the 300km long route

Re: Camino do Santiago
« Reply #3 on: 01 October, 2021, 01:59:51 pm »
I'm not religious in the slightest, but off the back of my experience, I would certainly consider riding the Camino or cris-crossing it, as I did. It was fascinating, meeting people on their own camino with a huge range of motivations and stories. I would seriously consider riding roughly the same way, as riding in reverse you miss the opportunity of "going the same way" as others. In its way, it felt a bit like the best of the Dunwich Dynamo, but without the crowds.

I do one way rides, using the CTC plastic bag rather than a box. I've posted it ahead of me to the end city (to a hotel booked on the last night) on other times carried it with me. My experience using the bag has been good, it seems as they can see the bike handlers naturally treat it differently. (still take off the mech, probably!). I'm not sure if I'd do an indirect flight with it, there used to be direct flights to Asturias, there are to Bilbao.

GdS

  • Ship of the Fens
Re: Camino do Santiago
« Reply #4 on: 01 October, 2021, 03:00:36 pm »
I can see a lot in following the same route as the pilgrims but this is a One Way Ticket trip using salvaged flights from 2020 and also a voucher from Brittany ferries after their boat caught fire 2 years ago and we were faced with no alternative other than Ryanair for £8

I don't know how pilgrims usually get back from SdC, in the old days they just had to walk all the way back!

my bike's been trashed by Gatwick handling in a padded bag before so I prefer a Halfords cardboard box.

Re: Camino do Santiago
« Reply #5 on: 01 October, 2021, 03:06:53 pm »
I can see a lot in following the same route as the pilgrims but this is a One Way Ticket trip using salvaged flights from 2020 and also a voucher from Brittany ferries after their boat caught fire 2 years ago and we were faced with no alternative other than Ryanair for £8

I don't know how pilgrims usually get back from SdC, in the old days they just had to walk all the way back!
Ah.....

Quote
my bike's been trashed by Gatwick handling in a padded bag before so I prefer a Halfords cardboard box.

That's for why clear plastic. Wrap it in anything and it gets lobbed and stacked like a box. Keep it visible and they'll pick it up by the top tube and treat it like a bike. This is a perfect solution, obviously until it isn't ;)

Re: Camino do Santiago
« Reply #6 on: 02 October, 2021, 02:07:08 pm »
I'm not religious in the slightest, but off the back of my experience, I would certainly consider riding the Camino or cris-crossing it, as I did. It was fascinating, meeting people on their own camino with a huge range of motivations and stories. I would seriously consider riding roughly the same way, as riding in reverse you miss the opportunity of "going the same way" as others. In its way, it felt a bit like the best of the Dunwich Dynamo, but without the crowds.

It's many years ago that I did it, but I'd agree with this. People change over the journey, and you will too - going backwards misses this. I cycled the Camino Frances then back along the Camino del Norte.

The coast route is more scenic and less crowded - nowadays the French route can get extremely busy at some times of the year. A lot of the walkers will get up very early by Spanish standards and do their day's walk by lunchtime to secure a place at the next albergue. On a bike you have the option of going on to the next one, though it can work both ways, eg being told you can't have one of the last free beds in case a walker turns up, it's getting dark and you've already done 200km+.

The going back bit had a very different feel to it, still had adventures but not the same as going the right way.

To fit with your ferry plans, you could take the bus back out of Santiago de C for not very much money, cycles are allowed and don't need to be bagged.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: Camino do Santiago
« Reply #7 on: 02 October, 2021, 02:25:43 pm »
I'm not religious in the slightest, but...

Top tip - when you arrive they ask if you caminoed for religious or spiritual reasons. Say religious and you get a much nicer certificate.

my bike's been trashed by Gatwick handling in a padded bag before ...

You were very unlucky. My bike has been on at least 20 trips = 40 flights in a padded bag and the worst I've had is a wheel slightly out of true and a broken QR skewer. It's only ended up in the wrong country once!

... so I prefer a Halfords cardboard box.

Airports used to sell those at €5, not sure if they still do.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Camino do Santiago
« Reply #8 on: 02 October, 2021, 04:15:40 pm »
I've roughly followed most of the route going east-west and I'd echo the others: do it the same way as everyone else if you possibly can.  Meeting people in the hostels who are all going the same way as you and sharing stories from the same piece of road every night is all part of the experience.

mmmmartin

  • BPB 1/1: PBP 0/1
    • FNRttC
Re: Camino do Santiago
« Reply #9 on: 03 November, 2021, 11:47:47 pm »
I have just stumbled across this thread. I'll try to phone GdS. I've done loads of these, about seven or eight depending on how you count them, several on foot and a few by bike. Things are different in the time of covid, during which i have walked the French Camino twice. Have also taken the boat to Santander then ridden through the Picos de Europa thence along the Frances. GdS won't be riding any Caminos in November, December or January unless he's gone mad. For others: getting the bike back from SdC is dead easy, just take it to the post office and put it in a box they give you, stick all your kit in as well, and it'll arrive at your front door in about four or five days while you fly home with a small bag of hand luggage. Cost about €90.
Going out:  If you have to start from Santander you can fly from Stansted and if you don't like the bike on the aircraft you can pay someone to send it in a van. The price of sending it in the hold is about £30 to £60 i think, plus the pain of getting it to the airport. Many places to stay are now closed, perhaps forever, and the dormitory accommodation is now by law reduced to 50 per cent capacity while the number of walkers is almost at levels of a normal pre covid year. You must, must, book ahead by about five nights or you'll be sleeping in the church porch.
Only municipal albergues have the rule that cyclists wait and get the last bunk: I've never actually seen it enforced.
If anyone wants more info, DM me.
HTH
Besides, it wouldn't be audacious if success were guaranteed.

mmmmartin

  • BPB 1/1: PBP 0/1
    • FNRttC
Re: Camino do Santiago
« Reply #10 on: 03 November, 2021, 11:53:48 pm »
Also i should add that there's about four coaches a day from SdC to Santander, i took one about seven years ago. The bike needs to go in the hold and be covered by plastic, so it doesn't out oil on the other luggage. We did this with bin bags, parcel tape and 20 minutes with scissors. The front wheel comes off and the whole thing is quick and painless. There's none of this nonsense about not taking the bike as you pay €10 for a bike ticket so the driver must take it. The bus leaves early in three morning but that one was full so we took a later one that arrived after the boat had left and had a night in Santander. Coaches in Spain are a revelation: cheap, clean, frequent, reliable, wi-fi, and if you pay for the expensive coach it's a huge comfy leather seat with charging points. The brilliant.
Besides, it wouldn't be audacious if success were guaranteed.