Is it hard to find your way at the Camino de Santiago?
First of all... Did I get lost? Yes, but it is NOT hard to find the trail at Camino Frances, and not if you get lost either. The trail is over-painted with arrows like the one you see on the picture.
It is not only on small stones, but everywhere in the cities, signs, on the pavement and so on. So why did I get lost?
It was only because I started in the middle of the night in a city. Then the arrows can sometimes be hard to find, because sometimes they are on a tree, and sometimes you are standing on an arrow without noticing.
What did I do? I continued walking. This is always the solution on the Camino if you get in trouble. Of course not if you have really bad blisters, but I will tell you about that later.
Does it work with GPS on the trail? Yes, but I walked the whole Camino Frances without using my phone, and it was lovely and satisfying!
I prefer a minimalist lifestyle when I walk, and thus I also walk in my barefoot shoes. I did not do that to begin with. I will also tell you about my shoes in the next short story.
Back to the first question. Is it hard to find your way? No. I tell everybody that, but you can get a little lost. My brother did as well. It is often if you walk by night or in your own thoughts and forget to look for arrows.
Should I bring my smartphone on the Camino?
It is all up to you. Everybody has a different experience when they walk the camino. The first one I did not use my phone much, but it did come in handy. I walked Camino Portugues a year after, and I just had a new phone. Some might say I used it to much.
The thing is.... That I have far better pictures from the one where I used my phone, but better memories from the other one. I don't know if it has anything to do with eachother, but I recommend brining a phone, because they can be Helpful in many situations.
If you need to find the perfect smartphone, I always recommond to see some reviews on: http://smartphonesrevealed.com/ and click here, if you want the see the top 30 best: The best smartphones on the market
How fast can you walk the Camino?
This is one of the questions I get the most. How long does it take to walk around 800 kilometers. I actually did not count the days, but my Camino-group said it was 26 days.
If you divide 800 with 30 it is around 26,5 days which means, that you have to walk around 30 kilometers every day if you want to complete the whole trail in 26 days.
For some it sounds like a lot, for others, not so much.
Some days I almost walked 50 kilometers, but I also had days where I stayed to days in the big cities to explore, party and wait for my fellowship.
with bad hangovers, I only walked 10K sometimes. There is also many others things to do there besides walking :)
How much training do I need to get before walking the Camino?
This is of course also a factor. How much do you really need to walk and workout, if you want your body to be strong enough to endure the whole trip. A lot of people don't make it the whole way because of injuries, blisters, lacking motivation and so on.
It is a huge advantage if you come to the Camino in good shape. Before I went there, I was used to sitting in front of a computer 10 hours a day and was in a pretty bad shape. Still better than most others though....
So it is actually very hard to walk, because you walk in mountains and with a heavy backpack. Bonus info: Your backpack should only have a weight between 10-15% of your own body weight. Most people bring way to much and heavy stuff... Myself included.
It is a great idea to come in good shape before walking the Camino. I got in way better shape when I was walking there, and my running was also improved a lot when I got back home.
I did not loose much weight because I maybe drank to many calories. But I did get in really good shape, and before I went to Camino Portugues, I also worked out a lot before I went there. There is some really nice and cheap training equipment on https://www.billig-fitness.dk/ which also fits to get in shape for a long long distance walk.
You can have a much better experience if you come in good shape because you can enjoy all the good things without to much pain. It is nice to push yourself and get out of your comfort zone, but you can still do that even though you come in good shape.
How many camino routes are there?
You can translate the word camino to path, road, or journey. There are many caminos around the world and in Europe, but if you google this question it will tell you differently.
There are even a camino in Denmark called The Ancient road(hærvejen) which is an official camino-route, and then we have some other trails inspired by the camino.
When people say: "I walked the Camino" they often refer to Camino Frances, also called The French Way. This is the most popular trail of the Way of St. James. There are seven well-established routes of St. James, and all of them are pretty famous.
Seven most famous trails of the Camino of St. James:
Camino del Norte
Cia de la Plata
So far I have been walking three of the above caminos. Camino Frances, Camino Portugues, and both times I finished walking to Finisterre.
This spring I plan to run the Ancient Road in Denmark as fast as possible, and then walk Camino del Norte in the fall. Hopefully some of my old Camino-buddies will join me again for that trip :)
We had a lot of great times walking Camino Frances, and I got a lot of new friends for life. I will tell much more stories about that on my real site http://caminoking.com/ This website is just for practicing my rusty English and get inspired to write some articles about the camino.
This section was underwritten by Camino King
Checkout Formula Swiss from Sweden, where you can find great CBD olja to bring for your next camino. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more camino Q&A's.