Tips to do your Way of St. James
When we decided to do the Way of St. James we found many very interesting tips to make the journey completely magical. Despite offering us unique landscapes, very special services, great surprises and a wonderful destination, there are some tips that can make the trip an unparalleled experience.
This is a compilation of Tips for organize your pilgrims way of St James, the best journey of our lives. We know that this is a very impressive journey that, when we read about it, we will see how wonderful experiences stand out. However, to increase the adventure and improve our visit we have the following.
How to start the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago?
We have prepared a series of very interesting facts that pilgrims on the Way of St. James should know. Everything you need to evaluate before embarking on the route. Get to know the following classification of ideas to make the Way of St. James more pleasant.
Do previous training
One of the best advices for the Camino de Santiago is to improve our physical condition. It is necessary to make a training, not very demanding but recurrent so that each step we take is not forced.
Although there are ways to make the way to Santiago without training, it is necessary to do so in order to make the experience on foot more rewarding. It is essential to know which route we are taking. Some roads are more demanding than others. In addition, there are climatic factors that make the decision more forceful.
Do a medical checkup
As an initial recommendation is to have a medical checkup that tells us if we are in optimal condition to make the journey. No matter what it is, it is necessary to know if our body and mind are capable of doing it.
Credential of the Way of Saint James
Little is said about such an important issue for the Camino de Santiago as the acquisition and processing of the credential. It is a document which allows us to have greater access to services and attentions on the road.
From entering hostels to opting for offers and discounts at certain locations. But it is all a process to be recognized as a true pilgrim, at least two stamps are required as a minimum to have a greater benefit.
If it is done on foot or on horseback it is 100 km minimum recognized and in bicycle it is 200 km. With these the authorities are assured that the route was done in a continuous way and without interruptions or with the help of a car or another means.
To obtain such an important document we must go to the Pilgrim Reception Office or to any of the associations of the Camino de Santiago that exist in Spain and other countries of the world. In public hostels or parishes in Santiago or San Juan de Madrid.
Around the luggage there are many recommendations and tips for different pilgrims, routes and modes of travel. The first thing is to combine physics and mathematics so as not to have to go through so many problems. In other words, our backpack cannot exceed 10% of our total weight.
If we weigh 80 kg the suitcase must weigh up to 8 kg. With this data we can look for our backpack, which must be ergonomic, adjustable and special for this type of roads. It must be breathable, with grilles for the wind to pass and good capacity.
With regard to content, we recommend that it be lightweight, lightweight and quick drying. Specialty stores sell the clothing required to make this tour more enjoyable. If you have the opportunity visit these stores and buy trousers, shirts, underwear, socks and shoes suitable for the road.
The content may vary depending on the road to Santiago that we choose. It is also necessary to take into account the time of year that is in tune with the climate (spring, summer, autumn or winter). As a final piece of information about luggage, it is better to pack the essential, neither more nor less, just what we will use. This is vital to avoid being overweight and mistreating us on the road
Sometimes in these natural spaces taking photographic technology can be a common thing. Those who love capturing good moments surely pack all the equipment to make a good shot. Now, if you’re just looking to capture shocking moments without being such an amateur, the mobile camera will suffice. Keep in mind that everything you carry will have to bear its weight all the way.
A one-way trip
As we venture into the Santiago Trail we know when to start the route, but we don’t know when to return. The reason is clear, the road can captivate us in such a way that what is planned in time can vary. For this reason, we recommend buying a one-way ticket with no return date. With this we cover ourselves against the pressures of the trip and we can do it with total calm.
You can also calculate 2 or 3 more days, and if you arrive earlier, go to one of the charming towns that you have near Santiago.
How to do the steps
The stages are not alike at all and even if they are of the same path. We are talking about narrow, wide, flat, inclined, muddy, stable roads. It is incredible the variety of stretches that we will see. That is why it is fundamental to know well which path to choose and how its stages are shaped.
If we can find out more about the terrain conditions on each track it would be a great advantage for us. Another factor that influences our physical condition, to which we must be prepared to make the road with ease. Otherwise and not having experience is better not to exceed 15 km daily. This represents 50% recommended per day.
If during the road you notice something wrong with you, stopping and resting is the best solution. If you think that your luggage plays against you because of its weight, there are companies that carry your backpack and deliver it to your next destination. If the route is in summer, it is recommended to leave early to take advantage of the cool weather of the morning and not to walk with the unbearable heat of the afternoon.
Security, first and foremost
Security is a control mechanism that we must implement, before and during the journey. As we recommended in the beginning, health is fundamental and we must check how we are doing before we start. Already on the road we must implement other safety mechanisms.
From taking care of our belongings to our health is key to make a safe trip. Carrying everything you need in medicines and a first aid kit is key. But the greatest protection depends on us on the site, knowing where to step, eat well, hydrate, among others.
We can contract an insurance for travelers that supports us against any eventuality of greater impact. It is also advisable to go at least as a couple, taking care of each other is better than not having anyone. The signs are important in the route, there are roads that have good signs and others not so much.
Food for the road
In spite of the fact that there are places that sell food, we can save a lot of money if we bring canned food or nuts. If a good idea is to bring food easy to eat, digest and transport. In some shelters there is the possibility to cook and prepare food.
During most of the tour you will find places for new supplies. Don’t take more than you need for the day. If you walk in the morning, you can use the end of the afternoon for the next day’s shopping.
Return from Santiago de Compostela
The Camino de Santiago has several routes, but all with a single direction that leads us to Compostela. Therefore, when we reach the finish line we will find ourselves somewhat disoriented because only the signs point to Compostela.
There are several ways to return, but they are the only ones and are composed of a transport. It can be by car, bus or plane. This must be taken into account when making the budget so that we do not fall by surprise. The train station of Santiago de Compostela is also very popular and is close to the Cathedral. In festive seasons it can be very crowded.
The best way to get out of Santiago is by rental car or by plane. In case of flying, keep in mind that the Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ) is quite far from the city.
There are points or themes that are more important than others. For example, physical health before taking the tour. If this fails we consider that the rest should not be done.
The credential is another key tool , without it we would not enjoy the tour well and could even suffer from frustrating interruptions. The luggage and food are also important because weight and food are factors that will get us comfortably to Compostela.
Many things have to be evaluated for this trip because it is a road without return. The destination is wonderful, but when we get there we must return. Sant James way with dogs is a very interesting, for that reason more and more, means of help are enabled for the pilgrims.