Unlike the Appalachian Trail, the Camino has many different possible starting points. Completing a Camino is defined by hiking more than 100 miles to Santiago de Compostella.
As you can see, there are hundreds of different routes to choose from. I’ve put together my own Just Pete Camino totaling nearly 890 miles and encompassing all or parts of 5 different Caminos.
I will be flying into Madrid and (somehow) getting myself to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port (France). My trek will begin on the Camino Frances. This is the most travelled of the Caminos and I will only be doing the first 40 miles to Pamplona. The route goes over the Pyrenees which is the most physically challenging portion of the Camino Frances and, who knows, maybe I can find some bulls to run with in Pamplona!
From Pamplona I will transport myself (somehow) to Irun and hike the Camino del Norte which runs along the northern coast of Spain. This route is travelled by only about 6% of the Camino pilgrims as it is a bit more challenging than other routes. It should provide many ocean views and walks along with lots of small surfing towns. After 518 miles I will arrive in Santiago de Compostella which is the ending point for nearly all Caminos.
After reaching Santiago de Compostella, I will continue walking to the “end of the world” along the Camino Finisterre. This Camino ends after 74 miles in the fishing village of Muxia.
From Muxia, I will continue north for 91 miles along the Camino of the Lighthouses to Malpica. On this leg I will be heading in the opposite direction of most pilgrims.
From Malpica I will transport (somehow) back to Camino de Santiago and then head south along the Portuguese Coastal Camino for 162 miles to Porto (Portugal). This will once again be against the flow of traffic and most pilgrims I meet along the way will be heading the other way. I’m really looking forward to passing through Pontevedra (Spain) as this is a sister community to our home community of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
If all goes as planned, I will have 889 (or so) miles completed. It’s my goal to do at least 810 miles so that, along with the 2,190 miles of the AT, I’ll be a 3,000 mile hiker. Maybe that’s enough but who knows!