If you are more than 60 years old and you don’t plan to do the Way, change your mind. In many occasions old people leave behind the opportunity to do the Way due to the physical limitations or lack of time. Nevertheless, if someone is retired, time shouldn’t be a problem. On the contrary, it is the perfect time to start this wonderful journey which will prove to be worth it.
Once that you have decided to undertake the Way to Santiago and you consider yourself an elderly person, we offer you some suggestions that may help you.
Firstly, everybody knows their physical condition, but we recommend that you visit a doctor and to get a resistance test so that he/she can give you the green light to start it.
Slow and steady wins the race. Just remember it´s not a competition
When one starts the peregrination, studying the route is fundamental. On average, each portion is about 20 to 25km kilometers. However we recommend that you spread out the distance over a longer period of time thus making your travels shorter and easier.
It is important to consider how your body reacts day to day. In the case yourself needing a day of rest, don’t worry. If you feel as though you do not have any problems, then continue with the route that you have planned.
Resting well is very important to keep you strong through out the Way. Therefore, we advise that you choose the option of sleeping in a comfortable accommodation such as hotels, not pensions.
Making the stages shorter, this let you that the stays in the end stage of localities be longer. If you have any rest day, many times necessary, the pilgrims can take advantage of the sightseeing. The Way to Santiago goes through many charming villages and monuments, like cathedrals, to enjoy, like the cuisine.
The pilgrims, usually, have sandwiches and they don’t dedicate a lot of time in lunch. But there is also the option to enjoy the cuisine of the different points in the Way, and don’t have sandwiches all the way.
The bag is your best friend during all the travel, for this reason you have to get to adapt it and be the most comfortable. For an elderly person, the weight has to be less than the normal and don’t damage your back. You have to take always the essential, but in this case, more than never.
Don’t forget the “broom car”. This term makes reference to the cars that pick up all the pilgrims that are tired or have health problems, and they can´t continue walking during a short period of time. The car can be of any group person or you can book it. If you have one, don’t see this like a weakness, if not such a support to could continue, in addition to give you the calm to have a resource in case that your body doesn’t answer. This can be for the elderly people or for the kids.
Another option is to do the Way in isolated stages. You can sort out the dates according to the time and make a Jacobian timetable of weekends. . This option let you rest enough between the stages and do it without the pressure of finish quick.
Do the way that you do and you organize yourself like you do, remember to study the uneven. If you have any difficulties for the long hills, you can consider the flat paths that help you in the way. In this case, we recommend you the Portuguese Way, consider it one of those with the least level differences.
In the case of the Portuguese Way, is possible to complete the section Tui-Santiago, Considering the kilometers, more less in a week. There is any stage such Padrón to Santiago that may be divided it in two, because are 25,2 kilometers (15,6 miles). Another suggestion is the French Way since Sarria. In this option is also necessary to divide the distance, like the section Palas de Reis-Arzúa, with 28,8 kilometers (17,8 miles), could do the way in 7 or 8 days. In both alternatives you consider the necessity to walk like minimum 100 kilometers (62,1 miles) to receive the compostelana, the accreditation that you did the Way to Santiago.
Finally, last but not least, we remember you that the fundamental, if you decided to star the way and you are an elderly person, is to arrive in Santiago; you don´t have to consider the time, the problems that you had or the rest that you need, the important is to complete your aims and became a pilgrim with the accreditation.