This walk is going to be different to a Camino in many ways. Before we even walk it, I can think of the following:
- This Coast to Coast walk will be a walk in the park compared to our Caminos. I mean that literally, not really figuratively. Actually, it will be a walk in three parks, i.e., the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, all national parks in the UK. Very little of the trail is outside those parks. The biggest town we walk through or near is Richmond with 8,400 inhabitants. Our Caminos have taken us through major cities and towns such as Pamplona, Logrono, Leon, Burgos, Leon, Ponferrada,, Santiago, Siena, Lucca, Rome, Coimbra, Porto, Lisbon, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo, Lugo, Zaragoza, Lleida, etc. On the Caminos, we see everything from the beautiful vistas of the countryside to the gorgeous architecture and history of the cities to the industrial underbelly of the new economy. In the parks of the Coast to Coast, for better or worse, we will see parks.
- The Coast to Coast will be about 302km, whereas we our previous Caminos have been between 650 and 820km. We will just be warming up by the time we reach the North Sea.
- We usually try to walk 22 – 30km per day on the Caminos. It’s not always possibly but that’s the norm with 25km being the target. On this walk we will be averaging 21.6km per day and there is only one day that will be more than 25km.
- Normally on a Camino, we set a target each day for a town about 25km away but we really walk until we are satisfied and stop where we end for the day. Sometimes it is several kilometers after our target and sometimes before the target. On the Coast to Coast walk, we had to pre-book all our accommodations so we already know exactly how far we have to walk each day.
- Pre-booking accommodations is highly recommended for this walk. It is a popular trek with not many places to sleep along the main trail. We are walking in close to peak season but we still managed to get beds for every night about one month in advance. On our Caminos, we either find a bed when we arrive in a town or book just one day in advance. On a few occasions, we have booked two days in advance but that is rare.
- All our accommodations are nice bed & breakfasts or small country hotels on this walk. Each Camino has been different but we have stayed in a variety of places on each one including religious hostals, community albergues, trucker motels, fancy hotels, cheap hotels, bed & breakfasts, pensions, farm house homestays, and many more.
- Fellow walkers on this trek will be fellow walkers. On the Caminos, we share the walk with other pilgrims. I don’t yet fully understand how that difference will manifest itself but I will find out.
- On our first pilgrimage, we stayed mostly in albergues and ate inexpensive pilgrim meals for dinner and our other meals were spartan. That made for a pretty cheap walk. For this trek, due to the late planning and remembering that we were using frequent flyer miles for a free flights, we splurged a bit and our daily costs will be significantly more.
I think I will have to end this post after the walk. I am sure there will be other things to add.