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Advice needed for January 2012 Camino Walk pls

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Stu, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Stu

    Stu New Member

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    Hi everyone

    I am hoping to do my first Camino from mid January 2012 and I would very much appreciate some advice from anyone who might have done the winter walk along this route.

    Firstly, can anyone give me a realistic pace for walking in winter? I realise that there are many factors involved but I am trying to get some idea of the sort of ditance I can cover in the 4 weeks I have available and, hence, where to start from. What I mean is that the average stages posted for spring-summer-autumn seem to be around 25km per day for the average person. Is this achievable on the Camino route in winter? I am reasonably fit and have been practicing in the Peak District and have no problem covering that sort of distance in snow, although there's nothing like the Pyrenees hereabouts.

    Also, for the sake of cost and time I am likely to be flying to Santiago with Iberia (the cheapest option I can find) then taking trains or buses to my starting point and walking back to Santiago. Has anyone else done it this way and can maybe give me some pointers about this?

    Lastly, has anyone just come back and can give me some indication of the latest prices for the albergues? It seems from the posts I have read that the forum is divided between those who feel that finding open albergues is no problem in winter and those suggesting these will be closed. Can anyone who has been recently give me an update on the situation?

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. quiet

    quiet New Member

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    Hi Stuart,
    I recently returned from doing part of the camino November 30th and many of the albergues were closed so you might need some extra money just in case you cannot find one open.The municipal Albergues cost E5 and the private ones 5-10. There were very few walkers when i walked only 5-10 on any given day and the temperatures were similar to November in England but with less rain. If you have walked in the Peak District there is nothing for you to fear on the camino. Many people start walking from St Jean Pied de Port just over the border in France but as you only have 4 weeks Pamplona would be a more comfortable starting point. It is said help is always at hand on the camino and hopefully you will be with a Spanish speaker who will be able to phone ahead to find out which albergues are open.
    I see that you are planning to fly to Santiago to start the walk have you looked at flights to other airports Ryanair fly Stansteadto San Sebastion also Biarritz in France and Sarragossa and Valladollid. Ryanair also do Birmingham to Barcelona Ruis.The big bus company in Spain is called Alsa if you look at their website you can see the cost and timetables.
    Hope this helps Paul
     
  3. Stu

    Stu New Member

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    Hi Paul

    Happy new year and thank you for your reply. I would have liked to start in St Jean but your advice about Pamplona seems more realistic. Do you know if I would be able to get my credential in Pamplona?

    I had considered Ryanair but at my departure time they do not fly out to either Santiago or Biarritz, although they do fly to Barcelona. But I have had bad experiences with Ryanair and would consider them only as a last resort. However, the points you made had me thinking I have since found that Easyjet fly to Bilbao so that's an option.

    Could you give me some more details about the albergues being closed please? I see from this forum and other guides that closed albergues will be opened up if you ask nicely. Is this not the case? If you didn't stay in albergues what the the other facilities like? I am mostly interested in people's experiences of washing and drying facilities as I hoping to pack minimally and launder frequently.

    Once again many thanks.
     
  4. quiet

    quiet New Member

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    Hi Stu,
    Many people start from Pamplona so you can get the credential there but sorry i don't know where but many people on this forum will know the answer to that. Your clothes won't get too dirty in Janurary and in 3 weeks of walking did'nt wash my fleece at all , i took 3 pairs of socks 2 underpants and 2 lightweight sports tops and you can wash these by hand in the albergue when needs arise.You won't get a key to the closed albergues they are closed down for a number of weeks but when you begin the walk you'll probably find that you'll become attached to the same group of people because of limited albergues and the distances you sometimes have to walk to find one open which is why i said in the original post that i hope you meet friends with good language skills.Don't be put off by these comments you'll have agreat time and meet some amazing people and help is always at hand on the camino but stick together with the people you meet because if you do encounter bad weather closed albergues etc you'll cope so much better with company.I only walked as far as Burgos last time i think as you get closer to Santiago the number of albergues open and the number of walkers will increase.
    Paul
     
  5. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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    You can get a credential at the main albergure in Pamplona. I think it is open from about 2pm each day.
     
  6. Stu

    Stu New Member

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    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the extra information. I have now booked my plane ticket and I will be traveling next week and plan to start in Burgos and head on to Finnisterre, time permitting.

    Best wishes
     
  7. Marc G

    Marc G New Member

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    Hi. I'm travelling from Burgos late Feb 2014. Any tips? It's a 3 week walk
     
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