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Anyone Undertaking The Camino In August 2017?

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Anderson, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. Anderson

    Anderson New Member

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    Is there anyone else planning on starting the Camino in August? Or is this just silly at the height of the season?
     
  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Anderson - When I walked the Camino last year and left the end of April, some 300+ other caminantes left SJPP that same day. So, with that not even being the busiest month of the year, expect that size crowd or larger heading over the Pyrenees when you do. With that said, please be sure to book your bed in both SJPP and Roncesvalles well in advance. You'll have plenty of company all the way to Santiago. Buen Camino!
     
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  3. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Active Member

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    Hi I leave St John on the 13th here we go.
     
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  4. alisa

    alisa New Member

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    Hi! I leave SJPP on August 22.
     
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  5. NOQ1015

    NOQ1015 Member

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    Hi ! I leave SJPP on August 27
     
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  6. space4spirit

    space4spirit New Member

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    My daughter and I are leaving SJPP on August 13 and giving ourselves 7 weeks to do the whole thing including Finisterre!
     
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  7. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Active Member

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    Hi Alisa I am leaving on the 13th Ill leave a sandwich and a drink for you on the third fence post just through the old farm gate.:p:D:)
     
  8. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Active Member

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    Welcome Space4Spirit You will find the people on this site knowledgeable considerate and totally uplifting.(except for me) ;) What country are you coming from?. I have allowed myself a full day before in st jean to get myself together then walking out of the dawn and into history. Wow hope my legs can keep up with my mouth.:eek:
     
  9. Sarah JB

    Sarah JB New Member

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    Hello, I walked the Camino from SJPP two years ago in August and had no problems at all getting into the first albergue I came to. I also started walking at 6.30 am and it was lovely and quiet. I am walking part of the Camino this year again in August, I have pre booked the accommodation in SJPP and roncevellas as I'm travelling with my father.
    Buen Camino
     
  10. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Active Member

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    Hi Sarah what you have said is good to know I have given up trying to book at Roncevllas every time I try the confirm button ti does nothing but I am an early riser so I will get on the road about 6am or sooner.
     
  11. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Terry - Sorry to hear you've had problems with the Roncesvalles website for making reservations. I know it has worked for others. Keep trying or possible try using a different computer.

    I believe you said you were overnighting in Orisson, correct? If that's the case, you've already a good part of the way up the mountain. Leaving early as you plan, you should have no difficulty getting to Roncesvalles early in the afternoon to get a bed. When I arrived at 1:15, there were few others there before me. I was able to register, but I don't believe they opened the dorm until 2 pm. If you're well ahead of the crowd, you should be fine. Buen Camino!
     
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  12. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Terry - Just tried to reserve in Roncesvalles and it all seems to be working. I went all the way to the page for the credit card information. Since I'm not really reserving a bed, I couldn't go any farther by paying for it. Did you get that far?
     
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  13. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Active Member

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    Hey come on Wily I,m no pussy cat I am going to do the lot in one day and be a hero . I hope??? ha ha.
     
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  14. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Active Member

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    Hey Wily. All is right with the world I have booked I was not looking in the right place. Have printed it out. Yes go me.
     
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  15. alisa

    alisa New Member

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    Deal!
     
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  16. Anderson

    Anderson New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated
     
  17. Anderson

    Anderson New Member

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    Wow, really heartened to see people are starting in August. Not long now
     
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  18. Rainyday woman

    Rainyday woman Member

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    Hi NOQ1015, I leave on the 27th from SJPP as well! See you on The Way :)
    Buen Camino
     
  19. Nancy Coons

    Nancy Coons New Member

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    We are heading out on August 25th. Do a lot of people stay in Orrison on their first night and Roncesvalles on their 2nd night.....
     
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  20. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Nancy - Because Orisson has very limited accommodations, only somewhere between 28-40 can get beds there. You're leaving SJPP at a busy time. There might be as many as 300+ other pilgrims crossing the Pyrenees when you do. So, simply based on the numbers, most pilgrims go all the way to Roncesvalles in one day. If you're in good shape and have trained for your Camino, doing SJPP to Roncesvalles isn't a problem. Any walk in the mountains is a challenge, but very doable. If you're thinking of staying in Orisson, I'd contact them immediately to reserve a bed. I would suggest doing the same thing in Roncesvalles as fewer beds are now available than last year. Even if you break this first stage in two, do yourself the favor of training for your Camino and carry a light pack. Buen Camino!
     
  21. Nancy Coons

    Nancy Coons New Member

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    Thanks for the advice Wily. I've contacted Orisson and am waiting for their reply (but I hear that can take a few days...week). My reason for breaking it into two stops is that we are getting into Bayonne late on August 24th and will be taking an early train to SJPP the next morning - so after checking in thought it would be best to only attempt Orisson on the first day - hopefully there will be room at the inn :)
     
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  22. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Nancy - Sounds like a good plan. As you probably already know, the morning train from Bayonne leaves at 07:40. It's just a quick hour ride to SJPP. That would still give you plenty of time in the morning to check out the village, visit the Pilgrim's Office, and catch a light lunch. From there to Orisson it's only 8 km, but it is the steepest part of the climb over the Pyrenees. Most of it follows the road up so footing is good. Give yourself 2-3 hours for this stretch. If you leave early afternoon from SJPP, you'll still reach Orisson with plenty of time to relax before dinner. Enjoy!
     
  23. John McEvoy

    John McEvoy New Member

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    I am beginning (*leaving ) the Camino in St.Jean on 5/15/17

    staying in Orisson on the first night
     
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  24. John McEvoy

    John McEvoy New Member

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    try Booking.com , it worked for me
     
  25. John McEvoy

    John McEvoy New Member

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    that is 8/15/17
     
  26. Todd Reach

    Todd Reach New Member

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    I wanted to thank everyone on this site for all the tremendous advice. It was great to read what others have experienced as it helped me tremendously in preparation for my Camino.


    First, I wish to say I am NO expert and do NOT wish to come across as one. I am just someone who completed their Camino and wish to add my personal thoughts – both positive and negative. I believe providing not only the good, but those things which I found frustrating may aid and assist you in your Camino.


    I began my Camino in St. Jean Pier De Port on May 31, 2017 and completed it on 1 July 2017.


    My background - I am 54 years old and a former United States Marine. I live in San Diego, CA. I still run/swim competitively and am in good physical condition.


    Your Camino – planning your route, date, amount of time. These are obvious things, but if you get into your Camino and what looks easy on paper becomes very difficult, give yourself several buffer days. It is better to spend a few days on the backend relaxing, than feeling you have to push yourself really hard during. Find out what works for you as well. I recommend practicing a few days beforehand. Get up early and hike on Friday morning and then again on Saturday morning. It is my belief, the more you can prepare yourself the better experience you will have.


    Arriving/Departing – I think both of these are significant. Planning your arrival and getting to your start point is crucial and this site was great providing options on getting there. I flew from LAX to Madrid, Train from Madrid to Pamplona, Bus from Pamplona to SJPP. But, just as important is your exit strategy. What I did was find a hotel in the city I was departing (Madrid for me) and got a room for the couple of nights before I flew out and then left a bag there. I had a very large carry bag that I had my pack/boots/poles etc. in because I did not leave my house with what I was beginning the Camino with, and I was not planning on carrying everything I wore on the plane etc. So, I left what I wore on the plane and my bag and any other clothes I wanted have once finished. I took the train from Santiago to Madrid and flew back to LAX from Madrid.


    Preparation Training – I have done some significant hiking in my life and value training for any challenge I undertake. I trained for 4 months for the Camino. I did many flat hikes beginning with 4/5 miles and increasing up to 13/14 miles (roughly 3 hours). I trained on a huge eight mile (out and back) hill locally in SD and felt very prepared. I began the first of week of my training hikes without my pack, but every training hike from then on I had my pack on my back. I tried to ensure I had enough weight to represent what I would be carrying on the Camino. One thing I used were bottles of water to provide adequate weight.


    Although I had trained fairly extensively for the Camino, nothing truly can prepare you for 5 ½-6 hours of hiking a day. It takes a lot out of you and it will shock your system if you are not prepared. I just encourage you to be as prepared as you can be. It is not a race, so I encourage you just to find your comfortable pace and definitely do not try and push it. It’s your Camino and find what is best and most comfortable for you.


    Packing – Go light, Go light, Go light. I saw so many different pack sizes and what people carried. I just recommend whatever you plan on carrying on the Camino, you have used and carried the same amount on many different training hikes you did. If you do get on the Camino, and decide you just have too much to carry. One thing you can do is mail a box from a post office to the Santiago post office. Yes, you can just mail it to your self. No PO Box needed. So, if you get to Pamplona or another bigger city and just feel you need shed items, this is a good option.

    There are so many really good recommendations on this forum for what to bring, but I will say you can do it with almost nothing. By the end of the Camino, you see people after the days hike wearing the same exact thing day after day. Weight of pack and what you carry becomes paramount as you get into your Camino.


    One thing definitely to bring with you, rain gear. I walked 5 days straight in the rain. It was tough mentally, but if you don’t have it you will need to get some.


    (I met another former Marine who was on his second Camino. He was 62 and his previous Camino he did in tennis shoes and only carried a very small book bag. He did it in 20 days doing 40k a day). So, it can be done with almost nothing. I learned a lot from him if I was to do another Camino.



    Poles use/don’t use – I never had used poles before this trip and this site has a great amount of information whether to use them or not. I used them and snapped 3 because I was very hard on them on the hills. What was the turning point for me to use them was watching several YouTube videos on how to use them properly. Someone said in doing very long hikes, if you use them properly, if they take 5% - 7% of use off your legs/hips over the aggregate of 30+ days, that adds up significantly. I was sold. They helped out so very much as well. I was very happy I had them on the hills and going down some of the very huge mountains with very unstable terrain made them invaluable for me.


    Albergues – This site describes these to a tee. I will add a few things. You can stay at a Municipal, run by the city, for roughly 5Euro down to nothing (donations only). Private Albergues can run around 10-15Euro. These are privately owned and most provide dinner and breakfast. They usually have 10-20 beds. You can also get down to Albergues that have 2 beds to 1 bed. These are mostly hostels and run anywhere from 25-30Euro. I stayed in every variation, mostly at the Municipals.


    The one thing to be very cautious about is the snorning. For me, it was beyond anything I could ever imagine at the Municipals. I would recommend wax, earplugs are ok, but if you get wax and push it deep in your ear it can muffle some of it. I will say, this was one of my most disappointing things about the Camino. I could not believe how many people snored and how it affected my sleep. Once again, I am not saying anything negative about those who snore, only that it was my issue. I slept in the kitchen with my blanket at times, on the floor outside. We had a saying on the Camino, the only people truly rested on the Camino were those that snored. Snoring was not limited to old men either, young kids, men, and yes woman. And it was not just the group I began with in SJPP, it was across the spectrum of people. And as a Marine I have been in group outings, spent time in hostels, all over. Anyway, you can navigate this on your own, but just what I experienced. Just if you are VERY sensitive to noise at night, prepare yourself.


    Modesty – Just prepare yourself for the lack of privacy. It did not bother me at all, but bathrooms, showering, changing clothes, going to the bathroom on the Camino. There are just breadth of things which come into play. If you have been in the military, or any group settings/env that provides a very open type of environment, then you will be fine, just be prepared.


    Eating/Drinking – I had two rules on the Camino – 1. Eat a lot; 2. Eat Often. If you are hiking 5/6 hours a day your body needs fuel. I ate everything I could get my hands on. About a week into it, you will begin to get your “norm” and know what you need. Also, another HUGE HUGE thing is water. Water that you drink when you are thirsty is one thing, but water is so crucial for your muscles. Drink a lot of water and drink often. Keep yourself very hydrated, this will aid in the soreness of your muscles and will really help your Camino.


    Daily Routine – Figure out what is best for you, what your body needs, what you enjoy as far as your ‘daily routine”. This goes to when you get up, how far you will hike that day, what you do during your hike. Also, as evening begins to close, if you are getting up early, find the trail. Meaning that when you finish for the day, you may be right on the Camino, but you may have had to walk several blocks off of it to stay at your Alburgue. This time spent in the evening to know where to get back on the Camino could save you quite a bit of time in the mornings. For me, it helped tremendously that I was organized. In the mornings when everyone is getting up and out, it helped me being organized from the day before, these are just things I found very helpful for me.



    Wifi – Apps – There is tremendous wifi (pronounced “we fe” in Spanish)everywhere in Spain. You can connect up in any bar, any café and most Albergues have a great wifi if you want to send pictures. If you are taking your phone one App that I would download that I saw on the Camino, was Google Languages. I saw this application and thought it was amazing. You activate it and it will actually translate anything you hold your phone over. Yes, I could not believe it either. I did not have it, but would definitely consider downloading it. When I do travel overseas again, I will download it and use it.


    Summary - I found this to be a great experience and made lifelong friends. It was quite a challenge and I will do another Camino at another point in my life.


    Safe journey - and Buen Camino
     
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  27. Linda de Boer

    Linda de Boer New Member

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    I'll be leaving from St. Jean on the 26/27th of august! :)
     
  28. NOQ1015

    NOQ1015 Member

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    Me too Linda! Plan on taking my first steps out on August 27th. Perhaps out paths will cross:)
     
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  29. NOQ1015

    NOQ1015 Member

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    Hi Wily, I am searching for one of your replays regarding reservations in Zubiri. You recommended a few places after Ronesvalles. Can you share those again or direct me to your post. Thank you so much much!
     
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  30. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey NOQ1015 - I didn't stay in Zubiri, but instead walked another 5 km the second day on to Larrazoaña. These extra kilometers were fairly easy walking and put me that much closer to Pamplona for an early arrival there the following day. In any case, if it's of interest, in Larrazoaña, I stayed at the Albergue San Nicholas. It was an excellent choice with fine hosts, sleeping rooms with only 6-8 beds, and an excellent pilgrims dinner. A reservation would be recommended as they were completely booked the night I was there. I reserved through a simple email to them. Buen Camino!

    https://alberguesannicolas.com/
     
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