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Getting To St. Jean And Finding Places To Stay In The Summer

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Nancy Bannon, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Thank you Greg! I think that you are spot on about reducing the weight in my pack. At least to 15 pounds. Sometimes I do not look forward to heaving that pack, especially on hills. I believe that it will make a difference. My knees are my only concern.
    Yes!! Super excited. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a smile on my face because I was dreaming of my adventure. I have not even gone there yet, and I don't want to come home. And I love my life and my home! :D
    Wow, April 6th is right around the corner......Yikes. I am sure that you are ready!!
    Buen Camino Greg!
     
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  2. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    I know only 4 weeks now. I can hardly believe it. I can't wait for that first morning on the Camino, with the sun coming up. It's like taking your first breath. I have to say I love it.

    I wish I could say I am ready but this is probably the least prepared I've been. Still I've a few weeks yet to go so hopefully I will indeed be ready.

    If you are really worried about your knees you could check out using an elastic knee support. There are all kinds. I use quite a simple elastic one and I find it really helps on the descents.

    This is the type I use, available from Boots here in Ireland and the UK. I'm sure you could source something similar in the US.

    [​IMG]
    Not long for you either..........Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  3. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Greg - I can’t remember if you like to make reservations or not, but in Foncebadón, I stayed at the Hostal Convento de Foncebadón (reservations available on Booking.com). They offer both beds in small dorms or private rooms. I was lucky enough to share a six person dorm room with just one fellow pilgrim. Upstairs is the best restaurant in town offering both a pilgrim’s meal as well as a full menu. Although the Alberge Irago has great charm, it seems that many folks staying there came down to the Convento for dinner. As I remember, they had a cream of garlic soup that was particularly delicious. Enjoy and Buen Camino!
     
  4. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    At the risk of upsetting some of our friends.....forget the cold beer - you will walk through La Rioja, the best red wine producing region in the world and it is so cheap there. Heaven :))
     
  5. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Hindsfeet - I agree with Greg. Drop down the weight your carrying in your pack during training. In preparation for last year’s Camino, as well as the one we’re about to leave for, my wife walks wearing a 10 pound weight vest. Although her Camino gear weighs about 14 pounds, the practice with the 10 pound vest was more than enough to get her ready for the Portugués. If you do have any problems over there with your knees, get to a pharmacy sooner rather than later. Nancy picked up a knee brace, similar to Greg’s, and it made a big difference. And, if you need to, don’t hesitate using a luggage transport service for a few days if your body needs a bit of a rest, but you want to keep walking. Buen Camino!
     
  6. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wily

    We are in fact reserved in advance. Given we only have 7 days walking I decided to take some of the pressure off and we are sure of a bed for the night. It's also my wife's birthday while we are away so we are treating ourselves a little. I had already booked the El Trasgu de Foncebadon based on Tripadvisor and Booking.coms ratings. It looks nice too. Will let you know.

    Where are you heading for this time?

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  7. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Thanks Greg, yes I just picked up two of them!! They do help. :D
     
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  8. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Excellent. Sounds to me like you are just about as prepared as you can be. It’s all about getting out and enjoying now.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  9. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Thanks Wily...ok, reduced the weight on todays hike already. Did feel better. I don't know what it is about the luggage transport..for ME, but I really am determined to carry all of my STUFF on my back. Of course I won't risk injury though. But with the reduced weight I know that I will be fine. STRONG LIKE BULL...(Hungarian you know):D :D :D :D
    "IN EVERY WALK WITH NATURE, ONE RECEIVES FAR MORE THAN HE SEEKS"
    -John Muir
    Yay!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait!!!
     
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  10. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Greg - We arrive in Ferrol on March 24 to walk the Inglés this spring. We will be celebrating my wife’s birthday on Easter Sunday this year in Santiago. Yes, treating yourself on special occasions is great! We’ll be at the Hospedería San Martín Pinario for a couple of nights. After the weekend there, we walk on to Finisterre and Muxía to finish up our trip. Safe travels and Buen Camino!
     
  11. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like one hell of a fabulous trip. Good for you.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  12. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting that, Hindsy! I hadn't heard that one, and it's so true. Another good John Muir one: "Of all the paths you take in life, make sure some of them are dirt".
     
  13. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Hi Crepesy, And I never heard THAT one!! I like it! On my mountain biking socks, it says GIRLS LOVE DIRT. Guess we got that one covered! ha :D :D
     
  14. Jo Waller

    Jo Waller Member

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    Hi Hindsfeet hope to see you on the trial. Me and a friend, god willing, leave SJPP on 11 April. I too have felt apprehensive as I’ve had an ankle injury from October backpacking the GR131. Although we are seasoned trekkers I never feel confident beforehand that I will succeed in any adventure. I look forward to giving this adventure my best shot and will enjoy the company of my fellow Peregrinos. I look forward to seeing you as we trudge along the Camino. Jo

     
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  15. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Hindsfeet - I envy your soon to start camino. My wife and I have walked the full 800 CF twice now. Both times I carried my 50 L Osprey Atmos backpack every step. During our first camino, my wife carried hers from St Jean to Carrion de los Condes. She developed severe knee pain so shipped her backpack via Jako-trans every day until we reached Santiago. During our last camino, she shipped it ahead every day.

    We are planning a third CF next year. I've decided I don't need to prove to anyone that I can carry a backpack, so next camino I'll use the transport service on any days with gruelling climbs. As I've mentioned on other threads, we've hiked the Napoleon route and the Val Carlos route. Both are interesting and challenging. You can decide which better suits your fitness and interest.

    With regards to training, my wife and I are 60 years old (camino's completed when we were age 58 and 60), and work out 5 days a week on the treadmill or elliptical. We did not pre-train on hills with backpacks. We (correctly) assumed if we were sufficiently fit, we could adapt to the hiking after a few days, and we were.

    You'll do fine and have a great camino! Bob
     
  16. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Hi Jo, I hope that our paths cross on the Camino! I am not taking any phone or tablet with me, I am wondering how those of us leaving around the same time could possibly see one another? :D Look for the blue Osprey pack and a very happy and excited pilgrim! hmmm.....:D
     
  17. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    T.S. Eliot seems to capture the excitement and anticipation of the journey quite nicely when he wrote, “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
     
  18. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Thanks Bob, I am feeling more confident about walking the Camino lately, after getting used to my poles, reducing the training weight in my pack and reading the support here on the forum! You know, to be perfectly honest with you, the part about carrying my pack all of the Way is probably due to stubbornness and perhaps pride. I know, not an attribute. I have always been like that. My family knows this about me, and they just shake their heads. It has NOTHING to do with what others might think (that doesn't influence me), I just WANT to. You know, something remarkable has happened in the last two weeks with me. I cut out all sugar, NO soft drinks, no bread.... taking turmeric...and my joints feel amazing. I just want to play outside! That is wonderful that you are now planning your third Camino. I am planning my second one already! :D
     
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  19. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Hindsfeet - Bob’s comment on fitness is spot on! If you are sufficiently fit (and I know you’ve been working hard on this), then you’ll be ready to take on the Camino. Like Bob, I exercise 5-6 days a week. So, if I were to decide to walk the Camino tomorrow, I’d be ready. For me, exercise is just part of my daily routine. Therefore, no specific Camino training is required. With all that you’ve put into your preparations for your Camino, you’ll have a great experience walking across Spain. But, although you’re physically ready for this journey, it’s a long way to Santiago. Listen to your body! Some days it will tell you you can do a bit more; other days, it will tell you to rest. Buen Camino Peregrina!
     
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  20. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Thanks Wily. Listening to my body is about the best advice for me. I have never walked that far, so I don't really know what is in store for me. And one thing I do know is that, LIFE happens, so I am sure that I am in store for a few surprises. I want you to know that I appreciate and respect all of the shared info, advice, support and encouragement that you have offered. I couldn't have come this far without it.
    You and Nancy must be all packed up and raring to go at this stage! And I am sure, ready to escape the snow and cold! Looking forward to your blog, Buen Camino my friend
     
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  21. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Hindsfeet, I forgot to comment on trekking poles. We live in the very flatlands of the mid-west. Before our first camino, we never had any experience with trekking poles. Thanks to the good advice on this column, we purchased a set for my wife and a set for me. We ordered Leki brand, which have a very good reputation. I liked the sets that have cork handles - they are easy to grip even if your hands are sweaty. Before our first camino, we watched a few videos on YouTube. When we arrived in Spain, we were ready to go. I like that they can be collapsed and attached to a backpack if they are not needed. I don't think we would have lasted long without our trekking poles. They are so essential when climbing up steep hills, navigating rocky paths, and providing balance when walking near streams or down steep hills. They provide extra stability when walking in the dark (along with a headlamp). For our first camino, we made the entire 800 kms without a fall. Our second camino, my wife stumbled to the ground one time, but said she was daydreaming and not paying attention to the rocky trail. She was fine.

    Many albergues require you to leave your trekking poles in the lobby area in an umbrella stand or where you leave your hiking shoes after you check in. This made me nervous that someone might walk off with our nice poles. To prevent theft, we made special markings on our poles with bright tape and dabs of paint. Sometimes we collapsed the poles and attached them to our backpacks so we could bring them into the bed area. Knock on wood, we never had a problem. Bob
     
  22. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Thanks Bob, I have Field and Stream poles with the cork hand grips. Now that I am used to using them, I feel that they are essential. I still am not sure whether to check them in at the airport or leave them at home and purchase a pair in SJPP. I like the fact about not checking any baggage, just easier and quicker to exit the airport.
     
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  23. Jo Waller

    Jo Waller Member

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    We are staying the night of the 10th at Gite d’etape Ultreia Saint Jean Pied de Port. It’s close to the church. Ive recently read “The journey in between” Keith Foskett. He talked about posting notes along the route on the Camino signs to keep in touch with pelegrinos he met along the way. People walk at different speeds and stop at different points so I guess this makes sense. I have an old supply of post-it notes somewhere in an office drawer. Even have pink hearts! Might be an idea or just a note under a stone
     
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  24. Jo Waller

    Jo Waller Member

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    PS I have a blue Osprey too, Stratos 36 I’ll update my profile photo aswell
     
  25. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If the poles are only one thing why to do a check-in, it is better to buy it in SJPP. Especially if you travel from States and your baggage can be lost on some airport before Camino.
     
  26. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Hindsfeet - Danvo’s suggestion is quite good. When we traveled to Portugal last year, poles were the only thing that we checked. I’m actually amazed that the small pole bag made it since due to delays, we switched airlines and our route to Porto was less than straightforward. However, the pole bag made it both going and returning.

    As you are spending the night in Paris, you don’t have to worry about time contraints and waiting in baggage for your poles. You’ll have plenty of time to collect them before heading to your hotel. At CDG, baggage claim was right next to the exit where I caught the shuttle bus into the city. However, if you do have a problem and they don’t arrive, as C4S posted in a other thread, there are outfitters in SJPP where you can easily buy replacements.

    We fly directly into Santiago this year and then catch a bus up to Ferrol. But, there isn’t much time between landing and getting to the bus (hopefully our taxi guy will be a wanabe Formula 1 driver). As Danvo suggested, I’m aware that we might not get out of the airport as quickly as we need to waiting for our pole bag. So, we have a bit of a dilema. I wouldn’t hesitate to leave our trusty experienced poles at home and get new ones, but I’m not sure if we’ll find an outfitter in Ferrol. I still have a few days to make some decisions. Buen Camino.
     
  27. Maya Grandmother

    Maya Grandmother Active Member

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    Hello Hindsfeet, I want to wish you a lovely camino. You will do great because you have been researching and getting good tips. I wrapped my poles in an ikea bag with string around the bag and checked them in and my osprey I took as a carry-on. I did not have a reservation in St.Jean but the pilgrims office got me into a room next door to them. You will feel so proud when you finally get to start your trek. I just wanted to get started and it began with rain but we are all prepared for any kind of climate. I found that the things I worried about never became a problem, instead other challenges popped up and I just had to deal with them. The memories you make will last forever. All the best, Maya
     
  28. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    For both caminos, we collapsed our trekking poles and placed them in a small canvas bag. We also included a pocket knife (essential for trail fruit, cheese, and opening bottles of wine) and scissors in our medical kit. We carried our backpacks on the flights. We didn't mind the small wait to pick up the canvas bag since we's sat on a cramped airplane seat for more than 8 hours. At the end of our camino, we flew from Santiago to Madrid. We checked one bag (with poles, etc) and carried on the other.

    By the way, if you are flying to Madrid, it is very easy to pick up the metro and travel to downtown Madrid. Bob
     
  29. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    On my most recent Camino, I checked my poles and Leatherman tool. They got to Biarritz several days after I left Saint Jean and were sent back to California with one of the pokes getting broken somewhere. I had my pack with me and bought new poles, at 22e each, in Saint Jean. Some one else posted that less expensive poles are available.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  30. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Just in case, Hindsy, there are also 3 Decathlon stores in Paris (I checked because my poles arrived destroyed in Madrid last May). They sell them for much less than here. The closest one to Gare Montparnasse is probably by the Bercy bridge a few blocks from the Seine on the left bank, which would be walkable. Just another option.

    I couldn't get a reservation at Hotel Delambre:(. And the CitizenM didn't have a good rate on the day I needed them, but I found another good hotel in Montparnasse and would rather stay there anyway.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
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