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Hi From Camino Frances

Discussion in 'Live from the Camino' started by RetiredGal, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    Hi
    I arrived at SJPDP on 12 July 2016., spent the next day exploring pretty little SJPDP....got my credentials, getting a ponch as was raining on/off ....... also a camino buff.... both these cost a fortune!! :eek:
    Anyway made my way to Orisson and stayed the night and this morning walked to Roncesvalles. IMHO, the walk from SJPDP to Roncesvalles is really quite pleasant for people who are used to walking hills... as its mostly road walking until approximately 3 km from Roncesvalles then its mostly downhill into forest surrounding. Albergue in Orisson caters lovely food and gorgeous wine ... nothing much else.... 5 mins warmish shower in cool environment is not pleasant. There s no toilet seats :eek::eek: nor soap for handwashing and NO wifi!! The place was full by 1800 hrs with lots of unbooked pilgrims getting beds... Albergue in Roncesvalles is brand new and organised!! Lots of pilgrims turning up and given beds! ​
     
  2. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Pleased to hear that you have started your Camino and have reached Roncesvalles – It’s always difficult to give people advice about whether they should walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles in a single day, or split it into two, but, personally, I tend to err on the side of caution and suggest that people should spend a night at Orisson unless they have indicated that they are experienced walkers – Worst case scenario is that they have to spend a slightly unnecessary night in a beautiful Refugio in the Pyrenees :)



    Things like “no toilet seats [​IMG][​IMG]nor soap for handwashing and NO wifi” is something that you are going to have to get used to, especially no soap for handwashing in Refugio’s as you are expected to provide your own – Toilet paper can also be in short supply, so be prepared is usually the best system ;-)



    I hope that the weather improves for you and I look forwards to hearing further updated from you

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
  3. Gerry Vandermaat

    Gerry Vandermaat Donating Member Donating Member

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    Best wishes RG - don't expect the Earth and you will be pleasantly surprised what you receive on your Camino.
     
  4. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Well-Known Member

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    EEEEEEKKKK RJS.... are you serious - no toilet seats?? Why is this? Is it traditional thing?
     
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  5. Fionna

    Fionna Member

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    I'm with Tina Marie. I hate hover-loos!
     
  6. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    I think I should put things into perspective – At least from my own experiences (For Refugio’s / Albergue’s)

    No Toilet seats – Rare

    No wifi - As time goes on, this is getting less common

    No soap for handwashing – Very Common



    Hope that clarifies things and saves too much worrying about having to hover ;-)



    Best Regards

    Rob
     
  7. Ryedalerambler

    Ryedalerambler Active Member

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    "Speak as you find" they say so I feel bound to say that when I was at Orisson in May I had a perfectly good (hot) shower, and don't remember there being no toilet seats - perhaps the peregrinos who followed me took them for souvenirs!
    As regards wifi, I know we all (myself included) feel the need for unbroken contact with the rest of the world these days, but is it really so terrible if we are unable to log on for 24 hours?! (As an aside, I walked for a while with another peregrino who rushed to find the wifi password every time we stopped at a bar or albergue, before ordering drinks or food, or checking in, even though each time she had been connected within the last few hours!)
     
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  8. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    Hi again
    Orisson is, on reflection, a lovely albergue... but I did look for a toilet with seats but did not find any except the one in the dining room (has handsoap too!) But the food is superb, and does cater for vegetarians for those who pm me... jz tell them please re your needs.
    Am currently in Pamplona, staying in Jesus and Mary albergue.... busy but not full... The walk into Zubiri yesterday and today was/is very difficult as it was HOT! It is now 31C but the walk from 8 km away was just horrendous as there was little tree shelter... I thought I was going to faint! I just laid on my bed for 3 hours after I checked in, jz cooling myself. My daughter, a doctor told me to hv some hydration salts I brought with me. I am now seating in a cafe drinking ice cold drinks...
    Please do bring precautions if you are walking in summer.... but Orisson and Roncesvalles was cool. Please heed Rob's advice and split day 1 and stay at Orisson on the walk into the Pyrenees... on reflection, it is an excellent and safe advice.

    Take care folks and sorry I am unable to respond to pms.... wifi connection aint that good! Will respond when back in the UK x
     
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  9. Maya Grandmother

    Maya Grandmother Active Member

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    Yes no soap for hand washing is common everywhere. I must say though, that toilet paper was always readily available when I was on my journey. Wifi is not great at all times either. I thought is was better in restaurants. I would do many notes along the way at a restaurant or cafe. Also the water in the showers are cold. But I must say that all those things were the least of my worries. All the wonderful memories made along the way is what makes it all worth it. Enjoy your journey RetiredGal. Maya
     
  10. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey RetiredGal - Sounds like you're well on your way! Well done! Regarding the heat, just two words for you: hydration & fuel! Although I walked in May, we had some pretty warm days particularly during the first third of the Camino. As much as I always looked forward to my first delicious cup of Spanish café con leche, my mid-morning drinks always turned to electrolyte replacement drinks such as Poweraid or Gatoraid which are readily available in Spain. Hydrate during and after walking. Fuel is equally important! Eat a good meal in the evening! You'll need the carbs the next day! Plus, I always walked stronger if I had had some food in the morning before setting out. As you will come to find out along The Way, you may have to walk an hour or more before your first rest stop/cafe. If your albergue doesn't serve breakfast or if you leave particularly early, I found having a bit of food with me did the job before I could stop for more. Buen Camino!
     
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  11. Dondiego

    Dondiego New Member

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  12. Dondiego

    Dondiego New Member

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    Wily
    I hope to be on the Camino in mid September 2016; I particularly appreciated your response to the 74 year old's questions. These points helped me greatly.
    Thanks for being candid!
     
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  13. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Dondiego - I'm 64 and I thoroughly enjoyed my Camino this past spring. I know the decade between 64 and 74 can make a big difference, but for me, success boiled down to a few key things that I don't believe are age dependent: 1) preparation - do everything you can to get ready for 30+ days of walking and all that entails, 2) motivation - not only did I mentally and physically get ready for my Camino, but I really wanted this to be a great experience (and it was), and 3) attitude - it might be said that there are no easy days on the Camino. However, there is so much to be gained every day if it is understood from that perspective. Climbing tall mountains and walking in the pouring down rain for hours can be some of your favorite experiences along The Way. Enjoy yours- Buen Camino!
     
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  14. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    Hi everyone

    Am staying at La Casa Magica albergue tonight in Villatuerta.... reached here at 1300 hours.... was fairly warm today and that is good. as not hot... so was good for walking... its now 1900 hours and the skies opened! This albergue looks ancient .... even the floors, tiles and doors look really old but Miguel couldn't understand me nor able to explain anything to me... he only speks cataln, I think! :( There are quite a few empty beds here.... no beds rush as predicted in june!
    The walk from Puenta la Reina was very much ascents and descents. Stayed at the Jakue albergue and it was great... eat as muchas u like for 13€.... lots of choices.

    Showers hv been hot since Orisson... brilliant after a long and hot hike.... Theres not as many pilgrims as predicted for a holy year... indeeed theres already a couple of dropouts. There are also a few doing sections of the camino only. There are a huge number of spanish and italians on this camino....quite a number of germans, french, koreans, a few eastern Europeans, 2 chinese, 3 Argentineans and an indian.... my audit thus far...

    Have been feeling a bit pi**** off with the heat and getting up early to start the day so as to beat the afternoon extreme heat.... been wondering why am I punishing myself!! :oops::(:(

    On to Los arcos in the morning as I hv booked accommodation too.... hv a great day all...
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
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  15. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey RetiredGal - Two of my favorite albergues along the way were the Casa Magica and the Jakue Albergue. In both places, I experienced excellent meals! As you mentioned, I, too, particularly liked both the dinner and breakfast buffets at the Jakue. It was also nice at the Casa Magica not to sleep in bunkbeds. As I remember, there were only 6 beds in my room with plenty of room! In May, without a reservation, people were being turned away from Villatuerta. But what you're saying right now makes sense. I remember a conversation I had with a hospitalera in Los Arcos who said May and September were her busiest months. The mid-summer heats seems to discourage a certain number of caminantes who, like myself, preferred the chance of having cooler weather for their walk. Enjoy. Buen Camino!
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
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  16. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    Hi everyone

    Greetings from Logrono...! Its now 10 days since I stepped onto the Pyrenees and did the physical walk from SJPDP.... The last 3 days were difficult as I felt drained, angry and miserable with walking in the heat, and walking from 0600 hours. :( plus people I met at Orisson seemed to hv vanished or with knee and injuries.... some had toe nails that have dropped off!! :(I am blessed that I only had a red spot which resolved...:oops:

    It rained last night and today had been cool.... lovely for walking.. jz hope it stays like this! Am booked for a rest day here for tomorrow but the hospitalero here says I would not be charged if I decide to move on tomorrow :)

    Hv walked wt new pilgrims starting from pamplona but to be honest, there have been times when I walked in isolation.... so its not a busy time. Met the hospitalari from the municiple albergue yesterday evening and I was told that she had 20 vacant beds... here in Albergue Apostol Santiago, theres about 6 of us in the whole building, 4 of us pilgrims (unsure re the couple).

    The good news is the 10C drop in temperature has certainly brought some cheer to me!

    Have a great day x
     
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  17. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey RetiredGal - Really enjoying your updates from the Camino. It's been fun to vicariously relive my month in Spain by reading your posts.

    It's also interesting how in a relatively short period of time, May to July, that there are certain differences between our Caminos. First, temperatures are definitely a different issue than they were in the spring. This undoubtedly has to be part of the explanation for fewer pilgrims in the albergues. When I was in Logroño, I, too, stayed at the Apostol Santiago. The difference is that every bed was taken! Although you're dealing with hotter days, it sounds very nice that no one has to work too hard to find a bed at the end of a long, hot day hiking.

    The other thing you mentioned that I, too, experienced was how groups of fellow pilgrims come and go from our Camino life. Those I began walking with were very different from those even ten days into the Camino and again different from those I entered Santiago with. As much as I would have loved to have seen certain friends again, I am also grateful for the new friends I made at the different stages. It's the way of the Camino!

    Enjoy and Buen Camino!
     
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  18. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    Hi... am staying in Ciruena today... weather s been good. Was talking to another peregrino and realised that today is my 10th day on the Camino! I thought in error that it was the 12th day ... hahaha.. hv lost count of my dates!

    Well... Wily, I guess you will be back for more camino! Like they say, it is addictive!

    Jz read about this!

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-36864997

    Sooooo sad as the students and teachers were on the same flight as me out to Biarritz! And one of the boys were telling me the camino was an annual event for the school... RIP Michael and condolences to his family... reallly sad - such a young age!

    Weather s not as hot last few days... and there are beds in all the places I stopped although at Najera yesterday, all the 10€ beds had gone at Puerta de Najera so had to upgrade to 15€ beds. Apparently, however, this is the "most popular" albergue in Najera!

    It was a pleasant walk into Ciruena on a good day but I felt tired sooo had to stop at this albergue.

    Hv a great day x
     
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  19. ThomasV

    ThomasV Camino Bound September 2016

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    Greetings RG, you post are very enjoyable. I love the details about the albergues! Keep it going, enjoy each step! When I walk in September I will look for theses albergues
     
  20. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    Hi folks

    Good morning from Santo Domingo de la Calzada! Had a disturbed night at Albergue Vergen de Guadelope.... there were only 4 of us... anyway, the bell went off 0630 so we had to wake and I started walking at 0700 hours and reached here at 0830hours... far too early .... but am booked here for the night. Plus what better place to spend St James Day!!

    @ThomasV .... places I stayed

    SJPDP - Gite Ultreia... 17€ in a room for 4 ... stayed 2 nights. Quite expensive as can get cheaper stays here but Argitxu was lovely... her sister also works at Orisson:) great wifi here

    Oirisson - cold but beautiful surroundings. Reached here at 1010 hours walking from St Jean at 0800 hrs... stayed as had booked room. Yummy dinner and great wine. Unbooked pilgrims given beds.:p no wifi

    Roncesvalles - love the HUGE albergue.... has secured lockers and v clean... lots of hospitelarios to point directions etc... loved the pilgrim masd... food ok wt great wine... lots of vacant beds:p great wifi... plus wash and folded clothes on bed for only 3'50€ ... great to group wt other pilgrims for serviced wash

    Zubiri - cancelled most of my bookings via booking.com as plenty of beds available! Stayed at Municipal albergue... v clean lots of vacant beds. Food ok .. Apparently foods in nearby restaurant better:oops: great wifi in lounge

    Pamplona... stayed at Jesus and Maria albergue 2 nights... beautiful cathedral.. lovely foods everywhere... paella and risotto:) great wifi on ground floor

    Puenta la Reina - albergue Jakue... great buffet:D great wifi

    Villatuerta - albergue la casa magica... terrible food... given microwaved fish which was leathery (think no gas) dinner 13€ - great waste of money:mad: good wifi

    Los arcos - stayed at hostal eziequel via booking.com as wanted a private room... terrible winds howling so had a different room... great food for 11€ :). Apparently all albergues here had vacant rooms. Great wifi

    Logrono - albergue Santiago apostol via booking.com. clean place ... had booked 2 nights and agreed wt hospitalerio I wouldn't be charged if I left the next day as wanna get to Najera... booking.com emailed to say I never showed up! Albergue gonna charged me cancellation fee! :eek: plenty of vacant beds ... only 2 of us on 1st floor... another 8 pp checked in but some non pilgrims great wifi

    Ciruena - albergue as above... advertised as home made bread etc... served rice wt lentils for €7 in a wooden bowl... bread was standard supermarket breads... only 4 of us in albergue. Great wifi

    Hope this helps ... hv a great day all x
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
  21. ThomasV

    ThomasV Camino Bound September 2016

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    Thanks RG! This really helps! I'll keep watching ur post. Have a great day in SDdlC!
     
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  22. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    I used Booking.com for about a half dozen reservations along the Camino. Because of the relatively informal record keeping system in albergues, I often wondered whether or not I would see extra charges. Regardless of how I reserved a bed, through booking.com, emails, or just by telephone, my name was typically hand recorded in their ledger of reservations for a given day. As informal as this seemed to me, I didn't experience any mistakes! My reservation was always correctly recorded and my bed waiting (perhaps the Camino gods were just looking out fir me). My only real receipt of having shown up, paid, and having spent the night was my sello or stamp in my credential. If I had to contest any extra charges, it seems like it would have been difficult to offer much proof that I had ever even been there. RetiredGal's experience with the cancellation fee is one of the unfortunate realities of dealing with a large reservation system like booking.com. They do offer a great service that works well most of the time. Although I had no issues, I can see a similar thing happening to me if I were to change or modify a reservation. Argh!
     
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  23. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    Hi again!

    Am currently in Castrojeritz ... after walking in from Hontanas this morning. Am staying in albergue Casa Nostra... gorgeous ancient building costs 6.50€ a night... but has only 2 showers and 2 toilets for about 30 beds... weather is gorgeously hot, hence I finished walking after about 10 km..:cool:

    On 25/7/16, we had a lovely (free) feast :) in albergue casa del santo.... in Santo Domingo de la Calzada - potato wt charizo and pork wt lots of bread and fresh fruits. There were lots of important Catholics wt their badges and chains and we were served by beautiful young ladies in gorgeous Spanish costumes :D the party continued wt a beautiful mass in the cathedral... wt the chicken pecking loudly overhead!!:p:p I love these miracles and the live hen and cockerel in the cathedral!!! I thoroughly enjoyed St James Day here.... sooo glad I was in this city! :)
    :) The albergue is fantastic too wt convenient restaurants etc next door!
    The next few days were unbearably hot! The walk into Belorado was quite difficult as the little towns we passed appear to close for business so we were starving when we got into Belorado. Albergue Cuatro Cantes was busy and I spent the night tossing as lots of men in the room snored loudly and throughout the night! The very young pilgrims made full use of the onsite swimming pool...I heard dinner and breakfast were served in abundance here.

    I loved the albergue monastery in St Juan d Ortega but everyone else raved about Ages the next town. The food in the monastery was poor and we had to line up wt a tray for food... brings back memories of school days!! :(

    The walk into Burgos was one of my worst walks.... thru the cityo_O in 36C to get to the albergue... I think the whole walk must hv been at least 35km! :eek: The albergue was well organised but one is allowed to stay only 1 night unless one has a doctors certificate... I hv bever seen so many walking wounded! Some pilgrims left the camino for home... The tapas in Burgos is super yummy!:)

    The walk into Hontanas is very hot! The Santa Brigida albergue in Hontanas is private and costs 7€ wt lovely hosts, gorgeous buildings wt great facilities... for the first time I hv a little pea sized blister on edge of my left sole.... I wanted a rest day in Hontanas but after a brilliant sleep, I walked into Castrojeritz... I started at 0630 hrs and it was a brilliant walk! :):)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  24. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey RetiredGal - You're bringing back so many memories. I just realised that I finished my Camino exactly two months ago today. Where does time go?

    It sounds like you had quite the experience on St. James Day. Perfect timing on your part to be in Santo Domingo. I, too, found it to be one of the very pleasant stops on my Camino. I was lucky enough to hear a wonderful choral concert in the cathedral my evening in town.

    My stay at Cuatro Cantones in Belorado was a bit quieter than yours. Dinner there was excellent! Earplugs are a must! But, one of my favorite albergues, where you also stayed was the Santa Brigida in Hontanas. Although a lot of pilgrims walk right through Hontanas since it isn't one of Brierley's end stops, I found it to be one of the highlights of my walk. As you said, the hospitaleros are lovely. They made the stay memorable.

    It's funny how many of us have similar impressions of different parts of the Camino. The walk into Burgos was terrible! I remember thinking that I must almost be to the Center when I saw a sign for 10 km to go. But, the tapas were very tasty as you found out.

    You are also correct that by the time one reaches Burgos, there are many walking wounded. As sad as it is to see Camino friends abandon the walk, it is the way of the Camino. Hang in there! Take care of those hot spots and really hydrate with those high temperatures.

    Buen Camino!
     
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  25. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    Hi

    Its 2156 hrs and it is still 31C.... vvv hot even to sleep. I use 100% silk liner and am lying on top of it and its still very warm!! Plus, I hv had 3 showers since I checked in! :eek:

    On another note, the last few albergues I used hv been full ... albeit the last pilgrim checked in today at almost 1900 hrs, walking from Tardajos, almost 35 km away in high heat!:oops: Noticed too a large amount of new pilgrims joining the camino since Burgos... in this albergue alone, there are some 10 new

    Hv had communal meal wt some Camino friends.... we chipped in and cooked - superb.... indeed cooking together is great fun as are eating together!!

    Gonna try get some sleep in this weather s no fun! :( still sweating ... and its now almost 2200 hrs! :(:(
     
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  26. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    Hi everyone

    Am in Sahagun today, staying in albergue Viatoris.... nice place. Got here from Ledigos this morning. I thought I would stop at midday as the temperature is now 33C! :cool: The El Polamar albergue in Ledigos is no good, in fact one of the peregrinos thought she had chinches in her bed but it is not true.... jz lots of midges! I hv several bites!! :( I hv not seen any chinches in any of the albergues yet!:)
    The hike from Castrojeritz is fun - an incline of 12.5 %.... quite steep but good exercise:oops: Albergue en el Camino in Boadila is beautiful... lots of pilgrims sleeping on mattresses on floor as there were a lot of bookings as the municipal albergue was completo :)
    The walk into Carrion de los Condes was difficult in the heat but we had a great communal meal cooked by our italian comino friends:p
    Hooray.... I am now halfway in my Camino Frances.... its still difficult in the heat.... the walk yesterday was quite horrendous thru the meseta ... 17-km of noo_O food or water until Calzadilla de la Cueza. On the way, one of the young pilgrims developed tendonitis, swelling and severe pain so another heroic pilgrims carried her backpack as well as his own! These Croatians are great people! There are a huge numbers of young Germans and italians walking the Camino atm.... and about 10 - 20 took the coach from Burgos to Leon to avoid the Meseta.... maybe I should hv too! The heat is killing wt no tree shelter!:( I find personally that after 1400 hours, I feel drained and need to look for an albergue ...:oops:. I dont plan anymore... jz let my day pan out as my body dictates...:rolleyes: I am extremely lucky wt my feet (pea sized blister resolved) and my boots are good although they look really dusty and dishevelled:cool:

    Hv bought my flight bk to uk on 31/8/16... hope that leaves me enough time to Santiago and Finisterra too..... plus hope the routine of eat, sleep, walk repeatedly does not bore me too much! As a swede said, sleeping wt strangers and having to wash clothes daily can hv its limits!!:);)
     
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  27. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    From Carrion de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza.... 17 km
    IMG_20160802_091541.jpg
     
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  28. RetiredGal

    RetiredGal Member

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    Hi everyone

    Good morning from the Camino! Am having a early tea break in albergue La Laguna de Castilla on my hike up O Cebriero...

    I hv been feeling so much better psychologically..... My stay in albergue Guacelmo (owned by the CSJ) was superb and healing.... I found myself in a fountain of peace and tranquillity.... an excellent place. Last night at the German albergue in La Faba was another wonderful experience ..... another true Camino experience! I also needed to also say my stay at Villafranca del Belzio albergue ave Fenix de Jato was great.... inly 5€ for bed and 7€ for a superb meal (all of us held hands for grace, I think.... no comprehend!.... but was great!) and a brilliant breakfast buffet for 3 €.... I love these personal touch!!

    Anyway, to top off my lovely week, yesterday afternoon, I missed my turning and continued on the A road to, I thought La Laguna de Castilla and realised I was no longer on the Camino (tiredness = mistakes) and was panicking and cursing myself when a van pulled up... it was the chef from the villafranca albergue!!!! He drove me safely to this gorgeous German albergue in La Faba!

    I jz wanna say I hv met some really kind and lovely people since I last posted and I now know I will finish the Camino in good spirits.

    Another word to people planning the Camino, it is freezing cold in the evenings and mornings since Villafranca del Bierzo......

    Buen Camino x
     
    Nan, Armorel, RJS and 1 other person like this.
  29. Tina-Marie Brownie

    Tina-Marie Brownie Well-Known Member

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    ThomasV, are you going to blog your walk as well? I will be walking about same time next year and would love to hear about your experience if possible :)
     
    Sallyann50 likes this.
  30. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey RetiredGal - I can actually see the smile on your face as you write this account. You'll have now passed O Cebiero by now so I hope you had a chance to enjoy some of the best views on the Camino.

    I can't help but noticing a very different tone your writing has taken since those long, hot days on the Meseta. But, it's all part of the Camino, isn't it?

    I've so enjoyed the accounts of your travels. Getting lost, or at least taking the wrong path, has happened to us all (most likely more than once). The fact that the albergue chef came your way at that particular point in time continues my faith in the idea that the Camino provides. It's just one of those incidents that makes a Camino memorable.

    You're in Galicia now! Wow! Do be sure to try the "pulpo" somewhere on your way into Santiago. Octopus "a la plancha" was my favorite way to have it.

    Buen Camino!
     
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