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Just Getting Started

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Devereaux Young, Jan 21, 2018.

  1. Devereaux Young

    Devereaux Young Member

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    thanks to all the experienced posters on this site. Just an amazing learning experience! Thanks.
     
  2. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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  3. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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  4. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    It really is a wonderful resource. I've gotten so much practical advice here it's nice to be able to give a little bit back. We look forward to you sharing your experience with us all.
     
  5. Ian Mackenzie

    Ian Mackenzie Donating Member Donating Member

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    I to would like to thank all the posters. I have spent the last 12 months using this site and the links often provided to research the equipment and the travel options to set myself up to do the French Camino beginning mid August. Thanks once again to all you generous people.
     
  6. anniem

    anniem Active Member

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    Buen camino
     
  7. Bruce O

    Bruce O New Member

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    Ian,

    I am planning to hike the Camino Frances starting mid-August 2019. I will be very interested to learn from your experience. Best wishes on your sojourn. Take care. Bruce
     
  8. Mark Stevens

    Mark Stevens Peregrino

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    bruce, check out my trip https://markscaminoblog.wordpress.com. happy to answer any Questions you have

    mark
     
  9. Michael Wilson

    Michael Wilson New Member

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    How do I get started on this journey?
    Who can tell me best times to go, I am flexible to a point where I can go at any time.
    Where would I fly into and out of?
    How do I make sure I have somewhere to stay each evening?

    Thank You all in advance
    Mike
     
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  10. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    1. Decide what you want to do.
    2. Decide when you want to start.
    3. Decide how long you want to take.
    4. Determine your physical fitness level.
    5. Try and talk some friends, or relatives, into going with you.
    6. Carefully plan your finances.
    6a. How much can you spend on equipment for the walk.
    6b. How much can you spend on travel getting there and back.
    6c. A low amount per day is about 20e, a medium amount is 30e and a high amount is 40e. Semi luxury is 50 to 70e per day.
    7. Then read most of what is posted here.
    8. And you are on the way !

    Buen Camino!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  11. Michael Wilson

    Michael Wilson New Member

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  12. Michael Wilson

    Michael Wilson New Member

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    Thanks for that feedback. I'm not sure who is reading this but I appreciate anyone chiming in to help me get started.
    Thank You Unklehammy
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  13. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Every one can read it, but some don't check it daily, or weekly, or monthly, or ever again after hiking on the Camino.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  14. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Mike - Your questions cover a lot of territory. To get started, let me suggest that you jump into the archives of the forum and read. There is so much good information here that you’ll gain a number of insights and undoubtedly come up with even more questions.

    Any time is a good time to walk the Camino, but the summer months are the most crowded. Personally, I started in late April and it was already pretty busy. When I next walk the CF, I’ll either leave no later than mid-April or do a fall Camino starting in mid- to late- September.

    I flew into Paris and out of Madrid. From Paris, it’s an easy train ride to Bayonne and then on into SJPP. After my Camino, I took the train from Santiago to Madrid where I caught my flight home. In the archives, you’ll find a number of threads on this exact topic and different alternatives.

    Along the Camino, the majority of pilgrims stay in albergues. There are two types - municipal and private. Although the privates cost a little more, about €10 a night versus €5, one advantage of the privates is that many of them take reservations. Folks also stay in small inns or hotels depending on their inclinations. The albergue system across Spain is quite good and along the CF, there are albergues every few kilometers. In the busiest of times, there is competition for beds. If you were to walk a bit off season, that pressure is certsinly eased a bit.

    If you don’t already have it, get a copy of Brierely’s guide to the Camino. In it, there’s a wealth of information. In addition, I like the website gronze.com particularly for information on accommodations. As you come up with more questions, you’ll find that there are some very experienced pilgrims on this Forum who can help you with answers. Buen Camino!
     
  15. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Mike, that's great info above from Unkle Hammy and Wily. Some young people take off with little preparation (probably not the best way). Others plan for a year or two or more. It helps to have enough information to feel that you're basically prepared, but the best parts are the good things that you run across along the way.

    To one of your questions, the best way to be sure you have a place to stay each night is to either book ahead (some book a day ahead, some plan every night for the entire Camino before they leave home), walk off-season, or choose a Camino route that's less popular. The last two make it easier to be footloose, but still aren't a guarantees of a bed in some places without a reservation.

    Much depends on your personal preferences and what you would like to get out of doing a Camino. On my first Camino, I didn't go determined to do the entire Frances. It worked out well to have left things flexible the first time because I was ready to stop walking in Leon and then just did train and bus-aheads to see Astorga and Santiago. The next time, I did the Pyrenees to Pamplona over again and then trained onward to Leon and finished the Frances on a pretty rigid walking schedule. The next time I planned each night on the Portuguese. This year, I'm leaving things very open and will just wander some new Caminos, having found that the discount airlines can be booked for return not too far ahead and on a one-way basis for reasonable prices. There are many ways to make things work out.
     
  16. Michael Wilson

    Michael Wilson New Member

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  17. Michael Wilson

    Michael Wilson New Member

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    Crepes4Suzette,

    Thanks for your input. I'm thinking I would like to do the whole Frances at one time for now. I presently live in Montana, not sure where I would fly from. Was leaning towards June/July but I am flexible as far as dates. Not wanting to do the cold however. I"m also giving myself up to two months in Spain if possible as I have friends to visit. I want to take my time and to have a place to stay each evening. This forum is great and I appreciate everyone"s input and feedback.

    Thank you all.
    Mike
     
  18. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend going either earlier or later, summer in Spain tends to be hot.
     
  19. Canadian Wander

    Canadian Wander Well-Known Member

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    Sept. was beautiful, not too hot, not too much rain, wine was red...
     
  20. Mark Stevens

    Mark Stevens Peregrino

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    Transport to Spain is relatively easy and if you get to Bieritz getting to SJPP is easy. Agree with comments above, try to avoid walking in July. It’s a tad hot.

    Finding rooms along the way is really easy from cheap municipal albergues to hotels. All dependant on your budget. We did a mix of the 2 but the albergues are great and fantastic for meeting people.

    I’m back on the Camino in 12 weeks doing the Ingles. Can’t wait

    Mark
     
  21. Devereaux Young

    Devereaux Young Member

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    Hey, Mike. Several others and I are going in mid-September.
    Weather should be good and crowds MAY be lighter....
    Fly from US to Madrid and train to Pamplona that day.
    Reserved a hostal in Pamplona very close (80M) to the bus station .
    Then a bus ride to SJPdeP the next morning on CONDA.
    Bus Ticket: 10:00-11:45 AM [​IMG] €22.00 Standard
    Register, bump around town and then step onto the Camino and up to Orrisson for my first night.
    Hope to see you!
    Buen Camino
     
  22. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Devereaux - As you’ll have an evening in Pamplona, you might enjoy this article about some of the great eateries in the city for pintxos. Bar Gaucho is one of my favorites. It’s a great city! Enjoy! Buen Camino!

    https://www.spain-holiday.com/Navarra-province/articles/best-tapas-bars-in-pamplona
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  23. Martin (Ozzy) Osborne

    Martin (Ozzy) Osborne Member

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    Was supposed to be starting our Camino on May 15th. Was going to do a military hop, but while working my job in South Texas Nuclear Power Plant in Bay City Texas. Ruined our plans for the Camino this year by getting so sick the last week of the job. Thought I was dying! I got a Gull Bladder infection that went to my liver! It started a long time ago but never felt anything wrong. Then overnight it hit me I went to work hauled away by ambulance to a local hospital there for almost a week then transferred to Houston Methodist Hospital about 85 miles away and there for a week. Then discharged back to Bay City for a week with an IV PUSH ANTIBIOTICS . They are a tube straight to my heart and my wife administer it to me every day. Until May 15th. Ha ha funny. But I have lost all muscle and 23 lbs in the past 3 weeks and just got back to Arizona last Saturday. It will take me a couple of months to recover so hopefully next year 2019 same timeframe. We were both in top shape to go so disappointed. So that's it I will follow and get involved again later. But feeling better and on my way to recovery. So thankful that it did not happen in Spain with the language barrier and have to go through that insurance nightmare. My doctor who his brother has done the Camino says they have super medical care in that area of Spain and would have been fine. But INSURANCE is what scared me! That's all for now.
     
  24. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Ozzy - So sorry to hear about your health problems this spring. But, you still seem to have a great attitude about life and replanning your Camino next spring. Things happen for a reason and fortunately, you were still in the States when this illness came upon you. Regardless of the super health care Spain or any other country may have, it’s still best to be closer to home when a serious problem arises. But, the insurance issue you raise is real! As I mentioned in another thread, for a truly minimal cost compared to real expenses in a medical emergency, I carry travel insurance. I hope never to have to use it, but it’s there if needed. What I would advise folks of is that all travel insurances are not equal. So, carefully research the various ones out there and make sure you know what you’re purchasing and that it covers what you hope it will take care of. I happened to speak with a company earlier this week offering travel insurance at a really great price through my credit card. As it turned out, what they covered was very limited to transportation only, no medical expenses or other benefits. If what happened to you occurred while traveling abroad, I’d certainly want both medical care and evacuation covered knowing that there would be costs incurred outside of what my personsl health insurance would cover. In any case, glad you’re recuperating. That good shape you’re in won’t go to waste. Buen Camino!
     
  25. Martin (Ozzy) Osborne

    Martin (Ozzy) Osborne Member

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    Thanks all I am not going to give up and quit I will just have more time to train!
     
  26. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    @Martin (Ozzy) Osborne Sorry to hear that you will miss walking this year. Hope that you and your wife will both be able to walk next year. It is, I suppose having tried it solo, more interesting/fun to walk as a two sum.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  27. Devereaux Young

    Devereaux Young Member

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    Hey, Ozzie...love that attitude! We'll keep you posted on the Camino. Stay with it! This forum is a real inspiration to those of us planning our first one. Keep up the good spirits and recover! Buen Camino!
     
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  28. Brucepayne

    Brucepayne Member

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    Everyone wants you to
    Everyone seems to want the newcomers to walk the francis,but for those coming from the state's or fall away, I would regiment the Camino singles or the Camino Madrid in particular I rode a train from Madrid to Oviedo from spokane,Washington after flying 16 hours and was exhausted. It would be much easier to walk the Camino , Madrid which starts out much easier,and walk to Leon and then decide if you want to walk to santiago,or walk to ovieco,or just take the fast train back to Madrid and fly home. It seems that if you do not walk the Francis you have not walked the"real"Camino you have not walked the Camino. There are many Caminos much longer than the Francis and equally important!
     
  29. davebugg

    davebugg DustOff: "When I Have Your Wounded"

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    A lot of times, when a first time pilgrim asks about which Camino to walk, the Frances is mentioned because it has quite a bit more infrastructure than other Caminos, which makes it fairly easy for a new pilgrim who is trying to figure out which end is up when beginning their planning. And a lot of new pilgrims have heard so much about the Frances, that it is the Camino they want to walk first. Quite frequently a newcomer will say something along the lines of, "I watched 'The Way', and knew I wanted to do that, too".

    I have not read any posts which have stated that the only 'real' Camino is the Frances, and if you walk any other Camino route that you have not walked a 'real' Camino. Anyone who has stated such is absolutely incorrect, but i just haven't seen it. The only negative criticisms I have read about walking a 'real' Camino seems to come from discussions of those who choose to walk the minimum distance required (100k) in order to receive a Compostela while having bags transported, or who are part of a tour group.
     
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