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Wondering About Dates

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Jose, May 9, 2017.

  1. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Just made the final decision this afternoon. I AM going to do it!! Thinking about mid september into end of October. Any advice on these dates...a little later? A little earlier? Flying Mexico where I live to Paris and then by train down to St Jean Pied de Port. And then off. So happy about this. Even at 74...it´s true. But I am strong and I can do it.
     
  2. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    That's wonderful, Jose! You'll be in good company. Many are doing it in their 70s, and I met many Mexicans on the trail also. I went earlier in September through October and for the most part, the weather was very good. Galicia can be very cold in October mostly because they don't turn the heat on in Spain until sometime after October, and it rains a lot in Galicia, so take good rain gear. Santiago is especially beautiful in the rain for some reason.
     
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  3. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jose - C4S gives you a good picture of the fall weather particularly in Galicia in October. If your schedule is flexible and want to stay on the better weather side of things, I'd suggest that you begin your Camino two weeks earlier at the start of September. By finishing mid-October, you're more likely to have a good stretch of weather up to that point. In any case, as C4S recommends, good rain gear is a must. Think about making waterproof boots/shoes (Gor-tex is great), a rain jacket, a poncho, and gaitors all part of your kit. I like layering so items can be put on or taken off depending on the conditions. I'm sure you'll have a great journey. Buen Camino!
     
  4. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jose

    We have walked the last week of September into the first week of October over the last two years. The weather both times was excellent, even a little hot later in the afternoons but the evenings can be a little chilly so do bring a fleece for sitting outside in the evening. We encountered very little rain, only one bad day of persistent rain but that was probably down to luck. You will be walking close to the Atlantic coast of Northern Spain and that tends to mean mixed weather in the Autumn.

    C4S and Wily have already given lots of good advice. Have a look around the forum and don't hesitate to ask questions.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  5. raymond john

    raymond john Well-Known Member

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    Hola Jose
    I walked the Camino Frances starting from SJPP on 21st September and arrived in Santiago on 25th October in 2014 and had a wonderful experience meeting and walking with people from all over the world. I had excellent weather just the right climate for walking . Only 2 half days of serious rain. I chose this time of year from carrying out some re search. It appears to be the most stable time regarding the weather conditions and temperature. The weather in Galicia was excellent, sunshine every day. When walking in the mornings with mists covering the valleys and clear blue sky's was like walking on the top of the world. Truly Magnificent.

    Carpe Diem & Buen Camino

    Raymond John
     
  6. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Thanks so much! Tickets bought. I am going.
     
  7. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Thanks so much. Really appreciated
     
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  8. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Sounds good to me! Just booked my tickets!
     
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  9. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Thanks so much! Great advice.
     
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  10. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jose - That's wonderful! You've got to be excited! So, when did you decide to walk? The fall will be a great time to be in Spain. Where is home in Mexico for you? Last year, I met some wonderful people from both DF and Oaxaca. As both of these places are like second homes to me, it was great making the Mexican connection while on the Camino. For me, the people were such an important aspect of the experience. I hope that that, too, will be your experience. Buen Camino !
     
  11. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Thanks so much, Wily, for writing. I live in San Miguel de Allende about 2.5 hours north of CDMX (as it is referred to now) in the state of Guanajuato. I am very excited. I have no idea how I will wait until September, but I must and I need the time to get ready. Need to take a look at your blog. Did you write it while you were on the camino? Or after?
     
  12. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jose - I made my first trip to San Miguel de Allende just last August. I was traveling around with my grandson, his first trip to Mexico, so after the capital, we headed north to Queretaro, San Miguel, and Guanajuato. Spent a couple lovely hours sitting in the zocalo in your city!

    I did blog as I traveled. For me, it was my way of keeping in touch. Since I don't carry a phone, my mini iPad allowed me to let folks back home know about the trip, while at the same time, stay in the moment of the Camino. I also tend to journal electronically these days so the iPad worked well as my notebook. Unfortunately, due to technology that people need now, far too many pilgrims were spending time Facebooking with friends at home instead of interacting with others on the Camino.

    Getting ready for the Camino is almost half the fun. There are a lot of good threads on this Forum to follow regarding clothes, gear, training, etc. Two pieces of advice to you. One, get in as good of shape as you possibly can. It's a 500 mile journey that's demanding on all of us. Two, travel light! You don't need much on the Camino. Keep your pack weight down. Right out of the gate, your body will thank you for that. There are some good packing lists on the Forum to give you an idea what to bring.

    Thanks for the update on CDMX! Buen Camino!
     
  13. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Wily! You have been to San Miguel. Wow. That´s a wonderful coincidence. And thanks so much for the tips on packing and all of that. I will check out all of the applicable forums. Mini ipad...that works. I hate typing on a digital key board. My ipad actually has, well I bought it, a real keyboard. The whole thing is a little heavy. Have thought about doing an audio journal with my phone. But would have to try that out NOW. I have some time. Asked for a reservation Orisson...determined not to yield to the temptation to do the whole mountain up and down on the first day. Will not be in a hurry. And have been through the blister thing before. Pilgrimages area BIG thing in Mexico.
     
  14. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    Do you have any references for hiking in Mexico, it is closer than Spain is to California.
     
  15. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jose

    In relation to your proposal to stay at Orisson, which is probably a good idea, you might also want to check out Express Bourricot - http://www.expressbourricot.com/persons-transport/ . As well as offering transport from Biarritz airport to st Jean they also offer a transport service up the mountain. You can climb as high as the Vierge D'Orisson and they will collect you and bring you back to St Jean and then the following day deliver you back to where they picked you up. The Virgin is a good bit higher than Orisson itself so it means you have less to climb the following day. Might be worth considering if you can't get a reservation in Orisson.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  16. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Morning from San Miguel,
    I hike all of the time in the mountains outside of San Miguel, but I don´t know of any long range trails. I know there must be some. I think in the Desierto de Leonés probably and I know people walk, hike up into the stratosphere of the the volcano Popocatepetl. Above 15,000 ft. And then, of course, pilgrimages are very big here and were even before the arrival of the Spanish. And those trails exist, but are not marked. I did one and some how people know where to go and you try not to lose sight of the next person ahead and get lost. Sometimes a little unnerving, but it works. Sounds like a good google search for both of us.
     
  17. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jose - In addition to Orisson, I'd recommend that you reserve in Roncesvalles too. As they are now limiting the number of available beds, you'll want to be sure to have one after crossing the Pyrenees. Here's their website:

    http://www.alberguederoncesvalles.com/

    Buen Camino!
     
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  18. Jose

    Jose Member

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  19. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Absolutely, thanks for the tip. Just did it. Does one ever hear back from these people. Maybe a call is necessary??? Where would you recommend in St. Jean Pied de Port
     
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  20. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Jose, I've never had a desire to stay at Orisson, and they do take a few days and sometimes a second request to get a response. Everybody all over the Camino seems to be running small businesses with only a couple of staff. The second year, I rode up from SJPP with Caroline's Bourricot Express to the Vierge to make the rest of the day easy, but I'd seen the whole route before (it's spectacular). The first 5K to Hunto are especially laborious and less scenic than the rest of the route, so if you were so inclined, you could ride to either Hunto or Orisson and start out with a less strenuous day. As others will tell you, there's a descent at the end to avoid (the infamous beech forest), especially in bad weather. There's an easy road alternative, but you have to know how to make the turnoff to it.

    Caroline also sometimes takes days to get back to you and requires a second email, but she's reliable. I've stayed at two places in SJPP, but can only recommend one - the Hotel des Remparts, in which you can get a good nights' rest in a private room/bath before starting out if you'd like. Others seem to consistently say that Beilari is a great place to stay.
     
  21. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jose - I've always had good luck with folks getting back to me. But, if much time goes by, don't hesitate to contact them again.

    In SJPP, I stayed at a very pleasant albergue just down from the Pilgrim's Office. Check out their website below:

    https://www.ultreia64.fr/en/
     
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  22. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Thanks for the info. If I go to Orisson the first night I miss the Neapolian trail right and the beauty of the mounts, right? I really don´t want to do that, but am trying to be reasonable on the first day (not usual for me!) . The path to Orisson is less interesting right. Thanks!!
     
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  23. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Oh, no! I must have put that badly. If you go to Orisson for the first night, you're only 7K up the Camino from St. Jean Pied de Port, but you're ON the Napoleon Route and you'll have an afternoon and evening of one of the most spectacular views on the Camino right in front of the Albergue. I'm sorry for the confusion. On my second Camino, I just took the shuttle up, got off, and started hiking there beyond Orisson to save struggling up the first 7K. The shuttle makes it unnecessary to stay at Orisson because the distance from there over the mountains is possible to do in a day without being over-exhausted. I hope that helps. The more spectacular route is the Napoleon and Orisson in ON it. I wouldn't have missed those days in the Pyrenees for anything and hence have never taken the lower Valcarlos route.

    I've also had my eye on San Miguel de Allende for years as someplace wonderful to visit. It looks like a beautiful place.
     
  24. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Jose

    I agree with C4S. We too stayed in the hotel des Remparts and it was lovely. It's on the edge of the town but it's a very small town so not a problem. There is a Lidl supermarket close by where you can pick up bits and pieces for a lunch al fresco if you fancy it.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
  25. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Jose - C4S is correct! You won't miss any of the beautiful Pyrenees by going to Orisson. I think you've got a great plan to do it this way! Because you're breaking up the hike over the Pyrenees, you don't have to leave SJPP at the crack of dawn. As it is only 8 km to Orisson (although it is the steepest part of the trek over the mountain), it shouldn't take more than three hours, maybe less, to get there. So, spend a leisurely morning in SJPP and head up mid-day. That will get you there in plenty of time to settle in, have a snack or drink, and enjoy the great views from their terrace. Rest of the trip over the mountain is much easier. It's still all uphill, but the path is paved and easy walking. At the top, take the road down to Roncesvalles, not the path through the woods. Once there and checked in, Casa Sabina is a great place for lunch and for meeting fellow pilgrims. Take advantage of the pilgrim's dinner and mass later. In order to do both, choose the second dinner seating. Buen Camino!
     
  26. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Oh, that is very good news about Orisson. I know I will be tempted to make the whole trip to Roncevalles in one go, but I figure this does not need to be torture and one of the things I can learn is moderation! San MIguel is beautiful. A rather amazing place. Especially for this continent. Don´t get me started!
     
  27. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Jose, your comment about "the continent" reminded me that there is a place you might like in Molinaseca. It's Hostal Casa San Nicolas, and a truly wonderful family owns it. It's a Brazilian husband and wife who have walked the Camino, and their grown daughter and son in law. They moved because of the situation in Brazil. I was sick when there and they fixed me warm milk and honey and brought me dinner in my room because I was worried about giving whatever I had to the others at dinner (a fantastic rice, beans, and egg dish that's Brazilian). The day before Molinaseca is brutal and it might be too far to walk in a day from Rabanal - it was for me, anyway. There are other options for lodging within that section.
     
  28. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey C4S - Your experience is exactly what the Camino is all about. It's those small kindnesses that make all the difference particularly just when you need one. Yes, the Camino does provide sometimes in what seems like small, but pleasantly unexpected ways. It's nothing one can look for. It just happens!

    Regarding the trip from Rabanal to Molinaseca, I wanted to mention to Jose that I did it slightly differently. Because that stretch is uphill to Cruz de Fero and then a long downhill, I went on to Foncebadón only stopping in Rabanal for refreshment and a break. Consequently, it was a short hike then to the top where I was able to arrive at the cross just as the sun was coming up. Yes, the day before was a bit longer, but it made the Foncebadón to Molinaseca much more manageable. Plus, Foncebadón turned out to be one of my favorite hamlets on the Camino with all of its broken down stone houses. There are also a couple good albergues there as well.

    IMG_1952.JPG
     
  29. Jose

    Jose Member

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    It´s all on my list. Great advice from you guys! Loved hearing about the albergue owners who took care of you and, yes, that dinner that they brought is totally South American! Thanks again. Looking forward to both Molinaseca and Foncebadòn
     
  30. Jose

    Jose Member

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    That is really a wonderful story. Will put Casa San Nicolas on my list! Thanks so much. Wrote a note below about your Brazilian dinner...
     

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