Camino travelling 101 from an oldtimer to newbies
One forum memberthat has walked the camino many times, explains his travling plans for his next walk.
My first goal was to get a cheap flight to Spain: I got it on www.norwegian.com : Ca 150 Euros from my hometown in Norway to Madrid. Then I went to www.booking.com and ordered a cheap stay in Madrid (I only need a bed for the night), near the Chamartin station, because I’ll take a cheap shuttle bus from the airport to Shamartin station, go in and buy a ticket to Pamplona there for the next morning (That station is for northbound trains; if you go south like Sevilla or Malaga, you should find a hotel/hostel near the Atosha station for southbound trains).
Right: So now I am in Madrid, at 4 pm in the afternoon. I have my train ticket for the next day, so of course: I check in at the hostel, relax, have a few tapas++, and go to bed. Next morning is an easy 4-5 hours trainride through the Spanish landscape,
I go to the Jesus y Maria albergue in Pamplona centre for a bed for the night. If you don’t have a pilgrim passport/credential, they will give you one for 2 Euros, and the next morning I am on the Camino, walking to Puente la Reina (or wherever I want to stop for the day).
I am writing this for the comfort of newbies: Having done many Caminos, this is now very simple for me, but I completely understand the anxiety of firsttimers. Just remember, Spain is a VERY civilised country with superb infrastructure. The only obstacle may be the language, but learn to be patient and polite, and all will be well.
Being retired, I haven’t purchased a return ticket: I am playing it by the ear. Much easier that way.
Important: For us over 60, it is possible to but a “Tarjeta Dorada” at railway stations. It costs 6 Euros, and will give you a 25 % discount on all train travels in Spain. It will be valid for a year to date after purchase. You will save a lot of money, and can donate it to the Forum
Buen Camino, and hope to see some of you on the Way!
Edit: For all those who go to Paris etc., all this fuzz about getting to get to SJpdP: (there is nothing saying you HAVE to start there: Start where you want): Go to Madrid, stay over, enjoy a nice city (Now you are where you need to be), take a morning train to Pamplona, take an afternoon bus/taxi from there to SJpdP: Much easier, cheaper, and more fun. Paris is overrated, IMHO.
Read all the responses he got on his post Camino travelling 101 from an oldtimer to newbies here.