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    Personal report: my most challenging day on the Salvador

    Pajares came with a real sense of achievement. The view is unforgettable. There was a point in the later stages where I thought about taking the train. I can't remember the name of the place, it's where there's mile after mile of cycle track along a river and lots of stations for the regional...
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    Personal report: my most challenging day on the Salvador

    There's definitely no shortage of supermarkets and cafes/restaurants from Pola de Lena onwards. On the earlier stages I'd say eat when and where you can, don't pass up the opportunity for a good meal. The best place to carry food is in your belly :) If I was doing it again I'd stock up in Leon...
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    Personal report: my most challenging day on the Salvador

    The Salvador is a surprisingly tough route, especially at this time of year when it is so hot. It really took its toll on me. I was reasonably fit going into it, used to Scottish hillwalking, I thought it would be OK. I was hurting so much that there was no joy in reaching Oviedo, I just wanted...
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    Catholic albergues and spots

    Sorry, it wasn't something I was really paying attention to at the time. Wikipedia suggests it's not really observed outside Toledo other than at the Poor Clares monastery in Madrid on a Tuesday and occasionally in Salamanca.
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    Catholic albergues and spots

    I'm an atheist but very interested in history and there were a few places that really stood out. As a few have said, Oviedo cathedral. The Camara Sancta is definitely worth visiting. The upper part may be of interest as it's where the relics are kept on display but I preferred the simpler...
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    28L pack on the Camino Frances this October

    Yeah, when you have to stop and pull a bottle out your pack it can be tempting to not drink often enough. I think you're right, it's probably better to sip as you go, taking a lot of water in one hit just goes straight through me so I don't know how great it is for hydration. I might have to...
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    WIFI

    Some providers will let you jump to a different network if the default isn't connecting. Depends on who your provider has partnerships with, some might have multiple partnerships in a country, some don't.
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    Toothpaste and deodorant - where to buy cheaper?

    A bit late but antibacterial base layers are fantastic. I've sweated buckets into mine and they never smell, deoderant or not. I've got the Rab long-sleeved tshirts. They're a very fine material, like a synthetic silk, so nice and cool but the fine weave also has a high SPF. I think it's like...
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    Overweight on the Frances?

    If you're used to covering distance on foot and you keep that up to 2024 then you shouldn't have any trouble in theory. There are a few tough sections but in general most of it isn't that hard physically (mentally is something else). Historically the route was to get as many people as possible...
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    28L pack on the Camino Frances this October

    Water really is a balancing act. I carried two 1L bottles which was probably overkill but I'd rather have it and not need it. I saw plenty of people with those little metal bottles you get in kids lunch boxes, I think they are about 350ml and they got by just fine. But some didn't and I ended up...
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    WIFI

    Wifi is surprisingly common in bars and cafes even in rural Spain. There is usually a card on the bar or a sign on the wall with the password. "Free" depends on how you look at it, I wouldn't use it without buying something first. Bigger towns will have wifi in public spaces. Alsa buses have...
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    28L pack on the Camino Frances this October

    I think they are a really over-rated piece of outdoor clothing that's been pushed more from fashion than functionality in recent years. Yes, you can get water-repellant treated natural down that stops the clumping that wet down traditionally suffered from but even with synthetic when you start...
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    28L pack on the Camino Frances this October

    Take whatever is most comfortable. Stick a couple of old milk bottles filled with water in one, stuff some towels round it for stability and go for a long walk. Then do it with the other. You can't tell anything until you've put some miles in with a pack on. At least an hour is about the minimum...
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    Favorite graffiti

    I walked ten years ago and I found the graffiti depressing, especially the closer you got to Santiago where it seemed to ramp up. Most of it just made me think "why bother?", it was often badly written, badly spelled rubbish (and I say that as someone who is slightly dyslexic). Very little of it...
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    Legends of Asturias from National Geographic.

    I liked Asturias. I'm surprised they never mentioned Oviedo's early mediaeval sites like the Camara Santa, Naranco and San Julian de los Prados. They are really unique sites.
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    How cold in October?

    Depends on what you are used to. I walked in late October and the weather didn't bother me but I am from Scotland and spend a lot of time outdoors all year round including winter camping. A friend I made on the walk was from San Diego and he suffered. At Cruz de Ferro he looked like he was at...
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    Your Favourite Towns/Cities to Stay Additional Night/s

    I liked Leon, I thought it was a really pleasant city to spend some time. I wish I'd had more time in Ponferada and Astorga. Both looked very interesting places.
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    Camino hacks

    Foam massage ball is fantastic for rolling out all the knots and aches in your feet at the end of the day. They are very light. Just stand on it and run your foot back and forwards. It really is wonderful on tired feet. Get into the habit of checking under the bed as the last thing you do...
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    Storing Luggage at Barcelona Airport & Train from Barcelona to Pamplona

    If you are getting a train from central Barcelona there are plenty of luggage storage pkaces near Plaza Catalunya. Might get expensive, I think I paid about 5E a day last time I was there.
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    Which guide would you carry

    That's exactly what I did too. I had the same experience, I know there were things I missed but I didn't know I missed them until afterwards so didn't affect my actual experience of the Camino. I remember talking to a woman in a bar I stopped at on my first day. She was horrified that I had no...

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