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  1. J

    Hello all! Ideas for squeezing the Camino Francés into 25 days

    Burgos ? Probably the most sensible, but I was going to suggest Pamplona. I walked from St Jean in 27 days earlier this year. "Standard" stages till two stages before Burgos and then my 71 year old legs just went into overdrive & I started walking 30+km every day (sometimes 40km+). I bet you...
  2. J

    Has Cafe con leche changed in Spain?

    I'm horrified to hear this, Tony, although I found the coffee wonderful when I was last in Italy just over a month ago (I lived there for 7 years from '99 & like you am a frequent visitor). I also lived in Pollensa, Majorca, for the two years prior to my Italian sojourn, where my morning cafe...
  3. J

    Finding my way along the route

    My 2 pesetas: definitely have an app for backup tracking; lots of people took minor wrong turns by missing an arrow during the Frances last March/April, quickly corrected by checking the app. It’s quite easy to miss an arrow in a rainstorm, for example. The only person who walked 10km off...
  4. J

    Ponchos in Sarria?

    Peregrinoteca is a very nice store with high quality merchandise. However, it’s useful to know there’s a cheap Chinese store more or less opposite on the other side of the main road. I bought a cheap, ultralight, nylon daypack for €6 to evenly distribute any food shopping I might do at the end...
  5. J

    Hoka Alternatives with Similar Padding and heel-to-toe Drop?

    @Stephan the Painter why not just stick with the Hokas & buy very selectively ? I bought my Hoka Challenger 6 ATR for 40% off in early March, did my last two 20km training walks in them before completing the Camino Frances in 27 days across March/April last spring, so they covered about 850km...
  6. J

    21 Days to complete??

    I walked from SJPDP to SdC in 27 days earlier this year (I planned for 34 days). I'm a reasonably fit & healthy 71 year old who was very fortunate not to get a single blister (oversized Hoka Challenger 6 ATR footwear, in case you're wondering). The experience was utterly marvelous beyond words...
  7. J

    Longevity of Trail and Street Running Shoes vs Boots

    My Challenger 6 made it to SdC, although with about half the heel lugs having fallen off. Wonderfully comfortable and an entirely blister-free experience for my feet. I checked many other walkers' Hoka trailrunners & mine were the only ones with worn-off lugs, so when I got home I sent them back...
  8. J

    Just wondering, did anyone ever walk for a deceased pet/animal?

    So many beautiful responses ! Our family dog, Lady, died on 17 February, her 14th birthday. Her death did not motivate my Camino (I write this from Sarria), but it feels like I have wept 100,000 tears for her whilst walking. I miss her so much. This camino has been utterly wonderful & this 71...
  9. J

    Longevity of Trail and Street Running Shoes vs Boots

    I write this from Foncebadon, 2km or so from the Cruz del Ferro. My wonderfully comfortable Hoka Challenger ATR 6 Wide are beginning to disintegrate after perhaps 550km (allowing for my last 2 pre-departure training walks). No blisters at all, but the lugs (dark blue bits) on the soles are...
  10. J

    Quick drying hiking tshirt help

    Agree Merino is great and odour resistant, but I also find the basic Decathlon synthetic T-shirts excellent & also very odour resistant. Some people, not necessarily through any fault of their own, seem to have more malodorous sweat than others.
  11. J

    Valcarlos route : some practical questions, please

    Yes, indeed, 5 hours ! (have edited original to clarify - thanks for the catch 👍)
  12. J

    Valcarlos route : some practical questions, please

    VERY useful information, thank-you: my flat 20km training walks here in NL have taken 4 hours, with the final few km clearly slowing, so with a coffee stop in Arneguy, I hope 4 hours max will be realistic and the following day an hour+ longer than that up to Roncesvalles (may I please ask how...
  13. J

    Valcarlos route : some practical questions, please

    Thanks for posting @jimmyc : this is exactly what I wish to avoid / my inner Gung-Ho, keep going at all costs, attitude. I know I must start slow.
  14. J

    Valcarlos route : some practical questions, please

    Thanks everyone 👍 Q4: Any breakfast possibilities in Valcarlos around 0800 or is it cafe con leche + brioche in bar, and self-made sandwich from shop for en route sustenance & off one goes ? Staying at municipal albergue. Will probably skip 3 course pilgrim dinner if it doesn't start till...
  15. J

    Valcarlos route : some practical questions, please

    Good morning. If the French trains run on time, I will arrive in SJPP from Amsterdam at 18.18 this coming Wednesday evening 22/3. I will seek a bed in the municipal auberge. Day 1 is to Valcarlos only, as I ease this 71 year old mammal into the long walk. Q1: As the walk to Valcarlos seems...
  16. J

    Overstayed 90 days? From UK?

    Surely none of the above are relevant to the OP, a British passport holder who is not entering Spain to study ? There does not appear to be a great deal of info on this thread of truly practical use to the OP.
  17. J

    Overstayed 90 days? From UK?

    In the unlikely event that the OP has not run rapidly away from this thread 🤪… I rent 3 bedrooms here in NL to students, often from outside the EU, every academic year. Many fail to complete their registrations either correctly or on time. They do indeed sometimes receive reminders and...
  18. J

    Am I packing too much?

    As above + toiletries, I'm at 5.6kg without water, but have decided to carry 2 x 500ml (one of which will be empty on days with lots of refill options), so 6.1-6.6kg all-up. Could reduce another 250g or so - for example, still have full 240ml Dr Bronner liquid soap, which could replace with 80g...
  19. J

    Dr. Bronner's Soap

    May I please ask how much should last the whole Camino Frances ? I like the stuff too ;)

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