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10 days away with two concerns, trip planning and health condition

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#1
My son and I are 10 days away from our first Camino and I find the whole thing a bit overwhelming. It seems like an episode of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles or Around the World in 80 days. I'm not too concerned about the actual Camino. I'm concerned about getting there in a timely fashion and packing for my health condition. Please review and see if you can help me out in any way.

First , we fly into Madrid the morning of the 10th. I know I'm supposed to take a bus at Terminal 4 to Pamplona, and I think I can just get the tickets for the bus there. I also know that once I get to Pamplona, there should be a bus to Roncesvalles. Not sure where to take that bus. I'm assuming at the bus station at Pamplona, and that I can just buy tickets there. Once I get to Roncesvalles, then it gets kind of sketchy to me. Will there be a shuttle at the bus station there, or do I have to hire a taxi?

Next thing to worry about is packing. I have a thoracic aortic aneurysm, so I can't pack heavy. I can probably only carry about 10 pounds, so I'm thinking I'll just have a couple pairs of shorts, two pair of socks, two t-shirts, a pair of long sweatpants, and then toothpaste, deoderant, mouthwash, shaving supplies, shampoo, water bottle, toothbrush, a notepad and pen, a phone, travel docs, sleeping bag,first aid kit, travel guide (Brierley). Maybe a Kindle or a paperback. That's all. Is that a ridiculously short list or can I make it on that? Our trip is 15 days with only 11 days of walking, from SJPP to Pamplona, and then O'Cebriero to Santiago.

Thanks in advance,
Gerry
 
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CaptBuddy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2012, again Fall 2014.
#2
Some quick thoughts.
What about rain gear? Don't shave for 15 days. Maybe a liner/sleep sac instead of sleeping bag. Take the hat you're wearing in your profile photo. Don't stress out about the transportation. It'll be easier than you imagine.
Buen Camino.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#3
Oh yeah, I do have a lightweight jacket and a pancho. I was wondering about the hat. Was thinking of just taking a ball cap so I don't stand out. Thanks for the advice.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#4
My son and I are 10 days away from our first Camino and I find the whole thing a bit overwhelming. It seems like an episode of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles or Around the World in 80 days. I'm not too concerned about the actual Camino. I'm concerned about getting there in a timely fashion and packing for my health condition. Please review and see if you can help me out in any way.

First , we fly into Madrid the morning of the 10th. I know I'm supposed to take a bus at Terminal 4 to Pamplona, and I think I can just get the tickets for the bus there. I also know that once I get to Pamplona, there should be a bus to Roncesvalles. Not sure where to take that bus. I'm assuming at the bus station at Pamplona, and that I can just buy tickets there. Once I get to Roncesvalles, then it gets kind of sketchy to me. Will there be a shuttle at the bus station there, or do I have to hire a taxi?

Next thing to worry about is packing. I have a thoracic aortic aneurysm, so I can't pack heavy. I can probably only carry about 10 pounds, so I'm thinking I'll just have a couple pairs of shorts, two pair of socks, two t-shirts, a pair of long sweatpants, and then toothpaste, deoderant, mouthwash, shaving supplies, shampoo, water bottle, toothbrush, a notepad and pen, a phone, travel docs, sleeping bag,first aid kit, travel guide (Brierley). Maybe a Kindle or a paperback. That's all. Is that a ridiculously short list or can I make it on that? Our trip is 15 days with only 11 days of walking, from SJPP to Pamplona, and then O'Cebriero to Santiago.

Thanks in advance,
Gerry
If you feel your bag is too much to carry, have a baggage service forward your bag to your destination each day.
The ALSA Bus from Pamplona goes to SJPDP for €20. https://www.alsa.es/en/buy-and-schedules/international/?searchType=international
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#5
Hi Bajaracer, how much does it cost to forward bags to the destination each day? Thanks for the info about the bus from Pamplona to SJPDP
 
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Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#7
http://www.expressbourricot.com for SJPDP to Roncevalles for bag transport.
Most baggage services charge €7-10 a day. Bring a small daypack to carry water and food and let the service forward your big pack.
 
P

PANO

Guest
#8
Your observations and concerns regarding the complications of getting your Camino started are understandable. It never ceases to amaze me, why it is so important for some peregrinos to start their walk in an obscure little French village so difficult to reach. Granted that the challenging walk in the Pyrenean mountains is a great experience, but is it worth all the bussing, taxiing and logistics? Especially in your case of a ›limited‹ Camino of 11 days?
You still have time to reflect if starting right there in Pamplona would not make more sense. (read http://www.caminodesantiago.me/comm...na-is-a-great-starting-point-for-the-cf.22654)
As for your packing, here are my $ 0.02 contributions:
Sleeping bag: A liner will do
Kindle: Use an app on your iPhone, you will hardly find the time to read a paperback either; use the phone for your notes
Shorts: One pair along with the long pants will do. (Long pants with detachable legs are perfect in summer, btw)
Shaving kit: Let those whiskers grow and visit a barber in SdC if you must.
Water bottle: Buy ½ litre mineral water on the way
Mouth wash: hahaha, a glass of fine Rioja will do the job.
The services of Jacotrans were already pointed out to you, I'd carry the pack at first and see how it goes. (It gives you so much more freedom from planning ahead). Remember that you can buy on the way whatever you might have forgotten to pack in the first place.
Most of all: ENJOY your Camino and take it as a chance to escape your routines, buen camino!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#9
Pilgrims traditionally started walking from wherever was home. With health concerns why choose to start in SJPDP? There is nothing that makes SJPDP any more special than any other place. Yes, it is a pretty village, but there are other much prettier ones. Yes, it is the meeting point of two different routes, but so are many other towns. Yes, the scenery is glorious between SJPDP and Roncesvalles - but only if the day is fine (and it often is not) and if it is scenery you are after there are much better places in the world.

Walking that huge first day from SJPDP will put you under quite unnecessary strain - and stopping at Orisson only helps a little. Walking the Camino is not a competitive event; there is no-one checking you in or out at any particular point.

Start where it really suits you. Go, enjoy, be gentle on yourself.
 
P

PANO

Guest
#10
.....With health concerns why choose to start in SJPDP? There is nothing that makes SJPDP any more special than any other place. .....Yes, the scenery is glorious between SJPDP and Roncesvalles - but only if the day is fine (and it often is not) and if it is scenery you are after there are much better places in the world...... Walking the Camino is not a competitive event; there is no-one checking you in or out at any particular point.
So well said, Kanga, subscribing every single of your words.
 

CaptBuddy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2012, again Fall 2014.
#11
Agree about starting point. We've decided to spend our first night at Corazon Puro in Viscarret-Guerendiain (about 7 miles SW of Roncesvalles), and start our Fall Camino from there. This will be our second Camino experience (previous was from Sarria). What I learned, at least for me, is that it is about the journey, not the starting point or the number of kilometers covered.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#12
Thanks all. I considered skipping SJPDP, but my son wants to see something of France. He has never been there. I also would like to see the Pyrenees. I plan on doing more Caminos, so will probably skip it if I come back in the future. Once will be enough.
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
#14
I think I will try using the backpack and if it's too much then use the Jocotrans.
If there's ONE place you should use Jacotrans or Caroline at Express Bourricot it's going over the Pyrenees. A backpack plus the mountain can literally and figuratively kill you on the first day. I used a daypack and had Caroline deliver my pack to the albergue in Burguete. I actually borrowed it and Caroline returned it to its rightful owner!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Camino Portugues 2015
#15
If you're starting in SJPP and you want to stay the first night in Roncesvalles, consider an afternoon stroll to Hunto the first night. That makes the trip over the Pyrenees shorter the next day. And, if the weather is really bad, you could still revert to going around via Valcarlos. Use the porter service to get your bag to Roncesvalles and enjoy the lighter load the first couple of days. Roncesvalles to Zubiri can be challenging, especially in wet weather - just completed my Camino starting in SJPP on May 1 and finishing in Santiago on June 8.

In July, I can't imagine a sleeping bag is needed, but a liner is necessary as many beds do not have sheets - you can get one treated for bed bugs, and it's plenty comfortable. Wouldn't worry about sweatpants, but a pair of shorts to wear while doing laundry and/or sleeping is helpful. Shoes are the absolutely most important piece of equipment. I wore Lowa boots and will opt for trail/trekking shoes next time with gaiters to help keep water away. Good socks and a good backpack are the next priority. Rubbed my feet everyday with Vaseline - no blisters.

I stayed in Corazon Puro with Istvan and Barbara the first night. Flew to Madrid, trained to Pamplona, Istvan picked us up at the train station, stayed a night at his place and then drove us to SJPP. Had a nice supper and breakfast and he was very accommodating. Even if you're traveling with your son, take some time to walk alone and soak up the experience. Already planning a return trip for next year. Buen Camino!
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#16
Lonestarmatt, good to see a fellow Texan who did the Camino. I will definitely look into a liner instead of bag. I think it's not a bad idea to get someone to forward the bags on the first climb, so I'll probably do that. I am really looking forward to this experience, especially for my son, who will hopefully make this a family tradition.

Indyinmaine, thanks for the advice on the bags over the Pyrenees.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#17
I was going to use the sweatpants for times when I attend Mass. I didn't want to carry bulky jeans and thought dress pants would get wrinkled up. I am Catholic, and I've never stepped inside a Catholic Church in shorts, ever in my life. The prospect of doing so is a little scary to me :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Leaving August 25, (2014) for Camino Frances starting in SJPP.
#18
Gerry Del - the sweat pants are heavy and an overkill for church. So unless you are taking them for another reason, leave them home. Wear your long hiking trousers and you will be fine. I like the ones that zip off so they can be worn as shorts or long pants. When you have them on as shorts and decide you want to go to mass or into a church/cathedral, all you have to do is zip on the lower legs and off you go! When you come out of church just unzip again and you're back in your shorts.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Leaving August 25, (2014) for Camino Frances starting in SJPP.
#19
Gerry Del - the sweat pants are heavy and an overkill for church. So unless you are taking them for another reason, leave them home. Wear your long hiking trousers and you will be fine. I like the ones that zip off so they can be worn as shorts or long pants. When you have them on as shorts and decide you want to go to mass or into a church/cathedral, all you have to do is zip on the lower legs and off you go! When you come out of church just unzip again and you're back in your shorts.
BTW - I am a practicing Catholic (my husband is a Deacon). When visiting a church while traveling, men and women should have their legs covered (no short shorts, or short skirts) and their shoulders covered (no tank tops). The rule is modesty when choosing what to wear to church, not necessarily the "niceness" of the clothes. If you are wearing a tank top just have something you can use to cover your shoulders like a shawl.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#20
Jo Ann, I actually have a pair of ultra light sweat pants, but I will consider getting a multi part short pants. Thanks
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
#21
I was going to use the sweatpants for times when I attend Mass. I didn't want to carry bulky jeans and thought dress pants would get wrinkled up. I am Catholic, and I've never stepped inside a Catholic Church in shorts, ever in my life. The prospect of doing so is a little scary to me :)
I'm Catholic and on a hot day never hesitated walking into a church. Don't "sweat" it! It's OK. BTW, consider who's walking "with" you. All those fears will fade.
 
#22
Oh yeah, I do have a lightweight jacket and a pancho. I was wondering about the hat. Was thinking of just taking a ball cap so I don't stand out. Thanks for the advice.
Wear the hat. Stand out . . . and you will be surprised by how grateful you will be for a full brim! Also, in Roncesvalles, there will be NO confusion about where to go once you are off the bus. There is almost nothing in that "town", as far as I saw when I was there, but sleeping quarters and a couple of restaurants. Good luck! Remember to take lots of water. I had a Camelback for the first 10 days, but then abandoned it for two or three medim-sized purchased water bottles. Easy to carry, easy to refill, easy to replace if one is forgotten, broken or otherwise rendered unusable. Good luck!
 
Camino(s) past & future
leon to santiago - august/september (2010)
burgos to leon - june (2012)
sjpdp to burgos - july (2014)
#23
Have you looked at the alsa bus web site. You can work out and book yr trip. They also have an app for smartphones. It's quite a user friendly site and if I remember rightly there's an option for seeing it in English. Yr pack list seems a great ultralight list for clothes brow of everything is fine. I've done two caminos with 6.5kgb. Not sure about the book. You won't need it for directions and from what I've read on here its weighty. Kindle will supply all your reading needs for very little weight. You may not need the sleeping bag. I usually take a silk liner and wear a fleece and later up if I get cold. Hope this helps. Buen camino.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#24
I'm completely with PANO and Kanga regarding the start in Pamplona and not in SJPP . You really will not see that much of France anyway and the walk across the "border " will be very uneventful. Starting from Pamplona will give more than enough challenges and beautiful scenery!!!
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
#25
2050 Travel from Madrid to Roncesvalles and Saint Jean Pied de Port via Pamplona

2051 This section describes travel from Madrid to Roncesvalles and Saint Jean Pied de Port via Pamplona

Index 2050
2052 Executive Summary
2053 Madrid to Pamplona by Train
2054 Madrid to Pamplona by Bus
2055 Not Assigned
2056 Pamplona
2057 Pamplona to Roncesvalles
2058 Pamplona to Saint Jean Pied de Port
2059 Saint Jean Pied de Port

2052 Executive Summary

There are at least 3 options for travel from Madrid to Pamplona.

a. Travel by plane from Madrid to Pamplona.

b. Travel by Renfe train from Madrid to Pamplona.

c. Travel by bus from Madrid to Pamplona.

The urban bus to Roncesvalles and the international bus to Saint Jean Pied de Port leave from the bus station in Pamplona.

Note that bus service from Pamplona to Saint Jean Pied de Port is seasonal. The alternative is to travel via Bayonne or hire a taxi.

2053 Madrid to Pamplona by train

The Renfe train route from Madrid to Pamplona goes via Zaragoza. Transfers may be required so check the itenerary.

Renfe
http://www.renfe.com/index.html

2054 Madrid to Pamplona by bus

ALSA operates buses to Pamplona from Barajas Airport T4, and Estacion (or Intercambiador) de Avenida de America. Note there is usually a transfer at Soria or Zaragoza.

ALSA
https://www.alsa.es/

2056 Pamplona

Pamplona Airport (PNA)
http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/Satellite/Aeropuerto-Pamplona/en/Home.html

Estacion de Autobuses de Pamplona
http://estaciondeautobusesdepamplona.com/Inicio.aspx

Pamplona Renfe Station
http://www.adif.es/es_ES/infraestructuras/estaciones/80100/informacion_000111.shtml

2057 Pamplona to Roncesvalles

Urban bus service to Roncesvalles is provided by Autocares Artieda and departs from Estacion de Autobuses de Pamplona. Note it does not operate on Sundays.

Roncesvalles is a small village. There is a bus stop; not a station.

Autocares Artieda
http://www.autocaresartieda.com/?scc=svpropios

ALSA provides ~seasonal~ bus service from Pamplona to Saint Jean Pied de Port through its subsidiary Conda. The bus makes a stop in Roncesvalles (even on Sundays).

2058 Pamplona to Saint Jean Pied de Port

ALSA provides ~seasonal~ bus service from Pamplona to Saint Jean Pied de Port through its subsidiary Conda. The bus stop in Saint Jean Pied de Port is located near the junction of Route d'Uhart and Route d'Arneguy. The Conda site advises that you purchase the ticket from Pamplona to Saint Jean Pied de Port separately from any other bus ticket.

At time of writing the bus from Pamplona to SJPdP runs daily 1000 13 June to 31 August 2014, 1430 1 June to 30 Sept 2014, and 1730 17 March to 30 September 2014. The bus returns from SJPdP to Pamplona. The schedule is usually updated only a month in advance. Check the schedule before travel in case buses are added or deleted. Use the ALSA international tab and click the 'query without date' button.

If the bus is not operating your options are to continue to SJPdP via Bayonne or hire a taxi from Pamplona or Roncesvalles.

ALSA
https://www.alsa.es/

Conda
http://www.conda.es/

2059 Saint Jean Pied de Port

Saint Jean Pied de Port
http://www.st-jean-pied-de-port.fr/default.aspx
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? Vf again or Via Lemovicensis
#26
I am Catholic, and I've never stepped inside a Catholic Church in shorts, ever in my life. The prospect of doing so is a little scary to me :)
I'm Catholic too, and I brought a long dress and a shawl to go to church. No need in Spain, I promise you, you'll be fine in your pilgrim's attire.
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
#27
I'm Catholic too, and I brought a long dress and a shawl to go to church. No need in Spain, I promise you, you'll be fine in your pilgrim's attire.
Pilgrim's attire certainly will suffice, provided it excludes shorts and tank tops for the church visit.
Respectful clothing is always appreciated - a church is not a museum or an old building which happens to have lots of peculiar furniture and curious wall decoration.
I always wore long pants (Schoeffler, german company, great/durable design and very lightweight) and long sleeved light-weight shirts. never got a sun or windburn, always ship-shape for a church or chapel or monastery visit.
appreciate your consideration GerryDel ... was pleased to read "I am Catholic, and I've never stepped inside a Catholic Church in shorts, ever in my life. The prospect of doing so is a little scary to me :)"

(PS: when you get to Santiago - you might like to visit the convent of San Francisco as well .... it's near the catedrale - and in the afternoon they provide a special certificate as well, in honor /memory of the 800 yrs anniversary of SF pilgrimage. that's the only church i found which allowed me to place wax candles and light them there. most others had only those switch-on's)
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#28
Thanks all for your input. I really appreciate it. I feel much more secure in going. I am going to load up my pack tonight and go for a training walk to see how it feels.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#29
Thanks to all the Catholic responders. It seems we have a variety of opinions on shorts at mass. For me, it would be very difficult to feel comfortable in shorts at mass. I understand that others are okay with it, so it's just a personal preference. God bless.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Camino Portugues 2015
#30
What part of Texas are you from? There were 5 Texans in our group and we added a sixth in Sarria. I learned many things on my first Camino that I'm sure it will help with my next trip. For example, the Brierley guidebook is a suggestion book, not a rule book. At my age, 55, walking 15-20k per day was plenty. The days we walked 20-30+k were much more difficult and the fatigue factor over the 10,20 and 30 days took its toll on my feet. If there are back-to-back 30k days, break it up into 3 days, if possible. If you have the time, don't push too hard, too early. Relax, take breaks, drink the café con leche or the vino tinto when available. Try to take your boots off at least once per day and don't rush. One of the most memorable comments from a fellow pilgrim was this: "If the Camino is a metaphor for Life, and Santiago represents the End, then what's the hurry?". There's should be no rush to get to "the End" - enjoy life, enjoy the adventure, enjoy the Camino. Take care to ensure the walking is pleasurable instead of painful. Enjoy the company of your fellow pilgrims and share the experience each day.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#31
LoneStarMatt, I'm in DFW. I hear you on the walking. I try to be conservative on my walks. I have built a couple extra days into the trip so we can rest when we want to.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#32
I don't think God is offended by arms and legs - it's the neighbours who are, and that's cultural. I can assure you, on the Camino the neighbours are so used to pilgrim attire no-one in church will be offended if you are in shorts or a tank top - as long as you behave like a pilgrim and not a tourist. Other places in Spain I would cover up in church, but not on Camino.
 
#33
I would take one more pair of socks if I was you as you will need to change them daily and if you cannot dry the pair you wore the previous day you will be wearing wet socks.Take some safety pins so you can pin your socks together to dangle them over a rail to dry or pin them to your rucksack to dry whilst you are walking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I am starting my camino from SJPP August 5 2014
#34
Go to alsa.es. You can buy your bus tickets there from t4 Madrid airport to Pamplona with one stop and then a separate ticket from Pamplona to SJPP. They have three buses per day. The last one is at 5 or 6pm. When you buy your first leg Madrid to Pamplona you will find the route in the "regional" tab on the website. To buy the second leg Pamplona to SJPP you need to go back and search destinations through the "international" tab bc SJPP is in France. It took me a while to realize why it wasn't showing up as an option. Also even after calling my bank to have them sign off on foreign transactions my credit card was rejected in the website. The only way I was able to pay was through PayPal. I think you'll be fine buying the tickets as you go in case of delays as well. Good luck!
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#35
I would take one more pair of socks if I was you as you will need to change them daily and if you cannot dry the pair you wore the previous day you will be wearing wet socks.Take some safety pins so you can pin your socks together to dangle them over a rail to dry or pin them to your rucksack to dry whilst you are walking.
Thanks Peter. Good idea.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#36
Go to alsa.es. You can buy your bus tickets there from t4 Madrid airport to Pamplona with one stop and then a separate ticket from Pamplona to SJPP. They have three buses per day. The last one is at 5 or 6pm. When you buy your first leg Madrid to Pamplona you will find the route in the "regional" tab on the website. To buy the second leg Pamplona to SJPP you need to go back and search destinations through the "international" tab bc SJPP is in France. It took me a while to realize why it wasn't showing up as an option. Also even after calling my bank to have them sign off on foreign transactions my credit card was rejected in the website. The only way I was able to pay was through PayPal. I think you'll be fine buying the tickets as you go in case of delays as well. Good luck!
Thanks Philly
 

DowtyCamino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-July (2014),
May-July (2017)
#37
Just off the Camino (literally yesterday). Here are my thoughts:
Normally I'd say bring a hat. You might it need it at first but there will be days you will regret not bringing OR plan on buying one. A cap will do, but if so, bring a kerchief to drape over your neck. But seeing that you won't be doing the bits between Pamplona and Oceibro
you will have shade a good bit of that time and so I'd recommend the buying if needed route. I used my microfiber towel one hot day when I lost my hat. It will do in a pinch. ( there are absolutely 0 points for style on Camino ).


Liner - no bag. For the few days in July you might need warmth (rare), wear some clothes to bed or at least stuff them into the bottom of your liner.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#38
Where do you find just a liner? Do they sell those? I went to Academy here in the states and they did not have them.
 

DowtyCamino

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-July (2014),
May-July (2017)
#41
We bought "cocoon silk travel sheets" from amazon. They were perfect. I also bought a Nahari silk from amazon that I used as a pillow "case". Both were based on weight. :)
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#42
We bought "cocoon silk travel sheets" from amazon. They were perfect. I also bought a Nahari silk from amazon that I used as a pillow "case". Both were based on weight. :)
Funny, I bought the exact same thing yesterday. Hoping they get here on time.
 

pdxjxm

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August-Sept. 2014
#43
If you're starting in SJPP and you want to stay the first night in Roncesvalles, consider an afternoon stroll to Hunto the first night. That makes the trip over the Pyrenees shorter the next day. And, if the weather is really bad, you could still revert to going around via Valcarlos. Use the porter service to get your bag to Roncesvalles and enjoy the lighter load the first couple of days. Roncesvalles to Zubiri can be challenging, especially in wet weather - just completed my Camino starting in SJPP on May 1 and finishing in Santiago on June 8.

In July, I can't imagine a sleeping bag is needed, but a liner is necessary as many beds do not have sheets - you can get one treated for bed bugs, and it's plenty comfortable. Wouldn't worry about sweatpants, but a pair of shorts to wear while doing laundry and/or sleeping is helpful. Shoes are the absolutely most important piece of equipment. I wore Lowa boots and will opt for trail/trekking shoes next time with gaiters to help keep water away. Good socks and a good backpack are the next priority. Rubbed my feet everyday with Vaseline - no blisters.

I stayed in Corazon Puro with Istvan and Barbara the first night. Flew to Madrid, trained to Pamplona, Istvan picked us up at the train station, stayed a night at his place and then drove us to SJPP. Had a nice supper and breakfast and he was very accommodating. Even if you're traveling with your son, take some time to walk alone and soak up the experience. Already planning a return trip for next year. Buen Camino!
I have reservations there too for next month!
Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
#44
I will start in Astorga.
From Madrid i will take the renfe train to Astorga. Actually you can buy ahead of time online your tickets.
And next day start my walking! 24/07/14
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#45
Woodswoman is right-- wear the hat with a brim-- the Spanish sun can do bad things to your ears and the back of your neck. While ball caps are more common in North America, they are less so in Europe, and will stand out more than a brimmed hat (if only marginally). Trying to look at it from a Spanish point of view (I pull 6-Caminos under my belt rank here), sweats would be considered much less respectful than shorts-- pilgrims' presence at evening masses in villages is much appreciated by locals. Long hiking pants or zip-ons are best and have the added advantage that they are lightweight and easily washed. Your travel arrangements will fall into place very easily-- you won't be the only one!
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#46
Do they provide towels at the albergues or do I need to bring my own? Thanks.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid.
#49
Do they provide towels at the albergues or do I need to bring my own? Thanks.
Expensive lightweight micro-fibre travel towel from a specialist hiking store or cheapskate micro-fibre cloth purchased from the supermarket or $2 shop - I can't tell the difference! Just give it a good wash to remove any chemical residue.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
#50
Most people do NOT use the little travel towels. The full size towels are what most people carry. There is a hiking store next to the supermarket in SJPDP that carries everything you will need in case you forget something. Do NOT expect to buy much gear along the route as most stores are NOT located on the streets you will walk and most close for siesta and Sundays. Took me FOUR days to replace a bar of soap! Take clothes pins and a length of clothes line!
Majority of people don't bother wearing hats. I wore a baseball hat but left it hanging on the Cross of Iron along with my dog tags.
 

Keldi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014
#51
Totally agree about the wide brimmed hat, I've just finished my first Camino 21/6 and I wore it most days. I also took a 'shammie' which I found really useful (until I left it behind one day!). Buen Camino
 

Joe90

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed my Camino Frances between 13th July and 6th August 2014
#52
I booked my coach (ALSA) from Madrid to Pamplona online, I then also booked Pamplona to SJPP (ALSA) online, just print off tickets ready for travel on the day. I will be a day behind you getting into Madrid on the 11th July however I will look to spend the night in Pamplona (booked) and take part in the Bull Run Saturday morning, seems a pity to miss such a big event. Then onto SJPP in the afternoon that Saturday. As for kit, depending on your budget, you can always add kit as you go, if you need more socks then get them when you need them.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#53
I just looked up the weather in St. Jean and it's a low of 50 and a high of 71 in SJPDP. I'll need long pants for that! I'm a Texan. That's chilly. I've been training in 95+ heat.
I booked my coach (ALSA) from Madrid to Pamplona online, I then also booked Pamplona to SJPP (ALSA) online, just print off tickets ready for travel on the day. I will be a day behind you getting into Madrid on the 11th July however I will look to spend the night in Pamplona (booked) and take part in the Bull Run Saturday morning, seems a pity to miss such a big event. Then onto SJPP in the afternoon that Saturday. As for kit, depending on your budget, you can always add kit as you go, if you need more socks then get them when you need them.
I'm booked for Pamplona too. Hoping to enjoy the running of the bulls. They want 50 euro to rent a hotel balcony to watch it though. Anyone know of a cheaper way?
 

Joe90

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed my Camino Frances between 13th July and 6th August 2014
#54
I just looked up the weather in St. Jean and it's a low of 50 and a high of 71 in SJPDP. I'll need long pants for that! I'm a Texan. That's chilly. I've been training in 95+ heat.


I'm booked for Pamplona too. Hoping to enjoy the running of the bulls. They want 50 euro to rent a hotel balcony to watch it though. Anyone know of a cheaper way?
prices go crazy during the festival week, 50 euro may be a good price?
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#55
I know a lot of people have suggested not taking sweats, but I just looked at the temperatures in the parts we will be walking and they have highs only in the
prices go crazy during the festival week, 50 euro may be a good price?
Might be.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Leaving August 25, (2014) for Camino Frances starting in SJPP.
#56
Where do you find just a liner? Do they sell those? I went to Academy here in the states and they did not have them.
REI, Mountain Hardware, Sea to Summit, Campmor, Columbia. They are made in Silk, silk + cotton, cotton, polyester, fleece, thermolite reactor - lots of choices.


Preach the Gospel always; use words when necessary.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#57
REI, Mountain Hardware, Sea to Summit, Campmor, Columbia. They are made in Silk, silk + cotton, cotton, polyester, fleece, thermolite reactor - lots of choices.


Preach the Gospel always; use words when necessary.
Maybe it's just a Texas thang, but I couldn't find liners in any of the stores. I gave up and found it online instead.
 
#58
Most people do NOT use the little travel towels. The full size towels are what most people carry. There is a hiking store next to the supermarket in SJPDP that carries everything you will need in case you forget something. Do NOT expect to buy much gear along the route as most stores are NOT located on the streets you will walk and most close for siesta and Sundays. Took me FOUR days to replace a bar of soap! Take clothes pins and a length of clothes line!
Majority of people don't bother wearing hats. I wore a baseball hat but left it hanging on the Cross of Iron along with my dog tags.
On my Camino last fall most people wore hats. It was quite a bit hotter in September than I had expected, and I saw several people with heatstroke. Wear the hat, please. Protect yourself. Besides, I LIKE your hat!
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#59
Everyone is different, but I would not even think about doing the Camino without a hat. Walking day after day in even partly cloudy weather will bake your scalp, ears, and the back of your neck. We walked from mid-August through late September, and believe me, it was plenty hot on most days. We took cotton bandanas and soaked them in water and wrapped them around our necks when it was really hot. My wife made me a lightweight sun shade like those you see in the old French foreign legion films, and I wore that many days, especially on the Meseta. It snapped onto the brim of the hat you see in my profile picture. Yes, it looked pretty dorky, but I'm sure it saved me from heat stroke on at least a couple of days. The little oasis at the Fuente del Pioto, with its cool spring, was like a slice of heaven after the long climb up the Alto Mostelares and the long, nearly treeless stretch between Castrojeriz and Itero de la Vega.
 

GerryDel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, July 2014
#60
Everyone is different, but I would not even think about doing the Camino without a hat. Walking day after day in even partly cloudy weather will bake your scalp, ears, and the back of your neck. We walked from mid-August through late September, and believe me, it was plenty hot on most days. We took cotton bandanas and soaked them in water and wrapped them around our necks when it was really hot. My wife made me a lightweight sun shade like those you see in the old French foreign legion films, and I wore that many days, especially on the Meseta. It snapped onto the brim of the hat you see in my profile picture. Yes, it looked pretty dorky, but I'm sure it saved me from heat stroke on at least a couple of days. The little oasis at the Fuente del Pioto, with its cool spring, was like a slice of heaven after the long climb up the Alto Mostelares and the long, nearly treeless stretch between Castrojeriz and Itero de la Vega.
Thanks for mentioning a bandanna. Much more packable than a hat. I live and train in Texas and it's already 90+ degrees here, so I should be fine. I am leaving tomorrow. The weather on the part of the Camino I am walking is 60 - 80 degrees which will feel quite chilly to me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Camino Portugues 2015
#61
We bought the Sea to Summit Insect Treated Liner at REI:
http://www.rei.com/product/797112/sea-to-summit-insect-shield-coolmax-adaptor-liner-mummy
It was warm enought most nights, but added a blanket from the albergue when it was colder.
Also bought a Zippered Pillow Case to either put the albergue pillow inside or stuff with clothes when I wanted a larger pillow:
Luna Premium Hypoallergenic Bed Bug Proof Zippered Waterproof Pillow Protector on Amazon (Made in USA):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002AQLPQA/?tag=casaivar-20
We used these items every time we stayed in an albergue and they worked well.
We never had bed bugs, but the treated materials were good for peace of mind.
It's sometimes tricky rolling over inside a liner on a top bunk ;-)
 

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