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COVID 2020 Camino a "To be" or "Not to be"? - and "Why?"

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simply B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
per @Trishagale request...https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/current-camino-conditions-and-the-coronavirus.66881/#post-832846

Thread now open!

Let's stick to "Why" or "Why not" for you personally and leave at that in posts. I sense that the Mods have more than enough to do at the moment so be kind to everybody and withhold judgment.

B
 

doctorherman

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances*3, Ingles, Primitivo, Finisterre, Baztan, and Portuguese
At the moment: Yes.
Why? Because I will be walking over the Sunmmer months and I hope by that time the hot weather will have reduced the spread of the virus. Also, it has massively declined in its epicenter, China over the past week or so.
 

SenorJacques

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (May-June 2020)
As of today (March 4) I'm still planning to go ahead with my Camino in early May - unless the decision gets made for me not to, by way of cancelled flights from the U.S. to Europe or widespread closures in accommodations along the CF closer to my departure date - simply because the "whys" outweigh the "why nots".

I'm fortunate enough to be in good health with no history of chronic respiratory illness or immunosupression, which certainly factors in my decision. And as with everything I can't predict or control in life, I'm choosing to move forward with cautious optimism (tempered by good sense and consideration for others) rather than undue worry or catastrophizing.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well, to tell you the truth, the mods were discussing this very idea, and we were uncertain whether a thread like this would lead to disaster or whether forum members could resist the urge to go beyond the limits as @simply B has outlined them. But since @simply B has taken the plunge, we will sit back and watch. This topic can be a petri dish for wild speculation and unfounded fears, because we will all have to make our decisions whether to walk based on imperfect information and much uncertainty. Let’s hope we can do better.

I think we understand how all this uncertainty leads us to look for validation, help with our decisions, commiseration, and this community is a good place for that. But please oh please let’s keep it on track.

Just to add my own two cents, I am still planning to leave for Alicante on May 13. I will try to make my final decision based on good factual information, but I know that my own comfort level with risk and my own particular personal situation will play a large part, and that is something no government website can dictate.

Buen camino to everyone, Laurie
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
While I might have had the germ of an idea to walk again earlier, the opportunity really presented itself after the announcement of the outbreak of COVID19. My issues were more about what precautions I would need to take at various stages of travelling to Europe, walking and returning home. I expect more information to emerge on such things as I get closer to my departure day. If I have to adjust my travel plans, or my approach to walking, accommodation, meals, etc, I can do that relatively easily. If I need extra kit, that should be easy enough to get. If I need consumables like hand sanitiser or wipes, I will take enough to get started, and trust that I can buy these along the way.

Will it be risk free? Clearly not. But I think that the risks can be managed.
 

simply B

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
somewhere between "not enough" and "way too many"
Thank you, Laurie!

Yes, I took the plunge, if only to establish the viability of such a thread. You Mods have enough to do.

If the thread descends into a journal of poo-flinging monkeys then just shut it down.

Postings of a personal decision, from personal circumstance of health/place/time, without reference/judgment to another person's circumstance is all that is suitable for this thread.

My deepest apologies if I have created more work for the Mods as that was not my intent.

B
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
When the time is right
I am watching and educating myself. Doing a lot of reading. I am scheduled to fly out from Canada on April 2nd and my gut instincts are clearly awakened, telling me to hold off. This was to be my first Camino. A time for reflection and joy. It will only take one confirmed case of a pilgrim testing positive to turn everything topsy turvy. A month ago I would have said not going to happen. Now I’m not so sure. I’ll see how the next two weeks unfold. Thank you for allowing us to talk “real” about the situation.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I had planned to attend a conference in India in early April and was expecting to go to Spain in mid-April. The conference has been cancelled but I still haven't made any reservation to fly to Spain. I will wait and see, and just pay the extra for a last-minute (or last-week) flight. If I had already bought my ticket, I would be expecting to continue with the plans. Since I have the luxury of delaying, I will take advantage of that.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
It occurred to me that in some ways the decision about walking now is analogous to the decision women make when they decide whether or not to walk alone. I frequently tell people who ask me, as a confirmed solo walker, that a lot of what holds women back may be an irrational fear, but if you can’t shake that fear, you are setting yourself up for a hugely unpleasant camino. Same thing here, I think — if you will be afraid and anxious if you go to the camino this year, you just shouldn’t go. I’m not saying that fears about contracting the coronavirus are irrational, just that walking with fear defeats the whole purpose of the camino, IMO.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
Our decision not to go was made for us!
I started a thread on how YOU book your airfares because the online agent took the cash, didn't book and went into liquidation!!
Feeling VERY sad 😢about ?not going, have rearranged a Scotland self drive after to next year (so that's ok) but the Camino still is calling, so will wait til 1 week before our expected departure then book another flight if all is well but this time directly with the airline.
Must admit I'm concerned about albergues having to quarantine pilgrims or close due to health concerns and then to be stuck for accommodation. As a retired nurse with 45years experience you have to be realistic.😷
Cheers, buen Camino Lori
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I'm due to start walking on 13th April. Travelling to Spain is relatively simple for me; I can drive to Hendaye in less that 4 hours and because I live in France my thinking is that the risks here are much the same as there. (and logistics of getting there and back not so bad)

At the moment I'm not planning on changing plans... indeed I bought a bus ticket today to Bayonne and reserved a bed in St Jean BUT... I am nervously watching and waiting... I have underlying health issues and chest infection and pneumonia are weaknesses for me.

However.... what does worry me is that I sing weekly on a cruise ship that comes into Bordeaux... every week new passengers from around the world... our season is starting again in 3 weeks... this concerns me a lot.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Scheduled to land in Porto on 7 June for a "combo" Camino: Porto to Caminha on the CP, then Sarria to SdC on the CF. I'm responsible, to a degree, for two friends who are joining me, so I've been trying to educate myself as much as possible using as many valid resources as are available. As quickly as this thing has developed, three months is a long time for things to change in either direction.

At this point, the three of us are still a solid "GO."
 

BruceS

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF late 2020 or April 2021
I am due arrive SJPdP 17 April from Australia.
As there is no Insurance (Medical/Hospital/Travel) now available,
I am giving consideration to postponing until ~21st August.
This 'covid19' consideration is based on possible extra expenses re Medical/Hospital/Travel.
It is a major setback ... I have planned this from May19.

Thank you 'Mods' and a special one to Laurie.
BruceS
 

Kathryn_H

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2020
I feel a bit sick thinking about it. I feel I don’t have a choice not to go, lots of savings and planning have gone into this trip. I’m doing 8 weeks away in total. I’ll probably never get that amount of leave approved again. It would be heartbreaking not being able to go. Seems my travel insurance would not cover cancellation due to a pandemic so I don’t know what I am supposed to do if it gets worse. I’m starting off in Paris and heard that the Lourve is closed, not going to be a great holiday if everything is shut! Let alone if I actually get to travel only to contract the virus. Would be a nightmare. So for now I am crossing everything and hoping it is ok come May. I feel like after a not nice few years I really need this trip so am trying to be positive. So it’s still a GO for me
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 2020
My airline ticket to Paris is for April 7th. I will meet my daughter there and we will take the train to SJPP the next day.

I'm in the state of Washington and live very close to where the only deaths from Coronavirus in the USA have happened.

I'm in good health and I've debated this decision.
Unless the airlines cancel my flights or they close the albergues, I have decided to go. I still have not purchased my travel insurance and I'm worried about going without being covered against coronavirus. But, I'm not going to give up my dream because I am scared of what could happen.

I know that I am supposed to do this pilgrimage. If something prevents me from doing it in April, I'll do it in the Autumn or next Spring.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I do not know what I shall decide, even now, with so much against going. Can I even walk, while I am awaiting anticipated knee surgery? And there are so many possible complications at this time. But the fact remains: I have the money and I am not afraid. By the grace of God I am not very good at being afraid. I hope that that is a good quality in the current situation.
Edit: the latest speculation is that all non-emergency surgery may be put off for as long as the facilities are needed for COVID-19 patients. And I am on the non-emergency surgery list.
 
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CarolandPhil

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August 2019
Camino Frances August 2020
My husband and I are still planning on going in August, hoping that the virus has run its course or at least died down by then. We will definitely get the normal flu injections before leaving Australia, follow the recommendations/advice from WHO re proper hygiene practices etc.
The only way we won’t be going is if our Govt issues a Do Not Travel warning. I had already booked private rooms along the entire route (though not paid for) and booked and paid for all our flights. Unfortunately I hadn’t taken travel insurance prior to this all developing.
Buen Camino!
Carol
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I’m doing 8 weeks away in total. I’ll probably never get that amount of leave approved again.
Kathryn, you’re the only one, I think, who has mentioned this problem, an important factor for prospective pilgrims still in the workforce who have planned far ahead. We who are retired, perhaps a significant percentage on this forum, are fortunate that we don’t have to take that into account.
Otherwise I’m in the same boat. Air fares across the world booked for the European summer, and since I picked up a super cheap, special-offer fare on Qatar, I can’t make changes without very significant penalties.
Hopefully I’ll be in Santiago at the end of July, starting from Cork in Ireland by bike.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I cannot walk this year because of factors unrelated to the covid-19 situation. But I just bought RT tickets to Europe and back, and it is very much shooting in the dark. I don't have any idea what will be possible, or what will happen: maybe nothing out of the ordinary, maybe I'll be stuck in quarantine somewhere, or with a bunch of cancellations. Who knows? So my concession to that is to buy refundable tickets. And to be determined in myself to cultivate patience and flexibility

I figure that what's happening now is actually no different from normal life, it's just that the potential for mortality is much more 'in our face' than usual. So I'll go, taking care of myself and protecting others if need be. And if it ends up that I'm faced with a string of cancellations, I might even get to walk.....
And if it's quarantine? Well, I can have a meditation retreat.🙃
(Though getting stuck in the Schengen Zone as a result or because of travel restrictions would certainly be 'intetesting.' But in these cases, I cannot imagine that an overstay would be penalized... @Kathar1na , do you have any sense of this?))

I’m not saying that fears about contracting the coronavirus are irrational, just that walking with fear defeats the whole purpose of the camino, IMO.
I don't think I have ever had a different opinion than yours, Laurie, so this is a first. ♥
My MO is the opposite: to feel the fear and do it anyway. Seeing in the end how silly it all is has been life-changing - and the confidence that grows after each camino is a beautiful thing.

Will it be risk free? Clearly not. But I think that the risks can be managed.
Absolutely.
Nothing in this life is risk-free, and it's all a managing act - because all our lives go the same way in the end. I'm not being morbid at all, just realistic. This whole scenario can be a wake-up call to us all, if we use it that way.
 

martin1ws

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Somport to Finisterre Jul-Aug 2018; Munich to Lindau (Germany) Sep 2020
I want to go at the end of August and September. At the moment I think (or hope) that the chances that I can go are still good (or will be good again after getting worse in the meantime). As long as the official government or WHO recommendation are okay for travelling to Spain the risk should be okay for me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2020 Le Puy
The only way we won’t be going is if our Govt issues a Do Not Travel warning. I had already booked private rooms along the entire route (though not paid for) and booked and paid for all our flights. Unfortunately I hadn’t taken travel insurance prior to this all developing.
Buen Camino!
Carol
Hi Carol, a fellow Aussie here. I am/was/still am? planning on walking Le Puy at a similar time to you. I did purchase travel insurance when I booked my airfare in December, so I had it arranged before COVD-19 was a 'known' event. But below are my thoughts and ramblings on the situation now as my insurance is not as it should be.

My current situation of consideration :
My husband and I are sitting on the fence with the whole thing now. I am a youngish - turn 40 on my trip- woman who is extremely fit, however I had a very close call from sepsis from a 'simple' pneumonia three years ago, so I am aware that although I don't fit the typical profile of someone who would be at risk from contracting the virus, I am not invinceable.

I figured I would be covered by my insurer if the Aust. Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade upgraded the travel warning to include France and Spain (my husband was meeting me at the end of the walk so we could watch the Aragon Moto GP round...which is now postponed due to the outbreak) as it has for China, Iran, Sth Korea etc- however that is not the case as it turns out as although I took out the top level of cover through my insurer, they don't cover cancelations or disruptions to plans due to pandemics. At all.

Interestingly enough,should I choose to travel seeing as I can't make a claim and then *should* I get COVID-19 while away, they will also not insure me for any medical costs I incur as I traveled despite knowing of the risk. Crazy hey? You are damned if you don;t buy travel insurance, but damned well throwing your money away if you do.

I am a healthcare worker and I can see how easily this thing is transmitted, I think nowhere in the world is going to be a safe haven from the virus by the time my travel dates come along anyway, however my concerns are around no medical insurance coverage while out of my country should I contract the illness and become unwell. I am vaguely floating alternative big plans domestically to soften the disappointment I will feel if my Camino doesn't eventuate.
 

Carolw1970

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2020
per @Trishagale request...https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/current-camino-conditions-and-the-coronavirus.66881/#post-832846

Thread now open!

Let's stick to "Why" or "Why not" for you personally and leave at that in posts. I sense that the Mods have more than enough to do at the moment so be kind to everybody and withhold judgment.

B
Yes still doing my first Camino, first week of May. Why? There’s so much in life that people are afraid of, I could cancel and then be regretful forever or trust in the higher power that all will be well. Which is what I’m doing.
 

Aido

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPDP to Logrono (2016).
Logrono to Burgos (2017). Burgos to Carrion de los Condes (2020)
I'm due to fly in to Santander next wednesday and start from Burgos March 12th for 4 days walking. I'm still unsure what I'm going to do. I'm not concerned about getting the virus myself but I have two little boys at home (2.5 and 1 years old) so my biggest concern is getting quarantined for two weeks or arriving home with the virus and passing it on to them. On the other hand I think the chances of getting caught up in it are very slim considering there are 200 odd cases (thus far!) in Spain out of a population of around 45 million. Also, If I do decide to go ahead I don't want to be walking with any hint of fear or suspicion, however irrational, that fellow pilgrims could potentially have the virus as I think this would really take away from the experience. At the moment I'm very much consumed by news stories and statistics which is heightening my uncertainty but I do have a sense that once I'm on the Camino all that would melt away in to the background. I'll wait until the last minute to make my decision, thankfully my flights were not too expensive
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
I was planning to go to Spain for four months at the end of April to walk several Caminos.

I have cancelled my plans for this year and will reconsider next year.

There are several reasons why I have made this decision. I had planned to make my reservations during February but once it became obvious that I would not be able to get travel insurance I put the idea on hold.

I think that the shared living environment on the Camino increases the risk for me and not only am I worried for myself as I have lower immunity at the moment and a tendency to chest infections but I am also concerned that if I do catch the virus then I don't want to be responsible for bringing that back to NZ and my very elderly relatives in their 80s and 90s or to my wife who suffers from asthma.

I walked last year and was unlucky enough to get Legionnaires that I caught in one of the albergues. I enjoyed excellent treatment in Lugo hospital, covered by my insurance.

My body is still recovering from this infection and while I am fit enough to walk I have low immunity.

At home I am better able to practice social distancing and I can manage my risk that way.

I will wait for next year.
 

longwayhome

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJpdP to Santiago ( Sept-Oct 2018)
I am due arrive SJPdP 17 April from Australia.
As there is no Insurance (Medical/Hospital/Travel) now available,
I am giving consideration to postponing until ~21st August.
This 'covid19' consideration is based on possible extra expenses re Medical/Hospital/Travel.
It is a major setback ... I have planned this from May19.

Thank you 'Mods' and a special one to Laurie.
BruceS

Yes , yes and yes. I am cancelling my Via francigena for these reasons and likely quarantine /flight delays .
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
For those of you/us contemplating next year instead: Next year is a Holy year. Much/double traffic, atleast.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
I have decided to not walk this Spring, as usual, and instead walk in the Fall.

I believe to many confined spaces with groups of people exist on a Camino trip (Airports, airplanes, train stations, trains, bus stations, buses, albergues, restaurants). I do not have fear of death or sickness from such a trip. That said, I see a Camino as an enabler of, further spreading, an uncontained virus that currently has no antidote other than confinement.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
For those of you/us contemplating next year instead: Next year is a Holy year. Much/double traffic, atleast.
I was thinking about this earlier, my plans were always to walk next year at least twice, once for the feast from my home and maybe at Xmas on the CF before they shut the door, I have feeling now that next year will be still busy but not as big as expected.

I said on another thread I developed a wait and see attitude for my 2nd April Camino, that equanimity is proving harder to maintain than I expected, I could be still going but if not then I will book another flight for end of August and go to Braga then.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
At the moment: Yes.
Why? Because I will be walking over the Sunmmer months and I hope by that time the hot weather will have reduced the spread of the virus. Also, it has massively declined in its epicenter, China over the past week or so.
I think you should be careful about making assumptions about the virus spreading, how weather can effect it or if it is abating or expanding. Please leave it to the experts who have candidly stated they do not have a handle on this pathogen yet. Please look to the top experts in the world for guidance. Just because the virus may start to subside in the coming months it doesn't mean it can't rear its ugly head again. We just do not know.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I wasn’t sure which coronavirus thread to put this link in, but I think that anyone who is going to have to get to the Camino on a plane should consider these commonsensical practices, which I offer NOT as medical advice, ;) but in the category of things that might make your space a bit more hygenic.

 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
I am trying to find which thread I can read/post about people making their personal decisions about whether to continue with their Camino or not. I have this dilemma and I am interested in how other people are feeling. I also like to know what is actually happening on the Camino so will be following this thread.
Hi Trisha, I’ve started the Camino twice, finished it the 2nd time. Won’t go into the boring details of the 1st time other than to say that I wasn’t feeling well for a few weeks before the start. I had my tickets and some reservations made and a firm determination to give it a shot anyway. The variable was how long it would be before I felt better. I was optimistic amidst symptoms. I trudged ahead anyway. I had a miserable time but made some close friends on the way which made each day tolerable. I made it to the half-way point and to my left was a train station and to the right was an albergue. My instinct and my gut said “this is as far as you go”. I returned home early, received a diagnosis and treatment and improved rapidly. My 2nd attempt 4 months later was a breeze-a far better experience. Night and day. If I had to do it again I’d probably make the same decisions. That’s my story. I tend to lean towards launching out and risking. There is so much infrastructure on the CF that the risks are very small. I learned that everyone walks their own Camino. Yours may or may not end in Santiago but it’s worth walking your Camino with no expectations other than to be surprised.
 

Eve Alexandra

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Astorga to Santiago in '17
Camino Frances canceled for 2020
I'm grateful for the conversation being started. I am supposed to be flying into Paris in 7 days, with trains to SJPP the next day. For now, I think I am still going. The "live from the camino" post plus Ivar's post yesterday calmed my nerves a bit. I am not worried about getting sick. I am a little bit worried about the businesses being shut down by the spanish government when I'm halfway through my walk (set to return to the US on April 21). And I guess to a degree that is fear of the unknown more than anything else. And it is shaking me up a bit.

That said, I am one of those people who cannot just alter my plans for a later date. This may very well be my one chance to walk the entire thing. I've been training for this for seven months. My pack is ready to go, and I will be devastated if the opportunity is lost. And I am trying to not give way to fear.

So I'm taking it day by day for now.
 

Eibhlís

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2000 I walked 300km of the Camino Frances.
2020 I plan to walk the whole 800km.
I am due arrive SJPdP 17 April from Australia.
As there is no Insurance (Medical/Hospital/Travel) now available,
I am giving consideration to postponing until ~21st August.
This 'covid19' consideration is based on possible extra expenses re Medical/Hospital/Travel.
It is a major setback ... I have planned this from May19.

Thank you 'Mods' and a special one to Laurie.
BruceS
Hi Bruce,
What do you mean by there is no medical insurance available? I'm due to fly in June but haven't taken out travel insurance yet.
 

Ducks

Walking for 3
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugese (2020)
Camino Frances (2021)
I am flying to Porto on Tuesday, with my husband (who is holidaying not walking) and a friend who I will walk with. We have self catering accommodation booked all the way to Vigo, then hubby goes home while we walk to Santiago, staying in pensions. Our ages: 62, 65, 70. And preexisting conditions. But we do not see a reason to cancel. Sea air will be good for us. I'm taking extra meds in case return is delayed, which is really my only concern because of work. But we are also subscribed to UK govt updates in case things change. If Santiago turns out to be off limits in 3 weeks time (ours is a slow camino) it would be a shame but not the biggest thing. It is walking the Way that I am most interested in.
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
As of today (March 4) I'm still planning to go ahead with my Camino in early May - unless the decision gets made for me not to, by way of cancelled flights from the U.S. to Europe or widespread closures in accommodations along the CF closer to my departure date - simply because the "whys" outweigh the "why nots".

I'm fortunate enough to be in good health with no history of chronic respiratory illness or immunosupression, which certainly factors in my decision. And as with everything I can't predict or control in life, I'm choosing to move forward with cautious optimism (tempered by good sense and consideration for others) rather than undue worry or catastrophizing.
Same here. I leave the end of April. I am excited and nervous but have no plans to cancel unless the decision is taken out of my hands. I like my privacy so I had previously booked private accommodations along the way already so I have no concerns about lodging. Only 2 places where I could not get private accommodations and I feel as long as I am smart about things, I'll be fine.
 

FSP

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(13)
Portuguese & Finisterre(16)
Norte & Muxia(18)
Olvidado&Salvador&Primitivo(20??)
I have flights booked to get me to the start of my triple camino trek (Olvidado-Salvador-Primitivo) starting the last week of Aug. I don't have any underlying health issues that put me a increased risk. At this point I don't have to travel through any high risk cities to get to Bilbao and these caminos, at least the first two, are likely to be much less crowded in any event. I'm already insured and have confirmed with my insurer that unless the Gov't of Canada issues a "do not travel" advisory I will remain covered. The insurer did note that if the gov't issues an advisory after I am in Spain and I do not leave then I will not be covered. So, I'm going but will obviously monitor travel advisory status.
 

MudmanUK

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Camino Portugues 2020
Thanks for opening this thread, I feel it will assist pilgrims in making a balanced judgement on whether to go on their Camino in 2020. Of course this judgement will be coloured by factors such as the Pilgrim's distance from Spain, state of health and aversion to risk ..... and many other factors.

I will be walking the CP this April & May because I fell in love with Camino walking when on the CF last year, meeting many lovely people and sharing a simple experience with them, sheltered from many of the complications of modern life. It will aid my recovery from a life-threatening DVT and its after-effects. I am in good health and believe I would certainly survive infection with Coronavirus.

My pilgrimage will be shared by a fellow Pilgrim from the USA, who I met last year on the CF and I now count as a good friend. We are both optimistic about the future, live for the moment, and are putting the Coronavirus epidemic into perspective when compared with other seasonal infections that occur annually during the northern winter months.

So it's a "GO" for us, and we start our pilgrimage in Coimbra on April 28th, hoping to meet some of you along the journey to Santiago and thence to Finisterre.
 

Tai Chi

a.k.a. "Phil"
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018); Madrid & Ingles (2019); Portugese Coastal & Invierno (2020)
I leave Canada in 12 days to start my next Camino.

When I look at all the stats and figures, it seems to me that:
(A) over the next month or so, I'm more likely to be hospitalized for bad case of the flu than to catch COVID19, and
(B) I'm not worried about the flu at all...

That helps bring some perspective to me.

So.... I look forward to a "normal" camino, albeit with more hand and respiratory hygiene than is normal for me.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
It may be of interest to have an idea on how countries stack up in their ability to deal with an epidemic. There is a ranking called the Global Health Index which provides food for thought.
I must admit to feeling some relief that the UK came out well although it dismays me how under prepared many countries are.

Thank you for that! It revealed that Spain (rating 15) is slightly better/safer than Norway where I am (rating 16). I guess I'll better go then for my planned April/May Camino after all! :D:cool:
 
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D

Deleted member 59555

Guest
At the moment: Yes.
Why? Because I will be walking over the Sunmmer months and I hope by that time the hot weather will have reduced the spread of the virus. Also, it has massively declined in its epicenter, China over the past week or so.
Hello to all I am from New Zealand. So this perspective is on behalf of all the New Zealanders and Aussies. We are so jealous of other people that have maybe an hour to an hour and a half of travel in a plane to get to Europe. But we down the bottom of the world have twelve and a half hours flying then another twelve and a half hours to Paris or the like, then train trips, then do all of that again on the way back.
Also, these are not a 100 euro flights. My wife and I are supposed to be leaving to go to the Camino 7th April,
Airfares nz$5,000 with other bookings we could be in the hole for around nz$8,000 (trying to turn airfares into a credit to future flights). Travel agent seems to have gone really quiet on us. So this is why we down here have to make some hard decisions currently we are not going. And it breaks my heart.
This is why we value all comments even if they are your own personal comments.
Good luck and God bless to all of us.
 

CarolandPhil

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August 2019
Camino Frances August 2020
Hi Carol, a fellow Aussie here. I am/was/still am? planning on walking Le Puy at a similar time to you. I did purchase travel insurance when I booked my airfare in December, so I had it arranged before COVD-19 was a 'known' event. But below are my thoughts and ramblings on the situation now as my insurance is not as it should be.

My current situation of consideration :
My husband and I are sitting on the fence with the whole thing now. I am a youngish - turn 40 on my trip- woman who is extremely fit, however I had a very close call from sepsis from a 'simple' pneumonia three years ago, so I am aware that although I don't fit the typical profile of someone who would be at risk from contracting the virus, I am not invinceable.

I figured I would be covered by my insurer if the Aust. Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade upgraded the travel warning to include France and Spain (my husband was meeting me at the end of the walk so we could watch the Aragon Moto GP round...which is now postponed due to the outbreak) as it has for China, Iran, Sth Korea etc- however that is not the case as it turns out as although I took out the top level of cover through my insurer, they don't cover cancelations or disruptions to plans due to pandemics. At all.

Interestingly enough,should I choose to travel seeing as I can't make a claim and then *should* I get COVID-19 while away, they will also not insure me for any medical costs I incur as I traveled despite knowing of the risk. Crazy hey? You are damned if you don;t buy travel insurance, but damned well throwing your money away if you do.

I am a healthcare worker and I can see how easily this thing is transmitted, I think nowhere in the world is going to be a safe haven from the virus by the time my travel dates come along anyway, however my concerns are around no medical insurance coverage while out of my country should I contract the illness and become unwell. I am vaguely floating alternative big plans domestically to soften the disappointment I will feel if my Camino doesn't eventuate.
Hi Carol, a fellow Aussie here. I am/was/still am? planning on walking Le Puy at a similar time to you. I did purchase travel insurance when I booked my airfare in December, so I had it arranged before COVD-19 was a 'known' event. But below are my thoughts and ramblings on the situation now as my insurance is not as it should be.

My current situation of consideration :
My husband and I are sitting on the fence with the whole thing now. I am a youngish - turn 40 on my trip- woman who is extremely fit, however I had a very close call from sepsis from a 'simple' pneumonia three years ago, so I am aware that although I don't fit the typical profile of someone who would be at risk from contracting the virus, I am not invinceable.

I figured I would be covered by my insurer if the Aust. Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade upgraded the travel warning to include France and Spain (my husband was meeting me at the end of the walk so we could watch the Aragon Moto GP round...which is now postponed due to the outbreak) as it has for China, Iran, Sth Korea etc- however that is not the case as it turns out as although I took out the top level of cover through my insurer, they don't cover cancelations or disruptions to plans due to pandemics. At all.

Interestingly enough,should I choose to travel seeing as I can't make a claim and then *should* I get COVID-19 while away, they will also not insure me for any medical costs I incur as I traveled despite knowing of the risk. Crazy hey? You are damned if you don;t buy travel insurance, but damned well throwing your money away if you do.

I am a healthcare worker and I can see how easily this thing is transmitted, I think nowhere in the world is going to be a safe haven from the virus by the time my travel dates come along anyway, however my concerns are around no medical insurance coverage while out of my country should I contract the illness and become unwell. I am vaguely floating alternative big plans domestically to soften the disappointment I will feel if my Camino doesn't eventuate.
Hi Julesy, so much for travel insurance and the fine print!
I really do understand your concerns. Next month, I will be officially classified as being “elderly” (65), not that I feel it! I am both fit and very healthy and have never had any serious illnesses (touch wood!) I am hopeful that if I do get it, it will be mild. (I’ve read that a lot of people won’t even know they have had it, thinking instead it was just the flu.)
Had we been staying in albergues, I would definitely cancel our trip. However since I have booked private rooms, at this stage I feel a little bit more confident. We fly from Brisbane via Singapore to Paris to Biarritz - I’m abit concerned about being confined in a small space for considerable periods of time with possible carriers. I will be getting both the flu and pneumonia vaccinations before we leave - whether that helps, I don’t know.
Like you, I would be very concerned about being hospitalised overseas
or quarantined without travel insurance. At this stage we are planning on going but we may reconsider closer to departure, depending on how the situation develops. As we can see, it changes daily!
By the way, have you got your supply of toilet paper?!?! 😁😁
Buen Camino,
Carol
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2020 Le Puy
For me, walking in Summer in France is not a reassuring fact and not part of my current decision making.
Here in the Southern Hemisphere we have only just moved out of Summer but are still experiencing days significantly warmer and sunnier than I would expect on my Camino, yet COVD-19 is gathering momentum nonetheless.
I am still sitting 50/50. The Moto GP being delayed in Aragon has meant we have done our $ on those tickets and lost the focus of the back half of the trip. Some of my accomodation in France and then after the Camino in Spain has been booked via Air BnB and Booking.com, so I will be able to recoup that outlay should I need to. Airfares, well, that is another thing and has a fellow Kiwi/Aussie pointed out, they are not an insignificant cost for us who live in whoop whoop.
I have booked private rooms in all but one or two instances, which I am pleased about although it seemed a luxury at the time of arranging it all.

By the way, have you got your supply of toilet paper?!?! 😁😁
Buen Camino,
Carol
You just made me choke on my coffee with laughter! I live in rural NSW and even our local IGA has bare shelves. Why are we all so worried about our rears?! We are a weird bunch aren't we?

I work in health, so we will be immunised to the craziest level by my employer to avoid endangering our vulnerable patients (neonates and pregnant women) as well as mitigating any staffing issues from preventable sick leave. So at least I will be covered for every other conceivable malady other than COVID-19 ;-)
 

Trishagale

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
I have read all the comments with interest and found many people with similar concerns. I did the hospitaleros training in Melbourne a few weeks ago and had been intending to volunteer in April/May this year. Because of my husband’s age and health issues he is considered to be in the high risk category if he came in contact with Covid-19. We must do everything we can to minimize the risk of contact. I was so excited at the prospect of volunteering but I think the long trip in confined spaces from the west coast of Australia to Spain is too great a risk let alone potential risks on the Camino. So I have decided to postpone until we see how things develop.
Buen Camino to everyone currently on the Camino and those who decide to continue with plans to walk. I wish you all safe journeys.
 

CarolandPhil

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August 2019
Camino Frances August 2020
For me, walking in Summer in France is not a reassuring fact and not part of my current decision making.
Here in the Southern Hemisphere we have only just moved out of Summer but are still experiencing days significantly warmer and sunnier than I would expect on my Camino, yet COVD-19 is gathering momentum nonetheless.
I am still sitting 50/50. The Moto GP being delayed in Aragon has meant we have done our $ on those tickets and lost the focus of the back half of the trip. Some of my accomodation in France and then after the Camino in Spain has been booked via Air BnB and Booking.com, so I will be able to recoup that outlay should I need to. Airfares, well, that is another thing and has a fellow Kiwi/Aussie pointed out, they are not an insignificant cost for us who live in whoop whoop.
I have booked private rooms in all but one or two instances, which I am pleased about although it seemed a luxury at the time of arranging it all.


You just made me choke on my coffee with laughter! I live in rural NSW and even our local IGA has bare shelves. Why are we all so worried about our rears?! We are a weird bunch aren't we?

I work in health, so we will be immunised to the craziest level by my employer to avoid endangering our vulnerable patients (neonates and pregnant women) as well as mitigating any staffing issues from preventable sick leave. So at least I will be covered for every other conceivable malady other than COVID-19 ;-)
Just a quick reply, Julesy, as I have to go out. I’ve just rang Virgin, with whom we are flying, and to change the bookings, would cost $70 per person and to cancel, $130 per person but we would get the remainder in a credit......So we won’t forfeit the approx $4000 we paid. Happy about that😁😁
 

WhiteLotus

New Member
per @Trishagale request...https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/current-camino-conditions-and-the-coronavirus.66881/#post-832846

Thread now open!

Let's stick to "Why" or "Why not" for you personally and leave at that in posts. I sense that the Mods have more than enough to do at the moment so be kind to everybody and withhold judgment.

B
Yes my daughter and I still plan on leaving for our Camino in May! Why? First because we have spent a small fortune on bookings and supplies needed for this Camino including me surprising her with flying business class as a Huge treat so I’m not about to lose all this money even though our travelers insurance was for “cancel any reason“ and purchased last year before knowledge of this virus which they say won’t affect a refund.

Second because I am a retired nurse and see that no matter how many times the CDC and WHO puts out a statement daily that it is safe to travel, no restrictions are in place at all and that we do not need to be wearing masks unless we are sick and that to protect yourself hand washing for 20 seconds is needed, no touching of your eyes, nose or mouth and that masks do not prevent you from this virus as it’s cells are so small but only those who are sick should wear one to prevent droplets from spreading to others. Yesterday United Airlines made a statement they were reducing their flights but made it clear it was not because of virus spread but because people had been cancelling flights in large numbers reducing the need for so many scheduled flights. So panic is spreading needlessly out of fear and by those who learn updates from hearsay and not legitimate sources. Until the US or Spain close their doors and prevent travel we will still be planning on leaving in May as we have survived several different virus outbreaks before where panic was created needlessly. Check the CDC and WHO for legitimate updates on restricted travel.
 

Faith Walker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Frances
2020 will cancel
Greetings All,

I recommend folks Google "Sunk Cost Fallacy" and "Plan Continuation Bias" to help them analyze their own decision making.

I am booked from Los Angeles to Lisbon (via Madrid) April 28th. At this point it is a no go. I see two main considerations, personal safety and community safety.

While I am fit and capable, due to age and obesity I have two strikes that make me high risk. If it was just a normal hotel type holiday in Portugal I might still go. But the camino is a series of hostels. Thousands of people from the four corners of the world come together via public transportation; dorm sleeping;; repeat for the next thirty plus day; get back on public transportation; and return to the four corners of the world. Each night the dorm is a completely new mixture of people. This seems like a recipe for wide transmission (yes, I got both bedbugs and lice in 2016). Even for mild cases, one symptom is profound fatigue. Also, this isn't a short duration disease. On average, hospitalization due to severity occurs nine days after symptom onset. Where would I self isolate while I recover? I am already adopting social distancing here in Southern California. Why would it be OK to behave differently in Portugal?

Community safety: I am very aware that village economies are dependent on pilgrim money. To lose a year, or maybe two, will be an extreme hardship. However, most of the remaining population in these villages are people above 60 years old. These are the folks most at risk for bad outcomes. Is it responsible for me to possibly bring a virus to a small town? Many folks are asymptomatic for days and days, shedding virus wherever they go.

The WHO says we are all personally responsible for taking actions to reduce the spread of Covid-19. My action will be to safeguard my own health and take strive to lessen its spread. This means postponing to fall, 2020, or possibly spring 2022 (as I want to avoid next year's crowds).

Via con Dios and wash your damn hands.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2020 Le Puy
@CarolandPhil what great news!!!!! That is wonderful that Virgin are so flexible.
My ticket from Sydney to Paris is with Etihad and I haven't contacted them yet, as I am still in the 'wait and see' mode. I had planned on catching a train from CDG Paris to Lyon then onto LePuy, so that portion of travel is as yet unpaid for.
Definitely canceling our accomodation for Zaragoza in Spain today though, as the whole point was to stay there for the qualifying rounds and race day for the MotoGP- which has been rescheduled outside of the dates we can attend due to COVID-19 cancellations of earlier rounds in both Qatar and Thailand. If we end up traveling we will now have some more days to trip around and be spontaneous I guess.

It will all come down to insurance for me as I see it right now, seeing as my jerk insurer won't cover wither cancellation due to OR medical treatment required for COVID-19. if the virus is still rampant and I haven't already caught it at home and recovered before departure, then all bets are off for international travel.

On the flipside, some great domestic airfares right now due to fear mongering media, could get to Tasmania and back for $170- plenty of nice bushwalking to be done there ;-)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
I still intend to go to Spain and Scotland from middle of June for a month. Flights booked and paid for. Accommodation booked but most could be cancelled the week before if the worst happens.
I'm more worried for my son and grandsons who still intend to travel to Japan during the Easter school holidays
 

thejoker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
many
Definitely I will be going because I have already ready booked my 63 nights Camino accommodation (between Orisson and Lavacolla), plus 3 nights in St Jean, 2 in Bayonne, 1 in Paris CDG and then a spa tour for 16 nights in Germany and Austria after the Camino. A total of a 90 day jaunt.
I did have a little issue in that Lufthansa cancelled the flights to Frankfurt from Santiago on Tuesdays, but I decided 5 nights in SdC of Parador breakfasts rather than the originally planned 6 would be sufficient as I'm slightly on the portly side as things stand. I accepted Lufthansa's offer to transfer my flight to the Monday. The coronavirus will definitely not stop my Camino and after spending so much time booking all this I'll go through without unless forced off by the army on the streets in contamination suits. More importantly, I am already dreaming of my huge plate of cocido.
 

RuthMB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC (April 2020)
Thankful for this thread! My cousin and I are due to fly out of Australia on 27th March to start CF on 1st April. She has cancelled due to her coronvirus fears, but I am still planning on hopping on that plane. Just not sure where to. I don't feel right doing the camino without her as we've been planning/training/anticipating it together for so long. Also, although I don't particularly fear the virus, I do fear the disruption and potential added cost if things go south. Therefore I'm seriously considering doing pilgrimage in Scotland. I have dual Brit/Aust citizenship so feel a bit more secure if things worsen. I also have friends/family nearby. Still, the Camino is calling.... Hmmmm....
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thankful for this thread! My cousin and I are due to fly out of Australia on 27th March to start CF on 1st April. She has cancelled due to her coronvirus fears, but I am still planning on hopping on that plane. Just not sure where to. I don't feel right doing the camino without her as we've been planning/training/anticipating it together for so long. Also, although I don't particularly fear the virus, I do fear the disruption and potential added cost if things go south. Therefore I'm seriously considering doing pilgrimage in Scotland. I have dual Brit/Aust citizenship so feel a bit more secure if things worsen. I also have friends/family nearby. Still, the Camino is calling.... Hmmmm....
Hi, Ruth,
Welcome to the forum!

If the camino is calling, now might be the time to consider some of the lesser traveled caminos. Two forum members, both named Annie, are currently walking — AnnieSantiago is walking the Vdlp from Zafra, and OzAnnie is walking the Levante from Toledo. The Camino de Madrid from Madrid to Sahagún might also be a good one for because the infrastructure and markings are both great, so you wouldn’t need to worry much about planning the practicalities. But you do have a couple of weeks, so why not scroll through all the subforums here and take a look at Gronze’s map

That map shows many, but not all of the caminos that are waiting for you, but it does have the main ones and might inspire you. Buen camino.
 

JessArmstrong

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances End of March/April 2020 from SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela
Hi all,

I intend to commence my Camino around the 26th March from Australia. As for me I am closely following my governments Smart Travellers advice/airline to decide if I will continue with my trip (with commonsense of course). I actually booked my flights and travel insurance before this virus started but ultimately will follow my government’s advice to cancel if it comes to that. I have a medical background (but not one in public health) so I will speak no further/give advice about Coronavirus. I guess what I haven’t been able to find is useful information about potential albergue closures and what’s happening in REAL time on the Camino Frances right now. Are all towns accessible? Any official statements? I feel this is important that I can access the basic shelter/food etc
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi all,

I intend to commence my Camino around the 26th March from Australia. As for me I am closely following my governments Smart Travellers advice/airline to decide if I will continue with my trip (with commonsense of course). I actually booked my flights and travel insurance before this virus started but ultimately will follow my government’s advice to cancel if it comes to that. I have a medical background (but not one in public health) so I will speak no further/give advice about Coronavirus. I guess what I haven’t been able to find is useful information about potential albergue closures and what’s happening in REAL time on the Camino Frances right now. Are all towns accessible? Any official statements? I feel this is important that I can access the basic shelter/food etc
Hi, Jess, We have a thread for that! Take a look here for live posts from the camino from forum members.
 

zrexer

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
2020 Camino Del Norte
My wife and I have airfare booked for late September into Madrid. We will start the Del Norte route on Oct. 1. We will be going for sure unless the choice is taken out of our hands.
 

danielle aird

La vie est belle
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018; September 2018; May 2019; Sept (2019)
I am curious to know how the Corona Virus is affecting the plans of others. I find myself reticent to book my flight. The proximity to each other in albergues makes me think twice about being on the Camino this year. I wonder what others think.
 

TAF

Member
Camino(s) past & future
July/Aug 2019 Logrono to Sahagun
May 2020 SJPP to Logrono
I am still continuing with my Camino plans in May. Probably as much chance of catching it at home as on the Camino and I refuse to give in to panic. When the government actually tells people not to travel abroad I will reconsider. I am in Tenerife at the moment where there are confirmed cases but no one seems overly worried and people are being sensible using hand hygiene precautions. What is the toilet roll panic all about? Madness!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Francés September? 2020)
Hello everyone,

Thank you for opening this thread.

My husband and I are scheduled to leave for our first Camino on Thursday, the 12th of March from JFK, NYC and arriving early on the 13th in Madrid. We have train reservations for Leon later that afternoon. The plan was/is to start our Camino Frances on Sunday, the 15th.

The timing of this virus outbreak is almost catastrophic for us. Almost. We are trying to be reasonable and haven't ruled out our trip, yet. But over the last few days it was looking worse. Yesterday the expansion rate of those infected with the virus in Spain looked like it would certainly explode. Today's numbers have slightly pulled back from our own projected growth rate. This is good news, but not good enough. We have tentatively put on hold making any final decision until Monday, unless the infection rate increases dramatically over the weekend, then we may decide then not to go.

We are on the cusp of 60, but feel our overall general health is good enough (no significant diseases, or long term health challenges) that catching the virus doesn't really concern us. Our concern lies in another direction: Being unwittingly exposed and carrying it back to those who are elderly or immune-compromised among our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and general community. That and being caught up in a quarantine, or stuck abroad if our government shuts off air traffic with Spain. If we choose properly, and protect ourselves, the former seems unlikely, the latter is possible if there is a significant uptick in cases while we are there.

So that is our quandary. On one hand, it might be a wonderful peaceful way to contemplate and delve into our souls without this madness pressing on us everyday, all around. On the other, we could get caught up in something difficult to manage. I am paying close attention to "Live from the Camino" and the current conditions and am praying that the virus is contained so that we, and in turn the rest of you, can continue with our plans in a positive fashion.

--Elisa

Peace,
SSTW
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I'm currently in Leon walking the Frances and so far the usual albergues for this time of year are open. Lots of Italians, South Koreans and Germans about, also a few Chinese, however, none of us are sick at this time. And in usual Camino fashion, everyone is accepting everyone.
We are taking more hygiene precautions than we usually would, with more thorough hand washing and using hand sanitizer.
One thing that we have found is its very hard to find hand sanitizer. So, if you want to use sanitizer, bring it from home.
 
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StFina

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, June 2012
CF, July 2012
CF, September 2016
Camino Primitivo, May 2017, followed by Camino Frances, late May, 2017
We will be leaving SJPP this May 30th, and have reservations for Orisson for the first night on the CF, but nothing further. In this health environment, are we better served staying in albergues or choosking small hotels instead to stay away from large crowds in contained albergue spaces? This will be my 6th time on the CF, but I have never encountered such a health scare as the current one.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
My husband and I plan to walk LePuy to SJPP, either late summer or early fall. No tickets booked yet, because we just made this decision recently and were waiting for a good airfare sale. And August/September is a long way off.

Unless there are government warnings telling us not to, we will be going.

Although we are 68 and 70, we are both in great health and good physical condition, (meaning 15 miles/day on consecutive days isn't a problem). We were in western Africa last fall and have been inoculated against everything possible-- except of course Corona virus, for which there's no current vaccine. But health officials are working on that. We feel there were more chances of us contracting something there, because of the remote areas we were in, than now.

I feel the chances of getting sick here in the U.S. and inadvertently passing something along are no different than they'd be in France. And if pilgrims are taking extra care with hand-washing and sanitizing, and cutting back on hugs and close contact (as being reported on the "on the ground" thread), in my opinion, that can only be a good thing, Coronavirus or no. Hopefully, it will help cut down on the other viruses, colds, bacteria-related illnesses that seem to crop up regularly during peak walking season.

Wishing everyone the best in whatever decisions you make.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
We will be leaving SJPP this May 30th, and have reservations for Orisson for the first night on the CF, but nothing further. In this health environment, are we better served staying in albergues or choosking small hotels instead to stay away from large crowds in contained albergue spaces? This will be my 6th time on the CF, but I have never encountered such a health scare as the current one.
I have long preferred a basic private room as opposed to shared accommodation.

That has more to do with my habit of drinking beer in my pants and not wanting to frighten the sensitive than any concern over viral transmission.

It would be better to explore the risks on a medical forum, but at the risk of being edited:

If you were certain that you never came into contact with the virus, you could be equally certain that you would not be affected.

Statistically, the more people you come into contact with, the greater the risk.

The point at which the risk becomes meaningful is a matter of conjecture, as it requires data which we do not have.

Any pretence at greater certainty would breach at least one, possibly more, of the current forum rules.

Sorry - but it’s your decision.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
We will be leaving SJPP this May 30th, and have reservations for Orisson for the first night on the CF, but nothing further. In this health environment, are we better served staying in albergues or choosking small hotels instead to stay away from large crowds in contained albergue spaces? This will be my 6th time on the CF, but I have never encountered such a health scare as the current one.
The key word here is 'scare'. Everyone has a different threshold.
Keep up to date from official sources & trust your own instincts. If your gut is telling you to avoid communal accommodation, then do that. If you feel at ease, then do as you would normally.
You'll probably find once you actually get out there & see for the most part its business-as-usual (as others have reported) then your decisions will flow in accordance with the vibe of where you are.
Buen Camino...for the 6th time! 😊
👣 🌏
 

RuthMB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC (April 2020)
Hi, Ruth,
Welcome to the forum!

If the camino is calling, now might be the time to consider some of the lesser traveled caminos. Two forum members, both named Annie, are currently walking — AnnieSantiago is walking the Vdlp from Zafra, and OzAnnie is walking the Levante from Toledo. The Camino de Madrid from Madrid to Sahagún might also be a good one for because the infrastructure and markings are both great, so you wouldn’t need to worry much about planning the practicalities. But you do have a couple of weeks, so why not scroll through all the subforums here and take a look at Gronze’s map

That map shows many, but not all of the caminos that are waiting for you, but it does have the main ones and might inspire you. Buen camino.
Thank you so much for the suggestions! Those other camino's hadn't occured to me. I have seen some of the comments by the other 'Annies' and were wondering what they had decided. I'm feeling a little less stressed about it, and three weeks is still a long time away in this world of ours! Thanks again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May / Jun 2015
Camino Frances Oct / Nov 2016
Camino Frances May-Jun 2018
CF 2020?
Yes still doing my first Camino, first week of May. Why? There’s so much in life that people are afraid of, I could cancel and then be regretful forever or trust in the higher power that all will be well. Which is what I’m doing.
Leaving St. Jean 5 May. Tomorrow is promised to no one. The Camino is calling so I will go.
 

Pippi-peregrina

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2020)
I am going! If it’s within my power, I am going. I have been saving for a year for this trip: my first pilgrimage on the Camino Frances. I leave in about six weeks.

A lot can change in six weeks, if the airlines still fly and the government allows it, I will go. I am 66 years old and in very good health; I do not feel the coronavirus is a risk for me, I am only concerned about the infrastructure as I will be staying in the cheapest public albergues. If things get worse between now and then, then for back up measures I will bring a very small tent :)
 

Tarina N

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino portuguese 2020
It is still a go for me and my parents end of April on the Camino Portuguese! Main reasons are that this camino was planned so long ago, we did so many preparations, did our time on the road, will lose a lot of money and with my parents more advanced years, not knowing if there will be a next time(mind you none of us know if there will be a next time). We will exercise caution as not to put other pilgrims and people at risk, but barring flights being cancelled, we will hopefully see al lot of pilgrims End of April in Porto.
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several alone and with children
I'm not scheduled for Europe this year, taking 13 hikers next year though (friends not a business), but I think I would go. With that said my company (hospital) just sent out an email saying if any of us proceeded to Italy this year that we would have to be mandatory quarantined at home for 14 days upon coming home before coming back to work (can take vacation pay or without pay)...
I don't know how I feel about that, no real opinion, but it adds another layer to any decisions there is no doubt.
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several alone and with children
My wife and I have airfare booked for late September into Madrid. We will start the Del Norte route on Oct. 1. We will be going for sure unless the choice is taken out of our hands.
I'm jealous, it's a wonderful time to hike the Norte!!!!
 

David Pettee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
GPM '86; Soviet/Amer. Walk '88; Death Valley to Mt. Whitney '89; CF '18; Coast to Coast '19; CP '20?
We are due to arrive in Porto on April 8th from the USA. I am over 60 and currently dealing with a cancer diagnosis and most likely a suppressed immune system. I suspect we will not go, mostly because of the risks associated with my health, but also because we worry that the health care system in Spain may not be ready for non-resident pilgrims who might need health care if COVID-19 accelerates.
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
I have decided to not walk this Spring, as usual, and instead walk in the Fall.

I believe to many confined spaces with groups of people exist on a Camino trip (Airports, airplanes, train stations, trains, bus stations, buses, albergues, restaurants). I do not have fear of death or sickness from such a trip. That said, I see a Camino as an enabler of, further spreading, an uncontained virus that currently has no antidote other than confinement.

Ultreya,
Joe
I have a fear of catching it and a fear of further spreading it to anyone at all in equal parts.
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
My April camino is canceled. The Airline made up my mind for me. My September camino is still up in the air. I fear catching it. I fear spreading it to others as I walk.
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Have put plans in place to volunteer in Santiago this October, praying that all cancer issues will be resolved by mid-summer, giving my immune system enough time to recover, as current chemo treatment should end mid-May. If strong enough may do a little walking before my stint with Camino Companions. If EasyJet isn't flying I'm hoping the ferry to Santander will be taking passengers. Walking or not walking, I love the Camino too much to stay away entirely.
 
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4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
Greetings All,

I recommend folks Google "Sunk Cost Fallacy" and "Plan Continuation Bias" to help them analyze their own decision making.

I am booked from Los Angeles to Lisbon (via Madrid) April 28th. At this point it is a no go. I see two main considerations, personal safety and community safety.

While I am fit and capable, due to age and obesity I have two strikes that make me high risk. If it was just a normal hotel type holiday in Portugal I might still go. But the camino is a series of hostels. Thousands of people from the four corners of the world come together via public transportation; dorm sleeping;; repeat for the next thirty plus day; get back on public transportation; and return to the four corners of the world. Each night the dorm is a completely new mixture of people. This seems like a recipe for wide transmission (yes, I got both bedbugs and lice in 2016). Even for mild cases, one symptom is profound fatigue. Also, this isn't a short duration disease. On average, hospitalization due to severity occurs nine days after symptom onset. Where would I self isolate while I recover? I am already adopting social distancing here in Southern California. Why would it be OK to behave differently in Portugal?

Community safety: I am very aware that village economies are dependent on pilgrim money. To lose a year, or maybe two, will be an extreme hardship. However, most of the remaining population in these villages are people above 60 years old. These are the folks most at risk for bad outcomes. Is it responsible for me to possibly bring a virus to a small town? Many folks are asymptomatic for days and days, shedding virus wherever they go.

The WHO says we are all personally responsible for taking actions to reduce the spread of Covid-19. My action will be to safeguard my own health and take strive to lessen its spread. This means postponing to fall, 2020, or possibly spring 2022 (as I want to avoid next year's crowds).

Via con Dios and wash your damn hands.
I share your thoughts 100%.
 

karidadpoethig

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles & part of Norte (2012), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Portuguese Interior (2017)
Hi Carol, a fellow Aussie here. I am/was/still am? planning on walking Le Puy at a similar time to you. I did purchase travel insurance when I booked my airfare in December, so I had it arranged before COVD-19 was a 'known' event. But below are my thoughts and ramblings on the situation now as my insurance is not as it should be.

My current situation of consideration :
My husband and I are sitting on the fence with the whole thing now. I am a youngish - turn 40 on my trip- woman who is extremely fit, however I had a very close call from sepsis from a 'simple' pneumonia three years ago, so I am aware that although I don't fit the typical profile of someone who would be at risk from contracting the virus, I am not invinceable.

I figured I would be covered by my insurer if the Aust. Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade upgraded the travel warning to include France and Spain (my husband was meeting me at the end of the walk so we could watch the Aragon Moto GP round...which is now postponed due to the outbreak) as it has for China, Iran, Sth Korea etc- however that is not the case as it turns out as although I took out the top level of cover through my insurer, they don't cover cancelations or disruptions to plans due to pandemics. At all.

Interestingly enough,should I choose to travel seeing as I can't make a claim and then *should* I get COVID-19 while away, they will also not insure me for any medical costs I incur as I traveled despite knowing of the risk. Crazy hey? You are damned if you don;t buy travel insurance, but damned well throwing your money away if you do.

I am a healthcare worker and I can see how easily this thing is transmitted, I think nowhere in the world is going to be a safe haven from the virus by the time my travel dates come along anyway, however my concerns are around no medical insurance coverage while out of my country should I contract the illness and become unwell. I am vaguely floating alternative big plans domestically to soften the disappointment I will feel if my Camino doesn't eventuate.
--
Thanks for this. I and friend from California were walking on Via Podiensis late May and am reconsidering. This is not going away. Was wondering if early Fall might be better...will have to absorb costs one way or another.
 

EternalCamino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2005-2011, SJPPP 2012, Sarria 2014, SJPPP 2015, Lisbon2017, Irun 2018, Oviedo 2019
I just bought my ticket into Biarritz for 20 June. I hope to do the Via Bayonna from Bayonne to Burgos, Frances to Leon, Via Salvador up to Oviedo, then Primitivo into Santigago - sliding over onto the Norte at Lugo.

I've been going back and forth for two weeks or so about whether to buy my ticket. What convinced me were the 'Live' forums from Frances, VDLIP and other people posting on the forum saying its life as usual. I've been on the camino nearly every year since 2005 and I cannot face not going.
 

AKBee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2020
I am still planning on walking this Fall and will be training as if I am going. I have not booked airfare at this time, will just keep myself informed.
 

RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
For me, walking in Summer in France is not a reassuring fact and not part of my current decision making.
Here in the Southern Hemisphere we have only just moved out of Summer but are still experiencing days significantly warmer and sunnier than I would expect on my Camino, yet COVD-19 is gathering momentum nonetheless.
I am still sitting 50/50. The Moto GP being delayed in Aragon has meant we have done our $ on those tickets and lost the focus of the back half of the trip. Some of my accomodation in France and then after the Camino in Spain has been booked via Air BnB and Booking.com, so I will be able to recoup that outlay should I need to. Airfares, well, that is another thing and has a fellow Kiwi/Aussie pointed out, they are not an insignificant cost for us who live in whoop whoop.
I have booked private rooms in all but one or two instances, which I am pleased about although it seemed a luxury at the time of arranging it all.


You just made me choke on my coffee with laughter! I live in rural NSW and even our local IGA has bare shelves. Why are we all so worried about our rears?! We are a weird bunch aren't we?

I work in health, so we will be immunised to the craziest level by my employer to avoid endangering our vulnerable patients (neonates and pregnant women) as well as mitigating any staffing issues from preventable sick leave. So at least I will be covered for every other conceivable malady other than COVID-19 ;-)
Julesy,
I am cracking up at this. I live in the US and we have a warehouse store, Costco. I needed just my regular store of toilet paper and went to get some. I was surprised to find that they were sold out by 10:00am for two days in a row. I was thinking what the heck is the deal with the toilet paper. Does COVID19 give you the "trots". He said people were stocking up on toilet paper, paper towels, water and rice all of which they were out of. Afterwards I head over to the local supermarket and guess what? They were out of paper products as well. What the heck!!!
 

Mycroft

Active Member
As of today (March 4) I'm still planning to go ahead with my Camino in early May - unless the decision gets made for me not to, by way of cancelled flights from the U.S. to Europe or widespread closures in accommodations along the CF closer to my departure date - simply because the "whys" outweigh the "why nots".

I'm fortunate enough to be in good health with no history of chronic respiratory illness or immunosupression, which certainly factors in my decision. And as with everything I can't predict or control in life, I'm choosing to move forward with cautious optimism (tempered by good sense and consideration for others) rather than undue worry or catastrophizing.
Cautious optimism here, too. I'm still going but it wasn't going to be till November anyway. I was thinking that the airlines won't tell me not go--until I heard this morning on NPR that the US government is giving them even more tax breaks so they can get through this crisis. (We wouldn't want them to lose their billions in profits.) So now I am thinking they could cancel some or all flights even if unnecessary because most likely the US government will flood them with money anyway. American Airlines put out a notice the other day that if you buy tickets between now and 31 March for travel till the beginning of next year, they will allow you to change the dates once without penalty. I don't know if other airlines are doing that. Has anyone heard?
As for travel insurance, I read something the other day from my insurer that if one bought travel insurance after 21 January, anything to do with COVID-19 won't be covered because by then it was clear (to whom they didn't say) that it was going to be epidemic if not pandemic. Isn't that amusing.
 
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Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I am not on the Camino myself yet - due to head off again next week - but it is probably worth noting that parts of Haro are currently under lockdown after a large cluster of confirmed cases in the town. Haro is on the Camino Vasco and lies about 20km north of Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Police are limiting access to the town's health centre.
 

Linda P

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances (2020)
I want to go at the end of August and September. At the moment I think (or hope) that the chances that I can go are still good (or will be good again after getting worse in the meantime). As long as the official government or WHO recommendation are okay for travelling to Spain the risk should be okay for me.
I’m planning that same time period and am cautiously optimistic that we’ll be good to go!!
 

ruthieg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
walking in 2020 - first time
My husband and I are still planning on going in August, hoping that the virus has run its course or at least died down by then. We will definitely get the normal flu injections before leaving Australia, follow the recommendations/advice from WHO re proper hygiene practices etc.
The only way we won’t be going is if our Govt issues a Do Not Travel warning. I had already booked private rooms along the entire route (though not paid for) and booked and paid for all our flights. Unfortunately I hadn’t taken travel insurance prior to this all developing.
Buen Camino!
Carol
I’m with you Carol and Phil. My friend and I WILL be doing the Camino from Porto in September, we have paid for airfares, booked all our hotels, also going from Australia. So much time researching, reading and anticipating, not to mention as another member has mentioned, annual leave has been approved. I just hope common sense prevails, and it has all subsided by mid year. Buen Camino to you and I hope you get there. Ruth
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 18,2015 - June 23,2015 El Camino Frances
May 25, 2017 - June 30th, 2017 Le Puy to Moissac
Let's stick to "Why" or "Why not" for you personally and leave at that in posts. I sense that the Mods have more than enough to do at the moment so be kind to everybody and withhold judgment.

Why? Because I've already booked and I've been waiting for a year to do my mini-camino (Burgos to Leon) It was the section that I had to take the bus during my camino a few years back due to blisters. I cannot wait to discover the meseta as millions have done before me. See you there in May!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I just hope common sense prevails,
Common sense won't make COVID-19 go away. Its a novel virus with a high infective vector. Common sense might, eventually, reduce the sensational headlines and daft speculation and encourage us all to take sensible precautions and make sensible decisions.
Buen camino.
 

Old Kiwi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Frances 2019
SdC to Muxia and Fisterra 2019
Camino Portuguese "2021"
I am all booked and paid for air fares and accommodation for the CP in mid June. At this stage it is all go. If for some good reason it becomes clear a few days before departure that it would be seriously stupid to go, then I would cancel, but it would have to be a very very good reason.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May / Jun 2015
Camino Frances Oct / Nov 2016
Camino Frances May-Jun 2018
CF 2020?
This may be politically incorrect, and removed by the moderators, but to put into this into some type of perspective, according to a report from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in 2017, there were 61,099 fatalities in the US from influenza, what we call the flu. And millions with symptoms. This year the estimates of fatalities are lower but in the tens of thousands. I do not plan my Caminos based on reports of outbreaks of the flu
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
This may be politically incorrect, and removed by the moderators
The moderation of the thread is intended simply to keep the thread on topic and to avoid speculation, fear-mongering, medical advice and debates. Comparisons of COVID-19 with other influenzas is one of those borderline topics, but the deletions have nothing to do with political correctness.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Two months to my flight into Spain, I,ll wait and see, I´m in the risk group of age (72) and illness (diabetic), never catched a serious flue since I was a child. At home when I think something serious is on I walk a mountaintop / hill in my neighbourhood and consider if I have not died on the way up, I am ok.
I,ll just wait and see. Caranteened is the worst I guess, tried that in some way in a hospital in Greece with my husband for some weeks last spring. Decided never to go back there.
But the camino is calling!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(Camino Francés September? 2020)
As of today, we still haven't decided if we are leaving on our trip (THIS THURSDAY!!!), but where yesterday's numbers had slightly pulled back from our own projected growth rate, today the numbers in Spain are higher, even from our projected growth rate. That and the fact that many academic institutions are banning ALL work travel abroad and my husband's work is banning travel to some countries, the decision may be made for us.

This may be politically incorrect, and removed by the moderators, but to put into this into some type of perspective, according to a report from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in 2017, there were 61,099 fatalities in the US from influenza, what we call the flu. And millions with symptoms. This year the estimates of fatalities are lower but in the tens of thousands. I do not plan my Caminos based on reports of outbreaks of the flu
We are planning our Camino, or canceling our Camino, on the characteristics of this virus, which has an apparent higher fatality rate and infection rate than the more common flu.

We will be closely following the number of infections on the https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 and will be praying about what to do.

--Elisa

Peace,
SSTW
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
There are going to be some 2020 pilgrimages that are going to be like those of the early 1990s and earlier simply by the fact that they will require an "old-fashioned" manner of doubt and DIY, without safety nets nor guarantees.
Yesterday I booked my travel from the UK to Spain to walk one of the rarely-travelled Caminos in a few days time. As usual for my walks on the less-popular routes I will be carrying a bivvy bag and sleeping mat. Mainly to give me the option of breaking up long stages by sleeping outdoors when the weather allows. But also as a form of insurance against the closure of albergues along the way. Who knows what the situation will be in a week's time? Or two weeks? So I will try to keep myself well informed and then play it by ear.
 

mvanert

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Bits and pieces - 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020?
Unless things drastically change, there are three of us going from Canada at the end of August. My definition of drastic is a 'No Fly' designation of Spain and France and unable to get my usual medical insurance.
 
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