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4 days before departure - anything special to consider?

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Roland49

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 June/July/August
Helle fellow pilgrims,

I am 4 days prior to my departure to my Camino francès.
Do I have something special to consider?
My pack is packed, quite like all packing-lists recommend.

Any hints? Any tips?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
What we often tell our college students is to take it slow, take your time (there's NO reason to rush!), and listen to your body. If your feet start feeling hot, you may be getting a blister so at that point, take a break, let things cool down, and then go on again. And enjoy it all! :)
Buen Camino, Roland!
Faith
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
Do I have something special to consider?
Does your pack include a copy of your passport, ID, and credit cards - folded inside a waterproof sandwich bag and slipped into the "water bladder" pocket of your pack?

Then just remember to take it slow, especially the first walking hour each day.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Start slowly and allow your body and mind to arrive on the camino.

Concentrate on your being on the camino, not on corresponding with people at home.

Be open to meet different people and to make new friends. Greeting locals and other pilgrims opens doors! If you do not speak the language, do not worry. A smile may help.

Do not expect anything but accept what you find.

Do not rely too much on your guidebook/camino-app. It is easier to walk and just follow the yellow arrows.

For security reasons/backup:
Make scans of your passport, tickets etc. and send them to you via E-Mail. So you can print them out in case of theft or loss.
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Say goodbye to your loved ones. If you are religious, go to your home church and say a prayer.

Pack a snack for the journey between your door and your walk-starting point.

Make sure bills are paid, perishables are out of the fridge, the dishes are washed and someone has a key to check on your place.

🙂
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
It seems to me you have everything you need, except maybe one thing:

an open heart

Hope you'll be carrying it with you at all times, because of it's two big advantages:
1. It's not extra weight
2. It will brighten up the day of everyone you'll meet (and boy, will that reflect on you!!!)
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
All of the above, plus a reminder to let your friends and family know that you might not always be available, and when and how much contact to expect, so they don't worry and report you missing when all that happened was that you spilled wine on your mobile/left the charger somewhere and no one had one to lend you/SIM card stopped working/you left it on flight mode or had too much fun and forgot to call before lights-out. Buen Camino!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Listen to your body. Take breaks, as many as you need.

Use a light-colored umbrella to create your own shade. Stuff the shaft into your sternum strap, so your hands remain free.

You do not need an expensive Euro hiking umbrella. Most any umbrella with a long enough shaft, to clear your head, will work. It is 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler in shade than direct sun.

Also, it takes a week to 10 days to acclimate to rising early, walking all day then preparing to do it again, each day for a month or more. Take it slow at first to avoid blisters or other injuries. Take care of your feet... they will take care of you.

The Camino is neither a race, nor an endurance test. Help others who did not get this message.

Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
An umbrella to shade you while walking. Some electrolyte sachets that you can add to your bottle of water.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Pack as light as you can. This time of year with such warm weather you do not really need to bring much at all. A Camino Frances pilgrim can easily walk with a 5 kg pack, or less even. Maybe re-inspect what you are bringing, and rethink some of it. Low on the needs list would be too much rain gear and too insulated a sleeping system. I have walked the Frances before in July where I experienced no rain or cold weather and slept on top of my sleeping bag every night. A full albergue that time of year can get quite warm and stuffy at night.
Good sun hat with a broad brim. Maybe one you can soak with water and put back on. That helps. Good water system and drink at least two litres of water a day when walking. At least. A good headlamp for those mornings when you decide to start off in the dark. I do not recommend walking in the dark, but quite often you will leave the albergue when still dark in the morning and the lamp helps get you out of some of the towns until the sun rises.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Hi @Roland49.

There is something that can happen in the first few days of your first Camino........
It can be quite worrisome .......

You may find that your face and jaw ache by the end of the day.
It's quite natural and normal. No need for concern.

The cause?

You won't be able to stop smiling...... :)

Buen Camino!
 

Paul McAmino

Blue Ridge
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon, 2018 Leon-Santiago
Helle fellow pilgrims,

I am 4 days prior to my departure to my Camino francès.
Do I have something special to consider?
My pack is packed, quite like all packing-lists recommend.

Any hints? Any tips?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Buen Camino!
Roland
There are a lot of beautiful and practical recommendations above. I would get to Saint Jean and check in to the room I’ve reserved, go see the town and stop in to the Pilgrim Office, then maybe go to a market to get some provisions for the walk in the morning, get some dinner then go to bed for the night.

Of course the above presumes that you’ve reserved a room in a pension or inexpensive hotel, so you can sleep undisturbed,
and leave when you want to. But that’s what I would do.

All the best.
Buen Camino,
Paul
 

Dorpie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
How exciting @Roland49 I'm jealous that you're about to have this whole new world open up for the first time.

All advice above is good. My only addition would be if you're using walking poles make sure you have rubber tips, it will prevent you and those around you going crazy.

Buen Camino,

Rob.
 

Roland49

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 June/July/August
Thanks to all who replied!

I think that I am, in fact, open hearted. I work in public school in germany (no, not a teacher again).
You have to be open hearted and open minded to work in such an desolate environment (germany spends only half of the money recommended by UN for the educational sector). But all in all it is fun to work with students and my young colleagues.

My pack is just a bit over 5kg w/o poles and water.
I have some electrolytes in granules. Much lighter and easy to consume. I have a self-made health-pack with the recommended contents. Yes, I have made sealed copies of all important documents.
I rise every workday on 5:15, there will be no problem at all to get up early to prevent the mid days heat.

My wife and son will be home, so no need to do any laundry or dump the perishables out the freezer.
I bring a very lightweight raincape (330gr.) just for security and a fleece-jacket for the air-transport, I don't want to get a cold on the first days. I am used to hot weather and do not sweat a lot, so I will need to rehydrate often. I hope that on my second week there will be a temperature drop to the mid 20s. If you take the forecasts for real.

The only thing I need to buy in Biarritz oder SJPdP are some foldable Poles, I broke mine on one of my last training-hikes.

Thanks again for all of your tips!

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

MarkyD

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Helle fellow pilgrims,

I am 4 days prior to my departure to my Camino francès.
Do I have something special to consider?
My pack is packed, quite like all packing-lists recommend.

Any hints? Any tips?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Buen Camino!
Roland
It´s getting very hot over here. I´m based in Madrid and the weather forecast shows significant heatwave coming. Many pilgrims will probably try and get up super early to take advantage of cooler morning air, so be prepared to be disturbed in the dorm from 5 am (or even earlier by some people!).
Essential: sun cream, shade (large hat, long sleeves - good UV protective breathable clothing) and stay hydrated (get at least 1 litre of water into you before setting off - add some magnesium & potassium salts into water to help bones and muscles). Yeah, I know that means early pee-stops, but better to get hydrated first than get dehydrated later and try and recover - damage is done by then). Light socks, light footwear - keep those valuable feet COOL, DRY and COMFORTABLE.
Take it EASY at first, it´s so easy to get caught up in the early excited rush of many. Just slow down, keep to YOUR natural pace, don´t force the climbs, go steady and careful on the descents - take time to smell the flowers and take it all in. You can always meet them at the next bar, albergue or town, which is what invariably happens.
It will be fantastic; so much to see, feel and experience. Just start and don´t stop before the magic happens!Ultreia, mi amigo
 

Roland49

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 June/July/August
It´s getting very hot over here. I´m based in Madrid and the weather forecast shows significant heatwave coming.
Worked today at 28°C roomtemperature (moved manually 2,5t of schoolbooks), outside 34°C! The heat is here, too!

Take it EASY at first, it´s so easy to get caught up in the early excited rush of many. Just slow down, keep to YOUR natural pace, don´t force the climbs, go steady and careful on the descents - take time to smell the flowers and take it all in.
If I walk my normal pace, than almost every other pilgrim will think I'm insane...

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

carryoncouple

We love trekking
Camino(s) past & future
Spring (2013)
Helle fellow pilgrims,

I am 4 days prior to my departure to my Camino francès.
Do I have something special to consider?
My pack is packed, quite like all packing-lists recommend.

Any hints? Any tips?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Buen Camino!
Roland
It sounds like you are ready to soak up a great experience. After s short time, you may find yourself feeling like you are home. Best wishes!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Ponferrada - Santiago (2013)
Porto to Santiago (2015)
Lugo to Finisterre (2017)
Porto Coastal (2019)
I think the forum members have covered everything. Even in a moderate heat drink a lot of water, obviously with this new really hot weather, it can save your life. Drink water before you get thirsty ! Buen Camino. Be smart, be safe.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Think about Chi Walking to "slow it down" and have the journey become a walking meditation.

“I had a hard time conserving energy and Chi Walking on that mountainous stretch,” I said.

“Chi Walking. What is Chi Walking?” asked Bianca.

“It is walking using the core energy: not pushing with the extremities but allowing your body to be pulled along,” I explained. “It’s a mindful walking that is all about balance rather than strength. I try to walk in silent meditation and connect my mind and body to make the adjustments that allow me to glide along in perfect alignment. Chi Walkers think that it is not poor muscle strength but poor alignment that makes you tired.”

“So do you try to walk slower to conserve energy?” asked Bianca.

“Yes, you do cut down your stride a bit. It is like the Inuit people, who were said to be lazy by the first European explorers because they walked slowly and methodically through the Arctic so as not to break a sweat. Sweat leads to hypothermia, and so the Inuit learned to glide along. But it is more than that. One useful image to understand Chi Walking is that of a needle surrounded by cotton. The needle is the center of the core energy, and it is perfectly vertical. Your extremities are the light cotton.”

“That makes so much sense,” said Nan. “I am going to try it tomorrow.”

“You might want to try it without your walking poles,” I suggested. Nan was the only one of my four friends who was using walking poles.

“We have done some research about the use of walking poles, and they have been proven to take as much as 30 percent of the weight off your legs. So doesn’t that make the walking easier?” Peter asked.

“You also have to take into account that while poles might help the legs, they tax the arms, back, and shoulders,” I explained. “Overall you are working harder: both the upper and lower body. Plus, the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system will carry a heavier load with poles. Think about it: what sport in the Olympics requires the most calories per hour? It is Nordic skiing. So why would you want to turn a slow, meditative walk into something that begins to look like cross-country skiing?”

“Nan likes the poles, but I don’t use them because I want to have my hands free to pull out my map or take a photo,” said Peter.

“I’m not trying to say there is a right way or a wrong way,” I told them. “I love the saying “One man, one Camino.” Chi walking is something I just sort of stumbled on. I was beating myself up by power walking, extending my stride, and pumping my arms too much when I first began to walk on the Camino last year. So I consciously cut down my stride and began to pace myself. I called it “sleep walking” at first, and then when I started doing research for my book I found that I was incorporating elements of Chi Walking into my approach. I developed this mental image of walking on the moving sidewalks in the airport, where it feels like you are being pulled along by a rope attached around your waist. Because the walkway is moving, you become especially aware of your alignment and balance, and the mind is in communication with the body.”

“Next time I go through the airport I’ll be thinking of my American Camino friend, Terry the Zen master,” joked Jason, lifting his wine glass for a toast.

From "Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment"
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
Thanks to all who replied!

I think that I am, in fact, open hearted. I work in public school in germany (no, not a teacher again).
You have to be open hearted and open minded to work in such an desolate environment (germany spends only half of the money recommended by UN for the educational sector). But all in all it is fun to work with students and my young colleagues.

My pack is just a bit over 5kg w/o poles and water.
I have some electrolytes in granules. Much lighter and easy to consume. I have a self-made health-pack with the recommended contents. Yes, I have made sealed copies of all important documents.
I rise every workday on 5:15, there will be no problem at all to get up early to prevent the mid days heat.

My wife and son will be home, so no need to do any laundry or dump the perishables out the freezer.
I bring a very lightweight raincape (330gr.) just for security and a fleece-jacket for the air-transport, I don't want to get a cold on the first days. I am used to hot weather and do not sweat a lot, so I will need to rehydrate often. I hope that on my second week there will be a temperature drop to the mid 20s. If you take the forecasts for real.

The only thing I need to buy in Biarritz oder SJPdP are some foldable Poles, I broke mine on one of my last training-hikes.

Thanks again for all of your tips!

Buen Camino!
Roland
Buen Camino Roland!
 

taigirl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Helle fellow pilgrims,

I am 4 days prior to my departure to my Camino francès.
Do I have something special to consider?
My pack is packed, quite like all packing-lists recommend.

Any hints? Any tips?

Thanks in advance for your replies.

Buen Camino!
Roland
Start taking your multi vitamins!
 

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