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A penny for your thoughts...

Neddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018
#1
Hi everyone,
We are two women starting our first Camino Frances on 29/3/18 and have some things we can’t decide on.
1. We have booked a train arriving to Pamplona on the 28th and then the next day we are going to take a bus or Taxi to Roncesvalles to begin our Camino. We would prefer the bus (cheaper) but I think there’s only one service at 4pm on 29/3 because of Easter and we thought we would start walking to Espinal that day. We are quite flexible with time but we just want to get started - so excited. Looking at the weather forecast has us wondering if we should just start from Pamplona?
2. We still haven’t decided if we want waterproof pants - we tried some on and you had to remove shoes to get them on?

We would be really greatful for any advise/thoughts you may have.
N&J
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (fall 2018)
#2
Welcome to the forum, Neddy.

Check out other waterproof pants. They should open at the bottoms. Mine have both zippers and Velcro closings at the bottom of the legs, easy to get on and off, even over boots. I got them at REI. I found them really valuable not just for rain but as insulation against wind and cold as well. I will take them again in April, not even a second thought.

As for your travel plans, you will be walking during Holy Week and I understand Spain is huge on the processions, observances, and celebrations. I'll defer to others with more knowledge on how that will affect accommodations, transport, etc., as well as thoughts on weather and start points. Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
#3
With respect to moisture and trousers, you might wish to consider wearing quick-dry (QD) nylon trousers instead of waterproof trousers. I wore QD trousers, made from a lightweight uncoated breathable woven nylon fabric, for the entire length of the CF last year and found them to be fully satisfactory. They got soaked of course whenever it rained, but dried very quickly once the rain stopped and also very quickly every day after I laundered them. Very easy to wash by hand and they reliably hang-dried overnight.

In my experience, one tends to perspire when walking the Camino. Due to the perspiration, it is not clear to me how waterproof trousers would keep one’s legs dry when walking, and they might lead to overheating. However, wearing them might help prevent hypothermia when one is sitting still in cold windy weather.

Just my thoughts.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#4
In my experience, one tends to perspire when walking the Camino. Due to the perspiration, it is not clear to me how waterproof trousers would keep one’s legs dry when walking, and they might lead to overheating. However, wearing them might help prevent hypothermia when one is sitting still in cold windy weather.

Just my thoughts.
We wear Gortex rain pants. We don't over heat and stay bone dry.......
 

Iriebabel

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
? route TBD for April (2019)
#5
Check out Stephen Jone’s video on YouTube which shows current conditions including lots of rain , wind and snow. I bought rain pants $20 at Walmart underneath I have quick dry running pants ...rain pants can be used also if you feel a little cold I think
Excited for a Spanish /French’s Easter as well
 

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Neddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018
#6
Welcome to the forum, Neddy.

Check out other waterproof pants. They should open at the bottoms. Mine have both zippers and Velcro closings at the bottom of the legs, easy to get on and off, even over boots. I got them at REI. I found them really valuable not just for rain but as insulation against wind and cold as well. I will take them again in April, not even a second thought.

As for your travel plans, you will be walking during Holy Week and I understand Spain is huge on the processions, observances, and celebrations. I'll defer to others with more knowledge on how that will affect accommodations, transport, etc., as well as thoughts on weather and start points. Buen Camino!
Thank you for your message, we took your advise. We went out shopping again today and found some that fit over our shoes. So we bought them. We are in Barcelona and this morning there was some snow on the surrounding mountains. So I think it’s got us slightly concerned about the weather further north.
Buen Camino
 

Neddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018
#7
With respect to moisture and trousers, you might wish to consider wearing quick-dry (QD) nylon trousers instead of waterproof trousers. I wore QD trousers, made from a lightweight uncoated breathable woven nylon fabric, for the entire length of the CF last year and found them to be fully satisfactory. They got soaked of course whenever it rained, but dried very quickly once the rain stopped and also very quickly every day after I laundered them. Very easy to wash by hand and they reliably hang-dried overnight.

In my experience, one tends to perspire when walking the Camino. Due to the perspiration, it is not clear to me how waterproof trousers would keep one’s legs dry when walking, and they might lead to overheating. However, wearing them might help prevent hypothermia when one is sitting still in cold windy weather.

Just my thoughts.
Thank you so your detailed response. I have decided to have both options available - quick dry pants and the waterproof pants. I definitely don’t want hypothermia :)
 

Neddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018
#8
Check out Stephen Jone’s video on YouTube which shows current conditions including lots of rain , wind and snow. I bought rain pants $20 at Walmart underneath I have quick dry running pants ...rain pants can be used also if you feel a little cold I think
Excited for a Spanish /French’s Easter as well
Ok thank you, will do.
We found some rain pants today that look like they will work. So exciting :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#10
Hi, welcome to the forum. Just an idea, you could get off the bus in Espinal, if it stops there. Your train arrival station has a bus stop just outside that passes very near the bus station, if that is any help to you. And there is nothing wrong with starting from Pamplona. in fact, it is a lovely walk from there to Puente la Reina. A bit too early for the wonderful lavender bushes in Obanos, but you will have your own alternative delights en camino... Hope all goes well for your beginning, and buen camino. Let us all know how things go.
 

Neddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018
#11
Hi, welcome to the forum. Just an idea, you could get off the bus in Espinal, if it stops there. Your train arrival station has a bus stop just outside that passes very near the bus station, if that is any help to you. And there is nothing wrong with starting from Pamplona. in fact, it is a lovely walk from there to Puente la Reina. A bit too early for the wonderful lavender bushes in Obanos, but you will have your own alternative delights en camino... Hope all goes well for your beginning, and buen camino. Let us all know how things go.
Hi and thank you! We are thinking beginning our Camino in Pamplona might be a good start for us we will probably continue to think about it and discuss it :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#12
Nothing wrong with starting from Pamlona.
If nothing else, rest a few days there before you begin walking. See the city. Visit the Cathedral and the museum. Then decide. A bus to Roncesvalles is inexpensive, but there's really no reason to go there. Just start walking from Pamplona. Nobody counts your steps until you reach Sarria, from where you must walk if you want the Compostela.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#13
I have walked the Camino Frances many times.
I had to start from Pamplona once due to extreme weather before Pamplona. There is just one day difference from starting in Roncesvalles....or two days from St. Jean. Really not a big deal in the overall adventure.
Consider what Annie says above.
 

Neddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018
#14
Nothing wrong with starting from Pamlona.
If nothing else, rest a few days there before you begin walking. See the city. Visit the Cathedral and the museum. Then decide. A bus to Roncesvalles is inexpensive, but there's really no reason to go there. Just start walking from Pamplona. Nobody counts your steps until you reach Sarria, from where you must walk if you want the Compostela.
Thank you Annie, we think that starting in Pamplona seems to feel right. I’m not sure why we thought Roncesvalles but I’m happy to hear what you said. We definitely want to start off slowly.
 

Neddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018
#15
I have walked the Camino Frances many times.
I had to start from Pamplona once due to extreme weather before Pamplona. There is just one day difference from starting in Roncesvalles....or two days from St. Jean. Really not a big deal in the overall adventure.
Consider what Annie says above.
Thank you for your advise it has really settled our minds to hear some experienced people’s opinions. It feels a lot easier if we just leave from Pamplona :)
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#16
I've walked from SJPP over the Pyrenees through Roncesvalles before. It is a beautiful walk. However last year I started in Pamplona and it was great. I would say don't complicate the start with backtracking on the bus. Just start in Pamplona.
 
Last edited:

Neddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018
#18
I've walked from SJPP over the Pyrenees through Roncesvalles before. It is a beautiful walk. However last year I started in Pamplona and it was great. I would say don't complicate the start with backtracking on the bus. Just start in Pamplona.
That’s Great. Hopefully we will do the walk over the Pyrenees some other time when it’s not so cold. Everyone has given us the same advice and so we will start in Pamplona. Thank you
 

The Anacortesians

Take a walk, its good for your soul
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP 24 April 2016 - Santiago de Compostela 27 May 2016
#19
Hi everyone,
We are two women starting our first Camino Frances on 29/3/18 and have some things we can’t decide on.
1. We have booked a train arriving to Pamplona on the 28th and then the next day we are going to take a bus or Taxi to Roncesvalles to begin our Camino. We would prefer the bus (cheaper) but I think there’s only one service at 4pm on 29/3 because of Easter and we thought we would start walking to Espinal that day. We are quite flexible with time but we just want to get started - so excited. Looking at the weather forecast has us wondering if we should just start from Pamplona?
2. We still haven’t decided if we want waterproof pants - we tried some on and you had to remove shoes to get them on?

We would be really greatful for any advise/thoughts you may have.
N&J
From our experience walking from SJPDP in late April the rain pants were very much appreciated and used. Along with the advice you've already been given I'll add some experiences notes from our Camino. We used the rain pants sometimes in the mornings in the first 5-8 days as it was cooler, you could easily see your breath, and going over the Pyrenees we saw both rain and snow - I'd expect in late March you'll see snow possible at lower elevations and the temperatures will be cooler too.

More importantly is our experience with wearing or not wearing the rain pants in the rain. Both of us has good quality light weight, quick dry hiking pants. During one of the days when we had rain one of us chose not to wear the rain pants and the other wore the rain pants. What my Camino partner experienced was that the rain soaked pants let some amount of water run run down their legs and inturn soaked the socks and inside or their boots. The result was the boots took several days to dry out completely and they needed to change socks much more often during this time to keep their feet dry.

So while you may sweat a bit more, keeping your boots and more importantly your feet drier is mucho more important as wet or damp feet lead to more blisters and your feet are whats going to carry you to Santiago.

Buen Camino,
BB
 

Dave Bird

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked from Roncevalles and Somport, this year I am planning the Portugese route
#20
My partner and I started in Roncesvalles Easter weekend 2009. It never occurred to us how busy the Camino would be, a lot of people were out just for the Easter weekend. Being Easter weekend the busses were not running so we had to take a taxi from Pamplona to Roncesvalles. We were able to get a bed at Roncesvalles but in Zubiri the hospitalro put us up in a handball court and supplied us with foamys and blankets. Snowing hard and very cold. Once we got to Pamplona the crowds cleared and we had a great walk.
I'll be a bit behind you, I start in Pamplona on the 9th. Unlikely but if you do see me I'll be the guy carrying the flute.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#21
..rain pants can be used also if you feel a little cold I think
Yes, they work well for that. Wind goes right through lightweight hiking pants and so could cause heat loss in cold weather.
The rain pants provide another handy 'windproof' layer.
 

Neddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018
#22
From our experience walking from SJPDP in late April the rain pants were very much appreciated and used. Along with the advice you've already been given I'll add some experiences notes from our Camino. We used the rain pants sometimes in the mornings in the first 5-8 days as it was cooler, you could easily see your breath, and going over the Pyrenees we saw both rain and snow - I'd expect in late March you'll see snow possible at lower elevations and the temperatures will be cooler too.

More importantly is our experience with wearing or not wearing the rain pants in the rain. Both of us has good quality light weight, quick dry hiking pants. During one of the days when we had rain one of us chose not to wear the rain pants and the other wore the rain pants. What my Camino partner experienced was that the rain soaked pants let some amount of water run run down their legs and inturn soaked the socks and inside or their boots. The result was the boots took several days to dry out completely and they needed to change socks much more often during this time to keep their feet dry.

So while you may sweat a bit more, keeping your boots and more importantly your feet drier is mucho more important as wet or damp feet lead to more blisters and your feet are whats going to carry you to Santiago.

Buen Camino,
BB
Hi, that’s great to know, we’ll be sure to put them on even in a little bit of rain. I’m very conscious of protecting my feet so I definitely don’t want water inside my shoes.
Thank you for the wise words of advise.
 

Neddy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018
#23
My partner and I started in Roncesvalles Easter weekend 2009. It never occurred to us how busy the Camino would be, a lot of people were out just for the Easter weekend. Being Easter weekend the busses were not running so we had to take a taxi from Pamplona to Roncesvalles. We were able to get a bed at Roncesvalles but in Zubiri the hospitalro put us up in a handball court and supplied us with foamys and blankets. Snowing hard and very cold. Once we got to Pamplona the crowds cleared and we had a great walk.
I'll be a bit behind you, I start in Pamplona on the 9th. Unlikely but if you do see me I'll be the guy carrying the flute.
Hello
We are planing to take it slowly so you might catch up to us. I’ll be looking out for a man with a flute
We had considered leaving after Easter but we’re just so excited to start walking. So we are going to start and hopefully it will all work out
Buen Camino
 

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