You just read my mind. I was just looking up the forum to see exactly that! I am hoping the do the Camino in 2017 and have started gathering great bits of info on it. I was going to do it in April but that seems to be a very busy time of year. Im worried about not getting an alburges to stay in (even if it is for one night). Plus the idea of walking to Santiago the last 100k with crowds of people, doesn't really appeal to me. Yet i like the idea of "safety in numbers too". Im sort of being put off by doing the main Camino because of the reports of partying crowds and full up alburges.
I am actually considering an alternative route (there are about 16 in total!) www.caminoways.com gives you the list. It even helps you choose the right one! Anyway thanks for starting the thread as it was exactly what i have been wondering.
Started the CF on April 11 and completed in 36 days on May 16. It was a good time of year, except for a few days of rain. The rain was not so bad; it was the mud and clay. The soil in the part of the Camino I was walking was freshly graded, but not compacted. I quickly was carrying an additional five pounds of mud on each foot! It was cold some mornings, but I warmed up quickly when I was walking under load. It was cold at night, as the Spaniards do not turn on the heat for very long.
Not much in the way of crowds, although there were more pilgrims on the Camino than I expected.
If I were to walk the CF again, and I hope to in 2017, I would brave the heat and the crowds and go in June. Less to pack and therefore less to carry. To avoid the heat, I would just have to get on the road earlier in the morning, say O Yawn Thirty, instead of 8 am like I did this year.
I walked from April 7 to May 8 to Santiago Then on to Finnesterre by May 11. I had no issues & for the most part as I only would see 3-4 people walking. The only time I would see more was during the stops at a cafe or in cities. Yes when you get closer to Santiago it gets busy. The threads you see concerning overcrowding are real more this time of year.
You also are seeing our discussions on transport issues & how it effects things.
Bottom line you are going to really enjoy this as each of us gets personal rewards from it.
I personally may start in Roncevalles to Leon, then up to Ovideo & over to Santiago. The next time. If this is a spiritual journey as it is for me, let your instincts guide you.
Hello, my wife did the Camino Frances in September /October 2013 and she had no problems at all. I returned 3 weeks ago from my Camino Frances and also no problems as well. Wish you well and a Buen Camino, Peter.
I walked the Frances last year departing St. Jean sept 21. It was very busy the first few days but rapidly thinned out. The weather was great. I walked 28 days to Santiago and it was already getting cooler and wetter by then. Good time to go, I think.
I left St. Jean in early March of 2014. It was nice because I never felt that rush for a bed that summer pilgrims talk about, but there were still lots of friends to be made. Also, very few albergues were closed, most had opened up for the year.
And while you could tell there were more pilgrims after Sarria, it never really seemed too crowded.
I purchased the Brierley guide prior to booking my flights. Having no experience (and failing to ask) I booked my return flight 32 days after my arrival. This turned out to be an issue.
The tight time lines did not permit days for recovery when my body was screaming at me. (important) When I arrived in Burgos I decided to stay an extra day to experience a remarkable city and all it has to offer. (Important)
When I arrived in Santiago I could not continue to the coast.....(desperately wanted to)....or have time to decompress.
I got on the plane to come home....but I was still very much in "Camino Mode"........
I will be back again in 2016 and will give myself 45 days. This is the amount of time I feel best suits my walking speed and interests.
Hi. I walked throughout May. I think I was lucky but did not have any rain and did not feel crowded although there was plenty of people to connect with if you wanted. Never encountered a full albergue and was definitely a 'late' walker, meaning that I'd generally walked from 8 or 9oclock and would roll into town mid afternoon. I wouldn't stress and take the changes to conditions, etc etc as part of the journey. My hot tip is what ever you are planning on taking.... Halve it! Buen Camino!!!