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Camino Francés July 2020

dagreen

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
El Frances (2013)
Just some additional information about the Francés this year. I stayed in St. Jean on Sunday, July 12 and it was packed with tourist. It was quite a surprise to see so many people mulling around the streets.

The walk to Roncevalles was quiet and my walking companion and I more mostly alone. For the night of July 13, the hospitalar told us that it was a then season-high of 88 pilgrims with many traveling by bike and a few walking back to St. Jean.

A few other insights:

With many municipal albergues closed, the cost of of a bed in Navarra was closer to 15 euros per night.

In mid-July, the temperatures in Navarra for the first few days were surprisingly cool. I expected lower temperatures around El Bierzo and O Cebreiro, but not around Pamplona.

Many members of my “camino family” had blisters from the first days. I think they should have followed the advice from this forum. Another person stated that you should spend at least fifteen dollars on a pair of socks to avoid blisters.

Having lived in Spain for over fifteen years, I know my way around a menu/carta. That being said, I have eaten very well on the Camino Francés and also had a number of disappointing meals. This month was no exception. I aim for the menús del día and avoid the pilgrim menus. I often ask the hospitalaros for their recommendations. Still many camino restaurants lack quality food. Be aware. Some towns will have very limited options for a quality meal.

The Camino Francés in Navarra is very clean. There was very little trash and almost no toilet paper on the side of the trails.

The average age of people on the Francés was lower than usual. I did not cross paths with many people over the age of 50.

The declines before Roncevalles and Zubiri and the one after El Alto del Perdón are still dangerous. Take your time walking them. A walking stick or two can be very helpful

In times of COVID, there are risks in walking any of f the Caminos. As someone who lives in Spain, I am aware of the risks to me and to the locals encounter. As stated earlier in this forum, traveling now is not for everyone. For those who do, it is important to remember to be respectful and responsible. Spain has and is going through a lot. Follow the rules as best you can. Do not criticize or underestimate the effort that many are making for their communities.

The Camino Francés is still a great place to meet a diverse group of people and have conversations about things you would never have in normal life.
 
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jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
The Camino Francés is still a great place to meet a diverse group of people and have conversations about things you would never have in normal life.

Yeah, I miss that - but can't get to Spain right now 😢

Loved your feedback - thanks for sharing.
 

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