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Camino Frances for the month of August or Dec 15-Jan....

Bmacias

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
going this year (2016)
Safety in December is the main concern but my dilemma is explained below. I have a question for the forum which the subject says it all. I am finishing my senior semester in engineering which I graduate in December and was planning on doing the Camino Frances starting in SJDP from August first to the end of August before the beginning of the first semester. Due to time constraints I need to finish the Camino in 22-24 days, even while finishing in this time I will miss the first week of class which is adding stress to my last semester.

If I do it in December I will have basically unlimited time. I am on a flexible flying plan so that is not a concern. I have basically no experience hiking except, 10 mile walks for the past few months almost daily. Have had a few above 15 miles. Just want to get opinions. I have read A LOT of forums but am having trouble coming to a decision. My main question is do you think as a first timer I will be able to complete the Camino safely leaving in December?
 
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beiramar

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português, Camino del Norte, Fisterra,
When it comes to walking in winter, the question is if you are familiar with hiking in coldish weather and possibly even a bit of snow.
That's the main safety relevant thing to think about. You should be comfortable in being out in nature with not so perfect weather.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
I have walked in January from Leon to Santiago. I saw twelve other pilgrims in three weeks. December has a few more pilgrims, but not many more. I don't think safety is a problem, but you may have to cover longer stages. Only you know your level of fitness. Many albergues will be closed. For some you can call to have it opened. Virtually all the "second coffee" places will be closed. On most days you will need to have food in your pack. Since safety includes the weather, you will need to be willing to sit for a day or two if it is bad, or take buses and taxis to avoid it. The camino will not conform to you; you will have to conform to the camino. I would choose December over August, but know what your are getting into!;)
 

vlebe

Walker Member
Camino(s) past & future
2001; 2004; 2009; 2013, (2016/2017)
I'd also choose dec over aug in a heartbeat for several reasons:

Too many people in august, still too hot and in your case, there is the time constraint... 22 days is a bit extreme to do between SJPP and Santiago. It's doable, but definitely not for everyone...

I found that, if I dont push too hard I can do this route in around 27 days in a reasonable comfortable pace. I could definitely do it in 22 if I had too... But again... Most people will take more than 30 days.

So, unless you plan to buss-pass - for instance - the mesetas, there you have it: December it is!

:)

I'll be in the Frances during december 2016... Hope you'll too! You'll definitely gonna have a blast of a good time.

Buen Camino and Ultreia!!

Vagner
 

Wandershot

CarolG
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Camino Frances: Burgos to Santiago
I went in late August. I like heat and it wasn't too crowded. If you chose to do that, just figure out your average pace and work backwards from Santiago. You don't need to start in SJPP, I started in Burgos
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I'd choose December. A much more interesting challenge. But in SJPP, the "higher" or Napoleon route will be closed. This is not a "maybe", but an official, permanent rule. Too risky...Even the lower route by Valcarlos may be too difficult. But with weather, you never know; last year some friends told me about an unusual mild weather in December.
If you want a pleasant and easier walk, and enjoy meeting people and socializing, summer is your thing. About your only summer 21 days...you can shorten your distances. Saint Jean Pied de Port is not an "official" start, you can begin wherever you like.
 
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Old Gringo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2004 and Via de la Plata 2015
I wouldn't recommend August due to the hoards of people. If you're not comfortable with December think about pushing it out. I did it in early March and had no weather problems.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
I would choose December, but as others have pointed out that means different equipment, winter hiking experience, a lot of common sense necessary and some albergues will be closed. Buen Camino, SY
 

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