Search 57,387 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Create your own ad
€1,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

Camino Frances: looking back to 2005, what was the Camino like?

Anna&Michael

Not all those who wander are lost!
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
We knew very little about the Camino Francés when we set out. in fact we'd never heard of it until a friend came back from Spain with fabulous stories of walking a pilgrimage in Spain. But six months later, in the autumn of 2005, inspired by Robert’s stories and in need of respite from the clamour of our lives, we walked out of St Jean Pied de Port on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Santiago de Compostela.

A candle, lit in the cathedral in Santiago; a hand placed on the same marble column that pilgrims have placed their hand on for centuries; a relic, a piece of the true cross (plastic or otherwise); and that we travel well together. These were the entreaties from friends we carried with us as we walked across northern Spain.

If you're curious about what it was like to walk the Camino in 2005, take a look at our story created from our diary and photographs from 30 extraordinary days on the Camino Francés.

Camino Frances.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

Sirage

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
Late May 2005, after having already walked 750 km from Le Puy, left St Jean early and had a delightful easy walk over to Spain getting to Roncesvalles about 1 pm. I wondered what all the fuss was about a hard climb.
 
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.

wisepilgrim

Guidebook Author
Year of past OR future Camino
Many
One of the things that I notice now, that was different then, was how we pilgrims communicated our destinations to one another. It was very very uncommon to use the name of the albergue, instead we just referred to the village we were aiming for. There were precious few places with more than one albergue, so it was easy to meet up at the end of the day.

Also, in the absence of cell phones and easy messaging, we would often leave hand written notes on albergue bulletin boards. And we would frequently check for messages on them too.

And of course there are many more bears now than there were then.
 

Pilgrim9

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
... And of course there are many more bears now than there were then.

What? Bears? As in, wild bears, in Spain, hungry and prowling near Caminos?

Ursine hazards are not something that I have ever associated with, or indeed want to associate with, the idea of blissful, slow, contemplative foot pilgrimages with a pack on my back.

Do wild bears pose a hazard on any of the Caminos?

More detail on the ursine threat would be appreciated.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
What? Bears? As in, wild bears, in Spain, hungry and prowling near Caminos?

Ursine hazards are not something that I have ever associated with, or indeed want to associate with, the idea of blissful, slow, contemplative foot pilgrimages with a pack on my back.

Do wild bears pose a hazard on any of the Caminos?

More detail on the ursine threat would be appreciated.
He is kidding you. Fear not.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I walked in 2002. The first website I was able to access in the 1990's for info on the Camino was Friends of the Road to Santiago. We used the Ask Jeeves search engine as there was no Google. This site was the precursor for the Gocamino forum based in the American Pilgrims on the Camino website (Now closed) We used Babelfish to translate Spanish.

Ultreia! was a closed forum and the SaintJames @ Yahoo group was based in the Brazilian website http://www.caminhodesantiago.com

Santiagobis @ Yahoo was started in Oct 2000 and became one of the busiest but most strictly moderated forums on the Internet. (Yahoo Groups have all closed)

In 2002 Piers Nicholson started Santiago-Compostela.net forum, which had some of the best photographs of the Camino. It also featured ‘Sylvia's top Tips’ - based on FAQ and answers on the forum which formed the inspiration for my first book. http://www.santiago-compostela.net/tt02.html

Was it romantic? Not really ;-) We didn't have a Brierly guide, cell phone or wifi. The UK's CSJ Guide to the Camino Frances listed 167 albergues from Roncesvalles to Santiago, some 20km apart and some 40km apart. We often slept on the floor, not always on a mattress, so most pilgrims carried a bedroll. We walked alongside many km of busy roads with heavy vehicles thundering down at us. There were no luggage transfers and taxis were few and far between. If you wanted to communicate with your family you had few choices - find a blue and white public telephone - Telefonica - phone box and struggle using a World Call card with an 18 digit pin code. Queue to use the pay-Internet if an albergue had one - €2 for 20 min and a long queue behind you; find an Internet-Cafe in the village or town. They often had foreign key-boards - not qwerty - and I never learned how to find the @ key. After walking 40km the last thing we wanted to do was walk back into town to find an internet-cafe so I really appreciate my cell phone now!

In 2004 I joined a Santiago Forum was started by Ivar in Galicia. Later it changed focus to the Camino and the rest is history!

Since Facebook expanded from 2006 onwards, many Camino linked organisations have groups and pages some with thousands of members and millions of posts. But, I still see people being referred from those groups to Ivar’s Forum for specific info on the different routes and resources.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Late May 2005, after having already walked 750 km from Le Puy, left St Jean early and had a delightful easy walk over to Spain getting to Roncesvalles about 1 pm. I wondered what all the fuss was about a hard climb.
I know what you mean haha. My first camino even though I had trained alot I just about collapsed when I reached Orison. I was fine but really tired when I arrived in Roncesvalles. My second camino I walked from Le Puy and was chatting with a friend when we left SJPP. Once I looked up and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the refugio in Orison. I hardly broke a sweat. It is amazing what changes after you have already walked 750K and had walked from Le Puy which has a few hills of its own!
 
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

erith long

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camin0 Frances (2004, 2008), Camino Portugues (2010), Camino del Norte (2012) Via de la Plata planing April92014), CaminoiPortugues (2015.)
I walked in 2002. The first website I was able to access in the 1990's for info on the Camino was Friends of the Road to Santiago. We used the Ask Jeeves search engine as there was no Google. This site was the precursor for the Gocamino forum based in the American Pilgrims on the Camino website (Now closed) We used Babelfish to translate Spanish.

Ultreia! was a closed forum and the SaintJames @ Yahoo group was based in the Brazilian website http://www.caminhodesantiago.com

Santiagobis @ Yahoo was started in Oct 2000 and became one of the busiest but most strictly moderated forums on the Internet. (Yahoo Groups have all closed)

In 2002 Piers Nicholson started Santiago-Compostela.net forum, which had some of the best photographs of the Camino. It also featured ‘Sylvia's top Tips’ - based on FAQ and answers on the forum which formed the inspiration for my first book. http://www.santiago-compostela.net/tt02.html

Was it romantic? Not really ;-) We didn't have a Brierly guide, cell phone or wifi. The UK's CSJ Guide to the Camino Frances listed 167 albergues from Roncesvalles to Santiago, some 20km apart and some 40km apart. We often slept on the floor, not always on a mattress, so most pilgrims carried a bedroll. We walked alongside many km of busy roads with heavy vehicles thundering down at us. There were no luggage transfers and taxis were few and far between. If you wanted to communicate with your family you had few choices - find a blue and white public telephone - Telefonica - phone box and struggle using a World Call card with an 18 digit pin code. Queue to use the pay-Internet if an albergue had one - €2 for 20 min and a long queue behind you; find an Internet-Cafe in the village or town. They often had foreign key-boards - not qwerty - and I never learned how to find the @ key. After walking 40km the last thing we wanted to do was walk back into town to find an internet-cafe so I really appreciate my cell phone now!

In 2004 I joined a Santiago Forum was started by Ivar in Galicia. Later it changed focus to the Camino and the rest is history!

Since Facebook expanded from 2006 onwards, many Camino linked organisations have groups and pages some with thousands of members and millions of posts. But, I still see people being referred from those groups to Ivar’s Forum for specific info on the different routes and resources.
The wonderful old days of the Camino. I did love them, the adventure, the camaraderie, walked for days without not thinking about phoning anybody, you actually talked to the fellow pilgrims, even if you did not speak the same language made long lasting friendships.
most of the times the albergues had no beds available not hot water or toilet paper, and still we managed to have the best of times . ..... sigh
 

Sirage

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
What? Bears? As in, wild bears, in Spain, hungry and prowling near Caminos?

Ursine hazards are not something that I have ever associated with, or indeed want to associate with, the idea of blissful, slow, contemplative foot pilgrimages with a pack on my back.

Do wild bears pose a hazard on any of the Caminos?

More detail on the ursine threat would be appreciated.
There is a large sculpture of a Lynx (or similar ?) on a hill along the Le Puy route. The story is these animals were a serious hazard to pilgrims. It is probably true.

But humans are also heavily invested in myth making.
 

Anna&Michael

Not all those who wander are lost!
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I walked in 2002. The first website I was able to access in the 1990's for info on the Camino was Friends of the Road to Santiago. We used the Ask Jeeves search engine as there was no Google. This site was the precursor for the Gocamino forum based in the American Pilgrims on the Camino website (Now closed) We used Babelfish to translate Spanish.

Ultreia! was a closed forum and the SaintJames @ Yahoo group was based in the Brazilian website http://www.caminhodesantiago.com

Santiagobis @ Yahoo was started in Oct 2000 and became one of the busiest but most strictly moderated forums on the Internet. (Yahoo Groups have all closed)

In 2002 Piers Nicholson started Santiago-Compostela.net forum, which had some of the best photographs of the Camino. It also featured ‘Sylvia's top Tips’ - based on FAQ and answers on the forum which formed the inspiration for my first book. http://www.santiago-compostela.net/tt02.html

Was it romantic? Not really ;-) We didn't have a Brierly guide, cell phone or wifi. The UK's CSJ Guide to the Camino Frances listed 167 albergues from Roncesvalles to Santiago, some 20km apart and some 40km apart. We often slept on the floor, not always on a mattress, so most pilgrims carried a bedroll. We walked alongside many km of busy roads with heavy vehicles thundering down at us. There were no luggage transfers and taxis were few and far between. If you wanted to communicate with your family you had few choices - find a blue and white public telephone - Telefonica - phone box and struggle using a World Call card with an 18 digit pin code. Queue to use the pay-Internet if an albergue had one - €2 for 20 min and a long queue behind you; find an Internet-Cafe in the village or town. They often had foreign key-boards - not qwerty - and I never learned how to find the @ key. After walking 40km the last thing we wanted to do was walk back into town to find an internet-cafe so I really appreciate my cell phone now!

In 2004 I joined a Santiago Forum was started by Ivar in Galicia. Later it changed focus to the Camino and the rest is history!

Since Facebook expanded from 2006 onwards, many Camino linked organisations have groups and pages some with thousands of members and millions of posts. But, I still see people being referred from those groups to Ivar’s Forum for specific info on the different routes and resources.
We might just have hit a sweet spot in 2005, the lack of communication that you describe was there and the CJS was our guide (along with The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago : The Complete Cultural Handbook, which every pilgrim should carry). However, the path had likely been rerouted since 2002 to cut out some of the road walking.
Buen camino!
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.

Anna&Michael

Not all those who wander are lost!
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Late May 2005, after having already walked 750 km from Le Puy, left St Jean early and had a delightful easy walk over to Spain getting to Roncesvalles about 1 pm. I wondered what all the fuss was about a hard climb.
The 750 km of training probably helped just a little :)
 

Anna&Michael

Not all those who wander are lost!
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
There is a large sculpture of a Lynx (or similar ?) on a hill along the Le Puy route. The story is these animals were a serious hazard to pilgrims. It is probably true.

But humans are also heavily invested in myth making.
The Beast of Gévaudan, not far before Aumont-Aubrac. The Beast was a mythological creature likely based on real (historical) attacks by wolves in the area and generated a lot of concern, even hysteria at the time.
 

Anna&Michael

Not all those who wander are lost!
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I was there in 2005! I remember leaving St Jean just before dawn. as I walked away I looked back and the stone gateway had tiny bright white lights embedded in it, making it look like gazing at the stars - I wonder if they are still there.
We didn't see those lights because we didn't leave Saint Jean until 11ish, a bit of a mistake as we arrived in Roncesvalles just as the night closed in around us.
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

Sirage

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)

I think he’s joking. It’s the ferocious dogs I’m worried about. 🥺


From my library - the ferocious dog responsible for killing lots of people about the 1760s.
Beast2.jpg
 
Last edited:

Pilgrim9

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
FWIW, a bear attack in Northern Spain was reported quite recently:

Translated a section

"There are small but significant wild bear populations in the mountains of northern Spain, the largest of them being in the Picos de Europa in the region of Asturias and the province of León, with a headcount of between 250 and 300. In addition, a further 40 or more live slightly further east between Cantabria, León and Palencia, and there is another population of similar size in the north of Aragón and Catalunya, while the 4-strong contingent on the border between Navarra and France by far the smallest."

Sounds like an awful lot of bears to me!!! 😱 😱 😱
 
Published on Amazon
Guide to the 16 main caminos with maps, pictures, hyperlinks and other information.
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 100 ratings
Downloads
15,114
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,775
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,599
Updated

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top