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Camino Frances preparation advice

Barry11

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015
Hi all,

After doing a week of the Camino a number of years ago I am finally in a position to do the Camino Frances route in September and was hoping for some advice.

I have my flight to Biarritz and transfer from the airport to St Jean Pied de Port sorted. I also booked accommodation for St Jean, Roncesvallies, Zubiri and Pamplona as I heard this is where a bottleneck of pilgrims may occur.

After that I'm hoping to just wing it and let the Camino provide or else keep a rolling 3-5 day booking system depending on how things develop.

Is what I have done pretty much all I need to do? I plan to continue reading the forum for packing tips over the next while and I also plan on spending the next few months learning Spanish, training and eventually showing up to St Jean Pied de Port with my pilgrim passport and ready to walk. I'm also hoping to read some guide books to ensure I don't miss on any sights along the way.

Just nervous about it all and wondered if any experienced pilgrim could spot any major flaws in my plan or anything I'm missing and one question I had was regarding the return flight. I cannot predict exactly how many days it will take yet so not sure how to handle this?

Thanks.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Barry11,
You seem to have touched all bases for you autumn camino. Do test your gear
from the earlier walk to make certain that it is indeed "good to go". Retrain yourself so that your body is also ready to walk all day, every day for several weeks.

Check out this this earlier thread
regarding what past walkers thought important.

Happy planning, retraining and Buen camino!
 

Barry11

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015
Barry11,
You seem to have touched all bases for you autumn camino. Do test your gear
from the earlier walk to make certain that it is indeed "good to go". Retrain yourself so that your body is also ready to walk all day, every day for several weeks.

Check out this this earlier thread
regarding what past walkers thought important.

Happy planning, retraining and Buen camino!
Thank you very much for your response, really appreciate it. I will of course check out that earlier thread.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
X
I think what you’ve done is sensible. Typically numbers fall in mid September so you can decide as you go whether you need to reserve accommodation ahead or not. I think not.

Whatever you’re thinking of packing; try it out in advance and ‘if in doubt; leave it out’.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
Why worry? The Camino provides!

I had no planning, nothing booked ahead (only one time, from the Albergue in Pamplona to Puente de la Reina, just to have a bed secured after a really long walk). I trained and break in my boots on walks of 100km in total on the local hills. Had no transfer organized from Airport to SJPdP. No guidebook at hand, just like in the old days.

And I arrived in SdC after 27 amazing days safe and sound and very happy!

My advices to you:
-> Do not overplan!
-> Take your time, walk your pace.
-> Look after your feet.
-> Turn around and breathe!
-> Drink plenty of water and wine!
-> Eat local.
-> Connect to your fellow pilgrims, they are your comrades.
-> Talk and listen a lot when needed.
-> Take only 50% of what's in your b/p, it's enough!
-> Have fun!
-> Enjoy your walk, even if it sometime gets hard and boring.

Hope you will have a great walk!

BC
Roland
 
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Julie Lunt

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning Portuguese Camino Estoril to Santiago
Why worry? The Camino provides!

I had no planning, nothing booked ahead (only one time, from the Albergue in Pamplona to Puente de la Reina, just to have a bed secured after a really long walk). I trained and break in my boots on walks of 100km in total on the local hills. Had no transfer organized from Airport to SJPdP. No guidebook at hand, just like in the old days.

And I arrived in SdC after 27 amazing days safe and sound and very happy!

My advices to you:
-> Do not overplan!
-> Take your time, walk your pace.
-> Look after your feet.
-> Turn around and breathe!
-> Drink plenty of water and wine!
-> Eat local.
-> Connect to your fellow pilgrims, they are your comrades.
-> Talk and listen a lot when needed.
-> Take only 50% of what's in your b/p, it's enough!
-> Have fun!
-> Enjoy your walk, even if it sometime gets hard and boring.

Hope you will have a great walk!

BC
Roland
Great advice Roland! I second your list!
 

Charles Zammit

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra 2017
GR70 France 2018
Via Francigena 2019
Two small tips that will help along the way .
Make a coloured photocopy of your passport ID page and have it laminated , use this when registering at hostels , it saves dragging out your passport and reduces the risk of losing it or leaving it behind . Only major hotels insist on seeing the original .
Take a suction cup with a hook on to use in showers , very few have shelves to rest your fresh clothes or valuables on . The suction cup will let you hang a plastic bag or light day pack from the wall while you wash .
 

Barry11

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015
Thank you all for the great advice, especially in relation to not overplanning (which I usually do). I'll focus on getting my walking boots up to scratch between now and September and let the Camino provide after that.
 
Past OR future Camino
The Portuguese Camino from Valença, June 2022.
If you haven’t already watched Rob’s videos about the Camino, search for then on youtube. He offers many tips and advice helpful for your first or fifth Camino.

Buen Camino!
 

Julie Lunt

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning Portuguese Camino Estoril to Santiago
Hi all,

After doing a week of the Camino a number of years ago I am finally in a position to do the Camino Frances route in September and was hoping for some advice.

I have my flight to Biarritz and transfer from the airport to St Jean Pied de Port sorted. I also booked accommodation for St Jean, Roncesvallies, Zubiri and Pamplona as I heard this is where a bottleneck of pilgrims may occur.

After that I'm hoping to just wing it and let the Camino provide or else keep a rolling 3-5 day booking system depending on how things develop.

Is what I have done pretty much all I need to do? I plan to continue reading the forum for packing tips over the next while and I also plan on spending the next few months learning Spanish, training and eventually showing up to St Jean Pied de Port with my pilgrim passport and ready to walk. I'm also hoping to read some guide books to ensure I don't miss on any sights along the way.

Just nervous about it all and wondered if any experienced pilgrim could spot any major flaws in my plan or anything I'm missing and one question I had was regarding the return flight. I cannot predict exactly how many days it will take yet so not sure how to handle this?

Thanks.
Of course the key to packing is to keep things as light as possible. When I am deciding what to take with me I try and select items which have more than one purpose. My cotton scarf can be used as a towel, I take plain black recycled polyester underpants and a light weight pull on crop top type bra ( yes i know you are a bloke but this bit is useful for the girls) that serve as a bathing costume for swimming. I wear cheap close fitting T shirts, and as I am short so cut off the extra length so they are just below my waist so reducing excess weight. When walking early spring or Autumn carry a very light weight cashmere shawl that I bought in India for chilly evenings which I can wrap around or put over me if it gets cold at night
Hi all,

After doing a week of the Camino a number of years ago I am finally in a position to do the Camino Frances route in September and was hoping for some advice.

I have my flight to Biarritz and transfer from the airport to St Jean Pied de Port sorted. I also booked accommodation for St Jean, Roncesvallies, Zubiri and Pamplona as I heard this is where a bottleneck of pilgrims may occur.

After that I'm hoping to just wing it and let the Camino provide or else keep a rolling 3-5 day booking system depending on how things develop.

Is what I have done pretty much all I need to do? I plan to continue reading the forum for packing tips over the next while and I also plan on spending the next few months learning Spanish, training and eventually showing up to St Jean Pied de Port with my pilgrim passport and ready to walk. I'm also hoping to read some guide books to ensure I don't miss on any sights along the way.

Just nervous about it all and wondered if any experienced pilgrim could spot any major flaws in my plan or anything I'm missing and one question I had was regarding the return flight. I cannot predict exactly how many days it will take yet so not sure how to handle this?

Thanks.
For me the key to packing is to keep things as light as possible. When I am deciding what to take with me I try and select items which have more than one purpose. I use a light cotton scarf also used as a towel, I take plain black recycled polyester underpants and a light weight pull on crop top type bra ( yes I know you are a bloke but this bit is useful for the girls) that serve as a bathing costume for swimming. I wear cheap close fitting T shirts, and as I am short so cut off the extra length so they are just below my waist so reducing excess weight (the fabric does not ladder). When walking early spring or Autumn carry a very light weight cashmere scarf/shawl that I bought in India. It proved very useful under my cape when it rained and chilly evenings which I can wrap around or put over me if it gets cold at night. I have also cut off the tops of my Bridgedale thick walking socks to just above the tops of my lightweight boots as I find their trainer style summer walking socks too short (also the fabric does not ladder).
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
My first Camino I did with little to no planning. It was amazing. Sure, I had to obtain other things along the journey, but wasn't that big a deal and I arrived in Santiago alive. :D
My next Camino I actually over planned and brought things I didn't need that found new homes on donativo tables. After that I stuck with the little to no planning method. The carry the minimum, no what if's and cross your fingers philosophy. It will be alright. You won't die. :D
 
Last edited:

Barry11

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015
Thanks again everyone for all the additional advice, I'll be sure to check out Rob's videos on youtube.
Also thanks Julie for the tips re multi purpose packing, makes sense when you say it.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Hi all,

After doing a week of the Camino a number of years ago I am finally in a position to do the Camino Frances route in September and was hoping for some advice.

I have my flight to Biarritz and transfer from the airport to St Jean Pied de Port sorted. I also booked accommodation for St Jean, Roncesvallies, Zubiri and Pamplona as I heard this is where a bottleneck of pilgrims may occur.

After that I'm hoping to just wing it and let the Camino provide or else keep a rolling 3-5 day booking system depending on how things develop.

Is what I have done pretty much all I need to do? I plan to continue reading the forum for packing tips over the next while and I also plan on spending the next few months learning Spanish, training and eventually showing up to St Jean Pied de Port with my pilgrim passport and ready to walk. I'm also hoping to read some guide books to ensure I don't miss on any sights along the way.

Just nervous about it all and wondered if any experienced pilgrim could spot any major flaws in my plan or anything I'm missing and one question I had was regarding the return flight. I cannot predict exactly how many days it will take yet so not sure how to handle this?

Thanks.
Re return flight - if you find Santiago is booked, try A Coruna. 30 minutes on the train with flights to the UK.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Hi all,

After doing a week of the Camino a number of years ago I am finally in a position to do the Camino Frances route in September and was hoping for some advice.

I have my flight to Biarritz and transfer from the airport to St Jean Pied de Port sorted. I also booked accommodation for St Jean, Roncesvallies, Zubiri and Pamplona as I heard this is where a bottleneck of pilgrims may occur.

After that I'm hoping to just wing it and let the Camino provide or else keep a rolling 3-5 day booking system depending on how things develop.

Is what I have done pretty much all I need to do? I plan to continue reading the forum for packing tips over the next while and I also plan on spending the next few months learning Spanish, training and eventually showing up to St Jean Pied de Port with my pilgrim passport and ready to walk. I'm also hoping to read some guide books to ensure I don't miss on any sights along the way.

Just nervous about it all and wondered if any experienced pilgrim could spot any major flaws in my plan or anything I'm missing and one question I had was regarding the return flight. I cannot predict exactly how many days it will take yet so not sure how to handle this?

Thanks.

Not sure how far you intend to walk dailey? But do keep an eye out for festivals and Holidays as it can be that most everything gets booked up. Some of the major towns on weekends in September and early Oct. will be difficult to find private rooms. Also weekend rates go up in Cities/towns like Leon, Ponferrada, and Portomarin. We have booked private rooms and the pickings are slim in early Oct. from Sarria.

Logrono. Wednesday, September 21, 2022 - Sunday, September 25, 2022 Wine Festival
Everything fills up including albergues.

Spain: Hispanic Day. Oct. 12
 

Barry11

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015
Not sure how far you intend to walk dailey? But do keep an eye out for festivals and Holidays as it can be that most everything gets booked up. Some of the major towns on weekends in September and early Oct. will be difficult to find private rooms. Also weekend rates go up in Cities/towns like Leon, Ponferrada, and Portomarin. We have booked private rooms and the pickings are slim in early Oct. from Sarria.

Logrono. Wednesday, September 21, 2022 - Sunday, September 25, 2022 Wine Festival
Everything fills up including albergues.

Spain: Hispanic Day. Oct. 12

Thanks for this, I plan to stick to the standard route which is around 20-30k per day. but hopefully allow some flexibility if tired or like an area to rest a few more days. I don't plan on going with private rooms too often but definitely something I will keep in mind to try book ahead if needs be.
Ensure that your fitness levels are good , I am just back from St Jean to Burgos and the amount of people that we met that were struggling was unreal . People who thought there were only hills on Day 1 and who couldn’t believe how tough certain parts were . Take your time and enjoy every minute of it but be ready for it physically.

Thanks, I have a decent level of fitness but will be certain to get a bit more walking and hill walking in over the Summer. I did find when I walked from Sarria to Santiago a few years ago it was a lot tougher than expected due to packing too heavy and not having the correct footwear. Both those issues I'm hoping to not have to deal with this time
 
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