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Camino in April

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Deirdre

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Hi,
I just wanted to welcome you to the forum... unfortunately I cannot comment on the time of year you have chosen as I have only walked in July and August. But there are many who have walked during the spring and can provide a wealth of information to you. Best of luck with your planning,
Buen Camino,
 

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 know you want a sensible answer but there just is no way of knowing what it will be like in April next year. I have a story on record of a pilgrim being 'forced to her knees' by snow, mud and freezing cold conditions in the middle of April. Last year a person died and another three almost died crossing the Pyrenees in April.
This year it was snowing in O Cebreiro on the 22nd April and people were stuck and had to be rescued on the road between O Cebreiro and Tricastela.
I walked my first camino from the middle of May and we missed snow twice - once at Foncebadon and then at O Cebreiro.
You will find pilgrims' posts here of beautiful spring weather, cold but clear, in March and April. I would say, go towards the end of April rather than the beginning.
Although, having said that, pilgrims had a hellish time in the rain right up until the end of July last year!
With Global warming and unpredictable weather, it's hard to say when the best time is to walk the camino.
 

Paulro

New Member
I walked from Leon on the 19th of March and finished 16 days later in Finisterre. I encountered beautiful warm sunny days and others that were cold and wet. There was snow at the iron cross and the walk from Lafaba was a bit tricky because of snow. The bad weather means that when a beautiful day comes along you appreciate it so much.
I ended up getting burnt with lovely weather towards the end of the walk.
The albergues were relatively quiet as was the walk. Really lovely.
Good luck
 

viajero

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2008
HI,
I walked this year starting on March 7th from Roncesvalles and finishing April 3 in Santiago. As others have mentioned, it is difficult to predict the weather. I tend to prefer cooler weather to warmer though, and I thought I had pretty good weather. THere were times (Roncesvalles, Mansilla, Rabanal, O'Cebreiro) where there was snow. On those days, depending on the amount of snow, I walked on the road rather than the camino proper without any problem. Most days were cool but not cold. I'd start out in the morning with a fleece jacket, hat and light gloves, and take them off after a couple of hours or so. The last week was very warm and I actually wished it was cooler. I was very happy to go when I did as it was not all crowded, the weather was cool and nice for walking, etc. There were a couple of snowy, cold days. There was some rain here and there (not much) but overall I thought it was great. It really does vary though. For me though, I'd rather be too cold than too warm.
 
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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 also think it depends on what you are used to.
I have lived all my life in a sub-tropical climate, close to the Indian Ocean so probably have thin blood. I have only seen snow three or four times in my entire 61 years. When we do have the occasional cold day here (when it gets to 9oC) I almost shut down like a hibernating bear!
I don't think I could stand to walk in snow, sleet, freezing rain or survive in cold weather for too long. Brrrrrrrr............
 

Red Kite

Member
I walked all through May this year. I had great weather for maybe a week, and it rained almost continually for three weeks. And the final day was torrential. It absolutely bucketed it down.

We drove to Finisterre the next day and the sun came out for us.

I wouldn't have changed a minute of it.

There are definitely no guarantees with the weather at that time of year.
 

fiddletree

Active Member
I started on April 24, 2007. It was a little bit chilly, and there was about a week of solid rain at the end of April/beginning of May (it got VERY cold during the rain), but otherwise wonderful weather walking. Between Burgos and Leon, if I remember, it got quite hot.

Two weeks before I left, there was a blizzard and if I remember correctly two men from England died in the snowstorm while trying to walk from St Jean to Roncesvalles. There was still plenty of snow at the tops of the mountains along the path when I was walking.

So, be prepared for absolutely anything. If locals recommend going an alternate way because of the weather, trust them. It is a great time of year to walk, but the weather is very unpredictable!
 

30daystosantiago

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 solo and 2013 with wife and toddler
I walked SJPP to Santiago in April (starting in early April and arriving at the end of April). I found it to be a very good time of year. It was cool most mornings, requiring my fleece...often warmed up in the afternoon - sometimes I could walk in shorts. I didn't encounter snow directly, but it did snow in Burgos a few days before I arrived there. I encountered rain on approximately 7-8 days out of 30.

Another good aspects of an April journey - perhaps slightly smaller crowds in comparison to the summertime.
 

Salida1048

New Member
Re: Camino in Aprilo

the thought of walking that far in rain is daunting. Don't allow that chance to worry you...
If April is the best you have then go for it. We walked from Logrono to Santiago in April of '04, it rained only some, and actually just at the start. Then we walked up from Seville to Zamora in April or '05, wonderful weather, just an unsupported camino, especially relative to the Francia. Then in '07 we started in St. Jean, and made it beyond Burgos, wifes knee went bad so we pulled the plug there, again, a great experience.
You'll need a decent poncho, and light weight gloves, for sure. I'm not sure about Goretex pants, you need to carry them and even the gucciest of gore tex still gets you wet...make sure you post any questions you have, this is a great resource for you, take advantage of all this input.
Make sure you only take things that dry quickly, no cotton tee's, if you do get soaked you will find them wet days later, go with the new poly stuff.
You're gonna have a ball. My wife and I always see many single women walking, we even comment on that. Enjoy, H&D
Also, if you can walk at your own pace, stopping along the way, do it, Charging down the Way just doesn't make sense. My opinion...
 
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vjpulver

Crazy Chicken Lady with the Camino on my Mind!
Year of past OR future Camino
Apr-Jun 2009 - I solo walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago. I hope to return as a hospitalera in 2016.
Well, I have my plane tickets and boots...moving forward on my preperations...So I will be in Madrid in late April. (My original plan was to start in May).

I guess "April showers bring May flowers" ...I look forward to the flowers and fresh grren grass and fewer people on the paths. I've allowed 43 days...Pamplona to Santiago most likely.

Life is good.

"Ginn"
Started my Camino Blog: http://pilgrimageofgratitude-mycamino.blogspot.com
 

dislp38

Member
I'm planning my Camino in April too (if all goes well) and I'm a single Female too. I was hoping not to take so much "heavy" clothes.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
dislp38 said:
I'm planning my Camino in April too (if all goes well) and I'm a single Female too. I was hoping not to take so much "heavy" clothes.

dislp38.... I wouldn't expect to pack too 'lightly' as far as clothing goes for April. You might get snow. And if you don't get snow, you might still get some bitterly cold days with biting winds. I got those sort of days in June!

But as a single female who had a wonderful time, I say 'go for it!' and have a great time!
Margaret
 

MermaidLilli

Active Member
Wow, Ginn, 43 days!! You can just mosey!! But if you find you are getting to the end quicker than expected, think about adding another route. How wonderful for you. And the time is near.
I will be there in May....somewhere.
Still deciding,
Lillian
 

Salida1048

New Member
43 Days is Wonderful, Nicely Done...
Pomplona, there is a Pilgrim Church there that another Pilgrim took us to, I think he had a better book that we did, try to find it, seems like it was on the route the Bulls take. Very nice thing to see...Also that Cafe that Hemmingway wrote about, that too is worth a visit, if just for coffee or a beer.
Burgos, Fantastic place to rest, spend a day in an Alburge there inside the walls, seems like it's an old chapel, only sleeps eight or so, Great location. Tapas/Wine bars are very nice in Burgos, and that second night you can get a hotel room where you can take a soak in a hot bath. Burgos also has great sculptur all around, take that walk down on their river.
Leon, gosh, I'm not sure I've seen a prettier Cathedral, Stained Glass to die for...stay at the Alberque in town, it's a nunnery. Now you'll be in the largest, like three rooms each with possibly one hundred bunk beds in it, but it's part of your experience...
Leon is another cool place to enjoy more than one night, great restaurants.
Astorga, yet another cool place to see. There's a private Alburgue there right off their square,just across from a Gaudi building he designed for their Bishop, I think it's closed, The Bishops House, on Mondays, it's a fun place to tour. The Private Alburgue is nice, they'll feed you breakfast, and it's in a good location...
From Astorga on to Santiago you're pretty much in the country, smaller towns and such.
Save some time to enjoy Santiago, and even taking a bus to Finisterrer is fun, you'll be forced to enjoy those nights in hotels in Finis' but they have plenty, and none of these hotels I mention are exorbidant in price, so enjoy. Take care of your feet, enjoy the side bars to monasteries along the way, you'll have the time.
Cheers, Harry
I think we're starting in Astorga around Easter, perhaps we'll walk slow enough for you to catch up with us...
 
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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:
One thing to remember is that you can only stay one night in a pilgrim albergue - especially in the cities and bigger towns. However, some of the smaller shelters will allow you to stay longer, and might even welcome it if you offer to help out with the cooking!
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
sillydoll said:
One thing to remember is that you can only stay one night in a pilgrim albergue - especially in the cities and bigger towns. However, some of the smaller shelters will allow you to stay longer, and might even welcome it if you offer to help out with the cooking!

Yes, Sil, just one night, with one exception. If you are ill you can remain for more time. But, the "boss" in the albergue is the hospitalero, who always decide when an exception applies.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

vjpulver

Crazy Chicken Lady with the Camino on my Mind!
Year of past OR future Camino
Apr-Jun 2009 - I solo walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago. I hope to return as a hospitalera in 2016.
MermaidLilli said:
Wow, Ginn, 43 days!! You can just mosey!! But if you find you are getting to the end quicker than expected, think about adding another route. How wonderful for you. And the time is near.
I will be there in May....somewhere.
Still deciding,
Lillian


I arrive in Madrid 20 April and fly back to USA 2 June so I do have time to let things just unfold. I am travelling light and not over-orchestrating any of it. I am excited about just letting life kind of unfold for me.

I would be delighted if our paths cross MermaidLilli...perhaps we will meet!

When I finish the camino, I will be jobhunting and househunting...but on the camino, I will live in the moment and focus on the joys and character-building opportnities life affords me.

Life is good...

"Ginn"
In Sunny Santa Fe
http://pilgrimageofgratitude-mycamino.blogspot.com
 

bpondugula

Active Member
We did the camino from Leon to SdC in March. We did see a bit of snow in Foncebaddon but the days were warm and it was great. Less people, relaxed walking.
Ocebreiro was a bit misty though. We had in all, half a day of rain. great time. But as others say, Weather is a bit tricky to predict.

Only advice is to wear layers . peel off if it gets warmer.

Regards
Bharat
 
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bubbles

New Member
Glad to know that there's so many people doing the Camino in Apr/May! I'll be starting from SJPP end of Apr so I'm hoping to see some of you on the road! :D

And I must say that reading about the two men from England who died during a snowstorm during their journey from SJPP to Roncesvalles has daunted me somewhat, but with so many of us on the road, at least we can look out for one another. 8)

Kerry from Singapore
 

Vissie

New Member
Hi pvdv

I am also doing the Camino in April.
I will be starting at SJP on 6 April, if the weather holds. Otherwise make my way to Roncesvalles to start there.
I hope to see you around.
 

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:
Welkom Vissie - I just love your little Brakkie!

Are you going to the Camino Workshop this Sunday? 9am - 11h15 ish.
CSJSA Gauteng - Camino workshop: 15th March 2009
Venue: Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, Malcolm Road, Poortview, Roodepoort
Cost: R20- (To cover venue hire & refreshments)
[R18 Gardens entrance –If you wish to take a walk through the gardens after the workshop)

Contact: Marita Nortje on 072 507 5188 or mapano50@hotmail.com
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
It's an April Camino for me as well. Some of you might remember my back-and-forthing about routes. I had pretty much settled on the north route, but changed my mind (although we are flying into Biarritz!)

We are starting the Camino de Madrid on April 18, and have also allotted around 50 days, because of injuries on previous caminos. We're so looking forward to revisiting the latter portion of CF, and if all goes well, and we arrive in SDC in good time, we will take the bus up to Ferrol and walk the Ingles back to SDC- this last bit added after reading Sagalout's delightful accounts!

I'd be thrilled to meet some of you on the Way - I'll be sporting my forum badge!

Buen Camino everyone!

lynne
 

mary

New Member
Hola! Just putting my name out there, I, too, will be starting the camino from St.Jean Pied de Port on the 30th of April (arriving the 29th).
Good luck on all of your preparations, hope to meet some of you in April...
best,
Mary
 
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Deirdre

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Welcome, Mary!
You will no doubt have many companions on the Way in the Spring! Enjoy your planning, I think yo will find answer to all your questions here!
Buen Camino,
 

Arlene

Member
I walked the Camino last Spring. I started at the end of March with snow in Roncesalles and finished in the beginning of May with much warmer temps. Inbetween there was rain, wind and mud to contend with, but also many beautiful, sunny days. As I am not a lover of heat I thought the conditions in the spring were just fine. The other benefit was that it was less crowded. I would definitely recommend walking in the spring, as long as you're prepared for a variety of weather conditions.
Enjoy the journey.
Arlene
 

suzie morgs

Member
My husband and I are hoping to commence our journey at SJPP on 13th or 14th April, allowing 35 days for the pilgrimage. Realise that our start will be weather dependent so will be listening to local advice on best route. We have packed fleece, repel jacket, poly shirt, one set of thermals. Backpack down to 7kgs weight plus water. Have had trouble trying to book accommodation in SJPP. Any suggestions?
Hope to catch up with you guys along the way.
Suzie & Brian Morgan
East Maitland
NSW Australia
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Suzie,
You can get help from the Pilgrim Office in SJPP when you arrive there: they are very helpful. There is a municipal albergue that you can't reserve ahead for, and it opens from mid-March. There are also quite a few chambre d'hotes - like a bed and breakfast- in the town. They are more expensive, but the Easter rush should be subsiding by the time you arrive, and the pilgrim office can help book you into one of those if there isn't a place available in a cheaper place.

The pilgrim office also hand out a sheet that describes the Route Napoleon, and the alternative lower level route. They have this available in English. They also have two sheets of paper they give everyone- one lists all the cheaper albergues along the Camino Frances, and the other shows plots of altitude changes.
All the best for your walk.
Margaret
 
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sillydoll

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evanlow

Veteran Member
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Weather wise, if you don't want it to be real cold, then May will be best. So if you start in late April, it will be just right. Still, there might be a couple of cold spots, including O Cebreiro.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
lynnejohn said:
It's an April Camino for me as well.
lynne

Lynne, delighted to read that you are about to set off again. There are a few lines from a former posting of yours http://www.pilgrimage-to-santiago.com/board/pilgrim-introductions/topic2878.html that I typed up and carried with me.

"......concentrate on only the next step; and keep walking. Think about what is working well - not about your aches and pains. Don't think about the total number of kilometres you are walking. Only think about what you are walking today. Right now. Step by step, hill by hill, rest stop by rest stop - that's how you accomplish your goal."

And when the going got tough in some of the early days, (= rain + walking in 'streams' on the paths + blisters as a result) I reread some of these lines of yours as encouragement to myself. And they certainly worked! Somewhere in those first ten days my whole mindset changed to being one of 'gratitude', and focusing on the good that each minute brought. I remain grateful to you for sharing your advice, and I share it back now, just in time for you to take with you on your new Camino!
Margaret
 

Mish

New Member
Have had trouble trying to book accommodation in SJPP. Any suggestions?
We are arriving on Tuesday 7th April in SJPP and have not booked anywhere, we just thought that there would be a bed for us .. well we hope there is :eek:
Mish on the Gold Coast.leaving in 13 days :D
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Thanks for the reminder, Margaret! I've been so obsessed with my recent injuries that I forgot my own advice. One of the questions people always ask is "How in the world can you walk 800 (1000, etc) kilometres?" My answer always is " I don't! - I walk 25-30 kilometres. Then I do it again. Then I do it again . . . . " So to walk each day I am grateful for that day alone.
lynne
 
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Ola from Toronto - I plan to walk the Camino starting at St Jean on the 29th of April. Friends who have walked at this time of year stress the importance of layers - it will get hotter along the route but the beginning can be very cold. Several very thin and light layers are better than thick ones for carrying. Buen Camino, Gillian
 

Arn

Veteran Member
Gillian...welcome to the Forum!

I walked the Way last April 12th from SJPDP. Layers are always a good idea...but don't forget that at 40F your body, a poly pro and wind breaker should be sufficient. I carried a fleece vest to put on when I'd stop...just to retain the core warm. I did have a good jacket, but seldom wore it. Don't forget a good rain jacket..possibly an Altus type.

Buen Camino

Arn
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Gill Stoker-Lavelle said:
Several very thin and light layers....
Anyone ever find the need for Thermal T's & LJ's (light weight) for the mountains in April?
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
colinPeter said:
Gill Stoker-Lavelle said:
Several very thin and light layers....
Anyone ever find the need for Thermal T's & LJ's (light weight) for the mountains in April?
Yes.... I did. I encountered some very cold, wet weather and even snow on the high ground near Le Puy and crossing the Aubrac Plateau. A week later in Conques it was 30C+. But you need to be prepared for the possibility of a cold snap in April, judging by my experience! Even in June last year, on the Meseta some days the wind was bitterly cold.
Margaret
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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Hi Margaret,
Saw your "Kiwi fashion tips" post on the equipment topic just after asking here.
Thanks for your usual good advice.
Col
ps. Any pics of the lj's & shorts?
 
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KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
colinPeter said:
ps. Any pics of the lj's & shorts?

No way!!!!! If it was wet/cold enough for my lj's under my shorts, it was also too wet for my camera, which would have been well encased in plastic in the depths of my pack!!
Margaret
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
For you, Col, arriving in Arres (note the gloves, necessary even in the evening) in shorts and thermals. It is not a close-up, but I promise that my brother's legs are not naturally green...
 

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colinPeter

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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Hey, they look OK. I can see them as the next "must have" fashion accessory to go with your outfit.
Col :)
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Your brother would fit in well in this part of the Antipodes dressed like that ;-) To outdo him, I might have to take my rainbow striped thermals next time!
Margaret
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Nothing a walker could wear can be as outrageous as the norm for bikers! Skin tight, covered with ads, and in every color imaginable. No pockets, either. How can anyone be embarrassed by style when the competition is bikers? For standing out in a crowd, it would take a clown outfit or full plains Indian regalia to even come close. If it dries quickly and is warm, WEAR IT.
 
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proon4

New Member
Hi
I'm Arriving in St Jean Pied De Port on 29th April. Hope to start on 30th April. Need advice on a place to stay on the night of the 29th April.Good luck to everybody. Padraic
 

annie o

New Member
i'm so excited to see so many of you (us) are starting around now! i will be flying to madrid on sat, apr 18 and, like ginn, will be returning on june 2. veeerrrrrry excited! since the weather will always do what it is going to do, i figure my camino will embrace whatever mother nature sends my way. there is as much beauty in rain as sunshine if you can take physical comfort out of the equation! anyway, that's what my waterproof boots and poncho are for. i loved the post that said that 3 weeks of her camino was raining and she wouldn't have changed a thing. i hope i can have that attitude if that's what mother nature orders!

peace and blessings-
annie o
 

amgirl5

Member
I know that you are only supposed to stay one night, but I did find the hospitaleros more lenient in March and April. Several people I had met stayed extra days, many because of injuries such as infected blisters and bum knees, sickness, but also, just being tired. And space isn't at a premium because there aren't that many pilgrims walking. Sometimes in the winter/early spring, you have to walk further than you care too because a lot of the albergues have not opened yet. (I stayed an extra night in Sarria because I was exhausted.)

Liz
 

amgirl5

Member
by the way, we had ridiculously nice weather after the snowstorm in the Pyrenees in early March. I started in Pamplona March 8 and until I reached Galicia, we had sun everyday. Some sections were below freezing in the morning, but warmed up quickly. I wasn't expecting that, I was packed for snow. Rained most days in Galicia though (and hailed.)

Liz
 
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Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

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