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Camino this October


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My camino starts on 1st of October (can't wait!!!), I'll be starting from Saint Jean. I was just wondering about the albergues. Are they open normally during October or some of them close? Is it possible to get a list of those, that are open, somewhere?
How is the weather during October? I presume colder and wetter. How are the temp? What kind of clothes to bring? I dont want to pack to much.

Thx, K
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Hi Katkica,

I walked in October last year and although nobody wants to pack too much I'm afraid you have to plan for various contingencies. Some part of the Camino can be cold in October cold is relative but early mornings and evenings especially in some of the the higher elevations will require a fleece at time light thermals and if you prefer some form of windbreaker soft shell. Rain gear is also important because nobody want to be wet for long periods. Many people use ponchos but personally I don't like them they flap in the wind too much so a good rain jacket and pants is also a good idea. Still clothes don't end up being too much weight especially if you choose lightweight fabrics. I used merino wool thermals, T-shirts and long sleeve tops etc and found them fantastic, very light very warm and you don't need to wash them very often as they do not smell anywhere near as much a synthetic thermals. They are more expensive but worth every cent in my opinion.

The weather can vary from a few degrees in part to close to 30 on ther days.

Albergues will not be a problem in October, there may be the odd one that is closed but I can't recall any.

Feel free to ask any other querstions you may have.

Pablo ( Sydney Australia)
Goo luck
My husband and I are also walking in October. Starting 12 October in SJPDP! Maybe we see you along the way! Thanks for the great advice, Pablo. Do you know whether the bed bug problem will affect the albergues in October (maybe finding some of them closed?)
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I'm not sure but my feeling was that the proposed closure for 15 days was to be in "Quiet" times, that to me would suggest middle of winter not October. A lot of people walking in October. Too many for them to close I think.

Good luck on your walk I want to return next year, don't know at this stage if it will be spring or Oct like last year.

Keep this forum posted on how your going.

See ya and Buen Camino

hi, I'm also starting in October around the 10th but I have now only 23 days to walk, not planning to walk the entire way, will have to catch a bit of transport to make up days, however I was thinking of starting at Saint Jean, because it sounds beautiful but do those who are experienced think i should not start there but further along? thanks.
It's a really personal decision Sydney. Reaching Santiago is the endpoint, but for me, the walk along the way was the important thing. I think I would prefer to start somewhere and just walk, and know I was going to have to come back another time to finish..... (But maybe that is easy for me to say now I have finished once....)
The walk from SJPP is very beautiful... it is also quite steep.... I would only start from there after some good training....
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Hi Katkica. I too will be walking in October. I am actually arriving in SJPP on 1 October late afternoon (assuming my Ryanair flight from London Stansted is not late!) and will start walking on 2 October so I'll be right behind you! I intend to start extremely slowly though as I have done no training for this and doubt my level of fitness will be able to handle the leg to Ronscevalles in one day, so I'll do that in 2 days, and intend to gradually increase my distances daily until I feel fitter - sort of training in situ, I call it! Not sure I'll catch up with you but if you do see an overweight, unfit black woman in her early 40s, looking bewildered and talking with a heavy French accent, that will be me!

I don't know at this stage what I am most apprehensive of - the talk of bedbugs, the fact I hardly talk any Spanish, or the whole physical aspect of the thing! And I am also giving myself a bit of a headache deciding what to pack.

I am not sleeping very well at night at the moment as I have so many things on my mind, but I expect that once I have started, I'll be so exhausted that I'll sleep extremely well!

Hope to bump into you maybe. Isabelle
My strong reccomendation Syney, is to start where you feel you are being "called" to do so. I think we all have a "gut" feeling about the best place to start - and generally that is the best place - for us - wherever it might be. Like Kiwi said - if you don't "finish" this time it will still be there for you to go another time, after all think of the years the path has existed so far. I am sure you have read time and again that the journey is the important thing - not the destination, and like life that is so true. After all (and being philospical here) ultimately our bodies die, but the important thing is how we live our life to that end point isn't it? None of us with healthy minds and bodies are in any hurry to get there, and so it should be with the Camino (time passes quickly enough as it is!).

To both Sydney and Isabelle, enjoy your journey, and just take time to be "in the moment". The Camino seems to have its own magic which it weaves around all who walk it and beleive me you will be amazed at how well things turn out for you, even if it is not what you planned.

Cheers, Janet
Note to Isabelle,
Hello from Canada,
Just a heads up on making the trip to Roncesvalles in two days. There are two private albergues between SJPP and Roncesvalles . Huntto is about 5 or 6 km up and Orisson is 8 or 9 km up (someone will correct me if those distances are not accurate). The latter, Orisson is frequently booked quite a bit in advance. I don't know how things are in October but if you are planning to stay there overnight I'd advise you to make a reservation well ahead of time. You can go to their website and try from there at http://www.refuge-orisson.com or if that doesn't work, use the owner's personal email as follows:
jean-jacques Etchandy <Jean-Jacques.Etchandy@wanadoo.fr>. Huntto has a lot more space and will likely not be full at that time of the year.
If you aren't able to make a reservation ahead of time then be sure to stop into the pilgrims' office in SJPP. They will phone up to both albergues to see if there is room and will make a reservation for you if you don't have one. Then you'll know whether you are going to have a bed for the night before Roncesvalles. If you knew all this, excuse me for repeating it,
Buen camino
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The other thing to remember about Orisson is that they tell you to reconfirm the day before, and they do mean it. The Pilgrim Office in SJPP could do it for you when you arrive if you want, or the hospitalero in your SJPP gite might also do it. But if you don't reconfirm, you might find your reservation has evaporated by the time you get there next day!

All the best Isabelle....enjoy yourself!
Another note to remember - Esprit du Chemin, the private albergue in St Jean, closes on 28th September until 6th April.
..and a note to those feeling itchy about bedbugs:
Don´t. These are not scorpions. They sound horrible, but they´re not worth throwing over an entire camino for. And besides, by October the chilly nights will have sent them scurrying. Bedbugs are, thankfully, pretty much a summer phenomenon on the Caminos.

It´s a pilgrimage. It´s supposed to be hard sometimes.

Rebekah de Moratinos
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Hi all,
Im also heading over to do the camino in Mid-October. I did 12 days of it in April (only had 2 weeks free then), and walked from St. Jean to Fromista. So i'll finish it off from there in Oct.
Here are a few tips i'd give anyone doing it:
Pack as light as you can, i know everyone says it, but i had less than 5kg( no one could believe how little I was carrying) and I had everything I needed. I found I was able to cover good distances and had no back issues at all. Probably one tenth of the weight of my pack consisted of a big slab of cadburys chocolate which kept me going (should seriously have struck up a sponsership deal)

Definitely bring earplugs, thought i wouldn't need them but some of the snoring had to be heard to be believed(actually recorded one session on my phone...priceless). First aid kit wise, compeed plasters and a needle and thread are top of my list. Invest in good quality socks aswell.

I didn't have a guide book (good for weight reduction), I just used the 2 photocopy pages they gave me in St. Jean and they worked a treat. Just follow the yellow signs, and I think it was a bit more enjoyable not sticking to a guide book and discovering places yourself, plus you'll meet loads of people who'll give you some great advice.

A stick was a must for me, if only for beating off the dogs on the first day, but didn't meet any dogs after that.
The albergues were generally good, the one i didn't really rate was in Larrasoana. My favourite on by a long shot was in Cizur Menor, lovely spot and the couple who ran the place were great, it was definitely worth the extra push from Pamplona. Didn't really like staying in the big towns/ cities such as Logrono (the walk out of the city the next morning wasn't that nice).

As for language, spainish isn't that difficult to pick up the necessary phrases, i had really only the basics and it was grand, actually i ended up improving my German dramatically.

So, thats all the tips I can think of right now, hope it helps ye out,
Good luck on the walk.....im off to buy earplugs

The big day is approaching!!!Preparing my backpack and also being quite stressed about it, trying not to pack too much.
I am also not sure, if I should bring a guidebook with me or not. I guess I will decide in the last days.

Isabelle, I hope we do meet. I am also not in very best shape, but I hope I will manage the way to Roncesvalles in one day.

One more question for the more experienced ones: a sleeping bag is a must to bring, no? Mine is quite small, about 700g, and is for about 10 degrees C. What do you think?

thanx, K
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Even though many albergues have blankets, I used mine quite a bit. So yes to that question. It will be cold, as it was cold here and there in September when I went. I started with a silk one as advised and ended buying a thicker one in Pamplona. Glad I did.
K, here's what I did my last go-round in Sept 2007. I made copies of the pages containing information of the cities that i would be traveling to (Logrono-Leon) & then used the backs of those pages for my journal. I think tucked my Brierley guide into my pack as well. That worked like a charm! :)

You all should definitely take sleeping bags. I almost froze to death in Atapuerca (ok, I didn't but it sure felt like it) because I didn't take my sleeping bag out of my pack & it turned out that my room was full of folks who were already asleep! I didn't want to wake them & thought it would be okay to just use my silk liner. Brrrrr.....

Buen Camino!
Hello everybody,

Most albergues are OPENED during all AUTUMN. So, no problem for you. But, if yu have doubts about, ask to hospitaleros for next possible places to stay, to sleep. They will help you as much as possible. And, if any problem, ASK. Ask to me by a private message and I'll replay. If during any weekend, if I'm walking ... not possible, but I usually check my email several times a day.

And, during the winter, it's different, but the Camino Frances provides several sleeping points in all towns. No Problem to stay, to sleep.

In other Caminos is different.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain
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