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Class of 2008!

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Welcome back Arn - you were missed on this forum!!

So sorry your camino did not go as expected but I'm you enjoyed in none the less.

Only 2 more sleeps left before we leave for Spain!!!!
No me gusta la cerveza negra pero dos cervezas me parece bueno.
Sumachado: You'll start few days earlier than I'll do, so we might not meet there. I will be in Roncesvalles in the beginning of the June and I have a fligt back home 5 weeks later.
Well .... at last the time has come. Only 1 more sleep!!!!!!!! :D

Leave tomorrow for Madrid, arrive in SJPP on Friday and start walking on Saturday :lol:

Cannot wait and also cannot stop packing and repacking again and again just to make sure I'm only taking what's necessary and not leaving any essentials (like socks)!!!
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Mouse - enjoy the excitement of the last day at home. Many things around you will take on a special significance and value by the time you return - your own pillow on the bed, books on the shelf, towels in the bathroom, hot water! - one of the great blessings of pilgrimage is helping us appreciate what we have - I think anyway!

Buen Camino manaña

Hey Skattie! Be safe, take it slowly the first week, be a good ambassador for our country and most of all, enjoy! Remember that the reality of the camino is a long, hard hike - not a walk in the park. And, if you feel like calling quits, just remember why you wanted to do it in the first place.
Big pilgrim hug,
Mouse...this is it...wanna scream...together 1..2..3...Ahhhhh!
My pack is in the office with me!! Wearing all the usual female office attire, heels, skirt and jacket...and walk in w/a full some good chuckles, and as I told someone else..they got to see the real me, or at least a part...
We have a shipping and receiving dept....with excellent besides making 'em laugh..there was a practical reason! Then I get to repack this evening one last time...I kinda already know which items are going to get yanked..I just want numeric confirmation!
Wishing you all the very very best!

Buen Camino :arrow:

PS and to all those who helped and answered questions and steered to information Thank YOU!(Sil, Arn, Rebekah, Kubapigora, Lilli, Louise...etc etc etc...I can't remember them all!) :D
Karin, your excitement is palpable - you have almost got me jumping up and down for you!
You go get 'em girl!! Be a happy pilgrim. Promise yourself that you will not complain about anything, rain, sleet, sun, wind, crowds, snoring.... nada!
ksam! Have a journey of your life! And don't worry about anything. My friend (who walked all the way from Poland to Santiago, then to Rome and next year is leaving for Jerusalem) is alvays telling me to be a crazy pilgrim- to walk in the snow, sleep in the churches, run away from the dogs, forget about the past and pray to God- that way it will be all worth it!
Buen Camino!
How to avoid failure "be prepared"
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Well that's it folk ..... we just about on our way!!!!! Yaaaaayyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!

Have a compulsive need to repack my bag just one more time!!!! But there's not enough time left to do that ......... so ......... it will just have to stay as it is (which is very difficult for a control freak to do and to know that from now on what will be will be!!!)

Thanks to everyone for all the help and advice .... couldn't have done it with you.
Arn said:
I feel Blessed to have you all for friends ..... Thank you ALL and Thank you Santiago!
Well, it has been a tough Camino by the sound of it, Arn. I've got a very long way to go yet! Three weeks into the pilgrimage and many, many hundreds of kilometres to go. Your experience could happen to any of us, and of course it is always a reminder - when we see whatr befalls others - that we have to be so careful on the road. I hope you are mending. Sit back and watch the rest of us falling over now. :wink: If I get through France without another dangerous encounter with the wildlife, I'll be lucky. I have been warned to be especially alert to the possibility of vipers this month. Anyone know if that is a real threat, or are people winding me up... :cry:


You're off to a great start and I admire your mission and desire to make more than a symbolic difference. Pride DID go before my fall and the humility I found made the Way all that more important and lasting. I'm still finding these little gems as I unpack, launder, read and reread my journal, notes and scraps of paper.

My prayers are with you...buen Camino

Hi Gareth, :)
Hope all is going well. Snakes in France - it's not a wind up, if stopping for picnic move your staff around the area where you intend to sit, if anything is there it will be glad to get out of your way.

And Hi to Arn, hope you make a good and speedy recovery. I met a pilgrim in Spain in1997. He had started from Le Puy the previous year but his knee locked as he was going into Cahors - home and operation. He picked up the route again from Cahors and when I met him he had passed Sahagun and was walking steadily towards Santiago. So ......
Best wishes,
Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk. Discount is taken at check out, only by using this link.

We are back! Now I want to cry because this one is over...yes I said THIS one! Adrianne is planning another piece of Camino Frances next year...I'm already thinking of which other route and how long to allow!

Sil, you'll be proud of us...only once did one of us actually complain....and that was after a really nasty stretch with a lot of rain! (Hey, if I'd known I could have left any and all skin type creams home, Mother Nature provided all the moisturizer anyone could ever need!) Funny part was even after he complained, we had him laughing, on his feet and on his way in only a few minutes!

We only just got home and I'm so tired I can hardly see straight...gotta go to sleep, that four letter word, work, tomorrow, but all I will have to do is think of what we just accomplished and I'll be smiling all over again.

To all who posted and helped, who are too numerous to name (in the state I'm in) thank you for a wonderful journey! You were all thought of when we hugged St. James and during the Pilgrim Mass, where I used the last of my camera memory filming the botofumeri! Horray!


Welcome home Karin - and well done!
What wonderful memories you will have - and when you have an attack of the PPBs (Post Pilgrimage Blues) just close your eyes and picture yourself back on the way!
Pilgrim hugs,
Arn, hi sorry for the rough time you had, but you made it. Well I had to stop at Burgos, after 280 kil. and blister free, yes everyone blister free my chest cold got worst the cough medicine from the pharmacy was of little help. I was cold and tired from not sleeping and at Burgos the Hostal in the park took its toll on me it was just deplorable. Plus could not get any money from caija so had to make a decision to return to Madrid. At Madrid where I usually stay and they treat me like family they took care of me until I returned home. I am on a 1000 milgrams of antibiotic and prescription cough medicine and finally getting better.
Although I have complaints with the places I stayed at, I had an enjoyable Camino. Met many great and helpful people and I thank the lady and her young son from Denmark they were great companions. I traveled for the first six days with a guy from Hungry and we had a great time and kept a good pace but at Azofra he decided to walk alone. We managed to walk the first day 27 kil. and when anywhere from 37 to 40 kil. per day was exciting and only wished could have taken it slower. But the high light was traveling alone on a Sunday and decided to stop at a Poor Clare cloistered convent for Mass and was taken by surprise to the twenty young nuns in traditional habits and great singing. It was surely a blessing at least one of many. The other privilege and blessing was at a monastery of cloistered nuns in Madrid where I usually going for mass well it was the Sunday for the Eucharistic procession (Corpus Christi)and I was asked to help carry the canopy over the Blessed Sacrament very impressive and surely a blessing and not once did I cough during this. Also I want to thank the many individuals who were kind and generous especially the elderly German couple his wife gave me Tiger balm to rum on my chest.
Nevertheless I am still having dreams being on the road, I might just go back to Burgos next year and start again. although I must say some of the Albergues were pretty rough.
Also met Clarisa and Keith in Roncesvalles the trip by bus from Pamplona to Roncevalles was splendid. Oh yes and many thanks to the German guy named Oliver who gave me his two walking poles in Roncesvalles I gave one away and walked with one and brought it home with me.
ciao everyone peace jot and walk carefully.
Niel, I am sorry you didn't get to Santiago but obviously the camino isn't finished with you yet!

I look back with such fond memories of the first camino I walked in 2002. Yet, when I read my diary now I realise just what a moaning, whining, bitching, grousing winny-ninny I really was! I whined constantly about the paths, hating the rocks, the shale, the mud and even the cow shit in Galicia. (Like somebody went out at night and scattered shale, rocks mud and cow dung on the paths just to piss me off!)

I described a few of the little villages we passed through as “dumps” even those that architectural students make special trips to visit in order to record the medieval straw and mud structures unique to the north of Spain. I described Tomas’ refuge as ‘septic’ and Tomas himself as ‘loopdy-loop”.

I often bitched about the food, not realising then that some of the places we stayed in didn’t have shops; they waited for the weekly van to bring in bread, vegetables, meat etc. to feed us ungrateful pilgrims. I was indignant about the few places where we had to sleep on mattresses on the floor. Way below my prissy, suburban expectations. I knew that there weren’t any Holiday Inns across the route, but Really, how could ‘they’ expect us to sleep on the floor?

I complained because so few local people could speak English and I even commented on how frustrating it was that every mass I went to was in Spanish! Well – hello!! Where did I think I was?

So Karin, Niel and others still walking or just returning – I apologise if my posts have appeared ‘holier-than-thou’ because I was the biggest moaning Minnie of the lot. They say that pilgrimage is a metaphor for life with all its ups and downs - mirroring normal life. At least the camino gives you a second chance to go and do it better next time!!
Dearest Sil, the last thing you have ever sounded like to me was holier-than-thou! You've sounded like a slightly older and experienced sister...happily and freely giving advice from personal experience....and allowing us to expedite our learning curve...if we are willing to learn! And I can now speak from a voice of at least small experience...When those who have gone before say keep the load as light as you can..DO SO! Joe and I got into Pontavedre earlier than our compatriots, and so had time and the determination (!) to find the Correo....even though it meant an extra 4k !

We went in ... speaking un poco Spanish...and ended up with me doing the talking w/a postal employee in German (which has come in handy on several amusing occasions!) and we shipped home several items...and left with grins from ear to ear!

In the end I hiked with only two pairs of pants...three shirts (two t-shirts and a tank top) a fleece socks and towels (camping type) and a kit of bathroom neccesities, a pair of sandals, a fleece and a jacket! The most amazing discovery, and for all the ladies out there I HIGHLY recommend, my yoga pants, by Champion, were great to hike in. Black, very very light and thin, dried in a moment...two zip pockets, not full length but capri length...would take'em again in a moment! They are also stretchy which was nice when going up hill! Wore 'em on the plan thinking I could ditch em or just carry...instead I ditched the second hiking pants and kept the yoga ones! Who woulda thunk it!

And on your note re language Sil, I am going on line again at lunch and finding a class at the high school or college, and I will return speaking something other than Cafe con Leche, uno, quattro el bano (sic) and cervesa! But the German being so useful was very funny!

Meanwhile back at the salt mine aka ... work...

Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Well, after months of planning, I have fewer than two weeks to go. I'll be arriving in St. Jean on the 18th of June, and starting out the next morning. I'm equal parts excited and terrified.

Anyone else going to be starting around the same time?
Oh how I wish I could answer truthfully yes!! But not this year.

Breathe...and Arn told me too...just take it easy esp. the first'll do fine..and most of all from my small (very small) bag of tips and tricks...go as light as possible...two pairs of pants was sufficient even with torrential down pours! I know because I went to the postoffice here in town today to retrieve what my friend Joe and I mailed home from Pontevedre! So nice to see the stuff this side of the Atlantic...but not on my back!! Only one mistake...I accidentally threw in my backpack cover...and looked like all american white trash - bag that is!! We had one large bag to spare amongst us..and that became my pack cover! Actually easy for cars to spot too!! Nice and say nothing of a little tacky looking..but on Camino...who the heck cares...Not I !

Wishing you all the very very best,

Bom Camino, Buen Camino Bon Voyage!
We don't have a set date as of now but we will be doing the Camino for the second time sometime in June/July. Very excited! We're leaving the U.S. the 11th of June and should be in Galicia by mid-June.

Not sure when we will arrive at Santiago. My Gramps can get a little attached at times...making it difficult to set out. So I've been prepping him for the last 2 months. :D I'll try to keep posting until we're ready to set out for the Camino though!
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Just a note to tell you all that Clarissa from Peru/Australia stopped by here this morning, (looking great, feeling a bit of pain in a knee) and Patricia from N. Carolina/Florida/Australia was also here part of the week (having foot problems.) They both say HELLO and are still on the Way!

Rebekah in Moratinos.
4 more sleeps and we're off. Hoping to spend next Thursday night in Orrison, but am unable to contact the albergue there by phone or email, so may wait to Friday and go to Roncesvilles. Backpack is about 8 kg and shrinking, but am fearful of those last minute things! Bedbug undersheet is supposed to arrtive from Canada on Monday- we'll see!!! Excited, but nervous!!!
Thanks, Sil. I sent a note to each of those email addresses - we'll see. I'll try the second phone # tomorrow as it's a wee bit late now with the time change!!! I speak Spanish- not French so whatever the recording was on the line went totally over my head- but there was no real person involved!!!
It was probably - "If you want a bed press 2, if you want a room press 3, if you want full board, press 4". :D
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
You're probably right, but I'm not going to worry about it! No answer to my emails either so I think we'll just leave SJPP early and go to Roncesvalles. Sounds like many others have had trouble getting reservations there, so... The Man in Charge must want us to trek hard the first day- guess I know who I have to listen to!!! I tried to take your advise Sil, but...!!!
I just heard from the Orisson Albergue. Both of Sil's email addresses work but it may take them 3 or 4 days to respond. If interested try or They charge 30 Euros a night but I think that includes dinner and breakfast. They will ask for half payment by paypal before confirming the reservation. They speak French and Spanish. We'll be there Thursday night!
I am SO pleased they replied. And yes, the price does include dinner bed and breakfast.
Well, we´re actually walking the camino, and have passed the half way mark, tonight we´re in El Burgo Ranero, heading for Leon. It has been so much harder than I expected, not only the walking, coping with the different language and culture, snoring in the dorms at night, some minor aches and pains, and a massive bout of vomiting and diarrhoea at Ledigos which is I think exactly half way! Although we´re half way through and I thought we´d be on a high, we have the same distance to go again which tempers our excitement. But we wouldn´t be anywhere else. OUr next goal Leon, then Astorga, and then Santiago is in sight! Jane & Guy
Keep on walking, and when you get there- don't forget to share your story;)
Take care.
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
And your still going!! I am so impressed. So many people I know would have called it quits with the stomach thing...but your hanging in there! Good for you! Will keep you in prayers and be thinking of you often. All the best, Buen Camino, Karin :D
I was so excited to find a forum for the pilgrimage- yet another great way to keep the community in touch. I recently finished the pilgrimage- SJPP to Finisterre, May 5-June 5. If anyone is still in the "considering" phase, feel free to send me a message. I have been known as a great motivator and have wonderful persuasive capabilities....just if you need that extra push. ;) It is SO worth it.

Thanks to Arn, who I'm assuming is the mastermind of this project. Glad to be here!

Buen camino,
Hi Vanessa,
Congratulations on your walk and welcome to Ivar's Cyber Albergue! The Forum was started almost 4 years ago (Oct 2004) by Ivar Revke and is a wonderful way for past pilgrims to guide new pilgrims and help with their planning.
You are right about Arn! He masterminded the Class of 2008 Post shortly after he joined the Forum 6 months ago and as you can see there have been hundreds of posts under this subject.

It appears from the current number of folks at this thread, that there are a significant number of fellow pligrims in the mid- to final stages of the planning for their Camino.
I have also noticed a decidedly large number of folks observing from the fringes.
It's been my observation, that most folks don't "accidentally" come across a site such as this. They have a purpose and, if that purpose is to seek out information, therefore why not declare yourself by joining the site along with we perigrinos...past, present and soon to be. Start your Camino from right there in the comfort of your own home, but start it with the knowledge that there are folks that you want to meet and will want to meet you in return.
The number of folks making their Camino each year is in the thousands, surely there are more of you out there.
Who among you is willing to acknowledge you're a member of the class of 2008!
Buen Camino

Wondering how Clarisa and Keith are doing and news on them Might email Keith to find out.
Just about all better from that chest infection I caught on the way, it just seemed to linger. Isn't something no blisters and yet a chest cold. Sorry to hear of the ailments some are experiencing especially in sleeping in the dorms, I thought that was the worse for me just not use to sharing sleeping space.
Keep on .
niel :D
Hi Neil,
I visit Clarisa every now and then on her blog at:
She has posted some lovely photographs and her last blog was from Leon:
And today is June the 9th, and I am still on the Camino, but in Leon, where I am waiting for my glasses to be repaired! I hope to get to Santiago at the latest by the 25th of I don´t know yet.... according to my book, it is 326.1 km away :) Some people can walk 25 to 30 km a day easily, but it is a little harder for old ankle gets very sore and swollen after about 18 km, and needs ibuprofen, a rest and a lot of coaxing to get it going the next day!

I am so proud of her! She has persevered through thick and thin right from the start.
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Hi I am Maggee. I have just booked my fight to Paris, found a bed and breakfast for the first 2 nights in St Jean Pied de Port and will be starting my pilgrimage on August 30 from there, anyone planning to be there around the same time?? I have been thinking about this trip for about 18 months and finally just decided to jump into the process and do it! Now I am madly working out a fitness plan for the next 2 months to be in the best physical condition. any advice :) out there around what works best - am I too worked up about preparing to walk up hills? Love to be included in this forum M
Hi Maggee - welcome to the Forum. Its great you are already booked and committed.

As far as physical preparation is concerned the best advice is to start slow and build up - get as many walks in as possible in the 2 month period - especially go for day walk fully kitted out if you can - it is important you get used to walking with a packed rucksack - it may even make you review what you are taking. Weight, weight weight :)

On the Camino Frances it is possible to walk slowly over shorter distances and build up more gradually. The etapa from St Jean can be very demanding for some people and it may be best to stop at Orisson - you will see contact details a few posts back.

But I wouldn't worry - its is a fantastic undertaking and you will soon get used to the demands of walking - just get started slowly and gradually and all will be well.

Buen camino

Magee, Welcome!!
This forum is an absolute wealth of information and advice! We couldn't have done it without all the time I spent on line reading up here. And when JW says weight weight weight....listen to him. I though I had, but wound up finding a post office and shipping some things home!! :oops: So if you do over pack, DON'T be embarrased, ship it back!! And as others have said, it's not like your falling off the edge of the earth..there are stores along the way, and homes and people and ways to get don't have to have everything with you at all times!!

And walk, every day...every single day! Even if its only a few miles at lunch..that's what got me ready, short stuff every day and long ones on the weekends..with a heavy pack. I actually threw in canned goods to ge the weight up in a on our weekend prep hikes, we were never in any danger of starvation! I had pasta sauce, green beans, candied yams and the list goes on!! Hey we could have stayed out for days with the 16lbs of groceries!!!

Wishing you all the very best..
I posted a while back to let people know that I was starting my Camino on 9th September from St. Jean. Well, it's a few months later and I still am. But, I've got my bag now and a host of other stuff including detachable trousers, earplugs and a teeny travel towel.

But the most exciting thing is I'm finishing work this week in advance of the off. It's not like I'll be spending the next 2 months preparing but.....I'll certainly have time to think and rethink my packing and do a little more reading.

To say I'm looking forward to it would be a gigantic understatment! Thanks to everyone here for making such a great corner of the www devoted to such a positive cause.

Not been around for a while, house move and all the associated time constraints! Good to catch up and see what the Class 0f 2008 has been up to. My own plans are in a slight state of flux as an attack of Plantar Fasciitis has prevented any training for the last couple of months. The foot seems to be improving but soon I shall face the decision of whether to postpone until the Spring. This is heartbreaking as I've planned to walk my Camino in Spetember / October 2008 for the last 4 years. But maybe this is my first Camino lesson - we can't always plan what will happen! However as of today I'm still hoping to leave 8th September and meet up with Janeh, even if only for a drink and meal we've talked of :D
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Tried to send a message to Clarissa but her blog is too complicated and easier to access Fort Knox then her blog. Also Keith made good for him he emailed he had arrived in Compostela on June 15th.
Great work to all who completed the way.
My husband, Paco, and I bought our tickets from Lugo to Piedrafita today and will be getting on our way Monday. We're both very excited and hope to see some of you along the way!
¡Buen Camino!

Hi. My name is Sara. I'm planning to do the Camino in mid August. I uh... haven't been training like I should :oops: I can spend up to six weeks on the camino. Do you know if this is possible? I keep reading about people doing it in four weeks. I also see that there is some distance between albergues. Does this mean one has to travel a certain distance each day?
Many thanks and good luck to everyone.
mueslimix said:
Hi. My name is Sara. I'm planning to do the Camino in mid August. I uh... haven't been training like I should :oops: I can spend up to six weeks on the camino. Do you know if this is possible? I keep reading about people doing it in four weeks. I also see that there is some distance between albergues. Does this mean one has to travel a certain distance each day?
Many thanks and good luck to everyone.

Hey Sara,

You can easily do 6 weeks on the Camino! (Or do you mean if you can complete the whole thing, starting in France, in 6 weeks?) I think most people just don't have 6 weeks to put in. There are a lot of attractions off road to see (museums, castles, and such). It just depends on what you'd like to see and do. Also, remember that you don't have to do the whole thing to earn your Compostela. Just the last 100km. That's why a lot of people start in Sarria which is about 115-120km from Santiago.

Also, are you pretty fit? I know you mentioned not having practiced much but that doesn't mean you're not fit. The first time we did it we didn't practice much and were pretty beat by the end (but we did it way too quickly). This time we did decide to train a bit.

Also, as to your 2nd question, do you plan on staying mostly at the public albergues? If you do then yes, there is a certain amount of distance you will have to travel. There are plenty of other options along the way in the different towns though (hostals, pensions, etc.). Prices vary for those. My husband and I prefer to get a good night's sleep before heading back out so we usually get a "doble" somewhere (a room with a bed for two). The downside is that most of these don't offer laundry service so if you need to do laundry you need to find a place that does have that service.
And if you're on the Camino for 6 weeks doing this could get expensive of course.

Hope that helps a bit!

Hi, my name is Erin. My sister Colleen and I are excited to be leaving Vancouver BC, Canada on Sep. 8 and leaving SJPdP on Sep. 9. We have 5 weeks to walk the Camino. So excited!!!! Haven't got all my gear yet, but working on it. This forum is very helpful. Thank you, Erin
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Hi Erin,

I too plan to be leaving SJPdP on 9th September - as long as the weather isn't terrible as I want to take the scenic route, if it is I might wait a day! Best of luck with the planning. This forum is a great help.

Look out for the Irish guy with a confused "what am I doing here" look on his face - that'll be me.

The time has come to say good bye to everyone, it has been a blast and many thanks to everyone for helpful questions. Have a great summer.
Buen camino Neil - good luck with your Divinity studies. Drop in on us from time to time and let us know when you are ordained.
Hello, Agnes!
I ended my first Camino 29th of Juny and I also started from SJPDP. I enjoyed every minute of the Camino. I got many new friends from all over the Europe and I didn't have any problems, so I was very lucky.
Good luck to you, Agnes!
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Arn said:

You're off to a great start and I admire your mission and desire to make more than a symbolic difference. Pride DID go before my fall and the humility I found made the Way all that more important and lasting. I'm still finding these little gems as I unpack, launder, read and reread my journal, notes and scraps of paper.

My prayers are with you...buen Camino


Thanks for that, Arn. I have only just caught up with this thread again, as I am staying with Rebekah and Paddy in Moratinos for two days to have a proper break from the Camino. It´s difficult sometimes trying to keep up with the communications on the road, and as I come to the end of my two day break I am just catching up properly with the Forum threads. (Some threads - like this one - are less complicated than others, thank goodness...! :roll: )

I´m glad you took home something important and lasting, despite your difficult Camino.

I may be doing something a little ambitious here over a great distance, and it certainly has been a challenge, but your soldiering on in adversity must be an inspiration to all of us.

Hallo All

My name is Eugene and I live in beautiful Stellenbosch near Cape Town in South Africa. I recently had the privilege of walking the Camino Frances from SJPP to Santiago. It was a wonderful experience and I will treasure the memories thereof for life. To all who will be undertaking this journey in the near future, Buen Camino! Regards, Eugene
Hi people,

I'm 23, an Australian and have just finished my undergraduate degree in Exercise Science. I read "The year we seized the day", and decided that a pilgrimage would be a good way to spend some time alone with my thoughts/see a large slice of Spain in a very relaxed way/ and have 4weeks to think about exactly what I will do with my life when I return to Australia!

After reading/googling for a while I have decided to walk the Camino del Norte to Oviedo and then the Camino Primitivo on to Santiago De Compostela.
The quantity of information on this site is amazing so I was hoping this post might attract the attention of a few people who could perhaps suggest some threads which might answer my questions???

:?: I'm planning to walk from about the 12th of September until around the middle of October. I know the Coastal Route can be pretty wet....any other special packing considerations I should take into account?

I'll be doing a language camp in Soria until the 12th, which is where I will leave from to go to Irun. :?: Does anyone (possbily a native Spainiard?) have a suggestion for the best means of transport to get from Soria to Irun?

:?: Any recent advice on a rough budget??? I've heard 1 euro for every km.......25 euros a day.....etc etc....I realise it will depend on quite a few variables...but what is a suitable ballpark figure to work a budget around?

:?: Obtaining a passport in there any part of this I can organise from Australia before I go?

Alright.....I think that might be enough for now....will be very appreciative of any help :D

Alex Wright
Welcome Alex! You've hit the motherlode! I know if you use the search part of this page/ can find answers to damn near anything! Wishing you all the very best on your journey...quick question for you...Is that a book. The Year we Siezed the Day???? by whom???

Gracias and Buen Camino
Karin :D
Hi Karin!!!!

Thanks for the tip.....didn't expect such a prompt reply but very grateful for it!!!

Yes its a book....written by two Australian authors. Heres the site for the book if your interested.

Which Camino/s have you walked and when?

Hope you well mate, talk to you soon.

Alex. :)
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Hey Alex, Thank YOU for the info...being a major book junkie! We did the Camino Portuguese...a tad abrieveiated due to time constraints..started in Valenca just on the Portuguese Border w/Spain...only took 6 days. Have my eye on the Camino Frances...maybe, maybe next fall. Would like to find a way to do it all of a stretch...that's if I don't take a leave and ride across the much to do...Work just keeps getting in the way....

Will check out the book asap!
Oh..we did do a blog..of sorts and met some of your country folk, who did the same route and lurk here on the forum often! Rose Louise and her hubby did the same stretch at the same time and also had a blast ... rain and all!

Happy Planning...
Arn said:
There’s a pattern to my last stage from Sarria to Santiago and, except for the changing landscape, albergues and fantastic folks I met, it changed little. I made 10-12 km a day, stopped early, started each morning about 0830 and stopped about 1230. I arrived in a pouring rain at the Cathedral just in time for noon Mass. I was embarrassed that I was so dirty, wet and in shorts. I walked just far enough inside to stop in front of Santiago behind the barred case…and cried!

Arn, I heard from Brendan when I reached Rabanal that you had injured yourself on Alta del Perdon. (I met an Australian man who dislocated his shoulder when he slipped in the mud on the same stretch.) I was sorry to hear that, but I can see from reading your account here that the experience of the Camino then became different but perhaps even richer than the norm. Maybe you will find a time to return one day and walk the rest, but if not, it sounds like the Camino has wrought changes within in any case...
(I met an Australian man who dislocated his shoulder when he slipped in the mud on the same stretch.)
KiwiNomad06, really ? I wonder have we met too because I met that Australian man many times. Especially in the first week of the Camino. I also met him in the end in Santiago de Compostela when I had been there few days already.
mina said:
KiwiNomad06, really ? I wonder have we met too because I met that Australian man many times. Especially in the first week of the Camino. I also met him in the end in Santiago de Compostela when I had been there few days already.

His name was Mick...and he did stick around in Santiago for a few days when he finished (ahead of me.) He had come back to stay at Monte de Gozo when I arrived there on July 4th.
Yes, he was Mick and he is bald. If he was ahead of you then we didn't meet there. I arrived to Santiago 29th of Juny and I flew back home 3th of July. I remember that Mick started too fast and then he started have problems. Because of that shoulder problem he couldn't carry his backpack.
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Yes...that is the same Mick! He dislocated his shoulder when he slipped in mud on Alto del Perdon. I banged into him a few times along the route. He walked more quickly than me, but needed to take breaks for medical attention at times, so I caught up to him again a few times. I have a photo of him: in Los Arcos I had a meal with him and five Irish guys he was walking with a bit. (They finished in Burgos this year though.)
KiwiNomad06: Quite interesting. I checked your blog and we both were at the same night in Roncesvalles. :)
I started from SJPDP 30th of May and I stayed the night between 30th and 31th in Roncesvalles but I think I walked little bit faster than you after that. The morning in Roncesvalles wasn't so nice because it rained so much.
Yes... we did stay the same night in Roncesvalles!!!!!!! And yes, it did absolutely pour with rain the next morning... .but I didn't mind too much as it had been such good weather for the crossing of the Pyrenees, with such wonderful views....
Hi Arn,

My name is Dennis and I am planning my camino in the fall of 2009.I am not sure of my route as yet,but will let you know as soon as I do.
There are suppose to be some changes as to who will issue valid "passports"in 2009.Has this been finalized? Would appreciate any replies.

Pilgrim Passports

Hi Dennis and welcome

Have lots pleasure choosing what route to decide. The Confraternity of St James in the UK has a good summary of the routes:

You don't say what country you are from? In terms of the Pilgrim Passports the rules are straightforward: pilgrim passports from the home country of pilgrims issued by the CSJ of the UK, USA, South Africa. Ireland etc are accepted at the Pilgrims Office in Santiago. The only SPANISH passport which is accepted is the one issued at albergues, tourist offices, churches etc along the way i.e. the passport approved by the Cathedral in Santiago.

There is more information here

Best wishes

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Hi John,

I am from Canada and I found your reply very helpful.I will contact the Little Company of Pilgrims in Toronto, and take it from there.

Thanks again,
Hello all you 2008ers

I started my camino on April 3 by walking from Pau in the south of France to the village of Lescar. We received our credentials at the tourist centre in Lescar where we were greeted with great civility and friendliness. The refuge was not open that early in the season, so the tourist office gave us the key to get in and rang the local volunteers who came around later in the afternoon to check that we had all we needed. They lived in their own house nearby.

From Lescar I walked to Col de Somport in the Pyrenees and on to Puenta la Reina where we met up with the pilgrims who had started at Roncesvalles and SPDP. We reached Compostela on May 11, and after 1 day to rest our backs [ and just about everything else ] my friend and I walked to Fisterre.

The memories are legion. One concerns my walking staff which I used to leave leaning on a wall of any building I was visiting so that my friends following behind would know I was there. It was very distinctive as it was painted in a traditional Australian aboriginal design denoting a long journey. It was taken from the outside wall of the albergue at de Ribadiso. All my travelling companions were aghast, and vowed to try and find it. I gave it up for lost. When I walked into Compostela cathedral I was greeted by a very animated Spanish girl who I had befriended. She grabbed my arm and hurried me round to a section of the cathedral where her friends had a man under observation. He had my staff! He handed it straight over after he saw the look in my eye. I was pleased to get it back, but I think my fellow pilgrims who knew the story were even happier.

The camino is with me for ever. I pray most nights for pilgrims and I give special thanks for those I met on the long trails of the road to Santiago.

buen camino Alan
Hello to all!

After all these months I never committed to 2008 as I didn´t know where I would walk. My students went home last week and I spent 3 days in Galicia and then came down to Moratinos where I have spent 3 lovely and restful days enjoying the most gracious hospitality of Rebekah and Paddy at the Peaceable Kingdom.

After long discussions and consideration, (Reb is probably thinking, just make a decision, already!) I shall begin walking the Frances again from here with the plan to continue on to Muxia and Fisterre since I have already been to Santiago this summer. Of course I shall make a brief stop there! Hopefully Ivar will be back from Colorado by then! So although it wasn´t my plan to walk the Frances again this year, the Camino has other plans for me.

I will try to let you all know how it is going from time to time! I´ll head out from Moratinos in the morning.

Gentle pilgrims who wish to stop in to visit Moratinos will NOT be disappointed.

Buen Camino
Buen Camino Deirdre - how wonderful to walk the Frances again!
Big hug,
Thanks, Sil,

It should be an adventure! I brought the new Brierley guide to Spain, but didn´t plan to walk the Frances so it is sitting on the desk of the house where I was staying in Madrid! I have a guide to El Norte..... no help. So I guess I´ll be ¨winging it¨. Oh well, I´m sure I can get to Santiago...just figuring out the distances would be nice... but with a little luck, I´ll pick up one of the many resources they have along the Way!

Buen Camino,
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Alex the language camp in Soria is it with Pueblo Engles.. if it is did that two yrs in a row and was twice in Soria region a place called Valdelavilla. Nice area very scenic and isolated.. enjoy the Camino..bring warm clothes my first mistake became sick and couldn't complete the Camino..good luck you will enjoy every minute of it.
Hi Class of 2008,
I've been lurking around for a week since I found your site. I thought it would be good to introduce myself because you are a friendly bunch :)

My name is Nicole and I plan to walk the Camino with my husband Rob the last part of October. I think we are going to start in SJPdP and see how it goes. We only have 12 days and the first part of the Camino Frances sounds very lovely unless you can't get over the pass :wink:

We will only have 12 weeks to train but I think we can do it. I've learned so much from this board already and I know you all will help us through it.

Hi Nathanael,

Yes mate its the one in Valdelavilla, Soria. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Do you have any recommendation for getting from there to Irun? I'm pretty much going to leave Pueblo Ingles and start walking the next day, so just looking for a passage to Irun from Soria.

Have you walked all the Norte?

Hi Nicole,

and welcome to my favorite place on the web! There is a ton of info and insight and support here...Enjoy the planning, enjoy the trip and then enjoy the memories....(and planning the next time 'round!) Wishing you all the best.

Buen Camino, Karin :D
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
How is everyone going who are planning to start their camino this year? :?:
I know most of the "Class of 2008" have been and done their camino, but there are still a few of us waiting here excitedly in the wings for our turn. I head out of St Jean on September 9th, walking the Camino Frances. I know Jane B is hoping to leave that same day, who else is going to be coming along the path? I have my forum badge sewn onto my backpack so please look out for me. I'll be the slowish, soon to be 50 year old walking along, a happy little pilgrim I hope! cheers, Jane :)
[quote="Janeh"I know most of the "Class of 2008" have been and done their camino, but there are still a few of us waiting here excitedly in the wings for our turn. I'll be the slowish, soon to be 50 year old walking along, a happy little pilgrim I hope! cheers, Jane :)[/quote]
From a slowish, soon-to-be-51-y-o who as part of the class of 2008 hasn't long been home.... all the best!

I'm 56 and will probably be slow and am very much looking forward to starting in early September. I'm walking regularily and making sure my clothes, pack and especially my boots are comfortable and I'm very much looking forward to flying to Britian and then to Santander where I plan to start the coastal route.

ah anticipation.


an afterthought. I'm thinking that I don't really want to be fast or not so fast that I don't have time and opportunity to see and think. I'm not a religious person and I am walking not for the destination but for the journey.

John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
johnBCCanada said:
I'm not a religious person and I am walking not for the destination but for the journey.

How about this idea: start walking and the walk will tell you what you´re walking for. You may end up 'a religious person'... would that be so bad...?


And when he walks the Shikoku pilgrimage he can become a Buddhist!!
Would that be so bad? :wink:

well I will walk with, I hope, an open mind and heart as to the experience but also without expectations about becoming anything different that I am. I'm looking forward to the Camino but am of the personal belief that learning and change comes from being open to learning and change wherever and whenever. Something that I am still working on :) I'm just not too oriented to getting where I am going so much as fully experiencing and possibly learning from the journey.

who knows what the lessons may be? I just want to be open to learning them and not too focussed on the ostensible goal at the end of the walk.

John, your age has nothing to do with it..I am 63 and walked 37 40 Ks some days..the only reason I did not complete the Camino was due to a chest cold due to dampness and rain. I did 280 ks without a blister. So give yourself some credit and walk you will enjoy it.
niel :arrow:
Greetings all,

I've been toying with the idea of the Camino for about 4 years now and finally booked my ticket to Biarritz yesterday! I'll start from SJPdP on September 19th. I'm only able to take two weeks from work at a time so I'm hoping to do about half now and return in the spring to finish. I've read everything I can find on here about guidebooks and am still undecided as to what I should take. I've read the Davies/Cole but don't plan to bring it with me. Is the CSJ guidebook necessary? Would the Brierley maps alone be sufficient or would I need the guidebook to accompany them? I want to take the least weight possible and don't need much in the way of cultural/spiritual asides, just the basics on distances and refugios. Any advice from those who have done it recently would be much appreciated.

Hope to meet some of you out there next month!! I'm counting down the days...

2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
If you are starting from SJPP, the pilgrim office there will give you a couple of very useful sheets, listing where the cheaper albergues are along the way, and altitude charts. These plus any other maps you take will provide you with plenty of info. Personally, I didn't want to be inflicted with anyone else's spiritual opinions in a guide book either, though I did wish I had taken a small guide to help me know more about the historical sites along the way.
All the best!
KMJ - the Brierly guide is more than sufficient and it has excellent maps that give you a good visual guide of what to expect on a 'day's' trip. I found however, that so many other people had the same book that if I altered my day's mileage so that I was out of sync with the guide, ie. stopping at albergues 'en route' vs. the suggested 'end point', I would kinda leap-frog over the masses and be able to enjoy quieter, less crowded accommodations. And, please try to take advantage of alternative housing instead of just the municipal albergues; some of the Casa Rurals are lovely and offer far superior rooms for not so much more money, if that fits your budget.

John - to my mind, you have the perfect mentality for walking the Camino. Just to let it flow and enjoy whatever comes. Dont even think that you might be too slow or too fast. Some days you might only want to walk 6-10kms, so go ahead and stop! Savor the experience. Other days you might enjoy just the physicality of walking so much and its just such a lovely day that you walk and walk and walk until you just don't want to walk anymore. Isn't that a great idea?

I wish I could join you both this September.....
I like the CSJ Guide. It is small, has all the necessary info on directions, accommodation and monuments and you can discard pages as you go along.
kmj said:
Greetings all,

I've been toying with the idea of the Camino for about 4 years now and finally booked my ticket to Biarritz yesterday! I'll start from SJPdP on September 19th.

Congrats on your decision to walk the Camino! I think it's like a siren's song. "Come to me. Let your heart be light. Shed your worries and find a simple life."

I'll miss you I'm afraid since we will be a month behind your journey. Good Luck!

Thanks so much for the suggestions and well wishes, everyone! I ordered the CSJ guide and am hoping it arrives in time for the trip. Things are coming together now; I mostly just need to keep walking as I slacked off a little last week. :oops: Can't wait to be on my way!

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Good day!

We are planning to start walking on 30Sept from O'Cebreiro, hope to meet some interesting like minded fellow pilgrims on the way to share this great experience!


South Africa
Finisterre leg

Hi people!

Just after some info on the final leg of the camino to the 'end of the world' .

I've been reading that it takes 3-4 days....I may or may not be pressed for time towards the end of the walk, so was curious to know if the distance could be walked in less time if you really gave it a crack? I'm not interested in walking all that way and then bussing the extra distance, but am quite prepared to put in a couple of very long days if need be.

Also I leave for Spain from my host families house in London on Tuesday, if I order a CSJ guide for the norte and the primitivo online tonight, can I expect to get them delivered before Tuesday?

Look forward to catching up (hopefully) with a few fellow pilgrims in a little while!

You could arrange to collect the guides from the CSJ - they are also in London.
It is ± 90kms from Santiago to Finisterre. If you are fit and are a good walker you could walk it in 2 days.
Go to
Click on the English flag
Click on Routes then Finsiterre Way
They have a 3 day walking schedule which you could adapt to two days.
Check on the towns with refuges or accommodation and you should be able to work out an overnight stay at around the 45km mark.
Good luck!
Hi Alex, Have a wonderful Camino. I will be waiting with interest to hear of your jouney, and perhaps when you return to Adelaide we could catch up for a coffee and a report on your journey. I am giving serious thought to starting a Camino group here in Adelaide, but am unlikely to organise it before your return. Buen Camino, Janet
Hi Sil and Janet,

Thanks for the well wishes and advice. A few 45km days to finish off the walk sound like a pretty fitting end to the trip.

Janet I have just decided that I AM going to take my good camera along (have been um'ing and ah'ing about whether or not to leave it with a friend in italy while I walk for the last 2 months!) as I figure the chance to document the walk really well as Annette did is worth the risk of possibly getting it nicked. A coffee back in radelaide sounds like a great idea, although I heard a vicious rumour my usual (un caffe bar across the road from the museum has changed hands!!! Is this true?) I'll look forward to sharing it all with you when I get back in December!

talk to you soon....alex :)
2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

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