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Cooold weather

ivar

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Staff member
Just a quick weather update.

The last few days we have really gotten cold weather in northern Spain (and also further south as far as I hear). Many places in northern Spain, had under 0 degrees this morning. Santiago had -2c. When the sun comes up during the day, it warms up to about 10c. But the mornings are chilly.

Buen camino,
Ivar
 
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nicci

New Member
Hi, my son and a friend are doing the walk starting in the early part of january, I was wondering if anyone knows what the weather would be like then and any advice on clothing or/and accomodation?
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Nicci - I take it you mean the Camino Frances? Where are they intending to leave from?

I am off myself to Spain this afternoon and at the beginning of the year I will start walking from Santo Domingo de la Calzada where I left off some weeks ago.

The following is essential reading:

http://www.csj.org.uk/faqs.htm#winter

The same preparations must go into winter walking in Spain as anywhere else - it can get extremely cold and nowadays the weather can be unpredictable. Local advice must always be sought and taken about accommodation and walking conditions.
This is especially the case if they are walking from St Jean de Pied Port across the mountains to Roncesvalles. Failure to heed warnings not to walk when the weather is very bad has led to tragic results in the past.

Similarly beyond Leon there are elevations which can attract seriously inclement weather.

Clothes first:

A layering system system is essential - a good base layer of synthetic material or fine wool, a middle layer such as a fleece and a top windproof layer - there are very good double layer jackets available. Modern "technical" clothing is very good. A couple of t shirts and a jumper are wholly inadequate. Plus a good quality outer rain shell - waterproof/windproof jacket and trousers. It goes without saying that a rucksack liner/cover is necessary. Hat, gloves are essentials and for heavy walking gaiters too.

A good quality winter sleeping bag is also essential as temperatures can dip well below zero and blankets are not always available in albergues.

As for accommodation - I walked the much more remote route from Seville last year and always found accommodation. Albergues were open although like refrigerators and there were very reasonably priced hostales.

A few weeks ago walking from St Jean to Santo Domingo there were already albergues closed for winter - wherever they start the hospitalero in the albergue will know what is open ahead and they should have a guidebook which lists alternative accommodation with telephone numbers. I find a mobile phone valuable and an essential precaution.

Winter walking can have enormous rewards - but if they are unprepared and ill equipped in my opinion they should NOT set out and should prepare to walk later in the year when they are ready.
Here is a helpful link to look at the weather at various stages:

http://groups.msn.com/ElCaminoSantiago/ ... ances.msnw
 

nicci

New Member
thank you for all the information I really appreciate it. Just on the question of food - do most of the refuges have food available or is it important to take it with them?
 
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