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couple questions


New Member
I have a couple questions I hope some veterans can answer

I have not read anything on what to do on the Camino when you are caught in a thunderstorm with lightning. Is this a serious issue?

If I walk around the Easter season, am I better off planning to stay in a smal village rather than a large village. My assumption is that the Spanish Easter walkers want to be near a big town for better partying.

Thanks, ERL
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Hi ERL -

1. I found this article instructional re being caught out in the open anywhere during lightning storms:

2. Small villages are less likely to be busy during Easter season (semana santa), however there are some that that might seem quite small but that attract people from miles around with smaller versions of the festivities. Thing is, these villages have very limited accommodations, so IMHO it's a matter of luck once you decide to stay out of the cities.




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ERLEE1905 said:
I have not read anything on what to do on the Camino when you are caught in a thunderstorm with lightning. Is this a serious issue?L
I was only caught outside once in a thunderstorm, and it was actually a very scary experience, especially as it was forked lightning rather than sheet lightning.
The previous evening in Conques (France) there had been a severe thunderstorm while I was at vespers in the Abbey. The lights inside the abbey flickered then went out, and then followed an incredible boom of thunder. One of the monks wiped the sweat off his brow at this, and I think it was even possible the church had been hit- though I could be wrong with that guess.

Next morning all seemed calm enough to start with, but soon enough I found myself walking outside along the top of a ridge in the middle of a serious thunderstorm. I knew that I shouldn't shelter under a tall tree, but by this stage I was well out into the rural countryside and really, I could not find any suitable shelter at all- it all seemed to be farmland. So I basically kept walking and sort of praying. Maybe I could have tried finding a ditch or some low point to hide down in, but I couldn't see anything obvious. I didn't think (until I just read Lynne's link) about the steel in my backpack or pole! So maybe I actually did things quite wrongly, but fortunately I have lived to tell the tale.
And perhaps really, it isn't so wise of me recounting this and making people worry, as thunderstorms were not common events during the walking day. In my case, this ended up being my 'worst' day on the Camino, for other reasons.... but I arrived finally at a very welcoming gite, had a shower, changed, did my laundry..... went to the parish where they had a welcome for pilgrims, went out to dinner with others..... and the bad bits were all behind me!


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No, I don't think it's partying in the North American sense of the word, but I've been in both Malaga and Sevilla during Semana Santa, and there was popcorn, candy, street vendors, bleachers for the crowds, etc.particularly on Good Friday during the processions. There were thousands of people in both cities during the week, and no accommodations to be found.

So partying might not be accurate. Celebration is closer.

It's an unforgettable experience, really.

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Just had one day of thunderstorm on the Le Puy route and did manage to shelter in a barn, fortunate. No other issues. On the other hand lots of endless lightning when I walked through Austria in June 2008, every afternoon in the valleys. You had to stop walking by 4 pm, as that is when it started big time in the Zillertal especially. Very scary. Gitti


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Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a generally a solemn time in Spain. There are many, many religious processions and celebrations that include Mass and adorations. Businesses are closed as Good Friday is a fiesta day - "fiesta" typically translated in English as "party" also is "feast day" or "holiday". I think the biggest thing will be realizing that you need to buy provisions early on Good Friday as shops will close half day (as they typically do on Saturday) and may not be open until Monday.
However, some of the processions in Spain during Semana Santa are amazing sights and if you have the opportunity to see them, they should not be missed! I would not avoid walking during Semana Santa.
Buen Camino,

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