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Do you have tips for meeting people on the Camino?

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
My tips are to wish people you come across on the way "Buen Camino" and talk to them as you walk, Ask people in the alberque if they have found any places that do pilgrim meals and see if you can tag along.

Thanks Vince. I will practice talking a lot more to people on the way on my next Camino. Taking the first step instead of waiting for others to say something :)
 
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Old Kiwi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
My daughter and I walked the SF in 2019. Many times we stayed at the same albergue as three Spanish men or we would pass them on the trail. Even though they did not speak English, we always "conversed" with them as best we could and became quite friendly. We called them "The Three Amigos". There was also a French man and his wife who we had meals with, or stayed in the same albergue, or passed on the way. We also had conversations without a common language and after a while it graduated to hugs and kisses when we met. Then there were two older French women. One was a bit crippled and she started very early in the morning as she was very slow. We kept meeting her every day for over two weeks. I often insisted on carrying her pack up some of the steeper parts as I could not bear to see her struggling uphill. She stayed at the same places as us most of the time and we had a few group meals with her. At the end of our time with her, the only thing we knew about her was that her name was Marie. During the nine days from Acebo to Santiago we kept meeting the another French lady. Again the same bi-lingual "conversations" every day during this time and the only thing we discovered about her was that her name was Monique. We stayed in Santiago for two days at the end of our Camino and on the second day in the square in front of the cathedral, over a period of two hours, the French couple and then the two French ladies arrived at the end of their Caminos. On each occasion there was much excitement, hugs and kisses, tears and of course "conversation". We still cherish the photos of the "Three Amigos" and the French pilgrims and their memory will stay with us forever.
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)

I would look for small groups/individuals and ask if I could join them. No one ever refused me and, at times, we would walk together for days at a time before splitting up and walking alone for a while and then finding another person/group.

I have done the Frances 5 times and am waiting for Covid to be defeated. I'll be back.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago, July 2019
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
Further to my last (singing) post, I've been reflecting on my Camino experience. I largely spent the first week completely alone, and I'd recommend that as it gives you the opportunity to reflect inwardly, something I never normally get the opportunity to do. You will inevitably and naturally get into step with other pilgrims, and by the approach to Portomarín our little band of pilgrims (see photo) was like the United Nations! It started connecting over a much-needed Coke one lunch, and separately a casual 'Nee-how' as I passed two pilgrims speaking Mandarin. If youngo with an open heart you will inevitably start to develop a community of like-minded souls, and for me these relationships are the highlight of the Camino for me.
 

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Richard Smith

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
I found that if I an interested in people and open about myself, on the Camino they are also open and interesting.
Either by chance while walking or resting, or by asking (inviting myself) to join their dinner table or inviting them to join mine, often find a friend.
Often starts with gesture of recognition, small wave, small chat as you meet someone you have seen earlier, and builds up from that. One time two of us were washing our feet among a large number of pilgrims but we had the same backpack and that caused a quick comment, we met a few times on later days and then met over dinner, exchanged life stories.
Sometimes a small language barrier even helps overcome what would be social reticence back at home and forgives little mistakes! (especially if aussie background?). Anyway I am much more open back in Australia now, perhaps more than the usual aussie.
 
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Dilbin

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Irun to Santander del Norte
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
Hi. I've been over 3 times to complete Del Norte. Twice I went on my own and these were by far my best experiences. I met more people on these occasions but even though I walked on my own both times I ended up with a Camino family. Each evening we hung out and we were all set to meet up again in Porto last yr but along came Covid. As far as meeting people just be yourself and it will happen. Thats the only suggestion I can make. If I may add 4 of us walked the historical route from Navia to Vegadao and beyond and this was a wonderful experience as we were the only Pilgrims for 4 days. Each Camino will be different so enjoy your next and please, please just be yourself. Daniel
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Year of past OR future Camino
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino de Baztan
I have already walked a few Caminos. Alone, in pairs or as a group of 4 or 6 people.

My experience is that it is much easier to get to know other pilgrims when you are walking alone or in pairs.

Even if there are three of you, the small silver table in front of the bar is almost full with yourself and all the stuff and other pilgrims often assume that they would disturb this group if they sat down with them.
When this group speaks to each other in their mother tongue and not in English, the effect is intensified.

On my two caminos in the group, we met almost no one else.

My solo caminos were definitely the most beautiful and intense, and making contact with other pilgrims was much less "complicated".
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
On each occasion there was much excitement, hugs and kisses, tears and of course "conversation". We still cherish the photos of the "Three Amigos" and the French pilgrims and their memory will stay with us forever.
That's beautiful experiences. Communication without a common language but with lots of heart.
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
If youngo with an open heart you will inevitably start to develop a community of like-minded souls, and for me these relationships are the highlight of the Camino for me.
Yes having some time to walk alone on the Camino seem to be healthy too. I wanted to find some peace and make some decisions and for that my solo time was also very important.

But the 'Camino family' experience seems to be a highlight for many :)
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Anyway I am much more open back in Australia now, perhaps more than the usual aussie.
It's really cool that you took that with you home from the Camino :)

That's what I find really interesting about walking the Camino. It's not just like any holiday. Many people find that they overcome some obstacle or challenges inside of themselves. And other people develope new "habits" - like being really open towards others.
 
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tony l

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2018
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
HI Line - Just be yourself and it just happens as long as you are genuine and open. A simple hello or greeting. Big advice is dont take it for granted you will meet again. I met some lovely people and also met a lovely Danish woman on route many times and assumed we would again. Alas in the final week I did not and really regret not asking for her details so I may keep in contact. Will just have to walk it again :) Good luck
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I met some lovely people and also met a lovely Danish woman on route many times and assumed we would again. Alas in the final week I did not and really regret not asking for her details so I may keep in contact. Will just have to walk it again :) Good luck
Thank you :)
I wonder if anyone ever think "This is it. Now I walked it for the last time"... maybe not
 

Old Kiwi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
After having last year's walk wiped out, and with it looking like this year is also a non-starter, and next year only a possibility, I just might have walked my last Camino. I am 77 now and I seem to be accumulating health problems which might make walking difficult by 2023. It is not a good thought.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
After having last year's walk wiped out, and with it looking like this year is also a non-starter, and next year only a possibility, I just might have walked my last Camino. I am 77 now and I seem to be accumulating health problems which might make walking difficult by 2023. It is not a good thought.
I hope you, and many of us, can rally and will have a few more camino's left in us when this virus is behind us. Let's try to think positive in the midst of this nightmare...I am trying.
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
After having last year's walk wiped out, and with it looking like this year is also a non-starter, and next year only a possibility, I just might have walked my last Camino. I am 77 now and I seem to be accumulating health problems which might make walking difficult by 2023. It is not a good thought.
We don't know yet what this year and next year will look like. Maybe we get lucky.
And perhaps you can figure out a way to walk the Camino where you make it easier. Shorter distances every day, walking less. Or some other way to make it a bit lighter.
 

Zoran K.

ZK1107
Year of past OR future Camino
2009 St. Olav Ways-Norway 645 km
2018 CF - full
2019 CF - full
2020 VF - Lucca to Rome
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
I am from DK as well and have walked several Caminos and always alone and always meet tons of people. Just say Hi and start talking and 10 second later you'll know if the other party wishes to engage or not.
I've always had only positive experiences. I never sleep in albuerges as I prefer my own bathroom and bedroom but if you do stay in albuerges than it is virtually impossible not to meet people.
Held og lykke
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I am from DK as well and have walked several Caminos and always alone and always meet tons of people. Just say Hi and start talking and 10 second later you'll know if the other party wishes to engage or not.
I've always had only positive experiences. I never sleep in albuerges as I prefer my own bathroom and bedroom but if you do stay in albuerges than it is virtually impossible not to meet people.
Held og lykke
Tak :)

Sounds simple enough
 
D

Deleted member 95043

Guest
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
That is my take on things too. In general people want to treat others well.

Especially true on the Camino probably. Give a smile and receive a smile :)
 
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SioCamino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
I’m reading all your responses and feel my heart starting to beat a little faster...in fear lol. Living in Brooklyn, NY for the last 25 years has taught me to keep my mouth shut and mostly to avoid people 🙄. Usually you get a response like WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? Or YOU HAVE A PROBLEM? 😂😂😂

Your comment made me smile and remember my first camino... I went on a short 2 week holiday starting from SJPP and i think by day 3 i had fallen in love with it and tbh my life was changed for ever.... Anyway i left the camino in Santo Domingo de la Calzada and took the bus to madrid to fly home. I remember sitting at a terrace table there, having a glass of wine and having to very consciously STOP myself from taking to the English speakers at the next table. It had become second nature on the Camino to be friendly and to talk to strangers...

To the OP @LineDenmark I've walked ostensibly alone more than not and have rarely found it difficult to find a fellow pilgrim to share a meal or a glass of wine with.... Sometimes if course i want to be on my own and that's possible too.
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
To the OP @LineDenmark I've walked ostensibly alone more than not and have rarely found it difficult to find a fellow pilgrim to share a meal or a glass of wine with.... Sometimes if course i want to be on my own and that's possible too.
Thank you for sharing :)
When I get the opportunity to walk again it will be a practice in openness for me. That's a very meaningful goal I think.
 

VikingWarrior

Wannabe Beach Bum
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I always look and listen for something I may have in common with someone. For example you're from Denmark which is an easy one for me. My grandfather was Danish. I got married in Denmark twenty years ago. We've been back a few times since then including several trips to Norway and Sweden. I spent multiple deployments with the Danes and Norwegians in Bosnia several years ago. One of my close friends was Danish ... he's the one that nicknamed me VikingWarrior. Lars Ulrich??? Surly there would be something we could talk about.
 

RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
You will have no problem. Ever afternoon over a beer or bottle of wine you will share the same language. How steep is it tomorrow? How far to the first cafe con leche tomorrow morning? How are your feet? Do you still have the list of alburgues they gave us at SJPDP? Have you seen the Irish man with the bandaged feet who is still walking? And on and on.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
"
I am from the North of England where people acknowledge each other and wouldn't think of being in a strangers company without passing the time of day.
On the other hand, those that live in our capital positively cringe at the thought of someone looking at them on their way to work, let alone actually talking, heaven forbid.
You might even find a YouTube clip from the UK where a spoof news bulletin reports the 'Northerner' being treated with great suspicion by Londoners because he had the temerity to talk on the Tube (subway). Sounds just like Noo Yark sic."

I've found the You Tube vid. Enjoy!

I'm from a smallish town outside of Chicago and I remember feeling many Londoners were "hoity toities" when I visited...maybe not true, but still a stereotype.😅
 
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LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Lars Ulrich??? Surly there would be something we could talk about.
Lars Ulrich is a great subject (-: No lack of talking subjects with you.
And you're are right, that being curious about people and where they come from is the best way to open a conversation.
Berlin <3 , Harzen, Angela Merkel, sausages, Das Leben der Anderen, Berliner Kindl - that would be my German references.
 
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LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
You will have no problem. Ever afternoon over a beer or bottle of wine you will share the same language. How steep is it tomorrow? How far to the first cafe con leche tomorrow morning? How are your feet? Do you still have the list of alburgues they gave us at SJPDP? Have you seen the Irish man with the bandaged feet who is still walking? And on and on.
Yes, it's definitely my goal. Gathering around the table with other pilgrims, relaxing in conversation about the experiences of the day and the people we met.
 

EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
I'd love to hear personal stories of meeting with pilgrims that stand out in your memories.
 

Esperanza

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I am somewhat introverted, but I found it easy to meet people in albergues, especially at communal dinners, or in cafes during breaks or elsewhere while walking. And I usually found it easy to chat with other peregrinos about this or that. But for me, what was amazing and fun was when I would see one of these people who I barely knew a few days or a maybe week later. Then we would joyfully greet each other like long-lost, dear old friends, and we would have to catch up about all sorts of things.

I think the longer you walk on the Camino, the more often you cross paths with people and friendships have the chance to build. People who can only walk for a week or two miss out on that aspect of relationship building.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I met this young woman when I was leaving Roncesvalles in 2019. I walked a long "combo" Camino, and after arriving in Santiago I had plenty of time, so I bussed back to Gonzar to meet up with my friend @Oregon's Mark to walk with him to Santiago. I was so surprised to see the peregrina from Roncesvalles so many weeks later in Santa Irene!
resized.jpg
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
In 2015 on my first Camino I met two Americans from the Midwest at the communal dinner at Corazon Puro where we stayed. We have met faithfully every year since (except 2020) at various hotels for a weekend "Mini-reunion". We make tapas, and bring Santiago cake and Rioja wine to share while we reminisce with pictures and stories from our more recent Caminos. We usually add some hiking in as well and once we even brought bicycles.
 

simeon

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
After a 100 replies to your post, well it's fairly obvious that no one really wants to engage with others on the Camino!🤣. I find that sitting in an obvious location, looking at or having the brierly guide on your table with you is a great way of attracting English speakers. It also provides an obvious topic from the start.
 

Sean Lad

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2010 to 2019 walked total of 31 caminos
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
The biggest problem after a few days will be how to Avoid pilgrims
 

David

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2005
Buen caminó, hello, my bed is noisy and my mattress is too soft, would you like to join me, may I join you, the rain really sucked, the snow really sucked, the wind really sucked, that last hill really sucked, would you like to make
dinner together or go out for dinner, do you have to also call your husband/wife every day too or she/he will crawl under your wazoo and die, those are lovely blisters you have there,would you mind cutting your toenails outside or would you mind picking up your toenail clippings off my bed would you hang your wet clothes somewhere else they are dripping on my bed?
My favorite icebreaker- When was the last time you took a shower?

errmmmm ... your first few words ... "hello, my bed is noisy and my mattress is too soft, would you like to join me, may I join you" :oops::D:D
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
Sure trick for meeting people:

1) Check into a municipal Albergue that locks its doors at like 11 in the evening. Preferably a crowded one with you on a top bunk. Think like Astorga or o'ceb.

2) Go out and have a good dinner in town but order the wine instead of the water.

3) Drink all of said wine yourself. This is important.

4) Forget to check your watch for the time until at least 45 minutes after Albergues' "lock down".

5) Casually walk back to Albergue and realize that the door is now locked.

6) Proceed to bang on the door and yell relentlessly until somebody lets you in.

Well, you might not get to know people, but they will know you.

I take the 5th on whether or not this is from personal experience.
 
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scruffy1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
Put that @#%??!!!% cellphone down!
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
According to many less-than-understanding posts/posters on the forum, all you have to do is snore ever so slightly and you will get to meet (and be met with scorn by) many other pilgrims.
 
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Henriettagal

Henriettagal
Year of past OR future Camino
April 18, 2017
While waiting for the world to reopen I am planning my next Camino experience, probably like most of you.

I did some of the Camino Frances in 2019. It was a life changing experience for me and I'm proud that I did it alone. I met and talked to many people on the way, but mostly I walked alone.
If I could change something for my next Camino though, then I would like to connect with more people and walk less in solitude.

How do you get to meet and talk to people when you are walking alone?
Do you have some tips for me when planning the travel? I thought about choosing albergues with evening dinner included.
Do you have some tips for connecting with people or groups on the way?

Thank you :)
As a solo walker, I found that the best way to meet people on the Camino was at dinner time. Signing up for La cena at each albergue was the perfect way to meet folks. I preferred to walk alone but evenings and meals were nice to share. Don't be shy. Introduce yourself. Share a drink. You never know when you will meet up with the same person again along the way.
 

LineDenmark

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Henriettagal and Anniesantiago: good advice. I definitely will go for that the next time :)

When you're not born as the most outgoing person, you gotta create ways to help yourself connect with others. It's an interesting challenge to practice this on the Camino.
 

Pilgrim-Pete

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Many people stop at Orrison for the night after leaving SJPdP. Although I have never done that, I hear often that it is a great bonding expeience.
Yes, I found communal dinners offered in many of the albergues also a great way to meet other pilgrims.
I stopped at Orrison on day one of my first Camino. Although I started the Camino alone, I met an incredible group of people on the deck at Orrison. That afternoon, we bonded and ended up traveling and walking into Santiago together as family. I am still in contact with these amazing pilgrims and will be heading to France in a couple of months with my Camino brother Dan to walk another 1000+ km. I highly recommend a stay at Orrison and partaking in as many communal dinners as possible.
 
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“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
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“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
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A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
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Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
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