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El Camino Frances

Gracem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Hello Everyone,

Happy 2019 to Everyone! :)
I am planning to walk el Camino Frances in April 2019. I read a lot about el Camino but I there are still a few things I am concern about and I was wondering if somebody could give some info about the following:
-Weather in April, is it very cold, should I take winter clothing? I am trying to take the minimum weight possible.
-I would love to stay in Monasteries, but I read that some are not very nice. I found a list of albergues but not a list of monasteries along el Camino, does somebody knows where I can find a list of monasteries with reviews?
-Are the hotels busy during la semana santa, should I make logging reservation ahead?
Thanks a bunch for the info!!!

Grace
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Weather in April, is it very cold, should I take winter clothing
Welcome to the forum!

I would not expect "very cold" weather in April, but it depends on what you are used to and how well prepared you are. Every year is different, so you need to be prepared for almost anything. In any case, you should not take "winter" clothing. Rather, you should take several lightweight layers that can be added or removed for whatever weather you get. I would include lightweight gloves and a buff even in April.

There are many discussions of what things to take. Here is one about on walking in March - on this thread, and you can find my packing list on this thread. And here is another on walking in April-May.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Plan to dress in layers. If you are starting in April, in the west at the beginning, you need to prepare for light snow, and cold wet weather. By the time you get to the end, towards the end of May, you will be in short sleeves and shorts.

Most folks use a base layer of a synthetic fiber t-shirt (short or long sleeve to personal choice), covered by a fleece layer, covered by a wind and rain resistant parka of some sort (pit zips highly recommended).

For serious rain (more than mist), the main choices are a backpacking poncho (has a hump for your rucksack) or a hiking raincoat (also has a hump). I've tried everything and have adopted the 'belt and suspenders' approach.

I place a rucksack rain cover on my rucksack. I wear a parka with the pit zips open. Then I top it all off with a hunchback poncho. It works for me. Yes, I perspire a lot, but always remember, cold and wet is never good. Warm and wet is better, and at times can be VERY good indeed.

One can subtract or add layers as needed. One item in dispute is the need for rain pants or gaiters. I do not use them. Instead, I wear 100 percent nylon hiking cargo pants from REI. They are the REI Sahara model. They have two zips vertical and horizontal so you can remove your legs for separate washing or whatever, without removing boots or shoes.

I do this for several reasons:
  • It saves weight
  • It is one less item to lose
  • The nylon trousers dry out while worn VERY fast.
  • One does not get hypothermia from cold legs. Keep your feet hands and head dry and warm, and you will be okay.
Hope this help.
 
Last edited:

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
The correct name is The Camino de Santiago de Compostella....not El Camino anything
I have no particular problem with people referring to "el Camino" in English provided they do not then preface it with a redundant "the". But if we are going to be thoroughly pedantic then perhaps I might point out that there is only one 'l' in Compostela.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
The correct name is The Camino de Santiago de Compostella....not El Camino anything.
Huh?
Nothing wrong with using the correct Spanish name "el camino de Santiago de Compostela".
As mentioned above though you can't say the el Camino unless you are talking about one of these 😊
Screenshot_20190107-070614_Firefox.jpg
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
The phrase 'el Camino' simply means The Way...sound familiar...? It is linguistically accurate.

That said, here in the forum we just call it the Camino, a Camino, etc.

'nuff said...
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Hi....as others have provided you with some good information in the responses above mine, I won't add any more. What I would like to ask though, is that you please Stop referring to the Camino Frances as 'el Camino' or 'The el Camino'. That is most definitely NOT its correct name. Sorry for being a bit grumpy here, but, I see this way of referring to it as such, more and more often. The correct name is The Camino de Santiago de Compostella....not El Camino anything. Kind Regards though and happy planning.
See, now, I might say it should be either "el Camino de Santiago" or "the way of St. James". Why translate one word from the phrase and put it in English and not the others? Of course, if I were being really pedantic, I might say that there is not one "the" Camino de Santiago but many caminos de Santiago (Camino Frances, Camino Portugues, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, etc., etc., etc.) . I might also say that it should be "Camino de Santiago" or "Camino a Santiago de Compostela", that is, the "Way of St. James (the Apostle)" or the "Way to Santiago de Compostela (the place)".
 

Gracem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Thank you for the warm welcoming and thank you so much to Everyone for the detail information and for your time in answering my post! Your answers have give me a piece of mind and clear guidance ...
I am very positive and very exited to start El Camino, I am sure it will be an awesome experience!
:)
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Who thinks Gracem is probably wondering why people are discussing the importance of el/the/the El Camino when the original question had nothing to do with it?
Welcome to the forum Gracem.. you'll get used to it
Used to what?

On the topic of backpacks............. I'd suggest.......
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Hello Everyone,

Happy 2019 to Everyone! :)
I am planning to walk el Camino Frances in April 2019. I read a lot about el Camino but I there are still a few things I am concern about and I was wondering if somebody could give some info about the following:
-Weather in April, is it very cold, should I take winter clothing? I am trying to take the minimum weight possible.
-I would love to stay in Monasteries, but I read that some are not very nice. I found a list of albergues but not a list of monasteries along el Camino, does somebody knows where I can find a list of monasteries with reviews?
-Are the hotels busy during la semana santa, should I make logging reservation ahead?
Thanks a bunch for the info!!!

Grace
Depending on your budget, this is an awesome 'ex' monastery
https://sanzoilo.com/monastery-of-san-zoilo/?lang=en
We stayed there 2 nights and loved it.
More pics and videos:
https://robscamino.com/2018/hotel-real-monasterio-de-san-zoilo-videos/

The 'private' cloisters.
1546900424831.png
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Depending on your budget, this is an awesome 'ex' monastery
https://sanzoilo.com/monastery-of-san-zoilo/?lang=en
We stayed there 2 nights and loved it.
More pics and videos:
https://robscamino.com/2018/hotel-real-monasterio-de-san-zoilo-videos/

The 'private' cloisters.
View attachment 50527
I was thinking I'd like to stay there on my next CF, but the singing nuns were so delightful in the same town. Maybe I will have to take a rest day there so I can stay at both. If I recall correctly, it was located at the far side of town, so if I stay there the second night I will have less to walk on my way out of town.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I was thinking I'd like to stay there on my next CF, but the singing nuns were so delightful in the same town. Maybe I will have to take a rest day there so I can stay at both. If I recall correctly, it was located at the far side of town, so if I stay there the second night I will have less to walk on my way out of town.
Yes it's on the way out of town, just across the bridge on the left.
The Singing Nuns? Indeed a tough call. ;)
Reckon I might need 2 nights next time too!
 

GorskiSkrat

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2019
Hi,
I'm going on my first Camino in April too. And when the time pass by and is near to start I have
similar thoughts and questions in my head.
I will start my way in SJPDP on 6th of April.
Maybe we meet somewhere along the way!

Nina
 

Gracem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Hi....as others have provided you with some good information in the responses above mine, I won't add any more. What I would like to ask though, is that you please Stop referring to the Camino Frances as 'el Camino' or 'The el Camino'. That is most definitely NOT its correct name. Sorry for being a bit grumpy here, but, I see this way of referring to it as such, more and more often. The correct name is The Camino de Santiago de Compostella....not El Camino anything. Kind Regards though and happy planning.
I understand your point, I will keep that in mind.
 

Gracem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Who thinks Gracem is probably wondering why people are discussing the importance of el/the/the El Camino when the original question had nothing to do with it?
Welcome to the forum Gracem.. you'll get used to it

Thank you Andy :) ...no worries I understand.
 

Carolyn Gwin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
I was thinking I'd like to stay there on my next CF, but the singing nuns were so delightful in the same town. Maybe I will have to take a rest day there so I can stay at both. If I recall correctly, it was located at the far side of town, so if I stay there the second night I will have less to walk on my way out of town.
 

Carolyn Gwin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
Sounds fun! What village are the singing nuns in and do they accommodate Pilgrims? We’re walking the CF early May - very excited!
 

Bombero

New Member
Hi....as others have provided you with some good information in the responses above mine, I won't add any more. What I would like to ask though, is that you please Stop referring to the Camino Frances as 'el Camino' or 'The el Camino'. That is most definitely NOT its correct name. Sorry for being a bit grumpy here, but, I see this way of referring to it as such, more and more often. The correct name is The Camino de Santiago de Compostella....not El Camino anything. Kind Regards though and happy planning.
¿qué?
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Sounds fun! What village are the singing nuns in and do they accommodate Pilgrims? We’re walking the CF early May - very excited!
The "singing nuns" are in Carrion de Los Condes on the Meseta. There are actually two parochial albergues in Carrion de los Condes that are run by nuns. One is in a convent. The other is the Albergue Parroquial de Santa Maria, next to the Church of Santa Maria. It is the latter that you want. Every evening, before mass in the church next door, they bring out their guitars and lead a pilgrim sing-along.
 

susanawee

susanawee
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
I have no particular problem with people referring to "el Camino" in English provided they do not then preface it with a redundant "the". But if we are going to be thoroughly pedantic then perhaps I might point out that there is only one 'l' in Compostela.
My apologies there....a slip of the spell check....
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
Yikes. Clearly that was a typo...and a rookie mistake at that.

On the Frances, one customarily walks westward, with the rising sun (in the East) over your left shoulder...DOH! a tenderfoot mistake... I am SO embarrassed...

My very bad. Mea maxima culpa!

Thanks for the assist...
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Yes it's on the way out of town, just across the bridge on the left.
The Singing Nuns? Indeed a tough call. ;)
Reckon I might need 2 nights next time too!
@Robo
On my first camino (2015) I stayed with the Singing Nuns in Carrion de los Condes. They were delightful and I am looking now at a little paper cut-out star which was coloured by one of them and given to me. But I also spent some time with several Irishmen who were staying at San Zoilo and spending their last day on the camino being social with everyone whom they met. They went to the Albergue Santa Maria in the early evening to sit on the stairs and listen to the nuns sing, then back to their own more luxurious haunt. Maybe you don't have to choose. The singing (I nearly typed "sinning") nuns are delightful. But their albergue contains a large dormitory with bunks and pillows covered with heavy plastic covers to discourage bed bugs: very hot and sticky). On my second time through, I stayed with the Poor Clares and treated myself to a comfortable private room.
 

susanawee

susanawee
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
@Robo
On my first camino (2015) I stayed with the Singing Nuns in Carrion de los Condes. They were delightful and I am looking now at a little paper cut-out star which was coloured by one of them and given to me. But I also spent some time with several Irishmen who were staying at San Zoilo and spending their last day on the camino being social with everyone whom they met. They went to the Albergue Santa Maria in the early evening to sit on the stairs and listen to the nuns sing, then back to their own more luxurious haunt. Maybe you don't have to choose. The singing (I nearly typed "sinning") nuns are delightful. But their albergue contains a large dormitory with bunks and pillows covered with heavy plastic covers to discourage bed bugs: very hot and sticky). On my second time through, I stayed with the Poor Clares and treated myself to a comfortable private room.
I also stayed here during my walk in April/May last year and, sadly, my experience there was Not so good at all, same also for one of our group's other walkers who was staying at the same place, but, was somewhere downstairs from me.....the Nun in charge, for some reason, refused to tell me which floor he was on and which bunk number, so, we only met up again the next morning where we found the main doors locked tightly and people milling around waiting to get out. The bed was comfortable, but the blanket which I was given was made of heavy wool, very rough and scratchy like horsehair. The rest of our group, who had booked in as well, ended up having to stay in the Parochial around the corner and back towards where we had walked in. Never mind though......the saving grace was listening to the beautiful voices when they were singing prior to the mass.
 

HighlandsHiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015 & 2016); Portuguese (2017); Le Puy/Norte/Primitivo/Verde (2018). 2019 - San Salvador+
Grace, I've stayed in a number of monasteries in France and Spain on the routes over the years and would not have wanted to miss the one at Sobrado dos Monxes for anything. From the Frances, there's an 18:30 (or so) Empresa Freire from Arzua to Sobrado dos Monxes during the work week M-F, and an 07:00 or so Empresa Freire from Sobrado onward to either back to Arzua or to Santiago during the work week M-F, depending on whether you want to do that last stretch walking into Santiago or not. I went from Lugo to Friol and walked there, but I'd come from the Primitivo and not the Frances that particular time. Please feel free to PM if you want details or if you plan to take another route - there are many rewarding monasteries/convents to stay in on the LePuy route.

I'd recommend Espiritu Santo in Carrion de los Condes. It's run by very kind nuns. It may not actually be a convent - it's mainly set up as an elementary school would be, and the compound isn't inspiring, but the separated women's dorm has twin beds/no bunks, and a good nights' sleep can be had there if that particular night you don't need the atmospheric experience of an old monastery when you're passing through. All the best for your upcoming Camino!
 

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