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Finally: Booked my trip & some info for first-timers (&others...)

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Last night, I did it again: I booked a flight to Madrid on April 16th. No return ticket. Will be ca. 5 weeks. Need my annual Camino shot...:cool:

On the road again.;)

I like to take it easy when traveling: Arriving in Madrid 13.55, I'll take a night there. I could get a late train from Atosha train station to Pamplona, but it will arrive close to 11PM, so I'll rather take a tapas evening in Madrid, get a good night's sleep and take the train ca. 11.30, arriving in Pamplona ca. 14.30, and have another tapas evening there before starting out for some place beyond Alto del Perdon the first day. ;)

About air travel: I always travel with https://www.norwegian.com/. They run a fleet of brand new, cost-effective aircrafts, bringing the prices way down: I got a ticket (2 flights) for ca. 100 Euros from up here in Arctic Norway to Madrid. Check out their webside: They are multi-multi-lingual and very international, and growing in no. of destinations. Very different from f.ex. Ryanair.

About domestic flights in Spain: Very expensive in Spain. Use train/bus instead. Much cheaper, and you can enjoy the landscape with a glass of red. ;)

About trains in Spain: Always on time. Cheap. For us 60+ of age, you can buy a general discount ticket, called tarjeta dorada (Gold ticket): It will give you 25% (!) discount on almost all train tickets for one year. Cost is 6 Euros.

About buses in Spain: Also frequent, cheap, on time, and comfortable. Longer journeys always with a toilet cabin and short breaks.

About starting points: There is no need to start in SJpdP: Done it once, and I don't need to do it again. Pamplona-SdC is just as good, as is Burgos, or wherever: The Way is the goal. Also, it makes for easier travel/cheaper travel costs.

About places to stay: When I go, I always make reservations for my nights before the walk starts. This year, I'll reserve a place in Madrid (done) & Pamplona.

I use www.booking.com to do the reservations. When on the walk, I rarely do reservations, but if I'm While on the walk, I just stop when I want. I have never been without a bed all the years I have walked, but in high traffic, I might do a reservation, just for some ease of mind, so that I can enjoy my day in peace. Download the booking app from www.booking.com, it's easy & fast to use.

About Pilgrim passport: You need it to be allowed into many albergues. Buy it here from this/our website: https://www.santiagodecompostela.me/products/official-pilgrim-credencial-pilgrim-passport-from-the-pilgrims-office-in-santiago . Also buy a good guide: I recommend Wise Pilgrim , and also his mobile app: It is great! Buy it together with the passport.

About time: Far too many rush their Camino: Don't fall into that trap. Too many feel remorse, not joy, when they finally stand in front of The Cathedral, realising: The walk is over! Enjoy your days on the Way. Live in the now.

Get a backpack that complies to carry-on measures:

1) It stays with you; it is not lost in an unknown airport.
2) You save a lot of time in airports.
3) It is difficult to overpack; one will easily put too much in one's backpack, making it too heavy.

Remember: The Way is the Goal. You need time to get into your Camino mode. You'll know it when you find it. Trust me. Enjoy your days floating by, away from the rat race.

Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC

annelise

Active Member
Alex, I haven't posted for some years but your post kind of instigated me to reply.

I was a total newbie when first on the camino way back then. - My son said to me (after retirement): "Mom, your life content cannot now be your daily walk to the supermarket and back". That was after my long and kind of international work life. So I upped, ordered flight ticket, geared up and went! to my own surprise ...

Well, the gist of my comment:

Madrid: When you land, you will mostly go to Atocha Station to bring you onto your destination. Well, My plan was to just look up and find a hotel - did so - had a flashing sign - hmm! - OK - very expensive.

Coming back, I had kind of caught on. If you walk out of the other side the Atocha station, you will meet a street with a lot of signs for 'pensiones' at a reasonable price. It was good. You mostly have to ring a bell, try to communicate ...

I can also recommend something in Pamplona if you wish,

best,

annelise
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Alex, I haven't posted for some years but your post kind of instigated me to reply.

I was a total newbie when first on the camino way back then. - My son said to me (after retirement): "Mom, your life content cannot now be your daily walk to the supermarket and back". That was after my long and kind of international work life. So I upped, ordered flight ticket, geared up and went! to my own surprise ...

Well, the gist of my comment:

Madrid: When you land, you will mostly go to Atocha Station to bring you onto your destination. Well, My plan was to just look up and find a hotel - did so - had a flashing sign - hmm! - OK - very expensive.

Coming back, I had kind of caught on. If you walk out of the other side the Atocha station, you will meet a street with a lot of signs for 'pensiones' at a reasonable price. It was good. You mostly have to ring a bell, try to communicate ...

I can also recommend something in Pamplona if you wish,

best,

annelise
Oh, I have my places in Spain: Many Caminos for this oldie... :cool: Thanks .
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Great tips, Alex! I follow many of them myself and any newbies should take notes from your list.
I arrive in Oviedo on April 20th as I will be walking the second half of the Norte finally...and on to the once thought to be the end of "the world".
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Heartily agree with recommendation for Norwegian, great airline. Used several times. But for UK to Santiago Ryanair is way cheaper then anyone else. But then you get what you pay for...... The cheapest seats include one bag that must go under the seat in front of you: 40cms by 20cms by 25cms. That is fearsomely tiny.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Heartily agree with recommendation for Norwegian, great airline. Used several times. But for UK to Santiago Ryanair is way cheaper then anyone else. But then you get what you pay for...... The cheapest seats include one bag that must go under the seat in front of you: 40cms by 20cms by 25cms. That is fearsomely tiny.
Yes, many have changed their carry-on rules: I had to pay 12 Euros for my carro-on-size backpack. Nevertheless, a small amount for coming back to another Camino... :D
 

Richmond Gardner

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
Last night, I did it again: I booked a flight to Madrid on April 16th. No return ticket. Will be ca. 5 weeks. Need my annual Camino shot...:cool:

On the road again.;)
I feel your pain...about a month ago, I saw a cheap ticket with Level ( barebones Iberia) and booked it it. I was overwhelmed with my work situation and felt like I needed to walk. September 26- Oct 8, plenty of time to walk from Porto to Santiago. Going with a friend and not in a hurry. Can’t wait!
I like to take it easy when traveling: Arriving in Madrid 13.55, I'll take a night there. I could get a late train from Atosha train station to Pamplona, but it will arrive close to 11PM, so I'll rather take a tapas evening in Madrid, get a good night's sleep and take the train ca. 11.30, arriving in Pamplona ca. 14.30, and have another tapas evening there before starting out for some place beyond Alto del Perdon the first day. ;)

About air travel: I always travel with https://www.norwegian.com/. They run a fleet of brand new, cost-effective aircrafts, bringing the prices way down: I got a ticket (2 flights) for ca. 100 Euros from up here in Arctic Norway to Madrid. Check out their webside: They are multi-multi-lingual and very international, and growing in no. of destinations. Very different from f.ex. Ryanair.

About domestic flights in Spain: Very expensive in Spain. Use train/bus instead. Much cheaper, and you can enjoy the landscape with a glass of red. ;)

About trains in Spain: Always on time. Cheap. For us 60+ of age, you can buy a general discount ticket, called tarjeta dorada (Gold ticket): It will give you 25% (!) discount on almost all train tickets for one year. Cost is 6 Euros.

About buses in Spain: Also frequent, cheap, on time, and comfortable. Longer journeys always with a toilet cabin and short breaks.

About starting points: There is no need to start in SJpdP: Done it once, and I don't need to do it again. Pamplona-SdC is just as good, as is Burgos, or wherever: The Way is the goal. Also, it makes for easier travel/cheaper travel costs.

About places to stay: When I go, I always make reservations for my nights before the walk starts. This year, I'll reserve a place in Madrid (done) & Pamplona.

I use www.booking.com to do the reservations. When on the walk, I rarely do reservations, but if I'm While on the walk, I just stop when I want. I have never been without a bed all the years I have walked, but in high traffic, I might do a reservation, just for some ease of mind, so that I can enjoy my day in peace. Download the booking app from www.booking.com, it's easy & fast to use.

About Pilgrim passport: You need it to be allowed into many albergues. Buy it here from this/our website: https://www.santiagodecompostela.me/products/official-pilgrim-credencial-pilgrim-passport-from-the-pilgrims-office-in-santiago . Also buy a good guide: I recommend Wise Pilgrim , and also his mobile app: It is great! Buy it together with the passport.

About time: Far too many rush their Camino: Don't fall into that trap. Too many feel remorse, not joy, when they finally stand in front of The Cathedral, realising: The walk is over! Enjoy your days on the Way. Live in the now.

Get a backpack that complies to carry-on measures:

1) It stays with you; it is not lost in an unknown airport.
2) You save a lot of time in airports.
3) It is difficult to overpack; one will easily put too much in one's backpack, making it too heavy.

Remember: The Way is the Goal. You need time to get into your Camino mode. You'll know it when you find it. Trust me. Enjoy your days floating by, away from the rat race.

Buen Camino!
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
About domestic flights in Spain: Very expensive in Spain. Use train/bus instead. Much cheaper, and you can enjoy the landscape with a glass of red. ;)
Brilliant idea! Four of us hope to share a compartment on the over night trenhotel from Lisbon to Hendaye. We’ll definitely have to have a Girls’ Pyjama Party with a bottle of vino and a few snacks!
 

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