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First time - weather concern

Kostadin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 first walk
Hi everyone I plan this with an elder , possibly i could start from a more distant location alone

but what i want to know is Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela doable in mid/late March to April?

5-8 to 15-20 degrees Celsius. Seems legit if there are no snow/rain storms and wind. Am I misleading myself or is it a correct estimation to say it will be dry/cloudy , occasionally sunny and beginning of spring?

https://www.accuweather.com/en/es/ponferrada/303128/march-weather/303128
https://www.accuweather.com/en/es/sarria/305145/march-weather/305145

Can we go round O'Cebreiro and walk an alternative route from La Faba to Triacastela? Lets say through Linares? What would be the exact route to bypass O'Cebreiro as i don't want to risk it with an elder individual.

A bus from Trabadelo to Triacastela but it only goes three times a week so have to pick your days - https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Trabade
Is this a viable option?

Is it going to be snowy on the route to Santiago or/and muddy/rainy?
It's only 7 to 10 days so the weather forecast should be accurate, is the weather there changeable?
I plan to take both boots and walking snickers. I am getting all the stuff from this checklist
https://whatsdavedoing.com/camino-de-santiago-packing-list/
Is 6 to 8 kg backpack going to be too much? I do not think i will get any food in it other than energy bars as I think along the road there will be a lot of chances. Is it possible to refill water along the road or should we buy some from every town/village we pass?
Is the tap water or along the road clean?
Also I want to see Portugal, is it easy to get to the border with Portugal from Santiago de Compostela. bus/train or rent a car?
Is this the place to get the pilgrim pass from in Ponferrada - Municipal Albergue?
Also I found some Apps for Android - are they enough to keep us on track and find all albergues?
Is there a mountain pass through the below points?

1)Mo, 1-Ponferrada - Villafranca del Bierzo22.322.3
2)Tu, Villafranca del Bierzo - La Faba23.846.1
3)We, La Faba - Triacastela25.671.7
4)Th, Triacastela - Sarria24.696.3
5)Fr, Sarria - Portomarín22.5118.8
6)Sa, Portomarín - Airexe17.4136.2
7)Su, Airexe - Leboreiro16.7152.9
8 )Mo, Leboreiro - Arzúa19.6172.5
9)Tu, Arzúa - Rúa17.8190.3
10)We, Rúa - Santiago de Compostela20.7211
 
Last edited:

Kostadin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 first walk
Are there any festivals I can catch on the road in some of the towns in Ponferrada, Santiago de Compostela or Madrid?
I also want to do a salsa class somewhere for a night or two.
 

Kostadin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 first walk
On the weather side, expect rain and cold. It is not really Spring till mid April.
I do not see any difference in weather between mid-end of March and beginning/mid and end of April.
It shows rainy weeks and then dry/cloudy partly sunny weeks one after another.
https://www.accuweather.com/en/es/ponferrada/303128/march-weather/303128
https://www.accuweather.com/en/es/ponferrada/303128/april-weather/303128?monyr=4/1/2018
https://www.accuweather.com/en/es/sarria/305145/month/305145?monyr=3/01/2018
https://www.accuweather.com/en/es/sarria/305145/month/305145?monyr=4/01/2018
I contemplate on bringing waterproof boots + walking runners to change & throw away during the walk.

From Ponferrada to Santiago De Compostela between 23March and 2nd of April
It all seems dry/cloudy/partly or sunny. If the forecast is accurate, there is no to little rain.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Are there any festivals I can catch on the road in some of the towns in Ponferrada, Santiago de Compostela or Madrid?
I also want to do a salsa class somewhere for a night or two.
Hi Kostadin,

Do not anticipate festivals in March / April. Spring / Summer is the time for them.

You may watch the forcasts but if I were going at that time, I would prepare for rain, cold and wind. One thing that I could never bet on is the weather.
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Re: "Do not anticipate festivals in March/ April"

No festivals??? It's Holy Week (Semana Santa) in a Catholic country, so there will indeed be festivals! Easter celebrations will begin 25 March (and Easter Monday is 2 April). Here is some info in Spanish about events in different towns in Galicia:

http://semanasanta.galiciadigital.com

The locals will all be on holiday at this time. To be honest I wouldn't worry so much about the weather, as about the number of people of the Camino. You can expect it to be busy busy busy!
 

Kostadin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 first walk
Triacastela
Re: "Do not anticipate festivals in March/ April"

No festivals??? It's Holy Week (Semana Santa) in a Catholic country, so there will indeed be festivals! Easter celebrations will begin 25 March (and Easter Monday is 2 April). Here is some info in Spanish about events in different towns in Galicia:

http://semanasanta.galiciadigital.com

The locals will all be on holiday at this time. To be honest I wouldn't worry so much about the weather, as about the number of people of the Camino. You can expect it to be busy busy busy!

Thanks a bunch for the link Jan.It says they will post info on the webpage, it seems whole of Galicia will have celebrations.

Can anyone confirm this detour to go round O'Cebreiro ?
A bus from Trabadelo to Triacastela but it only goes three times a week so have to pick your days - https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Trabade
Is this a viable option?
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Some answers...

Avoiding O Cebreiro: if you look in closer detail at the Rome2rio recommendation, you will need to so half the trip via taxi, so it's not a bus option. There's no walking path that 'skirts' the hill, I'm afraid. I think there's meant to be a Monbus service from Pedrafita do Cebreiro to Triacastela, but this won't help much as you'd still need to get to Pedrafita, which is not on the camino path (and the Monbus website seems very buggy, at the moment it isn't accepting any "destino" so difficult to check!) I think it would probably be easiest to just get a taxi - probably €1-2 per km, but shouldn't be much more than €30-40 which might be worth it for the convenience. I'm sure the hospitaleros could help you organise a taxi for the following day (and it's not at all uncommon for people to catch taxis on more precarious stretches of the camino, so there's bound to be a system in place!)

Weather: late March should be fine, although Galicia is known for its wet weather, and it can take a bit longer than expected for spring to 'kick in'. It's a mountainous region on the Atlantic ocean known as the 'Celtic Coast', for cultural and historical reasons obviously, but there are some similarities with the Irish weather too!) But you should be ok, so long as you have waterproof gear - I doubt many of the albergues will have tumble dryers, so don't pack clothes that will take ages to air dry.

Weight: the general rule is that your backpack should weigh 10% of your body weight. 6kg sounds about right. 8kg is pushing it as you need to account for water, food etc - although again depends on your own size and strength.

Water: Spanish towns have public drinking fountains, if not you'll probably be popping into a cafe for a much-needed coffee break so you can just fill your bottle up there. You will be walking through lots of towns and villages, most of which have shops and cafes, so don't worry you'll be able to stock up on the way. The word for drinkable in Spanish is "potable"; you can assume the water is safe to drink unless you see a sign saying "no potable". The food in Spain is very reasonable: you can get a pilgrim lunch or dinner (of 3 courses and drinks) for about €10.

Directions: there is very little chance you will get lost. The path is very well marked, and there will probably be a line of pilgrims behind you and in front of you. The albergues are all along the path, if not there will be arrows showing you where to go. That said, a lot of pilgrims on this forum swear by the WisePilgrim App.

Portugal: The bus or train from Vigo to Porto takes around 2h30 (I prefer the train, but the options are somewhat limited as they only do the route once or twice a day). You can easily do Vigo-Porto-Vigo in a day trip. I'd recommend booking into a hotel in Vigo for a couple of nights after your Camino - you can get to Vigo very easily from Santiago de Compostela. It's really worth the effort of getting to Porto: just getting off at a random stop after the border might be disappointing, as some these towns are a bit suburban or industrial. Whereas Porto will take your breath away!
 

Kostadin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 first walk
Some answers...

Avoiding O Cebreiro: if you look in closer detail at the Rome2rio recommendation, you will need to so half the trip via taxi, so it's not a bus option. There's no walking path that 'skirts' the hill, I'm afraid. I think there's meant to be a Monbus service from Pedrafita do Cebreiro to Triacastela, but this won't help much as you'd still need to get to Pedrafita, which is not on the camino path (and the Monbus website seems very buggy, at the moment it isn't accepting any "destino" so difficult to check!) I think it would probably be easiest to just get a taxi - probably €1-2 per km, but shouldn't be much more than €30-40 which might be worth it for the convenience. I'm sure the hospitaleros could help you organise a taxi for the following day (and it's not at all uncommon for people to catch taxis on more precarious stretches of the camino, so there's bound to be a system in place!)

Weather: late March should be fine, although Galicia is known for its wet weather, and it can take a bit longer than expected for spring to 'kick in'. It's a mountainous region on the Atlantic ocean known as the 'Celtic Coast', for cultural and historical reasons obviously, but there are some similarities with the Irish weather too!) But you should be ok, so long as you have waterproof gear - I doubt many of the albergues will have tumble dryers, so don't pack clothes that will take ages to air dry.

Weight: the general rule is that your backpack should weigh 10% of your body weight. 6kg sounds about right. 8kg is pushing it as you need to account for water, food etc - although again depends on your own size and strength.

Water: Spanish towns have public drinking fountains, if not you'll probably be popping into a cafe for a much-needed coffee break so you can just fill your bottle up there. You will be walking through lots of towns and villages, most of which have shops and cafes, so don't worry you'll be able to stock up on the way. The word for drinkable in Spanish is "potable"; you can assume the water is safe to drink unless you see a sign saying "no potable". The food in Spain is very reasonable: you can get a pilgrim lunch or dinner (of 3 courses and drinks) for about €10.

Directions: there is very little chance you will get lost. The path is very well marked, and there will probably be a line of pilgrims behind you and in front of you. The albergues are all along the path, if not there will be arrows showing you where to go. That said, a lot of pilgrims on this forum swear by the WisePilgrim App.

Portugal: The bus or train from Vigo to Porto takes around 2h30 (I prefer the train, but the options are somewhat limited as they only do the route once or twice a day). You can easily do Vigo-Porto-Vigo in a day trip. I'd recommend booking into a hotel in Vigo for a couple of nights after your Camino - you can get to Vigo very easily from Santiago de Compostela. It's really worth the effort of getting to Porto: just getting off at a random stop after the border might be disappointing, as some these towns are a bit suburban or industrial. Whereas Porto will take your breath away!
OMG gracias, un abrazo enorme Jan. Muy bien.
Yes i saw there is the taxi half-way in, i got that recommendation from the forum, so i thought a coach service is in place. I am all in for O'Cebreiro and whatever comes my way, however I am walking with an elder and do not want to push my luck.
I am 1.89m , 85 kgs so a 6 to 8 kgs will be a pushover, I will limit it as I know the lighter, the faster to walk.
I think we will do Vigo to Porto and then to Lisbon to catch a flight. As we will start from Madrid, sightsee and then bus to Ponferrada, it seems those routes are not going to take its toll as long as we have rain gear and come prepared.
Thanks for the App, i downloaded a bunch of them. I really would benefit from a life-weather one, a one where peregrinos update themselves on the go.That's a good idea.
Buen Camino todos, hope to bursh off my rusty Spanish.
 
Last edited:

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
That's a great idea! That way you get to experience Porto and Lisbon, what a treat! ;)

Actually if you're just planning on heading south after Santiago then you can catch the Alsa bus (via Vigo) that leaves Santiago at midday every day and arrives in Porto at 3:15pm (although it technically takes 4h15 as Portugal is in a different time zone). I'd reserve this in advance as there's only one bus per day and as it'll probably be at the end of the Easter holidays people will start snapping up seats soon I'd imagine!

If you want more bus options, you can check bus/ train times Santiago-Vigo on "Monbus" and "Renfe" respectively. To get from Vigo-Porto there are buses with "Autna" and trains with "Comboios Portugal."

Sounds like you have a very special trip planned; your elderly relative is lucky to have such a thoughtful and organised camino companion!
 

Kostadin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 first walk
That's a great idea! That way you get to experience Porto and Lisbon, what a treat! ;)

Actually if you're just planning on heading south after Santiago then you can catch the Alsa bus (via Vigo) that leaves Santiago at midday every day and arrives in Porto at 3:15pm (although it technically takes 4h15 as Portugal is in a different time zone). I'd reserve this in advance as there's only one bus per day and as it'll probably be at the end of the Easter holidays people will start snapping up seats soon I'd imagine!

If you want more bus options, you can check bus/ train times Santiago-Vigo on "Monbus" and "Renfe" respectively. To get from Vigo-Porto there are buses with "Autna" and trains with "Comboios Portugal."

Sounds like you have a very special trip planned; your elderly relative is lucky to have such a thoughtful and organised camino companion!

Genial. I will definitely make arrangements to be on the safe side so we have reserved spots. Definitely not used to so much planning but have to do this for the family. I like leaving things to chance :))) Not this time.
I hope me pronouncing Y o LL es Sh will not annoy the locals.
I think it is a crime not to pass through Portugal as it is so close. I will definitely coin some Portuguese.
I have not planned this, our faithful dog who is like my brother passed away unexpectedly, also other stuff, i thought of doing the walk with my doggy , I hope he will approve from heaven.
 
Last edited:

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Aw sorry to hear about your wee canine companion, I'm sure he'll be watching and barking words of love encouragement from doggie heaven! I'm sure you'll have a fabulous time; the Camino is healing for both body and soul! x
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
I know you're only going to be in Portugal for a couple of days, but if you're interested in learning a bit of Portuguese just for the hell of it, I've been enjoying listening to this podcast: https://portuguesewithcarla.com/podcast2/

(They go through a transcript and explain the meaning so you get to hear the accent and learn some vocab. Carla and Marlon who do the podcast are native speakers from the Alentejo region, which is great as most stuff online is Brazilian Portuguese)
 

Kostadin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 first walk
I know you're only going to be in Portugal for a couple of days, but if you're interested in learning a bit of Portuguese just for the hell of it, I've been enjoying listening to this podcast: https://portuguesewithcarla.com/podcast2/

(They go through a transcript and explain the meaning so you get to hear the accent and learn some vocab. Carla and Marlon who do the podcast are native speakers from the Alentejo region, which is great as most stuff online is Brazilian Portuguese)
I have an idea of Brazilian portuguese from a love affair... I will listen to the podcasts and make an effort.
Obrigado!
 

DeansFamily

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 18/916/10/17 Muxia/Finisterre 18/10-22/10/17 Norte 21/4-29/5/18 Primitive 20/9-5/10/18 VdlP
The most comfortable and easy way to get to Portugal from Santiago de Compostela is by train. No need to pre purchase your ticket, just see the gentleman at the counter and buy your ticket to Vigo station and you can purchase and pay for your Portugal ticket there as well (but as a seperate transaction), and the regular service terminates at Vigo station (at the border of Portugal) and you wait at Vigo station for the Portugal train that leaves on a different platform. We travelled down to Porto this way and it was much better than the bus especially if you get travel sickness from lots of winding roads. Porto is very interesting and the coast at Vila do Conde is great.
 

camino-david

RIP 2020
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
You write that you will be doing this with an 'elderly' relative, but you do not say age, level of fitness and walking ability. Age really is only a number. Many 'elderly' people walk from St Jean to Santiago and they are in their eighties and have no problems, but they are regular walkers and fit. I have done this at the ages of 79, 80 and 82.
Weather is guesswork at this early stage. Wait until you are a few days away from O'Cebreiro and then check the weather (get the app for Spanish weather before you leave), and get a bus or taxi if the weather is really bad. O'Cebreiro is almost the highest point after the Pyrennes, and so most likely to get snow, I have experienced perfect weather (Oct), snow (Oct), and a snowstorm (May).
La Faba is roughly half way up the mountain at 920 metres, so if you want to use a bus to avoid O"Cebreiro, think of Villafranca del Biertzo from where there should be many bus services, or as suggested above, a taxi from Trabdeloor or Ruitelan
 

Kostadin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 first walk
Oookay, all booked now, fingers crossed and prayers to Rain Gods, keep 23rd of March to 2nd of April dry and sunny and cool for walking... I think trains will be a better option but will keep an eye at Alsa coach service too...
I read a lot on Permethrin for bed bugs. Does it cause skin rashes if i treat all luggage? Do the albergues provide disposable linens? I downloaded the albergues guide but no mention of which ones have bugs.
 

Kostadin

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 first walk
I plan to send some clothes from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela's hotel so we ease the burden during the walk. Can someone recommend a courrier? https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=couriers&find_loc=Madrid
Does any delivery service run at a bus/train station or airport in Madrid?
Also are there any trekking poles to rent from an albergue as they are not permitted on flights?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Hi everyone I plan this with an elder , possibly i could start from a more distant location alone

but what i want to know is Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela doable in mid/late March to April?

5-8 to 15-20 degrees Celsius. Seems legit if there are no snow/rain storms and wind. Am I misleading myself or is it a correct estimation to say it will be dry/cloudy , occasionally sunny and beginning of spring?

https://www.accuweather.com/en/es/ponferrada/303128/march-weather/303128
https://www.accuweather.com/en/es/sarria/305145/march-weather/305145

Can we go round O'Cebreiro and walk an alternative route from La Faba to Triacastela? Lets say through Linares? What would be the exact route to bypass O'Cebreiro as i don't want to risk it with an elder individual.

A bus from Trabadelo to Triacastela but it only goes three times a week so have to pick your days - https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Trabade
Is this a viable option?

Is it going to be snowy on the route to Santiago or/and muddy/rainy?
It's only 7 to 10 days so the weather forecast should be accurate, is the weather there changeable?
I plan to take both boots and walking snickers. I am getting all the stuff from this checklist
https://whatsdavedoing.com/camino-de-santiago-packing-list/
Is 6 to 8 kg backpack going to be too much? I do not think i will get any food in it other than energy bars as I think along the road there will be a lot of chances. Is it possible to refill water along the road or should we buy some from every town/village we pass?
Is the tap water or along the road clean?
Also I want to see Portugal, is it easy to get to the border with Portugal from Santiago de Compostela. bus/train or rent a car?
Is this the place to get the pilgrim pass from in Ponferrada - Municipal Albergue?
Also I found some Apps for Android - are they enough to keep us on track and find all albergues?
Is there a mountain pass through the below points?

1)Mo, 1-Ponferrada - Villafranca del Bierzo22.322.3
2)Tu, Villafranca del Bierzo - La Faba23.846.1
3)We, La Faba - Triacastela25.671.7
4)Th, Triacastela - Sarria24.696.3
5)Fr, Sarria - Portomarín22.5118.8
6)Sa, Portomarín - Airexe17.4136.2
7)Su, Airexe - Leboreiro16.7152.9
8 )Mo, Leboreiro - Arzúa19.6172.5
9)Tu, Arzúa - Rúa17.8190.3
10)We, Rúa - Santiago de Compostela20.7211

I think weather and “what’s COLD” depends on your country of origin. I walked last March 19 to April 23 from St Jean to Santiago and we had NO RAIN from about March 24th onwards. It’s was the first time in 42 years that there was no rain in April. For me a Canadian March and April bordered on Spring-Summer. Buen camino
 

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