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What a start to my camino, arrived in sjpp and got a taxi from bayonne courtesy of the bus company because the bus was full, the train still isnt running.
SJPP is beautiful but we got a wet welcome. Crowds are small enough to be honest. There is snow on the route de napoleon so that route is closed for a few days i think , people in orisson will be sent down a country track to join the viacarles, through the valley ,there is still a stiff climb to col ibaneta, that was cold and the snow lorries were out yesterday clearing all the roads.
There is excess water in the rivers and streams due to the inclement weather so wear shoe protectors and bring waterproof pants and warm clothes.
Its a baptism of fire and my limbs ache but there is no turning back now, determination even though the 1st day i had i wondered what i was doing when i struggled up to ibaneta in snow , fierce wind and cold
buen camino
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Suffice it to say I haven't yet stopped walking
Thank you for the update. Good to hear that you are keeping your morale up. We hope the wind will be at your back soon enough to lighten your load and keep you moving forward. There are many of us who wish we were there to walk with you!

God bless,
Great Post! Nothing is better than getting updates from someone that is there right now. We start our Camino in about 2 weeks, arriving in SJPP on the 20th and starting on the 22nd.

Buen Camino


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Wow, thank you for your post, it is amazingly cold. You are brave, have you got warm clothes? When I started on May 8 in 2006 it was hot, temperature in the high 20's. What a weird world! My thoughts are with you and I hope you have a wonderful time, is it very crowded? Regards, Gitti


How exciting!! So happy for you and your determination!

And after hearing of the weather, and gittihare's comment about the difference in May now versus back in 2006.... makes me wonder... maybe I should keep that light sleeping bag/liner versus just a silk liner... I've been reading the advice but hadn't made up my mind yet... the weather worldwide is quite unpredictable anymore... hmmm.

Look forward to further posts should you have the time/inclination. Sooooo very excited to hear live action and looking forward to mine in June. Hope you enjoy and embrace what the Camino brings your way. By the way, I read so many posts... how long do you plan on walking... 3 weeks? 5 weeks? However long it takes?

As they say, "Buen Camino" ~ Denise

ps- You understand yet what "ultreya" means? Been meaning to ask.
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Ultreya means "onwards" as far as I know, love Gitti


Thank you so much for your post. I leave in 10 days for Spain, and start walking from Roncesvalles two weeks from today. As a result of hearing how cold it is, I've decided to take my down vest after all. I had thought it was silly to take something like that to Spain in the summer. How wrong I was! It seems that every day I get a useful "course correction" from this amazing Forum, this amazing community of pilgrims. I'm hoping to share with you live from the Camino as well.

Buen Camino to all,

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
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Many, various, and continuing.
I still don´t think you´ll need a down vest.
I live on the Meseta. My neighbors all are farmers, people utterly attuned to the weather. They tell me the current cold snap is weird, but not unheard-of -- and it´s the last of winter. They keep all their garden plants under glass or plastic until San Benito... May 8. Because that´s the last chance of frost!

After that, layers ought to be sufficient. I walked the camino in April, over the same mountains and hills, and a fleece jacket and layers were fine, even at altitude, even when things got pretty chilly. Remember you´re moving most of the time, making plenty of your own heat. All but one or two albergues have blankets (watch out for San Juan de Ortega, which is penitentially blanket-free and COLD even in August!)



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Last may, it was +- the same : Very cold, some 'remains' of snow on the top of the pyrenees, and after the first week mostly sunny and comfortable temperatures.
Nevertheless, nearly every morning till mid-may, I put some fine gloves (those without fingertips) because it was rather 'chilly' in the early morning...


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Another thought, at the end of May near Burgos, there was frost on the ground early in the morning, but as the day went on it got hot. I walked in shorts, my legs were bright red from the cold the first hour or so, but then it was all fine. I was never cold at night, had a lightweight down sleeping bag, which weighed 800 grams. Regards, Gitti
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well i have made it to belorado on schedule , its tough but people are happy and wishing buen camino. Its still wet n cold, its wierd actually for 2 hours you could get burnt with the breeze and then today ran into a mini storm at vilamayor del rio. I reckon peoples enemy number 1 is the mud . With all the rain thats come down the tracks are slippy andd with the up n down nature of the camino its easy to slip or twist and your camino is over.
People seem to leave their albergue very early as in 6am to have the safety of a lodging guaranteed.There seems to be plenty of room in hotels in every location. People are surprised at 1 thing prices seem to have went up in spain you can pay up to 10euro a night for a refugio, up to 5 euro for a bocadillo jamon y queso
bring some warm clothing, waterproof pants, a altus cover for your backpack and good spirit and you will be fine
I think some of the distances are wrong in the guides so dont overdo things unless you are fit.

Anyway buen camino im going to burgos tomorrow


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The word "ultreya" as used on the camino includes the connotation of moving "onward with perseverance and courage". Coming from two or three of the locals it has felt to me like both an acknowledgement of the determination it can take to keep going and a blessing to continue to keep the strength of that determination.


Alas bad news i hurt my foot on the slopes of atapuerca , well its the only place i could have done damage as i have been careful where i stepped. My foot is badly swollen and i have decided to abandon the camino and return home
It is still cold even on the meseta . when tempertures could be 24 its only 14 , with altitude and breeze you would want to stay warm, however the breeze will burn your skin
There is buckets of rain about , it can go dry/rain/dry rain in the space of a day--its unseasonal weather even for the north of spain
Best of luck to everybody you have my admiration , its agreat acheivement to walk the camino if one hit
buen camino
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Hi Ben and Sam, so sorry about your foot, falling over is a real risk, especially on these nasty downhills. I fell once on the footpath, when I stepped into a missing cobblestone hole. I was admiring the architecture rather than watching my step and my friend fell for the same reason, walking into a waist high pole and wrapping around it pack and all! Luckily neither of us were seriously hurt and could continue. How disappointing and the weather sounds horrendous. Not much fun in the cold and the rain. All the best, I am sure you will have got something out of what you have done and there is always another time and better weather. Regards, Gitti


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Hi Benandsam,
From your post it sounds as if you got beyond Burgos and up onto the Meseta-that's is a heck of an achievement with a sore foot. I hope you had time to enjoy the city ....even as a 'hopalong'?
Having over a third of the your Camino completed, albeit it a cold and soggy one, if you decide to complete the rest of the route at some time I wish you warm and sunny weather.....but as for that damn mud I'm afraid seems to always be with us! :?
Safe home


If i fell i could explain it but i didnt twist my ankle or fall , i think on the steep rocky decline of atapuerca i strained a tendon or a ligament around my left ankle area--judging by sillydoll i made a wise choice in abandoning--snow on ocebreiro after snow/rain and muck, its a tough time for all those still on the camino--god bless them

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I will leave the medical diagnosis to the doctors (doctors and lawyers hate it when you practice their "professions" without a license), but absent a single event like a twisted ankle it sounds to me like you overdid it. Injuries from repetitive stress sneak up on you. I have met a dozen pilgrims who felt pretty good at 20-25 km, so tried 30 km. That went well, so they pushed for 40 km, and suddenly they could not move their legs or had severe tendonitis. After several days recovery in a hotel, they could again do 20 km. Body parts do not like doing the same thing over and over. If a mile is about 2,000 paces, then a 12 mile day (20 km) is 24,000 steps. Double that and then do it for several days, and it is a lot to expect from your body. Instantly increase your weight by 10 kg (your pack), and the stress is magnified. Even more insidious are the little changes in body mechanics that occur as your muscles fatigue or you react to a blister. The stress on joints and muscles can become angular, and the new muscles and tendons that are put into play are subjected to new strain. From your earlier posts, you set some very ambitious goals for completing the Camino. It might be valuable for others who set goals to remind themselves that the goals are not the purpose; it is usually worthwhile to abandon the goals if they become obstacles to the purpose. I congratulate you, Benandsam, on the effort you put forth, and I hope you had fun in the process.


Thanks falcon you may be right , i dont know, my legs felt great , 40k is no bother but maybe my lower left leg felt the strain as the camino is over rough terrain, 10k on my back it didnt feel much after a few days, start slow and get into a good walking rhythm after 10k.
Im a postman in ireland i do 20k daily with mail on my shoulder and i have to bend down to boxes so im a pretty fit guy but maybe the weather combined with my speed and my schedule put a joint under pressure.
Im glad i abandoned it as i wasnt capable of carrying on , the doc said rest 2/3 days but tendonitis is slow--from reading the internet tendonitis happens rapidly so medical rest wouldnt have done much good.
However you are right its a warning to others--a important factor is to stretch the muscles which i did daily it helped me a lot
I will abandon the camino now , the failure after using up all my annual holidays was a real kick in the teeth--i only have 20 days holidays a year

good luck everybody
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IMHO Falcon is absolutely right I developed a soft tissue injury in the wall of my foot from pushing the kms up too far - that resulted in many months of ice and rest and can still twinge from time to time. Best to be modest in our expectations and increase gradually being very wary of those days when we "still have the legs" to keep going further and further. Recover well benandsam and hopefully we will see you here and a route sometime in the future.




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BenandSam, I too had soft tissue damage of my left ankle on the descents of Atapuerca. I was amazed at how this little ligament or tendon (whatever it was) could be so painful that it stopped me in my tracks. I hobbled into Burgos and then had to rest it 3 weeks (thankfully I have family and friends in Spain where I was able to rest) and was then able to continue walking.
I often wondered if with the side-of-the-road walking, the left foot was at an angle for long periods of time, thus pulling that ankle into a position that wore on that spot. I walked closer to the center of trails and roads when able and purposelly looked for flat areas so as to not repeat that "pull". For future walks....


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Hi Lillian -

I made the same observation. On my first Camino I had a lot of pain and swelling on the outside of my ankle and figured out it was from the constant overstretching from walking on the slanted side of the road. Since then I really take a lot of care to avoid that overstretch both on the carretera and on rutted and uneven surfaces. It's something that just creeps up on you. I did what you did - always tried to minimize that slant, and now the inflammation is minimal.



Thanks everybody for all your kind thoughts and i have thought why it happened as 40k a day is well within stamina abilities and still time to go out every late afternoon evening for a few drinks/ chats food
I have torn ligaments in my right ankle twice in my life and i spent lots of money repairing it and my right foot ankle was fine on the camino
I still think while i didnt sprain it or twist it to my knowledge as i was very careful where i stepped my left foot over reached on the undulations of atapuerca. After atapuerca unknowlingly my ankle was getting worse and i did 43k on a worsening ankle , i stopped in hontanas as i feared badly damaging it if i continued . If i return to the camino i will be extra careful on atapuerca. The people that said to walk in the centre of the road could be righ when you think about it.
When the camino is very wet and muddy the clean line or driest line is often at either edge of the road as its no fun to be slipping and sliding in muck continously, earthen tracks are nice but when wet they are horrible and we do what we can to reduce the clog as much as possible.
Maybe next time if i return i may go later in the year , a settled dry period of weather makes walking so much more enjoyable
Anyway im back to work in a weeks time so back walking then

Its amazing the small things of the camino

Pack your backpack properly heaviest items up high in the shoulder area
walk in the centre flattest part of the road

buen camino

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