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Last minute help and reassurance needed

2020 Camino Guides


New Member
Dear all

I am astonished by the wealth of knowledge so freely shared here. Thank you very much for all the hints and tips I have already gleaned.

I have been trying to work out a few things before my departure from Aire sur L'Adour next Friday, 9 March.

For example, if I want to spend an extra day somewhere, do I have to stay in a hotel instead of a pilgrim refugio for the extra night? I intend to make sure I have plenty of rest days to avoid damage to myself as far as possible.

Do I need a detailed map for the camino frances route from SJPP? I have the Confraternity of St James booklet and thought it would just be possible to follow the waymarks but I feel suddenly anxious in case I get lost and have no map and no other help (I am walking alone).

How do I know where I can send stuff onto poste restante? I'd like to send some stuff to SJPP to pick up there, is that possible? Is there a list of places available somewhere?

I'm sure I must have more questions but any help with these for now would be wonderful.

"May the road rise to greet you" all


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC (4-5/2011), Ferrol-SdC (9/2011), Pamplona-SdC (3-4/2012), Camino Finisterre (10/2012), Ourense-SdC (5/2014)
Hi Leah!

I don't know about the poste restante, I'm afraid, but someone else will.

Maps are good for planning the next day's walk rather than for following the Way while you're actually walking. It's very well signposted and there will be others around to reassure you that you're on the route even if you choose to walk alone. If you haven't seen a yellow arrow for a while and nobody else is around, consider stopping until someone else appears, or retracing your steps. On some long stretches of path where there are no junctions or other places to go wrong there will be fewer arrows, so don't worry about that.

It is expected to stay just one night in an albergue, so plan your rest days for somewhere with alternative hostal accommodation.

I'm starting a stage of the Camino Frances from Pamplona just before you on March 8th, so we won't meet unfortunately, but will be walking at the same time. Buen Camino!



Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Leah, while you are still in France there are some gites that let you stay more than one night. You would have to check it out with a particular gite though. I stayed two nights in L'Esprit du Chemin in SJPP to have a rest day before I tackled the Napoleon route. In 2008 when I was there, they kept a certain proportion of beds for people walking through from France- it made for a really nice mix of 'newbies' and pilgrims who had been walking for a while...


Active Member
Poste restante

It is possible. In SJPDP, there are 2 post offices:

Tél. Indigo : 3631

(this is the main office)

and a (probably) smaller one:


You have to precise which one, of course, and fetch your parcel with your ID card. Quite normal, isn't it?

map or not
You won't need a map, there are not much possibilities to get lost, if you will follow the main stream camino...
If you like maps, take one (or more than one, to have an acceptable scale). Or if you like to walk alternative ways and in your guide book, there aren't any maps at all.

Enjoy, and buen camino.
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004.SJPP-SdC-Finisterre)(1998-2012 completed in sections). Norte (2006.122km) Inglés (2009)

Depending on what technology you have you can follow the Camino Frances on Google Earth.

Bring it up, turn on the walking man symbol and a number of routes will pop up.

It's good fun.

By the way, you probably will take a wrong turn at some point of the journey, but don't worry. You'll soon pick up the point already made that you will know you have gone wrong.

If it is any consolation one of the early editions of Alison Raju's, The Way of St James, tells you at one point to tunr L when you definately need to turn R.

Alison is an expert walker and one of the most knoweldeable people on the Camino; if she can make the occasional mistake there is no need to worry that we will as well.


New Member
Hi there all
many many thanks for your useful response which have reassured me and informed me no end! I think I have to admit that I am nervous (rather than be in denial) but I am also trusting and feel/know that it will become clear in the doing....perhaps my anxiety now is mainly to be on the way!
buen camino to you all

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