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Late-season Camino Frances 2018 - pics and thoughts

Camino(s) past & future
.
#1
Recently back from the CF, started 25 October in St Jean.

Autumn colours are pleasing, the air is often crisp and clear and starting early, through or above a misty dawn, can be memorable. Some albergues still have wood stove fires and the abundance of chestnuts is a bonus.
I started mid-week and saw small numbers of pilgrims except in the cities, where many people seemed inclined to take one or two days off. Most nights in municipals outside the cities there were usually 5-10 pilgrims staying. Some exceptions including Pilar’s place in Rabanal which had more than 30 people, who’d arrived soaking wet, but were all well looked-after of course.
Overall we found some albergues were closing early/mid November. For two albergues we stayed on their last open night of the season and for two others we were a day too late. If I did it again I’d start about ten days earlier, mid-October.
Internet makes it much easier to find whether places are open than a few years ago: guide Apps seem to generally be updated quickly and news travels fast on WhatsApp. There’s also a website page that gives the latest info on open albergues, for those of us not using Apps www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno .

The pics
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/albums/72157704524495734/page1
My 3-year old phone camera is starting to show its age when compared to the latest gizmos, but still just about OK. A zoom would have been nice for those snowy mountains close to Logrono in particular. As ever, few pictures get taken on the rainy days so there are a few gaps. But we had sunshine for the Pyrenees, the meseta and between Ponferrada and Santiago. For some reason I didn’t take the camera out for the communal meals, so only one features - Granon, which has changed very little since 10 years ago. I feared the internet rave reviews might spoil it, but they haven’t - it’s still beautifully true to the camino spirit in its own special way.
Cheers, tom
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#3
Wonderful photo's Tom!

I see Foncebadon has now got a road!

Davey
 
Camino(s) past & future
2019
#5
Recently back from the CF, started 25 October in St Jean.

Autumn colours are pleasing, the air is often crisp and clear and starting early, through or above a misty dawn, can be memorable. Some albergues still have wood stove fires and the abundance of chestnuts is a bonus.
I started mid-week and saw small numbers of pilgrims except in the cities, where many people seemed inclined to take one or two days off. Most nights in municipals outside the cities there were usually 5-10 pilgrims staying. Some exceptions including Pilar’s place in Rabanal which had more than 30 people, who’d arrived soaking wet, but were all well looked-after of course.
Overall we found some albergues were closing early/mid November. For two albergues we stayed on their last open night of the season and for two others we were a day too late. If I did it again I’d start about ten days earlier, mid-October.
Internet makes it much easier to find whether places are open than a few years ago: guide Apps seem to generally be updated quickly and news travels fast on WhatsApp. There’s also a website page that gives the latest info on open albergues, for those of us not using Apps www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno .

The pics
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/albums/72157704524495734/page1
My 3-year old phone camera is starting to show its age when compared to the latest gizmos, but still just about OK. A zoom would have been nice for those snowy mountains close to Logrono in particular. As ever, few pictures get taken on the rainy days so there are a few gaps. But we had sunshine for the Pyrenees, the meseta and between Ponferrada and Santiago. For some reason I didn’t take the camera out for the communal meals, so only one features - Granon, which has changed very little since 10 years ago. I feared the internet rave reviews might spoil it, but they haven’t - it’s still beautifully true to the camino spirit in its own special way.
Cheers, tom
Excellent shots! I'm going early June-late July 2019. Can't wait!!
 

MichaelB10398

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
#6
Tom, thank you for sharing your pictures with us. They are wonderful; such a beautiful time of the year to be on Camino. May you be blessed with a joyous Christmas.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
#7
Recently back from the CF, started 25 October in St Jean.

Autumn colours are pleasing, the air is often crisp and clear and starting early, through or above a misty dawn, can be memorable. Some albergues still have wood stove fires and the abundance of chestnuts is a bonus.
I started mid-week and saw small numbers of pilgrims except in the cities, where many people seemed inclined to take one or two days off. Most nights in municipals outside the cities there were usually 5-10 pilgrims staying. Some exceptions including Pilar’s place in Rabanal which had more than 30 people, who’d arrived soaking wet, but were all well looked-after of course.
Overall we found some albergues were closing early/mid November. For two albergues we stayed on their last open night of the season and for two others we were a day too late. If I did it again I’d start about ten days earlier, mid-October.
Internet makes it much easier to find whether places are open than a few years ago: guide Apps seem to generally be updated quickly and news travels fast on WhatsApp. There’s also a website page that gives the latest info on open albergues, for those of us not using Apps www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno .

The pics
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/albums/72157704524495734/page1
My 3-year old phone camera is starting to show its age when compared to the latest gizmos, but still just about OK. A zoom would have been nice for those snowy mountains close to Logrono in particular. As ever, few pictures get taken on the rainy days so there are a few gaps. But we had sunshine for the Pyrenees, the meseta and between Ponferrada and Santiago. For some reason I didn’t take the camera out for the communal meals, so only one features - Granon, which has changed very little since 10 years ago. I feared the internet rave reviews might spoil it, but they haven’t - it’s still beautifully true to the camino spirit in its own special way.
Cheers, tom
Fantastic photos Tom! Love your work!
 
#8
Recently back from the CF, started 25 October in St Jean.

Autumn colours are pleasing, the air is often crisp and clear and starting early, through or above a misty dawn, can be memorable. Some albergues still have wood stove fires and the abundance of chestnuts is a bonus.
I started mid-week and saw small numbers of pilgrims except in the cities, where many people seemed inclined to take one or two days off. Most nights in municipals outside the cities there were usually 5-10 pilgrims staying. Some exceptions including Pilar’s place in Rabanal which had more than 30 people, who’d arrived soaking wet, but were all well looked-after of course.
Overall we found some albergues were closing early/mid November. For two albergues we stayed on their last open night of the season and for two others we were a day too late. If I did it again I’d start about ten days earlier, mid-October.
Internet makes it much easier to find whether places are open than a few years ago: guide Apps seem to generally be updated quickly and news travels fast on WhatsApp. There’s also a website page that gives the latest info on open albergues, for those of us not using Apps www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno .

The pics
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/albums/72157704524495734/page1
My 3-year old phone camera is starting to show its age when compared to the latest gizmos, but still just about OK. A zoom would have been nice for those snowy mountains close to Logrono in particular. As ever, few pictures get taken on the rainy days so there are a few gaps. But we had sunshine for the Pyrenees, the meseta and between Ponferrada and Santiago. For some reason I didn’t take the camera out for the communal meals, so only one features - Granon, which has changed very little since 10 years ago. I feared the internet rave reviews might spoil it, but they haven’t - it’s still beautifully true to the camino spirit in its own special way.
Cheers, tom
Great photos. Huge memories.
 

D74

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked 2016, 2017
#9
Recently back from the CF, started 25 October in St Jean.

Autumn colours are pleasing, the air is often crisp and clear and starting early, through or above a misty dawn, can be memorable. Some albergues still have wood stove fires and the abundance of chestnuts is a bonus.
I started mid-week and saw small numbers of pilgrims except in the cities, where many people seemed inclined to take one or two days off. Most nights in municipals outside the cities there were usually 5-10 pilgrims staying. Some exceptions including Pilar’s place in Rabanal which had more than 30 people, who’d arrived soaking wet, but were all well looked-after of course.
Overall we found some albergues were closing early/mid November. For two albergues we stayed on their last open night of the season and for two others we were a day too late. If I did it again I’d start about ten days earlier, mid-October.
Internet makes it much easier to find whether places are open than a few years ago: guide Apps seem to generally be updated quickly and news travels fast on WhatsApp. There’s also a website page that gives the latest info on open albergues, for those of us not using Apps www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno .

The pics
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/albums/72157704524495734/page1
My 3-year old phone camera is starting to show its age when compared to the latest gizmos, but still just about OK. A zoom would have been nice for those snowy mountains close to Logrono in particular. As ever, few pictures get taken on the rainy days so there are a few gaps. But we had sunshine for the Pyrenees, the meseta and between Ponferrada and Santiago. For some reason I didn’t take the camera out for the communal meals, so only one features - Granon, which has changed very little since 10 years ago. I feared the internet rave reviews might spoil it, but they haven’t - it’s still beautifully true to the camino spirit in its own special way.
Cheers, tom
What amazing photos!
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
#11
Recently back from the CF, started 25 October in St Jean.

Autumn colours are pleasing, the air is often crisp and clear and starting early, through or above a misty dawn, can be memorable. Some albergues still have wood stove fires and the abundance of chestnuts is a bonus.
I started mid-week and saw small numbers of pilgrims except in the cities, where many people seemed inclined to take one or two days off. Most nights in municipals outside the cities there were usually 5-10 pilgrims staying. Some exceptions including Pilar’s place in Rabanal which had more than 30 people, who’d arrived soaking wet, but were all well looked-after of course.
Overall we found some albergues were closing early/mid November. For two albergues we stayed on their last open night of the season and for two others we were a day too late. If I did it again I’d start about ten days earlier, mid-October.
Internet makes it much easier to find whether places are open than a few years ago: guide Apps seem to generally be updated quickly and news travels fast on WhatsApp. There’s also a website page that gives the latest info on open albergues, for those of us not using Apps www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno .

The pics
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/albums/72157704524495734/page1
My 3-year old phone camera is starting to show its age when compared to the latest gizmos, but still just about OK. A zoom would have been nice for those snowy mountains close to Logrono in particular. As ever, few pictures get taken on the rainy days so there are a few gaps. But we had sunshine for the Pyrenees, the meseta and between Ponferrada and Santiago. For some reason I didn’t take the camera out for the communal meals, so only one features - Granon, which has changed very little since 10 years ago. I feared the internet rave reviews might spoil it, but they haven’t - it’s still beautifully true to the camino spirit in its own special way.
Cheers, tom
Latest I walked was finishing mid October. Your photos are inspiring, might consider starting late September next time. How cold was it if at all
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#12
Thanks for sharing your photos!
 
#15
Great photos the scenery is majestic. Looks like you had a wonderful time . Thank you for sharing.
Have a lovely holiday.
Blessings and good wishes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
#19
Phew, what an amazingly positive reaction! Glad to find that so many people liked the pics - thank you.
Davey: yes, Foncebadon was quite a shock - it always felt like it was just past the last frontier of civilisation as the mountains went up and up. Now it's all quite smart and there's an Italian pizza place recently opened too.
tpmchugh: there were a few days with mean icy north wind, but most of the time it was fine: shirt/t-shirt for a few afternoons (as long as you're in the sun). I think it's all quite manageable nowadays because there are so many more bars/cafes to keep warm and always places to stay with heating, if you need it.
Donal: yes, that first part of the meseta had a sky that was pretty mind-expanding.

One thing I thought folks might be interested in seeing is the pics of the high-level route after Villafranca de Bierzo. In the past I'd thought I'd like to do it, but that it might be a diversion too far if I was going to go all the way to O'Cebreiro. But this time the weather was so good that I went for it - and didn't regret it; much of the time walking above the clouds and later coming down through acres of chestnut tree groves.
And one magic incident I have to mention - that same day, in the evening, I went to give thanks at the pilgrim's mass in O'Cebreiro. I shuffled in and much to my surprise the priest handed me an English bible and pointed to a passage from a St Paul epistle and indicated that he'd signal me to come to the lectern and read at the appropriate time... which I duly did. I heard afterwards from a Korean friend that he was similarly ambushed - possibly a daily occurrence?
Cheers, tom
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago in 2015 and Camino Finisterre in September 2017
Camino Portuguese from Tui 2018
#20
Recently back from the CF, started 25 October in St Jean.

Autumn colours are pleasing, the air is often crisp and clear and starting early, through or above a misty dawn, can be memorable. Some albergues still have wood stove fires and the abundance of chestnuts is a bonus.
I started mid-week and saw small numbers of pilgrims except in the cities, where many people seemed inclined to take one or two days off. Most nights in municipals outside the cities there were usually 5-10 pilgrims staying. Some exceptions including Pilar’s place in Rabanal which had more than 30 people, who’d arrived soaking wet, but were all well looked-after of course.
Overall we found some albergues were closing early/mid November. For two albergues we stayed on their last open night of the season and for two others we were a day too late. If I did it again I’d start about ten days earlier, mid-October.
Internet makes it much easier to find whether places are open than a few years ago: guide Apps seem to generally be updated quickly and news travels fast on WhatsApp. There’s also a website page that gives the latest info on open albergues, for those of us not using Apps www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno .

The pics
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/albums/72157704524495734/page1
My 3-year old phone camera is starting to show its age when compared to the latest gizmos, but still just about OK. A zoom would have been nice for those snowy mountains close to Logrono in particular. As ever, few pictures get taken on the rainy days so there are a few gaps. But we had sunshine for the Pyrenees, the meseta and between Ponferrada and Santiago. For some reason I didn’t take the camera out for the communal meals, so only one features - Granon, which has changed very little since 10 years ago. I feared the internet rave reviews might spoil it, but they haven’t - it’s still beautifully true to the camino spirit in its own special way.
Cheers, tom
Absolutely beautiful, inspirational photos Tom. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Wishing you many more Buen Caminos.
 
Camino(s) past & future
😱
#22
Recently back from the CF, started 25 October in St Jean.

Autumn colours are pleasing, the air is often crisp and clear and starting early, through or above a misty dawn, can be memorable. Some albergues still have wood stove fires and the abundance of chestnuts is a bonus.
I started mid-week and saw small numbers of pilgrims except in the cities, where many people seemed inclined to take one or two days off. Most nights in municipals outside the cities there were usually 5-10 pilgrims staying. Some exceptions including Pilar’s place in Rabanal which had more than 30 people, who’d arrived soaking wet, but were all well looked-after of course.
Overall we found some albergues were closing early/mid November. For two albergues we stayed on their last open night of the season and for two others we were a day too late. If I did it again I’d start about ten days earlier, mid-October.
Internet makes it much easier to find whether places are open than a few years ago: guide Apps seem to generally be updated quickly and news travels fast on WhatsApp. There’s also a website page that gives the latest info on open albergues, for those of us not using Apps www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno .

The pics
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/albums/72157704524495734/page1
My 3-year old phone camera is starting to show its age when compared to the latest gizmos, but still just about OK. A zoom would have been nice for those snowy mountains close to Logrono in particular. As ever, few pictures get taken on the rainy days so there are a few gaps. But we had sunshine for the Pyrenees, the meseta and between Ponferrada and Santiago. For some reason I didn’t take the camera out for the communal meals, so only one features - Granon, which has changed very little since 10 years ago. I feared the internet rave reviews might spoil it, but they haven’t - it’s still beautifully true to the camino spirit in its own special way.
Cheers, tom
This is great Tom. Thank you. I’d love to do a winter Camino.
 

Tony Bobcat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#23
Recently back from the CF, started 25 October in St Jean.

Autumn colours are pleasing, the air is often crisp and clear and starting early, through or above a misty dawn, can be memorable. Some albergues still have wood stove fires and the abundance of chestnuts is a bonus.
I started mid-week and saw small numbers of pilgrims except in the cities, where many people seemed inclined to take one or two days off. Most nights in municipals outside the cities there were usually 5-10 pilgrims staying. Some exceptions including Pilar’s place in Rabanal which had more than 30 people, who’d arrived soaking wet, but were all well looked-after of course.
Overall we found some albergues were closing early/mid November. For two albergues we stayed on their last open night of the season and for two others we were a day too late. If I did it again I’d start about ten days earlier, mid-October.
Internet makes it much easier to find whether places are open than a few years ago: guide Apps seem to generally be updated quickly and news travels fast on WhatsApp. There’s also a website page that gives the latest info on open albergues, for those of us not using Apps www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno .

The pics
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/albums/72157704524495734/page1
My 3-year old phone camera is starting to show its age when compared to the latest gizmos, but still just about OK. A zoom would have been nice for those snowy mountains close to Logrono in particular. As ever, few pictures get taken on the rainy days so there are a few gaps. But we had sunshine for the Pyrenees, the meseta and between Ponferrada and Santiago. For some reason I didn’t take the camera out for the communal meals, so only one features - Granon, which has changed very little since 10 years ago. I feared the internet rave reviews might spoil it, but they haven’t - it’s still beautifully true to the camino spirit in its own special way.
Cheers, tom
Great photos Tom,looks like you had a great time
 

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