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COVID Let's be careful with our advice

Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
I love this forum. There are so many experienced pilgrims who are eager to share advice based on their own journeys. It seems like, no matter how obscure the question, there's someone here who has first-hand experience, if not five someones.

That said, I think we all need to be very careful right now with offering advice for Summer 2021 based on our past experiences. Among those of us who have walked the Norte, for example, many of us have positive memories of nights in the municipal albergues in Irún, or Pasajes, or Deba. There's such good energy in these albergues, with so many new pilgrims excited for the walk ahead.

Those albergues are all closed right now. And the private options in this stretch are limited and often not exclusive to pilgrims. As a consequence, the opening week on the Norte this year may feel quite different to new pilgrims.

I also recognize how important it is to many pilgrims to not make reservations. The serendipity, the uncertainty, the joy of an unstructured experience. That's all valid. I've heard from some Summer 2021 pilgrims that they're counting on pilgrim numbers being low, thus allowing them to proceed without plans. On the Norte especially, though, the available beds are consumed by pilgrims and beach-going tourists alike, and with so many of the pilgrim-only spots closed, that shoves a lot of pilgrims into the broader tourist market. And there will be plenty of people seeking Spain's beaches this summer.

I'm sure this is applicable in different ways and to different degrees with other routes. I just think we need to be mindful of the fact that pilgrimage this summer can be great, but it's also going to pose distinct challenges, and some of our past experiences may not prove as instructive as they are at other times.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Before Covid struck my plan for last year was to do the Norte/Primitivo combo in September. I currently have no plans for this year, but if in a month or so conditions look promising I may do a Camino in September. But it won't be the Norte/Primitivo because I want to save it for when things are much more back to normal.
 

nathanael

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
I love this forum. There are so many experienced pilgrims who are eager to share advice based on their own journeys. It seems like, no matter how obscure the question, there's someone here who has first-hand experience, if not five someones.

That said, I think we all need to be very careful right now with offering advice for Summer 2021 based on our past experiences. Among those of us who have walked the Norte, for example, many of us have positive memories of nights in the municipal albergues in Irún, or Pasajes, or Deba. There's such good energy in these albergues, with so many new pilgrims excited for the walk ahead.

Those albergues are all closed right now. And the private options in this stretch are limited and often not exclusive to pilgrims. As a consequence, the opening week on the Norte this year may feel quite different to new pilgrims.

I also recognize how important it is to many pilgrims to not make reservations. The serendipity, the uncertainty, the joy of an unstructured experience. That's all valid. I've heard from some Summer 2021 pilgrims that they're counting on pilgrim numbers being low, thus allowing them to proceed without plans. On the Norte especially, though, the available beds are consumed by pilgrims and beach-going tourists alike, and with so many of the pilgrim-only spots closed, that shoves a lot of pilgrims into the broader tourist market. And there will be plenty of people seeking Spain's beaches this summer.

I'm sure this is applicable in different ways and to different degrees with other routes. I just think we need to be mindful of the fact that pilgrimage this summer can be great, but it's also going to pose distinct challenges, and some of our past experiences may not prove as instructive as they are at other times.
good advice I plan on next year just to give Spain time to reorganize. Plus getting my second vaccine on June 23.
 
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Mark L

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Done : Le Puy to SJPdP in 2020.
Planned : Saint Jean to Santiago in 2021
I love this forum. There are so many experienced pilgrims who are eager to share advice based on their own journeys. It seems like, no matter how obscure the question, there's someone here who has first-hand experience, if not five someones.

That said, I think we all need to be very careful right now with offering advice for Summer 2021 based on our past experiences. Among those of us who have walked the Norte, for example, many of us have positive memories of nights in the municipal albergues in Irún, or Pasajes, or Deba. There's such good energy in these albergues, with so many new pilgrims excited for the walk ahead.

Those albergues are all closed right now. And the private options in this stretch are limited and often not exclusive to pilgrims. As a consequence, the opening week on the Norte this year may feel quite different to new pilgrims.

I also recognize how important it is to many pilgrims to not make reservations. The serendipity, the uncertainty, the joy of an unstructured experience. That's all valid. I've heard from some Summer 2021 pilgrims that they're counting on pilgrim numbers being low, thus allowing them to proceed without plans. On the Norte especially, though, the available beds are consumed by pilgrims and beach-going tourists alike, and with so many of the pilgrim-only spots closed, that shoves a lot of pilgrims into the broader tourist market. And there will be plenty of people seeking Spain's beaches this summer.

I'm sure this is applicable in different ways and to different degrees with other routes. I just think we need to be mindful of the fact that pilgrimage this summer can be great, but it's also going to pose distinct challenges, and some of our past experiences may not prove as instructive as they are at other times.

not got the experience of some here but managed to complete to French side to SJPdP last year in gaps between detentions but it just wasn’t possible or really preferable to try to show horn more into that. For me, the Chemin was the few parts of 2020 which was all about positive.

So there is nothing I would like better than to get back on and restart in Spain. But …. I did last year using camping option because I was solo so couldn’t “Pod“ and didn’t want to take one bed alone where more could be used … I’m fine on my own in a tent but would have liked to meet a share more

anyway, advice here (even with lack of knowledge of Spain) echos my experience of last year. I’m keen to go but in Spain it’ll be hostels and I’d like to actually meet others (I did last year but obviously couldn’t share a lot)

in very short … seems good advice to me
 

LindaH82

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
None
Also, as a European: please don't go "CDC [or whatever the authority in your country is] says x so everybody in Spain must also do x". Check the *Spanish* guidelines and follow *those*, please. No matter if they're stricter or less strict than the rules in your own country (speaking to myself, here, too!).
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I have over 20 years of experience walking caminos and I couldn't agree more. Much of my experience is now well out of date since the camino has changed so much from those early days. The only thing that hasn't changed is the camaraderie of pilgrims. Because of covid, any advice we give now has to be taken with a large pinch of salt as things on the ground can change at the whim of governments.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Absolutely , when people want to walk in Spain the only rules that matter are the Spanish rules.🙏
I have no problem, Peter with this statement! And hopefully all pilgrims will do so when they are able to figure out what the rules in force are are, when they arrive.
 
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