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looking for your experiences of Camino Francés dec/jan

2020 Camino Guides

FinnOz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Looking to do the Camino Francés with my teenager in dec (2018) - jan (2019)
Hi lovely people,

What are your experiences during these months (dec/jan) over this route starting from SJPP?
I understand the route de Napoléon will be closed? What is the route Valcarlos Route to Roncesvalle like?
Is this the roughest part of the walk weather wise?
Would the Camino del Norte be kinder? (starting from San Sebastián)

Looking to walk the Camino in dec 2018/jan 2019 with my teenager son (will be 12).
We have up to 8 weeks!
The alternative is we simply pick the better months to walk (and therefore a shorter trip) and take his school work with via internet :\

Love to hear your ideas and experiences,

Bless, Maz
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
Hi Maz - I walked in Jan/Feb 2013 and was an awesome experience. I'd certainly recommend the CF over the CN just because of the Albergue options. On CF there were plenty available in the winter months, never was a real challenge getting a bed for the night. CN will be tougher and likely you'll need to mix in plenty of Pensions or Casa Rurals which will run up the price somewhat. The first couple of days were a challenge in the winter with snow up to my waist towards the top of the Pyrenees on the Valcarlos Route. Day 2 was really bad for ice, so much so that I'm taking a pair of Icetrekkers - Diamond Grip to help keep me upright. After the snow and sub-zero weather it was great walking after that with snow reappearing around O'Cebriero and some pretty heavy bouts of rainfall. Quality rain gear saved my bacon but my favorite cold-weather piece of gear was my merino wool buff. Made everything really manageable.

One thought about walking with your 12 year old son is that the days are cold and long. For adults it seemed pretty manageable however that will be pretty rough on a young person I think. I hope with 8 weeks you can accomplish this together!!

Buen Camino,
Jordon
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Take sleeping bags, warm ones. Albergues often do not turn on heat. Be prepared for snow, rain, and mud, mud, and more mud. But, I expect you two will have great time.
Buen camino.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Last edited:

FinnOz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Looking to do the Camino Francés with my teenager in dec (2018) - jan (2019)
Hi Maz - I walked in Jan/Feb 2013 and was an awesome experience. I'd certainly recommend the CF over the CN just because of the Albergue options. On CF there were plenty available in the winter months, never was a real challenge getting a bed for the night. CN will be tougher and likely you'll need to mix in plenty of Pensions or Casa Rurals which will run up the price somewhat. The first couple of days were a challenge in the winter with snow up to my waist towards the top of the Pyrenees on the Valcarlos Route. Day 2 was really bad for ice, so much so that I'm taking a pair of Icetrekkers - Diamond Grip to help keep me upright. After the snow and sub-zero weather it was great walking after that with snow reappearing around O'Cebriero and some pretty heavy bouts of rainfall. Quality rain gear saved my bacon but my favorite cold-weather piece of gear was my merino wool buff. Made everything really manageable.

One thought about walking with your 12 year old son is that the days are cold and long. For adults it seemed pretty manageable however that will be pretty rough on a young person I think. I hope with 8 weeks you can accomplish this together!!

Buen Camino,
Jordon

Thank you Jordan!
Most helpful advice. Yes teenager stamina/angst will be interesting. He will be my height so he should have no excuses.

I have icetrekkerson my list. Mulling over rain pants though.

Buen Camino!

Maz
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
Thank you Jordan!
Most helpful advice. Yes teenager stamina/angst will be interesting. He will be my height so he should have no excuses.

I have icetrekkerson my list. Mulling over rain pants though.

Buen Camino!

Maz
One way to think about rain pants is that they are infinitely easier to wash than your normal pants after slogging in mud for 20-30kms! It was common to see Spaniards wearing Gators to help with the mud. For me the rain pants served as rain, wind, snow and thermal pants. I know I wouldn't go in the winter without them! Let us know what gear you settle on, always interesting to see packing lists. J.
 

FinnOz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Looking to do the Camino Francés with my teenager in dec (2018) - jan (2019)
I met 14 pilgrims in three weeks in January. It is very quiet!
Hi Falcon269! Thank you for the information...Well we shall become closer to those we meet. I guess! All the best, Maz
 

FinnOz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Looking to do the Camino Francés with my teenager in dec (2018) - jan (2019)
One way to think about rain pants is that they are infinitely easier to wash than your normal pants after slogging in mud for 20-30kms! It was common to see Spaniards wearing Gators to help with the mud. For me the rain pants served as rain, wind, snow and thermal pants. I know I wouldn't go in the winter without them! Let us know what gear you settle on, always interesting to see packing lists. J.
In spite of my heritage I fear the cold. Thank you for the tip on the rain pants. The fabric technology is quite amazing. As it goes I'm making the ultimate list of 'things' from other people's experiences. A bit like getting ready to deliver a baby: So much experience and expertise ultimately one has to pick up on what works best for you. Fantastic resources such as this web site allow for us all to share and prosper.

Will definitely share our list of gear and hopefully add more good ideas over the coming year. x
 

FinnOz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Looking to do the Camino Francés with my teenager in dec (2018) - jan (2019)
Take sleeping bags, warm ones. Albergues often do not turn on heat. Be prepared for snow, rain, and mud, mud, and more mud. But, I expect you two will have great time.
Buen camino.
Thank you nycwalking :) Buen Camino.
 

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