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2019 Camino Guides

My adventure begins and so now last minute emotions and questions

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2016 from Burgos to Finisterre
#1
So I leave in 24 hours and after months of preparation I wonder what I've done. That's mostly because I am now saying bye to my family I imagine. But now of course all the questions arise...
Can I make a 15:15 bus from the madrid airport to burgos if i land at 13:45? should i buy a ticket and if I don't and that bus is full how long will i have to wait before i get there? That's the latest question...

I cannot wait to get to Burgos... to begin walking. I feel like that's the part I'm ready for but the rest...not sure. I've never done anything like this. This forum has helped my preparation and now I just need to be there I think so that I can begin the process of... whatever is to come on the walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#2
I just need to be there I think so that I can begin the process of... whatever is to come on the walk.
Why not start now and ease off on anticipating the minor logistical decisions of the day after tomorrow? You will be on the ground in Spain, and the camino will have started. If the bus is full, you'll ask about the next one. I wouldn't buy the ticket in advance.

Buen camino!
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#3
I felt the same when I first started. The most difficult bit is getting to your start point (and that's not very difficult). All my apprehension disappeared when I took that first step though!

Buen Camino, you are going to love it!

Davey
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
#4
I didn't worry about the logistics at all. I knew I was going to fly into Paris, overnight at a hotel that had agreed to pick me up and return me in the morning so that I could catch my train to Bordeaux where I would transfer to another train or bus to take me to SJPP.

My journey unfolded as planned until I got on the wrong train at Bordeaux and didn't notice until I was almost to Toulouse. I wound up carrying around a note that a kind French person gave me explaining "to whom it may concern" what I had done, that I didn't speak French and would need help in getting to SJPP. With the assistance of that note and numerous helpful individuals I made it to Bayonne where I spent the night. Caught a train from there and arrived in SJPP a day later than I had planned.

It really didn't matter. If anything it was a good experience as it set the stage for many more "surprises" in my journey. When you leave your home, your adventure begins. Enjoy!!
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
#5
There are two approaches:

One ... buy the ticket knowing you don't really have enough time to comfortably catch the bus. The only factor here is if you can afford to lose the ticket.

Two ... don't buy the ticket knowing you won't likely have enough time to buy a ticket and board the bus before it leaves.

The next bus leaves from Avenida de America at 1600. There is another at 1630. And another from Estacion Sur at 1800. Or you can wait at the airport till 1845.

It will take a few minutes with the EMT Madrid bus #200 to get from the airport (where it picks up at all terminals) to Avenida de America where it terminates.

If I were you I would plan to catch the 1515 bus from T4 and buy the ticket when you get there. If you get there too late ... no big deal ... simply catch the 1630 bus from Avenida de America.

If you get there quite late ... take the Metro to station Mendez Alvaro. Estacion Sur is located next to the Metro. Catch the 1800 bus.

Or wait around in the airport till the 1845 bus leaves.

You have lots of options. Don't sweat the small stuff.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#6
Can I make a 15:15 bus from the madrid airport to burgos if i land at 13:45?
If you don't check your pack, if the plane's on time, if you don't have to wait a long time to get through immigration...maybe. It's a bit tight. But as whariwharangi says:
You have lots of options. Don't sweat the small stuff.
Since there are so many possibilities and your time's tight, I'll contradict myself and suggest not buying that bus ticket online but wait til you get on the ground to see what option is best. Or if you really want the security of knowing what you'll be doing when, buy a ticket for one of the later buses, make your way there without having to rush, and enjoy the journey!
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#7
Where in Canada are you, Dean? We have a big country! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2016 from Burgos to Finisterre
#9
There are two approaches:

One ... buy the ticket knowing you don't really have enough time to comfortably catch the bus. The only factor here is if you can afford to lose the ticket.

Two ... don't buy the ticket knowing you won't likely have enough time to buy a ticket and board the bus before it leaves.

The next bus leaves from Avenida de America at 1600. There is another at 1630. And another from Estacion Sur at 1800. Or you can wait at the airport till 1845.

It will take a few minutes with the EMT Madrid bus #200 to get from the airport (where it picks up at all terminals) to Avenida de America where it terminates.

If I were you I would plan to catch the 1515 bus from T4 and buy the ticket when you get there. If you get there too late ... no big deal ... simply catch the 1630 bus from Avenida de America.

If you get there quite late ... take the Metro to station Mendez Alvaro. Estacion Sur is located next to the Metro. Catch the 1800 bus.

Or wait around in the airport till the 1845 bus leaves.

You have lots of options. Don't sweat the small stuff.
Thanks so much. All of this is super helpful and a reminder that there are always options in front of me.
Dean
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#10
I would not like the stress of worrying about flight delays, watching nervously the immigration lines, rushing by the airport, etc. I would not reserve, would try to be in time for the bus, and if not, just take the "train de cercanías" (not the metro) from Terminal (T 4) to Atocha station and travel comfortably this way to Burgos. There are many options, check https://venta.renfe.com/
Clerks in Barajas RENFE station are used to tourists.
 
Last edited:

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#11
Hi Dean! Montreal is a great city. My two brothers both lived there (older went to McGill--lived in the student ghetto; the younger worked as a chef in several restaurants--he lived on St Catherine's East area) I haven't been there in a few years, except to fly out of the airport (layovers).
Don't worry about anything. Just think about making your flight to Europe. Then when you are there, think about your next step. If you hit a snag, well, another way will become apparent for you to take your next step. You've gotten some good tips here so all should be good!
Stick around Burgos for a day or two--get 'stuck' in the Cathedral (it is easy to be in there for hours and hours--such a beautiful place). Burgos is a spectacular city and should be wandered around for a day so you can get your bearings before starting to walk west to Santiago!
Buen Camino, Dean, from PEI!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2016 from Burgos to Finisterre
#12
Hi Dean! Montreal is a great city. My two brothers both lived there (older went to McGill--lived in the student ghetto; the younger worked as a chef in several restaurants--he lived on St Catherine's East area) I haven't been there, except to fly out of the airport (layover) in a few years.
Don't worry about anything. Just think about making your flight to Europe. Then when you are there, think about your next step. If you hit a snag, well, another way will become apparent for you to take your next step. You've gotten some good tips here so all should be good!
Stick around Burgos for a day or two--get 'stuck' in the Cathedral (it is easy to be in there for hours and hours--such a beautiful place). Burgos is a spectacular city and should be wandered around for a day so you can get your bearings before starting to walk west to Santiago!
Buen Camino, Dean, from PEI!
Thanks Heather! Many people are telling me to stay in Burgos for a day. I think I may spend a half day there and see a little bit before doing a short walk out of Burgos. Even if I walk 10 or 15 kms I have a feeling I'll feel good once I stay in my first albergue.
I've been to PEI a couple of times and have loved it. I run a theatre company and send actors through PEI every year to take the ferry to the magdalen islands. Too beautiful. I hope to get there again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
#13
Consider staying at the Burgos municipal albergue your first night to get some rest after your long flight and train or bus ride from Montreal (note: my daughter lives in St. Lambert). That way you can get your credential at the albergue, get over some of the jetlag, enjoy walking around the beautiful historic city, and feel more oriented--then begin your walk. Better to start rested and walk a few short days in the beginning. You will have a wonderful time!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (May 5, 2015), Portugues (Sep 5, 2016)
#14
So I leave in 24 hours and after months of preparation I wonder what I've done. That's mostly because I am now saying bye to my family I imagine. But now of course all the questions arise...
Can I make a 15:15 bus from the madrid airport to burgos if i land at 13:45? should i buy a ticket and if I don't and that bus is full how long will i have to wait before i get there? That's the latest question...

I cannot wait to get to Burgos... to begin walking. I feel like that's the part I'm ready for but the rest...not sure. I've never done anything like this. This forum has helped my preparation and now I just need to be there I think so that I can begin the process of... whatever is to come on the walk.
It's ok, you will be fine. If you miss the bus then it's fine. Take the next one. It's not meant for you. This is the beauty of the Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April "2013" and April 2016
#15
Honestly, transportation in Spain is pretty simple. I wouldn't sweat it. Although I always get anxious with travel and over plan. I took the bus from Madrid to Burgos in 2013 and found the time from terminal to bus really quick.
It's a long bus ride, so rest up in Burgos. Don't miss the Cathedral, it's really nice.
 

sabbott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPP to Ponferrada) 2016
Camino Invierno 2016
#16
Hi, Dean! I live in Vermont so always fly out of Montreal, and eat there too whenever I can....You seem like a planner and very well- organized person. I am, too. One of the gifts of the Camino is that it can help you plan less and improvise more. I am just here to walk. If I'm tired, I stay an extra day. If the albergue is full, I spend a little more and go to a hostal (in Spain, that's a small hotel. They're everywhere, and great value.) If I am finding the Camino Frances a bit too crowded, I turn left at Ponferrada and take the Camino Invierno (which I did--not for everybody because it's solitary, but a good choice if you like walking alone.)

You will learn as you go, and get your own rhythm. My only advice is don't rush. I think it's better not to make it to Santiago and come back and finish later if you want, than be in a hurry. That's how I've seen people get hurt here, not to mention what they miss in being in touch with nature, and with themselves.

I also agree with the folks that suggest exploring Burgos. It's a beautiful city, good food, fun to see all ages out enjoying themselves over tapas and drinks. As a Montrealer I think you'll like it.

Let us know how your walk is going!
 

Dutchwalk53

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015 with son #1, CF 2016 alone, CF 2017 with son #2 and husband , CF Sept 2018 with daughter
#17
I have a similar issue. I bought a train ticket from Madrid to Pamplona. I only have 2 hrs and 25 min. to get from the Airport to Atocha. But I've done it before so know where to go. That being said, if my flight has a delay or it takes awhile before I get my bag (the one I checked in with my hiking poles, Swiss army knife etc) I may miss it. Well in that case I will just have to buy a new ticket and take the next one. It will cost me some extra $ but so be it. I will be on "Camino relax mode" the second I land in Madrid :)
But in all honesty, I too had a sudden worry moment last night. For me it will be my 2nd Camino so I kind of know what to expect. But one still gets the jitters now and then. I think that is fairly normal. Part of the excitement:) Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#18
Where in Canada are you, Dean? We have a big country!
Reminds me of a hostal in Fiji 40 years ago that was primarily used by Canadians. I would hear conversations like:

Where are you from?
Canada.
We're all Canadians. Be more specific.
B.C.
Yeah, yeah. Where?
Vancouver.
Of course. Where.

In many cases from neighborhoods it eventually got down to street addresses.
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#19
Reminds me of a hostal in Fiji 40 years ago that was primarily used by Canadians. I would hear conversations like:

Where are you from?
Canada.
We're all Canadians. Be more specific.
B.C.
Yeah, yeah. Where?
Vancouver.
Of course. Where.

In many cases from neighborhoods it eventually got down to street addresses.
Yup! ;)
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#20
Thanks Heather! Many people are telling me to stay in Burgos for a day. I think I may spend a half day there and see a little bit before doing a short walk out of Burgos. Even if I walk 10 or 15 kms I have a feeling I'll feel good once I stay in my first albergue.
I've been to PEI a couple of times and have loved it. I run a theatre company and send actors through PEI every year to take the ferry to the magdalen islands. Too beautiful. I hope to get there again.
Sounds great! I did the same thing--stayed over in Burgos at the humongous municipal alberque then stowed my bag until it reopened in the afternoon at 2pm. My Little Camino Brother and I walked from there for about 10-15 km to Rabé de las Calzades (I think) where there was (is) a nice, quiet and not busy alberque.
If you are in the theatre business, we certainly would know some folks in common. (I'm not but have friends and clients who are actors, set people, electrics, etc). Come on down to the Island; give me a shout and we'll sit out with a good strong cuppa and talk Camino! There are a billion people on PEI who have walked.) (I don't know them all. Hahaha!)
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#22
HI Heather. I'm in Montreal. :)
If flying Air Transat with a direct flight, don't sweat the delay.

For peace of mind look at the Alsa website to buy your ticket and see what the alternatives are, should you miss your bus.
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#23
Here's another idea, Dean:
Take an extra set of clothes with you. When you get to Burgos, get a post box from the post office and send these to Ivar in Santiago. He stores things for pilgrims for a small reasonable fee . You can pick the parcel up when you get to Santiago and have a fresh set of clothing to wear. And, you may get to meet Ivar! And you can get a Forum badge from him, make a donation to the forum, maybe meet the lovely woman who runs the bakery around the corner (who lets people pick up their items when Ivar isn't available)...!

I would recommend going to the Valor cafe/bistro after you get your parcel, but unfortunately it closed a couple of years ago. It. was. awesome. :) (There are other equally great places in Santiago, but I was especially fond of the Valor cafe...!)

Just something I thought about while I was painting my back porch. Taking a tea break, waiting for the primer coat to dry so I thought, before I forgot, I would send you a note, Dean! The equivalent of a Forum text! LOL
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#24
If you tap on his photo, it will show you.....
Too late! He already told me. And I did check; I think either I didn't see that you are from Montreal or you just put that up, Dean? I just saw Canada before? (May or may not have had my reading glasses on...)
:D:D:D:D:D
 

Texasguy

And so...we keep on walking ..
Camino(s) past & future
French completed in 2013
Portuguese Conpleted March 2015
Ingles Completed November 2015
French 2016
#25
So I leave in 24 hours and after months of preparation I wonder what I've done. That's mostly because I am now saying bye to my family I imagine. But now of course all the questions arise...
Can I make a 15:15 bus from the madrid airport to burgos if i land at 13:45? should i buy a ticket and if I don't and that bus is full how long will i have to wait before i get there? That's the latest question...

I cannot wait to get to Burgos... to begin walking. I feel like that's the part I'm ready for but the rest...not sure. I've never done anything like this. This forum has helped my preparation and now I just need to be there I think so that I can begin the process of... whatever is to come on the walk.
Just relax, whatever comes along, The Camino will provide, and also will make YOUR Camino special.

Buen Camino,

Texasguy
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#26
Too late! He already told me. And I did check; I think either I didn't see that you are from Montreal or you just put that up, Dean? I just saw Canada before? (May or may not have had my reading glasses on...)
:D:D:D:D:D
Hi Heather, only mentioned it for future reference, albeit not always do folks list their home city. But it is nice to see where the pilgrims are really beginning their journey.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#27
So I leave in 24 hours and after months of preparation I wonder what I've done. That's mostly because I am now saying bye to my family I imagine. But now of course all the questions arise...
Can I make a 15:15 bus from the madrid airport to burgos if i land at 13:45? should i buy a ticket and if I don't and that bus is full how long will i have to wait before i get there? That's the latest question...

I cannot wait to get to Burgos... to begin walking. I feel like that's the part I'm ready for but the rest...not sure. I've never done anything like this. This forum has helped my preparation and now I just need to be there I think so that I can begin the process of... whatever is to come on the walk.
Dean, another wonderful resource in Santiago Dean is Pilgrim House at Rua Nova 19. Faith, Nate and others do a wonderful job of assisting pilgrims. They also meet a couple of evenings a week to allow folks to share their experience if they choose. They can assist with printing of boarding passes, you can fix a cup of tea, catch up on emails, or just hang out and visit with others…..or not. They also are there for personal support if someone is having a hard day. Truly a dedicated group.
 

PEI_Heather

Canadian Member :)
Camino(s) past & future
2016 - Voie de la Nive
2012, 2016 - Frances
2013 - Portuguese
2012, 2013 - Finesterre & Muxia
#28
Hi Heather, only mentioned it for future reference, albeit not always do folks list their home city. But it is nice to see where the pilgrims are really beginning their journey.
Thanks Maggie! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2016 from Burgos to Finisterre
#29
Just an update and a thanks. I took the advice of starting my Camino early and seeing what happens. My planes were both delayed and I missed getting a bus to Burgos in the afternoon by 15 minutes but I kept a smile on my face throughout and I now sit waiting for my bus at the Madrid airport. In about 3 hours I'll arrive at the only room I booked for the camino and after about 23 hours of travel I will be happy to see that bed. So although my Camino started yesterday in Montreal I must say I'm excited to start walking tomorrow after some sleep and a look around Burgos. Short walking day to start!
Thanks for the advice.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#30
Just an update and a thanks. I took the advice of starting my Camino early and seeing what happens. My planes were both delayed and I missed getting a bus to Burgos in the afternoon by 15 minutes but I kept a smile on my face throughout and I now sit waiting for my bus at the Madrid airport. In about 3 hours I'll arrive at the only room I booked for the camino and after about 23 hours of travel I will be happy to see that bed. So although my Camino started yesterday in Montreal I must say I'm excited to start walking tomorrow after some sleep and a look around Burgos. Short walking day to start!
Thanks for the advice.
Buen Camino Dean…I'm envious.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2015) SJPdP to SdC; Porto to SdC April (2016)
#32
Just an update and a thanks. I took the advice of starting my Camino early and seeing what happens. My planes were both delayed and I missed getting a bus to Burgos in the afternoon by 15 minutes but I kept a smile on my face throughout and I now sit waiting for my bus at the Madrid airport. In about 3 hours I'll arrive at the only room I booked for the camino and after about 23 hours of travel I will be happy to see that bed. So although my Camino started yesterday in Montreal I must say I'm excited to start walking tomorrow after some sleep and a look around Burgos. Short walking day to start!
Thanks for the advice.
Try to stay at San Bol albergue. It was one of the best nights on my CF last year. I won't say anymore but leave you to the experience. Buen camino @Deanpf.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo (2018) if all vital signs working
#33
And do not miss the Cathedral. I lost it completely, the moment I stepped inside....
 

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