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My Camino experiences 2011 to 2016. The journey is the goal.

2020 Camino Guides

beiramar

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português, Camino del Norte, Fisterra,
Hey everyone,

I have been on this forum for five years now and equally the Camino de Santiago has had a role in my life for about the same time.

During the last days being at home with a cold gave me the opportunity to put some of my thought maybe about my pilgrimages into words.

It all started with the Caminho Português, which I walked 3 times. That's why I decided to post in this section of the forum. It is though more a general reflection than a diary of these walks I did.

It's never easy to know which of our experiences are interesting and relevant to others, but I take the chance and hope you enjoy reading about my adventures.

http://sarapatur.blogspot.se/2016/03/pilgrimage-to-santiago-journey-is-goal.html
 

beiramar

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português, Camino del Norte, Fisterra,
Interesting. Thank you. But I thought the Napoleon route was closed during this February. Wasn't it?
We did the Collado Lepoeder just as a day hike. So I don't know if it was 'closed'. There were no signs in SJDPD or Roncesvalles. You can't really physically close a trail, can you?
The days before we had been to some higher peaks in the Pyrenees and the Basque mountians, that had some proper winter conditions and there we met quite a lot of hikers, tourists as locals. Winter is so enjoyable for hiking, you just can't come in shorts and sandals.
 
Starting this year the path has been declared closed during the winter due to the number needing rescue. I have seen a post on the forum with a picture showing signage at the split with the Valcarlos route that the Napoleon route is closed. Did you ask at the Pilgrim's office before walking?
 

beiramar

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português, Camino del Norte, Fisterra,
We walked from Roncesvalles, so 'backwards'. We didn't ask anyone and met no one either. It was a beautiful day with good visibility and very little snow.

Actually I was a bit disappointed, since I had always imagined this highest point of the Camino Francés as more alpine and rugged. It seemed like that in many descriptions. Especially since it's located close to the Pyrenees. So I was kind of expecting a real rocky mountaintop. ;)
 
I'm sure you are careful but we can all get caught out by the weather. A couple were recently rescued from there and it has cost them 5,600 euros so far for the rescue. There are rescues every winter unfortunately.
 

beiramar

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português, Camino del Norte, Fisterra,
Yes, I heard about it. Fair enough that they have to pay for it.

I'm really careful, sometimes even too much, I think.

Going to the mountains is always connected with a certain risk, but checking the weather, not going alone, being equipped to spend the night outside and having extra food are good precautions.
I'm not considering myself a person who blindly runs into risky situations, I've already learned my lessons.
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
beiramar - It sounds as if you are well prepared and used to mountain conditions.

Al - although it is best that Pilgrims carrying their lightweight packs and set up for a walk across the top of Spain take the safest route, the mountains are always there for mountaineers and hill walkers who know the dangers and accept the risks knowing what the risks are.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
beiramar - It sounds as if you are well prepared and used to mountain conditions.

Al - although it is best that Pilgrims carrying their lightweight packs and set up for a walk across the top of Spain take the safest route, the mountains are always there for mountaineers and hill walkers who know the dangers and accept the risks knowing what the risks are.
Well said!
 

beiramar

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português, Camino del Norte, Fisterra,
Well said!
I agree.
There seem to be special recommendations for pilgrims, compared to what is considered safe for hikers/hill walkers or mountaineers.
Which is of course based on the assumption that a pilgrim might not have the outdoors as their regular hobby.

In hiking guides I've seen far more concerning suggestions than the Collado Lepoeder in winter. Crossing the central massif of Picos de Europa, with a tent and crampons, that's were I see a realistic level of danger. And this danger is out of your control, no matter how well prepared and equipped you are.
Risk of falling (exposed places) and avalanches are the biggest risks. I see none of those around the stretch of the Camino Francés we are talking about, with rolling hills and a trail one can drive a Jeep on.

But that was just a side topic, of course. :)
I'm happy to get any feedback about my text, it was a quite personal thing to write.
 
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