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My first winter Camino done

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Hi all. Just wanted to share some thoughts about my first winter Camino. This was number 5 for me and I wanted to try a new experience. I usually start my caminos around September 22 or so and finish the end of October. I turned 65 this year and when I did my first camino I did some 30+K days now I max out at about 22-24K. I did do a 28k day the next to last day.

Even though I started about October 28th I still consider my walk a winter Camino based on the fact that the weather felt that way.
About 3 days out of Pamplona the winds started up. For about a week they reached as high as 50 kilometers an hour with gusts up to about 75 or 80. In your face all day. Although the day walking into Logrono wasn't too bad. Had to walk an additional 7 or 8k that day as the President of Spain was in town and it was Dia de los Muertos weekend so Logrono was solidly booked.

Just before Burgos the winds died down somewhat but the rain started and didn't really want to stop. It usually wasn't too bad in the morning but it rained very hard in the afternoon. Some days it was pretty intense to say the least. As we walked further into the Meseta of course the temperature started to drop.

There were alot more pilgrims walking than I expected. I forget what village I was in but the woman who checked me in told me (This was about November 8 or 9) there were more pilgrims in the first week than she saw all of last November. Albergues were generally full and as time past and more and more people got sick it sometimes sounded like a consumption ward in 1870. Many nights in many albergues the heat would be great up until about 8 or 9 and then it would go off and it could get really cold. I had a light sleeping bag and virtually every albergue had blankets but it was still cold. One other note. I used Gronze alot as well as the Buen Camino app to see which albergues were open. I also used Aprinca.com alot. There list is more accurate but is very incomplete. There were many many instances that both Gronze and Buen Camino listed an albergue as open and they were closed. Even times when they were listed as being open all year. I think the accuracy rate was only about 60% but I am just guessing. So if there is a favorite albergue or just want to be on the safe side in towns with only one or two definitely call ahead. Also I am sure part of the problem was that I was walking in November when even though they say they may be open until a certain date there, they closed early. Having said that as I usually start pretty early. I never had an issue getting a bed. Unless I picked a town to stop with only one or two places and they both turned out to be closed. Never had to walk more than a few K more to get a bed.

As we got closer to Galicia the weather got colder and nastier. People were getting sicker and sicker. I started to cough pretty violently for about 4 or 5 days. Lots of phlegm and mucos. My coughing really became intense and went to a small clinic in Sahagun (I think it was Sahagun) where I received great care. (Had travelers insurance that really came in handy) and I had a full exam and was told I had bronchial spasms. (It helps if you can speak Spanish at clinics). They gave me steroids and an inhaler. The doctor told me to rest a few days which I did. She also gave me the name of a doctor in Astorga to see just to follow up. A good friend of hers. That doctor saw me said I was doing well and didn't even charge me. That was pretty cool. Even though I am doing better I still haven't completely recovered. I know of at least 5 fellow pilgrims that had to cut their caminos short because of illness.

In Astorga I rested one more day and we were told to take a bus to Ponferrada because the day before they were stopping people in Rabinal because it was too dangerous to walk up to Cruz de Ferro because of the depth of the snow. People were being sent back to Astorga when they arrived in Rabinal because there was no place to sleep. That really bummed me out because Cruz de Ferro is a special and sacred place for me. I have tried to leave alot of stuff there the previous two times I walked the CF.

I didn't even attempt to walk on the Camino going up to O'Cebreiro. Too wet, too cold and for me too dangerous in these conditions. Took the road and it was much easier. From O'Cebreiro on I walked on the road alot. Coming out of O'Cebreiro the snow was knee deep on the Camino. Who needs that although I saw lots of pilgrims walking it.

From here on it was cold, damp and foggy in the mornings. But I was usually pretty warm. GOOD GLOVES, GOOD HAT, AND DEFINATELY ONE OR TWO BUFFS. The buff really was a lifesaver. As the elevation dropped I was able to get back to the Camino. From there except for one day it rained every single day, (Sometimes mixed with or just snow at the beginning) until Santiago.

It was still a great experience. Met some more lifetime friends. But it was very tiring. I usually eat more in albergues but for some reason in alot of the albergues I stayed in kitchen facilities were not the best. Maybe just my bad luck.

I will miss my friends from Italy, Sardinia, Spain, Korea and especially my Aussie pals David and Emilia. (They were interviewed a while back by Dan Mullens, if you want to get to know them).

Had a perfect ending to my Camino when I went to Porto to meet by 27 year old baby girl, love of my life, for a week in Porto. She is in grad school in Manchester, England. We had a great time in Portugal. It reminded me once again that although I like the Spanish people and Spain, and I have traveled to many distant lands, the Portuguese people are without a doubt the nicest, most generous and caring folks I have ever met. That's why I will be doing th CP again starting the end of September with my college brothers.

Well thats it! Once again I have proven what a big mouth I have. I never check for my spelling errors as I get bored with what I have written.

Buen Camino!!!!
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
Hi all. Just wanted to share some thoughts about my first winter Camino. This was number 5 for me and I wanted to try a new experience. I usually start my caminos around September 22 or so and finish the end of October. I turned 65 this year and when I did my first camino I did some 30+K days now I max out at about 22-24K. I did do a 28k day the next to last day.

Even though I started about October 28th I still consider my walk a winter Camino based on the fact that the weather felt that way.
About 3 days out of Pamplona the winds started up. For about a week they reached as high as 50 kilometers an hour with gusts up to about 75 or 80. In your face all day. Although the day walking into Logrono wasn't too bad. Had to walk an additional 7 or 8k that day as the President of Spain was in town and it was Dia de los Muertos weekend so Logrono was solidly booked.

Just before Burgos the winds died down somewhat but the rain started and didn't really want to stop. It usually wasn't too bad in the morning but it rained very hard in the afternoon. Some days it was pretty intense to say the least. As we walked further into the Meseta of course the temperature started to drop.

There were alot more pilgrims walking than I expected. I forget what village I was in but the woman who checked me in told me (This was about November 8 or 9) there were more pilgrims in the first week than she saw all of last November. Albergues were generally full and as time past and more and more people got sick it sometimes sounded like a consumption ward in 1870. Many nights in many albergues the heat would be great up until about 8 or 9 and then it would go off and it could get really cold. I had a light sleeping bag and virtually every albergue had blankets but it was still cold. One other note. I used Gronze alot as well as the Buen Camino app to see which albergues were open. I also used Aprinca.com alot. There list is more accurate but is very incomplete. There were many many instances that both Gronze and Buen Camino listed an albergue as open and they were closed. Even times when they were listed as being open all year. I think the accuracy rate was only about 60% but I am just guessing. So if there is a favorite albergue or just want to be on the safe side in towns with only one or two definitely call ahead. Also I am sure part of the problem was that I was walking in November when even though they say they may be open until a certain date there, they closed early. Having said that as I usually start pretty early. I never had an issue getting a bed. Unless I picked a town to stop with only one or two places and they both turned out to be closed. Never had to walk more than a few K more to get a bed.

As we got closer to Galicia the weather got colder and nastier. People were getting sicker and sicker. I started to cough pretty violently for about 4 or 5 days. Lots of phlegm and mucos. My coughing really became intense and went to a small clinic in Sahagun (I think it was Sahagun) where I received great care. (Had travelers insurance that really came in handy) and I had a full exam and was told I had bronchial spasms. (It helps if you can speak Spanish at clinics). They gave me steroids and an inhaler. The doctor told me to rest a few days which I did. She also gave me the name of a doctor in Astorga to see just to follow up. A good friend of hers. That doctor saw me said I was doing well and didn't even charge me. That was pretty cool. Even though I am doing better I still haven't completely recovered. I know of at least 5 fellow pilgrims that had to cut their caminos short because of illness.

In Astorga I rested one more day and we were told to take a bus to Ponferrada because the day before they were stopping people in Rabinal because it was too dangerous to walk up to Cruz de Ferro because of the depth of the snow. People were being sent back to Astorga when they arrived in Rabinal because there was no place to sleep. That really bummed me out because Cruz de Ferro is a special and sacred place for me. I have tried to leave alot of stuff there the previous two times I walked the CF.

I didn't even attempt to walk on the Camino going up to O'Cebreiro. Too wet, too cold and for me too dangerous in these conditions. Took the road and it was much easier. From O'Cebreiro on I walked on the road alot. Coming out of O'Cebreiro the snow was knee deep on the Camino. Who needs that although I saw lots of pilgrims walking it.

From here on it was cold, damp and foggy in the mornings. But I was usually pretty warm. GOOD GLOVES, GOOD HAT, AND DEFINATELY ONE OR TWO BUFFS. The buff really was a lifesaver. As the elevation dropped I was able to get back to the Camino. From there except for one day it rained every single day, (Sometimes mixed with or just snow at the beginning) until Santiago.

It was still a great experience. Met some more lifetime friends. But it was very tiring. I usually eat more in albergues but for some reason in alot of the albergues I stayed in kitchen facilities were not the best. Maybe just my bad luck.

I will miss my friends from Italy, Sardinia, Spain, Korea and especially my Aussie pals David and Emilia. (They were interviewed a while back by Dan Mullens, if you want to get to know them).

Had a perfect ending to my Camino when I went to Porto to meet by 27 year old baby girl, love of my life, for a week in Porto. She is in grad school in Manchester, England. We had a great time in Portugal. It reminded me once again that although I like the Spanish people and Spain, and I have traveled to many distant lands, the Portuguese people are without a doubt the nicest, most generous and caring folks I have ever met. That's why I will be doing th CP again starting the end of September with my college brothers.

Well thats it! Once again I have proven what a big mouth I have. I never check for my spelling errors as I get bored with what I have written.

Buen Camino!!!!
Good story.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Wow, what an experience you have had! You persevered and it sounds like you kept a good attitude through adverse circumstances you encountered much of your pilgrimage...my hat's off to you! Thanks for sharing and hopefully folks will think twice before attempting to walk during this time of year.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Wow, what an experience you have had! You persevered and it sounds like you kept a good attitude through adverse circumstances you encountered much of your pilgrimage...my hat's off to you! Thanks for sharing and hopefully folks will think twice before attempting to walk during this time of year.
Thanks for your kind words. Actually think that the weather and many illnesses and coughs, sneezes and moans in the night brought most of the pilgrims a little closer together. Often times when one or two people in a room are hacking or sneezing you may sympathize but you don't want to get close. When most of the room is doing it everyone is reaching a helping hand and a compassionate ear and heart to each other. People offering tea or elixirs. Asking you to stay and eat with them so you don't go out at night in the rain, wind and cold. Or an extra warmer hat someone may have carried. There was lots of Peregrino kindness. Plus lots of jokes too!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
It56ny - thanks for the very interesting post. Like your initial caminos, my wife and I have walked CF three times starting in mid-Sept and walking into Santiago late October. We discussed possibly shifting our start to early October, but your story convinced us to keep our starting date mid-Sept again ! Bob
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Love it!

Sounds just ever so keen.

I walked winter 2014 and vowed never another winter jaunt.

If I could I’d be out the door right now.
 

James2019

James McCosh
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
Hi all. Just wanted to share some thoughts about my first winter Camino. This was number 5 for me and I wanted to try a new experience. I usually start my caminos around September 22 or so and finish the end of October. I turned 65 this year and when I did my first camino I did some 30+K days now I max out at about 22-24K. I did do a 28k day the next to last day.

Even though I started about October 28th I still consider my walk a winter Camino based on the fact that the weather felt that way.
About 3 days out of Pamplona the winds started up. For about a week they reached as high as 50 kilometers an hour with gusts up to about 75 or 80. In your face all day. Although the day walking into Logrono wasn't too bad. Had to walk an additional 7 or 8k that day as the President of Spain was in town and it was Dia de los Muertos weekend so Logrono was solidly booked.

Just before Burgos the winds died down somewhat but the rain started and didn't really want to stop. It usually wasn't too bad in the morning but it rained very hard in the afternoon. Some days it was pretty intense to say the least. As we walked further into the Meseta of course the temperature started to drop.

There were alot more pilgrims walking than I expected. I forget what village I was in but the woman who checked me in told me (This was about November 8 or 9) there were more pilgrims in the first week than she saw all of last November. Albergues were generally full and as time past and more and more people got sick it sometimes sounded like a consumption ward in 1870. Many nights in many albergues the heat would be great up until about 8 or 9 and then it would go off and it could get really cold. I had a light sleeping bag and virtually every albergue had blankets but it was still cold. One other note. I used Gronze alot as well as the Buen Camino app to see which albergues were open. I also used Aprinca.com alot. There list is more accurate but is very incomplete. There were many many instances that both Gronze and Buen Camino listed an albergue as open and they were closed. Even times when they were listed as being open all year. I think the accuracy rate was only about 60% but I am just guessing. So if there is a favorite albergue or just want to be on the safe side in towns with only one or two definitely call ahead. Also I am sure part of the problem was that I was walking in November when even though they say they may be open until a certain date there, they closed early. Having said that as I usually start pretty early. I never had an issue getting a bed. Unless I picked a town to stop with only one or two places and they both turned out to be closed. Never had to walk more than a few K more to get a bed.

As we got closer to Galicia the weather got colder and nastier. People were getting sicker and sicker. I started to cough pretty violently for about 4 or 5 days. Lots of phlegm and mucos. My coughing really became intense and went to a small clinic in Sahagun (I think it was Sahagun) where I received great care. (Had travelers insurance that really came in handy) and I had a full exam and was told I had bronchial spasms. (It helps if you can speak Spanish at clinics). They gave me steroids and an inhaler. The doctor told me to rest a few days which I did. She also gave me the name of a doctor in Astorga to see just to follow up. A good friend of hers. That doctor saw me said I was doing well and didn't even charge me. That was pretty cool. Even though I am doing better I still haven't completely recovered. I know of at least 5 fellow pilgrims that had to cut their caminos short because of illness.

In Astorga I rested one more day and we were told to take a bus to Ponferrada because the day before they were stopping people in Rabinal because it was too dangerous to walk up to Cruz de Ferro because of the depth of the snow. People were being sent back to Astorga when they arrived in Rabinal because there was no place to sleep. That really bummed me out because Cruz de Ferro is a special and sacred place for me. I have tried to leave alot of stuff there the previous two times I walked the CF.

I didn't even attempt to walk on the Camino going up to O'Cebreiro. Too wet, too cold and for me too dangerous in these conditions. Took the road and it was much easier. From O'Cebreiro on I walked on the road alot. Coming out of O'Cebreiro the snow was knee deep on the Camino. Who needs that although I saw lots of pilgrims walking it.

From here on it was cold, damp and foggy in the mornings. But I was usually pretty warm. GOOD GLOVES, GOOD HAT, AND DEFINATELY ONE OR TWO BUFFS. The buff really was a lifesaver. As the elevation dropped I was able to get back to the Camino. From there except for one day it rained every single day, (Sometimes mixed with or just snow at the beginning) until Santiago.

It was still a great experience. Met some more lifetime friends. But it was very tiring. I usually eat more in albergues but for some reason in alot of the albergues I stayed in kitchen facilities were not the best. Maybe just my bad luck.

I will miss my friends from Italy, Sardinia, Spain, Korea and especially my Aussie pals David and Emilia. (They were interviewed a while back by Dan Mullens, if you want to get to know them).

Had a perfect ending to my Camino when I went to Porto to meet by 27 year old baby girl, love of my life, for a week in Porto. She is in grad school in Manchester, England. We had a great time in Portugal. It reminded me once again that although I like the Spanish people and Spain, and I have traveled to many distant lands, the Portuguese people are without a doubt the nicest, most generous and caring folks I have ever met. That's why I will be doing th CP again starting the end of September with my college brothers.

Well thats it! Once again I have proven what a big mouth I have. I never check for my spelling errors as I get bored with what I have written.

Buen Camino!!!!
I found this very interesting to compare with my Camino. I turned 77 a few days into my CF which started on 24th September 2019. The weather was nothing like as bad as you had, although the wind and rain was epic on the Meseta. I got to Santiago in 41 days, so averaging just over 19 Km per day. I had a few days of over 23Km, but I found them very hard. I, too, avoided the final climb to O Cebreiro. My experience of the climb out of Valcarlos was enough!
I am so glad I walked the Camino Frances, but I think, for me, once is enough.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago, St Jean to Santuago, 2015
Camino Portuguese, 2018
Hi all. Just wanted to share some thoughts about my first winter Camino. This was number 5 for me and I wanted to try a new experience. I usually start my caminos around September 22 or so and finish the end of October. I turned 65 this year and when I did my first camino I did some 30+K days now I max out at about 22-24K. I did do a 28k day the next to last day.

Even though I started about October 28th I still consider my walk a winter Camino based on the fact that the weather felt that way.
About 3 days out of Pamplona the winds started up. For about a week they reached as high as 50 kilometers an hour with gusts up to about 75 or 80. In your face all day. Although the day walking into Logrono wasn't too bad. Had to walk an additional 7 or 8k that day as the President of Spain was in town and it was Dia de los Muertos weekend so Logrono was solidly booked.

Just before Burgos the winds died down somewhat but the rain started and didn't really want to stop. It usually wasn't too bad in the morning but it rained very hard in the afternoon. Some days it was pretty intense to say the least. As we walked further into the Meseta of course the temperature started to drop.

There were alot more pilgrims walking than I expected. I forget what village I was in but the woman who checked me in told me (This was about November 8 or 9) there were more pilgrims in the first week than she saw all of last November. Albergues were generally full and as time past and more and more people got sick it sometimes sounded like a consumption ward in 1870. Many nights in many albergues the heat would be great up until about 8 or 9 and then it would go off and it could get really cold. I had a light sleeping bag and virtually every albergue had blankets but it was still cold. One other note. I used Gronze alot as well as the Buen Camino app to see which albergues were open. I also used Aprinca.com alot. There list is more accurate but is very incomplete. There were many many instances that both Gronze and Buen Camino listed an albergue as open and they were closed. Even times when they were listed as being open all year. I think the accuracy rate was only about 60% but I am just guessing. So if there is a favorite albergue or just want to be on the safe side in towns with only one or two definitely call ahead. Also I am sure part of the problem was that I was walking in November when even though they say they may be open until a certain date there, they closed early. Having said that as I usually start pretty early. I never had an issue getting a bed. Unless I picked a town to stop with only one or two places and they both turned out to be closed. Never had to walk more than a few K more to get a bed.

As we got closer to Galicia the weather got colder and nastier. People were getting sicker and sicker. I started to cough pretty violently for about 4 or 5 days. Lots of phlegm and mucos. My coughing really became intense and went to a small clinic in Sahagun (I think it was Sahagun) where I received great care. (Had travelers insurance that really came in handy) and I had a full exam and was told I had bronchial spasms. (It helps if you can speak Spanish at clinics). They gave me steroids and an inhaler. The doctor told me to rest a few days which I did. She also gave me the name of a doctor in Astorga to see just to follow up. A good friend of hers. That doctor saw me said I was doing well and didn't even charge me. That was pretty cool. Even though I am doing better I still haven't completely recovered. I know of at least 5 fellow pilgrims that had to cut their caminos short because of illness.

In Astorga I rested one more day and we were told to take a bus to Ponferrada because the day before they were stopping people in Rabinal because it was too dangerous to walk up to Cruz de Ferro because of the depth of the snow. People were being sent back to Astorga when they arrived in Rabinal because there was no place to sleep. That really bummed me out because Cruz de Ferro is a special and sacred place for me. I have tried to leave alot of stuff there the previous two times I walked the CF.

I didn't even attempt to walk on the Camino going up to O'Cebreiro. Too wet, too cold and for me too dangerous in these conditions. Took the road and it was much easier. From O'Cebreiro on I walked on the road alot. Coming out of O'Cebreiro the snow was knee deep on the Camino. Who needs that although I saw lots of pilgrims walking it.

From here on it was cold, damp and foggy in the mornings. But I was usually pretty warm. GOOD GLOVES, GOOD HAT, AND DEFINATELY ONE OR TWO BUFFS. The buff really was a lifesaver. As the elevation dropped I was able to get back to the Camino. From there except for one day it rained every single day, (Sometimes mixed with or just snow at the beginning) until Santiago.

It was still a great experience. Met some more lifetime friends. But it was very tiring. I usually eat more in albergues but for some reason in alot of the albergues I stayed in kitchen facilities were not the best. Maybe just my bad luck.

I will miss my friends from Italy, Sardinia, Spain, Korea and especially my Aussie pals David and Emilia. (They were interviewed a while back by Dan Mullens, if you want to get to know them).

Had a perfect ending to my Camino when I went to Porto to meet by 27 year old baby girl, love of my life, for a week in Porto. She is in grad school in Manchester, England. We had a great time in Portugal. It reminded me once again that although I like the Spanish people and Spain, and I have traveled to many distant lands, the Portuguese people are without a doubt the nicest, most generous and caring folks I have ever met. That's why I will be doing th CP again starting the end of September with my college brothers.

Well thats it! Once again I have proven what a big mouth I have. I never check for my spelling errors as I get bored with what I have written.

Buen Camino!!!!
What a trip! I could not have dealt with all that cold. We agree about the Portuguese! I hope to go back to Portugal again!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Hi all. Just wanted to share some thoughts about my first winter Camino. This was number 5 for me and I wanted to try a new experience. I usually start my caminos around September 22 or so and finish the end of October. I turned 65 this year and when I did my first camino I did some 30+K days now I max out at about 22-24K. I did do a 28k day the next to last day.

Even though I started about October 28th I still consider my walk a winter Camino based on the fact that the weather felt that way.
About 3 days out of Pamplona the winds started up. For about a week they reached as high as 50 kilometers an hour with gusts up to about 75 or 80. In your face all day. Although the day walking into Logrono wasn't too bad. Had to walk an additional 7 or 8k that day as the President of Spain was in town and it was Dia de los Muertos weekend so Logrono was solidly booked.

Just before Burgos the winds died down somewhat but the rain started and didn't really want to stop. It usually wasn't too bad in the morning but it rained very hard in the afternoon. Some days it was pretty intense to say the least. As we walked further into the Meseta of course the temperature started to drop.

There were alot more pilgrims walking than I expected. I forget what village I was in but the woman who checked me in told me (This was about November 8 or 9) there were more pilgrims in the first week than she saw all of last November. Albergues were generally full and as time past and more and more people got sick it sometimes sounded like a consumption ward in 1870. Many nights in many albergues the heat would be great up until about 8 or 9 and then it would go off and it could get really cold. I had a light sleeping bag and virtually every albergue had blankets but it was still cold. One other note. I used Gronze alot as well as the Buen Camino app to see which albergues were open. I also used Aprinca.com alot. There list is more accurate but is very incomplete. There were many many instances that both Gronze and Buen Camino listed an albergue as open and they were closed. Even times when they were listed as being open all year. I think the accuracy rate was only about 60% but I am just guessing. So if there is a favorite albergue or just want to be on the safe side in towns with only one or two definitely call ahead. Also I am sure part of the problem was that I was walking in November when even though they say they may be open until a certain date there, they closed early. Having said that as I usually start pretty early. I never had an issue getting a bed. Unless I picked a town to stop with only one or two places and they both turned out to be closed. Never had to walk more than a few K more to get a bed.

As we got closer to Galicia the weather got colder and nastier. People were getting sicker and sicker. I started to cough pretty violently for about 4 or 5 days. Lots of phlegm and mucos. My coughing really became intense and went to a small clinic in Sahagun (I think it was Sahagun) where I received great care. (Had travelers insurance that really came in handy) and I had a full exam and was told I had bronchial spasms. (It helps if you can speak Spanish at clinics). They gave me steroids and an inhaler. The doctor told me to rest a few days which I did. She also gave me the name of a doctor in Astorga to see just to follow up. A good friend of hers. That doctor saw me said I was doing well and didn't even charge me. That was pretty cool. Even though I am doing better I still haven't completely recovered. I know of at least 5 fellow pilgrims that had to cut their caminos short because of illness.

In Astorga I rested one more day and we were told to take a bus to Ponferrada because the day before they were stopping people in Rabinal because it was too dangerous to walk up to Cruz de Ferro because of the depth of the snow. People were being sent back to Astorga when they arrived in Rabinal because there was no place to sleep. That really bummed me out because Cruz de Ferro is a special and sacred place for me. I have tried to leave alot of stuff there the previous two times I walked the CF.

I didn't even attempt to walk on the Camino going up to O'Cebreiro. Too wet, too cold and for me too dangerous in these conditions. Took the road and it was much easier. From O'Cebreiro on I walked on the road alot. Coming out of O'Cebreiro the snow was knee deep on the Camino. Who needs that although I saw lots of pilgrims walking it.

From here on it was cold, damp and foggy in the mornings. But I was usually pretty warm. GOOD GLOVES, GOOD HAT, AND DEFINATELY ONE OR TWO BUFFS. The buff really was a lifesaver. As the elevation dropped I was able to get back to the Camino. From there except for one day it rained every single day, (Sometimes mixed with or just snow at the beginning) until Santiago.

It was still a great experience. Met some more lifetime friends. But it was very tiring. I usually eat more in albergues but for some reason in alot of the albergues I stayed in kitchen facilities were not the best. Maybe just my bad luck.

I will miss my friends from Italy, Sardinia, Spain, Korea and especially my Aussie pals David and Emilia. (They were interviewed a while back by Dan Mullens, if you want to get to know them).

Had a perfect ending to my Camino when I went to Porto to meet by 27 year old baby girl, love of my life, for a week in Porto. She is in grad school in Manchester, England. We had a great time in Portugal. It reminded me once again that although I like the Spanish people and Spain, and I have traveled to many distant lands, the Portuguese people are without a doubt the nicest, most generous and caring folks I have ever met. That's why I will be doing th CP again starting the end of September with my college brothers.

Well thats it! Once again I have proven what a big mouth I have. I never check for my spelling errors as I get bored with what I have written.

Buen Camino!!!!

Knowing the weather in northwestern Spain, my standard Camino kit always includes:
  • Two buffs, one each in a rear, butt pocket of my cargo pants.
  • A neon bright yellow safety microfleece beanie - from Outdoors Research - OR - IIRC ). It is very lightweight, very bright (for road-walking), very warm even when soaking wet, and dries fast.
  • A pair of neon yellow runners microfiber gloves, with the same advantages of the beanie.
The beanie and gloves ride in a quart / liter sized ziplock in the bottom of my rucksack until and unless needed. They are some of my VERY few 'just-in-case' items. When you do not need them you are not aware they are even there. But when you DO need them, they are worth their weight in gold... Also helps when trying to sleep in a cold albergue...

Cold weather survival, and frostbite - hypothermia protection calls for keeping your head hands and feet warm and as dry as possible, as well as your torso. As long as I moving forward, my feet and torso crank out more than enough heat. Keeping one's hands and head protected is critical. Remember, you can get hypothermic even in mid-teen temperatures (celsius), upper 50's and low 60s Fahrenheit. Once you can wet and chilled you are at an increased risk.

I have used these items all the way into late May, as I have encountered snow above 700 meters ASL. The Buffs have been used year round for absorbing sweat, evaporative cooling, sun- blocking protection, for warmth and as a pressure bandage for both arm and head wounds.

Hope this helps.
 

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