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New Albergue in Canfranc

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
This week the Fraternidad Internacional del Camino de Santiago (FICS) signed an agreement to staff the new Albergue Municipal de Peregrinos de Canfranc, in Canfranc village along the Camino Aragonese north of Jaca.

The 16-bed albergue is purpose-built within a vintage schoolhouse on the main street of the mountain village. It is three storeys tall, with kitchen, lounge and dining areas, a garden, deck, even an elevator for handicapped pilgrims! The scenic mountain area is popular with hikers, bikers, and skiers, but the once-huge historic pilgrimage trail over the Pyrenees at Somport Pass was pretty much abandoned when politics and geography shifted the pilgrims westward to St. Jean Pied de Port.

Authorities on the French side of the mountain pass are working to restore washed-out sections of the old Camino up the Aspe Valley to Somport, to move pilgrims off the roadsides and back onto the historic mountain pathway. The mayor and council of Canfranc and Canfranc Estacion feel sure the improvements will revitalize this pilgrimage soon. Meantime, volunteer hospitaleros will have their fill of hiking trails and mountain fastness. For the time being, one person can run it alone. This will be the pilgrims' first experience of traditional Camino hospitality on the Spanish trail. (If you're interested in being a hospi at Canfranc, get in touch!)

We still do not have an opening date, the French border is still closed. But that's the state of things these Covid days... Stay tuned!
 
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alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
working to restore washed-out sections of the old Camino up the Aspe Valley to Somport
In the meantime, to avoid the nasty narrow road up to Somport from Borce, I can strongly recommend a day's detour going on the Chemin de la Mâture, past the lovely lacs d'Ayous and up into Spain vía the Col des Moines, where monks welcomed pilgrims from Arles across the watershed for nearly a millennium. And then down to Somport and Canfranc. Very lovely, no tarmac, no traffic.

DSC_0402-1.jpg

DSC_0373.jpg

DSC_0384.jpg

DSC_0288.jpg
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
In the meantime, to avoid the nasty narrow road up to Somport from Borce, I can strongly recommend a day's detour going on the Chemin de la Mâture, past the lovely lacs d'Ayous and up into Spain vía the Col des Moines, where monks welcomed pilgrims from Arles across the watershed for nearly a millennium. And then down to Somport and Canfranc. Very lovely, no tarmac, no traffic.

View attachment 100087

View attachment 100088

View attachment 100090

View attachment 100089
Those are beautiful photos Alan, but that path above looks very narrow!
 

malingerer

samarkand
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
This week the Fraternidad Internacional del Camino de Santiago (FICS) signed an agreement to staff the new Albergue Municipal de Peregrinos de Canfranc, in Canfranc village along the Camino Aragonese north of Jaca.

The 16-bed albergue is purpose-built within a vintage schoolhouse on the main street of the mountain village. It is three storeys tall, with kitchen, lounge and dining areas, a garden, deck, even an elevator for handicapped pilgrims! The scenic mountain area is popular with hikers, bikers, and skiers, but the once-huge historic pilgrimage trail over the Pyrenees at Somport Pass was pretty much abandoned when politics and geography shifted the pilgrims westward to St. Jean Pied de Port.

Authorities on the French side of the mountain pass are working to restore washed-out sections of the old Camino up the Aspe Valley to Somport, to move pilgrims off the roadsides and back onto the historic mountain pathway. The mayor and council of Canfranc and Canfranc Estacion feel sure the improvements will revitalize this pilgrimage soon. Meantime, volunteer hospitaleros will have their fill of hiking trails and mountain fastness. For the time being, one person can run it alone. This will be the pilgrims' first experience of traditional Camino hospitality on the Spanish trail. (If you're interested in being a hospi at Canfranc, get in touch!)

We still do not have an opening date, the French border is still closed. But that's the state of things these Covid days... Stay tuned!

Have never thought of doing the "French" routes but this thread could put the hook in! Didn't realise the Somport Pass was once superior to Saint Jean! Best of luck and Buen Camino.

Samarkand.
 
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Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
In the meantime, to avoid the nasty narrow road up to Somport from Borce, I can strongly recommend a day's detour going on the Chemin de la Mâture, past the lovely lacs d'Ayous and up into Spain vía the Col des Moines, where monks welcomed pilgrims from Arles across the watershed for nearly a millennium. And then down to Somport and Canfranc. Very lovely, no tarmac, no traffic.
I found it on my digital map program. The main road on the left leads to Col du Somport or the tunnel to Canfranc. The path cut into the cliff is in the extreme top left, the Gorge d’Enfer, - we won’t argue.
IMG_0902 (1).jpeg
Here's the frame further south.
IMG_0903.jpeg
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

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!
Those are beautiful photos Alan, but that path above looks very narrow!

Actually, it seems a much more realistic image, to me of a natural or carved out narrow Alpine pass, (except for the gravel) than The Napoleon route 😀. My first impression of the Napolean route was that the wilderness had been domesticated and paved out of it.....
 
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fransw

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2012; Le Puy - Conques 2014;Camino Aragonese Oloron Ste Marie - Puenta la Reina 2018
This week the Fraternidad Internacional del Camino de Santiago (FICS) signed an agreement to staff the new Albergue Municipal de Peregrinos de Canfranc, in Canfranc village along the Camino Aragonese north of Jaca.

The 16-bed albergue is purpose-built within a vintage schoolhouse on the main street of the mountain village. It is three storeys tall, with kitchen, lounge and dining areas, a garden, deck, even an elevator for handicapped pilgrims! The scenic mountain area is popular with hikers, bikers, and skiers, but the once-huge historic pilgrimage trail over the Pyrenees at Somport Pass was pretty much abandoned when politics and geography shifted the pilgrims westward to St. Jean Pied de Port.

Authorities on the French side of the mountain pass are working to restore washed-out sections of the old Camino up the Aspe Valley to Somport, to move pilgrims off the roadsides and back onto the historic mountain pathway. The mayor and council of Canfranc and Canfranc Estacion feel sure the improvements will revitalize this pilgrimage soon. Meantime, volunteer hospitaleros will have their fill of hiking trails and mountain fastness. For the time being, one person can run it alone. This will be the pilgrims' first experience of traditional Camino hospitality on the Spanish trail. (If you're interested in being a hospi at Canfranc, get in touch!)

We still do not have an opening date, the French border is still closed. But that's the state of things these Covid days... Stay tuned!
Well, I hope they find some better paths up the Aspe Valley. When I walked this part of the way in poorly weather conditions I found that the trail rather dangerous , the more that I was alone and no other pilgrims were in sight. So I decided trying the narrow traffic road but this was in rainy conditions even suicidal because of the traffic of heavy trucs and the poor visibility. So I choosed the least dangerous option and rejoined the track. I was relieved to arrive in Canfranc
 
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dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
This week the Fraternidad Internacional del Camino de Santiago (FICS) signed an agreement to staff the new Albergue Municipal de Peregrinos de Canfranc, in Canfranc village along the Camino Aragonese north of Jaca.

The 16-bed albergue is purpose-built within a vintage schoolhouse on the main street of the mountain village. It is three storeys tall, with kitchen, lounge and dining areas, a garden, deck, even an elevator for handicapped pilgrims! The scenic mountain area is popular with hikers, bikers, and skiers, but the once-huge historic pilgrimage trail over the Pyrenees at Somport Pass was pretty much abandoned when politics and geography shifted the pilgrims westward to St. Jean Pied de Port.

Authorities on the French side of the mountain pass are working to restore washed-out sections of the old Camino up the Aspe Valley to Somport, to move pilgrims off the roadsides and back onto the historic mountain pathway. The mayor and council of Canfranc and Canfranc Estacion feel sure the improvements will revitalize this pilgrimage soon. Meantime, volunteer hospitaleros will have their fill of hiking trails and mountain fastness. For the time being, one person can run it alone. This will be the pilgrims' first experience of traditional Camino hospitality on the Spanish trail. (If you're interested in being a hospi at Canfranc, get in touch!)

We still do not have an opening date, the French border is still closed. But that's the state of things these Covid days... Stay tuned!
In 2019, we stayed at the Albergue Aragonés. It was very nice but I hear it has closed. If true, the new albergue would be very welcome. If you stay at Canfranc, don't miss the tour round the spectacular railway station.

DSC05771.JPG DSC05766.JPG
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
If you stay at Canfranc, don't miss the tour round the spectacular railway station.
I stayed at Canfran Estacion when I walked the Aragones/Frances in the autumn of 2016. But the tour at the railway station was fully booked when I arrived in town, and there was no possibility to see the station. The next morning, I walked down past Canfranc, and I have never seen a more dead village: no sign of life, animal or human.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
In 2019, we stayed at the Albergue Aragonés. It was very nice but I hear it has closed.

I think that the albergue Reb is talking about is not in Canfranc Estación, but in Canfranc. The vllage is about 4.5 km further south on the Camino Aragonés. I have also stayed in an albergue in Canfranc Estación, but it was Albergue Pepe Grillo. It is permanently closed. But it looks like the Albergue Río Aragón is still open.

http://www.alberguerioaragon.com/

I walked down past Canfranc, and I have never seen a more dead village: no sign of life, animal or human.

I am hoping that the albergue opening in Canfranc village will give a bit more life to that place, I confess I don’t remember anything about it!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
It's great news that this project is finally going live -- something of the sort was clearly lacking when I walked through on the 2014, though I had stayed up at the Pass that time, and was far too tired to walk on any further than that.
 

dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I think that the albergue Reb is talking about is not in Canfranc Estación, but in Canfranc. The vllage is about 4.5 km further south on the Camino Aragonés. I have also stayed in an albergue in Canfranc Estación, but it was Albergue Pepe Grillo. It is permanently closed. But it looks like the Albergue Río Aragón is still open.

http://www.alberguerioaragon.com/



I am hoping that the albergue opening in Canfranc village will give a bit more life to that place, I confess I don’t remember anything about it!
Well pointed out. It was Canfranc Estación - quite a lively place (especially on Sunday compared to France). I think the Camino Aragonés simply skirts past Canfranc as I have absolutely no memory of it. The pension Rio Aragonés also presented us with a discount voucher for the menú at a restaurant just down the road, it was a damn good menú too.
 
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Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
My friend and I spent a freezing cold night in Albergue Pepe Grillo in early May 2013
At dinner we met some pilgrims who stayed at a different one and they said it was warm. Hope the new one has heating, it looks lovely.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
Hope the new one has heating, it looks lovely.
I'm sure it will be better than the one Hilaire Belloc stayed at in Canfranc in 1909:

Do you remember an Inn, Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark verandah)?
...
Never more;
Miranda,
Never more.
Only the high peaks' hoar:
And Aragón a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground
No sound:
But the boom
Of the far Waterfall like Doom.
 

dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I'm sure it will be better than the one Hilaire Belloc stayed at in Canfranc in 1909:

Do you remember an Inn, Miranda?
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark verandah)?
...
Never more;
Miranda,
Never more.
Only the high peaks' hoar:
And Aragón a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground
No sound:
But the boom
Of the far Waterfall like Doom.
I have been compiling a collection of camino poems. This is one of them. Here is another (the humour is a tad more mordant, but somehow on the money):
The Journey of the Magi
‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

T.S.Eliot
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
A welcome addition to that Camino route! In 2019 we met several pilgrims who had hoped to stay in Canfranc but were surprised to see the albergue closed despite the guidebooks and online sites stating it was open. It’s only 5km more to Confranc Estacion, but an albergue in every village is a nice goal on a route that should be more popular than it is.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
There is a lot of enthusiasm up that valley these days, it is fun to be part of it.
I walked on Wednesday down from the Somport Pass to Canfranc Estacion, and another 4 km further on to Canfranc Pueblo. The trail is splendid, and studded with traces of forgotten wars and engineering works, roaring rivers and waterfalls and ski slopes.
Canfranc Pueblo hopes the new albergue and the addition of international hospitaleros will liven things up in this town of second homes. FICS will try to keep it staffed and open (yes, there's heat!) from April to November. It's ideal for a single, experienced hospi, but two is nice too, especially once the Covid occupancy restrictions lift. We are hoping to open in early August.

I am very much enjoying the videos and description of the path on the French side of the border. The people driving the progress in Canfranc hope the old Aspe Valley pilgrimage road on the opposite side of the river from the present roadside slog to Somport will soon be recovered -- there's an installation of hanging walkways ongoing -- and the Way from Oloron will be that much more pleasantly walkable. Also, work is afoot to reopen the rail line between Canfranc, to link the towns again with Lourdes and points beyond.
 
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dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
There is a lot of enthusiasm up that valley these days, it is fun to be part of it.
I walked on Wednesday down from the Somport Pass to Canfranc Estacion, and another 4 km further on to Canfranc Pueblo. The trail is splendid, and studded with traces of forgotten wars and engineering works, roaring rivers and waterfalls and ski slopes.
Canfranc Pueblo hopes the new albergue and the addition of international hospitaleros will liven things up in this town of second homes. FICS will try to keep it staffed and open (yes, there's heat!) from April to November. It's ideal for a single, experienced hospi, but two is nice too, especially once the Covid occupancy restrictions lift. We are hoping to open in early August.

I am very much enjoying the videos and description of the path on the French side of the border. The people driving the progress in Canfranc hope the old Aspe Valley pilgrimage road on the opposite side of the river from the present roadside slog to Somport will soon be recovered -- there's an installation of hanging walkways ongoing -- and the Way from Oloron will be that much more pleasantly walkable. Also, work is afoot to reopen the rail line between Canfranc, to link the towns again with Lourdes and points beyond.
Here's another video of the Chemin D'Arles, from Toulouse. I am seething with jealousy that somebody else is on the camino, especially that one, but also glad that someone can and is walking that route. It is also excellent news that they are upgrading the tracks etc on the French side, especially up the hill to the pass - we were forced onto the road as the footpath was so wet in the rain as to be even more hazardous than the road (which, by the by, is not the most dangerous bit of road-walking on the camino, but definitely not pleasant). I think restoring the rail link is a bit optimistic though - the road has cut through a lot of the old embankments and bridges so some serious engineering would be needed. Buen camino
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
There is a lot of enthusiasm up that valley these days, it is fun to be part of it.
I walked on Wednesday down from the Somport Pass to Canfranc Estacion, and another 4 km further on to Canfranc Pueblo. The trail is splendid, and studded with traces of forgotten wars and engineering works, roaring rivers and waterfalls and ski slopes.
Canfranc Pueblo hopes the new albergue and the addition of international hospitaleros will liven things up in this town of second homes. FICS will try to keep it staffed and open (yes, there's heat!) from April to November. It's ideal for a single, experienced hospi, but two is nice too, especially once the Covid occupancy restrictions lift. We are hoping to open in early August.

I am very much enjoying the videos and description of the path on the French side of the border. The people driving the progress in Canfranc hope the old Aspe Valley pilgrimage road on the opposite side of the river from the present roadside slog to Somport will soon be recovered -- there's an installation of hanging walkways ongoing -- and the Way from Oloron will be that much more pleasantly walkable. Also, work is afoot to reopen the rail line between Canfranc, to link the towns again with Lourdes and points beyond.

That sounds just magical. We stopped walking at Oloron, but then drove up the Aspe Valley and I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to walk it. I'm glad you are getting a taste for the old French routes. They are wonderful and I'm longing to walk them again.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I loved the walk from Somport to Oloron when we headed to Lourdes in 2020, but there were several spots that definitely could be improved for safety’s sake and to accommodate more pilgrims. Just don’t make it TOO popular! 😎

An albergue in Confranc will provide a nice alternative to Confranc Estacion, especially since the latter is a much larger town. Even when snow closes the pass to walking, many pilgrims will still traipse from Somport to Jaca. This will provide a nice stopping point if the weather turns on them.
 
Last edited:

Mycroft

Active Member
Here's another video of the Chemin D'Arles, from Toulouse. I am seething with jealousy that somebody else is on the camino, especially that one, but also glad that someone can and is walking that route. It is also excellent news that they are upgrading the tracks etc on the French side, especially up the hill to the pass - we were forced onto the road as the footpath was so wet in the rain as to be even more hazardous than the road (which, by the by, is not the most dangerous bit of road-walking on the camino, but definitely not pleasant). I think restoring the rail link is a bit optimistic though - the road has cut through a lot of the old embankments and bridges so some serious engineering would be needed. Buen camino
I would like to view this video but it says it is private and one needs permission.
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Had to look up Tom avery (stupid American) but didn't see anything about a backpack mishap. What's the tale?
It’s a reference to the Camino movie, “The Way” starring Martin Sheen. If you are unaware of it, then congrats to you as it’s hard to avoid among the American Pilgrim crowd! Worth watching. 👍
 

Mycroft

Active Member
It’s a reference to the Camino movie, “The Way” starring Martin Sheen. If you are unaware of it, then congrats to you as it’s hard to avoid among the American Pilgrim crowd! Worth watching. 👍
Oooohhhhh! I have seen The Way but had not memorized the characters' names. I thought this was a reference to the Tom Avery who does all those explorer treks to the poles, climbs mountains and ice fields, etc. Silly me.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
That sounds just magical. We stopped walking at Oloron, but then drove up the Aspe Valley and I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to walk it. I'm glad you are getting a taste for the old French routes. They are wonderful and I'm longing to walk them again.
I don't speak French, so I find walking over there a bit intimidating... besides, there is so much of Spain still left to explore. Still, if I get the opportunity to walk with Kanga anywhere, I am THERE! Let's walk from Oloron Ste. Marie to at least Jaca, Kanga!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
Let's walk from Oloron Ste. Marie to at least Jaca
If you do get to Jaca I really really strongly recommend going to the diocesan art collection at the cathedral, arguably the finest collection of romanesque frescoes in the world, many rescued from decaying small churches up the Aragón valley the camino comes down. Simply glorious, with a very generous pilgrim discount (?50%) and a nice sello - after two nights in shepherds' huts in the high mountains, I treated myself to an hotel so didn't get the albergue seal.

I particularly liked St Luke's bull - it must be difficult to hold your gospel if you have cloven hooves, but he does a good job.

DSC_0409.jpg DSC_0411.jpg DSC_0410.jpg DSC_0408.jpg DSC_0405.jpg
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Let's walk from Oloron Ste. Marie to at least Jaca, Kanga!
Reb, you are on! As soon as I can escape from here which, according to our government (hopeless), is not going to be until summer next year.

And yes, @alansykes that collection looks intriguing. I rather fancy the Van Gogh one. Very medievally gruesome.
 
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dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I would like to view this video but it says it is private and one needs permission.
I forgot to make it public. Should be OK now.
 

dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I don't speak French, so I find walking over there a bit intimidating... besides, there is so much of Spain still left to explore. Still, if I get the opportunity to walk with Kanga anywhere, I am THERE! Let's walk from Oloron Ste. Marie to at least Jaca, Kanga!
A lot of people don't speak Spanish - that doesn't stop them walking in Spain. My French is atrocious and my partner's has been likened to 'Une vache Espanyol' - a Spanish cow. But we walked from Toulouse to Somport (and then the Aragonés) and met nothing but kindness and generosity, not to mention a lot of French people who were more than happy to use whatever English they had (in many cases, a lot). Please, try it. You won't regret it.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
A lot of people don't speak Spanish - that doesn't stop them walking in Spain. My French is atrocious and my partner's has been likened to 'Une vache Espanyol' - a Spanish cow. But we walked from Toulouse to Somport (and then the Aragonés) and met nothing but kindness and generosity, not to mention a lot of French people who were more than happy to use whatever English they had (in many cases, a lot). Please, try it. You won't regret it.
Thanks, Dick Bird. I have spent a good amount of time in France (I live in Spain), I don't let my language troubles stand in the way of a nice walk.
 

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Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
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