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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

new pilgrin, 100km on French way? - been there

#1
I found this messageboard very useful before I walked the French way so I thought I would write down some things I found out. We were 5 (all without walking experience) who walked from Sarria (111km!) to SDC during the first week of april.

First: Not knowing is a part of the experience! Don't worry and it will all work out.

- TURIST OFFICES There is a special turist office you go to for the caminos and you will find it easily if you follow the signs and ask someone. They have some good information about the French way. Take a map of the city (to find the bus-central later)!

- STARTING POINT We started at Sarria because we wanted to go the 100km necessary to get the diploma. My impression was that it was good to have a thought about which way you want to take (I know it is difficult to find info about the difference).

- PILGRIM PASS In Sarria we were told to get the Pilgrim pass at the church or in the pilgrim-office (?) but they were closed in the morning so we asked around got ours at the police-office. They didn't cost anything and aren't difficult to get. No worries! Then you collect stamps! In the end all shops seem to have a stamp (if you want many)

- BUSSES There were many departures to Ludo (where we chaged busses to get to Sarria) although it was saturday during easter week. I'm guessing it's not that complicated to get to other destinations either. We got the bus-info at the turist office but our bus from the airport stopped at the bus-central on the way in to town (10 min walk).

- BACKPACK our backpacks were about 8-9kg which is fine. Most people carry less (don't know how, maybe they send their backpacks ahead ~6 Euros/bag).

- DISTANCE We were new at this and walked between 23 and 33 km/day depending on where the hostels were. More than 28-30 km/day was far for us (we arrived after 9 pm) but we were okay with that.

- HOSTELS are called albergues. The ones we saw had rooms with 2-200 bunkbeds, no heating (but they do have blankets!), nice bathrooms and internet acces (almost all with memory card-readers). There are electrical sockets but not that many (next time I'll bring a splitter to my phone, ipod and camera batteries). I'm guessing earplugs are a must if you are a light sleeper and I had nasal spray to not snore. In april there was no problem finding a place to sleep and we paid 8-10 Euro (some are free). You will need your pilgrim pass. In april it's COLD (warmer outside!) in the bathroom and stuff, shoes and fleece is recommended! You will wake up at around 7 because that's when everyone else wakes up.

- MONEY I managed a week on less than 200 Euro in total. ATM machines are found in every village.

- RAIN rainpants and a thin rain poncho (have it over your backpack if your don't have rain cover for it) is great.

- SHOES I had walking trainers and some of my friends had walking boots (guess it's better in the long run but I liked my shoes). A day and a half I walked in light shoes and that was fine too. It is nice to have light shoes to change into during long brakes and night (and in cold hostels!)

- FOOD there are stops where you can eat (not expensive) during the way. Some bread and water and nuts it good to have with you. There are NO fridges during the way, just so you know. Vegetarians, be ware.. my friend started eating eggs again, so she would have something to eat.

- BLISTERS if you get them, my advise is to use the needle. Have alcohol to sterilize.

Finally: Not knowing what is ahed of you is a part of what makes the trip so great. I will walk again! Hope you will have as much fun as I did!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
First time Pilgrim

Thank you so much for your report back PilgrimP.
It is good to know that credentials can be obtained at the Police stations if the churches/offices are closed.
It is also good to know that it was easy to get a bus from Lugo to Sarria - many pilgrims start from Sarria and they always worry about getting there.
I am a vegetarian and know that it is a problem if you don't eat jamon or eggs.
Can you remember any of the costs for things like drinks and food? Would be nice to share an up-to-date cost list with the forum.
Waking at 7am will be a pleasure!! In summer pilgrims start stirring, crackling plastic bags and zipping sleeping bags at 4h30am.
It's great that you had a good time - and well done to you guys on your walk!
Abrazos,
 

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