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Not rushing to make a decision, just pondering...

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
So, my workplace won't be revising its travel advisories for faculty prior to the end of March... (We are, of course, allowing foreign travel for students, starting in January .. because that's a money decision).

But: we will be allowed to travel as of April 1. So yay.

I'm looking at landing in Lisbon April 4th.... getting one of those less expensive, direct flights that depart on a Sunday.

Then I have options limited only by a promise to be in the Obradoiro Square on May 4th. I fly back home under this plan out of Madrid on the 7th, and plan a bus trip to Fisterra with the friend I am to meet.

So I have one month.

I could get myself to San Sebastian and walk the Norte; I could walk right out of Lisbon, or I could head for Madrid and walk Perhaps to Valladolid and then hop a train to Leon to patch together the Oviedo, the Primitivo and the last of the CF...

Are there better and worse options for April amongst these routes? I don't do well with a mix of cold/damp... but my sense is that the Norte is pretty temperate by April and will get more-so... Will the routes out of Leon heading North before they head west be too cold? snowy? Will the Lisbon route northward be too difficult come Easter?

I'm pretty excited that Portugal is so highly vaccinated, that it's being quite strict as I understand it about masks and vaccine certificates, and that Galicia seems also to still be very committed to protecting the health of locals and visitors.... I have less information for the Camino do Madrid, or for the Norte....

I'll take your thoughts with thanks...
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Yay for Faye, back to camino planning mode.

My rule of thumb is to start south if I’m starting in April or May, start North if I’m starting in June. But the weather is crazy as you know.

In terms of snow, @jpflavin1, who typically walks in April, had a LOT of snow on both the Madrd and the Salvador (different years) (search will bring up his stories). I have walked Cercedilla to Segovia in February, with no snow. So go figure.

Jpfflavin has also walked the Norte in April and had great weather. Others have walked in June in a lot of rain. I guess the best you can do is go with historical averages, knowing that they probably have very little predictive value.

If it were me with an April start, I’d either go from Lisbon or pick a starting place on the Vdlp that would get me to Santiago by May 4. I’ll be interested to hear what others say.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Yay for Faye, back to camino planning mode.

My rule of thumb is to start south if I’m starting in April or May, start North if I’m starting in June. But the weather is crazy as you know.

In terms of snow, @jpflavin1, who typically walks in April, had a LOT of snow on both the Madrd and the Salvador (different years) (search will bring up his stories). I have walked Cercedilla to Segovia in February, with no snow. So go figure.

Jpfflavin has also walked the Norte in April and had great weather. Others have walked in June in a lot of rain. I guess the best you can do is go with historical averages, knowing that they probably have very little predictive value.

If it were me with an April start, I’d either go from Lisbon or pick a starting place on the Vdlp that would get me to Santiago by May 4. I’ll be interested to hear what others say.

Buen camino, Laurie
Yeah… I’m leaning Lisbon… and for sure, averages…
I’m hoping more people will be on the CP from Lisbon closer to my trip and I will be able to see if there’s enough accommodation in place…
I don’t mind walking in the cold (or snow) as long as it’s not also damp…
And I wonder if people will think it could be perfectly sensible to make it only to a few days out from LIsbon and then buy a ticket to a starting point… As in: I won’t know which route I’m taking until maybe the day before I leave Canada.
I *have booked* Dear Spouse to walk a CP route May 14th to June 1. This is not the year for us to try to be away at the same time.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I don’t mind walking in the cold (or snow) as long as it’s not also damp…
The problem with the snow in the mountains, especially on the Salvador, is the huge drifts. That can be very dangerous if you unintentionally take a step into one. No one will have been through to clean out the trail, and the markings, though they are probably 2 or 3 feet high (metal arrows and conch shells) can also be covered.

If you do decide to go this way, I would definitely make sure to contact the association and speak to the Hospitalero in La Robla and/or Buiza once you are there. They will have good information about the conditions.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
The problem with the snow in the mountains, especially on the Salvador, is the huge drifts. That can be very dangerous if you unintentionally take a step into one. No one will have been through to clean out the trail, and the markings, though they are probably 2 or 3 feet high (metal arrows and conch shells) can also be covered.

If you do decide to go this way, I would definitely make sure to contact the association and speak to the Hospitalero in La Robla and/or Buiza once you are there. They will have good information about the conditions.
Mmmm… I would likely skip the range between Madrid and Segovia if there were still snow…. Or a storm coming… or: LOL… I jest… but I think it would be *awesome*… I could take my *snowshoes*!!

I am also following the thread with matters of the VDLP for April…

Pondering, pondering… And I need to dump *at least* 10 pounds from my personal chassis before I head out there and think about any routes that could be very challenging. Covid gave me extra padding that, if we combine it with my pack, would see me carrying 24 pounds more on my frame than I do in daily life. That scares me rather a lot.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
And I wonder if people will think it could be perfectly sensible to make it only to a few days out from LIsbon and then buy a ticket to a starting point… As in: I won’t know which route I’m taking until maybe the day before I leave Canada.
Perfectly sensible. I expect that I will purchase a plane ticket to Madrid, before I have decided which route to walk. Particularly if the weather is a deciding factor for the choice, it makes sense to prepare for a couple of options and then see what the weather forecast is when you arrive. And yes, you can change your mind after a day or two. :)
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I am not a big fan of the Norte that time of year because it can be be cold and wet, especially if there are big winter storms coming across the Atlantic from North America around the same time. I tried the route a few years ago about the same time of year and ended up taking a train from Santander to Fromista and walking south to Valladodid along the Canal de Castilla. Sorry to say that is not another route I would whole hardheartedly recommend because of the lack of facilities, however Valladodid is a fascinating place and once you connect with the Camino Madrid in Puente Duero you can walk north to Sahagun and connect to the CF or walk south to Madrid.
 

cbacino

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte - Primitivo (2018)
Via Francigena (2017)
Appalachian Trail (2016)
So, my workplace won't be revising its travel advisories for faculty prior to the end of March... (We are, of course, allowing foreign travel for students, starting in January .. because that's a money decision).

But: we will be allowed to travel as of April 1. So yay.

I'm looking at landing in Lisbon April 4th.... getting one of those less expensive, direct flights that depart on a Sunday.

Then I have options limited only by a promise to be in the Obradoiro Square on May 4th. I fly back home under this plan out of Madrid on the 7th, and plan a bus trip to Fisterra with the friend I am to meet.

So I have one month.

I could get myself to San Sebastian and walk the Norte; I could walk right out of Lisbon, or I could head for Madrid and walk Perhaps to Valladolid and then hop a train to Leon to patch together the Oviedo, the Primitivo and the last of the CF...

Are there better and worse options for April amongst these routes? I don't do well with a mix of cold/damp... but my sense is that the Norte is pretty temperate by April and will get more-so... Will the routes out of Leon heading North before they head west be too cold? snowy? Will the Lisbon route northward be too difficult come Easter?

I'm pretty excited that Portugal is so highly vaccinated, that it's being quite strict as I understand it about masks and vaccine certificates, and that Galicia seems also to still be very committed to protecting the health of locals and visitors.... I have less information for the Camino do Madrid, or for the Norte....

I'll take your thoughts with thanks...
I wouldn't expect the Norte to be temperate in April. When I walked it in 2018 mid-late June, it was damp and cool.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I wouldn't expect the Norte to be temperate in April. When I walked it in 2018 mid-late June, it was damp and cool.
I should be more specific.
I just like it to be over 10C and not raining all the time.
I prefer it to remain under 22C...
My preferences are only that, and I've walked in pouring rain for 14 out of 17 days on the CP in temperatures that didn't go over 10C..... I did it, but it wasn't the most enjoyable trek as I have my head down and covered for so much of it...
I"ve walked in the heatwave of 2018 on the Francés... also not my preference, but walking in the pre-dawn hours into the morning sunrises to beat the heat were lovely...
At any rate, I think I will just leave it until I am only a few days out from my departure. The easiest thing will be simply to walk North from Lisbon... my attraction to the more northern routes has in part to do with knowing that my spine has fewer hilly days left in it than flat... I worry that if I don't take the opportunity sooner with the Norte and the Primitivo that I will lose the chance...
 

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