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On this date in February...

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Here's the thread to post pictures, musings, etc. for any dates in February from any year, and for any Camino route.

When you respond, please mention the year, route you were on and where you walked (or rested) that day. Thanks!
 
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mark connolly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
sept 2016 CF
sept 2017 Lourdes to SJPDP via Piemonte
SJPDP to SDC via CF
2019 CF (God willing)
On this date in 2020, I believe it was Belorado to Ages. It was intended to be Belorado to San Juan Ortega, but the municipal alburgue was closed, so it was onto Ages. I was thinking of stoping in Villa Franca de Montes de Oca, both alburgues were closed and I could not find a pension open, so I continued on.
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Our second day on the Rota Vicentina (south west Portugal, from south to north, between Vila do Bispo and Carrapateira). YES, this is really FEBRUARY! I'm on the right. (3 February 2016.) Got to Santiago de Compostela on 12 March.

RotaVicentina2016Feb03.jpg
 

mark connolly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
sept 2016 CF
sept 2017 Lourdes to SJPDP via Piemonte
SJPDP to SDC via CF
2019 CF (God willing)
Ages to Burgos. Arriving at the alburgue, there was a sign stating that the Municipal alburgue in Hornillos del Camino was closed (more on that tomorrow). Attended Mass at the cathedral for the Feast of St Blaise, but they did not do a blessing of the throats.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Our second day on the Rota Vicentina (south west Portugal, from south to north, between Vila do Bispo and Carrapateira). YES, this is really FEBRUARY! I'm on the right. (3 February 2016.) Got to Santiago de Compostela on 12 March.

View attachment 92762
Gorgeous view and weather for February!
 
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shefollowsshells

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several alone and with children
Our second day on the Rota Vicentina (south west Portugal, from south to north, between Vila do Bispo and Carrapateira). YES, this is really FEBRUARY! I'm on the right. (3 February 2016.) Got to Santiago de Compostela on 12 March.

View attachment 92762
pitter patter of my heart, you know I love the RV!!!! and you had so much influence on that!!!... it is ALWAYS calling me!!!!
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several alone and with children
I didn’t know that was you!!! Wow what a small world!!! Ahhhh I think of that night and CLEAN SMELLING laundry. They took all of our clothes and washed them and our noses were in our laundry for days!!!
 

mark connolly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
sept 2016 CF
sept 2017 Lourdes to SJPDP via Piemonte
SJPDP to SDC via CF
2019 CF (God willing)
2020 CF Burgos to Hontanas. As per the previous post the alburgue in Hornillos was closed. Walked 20miles/32kms. The Koreans in the picture I met in the park as just about you enter into in the Meseta about 7miles from Burgos. I believed they stayed at a pension or Air BnB in this town (name?), as this was last chance to stay anywhere until Hontanas. In the municipal alburgue in Hontanas I met 3 men who all said they walked from SJPdP to Roncesvalles via the Napoleon Route. As you may very well know, this is closed during the winter months and very dangerous, etc. The first mentioned he had no problems crossing, the second said he got caught in a storm for about an hour, the third said he slept in the hut on the mountain top for the night. Obviously they all survived. Found out a pilgrim I met a couple days later, Fabian from Germany, said when he walked from Burgos to Hontanas, when he got to Hornillos, he started banging on people's doors and some one took him in for the night.

Mark
 

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mark connolly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
sept 2016 CF
sept 2017 Lourdes to SJPDP via Piemonte
SJPDP to SDC via CF
2019 CF (God willing)
2020 CF. Since i had walked 20 miles from Burgos to Hontanas, the next couple of days were short in comparison. A year ago today, it was Itero de Vega to Fromista, about 10 miles.
 

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jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
A year ago today I had a 2 night stopover in Lisbon on my way to my next camino, so I took a train to Sintra for the day – yet another beautiful day in Europe in February . . . .

Montserrate7Feb2020.jpg
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Hmm, not many of us walking in February 🤔 . A year ago today I crossed the bridge into Pontedeume on the second day of the Camino Ingles.
Pontedeume01.jpg

It was about 4 pm and I had to wait for the tourist office to open at 5 pm to pick up the key to the albergue, so I found a small bar up the road, sat on a bar stool, and ordered (in Spanish) a beer.

A man sitting on another bar stool asked (in English) if I was English. I said: Is my Spanish that bad? And he replied: No, it’s just that only English people say “por favor” when ordering a drink 🤣. We then chatted for the next hour or so, which passed the time most enjoyably.

At the albergue the bathroom was downstairs and all the beds were upstairs, except for one very rickety bunk bed. As the place was spotlessly clean, and recently mopped, I pulled a mattress onto the floor. There was no window, so it was pitch dark at night. Slept like a log.
Pontedeume02.jpg
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
And 2 years ago today, a stunningly beautiful February 11th to start my walk from Santiago to Rome, after calling in on Sybil at Egreria House for the loan of a hiking stick, which may one day make its way back to Santiago from Castres in France, where I left it. Thanks Sybil, it was a very trusty companion!
SantiagoToRome20190211.jpg
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2017
24 February 2016: Arrive Madrid

After several grueling months of work, this trip was my reward…an attempt at the Invierno!

Came into Madrid from Seattle via Heathrow with arrival late afternoon, airport clearance by early evening. Made my way across town to Hostal Oriente (4 stars, btw) using only public transport as I was trying to test my retention of Spanish. (I passed - - barely.)

After settling into my room, I went out into a drizzly dark evening. The only picture I have for the day was from a small shop/café where I tucked into some Gambas Aioli, Patatas Fritas, and some Vino Tinto. Then back to the room to snooze in comfort before a morning bus to Ponferrada.

B
 

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mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Villafranca Montes de Oca,
February 25, 26, 2006


Here is my blog re a famous snowstorm 15 years ago.

By the time I trekked 10 k to Villafranca Montes de Oca the Camino was covered with 2 or 3 inches of snow. Walking had become dangerous. After a copious hot lunch in a busy truck stop, I went to the municipal albergue opposite the church on the N120 highway.

The front door and one dorm were open.
No one about nor heat, but piles of blankets and a hot plate were available. Considering the weather it was GREAT!

Mid afternoon I snuggled into my sleeping bag; outside the white-out steadily intensified. As night fell the radiators started up. How lucky I was!

About 9 pm. the front door banged open followed by steps on the stairs. Resembling snow-covered yetis, two pilgrims stood at the foot of my bunk! One guy was French, the other Brazilian. We introduced ourselves and shared many cups of hot tea.

Early next morning, 26/02, the Frenchman left.
Outside was a winter wonderland. Dense snow continued to fall. The Brazilian, S., and I bundled up for walking. Plastic bags over socks served as makeshift gaiters.

Outside the snow reached mid-shin. All was treacherous. No trail could be seen; only a few markers affixed to trees were apparent. We started to slowly climb.

Suddenly at a junction S. and I were intercepted by the Guardia Civil in a four-wheel drive. Firmly stating that our lives were imperiled the police insisted on returning us to the albergue

Back in the albergue S. cooked pasta. In a cupboard of leftovers we discovered a half full bottle of Rioja wine; no rare vintage ever tasted better! While playing cards and chatting. S. told me his life story.

. ...By mid-morning the next day, 27/06, the storm was over and the highway plowed; we went on to Burgos by local bus since the Montes de Orca path was still covered in deep snow."

Proof positive of that 2006 snow and me!...

Villafranca Montes de Oca 26.02.2006.jpg

“Where are the snows of yesteryear?/Mais où sont les neiges d’anten? ” François Villon
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
25 February 2016: Madrid to Ponferrada

Woke up early and made myself look “pilgrim-presentable” before scouting out coffee and a small breakfast. After checking out of the hotel, it was a short walk to catch a bus down to Estancion Sur to await boarding transport to Ponferrada.

As my exertions proved to be more than a match for the breakfast inhaled earlier, I indulged in the pilgrims’ time-honored tradition of a “second breakfast” at the station along with a few con leches as I waited.

A pleasant ride to Ponferrada with a brief walk thereafter to check into Aroi Bierzo Plaza (5 stars! IMHO) left me a little daylight to get shell, staff, and some trail snacks. As dusk fell, it was time to get a bite to eat before heading back to the room and organizing the pack for an early departure. Then, another luxurious night of sleep to burn off remaining jet lag.

Before that first sip of wine, I had to get a picture of the direction to be walked on the morrow.

B
 

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jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
25 Feb 2019 - guess where ?!


20190225Reliegos.jpg
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2017
26 February 2016: Ponferrada to Las Medulas

Up, refreshed, and ready to go about 06:30. Time to go out and check the weather!

Here’s what the plaza looked like after a cleansing rain. Hmmm. Okay, time to go back in for breakfast. While enjoying a sumptuous meal, I reviewed Laurie Reynolds excellent guide and committed items to memory so that I wouldn’t destroy my copy in the rain.

I set out into a steady drizzle under a hat, rain jacket, and rain paints pulled down over the tops of waterproof boots. A couple hours later near Toral de Merayo was the last time that day that I pulled out the camera. (The bar in Toral, btw, was very friendly and served a great coffee and croissant.) From there on? Rain....an uninterrupted deluge that Noah might recognize for the rest of the walk to Las Medulas. Visibility rarely exceeded 15-20 meters for the next 6 hours. In the prior fifty years of hiking/walking, I had never seen anything like this…and have not again.

My new, though inexpensive, woolen gloves disintegrated to balls of wet yarn within two hours. Then it was time for a change-out from sodden socks. Two hours later and it was time for another sock change. One more change near Borrenes where I could find a little protection from the rain. Oh, and there was NOTHING open between Toral and Medulas as I walked…I saw one other soul the entire time, they were bringing in the cat.

The only lodgings available at Las Medulas were with Casa Socorro - - a lovely couple who were clearly astonished that anyone was out in the weather. So there I was, all socks completely soaked, boots sodden, and clothes distinctly moist.

Pre-shower, a foot exam revealed stage 1 Trench Foot. Double-plus ungood. A review with the couple revealed a lack of drying facilities…not just in Medulas but, by their reckoning, for the planned next two stages. Hmmm.

I went down to the only open bar for Lentejas, Fritas and Tinto to ponder my situation. Upon my return to Socorro the owners and I discussed ordering up a taxi for a trip back to Ponferrada the next morning. The gentleman was adamant that I accompany him as he was going anyway. “Breakfast at 08:00 and then we go, okay?”

Not much else that I could do considering the circumstances. I needed to be off my feet for at least a day and I really needed dry socks/boots, if nothing else. “Okay, Invierno – you win this round!”

B

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Year of past OR future Camino
2017
27 February 2016: Ponferrada Redux

Last night’s host was going right past the castle and so it made for an opportune drop-off point. After a brief argument about “gas money” (he did not want any), I dropped 30 euro on the driver’s console while retrieving my pack and was rewarded with a bark of disapproval….and a smile.

After a careful walk up the hill I made time for coffee on the plaza at the Cathedral’s front, nine o’clock had not yet struck and I wanted to be somewhat alert when I returned to the Aroi to beg a room. The somber, though kindly faced, barman went out of his way to bring a plate of small croissants and Danish to my table. I protested (mildly) whereupon he pointed at my pack and said “Pilgrim – eat!” I ordered another coffee to make it worth his while…and tucked a few euro under the plate before I left.

The hotel gladly welcomed me back at the same discount rate of my original booking. I did not ask for the reduced rate, they were pleased to offer. They then steered me to a laundromat (KWL?) just west of the bridge on Avenue Puebla. It was an outstanding recommendation.

The rest of the day was largely taken up with laundry, review of weather reports, and pondering a new plan. Pretty sure that there was more coffee, snacks, wine, and an evening meal in there as well.

By the time I retired for the evening there was no plan developed and I was content with that. “We’ll make up our mind in the morning.”


B
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
2017
28 February 2016: Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo

It was not a completely uninterrupted sleep. The plaza erupted with people sometime after I went to bed which was a surprise (to me anyway) on a Saturday night in February. I drifted off again almost immediately and felt pretty “old” about passing on the party.

At rising, my boots were still dampish despite all my efforts. That had me leaning toward the Frances rather than a repeat on the Invierno. Even a mild rainstorm was going to get them sodden again and my feet, though better, really would not tolerate much abuse for awhile.

After a breakfast that could not be beat (again), I checked out to find a western lookout. Yep, definitely Frances as the southwest horizon was much darker. But, no rain so far…

The path out of town was familiar and easy though there were plenty of icy patches to avoid. The path along the LE-713 was okay but the roadway was very icy at the edge. Being Sunday this posed a problem of listening for cyclists overtaking me on the path (bells, who needs bells?) and being aware that they could yet wipe out on the road and take me with them. This was no longer a problem after a coffee at Camponaraya.

All in all, it was pleasantly brisk day with low clouds scudding across a generally clear sky. My gait was kept deliberately slow and careful the remainder of the walk and I arrived at Ave Fenix around 15:30. I joined eight other souls huddled around a small wood heater until a hearty meal of bread, lentejas, tinto, and I think cookies were dessert. Nationalities represented were Polish, German, French, Korean, Sardinian, and USA (me).

B
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
2017
29 February 2016 (yep…”Leap Year”): Villafranca del Bierzo to Las Herrerias

After a better than usual albergue breakfast, a few of us stragglers helped the hospis put things away. Feet still needing a bit of care, I straggled a bit longer than the rest and was last out the door. A hunt for coffee was rewarded at the edge of town.

Blessed with a deep sea-colored sky and temperature just perfect for walking, my speed never exceeded “ambling”. Maybe just before Trabadelo one started to be wary of chestnut-slicked paths and roads. Ever since my first Camino, this profligacy of chestnuts stirred minor jealousy of the Spanish. At home these beauties go for north of $20/kilo; here they are road trash? Only much later did I discover, from a local at La Faba, that they were very selective about chestnut harvest - - some trees provided palatable nuts while others were sub-standard. Upon reflection, this makes sense in a wild crop but I had just never thought about it before.

Last night’s companions were well ahead of me and the stops for coffee at Trabadelo and Vega de Valcarce widened the distance again.

Though feet looked good this morning, my boots remained not-quite-dry. Opting for a short day made sense and Casa Polin in Herrerias retained a warm spot in memory from years before. Upon arrival just past mid-afternoon, they were happy to welcome me. And, for just a bit more coin, they offered to wash and dry my laundry. (“Yes, please!”)

Laundry handed off, a shower, short nap, and e-mail chores before an evening meal with a tasty rustic rabbit stew, home-baked bread, Caldo, tinto and flan for dessert. Memory suggests that an orujo might have been consumed to aid digestion.

After that it was time to organize the pack with freshly clean clothes before hitting the pillow.

B
 

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