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Pre- departure nerves!


Yes, I agree Kiwi nomad Margaret, our departures are getting closer and closer...mine is 34 days away ....arghhh....can't wait! but also a little anxious as I am concerned about being cold and wet, which Arn said is NOT GOOD.

I walked up and down a BIG hill on Sunday and was absolutely soaked when I got to the top: hair dripping with perspiration and 2 tops, soaked with perspiration, (not the ones I will take which I wore beneath my Gortex rain jacket)....and my glasses were fogged up. The temperature was about 15 degrees C, and the day was misty and a little rainy. Had it been windy, I would have been VERY cold.

I am really happy with my Keen's boots, not a blister in sight and my Pacer poles. However I can't make up my mind whether to take the 2 pockets which attach to my Aarn pack and sit on my front, which means my food, water, camera, etc will be accessible as I walk, I wonder how I will get on with all the straps, and bits, which when taken off and put on the ground look like a tangle of bits and pieces instead of just one solid pack. Has anyone done the Camino with Aarn pack and pockets? I must admit, I didn't mind the pockets walking up the hill, it's just the 'sprawl' of gear on the floor when I take the pack off!

Also, if say I decide that the Gortex jacket does not breathe for me, is it possible to purchase an Altus poncho in Roncevalles, or in Pamplona, or even in Biarritz or St Jean PP?

Clarisa Peregrina
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Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Hi Clarisa,
Yes, I have a few nerves and the great feeling of anticipation! I am actually packing my pack this evening, though I don't leave for five more days, as someone is going to be sleeping in the spare bed for the next few days, and currently all my gear is spread out there.

Have you got any Merino wool in your tops or hat? It stays warmer when wet.

I looked at taking an Aarn pack, but couldn't find one in stock within driving distance to try on. I thought that the front packs were one of the very good design features, and that putting heavier things in there was supposed to help bring your centre of balance forward, taking stress off your shoulders etc. But I haven't actually worn one so don't know what they feel like in action.

I haven't had the opportunity to walk much in the rain: we have had the most gorgeous summer for a long, long time, and rain has been in very short supply. I know that my body is in for a shock with the temperatures as soon as I hit Europe!
All the best for the rest of your training Clarisa - from a fellow Antipodean!
Margaret (KiwiNomad)


I leave start in just under 30 days, and I am also feeling some jitters. Do I have the right items packed, will my boots be appropriate, will the pain in my foot ever stop hurting, and when the heck am I going to have time to walk more than an hour a day between now and then. Gets me in a tizzy.

Then my wife, noticing the anxiety, said, “So, what’s the worst that can happen? You buy a few things along the way, drop a few things along the way, and if for some reason you can’t finish the walk you are still in Spain for five weeks planning you second attempt drinking vino at an outdoor cafe.”

My wife is a treasure! :)


lanval said:
My wife is a treasure! :)

and a wise wise woman!!

My Camino starts from Sydney in 19 days (24 from StJPdP) and like everyone am feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety! Just about got all my pack items sorted - did a trial run with 1.5 litres of water and managed to keep my pack to 7.5kg total - SO happy about that, probably have a few grams left to fit in (maybe 500g) but looking good.

I'm not able to do nearly as much training as I'd like but am planning to start easy with a couple of short days at least to start.

good luck everyone and hope to see one or two of you along the way



New Member
Hi Everyone,
I walked the camino in september 2003 with my daughter and have wanted to walk it ever since. somehow this year between leaving California and arriving in Mexico where we have decided to live, I have given myself a break & walking again.

I'm flying out on the 11th to san sebastian & making my way over to SJPD from there to begin walking on the 13th - maybe 14th with my friend Pat. After looking at those fantastic pictures of the snow in Roncesvalles, I had my first bit of nerves, although I don't know why, because I am aware of how much anything can and will change when you walk a whole countryside day in and day out for 6 weeks. Although I feel totally prepared with gear for rain/even snow, there's an anticipation and something my husband calls 'obsessed', which I can't help. neither can Pat nor Cynthia who will join us the last 12 days.

but in reading this post, regarding the rain gear questions, we had a bit of rain the last time - really quite a lot for about 4 days. Our rain suits sweated and we were soaked the first day from that which was really annoying, but the second day we bought ponchos (in carrion de los condes) and took off the rain pants and let the bottom of our pants get wet and wore my raincoat under the poncho, with the zipper mostly open & the underarm zippers open and we were dry as could be. we were really happy to have the raincoats at the end of the day when we went out & did still use them.
(I have some rain pants this time but they are loose fitting instead of tight against my clothes & zippers that open for real air circulation and for wind protection)

so for me, for wet weather this time, it's capilene long underwear, warm fleece, rain jacket that has lots of zippers that will be open under the poncho & rain pants that I can zip the tops part way down using only the snap at top to keep the pants up! if it gets really warm walking the layers come off starting with the jacket.

are any of you walking near the 13th or 14th? I hope to see some of you there
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Veteran Member
Suzanne...welcome to the Class of 2008!

As you can see by looking at the calendar at the bottom of the page...there's quite a number of peregrinos leaving on or about the dates you've mentioned. I arrive in Madrid on the 13th, metro to the train to Pamplona that day, hopefully bus to R'valles at 1800 and then taxi to SJPDP.

If all goes will...I'll begin my Camino on the 14th. I too have a snow fetish...I love snow, but an seriously considering having the pilgrim office in SJ call up to Orisson and book a room for the night...then press on to R'valles the next day.

How exciting we all are at this moment.

Buen "let it snow, let it snow...let it snow" Camino


New Member
Re: Pre- departure nerves! Class of 2008

Hi Arn,
I see from the calendar we will most likely leave the same day . I haven't heard anywhere if it will be possible to go over the mountain. I think we might not know until we get there and I'm fine with walking around if need be - snow on the ground is not a bother at all if you can see the path and markers, but maybe a few feet underfoot would be an issue, as I don't plan to bring snowshoes (ha ha)

I emailed the photos of the guy digging out his car & the pilgrim looking on to my daughter, who walked it with me in 2003 and she emailed back " looks like fun!!! did you take into account the weight of your snow shovel when you were planning? ... I emailed back ' Damn! I completely forgot about adding in a snow shovel! (and plan to forget it)

Pat and I are meeting in the Madrid Airport, on the 12th/saturday. We have a flight to san sebastian where it is easy with bus/train to get over to sjpd, I think even a taxi to biarritz or bayonne is not a bad idea. We'll decide when we arrive on the 12th whether we will walk the 13th or 14th. we both fly from the west coast/usa California & portland OR so it's a very long travel day for both of us, something like 19 hours with all the changes of planes etc.

Once we start walking we'll be just fine - we plan to keep it to 12-15 km days for the first 3-5 days so we break in easily. we didn't do that the last time and got aches/pains and blisters that we wouldn't have gotten if we hadn't tried to push it so early on. We both are walking with our packs on about 5 mi a day now which should familiarize the muscles with the weight.

See you on the path!

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Time of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Dear People
Don´t be nervous. Just step out, and let the Camino do its thing.
If you get really stuck or desperate or you´re in despair, there´s a number you can call for an English-speaking person who will either sympathise and help you figure it all out, or maybe will tell you to "pull up your socks and get on widdit," or maybe come out to where you are and bring you home with him for dinner, depending on his mood.

His name is Patrick, he is English, and he lives on the Camino. He does this all the time. His number is 664 539 188. (He´s my husband.) And we´re totally donativo, don´t you know!



<making note of that number in readiness for September>

I had my first 'anxiety' dream about the Camino last night. You can imagine the kind of thing, a HUGE backpack filled with all kinds of unnecessary items and nothing useful at all. Is this connected with the fact that I'm currently moving house and having to make major life decisions? :D


New Member
...have a snow fetish...

I agree with You about snow. I really look forward to find in on the camino. I miss it badly because I live in London and here snow is a big event. I haven't seen winter for 4 years.
I'm not scared about bad weather because before I leave SJPDP I'll check weather forecast. I do recommend it to all of You. Mountains are beautiful but they can take their toll.
When You're there it is better to listen to the locals. They know mountains better then any of the internet services.
But despite late winter attacks the spring is coming so leave Your scarfs at home.
See you soon
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
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