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Public holiday and rest day recommendation please

#1
Hi all

I'm starting my Camino from StJPdP on 25 April. I am going to walk a couple of shorter days to begin with and listen to my body etc - but I estimate I'll be somewhere near Estella on 1 May which is the public holiday.

By all accounts most services close down on the public holiday. I will make this day a rest day so was hoping for some recommendations as to what town would be good to stop in.

I'll be planning another couple of rest days after that so recommendations of good places to hang out would be most welcome too.

Excitement, anxiety, surrender...all part of my journey so far

thanks
Megan
 
#2
good question and I will be interested in the answers as well. In 2001 We got into Pamplonia around the first of May and nothing was open! I really wanted to go to a fountain pen store which was closed all the time we were there! I hope the store is still there... near the hotel Pearl I think... memory going...
 
#3
May 1st , 2007, while a holiday, was also the rainiest day in the camino. That day's stage was from Navarrete to Najera and while crowded, bars and restaurants were open in those small towns. No problem getting breakfast, snacks, lunch or dinner, because theirs are pilgrim oriented businesses. Other stores or those in larger towns might be closed indeed.

Throughout the long holiday weekend you will see lots more new faces in the camino so you might try getting in early or risk not being able to get into the albergues and have to seek alternative accommodations.

Buen camino to all! :arrow:
 
#4
Just to reinforce Lillian's message - two years ago, I too was worried about walking in the meseta on May 1st - but found a food shop in Fromista; so hopefully if there are pilgrims walking then a shop or two will find it worthwhile to open on public holidays
 
#5
Cyd said:
Hi all

I'm starting my Camino from StJPdP on 25 April. I am going to walk a couple of shorter days to begin with and listen to my body etc - but I estimate I'll be somewhere near Estella on 1 May which is the public holiday. By all accounts most services close down on the public holiday. I will make this day a rest day so was hoping for some recommendations as to what town would be good to stop in.

I'll be planning another couple of rest days after that so recommendations of good places to hang out would be most welcome too.
Etella would be a good place if that is where you are going to be.

Other towns possibly suitable for a rest day Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, Astorga, Villafranca.

Buen Camino
William
 

sillydoll

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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:
#6
Hi Megan,
It might seem inconceivable now but you possibly might find that you don't want rest days once you get into the walk! Remember that you will get fitter and fitter as you go - not more and more exhausted.
If you walk short distances and start walking fairly early, you will get to your intended stopping place by mid-day and could have a couple of hours to wait before the refuge opens. This is almost like a rest day and will give you more than enough time to look around at any of the sights.
You could make friends along the way and might be reluctant to say goodbye to them in the morning when they leave to continue.
If you plan a rest day it could mean paying for one or two nights in a hotel. Most albergues only allow you to stay for one night so if you spend one night in an albergue, you will have to leave by 8am to move to a hotel that most likely doesn't allow you into a room until mid-day or after 2pm. Most times you might just decide to carry on walking to the next place.
I would like to recommend a rest day though - on a detour from Burgos to Santo Domingo de Silos to hear the Gregroian Chants. This would be a good rest day. The bus leaves Burgos at at 17h30. You could spend two nights there so that you can attend the evening, morning and afternoon services. The bus leaves Santo Domingo at 8h30 for Burgos. The cloisters at Santo Domingo are rated one of the best Romanesque monuments in Spain and includes Jesus as a pilgrim - well worth the visit.
 

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#7
What a gorgeous photo of Santo Domingo Sil, I love the orange colours. Taking a detour to hear the choir sounds absolutely wonderful. Thanks so much for all your wonderful information. We are so lucky to have you in our forum.
Casi en Camino,
Clarisa
 
#8
Megan, you can take a rest day in Estella quite easily. What I did was spend one night at the Hostal Cristina & then slept in the next day & walked only as far as the Hotel Irache on the outskirts of town (about 8 km from downtown). I was able to spend as much time as I wanted at the monastery there & not rush in the morning.

Other places to have a rest day: Logrono, Burgos, & Leon.

Kelly
 
#9
Don't worrie about the public holiday. It's the same than to be walking a sunday. In the Camino there's a lot of spanish people that goes to the Camino just in this public holidays (as me) because the may, 2nd is a public holiday in Madrid, too.

You can walk exactly the same than any other day. The only problem is that any shops can be closed.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 
#10
May 1st can be a problem in Spain as it is very much a "rest day" for working people. In Zafra where we arrived at mid-day there were not any shops open - butchers, bakers, grocers were all closed. Bars had little more than crisps on offer and the only restaurant we could find was run and staffed by Dutch people. On the other hand in Honderrabia, a seaside resort, we found some shops were open but restaurants in the evening were crowded and were only serving elaborate and expensive meals.
 
#11
Public holidays can be a good time for making progress through big towns. I remember we arrived in Rome on a public holiday when we finished the Via Francigena. The roads were empty the shops were shut and there was hardly anyone about until we got to the tourist centres (they take their public holidays seriosly in Italy). We had a very easy transit through the suburbs and the lack of traffic was great. The only negative, no one to ask the way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#12
May 1 is a good day to see museums and churches, as most all the public monuments are open. We always put together a string of cool places we always wanted to see but always found closed, and voila! A lovely day out. Do a grocery shop the day before and you´ll have no problems.

If you´re in the LaRioja area on May 1, consider swinging just south of Najera, to see the monasteries of Suso and Yuso at San Millan de Cogolla. There´s a big fancy hotel now located in one of the monastery buildings, and (irregular) bus service up to Najera. Or just hitch-hike. It´s easy and common and very safe, and the monastic complex is a knockout.
Don´t worry.
Rebekah
 
#13
knowing me I will only discover that it is May 1st halfway through the day! I tend to lose track of time when traveling and would not at all be surprised to discover that the reason I am having trouble finding things open is that it is a major holiday. Last time I was in Pamplonia for three days and the one shop I really wanted to get into was closed the entire time. Luckly, it was a fountian pen shop and not a grocery! life goes on...
 

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