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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Research about the Camino OFF this website!!

Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
#1
I read a few books about the Camino, watched Six Ways to Santiago and The Way, spent hours doing research on this forum and watched endless Youtube videos.

However, I didn't research the places I was walking through. I've previously noted that Logroño is the heart of the Rioja region and I should have spent a day or two exploring some wineries. I've now discovered where I should have been exploring of an evening!

Calle del Laurel get 4.5 blobs on Tripadvisor from over 3,000 reviews so it must be at least OK. In fact it is rated "very good" or "excellent" by 92% of the reviews. I am going to be in Logroño on the 20th to 22nd November and I'm not going to miss it this time!

My recommendation to people planning their first camino is this:
1. Do all your research on what to stuff your back pack with and what to leave behind.
2. Make the effort to get at least a little bit of exercise in preparation.
3. Learn all you can about blister prevention to ensure your feet don't plague you.
4. Research the best Albergues.
5. Learn all you can about the major towns that you are going through so that you know the places to visit on your way through.
6 Make a point of staying in the major towns/cities for a day or two.
It is the journey that is the point of the exercise, not the destination.

Buen Camino a todos.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#2
I read a few books about the Camino, watched Six Ways to Santiago and The Way, spent hours doing research on this forum and watched endless Youtube videos.

However, I didn't research the places I was walking through. I've previously noted that Logroño is the heart of the Rioja region and I should have spent a day or two exploring some wineries. I've now discovered where I should have been exploring of an evening!

Calle del Laurel get 4.5 blobs on Tripadvisor from over 3,000 reviews so it must be at least OK. In fact it is rated "very good" or "excellent" by 92% of the reviews. I am going to be in Logroño on the 20th to 22nd November and I'm not going to miss it this time!

My recommendation to people planning their first camino is this:
1. Do all your research on what to stuff your back pack with and what to leave behind.
2. Make the effort to get at least a little bit of exercise in preparation.
3. Learn all you can about blister prevention to ensure your feet don't plague you.
4. Research the best Albergues.
5. Learn all you can about the major towns that you are going through so that you know the places to visit on your way through.
6 Make a point of staying in the major towns/cities for a day or two.
It is the journey that is the point of the exercise, not the destination.

Buen Camino a todos.
Remembering always that Tripadvisor can easily be fooled - viz The Shed restaurant in London and the truth here.

Caveat emptor said the Roman Centurion to his friend who was being offered London Bridge at a knock down price!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Astorga (2018)
Frances/Invierno from SJPP (2019)
#3
I agree with most your points except the one about researching the best albergues. It’s a matter of personal preferences of course but I really enjoyed staying wherever I felt I couldn’t go any further that day - sometimes a wonderful surprise and sometimes nothing to write home about. But I liked that feeling of going by the grace of God.

Staying a day or two in big cities was not for me either. I enjoyed the journey and I did take time to smell the roses etc. but I loved the feeling of constantly being in movement so I wouldn’t have enjoyed staying anywhere longer than for a short stop. Again, personal preference! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
#4
Remembering always that Tripadvisor can easily be fooled - viz The Shed restaurant in London and the truth here.
Ha! I’d never seen this about The Shed. Very inventive.;) But I’d have to say that is a big exception, not the rule.

Although there is something to be said for the spontenaety of discovering places along the way more organically, if I’m going to be spending time in a place, I do still look on Trip Advisor as well as the ratings and comments on Google Maps. For hotels, I add Booking to the mix (although I try to book directly with the hotel directly).

All that being said, Calle Laurel IS indeed THE street you want to visit in Logroño. Enjoy the ambiance, tapas and wine!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
#5
I agree with most your points except the one about researching the best albergues. It’s a matter of personal preferences of course but I really enjoyed staying wherever I felt I couldn’t go any further that day - sometimes a wonderful surprise and sometimes nothing to write home about. But I liked that feeling of going by the grace of God.

Staying a day or two in big cities was not for me either. I enjoyed the journey and I did take time to smell the roses etc. but I loved the feeling of constantly being in movement so I wouldn’t have enjoyed staying anywhere longer than for a short stop. Again, personal preference! :)
I met up with a chap in SdC who I'd met up with several times on his camino. He told me that he and his brother had found a decent place to stay in Santiago and took me and my companion to it. He said this place was clean, modern and had welcoming hosts unlike some places he's stayed at en route which he said "Were right dives!".
Others on this forum have commented that they felt insecure and threatened at some albergues. If you're happy to risk it, go for it.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#7
My first Camino was quite spontaneous. I had read some e-guides and webpages and taken some notes, but not in a systematic manner. I basically went to my departing point, followed the yellow arrows, and when I felt tired or the weather was turning to bad, looked for the first albergue that seemed good. Same for restaurants. My equipment was also probably inadequated (I wore jeans and an old leather jacket...).
My next walks were much more organized and planned, and it showed. But in perspective, my first Camino was definitely my best experience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2002/3 and 2004/5)
Camino Ingles. (2008)
Camino Portuguese. (2009)
Camino del Norte (2008 and 2014)
Ruta de la Plata (2004)
Camino Primitivo. (2015)
Camino Mozarabe (2007)
"Tunnel" route (2016)
Camino del Salvador (projected: 2017)
#8
Key advice: prepare to be flexible! Buen Camino . . .
 

rappahannock_rev

Anglican Catholic Priest
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes, Burgos, SdeC 77 (train); Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes, Aragones 18; Meseta 19
#9
I do love Calle Laurel too...the best. But really for me the highlight of Logroño after a couple of visits is View attachment 48935 the Michaelangelo painting in the cathedral. Going to admire it is a pilgrimage in itself.
No argument from me! I am, myself, also very fond of the wonderfully carved porch of the Church of San Bartolome!

Logrono is absolutely the most under appreciated city on the CF.... Very much worth a rest day!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#10
Ha! I’d never seen this about The Shed. Very inventive.;) But I’d have to say that is a big exception, not the rule.

Although there is something to be said for the spontenaety of discovering places along the way more organically, if I’m going to be spending time in a place, I do still look on Trip Advisor as well as the ratings and comments on Google Maps. For hotels, I add Booking to the mix (although I try to book directly with the hotel directly).

All that being said, Calle Laurel IS indeed THE street you want to visit in Logroño. Enjoy the ambiance, tapas and wine!
Once the thing came out into the open the instigator even sent fake versions of himself out to radio and tv interviews.
The trouble with things like Tripadvisor reviews is that they can be skewed so easily. I stayed in the Hostal Fornos in SdC last month - it's clean, convenient (across the Praza de Galicia from the airport bus stop) and has welcoming staff. The kind lady that took my bag in said they were trying to rebuild their score - they'd had a Brazilian couple in who complained about how noisy it was and gave them one star in every category - I wonder how they'd managed in refugios along the Camino?
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#11
"Fake reviews" are in the Camino, too. I have seen many suspicious cases in a popular Spanish Camino forum, Consumer Eroski. They are part of the "albergue wars" that simmer in many villages.
 
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notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#12
I didn't read any books, blogs, websites, didn't watch any videos or films, or TV programmes - 'reality', documentary or otherwise. Didn't research any albergues.

I joined this forum a month before, I can't remember if I posted any questions. I booked an albergue in SJPP by email.

My dad dropped me 15 miles from home to see if my backpack was too heavy.

I didn't take my mobile, didn't make any reservations along the way, stayed in the flat above the veg shop in Santiago.

My journey, my pilgrimage, unclouded and unaffected by prior impressions of anyone else's, and I am so glad.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
#13
Each to their own. To perpare or not to prepare.
In business and in the forces they have an acronym : PPPPPP.
Proper Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance.
My point is if you don't do a bit of preparation you may well be walking within a few yards of something spectacular, staying in a hovel when a palace is next door, eating beans when there are gastronomic delights just a short walk away.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#14
Each to their own. To perpare or not to prepare.
In business and in the forces they have an acronym : PPPPPP.
Proper Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance.
My point is if you don't do a bit of preparation you may well be walking within a few yards of something spectacular, staying in a hovel when a palace is next door, eating beans when there are gastronomic delights just a short walk away.
My feeling is that it's impossible to see absolutely every spectacular site, eat at all the best restaurants, or stay only at the top rated albergues. Honestly, it would drive me crazy trying to see and do everything that I had read about. Sometimes you just can't be in the "right place at the right time", but I've always found that I'm in the right place at the right time for me. And for me, much of the Camino experience is about the people that I meet along the way. I would happily miss a tour of a fabulous cathedral to spend a day enjoying the camaraderie of my fellow pilgrims. In fact, I remember on my first Camino when I wanted to eat at Como Sapiens, a highly rated restaurant in Atapuerca. I couldn't find anyone else who wanted to go there, so I had a not quite gourmet, but thoroughly enjoyable meal with other pilgrims at the bar attached to the albergue. I'll remember their company much longer than a meal alone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#15
I'm a big believer in plenty of planning but separating the planning from the decision-making. The planning helps to inform the decision-making but it isn't all that goes into the decision-making, which I like to leave as late as possible. What I learn when I plan can help enrich my experience. For someone who doesn't want to learn in advance about what they see, for example, the bridge at Orbigo is just an old and very long bridge. For someone who has read up and knows the story of Suero de Quiñones, it means much more.
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do good and good will come to you.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#16
Once the thing came out into the open the instigator even sent fake versions of himself out to radio and tv interviews.
The trouble with things like Tripadvisor reviews is that they can be skewed so easily. I stayed in the Hostal Fornos in SdC last month - it's clean, convenient (across the Praza de Galicia from the airport bus stop) and has welcoming staff. The kind lady that took my bag in said they were trying to rebuild their score - they'd had a Brazilian couple in who complained about how noisy it was and gave them one star in every category - I wonder how they'd managed in refugios along the Camino?
Stayed there early May and a few day's in September. No problems what So ever. 👍🙏
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#17
Finding out some basic information is one thing, living the whole thing vicariously several times over before even setting out seems to me to defeat the object of setting out in the first place. I will not be watching 'The Way' - ever.

you may well be walking within a few yards of something spectacular, staying in a hovel when a palace is next door, eating beans when there are gastronomic delights just a short walk away.
None of these are really the point of a camino, they are characteristics of tourism.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
#18
Finding out some basic information is one thing, living the whole thing vicariously several times over before even setting out seems to me to defeat the object of setting out in the first place. I will not be watching 'The Way' - ever.


None of these are really the point of a camino, they are characteristics of tourism.
Your point of the Camino is not the same as everyones’.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
#19
I'm a big believer in plenty of planning but separating the planning from the decision-making. The planning helps to inform the decision-making but it isn't all that goes into the decision-making, which I like to leave as late as possible. What I learn when I plan can help enrich my experience. For someone who doesn't want to learn in advance about what they see, for example, the bridge at Orbigo is just an old and very long bridge. For someone who has read up and knows the story of Suero de Quiñones, it means much more.
Well done David!! My dear departed Dad used to say, “listen to advice but make your own decisions, because only you know your own true position”. For “advice” insert “research” and you have the same scenario.
Putting a man on the moon was a whim of Kennedy’s but the Americans didnt get there without planning and research.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#20
Well done David!! My dear departed Dad used to say, “listen to advice but make your own decisions, because only you know your own true position”. For “advice” insert “research” and you have the same scenario.
Putting a man on the moon was a whim of Kennedy’s but the Americans didnt get there without planning and research.
Plans are just advice from earlier me. :)
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#21
Finding out some basic information is one thing, living the whole thing vicariously several times over before even setting out seems to me to defeat the object of setting out in the first place. I will not be watching 'The Way' - ever..
Actually, you can see this movie. It is only slightly related to the real Camino experience.
Good lanscapes and views of buildings and bridges, on the other side. And an entertaining story, too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#23
Finding out some basic information is one thing, living the whole thing vicariously several times over before even setting out seems to me to defeat the object of setting out in the first place. I will not be watching 'The Way' - ever.
....
None of these are really the point of a camino, they are characteristics of tourism.
You never *really* know the object of setting out until you've actually completed the Camino. :)

If living the whole thing vicariously before setting out defeats the object of setting out, how much more so would living the whole thing personally in real life several times before setting out. Yet you will find many people here on this forum who have walked the Camino many times. Clearly, having done the Camino many times doesn't defeat the object of doing one. I don't see how watching others do the Camino and sharing their experience would, either.

As to what is really the point of a camino, I expect it is different for everyone. For some, it may share some characteristics with tourism. For example, tourism can take one away from one's regular life and concerns and routines. For many, that is one of the points of a camino.

None of this is to say that what notion900 has written isn't right for them. I just don't think it is right for everyone. These are just my opinions. Everyone walks their own camino and yours may be different.
 
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craigmiller

Senior Walker
Camino(s) past & future
2012: Astorga to Palas de Rei
2013: SJPP to Burgos
2014: Burgos to Astorga/Palas to Santiago
2015: Camino Aragones
2016: Muxia/Finisterra
#24
Each to their own. To perpare or not to prepare.
In business and in the forces they have an acronym : PPPPPP.
Proper Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance.
I suppose PPPPPP works well if you're on a military campaign.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
#25
It doesn't matter what you're doing, "If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail." Benjamin Franklin.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#27
Like I said, each to their own. Sleep in a hovel and good luck to you.
I have slept in some rather "rustic" places, and had a great time because of the people that I was with. I have also stayed at some of the best places and felt lonely because there weren't any other pilgrims around.
 

Raggy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
#29
I suppose PPPPPP works well if you're on a military campaign.
I expect so. But I believe that military leaders, like pilgrims, need to avoid analysis paralysis; George Patton is supposed to have said "A good plan implemented today, is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow." And, like pilgrims, they need to be ready to adapt to unforeseen events; Helmuth van Moltke observed that “No plan survives first contact with the enemy."
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#30
There are many incredible regional restaurants, hard to research them but well worth the time if you are a foodie. If you are into wine do a little research about the diversity of the regions you will be walking through, there is no reason to be ordering a rioja when you are in alberhino territory.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#32
I understand that for first-time walkers, it is all about getting to Santiago. But to ignore the great cultural history of Spain and the Camino? Including gastronomy and wine, as well as the Michaelangelo at Logroño and the Pantheon at Léon? If wanting to know about those and to see them makes me a tourist, then it is a badge I am happy to wear.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
#34
Having visited Laurel Calle a couple or more times whislt in Logroño I can heartily recommend it to tourists passing through. The street isn't massively long or wide but what it does have is wall to wall tapas bars each with there own special offering.
One bar we went to sold no food other than mushrooms served with a basket of bread. Absolutely gorgeous, they looked like thin slices of beef when cooked. We watched the chef appear behind the bar with a huge serving dish piled about 18 inches high with white mushrooms which he spread over the grill plate, sprinkled them with olive oil and then dropped the top plate down on them.
Another bar has an order pad on the bar and the sole bloke behind the bar is run ragged serving wine and beers whilst also serving prepared tapas and passing on the hot tapas orders to the kitchen staff. The place is packed!
Another treat is 6 inch strips of pork scratchings with pork left on them. Very tasty and finger lickin' good.
Seriously, if you are planning your Camino a trip down Calle Laurel is something special.
If you ask for Vino del Año you'll get this year's wine for about 1€ a glass but it is worth looking at the chalk boards for what other wines are on offer. Don't just ask for a vino tinto, most of the decent wines on offer will be crianzas.
A crianza is wine aged for at least two years, at least one of which was in oak. Rioja Reserva is aged for at least three years, of which at least one year is in oak. Finally, Rioja Gran Reserva wines have been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle.
 

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