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Starting in September

mmmdumplings

New Member
I'm considering starting from Le Puy in early September, and continuing on to Santiago. I've heard that the entire journey will take about 2 1/2 to 3 months. I have the time to do it, but I was just wondering if starting in September will leave me walking "too late" on the Camino Frances. These might be obvious questions, but do the albergues on the Camino Frances start to close at a certain time during the year? Or will the weather take a turn for the worst? Or is there anything else I should keep in mind walking the Camino Frances in October?

Any advice or opinions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Katie

(also posted in the Camino Frances forum)
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The weather will become cooler, but that is welcomed by those who have walked on 35 C humid days. Expect rain, but then this year has seen a lot of rain already.

Albergues begin to close at the end of October, but plenty are still open in November. You can ask the hospitalero/a about the places that are open ahead, but the answer may not be very accurate. Many of the internet postings also are wrong. You just need to be flexible. Almost every place I planned to stay last October and November was open. A cell phone will be useful.

Have fun. You will be the somewhat rare through-walker that does the whole thing, but in the Middle Ages, you would have had to walk back, too!
 

Lynn52

New Member
Greetings mmmdumplings & falcon269,
I too am going to walk from Le Puy-en-Velay leaving Sept 1st (I hope) to walk to Santiago and then onto Finistere. I have nearly 3 months but am not going to push it - I want to do the walk and will take as long as it takes, changing my return flights if necessary. I had a difficult time trying to work out how long it would take so just went - whatever! and booked. I am walking at the moment - trying every day to do at least 10kms on pavement/city streets, though 2 days ago I walked about 20kms ... but was tired (not sore!) yesterday lol and had a quiet day.
anyway I am based in Sydney Australia - have no idea re the clothes I will need so am spending lots of time in the trekking equipment shops, currently angsting about sleeping bags. Does anyone recommend a womens sized sleeping bag that packs down real small and weighs next to nothing? and is appropriate for the conditions (that I have no real idea of except to expect rain from falcons post <g>) I have tried looking for average temps and rainfall but the places I look are too localised; on the whole I am thinking of being prepared for conditions from snow to hot! which is sort of broad.

I am incredibly happy to be doing this planning and am looking forward to the walk with some trepidation but overall resolution and contentment.
Lynn
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Hi Lynne,

I found the exofficio long lseeved airstrip shirt wonderful. It protected from sunburn but was quick drying and did not pill from the pack straps. (exofficio is available in Aust. from Paddy Palin)

On the Le Puy path there are a few steep bits and so you may wish to consider hiking poles. I used Pacer Poles which were wonderful. I got mine from a place called backpacking light in Melbourne. Omare form this forum sent me a message last time and said I would need a step ladder to get in and out of Conques! Does that give you the idea?

The One Planet sleeping bags are a fantastic range - and I think they are still made in Australia, although there is a very light weight acrylic one too (Roman).

I have PM'd you, and so if you want more help give a whistle! Enjoy your preparation - your Camino has begun. Cheers, Janet
 

mmmdumplings

New Member
Hi Lynn52,

Right now it looks like I'll be starting the second week in September, but I'd like to start as close to the first as possible. Maybe we'll run into each other and not even know it ;-).

As far as sleeping bags, I can only make one small recommendation - down. I was in a similar position last summer buying a sleeping bag for backpacking. I got all the advice I could, and most people said while it's more expensive than acrylic, down is the way to go. While you have to be careful not to get it wet, down packs lighter than acrylic. I sucked it up and spent the extra cash, and I don't regret it at all. I absolutely love my sleeping bag. It's Northface, and I think it's called Chrysalis.
 

surlechemin

New Member
I used to be an ardent fan of down sleeping bags until I got into contact with fleas and bedbugs in albergues in Spain. Since then I would not recommend anything which can't be washed at 60 °C, because insects die at that temperature. Take care and sleep well :wink:
 

Lynn52

New Member
Thank you all for your replies and for your help. I bought a sleeping bag from Mountain Equipment in the city (Sydney). Its an Exped Sparrow M R. I went with the down fill as you say its lighter, it has a large pocket inside so that I can put things into the bag whilst sleeping and this pocket doubles as its stuff sac - which I discovered by accident. However it came with a separate stuff sac that compressess and is waterproof so I am pleased about that as I understand it is often raining en route.
Two months to go and I am feeling impatient <g> I have bought pants to wear that are super light weight and dry overnight. I am thinking of buying the Mont Longitude jacket as it is light and water proof - anyone tried this rain shell? It has been the most comfortable that I have tried so far but my experience remains limited to what is on the shelves at camping shops.
<g>
Lynn
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
This is a reply for Lynn re sleeping bag. Check out the Roman Palm 1, which you can get through a place called Backpacking Light in Melbourne, just Google it. It costs around 70 dollars and weighs 500 grams, fits into the palm of your hand and is good for temps down to 8 degrees C. If you have thermals you should be fine, in France there are usually blankets anyway.
I suggest you take layers of clothes, thermals, lightweight Merino jumper, fleece jacket and gortex jacket or a capr, that way you can wear some or all of your layers, it can be cold in November, even snow. I would take a windproof fleece hat, the kind that looks like an aviator hat, Kathmandhu have them, they weigh nothing and a pair of lightweight gloves. All the best, Gitti
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
I did the Camino from SJPP to Santiago in April this year but my friend walked it in mid Sept-late Oct 2007 and found that John Brierley's Book on the Camino was good for the practical information it contained re opening of Albergues (& there is a 2009 edition) I found it useful for alternatives in terms of accommodation, it seemed to have more options across a range of price brackets. I used a mixture of accommodation-from hardcore to 3 star and everything in between! Brierley's maps and alternative routes are also good (I wouldn't have diverted to see Eunate, Cana and Suso without his suggestions and in fact they were some of the high points of the journey for me).I think his book has better maps in a lightweight format than any other guides in english that I saw before or during the journey. The French confraternity in SJPP also provided me with a handy A4 sheet which has the parochial and municipal hostals & their details listed including when they are open etc. Walking from Le Puy to SJPP is my next goal so looking forward to your feedback on your Camino. Buen Camino
 

jhawkins

New Member
The Le Puy Route is the best. I've tried most of the others and liked this one so much I am going back again this year. Will leave mid or late September (about the 25th).
My experience is that you will always find a place to stay. If the albergues are closed, someone in the village will help you. People are always helpful, even protective, to pilgrims. Most places (particularly in France) have tourist offices, which are a big help. Also, ask the person in charge of the place you stay to phone ahead for a place for the next night.
There was a lot of snow in Spain last year starting in late November. Rain as well. Not too bad, if you don't mind being miserable. For rain, a poncho might be the best protection, especially one fitted to cover the backpack.
I note that someone mentioned fleas. One hostel in Spain (near Leon) was "closed for fumigation." At a place just west of Cahors (France), one lady displayed what she thought were mosquito bites, though everyone agreed they were bedbugs. Another lady said she carried a spray to fumigate her clothing and sleeping bag.
The best thing to do is relax and treat it all as part of the adventure.
 

Chev.Jerry

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2006
August - September 2017
Lynn,

We (my wife and I) did our Camino in September and jokingly said Camino de Santioago is Spanish for "uphill in the rain." Hurricane Gordan, the first hurricane to hit Spain in 30 years added to this we later learned. A poncho was our choice, and I'd use one again...

As to a sleeping bag, remember you will be sleeping indoors, with 30 or so close friends. We both took fleece sleeping bag liners with silk sleep sheets, and were always comfortable.

Buen Camino,

Jerry
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Hello Lynn.
I am starting a couple of weeks before you on August 15. from Le Puy. I have walked the Camino Frances in Spain twice in the spring. And my problem is how much warm clothes do I have to carry now in August to end October. Do I need a warm jacket or only a light rainjacket for instance?
On my first camino in Spain in mai /june 2005 I froze a lot, coming from the cold country Norway down to the warm south. It only rained for a couple of days, but the albuerges were often cold, and it was often cold when you started early in the mornings, so next time in 2007 I brought lightweigth long underwears and longsleeved shirt to wear at night. Since it rained a lot this time I also used them under my raintrousers and rainjacket. When it rains it might be muddy, so I recommend waterproof gaiters to put over your shoes on bad days. And gloves.
I brought a silk linenbag that weights nothing and I had a very light Norwegian sleepingbag (500g )that I used instead of the carpets in the refugees. I could have managed without the sleepingbag, but I stick to it this year too.
It is always a question of carrying, crocs is as an example very easy secondfootwear. All the other things you put in your bag have to be needed every day to get a place in your backpack. Both times I had to send Lista de Correus packets to Santiago to get my backpack easier to carry.
I wish you a joyful camino. Perhaps you walk me in. I hope to be in Santiago 22.10.09.
Fellow peregrina Randi, 61
 

petethered

New Member
hey all. just figured i would finally write something here. i'm flying into geneva on sept 4th and then taking a few days to hang out before starting on the 8th or so. i'm on a pretty tight budget, so i'm going to mostly camp through france, moving at a pretty good pace. then i get to hang out and relax in spain since it's cheaper there. looking at about 6 1/2 weeks to finisterre, give or take. i've done lots of long distance hiking so this should actually be pretty easy and not rushed for me, so don't get on my case. anyway, i'm sure i'll see at least a few of you out there and i look forward to the good times. vaya con dios

pete
 

Lynn52

New Member
Greetings all and thanks for the replies,
I am still undecided between a gortex (or gortex like) jacket and the rain coat that extends to cover your pack (Janet mentioned it). I am more inclined for the jacket as I dont think the rain coat breathes very well.

I wondered about taking my crocs!! then thought that might be a little too relaxed of me lol I ended up buying a pair of Keens sandals that I can wear in the shower, after my walk or as an alternate whilst walking if I want to wear something light. I wondered about the mud and thought that sandals might actually be better as they are easier to clean off - I dont mind my feet getting covered in mud as long as I can wash it off somewhere (or it flakes off!). I bought midi boots that dry very quickly and are comfortable but am thinking that they may not last the whole walk. I think the vibram soles are good for about 1000kms so I may have to look at buying another pair of shoes/boots en route.

I went with the pacer poles they are so good I am thinking of getting a pair for my aged mum who hates her walker.

25 days to go ..... I have a countdown application on my iphone lol - not that I am likely to lose count. I finish work this week so will have a couple of weeks for those last minute things - like long sleeved light shirts. Its all good!

Plus I bought the forum patch for my backpack - I am going to glue it on with fabric glue and hope it holds. so if you see me out there (probably with a glazed expression on my face) then dont hesitate to say HI!
cyu
Lynn
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
Hi Lynn,

We walked both the Francis and Portuguese Caminos in Merril [Vibram low cuts] with a pair of Echo sandles.
That was around 1200km and we left them on the cliff in Finasterre.We also met many that said Keens were very good.
You must walk the Finasterre section Lynn, its beautiful.
There will be days when the sandles will be all that required and its a great feeling.
If there is one bit of advice that we received and which proved correct in every way was from an elderly Italian pilgrim who had walked from Arles before joing us in St. J;
** Commence like an old man and finish like a young one** He was very , very wise.
Please do short days early.
We normally travel in June and July hoping to witness the Pies at the MCG in Sept.
I think next year we will be there on the Le Puy route next Sept.
Take some newspaper for the wet shoes :lol: and have a wonderful experience .
David
 

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