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Starting May 14 in SJPDP. The Final Countdown :)


New Member
Hi everyone,

I'm starting my Camino walk on May 14 in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. Ten more days to go, and I'm getting pretty nervous... :oops:

I have the impression that everyone is well-prepared, but me. So far, I just booked the tickets to get there and to return, my backpack (Highpeak Dean 75), a hat, walking shoes from Lidl (Mounty OutdoorWear - don't know if they are good quality, they only costed me € 14,99), 2 walking sticks, some dry camp food and sport socks.

Tomorrow I'm gonna try to buy a good sleeping bag at Decathlon. Think that will put me back for another 50 to 100 euros.

I used to think walking was the cheapest sport there is, now I think differently :D

Anyway, it's my first camino and also, it's my first holiday alone... Last years when I camped, it was always with some buddies, but now I'm going for it on my own. Hope I will meet some pilgrims to chat with.

Are there other people who will also start around the middle of May in SJPDP? Love to hear from you.
You can always add me on msn: donjohn004@hotmail.com :D

I'm from Leuven, Belgium.

Buen camino everyone :wink:


New Member
Hey there Don John!

I'm trying to organise my first pilgrimage too! Definately not easy to plan as a 'spur of the moment' adventure heheh. But I will get there! and I'm hoping to be there around mid may as well. Maybe we could swap preparation notes... where are you planning to leave from and for how long are you going?



I have the impression that everyone is well-prepared, but me.
:lol: Sounds that u r better prepared than a lot of people, definitely more than me, donjohn :!: Think of whatever it is u buy towards ur Camino as an investment that u may utilize at home in future walks, trekking, etc. And definitely in more Caminos, peregrino, bec u may not know it yet, assuming that this is ur first Camino adventure, u will be, if not already, hooked :!: Best, xm 8)


New Member
Thanks for your lovely replies, Mac and XM.

I already feel welcomed by all these sweet people here on this forum, even before I started my walk. :D

@Mac: I'm going from Brussels South to Bordeaux with the TGV on Monday the 14th of May, and from there to Bayonne. Arrived in Bayonne, I'll take the stop train to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

I didn't manage to make a reservation on that final train ride, guess I'll just have to buy a ticket in Bayonne :D

Where are you from in Scotland? Are you starting from there?
Hope to see you somewhere in SJPDP in 10 days :wink:

good luck donjohn :)

and if the nerves get too much before departure send me a pm and maybe we can meet. I'm from antwerp and have done multiple camino's over the last 10yrs...i can ease your mind for the price of a beer ;)


I didn't manage to make a reservation on that final train ride, ...buy a ticket in Bayonne

I've never had a problem in getting a ticket, in fact it's been almost empty the times I've taken it. Best, xm


New Member
Okay, I'll just get the train in Bayonne then.
I think I'm worrying too much, I just should enjoy the experience :wink:

I'm still not sure about the shoes though. Everybody recommends hiking shoes when you go on the camino. But I tried to walk them in for the last 2 weeks, but still can't get used to them :( They feel so "heavy" on my feet, it takes me more energy to walk with them than with my ordinary basket sneakers.

I know that it's better for your heels that you wear "proper" shoes, but I can't help but feel more comfortable in my ordinary Rucanors. They fit perfectly and I can do evertything in them: walking, dancing, running, ...

I don't know what to do know... I heard of several people who walked in their sandals (of which I will also bring a pair). If they can do it on their sandals, I feel that I can walk the 800km on my sneakers :D

Agree or disagree ?


feel that I can walk the 800km on my sneakers
I say do it, donjohn, trust the voice inside. If it doesn't work, u'll know what to do when/if that happens. Best, xm 8)


Active Member
donjohn said:
If they can do it on their sandals, I feel that I can walk the 800km on my sneakers :D

Agree or disagree ?
Have you done a test walk of about 25 km in your sneakers?

And don't use heavy hiking boots! They're for the mountains. There are light weight, medium-high hiking boots and I just love them. They also stabilize your ankles (unlike sneakers). Might come in handy.


Active Member
I say boots. Lightweight boots, but boots all the same.

Sandals? I've seen many a mashed up foot walking in sandals and "normal" shoes. Walking boots/shoes were invented for a reason.
You're probably right.

I'll try to walk the camino on the hiking shoes I just bought at Lidl. I keep them constantly on now, so that they can adjust to my feet, and my feet to them :D

I just have one more question to the experienced hikers. I saw a water thermos for hikers at Decathlon to keep water fresh. It's very light-weighted and handy. Should I get it, because water warms up easily, esp during warmer days, doesn't it ?

Or is fresh, cold water plentiful during the Camino?

Thanks again for your help.


Or is fresh, cold water plentiful during the Camino?
I like to take one or two 0.9 FL oz, disposable, water bottle(s) with me. They can be re-filled in drinking water fountains, specially in Galicia, and don't weigh too much. Best, xm 8)
I wouldn't spend this money.

I would buy one 1,5 litres bottle in any petrol station. It's very cheap, easy to carry, soft-plastic made and it's easy to remain it fresh ... into your esterilla.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martín
Madrid, Spain
Well, the time has come...
I can hardly believe that tomorrow evening I will be in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port :shock:

I'm getting pretty nervous now.
Will I get to know people or do I have to stay alone all the time? :(
Will I have serious medical problems during my trip?
Do I have the mental power to reach at least Léon ?
etc ...

All these questions, but first of all that I have to make sure I catch my train to Bordeaux at 7.30 am in Brussels. Otherwise, the camino adventure already ends here :lol:

Hope I will see some of you tomorrow, or later on the Camino...
When you see an unexperienced boy mumbling why on earth he did this to himself, that's me :D


Active Member
Buen Camino!

Re plastic water bottles, I'll have a 1 lt Sigg bottle and 1 half lt plastic bottle, but may use my camelbak as I have it for mountain biking...


Active Member
Buen camino.

Once you hit the road the nervouness goes away and you need all your energy and concentration to get to Roncevaux. I wish you a lot of sun, no rain, no heat. Just watch and listen to the flight of the vultures on your way up.
Hey you all,

Thanks for your sweet words, they're really helpful right now. It takes away a bit of my nervousness, but as you said that's all part of the camino experience :wink:
I guess I'll just try to enjoy it as much as I can. Even as soon as I slam the door of my house behind me.

Big hug to everyone!!
You were really helpful in preparing my journey. Don't know what I would have done without the sweet angels on this forum...

From tomorrow on, we'll try to put everything into practice :D

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