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Two questions: Packlist and Pamplona

#1
I'll be going from St. Jean to Santiago next July (2006) and August. I've read that it can get cool, but I've also read that it's so hot that you don't need more than the lightest sleeping bag. Most packlists say that you should take a fleece. But, my rainjacket is Gortex and is fairly warm. Should I also take a fleece--is it needed? Did anyone go in the summer and need a fleece to maybe sleep in?

Also, we're going to be in Pamplona for the San Fermin festival. The guidebooks tell you to avoid doing this, but we want to go (and might actually run with the bulls, if we're brave enough.) Will there be room in the refugios? We'll be pilgrims, but are there also a lot of pilgrims there at that time? Also, the Confraternity guide recommends sleeping in the park because the hotels will be full. Is this allowed? Has anyone done this? Thanks.
 

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William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#2
Summer clothes and St Fermin

I'll be going from St. Jean to Santiago next July (2006) and August. Most packlists say that you should take a fleece. But, my rainjacket is Gortex and is fairly warm. Should I also take a fleece--is it needed? Did anyone go in the summer and need a fleece to maybe sleep in?
If you are going in July / August I would definitely not take a heavy Gortex jacket or a heavy fleece for that matter. Perhaps a lightweight fleece and a cape or lightweight waterproof in case of rain.
Low weight and volume are what you are looking for so if you present jacket fits the bill maybe you are right.

Also, we're going to be in Pamplona for the San Fermin festival. Will there be room in the refugios? We'll be pilgrims, but are there also a lot of pilgrims there at that time?
There will be very little room in the refugio in Pamplona if any. The pilgrims to the festival of St Fermin can best be described as revellers, most on the way to Santiago try to avoid that week, and given the crowds there then I don't imagine any one will care where you sleep. If you are going to run with the bulls you will have to find somewhere to stash your pack or with that lot weighing you down the bulls are odds on to get you.

Buen Camino
William
 
#3
From our own experience, no warm rainjacket, Goretex or other, fits the bill at all.

Usually, if it rains it pours, and for hours. Then a rainjacket is poor protection, firstly because it is not long enough and because it will not protect your rucksack. Besides, in summer also in pouring rain you will sweat a lot underneath. Inside rainjackets there is no sufficient ventilation, youŽll be cooked wet inside. And can smell quickly.

And without rain, as can be expected on most days in summer, any rainjacket is a burden all the time.

I can support what William said: Get a cape. Preferably one that is long, has straps for the legs so the wind doesn#t blow it open, and has a bulb on the back to go over the rucksack also. And to wear below that, or without it early in the days before you get warm from walking, fleece is really the best. Light, breathable, washable, and dries over night.

Kerry
 
#4
I agree with Kerryman and William... maybe take a very light fleece or something that will keep you warm and protects you from the rain at the same time.
Also a raincover for your backpack, which might be in your backpack already. :roll: When it's warm you might not even use a rainjacket, for a nice shower while walking (walking itself will probably keep you warm) can be nice as well :D

I know that it can be cold on top of the mountains (for example... O Cebreiro) and Galicea, because of the altitude and rain/damp. Or in the early morning... if you choose to start early to be in the next refugio before +/- 13.00 or 14.00h, so take something to keep you warm or maybe take a longsleeve t-shirt that you can put on over another t-shirt.

Primarilly keep your backpack as light as possible!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#5
why avoid San Fermin?

they tell you to avoid the city during the festival for many reasons, including:

a: the city is packed, even the albergues, even pilgrim accommodations. It's a complete madhouse.

b: The riotous merrymaking goes on for hours and days, there is no sleep to be had unless you, like everyone else around you, are

c: Trashed out of your mind on liquor or ecstasy. I understand San Fermin used to be a really good time, but a hooligan attitude is creeping in with the commercialization and influx of international party animals. So along with the pageantry and human pyramids and bulls, you have folks publicly puking and doing other excretory functions wherever they find themselves. Including/especially the parks. :oops:

d: Because there's no place to bed down, and the parks, doorways, and park benches are covered in passed-out party people, the security of your pack and belongings is a very real concern. I've never seen anyone running with the bulls with a full pack on..maybe you can be the first!

So while I pour on your parade, I'd recommend a day or so in Pamplona for the festival, but I think mixing it with walking the Camino isn't a great idea. I'd do one, or the other, but not both at the same time.

Unless you are the "extreme adventure" type.
Buen camino!
Rebekah
 

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#6
pamplona

I was in pamplona for san fermin in 1998. It is a wonderful fesitval to witness if you stay away from the quarters of the city where the foreigners party - particularly, Im ashamed to admit - the aussies.

If you can be there for the opening ceremony, it really is a sight to see and then get out of town while it gets really out of control. If you can wait until the end of the week it gets really interesting. All of the "imports' have passed out and the working spaniards come into town for their weekend party. The town is full of grandparents and small children all dancing side by side until 4am! we were falling on our feet but were determined to stay awake as long as the toddlers did :)

I think the end of the week was a far more authentic and local experience of an amazing celebration.
 

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