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walking the camino in april

Camino(s) past & future
camino francés 2008, Via de la Plata March-april 2016
#1
I am planning to walk the camino frances for the first time next year. I read many reports of how crowded the route is becoming, with unseemly rushes to get to the refugio in time I was planning to commence first week of april and finish early may. Any comments or experiences of those who have walked at this time would be very welcome. thanks to you all. jennifer
 

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Minkey

Active Member
#2
There are certain times when it's busier due to people's circumstances... Hence the build up in May, I guess. Or that's how some people have suggested, anyway. I think you'll be ok, but the weather won't be particularly nice. I always head off at roughly the same time of year - August, which most people see as being slightly mad, but it works for me.
 
Camino(s) past & future
camino francés 2008, Via de la Plata March-april 2016
#3
THanks Minkey

have you also walked the via de la plata? perhaps this might be preferable, or is the scenery less inspiring.

Jennifer
 

Minkey

Active Member
#4
The Via de la Plata is meant to be a hell of a walk. I think after thsi year's Camino Frances, I'll be trying out the Northern Route... That might be worth a look, too.
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
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
April camino

The only problem with an early April walk is that one never know what the weather will be like in spring.
Two years ago pilgrims were caught in snow blizzards, heavy rains and flooding - one gave up after reaching Burgos because she couldn't see the arrows, couldn't stand the cold and the wind and rain anymore and took a train to Santiago.
It has been the same this year. On the 10th April an English hiker died after being caught in a blizzard crossing from St Jean to Roncesvalles. A group of three Italian hikers were rescued on the same day and one of our Forum members lost his way and it took him 16 hours to reach Roncesvalles. He suffered frost bite on fingers and toes and had give to up his walk and go home to Canada.
It could be a beautiful spring! It is up to the pilgrim to decide whether it is worth taking that chance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
camino francés 2008, Via de la Plata March-april 2016
#7
well, blizzards certainly sounds rather offputting! is the northern route one of you mention likely to be similarly afflicted?
 

Minkey

Active Member
#8
What Sil says makes sense, but I wouldn't be scared of the Route Napoleon.... It should be respected, rather than feared.
 
#9
I walked during the last 10 days of April and the first 10 days of May last year and was fortunate - almost no rain, mornings started cold but warmed up quickly by sunshine; occasional muddy paths but mainly hard - and beds available in albergues almost everywhere even after 6pm
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#10
spursfan said:
I walked during the last 10 days of April and the first 10 days of May last year and was fortunate - almost no rain, mornings started cold but warmed up quickly by sunshine;
Ahhh yes..... but I was nearby in France last year, and I can tell you that after mid-May the weather deteriorated again and there were severe storms! The weather had been so lovely in France in early May that I decided it was time to buy a bike for my cycle tour. The weather then promptly deteriorated, and I needed to wait it out a few days before beginning. So spring really can be quite unpredictable and changeable.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#11
Jennifer, after all of the above, a viable option: check out the Camino Portugues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqors2BXaB4 You can start it in Galicia or as far south in Portugal as u want. April in Portugal is something else...There's a growing infrastructure of albergues and I understand it's pretty well signalled, definitely from Ponte de Lima to Santiago, the portion I know. The albergues on the Galician side are excellent. Best, xm 8)
 

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