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how to successfully prepare for your Camino
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When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears

Whatever, I’m going

Past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
No Camino last year. Last time was a November jaunt from Leon to Santiago in 2019… just before the shit hit the fan.

I fly into Madrid and then on to Irun. resos for the first couple of nights…

Vaccinated. Pfizer. 2 shots.

scared. A little.

Norte and then the Francés. I’ve never been in Spain for more than 3 weeks. This time it’s 9 weeks or so.

Scared. A little.
 
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Suzanne S.

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2015) Camino Frances/Muxia/Fisterre (2017) Caminho Portuguese/Fisterre
(2019) Camino del Norte
Damien, I did the Norte from Irun in September 2019. Six weeks. It was wonderful.

I'm from CA too and will be following your progress if you wish to keep us informed.

That said, I hear you. I'm vaccinated also and I'd be scared, a little, too, if I were going now.

Buen Camino,

Suzanne
 
When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears
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Past OR future Camino
Frances, April, 2016
Frances: SJPP to Ponferrada April & October, 2017
Le Puy 2018/19
No Camino last year. Last time was a November jaunt from Leon to Santiago in 2019… just before the shit hit the fan.

I fly into Madrid and then on to Irun. resos for the first couple of nights…

Vaccinated. Pfizer. 2 shots.

scared. A little.

Norte and then the Francés. I’ve never been in Spain for more than 3 weeks. This time it’s 9 weeks or so.

Scared. A little.
Wishing you - and all pilgrims venturing forth these days - a Buen Camino. Be well.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
No Camino last year. Last time was a November jaunt from Leon to Santiago in 2019… just before the shit hit the fan.

I fly into Madrid and then on to Irun. resos for the first couple of nights…

Vaccinated. Pfizer. 2 shots.

scared. A little.

Norte and then the Francés. I’ve never been in Spain for more than 3 weeks. This time it’s 9 weeks or so.

Scared. A little.
If your being a little scared produces additional caution and paying attention more closely, you will be fine. Relax, enjoy your Camino, and follow the lead the locals set. If they are distancing, you distance - 1.5 meters is the rule there. If they are masking - you wear a mask.

Personally, at home I use one of those nylon cords that you might use for hanging a pair of eyeglasses on your chest. Available on Amazon or in your local Dollar Store, etc. They work like a charm.

This way, everyone you approach can see that I have a mask at the ready. It also suggests to others that I am prepared to wear it. It beats having to rummage through your pockets only to find that your last mask dropped out along the senda some km back. I stash all the extra masks in a one quart / liter ziplock bag.

If you fold over the bag and squeeze the air out, it rides in one of my pants cargo pockets. This way, they are ALWAYS with me. I can also give one to another pilgrim who might need one.

Also, have a small bottle of hand gel ready at all times. I try to buy the small bottles with the silicone hanger loops - they are very convenient. You can purchase more gel and masks in any farmacia. Refill the small, hanging bottle form a larger bottle. You might be able to top-off at an albergue or hostal, without having to buy a large bottle. Just squirt the gel into your tiny bottle.

Go along to get along. Bring a sleeping bag or some sort of sleep sack so you do not need to use albergue blankets - even if they are available. Many places will provide or sell plastic sealed single-use, disposable sheets and pillow cases. You can choose to be eco-noble and rough it with your own sleep tools, or opt to have the thin disposable sheets.

This is all a situation where common sense and thinking ahead a little should be the rule for anyone on Camino for the foreseeable future. I do not plan to head out on the trail until next spring, 2022. But, I am assuming that these precautions will still be in place then.

We ought not be fearful, neurotic or obsessive. Just some basic precautions and following the lead of the locals should do it. Remember to be polite to everyone you meet. A smile, and always saying "please" and "thank you" go a long way to melting barriers, especially in these tense times. Learning a bit of basic Spanish would not go wrong either.

I leave for Spain on 1 September, to volunteer in the Pilgrim Office for a few weeks. Right now I am trying to get a third Moderna, COVID booster vaccination to add some top-off protection as I will be mingling with arriving pilgrims. The risk goes with the job. The job is my passion. I am not afraid - but I AM cautious.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
September 1, 2017
No Camino last year. Last time was a November jaunt from Leon to Santiago in 2019… just before the shit hit the fan.

I fly into Madrid and then on to Irun. resos for the first couple of nights…

Vaccinated. Pfizer. 2 shots.

scared. A little.

Norte and then the Francés. I’ve never been in Spain for more than 3 weeks. This time it’s 9 weeks or so.

Scared. A little.
Hi there, no what you mean, I had been planning and cancelling three times but this time fully vaccinated and taking a chance. Flying out August 30th from Paris to Bayonne then on to SJPDP and walking to Santiago but taking it slow this time because being so pent up for so long I want to enjoy every moment of this camino! When we get to Santiago we will then take a train to Ferrol and walk the Camino Ingles. But I know how you feel, I guess if we take all the precautions as we do at home we will be safe. On the trails you can't be any safer then that! Well have a great safe journey...Buen Camino!!
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I shall be leaving Sept. 9 and walking the Levante, VdlP, Sanabres to Santiago, largely staying in private accommodation, except when an albergue is all there is. As I could not walk last year, I am trying to make up for it, like @Damien Reynolds , by doing two years worth, this year.
 

Kalimera

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
No Camino last year. Last time was a November jaunt from Leon to Santiago in 2019… just before the shit hit the fan.

I fly into Madrid and then on to Irun. resos for the first couple of nights…

Vaccinated. Pfizer. 2 shots.

scared. A little.

Norte and then the Francés. I’ve never been in Spain for more than 3 weeks. This time it’s 9 weeks or so.

Scared. A little.
I get it!!! These are uncertain times, especially if it is about COVID. Forgive me, but is it about COVID? If so, some family members have gone through it, one with a heart condition.
Perhaps a quick consultation with your doctor may ease your mind. Having travelled extensively throughout remote areas of the globe, my doctor always prescribes preventative antibiotics, medicines etc.
We all have fears. This is the desire of your heart. YOU ARE BRAVE!!
I look forward to the pics you will post. Buen Camino😊
Oh yes, I start my 1st Camino in October…….
 

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Past OR future Camino
2022
The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest fear is fear of the unknown. H.P. Lovecraft

Feeling a bit scared, check.
Situationally aware, check.
Trust in yourself, and don't be a lemming, check.
Meds prescribed by doctor just in case, check.
Have an exit strategy if needed, check.

¡La paz sea contigo en el Camino! 👣 :D :cool:
 

Famcser

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
No Camino last year. Last time was a November jaunt from Leon to Santiago in 2019… just before the shit hit the fan.

I fly into Madrid and then on to Irun. resos for the first couple of nights…

Vaccinated. Pfizer. 2 shots.

scared. A little.

Norte and then the Francés. I’ve never been in Spain for more than 3 weeks. This time it’s 9 weeks or so.

Scared. A little.
We are leaving in two weeks for the Norte as well. Fully vaccinated with Pfizer.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances (July 2016), Primitivo (July 2018), Portuguese (March 2019)
No Camino last year. Last time was a November jaunt from Leon to Santiago in 2019… just before the shit hit the fan.

I fly into Madrid and then on to Irun. resos for the first couple of nights…

Vaccinated. Pfizer. 2 shots.

scared. A little.

Norte and then the Francés. I’ve never been in Spain for more than 3 weeks. This time it’s 9 weeks or so.

Scared. A little.
Hi, just got back from walking the Inglés then to Fistera via Muxia. Don’t fret about COVID, fully vaccinated, you’re incredibly unlikely to become seriously ill even if you do pick up the virus and that in itself is extremely unlikely. Accommodation as always is likely to be your overriding concern and you’ll probably find booking ahead occasionally useful. You’ll find masks in use absolutely everywhere but the people are as warm as ever. You’ll have a fantastic time. Good luck.
 
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A Quest of St. James, Tommy Ray, Book Cover, Image
Come follow the vivid imagery of this life-changing adventure.

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
No Camino last year. Last time was a November jaunt from Leon to Santiago in 2019… just before the shit hit the fan.

I fly into Madrid and then on to Irun. resos for the first couple of nights…

Vaccinated. Pfizer. 2 shots.

scared. A little.

Norte and then the Francés. I’ve never been in Spain for more than 3 weeks. This time it’s 9 weeks or so.

Scared. A little.
Relax and enjoy.
You say you are staying in Spain for 90 days or so. Please check this out about the 90 day maximum limit.


I have heard that if you stay longer it can cause you problems if you want to come again. So check out the website.
Remember for Ice Cream in San Sebastian - Gelateria Boulevard. The highlight of your camino!
Great Camino as you know. Buen Camino
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Buen camino, Damien! When are you leaving?

I just saw that 90% of the Spanish population over 40 is completely vaccinated. A camino buddy who is in his 20s and lives in Barcelona has already had his first shot. Given the percentages of the population getting vaccinated, you might be safer to stay in Spain for more than 9 weeks than to come back where the rates are much lower and the case counts going in the opposite direction than they are in Spain!

It’s a tough personal decision, but I am taking a lot of comfort from the many live reports I am reading here on the forum and from friends in Spain. I hope to head out in less than 4 weeks!
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
No Camino last year. Last time was a November jaunt from Leon to Santiago in 2019… just before the shit hit the fan.

I fly into Madrid and then on to Irun. resos for the first couple of nights…

Vaccinated. Pfizer. 2 shots.

scared. A little.

Norte and then the Francés. I’ve never been in Spain for more than 3 weeks. This time it’s 9 weeks or so.

Scared. A little.
No fear. Am 72 will do my sixth Camino in mid September for 8 weeks Irun to Santiago
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I just saw that 90% of the Spanish population over 40 is completely vaccinated. A camino buddy who is in his 20s and lives in Barcelona has already had his first shot. Given the percentages of the population getting vaccinated, you might be safer to stay in Spain for more than 9 weeks than to come back where the rates are much lower and the case counts going in the opposite direction than they are in Spain!
I'm thinking the same thing. My county recorded the highest daily number of cases on Thursday. We are less than 50% vaccinated here. 😢
 
A Quest of St. James, Tommy Ray, Book Cover, Image
Come follow the vivid imagery of this life-changing adventure.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Past OR future Camino
Frances, April, 2016
Frances: SJPP to Ponferrada April & October, 2017
Le Puy 2018/19
I will take my time to enjoy this Camino unlike many who just ran through the path. You’ll be way ahead of me !!! Enjoy
Well, perhaps. I won’t be running either. I’m more of a saunterer these days. One never knows what the Camino might have in mind. Buen Camino!
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
Well, perhaps. I won’t be running either. I’m more of a saunterer these days. One never knows what the Camino might have in mind. Buen Camino!
As we know the Camino has a mind of its own! In spring of 2018 I flew to Lisbon from PNW USA and started my walk to Fatima and Santiago. After 22!days on. The road I got up and walk 10 ks and my ankle was hurting I kept on then it became impossible . I walk through a tiny village and ask for a ride. They were extremely nice drive me to next town and I took a bus to Porto and flew back home unable to walk. My first ever aborted walk in 50 years if wandering. Not bad. The reason was. I bought a new pair of untested hiking boots. Not a good quality. Never again. I healed in a month and went back to Porto and finished to finistere
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances, April, 2016
Frances: SJPP to Ponferrada April & October, 2017
Le Puy 2018/19
As we know the Camino has a mind of its own! In spring of 2018 I flew to Lisbon from PNW USA and started my walk to Fatima and Santiago. After 22!days on. The road I got up and walk 10 ks and my ankle was hurting I kept on then it became impossible . I walk through a tiny village and ask for a ride. They were extremely nice drive me to next town and I took a bus to Porto and flew back home unable to walk. My first ever aborted walk in 50 years if wandering. Not bad. The reason was. I bought a new pair of untested hiking boots. Not a good quality. Never again. I healed in a month and went back to Porto and finished to finistere
Sorry to hear about the bad boots. As a kid, my Scoutmaster impressed upon me the need for good, tried and true hiking boots (it was boots back then, no hiking shoes). I’ve stuck with REI and, for the past 10 years, Merrill hiking shoes since those days.
I don’t know why the kindnesses I have encountered, and been on the receiving end of, along the Camino continue to surprise me. Maybe I’m not as surprised as I am heartened, but I am glad to hear your difficult experience was somewhat lessened by the help of folks along the ways.
Perhaps I’ll be sauntering ahead of you or, who knows, behind you along the Norte. In any event, I’ll be wishing you good health and happy walking. Is it too much to ask for some nice weather too? Maybe, but I’m hoping anyway. :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
No Camino last year. Last time was a November jaunt from Leon to Santiago in 2019… just before the shit hit the fan.

I fly into Madrid and then on to Irun. resos for the first couple of nights…

Vaccinated. Pfizer. 2 shots.

scared. A little.

Norte and then the Francés. I’ve never been in Spain for more than 3 weeks. This time it’s 9 weeks or so.

Scared. A little.
Don’t know about you but I’m always scared - a little - before any Camino.
This year was much worse of course because of all the scares, difficulties and especially uncertainties.
I had a wonderful Camino, if a bit different! I hope it is the same for you. 🙂
 

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