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Winter Camino...

#1
Even though my next Camino is still waiting ahead (September) I am already thinking about the next one...

I now have a winter Camino in my mind... I remember seeing a foto of Gareth Thomas in the snow on the Camino in a posting somewhere here... And I now believe I would like to do a winter camino too... (may be I'll make it a christmas camino?) - I am sure it will be VERY different.
 

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:
#2
Annette - how wonderful to be planning another pilgrimage!

In December 2007 a member of this forum walked from 27th December. You can find posts by doing a search for Magnara

Sue Kenny walked in winter - she loves getting requests for info from pilgrims: http://www.suekenney.ca/

The CSJ UK has an interesting paper by Alison Raju on her winter pilgrimage.
http://www.csj.org.uk/bull-arts/a-raju-art.htm

Blogs for a winter pilgrims:
http://gilliandavid.blogspot.com/2008/0 ... lways.html
http://mscamino.blogspot.com/


This list was posted by a pilgrim who walked in December:

Winter Camino: 20 tips
1. You don’t need a lot of clothes, but the ones you have need to be very functional. (I like ultra fine merino wool, my husband likes hi tech synthetics)
2. Two full outfits plus jacket, gloves and headband is enough. Use one for day (if you get sweaty there aren’t many people around to be bothered by it) and one for evening after your shower. This minimizes washing – you can wear them for days.
3. Walking makes you warm, even in the winter.
4. A twisted elastic travel washing line is invaluable. After you wring out your washing roll it in a towel to get more moisture out.
5. Heaters are mostly turned off during the night – get your socks on it as early as possible, and hang your line close to it.
6. Between Christmas and 6 January lots of places are closed. Don’t count on finding bars open in villages to have a coffee or buy food during the day. More things open up after 7 January.
7. If you are on a tight budget, plan to arrive in time to hunt for open albergues. There are usually hostals or rooms for rent but they will sharply escalate your expenditure. You may need to walk on to the next town.
8. However if there is accommodation, there are always plenty of vacancies! We always found a bed.
9. Newspaper stuffed in your boots will dry them out.
10. No need for sunglasses.
11. Learn some basic Spanish. You can go days without finding anyone to speak any English, and there are no other pilgrims to help you out.
12. The solitude is wonderful, you have it all to yourself.
13. Chocolate is great.
14. The hours of darkness are very long, and the evenings are too cold and dark for sightseeing. Take something light to amuse yourself, such as a pack of cards, crossword book, sudoku etc.
15. The bleak winter landscape is very beautiful.
16. Change your socks in the middle of the day. Soft, warm, no blisters…lovely!
17. A good attitude makes it a fantastic adventure.
18. Walking in snow makes you feel so tough.
19. A glass of wine never tasted so good.
20. Did I say chocolate is great?

If you would like a copy of a winter pilgrim's diary, please mail me off forum and I will send it with pleasure.
 
#3
Sil,

Thanks, this is still just ONLY on my mind though.
I have been trekking for more than 15 years... also in the snow, on different routes though and in groups so I am already familiar with winterhiking... I've just never done a winter Camino before...

If I go in the winter I will let the forum here know... (and ask the questions that might come) no doubt about it... and I am sure it will also be posted on my own website...
 

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:
#4
It is a pleasure.
Christmas is only five months away so it will be good to dream about it now!
 
#5
Annette,

I've walked twice on winter.

The Camino Portuguese (Feb 2004) from Barcelos

and the Camino Sanabres (Feb 2006) from Zamora

And several parts of the Camino de Madrid and the Camino Frances.

The Camino on winter is much different, lonelyness, shorter days, (only sometimes) bad weather.

Jesus Jato (Albergue Ave Fenix, Villafranca del Bierzo) offers something special for pilgrims on Xmas, as I've heard.

In Finisterre there's an special New Year dinner with pilgrims ... If you want to know something else you have to be there ... I've been said it's something special.

Que tengas un muy buen Camino Invernal ... ¡¡lo mejor!! créeme.

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#6
Annette said:
I now have a winter Camino in my mind... I remember seeing a foto of Gareth Thomas in the snow on the Camino in a posting somewhere here... And I now believe I would like to do a winter camino too... (may be I'll make it a christmas camino?) - I am sure it will be VERY different.
Good for you! Speaking as that very pilgrim, pictured in that very snow, I would say that it was one of the best experiences I can remember. I went from Lugo by bus to the Camino Frances near to Vega de Valcarce a few days before Christmas, climbed O Cebreiro in the snow, and spent Christmas Eve in Portomarin decked out with fairy lights (er... that's the town, not me, decked out with lights.) There were about half a dozen pilgrims on the Camino travelling in the section I was walking, the albergues were open and empty. Another bonus: the local people seemed that much more welcoming when there are fewer pilgrims around.

Do it! You'll enjoy it! Warm weather gear is essential, as well as very good waterproofs. When stuff gets wet, however, it is difficult to get it dry in winter and the albergues are often unheated. For example, a few of us stopped to try out the albergue at Hospital - just after the San Roque statue at Alto do Poio - and although it had been left open for pilgrims to use, we decided after twenty minutes that it was too cold to stay in and we ended up in a small B&B in a hamlet a few kilometres further on. The albergue municipal in Sarria was gloriously warm and cheerful, so was the one in Portomarin on Christmas Eve.

Arriving in Santiago at Christmas time, I found it quite different from the summer experience. Without all the tourist hordes, you don't feel that uneasy jolt that you experience coming in from the quiet of the Camino and arriving in a mad whirling circus.

Gareth
 

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