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Your opinion is greatly appreciated on our first Camino

Kristinka

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2020 and July 2021
Hi everyone. My husband and I will be walking the Frances route next year (fingers crossed) and I just has this thought yesterday. If Spain will ease restrictions and borders will be opened, we will have an opportunity to go now. As in book the flight for the next day and go! Not sure how realistic it is price wise but there is a chance that prices might be low due to people not flying right now and airlines have to make up their losses, right? Our 15 year old daughter is learning from home now so this could be the perfect opportunity to go as we’re always bound to her school schedule. And we would be able to leave her with the grandparents 😆.
And to keep safe on the Camino we could stay in private albergues, if they will be open. Is anyone thinking the same or is it just me?
Also, since we’re planning on going in 2021 we’re not really ready with packing. I purchased backpacks, shoes, rain coats 2 days ago (unfortunately online as Rei is closed). We have sleeping bags and liners. I read most of the packing threads here and made myself a list of essential things to purchase. Is there something that you wish you carried with you that you learned AFTER walking your first camino? Also, how realistic is my idea? There’s talk about not being to walk the Camino for a while but I think they will have to open soon to make up for the losses so if we wear masks when social distancing is not possible, stay in private rooms and use a lot of hand sanitizer it could be possible! In my head at least 😂.
I will appreciate any input.
Kristina
 

TMcA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
Many people, myself included, find that meeting people from all over the world, breaking bread with them after a long day's walk, and sharing each other's life trajectory, are a major element of why we enjoy walking the Camino routes. Social distancing makes these things a little more difficult because there is a lot less intimacy when conversing from a distance of six feet. Or even three.

Another thing that I wonder about is how albergues, where common rooms are filled with bunk beds and people eat communally, are going to manage socal distancing as they reopen.

Despite your family situation and the limitations always involved with having a teenager and possibly other children in your home, I think your best bet for the full Camino experience might be to wait until 2021 or even a little longer - until your teenager is out of the house in college or in the workplace. In the meantime you can profit from the delay by getting used to your gear, doing hiking closer to home (when restrictions are lifted), studying Spanish, and reading this forum which will help you answer many questions which are always part of the lead in to the first steps on the first Camino. The anticipation/planning of any big trip is part of the journey, in my opinion, and it's a time to enjoy and savor.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
You might consider making the walk a family pilgrimage. --I walked the Camino with my 13 yo in Spring of 2015, from Leon to Santiago de Compostela. Six months later, he asked me if we could return and walk from SSPD. At first I responded "That's impossible, you're in school, it's too expensive, do you think we can afford to fly to Europe every year?" But then I realized "My 14 yo is asking me to take him back to the Camino and walk with him. This is a once in a life time opportunity." We started from SSPD in May of 2016.

This year on Good Friday, four years after our first Camino, my 18 yo and I walked together from our home to our parish church, 10 miles away. There we each placed a stone at the foot of the cross.
 
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Delphinoula

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. PdC 2018 Finisterre Muxía 2018
C.Franconia 2019 C.Algeciras Sevillia 2019
Swabian C. (2020)
Welcome.
Maybe it is safer if there is an vaccine out and you all are vaccinated. Hygiene can be problem on the Camino. But by all means make plans train, break your boots in.
I wish I had bought my first set of boots a half a size bigger. On my first Camino I meat a family the first section the grandmother walked with three children a teenager a 10 and a 8 year old midway their mother joint them and I saw them again in Santiago. So good luck
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
how realistic is my idea?
I think it is not very realistic. There are too many huge "ifs". Have you read some of the other threads about the situation in Spain now and when the camino "reopens"?

Keep training and preparing as it is always good to walk and to anticipate. My advice is to put the date out of mind, but be ready.
 

VeronicaF1

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Pamplona to Los Arcos, Planning to continue from Los Arcos
Hi everyone. My husband and I will be walking the Frances route next year (fingers crossed) and I just has this thought yesterday. If Spain will ease restrictions and borders will be opened, we will have an opportunity to go now. As in book the flight for the next day and go! Not sure how realistic it is price wise but there is a chance that prices might be low due to people not flying right now and airlines have to make up their losses, right? Our 15 year old daughter is learning from home now so this could be the perfect opportunity to go as we’re always bound to her school schedule. And we would be able to leave her with the grandparents 😆.
And to keep safe on the Camino we could stay in private albergues, if they will be open. Is anyone thinking the same or is it just me?
Also, since we’re planning on going in 2021 we’re not really ready with packing. I purchased backpacks, shoes, rain coats 2 days ago (unfortunately online as Rei is closed). We have sleeping bags and liners. I read most of the packing threads here and made myself a list of essential things to purchase. Is there something that you wish you carried with you that you learned AFTER walking your first camino? Also, how realistic is my idea? There’s talk about not being to walk the Camino for a while but I think they will have to open soon to make up for the losses so if we wear masks when social distancing is not possible, stay in private rooms and use a lot of hand sanitizer it could be possible! In my head at least 😂.
I will appreciate any input.
Kristina
When you can go - take earplugs!
 

evanscl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016
This is my input, for what its worth. It is wonderful to walk and have the experience. It is also possible to challenge yourself and learn a lot about who you are without leaving home if that is how life’s restrictions are right now.
To quote T.S.Eliot:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
 

Joe.Iozzi

Member since 2016
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino del Norte,
There is no chance that you will be allowed into Spain to walk the Camino this spring. Please read this information from today's edition of The Local es, daily Spanish news in English:
Spain's Employment minister talked on Sunday about two stages of reactivation of Spain’s economic sectors, explaining that “phase one” of gradual normalization would likely last over the summer months with ”phase two” continuing until at the end of the year. "Phase one will cover the manufacturing sectors over the summer and another that will last until the end of the year and that would affect sectors such as tourism, culture and leisure," she warned. Without detailing what either would involve, she warned that Spain couldn’t expect “normality” to return until at least Christmas – Spanish media speculate that this means restaurants, bars and hotels could remain closed throughout “phase two”. “Sectors such as tourism, culture, leisure, catering and air/maritime can expect to face enormous difficulty,” she warned. Meanwhile, Finance Minister María Jesús Montero, emphasised that "Spain will not start tourism until it is extraordinarily safe", an approach that again lowers expectations away from summer... "Until there is a vaccine nothing will be the way it was before. Gatherings will have to have limitations to maintain an adequate safety distance," she added.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
Assuming Spain did allow you in in the next month or two, which is doubtful, I think you would experience negative feelings from the people along the route . A lot of people have died in Spain. As in caught a disease and died.

A foreign family, walking into a town, coming from who knows where, with who knows what disease, would be completely unwelcome. Personally I can’t even imagine that Albergue‘s will be open for years. Who would want to sleep in a dormitory? People are talking about a vaccine in two years, but it’s important to note that the world speed record for producing a vaccine for anything was four years, for the mumps.

I was supposed to be on the Camino this week, but I actually ended up returning most of my equipment. I’m hoping for next year, but thinking it might be up to three years. Maybe a mix of camping and private rooms, even then.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
And to keep safe on the Camino we could stay in private albergues,
I don't think that you understand the difference between public, parochial and private albergues. All three provide accommodation in dorm rooms, usually with bunk beds. Some private albergues also offer private rooms with either shared or private baths. Private albergues aren't necessarily more upscale than public albergues. I've stayed in private albergues that are pretty "rustic".
These are pictures of a private albergue where I stayed in Atapuerca
Screenshot_20200420-081548_Firefox.jpg

These are from the municipal in Roncesvalles

Screenshot_20200420-081647_Firefox.jpg
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
If I were you I would send my shoes back to REI as soon as possible. It is so important to try your shoes on. I personally believe that trail runners are much better than hiking boots. But it is a matter of preference. I always buy a size larger and wider than I normally wear and wear smart wool socks with a very thin synthetic sock liner that absorbs sweat. Check out @davebugg for his comments about feet and shoes especially. He is our gear expert for sure about all things camino. Take whatever you KNOW you will definitely need. Not what you think you will need. You are not trekking the Himalayas so you can always buy what you need. Everything should be lightweight and quick dry. If you are walking in summer you definitely don't need a sleeping bag. Buy a silk liner instead. When it comes to what ifs regarding the reopening of the Camino, doesn't all the what ifs add up to a big knock on the head that you should wait until things are far clearer. A vaccine and or effective treatments are available and you know the what if factor has almost cleared away. I know you want to walk as all of us do. I am personally hoping to go on the Via De La Plata in February 2021 but I know that is probably a pipe dream. Really hoping for mid October 2021. If the CF opens in 2021 remember it will be a holy year and there is no way of knowing how many people will be on the Camino. As Trecile stated just because an albergue is "private" it doesn't mean it is nicer, cleaner, or will give you a private room unless you pay more money. Take into account the possibility of a very high number of pilgrims, crowded albergues public or private and the ability or inability of being able to conduct social distancing, with or without a face mask makes any early start out of the gate a risky proposition. Price of airfares, "discounted" albergues etc are all speculation and dreams. My advice is to wait. Just like you will learn on the camino all you have in your life is the step you are taking at this moment. What will be an hour, day, week, month, let alone a year is completely impossible to say. Dream of your camino. Walk now and train because we all need to be healthy for any eventuality that may occur. Worry about the shoes you will wear later, check out your backpack and walk with it to see if it fits you properly. Watch a video on how to pack and adjust your backpack if you don't already know that, Keep it as light as possible. Watch alot of YouTube videos. The camino will be there for you. Remember it is resting now. Buen Camino.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Spain is in the midst of a horrific tragedy right now, that continues to grow. There is a chance you would carry the virus and infect others. There is a chance you will become infected and very ill and no care will be available to you. Either that, or you would take a bed away from a local. Please don't go now.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
It's worldwide, people. And land borders won't stop it. Vaccines would help, but if we wait for that before going back to work then people will be starving to death. Rock and a hard place. Yes, it kills people. A percentage, too high for comfort, of those who catch it will be seriously ill. Some will die. Most won't. But we need to get the crops in the ground, to use a simple metaphor. We can't spend a year at home.
 

Katia Taam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Every year, since 2000. Most times portuguese camino also twice the french camiño. Two time Le Puy .
I´ve just read this on a Camiño group on facebook

A little less than 2 months ago, I published statistics on the number of pilgrims arriving in Santiago de Compostela in recent years. Everything indicated that this would be a year of growth, following the trend of the previous ones, until the much desired Jacobeu (Xacobeo) in 2021.
Everything changed at a glance and the invisible virus changed the lives of many, many people. Closed borders, canceled flights, closed hostels / shops / cafes, unpacked backpacks, broken expectations and postponed dreams. There are countless pilgrims waiting for the first sign to (re) start their plan as soon as possible.
However, if there is one thing that this virus should have already taught, it is to be calm, to know how to wait, to be prudent and cautious. Still, with the information available and known so far, it is too early to make big plans, the future remains uncertain. Common sense must prevail now and, especially, when frontiers open again and inter / intra continental mobility resumes. Reopening will not be synonymous with normality, personal and community care will have to be taken into account even more, for the personal and everyone’s benefit!
According to the news below, the Way should only “reopen” next year. It’s sad? It is, but it is for a greater good than any of us. (Perhaps it is a good time to reflect on why I want to go on the Path so badly? What takes me there that I cannot find here and in me? Is the Path a sign of escape or encounter? What are my true motivations, the most deep?) And even when reopening, beware, the virus will continue to go around without a break. No fears, but with prudence!
“Patience and Unity”
Good way!

PATIENCE, because the” Way knows how to wait “and UNITY before the state of alarm caused by COVID-19, these were the slogans to be highlighted in the Dialogue Table that, last Thursday, met to discuss the current state of the Camino de Santiago and the mobility measures established due to the state of alarm of COVID-19. Representatives from the Ministries of Culture and Sport and the Treasury, from the Autonomous Communities of Galicia, Castile and Leon, Asturias, La Rioja, Navarra, Aragon and Country Basque, from Xacobeo, from the Association of Municipalities of the Camino de Santiago, Association of Associations of the Camino do Norte, Association of Friends of the Caminhos de Santiago, in the Pyrenees Atlantiques and the Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago.

(…)

A curious blocking situation arises, since proposals that can be raised will be subject to regulations that can be applied at any time and this, in turn, will depend on changing the situation. Safety is essential, the application of adequate hygienic and sanitary measures will be essential; it is advisable to proceed with caution. [See Joaquim Donário’s share] Among all of us, including pilgrims, we will be able to restore confidence in a safe Way, in the meantime: PATIENCE.

It is more than likely that, as mobility restrictions begin to lift, pilgrims appear; for this reason, from the Spanish Federation, we would like to send a “Notice to Navigators”: “PATIENCE, wait for the recommendations of the authorities, avoid unnecessary risks and damages”. Foreign pilgrims also await information from Spain on the Way and the opening of borders; but we know of their associations which, until they receive confirmation that the Way is safe, will wisely suppress their desire to make a pilgrimage. In the words of J.L. Aspirot “Spain has drinking fountains, but France has the tap”, they wait patiently for authorization from our authorities to open that tap.

The general feeling, given the scenario we are facing, is that the Path is not expected to be open to pilgrims during this year of 2020. While efforts are being made to prevent the pilgrim from going on the Path for the time being, it can also be approached the Pilgrim’s Way. Some of the events that would begin during this confinement period can be converted to digital format and pilgrims enjoy a Path supported by technology through virtual visits, concerts, documentaries, literature … Some actions are already underway, but that can be promoted to keep the Camino de Santiago image alive.

(…)

Meanwhile, from the Spanish Federation of Associations, we also ask you, pilgrims: Patience, Unity.

See you on Camino !!!
Spanish Federation of Associations of Friends of the Camino de Santiago “

(Source: here / Translation: Google Translator)

__

UPDATE: If, after finishing reading all of this, the predominant question is “But I have a flight / planned to leave on X date. Is it safe?” Then it is because the message has not gone through at all!
Right now, there is no scientist, researcher, doctor, Government, …, with absolute certainties. The future is uncertain. Therefore, may prudence, patience and common sense reign.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
There is zero chance of you walking any Camino in 2020, and a tiny chance of it in 2021. Spain won't let you in. There are no flights anyway. Forget this idea for a few years at least.
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
Hi everyone. My husband and I will be walking the Frances route next year (fingers crossed) and I just has this thought yesterday. If Spain will ease restrictions and borders will be opened, we will have an opportunity to go now. As in book the flight for the next day and go! Not sure how realistic it is price wise but there is a chance that prices might be low due to people not flying right now and airlines have to make up their losses, right? Our 15 year old daughter is learning from home now so this could be the perfect opportunity to go as we’re always bound to her school schedule. And we would be able to leave her with the grandparents 😆.
And to keep safe on the Camino we could stay in private albergues, if they will be open. Is anyone thinking the same or is it just me?
Also, since we’re planning on going in 2021 we’re not really ready with packing. I purchased backpacks, shoes, rain coats 2 days ago (unfortunately online as Rei is closed). We have sleeping bags and liners. I read most of the packing threads here and made myself a list of essential things to purchase. Is there something that you wish you carried with you that you learned AFTER walking your first camino? Also, how realistic is my idea? There’s talk about not being to walk the Camino for a while but I think they will have to open soon to make up for the losses so if we wear masks when social distancing is not possible, stay in private rooms and use a lot of hand sanitizer it could be possible! In my head at least 😂.
I will appreciate any input.
Kristina
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I don't think that you understand the difference between public, parochial and private albergues. All three provide accommodation in dorm rooms, usually with bunk beds. Some private albergues also offer private rooms with either shared or private baths. Private albergues aren't necessarily more upscale than public albergues. I've stayed in private albergues that are pretty "rustic".
These are pictures of a private albergue where I stayed in Atapuerca
View attachment 73483

These are from the municipal in Roncesvalles

View attachment 73484
And we stayed in a private albergue in Ages that was was easily the worst Ive ever stayed in. So many bunks crammed into a room we could barely move. Bedbugs crawling down the walls. Dirty shower. A few doors down the municipal was lovely, new and clean,
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
There is zero chance of you walking any Camino in 2020
Not 0% I think, although I'd guess that many albergues will not be legally able to open 'til September or something, so that several of them are liable to stay closed 'til 2021 rather than just open for a month or two this season ; including because those of them that rely on volunteers may not be able to organise anything at all even if authorisations to open were provided.

But if you can handle sleeping rough occasionally and/or carrying a tent and &c., then an easing of the outdoor activities & travel restrictions may make a late 2020 Camino conceivable, if not necessarily feasible for everyone.

2021 is pure & simple more realistic at this stage.
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
2021 is pure & simple more realistic at this stage.
Of course it is, and for those not in any of the contiguous European countries I would suggest they wait. We have so much knowledge, far more than the pilgrims that traveled during the black death. And far less risk of dying on pilgrimage than they did.
And far more time to spend endlessly rehashing the same arguements. Anyone have a new thought?
 

Kristinka

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2020 and July 2021
Many people, myself included, find that meeting people from all over the world, breaking bread with them after a long day's walk, and sharing each other's life trajectory, are a major element of why we enjoy walking the Camino routes. Social distancing makes these things a little more difficult because there is a lot less intimacy when conversing from a distance of six feet. Or even three.

Another thing that I wonder about is how albergues, where common rooms are filled with bunk beds and people eat communally, are going to manage socal distancing as they reopen.

Despite your family situation and the limitations always involved with having a teenager and possibly other children in your home, I think your best bet for the full Camino experience might be to wait until 2021 or even a little longer - until your teenager is out of the house in college or in the workplace. In the meantime you can profit from the delay by getting used to your gear, doing hiking closer to home (when restrictions are lifted), studying Spanish, and reading this forum which will help you answer many questions which are always part of the lead in to the first steps on the first Camino. The anticipation/planning of any big trip is part of the journey, in my opinion, and it's a time to enjoy and savor.
 

Kristinka

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2020 and July 2021
TMcA, your reply made me nervous and excited at the same time 😆. I’m an introvert and the idea of spending a lot of time with people every single day scares the living Jesus out of me. At the same time there’s a possibility that I could find a lot of likeminded people on the Camino and would enjoy spending time with them. But if that happens it means that that’s all I will think about, going back to the Camino...hmmm there’s definitely a lesson in this...
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
I wouldn't worry about seeing too many people. I've been visiting Saint James since 2001, and you can be as sociable as you like. I'm not very keen on dormitory living and avoid it most of the time. As for the actual walking, I stay off the French Camino from Roncesvalles because I find it not the most interesting route, but if you take it you can walk on your own just by leaving a bit later than most. Until you get to Sarria, anyway.
I still meet interesting people, just not all at once.
Oh, and everyone you meet will have a different motivation. It's actually quite rare to meet someone whose sole reason for being on the Camino is to worship at the tomb of St. James. So, whatever your reasons for the journey, don't worry. You might find yourself returning, or perhaps once will be enough.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
It's worldwide, people. And land borders won't stop it. Vaccines would help, but if we wait for that before going back to work then people will be starving to death. Rock and a hard place. Yes, it kills people. A percentage, too high for comfort, of those who catch it will be seriously ill. Some will die. Most won't. But we need to get the crops in the ground, to use a simple metaphor. We can't spend a year at home.
Of course you’re right. We can’t close down the whole world forever. As you said, people will starve to death. And even if we managed to avoid that, people, like me, and many others, will be wrecked financially. We will have to figure out someway to get somewhat back to normal.

And when we do this, more people will get sick. If/when they come up with some better drug therapies to treat the sickest patients, I think that will be a turning point.

In my personal life, it’s frustrating to me, because I do something outside, which I do alone, and it’s not necessary for me to come into contact with other people at all. But at the moment, I’m not allowed to go outside. for me, I could more or less live my normal life and still keep physical distancing. I also live in an area without a very dense population.

I think the Camino, because of the way it’s been working for the last 20+ years, with mostly dormitory housing, will take a much longer time to come back.

I think an interesting question and or thought experiment is how would one redesign the Camino to massively lesson the spread of an easily infectious virus such as COVID-19?

How could we make it safe for @Kristinka and her family to walk the Camino? And safe for the people who live along and service the Camino.

You’d have to eliminate the dormitories, I think. A few months ago I listened to an interview with someone who had walked the Camino in the 90s, and he talked about large camping areas set up for pilgrims outside Santiago. Other ideas?
 

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
That's a very interesting post, Stephan. I think there are a lot of people who haven't thought as hard as they might about what the lockdown is doing to their future.

I agree with your point on drug therapies, but we need a good dose of realism. It's crazy that you can't work. My son is in the same position, normally works outside and can't do so though he has managed to get a contract making equipment for the NHS in his own workshop.

I remember the tent parks on the Camino from 2004, probably not as many as in the previous holy year, but they were ready set up tents and held a lot of people, so wouldn't really help. The dormitory accomodation never enthralled me, and I doubt if all pilgrims in the early years of the Pilgrimage used it, but of course it was very cheap and in my opinion led to more people seeing the Camino as a cheap holiday. The Galician refuges built as the Camino became more and more popular were originally donativo, and later became chargeable, initially at three euros. (Monte de Gozo in particular was built in 1983, and is huge, it was used as a place mostly for non walking pilgrims to stay). The big Galician albergues were looking pretty scruffy by 2001. I don't know how true this is, I expect Rebekah can fill us in on the detail, but I had heard that the popularisation of the Camino, and a lot of publicity in Galicia was intended to boost the local economy. Pope John Paul II's visits in 1982 and 1989 certainly helped.

I have some experience of camping on the Camino. I haven't camped on every Camino I have walked, largely because my wonderful donkey had to retire, and I didn't want to carry so much stuff. Now I've gone back to cycling, the next Camino will be my third cycling, and my second camping and cycling, but I'm sorting out some necessary kit to camp with an e-bike. Now I know this is not what everyone will want to do, but it will enable me to afford another Camino. I've always had some nights in cheap hotels, and mixed that with Pilgrim accomodation, and when I carried a tent, farmer's fields and official campsites. It probably isn't actually cheaper than staying in a dormitory, but I like my privacy and quiet. The money gets spent somewhere, in Europe at least, if not in Spain and doesnt go to the airlines, which is probably a good thing.
Spain, BTW, is not a seriously poor country any more. Poor countries don't have the sort of road and rail infrastructure that has grown up in it's time in the EU. It is a country that relies on tourism for a largeish part of its GDP, and a lot of walkers paying 12 to 15 euros a night to stay in a dormitory is still useful. Of course if they paid 30 euros to stay in a private room a lot more private rooms would have to be provided. Hmm. Pods?

Wiki on Spanish economy
Tourism as contributor

How to redesign the Camino? I'm not sure that you can do this, it has a momentum all of its own. While people are prepared to pay to travel from Australia, Korea, Chile, to name but a few far flung places, and buy some seriously expensive clothing and rucksacks (just look at some of the packing lists on this site) they don't seem to be prepared to pay the cost of a private room or a meal in a restaurant once they are in Spain.

Forum members concern for not infecting locals is laudable, but too late. All of Europe is experiencing infections. I still think I'd rather be in France and catch it than have it in the USA, but that's a whole different story. I'll stop there before the mods bounce me.
 

Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2020)
How to redesign the Camino? I'm not sure that you can do this, it has a momentum all of its own.
That’s a good point. But there might be more willingness for regional cooperation when your livelihood depends on it.
buy some seriously expensive clothing and rucksacks (just look at some of the packing lists on this site) they don't seem to be prepared to pay the cost of a private room or a meal in a restaurant once they are in Spain.
Even though hostels have a lot of negative things (mostly just sleeping noise ), I’ve always found when I travel alone that some sort of hostal is the best place to stay. I usually meet some interesting people, and I think that’s one of the draws of the Camino for me. Private rooms or camping get you a better nights sleep, but you give up a lot for that. (That said, I’ve never walked the Camino. I’d be finding out my opinion this week). And I’m pretty sure that everybody walking the Camino is buying some sort of meals somewhere. But I would agree with you that some people seem to spend way to much money on equipment. I returned my backpack, and sleeping equipment as well as a few other smaller things, once I canceled my trip. I’ll buy it again if I ever actually go.

I live in the states now, but I have lived in Europe. I think it’s always been the case that the average person has better access to good health care in the EU. Not something that most people would argue about ,at least If you’ve experienced both systems.

I like my question about redesigning the Camino. I think I’m going post it as a new thread.
 
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Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Stephan, I travel a fair bit, and I stay in hostels. I like the company and the kitchen facilities. I will stay in a small dorm or a private room and get the best of both worlds. You might find that the pilgrim accommodation isn't quite the same thing.
They are mostly a lot less spacious than ordinary hostels and can be distinctly lacking in facilities, and sometimes cleanliness. Not all of them, it is true. Some are pure magic despite being very basic. The trouble is, apart from the last 200km or so, they tend to be spaced an average days walk apart. So if you walk from town X to village Y and there is only one place to stay, and it looked all right in the guide, but isn't so good when you get there, you are going to have to stay there anyway, unless you get a lift or a taxi elsewhere. Or walk further than you intended. There aren't many things for which I will give up a good night's sleep.
Spending money on food..... Everyone eats. Some people seem to live on pasta. Which is of course their choice. Don't get me started on the people who don't leave enough to cover the cost of their food when it's a voluntary contribution.
I like my question about redesigning the Camino. I think I’m going post it as a new thread.
Good idea. Be prepared to duck for cover!
 

Richard Smith

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
Lots of posts above have said why its no-go at the moment but planning/day-dreaming is good.
So - when its open/safe again and when it fits with your family - if you can book and go the next day DO IT!
Don't worry about what extra to take, take less of everything (including expectations).
The only thing to take more of is time. It is great not to have a tight schedule for your return.
If your shoes or boots have been well worn-in and are comfortable enough to wear all week at home for everything you do, and you are happy with your pack, then pack like you are going away for the weekend. The rest will sort itself out on the way.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@Kristinka, greetings from one introvert to another.

By all means, go as soon as you are comfortable. And, by all means, make it a family event as some have suggested above. Go as soon as the Spanish peoples are ready for you. They've had a tough time these past two months (as you have in New York) and many, especially in country areas, may be a bit wary of incomers (no matter where they are from) for quite a while. And may decide not to open their camino related businesses until they are comfortable. But I am sure you know this.

I notice you have got your gear and guides sorted. And make no mention if you have got yourselves, physically and mentally, sorted for the daily regime of arrive, find accommodation, find a meal, go to sleep, get up, walk, get breakfast, walk some more, find lunch, more walking, arrive. And repeat for 30 days or so. And to go up and down one or two hillocks. And so on.

I would be pleased to offer my tuppenance worth on that aspect of preparation, as you wish.

In the mean time I say kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going when you can)
 

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