Has anybody done Camino de Santiago

Holtend82

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I am planning on doing about 200k of the Camino in Sept and was wondering if many AAM contributors have done it. Any information would be helpful.

Thanks
 

Wahaay

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Yup, I did a couple of days after flying into Biarritz from Dublin and getting the train down to St Jean.
I say a couple of days for two important reasons - I hadn't done any training whatsoever and the first day involved tekking over a 3,000 metre mountain in horizontal rain.
But despite that and the onset of a huge blister which meant no more walking and a few days on the batter instead in Bilbao I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Just a couple of observations - September is a good time to go weather wise and although it will still be busy it won't be like walking down Temple Bar on a Saturday night which is how busy it can get in July/August.
Plan well-ahead with your hotel bookings - there are some seriously keen walking nutters who leave their hostel at the crack of dawn in order to nab the beds at the next recognised overnight stop ( including an Italian we met doing the entire Way dressed like Jesus and only using sandals as footwear. )
And actually some of those walking nutters are incredibly boring so try to get a hotel or b+b a little way away from the stops.
There's a couple of excellent forums you can Google and many different routes you could tackle as it's not just a single route.
Other than that get plenty of training in and harden up the soles of your feet with meths.
Good luck.
 

Bronco Lane

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I have just finished reading "Buen Camino" by Peter Murtagh available by request from your local library. A great read and recommended. In it he speaks of the Poseurs who complete the last 100 kms and who crowd out the "real" walkers. So maybe leave this bit out and do the first bit from St. Jean.
 

ontour

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John Brierly's books are a good reference with plenty of of maps, accommodation etc. There are lots of ways to do the camino alone or in a group, in hostels or guesthouses, with a rucksack or having your pack transfered. There are lots of different Camino routes, not just the Camino Frances. The route from Oporto is about the 200km distance.

Weather should be fine in September, many people adjust their walking time for the day to suit the weather. If it is very hot, the walking is done early in the morning before it gets too hot.

Get your walking shoes or boots now so that they will be well walked in by the time you go. If it is not important for you to get the camino 'certificate', they your 200km could start or end in a great variety of places.
 

rob oyle

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Would it be too late in the year to do a little bit of the Camino from St. Jean in late October?
It's never too late but there are things to consider at this time of the year! How far would you plan to go? Many of the albergues that open for the summer tend to close at the end of September, so accommodation availability can be an issue. Can mean that, sometimes, the village you want to stop in won't have an albergue available that they would at other times of the year. That said, the numbers walking fall off in autumn too, so there's less demand for the more popular stopping points, so that balances out. Indeed, the Camino has become so popular in recent years that the walk may be more pleasurable with less pelegrinos on the trail.
More generally, the weather in the mountains can be pretty changeable at that time of the year and conditions at the end of your walk each day may not do much for drying clothes to have with you the next morning.
Un-weather related, the first stage out of St. Jean is probably the most strenuous of the whole 800km-odd stretch as you go up a climb of over 1,000m with only one stopping point that day. The mountain route itself has been closed Nov-Jan or Dec-Feb due to the weather over the last few years but either side of this period fog cover is still common and it'll get pretty cold up there!
 

Thirsty

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"In it he speaks of the Poseurs who complete the last 100 kms and who crowd out the "real" walkers"

That's pure snobbery in my view.

The whole point of the Camino is that it's a personal journey / challenge.

No one is 'better' than anyone else because they walked longer or faster or barefoot or whatever.
 

RichInSpirit

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Thanks for the replies. Thinking about the 1000 metres at that time of the year, it could be hardship and a bit dangerous for a not too fit person like myself. I had the St. Jean starting point in my head but maybe I could do a leveller bit of the walk, maybe a section in North Spain. Not too fussy how far I get or where I start or end, just to do a bit of the course somewhere.
 

SBarrett

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Would it be too late in the year to do a little bit of the Camino from St. Jean in late October?
My wife and I have been doing it in sections over the last 4 years. We'll complete it next year. We usually go at the end of April each year, the weather isn't bad (you need wet gear mind) and there's not too many people. This year we went at the start of April and we had our layers on every day and some days we would go the whole day without seeing anyone. While the walking itself is an individual thing, there is a huge social element to the Camino, having a few drinks and a meal with people in the evening, sharing stories, having a laugh. Being places where there is no one will lessen the experience.

You also have to consider the conditions. It's going to be colder and wetter at the end of October. You walk 4-6 hours a day. You need dry, comfortable clothes. Being cold and wet all the time won't be fun and it will be an effort to get your clothes dried every day.
 

SBarrett

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"In it he speaks of the Poseurs who complete the last 100 kms and who crowd out the "real" walkers"

That's pure snobbery in my view.

The whole point of the Camino is that it's a personal journey / challenge.

No one is 'better' than anyone else because they walked longer or faster or barefoot or whatever.
Agree 100%.

There's also snobbery about those who carry their bags on their backs and those who have them sent on ahead by taxi. Each to their own.
 
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