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Camino de Santiago

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South Mission Beach
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Camino de Santiago

What is the best time of the year to do the walk? I am considering early May but am a little concermed that it may be too wet. Should this time be OK or is there a drier month?

London, United...
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1. Re: Camino de Santiago

I would go between September and November. Autumn in Castile is amazingly beautiful. I mean, amazingly beautiful. September can be still quite hot and November a bit chilly. For the most gorgeous views, mid October and the beginning of November. Contrary to what the song says, it doen't rain too much on the plane, but when you pass to El Bierzo and Galicia, boy, get ready. It doesn't matter what time of the year you go, because you will probably meet some rain, anyway. Another good time to go is the last 2 weeks of May and the first 2-3 weeks of June. After that, Castile is scorching hot during the day. During the summer months and around Easter, there is a serious problem with accommodation. People have to start the day quite early to arrive to the refuges on time to still find a bed. Avoid those periods, if you can. Good luck. To walk El Camino is truly a very deep experience, for those with faith and for those without it. Don't forget to look up on a clear night. You might still see the edges of our galaxy, the Via Lactea, also called Camino de Santiago, because it pointed the way Compostela to the pilgrims of old.

Santiago de...
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2. Re: Camino de Santiago

Hi. Probably the driest period should be June-August, although it's a bit difficult to be sure because the changeable weather. In adition, here you are useful links for your Camino de Santiago: http://bit.ly/mSF3W7 and http://bit.ly/bopbY7. And "buen Camino" as it's used to say to the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela.

Banff, Canada
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3. Re: Camino de Santiago

I agree with the excellent suggestion of trying the autumn. May used to be a good choice, but now it's one of the busier months on the camino, so those summer accommodation issues happen then, too. Feb/March are my top choices (when Semana Santa doesn't fall in March), but then I'm Canadian, and willing to hike in snow.

London, United...
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4. Re: Camino de Santiago

Ha,ha,ha...! How brave of you, canadian friend! If you like a wild hiking, try the northern route to Santigo, next time, the one going through Oviedo- yeees, the city on the Woody Allen's movie-. That's the route I followed when I did it...alone.

Miami
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5. Re: Camino de Santiago

How much money will I need to do El Camino?

London, United...
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6. Re: Camino de Santiago

I just found a tool on a spanish website that makes an estimation of how much money you would need. From Roncesval to Santiago, including basic accommodation, food and an extra allowance for toiletries, a few proper restaurant meals, washing-dryer, medicines, etc, would be 900 Euros. Personally, I think it is a bit too much, specially if you experience the Way mainly as an spiritual journey and wish to leave cares and material things behind. I would be more than alright with 20 euros a day, I ate mainly fruit during the day and had some soup and protein on arrival to my accommodation. Food is quite cheap and wholesome in Spain. You can get fruit,, bread, cheese and cold meats everywhere. Consider if you would find useful to stop half way in a hotel for one day to recover, have a proper bath and sleep in a proper bed. No shame in it, the Way is supposed to be an inspiring journey and you have to do what feels right. By the way, I am quite surprised to see the massive backpacks some people carry. That is suicide. I took with me a small backpack and I was fine. The things I couldn't do without were Deep Freeze style gel, socks with no seams, a staff- this is essential-, paracetamol, a small bag of white clay for absolutely everything, from brushing teeth to dealing with skin complaints and a sleeping bag I could open at the feet.This is because, at night, my feet were so sore that couldn't stand even the touch of the mattress. I saw people having dreadful problems with their toenails. Keep them trimmed. When you walk downhill, your feet slip forward inside your boots and it hurts. I made for myself a soft foam protector for my toes, similar to those used by ballet dancers when they are on points.Good luck and enjoy the experience.

Banff, Canada
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7. Re: Camino de Santiago

Hi luly54:

You will need to start out by using one of the many camino planning sites to figure out how many days you will likely be walking. I like the features on godesalco.com, but there are lots of others.

Then you need to decide what level of comfort and support you want/need on your trip.

You can easily do one of the more-established routes for about 30 euros per day, assuming that you stay in the lower-cost dorm-style pilgrim hostels (albergues) and that you shop for breakfast and lunch items, and buy the pilgrim menu at a low-cost restaurant for dinners, and stop occasionally at coffee shops for snacks and drinks along the way.

For 60 euros per day, you can stay in low-cost private accommodation (room for yourself, possibly with private bath, in hostales, privately run albergues, 2-star hotels), and eat breakfast and dinner in restaurants and cafes, while buying and carrying food for lunch.

For around 100 euros per day, you can stay in 3-star accom, eat three meals a day in restaurants, have your backpack transported for you, and probably be part of a guided trip, with all arranged ahead of time.

Every pilgrim walks her own camino. Decide what's right for you, and follow that course.

Miami
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8. Re: Camino de Santiago

Thank you very much. I would like to do it like a real pilgrim so I think that I would be able to do it for 20 euros a day. I'm nervous and a little scare. Thank you for your help

Banff, Canada
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9. Re: Camino de Santiago

A parable: My twin brother and I are both loud "roncadores" (snorers), and we both know it. We both walk the camino. Knowing that he will disturb everyone around him at night, my twin chooses to stay each night in private bedrooms in little pensions. I choose to spend each night in albergues. Which of us is the "real pilgrim"?

The "who's a real pilgrim and who's not" thing unfortunately pervades the camino experience west of the Pyrenees. The guy with the 40-pound pack looks down on the guy with the 35-pound pack. The guy who walks the whole thing barefoot looks down on them both.

In my humble opinion, there is no one definition of what makes it real. What makes it real happens in people's hearts.

Banff, Canada
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10. Re: Camino de Santiago

I should have added: Luly - you mention that you're a bit nervous and scared. If you read the camino forums, you'll find that you're certainly not the only person who feels like that. Doing a big chunk of walking in an unfamiliar country is definitely something to think about, but most people find that their worries are eventually overcome by the excitement of what they're doing. Work on your fitness level before you go, learn a few words in Spanish, break in your shoes, get your pack down to as light as you can ... and then follow the yellow arrows. There are many kind people, other pilgrims and local people alike, who will help you along the way.

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