Has anyone recently traveled to n'west Spain & walked some or all of this historic walking route? I'm interested in going later this year and would like info on making my own hotel reservations along the way; don't want to travel with a tour group; unless RickSteves did one! Thanks!! Gloria
I'm planning to begin the pilgrimage next month, in July. I take it you're not going to stay in the refugios? I've read that they tend to be first-come, first-serve, although the owners will try to fit you in if possible.
Even so, you can do the hotel thing - I read a book by a couple who went that route. The book is called "Buen Camino," written by Jim & Eleanor Clem (available on Amazon). They made reservations by calling up hotels in towns where they planned to stop. Usually they would start calling the hotels (or having their current hosts do the calling) the day before.
They also discovered that making reservations was more important the closer they got to Santiago, as the pilgrimage got more and more crowded.
I posted another Camino thread here, but so far no one has answered. I'm not sure RS attracts too many pilgrims...anyway, buen camino!
I listened to an archived "Rick on Radio" (click on top of page) where he discussed the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage. It was very interesting and informative, if you haven't heard it.
Terry, Thanks for telling me about the RIck on Radio re: the Camino de Santiago--I will check it out! Gloria
Gloria, listening to "Rick on Radio" makes me want to do all kinds of things I'd never considered! I put it on my computer when I'm painting and get transported to many distant, exotic places. Hope you enjoy it.
My wife & I just returned from 2 weeks on the "Camino", walking from Leon to Santiago.
It was a powerful, & at times challenging walk. We planned our trip through World Expeditions as a self- guided tour. They arranged our lodging (in hotels) and transported our luggage. The extra expense of going through a tour company was worth it for us, since many of the hotels didn't have published web sites - just phone #s. Of course, now we have their web addresses! Rick needs to do more than a radio show about the Camino!
I believe that Rick's Spain guidebook states that the trek takes approx. 3 weeks. Everything else I've read about the pilgrimage would call that timetable wildly optimistic (especially if you begin at the traditional starting point of St. Jean, on the French/Spanish border).
Others have said that one should not approach the Camino with a set-in-stone itinerary, especially if you plan to walk a long route with a pack (being too ambitious can lead to fatigue, illness, and even injury if you're not used to long hikes).
I suppose it's easier to achieve certainty w/a tour package, but be advised that according to the books I've read, the hardcore pilgrims and refugios seem to look down their noses a bit on the "luxury" walkers. But then again, others say that any exposure to the Camino is better than none - and dabbling may whet one's appetite for a more extensive trip later on. So, perhaps there's no wrong way to do the Camino, as long as you do it...