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Camino Frances, 14.04-26.05.22, Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela

I knew I wanted to walk the Camino again, as had broken my wrist in 2018, cutting it short. Started planning in Jan. and Feb. writing to all of the albergues that looked appealing to me and getting flights. Fortunately, LH flies direct from Santiago to Frankfurt now. Majority of the albergues wrote back with a confirmed reservation for me. None of them asked for CC, only that I call the day ahead. Booked 32 nights with this method, and 8 nights using booking dot com. Had 2 nights in Pamplona at the beginning, and 2 nights in Santiago at the end.
My back pack weighed 6.3kg, not including water. For those who want to see what I take with me, you can check my FB page: Camino Jo.

Flew from Frankfurt to Barcelona on 14.04, then took a train to Pamplona. Met up with 2 women from the Camiga FB page I am on, which was fun. Next day, explored Pamplona and the filmed the whole Good Friday Procession, which was very impressive. Didn't get a lot of sleep as the partiers came in late. Fortunately, the albergue had beds with curtains.
Up early and was on my way by 06:30, goal was to find coffee and breakfast and get walking before it got too hot.
Had 2 hot days in a row and the rest of the days were cool, with about 5-6 days of rain total over the 40 days of walking. We had a lot of really windy weather at the beginning. I was happy that the weather was pretty decent for me the whole way. Wore my poncho quite often and there were days where I had it on and off 10 times.

It was an international Camino for sure, with a lot more Germans and Dutch than what I had seen before. Always lots of Koreans and there were plenty of Spaniards the 1st two weeks because of Easter break. Felt like there were not as many Americans, Canadians or Brits until towards the end.

I mainly stayed in albergues, but always scored the bottom bunk, either because I had reserved it, or got there first, or cause of my age. Some albergues are moving to having single beds instead of bunks, and I tried to choose those. New trend is bunk beds, but with curtains, plug and light. Those are a plus! Stayed in a couple of hotels, and because I caught a cold twice, stayed in a single room for a night or two.

This was my first time to use bag transport and I started using this after Burgos, cause my cold was lingering a bit. At 4-5€ per day, it is a bargain. Went and got a small sports bag to use for the transport, so I could wear my back pack. With the hip belt, it takes the weight off of your shoulders. Saw so many women with sore shoulders, cause their little day packs were dragging them down, with all the water, ponchos, food, etc. in them. Tip? Wear your back pack! I also had zero blisters, cause I wear nylons under my socks and turn both inside out.

Had some nice communal meals at albergues that offered that. Makes for a pleasant evening and often is better food. During the day, cafes and bars abound, but it pays to use the Wise Pilgrim or Camino Ninja apps to see which towns have them. There were many days where we had to walk a good 2-3 hours before finding a place to drink or eat, and there is one day, with 17km with nothing. It pays to prepare for this.

All in all, it was a lot of fun, though my one leg started acting up and caused me a lot of pain. I am also out of breath climbing hills and lots of people passed me by. Because of this, I don't think I made as many friends or contacts as on other Caminos. Most of my days were between 15-20km, with a few that were 21-24km. Next time, will keep them at 15 and under.

I did make a video each day and those can all be found on YouTube under "Camino for Everyone". I wanted to present a Camino from a senior womans point of view. Showing where I slept and what we ate and lots of scenery and churches. The yellow fields of Canola flowers were stunning.
Let me know if you want any information about the Camino. Have also walked the Portuguese once and parts of the Frances twice before.

Posted by
1244 posts

Thank you! I am a senior woman and will relish this info. Putting your YT channel on my watch list for this evening.

Posted by
9046 posts

Great Debbie. If you have any questions, message me or ask here.
Hoping to do the central Portuguese route next spring, possibly.

Posted by
33339 posts

I'm so glad that your wrist survived this one, sorry about the leg.

I like the idea of improvements to the hostel bunks.

Thanks for the report, Ms Jo.

Posted by
246 posts

What a lovely and informative report. My plan for 2020 was cut short. This year some travel but other commitments prevented a reschedule. Next year I hope.

Posted by
2599 posts

What else would you have carried if you weren't as concerned about weight? Were there moments where you wished you had x ? What?

Posted by
9046 posts

I am quite happy with what I take with me and haven't missed anything. Have had the same basic stuff on 4 Caminos now. The shirts and pants have changed, but that is about it. May drop the crocs next time, but need something else.
Remember, you have to carry your stuff at airports and train stations and I probably will continue to carry all my things on the next Camino. For carry-on, it has to stay under 8kg anyway. I just like having it all with me all the time, and frankly, over a 3-6 week time period, that 5€ per day for transport adds up.

Posted by
2238 posts

Thank you for this report and posting about your YouTube videos. My virtual Camino walk in 2020 with Conqueror Challenge helped get me through the lockdown. I’m hoping someday to at least walk part of it, but in the meantime I’ll happily watch your experience.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi Ms Jo,
We have enjoyed watching your YT video’s. You explain everything so well. Thank you!
We are planning a Camino trip in the next 18 months, and I do have a question.
I will be traveling with my husband, and we would like to know if there are double private rooms available at the albergue?
thank you so much,
Barb and Steve

Posted by
9046 posts

Many albergues have private, double rooms as well as the dorm rooms. Their websites will offer this or say that they offer them. Price is anywhere from 25-45€ usually.