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Camino de Santiago de Compostella
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Anthony Green
(antgreen) - F

Locale: Reading - UK
Camino de Santiago de Compostella on 07/17/2010 15:25:03 MDT Print View

Hi Folks,

My Father and I have made plans to complete the last 100 miles of the Camino next May, right after Easter.

I have gear, and a fair idea of what I'll take. My Father doesn't really have anything.

We will be staying in Refuges which operate on a first come first served basis, should they be full, we will hope to say in a Hostel, B&B or hotel. I'll take a tent as emergency backup.

Anyone any experience of this route?

My Father will be 71 at the time, he is very active, but we have planned a rest day, so the schedule looks like this:

O Cebreiro to Triacastela
Miles: 13
Ascent 165
Descent 1881

Triacastela to Sarria
Miles: 11
Ascent 990
Descent 1518

Sarria to Portomarin
Miles: 13
Ascent 792
Descent 1122

Portomarin to Palas del Re
Miles: 15
Ascent 1485
Descent 594

Rest day in Palas del Rey

Palas del Rey to Arzua
Miles: 18
Ascent 660
Descent 1254

Arzua to Lavocolla
Miles: 16
Ascent 660
Descent 825

Lavocallo to Santiago
Miles: 6
Ascent 165
Descent 297

We live in the UK, so will be buying gear for my father from cotswoldoutdoor,com, snowandrock, fieldandtrek or ellisbrigham.

I can't really think of anything to get him other than a rucksack, sleeping bag and waterproof. Maybe hiking poles.

Any advice about the hike? Any advice I can relay to my father?


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Camino de Santiago de Compostella on 07/17/2010 17:21:36 MDT Print View

Waterproofs: I suggest a poncho for that country.
Joggers - generously sized. NOT boots.
Tent: really not needed for this route imho.
Inner sheet - optional, see Refuge rules.
Fleece or down jacket - maybe consider.
Thick wool socks!

Are you taking a small stove and kettle and cups for morning tea? That, with fresh local bread and jam, might REALLY make the trip for him.


Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Camino de Santiago de Compostella on 07/17/2010 18:03:16 MDT Print View

Very popular rainwear on the Camino is the Altus Atmospheric Poncho, a Spanish made cagoule. You can get it at Barrabes, an online Spanish outdoor store that includes an English interface. At €30.00 it's very reasonable.

Altus Atmospheric Poncho

Edited by butuki on 07/17/2010 18:04:02 MDT.

jens fröberg
Camino de Santiago de Compostella on 07/18/2010 16:43:48 MDT Print View

i walked it a couple a years ago, in winter time, but heard that it could be really hard to get room in hostels in summer, its super crowded. some of the hostels are superbig, so try to plan to sleep in the places where there are many many beds.

heres a list of hostels and how many beds they have, maybe you allready know, but here you go anyway.

i walked too many kilometers everyday so i dident stay in the places you stayed so i cant really recommend any hostels.

you need a credecial or how it is spelled, pilgrim pass, to be able to sleep in the hostels as well, you can get in only in bigger cities, or in roncesessvales, saint jean de port.

i think the last part is nice, most of the trek is really on car roads, but the last bit is a bit of offroad.

it rains very much in galicia. the ground is very wet.
and quite windy.

please ask me more, if you need any more advice.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Camino de Santiago de Compostella on 07/19/2010 03:58:13 MDT Print View

I hiked it during the first of June and the mountains were cold, rainy. I wore layered tops with a windbreaker made waterproof, and rainpants mostly to just stay warm. Poncho's are a personal thing. Those who wore what is shown above or other models struggled with them either by wind or taking them off and on.

The larger Albergues, such as in Portomarin, fill up quickly, but in May, you shouldn't have too much trouble. July and August are the busy months. There are more and more private albergues being built along the way which are more costly.

I wore trail runners and used Body Glide daily on my feet. Many pilgrims had so much torn feet, it wasn't funny. I never had a hotspot or problem. I wore thin merino socks. Washed things each night. A clothesline is provided at the hostels. Some have washing machines, too, for a fee.

There are several websites with forums that give good info.

Bring a small stove if you can. But nothing beats stopping at a cafe and having that wonderful cafe con leche and a sweet roll. I just carried bread and cheese or some salami for lunch.

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Ear plugs on 07/24/2010 19:00:16 MDT Print View

Have a great trip!

Remember to take a good pair of ear plugs - mine are some sort of silicon rubber weighing 1 gram or 6 grams with container. They will be possibly the most important item of gear you have if you are using hostels or refuges or anywhere on a busy road. I never travel without.

Anthony Green
(antgreen) - F

Locale: Reading - UK
thank you on 07/25/2010 02:19:41 MDT Print View

This is excellent, I am having dinner with my father on Tuesday to set dates and shore up the itinerary.

We plan to go in early May, and we will have a good idea of likely packlists which i'll post here. Being 71, It's unlikely my father will want to purchase much for the trip.

I think I could persuade him to invest in a backpack, baselayers and sleeping bag liner.

I may have to loan him some stuff. One question on mid- layers... would you take a Patagonia down jacket or an Arcteryx Gamma SV.

K Magz
(lapedestrienne) - F

Locale: somewhere without screens
Camino gearlist on 07/26/2010 12:14:05 MDT Print View

Buen Camino, Anthony!
I walked to SdeC last July via el Norte and el Primitivo; the temps in midsummer were consistently 80s and 90s F, but in May the climate will be considerably colder and quite damp. Even in Galicia, you will encounter quite a bit of road-walking, so be prepared with comfortable shoes. Some people would opt for the most waterproof option, but keep in mind that lightweight trailrunning shoes will dry much faster, as long as ankle support is not an issue for you. I brought my trekking poles and was so happy I had them--many on the camino prefer a single wooden walking staff, but I like getting as much weight as possible off my knees and ankles.

One nice aspect of walking the Camino is that you needn't worry about carrying tons of gear. Most people do not bother with a tent and find it to be extra weight. Unless you have made plans to camp often along the way (which is how I planned my itinerary), leave the tent at home. As long as you finish your walking fairly early in the day (start as early as possible in the morning), you should have no trouble finding beds in the albergues. Also, although I can understand why people carry stoves, this seems like overkill to me, since there are myriad opportunities for hot meals as the trail passes through so many villages and towns. (+1 on the cafe con leche!)

In terms of insulating layers, I would opt for the down jacket, simply because it is lighter and more packable than the Arcteryx softshell, and has better warmth:weight ratio. Just make sure you have a good waterproof shell to keep the rain and heavy mists and fogs off. The Galician "lluvisna" is legendary! Many use ponchos to cover themselves and their packs, but I was quite happy with my rainshell (better than a poncho in the wind) and a plastic trash bag as a pack liner (cheaper than a fancy pack cover).

One more thing, keep your eyes out for the new movie "The Way" starring Martin Sheen. Not sure of the release date, but it's a father-son story about walking the Camino--looks a bit corny, but I'm sure I'll be seeing it when it hits the theatres. Suerte~KM