Has anyone done the El Camino De Santiago in Spain? I plan on walking my first one in August this year, and would be interest to know if there is a community out there of South Africans willing to share their experiences.
Hi Lana - I’ve done the full Camino Frances in April 2017 and will be happy to answer any questions. I’ve also found the following forum VERY helpful: www.caminodesantiago.me. Which route are you planning to walk?
You can also join the Confraternity Of Saint James of South Africa group on Facebook. They are the official organisation dealing with all South African pilgrims. Everyone there is very helpful.
Hi Lana, I walked the Camino Frances last year. Top experience and I’d be happy to share any insights with you if you need any guidance at all!
Hi Hielienie, thank you so much. I had a look at the forum you suggested and was very insightful! I am doing the Camino Del Norte - the last 400km but I am also tempted to do the Primivito but worried that it’s too secluded.
Hey Jacqui, did you go as a solo female? And are the bed bugs as bad as the blogs say
Hey Lana! Yes I walked the Camino Fance solo. The best way to do it! The French way is a truly special trail and you’ll link up with so many like minded ‘pilgrims’.Take as little as possible. You’re spoilt on this trail with little cafés, pharmacies and if you arrive in Sain Jean, there is an awesome hiking shop with great gear plus there are outdoor stores along the way and so many people to assist you. “The Camino provides.”
You’re pack should be around 10% of your body weight. Re. Bed Bugs I did not come across an out break while I was on the trail or break out in bites. One hostel had closed their doors due to fumigation so they take it quite seriously. If you are worried I’d suggest taking a spray but most hostels offer clean sheets or disposable bedding options. There’s a rule to never place your pack on any bed as this is how they travel around. I also had a sleep liner (sportsman’s has affordabile first ascent options) and that was great for those nights that are warm and you don’t need a sleeping bag but want some protection. Hope that helps!
I’ve also done a solo French Camino and loved every minute. So much so that I’m going back for Del Norte next year.
Just one thought - since Del Norte is on the coast of Spain, August might not be the best time to walk it. Apparently the Albergues then also allow tourists to stay there and quite often pilgrims struggle to find a cheap bed. Which means you will have to stay in more expensive options. I’ve started a thread in the forum above to ask about the best time for Del Norte. You can find it here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/best-time-for-albergues-on-del-norte.60698/