Information on the most visited continent in the world. Learn about Eurailing in the summer, travel through post-communist countries and what to do in London with a 12-hour layover.

Here's a cheap month in Spain for you

uspn

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 278
Joined: April 21st, 2008
Location: Oslo, Norway

Share on Orkut

This thread doesn't have any tags.

You can still check out the tag index though.

What are tags?
  • Added on: January 15th, 2011
I just traveled from one side of Spain to the other with free activities every day, accommodation costing 5-10 euros (less than 15 dollars) per night, taking me through great scenery, beautiful villages and some great cities, including Pamplona.

The bad news is that I had to walk the entire way. #8D) But it was great. Really great. It's an 800+ kilometres (500 miles) pilgrimage starting in France and ending in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

In case you're thinking of doing this, let me show you what you may expect to see if you walk it in September/October:
http://www.pvv.org/~bct/camino/

You may not think you can do a walk like that, but I'm pretty sure you can. I'm an atheist basing my view of the world on science myself, so I had no inner, spiritual force carrying me forward, and I met several people in their 70s and 80s on the trail. True, they would walk slowly, but they got there in the end.

So there you have it, if you ever have a month or so of your life to spend on a really low-budget visit through Spain.

Happy trails,

Bjørn
http://bjornfree.com/

busman7

User avatar
World Citizen
 
Posts: 1174
Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: Traveling for a while away from Playa San Diego SV

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 15th, 2011
That's cool, how long did it take the slow walkers to cover that distance? I am guessing maybe 2 months?

Sounds like something I would be interested in, great scenery & the price is definitely right. :)
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

larizzle

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 126
Joined: November 20th, 2008
Location: nashville

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 15th, 2011
Fantastic photos. I didn't realize how diverse the landscape of Northern Spain actually is... and it sounds like an amazing adventure. Thanks for sharing.

Chebasaz

User avatar
Guidebook Dependent
 
Posts: 23
Joined: October 25th, 2010
Location: Cuba

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 15th, 2011
Great photo journal! I've always enjoyed following along with your walks - keep them coming!

Question about El Camino: What was accommodation like? Pilgrim accommodation the entire way or did you end up camping on the road at all?
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

-Rudyard Kipling

uspn

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 278
Joined: April 21st, 2008
Location: Oslo, Norway

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 16th, 2011
busman7 wrote:That's cool, how long did it take the slow walkers to cover that distance? I am guessing maybe 2 months?


"Normal" walkers will typically spend 30-40 days on walking the entire stretch named Camino Frances, which starts in St Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrennes. But you're free to walk faster and slower, as you please. There are also various detours that can be added to the trail, or you can choose a different route. There's a northern route that follows the coast instead of going through the wineries and agricultural regions inland, or you can walk the somewhat shorter Portuguese route, which begins in and goes through Portugal, with more variation in scenery.

It's your choice! #8D)

Bjørn
http://bjornfree.com/

uspn

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 278
Joined: April 21st, 2008
Location: Oslo, Norway

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 16th, 2011
Chebasaz wrote:Question about El Camino: What was accommodation like? Pilgrim accommodation the entire way or did you end up camping on the road at all?


Along the most popular route, Camino Frances, you have a wide range of accommodation available most days. There's always at least one, usually several, pilgrim hostels available in a village, and sometimes in houses away from villages. Then you have casa rural, which is sort of like a bed&breakfast thing, usually very nice places. And then there are hotels of the usual kind. Also, if "everything is full", the local church may have a list of people who will take in pilgrims for the night. And then you can also always just sleep on the floor somewhere.

Generally you will have access to perfectly good meals wherever you go, and all these accommodations offer at least a bed and a warm shower, which is all you need at the end of the day.

I didn't camp, and I rarely saw others do it. I knew there would be no problem finding accommodation since I was there late in the season. During high season (July to mid-September) I suppose carrying a light tent would make sense and let you walk without regards to getting to exactly where you happen to have a reservation.

I did carry a sleeping bag and a thin mattress, though, so in theory I could easily have camped outside if necessary. But it wasn't. I still used the sleeping bag, as some nights were really cold, and definitely colder than the bed sheets some places had anticipated...

Bjørn
http://bjornfree.com/

busman7

User avatar
World Citizen
 
Posts: 1174
Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: Traveling for a while away from Playa San Diego SV

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 16th, 2011
Thanks, likely take me around 60 days then & think I would stick with the route through farm country.
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

Mama-to-many

User avatar
Street Food Connoisseur
 
Posts: 525
Joined: March 26th, 2007
Location: New Zealand

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 17th, 2011
So great to find someone who has actually done this! Now I can ask my detailed questions.
10 euros a night is not much when you are travelling alone; when there are ten of you it soon adds up to an expensive holiday. So is it POSSIBLE to camp anywhere? If we carried tents is there always *somewhere* to pitch them? (I assume, of course, that you need to ask farmers or whoever before pitching)
Does the route stick to roads? ie could you drive a motorhome along the route as a support vehicle?
Are there possibilities of purchasing "supermarket food" to be able to cook for yourself and not blow another 100 euros on restaurant fare? Or would you need to be well stocked with instant noodles before embarking on the hike?
Appreciate any feedback you can give....I'm bound to have more questions when I start thinking!
________________________
Pilgrims' Progress
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/kiwifamily/

uspn

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 278
Joined: April 21st, 2008
Location: Oslo, Norway

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 17th, 2011
Mama-to-many wrote:1. Is it POSSIBLE to camp anywhere? If we carried tents is there always *somewhere* to pitch them?

2. Does the route stick to roads? Could you drive a motorhome along the route as a support vehicle?

3. Are there possibilities of purchasing "supermarket food" to be able to cook for yourself?


1. Actually, most hostels do not accept groups of more than 6 people, so I suppose your little tribe could have a hard time finding "normal" pilgrim accommodation anyway. There's not always somewhere to pitch a tent, but if you do some research, I think that in general you will be able to find somewhere to pitch a tent. As you say, you will usually have to ask for permission first, usually from some farmer. Only a few of the hostels offer campgrounds, but often you can find good camp sites by just venturing a kilometre or so off the official trail.

I went in September/October and I saw almost no one camping. It's really cold outside during that time, so it makes sense to sleep inside. During the warm summer I think I might actually prefer camping, both to avoid the snoring and the hassle of having to book accommodation ahead.

2. The trail generally comes really close to roads several times every day, so having a motorhome would work. Many companies offer pilgrimages with a higher comfort level, where you sleep at really nice hotels, are driven to a scenic walk in the morning, then you walk for a few kilometres, and then you're picked up by car to your next comfortable hotel. By the end of the trip you will have walked much more than the required 100km and you'll have the stamps to prove it, qualifying you for the compostela/diploma.

3. Yes. Most days you will walk past at least one well-stocked supermarket, so you have access to all the groceries you need to cook for yourself. Many pilgrim hostels also offer access to good kitchens. If you have a motorhome, you'll probably have some kind of kitchen in it, so you can save lots of money on food for a group of your size.

The Camino is MUCH easier to do than most people seem to think. You can do it.

Bjørn
http://bjornfree.com/

busman7

User avatar
World Citizen
 
Posts: 1174
Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: Traveling for a while away from Playa San Diego SV

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 17th, 2011
Have been researching :google: the walk since uspn posted his experience & it is now high on my bucket list :rockout: for a couple reasons, none of them religious.

That's the great thing about BootsNall, you get ideas for trips you never would have thought about doing it if it hadn't been posted. 8-)
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

Mama-to-many

User avatar
Street Food Connoisseur
 
Posts: 525
Joined: March 26th, 2007
Location: New Zealand

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 17th, 2011
Thanks for your replies - knowing we can get food (ie not have to eat in a restuarant) and probably find somewhere to stop (whether that is tenting or motorhoming) makes it a real do-able option for us. I note you said it was cold in September/October...so you wouldn't suggest going in November/December? Our tentative thoughts were to head south (ie Spain/Portugal/Morocco) for November through February, but maybe the walk is not realistic at that time of year.Or perhaps we can pretend we're Shackleton ;) Be honest - if you think it's crazy, say so!
________________________
Pilgrims' Progress
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/kiwifamily/

Tortuga_traveller

Extra Pages in Passport
 
Posts: 3454
Joined: November 19th, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 17th, 2011
1. I did the Camino Frances from a not so good condition, and did it in 45 days with an over-heavy backpack, counting a one week stop because my shoes were one half size too small, and I had to stop for a week to heal my feet. I also took a few days vacation from walking in Leon and Burgos, because those two towns have got cathedrals one has GOT to see.

2. 10 euros a day is possible, but more like 20-25 euros total for comfort. I tried to stay in private hostels myself, which cost a bit more(and often were less crowded with better facilities), and ate in taverns where there was a Menu del Dia for about 9-10 euros per person, in a three course meal. Sometimes I had company and we ordered a decent bottle of red wine. Very civilised indeed, and very welcome after a day of walking. I also bought Queso Manchego whenever possible in small amounts, as cheese is a great hiking food, and Queso Manchego is a really top drawer cheese, if a bit pricy.

3. At the beginnning, I brought lots of food. Now, more experienced, I took a smaller pack and took with me:
Nuts
Dried bread
Cheese
Fruits, appples, oranges, a banana or two.
Chocolate bars with a 30-50% cocoa content, no more. The higher the cocoa content, the faster the bars melt in your pack. When you get to a store, and have a yen for chocolate immediately, go for the quality stuff.

There will be stores where you can buy this at each stage.

You can eat the fruits as you walk. Since they are 90% water, they will hydrate you as well as provide nutrition on the path. I like to eat most of my days food by 1 am, so my pack is lighter by the time I hit the alberques.

Chocolate gives you energy, and magnesium.
Bananas give you Potassium and immediately available sugars
Magnesium and Potassium are the two minerals that are used up while exerting oneself physically,and supply of such increases stamina.

Some hikers swear by Gorp, it serves the same purpose.

3. Water, at least two liters. Drink it often, especially on hot days. That way by one o clock, you're much lighter. The last few hours of walking, when you're most tired, becomes easier. For some reason, water IN the body weighs less to carry than water ON the body, up to a point.

4.Sleeping bag. Yes. Even if its a small light one, sometimes the blankets provided are not sufficient on cold nights.

5. Air mattress, light, if your back is sketchy, like mine. Nothing like a light Thermarest to make an oversoft bed hard, or a hard floor an acceptable bed. One time I was in an Alberque where people were stacked like sardines in a huge room using double decker beds. I saw the mess, and took a floor space, thank you. Snoring grows less annoying the farther a snorer is from you.

6. A compass is a good idea. Generally you want to be going west, If your path goes East for a very long time, you're probably going the wrong way thanks to a badly marked trail, and there are a few. Be aware that in some places, arrows ARE misplaced. If a trail seems wrong, it may be.

7. Plan your route based upon your ability. Sometimes the next sleeping place is 27 kilometers away from the last, so you may want to stop at the alburque before that long one even if it means walking only half a day. Most people prefer to walk less than 35 kilometers in a day because once they finish it, their legs and feet make them pay for it by hurting them for days afterwards. You will find out soon enough what kind of hiker you are, and LISTEN to your feet and your body.

8. Generally, it is better to arrive at 2-4 pm rather than say, 7 pm. There will be more room at the alberques, and equally importantly, you'll have time to relax, wash the days clothes, and put them on a drying line. By the end of the sun, on a hot day, everything will be dried and lighter. Those clothes , usually socks and your towel, that are not dried, can be hung on the back of the backpack until the next day's sun will dry it. It may take you say, five more days to complete the peregrination, but you will have time to enjoy the place you've actually arrived at, AND

Actually see the churches that the Camino passes, which USED to be the point of the journey. THe end of the journey is indeed the Cathedral of Santiago Compostela, and there are other notables along the way. I'm no Catholic, and I made sure to attend as many masses as I had the energy for. It is a spiritual journey, after all, or was supposed to be. Plenty of people turn it into a race or test of their walking abilities, and thats fine too. I used the walking itself as a form of meditation, and I just liked to attend the churches so I could see the interiors and experience them in the context of their USE. Everyone has their own motivations, but the walking will make its mark on you. This is a good thing.




THis is a start.

Private message me for any other questions, or do it here.

uspn

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 278
Joined: April 21st, 2008
Location: Oslo, Norway

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 18th, 2011
Mama-to-many wrote:I note you said it was cold in September/October...so you wouldn't suggest going in November/December? Be honest - if you think it's crazy, say so!


There are more pilgrims finishing in Santiago on any single day in August than there in the entire months of December or January. There's probably a reason for that...

You certainly can walk during the winter, but you're likely to be wading through snow quite often on your trip, and the images in your head afterwards will be nothing like the pictures you typically see from the Way. I honestly think it makes most sense walking it either in the spring or in the fall, when there aren't too many people on the Camino, and when the weather is likely to allow you to appreciate the scenery. Autumn may be best, as spring can be quite rainy and stormy.

Whenever you go, tell us how it went. #8D)

Bjørn
http://bjornfree.com/

Chebasaz

User avatar
Guidebook Dependent
 
Posts: 23
Joined: October 25th, 2010
Location: Cuba

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 19th, 2011
Great! Appreciate the reply and all of the information here. Definitely something that I'm going to look into.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!

-Rudyard Kipling

Mama-to-many

User avatar
Street Food Connoisseur
 
Posts: 525
Joined: March 26th, 2007
Location: New Zealand

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: January 19th, 2011
Here's the deal: I had been trying to convince hubby to another 15 month stint away (this time motorhoming round Europe/North Africa/Middle East). He was none too keen about getting more time off work so soon after returning (it's barely been a year).

I showed him your pics, and as of yesterday he's asking all sorts of questions about the walk (like, are there toilets along the route - surely tens of thousands of people can't be cr*pping in farmers' fields!)....and suggesting maybe we do a three month London/Paris/The Walk. I'm figuring that's better than nothing. So now there are more questions.

* Is there a lower age limit at the accomodations?
* Could you conceivably book six beds and then let kids top and tail? (to make sure you had a booking) Or could you book as two separate groups? Boys group and girls' group perhaps.
* Are the dorms sex-segregated?
* Did you need to book your bed in September/October?
* Was your experience largely solitary or did you meet with lots of others on the route? Do people tend to walk along together and chat, or talk together in the evenings? (or course will depend on the individual, so I guess the question is did you find yourself mixing with others or does everyone go to sleep at dusk?)
* Is there internet access? ie could we blog daily or often or never?
* Is there a website you would recommend for all the questions you don't want to field!? (routes, maps, accom directories etc)
* Oh yeah, and the toilet one!

watch this space for : 8 kids, one 80-year-old Grandpa, 800km and $8,000
________________________
Pilgrims' Progress
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/kiwifamily/


Next

Return to Europe Travel

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

PLEASE NOTE: Your original BootsnAll Boards Member login still works by logging in below on the Boards.
We have a new BootsnAll Account that you will start seeing around the BootsnAll Travel Network. This new login is not yet linked to your current Boards Account. In the meantime, you will need to sign up (for a BootsnAll Account) to use Account features like Indie ™ , Traveler Profiles etc.

Quick Links

Community Activity

Statistics for the last 7 days

New posts:
0
Newest Member:
Seni Tours


Indie - Multi Country Flight Finder
Round the World Travelers


Join BootsnAll on Facebook

1 (503) 528-1005

© 2018 BootsnAll Travel Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.