Camino de Santiago

When the Camino de Santiago is calling

Many have heard the “call of the Camino”. It is indeed an amazing and empowering journey, which can lead you to a great sense of achievement, extraordinary companionship and new friendships. But be sure not to be blinded by enthusiasm. Many people are forced to end their camino only a few days in, due to lack of knowledge or training. Make sure to make the most of this amazing pilgrimage and let Marks’ Camino preparation guide get you well on your way.

Starting Point

The Camino Frances. Crossing the Pyrenees is a challenge as well as a wonderful experience. There are two routes out of St Jean Pied-De- Port (St Jean), the Route Napoleon which is up and over the Pyrenees through the Ibaneta Pass at 1,055m or the valley or Via Valcarlos route. The Route Napoleon is closed over much of winter for safety reasons even so people try and some die. Both routes arrive in Roncesvalles in Spain.

Depending on the weather the scenery can be simply breathtaking or obscured by cloud and mist.

Fog on the top track before reaching snow in late April
Fog obscured the turn off this day. Many walkers missed this and walked on. Easy to get lost

The Pilgrims Office, no. 39 Rue de la Citadelle provides Credentials (pilgrims passports), shells, weather information as well as information on all the places to stay.

If you start in St Jean and walk the Route Napoleon you will see ancient wayside markers. On my first crossing the mist was very thick however on my second crossing  two years later it was glorious sunshine

On my last Camino about 40% of people had serious issues with blisters and similar problems by Burgos, 300 km and were having to stop.

So if not properly prepared then the odds against even getting across the Meseta are against you. Very sad as nearly all the problems are avoidable.



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