Reviwing the Itinerary is the best way to kow!  Here is the proposed Itinerary for Camino 2018

Humility fact:  Emperor Constantine I invited 1800 bishops to the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.  318, or 17% attended.  These were committed people responding to the Emperor! (Of course, they might have wondered about their safety!)

How does that relate to this trip?

  1. You don’t hurt any feelings by asking about it, and then not going, so ask away! AND more importantly, you will be free to choose what you do since no one will be offended and no pressure will be exerted upon you since you know your own needs.
  2. Apart from dates of travel, and time arrival windows, the only agenda is between you and God, so you will decide where to stay, what to eat and even what prayer activities to participate in during the pilgrimage.
  3. You might wonder about your safety, too, given the news about Catalunya.  Realize the Camino is on the opposite side of the country.  Sadly, Laura Woford is just your guide and can help you be safe, but cannot make any imperial guarantees about your personal safety!
  4. Your decisions will have an eternal impact on your life, on the life of your community and who knows, perhaps on human history, just like the decisions the Bishops made in Nicea (although possibly, the results will not be chronicled as carefully!).

Trip limited to between 6 and 10 travelers.  2 spaces already booked.  A few notes before you peruse the table of dates and travel:

  1. Each person pays for his or her bed in a hostel, but in hotels, room prices can be split.
  2. Train ticket prices are complete estimates based on current prices as if travel were taking place in March, as no tickets may be bought more than 62 days before travel.
  3. All named hotels and hostels are simply places where either I know their location is convenient in reference to a train station OR where I have stayed.  They are NOT recommendations.  All travelers book accomodations depending on personal preferences.  All travelers are then responsible for arriving to morning departure points for prayer time and evening prayer time (which will usually be after dinner from 8 to 9 pm, and will be at a place near dinner and can even take place where we have eaten dinner, so a central location can be chosen depending on where people have booked places to stay.
  4. No food estimates are given because this expenditure varies widely according to each person’s dietary habits.  Spain has great food, and usually, restaurants accommodate special requests, for example,  gluten-free.  
  5. Sample daily schedule on Camino:  up by 7 am, walking by 8, prayer while walking, snack at 10 or 11, Lunch at 1 or 2.  Arrive at hostel/hotel of choice by 4 to 6 pm.  Dinner at 7 or 8 pm.  (Dinner is late in Spain, and you may find restaurants do not open until 8 pm!  Each town varies, and we must be flexible.  For example, we may enter a restaurant and do the prayer and meditation time before dinner, since food may not yet be available.  Of course, this would depend on if we have all arrived from walking in time.) Finally, evening prayer after dinner for about an hour if it did not happen before dinner.  People generally go to sleep by 10 to 11 pm.  Most people wash their clothes from day 1 in shower or sink upon arriving at their accommodations.  Then, in Day 2 clothes, they rest, make dinner or find a place to eat and then determine where they want to go the next day, book that hostel, rest! or read or visit with those around them.  The current plan is to walk about 12-15 miles per day.  This takes between 8 and 10 hours (and can take 12 if one dawdles!)  Walking is only required if one wishes to get a “Compostela”, which is awarded free of charge for all who walk at least the last 100 km of the Camino.  Sarria is 108 km. from Santiago.
  6. Joining in prayer, art techniques for meditation and having Laura Woford help with taxi/bus/interpreting needs is available for $500.00 payable in advance of the trip.  Spanish law prohibits any tour guide activity by those not certified by Spain’s Ministry of the Interior.  I respect that care for proper education and treasuring of their national artifacts and only interpret information signs if English is not available.  The additional information about saints, along with the prayers and meditations, are outside the scope of what a tour guide would give you, which is why I may provide it for a fee.  That fee includes the information, meditations, language services, all materials and a folder for what you use along the Camino.  Prayer topics/intentions may be amended up to May 01.  Please feel free to suggest additions or changes.

 

Place/ time windows Date/Cost Estimate Suggested Prayer intention
Sample possible flights:

June 20 to July 02 price range – these are least expensive from reputable carriers, not using Orbitz or Justfly.  CDG is Charles de Gaulle airport, which is HUGE, and I’m not sure I would want to go through it! Note, a best practice is to fly at night (try to sleep – I put on an eye mask and a sign: No food, and use earplugs and headphones!)  Usual arrival late afternoon, and it is really important to stay awake as loooong as possible.  I usually walk around and enjoy the beauty of Madrid.  

Madrid arrival window:  2 pm to 10 pm.

20 Jun-21 Jun (see tiny red +1)

1,300

For safe travel, for  all pilgrims that they may have  open hearts, minds & souls

It’s not about what God will give you or what you might get.  It is about taking time to be away from your regular world and get closer to God.  

Metro from Barajas (the airport) to Tryp, hotel at Chamartin.  This is easy when you have packed lightly!

Arrival window:  3 to 11 pm

10 E /person For poor in big cities, for understanding and for silence
Hotel Tryp at Chamartin – Bookings.com shows several others, too.  This is the best price.  Arrival window:  4 to 12 am. $114, room w/ 2 twin beds Gratitude for a safe beginning!
Train from Madrid to Sarria.  Tickets not available to purchase yet.  Price and time are estimates based on current pricing.  The first date tickets can be purchased is 20 April.

NOTE:  This may end up being a train from Madrid to León and then bus to Sarria.

Arrival in Sarria window:  8 to 10 pm.  Make sure to ask for late arrival at either hostel or hotel.

22 Jun

~20 Euro

For the poor around the world; in gratitude for St. Teresa; for realization of power of prayer.
Sarria – or further along – depending on when we arrive in Sarria.

Hostal San Lázaro was nice.

~20 E/night – hostal Pray for all people we have known that were hard to love
Different stages along the Camino – recommendation is 7 days, walking about 20 km/ day to arrive in Santiago.

NOTE:  Those wishing to ship backpacks will need to budget about 3 to 5 E/day (30 E)

Those wishing to get a Compostela (walk ALL of last 100 km) will need to request the Camino Credential from the American Association of Camino Pilgrims no later than April 01:  http://www.americanpilgrims.org/credential-request

Watching the movie “The Way” with Martin Sheen is a good way to get a feel for this experience!

Morning departure time:  8 to 8:30

Evening arrival time:  7 to 8 pm.

22 – 28/29 Jun

120 E (at 20E/night)

Additional prayer topics for these days:

Saints who have made pilgrimages to intercede for us.  These will come out in blogs posts.

Pray for all people we have know that taught us important lessons; pray in gratitude for all those walking through life with us in past, now and in future, prayer time with St. Francis, who possibly walked Camino
Hostal La Estación, Santiago de Compostela (Miguel, owner, hosts the blind when they walk the Camino.  Studied art in Atlanta!)  Best to arrive by 4 pm, if possible.

Some people may walk faster and arrive in Santiago before the 29th.  Or they may simply wish to go ahead to Santiago in order to take bus trips out to Finisterre or Muxia (day trips from Santiago.)  Walkers may arrive before this date, also, in which case, many of us may decide to go on these side trips.  It is very difficult to predict the walking rate!

29 Jun

~20 E

This date could change – see note to left.

Pray for disabled & caretakers
Santiago to Madrid trip – train or plane

Schedules not out.  2016 options were 6 am train, 1 pm train.  Don’t know about flights.  As info becomes available, it will be posted.

Departure times flexible. Current train schedule has two departures:  one at 6 am and one at 1 pm.  These were the same in 2016.  Arrival time flexible in Madrid.

30 Jun

~20 to 30 Euros

Prayer of gratitude for all who helped us along the Camino (keep a list as you walk!)
Hotel in Madrid.  Mass at Cathedral. Time to be agreed upon by those wishing to attend Mass.   Day of rest.  Possible visits, depending on energy and interest:  Botanical Garden surrounding the Prado.  The Prado itself! Other famous sites in Madrid.

Arrival times for morning and evening prayer to be agreed upon by 30 June at 10 pm when all have returned from Santiago to Chamartin area.

30 Jun –

01 July

$114 -145, each night, so about 228

Prayer for our families and for wisdom; for world peace and victims of terrorism
Return home

Departure times flexible!

02 July Pray to grow in love for God and all in our lives.

 

Money Summary:  

 

A conservative spender should be well within a budget of $2,200.00.  If many items or expensive items are bought and lots of food or simply expensive food are eaten, then costs will increase.  As shown, travel and lodging are $1, 660. Budgeting  300 Euros would give you about 27/day to eat.  Other additional costs:  shipping backpack – 5/day, 7 days – 35 E;  washing and drying clothing 8 E/time – will depend on availability – about 24 Euros; taxi among towns can run as high as 30 Euro, but can be shared if more than one person; bus among towns runs about 10 Euros per passenger.  Buses and taxis must be paid in cash.  Credit cards may be used for train tickets.  For many people, eating less food (or less often!) or a bit more flexibly or adventurously (avoid raw eggs, seafood, please) than at home becomes a part of the transformation a pilgrimage works in our hearts, souls and minds.  Heaven, after all, is a different place than Earth!

 

Suggestions:

Money:

Bring extra Euros as getting them from banks and ATMs is not as easy as it used to be.  Get them by requesting them from your local bank at least 3 weeks before departure OR in the airport exchange windows.  Request an ATM pin for even chip cards to use them at ATMs at least a month before travel.

Accommodations:

Make an account on booking.com and use it for reservations because they stay on your phone in the app, which means no losing them & no data is needed to access them at the places during trip.

What to bring:

Pack really LIGHT.  Washing machines are available and cost about 3 Euros per wash.  OR bring items you can hand wash in a sink that will dry overnight (my favorite strategy).  2 Shirts;  2 pants or capris (no shorts, ladies);3 pairs of socks;  2 pairs underwear; moleskin and foot powder;  light jacket; rain poncho;  small microfiber fast dry towel. Hostels have blankets, no need for sleeping bags.  Some people like to pack a sleep sack to avoid touching bedding.  Travel sizes of toiletries.  How to consider these:  Hair products: Could you get by with just gel?  How about no hairspray?  Soap:  How about one soap for body, hair and clothes washing? (Dr. Bronners will do it all! So will Tate’s Miracle shampoo)  Walking shoes/boots – not new, and ONE pair of comfy shoes to wear around at night.  Some people do bring a pair of light shower shoes.  How about no hair dryers?  

All art materials will be in a duffle bag that will ship along with us and be available at each destination.  No need to keep yours with you, unless you want to do so.  Markers and colored pencils.  Cards and meditation pages.

More details:  

Walking and decisions on places to stay on the walk depends on how everyone is feeling.   At the time we are going, rooms can be booked during the walk as we decide where we wish to walk to the following day (see planning for stages here:  .  If walking is going slow, or anyone gets injured or sick, then buses or taxis run from every reasonably sized city on into Santiago, or simply to our next stopping point.

If walking goes well, and we arrive into Santiago on the 28th, it is delightful to spend time in the city at the Pilgrim’s museum, at an old church abbey, doing the walk all the way around the dity, or simply enjoying watching the people at an outdoor cafe.  The restaurants are many, with wonderful food and great atmosphere.

An interesting twist:  No train/bus/plane from Santiago to Madrid on Sunday, 01 July.

Therefore, whatever we decide to do on the walk, we must make the bus, train or plane to Madrid on Saturday, 30 June:

Interestingly, prices are not that different!  Riding in a bus is not my favorite, even with great company!

Once in Madrid, we will do as people’s energy levels permit.  Some may wish to spend the time resting at whatever hotel they chose; some may wish to explore around the hotel; some may wish to have an adventure and ride the metro to the Prado and its Botanical Garden, and/or near it, the Atocha train station and memorial to the victims of the train bombing in 2005.  Madrid is noted for its architecture and precious views can be had just walking the streets!  For fashionistas, Madrid is second only to Paris, so storefronts on the Gran Via are a sight to behold!

Please comment about any aspects of this that are intriguing or pleasing or objectionable to you!  Make your voice heard!

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