FAQ : Day's journey


                                                                Day's journey


  American Pilgrims FAQs          



  What about keeping a journal?

- One way to make your Camino even more interesting is to keep a journal.

- This could be simple jottings at the end of each day or it could balloon into the form of a nascent book.

- By keeping a journal you can train yourself to pay more attention to the interesting things that you experience and possibly even get more ideas about how to improve the trip.

- In addition, by keeping a record of what you are doing as you are doing it, you will have more detailed information to share with others when you return.

- And, of course, going back and reading your own travel journal months or years later can bring the trip back to life even more vividly than photos or video.


- A few tips: Buy a journal that will last—something considerably more substantial than a spiral notebook. You will be collecting one or two sellos each day in your credential but why not collect dozens in your journal? Simply scatter them around on the pages and write around them. Use the journal as the place you keep contact information of others you meet on the Camino. Draw the occasional sketch—you don't have to be Rembrandt! Your sketch will capture the essence of what caught your eye and imagination. Before you leave home jot notes to yourself about things that might be useful or even critical along the way: The details of your air, bus and/or train itineraries, a few important phone numbers, some diversions that you want to see.


  What does a pilgrim do besides walk?

- Well, you know you're going to walk or cycle but what else are you going to do? Even in the Middle Ages there was a touristic element to pilgrimage so don't feel bad about following this example.

- If you will be walking for more than a week or ten days you should consider adding a rest day that will coincide with being in some interesting place.

- Some of the more obvious cities on the francés would be Pamplona, Burgos, León and Ponferrada.

- One advantage that cyclists have over walkers is that if an attraction is more than a half kilometer off the trail of yellow arrows, the walker is not likely to detour while the cyclist won't think twice.


  What is typical day on the Road like?

- Of course no day is 'typical' but this might be a common scenario.

- If you are staying in an albergue—and this is highly recommended—your day will typically begin about 6:00 a.m., although the 'bag rustlers' may have been up and about since 5:00 or before. You may also have endured a professional caliber roncador (snorer) during the night. A lot of peregrinos use earplugs!

- Sometimes a breakfast will be available in the albergue, although often not. most likely you will be able to find something to eat nearby, but sometimes you may have to walk for an hour or more to find something open.

- Almost always this will be in a bar—Spanish bars serve a much wider purpose than they typically do in North America. Breakfast will typically be a café con leche - un grande, por favor, toast or bread, butter, jam and most likely freshly-squeezed orange juice.


- Then you will walk. Or bicycle. Sometimes you'll travel alone, sometimes you'll find yourself traveling and talking with a complete stranger. You will learn to execute the 'language dance' wherein you determine the best common language between you.

- How late in the day you will walk will depend on many factors—your endurance, the weather, how many kilometers you want to cover, the spacing between towns.

- Many peregrinos stop for the day around 1:00 or 2:00 which is typically more or less when the albergues start registering for the night.


- The albergues are where you will meet others on the Camino and this will become one of the most important memories of your experience.

- In the albergues a typical routine will be to claim a bed, dig some clean clothes out of your pack, take a shower, wash dirty clothes, take a siesta and then early in the evening find something to eat.

- In most of Spain eating in the evening before, say, 9:00 is very difficult—not to mention considered completely uncivilized!

- On the Camino it will generally be easier because there will be restaurants and bars catering to the daily cycle of the peregrinos.

- Then you will crash for the night, quietly praying to yourself that that guy next to you isn't one of the roncadores profesionales. Then you'll get up and do it all over again!



- Spain, like essentially all of Europe, uses 230V, 50Hz electricity (North America is 120V, 60Hz) and they have outlets that are incompatible with standard North American plugs. A very useful website is the World Electrical Guide http://kropla.com/electric2.htm

- scroll down to Spain and click on the two image links, C and F.

- So you will definitely need an adapter to accommodate your two-bladed plugs to their two-round hole outlets. (Pay attention to the presence or absence of the third, round grounding prong. Be sure that everything will plug together.)

- You may not need a voltage converter as these days most small electronic devices are compatible with both 120V and 230V. Look carefully at the device's electrical information label. A helpful hint: In albergues, electrical outlets are at a premium! Take along an electrical cube in addition to your adapter so when you do manage to commander an outlet, you can plug in everything that needs rejuvenating. And again pay attention to that grounding prong!




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