Simon Green walked de Camino de Santiago from Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela and written a book about his experience, now available on Kindle. He shares his thoughts on getting up early on the Camino.
by Simon Green
One of the nicest parts for me of walking El Camino de Santiago is that quite often, early in the morning, you’ll be in the middle of the countryside and you will bear witness to some amazing sunrises.
You will more likely be getting out of bed much earlier in the morning and on a more regular basis than if you were at home. Going to bed early and then waking up early becomes a natural pattern that you fall into easily on El Camino. Without the typical evening ‘distractions’ you may have at home and the fact that you’ll probably be pretty tired from the day’s walking, going to bed nice and early, even for someone that typically goes to bed late, is easy.
One advantage of starting the day early, especially during the later stages as you get closer to Santiago, is to arrive at the albergue* before it opens so to secure your bed for the night. There are limited spaces and when full, you will need to find alternative accommodation to the official council run dwellings. These albergues generally open at 13:00 in the afternoon and we’ve seen people queuing much earlier to ensure that they got in. If you do arrive later and you can’t get in to the council albergue, there are usually other private options available!). Alternatively, for a more stress-free solution, you could book your accommodation in advance through CaminoWays.com for example.
Starting your day early has many advantages, another being that it’s a special moment of the day being able to walk through remote countryside during these early hours, watching the day beginning. These photographs here are of one of the nicest sunrises I have ever seen, taken just after leaving Sarria (Lugo), 110kms away from Santiago. Of course the photos don’t do it justice, no photograph will ever compare to the real thing but I hope you can imagine!
Do you think waking early is essential? Did you see any great sunrises and if so, where from?
*Albergue, the typical hostels where people sleep during El Camino de Santiago.
The book ‘El Camino de Santiago – An introspective view of walking 220kms in nine days between Ponferrada and Santiago de Compostela’ is available now on Kindle format in all Amazon stores.
Simon’s book facebook page
*For more information about the Camino de Santiago or to book your Camino trip, contact our travel specialists