The seasons on the Spanish and Portuguese Caminos are divided into three-months period, and spring is from 20th March to 21st June. The seasons are usually a general guide about what is “supposed to” happen with the weather. It should be noted that weather conditions in Spain are variable and walkers do not always experience the climate they were expecting. Spring tends to bring one of the most unpredictable weather patterns. Temperatures vary greatly and it can rain for days on end, marking the tracks muddy and difficult to walk through. However, so far this spring has been extremely nice for walkers, especially during the Holy Week or Easter. It has been sunny and mild most of days. Maybe rains are coming soon but there has been a period of almost a month which pilgrims have enjoyed a perfect weather to walk. Many hikers start their Camino from March onwards, though The Camino Frances is not likely to be too busy until around mid-May. With the rains and warmer temperatures comes the new life of spring, and the Camino is a wonderful vista of colors and beautiful smells. Everything around you is bursting into a great range of sounds, scents and chromatic landscapes.
Among the many joys of getting up each morning and putting one foot in front of the other is the sheer beauty of the spring flowers that greet pilgrims walking the Camino in Spring at every turn. In tiny stone towns along the way, calla lilies grew thick and beautiful, alongside garden plots brim full of irises. Balconies from almost every house displayed geraniums, petunias, or some other floral bouquet. But more surprising to everybody were the wildflowers that grow in profusion along the roadsides. Some are familiar -wild roses, daisies, lilacs, poppies, broom, gorse, heather, cowslips, mustard…- but others are strange and wonderful. If you are fond of nature, maybe you could identify some of them but you surely need to be an expert to know the name of all.
Crops are growing in the massive wheat fields and the wind makes them wave like the sea.. The Camino led you through fields of green wheat lit with brilliant red poppies. It sometimes reminds pilgrims of being walking through a painting by Monet.
As you can see Spring on the Camino is like walking in this painting. Do you fancy it? Maybe you will have to take a backpack instead of an umbrella on your hiking though.
The grapevines from La Rioja to Galicia have not decided to wake up yet. The sprouts are shyly coming out. Here wild flowers are already out and a tree full of flowers adorns this field along the Camino.
The Camino will provide you with seasonal fruit: strawberries, oranges, cherries… they are sometimes wild and consequently free for walkers, fruit is often offered disinterestedly by farmers from their orchards and it is also sold in small local shops or markets. There is not anything better than a fresh bite of just hand-picked fruit on the Camino (whenever it is allowed, of course).
The Spring has just come to the Camino. Have you walked the Camino in Spring? Tell us your own experience.
Buen Camino, amigos!