Camino Frances

I’d like to plan a walk from St. Jean to Santiago that includes SOTA ops along the way. Tentative plan is to begin the walk mid to late May. I’d like to operate VHF with an HT and HF with my KX3. Who can assist me by identifying summits on or close to the Camino?


Hello Joseph . Of course, along the way there are many summits, at least nearby. I think that, as other foreign colleagues have done, you can contact the various Spanish colleagues.
In the EA2 area, where you start the route, you can contact Ignacio, EA2BD, who will be happy to help you. (I speak without consulting him, but I know he is like that).
When you get to the EA1 zone, specifically in the province of León, contact me. I am the AM of the EA1 zone and I will be happy to help you.

Juan, EA1AER

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Thank you Juan - I believe there is a summit above Roncesville which would be on the first day of the walk. Also a summit adjacent to O Cebreiero. I’d like to preplan so I can work with a tour company to add extra days at the appropriate points along the way.

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Near Foncebadon you have Cerro del Pico, EA1/LE-170, on the side of the road. Really easy.
A few kilometres further on you have Alto de la Pretadura EA1/LE-200. A bit more off the beaten track, but very easy too.
Near Ponferrada is Castro San Andrés EA1/LE-213.
I have activated these three summits and they are very easy. They won’t take much time.
But there are more. Cantera EA1/LE-214, I think it could be good for you.
Maybe also Souto EA1/LE-278 and Monte do Curisco EA1/LE-191.
Outside Leon you can find Chao da Poza EA1/LU-010.

This is the area I know personally. We can agree and explore other areas. There is time.

In 2019 Adrew, VK1DA, passed through here. He stayed a couple of days to rest in Leon, my city. I took him one day to see the Picos de Europa area and he activated a easy sota for the first time. My English is very bad, but I have improved since then. I don’t know if you speak any Spanish?
If you stop in my city, and I am not committed to other priority tasks, we can meet and do some activation together. I would love this


Many thanks for your suggested summits. I looked at the maps and this recommendation is just what I was hoping for. I will be able to plan for a few extra days in these areas. I speak a little Spanish; and I will hope to meet you while I am walking the Camino.

Hi Joseph,
It’s great to know you plan walking the Camino.
I live in Pamplona; you probably will spend a night here. Sure we can meet and arrange something for SOTA.

I find that carrying a KX3 + batt + mast + antenna + HT is in some way colliding with the light backpack that would make things easier for your very long pedestrian trip, but I understand you want to carry your own gear.
If you were fluent in CW a MTR would be an ideal solution.
I wouldn’t mind to let you use my SOTA gear while in EA2/NV, but I guess you prefer to carry your own all along the Camino.

Concerning Roncesvalles and some other areas of the Camino in Navarra, let me find and propose something suitable for you. I think I’ll send you a personal message to agree on that and dates, etc.

I guess you are aware of the correspondence of your HAM licence here in Spain:

Get in touch soon, espero poder ayudarte Joseph.
73 de Ignacio

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Greetings Ignacio - I have firmed up my plan for the Camino. I arrive at Madrid on the evening of 13 June and will start my Camino at Burgos on 16 June. That means I have 14 & 15 June for SOTA possibilities. Possibly I can take a train or bus to Pamplona and we can meet? I have decided not to carry my radio gear and would appreciate the opportunity to work a summit using your gear with you. I operate QRS CW. Can you suggest a place for us to meet and a summit?
Muchas gracias. AA0BV Joe

Hi ,
As Juan Carlos told you, there is a sota very close than the camino in Ponferrada, past friday I activated Castro San Andrés EA1/LE- 213 , the camino francés is just below the sota, the trekking from camino to summit is not more than 1 hour.

Jim N0IPA, activated it when he was making camino too.

If you have any questions feel free to send me e-mail

Enjoy the camino!!

Hi dear Joe,
thanks for your updated plan.
Well, I was expecting you would start from Roncesvalles in the North of Navarra, but now I see you will start mid of the way, from Burgos.

As you suggest you could use your “free” days" on 14 - 15 june to approach here, but I see some difficulties:
A train from Madrid to Pamplona is feasible but it takes about 4 hours. That would leave us only the afternoon on June the 14th as for a SOTA activation. On the 15th I’m working all morning and you will need a train or bus to go to Burgos to start your Camino in the morning of the 16th… You see? A tough agenda!

Let me think if we have any alternative… I know you will probably be supported in Leon by Juan Carlos EA1AER, some days later once you start the Camino.

I will try to find a suitable proposal.
73 Ignacio

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I usually work in León province, after two o’clock I’m free and I could take my sota gear and make a activation together(and with Juan Carlos EA1AER if he wants).

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Hi Joe,

As you will start at Burgos, I recommend visiting the Museum of Human Evolution there. It is a recently built and modern building, the exhibits use modern technology and it is a fantastic experience.
I spent some time there while walking the camino in 2019 and i want to return and see it all again.

Glad to see you are being offered the same hospitality as I was. You’ll enjoy meeting and activating with the EA SOTA group.

Good luck and don’t forget to add something to your feet and toes every morning if you want to avoid blisters. Despite all the walking I did before my camino I still got some blisters on my smallest toes after walking over the Pyrenees and to Pamplona. The Compeed treatment worked well for me but some were using plain vaseline. That experience taught me to grease my toes every morning.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA


Hello again Joe.
Great that you are finally coming to walk the Camino Frances. If you can’t make it to Pamplona it will be a shame. Ignacio is a wonderful host.
In any case in León we will try to receive you as well as possible.

Although we may have scheduling difficulties. If you leave Burgos on June 16, there could be 9 stages until you reach León. In this way you would arrive in my city on the 24th or 25th.
From the 26th or 27th until the 1st of July I will be out of León unavoidably. If you arrive before the 26th we will have the opportunity to meet and do some SOTA activation. I put my equipment without problems.

Doing an activation together can be done in two ways:

  • You take a free day and I take you on an excursion to some nice and easy sota summit in the province.
  • When you pass by the vicinity of one of the sota summits along the way, which I have already told you about, I come with the car and my equipment and we activate together.

If your availability and mine coincide we can even do both.

You also have Jon, EA3BV (what a coincidence in the suffix!) who is frequently in Ponferrada and you can meet for a similar plan.

By the way, do you work at CW? I do all my activations in CW with paddle keyer. In fact I have a SW-3B that only supports CW. I also have a Yaesu FT-817 that I haven’t taken into the mountains in a while. But it would be no problem to bring it back out.

If it’s ok with you, I’ll send you an email to your email address that you have in and we’ll work out the details.

At your disposal, 73


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I have responded with an email to your address listed in QRZ.

I have climbed with Joe on several activations, and he is very competent at CW. Slow and steady. We use the same equipment and have done s2s on all bands, including 23 cm. He and I are both quite overweight, but he has proven to have no limit to how far or high he can go.

My sympathy to Joe for the loss of his wife two months ago.

Elliott, K6EL


Thank you, Elliott. My XYL KE6UVR SK was one of my regular chasers, traveled with me to trail heads and followed my progress on APRS. When I returned from an activation I would always find the Google Maps APRS running with it showing my track from home to the summit and return. Nora encouraged me to return to Spain and walk the Camino.


Joe is CQing now as EA/AA0BV in 21.062 CW from EA4/MD-051.

GL es 73!

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