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Accommodation (book or wing it?)

wormscoffer

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
June 2023
Hello all

I have three kids that are 15/19/22 and I have managed to tie them down to 9 days (2 travel and 7 walking) to do O Cebreiro -> Santiago from the 5th June.

We'll drive from France where we live and hopefully find somewhere to long-term park the car and then catch the bus back at then end.

I've booked overnight for the first night but am not sure if I need to book for each night now or just see what we can arrange as we arrive each evening/afternoon. We'll bring our well behaved dog if we can.

I'll keep researching but thought I'd get a post up quickly in case I need to do something fast.

Any advice appreciated.

Really excited about spending a week with the kids, nature and the Spanish countryside. Might be the last "family" holiday.

Thanks in advance.

Andrew
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
The dog is a "would be nice" but if having him will cause too many problems I'll leave him at home (not alone...obviously) Thanks @J Willhaus , I'll wait for more replies.
 
We'll drive from France where we live and hopefully find somewhere to long-term park the car and then catch the bus back at then end.
I suggest dropping off the family, continuing to Santiago to park and bus back to the family. Cheaper if done in a day and if you do need to get your car in a hurry it may be easier to get a ride to Santiago then back to wherever.
We'll bring our well behaved dog if we can.
Better make your reservations (with the dog) ahead of time then. Doing the camino with a dog AND a group/family can add to complications and stress that won't make the trip as nice as it could be.
 
Wing it. The kids are old enough to put up with a bit of uncertainty. In the event that you have to split yourselves between two nearby albergues I’m sure they would be fine.

Have a read of this, just trying to ignore the ‘fur baby’ reference.

I used to be 100% sure on ‘don’t bring the dog’. This thread’s probably backed me off to 75%.

Finally; I am in the habit of asking contributors with unusual user-names if they would like to share the story. Many have.

In your case, would you be offended if I asked you to keep it to yourself?
 
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Personally I would leave the dog. And how many of you are there? And are you willing to be split up if you can't find room for all of you in the same accommodation? The more of you there are - the more tricky it "might" be to find accommodations altogether. At a minimum - you might have to book in the morning or the night before in order to stay together. That isn't to say you won't be able to find beds together - just depends on the crowds and how full the places you want to stay are.
 
Probably won't be too many Spanish school children during this time as I think school does not get out until July, but it is a great stretch to meet young people who are out doing the Camino both for you and for your family. We met a group of six school boys walking together from the same school, a group of school children from the Philippines walking with their priest and we met many, many large families along this stretch. In fact I think we saw more young people in this stretch than any of the others combined. I think the second night in either Samos or Tricastella will be fine without booking at this time and you can gauge how many pilgrims you see in those first two days. There are many, many places to stay in Sarria and along the rest of the route--especially if you don't stop in the "main" towns listed as a "stage". You can decide enroute if you need to call ahead. There are some very large Xunta (Galcian Government) albergues in this stretch so if you want to try a taste of that with the kids, I would think there would be beds available.

Check Gronze.com for the places to stay in this stretch if you have not already.
 
Only me and the three kids. Yes, they are all old enough to cope with an adventure.

Thanks for the replies so far. I suspect that if it was just me and the dog that would be possible but add in the fact we'd be a group of four compounds the difficulty. Maybe I'll leave the dog for another, maybe longer, future pilgrimage.

The 15 year old is a boy so if we had to split up I'd pair with him and the two girls could hopefully lodge together.

Thinking about the car logistic but we really want to stick together. If that's a little time and cost I'm not bothered.

I'll have a look at Gronze.com.....thanks.
 
Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk. Discount is taken at check out, only by using this link.
Only me and the three kids. Yes, they are all old enough to cope with an adventure.

The 15 year old is a boy so if we had to split up I'd pair with him and the two girls could hopefully lodge together.
If there are just 4 of you - it could go either way. Either no problem getting accommodation last minute - or you might need to call ahead. When I walked, my group liked to stay together. We would get together in the evening and they would decide how far they wanted to walk - and someone would call around to find a room that could accommodate all of them. Quite often - they made it happen (even 10-15 people sometimes). But - at the time - the Spain hasn't been reopened long after COVID - so there weren't that many people hiking yet. Me? I didn't want to be tied down to the group night after night and I did my own thing.

So - you have 3 options:
1) start out early so you arrive early enough to get non-reservable beds
2) reserve in the AM or the night before
3) hope for the best, knowing you MIGHT have to walk further than you planned or you MIGHT have to split up , OR... it might be fine and everything falls into place!
 
If there are just 4 of you - it could go either way. Either no problem getting accommodation last minute - or you might need to call ahead. When I walked, my group liked to stay together. We would get together in the evening and they would decide how far they wanted to walk - and someone would call around to find a room that could accommodate all of them. Quite often - they made it happen (even 10-15 people sometimes). But - at the time - the Spain hasn't been reopened long after COVID - so there weren't that many people hiking yet. Me? I didn't want to be tied down to the group night after night and I did my own thing.

So - you have 3 options:
1) start out early so you arrive early enough to get non-reservable beds
2) reserve in the AM or the night before
3) hope for the best, knowing you MIGHT have to walk further than you planned or you MIGHT have to split up , OR... it might be fine and everything falls into place!

Per post #10 above, @wormscoffer has booked everything ahead.
I've ditched the dog option and booked us for every night.
 
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I have three kids that are 15/19/22 and I have managed to tie them down to 9 days (2 travel and 7 walking) to do O Cebreiro -> Santiago from the 5th June.
Congratulations!! What a lucky dad to be walking with your 3 children. I am so jealous. Have the time of your life. I am sure when you are done you will do longer caminos with 1, 2 or all 3 of your gems!
 
I would say it will be more difficult to walk with your dog as many albergues do not accept pets. There are others here that have walked with a pet and they might give you some information on places to stay.
Book it Use Camino Ways or Ultrya Tours
 
Hello all

I have three kids that are 15/19/22 and I have managed to tie them down to 9 days (2 travel and 7 walking) to do O Cebreiro -> Santiago from the 5th June.

We'll drive from France where we live and hopefully find somewhere to long-term park the car and then catch the bus back at then end.

I've booked overnight for the first night but am not sure if I need to book for each night now or just see what we can arrange as we arrive each evening/afternoon. We'll bring our well behaved dog if we can.

I'll keep researching but thought I'd get a post up quickly in case I need to do something fast.

Any advice appreciated.

Really excited about spending a week with the kids, nature and the Spanish countryside. Might be the last "family" holiday.

Thanks in advance.

Andrew
I would always wing it but then I walk on my own. With a family, I don't know. Your kids are old enough for them to split up and walk to next town but maybe detracts from the family experience. But you are starting in Galicia so there are a reasonable amount of xunta albergues that don't do reservations so you can walk in if you plan right. Don't tie yourself to guide book stages. Look for xuntas and walk between them. Also an old Spanish pilgrim gave me advice on my first Camino. Start walking around 6:30ish. Walk for 6 or 7 hours then stop at the first albergue you come to around 1pm. Worked for me over 5 trips out there. But then as I said, I am just one person with no-one else to worry about. The other point about the dog. I met a few pilgrims over the years walking with dogs. They were getting by but finding it difficult. Whatever you decide on, have a great time with my the kids and Buen camino
 
Oops, don't know what I was thinking when the 'my' slipped in there when taking about your kids
 
When I hiked the camino in September, there was a lady with a dog. She said it took a lot of advanced planning to find Albergues that allowed dogs. So, I wouldn't wing it.

IMG_2474.jpg
 
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I think this thread has about petered out now but it's been very helpful to me. As stated, earlier, I've abandoned the dog and have pre-booked.

Thanks to everyone that has contributed.

I'll spend some time reading around the forum.

Really looking forward to June now.
 
I've ditched the dog option and booked us for every night.
I think that will make life much easier. In particular it means to won't have to rush because of bed anxiety - or possibly lose team morale when you struggle to find somewhere...
How are you getting on with the parking logistics? I think the first option I'd try is to talk to the person running the place you are staying at in O Cebreiro. There's plenty of romm around the village for leaving a car for a week. But you'd want your hotelier(?) to confirm that it wouldn't be a problem. And if they know it's there they can let other people in the village know.
EDIT Just to add: if that doesn't work, you could try for a similar arrangement in Triacastela, which is a bit bigger. And park close to where you are staying there, and get a taxi up to O Cebreiro.
 
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Hello all

I have three kids that are 15/19/22 and I have managed to tie them down to 9 days (2 travel and 7 walking) to do O Cebreiro -> Santiago from the 5th June.

We'll drive from France where we live and hopefully find somewhere to long-term park the car and then catch the bus back at then end.

I've booked overnight for the first night but am not sure if I need to book for each night now or just see what we can arrange as we arrive each evening/afternoon. We'll bring our well behaved dog if we can.

I'll keep researching but thought I'd get a post up quickly in case I need to do something fast.

Any advice appreciated.

Really excited about spending a week with the kids, nature and the Spanish countryside. Might be the last "family" holiday.

Thanks in advance.

Andrew
I would book the first night (as you did). See how tough it is to find accommodation the second night. Triacastela is where it started to get a bit tougher on my 2016 Camino, but that was in August, and we still found a place, we just had to go through a few before we found an albergue that wasn't booked full. When it starts getting tougher, start booking a day in advance. Better than locking yourself in for the full Camino.

Edited to add: that's what I get for responding before reading the whole thread, advice given after the decision has been made. Oh well, I stand by the advice for some future pilgrim in a similar boat.
 
I've ditched the dog option and booked us for every night.
Aaah I’ve just read this thread 🤷🏻‍♀️

From O Cebreiro to Santiago you should have no problem finding dog friendly albergues, especially if you are already booking every night in advance. The places we have stayed are big enough to accommodate 4 of you and the dog.

Now there are many tour groups offering “Camino with a dog” packages from Sarria and at this very moment there is a group of peRRegrinos taking their hoomans to Santiago (up to 20 dogs from watching their videos! 20 dogs in Melide today). A Spanish lady walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago a few years ago and now has published a guidebook on Camino Frances with a dog, with recommendations and accommodation info etc. The 2nd edition is now out and available on Amazon in various countries. When working on the 2nd edition she was amazed at how there are many more dog friendly accommodations than before and having to update everything.

So in short, walking from O Cebreiro to Santiago with a dog, the problem won’t be about finding where to stay.

In June, it may get very hot - this depends though, I was there in between 2 heat waves and had a cool 15-20C with rain showers almost everyday. But it can get like 30C or more. With a dog you’ll have to set off early. I set off at 6.30 and other dog owners told me they set off at 5-5.30! So I think with 3 teenagers, how early can you set off in the morning?

The tarmac gets very hot and there’s a lot of them in Frances. Even when it’s a nice mid 20s C for us, the ground is probably a lot hotter.

So prob best leave the dog for another Camino. Taking a dog on a Camino also needs a lot of focus that I can’t imagine having to juggle that with looking after your children, unless they are very mature and the older ones can look after the young one. I’ve learnt my lesson and on subsequent, less dramatic, and injury-free Caminos I put paw balm twice a day (morning before setting off and afternoon after walking) while checking for any injuries on Fuji. This, plus my own stretching, washing, laundry, etc easily took 1-1.5 hours.

But I wouldn’t rule out taking your dog on a different Camino in the future though!

Parking wise, O Cebreiro is a small village so if you ask your hospitalero he might let you park somewhere for free and will keep an eye on it. So I guess it depends where your family is heading after Santiago?

Santiago has various residence parking restrictions, so it’s a bit trial and error, would you be happy to leave your car for a week on the street there? If looking for parking garage, my recommendation is Parking Xoan XXIII, it’s just behind the Pilgrim’s Office. It cost about €30/week.
 
Camino Way markers in Bronze
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk. Discount is taken at check out, only by using this link.

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