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Advice… please… 🙏🏻 (About starting time each day)

CroPilgrim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Starting from SJDP in June
Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.

Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm? Since everyone is there since 1pm… or is there another problem I am not aware of?

Dear experienced pilgrims, please advise :) THANK YOU!
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
That used to be my usual pattern when walking back when numbers were very small. These days June on the Frances is very busy and you may have trouble occasionally finding a bed that late in the day. You may have to try a number of places to find one. And even if you have made a reservation you may find that by late afternoon the hospitaleros have assumed you are not going to turn up and have given the bed to someone else. Sadly it is not uncommon for people to make multiple reservations and not cancel the unused ones. It would be important to state very clearly that you will be arriving late and confirm that a bed will be held for you.
 
That used to be my usual pattern when walking back when numbers were very small. These days June on the Frances is very busy and you may have trouble occasionally finding a bed that late in the day. You may have to try a number of places to find one. And even if you have made a reservation you may find that by late afternoon the hospitaleros have assumed you are not going to turn up and have given the bed to someone else. Sadly it is not uncommon for people to make multiple reservations and not cancel the unused ones. It would be important to state very clearly that you will be arriving late and confirm that a bed will be held for you.
Thank you for your reply. I do not want to make my Camino about “running to catch a bed”… I will make sure to communicate my late arrival on time to the host… that is all I can do 😬
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Thank you for your reply. I do not want to make my Camino about “running to catch a bed”… I will make sure to communicate my late arrival on time to the host… that is all I can do 😬
If you book ahead and confirm on the day that should work. You can usually do that by text message, which is easier if you don't speak much Spanish.
 
Honestly it is very hot in the late afternoon and early evening. Be prepared to change your plans for your health.

Also if you are staying in albergues, even with a reservation, you will likely only find an upper bunk that late if that matters.

Edit: You'll need to be out of the albergue by 8 am as that is the closing time. Other early risers may foil your plans for "sleeping in" for a later start so be aware of that. You may want hotel rooms as a result.
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
Also if you are staying in albergues, even with a reservation, you will likely only find an upper bunk that late if that matters.

Edit: You'll need to be out of the albergue by 8 am as that is the closing time. Other early risers may foil your plans for "sleeping in" for a later start so be aware of that. You may want hotel rooms as a result.
thank you for the advice… hotels would be out of my financial reach…… maby I’ll have to adjust form time to time…
 
Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.

Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm? Since everyone is there since 1pm… or is there another problem I am not aware of?

Dear experienced pilgrims, please advise :) THANK YOU!
I am an early riser and a late finisher and walking in the early evening (although initially a necessity as I am such a slow walker) is to me the best part of Camino. I always booked a bed via booking . com though (other channels are avaiable) as that was a concern for me!
 
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I am an early riser and a late finisher and walking in the early evening (although initially a necessity as I am such a slow walker) is to me the best part of Camino. It’s much quieter and calmer as folks have gone to do their washing or write their blogs!
My thoughts exactly :) looking forwards to it…
 
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The first week (SJPP-Pamploma) will be the most challenging for OP's original plan, as there are fewer towns = fewer options = more "clumping up" = more competition for beds. After that, the people spread out more, and your plan might work better.
 
The first week (SJPP-Pamploma) will be the most challenging for OP's original plan, as there are fewer towns = fewer options = more "clumping up" = more competition for beds. After that, the people spread out more, and your plan might work better.
Oh… ok… good to know… thank you! So the goal is to survive the first week by all means :)
 
My standard advice for any first timer is to book Roncesvalles ( 1st night for most ) and either Zubiri or Larosoanna for the second night.

After that you should find yourself learning as you go... how far you want to walk per day... where you might end up .. will you need to reserve ??

will you want to be walking when the day is at its hottest... other days might be wet, meaning shorter or longer day

Lots can and does happen, rigid walking times will likely make way for ..take it as it comes
 
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
My standard advice for any first timer is to book Roncesvalles ( 1st night for most ) and either Zubiri or Larosoanna for the second night.

After that you should find yourself learning as you go... how far you want to walk per day... where you might end up .. will you need to reserve ??

will you want to be walking when the day is at its hottest... other days might be wet, meaning shorter or longer day

Lots can and does happen, rigid walking times will likely make way for ..take it as it comes
Thank you for a great advice! I will keep that in mind… I mean, I will do exactly that :)
 
Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.

Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm? Since everyone is there since 1pm… or is there another problem I am not aware of?

Dear experienced pilgrims, please advise :) THANK YOU!
There is nothing wrong with your plan. Just be prepared to be flexible.
 
A guide to speaking Spanish on the Camino - enrich your pilgrim experience.
thank you for the advice… hotels would be out of my financial reach…… maby I’ll have to adjust form time to time…
It takes a few days/a week into the walk until you get the hang of how things work. Until then, learn by observing, while trying to walk according to your initial plan. But I think you will have to reconsider somewhat along the Way. ;) JMHO
 
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I walked the Camino France last May - June. I used a service that carried my heavy luggage and booked my hotel each night. My walk started each morning at 0830 and on most days ended in the early afternoon. My lunches were at the end of my walks because I wanted to find my next hotel.

My friend who I ate dinner with used the same service. He would tour the destination city then walk. He toured the cathedral in Burgos which I never did. He had a better experience than I did because he saw more and knew he had a place to stay each night. I may never get back to Burgos which saddens me.

After Burgos I met a man who partied in Burgos the night before. He started his walk at noon and could not find a place to stay in the town after Burgos. He did not have a service and had to walk to the next town or sleep in the open. He said he did not mind sleeping in an open field because he slept in one before. You will see no camping signs or no trespassing signs as you walk.

Hope this helps.
 
I walked the Camino France last May - June. I used a service that carried my heavy luggage and booked my hotel each night. My walk started each morning at 0830 and on most days ended in the early afternoon. My lunches were at the end of my walks because I wanted to find my next hotel.

My friend who I ate dinner with used the same service. He would tour the destination city then walk. He toured the cathedral in Burgos which I never did. He had a better experience than I did because he saw more and knew he had a place to stay each night. I may never get back to Burgos which saddens me.

After Burgos I met a man who partied in Burgos the night before. He started his walk at noon and could not find a place to stay in the town after Burgos. He did not have a service and had to walk to the next town or sleep in the open. He said he did not mind sleeping in an open field because he slept in one before. You will see no camping signs or no trespassing signs as you walk.

Hope this helps.
Could you please share the info regarding the average hotel prices on the route?
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I followed the "start late - eat lunch - walk on" pattern for a couple of days. But never arrived past 6pm.
The upside is that you'll have a lot more solitude on the way. After 1-2pm i had the camino pretty much for myself.
The downside... you'll have less of the day left as lights out is usually around 10pm and you cant really do anything beyond that. Also sleeping in wont work to well due to being woken up by the early risers.
But try it out, you might find that you dont even need a reservation, at least i never needed it.
 
I followed the "start late - eat lunch - walk on" pattern for a couple of days. But never arrived past 6pm.
The upside is that you'll have a lot more solitude on the way. After 1-2pm i had the camino pretty much for myself.
The downside... you'll have less of the day left as lights out is usually around 10pm and you cant really do anything beyond that. Also sleeping in wont work to well due to being woken up by the early risers.
But try it out, you might find that you dont even need a reservation, at least i never needed it.
Agreed though if you book a private hostel you won’t have a curfew. If I arrive at 8pm I like go out stay up for a few hours - at least midnight to unwind.
 
Could you please share the info regarding the average hotel prices on the route?
Go Gronze.com, which will give you the latest.

Before my first Camino, I would have thought that the early-rise etc was barbaric, but I soon found that: 1) there was little choice in the matter, as everyone in the albergue was up and moving well before closing, and 2) the early morning walking was the best time of the day.

I am afraid that it changed my morning routine for years. o well.
 
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.
Could you please share the info regarding the average hotel prices on the route?
Click here to see a list of threads tagged with "money, banking and budget." If you scroll through that list, you'll find some that discuss typical costs. You could also check any Camino guide or app, or Gronze.com to get an idea.
 
I followed the "start late - eat lunch - walk on" pattern for a couple of days. But never arrived past 6pm.
The upside is that you'll have a lot more solitude on the way. After 1-2pm i had the camino pretty much for myself.
The downside... you'll have less of the day left as lights out is usually around 10pm and you cant really do anything beyond that. Also sleeping in wont work to well due to being woken up by the early risers.
But try it out, you might find that you dont even need a reservation, at least i never needed it.
Thanks… good points to think about…
 
Go Gronze.com, which will give you the latest.

Before my first Camino, I would have thought that the early-rise etc was barbaric, but I soon found that: 1) there was little choice in the matter, as everyone in the albergue was up and moving well before closing, and 2) the early morning walking was the best time of the day.

I am afraid that it changed my morning routine for years. o well.
Thank you… No problem with getting up, just trying to avoid the sense of “rushing cuz of the bed” kinda thing… I’ll check Gronze… 👍
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Click here to see a list of threads tagged with "money, banking and budget." If you scroll through that list, you'll find some that discuss typical costs. You could also check any Camino guide or app, or Gronze.com to get an idea.
Thank you! Will check it out.
 
I don't rush. I can't really because I am a slow walker. My legs are short. I have never not found a bed, but I don't walk long stages and I can't tolerate the heat (prior heat injuries). I like to get up early and I do that even at home (5;30 or so each day). I like to get into town, shower, do my laundry, go get a cold drink or lunch, etc. It makes some people feel very anxious not to have a bed in advance, but I don't like to make reservations. I like to stay at places that don't take reservations, and I volunteer at these kinds of places each year, too. They have only seldom been full when I volunteered. Of course there are no guarantees, but I know there are always options if the place I am aiming for is full. You can cab forward or back or a ways off the camino (never had to do this).

There is a lot of anxiety on the Camino around where people will sleep which is why you are getting this wide range of advice from forum members. Our experiences are all different. You can decide what works best for you.
 
I don't rush. I can't really because I am a slow walker. My legs are short. I have never not found a bed, but I don't walk long stages and I can't tolerate the heat (prior heat injuries). I like to get up early and I do that even at home (5;30 or so each day). I like to get into town, shower, do my laundry, go get a cold drink or lunch, etc. It makes some people feel very anxious not to have a bed in advance, but I don't like to make reservations. I like to stay at places that don't take reservations, and I volunteer at these kinds of places each year, too. They have only seldom been full when I volunteered. Of course there are no guarantees, but I know there are always options if the place I am aiming for is full. You can cab forward or back or a ways off the camino (never had to do this).

There is a lot of anxiety on the Camino around where people will sleep which is why you are getting this wide range of advice from forum members. Our experiences are all different. You can decide what works best for you.
Thank you for your reply… I think I will just go with the flow… if my anxiety doesn’t kick in 😂 so my plan could mean that I never get to sleep in a “Donativo” since I figure they are the first ones filled…
 
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so my plan could mean that I never get to sleep in a “Donativo” since I figure they are the first ones filled…
Not necessarily. The ones which fill up fastest tend to be the ones which allow reservations. You may well find that all the private bookable albergues are full but there are still beds in the more traditional 'first come first served " places.
 
Thank you for your reply… I think I will just go with the flow… if my anxiety doesn’t kick in 😂 so my plan could mean that I never get to sleep in a “Donativo” since I figure they are the first ones filled…
I work in Donativos and we have seldom been full when I worked. They are not always in major stopping points (although a few are).
 
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Walk the way you want to walk, but be ready to adjust if the weather gets too hot or finding accommodations gets too tough. Even in the busiest times, there are down days between pilgrim bubbles where the accommodations are freely available.

However, some notes on your plans. Public albergues usually kick you out by 8am. If you arrive too late, showering, washing clothes, and finding a place to eat or cooking may be difficult before “lights out” in a dorm albergue, make sure you have time for your washed clothes to dry or your backpack will look like a clothes line as you walk the next day. Late walkers tend to have the path to themselves, which is lovely but can be a bit lonely. You’ll likely get a top bunk if you show up late - I prefer them, actually, but if that doesn’t physically work for you, change plans.
 
Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.

Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm? Since everyone is there since 1pm… or is there another problem I am not aware of?

Dear experienced pilgrims, please advise :) THANK YOU!
I followed your plan when I made my Camino and had no problems with accommodations the end of September, for a shorter distance. One benefit, I like to attend daily Mass if possible. I had beautiful experience at 8AM Mass in several locations. I was called to the altar at one and the priest gave me a personal blessing. The pilgrim Masses are usually in the evening. On Camino listen to your body and heart and you will follow the path as intended for you. God bless.
 
Something I thought about doing on the hot days -but never did - was to check into an inexpensive albergue around noon or 1 and rest until 4ish, then walk on for a few more hours (of course informing the owner of my plans).
 
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I walked the Camino France last May - June. I used a service that carried my heavy luggage and booked my hotel each night. My walk started each morning at 0830 and on most days ended in the early afternoon. My lunches were at the end of my walks because I wanted to find my next hotel.

My friend who I ate dinner with used the same service. He would tour the destination city then walk. He toured the cathedral in Burgos which I never did. He had a better experience than I did because he saw more and knew he had a place to stay each night. I may never get back to Burgos which saddens me.

After Burgos I met a man who partied in Burgos the night before. He started his walk at noon and could not find a place to stay in the town after Burgos. He did not have a service and had to walk to the next town or sleep in the open. He said he did not mind sleeping in an open field because he slept in one before. You will see no camping signs or no trespassing signs as you walk.

Hope this helps.
Which service did you use? We are deciding who to use September 2024 for sarria - Santiago.
 
If you're happy to miss out on a place in municipal albergues and others that don't allow booking, and you're willing to consider booking accommodation in advance and the restrictions that brings, it's actually a good idea to walk in the evenings!

Other downsides: it might be it getting dark if you walk late, difficulty drying clothes (i have no shame so I've often hung them off my backpack or the branch of a tree), and also you'll be hanging around with nowhere to call home in the middle of the day. Not a problem if you find a nice shady spot to nap, or maybe a bar.
 
Some great/interesting advice here. I told me wife about this post, a smile broke out on her face.

I was struck by this line in the original post. "[W]ell, that is not the way I function…" On our first Camino in April 2017, I had a total melt down on Day Three. You see, I too said/thought very LOUDLY "… well, that is not the way I function..." when each day began. I had a daily routine that was very important to me, and assumed (ass-u-me) that I could carry on as usual. It was too loud, there we too many people and not enough space for my usual routine.

Guess what happened? I changed and the Camino helped me change. After five days, I gave up on all routines and assumptions. I just let the day come to me, and did my best to accept all that was offered to me each day. Those lessons continue to serve me today.

I wish you Buen Camino, and my sincerest best wishes. I also hope that your lessons are easier than mine.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
The OP said," so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am"

Where's the Roll on the floor laughing emoji?

Wait until someone wanders around the Albergue at stupid o'clock, tripping over bags while carrying the light on his/her iPhone on 'Stun' mode.

Sleeping in is not an option.
 
Walk the way you want to walk, but be ready to adjust if the weather gets too hot or finding accommodations gets too tough. Even in the busiest times, there are down days between pilgrim bubbles where the accommodations are freely available.

However, some notes on your plans. Public albergues usually kick you out by 8am. If you arrive too late, showering, washing clothes, and finding a place to eat or cooking may be difficult before “lights out” in a dorm albergue, make sure you have time for your washed clothes to dry or your backpack will look like a clothes line as you walk the next day. Late walkers tend to have the path to themselves, which is lovely but can be a bit lonely. You’ll likely get a top bunk if you show up late - I prefer them, actually, but if that doesn’t physically work for you, change plans.
Oh great info, thank you. Any bunk will do :) didn’t think about time left for washing and eating… good point… should I expect lines for the showers arround 7-8pm?
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
The OP said," so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am"

Where's the Roll on the floor laughing emoji?

Wait until someone wanders around the Albergue at stupid o'clock, tripping over bags while carrying the light on his/her iPhone on 'Stun' mode.

Sleeping in is not an option.
That will be fun… mornings… I don’t mind the heat (coming from Croatian coast) that’s why I think about starting “later” but I guess it’s not up to me ;) much more up to ppl and Albergue rules…
 
Oh great info, thank you. Any bunk will do :) didn’t think about time left for washing and eating… good point… should I expect lines for the showers arround 7-8pm?
By 7 or 8 p.m. the hot water will hopefully have reheated and you should have the shower to yourself. Depending on the number of pilgrims though, they will probably not be as clean as earlier in the afternoon. Cleaning is done between 8 a.m. and whenever the albergue reopens to register pilgrims in the afternoon.
 
Lots and lots of good replies. My take for what its worth:
I don't do well in heat, I heat up very fast and sweat buckets which besides being uncomfortable also contributes to fast dehydration which in turn can contribute to start doing 'loopy things' (and if you are the solitary walker on a given stretch.... that loopy thing can get QUITE LOOPY!)
Those few times that I would up walking past 2 pm (into that 2-4 time stretch) - If you don't make it to the 'next village' in time - everything shuts down.... no food, perhaps hard time to find water... bathroom...just dust and closed doors. and that sun is truly beating down on you! as @trecile said - its not fun with 35C (and it CAN get hotter... the hottest I walked through was 43 or 44... I don't really remember... LOOOPY!)
That said I also don't think that I've ever arrived later than 6PM but as have been noted - you will wind up with a top bunk more likely than not. (enough have been said about possibility of not getting a place so i wont go there)

As I was getting more experienced I found out that a 6:15-6:30 start did just fine with me. It took me out to a reasonably cool morning (actually when I hit Galicia the morning were in low 40sF mid-single digits in C), light enough that I didn't have to worry about walking in the dark (late May into June), also quite many times being solitary (so I don't feel I "missed out" on solitary walks) and allowed me to move reasonably leisurely knowing that I got about 8 hours to get to the next albergue. (the goal thus would be to be at that albergue by 2:00pm or as close as possible) I could take my time during my rests, make couple of small detours if I saw something of interest and just enjoy the Camino instead of "cursing under my breath" (which happened couple of times in the beginning and IS NOT what The Camino should be about).

That said - that was my Camino and yours is yours. It may work for you in your timeframe or it may not. if former - you got nothing to worry about and La Dolce Vita! if latter - then I hope you find enough sense (and perhaps even courage) to make adjustments as needed.
Good Luck and Buen Camino!!!
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Some great/interesting advice here. I told me wife about this post, a smile broke out on her face.

I was struck by this line in the original post. "[W]ell, that is not the way I function…" On our first Camino in April 2017, I had a total melt down on Day Three. You see, I too said/thought very LOUDLY "… well, that is not the way I function..." when each day began. I had a daily routine that was very important to me, and assumed (ass-u-me) that I could carry on as usual. It was too loud, there we too many people and not enough space for my usual routine.

Guess what happened? I changed and the Camino helped me change. After five days, I gave up on all routines and assumptions. I just let the day come to me, and did my best to accept all that was offered to me each day. Those lessons continue to serve me today.

I wish you Buen Camino, and my sincerest best wishes. I also hope that your lessons are easier than mine.
Thank you very much for the advice and good wishes for my trip… I know I will have to adjust in a certain way and let things go their own way… looking forward to it a bit actualy…
 
The OP said," so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am"

Where's the Roll on the floor laughing emoji?

Wait until someone wanders around the Albergue at stupid o'clock, tripping over bags while carrying the light on his/her iPhone on 'Stun' mode.

Sleeping in is not an option.

Starting at 8am is reasonable unless you want to start earlier. If you have breakfast that pushes it out to 8.30/9.

Most hostals also have a later checkout.

If you can tolerate the herd leaving, you might sneak in some good quality rest between 7.30 and 8. Most albergues don't physically throw people out on the dot either, plenty of people still rolling sleeping bags at 8.10.
 
If you're happy to miss out on a place in municipal albergues and others that don't allow booking, and you're willing to consider booking accommodation in advance and the restrictions that brings, it's actually a good idea to walk in the evenings!

Other downsides: it might be it getting dark if you walk late, difficulty drying clothes (i have no shame so I've often hung them off my backpack or the branch of a tree), and also you'll be hanging around with nowhere to call home in the middle of the day. Not a problem if you find a nice shady spot to nap, or maybe a bar.
Thanks for the reply, don’t you leave the clothes hanging outside during the night? It should be dry by 6am (or not? 😬)
 
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Starting at 8am is reasonable unless you want to start earlier. If you have breakfast that pushes it out to 8.30/9.

Most hostals also have a later checkout.

If you can tolerate the herd leaving, you might sneak in some good quality rest between 7.30 and 8. Most albergues don't physically throw people out on the dot either, plenty of people still rolling sleeping bags at 8.10.
Oh I was kind of hoping it would all go just as you said…
 
And of course there’s the Roncesvalles albergue where the lights get switched on and the piped Gregorian chants through the speakers on every dorm floor kick off at 6am…

Or the albergue owner in Los Arcos who’s basically whipping off the paper bed sheets and pillow cases from the beds at 7am…

All good fun :)
 
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Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Take your chances by leaving it overnight. Rain, dew, or sock stealing monsters may create some mischief. As a hospitalera, I appreciate you being out by 8 a.m. please. There's lots to do after pilgrims leave. If you stay at a hotel, you can go by their rules.


Very true
 
Thanks for the reply, don’t you leave the clothes hanging outside during the night? It should be dry by 6am (or not? 😬)
of COURSE they will be dry!!!! Now... about that rain that was drumming on the roof all night long....

most of the times yes it will be hanging on the line outside but dont count on it always. sometimes you might have to hang some things from your bunk bed. Check out what albergues have laundry facilities - you may be able to use a dryer. (share the cost with someone else winds up being just a couple of euros)
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.

Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm? Since everyone is there since 1pm… or is there another problem I am not aware of?

Dear experienced pilgrims, please advise :) THANK YOU!
It depends on when you are walking. One thing to remember is that Spain is in a weird time zone, not aligned to the other countries that are longitudinally similar. Everything is later is Spain. That's one of the reasons that eating times for the Spanish tend to be later than is customary in other cultures. One way that this manifests is that the hottest time of day isn't the mid-day to early afternoon like elsewhere but rather later in the afternoon. If you are walking in the summer, you may find it still quite hot at 4. That's why many of the shops won't have re-opened yet.

Another thing to think about is that you will be walking between villages/towns during the afternoon open hours of many Spanish shops, that pilgrims can rely upon to run their errands, do their shopping, etc. If you arrive in an albergue at 8 pm and everyone is going to bed at 10 (with the doors being locked then), that leaves 2 hours for your shower, laundry (washing and drying), evening meal, and everything else you want to do before bed. For these reasons, your schedule may be easier if you aren't staying in albergues.

Which isn't to say that it can't be done. Just that there is a reason for the pattern you've noticed among other pilgrims.
 
Take your chances by leaving it overnight. Rain, dew, or sock stealing monsters may create some mischief. As a hospitalera, I appreciate you being out by 8 a.m. please. There's lots to do after pilgrims leave. If you stay at a hotel, you can go by their rules.
Of course rules of the house will be respected…
 
Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.

Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm? Since everyone is there since 1pm… or is there another problem I am not aware of?

Dear experienced pilgrims, please advise :) THANK YOU!
I've walked in late May- June and it does get very hot, by the time I reached Santiago at the end of June it was 43 degrees. My sister, who I walked with for a few weeks, who is not an early person was planning to walk later, and revised that plan after the first day of walking, and left at 6 when I did. (Although she wasn't human until she had the first coffee).
She is very fair like I am, and both of us have skin cancer concerns.
I love walking in the cool of the morning, and then spending the afternoon in shade.
I also take only two outfits to keep my pack weight down, so I need to do laundry and get it dry each day, or I'd run out of clean clothes on day 2. So my routine is, arrive, shower, change, do laundry, wander around and explore, dinner, collect laundry (now dry), then sleep. I have found albergues have better drying facilities than hotels, as they usually dont have a clothes line, and you have to hang clothes inside taking longer to dry.
I save money by washing by hand, so the clothes aren't as dry as if they had spun in a machine, and take a bit longer to dry. I wouldn't leave mine out all night.
Something else to consider is that albergues dont always have endless hot water. This may not be an issue for you, but I like my shower at the least luke warm.
 
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It depends on when you are walking. One thing to remember is that Spain is in a weird time zone, not aligned to the other countries that are longitudinally similar. Everything is later is Spain. That's one of the reasons that eating times for the Spanish tend to be later than is customary in other cultures. One way that this manifests is that the hottest time of day isn't the mid-day to early afternoon like elsewhere but rather later in the afternoon. If you are walking in the summer, you may find it still quite hot at 4. That's why many of the shops won't have re-opened yet.

Another thing to think about is that you will be walking between villages/towns during the afternoon open hours of many Spanish shops, that pilgrims can rely upon to run their errands, do their shopping, etc. If you arrive in an albergue at 8 pm and everyone is going to bed at 10 (with the doors being locked then), that leaves 2 hours for your shower, laundry (washing and drying), evening meal, and everything else you want to do before bed. For these reasons, your schedule may be easier if you aren't staying in albergues.

Which isn't to say that it can't be done. Just that there is a reason for the pattern you've noticed among other pilgrims.
Yes.. good take on this matter…
 
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What happened to just turning up and figuring it out as you go?

This is a good point but I'm sure many people did an 800km CF without it even occurring to walk in the evenings or do anything other than walk with the herd. So it's nice to share ideas and experiences.

Also, as we've pointed out there is an additional need to book ahead, carry additional equipment like flashlights or hi-viz gear, or maybe a lightweight tarp and a foam mat if going to be resting between stages.. things like that.
 
This is a good point but I'm sure many people did an 800km CF without it even occurring to walk in the evenings or do anything other than walk with the herd. So it's nice to share ideas and experiences.

Also, as we've pointed out there is an additional need to book ahead, carry additional equipment like flashlights or hi-viz gear, or maybe a lightweight tarp and a foam mat if going to be resting between stages.. things like that.
One person’s ‘need’ is another’s’ ‘sucking the life out of the experience’, in my opinion obviously.

The ability to research to the n’th degree is both a blessing and a curse. The habitually cautious, prepared to throw money at avoiding surprise but still dine off their adventure welcome the easy availability of their peers’ experience.

There is a middle ground. If you look at the brief reports of some of the moderators on here of their less-travelled caminos; they assume that most adults can figure out the basics and read a map.
 
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.
There is a middle ground. If you look at the brief reports of some of the moderators on here of their less-travelled caminos; they assume that most adults can figure out the basics and read a map.
I agree. I like to know a bit about a route before I walk it. So I read up a little of the history and trace out the route on a map to familiarise myself with it. But I stop short of watching videos or following the route on Google Streetview. Would rather come to it with fairly fresh eyes.
 
One person’s ‘need’ is another’s’ ‘sucking the life out of the experience’, in my opinion obviously.

The ability to research to the n’th degree is both a blessing and a curse. The habitually cautious, prepared to throw money at avoiding surprise but still dine off their adventure welcome the easy availability of their peers’ experience.

There is a middle ground. If you look at the brief reports of some of the moderators on here of their less-travelled caminos; they assume that most adults can figure out the basics and read a map.

My days of struggling with maps are over. Now i struggle with the blue dot on Google maps.

I'm notoriously bad for researching beyond "will the temperature be above 20 or below 20". I can handle most other challenges and of course, learn from experience. My packing for the Mozarabe looks different than my packing for my first camino, the frances .. not because it's a different trail but because i kept the things that worked and chucked the things that didn't.

If you took every piece of advice you'd look like a travelling salesman.

Actually, my lack of research leaves me with a 10km stage tomorrow or a 45km thanks to blindly following gronze's (ridiculous) stages for the vdlp after Merida.
 
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My days of struggling with maps are over. Now i struggle with the blue dot on Google maps.

I'm notoriously bad for researching beyond "will the temperature be above 20 or below 20". I can handle most other challenges and of course, learn from experience. My packing for the Mozarabe looks different than my packing for my first camino, the frances .. not because it's a different trail but because i kept the things that worked and chucked the things that didn't.

If you took every piece of advice you'd look like a travelling salesman.

Actually, my lack of research leaves me with a 10km stage tomorrow or a 45km thanks to blindly following gronze's (ridiculous) stages for the vdlp after Merida.
Good luck to you and Buen Camino! It will all turn out good tomorrow…
 
It'll be fine either way.

I read (on here maybe!) someone got to the closed albergue at the 33km mark and after considering sleeping outdoors but with no water, he flagged down a passing motorist for a lift to the next town.

The Camino provides.... Such a profound saying ;)
 
The OP said," so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am"

Where's the Roll on the floor laughing emoji?

Wait until someone wanders around the Albergue at stupid o'clock, tripping over bags while carrying the light on his/her iPhone on 'Stun' mode.

Sleeping in is not an option.
All depends upon the sleeper. This is absolutely *not* a problem for me. Yes, there are limits.

Anything short of a fire alarm going off and I won't budge. I often sleep with lights on.

I grew up next to train tracks and and train whistles 3-4 times a night. Learned how to block everything out. Guess there was a "pro" to what most would consider to be a very strong "con".
 
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At home I go to bed late and wake late, but I had no trouble becoming an early riser on the CF.
After a day's walk an early bedtime was welcome, and it gets hot after 1 or 2pm so best to get the walking done before then.
Sometimes we even started walking before the sun was up, quite good! Previously I would have said I only saw sunrise as part of a late night ... All part of the camino magic.
 
I followed your plan when I made my Camino and had no problems with accommodations the end of September, for a shorter distance. One benefit, I like to attend daily Mass if possible. I had beautiful experience at 8AM Mass in several locations. I was called to the altar at one and the priest gave me a personal blessing. The pilgrim Masses are usually in the evening. On Camino listen to your body and heart and you will follow the path as intended for you. God bless.
Thank you! I was just about to ask, is there a Mass in every place we reach in the evening (if there is a church there) or is it something I have to plan each day (look for in the next place)?
 
I don't believe there's a Mass in EVERY place, but there is one in lots of them. You can always ask at the albergue (some even have signs or flyers already on the wall).
Now, that of course also adds another plus into "start early-arrive early" column. Showing up at 8 p.m probably won't work....
 
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Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.
That's pretty much how I used to function, until time caught up with me -- though truth be told, because I'm slower I do still tend to walk in the afternoon.

I only very rarely start at dawn or before dawn, and invariably that will be from spontaneously waking up very early.

When I was in my late 20s to about 40, I would generally start between 9 and 10 AM, then keep walking 'til about 4 to 6 PM, with a shorter or longer lunch break depending on circumstances -- though on less travelled routes with more outdoors sleeping, I would tend to get up with the Sun, have a longer break, walk again, then go to sleep at sundown.

Nowadays, whether I walk in the afternoon or not is seasonal. Certainly not in the summer heat !!

Also, on the Francès and Português, one does have a tendency to slip into a common rhythm of the other pilgrims, because we are social creatures.
 
I think after a few days you will know if you need to adapt to the more standard rhythm of the Camino, or if you can do as you wish.

Some of us don't like the thought of changing habits to which we take comfort and safety from (me included), and the thought of having to do such for the Camino can worry you - no matter how much your desire to walk it. But, the Camino will change these things whether you like it or not, if they need to be changed. Either you accept the change realising that maybe that is after all what you are here for, and you Trust the Camino enough to allow this. Otherwise you risk having a bad Camino experience, or even worse you don't finish it.

I don't think there is anything wrong with your plan, and there is a certain beauty about it. But as many have mentioned you may find you are not afforded the luxury of lazy morning lie-ins in Albergues, either because of other less than respectful occupants or the rules of the Albergues themselves. You might even find people you really enjoy walking with, which of course could change your plans too.

The only bit of advice for your plan I would suggest is plan to stay in the less popular places (off the guide-book stages), as here you will hopefully have less issues finding a bed and here are some beautiful places to stay in such places.

Buen Camino :)
 
Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm?
Well yes, there are two fatal flaws in your plan. Firstly you might well have difficulty finding a bed at 7-8 in the evening. Secondly, and more importantly, Spain is basically in the wrong time zone. You´ll notice if you look at a map of Europe that Spain is due south of the UK. However, it is in the same time zone as countries way to the east. Remember also that Spain has daylight saving. What this means is that the sun is at its highest point in the sky not at 12 noon, but at around 2pm. Therefore from 2 till 4 is the hottest part of the day. Which explains why sensible Spanish people, if they take a siesta at all, take it from 2 to 4 in the afternoon. Incidentally, it also means that dawn is around 7 am or later depending on the time of year rather than 5 in the morning as it is in the UK (Spain is further south so summer days are shorter).

¨is there a Mass in every place we reach in the evening?¨ we once met a priest who informed us he was responsible for 28 parishes, so the answer is no, not every place.
 
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Re mass in every place....there was a website ( in Spanish) that described where daily masses were, similar to the US website Masstimes.org ( which doesn't work in Spain). It's back on the Primitivo threads....

There * may* be a Mass in *every* village, but it's not every day in every village, and it may not be at a time you're there. As I dimly recall, daily Mass on the most populated portion of the Frances during the most populated season of the year was about 7pm.
 
Well yes, there are two fatal flaws in your plan. Firstly you might well have difficulty finding a bed at 7-8 in the evening. Secondly, and more importantly, Spain is basically in the wrong time zone. You´ll notice if you look at a map of Europe that Spain is due south of the UK. However, it is in the same time zone as countries way to the east. Remember also that Spain has daylight saving. What this means is that the sun is at its highest point in the sky not at 12 noon, but at around 2pm. Therefore from 2 till 4 is the hottest part of the day. Which explains why sensible Spanish people, if they take a siesta at all, take it from 2 to 4 in the afternoon. Incidentally, it also means that dawn is around 7 am or later depending on the time of year rather than 5 in the morning as it is in the UK (Spain is further south so summer days are shorter).

¨is there a Mass in every place we reach in the evening?¨ we once met a priest who informed us he was responsible for 28 parishes, so the answer is no, not every place.
Oh… great take on the time zone… forgot about it… everything will be 2 hours “later” for me…
 
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Re mass in every place....there was a website ( in Spanish) that described where daily masses were, similar to the US website Masstimes.org ( which doesn't work in Spain). It's back on the Primitivo threads....

There * may* be a Mass in *every* village, but it's not every day in every village, and it may not be at a time you're there. As I dimly recall, daily Mass on the most populated portion of the Frances during the most populated season of the year was about 7pm.
Great info, thank you! There has to be some app or a website with the location and timetable … I’ll look into it. 👍
 
Oh… great take on the time zone… forgot about it… everything will be 2 hours “later” for me…
I am from the UK. These days most of my Camino walking is in midwinter. It is usually still dark at 8am when I have to leave the albergues - too dark to spot yellow arrows with any confidence. And it gets too dark for comfortable walking soon after 6pm. The trade off is between shorter walking days and more solitude along the way.
 
The first week (SJPP-Pamploma) will be the most challenging for OP's original plan, as there are fewer towns = fewer options = more "clumping up" = more competition for beds. After that, the people spread out more, and your plan might work better.
There's the fact that those who skip the "boring" bits still congregate on that section ; plus the fact that those who think they want to walk the Camino, but instead find out the opposite, the hard way, tend to congregate on that section too.

In recent years BTW I've found that what used to be the "difficult" SJPP > Pamplona stretch has extended to > Logroño.
 
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Just going along the lines of "day planning", can someone please remind me when Spanish lunchtime is - not sure if before or after siesta? I'm used to eating lunch between noon and 1pm and quite aware that I'm going to have to carry a snack, and/or modify my usual habits.
 
Just going along the lines of "day planning", can someone please remind me when Spanish lunchtime is - not sure if before or after siesta? I'm used to eating lunch between noon and 1pm and quite aware that I'm going to have to carry a snack, and/or modify my usual habits.
Lunch, or comida is usually around 2-3pm.
 
Just going along the lines of "day planning", can someone please remind me when Spanish lunchtime is - not sure if before or after siesta? I'm used to eating lunch between noon and 1pm and quite aware that I'm going to have to carry a snack, and/or modify my usual habits.
Lots of us fall into a 'breakfast', 'second breakfast', then early 'evening/dinner' routine.
 
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Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.

Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm? Since everyone is there since 1pm… or is there another problem I am not aware of?

Dear experienced pilgrims, please advise :) THANK YOU!
Lots of good advice above. The best, in my view, is to start with the way you prefer. See if it works. If it doesn't, make course corrections.

On our first camino, well before the numbers leaped, we still left early from SJPdP and were glad we did. We got choice bunks, no crowds lined up to wash clothes. We followed this pattern till Burgos. After that, many of the European walkers had used up their allotted time and went home. It wasn't crowded again till Sarria, so we had no concern with our departure and arrival times.

But that was then. We don't walk the Frances anymore, but after every camino we walk, we always make a point of returning to some of our favorite towns and villages on that unforgettable classic camino. I must admit that we are stunned to see walkers lined up outside an albergue even hours before opening.
 
Could you please share the info regarding the average hotel prices on the route?
There really is no "average."
Go to gronze.com and look at the lodging at each stage.
It will tell you how many places to sleep and what they charge.
Though there's nothing wrong with your plan - I'd certainly budget for some taxis and buses because I suspect you're going to find "Completo" signs that late in the afternoon.
 
There really is no "average."
Go to gronze.com and look at the lodging at each stage.
It will tell you how many places to sleep and what they charge.
Though there's nothing wrong with your plan - I'd certainly budget for some taxis and buses because I suspect you're going to find "Completo" signs that late in the afternoon.
On our first camino, we were determined to walk every step. When we arrived in Monjardin, everything was taken up by German tour groups. And that was 10 years ago. So, being so determined, we and a Danish walker decided to sleep on park benches. Suddenly a car pulled up and a lady waved at us to come over. She said she heard there were pilgrims needing a place to stay. She crammed the three of us into her teeny car and took us to her home. She made several trips to pick up others. Not only was this one of our best stays, but those who shared this experience with us became instant friends.

The camino provides.

We've never experienced otherwise, even on caminos where we were the only walkers and would get lost, sometimes for hours. In this regard, I must note our day walking on the poorly marked Camino Ignaziano high in the mountains. We were utterly lost and ended up walking on a road which turned out to be walking in the wrong direction. We waved down the only car we encountered and it was a young German couple who were utterly lost themselves. They were delighted to search for our trail and we eventually found it. The spot happened to be near the top of an escarpment with a sweeping view of the valley below. They were so grateful and envious that we would continue our walk along the escarpment edge, with view after view after view.

The camino provides.
 
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On our first camino, we were determined to walk every step. When we arrived in Monjardin, everything was taken up by German tour groups. And that was 10 years ago. So, being so determined, we and a Danish walker decided to sleep on park benches. Suddenly a car pulled up and a lady waved at us to come over. She said she heard there were pilgrims needing a place to stay. She crammed the three of us into her teeny car and took us to her home. She made several trips to pick up others. Not only was this one of our best stays, but those who shared this experience with us became instant friends.

The camino provides.

We've never experienced otherwise, even on caminos where we were the only walkers and would get lost, sometimes for hours. In this regard, I must note our day walking on the poorly marked Camino Ignaziano high in the mountains. We were utterly lost and ended up walking on a road which turned out to be walking in the wrong direction. We waved down the only car we encountered and it was a young German couple who were utterly lost themselves. They were delighted to search for our trail and we eventually found it. The spot happened to be near the top of an escarpment with a sweeping view of the valley below. They were so grateful and envious that we would continue our walk along the escarpment edge, with view after view after view.

The camino provides.
Yes, the Camino provides - sometimes in ways you aren't expecting. One way it provides is bus/taxis.
10 years ago there were a lot fewer pilgrims to fill up those albergues.

I'm actually surprised, maybe even shocked, that Tomas at Monjarin allowed a bus full of pilgrims to sleep there?

At any rate, I suspect most of us have had our wonderful Camino miracles - I know I have.

And I'd still suggest a new pilgrim who wants to walk late the hours the OP is wanting to walk budgets for taxi/bus if s/he is too tired to walk to the next village. :)
 
Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.

Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm? Since everyone is there since 1pm… or is there another problem I am not aware of?

Dear experienced pilgrims, please advise :) THANK YOU!
Hi. Most Albergues will want you out by 08:00 anyway. So that’s probably your latest starting point. You walk The Way, your way. But if you are planning to arrive at your daily destinations between 7-8pm, then do expect quite a number of disappointments for a bed if you are not booking them ahead. Also, many Albergues expect ‘lights out’ (doors sometimes locked as well) at around 10:00 pm. So if you arrive in a town at around 8 and spend an hour trying to find a bed for the night, then don’t expect, after finding your bed, showering (I promise you’ll need it) and settling yourself, don’t expect to eat too much anywhere, in the evening. Personally, get out at a reasonable time, take your time walking, don’t try and go by a timetable, stop and talk to the locals you meet for a while (they’re so lovely) rest with a coffee/orange and a tortilla, soak it all in and carry on your way. You’ll get to your destination late afternoon and the evening is yours to then enjoy the town with Camino Family I can almost guarantee you will make along the way. So many people spend so much time planning (and rushing) that they forget why they’re actually there. Buen Camino.
 
Personally, get out at a reasonable time, take your time walking, don’t try and go by a timetable, stop and talk to the locals you meet for a while (they’re so lovely) rest with a coffee/orange and a tortilla, soak it all in and carry on your way. You’ll get to your destination late afternoon and the evening is yours to then enjoy the town with Camino Family I can almost guarantee you will make along the way. So many people spend so much time planning (and rushing) that they forget why they’re actually there.

There's a lot to be said for time alone, not following crowds, reflection.. walking while it's busy, finishing in the afternoon and then exploring a town with the people you're walking with is easy to do on the Frances but not necessarily the only way to walk it
 
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For me, the joy of the Camino is the freedom of knowing that I’m carrying all my basic needs with me, and all I have to do today is walk, and take care of my body. No preconceived notions of what works for me, because life on the Camino is not my “normal”, thus there is no reason to believe that routines that fit into my normal, will fit into my journey.
 
Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.

Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm? Since everyone is there since 1pm… or is there another problem I am not aware of?

Dear experienced pilgrims, please advise :) THANK YOU!
I see nothing wrong with your plan, it's very similar to what I did on my last Camino. Although, I had reservations for each night and only stayed in albergues the first week for the experience. The rest of the time it was in places with private rooms, usually with my own bathroom.

I believe the early morning risers have various reasons for their habits. Beating the heat is just one of the reasons. Many want there choice of albergues and their choice of a lower or upper bunk. When I stayed at the albergues that first week, I usually got up earlier and hiked as fast as I could maintain to claim a lower bunk.

After that first week, when I switched to private rooms with a reservation, I found I could sleep in a little later and time my hikes to arrive around 3:00 PM, which is a traditional check in time. That gave me plenty of time to shower, do laundry, and take a nap before heading out in the evening to meet friends for drinks and dinner.

I usually average around 12 miles per day and average about 2 miles per hour when you include rest stops. Each day I would look at the exact distance I needed to travel that day (varied between 10-16 miles) and calculate a start time for a 3:00 PM arrival. The system worked well for me and I plan to repeat it this May/June when I do the Portuguese Camino with my wife.
 
The OP points to some people setting of at dawn, could I point out sunrise in June in Spain is around 7am, so not that early. Aiming for an 8am departure is not too late
 
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Just going along the lines of "day planning", can someone please remind me when Spanish lunchtime is - not sure if before or after siesta? I'm used to eating lunch between noon and 1pm and quite aware that I'm going to have to carry a snack, and/or modify my usual habits.
First, let's talk about what "lunch" is. In Spain, there is almuerzo and comida.

Almuerzo
is often translated as "lunch". In Spain, it would be an early lunch, eaten perhaps 11-noon. Often it is a sandwich or bocadillo. If that's lunch to you, that's when it is eaten. Well before siesta, if one is taken.

But there is also comida, usually for Spaniards it is the main meal of the day. That's when they are going to the bars and restaurants and having the menu del dia, a three course meal. Generally 1:30-3:30 pm, depending on season and location. If people are having a siesta, it is generally a short one after the comida.

Then they may not eat another meal until cena, which generally isn't until around 10 pm. Too late for pilgrims, so places catering to pilgrims may offer something earlier. Some people may bridge the gap between comida and cena with a late afternoon snack (at about the time many others are having their supper) called merienda. This is especially common for children, but when I was visiting some Spanish friends in Madrid we went out for a light merienda of pancakes.

When I am on the more popular Caminos like the Frances or the Primitivo, I tend to have my main meal as an early cena with other pilgrims, and often only have a light almuerzo for lunch. If I am on a less walked route, like the Madrid or San Salvador, I'm more likely to have my main meal when the Spanish do, as comida and have a light, early cena by myself or with other pilgrims if they are around.
 
Is there anything wrong with my plan

Absolutely nothing wrong with your plan.
Your plan is your plan.
Your camino is your camino.

For albergue, whether, community, municipal etc, you will need to be aware of and follow the latest departure and arrival times. These are not hotels and the volunteer staff need time (and rest) to do their job.

Many others above have made observations that you would be wise, at the very least, to consider.
Then do it your way.

On another tack:
  • how is your training progressing?
  • do you have a target distance to walk most days when on camino?
  • are you achieving that target in your training?
  • do your training walks follow the daily plan you laid out in your opening remarks?


Kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (take care, be strong, patient and confident)
 
Then they may not eat another meal until cena, which generally isn't until around 10 pm.
Excellent post, though times for that do vary locally between about 8 and 10 PM, including in locations with no significant numbers of pilgrims to accommodate !! Also, some very popular restaurants may have so many customers that they start serving supper early, and finish serving it late. I've seen similar at lunch time in eastern Aragón.

Lunch and supper in Spanish Catalonia are certainly earlier by clock time than in the more westerly parts of Spain, as it is directly within the main French time zone proper, and not artificially so like most of Spain.
 
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I love planning.
I am also very flexible and have a high tolerance for discomfort.
What I love about the Camino is that the moment my plane takes off from home all my planning becomes an interesting feature of my past and I revel in discovering what each day brings.
 
First, let's talk about what "lunch" is. In Spain, there is almuerzo and comida.

Almuerzo
is often translated as "lunch". In Spain, it would be an early lunch, eaten perhaps 11-noon. Often it is a sandwich or bocadillo. If that's lunch to you, that's when it is eaten. Well before siesta, if one is taken.

But there is also comida, usually for Spaniards it is the main meal of the day. That's when they are going to the bars and restaurants and having the menu del dia, a three course meal. Generally 1:30-3:30 pm, depending on season and location. If people are having a siesta, it is generally a short one after the comida.

Then they may not eat another meal until cena, which generally isn't until around 10 pm. Too late for pilgrims, so places catering to pilgrims may offer something earlier. Some people may bridge the gap between comida and cena with a late afternoon snack (at about the time many others are having their supper) called merienda. This is especially common for children, but when I was visiting some Spanish friends in Madrid we went out for a light merienda of pancakes.

When I am on the more popular Caminos like the Frances or the Primitivo, I tend to have my main meal as an early cena with other pilgrims, and often only have a light almuerzo for lunch. If I am on a less walked route, like the Madrid or San Salvador, I'm more likely to have my main meal when the Spanish do, as comida and have a light, early cena by myself or with other pilgrims if they are around.
Thanks so much - really enlightening stuff. I have heard of tourists not doing their research, and being refused service at certain times of the day. When in Rome, must do as the Romans do - or in this case the Spanish! I sure don't want to offend anyone. Early cena sounds like the plan! That way I'm not walking with a full tummy, and also there's enough time before bedtime.
 
Thanks so much - really enlightening stuff. I have heard of tourists not doing their research, and being refused service at certain times of the day. When in Rome, must do as the Romans do - or in this case the Spanish! I sure don't want to offend anyone. Early cena sounds like the plan! That way I'm not walking with a full tummy, and also there's enough time before bedtime.

It's less of an issue on the camino frances as it's so well catered to a steady flow of foreigners. Bit if you want proper meals/menus rather than sandwiches and tapas you should aim to eat early and/or late.

When i did the Frances, arrived in a town, checked into the albergue, the biggest surprise (each and evey time) was the supermarkets and pharmacies being closed for siesta.

I was also surprised to see, when entering Pamplona - maybe a village before it if not the outskirts of the city - that every bar and cafe closed for siesta. Not sure if it was a municipal rule or if the local establishments just didn't care to cater for tourists but it was unexpected to me at least.
 
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When i did the Frances, arrived in a town, checked into the albergue, the biggest surprise (each and evey time) was the supermarkets and pharmacies being closed for siesta.
In my experience the larger chain supermarkets like Dia do not usually close in the afternoon in big towns. But almost all smaller shops do.
 
Hello to all! I’m starting from SJPP beginning of June. As I read more and more about the Camino Frances I find it very weird that everyday walks start usually in dawn and end around 1pm “to get away from the heat” and to check in at some place… well, that is not the way I function… so I need your opinion on my plan of starting the hike around 8-9 am till 1-2 pm, lunch break and rest, than continuing from 4pm till 7-8pm.

Is there anything wrong with my plan and will I have problems getting a bed at 7-8 pm? Since everyone is there since 1pm… or is there another problem I am not aware of?

Dear experienced pilgrims, please advise :) THANK YOU!
I think it IS best to start later than dawn, around 8-9am. You miss a lot of crowds that way. I try to walk no more than about 20K a day, so I generally get to my destination in the early afternoon. If I think there's going to be a bottleneck - lots of people heading for the same place or some place with fewer accommodations - then I book ahead.
 
There really is no "average."
Go to gronze.com and look at the lodging at each stage.
It will tell you how many places to sleep and what they charge.
Though there's nothing wrong with your plan - I'd certainly budget for some taxis and buses because I suspect you're going to find "Completo" signs that late in the afternoon.
Thanks for the budgeting tip… I will look into it… looks to me it all got a bit much commercialized…
 
A guide to speaking Spanish on the Camino - enrich your pilgrim experience.
Thanks for the budgeting tip… I will look into it… looks to me it all got a bit much commercialized…
Numbers on the Caminos have grown enormously in recent years. No longer practical to feed and house everyone on a voluntary not-for-profit basis. There has been a vicious circle where increasing numbers and higher expectations have driven the creation of more expensive and sophisticated infrastructure.
 

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