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Avoiding pre-booking possible during spring?

SoydeIndia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
Hola fellow pilgrims!

I am planning to walk the Camino Frances next year from Pamplona with my spouse (open to April, May or June). I've been reading about the rush to get a bed and it has me a bit worried - ideally I would like to complete the walk with minimal prebooking. At the same time, I am not likely to get up at 5 am to walk, it's more likely that I am on the road at 7. I suffer from anxiety a little bit, and would not like the stress of having to get a bed to take away from my walk.

We are from India and not used to cold weather. What would you suggest as a good balance to managing the crowds and the weather? Pre-booking certain cities only? Is May possible or would it be better to start in April? Avoid the Frances altogether and walk the Portugese way instead?

Gracias!

edit - adding a few details. We hope to walk about 20 km a day. We are in our 30s and have average fitness levels. We do not plan on sending our packs ahead.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Start walking in late May/June to avoid cold weather (maybe the occasional chilly morning or evening is all). Pre book in Pamplona and Santiago. The rest of the Way, no worries.
 

SoydeIndia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
Start walking in late May/June to avoid cold weather (maybe the occasional chilly morning or evening is all). Pre book in Pamplona and Santiago. The rest of the Way, no worries.
Thank you RJM, this sets my mind at ease
 

sugargypsy

Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
I'll start as a firsttimer this year in May and decided not to prebook - except for SJPdP, Orrison & Roncevalles.

After that, I'll just walk with no booking ahead.

Should I find that there are bedraces and I cannot handle it well, then I can still change my mind and book my next accommodation either the day before or the same morning before starting to walk.

But I sincerly hope this will not be necessary, because I would like to stay as free as possible and stop wherever it suits me exactly that day.
 
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falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
ideally I would like to complete the walk with minimal prebooking. At the same time, I am not likely to get up at 5 am to walk, it's more likely that I am on the road at 7.
The problem may be that you hope the camino will conform to you rather than the other way around.:):)

You can't always get what you want. It is easier to change what you want than what will be offered. There are strategies for easily getting a bed. Get up early. Stop early. Stop in midpoint towns. Reserve. It is not wise to reject ALL the possibilities. Don't reject the life preserver because you want a lifeboat.
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
You can't always get what you want. It is easier to change what you want than what will be offered. There are strategies for easily getting a bed. Get up early. Stop early. Stop in midpoint towns. Reserve. It is not wise to reject ALL the possibilities. Don't reject the life preserver because you want a lifeboat.
Couldn't agree more. Personally I would book somewhere to stay when you arrive to relax into being a new country/adjusting to the new timezone. After that, take it as it comes, booking isn't a sin! It's super hard not to get wrapped up in other people's anxiety about getting a bed even if you're quite chilled. It's *much* harder if you're anxious about things anyway. This doesn't get talked about enough on the forum but if you are fairly wealthy (i.e. most people on the camino) the not getting a bed problem really isn't an issue - there are beds for almost everyone almost everywhere but if there isn't a bed you can buy your way out of the problem with a taxi or a hotel and if there are two of you the cost difference wont be so great.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
You’ll hear plenty of folks moaning about bed-races and the need to prebook, but just ignore them as you’ll end up in the same place as them most of the time without stressing over it. Walked April/May 2019 and only prebooked Leon and Santiago because I wanted to stay two nights instead of just one. Don’t let the mob dynamics scare you into worrying about it. (Walking in June, though, might be a different story - I can’t speak to that)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/?/Invierno ('19)
April will be less busy than May, with the exception of Semana Santa.
And of course it will be chillier.
But it's a lovely month to walk, and the sun is not up until 7-ish anyway.

I'd say (based on having walked the Frances in both months) book your first night and go from there, without boxing yourself in by over-planning. Even in May when it was pretty crowded, I didn't book and was fine - but made a point of staying in towns that were between the popular stopping places.
Expect anxiety about this (if that is your tendency), but see if you can just let it be there and take the leap anyway. One of the great lessons of the Camino is how we tend to be enslaved by fear. And how unnecessary it is, in the end.
Buen Camino!
 

SoydeIndia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
I'll start as a firsttimer this year in May and decided not to prebook - except for SJPdP, Orrison & Roncevalles.

After that, I'll just walk with no booking ahead.

Should I find that there are bedraces and I cannot handle it well, then I can still change my mind and book my next accommodation either the day before or the same morning before starting to walk.

But I sincerly hope this will not be necessary, because I would like to stay as free as possible and stop wherever it suits me exactly that day.
I think I will do this as well. Let us know how it goes. Buen camino!
 

SoydeIndia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
The problem may be that you hope the camino will conform to you rather than the other way around.:):)

You can't always get what you want. It is easier to change what you want than what will be offered. There are strategies for easily getting a bed. Get up early. Stop early. Stop in midpoint towns. Reserve. It is not wise to reject ALL the possibilities. Don't reject the life preserver because you want a lifeboat.
Thanks, I think I'll try a combination of getting up early, staying at mid-stage towns and praying ;)
 

SoydeIndia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
April will be less busy than May, with the exception of Semana Santa.
And of course it will be chillier.
But it's a lovely month to walk, and the sun is not up until 7-ish anyway.

I'd say (based on having walked the Frances in both months) book your first night and go from there, without boxing yourself in by over-planning. Even in May when it was pretty crowded, I didn't book and was fine - but made a point of staying in towns that were between the popular stopping places.
Expect anxiety about this (if that is your tendency), but see if you can just let it be there and take the leap anyway. One of the great lessons of the Camino is how we tend to be enslaved by fear. And how unnecessary it is, in the end.
Buen Camino!
Thank you for understanding, and the advice. I'm hoping to get my anxiety a little bit under control on this trip, and taking things as they come should be a good start!
 

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