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John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
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Best of times, worst of times?


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With apologies to C Dickens, who never used one word where ten would do.

I've been reading through the Portugués section, gathering info for a future walk from Porto to SDC. I didnt see anyone mention pressure on refugio accommodation, though the CSJ page spoke of numbers in the peak months. One refugio had around 1400 in a month, which seems high. I hope there isnt a problem as on the CF. If there is a problem, can anyone suggest a warm but quiet month?

Can anyone give even a brief comment on this? Thanks!

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I'm not sure if you are asking about the Portuguese or the Frances, but I've done both, and September was a nice month to walk. There were hot and cool days, a little rain, but not much. We began from SJPP on September 1 of 2006. We were on the Portuguese in October, and again there was hot/cool/rain, but never "cold." It was quite pleasant for walking.

On both Caminos in September and October, we had no problems getting a bed. We were not among those who get up at dawn and RUSH either! We took our leisurely time and tried to walk "between the stages" in Brierley's guide, which I think is a good plan of action.

At any rate, don't worry! You'll always find a place to sleep, whether in an alburgue, a private hostel, or on a church bench.

Just go, and trust the Camino and Santiago to provide!


Veteran Member
Thank you Annie. I refer to the Portugués...Porto to SDC.

My latest wheeze :idea: will be to carry a goretex bivouac sac (very light) and if ever there's a problem with a refugio I'll just sleep out a les belles etoiles, which I might do anyway if I just feel like stopping. With a silk inner bag it can also double as a light summer sl/bag and give some partial protection from "the invasion of the bedbugs"! :shock:

I confess that if my snoring starts again (it's SO embarrassing :oops: )I can move out and let others sleep! Me too.



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Hi, I've just finishd the portugese route and it was nothing like the frances in terms of bed pressure. Having walked in May/June the past two years with the french crowds I was amazed at how relaxed the pace was this year on the Portugal route. I don't know what it is like in July/August but even on the busiest days in May there were still beds free in the albergues. I never had any worries about getting beds, people seemed to walk all day, stop for ages and there was no feeling of needing to rush!
The only thing i can say is that there wasn't much in the way a range of bed choice i.e. there was either the municipal albergue or a hotel with nothing much in-between these two price brackets. The albergues were all very nice though, I think possibly because they are fairly new and also they don't get the volumes of people through that you see on the frances so they were all very clean and in good condition. Buen Camino!


Veteran Member
Thank you Elzie - this is good news. Not only about the bed thing, but about the character of this camino. This is what I want to rediscover. I miss the CF, as it's a fabulous route, but really too stuffed with people now. Anyway it's good to see new places.

The VDP was great, but tough and very austere. Certainly no problem about accommodation! Thanks for info on albergues and hotels - I can't afford hotels so its a refugio or bivouac sac.

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