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Busy Camino

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#1
Don't start your walk on a long weekend!
Three days ago there was a post on another forum that Roncesvalles was totally overbooked with between 350 and 400 pilgrims.
I read this post an a peregrina's blog:
This weekend was a holiday weekend for Spain so there were a ton of Spaniards who had taken four days or so to do a chunk of the trail, which is what lots of people do. I continue to be impressed and amazed by the amount of older people and the distances they do each day. Got to an albergue a couple days ago and it was full, which I couldn´t believe, as it was only 3 in the afternoon. Got the last beds in a private one, and others who came later had to sleep on the floor or walk on to the next town.
 

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windeatt

Active Member
#2
Yep, I second that.

My daughter started from Pamplona on Tuesday 29th and by Thursday 1st May everywhere was absolutely packed - they had to work 14 km further than they intended before finding an overflow sports hall with mats on the floor and they have been wrecked ever since . . . Having said that apparently the weather is really lovely as is the scenery . . . much better than this time last year when we were walking from Le Puy in hail, mud, wind and rain . . .

http://www.suzielda.com/camino/index.php

Windy
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Donating Member
#3
Yes, this past weekend we had May 1st (a non work day in Spain) on a Thursday, so many (thousands) took Friday off and made a long weekend out of it (called "un puente" = "a bridge").

I was in Salamanca over the weekend and it was also packed.... Santiago as well.

Saludos,
Ivar
 
#4
I seem to be in the middle of some kind of bubble of pilgrams and it has been very difficult to find room in the refugios. I had to rent a house in Los Arcos with some other pilgrams and a hotel in Logroño. I know of four people that have left the camino due to the stress of trying to find a bed. :(

Michael in Belorado
 

kubapigora

Active Member
#5
lanval said:
I know of four people that have left the camino due to the stress of trying to find a bed. :(

Michael in Belorado
That's really sad. You are preparing your trip for months and months, spending lots of money on the tickets, using all your holiday allowance for the year- and bang! Go home or sleep outside.
On the other hand- I wouldn't mind to sleep on the floor every night if it would be necessary...
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#6
It is easy enough to switch routes - many people move over to the Norte from the Frances or even travel west to the Via De La Plata.
 
#7
I´ll third these sentiments.

I´m now in Astorga, a long way ahead of where I would have been if Id stuck tó the vague schedule i´d planned. this is partly because i have the flu, had very sore feet but a large part due to not wanting to rush for beds each day.

its a bit like an episode of the Amazing Race - if you are not at your destination by about midday-1pm and have you pack in the line outside the albergue you will likely find trouble getting a bed, well at least an inexpensive one, or you may have to walk a lot further.

I´ve decided to cut my camino short, laugh about it all and walk only 10-15km a day till i finish on 28 May, that way I can stay in smaller and perhaps less crowded places.

buen camino
Megan

http://megancamino.blogspot.com if anyone is interested !
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#8
LOL Megan! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who makes analogies to "The Amazing Race." That's my favorite show, btw, & I can't wait to see if they ever have something Camino-related on it.

Kelly
 
#9
We're due to set off on May 19 from SJPP. We've toyed with the idea of taking our tent (lightweight, would add with a mat about 1.2kg each to our packs), but had decided not to, however we are re-considering given the information about how busy the route is. I suppose we don't want the experience marred by having to walk further than we'd planned, possibly risking injury, and wonder if having a tent sill give us more options for bedding down at night. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
#10
We starting from SJPP on 23 May and I must say I'm getting a bit worried about how far we'd have to walk to find a bed. Hubby does not know the meaning of the word "hurry" :roll: so I can't see us leaving early in the mornings!!!!!
 

kubapigora

Active Member
#11
You got me really worried. We are leaving for french route in mid august from SJPdP, and if it is crowded now- it probably will be later in the season...
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#12
Don´t worry. Just start. Just do it.
And prepare to be flexible. Which means be ready to skip ahead, or switch caminos. I can´t tell you the number of happy campers I met while hospitalero-ing in Miraz, on the Camino del Norte, who´d shifted north after finding the Frances too crowded.

On the camino, the first thing you have to leave behind is your expectations.
This path is going to kick your butt, one way or another. Don´t be scared. But be warned.
And it´s really, really worth it!
Rebekah
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#13
Rebekah Scott said:
I can´t tell you the number of happy campers I met while hospitalero-ing in Miraz, on the Camino del Norte, who´d shifted north
Those of us who are walking on a much more northern path (just leaving Windsor now) can recommend it. Very peaceful! But I can't see that walking from Worcester to Santiago will catch on...

Seriously though, having realised how many more pilgrims there are on the Camino Frances this year, I wonder if it is worth keeping the tent I'm carrying instead of posting it back from SJPP as I had planned after walking France. It's just that extra 2 kilos in the heat of the Meseta I don't really like the idea of...

Gareth
 
#14
I was having a chat with some fellow Aussies last night here in Astorga and they´d heard a quote that numbers were up 300% from last year - no wonder the albergues are crowded.

I reckon if you can manage the extra weight then a tent would be a good option or even just a warm sleeping bag and a good mat so you could sleep under the stars...its still cold at night right now.

I´m staying in a great albergue in Astorga - San Javier - the people are very friendly in this town, I feel like my enthusiasm for the Camino is being restored by being here - having a couple of days to get over my flu is helping too.

I have to echo the sentiments of letting go of expectations, that seems to be a big Camino lesson (and a good one!).

Despite the crowds I think its worth it - just be realistic about what you can achieve, I´ve realised that a shorter Camino than I had planned originally is what I now want. And be prepared to be flexible - a night in a nice hotel/hostel is all part of the experience!

Buen camino everyone
Megan
 

kubapigora

Active Member
#15
I have just had a short walk outside and I have to say Gareth- UK feels like Meseta today (28*C). Have a nice walk.

Going back to the top story- switching routes would be a great idea if every one of us had few extra days on their camino. Unfortunatelly, we have to squeeze into 35days walk this year. And looking at the weather forecasts- it will be terribly hot summer, so you don't really want to walk 30km every day.
Some light tent may be a 'must' next year if nothing will change in terms of albergues capacity (don't even want to think of 2010).

Have a safe and comfortable camino everyone;)
 

Rambler

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
#16
First reading this thread, I thought it was just a lng weekend issue and that everything was calming down after the May holiday. But that appears not to be true.
We arrive in Leon June 1. We are not planning on bringing a tent, sleeping pads, or even a sleeping bag. Only a liner.
Should we plan to bring a sleeping bag and mat in case we are forced on the floor or outside?
Is anyone strting in Roncevalles or SJPP now still seeing the overcrowded alberges?

Rambler
 

kubapigora

Active Member
#17
Should we plan to bring a sleeping bag and mat in case we are forced on the floor or outside?


Rambler
I am definitelly taking one. Some two months ago I bought very light (360grams) self-inflating mat for around 18pounds (35$). I haven't slept on it yet, but it looks very comfortable- surely much better than albergues tiled floor.
 

Rambler

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
#18
Seriously:
Those of you on the Camino now past Leon; are you seeing refugios that are past full? I understood in Galicia they were no longer allowing peregrinos to sleep on the floor for safety reasons.

I do not want to add a kilo to my pack weight with a sleeping bag and mat unless it is really a serious problem. We go from Leon to Satinago in early June. If you are seeing full albergues now, we will probably see the same.

Any information would be most appreciated.

Rambler
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#19
Rambler, it would be safe to presume that the Camino Frances will be crowded in June when you are there. I would take a sleeping bag anyway, since some albergues don't have blankets & it can still get cold at night in the higher elevations.

Kelly
 
#20
Astorga in the albergue San Javier was fine, no one went without a bed as far as i know.
I´m now in Santa Catalina only 10km from Astorga - I am the only one in the albergue at 2pm, but that will probably change.

I have decided to walk short distances as I am still getting over my flu and sore feet. I think not staying in the popular spots is a good idea.
My decision to walk short days also means I make my destination in plenty of time to get a bed.

Will post more as I progress

buen camino
Megan

Rambler said:
Seriously:
Those of you on the Camino now past Leon; are you seeing refugios that are past full? I understood in Galicia they were no longer allowing peregrinos to sleep on the floor for safety reasons.

I do not want to add a kilo to my pack weight with a sleeping bag and mat unless it is really a serious problem. We go from Leon to Satinago in early June. If you are seeing full albergues now, we will probably see the same.

Any information would be most appreciated.

Rambler
 

elzi

Active Member
#21
Currently in Belorado and the past week the albergues have been crazy busy. I was a bit shocked I was hoping May wouldn´t be as packed as July/August.

We´ve been walking much shorter distances to get a bed as everywhere seems full after about 11.30 - 12 ish! Had to walk an extra 11km or so to find a mattress on the floor the other day and I´ve heard a few people say they walked from Roncecvalles to Pamplona just to find a place to sleep!

Am a bit worried that things are so bad this far back on the trail as I was guessing it would only be like this further towards Santiago. I´d say sleeping bag essential, tent if you fancy camping. I´ve met quite a few people who slept outside last week when it was hot. Especially in Los Arcos there were quite a few folks sleeping outside on the grass and there were people sleeping in the stairwells of our albergue it was so full!

Buen Camino Everyone and Good Luck in the Bed Race!
 
#22
I'm leaving for SJPP in a few days and this thread has me a little worried, does anybody know if there is as much trouble finding 'alternative' accommodation (hotels or pensions or B&Bs)?? Is it just the hostels that are really busy? and thus should I be attempting to arrange other accommodation?
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#23
In the larger cities, you shouldn't have a problem. Between Roncesvalles & Pamplona, you can stay at Zubiri or Larrasoana. I suggest stopping at Zubiri because there are more albergues & hoteles there than Larrasoana as well as more places to eat & buy provisions for the next day. There are no bars or stores once you get past Larrasoana, except for one coke machine (takes euro coins only, no bills).

In Estella, if the albergue is getting full, try the Hotel Cristina or one of the other hotels in town. The albergue can run out of hot water & the bunks are really close together.

Kelly
 
#24
Just got an e-mail from my friend on del Norte. She have said, that albergues are almost empty and they are walking alone for few days now. They are in Gontan today and apart from the rain outside- it's all good they say.
I'm starting to wonder if choosing del Norte in august wouldn't be better than 'busy camino' Francees?

It is great, that lots of us are posting their opinions live from camino- it is so helpfull. Thanks everyone and keep safe down there!
Buen Camino!
 

fraluchi

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
#25
If all goes well, we (2) should be in Najera by May 15. All depends upon how many people hit the Camino around Pamplona-Logroño this long Whitsun (Pentecostés) week-end. Anyone on-line to give feed-back?
Thanks.
 
#26
I read somewhere that the number of people reaching Santiago in March went up from 1500 last year to over 5000 this year. Is this so? Does anyone have the numbers to compare April? I walked it last September/October and the crowds really got to me. I can't imagine the numbers going up by 3 times that amount...
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#27
The April stats have not been posted on the Archicompostela website yet but here are the stats for March 2007/2008:

During the month of March 2008, 5.327 pilgrims were received at the Pilgrim’s Office. The number of pilgrims in the year 2007 during the same period was 1.680.
3.795 (71,24%) pilgrims chose the French Way.

I walked from 23rd August to end of September and did not encounter the overcrowding that some people have spoken of. We always got a bed, hot water and had long moments of solitude on the trails.
 
#28
Hi Sil

How hot was it for you in September? Coming from the North of England it's a bit hard walking in the heat for us . . . Mind you apparently it is cold and rainy there at the moment so perhaps one can never tell . . .
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#29
September isn't very hot at all. The evenings and mornings are cool and the nights can get quite cold in the high places. If you are walking the Camino Frances, remember that you cross three mountain ranges and a high plateau, all with different climatic conditions.
The sun rises at at about 8am and sunset is at ± 8:30pm.
We dressed in layers most mornings and moulted during the day when it warmed up.
 
#31
The large increase in the numbers in March can be explained by Easter falling in March this year against April last year. The 'semana santa' (the week between Palm Sunday and Easter) is a large holiday period in Spain, and there is plenty of time to walk from Sarria, O Cebreiro or even Ponferrada.

Mike
 

viajero

Active Member
#32
I walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago in March and April of this year (2008). (March 8-April 4). I have been heartbroken reading this thread as it must be very discouraging to have so many crowds. I saw no crowds. The first week, in fact, I saw no other people on the Camino but would see a few at the albergue each afternoon/evening. I think I chose an ideal time to walk. More often than not there were just a few people at the albergue at night. One time there were just two of us. Usually there were about 4-9 people at each albergue which was great. Because there were so few of us, we got to know each other very well. WHen I arrived in Leon on Easter Sunday the albergue had quite a few people but it was in no way full. I always had a bottom bunk. I rarely had anyone in the bunk above me. It wasn't until I arrived at the albergue in Melide that I was in for something of a shock. Although not full, it was very crowded with lots of school groups. THe next night a small group of us, in hopes of avoiding the crowd, stayed at the private albergue in Santa Irene and then walked the following day to Santiago from there. I would definitely recommend March as a good month to walk. Yes, there was some snow in Roncesvalles, Rabanal, O'Cebreiro and even in Mansilla de Mulas. On those days, I sometimes chose to walk on the main road instead of the Camino proper. It was a little cold on some days as well. And there was light rain on other days. Mainly though, it was beautiful. THe weahter, overall, was better than I had expected. It was a great relief knowing there would always be a bed for me. If I felt like walking longer than planned I did. If I ran into friends and we decided to stay at an unplanned stop, I did. I would definitely choose March again as a month for walking. In fact, a few friends that I met on the Camino Frances and I are planning to meet up at the same time next year to walk the Camino Portugues.
 
#33
It makes me calmer a bit, hearing that it is not really that bad. I only hope, that all of you on camino will keep the rest of us (who are starting later in the summer) informed about everything.
Buen camino!
 
#34
It's true, I was walking during 1st - 4th May with Fernando between Logroño and Burgos and the Camino was full, and albergues plenty from 13:30. Impossible to find any place to sleep!! In Sto. Domingo de la Calzada we had to go to the polideportivo. A good idea is to try in little albergues.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#35
blimey... Sounds all very feverish.

Some friends of mine from last year's Camino decided to start from Leon on Sunday. Not quite sure what it'll be like, but I'm sure they'll be fine. I've known it busy, I've known it kinda average.

Last year when I was doing it, people didn't seem to respect the bag queuing system that has been in place for quite some time.
 
#36
Minkey said:
Last year when I was doing it, people didn't seem to respect the bag queuing system that has been in place for quite some time.
It is actually quite a good, fair system. But on the other hand- we create some kind of race for ourselves. It forces us to get up at 5 in the morning just to get a bed in the next albergue. Only way out of this situation is probably further development of other routes (or creating another albergues- which will probably be much more expensive).
 
#37
In my opinion, if albergues open the door at 5:00 pm, or 4:00 pm, wouldn't have queues in front of them since 11:00 am. Nor walking up at 04:30 am.

Albergues should have any rooms for pilgrims who arrive at 20:00 or later, or for pilgrim who walks 35-40 km a day at least. They are more tired than others that walks 15 km. a day.

It's just an opinion

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 
#38
You are absolutely right. BUT...
If there was a system in albergues which would favorize people walking longer distances- we all would walk not 25 but 50km a day to get a guaranteed place in albergue.
There is no simple solutions I think. Only way to make things better is to increase the number of beds. But how far can the route stretch? In my opinion not a lot.
 

jeff001

Active Member
#39
Re: Busy Camino - Live from Fromista

Last night in Hontanas a fellow pilgrim told me that a hospitelera near Pamplona told him that by the 3rd of May she had housed more pilgrims than in ALL of June last year. It is busy and many are calling ahead to reserve beds in private alburgues and hostals.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#40
Javier, I understand what you are suggesting but the time pilgrims arrive at an albergue is not always an indication of how far they have walked.
Last year we kept meeting up with a group of young people from Belgium. They were great fun and were having a ball on the camino. They got up late, sat in the cafe-bars for hours, had siesta at mid-day and started drinking quite early in the afternoon. They didn't walk further than us but they were always the last to arrive and the hospitaleros always found them a place, even if it was a mattress on the floor.
In Galicia, two of the albergues had a notice on the door telling pilgrims that they must walk further. The first one we saw was at Ferreios. The note said that if you had come from Sarria you must walk on to Portomarin because the albergue was for people who had walked at least from Triacastela.
I don't know what the answer is but I'd hate to be walking in 2010!!
 
#41
I don't know what the answer is but I'd hate to be walking in 2010!!

In 2004, I only walked the Camino Portuguese, and I walked it in winter, to avoid this kind of problems.

In my opinion it's not so important to walk all the time, but to stay during the hole day on the Camino, enjoying it, living it, not just staying in the albergue or waiting for it's being opened.

In the other hand, we can see today some strange kind of pilgrims who wake up at 4:30, arrive after walking at 10:30 and are expecting to rest, to have a shower, and just to stay all the day inside the albergue.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#42
It really is a strange one. I recall a couple who would wake everyone up at 5am, spend ages sorting their stuff out, and racing to get to Santo Domingo... They must've arrived by about 1030 - 1100. This strikes me as rather strange... Although I suspect it'll always be like that, now.

My next Camino will be the Northern Route next year, I think.
 
#43
Javier Martin said:
we can see today some strange kind of pilgrims who wake up at 4:30
Minkey said:
I recall a couple who would wake everyone up at 5am
I have to tell you, that I was seriously thinking of doing it this year. I simply cannot see other way. I would love to spend most of the day on the road- walking, having fun or quiet time for myself or just sleeping on the grass somewhere. I have said somewhere else on the forum, that I wouldn't mind sleeping on the floor in albergue; but I do not want to be forced to walk 5 or 10 km more just because there is no room for me to sleep. What if there will be no room in another village? We start on 19th of August this year on Camino Francees- so imagine how scared I am! I am afraid, that huge part of Caminos magic will be simply lost because of that issue. We should not race against eachother- we should have time of our lives- doesn't matter if we walk 5 or 50 km a day.

sillydoll said:
I don't know what the answer is but I'd hate to be walking in 2010!!
I can tell you what the answer may be: your own albergue- tent. I'm planning to walk all the way from Poland in 2010, so I will need a tent anyway.There will be lots and lots of people on the road. It will be crowded like the shopping mall on saturday afternoon, so it may be nothing magical about walking that year.
Hopefully something will be done and everyone will have their own bit of space on the camino.
Kuba.
 
#44
Kubapigora,

I agree completely, my friend.

In my opinion, we have to walk and live the camino during the day, and to sleep and rest during the night.

All rules made for pilgrims and hospitaleros should go in this way.

This is one of reasons why I enjoy so much other caminos than CF. When you arrive in the albergue, you can take your time just to rest. Not to find a place to rest.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

Minkey

Active Member
#45
I think there needs to be some perspective. Too many rules and it'll just become some sort of military operation. I think it's down to individuals to be respectful of those around them.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Donating Member
#47
Hi just talked to Rebekah Scott, she just finished the inglés and she told me it was very quiet.

She will post more on this once she is back home.

Saludos,
Ivar
 
#48
Well, that what people say. On the North route, Portuguese and many more- is very quiet- I have some first hand info;) People are complaining only at Francees.
 
#49
Hi Peregrnos :)
May is a busy time on the Camino. I worked as hospitalero at Rabanal last year in the 2nd half of May and there were nights when every bed in the village was taken, (no exaggeration) and it was then mattresses on the floor. Best try to stop at the smaller, less popular places - please don't let it become a race for beds :!:
Buen Camino to all, take care of your fellow pilgrims.

Brendan
 
#50
When I walked the Camnio last September/October most of the albergues were full by mid afternoon. I enjoyed getting up early and walking alone for 2 hours before the sun came up. I would sleep with my clothes for the next day on, have all my things I needed in the morning in a pillow case by the bed, and everything packed except my sleeping bag. I would wake up, put on my shoes, grab my pack/pillow case and drag my sleeping bag into the common area of the albergue or outside and finsih packing. No lights or noise to disturb the sleeping pilgrims. Those peaceful walks under the stars were magical and I had space to myself and I didn't have to worry about looking over my shoulder for people trying to reach a bed before me. I always got a bed and I could walk slower since I started earlier. I'm glad I did the Camino, but the overcrowded albergues were an issue at times - probably since I live alone.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#51
I´m just back to Moratinos after an absolutely pacific and solo week´s walk on the Camino Ingles. The difference is like night and day. While in Santiago yesterday and the day before I fell in with a small knot of people who´d just finished the El Norte and Portuguese routes... we all were in a bit of shock, suddenly coming from silence into the crowd!

All I can tell you, from my own comparative experience living on the Frances and hiking an alternative path: Lose the crowd, people! You do have options, no matter your time frame. Just make sure you´re fit and flexible and have some funding and language skills; and download some good trail guidance, as the trail markings on the other routes aren´t so clear and the infrastructure isn´t geared to tourist-type pilgrims.

I think, as someone else pointed out, the Frances is hitting its ´tipping point.´ Anyone who wants an "authentic" pilgrim experience needs to consider another path, or walking the Frances some other time of the year.
 
#52
Rebekah,

About the trial marks, the AGACS (Galician association) is going to repaint the yellow arrows between Ferrol and SdC during the next two weekends: 24th-25th May and 31st May-1st June. I hope it's better marked after that.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#53
The Camino Ingles is generally very well marked apart from one or two parts which can be confusing - I had no difficulty but had to scout about one or twice. Good to hear they are repainting - I am sure that will sort it.
 
#54
we plan our camino in 2010 when our last child at home goes to uni and rosie and i (ian) celebrate 25 years together a special year for us,
we plan having 56 days for our camino ( one of the benifits of old age) so while viewing these posts with trepidation, will take one day at a time and except what comes.there is no way that i will be part of any mad daily scramble for beds,this to me defeats the object of doing the camino in the first place.
as a couple we have started walking most mornings and longer walks at the weekend and conversing as we walk,so for us our camino has already started and who knows in 2 years we may have reached our own santiago.
partly in jest, but it does seem to be that lots of people keep repeating the walk/pilgrimage and then bemoaning the fact it's getting busier, doh!.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#55
There still appears to be a great number of pilgrims on The Way, but the several I spoke with today tell me they aren´t racing for beds like they were earlier on. Some people have dropped behind or dropped out, others are skipping the meseta (which leaves all the really good pilgrims for us!) and still others have chosen to shift onto other caminos.

Many day-trippers and vehicle-backup groups, but they´re using the hostals. The albergue in San Nicolas de Real Camino was full the last couple of nights, but all three albergues in Sahagun are at about 60-80% capacity... what you might expect in a busy May.

Don´t worry. Just keep going. The poppies are blooming!
Reb.
 
#56
sagalout wrote:
[*there is no way that i will be part of any mad daily scramble for beds,this to me defeats the object of doing the camino in the first place.]
my wife would be the first to agree with what you write, the camino is a state of mind and not a race.

This may not go down well with those writing in this forum, as you will find out in the next two years before your camino, that "pilgrims" are expected to endure many things. I am waiting to hear of what takes place over the next three months when numbers seeking places in the albergues peak.

Happy planning

Kwaheri
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#57
This may not go down well with those writing in this forum, as you will find out in the next two years before your camino, that "pilgrims" are expected to endure many things.
Habari rafiki NaKwendaSafari - pilgrims are not expected to endure things on the camino - they 'embrace' them!! Of their own free will!
Pilgrims embrace good weather and bad weather, easy trails and difficult paths, friendly folk and unfriendly folk, basic places and upmarket places, good food and mediocre food, happy days and sad days. The camino is a microcosm of life and we embrace it all.
Kwa Heri and abrazos,
 

Minkey

Active Member
#58
Personally I'm with Sil. Don't expect to encounter what you might see as problems, just go, discover and in some instances, adapt. That's my advice.

Most importantly, don't forget why you're out there. There's a reason for you doing it, so don't lose sight of that.
 

Rambler

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2008 Camino Frances with Daughter, 2014 Camino Frances with Son
#59
Minkey said:
Most importantly, don't forget why you're out there. There's a reason for you doing it, so don't lose sight of that.
Minkey:
Your comment is so true I had to quote you on my blog. It is easy to lose perspective as you are dealing with all the planning and logistics. Thanks for reminding us of that.

Rambler
 
#60
If it's busy NOW...

Bless, I wonder what July is going to be like if it's already busy-busy on the Frances now... :shock: I'm off from Burgos on the 3rd of July, wonder if I should bring a tent just in case? Is it worth the weight?

Please update, sweet pilgrims, so we'll know what to expect!

I really can't wait to start walking! :D

Besos, t
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#61
Hi Tonjesol,
If the stats from St Jean are anything to go by, the numbers will not be as high in June/July as they have been in April/May.
This was part of an earlier post on stats from the Pilgrim Office in St Jean:
..two high seasons. One from 23 April to late May with a very high peak from 7 to May 13. (1668 pilgrims in 7 days, an average 238 pilgrims per day).
The 2nd high season from August to mid-September is less clear, since there was a drop in numbers in the 2nd half of August.
As in previous years, in 2007 there was a pronounced decline in June-July with about 900 pilgrims per week.
I would say, leave the tent behind.
 
#62
My husband & I are planning to walk the Camino next year, we have booked leave from mid April till end of May. We have to plan well in advance to get leave booked in. I was kind of hoping to avoid the craziest, busiest time, but it sounds like that might be just what we have picked. Are albergue floors still on offer when beds are full? I seem to have read some conflicting reports. We have sleep mats& bags that we can bring.
 
#63
Hi, Lisa,

The hospitaleros would let you to stay on the floor if there's not beds available. But, spanish law says that all albergues need to pay an insurance, and the amount of this insurance depends on number of pilgrims every night, what it depends on the number of beds. So, because the security of pilgrims the hospitaleros are not allowed to let anybody to sleep on the floor.

But, today it's possible to sleep on the floor in any albergues, but only in a few.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#64
I have been reading this thread and am somewhat taken back by the competition for beds that is voiced here. :(

We are starting about 20 March 09 and are wondering if we will have the same problems.
What is the availability of private accomandations? I notice that very little is said about them in the forum.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#65
Hi there,
March/April is not the busiest time on the camino so you shouldn't have any problems getting a bed for the night. Your biggest problem could be the weather - it might be beautiful with crisp, clear days and chilly nights but chances are you could have snow, blizzards and rain so go prepared.
I have walked in May/June: June/July (in the 2004 Holy Year): and in September/October. The only time I had to sleep on a mattress on the floor was during May/June.
Try to avoid staying over in the most popular places recommended in all the guide books; head for the smaller, in-between places instead. In March the sunrises at about 7h30am and sets just after 7pm so aim to arrive at your chosen albergue before 5pm. This will give you time to wash and dry your clothes and do a bit of sightseeing.
I walked the camino Frances in September last year and even when we arrived after 5pm, we always got a bed.
There is a chain of private albergues on the camino frances where you can book ahead and have your baggage transported to. None charged more than 9 euro in 2007. You will find the fold-out leaflet at most places along the camino, or download it from their website. http://www.redalberguessantiago.com/ (Click on Folettos on the left margin for a 2008 leaflet) I am attaching a word only list here.
Buen camino!
 

Attachments

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#66
grayland said:
I have been reading this thread and am somewhat taken back by the competition for beds that is voiced here. :(

We are starting about 20 March 09 and are wondering if we will have the same problems.
What is the availability of private accomandations? I notice that very little is said about them in the forum.
I crossed over from SJPP at the end of May, and arrived in Santiago at the beginning of July. We never once had a problem getting a bed, though occasionally those who arrived late in the afternoon or evening did. When I saw all the people starting from Sarria, I had visions of some outdoor nights, but it was fine then as well. There are also a large number of 'private' albergues, that may be slightly more expensive than municipal ones. The only problem you might have in March is that not all the albergues will have re-opened for the season then.

All the best.
Margaret
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#67
grayland-if you start in sevilla you will doubtless have better/milder weather than over the pyrenees.
 

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