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Camino Frances in August, what if you can't find a bed?

#1
Hi everyone,

I'm very new to the idea of the Camino and would like to do it next year. I've been reading the forums and it looks like August is a busy time of year for the Camino Frances. Unfortunately I am only able to go in August (of any year) so I am worried about finding a bed each night.

As I have limited time (must be back by beginning of September) I want to walk as much as possible every day, and not always stop when the albergues start filling up - is it possible in August to find a bed later in the afternoon or even in the evening?

If you simply cannot get in anywhere, is it possible to 'rough it' and sleep under the stars, or would that simply be foolish (or worse yet, dangerous)? From what I've seen so far, camping isn't generally considered as doable as staying in the albergues, and I wouldn't want to carry a tent if it was unlikely that I could pitch it anywhere...

Thank you in advance for any advice or insight. :)
 

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#2
I'd just like to add - I saw mention of tarantulas in a thread about camping... I am scared to death of spiders so if it is true that there are tarantulas along the route, I would definitely prefer not to sleep outside :shock:
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#3
August is steaming hot - there is no harm in carrying a small tent - The Hospitaleros may allow you to pitch it in the garden of an already full Albergue. Thing is , if you stop walking at 2pm , the chances are that you will find a bed -
if you walk until 8pm ;then when you stop , most pilgrims have already been there for hours??
The Camino Frances nowadays has so many accommodation options - take some extra cash for those days that you may be caught out and need private accommodation - or use your tent? :mrgreen:

The less conservative Albergues will allow you to pitch your tent and use the facilities - make sure that you produce your credential - some Albergues will pass you on to where there is a place for you , perhaps in the next town? = displaying a little Humility and understanding will hold you in good stead.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#4
Don´t worry. Just go. If you can´t get a cheap bed you might have to go up the market to a more expensive bed, or down the market and sleep on the church porch or in the spare room of some local person´s house, or in a garage or out in a haystack. Not knowing is part of the deal.

You will be fine. Honest.
And I promise you will not see any tarantulas, unless you hang out in pet shops or zoos.

Reb.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#5
Rebekah Scott said:
You will be fine. Honest.
And I promise you will not see any tarantulas, unless you hang out in pet shops or zoos.

Reb.
Hehe , was it not you that was bitten by a Meseta Spider? :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
 

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#6
Thank you both for your replies.

I am certainly willing to go with the flow and take the trip as it comes, but I am prone to worrying - mostly in advance :oops:

I am thinking of maybe taking a small and light tent, or just sleeping bag, and seeing how I get on. Money is tight so I don't think I would be able to stay in a hotel more than once, but it sounds as though there are always some altenatives!
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#8
intergalaktik said:
I am thinking of maybe taking a small and light tent, or just sleeping bag, and seeing how I get on. Money is tight so I don't think I would be able to stay in a hotel more than once, but it sounds as though there are always some alternatives!
Hey , this is the Camino - some of the decisions may be made for you without you even knowing ........ hehe ........what will be , will be.........Just get there!
Trust in the WAY?! :mrgreen:
 
#9
Rebekah Scott said:
Not knowing is part of the deal.

You will be fine. Honest.
RENSHAW said:
some of the decisions may be made for you without you even knowing ........
RENSHAW said:
what will be , will be.........
RENSHAW said:
Trust in the WAY?! :mrgreen:
Thank you. These are things I thought I knew, but as I started researching, I started getting bogged down in all that could go wrong. The reminder is much appreciated! :D

I wish I could go this year, but alas, it won't be possible until next year at the earliest. On the bright side, I have started walking every day, not exactly as "training" or preparation, but because I realised that I don't need to wait until the camino to start my journey.
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#10
intergalaktik said:
I wish I could go this year, but alas, it won't be possible until next year ..........
The camino will wait for you - when you are ready ........ The experience of a lifetime awaits - don't chicken out!! :mrgreen:
 

SDM

New Member
#11
What if you can not find a bed?

You can
... sleep under the stars (24 May 2011 O Cebreiro)
... walk to the next Albergue
... etc

and keep smiling ...

Sarah :arrow:
 

RENSHAW

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks every year on CF reaching Burgos or Leon. Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
#12
SDM said:
You can
... sleep under the stars (24 May 2011 O Cebreiro)

Was it cold!?
 
#13
It happened to us a few times along the way and we always found somewhere, though after Sarria we bought a tent because the refuges were so full and it became a race to get a bed which wasn't fun.

The Coleman Rigel is a good emergency tent. It is in itself a rubbish tent, and certainly not 2 man as described, but it weighs just a kilo and costs £65. Has only one skin so condensation will form inside but if its just the odd night and the alternative is sleeping outside its pretty good. The lightness and cheapness make this a perfect Camino tent IMHO. Though the Vaude Refuge is better if you have the money to spare.
 

SDM

New Member
#14
RENSHAW said:
SDM said:
You can
... sleep under the stars (24 May 2011 O Cebreiro)

Was it cold!?
Yes, it was cold but at least it did not rain ...

As the coldness kept waking me up, I spent the night (when awake) enjoying the beautiful sky full of stars ... :D

Sarah :arrow:
 

AnnieG

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
end May to June 2014
#15
Thank you both for your replies.

I am certainly willing to go with the flow and take the trip as it comes, but I am prone to worrying - mostly in advance :oops:

I am thinking of maybe taking a small and light tent, or just sleeping bag, and seeing how I get on. Money is tight so I don't think I would be able to stay in a hotel more than once, but it sounds as though there are always some altenatives!
 

AnnieG

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
end May to June 2014
#16
HI, I am also planning on doing 3 weeks in August this year.. A bit worried.. I too am a worry-wort.. ! Did 4 days on the Northern Spanish Way in 2014 June/July. It was great! I was thinking of returning there, but decided to do a bit on the French way this year and next year, and then maybe go back and complete the other way. So don't worry, it will be fine. (I am sure.. and hope so too.:)
 

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
#17
I walked September last year also a busy time. Everyone I met found a bed eventually tho a few had been stressed on occasion at the start.
(1) most of the private alburges let you book ahead, useful if you plan to arrive late.
(2) Many people are walking by 6am if you are an average fit walker easy to do 30-34 km and finish by 2pm, hot walking by then.
(3) even the people who were worried about getting beds were a lot more relaxed after a week or so.

YMMV.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2010, 2015)
Camino Norte (2011)
Rue de la Plata (2018/9)
#18
I believe this question has been asked a few times recently, if you do a search you may turn up some useful information. The short answer is yes, sometimes you will find full Albergues, and sometimes an entire town will be booked solid, especially if there is a local festival of some kind and visitors suddenly become 'pilgrims' to have a place to stay. However, a tent is a lot of extra weight to carry on the off-chance you may only need it once or twice. Better to just be prepared for the possibility by not waiting too late to check in somewhere, and budget some extra money in case you need to take a taxi forward/backward on the route to find accommodation. The worst case scenario? You sleep on the floor somewhere or walk further or reverse your steps. Trust that you will find a way, it happens all the time! RE: spiders. I've spent several years in Spain and worked on a farm and never saw a tarantula. I have however, seen plenty of European House Spiders running around albergues which give me more of a fright than the ones outside! (But only at night or when I was cleaning dark corners. I think they would be pretty adverse to running on you whilst sleeping.) ;) Buen Camino.
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
Norte Spring 2018
#19
I'd carry a small tent. I'd never do a camino without one. My combined weight for a tent and sleeping pad is below 1kg. That's a liter of water. I only carry 1 liter of water anyway unlike some who go crazy with 2,3 or more!

I have done this on three caminos and managed to find albergues that allow camping in the garden, often at a discounted price if it's a private one.

In some ways I prefer camping as you are away from the snorers, farters, 5am bag rustlers and other trouble makers but you can still use the facilities.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#20
This is a zombie thread. The OP started it over seven years ago.
 

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