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Camino Frances in autumn, sleeping on albergue floors?

Brad Williams

Camino Frances, September 1, 2016
Camino(s) past & future
Starting either the Frances or Norte on August 27, 2016
I am planning to walk the Camino Frances August 26-September 20. If I make no reservations and arrive late to the albergues will I end up on the floor? Does this happen frequently? I'm trying to decide whether I should carry an inflatable therm-a-rest that weighs about 1 pound because I will surely not get any sleep on a hard floor. I don't want to have to leave super early in the am, feel rushed to get to an albergue, or have a cumbersome itinerary with reservations. I don't mind sleeping on the floor if I've got the right equipment. Would appreciate any feedback from others with insight about this.
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do good and good will come to you.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
I am planning to walk the Camino Frances August 26-September 20. If I make no reservations and arrive late to the albergues will I end up on the floor? Does this happen frequently? I'm trying to decide whether I should carry an inflatable therm-a-rest that weighs about 1 pound because I will surely not get any sleep on a hard floor. I don't want to have to leave super early in the am, feel rushed to get to an albergue, or have a cumbersome itinerary with reservations. I don't mind sleeping on the floor if I've got the right equipment. Would appreciate any feedback from others with insight about this.
Hi Brad, my wife walked her Camino Frances in 2013 at the same time of year as you want to walk yours. And she had no problems finding a place to sleep.
But that was 3 years ago.
Wish you well and a Buen Camino, Peter.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
Also, due to insurance reasons, albergues are now capped how many pilgrims they are allowed to have inside. So the good old times of sleeping on the floor are over. PLUS if it really happens, there is always a pilgrim that has a bed plus a spare iso mat. Buen Camino, SY

PS End of August/beginning of September the main rush is over anyway and 99% of the albergues are still open - you will be fine!
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
I walked through September into October in 2014, and found it quite busy. I'm a fast walker, so usually covered about 25km by 1pm or 2pm, and even at that time sometimes found the albergues full. About half way through, I started to call ahead to book a bed for the next night, and that worked okay, though I don't speak much Spanish, and I always got Grandma or Grandpa, who couldn't speak English.

As an aside, an American I walked with for a while said when she returned home, she would have a lot more empathy for the homeless, as she now realised how scary it could be, not knowing where she could lay her head at night.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2020)
I am planning to walk the Camino Frances August 26-September 20. If I make no reservations and arrive late to the albergues will I end up on the floor? Does this happen frequently? I'm trying to decide whether I should carry an inflatable therm-a-rest that weighs about 1 pound because I will surely not get any sleep on a hard floor. I don't want to have to leave super early in the am, feel rushed to get to an albergue, or have a cumbersome itinerary with reservations. I don't mind sleeping on the floor if I've got the right equipment. Would appreciate any feedback from others with insight about this.
I just walked the CF this Sept and Oct. I only ran into one alburgue that was full, and most days I arrived around 3 to 4. Even at the full alburgue in Najera I found a bed at a pension. You won't need a mat. Save the weight.
 

purplesage

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais, Finisterre and Muxia (2012) , Camino Portuguese 2014, Camino Inglese 2015, Camino Muxia 2015, Incomplete part of CF 2015 ... will hopefully finish later this year
I am planning to walk the Camino Frances August 26-September 20. If I make no reservations and arrive late to the albergues will I end up on the floor? Does this happen frequently? I'm trying to decide whether I should carry an inflatable therm-a-rest that weighs about 1 pound because I will surely not get any sleep on a hard floor. I don't want to have to leave super early in the am, feel rushed to get to an albergue, or have a cumbersome itinerary with reservations. I don't mind sleeping on the floor if I've got the right equipment. Would appreciate any feedback from others with insight about this.
Brad, Salute the inspired thought. I slept on a floor in an albergue on the Camino Inglese.... maybe Bruma??? I dont remember. But the lady charged me 6 euros all the same (I didn't mind... just letting u know). Some let you sleep on the floor for free. I met a Spanish pilgrim who made it most of the way working in private albergues.... cleaning and so on ... for a bed at night. Sometimes they gave her a bit of money. Other pilgrims who met her, gave her small amounts of money.... for food. It all happens there..... :) Buen Camino
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Hi Brad, just keep in mind you won't have a choice as to when you leave in the morning. Not sure what you had in mind, but most Albergues want folks on their way by 8am. They have a heap of work to prepare for their next arrivals. I was always on my way at first light, which of course changes as the days grow shorter. You will be fine. Wish you Buen Camino.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
Walked from SJPDP to Santiago in 2014. Slept on floor 3 times and was very glad that I carried a sleeping pad. They do NOT weight that much. You really don't have to buy one as lots of pilgrims give up carrying their gear and use taxis to carry gear and they usually put their sleeping pads on the Free gear pile at most albergues. I may see you on the camino as I am thinking of walking it at the same time as you. I live just North of you in Pennsylvania , where we really are as dumb as we look.

Walked in May and June in 2014 and found it very crowded in June. Want to see what it is like in early Fall
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
Just to go a bit Harry Potterish "A sleeping pad will be always available to those that truly need it!"
Buen Camino, SY
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
Just to go a bit Harry Potterish "A sleeping pad will be always available to those that truly need it!"
Buen Camino, SY
Yes, the sleeping pads given out at the Monastery in Granon was more than comfortable. I even had two kittens sharing it with me! What a delight…...
 

obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
The Camino provides...stress sucks...why worry...St. James has it covered...

Not exactly haiku, but you get the idea...

END OF POST! (take that Doug!)
Great response! It is sooooo true. The Camino provides. I always had a place to sleep It just happened to be outside at times. All the better for me. It was the same time of year also. If you stay in Granon ALL the sleeping is on the floor. And there is no cap. It is a traditional Pilgrims hostel with Father Jesus at the helm. I was hospitalera there in 2015. We were open 24/7/365
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
When I arrived at the Monastery they had just filled most of their rooms, but simply opened up another room in another part of the Monastery. This is where you meet the 'real' folks. There were a few times on this journey that I simply had to stay in a Pension because of my acute bronchitis and what seemed like 24/7 coughing, giving myself the space to do it without concern for pilgrims around me.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
I missed that one out first time, but just for the record, there is no monastery in Grañón, it is a parish albergue. Buen Camino, SY
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
I missed that one out first time, but just for the record, there is no monastery in Grañón, it is a parish albergue. Buen Camino, SY
You are correct SYates; it is a parish albergue. And having been in the hotel business for years, I particularly appreciated all of the Hospitaleros….
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I missed that one out first time, but just for the record, there is no monastery in Grañón, it is a parish albergue. Buen Camino, SY
Surprisingly there is such a monastery/convent albergue listed in Gronze and Eroski as in Granon! See http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/albergue-municipal-nuestra-senora-de-carrasquedo
I have eaten lunch there. Simple meals are a good value at 6 euros. Breakfast is 3 euros and a bunk in a common dorm 6 euros. The hospitalero and his family October 2014 were very friendly and welcoming. Peeked at the dorms and they are fine; if the parish albergue in nearby Granon was not so special I would happily stay at this youth hostel. For those who wish to sleep either in a bunk or bed and not on the floor as at Granon the albergue Nuestra Senora de Carrasquedo would be a good choice.

MM
 
Last edited:

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
That most be Carrasquedo @mspath which is an old hermitage now in secular hands. There are so much great places to stay in and around Grañón now I really wonder why anybody doesn't want to stay there! Buen Camino, SY
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
Oh, and don't let forget the Casa de las Sonrisas in Grañón, another place to stay. Grañón is a very special and unique village on the CF! Buen Camino, SY
 

vgen5122

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (August 19-sept 30,2013) (8/2017)
I complete my first Camino in 2013. It began on August 19. We had made reservations in Orrison for the first night on the Camino. In the morning we made our way and slept in Roncesvalles. There was only one town that we experience trouble in getting a place to sleep. We had arrived into Zubiri late due to foot issues. There we found out there were no beds available, not even a floor. Someone told us that we could get a room at the local hotel or sleep in the street. We stayed at the hotel that night.
The only other time we saw people having a problem was in Ponferrada at the municipal. That year they had the most influx of pilgrims that they ever had and they passed out mattress. The people that used them were the ones who didn't get in. There were many people that slept outside the albergue that night (not me).
It looks like we are going back this year again. Actually our dates are similar to yours . I am hoping we learned our lesions from our first Camino. I Plan to make reservations in St.Jean Pied De Port, Orrison and Zubiri. I've learned that some albergues take reservations and some don't.Good luck, see you on the road and Buen Camino.
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
I just walked the CF this Sept and Oct. I only ran into one alburgue that was full, and most days I arrived around 3 to 4. Even at the full alburgue in Najera I found a bed at a pension. You won't need a mat. Save the weight.
Ditto Tom..my experience also
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
I walked through September into October in 2014, and found it quite busy. I'm a fast walker, so usually covered about 25km by 1pm or 2pm, and even at that time sometimes found the albergues full. About half way through, I started to call ahead to book a bed for the next night, and that worked okay, though I don't speak much Spanish, and I always got Grandma or Grandpa, who couldn't speak English.

As an aside, an American I walked with for a while said when she returned home, she would have a lot more empathy for the homeless, as she now realised how scary it could be, not knowing where she could lay her head at night.
Grandma or Grandpa??
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
I generally avoided the Brierley stops, and stayed in the little private albergues. I think it was the time of day I rang, so I suspected the younger family members (or staff) were cleaning the rooms. When I arrived, there was often one of the 'old folks' (my age) sitting near the door, and my guess was it was they who took my call.
 

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