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Concerned

4RJN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 15th
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
 
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Viva Terlingua

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Partial Frances (2018)
Full Frances 2022 (May-Jun)
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
I am starting in SJPP next week and would prefer not to book ahead but am willing to do so if necessary. What I have done is booked the first week and will see what things are like once I am enroute and will adjust accordingly.
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Geneva -> SJPdP 2023
For what it's worth, I travel just like you and it really works for me. I never know how I'm going to feel from day to day and I need that open flexibility to either take a rest day, do a big, or shorter, day. For me, I love to "see what happens" and flow with it, because it's always led to pleasant surprises. However, when I wanted to stay in a particular albergue because of a positive experience on a previous camino, I would book ahead, which forced me to get busy and clock in some kms.

That being said, as the camino gets more crowded, booking from SJPdP, to at least Pamplona is wise. As your body adjusts, so can you.

AND...another tidbit I've learn is to purposely stop between stages. All the little villages between the big stops get lost in the shuffle. I find it's a great way to sort of slip away from the main crowd and have a more intimate camino.

Hope that helps!
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel Ilike I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
If you are starting at SJPDP I would book the first three days, purely because that stretch is tight for accomodation. If you plan to stop at Orrisson or Borda then definitely as they can only house a fraction of the pilgrims who walk that day.
Ive walked when its busy (beginning of May and beginning of September) and have always found a bed, although sometimes I had help from hospitaleras finding a place (when a place was full) and sometimes I had to walk on. Between stages is often easier, as many people take the guidebooks very literally.
Of course if you walk like a racehorse then you may be fine.
 
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I fear you are in for a rude awakening as have many been this past week and a half. You should book SJPP, Orisson or BORDA, Roncesvalles, Zubiri AND Pamplona! If you are smart you will do it today. We have seen many pilgrims without a place to sleep. Otherwise come prepared to sleep outside, or taxi. Check Gronze.Com to see who does or does not take reservations. You could walk between stages and get in before 2 pm and possibly get a bed. But many places are booked solid. Sometimes they get last minute cancellations. But I would book. Post Covid, Holy Year, boatloads of pilgrims!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
Surely you are joking? You think of cancelling because you may not feel like trusting in God when you feel like having to book a bed a day or two before your arrival in a village or town??? You will get a bed every night, it may just not be as cheap a bed as you had expected or a bed in the town where you would prefer to stop. There are plenty of beds and taxis to get you to a bed every day when you can't walk further, don't want to walk further or don't want to search further.

I take it that you will arrive in SJPP around the 16th of May, ie middle of May. Let us know how it goes. I'm not walking but have paid attention to what people and news media currently report. Arrive early-ish in Roncesvalles for a €14 bed at the pilgrim albergue; they have about 90 beds every day for walk-ins while the other 90 beds can be booked online [edited, see following post by @Ianinam: 180 beds can be reserved and they have some more beds in addition to this]. And there are taxis that serve Roncesvalles. Arrive early-ish at every other non-bookable pilgrim albergue between SJPP and Pamplona. As far as accommodation goes, Saturdays are busier than other days in both SJPP and Pamplona.

Whoever "provides", they provide plenty of beds. Private beds are usually bookable and they are provided more for those who book and book early than for those who prefer not to. And dormitory beds in public albergues are provided first and foremost for those who arrive before the others. You take your pick. Buen Camino!
 
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LilleTyksak

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future caminos: San Salvador & Primitivo 2022
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
Hi,
I believe you already got good advise. Anyway it is normal to have anxiety and second thoughts before travelling in to the “unknown”.

And as you can read it is definitely possible, but that you might have to change your plans as you walk and if you are open for alternatives, you could up ending having the adventure of your life!

I am also sure, that if you in general trust God, and that you until now have been able to — then I am sure there have been more severe situation than this one.
And even though you have to book ahead on the go, I don’t believe it‘s much different than for life in general, you have to adjust even though you trust God.

If you are looking for a reason to cancel, there are many reasons to take from ;)

I do feel you are writing from a point of fear… and it is easy to claim, that you don’t need to have fear. But without exaggerating there are many locals and pilgrims, who would help you if you really need help!!! And I personally believe they will be there faster than God ;)

Buen Camino 🥰
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
I walked without reservations at this time of year in 2019 when it may have been even busier and had no problems and never slept outside.

I don't get up early and I certainly don't race for a bed but I do use my brain.

Stay your course and enjoy the journey.

Of course there are others who are uncomfortable with anything that they don't control and they will tell you that the sky is falling.
 
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jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
"The Camino Provides": Relying on that "idea" is just silly if you are not flexible to take whatever it is you get. In your case - you are expecting the Camino to provide you a bed. Maybe you will find a bed. Maybe you won't. The Frances has plenty of infrastructure, but you have to know how to access it. Anyone who has done even a little research knows that during the busy season - you might have to pre-book SJPDP, (Orisson/Borda reservations are a must if you wish to stay), Roncesvalles, Zubiri, and perhaps even Pamplona. That is - if you want a guaranteed bed in those specific locations. If you want to wing it, you can. But be prepared to perhaps not get a bed in those specific locations and the possibility you may have to sleep outside, or you may have to walk further to find a bed, or you may need to taxi to an available bed. Or it will more likely be that there are plenty of beds - but they are the more expensive beds. Now - in just about every town there are a certain amount of beds that cannot be reserved. If you are willing to get up a little earlier or walk a little faster - then you will probably be able to get one of those beds. But if you want to take your time and not "race for a bed" - then better to reserve those first couple of towns.

No one is saying you have to plan EVERYTHING. But perhaps the phrase that works better is "God helps those who help themselves". Or even "god works in mysterious ways". God gave me the brains to do a little research to know that I might want to reserve the first 4 towns and the he gave me the courage to "wing it" after that. But god also allowed man to develop tools such as cell phones and guide books and I can use those tools as needed to reserve ahead if I want to, or if I can't find a bed - to call until I find a place to sleep. Also - he made humans into creatures who love to share information. I listen to those god created creatures (my fellow pilgrims who may be a day or two ahead) to hear about bedding shortages in certain towns ahead - and once I know I am going to arrive in those locations on a specific day - I can chose to call ahead and reserve my bed. Yes - I go on the Camino and I put my trust in god - but I also use the tools he gave us to help myself to ensure I get what I need for the day. Because ultimately - I am responsible for making sure my needs are met. Not "the Camino". One good example of "god helps those who help themselves" is: I recall hearing through the Camino grapevine about how there were no beds in O Cebreiro - I went online and found myself a nice private room - but I did have to pay for it. I got to stay in O Cebreiro when no one else I know was able to "find a bed". Were my friends left without a bed? Nope. They just had to stop way before or way after O Cebreiro. Whereas I used my tools to find a bed in the location I wanted to stay. I had to do that several times when I walked last summer. I pre-booked through Zubiri and then decided to "wing it". There were several times I knew I had to make a bed reservation in the morning or the night before. There were also a few times I had to walk well beyond my comfort level to find a bed.

Anyhow - if you want to do no research and you want to make no reservations - you can do that. But be prepared to have to join the race for a bed if you are finding that when you arrive the albergues are indeed full. But if you simply walk your own pace and expect the Camino to provide for you - you may indeed be in for a rude awakening if your timing on the Camino is the same as the masses of crowds.


Anyhow - it is fine to "trust in god" - but my point is - god gave us the tools to help ourselves too!

Now: go back to C Clearly's reply and answer those questions for yourself.
 

LilleTyksak

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future caminos: San Salvador & Primitivo 2022
"The Camino Provides": Relying on that "idea" is just silly if you are not flexible to take whatever it is you get. In your case - you are expecting the Camino to provide you a bed. Maybe you will find a bed. Maybe you won't. The Frances has plenty of infrastructure, but you have to know how to access it. Anyone who has done even a little research knows that during the busy season - you might have to pre-book SJPDP, (Orisson/Borda reservations are a must if you wish to stay), Roncesvalles, Zubiri, and perhaps even Pamplona. That is - if you want a guaranteed bed in those specific locations. If you want to wing it, you can. But be prepared to perhaps not get a bed in those specific locations and the possibility you may have to sleep outside, or you may have to walk further to find a bed, or you may need to taxi to an available bed. Or it will more likely be that there are plenty of beds - but they are the more expensive beds. Now - in just about every town there are a certain amount of beds that cannot be reserved. If you are willing to get up a little earlier or walk a little faster - then you will probably be able to get one of those beds. But if you want to take your time and not "race for a bed" - then better to reserve those first couple of towns.

No one is saying you have to plan EVERYTHING. But perhaps the phrase that works better is "God helps those who help themselves". Or even "god works in mysterious ways". God gave me the brains to do a little research to know that I might want to reserve the first 4 towns and the he gave me the courage to "wing it" after that. But god also allowed man to develop tools such as cell phones and guide books and I can use those tools as needed to reserve ahead if I want to, or if I can't find a bed - to call until I find a place to sleep. Also - he made humans into creatures who love to share information. I listen to those god created creatures (my fellow pilgrims who may be a day or two ahead) to hear about bedding shortages in certain towns ahead - and once I know I am going to arrive in those locations on a specific day - I can chose to call ahead and reserve my bed. Yes - I go on the Camino and I put my trust in god - but I also use the tools he gave us to help myself to ensure I get what I need for the day. Because ultimately - I am responsible for making sure my needs are met. Not "the Camino". One good example of "god helps those who help themselves" is: I recall hearing through the Camino grapevine about how there were no beds in O Cebreiro - I went online and found myself a nice private room - but I did have to pay for it. I got to stay in O Cebreiro when no one else I know was able to "find a bed". Were my friends left without a bed? Nope. They just had to stop way before or way after O Cebreiro. Whereas I used my tools to find a bed in the location I wanted to stay. I had to do that several times when I walked last summer. I pre-booked through Zubiri and then decided to "wing it". There were several times I knew I had to make a bed reservation in the morning or the night before. There were also a few times I had to walk well beyond my comfort level to find a bed.

Anyhow - if you want to do no research and you want to make no reservations - you can do that. But be prepared to have to join the race for a bed if you are finding that when you arrive the albergues are indeed full. But if you simply walk your own pace and expect the Camino to provide for you - you may indeed be in for a rude awakening if your timing on the Camino is the same as the masses of crowds.


Anyhow - it is fine to "trust in god" - but my point is - god gave us the tools to help ourselves too!

Now: go back to C Clearly's reply and answer those questions for yourself.
Hi Jeanine,
I believe you have some very good points, but I would love to rewrite it, because I don’t feel it expresses the kindness that I am sure was you intention.

Have a nice day 🥰
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Hi Jeanine,
I believe you have some very good points, but I would love to rewrite it, because I don’t feel it expresses the kindness that I am sure was you intention.

Have a nice day 🥰
Simply responding to a man who clearly states he would rather cancel his Camino if he can't "trust in god". Just reminding him that god gave him the tools he needs to do this!
 

Ianinam

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2013 / CP 2018
I take it that you will arrive in SJPP around the 16th of May, ie middle of May. Let us know how it goes. I'm not walking but have paid attention to what people and news media currently report. Arrive early-ish in Roncesvalles for a €14 bed at the pilgrim albergue; they have about 90 beds every day for walk-ins while the other 90 beds can be booked online. And there are taxis that serve Roncesvalles. Arrive early-ish at every other non-bookable pilgrim albergue between SJPP and Pamplona. As far as accommodation goes, Saturdays are busier than other days in both SJPP and Pamplona.
At the moment there is no limit for the amount of reservations. Last week we had up to 180 reservated beds. We have more beds available than the 183 in Aterpea, i.e. in the winter albergue, but it fills up very quickly every day.
 
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Thank you for this update, @Ianinam, very much appreciated.

Interesting to learn that there is currently no limit for the number of dormitory beds that can be reserved. I had noticed that the Albergue de Roncesvalles had made some changes to their website. I saw today that the maximum amount of bookings that one can make with a single online booking is now for 1-30 people instead of earlier when it was for 1-15 people only.

Wow, up to 180 reserved beds during the first week of May 2022! And no doubt, 180 very happy pilgrims. 😇
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
some very good points, but I would love to rewrite it, because I don’t feel it expresses the kindness that I am sure was you intention.
Let's not criticise styles of writing. Sometimes it is necessary to be clear and try to dispel some of the more common Camino myths. You cannot "wing it" and expect a 100% safety net at the same time and especially not all the time during the 12 months of the year or at a specific time when so many others have the same idea as you have: walk the Camino de Santiago now.

The beds along the Camino Frances are mainly provided by local governments and by private enterprise; some are particularly cheap because they are staffed and managed by unpaid volunteers. Both bookable and non-bookable beds in next to every location at 5-10 km intervals. Many dirt cheap, or cheaper than "at home" but also as expensive as you are prepared to pay for or even more expensive than your own comfort level. The Camino de Santiago is equipped with a great infrastructure but it's the real world, not some fantasy land.
 
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LilleTyksak

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future caminos: San Salvador & Primitivo 2022
Let's not criticise styles of writing. Sometimes it is necessary to be clear and try to dispel some of the more common Camino myths. You cannot "wing it" and expect a 100% safety net at the same time and especially not all the time during the 12 months of the year or at a specific time when so many others have the same idea as you have: walk the Camino de Santiago now.

The beds along the Camino Frances are mainly provided by local governments and by private enterprise; some are particularly cheap because they are staffed and managed by non-paid volunteers. Both bookable and non-bookable beds in next to every location at 5 km intervals. Many dirt cheap, or cheaper than "at home" but also as expensive as you are prepared to pay for or even more expensive than your own comfort level. It's the real world.
Well that is your comment, as I had mine!
When people, in this case the one who wrote the initial post, are posting out of fear I dont believe in « tough love »
And I didn’t have to comment, but I felt the points were good, but lost in an aggressive tone, which is absurd for me, when a post is attempting to help someone.

We walk with different experiences and fears, and it is easy for experienced pilgrims, including myself, to forget how it was before the first.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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When people, in this case the one who wrote the initial post, are posting out of fear I dont believe in « tough love »
Practical advice, including the advice of doing a bit of research, is perhaps the best approach to overcome pre-travel jitters. Luckily, this forum is full of general practical advice and up to date information.
 

LilleTyksak

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future caminos: San Salvador & Primitivo 2022
Practical advice, including the advice of doing a bit of research, is perhaps the best approach to overcome pre-travel jitters. Luckily, this forum is full of general practical advice and up to date information.
I wish you buen Camino, and may you meet friendly pilgrims when YOU need them.
 
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Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
Hi, @4RJN . I see you joined recently. I imagine you have been soaking up lots of information. I know I did a lot of seeking before beginning, in 2006. Numbers are far greater nowadays, depending on many factors. Posts above have advised you to use the tools you have been given. They are wise.
I am not God, by any stretch of the imagination. I do however answer the phone in one albergue most summers, and listen to anxious pilgrims who want to know if they can have a bed. I can never say yes, as it is a donativo with no allowance for booking. I can only ask how far they are from the albergue, say how many are lolling around waiting for opening time, and assuring the pilgrims that some solution can be found. If you need the assurance of a bed, you will need to do as has been suggested above, book. I did that myself on my last camino. Precisely because I did not find an albergue run by God. If you cannot leave it to chance, don't wait for God. You might miss the boat, the helicopter.. that could be sent to help you! Under no circumstances give up at this point! The Camino is waiting for you. As I type, I see a message is waiting for me to read it. I hope it is not a closed thread notice!
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Well that is your comment, as I had mine!
When people, in this case the one who wrote the initial post, are posting out of fear I dont believe in « tough love »
And I didn’t have to comment, but I felt the points were good, but lost in an aggressive tone, which is absurd for me, when a post is attempting to help someone.

We walk with different experiences and fears, and it is easy for experienced pilgrims, including myself, to forget how it was before the first.
Perhaps you missed the part of the Original Posters post where he said he wants to wing it but HE IS AFRAID he won't find a bed. And he would rather cancel than do a little planning/preparing. I think it would be a total shame for him to miss out because HE IS AFRAID he might have to plan ahead. My response had nothing to do with MY fears. I am not afraid because I know how to mix "winging it" with planning. Don't like my writing style? Fine. But I think I made my points. Good luck to you.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
.
Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
4RJN, greetings!
Actually there are a lot of variables going on here - and opinions may vary...
A week away from a first camino, as planning turns into real life, many of us do ask 'what have I done!?'
On my first two caminos I was unable to eat properly for the first few days because of anxiety - but eventually it all settled down and was truly amazing.
What kind of person are you? If you are laid back, independent and resourceful, you'll enjoy yourself whatever challenges confront you. If you are not so laid back, then it makes sense to take some precautions until you get settled. Plenty of people become pragmatic after a couple of nights of bed insecurity.. and start either getting up earlier and walking faster, or booking ahead. But the key is to keep re-evaluating what's happening around you, as it's likely to change. So, doing a little booking at the start might be good for peace of mind and then, as you get past Pamplona you'll probably find there's lots more space and you can revert to Plan A.
Cheers, tom
 

dfox

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2017
Once upon a time, similar concerns were raised in this forum. Some wise men/women suggested not to follow exact suggestions offered by "guidebooks" to end the day's walks, instead of a stage earlier or the stage later. As such, the chances of having a bed is higher.

In addition, some folks started their day at 6:30 am or earlier so that they could, not only avoid the "heat", also get beds of their desired albergue.
 

zzotte

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
You can count on finding a place to sleep somewhere, maybe take a taxi to a near by town and them return to where you left off? I‘m sorry to say but a lot of “Pelegrinos“ they just a free ride, so a paying option will offer you a better chance, don’t worry too much about that, but check the availability in some stops because some towns are very small :)

Buen Camino
zzotte
 
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cardifflad52

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2015 completed my first Camino "The English Way "
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
If I started my camino again I would go with the flow and see what happens , if it means sleeping under the stars somewhere so be it ,what will be will be on the camino so don't concern yourself about where your going to sleep each night but leave it in the hands of the camino otherwise you won't enjoy the experience .. many of the alberques do a first come basis till its full .. then there are private alberques and pensions to consider ..all in all just trust that the camino will provide for you and in return you have a lovely time .
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I think that when a forum member has concerns about the tone or the perceived attitude of another forum member, the best thing to do is to simply add a different personal perspective. No need to call anyone out on the thread or start a side conversation. Any back and forth should go to a PM, rather than derail the thread. Further jabs will be deleted.

Written communication is always stripped of the body language, tone of voice, and other non-verbal signals that accompany our in-person conversations, and there is just no point in this kind of back and forth. It doesn’t help the OP with the decision, so let’s get back to the topic at hand.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
You should book SJPP, Orisson or BORDA, Roncesvalles, Zubiri AND Pamplona!
@Anniesantiago, I understand that you are now past the SJPP-Pamplona section and in Viana. Do you have contacts with pilgrims who tend to stay in municipal and parochial albergues - is it really unusually busy for May for them?

FWIW, when I look at current availabilities of bookable accommodation for Logroño, I see the same pattern as for Pamplona: plenty of beds available this week, except Friday and Saturday night.
 
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Ianinam

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2013 / CP 2018
If I started my camino again I would go with the flow and see what happens , if it means sleeping under the stars somewhere so be it ,what will be will be on the camino so don't concern yourself about where your going to sleep each night but leave it in the hands of the camino otherwise you won't enjoy the experience .. many of the alberques do a first come basis till its full .. then there are private alberques and pensions to consider ..all in all just trust that the camino will provide for you and in return you have a lovely time .
In normal periods and in other sections of the Camino Francés this is very true.

But .... in busy periods (like now in May when hundreds of pilgrims leave SJPdP daily) and in certain sections (like the bottleneck between SJPdP and Pamplona where albergues and beds are limited and cannot provide a bed for these hundreds pilgrims daily) it is adviseable to be prepared and make reservations. We, hospitaleros at Roncesvalles, feel very sorry every day for those exhausted people, coming overr the mountain, in pain and not able to walk any further .... when we have to tell them to take a taxi to the next village, to Zubiri, to Larasoaña, sometimes even to Pamplona, to get a bed. This is not what they expected, but they have to deal with it and we cannot help them when we are 'completo'.
 
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cardifflad52

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2015 completed my first Camino "The English Way "
In normal periods and in other sections of the Camino Francés this is very true.

But .... in busy periods (like now in May when hundreds of pilgrims leave SJPdP daily) and in certain sections (like the bottleneck between SJPdP and Pamplona where albergues and beds are limited and cannot provide a bed for these hundreds pilgrims daily) it is adviseable to be prepared and make reservations. We, hospitaleros at Roncesvalles, feel very sorry every day for those exhausted people, coming overr the mountain, in pain and not able to walk any further .... when we have to tell them to take a taxi to the next village, to Zubiri, to Larasoaña, sometimes even to Pamplona, to get a bed. This is not what they expected, but they have to deal with it and we cannot help them when we are 'completo'.
Oh I understand that as I walked to Espinal a further 6km and got a bed ...it's like rush hour out there that's why the first few days I avoided the well known ones and stayed at private Alberques by walking further ..though I was tempted to stop and rest for the night under a tree
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
Hi. I have done 4 Caminos and I have never booked ahead and I have never left the UK with a return flight booked. Like you I have worked on the assumption that I don't know how far I will feel like going each day. I also took the view that it will take me as long as it takes and if I run into problems, I need to get home from where I am at the time. I realise that it was pre covid but somehow it has always worked. Later this month I am travelling to Morgade with my son-in-law and granddaughters who are 10 and 7 so that the girls can walk the last 100k. I have not booked because I want them to feel the wonder of the Camino but for the first time, I am a little worried. I am putting this down to it being the first time I am not alone and have a responsibility for others and trying to trust that the Camino will provide. Buen Camino. Vince.
 

Sandra R

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plan to walk Camino Frances May (2020)
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
Hi, I am currently on the Camino Frances- started at SJPdP and now at Santo Domingo. I booked up until Los Arcos and then wanted to experience just walking/ trusting and finding a bed for the night. The reality is that is difficult. Lots of places are full- I try ringing a day ahead and they are full. It is very busy on the route and different to the carefree experience I anticipated. Good luck. Buen Camino and consider booking ahead .
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Oh I understand that as I walked to Espinal a further 6km and got a bed
That was at the end of March this year, though, right, not beginning of May? I don't recall that anyone said that the section SJPP to Pamplona was particularly busy during that time.

May is one of the busiest periods on the first sections of the Camino Frances from SJPP onwards; it is not the summer months as it is often wrongly assumed. Later sections may be actually quite calm at the same time.
 
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cardifflad52

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2015 completed my first Camino "The English Way "
That was at the end of March this year, though, right, not beginning of May? I don't recall that anyone said that the section SJPP to Pamplona was particularly busy during

That was at the end of March this year, though, right, not beginning of May? I don't recall that anyone said that the section SJPP to Pamplona was particularly busy during that time.

May is one of the busiest periods on the first sections of the Camino Frances from SJPP onwards; it is not the summer months as it is often wrongly assumed. Later sections may be actually quite calm at the same time.
I understand when pilgrims are turning up with all kind of injuries after the first day and unable to get a bed ..It was not until I got to Estella that I realised I had a swollen calf and kept on till Leon , I believe it was gradually brought on from the first 4 days the toughest on the Camino by far ..maybe next year there be a portion of pilgrims who decide to do it in the spring or autumn
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
I am like you. For me, it is not a pilgrimage if you have to plan anything, and I never have, or will.

Having said that, there is no law or policy anywhere to protect you and I, and right now, there is a glut of peregrinos, from what I hear, on the Caminos, every day.
I do have a very light sleeping bag and pad. So, if I were to start a Camino in a week, I would pack two extra items, a 10' X 12' plastic tarp and enough light gauge rope to pitch it where it affords a ground sheet as well as sufficient cover overhead. With a rain poncho over the sleeping bag, nothing more is needed.

But that is me.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I understand when pilgrims are turning up with all kind of injuries after the first day and unable to get a bed ..It was not until I got to Estella that I realised I had a swollen calf and kept on till Leon , I believe it was gradually brought on from the first 4 days the toughest on the Camino by far
I remember that you decided to return home to the UK from Leon because of this injury and that you then returned to Leon at a later date. That's something to bear in mind, too: that those of us who live in Europe can easily stop and restart and flights are cheap. Much easier to wing it in general than when you come from much further away. Also, many of us do shorter consecutive stints every year instead of the whole lot from SJPP in one go so it is much easier to pick a time when it's not so busy. Or when it does not rain.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
@Anniesantiago, I understand that you are now past the SJPP-Pamplona section and in Viana. Do you have contacts with pilgrims who tend to stay in municipal and parochial albergues - is it really unusually busy for May for them?

FWIW, when I look at current availabilities of bookable accommodation for Logroño, I see the same pattern as for Pamplona: plenty of beds available this week, except Friday and Saturday night.
I feel it’s super busy. However several hospitaleras or owners have said it’s normal for May
 

Snowflake5090

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
Hi, I’m due to start my first Camino from SJPdP leaving on the 19th May. I have booked SJPdP, Borda, Roncesvalles, Zubiri and Pamplona just to be on the safe side. Looking forward to the adventure. What date do you leave? Buen Camino
 
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pjacobi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
I've travel all over Europe without reservation, both on and off the Camino. Any hotel that was full would gladly call around and find me a room somewhere. Some even made Herculean efforts to find me a room!

You just need to be flexible on price and location. Sometimes the rooms were quirky and uncomfortable, but it was only for one night. It makes great travel stories! Like the night in San Nicolas de Puente Fitero, where I slept in the church sanctuary on top of a crypt. I didn't notice the name on the floor until I rolled up my sleeping bag.


-Paul
 

danielgzepeda

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2016
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
Hi! I am in the same boat as you to a point. Next week, first Camino. SJPDP, Roncesvalles, Zubiri and Pamplona pre-booked due to Holy Year, post Covid restrictions, and reading of this Forum. I will decide at Roncesvalles whether to continue doing this or to wing it. My guess is that it is best to pre-book 2 days in advance. Of course, the unknown makes me jittery. But I must believe that I can help myself in this manner and relieve me from all the anxiety and stress. So far, so good! Believe in yourself and your abilities.
 

salmburg

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
june 2015
It probably would be a good idea to prebook 5 days in advance, when you get comfortable with your daily walking rate, given it is a Holy year, and somewhat of a post-covid year., It gives you a destination to work for, rather than depending on providence.I have a friend on the Camino, currently at Fromista on the meseta, who is saying alberques are completo with bus groups, e-cycylists and daytrippers, and are turning away walkers with backpacks. It's hard, when after walking 10 miles, finding an alberque completo, and having to walk another 5 miles to the next village.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
In my opinion there's a lot of needless panic regarding beds on the Francés on this forum. It's okay to make reservations if that is your thing, but why scare others who prefer to do it differently?

Making reservations weeks and months ahead seems to have become the modern version of the bed race.

There are other ways to minimize the risk of not finding accommodation apart from making reservations for days on end or even months before.

1) Start early, finish early (doesn't mean you need to run. Just don't be the person that gets kicked out of the albergue last and then has a full breakfast in a bar, starting walking at 9 or 10 am and arriving in the only albergue in the middle of nowhere at 6pm expecting a bed for sure).

2)
Plan your stages in a way that there are several villages in close distance at the end of your walking day. That way, if one is full, it is not too much of a problem to walk the next one or even the one after that.

3) If you plan to stop in a village with few beds and the next town/albergue is too far away for you to add the kms, stop midday in a town that still has beds. Make a phone call to the place you hope to walk to, to make sure they still have a bed. If they don't, just stay where you are or make a few more calls to find alternatives

4) Stay at the not fancy albergues. If it can't be booked and is very basic, it is more likely to still have beds for walk-ins. The new, fancy ones with pool, USB chargers at every bed ect. are the ones that are booked weeks and month ahead - surely the parroquial donativo without WiFi will not be booked out by tour groups.

5) Walk alternative paths. For example: Orisson is full? Then walk the Valcarlos. Almost nobody wants to walk that way when the Napoleon route is open.

Ect.

Enjoy your walk. There are sometimes good reasons to make reservations, but it is not as needed as some people on the forum would like to make everyone think.

On the Francés, only once did I have to use transport to another town (and it was my own fault, bad planning) and once had to walk 1 hour further than planned. Both times still got a bed (normal albergue bed, no hotel, plenty beds at those places).

Buen Camino!
 
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Buffalo

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planned 2022 Francis
I’m in Pamplona now.
Accommodations have been odd.
SJPP municipal Albergue spots open
Orisson 6 walk ins
Roncenvalles full up
Zubiri walk ins at municipal no problem at 4:00
Pamplona booked night before
Tomorrow Puente booked no problem
I would not suggest walking from SJPP to Roncenvalles in one day. Doable yes, was a work out in 2 days.
My suggestion book to Zubiri so you can concentrate on walk. It’s beautiful!
 

4RJN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 15th
For what it's worth, I travel just like you and it really works for me. I never know how I'm going to feel from day to day and I need that open flexibility to either take a rest day, do a big, or shorter, day. For me, I love to "see what happens"or flow with it, because it's always led to pleasant surprises. However, when I wanted to stay in a particular albergue because of a positive experience on a previous camino, I would book ahead, which forced me to get busy and clock in some kms.

That being said, as the camino gets more crowded, booking from SJPdP, to at least Pamplona is wise. As your body adjusts, so can you.

AND...another tidbit I've learn is to purposely stop between stages. All the little villages between the big stops get lost in the shuffle. I find it's a great way to sort of slip away from the main crowd and have a more intimate camino.

Hope that helps!
Thanks I love that!!!
 

4RJN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 15th
I’m in Pamplona now.
Accommodations have been odd.
SJPP municipal Albergue spots open
Orisson 6 walk ins
Roncenvalles full up
Zubiri walk ins at municipal no problem at 4:00
Pamplona booked night before
Tomorrow Puente booked no problem
I would not suggest walking from SJPP to Roncenvalles in one day. Doable yes, was a work out in 2 days.
My suggestion book to Zubiri so you can concentrate on walk. It’s beautiful!
Thanks I will look into that.
 

4RJN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 15th
In my opinion there's a lot of needless panic regarding beds on the Francés on this forum. It's okay to make reservations if that is your thing, but why scare others who prefer to do it differently?

Making reservations weeks and months ahead seems to have become the modern version of the bed race.

There are other ways to minimize the risk of not finding accommodation apart from making reservations for days on end or even months before.

1) Start early, finish early (doesn't mean you need to run. Just don't be the person that gets kicked out of the albergue last and then has a full breakfast in a bar, starting walking at 9 or 10 am and arriving in the only albergue in the middle of nowhere at 6pm expecting a bed for sure).

2)
Plan your stages in a way that there are several villages in close distance at the end of your walking day. That way, if one is full, it is not too much of a problem to walk the next one or even the one after that.

3) If you plan to stop in a village with few beds and the next town/albergue is too far away for you to add the kms, stop midday in a town that still has beds. Make a phone call to the place you hope to walk to, to make sure they still have a bed. If they don't, just stay where you are or make a few more calls to find alternatives

4) Stay at the not fancy albergues. If it can't be booked and is very basic, it is more likely to still have beds for walk-ins. The new, fancy ones with pool, USB chargers at every bed ect. are the ones that are booked weeks and month ahead - surely the parroquial donativo without WiFi will not be booked out by tour groups.

5) Walk alternative paths. For example: Orisson is full? Then walk the Valcarlos. Almost nobody wants to walk that way when the Napoleon route is open.

Ect.

Enjoy your walk. There are sometimes good reasons to make reservations, but it is not as needed as some people on the forum would like to make everyone think.

On the Francés, only once did I have to use transport to another town (and it was my own fault, bad planning) and once had to walk 1 hour further than planned. Both times still got a bed (normal albergue bed, no hotel, plenty beds at those places).

Buen Camino!
Okay I am feeling better, I really appreciate it. I am currently packing by backpack and will be on a plane tomorrow. Buen Camino!!
 
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4RJN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 15th
Sorry to respond with 3 questions, instead of an answer, but..
  • Where do you intend to start?
  • Is there no middle ground for you, between "planning everything" and trusting in another entity to provide?
  • How willing are you to adapt to circumstances, even if uncomfortable?
Leaving from SJPDP, I am 90% wanting it to be planning free so I am willing to adapt and I only need a roof over my head. I really wouldn't even mind sleeping on the ground!
 

4RJN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 15th
Surely you are joking? You think of cancelling because you may not feel like trusting in God when you feel like having to book a bed a day or two before your arrival in a village or town??? You will get a bed every night, it may just not be as cheap a bed as you had expected or a bed in the town where you would prefer to stop. There are plenty of beds and taxis to get you to a bed every day when you can't walk further, don't want to walk further or don't want to search further.

I take it that you will arrive in SJPP around the 16th of May, ie middle of May. Let us know how it goes. I'm not walking but have paid attention to what people and news media currently report. Arrive early-ish in Roncesvalles for a €14 bed at the pilgrim albergue; they have about 90 beds every day for walk-ins while the other 90 beds can be booked online [edited, see following post by @Ianinam: 180 beds can be reserved and they have some more beds in addition to this]. And there are taxis that serve Roncesvalles. Arrive early-ish at every other non-bookable pilgrim albergue between SJPP and Pamplona. As far as accommodation goes, Saturdays are busier than other days in both SJPP and Pamplona.

Whoever "provides", they provide plenty of beds. Private beds are usually bookable and they are provided more for those who book and book early than for those who prefer not to. And dormitory beds in public albergues are provided first and foremost for those who arrive before the others. You take your pick. Buen Camino!
Thanks You, Sounds like I just need to leave early and stop early. I can do that!!!
 

4RJN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 15th
I've travel all over Europe without reservation, both on and off the Camino. Any hotel that was full would gladly call around and find me a room somewhere. Some even made Herculean efforts to find me a room!

You just need to be flexible on price and location. Sometimes the rooms were quirky and uncomfortable, but it was only for one night. It makes great travel stories! Like the night in San Nicolas de Puente Fitero, where I slept in the church sanctuary on top of a crypt. I didn't notice the name on the floor until I rolled up my sleeping bag.


-Paul
Love it!!!! Thanks these are the things I needed to hear.
 

4RJN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 15th
I am like you. For me, it is not a pilgrimage if you have to plan anything, and I never have, or will.

Having said that, there is no law or policy anywhere to protect you and I, and right now, there is a glut of peregrinos, from what I hear, on the Caminos, every day.
I do have a very light sleeping bag and pad. So, if I were to start a Camino in a week, I would pack two extra items, a 10' X 12' plastic tarp and enough light gauge rope to pitch it where it affords a ground sheet as well as sufficient cover overhead. With a rain poncho over the sleeping bag, nothing more is needed.

But that is me.
Thanks I think I will pick up a pad when I arrive hopefully somewhere along the trail. I would not mind sleeping outside in temporary tent. I didn't know that was allowed.
 

4RJN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 15th
If I started my camino again I would go with the flow and see what happens , if it means sleeping under the stars somewhere so be it ,what will be will be on the camino so don't concern yourself about where your going to sleep each night but leave it in the hands of the camino otherwise you won't enjoy the experience .. many of the alberques do a first come basis till its full .. then there are private alberques and pensions to consider ..all in all just trust that the camino will provide for you and in return you have a lovely time .
Thanks I really appreciate that. Looks like its a go and I am boarding the plane in the morning!
 
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4RJN

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 15th
Hi,
I believe you already got good advise. Anyway it is normal to have anxiety and second thoughts before travelling in to the “unknown”.

And as you can read it is definitely possible, but that you might have to change your plans as you walk and if you are open for alternatives, you could up ending having the adventure of your life!

I am also sure, that if you in general trust God, and that you until now have been able to — then I am sure there have been more severe situation than this one.
And even though you have to book ahead on the go, I don’t believe it‘s much different than for life in general, you have to adjust even though you trust God.

If you are looking for a reason to cancel, there are many reasons to take from ;)

I do feel you are writing from a point of fear… and it is easy to claim, that you don’t need to have fear. But without exaggerating there are many locals and pilgrims, who would help you if you really need help!!! And I personally believe they will be there faster than God ;)

Buen Camino 🥰
Awesome, I have no real plans that is the hole point. So I am super flexible, I just read a bunch of threads that basically said if you don't book ahead you will have no chance of a bed. I would be open to even a floor I really don't care I just don't really want to sleep out side in a thunderstorm. I am packing right now as my flight is tomorrow so look out Camino here I come:)
 

sarahchicago

Trail snail
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2022
Okay I am feeling better, I really appreciate it. I am currently packing by backpack and will be on a plane tomorrow. Buen Camino!!
Report back! I fly out in 5 days and would love to read more :) the anticipation is part of the joy for me
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
...I just read a bunch of threads that basically said if you don't book ahead you will have no chance of a bed. I would be open to even a floor I really don't care I just don't really want to sleep out side in a thunderstorm. I am packing right now as my flight is tomorrow so look out Camino here I come:)
As a culprit who may have contributed to your concern, I'm glad to hear this.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Thanks I think I will pick up a pad when I arrive hopefully somewhere along the trail. I would not mind sleeping outside in temporary tent. I didn't know that was allowed.
Since sleeping pads are probably the number one item that pilgrims jettison from their packs, picking one up from a donativo table in an albergue is highly possible.
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Thanks I think I will pick up a pad when I arrive hopefully somewhere along the trail. I would not mind sleeping outside in temporary tent. I didn't know that was allowed.
Camping, apparently, is not allowed but when there are no beds, you have to sleep somewhere. Some albergues do have camping accommodation though.

BTW, if you plan on taking even a few tent pegs, make sure they are plastic and fairly short. They will get thru TSA.
 

rometimed

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(SJPdP: 2015, MAY/JUNE2022!!! ) (Eng Way: 2015)
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will


Where are you starting from? What day? Do you have anything booked?

There are weirdos like me who have a few of our favorite places booked but will let others stay with us if someone were to chip in. Not a lot of places but I have 4 or 5 along my way.
 

Shazenalan

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF 2018
Writing from the CF in Vianna - where a storm rages at 4.30 pm - I would say to just go for it. A Camino gives a person time to reflect on their personal approach to life and others. Your strong drive to be in the hands of ‘god’ is maybe something you need to follow - perhaps in that drive is vital learning for you. Be safe. Buen Camino. 👣💕
 

larry2022

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2014,2016,2018,2022
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
Try www.onlypilgrims.com and Jesus will assist you
 

mosey marty

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
Yes, you are in for a rude awakening. On the Camino, as in the rest of life, God challenges us. But the challenge when walking the way of the peregrino is not—as you surely will find if you follow your plan—to be focused throughout the day on: Where will I lay down my head tonight? Where’s my next meal coming from? Where will I shelter from the rain? The real challenge God gives us on the Camino is to truly know the person deepest inside. And then to help that person take one step closer to God by fully experiencing the land and towns of northern Spain and the universe of people you will meet on the road to Santiago.

Yes, trust in God. Trust in God to give you this opportunity to learn just a few of the Camino’s many lessons. That is the place to put your heart, not in such details like scrounging for a room in a strange town when you’re tired and hungry at the end of a long hard day.
 
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Miglena

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
French Camino, Portuguese Camino
If you are starting at SJPDP I would book the first three days, purely because that stretch is tight for accomodation. If you plan to stop at Orrisson or Borda then definitely as they can only house a fraction of the pilgrims who walk that day.
Ive walked when its busy (beginning of May and beginning of September) and have always found a bed, although sometimes I had help from hospitaleras finding a place (when a place was full) and sometimes I had to walk on. Between stages is often easier, as many people take the guidebooks very literally.
Of course if you walk like a racehorse then you may be fine.
I am just finishing the Camino Frances in 2 days - started in SJPP on April14. I booked the first 4 nights because of Easter and I prebooked the last 4 nights because of the Sarria-Santiago tourist influx. The rest I mostly booked by sending an email the day before, having decided what distance I want to walk.
 

FrankW

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2016 and 2018 - French camino
2022 September/October - French camino
In my opinion there's a lot of needless panic regarding beds on the Francés on this forum. It's okay to make reservations if that is your thing, but why scare others who prefer to do it differently?

Making reservations weeks and months ahead seems to have become the modern version of the bed race.

There are other ways to minimize the risk of not finding accommodation apart from making reservations for days on end or even months before.

1) Start early, finish early (doesn't mean you need to run. Just don't be the person that gets kicked out of the albergue last and then has a full breakfast in a bar, starting walking at 9 or 10 am and arriving in the only albergue in the middle of nowhere at 6pm expecting a bed for sure).

2)
Plan your stages in a way that there are several villages in close distance at the end of your walking day. That way, if one is full, it is not too much of a problem to walk the next one or even the one after that.

3) If you plan to stop in a village with few beds and the next town/albergue is too far away for you to add the kms, stop midday in a town that still has beds. Make a phone call to the place you hope to walk to, to make sure they still have a bed. If they don't, just stay where you are or make a few more calls to find alternatives

4) Stay at the not fancy albergues. If it can't be booked and is very basic, it is more likely to still have beds for walk-ins. The new, fancy ones with pool, USB chargers at every bed ect. are the ones that are booked weeks and month ahead - surely the parroquial donativo without WiFi will not be booked out by tour groups.

5) Walk alternative paths. For example: Orisson is full? Then walk the Valcarlos. Almost nobody wants to walk that way when the Napoleon route is open.

Ect.

Enjoy your walk. There are sometimes good reasons to make reservations, but it is not as needed as some people on the forum would like to make everyone think.

On the Francés, only once did I have to use transport to another town (and it was my own fault, bad planning) and once had to walk 1 hour further than planned. Both times still got a bed (normal albergue bed, no hotel, plenty beds at those places).

Buen Camino!
Absolutely
 

Gingerseed

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances July-Aug 2011
Camino Portugues Oct 2012
Camino Frances starting in Pamplona 2017
For what it's worth, I travel just like you and it really works for me. I never know how I'm going to feel from day to day and I need that open flexibility to either take a rest day, do a big, or shorter, day. For me, I love to "see what happens"or flow with it, because it's always led to pleasant surprises. However, when I wanted to stay in a particular albergue because of a positive experience on a previous camino, I would book ahead, which forced me to get busy and clock in some kms.

That being said, as the camino gets more crowded, booking from SJPdP, to at least Pamplona is wise. As your body adjusts, so can you.

AND...another tidbit I've learn is to purposely stop between stages. All the little villages between the big stops get lost in the shuffle. I find it's a great way to sort of slip away from the main crowd and have a more intimate camino.

Hope that helps!
I totally agree with you and that’s what I do as well. I rarely struggled to find accommodation. I would generally stop short or walk beyond the recommended stage.
 

Old Kiwi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
I have never booked accommodation on the Frances. I am poor, so I always travel as cheap as I can. I always stay in the cheapest albergue I can find. So long as I have somewhere to sleep, that is all I worry about and that is also where you will find the most interesting people. I leave the albergue at 6.00am every morning and usually walk 25 to 30 kilometres each day. For me, that is an easy 5 to 6 hours. By the time I stop for breakfast, lunch and do some sightseeing it comes out at about eight or nine hours meaning I am always at the next albergue by 3.00pm at the latest. I have never missed out on getting a bed. The only place I ever book is my first night in SJPDP because the way I travel from New Zealand means that I arrive there at about 7.00 in the evening and that might be just a bit late to find accommodation at that time.
 

Sandra R

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plan to walk Camino Frances May (2020)
It probably would be a good idea to prebook 5 days in advance, when you get comfortable with your daily walking rate, given it is a Holy year, and somewhat of a post-covid year., It gives you a destination to work for, rather than depending on providence.I have a friend on the Camino, currently at Fromista on the meseta, who is saying alberques are completo with bus groups, e-cycylists and daytrippers, and are turning away walkers with backpacks. It's hard, when after walking 10 miles, finding an alberque completo, and having to walk another 5 miles to the next village.
I am also currently on the meseta and places are full. I suggest booking at least a few days ahead
 
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2023
to be focused throughout the day on: Where will I lay down my head tonight? Where’s my next meal coming from? Where will I shelter from the rain?
For a very large proportion of humanity, being focused on where their next meal is coming from, where they will rest their head that night and sheltering from the weather is their life.

In our privilege we can afford to spend our time on other things.

Each of us does our Camino for our own reasons, some of us, including myself, relish the opportunity to simplify our lives down to a couple of basic questions. However when I walk without reservations I certainly don't spend my day thinking or worrying about where I will eat or sleep that day. When it is time to eat I look for a place to eat, when it is time to stop walking then I start looking for a place to sleep.

Fortunately for me and others, along the Camino Frances, there are a very large number of places to eat and sleep and I have never had any of the imagined problems that people who like to reserve seem to think exist.
 

rometimed

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(SJPdP: 2015, MAY/JUNE2022!!! ) (Eng Way: 2015)
For a very large proportion of humanity, being focused on where their next meal is coming from, where they will rest their head that night and sheltering from the weather is their life.

In our privilege we can afford to spend our time on other things.

Each of us does our Camino for our own reasons, some of us, including myself, relish the opportunity to simplify our lives down to a couple of basic questions. However when I walk without reservations I certainly don't spend my day thinking or worrying about where I will eat or sleep that day. When it is time to eat I look for a place to eat, when it is time to stop walking then I start looking for a place to sleep.

Fortunately for me and others, along the Camino Frances, there are a very large number of places to eat and sleep and I have never had any of the imagined problems that people who like to reserve seem to think exist.

This reminds me of one of my days on my first Camino years ago.

I was having a bad time in Peunte la Reina and didn't get out of my hotel until 10 AM.

I was walking mad and caught a lot of my Camino friends and blew by them. Got to Estrella and didn't want to hang around... decided to go to the next town ...? In the mountains.

Anyways I got there at about 2 PM but the only albergues were all full.

So, still angry, I kept going. After another hour I realized I had 9 more KMs to Los Arcos which ended up being about a 46 KM day.

I started getting mind weary... didn't care about where I would stay etc.

Just coming into Los arcos a young woman ran up to me and asked me to follow her. ????


I did, to a nearby apartment building. She offered me a bed for 20 euros. Tired I agreed. She led me up and !!!!!! Queen sized bed! + soaking tub access + fridge access with juice, milk, fruit, cereal, etc.


Omg it was one of my best nights lol
 

dqduncan

Past Director, Canadian Company of Pilgrims
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-22: CF, Hospitalero, Norte, CF
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
We’re here now. Less of an issue than we expected. Still, booking SJPDP they Roncesvalles a good idea. That said, there are last minute cancellations- wouldn’t bank on them early but it happened in SJPDP, Orisson and beyond.

We’re not booking but get off Way by 2 latest to avoid heat and get a bed. Still a believer that we’ll always find something. If you walk slowly, though, it is harder, of course. I’d have a different strategy if walking less than 4kph-ish.

Logroño was rammed last night -Saturday night- mayhem with stag and doe parties. And fiesta today. Even the donativo was getting creative making space- over 61 last night (the have 30 bunk spaces, rest of us on the floor mats.

And staying “off-stage” is good . Buen Camino.
 

BobMcGhee

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
Currently on CF and the only time I got caught out was in Pamplona and only because it was a Saturday and there was a huge festival. Otherwise all Ok whatever your budget.
Hope this helps . . . Buen Camino
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
This reminds me of one of my days on my first Camino years ago.

I was having a bad time in Peunte la Reina and didn't get out of my hotel until 10 AM.

I was walking mad and caught a lot of my Camino friends and blew by them. Got to Estrella and didn't want to hang around... decided to go to the next town ...? In the mountains.

Anyways I got there at about 2 PM but the only albergues were all full.

So, still angry, I kept going. After another hour I realized I had 9 more KMs to Los Arcos which ended up being about a 46 KM day.

I started getting mind weary... didn't care about where I would stay etc.

Just coming into Los arcos a young woman ran up to me and asked me to follow her. ????


I did, to a nearby apartment building. She offered me a bed for 20 euros. Tired I agreed. She led me up and !!!!!! Queen sized bed! + soaking tub access + fridge access with juice, milk, fruit, cereal, etc.


Omg it was one of my best nights lol
There is a particular stretch along the Camino Frances where it is a longish distance between towns (Carrión de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza - 17.2 klms).

Anyway, when I walked in mid May through June 2019 not only did I not reserve accommodation but I also had no idea of the actual trail and towns. All I knew was that I was broadly heading West, my destination was Santiago and there were a (big) bunch of other people walking in the same direction and so I followed the arrows.

As it happened, I stopped for a coffee and food in a small bar in Carrión de los Condes as it was around midday.

In conversation, the lady in the bar asked me where I was staying that night. I told her that I had no idea, I was just walking and at some stage I would stop and look for a bed.

She asked if I knew that the next town was 17.2 kilometers away and there is nothing in-between.

When I told her "no" she suggested that I stay there that night and so I did.
 
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Even the donativo was getting creative making space- over 61 last night (the have 30 bunk spaces, rest of us on the floor mats
That sounded a bit alarming at first but I see on Gronze that the donativo albergue in Logroño has 30 dormitory beds plus colchones en el suelo - mattresses on the floor. So I guess that this is perhaps business as usual for them on busy Saturday nights in Logroño? [Logroño is known as a "party town"]
 

oliasah-peace

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
"The Camino Provides": Relying on that "idea" is just silly if you are not flexible to take whatever it is you get. In your case - you are expecting the Camino to provide you a bed. Maybe you will find a bed. Maybe you won't. The Frances has plenty of infrastructure, but you have to know how to access it. Anyone who has done even a little research knows that during the busy season - you might have to pre-book SJPDP, (Orisson/Borda reservations are a must if you wish to stay), Roncesvalles, Zubiri, and perhaps even Pamplona. That is - if you want a guaranteed bed in those specific locations. If you want to wing it, you can. But be prepared to perhaps not get a bed in those specific locations and the possibility you may have to sleep outside, or you may have to walk further to find a bed, or you may need to taxi to an available bed. Or it will more likely be that there are plenty of beds - but they are the more expensive beds. Now - in just about every town there are a certain amount of beds that cannot be reserved. If you are willing to get up a little earlier or walk a little faster - then you will probably be able to get one of those beds. But if you want to take your time and not "race for a bed" - then better to reserve those first couple of towns.

No one is saying you have to plan EVERYTHING. But perhaps the phrase that works better is "God helps those who help themselves". Or even "god works in mysterious ways". God gave me the brains to do a little research to know that I might want to reserve the first 4 towns and the he gave me the courage to "wing it" after that. But god also allowed man to develop tools such as cell phones and guide books and I can use those tools as needed to reserve ahead if I want to, or if I can't find a bed - to call until I find a place to sleep. Also - he made humans into creatures who love to share information. I listen to those god created creatures (my fellow pilgrims who may be a day or two ahead) to hear about bedding shortages in certain towns ahead - and once I know I am going to arrive in those locations on a specific day - I can chose to call ahead and reserve my bed. Yes - I go on the Camino and I put my trust in god - but I also use the tools he gave us to help myself to ensure I get what I need for the day. Because ultimately - I am responsible for making sure my needs are met. Not "the Camino". One good example of "god helps those who help themselves" is: I recall hearing through the Camino grapevine about how there were no beds in O Cebreiro - I went online and found myself a nice private room - but I did have to pay for it. I got to stay in O Cebreiro when no one else I know was able to "find a bed". Were my friends left without a bed? Nope. They just had to stop way before or way after O Cebreiro. Whereas I used my tools to find a bed in the location I wanted to stay. I had to do that several times when I walked last summer. I pre-booked through Zubiri and then decided to "wing it". There were several times I knew I had to make a bed reservation in the morning or the night before. There were also a few times I had to walk well beyond my comfort level to find a bed.

Anyhow - if you want to do no research and you want to make no reservations - you can do that. But be prepared to have to join the race for a bed if you are finding that when you arrive the albergues are indeed full. But if you simply walk your own pace and expect the Camino to provide for you - you may indeed be in for a rude awakening if your timing on the Camino is the same as the masses of crowds.


Anyhow - it is fine to "trust in god" - but my point is - god gave us the tools to help ourselves too!

Now: go back to C Clearly's reply and answer those questions for yourself.
"Now - in just about every town there are a certain amount of beds that cannot be reserved." This was true before COVID but as I posted in another thread, I have experienced a problem whereby many of the municipal albergues are not open - these are the ones you cannot book.
 

larry2022

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2014,2016,2018,2022
"Now - in just about every town there are a certain amount of beds that cannot be reserved." This was true before COVID but as I posted in another thread, I have experienced a problem whereby many of the municipal albergues are not open - these are the ones you cannot book.
I am trying to book at Carrion de los Condes for 19/05 and all facilities seem full
 

oliasah-peace

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
I am trying to book at Carrion de los Condes for 19/05 and all facilities seem full
I believe the parochial albergue in Carrion is open - you cannot book there but if you arrive early enough you will get a bed as it cannot be booked in advance. I stayed there several days ago at Albergue Espiritu Santo though I did not book in advance
 

dqduncan

Past Director, Canadian Company of Pilgrims
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-22: CF, Hospitalero, Norte, CF
That sounded a bit alarming at first but I see on Gronze that the donativo albergue in Logroño has 30 dormitory beds plus colchones en el suelo - mattresses on the floor. So I guess that this is perhaps business as usual for them on busy Saturday nights in Logroño? [Logroño is known as a "party town"]
They have loads and loads of extra space beyond the 30 beds. They were putting mattresses all over the place last night. I meant to ask Michelle, the hospitalera, what the real capacity is but it’s over 70 I’m sure probably quite a bit more. They’ll stick people in the rafters! We had at least 61 last night.
 
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waigandta

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Portuguese route 2 times and Frances route 1 time
Many people will argue with me on this but here is my opinion after completed three Caminos. Scheduling everything in advance is a waste of time. This will force you into scheduled miles for each day. There were some small towns and villages that I wanted to hang out in for a couple of hours. I couldn't do this if I was worried about keeping to a schedule.
The first two Caminos, I didn't schedule a thing and just stopped when I felt like it and found housing for the night. No problem. The third time was during COVID. Since much housing was closed, I used Booking.com to schedule a place to sleep the night before I would need it. You pretty much have a sense of where you will end up a day in advance. If you can't do the miles for some reason, you can always get a Taxi from any bar or restaurant and have them take you to where you need to go. I only did this one time because I didn't want my wife to panic about the possibility of sleeping out of doors. We got hung up in a small town bar...and you can figure out the rest of the day's story. LOL
 

Cdlarson67

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Hi all, I am due to kick off my first camino in 1 week and I am getting concerned about having a roof over my head. I have not booked any rooms because I have no idea how far I can get each day. I also didn't want to be burdened my deadlines and wanted the "camino to provide". Am I in for a rude awaking or is this still possible? Honestly if I have to plan everything I really will not feel like I am trusting in God to provide and I will probably just cancel.
During my Camino, I did not book any rooms ahead. I wanted to trust God to provide and I did. Many people began their journey early in the morning, before sunrise, and finished by 2 or 3. I started later, around 8 a.m. and finished around 5. I found a room every evening. This will be a good experience for you.
 

Viva Terlingua

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Partial Frances (2018)
Full Frances 2022 (May-Jun)
I am on the Camino now and prefer hotels and hostals. I have been booking ahead and don’t see where it takes any more time than people hunting around for albergues that aren’t full once they arrive in town. A few days ago I was in Hornillos de Camino and all the albergues filled up and I saw a lot of people getting taxis to go somewhere else. In my opinion, more hassle than booking ahead.
 
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