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Dilemma (del Norte in peak season)

FourSeasons

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
Hello again,

My head is spinning trying to decide if I should or shouldn't. It's going to be peek season when I go July/Aug and Alburgues will fill up fast and prices on Hotels and other accommodation will be higher. I am not so much into booking ahead, I do like to let the Camino provide, even if it's a floor or a spot on the ground. I just want to be prepared. What do you suggest?

Purchase a lightweight 1 person tent with lightweight sleeping pad? Or...........

Lightweight sleeping pad with bevvy bag? (to sleep outside or on the floor) Or........

Lightweight sleeping pad? (to sleep on the floor)

I will be taking a silk liner for my Alburgue stays but I am so nervous that most Alburgues will be full by the time I reach them. I can budget for some Pension or cheap Hotel stays but not a lot. Will I even find a cheap Hotel on the North Coast during peek season?

Am I overthinking it, letting my nerves get the bet of me?? Ugh LOL :)👣 Thanks!
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hello again,

My head is spinning trying to decide if I should or shouldn't. It's going to be peek season when I go July/Aug and Alburgues will fill up fast and prices on Hotels and other accommodation will be higher. I am not so much into booking ahead, I do like to let the Camino provide, even if it's a floor or a spot on the ground. I just want to be prepared. What do you suggest?

Purchase a lightweight 1 person tent with lightweight sleeping pad? Or...........

Lightweight sleeping pad with bevvy bag? (to sleep outside or on the floor) Or........

Lightweight sleeping pad? (to sleep on the floor)

I will be taking a silk liner for my Alburgue stays but I am so nervous that most Alburgues will be full by the time I reach them. I can budget for some Pension or cheap Hotel stays but not a lot. Will I even find a cheap Hotel on the North Coast during peek season?

Am I overthinking it, letting my nerves get the bet of me?? Ugh LOL :)👣 Thanks!
Most of the people that I walked with during the same time period were able to find a bed in an albergue. Very few people carried sleeping pads, though in a couple of albergues they did allow a few pilgrims to sleep on the floor.
I think that the Norte does require a bit more planning in the summer than the Frances, but don't freak out. You'll be fine.

There are a few towns that have small or no albergues that you need to be aware of, and maybe plan to stop somewhere else. Some that I can think of are Ribadesella with no pilgrim albergue, but you can walk around 5 km farther to San Estaban de Leces, Lezama has a small albergue, but if you can walk on to Bilbao there will be more choices, the albergue in Comillas filled up quickly and pilgrims found rooms to share in pensiones, and Castro Urdiales was similar.
 
Last edited:

Leigh Macklin

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances {2016}, Portugese {2017}
Hello again,

My head is spinning trying to decide if I should or shouldn't. It's going to be peek season when I go July/Aug and Alburgues will fill up fast and prices on Hotels and other accommodation will be higher. I am not so much into booking ahead, I do like to let the Camino provide, even if it's a floor or a spot on the ground. I just want to be prepared. What do you suggest?

Purchase a lightweight 1 person tent with lightweight sleeping pad? Or...........

Lightweight sleeping pad with bevvy bag? (to sleep outside or on the floor) Or........

Lightweight sleeping pad? (to sleep on the floor)

I will be taking a silk liner for my Alburgue stays but I am so nervous that most Alburgues will be full by the time I reach them. I can budget for some Pension or cheap Hotel stays but not a lot. Will I even find a cheap Hotel on the North Coast during peek season?

Am I overthinking it, letting my nerves get the bet of me?? Ugh LOL :)👣 Thanks!

I never had this fear on the CF or CP, fortunately only experiencing 1 completo on each. I am a little terrified of this on the CdN...and trying hard to trust in God (and try to book 1 day in advance if I seem to be in a wave). I will be bringing a sleeping bag as I sleep really cold, but no tent or bevvy bag. Maybe we will meet on the path. God willing I am leaving Hendaye on July 10.
 

Mugatu

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
Hello again,

My head is spinning trying to decide if I should or shouldn't. It's going to be peek season when I go July/Aug and Alburgues will fill up fast and prices on Hotels and other accommodation will be higher. I am not so much into booking ahead, I do like to let the Camino provide, even if it's a floor or a spot on the ground. I just want to be prepared. What do you suggest?

Purchase a lightweight 1 person tent with lightweight sleeping pad? Or...........

Lightweight sleeping pad with bevvy bag? (to sleep outside or on the floor) Or........

Lightweight sleeping pad? (to sleep on the floor)

I will be taking a silk liner for my Alburgue stays but I am so nervous that most Alburgues will be full by the time I reach them. I can budget for some Pension or cheap Hotel stays but not a lot. Will I even find a cheap Hotel on the North Coast during peek season?

Am I overthinking it, letting my nerves get the bet of me?? Ugh LOL :)👣 Thanks!

I think you’re overthinking it, I’ll be there roughly the same time. I do this to myself as well, I still have the CF tugging at me and a bit of trepidation of the CN due to your same concerns, worse comes to worse I’ll flip a coin once I land
 

Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
The common advice for the Francés applies to the Norte as well: avoid the obvious stage end-points and you'll have an easier time. I vividly remember spending an hour with my group of students outside the Zarautz municipal a few years ago. The line was getting longer and longer, and pilgrims were inconspicuously counting each other and comparing that with the known number of beds inside. We were drawing a lot of attention. So, I figured we should move on. We ended up walking ahead to Zumaia, where we had no trouble finding 12 beds in a private.

This year, I'm intentionally targeting a number of these "in-between" spots--Getaria, Ermita del Calvario, Zenarruza, Eskerika, etc. Pobeña is always a pinch-point, so I'm thrilled to have Ontón as an alternative now.

The municipals in popular beach towns tend to have a real crunch. Of course, those are often fun places to stay! I find that shorter days into non-reservable destinations I really want to stay in, combined with longer days with a reserved bed, works quite well for me.
 
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Mugatu

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
The common advice for the Francés applies to the Norte as well: avoid the obvious stage end-points and you'll have an easier time. I vividly remember spending an hour with my group of students outside the Zarautz municipal a few years ago. The line was getting longer and longer, and pilgrims were inconspicuously counting each other and comparing that with the known number of beds inside. We were drawing a lot of attention. So, I figured we should move on. We ended up walking ahead to Zumaia, where we had no trouble finding 12 beds in a private.

This year, I'm intentionally targeting a number of these "in-between" spots--Getaria, Ermita del Calvario, Zenarruza, Eskerika, etc. Pobeña is always a pinch-point, so I'm thrilled to have Ontón as an alternative now.

The municipals in popular beach towns tend to have a real crunch. Of course, those are often fun places to stay! I find that shorter days into non-reservable destinations I really want to stay in, combined with longer days with a reserved bed, works quite well for me.

Would it be accurate to assume gronze.com stage end points is what most will fallow?
 
Last edited:

Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Those are fairly representative. I think it's more common to go Bilbao-Pobeña, but Portugalete has some advantages. The Llanes-Villaviciosa stretch is probably the one with the greatest disagreement across the different guides and two of Gronze's three stops don't include a pilgrim albergue there.
 

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