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Luggage Transfer Correos

First Camino help please: should we depend on Albergues or book nightly arrangements with a company?

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Opa Theo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
My wife and I are 70years old planning to walk from Sarria to Santiago at the end of September 2018. Should we hope to find Albergues each night or should we book with a company to arrange nightly stays? We've looked into arrangements with Garry at Spanish Adventures and Shanda at Follow the Camino. We hope to average ten miles a day. Since we're showing wear and tear of active lives we think it prudent to forward heavy items ahead to keep pack weights low. Any advice welcome.
Thanks- Ted
 

auburnfive

Active Member
You could very easily use booking.com to book accommodations yourself, at much less cost, and with more flexibility. Bronze,com also has the contact info for accommodations along the route. You can make a plan for the whole route before you go, or else book a couple of days ahead, keep in mind Sept is very popular. Contact Caminofacil or Jacotrans to transfer your luggage.
The first time I went was through a company, but since then I have booked for myself and my companions as it is very easy to do. Just make sure your accommodations are relatively close to the centre of town. Good luck, and pm me if you would l8ke more info
 

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
The few people I met last year who had precooked all of their accommodation regretted it. They did not have the flexibility to adjust as they walked. You may have an injury which slows you down or you may like a town or want to stay with people you meet...

Maybe book first few days so you are not worried. Try a mix of different accommodation. Then you can see what suits you. The money you will save will let you treat yourselves too.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Hi Ted,

Walking the camino between Sarria and Santiago you do not have to book an organized trip. This would rob you of any flexibility, e. g. if you like a town and want to stay or if you still feel like walking on as it is still early in the day and you do not like the place....

There is plenty of accomodation. Most of the albergues can be booked in advance (only the public "Xunta" albergues do not accept reservations). "gronze.com" is a spanish websitde (but almost self-explaining) and app which has links for booking via your mobile phone.

If booking in advance at all (which should not really be necessary), you can decide day by day.

There are also various offers for luggage-transport if you need it. But here again - it gives you security and will make your walk easier, but it will also prevent you from changing your plans spontaneously. Better carry only the things in your backpack which are really necessary (packing-lists published in this torum may be a useful reference).

BC
Alexandra
 

LGLG

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
The Galician section of the Camino is very well serviced, and it is easy to arrange your backpack transfers as you go. As others point out here, you can still prebook your accommodation yourself, either planned before you leave home, or by calling places on the way. I personally prefer the flexibility to choose my distances from day to day, but I understand that, for some, peace of mind is important also. If you decide to plan and book everything ahead, you’d need to study the profile maps of elevations in a good guidebook or website to avoid overestimating what distance you comfortably can cover on a certain day. Better to err on the shorter side... if you have energy left, it can be used for more sightseeing e.g. Buen Camino.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
You are 70+, you walk from Sarria, you want to do shorther stages, make your life easier and book ahead with Gary!

Buen Camino, SY
Just googled for Garry. His way of organising looks appealing.
 

Lmsundaze

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2016), CP (2017)
You are 70+, you walk from Sarria, you want to do shorther stages, make your life easier and book ahead with Gary!

Buen Camino, SY
I think anyone who wants to book ahead with a company should do so but don’t like the implication that people over 70 have more need for this service than others. I have walked 2 caminos at age 70 and 71 and had no difficulty making reservations when I needed to do so. I also enjoyed having flexibility. Again, people who want to hire a tour company can, but after 70 we don’t lose our ability to plan a trip. Hoping to walk Primitivo next year, probably alone, and even at the advanced age of 73 not hiring anybody.
 

FlechaCadaDia

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ('05)
My general advice to all pilgrims is not to book ahead. Part of the experience is seeing what the Camino brings you. The Camino teaches us to trust in providence. To pray that things will work out--and we see that they do! If you are open to camping, you can bring an ultra light tent and use it if necessary. If you want to sleep indoors, there are many municipal albergues in Galicia, and they don't take reservations.
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug 2017: Le Puy to Santiago
Nov 2018: Kumano Kodo (partial)
2021: ?
I'm with SYates on this one - if it fits your budget go ahead and use a service! The experience is great regardless of whether you book ahead or wing it, or walk 15 km or 30 km a day. It's a pilgrimage either way.

The deciding factor for me is that you only want to walk ten miles per day, and that you want to use a luggage transfer service. This will put you in a lot of smaller towns. While there might be hundreds of pilgrims in the more popular stops, and lots of helpful hospitaleros, this is often not the case in the smaller places. There might only be three or four other pilgrims, they might or might not speak English, there might be a note on the door of the albergue to ask the bar next door to call the hospitalera to let you in ... and you only see her for five minutes in the evening.

I loved these places - I don't want to put you off at all! I actually strongly preferred them to many of the popular stages. And it's actually rare to find yourself the only English speaker at the albergue. It only happened to me five times in Spain- which is five more than most people.

If you decide not to use a service, though, I think you'll be fine with a little planning. The Camino Planner is an excellent tool for looking at distances between towns. Gronze.com, as mentioned, is great for looking at the types of albergues in each place. You'll always find a bed; I don't think that will be an issue. And I'd keep a list of the luggage transfer phone numbers handy!
 

Opa Theo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
You could very easily use booking.com to book accommodations yourself, at much less cost, and with more flexibility. Bronze,com also has the contact info for accommodations along the route. You can make a plan for the whole route before you go, or else book a couple of days ahead, keep in mind Sept is very popular. Contact Caminofacil or Jacotrans to transfer your luggage.
The first time I went was through a company, but since then I have booked for myself and my companions as it is very easy to do. Just make sure your accommodations are relatively close to the centre of town. Good luck, and pm me if you would l8ke more info
Excellent suggestions. I like the idea of slowing down or increasing mileage depending if our 'vintage' bodies adapt. Appreciate your info.
 

Opa Theo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
Hi Ted,

Walking the camino between Sarria and Santiago you do not have to book an organized trip. This would rob you of any flexibility, e. g. if you like a town and want to stay or if you still feel like walking on as it is still early in the day and you do not like the place....

There is plenty of accomodation. Most of the albergues can be booked in advance (only the public "Xunta" albergues do not accept reservations). "gronze.com" is a spanish websitde (but almost self-explaining) and app which has links for booking via your mobile phone.

If booking in advance at all (which should not really be necessary), you can decide day by day.

There are also various offers for luggage-transport if you need it. But here again - it gives you security and will make your walk easier, but it will also prevent you from changing your plans spontaneously. Better carry only the things in your backpack which are really necessary (packing-lists published in this torum may be a useful reference).

BC
Alexandra
BC
Like how you think. We've travelled independently often. But we were younger with less wear on our joints. We've been practicing Spanish phrases. Hope people understand English
Thanks Ted
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
I'm with SYates on this one - if it fits your budget go ahead and use a service! The experience is great regardless of whether you book ahead or wing it, or walk 15 km or 30 km a day. It's a pilgrimage either way.

The deciding factor for me is that you only want to walk ten miles per day, and that you want to use a luggage transfer service. This will put you in a lot of smaller towns. While there might be hundreds of pilgrims in the more popular stops, and lots of helpful hospitaleros, this is often not the case in the smaller places. There might only be three or four other pilgrims, they might or might not speak English, there might be a note on the door of the albergue to ask the bar next door to call the hospitalera to let you in ... and you only see her for five minutes in the evening.
Hi Michael,

I can not agree with you on that point.

On the Camino Francés and especially from Sarria onwards you will always have hospitaleros attending the albergue without previous calling. I can only remember calling the hospitalero on the Via de la Plata twice and in Southern Portugal (before Coimbra) once. But this is definitely not necessary on the Camino Francés.

On the Camino Francés you will also always find somebody speaking English, either the hospitalero himself or some fellow pilgrims. If you are not able to do phone calls in Spanish and want to make a reservation for the next day, you may ask them to call for you or you use an app like "booking.com".

Sometimes you may arrive at an albergue and the hospitalero is not in. But then, usually, they leave a note there in Spanish and in English, informing you that they will be back at a certain time and that in the meantime you may take a bed and have a shower.

So don't worry, just walk.

BC
Alexandra
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
Another reason for not booking ahead with a company is that you may make Camino friends, and want to keep together. It's quite common.
Being committed ahead to specific places wont easily allow that.
Part of the wonder of the Camino is walking into a little village and thinking, I like this place, lets stay here.
Or listening to other pilgrims recommend places I wouldn't have known about otherwise.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
My wife and I are 70years old planning to walk from Sarria to Santiago at the end of September 2018. Should we hope to find Albergues each night or should we book with a company to arrange nightly stays? We've looked into arrangements with Garry at Spanish Adventures and Shanda at Follow the Camino. We hope to average ten miles a day. Since we're showing wear and tear of active lives we think it prudent to forward heavy items ahead to keep pack weights low. Any advice welcome.
Thanks- Ted
Use booking.com to reserve accommodations.
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
My wife and I are 70years old planning to walk from Sarria to Santiago at the end of September 2018. Should we hope to find Albergues each night or should we book with a company to arrange nightly stays? We've looked into arrangements with Garry at Spanish Adventures and Shanda at Follow the Camino. We hope to average ten miles a day. Since we're showing wear and tear of active lives we think it prudent to forward heavy items ahead to keep pack weights low. Any advice welcome.
Thanks- Ted
Hola Ted,
I have walked the Camino Francis 6 times and recommend the Only Pilgrims website. You can email them and the administrator, Jesus, is very helpful. http://www.onlypilgrims.com/en/listado/?pagina=6. On this site you can book private albergues for a bunk or a private room when available. Jesus had even got me a special hotel room when booking.com had none available.
I agree you don't have to book ahead but I love checking out which places have a community dinner. The community dinners are especially fun because I always meet new people.
Also Jesus does not charge a planning fee. You choose a albergue and can pay by credit card or PayPal which is nice because I don't need to worry about having the right amount of Euros.
He also offers tours on his website for a fee. I am also 72 and I call Jesus my Spanish son. I called him last Camino when an 86 year old woman was upset because she couldn't get a bed for the next night and she needed a place to send her backpack to. Jesus made some calls and arranged her backpack transfer for no charge. More Camino magic.
 
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josephmcclain

Active Member
My wife and I are 70years old planning to walk from Sarria to Santiago at the end of September 2018. Should we hope to find Albergues each night or should we book with a company to arrange nightly stays? We've looked into arrangements with Garry at Spanish Adventures and Shanda at Follow the Camino. We hope to average ten miles a day. Since we're showing wear and tear of active lives we think it prudent to forward heavy items ahead to keep pack weights low. Any advice welcome.
Thanks- Ted
Am 75 and just finished my first Camino Frances in November. I would personally opt for putting yourself out there, making yourselves vulnerable as much as possible. Especially for such a short piece of it all. Try not to book ahead, don’t decide exactly how far you are walking each day, let your body tell you from day to day, really lighten up your pack and try carrying it. But that is just me!
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
I truly appreciate the comments about the freedom and flexibility of not booking ahead but I disagree. When I was 20 or 30, freedom meant a lot to me and I didn't want to be tied to any schedule. Now that I'm about to turn 70, I find more joy in the predictable :) I've walked the Frances and am just about to start on the Portuguese from Lisbon to Santiago. Putting the issue of injury aside for the moment, I find it very restful to know that a reputable company has booked me into very good accomodations for the night and that I can take my time and enjoy the walk without spending time worrying about where I will lay those weary bones down.

Since, you're only traveling a relatively short distance, I'd book ahead using one of the companies that specializes in Caminos. I'm not affiliated in any way with walkthecamino.com but have used them and like the places that they reserve. There are others that are probably just as good, but I can only speak from my experience. I''m sure that I've lost some of the "spirit" of the Camino but I'll just stack that up with my other limitations as you get older.

Injury is definitely a problem with a set itinerary, but planning your comfort around the possibility of injury seems counterproductive. I know that there are always places to stay on the Camino, but I prefer to know that the place I will stay is good rather than a last minute choice.

Again, I'm not disparaging in any way those who don't book ahead. I wish I could do that now, but the thought of being out of gas (leg-wise) and not finding any accomodation or finding only lesser quality accomodations is much more worrysome to me than a fixed itinerary.

Side note: If you use a company, make sure that they can adjust their itinerary to the types, cost, and style that you want to experience rather than just selling you a one size fits all packaged tour. Also, you don't need anything other than luggage service and rooms. Everything else is just added cost and frills.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I think anyone who wants to book ahead with a company should do so but don’t like the implication that people over 70 have more need for this service than others. I have walked 2 caminos at age 70 and 71 and had no difficulty making reservations when I needed to do so. I also enjoyed having flexibility. Again, people who want to hire a tour company can, but after 70 we don’t lose our ability to plan a trip. Hoping to walk Primitivo next year, probably alone, and even at the advanced age of 73 not hiring anybody.
The OP is a tyro pilgrim and was seeking for advice, I'm a mere juvenile at 66 but would do the same in their situation ;)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
My general advice to all pilgrims is not to book ahead. Part of the experience is seeing what the Camino brings you. The Camino teaches us to trust in providence. To pray that things will work out--and we see that they do! If you are open to camping, you can bring an ultra light tent and use it if necessary. If you want to sleep indoors, there are many municipal albergues in Galicia, and they don't take reservations.
The OP and wife are in their 70's and trying to lighten their load and you're suggest carrying a tent? Which camp grounds would you suggest they use?
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
BC
Like how you think. We've travelled independently often. But we were younger with less wear on our joints. We've been practicing Spanish phrases. Hope people understand English
Thanks Ted
Most of the British, Canadians and New Zealanders will - not sure about the Australians ;)
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Did April through June 2018 from Pamplona to Santiago. 2020 May or end of September.
My wife and I are 70years old planning to walk from Sarria to Santiago at the end of September 2018. Should we hope to find Albergues each night or should we book with a company to arrange nightly stays? We've looked into arrangements with Garry at Spanish Adventures and Shanda at Follow the Camino. We hope to average ten miles a day. Since we're showing wear and tear of active lives we think it prudent to forward heavy items ahead to keep pack weights low. Any advice welcome.
Thanks- Ted
My husband and I completed our Camino a month ago. We are both almost 80 and in pretty good shape. We started in Pamplona and covered over 200 miles - on foot, a train from Pamplona to Burgos, a bus for another 25 mile stretch, horseback up to O Cebrerio and a couple of cab rides. We made all our reservations through Booking.com and we used Camino Facile to transfer our large back pack so we just needed a small day pack. I suppose we averaged 10 miles a day.
You certainly don’t need to use a “tour guide/ company” - it was so much more fun to plan our own trip.
The only problem with making reservations ahead of time is that if you need a break or if you find a place you would like to spend more time in then you lose that option. I personally need to know where I am going to sleep each night but that is because I am getting old.
Good luck with your planning - it’s almost as much fun as walking. Buen Camino.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
We hope to average ten miles a day. Since we're showing wear and tear of active lives
Hi @Opa Theo , look like you have a lot of useful advice. I would place a lot of store in what @SYates has to say.

I would like to add a different touch. Yes, that is me in the image holdong a grand ice cream. And I am on the same side of 70 as you.

You don't say what expereince you have in walking 16 km (10 miles) day after day. So here is my tuppence worth.

The first few hours out of Sarria involves quite a bit of climbing. Similalry the few few hours out of Portomarin. You may think about making those stages a bit shorter than 16 km, if accomodation allows.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
My husband and I completed our Camino a month ago. We are both almost 80 and in pretty good shape. We started in Pamplona and covered over 200 miles - on foot, a train from Pamplona to Burgos, a bus for another 25 mile stretch, horseback up to O Cebrerio and a couple of cab rides. We made all our reservations through Booking.com and we used Camino Facile to transfer our large back pack so we just needed a small day pack. I suppose we averaged 10 miles a day.
You certainly don’t need to use a “tour guide/ company” - it was so much more fun to plan our own trip.
The only problem with making reservations ahead of time is that if you need a break or if you find a place you would like to spend more time in then you lose that option. I personally need to know where I am going to sleep each night but that is because I am getting old.
Good luck with your planning - it’s almost as much fun as walking. Buen Camino.
You went up O Ceb on a horse? - respect! It was bad enough looking down into the valley from eye level.

"I'm NOT afraid of heights, I'm afraid of falling and crashing to my death on the rocks below"
 

Rover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
My wife and I are 70years old planning to walk from Sarria to Santiago at the end of September 2018. Should we hope to find Albergues each night or should we book with a company to arrange nightly stays? We've looked into arrangements with Garry at Spanish Adventures and Shanda at Follow the Camino. We hope to average ten miles a day. Since we're showing wear and tear of active lives we think it prudent to forward heavy items ahead to keep pack weights low. Any advice welcome.
Thanks- Ted
Importantly, how you choose to select your Camino accommodations is personal and based, in part, on what you are most comfortable doing. I'm 75 years old and walked the Camino Francis solo, starting the 3rd week in September. I had no problems with finding accommodations as the crowds to diminish following the summer hoardes. If you are walking roughly 10 miles per day, you should have not problem finding a room albeit an alburge (bunk or private room), pension, etc. If you want a little adventure without a lot of risk, don't make advance reservations. As one pilgrim said here, among many considerations, you give yup your flexibility which I don't recommend doing. On the other hand, if you're looking for peace of mind, have a service do it for you.
 

Opa Theo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
Hi @Opa Theo , look like you have a lot of useful advice. I would place a lot of store in what @SYates has to say.

I would like to add a different touch. Yes, that is me in the image holdong a grand ice cream. And I am on the same side of 70 as you.

You don't say what expereince you have in walking 16 km (10 miles) day after day. So here is my tuppence worth.

The first few hours out of Sarria involves quite a bit of climbing. Similalry the few few hours out of Portomarin. You may think about making those stages a bit shorter than 16 km, if accomodation allows.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
Love your attitude. Thanks. What language is Kia kaha?
 

peterbells

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September 2018 (Sarria to Santiago)
It can depend what sort of person you are, are you a que sera, sera type or do you want the reassurance of someone having done it all for you with number to ring if things go wrong and can focus on the pilgrimage itself. I am doing my first Camino in Sept, like you from Sarria to SDC and have used Follow the Camino to book hotels, arrange transport from airport to Sarria and transfer luggage each day. This brings pluses and minus's. You lose flexibility but I am guaranteed my own room every night. On three days I have to ring hotel and wait for them to collect me from Camino (they return you to same spot next morning) but these hotels look v nice and could be special experience - time will tell if this is better overall. Knowing what I have learnt since booking I would probably have discussed with them more hotel options. The biggest thing I would recommend you consider is how far you want to walk each day and plan accordingly. I am committed now but do have reservations about length of some days I will have to walk which are fixed as I have to get to hotel; one day will be 29km with last 3k uphill. This was Hobson choice at time as only have a week to do it all. I am similar age . Other important thing if not already doing is walk regularly with increasing lengths. I am sure though it will be special experience!
Buen Camino Peter
 

peterbells

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September 2018 (Sarria to Santiago)
Another suggestion is get John Brieley book on Sarria to SDC. This gives lot of information on not just distances but elevation. Changes in height add to overall effort.
 

bobbogram

Member
Camino(s) past & future
El Norte San Sebastián to Santiago; Portuguese Lisbon to Porto; Porto to Santiago; Geneva west
Welcome aboard. I’m 69 years old and completed 6-week El Norte with friends, 4-week Lisbon to Porto solo, Cape to Cape trek on Australian West Coast, and doing the Geneva to LePuy in four weeks with one son. Bookings was great as was BnB. MAPS.ME is great for downloading your route maps in case you stray off course without Internet service so explore its multitude of information.
Remember - it’s a path, not a road, so if you know WHERE you are, you’re not lost. Tolkien: All who wander are not lost.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Welcome aboard. I’m 69 years old and completed 6-week El Norte with friends, 4-week Lisbon to Porto solo, Cape to Cape trek on Australian West Coast, and doing the Geneva to LePuy in four weeks with one son. Bookings was great as was BnB. MAPS.ME is great for downloading your route maps in case you stray off course without Internet service so explore its multitude of information.
Remember - it’s a path, not a road, so if you know WHERE you are, you’re not lost. Tolkien: All who wander are not lost.
“I've never been lost, but I was mighty turned around for three days once.”
Daniel Boone
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
You might be interested in this from today's London Guardian.
Interesting the story has reached so far afield. My husband is a native Te Reo speaker, and has worked for many many years in TV and education to revive the language.
To hear him and his sisters speaking on the phone is really cool.
He can also communicate with the Cook Islands people, it is similar
 

TomAptos

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Camino Portugues 2017, Via St Francis (Italy) 2018
My wife and I are 70years old planning to walk from Sarria to Santiago at the end of September 2018. Should we hope to find Albergues each night or should we book with a company to arrange nightly stays? We've looked into arrangements with Garry at Spanish Adventures and Shanda at Follow the Camino. We hope to average ten miles a day. Since we're showing wear and tear of active lives we think it prudent to forward heavy items ahead to keep pack weights low. Any advice welcome.
Thanks- Ted
Booking.com is great recommendation. We booked 1 night ahead with no problems. One piece of advice: Sarria to Santiago is a busy stretch. We did not care for the masses of hikers out of Sarria, but it got much more pleasant when we got "off stage" staying in Melide, Salceda, and Villamaior.
 

Richardw2

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July 2018
My wife and I are 70years old planning to walk from Sarria to Santiago at the end of September 2018. Should we hope to find Albergues each night or should we book with a company to arrange nightly stays? We've looked into arrangements with Garry at Spanish Adventures and Shanda at Follow the Camino. We hope to average ten miles a day. Since we're showing wear and tear of active lives we think it prudent to forward heavy items ahead to keep pack weights low. Any advice welcome.
Thanks- Ted
Ted,

Great question. My wife and I just finished our 1st 100K Camino starting in Sarria. We went with Walk the Camino and they were GREAT!!! Now that we've done one, I would feel comfortable making my own arrangements. My wife (~40s) was not going to stay in Albergues, there's nothing wrong with them but she was always going to require a private clean room and private bathroom. Something that's available at different Albergues. Since you already know what mileage you want, use the book to figure where you are going to stop each day, then do a Google search or refer to the book about what's available in that area.

Walk the Camino was great, they took care of everything, calibrated our mileage in such a way as to build confidence. Having the reservations in advance is one less thing to worry about and frankly puts your mind at ease. The way I figured it, I was fine with a nice room and private bath. We all have to walk the same path no matter our nightly accommodations.


Buen Camino
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aug 2017: Le Puy to Santiago
Nov 2018: Kumano Kodo (partial)
2021: ?
Hi Michael,

I can not agree with you on that point.

On the Camino Francés and especially from Sarria onwards you will always have hospitaleros attending the albergue without previous calling. I can only remember calling the hospitalero on the Via de la Plata twice and in Southern Portugal (before Coimbra) once. But this is definitely not necessary on the Camino Francés.

On the Camino Francés you will also always find somebody speaking English, either the hospitalero himself or some fellow pilgrims. If you are not able to do phone calls in Spanish and want to make a reservation for the next day, you may ask them to call for you or you use an app like "booking.com".

Sometimes you may arrive at an albergue and the hospitalero is not in. But then, usually, they leave a note there in Spanish and in English, informing you that they will be back at a certain time and that in the meantime you may take a bed and have a shower.

So don't worry, just walk.

BC
Alexandra
Maybe it was the season I walked. Maybe it was because I stayed in smaller, non-popular stages. Maybe it's because I used a French guide book, and ended up at different places than those using the Brierley. But: I had quite a few nights in albergues where no English was spoken.

In Muruzábal the only other guests were a German couple. I speak no German, so we had a very quiet dinner together. In Villambístia everyone was Italian, but I had been walking with them all day & we got a place together, so maybe this doesn't count. In Atapuerca it was German night again, but a few of them this time were bilingual. In León it was me and a couple Spanish bicyclists. In Samos it was all French and Italian, plus one very grumpy American guy who kept to himself. In Ferreiros and Eirexe it was all French in the albergues, though in Eirexe there was one English speaker at the place next door, and one guy camping.

The hospitaleros I met always knew some English, but there were two Xunta albergues in a row in Galicia where I never actually met the hospitalera - Ferreiros and Eirexe.

I totally agree with you: don't worry.

But I also think it's important to point out that there's a variety of experiences on the Camino.
 
Last edited:

Opa Theo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais to Santiago
Greatly appreciate all the suggestions. The experiences of all the responders is helpful. We've decided to forward luggage and book ahead. We'll arrive from Connecticut several days early to adjust to time changes and do some touring. As a 'visual learner' I enjoy all the videos on Youtube about pilgrims on the Camino.
Thanks Everyone.
Ted
 

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