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Live - Camino Francés First Three Nights - Cold & Wet

monkiguy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
1st Camino from SJPDP 29 April 2017
Three of us walked and arrived at Roncesvalles at 5pm Saturday 29th and there were no beds. We travelled and stayed in a camping site at Urobi (not far from Roncesvalles). Ended up walking from Espinal to Zubiri Sunday 30th (yesterday), arriving at Zubiri at 4pm cold, wet and with no beds. It rained for most of the day.

Poor pilgrims with limited Spanish were lined up outside in Zubiri barely covered and freezing. It was also hard to find helpful locals, and some locals were clearly stressed and shutting their doors leaving us in the rain.

Eventually, we got a cab to Pamplona - now things are settling down.

After these first 3 days I can only say be prepared and book the first new nights ahead - to be safe. If it wasn't for the pilgrims i met along the way i certainly would have been stuck.
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
Three of us walked and arrived at Roncesvalles at 5pm Saturday 29th and there were no beds. We travelled and stayed in a camping site at Urobi (not far from Roncesvalles). Ended up walking from Espinal to Zubiri Sunday 30th (yesterday), arriving at Zubiri at 4pm cold, wet and with no beds. It rained for most of the day.

Poor pilgrims with limited Spanish were lined up outside in Zubiri barely covered and freezing. It was also hard to find helpful locals, and some locals were clearly stressed and shutting their doors leaving us in the rain.

Eventually, we got a cab to Pamplona - now things are settling down.

After these first 3 days I can only say be prepared and book the first new nights ahead - to be safe. If it wasn't for the pilgrims i met along the way i certainly would have been stuck.
Sorry to hear this. Holiday long weekends can be a shock to the system on the Camino - a lot of people starting then and walking for a few days. The reduction in beds at Roncesvalles won't have helped, either. Hope things settle down now and you don't continue to have this difficulty finding a bed. And that the weather improves! Spring weather's so unpredictable, but here's wishing you some of those glorious crisp sunny mornings!

Buen Camino
 

Kennedy1

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - May & June 2013
Camino Finisterre and Camino Muxia - June 2013
I am arriving from Canada hopefully tomorrow if all my flight connections work out to start walking on May 3rd. I originally planned only to book my first night in St Jean. About a month ago I had a strong urge to book serveral more nights which I did. After reading the posts about no beds I feel that the camino is looking out for me even before I arrive. . Safe travels everyone.
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
Even more reinforcement for me that in future Camino Frances walks, don't start on a weekend and don't end on a weekend and certainly don't do it during a holiday.
Spain has a lot of holidays ...
 

vlogan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2013,14,15,16,17,18,19
If your are going to use albergues, I suggest, try and arrive by 2.00pm.
 

FamPed

Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
There are many different Pilgrim Routes and Caminos in life.
M

Mark Lee

Guest
Spain has a lot of holidays ...
Yeah it does, but that was meant more in the respect to avoiding the larger cities on the Camino during a holiday. I got to Logrono once on a holiday weekend. Place was pretty crowded and I ended up getting a room at a pensiones.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Hola @monkiguy, I know exactly what you are reporting on. Its been a bugger of a days, or two/three days. Rain, snow, winds and then no beds. Definitely not fun. Buen Camino for the rest of the walk. Cheers
 

Cathy K.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
March-mid April 2017 first time
Three of us walked and arrived at Roncesvalles at 5pm Saturday 29th and there were no beds. We travelled and stayed in a camping site at Urobi (not far from Roncesvalles). Ended up walking from Espinal to Zubiri Sunday 30th (yesterday), arriving at Zubiri at 4pm cold, wet and with no beds. It rained for most of the day.

Sorry, to hear bad experience at beginning, hope things gets better by now.
But most places all open for now. We just finished ours on April 13th.
Weather was getting hotter than, forecast are very unpredictable.
I booked all mine thru booking.com not all the places open then.
Use all your resources to get through. From Sarria to next town long
stretch of walking for us, so we asked manager to find place to spend night.
The place he recommended has restraunt, from there no problems.
We also took taxi due to heavy snowfall from Fanfria to Samos.
We made it.
Buen Camino to everyone.
Cathy K.
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
Sorry, to hear bad experience at beginning, hope things gets better by now.
But most places all open for now. We just finished ours on April 13th.
Weather was getting hotter than, forecast are very unpredictable.
I booked all mine thru booking.com not all the places open then.
Use all your resources to get through. From Sarria to next town long
stretch of walking for us, so we asked manager to find place to spend night.
The place he recommended has restraunt, from there no problems.
We also took taxi due to heavy snowfall from Fanfria to Samos.
We made it.
Buen Camino to everyone.
Cathy K.
So glad you finished successfully. Well done Cathy
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
Three of us walked and arrived at Roncesvalles at 5pm Saturday 29th and there were no beds. We travelled and stayed in a camping site at Urobi (not far from Roncesvalles). Ended up walking from Espinal to Zubiri Sunday 30th (yesterday), arriving at Zubiri at 4pm cold, wet and with no beds. It rained for most of the day.

Poor pilgrims with limited Spanish were lined up outside in Zubiri barely covered and freezing. It was also hard to find helpful locals, and some locals were clearly stressed and shutting their doors leaving us in the rain.

Eventually, we got a cab to Pamplona - now things are settling down.

After these first 3 days I can only say be prepared and book the first new nights ahead - to be safe. If it wasn't for the pilgrims i met along the way i certainly would have been stuck.
Sorry to hear of your stressful days. It was warmer when I was there early February.

Kathy
 

Carol06

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (May 2012)
Frances (May 2015) all going well and with my husband this time.
It was bad enough last year to find a bed. Because we are older we decided to play it safe and book ahead. That does give you the security of somewhere to sleep but you lose the spontaneity that was so special on my first Camino. I look back on last year's Camino with a slight sense of disappointment compared with my first one.
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
It was bad enough last year to find a bed. Because we are older we decided to play it safe and book ahead. That does give you the security of somewhere to sleep but you lose the spontaneity that was so special on my first Camino. I look back on last year's Camino with a slight sense of disappointment compared with my first one.
Try the Norte next! Loved it!
 

Cathy K.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
March-mid April 2017 first time
So glad you finished successfully. Well done Cathy
Yes, we made in a great way that my wish was granted.
Seeing the famous swinging Botafumeiro/never know how to spell it.
It happened at the last day at noon mass, although it was on Wednesday.
Love it. Plan of go back next year spend the Easter at Barcelona Sagrada
Familia, with Gods willing.
Thanks, for your post. CathyK Kentucky.
 

Cathy K.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
March-mid April 2017 first time
It was bad enough last year to find a bed. Because we are older we decided to play it safe and book ahead. That does give you the security of somewhere to sleep but you lose the spontaneity that was

Hi! Carol,
We did have same situation like you had. Age of 79/72 , we like to have our own place to spend the night and have a good sleep for following days preparing of walk.
All places weren't open for the season we booked at least 4 nights in advance, it worked very well, but somehow stressful.
Hopefully next year will be different than this.
Stay healthy.
CathyK.
 

Texas Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017 summer)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
Even more reinforcement for me that in future Camino Frances walks, don't start on a weekend and don't end on a weekend and certainly don't do it during a holiday.
What he said. Also, stop early. Then there is time to find a place. If you wait until 4 pm, and the first place is completo, it's discouraging and gives a person a feeling of panic. If it's 2 pm and the first place is completo, it doesn't feel so desperate. (Magic question if the place is full: Puede darme un recommendation, por favor?)
 

Tony Bobcat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
Three of us walked and arrived at Roncesvalles at 5pm Saturday 29th and there were no beds. We travelled and stayed in a camping site at Urobi (not far from Roncesvalles). Ended up walking from Espinal to Zubiri Sunday 30th (yesterday), arriving at Zubiri at 4pm cold, wet and with no beds. It rained for most of the day.

Poor pilgrims with limited Spanish were lined up outside in Zubiri barely covered and freezing. It was also hard to find helpful locals, and some locals were clearly stressed and shutting their doors leaving us in the rain.

Eventually, we got a cab to Pamplona - now things are settling down.

After these first 3 days I can only say be prepared and book the first new nights ahead - to be safe. If it wasn't for the pilgrims i met along the way i certainly would have been stuck.
Hi Monkiguy, sorry to hear about your accommodation issues, hopefully since then all has improved and you're having a fantastic experience.
I start my walk on Tuesday the 16 of May, the only accommodation booked is at Orrison. I'm hoping to stop as I get tired hopefully get accommodation, if not I'll camp it out. Buen Camino
 

ernie pease

Just call me Ernie
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Ponferrada April-May 2017, Ponferrada to Santiago Sept 2019, English April 2018,
There certainly seem to be many reports of "unseasonable" large crowds. I hope things settle down for you.
I left SJPdP on the 13th April 2017. The crowds were large due to the Semana Santa. I left with many people from Asia. There were large crowds at all Albergues and the larger towns were always close to full. If I was close to an Albergue around noon, and there were openings, I would stay. I also called ahead on a few occasions. I had to use a hotel only once. $140 dollars. I had to leave early for family problems. Looking forward to finishing my Camino in September. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC (train) 1977; CF 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta again 2019
I left SJPdP on the 13th April 2017. The crowds were large due to the Semana Santa. I left with many people from Asia. There were large crowds at all Albergues and the larger towns were always close to full. If I was close to an Albergue around noon, and there were openings, I would stay. I also called ahead on a few occasions. I had to use a hotel only once. $140 dollars. I had to leave early for family problems. Looking forward to finishing my Camino in September. Buen Camino.
Sorry you had to cut your first trip short, Ernie.

If you can go back in September, by all means do! Better time to walk, anyway, IMHO. Especially if you can sync with the San Mateo in Logrono!
 

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