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first time independent planning

Time of past OR future Camino
End of Frances and Frances from Pamplona Sept 22
hi all, i had booked a walking trip with a company, to walk from Pamplona to Santiago, they would take care of my accommodation and moving my luggage. I think they have let me down unfortunately so i want to book the trip myself. I would welcome advice on where to start?! how do you select your accommodate - i want clean and although my preference was for a single room I think staying in auberges would add to the sense of community on the walk. Would you agree ?? I am a sole female in my early 60's and have only walked from Sarria to Santigo before (in May). when everything was prearranged for me. i feel I am ready to be more independent this time, but would be grateful for advice and guidance. Thank you
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Gronze is a great resource for information about accommodations. They provide direct contact information and links to booking.com for properties that use that platform.


Since you have already walked from Sarria you should have an idea of what you are in for, and what kind of daily distances you can walk.

I would suggest that you don't pre-book the entire way - one of the best things about doing it yourself is that you have more flexibility to stop for a rest day, illness, injury or change your stages to walk with people that you meet along the way.

I would book perhaps the first three nights, then you can look at what lies ahead for the next day, and make your bookings a day or two ahead.
 
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Latecomer

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
Hi Mary,

Rob at Robscamino YouTube site has a playlist of multiple videos on topic.
If you are inclined, subscribe to Rob's channel, he is getting very close to 5,000 subcribers.

Some people like to plan (or research) a lot. I do, and select tentative stopping points and have preferred lodging identified it advance. In the past, I would only reserve a day or 2 in advance (that may be different depending on dates and circumstances). I copy all of my research into files that I can refer to on my phone (I put most of the accommodation info into a single PDF).

¡Buen Camino!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Mary,
I have used gronze.com many times and been very satisfied with the accommodations. To deal withyour lodging preferences, many albergues also offer private rooms in addition to beds in a dormitory. As my wife likes private rooms and I like being around my fellow pilgrims, the private rooms in albergues has worked very well for us. From what I could see, it looks like you are walking in September. That’s a busy month on the CF. I could only guess as to the availability of private rooms at that time in the albergues. Nonetheless, there are many very good albergues along The Way even if you were to stay in the dormitory rooms. For the most part, I found them very acceptable and places that I would return to. Go on to Gronze and start researching accommodations and see what looks to be available.

You slso asked the question about where to start. It looks like your initial plans were for Pamplona. If you have the time, let me suggest that you start in SJPP. It’s only three days out from Pamplona and crossing the Pyrenees was one of the highlights of my first Camino. After three days, which I would book rooms/beds in advance, you’ll have a good sense of the crowds and the need to book ahead. Buen Camino.
 
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woody66

This is my boy !
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Mary MC!
I mirror Trecile's/ Grousedoctor's opinion; Gronze is a great resource and easy to use. Google chrome will translate the pages to English! I has accommodation listed along the way for all budgets you can book directly or through Booking.com (to be honest I've only used Booking.com on last years Portuguese Coastal but with it you do have the free cancellation option which came in handy as i changed my stages several times on the run up to my Camino.)
Woody
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
When are you planning to go? It makes a difference as to how far one needs to reserve ahead. Getting reservations from SJPdP at that time would be difficult up to Pamplona in a private room, even at an albergue. Iti is quite crowded.

I use booking.com. It is the best website IMO to make reservations. One can see pictures of the hotel/albergue and then the room itself. It usually even gives you the size in sq. ft. of the room. It has a good map feature where you can look at the location of the establishment. If you signup (free) and make your reservations they put your booking to a trip file where you can access all of your reservations. Cancellation free of charge dates vary by the accommdation. Some reservations can be cancelled on the same day , others vary from 3days to several weeks. Having all the information in one account makes it easy to change dates and juggle reservations. Hands down, it is more user friendly than Hotels.com or Agoda.com. Look also at the recommendations from clients. Many of them in the small towns on the camino are from pilgrims.

Gronze.com lists additional albergues as well as some accommodations that booking has. What I really like about Gronze are its camino maps and altitude information. Brierley’s CF guide provides similar maps but you can get much of that info by using Gronze online.

Lastly, if I am iffy about whether to stay at a place, I go to Tripadviser.com
Sometimes you will find information regarding the establishment and additional feedback from customers.

I also use Rome2rio for public transportation planning along the routes. In addition @Anniesantiago suggested years ago to take a photo of taxi cab numbers as you go through towns on your cell phone so if you get exhausted you can call for a cab. If you are at a bar or cafe, you can ask them to call as well.

Good planning and keep the questions coming.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
use booking.com. It is the best website IMO to make reservations. One can see pictures of the hotel/albergue and then the room itself.
Be sure to cross reference any place that you find on booking.com with Gronze so that you can be sure that it's on or near the Camino.
Cancellation free of charge dates vary by the accommdation. Some reservations can be cancelled on the same day , others vary from 3days to several weeks.
I set up alerts on my calendar app with the "drop dead" dates for cancellations.
 

JimG59

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago de Compostela (2022)
Be sure to cross reference any place that you find on booking.com with Gronze so that you can be sure that it's on or near the Camino.

I set up alerts on my calendar app with the "drop dead" dates for cancellations.
Is there an English translation of the information on Gronze, please ?
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I set up alerts on my calendar app with the "drop dead" dates for cancellations.
We are usually fixed on where we will stay but it’s certainly worth doing. Now that I have a plan with T-mobile I will do the same! Thanks
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Thanks. I was looking at Gronze on my iPad and couldn’t see a version in English. I’ll download it to my phone.
There is no English version, that's why it suggested to use the Chrome browser which has a translation option.

Also, it's a website, so you can't download it, but you can bookmark it.
 

celticone

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances '13,'18, '19
Portugues '15; Plata '16
hi all, i had booked a walking trip with a company, to walk from Pamplona to Santiago, they would take care of my accommodation and moving my luggage. I think they have let me down unfortunately so i want to book the trip myself. I would welcome advice on where to start?! how do you select your accommodate - i want clean and although my preference was for a single room I think staying in auberges would add to the sense of community on the walk. Would you agree ?? I am a sole female in my early 60's and have only walked from Sarria to Santigo before (in May). when everything was prearranged for me. i feel I am ready to be more independent this time, but would be grateful for advice and guidance. Thank you
Hello Mary,
All the replies here have excellent, useful information. I am a sole female walker too and older than you. For my last 2 Caminos I used WhatsApp extensively, booking 2 days or so in advance. That has the advantage of having a phone record of what you have agreed and if you use simple English and the hosts use simple Spanish it is easier than phoning. If the establishment doesn't have a mobile number I usually ask my current host to phone for me if the are not too busy, and no-one has ever refused. Using WhatsApp means they don't have to pay the booking DOT com fee.

I agree that booking the first 3 nights in advance is a good idea.

Buen Camino for when you go.
Ena
 
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ScorpioGirl22

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Be sure to cross reference any place that you find on booking.com with Gronze so that you can be sure that it's on or near the Camino.

I set up alerts on my calendar app with the "drop dead" dates for cancellations.
I agree with the advice to verify the proximity of accommodations to the Camino ---- I used the Buen Camino App to do this but I am sure Gronze does an adfmirable job also.
 

Botaivica

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May - July 2016
SJPP - Santiago - Finisterra
May 2017
Caminho do Tejo
June 2017
Fatima - Santiago
Hi Mary :)

first of all, I want to congratulate you on your choice to go on the Camino. Your decision to start the Camino alone is excellent and I wish you Bon Camino.

My recommendation is to start from SJPP for the reason that it is easier to get to SJPP . from Ireland, than to Pamplona.
I recommend that you book accommodation two to three days in advance. but there are albergus that do not accept reservations so keep an eye on it.

Also, whenever I could I went to religious albergue, they are clean, pleasant and cute. All the ones I've slept in offer breakfast and dinner so you don't have to worry about food.

Bon Camino 😇
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I agree with the advice to verify the proximity of accommodations to the Camino ---- I used the Buen Camino App to do this but I am sure Gronze does an adfmirable job also.

I also use the Buen Camino app alot.

Both Gronze and the Buen Camino app show accommodations on a map.

Here's Los Arcos on Gronze (click to enlarge images)

Alojamientos Los Arcos.jpg


And on Buen Camino

Buen Camino Los Arcos.png
 

Rita Flower

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 Via del la Plata
Hi Mary,

Rob at Robscamino YouTube site has a playlist of multiple videos on topic.
If you are inclined, subscribe to Rob's channel, he is getting very close to 5,000 subcribers.

Some people like to plan (or research) a lot. I do, and select tentative stopping points and have preferred lodging identified it advance. In the past, I would only reserve a day or 2 in advance (that may be different depending on dates and circumstances). I copy all of my research into files that I can refer to on my phone (I put most of the accommodation info into a single PDF).

¡Buen Camino!
I love Rob. His What's in my Pack video is great.
 

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