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First timer-Fear of no bed/Where to start


New Member
In early June, my sister and I are planning to walk the Camino Francés for the first time. I'm generally a planner and I have to have everything planned out. After reading many posts from past walkers and learning more about the Camino, I have realized that I'm going to have to relax and enjoy the experience. However, I am well aware that this year is a Holy year and many more pilgrims than normal will be walking. Should I be worried about finding a bed for the night? If so, should I look to book some place to stay? I really want to be relaxed and have the ability to take my time and enjoy, but I want to have a place to sleep. Also, where would be a good place to start if I have two weeks? My sister and I are young and in pretty good shape, but we want to be able to enjoy ourselves as well. I've thought about starting in León or Burgos. Are those places realistic starting spots?

Thanks for reading and sorry if these questions seem silly (I'm both extremely excited and a little nervous)!!! Thank you again!
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Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos


I suggest you take a look at the following listing of all the guides who can help with arrangements. ... amino.html

The writer of this blog is Sil, who has done so much to help the pilgrim community. She has over 3900 posts on this forum.

When I started planning my trip in January (I leave for Spain on May 16), I knew I wanted to avoid the uncertainty about and rush for beds, and I wanted lodging with fewer people sharing one bathroom, etc. Time is limited for me as well. But of course this costs more. Many pilgrims say not having things planned is part of the experience. But as Sil says, each person has their own Camino.

I have worked with Garry of Spanish Adventures (he is on Sil's list). He can help you with your arrangements, but of course since this is how he makes a living, he charges for the service.

Keep reading topics on this forum. I have immersed myself in it and learned so much.
I just bought my third pair of footwear: boots, Keen shoes (the Canadian's recommendation) and today New Balance shoes (the Portlander's recommendation). I think I'll leave for Spain with the NEw Balance. But I have lots more walking in Seattle to do to get ready.

Buen Camino,


Veteran Member
Leon is a good place to start if you have only 2 weeks (14 days of walking) and want to reach Santiago. You will need to average 22 kms per day which is very achievable. Many walkers average 25 and more. Averaging 22 kms per day will give you lots of time for site seeing in the afternoon.

Or you could begin in St. Jean Pied de Port and walk to Burgos, planning to reach Santiago and complete your Camino at another time.

Enjoy the preparations. It is part of the journey.

David, Victoria, Canada.
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
Leon is an excellent place to start, a great place to visit, and the alburgue there is sweet. You will have a lovely time... the walking from Leon to Santiago is beautiful!

Buen Camino! Let us know how you do.
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In choosing whether to work with a travel guide or book your own lodging, I have learned from three months of experience that it's important to know yourself, What kind of traveler are you?
If you are independent and don't like the idea of pre-payment or having the guides fees wrapped into a total amount for the whole trip, then it is probably better to make your own arrangements.
Guides have working relationships with lodging operators, who as business owners are trying to minimize risk and uncertainty, hence they favor pre-payment. If you are independent and want to stay flexible, it's probably better to make all of your own arrangements. However, if the whole idea of doing this scares or overwhelms you, then it may be best to use a professional. I have found that trying to walk a middle ground can be difficult.


New Member
I recommend starting from Leon; it's beautiful. I'd also recommend not to make reservations. We walked in 2008 and never had a problem finding a place. I know it's a holy year, but I'm sure you'll be ok as long as you're not fussy about where you put your head down at night. It's going to be an incredible experience. (I'm going again in July. Can't wait)

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