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Getting a bed in 2021

2020 Camino Guides

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I am planning to walk in 2021 from Sevilla at the beginning of March and getting me into Santiago at the end of April. I am starting to get a little queasy about this no bed doomsday scenario in Santiago. I have no idea how to figure this one out. Are Pilgrims making advance reservations now for a walk they will do in a year or more and on top of that know precisely when they will arrive in Santiago. Are all the beds being filled by tourists? Is this being too alarmist and is it way to early for anyone to know the situation in places like Albergue Seminario Menor and or the huge Xunta in Monte de Gozo or some of the other small private albergues in and around Santiago. There are so many of them. I think I will probably be just fine at that time of the year on the VDLP but there are alot of us forecasting doom and gloom. Anybody with good evidence about this even though I think there is really no way to tell. After all 11 years is a long time to go between holy years, I guess. I would walk it this year but circumstances will not allow it as I am walking with my college buddies. This year celebrates 49 years of friendship and love. I will be 67 next year and I don't want to wait too much longer to undertake the VDLP. Never know when one might slow down.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19, '20)
Anybody with good evidence about this even though I think there is really no way to tell.
I will no doubt walk in 2021 as well. The only evidence anyone is likely to have will be provided as it happens. Don't we veterans generally counsel prospective pilgrims to leave their fears at home and trust the Camino to provide?
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I understand where the worry is coming from, but I think you will find that you don't need to worry so much. In past Holy Years, it seems, the huge increases in pilgrims have generally manifested between Sarria and Santiago, so you are probably quite safe walking on the VDLP in terms of finding a bed. Even in Santiago de Compostela, where there might be more reason to worry, you can expect the biggest crowds to show up in late July, when the big celebrations are, rather than the end of April, when the season is just getting started. It may well be that booking ahead, even in April, is advised for Santiago. But I really don't think you will have to book months ahead, like for the end of July. I expect a few days ahead should be plenty. And by the time you are approaching Santiago you will have a fairly good sense of how far you tend to walk each day, putting you in a good position to accurately predict when you will arrive.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Thanks for that. Yes it is so true that this not being my first rodeo I will have more than enough time to know a week or more out when I will be in Santiago. By that time I will have walked 750K or so. If I haven't hit my stride by then well I guess I am striking out ;)
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe, BR (01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT (09/2019)
I understand your concerns and expect that businesses along the way will be thinking up ways to maximize their occupancy. I'm not sure I'll be walking, who am I kidding I will be there and be prepared to sleep under the stars. Who knows maybe ill introduce myself to the homeless community and spend time with the Santiago street pilgrims 🤠
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I understand your concerns and expect that businesses along the way will be thinking up ways to maximize their occupancy. I'm not sure I'll be walking, who am I kidding I will be there and be prepared to sleep under the stars. Who knows maybe ill introduce myself to the homeless community and spend time with the Santiago street pilgrims 🤠
A camino less traveled is definitely the way to go!
 
Camino(s) past & future
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
I will no doubt walk in 2021 as well. The only evidence anyone is likely to have will be provided as it happens. Don't we veterans generally counsel prospective pilgrims to leave their fears at home and trust the Camino to provide?
Perhaps not in a Holy Year :)
I certainly would book a bed in Santiago, but I prefer a private room at the end of the Camino.
And after all these years, I'm fairly sure of my day of arrival.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Perhaps not in a Holy Year :)
I certainly would book a bed in Santiago, but I prefer a private room at the end of the Camino.
And after all these years, I'm fairly sure of my day of arrival.
I agree about Santiago and I know I will come up with something. I also believe the Camino does provide for all pilgrims if they keep their ears, eyes and hearts open.
 

charlieaz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte Jun-Jul 2021
My wife and I plan to do Camino Norte June 21 - July 30 ... we planned before learning about the Holy Year. We're newbies but what the hell, we'll let the Camino provide. That's what it's about, right?
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
For sure that is what alot of it is about. You are taking a wonderful camino to say the least. It is beautiful. Harder than the Camino Frances but you will have spectacular views. When I walked in late September/October, after the split with the Primitivo I was pretty much alone every day. Saw very few pilgrims walking and never more than about 3 or pilgrims at night. A few nights I was alone in an albergue. Got a little more crowded at 100K mark. When you get to the end of the Norte in Arzua it meets up with the Camino Frances. I would highly recommend you trying to book from Arzua to Santiago. You will have people shock when you see the amount of Pilgrims after being on the Norte. When you are at least a week out if not a little more I would book for your last two stages and for Santiago. You shouldn't have too much trouble planning stages especially if you have no health issues. At this late point there are no difficult stages. Walking is a piece of cake physically by then. You may have a chance to find rooms if you do not stay in the "stage" towns of Arzua and O'Pedrouzo. There are lots and lots of albergues in both towns but there will be lots and lots of pilgrims too. I would watch what other Pilgrims are saying about getting a bed next year as you get close and when you are on the Camino. I am sure there will be lots of information.
 

charlieaz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte Jun-Jul 2021
Good info It56ny and thanks for that! My wife suggests we do Arzua to Santiogo first and then buss back to the start and do the stretch from the start to Arzua. I just say "what ever works!" Lol
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I remember reading that there were not alot of places to stay and no albergues. If I am not mistaken it is two stages correct? They are both over 30k each is that right too. When I walked a friend of mine suggested I take it to avoid the crowds but I remember thinking the stages were way too long for me. But that is me. I heard it was pretty but I also heard that if it is rainy it is really muddy. Someone could clear that up if I am wrong about the mud. It is only what I "heard".
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Good info It56ny and thanks for that! My wife suggests we do Arzua to Santiogo first and then buss back to the start and do the stretch from the start to Arzua. I just say "what ever works!" Lol
I am no expert but if you look at the official camino website it is historically about as crowded at the end of June and end of July so I don't think you will have much of a difference in the numbers of pilgrims. If you do it that way, now you have to worry about getting reservations in Santiago twice. If you don't want to stay in Santiago after you get to Arzua the second time that is fine. If you just want to stay in Santiago for the day and not sleep there to get your Compostela I would highly recommend getting a taxi or getting on a bus REALLY early in the morning to make sure you can get a Compostela that day. With the new system (there are plenty of places to read about it here) they give you a number for you to get your Compostela if it is busy. There is a way to track how close you are to having your number called so you don't have to wait at the Pilgrim Office. They know how many Compostelas they can process in a day and if it is really crowded like I am sure it will be in July they can close the office to newly arriving pilgrims very early in the afternoon. When I have arrived I have not had this issue as I walk late in the year and have been able to walk in and get my Compostela right away. So I don't really have first hand experience with this new system.
Either way I think you will probably not have an easier go of things and you will do alot more needless traveling breaking up the Camino like that. It is a long way from Arzua to Irun. I am sure it will be very close to a full day of travel.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I remember reading that there were not alot of places to stay and no albergues. If I am not mistaken it is two stages correct? They are both over 30k each is that right too. When I walked a friend of mine suggested I take it to avoid the crowds but I remember thinking the stages were way too long for me. But that is me. I heard it was pretty but I also heard that if it is rainy it is really muddy. Someone could clear that up if I am wrong about the mud. It is only what I "heard".
I walked that way last year, and stayed at a guest house called Twin Pines in As Calles. Rather than going entirely on the new route I cut through to A Brea and continued on the Frances to Lavacolla.

These stages were:
Sobrado Dos Monxes - As Calles 20.96 km
As Calles - Lavacolla 22.68 km
Lavacolla - Santiago 10.3 km

This variation is described on the Wisely app
 

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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
I walked that way last year, and stayed at a guest house called Twin Pines in As Calles. Rather than going entirely on the new route I cut through to A Brea and continued on the Frances to Lavacolla.

These stages were:
Sobrado Dos Monxes - As Calles 20.96 km
As Calles - Lavacolla 22.68 km
Lavacolla - Santiago 10.3 km

This variation is described on the Wisely app
Sounds like a really nice way to go.
Last year my second longest day was from O'Pedrouzo to Lavacolla. I think it was about 30k. The albergue in Lavacolla was really nice. Got up walked a while in the rain and had a coffee and walked into Santiago with a beautiful rainbow in front of me. Got to the Pilgrim office about 10AM. Got my Compostela in about 5 minutes. The most amazing thing was the gave me a coupon for the free Pilgrim Lunch at the Parador. When I asked the guy how is it possible you still have coupons at this hour he said almost everyone coming in that morning was from Korea and none of them wanted the coupon. Great for me!
 

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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Sounds like a really nice way to go.
Last year my second longest day was from O'Pedrouzo to Lavacolla
Sounds more like Ribadiso or Arzua to Lavacolla. It's only 10 km between Pedrouzo and Lavacolla. 😉
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Whoops I meant from Arzua!!! Thanks for always correcting my brain freezes. ;) When I got to O Pedrouzo I was trying to decide what to do. I was so engrossed in trying to decide that I had already walked out of town so off to Lavacolla I went! Even though it turned out to be a 30K day. Those last 10k are not too tough to walk.
 

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