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Live - Camino Francés How busy is your stage?

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LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I'm wondering if any other pilgrims walking now on the CF are finding problems with accommodation?

We have found ourselves grabbing the last 2 bunks three times since Burgos. Carrion was all booked last night and we had to book a hotel room. Today we tried to book ahead but they were full... We grabbed the last 2 beds in Ledigos. Is this just a bit of a bottle neck because of the bad weather? We didn't want to book ahead but wondering now if we should?

How is everyone else finding things?

Ps it's very sunny :cool:
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
Madrid (April '19)
I walked about six weeks later than you last year and didn't have any problem getting a bed until post-Sarria, so I'm surprised to hear that. Are you doing long stages and/or arriving late in the afternoon?
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
We are walking about 20- 25km average and arriving around 2ish. This is what I've walked before and I agree I would have expected it to be quieter at this time? Maybe everyone thought that too and started earlier? :)
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
Just arrived in Logroño and past stages had nearly full alburgues, but there has been a few top bunks left each night. Generally you can see less than a dozen other pilgrims on the trail in front and behind you - not sure if that’s busy or not for the CF.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
I'm staying off stages and places have been amazingly quiet. I started this past Thursday in Tardajos, only 2 of us in LaFabrica, which is a beautiful place with excellent food. Santa Brigida/Juan Ypres (now combined and also highly recommended, with great food) in Hontanas had a nice group but was not completo. There were 2 of us in a private albergue in Itero de la Vega last night, a few others in town. And now in Población, only 3 at LaFinca (gorgeous!) although a few more might have just checked in, and it's only 3 pm.

So again, it seems staying between stages and early arrival make the difference. I only reserved Hontanas, and that wasn't necessary.

The other pilgrim in Tardajos had been walking since St. Jean, staying off stage, and he told me not to bother reserving, based on his experience. The woman from last night had stayed at San Bol the night before, just walked in, no problem.

I'm finding the trails very quiet and peaceful, certainly compared to Oct. 2015. But we were walking Brierley stages then, as opposed to off-stage now. I hope you get out of the crowds soon, @LesBrass !
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
@Bala that's very encouraging. We caught the train to Leon today as we have limited time. We'll walk out tomorrow and stay between stages... Hoping for a quieter walk from now... It has certainly been busier for us than previous years... I do wonder if was just a wave/bubble... Thanks for giving us confidence for a quieter walk now :)

Have a great walk
 

MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
I'm wondering if any other pilgrims walking now on the CF are finding problems with accommodation?

We have found ourselves grabbing the last 2 bunks three times since Burgos. Carrion was all booked last night and we had to book a hotel room. Today we tried to book ahead but they were full... We grabbed the last 2 beds in Ledigos. Is this just a bit of a bottle neck because of the bad weather? We didn't want to book ahead but wondering now if we should?

How is everyone else finding things?

Ps it's very sunny :cool:
We threw in a short stage on our Camino last year to break out of the wave of pilgrims walking Brierley stages. Similar time of year. Had no problems after that.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
I'm wondering if any other pilgrims walking now on the CF are finding problems with accommodation?

We have found ourselves grabbing the last 2 bunks three times since Burgos. Carrion was all booked last night and we had to book a hotel room. Today we tried to book ahead but they were full... We grabbed the last 2 beds in Ledigos. Is this just a bit of a bottle neck because of the bad weather? We didn't want to book ahead but wondering now if we should?

How is everyone else finding things?

Ps it's very sunny :cool:
Definitely no problems from St Jean to Burgos. Two nights ago, the municipal in Burgos had loads of room left over
 

Aus_thomas

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF May 2018
When you talk about staying "off-stage" are you referring to staying in towns that are located in-between/outside of John Brierley's guide?
 

Rhysmike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Jean to Santiago (Apr to June 2014); St. Jean to Finisterre (Apr to May 2016); Via Francigena - Lausanne to Rome (Sep to October 2016)
I'm wondering if any other pilgrims walking now on the CF are finding problems with accommodation?

We have found ourselves grabbing the last 2 bunks three times since Burgos. Carrion was all booked last night and we had to book a hotel room. Today we tried to book ahead but they were full... We grabbed the last 2 beds in Ledigos. Is this just a bit of a bottle neck because of the bad weather? We didn't want to book ahead but wondering now if we should?

How is everyone else finding things?

Ps it's very sunny :cool:
We experienced a busy time around the May Day weekend previously but this seems too early for that.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
Walked Logroño to Santo Domingo today: plenty of pilgrims, but enough room in the alburgues for those seeking bunks. The only full alburgue last night was a heavily advertised one that you could pre-book - in short, prebooking WAS the problem, NOT the solution.

We have been stopping mid-day to picnic with wine and store-bought food, then taking a nap. Haven’t been without a bed yet when we finally wandered into town late afternoon. We ended up as the only two in the second dorm room at Las Penas (essentially a large private room!)

Leave the rat race to the rats - right now there are beds for all!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
We've moved away from the crowds. We met two other pilgrims today who did the same as us... They walked a couple of very long days to get ahead. I think maybe the bad weather created a bit of a bottleneck before Burgos. However, All is sunny from this side of Astorga... Buen Camino everyone
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
I'm staying off stages and places have been amazingly quiet. I started this past Thursday in Tardajos, only 2 of us in LaFabrica, which is a beautiful place with excellent food. Santa Brigida/Juan Ypres (now combined and also highly recommended, with great food) in Hontanas had a nice group but was not completo. There were 2 of us in a private albergue in Itero de la Vega last night, a few others in town. And now in Población, only 3 at LaFinca (gorgeous!) although a few more might have just checked in, and it's only 3 pm.
Brilliant and a lesson for all.
Avoid Brierley's stages at all cost.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
The early stages are busy, due to a local holiday and a couple of sporting events.

Roncesvalles filled up fast. Zubiri and Larasoanna were full last night with some people walking on to Pamplona.

But just a temporary wave I think.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
The early stages are busy, due to a local holiday and a couple of sporting events.

Roncesvalles filled up fast. Zubiri and Larasoanna were full last night with some people walking on to Pamplona.

But just a temporary wave I think.
Keep well and dry.
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
On the Frances, does your Start Day of the week correlate with crowd size you will likely travel with assuming you are doing "the stages" from the guide book? I did a quick search on hotel occupancy rates for different days of the week in SJPP and other cities along the route and could not find anything useful. My instincts say starting the Camino on a Saturday or Sunday would tend to be the busiest "start" days of the week as opposed to starting on a Tuesday or Wednesday. I do realize there are many variables that can change everything such as the injection of pilgrims at popular starting points including & between Roncevalles and Sarria, along with each walker not completing full stages and then falling off the prescribed start/stop points etc... But if you could pick any day of the week to start your Camino and your only goal in choosing the start day was to avoid crowds, what day(s) would you choose and why if you are choosing Fri, Sat, Sun or Mon since to me, the novice, who doesn't know what he doesn't know, can't understand why a weekend start would be preferable for avoiding crowds. I'm guessing even if there is an ideal day of the week to start, the benefits of that starting day will get diluted with time and eventually be gone completely. But will that happen by the 200Km, or 400Km or 800Km point on the Camino? Please weigh in also on the same question but starting from Sarria? Perhaps it is worth trying to manage my hike so I arrive in Sarria mid week as opposed to a weekend? I'm starting from SJPP Sunday, May 13 (assuming my travels are not effected by strikes) which I'm learning is already in the BUSY time of year...I was hoping I was going to be just before the BUSY season but my additional research, after booking flights, tells me otherwise...and it seems from my reading on this forum that spring 2018 is looking to be a busier year than expected.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
The early stages are busy, due to a local holiday and a couple of sporting events.

Roncesvalles filled up fast. Zubiri and Larasoanna were full last night with some people walking on to Pamplona.

But just a temporary wave I think.
That happened to us last year. We started the same weekend and had to walk Roncesvalles to almost Pamplona... 37km in a thunderstorm... But we slept well that night
 
Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Spring
Yesterday I finished my first Camino, the CF. Found the route and accommodations not very full. Local food and accommodation providers bitterly complaint that the Camino is very empty, less than half of the business than last year same time.
As the recipient of those services, that resulted in good and generous services.
The reasons given by the providers was that the CF has become too popular and Pilgrims choose other routes, and the bad April weather.
I only struggled twice to find instant accommodation - once during the Easter weekend (5min later I had a place to sleep) and now in Santiago (30min to find a central albergue)
I mostly stayed at albergues except a few times when I shared better accommodation with a friend. Including when I needed a rest day when I had a fall and hurt myself.
 

Aus_thomas

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF May 2018
Yesterday I finished my first Camino, the CF. Found the route and accommodations not very full. Local food and accommodation providers bitterly complaint that the Camino is very empty, less than half of the business than last year same time.
As the recipient of those services, that resulted in good and generous services.
The reasons given by the providers was that the CF has become too popular and Pilgrims choose other routes, and the bad April weather.
I only struggled twice to find instant accommodation - once during the Easter weekend (5min later I had a place to sleep) and now in Santiago (30min to find a central albergue)
I mostly stayed at albergues except a few times when I shared better accommodation with a friend. Including when I needed a rest day when I had a fall and hurt myself.
Thanks for the update Peter. It’s definately interesting to see all the different information on here about how busy it is/isn’t.

I suppose there’s only one real way to find out!
 

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