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2019 Camino Guides

How crowded is it.

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#1
Hi pilgrims on the Frances.
I am walking the Norte now. When I get home I will be giving a little presentation to a few people I know who will walk part of one Camino next September. This is my 4th Camino. This one has replaced Le Puy as the hardest bit it is beautiful. I have met 3 people (today is my 5th day walking) who left the Frances because they said it was crazy busy, loud and with many partying and heavy drinking people. I have to say I walked the Frances 2 times and the second one in 2014 I found it to be too busy but did not experience anything like what these people have said. I also realize that many people who walk the Norte or VDLP, as examples do so because they line more solitude. So their tolerance level for noise and crowds
Is probably a lot lower. It is for me. My friends are in their 40’s and I believe they would benefit from the additional services and more choices of accommodations, and restaurants etc. So is the CF as crowded as they say. One of them started 3 weeks ago. He told me 700 people left SJPP the day he ser out. Are these all just wild exaggerations or are they close to correct? Thanks,
Just want to give them a good idea of CF.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#2
@lt56ny, I walked the Le Puy route this past June and thought it was more difficult than the Norte, which I did in 2016. Maybe our memories get a little foggy as time goes by and we don't recall quite how hard those trails are! :)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#3
So is the CF as crowded as they say. One of them started 3 weeks ago. He told me 700 people left SJPP the day he set out. Are these all just wild exaggerations or are they close to correct?
There are no absolutes. Three weeks ago was September, and it is one of the two busiest months out of SJPdP.

Arrivals this last week in Santiago averaged almost 2,000 per day. Pamplona is having a secondary San Fermin festival this weekend, and is swamped.

It depends exactly where and when. Other pilgrims report no crowding, and no reservations required. Others are reporting that hoteles are fully booked.

Like the weather, it is what it is...
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#4
There are no absolutes. Three weeks ago was September, and it is one of the two busiest months out of SJPdP.

Arrivals this last week in Santiago averaged almost 2,000 per day. Pamplona is having a secondary San Fermin festival this weekend, and is swamped.

It depends exactly where and when. Other pilgrims report no crowding, and no reservations required. Others are reporting that hoteles are fully booked.

Like the weather, it is what it is...
Thanks I know it is hard to say absolutes just trying to get an idea. 2,000 a day WOW!
 

rhbear

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago (Sept-Oct 2017)
Pamplona-Burgos (Feb-Mar 2018)
Porto-Santiago (May2018)
#5
On the Frances right now.

Logrono not a room found for less than 200 euros last night (mostly due to the San Mateo Wine Harvest festival which ends tonight )
Navarrete tonight all hostels and hotels booked for the night. Had to take a bus to Fuentemayor to stay in an Airbnb for the night.
Ventosa tonight all booked.
Najera had to book private 2 days in advance.

This is my 4th Camino in 12 months ( 1st Sep-Oct 2017 busy but always found a bed, 2nd Feb-Mar 2018 always a municipal open with beds, 3rd Portuguese June 2018 busy but not overly crowded ) and the race for beds and the need to book 2-3-4 days in advance is ridiculous.

I think October is the best time to start the Frances to still have nice weather and lots of choices of accommodation.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#6
@lt56ny, I walked the Le Puy route this past June and thought it was more difficult than the Norte, which I did in 2016. Maybe our memories get a little foggy as time goes by and we don't recall quite how hard those trails are! :)
I was thinking the same thing as I walked Le Puy in 2014. Then I thought, man this ain’t easy!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#7
Is busy, maybe the busiest September yet. Roncesvalles was full last couple of nights including the three hotels and they were filling taxis to take pilgrims further on. Not full tonight, but was in Zubiri early afternoon and was told all refugios were full.
So, yes, it is really busy. Roncesvalles full means just over 200 beds filled, including the hotels. Dont know anything about drunken partying though..
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#8
Starting from Pamplona on Wednesday. Hope things have calmed down by then...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances planned for October 3-mid November (2018)
#9
Starting from Pamplona on Wednesday. Hope things have calmed down by then...
Please let us know! I'm little over week behind you!

When I first joined the forum, I was told that they just hadn't released the beds yet as several of my first choices in Pamplona were booked. Now, I think, October may be quite busy, too. I will adjust and plan ahead if I must...

One of the things I was looking forward to the most was relieving myself of this constant need for "false" illusion for the control of my future and to let things just happen. Maybe it won't be time for this lesson quite yet?
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
#10
Please let us know! I'm little over week behind you!

When I first joined the forum, I was told that they just hadn't released the beds yet as several of my first choices in Pamplona were booked. Now, I think, October may be quite busy, too. I will adjust and plan ahead if I must...

One of the things I was looking forward to the most was relieving myself of this constant need for "false" illusion for the control of my future and to let things just happen. Maybe it won't be time for this lesson quite yet?
Relax. Start early, walk in peace, and find a place before 2.00 PM. Idiots walk late. They are the bed racers. Enjoy the villages in the afternoon, make food in the albergue kitchens with new friends. Enjoy.

And we are soon in October: The "wave" is ahead of us. Relax.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hice el camino francés hace 20 años (1999). Ahora quiero cruzar el del norte. (2019)
#11
@lt56ny, I walked the Le Puy route this past June and thought it was more difficult than the Norte, which I did in 2016. Maybe our memories get a little foggy as time goes by and we don't recall quite how hard those trails are! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Hice el camino francés hace 20 años (1999). Ahora quiero cruzar el del norte. (2019)
#13
Chris, what is the availability of refugios or albergues on the Norte? I'm very put off by too many 'pilgrims' on the francés which used to be ideal. Are there numerous albergues and do the ´bares, offer ´menu paregrino´ on the Norte? Trying to plan carefully for April '19.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#14
Chris, what is the availability of refugios or albergues on the Norte? I'm very put off by too many 'pilgrims' on the francés which used to be ideal. Are there numerous albergues and do the ´bares, offer ´menu paregrino´ on the Norte? Trying to plan carefully for April '19.
I walked mid April 2016 and did not have any issues finding a bed. Infrastructure is not as good as the Frances, but was adequate at the time. It does seem that each year the Norte is getting more popular from posts on the forum. I'm sure @peregrina2000 can shed more light on this. She walked it a year later and is very thorough in her notes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
#15
I have 2 friends walking Frances now. At Belorado they phoned 24 hrs ahead to book at Atapuerca and no beds available so they had a short day and stayed at Villafranca and tried to book again at 24 hrs notice at Atapuerca but no beds available, so they left Villafranca at 4.30am and hiked straight through to Atapuerca and found beds. Next day they walked through to Burgos arriving at the Municipal at 11.45 and there were already 8 packs lined up on the wall leading to the entry door. This was last weekend. Now they are booking 2 days ahead. It's crazy and no way for a pilgrim.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#16
This week roncesvalles has been much quieter, that block of days of large numbers from roncesvalles filling roncesvalles by 4 or 5pm have all moved down camino and spread out now. Two days ago i checked ttwo refugios and each had only four pilgrims. I think the day stage stops are more busy than in between.
A thing i have noticed is that there are quite a few coaches going ahead and unloading a coach load of luggage at the main refugios, so many organised tours, many more than i have seen before.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#17
Relax. Start early, walk in peace, and find a place before 2.00 PM. Idiots walk late. They are the bed racers. Enjoy the villages in the afternoon, make food in the albergue kitchens with new friends. Enjoy.
I will confess to being one of your idiots. I like to walk "late". I am one of those peculiar people who walk the Caminos because they actually like to walk. So I really resent the pressure to end my walking day prematurely in early afternoon because of bed shortages (or at least the fear of them). On my first Camino Frances I would take a long lunch break then walk on till 5pm or 6pm most days and never had any problems with accommodation. I do not see the point of walking in the dark and so I do not join the crowds setting off with headtorches before dawn. Instead I walk the quieter Caminos in off-seasons where I can walk the way which suits me without any need to race anyone.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#18
On the Frances right now.

Logrono not a room found for less than 200 euros last night (mostly due to the San Mateo Wine Harvest festival which ends tonight )
Navarrete tonight all hostels and hotels booked for the night. Had to take a bus to Fuentemayor to stay in an Airbnb for the night.
Ventosa tonight all booked.
Najera had to book private 2 days in advance.

This is my 4th Camino in 12 months ( 1st Sep-Oct 2017 busy but always found a bed, 2nd Feb-Mar 2018 always a municipal open with beds, 3rd Portuguese June 2018 busy but not overly crowded ) and the race for beds and the need to book 2-3-4 days in advance is ridiculous.

I think October is the best time to start the Frances to still have nice weather and lots of choices of accommodation.

I think the combination of the numbers starting the Camino in September from St. Jean...and then the festivals in Pamplona and Longrono really put a strain on accommodations in September. As I have stated before, in 2015, we tried to book reservations in advance for that Sept.... in July, two months before, we could not find private reservations in some towns. Things thinned out after Burgos but again, the last Section from Sarria on, we had difficulty getting reservations at Brierley’s major towns.

We started athe last week in February on the CF in February. It was quite calm. Weather was horrendous, however...snow, cold, high winds and when not snowing..,raining. I prefer, bad weather to bad behavior!!

We are starting the Camino on October 3rd. Arriving St Jean on evening of Oct 1st. Hopefully the traffic will thin out...but I know that first few days are full in private lodgings already!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#19
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#21
Please clarify and explain to me what a “true pilgrim” is?
PLEASE DON'T. o_O:cool:

Some people's ideas of the "must do's" is starting early. Other people's ideas is not booking ahead. Others will never carry a smartphone. I guess they all think they found the holy grail of pilgrimage and just want others to see the light, too, and that's why they urge them to follow suit. Some people's idea of freedom and serenity is leaving before sunrise and ending the walking day shortly after midday while other people would be reluctant to change their "nine-to-five" straightjacket for a "six-to-two" straightjacket.

More to the point, as others have said, it does not make much sense to say that an 800 km trail is busy at a certain time. It can be busy at one end or at the other end but not at both ends or not in the middle; it depends on the season, the holidays, the weather, the distance to major towns.

In any case, there are not 2000 walkers per day at every point of the Camino Frances. That number refers to all "caminos" reaching SdC. The daily figures for certain sections of the CF rarely reaches 500 walkers. And you never see them all at once. They are, however, often in their hundreds. So no matter whether you booked ahead, never booked ahead, or were just lucky in the past ... not all of them can find a bed in say Atapuerca.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#22
I have 2 friends walking Frances now. At Belorado they phoned 24 hrs ahead to book at Atapuerca and no beds available so they had a short day and stayed at Villafranca and tried to book again at 24 hrs notice at Atapuerca but no beds available, so they left Villafranca at 4.30am and hiked straight through to Atapuerca and found beds. [...] Now they are booking 2 days ahead. It's crazy and no way for a true pilgrim.
The sun rises at 8 am at the moment. They walked two and a half hours in the dark through the Montes de Oca area without seeing a thing? Or in San Juan de Ortega? Poor things ...
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#23
The daily figures for certain sections of the CF rarely reaches 500 walkers.
I know that you meant that to be reassuring @Kathar1na but the idea of 500+ people walking just one single daily stage of just one of the Caminos makes my blood run cold! In the year of my first Camino there were just under 5,000 Compostelas issued in the entire year. I think that for most of us our first Camino sets the benchmark by which future walks are judged. I fell in love with the Camino on that first journey and one of the most important elements of that experience was the joy of solitude and having the vastness of spaces like the meseta to myself. A very selfish pleasure. I still love the Caminos but I do not love the crowds. Luckily there are still routes and times where it is possible to recapture some of that experience. But the Camino Frances in September is not amongst them :)
 

BiggBlue

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPP to Molinesca September 2107
April 2018 Ponferaddo to SDC
Oct 2018 Porto to SDC
#24
I started the CF last September setting off from SJPP on the 13th, some mornings when I set off it was like being in a sponsored walk :)) there appeared to be so many people at times. Only had two occasions when the albergues were full, and then I was lucky to find a place nearby. Equally, I met pilgrims who had to walk an additional 15km at the end of their planned hike for the day, to find a bed. The early morning risers were up and off by 0530 and they were definitely 'racing for a bed'. Later on, I discovered a lot of people booked in advance which accounted for places telling pilgrims they were full.

Due to shin splints I pulled out 70km short of Leon, then returned in April of this year to finish, the weather was a little cloudier and more light rain. But often I would be one of only two or three people in the albergues, often saw only a few people during the day so the contrast was extraordinary. I would suggest a mid-April departure, which I think will be a much quieter time of the year to do it. But, I soon discovered I missed spending time talking and eating fellow pilgrims, September I think can be a bit of a 'crazy race', so if you enjoy a more relaxing and peaceful Camino, it is best avoided.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#25
So is the CF as crowded as they say. One of them started 3 weeks ago. He told me 700 people left SJPP the day he ser out. Are these all just wild exaggerations or are they close to correct? Thanks, Just want to give them a good idea of CF.
I'm a bit skeptical of this number. The Pilgrim's Office in SJPP posted 3 weeks ago, at the beginning of September, that the train from Bayonne to St Jean Pied de Port is basically full everyday and transports 350 to 400 pilgrims daily. Obviously, others arrive by bus and taxi but I don't think that doubles the number. The first weeks of May and September are the busiest weeks for the SJPP-Roncesvalles section.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
#26
@lt56ny, I walked the Le Puy route this past June and thought it was more difficult than the Norte, which I did in 2016. Maybe our memories get a little foggy as time goes by and we don't recall quite how hard those trails are! :)
@Camino Chris and @lt56ny , we're currently on the Norte, and finished the Le Puy route only a month ago.
I had a chat with my wife, and we reckon both Caminos are similar in difficulty, with one advantage of the Le Puy over the Norte: the Le Puy has less road walking.
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Possibly Camino de Santiago or Camino Frances (Sept. 18)
#27
We began Sept 5th and were among a wave of pilgrims who began walking from St Jean we weee warned to book one nite in advance and glad we did as our first two stages heard reports of no rooms. In Zubiri townspeople weee being asked if they could accommodate pilgrims. Due to illness we ended in Pamplona. We began tourist for the last week longing to get back on the Camino!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 13, 2015
#28
This week roncesvalles has been much quieter, that block of days of large numbers from roncesvalles filling roncesvalles by 4 or 5pm have all moved down camino and spread out now. Two days ago i checked ttwo refugios and each had only four pilgrims. I think the day stage stops are more busy than in between.
A thing i have noticed is that there are quite a few coaches going ahead and unloading a coach load of luggage at the main refugios, so many organised tours, many more than i have seen before.
David, the number of coaches is crazy. The number of pilgrims is also quite high. I walked in 2015 and my husband walked in 2016 never having to reserve a room. We are walking together and right now we are in Astorga. We have been staying off stage (mostly) and booking every night ahead by about 2 days. León was full with the only rooms left greater than 190 euro/night. I have talked to numerous pilgrims who have also said how they’re booking ahead.

As for the busses, I never saw this many tourigrinos. When we were in Terradillos, a bus group reserved the entire Los Templarios albergue. We had reservations at Jacques de Molay and they turned so many away. I don’t agree with these tours taking the beds in albergues when people walking everyday are tired and can’t find a bed.

There was a tour bus at the Alto Perdon that left a member because he had gone over the top to take pictures. When he came back, the bus started driving off and left him. He was a 72 yr old American who had to walk down that steep and rocky path. We found him about 1/3 of the way and he had fallen. I’m a nurse and triaged him and cleaned up his wounds. He was on a blood thinner and kept bleeding from his cuts. My husband and I got him down the hill and an ambulance met us at the first available point.

Unfortunately, I only see the tourist and bus numbers increasing. I’ve seen busses where I never thought I’d see them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#29
Numbers update. Is Saturday and i parked at Alte de Erro before dawn so i could see every pilgrim for the first aid thing. Would see all from roncesvalles and also the villages just after.
First ever I decided to count them.

When I left at 15:30 to take an injured pilgrim to Zubiri I had counted 328 pilgrims!

328 pilgrims at the end of september, cripes!!!!!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#30
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#31
It's strange - I too was scared of the reports of crowds - we are now 2 days off Santiago, and we still have to meet those hordes of people. I'm sure they are somewhere but we seem to walk in between the cracks, and havedo e long stretches without seeing another soul. We started the aragones from 17 aug and then joined at puente la reina on the Frances. All accomodation providers told us September was quieter this year than last. We take alternative routes wherever we can (thank you brierley), we generally don't do the recommended stages but stay in smaller places, but yes we do mainly book private accomodation - one or two nights ahead (and three after sarria) Weekend bookings in popular places were harder to secure and we had to adjust a little. Since sarria we do see usually pilgrims some distance in front or behind us, but lose half of them whenever there is a bar! If something irritates me (b.o or clicking poles I just stop for a while to let it pass). We may just have had very good fortune, but I felt like sharing this to balance things out a bit.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#33
Numbers update. Is Saturday and i parked at Alte de Erro before dawn so i could see every pilgrim for the first aid thing. Would see all from roncesvalles and also the villages just after.
First ever I decided to count them.

When I left at 15:30 to take an injured pilgrim to Zubiri I had counted 328 pilgrims!

328 pilgrims at the end of september, cripes!!!!!
I liked ‘cripes’. Haven’t seen or heard that in years! And those figures match what I have heard over the last few years of numbers walking daily from Roncesvalles...
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#35
Carry a tent. Why pay €190 for a room when you can camp for free? Even if an albergue is full, they may let you camp in the grounds.
??? 190 euro? More like 30 to 40 max for two people? Booking.com and onlypilgrims. Unless you book through a tour group of course...
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#36
@Camino Chris and @lt56ny , we're currently on the Norte, and finished the Le Puy route only a month ago.
I had a chat with my wife, and we reckon both Caminos are similar in difficulty, with one advantage of the Le Puy over the Norte: the Le Puy has less road walking.
Buen Camino
Good to know. Le Puy was hard. The hills really slowed me down.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
#37
I am writing about my post above regarding crowds on the Frances, in which I used the words 'true pilgrim'.
I have offended some of you by this term and I wish to apologize. I used the word very loosely and I firmly believe that everyone travels the camino for their own private reasons and who am I, or anyone else, to judge.
I am in daily contact with my friends who are walking the camino now and they also found no affordable beds in Leon and had to walk on to La Virgen del Camino. It seems reasonable to assume that there was a 'block' of people starting from St Jean at the beginning of September. I have walked the Frances 3 times between 2010 and 2015 starting at the middle of September and chose never to book a bed, and I never started walking until daylight, and have always been able to get a bed, usually at the albergue of my choice. Admittedly I don't do 30km days
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte Sept 2013
Camino del Norte Sept 2014
Camino del Norte 2015,16,17,18
#39
Just completed el Norte on 22/09. What a beautiful experience. Paid 20 Euros for a Hostal room in Ribadeo. After this I was in all municipal or donativo hostals on the last section of el Norte , generally 6 Euros a night. Managed to get into municipal Albergues in Arzua and Pedrouzo arriving about 3.00 p.m.It was more crowded as we neared Santiago but not intolerable. Had booked in advance for Santiago. Hope this helps
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#40
??? 190 euro? More like 30 to 40 max for two people? Booking.com and onlypilgrims. Unless you book through a tour group of course...
If you scroll back just a little, you will see that the price of 190 € for a hotel room refers to Leon where rooms were hard to get due to the San Froilan festival which is currently ongoing. It's the kind of situation and prices you may be confronted with, especially at weekends, when you arrive in Pamplona during the San Fermín festival, in Logroño during San Mateo, in Burgos towards the end of the Semana Santa ... camino pilgrims are hugely outnumbered by the other visitors to these towns at these times and hotel room prices may be higher than usual.
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#41
Very humorous that people complaining about crowds rarely acknowledge they are part of this "problem"
Some of us do - and for our own self-interest as much as out the kindness of our hearts we try to spread the load a little by walking other routes or quiet times. I think there is a particularly nasty vicious circle at work just now though. Walking the Camino is very much "flavour of the month": loads of tv programmes, films, magazine articles, books, newspapers' "10 best cheap holidays" lists, package tour operators and the rest. At one time walking the Caminos was an highly eccentric and esoteric business for a pretty small number of people with an pre-existing interest in religion or long-distance walking. The rest of the world didn't hear about it and frankly couldn't care less :) The Camino Frances has existed in its modern form as a waymarked route with maps and a guidebook and pilgrim accommodation for more than 30 years. But when did you first hear about it - and how? More people than ever today hear about the Caminos in mainstream media - so more people chose to walk - and then even more people blog about it and yet more tv programmes and magazine articles and holiday adverts appear.......
 
Camino(s) past & future
2035 km of the way to Saint James in Galicia done.
#42
328 pilgrims at the end of september, cripes!!!!!
So 328 pilgrims is the number of pilgrims counted by @David on a single day of this last week of September at the beginning of the Camino Frances near Roncesvalles.

And at the other end in Santiago, the Pilgrims Office counted 1917 arrivals yesterday (29 Sep 2018). Based on the usual proportions, about 60% of them - 1200 pilgrims - came in from the Camino Frances. Add to this the number of those pilgrims who did not collect a stamp or Compostela at the Office.
 

BobY333

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
#43
Hi pilgrims on the Frances.
I am walking the Norte now. When I get home I will be giving a little presentation to a few people I know who will walk part of one Camino next September. This is my 4th Camino. This one has replaced Le Puy as the hardest bit it is beautiful. I have met 3 people (today is my 5th day walking) who left the Frances because they said it was crazy busy, loud and with many partying and heavy drinking people. I have to say I walked the Frances 2 times and the second one in 2014 I found it to be too busy but did not experience anything like what these people have said. I also realize that many people who walk the Norte or VDLP, as examples do so because they line more solitude. So their tolerance level for noise and crowds
Is probably a lot lower. It is for me. My friends are in their 40’s and I believe they would benefit from the additional services and more choices of accommodations, and restaurants etc. So is the CF as crowded as they say. One of them started 3 weeks ago. He told me 700 people left SJPP the day he ser out. Are these all just wild exaggerations or are they close to correct? Thanks,
Just want to give them a good idea of CF.
We started from SJPdP on Sept 14 (and are now in Lédigos). When we checked in at the pilgrims’ office, I got chatting with one of the volunteers. She showed me the daily tally sheets - so this is first hand :) In July and August, the daily departures were all in the 200s. In September, every day was in the mid 300s. September 13, however, was about 450!
We had pre-booked SJPdP, Orisson, and Roncesvalles. I’m glad we did. We skipped Zubiri, having heard it was completo, and walked to Larrasoaña as a group of 5. The municipal was available, but we went to Albergue San Nicolas, and Luis the owner was great at accommodating us all (we arrived around 3pm). After that we have booked ahead by one day most days. The only day we couldn’t was Los Arcos which was completo...so we unfortunately did the bed race to the so-so municipal. There were beds available until about 6pm. Logroño was expensive because it was Friday of San Marcos, but we know others that got into the municipal without issue. Since then, we’ve had no issue with the first place we’ve called each day. Today we walked with a group of 5 young women who have stayed in municipal each night without issue. So, it seems to generally be ok out here, but can feel crowded on the path at times. Enjoy! Buen Camino!
 

DonnaS18

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept (2018)
#44
Hi pilgrims on the Frances.
I am walking the Norte now. When I get home I will be giving a little presentation to a few people I know who will walk part of one Camino next September. This is my 4th Camino. This one has replaced Le Puy as the hardest bit it is beautiful. I have met 3 people (today is my 5th day walking) who left the Frances because they said it was crazy busy, loud and with many partying and heavy drinking people. I have to say I walked the Frances 2 times and the second one in 2014 I found it to be too busy but did not experience anything like what these people have said. I also realize that many people who walk the Norte or VDLP, as examples do so because they line more solitude. So their tolerance level for noise and crowds
Is probably a lot lower. It is for me. My friends are in their 40’s and I believe they would benefit from the additional services and more choices of accommodations, and restaurants etc. So is the CF as crowded as they say. One of them started 3 weeks ago. He told me 700 people left SJPP the day he ser out. Are these all just wild exaggerations or are they close to correct? Thanks,
Just want to give them a good idea of CF.
Wild exaggerations. I’m near tge end now -20k in Ponderosa where 3 Caminos have joined, and while it’s busy on the 30 Sept I’d say those figs are wild exaggerations.
 

DonnaS18

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept (2018)
#45
Hi pilgrims on the Frances.
I am walking the Norte now. When I get home I will be giving a little presentation to a few people I know who will walk part of one Camino next September. This is my 4th Camino. This one has replaced Le Puy as the hardest bit it is beautiful. I have met 3 people (today is my 5th day walking) who left the Frances because they said it was crazy busy, loud and with many partying and heavy drinking people. I have to say I walked the Frances 2 times and the second one in 2014 I found it to be too busy but did not experience anything like what these people have said. I also realize that many people who walk the Norte or VDLP, as examples do so because they line more solitude. So their tolerance level for noise and crowds
Is probably a lot lower. It is for me. My friends are in their 40’s and I believe they would benefit from the additional services and more choices of accommodations, and restaurants etc. So is the CF as crowded as they say. One of them started 3 weeks ago. He told me 700 people left SJPP the day he ser out. Are these all just wild exaggerations or are they close to correct? Thanks,
Just want to give them a good idea of CF.
Wild exaggerations. I’m near tge
Please let us know! I'm little over week behind you!

When I first joined the forum, I was told that they just hadn't released the beds yet as several of my first choices in Pamplona were booked. Now, I think, October may be quite busy, too. I will adjust and plan ahead if I must...

One of the things I was looking forward to the most was relieving myself of this constant need for "false" illusion for the control of my future and to let things just happen. Maybe it won't be time for this lesson quite yet?[/QUOTE
As long as you are prepared to stay in Alburgues public or private you shouldn’t have a problem. Get into towns by 2pm.
 

Alta rose

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2018)
#46
I have 2 friends walking Frances now. At Belorado they phoned 24 hrs ahead to book at Atapuerca and no beds available so they had a short day and stayed at Villafranca and tried to book again at 24 hrs notice at Atapuerca but no beds available, so they left Villafranca at 4.30am and hiked straight through to Atapuerca and found beds. Next day they walked through to Burgos arriving at the Municipal at 11.45 and there were already 8 packs lined up on the wall leading to the entry door. This was last weekend. Now they are booking 2 days ahead. It's crazy and no way for a pilgrim.
Currently in Pablacion de Campos and have only had an issue at Logrono/Navarette second last night of festival plus large but beautiful wedding in Navarette. Come, enjoy, slow down if there are loud pilgrims walking near you, be gracious and let the Camino provide. Stay in the smaller towns before or after the larger ones shown as STAGES in guide books. Walk your Camino not someone else's. I have not booked ahead once and have always had a bed.
 


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