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How will you handle this?


Active Member
When arriving at your destination of the day will you just go to the first refuge, ask if they've still got a free bed and then either stay or, if already full, go to the next one? Until you find a place to sleep?

Or how do you imagine this 'process'?



Hi Jerome,

I was so full of never-ending questions about the experience prior to my first Camino, that when I returned home and knew what it was about, I felt I must have driven many a good, well intentioned, forum participant, crazy with them. At the time I was participating in three, Spanish language, Santiago-related forums. As it turned out, I didn't. Through the years I've met/become friends with many of them, and, affectionately/jokingly/seriously, they assured me that my inquiries made them feel great, that they showed a genuine interest in hearing about their experiences and suggestions, as well as providing them with a way of "giving back" a little of how they felt their lives had become enriched as a result of their Caminos.

(BTW, my case was one of total, absolutely total, insecurities, about the Camino. There has never been nor will there ever be an extreme case such as mine).

Also, they/I/we/you/all of us, were/are, here/there, precisely because we want the dialogue/exchange/give & receive support, regarding this all consuming passion that we share, the Road(s) to St James.

Why do I mention this? :lol:

Because you remind me of me, then :!:

And I say this affectionately, and with respect.

I would say that the process u briefly explained is pretty much it.

U may/may not have to go on to a next albergue some 10-15 miles away, if there r no empty beds. There may/may not, be, other types of accomodation in the same area.

Except but for one time, I've always been able to find a bed, or a space on the floor, of an albergue, where I could spend the night.

I do know of people that have had to walk on to "the next albergue" , or come back. Like the pilgrim that had to return from Orisson to Honto on the SJPDP-RONCESVALLES portion because he was told they were full and had no place for him.

I have always found at least a space on the floor in public albergues. The private ones are another matter.

The thing is that, if u worry too much about getting to an albergue on time in order to get a bed, it's like putting "a dent" on ur camino experience. The thought can become an obsession, been there/done that. Don't let it. Plan ur walk preferably the night before, as best as you can. Keep hours, distances, etc., in mind, as u do. Then enjoy.

Keep 'em questions coming, pilgrim.


xm 8)

PS: :


Hi xm,
You again with your useful advice. Its hard for us knewcomers not to worry. I've just heard of sombody bringing gaters now that they have heard of the mud. I've no room for anything else.
Buen Camino Jerome. When are you going. I leave from Somport on 23rd.
Un saludo,


New Member

I am from California and always hike with gaters (when I can remember). Not so much for the mud, but on dry dusty trails they keep sand and gravel from getting inside your shoes - especially if you wear modern low-cut hiking boots. On a long hike it can be very annoying to have to stop often to dump out the gravel. I will definitely take them on the Camino.


Not trying to be a smart ass - but it's GAITERS not GATERS.

The latter might (not on the Camino, though) bite you in the ass - sorry: bum ...


Active Member
xm: Thanks for your answer! And personally I'm trying to balance between planning at least a little and letting it just come ... ;) I don't want to be too naive either and a little information doesn't hurt, hehe. But I'm not really worried since I'll bring a carry-mat, so I'm able to sleep nearly anywhere.

eleanor: I'll be leaving SJPDP on May 18th. Hasta la vista!

rick: Gaiters seem useful but aren't they also quite heavy? I'll have to check in a store. Though I didn't really need them on my 'test runs' ... but on the other hand I'd kick my behind should I have to empty my boots every 3m on the camino ;)


Active Member
xm: well, they're probably not called that way in English then, hehe. I meant those lightweight, self-inflatable 'mattresses' that you can make really small and carry around with you. In the past you had these harder, 'foam-plastic' ones ... I hated those when I was in the boyscouts, lol. It was like just lying on the floor.


Ah, yes, Jerome, I know what ur talking about. But why not just take a micro-sleeping bag? I love the ones that when u pack them up are light and fit in the palm of ur hand. In many of the albergues they will supply u with a thin mat, so that u can put ur sleeping bag on it. Best, xm 8)


Active Member
xm: because I prefer to have an inch of air between my body and the hard floor/mat ;)

It's so much more comfortable. And a good sleep is important! At least for me :)


xm said:
Jerome, what's a carry-mat? Best, xm 8)
They are called "Camp Rest" (smaller, less weight) or "Therm A Rest" (bit bigger, thicker, more weight), self inflating matrasses. They still take quite a bit of room in or on your backpack - and weight: at least 1½kg (Camp Rest). I own a Therm A Rest and wouldn't go near a tent without it. But - if on my way with a tent - I ride a biiig motorbike, no weight problems then...

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