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Lodging reservations needed on Camino Frances?

2020 Camino Guides

lajolla pilgrim

First time walkers!
Camino(s) past & future
2017
My husband and I will be walking the first part of the Camino Frances starting in late April 2017 from St. Jean. We plan to stop overnight in Valcarlos, Roncevalles, Viskarret, Zubiri, Zurian and Pamplona. May continue to other towns for a few more days. We have a reservation for our first night in St Jean, but haven't booked any lodging after that. With are trip less than 2 weeks away, we are starting to get nervous about not having reservations. Advice PLEASE! Would it be a good idea to make some more reservations, or just go with the flow?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (2020)
I think you will be relatively safe not booking. However, be prepared with a strategy should you find there is no bed. The simplest is to keep walking, but there may be other options like hostels and hotels, taking a taxi to a larger town and coming back the next day, or finding a place off the main path.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
My husband and I will be walking the first part of the Camino Frances starting in late April 2017 from St. Jean. We plan to stop overnight in Valcarlos, Roncevalles, Viskarret, Zubiri, Zurian and Pamplona. May continue to other towns for a few more days. We have a reservation for our first night in St Jean, but haven't booked any lodging after that. With are trip less than 2 weeks away, we are starting to get nervous about not having reservations. Advice PLEASE! Would it be a good idea to make some more reservations, or just go with the flow?
Go with the flow.
 

Older Guy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis -May 2016 by bike---Loved it
My husband and I will be walking the first part of the Camino Frances starting in late April 2017 from St. Jean. We plan to stop overnight in Valcarlos, Roncevalles, Viskarret, Zubiri, Zurian and Pamplona. May continue to other towns for a few more days. We have a reservation for our first night in St Jean, but haven't booked any lodging after that. With are trip less than 2 weeks away, we are starting to get nervous about not having reservations. Advice PLEASE! Would it be a good idea to make some more reservations, or just go with the flow?
As they say the Camino will provide. You have to at some point give up on trying to control your Camino experience and just accept that you are a pilgrim, one of millions that has taken the same route over the centuries and the infrastructure is there to take care of you. Nothing that happens to you has not happened dozens of times in the past 2 years. The people make their living and careers helping pilgrims get through their Camino experience.

Now as to reservations, I would say that there are basically three reasons for reservations.

(1) There is a festival in the town you want to stay at and without reservations you will probably not be able to find a place to stay. Tourist information in other towns should be able to warn you about that in advance. Also the internet has lists of festivals.

(2) It is you first couple days of your Camino and you need to get over jet-lag or you have decided you will really force yourself to go short distances until you get you legs stronger.

(3) You intend to send your luggage ahead, so you need to tell them where you are staying so your bags will arrive there for you. This is important for those days that you aren't feeling strong or that there is an extreme elevation gain, which would tax your strength too much if you carried your full pack. It can always be done at the last minute or the night before, so no real advance planning is required.

Good luck and enjoy!
 

DJ King

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May-June (2016)
I know there will be another in the not too distant future!
My husband and I will be walking the first part of the Camino Frances starting in late April 2017 from St. Jean. We plan to stop overnight in Valcarlos, Roncevalles, Viskarret, Zubiri, Zurian and Pamplona. May continue to other towns for a few more days. We have a reservation for our first night in St Jean, but haven't booked any lodging after that. With are trip less than 2 weeks away, we are starting to get nervous about not having reservations. Advice PLEASE! Would it be a good idea to make some more reservations, or just go with the flow?
For me, a lot of the experience was being able to be spontaneous. To go as far as I wanted or needed to go. To stop when something felt right (or when I was too tired to go on). If you book, you can't do that. Also, if the distances you choose are too far apart, you will push yourselves to go too far or too fast, which is a sure way to get injured. I'm assuming with a handle of "La Jolla Pilgrim" that you live in La Jolla, CA? If so, would love to connect with you before you go and help in any way I can. One of the major joys I get post-Camino is reliving it through mentoring other pilgrims.
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
Go with the flow. The camino will provide in ways you can't imagine. On my first camino in 2012 my friend and I arrived in Zubiri to find that all the beds were taken. I was exhausted and unable to walk any farther. My friend went back to the first Pension before the bridge into town and the owner called a hotel that was about 1 km away. The owner of the hotel drove over and picked us up and showed us to our rooms. He told us to have a nap and then check in when we were rested. We were so thankful for all the help we received. It was a new experience to let go and be vulnerable. The Spanish people are so caring and helpful and the pilgrims help one another as well. (But you may want to book the May long weekend - depending on where you will be Friday March 28);) Buen Camino!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I think people are right - it is not a matter of "everything will be roses" because things do go wrong. But have faith in your own ability to cope with the unexpected, to be flexible and to find solutions, sometimes very creative ones. That is one of the greatest gifts of the camino. We live in such a rule-bound, goal oriented, everything planned and detailed down to the last inch, type of society that we are scared to step out into the unknown. But when we do, and we cope, and in fact often do brilliantly, wow! How good does that feel.
 

movinmaggie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015) Scotland GGW (2017) Primitivo
My husband and I will be walking the first part of the Camino Frances starting in late April 2017 from St. Jean. We plan to stop overnight in Valcarlos, Roncevalles, Viskarret, Zubiri, Zurian and Pamplona. May continue to other towns for a few more days. We have a reservation for our first night in St Jean, but haven't booked any lodging after that. With are trip less than 2 weeks away, we are starting to get nervous about not having reservations. Advice PLEASE! Would it be a good idea to make some more reservations, or just go with the flow?
Your body will likely signal when it's time to rest for the day so be careful not to plan too tightly, other than perhaps a reservation at Orisson - and do take your first 2 days slowly. Wish you both Buen Camino.
 

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