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Pilgrims, pilgrims, and more pilgrims!

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#1
I began lurking on this forum in January 2015 when planning my first Camino in April/May that year following my retirement. I don't recall reading many posts at that time regarding the busyness of the Frances route. As a "blind" newbie and having only watched the movie "The Way", I thought all pilgrims stayed in albergues, so never reserved any private lodging, except my first and final day. I didn't have much concern for finding a bed day by day and everything worked out.

Fast forward to January of 2016. I became a forum member and began seeing more posts about the increase in numbers on the Frances route. Future pilgrims were encouraged strongly to try the Norte instead, even if it was their first pilgrimage. Well, reading that news scared me off from repeating the Frances, so instead I chose the Norte/Primitivo for spring, although I was apprehensive of the elevation changes, but ended up enjoying this 2nd camino. There were not many walkers seen during the day, but lodging was a little dicey, although we never made reservations ahead. I was surprised at how most albergues, and other reasonably priced lodgings filled up each night.

In 2017 I returned to walk the Frances with three other family members in April/May. After learning on this forum about either calling ahead, or emailing the albergues to reserve, we began doing that every day in order to stay together as everywhere was so busy.

Thankfully this June I will be walking the Via Podiensis in France and look forward to this change of pace (no pun intended), yet know we will be reserving all stages in advance because it too, apparently gets busy.

I said all of the above to say this...
This past winter until now I have been spending time on the forum again and noticed what now seems to be a large increase in walkers who start earlier and earlier. It has become a "Camino feeding frenzy" and you have to wonder if the numbers will ever taper off.

I am following a couple of walkers who are currently on the more obscure routes and they are having to either plan ahead or scurrying to get a bed, which seems to be the norm, even for these folks.
Possibly if one walks alone, that may be the best outcome in "winging it" with lodging, but I'm not even sure of that. I wonder how this growth can continue at this rate?
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#2
Possibly if you walk alone you may have the best outcome in "winging it" with lodging.
I am sure this is true. It is likely to be much easier for a solo traveller to find a bed. If a group of four people turn up at an albergue with only two beds left they are likely to press on looking for somewhere that can accept them all. Not always easy even for one in peak times on the Frances though. These days most of my walking is done in off-season and on quiet routes. On my last Camino I walked 10 days on the Via de la Plata meeting 3 other pilgrims in total. More my thing!
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 2017: Le Puy to Santiago
July 2019: Cammino di Assisi (La Verna to Assisi)
#3
I've been following the Via Francigena facebook group, and it seems like a lot of people are having trouble finding accommodations in Italy right now, too. It's been surprising - I always thought this was a less-walked route.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#4
I've been following the Via Francigena facebook group, and it seems like a lot of people are having trouble finding accommodations in Italy right now, too. It's been surprising - I always thought this was a less-walked route.
It is. Far smaller numbers walk the Via Francigena than the Camino Frances. But the downside is that there is far less accommodation on the VF too. So what beds there are fill up very fast in summer. The number of people walking the VF has shot up even in the 3 years since I walked it. Accommodation is increasing too but has not kept pace with demand.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#6
I hope this frenzy of pilgrims doesn't decrease, the more people that experience the magic of a pilgrimage surely has to be a good thing.
Well let's just hope they keep building and providing more infrastructure to accomodate the growth so the magic of the Camino can continue!
 

Maxie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15,16
Ingles 15
Norte 16, 17
Finesterra /Muxia 16, 17
Primativo 16
VDLP 16
Portuguese 17
#7
I'm on my 23rd night on the Camino del Sureste and am sharing the Alburgue with a fellow Pilgrim, this is the first time I've had to share on this trip. Overall I've met 6 Pilgrims, nearly all are walking the Levante. If you want quiet look no further.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#8
Noticed on CF in 2017 that lots of new albergues had been built or set up mostly on the entry edge of town. Glad to see them as an injection of much needed Capital and as an income source for rural Spain but I usually walked past these because I like the older, simpler albergues some of which have given shelter to pilgrims for decades.
 
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Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#9
I'm not disputing the numbers walking the Camino, especially from Sarria onward when we found it quite busy and stayed in smaller villages to avoid them. Sarria was an assault on the senses, and we walked right through it without stopping.
I have made early starts on the Camino, but its not related to finding a bed that night and entirely related to coping with the heat and the sun, many of the people I've talked with have said the same thing. I'm not talking ridiculous 3-4am starts, although I saw people who did that, I'm talking an hour or so before dawn.
I have walked May/June, and September. May June was easier for me to cope with as the temperatures built up as I went, and I acclimatised. It was 43 degrees when we arrived in Santiago, the hottest our summers get are low 30's.
However on the September walk, I struggled with the heat. Leaving a cold NZ spring for a hot Spanish autumn was a shock to my system. We left 8 degrees C here, and got off the bus at SJPDP at 35 degrees C, at 5.30pm in the evening. By Zubiri it was even hotter, and I was concerned at my ability to cope at that stage. It took me at least a week to get used to it, I got heat rashes every day.
I'm very fair skinned, and areas where I have already been treated for skin cancers are particularly vulnerable, so I use a wide brimmed hat, and use plenty of high SPF sunscreen as well. I walk in shade if there is any. But I find that the more kms I can walk in the mornings before the heat builds up, the better for me. When I've seen people walking in the late afternoon, I've been so grateful it wasn't me.
I'm also a morning person, and normally get up early anyway, so its just my normal routine. I love walking through the dawn, as it gets light, and looking for that first cafe for the morning coffee.
At home I walk every morning in the dark, looking towards the sunrise and its always my magic hour, when all is at peace with the world, before the cars start and the people start rushing about.
I was never concerned about getting a bed, sometimes we booked, sometimes we didn't, I was reasonably zen about the idea of walking on, or taking a taxi to another village. We always found a bed. Staying between stages made it easier as well.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#10
I hope this frenzy of pilgrims doesn't decrease, the more people that experience the magic of a pilgrimage surely has to be a good thing.
Ditto. I want the whole world to know about it. To WALK it. It's not my secret little holiday destination that I do not want to share. It's always meant to be celebrated. To be shared. No way would I Bogart it and say it is only mine because I found it first, or I discovered it in a less mainstream fashion than a movie or book.
I can deal with the crowds. If it bothered me that much I'd buy a super ultralight tent to pack for the occasional night I had to spend outdoors, or even in the yard of a church or albergue. A super lightweight ground pad to go with it. I've spent a lot more austere nights outside than I would have to on the Camino even at its worst.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#11
My post was not meant to criticize the increase in numbers walking the Camino. I was only making the observation of how busy it has become and hope infrastructure can grow with it. I was not insinuating it should just be kept for "ourselves". But I will say this. One of the pleasures and the magic of the camino for me is the simplicity of walking and ending each day whenever I feel ready, whichever village/town that may be in. Feeling pressured to pre-plan and reserve many days ahead of time, and calculating those logistics takes away some of the joy of being spontaneous. All normal travels I take have to be pre-planned, and my first Camino was a refreshing change from all that. However, I have loved all my Caminos and will continue to adapt to whatever I need to do to continue going!
 
#12
I began lurking on this forum in January 2015 when planning my first Camino in April/May that year following my retirement. I don't recall reading many posts at that time regarding the busyness of the Frances route. As a "blind" newbie and having only watched the movie "The Way", I thought all pilgrims stayed in albergues, so never reserved any private lodging, except my first and final day. I didn't have much concern for finding a bed day by day and everything worked out.

Fast forward to January of 2016. I became a forum member and began seeing more posts about the increase in numbers on the Frances route. Future pilgrims were encouraged strongly to try the Norte instead, even if it was their first pilgrimage. Well, reading that news scared me off from repeating the Frances, so instead I chose the Norte/Primitivo for spring, although I was apprehensive of the elevation changes, but ended up enjoying this 2nd camino. There were not many walkers seen during the day, but lodging was a little dicey, although we never made reservations ahead. I was surprised at how most albergues, and other reasonably priced lodgings filled up each night.

In 2017 I returned to walk the Frances with three other family members in April/May. After learning on this forum about either calling ahead, or emailing the albergues to reserve, we began doing that every day in order to stay together as everywhere was so busy.

Thankfully this June I will be walking the Via Podiensis in France and look forward to this change of pace (no pun intended), yet know we will be reserving all stages in advance because it too, apparently gets busy.

I said all of the above to say this...
This past winter until now I have been spending time on the forum again and noticed what now seems to be a large increase in walkers who start earlier and earlier. It has become a "Camino feeding frenzy" and you have to wonder if the numbers will ever taper off.

I am following a couple of walkers who are currently on the more obscure routes and they are having to either plan ahead or scurrying to get a bed, which seems to be the norm, even for these folks.
Possibly if one walks alone, that may be the best outcome in "winging it" with lodging, but I'm not even sure of that. I wonder how this growth can continue at this rate?
I continue to wing it but then again I usually walk by myself.

One thing that is vastly different on the more obscure routes is accommodation. Sometimes albergues only have 4 or 5 beds, that was true on the Levante but when I walked there was only one other person so this was not a problem. On the Mozárabe there is also a limited amount of beds as the route is normally also quite quiet (I saw no one in 15 days). I believe I know who you are following and the current situation is quite unusual due to a large group starting around the same time. Those who are able, stay in private hostels or hotels and leave the albergues to others.

May is a top month everywhere - especially on the southern routes such as the Plata. There are also several holidays coming up and the Spanish like to take advantage of the puente. I think that we are heading into a very busy time, not only on the Francés but also on the Portugês and Inglés.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times, but soon again I hope....
#15
"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated"
That is a quote by the American author, Mark Twain. I feel that it likely applies to news or reports of the Camino, specifically the Frances, and it's popularity in a sense ruining it.
"I have spent most of my life worrying about things that have never happened"
Mark Twain also said that. I feel that really applies to a lot of subjects on this forum.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#16
"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated"
That is a quote by the American author, Mark Twain. I feel that it likely applies to news or reports of the Camino, specifically the Frances, and it's popularity in a sense ruining it.
The Camino Frances is certainly not dead. If numbers walking are the ultimate test then it is more alive than it has been for centuries. But I cannot find myself simply agreeing with the notion "the more the better" that has been expressed by some posters. There can come a point where vastly increased numbers and all that is needed to support them fundamentally alter the experience so that what future generations of pilgrims will find is not the Camino which drew others in their thousands in years before them. As someone whose personal experience of the Camino Frances spans half my lifetime I have witnessed enormous changes and with all good will towards those who come to it now fresh and find great joy and pleasure and fulfillment in their pilgrimages I cannot in honesty say that I welcome many aspects of the Camino Frances today. It was my first experience of pilgrimage and the joy of solitude and reflection walking day after day in vast landscapes under huge expanses of sky has stayed with me to this day. If anything it has grown stronger with every path I have walked since. But I can no longer readily find that experience on the Frances and so I must look elsewhere. It is not dead but it is very different.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#18
As someone whose personal experience of the Camino Frances spans half my lifetime I have witnessed enormous changes and with all good will towards those who come to it now fresh and find great joy and pleasure and fulfillment in their pilgrimages I cannot in honesty say that I welcome many aspects of the Camino Frances today. It was my first experience of pilgrimage and the joy of solitude and reflection walking day after day in vast landscapes under huge expanses of sky has stayed with me to this day. If anything it has grown stronger with every path I have walked since. But I can no longer readily find that experience on the Frances and so I must look elsewhere. It is not dead but it is very different.
"It is not dead, but it is very different."
That's it in a nutshell, @Bradypus .
In my heart, I welcome all.
But not everyone who walks the busy paths has a contemplative vibe, and so walking in the the Frances 'conga line' (as @biarritzdon call it) is not the most conducive atmosphere for that. It's good for purifying old habits of annoyance and judgement, but that's another story. So if I want to grapple with my demons, then bring on the Frances - and if I want quiet, I go someplace else. In the last few years it's been a bit of both.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#23
Arrivals today 1720 Pilgrims
1720 signatures handwritten by 14 volunteers at the counters in the pilgrim's office that day equaled approximately 120 pilgrim signatures written per volunteer (unless there are several shifts per day). I think I would end up with writer's cramp before the day ended. Lol.
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#25
:eek:
It. is. only. May. 5th!
@VNwalking I think - and sincerely hope - that this is a blip because of increased numbers setting off from places like Sarria or Lugo over the May Day holiday. But last summer a record was set of over 2,700 Compostelas issued in one day. I find it almost impossible to imagine that.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#28
I plan to do just that but can't find details for times etc.
Personally I would not walk as far as Sarria and not carry on to Santiago - but I must confess that passing through Sarria in October 2016 I came very close to doing exactly that. I loathed what has happened to the place in recent years. Instead of stopping for lunch as I planned I completely lost my appetite - physically nauseated by the place - and for several hours I was fuming with anger and resentment. But things got better once I left it a few km behind me. That last 100km of the CF is never going to be in my top 10 list though.

If you really do intend to take a bus on to Santiago Monbus seem to run just one direct bus each day at 07:15. The more common and popular option is to take a Monbus service to Lugo and change there to an Empresa Freire bus to Santiago. More options and better timing.
 
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Irish Bernie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017,May 2018,Sept 2018.
#29
Personally I would not walk as far as Sarria and not carry on to Santiago - but I must confess that passing through Sarria in September 2016 I came very close to doing exactly that. I loathed what has happened to the place in recent years. Instead of stopping for lunch as I planned I completely lost my appetite - physically nauseated by the place - and for several hours I was fuming with anger and resentment. But things got better once I left it a few km behind me. That last 100km of the CF is never going to be in my top 10 list though.

If you really do intend to take a bus on to Santiago Monbus seem to run just one direct bus each day at 07:15. The more common and popular option is to take a Monbus service to Lugo and change there to an Empresa Freire bus to Santiago. More options and better timing.
Thank you,I have walked Sarria-Santiago a few times and didn't enjoy it,so I will spend that time Santiagio-Finn-Muxia,a walk I love.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#30
Is there a bus from Sarria to Santiago ?
Yes, via Lugo. I had to bail out at the end of my 2016 Camino Madrid due to health issues. As I already have four Compostelas, that was not my imperative.

The bus goes from Sarria to Lugo. You change buses at Lugo. The second bus follows the Camino route into Santiago.
 

Irish Bernie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017,May 2018,Sept 2018.
#31
Yes, via Lugo. I had to bail out at the end of my 2016 Camino Madrid due to health issues. As I already have four Compostelas, that was not my imperative.

The bus goes from Sarria to Lugo. You change buses at Lugo. The second bus follows the Camino route into Santiago.
Cheers man.
 

Dannyhiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Chemin de St. Jame 2013
Camino del Norte 2017
#32
I'm fascinated by all this talk of crowds on the Camino Frances. I've walked two Caminos - Le Chemin de St. Jacques and Camino del Norte where there were very few pilgrims. Even with a great hiking partner, it was lonely. To me, Caminos are about meeting other people. There are plenty of Caminos and long distance trails where you can be by yourself - but the Frances means people. What do you think?
 

Mia H

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances (2005, 2010, 2012), Le Puy-st.jen pie de port (2016), Via de la plata (2017)
#34
I began lurking on this forum in January 2015 when planning my first Camino in April/May that year following my retirement. I don't recall reading many posts at that time regarding the busyness of the Frances route. As a "blind" newbie and having only watched the movie "The Way", I thought all pilgrims stayed in albergues, so never reserved any private lodging, except my first and final day. I didn't have much concern for finding a bed day by day and everything worked out.

Fast forward to January of 2016. I became a forum member and began seeing more posts about the increase in numbers on the Frances route. Future pilgrims were encouraged strongly to try the Norte instead, even if it was their first pilgrimage. Well, reading that news scared me off from repeating the Frances, so instead I chose the Norte/Primitivo for spring, although I was apprehensive of the elevation changes, but ended up enjoying this 2nd camino. There were not many walkers seen during the day, but lodging was a little dicey, although we never made reservations ahead. I was surprised at how most albergues, and other reasonably priced lodgings filled up each night.

In 2017 I returned to walk the Frances with three other family members in April/May. After learning on this forum about either calling ahead, or emailing the albergues to reserve, we began doing that every day in order to stay together as everywhere was so busy.

Thankfully this June I will be walking the Via Podiensis in France and look forward to this change of pace (no pun intended), yet know we will be reserving all stages in advance because it too, apparently gets busy.

I said all of the above to say this...
This past winter until now I have been spending time on the forum again and noticed what now seems to be a large increase in walkers who start earlier and earlier. It has become a "Camino feeding frenzy" and you have to wonder if the numbers will ever taper off.

I am following a couple of walkers who are currently on the more obscure routes and they are having to either plan ahead or scurrying to get a bed, which seems to be the norm, even for these folks.
Possibly if one walks alone, that may be the best outcome in "winging it" with lodging, but I'm not even sure of that. I wonder how this growth can continue at this rate?
 
Camino(s) past & future
camino primitivo, camino de la costa
#35
my guess is the frances, unlike the norte has private and public albergues every 5 km on the average so i wouldnt worry about "the competition" at all. more importantly the stress of constantly worrying, getting up in the middle of the night or running to stay ahead will destroy what the camino is all about: trust that you will ok and find other solutions on the fly.

ive completed 5 caminos without booking ahead, running or night walks, if that helps ;-)
 

Irish Bernie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis 2013-2014-2015,16 and June 2017,May 2018,Sept 2018.
#38
Absolutely! Fantastic place. Make sure you walk around on top of the city walls: Roman, wide enough to drive a car along the top and completely circle the old city. Great town for tapas too :)
SOLD !!!
 

TaraWalks

Peregrina without a skateboard
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (2016), CF (again but with my man this time) March/April 2018
#39
Arrivals today 1720 Pilgrims
Peter, where do you find out these stats? My partner and I would love to know how many pilgrims arrived in SDC the day we did. We got there early enough to get the free pilgrim lunch at the Paradore!
 

Peter Fransiscus

Do good and good will come to you.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
#40
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#43
Yes, via Lugo. I had to bail out at the end of my 2016 Camino Madrid due to health issues. As I already have four Compostelas, that was not my imperative.

The bus goes from Sarria to Lugo. You change buses at Lugo. The second bus follows the Camino route into Santiago.
And Lugo is such an interesting city to visit for a day, it's a great place to get off the bus before the final ride into Santiago!
 

Ken Lewis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
#44
I began lurking on this forum in January 2015 when planning my first Camino in April/May that year following my retirement. I don't recall reading many posts at that time regarding the busyness of the Frances route. As a "blind" newbie and having only watched the movie "The Way", I thought all pilgrims stayed in albergues, so never reserved any private lodging, except my first and final day. I didn't have much concern for finding a bed day by day and everything worked out.

Fast forward to January of 2016. I became a forum member and began seeing more posts about the increase in numbers on the Frances route. Future pilgrims were encouraged strongly to try the Norte instead, even if it was their first pilgrimage. Well, reading that news scared me off from repeating the Frances, so instead I chose the Norte/Primitivo for spring, although I was apprehensive of the elevation changes, but ended up enjoying this 2nd camino. There were not many walkers seen during the day, but lodging was a little dicey, although we never made reservations ahead. I was surprised at how most albergues, and other reasonably priced lodgings filled up each night.

In 2017 I returned to walk the Frances with three other family members in April/May. After learning on this forum about either calling ahead, or emailing the albergues to reserve, we began doing that every day in order to stay together as everywhere was so busy.

Thankfully this June I will be walking the Via Podiensis in France and look forward to this change of pace (no pun intended), yet know we will be reserving all stages in advance because it too, apparently gets busy.

I said all of the above to say this...
This past winter until now I have been spending time on the forum again and noticed what now seems to be a large increase in walkers who start earlier and earlier. It has become a "Camino feeding frenzy" and you have to wonder if the numbers will ever taper off.

I am following a couple of walkers who are currently on the more obscure routes and they are having to either plan ahead or scurrying to get a bed, which seems to be the norm, even for these folks.
Possibly if one walks alone, that may be the best outcome in "winging it" with lodging, but I'm not even sure of that. I wonder how this growth can continue at this rate?
 
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked part of the Camino Frances and plan to start over in April 2018.
#45
I began lurking on this forum in January 2015 when planning my first Camino in April/May that year following my retirement. I don't recall reading many posts at that time regarding the busyness of the Frances route. As a "blind" newbie and having only watched the movie "The Way", I thought all pilgrims stayed in albergues, so never reserved any private lodging, except my first and final day. I didn't have much concern for finding a bed day by day and everything worked out.

Fast forward to January of 2016. I became a forum member and began seeing more posts about the increase in numbers on the Frances route. Future pilgrims were encouraged strongly to try the Norte instead, even if it was their first pilgrimage. Well, reading that news scared me off from repeating the Frances, so instead I chose the Norte/Primitivo for spring, although I was apprehensive of the elevation changes, but ended up enjoying this 2nd camino. There were not many walkers seen during the day, but lodging was a little dicey, although we never made reservations ahead. I was surprised at how most albergues, and other reasonably priced lodgings filled up each night.

In 2017 I returned to walk the Frances with three other family members in April/May. After learning on this forum about either calling ahead, or emailing the albergues to reserve, we began doing that every day in order to stay together as everywhere was so busy.

Thankfully this June I will be walking the Via Podiensis in France and look forward to this change of pace (no pun intended), yet know we will be reserving all stages in advance because it too, apparently gets busy.

I said all of the above to say this...
This past winter until now I have been spending time on the forum again and noticed what now seems to be a large increase in walkers who start earlier and earlier. It has become a "Camino feeding frenzy" and you have to wonder if the numbers will ever taper off.

I am following a couple of walkers who are currently on the more obscure routes and they are having to either plan ahead or scurrying to get a bed, which seems to be the norm, even for these folks.
Possibly if one walks alone, that may be the best outcome in "winging it" with lodging, but I'm not even sure of that. I wonder how this growth can continue at this rate?
I hiked part of El CF in April and decided to make advance reservations for a private room at each destination. So I started doing this in February only to find out that in certain locations I had already waited too long! Pilgrims are starting earlier and earlier and booking ahead. Plan ahead.
 

Ken Lewis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
#46
Started the CF on Wednesday & now 4 days in. Apart from the pre-start night in SJPDP and the first night in Roncesvalles there’s been heaps of space. I’ve been starting between 6 & 8 not to join the bed race, it’s just what pilgrims do. Larrasoaña was busy but not full, in Uterga I shared a dorm that had about 40 beds with a handful of travellers and tonight in Estella the Alergue is maybe 20% full.
I’ve booked nothing and had heaps to choose from.
I so hope this doesn’t change!
Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#47
Nice to hear a good report of plenty of available beds you are finding along the way!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
#48
my guess is the frances, unlike the norte has private and public albergues every 5 km on the average so i wouldnt worry about "the competition" at all. more importantly the stress of constantly worrying, getting up in the middle of the night or running to stay ahead will destroy what the camino is all about: trust that you will ok and find other solutions on the fly.

ive completed 5 caminos without booking ahead, running or night walks, if that helps ;-)
Were you a single?
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
#50
We just left O’Cebreiro - started in SJPdP,- and while the numbers of pilgrims increased from León we have NEVER had trouble getting a bed in an albergue without a reservation. Several times in fact we’ve been the only people in an albergue. Once we and another man ran the albergue when the owner vanished! That being said it’s very crowded right now and there are a few annoyances which I am sure will only grow tomorrow when we get to Sarria. I feel it is good practice for tolerance, patience and understanding. So many newbies joining the trail and we must welcome them all. Buen Camino!
 

Ken Lewis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
#51
Nice to hear a good report of plenty of available beds you are finding along the way!
Things change so quickly!
I arrived in Sansol today and all advice changes! Turned away from my preferred Albergue as it wa full, and could only get a top bunk in the next. All beds are now full & pilgrims are being turned away. Now I’m considering booking ahead - the last thing I want to do.
 

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When is the best time to walk?

  • January

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