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Race for Beds in July ...

chax

New Member
I am thinking of doing the Camino again but this time my only available vacation would be July ... I wonder how easy it is to get a bed in July!! Any ideas ??

Buen Camino
chax :arrow:
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Get up early to start walking!! In July the sunrises at about 7am but the dawn breaks much earlier.
Avoid the big cities and big albergues.
Plan on stopping around lunch time and plan on staying at smaller places in between the popular, guide book stopping places.
Consider taking a bivvy bag. Bivvy bags are made of Gortex these days so it's possible to go to sleep with the bag zipped up over your head - most weigh around 390g.
Have a look here: http://www.alpkit.com/hunka/

Good luck!
 
D

Deleted member 397

Guest
Unless you're really committed to the Frances-and you don't like crowds think about another route.I walked the frances in july 2007 and found it very crowded and everyone racing for a bed. Some stopped around 11 am and probably laid on the bed looking at the ceiling for another 11 hours. I didn't have trouble finding a bed in the late afternoon and liked walking at that time of day. It wasn't always hot at that time of year-days around leon were only a high of 20 yet people still seemed compelled to stop walking before the 'heat of the day'. Relax! ignore the crazies! By the way nice to see someone from my birth place.
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Hi Chax,
I walked the Francés in July?Aug of 2007 ad 2008 and had two completely different experiences. The first, in 2007 I did exactly what Sil said - got up early, didn't stay in large towns or large albergues and never had a problem finding a place to stay. I usually began walking between 6 and 7 in the morning and continued until between 14h and 17h depending on the weather, how tired I was, the terrain, etc. It was very pleasant.

In 2008, I fell in with a group who really wanted to stayin the larger towns. Since it was my second Camino, I decided beforehand to do it differently: walk alternative routes, stay in different towns and albergues than the previous year, so I was not too disturbed by their plans. We generally began walking later and while we usually walked between 20-27 km per day, we stayed primarily in large towns. It was quite challenging to get a bed. As you sat for a coffee and so many people around you were "making the call" to reserve a bed, it was hard not to fall into the same trap. Since I was walking with a young couple and the girl was not an avid walker, her boyfriend was very concerned that she enjoy the Camino and didn't want them (us) to be without a place. I thoroughly enjoyed their company (and I think they, mine) so I just accepted it as another mystery of the Camino - a different way to do it.

So, you can do the Francés the way Sil said, or as Omar mentioned you could choose another route. It all depends on what you are seeking from your Camino. Whatever you choose,

Buen Camino,
 
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D

Deleted member 397

Guest
If you put sleeping mats in the search option near the top of the page you find quite a discussion on mats-my advice is don't take one.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Many of the albergues have matresses for overflow pilgrims but not in the municipal albergues in Galicia where they are quite strict. They will provide taxi numbers if you can't walk on to the next village.
 
omar504 said:
Unless you're really committed to the Frances-and you don't like crowds think about another route.I walked the frances in july 2007 and found it very crowded and everyone racing for a bed. Some stopped around 11 am and probably laid on the bed looking at the ceiling for another 11 hours. I didn't have trouble finding a bed in the late afternoon and liked walking at that time of day. It wasn't always hot at that time of year-days around leon were only a high of 20 yet people still seemed compelled to stop walking before the 'heat of the day'. Relax! ignore the crazies! By the way nice to see someone from my birth place.

hello omar
What do you mean by "think about another route"? My partner & I are planning our Camino trip for June / half of July & don't want to race for beds! "Another route" means off the trail? Help!
Heather
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Another route just means not the Camino Francés. The Camino del Norte, Portugues, Via de la Plata, etc.

Buen Camino,
 
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Touva

New Member
I walked the Camino Frances in September/October 2007 and the race for beds was on in most places, but not others. In several of the albergues someone would turn the ligh off (if they could get away with it) at 9 pm or so. I would come back from dinner to a dark room and would respect the darkness. Around 5:30 am, I would wake up fully rested from 8 hours of sleep and head out. I would have all my things in a pillow case and my pack -except my sleeping bag - and I would quietly gather these up and head to the common area and dress. I was usually the first to leave (I was surprised how much sleep these pilgrims required) and head out be myself. Being alone on the trail with my headlight was special. I would walk all day be myself, stopping for coffee and shacks when I felt like it, and still arrived at the next albergue first, have a hot shower and relax. Then the ant hill caught up with me and all the beds would fill by 3 pm or so at m ost of the albergues. Walking in the dark requires a good eye for arrows, but the solitude I experienced while walking was a gift. I''m sure the crowds this year are worse than they were in 2007, and I would do it the same way if I walk it again. If you only read english I would recommend bringing some books. English books were hard to find, pretty bad, and expensive. You will have alot of time to yourself along the route...pack light carry reading material...
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Ajda said:
Is it smart to take a sleeping mat?
Is it allowed to sleep on the floor in albergs?

Hospitality says ... "yes"
Spanish law says ... "no".

Because albergues have to be protected by a insurance against some damages, fire, water, etc. The insurance protection depends on the maximum number of pilgrims inside.

So, if 30, 30. If 40, 40. Not 41. The hospitalero knows it. So, he can not let to stay the 41st pilgrim if the maximum is 40.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

Ajda

Member
Javier Martin said:
Because albergues have to be protected by a insurance against some damages, fire, water, etc. The insurance protection depends on the maximum number of pilgrims inside.

So, if 30, 30. If 40, 40. Not 41. The hospitalero knows it. So, he can not let to stay the 41st pilgrim if the maximum is 40.

Thank you for answer. I admit, i didn't think about insurance and stuff.

So, let me ask in another way.

Do hospitalero let pilgrims sleep on the backyard?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Sometimes they do! Yes!

We were in the alburgue in Redecilla del Camino.
It was full.
A young woman came in, exhausted, and when the hospitalera told her it was full, she broke down and began to cry. The hospitalera was so very kind! She said, "Oh, don't cry. Listen, you can get a shower here, and fix yourself some food, then you can take a pad up to the churchyard (which is above the auburgue) and sleep out under the stars. It's going to be ok.. you'll see!"

It was wonderful! A beautiful, warm starry night and probably just what she needed.

So yes, sometimes you can sleep "in the yard" or elsewhere.
 

Ajda

Member
Anniesantiago said:
So yes, sometimes you can sleep "in the yard" or elsewhere.

Thank you.

Ok, i have no purpose to sleep outside (acctually is no problem for me to sleep outside, but i think i will need some "comfort" after long day walking) if won't be necessary, but is good to know. Just in case :lol: :wink: :roll:
 
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A great place for church yard sleeping is Tricastela. By the time we arrived at the refuge, it was full, but the hospitalero told us that we could shower at the refuge and sleep in the church yard. At the back of the church, there is a covered area. We laid our mats and were soon joined by some Italian and French peregrinos that we had been running into for about a week. This was a great night. The only problem is that the church is flood lit, so it wasn't the darkest night sleep I have every had. Still, a lovely place with some nice people.
 

keilnirby

Member
If you're a social person I wouldn't worry about the crowds. I did the Camino Frances in July/August 2007, and yes, there was a race for beds. But this only was a problem in the final 100K or so. Even then, I sort of enjoyed sleeping on the floor in sports halls and schools. It made me feel like we're all in this together, somehow.

Besides, you can't be bitten by a bedbug if there are no beds :wink:
 

-404

New Member
i was horrified to find that Bus loads of TOURIGRINOS (as my spanish friends dubbed them) were arriving at the albergues a good 2 hours before us, no backpack = easy walking, thus these cheats were getting the beds and most albergues were full 10mins after opening, the most notable was the villages after Sarria, at 30 kms it was a good distance to stop, but no, full thanks to tourigrinos, next town full, next town full, 47km in total we walked that day looking for a place with pilgrim beds.

It got to a stage where the elder pilgrims, mainly French it must be said, were leaving the albergues at 4am, only to be overtaken by us youngsters at 10am.

According to Spanish lawyers i was walking with, If a public albergue admits any Tourigrino, or packs of more than 4 they are infact breaking the law.
 
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MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
This is unfortunate, but I hope complaints are appropriately made and that a response that encourages that the beds are for pilgrims who walk with their pack and without the aid of a vehicle.

When a pilgrimage grows in popularity to the degree that the Camino de Compostela has, these types of things will happen and will continue to happen as long as any hospitaleros allow it. For those individuals who do not have the time or the desire to spend week(s) on the Camino, a short bus ride out of Santiago is an appealing alternative. The challenge is to find the middle path for those who seek to be a pilgrim for a day or two and those who dedicate themselves to a camino of a week or more. A balance will be achieved if complaints are heard by the proper people. The short-term hikers also need to understand the importance of the aubergues to those who carry a pack all day and for the convenience of a few nights restrict their usage to hotels.

I am sorry that you and so many others had to walk so far.
 
I am slightly concerned by these comments,I am due to leave SJPP on the 24th of August I have no intention of leaving in the middle of the night and participating in a race for a bed as an older pilgrim my racing days are long gone.I am thinking of changing to one of the less popular routes.My biggest concerns were bed bugs and blisters looks like no bed no bugs,just blisters and bed-less.
Buen Camino,
stpatricksbhoy.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
In my opinion, if you leave mid-week and travel "in between stages" listed in the guidebooks, you will have no problems. We left on our last Camino about the same time you're leaving and had no problems at all. Just go.. relax.. enjoy yourself.
The Camino will take care of your needs...
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
404 said "...Sarria, at 30 kms it was a good distance to stop, but no, full thanks to tourigrinos, next town full, next town full, 47km in total we walked that day looking for a place with pilgrim beds."

Wow. that must have been a hell of a walk! At my pace, that is 4 extra hours of walking.

I confess that I broke the rules in Merida on the Via de la Plata on Easter Saturday, 2006. I didn't know there was an albergue there, and after looking for other accomadation from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, I gave up and took a taxi 17 km up the Camino to the next town with an Albergue.

Good for you to do 47 km! I seem able to do 32 or 36 km without two much difficulty but find any distance further is a real trial.

David, Victoria, Canada.
 

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