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Safe Accomodations

Discussion in 'Personal Safety' started by Melnoon, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Melnoon

    Melnoon New Member

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    Planning to do a short El Camino from Sarria (possibly further) with my son (16) next summer. I am concerned about personal safety but also finding overnight accommodations throughout. I see there are companies that will plan the route and make reservations but am wondering if this is worth the cost! I want to be free to walk as we choose daily but need the security of knowing we will have a bed every night. Thoughts from those with experience? This will be our first.
     
  2. falcon269

    falcon269 sidra; no commercial interests

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    If your accommodations are fixed in advance, you will have to cover the distances decided in advance. There will be little choice. You can find accommodations a day or two in advance on sites like booking.com. I have never failed to find a room/bed that way.
     
    Melnoon, grayland, SYates and 3 others like this.
  3. trecile

    trecile Veteran Member Donating Member

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    In my opinion, it's not worth the cost. And safety is really not a big concern, especially from Sarria to Santiago, which is the most traveled stretch of the Camino. I had no problem finding a bed anywhere along that stretch, but if it puts your mind at ease you could book a day or two ahead, using Booking.com or contacting the albergue/hostal/hotel directly.
     
  4. Reija

    Reija Member Donating Member

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    August 2016 (supposedly the busiest time of the year) my then 16-year-old daughter and I walked the French route. It took us 31 days. Never booked ahead, always found a place to sleep. From Sarria on, there really are so many places to choose from. No panic. This year we walked eleven days from Porto to Santiago and the worst thing was that the walk was over too soon!
     
  5. SabineP

    SabineP Veteran Member Donating Member

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    The only danger in terms of personal safety in summer on the Frances from Sarria is not bumping into/ collading with the hordes of other pilgrims.

    All will be fine.
    Enjoy.
     
    Melnoon, Sarita Louise, Kanga and 7 others like this.
  6. Anemone del Camino

    Anemone del Camino Anemone

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    Certainly not worth the cost. I think these companies are the biggest thieves I have ever seen across any and all industries when it comes to the mark up for the work and value they offer.

    But you cannot have your cake and eat it too: it's either flexibility to stop whenever you fell like it booking the evening before.

    As for safety: be careful with those tired pilgrims who have walked from further back and are experiencing shock at the crowds passed Saria. They may react unpredictably :D.
     
    Melnoon, alaskadiver and ginniek like this.
  7. alaskadiver

    alaskadiver Active Member

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    No reason to fear for personal safety. You aren't walking through the streets of Chicago here.
    Albergues are safe. So are pensiones, hostels, and traditional hotels. You are wasting your money if you rely on an agency to book for you. I'm sure you are capable enough to book ahead for yourself. Carry a guide and just call ahead a couple nights prior to make reservations when you are sure of where you will stay.
    Sarria to Santiago is a short walk along very populated areas.
     
  8. ernie pease

    ernie pease Just call me Ernie

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    I have traveled throughout Europe many times since 2009. I have only felt endanger once....never let friends drive drunk... Never threatened by anyone. On the CF earlier this year, I found a bed every night except when I arrived at Leon at 11:30 pm and had to take a very expensive hotel room.
     
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  9. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    The title of the post suggests a concern with whether some accommodations are "safe" and others are not. I think you will find that this is not a real issue.

    For personal safety, take the same precautions you do on your training walks at home.

    I don't think it is worth the money to pay a company to do your reservations. Do it yourself on booking.com or similar, for the first and last nights. Take a smartphone with you, and book the other nights the day before.
    Travelling always involves a degree of uncertainty. Based on hundreds (maybe thousands) of reports on this forum, it is very unlikely you will not have a bed. The worst-case scenario is that you'll have to pay for a taxi to a more expensive (but probably very reasonable) accommodation. That cost will be less than the cost of paying a company to organize it in advance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  10. J Willhaus

    J Willhaus Active Member

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    Walking with another person or at least within shouting distance of each other should make the walk doubly safe. We did encounter two women posing as deaf/mute individuals just outside Sarria. They did snatch some cash out of the hands of a youngish lad and the Guardia Civil was called. The lad was part of a group school boys from the Phillipines walking the last 100 KM with a priest. Just be aware of your surroundings and look out for yourself and others. I don't think walking with a tour group will help you with this kind of situation and might even make you more of a target like this group of naive school boys.
     
    Melnoon likes this.
  11. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Hmmmm... well, I lead some of those groups and I can tell you to some, it IS worth the cost to have somebody guide them through the procedure, get them from the airport to Sarria, book all of their lodging for them, and hire pack transport. Someone to help them book taxis, order their food, and show them the sites.

    I don't consider myself a thief at all. I figure what it costs to take 8 pilgrims and divide it by 7. I add a bit on for administration costs. I know other group leaders who do the same.

    I know for a FACT there are people who would never walk the Camino on their own without someone to help them plan and even to walk with them.

    So maybe calling us "thieves" is a bit judgmental?
    People pay what they can afford and for what they want.
    Some people have more money than they can spend and they enjoy paying for private rooms, having their packs transported, and having someone else do the planning.
    Some feel more spiritual going on their own, sleeping on floor mats, and carrying their packs.

    It has been that way from the beginning of the Camino . . .
     
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  12. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Regarding the OP, I consider all the albergues along The Way "safe" and I consider the walk safe, especially when taken into perspective.
    How many people were robbed or mugged in your own home town last week? Compare that with the Camino and you're back living in the 1950's.

    Regarding knowing you'll have a bed... it really isn't that much of an issue if you're willing to get into a taxi and ride to the next town if the alberguee is complete,
    or willing to walk shorter stages so you're between the herd instead of in the middle of it. And if you don't get a bed, it's summer.. there's always an empty field or porch where you can sleep under the stars.

    It's absolutely safe and possible to do on your own... people do it every year... thousands of them.
    It's more about what you want and how flexible you can be.
     
    Melnoon likes this.
  13. Melnoon

    Melnoon New Member

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    Thank you for the replies. I have traveled with groups for all of my other trips abroad so this will stretch me a bit. We would like to begin further away from Santiago but my insecurities keep me among the crowd as does our time constraint of 2 weeks in Europe.
     

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