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To book ahead or not?

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meeemsd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May 2019
I am starting in SJPP this Friday, May 17th. I have SJPP and Roncesvalles booked. Has anyone started in the last few days- should I start booking ahead or could I chance it? Has the bed race during Easter calmed down? Thanks in advance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
What minimized my need to book ahead, meeemsd, was to get an early start each day (dawn), and arrive at my destination in the early afternoon ahead of the crowd. I was not in any hurry as I paused often to appreciate where I was in time and place. My longest day was 32 km; I averaged about 20 km per day. I also tried to make my overnight stays in villages that are in-between the ones suggested in the guide books, like Brierly's. As you move west, you'll gain a rhythm that will dictate the need to book or not book ahead. On this day, May 16, 2017, I was in Reliegos. Hope this helps. I'm walking with you in spirit. All the best, John
 

Bodi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Astorga Oct. 2018; SJPP to Pamplona May 2019
We are in Zubiri today where all the albergues are completo. We got beds at Albergue Suseia but more pilgrims who arrived later were turned away and the hospitaleras couldn’t find beds for them until Pamplona. So they are taxiing ahead.
 

mairtín

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
We are in Zubiri today where all the albergues are completo. We got beds at Albergue Suseia but more pilgrims who arrived later were turned away and the hospitaleras couldn’t find beds for them until Pamplona. So they are taxiing ahead.
Hi Bodi, what time did you arrive in Zubiri in order to find a bed? I leave from SJPdP on 31st May, so expecting to be in Zubiri or Larrasoana the following day - will be my first time on this section so getting concerned by the reports of overcrowding. Have booked at Roncesvalles but not sure how far I will be able to travel per day in subsequent days.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
One perhaps better solution ... ask the hospiteleros in Roncesvalles, in the evening when you are there, how full they are. If they were turning away people, you may want to then call ahead and book, or look for a shorter day and stop before Zubiri. If they aren't full, I wouldn't worry.

Don't worry is good advice on its own 🙂
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
I am starting in SJPP this Friday, May 17th. I have SJPP and Roncesvalles booked. Has anyone started in the last few days- should I start booking ahead or could I chance it? Has the bed race during Easter calmed down? Thanks in advance.
I suggest you book in Zubiri as this is an easy day and you will get a good idea of what mileage you can do each day and how long you take. Only Pilgrims is the site use
http://www.onlypilgrims.com/en/suseia-161/
I just tried my link and it might not work. So go to Only pilgrims website and you will find all the options.
 
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tominrm

Hiking to Celebrate the End of Working Life.
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2014,2019)
del Norte ( 2015)
Portuguese ( 2016)
Primitivo ( 2017)
VdlP (2018)
We are in Zubiri today where all the albergues are completo. We got beds at Albergue Suseia but more pilgrims who arrived later were turned away and the hospitaleras couldn’t find beds for them until Pamplona. So they are taxiing ahead.
I passed Zubiri on April 28, and the municipal albergue was closed for renovations, and that caused shortage of beds in town. I think Larasona has the same situation. No idea when the municipal albergue will reopen, but until then the private albergues and the taxis will have very good business. I think first time pilgrims who do not speak Spanish might be in panic.
Taxi drivers know which albergues in Pamplona have beds available. Fare was about 25 Euros.
So make reservation before arriving Zubiri. Earlier the better.
For other towns, you just start early and arrive early to avoid heat and crowd. This is always a good idea.
 

Bodi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Astorga Oct. 2018; SJPP to Pamplona May 2019
Mairtín, We left from Burguete at 7:45. We called Casa Suseia at 1:30 and they still had beds but I think it was full by about 4:00.
 

mairtín

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
Mairtín, We left from Burguete at 7:45. We called Casa Suseia at 1:30 and they still had beds but I think it was full by about 4:00.
Thank you.Bodi. That is somewhat reassuring. I think I’ll probably take my chances!
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
Just be aware that you are in the busiest month on the CF and on the section (Roncesvalles to Pamplona) that can become a 'choke point'. Zubiri can sometimes book out almost to Pamplona in a peak period, if you are in a 'wave' of Pilgrims.

You'll get a sense of how busy it is once you start, and always have the option of booking ahead for Zubiri.

At Pamplona things generally ease off a bit, as I think some Pilgrim take a sightseeing break there, and also there are more frequent smaller stopping places after Pamplona that maybe breaks up the pack a bit.
 
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Doughnut NZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
Today (Saturday) Pamplona was booked out but tomorrow if is not. Many of the people who stayed in Zubiri last night are planning on walking through Pamplona. I decided to have an easy day and I am staying in a fabulous small albergue in Zabaldika, next to the church. I highly recommend it, wonderful welcome and great facilities. They don't take reservations but at 18.20 they still have beds!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
I splurged in Pamplona and stayed in the smalll, but inviting, Hotel Eslava about 100 meters from the Camino at the western edge of the city, near the Jardines de la Taconera which you pass on the Calle Bosquecillo as you exit Pamplona.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I am starting in SJPP this Friday, May 17th. I have SJPP and Roncesvalles booked. Has anyone started in the last few days- should I start booking ahead or could I chance it? Has the bed race during Easter calmed down? Thanks in advance.
How have your first couple of days been?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I'm in Logroño right now. I had booked at a hostal before I left home because I knew that a Saturday night in Logroño would be busy - and it was. Many pilgrims couldn't get beds in albergues or tourist hostels and had to get rather expensive hotel rooms.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
I'm in Logroño right now. I had booked at a hostal before I left home because I knew that a Saturday night in Logroño would be busy - and it was. Many pilgrims couldn't get beds in albergues or tourist hostels and had to get rather expensive hotel rooms.
Are there a lot of non Pilgrims staying in the Albergues?
There seem to be a lot of Albergues and Pensions in Logroño !
I would have thought plenty of beds considering a Pilgrim 'wave' might amount to 300-400 or so.......
 

Doughnut NZ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
The German Auberge in Pamplona had spare beds least night and they said that was unusual for them as they are normally full by 4pm. They also said that the municipal Auberge had plenty of beds last night. I think that there bad weather may have held some people back but there may well be a big wave of people leaving Saint Jean today.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Are there a lot of non Pilgrims staying in the Albergues?
There seem to be a lot of Albergues and Pensions in Logroño !
I would have thought plenty of beds considering a Pilgrim 'wave' might amount to 300-400 or so.......
In Logroño, I stayed at the Hostel Entresueños on the Calle Portales. I counted only four people. Dorm rooms mostly empty. Lots of space. Old building, and cold in early May. BUT, plenty of blankets. Central location.
 

meeemsd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May 2019
How have your first couple of days been?
Good thank you! I booked ahead as far as Pamplona, and sometimes I ring ahead that day if I feel I will be arriving late. I stayed 1 night in Zabaldika which was wonderful. I plan to stay in the parroquial albergue in Logroño too.
 

Lindsay53

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances April / May 19
What minimized my need to book ahead, meeemsd, was to get an early start each day (dawn), and arrive at my destination in the early afternoon ahead of the crowd. I was not in any hurry as I paused often to appreciate where I was in time and place. My longest day was 32 km; I averaged about 20 km per day. I also tried to make my overnight stays in villages that are in-between the ones suggested in the guide books, like Brierly's. As you move west, you'll gain a rhythm that will dictate the need to book or not book ahead. On this day, May 16, 2017, I was in Reliegos. Hope this helps. I'm walking with you in spirit. All the best, John
Definitely agree. I did the same, walking betweem 20 to 25 ks a day and always found a bed. Most it took was three tries in Zubiri over Easter.
 

tarasis

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan Camino Frances (May-June 2019)
I failed to book ahead for Roncesvalles, and the website claims there are no beds. do they keep any/many for those who just turn up?
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19, '20)
They only book out a portion of their capacity on line. I'm not sure what the pre-book versus walk-up capacity is. The walk-up balance is first come, first served.

Buen Camino
 

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