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What if you can't get a bed?

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
#1
On the various Camino's has anyone had to sleep outside or in a doorway etc. because they couldn't find a bed and have had enough of walking for the day? I'm certainly not planning on doing it but I'm sure it must happen, but don't recall reading about it.
I'm not talking about with tents, but with nothing, except maybe a jacket and a rucksack for a pillow.
 

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#2
We ran into a few alberques that were full, but there was always something available - we were open to staying in casa rurales and hotels as well, which expanded our options. It is possible though that you will run into a situation in which all beds in a village are taken, especially during busy times, in small villages with limited space, or if you are walking late into the day. In that case, people often take a taxi forward or back to a place with space, or even a few miles off the Camino - then get a ride back to their spot in the morning. If you taxi forward to the next town, you can just start walking from there if you like - as long as it's not during the last 100 km when you are supposed to walk every km to get your compostela.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
#4
I haven't had to sleep in a doorway but I arrived late to o'cebreiro and had to walk an extra 10km+ to find somewhere to sleep putting the total for the day at 40km+
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
#5
I haven't had to sleep in a doorway but I arrived late to o'cebreiro and had to walk an extra 10km+ to find somewhere to sleep putting the total for the day at 40km+
That's the sort of thing i'm thinking about.
I'm walking a route soon, which has some long stretches without towns/villages.
 

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Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#6
On the various Camino's has anyone had to sleep outside or in a doorway etc. because they couldn't find a bed and have had enough of walking for the day? I'm certainly not planning on doing it but I'm sure it must happen, but don't recall reading about it.
I'm not talking about with tents, but with nothing, except maybe a jacket and a rucksack for a pillow.
No always found a bed. As long as you can consider other forms of accommodation (not budget constrained) walking further or getting taxis.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#7
Apparently the rules have changed on that, I hear, but I slept a couple of times on a yoga mat in the corridor. And I know of other people who slept on the church steps in that case. Does anyone know whether that still happens?
 
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#8
That's the sort of thing i'm thinking about.
I'm walking a route soon, which has some long stretches without towns/villages.
Hi,
in my experience it is more likely that the people in a village or town will arrange for alternative accomodation the less alternatives are available.

If you can go to a hostal or casa rural they will send you there. If there is nothing and the next albergue 10 km ahead they will find a place where you can sleep.

Many albergues keep the old matresses for this. Or they will open the sports centre or their hogar de pensionista for pilgrims.

And there is always the option of calling a taxi.

BC
Alexandra
 

hel&scott

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#9
You should be ok on the CF, but on the longer and more remote routes such as the Levante and Vdlp, I take a lightweight bivi bag and have had to use it. it can be uncomfortable, but use common sense about where you dos down and don't leave a mess behind.
 

Pink Girl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino September-October 2017
#10
Apparently the rules have changed on that, I hear, but I slept a couple of times on a yoga mat in the corridor. And I know of other people who slept on the church steps in that case. Does anyone know whether that still happens?
Yes I forget which town, but one was so packed that people were sleeping on church steps. I luckily had reserved my spot in the albergue ahead of time.

When I realized I was on the same route with a flood of people, I slowed down a bit one day and started staying in towns that weren’t the main stopping points for the guidebook. I find these towns a lot more fun/interesting and they usually have space.
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
#11
You should be ok on the CF, but on the longer and more remote routes such as the Levante and Vdlp, I take a lightweight bivi bag and have had to use it. it can be uncomfortable, but use common sense about where you dos down and don't leave a mess behind.
Yeah the CF is more user friendly than other routes. Taxis aren't really an option in more remote places.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#12
On the various Camino's has anyone had to sleep outside or in a doorway etc. because they couldn't find a bed and have had enough of walking for the day? I'm certainly not planning on doing it but I'm sure it must happen, but don't recall reading about it.
I'm not talking about with tents, but with nothing, except maybe a jacket and a rucksack for a pillow.
You should be ok on the CF, but on the longer and more remote routes such as the Levante and Vdlp, I take a lightweight bivi bag and have had to use it. it can be uncomfortable, but use common sense about where you dos down and don't leave a mess behind.
Never a problem if we are willing to pay more for a hotel.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#14
Apparently the rules have changed on that, I hear, but I slept a couple of times on a yoga mat in the corridor. And I know of other people who slept on the church steps in that case. Does anyone know whether that still happens?
Rarely. There are fire codes and other regulations that prevent it. Most albergues now stick to the rules!:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#15
On the various Camino's has anyone had to sleep outside or in a doorway etc. because they couldn't find a bed and have had enough of walking for the day?
Yes, but not on the CF. Which camino are you thinking about? There is always a Plan B on the CF. Other caminos might require Plan C.
Jill
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
#16
Yes, but not on the CF. Which camino are you thinking about? There is always a Plan B on the CF. Other caminos might require Plan C.
Jill
The Chemin de Stevenson in France. South from Le Puy en Velay
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, (2013)
Camino Frances, (2014)
Camino Frances, (2015)
#17
Here are some options when an albergue tells you that they are full:

First, find out if there is a second albergue in town or on the edge of town. Or sometimes there is an albergue a little ways out of town. These are the albergues that veteran pilgrims prefer.

Second, walk across the street to the one star hotel that has converted several rooms into albergue style rooms (i.e. removed the queen bed and replaced it with four bunk beds.

Third, walk into the nearest bar and ask the bartender for a room (locals who have permanently left town often leave keys to apartments with the bartender to rent out).

Fourth, ask the bartender to make some calls (locals who still live in town, but wish to rent out their spare bedroom for additional income often notify their bartender to be on the lookout for pilgrims in need).

Fifth, ask the local priest if there is overflow accommodations in the church or the school gymnasium.

Sixth, take a taxi east, back up the Camino, to the last town you walked through, spend the night, taxi forward in the morning, and then restart walking exactly where you left off the day before.

Seventh, taxi west down the Camino for a room.

Eighth, taxi north (sometimes south) to the freeway that parallels the Camino. It's usually only a few miles away and has hotels at many interchanges.

Or, ninth, take off you backpack, throw it on the ground, break your walking poles over your knee, and have a complete and total meltdown in the middle of the street because there are "absolutely no options.”
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#18
On the various Camino's has anyone had to sleep outside or in a doorway etc. because they couldn't find a bed and have had enough of walking for the day? I'm certainly not planning on doing it but I'm sure it must happen, but don't recall reading about it.
I'm not talking about with tents, but with nothing, except maybe a jacket and a rucksack for a pillow.
Frequently, and for multiple reasons, though surely there are better spots to be found than a doorway ?

It's why I'd never attempt a Camino without a sleeping bag.

Sixth, take a taxi east
Never.
 

E V Waight

It's the journey, not the destination.
Camino(s) past & future
September (2017)
Possible September (2018)
Holy Year (2021) (all three Gladys, John and I)
#19
Here are some options when an albergue tells you that they are full:

First, find out if there is a second albergue in town or on the edge of town. Or sometimes there is an albergue a little ways out of town. These are the albergues that veteran pilgrims prefer.

Second, walk across the street to the one star hotel that has converted several rooms into albergue style rooms (i.e. removed the queen bed and replaced it with four bunk beds.

Third, walk into the nearest bar and ask the bartender for a room (locals who have permanently left town often leave keys to apartments with the bartender to rent out).

Fourth, ask the bartender to make some calls (locals who still live in town, but wish to rent out their spare bedroom for additional income often notify their bartender to be on the lookout for pilgrims in need).

Fifth, ask the local priest if there is overflow accommodations in the church or the school gymnasium.

Sixth, take a taxi east, back up the Camino, to the last town you walked through, spend the night, taxi forward in the morning, and then restart walking exactly where you left off the day before.

Seventh, taxi west down the Camino for a room.

Eighth, taxi north (sometimes south) to the freeway that parallels the Camino. It's usually only a few miles away and has hotels at many interchanges.

Or, ninth, take off you backpack, throw it on the ground, break your walking poles over your knee, and have a complete and total meltdown in the middle of the street because there are "absolutely no options.”
There is always a "room at the inn"
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
#20
The Chemin de Stevenson in France. South from Le Puy en Velay
The Stevenson Trail is not a pilgrimage trail, but a recreational hiking route. There are not as many options or people looking after you. Some of the stops are really small, and when they are full, they're full. Book ahead---we booked in January for an April trip. If not, know some French, and be prepared to take a taxi.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#21
On the various Camino's has anyone had to sleep outside or in a doorway etc. because they couldn't find a bed and have had enough of walking for the day? I'm certainly not planning on doing it but I'm sure it must happen, but don't recall reading about it.
I'm not talking about with tents, but with nothing, except maybe a jacket and a rucksack for a pillow.
I slept on a disused railway station on Camino de Levante in 2015. I had info that there is a possibility to sleep in polideportivo but the mayor decided that's not an option anymore. And I just didn't feel like walking that day so I went to a market, bought some food and beer and head for this railway station. Usually I'm on a budget so I didn't even think of a taxi. It was nice evening, there was a huge covered porch on the side of the tracks, I put my 250gr sleeping bag on the floor, put on long pants and fleece and that was it. No shower that evening and, ahem, no real toilet in the morning but it was quite nice. OK, some rats running around but no bites :D

Otherwise I slept (or not) numerous times on airports (going to/from Camino), but there were some very nice nights in municipal swimming pool changing room, few polideportivos changing rooms, classroom for hair-dressers, town hall porch, aerobics gym room, deserted castle/palace I had all to myself to wander around, park etc. I could say everywhere just not the police station ;)

Why are you asking?
 
Last edited:

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
Norte Spring 2018
#22
Hi,
in my experience it is more likely that the people in a village or town will arrange for alternative accomodation the less alternatives are available.

If you can go to a hostal or casa rural they will send you there. If there is nothing and the next albergue 10 km ahead they will find a place where you can sleep.

Many albergues keep the old matresses for this. Or they will open the sports centre or their hogar de pensionista for pilgrims.

And there is always the option of calling a taxi.

BC
Alexandra

Calling a taxi is a very expensive option. They are crazy expensive in Spain. I'd rather sleep on the street than give money to the local taxi mafia.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#23
Calling a taxi is a very expensive option. They are crazy expensive in Spain. I'd rather sleep on the street than give money to the local taxi mafia.
A taxi will be about 1E per kilometer. A bus will be about 3E for an entire segment, so a bus is cheaper. I never have met a mafia taxi driver. They have been universally pleasant and helpful; a couple even spoke a bit of English. They work hard for a bare living, particularly in the countryside, If albergues are full but there are pensiones, hostales, and hoteles available, staying in one of them likely costs less than a taxi plus albergue in the next village. Sometimes it is about minimizing cost, not avoiding them.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#25
In both CF and CP I always found a place. If not in an albergue, in a private small inn (hostal, pension, hotel, casa rural). Travelling as a couple, the difference between a double room and how much I would pay for two beds in a donativo was not that big.

As mentioned above, Booking.com was pretty good to find private accomodation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#26
A taxi will be about 1E per kilometer. A bus will be about 3E for an entire segment, so a bus is cheaper. I never have met a mafia taxi driver. They have been universally pleasant and helpful; a couple even spoke a bit of English. They work hard for a bare living, particularly in the countryside, If albergues are full but there are pensiones, hostales, and hoteles available, staying in one of them likely costs less than a taxi plus albergue in the next village. Sometimes it is about minimizing cost, not avoiding them.
Taxi in Portugal and Spain is about 1 € a Kilometer, that is also my experience.

Usually there are no schedules published in the bus stops, sometimes there is only one (school-)bus in the morning and in the afternoon. So using the bus is not really an Option.

So: if the albergue and any suggested alternative accomodation in that town is completo (or to expensive), walk to the bar, take a drink. After a short rest you will see if you can walk on. If not, ask them if they know someone else letting rooms for pilgrims or to call you a taxi to the next place.

BC
Alexandra
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
Norte Spring 2018
#27
Taxi in Portugal and Spain is about 1 € a Kilometer, that is also my experience.
Certainly not my experience! There is no way a 5km journey is going to be 5 Euros in Spain. 10 years ago maybe but not today.
 
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#28
In my experience (2007, 2010, 2014) in the spanish countryside the taxi price was at about 1 € per kilometer, one additional 1 € for the backpack and 20% plus on weekends. According to the taxi price lists I saw in Fisterra and Muxía 3 weeks ago these prices are still valid.

In Madrid, going from the airport to the central bus atation, the taxi was more expensive (+/- 30 €). There the bill was determined not only by the distance but also by the time we spent in the traffic jam.

Even if they charge you twice the fee as the taxi is going to fetch you somewhere in the middle of nowhere, it is still worth considering the extra money in comparison to sleeping outside (especially as a woman travelling alone) or paying 50 € for a single room in a Hotel. So taxi is always an option you should consider!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#29
Certainly not my experience! There is no way a 5km journey is going to be 5 Euros in Spain. 10 years ago maybe but not today.
Definitely yes, 1€/km roughly. In the rural areas sometimes even a bit less. My experience from this year.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#30
My taxis in 2015 and 2017 were also 1 euro/km. Exceptions were large cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona and Porto. In smaller places, around that much.
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
#31
I slept on a disused railway station on Camino de Levante in 2015. I had info that there is a possibility to sleep in polideportivo but the mayor decided that's not an option anymore. And I just didn't feel like walking that day so I went to a market, bought some food and beer and head for this railway station. Usually I'm on a budget so I didn't even think of a taxi. It was nice evening, there was a huge covered porch on the side of the tracks, I put my 250gr sleeping bag on the floor, put on long pants and fleece and that was it. No shower that evening and, ahem, no real toilet in the morning but it was quite nice. OK, some rats running around but no bites :D

Otherwise I slept (or not) numerous times on airports (going to/from Camino), but there were some very nice nights in municipal swimming pool changing room, few polideportivos changing rooms, classroom for hair-dressers, town hall porch, aerobics gym room, deserted castle/palace I had all to myself to wander around, park etc. I could say everywhere just not the police station ;)

Why are you asking?
I'm planning a walk in France, and there are some long distances between accommodation. It occurred to me that lots of people probably end up with nowhere to stay.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#32
I'm planning a walk in France, and there are some long distances between accommodation. It occurred to me that lots of people probably end up with nowhere to stay.
In France or on Camino Frances? ft it is the second one read further and if it is not, I have nothing clever to say :)

The longest one is 17km between Carrion de los Condes and Calzadilla de la Cueza. And that's it. No worry! ;)
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
#34
In France or on Camino Frances? ft it is the second one read further and if it is not, I have nothing clever to say :)

The longest one is 17km between Carrion de los Condes and Calzadilla de la Cueza. And that's it. No worry! ;)
In France, the route is in the least populated area, with few transport links.
I’m not expecting to be without a bed. I was just curious about people’s experiences of not finding one.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Oporto (2018 - planned)
#36
I've seen this thread so many times but today when I glanced at it, it registered differently in my brain and I thought it was asking "What if you can't get out of bed?" A much more pressing question in my experience of the Camino, in July and August when you really want to get up very early to avoid the heat. :)
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#37
I've seen this thread so many times but today when I glanced at it, it registered differently in my brain and I thought it was asking "What if you can't get out of bed?" A much more pressing question in my experience of the Camino, in July and August when you really want to get up very early to avoid the heat. :)
I'm having trouble getting out of bed these days and I'm not even on Camino :)
 
#38
I had a couple mornings when I didn't want to get out of bed - like when I woke up to rain the 5th day in a row...hard to force myself out of a warm dry bed and back out into the rain again.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#39
I had a couple mornings when I didn't want to get out of bed - like when I woke up to rain the 5th day in a row...hard to force myself out of a warm dry bed and back out into the rain again.
Only five? Try twenty straight days. :):)
 

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