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When all the beds are full...


Deleted member 39850

Took a taxi on my first camino because the town we had landed in was completely full and it was late.
Walked on from Rabinal just before Arzúa this year; found a bed in Arzúa (and an *exceptionally good meal* we’d not have otherwise had), then walked 42km the next day to SdC in order to skip over the possibility of a second night with no beds in our intended stopping point.
A friend slept outside in Larrasoana in 2014... I suppose it happens sometimes, but often the albergue owners or hospitaleros will provide a bedroll and a safe spot in a garden.
At the municipale in Navarre the hospitaleros threw extra mattresses down on the floor of the dining area for the last stragglers in.
I do wonder about how often one sleeps outside on the other routes... but the CF certainly has enough beds and may even have too many in some towns now.
Camino(s) past & future
walked Camino Frances 2012, future June 26 2016 / Burgos to Santiago July 2017 future Camino Fran
Last year walked from triacastela to sarria then to portomarin onward to gonzar where I eventually got a bed at 9 o'clock at night thanks to the intervention of a young Irish pilgrim , the owner wouldn't be swayed by his Irish lilt till the young Irishman in a raised voice protested at putting a pilgrim on the street whereby all in the restaurant stopped eating,.......the owner duly capitulated. Who says the Camino doesn't provide.To the true pilgrim, the young Irishman a big thank you.What's missing is a simple red sign for full green for beds ,I wasted a lot of time door knocking to no avail because the Completo signs weren't out..After that experience I mostly went to municipal albergues at least I could count the backpacks lined up if they had 40 beds and there was 25 bags I was getting a bed .Buen Camino to all.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Touch wood I have always got a bed of sorts. Once it was a fold up bed. Villages also sometimes open up the sports hall (pabellón) when necessary so I once slept on a gymnastics mat on the Camino del Norte. It was good because you could play basketball and there was a pool.
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Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
It has happened to me once, in 2004, a Holy Year, when I was walking to SDC and arriving on the Friday before the Sunday feast day. I think it was in Melide that I and some companions lay out mats out in the plaza, under the stars. That year we did all have mats, because we were anticipating problems. And very useful they were, not only in the plaza, but also on the gymnasium floors on which we also slept. In company with hundreds of others.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Porto - SdC - Finisterra 2011: E4 on Crete 2012: Le Puy - SJPdP 2013: Camino Madrid -> Del Salvador -> Primitivo 2014: European Peace Walk. 2015: Amsterdam - SdC & Barcelona -Burgos. 2016:Norte & hospitalero
Nearly never I made a reservation, and always found a bed. In my experience, the issue is more about fears then about the actual situation. And indeed, many albergues do have space somewhere were extra people can sleep when they arrive late and when the albergue is full...


Pilgrim Trekker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago (2013)
Lisboa to Santiago (2018)
Last month on the CP we encountered multiple towns where the officially listed places with beds were Completo, but given that we were a loosely affiliated bunch, we always managed to find a bar owner who knew where a couple of beds were available, or called a taxi and got us to the next village (where in one case the bar owner had called the hostel and they had dinner being prepared when we got there), or one of us slept on the owner's couch cushions on the living room floor. Never had to sleep outside (unless you count three of us sleeping on cots on a sleeping porch of the hostel as being outside). Be persistent and ask bar owners or cafe owners if the regular sources of rooms appear to be full. Once, in O Cebreiro a few years ago, I asked the bar owner if anyone might have a room available and she gave me the keys to her house and I got to stay in a lovely private room with my own bathtub for 20 euros... a perfect end to a 40KM day with a huge climb at the end.
Bom caminho!


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
This is all true. I got stuck on a heatwave day this year in an albergue on the Sanabres that was located in the village hall and had been left trashed after a fiesta the night before. We couldn't safely walk further because it was 40c/104f outside. We phoned the next village's hospitalera and she went into the bar and got a bloke to come and pick us up! Also the first time I went to Santiago I had no booking and rented a room through the proprietor of a vegetable shop. That arrangement is still going - I saw a note in the window this year.
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Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
How many have walked the Camino and found often that all beds are filled, do you sleep under the stars then?
Never had the problem. Saw it for others in Santa Catalina one evening. I was enjoying a beer at the front of the albergue when a guy I knew arrived and was turned away. Local ladies offered him a bed in their home. Seems they are there quite regularly offering to help


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Touch wood I have always got a bed of sorts. Once it was a fold up bed. Villages also sometimes open up the sports hall (pabellón) when necessary so I once slept on a gymnastics mat on the Camino del Norte. It was good because you could play basketball and there was a pool.
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Imagine that. Flashlights, late comers, midnight toilet users, snorers, alarms, bag rustlers and on top of that - basketball :D :D :D
Camino(s) past & future
The Camino Frances 2005
The Portugese Camino 2014
The Camino Ingles Easter 2015
The Camino Ingles April 2016
The Camino del Norte/The Primitivo 2016
I've had to sleep outside since there were no available beds. I do not mind sleeping outside - it is wonderful to wake up and see the stars. And the sound of rain is nice as long as you are in a shelter of some kind. The nights, I have spend outside, are the ones, I remember.

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