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Winging it freedom

dreaming

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF, LE PUY
I completed the CF in October. I did carry a guide book when i completed it 6 years earlier but i found i looked at it in the evening after i had completed my walk for the day. This time I had the Wise pilgrim and Buen Camino app but mostly just followed the arrows. This is how i came across Albergue lamas. I realized that this might not be the main route when i started up that hill. I looked at the Buen Camino app to find i was on the variant so i kept going. I also enjoyed the Le Puy Camino and the freedom of getting lost. I carry my pack so just stop when I have. had enough. I don't plan my destination or the albergue. The first one i see it is. My limit was when we checked into the monastery in Samos. We paid our donation. The albergue was filthy, dirty sheets where you could see evidence of bed bugs with blood streaks, dirty blankets and rat catchers on the floors. The monk was extremely unhelpful. I left and stayed at the albergue opposite. It was wonderful and clean with duvets.
Just wondering how many of you wing it or do i just enjoy how easy it is to follow the arrows?
 
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I like to wing it myself, but sometimes that just isn't possible. My husband has needed to have his pack transferred a few times in the past couple of years so we have to have reservations for that. We volunteer at albergues where reservations cannot be made and we both really appreciate the freedom that walking with your own pack can bring.
 
Winging it is my preference, though not always feasible nowadays.

I do love your sentiment re "the freedom of getting lost", which has led to some real nice albergue surprises/kismet experiences. Planning everything down to the teensiest detail, to me, is incredibly rigid and constraining. Some people's personalities line up with that way of traveling, mine does not.

And in my experience with the camino, whenever I've overly planned, or taken great pains to book that "perfect alberuge" everyone is raving about, it tends to be a bit of a letdown. It's always the unplanned delights I remember.
 
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€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
During the 10 years when I walked in late autumn /winter I never had any difficulty finding a place to stay but I almost always stayed in non-reservable municipal albergues and only reserved for the last days in Santiago in a pilgrim room at San Martin Pinario. Since I always wore a full backpack I could easily stop whenever/wherever some place was open. The only constraints were the weather and, of course, my strength.
 
I also prefer to wing it. I generally have a rough idea of where I might stop each day, but I often ditch my plans along the way, depending on how I'm feeling. I've only ever booked a place once, and that was coming down from the Norte onto the CF. My friend and I had plotted a route along country roads which meant that we only had to spend one night on the CF. It was pilgrim high season, so we booked the last two beds at Sta. Irene. That was also the only time I walked any camino in summer - never again!
 
I have always winged it except for two occasions when I made a reservation. The first was on the Via Francigena in 2011 and the second on the CF - I don't remember the year, but I do remember making the reservation for Torres del Rio.

I have never had a problem, but understand that things have changed and maybe I will have to make reservations in the future, particularly on the CF if I decide to walk that one again.
 
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Winging it is the way I like it. As noted above , the absolute freedom of being able to stop when or wherever you please is a very big part of what the Camino is all about for me. Pity about the monastery in Samos. When I stayed there in 19 it was basic but clean, although the hospitalero (not a monk) took issue with me having my passport details photocopied and stuck in my credencial.
 
Winging it is my preferred option but winter is my favourite walking season and I sometimes walk very quiet routes. In those circumstances many places will ask for you to book in advance. Not always practical to keep somewhere staffed and heated on the off chance that a pilgrim will turn up.
 
I can’t speak to the aspect of “winging it,” because during my autumn camino I did a combination of winging and booking. However, I did stay at the Samos Monastery at the end of October and found it to be a great experience. Very old and simple, but also clean and the hospitaltero was very kinds and offered me bandages for my feet. I didn’t see any evidence of bedbugs or rats. It would not be everyone’s cup of tea, but just wanted to offer a different perspective.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Winging it is our prefered option for my wife and I. And it has worked out well for our first six Camino's with almost zero difficulties in finding a place each night.
This fall however between Sarria and Santiago it wasn't possible due to the high numbers of Pilgrims, so we had to get busy on Booking. Com.
We wonder if this year was particularly busy due to pent up demand from the Covid years. Time will tell.
Having been in Santiago a number of times now, we are unlikely to do any more Caminos that end in Santiago based on how busy the last 100 k's are now from any direction into Santiago.
Our love of Camino's is undiminished, just that we prefer less people, so any future plans will give Santiago a wide berth so we can go back to our 'winging it' ways.
 
I’m a planner! 🤦🏼‍♀️ Sorry! Walking the Camino was the craziest thing I have ever done, for sure. Because I needed to have my pack transported, I had to have reservations. For me, the winging it was believing in myself and walking out my front door.

My Camino planning only involved 6 spreadsheets, though, so maybe that gets some points? 🤣
 
I completed the CF in October. I did carry a guide book when i completed it 6 years earlier but i found i looked at it in the evening after i had completed my walk for the day. This time I had the Wise pilgrim and Buen Camino app but mostly just followed the arrows. This is how i came across Albergue lamas. I realized that this might not be the main route when i started up that hill. I looked at the Buen Camino app to find i was on the variant so i kept going. I also enjoyed the Le Puy Camino and the freedom of getting lost. I carry my pack so just stop when I have. had enough. I don't plan my destination or the albergue. The first one i see it is. My limit was when we checked into the monastery in Samos. We paid our donation. The albergue was filthy, dirty sheets where you could see evidence of bed bugs with blood streaks, dirty blankets and rat catchers on the floors. The monk was extremely unhelpful. I left and stayed at the albergue opposite. It was wonderful and clean with duvets.
Just wondering how many of you wing it or do i just enjoy how easy it is to follow the arrows?
Mostly I just follow the arrows. If I’m lost I prefer to ask a local first. I’ve often experienced wonderful results…suggestions, recommendations, dinner invites, but I’m very outgoing and am fearless! I once traversed the coast of Queensland with an Aussie couple who later introduced me to several friends, one of whom invited me to hike Tasmania. I nearly moved to Oz because of her! It was a very close call but I managed to get away still single😂
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Murphy was an optimist, so the best way to ensure that plans don't go wrong is not to have one. It is by far the most relaxing way to travel.

The frequency of Albergues, on the Frances in particular, make it very easy to to have no plan. Itis an extremely relaxing way to walk.
 
Murphy was an optimist, so the best way to ensure that plans don't go wrong is not to have one. It is by far the most relaxing way to travel.

The frequency of Albergues, on the Frances in particular, make it very easy to to have no plan. Itis an extremely relaxing way to walk.
I agree, but more difficult when you have a group of 10 students and 2 faculty.
 
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I agree, but more difficult when you have a group of 10 students and 2 faculty.
The largest group I have walked a Camino with was 2 including myself. And I occasionally felt that was at least one too many. I wish you all the best but walking in a group that size sounds like a penitential exercise and I haven't been all that badly behaved lately! :cool:
 
The largest group I have walked a Camino with was 2 including myself. And I occasionally felt that was at least one too many. I wish you all the best but walking in a group that size sounds like a penitential exercise and I haven't been all that badly behaved lately! :cool:
Agree, wondering some days myself. We'll see how it goes...
 
Murphy was an optimist, so the best way to ensure that plans don't go wrong is not to have one. It is by far the most relaxing way to travel.

The frequency of Albergues, on the Frances in particular, make it very easy to to have no plan. Itis an extremely relaxing way to walk.
Whereas I tend to agree with Eisenhower that "plans are worthless, but planning is everything." Yes, don't expect to or try to hold fast to a plan, but the activity of planning and what you learn while doing it is very rewarding and makes the creation of plans, however worthless they may be, very much worthwhile.
 
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Whereas I tend to agree with Eisenhower that "plans are worthless, but planning is everything." Yes, don't expect to or try to hold fast to a plan, but the activity of planning and what you learn while doing it is very rewarding and makes the creation of plans, however worthless they may be, very much worthwhile.
During the planning process you can learn what your options are if plans A, B, and C go haywire.
 
I'm up to Plan A in 2 weeks (Sarria to Santiago) and now due to the threat of strike against Iberia Airlines, I have a plan B (Estella to Belarado and onto Burgos). Combine that with wild card holiday closings for hospitaleros to enjoy their families and its really like winging it.
 
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It can take a lot of research to not have a plan, but the most laid-back people have the freedom of no plan.

Like the guy who took yellow arrows in a shopping center as a sign to go to SJPP at the earliest opportunity. In SJPP he met a total stranger, from a different country, who’d just been forced into early retirement. Neither had any plan, but after the first day decided to never exceed 20 kilometers per day. They thoroughly enjoyed an extremely relaxing, therapeutic, life changing 45 day walk to Santiago.

Winging it is enjoying the company of a new friend in a café late in the afternoon, deciding where to sleep that evening as the sun is getting low in the sky. :)
 
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