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Winging it or Getting a Helping Hand?

Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
SJPP to SdC, 2023
CF, 2024
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
 
Prepare for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
My only question would be:

Do I want to do one six grand camino or six one grand caminos?

Nothing wrong with having your camino all planned, if you feel more comfortable with that and if you're happy to spend all that money...

But with a little research you can plan all that yourself, for a fraction of the cost.
 
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$6000! What does that cover? Which route?

Personally I would hate to be tied to a fixed itinerary. One reason why I always carry my pack and rarely reserve accommodation. What if you are injured? Or sick? Or just find a pleasant spot with good company and want to stop early one day? Why be forced to carry on because your gear is 10km further down the road?

PS: In 2019 I flew from the UK to Japan. With a 20 hour stopover for sightseeing in Dubai on the way. Three weeks of walking pilgrim routes and tourism in Japan. Then on to Australia for a month of tours and sightseeing over a lot of the country. I returned to the UK having spent about the same amount in total - including all flights - that you have been quoted for a single Camino journey. I think you may find far better value and some personal satisfaction in making your own arrangements.
 
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Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
I would never, ever...consider booking a camino through a tour outfit. I actually believe it's a racket.

the fun and adventure of not knowing what the day and the next day (and the next day) will bring is one of my favorite parts about the Camino. You might meet neat people that you want to hang with at the albergue or hike with them...I would hate to have my flexibility taken away and that is a non-negotiable for me
 
My sleeps were all booked by me for last years walk ;i won't do it again!

I have booked however SJPP to just after Pamplona as recommended by several on the forum because of the demand for beds in the early stages of the Frances; but will wing it from there.

Having all sleeps booked forces you into a route march to your next stay even when you have had enough or want to stay in a place somewhere you really would like to explore more!
If you want to pay someone all that money to book you a room with breakfast that fine by me:)
But much cheaper done by you!
Whatever you do have a great walk
Buen Camino
Woody
 
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Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
“WOW”
My first question would be, “How the hell they come up with 6k!!”
Do they chauffeur your bags in Bentleys!!
Am pretty sure you could book Everest base camp for that price!

For me personally, I think the more you Organise the trip, the less you get out of it!
If you’re reasonably fit, 25km is not that demanding!

Depending on the Camino you’re walking, their is plenty of resources for checking what accommodations their is available!
I normally have a rough plan of the route/Km I intend to walk! However, I make sure I have the flexibility to be able to walk less/more, if I feel inclined!

I think having everything pre booked you lose a bit of the magic of the Camino!
I would miss the opportunity to explore the smaller villages/towns you would pass.

Most of the people I met in the last 2 weeks, didn’t have a set plan each day!
 
If that is what you feel most comfortable with, then certainly go for it. Honestly though, it isn't that hard to do a do-it-yourself Camino. Thousands do it every year. I am not the kind of person that likes that kind of tour and prefer the flexibility of doing it myself--even the first time--but I have traveled a lot and prefer to manage my own schedule.

If you are a person that prefers that all the details are covered by someone else, then booking a tour might be right for you. I think on this forum though, you will get a lot of advice for the do-it-yourself route.
 
If that is what you feel most comfortable with, then certainly go for it. Honestly though, it isn't that hard to do a do-it-yourself Camino. Thousands do it every year. I am not the kind of person that likes that kind of tour and prefer the flexibility of doing it myself--even the first time--but I have traveled a lot and prefer to manage my own schedule.

If you are a person that prefers that all the details are covered by someone else, then booking a tour might be right for you. I think on this forum though, you will get a lot of advice for the do-it-yourself route.
That being said, there are a few places I would probably book ahead myself. If you are planning the Camino Frances, there are some pinch points depending on the season and it makes sense to have a bed waiting for you in St Jean, Roncesvalles, and Zubiri. Also as you get to Sarria, it makes sense to get a bed planned a day or two ahead. October to April, you are probably fine. May to October, it will be busier. This is the busiest Camino and it has a lot of infrastructure. The other Caminos are less traveled, but have less infrastructure. It makes sense to think it through that way. I did have acquaintances who booked the Camino Portuguese with an agency and were very happy with that decision, but I don't think they paid $6,000.
 
Prepare for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
There's another option between "winging it" and paying thousands to a company to organize everything.
You can easily book your own accommodations and luggage transfer. Though I wouldn't recommending booking all of your accommodations ahead. Book the first few nights. After that you will have a better idea of how far you want to walk each day, and you can book a day or two ahead.
This allows you more flexibility and control over your Camino.

you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want.
I walked with a woman this year that had booked with a company and included dinners. She ended up skipping most of the dinners because she preferred to eat dinner with other pilgrims that she had met.
 
It comes to what you feel comfortable doing. If you feel you can make a hotel reservation in your normal life, there is absoluteley no need to have someone else do it on the camino for you. If you can send a parcel with your post office, sending your backpack is not more difficult. I understand there are people that for whatever reason are not comfortable with that, and for those these "All-inclusive" services might be justified, but as many have already stated, they do come at a premium. In the end, only you can decide if it is worth it to you
For myself i would never book such a service, also never transport my backpack somwhere other besides my back. Also not a big fan of reservations and on two caminos to this date i have never had any trouble getting a bed when i arrived at the place i wanted to stay.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
There are several options beyond booking the whole thing in advance with an outfitter.

One is just winging it as you describe, and walking to the next village or town if the albergue is full. If you still have gas in the tank (as it were) that may not be too much of a hardship.

If you don't want to walk to the next town, there are a couple of other options. You can ask if there is somewhere else to stay or someone who might be able to put up a pilgrim when the albergue is full. You can ask the hospitalero of the full albergue for suggestions. Others have had success asking in the local bar or at the town hall or guardia civil or some such. Another option is to take a taxi to the next town, find a place to stay there, and in the morning take a taxi back to where you left off to continue walking.

Yet another option between winging it and arriving in a town looking for accommodations and booking the whole Camino up front with an outfitter is to book accommodations yourself as you go, a day or two ahead. When I went with my son in 2016, I booked the first couple of days to start us off, then we winged it. For most of the Camino, into Galicia, there were no problems at all finding room in the albergues. But when we got to Traicastela, the first few albergues I checked in were full. I did find an albergue with a bed there, so there was no need to apply the strategies in the previous paragraph, but it took more time than I was used to. So after that, I'd book accommodation a day or two ahead. By that time, we had a good sense of how far we liked to walk each day.

That's one of the reasons I'm personally skeptical of booking the whole Camino up front for a first Camino. You really don't know yet how far you are comfortable walking each day and you are locking yourself in. Some people like to walk 25-30 km (or more) each day. Others have feet that respond to that with lots of blisters that disappear if they shorten their daily distances to 20 km. Only experience will tell you what your daily distance is. Winging it, or booking ahead a day or two at a time, gives you the opportunity to adjust your camino based on what you are learning about yourself and how you like to walk.
 
There's another option between "winging it" and paying thousands to a company to organize everything.
You can easily book your own accommodations and luggage transfer. Though I wouldn't recommending booking all of your accommodations ahead. Book the first few nights. After that you will have a better idea of how far you want to walk each day, and you can book a day or two ahead.
This allows you more flexibility and control over your Camino.


I walked with a woman this year that had booked with a company and included dinners. She ended up skipping most of the dinners because she preferred to eat dinner with other pilgrims that she had met.
This is the essence of "Why Not use a tour plan?" It's about flexibility and control. You are on a Camino planned by someone else when you sign up for one of these. Sure, its relatively stress free, but there is a cost beyond the one measured in dollars. I have talked to a dozen or so people on tours like this over the years, and most arrived in Spain and promptly regretted their decision after seeing how it really works once you are on Camino.

Too much planning separates you from the community that forms as you walk. You can't decide to speed up or slow down. You can't account for injury or weather. An gosh darn it, you can't decide to take the side trip to Samos just because you feel like it with those two really funny guys from Portsmouth who thought you should come along with them, or join Spanish woman and her friend who know a fabulous restaurant in Burgos, or stay with the guys you have been eating lunch with for the past week who are taking a shorter day to stay at that great Albergue in Trabadelo, or, or, or.......

If what you want is a guided tour, by all means, take one. If your reason for walking is a personal journey of self discovery, change, adventure, religious revival, or whatever, then let it all unfold naturally. Nobody needs a tour guide to do the Camino, just enough courage to take a leap of faith into the unknown. Once the unknown becomes known, you realize that any fears you had about logistics are easily managed. After that, you walk your own Camino at your own pace, not somebody else's.
 
Buen Camino, TorontoGMan! There's a lot to think about and a lot of good advice above.

$6000! What does that cover? Which route?

I am also interested in this question. It seemed inconceivable! Just as a thought experiment, I decided to look into it more and found a lot of those costs can be eaten up by lodging. Very special, world-class lodging. Here was an 8-day sampler of the Camino Frances for $5000, but that included 2 nights at the Parador in SdC ($300/night), 1 night at San Zoilo Monastery Hotel (super luxurious and a relative steal at $80/night).


If you add in meals at those hotels' very nice restaurants, I can see how a luxury guided tour could approach an average of $200/day just from lodging and dinners alone, even offset by equally luxurious but less expensive lodging in other towns. Shockingly enough, I do think it would be theoretically possible. Whether or not that would appeal to someone, for 8 days straight let alone 30 days straight, is another question entirely ;)
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
For me personally, I think the more you Organise the trip, the less you get out of it!
@green_spork , I wonder if that is what you really meant. I know I find the exact opposite. The more that I arrange and have control over myself, the more I get out of the trip that I am on, whether it is a pilgrimage or some other form of travel.

For the OP, there have already been some great contributions on the range of options, so I won't go back over these. What I would reflect on is that the more you fix in place before you start, the less likely you are to be in places where the pilgrims you meet are going to be. It makes it more difficult if you do want to continue to walk and talk with a camino family when they are more likely to be staying somewhere else in a town, if indeed they are stopping in the same town.

If you have any sense that you would enjoy the camaraderie of meeting and walking with a camino family, it seems to me one should not hand over booking accommodation to a tour company, nor even book too much ahead if you do are going to to that for yourself.
 
Thank you for posting this. I just got a quote for $5200 for December (32 days) at standard lodgings. It included continental breakfast and dinner. I just wanted to see an idea of price. The more I read the more I think I will take a leap of faith and wing it/book my own rooms. For me the call is spiritual and I want to really embrace the experience that the Camino provides me. For me, being tied to a set agenda seems to go against the experience I’m looking for. Plus, the post about 6 $1000 Caminos vs 1 $6000 really resonates with me. I’m planning my first one but hopefully not my last. I don’t think there is a wrong way to do this, each needs to do what feels right for them.
 
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I just cannot live the lifestyle where everything is planned out for me .. to me it is ... where freedom? where impulsiveness? where introspection and following one's thoughts? where following what happens on that day at that place at that time? etc etc etc ...
A tour, any tour, means one has to stay with the same set of people, has to be where the organisers say, eat where the organisers say, sleep where the organisers say, get up when the organisers say .... it means one cannot deviate in any way ... cannot strike up a friendship and stop with that person an extra day because they are injured ... or rescue an injured dog or cat and take it to the vet, sit long with the lonely pilgrim and share a bottle of wine and life stories .... I could go on and on and on .....
.... personally I just don't understand why a human would want to do that to themselves, nor pay people for the privilege .... I do understand that many people live a frightened life and so do this sort of thing, convincing themselves that it will be really good, that this is what they really like - but in the end surely it is fear of the unknown, fear of life .. it is fear; and if walking off on Camino alone can teach a human one thing it is to not be afraid, don't you think?

So - ToronotoGman - you asked - I say wing it!!!
 
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For some people going with a tour or pre- booking themselves makes for a less stressful journey, but if you do it yourself then you at least have the flexibility to change things up if you need it. Regardless, I would highly recommend not including meals. The first time I walked being unfamiliar, it was in a package with breakfast and dinner. Breakfast was often not served until 9, and it would have suited us better to start walking and get a few kms in before stopping. Dinner was not until 9, late for hungry pilgrims and it was hard to miss out on the great spots we came across
 
@green_spork , I wonder if that is what you really meant. I know I find the exact opposite. The more that I arrange and have control over myself, the more I get out of the trip that I am on, whether it is a pilgrimage or some other form of travel.

For the OP, there have already been some great contributions on the range of options, so I won't go back over these. What I would reflect on is that the more you fix in place before you start, the less likely you are to be in places where the pilgrims you meet are going to be. It makes it more difficult if you do want to continue to walk and talk with a camino family when they are more likely to be staying somewhere else in a town, if indeed they are stopping in the same town.

If you have any sense that you would enjoy the camaraderie of meeting and walking with a camino family, it seems to me one should not hand over booking accommodation to a tour company, nor even book too much ahead if you do are going to to that for yourself.
I think you’ve missed my point!
I was referring to the having everything, accommodation/meals/transport/route
prearranged/booked!

As I mentioned in my original post,
For me, this strips away the magic of the Camino! The sheer joy of stopping/moving when/where you wish!

If I’d had arranged/controlled everything as you prefer with my recent Camino, I would have missed so many memorable experiences and interactions!

The only thing I arranged/controlled was booking accommodation the night I arrived!

Every other daily decision was made on the go, albergues/rest stops/side trips/bars/cafes!
 
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Phil and I met a pilgrim in 2016 who was walking without her bag and she stayed in regular hotels every night. She had a regular suitcase that was transported for her to he next hotel each day. We met her because we were staying in the AC Hotel in Logrono that night. She was very happy with her package deal.
 
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
There is a place in the middle, you can do a bit of both. You can still plan, but dont commit to everything upfront.
I would recommend becoming familiar with one of the apps, or guide books, and getting a sense of the distances involved, and booking the first 3-4 days up to Pamplona. There is less in accommodation in that part where the pilgrims are still bunched up and haven't started to spread out.
Lots of people post their stages on the forum. You will know if you want to walk average days (18-25kms), or longer days (35-40kms), or short days (less than 15kms)
I wouldnt plan the days exactly as the guidebook stages, but they are good for preplanning.

You can use Booking.com if you like to make it easy. They keep track of your bookings.
Pack transfer is super easy, there are several different companies that do it. Some people book in advance, (I never book a Camino in advance).
If I use pack transfer I do it each day, the easiest process ever, and only 4-5 euros each time.

I guess that from afar, the Camino seems like a huge undertaking, and a tour seems like the easy way out.
But honestly, once on Camino you really have nothing to do but pack up each morning, and walk, wash your clothes and eat.
Locking yourself into an entirely pre-booked itinerary gives you no flexibility. What if you meet a group you want to hang out with. What if its raining and you want to walk a short day. What if you injure yourself. What if you decide you love a place and would like an extra day? What if you want to walk shorter or longer days?

There is a case for carrying your pack, it makes it easy for you to make spontaneous decisions, you know where your gear is, and you save on pack transport. There's a simplicity in having everything with you. But sometimes pack transfer is required, and if it is, then its super easy to organise.

I normally book ahead by one sometimes two days if Im booking, and always find a bed.
When Ive winged it, Ive always had a bed as well, but some people feel more uncomfortable winging it than others. There is no absolutely right way to walk a Camino.
I guess the reason the people who write the popular Camino books are 'wingers' is because it makes for a better book, a book about a preplanned Camino doesnt make for interesting reading.

(And a word to the wise, never book breakfast with accomodation - just get on the trail, and stop at a cafe for good coffee and something to eat). The prepared breakfasts aren't worth waiting for. Same goes for dinners, you want flexibility with those too for location and timing.
 
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(And a word to the wise, never book breakfast with accomodation - just get on the trail, and stop at a cafe for good coffee and something to eat). The prepared breakfasts aren't worth waiting for. Same goes for dinners, you want flexibility with those to for location and timing.
OK, that isn't always true, but it is sometimes true. When I am a hospitalera, I get up every morning at 5:30 to have a breakfast ready by 6 a.m. or sooner of hot coffee, fruit, toast, cereal, etc. Granted it isn't bacon and eggs, but pilgrims are usually quite happy with what was there and surprised that it was ready early.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I think you’ve missed my point!
I was referring to the having everything, accommodation/meals/transport/route
prearranged/booked!
I interpreted your earlier comment quite differently. I was thinking you were making the comparison between what you organised and what someone else organised.

I rarely have anything more than the arrival and departure flights booked. Some of my pilgrimages have required booking a day or so ahead, others haven't. In the past I haven't seen any need to organise anything any further ahead than that, although this year I did book accommodation for my rest days and the couple of days I stayed in Santiago before starting.

I do hope that my comments don't lead anyone else to believe that I advocate making accommodation arrangements in particular for the whole camino. I would have thought that was obvious, but I feel that given one person seems to have interpreted them differently, I feel the need to clarify that point.
 
(And a word to the wise, never book breakfast with accomodation - just get on the trail, and stop at a cafe for good coffee and something to eat). The prepared breakfasts aren't worth waiting for. Same goes for dinners, you want flexibility with those to for location and timing.
I suggest this is very personal advice. Any attempt to cover the range of different breakfast options with a single simple statement like this is bound to be flawed. I much prefer to have breakfast where I am staying if it is provided at a reasonable hour, even if that is just coffee and toast. The hard choices for me are at places where the breakfast service does not start early, and one is then going to be leaving later in the morning. I walk so slowly these days that I have difficulty avoiding the hotter parts of the day anyhow. so it is becoming less of a factor, and I have found myself deferring to a decent breakfast over an earlier start.
 
I interpreted your earlier comment quite differently. I was thinking you were making the comparison between what you organised and what someone else organised.

I rarely have anything more than the arrival and departure flights booked. Some of my pilgrimages have required booking a day or so ahead, others haven't. In the past I haven't seen any need to organise anything any further ahead than that, although this year I did book accommodation for my rest days and the couple of days I stayed in Santiago before starting.

I do hope that my comments don't lead anyone else to believe that I advocate making accommodation arrangements in particular for the whole camino. I would have thought that was obvious, but I feel that given one person seems to have interpreted them differently, I feel the need to clarify that point.
I think we’re both making the same point, in somewhat different ways!
 
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I met some tour operators along the way who I thought were very respectful of the Camino, and did an excellent job of guiding people who did need that helping hand. Good ones exist, so I don't want to slam outfitters as a group.

But I am going to slam some of them, and hard. Here are some of the experiences I have had with package tours:

  • Many outfitters will shuttle people off-camino for the night for a stay in a three-star hotel. It's probably more comfortable that way, and I've had friends do this style, but to me it seems more of a "vacation with day hikes" than a pilgrimage the way I understand it.
  • Many groups are very insular, and will treat individual walkers as intruders in "their" albergue or "their" café. Most of us arrive at a small café and share tables, and invite solo walkers to join us. I've seen groups take over small restaurants, one or two per table, and not make accommodations for others who are walking.
  • Even worse, I've seen groups treat workers at restaurants or albergues like staff. And even if you're not like that, you'll be with people who are.
  • In one extreme case, I came across a group on an exposed hill that appeared to be waiting for their guide to show up. The sun was blazing, and one poor elderly woman was badly sunburnt. I had an umbrella, so walked up and shaded us both. I gave her some water. She held on to my arm and started chatting away in German - a language I don't understand. She seemed a bit confused. Heat stroke, maybe? Others in the group said something that sounded very stern and called her back over to them ... back into the blazing sun. And I just bleepin' can't. We all always help each other out on Camino, especially when someone appears to be in trouble.
If you need a helping hand, I think that's fine. Just be careful what outfitter you choose! And I agree with everyone else ... any outfitter asking for six thousand dollars is probably not one you want to choose.
 
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Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
I have to ask. I have never seen the word 'outfitters' used as a synonym for 'tour operator' until now. I have always associated the word with clothing or equipment retailers. Yet many who have participated in this thread seem comfortable with that usage. Can someone explain what is the origin of this usage, and is it limited to a specific geographic region?
 
I have to ask. I have never seen the word 'outfitters' used as a synonym for 'tour operator' until now. I have always associated the word with clothing or equipment retailers. Yet many who have participated in this thread seem comfortable with that usage. Can someone explain what is the origin of this usage, and is it limited to a specific geographic region?
Same view from a UK standpoint! Means clothing retailers.
 
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A common question that comes up.

I think organised tours have their place. For those who are perhaps:
  1. Frail and need help.
  2. May have certain health, physical issues.
  3. Just 'afraid' of travelling in a foreign land alone.
  4. I'm sure countless other reasons.
For the vast majority though, it's not required and just an added constraint and cost IMHO.

The #1 reason I discourage people from organised tours (if they don't 'need' them) is this........

The lack of flexibility.

I have met too many people on the Camino who were injured, stressed, unhappy etc etc.
People in tears.....
All because they were trying to meet a 'fixed' schedule.
A schedule dictated by someone else.

Who could possibly know on Day 1, or even before getting to the start point, how far they will feel able to walk on day 10, or 20?
 
There is a place in the middle, you can do a bit of both. You can still plan, but dont commit to everything upfront.
I would recommend becoming familiar with one of the apps, or guide books, and getting a sense of the distances involved, and booking the first 3-4 days up to Pamplona. There is less in accommodation in that part where the pilgrims are still bunched up and haven't started to spread out.
Lots of people post their stages on the forum. You will know if you want to walk average days (18-25kms), or longer days (35-40kms), or short days (less than 15kms)
I wouldnt plan the days exactly as the guidebook stages, but they are good for preplanning.

You can use Booking.com if you like to make it easy. They keep track of your bookings.
Pack transfer is super easy, there are several different companies that do it. Some people book in advance, (I never book a Camino in advance).
If I use pack transfer I do it each day, the easiest process ever, and only 4-5 euros each time.

I guess that from afar, the Camino seems like a huge undertaking, and a tour seems like the easy way out.
But honestly, once on Camino you really have nothing to do but pack up each morning, and walk, wash your clothes and eat.
Locking yourself into an entirely pre-booked itinerary gives you no flexibility. What if you meet a group you want to hang out with. What if its raining and you want to walk a short day. What if you injure yourself. What if you decide you love a place and would like an extra day? What if you want to walk shorter or longer days?

There is a case for carrying your pack, it makes it easy for you to make spontaneous decisions, you know where your gear is, and you save on pack transport. There's a simplicity in having everything with you. But sometimes pack transfer is required, and if it is, then its super easy to organise.

I normally book ahead by one sometimes two days if Im booking, and always find a bed.
When Ive winged it, Ive always had a bed as well, but some people feel more uncomfortable winging it than others. There is no absolutely right way to walk a Camino.
I guess the reason the people who write the popular Camino books are 'wingers' is because it makes for a better book, a book about a preplanned Camino doesnt make for interesting reading.

(And a word to the wise, never book breakfast with accomodation - just get on the trail, and stop at a cafe for good coffee and something to eat). The prepared breakfasts aren't worth waiting for. Same goes for dinners, you want flexibility with those to for location and timing.
This post resonates a lot with me. Especially….’I guess that from afar, the Camino seems like a huge undertaking, and a tour seems like the easy way out.
But honestly, once on Camino you really have nothing to do but pack up each morning, and walk, wash your clothes and eat’.

I think maybe the forum aometimes gives an impression of something super tough, mystical etc. we diacuss every possible tiny aspect of it. In reality it’s a walk through a developed country, from cities to towns to villages, with plentiful bars, restaurant and accommodation! Often it’s comes across that everyone has problems with flights, ATMs, phones , everyone getting struck down with Covid and so on!!!

It’s easy to get to the start line and easy to get home from the finish line and the walk is relatively straightforward. Just need to keep booking.com to hand!
 
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...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I suggest this is very personal advice. Any attempt to cover the range of different breakfast options with a single simple statement like this is bound to be flawed. I much prefer to have breakfast where I am staying if it is provided at a reasonable hour, even if that is just coffee and toast. The hard choices for me are at places where the breakfast service does not start early, and one is then going to be leaving later in the morning. I walk so slowly these days that I have difficulty avoiding the hotter parts of the day anyhow. so it is becoming less of a factor, and I have found myself deferring to a decent breakfast over an earlier start.
Yes it is mainly the timing, although I'm not a fan of processed bread for toast which is often on offer, and my husband being coeliac does actually need something else altogether.
I did once have a nice breakfast at an albergue in Zubiri.
But I prefer to get on the road and miss the heat, plus I like a good coffee.
 
OK, that isn't always true, but it is sometimes true. When I am a hospitalera, I get up every morning at 5:30 to have a breakfast ready by 6 a.m. or sooner of hot coffee, fruit, toast, cereal, etc. Granted it isn't bacon and eggs, but pilgrims are usually quite happy with what was there and surprised that it was ready early.
I'd love to stay at your albergue, Ive read your posts and you go to extraordinary lengths as a hospitalera.
I dont think I was ever offered breakfast before 7 - 730am.
On my first walk, there were a few days when I was more of a rookie, and I had prepaid my breakfast, that I didnt bother waiting for it. Both times after dinner they were laying out slices of wrapped processed bread on to plates ready for breakfast toast, so I just walked out and left it there.
 
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I think organised tours have their place. For those who are perhaps:
  1. Frail and need help.
  2. May have certain health, physical issues.
  3. Just 'afraid' of travelling in a foreign land alone.
  4. I'm sure countless other reasons.
But many of these companies are selling "self guided" tours which would do nothing to resolve those problems.

There are also companies that sell group tours with a guide and a bus for those who can't walk the entire distance every day.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
But many of these companies are selling "self guided" tours which would do nothing to resolve those problems.

There are also companies that sell group tours with a guide and a bus for those who can't walk the entire distance every day.

Yes, I suppose the self guided tour is aimed at those who think the Logistics of finding accommodation is too hard........
 
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
Right now there is another thread on this forum asking about an average daily budget. Check it out, see if anyone comes even close to $200 a day.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/daily-budget-in-2022-on-the-cf.77284/unread
 
Can someone explain what is the origin of this usage, and is it limited to a specific geographic region?
I'm a Brit and "outfitter" in the sense of a tour operator is one I've never heard here. But I was aware of it being used that way in North America. I think it evolved from the narrower sense of a supplier of goods when companies began to offer guide services in addition to their core business of equipment sales.

 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
When I am a hospitalera, I get up every morning at 5:30 to have a breakfast ready by 6 a.m. or sooner.
Sorry if this is dragging it away from the original topic, but isn't 5:30 a bit early for getting up and disturbing the other pilgrims, most of whom are happy to rise much later?

I do understand that in hot weather, many want to walk early to escape the heat, but I also feel that early risers, disturbing everyone and setting off in the dark are partly responsible for the bed race hysteria that has gained momentum on the busier routes in recent years. Just saying.


To the O.P.
There is plenty of middle ground to be found in the replies, but I think most agree, tour companies restrict your freedom to enjoy the camino at your own pace. Perhaps the advice to book the first few days or first week until you get a feel for things is good. If after a few days you're still feeling a bit daunted, you can always book another block of days ahead.
 
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Sorry if this is dragging it away from the original topic, but isn't 5:30 a bit early for getting up and disturbing the other pilgrims, most of whom are happy to rise much later?

I do understand that in hot weather, many want to walk early to escape the heat, but I also feel that early risers, disturbing everyone and setting off in the dark are partly responsible for the bed race hysteria that has gained momentum on the busier routes in recent years. Just saying.
No it’s not. If someone wants to get up at a certain time please let them! There is no right time to get up and no right time to go to bed! I am sure most of us are able to minimise any noise and disruption as best we can! Private rooms can be booked by folks who cannot tolerate other people!
 
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If someone wants to get up at a certain time please let them! There is no right time to get up and no right time to go to bed! I am sure most of us are able to minimise any noise and disruption.

In reality, no..
We can't help what noises we make in our sleep and of course we should all accept this as part and parcel of sleeping in communal spaces.

But there's also good reason for generally accepting that there needs to be cut off times in the evening for disturbing others and an acceptable time for disturbing others in the mornings. If we all came and went at any hour we pleased? Really, you think most tired pilgrims would be happy?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one for rules and regulations, quite the opposite, but respect for all..
 
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In reality, no..
We can't help what noises we make in our sleep and of course we should all accept this as part and parcel of sleeping in communal spaces.

But there's also good reason for generally accepting that there needs to be cut off times in the evening for disturbing others and an acceptable time for disturbing others in the mornings. If we all came and went at any hour we pleased? Really, you think most tired pilgrims would be happy?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one for rules and regulations, quite the opposite, but respect for all..
Just totally disagree. 0530 isn’t that early for alot of people! You expect people to just wait around? As far as I am concerned if I book a communal room. I can’t expect not to have some minor disruption. As long as people do their best not to be disruptive., and don’t put big lights on and make excessive noise!

But fine, you have your thoughts and I have mine!
 
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Sorry if this is dragging it away from the original topic, but isn't 5:30 a bit early for getting up and disturbing the other pilgrims, most of whom are happy to rise much later?

I do understand that in hot weather, many want to walk early to escape the heat, but I also feel that early risers, disturbing everyone and setting off in the dark are partly responsible for the bed race hysteria that has gained momentum on the busier routes in recent years. Just saying.
My routine as a hospitalero was to get up a bit before six. My quarters were separate from the pilgrim dormitory, but once I got into the kitchen to start getting breakfast ready, it might have disturbed any pilgrims who had not been woken by the early risers.

The albergue gates opened at sunrise, and closed at sunset, typically from just after 7 am to 9 pm, although when I was there I closed them at 8 am so that I could walk into Castrojeriz, and re-opened them on my return. So in the morning, there was about an hour from when I got up to when the first pilgrims were wanting to leave when the gates opened to get a simple breakfast on the table in time for them to have something to eat before departing.

Not every albergue is going to be laid out so that the hospitalero can cook without disturbing any pilgrims still sleeping, even if it is a relatively simple breakfast.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
I would assume that those $6000 included travel costs plus safety net, but for an average 40-day Camino from SJPP, that still looks like $100/day, which is quite generous.

Sure, if you actually do need three meals a day, plus the more comfortable sort of accommodation, plus extras and so on why not ; but that's not the "cost" of the Camino, it's your own personal needs and requirements.

The amount of money that you need for a Camino is extremely variable, and extends between the extremes of dirt poor and filthy rich.

So just find your own proper place in that spectrum, and then spend accordingly.

We are all just pilgrims.
 
I think the best thing to do is to book the first few nights and see how it goes.
I wish I would have pre-booked Roncesvalles and I wound up getting the last
bed in Burguette. Going into big cities you usually don't have to pre-book
because there are so many accommodations in the cities. The lone exception to
that may be Santiago. Went I got to Granon we had 61 people stay at the Bautista
Albergue, which was one of their biggest nights of the year. The lady said that
two nights before they only had 9 people. I started from St Jean on Sept 2, 2022.
Out of my 30 nights on the way, I think I used Booking.com for about 8 of them. On
a couple other occasions I used WhatsApp or called to get a bed. I know that my
attitude was different when I had a bed booked for the day. Sometimes I stopped
early because I was able to get a bed instead of continuing on into the unknown.
 
Sometimes I stopped
early because I was able to get a bed instead of continuing on into the unknown.
It's unfortunate but understandable that decisions about where and when to stop are often being driven by concerns about a shortage of beds. One of the ways in which the huge growth in interest in the Caminos has been a double-edged sword.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I think the best thing to do is to book the first few nights and see how it goes.
I wish I would have pre-booked Roncesvalles and I wound up getting the last
bed in Burguette. Going into big cities you usually don't have to pre-book
because there are so many accommodations in the cities. The lone exception to
that may be Santiago. Went I got to Granon we had 61 people stay at the Bautista
Albergue, which was one of their biggest nights of the year. The lady said that
two nights before they only had 9 people. I started from St Jean on Sept 2, 2022.
Out of my 30 nights on the way, I think I used Booking.com for about 8 of them. On
a couple other occasions I used WhatsApp or called to get a bed. I know that my
attitude was different when I had a bed booked for the day. Sometimes I stopped
early because I was able to get a bed instead of continuing on into the unknown.
I guess the point of this post was that if I had arrived a few days earlier
I wouldn't have had to worry about getting a bed at all
 
It's unfortunate but understandable that decisions about where and when to stop are often being driven by concerns about a shortage of beds. One of the ways in which the huge growth in interest in the Caminos has been a double-edged sword.
Was exactly the same in 1993.

Main difference now is that the Reservagrinos have mostly stopped hogging the Municipal beds.
 
I have to ask. I have never seen the word 'outfitters' used as a synonym for 'tour operator' until now. I have always associated the word with clothing or equipment retailers. Yet many who have participated in this thread seem comfortable with that usage. Can someone explain what is the origin of this usage, and is it limited to a specific geographic region?
In the US an outfitter can be someone who arranges a guided fishing trip or hunting trip or a backcountry trip with horses or mules as pack animals.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Was exactly the same in 1993.

Main difference now is that the Reservagrinos have mostly stopped hogging the Municipal beds.

I don't think that 1993 can be seen as a typical year in any way. A Holy Year where there were 10x the number of pilgrims (or at least Compostelas!) than were recorded the previous year. An insane increase. If this year's Holy Year had seen a bump on the same scale then there would have been over 3 million arrivals in Santiago this year instead of a measly 400,000! :)
 
Just totally disagree. 0530 isn’t that early for alot of people! You expect people to just wait around? As far as I am concerned if I book a communal room. I can’t expect not to have some minor disruption. As long as people do their best not to be disruptive., and don’t put big lights on and make excessive noise!

But fine, you have your thoughts and I have mine!
I get up at 5 or 5:30 every day even at home so it is as much for me as others that I would get the coffee going. We all have our quirks, I suppose. There is something nice as a pilgrim myself to have hot coffee waiting and the hospitalero up and bidding you Buen Camino when you are ready to set out. All but one place where I have volunteered have separate kitchen and dining areas. The coffee smell might give me away, but I am usually quiet going about my morning chores. I never ask pilgrims leave before daylight in the winter and that isn't an issue in the summer.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I don't think that 1993 can be seen as a typical year in any way. A Holy Year where there were 10x the number of pilgrims (or at least Compostelas!) than were recorded the previous year. An insane increase. If this year's Holy Year had seen a bump on the same scale then there would have been over 3 million arrivals in Santiago this year instead of a measly 400,000! :)
Yeah but the number of beds for the pilgrims that year involved a similar exponential increase over 1992.

If anything, 1994 was more difficult, including no pilgrim Albergue whatsoever in Léon for instance.

But your maths are wrong ; with the numbers at the time, it was absolute increase that mattered, not relative - - though clearly the latter has become dominant since the mid 90s.
 
And well, from a more relative POV, 2022 has a lot in common with 1993, both being Holy Years with a massive increase in numbers over the previous year.

Yes last year was the Holy Year proper, but it was like a serious blast into the past in most respects.
 
I have to respond to help out a fellow Canuck!!!

There is really only one question to be asked. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is managing all your own details, flight, trains, taxis, hotels, food etc. and 10 is handing all of that over to someone else leaving only two responsibilities of showing up and walking, where do you see your adventure sitting?

The max adventure, of course is to manage it all yourself. I do understand that working with a Tour Company removes all the humdrum chores allowing the traveller to just enjoy the trip. And, if something goes wrong, there is a trusted hand there to help out. Having said that, if that company fails, it can all go wrong very quickly. The worst case scenario would leave one stranded in a foreign country, without luggage or bags, no hotel and beset with having to pay again to get home.

So, even with a "managed," trip, the adventure level can be extreme, but not in a good way.

I am one who does it all as needed. It is a pilgrimage for me, not only a walking tour. It allows me to completely immerse myself in the culture around me. Knowing some Spanish also allows me to engage with inhabitants and learn at much deeper levels. Low and slow is not a motto but a philosophy that seems rarer on the Camino, but it increases the enjoyment level to the fullest.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
But your maths are wrong ; with the numbers at the time, it was absolute increase that mattered, not relative - - though clearly the latter has become dominant since the mid 90s.
In the 1980s and 1990s the baseline numbers were of course fairly small so the Holy Year leaps are quite extraordinary in comparison. 299 Compostelas issued in 1981 but 1868 during the 1982 Holy Year. Only 9,764 in 1992 but 99,436 for the 1993 Holy Year. There was a huge effort to promote the 1993 Holy Year and the figures reflect that. The first modern purpose built albergues were part of that preparation. I can remember people telling me about temporary tented accommodation set up for the 1993 Holy Year. It is a remarkable testimony to the Xunta and others that the greatly increased numbers were both anticipated and in most cases accommodated!
 
The Toronto Chapter of Canadian Pilgrims is holding an in person information day about the camino on November 5 from 9 to 3 at Beach United Church at 140 Wineva Ave. More info on their Facebook page. If you come you will meet lots of people who have done caminos. You will get tons of information and be able to ask lots of questions.
 
In the 1980s and 1990s the baseline numbers were of course fairly small so the Holy Year leaps are quite extraordinary in comparison. 299 Compostelas issued in 1981 but 1868 during the 1982 Holy Year. Only 9,764 in 1992 but 99,436 for the 1993 Holy Year. There was a huge effort to promote the 1993 Holy Year and thle figures reflect that. The first modern purpose built albergues were part of that preparation. I can remember people telling me about temporary tented accommodation set up for the 1993 Holy Year. It is a remarkable testimony to the Xunta and others that the greatly increased numbers were both anticipated and in most cases accommodated!
I was there, and the tent Albergues were great, and honestly I still miss them.

I keenly regretted their absence in 1994.

1993 was fantastic.
 
Prepare for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
This is quite a tricky one. Personally I enjoyed the process of investigating accommodation possibilities ahead of time for myself. I also wanted to keep as close to the original pilgrim ethic as possible and masochistically wanted to be forced to solve problems on my own. Also, to be fair, I cannot afford to splurge out 6,000 dollars to go on a Camino.
 
TorontoGMan said:
"... you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!"

It can be.

If you have not previously walked long distances on a regular basis, I recommend that you consider planning to walk shorter distances for fhe first few days, perhaps not more than ~ 20 km. This is to avoid shocking your system and possibly causing an injury, or simply not enjoying the experience.

As you build up trail fitness and accumulate confidence, the distance that you can walk comfortably day after day whilst preserving some reserve end-of-day distance capacity will probably increase. Adjust your stages to suit.

And as others have written, if you run out of steam, just call a cab. Taxis are available almost everywhere in Spain.
 
Wing it! You’ve heard all the reasons. This is the one trip in your life where you want flexibility and can have it. I never booked ahead and was never without a bed. I met so many people and had so many spontaneous plan changes and group dinners…… sometimes I was solo (I like the shoulder months) and that was fine as well. Fear of the unknown is what’s keeping you from just winging it (I bet). There is no need to fear. You’ll know that your first day. It’s really IMHO. The only way to do this walk.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
Hiya, i can only share with you my own experience back in 2019 when i was finally contemplating walking the way…i researched just as you did… then i thought..what did the pilgrims do back through the ages… i am an adult, was needing a really long walk and time to reflect, i and I thought how many kms can i walk in a day? What if i get delayed..bags end up in different city than i find myself, what if i got injured, which i did and had to book room for a few days before i move forward.. and i read it somewhere.. just keep reminding yourself “the camino will provide”, so with being an organizational mgmt grad, and always feeling this need to have control of everything… i just let go.. booked a flight to Paris.. with a 1 day stay at a hotel.. and had to make my way across france to even get to SJPDP to even start… i will say this… it was such an exciting experience…not to even mention the camino itself… and anytime worry started to creep into my mind… i would remind myself.. the camino will provide.. and trust in this it was not soo easy to calm the mind at times when i would here fellow pilgrims on the road worrying themselves to death about running to the destination to secure a room for the night.. and a few tomes i will admit it got the better of me and i secured a room a day before a walk once i mapped it out.. but it started to work my nerve so i decided to let it go.. “Camino will provide”.. i wanted to he present in the moment at as much moments as i could on that journey.. my findings were..i was never not able to find a place to sleep, even if it was walking back to a previous town with 4 other pilgrims when there was “no room at the inn” for lack of a better way to say it… but we bonded over that experience and a couple in a smaller Albergue welcomed us late.. made what was the best meal i had ever eaten at 9:30pm with smiles on their faces… and the wine flowed…i also found myself at The Sheen/Estivez Albergue where they filmed parts of the movie “the way” when another night presented itself where “no room at the inn in a town”. They were probably the Best experiences of the camino, amongst soooo many…i made lifelong friends… never went hungry, thirsty, and really found out how strong the body really is, and their was no short supply of towns people or fellow pilgrims to help or them help me… remember everyone on that road will be a pilgrim just like you.. i am planning my 2nd camino this coming April 2022.. will do the same thing… and its not as expensive as you think, and you can decide.. hey, ya know what, i need a private room tonight, or just decide to stay in a larger city longer to check it out or give yourself a rest.. or i can walk for another 10 kms… i was free… and that is something no one will ever be able to help you with…it changed my life and perspective of myself and the world. I did the camino solo, and will do it again the same way…Pack light.. you don't need as many things as you think.. and buy walking poles when you get there… they really help with the hills and rocky areas..Idk if that gives you any insight… but hope it helps.. Buen Camino
 
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Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
I almost booked with a company until I started to read this blog. So I canceled the booking. There are apps for booking places when and where it suits you. Buen Camino and Camino Ninja are two I used. Often you can book and cancel if you need to with no cost to you. I did that once. And the apps tell you how far things are. What is available and the cost. They are very helpful. Not to mention the people you will meet who will help you with suggestions.
When I thought of what would happen if I sprained an ankle - which I did - what happens to all the bookings. Take taxis? Rebook everything? It really isn’t that hard to simply ‘wing it’. I’m 68. Did the Camino Frances and loved it.
Think of all the things you can splurge on if you do it yourself. And I bet you’ll have a better time.
But…. Pack light you don’t need much. My husband and I had packs weighing about 7-8 kilos. Also used walking poles - old knees. Anyway. It was fabulous!
Buen Camino!
 
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
I used a local (Santiago) company to book private rooms and breakfasts for my first Camino this past spring, including baggage transfers. Next year, when I do it again, I will book from SJPP to Pamplona, then book ahead 1-2 days in advance. I am 73, and did not want to have to carry everything on my back.

While I appreciate the prevailing sentiment that not knowing where you will be on any day, and keeping flexible is very satisfying to most, please do not think that you are "doing" the Camino wrong to do it another way. Many people really need the comfort of having everything arranged, or do not have the time or organizing ability to do it all on their own. Your Camino will be yours, and it will be an amazing experience, no matter how you do it.

The person who arranged my trip WhatsApp messaged me every day while I was on the Camino, just to see how I was doing. As a first timer walking alone, I really appreciated that. It all depends on your comfort level and what type of adventure/experience you are seeking.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Well well well!! What can I possibly say after all of your incredible willingness to offer these priceless nuggets of help?
I have actually collated all the responses....(yes, I am THAT guy...lol), and the impact to my planning is already taking shape.
I don't need to belabour this thread, just wanted to thank EVERYONE!
Also, what is IMHO? Happy October!
 
I searched Apple app store and do not find neither Buen Camino app nor the Camino Ninja app. Does anyone have any other recommendations? I've seen Wise Pilgrim mentioned. I'm leaving tomorrow for Portugal to begin the camino from Porto on 23 October.
 
If you want to spend that much money to have someone pre-arrange everything for you - then do it. But I will tell you - I spend no more than $3000 for a 4-5 week Camino PLUS another 4-5 of being a regular tourist in Europe. That includes flight to/from Europe. For just a month long Camino, you can easily do it for under $2000 (US dollars is what I am quoting).

Advantages of having someone do it for you? Well - that is it - they do everything for you.

Disadvantages? Expensive. And you don't have flexibility to simply say "Hey, this is a cool town, I want to stay here for the night" or "I was planning to stay in Estrella tonight, but my new friends are staying in Sansol and I want to stay with them" or "Gosh, my leg is very painful - I think I need a rest day".

Also - it is SO EASY to do on your own. You can wing it. Or you can prebook everything yourself. Or any combination. I prebook the first couple stages. Wing it a lot, and then prebook again if I hear there is a bed crunch ahead. Gronze.com is a great resource for lodging near the Camino and it gives you phone numbers, emails, websites, and even links to booking.com so IF the place allows prebooking, you have the information you need to prebook. And prebooking on your own (or winging it) saves you a ton of money and gives you a ton of flexibility.

Me? I will never use a company to prebook everything. I will carry a very light backpack. I will keep my backpack with me most of the time - but not afraid of sending it ahead if I feel the need for whatever occasion. Two Caminos done - and I used a service to carry my pack 1 day only so far. I did on both trips mail stuff home to make my pack even lighter than it was when I started the Camino.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I searched Apple app store and do not find neither Buen Camino app nor the Camino Ninja app. Does anyone have any other recommendations? I've seen Wise Pilgrim mentioned. I'm leaving tomorrow for Portugal to begin the camino from Porto on 23 October.
Camino Ninja isn't available currently for download due to the gentleman running the app passing away. Don't know why you can't find Buen Camino. But Wise Pilgrim is great. I pair that with gronze.com for more lodging information (site is in Spanish but a Chrome web browser can translate page for you). I also use google maps for local (walking/driving/public transport) directions/gps and I use rome2rio to find directions (Public transport, taxi) to/from different cities and it links you to bus and train ticket websites.
 
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
Planning it all yourself is a big part of it - I would not have done it any other way and I was 79 years old at the time. There are so many resources here on Ivar's Forum.
 
Well well well!! What can I possibly say after all of your incredible willingness to offer these priceless nuggets of help?
I have actually collated all the responses....(yes, I am THAT guy...lol), and the impact to my planning is already taking shape.
I don't need to belabour this thread, just wanted to thank EVERYONE!
Also, what is IMHO? Happy October!
It means - In my honest opinion
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I searched Apple app store and do not find neither Buen Camino app nor the Camino Ninja app
The Buen Camino app can be found at this link

There is also a helpful video tutorial on the Buen Camino site.

The developer of the Camino Ninja app died earlier this year, and I know that it has been pulled from the Android apps, and it may have been removed from the Apple app store too.
 
I have to ask. I have never seen the word 'outfitters' used as a synonym for 'tour operator' until now. I have always associated the word with clothing or equipment retailers. Yet many who have participated in this thread seem comfortable with that usage. Can someone explain what is the origin of this usage, and is it limited to a specific geographic region?
Outfitter is a common term in the American west. Usually for .hunting guides who supply horses, tents and the like. Probably the original meaning of the word, co-opted by commercial stores.
 
Wing it! You’ve heard all the reasons. This is the one trip in your life where you want flexibility and can have it. I never booked ahead and was never without a bed. I met so many people and had so many spontaneous plan changes and group dinners…… sometimes I was solo (I like the shoulder months) and that was fine as well. Fear of the unknown is what’s keeping you from just winging it (I bet). There is no need to fear. You’ll know that your first day. It’s really IMHO. The only way to do this walk.
In March when I hit the Camino again, I will probably be booking ahead. I will be 78 and my wife is adamant this is my last rodeo, so I have to cover more ground. Not move faster, just longer hours. Booking ahead will force me to cover that ground daily. I still want to enjoy the Camino and the opportunity to reflect, just cover 16 miles a day instead of my usual 12.

Obviously this can change while walking, injuries or weariness could slow me down and shorten my walking day in which case I will just land where I land. Conversely, I may want to walk longer after I get my sea legs. Whatever the outcome, booking ahead or not, I will be able to say I gave it my best effort.
Buen Camino
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I've seen Wise Pilgrim mentioned. I'm leaving tomorrow for Portugal to begin the camino from Porto on 23 October.
Hi Jennifer B used Wise Pilgrim on my Portuguese Coastal and VE good app has good info with booking links, website links, phone numbers ,email and whats app and user reviews of accommodation; easy to use format!
I will use Wise on my Frances next May!
I also have Buen Camino on my phone but prefer Wise Pilgrim!
Hope you find your solution good luck
Woody
 
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
@TorontoGMan,
I completed the CF four and half months ago from SJPP and had the reservations all the way to Santiago ,booked in 3 SEGMENTS , because I was not sure if I can complete it in ( first) ONE TRY.
I DID..
So I did not want to pay up front the whole amount, then not able to walk , for health etc. reasons. And hoping will get some refund back If I can’t walk.

I booked my albergues , with breakfast, carrying my luggage , medical Insurance etc., with
PILGRIM.ES ( Spanish company)
overall it was cheaper than what you quote and they only book with Private Albergues, some places I have the private room with bathrooms ,
( at some albergues I was the only one who have cotton sheet and pillow case , while every one else have that disposable )
most Albergues were regular run of the mill, bunk beds etc.. mostly clean places with good accommodating hosts , except in Burgos.
( too many pilgrims , not adequate facilities)

yes I had peace of mind, that I have a bed every night,
but on the negative side I had no choice but to walk between 20 and 30 kms a day ,wether I want or could Walk or not. No flexibility.
(or I have to pay extra if I want a bed at the unscheduled places )
Yes ,
some places the breakfast places wont open till 7.30 am and I wanted to start my walking around 7 and missed few very basic and simple b/f that were included.

I did the walk between every albergues /hosteals/pensions etc. where ever my reservation was. Some were long days , some were ok .

I also took 6 days of rest ( at age 72) and had no problems staying two days in the same place, (staying extra days in Pamplona ,Logrono, Burgos and
(Leon .. very hot nights (Friday and Sat.) ( heat wave ) during the overcrowded albergues and all night Spanish parties outside at Globetrotter Hostal , across from the Cathedral )
beautiful city though .

extra 2 rest days in Terradillios de Los Templarios
(small village of around 100 people)
and Sarria were not necessary, but I stayed because beds were already paid for.

I also stayed three extra days after completing the Camino in Santiago at the end of my Camino walk . Still miss seeing the BOTAFUMEIRO swinging live.

its not my place or job to tell you what to do and where ?
.. but Pilgrim.es over all were good, but nothing exceptional.
Nothing wrong about inquiring about it, If you like.
Wishing you safe journey. Be well.
Cheers !
Buen Camino ! 🇨🇦
 
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In March when I hit the Camino again, I will probably be booking ahead. I will be 78 and my wife is adamant this is my last rodeo, so I have to cover more ground. Not move faster, just longer hours. Booking ahead will force me to cover that ground daily. I still want to enjoy the Camino and the opportunity to reflect, just cover 16 miles a day instead of my usual 12.

Obviously this can change while walking, injuries or weariness could slow me down and shorten my walking day in which case I will just land where I land. Conversely, I may want to walk longer after I get my sea legs. Whatever the outcome, booking ahead or not, I will be able to say I gave it my best effort.
Buen Camino
@Lurch,
Wishing you safe and enjoyable journey.
Buen Camino.
 
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€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
The Buen Camino app can be found at this link

There is also a helpful video tutorial on the Buen Camino site.

The developer of the Camino Ninja app died earlier this year, and I know that it has been pulled from the Android apps, and it may have been removed from the Apple app store too.
So sad.. too bad.. Camino Ninja was good app on the Walk.
 
Hi Jennifer B used Wise Pilgrim on my Portuguese Coastal and VE good app has good info with booking links, website links, phone numbers ,email and whats app and user reviews of accommodation; easy to use format!
I will use Wise on my Frances next May!
I also have Buen Camino on my phone but prefer Wise Pilgrim!
Hope you find your solution good luck
Woody
OK, I'm seeing the Buen Camino now on Apple app store, the name was truncated (it shows up as "Way of St James (B...") which only until clicking on that do you see the Buen Camino part. Thanks!
 
The Toronto Chapter of Canadian Pilgrims is holding an in person information day about the camino on November 5 from 9 to 3 at Beach United Church at 140 Wineva Ave. More info on their Facebook page. If you come you will meet lots of people who have done caminos. You will get tons of information and be able to ask lots of questions.
I will try to attend that. Thx.
I walked the Camino (CF) four and half months ago,
Cheers !
Safe and enjoyable journey to all on the Camino.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Well well well!! What can I possibly say after all of your incredible willingness to offer these priceless nuggets of help?
I have actually collated all the responses....(yes, I am THAT guy...lol), and the impact to my planning is already taking shape.
I don't need to belabour this thread, just wanted to thank EVERYONE!
Also, what is IMHO? Happy October!
IMHO= in my humble opinion
 
You can easily book your own accommodations and luggage transfer.

I just thought that I should push back a bit on my own and other's comments that it's easy to book your own accommodation as you go.

Perhaps the word possible is better, because sometimes it's not so easy.
I received an email recently from a member of my local American Pilgrims chapter, and she abandoned her Camino this year because she was struggling to find accommodation to reserve ahead for a day or two, and she was finding it very stressful. I have heard this same sentiment echoed by other first time pilgrims. We probably shouldn't be so glib when we tell aspiring pilgrims that it's so easy to either walk without reservations and find a bed each day or even book one ahead of time.

How easy it is to find a bed or book ahead is very dependent on route and season - the Camino doesn't always provide, we have to also be resourceful. We should focus on providing resources to new pilgrims and not just platitudes.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
How easy it is to find a bed or book ahead is very dependent on route and season - the Camino doesn't always provide, we have to also be resourceful. We should focus on providing resources to new pilgrims and not just platitudes.
Thank you! I get very irritable with the platitudes too. These days I usually walk the quieter routes in winter and I carry a bivvy bag and sleeping mat that allow me to sleep outdoors if my accommodation plans go completely pear-shaped. So personally I'm not much troubled on the odd occasion when I don't find a roof for the night. But that's not everyone's cup of tea and I wouldn't dream of suggesting it as an answer for all pilgrims. On a related topic I might add that I get very worked up when someone whose entire Camino experience is a 5 day July walk from Sarria to Santiago jumps into a thread to tell a prospective VdlP pilgrim that there is no need to carry any more than a litre of water or to plan their night stop in advance. Or tells them they should have their luggage sent ahead by Jacotrans. Please have the simple courtesy to read the original question and tailor your answer to the OP's specific concerns.
 
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
You could look at this on a purely cost benefit basis. If $6000 is for the camino alone (and excludes flights etc), that is around $200 a day. I also assume you are fit and healthy with no special needs. The euro is about par with the $ so:
$20 a night in an up-market, bookable private albergue (or half a shared room with private bathroom)
$20 for a nice meal including wine
$5 breakfast
$10 lunch
$5- 7 pack transfer
$10 -15 incidentals - extra drinks, toiletries, newspaper etc etc.

That is $80 a day, and most of us would have to work at it to spend that much.

So what do you get for the extra $120 a day the organised trip will cost you? A certain amount of convenience and freedom from hassle, but not much - the camino, or rather the infrastructure along the camino, has been dealing with travellers for the last 1200 years or so and has got pretty good at it, and with IT, booking ahead doesn't even require language skills.

On the downside, you won't meet many people, you won't have the freedom to vary your itinerary, you won't have the feeling of achievement or excitement of discovery. In short, you will be paying to have a lot of the joy of the camino taken away from you.

I rest my case.
 
I just thought that I should push back a bit on my own and other's comments that it's easy to book your own accommodation as you go.

Perhaps the word possible is better, because sometimes it's not so easy.
I received an email recently from a member of my local American Pilgrims chapter, and she abandoned her Camino this year because she was struggling to find accommodation to reserve ahead for a day or two, and she was finding it very stressful. I have heard this same sentiment echoed by other first time pilgrims. We probably shouldn't be so glib when we tell aspiring pilgrims that it's so easy to either walk without reservations and find a bed each day or even book one ahead of time.

How easy it is to find a bed or book ahead is very dependent on route and season - the Camino doesn't always provide, we have to also be resourceful. We should focus on providing resources to new pilgrims and not just platitudes.
I can't recall seeing someone reply to their own post before, but hmmm.......good point. The route and season really matter. So does the limit on your credit card. Mix in an introvert with no language skills who is feeling alienated and isolated, and I can see how some people have troubles.

I left SJPP on April 13th this year, with bookings up to Logrono in hand. I can do that because I already know my pace, and in some cases I know which particular albergue I want to stay in. A beginner does not. I wound up walking with a pair of Danish lads coming out of Orisson, who had set out on a whim with no planning. I booked my lodging two-three days ahead the rest of the way. They followed me into town, and just walked into the first albergue they saw. None of us had the slightest problem getting a bed anywhere down the road. Three weeks behind us, people starting out in early May had no end of bed races and broken plans, because they set off at the peak time in the Spring. The same thing happens in the first two weeks of September every year.

The first week out of SJPP is the hardest, followed by the last week starting in Sarria, although there are a couple of choke points in between as well. Hornillos comes to mind. The first week has few choices in many cases, and all the pilgrims are a) still there, and b) still clinging to their initial planning. A week later, most people quite rightly abandon their plans, and quite a few abandon the Camino itself with injury. Things string out and get easier.

By Sarria, most pilgrims have figured out how to book ahead, and are prepared for the last week. That's good, because it can be a rude awakening if you are not warned ahead of time about the surge in pilgrim numbers. Veterans manage the last week by making sure they don't walk into Sarria on a weekend. That stretch has so many facilities that it's also easy to find a place....unless you left Sarria on a weekend. If you must set out for Portomarin on a Saturday, then book the rest of the way to Santiago the week before you get to Sarria. By now, you know your pace, and can chose stops that match your pace and the weather forecast.

I think it's safe to say that it IS EASY to book a few days ahead as you go, BUT, you need to be flexible in exactly where, and in some cases how much it will cost. Easy doesn't mean you don't have to take any steps or do anything. If you are having trouble finding lodging, speed up for a day, or take a rest day to move yourself out of a bubble. Stay between traditional stages, not in the main towns. We also need to make sure new pilgrims know that gronze.com and booking.com are not the only options for finding lodging. Split a hotel or pension room with a friend. A taxi will take you 10 km off the Camino, and back again the next morning if you are both stuck and tired. I also found that in Spain nearly all accommodations are using Whatsapp to communicate with clients these days....install it on your phone before you go, and use it to send text messages to places rather than phoning them. This sidesteps the language barrier since you can both translate the other's request or responses. Your hospitalero is a great resource as well, and most will not only tell you what's available around the town and down the road, but will call ahead for you as well.

I maintain that it is easy (like fluid mechanics or neurosurgery) to book a few days ahead at a time, but it needs to be managed. I maintain that the Camino does provide......just not like that service that delivers chow mein and pizza to your door. You need to meet the Camino halfway sometimes.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I just thought that I should push back a bit on my own and other's comments that it's easy to book your own accommodation as you go.

Perhaps the word possible is better, because sometimes it's not so easy.
I received an email recently from a member of my local American Pilgrims chapter, and she abandoned her Camino this year because she was struggling to find accommodation to reserve ahead for a day or two, and she was finding it very stressful. I have heard this same sentiment echoed by other first time pilgrims. We probably shouldn't be so glib when we tell aspiring pilgrims that it's so easy to either walk without reservations and find a bed each day or even book one ahead of time.

How easy it is to find a bed or book ahead is very dependent on route and season - the Camino doesn't always provide, we have to also be resourceful. We should focus on providing resources to new pilgrims and not just platitudes.
I think it also depends on your expectations. If you are flexible, not too concerned about whether you get a room on your own or in a dormitory, or a specific location.
If you will only book a single room, in a specific town then you will reduce your options.
If you're prepared to share a room, or book a bed in a dorm, and flexible about the location you have a much better chance.
I met people who were not that flexible and it was harder. We'd jump on our phones, and I'd find somewhere easily - whereas accepting only a single room with ensuite bathroom could take a lot longer. I wondered why they couldn't find anything, and then I saw their search criteria.
And sometimes taking what you can get, rather than exactly what you wanted - results in a memorable stay.
 
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I think it also depends on your expectations.
Absolutely. But I think that some of us help create unrealistic expectations when we say things like "the Camino provides," and talk about how easy it is to walk the Camino and find lodging every day.

There are many posts on this forum from people saying everything from "I never trained for the Camino" to "I never booked ahead and always had a bed." But often when you read further you find that the person who never trained has a habit of walking to work, or the person who always found a bed walked in the off season.

Everyone needs to take advice and adapt it to their own personal circumstances, and not assume that because someone on the forum said it was possible for them, that it will be possible for everyone.
 
I think on this forum though, you will get a lot of advice for the do-it-yourself route.

$6000 for one person???
I agree. $6K would be a lot for one person. Yes, there is a wealth of good information and experience on this forum, which could easily assist even a first timer to make a lot of wise decisions and create a plausible itinerary to get from point"A" to point "B" on a Camino........
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
$6000 for one person???
I agree. $6K would be a lot for one person. Yes, there is a wealth of good information and experience on this forum, which could easily assist even a first timer to make a lot of wise decisions and create a plausible itinerary to get from point"A" to point "B" on a Camino........
For me it also shows how much of our decision making is psychological rather than ‘tangible’.

I go on quite a lot of oversea tours to watch England cricket team. Often talk to folks who are on same flights and in same hotels. But they have gone on an escorted tour and I am independent. They often pay double for it but when we talk they are happy to do so, and be ‘taken care off’. These arent inexperienced folks or unconfident (normally the opposite), but just want to hand over the cash and get the itinerary and they have the wherewithal to do it!
 
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
Give me 6 grand and I'll walk the Camino for you.
 
I am amzed that some pi
My routine as a hospitalero was to get up a bit before six. My quarters were separate from the pilgrim dormitory, but once I got into the kitchen to start getting breakfast ready, it might have disturbed any pilgrims who had not been woken by the early risers.

The albergue gates opened at sunrise, and closed at sunset, typically from just after 7 am to 9 pm, although when I was there I closed them at 8 am so that I could walk into Castrojeriz, and re-opened them on my return. So in the morning, there was about an hour from when I got up to when the first pilgrims were wanting to leave when the gates opened to get a simple breakfast on the table in time for them to have something to eat before departing.

Not every albergue is going to be laid out so that the hospitalero can cook without disturbing any pilgrims still sleeping, even if it is a relatively simple breakfast.
I am still amazed that some pilgrims do not seem to realise that hospitelaros have to be up and about before them and go to bed long after them - they have a long long day, every day, and they still manage to remain cheerful and helpful!
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Absolutely. But I think that some of us help create unrealistic expectations when we say things like "the Camino provides," and talk about how easy it is to walk the Camino and find lodging every day.

There are many posts on this forum from people saying everything from "I never trained for the Camino" to "I never booked ahead and always had a bed." But often when you read further you find that the person who never trained has a habit of walking to work, or the person who always found a bed walked in the off season.

Everyone needs to take advice and adapt it to their own personal circumstances, and not assume that because someone on the forum said it was possible for them, that it will be possible for everyone.
Yes, and also it depends what you are used to in terms of travel and booking accommodation. As someone who travels extensively, used to tour with theatre companies and never taken a package holiday, I find it easy. But if you haven't done it all yourself before it can be daunting. You need to be familiar with the geography if you're going to book yourself, rather than just wing it.
 
I did 32 days on the French and spent under $3000 in 2016. I spent 40 days on the VdlP this Spring and spent a bit over $3000. This included flights (from Ottawa), accommodation, food etc.

I enjoyed myself immensely but I’m fine with hostels and basic food. The place, the people and the physical experience is the same. Some would say it’s even better on the cheap.

It depends on what you’re comfortable with and how much you think you’d enjoy a challenge.
 
Hello. Doing a Camino in simplicity or in luxury is a personal choice. I walked Le Puy, Camino Frances and Camino Portuguais. I do not own a Cell phone, nor a laptop, nor a I Pad etc. Any little inconvience I figured out a way to solve. I would not have it any other way. It's your choice. Buen Camino.
 
Prepare for your next Camino on California's Santa Catalina Island, Oct 27 to Nov 2
Outfitters are asking me if I have any questions about the quotes they sent me as I just began understanding and searching about the Camino.
It is very tempting! Everything seems looked after. You have places to stay every night and you are ensured breakfast and even dinner if you want. Bags are moved for you, from one location to the next. Oh yeah, it's expensive...about $6000!
But the books I've read give the appearance of most of you "winging it". You get to places, or not, you march on if you can't find accommodations, and that is tough after 25 km days!
I would LOVE to hear some thoughts herein!! Thanks!
We have done 17 Camino hikes--most as section hikes--in Spain, France, and Portugal. We never have had the need to do any of them through a company or to have our bags schlepped ahead. Many have already mentioned this--but we like having the flexibility. Another thing to consider is if you want to get more acquainted with other pilgrims. If you are always staying in relatively expensive places, you will have less opportunity to meet others. If you plan it yourself, you can alternate staying in albergues and in hotels, etc. Granted the Frances route has become very busy certain times of year, but you can book places yourself, or use Booking.com, a few days ahead if needed. (More than a day or two is generally not needed on the less populated routes.) Basically, if I got the numbers correct, you'd be paying about $160 a day, which seems like a lot.
 
You need to do you, but I’ll tell you my perspective on this. When I walked the Camino Frances I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I’d never slept in a hostel. While I’m not a super anal travel planner, I do usually know where I’m stopping and where I’m staying. I gave that all up for the Camino. Not having everything planned out freed me to go with the spirit. It also gave me the freedom to become lifelong friends with people I never would have met had I stayed at hotels. I suppose it depends on what you are seeking on your Camino. If it is to connect with people from all over the world, I’d bag the tour. Most pilgrims aren’t going to have the budget to join you. If your objective is more centered around walking the Camino and you’re less concerned with engaging with other pilgrims, then the tour may be for you.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Outfitter is a common term in the American west. Usually for .hunting guides who supply horses, tents and the like. Probably the original meaning of the word, co-opted by commercial stores.
When I read the term in the thread I had an immediate vision of wooden trunks, pith helmets, and elephants....Something I have yet to see on Camino.
 

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