Three days before I go….however…

Well, it’s not long before this Irishman finds himself back on the Camino trail. I will pick up where I left off last September and will walk for two weeks. The fortnight is going to be relaxed, it’s going to be enjoyable and fingers crossed I meet some good friends like I have done since 2011.

However, that being said, I travel on this Camino with a weight on my shoulder. One that I didn’t have before. From Day One, I always believed the Camino is all about letting your feet do the walking, to switch your mind off and keep things as simple as possible. I don’t want to know where I will be staying on my first night. In fact, I don’t care. When my feet tell me, then I am done. But it seems to me, that more and more people want to be in control of their Caminos. So much so, that albergues, hostels and pensiones are booked up days and weeks in advance. I wanted to see how busy the Camino is at present by sending an email to two private albergues in Ages, which is a small town 25km after Belorado. I wrote an email asking if they could book a bunk in their albergues for me for the night of the 6th. I got more or less the same response from both albergues:

“Hola David, Para el dΓ­a 6 de mayo estamos completos. Buen Camino”

This translates as “Hello David. For the 6th of May, we are full. Buen Camino”.

Wow!

Are albergues full that far in advance? Are people booking bunks 4 or 5 days in advance? I’ve never come across this before and if this is true, it means times are changing on the Camino.

So, as I prepare for my 2 weeks away, I am trying not to let this nugget get me down. There are municipal albergues that you cannot reserve in advance and I shall be aiming for those. Luckily, I like walking in the morning as the sun rises so I don’t think I will have any great problems with “the great bed race” but I think of those who like to take it easy and “smell the flowers”.

I hope to post a few lines after each day from the 5th of May onwards by the way.

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11 thoughts on “Three days before I go….however…

  1. Good luck on your Camino David.
    I’m sorry that you have had a problem with finding a bed so early on. We’ve been walking for a couple of days now, but rather further on than you, currently in Leon, and have found the albergues in the towns we have stayed in to be very quiet. When we stayed in Reliegos two nights ago there were only, I think, seven pilgrims in the municipal albergue which can take, at a push, about a hundred. Could it be that you are joining a “bulge” that started out from St Jean at Easter. I haven’t done the calculations so may all be wrong.
    We did actually have problems booking anywhere here in Leon. We wanted to stay two nights, so couldn’t book an albergue and most of the small, and larger, hotels were booked solid as this weekend as it is the May Day holiday and also Mother’s day.

    • Hi Tony & Barbara. It sounds like a large amount of people left St Jean 15 days ago and are on their way to Belorado (where I start on the 6th). The weather is probably a factor for booking ahead also. It sounds like I shall be walking further than Ages on my first day…possibly Atapuerca which has plenty of accomodation. That’s a 30km day however. Not to worry, I may escape the “bulge” then πŸ™‚ I hope you are having a Buen Camino by the way and the weather is good. I’m eagerly checking the forecast myself every day. The larger cities seem to be booked solid during the weekend. I find that strange for Leon as there are so many hotels and pensiones. I don’t plan on staying there this year as I have been there twice, so I will walk through. Buen Camino!

  2. Hi David,
    Myself and two friends are heading off next week to do a part of the Camino for the first time. We’re only doing Sarria-Santiago but we’re not booking albergues in advance because we want to do it without any pressure as you were talking about..do you think this will be a problem??

    • Hi Carla!
      I don’t think you will have a problem as the section you are walking is so well supported, you will have no difficulty finding accomodation. Alot of people who walk from Sarria stick to Brierley’s stages and miss out on some great albergues in between. So if you find a town with no beds, there will be another one 2 or 3km down the road waiting. I haven’t walked from Sarria since 2011 but I can’t wait to venture back again. I wish you all a Buen Camino! πŸ™‚

      • Yeah I was thinking that if one town has no beds, a couple of kms down the road there should be a spare one! Buen Camino to you too πŸ™‚ have a look at my blog if you like, I’m hoping to post about my Camino adventures! (I’m only new to blogging) πŸ™‚

      • Sarria to Santiago is beautiful and it should take you 4 or 5 days depending how long you want to walk each day. I’ll keep an eye on your blog definitely πŸ™‚

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