Albergues - Refugios - Hostels

Discussion in 'Albergues - Hostels' started by Leslie, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Patrick Gower

    Patrick Gower New Member

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    Hi guys, firstly apologies because this must have been asked before but I've had a look around and can't find the answer!

    I've been reading the fantastic www.caminoadventures.com/ and I'm wondering how much freedom there is to go further than the outlined stages? If I have the energy, is it possible to just carry on to the next place? Or are the stopping points on that website generally where most of the auberges are?

    Also, is it possible to arrive later than 4pm? Generally when I'm trekking I like to finish the days around 6pm

    I am travelling in the first week of August so I know it is going to be busy, but I don't want to book because I like to go as far as my energy will allow. I understand that may involve scouting around for places to stay, or even going backwards or further to find shelter.
     
  2. Gazza

    Gazza Member

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    I assume you are doing the French Way Patrick. If so you can go as hard & long as you wish, however the longer you go the harder bedding may be. Brieleys book is excellent for alternatives
    Wish you well, The Camino is a special adventure
    ee you
     
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  3. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Patrick - it will be your camino, no hard and fast rules. Walk as far and as long as you like. Brierley's book is tremendously helpful. Some pilgrims walk his suggested stages; some select different places to stop since there may be fewer pilgrims there.

    Pilgrim traffic is pretty heavy in August, so you risk not finding a bed at 6 pm. Most albergues start filling up around 3 pm. Also, around 10% of pilgrims travel by bicycles. They are not allowed to check in albergues until 5 pm, thus giving preference to walking pilgrims. If you want to ensure you will have a bed, you can make reservations at private albergues in advance.

    Buen Camino. Bob
     
  4. Patrick Gower

    Patrick Gower New Member

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    Many thanks for your response Bob - So could I make a judgment call about half way through a day and call ahead the same day to where I expect to be?
     
  5. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Patrick - As the others have said, no rules for how far you can or should go in a day. We all have taken a different number of days to walk our Caminos. In fact, if you were biking or running the Camino, your stopping points would be very different from what Brierley suggests.

    6 pm is a late arrival to an albergue. In August, I'd guess that most would be filled up by that hour. I think you'll find 4 pm also on the late side for getting in during the busy months. However, as so many pilgrims follow Brierley's guide, if you were to stay in-between his recommended stops, you might have better luck finding a bed later in the day. Calling ahead is the best way to secure a bed for the night, but I'm not sure if they would hold it as late as 6 pm. On a number of occasions, I called ahead the day before and had no problem getting a bed for the night. But, I also arrived early in the afternoon so a later arrival was never an issue that I had to deal with. I do remember being asked if I would arrive by a certain hour. Telling them you're arriving late might be enough for them to save a bed, but you might not always get the same answer. It will vary from albergue to albergue. Depending on how much time you have for your Camino, you might be better off starting off early and then finishing by mid-afternoon at the latest.
     
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  6. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Patrick - during our last camino, we called ahead to the albergue the day before in the afternoon, so around 24 hours in advance. We walked from late Sept through end of Oct and never had a problem getting a bed. Not sure about making reservations the same day. Also, municipal albergues do not accept reservations. Besides the Brierley guidebook, you should get a copy of albergues for each town so you can easily call ahead and find a place to stay.
     
  7. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Bob makes a good suggestion about getting a full list of albergues. Here are a couple links that will give you most of this information:

    https://www.gronze.com/camino-frances

    http://caminoteca.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/List-of-Albergues-2016.pdf

    I had great luck communicating with albergues through simple emails. If you have an idea of where you think you might want to stay, drop them a note and ask how late they hold a bed reservation. I do know that you can call the day you want a reservation, but I don't know how late they hold the reservations since very few take deposits. Buen Camino!
     
  8. Josh unçu

    Josh unçu Member

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    Hi Patrick,
    I´m in agreement with what other menbers have answered.
    I`ve just finished 35 days camino from J.P. de Port to Santiago( 20 April - 24 May) with not a single reservation, leaving early as day clear, arriving 2-3pm. If you plan to use parish or municipal albergues no reservation can be made, so the best is to choose a before or after Brierley`s end stage´s towns.
    Good luck, it is your personal camino!!
    Ultreia!!
    J.Ç.
     
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  9. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Josh - Excellent advice about choosing a stopping point before or after the Brierley end stage recommendations. During the busy season, this should help one find a bed. Plus, finishing early in the afternoon, very good advice! Buen Camino!
     
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  10. Josh unçu

    Josh unçu Member

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    Hi Wily,
    Thank for your support!!
    Among others, another of my choises will be a humble hostel as "" Fuente del Peregrino-- "" --with american hospitaliers , full of love , hugs, tender care, devotion for pilgrims. Thanks Christian, Dani, Daniel and all the Ladies(cook, piano player, game instructor etc.

    French Camino 17 May 2017. J.Ç.
    20170517_160139.jpg
     
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  11. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Josh - Very nice. Looks full of character! So, let me share another of my favorites. Instead of stopping in Rabanal, I hiked an additional 5 km up to Foncebadón. As it was early in the day, going the extra distance put me in what turned out to be one of my favorite hamlets along The Way. As many pilgrims do stop short of here, town was relatively quite and just a good place to kick back and relax. The Albergue Monte Irago pictured below is very basic, but offers a good lunch and the perfect porch for sipping on a beer and watching pilgrims go by. It's also just a short 2 km walk up to Cruz de Ferro making getting there at sunrise a bit easier. Not stopping at Brierley's end-stage towns turned out to be one way of getting away from some of the crowds. Another Camino gem!

    IMG_1933.JPG
     
  12. Josh unçu

    Josh unçu Member

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    Hi Wily.
    It looks we were taken similar decisions, only I went a couple of steps up to the DOMUS DEI.
    Albergue full, good comunals dinner & breaksfast but specialy the good sharing as we met in the popular bar below for afternoon drinks and later the friendly cooking, laughing, tale-experiences with good time till bed time. Photo next morning just from up the hill. Best regards!!
    Ultreia!!! J.Ç. 20170512_075730.jpg
     
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  13. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Thanks for those tips gentlemen, I just entered those gems in the MUST CHECK OUT list! I want to EXPLORE!
     
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  14. stella1226

    stella1226 New Member

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    I also want to do a "must check out" list but I have no idea where to start. How did you do yours?
     
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  15. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Hi Stella, I have a special notebook just for my upcoming Camino. (Which isn't until April 2018) I read just about everything on this forum. I jot down all of the cool places and which city it is near. Then a few months before I leave, I will make a tentative map of places I don't want to miss. I will be flexible though, because I need to find room to discover my own places!
    When are you leaving?
     
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  16. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    During our 2015 camino, my wife and I had a flexible walking schedule. Sometimes we didn't decide our destination or albergue to stay at until the day before. As such, we did not make advance reservations. For our next camino, we are starting in early September, so the pilgrim traffic will be higher. Plus we'll be sending my wife's backpack ahead each day. We are walking the entire camino with my brother and his wife. I wanted to make sure we will be assured beds at each destination and also stay in several private albergues since we saved money on airfare. As a result, we are allowing 38 days from St Jean to Santiago and I made reservations for 34 of 38 overnights! I used Expedia, Booking.com, Paradors website, and contacted several albergues directly via email. Many of the reservations were made in January. There are 16 I made contacting the albergue directly. Last week I decided to reconfirm reservations with all 16. Thirteen got back to me quickly via email saying my reservations were confirmed. One surprised me by saying the albergue was closing (Albergue O Abrigadorio in San Xulian do Camino). The daughter of the owner reached out to another nearby albergue and made reservations for us there, which was great. The two other albergues were not quick in responding to my email, so I decided to look at Gronze.com and Booking.com. In both cases, the feedback from other pilgrims was mixed, so I made reservations at other albergues - which are now confirmed. So the lesson to me is if you made your reservations directly via email several months ago, it would be good to contact them again a few weeks before your camino to make sure your reservations are still confirmed.
     
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