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Waking Up......

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by Hattie, May 23, 2017.

  1. Hattie

    Hattie New Member

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    Hello,

    I start my Camino on the 22nd June 2017 and with it being less than a month away, I was just wondering how everybody woke up on their camino???
    I am concerned that I won't wake up early enough without an alarm or that if I set an alarm I will wake others that don't want to be woken at the time.

    How did others deal with this problem???

    Thanks, Hattie.
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Hattie - Unless you're an unusually heavy sleeper, I don't think you'll having any problem waking up in an albergue dormitory. Most pilgrims are considerate of those sleeping around them, but there is a certain amount of noise just from folks packing up, the rustle of sleeping bads getting stuffed, and the occasional object being dropped. By 06:00 I found that many pilgrims were beginning to move about and getting ready to leave. Although I did hear the occasional soft alarm going off, that wasn't all that typical. So, unless you are planning on leaving in the middle of the night, I think you'll be awakened by the normal dormitory sounds as pilgrims begin to get ready for their day. However, you might get lucky enough to be serenaded by a strolling hospitalero as I was in Roncesvalles as he sang such classics as Wake Up Little Suzy and Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens. Good stuff always happens on the Camino!
     
  3. Canadian Wander

    Canadian Wander Well-Known Member

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    As Wily said...not an issue. My wife set her watch alarm, but was awake before it every morning, just because you can hear/sense movement in the dark.
    One of the joys of the Camino. My wife found it odd living in such close quarters, in bunk beds, etc. 20 years in the Army...same-old, same-old!
     
  4. Hattie

    Hattie New Member

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    Thank you for your help both of you.
     
  5. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Hattie, the first camino for my wife was two years ago. We started in late September, so the morning dynamic is different than late June - three months earlier. There are fewer pilgrims and the daylight hours are different. That said, our daily routine was to get up at 6 am. I set an alarm in my cell phone, but woke up most mornings before the alarm went off. We were usually the earliest to awake, use the facilities, pack our backpacks and go. Most mornings, we left the albergue at 6:45 or 7:00 am. It was still dark, so we walked an hour or so in the dark. Including breaks, we generally arrived in our destination town around 2 pm.
     
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  6. Maya Grandmother

    Maya Grandmother Active Member

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    Waking up and getting up to see the sunrise was my favourite part of the day. The quiet and the calmness of the early morning was breathtaking. About waking up, I must say I was always awake by 6. A couple of times they would start playing music at the albergue. I found that as soon as one started getting up, then others would follow. You sleep so close to the next bunk that I think you should have no problem waking by 6. They want you out by 8 so they can clean before the next pilgrims start coming. If you really are still sleeping I am sure they will wake you. I would also wake because I was always hungry on the camino so I wanted to get a bite of something plus I needed a good 30 minutes to care for my feet. I would always have my foot care products ready beside me in the bed so I could start with that. Do not worry about waking, I am sure you will do fine. If it becomes a problem just ask the sleeper next to you and I am sure they would nudge you to get you awake. My husband was also in the army and knew the bunk style of sleeping but that was all new to me. Take care, Maya
     
  7. Followtheyellowarrows

    Followtheyellowarrows New Member

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    I used a watch alarm. We enjoyed leaving early to avoid the heat in the afternoon and were often one of the first up in the albergue. I was always paranoid about waking others up so tried to turn it off immediately. I think my anxiety about turning it off instantly made me often wake before the alarm went off. In hind sight I could probably have relaxed a little about the alarm :)
     
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  8. Leslie

    Leslie Administrator

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    During the last 10 days or so of my last walk on the Camino Frances I started to sleep in. I managed to sleep through people leaving in the morning - it was great.

    Back then it was likely easier as it was okay to find a bed each day, so there was no rush and no need to book ahead. If you book ahead and sleep in you will be fine, as long as you don't arrive later than you tell in the booking.
     
  9. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Leslie - Personally, I like your suggestion of booking ahead. Although it's not want everyone wants to do, I found having a bed reserved allowed me to walk at my own pace without any end-of-the-day worries. After walking 20-25 km, I didn't want to have to go looking for a bed or having to figure out Plan B in case a bed wasn't available. Hospitaleros will graciously call ahead for you and inquire about a bed being available at a particular albergue. So, if sleeping in a bit is on your agenda, the reservation allows you to arrive later in the day with no worries. As Leslie said, there is usually a time that you need to arrive by for them to save your bed. Make sure you know how late you can arrive! Buen Camino!
     
  10. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Ha.....I really don't care for schedules that much (yes, gypsy coming out again). But if I do have to adhere to one, I will be punctual to a fault. Worry will enter the situation (because I wouldn't want to be late if I committed to a certain time). So for me, I plan on waking up early to start walking, and if for some reason there is no bed for me, I will continue on and consider it another adventure! Maybe what lures me is the challenge of that! There ARE other pilgrims out there that feel the same way, right? :D I will reserve a bed in SJPDP, Roncesvalles, and Santiago though.
     
  11. Ginamarie

    Ginamarie Member

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    My feelings exactly hindsfeet. I have no idea how far I am going to be able to walk per day so it would stress me to have a reservation and think I have to rush to get there. I will go with the flow. Once I start my first Camino in this September I will know for the NEXT one!!
     
  12. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Hindsfeet - I wouldn't give to much thought to having to stay on schedule. You already have the right idea about starting your daily walks early. Even if you make a reservation ahead, the late arrival time (4 pm or so at most places as I best remember) will give you plenty of time to get there. Typically, one walks 20-25 km a day. Of course, it all depends on how many days you plan to be on the Camino. If you happen to be walking during a very busy time, you'll know if you need to make reservations. I regularly left around 06:30 and ended by very early afternoon. Although I had reservations, I was always one of the earliest to arrive. At that time of day, anyone walking in could have gotten a bed. But, if you walk slower and have a sense that you're going to arrive later, bed reservstions help when it's busy. Once you get there, you'll quickly figure out what will work best for your Camino.
     
  13. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Ginamarie.....going with the flow suits me too! I don't leave until the end of April 2018. Looking forward to posts from you coming in September!
     
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  14. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    Thanks Wily....I think starting at the very end of April shouldn't be too crowded. But later in
    May perhaps it might start getting more busy I guess. I am a fast walker, but want to really slow it down on the Camino. I have plenty time to devote to this Camino. Want to explore for a month or two after the CF also. No definite plans yet. I am just so excited to start! But I also know that I am NOT ready yet. Thanks again for all of your valuable input! And I am really enjoying the posts from your Camino Portugues!
     
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  15. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    For our first camino which was late Sept through end of October, we walked 34 of 35 days and the only time we made advance reservations was calling ahead a few days in advance to reserve a room in three paradors - Santo Domingo, Leon, and Villafranca. There was only one time we didn't get our first choice albergue and it was fairly small.

    For our next camino, my brother and his wife are joining us. We agreed to slow down the pace and allow a few more days. We have planned 38 days SJPDP to Santiago and this includes 2 rest days. Since our camino begins on Sept 8, there will be more pilgrims, plus I wanted to reserve as many places in advance as possible - to avoid towns and albergues we didn't like the last time, to lock in rooms at places we really liked last time, and enjoy more comfort and privacy. I began making reservations early this year. I booked a dozen or so rooms using Booking.com, parador reservations on their website, and several more by contacting the albergue directly. In all, we have reservations at 34 of 38 days on the camino! I'm definitely the planner and enjoyed checking out the various options. A few may disappoint us, but it's been fun planning our trip. Bob
     
  16. James Orrock

    James Orrock Member

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    Greetings, brother and sister pilgrims! Planning a significant undertaking such as the Camino is plainly essential, however I tend towards a 'laid back' approach - I am not intending to book accommodation in advance with the exceptions of Bayonne (1st day in France), SJPdP (2nd day in France), Roncesvalles (1st day of the journey), SdC (destination) and Madrid (departure point from Spain). As far as waking up in the morning goes, I will allow my fellow snorers (sorry, walkers) who will most certainly be stirring before me to gently usher me from my dreamtime into the brand new day.
     
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  17. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    James, that is my plan also, with booking in the same locations. The rest of it, well....an element of adventure. Can't find a room or an abandoned secret monks cell....keep moving. :D Your Camino is coming up soon if I remember from past posts....September? The excitement of that must be incredible. The Good Lord willing, I will be heading out the end of April and hoping to take those first steps on May 1st. Buen Camino James!
     
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  18. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    And James, do remember to pack those ear plugs! They will definitely be needed if you hope to enjoy that well earned "dreamtime" a bit every night! :) Buen Camino!
     
  19. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Can you share your list?
     
  20. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Jose, I'm happy to share our hiking / overnight plan. This includes the in transit days from Madrid to St Jean, and Santiago back to Madrid. The table below shows our start point and destination each day, distance we will walk, whether there is an ATM in each town, the place where we'll stay, the type of accommodation, places where reservations have been made, how reservation was made, and a few notes mostly about the room accomodations. Hope this helps you and others ! Bob
     

    Attached Files:

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  21. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Sorry - the first attempt copied the table several times. Hope this is better.
    upload_2017-6-20_15-48-26.png
     
  22. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    WOW. This is super. Thanks so much!
     
  23. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey Bob - An extremely helpful list for someone planning their Camino and who might want to make reservations ahead. I've stayed at a number of these albergues, as possible you have as well, and those that I know of are excellent choices. Doing your research before hand will generally minimize the unpleasant surprises.

    My only caution to pilgrims concerns the ATMs. Just because a town has an ATM doesn't mean that your bank's card will be accepted there. My experience in both Spain and Portugal has been that ATMs belonging to smaller, regional banks may not accept a foreign debit card. With a larger international bank like Santandar, there shouldn't be any problems. My advice to pilgrims is to not run too short on Euros. Carry enough cash to get you from one large city to another. Or, have a more universal card like the Visa Travel/Money card that should be accepted in any machine displaying the Visa logo. Thanks Bob and Buen Camino!
     
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  24. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Yes, all ATMs may not be the same. During our last camino, I tried BBVA and my debit card worked fine. I only needed to withdraw euros 3 or 4 more times and each time I used the BBVA kiosk and never had a problem.
     
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  25. James Orrock

    James Orrock Member

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    Buen Camino, hindsfeet! Yes, I am getting very excited at the prospect of setting out on pilgrimage late September. Muchas gracias, Wily - I will remember to pack my earplugs before departure to enable quality dreamtime in the albergues. Hey, Bob - looks like you will be journeying between Mansilla de las Mulas and Leon the day I fly into Paris en route to Bayonne. Your accommodation in Madrid, Hostel El Pasaje - as per your attached table - have you stayed there before? How much does it cost for a single room?
     
  26. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey James - Let me offer up another Madrid accommodation for you to consider. I often stay near the Plaza Major in the heart of the city. My favorite place is the Hostel Madrid which is also just a short distance from the Sol metro station. A single room there is around 60€. I'd suggest going on Booking.com. Use their filtering system where you can set the price range and part of the city you prefer. Depending on your dates, you should be able to find a number of hostels offering rooms for as low as 40€/night. Of course, hostels offering just beds in a dormitory will be significantly less expensive and they too can be found on the booking site. Buen Camino!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  27. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    James, yes we stayed at Hostel El Pasaje, during our 2015 camino. It is ideally located, very near the Puerta del Sol and a short walk to Plaza Mayor. We have reservations to stay there again on the day we arrive and the night before our departure back to the US. The rate we are paying this time is 80 euros, but that is for a double room and includes breakfast for my wife and myself. You can check Booking.com for a single room and may prefer to skip breakfast since there are many bars and restaurants nearby. By the way, one of our favorite restaurants in all of Spain is the Alhambra and it is a short walk from the hotel. They offer pulpo to die for!
     
  28. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    I second Bob's lodging in Pamplona. The entrance to Hotel Europa made me worry that the place was a little more upscale than I was expecting, but it's not overly-fancy (is comfortable) up in the rooms, and is so close to Cafe Iruna on the immense Plaza del Castillo and close to Bar Gaucho for tapas! The other time I stayed at Hostal Navarra because was going right back to the bus station in the morning, but it was one of those tricky places to find that are set amid a multipurpose building that the locals don't even know about. Consider taking a good map of Pamplona instead of relyin only on Brierley if you're deviating from the Camino path in Pamplona. A Reboleira in Fonfria was a treat - cafe/food open all day/evening to 8, I think, and then there's dinner in the round dining palloza. A very nice family runs it and if they have one available, you can sometimes get a habitacion by showing up in person and asking (not available via Booking.com) - they'll then change your booking to the habitacion and save the dorm bed for a walk-in. It's in the middle of a working dairy farm (one of many that the Camino winds directly through in Galicia), so from the courtyard or room you can watch the workers and the dogs herd the cattle up and down the same little road that the pilgims share passing through.

    I would stay in Pamplona next time at Casa Ibarrola or Albergue de Pamplona - the first is run by two brother with a reputation for kindness and has individual "pods" with pull-down shades for privacy, and Albergue de Pamplona has curtains for privacy around bunks. This is an idea that seems to be catching on over all the Caminos and I think it will make choosing an albergue that has them much more desirable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  29. James Orrock

    James Orrock Member

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    Hola, Wily and Bob and Crepes. Que tal?

    Wily, you mentioned the Hostel Madrid is just a short distance from the Sol metro station. Can I connect to Barajas aeropuerto from there? My Spanish is elementary and I am a little concerned about navigating the metro / train system in Madrid in getting out to Barajas to catch my flight home.

    Bob, I will definitely try the Alhambra and the pulpo if available but I hope I will not die shortly after ingesting it! Sounds a little like those unfortunate Japanese diners turning up their toes after their hugely expensive pufferfish sushi meal.

    Crepes, I will put the Cafe Iruna and Bar Gaucho on my desirable eateries table and the Casa Ibarrola and Albergue de Pamplona on my preferred accommodation list.

    Adios, amigos y amiga. Hasta luego!
     
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  30. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey James - The Madrid Metro is easy to use. For your reference, here is a link to it:

    https://www.metromadrid.es/export/sites/metro/comun/documentos/planos/Planoesquematicoingles.pdf

    Once inside the station, you buy a ticket at a kiosk. The price you are charged depends on your destination. As you will see on the map, Bajaras is at the end of Line 8. From the Sol station, two changes of train will get you out there in 45 minutes or so.

    C4S is correct about some really great eateries in Pamplona. Here's an article on tapas you might enjoy. I was at the Bar Gaucho on a busy Sunday afternoon and it was great fun eating and drinking with the locals.

    https://www.spain-holiday.com/Navarra-province/articles/best-tapas-bars-in-pamplona

    One other accommodation to mention to you in Pamplona is the Albergue Plaza Catedral. Modern and locacted right next to the cathedral, it was one of my favorites on the Camino.

    Buen Camino!
     

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