Guide books are written to be sold. The following feedbacks were received from some customers of ours that walked the Camino earlier this season.
We arranged for them to fly in and out of Spain, Renfe or Alsa land transfers to the gateways to start their walk. No arrangements were made as to accommodations along the way. The customers armed themselves with the best known Camino Guide Book available. Hundreds of pilgrims walked the Camino every day armed with the same highly regarded guide book.
APRIL/2015 ….. A father walked a section of the Camino Frances with his teenage son. No accommodations arranged or requested as the purpose of the Walk was part of an adventurous award programme that the son was participating in. Staying in a refugio or albergue along the Camino did qualify for the participation and the whole idea was that they would just show up at the various refugios listed in this famous guidebook. After returning from their Walk, the father stopped by our office and reflected on their rather adventurous walk. “It seemed that more than half of the accommodations mentioned in the Book were not open during the time we were there. It turned out to be a very adventurous and endurance exercise having to keep on pushing and pushing adding extra kilometres until we were able to find a place just to crash for the night”.
JUL/2015 ….. A single peregrina started the Walk from the Gateway, Pamplona. She was only able to do this over the summer due to work commitment. We reminded her every time she visited us that starting in Pamplona during the first two weeks of July would be very challenging mainly because of the San Fermin Festival held between 6-14 of July every year. Accommodations in a radius of 25km from Pamplona would be very difficult if not impossible. She did not feel that it would be that difficult finding a place to stay with an open mind and a copy of this very famous Camino Guide Book. We finally convinced her that it would be extremely unwise to do that and arranged for her to get off one stop before arriving Pamplona from Barcelona on Renfe. The accommodation was booked for the night at that small town and the next morning very early she was able to take a bus into Pamplona in time for the Iruna the same morning. Right after the event, she was able to walk out of Pamplona on her way to Puente de la Reina to start her walk to Santiago. Armed with her Camino Guide Book, she would hit the refugios along the way. Upon her return, she visited our Office and mentioned to us that she was able to find accommodation at the refugio highly recommended in the Guide Book for the night. “I needed to use the washroom, it was so bad that I said to myself. No more refugios from now on”. She had a very fulfilling Camino after all, she was walking with a rosary and never said so many prayers before. She felt like she was walking with her sister that unfortunately was not able to be with her. She walked the Camino with her in mind.