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About the albuergues, hostels, etc

Jerome74

Active Member
#1
Are the albuergues really as bad as a lot of people/books claim them to be? Meaning lots of people in very little space, one toilet for 30 people, not too much hygiene, etc .. ? And since the number of pilgrims seem to grow every year, this probably won't get better ... ?

What about alternatives? Tent camps? Or (cheap) hotels?

Because the night accommodations are what 'scare' me the most. And if there's one thing that I hate, it's not getting the sleep I need! Or a shower from time to time ... Don't get me wrong, I've slept in tents and simple hostels before so I'm not expecting a lot but a minimum would be nice ...

I'd really appreciate the views of people who have recently walked the Camino.

Thanks a lot,

Jerome
 

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#2
Are the albuergues really as bad as a lot of people/books claim them to be? Meaning lots of people in very little space, one toilet for 30 people, not too much hygiene, etc .. ? And since the number of pilgrims seem to grow every year, this probably won't get better ... ?
Yes and No. I would prefer to use the albergues to camping any day, less to carry, a roof over your head, company and quite probably a bed.

The toilet facilities are no better or worse than most campsites, i.e. variable from good to no so good. You would be very unlucky not to get a shower even if it is not so hot.

You are right that things will not get better while the numbers continue to increase but new albergues are opening all the time including private ones which are generallysmaller and have better facilities.

Buy some really good ear plugs because you will need them and the eye covers you get on long distance flights are useful it you are happy wearing them.

Buen Camino
William
 
#4
albergues

Jerome--
I think the albergues are quite nice, really. They are generally clean and comfortable. Absolutely adequate...and some are downright lovely. I was always able to take a shower...only had one cold one in 33 days (and it felt good.) I can say that the public ones in Galicia were a little more run down...but still fine....but there are inexpensive private ones opening all the time.

I would bring a pillowcase....some pillows are sketchy....and a lightweight sleeping bag (or liner, depending on when and where you are going).

Cheers, Emily
 

Jerome74

Active Member
#5
Emily, thanks for the answer. That's good to know then! I was bracing for the 'worst' already ... ;)

I'll be doing the Camino the at the end of May 2007. So I guess I'll take a lightweight sleeping bag? I have to still look into that though.
 

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#6
Jerome74 said:
I'll be doing the Camino the at the end of May 2007. So I guess I'll take a lightweight sleeping bag? I have to still look into that though.
Hi ! I walked for a week, starting 19th of May this year. Especially the first days were really cold during the night, and I was glad I at least had a light-weight summer sleeping-bag. I brought a silk linen-bag as well (150 g.), and actually used it both with and without my sleeping-bag.

The mornings were cold as well (8-9 C.), but the temperature rised quickly. The last days I had over 30 C, and it was really hot. So, I experienced that it was necessery to be prepared for different temperatures.

Good luck with your planning, and buen Camino !

Liv.
 
#8
don´t worry about them at all, they´re crowded sometimes, and there are few showers, but they´re clean, you don´t have to wait long if you DO use a shower, and people are generally pretty respectful

at least the non-snorers
 
#9
what's "bad"?

yes there are cheap hotels in towns, though not necessarily in villages but the albergues are an intrinsic part of the camino experience. they're where you meet and bond with other pilgrims, among other things. if you cut yourself off from that, why bother to go?

if you're a poor sleeper take a personal stereo with some soothing music on it (taize prayers work for me) and a bottle of xanax. plus you can always take a nap in the daytime.
 

Deborah

Active Member
#10
Refugio List

Hey Leslie... was it you that had information on an auberge to book in SJPP if we wanted to stay more than one night? I'm getting fried making all these arrangements ::::laughing:::
 
#12
yes there are cheap hotels in towns, though not necessarily in villages but the albergues are an intrinsic part of the camino experience. they're where you meet and bond with other pilgrims, among other things. if you cut yourself off from that, why bother to go?

there is more to a long walk than an albergue. there is more to a long walk than meeting people, as great as they may be. heck, ive been thinking about a camino in silence for the fun of it. why not spend your nights under the stars? i think there is a time and a place for solitude and for socialization.
 
#13
Jerome74 said:
I'll be doing the Camino the at the end of May 2007. So I guess I'll take a lightweight sleeping bag? I have to still look into that though.
Jeremo, I'll be walking the Camino at the same time. I have similar concerns (fears? no!), but I trust that if this is what I'm supposed to do, all things will work together. Hope you see you there!!
 

Paulus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (May 2005), Norte (May 2006), Vezelay (2007).
#14
Jerome,

I know this is not really gonna help you but....after your walk you will laugh about your concerns you have now....... do try not to plan everything and do let the Camino the work for you and....enjoy it.

Buen Camino all of you!

Paul
 
#16
albergues

i found MOST albergues to be terrific. I only had one cold shower in Burgos, and most were VERY CLEAN. i didn't wear sandals in the shower and had no problems.
In Galica the albergues are by donation, so i found them to be more run down. these places have kitchens, but found in galica that there were no pots, pans or dishes.
It was recommended to stay in a hostel as a treat, nice shower etc. but i didn't want to leave the pack. i was travelling alone and loved the pilgrim experience.
dawn
 
#17
Hi Jerome,
I would recommand you to sleep in the albergues. Most of them are really great. The best is to pick the small ones because the hospitaleras are there wonderful persons full of hospitality. My favorites are the albergues in Villamayor de Monjardin, Astorga (the one after the cathedral), Castrojeriz, La Faba. Great places, great people.

Buen Camino, Jerome

Julien
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#18
The alberques are WONDERFUL - no matter how "bad" they seem to be. When it's been raining all day, and the hospitalier offers you a space in his house or in the church to sleep on the floor, it's a blessing. Oh yes, your back is sore, and you're cold, but it's all part of the experience. You meet the most wonderful people along the way....
Don't worry about getting a "bed". You will get a space to sleep, although it might not be as great as the previous, or the next night. That's why it's an adventure!!!
When I talk with people these days about the Camino I have two very important messages:
1. Your standards of hygiene must not be too high.
2. Your standards of privacy must not be too high.
These seem pretty basic, but I saw people freaking out about how low the bar was on both of these standards. You have to be pretty accommodating about both your privacy (coed showers with no doors) and your idea of hygiene (backed-up sewers on the floors). Despite, and because of it all, it was the best thing I ever did in my life!

Good luck and buen camino!

lynne and john
 

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