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Advice on getting two beds at San Anton convent

Kasee

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances: '22, '23, '24
Portugues: 23
Invierno: 24
Last Fall, I walked through San Anton and fell in love. Toward the end of May, I'll be walking through again and would love to stay in the tiny albergue in the ruins. Most of the posts I'm seeing are pretty old, but I'm guessing you have to be there pretty early to be able to stay there. Has anyone stayed there recently and can give me the details? I totally get that it's a "Camino provides" thing and if we don't get in, it wasn't meant to be.
 
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I would say you can probably get a bed. It is between two towns and not on a stage at all. I doubt they will take reservations and be aware that there is no electricity. If they are full, you can still probably take some photos and sit down and visit a moment with the pilgrims and hospitalero. If you don't get a bed, then you can just move on to Castrojerez.
 
When I stayed there last I arrived early. We had stayed the night in Hornillos and intended to walk to Castrojeriz, but when we peeked into San Anton at about lunch time we found the hospitalero was a friend from Australia so how could we walk on? We had a fabulous night.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I would say you can probably get a bed. It is between two towns and not on a stage at all. I doubt they will take reservations and be aware that there is no electricity. If they are full, you can still probably take some photos and sit down and visit a moment with the pilgrims and hospitalero. If you don't get a bed, then you can just move on to Castrojerez.
Thanks! Yup, I know that there is no electricity. Last Fall, my husband and I spent at least an hour there and it has stayed with me ever since. They don't take reservations, so I was hoping to find out how early one has to show up to get a spot.
 
I have lovely memories of it.. It's one of the special places but many walk on, put off by the basic facilities. If you arrive around 2pm you shouldn't have any problem finding a bed. If it doesn't work out, Castrojerez is less than an hour further on, with lots of choices.
 
When I stayed there last I arrived early. We had stayed the night in Hornillos and intended to walk to Castrojeriz, but when we peeked into San Anton at about lunch time we found the hospitalero was a friend from Australia so how could we walk on? We had a fabulous night.
What a cool coincidence! So late morning/early afternoon?
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Well, keep in mind the hospitalera/o has to clean and maybe get groceries from town. I would say certainly no earlier than noon, but as @Flog mentions, 2 p.m. would probably be OK. Give the hospitalera a moment to eat lunch, etc. No opening time mentioned on Gronze.com
 
Well, keep in mind the hospitalera/o has to clean and maybe get groceries from town. I would say certainly no earlier than noon, but as @Flog mentions, 2 p.m. would probably be OK. Give the hospitalera a moment to eat lunch, etc. No opening time mentioned on Gronze.com
Thank you!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I have lovely memories of it.. It's one of the special places but many walk on, put off by the basic facilities. If you arrive around 2pm you shouldn't have any problem finding a bed. If it doesn't work out, Castrojerez is less than an hour further on, with lots of choices.
Thank you! Fingers crossed!
 
I was there for a week as the hospitalero in early May a few years ago. The most that stayed from memory was eight, so there were always beds spare.

By tradition, when there is more than one hospitalero, the albergue gates open at sunrise and close at sunset. As I was working alone, I closed the albergue around 0830 to walk into Castrojeriz, returning around lunchtime. The albergue was open whenever I was present until the gates closed at sunset. In 2022 the opening hours were listed as 0700 to 2100 on the San Anton website. They don't have 2023 opening hours up yet, and it appears they won't open until mid-May, but that detail hasn't been provided on the website yet.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Well, keep in mind the hospitalera/o has to clean and maybe get groceries from town. I would say certainly no earlier than noon, but as @Flog mentions, 2 p.m. would probably be OK. Give the hospitalera a moment to eat lunch, etc. No opening time mentioned on Gronze.com
I was a hospi there. No, we don’t go to town to buy provisions, Ovidio brings them to us from Burgos and Castrojeriz. However with only a tiny propane powered fridge almost everything we prepared was veggie, pasta and rice based. Sometimes a few bits of hard sausage. There are only 12 beds and they are all bunk beds. No way to make a reservation because there is no phone or Internet service. You could arrive anytime of the day but we did have to sweep the floors and clean the one room bath daily. If you want a beer, a snack or wine outside of dinner time, you need to bring it with you. Although, I know someone opened a bar across the street several years ago. Finally, there were nights in the middle of the summer when we had zero guests and others when we were turning pilgrims away at. 5pm and beyond.
 
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I stayed there this past July; I arrived just after 2pm and was worried that the place would be full, but other than a few pilgrims who had stopped just to look around, I was the first to get a bed. For most of the afternoon I thought I might be there alone for the night, but around 4:30/5:00 a group of 4 pilgrims showed up. So, just 5 of us there that night, and it was such a wonderful experience! I know this won't necessarily be the case every day (I imagine it varies quite a bit), but as others have suggested, an early afternoon arrival will probably be fine!
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I also was a hospi there!
(We should have a hospi reunion!)

I'd say get there around 12:30-1 pm and sit and read or watch pilgrims walk by.
We didn't open the gates until 2 pm, but there are only 12 beds (or were) so there could be a line.
FANTASTIC experience! You can see a million stars in the sky!

Good luck and if you make it in, report back!
PS: Please leave a generous donation!
 
When we walked past last spring, it looked like the Bar/cafe across the street was completely gone. Seemed a shame as the guy that was there in 2018 seemed like a fun charecter and he said he had been there for a long time.
Does anyone know if it closed permanently?
I too, had hoped to stay there last year but they were not open early enough in the year. Maybe next year. Had such a grand night at St. Nikolas on the other side of Castrojerez.
 
I also was a hospi there!
(We should have a hospi reunion!)

I'd say get there around 12:30-1 pm and sit and read or watch pilgrims walk by.
We didn't open the gates until 2 pm, but there are only 12 beds (or were) so there could be a line.
FANTASTIC experience! You can see a million stars in the sky!

Good luck and if you make it in, report back!
PS: Please leave a generous donation!
More than a generous donations is appreciated.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I also was a hospi there!
(We should have a hospi reunion!)

I'd say get there around 12:30-1 pm and sit and read or watch pilgrims walk by.
We didn't open the gates until 2 pm, but there are only 12 beds (or were) so there could be a line.
FANTASTIC experience! You can see a million stars in the sky!

Good luck and if you make it in, report back!
PS: Please leave a generous donation!
Our reunion would be like the meetings of the 12 apostles.
 
On my first Camino in 2015 we skipped the meseta, thinking it would be boring. Instead prefered to spend additional time in Muxia and Finesterre as some vacation R&R time before going home.
On my second Camino Frances in 2017, we walked every single step from SJPdP to Santiago. I loved arriving at the ruins in San Anton, but due to doing very little research ahead of time, we unfortunately🙁 were unaware of its albergue. It was a beautiful warm spring day, so we did stop at the quirky outdoor cafe across the street, sitting in the sunshine drinking fresh squeezed orange juice. We walked on to Castrojerez, where we spent the remainder of the day; walking up to the castle on the hill behind town with its stunning views, and staying overnight at the wonderful Albergue Ultreia.
 
I was there for a week as the hospitalero in early May a few years ago. The most that stayed from memory was eight, so there were always beds spare.

By tradition, when there is more than one hospitalero, the albergue gates open at sunrise and close at sunset. As I was working alone, I closed the albergue around 0830 to walk into Castrojeriz, returning around lunchtime. The albergue was open whenever I was present until the gates closed at sunset. In 2022 the opening hours were listed as 0700 to 2100 on the San Anton website. They don't have 2023 opening hours up yet, and it appears they won't open until mid-May, but that detail hasn't been provided on the website yet.
Thanks! This is helpful information.
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
Transport luggage-passengers.
From airports to SJPP
Luggage from SJPP to Roncevalles
I was a hospi there. No, we don’t go to town to buy provisions, Ovidio brings them to us from Burgos and Castrojeriz. However with only a tiny propane powered fridge almost everything we prepared was veggie, pasta and rice based. Sometimes a few bits of hard sausage. There are only 12 beds and they are all bunk beds. No way to make a reservation because there is no phone or Internet service. You could arrive anytime of the day but we did have to sweep the floors and clean the one room bath daily. If you want a beer, a snack or wine outside of dinner time, you need to bring it with you. Although, I know someone opened a bar across the street several years ago. Finally, there were nights in the middle of the summer when we had zero guests and others when we were turning pilgrims away at. 5pm and beyond.
The bar was closed down when we walked past there last May.
 
I arrived at 2.30 PM in mid-May and I was the first to arrive. Some time later 3 American women doing a slow camino came in, and our final companion, a Romanian fireman, arrived at 5 PM. So, just the five of us as pilgrims, and two hospitaleras from America and Austria. Refugio Gaucelmo at Rabanal del Camino is my all time favourite albergue, but it is only slightly ahead of that historic and wonderfully atmospheric San Anton.

Be brave. Life is joyous.

Alan
 
I arrived at 2.30 PM in mid-May and I was the first to arrive
Like Alan.
I arrived at about noon, thinking if I didn't get there early it'd be full. But. Early bird gets the worm. And I got the primo bed by the door so I could see the full moon rising behind the ruins from my sleeping bag. Wow.

There were only 5 of us that night. (No electricity seems to keep people away - an astonishing number of people just walked right by.)

If you want a special 3-some, spend successive nights in San Anton, San Nicholas, and Villalcazar de Sirga (the Muni) - you'll be missing the masses of people and staying in really special places.
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Totally agree with VNwalking. The one service we did not provide at San Anton was washing your feet like San Nicholas. From what little Camino lore and rumors I picked up over the years, the guy who opened the bar across the street from San Anton was also the guy who owns the house next door to the ruins and once again according to the few actual facts I know; he is the descendant of the man who Franco deeded the Monastery property to along with quite a bit of farm land in exchange for his Islamic support of the government. The people in that house control the water supply to the albergue and cuts it off if their crops need the water more than pilgrims need showers and would only allow the gates that face the road to be opened if he was paid an entry fee. All of this is urban legend, I suppose.
We would feed their hungry dogs left over pasta and stale bread, they were a weird lot of mongrels who spent most of their days literally hanging out in the upper branches of the trees in their courtyard. Bizarre, for sure!
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
And I got the primo bed by the door so I could see the full moon rising behind the ruins from my sleeping bag. Wow.

There were only 5 of us that night. (No electricity seems to keep people away - an astonishing number of people just walked right by.)


Haha, me too and it was also a moonlight night with the silhouette of the ruins!

It was late September 2016. There were just four of us and two hospitaleras, one Irish and one South African. Late in the afternoon as we were sat around the table chatting quietly with the stove going, drinking tea and enjoying the calm of the place, a bunch of well dressed tourists suddenly appeared in the door. They walked in around the table taking photos of everything and just as suddenly, back out out again and disappeared, with barely a word of acknowledgment to any of us. We looked at each other bemused and all burst out laughing: was that an apparition??

A few pilgrims came and went that day too, deciding to walk on when the place didn't appear to meet their expectations. We had a cosy night..
 
I also was a hospi there!
(We should have a hospi reunion!)

I'd say get there around 12:30-1 pm and sit and read or watch pilgrims walk by.
We didn't open the gates until 2 pm, but there are only 12 beds (or were) so there could be a line.
FANTASTIC experience! You can see a million stars in the sky!

Good luck and if you make it in, report back!
PS: Please leave a generous donation!
Thanks for the info. It will be my first donativo albergue. What counts as a generous donation? (An honest question.)
 
I was there for a week as the hospitalero in early May a few years ago. The most that stayed from memory was eight, so there were always beds spare.

By tradition, when there is more than one hospitalero, the albergue gates open at sunrise and close at sunset. As I was working alone, I closed the albergue around 0830 to walk into Castrojeriz, returning around lunchtime. The albergue was open whenever I was present until the gates closed at sunset. In 2022 the opening hours were listed as 0700 to 2100 on the San Anton website. They don't have 2023 opening hours up yet, and it appears they won't open until mid-May, but that detail hasn't been provided on the website yet.
I stopped at the convent in March 2022 and it was locked up tight so I went on to Castrojeriz. Very disappointed, but I saw maybe 5 other pilgrims that day so not surprised. Hope to stay there some day.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
What counts as a generous donation
Yes to what @Tincatinker has said as a rule of thumb, with a quibble: I'd say that'd be a baseline donation since there are too many people who think donativo and free mean the same thing. They absolutely don't.

So a generous donation? Take that rule of thumb and double it. For starters. The sky's the limit. As @J Willhaus said, balance your heart and your budget.

Generosity makes everyone happy, those who give and those who receive.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Don, as for the story about the guy who runs the bar being a descendant, and the family in the house next door, and Franco giving deeds to people? You must've been listening to Ollie after too many beers. It's total moonshine. But San Anton seems to generate all kinds of wild stories. (I could tell you a couple!)

San Anton's had a lot of positive changes in the last couple of years. It's now under control of a foundation (still run by Ovidio Campo) and the cranky old guy next door who kept the hungry dogs and shut off the water has gone to his eternal reward. The foundation has bought the use of the house next door, and hospitaleros now have a semi-civilized place to sleep at night, thank goodness!

The front gate is open now, the outer wall stabilized, and the old shipping container/hospi quarters is gone at last. San Anton is still run by volunteers, still donativo, and still must conserve water. The bathroom is still closed to people who are not staying overnight. It is still magical.
 
Yes to what @Tincatinker has said as a rule of thumb, with a quibble: I'd say that'd be a baseline donation since there are too many people who think donativo and free mean the same thing. They absolutely don't.

So a generous donation? Take that rule of thumb and double it. For starters. The sky's the limit. As @J Willhaus said, balance your heart and your budget.

Generosity makes everyone happy, those who give and those who receive.
The students and youngsters hardly ever had money and I have never begrudged them ever, so sometimes they would only put in a few coins into our donavivo pig. One older chap who we gave a bed to then had a fine salad and as much pasta as he could eat and copos of vino. The next morning my partner and I got up early and made coffee and a small breakfast. This person then dug into his pocket and pulled out a few thousand in cash and put €5 into our pig , I wish I had never seen that?
 

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In many ways, I prefer not to know how much or count the money. A few years ago Phil and I were at Estella serving and the point of contact came to count the money and was delighted that we were getting more than 3 euros a day average. Our mentor Marina at Grañón told not to count the money as we would be sad.

I never watch or check the box until after pilgrims leave for the day (if that is part of my duties). I don't want to treat anyone differently if they have less or more to give. That isn't what hospitality is about.

I just know that I often get much more at a donativo than I would at some other places so I always try to be more generous there because we are able.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I had the pleasure of staying at San Anton last fall (September 29, 2022 to be precise.) Not wanting to leave things to chance and assuming earnestly (and in retrospect, somewhat comically) that the demand for a bunk in a gorgeous rustic setting sans electricity and Wi-Fi would be HUGE, I spent the previous night at the lovely and remote Albergue San Bol so I’d have the advantage of a short (15k) walk to San Anton. I arrived shortly after noon, and when I asked the charming young Italian hospitalero if there were any beds left, he politely resisted laughing when he told me I was only the second guest, and please choose any bed I’d like.

On that particular day San Anton did eventually reach capacity, but not until early evening, and only because a group of five cyclists arrived (a multi-national group of young guys who had met and bonded on the Camino, and as they were all struggling with tendinitis they decided to team up and rent bikes to get from Burgos to Leon together. So sweet.)

Truly one of my favorite days/nights on the Camino. As for the donation question, I donated about 4x what I was accustomed to paying—which of course was still a bargain.

I hope to visit again, both as a pilgrim and a hospitalera.
 
Last Fall, I walked through San Anton and fell in love. Toward the end of May, I'll be walking through again and would love to stay in the tiny albergue in the ruins. Most of the posts I'm seeing are pretty old, but I'm guessing you have to be there pretty early to be able to stay there. Has anyone stayed there recently and can give me the details? I totally get that it's a "Camino provides" thing and if we don't get in, it wasn't meant to be.
Greetings! If you are a day or two behind your schedule, my partner and I will be your hospitaleros at San Antón. We will be there for the first quincena of June. I also fell in love with the place when I walked the Camino in 2016 but didn't stay there. In 2019 Rosy and I biked the Camino and did stay there. It is completely magical. We have been wanting to go back and serve there and are delighted for this opportunity. When I have been there, it tended to fill up in the late afternoon, near suppertime. I wouldn't fret about it. If you do arrive early, it will be a time to relax and reflect. As you probably know it is a perfect spot for reflection, journaling, meditation. Not a great spot if you crave night life... :) Feel free to PM.
 
Don, as for the story about the guy who runs the bar being a descendant, and the family in the house next door, and Franco giving deeds to people? You must've been listening to Ollie after too many beers. It's total moonshine. But San Anton seems to generate all kinds of wild stories. (I could tell you a couple!)

San Anton's had a lot of positive changes in the last couple of years. It's now under control of a foundation (still run by Ovidio Campo) and the cranky old guy next door who kept the hungry dogs and shut off the water has gone to his eternal reward. The foundation has bought the use of the house next door, and hospitaleros now have a semi-civilized place to sleep at night, thank goodness!

The front gate is open now, the outer wall stabilized, and the old shipping container/hospi quarters is gone at last. San Anton is still run by volunteers, still donativo, and still must conserve water. The bathroom is still closed to people who are not staying overnight. It is still magical.
Didn't know about the housing for hospitaleros. Thanks for that bit of news, Rebekah. I am so looking forward to getting there. And, to being there for two weeks.
 
Train for your next Camino (or keep the Camino spirit alive) on Santa Catalina Island
And I got the primo bed by the door so I could see the full moon rising behind the ruins from my sleeping bag. Wow
This is an older thread, but thanks to all who have provided input. Staying at San Anton is my biggest wish for my upcoming Camino; if my plans hold, I should be arriving at San Anton either on or very close to the full moon of June 3rd.

In addition, seeing the full moon setting in the west over the Meseta the next morning is my desire.
If you want a special 3-some, spend successive nights in San Anton, San Nicholas, and Villalcazar de Sirga (the Muni) - you'll be missing the masses of people and staying in really special places.
This is what I am hoping for, BTW.

@Kasee I will be a few days behind you... do let me know if you succeed!
 
How does one go about volunteering to be a hospitalero here?
 

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