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Albergue closures in Asturias

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
#1
Hola everyone,

I happened to be on the Camino del Norte in Galicia last Friday (18 July). I met two Danish pilgrims in Gondan who told me that the Ayuntamiento in Asturias has closed three municipal alberbues and that there is no place for pilgrims to stay for 70 km. Certainly there must be some casa rurales, but they may be full or quite expensive as it is the holiday season in Asturias. The pilgrims had taken a photo of the headlines in the local paper confirming this information which they showed to me. They said that pilgrims were taking buses through Asturias as the waymarking was poor and there was no place to stay.

I was planning to go to Irun in the next day or so to begin el Norte. Can anyone provide any more information on this? Or if not, I just wanted to make the information available to pilgrims.

Buen Camino,
 

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#2
Hi, Deidre,
That's bad news. If you can tell me where the three closed albergues are, I can look through my notes to see if I have other housing options to suggest for you. I walked last May and we didn't stay in many albergues till we got to Galicia. Looking at my lovely camino map posted on the wall, I think the Asturias stretch is roughly Unquera to Ribadeo, and if my memory is right the only albergues we stayed in on that stretch were in Aviles and Tapia. If they've closed the one in Tapia, it's worth a full scale revolution, because it is located on the headlands overlooking a beautiful deserted beach.

Laurie
 
#3
In my never ending quest to become competent on the computer, I decided to try to post some pictures of the albergue in Tapia and its views. I found Ivar's explanation on the FAQ thread and though I don't know how to change the pixels, I hope this works! Laurie

http://picasaweb.google.com/laurie.reyn ... 2690862018
http://picasaweb.google.com/laurie.reyn ... 4100927410

[edited by ivar: I removed the img tags since these links are link to a web page (with images). So cutting and pasting these links will make them click-able for people to see]
 
#4
Hi Deirdre
If they have closed any albergues in Asturia it must have happened during the last couple of weeks. I walked the Camino del Norte in June this year and I used the latest CSJ guide. As far as I remember, every albergue mentioned in the guide was still there this June -08. But if the Danish pilgrims showed you a photo of a recent newspaper headline from July I suppose it's possible that a few albergues are closed now.

As Laurie said, the Asturia stretch is from Unquera to Ribadeo. I stayed in the following places in June:
Llanes: In a private albergue, La Estacion (10 euros). There's also a youth hostel.
Ribadesella: In a hotel, but there's a youth hostel as well where some friends of mine stayed.
Sebrayo: Albergue, very basic and clearly neglected, but still OK. Very small village with no bar. No hospitaliero. I also saw an albergue in La Isla between Ribadesella and Sebrayo
Gijon: In a hotel. There's no albergue in the city. Nice city and well worth a stop.
Avilles: Big albergue with 60 beds. Very good and with a nice hospitaliero.
Soto de Lluna: Good albergue. The hospitaliero also owns the hotel and the bar so he's pretty much in charge of the whole village:). I was also told about a youth hostel halfway between Avilles and Soto de Lluna (I think it was in Muros de Nalón).
Cadavedo: Albergue. I didn't stay there but I dropped by and visited some friends who had stoped there for the day. Small (8 beds) and not very good. Dirty.
Luarca: In a pension (Pension Moderna, recommended, cheap, clean and central). There was an albergue some 3-4 km before Luarca but I decided to stay in the town since it's a very nice place.
La Caridad: Albergue. The place was clearly neglected for long but still OK. I never met any hospitaliero.
The albergue in Tapia was still there in June. I didn't stay there because it's just 11 km from La Caridad so I continued to Ribadeo. But the place looked absolutely great.

As mentioned before some of the albergues (Sebrayo, Cadavedo, la Caridad) were clearly neglected and unattended so I wouldn't be very surprised if they decided to close them. But it would be a shame since the Asturian stretch is a great walk and other affordable accommodation can be hard to find during holiday times.
The waymarking is a bit poor in some parts of Asturia. I still managed without any serious problems, but I had to ask the locals a couple of times. I'm very happy I walked in Asturia because it's beautiful and I think that the peolpe who are taking the bus are missing something special.
When you get to Galicia, the waymarking and the albergues are excellent.

Buen Camino
Freddie
 
#5
Hi Freddie:

Thank you for all the information. We are starting to walk the Camino del Norte in September and I have been watching for this kind of good information.

Anne
USA
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#6
Is there a private albergue in Irun or only the municipal refuge?
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
#7
Hi
Thanks for all the positive information. I too was very dismayed to hear of thiese closures as I had a friend who walked the Norte in May and June and had no problems! Anyway, the albergues that the Danish girls told me were closed were: Pineres de Pria, San Esteban de Leces and La Isla leaving the stretch between Llanes and Villaviciosa without an albergue.

Circumstances have dictated that I shall walk a different route this year, but I hope that all who walk the Norte will have no problems with their Way. I was mainly posting to provide information since no one seemed to know anything about this...

Buen Camino,
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
#9
Hi Peter,
Sorry not to have replied. I was on the Camino and in Spain with only limited access to a computer. Now that I am home I'm catching up on the forum reading. The article you cited is not the same as the photographed headline that I saw. Although the information does look similar. It is quite possible that the Pilgrims in question did not speak/read Spanish well and got the information wrong... I cannot say for sure. It would be great to hear from a forum member on the Norte who could provide more accurate information.
Buen Camino,
 
#10
Hi. I'm cycling back on the Camino Norte now. When the Albergue in Ribadeo was full I rang the Albergue in La Caridad and was told it was closed for August.

Yesterday, after the Albergue Soto de Luina was full - and I knew it was too far for me to continue to Aviles - I started trying to get a pension or hostal but they were all full. I phoned all the ones in Muros and Soto del Barco and got the same answer that they were full. I then tried phoning the expensive hotels with the same answer. I am not carrying a tent so I was worried about what to do. I ended up sleeping in a very kind woman's shed. So finding accommodation at the moment is an issue if you don't have a tent - or are a cyclist as we need to wait until after 6pm anyway to see if there are any spaces.

So this morning I booked a pension in Gijon before starting cycling and right now I'm on the internet looking for accommodation for my stop tomorrow in Ribadesella - as I don't want to have the accommodation worry again.

It's a shame for me as what I loved about the Camino Frances (which I've just finished) is that I didn't have to plan ahead and could cycle 30km today and maybe 40-50km tomorrow depending on lots of things - but now I need to think ahead of time about what I will cycle and where I'm going to stay - so I can book accommodation. It may just be Astuarias though.

Before I started the Camino, I'd read the stories on the internet of people running on the Camino Frances to get accommodation - but it didn't seem to be a big issue last month. Maybe it's different in different years. I only heard a couple of stories of people not getting a space in a village they had planned on. Pamplona was a problem though as it was the Running of the Bulls/San Fermin and the municipal albergue closed down for 10 days during this time. So on the Camino Frances I never had to stay in a pension or hostal as there was always a place in an albergue. There was sometimes a choice of private albergues.

Cheers,
Rachael
 

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