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Albergue fin del Camino in Santiago

Hi! I've just finished a period as a volunteer in the Albergue fin del Camino in Santiago. I'm using this post in order to give some details on the albergue. This used to be called the Albergue Jaime Carcia Rodriguez, after the founder of the Peregrino Welcome Office in Santiago. Now it is called the Albergue Fin del Camino. This is a modern albergue and has 110 beds. The beds are in dorms (up to 10 bunk beds per room for a total of 20 places per dorm). I've not slept in one of the beds, but people who have say that they are "comfortable for an albergue'. There is enough space that you can sit up on both the bottom and top bunk. We supply you with a disposable mattress cover and pillow case. You need to bring your own sleeping bag.

What is good about the albergue:
  • It is 8 euros for a bed. This is the cheapest bed in Santiago!
  • You can make a reservation (981 587 324) or albergue@fundacionperegrinacionasantiago.com
  • We accept reservations from individuals or groups. We would very much recommend reserving in advance if you have a large group. If you make a researvation, but can't come PLEASE phone up to cancel so we can allocate your space to someone else.
  • You can stay as many nights as you like.
  • We have washing machines (2 euros for a wash) and dryers (2 euros). We also sell soap for the washing machine (50 cents). You need to go to reception to pay for washing or drying. Please note that we don't provide a laundry service. That is, please don't expect us to take our your washing and put it in the drier for you while you are out. This is your responsibility.
  • We accept bike peregrinos and have a place to park your bike in our enclosed garden. We also have a place where you can wash your bike. We also have a bucket that you can fill with wather and use for finding that elusive puncture.
  • We have a lovely large garden with picnic tables. This is enclosed. It also has lines for drying clothing.
  • We have two computers which can be used for free (sorry, we don't have printers)
  • We have free wifi (code on reception desk)
  • We have a lounge and dining area which overlooks the garden
  • We have a kitchen, but we only have microwaves. If you have a camping stove, you have to use it outside. We have plates, cutlery, glasses. We don't have a fridge in the kitchen. However, if you do have something small that you want kept cold, you can ask the person at the desk if you can use the volunteers fridge.
  • We have a coffee dispenser (60 cents). Please note that the default setting is with sugar, so you need to subtract sugar if you like straight coffee.
  • We also have a soft drink dispenser.
  • We are 3 minutes from the Camino Frances, there is a airport bus stop near by and the bus station is 15 min away on foot.
  • We have lockers in the dorms that you use. If you want a key, you pay a deposit of 5 euros which is returned when you give us back the key. These are for the use of people staying the night. If you have checked out, but want to leave your bag, we have lockers that cost 1 euro.
  • If all you want is to shower and use the facilities but aren't going to sleep at the albergue, we charge you 3 euros.
  • We are modern and very clean
  • We have showers
  • We are very close to two shopping centres, Area Central and As Cancelas. Both have very large supermarkets, bars, restaurants and shops. Please note that the supermarkets are closed on Sundays. There is a panadaria (bakery) on Rua Paris (very close) which is open everyday.
  • We are close to the municipal swimming pool (near Area Central). This is an outdoor pool, it has loungers and also a bar! It is on the way to the City of Culture.
What is not so wonderful about the albergue:
  • We are NOT in the centre of Santiago in the old part of town. We are in modern Santiago, about 30 minutes on foot from the Cathedral. For some peregrinos, this is a real issue. For others, the 30 min walk isn't a problem. We are very popular with people coming in from the Camino Frances. People can check in, leave their rucksack and head to the Peregrino Office to get their credencial. If you are not coming in off the Camino Frances, you will have to go backwards along the Camino Frances.
  • We are close to the 6 and 11 bus routes. However, these are not frequent (sometimes every 30 min).
  • The sign posting for the albergue is inadequate. This has been brought to the attention of the people who run the albergue and hopefully, something will be done about this. Certainly, all of the volunteers have raised this as an issue as we sometimes get tired and frustrated pilgrims who have gotten lost trying to find us (details on how to find us are below).
  • We close at midnight and if you aren't back by midnight, you are locked out. We understand that after finishing the camino people like to celebrate and that is fine as long as you are back by midnight. We have no smoking in the albergue, so we normally get a few people having their last cigarette outside just before midnight. The computers also close down at midnight. The last time for putting something is the washing machine is 10pm (the shortest washing cycle is about an hour). Lights in the dorms are out at 10pm. This all happens so that those who wish to sleep can.
  • For some peregrinos, the lack of a cooker is an issue. Some people come with pasta and there is no way of cooking it unless they have their own camping stove. HOWEVER, we are close to bars and restaurants, so no one goes hungry. There is an excellent little cafe nearby that does a three course lunch for 3.90 euros (see notice board at reception for details). Some people become quite innovative with the microwaves (so microwave popcorn is quite popular).
Where are we??? We are on Rua Moscu (Moscova) on some maps. We are underneath the Church of San Antonio in the Fontinas area of Santiago. If you have GPS, we are at 42.53.7N/8.31.24W. If you are coming into Santiago on the Camino Frances, look out for when the street name changes to Rua San Lazaro. You will pass the church of San Lazaro (old stone church) on your left. You will see a sign saying Albergue Fin del Camino which has an arrow point to the left. When this was set up, the basic idea what that people would continue ahead and take the first major left. What wasn't noticed is that there is a little lane to the left that might be misinterpreted as the turning. So, ignore the first sign and go forward. The second sign with the left arrow is where you really turn left onto Rua Roma. There is a police station at this corner. It is modern and concrete and has a big radio antenna on the roof. On Rua Roma, there is a sign which indicates that you turn right for the albergue. This takes you on a concrete walkway along side the police station and leads to the albergue. If you get lost, just phone us up. If you have a tourist info office map of Santiago, we are building number 132 is square H4.

What are our opening hours and procedures? We open up at 11:30am. Doors are locked at midnight. If you want to stay another night, you have to tell the night person this who will be at the reception desk between 8am and 9am. You pay for each day and will be given a receipt. You can keep your bed from the previous night. Everyone has to leave by 9am. If you have booked/paid for another night, you can leave your things on your bed, but you have to leave the building. Between 9am and 11:30am the cleaners come in (which is why everyone has to leave).

It should be noted that we are an albergue for peregrinos, not a cheap place for non-peregrinos to crash. We ask all people checking in for their credencial. Even if you are not staying with us, you are welcome to come by and get a stamp (sello). We have a lovely sello which has an image of the Cathedral. We are only 3 min from the Frances, so it's not much of a detour.

Issues we have had to deal with:
  • We have turned away "fake" peregrinos. A classic case was dealt with by Angela: "yes, I'm a peregrino, where can I park my car?" I had one man who had lost his credencial but said that he was a peregrino. I asked to see his feet. He definitely had the peregrino tan (i.e. white feet up to the ankles and brown legs), so he got to stay. The peregrinos who stay with us are quite happy with this rule.
  • We did have someone who wanted to save 50cents and used the free washing up liquid from the kitchen in the washing machine. All I can say is that this created a LOT of foam and ended up giving the volunteer on duty (Angela again) a big mess to clean up.
  • The night person had to deal with a very irate and drunken peregrino who wanted to get in after midnight. He turned violent and the police had to be called.
  • We also get people who want to book in expecting to get a double room. For 8 euros in Santiago, you don't get a double room!
  • For the most part, however, the peregrinos are lovely and an absolute joy to work with. Working as a volunteer has given me a chance to practice my Spanish, French and Italian. My German is pretty sketchy, but I even managed to help a lovely German peregrina!
Buen Camino!
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Yes, we are near the Acuario. If you are on the Camino Frances heading to the centre, you see our sign before you see those for the Acquario.

I forgot to mention above that even though we don't let people in after midnight, there is no problem in getting let out early (i.e. if you have a plane/bus/train to catch or if you want to get an early start to Finisterre).

While we are close to the bus station, we are NOT close to the train station. I would estimate that it would be 50 min away by foot. The buses 6 and 11 get you to Plaza Galicia, but you still have to walk from there (15 or 20 min) and the buses aren't frequent. We do have the numbers of taxis. It is about 6 euros to the city centre. The bus is one euro, so if you are a group, taking a taxi isn't a bad option.
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I should also add that unless we are packed to the gills, we do try to spread the peregrinos about abit in the dorms. If you are a large group (i.e. 15 Scouts) we will try to put you in your own dorm if there are still spaces.

We also have a disabled toilet/shower. We had one peregrina with bandaged feet who used it so she could wash everything but her foot. We have also had a wheelchair peregrino.

We don't take pets or horses.
hello nicole,

i am glad that you are enjoying your volunteer work at fin del camino. thanks for all the information. your information is very extensive. i also worked as a volunteer hospitalero this past june and will be returning to work this coming september. i have posted as much info on the camino frances albergues, pensions and hostals forum under xunta albergue in santiago query.

few additional information regarding the area. there is a delicatessen called pick y pollo on the ground floor of area central mall that sells at least ten varieties of fresh food and at least ten varieties of salad daily to take away. they will put your order in a plastic container and sealed for you to reheat in a microwave oven. the prices are quite reasonable compared to the old town. the woman chef prepares daily quality foods. the deli is opened monday to saturday from 10:00 to 22:00 hours and sunday from 10:00 to 14:00 hours. they also accept credit cards. next door is the pan de aboa, a bakery that is opened late to include short hours on sunday. it is considered by locals to be the best bakery in the area. next door on the other side of pick y pollo is a cured meat and cheese shop (embutidos y queso). downstair is a huge hipermercato alcampo which occupies the entire basement with late opening hours daily and closed on sunday.

one other piece of information. you can walked to the train station from the main road, approximately 30-40 minutes without going through plaza galicia (town centre).

thanks once again, nicole, for making pilgrims aware of the albergue de peregrino del final de camino (aka albergue fin del camino, aka albergue jaime garcia rodeiguez).

god bless.
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Thanks for the extra information piogaw. I saw the pick y pollo, but didn't know about the packaging for microwaves. I can also highly recommend the panaderia! Not only were they open on Sundays, they were also open during the fiestas on Aug 15 and 16. I can also recommend the bar Larada which is opposite Area Central. The staff are very friendly and Maria, who works nights, speaks English. The other bars on Rua Paris are also friendly, but we tended to end up at Larada because it was closer to our flat.

Thanks also for the info on getting to the train station. I could see on the map a shorter way of getting there other than via the town centre and Plaza Galicia, but I wasn't sure how long it would take.
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
hello nicole,

please a word of warning for pilgrims who wanted to walk or take their bicycle to the train station from this albergue: under no circumstances do you walk down rua de roma or rua de paris to go to the station. there is a very dangerous intersection at the end of the road and another intersection next (merging traffic from the motorway). avoid going this way at all cost!!! do not play with your life. i tried this route while working as a hospitalero in fin del camino in order to direct pilgrims to the station to no avail. instead walk up rua de berlin and turn left at the roundabout into avenida de lugo, staying on the pavement on the right hand side. you will be walking parallel to the train tracks. continue on and you will see the station on the opposite side as you walk down the road . walk to the traffic light at rua de horreo and cross over to the station. depends on how fast you walk, will takes 30-40 minutes.

the acuario is one block from the albergue fin del camino. coming in from the camino frances, it is actually closer than acuario, and also the same walking distance to the cathedral. i believe the albergue acuario is a private hostel opens to everyone - pilgrims and tourists.

if a pilgrim has trouble finding the albergue, just ask him to ask for the police station in fontinas. the albergue is next door to the police station.

buen camino to all.
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