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Albergues, Hospiterlos, bed count and other things we like to critique

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
This applies to all routes (or at least the several upon which I've traveled), but since there's been some talk about the subject most on the Frances, it's here I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! I know no one sets up an albergue or volunteers as a hospitelero, in order to make someone else miserable. I know when beds are scarce you worry as much as we do (maybe even more), probably put in lots of extra hours trying to plan for what to do when every bed in town is gone. I imagine you calling around every morning, and checking with other albergues in town and out as the crowds begin to swell. I was SO grateful for the kind Dutch gentleman who helped me sign in at Roncesvalles, who laughed so deeply when I managed to dredge up enough (badly accented) Dutch from my three years in the Netherlands to thank him and ask which way to my bed. I wrote a very amusing blog entry about the seating process for dinner at La Posada...but I was so hungry, and so happy for the bountiful food they put in front of us. Words can't express how much I owe the good monks at Ziortza, who checked on me in the middle of the night because I'd arrived at their door hypothermic, and whose prayers brought the first (and nearly only) dry weather of my walk, as I headed on to Guernica (with an apple that the abbot snuck into my pack, against all the rules). There was the padre reparadore who just put his hand on my shoulder as I knelt crying in a church in Puente La Reina, the gentle Spaniard at Domus Dei who opened an hour early because I was there, and offered me part of his lunch, the kind German and Spanish hospitaleras at San Miguel who fixed me the leftover potato soup they'd had for lunch because I didn't want the pork on the menu for dinner...just so many, I can't list them all, and I'm sure each of you has similar memories. Even the only two I didn't enjoy (in 90 nights of sleeping in Spain) served me well--while I didn't like the smoking at one, I could see how much others liked it, and it taught me that just because you've checked in, you don't have to stay. Also, I imagine it was heaven on Earth for smokers, so to each their own. The other taught me if you leave your underwear unattended in a room with 80 male pilgrims, it may not be there when you come back.:eek: I certainly don't think the hospitalero at the first wanted me to be unhappy about the smoke, and there's no way I can blame the albergue at the second for my poor planning...after all, I've deployed before:rolleyes:
All too often, you are more likely to hear what went wrong: room noise, water temp, mattress quality...I hope every now and again someone remembers to say thank you, for all you do for us. While I was on the road, if I stayed somewhere that didn't take my VISA, it meant I should offer my thanks. Especially at the Albergues, where people were hosting me, a stranger. I made sure to thank them all, including the two I didn't much care for, verbally as I left, and in small thank-you notes I left. After all, if I stay with friends I'd do that, so if complete strangers are willing to take me in...
 

JeepsNRoses

Camino Dreamer
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2017) May 15th SJPdP - Pamplona
CF (2019) Dec 18th Sarria - Santiago
CF (2020) May 17th SJPdP

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I wrote it for me, family, and my dr. at Walter Reed (that and weekly check-ins were kind of a deal we made)...I tell myself I should sanitize it and make it public, but I kind of doubt there'd be much interest (aside from all the don't-do-as-I-did:eek: examples)
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
So well put! So much for all of us to be grateful for. Thanks for the lovely reminder. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
This applies to all routes (or at least the several upon which I've traveled), but since there's been some talk about the subject most on the Frances, it's here I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! I know no one sets up an albergue or volunteers as a hospitelero, in order to make someone else miserable. I know when beds are scarce you worry as much as we do (maybe even more), probably put in lots of extra hours trying to plan for what to do when every bed in town is gone. I imagine you calling around every morning, and checking with other albergues in town and out as the crowds begin to swell. I was SO grateful for the kind Dutch gentleman who helped me sign in at Roncesvalles, who laughed so deeply when I managed to dredge up enough (badly accented) Dutch from my three years in the Netherlands to thank him and ask which way to my bed. I wrote a very amusing blog entry about the seating process for dinner at La Posada...but I was so hungry, and so happy for the bountiful food they put in front of us. Words can't express how much I owe the good monks at Ziortza, who checked on me in the middle of the night because I'd arrived at their door hypothermic, and whose prayers brought the first (and nearly only) dry weather of my walk, as I headed on to Guernica (with an apple that the abbot snuck into my pack, against all the rules). There was the padre reparadore who just put his hand on my shoulder as I knelt crying in a church in Puente La Reina, the gentle Spaniard at Domus Dei who opened an hour early because I was there, and offered me part of his lunch, the kind German and Spanish hospitaleras at San Miguel who fixed me the leftover potato soup they'd had for lunch because I didn't want the pork on the menu for dinner...just so many, I can't list them all, and I'm sure each of you has similar memories. Even the only two I didn't enjoy (in 90 nights of sleeping in Spain) served me well--while I didn't like the smoking at one, I could see how much others liked it, and it taught me that just because you've checked in, you don't have to stay. Also, I imagine it was heaven on Earth for smokers, so to each their own. The other taught me if you leave your underwear unattended in a room with 80 male pilgrims, it may not be there when you come back.:eek: I certainly don't think the hospitalero at the first wanted me to be unhappy about the smoke, and there's no way I can blame the albergue at the second for my poor planning...after all, I've deployed before:rolleyes:
All too often, you are more likely to hear what went wrong: room noise, water temp, mattress quality...I hope every now and again someone remembers to say thank you, for all you do for us. While I was on the road, if I stayed somewhere that didn't take my VISA, it meant I should offer my thanks. Especially at the Albergues, where people were hosting me, a stranger. I made sure to thank them all, including the two I didn't much care for, verbally as I left, and in small thank-you notes I left. After all, if I stay with friends I'd do that, so if complete strangers are willing to take me in...
I am currently a hospitalero in Salamanca I´ll try for a percent standard of what you received from people in a different class from us mortals. I have heard ¨gracias¨ a few times but it was in lower case.... Ultreya.... Willy/Utah/USA/Salamanca
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Gracias for all you are doing, Willy...and everyone else out there who is also able to serve in this way. It is no small thing that you are offering, even as 'mere mortals'!
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
I am currently a hospitalero in Salamanca I´ll try for a percent standard of what you received from people in a different class from us mortals. I have heard ¨gracias¨ a few times but it was in lower case.... Ultreya.... Willy/Utah/USA/Salamanca
thank you for your service to others! I'd have typed in caps, but sometimes that's shouting :) Sometimes it takes a while for us to realize the gifts we've been given.
I hope you're enjoying your time there...I still have a stiff neck from looking for that silly frog! The only really hot day in in 90 days, and I spent a fair portion of it in front of the university, trying not to topple backwards :eek:
 

GreatDane

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF to Burgos Sept/Oct 2014, Burgos to Astorga April 2016, Astorga to SdC 2017
I have heard ¨gracias¨ a few times but it was in lower case....
I don't know if the use of please and thanks is cultural or depends on the age group but I was brought up using them as a common courtesy, no matter where I travel. I even use please and thank you with our dog! So you would have heard a hearty Gracias!! from me if I had stayed in Salamanca)
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
This applies to all routes (or at least the several upon which I've traveled), but since there's been some talk about the subject most on the Frances, it's here I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! I know no one sets up an albergue or volunteers as a hospitelero, in order to make someone else miserable......... .
Superb post.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Camino(s) past & future
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Superb post.
Thank you (all of you)...and everyone please feel free to add hospitalero/a thanks of your own, here, and in person. I could write a entire book just on the things on my walk for which I am profoundly grateful...those moments filled the hours and minutes of my camino.
 

obinjatoo@yahoo.com

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 Dieppe, FR Bici CF.
2014 Ruta Vasco/CF/Primativo
This applies to all routes (or at least the several upon which I've traveled), but since there's been some talk about the subject most on the Frances, it's here I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! I know no one sets up an albergue or volunteers as a hospitelero, in order to make someone else miserable. I know when beds are scarce you worry as much as we do (maybe even more), probably put in lots of extra hours trying to plan for what to do when every bed in town is gone. I imagine you calling around every morning, and checking with other albergues in town and out as the crowds begin to swell. I was SO grateful for the kind Dutch gentleman who helped me sign in at Roncesvalles, who laughed so deeply when I managed to dredge up enough (badly accented) Dutch from my three years in the Netherlands to thank him and ask which way to my bed. I wrote a very amusing blog entry about the seating process for dinner at La Posada...but I was so hungry, and so happy for the bountiful food they put in front of us. Words can't express how much I owe the good monks at Ziortza, who checked on me in the middle of the night because I'd arrived at their door hypothermic, and whose prayers brought the first (and nearly only) dry weather of my walk, as I headed on to Guernica (with an apple that the abbot snuck into my pack, against all the rules). There was the padre reparadore who just put his hand on my shoulder as I knelt crying in a church in Puente La Reina, the gentle Spaniard at Domus Dei who opened an hour early because I was there, and offered me part of his lunch, the kind German and Spanish hospitaleras at San Miguel who fixed me the leftover potato soup they'd had for lunch because I didn't want the pork on the menu for dinner...just so many, I can't list them all, and I'm sure each of you has similar memories. Even the only two I didn't enjoy (in 90 nights of sleeping in Spain) served me well--while I didn't like the smoking at one, I could see how much others liked it, and it taught me that just because you've checked in, you don't have to stay. Also, I imagine it was heaven on Earth for smokers, so to each their own. The other taught me if you leave your underwear unattended in a room with 80 male pilgrims, it may not be there when you come back.:eek: I certainly don't think the hospitalero at the first wanted me to be unhappy about the smoke, and there's no way I can blame the albergue at the second for my poor planning...after all, I've deployed before:rolleyes:
All too often, you are more likely to hear what went wrong: room noise, water temp, mattress quality...I hope every now and again someone remembers to say thank you, for all you do for us. While I was on the road, if I stayed somewhere that didn't take my VISA, it meant I should offer my thanks. Especially at the Albergues, where people were hosting me, a stranger. I made sure to thank them all, including the two I didn't much care for, verbally as I left, and in small thank-you notes I left. After all, if I stay with friends I'd do that, so if complete strangers are willing to take me in...
No, thank YOU! For coming to the alburgue. Two years ago I had the good fortune of serving as hospitalera in Grañon. I learned so much. Father Jesus was the local priest there in that little ancient church. I never met anyone so dedicated. I feel like I never worked so hard in the two weeks I spent there. But it's the pilgrims that were the real teachers. From them I learned about compassion, patience and how to nurture myself in the face of such need. Not to mention the joy of seeing the pilgrims, cook, serve and clean up after dinner.
It was truly profound for me. Don't know if I'll ever get back there.....
I kept a log of all the nationalities that came through. There were over 30. As I continued on to Santiago, I counted more. By the end of my time I had encountered over 53 nationalities. We got along swimingly. Amazing!
Thanks for sharing!
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
¡Mucho gracias! for your service, Willie and Obinjatoo! You are special people and I've no doubt you've made special moments for many others.
 

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