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buen camino has became bueno bisnes

voxmox

New Member
We were on the camino (june 2011) and it had chanced a lot from what it used to be. My previous camino was in 2006. Few municipal albergues were closed for permanently and in those kinda situations we had to go to private accommodation wich can be quite expensive (starting from 40€)
Camino is good hikeing route and there is old historical feel when you walk, but for us it wasnt spiritual thing like it is for many people.
When i was there in 2006 the first chargeable albergue was in Santiago but now u have to pay in every albergue.
Even tho the system has changed a lot there is still amazing views and people are friendly.
 
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Deleted member 3000

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in 2006 the first chargeable albergue was in Santiago but now u have to pay in every albergue.
Of course, donativo is not the same as "free." There always were expenses involved in operating an albergue even if no payment was demanded. At the well-run and efficient albergue in Ponferrada, the donation box was placed in front of me at the beginning of the sign-in process, referred to several times during orientation, and extended at the completion, at which time I donated. I never intended to stay for free, but I admit I was playing a little bit with the hospitalero just to see how insistent the "free" albergue would be. I give him an A+++ for keeping the place funded. I would have had to be truly destitute or oblivious to the social graces to have refused to donate. The next time I stayed there, I put in the money at the first opportunity. No hospitalero should be required to put up with "antics" from an individual a second time!

Commercialism has improved the offerings along the Camino. Accommodation quality is improved all the time. There are more bars and restaurants. Pilgrims are received eagerly because of the economic benefit they offer. I like having the service providers make money from me. The elusive "someone" once said, "I hate to make a profit on my friends, but I have found that my enemies will not do business with me."
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I want to second falcon's comments. A large number of towns along many of the Caminos have been brought back from near or total abandonment because of the pilgrim traffic. This required a lot of public and private investment, and it certainly won't be sustained unless the investors receive a reasonable return on that investment. Those who would exploit the situation don't stay in business for long, in my experience, or else they have to modify their practices to be competitive. Falcon's posting brought back a memory of an evening on the Via de la Plata last year. I sent family and friends an email about it, so I'll post it here. Just my own observations, hope it doesn't sound preachy.

Well, yesterday in Aljucén (population maybe 150), the options for dinner were threefold. Make your own (from the scant supplies bought in the tobacco shop turned grocery), go to the Bar Kiosko and have a sandwich, or go to the Bar Café Sergio for a meal. Several of us walked down to the Sergio and out came the owner -- a woman probably not much older than I, hunched over and walking with a cane, bad teeth, looking not very snazzy. She explained that our meal would be excellent, that the staff of the Ayuntamiento (town hall) frequently came to eat there and were always very happy with their meals (yeah, right), and that there would be a basket of fruit at the end of the meal (maybe she had heard from the shop owner that several of us were particularly sad that there were no fresh fruits or vegetables for sale anywhere in town). Price was 12€.

About 7 of us signed up, and at the appointed hour of 8 pm, walked down to eat. This meal was bad, in fact "bad" is an understatement. First course was chicken noodle soup out of an envelope. Then came the tortilla francesa (that's an omlet with only eggs) that was rubbery, almost inedible (hard to do that to two eggs), and the high point of the meal, a salad with good tomatoes, fresh lettuce, onions, etc. We each had an apple and an orange for dessert. I ate the apple, well past its prime, and saved the orange for my walk. Even the wine was undrinkable -- the Australian gent wound up drinking most of it.

Back in the albergue, an animated conversation ensued. There were the Germans and I, regretting having gone there, then the Australian who said it was the best meal he had had since Australia (we wondered if maybe we should have had some of the wine ourselves if it had this transformative power), there were two from Bilbao who just sort of grumbled a bit. Didn't seem to be anyone who had anything positive to say about the price-quality ratio. Then, a guy from Sevilla interjected -- pero, hombre (he said this twice for emphasis and in the way only Spaniards can say it, with a throaty growl between the pero and the hombre) -- ¿De qué van a vivir si no es de nosotros? (What will they live off of if not us?).
And p.s., the orange was delicious, I ate it in a field of cork trees on a big rock, watching the cows graze.
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
Hi Vox,

The important thing is, I think, that spirituality, (that indefinable word!) is what you make it. It can't depend on what you are asked to pay for the night.

It has been quoted recently, but here it comes again, "And in the end, the love you take: is equal to the love you make." I need to remember that too.

And of course refuges don't run on thin air. They do run on donations, local or parish taxes and funds, and the free time that hospitaleros give, happily and willingly. And they pay their own travel costs to get there; sometimes not cheap.

There are of course ways to cut costs, much discussed on this forum. You can do it on 2-3 euros a day - if you want. You'll cook for yourself; no refuge of course, but as you find the refugio costs unreasonable, that's a plus. No private accommodation; so you save even more! Some already do this, so you're not alone.

I have to say, outside of Spain, Portugal and parts of France, I can't think of any other countries who would offer what they do, for you.

But you are absolutely right to insist on your own style of camino - because we all do. In fact you must make your own camino, or it becomes devalued. Next time, if you return, you can avoid the costs you describe, and take to the woods and fields. Some already do. And that's just fine.

The posts above are relevant and useful; read them more than once.

Good luck and buen camino next time. Promise you'll come back and share your experiences.
 

voxmox

New Member
Caminando said:
Hi Vox,
There are of course ways to cut costs, much discussed on this forum. You can do it on 2-3 euros a day - if you want. You'll cook for yourself; no refuge of course, but as you find the refugio costs unreasonable, that's a plus. No private accommodation; so you save even more! Some already do this, so you're not alone.

I have to say, outside of Spain, Portugal and parts of France, I can't think of any other countries who would offer what they do, for you.
I walked 320 km and there wasn´t any 2-3 euros cost albergues!! Cheapest albergue was 5 € and average price was 12 €.
If I am poor pilgrim, 12€ is too much for me, and I dont either need that much services, for example bars and restarurants.
I presume that the whole camino thing is sponsored by Catholic church...
 
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MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
voxmox said:
Caminando said:
Hi Vox,
There are of course ways to cut costs, much discussed on this forum. You can do it on 2-3 euros a day - if you want. You'll cook for yourself; no refuge of course, but as you find the refugio costs unreasonable, that's a plus. No private accommodation; so you save even more! Some already do this, so you're not alone.

I have to say, outside of Spain, Portugal and parts of France, I can't think of any other countries who would offer what they do, for you.
I walked 320 km and there wasn´t any 2-3 euros cost albergues!! Cheapest albergue was 5 € and average price was 12 €.
If I am poor pilgrim, 12€ is too much for me, and I dont either need that much services, for example bars and restarurants.
I presume that the whole camino thing is sponsored by Catholic church...

No, the Catholic Church has nothing to do with the Camino! Did a nun or priest bang down your door and force you to go on the Camino? Were you asked from the beginning if you were Catholic? How many times did a hospitalero ever ask your religion in order to sleep? Did anyone ever force you to attend a Mass?

Did anyone force you to stay in any albergue? Did anyone force you to pay? How many times did you choose to sleep on the dirt in order to go for free?

As a non-Catholic I am offended by your last statement. It was crude and without merit.

The Camino is open to everyone regardless of religion or motivation. It is there for all to walk. It has been walked by saints, believers, angnostics, atheists, and complete barbarians.

I would encourage you the next time you feel the urge to walk the Camino to ignore it. Walk another trail and then you avoid all those terrible Catholics along the Way. Just a touched ticked off!
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
voxmox said:
Few municipal albergues were closed for permanently and in those kinda situations we had to go to private accommodation wich can be quite expensive (starting from 40€)
Camino is good hikeing route and there is old historical feel when you walk, but for us it wasnt spiritual thing like it is for many people.
When i was there in 2006 the first chargeable albergue was in Santiago but now u have to pay in every albergue.

I am wondering which camino this thread is referring to? We need to remember that the Norte does run through a holiday area and especially at week-ends accomodation can be expensive. The cost overnight has increased this year in the albergues in Galicia from 3€ to 5€. This is set, I think, by the Junta de Galicia not by the individual albergue. On the Camino Ingles the private accomodation is reasonably priced compared with the U.K. Try getting a room for two here in the U.K. for under 30€. You would need to book a month in advance in a Travel Lodge for those sort of prices!
Maybe too many people took advantage of 'non-chargeable' albergues and drove them all out of business between 2006 and 2011 :shock:

If you were only looking for a
good hikeing route and there is old historical feel when you walk, but for us it wasnt spiritual thing like it is for many people.
maybe you need to look for other cheap 'secular' trails to walk which are not 'sponsored' by the Catholic Church. You could try the "Coast to Coast" or the "South West Coast Path" here in the U.K. for instance.

Anyway - a blessing on your walking!
Tio Tel
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
MichaelB10398 said:
voxmox said:
Caminando said:
Hi Vox,
There are of course ways to cut costs, much discussed on this forum. You can do it on 2-3 euros a day - if you want. You'll cook for yourself; no refuge of course, but as you find the refugio costs unreasonable, that's a plus. No private accommodation; so you save even more! Some already do this, so you're not alone.

I have to say, outside of Spain, Portugal and parts of France, I can't think of any other countries who would offer what they do, for you.
I walked 320 km and there wasn´t any 2-3 euros cost albergues!! Cheapest albergue was 5 € and average price was 12 €.
If I am poor pilgrim, 12€ is too much for me, and I dont either need that much services, for example bars and restarurants.
I presume that the whole camino thing is sponsored by Catholic church...


Thank you Michael!! Could not have said it better. Was rather upset after reading post by OP.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I don´t think OP was trying to be malicious or anti-Catholic in his/her post. He came here to get informed, and I hope he hasn´t been flamed out of the room.

Lots of people assume that the camino, because it was Catholic for so long, and because it travels through Catholic Spain, continues to be a Catholic institution. Well, it used to be. But only because Catholic was the only game in town for so long. Nowadays, Spain is a very secular country, and the church is more and more marginalized. And so the camino is becoming a Catholic-flavored historic hiking trail, maintained by the states it passes through as a way to stimulate local economies.

Catholics and non-Catholic pilgrims alike then bring their presumptions and backgrounds into the equation. Some assume the Catholic church is fantastically rich, and traditionally subsidizes pilgrimage -- and if it is a "true religion" it will give shelter away free to anyone who asks without expecting anything in return. That is what´s happening to the donativo albergues -- too many people, for whatever reason, expecting something for nothing. The Catholic church in Spain pays to keep parishes open, staffed, and funded, and also runs countless schools and charities for truly needy people all over the world. Providing freebies for vacationing hikers and bikers just isn´t on the radar somehow -- they leave that to individual parishes or religious orders.

Some other people (many of them Spanish) assume their tax dollars are supporting municipal albergues, which means they "already paid" and they leave no donation at all. And you are right -- the donativo places are going out of business, or are now levying a minimum charge. They cannot survive otherwise.

When I started as a hospitalero in 2003, there were 24 donativo albergues. Now there are 14. I wish there was something we could do to better support donativo places, but I don´t know what it is.
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
voxmox said:
Caminando said:
Hi Vox,
There are of course ways to cut costs, much discussed on this forum. You can do it on 2-3 euros a day - if you want. You'll cook for yourself; no refuge of course, but as you find the refugio costs unreasonable, that's a plus. No private accommodation; so you save even more! Some already do this, so you're not alone.


I walked 320 km and there wasn´t any 2-3 euros cost albergues!! Cheapest albergue was 5 € and average price was 12 €.

I presume that the whole camino thing is sponsored by Catholic church...

Vox, I don't think you read my post clearly. The 2-3 euros, as stated, is for food only, and you get to sleep outside. Some prefer that, because the stars are nice.

Your last comment gives the game away! I think you like to tease and that's fine. :mrgreen: But as the tennis player John McInroe famously said, "You cannot be serious".!!!!! :D :D :D

And you're not! :wink: :D
 
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MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Rebekah Scott said:
I don´t think OP was trying to be malicious or anti-Catholic in his/her post. He came here to get informed, and I hope he hasn´t been flamed out of the room.

When I started as a hospitalero in 2003, there were 24 donativo albergues. Now there are 14. I wish there was something we could do to better support donativo places, but I don´t know what it is.

Rebekah, as always you answered in a reasonable manner. It is possible that this editor's statement was tongue-in-cheek and I may should have simply overlooked it; however, I tend to very agitated by any form of prejudice regardless who it is pointed at.

I have to laugh at myself at how easily I can be thrown off my desire to follow Christ. Today I was reading an incredible book entitled, "The Way of a Pilgrim" a simple, unassuming nineteenth-century religious classic. The first level presents a heartfelt apologia for silent prayer in the Orthodox Christian tradition, namely, the "ceaseless" prayer or the Jesus prayer.

I spent several hours contemplating how to be a true pilgrim and then promptly go out of my way to insult another for being nothing more than ignorant of reality? How frail and weak can I be? It reminds me of the opening words:

By the Grace of God I am a Christain, by my actions a great sinner, and by calling a homeless wanderer of the humblest birth who roams from place to place. My worldly goods are a knapsack with some dried bread in it on my back, and in my breast pocket a Bible. And that is all.

Thank-you Rebekah for turning my sharp rebuke into a far more mild instruction.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I don't think Voxmox is alone in thinking there is sponsorship by the Catholic Church. There is a lot of parochial accommodation support, and the additional junta support gives an air of public support in general. In France, a large number of Amis et Pelerins associations maintain stretches of the chemins, and regularly build gites for pilgrims, albeit pretty small ones on occasion. Twice hosts in France seemed almost insulted when I made a donation for the meal and accommodation. They were doing it for the hospitality, and only the hospitality. I always insisted that they take the payment, and could donate it to their association to further their goals. They have made it impossible for me to walk past street people in Washington, DC without tossing something into their cup.

There is a vocabulary gap here, too. I am not sure that anyone should give too precise a definition to some of the words selected. Posters' English skills vary widely. I see nothing in any of the posts to suggest that a "flaming" was merited. Anyone who wishes to select different words can edit his own post by selecting the "Edit" button, and rephrasing. Insult does not always have to be forever on the internet, and the Forum is one place you can take back your words. Clarifying in a response does not remove any of the original post, so unedited posts indicate a desire to have said what was said, mooting any apologetic intent.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Here is what I know:

I have done a lot of traveling in my lifetime.
Walking is my "medicine."

There is no place I have found to walk that is more affordable than the Camino... anywhere in the world... that is as well-supported with places to eat and sleep.

There is no place I have found where I can get a clean bed at the end of the day for 5 to 12 Euros.
There is no place I have found where I can get a (usually) great meal for 7 to 12 Euros.

There is no place in the United States where I can walk without having to mail food ahead, and carry at least 35 pounds in my pack.

There is no other place I can walk for 3 months straight for under $3000 - that's only $1000 per month! That's cheaper than it is to stay home!

If "pilgrims" are not willing to clean up after themselves, to pick up their trash, to wash their dishes, to make their beds, to pick up a broom and sweep, then someone has to be hired to do this work. Why should anyone volunteer to pick up for people on a vacation??? Slavery is illegal in most places, so I've heard?

I think it's wonderful that some of the little villages along the Way have begun to come back to life because of the Camino. And if they make a little money, so what?! The tourist industry is big business, and most "pilgrims" aren't pilgrims in the literal sense anymore... they are tourists looking for a cheap place to walk!

So we PAY for the albergue to stay open, and we pay VERY little, in my opinion!

If a person can not afford the very little cost, they have options, many of which have been listed above. A shorter walk, a walk closer to home, or no walk at all. ::shrug::

It's sad that people misinterpreting "donativo" as "FREE!" have forced the donativo albergues to close. Some of those were the most charming of all.

Sometimes I feel people should be required to take a 2 hour class on the rights (NONE!) and RESPONSIBILITIES (MANY!) of a Pilgrim before they are issued that Credential!
 

marthac

New Member
MichaelB10398 said:
voxmox said:
Caminando said:
Hi Vox,
There are of course ways to cut costs, much discussed on this forum. You can do it on 2-3 euros a day - if you want. You'll cook for yourself; no refuge of course, but as you find the refugio costs unreasonable, that's a plus. No private accommodation; so you save even more! Some already do this, so you're not alone.

I have to say, outside of Spain, Portugal and parts of France, I can't think of any other countries who would offer what they do, for you.
I walked 320 km and there wasn´t any 2-3 euros cost albergues!! Cheapest albergue was 5 € and average price was 12 €.
If I am poor pilgrim, 12€ is too much for me, and I dont either need that much services, for example bars and restarurants.
I presume that the whole camino thing is sponsored by Catholic church...

No, the Catholic Church has nothing to do with the Camino! Did a nun or priest bang down your door and force you to go on the Camino? Were you asked from the beginning if you were Catholic? How many times did a hospitalero ever ask your religion in order to sleep? Did anyone ever force you to attend a Mass?

Did anyone force you to stay in any albergue? Did anyone force you to pay? How many times did you choose to sleep on the dirt in order to go for free?

As a non-Catholic I am offended by your last statement. It was crude and without merit.

The Camino is open to everyone regardless of religion or motivation. It is there for all to walk. It has been walked by saints, believers, angnostics, atheists, and complete barbarians.

I would encourage you the next time you feel the urge to walk the Camino to ignore it. Walk another trail and then you avoid all those terrible Catholics along the Way. Just a touched ticked off!
 

voxmox

New Member
Hi guys, my intention was never to hurt anyones feelings so I want to apologize.


Sometimes it cand be hard to express yourself when you are talking with different language than your mother language. So i think no one really got my point except Rebecca.

This is what I was trying to say!

Rebekah Scott said:
I don´t think OP was trying to be malicious or anti-Catholic in his/her post. He came here to get informed, and I hope he hasn´t been flamed out of the room.

Lots of people assume that the camino, because it was Catholic for so long, and because it travels through Catholic Spain, continues to be a Catholic institution. Well, it used to be. But only because Catholic was the only game in town for so long. Nowadays, Spain is a very secular country, and the church is more and more marginalized. And so the camino is becoming a Catholic-flavored historic hiking trail, maintained by the states it passes through as a way to stimulate local economies.

Catholics and non-Catholic pilgrims alike then bring their presumptions and backgrounds into the equation. Some assume the Catholic church is fantastically rich, and traditionally subsidizes pilgrimage -- and if it is a "true religion" it will give shelter away free to anyone who asks without expecting anything in return. That is what´s happening to the donativo albergues -- too many people, for whatever reason, expecting something for nothing. The Catholic church in Spain pays to keep parishes open, staffed, and funded, and also runs countless schools and charities for truly needy people all over the world. Providing freebies for vacationing hikers and bikers just isn´t on the radar somehow -- they leave that to individual parishes or religious orders.

Some other people (many of them Spanish) assume their tax dollars are supporting municipal albergues, which means they "already paid" and they leave no donation at all. And you are right -- the donativo places are going out of business, or are now levying a minimum charge. They cannot survive otherwise.

When I started as a hospitalero in 2003, there were 24 donativo albergues. Now there are 14. I wish there was something we could do to better support donativo places, but I don´t know what it is.

My post was just informative of my thoughts of the camino. I dont have anything againts Catholic church or catholics.

I thought that this was forum for people who want to discuss and change thoughts with other people of the north route. I think most of the people are reading these posts with too much feelings envolved. So i dont think its fair that someone called me teaser...

And i wonder if anyone noticed my comment about the great views and spanish people who are friendly and because of those two reason i will back to spain over and over again.

Buen Camino, good hiking and have a great day!
 
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Caminando

Veteran Member
Vox, no need to apologise. You've absolutely nothing to apologise for. You stated a view, and you got other views in return. Thats all. It's a forum.

You express yourself well, so don't worry about language.

You say only Rebekah understood you; not true. I say I understood your post, explained one or two things as I saw them, offered ideas on how to make a pilgrimage with little money, and wished you well.




voxmox said:
Hi guys, my intention was never to hurt anyones feelings so I want to apologize.


Sometimes it cand be hard to express yourself when you are talking with different language than your mother language. So i think no one really got my point except Rebecca.

This is what I was trying to say!

Rebekah Scott said:
I don´t think OP was trying to be malicious or anti-Catholic in his/her post. He came here to get informed, and I hope he hasn´t been flamed out of the room.

Lots of people assume that the camino, because it was Catholic for so long, and because it travels through Catholic Spain, continues to be a Catholic institution. Well, it used to be. But only because Catholic was the only game in town for so long. Nowadays, Spain is a very secular country, and the church is more and more marginalized. And so the camino is becoming a Catholic-flavored historic hiking trail, maintained by the states it passes through as a way to stimulate local economies.

Catholics and non-Catholic pilgrims alike then bring their presumptions and backgrounds into the equation. Some assume the Catholic church is fantastically rich, and traditionally subsidizes pilgrimage -- and if it is a "true religion" it will give shelter away free to anyone who asks without expecting anything in return. That is what´s happening to the donativo albergues -- too many people, for whatever reason, expecting something for nothing. The Catholic church in Spain pays to keep parishes open, staffed, and funded, and also runs countless schools and charities for truly needy people all over the world. Providing freebies for vacationing hikers and bikers just isn´t on the radar somehow -- they leave that to individual parishes or religious orders.

Some other people (many of them Spanish) assume their tax dollars are supporting municipal albergues, which means they "already paid" and they leave no donation at all. And you are right -- the donativo places are going out of business, or are now levying a minimum charge. They cannot survive otherwise.

When I started as a hospitalero in 2003, there were 24 donativo albergues. Now there are 14. I wish there was something we could do to better support donativo places, but I don´t know what it is.

My post was just informative of my thoughts of the camino. I dont have anything againts Catholic church or catholics.

I thought that this was forum for people who want to discuss and change thoughts with other people of the north route. I think most of the people are reading these posts with too much feelings envolved. So i dont think its fair that someone called me teaser...

And i wonder if anyone noticed my comment about the great views and spanish people who are friendly and because of those two reason i will back to spain over and over again.

Buen Camino, good hiking and have a great day!
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Hi Vox,
I found this quote which was posted during my Camino when I dropped down off the Norte onto the Primitivo in May 2009.
. . . arrived in Salas at 15.30 in the rain. The albergue didn't appeal as it had nowhere to dry anything and he wanted to dry his wet weather gear and boots, so he has gone to the hotel. He himself kept dry (see blog) and is finding it is cheaper away from the coast. He thought the hotel looked expensive, but it has only cost him 15 euros, the same as the albergues were along the coast. (The albergue here would have been 5 euros). Distance of 25km today with two more diversions for road works.
It would seem that the price hike is a few years old and it is the coast route that is most expensive. (others will know how,or if, the Francés has changed).
A tip for anyone wanting a night or two of luxury in Santiago, Lugo or another large town / city. Find an Internet Cafe and book through Veneré. com or Booking.com. You will get a good discount and probably an upgraded room into the bargain! The thing you need to watch is make sure and erase all details afterwards! I type the card number into 'notepad' before going on line - then copy and paste it. That way a keylogger cannot read your credit card number.
We are certainly planning on returning to the Camino next year. Thinking about walking the Primitivo from Tineo to Lugo. If that works out then we will look at Lugo to Santiago in 2013 :lol:
This was the last entry on my blog after I got back to the U.K.in 2009
Finally, I want to put on record the kindness and help that I have received from the Spanish people themselves. I have been a sojourner in a foreign land, and from stepping off the ferry on the 27th April to driving back across Spain with Valerie and a friend, I have been treated with respect and courtesy. Nothing was too much for them to do and without the help of dozens of unknown people my pilgrimage would not have been so marvellous. Thank you all!
After walking the Camino Inglés this May, we feel exactly the same.
A Blessing on all those who make the various Caminos possible!
Tio Tel
 

jennysa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2011,2012 2013,2014, 2015 Aragones 2012, 2017 2018 Via Francigena 2016,2017 Primitivo 2018,2019
I think there is a misconception and/or ignorance among pilgrims about the donation refugios. On the Camino one evening I watched a Belgian doctor fill out her journal of expenses and under the accommodation column there were several 'free' nights' listed. I also heard the view expressed, rather proudly, by a pilgrim that 'the Catholic Church has lots of money and he feels under no obligation to pay them anything'. He was immensely pleased with himself for 'getting something for nothing from the Catholic Church'.

I would be happy for the refugios to be more forthcoming about asking for a donation or provide some guidance at the desk about their costs. It would be interesting to know what percentage of pilgrims make a donation and how many merely regard it as 'free accommodation' with a meal thrown in. The first time I stayed in one, I didn't realise that I was expected to make a donation as I signed in, and tried to pay on the way out the next morning but the box was gone. I also never knew how much to donate; I asked the advice of seasoned pilgrim who thought that 5 euros was more than enough. I reckoned that the accommodation was about 5 euros and breakfast 2 euros and the communal meal at least 8 euros, so I put 15 euros into the box, which he thought was vastly over-generous. I still don't know what a reasonable donation is. Are there any suggestions?
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
jennysa said:
I reckoned that the accommodation was about 5 euros and breakfast 2 euros and the communal meal at least 8 euros, so I put 15 euros into the box, which he thought was vastly over-generous. I still don't know what a reasonable donation is. Are there any suggestions?

Hi Jenny,
Sounds about right to me. In Alexandro's albergue in Bodenaya in 2009 I had soup and bread on arrival and had an evening meal, bed and breakfast. He also put on an electric radiator to dry my washing as it was raining. I left 20€ which I felt was reasonable for the care and hospitality which I received. Last year he was still functioning as a 'Donativo' and hopefully still is. It was the best albergue that I have been in. (although I still have not been to Moratinos :( )
Blessings
Tio Tel
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Jenny,

I also paid 5 € for lodging, 3 € for breakfast and 10 € if dinner was provided at the donativo albergues. Sometimes I gave a little extra on top of that but the reason for that is a very personal one.
 
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Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Past OR future Camino
?
I believe a reasonable donation should be according to the means and budgets of the peregrinos.

I have stopped using albergues for different reasons. But, whenever I do, I make it a point to donate the same amount (average) as I normally pay for private accommodations and services. It's my way of giving back.

I have witnessed the same when I was hospitalero and appreciated the intention behind the gesture.

My two cents,
Jean-Marc
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Anniesantiago said:
Why should anyone volunteer to pick up for people on a vacation???!


That hits the nail. Why should anyone volunteer to provide a subsidized vacation? Well, it started as a religious pilgrimage, and the volunteers were of a similar religion, helping out their fellow Catholics.

If you encounter that situation today, where the motives of both the pilgrim and the facility are primarily a Catholic pilgrimage, below market prices may be appropriate. Otherwise, it would seem resonable to consider yourself a tourist and pay accordingly.
 

zzotte

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
Hi I'm new member (thanks for this post I register) 8) I have been reading a lot a about the camino and this post striked a cord I have noticed a lot of people complaining about $5 or $10 albergue I have only one thing to say and please don't be offended "If you want a cheap vacation please go some place else, you problably are the same ones that are littering the camino with your trash, compaling about everything, and then crying at the end because "you made it" oh please stop the whining about $10 for place to sleep, sleep on the street one night, cary a tent for 25Km, don't shower for three days and then tell me that $10 for a roof, matress and shower is too much (does not matter how bad) Please give me a brake.

Zo

ufa its out o my chest. :evil:
 

voxmox

New Member
I slept good in hotels(40-50€/night). I don´t complane about anything.

My point is "buen camino has became bueno bisnes"
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Note: Not all the donativo places that have dropped off the list are closed down. Most of them just went with a listed price.

"love of money is the root of all evil," the Bible says.
Pilgrims and hospitaleros and tourists altogether just need to chill out about the money issues (and I include myself in this, it is an ongoing discipline).
The camino is a place that gives without asking for anything in return. The donativo places try to live that truth themselves, and the doors are open to any pilgrims who arrives, whether or not he can pay, or wants to pay, or will pay anything. When we train hospitaleros, we stress that NO judgment is to be made, and NO suggestions be put forth about what is appropriate, donation-wise. That is totally up to the donor. The hospitalero takes care of the pilgrim, and the money is supposed to take care of itself.

It is hard for a hospitalero not to feel slighted when he works very hard and finds only a few coins in the box the next day. But the camino is not about money, and he is not there to earn money.

Pilgrims who give with a generous heart, according to their pocketbook, will reap a generous harvest -- so it is written in the Good Book. "Give and it will be given back to you in the same measure." And those who snicker at the opportunity to screw generous people out of a night´s lodging? They only display their great poverty of spirit. That should spark our pity and compassion (tough as that is to muster sometimes), not our anger. They are slaves to pennies.

Our pilgrim ministry runs on donativos. Sometimes people take advantage. But they are soon followed by people who are exceptionally generous. It all balances out. It is the wonderful camino economy, and so far it really does work... but then again, we are not an albergue!
 
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zzotte

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2012 Camino Frances, 2014 Lourdes to SDC, 2016 Camino del Norte
Yes Rebekah you are 100% correct but its really hard to keep quite if you see people taking advantage of the generosity of others and angry me even more to know that they close because of it.

Zo
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
One every year since 2007
Rebekah Scott said:
"love of money is the root of all evil," the Bible says.
Pilgrims and hospitaleros and tourists altogether just need to chill out about the money issues. Sometimes people take advantage. But they are soon followed by people who are exceptionally generous. It all balances out.
>
The main challenge for a hospitalero of a pilgrims' albergue is to be able and differentiate between a bona fide and a cheapy (albeit "free") tourist. And act accordingly within the spirit of the Camino, which is easier said than done, because there are many variations on the term "spirit of the Camino de Santiago".
Thus I purposely avoid the term "pilgrim", although an "albergue" implies that it is catering to "tourists" with a pilgrim's passport.
Each year has seen constant changes in the types of people walking or biking the various Caminos, with an influx of "tourigrinos" and groups with various purposes.
It is not the "love of money" which comes in mind of the pilgrims' albergue. Rather the "necessity of funds" to provide for the albergue's long term maintenance (building, furniture, equipment, etc.) and immediate expenses (electric, water, operating essentials, etc.).
If the necessary funds can be raised by sponsorships, contributions (donations) or fixed prices, and this "balances out", the albergue's owner(s) should be able to decide upon their policy.
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
Boring statistics can cut through obscuring passion and inform us all. Reb begins this process by saying that despite glitches, in the end there's a rough balance.

On a camino/chemin in France in June this year, the average donativo was around 15 euros. The range was between 6 and 2O.

At an intuitive guess, all gave appropriately according to their means. And even if they had not, the sign on the wall clearly said in three languages that pilgs were welcome whether they paid or not.

This is the spirit of camino, this unconditional welcome, and this spirit was honoured, both by the Pilgrim Association which offered the refuge, and by the lovely pilgrims who passed by. Some are walking still, and I think of them. I can never forget what a fine and unique thing we all share, this camino. With all the ups and downs, the camino has rolled on for a thousand years, and all our concerns of today fade into nothing and melt into air, given the wonder of the living history we are privileged to share - and to which each one of us contributes, whether we're nice or not so nice. All of us have been both.

Yes, all the concerns about payment are entirely valid or there will be no refuge, but I am sure that a thousand years ago there was an innkeeper who complained about pilgs who did a runner, and that there was an albergue/auberge which complained about some rotten pilgs - and with justification. I want to remember all of them, the good, the bad and the ugly, and most of them were lovely.

The camino rolls on forever, and perhaps none of us really understands its deep processes. I don't, for one.
 

Br. David

Active Member
Never count the money at the end of the day, if it is small it leads to very old-fashioned looks at the people of the next day.
If it is big it leads to avaricious looks at the people of the next day.

Never count the money

Do what you do because that is what you are drawn to do. :wink:
 
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