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Competition in Carcaboso

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I mentioned on another post that there is competition going on between certain albergues on the Vdlp. (I've already posted on the sad situation in Embalse de Alcantara, and even though I agree that the Albergue's tactics are underhanded, I don't think two albergues can survive at that place).

This particular tiff involves Elena, who runs a bar/pension in Carcaboso, and Monica, who runs the albergue turistico in Oliva de Plasencia. Here's what I have heard from pilgrims and other hospitaleros.

If you stay at Elena's place in Carcaboso (I didn't, I stayed at the very nice 20€ hotel), she will "encourage" you to walk to the Arco de Cáparra and get picked up by the owner of the Bar Asturias. In fact, one Dutch guy told me that she got visibly mad at him when he told her he was going to Oliva de Plasencia. She bad mouthed the albergue there a bit and told him he'd be sorry. Well, the albergue in Oliva is very nice, and it is, especially with Isabelle's instructions, a very nice 24 km walk from Carcaboso. Monica, the hospitalera in Oliva, told me that Elena wanted to get an official designation as "Albergue Turístico de la Junta de Extremadura" for her pensión, but was unable to and faults Monica for this. And also that she gets a kickback from the owner of the Bar Asturias for every pilgrim she sends his way. So she has two reasons to dissuade people from going to Oliva, personal revenge and financial self-interest, a pretty powerful combination in most places.

I am not at all surprised by this kind of behavior, times are very tough, the economy is bad and income is going down, but it does kind of take away some of the glow. I guess in the end we should just stay in the place that we choose for our own reasons and leave the back-stabbing to the locals. In any event, I HIGHLY recommend Oliva de Plasencia, but be warned, there is absolutely nothing there except two bars and a grocery store that doesn't open in the afternoon, along with a farmacia that may open most afternoons.
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Laurie, thanks for sharing this info. It might be unpleasant, but it´s important to present the entire picture, not just the sunshine and daisies.

You serve it up with kindness.
 

walkingnomads

New Member
Re: Competition in Carcaboso and other news from VDLP

Thanks again Laurie for sharing this with us all.
Chris and I are in Caceres and enjoying it all very much.
If anyone wants or needs a little pampering for a couple of days (ie tired or sore), we can recommend this little gem of a hotel just down the road for the albergue turistico. It is called Alamede Palacete and is an old mansion converted with lovely courtyard......almost shabby chic and so so comfortable and the people running it are so kind (huge room ensuite, opening onto courtyard, french doors, chintzy fabrics and headboard).
We are planning a little bit of creativity on the Camino to give my feet a little rest. getting some buses, allowing Chris to walk to caparra arch and then have booked in to Oliva de with Monica(thanks Laurie for info).We are also going to Hervas which was one place we didn´t want to miss. We are also detouring to see Plasencia and having an extra night in Salamanca before heading to Zamora. Sometimes we need to rejig things to build in rest days and then hopefully resume walking slowly.
Have just enjoyed listening to the BBC broadcast on the hotel laptop (I just accessed radio 4 from the BBC website and clicked onto yesterday´s broadcast and listened while I checked emails etc.
I think we need to get Rick Stein back again to cook for us on arrival in Santiago!
To all those doing the camino, travel well and have fun. Cathy and Chris.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Cathy & Chris, you´re going to love Hervas. I only wish there was a way to get it included on the Via, so everyone could enjoy it!

The albergue there is in the old train station, done over in a very modern style, with a proprietor whose shaggy dog and pet donkey are all characters to remember. There´s a wonderful hike up the mountain to a waterfall, and the Hotel Sinagogo has a lovely racion of wood-grilled vegetables, mmm! (and then there´s that amazing Jewish quarter too, and a lively paseo every evening.)

Great town. We looked very hard at it, before settling on boring old Moratinos.

Reb.
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
I just checked the guidebook, "Walking the VDLP" by Cole and Davies.
Plasencia is mentioned as 11 kms east of the Camino, and no mention of an alternate route through it. Hervas is 4 kms east of the Camino just before Banos de Montmayor and it would probably be there and back on the road.
Both are said to be worthwhile detours. Planning time for detours is the key. I got caught up in deciding to average 25 kms per day and pre booked my flight home... no flexibility.

Then there is Elena in Carcobosa... Stayed there on May 4 this year.
The good news is that she has updated her private albergue. Nice new paint, clean, well finished bathroom, and she doesn't maximize the number of beds. (Single beds, not bunk beds in the shared bedrooms)
But Elena makes my hackles stand up.
When I had just stopped in her bar for a coke she pounced on me and told me I was staying in her albergue. Then she hovered around like a hawk, and I felt like a fieldmouse.
The next morning I got the lecture about staying at the hostel in Asturias, 2 kms off the camino and 6 kms from Arco de Caparra.

I like to believe that a lot of her agressiveness comes from a strong desire to communicate when she has no language except Spanish. But she didn't let up when I nodded and said, "yes, OK" She seemed compelled to drive the message home.

The key for me was not to let it bother me. Afterall, I was only in Carcobosa overnight, and I could just walk away from it.

The people you meet are all part of the Camino experience.
David, Victoria, Canada
 
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durzon

New Member
I got badly let down by the Hostal Asturias people, who are supposed to pick you up from the Arco de Caparra. I rang them the previous evening and they said they'd pick me up there at 5pm. I was surprised they said it was so late, and made them repeat the time, and they definitely said "a las cinco". Got there at 4.25 and there was nobody at the arch, and enjoyed the setting sun on that beautiful place. At 5.15pm was getting worried by the no-show and rang the Asturias people and they said they'd agreed to pick me up "a las quarto", which was a lie, and that they'd stayed at the arch waiting for me until 4.30pm, which was another lie. So I had another 10+ miles, mostly in the dark, before I got to the albergue in Aldeanueva del Camino, not a pleasant end to an otherwise wonderful day's walk.
 

+@^^

Active Member
I stayed at Monicas place at Oliva on 29 Sept this year
with a Dutch (i miss you Hilde), Japanese and Irish woman and a Spanish guy (Pasqual i miss you too)
my note from the day criptically says
"bugger of a last 6kays on tar at the end of a long day to Oliva
but stunning old albergue euro 24 for bed, full dinner + breakfast + bocadillo and a juice for the road tomorrow - my #1 albergue so far"

she regaled us with stories and kept us entertained as would a true hostess
so in the 375kays from Sevilla and with about 30 possible places to stop
she was my number 1 albergue
but hay
im probably biased - i just had a really good time there
 

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