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Do all albergues have hospitaleros

jarlath

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently planning first Camino for October 2016 Arrive Sarria 11 October
#1
Hi
Can someone tell me if all albergues (How do you pronounce that by the way) have hospitaleros?
Do I need to phone before arriving? Do they all speak english (unfortunately I don't speak any spanish).
thanks

Jarlath
 

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Camino(s) past & future
I did it! Sarria -> SdC July (2016)
#3
Hey Jarlath! I just did my first camino over a week ago, I walked the Camino Frances - and started at Sarria.
Considering that this is the busiest season, and I always got an albergue to stay, I would say there is no need to phone them before arriving.

4 out of 5 albergues I went to speak some english, 1 speaks Spanish only (but he was very friendly and somehow even took care of my bag delivery service).

As far as I know I don't speak spanish at all. And if you're from the US too, you'd surprise at how much you actually understand the language once you're in Spain. :cool:;)
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
#5
They all have hospitaleros, which is why they have opening hours..
That may be true of the Camino Francés, but on the less traveled routes (Levante, Plata, Sureste, Ebro &c) there is often (/usually) no hospitalero for the albergue, and you pick up the key from a local bar, the mayor's office, the police, the parish priest etc.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#6
They all have hospitaleros,
There was no hospitalero at Samos when I stayed there last November, although a monk came in at one point and mopped the floors. We pilgrims were expected to sign in the the guest book ourselves, stamp our own credencials, leave a donation in the donativo box, and generally take care of ourselves and the albergue. Pilgrims did so with varying degrees of care.
 

jarlath

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently planning first Camino for October 2016 Arrive Sarria 11 October
#7
jarlath, the " al bear gay " usually has hosiptalero during opening hours and probably not possible to book in advance.
Which section do you plan to walk?
I am planning for starting 11 October at Lugo. From there to San Román da Retorta - Palas de Rei - Melide - Arzua - Santa Irene - Santiago

Any comments/Suggestions would be very welcome as this will be my first Camino

Thanks

Jarlath (Galway Ireland)
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
#8
Jarlath, hopefully you will have time to walk the wall around Lugo before heading on Camino. Maybe you can get picnic items in Carrefour near albergue to enhance your evening.
Buen Camino.
 

jarlath

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently planning first Camino for October 2016 Arrive Sarria 11 October
#9
Thanks #crackmrmac I am hoping to walk the wall. Appreciate your suggestion re Carrefour.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#10
I suppose it depends what you define an hospitalero as, and which Camino you are talking about.

In some albergues Hospis are real hosts, welcoming you into their home or into the albergue where they are volunteering in as if was their home. Some spend the night on site, others do not.

On the Primitivo, San Juan de Villapanada comes to mind as an albergue being run by a volunteer hospitalero in the traditional way: conversation, tips for the next day, a hand here and there. On the other hand, you let yourself in, let yourself out. Domingo has been doing this day after day for some 2o years. At the next stop, David bought the albegue, but runs it in the traditional hospie tradition, inclusing a lrepared communual meal.

On the Frances Accacio and Orieta welcome you in their home. They cook for you, light the fireplace for you.

In other places you won't see anyone: pop in at the local bar to pick up the key, let yourself in and out. Esclampero on the Primitivo is like that for example.

With many more private albergues being run day to day by payed employees rather than by the owners, you may find the level of care is not the same. They check you in, stamp your credencial, show you to your room and show you where the showers are, that's it, that's all.

In the Xunta albegues the lady pops in at a specific time, often stands in her booth behind a glass pannel, stamps your compostela, gives you a receipt flr your 6€, that's it, that's all.

In the privates you can most often book the day before. Some of the traditional ones will not allow you to book, those with a key pick up or pop in hospie may not even have a number to call.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#11
I am planning for starting 11 October at Lugo. From there to San Román da Retorta - Palas de Rei - Melide - Arzua - Santa Irene - Santiago

Any comments/Suggestions would be very welcome as this will be my first Camino

Thanks

Jarlath (Galway Ireland)
The private albergue at San Roman does have a phone contact and if called will also order you a meal, which the hospitalero brings in from Lugo. Well worth calling ahead the evening before. Do make sure that you get a stamp in Lugo, plus another during the day to make your 2 sellos per day. On the stage between San Roman and Palas de Rei it might be good to call at the albergue (@Juanma's) in Ferreira for a drink and a sello as I cannot remember a coffee stop on the actual road.
Buen Camino
 

jarlath

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently planning first Camino for October 2016 Arrive Sarria 11 October
#12
Thanks for so much helpful information. I assume the albergues that require you to collect a key have a notice regarding where to collect the key from?
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#13
I assume the albergues that require you to collect a key have a notice regarding where to collect the key from?
I don't think there are any of those on the route you have selected. Someone will be there at the opening time to unlock the door! Buen camino.

On other routes, there is a phone number on the door. On weekends you may have a hard time getting a response.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#14
@TerryB has reminded me that Casa del Ponte (approx 7kms after San Roman de Retorta) does coffee/breakfast for pilgrims and also have a sello. It is a casa rural which now caters more for pilgrims, just before the little Roman bridge and right turn on the Camino to the albergue at Ferreira. They pointed us to the route to Palas de Rei which was very helpful as their way shortened it by a couple of kms. (Turn left at bridge, instead of towards the albergue, and walk uphill - past the church keeping left there - then a right turn after some time etc....)
 
Camino(s) past & future
I did it! Sarria -> SdC July (2016)
#15
I am planning for starting 11 October at Lugo. From there to San Román da Retorta - Palas de Rei - Melide - Arzua - Santa Irene - Santiago

Any comments/Suggestions would be very welcome as this will be my first Camino

Thanks

Jarlath (Galway Ireland)
Okay this is based on my experience:

Palas de Rei:
'San Marcos albergue' is modern, clean, and airy, they have big windows. It's right across an old church. The hospitaleiro is a young lady that speaks some english. 10 euros for a SMALL room, 10-bed mixed. They have thick blankets and drawers to keep your stuff. Everybody slept in their sleeping bag

---

Arzua:
'De Camino albergue' is modern, clean, and airy, they have big windows. This is the hospiteleiro that doesn't speak english at all, but no problem there.
10 euros for a BIG room, 12 or 16 (can't remember) bed mixed. They have lockers next to each bed, the beds are far apart from each other. The best part is that the mattresses and pillows are sealed in anti-bedbug covers. I didn't see any blanket, everybody slept in their sleeping bag. It looks new, there were very few people in each room. The best sleep I had along the way (or maybe I was just too tired).

I skipped 'I won't name it albergue' (one of the first few albergues when you get into arzua). There were probably a hundred beds in a GIGANTIC bedroom, it smelled, and very dim even in the afternoon, the bathrooms were the ultimate deal breakers for me. I also skipped a couple other albergues on that stretch.

---

Santiago:
I wanted to stay the Parador! But their walk-in rate that day was 250 euros. Much higher than the usual 180 euros I saw on the internet. This is the only time I regretted not having a reservation.

I ended up in 'The Last Stamp albergue'. It's modern, clean, and there is an elevator there! There are about 3 hospitaleiros working on different shifts (I believe this one doesn't have curfew), they are all young and they speak good english. 20 euros, for a big room, about 16 beds mixed. But they are sub-divided into 4-bed sections, so a little more privacy, less natural light there. They have locker right next to each bed. If you are 5'8 or taller, do not take the top bed, it's too close to the ceiling beams. Oh, this one has real bedsheets and blankets, so no one in my section slept in sleeping bag.

If you end up staying here, stop by the cafe next door and try the chocolate and churros! Yummy yummy!

---

I always asked the hospitaleiros to show me the bedrooms and bathrooms first. Maybe I was lucky, but I always managed to sleep somewhere comfortable.

A fellow peregrino actually managed to get a private bedroom (yes, 1 bed!) - no curfew, for only 20 euros several times. He called around the moment he reached the town.

Hope it helps...
 
Last edited:
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#17
I have seen hospies send people on their way if they dared ask to see the premises before committing.

I can see both sides of it: the hospy who goes out of this way to offer the best comfort he can and the walker wanting to avoid bed bugs.

Then again, not sure the pilgrim asks to check first and is simply grateful.
 

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