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LIVE from the Camino Don't forget the curfew!

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simoneva

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frances (2016)
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frances (2019)
Stayed at casa de Trinidad convent in Laredo. Good albergue with most rooms only 2 or 3 beds but....they have a 10pm curfew. Most restaurants don't open until 9pm so it is a bit rushed.

Four of us got back from food and beer at 2245. The cunning plan was another pilgrim inside ready to open the door. Unfortunately they actually lock the gate with a padlock!

In this case 3 pilgrims scaled the 3m fence. I could not but fortunately found a spare bed. So in this case just another story from the Camino😀

However it might not be a happy ending. Seems a bit unsafe to lock people in if you needed an ambulance or to escape a fire. Do they not have regulations in Spain?

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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
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2019
That’s been a perennial discussion topic on this forum - we don’t need to rehash the legalities and morality of locked albergues yet again. It is concerning, though, that you purposefully chose to go against the albergue policy in order to have a few beers….
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
We have had several threads on this topic, and the most recent one is here. The consensus is that fire regulations do require that people have access to a fire exit. These regulations may either be honored in the breach or may not apply to some of these old buildings. In any case, pilgrims should be aware that in some cases they will be locked inside at night.

The bottom line is that this is an issue that seems to be up to the individual pilgrim to assess upon arrival. Ask about fire exits. If you don’t like the response, you can vote with your feet. I don’t mean to trivialize this, because it is an extremely serious issue, but the bottom line is that the wide variation in practice leaves it as an issue of personal responsibility and comfort level.
 

JesperK

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We can always finds things to critizise in foreign countries. Better just to adjust to the rules. On my way to the camino I stayed at a small hotel in Madrid where they only had elevator and no stairs. Wildly inappropriate, safety wise, where I come from, but I adjusted.
 
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Kathar1na

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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Stayed at casa de Trinidad convent in Laredo. Good albergue with most rooms only 2 or 3 beds but....they have a 10pm curfew. Most restaurants don't open until 9pm so it is a bit rushed. Four of us got back from food and beer at 2245. The cunning plan was another pilgrim inside ready to open the door. Unfortunately they actually lock the gate with a padlock![...]Seems a bit unsafe to lock people in if you needed an ambulance or to escape a fire. Do they not have regulations in Spain?
Did you raise the issue of emergency exits with the managers/owners of the Casa de la Trinidad albergue? What did they say? Are there really no exits elsewhere other than the main entry?
 
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Flog

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2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Four of us got back from food and beer at 2245. The cunning plan was another pilgrim inside ready to open the door. Unfortunately they actually lock the gate with a padlock!
The nuns lock the outer gates at the street, but not the door up the steps into the convent, right? At least that was the case when I stayed in 2019, and I was told they would be locked. Nobody was locked inside the building itself.

It might be policy because of issues with homeless people drinking and sleeping on the steps or it might be for security in general, I'm not sure.
But why choose to disrespect the rules by deliberately abusing their hospitality? You could have chosen to stay elsewhere. Is there something special about your group?
 

LilleTyksak

Member
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Future caminos: San Salvador & Primitivo 2022
We have had several threads on this topic, and the most recent one is here. The consensus is that fire regulations do require that people have access to a fire exit. These regulations may either be honored in the breach or may not apply to some of these old buildings. In any case, pilgrims should be aware that in some cases they will be locked inside at night.

The bottom line is that this is an issue that seems to be up to the individual pilgrim to assess upon arrival. Ask about fire exits. If you don’t like the response, you can vote with your feet. I don’t mean to trivialize this, because it is an extremely serious issue, but the bottom line is that the wide variation in practice leaves it as an issue of personal responsibility and comfort level.
In most countries it would be illegal and would be heavily fined. If it really is the case, I believe it‘s irresponsible to leave it as personal responsibility and comfort level.
 

SabineP

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some and then more. see my signature.
In most countries it would be illegal and would be heavily fined. If it really is the case, I believe it‘s irresponsible to leave it as personal responsibility and comfort level.


Well it is as it is. If someone does not feel comfortable with this they can always choose a private place.

And as already written above : you can always take it up with the hospi/ owner " on the ground ".

Life is a risk.

Seen in Sevilla years ago...

Sevilla.jpg
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
In most countries it would be illegal and would be heavily fined. If it really is the case, I believe it‘s irresponsible to leave it as personal responsibility and comfort level.
If you read the previous, recent thread I have linked to on the third post in this thread, you may understand the situation better. Spanish law requires emergency exits. That means that the situation on the ground in Spain may violate applicable regional, national or local regulations. If you arrive at a place that does not provide emergency exits, you can decide there whether to find out how to lodge a complaint or to go elsewhere. Some of the posts in that earlier thread pointed out that there are in fact places where the doors are locked but emergency exits exist. We cannot do a survey of all albergues, so the best advice is to pay attention when you arrive at an albergue.

I think that the forum provides a good service when pilgrims are encouraged to scope out the situation upon arrival, because it is something that many of us would not have considered doing until forum members alerted us to the situation.
 
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trecile

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PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
If you read the previous, recent thread I have linked to on the third post in this thread, you may understand the situation better. Spanish law requires emergency exits. That means that the situation on the ground in Spain may violate applicable regional, national or local regulations. If you arrive at a place that does not provide emergency exits, you can decide there whether to find out how to lodge a complaint or to go elsewhere. Some of the posts in that earlier thread pointed out that there are in fact places where the doors are locked but emergency exits exist. We cannot do a survey of all albergues, so the best advice is to pay attention when you arrive at an albergue.

I think that the forum provides a good service when pilgrims are encouraged to scope out the situation upon arrival, because it is something that many of us would not have considered doing until forum members alerted us to the situation.
One can also file a complaint via an hoja de reclamaciones which every lodging establishment is required to provide.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
I never remember having one of these in a donativo where I have worked. We did have a journal book where people left notes about their stay, but that was it.
 

LilleTyksak

Member
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Future caminos: San Salvador & Primitivo 2022
Well it is as it is. If someone does not feel comfortable with this they can always choose a private place.

And as already written above : you can always take it up with the hospi/ owner " on the ground ".

Life is a risk.

Seen in Sevilla years ago...

View attachment 124975
Well, when you are hosting people commercially, there are rules applied.

And to be honest I wouldn’t think about asking, but take for granted that general rules/laws where followed for a place with public access.

There could be a variety of reasons why people would be able to get out.

And it Is not that I approve of people not act according to the rules of the establishment, but fire exits are there for a reason, and should be easy accessible .
 
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Kathar1na

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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
When you are hosting people commercially, there are rules applied. And to be honest I wouldn’t think about asking, but take for granted that general rules/laws where followed for a place with public access. There could be a variety of reasons why people would be able to get out. And it Is not that I approve of people not act according to the rules of the establishment, but fire exits are there for a reason, and should be easy accessible.
I must say that I agree with you: In a commercial establishment in Spain, I would expect that there are emergency exits and it would not occur to me to check before I stay there. I guess one always ought to check once you are in your room but I admit that I rarely do.

The Casa de la Trinidad is not a donativo albergue, it is more a kind of hospederia. From a legal point of view it is apparently registered as such and has a número de registro de empresas turísticas: G.4984.

@Flog who had stayed there pointed out already that nobody is locked into the building. When pilgrims report that they were "locked in", more often than not it means that they could not break the house rules, ie not leave as early as they themselves wanted to be on the street to start walking in the morning and not enter from the street as late in the evening as they themselves wanted, contrary to what they explicitly or implicitly agreed to when they paid and got their bed or room.

I'm still curious to hear from the OP whether he raised the issue with the sisters or volunteers at the Casa de la Trinidad and what replies he got.
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I wonder if donativos are exempt.
No they are not, the CSJ albergue in Miraz had an issue a few years ago when a pilgrim asked to see their book/ form, the hospitaleros didn't know what they were, "the pilgrim" went to the police and they turned up asking to see the form. CSJ at the time had to question themselves was it worth keeping the Donativo open.
 

Kathar1na

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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
"the pilgrim" went to the police and they turned up asking to see the form. CSJ at the time had to question themselves was it worth keeping the Donativo open.
I guess that this was not about emergency exists? We may be getting into the "ungrateful pilgrim" topic. Complaining about food, bed bugs, opening hours or whatever is one thing. Being concerned about emergency exits is another thing altogether.

However, as to donativo albergues and similar .... in many cases, proprietor or volunteers are often staying inside and sleeping inside. Even if there is only one exit and it is locked during the night and the key is out of sight and out of reach of the pilgrims and there are no windows to escape ... wouldn't it be a bit far fetched to think that everyone who knows where the keys are will be incapacitated in an emergency, mobile phones will not work to call 112, there are no fire extinguishers and so on ...? Perhaps, if one indulges in such doomsday scenarios, one should not stay at Camino albergues.

Do you happen to know about the emergency exit situation at the CSJ albergue in Miraz and whether or not national or regional regulations about the prevention and management of fire incidents apply to them or not? Is it privately owned, or owned by the town of Miraz or the parish?
 
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Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I guess that this was not about emergency exists? We may be getting into the "ungrateful pilgrim" topic. Complaining about food, bed bugs or whatever is one thing. Being concerned about emergency exits is another thing.

As to donativo albergues and similar .... in many cases, proprietor or volunteers are often staying inside and sleeping inside. Even if there is only one exit and it is locked during the night and the key is out of sight and out of reach of the pilgrims and there are no windows to escape ... wouldn't it be a bit far fetched to think that everyone who knows where the keys are will be incapacitated in an emergency, mobile phones will not work to call 112 and so on ...? Perhaps, if one indulges in such doomsday scenarios, one should not stay at Camino albergues.

Do you happen to know about the emergency exit situation at the CSJ albergue in Miraz and whether or not national or regional regulations about the prevention and management of fire incidents apply to them or not? Is it privately owned, or owned by the town of Miraz or the parrish?
I think we are going back 9 or 10 years, maybe there is a thread about it somewhere, where do I dig this up? I think CSJ has an arrangement with the Diocese in Friol about the building and it's ownership, rent etc.
 

Kathar1na

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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I think CSJ has an arrangement with the Diocese in Friol about the building and it's ownership, rent etc.
I now see that there is a Twitter feed @refugiodemiraz although it is defunct, the last tweet is from 2014. However, it does say that the albergue de peregrinos [is] run by the Confraternity of Saint James. The building is the former Rectoral and is still owned by the Diocese of Lugo.

However, the issue at hand is the unanswered question whether there are albergues, whether donativo or in ancient buildings or whatever, that would be exempt from national or regional regulations and could be a dangerous fire trap.
 
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Isca-camigo

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Various ones.
If that example can be taken of what they are eligible for ( the situation 2014) they were eligible to have the necessary tourist accommodation book and complaints procedure, so for something as important as fire regs and the possible outcomes in an event of a fire I can't see they are having an exemption even if it is Donativo.
 

Kathar1na

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maybe there is a thread about it somewhere, where do I dig this up
There is a thread from 2014 where there are complaints about the late opening hours (4 pm) of Miraz from 2014 but there is another more interesting thread from 2005 where they announce that they have an agreement to use the ancient refectory of Miraz as an albergue and they say that they need to raise £100,000 to kick-start restoration and finance the initial running costs. Wow.
 

trecile

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PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
No they are not, the CSJ albergue in Miraz had an issue a few years ago when a pilgrim asked to see their book/ form, the hospitaleros didn't know what they were, "the pilgrim" went to the police and they turned up asking to see the form. CSJ at the time had to question themselves was it worth keeping the Donativo open.
They questioned keeping the albergue open because they couldn't find the complaints book??
 

Tincatinker

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2012
Hmm. If the complaints book is not available then obviously the complainant should request the complaints book in order to make a complaint.
Perhaps CSJ were concerned that that particular breach of regulation would indicate potential other breaches by omission or commission that might lead to prosecution and penalties
 

peregrino_tom

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There is a thread from 2014 where there are complaints about the late opening hours (4 pm) of Miraz from 2014 but there is another more interesting thread from 2005 where they announce that they have an agreement to use the ancient refectory of Miraz as an albergue and they say that they need to raise £100,000 to kick-start restoration and finance the initial running costs. Wow.
Yes, the story of the CSJ albergues at Rabanal and Miraz is pretty epic. Huge amounts of funds have been raised through the years by the membership and hundreds of people, primarily from English-speaking countries, have volunteered there as hospitalera/os. Both albergues have provided a brilliant service over the years.
The Miraz albergue was always a trickier proposition because until recently when other albergues and an alternative route appeared, it was the only albergue between Baamonde (the 100km starting point for the Norte) and Sobrado. Although volunteers had to undertake the training, many weren't prepared to deal with the particular pressures of Miraz. Because of the bed race, pilgrims arrived early from Baamonde - sometimes around the time the last ones were leaving from the night before. They couldn't be let in because the staff needed to clean and get stuff from the shops (not nearby) and decompress. So they tried to institute a queuing system and let people in after 2pm (although I see Isca quotes 4pm above - so maybe it changed at some point). But lots of pilgrims were very unhappy about this and not all of the volunteers had the skills to deal with this. And many of the pilgrims were first timers just doing 100km and expecting this donativo albergue to be a free service that they were entitled to. When things escalated there wasn't always someone nearby who could assist and sometimes they had to seek advice from people in the UK.
I think that incident with the absence of the complaint form turned out to be far more significant than the complaint itself - and the management team certainly learned from that and subsequently updated all processes and procedures.
But iMO what ultimately saved the albergue was that other accommodation options arrived in the village removing most of the unbelievable pressures on volunteers.
If you've stayed there you'll know what a wonderful place it is, and how hard everyone involved tries to make it embody the spirit of a true camino welcome and hospitality.
 
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Rebekah Scott

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Many, various, and continuing.
I have worked in and with donativos for years, and have never seen hojas de reclamacion in any of them. Hojas are specifically for profit-making enterprises that serve paying consumers -- they're geared toward rip-offs and product quality issues -- goods, not services. Still, the rules apply.
Donativos are definitely subject to safety rules, but the rules are written and applied regionally, with great variations in interpretation and enforcement. (for example, building capacity regulations in La Rioja are written as suggestions, not actual rules. Thus the 90-bed sardine-can conditions at Albergue Municipal Najera up til 2019... it was unsafe and unhygienic, but perfectly legal!)
Be aware that many emergency exits lead to inner courtyards, not necessarily out into the street.
 

kelleymac

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March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Stayed at casa de Trinidad convent in Laredo. Good albergue with most rooms only 2 or 3 beds but....they have a 10pm curfew. Most restaurants don't open until 9pm so it is a bit rushed.

Four of us got back from food and beer at 2245. The cunning plan was another pilgrim inside ready to open the door. Unfortunately they actually lock the gate with a padlock!

In this case 3 pilgrims scaled the 3m fence. I could not but fortunately found a spare bed. So in this case just another story from the Camino😀

We had a similar experience in Burgos. Our restaurant was slow in bringing the check and we hadn't kept an eye on the time and so were locked out. -- We ten pilgrims stood there trying to get in, and a neighbor told us to scale a fence, then up on a terrace/roof and then into the elevator. We scrambled up and in.-- But there was also a neighbor who came out angry at being woken up. The cafe owner across the street from the hostel, told us to just go get a hotel room. (He had obviously seen this before.) So we caused people to loose sleep and upset the neighborhood. :( I, myself, identified with the anger of the woken neighbor, as I own a popular swimming hole and am often woken by loud happy tipsy swimmers or romantic liaisons in the middle of the night. Then I have to go down and toss people out, or call the sheriff. -- So, let's be considerate and keep an eye on the time!
 
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Kathar1na

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Well, people, coming back to the original question: Cantabria; their albergues turisticos; of which the Casa de la Trinidad is one, even when it is in a convent.

There is regulation about fire prevention in albergues in Cantabria; there are official inspections of such preventions put in place; they must have a hoja de reclamaciones; you can read about it all here: https://boc.cantabria.es/boces/verAnuncioAction.do?idAnuBlob=292019.

Interestingly, it also says that the following establishments are not covered by the regulation: el alojamiento en habitaciones de capacidad múltiple prestado sin contraprestación económica o cuando la cantidad abonada tenga el carácter de donativo o de voluntariedad. What it doesn't say: Whether these establishments are covered by some other regulation about fire prevention and emergency exits.

So the question is: Will this remain a thread started by a funny anecdote with a sting at the end about some pilgrims staying in Laredo ? Will we ever get some precise information about the actual situation there?
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I think it's been answered clearly. There ARE fire regulations in Spain. They might not meet YOUR fire regulation standards, but nobody asked us. If you don't like what you see, go some other place that meets your standards.
I think you may have misunderstood the reason for my question. This would not be first case where people wrongly claim that there were no emergency exits. I'm merely curious about this particular case.

In fact, I don't recall a single post where people said: I inquired about emergency exits and was not satisfied. All I've ever read was: We wanted to get out (or in) at a time when we were not supposed to do that and we didn't know how to do it.
 
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CreationRamblers

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Stayed at casa de Trinidad convent in Laredo. Good albergue with most rooms only 2 or 3 beds but....they have a 10pm curfew. Most restaurants don't open until 9pm so it is a bit rushed.

Four of us got back from food and beer at 2245. The cunning plan was another pilgrim inside ready to open the door. Unfortunately they actually lock the gate with a padlock!

In this case 3 pilgrims scaled the 3m fence. I could not but fortunately found a spare bed. So in this case just another story from the Camino😀

However it might not be a happy ending. Seems a bit unsafe to lock people in if you needed an ambulance or to escape a fire. Do they not have regulations in Spain?

View attachment 124959
Thank you, we appreciate the information, as many may not know about curfews or lock ins and after a long day walking, possibly getting in later than expected, it's good to know to stop ahead of time for refreshments & food in order to respect albergue owners rules. thank you for sharing. Buen Camino~
 
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Well, hmmmm. I literally just finished two weeks volunteering as a hospitalero at Miraz. I really don’t know any of the history, but I can say two things. I knew where the official complaint forms are kept. This was covered in our orientation and pointed out by the outgoing hospitalero when we arrived. The albergue gas clearly posted emergency info, emergency exit doors and windows are clearly labeled.

I will add that we were very slow. We had 5 nights between 25 April and 11 May with no pilgrims. Our highest count was 7 on 10 May.
 

Jeff Crawley

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A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
I think we are going back 9 or 10 years, maybe there is a thread about it somewhere, where do I dig this up? I think CSJ has an arrangement with the Diocese in Friol about the building and it's ownership, rent etc.
Certainly the refugio at Rabanal is owned by the bishopric - of Bierzo IIRC not Astorga - and not by the CSJ.
When I worked there the outer gate was locked at night as was the only entrance/exit to the main building (unless you class jumping off the balcony) but this was a simple bolt.
The "bunk house" was not locked at night.
In the welcome speech we'd tell pilgrims, in addition to not smoking in the buildings or grounds, that in case of fire they were to assemble in the huerta out the back.
 

like a rhino

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That’s been a perennial discussion topic on this forum - we don’t need to rehash the legalities and morality of locked albergues yet again. It is concerning, though, that you purposefully chose to go against the albergue policy in order to have a few beers….
I think it is “concerning” that padlocks are used, this is in contravention of Fire Regs. How do you know how long it took to be served but jump to judgement. Walk your own Camino was the motto I thought.
 
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Albertagirl

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I have had this problem of being served a late dinner only once on five caminos. I went to a restaurant with a friend. When the time came that we must return to the albergue, we skipped the dessert course, paid the bill, and got back in time. To do anything else would have been a discourtesy to the albergue and its workers, besides possibly getting us locked out.
The first time that I served as a hospitalera at Najera, a young man went drinking with friends, returned late and climbed in a window to permit the friends to enter. I slept through the event, so can only say that, in spite of the noise and discourtesy, the drinkers were allowed to stay the rest of the night. Albergues must have closing hours, as the dormitories are arranged for communal sleeping. Persons who wish to stay in them should respect those hours so that everyone can get some sleep before starting to walk again. I acknowledge that the very late evening service in restaurants can be a challenge for pilgrims who must purchase evening meals outside the albergue. I have noticed over the years that some hotels on pilgrim routes have begun the cena service earlier, perhaps because possible customers have been going elsewhere.
 

Marbe2

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2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
However, as to donativo albergues and similar .... in many cases, proprietor or volunteers are often staying inside and sleeping inside. Even if there is only one exit and it is locked during the night and the key is out of sight and out of reach of the pilgrims and there are no windows to escape ... wouldn't it be a bit far fetched to think that everyone who knows where the keys are will be incapacitated in an emergency, mobile phones will not work to call 112, there are no fire extinguishers and so on ...? Perhaps, if one indulges in such doomsday scenarios, one should not stay at Camino albergues.
I would remind us all that several months ago the Refugio in LaFaba reportedly burnt down from an electrical fire! Many buildings are old. And It doesn’t matter if you are staying in a humble donativo or a Parador!

After you arrive at your destination make sure the emergency exits are working!
Seconds and minutes count when you are caught in a indoor fire. Worse yet, you might be sleeping in an unfamiliar setting and could be disoriented.

If there is no easy way out of the accommodation, vote with your feet. Don’t depend upon anyone else to find the key, or think that the regulations are in order, or that calling 112 will save you! IF you can not exit freely, don’t stay there! Know where the fire extinguishers and how to use them. Make sure emergency exit hallways down stairways are excessible and not blocked by storage materials,etc. It happens. When you enter an “upscale” room, check the safety plan on the door! We always look for emergency exits. It could save your life.

The suggestions offered should take you no more than a couple of minutes of your time when you first arrive! If you can not exit a building within 60 seconds without assistance do not stay there!
 
Past OR future Camino
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Stayed at casa de Trinidad convent in Laredo. Good albergue with most rooms only 2 or 3 beds but....they have a 10pm curfew. Most restaurants don't open until 9pm so it is a bit rushed.

Four of us got back from food and beer at 2245. The cunning plan was another pilgrim inside ready to open the door. Unfortunately they actually lock the gate with a padlock!

In this case 3 pilgrims scaled the 3m fence. I could not but fortunately found a spare bed. So in this case just another story from the Camino😀

However it might not be a happy ending. Seems a bit unsafe to lock people in if you needed an ambulance or to escape a fire. Do they not have regulations in Spain?

View attachment 124959
Your opening title made me curious. Here is a segment I found in the MerriamWebster site:

What is the origin of curfew?​


During the Middle Ages, houses in European towns were often made of wood and were close together, and fires could quickly spread from house to house. To prevent this, people were required to put out or cover their hearth fires by a certain time in the evening. A bell was rung as a signal when the time had come. In early French this signal was called coverfeu, a compound of covrir, meaning “to cover,” and feu,“fire.” Even when hearth fires were no longer regulated, many towns had other rules that called for the ringing of an evening bell, and this signal was still called coverfeu. A common coverfeu regulation required people to be off the streets by a given time. That was the meaning of the word when it was borrowed into Middle English as curfew.

My mother used to say "We are not amused" when we tried to be smart, as children.
As a hospitalera, and actually as a pilgrim who chooses to sleep in an albergue, I am not amused by those who try to circumvent the closing time. It was written above clearly: Go elsewhere, and you can stay out as long as you like. You have choices.
 

Kathar1na

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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
The suggestions offered should take you no more than a couple of minutes of your time when you first arrive! If you can not exit a building within 60 seconds without assistance do not stay there!
You list an impressive number of Caminos under your avatar. I’m just curious: during all this time, did it ever happen that a Camino accommodation did not meet emergency plan requirements and you left because of it? If so, did you ask? It would certainly be useful in the interest of other pilgrims to raise the issue and to raise awareness of a proprietor/manager IF there is such an apparent need.

I have not stayed at the Laredo convent. Early in this thread, a forum member who did stay there wrote that there ARE other exits than the main entry leading to the street. The convent appears to be a large complex. It has a cloister. It has a huge garden/park area at the back and also a large green area on at least one side. I am still curious to know whether there is really no other way out in cases where there is a NEED to get out and not a WANT to get out onto the street at the front or to get IN from the street at the front during night-time when other pilgrims rest and sleep.
 
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Kathar1na

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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It has a cloister. It has a huge garden/park area at the back and also a large green area on at least one side.
The sisters, the Monjas Trinitarias de Laredo, who offer accommodation to pilgrims and other tourists in their Casa maintain a Facebook group with dozens of cheerful photos that makes me want to stay there. Here's a view of the cloister and of the back of the building. It clearly has more than one single door.

Laredo convent.jpg
 
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Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Kathar1na wrote:
I have not stayed at the Laredo convent. Early in this thread, a forum member who did stay there wrote that there ARE other exits than the main entry leading to the street. The convent appears to be a large complex.



I'm sorry, this doesn't fully answer your question, but perhaps it may prompt others to remember better..

I've looked back through my photos in vain. I didn't take any, though the memory of staying there stands out for other reasons. I think I was the last to arrive after a very long day. I had gotten lost and I was exhausted, nothing new. From memory (and I just looked through google photos!) the pilgrim's entrance is the door to the right at the top of the steps. Inside this door is a large reception area with a high ceiling and with other doors leading off it, including a long passageway to my room at the end which had about 8 bunks, all occupied by a group of elderly French pilgrims, none of whom spoke any english. I didn't get to visit the cloisters or other parts of the convent. Instead, after settling I sat outside at the top of the steps and ate what little food I had in my pack and gave a tepid can of beer to a tramp before retiring. In fact, I only discovered there was a pilgrim's kitchen (and lots of other pilgrims!!) upstairs the next morning when I got talking to some of them. So I can't definitively answer if there were other exits accessible to pilgrims, just that the door leading out into the stepped courtyard wasn't locked from inside, but the gates at the bottom onto the street, were.

I've noticed that nuns and monks do have a habit of moving around silently, almost floating, unlocking and locking doors behind them. It's one of the quirky, mysterious things I enjoy about staying at convents and monasteries...
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I don't know if I would go so far as providing an "orientation" but maybe a kind note regarding the etiquette of public albergue: openings, closing, curfews, check-out and baggage transfer, etc. handed out with the profile map at the Pilgrim Office in SJPdP
 
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Jim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2006- Camino Portuguese
2008- Camino Frances
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2010- Camino Frances
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Stayed at casa de Trinidad convent in Laredo. Good albergue with most rooms only 2 or 3 beds but....they have a 10pm curfew. Most restaurants don't open until 9pm so it is a bit rushed.

Four of us got back from food and beer at 2245. The cunning plan was another pilgrim inside ready to open the door. Unfortunately they actually lock the gate with a padlock!

In this case 3 pilgrims scaled the 3m fence. I could not but fortunately found a spare bed. So in this case just another story from the Camino😀

However it might not be a happy ending. Seems a bit unsafe to lock people in if you needed an ambulance or to escape a fire. Do they not have regulations in Spain?

View attachment 124959
I was wondering the same thing about safety as I was reading this. I was based at the albergue in Salamanca in 2009, the first time I volunteered for hospitalero duty and the prior Hospitaleros had instructed me specifically not to lock the doors from the inside per fire, health/safety regulations. I would think that whoever is padlocking that particular albergue is doing so at risk of endangering others. Just my opinion…
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
So I can't definitively answer if there were other exits accessible to pilgrims, just that the door leading out into the stepped courtyard wasn't locked from inside, but the gates at the bottom onto the street, were.
Thanks for pointing this out as someone who actually knows this albergue in Laredo, and also: I, too, enjoyed reading your description at the end of your post. I like to stay in monasteries and other old buildings, when it is a "working" convent with a hospederia but also when it is a converted historic building.

Apart from this, what draws me into this kind of threads, against better knowledge by now, is this indignation (no appropriate regulation in Spain, lackadaisical compliance, padlocks are in contravention of fire regulations or endangering lives) and when one tries to look closer at the narrative to check whether it is an accurate reflection of the situation, there's radio silence. This irritated me so much that, last year, I emailed an albergue where numerous posters had reported that they had been locked in on different occasions. I got a reply with details about the albergue's emergency plan, their panic door (separate from the main entry/exit door) that leads into an open air space and how to open the gate at one end of this space to get onto the public street. I won't name the albergue nor any further details because I regard my info as highly unlikely to save any lives. All it would do is give even more people ideas of how to circumvent the known house rules that expect them to wait until the main exit is opened at the stipulated time in the morning.
 
F

Former member 99942

Guest
Stayed at casa de Trinidad convent in Laredo. Good albergue with most rooms only 2 or 3 beds but....they have a 10pm curfew. Most restaurants don't open until 9pm so it is a bit rushed.

Four of us got back from food and beer at 2245. The cunning plan was another pilgrim inside ready to open the door. Unfortunately they actually lock the gate with a padlock!

In this case 3 pilgrims scaled the 3m fence. I could not but fortunately found a spare bed. So in this case just another story from the Camino😀

However it might not be a happy ending. Seems a bit unsafe to lock people in if you needed an ambulance or to escape a fire. Do they not have regulations in Spain?

View attachment 124959
Well, not going to that place. Thanks for the heads up. Clearly a bad policy that doesn’t need to be rewarded.
 
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biarritzdon

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One place that instantly comes to mind about escaping from a fire would be the much loved Granon. The only way out is a narrow set of winding stairs or jumping out a window.
 
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Jim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2006- Camino Portuguese
2008- Camino Frances
2009- Sanabres extension of the VDLP
2010- Camino Frances
2011- Camino Potuguese
2014- Camino Frances
2017- Camino Finisterre
One place that instantly comes to mind about escaping from a fire would be the much loved Granon. The only way out is a narrow set of winding stairs or jumping out a window.
…or go to the door that leads to the choir loft inside the church and go down the stairs there (straight ahead and to the right of memory is serving me correctly) and go through the church entrance doors. That is, if it’s not the church that’s on fire!
 

Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Well, not going to that place. Thanks for the heads up. Clearly a bad policy that doesn’t need to be rewarded.
No indeed, lots of accommodation choices in and around Laredo that might better suit your standards and deserve your business. And while you're relaxing in one of them, you might have the time to take a few minutes and read the entire thread..
 
F

Former member 99942

Guest
No indeed, lots of accommodation choices in and around Laredo that might better suit your standards and deserve your business. And while you're relaxing in one of them, you might have the time to take a few minutes and read the entire thread..
I just did. What was it supposed to gather from it? I’m sure I’m missing something. Anyway, Seems like a bad practice to lock people in. Or at least something I’d be pretty uncomfortable with. Because of that I will seek locations that don’t use this practice.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
You list an impressive number of Caminos under your avatar. I’m just curious: during all this time, did it ever happen that a Camino accommodation did not meet emergency plan requirements and you left because of it? If so, did you ask? It would certainly be useful in the interest of other pilgrims to raise the issue and to raise awareness of a proprietor/manager IF there is such an apparent need.

I have not stayed at the Laredo convent. Early in this thread, a forum member who did stay there wrote that there ARE other exits than the main entry leading to the street. The convent appears to be a large complex. It has a cloister. It has a huge garden/park area at the back and also a large green area on at least one side. I am still curious to know whether there is really no other way out in cases where there is a NEED to get out and not a WANT to get out onto the street at the front or to get IN from the street at the front during night-time when other pilgrims rest and sleep.
No, Katharina, here in Spain, I have not had this experience. And I will never have it again anywhere. I am a planner, and when I travel, I careful review anywhere we decide to stay at. I review environmental factors such as carpeting that might trigger allergic reactions, cleanliness, bed bug reports, plumbing issues, as well as safety features. Reviewing several accommodation websites sites, as well as pictures of the place, on the specific accommodation site for things such as windows, including windows big enough to get out of in a an emergency in the room we might stay in is a must for me. In addition, we ask for rooms on lower or entrance levels, when booking. When we arrive we check stair access and how to exit the building from doors and our room window(s). And we make sure the window opens. We review the emergency exit plan, if one is in the room. All of this takes only a couple of minutes. But, God forbid, a fire takes place we have a better chance of survival.



BTW I first experienced, being locked in, once, to my dismay, circa 1985 while group hiking in the French Alps. The establishment locked the doors from the inside! When I tried to go outside early one morning, I realized that I couldn’t get out from the inside. I was completely unaware that this was/is actually still done! Thankfully there were no issues. I swore to myself, then, I would never allow myself to be in that position again.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I think this thread has reached the end of its useful life. Cutting through the hyperbole, scolding, and indignation, the helpful message is that it is not a bad idea, particularly when staying in old buildings with unusual floor patterns, to check out the ecape route you would follow in case of emergency. If you aren’t comfortable with what you find, you should move on.
 
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