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Good and Bad Albergues

Diefenbaker

Member
Past OR future Camino
2010 SJPdP to Finesterre
SJPdP or Hendaye Via Camino Vasco and CF to SdC 2016
Paris to SDC 2018
Hi I've just finished the camino and wanted to recommend some Albergues to anyone just starting. Before I start though I would suggest that if you are thinking of cooking a meal at Larrasoana then you should buy the ingredients before you get there, the prices at the shop there make Harrods seem like a 99p store.
The Casa Parroquial in Burgos is newly renovated and very welcoming and offers a lovely breakfast and as it's small, enough toilets to go around. Next there's the new albergue in Hontanas, above the little shop, it only opened in April and is the same price ( 5 euro's ) as the larger, older albergues there and its facilities are excellent. Be wary of the 2 old ladies that run the municipal albergue opposite however, they sit outside the shop and literally grab any pilgrim that walks down the hill and push them towards their premmises, great fun to watch. Judith, the Hospitalera there also runs San Bol and says she had it modernized last year and is now a lovely place to stay although some people I spoke to later said that it was closed when they passed it. If you are planning to stay at San Bol you could e-mail Judith at sanbolsantabrigida@hotmail.com to see if it will be open when you want to stop there. The next one is the De La Piedra in Villafranca del Bierzo which offers the best breakfast I had and a very friendly welcome. Finally O Abrigadoiro in San Xulian with its lovely refurbished, small rooms.
Most of the Albergues I stayed at were fine with the exception of Andres Munoz at Viana as it only has 1 toilet per sex, the monastery at Leon which is huge and only has 2 toilets per sex and the Xunta run albergue at Portomarin which is a magnet for the 'party pilgrims' you will encounter after Sarria, as the doors are left unlocked all night.
I hope this is helpful to some of you.
 
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Kialoa3

Active Member
Congratulations on your recent Camino. Would you care to weigh in on any gear issues? What worked for you, what didn't. I know many people following this forum would be interested in your experiences with pack, boots, clothing, rain gear etc.
 

Diefenbaker

Member
Past OR future Camino
2010 SJPdP to Finesterre
SJPdP or Hendaye Via Camino Vasco and CF to SdC 2016
Paris to SDC 2018
Hi Kialoa,
I made a big mistake by not checking my poncho before leaving as i assumed my army surplus one would be easy to use. However, when I went to put it on it was very windy and I could not find the side poppers so it flew about in the wind and was useless. It wasn't until I was in the hut in the Spanish side that I was able to figure it out. Don't buy the cheap plastic ones, they tear in the wind.
The best bit of kit I had with me were my hiking poles. They weren't expensive, £6, from ebay but their value to me was priceless. They helped me up the hills and helped me on the uneven tracks and stopped me from falling over nearly everyday.
I had a silk sleeping bag holder which tore when I moved around and wish I'd bought a cotton one. I didn't use my sleeping bag very often as most albergues supplied blankets.
My rucksack cost me £5 from ebay and was pretty good but I wish it had some mesh pockets as it would have made carrying snacks easier. I used an army surplus webbing belt which went around my hips to carry my camera and binoculars and water bottle so they were easy to get at and the weight of the water didn't affect the weight of my rucksack, which was 11.5 kg. I took some equipment with me incase I couldn't sleep in an albergue but I didn't need any of it during April but many places were nearly full and some were full on the Finesterre route.
Just a small thing but I used to leave early in the morning which meant trying to pack my rucksack quietly or move my kit out of the dorm to pack it and I had it all in carrier bags which rustled as I moved them. I wished I had those fancy compression bags as they were quieter. Talking of noise, many people wore flip flops to move around during the night and their noise could be very annoying if you are a light sleeper, crocs were much quieter (or hob nailed boots would be too!).
Finally, i found a washing line and clothes pegs came in handy.
 

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