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Has anybody stayed in La Font de la Figuera in the last couple of months?

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
#1
After I walked over 40 km from Xátiva to La Font de la Figuera, I was given the key by the town hall to the albergue municipal (which is completely free). As you can see from the first photo it looks a beautiful building from the outside. Once inside my opinion changed. I tried to have a shower but the water wouldn't go down the drain so I had to stop, no toilet paper (luckily as a pellegrino I had my own), the door of the bathroom wouldn't lock. The bins were full-up despite a notice asking all pilgrims to empty the bins before they leave. It's a nice Kitchen but there was barley any utensils (just what you see in the photo). I went to the sleeping area and was horrified by condition of the mattresses because of the problem with bed bugs we have on the Camino. Plus the risk of falling off as the mattress over-hanged the solid base underneath (you can see in the photo) . I couldn't really see myself laying on one of those because even the edges of the cement bed where it joins the wall had cracks in.

At that point I went to the town hall to notify them of the condition but by that time it was closed. So I went to the local Police to ask who was responsible for the albergue, the answer was "we are". They hadn't been there recently so I asked if they would come with me to see the condition of the place. I praised the building to the Police and that it would only take a bit of looking after to make it right at that I was told the person looking after it comes just once a month. They told me that no-one speaks to them so they were unaware of the situation. They noted all the problems and promised to talking to the town hall. I told the Police after walking so many kilometers a pilgrim is happy to pay 7, 10, 12 euros to be able to use the premises rather than have the place free but unusable, and that we are pilgrims and not animals.

They told me they'd take me to a different place which would cost about €25 but on arrival I was asked €40. That was too much so I asked the Police to take me back to the albergue municipal. To avoid the possibility of any bed bugs I spent the night sleeping on the kitchen table.

So if anyone has stayed there from June onward I would love to know if they really have done anything at all.

Ultria :)


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Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#2
where is this place? sadly there are some places that are only for the money. nevertheless, these are few and most places are great places to stay. sorry to hear of your experience.
 
#3
Hi, Ernesto,

Sorry to hear about this. I was on the Levante five years ago, and at that time, the albergue was a little concrete house with two bunk beds and a window or two way up at the top. It was right next to the polideportivo in the middle of a large green space, on the way out of town. I vaguely remember hearing that the town was going to open a new albergue, and from the looks of some of your pictures, they did move the albergue to a building that had some renovations inside.

My guess is that the new albergue was opened with the hope/expectation of more pilgrims. But since that boom never happened, I bet the low numbers on the Levante make it hard for these small towns to justify spending money on the albergue. Pilgrims are probably not a big priority, at least not until there are enough of us to to make the investment an efficient one. Not sure there is a solution other than hoping that pilgrims walking through will spend some time cleaning the place for the next ones.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#4
I kind of understand your frustration @Ernesto.IT but OTOH I would be happy with an empty bus stand if it would be "for free".
I stayed in that same albergue in 2015. I put a mattress (the left one in your photo) on the floor and slept really well. Not possible to fall off the bed this way. Anyway there's second room you could sleep in to the right from the bathroom.
The kitchen really lacks some pots and pans and cutlery but you pay 6€ for Xunta albergues which usually has also nothing of the mentioned above.
Full trash bin, broken shower and no toilet paper is a result of previous walkers as you already concluded so why would that be of any concern of the municipality? Same with the bedbugs (just for example) - we are transporting them, municipality surely don't put them into albergues.

I wonder what will you say about the (free of charge) albergue in Higueruela if you would stay there :D

Don't burden yourself with such trivial things and try to enjoy this nice Camino to the fullest!

Ultreia!
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
#5
I kind of understand your frustration @Ernesto.IT but OTOH I would be happy with an empty bus stand if it would be "for free".
I stayed in that same albergue in 2015. I put a mattress (the left one in your photo) on the floor and slept really well. Not possible to fall off the bed this way. Anyway there's second room you could sleep in to the right from the bathroom.
The kitchen really lacks some pots and pans and cutlery but you pay 6€ for Xunta albergues which usually has also nothing of the mentioned above.
Full trash bin, broken shower and no toilet paper is a result of previous walkers as you already concluded so why would that be of any concern of the municipality? Same with the bedbugs (just for example) - we are transporting them, municipality surely don't put them into albergues.

I wonder what will you say about the (free of charge) albergue in Higueruela if you would stay there :D

Don't burden yourself with such trivial things and try to enjoy this nice Camino to the fullest!

Ultreia!

I was only asking if any one has stayed at the place recently and I don't really mind to burden myself for the goodness of other pilgrims.
Ultreia
 

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alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
#6
I was there in April and it was immaculate - empty bin, loo paper, lots of hot water for the shower etc. Sadly, some pilgrims are clearly not as considerate as others.

The concrete bunk beds are a bit weird, but I'd done quite a distance on a hot day so sleep wasn't a problem. I had a very nice meal in a grill nearby, with a glass of the strong tasty local Venta del Puerto wine.

Free albergues do vary in quality but, as Kinky says, the one in La Font de la Figuera is luxury compared to the one in Higueruela (especially if the local band is practicing until midnight in the room next door, as can apparently happen) or the one in the poli in Arévalo, just as basic and where there was well supported deafening basketball until 3am when I was there. Or indeed the swimming pool acogida in Almonacid de Toledo, with no mattresses and cockroaches in case you were feeling lonely (and a racist dirty smokey local bar).

I am just constantly amazed that so many, often very poor, municipalities make the effort to provide a roof for those of us who prefer to walk on the empty caminos, often at no charge.
 
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
#7
When I was there in 2017 it was lovely. The previous pilgrims had done a great job of cleaning and indeed I followed suit with the cleaning products provided.
The local bars served wonderful food making for a super visit to ths lovely town.
In fact, the representative from the Ayuntamiento had to take time out from a celebration to open the albergue. I have fond memories of ‘La Font and the condcete bunks’ (very comfortable by the way) ;)
Sometimes good/bad albergues are just the luck of the day. At least we honorable pilgrims have the opportunity of leaving a refuge in a clean condition even if it’s not up to scratch on arrival.
 
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#8
I was there in April and it was immaculate - empty bin, loo paper, lots of hot water for the shower etc. Sadly, some pilgrims are clearly not as considerate as others.

The concrete bunk beds are a bit weird, but I'd done quite a distance on a hot day so sleep wasn't a problem. I had a very nice meal in a grill nearby, with a glass of the strong tasty local Venta del Puerto wine.

Free albergues do vary in quality but, as Kinky says, the one in La Font de la Figuera is luxury compared to the one in Higueruela (especially if the local band is practicing until midnight in the room next door, as can apparently happen) or the one in the poli in Arévalo, just as basic and where there was well supported deafening basketball until 3am when I was there. Or indeed the swimming pool acogida in Almonacid de Toledo, with no mattresses and cockroaches in case you were feeling lonely (and a racist dirty smokey local bar).

I am just constantly amazed that so many, often very poor, municipalities make the effort to provide a roof for those of us who prefer to walk on the empty caminos, often at no charge.
I envy you guys! Think these places must be like the albergues on the Frances in the seventies and eighties! Pioneers indeed.
Just being grateful that after 30 k or so there is at least a roof to sleep under.
I love reading your blogs and posts although I know I am not capable walking such a lonely Camino...if only for the distances.
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
#9
When I was there in 2017 it was lovely. The previous pilgrims had done a great job of cleaning and indeed I followed suit with the cleaning products provided.
The local bars served wonderful food making for a super visit to ths lovely town.
In fact, the representative from the Ayuntamiento had to take time out from a celebration to open the albergue. I have fond memories of ‘La Font and the condcete bunks’ (very comfortable by the way) ;)
Sometimes good/bad albergues are just the luck of the day. At least we honorable pilgrims have the opportunity of leaving a refuge in a clean condition even if it’s not up to scratch on arrival.
What it was and what you think is fine but all I wanted to know if I wasted my time that day, I realise all the problems on the camino ( I should know after 7 of them walking from 2012 for over 11.500 Km ), all I' am interested on is to know if they have made any change as promised. I think peregrino should pay in all the municipal. In one run by the nuns it said " Donativo 7 Euro " and I find right to be so because even people that can afford it tend to put to little or nothing at all, causing the closing of these very important structure so dear to us peregrino. Time has change and in 2018 you can't expect that people pay your chip holiday for you, this is a pilgrimage and the Spanish people are starting to realise that they are been used by this " pilgrim ", I have noticed the change, haven't you ??.
Ultreia
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#10
... or the one in the poli in Arévalo, just as basic and where there was well supported deafening basketball until 3am when I was there. Or indeed the swimming pool acogida in Almonacid de Toledo, with no mattresses and cockroaches in case you were feeling lonely (and a racist dirty smokey local bar).

I am just constantly amazed that so many, often very poor, municipalities make the effort to provide a roof for those of us who prefer to walk on the empty caminos, often at no charge.
Oh, I forgot those two, hahaha, that's a real improvisation treat :D :D :D

And I concur with your last sentence. I was amazed even if there was just a changing room like in Almonacid. But I did get some kind of foam mattress there. Cockroaches in showers were the same I guess, hehehe. Anyway I liked the place.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#11
What it was and what you think is fine but all I wanted to know if I wasted my time that day, I realise all the problems on the camino ( I should know after 7 of them walking from 2012 for over 11.500 Km ), all I' am interested on is to know if they have made any change as promised. I think peregrino should pay in all the municipal. In one run by the nuns it said " Donativo 7 Euro " and I find right to be so because even people that can afford it tend to put to little or nothing at all, causing the closing of these very important structure so dear to us peregrino. Time has change and in 2018 you can't expect that people pay your chip holiday for you, this is a pilgrimage and the Spanish people are starting to realise that they are been used by this " pilgrim ", I have noticed the change, haven't you ??.
Ultreia
Agree completely, Ernesto!!!

It's nice to be treated "for free" but anyway you have to give something back. If it's is cleaning up after yourself or maybe buy another roll of toilet paper or a detergent for dishes etc. might not be the equivalent in money you would pay otherwise but at least you can keep the standard.
 
Last edited:

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
#12
I was there in April and it was immaculate - empty bin, loo paper, lots of hot water for the shower etc. Sadly, some pilgrims are clearly not as considerate as others.

The concrete bunk beds are a bit weird, but I'd done quite a distance on a hot day so sleep wasn't a problem. I had a very nice meal in a grill nearby, with a glass of the strong tasty local Venta del Puerto wine.

Free albergues do vary in quality but, as Kinky says, the one in La Font de la Figuera is luxury compared to the one in Higueruela (especially if the local band is practicing until midnight in the room next door, as can apparently happen) or the one in the poli in Arévalo, just as basic and where there was well supported deafening basketball until 3am when I was there. Or indeed the swimming pool acogida in Almonacid de Toledo, with no mattresses and cockroaches in case you were feeling lonely (and a racist dirty smokey local bar).

I am just constantly amazed that so many, often very poor, municipalities make the effort to provide a roof for those of us who prefer to walk on the empty caminos, often at no charge.

What it was and what you think is fine but all I wanted to know if I wasted my time that day, I realise all the problems on the camino ( I should know after 7 of them walking from 2012 for over 11.500 Km ), all I' am interested on is to know if they have made any change as promised. I think peregrino should pay in all the municipal. In one run by the nuns it said " Donativo 7 Euro " and I find right to be so because even people that can afford it tend to put to little or nothing at all, causing the closing of these very important structure so dear to us peregrino. Time has change and in 2018 you can't expect that people pay your chip holiday for you, this is a pilgrimage and the Spanish people are starting to realise that they are been used by this " pilgrim ", I have noticed the change, haven't you ??.
Ultrei
 

Ernesto.IT

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
#13
I kind of understand your frustration @Ernesto.IT but OTOH I would be happy with an empty bus stand if it would be "for free".
I stayed in that same albergue in 2015. I put a mattress (the left one in your photo) on the floor and slept really well. Not possible to fall off the bed this way. Anyway there's second room you could sleep in to the right from the bathroom.
The kitchen really lacks some pots and pans and cutlery but you pay 6€ for Xunta albergues which usually has also nothing of the mentioned above.
Full trash bin, broken shower and no toilet paper is a result of previous walkers as you already concluded so why would that be of any concern of the municipality? Same with the bedbugs (just for example) - we are transporting them, municipality surely don't put them into albergues.

I wonder what will you say about the (free of charge) albergue in Higueruela if you would stay there :D

Don't burden yourself with such trivial things and try to enjoy this nice Camino to the fullest!

Ultreia!

What it was and what you think is fine but all I wanted to know if I wasted my time that day, I realise all the problems on the camino ( I should know after 7 of them walking from 2012 for over 11.500 Km ), all I' am interested on is to know if they have made any change as promised. I think peregrino should pay in all the municipal. In one run by the nuns it said " Donativo 7 Euro " and I find right to be so because even people that can afford it tend to put to little or nothing at all, causing the closing of these very important structure so dear to us peregrino. Time has change and in 2018 you can't expect that people pay your chip holiday for you, this is a pilgrimage and the Spanish people are starting to realise that they are been used by this " pilgrim ", I have noticed the change, haven't you ??.
Ultrei
 



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