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"Hospitalera from Hell" still open for business

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It seems that if she disapproves of a particular pilgrim or pilgrms, she is a lot less than welcoming:

There are forums in other languages all with similar complaints (but also with some vehement contradictions). It appears that the proprieteress herself often sends messages to them - either under her own name or using a pseudonym.

There does appear to have been some confusion about the name of the albergue, however, with some complainants calling it the 'Virgin de la Guia' and some the 'Santa Marina y Santiago'. But whichever it was, it is quite clear that the one that people were/are unhappy about is run by a French lady called Michelle.

FRENCH FORUM: ... orum=11394 ... forum=8001

SPANISH FORUM: ... p?pagina=3
Can we not bombard her with love, flowers and an extra euro?

Walking with Jesus is a wonderful thing, walking LIKE him is trickier.

(This from a Quixotic 'couchpilgrim' whose only Camino walking thus far has been his fingers across the keyboard!)
we stayed at rabe a few nights ago and stayed with michele. She now has 8 beds in a tiny room. For 20 euros you get accom., an evening meal and a paranoid rant about bedbugs! We had to put our packs in plastic bags and hang them off the end of our bed, nothing but our sleeping bag was allowed on the bed, and she came in to check. The evening meal was quite nice but did seem to be a forum for michele to give us her words of wisdom. All this I could forgive and say that her heart is in the right place but what I couldn't reconcile was that she turned away a lone pilgrim at 955pm when she had a bed spare. There was another informal albergue opened by the bar owner in the village without water and without this the pilgrim would have had a walk back a few kms. If I'd known her reputation I wouldn't have stayed there.

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The war of words here: ... y-santiago

leads me to believe that the problem still exists. Michele has a lot of local supporters, it would appear, but pilgrims seem to think she is too aggressive in doing it her own way. I think a language barrier has a great deal to do with the conflict. The subtleties of Michele wanting to keep bed bugs out of her home, and the pilgrim insisting that he does not have bed bugs with him, get lost in translation.
jane99 said:
we stayed at rabe a few nights ago and stayed with michele. She now has 8 beds in a tiny room. For 20 euros you get accom., an evening meal and a paranoid rant about bedbugs! We had to put our packs in plastic bags and hang them off the end of our bed, nothing but our sleeping bag was allowed on the bed, and she came in to check.

Jane I have just twigged: I walked days behind you as three of us also stayed in Rabe, on 12 June. I concur with what you say. The room we slept in was very small and hot with 8 pilgrims in, and I think everyone very much felt as if they were being 'judged' as to whether they were suitable pilgrims to stay there. However, as we passed the 'test' it seemed, Michele was perfectly pleasant to us, and she and her husband certainly had a wealth of personal experience of the Camino.
The albergue had a new looking sign, and seems to have changed its name as a result of previous publicity. It is now called "Santa Marina y Santiago".
I'm a little confused. When I last walked through Rabe, there were two albergues. One was in the center of town, expensive, but with a nice collection of pilgrim memorabilia. It opened late, so I stayed twice - in 2005 and 2006 - at the other albergue, on the northwest corner of town. It felt homey to me, with a living room outfitted with musical instruments, and the hospitalera was always friendly. My favorite memory comes from 2005, when we stayed there on St. James's Day. The hospitalera made chocolate for all of the kids in the neighborhood - and the pilgrims! - and also prepared a nice dinner for us.

Does anyone know which albergue is still open; or, if they both are, which is the hellish one? The albergue names seem to be used interchangeably on the different Camino sites, so I have no idea which is which...

The albergue where Michele is, is the one that has the extensive collection of pilgrim memorabilia. In fact there is a whole room that is like a 'museum' in the house, and both Michele and her husband have obtained the Compostela numerous times.

When we passed through in June there was an 'illegal' albergue operating at the far end of town, that you found out about through the bar. I gather from others that stayed there that conditions were quite primitive, eg I am not sure there was even running water at night-time.

I think from what I have gathered on other sites, that there may have been another private albergue as well, but perhaps that hospitalera has died relatively recently? Maybe someone else knows more about this. There was certainly another largish building in the village, off to the left at the bottom (bar) end of the village that looked all shuttered up. Perhaps this used to be an albergue?
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Good to know, Margaret. Thank you.

The albergue I stayed at could be reached by turning right off the Camino at the hellish albergue and then left on the next street. If it's still open, I recommend it, and hope others won't blur the two together. If it's closed...stay in Tardajos, I guess.
Possibly the albergue under discussion:


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