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How common are double bed bunks on the CF?

JustJack

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I was watching a YouTube video yesterday, and for the first time I saw an albergues that had double bunkbeds. By that I mean both the top and bottom bunks were actually double beds, for two people.

In other words, you would be sleeping next to and in the same bed as a stranger (assuming you're walking alone).

I'm cool with sharing the room with a bunch of pilgrims, but less cool about sharing my actual bed. How common are these double bed bunks?
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Very uncommon. Have never seen that in 12 years. As for the rest of your post, I'm with you.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
In other words, you would be sleeping next to and in the same bed as a stranger (assuming you're walking alone).
Was there any indication that these were being allocated to two strangers? Is it possible that if they were not taken by a couple, they would only be occupied by just one person?
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Was there any indication that these were being allocated to two strangers? Is it possible that if they were not taken by a couple, they would only be occupied by just one person?
In my experience at O Cebreiro and a couple of other places random people were next to each other. That certainly happened to me at O Cebreiro.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Some of the large albergues push two bunks together to fit more in. From memory, the municipal at O Cebreiro is one of these and there are others. They are not actually double beds but you are immediately next to another person.

These may have changed since Covid, not sure.

I recall that the bunk beds were remarkably close at the Najera municipal when I stayed there in 2010, and there were still places on the CF in 2016 that were similarly densely packed. I don't remember them being pushed up next to each other, but they were so close that you could only get out on one side, and even then there wasn't a lot of space to do that.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
As others mentioned, they aren't technically double beds, but they are bunks that have been pushed together. I have only had the experience once of being in a bed that was pushed together with another bed. I hung my towel up as a curtain at the head end of the bed, and it was fine.

Many albergues allow you to choose your own bed, so it's usually an avoidable situation.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I remember one occasion now (2008). Unfortunately, my "neighbour" was a young mobilophonic woman who chatted and texted all night. It was in Roncesvelles. As a former computer engineer, I now condemn all electronic devices. Except my own ones.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
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Well, I remember those double beds very much! One of my big cultural shocks when I started as a peregrina i Roncesvalles 2005. And the common bathrooms!
In some albergues you couldn´t choose a bed but got a number and had to share one of those doubles with an unknown person, Roncesvalles, Palas de Rei, Portomarin, Estella and a lot more. mostly municical albergues.
One of the reason why I after some caminos started to book single rooms.
One year in Portomarin I offended my bedcomrade buy turning my head the opposite way.
I also many times offended elderly men by telling them to get out of the bathroom until the women inside had finished. Angry old lady😨
 

JustJack

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Thanks for the feedback all! I took another look at the YouTube video, and indeed it does look like it's two bunkbeds pushed together. You can see the photo at the 23:35 mark in this long video:
. I've also attached a screen grab.

Hopefully this is the exception rather than the rule. No doubt things are different during COVID, but even after the pandemic is long gone I'm hoping to have at least a few inches of dead space between me and a stranger sleeping next to me. I get that there's a great community on the camino, but...

The video/screen grab looks like it's from a albergue with lots of character. No doubt many of you will recognize it. Looking closer I can see it's two bunks pushed together.
 

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truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Norte post-pandemic
The municipals in Arzua and Castrojeriz pushed a few beds together. Didn't bother me too much, surprisingly.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I have slept in those double bunk beds next to a stranger, a man. I think it was in Calzadilla. It was the last available bed in town. It did not bother me, I was grateful not to be sleeping outside.
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I took another look at the YouTube video, and indeed it does look like it's two bunkbeds pushed together. You can see the photo at the 23:35 mark in this long video:
The person in the video walked in 2014. The dormitory shown in the video doesn't exist anymore. The building that it was in is now an exhibition and conference centre. The albergue is in a different building and the beds are modern (first photo below). The municipal albergue in Najera that has been mentioned in this thread has also been renovated and reopened a few months ago (second photo below). As you can see, in both cases there are now wooden separators between those beds that are close together.

Roncesvalles and Najera.jpg
 

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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Was there any indication that these were being allocated to two strangers? Is it possible that if they were not taken by a couple, they would only be occupied by just one person?
When I was in this situation in Najera, I was shoved up against a stranger. We hung our towels as space separators.
In Foncebadon, it was Spouse and I side-by-each on top bunks shoved together. We did not hang separators; instead, we lashed ourselves together to prevent falling out either side! :D
And I think it was in the muni at Astorga that a very safe gent, with whom I had made secure friends, took the upper bunk shoved next to mine.
In 49 nights on the CF those were the only bunks pressed together settings I noted.
I saw none on the Portuguese route -- central -- and that was over some 15 or 16 nights I think.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I stayed at the Xunta in Hospital de la Cruz in April 2015 on my first Camino. It was a converted school building and most of the bunks were pushed together in sets of two. We were assigned numbered beds. I was traveling with my son, but was put next to someone else.
Screenshot_20211025-203131~2.png
 

RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
I am stealing another member's comment from years back .
I remember that a married couple visited a Paroquial Albergue and the hospitalero pushed two bunk beds together - Voila! El casa de Matrimony. It still brings a smile to my face.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I saw none on the Portuguese route -- central -- and that was over some 15 or 16 nights I think.
The only time that I drew the short straw and was in a "double bunk" was on the Portuguese Camino in the municipal albergue in São Pedro de Rates.
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
I have slept in those double bunk beds next to a stranger, a man. I think it was in Calzadilla. It was the last available bed in town. It did not bother me, I was grateful not to be sleeping outside.
Yes, sleeping in close proximity to others and sharing mixed-gender bathrooms bothered me much less than one would think. I found others to be very respectful of privacy and I was happy to have a place inside to sleep.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Some of the large albergues push two bunks together to fit more in. From memory, the municipal at O Cebreiro is one of these and there are others. They are not actually double beds but you are immediately next to another person.

These may have changed since Covid, not sure.
I encountered that in several places, sometimes pushed together, sometimes very close together with a tiny gap.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I recall one of the hospitaleros, upon seeing my reaction to two bunks pushed together, giving one a heave to put a foot between them. Problem ‘solved’.

It’s an extra 7€ to 12€ for every bed they can squeeze in, and two more pilgrims with a bed in a crowded season.

I’m grateful even when repulsed.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
I have encountered them many times on various Caminos. Most recently on the Salvador in la Robla where a nice Spanish man gave up his bottom bunk for me so I shared with his friend. They are called matrimonials,I believe.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
The donativo albergue of Santa Maria de Carbajal in Leon. CF 2011.


My impression was that there were three bunkbeds next to each other... ;)

Albergue Leon.jpg

There was a dorm for women and one for men..and then a small one for couples.
 
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Paladina

old woman of the roads
Past OR future Camino
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
I've come across a double bunk bed only once, unfortunately on the first night of my first camino. The delight in securing what appeared to be the last two bed spaces available that day in SJPdP turned to mild dismay when my companion (a friend and not a partner) and I discovered that we would be sharing the bottom bunk. Mercifully, my friend's wife, who remains a good friend of mine, found the story hugely entertaining.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
In 2004 on my first camino I quickly learned in the old barn facing N135 then used at Roncesvalles when sleeping next to a total stranger to at least introduce yourself! Generally it worked out as most pilgrims slept in their allotted spaces like peas in a pod.

Nevertheless a few unhappy times I have had to find another bunk in the middle of the night due to a consistently overactive neighbor who forgot where he was as he zealously thrashed into 'my' space. Since whilst sleeping in late autumn/winter I resembled "the wicked witch of the west" I assume that if any thrasher had awakened he would have been dutifully shocked.
 

jenny@zen

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Via De la Plata
On thé Camino Arles in 2016, this was not what we expected when we - and two French pilgrims we’d been walking with - arrived at a gite in Saint Guilhem le Désert. A few hours earlier we rang ahead to be told, yes we have a four person room. They were the last available beds in the village. Cosy! Upside … it is a gorgeous village.
 

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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
On thé Camino Arles in 2016, this was not what we expected when we - and two French pilgrims we’d been walking with - arrived at a gite in Saint Guilhem le Désert. A few hours earlier we rang ahead to be told, yes we have a four person room. They were the last available beds in the village. Cosy! Upside … it is a gorgeous village.

Setups like that are quite common in huts for mountain hiking and climbing, for example in the alps. All matresses directly next to each other, like one giant bed! In german there's even a word for it, "Matratzenlager".
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Setups like that are quite common in huts for mountain hiking and climbing, for example in the alps. All matresses directly next to each other, like one giant bed! In german there's even a word for it, "Matratzenlager".
Indeed. One phrase I still recall from staying in German youth hostels during summer 1959 is "Fußende" on one end of each blanket provided. Thus all smelly feet touched only one place.
 
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RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
It’s an extra 7€ to 12€ for every bed they can squeeze in, and two more pilgrims with a bed in a crowded season...........
I have been lucky enough to serve as a hospitalero. Consider that extra bed yours in busy times when you arrive late? When the albergue is chockers, an extra €10 is going to make little difference. I am taking into cognizance your gratefulness so please do not consider this as a slap on the wrist.
I feel we and I do say WE , expect sooooooo much for so little?
@mspath , Hey Margaret , that big barn at Roncesvalles , I was designated bed 104! Just made it.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
On thé Camino Arles in 2016, this was not what we expected when we - and two French pilgrims we’d been walking with - arrived at a gite in Saint Guilhem le Désert. A few hours earlier we rang ahead to be told, yes we have a four person room. They were the last available beds in the village. Cosy! Upside … it is a gorgeous village.
Yes, indeed it is stunning. Some beautiful places along this route. But I think we were in a chambre d'hotes.

There are some advantages in travelling with a partner. Sharing a double bed is one.
 

jenny@zen

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Via De la Plata
Yes, indeed it is stunning. Some beautiful places along this route. But I think we were in a chambre d'hotes.

There are some advantages in travelling with a partner. Sharing a double bed is one.
That’s for sure. I was with Domi, my husband. We had not booked anything ahead except occasionally on the morning of arrival so were not anticipating any problem. I can’t recall what was going on at the time in the village but we literally got the last four beds! It was quite funny and we all survived!
 
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I know that in the 70s and 80s, the albergues on the Camino Francés were called refugios instead of albergues. I guess that they were modelled after mountain huts. I don't know what they look(ed) like in the Pyrenees and in Spain's mountain regions but I know what they look(ed) like in the Alps. Beds very close to each other (see photo below). That was, and I guess still is, the norm. Most walkers couldn't care less, they were tired.

During most of this year, albergues in Spain were obliged to guarantee a minimum distance between occupied beds. I wouldn't be surprised if the kind of arrangement where two albergue beds or bunk beds are pushed together, without a screen between them, will be even more a thing of the past than it has been already due to constant modernisation and increase of comfort for the pilgrims who stay there.

Matratzenlager.jpg
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I remember one occasion now (2008). Unfortunately, my "neighbour" was a young mobilophonic woman who chatted and texted all night. It was in Roncesvelles. As a former computer engineer, I now condemn all electronic devices. Except my own ones.
Yes, they used to REALLY have the beds close together in Roncesvalles. On my first Camino in 2006, I slept "next" to a guy I didn't know. A little weird feeling. Joe was in the bunk under me.

I have seen double beds on the BOTTOM bunk in some rooms. Albergue Piedra in Villafranca has those, but generally they are for people who rent the entire room.
 
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Northernlights

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016
I remember one occasion now (2008). Unfortunately, my "neighbour" was a young mobilophonic woman who chatted and texted all night. It was in Roncesvelles. As a former computer engineer, I now condemn all electronic devices. Except my own ones.
I had a similar experience in roncesvelles. The guy next to me was yelling at late comers all night, and then got on his phone and was talking loudly in the very early morning. That’s what you get when you arrive too late for a single bed 😞
 
I was watching a YouTube video yesterday, and for the first time I saw an albergues that had double bunkbeds. By that I mean both the top and bottom bunks were actually double beds, for two people.

In other words, you would be sleeping next to and in the same bed as a stranger (assuming you're walking alone).

I'm cool with sharing the room with a bunch of pilgrims, but less cool about sharing my actual bed. How common are these double bed bunks?
As a Hospitalero I recall no single beds in Salamanca / Single beds in Ribadiso were reserved for people over six feet tall / No single beds in Estella. None of these locations pushed beds together. This was all pre-Covid.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
I will say here that the hospitaleros in some albergues and now more due to Covid are supposed to be assigning bunks and keeping track in case there is a positive case. They are also supposed to be taking a phone number or some other way to reach you. Also with the bed limits you should not be that close to someone in two bunks pushed together, but as restrictions relax it may be the same again. I have slept on a colchoneta (think gym mat) in places right next to strangers on the floor. In that case, you are not strangers for long. Most of the time everyone is sleeping with their clothes on so they are ready to get up and go in the morning.
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I have been lucky enough to serve as a hospitalero. Consider that extra bed yours in busy times when you arrive late? When the albergue is chockers, an extra €10 is going to make little difference. I am taking into cognizance your gratefulness so please do not consider this as a slap on the wrist.
I feel we and I do say WE , expect sooooooo much for so little?
I think those high season € help subsidize the winter months when the albergue is either closed or has to pay for heat. Every bit helps. Thank you for your service.

As much as we, in our western culture, have grown used to having more personal space around us, and don’t like to be crowded, the space is a luxury.

I once travelled overnight on a ferry up the Pearl River in China. We were each allocated a 6 ft by 3ft slot on a wooden slab - probably about 30 people on each slab - and that was our sleeping and sitting space. You hoped your neighbour had bathed recently.

In a crowded dorm, it’s not like anything seriously bad is going to happen. Just our comfort levels get challenged.
 

meazara

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I was watching a YouTube video yesterday, and for the first time I saw an albergues that had double bunkbeds. By that I mean both the top and bottom bunks were actually double beds, for two people.

In other words, you would be sleeping next to and in the same bed as a stranger (assuming you're walking alone).

I'm cool with sharing the room with a bunch of pilgrims, but less cool about sharing my actual bed. How common are these double bed bunks?
Hola. Just completed the CF. Only place I saw true double bunks was in Albergue A Reboleiru (highly recommended and best pilgrim dins, across the road). Here’s a pic, only self stayed in the loft (Oct 9) as was an overflow space. Can’t imagine in time of Covid and foreseeable future that strangers would share a double (ie non travelling companions).
 

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Larry E

New Member
Past OR future Camino
September-October (2020)
I walked the Frances this September, and stayed in 7-8 albergues. There were no doubles, and all had actually taken about half their "normal" number of bunk-beds out: One place did this by taking off the top beds, the rest just took out half the bunk beds. P.S. My very favorite was Aca & Alla in Urdaniz: great hosts, great lodging set-up, dinner & early breakfast, and a pool!
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Double bunks are not the norm, but also NOT uncommon. Those not seeing them must be sleeping in nicer, less crowded albergues. And as a married couple, nothing guaranteed us two adjoining beds. In fact, due to the choose-your-own format, we more often slept next to strangers than each other! 😂

BTW, COVID reduced capacity to 50% so most top bunks out of service. At 75%, every other top bunk open. This is NOT going to be the norm if 2022 dawns without COVID limits, though.
 

w gangel

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
In Feb 2016 I stayed at Albergue Ave Fenix in Villafranca which had triple bunks(home made by the looks of them), being 6' 4'' I hardly had room to turn over very claustrophobic.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
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I suggest that you watch the Camino Documentary: Six ways to Santiago.

Pilgrim Annie is forced to sleep on the floor next to some strange guy. When Annie is struggles to walk the Camino on the following day, the same stranger carries her pack for her.



-Paul
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I was watching a YouTube video yesterday, and for the first time I saw an albergues that had double bunkbeds. By that I mean both the top and bottom bunks were actually double beds, for two people.

In other words, you would be sleeping next to and in the same bed as a stranger (assuming you're walking alone).

I'm cool with sharing the room with a bunch of pilgrims, but less cool about sharing my actual bed. How common are these double bed bunks?
Came across them in Boadilla del Camino, albergue ‘en el camino’. I thought it was a mistake at the time! 😳
Not sure they still do, unlikely after Covid…
 

Mmmclean

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I was watching a YouTube video yesterday, and for the first time I saw an albergues that had double bunkbeds. By that I mean both the top and bottom bunks were actually double beds, for two people.

In other words, you would be sleeping next to and in the same bed as a stranger (assuming you're walking alone).

I'm cool with sharing the room with a bunch of pilgrims, but less cool about sharing my actual bed. How common are these double bed bunks?
Rarely saw such a thing. Couple of times two singles were pushed together, but those were only filled with couples.
 
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vwzoo

Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
I was watching a YouTube video yesterday, and for the first time I saw an albergues that had double bunkbeds. By that I mean both the top and bottom bunks were actually double beds, for two people.

In other words, you would be sleeping next to and in the same bed as a stranger (assuming you're walking alone).

I'm cool with sharing the room with a bunch of pilgrims, but less cool about sharing my actual bed. How common are these double bed bunks?
I found myself in one in Santa Catalina. I had met the young lady a couple days earlier. She had a great sense of humor. It felt awkward but I made it through the night. She didn't complain. I just shrugged and thought it's part of the journey, not always what I want, but I will make do.
 

Old Kiwi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
The only place I found two beds pushed together was at Najera Municipal both 2016 and 2019, no problems.
In some of the tramping hut in New Zealand have what I can only describe as communal beds. Brown Hutt at one end of the Heaphy track has one set of bunks with 8 people on the top and 8 people on the bottom. Each level has quite a few mattresses on it and you just roll out your sleeping bag wherever you wish. If the hut gets fuller, you just squeeze up closer together. If you find there is no more room, then you have to sleep on the floor as there is no alternative accommodation. One night during a storm about 30 years ago, 72 people slept in the hut with 16 people on each level of the bunks. It was very close but preferable to sleeping on the concrete floor.
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
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I recall that the bunk beds were remarkably close at the Najera municipal when I stayed there in 2010, and there were still places on the CF in 2016 that were similarly densely packed. I don't remember them being pushed up next to each other, but they were so close that you could only get out on one side, and even then there wasn't a lot of space to do that.
Yeah Najera has always been packed, over my walks I have only noticed young people pushing bunks closer together, for me I am always to stuffed to notice or care.
 

Richard Smith

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
It is becoming less common now but in some of the huts on the great walks in NZ and Australia, walkers sleep on sleeping platforms 4 or 8 across. NZ huts provide mattresses and you book your stay, Australian ones you book your place on the walk and must carry a tent, etc., so on these you have a hiking mattress. Everyone has a sleeping bag.
Here are two examples, Narcissus Hut on the Overland Track in Tasmania and Saxon Hut on the Heaphy Track in NZ. The actual sleeping experience is not bad, everyone is tied and respectful of others gear and space but the sleeping bags do touch when people wriggle around at night.
 

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Anthony18

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I was watching a YouTube video yesterday, and for the first time I saw an albergues that had double bunkbeds. By that I mean both the top and bottom bunks were actually double beds, for two people.

In other words, you would be sleeping next to and in the same bed as a stranger (assuming you're walking alone).

I'm cool with sharing the room with a bunch of pilgrims, but less cool about sharing my actual bed. How common are these double bed bunks?
I thru-hiked the Camino Frances in 2019. Never saw that. I saw plenty of bunk beds, but it was 1 pilgrim above and 1 below.
 
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Laurie Bryan Larson

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2019
I recall that the bunk beds were remarkably close at the Najera municipal when I stayed there in 2010, and there were still places on the CF in 2016 that were similarly densely packed. I don't remember them being pushed up next to each other, but they were so close that you could only get out on one side, and even then there wasn't a lot of space to do that.
The beds at Najera have now been reduced to 50+ so this is no longer the situation.
 

Lindor

Member
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Starting Camino 02/04/2020
Some of the large albergues push two bunks together to fit more in. From memory, the municipal at O Cebreiro is one of these and there are others. They are not actually double beds but you are immediately next to another person.

These may have changed since Covid, not sure.
Yes, things have definitely changed in O Cebreiro since you were there. This photo was taken in the municipal a few weeks ago, 4 single beds (only 3 are visible in my picture) in a HUGE room.

Tbh, it was my coldest night on the whole Camino and I WISH there had been 20 other people in that room, and a double bed-mate. The body heat would been much appreciated 😄
 

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JustJack

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I suggest that you watch the Camino Documentary: Six ways to Santiago.

Pilgrim Annie is forced to sleep on the floor next to some strange guy. When Annie is struggles to walk the Camino on the following day, the same stranger carries her pack for her.



-Paul
Does anyone know how to access that documentary from Canada? I tried ordering it from amazon.com but wasn't able to, and it's not available on amazon.ca. I'd love to see it.
 

vjpdx

camino-curious
Past OR future Camino
2022
Does anyone know how to access that documentary from Canada?
If your public or university library has Kanopy or Hoopla (library streaming services), there's a good chance you'll be able to see Six ways to Santiago there. (That said, I believe individual libraries choose the content available so ymmv).
In the US you can rent it via Amazon.com, GooglePlay/YouTube, and appleTV. According to the Six Ways site, you can also buy it from them.
 
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jsalt

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I stayed in a “double” bunk bed at the very popular albergue in Boadilla del Caminho.

I had taken one of the top bunks, and when I went to bed, about 10ish, I saw that a couple had taken the bottom two beds beneath me, and had rigged up a curtain around them.

No one was next to me.

The girl below asked me if I wouldn’t like to move somewhere else.

Well, I did think about it, briefly, for a second, but then I considered everyone else in the dorm . . .

. . . not to mention ALL my stuff that I had pulled out on top, toothbrush and toothpaste at a handy grab . . .

. . . and so I said no. It really was too much hassle to move.

I must admit, I did expect a rickety night . . .

. . . . but, they must have been very discrete . . . . Like others have said, don’t worry about it . . .
 

SkyDancer

Camino dreaming
Past OR future Camino
2021
I just finished the Frances. In some albergues there were bunkbeds pushed together but if someone slept on one of the lower beds for example on the left side then the upper bunk on the right side would be used and no one was in allowed in the bed beside them.
I usually slept on the lower bunk and never had someone on the top bunk.
 
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kelleymac

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March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
The bunkbeds were pushed together in Najera back in 2016. That day we had walked over 25 miles, and I was so beat that I have absolutely no recollection of the pilgrim who slept next to me. Absolutely none.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Thanks for the feedback all! I took another look at the YouTube video, and indeed it does look like it's two bunkbeds pushed together. You can see the photo at the 23:35 mark in this long video:
. I've also attached a screen grab.

Hopefully this is the exception rather than the rule. No doubt things are different during COVID, but even after the pandemic is long gone I'm hoping to have at least a few inches of dead space between me and a stranger sleeping next to me. I get that there's a great community on the camino, but...

The video/screen grab looks like it's from a albergue with lots of character. No doubt many of you will recognize it. Looking closer I can see it's two bunks pushed together.
Where is that albergue?
 
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trecile

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Was there any indication that these were being allocated to two strangers? Is it possible that if they were not taken by a couple, they would only be occupied by just one person?
I was assigned a bunk next to a stranger of the opposite sex. It's not one double mattress, it's two singles pushed together. Hanging my towel as a curtain gave me enough privacy so that I didn't wake up in the middle of the night cheek to cheek with my not quite bedmate.
 

Jacobus

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I was watching a YouTube video yesterday, and for the first time I saw an albergues that had double bunkbeds. By that I mean both the top and bottom bunks were actually double beds, for two people.

In other words, you would be sleeping next to and in the same bed as a stranger (assuming you're walking alone).

I'm cool with sharing the room with a bunch of pilgrims, but less cool about sharing my actual bed. How common are these double bed bunks?
The only double bed I have come across was in a private room. I took the room and stayed alone. I also slept in bunks that were pushed close to each other. Being in my own sleeping bag I didn’t really stress over the proximity of my fellow pilgrims. Under no circumstances have I ever witnessed two pilgrims forced to share a bed.
Perhaps a posted link to the you-tube video would allow for an explanation from hospitaleros. It may also allow for the albergue to be recognized.
Just sayin
 

trecile

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Past OR future Camino
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The only double bed I have come across was in a private room. I took the room and stayed alone. I also slept in bunks that were pushed close to each other. Being in my own sleeping bag I didn’t really stress over the proximity of my fellow pilgrims. Under no circumstances have I ever witnessed two pilgrims forced to share a bed.
Perhaps a posted link to the you-tube video would allow for an explanation from hospitaleros. It may also allow for the albergue to be recognized.
Just sayin
The video was posted in response #10 in this thread. The albergue has been identified as the old albergue in Roncesvalles by @Kathar1na
The person in the video walked in 2014. The dormitory shown in the video doesn't exist anymore. The building that it was in is now an exhibition and conference centre. The albergue is in a different building and the beds are modern (first photo below). The municipal albergue in Najera that has been mentioned in this thread has also been renovated and reopened a few months ago (second photo below). As you can see, in both cases there are now wooden separators between those beds that are close together.

View attachment 112031
 
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Under no circumstances have I ever witnessed two pilgrims forced to share a bed.
Just for clarification: The title of the thread says “double bed” but the beds shown in the video of the former albergue in Roncesvalles are actually single bunk beds pushed together with no space between two beds. In contrast to this, a double bed, or in Spanish a cama matrimonial, is a single bed frame with either one or two mattresses.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Just for clarification: The title of the thread says “double bed” but the beds shown in the video of the former albergue in Roncesvalles are actually single bunk beds pushed together with no space between two beds.
Valid point, but the result is exactly the same - you sleep right next to a stranger. In fact, when my wife and I have received “matrimonial” beds in different camino spots, they are almost always just two single beds pushed together. Since you bring your own sleeping sacks or bags, it really doesn’t matter.
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
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2016 Northern Route, 2017 Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra. 2018 Frances, 2018 Ingles, 2019 Portugues
Some of the large albergues push two bunks together to fit more in. From memory, the municipal at O Cebreiro is one of these and there are others. They are not actually double beds but you are immediately next to another person.

These may have changed since Covid, not sure.
I remember the same. Still not OK as it was forcing people that didn't know each other to almost be sharing the same bed.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
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2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
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I remember the same. Still not OK as it was forcing people that didn't know each other to almost be sharing the same bed.

Uncomfortable? Yes! But no one has died from the experience. Perhaps it is good penance to practice toleration of your fellow brother or sister. This humbling experience will give you a much better appreciation of the next night in a hotel room with private bath.

-Paul
 
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l've read this long thread with both interest and curiosity. Interest because I'm always interested in the current crop of newbie pilgrims; what their worries are? What is it that makes Camino so scary for some?
Curious because I've realized down the years that I really don't understand "other" people at all. My bad: maybe I really should try harder.

This thread has reminded me of so many things: that we are often afraid of strangers (though they may be Angels); that we fear ourselves almost as much. That our modern expectations of society and propriety would have produced hearty laughter in my tribe as they slept 4 to a bed and with the un-wed in the middle. That if adventure [an unusual and exciting or daring experience] occurs as planned, mapped and risk-free it ain't adventure. If pilgrimage occurs without challenge, surprise, even occasionally potential for embarrassment or revelation...

One night, on my colchon in the Albergue parroquial Santiago El Real I woke in the wee small hours and realized that I had rolled onto my neighbours bed. We were snuggled up close, spooned some would call it. Pretty up-close & personal: but it gets cold in Logrono in February. We separated sometime before dawn. On that same trip I stopped at Pierros, Albergue El Serbal y la Luna. The bunks were so close to each other that the intimacies of Logrono seemed passe. The young woman who "whiffled" La Luna's famous garlic soup in my face all night looked a little shocked at daybreak but that may have had more to do with the mere sight of an hairy tinker than my actual proximity.

'Ere, i'sall a larf innit
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Still not OK as it was forcing people that didn't know each other to almost be sharing the same bed.
I'm sorry, but I don't get this. First, if you choose to stay in a place that uses this practice, you aren't being 'forced', you are accepting the conditions as you find them. Find somewhere else if you don't like it that much. Second, how close do beds have to be for one to be 'almost sharing the same bed'? For some people, sharing the same dormitory might be enough to increase their level of discomfort at the loss of personal privacy, and it's all downhill after that. Third, as others have pointed out, there are arrangements with even less privacy in places like mountain huts where there is a single, communal, sleeping platform that everyone shares.

I would suggest that it is not unreasonable, perhaps not while we are still implementing tighter public health measures, but in more normal times, for albergues to do this. If you don't like it, so be it. Find another place to stay, don't expect your personal sensibilities to be the standard for others who would otherwise be happy to accept a bed even when the beds are jammed together.
 
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trecile

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To recap:

Yes, some albergues have what appear to be double bunks, but they are actually two bunks pushed together. (It looks like there is at least one private albergue that has double mattress bed on the lower bunk with a single bed on top)

Yes, you may be assigned a bunk like this right next to a stranger. If that situation makes you uncomfortable, you can ask for a different bed, or you don't have to stay in that albergue.

Are they common? No, but they aren't rare.

The post that started this conversation referred to a video with pictures from the old Roncesvalles albergue where there were a number of such beds. This is not the case at all in the new albergue.

Next up - Coed showers? 🤣
 
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Lucy Keenan

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I'm sorry, but I don't get this. First, if you choose to stay in a place that uses this practice, you aren't being 'forced', you are accepting the conditions as you find them. Find somewhere else if you don't like it that much. Second, how close to beds have to be for one to be 'almost sharing the same bed'? For some people, sharing the same dormitory might be enough to increase their level of discomfort at the loss of personal privacy, and it's all downhill after that. Third, as others have pointed out, there are arrangements with even less privacy in places like mountain huts where there is a single, communal, sleeping platform that everyone shares.⁷
To recap:

Yes, some albergues have what appear to be double bunks, but they are actually two bunks pushed together. (It looks like there is at least one private albergue that has double mattress bed on the lower bunk with a single bed on top)

Yes, you may be assigned a bunk like this right next to a stranger. If that situation makes you uncomfortable, you can ask for a different bed, or you don't have to stay in that albergue.

Are they common? No, but they aren't rare.

The post that started this conversation referred to a video with pictures from the old Roncesvalles albergue where there were a number of such beds. This is not the case at all in the new albergue.

Next up - Coed showers? 🤣


I would suggest that it is not unreasonable, perhaps not while we are still implementing tighter public health measures, but in more normal times, for albergues to do this. If you don't like it, so be it. Find another place to stay, don't expect your personal sensibilities to be the standard for others who would otherwise be happy to accept a bed even when the beds are jammed together.
If you are a woman walking on her own and it's the only albergue within your plan and you can't walk further, it's not exactly a choice. And it's really not funny either. The emoji about having communal showers is belittling what I'm trying to say. I've walked five caminos solo and at the end of the day I don't want to be sleeping so close to a stranger in could be in the same bed.
 

dougfitz

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If you are a woman walking on her own and it's the only albergue within your plan and you can't walk further, it's not exactly a choice.
Is this an experience you have faced?

I can sympathise with anyone, woman or man, who finds their personal sensibilities offended and finds themselves without a way of avoiding that. My own experience, which is far from covering all albergues, has been that the places that were cramped were in larger places where there were other options. Whereas places were there were few, if any, other options did not engage in this practice.
 

trecile

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The emoji about having communal showers is belittling what I'm trying to say.
I'm sorry that you took my comment as being insensitive. It was meant to be a comment about how some of these threads tend to go. Someone asks a question based on something that they've read or a video that they have watched, then the question is basically answered in the first few posts, but the thread continues until it's up to 100 responses or so.
I was just wondering when someone would ask if there are communal showers on the Camino followed by 100+ responses.
 

Lucy Keenan

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I'm sorry that you took my comment as being insensitive. It was meant to be a comment about how some of these threads tend to go. Someone asks a question based on something that they've read or a video that they have watched, then the question is basically answered in the first few posts, but the thread continues until it's up to 100 responses or so.
I was just wondering when someone would ask if there are communal showers on the Camino followed by 100+ responses.
Sorry, you are absolutely right. I'm being over sensitive! Navigating blogs can be so difficult sometimes and it's easy to get the wrong end of the stick or take umbridge where it's not intended.
 
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roving_rufus

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I dread the pushed together bunks and the "sharing" with a stranger. I have gotten better at asking for a different bed in such situations because I know that my anxiety means I simply can't sleep if a man I don't know well is that close. I understand the idea of trying to create space for as many pilgrims as possible, but for some the issue of personal space isn't just about personal preferences or discomfort but something much deeper and more serious. However, the times I have encountered the pushed together bunks it was possible to move or to ask the hospitaleros for a change (even with my limited Spanish).
 

Camino Chrissy

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I dread the pushed together bunks and the "sharing" with a stranger. I have gotten better at asking for a different bed in such situations because I know that my anxiety means I simply can't sleep if a man I don't know well is that close.
This post is a good example of how the emotional make up of an individual influences how they/I can perceive a particular situation; a feeling of dread and angst can be true for one, but usually not understood by another.
 
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NorthernLight

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Next up - Coed showers?
I’m sure that thread will read much like this one. They are rare, but do exist, can be very uncomfortable, but space is at a premium, using them is optional, etc., etc.

😇
 

C clearly

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If you are a woman walking on her own and it's the only albergue within your plan and you can't walk further, it's not exactly a choice.
I dread the pushed together bunks
There are many people who choose not to stay in albergues at all, because they don't like the possible discomforts of the communal experience, or they have a need to avoid certain conditions. They avoid this by planning and reserving private accommodation. This would be more expensive, but nobody owes us cheap accommodation in Spain.
 
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pjacobi

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Yes, co-ed toilets and showers do exist on the Camino. In my experience, individual privacy was always protected. It just feels a little odd knowing that the person in the cabin next to you might be of the opposite sex.

As an American, it feels strange, but Europeans are much more comfortable with co-ed arrangements.


-Paul
 
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roving_rufus

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There are many people who choose not to stay in albergues at all, because they don't like the possible discomforts of the communal experience. They avoid this by planning and reserving private accommodation. This would be more expensive, but nobody owes us cheap accommodation in Spain
Please don't suggest that that my dread and anxiety is somehow a personal "discomfort" - I have stayed in plenty of diffferent albergues and pilgrim accomodation - but your post seems to have dismissed me as just having a personal dislike rather than a serious issue with anxiety and PTSD in response to past incidents. And my point was that it was often possible to find work arounds - and without having to give up on the communal experience that I enjoy staying in albergues
 

C clearly

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Please don't suggest that that my dread and anxiety is somehow a personal "discomfort" - I have stayed in plenty of diffferent albergues and pilgrim accomodation - but your post seems to have dismissed me as just having a personal dislike rather than a serious issue with anxiety and PTSD in response to past incidents. And my point was that it was often possible to find work arounds - and without having to give up on the communal experience that I enjoy staying in albergues
I did not intend to dismiss anyone's wish or need to avoid certain situations. I used the word "discomfort" in a broad sense, but will edit my post. If you have a need to avoid certain situations, then you should do so.
 

roving_rufus

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I did not intend to dismiss anyone's wish or need to avoid certain situations. I used the word "discomfort" in a broad sense, but will edit my post. If you have a need to avoid certain situations, then you should do so.
Thank-you!
 

Aloha From Kauai

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I was watching a YouTube video yesterday, and for the first time I saw an albergues that had double bunkbeds. By that I mean both the top and bottom bunks were actually double beds, for two people.

In other words, you would be sleeping next to and in the same bed as a stranger (assuming you're walking alone).

I'm cool with sharing the room with a bunch of pilgrims, but less cool about sharing my actual bed. How common are these double bed bunks?
Hopefully, they are mean for families!!!
 

John A Richard

New Member
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The donativo albergue of Santa Maria de Carbajal in Leon. CF 2011.


My impression was that there were three bunkbeds next to each other... ;)

View attachment 112043

There was a dorm for women and one for men..and then a small one for couples.
ah yes, the section "matrimonio"
 
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