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COVID How is the camino right now from Logroño to León?

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sneakyfox

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago
I am in Spain at the moment and will walk the camino francés from Burgos to León starting in a few days. That is, if I can :)

Does anyone know how it is at the moment? Are (some of) the albergues open? And are there any official announcements about it?

Since I'm only walking a part of the way I'm mostly interested in what's going on in the region of Castilla y León. Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks :)
 
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Kimtom

Wannawalk
Past OR future Camino
Frances on bike (2014)
Frances on foot (2019)
Frances on foot (2020)
There is a generosity of spirit in this albergue that comes through in so many ways... enjoyed seeing the interview and learning more about the path of Gabriel and Anita in creating this special place.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
All I can tell you as a Spaniard who lives in Andalusia is, at the moment, technically speaking, you are not allowed to go into Castilla y León (you wrote the name exactly, without the dash!). So, once you get in the region without crossing its "borders", I believe you may be able to move around fairly freely, but do not take my word for it, honestly!

On May 9th there will be some legal changes, but the president of Castilla y León is already asking for permision to apply further restrictions, possibly on mobility across provinces and curfews.

Hard to tell, everything could change in a matter of hours/days, sorry I cannot give you any more info!

I myself am dreaming about a Meseta crossing in May, but...
 
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gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
Hello Sneakyfox,

at the moment I do not have many references about how it is in Burgos city, some pilgrims have told me in recent days that there are only hotels and hostels, but three days ago there were four pilgrims in our albergue, one from the Czech Republic, who paid 30 euros and There was a polar cold, and three from Mallorca who paid about 20 euros and had heating, I think it was the Happy Carrales albergue, I would have to call by phone to ask about those points.

Later, in Hornillos, the Albergue Meeting Point may be open, it seems to be a good albergue.

In Hontanas everything is closed, and the next logical stop in my opinion is Castrojeriz, where the Cien Leguas are open, with heating, the Rosalia also with heating and the Municipal, the Cien Leguas has an excellent restaurant with a pilgrim's menu price, I have heard wonders from that albergue, but the Rosalia is also very good, and the Orion, with a Korean owner who is an excellent cook and very friendly and has very good reviews, but it is closed. From the Municipal I have heard complaints about the cold at night, although Paco, the hospitalero, is very kind too. In Castrojeriz any choice is correct, they are all between good and very good and in all of them they treat pilgrims well, which is what I value to recommend or not.

In Frómista only we are open, the albergue Luz , they say that it is not bad, the heating also, as in Castrojeriz, works during the night.

In Carrión de los Condes the albergue of Santa Clara, a beautiful monastery of nuns, is open, somewhat cold at night but not terrible, and the Hostal Albe, I have heard only very good things about that hostal, beautiful, the cleanest of all the Camino according to some pilgrims and with a very friendly owner dedicated to her clients.

In Calzadilla de la Cueza the albergue Camino Real is open, I have not heard bad things about it, I think it is correct.

In Lédigos the albergue La Morena is open, I think it's very good.

After Lédigos I do not know what is currently open, tomorrow I will investigate more to be able to tell you something updated and more extensive.

It is possible that from May more albergues will be open.

One point I want to say is about Booking, always, but especially at these times when there are fewer pilgrims, albergues greatly appreciate that reservations are made directly by phone with the albergue , Booking commissions are high, although I understand that sometimes It is difficult to talk to albergues that do not speak other languages. One solution is to ask the hospitalero of each albergue where we are to call to ask or book the next albergue, we do with pleasure.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I am very far away from my pilgrim's passport right now, so I will just chime in to say that in 2014 I stayed in the first tavern in Castrojirez, right across from the church. I was injured and asked where the nearest rooms were as I nursed a beer, and my knees. The owner said "Upstairs! 20 euros!" They carried my bag up, and I had a lovely room all to myself over a pub. Like in Chaucer. If that's open... I'd recommend it even though it is *very* small. I don't think traffic will be heavy now anyway.

And I can say that La Morena in Ledigos had one of the most elegant suppers at a pilgrim or any price on my 2018 walk. [Edited to add because I had forgotten: started with freshly baked bread and soft cheese similar to the Arzua Tetillas, served with membrillo as a kind of glaze ] Grilled salmon steaks, a caldo Galicia, roasted potatoes with the salmon, and a mango mousse for dessert. All made in house. The albergue dorm was modern with nice facilities; the garden was lovely. Our trip was marred only by a pilgrim who began drinking early, finished late and threw up on herself at 4am in the doorway to the showers...

I hope that information helps regarding Catrojirez and Ledigos!
 
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sneakyfox

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago
Thank you so much for all the replies! It is very nice to get some info.

A agree that calling ahead on the day is best and since I speak Spanish it won't be a problem.

We'll see how it goes, we're starting in Logroño tomorrow (expanded the trip a bit) and make our way to León. I will post som updates here to pass on some impressions from the camino.

And Albergue Luz, we'll try to end one of our days with you, so see you soon :)
 

sneakyfox

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago
Our itinerary from Logroño to Burgos will be more or less the following, with a slow start:

Logroño
Navarrete
Nájera
St. Dom. de la Calzada
Belorado
?
Burgos

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
Between Burgos and Belorado the most logical stop, in my opinion, is San Juan de Ortega.

There is the albergue Parroquial San Juan de Ortega (tel. 34 947 560 438) and the albergue El descanso de San Juan (tel. 34 690 398 024), I don't know if they are open.

We will be very glad to see you in the abergue!

Thanks a lot!
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
There is the albergue Parroquial San Juan de Ortega (tel. 34 947 560 438) and the albergue El descanso de San Juan (tel. 34 690 398 024), I don't know if they are open.
According to Gronze the Parroquial albergue is closed, but El Descanso may be open.

 

gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
More information from Julia, a very charming Italian, arrived here a couple of hours ago. She has been in some albergues and recommends the Las Peñas hostel in Nájera, good and very friendly, € 13 for a bed, € 9 for dinner and € 3 for breakfast, this albergue has a good cook (Julia is Italian ... if she says that the cook is good means that is very good).

In Santo Domingo de la Calzada there are no open albergues, but five kilometers away is the La Casa de la Sonrisa hostel, it is a donativo albergue, there is no heating but there are blankets, they are friendly, there is a kitchen and there is food.

In Espinosa there is La casa de las almas, it is beautiful, it belongs to a German couple, the welcome is very good, there is dinner and there is breakfast.

In Rabé, two shelters open tomorrow, May 1.

This is all Julia has told me.

I have found that the albergue de la Santa Cruz is open in Sahagún, it is excellent, in the Benedictine Monastery, it is a donation of 6€, and it also has 4-beds rooms and doubles, all with bathroom, the telf. It is 34 650 696 023 and it also has a website, and three priests with five different languages. I've always heard great things about this hostel.

This is what I have at the moment ...
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
There's lots of places to stay in Nahera. If you decide to stay in a hostal, I recomment Hostal Hispano. For the best price, you could call their phone, 941 363 615. Hostal Hispano is comfotable and their prices include breakfast. You could ask for a pilgrim price. Their email is hispanonajera@yahoo.es .
 

sneakyfox

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago
That is just amazing! Thank you Gabriel (and Julia)!

Also thanks for the recommendation Albertagirl.
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Is anyone noting costs on the ground? I am anticipating roughly 30% increase if all the hostels and albergues have to start covering The VAT by going to electronic payment methods, and also needing to recover from this last horrendous year and the coming very tenuous season. But then I think I am underestimating and should anticipate more like 50%.

Because I have a young adult whose disability does not qualify for support (falls through cracks), about 70% of my income over my own living costs goes to him...

As I plan for a sabbatical in 2022, I have to be super attentive to costs, and I wonder if I am anticipating well. I think only the people on the ground can know the answers. I am accustomed to spending an average of 27-30 euros per day, and I am thinking that might have to be 45 in the new landscape.

What are people seeing on the ground? ... assuming you are not always using hotels; that is out of the question for me.

If I can land in 2022 and rent an apartment somewhere, then all my costs are different, but that assumes stability at home that might not come. So I might only manage 3 weeks in late spring or late summer 2022 with my step-sister and need to think about Camino budgets rather than just resident budgets...
 

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
Our itinerary from Logroño to Burgos will be more or less the following, with a slow start:

Logroño
Navarrete
Nájera
St. Dom. de la Calzada
Belorado
?
Burgos

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Your itinerary so far looks very good. May I suggest the following:

Belorado - Villafranca Montes del Oca: Albergue/hotel San Antonio Abad: Tlf: 947 582 150. The municipal albergue has been closed for some years now. Food, good facilities & bar there. Good.

Villafranca - Ages: Albergue La Taberna de Ages. Good food reported. Tlf: 947 400 697/660 044 575. San Juan de Ortega has had mixed reports over the years, and it is nothing there except the albergue. Ages is just a couple of kms further, and is a very nice little village. When you come to Atapuerca next morning, you can visit the museum of the first Europens, if you like. Plenty of time before Burgos.

Ages - Burgos: Easy day. But beware: Be sure to walk the River route! If not, you'll have to walk some 8 kms in an industrial/suburb area on asphalt! Tip: After the height where you see Burgos, keep left. Directly after crossing a bridge over a highway, take left into the village of Castanares (some distance away, along the fence surrounding the airport), where you will find the river route. For a full/detailed description, I have placed a link for you here. That post also contains PDF style maps, links & instructions that will help you greatly.

You can also use the Search function on this forum, in the upper right corner, and search for "river route". More info.

I also would recommend the albergue Quatro Cantones in Belorado. They have a pool :cool:

The ordinary route into Burgos is probably the worst of all days on the CF, far worse than out of Leon, so it should be avoided at all cost. Instead, enjoy a beer/lunch in Castanares, and then enjoy a peaceful walk along the river into Burgos. A perfect day!

Buen Camino!
 
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gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
Is anyone noting costs on the ground? I am anticipating roughly 30% increase if all the hostels and albergues have to start covering The VAT by going to electronic payment methods, and also needing to recover from this last horrendous year and the coming very tenuous season. But then I think I am underestimating and should anticipate more like 50%.

Because I have a young adult whose disability does not qualify for support (falls through cracks), about 70% of my income over my own living costs goes to him...

As I plan for a sabbatical in 2022, I have to be super attentive to costs, and I wonder if I am anticipating well. I think only the people on the ground can know the answers. I am accustomed to spending an average of 27-30 euros per day, and I am thinking that might have to be 45 in the new landscape.

What are people seeing on the ground? ... assuming you are not always using hotels; that is out of the question for me.

If I can land in 2022 and rent an apartment somewhere, then all my costs are different, but that assumes stability at home that might not come. So I might only manage 3 weeks in late spring or late summer 2022 with my step-sister and need to think about Camino budgets rather than just resident budgets...

I do not think that the albergues increase their prices by more than one or two euros, a 10 or maximum 20%, I only understand that with the albergues that have loans from the banks.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I do not think that the albergues increase their prices by more than one or two euros, a 10 or maximum 20%, I only understand that with the albergues that have loans from the banks.
I am surprised! To make up the 17% charged over the 10 euros they have to charge 11.70 anyway. Will another 30 cents per visitor be enough to dig out from 2020??
Amazing...
 
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gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
I imagine that we cannot raise more than one or two euros. Going higher would make them lose pilgrims, and it would only be possible if everyone from the same area did. Some hostel near us wanted to raise three euros, nine months ago. We did not want to participate in that and we maintained the prices before the pandemic, the result was that they did not raise the price in the summer ... of course.

A euro or two is a figure that for many pilgrims is not important, but for many others, that in each hostel and in each restaurant, it is a lot after a month of walking. I suppose that each hostel is a world apart with its specific problems, and I cannot generalize, that is why I cannot imagine increases of more than two euros, and the losses of last year, can be recovered little by little over time, and accept them as part of a situation in which the most important thing is to survive, such as during a war, and then, as in a post-war period, in which the logical thing is to maintain the prices of the products as much as possible and not to look at each other with eyes of "I'm going to get your money" or "I see you want my money" ... this, which happens frequently, destroys more than many ignorant people think.

It is my view of the situation, and I hope there are no abusive rises.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I imagine that we cannot raise more than one or two euros. Going higher would make them lose pilgrims, and it would only be possible if everyone from the same area did. Some hostel near us wanted to raise three euros, nine months ago. We did not want to participate in that and we maintained the prices before the pandemic, the result was that they did not raise the price in the summer ... of course.

A euro or two is a figure that for many pilgrims is not important, but for many others, that in each hostel and in each restaurant, it is a lot after a month of walking. I suppose that each hostel is a world apart with its specific problems, and I cannot generalize, that is why I cannot imagine increases of more than two euros, and the losses of last year, can be recovered little by little over time, and accept them as part of a situation in which the most important thing is to survive, such as during a war, and then, as in a post-war period, in which the logical thing is to maintain the prices of the products as much as possible and not to look at each other with eyes of "I'm going to get your money" or "I see you want my money" ... this, which happens frequently, destroys more than many ignorant people think.

It is my view of the situation, and I hope there are no abusive rises.

It breaks my heart.... I do hope that people can do more than survive. In principle I am happy to pay more than 3 euros extra per day for my albergue over what I paid in *2014*... but I will have to save that money for a little longer (hence my question). It might all be moot for me personally as the university I work for has just extended its travel ban through the 2021/22 academic year for faculty...

I wonder: would it offend people if Albergues were to charge whatever everyone has settled on (the 1 or 2 extra euros), and then also put out a box that says something like “COVID RECOVERY, tips appreciated but not required”.

There are so many pilgrims who have fretted about the well-being of albergue owners, of the economies of small villages... we’d be happy to put something in those boxes fairly regularly I think...

Best wishes to you Gmag.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I am surprised! To make up the 17% charged over the 10 euros they have to charge 11.70 anyway. Will another 30 cents per visitor be enough to dig out from 2020??
Amazing...
I'm confused. I haven't read that albergues are suddenly being taxed this 17% rate. Do you have a link about what you are referring to? Thanks.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
@gmag - You are a wealth of information. Thank you!
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I'm confused. I haven't read that albergues are suddenly being taxed this 17% rate. Do you have a link about what you are referring to? Thanks.
It comes out of another conversation in which someone asked if cash would still be king and Ivan responded that cash allows people not to pay the VAT. Legally, being taxed at 17% would not be new or sudden, it would just have to be implemented if business owners moved to bank card transactions. That means that they would have to pay the VAT they had previously been able to avoid. VAT is 17%, so... to keep the same 10 euros per head/bed that it used to get, an albergue would have to go to 11.70; same for the standard 10 euro pilgrim meal. So... if a business now charges 12 euros but has to use chip cards then they would actually be losing 4 cents per head compared to the old rate (.17 x 12 = 2.04 ; therefore net is 9.96) — it’s a net loss, and even greater a loss from the value of that 10 euro note in 2014 (which I use as my benchmark because it is what I was paying in 2014).
 
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sneakyfox

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago
Belorado - Villafranca Montes del Oca: Albergue/hotel San Antonio Abad: Tlf: 947 582 150. The municipal albergue has been closed for some years now. Food, good facilities & bar there. Good.

Villafranca - Ages: Albergue La Taberna de Ages. Good food reported. Tlf: 947 400 697/660 044 575. San Juan d

Thanks for the great tips! I heard about the route in to Burgos before. We will definitely take the alternative one.

It's great to have so many recommendations, it makes it easy enough to find nice albergues, even in these times.

I'll post updates as we make our way on the camino. Yesterday we stayed in Logroño in a normal hotel. Saw three other pilgrims but didn't get a chance to talk to them.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
This phrase should be printed on the first page of all the Camino credentials.
Please remember this is supposed to be a pilgrimage. The shaggy old walk into Burgos is just as much Camino as the lovely walk into Triacastela. There are plenty of scenic hikes for you to choose from, all over the world. A pilgrim takes it as it comes.

As for albergue prices: In 2020, when pilgrim albergues were allowed to open for three months and almost all "competition" from municipal and volunteer-run albergues was removed, some for-profit albergues found themselves the only place open in town. They jacked their prices to the skies. In Vilar de Mazarife, the only available pilgrim beds were priced at 40 euros! The Camino Primitivo was so plagued with price-gouging that many pilgrims gave up and went home. (not everyone did it, but enough did. Sad.)

Remove the generosity and goodwill of the donativo system, and the Camino becomes another tourism product. Be kind to your hospitaleros!
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Be kind to your hospitaleros!

Some words cannot be spoken loud enough. From a personal standpoint, I cannot tell you how many times a hospitalero(a) has assisted me with phone calls (In Spanish), blister suggestions, sleep accommodations and directions etc... when they could have just taken my money and had me fend for myself. They are true "Trail Angels"...
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
It comes out of another conversation in which someone asked if cash would still be king and Ivan responded that cash allows people not to pay the VAT. Legally, being taxed at 17% would not be new or sudden, it would just have to be implemented if business owners moved to bank card transactions. That means that they would have to pay the VAT they had previously been able to avoid. VAT is 17%, so... to keep the same 10 euros per head/bed that it used to get, an albergue would have to go to 11.70; same for the standard 10 euro pilgrim meal. So... if a business now charges 12 euros but has to use chip cards then they would actually be losing 4 cents per head compared to the old rate (.17 x 12 = 2.04 ; therefore net is 9.96) — it’s a net loss, and even greater a loss from the value of that 10 euro note in 2014 (which I use as my benchmark because it is what I was paying in 2014).
So you are working on the assumption that most businesses are cheating on their taxes? I can see how that can happen in many cash businesses, but don't albergues have to keep records of how many guests they had? I truly don't know the answer to this question, or the question of how many businesses are underreporting their sales.
 

gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
Please remember this is supposed to be a pilgrimage. The shaggy old walk into Burgos is just as much Camino as the lovely walk into Triacastela. There are plenty of scenic hikes for you to choose from, all over the world. A pilgrim takes it as it comes.

As for albergue prices: In 2020, when pilgrim albergues were allowed to open for three months and almost all "competition" from municipal and volunteer-run albergues was removed, some for-profit albergues found themselves the only place open in town. They jacked their prices to the skies. In Vilar de Mazarife, the only available pilgrim beds were priced at 40 euros! The Camino Primitivo was so plagued with price-gouging that many pilgrims gave up and went home. (not everyone did it, but enough did. Sad.)

Remove the generosity and goodwill of the donativo system, and the Camino becomes another tourism product. Be kind to your hospitaleros!
For me one of the most important things on the Camino de Santiago is freedom, and the consequence of this is not asking questions of pilgrims and not prejudging or assuming that what they do is not what to do. The Camino de Santiago gives everyone the right to do what they want, as long as they do not bother others. And, if they are wrong, they will already learn something from it, the Camino is like life, a permanent school. For the pilgrims and me, of course.

I agree that the world is full of wonderful places, but many of us choose this one, for reasons deeper than anyone can imagine.

Very frequently we have pilgrims with injuries, with severe tendonitis. We advise them to rest for a while, here or in another albergue, and they often say that either they do not have enough days, or that they do not want to lose their group. I tell them that good generals are those who know when to lose a battle to win the war. Regaining strength, attacking the enemy from another position ... it is finally a game of strategies. And, war is coming to Santiago, it is a war hard enough for many.

Hearing this, everyone except 1 of the several dozen with whom I have spoken about this, understood that continuing meant not getting to Santiago on time. They rest and later they take a bus to regain the time.

The same thing I would say to someone who walks kilometers between trucks and diesel oil smoke destroys their inner peace, or whatever it is that I of course do not know.

The Camino is a traditional pilgrimage for some, yes, it is an interior pilgrimage for many, it is a search for solutions to serious problems for many others, it is a search for culture for others, or it is cheap tourism for many others. All of them enrich a part of Spain, and I can only thank them, treating everyone exactly the same and thanking them for being around here, and I hope that each one walks as he wants.
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
So you are working on the assumption that most businesses are cheating on their taxes? I can see how that can happen in many cash businesses, but don't albergues have to keep records of how many guests they had? I truly don't know the answer to this question, or the question of how many businesses are underreporting their sales.

I am not working on that assumption. There is a thread elsewhere that indicated that a cash economy makes it easy to avoid the VAT. And I walked with a Spanish man in 2014 who asked me if I knew why so many businesses insisted on cash and that it was about avoiding the VAT. And he also said, “But everyone wants the healthcare and other benefits of socialism, and so Spain was hit harder than other places in 2008 and it wasn’t all because of developers.”

I do not assume that people are cheating on their taxes; I suspect that the bureaucratic features of reporting the income and collecting the VAT may be rather nightmarish as one motivator. It amounts to the same “cash rules” and VAT avoidance, but the impulse for the avoidance is not cheating.

And I do not know individually of anyone who does this avoidance, but the feature is pretty well acknowledged and I can see how moving to a touchless payment system would eat into what one is able to keep at the end of the day. I shall find the other thread in which the issue was discussed and Ivan offered his observations about the VAT. I think it was called something like “Is Cash Still King After Covid?”
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Yes, post #28 in the thread “Is Cash Still King on Camino”. And my memory was off by 4 points; it’s 21% VAT.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
It comes out of another conversation in which someone asked if cash would still be king and Ivan responded that cash allows people not to pay the VAT. Legally, being taxed at 17% would not be new or sudden, it would just have to be implemented if business owners moved to bank card transactions. That means that they would have to pay the VAT they had previously been able to avoid. VAT is 17%, so... to keep the same 10 euros per head/bed that it used to get, an albergue would have to go to 11.70; same for the standard 10 euro pilgrim meal. So... if a business now charges 12 euros but has to use chip cards then they would actually be losing 4 cents per head compared to the old rate (.17 x 12 = 2.04 ; therefore net is 9.96) — it’s a net loss, and even greater a loss from the value of that 10 euro note in 2014 (which I use as my benchmark because it is what I was paying in 2014).
As I already mentioned in the thread about cash, no albergue is required to accept debit or credit cards. Some choose to do so as a service to pilgrims. I have never experienced albergues raising prices to cover VAT. When I took over Albergue Villares de Orbigo in March 2020 I raised the price of a bed from €8 to €10 which seemed reasonable, Covid year or not. In fact pilgrims who stayed with me when the lockdown was lifted said that most were charging €12.00. As Gabriel mentioned, prices vary depending on location and often governed by the prices of albergues around you.
 

nathanael

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
I am very far away from my pilgrim's passport right now, so I will just chime in to say that in 2014 I stayed in the first tavern in Castrojirez, right across from the church. I was injured and asked where the nearest rooms were as I nursed a beer, and my knees. The owner said "Upstairs! 20 euros!" They carried my bag up, and I had a lovely room all to myself over a pub. Like in Chaucer. If that's open... I'd recommend it even though it is *very* small. I don't think traffic will be heavy now anyway.

And I can say that La Morena in Ledigos had one of the most elegant suppers at a pilgrim or any price on my 2018 walk. [Edited to add because I had forgotten: started with freshly baked bread and soft cheese similar to the Arzua Tetillas, served with membrillo as a kind of glaze ] Grilled salmon steaks, a caldo Galicia, roasted potatoes with the salmon, and a mango mousse for dessert. All made in house. The albergue dorm was modern with nice facilities; the garden was lovely. Our trip was marred only by a pilgrim who began drinking early, finished late and threw up on herself at 4am in the doorway to the showers...

I hope that information helps regarding Catrojirez and Ledigos!
Yes, indeed I always stay at the tavern across the church as you enter Castrojirez, a very friendly man and room comfortable which includes a bathroom. I recommend it.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Yes, post #28 in the thread “Is Cash Still King on Camino”. And my memory was off by 4 points; it’s 21% VAT.
VAT on albergue beds and on hotel beds is actually 10% in Spain. And even those who prefer payment in cash pay their VAT duties to the treasury/IRS/CRA/AEAT because not everybody tries to cheat on VAT and income tax. Nor is it a bureaucratic nightmare for a small business to produce their VAT declaration every three months.

In any case, the bottom line is: If albergues are open in Castilla y Leon, their number of dormitory beds will be reduced in general by 50% or so because until now they are required by law to leave beds unused for sanitary reasons due to the public health crisis. When I checked the VAT rate, I landed on the page of the pilgrims albergue of the Capuchine Friars in Estella which is in Navarra and close to La Rioja and not in CyL but the principle is the same: their dormitory with 6 beds is restricted to 3 pilgrims; the pilgrims kitchen is closed until "new order"; the restaurant is open (allowed as it is inside the albergue and only serves people staying there).
 
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A Quest of St. James, Tommy Ray, Book Cover, Image
Come follow the vivid imagery of this life-changing adventure.
When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears
Past OR future Camino
CF in sections 2019/2020
Your itinerary so far looks very good. May I suggest the following:

Belorado - Villafranca Montes del Oca: Albergue/hotel San Antonio Abad: Tlf: 947 582 150. The municipal albergue has been closed for some years now. Food, good facilities & bar there. Good.

Villafranca - Ages: Albergue La Taberna de Ages. Good food reported. Tlf: 947 400 697/660 044 575. San Juan de Ortega has had mixed reports over the years, and it is nothing there except the albergue. Ages is just a couple of kms further, and is a very nice little village. When you come to Atapuerca next morning, you can visit the museum of the first Europens, if you like. Plenty of time before Burgos.

Ages - Burgos: Easy day. But beware: Be sure to walk the River route! If not, you'll have to walk some 8 kms in an industrial/suburb area on asphalt! Tip: After the height where you see Burgos, keep left. Directly after crossing a bridge over a highway, take left into the village of Castanares (some distance away, along the fence surrounding the airport), where you will find the river route. For a full/detailed description, I have placed a link for you here. That post also contains PDF style maps, links & instructions that will help you greatly.

You can also use the Search function on this forum, in the upper right corner, and search for "river route". More info.

I also would recommend the albergue Quatro Cantones in Belorado. They have a pool :cool:

The ordinary route into Burgos is probably the worst of all days on the CF, far worse than out of Leon, so it should be avoided at all cost. Instead, enjoy a beer/lunch in Castanares, and then enjoy a peaceful walk along the river into Burgos. A perfect day!

Buen Camino!
Thx Alex, on my 2021 2nd CF I will take the river route into Burgos, with the help of the PDF:)
 

sneakyfox

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago
So the first (short) day from Logroño to Navarette went well. Didn't meet any pilgrims but plenty of locals walking to find some refuge from the lockdown out in the open.

In Navarette, we stayed at Albergue El Cántaro (€12, no heating atm, microwaves). The owner told us he had only had four other guests in 2021, so it was a surprise to wake up at 4 am and feel the itching of, yes, bed bugs. We actually saw them and took some photos. Mattresses have that rubbery cover and the whole place is very clean -- except the blankets. Why is it that albergue owners don't consider it as important to wash those perfect bed bug habitats?

In the morning, the host has been very nice and taken it seriously. He's washing and drying our clothes and sleeping bags (no washer in the albergue atm) and will clean the whole place again -- AND wash the blankets. So if you come here and find clean blankets, you can have peace of mind.


On Monday, @Rebekah Scott pointed out in this forum post that the city of Najera is at code-red full lockdown for the next ten days but surely you know this already as you are in Spain.

Thanks for pointing this out. We were actually just talking to our host about it. We're taking the bus to St Domingo to avoid the outbreak in Nájera and will carry on from there.
 
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gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
On Monday, @Rebekah Scott pointed out in this forum post that the city of Najera is at code-red full lockdown for the next ten days but surely you know this already as you are in Spain.


In order to answer this question, I have called Najera by phone, and since Giulia has spoken to me very well about the Albergue Las Peñas , I have called them. I have had a fascinating conversation with the owner, Felix and his wife, Corpus, especially about history, when more than 1000 years ago King Sancho III made the first laws of the Camino de Santiago, forcing the residents of each large or small town to welcome pilgrims. It has been a very enriching conversation for me, I recommend to anyone who passes by to approach Felix, he is cultured and human, like the Camino. (28 minutes of conversation…, a real pleasure!)

He has explained to me that Najera IS NOT CLOSED. The right of pilgrims to cross the Camino de Santiago is a higher Law, it is a royal road, which has been maintained since then. The Guardia Civil does NOT stop the pilgrims, but if there is someone who does it for any reason, or puts a fine, it does NOT have to be paid, it must be appealed, and it is won. Simply that.

Conclusion: You can sleep, eat and enjoy in Najera, it is the true origin, together with Santiago de Compostela, of the Camino Francés, the first Camino.


I take this opportunity to say that one of the worst things for the Camino during the previous months has been the news that some albergues gave about closures, fines, prohibitions ..., there have been pilgrims who have been stopped by hospitaleros who have scared them to the point to stop on their way and return to their countries, having already passed Burgos ...!! When such news has reached us, about closures, fines and other threats, and taking into account that our first idea is always to stay open (I clarify that It is not always profitable to open two floors and 150 square meters of albergue with heating during the night, for a single pilgrim, who sometimes cannot pay, profitability is given in the way of our personal pleasure), what we do in those cases has always been not to believe the news that runs from albergue to albergue through Facebook or Whatsapps, and to call the Civil Guard or the towns of interest by phone. Always, during the previous months, the Civil Guard has confirmed to me that pilgrims can walk AND HAVE THE RIGHT TO SLEEP IN SHELTERS. Therefore, spreading the word that the open shelters would have fines of 800 euros has been very harmful for the pilgrims and for the Camino. This has happened.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
The Guardia Civil does NOT stop the pilgrims
Thank you, @gmag! It's great to hear from people in Spain, and especially since you phoned to find out more details for a specific situation.

We've read repeatedly that pilgrims on foot or bike had not been stopped, even when seen by the police. It appears that transit is allowed, with conditions attached to it still a bit unclear to me, while local residents apparently risk fines when they cross closed perimeter borders without justification?
 
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gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
Thank you, @gmag! It's great to hear from people in Spain, and especially since you phoned to find out more details for a specific situation.

We've read repeatedly that pilgrims on foot or bike had not been stopped, even when seen by the police. It appears that transit is allowed, with conditions attached to it still a bit unclear to me, while local residents apparently risk fines when they cross closed perimeter borders without justification?

Yes, Kathar1na, we locals are fined, pilgrims can.

I have even heard in the last few days that Spaniards cannot go to Galicia, even if they are pilgrims.

Our pilgrims are so far foreigners, and the few Spaniards who are passing through here only come to Leon, for reasons of free time to walk or because they are from this region, CyL.

When I will have to report this to a Spaniard who asks me, I will try to inform myself, but for now, with confusing laws or regulations that change frequently, I don't.



The Spanish Constitution, like in all other countries, guarantee the right to move freely around the country, and to limit this right it is illegal and unconstitutional ... but here we enter a subject that is quite terrible and I can only speak about this in private, in person and without a mask, to be able to see the face and the wonderful facial expressions that are forcing us to forget that they exist ...



Kathar1na, wonderful to talk to you again, since that complicated subject-torture of Velazquez ... 🥵
 

Canche

Volcano Climber
Past OR future Camino
2016
I am in Spain at the moment and will walk the camino francés from Burgos to León starting in a few days. That is, if I can :)

Does anyone know how it is at the moment? Are (some of) the albergues open? And are there any official announcements about it?

Since I'm only walking a part of the way I'm mostly interested in what's going on in the region of Castilla y León. Any input would be greatly appreciated, thanks :)
Good luck and buen camino
 

gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
So the first (short) day from Logroño to Navarette went well. Didn't meet any pilgrims but plenty of locals walking to find some refuge from the lockdown out in the open.

In Navarette, we stayed at Albergue El Cántaro (€12, no heating atm, microwaves). The owner told us he had only had four other guests in 2021, so it was a surprise to wake up at 4 am and feel the itching of, yes, bed bugs. We actually saw them and took some photos. Mattresses have that rubbery cover and the whole place is very clean -- except the blankets. Why is it that albergue owners don't consider it as important to wash those perfect bed bug habitats?

In the morning, the host has been very nice and taken it seriously. He's washing and drying our clothes and sleeping bags (no washer in the albergue atm) and will clean the whole place again -- AND wash the blankets. So if you come here and find clean blankets, you can have peace of mind.




Thanks for pointing this out. We were actually just talking to our host about it. We're taking the bus to St Domingo to avoid the outbreak in Nájera and will carry on from there.

It's a shame !!, IT IS OPEN FOR PILGRIMS !!!, It is a pleasant town with a lot of history.

One piece of advice: before making such radical decisions, the only thing to do is call the shelters in the place where negative things have been read or heard, the Camino is full of misinformation.

I hope that you are in time to read this and to return to the initial plan, because I am not sure if you have read what I published at 11:48.
 

sneakyfox

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Leon to Santiago
Thanks Gabriel, you are a goldmine!

I can also confirm that the police don't fine (foreign) pilgrims. They stopped us arriving at the train station in Logroño and were a bit annoyed but then agreed among themselves that pilgrims are exempt from the restrictions.

In fact we were really taking the bus to avoid the outbreak, not the restrictions. But as it so happened the bus we were advised to take did not go to St Domingo. So we ended up walking the camino to Nájera anyway. It was a nice walk too. We just made sure our masks were tight and did not leave the albergue during our stay.

In Nájera we stayed at Las Peñas (€13), the dinner was indeed good, but the heating turned off during the night even though the host promised the contrary, so there were some cold and sleepless hours in the early morning.

Today we walked to Santo Domingo de la Calzada where we are staying at a hotel (€17 each). It was raining for most of the day and the clay from the roads stick to the shoes making them heavy -- just camino things ;)
In Cirueña the restaurant was partly closed do to lack of customers but did still whip together a sandwich.
The last few kilometers the sun came out and the green fields looked amazing after the showers.

We have met other pilgrims! Two English people who have done it all the way from France. So that is actually possible, even in these times.
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
My camino association had an appointment to meet with the town council in Najera this week. It was canceled because the town is in lockdown -- no one allowed to go in or come out.
I am assuming the pilgrims are allowed to walk through, but they cannot stop there to sleep or eat -- Leon was on similar lockdown for a long time. But who knows?

So glad these pilgrims are here to tell us the town council in Najera is misinformed.
I wonder who "Felix" is.
 

gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
My camino association had an appointment to meet with the town council in Najera this week. It was canceled because the town is in lockdown -- no one allowed to go in or come out.
I am assuming the pilgrims are allowed to walk through, but they cannot stop there to sleep or eat -- Leon was on similar lockdown for a long time. But who knows?

So glad these pilgrims are here to tell us the town council in Najera is misinformed.
I wonder who "Felix" is.

As I said in my answer, # 40, Felix is the owner of the albergue Las Peñas

Since Giulia was there a few days before, it was logic that I had to call him, to know directly the reality of Nájera, to find out if it is really recommended, and to have contact with quality albergues, but only if they are.

As I said before, the Camino de Santiago is full of misinformation.

Small town halls are not among my favorites when it comes to getting to know the reality of life in a town.

It is usually better to go to the neighbors.
 

gmag

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
frances 1998, 2000, 2013
Thanks Gabriel, you are a goldmine!

I can also confirm that the police don't fine (foreign) pilgrims. They stopped us arriving at the train station in Logroño and were a bit annoyed but then agreed among themselves that pilgrims are exempt from the restrictions.

In fact we were really taking the bus to avoid the outbreak, not the restrictions. But as it so happened the bus we were advised to take did not go to St Domingo. So we ended up walking the camino to Nájera anyway. It was a nice walk too. We just made sure our masks were tight and did not leave the albergue during our stay.

In Nájera we stayed at Las Peñas (€13), the dinner was indeed good, but the heating turned off during the night even though the host promised the contrary, so there were some cold and sleepless hours in the early morning.

Today we walked to Santo Domingo de la Calzada where we are staying at a hotel (€17 each). It was raining for most of the day and the clay from the roads stick to the shoes making them heavy -- just camino things ;)
In Cirueña the restaurant was partly closed do to lack of customers but did still whip together a sandwich.
The last few kilometers the sun came out and the green fields looked amazing after the showers.

We have met other pilgrims! Two English people who have done it all the way from France. So that is actually possible, even in these times.

Sorry about the heating and its consequences with sleep.

That is something really unpleasant, and it is also sometimes illegal on the Camino de Santiago.

The albergues have obligations imposed by the Junta de Castilla y Leon, and heating is one of them.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
This thread illustrates the difficulties of getting and communicating information about the status of the Camino in Spain right now. As we should all understand from experience in our own countries, the perspectives, opinions and "facts" can differ a lot - even among well-meaning informed people who are on the ground in Spain at the very moment. Under these circumstances, there is little consensus on what advice should be given to prospective pilgrims.

This thread will be closed. Perhaps next week, the situation will be clearer and the conversation re-opened. In the meantime, the private Conversation option is available.
 
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