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Kitchens status in the Camino Frances


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Time of past OR future Camino
Hello peregrinos from the world, I'm new here so exuse any misbehaviour and feel free to correct me when needed.
I am departing for my first camino ever in 4 days (doing the C.F. starting from Saint-Jean_pied-de-Port) and i would love to know if the kitchens in the albergues are still mainly closed due to covid or other reasons.
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Definitely need that sharp knife and often a pot or two as well. There are a number of kitchens with no or very few utensils.
Exactly. A small lightweight pot that doubles as a cup, a spork and an opinel knife and maybe a small plastic container to heat things in the microwave if that's all that is available in the kitchen.
It's not that much weight. If you use it almost daily it's worth bringing it.

The pilgrim's menu / menu del dia crowd and the ultralight hikers will say they've never needed it and it's useless weight, but if you like to prepare your own food and/or are on a tight budget, it's a good idea to bring a small "kitchen kit" like this. That way even if there's no kitchen you can prepare some cold food in the common room of the albergue, outside on the terrace, in a picknick area ect.
Even pre pandemic albergue kitchens were always a hit and miss. Even if well equipped they could be quite busy at times with pilgrims waiting for utensils and pots pans etc while others were still in the process of using them. I never really saw them as something I could consistently rely on had it been a necessity and many a time they were so busy I said the heck with it and my albergue dinner was a sandwich and a cold beer (or two ;) ).
Sadly lots of communal kitchens were closed\not accessible on my current walk (05/21-06/25)
I'd say it is definitely hit or miss....
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I traveled for a while with a group that made their own community dinners. They targeted municipal albergues that did not provide dinner but often had a kitchen and eating area. Once they got a head count the head cook(s) hit grocery stores for ingredients and used the albergue's equipment (con permiso).
Sometimes, for various reasons it woulnd't work out, but dinner for maybe a dozen folks was served successfully around half the time.
Covid regulations meant that pilgrims could not share kitchens which is the reason many were closed. For the cautious that may still be the case.
I am walking right now, and so far kitchens seem open just as they were before Covid. I don't notice any difference to 2019 to be honest. Of course that could still be different in other regions / albergues later on.

The pilgrims are definitely happy to use the kitchens. Sometimes individuals cook and sometimes as puttster described, there's a pilgrim prepared communal dinner. There was a very nice one a few days ago, cost per person only 2,50€ in the end. That really does make a huge difference for those on a budget.
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

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