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light sleeper

#1
Hello,
I will be walking for 2 weeks in September, on my own, from Leon. As I am a terribly light sleeper, would rather pay extra for a simple hotel room, 2 weeks without sleep could really affect my experience. How difficult will it be to find that syle of accommodation? Thanks
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
If you have the Brierley or CSJ guides you will find alternative accommodations and contact numbers listed for each place. Make sure you ask for a quiet room, away from the street. People stay up late in Spain often partying into the early morning. Sometimes the hotels/inns are right in the middle of town and can be noisy.
 
#3
auburnfive said:
Hello,
I will be walking for 2 weeks in September, on my own, from Leon. As I am a terribly light sleeper, would rather pay extra for a simple hotel room, 2 weeks without sleep could really affect my experience. How difficult will it be to find that syle of accommodation? Thanks
I feel you, Auburnfive, getting enough sleep is the difference between a good and horrible experience when you're pushing your physique throughout the day. I am also an annoyingly light sleeper, and I got max 2-3 hours of sleep in the albergues. I tried and tried, because I really loved the atmosphere in the albergues and getting to know the other peregrinos, but every so often I had to splash out for a room of my own. It's much more expensive (20 - 40 euros), but lord, it was worth it sometimes. I don't care if someone thinks that made me somewhat of a lesser pilgrim, I had to do what I could to keep up the walking.

Buen camino (con sueño y vino)!
 
#4
I don't care if someone thinks that made me somewhat of a lesser pilgrim, I had to do what I could to keep up the walking.
Ah Tonjesal,
How I love honest pilgrims like you. I agree with you of staying off crowded albergues if the conditions there makes you into an unhappy person. The additional cost of staying in private hostal against the cost of an albergue is of the easiest to solve. We took two years to plan - this was an enjoyable period -and put aside an extra Euro a day for the Camino. This gave each of us an extra 700E to spend. This money went back into the economy of one of the poorer part of Spain.

One downside on this forum is the reading the comments which makes one feeling guilty of being branded a tourist instead of being a pilgrim. I have learnt earlier on to filter out these "holier than thou" writers, and concentrated instead on some of the plentiful wonderful writers who share their experience without a pointing finger. I expect negative feedbacks on this comment.

You are what you are, do not worry what others consider you to be, it is your Camino. Staying in Paradors, or hotels, or hostal, or algergues, in tents, or on the floor, it, IMHO, does not make you a greater or lesser pilgrim. I salute you, as what is inside you that makes you a pilgrim.

Kwaheri
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#5
I have trouble sleeping too, especially in a room that sounds like Midnight in the Kalahari ten minutes after lights-out. I found that lightweight silicone earplugs were comfortable and worked beautifully for me in the albergues, even when the next bed was inhabited by jackals.

And don´t let anyone tell you what kind of pilgrim you are. Judgement Day isn´t here yet.

Rebekah
 

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#6
Kwaheri

I'm sure there won't be any negative comments. There have been many recent postings on this subject - my favourite is from Sil when she quotes from the Archdiocese of Santiago's website -"It is the motivation that makes you a pilgrim....."etc
 
#7
Another light sleeper chiming in here - soft foam type earplugs work well for me - I use them all the time & never travel without them. They do take a bit of getting used to for most people I think, and you can use them several times. If you are open to it, you may find taking sleeping pills of some type could help you. It's not good to use them all the time, but they can be a Godsend when you really need to get some sleep tonight!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#8
There are many reasons why some pilgrims can't sleep in the albergues. They may be that they are light sleepers, or that they have physical reasons. This is something I posted last year.

We met a delightful Irish girl on the camino who, for various physical reasons, could not carry a heavy pack and who chose not to sleep in the albergues. She started at St Jean Pied de Port and walked to Santiago staying at small hostals or pensions having her luggage transported from place to place by taxi. Some people seemed to disapprove of this kind of pilgrimage but I am of the opinion that where you sleep or what you carry has no bearing whatsoever on your spiritual status as a pilgrim. She walked the same paths, through the same villages and towns and visited the same churches and cathedrals and monuments. She walked the camino and has a Compostela to prove it.
The camino has many levels - something for everybody. It is a physical journey and a spiritual journey. It offers religion and science, art and architecture, history and legend, fauna and flora, music, literature and much more. For me its richest blessings are the pilgrims who walk it and the people who care for them.
I'm sure that thousands of people use the camino - especially the refuges - as a cheap holiday. Staying in the albergues does not a pilgrim make!
 
#9
I look at this issue another way. If you are a heavy snoreryou should take it upon yourself to stay away from the albergues. I found that the pilgrims that snored very loadly had no issue with keeping people awake, but would get upset when they could here me packing my things in the morning to get away to the quiet of the night sky. Start early, end early, take a nap, drink a few glasses of wine, have dinner, go to bed, wake early....
 
#10
Greetings all,
I may as well add my 2 cents worth here as well ...Laugh
I waked from SJPDP to Santiago last October and only stayed in albergues only twice when I had no choice. Only because of my own sleeping problems. Personally I don't feel it diminished my experience at all. I was walking at different times with fellow pilgrims who I met along the way (forming two special friendships along the way) and they would generally stay in albergues.

We would agree to meet at around 8.00 am or there abouts (no point walking in the dark) and spend the day walking. We wouldn't race ahead to the next albergue, in fact most days we had no made no decisions as to how far we would walk. We would linger over lunch and enjoy our surroundings and discussions with fellow pilgrims and locals and then continue. My walking companions would find an albergue and I would find a sometimes cheap and sometimes not so cheap hotel.

Then it would be the same for all of us, shower, wash clothes, write notes and the all important "2 cervezas por favor" (Funny thing is I rarely drink at home but those cold beers after walking all day were always welcomed.

Then maybe some sightseeing depending where we where and time available then we would all meet up for dinner and by then it was bed time for both them and me.

I think that if you enjoy peoples company and "give" yourself both to fellow pilgrims and locals a like I don't think it makes much difference where you are sleeping at night. (Just a personal view)

My advice would be "don't listen to my advice" Laugh ... just do what you feel is best for you. You may be back doing the Camino year after year or it may be a long time before you can return to it, so enjoy make it as comfortable as you need to in terms of sleep etc as you still need to cover the kilometers on your own.

Regards
and best wishes

Pablo
 
#11
thanks for the advice. Am I correct in assuming it won't be to difficult to find inexpensive hotels or pensiones along the way without booking? Or will I need to make arrangments ahead of time. thanks
 
#13
JohnnieWalker said:
There have been many recent postings on this subject - my favourite is from Sil when she quotes from the Archdiocese of Santiago's website -"It is the motivation that makes you a pilgrim....."etc
What a lovely thought! It feels nice and purposeful to know that one has a motivation for doing the Camino. And better still, to discover multiple motivations during (and even after!) walking. For me, the benefits just kept on showing themselves while walking last year, and I experienced an acute and desperate longing to continue my Camino as soon as I returned to my home country. I (while deciding to keep an open mind) had PLANNED to: Lose weight, reconnect with myself away from the stress and strain of everyday life, and practise my Spanish. Hah! :oops: There's no way I can express here all the additional "purposes" I experienced, I guess each person absorbs the pilgrim life differently. Suffice to say it became a deep, spiritual, physically demanding, life-altering journey for me. I don't know if I will stop aching to return to the Camino once I reach the "final" destination of Santiago (hopefully in July of this year), something tells me I'm hooked for life! :wink:
 
#14
After a few days' walking, don't worry....your body will be so exhausted, you could sleep through a tornado. ;) At least, that was my experience. I used ear plugs for the first few nights & then later when the snorers got obnoxious, but all other times, I was out like a light as soon as my head hit the pillow. I saved my $ for getting hotel rooms in the larger towns as a "treat."

I say give the albergues a try or two. If they don't work out for you, that's fine. At least you tried. :)

Kelly
 

Minkey

Active Member
#15
As WolverineDG said, give it a whirl, but if not, by all means, use hotels. It doesn't make you any less worthy, they're just nice for that community feel (notice how I'm forgetting about the odd one or two people who get up at stupid o' clock, rustling their bags!)
 
#16
In addition about Sil posting about Motivation she also had written what I consider a classic on choosing an alternative place to stay if the albergue has some features which suggests that it should be avoided:

When we arrived at the albergue we saw that it was similar to the one in Melide - a huge municipal albergue with no doors on the showers and reported to be in a poor state in 2006. We decided to find a Pension instead and Finn and I left Marion and Anneliese in the line whilst we walked into the small, one road town to find rooms. Eventually, at the far end of the town, we found a beautiful place that gave us two rooms for 30 euro per room. The owner very kindly drove me back to the albergue to fetch Marion and Anneliese and we were soon checked into lovely clean rooms with a shared en suite bathroom. Only a pleasure!
This was written in Sil's blog on September 27th 2007. Her whole blog is worth reading as you can see that it is written from the heart and pulls no punches. Sil , I salute you, so practical, so kind, so unselfish, I vote Sil as the top forum personality after voting for our other top blogger.

Kwaheri
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#18
Thank you kind sirs!
Thank heavens we don't have to vote for favorites on this forum. If we need to thank anyone it should be Ivar for providing this cyber-camino-albergue where we all have an opportunity to help each other, and even though we all have different likes or dislikes, we have learned to value each others' opinions and contributions to the forum.
Abrazos,
 

Minkey

Active Member
#19
Maybe we could... It'd be like a battle of the Veteran posters! Let the duelling commence!

(ding, ding)

Round One. Peter Robbins v Ms. Doll.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#20
OMG!! No contest. I concede. I hang up my keyboard!
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#23
Hello Suzanne,
Did you find the list useful? Was it still up-to-date?
It was compiled 3 years ago (in May 2005) and hasn't been updated since then so I would be interested to know whether it was still relevant.
 
#24
aye aye aye!
to tell the truth, I didn't need it as we always found good accomodation when we needed an alternative and I didn't realize it was three years old.

however, it still may be useful to someone

when we were in sjpd, the pilgrim office gave us a list also that had both albergues and some alternative places to stay

Suzanne
 

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