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Money concerns for 2010 Pilgrimage

twigsandribbons

New Member
I apologize ahead of time if there's a post out there for this, but I couldn't find anything recent...

Is there an estimate of how much money it costs per day, living simply on El Camino?

It would be helpful if it was in USD but I can certainly figure out the conversion myself.

If it helps, I am a 25 year old American woman who is traveling with a friend w/ the same stats. :) We plan on camping, but we want to get our credentials stamped, so we were hoping to do it by the albergues and offer a donation as if we were staying there. We want to live relatively simply, but we would like to have some cushion for emergencies at the very least, and possibly for a nice restaurant in Santiago or a hotel one night. We will be arriving in SJPdP on June 14th 2010, and plan on walking to Finisterre and busing back for our flight out of SCQ on July 31st.

Thanks again for all your help!
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hola - I think the consensus remains that a budget of approximately 1€ per kilometer walked is the average cost. However I've been with people making pilgrimage for a whole lot less particularly if you are camping and cooking for yourselves. If you are going to cook there are supermarkets in the larger towns and you will pass shops in most of the smaller villages. Also under the previous dictatorship in Spain, General Franco introduced the practice of the Menu del Dia so that all workers could have access to a reasonably priced meal. The Menu del Dia is available throughout Spain, even in some of the poshest establishments. Believe it or not for around 8 - 10€ or so per head you can have a choice of two or three starters, then usually a choice of a meat or fish dish followed by a dessert such as fruit or yogurt or ice cream, with bread and a bottle of wine between two. The wine isn't vintage but at that price...
 

twigsandribbons

New Member
This was also really helpful, so thank you! We are planning to walk to Muxia after we arrive in Santiago, so according to my math that puts us at about 624 miles in total, or 1004 km. Then we'll bus back to Santiago and stay in Barcelona for a day before leaving, so we'll need a little extra money for the bus and our meals there. Lol-- just figuring things out for myself, here.

Thanks for the help!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Just an FYI: A pilgrim menu and the Menu del Dia are often different animals. You will almost never see a Spaniard order a Pilgrim meal, even though pilgrim menus are often the cheaper option, because the Del Dia is often better-quality food, prepared by Spaniards to meet local standards. (it´s assumed that pilgrims will eat almost anything you give them, long as you serve enough fries alongside. Which explains that rubberized lomo no Spaniard would go near.)

Often the waiter will assume all pilgrims want the pilgrim menu. If you like good food, it´s worth your while to ask if there´s a Menu del Dia option.

reb.
 

twigsandribbons

New Member
LOL-- I appreciate the heads up, Rebekah!

When I was younger, I used to be a really picky eater, but in the last 6/7 years I've really opened up and even become something of a foodie, so I'm very much looking forward to experiencing good food in Spain. Of course, my budget is an issue :? but I'll certainly treat myself to the more expensive menus whenever possible.

And that is so sad about the fries. :/ Why would anyone travel to Spain to eat food they could get at home? I mean, I understand the occasional need for familiar things, I suppose, but as I understand, there are still McDonald's in Spain! :wink:
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Rebekah is quite right about the menu de dia. I figured this out on my first Camino and have been generally very pleased with what I have been served since-- it is usually good, local, home cooking, although the desserts are too often packaged ice cream for my taste. Often you can get cheese for dessert for an extra euro.

As far as the fries are concerned, I too, would like Spain to realize that potatoes can be prepared in more than one way. A place like Logrono or Leon would be a good spot to try out a selection of tapas as an evening meal. From Palas de Rei or Melide onward, you will somehow quite incomprehensibly acquire a taste for pulpo.

Joint meals in albergues is to be greatly commended, not so much for the cuisine, but the spirit in which it is prepared. Pasta and red wine will keep you going over many hills.

Spanish cooking is one of the ways we can encounter a their culture and spirit. Food is a big part of Spanish life and I have had some great conversations about recipes-- for years to come, you will be looking for manchego in supermarkets and Rioja in wine shops, just to revive a memory or two.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
It seems strange but I don't recall seeing both the Pilgrim Menu and the Menu de Dia. I guess like most of us I didn't look past the Pilgrim Menu. What would be an example of the difference in food and price? I will be starting from SJPP in about 2 weeks and will have to check this out. :wink:
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The most noticeable difference in the two menus was at the Gaudi Hotel in Astorga. Pilgrims had three choices; regular diners had about a dozen. The price was quite different as well. The waiter insisted on a "ticket" from the albergue before he would offer the pilgrim menu. It was an undistinguished meal with indifferent service. The pilgrims had fun anyway. I finished wondering why the hotel bothered with the pilgrim offering, since it seemed to be disinterested in the patrons. It was just another exercise in taking life in stride.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
If memory serves me well, a number of local restaurants are required (by the ayuntamiento? the province?) to serve the pilgrims' menu. The local response can be variable-- I imagine that the Gaudi would rather not serve it, but it may be the waiter.... I often found that a particular place would go to lengths to ensure that the pilgrims' menu was palatable and well-presented. I munched on pilgrims' menus many times on my first Camino and they kept me fuelled. While I can afford to go up the scale (and soon decided to do so), many cannot, and I was glad that the provision was there.

French fries, I fear to say, also appear on the menu de dia and (believe it or not) on the carta dishes as well.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
The Menu del Dia is popularly attributed to Generalissimo Francisco Franco, who supposedly decreed that working men should be able to have at least one good meal per day at an affordable price. All restaurants adopted the Menu del Dia back then, and I think most of them stick with it... even though I´ve seen 21-Euro Menus in some posh places!

Restaurants that live off pilgrim traffic may not offer both Menus. Those that cater to working people as well as pilgrims may offer both, or either, as well as the "A la Carte" sandwich or "platos combinados" offerings.

In general, if you choose to afford it, it is to avoid places that offer only Pilgrim Menus, or that feature giant posters with photos of food on plates for you to point at. Look instead for the places on the edge of town where all the trucks and workers´ vans are parked. You may have to deal with some cigarette smoke and litter on the floors, but you´re a lot more likely to get good food there... by which I mean a Menu with (for instance my Menu lunch this afternoon) a whole pan-fried trout, braised artichokes, three mandarinas for dessert, bread, and wine or water: 10 Euro. (For their second courses one of my companions had 2 roast quail, and the other a quarter of stewed rabbit... This is exceptional, but quite available if you look around.)

Key to all this is taking a few extra steps OFF the Camino path, to find where the Locals eat.
 

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:
As a vegetarian, I found that the Menu del Peregrinos not good value for me. I preferred to order something from the menu.
A few café-bar-cum-restaurants have 3 different prices on their menu.
1) It is cheapest to eat at the bar.
2) You could pay €1 – €1.50 extra to eat at an inside table
3) .. and a further €1 - €1.50 to eat at a table on the terrace outside.
Pan (bread) is often free but some places will put it on the table and then charge you for it if you eat it!

It is sometimes cheaper to drink your coffee at the counter inside the cafe-bar than it is to drink it at a table outside.

I have a post on my blog 'Costs on the Camino' that might be helpful.

http://amawalker.blogspot.com/2008/09/c ... amino.html
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
I suspect some of these issues are restricted to the Camino Frances. It is the only route where I have ever come across both a Menu del Dia and a cheaper Pilgrims' Menu. Similarly whilst it is common to pay a little extra some sitting at a table or outside in some other European countries this is not something I have encountered in Spain - other than on the Camino Frances. I'd be interested in the experience of others.
 

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:
We were charged extra in Lugo and in Oviedo. We soon learned to ask if the 'pan' was free because I hardly ever eat bread.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
Here's a weird question. I like to drink coffee in the morning. I usually get my coffee from Dutch Bros., a local coffee place here in Oregon. Anyways, I use a reusable coffee mug (trying to be good and not use paper unnecessarily). Will I be able to do this in Spain? I just need a little cafe con leche y azucar and I'm good.
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Listed in my signature
If you are worried about saving paper cups, I don't think this will be a problem on the Camino. I've never seen a bar or cafe serve cofffee in anything but a proper cup or mug. And, if you're thinking about taking it away with you, why not schedule a coffee break an hour to two into your morning walk (when possible) and enjoy a nice break?
 

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:
At Manjarin I helped serve coffee to pilgrims in polystyrene cups - which I think had been recycled many times!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
sillydoll said:
As a vegetarian, I found that the Menu del Peregrinos not good value for me. I preferred to order something from the menu.
A few café-bar-cum-restaurants have 3 different prices on their menu.
1) It is cheapest to eat at the bar.
2) You could pay €1 – €1.50 extra to eat at an inside table
3) .. and a further €1 - €1.50 to eat at a table on the terrace outside.
Pan (bread) is often free but some places will put it on the table and then charge you for it if you eat it!
It is sometimes cheaper to drink your coffee at the counter inside the cafe-bar than it is to drink it at a table outside.
I have a post on my blog 'Costs on the Camino' that might be helpful.
http://amawalker.blogspot.com/2008/09/c ... amino.html

This surprised me to read it as I have never encountered the change of price based on where you are seated in Spain. It is very common in France...as is putting bread, etc on the table and then charging for any you eat. I am very accustomed to this in France (and in a few places in Austria) but have never encountered it in Spain.
The Spanish requirement to post every single price on the wall makes it diffucult to have too many changes in normal price.
Maybe Sil was eating in French restaurants along the way. :wink:
 

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:
:D
In Oviedo it was cheaper to eat at the bar counter than at the tables!
This practise is very common in Italy too. On the Via Francigena, we always sat outside at the plastic tables but then learned that it was cheaper to join the locals inside and stand at the bar.
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
grayland said:
It is very common in France...as is putting bread, etc on the table and then charging for any you eat. I am very accustomed to this in France (and in a few places in Austria) but have never encountered it in Spain.Maybe Sil was eating in French restaurants along the way. :wink:

Lol this surprised me. I have travelled a lot in France, though mainly in more rural areas. Bread is standard on French tables: if you don't have bread you don't have a proper meal in French eyes! But everywhere I went bread and water were just included. It was Italy where I found they charged for the bread they put on the tables.
Margaret
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I have often been at restaurants or cafes where there would be an extra charge for being seated on the terrace. I even recall a hotel in Carrion de los Condes which had three different scales of charges, at the bar, at a table, or on the terrace. The pouring rain discouraged the otherwise agreeable terrace seating.
 

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:
I emailed the Turismo Office in Oviedo and this was their reply:

Dear Sil :
Yes, this is a common practise in Spain. Always, to eat or drink something in the exterior of the bar or the restaurant is more expensive that inside.
Anyway , it is a pleasure to drink something in the open air, when the weather is good, of course.
Best Regards,
Angeles Vázquez
 

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