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Monte de Gozo Albergue--What's Up

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by alhartman, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. alhartman

    alhartman Member Donating Member

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    Just finished a short Leon-SdC walk and stayed in the much reviled (at least in 2004) Albergue.

    It looks like a set for Blade Runner II or some other futuristic dystopian movie. Only the top 3 Quonset huts are being maintained as the albergue (only one needed to be opened). The whole rest of the 30+ building complex is closed/abandoned. No restaurant, no cafeteria, no vending machines, leaves blown into all the building doorways, etc. Its been a long way down since opening in 1993.

    The others I was walking with stayed in some newer alb--maybe San Marcos run by the Polish ?? confraternity.

    Weird!
     
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  2. Gillean

    Gillean Active Member

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    There is now what appears to be a new Polish albergue 300 m downhill from the monument on Monte Gozo to the visit of the Polish pope. Not sure what it's like. Expect it's significantly better than the big municipal based on your description
     
  3. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    I stayed in there last September. I initially intended to walk all the way to Santiago that day, but there were just so many pilgrims on the Camino walking in at the same time (it was a Friday afternoon) that I thought I may not be able to get a place to stay. I decided to crash at Monte do Gozo for the night. They only had one dorm open as there was only about 20 of us. It was also cold, gloomy and a slight rain. That didn't help the place's atmosphere much. Thankfully the next morning was beautiful, clear and cool. Blue skies. I think there were maybe 4-5 other pilgrims walking into Santiago with me, and when I got to the cathedral, the plaza was almost uninhabited.
    The place definitely looked as though it has seen better days. If not for the flood of pilgrims on the Camino I would not have stopped there.
     
  4. domigee

    domigee Veteran Member Donating Member

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    And was the cafeteria open? And the laundry place? Or was it just the dorm?
    Just askin' as I usually stay there... Not an inspiring place, I agree but very convenient....
     
  5. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    No, the cafeteria and laundry place were closed. They just had one dorm open. The main one where the hospitalero works out of.
    Yes, despite the shuttered-up atmosphere of the place, it is convenient for those wanting a short morning walk into Santiago, which I admit was kinda of nice. Also, the showers, bathrooms and dorms all looked pretty clean to me.
     
  6. domigee

    domigee Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Thanks. Helpful to know ahead.
     
  7. Claudia Stephens

    Claudia Stephens New Member

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    I am here now and yes the design is odd. However, the albergue is clean and the facilities no worse than any other albergue I have stayed in since St. Jean. I got the throw away sheet and a blanket and the grounds are peaceful, full of beautiful flowers. And there is a restaurant here, we're having dinner tonight. You can cook, but I'm not sure where you would get food, so bring it with you. I am very pleased for the peaceful atmosphere before Santiago tomorrow.
     
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  8. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    Monte de Gozo albergue always was a soulless place, built in a hurry to accommodate thousands expected for a Holy Year. I think they expected pilgrims to return to stay at Monte de Gozo, instead of staying in Santiago, and use public transport to get to and from the city. I stayed there in 2004 and we were offered a room for three nights (which we did not take). That year it was busy - every hut was full, the cafeteria operating at full swing, and there were various shops and services. When I walked past it in September last year it looked like an abandoned prisoner of war camp.

    Edited to add - I think the buildings were thrown up in a hurry and very poor construction, so they would be expensive to maintain.
     
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  9. Albertagirl

    Albertagirl Veteran Member

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    I stayed there last November. There was a kitchen and a good variety of pots and dishes available, but nowhere in the vicinity to buy food, and no restaurant, of course. It was a convenient place to stay on my way into Santiago. There were only three of us there. A loud and lengthy argument between the supervisor of the building and a couple of police officers rather disturbed the quiet. It was clean and fairly comfortable. I would stay there again to walk into Santiago in the morning.
     
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  10. Kiwi-family

    Kiwi-family Veteran Member

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    When we stayed there we found a tiny tienda that had macaroni, tomato sauce, vegetables in jars, chorizo and eggs - enough to make a meal for 11. Walk back up the hill and past the monument to the road. Walk back the way you had already come (i.e. Away from Santiago) and if my memory serves me correctly the tienda was in the row of houses on the right hand side. That was 2012!
     
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  11. tpmchugh

    tpmchugh Active Member

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    Stayed in Monte do Gozo last May and only a couple of dorms were in use. Restaurant and laundry were not open. We walked round to the Polish one for dinner in their restaurant. Planning on trying the Polish one this September. I like being able to do a short early morning walk into town, get compostela, drop bag off and get to pilgrim mass at noon
     
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  12. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    Yeah, that place is still there, or something similar. I went there and got provisions for dinner last year when I stayed at Monte de Gozo.
     
  13. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Walking through Monte de Gozo, I saw a sign last week announcing that the Xunta is going to spend 800,000 euros reconditioning Monte de Gozo. As we walked out to the pilgrim statute with the view to the cathedral, you could see a lot of earth moving and bulldozing going on. Not sure what the plans are, but surely no one is happy with the current situation.
     
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  14. alhartman

    alhartman Member Donating Member

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    Peregrina--most interesting. When I went thru a month ago there was equipment off on the next little ridge to the south. And I would like to see something better there because of location (I like the walk in from there in the early morning). Just small improvements to add a working store and bar could bring infrastructure support for the top three Quonset huts (of the 30 on the site) that seem to be designated for the albergue back to the 500+bed capacity listed. . The added capacity could relieve the bed race congestion in peak times to supplement the 850 SdC albergue beds listed in Gronze. And the Monte do Gozo is only 6eu vs the 8-18 for most in SdC -- also helps the budget pilgrim.

    I hope the central planners can do it right--seems like the whole project was a (delusional) 'grand Olympic vision' from its start ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_do_Gozo).

    I'll save my rant about how the Camino Frances decade long economi success is an illustration on how 'trickle down economics' and 'supply side economics' are mostly bogus policy theories. I hope the junta can get the facility 'right sized'.
     
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  15. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    I think Monte de Gozo suffers a bit from reversed self-fulfilling prophecy. I had a long chat with Manolo, the longtime Xunta hospitalero there, in 2014 and he showed me his pilgrims statistics. Even in the busiest months there was hardly a day where more than 100 pilgrims stayed in his albergue ... not enough people to maintain services and because there are no services not more people that stay ...
     
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  16. alhartman

    alhartman Member Donating Member

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