A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

Live - Camino Francés Municipal albergues allowing large group to reserve 😡

Santiago Photo Book
Status
Not open for further replies.

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Yesterday I stayed in the municipal albergue in Azofra, which is a hidden gem - all the rooms have only two single beds, and there's a nice courtyard with a fountain.
However, although it didn't seem full at all my friend and I were two of the last to get a bed in the main (nice) building, and they started putting people in the overflow building. This was fairly early in the afternoon, and thereaare 60 beds in the main albergue. Then a bunch of teenagers started arriving, and they obviously had beds waiting for them.

It turns out that this school group of 30 boys, plus five teachers had been allowed to reserve beds in advance, leaving everyone else in the two overflow buildings.

And they have also been allowed to reserve at the 38 bed municipal in Redecilla del Camino where I am today. (in a private albergue that I reserved by email last night)

I felt very badly for the pilgrims who actually arrived before these boys and weren't allowed a bed in the very nice municipal albergue. 😡
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Hmmm you know well my reservations in general about pre-bookers but you and many others also helped me to see the necessity.

I'm wondering if special consideration was not given because of the fact that these bookers are in fact children getting an educational experience that cannot be learned in the classroom. It would make sense that such consideration be given because of the supervision needed for such a group. If one of these children were your child, would you want them split from the group? A six to one ratio for supervision doesn't sound like much but the adults can't really split off with the six in their charge. They have to take showers in shifts, go to the market in shifts. The kids have to be supervised at all times, they are still minors and likely their first and maybe only Camino experience.

I will pray for you. Maybe your mantra as you walk can be Love and Tolerance, Love and Tolerance, Love and Tolerance. Be well and maybe take a taxi a couple of towns ahead if this continues to bother you.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
To me the question is not if groups like this need to stay together for educational reasons but if in case that is necessary walking a Camino is the right way to go.
 

Shazenalan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2018
Hmm, I see your frustration, and understand it for sure. Yet if my son or daughter was in that group I would, firstly, be pleased about the opportunity their school has made possible, and, secondly, hope and trust that all on the Camino would extend special consideration to their particular needs as young people, and show them this very special ethos that the Camino mostly perpetuates. As for tolerance...I understand that too and yet I don't want anyone to tolerate me or mine, I think I would prefer to go home and say I was recognised as someone travelling my own Camino - regardless of my age.
 

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
To me the question is not if groups like this need to stay together for educational reasons but if in case that is necessary walking a Camino is the right way to go.
I would answer absolutely! Should they have to wait 30-40 years of their life, with their mistakes in tow to learn the spiritual lessons that they are learning now that will help them avoid future mistakes? Should they have to wait 30-40 years to arrive on the Camino as part of a vehicle-assisted tour that books them as a group in a private albergue or hotel? These kids are walking the distance daily. They are not being driven from point at to point B as evidenced by how they begin to stream in. While they may handle it better physically, they are still children and may not have the mental toughness of adults. They may have a wide variety of emotional reactions to putting their young bodies through a workout. At the very least, they have the right to be there. Just like the religious, like the pagans, the atheists, the bicyclers, the tourists, the retired, those playing hooky from "real" life, the dreamers, the realists. Yes these children can only benefit from this type of education, mixing with such a wonderful mish-mash of people from different countries and cultures!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
My issue is that there are private albergues that take reservations. They should be staying in those places. Municipals are supposed to be first come, first served.

On Gronze and other sites it says that these municipal albergues do not accept reservations.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
"Times are a changin' " and there is probably nothing that can be done about it. Many things on the Camino are evolving rapidly.

If they are Spanish kids, my opinion is that their families trump those of us who come from other countries to walk the Caminos.
 
Last edited:

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
Yesterday I stayed in the municipal albergue in Azofra, which is a hidden gem - all the rooms have only two single beds, and there's a nice courtyard with a fountain.
However, although it didn't seem full at all my friend and I were two of the last to get a bed in the main (nice) building, and they started putting people in the overflow building. This was fairly early in the afternoon, and thereaare 60 beds in the main albergue. Then a bunch of teenagers started arriving, and they obviously had beds waiting for them.

It turns out that this school group of 30 boys, plus five teachers had been allowed to reserve beds in advance, leaving everyone else in the two overflow buildings.

And they have also been allowed to reserve at the 38 bed municipal in Redecilla del Camino where I am today. (in a private albergue that I reserved by email last night)

I felt very badly for the pilgrims who actually arrived before these boys and weren't allowed a bed in the very nice municipal albergue. 😡
I didn’t even know there was an overflow building! Where is it? 😳
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
"Times are a changin' " and there is probably nothing that can be done about it. Many things on the Camino are evolving rapidly.

If they are Spanish kids, my opinion is that their families trump those of us who come from other countries to walk the Caminos.
Nope, not Spanish kids.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I didn’t even know there was an overflow building! Where is it? 😳
It's across the street, and there is an overflow for the overflow by the church.

Despite this annoyance - and I wasn't annoyed for myself, but for the others who missed out on staying in the albergue, I really enjoyed Azofra. It's a hidden gem with a well designed albergue, and a wonderful botanical garden where you are encouraged to walk barefoot on the cool grass pathways.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
It's across the street, and there is an overflow for the overflow by the church.

Despite this annoyance - and I wasn't annoyed for myself, but for the others who missed out on staying in the albergue, I really enjoyed Azofra. It's a hidden gem with a well designed albergue, and a wonderful botanical garden where you are encouraged to walk barefoot on the cool grass pathways.
Thanks, I never knew that!
Yes, I do ❤ Azofra.
Hope the rest of your Camino goes well. 🙂
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I think its good kids are getting to enjoy the camino!! Installs a different holiday experience for them☺
Yeah, so do I, but I think that it should have been organized in a way that's more respectful of the needs of their fellow pilgrims. We all know that municipal albergues have a no reservations policy - at least the two in question here do. If a group needs to make reservations they shouldn't ask for exceptions that other pilgrims are not allowed. They should stay in private albergues.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
If one is arguing that these groups of children (students, whatever) be able to experience the Camino, shouldn't that also include the way in which the Camino is actually experienced? In other words, in alburgues which do not normally accept reservations and are 1st come-1st served, shouldn't THAT be part of the experience for students, too? Of course you need to plan a structure fro food and lodging for groups like this, but that can occur in accommodations which DO allow reservations. So, if the students do not arrive in time to secure an alburgue bed, then have a Plan B ready at reserved lodgings. Or use lodgings that always allow reservations as Plan A.

I do not disagree with the notion of students, either in singles or in gaggles, being able to 'experience the Camino', but creating an artificial bubble of an environment which is insulated from what is real for most pilgrims, seems to create an oxymoron. Sort of like expecting a child to understand wilderness backpacking within the confines of a summer camp.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
First time I hear about a municipal albergue accepting reservations. Besides the general rules, they usually don't have the administrative capacity to manage that. Maybe things have changed, but I'd suspect some kind of private and personal arrangement.
 
Last edited:

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
My issue is that there are private albergues that take reservations. They should be staying in those places. Municipals are supposed to be first come, first served.

On Gronze and other sites it says that these municipal albergues do not accept reservations.
I absolutely agree that if there are private albergues with sufficient capacity they should reserve there, instead. However, when I looked in my Wisely+ app for Redecilla, for example, there didn't seem to be a private albergue with 30 beds. That option doesn't seem to have been available.

Ultimately, I don't think it is my place to tell hospitaleros how to run their albergues. If they want to run them with reservations or without or if they want to make exceptions for reasons that seem sufficient to them, I will try and accept it with good grace. If individuals or groups want to ask for special treatment, that's okay, too, so long as they abide by the decision of the hospitalero on the matter.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Read this thread with interest. It appears to be one of those, many frustrating situations where I would would just offer it up, shrug my shoulders, while remembering what I have often been told: “But señor, this is Spain!”

Just let it be. Stay in private accommodations. Adapt and overcome. That is my advice.

This sort of thing is not going away and will get worse as the Holy Year comes in 2021, as many and varied civic and religious groups will do the same thing. We, the “onesies” and “twosies” do not have to like this sort of thing, but we do have to adapt to it.

Hope this helps.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
there are other lodging options in that town for pilgrims. Long as everyone has a roof overhead, nobody should complain.
I do, however, take exception to the situation at Roncesvalles, where the abbot this year made a deal to "set aside" 60 pilgrim beds in the monastic albergue when busloads of tourigrinos from three selected travel outfitters are in town. These fee-paying visitors take scarce beds away from pilgrims who have walked over the mountain from France. They are cared-for and cleaned-up-after by volunteers who did not sign up to offer free labor for a profit-making enterprise.
Pilgrims in Roncesvalles do not have many other options, and lately are forced to take taxis farther afield to find a bed. This is WRONG.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Any onesies and twosies walking in holy year may be wise to bring a tent.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I’ve stayed in this lovely albergue. Why put children in rooms for two? Is the overflow a large room? Seems to me supervision would be easier if everyone was visible. Bummer.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked CF September/October 2015
I also have to wonder what options the large groups might have if they come to a town and can’t find accommodation for nearly 40. I’m sure they are required to stay together since they cannot leave some children unsupervised. Perhaps those making the decision thought it might be easier for individuals coming through to find alternatives than the large group. I certainly understand the frustration with this modern trend, but everyone is trying to find ways to adjust to the influx of pilgrims as interest and demand grows, and part of the experience as a pilgrim must be to find the acceptance and patience through the adjustment period.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Read this thread with interest. It appears to be one of those, many frustrating situations where I would would just offer it up, shrug my shoulders, while remembering what I have often been told: “But señor, this is Spain!”

Just let it be. Stay in private accommodations. Adapt and overcome. That is my advice.

This sort of thing is not going away and will get worse as the Holy Year comes in 2021, as many and varied civic and religious groups will do the same thing. We, the “onesies” and “twosies” do not have to like this sort of thing, but we do have to adapt to it.

Hope this helps.
I found out the group's next stages and planned ahead. I enjoyed hospitalero Jose's warmth and cooking at Essentia Albergue in Redecillo del Camino 😊
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
"Times are a changin' " and there is probably nothing that can be done about it. Many things on the Camino are evolving rapidly.

If they are Spanish kids, my opinion is that their families trump those of us who come from other countries to walk the Caminos.
I understand that the camino is on their soil. But I do not see why their needs or wants should trump anyone else's from another country. I would have to say that the pilgrims who have walked from all over the world have done as much as the Spanish people to revitalize the economy along the Camino Frances. I have lived for 7 years as a guest in a foreign county and I have learned the customs and culture of my adopted country. I do not live in an expat conclave like so many do that live overseas. I live in and among the local people. I think in each country we should respect the host country. But to me all I have to do is look to my home, the United States, and see how America first is destroying us and that an American has a greater right to one of our natural resources then a foreigner. Foreigners are not taking anything from the Spain and as I said they make a contribution both economically and in words and experience. So I have to respectfully disagree that the kids come before anyone else. I always thought that one of the great lessons of the Camino is to teach young and old that we are basically all equal. I hear this sentiment echoed constantly and justifiably. We have different motivations to walk. Maybe those kids want to walk, maybe they see it as a holiday or maybe their parents are forcing them. Hopefully they will get something out of it. Maybe, maybe not. But they are no better or worse than any other Pilgrim.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I understand that the camino is on their soil. But I do not see why their needs or wants should trump anyone else's from another country. I would have to say that the pilgrims who have walked from all over the world have done as much as the Spanish people to revitalize the economy along the Camino Frances. I have lived for 7 years as a guest in a foreign county and I have learned the customs and culture of my adopted country. I do not live in an expat conclave like so many do that live overseas. I live in and among the local people. I think in each country we should respect the host country. But to me all I have to do is look to my home, the United States, and see how America first is destroying us and that an American has a greater right to one of our natural resources then a foreigner. Foreigners are not taking anything from the Spain and as I said they make a contribution both economically and in words and experience. So I have to respectfully disagree that the kids come before anyone else. I always thought that one of the great lessons of the Camino is to teach young and old that we are basically all equal. I hear this sentiment echoed constantly and justifiably. We have different motivations to walk. Maybe those kids want to walk, maybe they see it as a holiday or maybe their parents are forcing them. Hopefully they will get something out of it. Maybe, maybe not. But they are no better or worse than any other Pilgrim.
Just to be clear, these are not Spanish students.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
@lt56ny, You make some valid points and I agree with some of them and respectfully disagree with others.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Just to be clear, these are not Spanish students.
I cant read all the fine print haha. But that still doesnt change my opinion! But it is just my opinion. As my Jewish grandma told me once after I changed my opinion about, who remembers, if you get 10 Jews in a room and ask them their opinion you will get 50 answers.As Richard Pryor (I think) once said, thats my story and I am sticking with it!
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
Thanks for sharing this observation Trecile. As others have said, things change over time, it is inevitable, some for the better and some for the worse. The benefit of your post is it helps us to set expectations and remind that tolerance for others is necessary for a peaceful world.

I was lucky to stay at this Albergue last year. The semi private room was a luxury but even better the court yard with the fountain / cold-tub. It was a hot sunny day so sitting on the edge with feet in the cool refreshing water was a treat. There was plenty Vino tinto and cerveza and chips being shared around the "pool" and although there were 10 -15 people in the area, it was a calm, quiet atmosphere
IMG_4636.png
 

Pilger99

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
You probably feel that these foreign students had enough money to pay the flight and so they should pay now their expensenses as anybody else and not occupy the cheapest place in town (almost) completely. Depending on the flight costs that might be already a wrong thought. They don't need to be rich. With Ryanair the plane ticket might be the least of all costs. Even if they are rich(er), some part of the camino experience is about staying in these albergues.
On the other hand where are they supposed to stay? On the way to Fatima some pilgrims even sleep in the roadside ditch. Is this what you want for them? Should they occupy the sports ground? Should they spread over the whole village or even the next one because they can't fit together in one place?
I don't have the answer, but I don't see much difference in the provenance of them. Spaniards can walk there any time so tourists and guests should come in first place or shouldn't they?

PS: I like the idea of the double "rooms" but the beds in Azofra are too short for taller westerners.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Yesterday I stayed in the municipal albergue in Azofra, which is a hidden gem - all the rooms have only two single beds, and there's a nice courtyard with a fountain.
However, although it didn't seem full at all my friend and I were two of the last to get a bed in the main (nice) building, and they started putting people in the overflow building. This was fairly early in the afternoon, and thereaare 60 beds in the main albergue. Then a bunch of teenagers started arriving, and they obviously had beds waiting for them.

It turns out that this school group of 30 boys, plus five teachers had been allowed to reserve beds in advance, leaving everyone else in the two overflow buildings.

And they have also been allowed to reserve at the 38 bed municipal in Redecilla del Camino where I am today. (in a private albergue that I reserved by email last night)

I felt very badly for the pilgrims who actually arrived before these boys and weren't allowed a bed in the very nice municipal albergue. 😡
Saw the same thing in Logroño some years ago. A busload of young boys arrived just after us and right away the completo sign went up. It was a group from Ireland that had both Irish and Spanish exchange students. Walked with a couple of them the next morning, very nice kids, well teenagers. The bus picked them up at Navarette and we never saw them again
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
You probably feel that these foreign students had enough money to pay the flight and so they should pay now their expensenses as anybody else and not occupy the cheapest place in town (almost) completely. Depending on the flight costs that might be already a wrong thought. They don't need to be rich. With Ryanair the plane ticket might be the least of all costs. Even if they are rich(er), some part of the camino experience is about staying in these albergues.
On the other hand where are they supposed to stay? On the way to Fatima some pilgrims even sleep in the roadside ditch. Is this what you want for them? Should they occupy the sports ground? Should they spread over the whole village or even the next one because they can't fit together in one place?
I don't have the answer, but I don't see much difference in the provenance of them. Spaniards can walk there any time so tourists and guests should come in first place or shouldn't they?

PS: I like the idea of the double "rooms" but the beds in Azofra are too short for taller westerners.
I don't think anyone, especially @trecile, is begrudging the students a place to stay. The way I read her posts was that private albergues - many of which do take reservations - can take on these big groups who need to book ahead. This setup would leave the municipal albergues - many of whom state publicly that they do not take reservations - to other pilgrims.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I have experienced a similar routine as tpmchugh mentioned above the times I have seen school groups. They generally have a support caravan of parents and teachers who serve them snacks and lunch and transport their bags along with their walking wounded and load them in buses around siesta time and transport them to school gymnasiums somewhere off of the Camino. Only to be seen again a few days later singing and shouting as they populate the path.
DSCN0340.JPG
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I don't think anyone, especially @trecile, is begrudging the students a place to stay. The way I read her posts was that private albergues - many of which do take reservations - can take on these big groups who need to book ahead. This setup would leave the municipal albergues - many of whom state publicly that they do not take reservations - to other pilgrims.
Thank you. That's exactly what I meant. Many pilgrims arrived in the early afternoon thinking that since this was listed as a municipal albergue that did not take reservations, that it was first come, first served, only to find out that the beds were taken by pilgrims that had been allowed to reserve, but had not yet shown up.

And I will say that the group is very nice and well behaved.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I'm not on the Camino (or in Azofra) right now but I'm utterly annoyed by the forum members that doesn't pay attention to what was written. It seems like they just read the OP and then the rant starts.

ad1: Municipal albergues SHOULD NOT take reservations. And that's what @trecile wrote time and time again.

ad2: IF the municipal(!!!) albergue would by any chance take their reservation why weren't THEY put in the overflow as they came later than many other pilgrims (which were directed to overflow when the main building was still more than half empty!!!)???

ad3: The kids were NOT of Spanish nationality (it was repeated several times!!!) and hence from where we all come doesn't matter at all because the rules about municipal albergues are very clear and whether your parents (as Spanish residents) are paying taxes makes no difference to what you are entitled to in case of munis.

Sorry @trecile, I know you can "defend" yourself but I was really annoyed by those negligent readers/posters.
 
Last edited:

lizlane

Small Town Girl, Small Town World
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
right now but I'm utterly annoyed by the forum members that doesn't pay attention to what was written. It seems like they just read the OP and then the rant start
This is my pet peeve in general on the forum!

I think we all know what the standard on Municipals is and Trecile has adapted by learning the stages that are planned for the group. I am glad to hear that at the least, the kids are well-behaved.

What I'm curious about is what can be done about it with the Holy Year approaching. Should we start a position on Change.org to whoever oversees pilgrim matters as a whole for the country? I would definitely sign it.
 

Anna Cameron

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
This is my pet peeve in general on the forum!

I think we all know what the standard on Municipals is and Trecile has adapted by learning the stages that are planned for the group. I am glad to hear that at the least, the kids are well-behaved.

What I'm curious about is what can be done about it with the Holy Year approaching. Should we start a position on Change.org to whoever oversees pilgrim matters as a whole for the country? I would definitely sign it.
IS there such a person, overseeing Pilgrim matters in all of Spain? What jurisdiction would they have in enforcing such a change? Despite the frustration caused by this issue (group reservations, limited beds in albergues), surely the prospect of vocal, outraged visitors attempting to impose their views on the hospidaleros of Spain is far worse?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Should we start a position on Change.org to whoever oversees pilgrim matters as a whole for the country? I would definitely sign it.
No ONE oversees pilgrim matters as a whole for the country, the non-private albergues are administered by the ayuntamientos, local parishes, pilgrim organizations, etc. and such a petition wouldn't be worth the paper it's not written on.
Sorry @trecile, I know you can "defend" yourself but I was really annoyed with those negligent readers/posters.
Thanks. I don't mind being defended. 😊
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
IS there such a person, overseeing Pilgrim matters in all of Spain? What jurisdiction would they have in enforcing such a change? Despite the frustration caused by this issue (group reservations, limited beds in albergues), surely the prospect of vocal, outraged visitors attempting to impose their views on the hospidaleros of Spain is far worse?
Of course not. There is no person or institution “overseeing pilgrim matters in all of Spain”. Azofra is in La Rioja and Redecilla del Camino is in Castilla y Leon. Both regions have legal dispositions about albergues turisticas and albergues del Camino de Santiago. And each albergue can have their regimen interno.

Before any actual activity, other than expressing outrage on the internet, I’d try to find out whether a municipal albergue isn’t entirely within their rights to reserve beds for school groups, in particular when the municipality makes additional beds available in another building for individual pilgrims. I doubt that there would be a legal obligation to make such arrangements public in a way that every individual pilgrim is informed.

I don’t think that pilgrims have a legal right to beds in municipal albergues per se, btw, or that a municipality is obliged to set up and run a municipal albergue in the first place.
 
Last edited:

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
What I'm curious about is what can be done about it with the Holy Year approaching.
I wouldn’t get too worked up about the Holy Year 2021. Galicia is going to promote it like mad, Galicia has been preparing for it already and continues to do so, and Galicia hopes to see a significant increase in the numbers of visitors including pilgrims on foot. So that’s the last 150 km of the Camino Francés for example. The impact in the other regions will be less. Bear in mind that only a minority of foot pilgrims starts in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port or in Navarra or La Rioja (Spanish regions at the beginning of the Camino Francés).
 
Last edited:

Meshewszon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese
Having had a good read of all the posts on this thread and others about the Holy Year and it's consequenses I don't think I'll have the least inclination to walk in the Holy Year.
It is certainly a cause for celebration and everybody would like to join in but my misgivings are founded on 'when does a celebration become a part-ay'?
Anyways it's not my worry, to quote a previously mentioned mantra - not my monkey, not my circus.
Good word 'circus' isn't it? Lots of uses.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Sigh. I’m of course guilty of widening the door to a discussion about the year 2021 by picking up one comment and replying to it. As to the actual topic: school groups in municipal albergues on the Camino Francés - are there many such groups outside of Galicia? I’ve never noticed a single one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: twh

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
I would have been annoyed and confused in the first place, too. Having learnt that municipal albergues (usually!) do not take reservations.

But today, when helping a pilgrim who inquired about accomodation just outside Pamplona that would take reservations, I learnt that there seem to be exceptions. The municipal albergue at Villava takes reservations
and there may be others.

Taking this into consideration I just looked up the albergue at Azofra and yes, they take reservations!


And then I came to remember, that the yellow german list of albergues which was published by Jochen Schmidtke (Paderborner Heft) informed already in 2006/2007 (when I was doing my first camino) that groups larger than 5 should phone the albergue in advance. So I guess, that in some cases it is possible to do reservations for religious groups or school-classes doing the camino and that accepting such a reservation is at the discretion of those who run the albergue.

BC

Alexandra
 
Last edited:

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
Sigh. I’m of course guilty of widening the door to a discussion about the year 2021 by picking up one comment and replying to it. As to the actual topic: school groups in municipal albergues on the Camino Francés - are there many such groups outside of Galicia? I’ve never noticed a single one.
There was a party of 30 Portuguese 10 11 yr olds in Azofra on April 6 this year.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I would have been annoyed and confused in the first place, too. Having learnt that municipal albergues (usually!) do not take reservations.

But today, when helping a pilgrim who inquired about accomodation just outside Pamplona that would take reservations, I learnt that there seem to be exceptions. The municipal albergue at Villava takes reservations
and there may be others.

Taking this into consideration I just looked up the albergue at Azofra and yes, they take reservations!


And then I came to remember, that the yellow german list of albergues which was published by Jochen Schmidtke (Paderborner Heft) informed already in 2006/2007 (when I was doing my first camino) that groups larger than 5 should phone the albergue in advance. So I guess, that in some cases it is possible to do reservations for religious groups or school-classes doing the camino and that accepting such a reservation is at the discretion of those who run the albergue.

BC

Alexandra
Interesting. I got my information from Gronze, which I suppose, isn't infallible.
20190523_115224.jpg
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
The albergue in Villava is an albergue municipal and they definitely accept reservations as they are even on Booking.com. However, they don’t call themselves albergue de peregrinos.

Perhaps there is less regulation, or less self-regulation, in this respect - with the exception of albergues of the Xunta of Galicia and of albergues run exclusively by camino associations - than we tend to assume?

I still think that we will only know the policy of Azofra if they are contacted directly. And if such an information request reaches someone there who actually knows ... buena suerte with this 🙃.
 
Last edited:

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Having had a good read of all the posts on this thread and others about the Holy Year and it's consequenses I don't think I'll have the least inclination to walk in the Holy Year.
It is certainly a cause for celebration and everybody would like to join in but my misgivings are founded on 'when does a celebration become a part-ay'?
Anyways it's not my worry, to quote a previously mentioned mantra - not my monkey, not my circus.
Good word 'circus' isn't it? Lots of uses.
I invite everyone who is inclined to NOT walk during the 2021 Holy Year due to concerns over crowding, or for any reason, to join me in working as a volunteer to help welcome pilgrims. This can be done as a hopitalero/hospitalera at an Albergue, or at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago.

Search the forum for my “Volunteering for Dummies” post. It is entitled: “How to Volunteer at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago.” The OP and ensuing dialog will explain the entire process.

Contact your national pilgrim association for advice on how to proceed with volunteering at albergues.
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia

Meshewszon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese
I invite everyone who is inclined to NOT walk during the 2021 Holy Year due to concerns over crowding, or for any reason, to join me in working as a volunteer to help welcome pilgrims. This can be done as a hopitalero/hospitalera at an Albergue, or at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago.

Search the forum for my “Volunteering for Dummies” post. It is entitled: “How to Volunteer at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago.” The OP and ensuing dialog will explain the entire process.

Contact your national pilgrim association for advice on how to proceed with volunteering at albergues.
I just might consider doing that - just so long as I'm still upright and breathing and as you know, two out of three ain't bad😎
A cause for fear? Not me - you lot!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I'm not on the Camino (or in Azofra) right now but I'm utterly annoyed by the forum members that doesn't pay attention to what was written. It seems like they just read the OP and then the rant starts.

ad1: Municipal albergues SHOULD NOT take reservations. And that's what @trecile wrote time and time again.

ad2: IF the municipal(!!!) albergue would by any chance take their reservation why weren't THEY put in the overflow as they came later than many other pilgrims (which were directed to overflow when the main building was still more than half empty!!!)???

ad3: The kids were NOT of Spanish nationality (it was repeated several times!!!) and hence from where we all come doesn't matter at all because the rules about municipal albergues are very clear and whether your parents (as Spanish residents) are paying taxes makes no difference to what you are entitled to in case of munis.

Sorry @trecile, I know you can "defend" yourself but I was really annoyed by those negligent readers/posters.
I tried very hard to pay attention to what was written. I don't think I denied that the three points were made as expressed above. However, one can understand, and even sympathize with or personally agree with the first two points without necessarily accepting them as an incontrovertible objective truth.

As Kathar1na points out in post #43 "each albergue can have their regimen interno". As she points out in post #50, there are clearly municipal albergues that do take reservations (even to the point of being on Booking.com!). And as Via2010 points out, according to Eroski, the Azofra municipal albergue does take reservations.

While you and I and Trecile may fervently believe that municipal albergues should not take reservations, we are not the bosses of the albergues. The hospitaleros are. And if some do not take the first two premises above as gospel but instead try and look at why the hospitaleros may have behaved as they did, I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing nor do I think it is negligent. You may certainly have a different opinion.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I invite everyone who is inclined to NOT walk during the 2021 Holy Year due to concerns over crowding, or for any reason, to join me in working as a volunteer to help welcome pilgrims. This can be done as a hopitalero/hospitalera at an Albergue, or at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago.

Search the forum for my “Volunteering for Dummies” post. It is entitled: “How to Volunteer at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago.” The OP and ensuing dialog will explain the entire process.

Contact your national pilgrim association for advice on how to proceed with volunteering at albergues.
I hope this is the thread you mean Tom.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I tried very hard to pay attention to what was written. I don't think I denied that the three points were made as expressed above. However, one can understand, and even sympathize with or personally agree with the first two points without necessarily accepting them as an incontrovertible objective truth.

As Kathar1na points out in post #43 "each albergue can have their regimen interno". As she points out in post #50, there are clearly municipal albergues that do take reservations (even to the point of being on Booking.com!). And as Via2010 points out, according to Eroski, the Azofra municipal albergue does take reservations.

While you and I and Trecile may fervently believe that municipal albergues should not take reservations, we are not the bosses of the albergues. The hospitaleros are. And if some do not take the first two premises above as gospel but instead try and look at why the hospitaleros may have behaved as they did, I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing nor do I think it is negligent. You may certainly have a different opinion.
Thanks for your respond but both posts you are referring to were posted after mine.

And I think they have been already answered because we are (more or less if we stick to OP) talking about Azofra municipal albergue.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
This may be related or not to @trecile's recent observations in Azofra and Redecilla:

An online article from 2011 on the Mundicamino website reports that 25 secondary school students, in the 14-16 age bracket, walked three stages of the Camino Francés in the region of La Rioja. This is based on a formal agreement between the regional administration's department for education and the Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago (this is not the national umbrella organisation for Spain but one of the regional camino associations that have been instrumental in reviving the historical caminos some 40 years ago or so). The students' trip started in Logroño at the seat of the association - so they were sending them off - and they stayed in municipal albergues in Navarrete for the first night and in Azofra for the second night. A second group of students were due to start at a later date. Another article talks about school trips in the framework of international exchanges between secondary schools of La Rioja and other European countries.

I've read some postulates (for lack of a better word) in this thread. I often notice that one element is excluded from what makes walking a camino as it is regarded as a "tourist" activity of minor value: experiencing el patrimonio. I don't want to bore you with my views. I do think - I even know for certain - that this aspect has been important to those who helped to create today's camino infrastructure that has significantly contributed to its current global success. This infrastructure was created through voluntary work (mostly local) and public money (local, regional, national and EU). And, btw, they actually had their young people and their learning very much in mind. ☺

To me, all this is an indication that the Azofra school group and the municipal albergue may have had the blessings of those "in charge" of the camino in La Rioja and of its public/municipal albergues. And that may not change ... 🤓.
 
Last edited:

Anna Cameron

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
This may be related or not to @trecile's recent observations in Azofra and Boadilla:

An online article from 2011 on the Mundicamino website reports that 25 secondary school students, in the 14-16 age bracket, walked three stages of the Camino Francés in the region of La Rioja. This is based on a formal agreement between the regional administration's department for education and the Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago (this is not the national umbrella organisation for Spain but one of the regional camino associations that have been instrumental in reviving the historical caminos some 40 years ago or so). The students' trip started in Logroño at the seat of the association - so they were sending them off - and they stayed in municipal albergues in Navarrete for the first night and in Azofra for the second night. A second group of students were due to start at a later date. Another article talks about school trips in the framework of international exchanges between secondary schools of La Rioja and other European countries.

I've read some postulates (for lack of a better word) in this thread. I often notice that one element is excluded from what makes walking a camino as it is regarded as a "tourist" activity of minor value: experiencing el patrimonio. I don't want to bore you with my views. I do think - I even know for certain - that this aspect has been important to those who helped to create today's camino infrastructure that has significantly contributed to its current global success. This infrastructure was created through voluntary work (mostly local) and public money (local, regional, national and EU). And, btw, they actually had their young people and their learning very much in mind. ☺

To me, all this is an indication that the Azofra school group and the municipal albergue may have had the blessings of those "in charge" of the camino in La Rioja and of its public/municipal albergues. And that may not change ... 🤓.
This is so beautifully and respectfully written, Kathar1na, and it may allay the worries of some concerned but less-informed pilgrims (or prospective pilgrims). We must avoid making judgements without full awareness of the situation. We are walking in a country/countries where people have walked as pilgrims for centuries. I feel such gratitude to the communities who support the infrastructure of the Camino.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Okay, I did find elsewhere that the Azofra albergue does take reservations. I don't know what Brierly says, but Gronze needs to update their information. I do however think that if they take a large school group reservation that it would probably be better to put them in the large overflow building, but that's obviously not my decision.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
You cannot do the Camino with a group and not booking. This might be some social integration or educational programme, beware!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lourdes/Burgos/SdeC 77; Frances 12,15,17; Finisterre 17; Lourdes/Aragones 18; Meseta 19.
I do, however, take exception to the situation at Roncesvalles, where the abbot this year made a deal to "set aside" 60 pilgrim beds in the monastic albergue when busloads of tourigrinos from three selected travel outfitters are in town.
Had not heard this news! And while I'm far from a "True Pilgrim" cultist, I find it annoying. Don't like seeing such playing of favorites. ... Would it violate Forum rules for you to ID these travel outfitters?
 

walkingstu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino SJPP to SDC 2007 Frances
Camino Aragon Pau Fr. to Pamplona 2010
Camino Burgos to SDC 2012
Camino Porto to SDC 2015
Camino VDLP Seville to SDC March 2016
This thread illustrates how much more complicated we are, and how much less robust.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
For myself, I feel that this particular question of an albergue which I think is reserved for individual walkers pre-booking rooms to groups is another aspect of the lack of control over many aspects of daily life that I have to accept while walking caminos. When I find myself into obsessional planning, as at present, I know that this is in order to try to create an illusion of control in an environment over which I have very little control. Furthermore, I am going on pilgrimage in Spain largely so that I will have no control, but rather open myself to the experiences which will come as I live a way of life very different from how I live at home. I don't really know what I will do "IF". The last thing I want, as a pilgrim, is to discover what it may mean to live in faith. But I will continue to go on pilgrimage until I get better at it. And maybe even after that.
 

Anna Cameron

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
For myself, I feel that this particular question of an albergue which I think is reserved for individual walkers pre-booking rooms to groups is another aspect of the lack of control over many aspects of daily life that I have to accept while walking caminos. When I find myself into obsessional planning, as at present, I know that this is in order to try to create an illusion of control in an environment over which I have very little control. Furthermore, I am going on pilgrimage in Spain largely so that I will have no control, but rather open myself to the experiences which will come as I live a way of life very different from how I live at home. I don't really know what I will do "IF". The last thing I want, as a pilgrim, is to discover what it may mean to live in faith. But I will continue to go on pilgrimage until I get better at it. And maybe even after that.
Here, here!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
my biggest grouse with big groups of young people (and big groups in general) is their tendency to leave large volumes of trash in their wake. The kids may assume their parents or minders are following along behind them, picking up their juice boxes and candy wrappers... the adults may assume they´ve paid for a tour, and the tour operators can follow along behind them picking up cigarette butts and energy bar wrappers.
But truly, I think they´re all having such a jolly romp they don´t think at all.
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
my biggest grouse with big groups of young people (and big groups in general) is their tendency to leave large volumes of trash in their wake. The kids may assume their parents or minders are following along behind them, picking up their juice boxes and candy wrappers... the adults may assume they´ve paid for a tour, and the tour operators can follow along behind them picking up cigarette butts and energy bar wrappers.
But truly, I think they´re all having such a jolly romp they don´t think at all.
Groups of kids should be reminded to pick up after themselves until it becomes habit. As for groups of adults leaving trash for others to pick up, have some compassion, as they are obviously orphans.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
my biggest grouse with big groups of young people (and big groups in general) is their tendency to leave large volumes of trash in their wake. The kids may assume their parents or minders are following along behind them, picking up their juice boxes and candy wrappers... the adults may assume they´ve paid for a tour, and the tour operators can follow along behind them picking up cigarette butts and energy bar wrappers.
But truly, I think they´re all having such a jolly romp they don´t think at all.
I found this group to be very respectful.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I found this group to be very respectful.
(Not addressed to anyone in particular) I understand that this school group was not from La Rioja. However, there is a current agreement between the regional Department of Education and the regional Amigos de Caminos de Santiago, see here, and I still wonder whether it was organised in this context. In particular, this initiative includes an activity that "allows students in secondary education to live the experience of the Camino de Santiago" and "the Department of Education contributes 6.000 EUR to this activity". It doesn't say who gets the money - the Amigos or the schools. ☺

And the purpose of this activity is certainly not to find yourself, or to experience what it's like not to know where and when you will find a bed, or to know who you really are, or what your purpose in life is or a personal faith experience. I doubt that these topics even figures large in the pedagogical activities around the trip. They are 12-14 years old!

In addition to general aims of school trips at that age - being away from home, living in a group etc - they learn in practical terms what it's like to walk for several days, and the idea is that they learn about history, culture past and present, peoples and towns along the road, the importance of preserving heritage, and of course there's always the noble talk about a common cultural European space and identity although I have my doubts that that gets through to many ... 🤔. Be it as it may, I regard it as a legitimate reason for being on the road and having a guarantee that the group can stay in public albergues.
 
Last edited:

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
And since the Amigos volunteers of Logroña and La Rioja are talking about the caminos in local schools within this initiative I guess they may also raise the topic of waste along the trail. They are aware of the problem: http://www.teinteresa.es/la-rioja/logrono/Paso-Limpio-importancia-Camino-Santiago_0_1379262356.html

I see now that the Amigos get the 6000 EUR for their expenses in helping with the school trips and raising awareness about the caminos in schools: for their gastos corrientes derivados de la participación de alumnos de educación secundaria en la realización del recorrido de las etapas del Camino de Santiago en La Rioja, tales como los relativos al transporte, manutención y pernoctación. Pernoctación means overnight stay. All very official, source is the Official Bulletin of La Rioja.:)

I sometimes have the feeling that there are several parallel worlds in existence along the Camino that barely touch each other. 🙃
 
Last edited:

Meshewszon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese
Well said Katha1na 😀.
What ever the rights and wrongs of any of the things that irritate, annoy or make us angry while on a Camino I am minded to reflect on a very very very old army saying.
As a hoary old and gray Roman Legionary was once heard to observe,

"If you can't take a joke you should never have joined".🤣🤣🤣
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
This entire thread reminds me of the Rolling Stones song "You can't always get what you want..." The song goes on... "But if you try real hard, you just might find that you get what you need..."

Point, set, match... Mick Jagger...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walking May 2019
I’m a slow walker on the Camino. I arrive late in the day and at this point in my walk, there are no rooms. I can either book a pension or hotel or taxi to the next villa. This is not how I imagined my Camino. It’s getting very difficult. I agree that times are changing in the Camino. I wished I knew this before I went on my walk.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I’m a slow walker on the Camino. I arrive late in the day and at this point in my walk, there are no rooms. I can either book a pension or hotel or taxi to the next villa. This is not how I imagined my Camino. It’s getting very difficult. I agree that times are changing in the Camino. I wished I knew this before I went on my walk.
Adapt and overcome. That is what pilgrims do...
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
There was a party of 30 Portuguese 10 11 yr olds in Azofra on April 6 this year.
Why not put available to "Group Bookings" on their web site.
or better still
Stay in the private ones and give them a quid/$$
 

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
If one is arguing that these groups of children (students, whatever) be able to experience the Camino, shouldn't that also include the way in which the Camino is actually experienced? In other words, in alburgues which do not normally accept reservations and are 1st come-1st served, shouldn't THAT be part of the experience for students, too? Of course you need to plan a structure fro food and lodging for groups like this, but that can occur in accommodations which DO allow reservations. So, if the students do not arrive in time to secure an alburgue bed, then have a Plan B ready at reserved lodgings. Or use lodgings that always allow reservations as Plan A.

I do not disagree with the notion of students, either in singles or in gaggles, being able to 'experience the Camino', but creating an artificial bubble of an environment which is insulated from what is real for most pilgrims, seems to create an oxymoron. Sort of like expecting a child to understand wilderness backpacking within the confines of a summer camp.
As a retired teacher, I’d like to add my two cents. First of all, as a school group, the private albergues would probably be too expensive for them as a whole. Secondly, the “municipal” is most likely funded by some governmental body, and would be expected to make exceptions for any school group. Thirdly, it’s difficult as hell to make separate arrangements for a group of 60 or so kids, they would have to be all in the same place. I can’t even begin to imagine the logistics of bringing a group like that on the Camino, more power to the educators at that school!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Thirdly, it’s difficult as hell to make separate arrangements for a group of 60 or so kids, they would have to be all in the same place. I can’t even begin to imagine the logistics of bringing a group like that on the Camino, more power to the educators at that school!
I agree to what you wrote, @gerip, but it was a group of 30 boys + 5 teachers or other monitors and 60 beds in the nice part of the Azofra albergue. So some pilgrims did get a bed there, including @trecile and her friend, while other pilgrims had to be content with the overflow building. (I had to go back to the start of the thread to see how it all began 😊).
 
Last edited:

T0M

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
France (2019)
I understand that the camino is on their soil. But I do not see why their needs or wants should trump anyone else's from another country. I would have to say that the pilgrims who have walked from all over the world have done as much as the Spanish people to revitalize the economy along the Camino Frances. I have lived for 7 years as a guest in a foreign county and I have learned the customs and culture of my adopted country. I do not live in an expat conclave like so many do that live overseas. I live in and among the local people. I think in each country we should respect the host country. But to me all I have to do is look to my home, the United States, and see how America first is destroying us and that an American has a greater right to one of our natural resources then a foreigner. Foreigners are not taking anything from the Spain and as I said they make a contribution both economically and in words and experience. So I have to respectfully disagree that the kids come before anyone else. I always thought that one of the great lessons of the Camino is to teach young and old that we are basically all equal. I hear this sentiment echoed constantly and justifiably. We have different motivations to walk. Maybe those kids want to walk, maybe they see it as a holiday or maybe their parents are forcing them. Hopefully they will get something out of it. Maybe, maybe not. But they are no better or worse than any other Pilgrim.
Exactly.

Groups of any age should overcome the need to stay together. As competition for beds seems to be an issue, these children are not getting the Camino experience if they are given special privileges. The answer might be more adults to supervise and if they cannot be found, then stay home.

As to the management of this albergue, the groups should have been assigned to the overflow area in the first place.

I too am an expat US citizen with the same view of America First. A shameful, selfish way to treat other citizens of this planet. Sadly, the US is not the only place where this ugly monster has raised its head.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
This entire thread reminds me of the Rolling Stones song "You can't always get what you want..." The song goes on... "But if you try real hard, you just might find that you get what you need..."

Point, set, match... Mick Jagger...
Ah, the multi-faceted Camino forum threads 🙃.

For me, it was a pleasant excursion into aspects of contemporary Spain and the Camino environment that gave me a reason to practise my Spanish - and also to think of past school trips, teachers, parents, kids, small dramas, educational goals in theory and practice ...

... or a thread about the injustice of the world and that municipal and parochial albergues don’t seem to play by the rules that we’ve learnt to internalise as sacrosanct ...

... or, now, a thread about not getting what you want but what you need.

Although Jagger said recently the song was just a doomy ballad about drugs in Chelsea (a London borough). 🙃
 
Last edited:

JR9162

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (5/1/2018 - 1007 km in 39 days)
Camino France's (4/10/2019)
I walked CF from SJPP to Santiago 4/10/19 to 5/11/19. Noticed quite a few people using GPS on their phones to navigate the Camino versus watching for signage and or using guide books.

Additionally many groups, especially those in their late 20's to early 30's were calling ahead on a daily basis to reserve rooms or dormitory beds.

I, like many others, enjoyed my Camino; but often experienced obtaining the last bed, or next to the last. And I'm a fast walker, beginning at sunrise and stopping at an albergue in the early afternoon. Usually 15+ miles a day, arriving usually before 3 pm.

That will be my last time walking the CF. I enjoy people, but quickly grew tired of the younger crowd partying late in the evening, sleeping in until 7:30 or 7:45, lolly gagging along, confident they had a place to stay because of the reservation system. Every albergue I checked in queried me whether I had a reservation or not.

What ever happened to setting personal goals, yet allowing for flexibility and spontaneity?

Beyond that, I noticed inflated prices for food and beds over those of the previous year. Usually the 2019 Brierley guide was 1 to 2 Euros below market price.

I have a used guide, looks like new, for sale. PM me.

John
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
I agree with others that the school groups can be annoyingly loud but these kids can be quite interesting to talk with and accommodating if you just show some interest in them. That has been my salvation on several occasions.
 

selebi51

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances (2012), porto (2013), VdlP Seville (2014)
From memory (2012) it is actually a youth hostel that is used as an albergue also.
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
Should they have to wait 30-40 years of their life, with their mistakes in tow to learn the spiritual lessons that they are learning now that will help them avoid future mistakes?
[/QUOTE]
If they are under 18, they are likely not learning “spiritual lessons”. And I would not guess that this experience will not help them avoid future mistakes. More likely they are learning some history and generally having a great time together.
That said, If given the opportunity, I would sign my child up for this trip! And I would hope their escort would have the wherewithal to book them all together along the way.
So sorry beds are not available for others, tho. When I walked in 2012 I was never turned away. I couldn’t imagine if I had had to worry about where I would sleep. It would have been a completely different trip.
The owners need to make a living, and the kids/parents/escorts need to know they are safe together.
Buen Camino to you, and sleep well❤
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
I agree to what you wrote, @gerip, but it was a group of 30 boys + 5 teachers or other monitors and 60 beds in the nice part of the Azofra albergue. So some pilgrims did get a bed there, including @trecile and her friend, while other pilgrims had to be content with the overflow building. (I had to go back to the start of the thread to see how it all began 😊).
What’s wrong with the overflow building. Sincerely asking?
 

Nancy Sarno C

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte (2015)
I absolutely agree that if there are private albergues with sufficient capacity they should reserve there, instead. However, when I looked in my Wisely+ app for Redecilla, for example, there didn't seem to be a private albergue with 30 beds. That option doesn't seem to have been available.

Ultimately, I don't think it is my place to tell hospitaleros how to run their albergues. If they want to run them with reservations or without or if they want to make exceptions for reasons that seem sufficient to them, I will try and accept it with good grace. If individuals or groups want to ask for special treatment, that's okay, too, so long as they abide by the decision of the hospitalero on the matter.
Is it the decision of the hospitalero? I have never done this, so I don’t know; but I do know that they have training and I’m sure they have to comply with the rules for municipal and parochial albergues. The older or physically challenged pilgrim walking further doesn’t seem right. I don’t think The organizers took enough into consideration! What will be, will be.
 

Meshewszon

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese
With all due respect - I'm pretty sure that most folks found the reality of Camino life quite different, even shocking. Things don't always pan out the way you figured or wanted.
There were a couple of times when on the CP - a supposedly 'easier' Camino when I didn't think I'd make it to the next stop. I was down to walking just a few kms per hour on few days but I always managed one way or another.
I completed my Camino because I REALLY wanted to. No matter what, no matter how long. Sure I whinged and moaned but in spite of anything and everything - including 'completos' I wasn't going to quit.
I thought I was ready for Camino, found out I wasn't, it wasn't what I thought it would be, but it was my ambition to do it.
I guess you have to ask yourself, at some times, honestly 'is this what I want to do?'
I'm with t2andreo on this one. Nobody ever said it was going to be easy but things have way of working out. Did for me.
Sometimes we just have to get over a 'hump' and go with the flow. And I think that interacting either with individuals or parties it's worth remembering they might be thinking the same about you! 😀
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
@Ernesto.IT , perhaps your finger slipped. I do not understand why you would react with anger to a few posts on this thread that were sincerely given with good will. We all do not have to agree but we almost always are civil.
 

Tony Bobcat

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
Hmmm you know well my reservations in general about pre-bookers but you and many others also helped me to see the necessity.

I'm wondering if special consideration was not given because of the fact that these bookers are in fact children getting an educational experience that cannot be learned in the classroom. It would make sense that such consideration be given because of the supervision needed for such a group. If one of these children were your child, would you want them split from the group? A six to one ratio for supervision doesn't sound like much but the adults can't really split off with the six in their charge. They have to take showers in shifts, go to the market in shifts. The kids have to be supervised at all times, they are still minors and likely their first and maybe only Camino experience.

I will pray for you. Maybe your mantra as you walk can be Love and Tolerance, Love and Tolerance, Love and Tolerance. Be well and maybe take a taxi a couple of towns ahead if this continues to bother you.
Great reply lizlane,makes a lot of sense
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011 (2019)
Is it the decision of the hospitalero? I have never done this, so I don’t know; but I do know that they have training and I’m sure they have to comply with the rules for municipal and parochial albergues.
Probably not. I think it would be an arrangement made with the albergue manager, who might be someone working for or having the authority of the Ayuntamiento de Azofra in this case.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I do not understand
@Sparrow in Texas: You noticed it, too? 😊
That was a bit of a surprise when I logged into the forum and saw all these :mad::mad::mad:.

I think there may always be some discordance between the ideas and aims of those who create and sponsor the material infrastructure of the Caminos and those who make use - in good faith - of this material infrastructure.
 
Last edited:

CaminoMatt73

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances & Portuguese 2016. Via de la Plata & to Porto Mar-June 2017, Norte Way in Sept.
Yesterday I stayed in the municipal albergue in Azofra, which is a hidden gem - all the rooms have only two single beds, and there's a nice courtyard with a fountain.
However, although it didn't seem full at all my friend and I were two of the last to get a bed in the main (nice) building, and they started putting people in the overflow building. This was fairly early in the afternoon, and thereaare 60 beds in the main albergue. Then a bunch of teenagers started arriving, and they obviously had beds waiting for them.

It turns out that this school group of 30 boys, plus five teachers had been allowed to reserve beds in advance, leaving everyone else in the two overflow buildings.

And they have also been allowed to reserve at the 38 bed municipal in Redecilla del Camino where I am today. (in a private albergue that I reserved by email last night)

I felt very badly for the pilgrims who actually arrived before these boys and weren't allowed a bed in the very nice municipal albergue. 😡

My girlfriend and I walked to Ponferrada and ended. There were so many pilgrims. The municipal albergue was pretty much full and going forward there are less spot for several paths coming together. We had to walk four full days 30+ km to get a bed. That’s four occasions. I can do this but my lady couldn’t.

Spain has several Caminos paths and the people know pilgrims are coming so there is not much of an excuse. I have walked 7 Camino paths in 3.5 years and have seen it all. I feel bad but it’s a part of the experience.

FYI, I’ll be back to walk more paths. I’m glad to be addicted to walking paths than to alcohol and drugs. I just wish for everyones experience to be positive.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
There's a well written article on the Spanish Gronze website that mentions, in passing, that the acceptance of reservations is an opción mayoritaria en los albergues privados y en aumento en los públicos - reservations are a prevailing option in private albergues and increasingly an option in public albergues such as municipal albergues.

I was also surprised to discover that many mountain huts in the Alps now accept reservations. Unheard of, unthinkable even, when I started walking there a long time ago.

And make no mistake: The increasing demand for beds in camino albergues is not only caused by those who are newcomers. Those who walk year after year contribute to the demand, too.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
First reaction reading this - deep disappointment and dissatisfaction. Second- why? As an ex-teacher and father of three adult children, and a pilgrim, many feelings/reactions are invoked:

As a parent & ex-teacher
  • Are these children (pre teens), teenagers or an organised young adult group (20-21ish)?
  • Parents have power - are the parents insisting that the children or teens are pre-booked everwhere?
  • The staff/guides/leaders responsible for this - are they taking an 'easy' option on this expedition - it depends upon the philosophy (quality?) of the teachers/school/parents?
  • Are they on a tight budget?
  • Are they walkers with problems/restrictions of some kind?
As a pilgrim (and fan of Municiple Alberques):
  • This is not fair for anyone
  • This is not how anyone should use/abuse municipal alberques
  • It is universally recognised that M.Albs. are not pre-bookable. Thats the joy/philosophy/strength of them
  • The goal posts have been/are being moved - will this become a norm?
  • This is not what the Camino is about (for me)
  • Is it a sincere pilgrimage? For sport or holiday? Can this be determined.
Does it really matter? Haven't most of us faced minor and major adversity of some kind at some time on pilgrimage? Its what its about, for me, the good, the bad and the overcrowded.​

Buen (crowded) Camino, friends. Keith
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
@Ernesto.IT , perhaps your finger slipped. I do not understand why you would react with anger to a few posts on this thread that were sincerely given with good will. We all do not have to agree but we almost always are civil.
Ernesto.IT is entitled to his emotional reaction to our posts. He hasn't written anything insulting, disparaging, or uncivil in response. All he has done is click a little angry face. Who knows the source of his anger? When I write that I strive to accept with good grace the decisions of those in charge of the albergues who provide me hospitality, maybe he had a traumatic experience at an albergue once and this provokes rage. I also strive to accept with good grace the emotional responses my postings here provoke in others.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
While it may be irritating, it has been occurring for decades. School and church groups have always been able to reserve municipal albergues in Galicia. The Camino is part of the church curriculum. It would be irresponsible for the leaders to break up the group, and the government and Church know that. The crowds grew up around the youth groups, not the other way around. I watched a group of 14-16 year olds empty the vending machines (now gone, I think) at Barbadelo. I could follow them to Portomarin by the trail of wrappers. Kids! They had booked the O Mirador (no longer an albergue) and cheered me along from the balconies to the newly-opened Ferramenteiro. I chatted with one of the leaders at dinner with the help of one girl who spoke some English. They were kids just like kids for ten thousand years since the hunter-gatherers formed cities and churches.

It is my opinion that these kids are better off in life for having walked the Camino. It connects them with their friends, their culture, their parents, and their church. It is also my opinion that Spain is not going to change the tradition because it irritates foreign pilgrims. Just my opinion, of course. ;)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
@falcon269, I put a "like" icon under your recent message. Since it's not possible to tell whether these icons mean that one agrees with an opinion expressed in the message or with facts being described in the message or with parts of it or the whole thing or what, I just want to say that I liked it because I learnt something about Galicia that I didn't know. Thank you for sharing.
 
Last edited:

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
I’m still trying to get my head around having 30 children/teens in 2 bed rooms where they cannot possibly be supervised by five adults. I know the layout of that albergue. I’ve led teen groups for adventure trips and if it was at all possible, we certainly opted for a large room where everyone was together so supervision was feasible—gyms, church halls, etc. As an adult leader, you are responsible for what happens under your watch. Perhaps they thought this was better than an albergue with a large bunk room where pilgrims and kids would all be together?

However, it sounds as though the adult leaders didn’t take supervision very seriously so who knows. I’ve encountered Boy Scout troops on the AT—some with great leaders and a few with irresponsible ones (talking amongst themselves and oblivious to what the kids were doing or where they were wandering) where the boys ran wild. It made being in the vicinity of them alarming. I always wondered if parents knew, what they would have thought.
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
The CF is changing as the foot traffic keeps increasing. There are more albergues each year but not enough to cover the increased pilgrims. And when I first walked in 2005, I got overflow or one of the last two beds about 5 times. Little has changed except the cellphone and booking.com make reservations possible.

Ways to "Adapt and overcome".
  • Volunteer--see Tom's post #51
  • Walk the shoulder seasons or in winter.
  • Try one of the French routes: LePuy, Vezelay, Arles, RL Stevenson, Cluny.
  • Walk the Camino Portugues
  • Try one of the other Spanish routes. Ingles, Madrid, Primitivo, Salvador, Zamora, VdLP.
  • Go ahead and book ahead (I had to in 2016 with adult daughter). The days of ad-hoc beds are mostly over.
  • Walk shorter days to finish by 13:00 before the 'completo' signs appear.
And be mindful that: this forum in no way reflects fully ALL of the Camino stakeholders.
  • 15% of the 2018 compostela were to those from English speaking nations. 47% were Spanish.
  • The administration of camino policies is greatly fractionated. As repeat walkers, we have lots of great ideas, but absolutely no influence or power--over any policy of any entity.
The great Camino experience is still to be had. Its just that the challenges have changed faster than our expectations--and if expectations are being set by YouTube videos, blogs, "The Way", or prior years experiences, much disappointment awaits.
That said, I would never walk in a Holy Year. The co-worker that clued me into the Camino walked with her sister in 2004 and it sounded like an experience that I am glad I did not have!! Based on what she said and what I 'wanted', I walked in the April-June shoulder season. I have never experienced any nights between 14 June and 15 Sept.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Perhaps they thought this was better than an albergue with a large bunk room where pilgrims and kids would all be together?
I've seen signs in dorm rooms that said it is against Spanish law for minors to sleep in dormitories. I know it happens that minors sleep in them, but no school group would be able to book a dorm where children and strangers mix.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 6 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 44 4.0%
  • April

    Votes: 165 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 268 24.6%
  • June

    Votes: 83 7.6%
  • July

    Votes: 22 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 23 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 312 28.6%
  • October

    Votes: 134 12.3%
  • November

    Votes: 13 1.2%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
Top