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Rip-off Prices for Pilgrims?

I'm a bit peeved.

There is a bar here in Santiago I visit regulary for a cafe con leche and copa de cognac to warm my soul when it's a bit cold. Very cold today and snowing. After Three hours of sketching the cathedral to muster up the grand total of €5.60 I decided to go to said bar for my regular. Before I had even opened the door a very 'enthusiastic' barman greeted me, asked if I had just had my compostela stamped, shook my hand and sat me down. I ordered the usual. Drank and enjoyed until the bill came. €4.40! Pero, normalente es €3? He then tapped a few keys on the till to prove he was right.

Few pilgrims. Few tourists and bad weather here presently. I'm struggling big time, and it seems many local businesses are also. A €1.40 penalty isn't appreciated. Be warned, the bars offering special prices for pilgrim menus may not offer such special prices for drinks for pilgrims. Worth asking before you partake.

That's bar Santiagues (or, summat) in that Praza of the dead just below the praza of the living at the back of the cathedral.

Sorry about the moan, but I am finding it very tough going here presently. Far from saving money for my next project, I'm watching it all vanish very quickly. The weather people keep telling me lies just to keep me here also.

On the plus side, if you want a very good value meal at a very fair price head to the bar opposite Polcia Nacional. Forget the name of the bar, or the plaza. Not far from the cathedral. €8 menu week days. €10 weekends and worth every penny. Very popular with locals - says it all really.
 

MichaelB10398

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
It is a shame you have been confronted with such high prices. I wonder if this type of thing happens during the winter months when pilgrims are few or this is evidence of the world economy having a local impact?

It is always best to ask prices first. Without asking, as you found out, we are at the mercy of what they ask for.

Better luck as you continue to reside in Santiago.
 

Caminando

Veteran Member
Sorry to hear of the profiteering.

But it has been going on for 1000 years.

If I were there, I'd sidestep the problem and use a camping gas stove to brew coffee/tea, and wouldnt go near places like that. If I were struggling as you describe, I don't think I'd eat in restaurants and bars, either.

:arrow:
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Ivar may be able to confirm that bars are required to list prices on a standard government form. If your charges were different than the posted price, there is a mechanism for complaint, which may be too cumbersome to be worthwhile, but still is well intentioned. I hope your experience is better in other bars; it is more than irritating when businesses take advantage of customers.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
falcon269 said:
Ivar may be able to confirm that bars are required to list prices on a standard government form. If your charges were different than the posted price, there is a mechanism for complaint, which may be too cumbersome to be worthwhile, but still is well intentioned. I hope your experience is better in other bars; it is more than irritating when businesses take advantage of customers.
Yes, each place needs to have an official price list posted. What might happen some times is that the offical price list shows the "expensive" price, and they charge less for "locals".

Then, if you complain they will show you the official price (the more expensive one) and... that is what you will have to pay.

Yes, they also should have complaint forms in each establishment. You need to fill this out... one copy for the bar/restaurant, one for you and one that you need to go down to the local government office with... if this is to complain about 3-4-5 euros, it might be more work that it is worth. But the option exists.

Saludos,
Ivar
 

johnBCCanada

Active Member
When I was therein the Fall of 2008 I was a bit shocked when billed quite a bit more for a meal than I would have been for the same meal on the Camino but I wasn't too upset. We can, and I did, look around for the more reasonably priced options in Santiago. I am sure they are there. Also I expect to see higher prices in a city centre than in rural cafes. The rural cafe may employ family and has lower rent costs and probably taxes stoo so they can charge less.

john
 
I guess I was more peeved that just because I was carrying my rucksack I didn't get the 'local' deal.

Plenty of good bars close to the center here (it's a small city after all) that will treat all as one. Perhaps it was more the guy's attitude - he just seemed desperate for any cash. Then again, so am I!

Very few pilgrims here ATM. No early Holy Year rush yet.



Another very slight moan; when did the municipals up the price to €5 a night? I stayed at Monte de Goto the other night. €5 and no hot water for a shower in the morning :(
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Keep the faith, visualise the good, and head to Casa Manolo for Sopa de Marisco, Pimientos de Padron, and the Salad with Chiperones at still a great price (it hasn't increased much in years despite the new venue) and know that even here in the Hollywood of Spain (bloody raining for two weeks solid), I envy you!
Can't wait for the summer!
Tracy and Rebecca Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com

(P.S. Monte de Gozo "Albergue" is enough to depress anyone.)
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Priscillian said:
(P.S. Monte de Gozo "Albergue" is enough to depress anyone.)
Actually, I thoroughly enjoyed two nights staying here!!! The first night, we hadn't intended to stay, but rather to walk on into Santiago from Brea. However, it turned out to be a very hard wet day's walking from Brea, and when we reached Monte de Gozo the mist was so thick we could barely see the path ahead, let alone find the albergue. We decided that enough was enough, and we would stop off at Monte de Gozo for the night, then walk into Santiago fresh in the morning.

We were greeted in a very friendly manner by Manuel, the hospitalero, and it was a pleasant surprise, after so many large dorms, to find that we were in spacious eight bedded rooms (four bunks.) There was plenty of hot water. It was also a 'reunion' place where we re-met other people we had met walking along the way.

But best of all was the atmosphere amongst the pilgrims. There was a kind of joyful expectancy, as we all knew that 'tomorrow' we would be standing in front of the Cathedral in Santiago.

We were allowed to leave our large backpacks at the albergue, and for our last day of walking, we used only a day pack. What luxury!!! When I lined up at the Pilgrim's Office for my Compostela, I ended up being just behind a French couple I had shared the room with at Monte de Gozo. They knew I had walked all the way from Le Puy, and when they reached the front, they pushed me in front of them, as a sort of acknowledgment of what I had done.

At the end of that day in Santiago, no longer being pilgrims on the journey, we returned to Monte de Gozo by bus!! Then we used the wonderful laundry to clean up all our gear, after which I decided the stains on my main t-shirt were irremovable and I threw it gleefully in the bin...

That second night in Monte I have to admit I was a bit fearful for my sleep, as several large groups of Spanish young people arrived for the night. However, you could 'guess' that part of the talk they were given by their leaders was that they needed to be considerate of other pilgrims, some of whom had walked a long way. Come 10pm, these exuberant, lovely young people were suddenly quiet and all in bed. Next day, I enjoyed seeing some of them sitting in the sanctuary area during Mass, taking an active part in what was happening.
Margaret
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
KiwiNomad: Thou restoreth my faith and I will gladly eat at least 2 pages of my book in which I am somewhat less than glowing about the Albergue there. (But I still won't take back that it is an "architectural monstrosity"!) Since your country has been my most heart's desire for more than 30 years now(I'll get there one day!) the last thing I would want to do is disagree with a New Zealander!
TS
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
lol you can disagree with me all you like- my friends all do :shock:
I have almost certainly said many things on my blog that some people vehemently disagree with, but they seem to be too polite to say!!!
Margaret
 
Me and Bar Santiagues are friends again. They've more than made up for a 'slight' overcharge. That's good, because I like the bar and it's close to a regular sketching spot.

Me and Cafe Bar Stella are not friends. Normally, around Rua do Franco I visit Bar Ourense. €2.40 for cafe con leche y copa de congac. Very fair. Basic bar, basic prices.

This afternoon it was closed, so I went to Cafe Bar Stella almost next door instead. €4.70 for exactly the same! What's more, when I went to leave they asked me if I had paid. Cheeky t***s. "Yes - I've paid. It was bleedin expensive. You want to paying twice?".

Plenty of good bars here. Also, I have to thank whoever paid for my coffee this morning in Cafe Banderas(?). I love this cafe. Nothing to do with prices, or free coffee, but everything to do with service IYKWIM :wink:

I was also given Two sandwiches and a pear for free whilst sketching in front of the cathedral this morning. Very cold wind. Nice to meet a couple of readers here!

Perhaps I shouldn't complain about the occassional extortion, but it does hurt when your income is as low as mine presently.

That's Cafe Bar Stella on Rua do Franco - AVOID!
 

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