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Some basic questions about waking up etiquette

JustJack

Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2023
Ok this is a very basic question, but in all the youtube videos and all the books and blogs I've seen, I don't think I've gotten the answer to this.

- What is the etiquette in albergues regarding waking up early? Is setting an alarm on your phone ok? I would think that those still sleeping wouldn't appreciate hearing others' alarms ringing... I've read countless posts about preparing your bag and gear the night before so you aren't rustling around in the morning getting your things together, which makes sense. But how do people wake up so early without an alarm? Simply turn it to vibrate? Is that what everyone does?

- I read on a couple blogs about certain albergues waking people up by playing gregorian chanting music over the loudspeaker and slowly turning up the lights. How common is this? I would LOVE to wake up this way!!!
 
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DoughnutANZ

I would rather be fishing
Past OR future Camino
2023
Yes, turn your phone to vibrate and if it is dark and you need a light please don't use one of those head torches as you will inevitably shine the light in people's eyes.

When you get up, take all your belongings to another room so that you can wash, dress and put away your nighttime belongings.

Sometimes the exit door will latch shut after you go through so think about this and ensuring that you have everything with you before you leave so that you don't have to bang on the door to be let back in if you forget something.

Also, if you are with someone then please don't talk in the room, even in a whisper as we humans are set to respond to any sort of talking and you will wake lots of people up.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
The etiquette is simply to not disturb other sleeping pilgrims, at least until the compulsory departure time is close!

Audible alarms are extremely inconsiderate. I never set an alarm to wake up on the camino, since sleep is so important and I usually cannot sleep through the rustlings of my neighbours.

The musical awakening is done at some reasonable time (say, an hour) before you are supposed to depart. It happens only in a few places.
 
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2022
One time, a pilgrim set her phone alarm to wake her up at about 0500. For the record, I wake up at 0630. She got up and moved into the bathroom to shower and wash up. Unfortunately, she forgot to turn off her alarm and so it went off every 5 minutes until she finished all her stuff in the bathroom - a good 20/25 minutes. She got out of the bathroom just before I grabbed her bathrobe where she had her alarm in a pocket (!!!!) to throw it out the window.

I stayed in an albergue - maybe in Castrojeriz? - where they played Gregorian chant to wake everyone up. When you signed in the night before, the hospitallero warned pilgrims to not leave before 0600 when everyone would wake up - if you wanted to leave earlier, one could stay at a different albergue. No, I know the doors weren't locked, it was just to ensure everyone got a decent rest. The hospitallero has since passed away but I always think of him with great fondness. Everyone woke up in good spirits and grateful for the enforced quiet.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Audible alarms are extremely inconsiderate.
I have never gotten over the fact that I incorrectly thought I had turned off my alarm from my night in the pensión on Day 1 on the Mozárabe. On Day 2, in Alboloduy, with ©C clearly and two other dear camino friends sleeping soundly, the alarm woke everyone up.

Moral of the story — make sure your alarm is OFF when you sleep in an albergue.

I am hoping that ©C clearly was not thinking of me when she wrote that comment!
 

Phoenix

Generic member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Yes, turn your phone to vibrate and if it is dark and you need a light please don't use one of those head torches as you will inevitably shine the light in people's eyes.

When you get up, take all your belongings to another room so that you can wash, dress and put away your nighttime belongings.

Sometimes the exit door will latch shut after you go through so think about this and ensuring that you have everything with you before you leave so that you don't have to bang on the door to be let back in if you forget something.

Also, if you are with someone then please don't talk in the room, even in a whisper as we humans are set to respond to any sort of talking and you will wake lots of people up.
Good stuff. I've set mine to vibrate then put it inside my sleeping bag with me; heck of a way to wake up instantly. Most of the time, though, I can count on the other folks who are ignorant of the albergue etiquette you described above to wake me.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I am hoping that ©C clearly was not thinking of me when she wrote that comment!
Haha! I wasn't actually, or I wouldn't have said it! I don't think it was very early, anyway, and you were more embarrassed than we were annoyed!

Anybody can make mistakes, and my phone has caused disturbances upon occasion. But to deliberately set alarms every morning, oblivious to others, is another situation.
 
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Is setting an alarm on your phone ok?
Please, no. Not audible ones anyway - that is, unless you want all your fellow pilgrims to hate you.
But how do people wake up so early without an alarm? Simply turn it to vibrate? Is that what everyone does?
Vibrating alarms work. But other pilgrims are pretty reluable alarms: there is always somebody - the selfish or oblivious sorts who wake everyone else up way too early.
 
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Next up 2022?
If you need an alarm to wake, then doesn't this mean that you need more sleep
Good point!
Some people wake up early naturally - and usually these are the folks who just seem to disappear, because when you wake up they're gone without having disturbed the whole room.

But some folks can't relax their driven selves and have to set an alarm and beat everyone else out the door - in order to get to the next place, in time for something.

They're also often the ones who are taking an afternoon nap when the rest of us arrive, and get all grumpy when their precious sleep is disturbed.😂
 

DoughnutANZ

I would rather be fishing
Past OR future Camino
2023
If you need an alarm to wake, then doesn't this mean that you need more sleep?
It means that you have not yet learned the D Method. With the D Method you bang your head (gently) on the pillow just before you go off to sleep once for each digit of the hour that you want to wake up.

For example, if you want to wake up at five am then you would bang your head on the pillow five times, six am would be six times and so on.

I have found that this method works very well for me and I have taught it to a number of other people.

One time a person asked "what happens if you want to wake up at 5:30?"

My reply was "simple, you just bang your head five and a half times".

This method has been reliable for me for a long time.
 
Past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
No one has mentioned using earplugs in this thread yet (I don't think anyway). They amaze me at how well they work. Since I do not walk in the heat of summer, I never need to head out extra early to avoid the heat later in the day. I hear no rustling of bags or people walking around until the lights are turned on and I remove my earplugs.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
It means that you have not yet learned the D Method. With the D Method you bang your head (gently) on the pillow just before you go off to sleep once for each digit of the hour that you want to wake up.

For example, if you want to wake up at five am then you would bang your head on the pillow five times, six am would be six times and so on.

I have found that this method works very well for me and I have taught it to a number of other people.

One time a person asked "what happens if you want to wake up at 5:30?"

My reply was "simple, you just bang your head five and a half times".

This method has been reliable for me for a long time.

I can confirm that this method works!!
 

NYSE

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
No one has mentioned using earplugs in this thread yet (I don't think anyway). They amaze me at how well they work. Since I do not walk in the heat of summer, I never need to head out extra early to avoid the heat later in the day. I hear no rustling of bags or people walking around until the lights are turned on and I remove my earplugs.
Yes, earplugs! I can remember so many mornings I'd awake to an empty albergue. Those were some mighty fine sleeps on the Camino.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
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anamcara

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Chemin du Piémont 😎
And in that very special place - Bodenaya - on thé Primitivo. Our first experience there was in 2014 with Alejandro as hospitalero. (And I believe the current hospitalero David continues this tradition.). This is what I wrote at the time.

‘Alejandro explained that he cooks dinner for all the pilgrims and we would eat at 8pm … He also explained that, during the meal, together the peregrinos would decide on wake up time in the morning. It's often a controversial issue in the albergues with some peregrinos wanting to get going early, and others wanting to sleep in. We would all agree on the time, Alejandro would wake us with music, and he would serve breakfast 15 minutes later. True to his word, Alejandro 'woke' us at 7 (the time the group had agreed over dinner) with a gentle Ave Maria filtering through the albergue.’ 🙏

Not Gregorian chants but wonderful just the same.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Past OR future Camino
.
JustJack
There are a lot of detailed tips you can pick up on this, but IMO, more important is just approaching this with the right state of mind.
Be considerate of others and work out how you can do what you want to do within that framework. So, yes, avoid an audible alarm, try not to be re-packing everything in plastic bags or pulling velcro strips in the dorm before 6am. I do think you need to use a head-torch to do a quick check on, around and under the bed before you leave, as this is a good way of retaining your full complement of socks! If you have a red light setting on a headtorch that’s a useful less invasive way of doing stuff in the dark. Actually a lot of modern places are so bright with safety lights you need eye pads to get any darkness anyway.
But equally important is being tolerant of others who are not as considerate as you. It can really dent your camino if you can’t get into a 'live and let live’ frame of mind. There will be times when your fellow pilgrims are coming in late and turn on all the lights/start snoring immediately their heads hit the pillow/do all their social media stuff in bed on bright phones - or even have phone conversations/ use alarms or have the phone beep every hour/work on their bright laptops through the night (typically cyclists checking elevation profiles)/get up early and make a lot of noise.
After Sarria can be even more of a test: quite often groups will turn on all the lights when they are ready to get up (and will talk to each other as they pack up, possibly as early as 4am in summer) And leave the lights on after they’ve left. Take all the toilet rolls (you thought the night before - OK, there are 3+ in each toilet, that should be fine. Then in the morning they have all gone..). Not all of this will happen to you, but if/when it does, just be ready to let it go past you - and not into you and start spoiling your camino. Cheers, tom
 
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Next up 2022?
I cannot agree with this more (and it's really not easy sometines, so do as I say not as I do 😳😉):
But equally important is being tolerant of others who are not as considerate as you. It can really dent your camino if you can’t get into a 'live and let live’ frame of mind. There will be times when your fellow pilgrims are coming in late and turn on all the lights/start snoring immediately their heads hit the pillow/do all their social media stuff in bed on bright phones - or even have phone conversations/ use alarms or have the phone beep every hour/work on their bright laptops through the night (typically cyclists checking elevation profiles)/get up early and make a lot of noise.
After Sarria can be even more of a test: quite often groups will turn on all the lights when they are ready to get up (and will talk to each other as they pack up, possibly as early as 4am in summer) And leave the lights on after they’ve left. Take all the toilet rolls (you thought the night before - OK, there are 3+ in each toilet, that should be fine. Then in the morning they have all gone..). Not all of this will happen to you, but if/when it does, just be ready to let it go past you - and not into you and start spoiling your camino.
 
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Flig

Member
Past OR future Camino
Primitivo Sept 2021
Ok this is a very basic question, but in all the youtube videos and all the books and blogs I've seen, I don't think I've gotten the answer to this.

- What is the etiquette in albergues regarding waking up early? Is setting an alarm on your phone ok? I would think that those still sleeping wouldn't appreciate hearing others' alarms ringing... I've read countless posts about preparing your bag and gear the night before so you aren't rustling around in the morning getting your things together, which makes sense. But how do people wake up so early without an alarm? Simply turn it to vibrate? Is that what everyone does?

- I read on a couple blogs about certain albergues waking people up by playing gregorian chanting music over the loudspeaker and slowly turning up the lights. How common is this? I would LOVE to wake up this way!!!
I put my phone on vibrate and placed it under my pillow or inside the pillow case. As long as I had alerts turned off it worked very well.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Three days ago I woke naturally in the albergue at Najera, before the 7 am lights on, and began the morning ritual for the albergue: put on the coffee and hot water and set the table with a few items for breakfast: generally left-over bread and a few other items bought by the hospitaleras and put out for the pilgrims. A few minutes later, the other hospitalera, who had set out breakfast items the night before, came out from her little room to continue the morning ritual. Pilgrims appeared gradually in the common entry area, quietly shutting the doors to the dormitory behind them; many with their own breakfast foods, so I hoped that today there would be enough for those who did not bring food. I switched the lights on at 7 am and more pilgrims began to surface. The lights had been turned off by a hospitalera at 10 pm, so there was a lengthy time for sleep. Many pilgrims were quietly on their phones (no sound) after lights out in the dormitory. Renovations in the dormitory had set up partitions between the beds: two bunk beds with a space between (the uppers currently empty for covid safety) with partitions on each side. Pilgrims can usually choose to share a partitioned area with a friend or with someone of their own gender. As I passed to my little room in the evening, I saw lights on pilgrim phones, but heard nothing. I think that the partitions keep light from phones from disturbing others. Most were exhausted from the long walk from Logrono in cold, damp weather. All seemed to be considerate of others. One snored. It was an ordinary night in Najera pilgrim albergue, with reasonable consideration from all. In a couple of hours, I would be on my way home.
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Most of the tips here have already been given but I want to stress them.

In O Cebreiro's xunta albergue I woke early, looked at the time and then said to myself "Wait for it." At least four phones announced that it was 5:00. Then all the flashlights and headlamps were used to inconsiderately wake up those who were deaf to the alarms and talk. Don't be one of those guys.

You can use headlamps but hold them by hand so you can direct the beam down and to where you need it. No sense in carrying a light for the albergue and another to walk in the early morning dark. Use the red LED if you have one on the headlamp and if not then maybe have a red filter you can put over the light. You will have enough light to work with but red light is not as disturbing to others. I use my phone's lockscreen with a red background at home every day. It works fine.
 

André Walker

Never losing my way: always standing on it
Past OR future Camino
2018
Whenever I walk a Camino and stay in albergues I realize that I’m sharing pretty much everything with other people. I cannot expect other people to behave like I do or be like I am (thank God for that: if everybody on this planet would be like me it would be a boring place). And so I don’t expect them to be like me.

Instead, I try to accept (to the best of my abilities) that some people are like me: getting up at the same time I like to get up, having prepared my backpack the night before, turning my phone to vibration mode, blocking app notifications during the night and using a headlight which has a red light option (to avoid waking others with a bright light, but giving enough light to see what I’m doing).

And at the same time accepting that there are people that are not like me:
- getting up earlier (or later) than me
- being less considerate towards others than me
- being more considerate to others than me
- being less organized than me
- not knowing how to block app notifications or put the phone in vibration mode
- having poor eyesight and therefore having to rely on bright light

I kind of made the decision not to let things like this bother me or get in the way of enjoying my camino, but instead just accept that it is what it is. And that I, when walking a Camino, can’t expect to have the peace and quiet that I have in my own bedroom. That’s why I tend to share my own bedroom with no more than one other person, preferably the one that I’m married to.
 
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camino.ninja

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The etiquette is simply to not disturb other sleeping pilgrims, at least until the compulsory departure time is close!

Pilgrims who need extra sleep for some reason tend to sleep till the cleaning ladies come, and not till departure time. It might give them an extra hour of sleep.
 

Paladina

old woman of the roads
Past OR future Camino
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
There will always be a snorer, a phone-checker; a stage-whisperer, a bag-rustler; a restless sleeper who tosses and turns all night; one who is too groggy to silence an alarm; another who needs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, and then walks into a bed frame while trying to be considerate by not using a torch. Few of us can claim never to have disturbed anyone else's sleep, however unintentionally. If you really can't function without a minimum of eight hours' undisturbed sleep you might feel more comfortable in a private room.
 

motero99

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2019
Camino Portugues (2022)
Roncessvalles played the chants in the morning when I stayed there.
I agree a headlamp or flashlight with red lamps is much less intrusive than the bright white lights. Too many people using a white light randomly scan the entire room and manage to wake or at least disturb everyone else.
 
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vwzoo

Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Ok this is a very basic question, but in all the youtube videos and all the books and blogs I've seen, I don't think I've gotten the answer to this.

- What is the etiquette in albergues regarding waking up early? Is setting an alarm on your phone ok? I would think that those still sleeping wouldn't appreciate hearing others' alarms ringing... I've read countless posts about preparing your bag and gear the night before so you aren't rustling around in the morning getting your things together, which makes sense. But how do people wake up so early without an alarm? Simply turn it to vibrate? Is that what everyone does?

- I read on a couple blogs about certain albergues waking people up by playing gregorian chanting music over the loudspeaker and slowly turning up the lights. How common is this? I would LOVE to wake up this way!!!
I slept on my phone with the alarm on vibrate. I prepped my backpack and things the night before. I always tried to get a bottom bed closest to the door. At one albergue I had my back pack just outside the door and in my bunk I kept only my valuables, electronics, ID, money etc and my sleeping bag liner I slept in. I got up every morning at 5, grabbed my bag with all of my valuables, my sleeping bag liner and did a sweep of my bunk with the light of the phone screen to make sure I didn't leave anything.
 

Smile

New Member
Past OR future Camino
planing for 2014 summer or early autumn
Ok this is a very basic question, but in all the youtube videos and all the books and blogs I've seen, I don't think I've gotten the answer to this.

- What is the etiquette in albergues regarding waking up early? Is setting an alarm on your phone ok? I would think that those still sleeping wouldn't appreciate hearing others' alarms ringing... I've read countless posts about preparing your bag and gear the night before so you aren't rustling around in the morning getting your things together, which makes sense. But how do people wake up so early without an alarm? Simply turn it to vibrate? Is that what everyone does?

- I read on a couple blogs about certain albergues waking people up by playing gregorian chanting music over the loudspeaker and slowly turning up the lights. How common is this? I would LOVE to wake up this way!!!
As a hospitalera, I go to bed after everyone else (10 pm or later) and get up at 5:30 am to start coffee and breakfast. At some albergues the door is locked between those hours. At one albergue where I served the boots and bikes were locked up outside until I got up and unlocked the cupboard.

Try to plan to get up between 6 am and 8 am and try to leave by 8 am. In crowded bunk rooms some people will get up early and disturb others while some people like my husband will sleep through the bag rustling and preparations. In this case I usually put on some morning Gregorian chant music and then finally about 7:30 go wake the late sleepers and reinforce that we close for cleaning at 8 am.

We get the occasional request for a later departure and try to accommodate, but please try to be considerate. Don't use audible alarms. Minimize plastic bags. Limit your use of lights. However outside of posted quiet hours all bets are off so usually after 6 am you cannot plan on getting more sleep unless you a heavy sleeper.

If the hospitalero says the door will be locked and you want to leave earlier, choose a a hotel without set hours and private bathrooms. This is also a good recommendation if you are someone who needs a bathroom for longer that a few minutes in the morning. Often there are limited toilet facilities for large numbers of pilgrims.

Usually the hospitalera will orient you as you sign in and often the rules are posted in several languages.
Very good question. I would add that the late birds are also very disturbing. Before starting my Camino in 2014 I read many instructions about the standard rules and air of commonality in albergues and was sure that everybody will follow some pilgrims code of behavior - at 10p.m. all lights and activities must stop and even the door is closed because pilgrims have to rest. But in reality -situation was much worse and especially in municipal albergues and the closer to Santiago - the worse. Slamming the doors, shouting, chatting loudly, zipping-unzipping the bags even the ligths are off and most of people are trying to sleep, shining with cyclops to all sides while packing-unpacking - that was really very unemphatic and even frustrating. And even ir the rules are written at the entrance - very few care. Actually from Astorga I tried to avoid municipal albergues because of that - I simply was not able to rest during night. In day time all these people were fine :D and I really had a great time at Camino.
 

Smile

New Member
Past OR future Camino
planing for 2014 summer or early autumn
Very good question. I would add that the late birds are also very disturbing. Before starting my Camino in 2014 I read many instructions about the standard rules and air of commonality in albergues and was sure that everybody will follow some pilgrims code of behavior - at 10p.m. all lights and activities must stop and even the door is closed because pilgrims have to rest. But in reality -situation was much worse and especially in municipal albergues and the closer to Santiago - the worse. Slamming the doors, shouting, chatting loudly, zipping-unzipping the bags even the ligths are off and most of people are trying to sleep, shining with cyclops to all sides while packing-unpacking - that was really very unemphatic and even frustrating. Actually from Astorga I tried to avoid municipal albergues because of that - I simply was not able to rest during night. In day time all these people were fine :D and I really had a great time at Camino.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I suggest that pilgrims sleeping in dormitories should try using a sleep mask to keep out the light and ear plugs (wax works best for me) to keep out the noise. If you are uncertain about whether you could sleep with these, try them out before you start to sleep in communal dormitories. When using both, I am only kept awake by one disturbance: an athletic pilgrim in the top bunk tossing and turning all night when I am in the botttom bunk. There is little I could do about this.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
There has been mention of the use of earplugs but personally, I have yet to find any that do not fall out. There may be some, but I have not found them.

There is, however, a headband, designed for sleeping that does work. Again, nothing gets in my pack with just a single use outside of my toothbrush. The headband can be used when you want a private listening session on the path or maybe during a food stop or siesta. And with earbuds inside the headband, there is nothing small to lose inadvertently.

Finally, something that I did not see in this thread that perhaps needs to be mentioned is to dress fully for the next day before going to bed. When the alarm wakes you, get up, grab the pack and move to the bathroom, wash up etc and you're out the door minimizing any disturbance of others.
 
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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
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It is entirely possible to set your own "internal alarm" at a certain time. It's something that needs practicing, but it's possible. I hate to wake up by any kind of alarm, even when it's only on vibrate. 95% of time I wake up about 5-10 minutes before the alarm I have set (for work, for example). On the Camino, in my opinion, an alarm is not needed at all, unless you need to get a bus or train at a certain time early in the morning. If you don't wake up from other people's noise, worst case scenario is that you'll be woken up by the hospitaleros and will be the last to leave the albergue. It's a very interesting experience to get into a natural rhythm after a while, instead of artificially timing through your day, as we usually do in our daily lives.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I never needed ear plugs but a few unhappy times I have had to find another bunk in the middle of the night due to a consistently overactive neighbor who forgot where he was as he zealously thrashed into 'my' space. Since whilst sleeping in late autumn/winter I resembled "the wicked witch of the west" I assume that if any thrasher had awakened he would have been dutifully shocked.
 
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another who needs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, and then walks into a bed frame
I'm sure I've woken many in the middle of the night when walking to the bathroom but it's not my fault, really. I remember the municipal in Najera mainly. The corridor to get to the bathroom faces nearly the entire dorm of 90 beds. As soon as the door opens a bright white light shines down the corridor to the beds. You can't open the door, get into the corridor and shut the door before the devil's replacement for a timed, dim, red light goes on. And after I was done it would be someone else's turn to get the light to shine on the nearest bunk to it, mine. :(
 
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linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Past OR future Camino
2022
who forgot where he was as he zealously thrashed into 'my' space.
I was in Albergue San Nicolas in Larrasoana and there was about 5~6 bunk beds in the room. The bathroom was in the hall. In the middle of the night, I wake up with some guy trying to climb into my bed. I gave him a quick snap kick and rung his bell off the bottom of the top bunk. I can still remember the white and black horizontally striped briefs as he ran out of the room. I was hyped and it took a couple of minutes before the adrenaline rush subsided. I then realized that he just screwed up and made a wrong turn coming out of the bathroom in the middle of the night and thought that he was returning to his bunk in the other room.:eek:
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Some washrooms are attached to or inside the dorm, such that noise from the bathroom carries into the dorm. In rooms such as those, please don’t take a morning shower while everyone else is sleeping.
 
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Rex

One Step at a Time
Past OR future Camino
2018
This is an entertaining thread and brings back many memories. I concur with those who suggest NOT setting an audible alarm or using a headlamp while you rustle around and check your space before leaving at "o'dark thirty". The bobbing light is worse than an alarm for us light sleepers. Also, NEVER whisper or communicate with your fellow dawn patrol members other than via hand signals, as anything that breaks silence acts as a stimuli that sleepers don't need. "Je dor; ne me reveille pas, si'l vous plait!
 

Rex

One Step at a Time
Past OR future Camino
2018
I was in Albergue San Nicolas in Larrasoana and there was about 5~6 bunk beds in the room. The bathroom was in the hall. In the middle of the night, I wake up with some guy trying to climb into my bed. I gave him a quick snap kick and rung his bell off the bottom of the top bunk. I can still remember the white and black horizontally striped briefs as he ran out of the room. I was hyped and it took a couple of minutes before the adrenaline rush subsided. I then realized that he just screwed up and made a wrong turn coming out of the bathroom in the middle of the night and thought that he was returning to his bunk in the other room.:eek:
Sorry... that might have been me. Hey, it's disorienting to sleep in a different place every night and I might have been over-served at the local pub... just sayin' ;>)
 
Past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I changed the lockscreen on my iPhone to use as a night light. The red light does not destroy might night vision, and does shine like a beam of light from a headlight. I do use a headlight to walk in the predawn hours when it is hot out.
View attachment 114209
This red is too bright for me and I'm not even trying to sleep.😳🤣
 
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Paladina

old woman of the roads
Past OR future Camino
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
I got up every morning at 5, grabbed my bag with all of my valuables, my sleeping bag liner and did a sweep of my bunk with the light of the phone screen to make sure I didn't leave anything.
I'm reminded of the message that appears on screen before the featured film at my favourite arthouse cinema:

Make sure your PHONE is turned COMPLETELY OFF

The GLARE DISTURBS OTHERS

Strangely, many cinema-goers seem to think that their phone is invisible to all but the user
 

Philtration

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2021
There has been mention of the use of earplugs but personally, I have yet to find any that do not fall out. There may be some, but I have not found them.

There is, however, a headband, designed for sleeping that does work. Again, nothing gets in my pack with just a single use outside of my toothbrush. The headband can be used when you want a private listening session on the path or maybe during a food stop or siesta. And with earbuds inside the headband, there is nothing small to lose inadvertently.

Finally, something that I did not see in this thread that perhaps needs to be mentioned is to dress fully for the next day before going to bed. When the alarm wakes you, get up, grab the pack and move to the bathroom, wash up etc and you're out the door minimizing any disturbance of others.
Can you provide more information on the headband? Sounds interesting.
 

PJThomasJP

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019 Salvador y Primitivo
2022 Olvidado y Invierno
Ok this is a very basic question, but in all the youtube videos and all the books and blogs I've seen, I don't think I've gotten the answer to this.

- What is the etiquette in albergues regarding waking up early? Is setting an alarm on your phone ok? I would think that those still sleeping wouldn't appreciate hearing others' alarms ringing... I've read countless posts about preparing your bag and gear the night before so you aren't rustling around in the morning getting your things together, which makes sense. But how do people wake up so early without an alarm? Simply turn it to vibrate? Is that what everyone does?

- I read on a couple blogs about certain albergues waking people up by playing gregorian chanting music over the loudspeaker and slowly turning up the lights. How common is this? I would LOVE to wake up this way!!!
Firstly, setting an alarm is incredibly inconsiderate.
Secondly, why? Wake up naturally and enjoy your Camino. It's not a race.
 

LesR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
- What is the etiquette in albergues regarding waking up early?
I would sleep in as much of the next day's walking clothes as I wished... minimised the time (and noise) of preparing for the departure. Any sleeping gear that I didn't need on departure were stashed in an exterior pocket of the backpack (and not in a plastic bag!)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Let me suggest that there is no formal etiquette. Or if there is, it is evident less in its observance and more in its breach.

Some albergues will have their own guidelines and practices, and there is a range of helpful advice here about nitty-gritty stuff. @peregrino_tom and @André Walker get my nod for contributions that address the principles we might adopt when thinking about this. Having some underlying view about how we treat others, even when we are not treated how we would like to be, seems more important to me than remembering dozens of little does and don'ts.

@JustJack, it's great that you are prepared to ask the question. Don't be surprized, though, if some practices differ wildly from what might be seen as good behaviour. That said, you always have control over how you behave, and respond.
 
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Old Kiwi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I must be one of the lucky ones. I am a natural early riser. On Camino I pack everything into my pack before bed except for my shorts and Tee shirt which are under the bed with my pack. I always wake at around 5.30am. I roll out of bed, put on my shorts and Tee shirt (easy even in the dark), take my pillow case off the pillow, pick up my silk bag liner and pack and leave the sleeping area. Once in the communal area I put my liner and pillow case into the pack, toilet and then put on my shoes and leave the albergue. No lights, no sound. It is usually light enough to see outside at 6.00am but if not I have a very small torch to find the arrows.
 
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Don't be surprized, though, if some practices differ wildly from what might be seen as good behaviour. That said, you always have control over how you behave, and respond.
Ultimately yes, absolutely. Unfortunately that takes both awareness and self-discipline, which can be in short supply sometimes.

If there's irritation, a habit of just letting it be - rather than feeding it by endlessly complaining about someone's thoughtlessness - is what develops a skill of patience. Problem is, it can be a bonding experience to have a mutually reinforcing whine-fest with a fellow sufferer. That's where self-discipline comes in.

I must be one of the lucky ones. I am a natural early riser. [...] No lights, no sound.
You are one of the blessed disappearing ones.
Gracias!
 
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peregrino_tom

Member
Past OR future Camino
.
But equally important is being tolerant of others who are not as considerate as you. It can really dent your camino if you can’t get into a 'live and let live’ frame of mind. There will be times when your fellow pilgrims are coming in late and turn on all the lights/start snoring immediately their heads hit the pillow/do all their social media stuff in bed on bright phones - or even have phone conversations/ use alarms or have the phone beep every hour/work on their bright laptops through the night (typically cyclists checking elevation profiles)/get up early and make a lot of noise.
After Sarria can be even more of a test: quite often groups will turn on all the lights when they are ready to get up (and will talk to each other as they pack up, possibly as early as 4am in summer) And leave the lights on after they’ve left. Take all the toilet rolls (you thought the night before - OK, there are 3+ in each toilet, that should be fine. Then in the morning they have all gone..). Not all of this will happen to you, but if/when it does, just be ready to let it go past you - and not into you and start spoiling your camino. Cheers, tom
Just reflecting on my comment yesterday:
It comes across as a bit passive - that in staying chilled about everything that inconsiderate people are doing around you, you just have to accept it. And that's not the case. If you feel the situation is right it is often worthwhile politely challenging someone's actions - with a smile (and maybe a beseeching look!). And if someone else does it before you, then back them up, don't leave them hung out to dry. When more than one person speaks out, often others do, and that is more likely to get a result and diffuse any individual personality clashes. That's my experience anyway.
 
A very interesting thread, which, like all aspects of the Camino, begins in the mundane but soon takes on deeper meaning.

I always suffer in silence, with an inner smile if I can. People on the Camino come from diverse cultures with very different rules. My culture obliges me never, under any circumstances, to reprimand a stranger. Indirect cultures like mine consider this an intolerable insult, while direct cultures have the contrary belief that one has the right, even the duty, to reprimand and correct unacceptable behaviour. But to us victims of our indirect anthropology, such chastisement is far, far more inappropriate than making noise or rustling a plastic bag.

And then there are indirect cultures with an honour code ....
relax, don't do it. Let the Camino be a place where never is heard a discouraging word. Sure never mind.
 
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Why does anyone need an alarm on the Camino?
A. They don't know how to relax into waking up whenever?
B. They're participating in the 30km bed race?
C. They're wanting to beat the heat?
D. They drank too much last night and don't trust themselves to wake up?
E. They're afraid if they let themselves go on the Camino, the toothpaste will never go back in the tube back home and everything will have to change?
F. All of the above?
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
At the first albergue we worked at, we inherited a rule that no one was allowed to leave before 6.30. Did we look the door? No, just the locker with all the boots in. Interestingly, everyone who stayed was informed beforehand of the rule and the usual reaction was open gratitude. Only one pilgrim ever objected. We had to wake him up at 8.00 next morning.

It is unlikely you will need an alarm clock: other pilgrims will do that for you unless you are a very heavy sleeper, in which case put your phone on vibrate.
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Bathrobes … I wonder where such items were spotted.

If one is having their bag forwarded every day, then one can bring every little thing their heart desires. Otherwise, that bathrobe seen in SJPDP might have been abandoned in Roncesvalles.

However, the albergues with no curfews in bigger cities sometimes have weekend guests without pilgrim intentions staying at them. They show up, claim to be starting in the morning, check in, then go and play. It’s one of the reasons why municipal albergues enforce the one-night only policy.
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
A. They don't know how to relax into waking up whenever?
B. They're participating in the 30km bed race?
C. They're wanting to beat the heat?
D. They drank too much last night and don't trust themselves to wake up?
E. They're afraid if they let themselves go on the Camino, the toothpaste will never go back in the tube back home and everything will have to change?
F. All of the above?
Beat the heat! We come from opposite seasons so the difference is marked, I did get better at dealing with the heat, but at first I didnt cope, finishing by 2pm did the trick for me. And I found I like walking in the early morning, as the day slowly became lighter.
The first few days I was so tired I didnt notice all the noises.
 

FourSeasons

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Costa/Senda Litoral
Porto/SdC Sept 2022
@JustJack Many great tips and rituals given here just as there are many different types of people on the Camino. One thing I do know is that I too made a fopaux once in a while, but I learned and adjusted and made what worked for me work for those around me too. By the time I got to at least Castrojeriz (starting in SJPdP) I was a stealth escape artist. LOL I loved walking in the early morning while it was still dark (September). I enjoyed watching the day come alive and I enjoyed the peacefulness of it.

What worked for me on my early rise days (not every morning) was a simple wrist watch that had a slight beeping when the alarm sounded. (I was never the first one up) I learned to prepare the night before by packing as much as possible, leaving my toothbrush, toothpaste, hat sitting on top of my backpack so I could just grab and go. I slept mostly in my next days clothing except pants which I slipped on in the morning. I became really good at stuffing my sleeping bag into it's pouch then placing it in my backpack. Most times I would take everything out in a common area but after I got really good at it I could do everything at my bunk. Other sleeping pilgrims being none the wiser. My eyes adjusted to what little light was in the alburgue but I did have a headlamp that I would use by holding it in my hand to check around my bunk before I departed. I even learned to control my breathing so not to wake up my bunk mates. LOL

The greatest compliment I received during our Camino Family dinner in Santiago was from a pilgrim who laid in the bed near mine at the alburgue the night before, informing me she didn't hear me leave, not a peep.

I didn't have a cell phone on this my first Camino 2013 and I was actually glad I didn't carry one. Also, I stayed in mostly muni alburgues and a few private alburgues on my first and second Camino. I learned to be tolerant or at least mustard up every strength possible to be tolerant of the rustling of bags, lights from cell phones or headlamps and early risers, etc... You can't change the behavior of others but you can control yours and you will build up a tolerance too.

Regarding the music played at albergues, I only experienced this a couple of times and it was a really nice way to start the day. Buen Camino. :)
 
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Past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
My favourite way to wake up is when everyone's gone
I was given this same tip by @Anniesantiago a few years ago on the forum. Even when I woke up naturally and pulled out my ear plugs to rustling bags and busyness in motion, I would just lay there until the hubbub would die down. It was then oh so peaceful to do the last minute preparations and practically have the bathroom sinks alone with plenty of elbow room. It helped with walking in more solitude, too, as everyone else is always somewhere ahead, and I dislike bed races. Private lodging has in recent years become more often become my norm, as more and more pilgrims are marching to the Camino drums.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
did this as well, worked like a charm drowning out the snoring. Earplugs just don't work for me. :)
For me, listening to something through earbuds rather than trying not to hear something by using earplugs works better. I use very small silicone earbuds that are very comfortable like these.
 
Past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
For me, listening to something through earbuds rather than trying not to hear something by using earplugs works better. I use very small silicone earbuds that are very comfortable like these.
I wear your same ones for listening to music when walking my local trail.
I will add that my earplugs are great for drowning out Camino night time noises...all earplugs are not created equal.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
Ok this is a very basic question, but in all the youtube videos and all the books and blogs I've seen, I don't think I've gotten the answer to this.

- What is the etiquette in albergues regarding waking up early? Is setting an alarm on your phone ok? I would think that those still sleeping wouldn't appreciate hearing others' alarms ringing... I've read countless posts about preparing your bag and gear the night before so you aren't rustling around in the morning getting your things together, which makes sense. But how do people wake up so early without an alarm? Simply turn it to vibrate? Is that what everyone does?

- I read on a couple blogs about certain albergues waking people up by playing gregorian chanting music over the loudspeaker and slowly turning up the lights. How common is this? I would LOVE to wake up this way!!!
First, the easy question. Waking up to music is usually only done in Donativo Albergues. Places where you have a communal meal and agree as a group on wake up time.

Most Albergues you are on your own. Everyone works to their own schedule. There will usually be early risers and while the majority are sympathetic to others around them there are always a few who live in their own world.

The only way to try to work around these folks is to not stay at the same places.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
I must be one of the lucky ones. I am a natural early riser. On Camino I pack everything into my pack before bed except for my shorts and Tee shirt which are under the bed with my pack. I always wake at around 5.30am. I roll out of bed, put on my shorts and Tee shirt (easy even in the dark), take my pillow case off the pillow, pick up my silk bag liner and pack and leave the sleeping area. Once in the communal area I put my liner and pillow case into the pack, toilet and then put on my shoes and leave the albergue. No lights, no sound. It is usually light enough to see outside at 6.00am but if not I have a very small torch to find the arrows.
I do not think this is possible but I am sure you try.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Waking up to music is usually only done in Donativo Albergues. Places where you have a communal meal and agree as a group on wake up time.
Gregorian chants are played in the morning in the municipal albergue in Roncesvalles. I know that that there are others, not necessarily donativos that also play music in the morning.
 
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Old Kiwi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hi jpflavin 1, It is easy, just try it. If you do not turn on a light, then there is no light. There is no noise in putting on shorts and Tee shirt or lifting a sleeping bag liner off a bed. I am very careful when taking my case off the pillow. When you are very aware of those sleeping around you while this is taking place, you are as quiet as you can possibly be. Most mornings there are other people who are already up making the usual albergue morning noises. I am usually on the Camino during June and early July which have the longest daylight hours, so it is usually just light enough to see what you are doing.
 
Past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Gregorian chants are played in the morning in the municipal albergue in Roncesvalles. I know that that there are others, not necessarily donativos that also play music in the morning.
I remember that too. I think I recall it starting up soft and quiet and then it slowly became louder. I loved it!
 
Past OR future Camino
2018, 2022 (planning - Voie du Puy or Via Tolosana
Good point!
Some people wake up early naturally - and usually these are the folks who just seem to disappear, because when you wake up they're gone without having disturbed the whole room.

But some folks can't relax their driven selves and have to set an alarm and beat everyone else out the door - in order to get to the next place, in time for something.

They're also often the ones who are taking an afternoon nap when the rest of us arrive, and get all grumpy when their precious sleep is disturbed.😂
Oh, too true 😒
 
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Next up 2022?
I do not think this is possible but I am sure you try.
Sure it is.
Hi jpflavin 1, It is easy, just try it. If you do not turn on a light, then there is no light. There is no noise in putting on shorts and Tee shirt or lifting a sleeping bag liner off a bed. I am very careful when taking my case off the pillow. When you are very aware of those sleeping around you while this is taking place, you are as quiet as you can possibly be.
Very true. All it takes is a little awareness, something many people never learn to cultivate as they get up in the morning. But it's not hard to be almost completely silent if you're paying attention.
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 CF
Sure it is.

Very true. All it takes is a little awareness, something many people never learn to cultivate as they get up in the morning. But it's not hard to be almost completely silent if you're paying attention.
I was very lucky to be told what to do by a fellow (experienced) pilgrim. I had no idea!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Unless I had a tad bit too much to drink the night before, I have always woken up early and naturally when staying in albergues. Never used an alarm. The combination of an afternoon siesta nap and going to bed at 10 pm provides me plenty of sleep. Sometime between 5 and 6 am I naturally wake up, go to the toilet and after that quietly gather up all my things which I have prepared the night before and slip out into a common area with light. That allows me to double check my pack and such, put on my shoes and if there's no breakfast included I either prepare something for myself in the kitchen or I just simply leave the albergue and begin my walk and a search for precious coffee.
I just do not get the messing with pack and gear in the dark routine. Makes zero sense. I have lain in the dark watching silly pilgrims doing that, making noise and flashing their light beams everywhere like a Star Wars Jedi combat. All the while they are doing that there is a well lit place just metres away beyond the doors of the sleeping quarters. Sometimes I do go back to my bed just before I leave and with my small light carefully and non invasive as possible, give the area of my bed a quick scan to make sure I have not left something behind by mistake, and a couple of times I have. If all is OK, I'm off.
I cannot wait to be able to do all that again :D .
 

anamcara

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Chemin du Piémont 😎
Although a regular albergue / gite dormitory occupant for some years, in more recent times we have avoided shared dormitories (other than in a special few Albergues or on less travelled Caminos) due to my difficulty getting a decent night’s sleep in those conditions, despite trying all manner of things. So that’s on me.

That said, nothing in this thread encourages me to rethink that approach! 😀. And I don’t feel our Camino is lessened by our (my) preference for private rooms. Some of my favourite Albergues are those that have both dormitories and private rooms on offer. 🙏
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
If you are sleeping in a small dorm with only a few beds, it is also possible to talk about the waking up topic with your fellow dorm mates. When I walked the via podiensis, it happened quite often that the people sharing a room agreed on a general wake up time (usually 7:30-8:00, in summer that would probably be a bit earlier!). Of course that doesn't work in large albergues with big dormitories, but I thought it was a nice solution for the smaller podiensis dorms.
 

anamcara

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Chemin du Piémont 😎
If you are sleeping in a small dorm with only a few beds, it is also possible to talk about the waking up topic with your fellow dorm mates. When I walked the via podiensis, it happened quite often that the people sharing a room agreed on a general wake up time (usually 7:30-8:00, in summer that would probably be a bit earlier!). Of course that doesn't work in large albergues with big dormitories, but I thought it was a nice solution for the smaller podiensis dorms.
That’s one of the many nice things about the Le Puy and other french caminos - the often small numbers of beds in les dortoirs. 💕
 
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Paladina

old woman of the roads
Past OR future Camino
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
...it happened quite often that the people sharing a room agreed on a general wake up time (usually 7:30-8:00, in summer that would probably be a bit earlier!). Of course that doesn't work in large albergues with big dormitories...
Sadly, agreements don't always work in small albergues either. A few years ago, over the communal evening meal at a small donativo, the hospitalero proposed a communal breakfast at 7 a.m. None of the pilgrims objected, and although I would have preferred an earlier start, I was quite willing to accept the majority decision. Unfortunately, the silent majority of dissenters slunk out of the albergue at 4 a.m. -- silently! -- leaving just 3 of us to apologise to the hospitalero on their behalf for the waste of his time in preparing the food, much of which was also going to waste.
 

Phoenix

Generic member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Unless I had a tad bit too much to drink the night before, I have always woken up early and naturally when staying in albergues. Never used an alarm. The combination of an afternoon siesta nap and going to bed at 10 pm provides me plenty of sleep. Sometime between 5 and 6 am I naturally wake up, go to the toilet and after that quietly gather up all my things which I have prepared the night before and slip out into a common area with light. That allows me to double check my pack and such, put on my shoes and if there's no breakfast included I either prepare something for myself in the kitchen or I just simply leave the albergue and begin my walk and a search for precious coffee.
I just do not get the messing with pack and gear in the dark routine. Makes zero sense. I have lain in the dark watching silly pilgrims doing that, making noise and flashing their light beams everywhere like a Star Wars Jedi combat. All the while they are doing that there is a well lit place just metres away beyond the doors of the sleeping quarters. Sometimes I do go back to my bed just before I leave and with my small light carefully and non invasive as possible, give the area of my bed a quick scan to make sure I have not left something behind by mistake, and a couple of times I have. If all is OK, I'm off.
I cannot wait to be able to do all that again :D .
I've been thinking the same as I've read this this thread. All those little nuisances will likely cause a grin after looking forward to returning for so long.
 
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None of the pilgrims objected, and although I would have preferred an earlier start, I was quite willing to accept the majority decision. Unfortunately, the silent majority of dissenters slunk out of the albergue at 4 a.m. -- silently! -- leaving just 3 of us to apologise to the hospitalero on their behalf for the waste of his time in preparing the food, much of which was also going to waste.
Oh...really bad karma! :mad:
 

Mera

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF, El Norte, Primitivo, Porto, Madrid, Ingles
Sometimes the exit door will latch shut after you go through so think about this and ensuring that you have everything with you before you leave so that you don't have to bang on the door to be let back in if you forget something.
Yeap, it happened to me once. As soon as I walked out, I realized that my hiking poles were still inside. Luckly my daughter who can never wake up early was also still inside, sleeping peacefully. Of course, I didn't hesitate to dial her number knowing it's on vibration. For once, I was glad she couldn't wake up early. Did I feel bad about waking her up? No, not at all. When she was a newborn, she woke me up every two hours like a clock work. I secretly enjoyed the sweet revenge.
 
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Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
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