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Some basic questions about waking up etiquette

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
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.
If you noticed, I highlighted, no lights no sound. While I believe you are trying to be silent, you are waking folks around you.

It is not possible to leave a dorm completely silently. Those who do their best to be quiet are still waking those around them. That said, you are at least making an effort to disturb as few as possible around you.

When we sleep in a dormitory setting there should be no real expectation of privacy or quiet. We all seem to have our own agendas and definition of what is acceptable shared space behavior.

That said, there are places like Bodenaya where agreed upon wake up times work and are well accepted. Bodenaya, unfortunately is the exception to the rule versus the standard.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
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Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
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.

Let's just agree to disagree. No human I have met is silent. That said, you are at least trying.
 
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Let's just agree to disagree. No human I have met is silent. That said, you are at least trying.
Ok, @jpflavin1. 😊
You may disagree but this is our experience. I've spent a lot of time in silent retreats. Believe me, if you are slow and mindful enough you can be silent. Now my ankles make noise, admittedly, but intentional noise is preventable.

And I wake up before dawn every day, never turning on a light. Here it's much easier than in an unfamiliar albergue dorm on the Camino, but no light is possible too.
 

Freetogo

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francès, Via Podiensis & Camino Portuguès.
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!!!
NO NO No, setting up an alarm on your phone is not ok, nor rustling through plastic bags sorting your backpack nor is flashing your headlamp all around As you make your way to the bathroom. If you wish to leave before everyone else, yes, you prepare most of your bag the night before and tiptoe out of the dorm to get dressed etc. In any communal space, the Golden Rule prevails.
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
This also matches the title "waking up etiquette" but in a different way. Seriously do reconsideration if you are thinking of waking up a stranger who is keeping you from sleeping because of a noisy nightmare. That person could be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and re-living a violent experience and may act out automatically in response upon awakening.
 
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A bit off topic, but not entirely, and possibly within the 100+ posts on this thread my little pet peeve has been addressed.
When arriving at an albergue in mid afternoon, often tired and sweaty, I would invariably see one or two people napping. I did not give them the same courtesy as one would give to those sleeping in the morning as I had things to do; remove my pack, rummage around in it for my shower bag, clean clothes, etc, before heading to the showers. I "tried" not to chat to others, but sometimes it just happened. I only recall a napping head lifted once in my direction with a scowl. I personally do not feel the afternoon nappers should assume everyone arriving after they do should behave as though it is 5:00am and be tiptoeing around.
That said, I'm not speaking of acting "like a bull in a china closet".
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés(2008,09 14)
Del Norte (2011)
Portuguese(2015,2017)
Inglés 2015
Fisterre (2015 17)
You
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
There are always early risers. Starting around 5 am you will be treated to the plastic bag symphony accompanied by the flash of headlamps and mobile lights. Depending on proximity there may be vocal accompaniment in the form of “whispers”. The squeaking of springs against bed boards is noticeable. I was once awakened by a kettle whistle.
The cacophony of symphonic noise is impossible to ignore but is part of the albergue experience (in a lot of cases but not always). It is not really that bad.
A far more aggressive form of noise is the one that prevents an exhausted pilgrim from falling to sleep. By comparison a snoring pilgrim in a small room can cause an exodus to hallways and other available floor space. I once spent the night in a bathroom.
Then there is the Spanish holiday the celebration of which includes alcohol and fireworks and loud revellers over the course of the entire night.
All this to say if you are looking to reduce the noise challenge you might want to take advantage of pensions or private room accomodation. Eliminating noise from street parties and holiday celebrations will take some research of Spanish history, Catholicism and University locations.
Or you can grin and start your day a little earlier than expected.
Cheers!
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
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.
I could not agree more with you and Annie about waiting until the early morning hustle has died down for all your stated reasons!!
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
Maybe not exactly on topic, but close: going to sleep etiquette:

A mea culpa for a sin committed on the very first night of my very first Camino.

I was the last to arrive at the albergue in SJPdP. I hadn't slept in a bunk since I was a very small child visiting the Catskills - close to 7 decades ago, and now I was in a top bunk! I didn't know whether one took a shower before? after? dinner, how to arrange one's pack if one was on the top bunk, do you keep your pack at the foot or to the side of the bunk bed down below, how and what were you supposed to bring into the bunk with you, how do you arrange an escape plan from the top bunk if you had to make a potty-run in the middle of the night, etc.

So many questions and unknowns!!

I was told that lights were out at 9 p.m. I took a shower after dinner and returned to the bunk room after the other pilgrims were in bed and perhaps asleep. I climbed up into bed, crossing my fingers that my stuff would be safe from the grabbing hands of this room full of strangers (hahaha).

I was so new that I didn't even know to be embarrassed when, a few minutes after I had settled into my top bunk for the night, a pilgrim who had gotten a bottom bunk got up and TURNED OFF THE LIGHT IN THE ROOM, which I had left on.

I had thought that they would automatically go off by themselves, like they were on a timer or something.

One of many, many bone-head moves I made, and continue to make, as life goes on.

*sigh*

PS- These pilgrims were the best and I often ran into them later in the walk. I ran into some of them in Pamplona where we shared a wonderful and spontaneous dinner. I ran into some of them sharing monastic duties down the road, and I corresponded with some of them long after that first Camino had ended. Their tolerance, understanding, and grace was a lesson for me.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
It's great to see someone seeking an answer to this question "prior" to going abroad and having to learn the hard way..........:)
 
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WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
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.
??? Where do you find these earplugs? I've tried many different types, and none of them made ay significant difference. The real answer to the original question is "Do unto others as you would prefer they do unto you."
 

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's just agree to disagree. No human I have met is silent. That said, you are at least trying.
I agree, but at the same time, I have woken where other pilgrims have left a dormitory without waking me. Were they silent and left making absolutely no noise? I doubt it, but whatever noise they made did not wake me. Others might have heard them leave, but I didn't. So it is possible to be quiet enough not to disturb some others.
 
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Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
??? Where do you find these earplugs? I've tried many different types, and none of them made ay significant difference. The real answer to the original question is "Do unto others as you would prefer they do unto you."
They are pink and yellow. Not expensive, T shape, and they worked great for me.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I had thought that they would automatically go off by themselves, like they were on a timer or something
In some albergues the are on a timer.
The real answer to the original question is "Do unto others as you would prefer they do unto you."
Exactly. I'm not sure why we needed over 100 responses!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
??? Where do you find these earplugs? I've tried many different types, and none of them made ay significant difference. The real answer to the original question is "Do unto others as you would prefer they do unto you."
As you can see by the responses, the "Golden Rule" is interpreted many different ways^^.
 
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JFG

Doing Caminos since 2003. Holy Cow!
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Frances, Portugues, Norte, Ignacio, Salvador, Tunnel, Ingles, and more...
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.
Excellent suggestions. It is amazing how loud zippers and plastic bags sound at 6 AM
 

wabana

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Pretty simple:
pack the night b4
Device vibrate only in am
Room lights on by 7 am
leave by 8 am
dont over think it am or pm
doesnt work? - private room next nite
....... why over 100 responses..... its called too much time on thine hand during the covid 'fog'
 
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Icacos

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
People should just wake up at a reasonable hour, say around 5 o’clock. That way they could get out and breathe the early morning fresh air, enjoy the morning stillness, listen to birdsong and watch the sunrise. It really annoys me that some people insist on sleeping til all hours and expect the rest of us to tippy-toe around so as not to disturb them.
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
For better or worse I sleep like the inanimate.

Screams have twice awakened me on camino. Pilgrims having nightmares.

Otherwise, nothing awakens me: plastic baggers, alarms, arguments, nothing.

But, if on way to slumber and folks are rustling themselves or their goods after curfew I can’t hit sleep until they’re quiet.
 
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I personally do not feel the afternoon nappers should assume everyone arriving after they do should behave as though it is 5:00am and be tiptoeing around.
Agree 100%.
But treating bed racers as they treated me in the morning seems to me to be the making of pilgrim wars.
So, yeah. Not being a bull in a china shop. And certainly not being loud on purpose, just because, as tempting as that might be. (Ahhhh pilgrim schadenfreude. "They woke me up at zero dark 30, but now they have a taste of their own medicine..." 🤣)
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
... and then prepare breakfast for their fellow pilgrims?
Gosh no, we’ll be long gone by then … long gone.
But treating bed racers as they treated me in the morning seems to me to be the making of pilgrim wars.
It seems to be the assumption, unfortunately, that all early risers are bed racers. Some of us are habitually early risers who, when we wake, just want to get on with our day and, if we can enjoy the outdoor offerings of the early morning, so much the better. While on camino - if not staying in private accommodation where an early departure did not pose a problem for others - there were several instances where I lay silently in bed (while in my mind I was ‘climbing the walls’) waiting for others to stir so I could finally begin my day.

I try to accommodate everyone as best I can but, really, things would go so much more smoothly if everyone could just start their day earlier. In other words, be more like me. 😉😉😉🙃
 
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Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
there were several instances where I lay silently in bed (while in my mind I was ‘climbing the walls’) waiting for others to stir so I could finally begin my day.
This speaks for me, too, at times in the albergues.
There will never be a true "fix" for all the many differences in habits of numerous pilgrims who are sharing sleeping quarters, often night after night.
 
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Next up 2022?
It seems to be the assumption, unfortunately, that all early risers are bed racers. Some of us are habitually early risers
I was too concise. The likes of you, dear @Icaros, are not usually the alarmringing lightshining packrepacking sort that wake the rest of us up. Early risers are more often stealth leavers - for starters, none of you need an alarm.
I try to accommodate everyone as best I can but, really, things would go so much more smoothly if everyone could just start their day earlier. In other words, be more like me
Haha, yeah. Love it. You and 8 billion of the rest of us.
😂
 
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Icacos

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
I was too concise. The likes of you, dear @Icaros, are not usually the alarmringing lightshining packrepacking sort that wake the rest of us up. Early risers are more often stealth leavers - for starters, none of you need an alarm.
And my post wasn’t directed to you specifically; I was speaking generally. Your post just happened to be the most recent that referred to bed racers.
 

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