Advance warning: the Confraternity of St James refuge at Miraz will be closed for building works between 10 December 2009 and 7 April 2010. Any changes to these dates will be posted to this topic on the Forum.
Work began last week on the extension to the refuge. This will provide a larger kitchen, more showers and toilets, as well as increasing the capacity of the refuge. The refuge will open in time for Holy Week, although all the building work will not have been completed.
A good job on the renovation to date. I was the only pilgrim on a cold wet day in early Nov.11,
Turn up the hot water in the showers, you are hoarding it. The solar system is holding hundreds of litres of very hot water. I forgot to mention this when given the tour. Many thanks, I would have been in trouble had not the refuge been located there.
Miraz was one of my most memorable moments on the camino in May 2011. Arrived there soaked to the bone!, the hospitaleros were superb and the place itself was very welcoming and warm (No cooker then, but cooked pasta in the microwave, it tasted like heaven!!)
I was at Miraz beginning of November, also having arrived in torrential rain and soaked through. What a wonderful, warm welcoming place. Hot coffee and biscuits and fruit soon set me up! Great kitchen (unlike too many aubergues!). Good luck with the renovations - I will be back!
The Auberge has to be one of the very best! A warming log fire in the kitchen, wonderful hot showers and a well equipped kitchen is only part of the story. The welcome from the volunteers was as warm and helpful as any - maybe because they were from Cornwall - and to have breakfast prepared in the morning was very homely. Well done all concerned. It also helped to be sharing with some of the loveliest people I had met on the Camino. Thank you all concerned with the hard work of raising money and doing the building work and to all the volunteers who keep these places open for the walking hordes. As warm as toast in October.
I would offer some balance to these posts. This refuge is undoubtedly very good, but when we got to the door at 1200 in pouring rain we were met by a sign saying it was not open until 1400 which given the previous short leg seemed surprising. It must be a common occurrence for people to arrive earlier than 1400 as the previous AdP in Baamonde insists people leave before 0800 and it is only a four to five hour stroll (approx 16km). The door was open so we walked in and called 'Hola'. I could see four or more people sat around a table and one of the ladies came over to see us. She then informed us that despite the fact that it was raining and cool (only about 13deg - this was mid Sept) that we could not come in until 1400! What a lovely Christian welcome. Unfortunately, the next leg is at least 28km which would likely take about 7hrs given the hills and that would be without a stop for lunch. So we are stuck there in a little bar waiting for the AdP to open. If you want to visit Miraz I suggest you try to plan to arrive later than 1400! Also, be aware there is nowhere to buy food (although it seems that the bar nearby may do snacks some times!) so you need to have provisions with you to cook. Having been on the Norte and the Francis there are far better places than the one at Miraz so its not really worth the stop unless you have no other choice.
The CSJ guide clearly states that there is a bar but no meals or provisions in the village so they should be bought before leaving Baamonde. The updated copy may also give the opening time, although many albergues open at 14.00 (or later) so it may be taken as a 'given'.
Started walking from Gijon on 06 April, torrential rain for the first 3 days. Having said that it was still a lot warmer than Ireland was at the same time. I wore shorts everyday only putting on over trousers for the really heavy rain. After that we had a mixture of sunshine, rain and hail. Miraz was like an oasis when we reached it one afternoon after a particularly heavy hail storm. The hospitalaros (Bromsgove & Plymouth) were fantastic with a super wood burning stove to dry our clothes and a warm room to sleep in. It was probably the best Auberge we stayed in. The staff there have done fantastic work and I think that it would serve as a model refuge for anywhere in Europe. We continued on our way with mostly good weather, there was rain but mainly showers lasting about 30 minutes. The temperature was noticeably colder when we joined the Camino Frances at Azura, meeting so many pilgrims was almost overwhelming, unfortunately the etiquette in the Auberges by some of them left a lot to be desired, but with such large numbers it is probably to be expected. We broke the final 40kms from Azura down into 2 days to savour our entry into Santiago de Compostelo and were rewarded with blue skies and sunshine as we arrived just in time for the midday pilgrims mass. I commenced the Northern route in August 2012 finishing it off in March/April 2013. On balance I can honestly say that I enjoyed both stages equally. In the summer it is great to get in for an early morning swim at some secluded beach or cove, or to enjoy a lunch break with an ice cream or a busy beach but likewise it was equally good to walk in cooler temperatures, enjoying a nice bowl of Galician soup for lunch or getting into a warm bed in an almost deserted Auberge at night. We had no problem finding Auberges along the way and of course unlike the summer there is no danger of having to queue for them or even worse finding them full. The most people that were staying in an Auberge with us was 11 and that was only once or twice. And with the smaller numbers you tend to mix better. We met some fabulous people, like the Spanish family from Toledo of mother, father, auntie, 12 yr old son and 7 yr old little sister Elsa who walked 150kms together from Ribadeo. How could you feel tired or complain after seeing her smiling face as she skipped along with her little pack holding her fathers hand. And not forgetting that "crazy" French girl who after spending a year in a wheelchair and crutches following a motorcycle accident walked out of her house in Brittany in early April and walked the 1800kms all the way to Santiago de Compostelo - Inspirational. Many thanks to all I met along the way.