2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
There was a posting on the caminodesantiago.consumer.es forum last year about the albergue:
(I'm sure the pilgrim who wrote it won't mind if I copy his post here)
I started to walk the Camino Frances in late April 2006 from Saint Jean Pied de Port, but I only felt the warmth of hospitaleros for the first time in Casa Paderborn, a relatively small refuge run by Germans, but definitely not for Germans only. You don't feel that kind of welcome in a cold and crowded 100-bed refugio. And where else on the camino can a weary pilgrim get a welcome drink upon arriving at a refugio?
Being outside the city walls and adjacent to a river park, the refuge gives the pilgrim a rare opportunity of experiencing Pamplona without the nocturnal street noise., and yet being close to all the attractions a pilgrim is expected to see (e.g. the path of the Encierro, the Plaza de Toros, the ayuntamiento, the churches, etc.). You get to hear people chatting on the sidewalk or by the river for their daily 'paseo' and I distinctly remember engaging on a simple chat across an open downstairs window with a couple of 7-year olds on a bicycle inquiring where I come from and what it's like in my country. Best way to practice my simple Spanish! And of course, like the song says, "a house is not a home if there's no one there", and it's no more true than in Casa Paderborn whose crew of hospitaleros make the place really feel like home. They not only help you do your laundry, they also attend to blisters, make dinner suggestions, help out plan your route and schedule, and most of all, regale you with stories of their own pilgrimages and their experience in giving back to the camino. If I ever do the camino again, will I consider staying in Casa Paderborn one more time? In a heartbeat!
Can i stay in his hostel even if I haven't started the walk yet? I need to do an overnight stopover in Pamplona before i head to Roncesvalles to start the walk. If so, how do I go about booking a bed? I might not get there til midnight either, will that be an issue??
In the albergues you can usually not book. And if you are coming late in the evening, you should look for a "hostal" or "pension" where you can book on beforehand and come late. Usually the albergues close at 22.00 or someting like that. Good luck!