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Why do you stay in Albergues on the Camino Frances?

Why do you stay in Albergues on the Camino Frances? (tick all that apply)

  • Cost: Albergues fit my budget better.

    Votes: 71 79.8%
  • Food: I love the communal meals either self cooked or provided.

    Votes: 41 46.1%
  • Food: By cooking my own food I can keep to my budget better

    Votes: 16 18.0%
  • Food: I have dietary needs that make self cooked meals a much better option

    Votes: 9 10.1%
  • Community: I love the sense of community in the Albergues

    Votes: 63 70.8%
  • Community: I love meeting people and it's easier in Albergues

    Votes: 59 66.3%
  • Community: I'd be lonely staying in private accommodation and would feel 'left out'

    Votes: 37 41.6%
  • Community: The wonderful Hospitaleiras along the way

    Votes: 34 38.2%
  • Pilgrim Spirit: Staying in Albergues just adds to my Pilgrim experience

    Votes: 74 83.1%
  • Pilgrim Spirit: Staying in Albergues enhances the Spiritual aspect of my journey

    Votes: 32 36.0%

  • Total voters
    89
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#1
Why ask? I'm curious. That's all. I'll explain in a moment.

I've limited this Poll to the Camino Frances. Because:
  1. It's the only one I've walked so far :oops:
  2. It's the most popular route.
  3. It has the most infrastructure and range of accommodation I think. So we are spoilt for choice.
Why am I curious?

Well I've read all the pros and cons of different accommodation types and I've tried most myself, though not the 'full monty' albergue experience yet. Only private rooms in Albergues so far.

And let me declare I am not 'against' Albergues in any way. There is no 'motive' behind this Poll.
I have nothing against communal living per se.
I just had enough of it in the services ;)

So I tend toward private accommodation myself. Though I plan to try other Caminos soon, where accommodation options are more limited, so I'll be using Albergues then for sure.

So I am not 'anti' Albergues OK :)

But would class myself as 'Albergue Curious' ;)

I've come across all types of people making use of Albergues and many of my Camino 'buddies' in the past were staying in them.

So I'm curious. Why do you like to use them?

Tick all that apply!

I ran out of options, so please feel free to add others in comments!

And let's keep it civil and light hearted :D
 

nathanael

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#2
I don't mind staying in albergues, but if I can find alternate space I prefer to have a place of my own when it comes to sleeping and just relaxing. For me, the Camino is a time of reflection relaxation and a time of freedom. I have walked with other pilgrims sometime for one to two weeks and I enjoy the time with people I can share my beliefs with. But getting back to albergues people in these places are so obsessed with cell phones and being in contact with people at home. Myself I have no family and getting away and forgetting is awesome.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#3
I don't mind staying in albergues, but if I can find alternate space I prefer to have a place of my own when it comes to sleeping and just relaxing. For me, the Camino is a time of reflection relaxation and a time of freedom. I have walked with other pilgrims sometime for one to two weeks and I enjoy the time with people I can share my beliefs with. But getting back to albergues people in these places are so obsessed with cell phones and being in contact with people at home. Myself I have no family and getting away and forgetting is awesome.
I'm a bit like you. I enjoy company through the day and at meals, but time alone too ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#4
I just had enough of it in the services ;)
This is an understandable sentiment, Rob.
And I wonder...the intention and motivation behind a camino is pretty much the opposite of being in the service, and it's all held in a field of kindness. So I am guessing that may colour the the way it feels to share space. There is something special about being together with so many people who are each carrying something in their hearts to Santiago. Snoring, plastic bags, and all. The whole point is peace.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
#5
The serendipity of it. I did not book ahead and stopped when I wanted either because I was tired or the place looked interesting.

You meet a wide variety of people in an albergue and have time to talk or not as you choose. I found little time and little inclination to talk whilst walking. I walk alone for preference and walking in silence is a meditation for me and a break from the constant noise of normal life.

I do not like communal living either having had enough of it in my youth, but the albergue is not as bad as is sometimes made out. There are people who have no regard for anyone other than than themselves in albergues, but so there are in all places. You can, mentally, remove yourself from them and then they become only an irritation. Admitted at the God forsaken hours that some of them start, murder can become a real possibility and blinding them with their lights followed by choking them with their polythene bags is most attractive but it passes, as do they, never to be seen again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francé 2005; 2016
Inglés June 2017
del Salvador Sep 2018
Primitivo Oct 2018
#7
Why ask? I'm curious. That's all. I'll explain in a moment.

I've limited this Poll to the Camino Frances. Because:
  1. It's the only one I've walked so far :oops:
  2. It's the most popular route.
  3. It has the most infrastructure and range of accommodation I think. So we are spoilt for choice.
Why am I curious?

Well I've read all the pros and cons of different accommodation types and I've tried most myself, though not the 'full monty' albergue experience yet. Only private rooms in Albergues so far.

And let me declare I am not 'against' Albergues in any way. There is no 'motive' behind this Poll.
I have nothing against communal living per se.
I just had enough of it in the services ;)

So I tend toward private accommodation myself. Though I plan to try other Caminos soon, where accommodation options are more limited, so I'll be using Albergues then for sure.

So I am not 'anti' Albergues OK :)

But would class myself as 'Albergue Curious' ;)

I've come across all types of people making use of Albergues and many of my Camino 'buddies' in the past were staying in them.

So I'm curious. Why do you like to use them?

Tick all that apply!

I ran out of options, so please feel free to add others in comments!

And let's keep it civil and light hearted :D
I like to support the local governments too, who are often running their albergues at a loss, and feel like I'm giving them a bit back. I couldn't budgetjust for private hostals all the way. They employ people for us, run the places as best they can within their means. I also find Albergues are good 'levellers', in that we all become pilgrims regardless of what or who we are in our jobs or ego, all on the same route for our own reasons and experience. We become equal, apart from the snorers
I particularly like the Hospitaleiras who look at you and smile when we and they wish you a good day and Camino. There are plenty of them, and I think they like it when we do the same.
LLN Keith
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#8
I usually stay in albergues. These days I choose to walk the less popular routes in winter and more often than not I have them to myself. 20 winter nights on the VdlP and Sanabres and I shared an albergue with just one other person on only 3 nights in total between Salamanca and Santiago. So I get the self-satisfaction and smugness of doing things the "proper" tough old-fashioned way without any of the major pains in the posterior of albergue life :cool:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#10
I have lived somewhat of a sheltered life except for the 3 years in my 20's when I was in a traveling commune. Fast forward to 2015 when I saw the movie "The Way" :eek: and had never heard of the Camino prior to that.

I found this forum and planned my first camino. Although I did some research, in my newbie ignorance I assumed you HAD to stay in albergues like Tom did in the movie. In fact, I never even thought to consider other options. I now use a variety of lodgings as in the last few years the forum has become a plethora of information and opinions regarding sleeping choices.

That said, I enjoy the albergue experience for its uniqueness and each one is like that box of chocolates..."ya never know what you're gonna get". I stay in hotels for most of my normal travels, but combining the pilgrimage walking experience with staying in albergues provides the "whole meal deal" to me. It's so completely unique and different...both the good and not so good!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
#11
I ran out of options, so please feel free to add others in comments!
One point that distinguishes albergues in a very practical / concrete way is the fact that the facilities are designed for people with the same needs as me. For example, every albergue that I stayed at had at least a lavadora sink and a clothes line so that I could wash and dry clothes at the end of the day. Most had kitchens. Some even had washing machines and tumble driers ... imagine!

Aside from the practical advantages of albergues, I have the feeling that some albergues made a massive, positive, contribution to my experience of the Camino. Sometimes that was because of the warmth and kindness of my hosts (e.g. Emilio in Lalin, the Canadian volunteers in Zamora, the Almeria Camino association), sometimes because of the generous, home-made, meals (e.g. Cubo de la Tierra del Vino and Olleros de Tera), and sometimes because of the community, the hospitaleros, and the desire to preserve the historic tradition of hospitality to pilgrims (e.g. Albergue Parroquial Santa María, Fuenterroble de Salvatierra).

I can't say that I enjoyed every albergue that I stayed at. One or two were about as uncomfortable as an unheated sports hall in winter (in fact, they were unheated sports halls in winter). One hospitalero upset me by constantly being "on my case." And in some places, I was disturbed by inconsiderate people who had used the lavadora as an ashtray, or had extended conversations at dawn etc. I could have insulated myself from those irritations by spending money for a private room at a hotel (and sometimes I did just that). But there's less chance of having a transformative experience when you insulate yourself against the shared experience.

Of course, I might feel differently if I had walked the CF. My experiences were mostly on uncrowded routes (with the exception of the short walk to Finisterre and Muxia).
 
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wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
#12
You could do with a few more options on the poll Robo like "when there are no hotels or hostals available" or "when albergues are the only accommodation available"
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#13
You could do with a few more options on the poll Robo like "when there are no hotels or hostals available" or "when albergues are the only accommodation available"
Or like "when there's nowhere to sleep in Pamplona due to Holy week", (so you sleep on a park bench). Not my personal experience, but one I remember hearing of.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#14
You could do with a few more options on the poll Robo like "when there are no hotels or hostals available" or "when albergues are the only accommodation available"
Agreed. But the polls only allow 10 options, unless a mod can add some more ;)

But the poll is really to share what people like about them, rather than why I 'had' to use them.............
 
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Camino(s) past & future
April (2015) SJPdP to SdC; Porto to SdC April (2016)
#15
@Robo I think it would be interesting to separate out future pilgrims, from first-time pilgrims and from those walking the same route for a second or third (or more) time. I say this because if you had asked me prior to leaving SJPDP for the first time in 2015 why I would be choosing to stay in albergues I probably would have responded that I understood that this is what pilgrims did. During the journey I learned that there were private alternatives for accommodation, whilst also learning that I was enjoying the experience of sharing space, conversation, food and wine with folk from all over the world, different ages, different life experiences. Then there was the time I arrived at Sahagun albergue late in the day feeling unwell and soaked to the skin after a 33 km trek, the last part in high winds and heavy rain. Going upstairs to find a bed I was greeted joyfully by Dennis (who I had walked with on an earlier stretch before Burgos) a pilgrim from New Zealand. who introduced me to everyone nearby, told me which shower to use to ensure there was still some hot water left, then included me in the group of very much younger people who were going for dinner in the town. It was also where I met a woman who made me a cup of chamomile tea and who has become a dear friend who I meet up with on a regular basis. Then the following day I opted to walk the less-travelled path to Calzadilla de Hemanillos, and met up with the same woman from the Sahagun albergue later on the way & we walked together and shared our food. On arrival in the village we went to the first albergue (donativo I think) which had formerly been a school which, by the sounds emanating from the interior, appeared to be undergoing renovation work. With cables and bits of piping all over the floor I hesitated before entering, but the imposing figure of the hospitalero greeted us both and said the work would be finished by late afternoon and that we should stay. He took us through to our bunks and insisted on making up the beds with cleans sheets and pillowcases. His name was Juan and he was from the Canary Islands. He was the kindest of people, and as the place filled up with other pilgrims, there was wood for the stove in the dining room and a buzz of conversation around the table. The shop in the village was tiny, as was the man who owned it, but again the welcome was so warm and he had everything we needed such as stamps for postcards and bottles of wine for later that evening. The albergue was simple but clean, cosy and with a sincere welcome and regard from the hospitalero that made it a highlight of my walk to Santiago. It is for these serendipitous meetings in albergues with so many good-hearted people and the challenges to assumptions which lead to a reset of attitudes that, for me, then (it might be different another time), helped me to understand the gifts that can arrive when the journey is unplanned and feeling able to put your trust in others, and hopefully at a later point being able to reciprocate or 'pass it forward.'
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#16
You did a great job putting together your poll. Oftentimes when I see online polls I cringe because they are often created with a particular axe to grind and are anything but even handed. Yours is quite even handed and fair. Thank you for that. I checked a number of the boxes in your poll, but the one that really hit home was about being lonely in private accommodations. I walk the Camino on my own, since it is not in the cards for my wife and I can’t entice anyone else in my family. When I first walked in 2015, my biggest fear was loneliness. From my first night at the albergue Beilari in SJPDP, that fear vanished. When I walk the CF again this coming Feb/Mar I again plan to stay at albergues. I will treat myself to the odd night in private accommodations though.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2019)
#17
@Robo I think it would be interesting to separate out future pilgrims, from first-time pilgrims and from those walking the same route for a second or third (or more) time. I say this because if you had asked me prior to leaving SJPDP for the first time in 2015 why I would be choosing to stay in albergues I probably would have responded that I understood that this is what pilgrims did. During the journey I learned that there were private alternatives for accommodation, whilst also learning that I was enjoying the experience of sharing space, conversation, food and wine with folk from all over the world, different ages, different life experiences. Then there was the time I arrived at Sahagun albergue late in the day feeling unwell and soaked to the skin after a 33 km trek, the last part in high winds and heavy rain. Going upstairs to find a bed I was greeted joyfully by Dennis (who I had walked with on an earlier stretch before Burgos) a pilgrim from New Zealand. who introduced me to everyone nearby, told me which shower to use to ensure there was still some hot water left, then included me in the group of very much younger people who were going for dinner in the town. It was also where I met a woman who made me a cup of chamomile tea and who has become a dear friend who I meet up with on a regular basis. Then the following day I opted to walk the less-travelled path to Calzadilla de Hemanillos, and met up with the same woman from the Sahagun albergue later on the way & we walked together and shared our food. On arrival in the village we went to the first albergue (donativo I think) which had formerly been a school which, by the sounds emanating from the interior, appeared to be undergoing renovation work. With cables and bits of piping all over the floor I hesitated before entering, but the imposing figure of the hospitalero greeted us both and said the work would be finished by late afternoon and that we should stay. He took us through to our bunks and insisted on making up the beds with cleans sheets and pillowcases. His name was Juan and he was from the Canary Islands. He was the kindest of people, and as the place filled up with other pilgrims, there was wood for the stove in the dining room and a buzz of conversation around the table. The shop in the village was tiny, as was the man who owned it, but again the welcome was so warm and he had everything we needed such as stamps for postcards and bottles of wine for later that evening. The albergue was simple but clean, cosy and with a sincere welcome and regard from the hospitalero that made it a highlight of my walk to Santiago. It is for these serendipitous meetings in albergues with so many good-hearted people and the challenges to assumptions which lead to a reset of attitudes that, for me, then (it might be different another time), helped me to understand the gifts that can arrive when the journey is unplanned and feeling able to put your trust in others, and hopefully at a later point being able to reciprocate or 'pass it forward.'
Such beautiful experiences. Thanks for sharing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#18
All these accommodations options arrived when the big waves of pilgrims showed up with lots of money. Not too long ago, albergues were all there was, and if the noise and crowds were a problem, you either learned to deal with it or you went home.
Still, the great thing about an albergue is you have a much better chance of meeting a volunteer hospitalero there. These people come for (usually) two weeks of unpaid work, often from homes very far away. They are there because they love the camino, and they care for YOU, the pilgrim.
Not everyone who volunteers is wonderful, but the vast majority are. They are the beating heart of the donativo/low-cost albergue system. They are why I continue to stay at albergues and support their survival.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#19
@Robo I think it would be interesting to separate out future pilgrims, from first-time pilgrims and from those walking the same route for a second or third (or more) time. I say this because if you had asked me prior to leaving SJPDP for the first time in 2015 why I would be choosing to stay in albergues I probably would have responded that I understood that this is what pilgrims did. During the journey I learned that there were private alternatives for accommodation, whilst also learning that I was enjoying the experience of sharing space, conversation, food and wine with folk from all over the world, different ages, different life experiences. Then there was the time I arrived at Sahagun albergue late in the day feeling unwell and soaked to the skin after a 33 km trek, the last part in high winds and heavy rain. Going upstairs to find a bed I was greeted joyfully by Dennis (who I had walked with on an earlier stretch before Burgos) a pilgrim from New Zealand. who introduced me to everyone nearby, told me which shower to use to ensure there was still some hot water left, then included me in the group of very much younger people who were going for dinner in the town. It was also where I met a woman who made me a cup of chamomile tea and who has become a dear friend who I meet up with on a regular basis. Then the following day I opted to walk the less-travelled path to Calzadilla de Hemanillos, and met up with the same woman from the Sahagun albergue later on the way & we walked together and shared our food. On arrival in the village we went to the first albergue (donativo I think) which had formerly been a school which, by the sounds emanating from the interior, appeared to be undergoing renovation work. With cables and bits of piping all over the floor I hesitated before entering, but the imposing figure of the hospitalero greeted us both and said the work would be finished by late afternoon and that we should stay. He took us through to our bunks and insisted on making up the beds with cleans sheets and pillowcases. His name was Juan and he was from the Canary Islands. He was the kindest of people, and as the place filled up with other pilgrims, there was wood for the stove in the dining room and a buzz of conversation around the table. The shop in the village was tiny, as was the man who owned it, but again the welcome was so warm and he had everything we needed such as stamps for postcards and bottles of wine for later that evening. The albergue was simple but clean, cosy and with a sincere welcome and regard from the hospitalero that made it a highlight of my walk to Santiago. It is for these serendipitous meetings in albergues with so many good-hearted people and the challenges to assumptions which lead to a reset of attitudes that, for me, then (it might be different another time), helped me to understand the gifts that can arrive when the journey is unplanned and feeling able to put your trust in others, and hopefully at a later point being able to reciprocate or 'pass it forward.'
Lovely experiences to share :)

@Robo I think it would be interesting to separate out future pilgrims, from first-time pilgrims and from those walking the same route for a second or third (or more) time.
Nice idea, But not that easy to do on a simple 10 option survey I think ;)

I just wanted to make an easy / simple poll for people to share what attracts them to Albergues on the CF ....

It was prompted by meeting such a broad range of people using them........from all kinds of backgrounds.... I think the results are not that unexpected so far. And hopefully it might spark other fond memories / stories ....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#20
I came to the camino because I felt myself to be called. But I didn't know what that meant or how it would work out in the experience. For me, the albergues are where I learn the meaning of this call. But not just albergues: the parochial albergues, whenever they are available. I try to keep my mind and heart open to what comes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#21
In my 3 caminos to date i have used private albergues only once en route when it was the only option after having to walk an extra 13km in search of a bed, and in Santiago where we booked ahead, for 3 days. All the rest were the municipal or parochial albergues. Why? No purist reason. See Rebekah’s post above for an endorsement of those albergues. Apart from the fact that it makes it possible for me to do it on a low budget.
 

SabineP

Camino is about empathy. Not about entitlement.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#22
The wonderful hospitaleros/as , be it in Parroquiales, Donativos, Munis or even Private ones.
And then the particular group of pilgrims on that particular day in that specific albergue. That is when the " magic " happens.

The very basic albergue parroquial San Miguel in Estella with their wonderful volunteers.
José Luis in the parroquial Tosantos, there is not a gentler soul to be found on a Camino.
Laura, the queen of blister treatment, in the Muni in Mansilla de las Mulas.
Christine, my wonderful friend in the private albergue in Villares de Orbigo who cooks like a chef and makes you feel so at home...
Wonderful and sometimes moody Ernesto at La Casa de las Sonrisas in Grañon...

Or on the less travelled Caminos like the Camino del Ebro : the hospi at the Muni at Galllur who lets you stay till noon because of a heavy storm and you had to wait for a train.

Sybille at Egeria House ( although not strictly an albergue ) but she is a hospitalera in the truest sense of the word!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
#23
After all is said and done, it's hospitaleros who make this incarnation of the Camino de Santiago unique. Once the volunteer spirit is squashed by the big run for money and comfort, the Camino will die again. The hospis are the geese who lay the golden eggs.
If you never stay at an albergue with volunteer hospis, you've missed the Camino essence, IMHO.
 
#24
I am probably in the minority, but I like sleeping in a bunk with other people in the room. I usually wake up at least once in the night, and on the Camino it was always comforting to have all of the other people in the room - much easier to go back to sleep than when I sleep in a room by myself. It's probably early childhood conditioning coming from a big family, or maybe an ancestral hold-over from when we needed to band together for safety.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#25
I am probably in the minority, but I like sleeping in a bunk with other people in the room. I usually wake up at least once in the night, and on the Camino it was always comforting to have all of the other people in the room - much easier to go back to sleep than when I sleep in a room by myself. It's probably early childhood conditioning coming from a big family, or maybe an ancestral hold-over from when we needed to band together for safety.
You must be a snorer :D:D:D

PS (I do understand your take on this though. It's really nice!)
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#26
I like sleeping in albergues, and am I the only one who prefers big rooms with lots of people over small rooms with only 3 or 5 others? In the large rooms I feel like my bed is my own little cocoon space, and I feel more anonymous. I feel like the smaller rooms are more intimate - where everyone can hear every time you roll over.

I think that I would have enjoyed my last Camino - the Norte - if I had spent more time in albergues, but I found that required a lot more planning than the when I walked the Frances.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP
April 2016, August 2017, May 2018
Camino PortuGUESE
May 2019
#27
After 3 CF's I decided to try different albergues, refugios or donativos in different towns this year. Last year I was with my adult son so I only repeated the super good ones.( like Burgos municipal for e.g..) what infinite variety there is on the Way. He also used What's App to keep together with his young friends. Sometimes we stayed in different ones in the same town so we could both not play the assigned roles. ( mother , son).
We started August 22nd last year. Now this May, 2018 I was in a 4 bed pod in the Burgos Munc. (6€) and when I introduced myself to a girl in one of the 4 beds, we realized we started out last year on the 22nd August. She had stopped her stage in Burgos & was resuming it in the same city, munic., same 4 bed pod as I was passing through, a year later. Not planned, & we couldn't believe the coincidence. My son remembered her too.
If you mostly use Albergues weird things happen. Magical heartwarming coincidences.
Love
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#28
In 2001 first camino I didn't know there was an option.

My mom was with so we stayed in hotels every now and then. She could not rest in albergues.

In 2002, my budget allowed for albergues only, and I am not certain there too many other options.

Winter 2014 albergues were pretty much it as to lodging.

Also, I am a bit too excellent at being my best buddy and only buddy. If I did not stay in albergues I would be tempted to spend my camino with my three besties: me, myself, and I.

Lastly, pilgrim refugios are stacked with a communal feel: everyone on same road with same goal: Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014, Sarria to Muxia 2015, Frances on to Muxia 2016, Frances/SDC/Fisterre/Muxia (Sep 2018)
#29
Why ask? I'm curious. That's all. I'll explain in a moment.

I've limited this Poll to the Camino Frances. Because:
  1. It's the only one I've walked so far :oops:
  2. It's the most popular route.
  3. It has the most infrastructure and range of accommodation I think. So we are spoilt for choice.
Why am I curious?

Well I've read all the pros and cons of different accommodation types and I've tried most myself, though not the 'full monty' albergue experience yet. Only private rooms in Albergues so far.

And let me declare I am not 'against' Albergues in any way. There is no 'motive' behind this Poll.
I have nothing against communal living per se.
I just had enough of it in the services ;)

So I tend toward private accommodation myself. Though I plan to try other Caminos soon, where accommodation options are more limited, so I'll be using Albergues then for sure.

So I am not 'anti' Albergues OK :)

But would class myself as 'Albergue Curious' ;)

I've come across all types of people making use of Albergues and many of my Camino 'buddies' in the past were staying in them.

So I'm curious. Why do you like to use them?

Tick all that apply!

I ran out of options, so please feel free to add others in comments!

And let's keep it civil and light hearted :D
There is a total difference in the experience from a dorm or a private room. Mostly with the interaction of pilgrims when in very confined areas. You learn little techniques like putting your towel in a position to give privacy or block light. There is etiquette like letting people sleep and not talking loudly on the phone. There are little courtesies in the bathroom even and far more interaction than elsewhere. You have to manage snorers and those who are inconsiderate and windows and lights etc. it definitely is a rich pilgrim experience and one to be experienced but there are then needs to take a break and get a room and ensuite from time to time to get a good rest. Do what is right for you but try it
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#30
I like sleeping in albergues, and am I the only one who prefers big rooms with lots of people over small rooms with only 3 or 5 others? In the large rooms I feel like my bed is my own little cocoon space, and I feel more anonymous. I feel like the smaller rooms are more intimate - where everyone can hear every time you roll over.

I think that I would have enjoyed my last Camino - the Norte - if I had spent more time in albergues, but I found that required a lot more planning than the when I walked the Frances.
I agree and feel the same way, Trecile. I am an occasional snorer or need to clear my throat and in those smaller rooms of 4-6 people I could barely get to sleep for fear of keeping others awake as you can practically hear a pin drop. I do love the uniqueness of the larger albergue experience. That said, I do enjoy a private room once in awhile...Fresh sheets and a soak in a tub, heavenly!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
#32
The poll does not account for my interests in albergues with special historical, cultural, religious or unique experiences such as Roncevalles, Samos monastery, or San Nicolas de Fitero. The special nature of the albergue makes up for temporary lack of comfort.

-Paul
 


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