Sleepless in Spain

Posted by on Apr 26, 2016 in The Camino, Travel Update | No Comments

Monday, April 25 Castrojeriz, Spain

“…I thought I was in the woods surrounded by growling animals”
New York Expatriate, now living in England

35 Bed Albergue in Obanos--but only 4 of us the night we were there

35 Bed Albergue in Obanos–but only 4 of us the night we were there

Most peregrinos on the Camino spend each night in what’s called an Albergue (pronounced Al-burr-gay) or pilgrims hostel. The normal rate for a bed is about 10 euros, roughly $11 US dollars. For that you get a bunk bed, a shower, a place to wash your clothes by hand, and bathroom facilities, which include toilet paper—unless they’ve run out..
What you also get is risky prospects when it comes to a good night sleep.

View from the terrace in our Albergque in Castrojeriz

View from the terrace in our Albergque in Castrojeriz

The quote above is from a New Yorker I ran into on the path out of Santo Domingo (See the previous post for information on that great city.) We met up on the Camino while walking out of Santo Domingo. We, along with our friends Jerry and Beth, had opted for a Hostal (hotel) in Santo Domingo as the Albergues we saw all had dormitory style beds—about 36 bunk beds to a room. We opted for a little more privacy at a little higher price.
My New York-expat friend had stayed in the dorm style Albergue in Santo Domingo, which was located in an ancient building and included the stock of cocks and hens that rotate through the church. (See the previous post for information on that legend.)
I asked him about it and he described waking up at 3:30 am in the dark. He thought we was in the forest surrounded by growling animals. He’s not the only person who has talked about struggling to get a good nights sleep in an Albergue—especially a dorm style one in a large stone room, that echoes.
Two nights later we walk into a five person Albergue to find that our foursome was sharing an eight person room with the New York-expat, his Englishman walking companion, and a nice, grandfatherly type who spoke no English. We had met the grandfatherly type a week before and stayed at the same Albergue, but in different rooms. Our expat friend explained discreetly that our roommate was a notorious snorer—and that earplugs would not help.
About 10:30 that night he began his cacophonous performance. I have never heard anyone snore that loud. I expected to join the legions of fellow peregrinos who spent the day looking like the walking dead due to a sleepless night. But after only about five minutes it stopped. I wasn’t sure if he had expired or one of our roommates had snapped and smothered him with a pillow.
But he was still alive. He interrupted my sleep a few times, but I got a decent nights sleep.

Private Albergue room in Hornillos del Santiago

Private Albergue room in Hornillos del Santiago

I have to confess that I do my share of snoring. I know so because when I do, Laurie nudges me—my cue to rollover.
A good nights sleep is one reason why about half the time we splurge for a private room. And maybe we’re sparing a few fellow peregrinos suffering they’d endure from my snoring.

Ruins of Convent in San Anton

Ruins of Convent in San Anton

Travel Update: We are over one third of the way through our trek to Santiago. We are staying in a charming Albergue in a charming 500 person town named Castrojeriz–in a private room. But half a dozen of our fellow residents are people we’ve gotten to know on the Camino. We may not share a room, but we’ll share dinner and time.

 

 

 

14 Bunk Albergue in ruins of the Convent at San Anton

14 Bunk Albergue in ruins of the Convent at San Anton

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Anton Albergue--no electricity

San Anton Albergue–no electricity