Camino de Santiago 20

Jul 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Travel Adventures
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Today was a nice day as I left Astorga for the foothills of the mountains. I had purchased gloves and stockings for the mountain but they weren’t needed. It was a windy morning but the breeze wasn’t cold.

As I walked I thought about if I would stay in an alburgue or get a hotel. I was feeling a little leery after the bed bug battle and kinda wanted my own space. I thought about what I was willing to pay for a hotel. Since my thoughts today are all about sleeping, my pictures will be of the places I have stayed along the way.



Now you need some perspective. The camino is cheap to do. I mean dirt cheap. My budget for the day is 25€. That includes everything. Multiply that by 35 days and you get 875€. Factor in the exchange rate and for just over a months vacation I am paying $1071.65. The most expensive part was the flight to Spain.





Here’s how an average day breaks down:
Morning cafe con leche and tortilla de potato: ~4€
Meal of the day or pilgrims meal: ~10€
Alburgue: municipal is anywhere from donation to 8€ (yes, you leave what you want to leave. I usually leave 5€); private alburgue is usually 8€. On average I have paid 6€ a night.
Drinks or evening snack: 5€







Living like a pilgrim everyday makes you begin to be thrifty. I remember going into an alburgue and the lady says to me it is 6€ for a dorm room with 20 other individual or 8€ for a room of 4. And I acually took a moment to consider these options. Of course I paid the extra 2€ for the smaller room. I’m not crazy. But I also have the means to do so.




I have met all kinds of pilgrims on all kinds of budgets. There are people who currently don’t have jobs and are traveling the camino. Every Euro is important to them. I feel very fortunate that I have a job and a steady income and can afford some of the luxuries , like eating out everyday, that some of the pilgrims, especially the students, can’t afford.





Most people cook at night in the alburgue. I tried this, but it’s just not worth it as a single individual. I was wasting too much food. Besides, tasting the cuisine is one of the reasons why I am on this trip. The sopa de ajo (garlic soup) has been worth every penny.






So, here it is day 20. I have walked everyday anywhere from 10-20 miles and I’ve always stayed in alburgues. I ran into some other pilgrims of means in Astorga and the one guy usually splits his nights between private alburgues and hotels. Two German girls I ran into were talking about how they were staying in a hotel with a spa package for 10 extra euros.





This got me thinking that it was time to upgrade my stay. All the sleeping places from alburgue to five star hotels have stamps for pilgrims. Staying in a nice place isn’t cheating. I’m reminded of the movie The Way when they are standing outside the nice hotel and Martin Sheens character says this is on me. Well, this is on me. Not every town has a hotel but the one I was headed to had a few to choose from.

I actually went to both of them. One was 42€ an the other was 35€. Hmm, what to do, what to do. Do I pay the extra 7€ for the slightly nicer place?? This is where my thriftiness set in. I choose the cheaper place and applied my 7€ savings to the nicer hotels meal of the day. The meal of the day was terrific. Garlic soup to die for, fried trout, and chocolate mouse for dessert.




So, as I write this blog post I am in my bed, in my own room, with a tv (playing monsters inc in Spanish) and my own bathroom. I took a shower. Then I took a bath in a tub just big enough to bath a cat. But I squeezed myself in and loved it.

Tomorrow morning I will take another shower. Why? Because I can! The downside to choosing a hotel is you are not with any of the other pilgrims and that truly is a big part of the experience. I will probably stay in a hotel at least one more time on my journey and I already have a hotel booked for when I arrive in Santiago on the 25th. But I am looking forward to being back with my pilgrim peeps.

More places I’ve stated since this day:











Day 21: Lazy Day

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