Lifestyle

Buen Camino: Pilgrimage or Pub Crawl?

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Hikers find one of these albergues every few miles along the trail for the night’s lodging. These guesthouses require that you have a pilgrim crendential to spend the night, and include a common sleeping area with bunk beds and a bathroom down the hall. These rooms fill up each night with a mixture of men and women of all ages. They all have free wifi, showers, and a charge between 5 and 12 euro per night. Some offer the “pilgrim meal” for an additional 8 or 10 Euro. Some hikers eat the pilgrim meal offered in nearby restaurants, but they all have one thing in common – good food, bread, wine, and dessert With the dollar buying .91 euro, American hikers find excellent facilities and meals for $30 per day.

These Camino hikers make their own meals in the albergue

Auberge kitchen

Photo: Robert C Deming

Hikers arrive at their albergue in the early afternoon. The first order of business is a shower, followed by washing out their clothes from the day.  Others look to find a local bar to drink bier  or vino tinto and socialize. Some find a local grocery and fix meals in the kitchen facility.  This particular albergue is owned by the city of Santo Domingo. and also serves as an event center for the many fiestas.

The Camino winds through fields of wheat and vineyards.

Otto on the Camino

Photo: Robert C Deming

This pelegrino (pilgrim) is Otto, who defected from communist Romania to Chicago 25 years ago. He carries the shopping bag as a prayer for healing from cancer for a friend. The trail winds through magical places, and many hikers walk alone and in silence. Others talk and laugh all the way.

The Camino scenery is magical!

Camino Francais Path

Photo: Robert C Deming

Santo Domingo, Spain

Camino Francais Downtown

Photo: Robert C Deming

This town of 6,300 people is typical along the route, with a large 600 year old stone church in its center.

This is the Camino.

Camino Francais vineyard

Photo: Robert C Deming

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