How long can I endure sleeping in a dormitory of
sweaty, snoring fellow pilgrims ? One night! It was
absolutely awful; I could hardly sleep in the windowless basement with
around forty fellow travellers snoring, waking up to go the loo, torches
flashing, stumbling around...all to the accompaniment of the toilets
flushing immediately above my head. So one night at the pilgrim
hostel in Ponferrada was my lot. Not that the staff were not
charming, helpful and sympathetic, but just not my bag! Some of the
smaller hostels looked quite charming, but always with bunk beds within an
arms length of the neighbouring one.
Fortunately, this is Spain so any number of cheap and decent hotels,
pensions, rooms above bars or other very reasonable places to stay.
I always found an en-suite room even in the middle of a fiesta, and
usually for around €30, often less. I was occasionally tempted by
the really nice places along the way, but felt somehow out of place hiking
into the Paradors.
In many cases there were "pilgrim discounts"
which were welcome if a little incongruous in four star hotels!