Finances on Caminos

I think having a budget is a good practice if you want to arrive home with your Visa balance reasonable for you. If you plan to stay in all albergues the price can be by donation to as high as 18 euros, most being 6 euros on the Camino France’s, Camino Portuguese and the Camino del Norte. Some people books hostels or hotels which can run from 15 to 35 euros per person. I may have used 6 or 7 on the Camino del Norte and 10-12 on Camino Portuguese, and only 4 on Camino Frances.

Then your most costly expense is food and alcohol. If you just have wine with your menu del dia then you are okay. Breakfast usually runs you 3.50 to 5 euros. I love freshly squeezed orange juice and Cafe con leche but the croissant is usually out. The toast with cheese and/or marmalade is usually a favorite. If I’m really hungry the Spanish tortilla suits me. Then of course you have a problem of finding a cafe or finding one open at 6 or 7 am.

Midday I enjoyed the bocadillo with cheese and ham or bacon and eggs on occasion. With a pop or coffee this could cost anywhere from 4 to 6 euros.  

The evening meal was always too heavy and late for me so I tried to have it before 6 each day. The cost was reasonable at 8.50 to 12 euros. Usually a mixed or Russian salad first, followed by fish or meat and chips and later dessert of flan, Santiago cake, ice cream, cheese and quince or yoghurt. Wine and bread are included. 

So you can see the cost increases, depending on what you eat. Some days I did not bother with the menu del dia. One evening a friend and I spent 3 or 4 euros each and enjoyed a picnic meal sitting on a bench. Often I had a burger with fries or salad.

All in all the food could total 20-25 euros in a day. Some people buy their own food at a supermarket and cook in the albergues, This really cuts down on costs. Most people buy fruit, nuts, chocolate and water to have for snacking along the way. On my first Camino I had 20 energy bars, which I got sick of very quickly.

You allow money for incidentals such as a walking stick if yours is stolen, a hankie or new socks or underwear. Souvenirs always eat into my budget at the end. Taxis, busses and trains may be used from time to time. Donations could be an added expense.

I figure 40-50 euros per day is a good estimate of a person’s costs on the three that I’ve done. Sometimes you will get away with 25 euros.  I had an 11 euros day this year which included 6 for the albergue and 5 for a burger meal, with my own groceries from the day before providing breakfast and lunch.

   
 

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At Monte Do Gozo after walking 15 km

i didn’t sleep well last night and the smells and sounds of 20 people at Pedrouzo didn’t help.  I hadn’t climbed up to the top bunk until last night. I needed to open a window and that was the only way to do it. There was a drunken German farting and talking to himself. As I said Not A Good Night!

Up at 6 am, conversing with a Spaniard on my app for translating.  I waited for The Irishman who couldn’t find his bandages he had prepared the night before. We were sending on our backpacks for 4 euros each. 

The trails through the forest were great and the cafes were amazing, but more expensive.  The last five kilometres were killing on my right calf.  We arrived around 1 pm. All in all a good day! Only 5 km more to go! 

   

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Os Pendos May 13- Relaxing Albergue

I loved everything but the food. The grounds were well groomed and suited to pilgrims who want to sit in a nice garden. The rooms had few people and the bathrooms were spa quality. 

For the 10 euros I was duly impressed! The Hospitaleros was a gentleman with a good sense of humour. He enjoyed using the translator app on my iPhone.

   
       

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The Sweet Hospitaleros

On This Camino I have met so many nice people, especially the people in charge of the albergues. Today was a good example of how well some people do their jobs. At this albergue in Perdouzo the young man who checked us in and the older lady who helped with accommodations for Santiago- both were spectacular. I think the lady was even giving Spanish lessons. She gave me a map of the city, circling where I can get my Compostela and where the cathedral is and many other places. I didn’t have the heart to tell her this is my third time and I could find the places easily. 

So pleased with most of the Hospitaleros along the Camino del Norte! Thanks for doing such a great job!

  

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Pedrouzo on May 14

What a difference one day on the Camino makes! Very few pilgrims yesterday and hundreds today, especially in Pedrouzo. The cafes were all vying for the business. Most had the menu del dia for 10 euros. I saw one with 12 euros.  

The caminos overlap after Arzua. So Arzua was busy yesterday but today was crazy with foot traffic. I encountered one pilgrim begging. He was more overweight than most pilgrims and had a huge backpack. He asked me if I spoke English. I should not have answered.  Do you have some euros to spare? I walked on. He again spoke.  Surely you can spare enough for a coffee. I felt bad but seeing him with his iPhone and big belly made me think he was not hungry or destitute.  And I was afraid to take out my wallet.

Tomorrow many hundreds will pass us on bike and by foot. I just want a comfortable bed and a few days to recouperate. If I could go to the airport and get my ticket changed, I’d be on the first flight out of here!  I loved the journey but the end is in sight. 

      

 

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In Gontan In 7 Year Old Albergue

There are 4 Latvian girls and 4 German girls, my former Camino friends Hans and Annette, both Germans. I went to Abadin but the Hostal was too expensive so I was happy to make this my cheapest day on the Camino ever, an 11 euro day!

I will sleep well after walking nearly 20 km today out of Mondonedo at 9 am  

       

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Sweet People in Navia

i walked on the darn asphalt for most of the day and finally made it to a fine pension in Navia with the help of several people. Helping me along the way were the members of Casa Carmina’s family.  They directed me to the small towns before Navia and the Cafe where I ate.  

Then in Navia a young man walked me to a hotel but it wasn’t the one I was looking for. Then a young girl walked me to the Parasaio Arias but they had no pilgrim rate. Finally another young girl offered me a sandwich and took me to two pensions, assuring me that they would not be too expensive. 

So I’m in Navia for the night, too tired to move outside. All I need is here in this room. It even comes with a very small bathroom. 

So thank you, kind young and old people of this area. There really are kind people everywhere! 

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