Sarria – our starting point we stayed at Albergue Monasterio de la Magdalena. The dorm housed about 30 beds, €10 per person per night. Disposable sheet and pillowcase provided and blankets available. Great communal areas and great location. Good kitchen well equipped if you want to prepare your own food, also vending machines for drinks and snacks. Lockers are also provided for your backpack and valuables if you are heading out for dinner. Curfew was 11pm.
Great food available at Martias Locanda Italiano, the staff will adapt the menu to cater for vegetarians. Good set pilgrim menu available.
Portomarin – only beds we could find were at Albergue Ferramenteiro. Huge dorm with 130 beds again €10 euros per person per night, trusty disposable sheet and pillowcase with blankets available for use. A light breakfast is available along with tea and coffee, oh and beer, wine and pizza. Good location, almost immediately as you arrive at Portomarin. Curfew was 10:30pm. One of the staff did remind me of a nurse in a psych ward and curfew is strict, bed and lights off, but a place to lay your weary head and rest your weary bones.
Eirexe – Eirexe Pensions, €25 per room per night shared bathroom. Very comfortable with real sheets and pillowcases. No food or drinks available, but there is a bar across the road for dinner and drinks. Only downside is that you have to walk about 2km to get breakfast, there is nothing available in the immediate vicinity – but if you want a comfortable bed and avoid the main stops it’s worth it.
Melide – Albergue Pereiro, smaller dorms only 14 beds. Seems like a new place €10 per person per night, staple of disposable sheet and pillow case provided, blankets available. Melide seems like a busy little spot lots of places to eat and drink.
Salceda – it’s a bit of a hike from Melide but he private Albergue, Turistico Salceda is a little slice of luxury. Ok the rooms are €45 per room per night but the luxury was worth it, own room, en-suite, beautiful restaurant, great value pilgrim set menu with wine included. Breakfast again basic toast, jam (ham for meat eaters) juice, yoghurt, fruit and coffee but enough to set you up for the morning.
Lavacolla – Ruta Jacobea Hotel, again the first place we managed to get to was a hotel so we checked in, €50 a night per room was a bit expensive but we were getting to a point were we didn’t care, a good nights sleep was imperative, again good food at a good price.
Santiago – Phew! We had booked Stellea Luscofrusco Frisco via booking.com only to arrive to Stellea fiasco! They couldn’t fulfill the booking and then increased the costs so we left only to be charged in full for their error, the battle continues. We couldn’t find anywhere else to stay, all the inns were full, then a beautiful Spanish woman Estrella rescued us and took us to a little apartment for €15 per person per night and did our washing for €5 each. Very comfortable and the location was great, 19 Rua de Entremuros, if you look back at the blog day 1 R & R her contact details are there, but you can find her wandering the streets looking for weary pilgrims, she has no English but can communicate “do you need to sleep” find her you will not be disappointed and there are two cafés just at the end of the Street. Bicoca has good food and wine, falafels are amazing.
Finisterre – we stayed at Lopez Pensions, again great location, and Finisterre is amazing. The pensions were €25 for a double and €15 for a single, €5 for a wash load. The one place I have to comment on is La Frontera, it’s located right near the bus stop looking over the harbour, a great vegetarian menus and I must confess, in my opinion, the best veggie burger I have tasted in the world during my travels and a great veggie curry. If you are a vegetarian head there for a meal, they have a little clothing place at the back too, with cute dresses, great cardigans and cotton shirts and pants.
For vegetarians doing the El Camino, the reality is food is fairly limited, although most are willing to do all they can to prepare a meat and fish free meal. Staples became, eggs, omelette, potato tortilla, pizza and salad, when ordering mixed salad a good phrase to learn is “sin tun” otherwise it will come complete with tuna.
Wine and beer is plentiful and cheap. Personally a red wine drinker I have to say the Rijoca is very smooth.
Other than that, if you are thinking of doing the El Camino it is an amazing experience, if you are already committed, enjoy and buen Camino