Der er delte meninger blandt pilgrimme om, hvorvidt "en rigtig pilgrim" kun kan bo på herberg. Nogle pilgrimme foretrækker hoteller.
I disse dage bevæger undertegnede sig afsted af Via de la Plata. Og langt de fleste nætter bliver tilbragt på et herberg, men ikke hver nat. Første nat i Sevilla tilbragte jeg i en billig pension, og flere gange undervejs tager jeg et værelse, hvis det passer bedst med ruten, herberget er optaget, herberget bærer præg af mulige væggelus eller hvis jeg trænger til en nat med kun min egen snorken. Men jeg personligt synes, at jeg ville miste noget, hvis jeg ikke sov hovedparten af nætterne på herberger - ikke mindst hvis der er tale om klostre eller menighedsherberg, hvor stemningen - efter undertegnedes mening - er spéciel på den gode måde. Her i de første uger på denne tur (Via de la Plata) gælder det bl.a. menighedsherberget i Monesterio, klostret i Alcuéscar og ikke mindst sognepræsten Don Bias herberg i Fuenterroble de Salvatierra. Men det er langt fra alle, der har det sådan. Jeg vil derfor give jer denne meget varme anbefaling af en en "hotel-camino" fra en amerikansk pilgrim med et dansk navn (Johan Nilsen Nagel). Jeg har ikke oversat kommentaren:
I recently completed the Camino with my partner, staying exclusively in hotels. My question for peregrinos is what they think the advantages and disadvantages are of avoiding albergues? In my case, I'm married and in my mid-forties. While I was open to the idea of staying, at least occasionally, in an albergue, my wife had zero intentions, especially after peeping her head into some along the way. And I figured, since this was potentially a once in a lifetime trip budget was not going to be a major issue. On the positive side privacy and a potential hot bath at the end of long day of hiking were major positives. The security of a booked room ahead of us at the beginning of every day outweighed the potential "excitement" and serendipity of wandering around town at the end of a long hiking day looking for a room (never a problem in March when we went however). Another major benefit of hotels that compensated for expenses of up to five times that of an albergue (for two) I discovered was the buffet breakfast. Each and every day we awoke, generally well rested, and I gorged on a giant breakfast. I found myself passing up pilgrims who'd started earlier (more by compulsion than choice) who had to stop in the nearest town to eat because hungry. I often hiked well past noon, and sometimes all day without needing to stop again for food because of the large breakfast. Now the main drawback some of you will surely note here is that we were somehow missing out on one of the more important aspects of the Camino experience, namely, the "communal" aspect of albergues. I'm not convinced. I met plenty of pilgrims who complained about people and bed bugs and cold and discomfort in albergues but were there because of their budgets (totally understandable, and the main reason to use them, as far as I'm concerned). Some believed they'd meet more people, and probably correct there. While we met plenty of people in hotels (especially Spaniards and locals), we didn't really bond with any other peregrinos, meeting them only fleetingly along the trail and in occasional restaurants in town. Then again, I met plenty who stayed in albergues who nonetheless kept to themselves.