Thursday, 18 December 2008

Monte do Gozo.

Monte do Gozo - the last albergue before reaching Santiago de Compostela, about 3KM from the city center. I gave it a miss walking in after what I had read. Specifically, the bit about the number of pilgrim beds available - 800! However, on arrival in Santiago I found all existing albergues closed for various reasons and the modern, purpose built albergue as listed in the guide I was reading turned out to be so contemporary that they had barely laid the foundations yet.

But, Monte do Gozo is available for Four nights at just €3/night. I'm not complaining. Good facilities. Warm. Clean. Safe. But, it's an absolute nightmare of a holiday camp come army barracks come open prison like complex. Dorm after dorm on the side of a hill with a central 'plaza' that has a 24 hour shop full of vending machines and not a lot else. Capitalism at it's worse borders with Communism possibly at it's best. It's a bit of a hard welcome back to the 21st Century after treking through forgotten villages full of friendly people. Another pilgrim, another number, another tourist, another cash laden ant. Nothing more. I'd swear this place was American owned if I didn't know it is actually state run. At the top of the hill is a modern sculpture of monumental proportions. The cheapest accommodation (pilgrims albergue) comes first. Lower down is mass holiday accommodation. Below that is some horrific hotel that really should have a golf course next to it. Perhaps it will do some day. But, €3/night. Can't grumble. And, they're pretty flexible on the lights out rule. A long walk back from the city, or a number 6 bus.

I'll take the Four nights and then book into a cheap city pension.

I can also claim Three days worth of free pilgrim meals at some swanky hotel apparently. Just have to photocopy my Compostela. I opted for the non-religious version. No doubt it's worth fuck all on ebay despite being exceptionally rare. I quick glance through the registry reveals that 90% of pilgrims took the religious version. Yet, only Two pilgrims I met told me that their walk had some meaningful religious conotation.

Anyway, still loving Santiago. It's a great little city.


pachus said...

Hey John!!!! What´s up? I just found your blog 15 min ago and I can´t stop readind... UUUUAAAUUUUU!!!! Estoy flipando!!! Bruno says hello ;)

The Lost Photographer said...

Hey Bruno! ¿Como estas?

I have to return to Granada very soon for a brief visit to rummage around in the depths of my hard drive and back-up archive. I'll call by to collect my suitcases and buy you (and Bruno)a few drinks :D

Hope all is good with you. I need some business advice with a view to a future venture!