I had a lazy afternoon in Hontanas at Albergue Santa Birgida. I hand washed clothes and hung them up to dry, but transferred to the radiators as it was abou 55degrees and drizzling. The hostel was a sensitively restored stone building with three dormitory rooms. 8€ for my bunk bed, 10€ for dinner & wine, 2€ for breakfast. Beautiful up to the minute tiled private showers, in two shared shower rooms, but just two, also very new, beautiful toilets downstairs. It’s interesting to see how there’s flexibility in the building code that wouldn’t happen in CA. For one thing, shared baths aren’t done culturally, except at camp sites or gyms. But in a place that sleeps 30 would there be just two toilets?
The two brothers that own the place are there from April to Zoctober and then they go to Cuba in the off season. Not clear on what they do there, but I found it interesting.
I was the only one there until 5 when Alan took another bunk. He was about 50, from Rouen, and spoke no English. But he had one those little brick shaped French/English dictionaries and we passed it back and forth over dinner and had a very fun time talking about the Camino and different types of wine, Californian and French, and how he thought French wine was vastly superior to Spanish wine.
It occurred to me that at home it would not be done to share accommodations with a strange man and would be perceived as dangerous, and for many reasons, rightly so. But it wasn’t awkward. It’s nice to know that a certain innocence, respect, and safety still prevails, on the Camino.