Upon arriving in the quaint seaside town of Laredo, Cantabria, we checked into the hostel Andrew had booked online. Although the pesky nuns who run the place as a way to support their lifestyle had previously asked we transfer the payment for the stay online, we ended up paying in cash without any problem. The Buen Pastor is clean, friendly and a great place to crash for pilgrims hiking the Camino del Norte, or in our case, after having battled the public transportation system in Spain. Our only complaints were the overly chatty nuns and the relatively uncomfortable bed in the married folks room. A big plus was the freedom to use the kitchen, which saved us quite a few euros. The kitchen is also equipped with an Italian style percolator, so don’t worry about being caught without a coffee making apparatus. One side note that clearly disappointed Andrew was our inability to use the outdoor patio upstairs that had been advertised on the albergue’s website. It was, unfortunately, only for the use of the nun community. The only other concern might be that the nuns only speak Spanish. This is only a problem for those of you who don’t speak Spanish or don’t have the innate ability to communicate with grunts and gestures. All that said, I would stay there again if the need ever presented itself.
Another upside to the hostel is it’s central location in the Puebla Vieja of Laredo. From the front door, it is only a five minute walk to the bus station, seconds to cafés and bars, and ten minutes to a pristine beach. Also worth mentioning is that free Wifi is available via the nun network. Just make sure and ask what the clave to the secured WLAN is since they had it posted incorrectly in our cozy room.
For your reference: http://www.alberguebuenpastor.com/
Don’t worry, if you come and visit us in Laredo, we will let you stay in our palacial piso. No dormitory style bathrooms here and we might even feed you breakfast.