I thought I’d heap some praise on some forgotten, undervalued or misunderstood Camino fixtures and features – let me start with the top bunk.
People either hate it or don’t love it. Most try to avoid it. It sometimes has no ladder, if it has one it tends to be uncomfortable or even ill devised for actual people. Sometimes there will be a chair placed at the head end which the bottom bunk person will annex as a bedside table – and how do you argue that point if you don’t speak their language? – sometimes you have to brave it from the foot end and risk stepping on bottom bunk person’s toes. So what’s to like?
Well, the freedom! Once you have practiced the getting up and getting down again a few times, you can sit up, stretch your hands and arms as far as you like, you can hang stuff off the end without it touching the floor (not wet stuff though please, not in the dorms) and also the freedom of choice as there are normally more free top than bottom bunks in a dorm. You also get the light to read, and heat rises so it is warmer on a chilly night. It is further for bedbugs to crawl (though looking for them is easier than just hoping), you can hang your pack off the corner posts to keep it away from potential creepies and crawlies on the floor. Your bunk doesn’t become a sitting/party area for your friends when you fancy a siesta and you don’t get that feeling that everytime your bunk mate moves, you could end up with their body weight on top of you.
If it’s a double bunk – and I met my lovely Camino daughter L in one of them – you just put your pack between the pillows or bunch your Buff up as an eye mask, and you are on your own again. If there is no edge keeping you from falling out, for one you won’t, and if you are still worried, tie your scarf, sarong or even clothes line in front of yourself.
I did this in Logroño!