We are Lorenzo and Carol, and we run Casa do Rego. We walked the Camino in 2008 from León and we loved the experience so much that the idea of a major lifestyle change—leaving the busy city life of Barcelona behind to move to the countryside—began to take root soon after we got back from the Camino. Lorenzo, who’s from the Mediterranean island of Minorca where the pace is much slower than that of the city and who was a little overwhelmed by the stress of living in a big city, thought, “Why not?”
We went back to do the Camino to see what opportunities were available, and we found the perfect house, which came with its very own name: Casa do Rego. We bought the house in 2011, and we spent the summer of 2011 here in its “untamed” state (it had been uninhabited for 11 years since the previous owners left, although water and electricity, as well as a butane gas water heater, were available) to get to know the neighbors, and to get a better feel for the Camino in order to flesh out our ideas for the house to our architect and fine-tune the details. Our daughter was only 2 months old then, so we can say that her growth has run parallel to that of Casa do Rego’s.
After much deliberation, we settled on a project for an albergue with a capacity for 30 people and a bar/cafeteria. Renovation works for the bar/cafeteria began in the summer of 2012 and we came to live here permanently in 2013.
We opened the bar/cafeteria to the public in late May 2013, and we saw that there was a great demand for accommodation. That winter, the works for the first room of the albergue commenced. It was on the ground floor, as it had to be wheelchair accessible. We welcomed our very first pilgrims to the albergue on June 13, 2014.
As the season went on, we met people who didn’t want to share rooms with other people, and we gradually came to the realization that it wouldn’t be possible for just the two of us to run an albergue for 30 people with a bar/cafeteria either. So, a change in plans was called for, and we decided to limit the albergue to that first room for six people, and turn the remaining rooms into private rooms.
In July 2015, we opened the two private rooms that we currently have available to the public. And in August 2016, we changed the slate roof of the house.
Last but not the least, we had centralized heating installed in the spring of 2017, and this winter, we plan to begin works on the last remaining rooms to finally put an end to almost six years of renovations.
We find great satisfaction in knowing how Casa do Rego has come to be part of the stories of so many pilgrims—in the same way that they are now part of our history.