Although the Camino is a place to forget about daily routine and find new experiences, it’s always convenient to keep a link to “civilization”: home, family, friends, that Wikipedia article explaining the history of the church you have in front of you… Not to mention the chance to share pictures of your experiences:
Therefore, we here present some of the best options for pilgrims who have travelled to Spain to walk the Camino and wish to access the Internet or phone home.
This is not a comprehensive list. As anyone with experience in the subject knows, keeping track of all possible plans for all phone carriers can be exhausting. Instead, we have picked the most attractive offers for the non-spanish traveller spending a few days in Spain.
Consider also the following:
- Buying a SIM card is easy. Most of the carriers listed here have stores in almost every city and midsize town (and even some small towns) along the Camino.
- Spanish law requires you to provide ID (ID card, passport…) when purchasing a new phone line.
Vodafone has the Tourist in Spain plan. For 15 euros you can have a SIM card with:
- 1 Gb. data.
- 60 min. in phone calls to Spain or abroad (to a list of 35 countries).
All of them valid for one month.
Vodafone also has other offers under the “Vodafone yu” brand, with similar prices.
The SIM Holidays plan from Orange provides you, for 15 euros, with:
- 1.5 Gb. data.
- 60 minutos in phone calls to Spain or abroad (to a list of 40 countries).
Valid for 15 days.
Of all the offers provided by the biggest spanish carrier, we have picked the Habla 24 Horas + Tarifa Internet 5. you can buy a SIM card for 10 euros, with 5 euros of credit, which you can use then to buy
- 400 Mb. data access.
- Phone calls in Spain at 10 cent./min. rate.
Valid for one month.
Aside of that, you can also add the Habla Internacional plan, which allows you to make phone calls abroad at prices similar to those of local calls.
We recommend from this carrier the plan tarifa del uno 1 Gb., in which, for 10 euros a month, you can have:
- 1 Gb. data.
- 20 minutes of calls to spanish numbers.
- You can also use VoiceIP services such as Skype, Whatsapp, etc., which are disabled in the other prepaid plans of this company.
With this carrier, you can buy a SIM card for 10 euros with 10 euros credit, and then purchase plans such as the Bono Mejorado, which, for 7.9 euros/months, gives you:
- 1 Gb. data.
- 30 min. in calls to Spain.
You can purchase this card in all the Carrefour supermarkets.
Just like Carrefour, this carrier lets you buy a SIM card for 10 euros with 10 euros of credit, and use it to add, for example, the Todo en Uno 500 plan, which offers for 15 euros:
- 1 Gb. data.
- 500 minutes in calls to Spain and abroad (to more than 40 countries).
Questions? Contact us.
These are only some of the possibilities if you wish to have an Internet-enabled phone line during the Camino. However, if you want to save yourself some work, we at Caminofácil can help you. We can make the arrangements to provide you with a SIM card and leave it at the hotel of your choice. Contact us for more details.
One of the most frequently asked questions among would-be pilgrims is: “what do I pack?” There are practically as many different answers as people travelling along the Camino, since each person’s needs and tastes are different, specially when it comes to more “personal” equipment, such as boots or backpacks.
Neverthless, we can always look towards the experience of veteran pilgrims, since, after walking the Camino a few times, patterns start to emerge and we start finding ourselves facing the same situations, while other problems never end up taking place, despite us packing for them “just in case”.
This is why today we have asked Joaquín Luján from the “Club Caminante de Badajoz”, a nine-Camino veteran, for his packing list.
Joaquín insists us that he doesn’t want to tell anyone what to carry (since each person’s needs are different), but just to share his experiences. Thus, the first thing he tells us is that, when it comes to trekking equipment (boots, backpacks, walking sticks…), the best thing to do is to go to our local sports store and ask for advice there. After this caveat, Joaquín tells us about the things that he has found useful along his many Caminos:
- A light guidebook with towns and hostels.
- Shoes. Whatever they are (boots, sandals…), they should be one size bigger than your usual size, and ideally you should wear them for a couple of months before beginning the Camino. “In the beginning I used boots and two pairs of socks“, Joaquín tells us, “but now, after nine Caminos, I just wear sandals with no socks. A group of basque pilgrims saw me and called me ‘the sandals guy'”.
- First aid kit. A female hygiene pad might be useful, to treat foot blisters.
- Safety pins.
- Needle and thread for sewing.
- Even during the summer, it’s advisable to carry a rain jacket, as well as warm clothing, in case you decide to start your walk early in the day.
- The walking stick. As we have mentioned here before, it must be tall enough to carry it at “heart height”, so that your upper body takes part in the exercise.
- A LED lamp.
- A hat or cap to protect yourself from the sun.
- A water bottle.
Anyway, since each person has his/her own tastes, our advice is again to ask in our local trekking store for the most specialized equipment, as well as exchanging advice with other pilgrims. And of course, remember that if you got it wrong and packed more than you need, you can always use our services to carry your luggage day by day along the Camino.
One of the best known legends associated with the Camino is the one of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, town where, as the saying goes, “the chicken crowed after being roasted” (la gallina cantó después de asada). What’s the source of this legend?
As it goes, in the XIV century, a german family was walking the Camino when they spent the night in Santo Domingo. The hostess at the inn fell in love with the son of the family, but when she was rebuffed, she falsely accused him of robbery.
The son was hanged, and the bereaved parents could only pray to the saint. The surprise took place when they retook the Camino and passed in front of their hanged son, who started speaking to them. They rushed to warn the mayor of the town, who was about to have dinner and didn’t wished to be interrupted. The impatient mayor told them: “your son is as alive as this chicken that I have in front of me…” at which point the chicken jumped and started crowing.
And this is why there are always a live rooster and chicken in Santo Domingo de la Calzada’s cathedral.
UNESCO‘s World Heritage Committee approved yesterday an extension of the Route of Santiago de Compostela, in order to cover the “Camino Francés” and the Routes of Northern Spain.
The Camino, as such, had already been added to the World Heritage list en 1993; this decision extends the definition of the “Camino” to cover the following routes: coastal, interior of the Basque Country–La Rioja, Liébana and primitive routes.
Here is UNESCO’s press release.