When not everything goes according to the plans, these services will be extremely helpful on the CaminoA whole new business is built on parcel delivery here, packages aren’t transported by the postman only. A lot of ’Camino tourists’ are travelling all along this way, degrading the pilgrimage an excursion. However, once I also needed this service, when the muscle stretching along my shin bone got inflamed badly, right before a tough uphill hike, so I had to walk without my backpack for a day.
Envelopes of the parcel delivery companiesIn such cases, all you need is the envelope pierced through its corner, which you can find at all the places to stay. You write your name, e-mail and phone number on it, and the destination, which is the name of an albergue and the city where it can be found (it has to be chosen from a list of places provided by the given delivery company). You need to put a 5 Euro fare in the envelope, close it, and attach it to your luggage. You don’t necessarily have to stay at the very same albergue where your bag was delivered – this can happen if there’s no vacancy in that particular albergue where your bag is, or if the company doesn’t do deliveries to the albergue you already have booked a bed in. You still have to have some ID on you, when you want to pick up your bag.
The backpacks are already gathering at the reception at dawn.The staff of the albergue will be really helpful, and they’ll also tell you where to leave your bag in the morning for the courier to find it. He’ll come sometime before noon, pick up all the bags, transport them to the albergues stated on the envelopes, and will leave them at the reception there. He’ll take the fare from the envelope, and will leave an empty envelope attached to your bag, so that you have one if needed next morning.
Postal servicesThe Spanish word for post reminded me of a joke about the Hungarian word for police (rendőrség), so I made this pic:
The ad of the Spanish post office (with English subtitles)They shot a very cool Camino ad about their services for the pilgrims. The address of the main post office in Santiago is 4, Rua do Franco, which is about 150 metres from the cathedral (the end point of the whole pilgrimage). I also picked up my parcel here.
1. Pilgrims’ Office
3. Main post office
TrafficYou might need public transportation and taxi from time to time. Once I lost my wallet and had to go back 5 km to get it back. I called a taxi. In theory, the fare outside the city is 1 Euro/km. Unfortunately, in practice it’s more than the double of it, because the driver will also put the way back on the invoice, and he’ll also apply a call-out charge.
In case of coaches and trains, you can calculate with 1 Euro for 10 km, which is quite cheap. A 65 km train journey costs 6 Euros, and the trains are punctual, clean and very comfortable.
A bus parking garage, which from outside looks like an old building next to the main streetHowever, I wouldn’t plan a bus trip, if there are trains, too. It might be difficult even to find bus stops (at least in smaller villages), which in many cases aren’t even designated areas. They just say that ’the bus stops in front of the hotel’, but there are no signs, timetables or painted marks on the road. Sometimes there’s a bus stop on one side of the road only, and that’s where all buses stop, going in each direction. All in all, it isn’t easy at all. It’s good to have a local helping you find your way.
Thanks for sharing!
Some more useful things to read:
Choosing the right backpack
Choosing the best boots for El Camino
Planning the trip to El Camino