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Age old question - Water on the Camino

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Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
In nearly every single village you pass, there will be a fountain where you can fill up your water bottles.
I carried one 1-liter bottle and never ran out.

The water is "potable" unless is says "no potable," and be careful, because on rare occasion, there will be TWO spigots side by side, one labeled "potable" and one labeled "no potable." But I only saw that twice.
 

timr

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
Last year I walked from Lourdes to Santiago. Every day I set out with 1.5L of water in a bladder in my rucksack from the tap from whatever albergue I had been staying in, usually from the bathroom tap, and also a small bottle originally obtained "free" in my couchette on SNCF. Along the way I filled up from any tap along the way. I never worried too much whether it was proclaimed to be potable or non-potable. I certainly very often drank water which was labelled as non-drinkable, because I felt it was telling me it was not "certified" drinkable, rather than telling me not to drink it. I found myself unwittingly drinking water from the fountain issuing into the footbath in the very nice municipal albergue in Astorga, somewhat to the alarm of those watching (who politely said nothing) as there was a sign saying no beber agua which I only saw afterwards!
I NEVER bought bottled water - not once!
I NEVER was sick!
I am a (retired) physician, and I do not underestimate the problems of water-borne diseases: I have lived mainly in Africa for the past 20 years.
I think the risks on the camino are low, and I think you will have no problem at all finding adequate supplies of potable water along the way (if you are "picky"!)
Also I NEVER had any problem with bedbugs - although I often have in rural Africa.
Tim
 
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timr

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
Thanks Annie - you could be right!
I'm in California at the moment and I find the warnings about rattle snakes, mountain lions, bears, ticks and poison oak in the park at the top of the road much more worrying than anything in Africa or on the Camino!
Tim
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2006 to date: Over 21 Caminos. See signature line
I grew up there.
The rattlesnakes are probably still in hibernation.
Of the rest, the only one I'd be REALLY worried about would be the poison oak!

That stuff hates me!
 

Abbeydore

Veteran Member
Anniesantiago said:
In nearly every single village you pass, there will be a fountain where you can fill up your water bottles.
I carried one 1-liter bottle and never ran out.

The water is "potable" unless is says "no potable," and be careful, because on rare occasion, there will be TWO spigots side by side, one labeled "potable" and one labeled "no potable." But I only saw that twice.


Thank you, this is good news
 
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dazzamac

Active Member
After catching some kind of stomach bug while walking last year, I started adding lemons to my drinking water. Half a lemon to half a litre seemed to work well. Just slice it up enough to easily get the lemon out of the bottle when it comes time to wash it at the end of the day. Adding lemon also seemed to help keep me hydrated too. I just added the lemon in the morning (peel and all) and topped up the water in each of the 500ml bottles I carried as I'd pass a fountain.
 

pablo.m

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (09-10.12) Portuguese(05-06.13) Norte (05-06.15)
if you're unlucky, you'll get a bug but wont know for a week or two...
i guzzled all the way to burgos, fountains of cool water, signs permitting of course, but none the less i think it was round hontanas that people started getting struck down...it wasnt pretty. & i got my turn.
burgos saw me in a state i'd rather not detail, an awful night with sound effects, & was unable to eat a proper meal for two weeks...
i continued walking cos, well, whats a pilgrim to do? lie in some bed & feel sorry for oneself?
no thanks
but it was rough
on the plus side, i lost 10kgs! & when i finally got round to feeling hungry - it was a lamb chop with eggs & salad, side of fries & i swear i never tasted anything quite so good as that. who needs a diet plan lol
seriously tho, going into #3rd camino this spring, it'll be the water bottle approach for me
bottoms up!
buen camino
 

David

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First one in 2005 from Moissac, France.
Silver is an antimicrobial. Cowboys used to keep a silver dollar coin in their water canteens to get rid of bugs.
 

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