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Anyone have experience with Blablacar?

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July CF
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#1
Hi All,
Phil and I will be hospitaleros at the Municipal Albergue in Zamora from Dec 16-31. I had not thought about returning to Madrid on Jan 1 until this week and have realized that because it was a holiday that train and bus schedules might be impacted. When I went to book a train ticket, only one late possibility came up yesterday not putting us into Madrid until late evening. I have also checked the bus schedule and all the buses are later in the day as well. One option that did come up was BlaBlaCar. I looked it up and it says it is some kind of shared ride service or car pool. I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this service in Spain. Is it like Uber in the US or is it something different? How dependable would it be to book something like that.
Thanks,
Janet
 

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#2
Hi All,
Phil and I will be hospitaleros at the Municipal Albergue in Zamora from Dec 16-31. I had not thought about returning to Madrid on Jan 1 until this week and have realized that because it was a holiday that train and bus schedules might be impacted. When I went to book a train ticket, only one late possibility came up yesterday not putting us into Madrid until late evening. I have also checked the bus schedule and all the buses are later in the day as well. One option that did come up was BlaBlaCar. I looked it up and it says it is some kind of shared ride service or car pool. I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this service in Spain. Is it like Uber in the US or is it something different? How dependable would it be to book something like that.
Thanks,
Janet
Hi, J, There have been a lot of discussions about this ride sharing service. Just put "blabla" in the search function and you will see ten or more threads. It is not identical to Uber because it is a posting platform where people who are driving somewhere can find riders. I have been told that you may need to post yourself, saying you are looking for a ride to a certain place on a certain date, before you will get a nibble. That means that some drivers don't want to post generally, they wait to see if there are people they want to drive. Not sure if this facilitates any kind of profiling or discrimination because I haven't used it, but I suppose that is a possibility if in fact you have to put in a picture. Just don't know. Good luck. You will see there are happy forum users, though, so you may want to give it a go.
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
#4
I've used blablacar loads for travelling around Europe. Met some great people, had some great adventures. It's basically a car-pooling website. You need to create an account with a picture of yourself and a little bit of biographical info (people won't be as inclined to offer you a lift if you haven't at least provided a photo). Once you've joined, you can post an ad or check whether anyone else is offering a lift. If the latter, you will see the driver's info, along with reviews from all his or her passengers thus far. You basically just help pay towards petrol costs (price will be quoted).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#5
I started a reply some hours ago but in between it has disappeared. I have used it, once. I was delighted as it meant I reached Pamplona before the bus from Bilbao. Jan has described it very well, and Peregrina 2000 added a valuable ps, you have to keep an eye out as folk might only advertise the trip a day or so in advance. Wish you well, and hope you have a good experience. I will certainly aim to use it again.
 

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J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July CF
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#6
Thanks all! I did put in Blablacar in the search and got nothing, but just now when I put in blabla only, I did find several threads. I think I'll sign us up and check it out. I don't care about the cost as much as I want to have a wonderful cultural experience while I am in Spain. Of course, I also want to be able to get back to Madrid on January 1 to catch my January 2 flight! I am just worried right now about the lateness of the planes and buses currently listed on the holiday.

Maybe we'll try it on the way to Zamora first and see how it goes. We speak some Spanish and I also speak German pretty well so we'll give it a go by putting that in our initial account posting. We're staying a night in Madrid to help with the jet lag so no one would have to pick us up right at the airport and we could be dropped back at our hotel which has a shuttle back to the airport anyway.

If any of you are on the Via de la Plata over the holidays, please drop in and see us in Zamora (even if you decide to stay at the Parador instead of with us.) We are told the pilgrims may be few during this time, but Phil and I are ready to make them feel welcome.
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Zamora Dec 2017 as Hospitalero
#7
And I just realized that you are looking for transportation weeks in advance. From what I have been told, you frequently need to wait till a few days before to nail something down.

Would love to hear how you find blabla car if you use it. And lucky lucky you, Christmas and New Years in one of the nicest cities in Spain! Buen camino, Laurie
Laurie, Janet and I are really looking forward to serving in Zamora! It is amazing how things work out.
Phil
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Zamora Dec 2017 as Hospitalero
#8
I've used blablacar loads for travelling around Europe. Met some great people, had some great adventures. It's basically a car-pooling website. You need to create an account with a picture of yourself and a little bit of biographical info (people won't be as inclined to offer you a lift if you haven't at least provided a photo). Once you've joined, you can post an ad or check whether anyone else is offering a lift. If the latter, you will see the driver's info, along with reviews from all his or her passengers thus far. You basically just help pay towards petrol costs (price will be quoted).
Thanks Jan_D, that sounds good.
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Zamora Dec 2017 as Hospitalero
#9
I started a reply some hours ago but in between it has disappeared. I have used it, once. I was delighted as it meant I reached Pamplona before the bus from Bilbao. Jan has described it very well, and Peregrina 2000 added a valuable ps, you have to keep an eye out as folk might only advertise the trip a day or so in advance. Wish you well, and hope you have a good experience. I will certainly aim to use it again.
Thanks Kirkie!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino (2016), French Camino (2015), Northern Camino (2017)
#10
Hi All,
Phil and I will be hospitaleros at the Municipal Albergue in Zamora from Dec 16-31. I had not thought about returning to Madrid on Jan 1 until this week and have realized that because it was a holiday that train and bus schedules might be impacted. When I went to book a train ticket, only one late possibility came up yesterday not putting us into Madrid until late evening. I have also checked the bus schedule and all the buses are later in the day as well. One option that did come up was BlaBlaCar. I looked it up and it says it is some kind of shared ride service or car pool. I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this service in Spain. Is it like Uber in the US or is it something different? How dependable would it be to book something like that.
Thanks,
Janet
I've used BlablaCar to travel around Galicia since I've moved here, as I don't own a car. Met really nice people and never had a problem. I'd recommend checking the website or app a couple of weeks before traveling, not too ahead, as people post their trips around 1 to 2 weeks in advance. Hope this helps!
 

Phil W

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Melide, May-early July 2016,
Zamora Dec 2017 as Hospitalero
#11
I've used BlablaCar to travel around Galicia since I've moved here, as I don't own a car. Met really nice people and never had a problem. I'd recommend checking the website or app a couple of weeks before traveling, not too ahead, as people post their trips around 1 to 2 weeks in advance. Hope this helps!
Thank you for sharing your experience!
 

Pruden

Pilgrim of life
Camino(s) past & future
October 2012 Camino Francés Sarria /Santiago.
November 2013 Camino Francés
León to Sarria
June 2014 Camino Francés San Juan Pie de Port to Logroño.
November 2016 Camino Frances ,Logroño to León.
#13
Hi All,
Phil and I will be hospitaleros at the Municipal Albergue in Zamora from Dec 16-31. I had not thought about returning to Madrid on Jan 1 until this week and have realized that because it was a holiday that train and bus schedules might be impacted. When I went to book a train ticket, only one late possibility came up yesterday not putting us into Madrid until late evening. I have also checked the bus schedule and all the buses are later in the day as well. One option that did come up was BlaBlaCar. I looked it up and it says it is some kind of shared ride service or car pool. I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this service in Spain. Is it like Uber in the US or is it something different? How dependable would it be to book something like that.
Thanks,
Janet
Wonderful!!
I have used it 4 o 5 times, also my wife and my daughter, I really recommend it is quick and many times cheaper than busses and much cheaper than trains of course!
Go for it get the app and find how many cars you got for that day and what their departure time.
You pay through the app with your credit card.
Perfect !
Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Ruta Primitiva (2005)
Camino Portugues/Variante Espiritual March 2018
Rota Vicentina May 2018
#14
I've used it three times to get to and from Memmingen (Germany) to Austria (Bregenz, Biberwier). I've never been disappointed. You may also find cheap long distance bus tickets on Flixbus, but I don't think they are very active on the peninsula (yet), buen camino, Mark
 

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2017), Norte (2017), Frances (2017), Portugues (2018), La Plata (2018)
#15
It works quite fine.

You don't need to publish anything. You only have to install the app and look for the people offering the travel you need.
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July CF
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#16
Well a short update on my attempt! I went to the website and made a profile. I thought my Spanish would be good enough, but I ended up posting that I was actually GIVING a ride instead of trying to get one. Had to delete.:( I will probably try again after my bruised ego heals a little.

Phil had another idea about getting back to Madrid earlier on Jan 1. He was thinking about taking the train back to Madrid in late December and getting a rental car and driving back to Zamora the same day. More expensive, but gives us more flexibility to leave when we want on Jan 1 and maybe see a few other things on our way back. There is a car rental desk at our hotel in Madrid so that would be relatively convenient.

I'm pretty sure I can run the albergue for one day by myself if needed. We are told that there may not be many pilgrims at this time in December.

In case you are wondering why we aren't walking to Zamora, Phil fell and had a severe knee injury this summer. We had planned to do one or more short winter caminos, but the knee injury has been a long time healing and may still require surgical intervention. Giving back as hospitaleros seemed to be the right thing to do instead.
 
#17
Well a short update on my attempt! I went to the website and made a profile. I thought my Spanish would be good enough, but I ended up posting that I was actually GIVING a ride instead of trying to get one. Had to delete.:( I will probably try again after my bruised ego heals a little.

Phil had another idea about getting back to Madrid earlier on Jan 1. He was thinking about taking the train back to Madrid in late December and getting a rental car and driving back to Zamora the same day. More expensive, but gives us more flexibility to leave when we want on Jan 1 and maybe see a few other things on our way back. There is a car rental desk at our hotel in Madrid so that would be relatively convenient.

I'm pretty sure I can run the albergue for one day by myself if needed. We are told that there may not be many pilgrims at this time in December.

In case you are wondering why we aren't walking to Zamora, Phil fell and had a severe knee injury this summer. We had planned to do one or more short winter caminos, but the knee injury has been a long time healing and may still require surgical intervention. Giving back as hospitaleros seemed to be the right thing to do instead.
Hi, J and P,

So sorry to hear about the knee injury. Fingers crossed that Phil's recovery goes well.

I think the idea about a rental car is a good one. I'm not sure if you are a fan of ancient churches (the city of Zamora has more than 24 Romanesque churches itself). If you are, having a rental would also give you the opportunity to visit the really beautiful San Pedro de la Nave, about 24 km outside Zamora. It's Visigothic (7th century!!!) and has an amazing capital of Daniel in the Lion's Den. This is one of those churches, like the one in Portomarin, that was moved stone by stone to avoid flooding when a dam was built.

I don't know how much you have traveled around that part of Spain, but depending on how much time you want to take, Salamanca, Segovia, and Avila are all in easy striking distance. Sounds like a wonderful way to greet the new year. Buen camino, Laurie
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July CF
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#18
Hi, J and P,

So sorry to hear about the knee injury. Fingers crossed that Phil's recovery goes well.

I think the idea about a rental car is a good one. I'm not sure if you are a fan of ancient churches (the city of Zamora has more than 24 Romanesque churches itself). If you are, having a rental would also give you the opportunity to visit the really beautiful San Pedro de la Nave, about 24 km outside Zamora. It's Visigothic (7th century!!!) and has an amazing capital of Daniel in the Lion's Den. This is one of those churches, like the one in Portomarin, that was moved stone by stone to avoid flooding when a dam was built.

I don't know how much you have traveled around that part of Spain, but depending on how much time you want to take, Salamanca, Segovia, and Avila are all in easy striking distance. Sounds like a wonderful way to greet the new year. Buen camino, Laurie
Yes, I had thought we might make some time to stop in Salamanca at least if we had a car. Might be able to do the San Pedro de la Nave one morning even before we leave if we had a car.
 

Flem

"The old man"
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Frances
2016 Finisterre-Muxia, Portogues
2017 del Norte, Ingles
(2018 Via de la Plata)
#19
Hi All,
Phil and I will be hospitaleros at the Municipal Albergue in Zamora from Dec 16-31. I had not thought about returning to Madrid on Jan 1 until this week and have realized that because it was a holiday that train and bus schedules might be impacted. When I went to book a train ticket, only one late possibility came up yesterday not putting us into Madrid until late evening. I have also checked the bus schedule and all the buses are later in the day as well. One option that did come up was BlaBlaCar. I looked it up and it says it is some kind of shared ride service or car pool. I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this service in Spain. Is it like Uber in the US or is it something different? How dependable would it be to book something like that.
Thanks,
Janet
Used Blablacar to get from SdC to Ferrol for my pikgrimage Camino Ingles. It us aprox some 100 km and the cost was 6 € took around one hour.
Recomentable
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#20
I have used BlaBlaCar here in Spain and was very happy with it ;-) It is basically a car/ride share site and it worked well for me. BC SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Vía de la Plata / Camino Sanabrés, Camino del Baztán, Camino Aragonés, Chemin du Puy
#21
I've used it in Germany and Spain. It's useful. There are problems which I hope they're going to sort out, for example because I first used it in Germany it sends me emails in German and there's no way to change the language. Then when I book from the Spanish website it mixes the two languages up. It's a mess basically. But besides that it's a good service. When you need a lift start applying a few days in advance and have as much detail in your profile as possible.
 

angelafinnigan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
#22
Hi All,
Phil and I will be hospitaleros at the Municipal Albergue in Zamora from Dec 16-31. I had not thought about returning to Madrid on Jan 1 until this week and have realized that because it was a holiday that train and bus schedules might be impacted. When I went to book a train ticket, only one late possibility came up yesterday not putting us into Madrid until late evening. I have also checked the bus schedule and all the buses are later in the day as well. One option that did come up was BlaBlaCar. I looked it up and it says it is some kind of shared ride service or car pool. I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this service in Spain. Is it like Uber in the US or is it something different? How dependable would it be to book something like that.
Thanks,
Janet
Hi All,
Phil and I will be hospitaleros at the Municipal Albergue in Zamora from Dec 16-31. I had not thought about returning to Madrid on Jan 1 until this week and have realized that because it was a holiday that train and bus schedules might be impacted. When I went to book a train ticket, only one late possibility came up yesterday not putting us into Madrid until late evening. I have also checked the bus schedule and all the buses are later in the day as well. One option that did come up was BlaBlaCar. I looked it up and it says it is some kind of shared ride service or car pool. I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this service in Spain. Is it like Uber in the US or is it something different? How dependable would it be to book something like that.
Thanks,
Janet
Hi Janet
I have used Blabla car extensively in France and England and highly recommend it. Cheap, cheerful and quicker and sonetimes more reliable than public transport.
 

backpack45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
#23
Thanks all! I did put in Blablacar in the search and got nothing, but just now when I put in blabla only, I did find several threads. I think I'll sign us up and check it out. I don't care about the cost as much as I want to have a wonderful cultural experience while I am in Spain. Of course, I also want to be able to get back to Madrid on January 1 to catch my January 2 flight! I am just worried right now about the lateness of the planes and buses currently listed on the holiday.

Maybe we'll try it on the way to Zamora first and see how it goes. We speak some Spanish and I also speak German pretty well so we'll give it a go by putting that in our initial account posting. We're staying a night in Madrid to help with the jet lag so no one would have to pick us up right at the airport and we could be dropped back at our hotel which has a shuttle back to the airport anyway.

If any of you are on the Via de la Plata over the holidays, please drop in and see us in Zamora (even if you decide to stay at the Parador instead of with us.) We are told the pilgrims may be few during this time, but Phil and I are ready to make them feel welcome.
We used blablacar once--it was great. Drivers are reviewed on their reliability, etc. (I think passengers are rated also, but not sure). From Lugo to Madrid (a few hours ride). Cost is less than taxi, etc., but more than a bus would be. And clearly faster than a bus! A very nice experience!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Le Puy
#24
Hi Janet

Yes my partner and I used BlaBlacar from Toulouse France to Barcelona in 2016. We met a wonderful Spanish lady driver who had a large car and also picked up 3 other guests. We had a wonderful time meeting the driver and the others. We will have no hesitation using BlaBlacar next time in Europe.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Part 1 (2017)/ Part 2 (2018), VF Part 1 (2018)
#25
It's not just people that they transport, you can get someone to take a pack or two ... but language can be an issue if you want to get it to the correct place :eek:
 

Flem

"The old man"
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Frances
2016 Finisterre-Muxia, Portogues
2017 del Norte, Ingles
(2018 Via de la Plata)
#26
Used the BlaBlaCar this september from Santiago dC into Ferrol. 6EU for the 100Ks No problem the driver was a nice person who spoke english.
If needed transportation I would certenly use them again.
You can find them here: www.blablacar.com og on your mobil https://m.blablacar.com
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
#27
I was in France during a train strike, and many people advised me to use Blablacar. The problem was filling in the form in French and trying to organise something at the last minute. So my suggestion is to join before you leave home and then start looking for a ride a few days beforehand. A photo is needed in order to help identification at the meeting point!
 

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