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Camino Frances May 2020

N_Derbas

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French Route
The date I fly out of Melbourne to embark on this amazing walking expedition is fast approaching!

I have a couple of questions I am hoping you can help me with?

1. Do the albergues/hostels that take bookings prior to arrival keep the bed aside for you until you arrive, only reason I ask this question is because if I choose to walk a large amount of distance but at a moderate pace I might not not arrive until mid to late afternoon?

2. What does a female do in relation to disposing of sanitary pads? Should I bring eco friendly biodegradable bags?

Thank you!
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
If you use the only pilgrim's website to book your rooms you have paid in advance and they keep the room for you.
Some people are confused by the site but you go to hostels and then each hostel is listed by The village. You don't have to login that's only for the albergue owner.
If you're going to be very very late it's always good to call but I've never lost a room and I like to take my time and often get to my albergue by 5.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
My first advice is everyone has anxiety especially before their first Camino. I still have anxiety as I plan my 6th camino. Virtually all private albergues take reservations. I would suggest you check out Gronze.com, and download Buen Camino or Wise Pilgrim app. Municipal and most religious or donatives do not take reservations. If you can speak even minimal Spanish you can call for reservations. if you are going to be really late, after 3 or 4, I would say, call and let them know you are still coming and to hold your bed. If you decide to stop early or go further please call also and let them know.
If you are leaving really soon I would think just about all the albergues will be open and you will learn that your body will tell you when to stop and you will not feel a need or have a necessity for booking ahead.
If Bellari is open in St. Jean I would highly recommend staying there for your night before your first step of the rest of your life! It is almost directly across from the Pilgrim office. I doubt it is more than 10 steps away.
I don't know about female "unmentionables" :) So I can't really help you there although I would guess it would probably be the same in Spain as in Australia but I bet someone with experience, would know ALOT more than a man like me!!!
One last thing if you can not make calls from your Australian cell phone get a SIM card from either Orange or Vodafone. Orange gives you more data Vodafone gives you more minutes. They both cost about 20 euros for 1 month. I use Orange. I get alot more data so I can call home on wattsapp and 80 minutes a month of calls is more than enough for me. I can't call the US on these plans.
 
Last edited:

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
If you use the only pilgrim's website to book your rooms you have paid in advance and they keep the room for you.
Some people are confused by the site but you go to hostels and then each hostel is listed by The village. You don't have to login that's only for the albergue owner.
If you're going to be very very late it's always good to call but I've never lost a room and I like to take my time and often get to my albergue by 5.
I have never used this site but I I am sure you have been very pleased with this site. Do they allow for same day cancellations? On the CF I almost always have a destination in mind but there is only a 50/50 chance I will stop there. I usually do not know where I will stop until about 1 or 2pm based on what my body tells me.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Although previously mentioned, if you do reserve in advance (without a payment) and expect to be late, call. Many private albergues have a policy that the bed will be given to someone else if you don't let them know. The cut-off time is around 16:00. This is quite understandable as there are those that reserve then don't show up and don't call to reserve.
 

dfox

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (4/2017)
CP (5/2019)
CF (5/2021)
Get a SIM card from either Orange or Vodafone. Orange gives you more data Vodafone gives you more minutes. They both cost about 20 euros for 1 month. I use Orange. I get alot more data so I can call home on wattsapp and 80 minutes a month of calls is more than enough for me. I can't call the US on these plans.

Is Orange or Vodafone SIM card easily available in SJPdP? or they are easier to get in the Paris' CDG airport or Lourdes (the Sanctuary)?

I had a Vodafone card in Porto for Camino Portuguese, where there was a lot of Vodafone stores.

Many thanks,
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Is Orange or Vodafone SIM card easily available in SJPdP? or they are easier to get in the Paris' CDG airport or Lourdes (the Sanctuary)?

I had a Vodafone card in Porto for Camino Portuguese, where there was a lot of Vodafone stores.

Many thanks,
I can't be sure about that. There may be shops that offer SIM cards at the airport and I know you can buy SIM cards from tobacco shops in Paris also. But I do not know what the plans are for those and what happens once you cross the border in Spain. These plans are cheap but they have some restrictions, so please ask. I always spend a day in Madrid, or Lisbon to rest and run errands before I start a new camino. The first thing I do is head to an Orange store to get a SIM card and sign up for my plan. Their plan works best for my needs.
If your French is good you can ask at the airport or when you get to your albergue or hotel in SJPP. When I walked the Le Puy Camino in 2014 I had an old flip phone and just bought some minutes in Paris. That lasted me all the way until I got to Spain.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I can't be sure about that. There may be shops that offer SIM cards at the airport and I know you can buy SIM cards from tobacco shops in Paris also. But I do not know what the plans are for those and what happens once you cross the border in Spain. These plans are cheap but they have some restrictions, so please ask. I always spend a day in Madrid, or Lisbon to rest and run errands before I start a new camino. The first thing I do is head to an Orange store to get a SIM card and sign up for my plan. Their plan works best for my needs.
If your French is good you can ask at the airport or when you get to your albergue or hotel in SJPP. When I walked the Le Puy Camino in 2014 I had an old flip phone and just bought some minutes in Paris. That lasted me all the way until I got to Spain.
It doesn't sound like you ever have an issue with topping up the card. I use T-Mobile, and have data when I arrive in Spain, so I'm not asking for myself, but I'm looking to help other local pilgrims with the best sim cards, and how to top them off.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@N_Derbas dispose of your sanitary products the same way you would in Australia - in a bin. Walking the Camino Frances you will find a cafe or bar every 8 or 10 km, with the usual toilet facilities inside. Use those. Be fair to the owner and buy a drink or a little snack, or even donate 50 cents if you don't want to buy.

Take a zip lock plastic bag with you, into which you can put toilet paper if you do have to wee somewhere along the way. Or a small thin washable cloth (a children's handkerchief is ideal) that you can rinse out at night. Or wear a panty liner and change it at the rest stop. Or use a FUD such as a pibella or similar, with a lip to wipe clean.

Whatever you do, don't leave toilet paper or other waste products along the path!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
It doesn't sound like you ever have an issue with topping up the card. I use T-Mobile, and have data when I arrive in Spain, so I'm not asking for myself, but I'm looking to help other local pilgrims with the best sim cards, and how to top them off.
The plan I use with Orange can easily be recharged at any orange office, (same with Vodafone) You can do it on the web and I have tried but failed because I think my credit card is from the United States. If you are going to be on the Camino for less than 30 days than you don't have much to worry about. Orange and Vodafone plans are very different like I said. Movistar has a plan too but I think it is the weakest. As I have said before data is more important to me than minutes and Orange has given me as much as15 Gigis but only 80 minutes of calling within Spain. I barely use my minutes because the only time I use the phone is to make the few reservations I might make for a private albergue or to call for someone else. Vodafone had only 3 Gigis (I think that was the amount) but like 2 or 300 minutes.
 

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