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Carrying a phone on the Madrid route??

marjude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
4/2019 Madrid, Frances
Hi, I carry a phone with me but I turn my international roaming and cellular data off and I only use my phone for contacting my family on the family FB page and taking photos, I have never had any need to use my phone to make calls on my walks. I have also installed WhatsApp on my phone this year to contact Ray and Rosa.

This year walking the Madrid it seems that several Albergues require a phone call to come and open the Albergue.

My question is : is it really necessary to be able to ring these numbers or could I get by without having a phone??... It’s not that I’m against having a working phone it’s more that I feel technically challenged as far as having the sim changed in my phone or buying another phone when I’m in Madrid and understanding the technical things the sales person is telling me.

I feel I’m asking a question that I already know the answer to but I really am in two minds as what to do.
Any advice would be appreciated, thanks judy.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Judy,
I really should let other people with more knowledge answer, but maybe you would like an answer from a technological idiot like me. 😄 I have an iphone, and I bring it with me. In Spain, I take it to a Vodafone store (I have also gone to Movistar, but I find the staff in Vodafone to be much more helpful) and they will take out my SIM card and put in a Spanish SIM card. I then tape my US sim card onto the inside cover of my passport. With the new SIM card, and for a very reasonable charge, under 25 euros, I get about 90 minutes calling plus a fair amount of data. I do feel much more comfortable being able to make a phone call when I am walking alone on an untraveled camino, as you will be. Since wifi is so ubiquitous in Spain, the data should be plenty. How else will you call the ayuntamiento in Wamba to get into the church?;)
 

marjude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
4/2019 Madrid, Frances
Thanks Laurie, yes you are right and I really want to see inside the church in Wamba.
I will take your advice and get a new SIM card from Vodafone. I think I knew that I would have to but just needed the push to make the decision and I guess it’s also another step I have taken out of my comfort zone and since 2011 when I walked my first Camino I have stepped out of that comfort zone many times.
Buen Camino Laurie and thanks for your time. judy.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 05/17 brazo roto Portomarín
Francés 09/17, 09/18 SJPdP - Fisterra
Portuguese ~05/19
@marjude you can continue to use your old Australian phone number in WhatsApp with a Spanish SIM card. I am sure the carrier will help you when they install the SIM card. It is very easy.

Your SMS text messages will use the new Spanish phone number, and not your old Australian phone number. For iPhone users, you can send SMS text messages using your email address rather than your phone number, but I found it easier to use WhatsApp for everything.

¡Buena suerte! ☘:D:cool:
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@marjude you can continue to use your old Australian phone number in WhatsApp with a Spanish SIM card. I am sure the carrier will help you when they install the SIM card. It is very easy.

Your SMS text messages will use the new Spanish phone number, and not your old Australian phone number. For iPhone users, you can send SMS text messages using your email address rather than your phone number, but I found it easier to use WhatsApp for everything.

¡Buena suerte! ☘:D:cool:
I use WhatsApp a fair amount and have never figured out how there is absolutely no difference when I switch from US sim card to Spanish sim card. My contacts are all still the same on my list and they continue to contact me as before. @C clearly once tried to explain this to me, but I never really got it.

It is a great way to communicate, I found that many albergues use it, but usually not if the owners don’t have a young member of the family helping out.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
On the Madrid last year I only ran into 3 place that a phone call was necessary. Luckily I found someone nearby who was able to find someone to open the door for me because only one of them responded to my call.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014); Madrid, Salvador (2018)
Hi, I carry a phone with me but I turn my international roaming and cellular data off and I only use my phone for contacting my family on the family FB page and taking photos, I have never had any need to use my phone to make calls on my walks. I have also installed WhatsApp on my phone this year to contact Ray and Rosa.

This year walking the Madrid it seems that several Albergues require a phone call to come and open the Albergue.

My question is : is it really necessary to be able to ring these numbers or could I get by without having a phone??... It’s not that I’m against having a working phone it’s more that I feel technically challenged as far as having the sim changed in my phone or buying another phone when I’m in Madrid and understanding the technical things the sales person is telling me.

I feel I’m asking a question that I already know the answer to but I really am in two minds as what to do.
Any advice would be appreciated, thanks judy.

We walked the Madrid last year and found having a phone invaluable. We called ahead several times to confirm availability of beds, especially on the longer days when we were contemplating walking longer distances and arriving later. It is a very isolated route so you also may find that having it gives you some piece of mind.
 

marjude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
4/2019 Madrid, Frances
@marjude you can continue to use your old Australian phone number in WhatsApp with a Spanish SIM card. I am sure the carrier will help you when they install the SIM card. It is very easy.

Your SMS text messages will use the new Spanish phone number, and not your old Australian phone number. For iPhone users, you can send SMS text messages using your email address rather than your phone number, but I found it easier to use WhatsApp for everything.

¡Buena suerte! ☘:D:cool:
Hi Linkster, thanks for your help, your explanation has made it easier for me to understand what I will need to know about my phone in Spain.
Buen Camino judy.
 

marjude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
4/2019 Madrid, Frances
I use WhatsApp a fair amount and have never figured out how there is absolutely no difference when I switch from US sim card to Spanish sim card. My contacts are all still the same on my list and they continue to contact me as before. @C clearly once tried to explain this to me, but I never really got it.

It is a great way to communicate, I found that many albergues use it, but usually not if the owners don’t have a young member of the family helping out.
Yes Laurie, if C clearly had tried to explain it to me I would have been like you and “ never really got it”. I think I’m going to be on a real learning curve on this walk.
Buen Camino judy
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Yes Laurie, if C clearly had tried to explain it to me I would have been like you and “ never really got it”
The funny thing is, I don't really understand it either, but I have learned enough to know how to make it work for me. My impression (someone can correct me) is that WhatsApp works on data - either from your phone plan or wifi. The original phone number that you set it up on, becomes your username. From then on, you can sign into the account with that user name, from any phone or (now) computer. If you have the app on your phone, it is stored like all of your apps, on that device. Changing the phone service provider (SIM card) doesn't change the data you have stored on your phone in the app. :cool:
 

marjude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
4/2019 Madrid, Frances
On the Madrid last year I only ran into 3 place that a phone call was necessary. Luckily I found someone nearby who was able to find someone to open the door for me because only one of them responded to my call.
Hi, thanks for your reply, I have decided to take my phone but it’s good to know this just in case for some reason I’m unable to get my phone to work.
Buen Camino judy
 

marjude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
4/2019 Madrid, Frances
We walked the Madrid last year and found having a phone invaluable. We called ahead several times to confirm availability of beds, especially on the longer days when we were contemplating walking longer distances and arriving later. It is a very isolated route so you also may find that having it gives you some piece of mind.
Hi Elizabeth, your right it is going to be a lonely route from the information that I have read so having a phone will make me feel more at ease and I have decided to take one.
Buen Camino judy.
 

marjude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
4/2011 VdlP,
4/2014 Rota Vincentina, Portugues.
4/2016 Aragones, Frances.
4/2019 Madrid, Frances
The funny thing is, I don't really understand it either, but I have learned enough to know how to make it work for me. My impression (someone can correct me) is that WhatsApp works on data - either from your phone plan or wifi. The original phone number that you set it up on, becomes your username. From then on, you can sign into the account with that user name, from any phone or (now) computer. If you have the app on your phone, it is stored like all of your apps, on that device. Changing the phone service provider (SIM card) doesn't change the data you have stored on your phone in the app. :cool:
Hi C clearly, thank you for explaining the WhatsApp to me. I now have a better understanding of it.
Buen Camino judy
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The funny thing is, I don't really understand it either, but I have learned enough to know how to make it work for me. My impression (someone can correct me) is that WhatsApp works on data - either from your phone plan or wifi. The original phone number that you set it up on, becomes your username. From then on, you can sign into the account with that user name, from any phone or (now) computer. If you have the app on your phone, it is stored like all of your apps, on that device. Changing the phone service provider (SIM card) doesn't change the data you have stored on your phone in the app. :cool:
Ok, I give up, I still don’t get it. But I can use it, so that’s going to have to be good enough.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Ok, I give up, I still don’t get it. But I can use it, so that’s going to have to be good enough.
Actually it's quite easy. When you download Whatsapp (or any other free app) it asks you to allow certain things like access to your contacts folder, location info etc. otherwise you can't download it. And even if you change SIM cards you can use apps like Whatsapp via wi-fi and when you connect to wi-fi you have access to your contacts because they are already uploaded in the Whatsapp cloud. Makes any more sense? :D

These apps are free only because they are collecting free meta data from you. The only catch there is.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Actually it's quite easy. When you download Whatsapp (or any other free app) it asks you to allow certain things like access to your contacts folder, location info etc. otherwise you can't download it. And even if you change SIM cards you can use apps like Whatsapp via wi-fi and when you connect to wi-fi you have access to your contacts because they are already uploaded in the Whatsapp cloud. Makes any more sense? :D

These apps are free only because they are collecting free meta data from you. The only catch there is.
I NEVER listen to anyone who starts to give me a tech explanation with the phrase "actually it's quite easy." Because then I know that that person has no idea about how very limited my understanding is. :)
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
Hi Judy
Last year on Madrid ., I loaded everything onto my phone. I’d purchased the e version of Johnny Walker’s CSJ guide., I had wise pilgrim app. Not that the cost is much !! Very good value both of them.
Note: see edit below this post re wise pilgrim app


But then, and completely free, I now have app for Whatapp, (great at home here too- really easier to send pics etc rather than email home)..I also downloaded the app for maps.me (Do this at home on your wifi )

I know zero about tech stuff., but managed the following too:

Then, this little spoken about resource in this forum ; loaded by a member @Thomas1962
I’ll link his post here from June 2018, but it’s a resource. He explains it well. Part way down his post ., he has a link to gps tracks to all Spanish caminos. !!!

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/resources/camino-primitivo-accomodations-in-kml-and-gpx-format-and-as-pdf.673/

I downloaded his kml tracks to my maps.me on my iPhone while in wifi , before I left home.
The great thing about having a track on maps me is that the little blue circle (gps) that glows/pulses away ., shows you whether you are on the track or ‘way off’. Just stay with maps me open until you get the blue circle heading back to the track or wherever you want to head towards. (You May want to visit something off those tracks ).
These are all from the Dutch csj.
Only thing you should watch with maps me or any of those other apps; is to make sure you’ve completely exited when you find out what you need. While open they are using your battery more.

So much use for a phone on the camino in my opinion.
I usually get a Spanish sim too (like Laurie ).. sometimes you just might want to contact accommodation etc that isn’t on wifi etc. and sometimes you might be away from wifi just wanting to chill out but want to check something important. Handy having the sim as backup.

Buen Camino
Annie
 
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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
Just an edit to above post: in 2018 the wise pilgrim app didn’t have the Camino de Madrid. I had the Invierno (wise pilgrim ) app loaded for after the Madrid camino.

I also had the Invierno PDF guide from this forum (Laurie R) on my phone for that - plus the printed version. To be sure! To be sure !!
Annie
 

marylynn

Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18-(19) CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
I learned last fall that you can call for police, fire, and/or paramedic assistance in Spain by calling 112 and they will respond even if you do not have a sim card in your phone--and there are English-speaking operators available.
 

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