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LIVE from the Camino Driving Today in Spain

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I'm not on the camino and this isn't about walking but I am hoping for any advice or information from anyone here please.

My sister is in the Algarve. She has been there for a month and has been in contact with the Embassy and having spoken to them again today they have advised her to drive home to France today. I'm surprised at this advice but they of course are the experts. So she is packing now and will leave in about an hour.

Their route home will be to drive across to Seville from Lagos, north up to Salamanca (kind of following the Via route)... across to Valladolid, Burgos and Vitoria crossing the border at Irun/Hendaye.

My poor sister is shaken up and nervous but they are following the advice of the Embassy.

Can anyone on the ground give me any idea about what they may expect and what they should prepare for? They are travelling with a small dog in their own car... they've stocked up on food and water and are happy to sleep in the car if need be. She's older than me and I just spoke to her and she's nervous. I wish I could help her... and you guys are the ones that I turned to.

Any tips or advice will be very welcome

thank you.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
I would not be stressed about this... all gas stations will be open, all supermarkets are open as well if that is needed.. she will find empty roads and it will be a comfortable drive I am sure.. they might have to justify why they are more than one person in the car (you are only supposed to be one person per car), but they are not very strict and she should be fine if she can explain that she is going home.. if she has anything in writing that explains this, it would not hurt to bring this along..
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
I would be stressed about this... all gas stations will be open, all supermarkets are open as well if that is needed.. she will find empty roads and it will be a comfortable drive I am sure.. they might have to justify why they are more than one person in the car (you are only supposed to be one person per car), but they are not very strict and she should be fine if she can explain that she is going home.. if she has anything in writing that explains this, it would not hurt to bring this along..
I wonder if you missed out the word not. It might make all the difference to LesBrass if you did...
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Thanks Ivar I'll tell her. I didn't know about the 2 in a car rule so I will warn her of this. She has nothing in writing but we sent her information which offers proof of her French Residency. (lucky my husband is her accountant) And she has her booking emails and information from the apartment she has been staying at... and all the subsequent conversations over the weekend with them... which will offer a history to her situation.

It's good to hear about the fuel as she was concerned about that.

Thank you for this as it will help ease her nerves. I spoke to her and she says she's shaking she's so nervous. Makes me feel so sad for them as it's a 16 hour drive.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Portugal and Spain have closed their land border except for goods and cross-border workers, as of today. Hopefully they make an exception for your sister.
oh gosh I hope so! The British Embassy have told her to go today... I would have thought it was better to stay put but they can only go on the embassy advice.

oh what times we live in... I'll get her to double check this... thank you!
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Started Camino de Levante (2019).
Thanks Ivar I'll tell her. I didn't know about the 2 in a car rule so I will warn her of this. She has nothing in writing but we sent her information which offers proof of her French Residency. (lucky my husband is her accountant) And she has her booking emails and information from the apartment she has been staying at... and all the subsequent conversations over the weekend with them... which will offer a history to her situation.

It's good to hear about the fuel as she was concerned about that.

Thank you for this as it will help ease her nerves. I spoke to her and she says she's shaking she's so nervous. Makes me feel so sad for them as it's a 16 hour drive.
Let us know how she gets on. And once she is on the road, she can focus on the journey and not on the stresss and worry. Those 16 hours will start to reduce very quickly. Follow good guidelines for avoiding driver fatigue. Safe journey to them.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
The final 3 to 4 hours of the drive through Basque Country is a "white-kunckle" roller coaster ride and the Autoroute (AP1/AP6/A63) crossing at the Spanish border is usually pretty packed with trucks and soldiers. I am sure they will check all along the route about any changes and Michelin has a great interactive map you can help keep them updated with. Many of my trips have been more relaxed by dropping down to Irun at one of the final exits and crossing the Bidassoa bridge into Hendaye. Safe travels.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Glad to hear they are on their way. I stopped to tell you that I have just listened to a beautiful version of the song: When you walk through a storm. I read that as a sign - at the end of the storm is a golden sky, and the sweet silver song of the lark. May it be so.
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several alone and with children
oh gosh I hope so! The British Embassy have told her to go today... I would have thought it was better to stay put but they can only go on the embassy advice.

oh what times we live in... I'll get her to double check this... thank you!
I too would have thought staying put is best, gas handles etc.... staying put and self contain in dreamy portugal....
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
I too would have thought staying put is best, gas handles etc.... staying put and self contain in dreamy portugal....
I'm hoping they are now in Spain but she won't be in touch until the stop for the evening... but from all that has been said I do think that perhaps the roads will be clear and she should have few problems. I've sent all the information so she will feel less nervous.

I love how this community is so knowledgeable and so kind!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Yeah... my sister is near Salamanca! I haven't spoken to her because we keep getting disconnected (she needs to get a roaming package sorted on her phone!!) but she just sent me a message.

The journey so far has been trouble free... no stops at all so that's good. It will be a different story later as they cross into France but we're trying to sort their Attestation (new certificate for travel) for France so they can show this at the border... but they might reach Irun before the document appears on line... in which case they wont need it.

They've had rain and wind which hasn't been nice and now they say there is sleet and snow... they planned to sleep in the car for a little while but they are too cold so one of them is snoozing whilst the other is driving.

She seems in fine form... happy to be on her way home and she felt really well informed thanks to you guys. Fingers crossed the rest of her journey will be as uneventful as this too!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
My sister just arrived at home. They didn't stop but shared the driving as they wanted to be home before todays curfew started.

I don't have any details... She's shopping right now but no doubt after they've slept I will hear more.

My husbands business partner also drove back to France yesterday from Almeria... Indeed it seemed there were about 50-60 French residents all corresponding via a French Embassy Facebook group and driving home to France... She is also in France now and almost home.

In the end, as Ivar had suggested, there was nothing to worry about. But once again your support and information and offers if help warmed my heart.... Now its time for us all to stay safe and I for one am going to settle down with a cup of tea and a spreadsheet and plan my autumn/winter camino.

Thank you
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
I'm not on the camino and this isn't about walking but I am hoping for any advice or information from anyone here please.

My sister is in the Algarve. She has been there for a month and has been in contact with the Embassy and having spoken to them again today they have advised her to drive home to France today. I'm surprised at this advice but they of course are the experts. So she is packing now and will leave in about an hour.

Their route home will be to drive across to Seville from Lagos, north up to Salamanca (kind of following the Via route)... across to Valladolid, Burgos and Vitoria crossing the border at Irun/Hendaye.

My poor sister is shaken up and nervous but they are following the advice of the Embassy.

Can anyone on the ground give me any idea about what they may expect and what they should prepare for? They are travelling with a small dog in their own car... they've stocked up on food and water and are happy to sleep in the car if need be. She's older than me and I just spoke to her and she's nervous. I wish I could help her... and you guys are the ones that I turned to.

Any tips or advice will be very welcome

thank you.
Now I see your follow up but here anyways:

I drove from Faro to Slovakia 12 days ago alone with my dog. I changed my route to avoid Italy. I drive 450-600 km a day and I’m not young but well planned driving. depending on her final destination in France, this was my route and quite easy and I would recommend instead of north to Salamanca and Madrid:

Day 1 (March 5): Faro to Manzanares (slept at new Repsol hostal for €40 ) 598 km straight highway with almost no cars

Day 2 (March 6): Manzanares empty beautiful highway to VILLAFRANCA de Pinedas (just north before Barcelona) thus avoiding Barcelona traffic about 600 km. Stayed at the BasicHotel (booking, com) €42 MacDonalds within walking, supermarket and cheap cheap gas station at 1 minute.

Day 3. (March 7): Vilafranca to BOLLENE France (easy highway all the way but tolls expensive). 585 km. Slept in Bollene at Ibis budget (€40) MacDonalds next door, subway and Inter marche Gas station very close. Hotel is right after exiting the highway toll

Day 4: Bollene France to Zurich 560km
Day 5: Zurich to Braunau am Inn Austria 485 km
Day 6: to Slovakia 450 km)

I just used google mapping. It was quite a good trip. I just did it day by day. Only border checks will be entering Spain and France (after Bollene she’d either go Switzerland or north in France to her home town

Good luck ! I travel with a car cooler, she should take food as only gas stations might be open or only MacDonalds takeout..,. Just bought their salads.
Buen Car-mino
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Have the old border crossing stations been opened and manned?
I wonder how that is working as they have been closed and unused for a very long time.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Have the old border crossing stations been opened and manned?
I wonder how that is working as they have been closed and unused for a very long time.
Only Swiss and German/Austrian border had checks last Monday but I’m in Slovakia and all borders now have dual border patrols stopping all vehicles (Slovak, Austrian, Czech, Hungarian and Polish). I heard Spain and §Portugal borders are manned.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Have the old border crossing stations been opened and manned?
I wonder how that is working as they have been closed and unused for a very long time.
This would probably be too political in normal times, but ...

Various so-called "hard borders" have been re-established within the Schengen area over a period of years now, for multiple reasons that it would be too political to detail ; but really I've crossed very few international borders within the EU, either hitching or hiking, that have not at least the basics of border crossing infrastructure. The nearby French/Italian border has been relatively "hard" for some years now, all things being of course relative to the general freedom of previous years.

But from a practical POV as relevant to hikers & pilgrims, most border crossings are maintained in workable state as regards your query.
 

Mera

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
I'm not on the camino and this isn't about walking but I am hoping for any advice or information from anyone here please.

My sister is in the Algarve. She has been there for a month and has been in contact with the Embassy and having spoken to them again today they have advised her to drive home to France today. I'm surprised at this advice but they of course are the experts. So she is packing now and will leave in about an hour.

Their route home will be to drive across to Seville from Lagos, north up to Salamanca (kind of following the Via route)... across to Valladolid, Burgos and Vitoria crossing the border at Irun/Hendaye.

My poor sister is shaken up and nervous but they are following the advice of the Embassy.

Can anyone on the ground give me any idea about what they may expect and what they should prepare for? They are travelling with a small dog in their own car... they've stocked up on food and water and are happy to sleep in the car if need be. She's older than me and I just spoke to her and she's nervous. I wish I could help her... and you guys are the ones that I turned to.

Any tips or advice will be very welcome

thank you.
I hope she made it back home safely by now. Does anyone know what is going on right now on the Camino? I had a ticket to fly into Madrid on 04/30/20 but postponed to September. I don't know if the situation will be better by then. My heart is constantly longing for the Camino. I am praying for everyone's safety who might be there including all those wonderful Spaniards who were always kind to me.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I hope she made it back home safely by now. Does anyone know what is going on right now on the Camino? I had a ticket to fly into Madrid on 04/30/20 but postponed to September. I don't know if the situation will be better by then. My heart is constantly longing for the Camino. I am praying for everyone's safety who might be there including all those wonderful Spaniards who were always kind to me.
There are several threads on this topic. Here are a few of them



 


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