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Getting the first stamp & question about trains

#1
I'm starting my pilgimage in a couple of weeks from Ponferrada. I'll arrive there early in the morning (around 7 am) by train, and start walking right away. Is it possible to get my pilgrim's passport stamped in Ponferrada even though I'm not staying in the albergue? Can I visit the albergue in the morning and ask for a stamp? I really would like to get one from Ponferrada, as it is my starting place.

Another question about Spanish trains: I'll take the night train from Barcelona to Ponferrada, leaving on Sunday evening. Are the trains usually very full? Should I buy the ticket in advance, or will it be okay to buy it at the station a couple of hours before the departure? I've visited the Renfe website, and I could buy a regular ticket from there, but I'm not sure if it 's possible to book a bed - and I'd really like to have a place to sleep on the train because the next day is going to be hard work! :)
 

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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#2
The trains may not be full but if you can book a bed it will settle your nerves a bit! We booked a bed when we took a hotel-tren from Santiago to Madrid. There were four of us in the cabin and we were given sheets, pillows and a small blanket.
You can get stamps anywhere in Ponferrada that is open at that time of the morning - not necessarily at the albergue - in cafe-bars, church, wherever is open and has a stamp.
Have a great walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2006
August - September 2017
#3
We started in Ponferrada too, and got our first stamp at the Templar Castle and we had only walked from the bus station.

Have a great Camino.

Jerry
 
#4
the train's unlikely to be full (increasingly nowadays people fly rather than use overnight trains), but if you want to be sure of a bed, you're best off booking. You can book on the RENFE site; prices depend on number of people/beds in cabin.
 

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