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Luggage Transfer Correos

Leon to Santiago starting April 11th

2020 Camino Guides

Dalanya

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk (2019)
Hello Everyone, I am flying into Madrid on April 10th and taking a train to Leon to start the walk the following day. This is my first time doing the Camino. Unfortunately I could not take too much time off from work so I decided to do the last 200 miles. I will have to return back to Madrid to fly back to NYC on April 27th. So that's 15-16 days. I want to do as much of the route as I can so I have the option of starting at Burgoss or another smaller town before Leon as well. Do you think that's enough time? Or should I just stick to Leon to Santiago?

I see there are several trains from Madrid to Leon but I might miss the 14:40 especially if I am landing at 13:05. Not sure how long it will take to go through customs and take a train to Charmartin station. So if I take a later train, it won't get to Leon until closer to 9 PM. I know I should reserve a albergue ahead of time. Do they take reservations that late? Question is, are there any affordable places close to the train station so I don't have to worry about finding my way around Leon. I am a female traveling by myself for the first time and I am a bit nervous.

Is there anyone else traveling to Leon at that time or stopping at Leon that day to continue the walk the following day? I would like to have some company. I really appreciate any help from you all.

Buen Camino!!!
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
You are very unlikely to get through Customs etc & to Chamartin in time for the 14:40.

However ALSA run regular buses from Barajas T4. Although the bus journey is longer you may find it much more convenient. There is a bus at 14:45 that will get you into Leon 19:15.

happy planning
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC

Paul McAmino

Blue Ridge
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon, 2018 Leon-Santiago
Hi,
In addition to the excellent suggestions above,
you might consider booking an inexpensive hotel or hostal in León for your first night. This will remove the stress of getting there in the evening and being closed out of an albergue that is unexpectedly completo. There are plenty of them very near or on the Camino, and you will be able to get a good night’s sleep before stepping out in the morning. I’d also recommend getting a good dinner at one of the numerous restaurants you’ll find in León. Most of them don’t begin serving until after you’d get there on the bus, giving you time to check in.
Good luck whatever you decide to do, and buen Camino.
Paul
 

Dalanya

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk (2019)
Thank You all so much for the suggestions. I am considering the bus. I see on their website that there are different prices for different departure times. Should I reserve the ticket now or wait until I get there just in case there is a delay from customs? I am not sure if they will get sold out.

Also, do you know any affordable hostels/albergues near the bus station? If not, are taxis readily available and how much would they cost? Also, I don't speak Spanish. I can only get by with simple phrases I have learned in High School Spanish class. I prob will try to brush up in the next two weeks.

Thanks again.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
@Paul McAmino 's advice is excellent. I have done the same. I don't know how long it will take for you to clear customs, and whether you only have carry-on or must wait for checked luggage.
 

Paul McAmino

Blue Ridge
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon, 2018 Leon-Santiago
Thank You all so much for the suggestions. I am considering the bus. I see on their website that there are different prices for different departure times. Should I reserve the ticket now or wait until I get there just in case there is a delay from customs? I am not sure if they will get sold out.

Also, do you know any affordable hostels/albergues near the bus station? If not, are taxis readily available and how much would they cost? Also, I don't speak Spanish. I can only get by with simple phrases I have learned in High School Spanish class. I prob will try to brush up in the next two weeks.

Thanks again.
Yes there are inexpensive places to stay near the bus station, which is near (200-300 meters) the train station. It’s a short walk into town from there, and if you walk north along the river you will cross the Camino in about 1-1.5 kilometers at the Plaza San Marcos and the San Marcos bridge, at Avenida Qevedo. It’s a very nice walk through the park in the other side of the river from the train station. Cross the bridge and make a left through the park, then walk north.
Also, there are usually lots of taxis around the train station, and all you have to do is give them a piece of paper with the name of your lodging on it, if you’re afraid of mangling the pronunciation—they’ve seen it all. Gracias and por favor go a long way
As for a place to stay, you can find one close to the train/bus station by using Booking.com.
When you step off the bus or train you will be very close to the Camino.

All the best,
Paul
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
As Paul says the bus station and the train station are effectively next door to each other. We have arrived in Leon about 2:30 am and managed to get a taxi for the short ride to the hotel. Leon is my favourite city on the Camino with amazing tapas served in each bar after about 8 pm. I normally treat myself to the Spa Hotel Paris which is right on the Camino in the Calle Ancha. They often have a room rate of about 55 euro a night. In terms of getting the train, there is a flat rate on the taxis from Madrid airport of €30 and the journey to Madrid Charmatin takes about 20 minutes. However you get there, you will have a fabulous time! Buen Camino!
 

Dalanya

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk (2019)
Thank You for your help. Thanks Mark. I booked a hotel about 10-15 minute walk to the bus station over the bridge. Hope I can find the way myself or a taxi. Is noticed online that the bus station has the worst reviews. Since I am coming in late, where can I get the Camino passport? Is there any place open late? Or do I have to wait until the morning? If I have to wait, when would they open to give me the passport? I want to start the walk on the 11th morning.
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
You can get a Camino passport from the main albergue - Albergue Monasterio de Benedictinas (Carbajalas). Just enter the courtyard and join the queue of pilgrims signing up for accommodation. The address is Plaza Santa María de Camino but you maybe better using the GPS coordinates to find it 42.59507, -5.5681. The albergue should be open till about 10pm. However, you may find it easier to order your passport online at www.santiagodecompostela.me/products/official-pilgrim-credencial-pilgrim-passport-from-the-pilgrims-office-in-santiago or www.americanpilgrims.com/camino/credential_req_external.html
 

Dalanya

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk (2019)
Thank You. I booked my bus and reserved an albergue. I will figure out after I get there whether to get my camino passport first before it closes or check in to the hostel.

I have a question for all the dedicated ,seasoned walkers of camino. I am trying to figure out what to bring. I have a sleeping bag that I bought, which I realized might be a bit heavy at 3 some pounds and takes up a bit of space. I don't know what I was thinking when I ordered that. It def. looked smaller online. As it is getting closer for my trip, I am realizing that I need to keep my backpack as light as possible to be more comfortable. I am not used to walking around with a backpack. I am more of a messenger bag girl. Since I am going to be there in April, do I need a sleeping bag? Or can I manage with a silk sleeping bag liner? I plan to sleep with long sleeve comfortable t-shirt, leggings, and socks if needed. Your advise will be very helpful.
 

Dalanya

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk (2019)
I also want to know the reality of securing a municipal albergue vs. private one. I know that the municipal ones are first come first served type and fill up very quick but am confused as to how that happens. Is there a time frame you need to follow to secure those? People wait in line after their walk? Around what time? Also, when I looked online, the private albergues are charging more than 20 euros for a place and it says they are getting booked up early (i searched for later April days and indicates that they will get full soon). So how does that work? I want to keep my cost to below 20 euros a night . Or are there albergues that are not listed on booking.com that offer a place for people that walk in without a reservation? Do you recommend I buy the guide book?
 

Paul McAmino

Blue Ridge
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon, 2018 Leon-Santiago
I’d recommend you look at the booking website, Only Pilgrims (onlypilgrims.com). This site is for private albergues along the Camino.
As I recall, I never had to pay more than a euro or two more than a municipal albergue for a bed in a private albergue while using this service. Jesús runs the site and he is very helpful when he senses an issue that needs to be resolved.
The site itself is not laid out in the most convenient way, but once you get the hang of it it’s worth the time. Some of the private albergues are spectacular.
All the best,
Paul
 

Dalanya

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk (2019)
Thank You Paul. Do they require booking ahead of time or can a walk in work? I am not going to have international phone service, only texting capability. Am sure that Whatsapp calling is not going to work. Should I get a card to call or book online while I am on route?
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
The private albergues are normally €10 a night for a bed and you can just walk up. They generally open up for the season a week or two before Easter so you should be fine with not booking. In April I would suggest a sleeping bag is a good idea. Some albergues now offer Whatsapp calling but they are in a minority.
 

Dalanya

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk (2019)
Thank You Mark. Is there a place in Leon I can buy trekking poles? I am not going to be able to bring them carrying it on the plan so it will be easier to buy there. Hopefully close to the albergue where I have to pick up the passport.

I am curious as to the first leg of the walk from Leon. Someone mentioned that it was a bit boring compared to the other parts. How long do I have to walk to get to the next town and albergue?
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I suggest you a transaction: visit the awesome Leon cathedral early in the morning, then take a bus to Virgen del Camino in Plaza de Santo Domingo.
In Virgen del Camino there is a well stocked sport shop that caters to pilgrims. I guess they will have trekking poles and other convenient stuff.
After Virgen there are two options: along the highway to Villadangos, San Martín del Camino (shorter, boring); and a bit longer local road that goes quietly by little villages (as Villar de Mazarife), with almost no traffic. Do a search in this forum, you will find the info,
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
Thank You Mark. Is there a place in Leon I can buy trekking poles? I am not going to be able to bring them carrying it on the plan so it will be easier to buy there. Hopefully close to the albergue where I have to pick up the passport.

I am curious as to the first leg of the walk from Leon. Someone mentioned that it was a bit boring compared to the other parts. How long do I have to walk to get to the next town and albergue?
There is an outdoor shop called Armeria Castro which has a pilgrim supply branch right on the Camino. There is also a huge department store called El Cortex Ingles which will have them but it is 15 minute walk from the centre of town.
The walk out of town takes about 8 km and some people jump a bus to Virgen del Camino to avoid it At Virgen you have the choice of two routes. The right route is shorter but by the main road. I normally take the left route and stay in Vilar de Mazarife but if you want to reach Astorga in 2 days you may be better taking the right route to San Martin.
 

Dalanya

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk (2019)
Thank You all for your responses. Am very much looking forward to getting there and starting the walk in a few days.

Anyone has experience flying out of Santiago through Iberia airlines? I just booked a flight out of Madrid. There is a flight out of Santiago to Madrid through Iberia and will reach Madrid airport an hour before my flight. I am wondering if they are usually on time, and if there is enough time for me to transfer to the international flight at Madrid? Or should I book a train or bus? Would like to fly as it will be quick and will give me more time to spend in Santiago. Also, do most people walk with one or two trekking pole? Which will be more helpful for a novice walker/hiker? Your advise will be helpful. Thanks
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
I believe both Iberia and Ryanair who have the early morning flights from Santiago to Madrid have a good track record but personally I wouldn'r risk anything less than a two hour turnaround especially not on an international flight.
On poles, I would defintely go for two rather than one, especially for the difficult descent to El Acebo and from El Acebo to Molinaseca. There are plenty of YouTube videos that will help you to use the poles effectively.
Buen Camino.
 

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