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Mailing your stuff from Spain: word to the wise

DSouthard

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Catalan, (May-July 2012), Via Francigena (Barcelona to Rome - 2015), Via Francigena (Rome to Canterbury - 2016)
Summary: DO NOT mail anything through the Spanish postal service uninsured.

I mailed a small box of things back to the U.S. mid-way through my Camino which I did not need. Then, when I finished the Camino I went to Granada for 7 weeks for R&R. I mailed back my Camino gear that I would not need during my stay in Granada. When I returned home I found that both boxes had been opened and things stolen. I have never, in my 55 years, had a theft problem with U.S. Postal Service, so I don't think the theft occurred in the U.S. (I love Spain, but I have to conclude that the problem originated there.) From the first box someone took a book of beautiful and inspiring Camino photographs taken by a photographer and her friend, both of whom I met at an exhibit of the photographs. Also stolen was a guide for the first third of my Camino from Montserrat in which I had kept a diary of sorts with dates and notes of places I'd seen and experiences I'd had. From the second box someone stole everything and replaced my possessions with books, doubtlessly stolen from someone else. Most were in Hebrew. My gear is replaceable, but I foolishly sent my Compostela and pilgrim credentials; both gone. I wrote a letter of inquiry to Spanish customs, who also contacted the Spanish Post Office. The bottom line - they can't do anything for me. Not even an apology. I believe if I had sent the boxes insured, therefore traceable, I would not be missing my Compostela and pilgrim credentials today.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
Re: Mailing your stuff from Spain: word to the wise from the foo

If you write the Pilgrim Office with your name and compostela date, they will send a replacement. They keep and file all the sign-in sheets, and can verify your completion. Unfortunately, they cannot do anything about your credential. A donation for the tube and postage would be appropriate, but I am not sure they require it.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Re: Mailing your stuff from Spain: word to the wise from the foo

falcon269 said:
If you write the Pilgrim Office with your name and compostela date, they will send a replacement. They keep and file all the sign-in sheets, and can verify your completion. Unfortunately, they cannot do anything about your credential. A donation for the tube and postage would be appropriate, but I am not sure they require it.
A donation is not required. I've PM'd the OP on this.
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
Re: Mailing your stuff from Spain: word to the wise from the foo

How awful to lose so much of your stuff - especially those that contained the memories. We were robbed in France on our way back from Santiago and were gutted to lose our Compostelas (and all our photos!) But someone on a forum suggested that i email the Pilgrim's Office and ask for replacements. I was delighted to receive new Compostelas a few weeks later! They are now framed on the wall in our hallway so every time we walk past we get blasted with memories of our Camino. Give it a try!
 

DSouthard

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Catalan, (May-July 2012), Via Francigena (Barcelona to Rome - 2015), Via Francigena (Rome to Canterbury - 2016)
Re: Mailing your stuff from Spain: word to the wise from the foo

Thanks to those who replied with their sympathies. A person who works in the Pilgrim office, who goes by the handle "JohnnieWalker" responded and I was able to get a copy of the Compostela through him. I am very grateful for that. I have almost completed repurchasing the gear that was lost. I'll need it for my next pilgrimage to Rome. Unfortunately, the credentials are irreplaceable. I keep hoping that some day someone will find it, see my name and home city in it, and track me down via the internet. Miracles still happen. From now on, everything will be sent insured and registered.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Johnnie Walker is indeed a saintly fellow who knows how to get things done!

I have lived in Spain for 7 years and have not had any USA-bound packages and post stolen or tampered-with. I used to subscribe to the New Yorker magazine, and when it started to go missing a trace was put on the posting. The "vanishing act" was performed on the American side of the pond. (I now have it delivered electronically.)

So it´s not just the Spanish postal workers. Sticky fingers are an international plague, I´m afraid.
 

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