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Need GPS Suggestions

tohams

Member
I'd like to take a GPS unit with me to Spain. Looking for suggestions on a good one to buy. Here's some features I'd like it to have:

* Good battery life
* Chargeable by USB (I have a solar-powered USB charger already on my backpack) or uses AA batteries
* Enough memory to store my track from SJPP to Santiago de Compostela (either internally or via SD cards)

I'd rather not break the bank on it, but would like to hear ideas/suggestions.

Thanks!
 

dutchpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, 2005, 2008, 2012
Hi,

I used a Garmin GPSmap 60Cx.
It has a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, color display, microSD card slot, 64 MB microSD card and detailed maps can be bought.

It was of no use, but fun to have, and to keep track on my progression.

Ultreya,
Carli Di Bortolo.
 

mrbillyto

Member
Hi Tohams,
Sorry I can't help with your GPS question but I am very interested in the solar recharging unit you have (brand and model?) and what your successes are with it? I would like the ability to recharge with a USB as well.
Thanks,
Bill
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I have a Suunto X9i GPS watch, which works pretty well, and it doubles as an alarm clock (if there are no early risers to wake me).
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
You don't need one, there are yellow arrows to follow. And people tell you the way! You will just find it a nuisance and worry about it being nicked.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
I was also wondering about this, but for the purpose of geocaching along the way. Anyone know if there are geocaches along the Camino Frances? I have a GPS I use for this purpose and thought doing some geocaching along the way might be fun. For those of you who do not know what geocaching is, check out: http://www.geocaching.com
 

johnBCCanada

Active Member
I would go along with the suggestion of leaving it at home. It will be one more item that you will have to worry about losing, or having stolen, and keeping charged. If you don't have it you will have more time and less distraction for where you are, the people you meet along the way and your own thoughts.

You may not ever get back to the Camino so why not be there without distraction? Instead of geocaching focus maybe on learning about the country you are travelling through and enjoy meeting the Spanish people and the people from so many countries you can meet along the Camino.

and if this doesn't work for you well who knows maybe it will serve as a conversation starter and you will end up meeting people you otherwise wouldn't.

Buen Camino!
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
johnBCCanada said:
I would go along with the suggestion of leaving it at home. It will be one more item that you will have to worry about losing, or having stolen, and keeping charged. If you don't have it you will have more time and less distraction for where you are, the people you meet along the way and your own thoughts.

1)If it gets lost or stolen, oh well, it can be replaced. I am not bringing anything with me that I will have any kind of great attachment to, including any electronic "gadgets".
2)It does not require any charging and the battery life on it is great, so I don't anticipate having to change them too often.
3)I plan to look on the geocaching.com website before I leave and see if there is anything of interest along the route I plan to take. If not, I probably won't bring it.
4)In the short time I have been here, I've noticed on this forum that folks are quick to ASSUME they know other people and their reasons for doing the Camino. For me, this will be the start of a RTW trip, including visits to other pilgrimage sites (Rome, Jerusalem, etc). I am a well traveled person, who does extensive research before going somewhere (which is why I am here on this forum) and usually, something always interesting happens when I do go somewhere and open myself up to whatever the experience is. For some people, electronic devices are a distraction, for me, they are not. I am a Gen Xer who has grown up using technology and am quite comfortable with it. If at some point along the way I decide what I have brought is a distraction, then I will ship it home.
5)I hope I do not come off too harsh here, if I do, I apologize. I just want us to let each person experience the Camino for themselves. I know you all mean well, I just would never tell someone how their Camino should or should not be. I get that sense sometimes here on this forum. We all ask questions so we can get good advice and I have read some great stuff here, especially with regards to footwear and backpacks. :)

I look forward to reading more as my preparations continue.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português da Costa (Fall 2018)
Thanks renegade pilgrim :)

I am not currently a GPS user, but my early-to-mid 20s bairns both use theirs all the time - for both geocaching and travel in general. I've seen them in action on a cross-provinc trip during which we were forced onto a long detour, at the end of which the GPS got us back on-track quickly and easily,

After reading a couple of books by people who were at times walking on their own and found themselves off on a tangent, having missed a way-marker due to the poor visibility of the marker, or heavy weather, the idea of having a hand-held GPS with the Camino Frances on it seemed quite logical. If it is not needed it takes up little space and is light; if you find yourself off-route, it would be helpful to get back on again with the least amount of difficulty.
 

max44

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
13th April 2013 leaving. SJPDP via Rome
This is an old thread. I was looking on youtube, and saw that so many people have gotten lost.
Yes there are markers, however, I saw one guy who even recorded his last will and testament on his phone last year.
Geo caching is fun as well. I have only tried this twice, but it was fun.

I ormally take a GPS everywhere in the world. At times, it has made me change busses, when i see i am going in the wrong direction.

This camino, my kids have asked me to upload my gps trek to my google earth web site, so they can follow along from time to time.

As for stolen, I am more worried about my boots and pack being stolen. I have seen a few comments on here about stolen boots outside overnight.

I am only staying in a few albergues on this trip, staying at other places along the way. I am not in a MAD rush each day to find a room in a 32 day race.

I guess the ultimate answer to the OP would be, if you get some pleasure out of it, why not take it.
I take mine all over the world. Mine has saved me much grief over the years.

I went through the Himalayas, and love the fact I can look back on my trip years down the track.
Just make sure you can get the Russian, European satellites as well as the US ones.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
An update on GPS vs GPS phone app:

I did a 20 km backcountry ski this week with my Garmin Dakota and iPhone with the motionX app.

I had a GPS track from a couple of years ago which I loaded in both, and we needed it in places where the snow covered all the markers and the old ski tracks were drifted over without a trace.

Both worked perfectly, and kept us on track with accuracy of a few meters. The Dakota was easier to use in direct sun with gloves on. It is waterproof too. At the end (4 hours) the phone was down to 17% battery life, the Dakota still had 75% (chargable AA enelope batteries).

The phone makes it easy to email a google earth track to friends and family at the end of a day. The either one can store your route.

For any route with trail marking issues (this covers many Caminos, especially in towns) I'd really like a full time track on a Garmin, just a glance tells you where to go. For the Frances, a phone app for the occasional check would be fine, but you would need extra power to record your trip full time.

Neither would be a distraction compared to fussing with maps, getting lost, backtracking, and having "discussions" with your partners as to where the route is.
 
N

NoQ

Guest
I would recommend a Dakota 10 or 20. They are cheap, accurate, have good displays and most importantly, they are very sturdy and strong and can be dropped without breaking. They come with a lanyard and are comfortable hanging round the neck as they are light. Easy to download the complete map of Spain in advance on osm.nl and easy to download camino waypoints.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
Are you taking a phone? If so then the argument is a standalone GPS AND a phone versus just a phone.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Just curious why a person would want the extra weight of a GPS on the Camino? It's not like you can get lost?
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Well, all the reasons above. They are light. They record a great diary, right down to what table you sat at in every outdoor cafe, which you can send to family and friends and refer to later. They tell you how far you have gone at any time----how far to the next stop. They tell you where to find a motel, ATM, tourist office. They give you elevation profiles.

And if you do a route other than the Frances, they are really valuble in following the route. Even on the Frances, the route splits, or can be hard to find in busy towns like Burgos.
 

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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Anniesantiago said:
Just curious why a person would want the extra weight of a GPS on the Camino? It's not like you can get lost?
Annie, you are just so wrong! Maybe you didn't get lost, but that does not mean the experience is universal. If I don't count the difficulty I had in Pamplona, Leon and Ponferrada, there were three other places where I lost, and I can tell you I was not the only one who had difficulty. While I can make an art form of getting lost, I found others who had met similar problems in two of the places where I had had difficulty.

I see others like you who claim it is not possible to get lost, especially on the Camino Frances. The general observation is this is because it is so well marked. Well its not. For a start, there are few 'wrong way' markers if one wanders off the agreed path. If your concentration falters at some critical juncture, there is the risk one is well off track before that is clear, and one then faces back-tracking some distance.

My second observation is that there were critical junctions which were completely unmarked, and I can only think there was an assumption that one would not choose one of the alternatives. I found this in a couple of places where a GR route diverged from the Camino path. Perhaps I just didn't search hard enough for the Camino arrow!

The other issue was the practice by some albergues that were off the marked route to use the Camino arrow to direct pilgrims to their establishment. Where the arrows were clearly marked with an 'A' or similar indication that this was the way to an albergue, that wasn't a problem, but it wasn't obvious to me all the time.

Did carrying a GPS help? Not always. It didn't work well in the cities and major towns where taller buildings and narrow streets obstruct the signal. What it did was let me know on all three time I was lost that I had deviated from the track that I had loaded. On one of those, there were other signs that I was going the wrong way relatively quickly, and I had only walked a few hundred metres before turning back and rejoining the marked path. On one other, it took me some time to find the markings, and I probably did more than an extra hour to get back on track. On the third I was able to see that there was an alternative route that I could take, and still reach my intended destination.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
In France, and surely in the Czech and German areas, the route is not as frequently marked as the Frances in Spain. And the lodging is seldom, if ever, directly on the route. It has come to be that the hour of the day I hate the most is the 30 minutes spent getting from the town limits to the night's lodging, and then the next morning finding the !@#$ route again.

Also, I will cheerfully note that walking the wrong direction, either from the lodgings, or at a junction, or missing a junction ... is (ahem) entirely possible. I've run out of fingers to count the episodes actually.

These days, when a GPS app on one's iPhone suffices, it's not even necessary to carry additional weight.
 

jude588

New Member
I am traveling solo with a genetic defect in sense of direction .
after reading these posts, I've decided to purchase a garmin Dakota 20. do I need to purchase additional maps or software? how do I find the correct maps for northern route?
 

ffp13

Addicted pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Caminos: 2009 SJPP, 2011 Roncessvalle , 2012 Pamploma, 2013 Roncessvalle, 2013 Porto, 2014 Burgos, 2014 Porto

Future: Roncessvalle
A GPS will provide directions to a preset destination, and it will show you a map, but it won't identify the correct route to stay on the camino.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
In theory you can always input a whole bunch of waypoints along the correct route. But this requires knowing the route or somebody having created the waypoints.

Isn't there a Garmin waypoint file already? Or is it not accurate?

Jude does your Dakota have European maps?
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
I'm on the Francigena, but if you do a search for my thread " how to view the Camino in Google Earth earth and scroll down to the end you will find a file and instructions to put the whole route into an iphone or gps,and a continuous track which will indeed keep you within 100 meters of the route the entire way
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
ffp13 said:
A GPS will provide directions to a preset destination, and it will show you a map, but it won't identify the correct route to stay on the camino.

Few people use waypoints anymore. A continuous track can be loaded with remarkable detail without straining the memory of any modern device or app......see post above, or my earlier comment on ski trails.

For the record, on our current trip part of our route in the UK did not get into the Garmin, but the back up in the phone with the motion x app worked fine. If you don't record a track the battery like of an iphone is fine and it finds your position in about two seconds. Biking I love the handlebar mounted Garmin, but for a hike I could see just using a phone.
 
N

NoQ

Guest
jude588 said:
I am traveling solo with a genetic defect in sense of direction .
after reading these posts, I've decided to purchase a garmin Dakota 20. do I need to purchase additional maps or software? how do I find the correct maps for northern route?


The Dakota 20 is a great machine. I have had one for a couple of years after breaking my Oregon and I've been very happy with it.

No need to purchase additional maps, but you do need to download them from http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/

It's straightforward enough - just choose the tiles you want (not too many though, as the download will take ages) - northern spain is a reasonable size. Put inyour email address and wait in the queue. Then save the overlay file (you don't need the others) to your computer. Then make sure you have installed easygps software http://www.easygps.com/ and use that to transfer it to your Dakota 20.

For waypoints, I used those that were in the file from the Camino Planner.
 

robhay60

Member
Hmm GPS on the Camino? To be honest it never entered my mind last year. I had a paper map and it worked out ok.. Personally i found arrows and other markers quite plentiful over the 800km that i journeyed.. For me it was all part of it to follow the signs, and after a week or so you become so attuned at spotting them...Your sixth sense really kicks in.Over the month i walked with many other Pilgrims, and not once did i meet any who were using GPS. I was on both the Camino Francis and The Camino Primitivo...But hey each to there own, and however you decide it will be "The Camino" that will guide you in its own magical, wonderful and mysterious "Way" Buen Camino :arrow: :arrow:
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
A GPs will not only keep you on the trail, it will record your entire trip.......see the photo in my post above. That is from our trip on the Arles route. They are also great additions to a slide show.

I use my old tracks all the time to see where we stayed, where we ate. The detail is such that if for some reason I wanted to know, I can go back and see where I went off to visit a bush.
 

max44

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
13th April 2013 leaving. SJPDP via Rome
I am on the camino at the moment. With so many fake yellower lees, missing markers and snow earlier in the piece. Not toention finding non standard places to stay and having a record of my trip.
I am so glad I have it with me.
I had a large group follow me through the snow as no one could see any markers, we were the first group over the top.
I also used it to make choices where the path has been changed in order to drive you past a new coffee shop etc. paint a yellow arrow and the sheep will follow.
Due to the help I got from this thread, I am having a much better camino.
 

max44

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
13th April 2013 leaving. SJPDP via Rome
jude588 said:
I am traveling solo with a genetic defect in sense of direction .
after reading these posts, I've decided to purchase a garmin Dakota 20. do I need to purchase additional maps or software? how do I find the correct maps for northern route?

You can load the camino yellow line, from a link on this thread. I look at mine all the time and it shows me where I and makes sure I on the cino path. I started at SJPDP and have been taking side treks for over a month now. I have found a few lost pilgrims and several touristinos(no backpacks) the yellow markers are washed away, faded , vandalised or covered with silly rocks.
At first I wasn't sure about taking the gps, now I am so glad I did. We nicknamed ours the oracle, as when we get to a T junction we now know which way to go
 

jessica.vthhiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Camino Francis
2015 Camino del Norte and San Salvadore
I'm considering buying a SpotGen3 for my trip in September. I'm not planning on using it for anything other than my family's piece of mind that I am progressing along. They are excited to think they can wake up and see where I am that day. Has anyone used this model before?
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
I haven't used a Spot. I just text (iMessage) or email family from the Camino. It's cheaper and lighter. SIM cards are cheap in Spain. So is the unlimited data plans. I understand the allure of the Spot but for the Camino it's overkill.
 

jessica.vthhiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Camino Francis
2015 Camino del Norte and San Salvadore
Thanks for your thoughts. You are right about not needing the GPS. Can you explain how the Spanish Sim card works for an Iphone? My carrier (Verizon) wasn't much help when I asked them. In the past when traveling to Europe I just put an extra "global data" package on my monthly bill. I usually went way over my allowed data. Thanks!
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
First you need an unlocked phone. Google this if you are not sure what it means.

With an unlocked phone you buy a Spanish SIM card from a phone shop when you get to Spain
This allows inexpensive phone calls in Spain and back to your home country.
Texts between Spain and U.S./Canada are usually very cheap.

The price of the SIM and the rate varies with the Spanish supplier so some research should be done

There are some very good threads here on the forum with pretty complete information.
Take the time to search for them and look through the information.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
First you need an unlocked phone. Google this if you are not sure what it means.

With an unlocked phone you buy a Spanish SIM card from a phone shop when you get to Spain
This allows inexpensive phone calls in Spain and back to your home country.
Texts between Spain and U.S./Canada are usually very cheap.

The price of the SIM and the rate varies with the Spanish supplier so some research should be done

There are some very good threads here on the forum with pretty complete information.
Take the time to search for them and look through the information.

Grayland, one thing I've always wondered is whether there is an advantage in getting an unlocked phone other than just using the cheap cell phone I bought years ago in Madrid and for which I buy a new card replacement every year.

And though I am no phone expert, I did notice last year that the rate per minute on my pre-paid card had gone down a lot from the year before. Not sure why, but it was definitely much cheaper. Thanks, Laurie
 
W

whariwharangi

Guest
I'm considering buying a SpotGen3 for my trip in September. I'm not planning on using it for anything other than my family's piece of mind that I am progressing along. They are excited to think they can wake up and see where I am that day. Has anyone used this model before?

There are lots of stories from sea kayakers using SPOT. The problem arises when the user 'sends' a message that is not recieved by the satellite and so doesn't reach the intended recipient. The intended recipient then triggers an alarm to the authorities. Searches are initiated only to find the kayaker fine and wondering what the fuss is about, particularly as they had 'sent' the 'all okay' message. Some authorities have taken to refusing to initiate a search triggered on basis of an unrecieved message.

SPOT is useless dead weight on the camino. A cellphone that you can text with would have much greater utility and be much cheaper to operate.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
Grayland, one thing I've always wondered is whether there is an advantage in getting an unlocked phone other than just using the cheap cell phone

Your cheap phone is almost certainly an unlocked phone.

All unlocked means is it's not locked to a carrier. In other words you can change the SIM on a whim.
 
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jessica.vthhiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Camino Francis
2015 Camino del Norte and San Salvadore
Grayland, Thank you. I did find out that my iphone 5 is unlocked. My carrier did confirm that the spanish sim cards would work. I would have a different phone number that I would have to send to my family once I am in Spain. The "planner" in me wants to know things will go smoothly with the phone (because we know this isn't the case with things out of our control). Verizon has a $25 for 100 mg plan and .99 cent calling home plan. If I use WIFI as much as possible, this might get me thru. Thanks for all of your advise.
Whariwharangi, agree about the spot! Thanks for the insight :)
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
Verizon's international data plan is a complete rip off. FYI.
 

rector

ONE HALF
Camino(s) past & future
SJ-Sdc MAY (2011)
SJ-Sdc MAY (2014)
Sar-Sdc Oct (2015)
Pon-Sdc Ju (2016)
SJ-Log (2018)
Maybe I,m a ludite and Iunderstand that everyone walks their own camino and I appreciate that some people love technology I don't know a geo catch from an iron latch, but I do know that three years ago my wife and I got of theplane and started walking and we booked nothing and upon reflection knew practically nothing about what we were doing and after a wonderful almost magic journey we ended up in Santiago and I truly believe you can plan the enjoyment and magic out of this and I believe that you just do it. We are stepping off the plane on the 12th of May and we will once again just do it
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
Good for you. Walk your own walk. I know for a fact if I had not had my phone on my last walk I would have been screwed. If you read my blog post I shared you would know why.

I also know you only get one first Camino. I'll be interested to hear how it goes a second time around. I know my two walks were very different for various reasons.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Grayland, one thing I've always wondered is whether there is an advantage in getting an unlocked phone other than just using the cheap cell phone I bought years ago in Madrid and for which I buy a new card replacement every year.

And though I am no phone expert, I did notice last year that the rate per minute on my pre-paid card had gone down a lot from the year before. Not sure why, but it was definitely much cheaper. Thanks, Laurie

As NicoZ posted your "cheap" cell phone is actually unlocked. There is no advantage unless your normal phone is more familiar to use. Texting, music, etc might be features in your normal phone (if unlocked) that may be more convenient. Otherwise there would be no advantage.
Phone calls would be the same with either phone.
 
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grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Grayland, Thank you. I did find out that my iphone 5 is unlocked. My carrier did confirm that the spanish sim cards would work. I would have a different phone number that I would have to send to my family once I am in Spain. The "planner" in me wants to know things will go smoothly with the phone (because we know this isn't the case with things out of our control). Verizon has a $25 for 100 mg plan and .99 cent calling home plan. If I use WIFI as much as possible, this might get me thru. Thanks for all of your advise.
Whariwharangi, agree about the spot! Thanks for the insight :)

Many Spanish SIM cards offer calls to the US/Canada for 10 cents a minute or less.
.99 cents a minute is really expensive and will add up to a big bill when you get home.
This is the reason most of us opt to use prepaid SIMs from the country we are walking in.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Grayland, Thank you. I did find out that my iphone 5 is unlocked. My carrier did confirm that the spanish sim cards would work. I would have a different phone number that I would have to send to my family once I am in Spain. The "planner" in me wants to know things will go smoothly with the phone (because we know this isn't the case with things out of our control). Verizon has a $25 for 100 mg plan and .99 cent calling home plan. If I use WIFI as much as possible, this might get me thru. Thanks for all of your advise.
Whariwharangi, agree about the spot! Thanks for the insight :)

Verizon is a rip off for overseas use, especially data, and you also pay for incoming calls as well, unlike Spanish carriers, incoming calls are free. Tuenti Movil has SIM cards with 1GB of data for a month plus 75 local minutes starting at €10.75, you can use your iPhone 5 like you would at home and not have to be bound by wifi, I didn't have to ask for the password every time I got to the bar/cafe for my morning coffee stop and at the albergue as well.
 

newfydog

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Verizon's international data plan is a complete rip off. FYI.

I just used it in Russia without a problem. I'm glad i had it because I didn't see any way to get local service fast. Same last year in France. I used the $25 100 mb when I had no wi fi, and never stood in line at one of those phone stores. If you want a no hassle option it is great.....phone works the second you get off the plane. If you want to watch you tubes, or are in a country where local service is cheap and convenient, get it
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
Point is, using a SIM card in country is not a hassle and it's cheaper than Verizon's measly 100mb of data. I use Skype to talk to family. It's free and used very little of my data. I did keep track. iMessages don't count against your text message allotment either. I never stood in line anywhere. You can add credit in tobacco shops. Super easy. There are lots of ways to skin a cat. Whatever works for you is going to be the best for you. I'll just never understand why people consider Verizon's plan a "deal". It's not. It's easy for non-techie people. I guess that's the appeal. I'd rather use my money on more cafe con leches instead. ;)
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
Stuff like that are for people that can't change their phone number. A work phone for example. Obviously for short trips even the high price charged can be a better total price. $25 is about €18. Between buying the SIM and any other costs for the data itself you aren't saving a huge amount of money.
 

renegadepilgrim

Veteran Pilgrim and Traveler
Camino(s) past & future
2010: Camino Frances, 2011: Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Hospitalera), 2012: Camino Portuguese from Porto, 2015: Camino Norte
True NicoZ but for $25 on a SIM card in Spain you get at least 1GB of data. If you want overpay for services, go for it. I think everyone should hear both sides and make their own decision based on their needs.

Since the forum is so incredibly slow, I'll probably not respond much more to what's been said. Takes forever to load on the fastest internet at work.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Stuff like that are for people that can't change their phone number. A work phone for example. Obviously for short trips even the high price charged can be a better total price.

If your work is paying your phone bill, then I wouldn't bother to swap out SIM cards, but for those who pay their own phone bill, it's money well spent.
I traveled to the Philippines last month and bought a local SIM card with data, it sure came in handy when our hired driver got us lost in Manila and I had to use Google Maps with my iPhone to get us back on track. Imagine what it would have cost if you used AT&T instead of a local SIM, it sure would have been more than the cost of a local SIM.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
If your work is paying your phone bill, then I wouldn't bother to swap out SIM cards, but for those who pay their own phone bill, it's money well spent.
I traveled to the Philippines last month and bought a local SIM card with data, it sure came in handy when our hired driver got us lost in Manila and I had to use Google Maps with my iPhone to get us back on track. Imagine what it would have cost if you used AT&T instead of a local SIM, it sure would have been more than the cost of a local SIM.

It's not about who pays but the need to be contacted on a certain number.

Google maps lets you download the maps in advance (normally. Some times Google updates the program and breaks this feature). If you download the maps in advance (home,wifi whatever) then all you'll use data for is turn by turn directions. This isn't a huge amount of data.

Obviously if you need a lot of data it's cheaper to buy a new SIM. The problem is it's rarely that simple. In a few months I'll be in Barcelona. My Italian provider will charge me €3 a day for roaming. A week in Spain isn't going to be much more expensive then buying a local SIM and a month of service.
 

jessica.vthhiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Camino Francis
2015 Camino del Norte and San Salvadore
What a great amount of info! What is the first place on the Camino starting at SJPDP that a spanish SIM card can be purchased? I will consider it for sure. How has everyone found WIFI accessibility to be? I hear rumbles of passwords needed?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
What a great amount of info! What is the first place on the Camino starting at SJPDP that a spanish SIM card can be purchased? I will consider it for sure. How has everyone found WIFI accessibility to be? I hear rumbles of passwords needed?

Jessica,

Spanish SIM can be purchased in Pamplona. WIFI widely available in bars, restos etc. Just ask the barman or waiter, etc for the password ie contasena.

Margaret Meredith
 
Last edited:

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
What a great amount of info! What is the first place on the Camino starting at SJPDP that a spanish SIM card can be purchased? I will consider it for sure. How has everyone found WIFI accessibility to be? I hear rumbles of passwords needed?

I agree, wait till you get to Pamplona and buy a SIM from the Phone House or El Corte Ingles, both stores have all brands of carriers to choose from and are cheaper than trying to purchase them before flying over, and if there are any issues, you can sort them out on the spot.
Tuenti Movil is the prepaid division of Movistar and has great deals for SIM cards with data.

Wifi is not open without passwords like most retail stores, libraries, etc. in the US, Albergues and bar/cafes usually have wifi with a password, you're obligated to buy a drink or food when requesting the password.
The speeds of wifi in Spain are not very fast, compared to what you are used to in the US, you can still get on wifi at the albergue at the end of the day so you don't use up all your data allowance.
With your iPhone set up with a Spanish SIM with data, you can go online most anywhere on the camino and not have to wait to get to a place with wifi.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
It's not about who pays but the need to be contacted on a certain number.

Google maps lets you download the maps in advance (normally. Some times Google updates the program and breaks this feature). If you download the maps in advance (home,wifi whatever) then all you'll use data for is turn by turn directions. This isn't a huge amount of data.

Obviously if you need a lot of data it's cheaper to buy a new SIM. The problem is it's rarely that simple. In a few months I'll be in Barcelona. My Italian provider will charge me €3 a day for roaming. A week in Spain isn't going to be much more expensive then buying a local SIM and a month of service.

NicoZ, €3 for roaming in Spain is really inexpensive, if an AT&T user were to roam outside the US, it would be $15 per MB or more depending where you travel, I can fully understand you not needing to swap out SIM cards.
 

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