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Phones and all things about phones

#1
Some of us still have to be connected with home(or office) while on the Camino and mobile phone comes in handy(even charger is now very light weight).
I brought my own very basic Nokia from Thailand and bought the local sim card from Vodafone in Madrid (Euro 24.00 with about an hour of local call airtime). I then went round to small Turkish or Chinese shops keeping my eyes peeled for the signs of small, colourful phone cards advertised for international calls. These cards are mostly catered for immigrant communities whose members need to get connected via cheap phone calls. Most cards cost Euro 5.00 and the airtime you get for this tiny sum of money is incredible. I can call Bangkok (mobile to mobile) for about 700 minutes! For the same card, it gives me only 50 minutes if I call local numbers in Spain.
Apart from getting connected with family, we find mobile phone necessary when on the road and need to book accom ahead. Most public phones in Europe accept only phone card and if you are out and about in the back country, tough luck if you don't have your own phone.
 

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A

Anonymous

Guest
#2
Am still, even after all we've talked about and what I've said about the importance of a cell phone in the Caminos, debating whether to take one or not... Best, xm 8)
 

WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#3
I took my friend´s phone & told her I only needed a 10 pound top-up, & ended up emailing an SOS for another. :oops: Things happen, you meet people, you want to stay connected to them on the Camino. And you never know when you´re going to need it for an emergency, like the Italians on the Route Napoleon last month.

dg
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#4
I know, dg, I know I know I know...everyone I know agrees with u, not one exception...still... Buen Camino peregrina-u had the con leche con churros yet? Best, xm 8)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#5
I can't think of many things worse than using a mobile phone on the Camino. Not knowing where other pilgrims are and leaving it to fate as to whether you meet again and so on is surely the best way to go?

Rather than this immature desire for instant gratification (which is what it is).

I got so close sometimes to wanting to stuff a custard pie in the face of a mobile phone user "Aww, I missed you at that coffee place, weren't the cakes stale, are you stopping at the great church tomorrow blah blah blah".
"Yes honey, I'm in Pamplona right now - yeah, right now, and it is really fantastic, yeah, really spiritual to be alone with my thoughts for once in my life, yeah, hey!, let me tell you what I thought today, being alone with my thoughts...."
and so on and so on .........ghastly.

On the other hand, I took a mobile with me. Before I went I sent texts to everyone saying no calls and to text only in an emergency (mainly because of family). I then - in a quiet place AWAY from other pilgrims, switched it on for two minutes on alternate evenings to check if there were any emergency texts. I never phoned out - so I didn't need a charger as the battery was still almost full when I got to Santiago. And it would have been a good thing to have if I'd fallen off the Camino and broken my leg.

"and yes, honey, it was so quiet and peaceful up there, so ... what? You can't hear me? I'll shout. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? - i SAID IT WAS SO QUIET AND PEACEFUL UP THERE .....

please ........
 

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#6
Yes Br David!

I'm glad I took my phone - I had a number of family health concerns and as the nurse in the family didn't want to disconnect completely - but agreed when I would switch on to pick up messages. I took a spare battery, but only needed one.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to stay connected to their everyday life while on the Camino - or for that matter, to take an iPod.

But I was boarded on the wrong plane on my return (my bag went on without me), and Ryanair got me home on Eurostar, so I did finally have the chance to ring home and say "I'm on the train"!
 
#7
I fully agree with Br David; I didn't bring a mobile with me when I walked the Camino Frances, and being a Project Manager who in "normal" life can not function without it, it was the best thing to do! Just switch off, unplug... And there are plenty of pay-phones along the way. But then this is only my personal recommendation, each one has his own views.
Actually, this year when I did the Camino Ingles, I brought one with me, and different from the CF you really need it, i.e. the albergues are allways closed and you have to call someone to open it, and after a whole day walking through the rain it's one of the last things you want to do to look for a public phone just to get into the albergue.
Rolf
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#8
Well there you go, the both of you - the phone as a tool, which is what it is, and ourselves uncaged and flying free - life is good.
 

Whalleyranger

Moderator
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Jul-Aug 05, Frances, Jul-Aug 06, Portugues, Oct 2010
#9
I agree - it's nice to know that you have the back-up of an emergency mobile when in the middle of the meseta, but the selfish part of me wants to walk my Camino without being disturbed by home.
Everyone who mattered knew that I would have my phone switched on between 6 and 6.30 every evening, and that if they needed me they could have phoned me then. Aside from my sister texting to remind me about her engagement party (how could I forget), I hardly heard a thing. I can't say I missed them.
In three weeks I didn't charge my phone once.
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
#10
The phone to my is a very important equipment.

1. I took all my pictures from the camera on the phone.
2. Switch it on to silence during the day if one is not to be disturb. You choose the time when and whether to call or sms back.
3. With the headset, it provided me alarm and inspirational music without disturbing the others.
4. Finally as a tool for emergency.

Even if your requirement is only 1 out of the 4, it is still an important tool to bring along.

http://camino.wificat.com
 

vjpulver

Crazy Chicken Lady with the Camino on my Mind!
Camino(s) past & future
Apr-Jun 2009 - I solo walked from Roncesvalles to Santiago. I hope to return as a hospitalera in 2016.
#11
I decided to just cut the cord for the duration of my adventure...I was travelling light and decided to just NOT deal with technology - I took no watch or phone...I did talke a bettery operated camera...but no other technology. Just took notes with a pen and tried to stay in the moment.

It really is an option. Itis hard, but well worth it. Just let go. Just take a risk. Just do it. It is NOT forever.

"Ginn"
In Sunny Santa Fe
Solitary, Tech-less Peregrino April 2009-May 2009
 
#12
It strikes me as a personal thing - whether people decide they need their phones or not, for their own particular reasons - and there's lots of room for that. I'm just about to do my first Camino and haven't seen this personally but do cringe at the thought of people walking around yelling into their cell phones. I hope the majority of people are more sensitive and discreet about how they use their mobiles.
Ann
 
#13
As I am doing the Le Puy route in France, I am bringing a cell phone with me from the States to use exclusively for calling ahead and confirming my reservations, and as an emergency backup. it's a T-Mobile, it's been unlocked, and I've been assured by the powers that be at T-Mobile that my phone will work in Europe if I swap out the SIM card and buy one in France, and later in Spain.

My question is this: will the charger work in Europe or do I need an adapter. If so, what type? Can I get one in Paris or is it best to get one in the States?

A side note on cell phones. On my first Camino in 2004, I walked the CF first to Santiago, then on to Finisterre. After four difficult days, I finally made it out to the point the Romans thought was the end of the earth where I sat lost in reverie watching the spectacular sunset over the Atlantic. Suddenly I was startled by a loud voice booming out in Spanish over a cell phone, "You'll never guess where I am right now!" ....Needless to say, the moment was shattered. Don't get me wrong, he was really sweet guy with whom I had chatted quite a bit along the way. It just underscored for me how different people's views towards the primacy of 'staying connected' versus the need for respectful silence can be.

I plan to use my cell phone very minimally, and out of earshot of other pilgrims.
 
A

AJ

Guest
#14
To take a phone or not to take a phone?

Couldn't be easier: if I don't take a phone, my wife will kill me. If my wife kills me, no more Caminos. I'll take a phone.
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
#15
AJ, it's good to know someone with the same situation with the wife.

And I have to build up lots of brownie points each time to be able to go for my camino(s). :D
 
#16
Hi Lindissima,
You will definitely need an adapter because the plugs are different. You shouldn't need a converter (more expensive) because most North America plugs have a converter built in (120-240) . I took my iphone (used it in my own company only to book ahead and emergencies) last year and it worked fine with an adapter. They are dirt cheap (couple of bucks) at least here in Canada) at a Travel/Adventure supply store. The trick is to remember to take it with you when you are done re-charging. I left a few behind and it was a pain to try and find a new one. I will have a spare on my next Camino this fall!
Personally, I think it's wonderful that some folks can cut themselves off from the outside world for 30ish days but the reality is, the only way some of us can go and take this amazing journey is to carry a cell phone...that's just our reality! The trick is to balance it so as not force my reality on someone else's Camino! I hope I was successful last year in doing so.
Bill
 

KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
#17
This reminds me of one day when I was being given a dressing down by a very devout Frenchman about my use of the internet while walking the Camino. He was being very dogmatic about how I really should be giving such things up. I was stuck with him, behind my friends , and I couldn't walk fast enough to catch them up. :? I tried to explain to him that my family and friends back home in New Zealand worried if they never heard from me. Suddenly I was rescued: a noise announced the fact that he was carrying a cell phone. He sheepishly explained that he needed it to keep in touch with his family. :D
Margaret
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
#18
Suddenly I was rescued: a noise announced the fact that he was carrying a cell phone. He sheepishly explained that he needed it to keep in touch with his family. :D
Margaret[/quote]


Tell me THAT wasn't the highlight of your day!!! Love it!
 
#19
Kiora Margaret,
being given a dressing down by a very devout Frenchman about my use of the internet while walking the Camino
I second nandi61 comments, my next camino will be with a smartphone with a better replaceable battery life and picture quality of the present iphone, I hear that Apple is seriously looking into this upgrade.

The most vociferous antiphone forum writer wrote:

I can't think of many things worse than using a mobile phone on the Camino. Not knowing where other pilgrims are and leaving it to fate as to whether you meet again and so on is surely the best way to go?

Rather than this immature desire for instant gratification (which is what it is).

I got so close sometimes to wanting to stuff a custard pie in the face of a mobile phone user
has sacked himself from this forum, but his comments are etched forever in the forum, we can now answer the nitty gritty of phones on the Camino without being flamed.
 

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