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Luggage Transfer Correos

Sending boxes of supplies

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EllenZimmer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2014)
I wondered if anyone had taken advantage of sending supplies to post offices along the camino. One of the pilgrims on this forum supplied a nice list of post office addresses and instructions. My idea is that i must check my hiking poles and therefore have a checked bag... I plan to take an old suitcase that i will dispose of before i begin the camino in SJPdP. I was thinking of preparing 2 or 3 pre wrapped addressed boxes that i will transport in the old suitcase with my poles. Once i land in madrid or later when i arrive in Pamplona i will send these parcels. My thought is to fill them with replacement toiletries and some food items. My questions are these:

1. Can i send liquids and food through the post office?
2. Where is a place i can send them from? Is there a place in the madrid airport? Or in pamplona near the Aloha Hostel?
3. Do post offices keep standard hours Monday thru Fri 9 to 5 or so?

Any information on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!
Ellen
 

bokormen91

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Via Podensis, Baztan, Coastal Portugese, sections on others...
I wondered if anyone had taken advantage of sending supplies to post offices along the camino. One of the pilgrims on this forum supplied a nice list of post office addresses and instructions. My idea is that i must check my hiking poles and therefore have a checked bag... I plan to take an old suitcase that i will dispose of before i begin the camino in SJPdP. I was thinking of preparing 2 or 3 pre wrapped addressed boxes that i will transport in the old suitcase with my poles. Once i land in madrid or later when i arrive in Pamplona i will send these parcels. My thought is to fill them with replacement toiletries and some food items. My questions are these:

1. Can i send liquids and food through the post office?
2. Where is a place i can send them from? Is there a place in the madrid airport? Or in pamplona near the Aloha Hostel?
3. Do post offices keep standard hours Monday thru Fri 9 to 5 or so?

Any information on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!
Ellen

1 yes you can
2 Use the office locator on the Correos/Post Office wbesite
3 It varies - depending on location

Unless you're on a very strict diet due to medical reasons, there's no point in sending food. Plenty available, some sections of the Camino Frances might have less options, but there is food. Supermarkets in larger towns, grocers's in small towns, bars, restaurants etc. Likewise with toiletries - unless you are extremely particular about what brand/type that you use, easier to buy along the way.

Timing your walking to post office opening hours is likely to become a nuisance.

If you do not want to take an extra bag as a carry on; I normally pack my things in exped drybags and/or eagle creeks as I find that makes it easier to find things in the backpack when on the road. They can also be used as an un-stylish, but practical handbag, both for flying and when you're "on the road.
 

EllenZimmer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2014)
Thanks for the info... Unfortunately we have to do a checked bag for poles and swiss army knife and maybe nail clipper... Lol! I was only going to do two or three mailings.. And yes, i have oral allergy syndrome, allergic to almost all raw fruits and vegetables and all tree nuts, coconut etc. too boot i am vegetarian hahaha.. Makes life very tricky. My daughter also has food allergies to wheat and eggs. I just figures a little nut free granola for me and some gluten/egg free snack for her might be nice every 15 days. Nothing of great value will be in packages if we end up there on a sunday and have to leave it behind. I just thought some might have some tips about best use of the parcel mailing along the way. Maybe even something really great to send myself that i didn't think of...
 

Silverton

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2003-2004, 2006-2011, 2013-2016), Portugués from Porto (2012), from Tui (2014), Sanabres (2010), Aragon (2007) Carríon de los Condes to ?? (April 2016)
Dear Ellen,
You've got the basic information, and cautions above. I also sent small boxes ahead on my first two caminos--trail foods, vitamin, reading matter and copies of maps. You can indeed post from Barajas/Madrid (There are Correos/POs in Terminals 1 and 4--see them on the online map of the airport, although the one in Terminal 4 is labelled 'mailbox'). As Bokermen said, you can look on the www.correos.es website 'localizador de oficinas' to get addresses and opening hours of the central POs along your route. You can get handy boxes in various sizes at the Correos, if necessary, and you might prepare address labels beforehand to yourself (SURNAME, FORENAME, PEREGRINA, LISTA DE CORREOS [general delivery], City and Codigo Postal). Keep a copy of the post office addresses so you don't go to the wrong branch office. Give yourself sufficient time (mailing from Madrid as soon as you arrive, rather than waiting til Pamplona, for instance), but do ask how long they will be kept for collection (I can't remember if it is perhaps one month??). Take your national passport for ID when you go to collect, and remember that offices don't usually open til 9am. I missed one parcel in Burgos, I think it was, which hadn't arrived when I did--and I missed out on the middle-chapters of my Maeve Binchy paperback! Otherwise, it was rather fun to greet my own 'Care packages' en route. Post offices in Logrono, Burgos, Leon, Astorga and Sarria are centrally located, and refugio or hostal staff will give you directions. Post office staff are usually very helpful pilgrim customers! Reading this again, I sound horribly bossy and 'prescriptive'. Not intended--I think you've got a good idea, and go for it, if you want.
BTW, Restaurante Sarasate (Calle San Nicolás) is a good (not cheap) vegetarian restaurant in Pamplona. I'm sure you've a list of others from this forum or google--that's the only one that I can give my personal recommendation.
Buen Camino!
 

bokormen91

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Via Podensis, Baztan, Coastal Portugese, sections on others...
I pack my backpack the way I normally would. Then - I pick out the bits I consider "essential" such as documents, 1 set of clean underwear, toothbrush etc - and I move this into 1 of my drypacks/packing squares. These are my essentials, the rest go in the hold... (so things like extra socks, undies etc might travel in the hold without their usual bag, as I am using that as a handbag..._

As far as I am concerned, Spain is an easy country to be vegetarian in, but it can also be difficult if you do not know what to expect. You can ask for a lentil soup, and it might have pork bits floating in it... be it fat or chorizo. It is considered vegetable as main ingredient, hence it is vegetarian (I'd call it mainly vegetable, but then... I have my own impressions of what vegetarian means). Vegetarian seems to be equaled to "vegetable eater", so unless meat is main ingredient - it is vegetarian. Fish/seafood is often not considered meat - therefore it is vegetarian. Hence asking if dietary requirements were for medical reasons or not.

I have often found small tienda's/shops that aim towards the vegetarian/bio/organic segment of the market in Spain (and other European countries). However, they also often aim for local produce. The dried apricots might be displayed in a bag/basket that was used for chestnuts, almonds or walnuts last year. This is not an issue for many but can be fatal if you have allergies

If you have allergies you need to be more careful. Carry an epi-pen ( you should have a back up imo). Wash all utensils and pots before you use them in albergues.

There is no right/wrong. No one knows your dietary requirements better than you - if you think you can live on unprocessed food for a month, Spain really should not be a problem. It has a better supply of fresh/local produce than many other countries, you might have to cook it yourself though.

Buen Camino:)
 

EllenZimmer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2014)
Thanks all for the post office tips and the food tips. USA is probably the hardest country to be vegetarian and organic so imagine Spain will be wonderful by comparison! Of course you hit the nail on the head about the cross contamination and "extra" ingredients...i will have several epi pens and work on my spanish to reduce possible incidents.
 

OTH86

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés five times, Madrid two days, Ingles once.
Dear Ellen,
You've got the basic information, and cautions above. I also sent small boxes ahead on my first two caminos--trail foods, vitamin, reading matter and copies of maps. You can indeed post from Barajas/Madrid (There are Correos/POs in Terminals 1 and 4--see them on the online map of the airport, although the one in Terminal 4 is labelled 'mailbox'). As Bokermen said, you can look on the www.correos.es website 'localizador de oficinas' to get addresses and opening hours of the central POs along your route. You can get handy boxes in various sizes at the Correos, if necessary, and you might prepare address labels beforehand to yourself (SURNAME, FORENAME, PEREGRINA, LISTA DE CORREOS [general delivery], City and Codigo Postal). Keep a copy of the post office addresses so you don't go to the wrong branch office. Give yourself sufficient time (mailing from Madrid as soon as you arrive, rather than waiting til Pamplona, for instance), but do ask how long they will be kept for collection (I can't remember if it is perhaps one month??). Take your national passport for ID when you go to collect, and remember that offices don't usually open til 9am. I missed one parcel in Burgos, I think it was, which hadn't arrived when I did--and I missed out on the middle-chapters of my Maeve Binchy paperback! Otherwise, it was rather fun to greet my own 'Care packages' en route. Post offices in Logrono, Burgos, Leon, Astorga and Sarria are centrally located, and refugio or hostal staff will give you directions. Post office staff are usually very helpful pilgrim customers! Reading this again, I sound horribly bossy and 'prescriptive'. Not intended--I think you've got a good idea, and go for it, if you want.
BTW, Restaurante Sarasate (Calle San Nicolás) is a good (not cheap) vegetarian restaurant in Pamplona. I'm sure you've a list of others from this forum or google--that's the only one that I can give my personal recommendation.
Buen Camino!
Ahh, Silverton, you are neither bossy nor prescriptive! You are SO helpful!!! This is information I've needed, but haven't looked for yet! Thank you for outlining it so well!!
Terry
 

EllenZimmer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2014)
I was going to prepare the boxes, taped up, labeled and ready to go when i arrive in madrid. A previous posted suggested that i purchase the boxes at the post office... Is this the preferred practice in Spain? My boxes would be just brown cardboard with no advertisements on the outside, just the label. Will this be allowed? Will they need to see what is inside the box? Are there various methods of mailing? In the USA we have several... Most notably first and third which dictate price and speed of package arrival.

I would really like to just have them boxed and labeled and ready to mail if that will be allowed. Then there is no fuss and i can quickly do this before catching the bus.

Thanks,
Ellen
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I was going to prepare the boxes, taped up, labeled and ready to go when i arrive in madrid. A previous posted suggested that i purchase the boxes at the post office... Is this the preferred practice in Spain? My boxes would be just brown cardboard with no advertisements on the outside, just the label. Will this be allowed? Will they need to see what is inside the box? Are there various methods of mailing? In the USA we have several... Most notably first and third which dictate price and speed of package arrival.

I would really like to just have them boxed and labeled and ready to mail if that will be allowed. Then there is no fuss and i can quickly do this before catching the bus.

Thanks,
Ellen
Hi, Ellen,

I always send a package up to Santiago when I arrive in Spain -- my hotel is always happy to hold it for me. I didn't know about the post office boxes till recently, so what I have always done is bring a broken down sturdy box, slid into the back of my backpack, with labels ready to go. I typically keep everything un-assembled till I actually get to the correos, and then I just tape it up with tape wrapped around my hiking pole and it's ready to go. The boxes have always been accepted in the Spanish post offices. There are several mailing options, with or without signed receipt, with or without insurance, etc, but I usually just ship it regular mail and it has always arrived just fine.

If timing arrivals into towns with post offices means you may have to wait a day because of weekend, closing time, etc, consider making a reservation in a private place in the cities where you will send the stuff. Even if you have to change the day of arrival, in my experience, hotels and pensions are happy to hold packages for your arrival, and that way you won't have to worry about the post office's hours of operation.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

EllenZimmer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2014)
Laurie, Wow, that is a great idea! I was trying to shoot for a town I hoped to arrive on Wed (therefore 2 days early or late I was still OK)... but this is a better idea. Are hostels pretty good about moving a reservation forward or backward if needed? In other words, are there penalties or is it like in the USA - 24 hours notice for cancellation or rescheduling? I only made reservation up to Orisson so far... was going to just take them as they come (we are 4 traveling together). I guess I could even make a reservation for one and the most penalty I would get is the cost of one person... Only sending 2 boxes. One about 15 days out and the other about 30 days out.

Thanks,
Ellen
 

Silverton

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2003-2004, 2006-2011, 2013-2016), Portugués from Porto (2012), from Tui (2014), Sanabres (2010), Aragon (2007) Carríon de los Condes to ?? (April 2016)
Dear Ellen,
I think Laurie's advice is sound. You could have difficulty with sealed boxes in your flight luggage (even in a checked bag) from the US, although the Spanish post offices wouldn't mind. And as I mentioned before, I'm not sure if the post offices would keep a box as long as 30 days (but you can of course ask them when you arrive in Madrid). As Laurie says, if you plan to stay in hostales/pensiones/hotels (rather than refugios/albergues many of which do not accept reservations), then they might be another answer.
Best of luck.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Laurie, Wow, that is a great idea! I was trying to shoot for a town I hoped to arrive on Wed (therefore 2 days early or late I was still OK)... but this is a better idea. Are hostels pretty good about moving a reservation forward or backward if needed? In other words, are there penalties or is it like in the USA - 24 hours notice for cancellation or rescheduling? I only made reservation up to Orisson so far... was going to just take them as they come (we are 4 traveling together). I guess I could even make a reservation for one and the most penalty I would get is the cost of one person... Only sending 2 boxes. One about 15 days out and the other about 30 days out.

Thanks,
Ellen
Hi, Ellen,
I have only sent boxes on to Santiago, but I have almost always had to change my reservation dates as the day got nearer. There was never a problem and never a charge, and I was always able to do it via email. I think you will find that people will be very accommodating. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Silverton

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2003-2004, 2006-2011, 2013-2016), Portugués from Porto (2012), from Tui (2014), Sanabres (2010), Aragon (2007) Carríon de los Condes to ?? (April 2016)

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