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The Free Box

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 wanted to mention for Camino newbies.... do you know that at most of the larger alburgues there is a FREE BOX?

It is a box of items left or forgotten by former pilgrims. You can lookthrough it and take what you need. So for example, I have lost some weight and my pants are too large. I am looking for a pair of pants that fits. Also, I picked up a nice fleece jacket when I REALLY needed it.

And one can leave those too large pants in the Free Box and save some weight. Mod Edit.

If you don´t see the free box displayed, you can simply ASK the hospitalera if they have one or if they have items which have been left.
 

skilsaw

Veteran Member
The Free Box in an albergue is a good place for low budget shopping.
It also accepts donations! If you are carrying too much weight, and you have some extras that are not worth mailing ahead, just leave them in an albergue. They'll make it to the Free Box and somebody else will pick them up....

A pair of boots or shoes that give you blisters may be just the right size for someone coming behind you.

Also, think of the "Camino miracles and angels" If you see a pilgrim leave something behind, think of carrying it up the road to your next albergue. You may connect with the pilgrim and be able to return their stuff. If you don't see them, leave the item in the Free Box.

David, Victoria, Canada.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
The 'free stuff' also applies to food stuff left in albergue kitchens. Left over rice, lentils, pasta, cooking oils, spices, vegetables etc is free to use by pilgrims. The kitchen at Finisterre is a veritable grocery shop!
 
sillydoll said:
The 'free stuff' also applies to food stuff left in albergue kitchens. Left over rice, lentils, pasta, cooking oils, spices, vegetables etc is free to use by pilgrims. The kitchen at Finisterre is a veritable grocery shop!

Ooh, I'll try and remember to check the box before I go food shopping... As a vegetarian I'm going to try cooking my own meals in the evenings. I enjoy cooking anyway. Always good when you can stop something going to waste! Though I doubt that ever happens. :D
 

vinotinto

Active Member
skilsaw said:
The Free Box in an albergue is a good place for low budget shopping.

Well, I certainly left a bunch of stuff in the Freebie Piles that I shouldn't have brought in the first place. But I did find one thing in the take-away box from the excellent albergue in Rabanal that I use to this day - a lime green plastic soap-bar container. Much better & less messier for holding a bar of soap than a plastic bag. Sometimes it's the little things that make all of the difference... :wink:

VT
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
When Clyde's backpack went missing on his flight to Spain last year the hospitalero at the Jesus y Maria albergue in Pamplona refused to take him in because he didn't have a backpack. No backpack - no peregrino. Clyde argued for a while and then gave up and walked down to the Paderbonn albergue where they took him in and offered to let him take what he needed from the 'free box'. He bought a cheap backpack from a Chinese shop and at subsequent albergues he was able to re-kit himself out. One pilgrim even gave a him a beautiful jacket. Clyde completed his camino but the backpack has never been found.
Moral of the story?
1. Always take your backpack into the cabin with you.
2. The camino provides you with everything you need.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
Another nice thing that´s done in some Federation albergues: At the end of the year, when many places close for the season, things still remaining in the "Lost & Found" box are donated to a local charity that serves the homeless.

It´s a win/win.
 

glucas

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk the Camino in fall (2013)
What are the most common items found in the FREE BOX?
 
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
Sleeping pads, jeans, jackets, heavy bottles of shampoo and lotion I've found towels, bras, shoes , rain gear, books, can openers, pots... You name it! Lol
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Whoever left the pots behind would have been kicking themselves when they got to Galicia!
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Anniesantiago said:
Sleeping pads, jeans, jackets, heavy bottles of shampoo and lotion I've found towels, bras, shoes , rain gear, books, can openers, pots... You name it! Lol

And don't forget cellphone / mobile chargers. Amazing how many pilgrims forget them. Sometimes they are not in the free box, but kept by the hospitaleros in a separate one. So, if you forgot your charger in the last refuge, simply ask the hospitalero if they have one. Chances are good that they present you with a sizable collection ;-) SY
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
In the albergue at Finisterre you will also find backpacks, boots, walking poles, clothing, guide books etc. - Anything that they don't want to carry back home or on the plane is dumped in the FREE Box. Perhaps one should start the pilgrimage there. You could kit yourself out with complete Camino gear and accessories!

And, in Santiago you will find a huge pile of walking poles and sticks that people don't want to cart home with them.
 

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