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Three quick questions starting from Ponferrada

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Ruben

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct '16
Hello all:
Excited about the opportunity to walk the Way and find my better self!

I only have two weeks so I plan on starting from Ponferrada this October 7th or 8th. I have three quick questions:
1) Where in Ponferrada would I get the "credencial" that gets stamped along the Way (what time does it close)?
2) What would be good place to stay in Ponferrada the night before I begin (close to where I get the "credencial")?
3) Since I fly into Madrid arriving 7:45 am, what would be the better option to Ponferrada that same day? I see that by train (Renfe) the earliest I would arrive would be at 4:12pm while by bus (ALSA) I could arrive half an hour earlier. Is the ride comparable? Is the bus' schedule reliable?
Blessings to all.

Ruben
 

Diane Kinney

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago May 21 to June 3, 2014
Ponferrada to Santiago September 2015
Welcome Ruben,
There is a tourist office in the Templar Castle. They stamp passports but they may also issue them. Also the Hotel Virgen de Encina is across from the tourist office. But as you have some time, you can have your passport issued by a Company of Pilgrims in your country if there is one.
I took the bus from Madrid to Ponferrada. Very long but reliable. My preference is train just because you can move around a bit but it wasn't an option for me based on my arrival time.
Buen Camino.
Diane
 

Ruben

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct '16
Welcome Ruben,
There is a tourist office in the Templar Castle. They stamp passports but they may also issue them. Also the Hotel Virgen de Encina is across from the tourist office. But as you have some time, you can have your passport issued by a Company of Pilgrims in your country if there is one.
I took the bus from Madrid to Ponferrada. Very long but reliable. My preference is train just because you can move around a bit but it wasn't an option for me based on my arrival time.
Buen Camino.
Diane
Thank you Diane!!! Blessings to you.
 
S

simply B

Guest
Hi, Ruben!

I have found trains and buses in Spain to be equally comfortable though I understand the preference for trains expressed by @Diane Kinney ! I found the [bus] ride from Madrid to Ponferrada quite pleasant last February.

Where to get a 'Pilgrim Passport'? Look at the menu bar on the Forum' landing page and go to 'Camino Resources'. Ivar has these in the ' Camino Shop' - straight from the Cathedral in SdC. Get a few! There's a map of the Caminos on the back panels. Having extras allow you to pass them out to close friends and family who are interested in your travel. You have plenty of time! I got mine, a third of the world away, in 6 business days.

Where to stay? For the albergue experience, San Nicolas de Flue.

For an economical hotel experience, the Hotel Aroi on the Plaza of the ayuntiamento. Both excellent for their category though the Aroi has an outstanding breakfast for a few more euro.

Buen Camino!

B
Ps. @falcon269 is correct, kinda. In April 2014, they were out of stock. Your choice as to whether to chance it...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
The albergue San Nicolas de Flue is located at Calle de la Loma, s/n. They open mid afternoon and close at 22:30.
 

Markkan

Camino Frances June-August 2016
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( June-August 2016)
I just left Ponferrada this morning and had to get a new passport because my other was filled.

The day before I went to the castle and couldn't get a stamp because there was no room on it. They said to try the churches. I tried both but to no avail. This morning, before 8am, I went to the Municipal Alburgue and was able to successfully get one from them.

As for a place to stay, I had to get a hotel room there because I have had the flu and don't want to spread it. This morning as I was walking to the municipal (walking from the castle area) I walked by a beautiful new alburgue about a 5 minute walk from the municipal. I am not sure of the cost at either but I would definitely check out the new one (it is on the same street as the castle and on the same side of the street as the castle entrance.

If you are looking for a hotel there, I stayed at the Hotel Castillo which gave me a pilgrims rate.
 

Rod Murray

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016) Portuguese Coastal (Sept 2019)
I note that the link to order a Credencial is in the right-hand sidebar of this page!
We had ones sent from the tour company that arranged our luggage transfers. We got the older versions which take the impression of a "sellos" or stamp, easily. The newer one, pictured to the right, are printed on higher quality stock, very glossy, and the ink takes longer to dry, and will smear if not carefully put away. Our friends bought new ones as their credencials did not arrive in the mail in time. You have lots of time to get yours mailed.
FYI- we stayed in Ponferrada 2 nights, arriving by all day train from Barcelona at 1900h. Our accommodation was at hotel El Castillo, just down the street from the Knights Templar castle. Nice place for getting ready to start on the Camino! Enjoy!
Buen Camino!
 

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