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Backpack Transport

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by BROWNCOUNTYBOB, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    For our second camino, my wife sent her backpack ahead every day since we had advance reservations in all but a few towns. This worked great. For both of our caminos, I carried my backpack every step. For our upcoming camino, I will use the backpack transport for steep uphill climbs or very long km stages. For both of our past caminos, we used the transport service day by day. I called Jacotrans each afternoon confirming the town and albergue we were staying in and where we needed the backpack to be delivered the next day. And we completed the envelope and put in money and attached this to her backpack each morning. All went well.

    We mostly used Jacotrans, but also used a few other transport services, such as the first day to Roncesvalles and several stages in Galicia. I noticed that some of the services allow advance reservations on their website. We have confirmed reservations each stage from St Jean to Santiago (yes, I'm a planner!). I'm wondering if any of you veteran pilgrims have made advance reservations on backpack transport for many / all stages of camino frances. It sure would be convenient to make reservations over the internet and pay in advance to streamline transport for individual stages. If any of you have experience doing this, I'll appreciate your comments.

    Gracias, Bob
     
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  2. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    I haven't tried planning transportation of my pack. But I would worry about my total lack of Spanish ability. Was a usable command of spoken Spanish needed when confirming Jacotrans services necessary?
     
  3. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Uncle Hammy, one of my college majors was Spanish (the other math) and I spent a semester abroad in Valencia. I am nowhere near fluent these days, but can communicate fairly well in Spain. For both caminos, I called Jacotrans around 4 pm each afternoon and stated where we were staying, one backpack needed transport the next morning and the destination. This worked well. Looking at their website, the geography is split into four and there is a contact person for each area. This is consistent with my experience since I spoke to the same person day after day. Based on the volume of bags transported each day, I'm guessing the contact people speak English.

    I looked at the Jacotrians website yesterday. It is in Spanish. Not sure if there is a toggle button for English. The website looks intuitive. Date, Origin, destination (town and albergue) and number of bags / backpacks. Interesting to see that the transport fee has increased. Both caminos the fee was generally 5 euros and this has increased to 7 euros.

    Bob
     
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  4. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    My Spanish is from high school and I graduated in 59. So I have almost no usable Spanish. When I used JacoTrans I just marked my pack and stuck cash in the envelope. It all worked, but being able to set it up beforehand wkjks have been nice (And stress reducing ). Thanks for your reply.
     
  5. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Uncle Hammy, I navigated the website today and found it cumbersome. It does not recognize some of the places we are reserving and a few times the website locked up and did not store the previous information I entered. So I'll use the old fashioned cell phone and paper envelop to help us send our backpacks ahead. Bob
     
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  6. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I was too quick to give up on forward planning with Jacotrans. I decided to check out the "Contact us" tab on their website. There was a note that said Jacotrans can provide a cost estimate if the pilgrim can provide their hiking plan - date, starting point (town and albergue), and destination (town and albergue). I sent this Thursday via a simple email and received confirmation this morning. Their estimate for our outlined stages was 336 euros. Most stages cost 7 euros, but a very long stage was double that.

    There was a nice surprise included; their quote included a 25% discount, which is terrific. So to use their service our cost will be 250 euros. They confirmed each stage of backpack transport, then I clicked a secure link to arrange payment via credit card. We will simply attach a hangtag each day to our backpacks that lists our Jacotrans Reservation number. No need to complete envelopes and fill with cash each day.

    So we're all set! So very convenient for those that prefer advance reservations!

    Bob
     
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  7. keithlundy1

    keithlundy1 Active Member

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    Hi guys
    I need your help. I’m currently on the Camino, four days out from Santiago and there are rumours flying around that the cathedral is closed, can any of you shed any light on this, would really appreciate it.
    Thanks
    Keith from Norfolk England
     
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  8. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Keith, I clipped an article from "La Concha" - the American Pilgrim's news letter. This regards Cathedral Access and Masses in 2019. Here are comments:
    • The external cleaning is complete; restoration work continues inside
    • The Pilgrim's Mass at noon is being celebrated in the Church of San Francisco
    • An English speaking mass is celebrated at 9:30 am Mon-Sat in the chapel of the Pilgrim's office
    • The Cathedral itself remains open from 9 am to 7 pm, accessible to the faithful, pilgrims and visitors. It's possible to embrace the statue of St James and to descend to the apostolic crypt
    • Visits to the Portico de la Gloria will continue
    • The only Cathedral door that is open is the Porta das Praterias, which serves as entrance and exit.
    So no pilgrim's mass inside the Cathedral, but it remains open. Buen Camino ! Bob
     
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