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Electrical Outlets In Albergues

Discussion in 'The Camino Portugues' started by Amys3dogs, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. Amys3dogs

    Amys3dogs New Member

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    Hello,
    my son and I plan to walk the Portuguese camino in June. He has an iphone and watch, and is concerned about his ability to charge them in the albergues. Are there a number of outlets available, or is charging space at a premium? Is it safe to plug a phone in and leave it to charge? (I apologize if others have already asked this question). Thank you!
     
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  2. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés May 2016

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    Hey Amy - Let me speak to what I found on the Camino Francés. First, in most albergues, plugs were at a premium. Nowadays, almost everyone has a phone to charge. So, finding a space can be hard at times. You will need an adaptor to use in a Spanish plug. I would also suggest that if you have more than one device or if there are two of you traveling together that you bring along a multiple jack. This might also allow you and someone else to share a plug if they get there first.

    Your second question is much more difficult to answer. Is it safe to plug in your phone and leave it (unattended)? You risk it being stolen. A Camino friend of mine had his camera stoken in an albergue in Santiago. He left it on his bed and walked away from it for a few minutes. It was gone, with an entire journey full of pictures, when he returned. I regularly had to charge my iPad last year. I really didn't let it out of my sight fearing that it could disappear. Unfortunately, and I apologize for sounding cynical, but some individuals may not be as honest and trusting as you are. I don't leave any valuables, even hidden inside my pack, unattended. There is a chance they could be taken.

    I walk the Camino Portugués in three weeks. I'll report back to you on the plug situation there. Buen Camino!
     
  3. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Amy, I agree with Wily. Your valuables - money, passports must be in your backpack or in your pocket. But on both of my Caminos I left my smartphone out of sight many times without any problem, of course I didn't used latest, very expensive models.
     
  4. eamconnor

    eamconnor New Member

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    Here at home, I have a sorta-fix for not wanting to leave your phone unattended. I have no trouble leaving one of those small portable power sources plugged in unattended. They're cheap, and I got mine as a freebie. Someone could steal it, sure, but it hasn't happened yet. If it does, it's easily replaceable.
     
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  5. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés May 2016

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    Hey Eamconnor - I'm not familiar with the power source you're referring to. Can that then be used to recharge a phone or iPad? Thanks for the idea.
     
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  6. eamconnor

    eamconnor New Member

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    Here's my set-up here at home, and I'm planning to use it while traveling... I have a conventional phone charger with cord you can disconnect: USB on one end, micro USB on the other. If I'm somewhere I can watch my phone, I can just plug in the charger. The USB part goes into the charger, and the micro USB in the phone, as normal.

    The portable power source (picture) has both a conventional and micro USB. To charge it, I just connect the micro part to the phone and the "big" part to the charger. If I have to use it, I connect the "big" part of the plug to the micro plug on my phone.

    As you can tell from my vocabulary, I'm NOT a techie. I won't be offended if the terminology is unclear and you need clarification.

    Also, I've seen these sold for about $20, but I got mine as part of a promotion. They're pretty cheap.

    Good luck! 20170304_094107[38781].jpg
     
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  7. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés May 2016

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    Hey Eam - I'm not a techie either, but I greatly appreciate being steered in this direction. In the little research I've done so far, it appears that Anker makes a number of different models. Depending on the amount of power one needs, they seem to run in price from about $13-30. Based on the item weight, 2.7 ounces, I'm leaning toward the Anker Powercore+ mini, 3350 mAh Lipstick Sized Portable Charger (3rd generation). In addition to being Amazon's #1 seller, it's also only $12.99. For anyone rightfully worried about leaving electronics unattended in an albergue, this is probably your safest bet. If someone steals your charger, as Eam said, you're not out much compared to replacing a phone or an iPad.
     
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  8. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Donating Member Donating Member

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    I looked around the house and found several of the power things that are in the picture. They all weighed between 70 and 75 grams and had a power rating of between 2200 and 2600 mAh. The heaver ones usually were rated heighter. (Except for the weights, I found the electrical data written on the units.) I then asked my daughter if she had any more and she had a 1 pound unit. The 1 lb unit was rated at 26,800 mAh.

    Looking at my cell phone, a Samsung S7, I found that the internal battery was rated at 3,000 mAh, I assume that this is about typical for modern smart cell phones.

    I next checked to see if there were any limits as the size of a rechargeable lithium battery that could be taken in carry on luggage on an airplane. The number I got was 100 watts. It just happens that the 1 lb battery is rated at 99.16 watts.

    What the problem here is that the smaller units have less power in them than the cell phone has in it, so using the nice small units will not fully recharge a cell phone and the 1 lb will do great but it weighs 1 lb which you will have to carry on your back/feet/legs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
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  9. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés May 2016

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    Hey UnkleHammy - Good information. There is a big range in charger capacity as you have pointed out. The solution is probably somewhere in the middle or maybe on the lighter end so that you can at least get one full charge. I'm with you on not wanting to tote around a 1 lb. battery charger on top of everything else in my backpack.
     
  10. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    Taking power pack/bank and charging that instead of leaving your phone unattended would work. Problem is a power bank weighs almost as much as a phone so personally I wouldn't go for that as I like travel as light as possible. I also found I was able to get a charge in most cafes during the day anyway (even if I still had 60% on my battery I'd plug it in anyway if an outlet was handy.)

    I did leave my phone unattended/charging in alburgues and had no problems (and did not hear of any problems anyone else may have had either). The latest top spec iPhone may not be the best choice for the camino anyway. Are they waterproof these days? I use a midpriced waterproof Samsung and it was great to have in my pocket and not have to worry about it during rain storms or on the beach.
     
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  11. Amys3dogs

    Amys3dogs New Member

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    Thank you all for your suggestions. The portable charger is a good idea, and I will probably bring one along. It won't provide a full charge (mine is small and cheap), but it will do in a pinch when we can't watch the phone. If I may ask another question - this is going to sound vain, so I'm embarrassed - but are hair driers available at the albergues? Thank you!
     
  12. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés May 2016

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    Hey Amy - Not vain at all! It's a fair question. I'm afraid that I didn't see any hair driers along The Way in the albergues where I stayed. I know there are small travel hair dryers one can take, but let me suggest that you'll do fine without one. On the Camino, we're all pretty relaxed, traveling with a minimal amount of extra items. As you think about what you carry with you, focus on essentials and everything else will take care of itself. Buen Camino!
     
  13. Amys3dogs

    Amys3dogs New Member

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    Thank you, Wily. That makes packing easier - no hair drier, no need for a brush. A small comb will be fine!:) I'm looking very forward to simplifying and decluttering my pack and my mind on this adventure. Did you take a dish, bowl, mug with you, or is that unnecessary?
     
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  14. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés May 2016

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    Hey Amy - No need for those items unless you were camping. What I do carry is a plastic spork. From time to time you may like to pick up a yogurt in a market for a snack so a spork may come in handy. I also carry a small Opinel pocket knife (mostly for slicing cheese abd fruit). On most sections of the Camino Francés there are Café /bars every few kilometers. It's very easy to find a place to take a break and enjoy a coffee, something cold to drink, or grab something to eat. I will say that you won't find café con leche any better elsewhere than across northern Spain. Their tortilla de patatas and empanada Gallega are regional dishes that you'll enjoy a slice of either for breakfast or lunch.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  15. Amys3dogs

    Amys3dogs New Member

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    Thank you, Wily. Are the cafe/bars as numerous on the Camino Portuguese? Also, I am vegetarian. Any thoughts about the availability of non-meat dishes in Portugal along the Camino?
     
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  16. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés May 2016

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    Hey Amy - I'll certainly be better able to answer this question for you in two weeks after we start north. Based on my experiences in France and Spain, café/bars are part of the local culture in all of Europe that I have traveled through. My need for café con leche will certainly be met along The Way by the numerous cafésthat I expect to find in every town. In the Brierley CP guide, they are numerous cafés identified which will serve as very welcomed rest stops. Regarding non-meat dishes, do you eat seafood? If so, you will undoubtedly have some of the best fish and shellfish this part of the world has to offer. I know in Spain, pasta was regularly available.
     
  17. mjfisher02

    mjfisher02 New Member

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    When are you guys going to be there? I am going to walk the Portuguese with my cousin starting in Porto on June 22nd.
     
  18. Amys3dogs

    Amys3dogs New Member

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    Thanks, Wily. I will be anxious to hear about your trip!!
    mjfisher02, we should be almost to Santiago by the 22nd. We are flying over June6/7, and will probably start walking on the 9th. When we get to Santiago, we plan to continue onto the coast.
     

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