Sunday, June 10, 2012

Internet Access in Spain - Prepaid SIM card

Cheapest way to access the internet on your phone. Available at most Carrefour or Alcampo supermarket, here's more info on Yoigo.

When I got mine when I arrived in Spain, the price was 30 Euro including the SIM card plus 800MB per month, enough to check emails, facebook, and upload the photos onto the blog without needing to find a wifi hotspot. I did of course ran out of the data limit it tells me that an additional 300MB I need to pay another 5 Euro. Not an issue as I don't make local calls and have enough balance to deduct for the additional data.

With this, I am more relax during this camino as I don't have to hunt down for the library/casa de cultura or bars with wifi. If there are free wifi at the bar that is fine, at least I don't need to search for it this time.


Unknown said...

Hi there, really enjoyed your blog, especially the pictures. It's got me excited for my own Camino del Norte this July & August!

One concern I have (and I can't find good info on it anywhere) is bedbugs. Did you encounter any at the Albergues on this trek? Is there any way to know if an Albergue has them?

I'm bringing a tent and plan to be fairly independent, but that's one thing I don't want to bring home from my journey!

Many thanks,

Evan Low said...

Hi Stillman,

No bed bugs for me.

1. In the basque area, lodging are more expensive (youth hostel, private albergues) but are cleaner.

2. In Cantabria and Asturias, some albergues may not appear to be that clean. That's where my sleeping bag comes in. You are protected sleeping on your own covers than to expose you body to the mattresses. For the pillow, I put my pullover or an inflatable pillow (those that goes around your neck) for my head to minimize exposure in those areas.

3. In Galicia, all albergues comes with a disposable paper pillow case and bedsheet (probably for the same reason).

Bringing your own tent has also the additional weight issue which will impact your walking (daily distances, etc). You do have the independence, but not the daily showers.

Hope that helps.

Unknown said...

Evan, thanks for the info - that puts my mind at ease to a great extent. Here on the east coast of the US they're a major problem, so imagine my dismay when I read about bedbugs the Camino forum! I've done sections of the Appalachian Trail and they're starting to be found in the trail shelters there (bad news).

The tent is for flexibility and a side trip to the Picos de Europa. Most of the time I hope to enjoy the albergues and get to know my fellow pilgrims. And the showers are nice, no doubt.

Thanks again!

Evan Low said...

Well, it's a catch 22 situation here.

To get to know fellow pilgrims you don't need a tent.

If the tent is only going to be used for the few days you detour to Picos de Europa, then is it worth carrying all of that?

And a tent without a portable cooker is like only 50% outdoor. Add all of that up, and you are looking at 15kg instead of the usual 7-8kg dry weight. That means a lot and also every kg more increases the risk in injury for so a long time on the road.

Picos de Europe is a national park and there are lodgings from Hotels to Camping ground with cabins that fits a regular camino walker without tent.

Just a thought. It's your Camino, and you should eventually decide how you want to do it.


Aubrey Morrison said...

First, let me just say that I'm so excited to have found your blog. I'm doing the Camino del Norte at the end of March. Quick question about the SIM card. What type of phone do you have? I have an iPhone 4s and am trying to figure out the best (cheapest) way to have phone service and 3G capabilities while in Spain. AT&T is my provider and they charge 30 or 40 dollars for 120mb of data (internationally) which seems outrageous. Did you use your phone to call ahead to albergues? Ideally I'd like to be able to make calls within Spain (for reservations, etc.), have internet and google mapping capabilities, check email, and send a few text messages just to let friends/family know where I am.

Evan Low said...

Hi Audbrey,

On the Camino del Norte last May I was using the iPhone4S.

As mentioned in the blog, I found that the Yoigo SIM card (prepaid) to be the cheapest.

What I understand from the US's AT&T iPhones is that they are locked to the provider. In that case, any prepaid SIM card other than AT&T will not work on their iPhone until the contract period is over and they are unlocked.

You might want to check with AT&T first regarding your phone plan.

Evan Low said...

I don't call ahead as I usually stay in aubergue (which you can't reserve beds anyway). The data access is mainly to update this blog, emails, iMessage (internet) SMS, with so much data available, even Facebook and news.