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4 weeks from Merida? - March 2021

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(via de la plata)
These forums are incredibly helpful and I am so grateful it exists!
My first post! I am dreaming about my own first Camino and believe I have settled on La Plata due to time of year, as well as the history. I will be walking solo (female) in honor of my father who passed last November. He was a huge history buff and devoted catholic. I heard about the Camino 4 years ago and it's since been on my mind, but now I am being called.
I am hoping travel will be opened again by March. My allotted timeframe is 4 weeks. I could maybe squeeze to 5 instead. Beginning last week of February or first of March - flying in and out of Madrid. Because of this time crunch I am thinking to start in Merida, hike the Sanabria way and also to Fisterra after Santiago. I realize I could begin in Sevilla and finish the whole thing on another trip but that is not appealing. I also read that Merida was the original start to La Plata. I am young and in great shape but I also do not want to feel rushed.
My biggest question is, do I have enough time? Also by skipping Sevilla to Merida am I missing too much? I am in semi early research phases and don't really know more then basics. I'm not excited for long sections of road walking and hope to avoid if I can.

Any advice or experiences are greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance!
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Four weeks for Mérida to Santiago via the Sanabés should be just about enough. Gronze, an influential Spanish language website that's good for getting a rough idea of stages (and easy enough to use even if you don't speak Spanish), lists 27 stages for what you suggest.

Since it's your first camino, just be aware that sometimes it doesn't always go according to plan. You might suffer foot/leg ailments (e.g. blisters, shin splints, plantar fasciitis) that could set you back a day or two here or there, you might decide to take a rest day to explore a place (e.g. Salamanca or Ourense on your route), etc. With that in mind, it's always good to have a few days up your sleeve at the end just in case. If you really can stretch your four weeks to five, I'd try to do that with the idea of continuing to Finisterre but knowing that you may need those extra days just getting to Santiago. Make sure you allow a couple of days for Santiago itself as well - which it's worthy of, especially after walking so far to get there!

Also by skipping Sevilla to Merida am I missing too much?

I asked the same question a week or so ago in another thread, as I'm planning something similar to you but including the Camino Mozárabe to get to Mérida. The whole thread is worth reading but the part that deals with your question starts here.

Buen camino!
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
I am hoping travel will be opened again by March. My allotted timeframe is 4 weeks. I could maybe squeeze to 5 instead. Beginning last week of February or first of March - flying in and out of Madrid. Because of this time crunch I am thinking to start in Merida, hike the Sanabria way and also to Fisterra after Santiago.

Merida to Santiago is 732km + another 80 or so to Finisterre and Muxia. You're looking at 810km give or take.
If you have 28 walking days, you will need to cover 29km per day on average.
if you have 35 walking days, it's 23km per day.

You mention that you're young and in great shape, so I would recommend that you pack a rucksack and head out for a weekend in your area to see exactly how that translates to kilometers per day - bearing in mind that you should walk at a pace that you can keep up for 28 to 35 days. I can think of a couple of members of this forum, who consider 50km days to be quite pleasant. They are exceptional. One of them competes in ultramarathons, and the other thinks nothing of getting on a bicycle on a Saturday morning with no special plan and cycling 250 kilometers. Those two would have no problem with the 29km per day rate, even with sightseeing days along the way.

If you throw in rest days or sightseeing days in a few places along the way, you will have further to go on your walking days. At the end of my first camino I calculated that I had walked roughly 21km per day on average, but that included lots of sightseeing days. I am neither young, nor fit.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@ErnestBoyd welcome to the forum. The Via is probably my favourite camino so far, but I'd always recommend the Camino Francés for a first camino - particularly as I once made the mistake of taking some new walkers on the Via. We finished up by crossing to the Francés, which they much preferred!

For planning purposes, days and distances, on the Via I found godesalco very helpful.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I would try to arrange 5 weeks. Not only to be able to walk to Finisterre/Muxia. But also to have the possibility for a rest day, for instance in Salamanca, Ourense or Zamora.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
A total of eight in the past 6 years!
There are some challenging days along your route. I started in Salamanca with friends that kept a slower pace. Weather was a problem on one day, and a tendonitis injury was a constant problem with my one friend. It took us 22 days for 375 kilometers. The elevation changes are not to be considered lightly once you hit the Sanabrés. It is a gorgeous walk. If you want my information, click here. I am just finishing writing about this route. Best of luck to you and your planning!
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
A total of eight in the past 6 years!
I would try to arrange 5 weeks. Not only to be able to walk to Finisterre/Muxia. But also to have the possibility for a rest day, for instance in Salamanca, Ourense or Zamora.
I do agree that rest days are important. Puebla de Sanabria is also lovely, in addition to the ones that Antonius suggests. There is more to see, however in the ones he mentions.
 

Pilgrim9

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2017)
SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC (2017)
Lisboa-SdC (2018)
Ferrol-SdC (2018)
I humbly suggest that any first-timer plan their pilgrimage based on shorter stage lengths than that which one is confident of managing. This can help avoid injuries in the first weeks, and the consequent scheduling difficulties.

As one's fitness improves, re-planning on-the-fly using longer stages will be easy, but should one suffer an injury caused by a too-aggressive initial pace, re-planning using shorter stages can be difficult and/or one can run out of time.
 

Karlgrino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Portuguese coastal
2017 Frances
2018 Norte
2019 Portuguese inland
2020 La Plata
I did the VdP this July from Sevilla and arrived in Santiago mid day on day 39. I took a day for sightseeing in Salamanca and Ourence, also did plenty of sightseeing along the way. I am 69 and that was my 5th camino. If your heart is set on the Plata I would highly suggest to start in Sevilla; not only is Sevilla an absolutely fabulous city, I think you'll miss the uniqueness of the VdP, which you will experiences the first days on the way to Merida. (Check out Jerez to fly in, little airport with cheap tickets to get there and a short bus ride to Sevilla.) If short on time I would rather do this than spend extra time to go to Finestera. Not to say Finestera/Muxia isnt worth it, quite the contrary, but you can always do this, for no matter which Camino you do they all end in Santiago. Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll be happy to answer.
Buen Camino!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I am planning the Via De La Plata as my next Camino. I originally planned a late February early March start but who knows. You have gotten great advice from a bunch of experienced pilgrims. Please heed it. Life walking and Camino walking are not equivalent at all. Maybe you will fly through it without an issue. As the saying goes hope for the best...... you don’t want to rush, then don’t rush. It is always easier and safer to do more kilometers after your body has adjusted to walk and your mind has learned to walk and listen to your body. Buen Camino
 

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(via de la plata)
Four weeks for Mérida to Santiago via the Sanabés should be just about enough. Gronze, an influential Spanish language website that's good for getting a rough idea of stages (and easy enough to use even if you don't speak Spanish), lists 27 stages for what you suggest.

Since it's your first camino, just be aware that sometimes it doesn't always go according to plan. You might suffer foot/leg ailments (e.g. blisters, shin splints, plantar fasciitis) that could set you back a day or two here or there, you might decide to take a rest day to explore a place (e.g. Salamanca or Ourense on your route), etc. With that in mind, it's always good to have a few days up your sleeve at the end just in case. If you really can stretch your four weeks to five, I'd try to do that with the idea of continuing to Finisterre but knowing that you may need those extra days just getting to Santiago. Make sure you allow a couple of days for Santiago itself as well - which it's worthy of, especially after walking so far to get there!



I asked the same question a week or so ago in another thread, as I'm planning something similar to you but including the Camino Mozárabe to get to Mérida. The whole thread is worth reading but the part that deals with your question starts here.

Buen camino!

Thank you for all this wonderful advice! Gronze should be very helpful.

Yes things defiantly may come up to set me back or slow me down. I will try to keep that in mind the whole time I am planning. I want to have enough time to be flexible so maybe I will do 5 weeks. Just need my partner to still approve which he probably will.

I have read that thread and it was very informative. Everyone has such different ideas it can be difficult for me to decide. Thanks!
 

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(via de la plata)
Merida to Santiago is 732km + another 80 or so to Finisterre and Muxia. You're looking at 810km give or take.
If you have 28 walking days, you will need to cover 29km per day on average.
if you have 35 walking days, it's 23km per day.

You mention that you're young and in great shape, so I would recommend that you pack a rucksack and head out for a weekend in your area to see exactly how that translates to kilometers per day - bearing in mind that you should walk at a pace that you can keep up for 28 to 35 days. I can think of a couple of members of this forum, who consider 50km days to be quite pleasant. They are exceptional. One of them competes in ultramarathons, and the other thinks nothing of getting on a bicycle on a Saturday morning with no special plan and cycling 250 kilometers. Those two would have no problem with the 29km per day rate, even with sightseeing days along the way.

You make a great point on the average distances (sans rest days!) More time is defiantly better on all sides.

I live in Alaska and we have a great trail system. Before the snow falls I hope to utilize it to the fullest. I hike, camp, and run often but will be sure to do a lot of physical prepping (miles) with weight on my back. I look forward to seeing what my body is capable of and comfortable doing day in day out. This trip is a huge physical challenge for anybody and I really do not want to underestimate it. I am certainly not on the same level of the above mentioned athletes!

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this.
 

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(via de la plata)
@ErnestBoyd welcome to the forum. The Via is probably my favourite camino so far, but I'd always recommend the Camino Francés for a first camino - particularly as I once made the mistake of taking some new walkers on the Via. We finished up by crossing to the Francés, which they much preferred!

For planning purposes, days and distances, on the Via I found godesalco very helpful.

I love that it is your favorite! Very encouraging.
I did consider the Frances before being so drawn to the Via.
I was of the impression that it would be more difficult in my timeframe of end of February and all of March - Cold, snow/ice, closed alberques? I may well be incorrect in this thinking! Let me know if that is the case.

That website is useful thank you!
 

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(via de la plata)
There are some challenging days along your route. I started in Salamanca with friends that kept a slower pace. Weather was a problem on one day, and a tendonitis injury was a constant problem with my one friend. It took us 22 days for 375 kilometers. The elevation changes are not to be considered lightly once you hit the Sanabrés. It is a gorgeous walk. If you want my information, click here. I am just finishing writing about this route. Best of luck to you and your planning!
Fabulous website! Thanks for sharing your experience in such detail. I love the photos too and it makes me so excited! I can't seem to find what date you began your journey?
The troubles you ran into could happen to anyone at anytime. It's great you could push through and shows the value of not having a tight schedule to keep.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
A total of eight in the past 6 years!
Fabulous website! Thanks for sharing your experience in such detail. I love the photos too and it makes me so excited! I can't seem to find what date you began your journey?
The troubles you ran into could happen to anyone at anytime. It's great you could push through and shows the value of not having a tight schedule to keep.
We walked from 3 October until 26 October. I think we had 2 rest days, and several very short days because of weather and the injury.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
A total of eight in the past 6 years!
I humbly suggest that any first-timer plan their pilgrimage based on shorter stage lengths than that which one is confident of managing. This can help avoid injuries in the first weeks, and the consequent scheduling difficulties.

As one's fitness improves, re-planning on-the-fly using longer stages will be easy, but should one suffer an injury caused by a too-aggressive initial pace, re-planning using shorter stages can be difficult and/or one can run out of time.
This is what happened to my friend - She came out too determined and outpaced herself right into a horrible tendonitis injury. She was never able to complete her Camino. She just kept on pushing through the injury until she could go no more, just 50 km shy of Santiago. It was very difficult to watch, but no one could stop her.

Walking short stages at first are very, very wise, to check in on what your body can bear. As Pilgrim 9 states, you can always go longer/faster as your body accommodates. This has always been true for me and my many Caminos. I only got injured once, when I was too aggressive too early. I had to abandon plans. It is not fun to do this.
 

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(via de la plata)
I humbly suggest that any first-timer plan their pilgrimage based on shorter stage lengths than that which one is confident of managing. This can help avoid injuries in the first weeks, and the consequent scheduling difficulties.

As one's fitness improves, re-planning on-the-fly using longer stages will be easy, but should one suffer an injury caused by a too-aggressive initial pace, re-planning using shorter stages can be difficult and/or one can run out of time.
I absolutely agree with this! Great idea to center the planning on shorter lengths.
Starting slower to get the body accustomed. I know I will be getting in walking shape here at home but it will be so much different on the Camino I imagine. I fear injury as I lead a very active life, I always try to remain vigilant to avoid it. Listening to the body's aches and pains is an important skill learned through practice I believe.
 

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(via de la plata)
This is what happened to my friend - She came out too determined and outpaced herself right into a horrible tendonitis injury. She was never able to complete her Camino. She just kept on pushing through the injury until she could go no more, just 50 km shy of Santiago. It was very difficult to watch, but no one could stop her.

Walking short stages at first are very, very wise, to check in on what your body can bear. As Pilgrim 9 states, you can always go longer/faster as your body accommodates. This has always been true for me and my many Caminos. I only got injured once, when I was too aggressive too early. I had to abandon plans. It is not fun to do this.
That seems just awful. For her and for you as a friend and companion. I fear injury and will do my very best to not walk myself into that situation. The excitement could cause me to do too much but I will try hard to remember your words.
 

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(via de la plata)
I did the VdP this July from Sevilla and arrived in Santiago mid day on day 39. I took a day for sightseeing in Salamanca and Ourence, also did plenty of sightseeing along the way. I am 69 and that was my 5th camino. If your heart is set on the Plata I would highly suggest to start in Sevilla; not only is Sevilla an absolutely fabulous city, I think you'll miss the uniqueness of the VdP, which you will experiences the first days on the way to Merida. (Check out Jerez to fly in, little airport with cheap tickets to get there and a short bus ride to Sevilla.) If short on time I would rather do this than spend extra time to go to Finestera. Not to say Finestera/Muxia isnt worth it, quite the contrary, but you can always do this, for no matter which Camino you do they all end in Santiago. Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll be happy to answer.
Buen Camino!
So you believe the extra 10 days is worth it due to the uniqueness of this part of the trail? I'm not committed to any start date or city yet and will be taking your idea into consideration. The idea of heading to Finestera appeals to me because I love the ocean. I also am not sure I would get around to doing a second Camino. This may be my only one and it would be neat to walk all the way. Although it seems that many people do multiple walks, it must be quite addicting! Man it really seems like 6 weeks is the way to go if beginning in Sevilla. I am not sure I can do that.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and offer for further questioning!
 

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(via de la plata)
I am planning the Via De La Plata as my next Camino. I originally planned a late February early March start but who knows. You have gotten great advice from a bunch of experienced pilgrims. Please heed it. Life walking and Camino walking are not equivalent at all. Maybe you will fly through it without an issue. As the saying goes hope for the best...... you don’t want to rush, then don’t rush. It is always easier and safer to do more kilometers after your body has adjusted to walk and your mind has learned to walk and listen to your body. Buen Camino
I absolutely agree. I will heed the words of those more experienced on this topic. I am very thankful you and all who have written me here! I will be training beforehand and beginning slowly. Correct I do not want to rush! The mind learning to walk may be more difficult then I anticipate and I appreciate you mentioning it. Learning to listen to my body is something I practice at every day. It is very important.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Cold, snow/ice, closed alberques? I may well be incorrect in this thinking! Let me know if that is the case.

Climate
Since both routes converge on the same place, logic dictates that the advantage of the VDLP will tend to zero as you progress. Bear in mind that VDLP - like the CF - involves climbs to somewhat high altitude (1170m - Pico de la Dueña) and stretches of flat, exposed, territory, where you can meet challenging weather. Looking at the climate graphs you can see that you're likely to have a more comfortable start from Merida than from Pamplona, but you won't find Salamanca much warmer than you would, say, León. Either way, you'll need wet weather gear for Galicia.

Albergues
At any time of year, there are more pilgrims and more pilgrim infrastructure on the CF than on the VDLP.
That said, people walk the VDLP at all times of year. If you can handle the occasional 30+km day, you will have enough places to stay. If you're less confident about that kind of distance, then the CF will give you more options. You can get up to date information about VDLP albergues online from gronze or Antonio Retamosa's guide. The Godesalco planning tool is quite handy for route planning in advance but not so much as a guide when your boots are on the ground.
Even during the current health crisis, there are people walking the VDLP and doing fine - They have to stay in private accommodations some of the time because many municipal albergues are not operating.

On the VDLP, I found the atmosphere, the scenery, the archeological sites, the cities, and the locals that I met made it an extraordinary experience. When I reached Santiago, I felt really overwhelmed to be among crowds of pilgrims. The contrast with the small cluster of pilgrims that I encountered on the VDLP was a shock to the system. Fortunately, I had fell in with a group of really lovely people for the walk to Finisterre. The vibe was completely different but I enjoyed it.

What suits one person doesn't suit another. I can only suggest that you look at people's blogs / videos / photos and think about what interests you and what kind of Camino you want to have. I think there's a tendency to automatically recommend the CF to first timers but it doesn't have to be your first Camino.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I absolutely agree. I will heed the words of those more experienced on this topic. I am very thankful you and all who have written me here! I will be training beforehand and beginning slowly. Correct I do not want to rush! The mind learning to walk may be more difficult then I anticipate and I appreciate you mentioning it. Learning to listen to my body is something I practice at every day. It is very important.
You are off to a great start. Who knows maybe we will end of walking at the same time. Every time you meet a 67 year old American who lives in Mexico mention those topic 😀
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
Thank you for all this wonderful advice! Gronze should be very helpful.

Yes things defiantly may come up to set me back or slow me down. I will try to keep that in mind the whole time I am planning. I want to have enough time to be flexible so maybe I will do 5 weeks. Just need my partner to still approve which he probably will.

I have read that thread and it was very informative. Everyone has such different ideas it can be difficult for me to decide. Thanks!
One of the most important things to accept is that you don't control things on the Camino. Someone else--whether you are religious our not, Someone else--has control of a lot. I look back at things in our first three Camino walks, which required 4 trips to Spain, and I see times when Santiago did us a favor and I didn't even realize it until we got home. (Couldn't find an Ace bandage? Yes, it was a favor, as there turned out to be a fracture instead of a sprain.) And other times when I could swear that Jesus inspired me to carry hiking poles and use them that day, when the cross winds on the second half of the Route Napoleon were at tropical storm strength and only the poles, held sideways, kept me from being blown off the path...everyone has their memories of when it became clear, whether it was when Jesus found them a place to sleep or St. James led them to the safer path...you are not in charge of your walk on the Camino.

You might want to consider, if you're walking at least in part for religious reasons, whether to ask the Oficina de Recogida del Peregrino to write "in vicario pro" your dad on the Compostela. T2Andreo on this forum is an experienced volunteer in the pilgrim office and has posted on this general topic.

Buen Camino.

PS I wait with great anticipation being able to return to the Camino, we were supposed to walk the Plata this past spring and Spain shut down and Lufthansa cancelled flights...I know I'm not the only one in this situation...please God we will return to the path this next spring.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
I did the VdP this July from Sevilla and arrived in Santiago mid day on day 39. I took a day for sightseeing in Salamanca and Ourence, also did plenty of sightseeing along the way. I am 69 and that was my 5th camino. If your heart is set on the Plata I would highly suggest to start in Sevilla; not only is Sevilla an absolutely fabulous city, I think you'll miss the uniqueness of the VdP, which you will experiences the first days on the way to Merida. (Check out Jerez to fly in, little airport with cheap tickets to get there and a short bus ride to Sevilla.) If short on time I would rather do this than spend extra time to go to Finestera. Not to say Finestera/Muxia isnt worth it, quite the contrary, but you can always do this, for no matter which Camino you do they all end in Santiago. Let me know if you have any specific questions and I'll be happy to answer.
Buen Camino!
Very interesting thoughts! Before everything upended this past spring, we were going to fly into Madrid, then hop onto the Ave train to Sevilla. (It's about the same amount of time as the airplane, but costs half as much. And even if we don't see a lot out the window, we know from experience that train seats are much more comfortable than plane seats. ;-)
 

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(via de la plata)
One of the most important things to accept is that you don't control things on the Camino. Someone else--whether you are religious our not, Someone else--has control of a lot. I look back at things in our first three Camino walks, which required 4 trips to Spain, and I see times when Santiago did us a favor and I didn't even realize it until we got home. (Couldn't find an Ace bandage? Yes, it was a favor, as there turned out to be a fracture instead of a sprain.) And other times when I could swear that Jesus inspired me to carry hiking poles and use them that day, when the cross winds on the second half of the Route Napoleon were at tropical storm strength and only the poles, held sideways, kept me from being blown off the path...everyone has their memories of when it became clear, whether it was when Jesus found them a place to sleep or St. James led them to the safer path...you are not in charge of your walk on the Camino.

You might want to consider, if you're walking at least in part for religious reasons, whether to ask the Oficina de Recogida del Peregrino to write "in vicario pro" your dad on the Compostela. T2Andreo on this forum is an experienced volunteer in the pilgrim office and has posted on this general topic.

Buen Camino.

PS I wait with great anticipation being able to return to the Camino, we were supposed to walk the Plata this past spring and Spain shut down and Lufthansa cancelled flights...I know I'm not the only one in this situation...please God we will return to the path this next spring.
Thank you for sharing your advice and experiences while walking. When travelling oftentimes I find it's those small moments that really stick with you.
I hope to walk my own Camino and have realizations such as these. There's "knowing" you're not in control and then there's being constantly reminded that indeed you are not...

Upon reaching Santiago I do wish to add that to my Compostela. I will read that thread also, thanks. I won't be heartbroken if it doesn't happen but it would be nice. I try to keep in mind - things are just things, even though I have a tendency toward sentimental attachments. Especially with regards to him right now.
I know we certainly cannot tell the future but I am hoping that this spring will allow us both to walk the path!
Buen Camino
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
These forums are incredibly helpful and I am so grateful it exists!
My first post! I am dreaming about my own first Camino and believe I have settled on La Plata due to time of year, as well as the history. I will be walking solo (female) in honor of my father who passed last November. He was a huge history buff and devoted catholic. I heard about the Camino 4 years ago and it's since been on my mind, but now I am being called.
I am hoping travel will be opened again by March. My allotted timeframe is 4 weeks. I could maybe squeeze to 5 instead. Beginning last week of February or first of March - flying in and out of Madrid. Because of this time crunch I am thinking to start in Merida, hike the Sanabria way and also to Fisterra after Santiago. I realize I could begin in Sevilla and finish the whole thing on another trip but that is not appealing. I also read that Merida was the original start to La Plata. I am young and in great shape but I also do not want to feel rushed.
My biggest question is, do I have enough time? Also by skipping Sevilla to Merida am I missing too much? I am in semi early research phases and don't really know more then basics. I'm not excited for long sections of road walking and hope to avoid if I can.

Any advice or experiences are greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance!
Hi and welcome!
Looking back, I think one month is just right, but maybe not to walk to Finisterre, which takes another 3 days. (Well, it can be done in 2 if you walk 40+ km. I did it one year, not sure I would do it again 😉)
We flew to Sevilla on 2 June but as it was already so hot (36 deg) we decided to start walking from Merida instead. Left Merida on 4 June and arrived in Santiago on 2 July. We did the ’normal’, average etapas but I recall one pilgrim we met arrived one day earlier in Santiago as he had a deadline.
If you don’t know that part of Spain it would be a pity to miss Sevilla, imo. It is such a beautiful city and so different.
Have a look at Gronze, it’ll help you planning your itinerary 🙂 https://www.gronze.com/via-plata
Buen camino!
 

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