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Live - Via de la Plata A convoluted family affair

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#1
I leave today on my convoluted journey to get me to the start of my Camino. Unlike past trips where we simply set off and went where the fancy took us, this time I am coordinating with other family members as we each make our own different way to Santiago and on to Finisterre.

I'm tired before I even start, organising care for stock, the farm, aged parents, my dog and house. I thought it was bad enough when a giant gum tree landed on the farrowing sheds and had to be cut up before I left. But today I had to deal with emergency water systems repair after someone drove over the irrigation pipes and ripped them out of the field. Then dealing with a grumpy boar who can't understand why he has to wait another fortnight before being turned out with the sows. Still I will soon leave all of this behind me and just focus on carrying enough water to get me to the next village.

Given early posts it looks like there is a veritable invasion in the Vdlp thus September, I may see you out there. I'll be the one trying to smuggle piglets into their pack to diversify my farms stud.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#5
Please please let us know about your Camino. I have watched some videos lately of VDLP. I am walking the Norte this year and want to walk VDLP next year. It looks like it is made for me. Just wondering about the heat. I was thinking of starting from Sevilla in mid October. With climate change I imagine you may have some tough days temperature wise. Please take lots of water, get one of those reflective umbrellas and don't challenge the heat. But I have a feeling you already know all this and a lot more!!
 

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Zoula

Danielle
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept. 2014, CP Sept. 2016, maybe VdlP April 2018
#6
Buen Camino, looking forward to reading your posts and hoping all goes well for your family!
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled caminos francés, Finisterre, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018)
#7
After your farm travails the VdlP should be a walk in the park. Buen Camino!
 

Bunclody1

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2013 C Francis
June 2015 C Norte
September 2018 C Primitivo
#9
I leave today on my convoluted journey to get me to the start of my Camino. Unlike past trips where we simply set off and went where the fancy took us, this time I am coordinating with other family members as we each make our own different way to Santiago and on to Finisterre.

I'm tired before I even start, organising care for stock, the farm, aged parents, my dog and house. I thought it was bad enough when a giant gum tree landed on the farrowing sheds and had to be cut up before I left. But today I had to deal with emergency water systems repair after someone drove over the irrigation pipes and ripped them out of the field. Then dealing with a grumpy boar who can't understand why he has to wait another fortnight before being turned out with the sows. Still I will soon leave all of this behind me and just focus on carrying enough water to get me to the next village.

Given early posts it looks like there is a veritable invasion in the Vdlp thus September, I may see you out there. I'll be the one trying to smuggle piglets into their pack to diversify my farms stud.
Hey Hel&Scot, how are ye now and how is the way treating you ?
I am in Casar de Caceres, relaxing
John.
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#10
Start next week from Mérida, can´t wait now that it looks as though the temps have dropped a bit??
Just wondering if the Albergue Embalse at Alcantara is still closed, have you heard or know John?
Good luck Hel&Scott & John, any advice or updates would be cheerfully welcomed!
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#11
I am currently soaking my foot in a bucket and drinking Estrella after a 27km march around Barcelona visiting the usual haunts. I started this thread when I left home so it has covered a tortuous route of planes, trains and automobiles as I make my way to the start of actual walking. Scott once worked out that it was close to 20,000 kms from home to Finisterre so excuse me if I auto assist to get to Spain. Tomorrow I head to Merida, for those interested in logistics this is a train to Madrid and then transfer to a slow train to Merida.

@Bunclody1 you are too fast for me mate, unless you break down and recoup at a bar I'll miss you, all the best for your walk, keep us all posted on Embase Alburgue.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#12
Hope you enjoy the Estrella and foot soak!
Starting from Mérida next week!
I phoned the Embalse this morning and he said they are open. Would be great to hear it is.
Would you have time to post bits and pieces of your VdLP? I would love to hear what sort of weather it is as it looked still quite hot last week?
Elaine
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#13
Hope you enjoy the Estrella and foot soak!
Starting from Mérida next week!
I phoned the Embalse this morning and he said they are open. Would be great to hear it is.
Would you have time to post bits and pieces of your VdLP? I would love to hear what sort of weather it is as it looked still quite hot last week?
Elaine
Barcelona is very temperate, they say it's rained a lot here recently and the heat has gone. Last time we walked the Vdlp in Sept Oct it was also ok, hot out of Seville but got frosty around Salamanca and wet in Gallicia, looks to be similar this year.

Beer is cold, life is good.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#14
I leave today on my convoluted journey to get me to the start of my Camino. Unlike past trips where we simply set off and went where the fancy took us, this time I am coordinating with other family members as we each make our own different way to Santiago and on to Finisterre.

I'm tired before I even start, organising care for stock, the farm, aged parents, my dog and house. I thought it was bad enough when a giant gum tree landed on the farrowing sheds and had to be cut up before I left. But today I had to deal with emergency water systems repair after someone drove over the irrigation pipes and ripped them out of the field. Then dealing with a grumpy boar who can't understand why he has to wait another fortnight before being turned out with the sows. Still I will soon leave all of this behind me and just focus on carrying enough water to get me to the next village.

Given early posts it looks like there is a veritable invasion in the Vdlp thus September, I may see you out there. I'll be the one trying to smuggle piglets into their pack to diversify my farms stud.
Buen Camino Hell! I wish I could meet up with you, and walk a while.

I know what you mean about getting everything set and letting go (or trying to!). I'm leaving Friday (no camino this time! :( -- I'm walking the Coastal Causeway in Northern Ireland and then heading down to Oxford to drop off my older son-- then home again. -- Your farm will manage (barely!) without you! I'm off to clean the gutters, and then call the vet because I have a horse that needs attention before I go!
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#15
Hey Hel&Scot, how are ye now and how is the way treating you ?
I am in Casar de Caceres, relaxing
John.
John, not sure if you stayed in Aljucén, but if you did, did you notice if Albergue Anna Lena was still open?
I have been trying to contact Anna, as I am hoping to stay there on the 21st, but no reply. A couple of previous comments have suggested she may be closed? I know she has closed the Casa Rural La Boveda but thought the Albergue might still be going despite a bit of a spat (I think) between her and the newer private Albergue Rio?
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#16
I am currently soaking my foot in a bucket and drinking Estrella after a 27km march around Barcelona visiting the usual haunts. .....
Hola and a special "buen camino" - have a soft spot for the VDLP.
Now about that Estrella - since your in Barcelona I will make a sad assumption that your Estrella comes from the sad city (my joke) (check the labels). Now when you get a few KM up to the road from Seville or at least by Salamanca your Estrella will come from Galicia and you will notice the improvement (imho). Cheers
 
#17
John, not sure if you stayed in Aljucén, but if you did, did you notice if Albergue Anna Lena was still open?
I have been trying to contact Anna, as I am hoping to stay there on the 21st, but no reply. A couple of previous comments have suggested she may be closed? I know she has closed the Casa Rural La Boveda but thought the Albergue might still be going despite a bit of a spat (I think) between her and the newer private Albergue Rio?
Hi Lainey,
It was open in June but barely. Not much in the way of upkeep, I was told. Go to the main bar in town when you get there, across from the church, and they will know because they had the keys.
 

Bunclody1

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2013 C Francis
June 2015 C Norte
September 2018 C Primitivo
#18
John, not sure if you stayed in Aljucén, but if you did, did you notice if Albergue Anna Lena was still open?
I have been trying to contact Anna, as I am hoping to stay there on the 21st, but no reply. A couple of previous comments have suggested she may be closed? I know she has closed the Casa Rural La Boveda but thought the Albergue might still be going despite a bit of a spat (I think) between her and the newer private Albergue Rio?
Hey Lainainy, I did not stay there. I stayed in the alburgue near to Las Vagas bar/restaurant Casa Antonia I think it is called. It was grand. A big fiesta was taking place while I was there as it was Extremadura day, good fun
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#19
Hi Lainey,
It was open in June but barely. Not much in the way of upkeep, I was told. Go to the main bar in town when you get there, across from the church, and they will know because they had the keys.
Thanks Lauri, chances are it might be closed all together. I will report back when I am there.
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#20
Hey Lainainy, I did not stay there. I stayed in the alburgue near to Las Vagas bar/restaurant Casa Antonia I think it is called. It was grand. A big fiesta was taking place while I was there as it was Extremadura day, good fun
Thanks for that, sounds like a good night!
Would you do me another favour, if you plan staying in Alcantara at the Embalse, just confirm that it´s open? I did ring the other day and they said it was.
thanks and buen camino
 

Bunclody1

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2013 C Francis
June 2015 C Norte
September 2018 C Primitivo
#21
Thanks for that, sounds like a good night!
Would you do me another favour, if you plan staying in Alcantara at the Embalse, just confirm that it´s open? I did ring the other day and they said it was.
thanks and buen camino
Hi Laney, I am now in Carcabosa and I stayed in Grimaldo last night. I enjoyed it, lovley quiet village, one pilgrim was traveling with a horse and Small buggy and is going to Santiago ! Nice hospitilaro and clean alburgue.
I text a guy who I walked with for a few days and he stayed in Embalse last night and he enjoyed it. So it’s definatly open
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#22
Hi Laney, I am now in Carcabosa and I stayed in Grimaldo last night. I enjoyed it, lovley quiet village, one pilgrim was traveling with a horse and Small buggy and is going to Santiago ! Nice hospitilaro and clean alburgue.
I text a guy who I walked with for a few days and he stayed in Embalse last night and he enjoyed it. So it’s definatly open
Thank you so much the info about Embalse!
Sounds as though you are really enjoying your iterinary. Hope the weather has cooled down a bit. Carcabosa is on my list of places as well. Good luck and keep posting!
 

Bunclody1

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2013 C Francis
June 2015 C Norte
September 2018 C Primitivo
#23
Thank you so much the info about Embalse!
Sounds as though you are really enjoying your iterinary. Hope the weather has cooled down a bit. Carcabosa is on my list of places as well. Good luck and keep posting!
Thanks Lainey, I am really enjoying the VDLP. Low 30’s at the moment, lots of water needed.
Time for me to eat !
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#24
Phew, have made it to Merida, was still 30 degrees at 8pm as we headed up the hill to the parador, confession as we are staying 2 nights so my daughter can visit the sites we felt we better leave the alburgue beds to those who have walked.

@Saint Mike II, I use to work for the breweries so I usually check the label and date stamp, but I promise this thread will not be overtaken by a running cervesa commentary.

@laineylainey, we stayed at the refuge in Aljucen last time and it was basic but ok, this time around we have managed to get a pilgrim discount at the Roman Therma and assuming I can drag my daughter away from the ruins at Merida will stay there.

@Bunclody1 good to see you powering ahead, weather forcast is for clouds but no sign of rain and countryside looks pretty dry.
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#25
Enjoy Mérida! Staying there an extra day as well as it looks as though there is so much to see. Enjoy the Parador. Last year there was a thread about Paradors offering either a pilgrim discount or "senior" discount or maybe it was a senior pilgrim discount!!
Buen camino
 
#27
we are staying 2 nights so my daughter can visit the sites .
Since you are experienced with the Vdlp, you may already know this, but your comment prompted me to let others know that you can buy a combined ticket to visit the Alcazar (castle), Roman theater and amphitheater, the Casa Mitreo (a villa) and a couple of other sites.

It's a good deal pricewise, but one of its most valuable aspects is that you can buy the pass at any of the sites and then skip the line at the Roman Theater, which is the only one that ever gets lines. When I was there this year, the lines were blocks and blocks long to get into the theater. I had bought my pass in the Alcazaba (right near the roman bridge and very much worth a visit), so I skipped right by those crowds.

And as a retired old person, I got the whole shebang for 7.5€

Hope you enjoy every minute there, Hel, lucky you to be with your precious hija! Buen camino, Laurie
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#28
Excellent advice as ever @peregrina2000 , yes I remember the Merida Multi-pass but good tip about the best place to purchase it. Fran's face lit up like a christmass tree when we rounded the corner last night and saw the Miracle aqueduct, reminded me of when Scott first saw it, he raced across the grass and hugged it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#30
Phew, have made it to Merida, was still 30 degrees at 8pm as we headed up the hill to the parador, confession as we are staying 2 nights so my daughter can visit the sites we felt we better leave the alburgue beds to those who have walked.

@Saint Mike II, I use to work for the breweries so I usually check the label and date stamp, but I promise this thread will not be overtaken by a running cervesa commentary.
Not a problem - fully endorse the two days in Merida (Parador no less). Enjoy those 2000 year old Roman ruins. You are about to embark on the section that was my first camino walk. It rained half the day. Cheers
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#31
Buen Camino Hel and Fran!
Starting with some days in Merida? Perfect. When you live where old means a few hundred years, 2000 is a source of awe...
And as a retired old person, I got the whole shebang for 7.5€
Hahaha...never mind that you can walk the legs of of most everyone, Laurie...
 
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#32
Short day today as it was 37'C so started at dawn, 7.30 sun up half an hour later but we're at Aljucen before the heat of the day set in. Passed the newly built alburgue in El Carrascaleo locals say it is open now but not the cafe that is supposed to service it. New alburgue at Aljucen looks good and is handily located opposite the new bar, by the shop and up the road to the Hogar. Good to see services improved since last time, don't miss the Therma, they offer pilgrim discount and meals, lovely green garden with a pool... I have had to break it to Fran that not every place on the Vdlp has a pool.
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#33
Since you are experienced with the Vdlp, you may already know this, but your comment prompted me to let others know that you can buy a combined ticket to visit the Alcazar (castle), Roman theater and amphitheater, the Casa Mitreo (a villa) and a couple of other sites.

It's a good deal pricewise, but one of its most valuable aspects is that you can buy the pass at any of the sites and then skip the line at the Roman Theater, which is the only one that ever gets lines. When I was there this year, the lines were blocks and blocks long to get into the theater. I had bought my pass in the Alcazaba (right near the roman bridge and very much worth a visit), so I skipped right by those crowds.

And as a retired old person, I got the whole shebang for 7.5€

Hope you enjoy every minute there, Hel, lucky you to be with your precious hija! Buen camino, Laurie
Thanks for that great bit of information Laurie. I only knew that there were many sites to see in Mérida but I didnt know about the combined ticket. Now on my "to remember" list!
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#34
Short day today as it was 37'C so started at dawn, 7.30 sun up half an hour later but we're at Aljucen before the heat of the day set in. Passed the newly built alburgue in El Carrascaleo locals say it is open now but not the cafe that is supposed to service it. New alburgue at Aljucen looks good and is handily located opposite the new bar, by the shop and up the road to the Hogar. Good to see services improved since last time, don't miss the Therma, they offer pilgrim discount and meals, lovely green garden with a pool... I have had to break it to Fran that not every place on the Vdlp has a pool.[/QUOT
@hel&scott , can you use the Therma and restaurant if you are not booked at the hotel? I am going to be there on a Friday but they don't have any rooms. Is it called the Aqua Libera?
 
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#36
Definitely take wet weather gear, maybe not the gloves but thin merino shirts and leggings, these can be used to layer up when it gets cold. And it does get cold, as you are walking south to north and onto a high plateau it cools quickly, Autumn can be unpredictable, forcast is for rain in a few days. So best to go with flexible light layers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#37
Thanks for that. Yes I am walking 3 weeks which will be the first time I have walked in October. Even last year on the Primitivo in Sept I was glad of my lightweight gloves first thing in the morning!
It's my constant dilemma- what to take definitely and what to take maybe!
Keep us posted with your trip please?
Enjoy that pool!
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#38
A beautiful days walking, guide by a pair of red cows. Have reached Alcuescar, snoozing safe in the alburgue while a thunderstorm has rolled into town.

Looking at my big toes, wondering how soon I will lose the toenails on these, oh will not the first time and they grow back.
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#39
For 3 years I kept coming back with a blackened big toe nail that eventually came off. In my case it was because my boots were too small although they seemed fine when I was walking!
Good luck with the weather tomorrow.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#40
Amazing sunset and thunderstorm last night, heavy rain cooled things down to the 20s, but it was back up to the 30s for the slog into Valdesalor. Glad to see we don't have to sleep in the mayoral chamber, but in there damn fine alburgue complete with washing machine.

If you are eating here it's worth the extra minute to wander in down to bar Julia, food far superior to other places.
 
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#41
Amazing sunset and thunderstorm last night, heavy rain cooled things down to the 20s, but it was back up to the 30s for the slog into Valdesalor. Glad to see we don't have to sleep in the mayoral chamber, but in there damn fine alburgue complete with washing machine.
If you are planning to stop and rest and luxuriate a bit in Caceres, I just want to pass on @SabineP's recommendation for a place to eat. It's Minerva, right smack dab in the Plaza Mayor. In my experience, it's hard to get good food in a plaza mayor, usually it's pretty mediocre and includes a charge for the view (which is understandable). But I thoroughly enjoyed a long Sunday lunch outside in the square here. All those little kids in their Sunday best, it was just wonderful. No pressure to move on from anyone -- the waiter who took my order was sure I wouldn't be able to down the entire tapas menú, which was pretty hefty for only 16 €. But I had been walking a lot the previous few days and told him I was sure I could handle it. The last course was some meat part that I didn´t eat, but the rest was delicious! They had a very good looking menú del día, too.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#43
If you are planning to stop and rest and luxuriate a bit in Caceres, I just want to pass on @SabineP's recommendation for a place to eat. It's Minerva, right smack dab in the Plaza Mayor. In my experience, it's hard to get good food in a plaza mayor, usually it's pretty mediocre and includes a charge for the view (which is understandable). But I thoroughly enjoyed a long Sunday lunch outside in the square here. All those little kids in their Sunday best, it was just wonderful. No pressure to move on from anyone -- the waiter who took my order was sure I wouldn't be able to down the entire tapas menú, which was pretty hefty for only 16 €. But I had been walking a lot the previous few days and told him I was sure I could handle it. The last course was some meat part that I didn´t eat, but the rest was delicious! They had a very good looking menú del día, too.
May look at it for an evening meal, just back from a tour of the sites and had lunch at he Kabab place in the shady side of the square down from the information centre, cheap as chips, actually very good chips, and for vegetarian sick of plain lettuce it's good to have some falafel and garlic sauce on the greens for a change. Weather cooler just climbing to 32 in the afternoon.

Having a good look at pack contents to see what we can do without or send ahead.
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#44
When I am home I don't eat any cos lettuce because I get so much of it in Spain! Also thankfully cos lettuce doesn't grow well in my part of Ireland - yippee!
Any recommended "should see" places in Caceres?
 
#45
When I am home I don't eat any cos lettuce because I get so much of it in Spain! Also thankfully cos lettuce doesn't grow well in my part of Ireland - yippee!
Any recommended "should see" places in Caceres?

Just walking around the Renaissance core is delightful, you will almost think you are in Tusscany. Well, that may be an unintended slight, what I mean by that is that it has all the architectural harmony of a Renaissance Tuscan town but very few of the tourists. One place worth visiting IMO is the aljibe, the Moorish cistern. The museum above it is quite nice as well. http://museodecaceres.juntaex.es/web/view/portal/index/standardPage.php?id=28

Casa del Sol is one of the iconic facades, and it’s one of the ones that is more hidden: https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casa_del_Sol

I had to look up “cos lettuce”, google tells me I call it Romaine. Probably one of the most disappointing culinary trends in Spain is that more and more restaurants are no longer serving leaf lettuce. Several years ago, I asked what the lettuce on my plate was and was told it was “eeethaybergay” (my poor phonetic spelling). Realized that “iceberg” had made its way directly into the Spanish vocabulary. This suggests to me that it is not native but a recent import, but certainly one that we would all be better off without.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#47
After shedding weight, thanks @ivar, we have made good progress and the good part about the stages outa Caceres is that you can take it slow or combine stages and flog yourself, we have done both.

Today we were rewarded by the sight of a family of imperial Eagles, we have seen them circling higher and higher in the air, but today they were on the ground next to us, amazing to see just how big they are.

Gotta go passing out after a full lunch, still mulling over tomorrow's options regarding the Caparra arch.
 
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