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A Safer route out of Cáceres

Kanga

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Note from the mods. I was looking at a general thread on highway safety and noticed that there were some posts about a safer alternative leaving Cáceres. Since this is such a dangerous section, I thought I would highlight it and make it a separate thread, so that other Vdlp pilgrims might take notice.

I think that stretch out of Cáceres is so, so dangerous. Horrible. Let's hope that an alternative path can be found before some poor hapless pilgrim is killed. And some poor driver has to live with the consequences.
 
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MilosWay

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I think that stretch out of Cáceres is so, so dangerous. Horrible. Let's hope that an alternative path can be found before some poor hapless pilgrim is killed. And some poor driver has to live with the consequences.
There is another way out of Caceres. A really good one actually. It is a bit longer and goes over the hills, but with nice views and it completely avoids the busy road.
I don't have a proper track/map for it, but I just found this one on wikiloc:
The alternative starts at 1,1 km. At the small square with a few trees and benches.
The road might be the original vdlp, but the other path is much nicer and safer and I don't understand why they don't change it to this one.
 
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Past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
How well do I remember that Cáceres to Casar de Cáceres sector back in 2013. Even walking facing the on-coming traffic it was still more than a little un-nerving.
My general advice is that except where there is no alternative stay well away from "N" routes or motorways/autoroutes (these are the roads marked in RED on Brierley and other guide books. If you have to walk on these try to walk so that the safety barrier is between you and the traffic. Fortunately, in most cases if you have to cross these roads there are underpasses, even if they are a little out of your way. Cheers
 

peregrina2000

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Staff member
I just saw these comments in another, general thread on highway walking. I wanted to bring it to the attention of the Vdlp pilgrims more generally. The route out of Cáceres, on a weekday morning, is terribly dangerous. Post #2 in this thread offers a safer alternative. I would encourage you guys to try it, because it is really an awful stretch.
 

george.g

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Thanks for the Wikiloc, Cacares to Caesar will be the first day of my family’s annual week on Camino and I wasn’t looking forward to the road section out of Cacares. We will definitely take the safety option, and as we are having a short day a few kms more won’t be a problem.
Regards
George
 
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peregrina2000

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Thanks for the Wikiloc, Cacares to Caesar will be the first day of my family’s annual week on Camino and I wasn’t looking forward to the road section out of Cacares. We will definitely take the safety option, and as we are having a short day a few kms more won’t be a problem.
Regards
George
Hi, George, Great timing. Please let us know how it goes, and wishing you a wonderful “family week” on the Camino.
 
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There is another way out of Caceres. A really good one actually. It is a bit longer and goes over the hills, but with nice views and it completely avoids the busy road.
I don't have a proper track/map for it, but I just found this one on wikiloc:
The alternative starts at 1,1 km. At the small square with a few trees and benches.
The road might be the original vdlp, but the other path is much nicer and safer and I don't understand why they don't change it to this one.
Would the Oficina de Turismo be familiar with it?
 
D

Deleted member 73526

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Would the Oficina de Turismo be familiar with it?
You *might* be lucky enough to meet someone at the tourist information office who happens to walk or hunt. But, honestly, your chance of meeting someone who knows local paths is much higher at a random bar where guys with trailers full of dogs hang out.
IME, people who know the area from the front seat of a car are about the worst source of information about how to get around on foot.
 
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You *might* be lucky enough to meet someone at the tourist information office who happens to walk or hunt. But, honestly, your chance of meeting someone who knows local paths is much higher at a random bar where guys with trailers full of dogs hang out.
IME, people who know the area from the front seat of a car are about the worst source of information about how to get around on foot.
Good point. I can see it on the map, but don't have the "uh-MAZ-ing skilz" to print out that bit of map, nor copy and paste it to my planning spreadsheet. When I zoom in there doesn't seem to be a street name, but it looks paved. There is, however, an overpass road crossing of the busy highway on this path. The "extra distance" on the Wikiloc track seems to be purely in going through the park before this mystery cut-off. It takes a 45-degree angle at a street corner, follows a sort of access to the highway and crosses with either a bridge or tunnel. The cut-off appears to take the walker to the paved but small looking road into Casar de Caceres a bit sooner than the marked path.

I'm hoping that at least the Turismo will have a reasonably detailed town map.
Thanks to MilosWay for the tip, maybe it will come in handy at the end of April for us!
 

peregrina2000

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Staff member
Hope this doesn’t complicate things, but the same wikiloc user has two trails marked from Cáceres to Casar de Cáceres. Here’s the second one.


This route, I think, follows the regular camino past the bull ring, then to the left, onto Avenida Lavanderas which becomes Calle Calatayud. At the screen shot I attach, the alternative (the orange line) takes you over the national highway on a pedestrian crosswalk right before the roundabout, Ronda Norte I think it is. At that roundabout, you can see the road going left at about 11 o’clock— that’s the paved terrifying road to Casar de Cáceres. The alternative orange route goes left at about ten o’clock, and seems to rejoin the normal camino at the point that it goes off the road.
 

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Thanks! My sweetie just pointed out that one can search for "how to take screen shot" and I did. The scary crosswalk doesn't really appeal to me as much as the bridge does, but it's great to have alternate ways to consider.
 
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Hope this doesn’t complicate things, but the same wikiloc user has two trails marked from Cáceres to Casar de Cáceres. Here’s the second one.


This route, I think, follows the regular camino past the bull ring, then to the left, onto Avenida Lavanderas which becomes Calle Calatayud. At the screen shot I attach, the alternative (the orange line) takes you over the national highway on a pedestrian crosswalk right before the roundabout, Ronda Norte I think it is. At that roundabout, you can see the road going left at about 11 o’clock— that’s the paved terrifying road to Casar de Cáceres. The alternative orange route goes left at about ten o’clock, and seems to rejoin the normal camino at the point that it goes off the road.
Your route also shows on https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#?map=16!39.4845!-6.3824
Maybe since then the route was re-routed.
 
D

Deleted member 397

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I've done the vdlp a few times and don't recall this section as being particularly bad but time does dim the memory. My guide book seems to indicate a path alongside the motorway
 

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peregrina2000

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Staff member
I've done the vdlp a few times and don't recall this section as being particularly bad but time does dim the memory. My guide book seems to indicate a path alongside the motorway

I’m don't at all challenge your memory, but it means you were very lucky! Weekends and any time outside of rush hour would not be scary. This is not a big highway with a shoulder, it’s a narrow road connecting a little town with Cáceres. Only problem is that almost everyone who lives there seems to work in Cáceres.
 
D

Deleted member 397

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I’m don't at all challenge your memory, but it means you were very lucky! Weekends and any time outside of rush hour would not be scary. This is not a big highway with a shoulder, it’s a narrow road connecting a little town with Cáceres. Only problem is that almost everyone who lives there seems to work in Cáceres.
I do seem to be lucky on my caminos!..but I still have nightmares over that stretch out of Ourense,the one up to Moclin, up to Montserrat and to Radicofini..as you can guess I'm not keen on hills. I've attached lop sided photos of my guide book so you can see the route he has..which I guess is the one mentioned
 
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C clearly

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Here it is on a Saturday afternoon in April. Not too busy, but I can imagine that it would be scary during commuting hours. There were a few km like this (as you can see ahead, generally not with the big shoulder in the foreground of this picture). The path moved off the actual road at some point and continued parallel at a safe distance.
 

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D

Deleted member 397

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Here it is on a Saturday afternoon in April. Not too busy, but I can imagine that it would be scary during commuting hours. There were a few km like this (as you can see ahead, generally not with the big shoulder in the foreground of this picture). The path moved off the actual road at some point and continued parallel at a safe distance.
Yikes!...all that greenery!...looks more like a dust bowl when i walk in july/august
 

dick bird

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Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Here is the offending item. Not much traffic on it. That is because it was May 1st, a public holiday. It is a short stage to Cásar so one option might be to set off either very early (if you are not staying in Cásar) or later in the morning after the traffic has died down. Part of it has a path alongside, but not this bit. As it is a short stage though, the variant sounds like a good idea if Cásar is as far as you are going that day.

DSCN1279.JPG
 

peregrina2000

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Staff member
Here is the offending item. Not much traffic on it. That is because it was May 1st, a public holiday. It is a short stage to Cásar so one option might be to set off either very early (if you are not staying in Cásar) or later in the morning after the traffic has died down. Part of it has a path alongside, but not this bit. As it is a short stage though, the variant sounds like a good idea if Cásar is as far as you are going that day.

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The analogy that would resonate with you, @dick bird, is that walking on the road to Casar de Cáceres on a public holiday is like walking through A Trampilla outside Barxa do Lor on the Invierno when the dogs are not chained up there.

It is about as hair-raising a traffic experience as it gets, equalled IMO only by the stretch on the N-430 into Torrefresnada on the Mozárabe and the roadside walk into Potes on the Lebañiego.

If anyone is walking out of Cáceres on a Sunday or holiday, the road will be fine, but on a normal work day it is very bad. The alternative is not much longer at all and is off road.
 

dick bird

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The analogy that would resonate with you, @dick bird, is that walking on the road to Casar de Cáceres on a public holiday is like walking through A Trampilla outside Barxa do Lor on the Invierno when the dogs are not chained up there.

It is about as hair-raising a traffic experience as it gets, equalled IMO only by the stretch on the N-430 into Torrefresnada on the Mozárabe and the roadside walk into Potes on the Lebañiego.

If anyone is walking out of Cáceres on a Sunday or holiday, the road will be fine, but on a normal work day it is very bad. The alternative is not much longer at all and is off road.
I hope I wasn't being misunderstood here. I wasn't trying to downplay the danger, which is real. I was trying to make the point that what seems OK on one day may be very different on another. I've seen this happen before on the forum where someone reads a post about a peril of some kind and someone else unhelpfully remarks on the lines of 'Well it was fine when I walked through' without considering why it might have been different. We should take these warnings seriously. It also raises the question of why the official caminos are often routed alongside busy roads when they don't have to be. By the way, is there a list of dodgy roadside camino routes? I'd be happy to contribute.
 
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C clearly

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Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
is there a list of dodgy roadside camino routes? I'd be happy to contribute.
Good question! If you click on the tag "hazards" now at the top of the thread, you'll find various other threads that were similarly tagged - some of them were posted in the Safety and Security section, and some were posted under the particular route. Some of those reports are likely out-of-date.

It might be best to have separate threads for different hazardous areas, so those threads can be put in the correct route forum and they can be updated when the conditions change.

Either the OP can add the tag "hazards" when starting a thread, or a moderator can add it anytime later. That way, all hazards can be found by clicking the tag, or they can be found for specific routes by using Advanced Search / Search Threads.
 

dick bird

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It's a difficult one. The beauty of the forum is the diversity and freedom that allows anyone to post (almost) anything, but sometimes the information doesn't get to to who needs to see it unless they are looking.

Maybe the forum for each route could begin with a 'Hazards, Warnings and Precautions' sub-forum to which relevant, specific threads can be directed.

Then maybe another general sub-forum labelled also 'Hazards, Warnings and Precautions' as part of the 'Pilgrim Topics Related to all Routes' forum. I don't know if this is getting too complicated, but the hazards, warnings and precautions could be further divided into subjects and I think the four main ones seem to be: Safety for Women (especially travelling alone); Dogs; Roads; and Thefts from albergues.

I also wonder if the writers, publishers and compilers of the online and hard copy guides check this forum for info. John Brierley, for example, describes the dogs in Barxa do Lar as 'loud'. Really? Enough for now. Buen (and safe) camino.
 

C clearly

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sometimes the information doesn't get to to who needs to see it unless they are looking.
Yes, it is difficult to trade off all the considerations. (I love talking about classification.)
Then maybe another general sub-forum labelled also 'Hazards, Warnings and Precautions' as part of the 'Pilgrim Topics Related to all Routes' forum.
There is already a forum exclusively for "Safety and Security." It could be further sub-divided (for example with a "road hazard" tag, but so far, I'm not sure it is worth the effort. Sometimes, just browsing chronologically is the simplest thing to do. Under "Safety and Security", a tag-search subforum collects all the additional threads tagged in route forums. Hazards on a particular route should go into the route forum, as a first decision, and then be tagged.

You can search for the tag "hazards" in whatever route you want. Go to Advanced Search, and then choose Search Threads (instead of the default Search Everything).

So, feel free to post threads about road hazards on any route! We'll capture them somehow!
 
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I took the path that avoids the highway walking out of Cáceres on my 2017 VDLP. It was a steep uphill climb, but that offered wonderful views of the city when you looked back on it.
The path, which begins at the large round-about outside of town, was not marked with yellow arrows. I only found it because of the michelin website I used.
 

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Happy Penguin

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GOOGLE MAP OF A SAFE ROUTE OUT OF CÁCERES

I discovered this thread today and would like to refresh it because the issue is important and it seems like many forum members plan to walk VdlP in October or late September🐧

Walking the Camino out of Cáceres is on the side of a sometimes very busy road, particularly dangerous on weekday mornings, when it's raining, and if we walk before sunrise, which in October can be as late as half past 8 in the morning.

In this thread two alternatives have been given:

1. in the post #2 - a route starting soon after we pass the Bullring (Plaza de Toros). The alternative is about 1 km longer than the Camino and includes 80m/260ft ascent

2. in the post #24 - a route starting at the roundabout at the end of Caceres. It is also 1 km longer then the Camino, but incudes climbing a hill of Cerro Otero, which means ascent of 100m/330ft - I guess nice wievs from there

3. Not mentioned in the thread, a route which I actually took myself, when I decided that I will not walk one minute longer on this dangerous road. This route starts about 500 meters after I passed the roundabout so I walked maybe 6-7 minutes along the busy CC-38 road. This detour is slightly longer - 1,4 km - but the ascent is nicer, just 50m/130ft.

I placed all 3 alternatives on a google map, so anyone can download them as a kml file - to do that you touch or click the 3 dots next to the map title ("a safer route out of Caceres") and select : download KML from a pull down menu.

GOOGLE MAP : https://tinyurl.com/ExitCaceres

Myself, in a daylight and good weather, if necessary, I'm OK with walking on this road, but I wouldn't do it if I start early and it is still dark, or if I have walked already many km, and I'm too tired to pay close attention to the traffic. Half an hour of extra walking and a small hill to climb is a small price for avoiding an accident.

Have a Safe Camino!

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dick bird

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GOOGLE MAP OF A SAFE ROUTE OUT OF CÁCERES

I discovered this thread today and would like to refresh it because the issue is important and it seems like many forum members plan to walk VdlP in October or late September🐧

Walking the Camino out of Cáceres is on the side of a sometimes very busy road, particularly dangerous on weekday mornings, when it's raining, and if we walk before sunrise, which in October can be as late as half past 8 in the morning.

In this thread two alternatives have been given:

1. in the post #2 - a route starting soon after we pass the Bullring (Plaza de Toros). The alternative is about 1 km longer than the Camino and includes 80m/260ft ascent

2. in the post #24 - a route starting at the roundabout at the end of Caceres. It is also 1 km longer then the Camino, but incudes climbing a hill of Cerro Otero, which means ascent of 100m/330ft - I guess nice wievs from there

3. Not mentioned in the thread, a route which I actually took myself, when I decided that I will not walk one minute longer on this dangerous road. This route starts about 500 meters after I passed the roundabout so I walked maybe 6-7 minutes along the busy CC-38 road. This detour is slightly longer - 1,4 km - but the ascent is nicer, just 50m/130ft.

I placed all 3 alternatives on a google map, so anyone can download them as a kml file - to do that you touch or click the 3 dots next to the map title ("a safer route out of Caceres") and select : download KML from a pull down menu.

GOOGLE MAP : https://tinyurl.com/ExitCaceres

Myself, in a daylight and good weather, if necessary, I'm OK with walking on this road, but I wouldn't do it if I start early and it is still dark, or if I have walked already many km, and I'm too tired to pay close attention to the traffic. Half an hour of extra walking and a small hill to climb is a small price for avoiding an accident.

Have a Safe Camino!

View attachment 108463
Well done. If one's next stop is Casar de Cáceres, it is very short stage so the alternatives make a lot of sense.
 

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