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Advice please - Via De La Plata

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hi everyone, I'd be grateful for some advice.

I'm quite an experienced walker but a new pilgrim. I'm intending to walk the VdLP in the autumn and preparations have already begun. The plan has already got hold of me!

Planning for the pilgriamge is mostly straightforward but I do have some questions about accomodation. For health reasons it isn't really practical for me to stay in refugios and therefore I need to plan to arrive every day in a location which has either a hostal or a small hotel. From what I have read this seems possible but I would really value realistic advice from people with experience.

Thanks in advance.

John
 
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johnnalexander said:
For health reasons it isn't really practical for me to stay in refugios and therefore I need to plan to arrive every day in a location which has either a hostal or a small hotel. From what I have read this seems possible but I would really value realistic advice from people with experience.

There are stretches of the VdlP where the accommodation is very limited and in those situations I would suggest getting a bus to a nearby town and back again the next morning. Unfortunately I cannot remember precisely where this was so my advice is not very specific.

You may need to plan your journey so that you stay closer to the main roads on those stretches than the marked camino.

When we did it the Spanish tourist office had brochures they sent out covering hotels, hostales etc for the various provinces the VdlP passes through which were useful for planning.

Buen Camino
Willliam
 
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A place to sleep

I have been walking part of Via de la Plata this spring. The organization of the friend of Via de la Plata in Sevilla had a good list of Albergues. On this list, they also mention on which places you can find hostals and hotels. We experienced that their small office was not often open, and I think not at very regular times, but if you stay a day or two in Sevilla, you can find them. They were very nice to us. At least when we were there, we could only comunicate in spanish. How to find the office, you will find described elsewhere on this forum.

I think a good guidebook will be your best help. We used Alison Raju "Via de la Plata" (2005) and found it good, both for the "navigation" and for the descriptions of the villages. For every place the book can tell you about the facilities; pensions, hostals, hotels, casa rurales... For many villages you will also find both adresses and telefonnumber to these places. The book also tell you were there is nothing but the albergue, and where there is nothing at all.... Things like this change all the time, so you can never trust a book 100%, but a guidebokk will be a good help; at least our guidebook was.

Some days you will have to walk guite long distances for a place to sleep, but at least for the first 300 kilometers, I do not think you will have problems with getting a place to sleep if you telfone the day before. By then you will know how the situation is, and what you have to do.

It seems like there are more and more people walking Via de la Plata, and this is not the french route, so the places to stay are often small and can be filled up. So if you can not sleep on a sleepingmat on a "roof and floor" from time to time, I would recommend booking.

For example when you leave Sevilla, the natural place to stop the first evening is Guillena. There is a "roof and floor" and a small hostal. We had tried to get a room in the hostal on beforehand (the guidebook had the number), but no ... So "roof and floor" ...

I think you will find what you need with some preparations!
Good luck! Bjørg
 
Accomodations once more.

When I wrote my reply yesterday, I forgot to say this: A very useful Internett adress is godesalco.com. There you will find a camino planner also for Via de la Plata. When you use it, you will get information on the lenght of the etappas and what sort of accomodations you can expect to find on different places. I brought with me this list and my guidebook. The godesalco-list gave me the survey, and the guidebook gave me the details. Bjørg
 
I don't have much to add to bjorgts comments, but to reassure you I can tell you that I did the Via De La Plata this may and I always had a bed in a refugio. Never took a hotel or camping or whatever.

The longest I think I walked in a day between refugio's is 38km. But by the time you reach that stage (the deserted bit) you'll have already done a lot of kilometers and you're body will be used to it
 
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