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Anyone able to recommend guide to Via la Plata?

eli

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances from St JPdP 2004
Camino Frances from Burgos 2010
Camino Via de la Plata from Merida 2011
Camino Portuguese from Lisbon (2014)
European Peace Walk (2016)
Way of St Francis - Florence to Rome (2016)
I've got 8 weeks now before starting the VdlP from out of Seville and wondering whether anyone can recommend any worthwhile guides to the route. Something basic to carry with me which will allow me to plan stops a day ahead at a time and provide enough info to keep me on the right route , especially with all the road work that seems to be happening. Something on line which can be printed off and disguarded as I go would be perfect but all that I've been able to find is either non-English or into Astorga rather then across Galicia via Ourese....

Or should I just follow my nose? I've used the on line "godesalco" site so have some sense of distances now.

Any advice?
Eli
 
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eli

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances from St JPdP 2004
Camino Frances from Burgos 2010
Camino Via de la Plata from Merida 2011
Camino Portuguese from Lisbon (2014)
European Peace Walk (2016)
Way of St Francis - Florence to Rome (2016)
Thanks William,
Are these the ones that you used? I'm aware of both these books but understood that they were both a few years old - or are they? 2005? But I guess with the updates on the web for the Cof SJ guide that one will at least work out current. And will probably be the one I end up relying on. It's cousin worked out beautifully for me twice on the Camino Frances. From what I've read the Alison Raju would be overly detailed with directions and bulky (for me anyway).

I've also been doing some net surfing this afternoon since posting this question (addictive stuff!!) and found an interesting site - Consumer Eroski - which seems to have a pretty good outline of both the La Plata and Mozarabe routes. The translation tool makes the english reading a bit - well - interesting :? but otherwise looks good.

The website http://www.caminoguide.net/ViadelaPlataGuide.pdf. seemed good. Just enough of a route to give you backup without weighing you down in directions and info.
And they both seem up to date. Has anyone used them? Or found anything else useful?

I've also since found this forums' article "Guidebook" last updated 4 July 08 which also had some good advise.

So much information out there!!
 

isabelle304

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (SJPP-Santiago) (Oct-Nov 08)
Santiago to Finisterre (Nov 08)
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabres (Sevilla-Santiago via Ourense) (Oct-Nov 09)
Camino Primitivo (Oviedo-Santiago) (Sep-Oct 14)
From personal experience I found that it was impossible to find any one guide to the VdlP that provided all (up-to-date) info in one place.

The website http://www.caminoguide.net/ViadelaPlataGuide.pdf. seemed good. Just enough of a route to give you backup without weighing you down in directions and info.
And they both seem up to date. Has anyone used them? Or found anything else useful?

I printed this out and took it with me. It was extremely useful info for accommodation, compressed on 2 pages. However it covers only the route via Astorga, not the route via Ourense.

I also used the CSJ guide + updates. To be honest if I'd lost that I would have been hardly upset! My main guide was the French one with maps already mentioned in another thread. I also saw several German pilgrims using a small red guide book (in German, of course) which had excellent maps in it.

The Eroski website, as well as the Mundicamino site, both in Spanish, were also quite useful. Many Spaniards I met on the route just used Eroski printouts and seemed pretty happy with that.

No matter what guide you choose, in my opinion you'll definitely need maps as there are parts of the VdlP where the signage is not very good or has disappeared and there is just nobody around to ask for directions. Be aware also that some local people in some places don't always know the exact route of the camino - I was given wrong directions on 3 occasions.

Isabelle
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
What we used was a combination of the Cicerone Guide and the one then published by the Amigos del Camino in Seville. I extracted the route notes from Alison's guide and the maps from the Amigo's together with accommodation info from the CSJ and Spanish tourist office into a small wire bound volume for my own use.

When we did it the VdlP was not a "motorway" like the CF can sometimes be thought of as and a route guide was necessary, I cannot say if the way marking is now sufficiently good to do without one.

Alison's guide will still be reasonably current (although another is in the publishing pipeline I hear it will not be out in the next 8 weeks) as it is a route guide. I am aware the CSJ one will be less up to date on accommodation. The Spanish used a guide which started in Merida I think by El Pais but whether there are better ones out know I do not know.
 
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johnie99

New Member
eli said:
Something basic to carry with me which will allow me to plan stops a day ahead at a time and provide enough info to keep me on the right route , especially with all the road work that seems to be happening. Something on line which can be printed off and disguarded as I go would be perfect

Based on that statement, the EROSKI guide should be more than sufficient. Its all we used and never got lost. Even with snow, we found the yellow arrows.

A little bit of common sense and the realisation that you will be heading in a general northerly direction, also helps.
 
A

AJ

Guest
And don't forget Tourist Information Offices. They often have excellent information on the Camino. I obtained good info in Merida, Banos de Montemayor and Zamora.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Eli,

I had the CSJ guide last spring and thought it was sketchy and out of date. Other English speakers were using Allison Raju's Cicerone guide, which is also out of date but had much more information. I found, though, that I could always find German speakers with their wonderful guides and their wonderful English language ability, so I always was able to get up to date information about upcoming stages during those sit-around-the-table pilgrim sessions.

I know you don't want one in Spanish, but for those who can speak Spanish, the Eroski online site has very good detailed walking instructions (like -- "when you leave Aljucen, make sure you look for the arrow to the right across the street from the gas station...") and can be printed in a very handy one- or two-page format with all walking instructions, a small map of the stage, accommodation info, etc.

I think your nose, with help from the Germans, will get you to Santiago just fine. I always feel better having something written along, but in reality, it's probably not totally necessary.

Laurie
 

eze

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francès 2005/2006
Norte 2007
Plata 2008
Eze (home) Roma
Mozarabe April 2014 (Granada-Cordoba) March 2016 (Córdoba-Merida)
Camino Gironès September 2014 (La Jonquera-Vic)
and, if you can read french, refer to "Le Chemin de la Plata", edited by Rando Editions.
I'll use it when we start our Camino beginning of march 2010 in Sevilla.

I walked Frances and Norte following this type of guide recommendations.

My present copy is "dated" 2007. I cross-checked it with updates found on the net, books or blogs, and i didnot find spectacular discrepancies or missings. It, also, gives an overview of geographic particularities or historic references about places you go through.
 
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eli

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances from St JPdP 2004
Camino Frances from Burgos 2010
Camino Via de la Plata from Merida 2011
Camino Portuguese from Lisbon (2014)
European Peace Walk (2016)
Way of St Francis - Florence to Rome (2016)
Thanks for everyone's responses. And it seems that, like a lot of things with a camino, to take or not to take a guide is personal choice. One thing though is clear, and that is that there is no single, up-to-date guide which will get me through in English. So I will continue to research generally as well as take notes from this forum, and transfer it all onto ...something :?: ....and when I get to Spain, put one foot in front of another, heading northwards and talking to fellow pilgrims on the way :D
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
You can plan your daily walks here:

http://www.godesalco.com/plan/plata

Print each sheet and laminate.

There is details about albergues on the way here (show in maps for each day's walk:

http://camino.xacobeo.es/en

Make your own little guide, maybe? and there are several blogs and forum posts to learn from. I am reading up for my own camino.
 
"...an interesting site - Consumer Eroski - which seems to have a pretty good outline of both the La Plata and Mozarabe routes"
Try as I might, I can't seem to find this site. No doubt due to my lack of Spanish. Can anyone please assist?
Martin (PS I aim to depart from Seville on 3rd April.)
 
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