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2019 Camino Guides

Castilblanco de los Arroyos to Almadén de la Plata. aka. the stage from hell.

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Vía de la Plata / Camino Sanabrés, Camino del Baztán, Camino Aragonés, Chemin du Puy
There's a report in El Diario newspaper saying that a number of walkers' rights organisations, ecological organisations and the Amigos del Camino are taking a court case to gain access to a historical right of way which would cut the number of kilometres of road walking on the stage between Castilblanco and Almaden:


It would be nice to avoid that 16km of road (although I wouldn't really go along with their description of it as dangerous).

Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Portuguese 2015
Via Francigena 2016
Kumano Kodo, Japan 2017
VdlP 2018 to be cont’d
I really hope they are successful as it is a very long stretch with the added bonus of a steep hill right at the end. For those who do not want to walk the road section there is a man in the village who will take you to the park entrance for €25.
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
"The stage from Hell"???

Isn't that teeny bit overstating it? Yes, the long road stage is dull, but there's a wide verge so it's not on tarmac, and there's virtually no traffic.

And the next 14km in the park are just wonderful, rising slowly through the sweet smelling sierra. The lung-busting final climb just before Almadén is tough, but the views out from the Calvario are spectacular, and you can see that lunch is just a short descent down into the village (a very nice village and a very nice albergue, even if the vending machine does make a tiresome noise all through the night). But it would be wonderful if the fist 15km were in countryside as spectacular as the rest.

If I was choosing "my worst stage on the Plata", I think I'd go for Salamanca to El Cubo de Tierra del Vino, dreary suburbs followed by flat flat flat shadeless, with only a motorway for company (oh, and a prison tower).
Totally agree with Alan!

The road is SO quiet, in the three times I've walked it (yes 3) there have been at the most a handful of cars passing. Dangerous I would not at all call it and the reward afterwards is the lovely park.

@alansykes IMHO the walk into El Cubo is the worst - the entire time alongside a highway without a tree or bush to hide behind to pee :( (for us ladies) - although I am sure that some might enjoy the show while passing by:oops:.


Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
Ah, the freedom that comes from having a very clever piece of Swiss engineering.... PM me for details (no commercial interest)!


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
I actually quite enjoy those 16 km by the road, virtually no traffic, quiet misty mornings, beautiful landscape... I have done it 3 times too (only 3,5 hours drive from home, yipeee!) and I find it nice.

This said, it would be ideal if the old path, la trocha, could be opened again, but the Andalusian government refuses to force the landowners to reopen a path that should be public. A disgrace. As soon as the old path is reopened, I will try to go there again!
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte?
I shared a taxi to the entrance of the park. I thought a 30+ km stage would be too much for my third stage. The walk through the park was wonderful. The climb was not that bad. I thought I was halfway when I allready reached the top ( the feeling might be different when I would have walked the 16 km to the park.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Twice walked from St Jean to Estella and once from Sarria to Santiago. Maybe someday I'll find the time to do the entire walk.
I've found the time. Just completed SJPP to Santiago. 25 Aug to 1st Oct, 2016.
And now the Portuguese from Lisbon.
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
I well remember that hill. After struggling up it on a very hot day, at the top in a park there was a group of teenagers talking as only the Spanish can talk, who, as soon as they saw me, told me to sit down and brought me a big glass of Sangria which I gulped down and they promptly refilled. The Spanish people are wonderful
Camino(s) past & future
Frances/Muxia (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Norte (17), Ingles (17), Via de la Plata (18)
I didn’t mind the Almaden stage. The view at the top of the mountain was awesome at the end of the day!

As for the Salamanca to El Cubo de Tierra del Vino stage, I broke it up by staying at Casa Sosa yesterday. Very friendly hosts, heaters and great wifi. They also have a swimming pool that is open in the warmer months!
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Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
I walked the whole stage. The road was not very heavy on traffic. But since the 24 hours in front had been heavy on rain, the arroyos in the park was big rivers, balancing on top of stones with the water froading around. Never took a picture, but should have. The hill at the end of the park was not as bad as described in the guidebooks after the arroyos.
Camino(s) past & future
CF -15, VdlP -15, Sanabres-16. Portugues -17, Norte/Primitivo -17, Mozarabe/Torres-18
No pain, no gain, as they say. One of the most amazing stage on VdlP. The countryroad is beautifull and silent, though. (IMHO)

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
I broke the stage up by sleeping at the (disused) foresters buildings where the fountain is just after entering the park. There is a shelter there, the sunset was beautiful. The road wasn't dangerous just boring, I hope they do manage to open the countryside route up for 'next time'.



New Member
Camino(s) past & future
le puy
Stages like this one add to the variety of the VDLP and make it ne of the great walks. I still remember this stage after walking it in 2009. Didn't find it boring at all.

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
I remember that day well. The previous day was like a mud bath and I feared the same after the road section but things turned out great in the end.


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