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Considering walking next March, need some info

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Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
I am considering combining walking the VdlP from Sevilla March 2020 and switching to C. Sanabrés in Zamora, with plenty of exploring along the way - a cultural walk, as much as a traditional C.
(before that: Almería, bus to Granada (where I intend to be fascinated for at least three days), bus to Córdoba (a day, or two), bus to Sevilla (lots to see)).

Anyway, I'd like some info about what weather I should expect and typical temperatures, primarily in the heights.

I'd guess lots of rain, but I'm trying to determine, if I can get away with using my 10*C sleeping bag, or, should I bring three-season sleeping gear, and what clothing will be adequate for walking the heights in March. Long underwear? I'm quite well prepared for both heat and rain.

I did try to get an overview from past posts, but that almost made me cross-eyed.

I also intend to explore Zafra, Mérida, Salamanca and Zamora. Any suggestions for other interesting sites and sights along the routes (other than our usual endpoint)?

And then I have to convince SWMBO. Such projects tends to have a low WAF.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
I have walked the VDLP in mid-summer but also the Levante and Invierno in Feb/March this year. I used my Marmot Nanowave 55 for both.
My standard "uniform" for February and March with cold frosty mornings and usually getting up to 10-15 C and on occasion as high as 22 deg was:
2 buffs - one to cover hair and ears, the other for neck
Touch sensitive liner gloves which were warm enough and also allowed me to use my phone to check where we were.
Smartwool short sleeved t-shirt.
Paramo Cascada II hiking pants. They are waterproof enough for rain but have excellent venting for when it gets sunny and hot. And you can put them on easily over your boots. But they are not cheap. However I think they are well worth every expensive cent as they last and are very practical. The one day we got drenched, water did run down my back and into the back of my pants but they kept me warm. Otherwise I suspect I would have gotten hypothermia.
Acteryx Squamish jacket as an overshirt over the tshirt. Breathable enough but traps enough air to help keep you warm without overheating once you are in full walking mode.
A down vest if it is really cold but it spent most of its time in a side pocket together with my hiking skirt in case the pants got too hot. The thermal compression leggings I brought were used for post-walking wear as was my hardshell jacket. I do use an Aarn backpack which because it has front pockets almost provides another layer against the conditions
We were lucky in that we got perfect hiking weather for 7 weeks with only one really rotten stormy day that made us appreciate our wet weather and warm gear.

You need to stop for the night in Rionegro on the Sanabres. Best food on the Camino at Me Gusta Comer which is right across the street from the albergue (which is also lovely). Santa Marta de Tera has the Hilton of albergue bathrooms and is well equipped in the kitchen too. It's the village where the oldest statue of Santiago is and if there is any chance of you being around for during the spring equinox, get to the church early to set the sun land on the carving. http://santiagoinlove.com/en/santiago-sta-marta-tera/ the carving is supposed to be christ. Personally I think it looks a bit more pagan than that.
Zamora is a great city and I recommend the local wine. Toro is 👌. But I do not recommend sharing 5 bottles of wine between 5 when 2 were tee totallers and someone kept filling my glass. "Tengo una resaca" is not a good phrase to learn the hard way.
Salamanca is my favourite city in Spain to date, equal with Toledo.
 

Nekodemus

Certified insane
Camino(s) past & future
Been there, done that. Keep coming back.
Most likely addicted.
I used my Marmot Nanowave 55 for both.
Mine is slightly (~5*F) warmer, plus I always carry a silk liner, so ...

What I'm trying to take into consideration, is the possibility of unheated albergues, and wether should I bring my long merinos.

You need to ..
Thanks for the suggestions

And I've never had a classical hangover, yet. Something to do with my metabolism, I'm told. Sluggish, yes. Fur on my tounge, yes. Headache, never. Noise-/light sensitivety, never. :D

equal with Toledo.
Toledo, while a side-step from my route, would be doable with bus from (and back to) .. somewhere. Something to consider.

Thanks.
 

MileHighPair

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, '14: Frances
2015: Chimayo, USA.
2016, '17: VdlP
2018: Madrid, Ourense, Salvador, Primitivo
I started in Seville on 01 March 2017. There were a few cold mornings. I took a light down jacket, along with rain gear, another very light jacket, and a smartwool long sleeve hiking shirt. Most of the albergues have either heat or blankets, so my 55F degree sleep sac worked fine. The evenings can actually be the most challenging times to stay warm in a old, stone building,, where the winter cold has settled in.

March of 2017 was quite dry in Spain, but March of 2018 was extremely wet, so there is no way anyone can predict the amount of rain you will see in any future year! Buen Camino, and you are welcome to look at our VdlP blogs in 2016 and 2017, linked in the signature below. I would definitely recommend the Sanabres, and not the Astorga option, we've done both.

Be sure to walk atop the city walls in Galisteo. Unreal ! We don't do a lot of touristy things, but the cities along the VdlP are truly special. Zamora has six different museums, covering art, history, and religion.
Buen Camino.
 

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