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Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Almost to the day, I did the identical thing in 2019. A great route; a great ride. PM me if you have any specific questions.
 

O'Neill

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
Wow!I totally will... Am apprehensive ! have done solo cycling trips in Ireland,first one abroad though
 

O'Neill

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
Did you have all your accomodation booked ahead, did you rent a bike if so from who?? Were you happy with it? Whatwas the weather like?
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
Did you have all your accomodation booked ahead, did you rent a bike if so from who?? Were you happy with it? Whatwas the weather like?
1. No, I did not book accommodations ahead except in Sevilla and SdC. I had no problem finding beds in the albergues.
2. I rented my bike in Sevilla. I stayed and got my bike from the Triana Backpackers Hostel. It was a brand new front suspension hardtail mountain bike. Although I did have some gearing problems, I was able to get that fixed at a bike shop. So, overall, pleased. However, if I ride a Camino again, I will do some bike comparisons with places like Cycling Rentals or Bikeiberia.
3. Unfortunately, I was not expecting some unseasonable cold, wet weather in 2019. I came a little underdressed. However, I was to pick up some colder weather gear without much of a problem that solved the problem. By the time I hit Galicia, I was in shorts again.

How many days are you planning for your Camino?
 
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O'Neill

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
Thanks for that information! I'm planning on perhaps 25 days or there abouts. I know some areas are quite remote, did you feel safe?
 

Helen1

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
Cool! I did the trip the other way and then took the ferry to Morocco but on road/with Brompton. I stayed mostly in inexpensive hotels. I began by searching Booking.com for availability and trying the hotels when I arrived but half the time they said they were full or wanted higher rates making it simpler to book a room on the app in the morning. On the whole, accommodation was easy bar for Salamanca which I hit on a festival weekend but I still found somewhere. I cycled through various thunderstorms and tried to cut days short in albergues but this was hit and miss as a number weren't open.

Some places are quite remote - I didn't feel unsafe but then I was on the road and although it was very quiet someone would have passed at some point. Bigger problem was heading into/out of Seville where I got hopelessly caught up in the traffic (thankfully slow-moving). Hope you have a fantastic time!
 

O'Neill

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
Cool! I did the trip the other way and then took the ferry to Morocco but on road/with Brompton. I stayed mostly in inexpensive hotels. I began by searching Booking.com for availability and trying the hotels when I arrived but half the time they said they were full or wanted higher rates making it simpler to book a room on the app in the morning. On the whole, accommodation was easy bar for Salamanca which I hit on a festival weekend but I still found somewhere. I cycled through various thunderstorms and tried to cut days short in albergues but this was hit and miss as a number weren't open.

Some places are quite remote - I didn't feel unsafe but then I was on the road and although it was very quiet someone would have passed at some point. Bigger problem was heading into/out of Seville where I got hopelessly caught up in the traffic (thankfully slow-moving). Hope you have a fantastic time!
Thanks so much for your reply, I'm trying to accumulate as much information as possible before my trip.. hoping it will make it a bit easier
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
I glad to hear you’re taking that much time. My big mistake was riding too far day after day. I rode the VDLP in 12 days without any breaks. Although I was in good enough shape for the ride, parts of it now seems like a blur. Following Brierely’s guidebook stages, I should have riden about two stages a day instead of three. Plus, there are a number of wonderful spots for rest days: Merida, Caceres, and Salamanca which I didn’t take advantage of.

Although there are some relatively long, sometimes isolated sections, I never felt uncomfortable. You also go for some long periods of time without seeing many other pilgrims. I did have the opportunity to ride with other bicigrinos from time to time. Maybe it was because I could go faster than walkers that the more isolated sections didn’t bother me.
 

O'Neill

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
I glad to hear you’re taking that much time. My big mistake was riding too far day after day. I rode the VDLP in 12 days without any breaks. Although I was in good enough shape for the ride, parts of it now seems like a blur. Following Brierely’s guidebook stages, I should have riden about two stages a day instead of three. Plus, there are a number of wonderful spots for rest days: Merida, Caceres, and Salamanca which I didn’t take advantage of.

Although there are some relatively long, sometimes isolated sections, I never felt uncomfortable. You also go for some long periods of time without seeing many other pilgrims. I did have the opportunity to ride with other bicigrinos from time to time. Maybe it was because I could go faster than walkers that the more isolated sections didn’t bother me.
I want to see & appreciate as much as possible, that's why I'm taking longer perhaps averaging 50kms per day. Starting early & arriving early. I'm 66yrs.. from Ireland..great with distance but not with speed
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I want to see & appreciate as much as possible, that's why I'm taking longer perhaps averaging 50kms per day. Starting early & arriving early. I'm 66yrs.. from Ireland..great with distance but not with speed

Your intention of doing shorter distances is the right one. On my first Camino in 2012 at 67yrs my plan was 2 walkers’ stages per day off-road mostly. I enjoyed myself immensely, (except on the second day when I came unstuck on El Cavario, the notorious climb up the ridge into Almaden de la Plata - if you don’t know how to avoid it, I’m happy to advise). Like @Grousedoctor, I didnt book anything except Seville, and I too used Trianabackpackers for bike hire.
I can’t comment on the timing, as all my VdlP’s have been in June. I never felt unsafe, despite encountering few or no people on some sections - but then June is not a popular month on the Plata.
 

O'Neill

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
Thank you for now but I'm sure I will have a lot more questions the more I investigate!
 

Jesnat

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, Ruta de la Plata 2022
Good luck with your plans and preparation. I rode the VDLP in Sept and really enjoyed it. Your timing looks good. I also probably went too quickly completing in 14 days so if I did it again (Spring next year!) I would take a bit more time. There are a lot of fantastic posts on this forum with links to great resources. Check out the cycling guide book by John Hayes https://www.cicerone.co.uk/cycling-the-ruta-via-de-la-plata and gronze.com for info on the walking stages and accommodation.

I followed the road route N630 pretty much the whole way from Seville to Gijon with a hybrid bike and couple of rear panniers and handlebar top bag. The off road route looked a bit more challenging and would have needed a sturdier bike and tyres. Apart from Seville I didn´t book ahead. Stayed mostly in Alberques plus couple of nights in hotels. I felt pretty safe apart from a couple of times entering and exiting major cities where traffic was much heavier.
 

O'Neill

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
Thank you for your information re VDLP. I have John Hayes book & have ordered the 2023 version of Gerald Kelly's guide to walking the VDLP. I'm sure I will have lots of questions in the next few months!
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2023
I found that the free app Mapy.cz was very helpful when riding the VDLP. Ifyou open the app to Sevilla, you’ll find the Camino as a blue line all the way to SdC. In addition to not worrying about missing Camino signs, it is most helpful getting in and out of cities or finding albergues. @Peregrinopaul is most correct about the tough ridge climb heading toward Almaden de la Plata.
 
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O'Neill

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
Thank you, I had a look at that app you recommended & it certainly does look very helpful. I don't like the sound of that ridge before Almaden de la Plata!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I don't like the sound of that ridge before Almaden de la Plata!
Instead of following the walker track (black), which involves a left turn off the main track through the park, go straight on (red) until you reach the paved road which goes through a convenient gap in the ridge. No problem.
Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 7.39.31 pm.jpeg
 

O'Neill

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
Thank you so much for that little detour! Don't fancy pushing a bike with panniers up that ridge
 

O'Neill

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spring 2023
My goodness, I definitely want to detour from that experience. I have had one similar cycling experience ( not on the Camino) when I was close to tears with exhaustion, another cyclist came from nowhere, like an angel, he stayed with me for about 5kms them disappeared as quickly as he arrived. It was just enough to get be going again.
 
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