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LIVE from the Camino Happy Penguin on the Vdlp

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Great news! Albergue Municipal in Castiblanco just reopened after a few years break. Not sure if still as donativo but will find out tomorrow* passing by it

I also recommend Hostel Italica if someone wishes to take a half a day walk from Seville (like I just did). 16 euro. Coffee and tea, cotton sheets and towel included

*Update: yes albergue municipal in Castiblanco is still a donativo albergue. Confirmed by a pilgrim who stayed there. A note: there are no albergues cheaper than 10 euro on VdlP nowadays so please consider this a minimum donativo amount..
 
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If someone wishes to step in to Amigos de Camino in Sevilla for a credencial, a shell or some tips about the VdlP, their opening hours are a bit limited. I took this picture yesterday at calłe Castilla 82 in Triana neighborhood.
 

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Sunopo

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Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP, Hærvejen
Great news! Albergue Municipal in Castiblanco just reopened after a few years break. Not sure if still as donativo but will find out tomorrow passing by it.

I also recommend Hostel Italica if someone wishes to take a half a day walk from Seville (like I just did). 16 euro. Coffee and tea, cotton sheets and towel included
So you are back on the trail, really enjoyed following you on instagram and here last time. You probably will catch up with me, I’m back next week continuing from Casar. I’ ll look out for a happy penguin 🐧 overtaking me at some point.
 
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So you are back on the trail, really enjoyed following you on instagram and here last time. You probably will catch up with me,
I think I will be following the stages I placed on the map I made (tinyurl.com/Penguinplata) so you can estimate when we will see each other :) I don't tweet now because Twitter for some time has been restricting access if you are not logged in and I don't like it. Would be nice to meet!
 
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Some practical info for @Tom Conklin and anyone starting soon from Seville,
  • Those chosing Camas variant, the VdlP is slightly rerouted after Camas to avoid crossing a busy street. The start is well signed, the end of detour not so much. After a few minutes you should take a sharp almost u-turn to get back on the road below on your right.
  • The stream between Santiponce and Guillena is full of muddy water so look for a steel beam on the right (and test your vertigo) 20220303_095852.jpg
  • Right after Guillena, as of today, you can cross the Guillena river following the Camino, I did today Options.jpg
  • Even if Albergue Municipal in Castilblanco is open I still recommend Casa Salvadora [ look at the single room I got for 15 euro today (for AC/heating 2 euro more) 20220303_165610.jpg
Via de la Plata looks amazing at this time of year and you can feel spring

Edited: reuploaded the pictures
 
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20220304_114659.jpg ⁹Park Sierra Norte between Castilblanco and Almaden

Finally I figured our what I was doing wrong with pictures. When you upload a picture it appears TWICE and you are not supposed to delete the other one. Which I did because I thought I uploaded it twice. I don't know why it is appearing twice though...
 
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20220305_085937.jpg Park Sierra Norte between Almaden and El Real de la Jara.

Very few people on the Via de la Plata so far. I met total of 4 pilgrims during 3 days.
And it is very chilly at night. I don't think it is usual temperature in Andalusia.

PS thanks moderators for creating a thread for me. I was a bit shy to do this 🙂 entering Extramadura in 5 minutes after a short stop in El Real.
 
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peregrina2000

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Enjoying this thread a lot, HP!

I wonder if you would repost a picture of the stream crossing before Guillena. I remember shimmy-ing across a branch a couple of times, but that sounds like more fun that walking across a beam! I know there had been talk of someone putting in a bridge, but that seems not to have happened.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Oct/Nov 2022_Mozarabe from Almeria
Hi @Happy Penguin
Great to read your thread and it’s so informative. Thankyou. !! info on current conditions is very helpful for those following you (and those good people updating guides like @geraldkelly )

Buen camino all the lucky ones on this route now.
The stream between Santiponce and Guillena is full of muddy water so look for a steel beam on the right (and test your vertigo)

I wonder if you would repost a picture of the stream crossing before Guillena. I remember shimmy-ing across a branch a couple of times, but that sounds like more fun that walking across a beam!
I had wondered whether the beam was still the way across. I was very nervous coming up to that spot on 7 April 2019 - I just shuffled across ok though. There were a few amigos coming up behind me. Two pics below from April 2019 show the beam then plus looking back after crossing.
 

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Enjoying this thread a lot, HP!

I wonder if you would repost a picture of the stream crossing before Guillena
I'm planning a shorter distance today and I'll try to post some more pictures and more info in the afternoon. Freezing here in Monesterio (Extremadura) at night: 2 degrees Celsius = 36 F.

Update:walking out of Monesterio.

Screenshot_20220306-070031_ElTiempoes.jpg
I edited out some politically sensitive thoughts from the post.
 
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So I have walked first 132 km of VdlP from Wednesday to Sunday today. I think those walking here now have quite unusually cold weather as for Southern Spain, but at least we are not getting any rain. Days are sunny with maybe 12-15 C and at night the temperature drops to nearly zero. So be warned because I wish I had more warm clothes.
20220306_134103.jpg
The number of pilgrims is low (at least that's my experience). Met total of 4 and this hasn't changed today. If I get to Villafranca tomorrow (38 km) I may catch up with some pilgrims who started a day before me.
20220305_125040.jpg
(give a wide berth to a cow like this)

Places where I stayed.
  • Santiponce Hostel Italica. 16 euro. I can recommend if someone wants to get out of Seville in the afternoon or spend a day visiting Roman artifacts (is that a word? heard it in Narnia)
  • Castilblanco - stayed in Casa Salvadora which gives nice family feeling. Recommended. Now the price is 15 euro + 2 optional for heating or AC
  • Castilblanco Albergue Municipal Donativo. I like that place stayed there a few years ago. I remember sleeping on a mattress on a terrace under blue sky!
  • Almaden. Visited albergue municipal, is clean and nice as it always have been, Recommended. Myself I stayed in Casa Concha which I also like and it has heating. Unfortunately I can't recommend "menu" there. Almost got sick. Please eat in town.
  • El Real de la Jara, only passed that town, worth noting that Molina is open, between the albergue at the entrance and Molina I would take Molina. But for those with higher budget, I can recommend Mari Carmen, and good food at Meson Cochera
  • Monesterio, stayed in hostal Extremadura and it was very cold. I recommend but not now. Maybe April. Noisy bar downstairs. Both albergues in Monasterio are open and I like both.
  • Fuente de Cantos, I just stopped in Casa Victoria for a coffee and already knew this is not my place to stay (15 euro). Kind of macho feeling, only very loud men in the bar so I continued to...
  • Calzadilla de los Barros and I am staying in hostal Rodriguez. I have my room but it is cold. Very run down place. Room cost 15 euro, menu 10, laundry 3 euro, so I washed almost all I have with me for the coming week. Food for the menu was good, but the owner (serving food) was rude grumpy. I don't know if I would be glad to come back here. But there is few alternatives around.
20220306_135733.jpg
Quite interestingly, I finished first 132 km and spent 131 euro. So perfect 1 euro/km fare. But I often buy food in supermarkets. For most of pilgrims this ratio would be probably hard to keep. But I am pretty sure it is still possible.

20220305_144828.jpg
Photo: San Isidro Chapel 2.0 before Monesterio

To be continued.
🐧
 
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Extremadurian cubes
I explained it in my previous post but today I found supporting case. It is important that you don't assume that vertical yellow stripe shows direction where to go. It is the symbol of Caparra on the top that determines the direction. Look here.
20220306_073055.jpg

If you don't pay attention seeing this cube you may continue to go straight ahead (because of yellow stripe). In fact, you are supposed to turn left.

And now look what is on the other side of cube: 20220306_073040.jpg
It's a proof that yellow stripes are not Camino marks. Follow the horseshoe on the top.
 

pasiño a pasiño

sin dolor no hay gloria
Time of past OR future Camino
2018 Via de la Plata | next Francés again....
Thank you HP! I like to see your pictures and to read your updates....reminds me on my walk in 2018....
I remember having hoarfrost in the morning, the first week after Sevilla (end of February)....and a couple of cold nights with a rather thin sleeping back. I empathize with you ;)
 
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When you pass the church, the one with the blue checkered roof, see if the storks are still there.
I can see storks on every bell tower, like here in Fuente de Cantos

20220306_122923.jpg

Seems like storks are the most popular birds here?
What is very strange I hear the sound of their beeks even at night! Are they nocturnal? Maybe those are not storks? I wouldn't be the first one to be mistaken though. Think about Juliet at a balcony with Romeo...

Juliet.
Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the stork,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear; Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree:
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

Romeo. It was the stork, the herald of the morn.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die!

🤭
 
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Wow, what planet did that thing come from? And I thought the Capilla near Covarrubias on the San Olav was bad.
The original (now emply) San Isidro Chapel is at the place where newly built highway restricted easy access to it. You walk by it, soon after you pass the Complejo Leo half way between El Real and Monesterio This is why I named the new one '2.0' ;)
 
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Errr.🤔 That "horseshoe" is the Arco de Caparra
Yep I mentioned it as well in my post :) but I must admit first I thought it is a symbol of a horseshoe because it made sense to me that the Romans crossed Via de la Plata back and forth on horses.

One thing I just remembered. Please pay attention after crossing the creek between Monesterio and Fuente de Cantos (more or less half way of the stage). This one 20220306_102321.jpg
The arrows after crossing it are small and hard to see and intuitively I would bear right while you are supposed to turn left after you climb up from the stream bed.
 
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I'll do my update tomorrow from a beautiful private albergue in Casar de Caceres, the one that doesn't have toilets between the bunkbeds :)
In meantime, just wanted to show you what incredibly beautiful weather we had here for the last 7 days on the Via de la Plata, March 2022
20220308_120039.jpg 20220307_132205.jpg 20220308_120010.jpg 20220309_135526.jpg 20220310_163109.jpg
Screenshot_20220310-180441_ElTiempoes.jpg

Update 11 th March 8 AM. It seems like there is a bit of rain outside. The sky looked different yesterday. I'm not a fan of walking in the rain so I may wait a bit. I am going just 22 km today from Valdesalor to Casar de Caceres.
The sky yesterday evening:
20220310_180210.jpg
 

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maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
I'm planning a shorter distance today and I'll try to post some more pictures and more info in the afternoon. Freezing here in Monesterio (Extremadura) at night: 2 degrees Celsius = 36 F.

Update:walking out of Monesterio.

View attachment 119823
I edited out some politically sensitive thoughts from the post.
Thanks for these posts and updates Happypenguin. What are you using for warmth at night? Sleeping bag or small blanket? I'll be there in a under a month and wondering if my "costco" small duvet type blanket is enough or if I should bring an actual sleeping bag.
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
Extremadurian cubes
I explained it in my previous post but today I found supporting case. It is important that you don't assume that vertical yellow stripe shows direction where to go. It is the symbol of Caparra on the top that determines the direction. Look here.
View attachment 119886

If you don't pay attention seeing this cube you may continue to go straight ahead (because of yellow stripe). In fact, you are supposed to turn left.

And now look what is on the other side of cube: View attachment 119887
It's a proof that yellow stripes are not Camino marks. Follow the horseshoe on the top.
Thanks for this info/warning.
 
F

Former member 98118

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What are you using for warmth at night? Sleeping bag or small blanket? I'll be there in a under a month and wondering if my "costco" small duvet type blanket is enough or if I should bring an actual sleeping bag.
Hi, I think in a month it will be very warm. It is still winter here. April is very nice and beautiful in the South of Spain. At this moment at night I am using a typical cheap decathlon sleeping bag but it is not enough. I usually sleep in some of my clothes and use blankets. They seem to be everywhere I slept in, unfortunately they are not clean. But you can make an igloo with them, my Eskimo neighbors do it. Look how nice igloo I made here at Valdesalor albergue.

20220310_184925.jpg 20220310_193817.jpg
(🐧 inside)
When I leave I fold the blankets nicely and bring back where I took them from.

20220311_085906.jpg

Update: 9:00 and still raining.

I started walking at 10:00 and didn't get a drop of rain! Although there were many puddles on the way.
20220311_103038.jpg 20220311_100653.jpg
Cáceres under the dark sky (but no rain)
20220311_132908.jpg
Walking on a narrow shoulder to Casar de Cáceres
20220311_140149.jpg
Comfy sofas at Albergue Rural in Casar
20220311_155358.jpg
 
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Sunopo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP, Hærvejen
Hi, I think in a month it will be very warm. It is still winter here. April is very nice and beautiful in the South of Spain. At this moment at night I am using a typical cheap decathlon sleeping bag but it is not enough. I usually sleep in some of my clothes and use blankets. They seem to be everywhere I slept in, unfortunately they are not clean. But you can make an igloo with them, my Eskimo neighbors do it. Look how nice igloo I made here at Valdesalor albergue.

View attachment 120220 View attachment 120221
(🐧 inside)
When I leave I fold the blanket nicely and bring back where I took them from.

View attachment 120224

Update: 9:00 and still raining. Do humans walk when it is raining? :rolleyes:
😂 Love the igloo! Actually both in Casar and in Canaveral plenty of duvets so have been able to stay warm. When I walked last October I don't recall the blankets and duvets being available presumably because of the Covid situation but this time so far no problems. But I carry light weight sleeping duvet and silk liner anyhow.
 
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maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
Hi, I think in a month it will be very warm. It is still winter here. April is very nice and beautiful in the South of Spain. At this moment at night I am using a typical cheap decathlon sleeping bag but it is not enough. I usually sleep in some of my clothes and use blankets. They seem to be everywhere I slept in, unfortunately they are not clean. But you can make an igloo with them, my Eskimo neighbors do it. Look how nice igloo I made here at Valdesalor albergue.

View attachment 120220 View attachment 120221
(🐧 inside)
When I leave I fold the blankets nicely and bring back where I took them from.

View attachment 120224

Update: 9:00 and still raining. Do humans walk when it is raining? :rolleyes:
Update 16:00 I started walking at 10:00 and didn't get a drop of rain! Although there were many puddles on the way.
View attachment 120252 View attachment 120253
wow.. thanks for the detailed reply with photos! That sure looks quite wet! I hope you get dried out soon:) Buen continued camino!
 
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Former member 98118

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I just finished the first 300 km of the VdlP:)

With one exception - slept in Valdesalor instead of Aldea del Cano - I follow the map I prepared.

Places where I stayed (continued).
  • From Calzadilla de los Barros I went to La Almazara, a beautiful and warm albergue (literally and hospitalera is great), in an amazing place. Modern albergue in an ancient olive oil factory. I highly recommend it as an alternative to Villafranca.15 euro, supper 8.50 very tasty but not filling. I wished I ate or brought some food from the previous town (los Santos)
  • From La Almazara to Torremejia, very flat and easy but very monotonous stage. Respect for those purists who don't take any music with them on the Camino. I couldn't. Stayed in hostal Millenium, pilgrim price 20 euro. Supermarket right next to it.
  • Torremejia via Merida to Aljucen. Noisy before Merida, beautiful lake and a park on the way to Aljucen. Albergue 12 euro, menu at the bar (called a special of the day) 10 euro, again, tasty but not filling.
  • Aljucen to Valdesalor, I extended my initial plan to walk to Aldea del Cano and went another 11 km to Valdesalor to get closer to Caceres. Albergue Municipal 6 euro, quite okay for this price. Food in Hogar de Pensionista where we register and get the key.
  • Valdesalor via Caceres to Casar de Caceres, staying in a private room at Albergue Rural in Casar de Cáceres. Room 26 euro but worth it. Spacious and modern.
1. Fuente de Cantos to Torremejía
20220308_135445.jpg
2. Torremejia to Mérida
20220309_074752.jpg
3. Stork nests on the aqueduct in Mérida
20220309_120151.jpg
4. Aljucén
20220309_181654.jpg 20220309_181722.jpg
5. Aljucén to Alcuescar
20220310_072116.jpg 20220310_080226.jpg 20220310_084239.jpg
6. On the way to Cruce de las Herrerias
20220310_085554.jpg 20220310_102424.jpg
 
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maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
I just finished the first 300 km of the VdlP:)

With one exception - slept in Valdesalor instead of Aldea del Cano - I follow the map I prepared.

Places where I stayed (continued).
  • From Calzadilla de los Barros I went to La Almazara, a beautiful and warm albergue (literally and hospitalera is great), in an amazing place. Modern albergue in an ancient olive oil factory. I highly recommend it as an alternative to Villafranca.15 euro, supper 8.50 very tasty but not filling. I wished I ate or brought some food from the previous town (los Santos)
  • From La Almazara to Torremejia, very flat and easy but very monotonous stage. Respect for those purists who don't take any music with them on the Camino. I couldn't. Stayed in hostal Millenium, pilgrim price 20 euro. Supermarket right next to it.
  • Torremejia via Merida to Aljucen. Noisy before Merida, beautiful lake and a park on the way to Aljucen. Albergue 12 euro, menu at the bar (called a special of the day) 10 euro, again, tasty but not filling.
  • Aljucen to Valdesalor, I extended my initial plan to walk to Aldea del Cano and went another 11 km to Valdesalor to get closer to Caceres. Albergue Municipal 6 euro, quite okay for this price. Food in Hogar de Pensionista where we register and get the key.
  • Valdesalor via Caceres to Casar de Caceres, staying in a private room at Albergue Rural in Casar de Cáceres. Room 26 euro but worth it. Spacious and modern.
1. Fuente de Cantos to Torremejía
View attachment 120285
2. Torremejia to Mérida
View attachment 120286
3. Stork nests on the aqueduct in Mérida
View attachment 120287
4. Aljucén
View attachment 120288 View attachment 120289
5. Aljucén to Alcuescar
View attachment 120290 View attachment 120291 View attachment 120292
6. On the way to Cruce de las Herrerias
View attachment 120293 View attachment 120294
Thank you so much for your summary. Will add snacks to bring along this stage for sure.. thanks.
 
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Another wonderful day unfolding on Via de la Plata! Picture taken at sunrise out of Casar heading towards Alcantara lake
20220312_073418.jpg

The rain that drenched early-starters yesterday morning is a distant history now!

Update. 7,5 km from Casar I met those two cuties. They are superfriendly and big. Could they be the dogs @Pawel was talking about? They're harmless and want to play :)

20220312_081659.jpg 20220312_081533.jpg 20220312_081526.jpg

Update 10 am. These rock formations 14 km from Casar are mindblowing!

20220312_095638.jpg
Possibly they were formed before Roman Empire, maybe during the Ice Age?

20220312_100656.jpg
 

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How to avoid failure "be prepared"
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Time of past OR future Camino
CF+Muxia, Sep/Oct 2015
CF+Fin Sep/Oct 2017
Another wonderful day unfolding on Via de la Plata! Picture taken at sunrise out of Casar heading towards Alcantara lake
View attachment 120306

The rain that drenched early-starters* yesterday morning is a distant history now!

Update. 7,5 km from Casar I met those two cuties. They are superfriendly and big. Could they be the dogs @Pawel was talking about? They're harmless and want to play :)

View attachment 120307 View attachment 120308 View attachment 120309

Update 10 am. These rock formations 14 km from Casar are mindblowing!

View attachment 120313
Possibly they were formed before Roman Empire, maybe during the Ice Age?

View attachment 120314

__________________

* Happy 🐧 watched the downpour from a window of Valdesalor albergue and started to walk at 10 am not getting a drop of rain :) More details in my posts above :)

Hey,

They could be those if they were in Finca Berrueto. Later that day I also met one friendly lying on the road next to the farmgate on the left.
The latter was very polite.
 
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Just wanted to recommend albergue/hostel Cañaveral. I paid 15 euro for dormitory but as I found out they also have private rooms for about 30 I think? My friend booked one on booking.

Photo: nice and warm, common room at albergue Cañaveral

20220312_182608.jpg

I cannot recommend Asador for a meal though. What I got for 18 euro (weekend menu price) was definitely worst price to value ratio. Good company saved the supper. Some pilgrims went to hostal Malaga for a plato combinado and they were happy.

Despite that it seems I am spending less than I did at the beginning. Cañaveral is my 10th day on VdlP (my map), I walked about 333 km so average 33.3 per day and spent 283 euro which makes 0.85 euro per km.

Light rain started after 4 pm when I was already at the albergue. So didn't get wet on VdlP yet. It rained third time for short period of time within 10 days, but either in the afternoon when most of pilgrims already are in albergues or in the morning where it is wiser just to wait for the rain to finish 🌈☀️
 
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Another super sunny day on Via de la Plata ! ☀️☀️☀️
I am walking towards Galisteo trying to spot that tame deer that @Sunopo saw here yesterday :)
I have to wear a different hat today as I already burned my penguin ears walking in the sun a few days ago
20220313_103545.jpg
No deer for now but a friendly horse trying to convince me to go to the house of his Grandmother...
20220313_111750.jpg
By the way, this is the point to choose between Rio Lobos (left) and Galisteo (straight) variants

Below: not much left from yesterday's rain
20220313_120433.jpg

A small creek to cross near the road where we have to walk for 15 minutes

20220313_124320.jpg

Please pay attention here. The symbol on the cube suggesting to go straight refers to the variant bypassing Galisteo (via San Gil). To go to Galisteo turn left and then take the first right (dark gravel road)

20220313_140019.jpg
From here Galisteo is 20 minutes away.

20220313_141643.jpg
 
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frjuliangreen

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Inglés (2018)
Camino Portugués (2019)
Vía de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés (2020)
View attachment 119778 ⁹Park Sierra Norte between Castilblanco and Almaden

Finally I figured our what I was doing wrong with pictures. When you upload a picture it appears TWICE and you are not supposed to delete the other one. Which I did because I thought I uploaded it twice. I don't know why it is appearing twice though...
Lovely park. Could do without Calvary hill at the end of it though 😂
 

frjuliangreen

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Inglés (2018)
Camino Portugués (2019)
Vía de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés (2020)
So I have walked first 132 km of VdlP from Wednesday to Sunday today. I think those walking here now have quite unusually cold weather as for Southern Spain, but at least we are not getting any rain. Days are sunny with maybe 12-15 C and at night the temperature drops to nearly zero. So be warned because I wish I had more warm clothes.
View attachment 119883
The number of pilgrims is low (at least that's my experience). Met total of 4 and this hasn't changed today. If I get to Villafranca tomorrow (38 km) I may catch up with some pilgrims who started a day before me.
View attachment 119884
(give a wide berth to a cow like this)

Places where I stayed.
  • Santiponce Hostel Italica. 16 euro. I can recommend if someone wants to get out of Seville in the afternoon or spend a day visiting Roman artifacts (is that a word? heard it in Narnia)
  • Castilblanco - stayed in Casa Salvadora which gives nice family feeling. Recommended. Now the price is 15 euro + 2 optional for heating or AC
  • Castilblanco Albergue Municipal Donativo. I like that place stayed there a few years ago. I remember sleeping on a mattress on a terrace under blue sky!
  • Almaden. Visited albergue municipal, is clean and nice as it always have been, Recommended. Myself I stayed in Casa Concha which I also like and it has heating. Unfortunately I can't recommend "menu" there. Almost got sick. Please eat in town.
  • El Real de la Jara, only passed that town, worth noting that Molina is open, between the albergue at the entrance and Molina I would take Molina. But for those with higher budget, I can recommend Mari Carmen, and good food at Meson Cochera
  • Monesterio, stayed in hostal Extremadura and it was very cold. I recommend but not now. Maybe April. Noisy bar downstairs. Both albergues in Monasterio are open and I like both.
  • Fuente de Cantos, I just stopped in Casa Victoria for a coffee and already knew this is not my place to stay (15 euro). Kind of macho feeling, only very loud men in the bar so I continued to...
  • Calzadilla de los Barros and I am staying in hostal Rodriguez. I have my room but it is cold. Very run down place. Room cost 15 euro, menu 10, laundry 3 euro, so I washed almost all I have with me for the coming week. Food for the menu was good, but the owner (serving food) was rude grumpy. I don't know if I would be glad to come back here. But there is few alternatives around.
View attachment 119888
Quite interestingly, I finished first 132 km and spent 131 euro. So perfect 1 euro/km fare. But I often buy food in supermarkets. For most of pilgrims this ratio would be probably hard to keep. But I am pretty sure it is still possible.

View attachment 119889
Photo: San Isidro Chapel 2.0 before Monesterio

To be continued.
🐧
Great practical tips for pilgrims there. Thanks for your photos. I did this section of the VdlP two years ago before COVID and the photos are great to see
 

frjuliangreen

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Inglés (2018)
Camino Portugués (2019)
Vía de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés (2020)
Another super sunny day on Via de la Plata ! ☀️☀️☀️
I am walking towards Galisteo trying to spot that tame deer that @Sunopo saw here yesterday :)
I have to wear a different hat today as I already burned my penguin ears walking in the sun a few days ago
View attachment 120383
On this section from Grimaldo to Galisteo I saw a group of about 10 deer in the early section. It was amazing to hear them galloping through the park land, then suddenly stop when they saw me, before galloping on again.
 
F

Former member 98118

Guest
On this section from Grimaldo to Galisteo I saw a group of about 10 deer in the early section. It was amazing to hear them galloping through the park land, then suddenly stop when they saw me, before galloping on again.
I saw just a moment ago entire carcass of a sheep :oops: it made me wonder if only cute deer live here.... and why the name of the town is Rio lobos :rolleyes:
I don't recommend pitching a tent around here!
 
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MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Hi HP!
Thank you for your updates.
We start (wife and I) in a couple of days.

Can you tell something about the availability of the kitchens in the albergues/hostels? Are they still closed mostly or open?
As I have diabetes eating out every day is not so healthy and I prefer to cook myself as much as possible.

Thnx and B. C.
 
F

Former member 98118

Guest
Hi HP!
Thank you for your updates.
We start (wife and I) in a couple of days.

Can you tell something about the availability of the kitchens in the albergues/hostels? Are they still closed mostly or open?
As I have diabetes eating out every day is not so healthy and I prefer to cook myself as much as possible.

Thnx and B. C.
Hola,
I have to admit I stay probably more often in private rooms than albergues but I hardly recall any albergues fitted with actual cooking appliances. Mostly microwaves + tables to eat a sandwich and to have a drink. But I might be wrong. I usually make a salad so I may not pay enough attention to cookers. Otherwise I go for a menu at a bar.
Here in Zamora municipal albergue the kitchen is out of bounds per covid rules.
We have access to an electric kettle and a toaster today.
20220319_190322.jpg

Although hospitaleros will prepare simple breakfast at 7:00
 
F

Former member 98118

Guest
Hi! Greetings from Zamora! I stopped posting because in Aldeanueva I met @Sunopo and @darcelona and social life started to take over. Unexpectedly, without planning we walked together, Sunopo and me from Baños de Montemayor to Salamanca, and the last stage with Darcelona, 3 of us entered Salamanca where we parted. Now I am walking by myself. It was a lot of fun to meet Sunopo and Darcelona and walking together was a pleasure! Thank you guys!

So I am in Zamora and most likely I will make a more detailed report on Monday when I am planning to do a half day walk and have a private room in Benavente.

The Camino is amazing and I recommend Via de la Plata to anyone who wants to discover something totally different from Camino Frances, and test their endurance and enjoy the spirit of adventure!

I walked I believe 570 km from Seville to Zamora over 18 days and feel so ready to walk next 400 km or so, and even considering extending this Camino so that it takes longer to reach Santiago. I will probably make decisions in Benavente.

Thank you so much for all the positive emojis I am getting from forum members, they give me strength and energy to keep going! ❤️💖💕 you are a great support!
 
F

Former member 98118

Guest
Something hot before I forget.
About 3 km before Zamora you will encounter this strange do not enter sign.
20220319_140548.jpg
Please ignore it. It is a public road, there are official GR signs along this road. Someone doesn't like pilgrims walking next to their house, that's it. I think placing a fake road sign is a legal offence though.

Another important thing.
During entire stage from El Cubo del Vino to Zamora there are no services (you can get water in Villanueva de Campean, but the bar is closed). For a reason uclear to me the Camino does not go to San Marcial where there is the only bar during 32 km stage. So, whoever feels like taking a rest and eat something, pay attention at km 18 from El Cubo there is an yellow arrow pointing to the bar El Cruce. Going there does not extend the distance walked, you actually save 200 m compared to the signed Camino.
There is also a small shop in Marcial, I didn't go there

1. The slightly confusing sign pointing to the bar, please leave it like it is.

Screenshot_20220319-195855_Gallery.jpg

2 Bar El Cruce

20220319_110318.jpg 20220319_110619.jpg

Be careful when going from El Cruce towards Zamora, walk in single file at the side of the road. It is a secondary road, not busy but with a narrow shoulder
 
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Can you tell something about the availability of the kitchens in the albergues/hostels? Are they still closed mostly or open?
Hola,
I started Feb 28 from Sevilla. I've stayed in a mix of accommodation, but these are the cooking facilities I know about:
Guillena (Camino del Luz): kitchen open to use. I didn't cook in it but other pilgrims did. No heat in Albergue but blanket provided.
El Real de la Jara (Alojamiento Molina): basic but acceptable kitchen with gas stove, pots, pans, utensils, dishes and had olive oil and salt too. No heat in albergue though, but they had a stack of blankets.
Monesterio (Parrochial Albergue): fully outfitted kitchen (no grater tho😔😜) with extensive amount of spices, staples like rice and pasta left from other pilgrims presumably, beer and coke in fridge (1 euro each). Grocery store is very close.
Galisteo (Albergue Turistico): kitchen available but very limited. Only microwave. No dishes, not even a mug.
Oliva da Plasencia (CASA RURAL /SAN BLAS): beautiful old house that has been restored. Great kitchen with everything you need including some spices and oil.
Aldeanueva del Camino (Albergue La Casa de mi Abuela): basic kitchen for cooking with only essentials like a two burner hotplate and microwave. Has a vending machine with some processed food items if you don't have other options. Great albergue over all.
Pedrosilla de los Aires (albergue): kitchen area, but no facilities to cook.

Hope this helps... Buen Camino!
 
F

Former member 98118

Guest
Hola,
I started Feb 28 from Sevilla. I've stayed in a mix of accommodation, but these are the cooking facilities I know about:
Guillena (Camino del Luz): kitchen open to use. I didn't cook in it but other pilgrims did. No heat in Albergue but blanket provided.
El Real de la Jara (Alojamiento Molina): basic but acceptable kitchen with gas stove, pots, pans, utensils, dishes and had olive oil and salt too. No heat in albergue though, but they had a stack of blankets.
Monesterio (Parrochial Albergue): fully outfitted kitchen (no grater tho😔😜) with extensive amount of spices, staples like rice and pasta left from other pilgrims presumably, beer and coke in fridge (1 euro each). Grocery store is very close.
Galisteo (Albergue Turistico): kitchen available but very limited. Only microwave. No dishes, not even a mug.
Oliva da Plasencia (CASA RURAL /SAN BLAS): beautiful old house that has been restored. Great kitchen with everything you need including some spices and oil.
Aldeanueva del Camino (Albergue La Casa de mi Abuela): basic kitchen for cooking with only essentials like a two burner hotplate and microwave. Has a vending machine with some processed food items if you don't have other options. Great albergue over all.
Pedrosilla de los Aires (albergue): kitchen area, but no facilities to cook.

Hope this helps... Buen Camino!
Thank you @darcelona for this list, you really did a good job, you were certainly more perceptive than me 👍
 
F

Former member 98118

Guest
Greetings from Benavente! That's about 645-650 km from Seville. In two days I should be in Astorga where Via de la Plata merges with Camino Frances.

A short summary of my spending, during the 20 days which took me to get here I spent 542 euro which makes 27.10 euro per day or about 0.84 euro per km. I don't spend much money on food. I also don't drink alcohol during this pilgrimage. That's why the cost of my Camino is fairly low. I prefer to have a private room every other day rather than experience Spanish cuisine. There will be another time for that. I try to treat Camino with respect and clearly the Camino treats me the same way. I also don't use any transport and I absolutely don't judge others who do it. The rules I made are for me and for me only.

Via de la Plata, Seville to Astorga, compared to northern Caminos, Frances, Norte, Primitivo, is a very flat Camino. It has those two bumps at the beginning in Andalusia, but they are like 100-150 meters high, and there is no way to compare it for example with climbing o Cebreiro or 1300 vertical meters on the way from Saint Jean PdP. That is why I do long stages, and I believe most of forum members could do them as well. Except for my first warm up 10 km stage to Hotel Italica, majority of my stages were longer than 30 km. Even today I was planning an easy day but I left a hat on the Camino and did 3 extra km to pick it up!

In Merida I met two ladies from Austria, one of them I am guessing in mid 70s, the other one in late 60s and yesterday I walked with them to Granja de Moreruela, which is 400 km north of Merida, they were doing almost exactly the same stages like me, including several 40 km ones. So age is not an issue for making long stages on VdlP but wrong mindset often brought from C.F. is. Via de la Plata is not a Camino where you walk until lunch and the rest of day spend socializing. Almost nobody does that. This is the Camino that offers so much natural beauty and let you immerse so deeply into what it has to offer, that spending one afternoon after another imbibing countless glasses of vino tinto is just out of place here. People come here to walk, and as you know there is no luggage transport on most of the VdlP, which brings a certain feeling of equality of pilgrims, each of us carrying our belongings, something lost on the Camino Frances many years ago.

I know that those planning to come here love to read all kind of details, where to eat, where to sleep, when the bar opens etc. I feel providing too much details is taking away the fun and excitement of discovery. Of course it is important to tell others if there is something dangerous, or of some recent changes on the Camino, but the more I walk, the more i want to see the Camino as it really is, not through the eyes of other people. And I encourage you to try the same. I love to read forum posts before going on the Camino as they bring this special mood, but there is nothing better than just arrive to Seville, make your first step going north, and the rest will be revealed to you at the right time in the right place.

Gee. What am I even writing about? Wanted to make a recap of the last stages and instead I wrote some weird essay.
I'll better have a dinner in my hostel la Trucha before even the Spanish will go to sleep

Buen Camino!

Photo: road to Benavente that I walked today. Does it look real to you? It's not a photoshopped image, the VdlP can be as surreal as it gets.

20220321_125715.jpg
 
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John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Buen camino, HP!
I'm really enjoying your posts. And yes. What a surreal and beautiful photo.
even considering extending this Camino so that it takes longer to reach Santiago. I will probably make decisions in Benavente.
Did you see Alan Syke's account?
From Benavente he took the Sanabres, with the longer variant that goes through . It sounded wonderful.
 
F

Former member 98118

Guest
Not sure how it happened but it seems like instead of Astorga I arrived at Disney World... 🤔

20220323_142507.jpg
I must have been following wrong arrows!!

Update. A stamp that I took at a church nearby says Cathedral of Astorga, so maybe I actually am at the right place?

20220323_151434.jpg

Update 2: I found one of those things that locals call cojones (or maybe mojones?) so I guess I will follow it. I haven't seen any cojones on VDLP from Seville to Astorga!

20220323_140006.jpg

You may not see it, but it has number 257 on it. So I guess I will look for 258 then, then 259 and so on! Easy!

Happy Penguin is starting a new chapter! Off to Santiago then! 🐧🐧🐧 talk to you guys later!
 

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F

Former member 98118

Guest
Well it seems I made another mistake because it turned out that the numbers on those new milestones (mojones) which I found in Astorga are supposed to go down, not up! That's different because the numbers on millarios (milestones on VdlP) were going up as I was going
north. So I walked for a day and half from Astorga and found myself in another place that looks like Disneyland! I will have to find another way to Santiago from here :rolleyes:

20220324_180948.jpg
This is where I ended up!
 

Lynnhardy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Greetings from Benavente! That's about 645-650 km from Seville. In two days I should be in Astorga where Via de la Plata merges with Camino Frances.

A short summary of my spending, during the 20 days which took me to get here I spent 542 euro which makes 27.10 euro per day or about 0.84 euro per km. I don't spend much money on food. I also don't drink alcohol during this pilgrimage. That's why the cost of my Camino is fairly low. I prefer to have a private room every other day rather than experience Spanish cuisine. There will be another time for that. I try to treat Camino with respect and clearly the Camino treats me the same way. I also don't use any transport and I absolutely don't judge others who do it. The rules I made are for me and for me only.

Via de la Plata, Seville to Astorga, compared to northern Caminos, Frances, Norte, Primitivo, is a very flat Camino. It has those two bumps at the beginning in Andalusia, but they are like 100-150 meters high, and there is no way to compare it for example with climbing o Cebreiro or 1300 vertical meters on the way from Saint Jean PdP. That is why I do long stages, and I believe most of forum members could do them as well. Except for my first warm up 10 km stage to Hotel Italica, majority of my stages were longer than 30 km. Even today I was planning an easy day but I left a hat on the Camino and did 3 extra km to pick it up!

In Merida I met two ladies from Austria, one of them I am guessing in mid 70s, the other one in late 60s and yesterday I walked with them to Granja de Moreruela, which is 400 km north of Merida, they were doing almost exactly the same stages like me, including several 40 km ones. So age is not an issue for making long stages on VdlP but wrong mindset often brought from C.F. is. Via de la Plata is not a Camino where you walk until lunch and the rest of day spend socializing. Almost nobody does that. This is the Camino that offers so much natural beauty and let you immerse so deeply into what it has to offer, that spending one afternoon after another imbibing countless glasses of vino tinto is just out of place here. People come here to walk, and as you know there is no luggage transport on most of the VdlP, which brings a certain feeling of equality of pilgrims, each of us carrying our belongings, something lost on the Camino Frances many years ago.

I know that those planning to come here love to read all kind of details, where to eat, where to sleep, when the bar opens etc. I feel providing too much details is taking away the fun and excitement of discovery. Of course it is important to tell others if there is something dangerous, or of some recent changes on the Camino, but the more I walk, the more i want to see the Camino as it really is, not through the eyes of other people. And I encourage you to try the same. I love to read forum posts before going on the Camino as they bring this special mood, but there is nothing better than just arrive to Seville, make your first step going north, and the rest will be revealed to you at the right time in the right place.

Gee. What am I even writing about? Wanted to make a recap of the last stages and instead I wrote some weird essay.
I'll better have a dinner in my hostel la Trucha before even the Spanish will go to sleep

Buen Camino!

Photo: road to Benavente that I walked today. Does it look real to you? It's not a photoshopped image, the VdlP can be as surreal as it gets.

View attachment 121008
A wonderful read. Thank you
 
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maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
Well it seems I made another mistake because it turned out that the numbers on those new milestones (mojones) which I found in Astorga are supposed to go down, not up! That's different because the numbers on millarios (milestones on VdlP) were going up as I was going
north. So I walked for a day and half from Astorga and found myself in another place that looks like Disneyland! I will have to find another way to Santiago from here :rolleyes:

View attachment 121191
This is where I ended up!
and where would this be? Great fun following your posts!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
This is where I ended up!

Like VN, I am curious — where to from León?

If you are considering the Salvador to Oviedo, the route seems to have only a little bit of packed snow, nothing that would interfere with the walk or make it dangerous. At least that’s what some March 23-24 pictures on the Camino del Salvador facebook page show.

Buen camino, whichever direction you take!
 
F

Former member 98118

Guest
@peregrina2000 and @VNwalking can read penguins' 🐧 minds!

Indeed I turned north in Leon to find a new exciting road to Santiago! And boy it is a picturesque one!

20220326_151709.jpg

I will try to upload pictures to the media section of the forum. Although it is rather difficult to do it here at Poladura de la Tercia at 1250 m of altitude. The mobile coverage is rather poor. I doubt there is wifi here at this public albergue.

20220326_144934.jpg

More pictures at the media section here
 
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Flog

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2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Lovely account and photos of the VDLP, you really captured the magic of this beautiful way and brought it all back, thank you!!
 
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