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How/why is VdlP difficult?

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
I've walked the CF twice, averaging 20K a day. A couple of times I walked 30, but I didn't enjoy it... I have some mechanical problems in my foot that start to act up at repeated, very long distances.

But I want to walk La Plata. People here use words like "challenging," "arduous," even "grueling." It doesn't look very hilly. Is this because of the stage distances? I see some posts here listing long stages, but some others that have them broken down into smaller chunks.

I'm still perusing threads here, looking at others' experiences doing the VdlP in about 20K segments. I'm not opposed to occasional alternative transport (other than my feet) if necessary, and am fine with going off route to find places to stay.

I'm looking at starting from Sevilla the first week in April and walking to Salamanca or possibly Zamora. I will have 30 days.

Thanks for any input from recent walkers!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
There are some long stages of 30km or so. There are also sections with little or no options for food or even water during the day. So it is necessary to think ahead and stock up on both for those sections - on the Frances you cannot go far these days without finding food and drink on all but a few stages. The temperatures in summer can also be considerably higher than on the Frances. Another issue for some people is that there is no regular luggage transfer service. So you must either carry it yourself or pay for it to be moved by taxi. Expensive unless shared with other walkers.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
long stages, some without much shade, most without places to stop and sit down comfortably. You can't just phone up a taxi and have them whisk you away, because you're traveling a lot of unnamed dirt roads. There's not always a lot of company, depending on when you go.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
one gains respect of the countryside, the themes change only slowly and some might find this tedious.
I myself will not need to see another line of olive trees ever again, as an example...
I really liked the long stretches with solitude and some stretches, it is true, are 30 Ks...
I would be careful to walk the VdlP in the summertime, too....
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Via Tolosana
You can’t compare it to the CF. Longer distances without any facilities, you need to carry more water (which gets hot, if walking in Summer!). If you are starting in April, there should be no problem with heat. I think though, from memory, you need to be able to walk more than 20k.... I think it only gets really hilly in Galicia but that’s on the Sanabrés.
 

Levi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
Madrid September 2018
Jill

I loved this route - and I'm not some super strong walker. You just need to be a little more independent and self reliant than you need to be on the Frances - so it is more challenging. But very beautiful. Most stages aren't so long. And I met more people on the VDLP than I have since met on the Portuguese (from Lisbon to Porto) and the lovely Madrid route.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
I'm happy to run into this thread. I too am looking for an alternative to the Francés. @Levi, what time of the year did you walk this route?
 

Levi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
Madrid September 2018
I left Seville on 18 September. Very hot for the first 2/3 weeks! I think more people walk early in the year.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
For me, the VdlP/Sanabres required a lot of planning, because I also prefer 20 km days. I ended up spending 50 days en route, one rest day and the rest walking longer or shorter days to average 20 km a day (autumn 2017). I sent my pack ahead on the 2nd and 3rd days, because it was very hot (mid 30's in early Oct.) and I was rather tired and dehydrated the first three days. It was also possible to skip 16 highway kms of the 29 km 3rd day, and most of those walking the route took a taxi to do so. I put my pack in the taxi and walked. For me the most difficult day was the 28 km day to San Pedro de Rozados, which involved some climbing and route finding and was very hot. The next day was Salamanca, so that is towards the end of your planned walk on the VdlP and might be hot by the time you get there. The longest, and most dangerous, day is the 32 km walk from Casar de Caceres to Canaveral. There is a hostel part way on the Embalse de Alcantara , but it has been unreliable as to when it is open so I would be sure to have enough water and to not count on staying there. If I remember correctly, a man who had counted on staying there last summer found it shut and died somewhere short of Canaveral. I am not trying to frighten you about this walk. I walked it alone when I was 69 years old and found it doable. I used Gerald Kelly's guidebook, which I purchased from the forum bookstore. He updates it regularly. The 2019 edition is currently sold out, so check with Ivar on availability. I found much of the first half of this walk to be hot and dry and dusty (autumn) but you may find it less so in the spring. There is not much climbing before Zamora, which would be the end of your walk. Buen camino.
 

walkingstu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino SJPP to SDC 2007 Frances
Camino Aragon Pau Fr. to Pamplona 2010
Camino Burgos to SDC 2012
Camino Porto to SDC 2015
Camino VDLP Seville to SDC March 2016
Less infrastructure, equals more weight, with longer daily milage requirements, and an additional one third longer total distance than the CF. More solitude, less pilgrims, requires more self reliance. I haven't done them all, but this is my favourite so far!
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
I've walked the CF twice, averaging 20K a day.
I see some posts here listing long stages, but some others that have them broken down into smaller chunks.

I'm looking at starting from Sevilla the first week in April and walking to Salamanca or possibly Zamora. I will have 30 days.

Thanks for any input from recent walkers!
Hi Jill
I haven’t yet walked this route but wanted to respond to your post as I’m in middle of planning Vdlp starting early April. Maybe you’ll be a couple of days ahead. I don’t arrive in Seville until the afternoon of 5th

“ I see some posts here listing long stages, but some others that have them broken down into smaller chunks. “

—— I’m planning mine now. I’ve reached out to a few by pm who have kindly given good tips and their stages etc. I’m working out mine based on earlier posts too with manageable chucks.

“I'm looking at starting from Sevilla the first week in April and walking to Salamanca or possibly Zamora. I will have 30 days.”

I have a few extra days and hope to reach Puebla de Sanabria on the Sanabrés.. then train back to Madrid.

Apart from being careful with preparation for day ahead with enough water and some snacks or even picnic ., or needing to ford streams (or go the long way( if there has been recent rain etc).. I have not seen any particular difficulty any harder than the CF myself.
If you’re already prepared yourself for possibility of a taxi if needed. (I’m thinking of that long day where pilgrims often share a cab to the park (cutting out the 16? odd k’s on the road. I know many walk that stage. I’ll decide closer to the stage. More than likely with my legs I’ll taxi that bit. )

Good luck Jill.
I hope I see you either in Seville or en route
Buen Camino.
Annie
 

Waka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
I've been planning this route for over a year and have got the stages down to manageable distances assuming that the albergues on the winter list are open.
I start in 3 ½ weeks time and will be doing a "Live from the VDLP" for all those following, mainly about the route, river crossings and albergues.
I don't expect to meet many pilgrims on the way, but that suits me. I tend to walk in my own little world.
I think fitness could be the key to this camino because of the lonely stretches, I've been walking every day with my full pack around the 25km mark and will continue until a few days before I leave.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
All of the above but... oh I lost my heart on the VdlP. I expected the worst but actually found it not too bad. There were a couple of stages that were tricky and we took a bus once but oh it's stunning and the history... like WOW. I kept my pack weight down, I prepared more for that walk than the CF and that helped.

I blog when walking... https://caminobrassblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/bordeaux-pizza-goodbyes/

I keep walking new routes but so far nothing matches that experience. I don't know if it's the right choice for you but I will walk it again one day... I have to!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
I've walked the CF twice, averaging 20K a day. A couple of times I walked 30, but I didn't enjoy it... I have some mechanical problems in my foot that start to act up at repeated, very long distances.

But I want to walk La Plata. People here use words like "challenging," "arduous," even "grueling." It doesn't look very hilly. Is this because of the stage distances? I see some posts here listing long stages, but some others that have them broken down into smaller chunks.

I'm still perusing threads here, looking at others' experiences doing the VdlP in about 20K segments. I'm not opposed to occasional alternative transport (other than my feet) if necessary, and am fine with going off route to find places to stay.

I'm looking at starting from Sevilla the first week in April and walking to Salamanca or possibly Zamora. I will have 30 days.

Thanks for any input from recent walkers!

JillGat:

I will be walking the VdlP starting around March 18th.

Challenging, arduous and grueling are all relative terms. Therefore, they have to be taken in the context of the speakers mindset. This can not be done, so I would work more from maps of the terrain and distances versus focusing on terms.

I suggest you use www.gronze.com to plan your next day the night before. Set a target for that day based on where you intend to go and what is available along the way (food, water etc.). Execute the plan. Be prepared to adjust should conditions change (weather, injury etc.)

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Jill
I loved this route - and I'm not some super strong walker. You just need to be a little more independent and self reliant than you need to be on the Frances - so it is more challenging. But very beautiful. Most stages aren't so long.
Set a target for your day based on where you intend to go and what is available along the way (food, water etc.). Execute that plan. Be prepared to adjust that plan should conditions change (weather, injury etc.)
Exactly my experience and advice.
 

camino07

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
On the days without stops we got into the habit of looking for a big,flat rock or shady spot for our picnic.
Only once ran out of water on the long day to San Pedro but could see the town by then.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
This is a great site for planning your stages according to the km you want to walk. You can then print out a day to stay list of stages and also an altitude map. I've used it on my three Plata walks:
https://godesalco.com/plan/plata

It is in Spanish but I believe doable if you don't. It also states what type of lodging available.

From my talks with hospitaleros along the route April is one of the busiest months. You certainly won't be alone and you will be walking during Easter. Semana Santa is a big deal in Spain. I've walked the Plata in June, July and February and we were only a handful walking.

I love the route but must preface that long distances nor heat deter me.

Ultreia!
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Springtime is UNIQUE in the lower part, and the landscape changes dramatically as you come onto the high plateau of Salamanca. Stages can be long at times, indeed, you might need to reconsider some stages and beware of some stages of 30 km. Just make sure you plan your stages in advance, the godesalco.com page which @LTfit recommends above is perfect for that.
To me, it is the most spiritual of all caminos.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča 2017; Norte Mar’18; Ingles Nov’18; VDLP Mar’19
I've been planning this route for over a year and have got the stages down to manageable distances assuming that the albergues on the winter list are open.
I start in 3 ½ weeks time and will be doing a "Live from the VDLP" for all those following, mainly about the route, river crossings and albergues.
I don't expect to meet many pilgrims on the way, but that suits me. I tend to walk in my own little world.
I think fitness could be the key to this camino because of the lonely stretches, I've been walking every day with my full pack around the 25km mark and will continue until a few days before I leave.
Looking forward to your posts as I’ll be behind you.
 

Ern

Member
I am thankful to have found this thread as I am also planning to do VDLP this year. I'm planning for my 4th Camino, after finishing CF, Portuguese and Primitivo for the past 3 consecutive years. I can do about 27-32km a day, and understand about when some say about long distance without food/drinks on some part of Primitivo. I only have about 2 weeks of walking time this year, and think I can cover about 400km within that time span.

Qn:

1. For those who have done VDLP and also Primitivo, I would like to hear your views and how you would compare these 2 routes in your opinion.

2. Besides VDLP, I am also looking at del Norte route. Has anyone who's done both VDLP and Norte, and care to comment?

Appreciate any advice please.

Ern
 

Harington

una abuelita inglés
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
I've walked the CF twice, averaging 20K a day. A couple of times I walked 30, but I didn't enjoy it... I have some mechanical problems in my foot that start to act up at repeated, very long distances.

But I want to walk La Plata. People here use words like "challenging," "arduous," even "grueling." It doesn't look very hilly. Is this because of the stage distances? I see some posts here listing long stages, but some others that have them broken down into smaller chunks.

I'm still perusing threads here, looking at others' experiences doing the VdlP in about 20K segments. I'm not opposed to occasional alternative transport (other than my feet) if necessary, and am fine with going off route to find places to stay.

I'm looking at starting from Sevilla the first week in April and walking to Salamanca or possibly Zamora. I will have 30 days.

Thanks for any input from recent walkers!
To me it seemed the least arduous of all the Caminos I've walked. There is very little by way of steep climbs (maybe after Lubián). There's a way round doing 40k from Carcaboso to Aldeanueva del Camino (hotels at Vilar de Plasencia will pick you up and drop you back next day at the Arco de Caparra). Otherwise, truly, it's not hard. I was 66 when I did it.
 

happymarkos

HappyMark
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
This is a great site for planning your stages according to the km you want to walk. You can then print out a day to stay list of stages and also an altitude map. I've used it on my three Plata walks:
https://godesalco.com/plan/plata

It is in Spanish but I believe doable if you don't. It also states what type of lodging available.

From my talks with hospitaleros along the route April is one of the busiest months. You certainly won't be alone and you will be walking during Easter. Semana Santa is a big deal in Spain. I've walked the Plata in June, July and February and we were only a handful walking.

I love the route but must preface that long distances nor heat deter me.

Ultreia!
Thank you for recommending the godesalco site. My computer automatically translated the Spanish to English.
I will print it off. I found Gronze brilliant for the Seville -Salamanca section and had Gerald Kelly's book saved on my smart phone. Now planing from Salamanca on starting late April.
Buen Camino
Happymark
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017
I am thankful to have found this thread as I am also planning to do VDLP this year. I'm planning for my 4th Camino, after finishing CF, Portuguese and Primitivo for the past 3 consecutive years. I can do about 27-32km a day, and understand about when some say about long distance without food/drinks on some part of Primitivo. I only have about 2 weeks of walking time this year, and think I can cover about 400km within that time span.

Qn:

1. For those who have done VDLP and also Primitivo, I would like to hear your views and how you would compare these 2 routes in your opinion.

2. Besides VDLP, I am also looking at del Norte route. Has anyone who's done both VDLP and Norte, and care to comment?

Appreciate any advice please.

Ern
Hi Ern-

I have walked both the VDLP and the Norte. Both were amazing IMO, but in different ways. Please don't ask me to pick a favorite.

The VDLP offers more variety in scenery than the Norte. To me I felt that the VDLP was somewhat more historically interesting. The gorgeous waterfront scenery on the Norte can't be beat. For me there is something soothing about walking by the ocean. OTH, the terrain from Irun-Bilbao on the Norte was more demanding than anything on the VDLP.

My recollection is that there were fewer days on the Norte where I had to go long distances without services. Surprisingly, the number of bad weather days was about the same on both. In both cases I walked in the May-early July timeframe.

What are you looking for in a Camino experience? If you're having a hard time deciding, why not do one route this year and the other next year?

In both cases there were plenty of other people to socialize with without there being a bed race. For the Norte you might want to stay away in July ahd August which is high season on the coadt.

Bottom line, you can't go wrong with either choice.

Buen Camino
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Thank you for recommending the godesalco site. My computer automatically translated the Spanish to English.
I will print it off. I found Gronze brilliant for the Seville -Salamanca section and had Gerald Kelly's book saved on my smart phone. Now planing from Salamanca on starting late April.
Buen Camino
Happymark
And there are buttons at the top of the website to choose your language. 😊
And a settings button to choose your preferred measurements, etc.
Godesalco.jpg
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Is the godesalco site updated regularly?
The Godesalco planner only gives distances between points along the route. Just because a place is listed that does not mean that there are any facilities there. It is not a stage guide in that sense. That is information you need to find elsewhere. As the villages are not likely to move any time soon there is very little need to update it. There is a guide section for the Via de la Plata and it gives details of when it was last updated but the core of the guide is based on a journey made more than 10 years ago. Personally I would rely more on Gronze, Eroski and Gerald Kelly's guide. https://godesalco.com/camino/plata
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017
For planning purposes I've always liked gronze.com. In addition to the distances between towns it tells you what services are available once you get there. It also provides information about and links to accommodations if you want to get in touch with them for any reason.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Hi,

when I walked the Via in 2008-2010 I relied much on the Information compelled on the "Godesalco"-site. But nowadays it seems to be a bit out of date. I put a request there for travel companions more than a week ago but it has not been published yet. The last entry in that section dates from August 2018.

Thus I would rather rely on the information you can obtain from "Gronze" or "Eroski". The latter is also not quite up to date, but you can see from the pilgrims comments which informations are still valid.

I also found another nice planning-tool which even allows you to print out your planning and a "Microguía" (mini-guide) which shows all the infrastructure along the track.

Planificador RutasASantiago.com

When I am in Seville I will contact the local office of the pilgrims organisation and see, if they can offer me some additional information.

If you want to shorten stages, look at the tracks in GoogleEarth. Sometimes you can find a place to eat, sleep or catch a bus by walking only a short detour.

BC
Alexandra
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
......I also found another nice planning-tool which even allows you to print out your planning and a "Microguía" (mini-guide) which shows all the infrastructure along the track.

Planificador RutasASantiago.com
Thank you very much for this site; it has led me to this: http://www.rutasasantiago.com/BDCaminos/camino-de-santiago?cam=Camino-de-Madrid, which I think will give me the info on the Camino de Madrid that I am looking for and have been unable to find. Unfortunately, this site is in Spanish, and my Spanish is not good enough.

My apologies, but I am not tech savvy - could someone please tell me if I can get this in English, and how? Thank you in advance.
 

Waka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
Thank you very much for this site; it has led me to this: http://www.rutasasantiago.com/BDCaminos/camino-de-santiago?cam=Camino-de-Madrid, which I think will give me the info on the Camino de Madrid that I am looking for and have been unable to find. Unfortunately, this site is in Spanish, and my Spanish is not good enough.

My apologies, but I am not tech savvy - could someone please tell me if I can get this in English, and how? Thank you in advance.
If you have google chrome then you can open in GC, if you don't then just download it and do as I've said.
Google Chrome will do the translation for you, very handy tool.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(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
VdlP is not difficult. Some planning is required for the longest etappas. It is a fantastic Camino, which I shall walk again.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Is the godesalco site updated regularly? I will sometimes be looking for options to shorten the longer stages and this and Gronze.com both show intermediate stops in between. By the way, I started a thread in this forum with a calendar to see when people here are planning to walk the VDLP in the next few months.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/vdlp-spring-walkers-calendar.59779/
I use the Editorial Buen Camino app, and I find it very easy to set up new stages. I believe that it is updated regularly. I haven't used it for the VdLP yet though
If you have google chrome then you can open in GC, if you don't then just download it and do as I've said.
Google Chrome will do the translation for you, very handy tool.
I used that site for the Norte, since Godelasco doesn't include that route.
 

Pilgrim Patricia

Want to do the VdlP again!
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata; Hospitalera Miraz 2011
I hope it's OK to use the "H" word here.

My route was Zamora to Santiago in October/November one year, then from Seville with the goal of reaching Zamora the next April/May. A couple of times when I just couldn't walk any more (here it comes!) I hitchhiked alone with absolutely no qualms. I mailed some stuff to General Delivery at a post office in a town about two weeks further on my route to lighten the load a tiny bit.

Absolutely loved the VldP, especially through Galicia. Went via Ourense and opted for the long steep option first thing going out of Ourense and was so happy to reach the 99km marker at the top!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I hope it's OK to use the "H" word here.

My route was Zamora to Santiago in October/November one year, then from Seville with the goal of reaching Zamora the next April/May. A couple of times when I just couldn't walk any more (here it comes!) I hitchhiked alone with absolutely no qualms. I mailed some stuff to General Delivery at a post office in a town about two weeks further on my route to lighten the load a tiny bit.

Absolutely loved the VldP, especially through Galicia. Went via Ourense and opted for the long steep option first thing going out of Ourense and was so happy to reach the 99km marker at the top!
@Pilgrim Patricia
I too once had to hitch a ride, when everything went wrong on my first day on a camino, and finally there appeared to be no other way to get to my night's accommodation, except a couple of hours walking on a highway after dark. I was lucky, but it was not an easy decision and I would not encourage anyone else to do it. The camino may be safer than many other places where you might travel, but it is not safe. If I remember the details correctly, a Korean pilgrim accepted a ride while walking her camino not long ago, and she was in serious trouble, escaping worse only by chance. We do what we have to, but please do not choose hitchhiking if you can see any other option. It is not safe.
 

Pilgrim Patricia

Want to do the VdlP again!
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata; Hospitalera Miraz 2011
I do realize that almost any activity can be unsafe; however, sometimes on a route like the Via de la Plata - - which as has been pointed out, has longer stretches without services, etc. - - hitching might be the only option. It's been my experience that trusting in God and others for help when I need it usually works out. References are often made to "camino angels" and I've met a few myself, including those who've given me a ride when my feet couldn't keep going.
 

Dominick

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
I've walked the CF twice, averaging 20K a day. A couple of times I walked 30, but I didn't enjoy it... I have some mechanical problems in my foot that start to act up at repeated, very long distances.

But I want to walk La Plata. People here use words like "challenging," "arduous," even "grueling." It doesn't look very hilly. Is this because of the stage distances? I see some posts here listing long stages, but some others that have them broken down into smaller chunks.

I'm still perusing threads here, looking at others' experiences doing the VdlP in about 20K segments. I'm not opposed to occasional alternative transport (other than my feet) if necessary, and am fine with going off route to find places to stay.

I'm looking at starting from Sevilla the first week in April and walking to Salamanca or possibly Zamora. I will have 30 days.

Thanks for any input from recent walkers!
Hola JillGat,
I walked the VDLP in the fall of 2018. I agree with you regarding the terrain on VDLP. I think there will be times when you can do 20 kms or less, and there will also be times when you may have to do more than 20 kms. With good planning and flexibility, you may be able to determine how best to pursue your journey. In my interaction with fellow Pilgrims on the VDLP (many of which had also walked the CF), what we often talked about - more had to do with the weather (heat in the south y wet & cooler in the north); another comment which Pilgrims also mentioned was the lack of people on the VDLP as compared to the CF. I have not walked the CF, but I know how popular it is. So, I think some Pigrims may have found the lack of more Pilgrims, and the routine solitude of the VDLP to be a difficulty. I found the VDLP to be a great y unique experience, and would recommend it to most anyone, especially if one enjoys the challenge of difference. I wish you well on whatever you decide.
Ultreia,
 

lunna

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances; portugues, lisboa-muxia; norte + to bayonne; vdlp; chemin du puy; voie d'arles/ aragones
I left Seville on 18 September. Very hot for the first 2/3 weeks! I think more people walk early in the year.
I had a bit of heat the first week or so when I started in early October, but after that, the weather - and the entire walk - was beautiful all the way to Santiago.
 

Liz Drew

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Coastal Portuguese
2018 Via de la Plata
(2019) del Norte
I'm happy to run into this thread. I too am looking for an alternative to the Francés. @Levi, what time of the year did you walk this route?
I started in early April last year and the weather was perfect for walking however I didn’t factor walking in the snow For a day! Although unprepared I felt exhilarated.mlike everyone has said, there are some long stages and not many options to split them in 2 and find somewhere to stay in between. Cafes that open early in the morning are scarce. The more Spanish you can speak, the better you will be. I loved this walk!
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
Walked it and loved it. Before walking the VDLP I somehow formed a belief that I absolutely cannot walk with my pack more than 18 miles a day without collapsing. In walking the VDLP I habitually walked with my pack more than 18 miles a day up to 28 miles a day. I never collapsed. I enjoyed it. It was not a problem. Lesson learned: do not set artificial limits for yourself, just pace yourself. A note for the Easter walkers: On Easter Sunday restaurants and shops will be closed, except for gas station convenience stores. You need to have your food purchased on the day before or you likely will go hungry.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Walked it and loved it. Before walking the VDLP I somehow formed a belief that I absolutely cannot walk with my pack more than 18 miles a day without collapsing. In walking the VDLP I habitually walked with my pack more than 18 miles a day up to 28 miles a day. I never collapsed. I enjoyed it. It was not a problem. Lesson learned: do not set artificial limits for yourself, just pace yourself. A note for the Easter walkers: On Easter Sunday restaurants and shops will be closed, except for gas station convenience stores. You need to have your food purchased on the day before or you likely will go hungry.
Likewise I was convinced that I would hate walking in the rain. But last year on the Norte I had many rainy days, and it was actually kind of fun splish-sploshing along.
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
I am thankful to have found this thread as I am also planning to do VDLP this year. I'm planning for my 4th Camino, after finishing CF, Portuguese and Primitivo for the past 3 consecutive years. I can do about 27-32km a day, and understand about when some say about long distance without food/drinks on some part of Primitivo. I only have about 2 weeks of walking time this year, and think I can cover about 400km within that time span.

Qn:

1. For those who have done VDLP and also Primitivo, I would like to hear your views and how you would compare these 2 routes in your opinion.

2. Besides VDLP, I am also looking at del Norte route. Has anyone who's done both VDLP and Norte, and care to comment?

Appreciate any advice please.

Ern
I agree with others, both the VdlP and the Primitivo are very different. I did part of the VdlP after walking the lovely Salvador in 2017, Í found both routes a bit challenging on a couple of days with climbs. In fact I joked about the Primitivo, up to Lugo, that you started the day with a hill and ended the day with a hill! But I loved the Primitivo, especially the walk over Hospitales, a day I will never forget.
Last year I did part of VdlP from Mérida to Zamora and am going back twice this year to complete it doing Sevilla to Mérida in Semana Santa and then back in Sept to rejoin at Zamora and go to Santiago via Sanabres. I loved the region of Extremadura, so much history and great places to visit and the tapas are great! So if you prefer lovely countryside, a couple of good climbs with mainly small welcoming towns and people, try the Primitivo, then again if you like cultural sites, Roman history, great towns, people, try VdlP (but as I say I have only done part of it!)
Ideally do both!!
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
I am thankful to have found this thread as I am also planning to do VDLP this year. I'm planning for my 4th Camino, after finishing CF, Portuguese and Primitivo for the past 3 consecutive years. I can do about 27-32km a day, and understand about when some say about long distance without food/drinks on some part of Primitivo. I only have about 2 weeks of walking time this year, and think I can cover about 400km within that time span.

Qn:

1. For those who have done VDLP and also Primitivo, I would like to hear your views and how you would compare these 2 routes in your opinion.

2. Besides VDLP, I am also looking at del Norte route. Has anyone who's done both VDLP and Norte, and care to comment?

Appreciate any advice please.

Ern
The Norte is much more crowded than the VDLP. Even the Primitivo is more crowded than the VDLP, but only slightly more so. The VDLP is the most physically and mentally demanding of the three, because it does have longer stages and is not as well marked. The Norte is better marked than the VDLP, but not as well marked as the Primitivo. In physical demands the Norte and Primitivo are about the same, but the Primitivo is more peaceful, more plush with more dirt to walk on, and is much cheaper because the tourists don't go there so much. With only two weeks, the primitivo would be ideal for you. It is not hard. The Hospital route is lovely and plush except for a stretch on the ridge that can be very windy, and a short stretch downhill that is steep so harder for those with knee problems. I no longer believe in the guide book authors' assessments on levels of difficulty. How difficult really depends on your experience and level of fitness. I felt intimidated before I walked each of these caminos, only to find that the intimidation is unjustified.
 

CelticB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
in planning
I will be walking the VDLP starting from Seville late March. I walked the Frances 3 years ago when I was 60.
Can someone tell me how much is "enough" water on the long stretches? 1.5, 2 or 3 litres? or more?
thanks
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
on the long stretches carry at least 2 litres preferably 3 if you can manage it. Of course there's the weight issue but at least that gets lighter as the day goes on. Only one day last September did I run out of water on the long walk to Alcantara, I was so glad to get to the Albergue to get some water and it was a much needed lesson for me that I should have carried another litre.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
on the long stretches carry at least 2 litres preferably 3 if you can manage it. Of course there's the weight issue but at least that gets lighter as the day goes on. Only one day last September did I run out of water on the long walk to Alcantara, I was so glad to get to the Albergue to get some water and it was a much needed lesson for me that I should have carried another litre.
I agree. There were at least two days - walking across the Berrocal park and walking to Alcantara and Canaveral where I carried and drank over 3 litres and was still hoping for more. The Alcantara albergue was closed but I was very lucky to find a catering van parked up nearby where the owner kindly gave me a 1.5 litre bottle. Much needed at the time. Very close to the place where a young German man later died during a heatwave. A very sobering thought.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I will be walking the VDLP starting from Seville late March. I walked the Frances 3 years ago when I was 60.
Can someone tell me how much is "enough" water on the long stretches? 1.5, 2 or 3 litres? or more?
thanks
You are asking about walking in late March into April. I have never considered carrying 3 L of water. The most I have ever carried is 2 L, and that only because it was a warm day and a long stretch. I have not walked in very hot weather. It depends entirely on what your water needs normally are (mine are lower than many people), how hot it is that day, and how long the stage.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča 2017; Norte Mar’18; Ingles Nov’18; VDLP Mar’19
It’s why I like to walk in spring, if I’m thirsty I stick my tongue out and drink rain water 🤣🤣🤣
 

steve cole

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting the french way today
I've walked the CF twice, averaging 20K a day. A couple of times I walked 30, but I didn't enjoy it... I have some mechanical problems in my foot that start to act up at repeated, very long distances.

But I want to walk La Plata. People here use words like "challenging," "arduous," even "grueling." It doesn't look very hilly. Is this because of the stage distances? I see some posts here listing long stages, but some others that have them broken down into smaller chunks.

I'm still perusing threads here, looking at others' experiences doing the VdlP in about 20K segments. I'm not opposed to occasional alternative transport (other than my feet) if necessary, and am fine with going off route to find places to stay.

I'm looking at starting from Sevilla the first week in April and walking to Salamanca or possibly Zamora. I will have 30 days.

Thanks for any input from recent walkers!
Depends on what time of year you do it. I did it September/October last year. Very hot first till I got to Salamanca.

Its not hard, few hills, mostly flat ,some long day's though.
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
I walked the VdlP a few years ago (after the Frances and the Norte) and cannot say that it stood out as being difficult. I found it to be a lovely camino and i used the Wise Pilgrim app for everything!
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
To C, regarding water: I walked the VDLP starting in the beginning of April from Seville, walked usually 30 up to max 45 Ks a day, 2 liters per day were enough for me. I started by 6:00 a.m. each day and usually got to my destination no later than 1:00 p.m., later if more Ks. You will start in March, I think 2 liters may be enough depending on your size, how early in the day you start and how much distance you cover. I met a young pilgrim on the VDLP. She's 6 feet and weighed about 200 lbs. She always started late, like 9:00 a.m. or later and took many breaks. So she walked during the warmest part of the day and did not get to the destination until about sundown. She carried 8 liters a day and drank it all. So it really depends on your size and how you do it.
 

CelticB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
in planning
thanks for all those thoughts, helps greatly with the planning. I like lots of water if I can get it but can ration myself and manage the heat if needed. I love this forum it is entertaining, informative and thought provoking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Ruta de la Plata (cycling)
If a humble cyclist might venture an opinion...my wife and I cycled Seville to SdeC last September. Temperatures were mid 30s every day and we didn’t see a cloud till Galicia. With bikes we were able to do 70kms per day. With that sort of range, we could almost spend the night in a town with some activity every night bar three. At that time of year we came across many more cyclists than walkers though, curiously, the walkers we did see seemed to be disproportionately older solo women. We were in AWE of them given the distances and the heat. Water would likely be your single biggest problem. We carried 3l and refilled wherever possible. I imagine walkers would need more and would be carrying it themselves. Given the distances food and accommodation would also be problematic. We had a great time (the cities along the VdlP are amazing as is the scenery in between) but we were extremely grateful to be cycling, at least at that time of year.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
This is a great site for planning your stages according to the km you want to walk. You can then print out a day to stay list of stages and also an altitude map. I've used it on my three Plata walks:
https://godesalco.com/plan/plata

It is in Spanish but I believe doable if you don't. It also states what type of lodging available.

From my talks with hospitaleros along the route April is one of the busiest months. You certainly won't be alone and you will be walking during Easter. Semana Santa is a big deal in Spain. I've walked the Plata in June, July and February and we were only a handful walking.

I love the route but must preface that long distances nor heat deter me.

Ultreia!
If you look at the top right hand corner there is an icon with the British Union Jack and you can switch to English.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
To C, regarding water: I walked the VDLP starting in the beginning of April from Seville, walked usually 30 up to max 45 Ks a day, 2 liters per day were enough for me. I started by 6:00 a.m. each day and usually got to my destination no later than 1:00 p.m., later if more Ks. You will start in March, I think 2 liters may be enough depending on your size, how early in the day you start and how much distance you cover. I met a young pilgrim on the VDLP. She's 6 feet and weighed about 200 lbs. She always started late, like 9:00 a.m. or later and took many breaks. So she walked during the warmest part of the day and did not get to the destination until about sundown. She carried 8 liters a day and drank it all. So it really depends on your size and how you do it.
Very impressive that you can walk 45K in 7 hours with breaks. Hope I see you one day on the Camino we can wave to each other as you roll by!
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
45 km in 7 hours that is high speed - even without a break it averages to 6,5 km/h.

I only met a few pilgrims going that pace. 7 hours for 30 km would be closer to my average.
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
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