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In Caceres

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Since the doctor has recommended a few days' rest to see if I can deal with a heel spur that was unknown to me until I got an x-ray yesterday, and since the Junta has put a traveling "telecentro digital" with free internet access in the Plaza Mayor in Caceres this week (very useful, though it does mar the view of the beautiful square) I will try to give some current information on the Vdlp, since I see there are several questions posted.

I think I mentioned this in my Zafra post, but everyone is stunned by the crowds. There are really lots of people walking, all of whom expected to be alone. The weather has been great (though I've had four rainy days, the rain has always held off till we were settled in the albergue), the wildflowers are everywhere, roman bridges are scattered all over the place (three on one day coming into Caceres), and there are very very few asphalt kms.

Some random recommendations/observations:

I was bitten in the Zafra albergue -- pretty sure it was bed bugs. luckily the guy I was walking with had spent years in the military and gave me explicit instructions, which I followed to the letter and all that remains are some red spots. Bleach apparently is a good way to kill them. The Zafra albergue puts big "comforters" on the bed, and I am pretty sure that's not a good idea because they obviuosly do not wash them every day.

Villafranca de los Barros -- we liked Casa Perín very much -- 18E, two rooms with beds for 8 depending. Kitchen, patio and terrace. Phone: 646-179-914. The owner will send you to eat at the Restaurante Ramirez and it's a very good recommendation. Great house wine, too!

Torremegias -- there is a private albergue, the albergue rojo-plata, but the hotel on the highway is only a few E more, 15 E includes breakfast at the hotel. The albergue charges a little less, and offers a meal which, I was told, was not any good and didn't include wine or dessert. There's apparently a competition going on between the albergue and the hotel, because walking into town a little girl urged us to not go to the albergue because they charge too much. There is a now closed albergue in a palace off the highway. The man in the supermarket told me that the renovation took longer to complete than the total amount of time it was open. Thereś a very nice doorway, with conchas all around it.

Merida - apparently the albergue is dirty, that's what I was told. It's in a beautiful site though, an old mill on the river. I stayed in Hostal Anas, very clean, good location for visiting the ruins, but a little far from the Camino. Bad marking on the way out of Merida, luckily I ran into some others with a better guide than mine and very explciit instructions. (I am using only the CSJ guide and it's fine for info on accommodations and meals but has very very little about marking -- I have seen the Raju guide and it looks terrific).

Aljucen -- private albergue in house owned by the town. She charges 10E and squeezes 20 or so into a very small space. Two very clean bathrooms. I followed Mermaid Lilli's advice and took the baths for 5E -- very relaxing!

Alcuescar -- Albergue in monastery that also offers housing to men with problems or abandoned by their family, there is a group of very dedicated young brothers whose spirit is incredible. There is probably space for 60 or more in room on top floor, lots of bathrooms and showers. Very nice group meal. Donativo, be generous, you're supporting not only the albergue.

Aldea de Cano has an albergue with 8 beds, two who stayed there say they were the only two.

Valdesalor, a few mattresses on the ayuntamiento floor, one of the four I know who stayed there a few nights ago said it was very nice -- he slept up on the top floor on a couch.

Caceres -- I still haven't found the albergue municipal, but there is a private one right on the camino very close to the plaza mayor. 18E, breakfast 3E. I spent one night there, rooms hold around 6 people, I think the total capacity is around 40. Not all who stay there are pilgrims, there are just regular visitors to Caceres, too. For my rest days, I moved down the street to a small pension, El Cesar. Again, right on the Camino, 15E for a private room/bath shared by four rooms, I think. Very clean. Tel: 645-84-55-70, pensionelcesar@hotmail.es

I hope I'll be back on the road in a few days, this is quite a new experience for me, but I'm trying to be optimistic and keep it all in perspective. Buen camino to all who are starting out, maybe I'll run into some of you who are posting from the via in the next few days! Laurie
 
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Deirdre

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
HI Laurie,
Great to hear from you!
Wonderful detail, as always.
Take it easy on the heel spur - nasty business (been there, done that, as they say!)
Drop me a line when you get the chance!
Buen Camino,
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Deidre, I sent you a PM. Since I am sort of stuck here in Caceres I am spending a lot of time in the internet bus, where the four delightful young people in charge have been really sweet to me. The bus leaves on Saturday, and I hope I will be long gone by then.

I just wanted to add one note about internet access on the Vdlp in general. Every "biblioteca municipal" (public library) has machines available for everyone, for instance in Sevilla and Caceres you can sign up for a one hour block of time. In some of the small towns I have found it either in the "Casa de Cultura" (this was true in Guillena, Castilblanco, and a few others) or even in the Hogar del Pensionista. I think that Spain is getting very wired, and pilgrims probably won't have trouble keeping in touch with home.

buen camino everyone. Laurie
 

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