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COVID Is it okay to go back in the VDLP water yet?

Daniel Crowe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018

VDLP (2020)
Hi all,

I posted about two months back to see whether there was any wisdom in rushing out to the Camino because I was honestly sick of everything to do with this virus - the response was a resounding no.

But I'm finishing up at my current job in a few weeks time and it seems like if there was ever a right time to go, it's then. The route I'm looking to do is the Via De La Plata. I know that borders on certain regions are closed, that masks have to be worn outdoors, etc. But I know that the situation with places to stay on the VLDP was already fairly tough to find, what with there being few pilgrims doing that entire route. Can anyone give me any new information please that maybe I'm not reading or seeing in the news? Anything even that's specifically to do with the VLDP?

Having said that, if there's another route (except the Frances) that is looking like a much better option I'd love to hear about that too.
Thank you!
 
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Jean Ti

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
Hi all,

I posted about two months back to see whether there was any wisdom in rushing out to the Camino because I was honestly sick of everything to do with this virus - the response was a resounding no.

But I'm finishing up at my current job in a few weeks time and it seems like if there was ever a right time to go, it's then. The route I'm looking to do is the Via De La Plata. I know that borders on certain regions are closed, that masks have to be worn outdoors, etc. But I know that the situation with places to stay on the VLDP was already fairly tough to find, what with there being few pilgrims doing that entire route. Can anyone give me any new information please that maybe I'm not reading or seeing in the news? Anything even that's specifically to do with the VLDP?

Having said that, if there's another route (except the Frances) that is looking like a much better option I'd love to hear about that too.
Thank you!
I did walk the vdp before the covid 19 and it is a very nice and quiet Camino to do.

If I was looking for first hand information I would contact albergue at different level of the Camino to get first hand info. If of course you do not get info from a current pilgrim walking it.
 

Daniel Crowe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018

VDLP (2020)
I did walk the vdp before the covid 19 and it is a very nice and quiet Camino to do.

If I was looking for first hand information I would contact albergue at different level of the Camino to get first hand info. If of course you do not get info from a current pilgrim walking it.
Thank you for that! I should write to some albergues out there actually and see for myself.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I am aware of one pilgrim who is resuming his VDLP camino in one week (from Salamanca). I have also seen updates from the Camino Mozarabe association, which show the first few pilgrims embarking on that route. I expect it will be challenging with some albergues and businesses closed along the way, but if you are up to the challenge, and you're happy to adjust plans according to the unpredictable situation, I guess you will do fine. Time between jobs is precious, and I understand your desire to make the best of it.

In particular, I think that some donativo albergues may be closed because they struggle to cope with the hygiene regulations unless they have volunteer hospitaleros on site. (Those with resident hospitaleros might be fine).

Here is RTVE's overview of regional and municipal restrictions and regulations:

Here's a list of private albergues which is kept up-to-date by Filiberto, who owns an albergue in Cubo de la Tierra del Vino. He started an association of private albergues on the VDLP, which may be a valuable source of information right now:
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
I'd consider the weather. It's likely to be HOT! 🔥
Have you thought about the Camino del Norte?
Some of us like hot ;). I walked the Plata from Sevilla twice in July. Drawback is that I carried 3 liters of water with me while walking and drank probably another liter upon arriving at my destination (very few fountains along the way).

Best bet would be indeed to call ahead as the Plata in a normal year only gets about 9.000 pilgrims. I can only imagine what it has been like since last year.

As @Raggy said the amigos in Almería started posting on Facebook about several Spanish pilgrims who have started out on the Mozárabe.

The Lana from Alicante would be a difficult alternative. A Camino friend Luís who is responsible for the amigos albergue in Cuenca posted recently that only 2 municipal albergues are open between Alicante and Burgos.

As in the case on the Francés, walking will involve mostly staying in private albergues, hostales, etc.
 

dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I'd consider the weather. It's likely to be HOT! 🔥
Have you thought about the Camino del Norte?
I wouldn't recommend the Norte in summer, it tends to get populated by backpackers looking for a cheap holiday, 'beachigrinos' if you like. We did the VdlP starting an April and it was very hot even then in Extremadura so I would take the warnings about heat very seriously - in 2019 a Pilgrim died of dehydration. The stages are long between fountains and there is little shade. August would be a nightmare. I'd go a bit later in the year. It is a great camino though.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Some of us like hot ;). I walked the Plata from Sevilla twice in July. Drawback is that I carried 3 liters of water with me while walking and drank probably another liter upon arriving at my destination (very few fountains along the way).

Best bet would be indeed to call ahead as the Plata in a normal year only gets about 9.000 pilgrims. I can only imagine what it has been like since last year.

As @Raggy said the amigos in Almería started posting on Facebook about several Spanish pilgrims who have started out on the Mozárabe.

The Lana from Alicante would be a difficult alternative. A Camino friend Luís who is responsible for the amigos albergue in Cuenca posted recently that only 2 municipal albergues are open between Alicante and Burgos.

As in the case on the Francés, walking will involve mostly staying in private albergues, hostales, etc.
Dare one mention " THE TENT " ? :) I use a TERRA NOVA LASER COMP which I can get down to sub kilo. The hardier folk use a tarp. As to water, if I can get to VDLP again I would rebuild my trolley or buy one. That way I can carry what I please and stop where I like, within bounds of course! Good luck and BUEN CAMINO. The PLATA is special.

Samarkand.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I wouldn't recommend the Norte in summer, it tends to get populated by backpackers looking for a cheap holiday, 'beachigrinos' if you like. We did the VdlP starting an April and it was very hot even then in Extremadura so I would take the warnings about heat very seriously - in 2019 a Pilgrim died of dehydration. The stages are long between fountains and there is little shade. August would be a nightmare. I'd go a bit later in the year. It is a great camino though.
I've done the Norte in the summer, and I'd rather deal with the tourists than the heat on the VdlP!
 
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dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I've done the Norte in the summer, and I'd rather deal with the tourists than the heat on the VdlP!
Agreed. But they are a problem. Not the actual tourists, but a lot of young people from Europe have cottoned onto the fact that for the price of credencial, you can travel from albergue to albergue paying very little, or nothing at all if it is a donativo. Once the beaches run out, the problem disappears. I'm not being a cynical grouch, by the way. We worked as hospitaleros on the Norte in August 2019 and were sometimes saddened by some of the things we saw, for example, pilgrims arriving after 6pm having walked 30+km being turned away because the albergue had filled up by 2pm by young backpackers walking between beaches. But the problem is really only during school/college holidays in August.
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I have been on the Norte twice in June and July, it was fine for me, I stayed in Albergues and Pensions, I feel June is the best time to walk the Norte, in some places it has a spring feel with all the wildlowers and foals ambling about in fields, it can be wet, but is starting to be less wet with more consistent warmer days, .A friend walked from Oviedo to Ribadeo last July(20) to Connect up with the Camino do Mar, he said the Norte was a little busy in Albergues with a mostly younger crowd usually in couples
I keep looking at the daily stats for people arriving in Santiago ( and getting Compostelas)it's in the tens at the moment but had a little rise yesterday 4 days after 9th May national reopening, I don't feel you will be on your own. I think you are right about going now, I changed my flights from 3rd June to August a while back and it seems my initial guess was right.

Buen Camino
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I suggest you contact the Amigos office in Sevelle. They are sure to have cuurent info.
View attachment 100097

I hope to walk in October. I have flights I can change if the unthinkable happens and can cancel at the Triana Backpackers if I need to. My first stop after I drop my pack off will be at the Amigos office. One would think that the most up to date information will be found there regarding the status of albergues and services.

Can anyone give me any new information please that maybe I'm not reading or seeing in the news?
I would also recommend downloading (it cost $2.99) the Gerald Kelly guide as he is updating albergues that are open and closed along the route. I believe Wise Pilgrim has been doing that also on his website.


Do you really want to walk the VDLP in summer. The heat can be brutal and even dangerous some days.
 

Daniel Crowe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018

VDLP (2020)
I suggest you contact the Amigos office in Sevelle. They are sure to have cuurent infoth

I am aware of one pilgrim who is resuming his VDLP camino in one week (from Salamanca). I have also seen updates from the Camino Mozarabe association, which show the first few pilgrims embarking on that route. I expect it will be challenging with some albergues and businesses closed along the way, but if you are up to the challenge, and you're happy to adjust plans according to the unpredictable situation, I guess you will do fine. Time between jobs is precious, and I understand your desire to make the best of it.

In particular, I think that some donativo albergues may be closed because they struggle to cope with the hygiene regulations unless they have volunteer hospitaleros on site. (Those with resident hospitaleros might be fine).

Here is RTVE's overview of regional and municipal restrictions and regulations:

Here's a list of private albergues which is kept up-to-date by Filiberto, who owns an albergue in Cubo de la Tierra del Vino. He started an association of private albergues on the VDLP, which may be a valuable source of information right now:
Absolutely fantastic thank you! I'm in work right now but I'll be all over that afterwards. The albergues is the big consideration, obviously. When you have a day of 30km+ the last thing you want is to be at a loss for a place to stay. Part of the fun though.
 
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Daniel Crowe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018

VDLP (2020)
I'd consider the weather. It's likely to be HOT! 🔥
Have you thought about the Camino del Norte?
Yeah, considering that as the other option as well. The weather was a consideration - still is, but I think it's a case of managing how you get through it? I'd imagine.
I'm pasty white Irish, but I'm not bad in the heat haha
 

Daniel Crowe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018

VDLP (2020)
Dare one mention " THE TENT " ? :) I use a TERRA NOVA LASER COMP which I can get down to sub kilo. The hardier folk use a tarp. As to water, if I can get to VDLP again I would rebuild my trolley or buy one. That way I can carry what I please and stop where I like, within bounds of course! Good luck and BUEN CAMINO. The PLATA is special.

Samarkand.
That kind of message only makes me more determined. "Special". Like it! 😁
 

SioCamino

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
I absolutely love the VDLP but speaking as a fellow pasty white irish person, i avoided walking any later than mid May especially in the southern part of it. There is often no shade and no villages to stop in. I walked it over 3 years, late April early May for each stretch and aimed to finish walking by 12 every day. I usually carried between 2-3 litres of water as there is usually no where to top up supplies once walking.
I would recommend starting further north or on an alternative route if starting mid to late May.
Buen camino
 

Daniel Crowe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018

VDLP (2020)

I absolutely love the VDLP but speaking as a fellow pasty white irish person, i avoided walking any later than mid May especially in the southern part of it. There is often no shade and no villages to stop in. I walked it over 3 years, late April early May for each stretch and aimed to finish walking by 12 every day. I usually carried between 2-3 litres of water as there is usually no where to top up supplies once walking.
I would recommend starting further north or on an alternative route if starting mid to late May.
Buen camino
Yeah the heat is clearly a big consideration. The Potential lack of albergues too. Thanks a lot, you're very good.
 

Daniel Crowe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018

VDLP (2020)
I wouldn't recommend the Norte in summer, it tends to get populated by backpackers looking for a cheap holiday, 'beachigrinos' if you like. We did the VdlP starting an April and it was very hot even then in Extremadura so I would take the warnings about heat very seriously - in 2019 a Pilgrim died of dehydration. The stages are long between fountains and there is little shade. August would be a nightmare. I'd go a bit later in the year. It is a great camino though.
Yeah the time of when to do it is a big battle. Sense seems to dictate that next month or even the month after is a bit too soon, but for me personally August and September seem way too far away. The VDLP has been calling my name for over a year 🤣
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Dare one mention " THE TENT " ? :) I use a TERRA NOVA LASER COMP which I can get down to sub kilo. The hardier folk use a tarp. As to water, if I can get to VDLP again I would rebuild my trolley or buy one. That way I can carry what I please and stop where I like, within bounds of course! Good luck and BUEN CAMINO. The PLATA is special.

Samarkand.
I have the same tent ❤️ but it would be much to HOT to use it on the VdlP! 😱😉
And yes, I carried 3l of water (and it was not nearly enough!) but on top of that, after 1 hr or so you drink lukewarm to downright hot water! 😳🙄
 

Daniel Crowe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018

VDLP (2020)
Agreed. But they are a problem. Not the actual tourists, but a lot of young people from Europe have cottoned onto the fact that for the price of credencial, you can travel from albergue to albergue paying very little, or nothing at all if it is a donativo. Once the beaches run out, the problem disappears. I'm not being a cynical grouch, by the way. We worked as hospitaleros on the Norte in August 2019 and were sometimes saddened by some of the things we saw, for example, pilgrims arriving after 6pm having walked 30+km being turned away because the albergue had filled up by 2pm by young backpackers walking between beaches. But the problem is really only during school/college holidays in August.
I think it's starting to get like that.
Hi Daniel

A forum member @geraldkelly has a Facebook group specifically for Via de la Plata
- it looks like this. (A screen shot below )
Excellent. I'll take a look at that. Thank you. 😊
 

dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Yeah, considering that as the other option as well. The weather was a consideration - still is, but I think it's a case of managing how you get through it? I'd imagine.
I'm pasty white Irish, but I'm not bad in the heat haha
I'm what the great Tony Hancock once described as 'Anglo-Saxon, with just a dash of Viking', but I've lived in Australia since '94 and I've learnt to respect the heat. Also, we've walked the VdlP, got dehydrated ourselves once (not a lot of fun and you tend to get very irrational as one of the effects), and talked to people who live and work along it. This is my own opinion, but I think it would be a really bad idea to walk it in August if you could possibly avoid it: I think it would be an unnecessary risk and you would possibly be a burden to local emergency services. If you think you can do it, fine, but don't underestimate the lack of water and shade on some of the longer, more southerly stages.

Have you ever read 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' by Laurie Lee? Great book with an excellent description of what it feels like to be dehydrated whilst walking in Spain. It was probably only the over-whelming generosity of the Spanish people that saved his life, a debt he did his best to repay.
 

dick bird

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Yeah the time of when to do it is a big battle. Sense seems to dictate that next month or even the month after is a bit too soon, but for me personally August and September seem way too far away. The VDLP has been calling my name for over a year 🤣
It has been there for almost exactly 1200 years, so it isn't going anywhere. Actually more, the Plata is reckoned to be a neolithic era drove road, so 10000 years would be closer. Then again, I come from a long-lived family, but 12 centuries might be pushing it a bit.
 

Daniel Crowe

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018

VDLP (2020)
I'm what the great Tony Hancock once described as 'Anglo-Saxon, with just a dash of Viking', but I've lived in Australia since '94 and I've learnt to respect the heat. Also, we've walked the VdlP, got dehydrated ourselves once (not a lot of fun and you tend to get very irrational as one of the effects), and talked to people who live and work along it. This is my own opinion, but I think it would be a really bad idea to walk it in August if you could possibly avoid it: I think it would be an unnecessary risk and you would possibly be a burden to local emergency services. If you think you can do it, fine, but don't underestimate the lack of water and shade on some of the longer, more southerly stages.

Have you ever read 'As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning' by Laurie Lee? Great book with an excellent description of what it feels like to be dehydrated whilst walking in Spain. It was probably only the over-whelming generosity of the Spanish people that saved his life, a debt he did his best to repay.
I haven't read it. But I'll take a look. Thanks dick bird. ( Great name by the by)
 
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