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Many Pilgrims This June?

kgringa

New Member
I have hiked the Camino Frances twice and Le Puy en Velay once all alone. I have always wanted to hike the Via de la Plata but I've almost always heard that it was a little isolated and you only occasionally ran into other pilgrims. (I've heard of at least two accounts of women pilgrims being robbed while walking in isolated areas.)

I am a woman and am always cautious of walking on isolated routes and that is why I've never walked the Via de la Plata. This year being Holy Year I'm wondering if there just might be a lot more pilgrims walking this route. I would be starting the first days of June. Anyone know how many pilgrims hiked the VdlP in June last year? Will the heat be too much? This is the only time that I can go. I would appreciate any advice or info. that you have to offer. Thanks!

A Regular Camino Addict,
Kelly
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hi - If you are starting in Sevilla then the weather should be hot but not the searing heat of August.
Over the last 4 years numbers walking the VdlP have risen from 3523 in 2006 to 6254 in 2009 - the total distrubtion of pilgrims on all routes over the months of the year is:

2006 2007 2008 2009
January 314 350 306 520
February 351 666 703 681
March 1093 1680 5328 1808
April 7438 8112 5655 10245
May 9992 12898 15988 16446
June 12946 15157 15860 19316
July 18560 20108 20989 26212
August 25968 27140 29747 35098
September 13451 15189 17298 20465
October 7661 9434 9881 11727
November 1755 2496 2301 2354
December 848 796 1085 1005
Total 100377 114026 125141 145877

You can see that the summer months including June are the busiest.

The graph shows the effect of the Holy Year on total numbers in 2003 there were 74614 pilgrims whereas in the last Holy Year 2004 this number rose to almost 180,000.

So what will numbers be like this Holy Year?

Last year 2009 145,877 pilgrims arrived in Santiago with 520 of them arriving in January. In January this year the first month of the Holy Year 2010, 1200 pilgrims arrived in Santiago - or more than double.

So the current prediction is more than double last year of over 300,000 pilgrims in total.

Last year on the VdlP less than one third of the total of 6254 started in Sevilla and the rest joined along the way.

There have been recent reports on the forum of people who have walked the VdlP and found it to be quite busy at times.

It is likely in June there will be lots of other pilgrims around.

I hope this helps.

John
 

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kgringa

New Member
Thanks so much for all the input, John. I am going to seriously consider walking the VdlP this May/June. I have always been curious about it and this seems like the year when there will be the most pilgrims.
~Kelly
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
As I posted in the Class of 2010 thread:

One possible time when things may quieten down a little in this Holy Year is between the 11th of June and the 11th of July. It is then that the football World Cup is being held in South Africa http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/index.html . The Spanish male is very often football obsessed (as are many European, Asian, African and South American men) and will be reluctant to miss a single match especially if his own team is playing.

I'm not guaranteeing anything but it may get a little quieter then.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
In the last Holy Year in 2004, the number of pilgrims from the Sevilla area (Andalucia), Extramadura, and Valencia tripled from the preceding year. Most will have been on the Via de la Plata. Last year, 6,254 pilgrims registered as walking the VdlP, so this year 15-18,000 is a reasonable guess. That is about the number that traveled the Camino Frances in 1994 and 1995.
 

madrid12

member
Hola
I walked the VDLP alone in Feb/March 2004 from Seville to Santiago and always felt safe, I did'nt see any other pilgrims [ apart from when I went back to finish a bit I missed due to bad weather] but always felt safe and also met more local people. They seem to look after you more when you are alone and ask Solo?
Liz
 

Klaske

New Member
Hello Kelly

I walked the VDLP last year (april/may) and felt allways safe as a woman walking alone. There were about 20-25 walkers a day , so you don't have to feel lonely, eating and sleeping together and if you want to walking together. I Myself would not go in June, to hot in Andalusia, I like it cooler, so in April I leave from Salamanca to finish the Route.
Have a look al my weblog http://klaskedejong.web-log.nl/oppad/vi ... index.html for some photograpsDLP very much
Klaske
 

aleesha

New Member
Can anyone give any figures for the Mozarabe route, please? Even guesstimates? I want to start from Granada after easter, and link with the Via in Merida. I have allowed 6 to 7 weeks in total. I'd very grateful for any assistance. I have walked the Frances, but have heard, and read, that the Mozarabe is far more solitary than the Via, and also that there are almost no refugios.
I'm a woman walking sola.
Many thanks for all your comments and thoughts.
Aleesha
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo

aleesha

New Member
Thank you so much for the links, J Walker. The table is fascinating, and I figure that if 42 folk can do it, then I better just get my pack on and deal with the butterflies. A bit of fear is never a bad thing! Very motivating...
 

marlow1122

New Member
Hi Kelly,
I walked the Camino Portuguese in 2008 alone and found it safe and I met pilgrims every day. I found that if I wanted time alone it was welcomed and comfortable and if I wanted company, there were opportunities. I met the most genuine people!

I will be walking the Via de la Plata just before you this year and will gladly let you know what I find and my impressions of a female walking alone. I intend to check email on occasion and I might return to the U.S. before you begin in June.

Buen Camino,
Claudine
 

isabelle304

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPP-Santiago) (Oct-Nov 08)
Santiago to Finisterre (Nov 08)
Via de la Plata/Camino Sanabres (Sevilla-Santiago via Ourense) (Oct-Nov 09)
Camino Primitivo (Oviedo-Santiago) (Sep-Oct 14)
Kelly

I walked the Via de la Plata alone from Seville to Santiago in October-November last year - that was a very quiet period on the VdlP and I did spend several consecutive days where I saw no other pilgrims and was on my own in the albergues (this won't happen to you in June!). I felt safe the whole time and would have no hesitation recommending this route to other lone women. The only thing that unsettled me a little at first was occasionally running into men with guns - I quickly worked out they were simply hunters, usually out on weekend mornings. In the South I could usually spot them from afar, in Galicia however, where there is a lot of vegetation, they'd sometimes step out from the woods onto the path unexpectedly but always somehow announcing their presence/arrival from a small distance so as not to startle me too much. I know nothing about the hunting season in Spain so am not sure if this will be an issue in June.

Isabelle
 

bjorgts

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos in Spain, France, Portugal, Germany since 2003. Last: Malaga - Cordoba November 2019
Mozarabe from Granada

Hello Aeesha! My husband and I will start from Granada after easter too. We have a german guidebook. From reading it, we think that we will find no albergues, but hostales and casa rurales. That will be a new experience for us. We have thought that may be we will see no other pilgrims, or at least very few. May be we will see you.

The numbers of pilgrims reaching Santiago are a good indication, but remember that on all the routes there will always be a lot of pilgrims who are not counted. My husband and I have been walking parts of different caminos one or two times a year since 2003, and I have walked 3500 km, but have only been counted i Santiago for the french route in 2007. Bjørg
 

aleesha

New Member
Dear Bjørg,
That's very exciting news, to think that I will have others near me on the road. Good luck with your preparations, and perhaps closer to the time we might even be able to link up for a coffee or vino before we begin. I think my start date will be approximately April 7th, but have to confirm.
Buen camino.
Aleesha
 

gyro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos: Frances, Ingles, Portugues, de Norte
Via(s): de la Plata, Mozarabe
aleesha said:
Dear Bjørg,
That's very exciting news, to think that I will have others near me on the road. Good luck with your preparations, and perhaps closer to the time we might even be able to link up for a coffee or vino before we begin. I think my start date will be approximately April 7th, but have to confirm.
Buen camino.
Aleesha

Dear Aleesha and Bjorg,
Perhaps we will met along the way - I will be starting on 6th or 7th. Look for a slow, lumbering Scot plodding thoughtfully along the way.
Gyro
 

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