A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Camino Forum Store

Advertisement

My Vdlp from June 2015

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#1
I'm hoping to start out of Seville around June 9-10th. I leave Australia on the 7th - still need to book my fares! - and it's all on from there. I'm allowing 44-50 days to reach Santiago via the Sanabres route so will have to go at a fairly decent pace. Rest days in Merida and Zamora. I'm hoping that living in tropical Darwin will be good preparation for the weather as our daytime temps are always in the 30s and the humidity during summer is very high.
I'm so looking forward to this but I do worry that I'll be horribly underprepared and forget something vital and will have to run around at the last minute. But that's why I have a week at home before I leave - for last minute panics!
 

Advertisment

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#2
Hola @Donna Sch ,
Maybe we will meet from Zamora onwards. I'll start from Valencia on June 8th and have very loose plan to come to Zamora around July 8th. I think you will be few days in front of me or about at the same time depends on lenght of every day stages.

Ultreia! :)
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#3
Being from Darwin will definitely prepare you! Humidity was not a problem the 2 summers I walked the Plata and the Sanabres, just be prepared for 35c+ temp.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#4
Hola @Donna Sch ,
Maybe we will meet from Zamora onwards. I'll start from Valencia on June 8th and have very loose plan to come to Zamora around July 8th. I think you will be few days in front of me or about at the same time depends on lenght of every day stages.

Ultreia! :)
If the plan works :rolleyes: I'll be in Zamora July 3-4th.

I've been looking at the 10 day forecast...Looks like I'll have a permanent raincloud over me for the first few days. NOT what I was expecting but better than high 30s temps which seem to be the other option!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#5
If the plan works :rolleyes: I'll be in Zamora July 3-4th.

I've been looking at the 10 day forecast...Looks like I'll have a permanent raincloud over me for the first few days. NOT what I was expecting but better than high 30s temps which seem to be the other option!
Hola, Donna!

I guess if all goes as planned I'll be about 4 days behind you (for Zamora). And as I see now I'll have clear sunny sky until June 14th with temperatures in high 20's (centigrade). Should be nice walking.

I'll see about my stamina and maybe push forward a few days so might catch up with you. What are your planned stages kms wise?

Wish you nice Camino!
 

Advertisment

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#6
Well, this post is coming from the municipal albuergue in Guillena :)
Miscellaneous photos, observations can be found at vdlp2015.WordPress.com .

There are 3 of us at this albuergue. They have had 22 people since May 29. The hospitalera Luisa is lovely and helpful.
Took the river option coming out of Seville and it was pleasant with lots of flowers and horses. Went to Italica which was definitely worth it. (Latin was my favorite high school subject although I've forgotten most of it now and I love mosaics)
Beautiful walk going through farmland with fields of sunflowers.
Just before Guillena you have a choice of going down to the creek on the right or going left CCC which skirts around it. My walking buddy Hans from Hamburg who was behind went right; I went left. He got to the albuergue first. Both had easy to follow arrows.

Things I've realized so far:
Sleep bag liner is adequate at this stage.
Sarong is jolly useful.
Nappy pins are brilliant.
The umbrella works tucked down the pack of the pack.
Lollies are a lifesaver. I ran out of water on arrival at Guillena. I had at least 2 litres in a bladder. The sweat evaporates.
Food is cheaper here than in Australia.
Everything comes in smaller healthier sized portions.
Most Spaniards don't speak as quickly as Spanish news commentators.
This is FUN!
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#7
Coming to you from Castilblanco de Arroyos...
Yesterday we had perfect hiking weather: drizzle and cloud. Not enough to require jacket but enough to keep it cool. Last week it was 40 C so I very much appreciate missing that! It's all uphill but due to the terrain you don't really notice. Poles are prettyuch essential for helping to pick your way up the path. Total respect for those taking bicycles up this track. Great countryside and a highlight was meeting a couple of goatherds with their flock. Although the lazy last goat who was munching on everything got separated from the main group and then tried to follow us. Wrong way kiddo! He finally realized and then had to sprint downhill... That one is destined to end up as someone's dinner sooner.
For those of you who are exhausted at the top of the track as you get to the highway, there is a brand new (ie not in the German guidebook) couple of benches. Which is a bit more elegant than sitting on the road by the big marker.
Today we went from 3 people to 7 in the albergue. One of the newcomers had walked from Sevilla! Hans and I are the only non-Spaniards. The municipal albergue is a donativo with volunteer hospitaleros. Stefano from Italy is a lovely host. Definitely recommend this albergue +++.
Good kitchen facilities so I felt inspired to cook. I quite like inflicting my small amount of Spanish on the locals and you need it on the VDLP in the small shops. Which is what I tend to find but I prefer to support the smaller businesses. Everyone is very friendly. Food is very cheap here compared to Darwin, Australia. Ie half the price. And the produce seems to be more local which means it may not look as perfect but tastes better.
So today is the long trek to Almadén. The forecast is for more of the same weather. Yay!
 
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Via de la Plata
#8
I'm glad your posting from vdlp. Will be following your footsteps in 99 days. Will be interesting to see how 29+ km and a steep hill goes in your next stage, which will be my first stage. So glad to hear you and Hans made it past Guillena without a problem. Funny how rain looks like good weather. Context is everything. Now glad I got a 3 L water reservoir. But do like lollies.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#9
Arrived in Almaden and I think I am getting the hang of this.
The first 18 km of walking on the shoulder of the highway was quite pleasant. We had overcast weather to begin with that later turned clear but with a pleasant cool breeze. We actually ran ahead of the estimated time in Han's German guidebook. Loved the park and motored through it. Disclaimer: I live in a tropical climate. 26 degrees and sunny is a pleasant cool day for me as I'm acclimatized to very hot temps.
As for Calvary...it's tough but reasonably short. Disclaimer #2: I do judo so am used to training almost to the point of puking. This did not come close to that. But I have a pretty good baseline fitness. Those who are not as active will probably feel like they are meeting their maker. I could not imagine dragging a bike up there. Yet another good reason to take walking poles.
Only used just over 1 litre of water despite bringing 3l. If it had been in the 30s it would have been a lot more.
 
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Via de la Plata
#10
Congratulations! The hill has been mentioned by others as difficult. Keep letting us hear from you. It's motivating.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#11
Walked to El Real de Jara. Short walk that takes 4+ hours. So everyone had a bit of a sleep in. Once again in the Sierra Norte and I love this area. The weather started as being overcast but then clear. But not super hot so the umbrella remained packed away. You end up going through lots of farms. Australian customs should just dunk me, pack and all in a disinfectant bath as I have walked through cow, sheep, pig and probably chicken shit. Quarantine nightmare. I grew up in a farming area so I felt at home amongst that. There were foxes too but I wasnt quick enough to spot them. Big Spanish dogs but the ones that were loose were friendly. I would hate to meet an unfriendly one without poles as they are huge. I'm assuming they are some mastiff variant. Traveled in a big group today (for the VDLP) as Hans and I caught up to Cesar and Manuel, two young Spanish lads. They carried onwards towards Monasterio and were likely to camp somewhere around there as they have a tent.
Now I really like El Real. There is something about it. It's worth wandering up to the fortress for the views. Just be aware that it is shut after 2 pm on a Saturday and probably all day Sunday. Ditto for finding food. Don't wait until after 6 pm because very little is open. I ended up getting a Plato de tapas mixta at the place beside the town swimming pool for €10. The Casa Día is open from 1800-2000h on Saturdays so you can buy food to cook yourself and breakfast supplies. Don't know the Sunday hours but this place is your best bet to top up on supplies on a weekend. If you follow the Camino arrows into town you will see it on your left across from a couple of bars - one of the them is Los Claveles and the bell tower is just a little further on the right.
Which brings me to the municipal albergue. It is the first place you come across in El Real. It is an interesting building as it originally was supposed to be water tanks. So the rooms have these curved ceilings. It is a Spanish albergue version of a hobbit house.but it means that some of the doorways have a maximum height of about 170 cm. I'm 173 cm tall and occasionally forget to bend. Ouch! If you are tallish especially if your knees are copping it, this place may not be in your interest. I like being the sole female most of the time. No rush for the shower and LOTS of hot water. Enough facilities to be able to cook a basic meal. Eduardo is the man here and he is very helpful. There are only 4 of us tonight (a couple of bicycle peregrinos arrived after us) so we all have the luxury of our own rooms. Checkout is 8am as that is when the cleaner turns up.
If you are going to have feet problems they will probably show up about now. I got to use my medical skills. One of the boys had boots rubbing against his feet and Hans had blisters that needed draining. I have nothing in that department yet. My prentative routine includes applying sports tape to any area that may turn problematic, lots of Bodyslick to lubricate the feet, Injinji toe socks. So far so good. Also put sports tape on my shoulders and a spot just above my buttcrack where something on my back decided to rub. Loving my Aarn pack.
Oh, and I have used my sleeping bag in Almaden so I am glad I brought the liner and the bag.
 

Leavoi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais (2013)
Planning Via de la Plata june/july (2015)
#12
We are a couple starting the 25th this month. I'm glad for your update!
I know it's gonna be terrribly hot, so I'm wondering at what time you start in the mornings. At what time does the big heat come? Two years ago on Camino francais we got up at 5-5.30 and started walking. It was lovely to see the sun rising! Then we had breakfast at the nearest café. But if I understand correctly you have to bring your own breakfast/lunch?!
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#13
El Real de la Jara to Monesterio.
About 22 km gently upwards with rain forecast again so I made sure that the jacket and poncho could be accessed in a hurry if needed. The former was needed in the last hour.
I am staying not at the albergue municipal (as that was shut for 3 days) but at the albergue parroquial. This place has been recommended on the Camino forum and it comes in at #1 on my list of albergues to date. Father Miguel Angel lives up to his name and, as a Camino veteran himself, has created a little piece of pilgrim paradise. I even found an AU/ES adaptor so I could recharge my lithium camera battery (the one thing I forgot to buy).
It's clean, it's cheery, has free wifi, good washing facilities including a centrifuge and spare pegs so I could wash all my clothes. Now that was scary! The female bathroom was well stocked with extras including hair conditioner. And plenty of hot water. Talk about feeling pampered. This padre and his volunteers should be nominated for sainthood. Today it is me, Hans from Hamburg, and Marc from Brittany. Marc is an experienced pilgrim having done the Norte in the past as well as having walked from his home to Jerusalem.
Managed to tick off one of my foodie goals and ate out at El Rinconcillo restaurant. Totally lived up to expectations and more. I have been salivating over their menu since I found their website after rave reviews on TripAdvisor. €30 for a degustation menu ie $45. Jamon iberico, goose liver with apples and pistachios, beef in a red wine sauce cooked to absolute perfection, and a chocolate custard thing with some kind of berry that looked like small blackberries but were something else. All perfectly prepared and presented. Finally got my vino tinto and some limoncello. Always interesting when you can only recognize half the words on a menu. The owner had some English (bonus!). If you feel like splurging on food, I recommend this.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#14
We are a couple starting the 25th this month. I'm glad for your update!
I know it's gonna be terrribly hot, so I'm wondering at what time you start in the mornings. At what time does the big heat come? Two years ago on Camino francais we got up at 5-5.30 and started walking. It was lovely to see the sun rising! Then we had breakfast at the nearest café. But if I understand correctly you have to bring your own breakfast/lunch?!
We've been starting 7-8 am but we have had the luxury of cool weather. We usually reach our destination around 2 pm. Yes, you do have to work out your own breakfast and lunch supplies. So on arrival I tend to suss out the kitchen facilities and then find a shop to top up. Watch out on weekends because some places seem to completely shut down after 2 pm on Saturdays and you end up wandering the streets stalking anyone carrying an obvious shopping bag with food. Some places seem to be quite dead in the mornings even with our relatively late starts. On the El Real to Monesterio stage you could stop at Ojalla something (I forget its name) for morning tea or at the camping ground about an hour before Monesterio (toilet facilities!) for lunch.
I made the assumption of extreme heat too but its been good. Was down to about 12 degrees so make sure you have a good wind jacket. Next week the forecast is much much hotter. You will need a ton of water especially on the way to Almaden.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2007) Lourdes to Leon (2009) VdLP (2015)
#15
Hello Donna, I'm enjoying reading your entries on this thread, as I just finished this route a few weeks ago. Your ability to withstand heat is going to very useful! In April and May it was still cool, especially in the higher elevations. But afternoons in the sun got quite warm for this Canadian, not used to much over 25c.

I recommend a rest day in Salamanca. It was the highlight of my trip, a beautiful, gracious city, full of life and activity. A university town since 1218, and still in full swing almost 800 years later, filled with students. Hotel Escala Luna was very nice, reasonably priced.

FelixBC on Instagram - took rather a lot of pics of the VldP and the Camino Frances!
 
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Via de la Plata
#16
I want to try the jamon ibe'rico. Read that the pigs are free range and graze on acorns. I'm enjoying your posts and will take notes on them before my camino. Was reading some old idol posts for '07, '08. It was mentioned that vdlp is pretty windy. Are you finding this to be true?
 

Harington

una abuelita inglés
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
#17
I'm hoping to start out of Seville around June 9-10th. I leave Australia on the 7th - still need to book my fares! - and it's all on from there. I'm allowing 44-50 days to reach Santiago via the Sanabres route so will have to go at a fairly decent pace. Rest days in Merida and Zamora. I'm hoping that living in tropical Darwin will be good preparation for the weather as our daytime temps are always in the 30s and the humidity during summer is very high.
I'm so looking forward to this but I do worry that I'll be horribly underprepared and forget something vital and will have to run around at the last minute. But that's why I have a week at home before I leave - for last minute panics!
Buen Camino. The Plata was the best experience of my life, better even than my first Camino. You'll be absolutely fine, and 44-50 days is really ample, even with rest days (I did it in 40 and I was in my late 60s, and I still had time for plenty of sight-seeing in Zafra, Merida, Cáceres, Salamanca, Zamora and Ourense). It will be hot though - don't walk after 1pm, Camino tales abound of dehydrated peregrinas being found dead!
 

Leavoi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais (2013)
Planning Via de la Plata june/july (2015)
#18
We've been starting 7-8 am but we have had the luxury of cool weather. We usually reach our destination around 2 pm. Yes, you do have to work out your own breakfast and lunch supplies. So on arrival I tend to suss out the kitchen facilities and then find a shop to top up. Watch out on weekends because some places seem to completely shut down after 2 pm on Saturdays and you end up wandering the streets stalking anyone carrying an obvious shopping bag with food. Some places seem to be quite dead in the mornings even with our relatively late starts. On the El Real to Monesterio stage you could stop at Ojalla something (I forget its name) for morning tea or at the camping ground about an hour before Monesterio (toilet facilities!) for lunch.
I made the assumption of extreme heat too but its been good. Was down to about 12 degrees so make sure you have a good wind jacket. Next week the forecast is much much hotter. You will need a ton of water especially on the way to Almaden.[/QUO
We've been starting 7-8 am but we have had the luxury of cool weather. We usually reach our destination around 2 pm. Yes, you do have to work out your own breakfast and lunch supplies. So on arrival I tend to suss out the kitchen facilities and then find a shop to top up. Watch out on weekends because some places seem to completely shut down after 2 pm on Saturdays and you end up wandering the streets stalking anyone carrying an obvious shopping bag with food. Some places seem to be quite dead in the mornings even with our relatively late starts. On the El Real to Monesterio stage you could stop at Ojalla something (I forget its name) for morning tea or at the camping ground about an hour before Monesterio (toilet facilities!) for lunch.
I made the assumption of extreme heat too but its been good. Was down to about 12 degrees so make sure you have a good wind jacket. Next week the forecast is much much hotter. You will need a ton of water especially on the way to Almaden.
We are a couple starting the 25th this month. I'm glad for your update!
I know it's gonna be terrribly hot, so I'm wondering at what time you start in the mornings. At what time does the big heat come? Two years ago on Camino francais we got up at 5-5.30 and started walking. It was lovely to see the sun rising! Then we had breakfast at the nearest café. But if I understand correctly you have to bring your own breakfast/lunch?!
 

Leavoi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais (2013)
Planning Via de la Plata june/july (2015)
#19
Thanks for your helpful reply! I wouldn't want to see myself stalking people for food!:) Better be prepared!
I'm looking forward to your coming updates! :) Especially on the hot days! Buon Camino!
 

Leavoi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais (2013)
Planning Via de la Plata june/july (2015)
#20
I'm glad your posting from vdlp. Will be following your footsteps in 99 days. Will be interesting to see how 29+ km and a steep hill goes in your next stage, which will be my first stage. So glad to hear you and Hans made it past Guillena without a problem. Funny how rain looks like good weather. Context is everything. Now glad I got a 3 L water reservoir. But do like lollies.
 

Leavoi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais (2013)
Planning Via de la Plata june/july (2015)
#21
Hi!
I'm just curious about your comment about Guillena, that you're glad they passed it without problems! What's in Guillena? Do you have to be watchful in some kind of way? Since we're probably going there in a week-and -a-half, I'ts good to know!
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#22
Today we started in Monesterio and headed to Fuentes de Cantos. We started just after 8 am and this tropical girl was suffering because it was 12 degrees with a cool wind. I could even see my breath! Had to break out the windbreaker.
So we ended up walking quickly through the tree lined road and then through the open farmlands mostly to keep warm.
About 10-15 km before Fuente.....
a car comes across us and it is Sr Antonio from the private albergue trying to get us to stay at his place. It was actually really annoying. At the cross and stream crossing 7.2 km out from Fuentes was the woman from the municipal albergue handing info about her albergue. She was friendly and not pushy, and I suspect that she has to be out there just to keep up with Sr Antonio. We got to Fuente and were having lunch at the cafe on the corner on the Camino route and Sr Antonio is handing out business cards.
So despite the threat of rain we decided to not feed the albergue war in Fuente and proceeded to Calzadilla de Los Barros. Easy walk there and you get to see El Torro.
Now the Albergue Juvenile is 2vkm out of town and we were not interested in being that far out. The German guide mentioned a private pension in town. You need to find Matea who lives at No 4, Calls Adelardo Rodriguez Sanchez which comes off the Plaza Espana where the town hall, medical Centre etc is. Her house is beside the now closed bar which says Discoteca Los Rosales on it and is on the road leading to the Mudajar Church with the retablo.
You pick up the key there and her spare house is on the other side of the plaza. 10€ for a room and 8€ for dinner at 8pm at her place. We had a lovely night as her teenage granddaughter was there who is starting to learn English at high school. Her husband Antonio speaks a little French. Matea speaks only Spanish but will speak slowly and tries to keep it simple. Between my beginners Spanish, help from Google translate and some creative charades when needed, we got there. The local vino tinto did not hurt either. Definitely recommend this if you decide to go to Calzadilla.
The pension has three rooms: one with a double bed, the next with two single beds and the next with two sets of bunkbeds. There is a washing machine, TV and a bath.
I wanted to check out the Mudajar retablo in the church but everything was locked. Sunday and Tuesday are your best bet.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#23
Hi!
I'm just curious about your comment about Guillena, that you're glad they passed it without problems! What's in Guillena? Do you have to be watchful in some kind of way? Since we're probably going there in a week-and -a-half, I'ts good to know!
There were armed robberies somewhere before it a couple of years ago and then another apparently occurred this year in the same spot. (Watch Stephen Haig's Youtube videos). I have to admit I was feeling a bit wary as I approached the town especially as I was effectively alone as I walk faster than Hans. He's the steady tortoise; I'm the hare who races ahead but then I'll stop to take photos, grab some food etc.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#24
It was mentioned that vdlp is pretty windy. Are you finding this to be true?
The Fuente/Calzadilla area is open farmland so there are paddocks on either side with no trees so potentially quite exposed. You can see the road ahead of you. Which is a pain if nature calls because 1. Cars do use that road occasionally (esp Sr Antonio!) as do bicycle peregrinos 2. You are always checking to see where your walking companion is because they could get an interesting view, and 3. The ditches are shallow but full of thistles.

The joys of being a peregrina...

IMG_20150615_115223376.jpg IMG_20150615_153319464.jpg
 
Last edited:

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#26
I've hesitated to raise the issue you hint at. Does using the umbrella as a shield help at all?
I've not used it for that purpose yet. My Aarn pack allows me to squat without taking everything off and without keeling over. The umbrella certainly is a decent size and I suspect that it may be used for that purpose on the Roman Road proper as there seems to be nothing on either side of the road to duck behind.
I'd prefer not to flash my fellow pilgrims but if I do they are seeing pure muscle. I monitor my measurements as part of my judo competition workup. Tbe leg and shoulder measurements I am getting are usually what I get after 6 months. And I have gained 2 kg in weight and it's not fat. I have a competition 6 weeks after I get home and the competition wants to beat me it will have to be by technique because my strength is going to be right up there.
 
Last edited:

Leavoi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais (2013)
Planning Via de la Plata june/july (2015)
#27
There were armed robberies somewhere before it a couple of years ago and then another apparently occurred this year in the same spot. (Watch Stephen Haig's Youtube videos). I have to admit I was feeling a bit wary as I approached the town especially as I was effectively alone as I walk faster than Hans. He's the steady tortoise; I'm the hare who races ahead but then I'll stop to take photos, grab some food etc.
 

Leavoi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais (2013)
Planning Via de la Plata june/july (2015)
#28
I can't believe the cold weather you're having!! I'ts more like here in Sweden:)
And let's hope the Guillena incidents has stopped. Don't want to go around beeing afraid of assults! That's no Camino life!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? Vf again or Via Lemovicensis
#29
Hi Donna et all ! Just reached Zamora today and the weather is getting better ie warmer! We 've been SO-OOO cold (and wet!) and I was hoping it was a bit better for you down South...
Buen camino :)
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#30
Am now in Zafra staying at the Albergue San Francisco, a former monastery. Lovely walk yesterday which seemed to speed by. Love the vineyards with the rows of olives in between. A couple of stream crossings but plenty of stepping stones. A little mud here andvthere due to the rain in the past 2 days. There were 4 of us: me, Hans, Marc and Theo. At the albergue we were joined by a bicycle peregrina. The walk between Puebla and Zafra especially seemed to take no time at all. Zafra is a nice little town and I was able to buy lip balm. Every time I go to a temperate climate I get chapped lips and every time I forget until I get them. No blisters. Was sunny and about 25 degrees so very pleasant. The temp is predicted to increase over the next few days.
Am enjoying the food and when there are options on the menú del día I go for the names I don't recognise or haven't tried. It's a strategy that is working well so far.
One thing I really enjoy about the Camino is mixing up the languages. I am trying to speak as much Spanish as possible and I can now have simple conversations with people. If I see a word I don't know I look it up. I walked with the two Frenchmen yesterday and while its been 30 years since I studied it, part of my brain remembers enough to understand bits and pieces so when my friends don't know the English word I can usually work out what the French equivalent means. Ditto for Dutch. I notice that my English is changing as a result LOL.
 
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Via de la Plata
#31
Donna, I know what you mean about forgetting English. After spending 6 months in Argentina, I would hesitate sometimes because I could only remember the Spanish word and the English word just wouldn't come.
 
Last edited:
C

Castilian

Guest
#32
Cesar and Manuel, two young Spanish lads.
Does lads mean ladies as I think? César and Manuel are male names...

I want to try the jamon ibe'rico. Read that the pigs are free range and graze on acorns.
There are several sorts of jamón ibérico. For the best one, look for jamón ibérico de bellota because that guarantees pig ate the most bellotas. The most % of ibérico DNA within the pig the better but that info isn't easy to obtain. Be careful with the type of jamón ibérico you choose because some of them come from pigs (either stabbled or not) feeded with fodder (that's not bad but the jamón isn't as good as the other one).

We 've been SO-OOO cold
If you felt cold now, don't go in winter!;) BTW, pay attention to the weather forecast. They had minimums around 0ºC in the Sanabria area on June 13th... although it's being hotter later (minimums around 7-8ºC).
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#33
I want to try the jamon ibe'rico. Read that the pigs are free range and graze on acorns. I'm enjoying your posts and will take notes on them before my camino. Was reading some old idol posts for '07, '08. It was mentioned that vdlp is pretty windy. Are you finding this to be true?
The jamon is sweet and mmmmmmmmmmmmm..... good!
I don't recall much wind on the VDLP
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#34
Last time I was here I was in Zafra. Stayed in Almendralejo and walked to Mérida from there. Los Santos has an Englishman orinally from Portsmouth who takes his morning constitutional up the hill to meet peregrinos, invites them home for a coffee and then walks up the hill enjoying the opportunity for a chat. Lovely man and you will underestimate his age. He definitely is doing something right. So if you encounter him, say hi for me. Stayed at the Hotel Espana in Almendralejo. Definitely was fading by the time I got there and was very pleased to encounter the hipermercado close by.

Torremejia had a pump in the little square I stopped at and there was time to buy food as we arrived before lunch. Left around 2 pm, got into Mérida about 6 pm. Staying at the Hostal Senero as I wanted to stay a day. So I've been playing tourist seeing the roman sights on a stinking hot day and of course the only non super stinky clothes I had this morning were my long sleeved bade layer and long pants. The locals are fun. I must stick out like a sore thumb as I got called into the Brasserie Belloso and ended up spending the afternoon with all of us chatting badly in each others' language. I am one of those people that tourists and little old ladies ask for directions. My daughter has the same thing happen to her; if anyone is going to attract strangers, its us. Tends to be a positive thing though.
Not looking forward to tomorrow. Temps are forecast for the high 30s. No sleeping in tomorrow as I want to get as many miles done as possible while it is relatively cool.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#35
Short day today from Mérida to Aljucen. Make sure you top up cash supplies in Mérida. Wasn't game to go further for 20 km through the National Park over the afternoon. Temps were 37+ degrees by lunchtime. So tomorrow I will go that way.
Walked today with a Korean who speaks English and a Japanese who speaks Spanish. The Korean and Japanese can understand each other. There was also a Spaniard with a tracheotomy so he didn't speak but could stop us when we were butchering Spanish badly.
Aljucen is a nice little town and the albergue is great. Only 3 of us tonight but in the busy months Ana puts out extra cots. Kitchen is well set up and there is a vending machine for hot and cold drinks including beer and vino tinto, and a few basic food items for those who arrive when the shop is shut after 2 pm or who need something early in the morning for breakfast.

I cannot emphasise enough that you cannot have too much Spanish. The locals appreciate you trying and will correct you as you go along. They also will speak slowly as needed. French or Italian might be handy at a pinch and few speak German. Charades is also useful as well as Google Translate for when you need to look up a word.

I'm also impressed by those pilgrims with multiple Caminos behind them. There are certainly some characters en route!

Things I wish I had packed: a good rough facecloth.

Things I probably could have left behind and are currently underused - solar charger, umbrella, poncho. I do expect this to change though. My tablet. I tend to use my phone.

Things that have proved to have been more useful than expected: the small chamois type towel is all that is needed if you take a sarong as well.
The external battery for my smartphone and the retractable charger cord.
The inch wide roll of white sports tape. I use it on my shoulders to stop friction from my bra strap and Tshirt under my pack straps.
 

Leavoi

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais (2013)
Planning Via de la Plata june/july (2015)
#36
We're counting down to thursday when we'll leave for Seville. Soo looking forward to this! I enjoy reading your posts. And thanks for the everyday advice in what you need! :) I'll leave my solar charger too! What time in the morning do you see daylight?
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#37
Sunday Jun 21: Alcuescar was the first destination and with the heat it was enough. We left just before dawn. The walk through the Park is lovely. There are some potentially confusing spots where the trail splits but they all end up in the same place. Thank you Melanie for the warning. There was a warning given at Aljucen that if you see flechas with an H beside them, ignore them. Someone is trying to divert you to a private hostel. This is particularly so near the top of the hill where the arrows are a mess. You need to take the small road going off to your right. There are a few arrows soon after but after that you won't see one for a while, basically until you hit the turn off.
I am staying at the Monestery. Worth it. Donativo. They open at 12. There is a bar across the road with free Wi-Fi while you wait. This order looks after society's rejects. There is a monastery tour at 6.30 pm, Mass at 7. Communal dinner at 8pm. Very peaceful and thought provoking.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#38
Alcuescar to Valdesor. I left about 0630h and caught up to Rodrigo who was also at the monastery about 10 km along. There small towns roughly every 10km as well as the odd petrol station so there are opportunities to top up on food and water. Rather pleadant walk. When you find yourself eating a bocadillo with good company in the shade of an olive tree in the middle of a nature reserve, you soon realise that the crazy people are those slogging away in an office as part of the rat race.
Got to the albergue in Valdesor (6€) which for once did not involve climbing a hill to get into town to find an open bar right at the start of town on the right and they have the key to the albergue which is across the road on your left. They have a front loading washing machine. Good kitchen but limited pots, frypans etc. Not many visitors in the past few weeks so very little in the way of remains. No olive oil! Two shops and the one at the far end of this town was open. Limited items though...I was after washing powder for the machine and she had bleach and fabric softener but no powder. She actually gave me a small bag out of her own supply. There is enough for another couple of loads so check the drawers if you stop here. So support her!
Met Borja who is traveling with his burro Wilson. Now that makes life interesting!
Off to Casar de Caceres tomorrow if the weather stays the same. It was a little cloudy this morning which lowered the temps quite nicely. Next couple of days should be good but then it gets really hot again if the forecast is right.
 
Last edited:

tlarkins

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP 2018
#39
Good morning Donna, its been great following your post... I am planning my VDLP camino for 2018 [a little way off yet] but was extremely happy to find a local pathing the way for me as it is different for us Tropics- dwellers! [I am in Townsville] Please keep inspiring with your posts; the hints and tips are invaluable and stay safe on your journey. When you get time a little update on how the Aarn backpack is travelling would be great; [do you have the front balance pouches attached?] For some local news the last week or so has seen rain which is unusual for this time of year however the cooler weather it has bought has been welcoming. Cowboys won their 11th straight game on Saturday against the Raiders with a field goal on the 90 minute siren by JT.
Good luck with the rest of your journey
Buen Camino
:)

Does lads mean ladies as I think? César and Manuel are male names...
P.S Castilian ... Lads means boys in OZ...
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#40
IMG_20150622_092209758.jpg Here's a pic of me with the pack. Two front pockets. The right carries food; the left has all those bits and pieces that you may want in a hurry. I have a Peak Designs camera clip on the left strap for my dSLR. The water bladder sits on the top under the cover as there is a strap to hold it down. I have a carabinier to attach it to another strap - Aarn packs have a ton of straps and loops - so if for some reason, the bladder decides to slide out, it won't fall to the ground.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#42
OK, a few stages in this post.
From Valdesalor we went to Casar de Casares with a few hours in Casares to see the sights. The Museum is good. Rodrigo and I were constantly wondering about how Borja was going with the burro. It can be hard finding the Camino trail out of town so we eventually ained for the Church of Santiago and went from there. The next stretch has a lot of highway walking. The municipal albergue is a donativo. I personally think it was the worst to date. First it was almost full as many cyclists stop there. When you are used to the luxury of having both bunks of a double bunk...
Next, the bells ring twice on the hour. I was dead to the world and didn't wake up but light sleepers will need earplugs. Try to get the far dormitories otherwise you will be woken up by everyone who has to use the loo. The switch for the loo switches on a light AND the fan. (Thanks Stephen Haig for the heads up on this). They have washing machines and an okay kitchen. The bunks are a bit crammed together, the water pressure isn't great. CdC has all facilities though.
Borja was staying at the albergue by the pool. Did he know something we didn't?

Early start from CdC to Embalse de Acantar. We had heard that the private Albergue there was shut so we're prepared to go to Cañaveral if needed. It was a stinking hot day, we hit the first of the AVE and road constructions, it seemed to be a very up and down trail and I was having one of those days when my pack was playing up and my water bladder sprung a leak where the hose joins onto the bag. So I was very glad to be walking with someone to keep the pace up. Thankfully about halfway someone has put up a covered picnic table and we had a rest there and it was a chance to air the feet out.
Things improved as we hit the lake but the Albergue is right down the other end and I was fantasizing about ice cream. This lake is incredibly under developed and perfect for camping and fishing.
The Albergue WAS open even though no one had answered the phone earlier. €20 including breakfast. There is a washing machine but guests are restricted to the sink in the laundry. Own rooms with bathroom. Shower with great water pressure and she has things like shampoo and conditioner available. Meal was okay too.
Today we continued to Grimaldo. Nice walk but it gets confusing about 5km in and out of Cañaveral. If you follow the Camino you end up at the far end of town. At the back of the entry sign there is somewhere to sit so Rodrigo ran down to the petrol station to get drinks and chocolate while I babysat the packs.
Getting out of Cañaveral was confusing. There is a nice little chapel and a working pump then you have an intersection with the road. The red and white CN poles make it look like you cross the road. If you do cross the road you will be on a path that goes under the viaduct of the new motorway and then turns southeast before heading east through a farm. This is completely the wrong way.
Instead of of crossing at the intersection you turn onto the road. There is an orchard with fig trees that should be ripe within a week or two and you head up the hill. At the top of the hill there is a big building with a CLUB sign. The road continues left and it looks as though the Camino could branch off there somewhere. However there is a hito that is under a tree in front of the building and that is the way you go. It is reasonably well marked from there. There is one point where the path splits and someone has put a sign indicating that bicycles should go there. So should you as someone has very recently put up a new fence and you just ending up following the fence to exactly where the bikes end up. The first sight as you hit Grimaldo is a bar -my favourite sight! The donativo is across the road with the keys at the bar next door if required. Has a washing machine but today the front loader had no door. So wash your clothes at Embalse if you will be here soon.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
#43
Thanks for the updates Donna. It's nice to read reports from people on the camino.

This lake is incredibly under developed and perfect for camping and fishing.
I don't know if the comment I'm going to make is going to be someway useful but here it goes anyway: It isn't a lake but a dam/reservoir.

P.S.: Did you eat torta del Casar (a type of cheese) in Casar de Cáceres?
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#44
Thanks for the updates Donna. It's nice to read reports from people on the camino.



I don't know if the comment I'm going to make is going to be someway useful but here it goes anyway: It isn't a lake but a dam/reservoir.

P.S.: Did you eat torta del Casar (a type of cheese) in Casar de Cáceres?
To be honest I was too knackered to think about it although I was aware of its existence.
Speaking of food, the bar/restaurant across the road from the Albergue does a great menú del día. I had bean and clam soup, the mountain eggs with the salad and ice cream. Her cooking is pretty good and I will be looking up some recipes. The only place that hasn't offered an iceberg lettuce salad as a main dish; they do a Russian potato salad instead if you go for that option.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
#45
Lovely to hear directly from the familiar places. You have many treats in the next few days, from the distant views of the church steeple (former minaret) of the walled village of Galisteo to the solitary splendour of Cáparra's arch, and magnificent countryside. If you have time, l strongly recommend the circuito Romano at the baths at Baños de Montemayor, it is soooo relaxing (and cleaning ...). If you show your credencial you get quite a big discount. Also, it's good to top up with money in Baños, as it has the last ATM before Salamanca (I didn't last time, and had to make do with about 46€ for the next three days, which was enough, what with cutting back on my morning café con leche and zumo etc, but only just).
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#46
Galisteo is where I am now :)
Baños is a planned stop because of the termal baths :)
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#47
Okay, today was Grimaldo to Galisteo. However in case you didn't know, all roads lead to Rio Lobos. This is the leg where the farmer is having a dispute over the Camino being on his land. He's effectively forced peregrinos to walk an extra 8 km and visit Rio Lobos. We really tried not to go there but you get to that T intersection with the main road and all the arrows have been crossed out and everything is telling you to go left to go to Rio Lobos and Galisteo. So we went stuff that and headed right only to have a car stop and tell us we were on the road to Plasencia. Rio Lobos has a few bars shops, and a couple of ATMs (Yay!) so it is pleasant enough. I managed to lose Rodrigo for a bit (note for non-Spanish speakers, get your Spanish speaking friends' phone numbers just in case! The accent in this area is quite hard to understand) so it was starting to feel a little like the Hotel California. The walk to Galisteo is pretty but it is on the road. The weather was stinking hot and the hiking umbrella came out so it must have been over 35 degrees. For those who are starting soon, the weather may be atrociously hot but you are going to be able to snack on berries. A lot of fruit is *almost* ripe. Used at least 1.5 litres as well as the stop off in Rio Lobos where we had coffee. And sweated it all out. For what was a reasonably short run that wasn't that hard apart from the heat.
The Albergue here in Galisteo is a private one and the owner owns several of the accommodation options in the area. Or all the Albergue you see mentioned on posts along the way. €15 for an Albergue that is well set up.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#48
Note to add re the Galisteo Albergue. Well set up in many respects but minimal kitchen facilities. Has a fridge and glasses, a couple of spoons but no plates available. He does include a takeaway breakfast in the price.
Trying to get people to frequent the local bar?
 
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Via de la Plata
#49
Donna, thank you for the route instructions. I have a poor sense of direction and have many stories of getting lost for hours. This could be dangerous in hot weather. I'm starting a small notebook of special instructions thanks to you.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#50
Okay, I had a rest day in Galisteo today just sleeping, eating, getting online due to free WiFi and recovering.

And generally reflecting.

On things like why does noone mention the Camino waddle which every peregrino, whether on foot or bike, has at the end of the day? Guaranteed way of spotting a pilgrim :)

If you manage to meet a pilgrim with a burro then you will have a topic worthy of endless conversation for many days. And much hilarity.

No matter how much music you know and play, the only ones you will remember all the words to are those you learned before you were 10 years old.
And singing is a great distraction to stop you thinking about your feet when they are cooking on a hot highway. It's either that or conjugating Spanish verbs.

When you have no idea what the food is on the menu, pick the ones you don't know. Much more fun that way and it is rare to get a bad meal.
The only lettuce is Spain seems to be the iceberg variety!

You will end up using every language you know. All at once usually. With slight variations depending on who you are talking to. La idioma de Camino.

Your tracking abilities improve dramatically. You recognise fellow pilgrims footprints along the way.

There is usually a hill just before the town you want to get to. But that means there is a damn good view and a breeze.

There is a lot of kindness and generosity on the Camino. Whether it is the pilgrim who left something in the kitchen for the next person, the local who invites you in for a quick cuppa or walks with you for a chat, or you find that you are more likely to give than normal.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#52
Okay, today was Galisteo to Caparra. On the hottest day of this heatwave in Spain.
So we left early at first light.
The road walking came first today on the way to Carcoboso which was the morning tea stop for the morning.
After that it was walking through farmland and cows and olives. So there is shade every few metres.
And there are water channels full of clean cold flowing water so I dunked my T-shirt and buff in there which instantly provided relief from the heat. Then up a hill but a pleasant one with great views.
There is one tricky spot where you have the option of going through a gate on your left or going straight ahead. There is a bicycle painted on the fence just to confuse the issue. We went through the gate and eventually you get to a big VDLP marker before turning onto road. The road continues to the Ventequemada/Oliva de Plasencia turnoff. We were determined to head off to Caparra. The detour road to OP is very obvious for those considering walking to OP.
I have to admit the 90 or so minutes from the intersection to Caparra I was fantasizing about multiple cans of ice cold Aquarius. And a trip to a toilet. But I also had seen that the interpretive centre closes at 2 pm during Summer.
We got to Caparra at 1350h. The damn centre is another 500m down the road. We probably could have made it with a minute to spare except they shut up shop early. And they DON'T reopen later on a Sunday.
So we sat in the shade at the intersection and rang the guy at the Hostal Asturias feeling decidedly underwhelmed by the Arch. Now the toilets and vending machines are inside the centre so that was a mega-disappointment. Rodrigo had run out of water and I was on my last 200 ml. I had started the morning with 2.7l, several poppers of milk and juice, and we had had drinks in Carcoboso too.
I think that they really need to provide some kind of water or put a vending machine where it can be accessed after hours. On hot days you really are pushing your water supplies.
And a nice cold beer certainly slid down well once we reached the Hostal.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#53
Hostal Asturias to Aldeanueva to Baños de Montemayor.

Those little blue arrows are hard to see in the dark and I still don't know if the arrow we took indicating for us to go right was the right one. We ended up following the disused train track adnd then went on the N and finally found a real Camino flecha.
Quick coffee in Aldeanueva as it was so hot. Did contemplate dunking my T-shirt in the fountain but thought I'd better not alarm the locals. Then off to Baños. More road than I like. But easy enough to find. The umbrella got used.
3 cans of Aquarius plus about 1.5l of water plus coffee.
We got onto Baños around lunch. Stayed at the Hostal Termas which is on the main street. Didn't want to support our Camino accommodation for yet another night by staying in his Albergue. The Albergue Via de LA Plata used to be municipal but is now private.
Took advantage of the pilgrim offer at the Termas AND had a massage. My shoulders are now MUCH happier and that knot in my left infrapinatus is gone for now. There are scales too. Weight is stable but I seem to be getting taller! Barefoot too!
So next stage we leave Extremadura.
 

LauraK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2004) Roncesvalles-Leon (2006) Camino Frances (2012) Kumano Kodo-Japan (2014) Camino Sanabres/Salamanca-Santiago (March 2015) Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primativo (Oct 2015)
#54
Donna: I am really enjoying your updates! Although the heat sounds terrible...
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#55
A few days in one here...

From Baños we went to Fuenterroble. Rodrigo had planned to stop in a smaller town before that and I convinced him to take on the extra 11 km. Within 5 minutes of finding the Albergue there, he admitted that it was the right choice. We arrived about 2 pm and by 2:05 found ourselves tucking into a fantastic lunch. There are some people that I would call Camino Angels, and Fr Blas and his team fall amongst them. Fascinating Albergue. A must stay. Got to cook that night and the tienda down the road is aimed at pilgrims.
Weather was still hot but the temp had dropped a couple of degrees and there were plenty of trees. And this is definitely one of the prettiest stages.
Don't forget to top up cash supplies in Baños otherwise you will be caught short until Salamanca.

Fuenterroble to San Pedro de Rozados is another lovely walk but I really question the distance of 28 km. Maybe as the crow flies. But the Camino definitely is not a straight line. My feet were saying 30-35 km. Especially at the end. First time I swore at what was coming up when coming over the hill. The last 5 km are mentally hard.
You need to carry all food and water as there are no little villages.
Brilliant views though - well worth the short climb.

San Pedro has a cosy little Albergue Milario but note that the competition has tried to white out the flechas going to there and redirected the yellow ones to themselves. So we went for the white splotches. There is a very friendly opportunistic cat (a Burmese?) who will probably attach to you. Absolute snugglebug but then the ratbag took a dump inside so we spent the rest of the stay constantly shooing the cat out.
Warning: phone reception can be pretty bad let alone data connections.

Yesterday was San Pedro to Salamanca. Only 20km and we had clouds :)
Made all the difference. Very pleasant walk and Salamanca is a fantastic city. Both Rodrigo and I had planned a rest day here. Photographer's dream, full of life even with most students gone as exams have almost finished. Stunning architecturally. You walk down a street, turn a corner and are just stopped dead in your tracks by amazing intricate facades.
So I'm halfway to Santiago :)
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#56
Salamanca to El Cubo de Vino:
Long walk but pleasant as the dirt path runs alongside the highway. Technically about 36 km but in reality closer to 40km. Provided the weather is not horrible it is very doable. Both of us did start listening to music and audio books for part of it. I started listening to Tony Kevin's Walking the Camino again starting from when he hits Baños to travelling through Salamanca. The bit about Franco seemed to make sense of a few things.
El Cubo as a town is little to write home about but I definitely recommend the F&M Albergue. It's a family run affair.€20 gets you board and a home cooked dinner courtesy of the Gran. Her granddaughter stuck around to chat. Mercedes (the M of F&M) speaks a bit of English and we had a great chat.
She was telling me about peregrinos who have come to grief because they underestimated their water requirements. One stupid pilgrim even walked the 20km with no water. It's a dry heat so your sweat evaporates straight off your skin. I've found that 1litre of water per 10 km usually works well as an estimate plus drinking water immediately before leaving and stopping at every bar to get a drink and to grab a few extra cans of something.
We found it a bit cooler because there were clouds and the temp was lower ie about 33 degrees. 35 is when the umbrella comes out.
Oh, and they wash and dry your washing for you <3

Today was the Zamora stage. It is pleasant enough walking with dirt roads that can get a bit sandy. Mostly on the flat but very little shade. That is the main issue.
Now there is a town about halfway where the road splits. Continue straight ahead and its about 300m to the town where there is a bar and shops and then a short distance back to the Camino route. Go right which is the official Camino path and you do a big wide loop around the town which adds at least 3km and you end up in exactly the same place as the town join up. No idea why the Camino doesn't run through that town but it was in stark contrast to the towns that are actively trying to divert people to their towns. Needless to say I learned some Spanish swear words today!
Otherwise it was pleasant enough.
The municipal albergue is a larger one with hospitaleros and is very friendly. Laundry facilities are a lavadora and a centrifuge; kitchen is well set up so you can cook. Has wifi. Communal dining area so it is easy to socialise. They open around noon.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? Vf again or Via Lemovicensis
#57
Loved that F&M albergue! what a lovely family.
Looks like the weather is kinder to you than it was to us only a few weeks ago :)
Enjoy the rest of your Camino..
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#58
Short run of 18 km to Montamarta. Rather unspectacular. Roales de Pan had no shop or bar along the camino route. Missed opportunity there. Easy walking and then the train basically disappears. We basically ended up walking on the AVES construction for a bit and then getting back onto the road. It"s only on the meseta that I have any desire to listen to music or audio books to not focus on those long straights.
The Albergue here in Montamarta is potentially a great building but has been neglected especially the kitchen. €5.
Another reason to eat at Bar Rosemary tonight.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#59
The walk today to Granja de Moreruela was pretty straightforward. Bar Rosemary was open at 7 so we could get a morning coffee. First place to be open for the peregrino desayuno trade since Sevilla.
The signs are reasonably easy to follow now with one exception but you end up in the same spot anyway so don't panic.
Granja has an interesting municipal Albergue. No kitchen in the building and no fridge. No plates or eating utensils of any description.
The women's bathroom? The door doesn't lock properly and when you have a shower the water goes all over the floor so put your stuff on the sink!
You get the key from the bar on your right (Teleclub) when you get into town and sign up there.
Don't expect them to be friendly. A bunch of bici-peregrinos turned up when there were only 2 beds free in the dorm and the chap refused to open the second dorm room for them because he couldn't be bothered cleaning the room the next morning.
We also have a young couple travelling as mendigos and begging their way dressed in traditional garb. When they asked if there was any chance of a free bed they got told to sleep in the bus shelter across the road. Now I don't agree myself with their approach and I do worry about their physical well-being because personally I think the garb is bonkers in this heat, but there is no need to be rude. I notice on Melanie's app that someone commented on their rudeness as well. So support the competition!

There is a tienda on the right hand side heading out of town with two nice ladies and another on the street where the Sanabres starts, and a bar on the left hand side that serves pinchos. Anything to avoid the Teleclub.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
#60
Hope you enjoyed Zamora, probably my favourite place in Spain, or possibly the world. I wasn't a fan of Granja's Teleclub either, but everything else in town was closed (even the tienda), so not much choice other than a grease feast. There's a decent kitchen for you tomorrow in the albergue in Tábara, or the Roble restaurant in the town centre is very pleasant with one of the best menús del día I had on the whole VdlP.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#61
Okay, its been a few days since I've been on. Absolutely loving the Sanabres..
From Granja we went to Tábara. Lovely day and I recommend taking the hill option rather than the road.. No obvious construction issues. In Tabara we got accosted by the lady from El Roble did the hard sell on Rodrigo. Was it worth it? No. Still had to share a bathroom. The food was very good there though. Our friends who stayed at the Albergue were pleased with it.

From Tabara we went to Santa Marta. The new route goes to Villanueva rather than Bercianos. You can still do the old option except Villanueva has a bar and a tienda. Coffee took precedence. Nice walk and I also got to catch up with the Frenchman, Ludovic. Between the 3 of us we were dissecting swearwords in English, French and Spanish and I apologise in advance if you encounter a Frenchman who has now mastered the use of bullshit.
Santa Marta has a rather flash newly renovated Albergue. The Hilton of albergues. Great kitchen and we all chipped in with dinner that night. The church tour is at 6 and was worth it. You can buy new credentials here, conchas etc.

From Santa Marta we went to Rio Negro. Another great day. Take the bush walk to the Embalse rather than the road as it is worth it. We disturbed a deer drinking in the river.
The little towns are interesting but dying as population is all seniors and their kids are the generation that have moved out to the big cities. One man told us there had been one birth in his town in 6 years. Another lady told us they were lucky as they had none.
We had lunch at the Embalse and went for a dip which was an absolute godsend on a hot day.
Rio Negro also had a lovely Albergue and get the top room if you can - it can be worth arriving later!
Very friendly town. Bar Palacio434y has good food but the Asociación Gastronomical Me gusta Comer rates as the best meal to date on the Camino. Theofilos is a man who is very creative (he paints as well) and loves to cook. His kitchen is open so you can see him at work but he can also gauge your reaction. He sometimes does a pulpo menu is ALL courses including dessert are octopus. We had the menu del día and it was fantastic. He also brought out the digestifs as well as the coffee and we already had tiramisu for dessert. If he gets sick of Spain and wants to move to Australia I want him in my city! Brilliant day.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#62
From Rio Negro we went to Puebla de Sanabria. Long hot day but we hit Asturianos at lunchtime and decided to get ahead a bit and continue. The main issue was that it was after 6 when we got in and there was a big weekend motosport thing happening so Puebla was full of bikers. We got the last room at the Hostal Trucha.

Today was Puebla to Lubián. The first and sections were lovely with woods and rivers and I saw deer on both stages. The section up the hill from Requejo to Pardemelos was hot, highway and horrible. Couldn't get it over fast enough so we continued on the black top. The AVE constructions have wrecked the bottom half of the Camino rote out of Requejo. You can turn off about 3/4 of the way up but we were in one foot in front of the other mode. We stocked up on drinks at the top and just out of the town found a shady spot to eat lunch and have a kip. Which was a damn good idea as we were fresh for the last bit. Lubián is friendly. There is a wolf trap at the top of the hill by the electricity pylons for those with the energy to run up there. It is huge. My friend went up and I checked out his photos and video.

So tomorrow we head into Galicia. The Sanabres is passing by quickly!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#63
Hi, Donna!

Enjoying your posts since I'm starting my Sanabres tomorrow from Zamora and it's great to have some fresh info.
A week ago forum member @LTfit mention bedbug infestation in another thread. It seen that started in Mombuey and spread along the route to at least A Gudina, San Cristovo de Cea, A Laxe and Outeiro. In Laza, Xunqueira and albergue turistico in Silleda was OK though. Have you heard anything about it.
I got biten last year and that is one experience I don't wish to have again :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? Vf again or Via Lemovicensis
#64
Hi there! can confirm there was an infestation in the albergue at A Gudiña but when we arrived on 24/6, they must have desinfected as there were dead chinches on the mattresses. Still put me off (it was very dirty) so didn't stay... No bed bugs in the albergue at Ourense (27/6). Castro-Dozon on 29/6 was fine too and everything kept spotlessly clean by the (new) hospitalera.
No-one I talked to reported on any bedbugs after that...Arrived in SdC on 2/7.
Sadly I realise this may not be too helpful as it probably changes very quickly....
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#65
Hi there! can confirm there was an infestation in the albergue at A Gudiña but when we arrived on 24/6, they must have desinfected as there were dead chinches on the mattresses. Still put me off (it was very dirty) so didn't stay... No bed bugs in the albergue at Ourense (27/6). Castro-Dozon on 29/6 was fine too and everything kept spotlessly clean by the (new) hospitalera.
No-one I talked to reported on any bedbugs after that...Arrived in SdC on 2/7.
Sadly I realise this may not be too helpful as it probably changes very quickly....
Yes, it might changed but thanks for reply anyway!
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#66
Hi there! can confirm there was an infestation in the albergue at A Gudiña but when we arrived on 24/6, they must have desinfected as there were dead chinches on the mattresses. Still put me off (it was very dirty) so didn't stay... No bed bugs in the albergue at Ourense (27/6). Castro-Dozon on 29/6 was fine too and everything kept spotlessly clean by the (new) hospitalera.
No-one I talked to reported on any bedbugs after that...Arrived in SdC on 2/7.
Sadly I realise this may not be too helpful as it probably changes very quickly....
The Á Gudiña municipal albergue was closed as it was being sprayed. We ended up staying at the Hostal Oscar. Interesting place. The owner is a hunting and Franco fan. Rodrigo and I both suffered the next day after eating dinner there.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#67
Time for an update. Not as much free WiFi around here...
Lubián to Á Gudiña was a lovely walk. The uphill part took a bit of effort but was the kind of terrain that was enjoyable. Doing it first thing in the morning probably makes a huge difference to the degree of enjoyment. Plenty of Fuentes on route.

Á Gudiña: I mentioned the Albergue being shut. The next important point is that you can't go directly to Laza at the moment. You need to start on the southern Verín route. The board suggests it is about 30 km. The highway signs say 36km so we all know that means at least 40 km on the Camino. Now my friend Rodrigo had to find a Santander bank and the agency in Á Gudiña has closed so he was wanting to go to Verín anyway. So he left at 5 am to get there...and still didn't make it on time despite being no slouch.
I left at first light and ended up having a 12 hour day. The first 15 km were well marked. The first fuente was about 4 hours in at ?Vendas. Given all the little pumps and fountains of the day before, this was a big difference. So take a ton of water. And top up every chance you get.
When you hit all those little hamlet the conchas and arrows often disappear completely. The waymarking in this area was the worst on the entire Camino to date. Rodrigo actually cleared quite a few signs of bramble etc. Someone needs to go through with pruning shears and yellow paint. I got lost for the first time EVER on the Camino. The first time was at the top of one small hamlet and after exploring both routes of an intersection I ended up going through a boggy paddock and some woods (I had seen houses above there earlier). The key is to stay near the power lines. I finally hit a dirt track, headed in a westerly direction and accidentally got back on the Camino.

Then there was San Pedro where the markers disappeared. I asked a local but obviously misunderstood his directions with his thick Gallego. At the top of the town there is a cross roads. The San Pedrobsign is on your left as is the road coming up the bill. You have a choice of going straight ahead or turning right. There is a pink arrow indicating right painted on the road. DO NOT TURN RIGHT!
If you do the next town is Monteveloso. There are some fountains at the entrance and then the road swings around to the right before another intersection with 2 towns I hadn't heard off. Thankfully the house on the corner has a British couple living there who gave me drink and failsafe directions. Basically you turn left, go over the hill and keep following the road down until you see signs saying Verín. Yes the road does turn right when you can see Verín to the left but it does a big wide loop. Do not go to San Paio in the hope of a shortcut down. It is a teeny tiny hamlet with loose big dogs that made me very glad to have sticks. There probably were faster ways down via the firetracks but I didn't want to risk getting lost again. If I hadn't turned right at San Pedro and had gone straight, I would have been on the Camino and it would have dumped me right by Verín. Getting from Monteveloso to Verín alone added 10 miles to my total.
Now a lot of pilgrims have been getting lost and in the heat its pretty risky. I did well over 50 km and probably close to 60km.

Yesterday I walked from Verín to Laza. Most of the bars have Wi-Fi on the way up. I actually walked the same way I came into Verín from Castro do Val. So the first 6 km were way too familiar. Took the road as I was fed up with getting lost although I diverted onto the Camino proper in the last 5 km. Very pleasant walk but due to the horror day the day before I took forever as I stopped in every bar, every pump and had lots of rest stops to spare my feet a little.

Today was Laza to Vilar de Barrio.
Start early before the sun can get you on the hill up to Albergueria. And pop into A Souteieira in Souteleria Verde for a donativo breakfast. Lovely chap, its on Facebook (You can see Rodrigo, myself and Ludovic there in today's entry) and the coffee and toast was much appreciated on a chilly foggy morning. The hill after that...! But El Rincon, the bar with the shells is there. After that it is easy.
Everyone else who was at Laza continued on past Vilar but we intend to go straight to Ourense tomorrow.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x3), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham.
2018? Vf again or Via Lemovicensis
#68
image.jpg The next important point is that you can't go directly to Laza at the moment. You need to start on the southern Verín route. The board suggests it is about 30 km.

I know there is a big board that says the Camino is CLOSED and to go through Verin. I was looking very despondent after reading it so a little old lady came up to me (from the shop near by) and told me to ignore the sign! She explained lots of peregrinos had complained/got lost etc so the Amigos del Camino had just come from Ourense to re-mark the way with yellow arrows all the way to Laza.
I'm so sorry you had such a long, hard day, I wrote it in my blog but didn't post on the forum :(

Unless things have changed since, please pilgrims go straight to Laza! (Check with the locals first just in case).

That section is absolutely fine to walk, no probs , until you arrive at Laza that is and you realise the extent of the damage they've caused to the countryside :( I'm sure that is why they don't want people to walk that way.
 
Last edited:

LauraK

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon-Santiago (2004) Roncesvalles-Leon (2006) Camino Frances (2012) Kumano Kodo-Japan (2014) Camino Sanabres/Salamanca-Santiago (March 2015) Camino Del Salvador and Camino Primativo (Oct 2015)
#69
I walked the Camino Sanabres in March and used the Melanie McManus App for the VDLP. She commented that locals said you could still walk direct to Laza on the original camino but there would be construction truck traffic. I only encountered two trucks and it was a beautiful walk along the embalsa and into the mountains. Looked like highway and traffic going the Verin route.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#70
The Verín route is quite pleasant and the locals are lovely especially to solo peregrinas :)
Just a shame it was during a heatwave and it was a really hot day. Thankfully I had checked the forecasts so had adequate supplies of everything. It also didn't help that my phone plan had just rolled over AND I had run out of credit so I couldn't access Google Maps. But at least my extra 16 km were on the level or downhill, and the view was magnificent. The Albergue in Verín is a really interesting building and I can say I have seen a pilgrim hospital as there is one across the road from the Albergue.
The walk up to Laza through the valley is lovely and there are swimming spots on the river...

These are the days that stories are created from...

But as I said, someone needs to go through the second half of the route to check the marking. It totally put me off having anything more to do with the Southern Route, and that is a missed tourism opportunity.
 
Last edited:

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#71
Vilar de Barrio. Not much to say except the stage to Xunquiera is lovely and mostly flat. The bit to Ourense is road but at least there are plenty of bats on the way. The boys are keen to have a rest day in Ourense so tomorrow we will play tourist. I'll probably get a 3rd snow globe for my daughter's collection. Sign of a mother's love or else a mother's lunacy.
Chucked out my water bladder this morning. Biggest equipment failure to date and the leak is at the point where the tube connects to the bladder.. I now would not be essarily buy the 3 litre one bit buy 2 x 2l. Or a tube that can connect to a bottle.
 

AML

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2013
Norte/Primitivo May/June 2014
Vasco del Interior/ Burgos - Leon/Del Salvador/Primitivo May/June 2015
Ourense - Santiago Sept 2015
Camino Ingles Sept 2015
Porto-SDC Sept/Oct 2016
#72
Donna,
I'm awaiting your report of your final stages to Santiago. You're probably celebrating in Santiago now.......
Buen Camino
Aidan
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#73
Okey dokey, catch up time. I'm actually in Fisterra now.
From Vilar we went to Ourense. The boys wanted a rest day so the next day we went to a couple of the Termas and wandered around town checking out the markets etc. Found my first fresh milk here from a vending machine at the markets.
We stayed at the Municipal Albergue the first night. I recommend having a drink at the little bar across the road (Bar Acropolis). Lovely woman there who is very welcoming. She actually spotted me today in Fisterra and said hello. That's the Camino for you. Second night at the Hostal Lido. Went to Mass with Ludovic at the Santa Eufemia church. I'm not Catholic, although Ludo is quite devout. Did enjoy it.
Had my first pulpo here. Now I've had octopus before, Tongan style. This is different but still good. More importantly I had pimientos de Padron. Love these and the randomness of getting the usually one hot one adds a little fun.

From Ourense through to Santiago there was considerably more pilgrim traffic. Lots of people starting in Ourense. People complain about the hills but if you have done the Sanabres then you will wonder what the fuss is about especially after Albergueria. The three of us found the walking very easy. We were moving into party mode as we planned to get into Santiago on the 23rd so we could watch the fireworks on the 24th. So we did smaller stages.
Ourense to Cea. I was a bit worried about scoring the bunk near the toilets as they have sensor lighting. Just hung up my sarong. No problema. Interesting building. Cea is known for its bread and the bread from here onwards is great. Had lunch and a light dinner at the first bar into town as they had a TV and there was a soccer match on that Rodrigo wanted to see. On leaving town, aim for the local sports grounds which are up the hill.
Cea to O Castro-Dozon via Oseira. The trip to the Monastery is very much worth it. Note it has a statue of Mary breastfeeding baby Jesus which is a rare thing. The tour takes about an hour. Good place to have lunch. Pleasant day. No private accommodation (we asked because we knew it would be busy) but the Albergue is big. There was a school group there so more chaos than usual. Single rooms are available for €10.
O Castro-Dozon to Silleda. Easy walking again. Got a triple room for the 3 of us at the Albergue Turistico. The man from there had gone out to Castro-Doxon with fliers. We fell for it as they have a massage chair.
Never did see the thing as it is on the 4th floor and costs extra. Good spot to wash clothes with lots of pegs (the things you remember!)
Albergue Turístico de Silleda...Rua de Venezuela 38. Which is close to several banks.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#74
From Silleda we went to Ponte Ulla and they had their fiesta for Mary Magdalena. We stayed at the Bar on the right immediately over the bridge. Had a great lunch there - excellent views, lovely day, great company. That night we caught up with some other pilgrim we had met earlier and had a great night eating tapas and drinking beer. Who says life as a pilgrim has to be hard?
Ponte Ulla to Santiago. The bridge memorial to those who died in the Santiago trainwreck 2 years ago actually had more impact on me than reaching the Square. Imagine being a pilgrim - and there would have been many as it occurred the day before St James - witnessing that. Or those that died, on their way to Santiago celebrations including some to join peregrino friends and family as they came into town. Incidentally the families are STILL requesting an official investigation.
Stayed at Hostal Estella which is immediately off the Square. Great location. Couldn't get a room for the night of the fireworks so went online and probably got the last twin room near the Square as everything was booked out. Hotel Santo Grial, 76 Rua Vilar. Really nice place.
Last night that the Three Amigos were together and we ate and drank way too much ending up in a bar where chupitos were €2 each but a botella of oruja was €6. So on the 25th, Rodrigo flew home to the Canaries, Ludo prepared to go back to France, and I started on my way to Fisterra.
Which is where I am now. The walk is easy and the weather has been great except for the second day when it was grey and drizzly. Not enough to break out the unused poncho though! It's been quite an emotional time. I've known Rodrigo from Alcuescar and Ludo from Zamora onwards, and you get to know each other really well over hundreds of kilometres. Whoever compared the Camino to life chose to not mention the inevitable death and mourning at the end when you separate from treasured friends. Saying goodbye reeks.
So my advice is to allow for some time to process the Camino afterwards. For me it has been the walk to Fisterra which I have done completely solo. Sometimes you really need to walk by yourself. And for me Fisterra has been the natural ending of my Camino.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
#75
Congratulations on your Camino, it's been great reading your updates. I do so agree about the sadness on seeing the bridge near the train crash. I first came upon it entirely unexpectedly only 5 months after the accident, when the bridge was still festooned with heart-breaking children's toys, clothes, messages and scallop shells.
 

gracethepilgrim

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
#76
Ditto - congratulations Donna. You have had an awesome time by the sound of i and kept many of us enthralled. So many memories for me.
Now for your next camino you’ll have to toss up whether to go somewhere new or REPEAT the VdlP hehehe ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-Finisterre (oct 2014)
Camino Santiago-Muxia-Finisterre-Santiago (feb 2015)
Via de la plata (oct 2015)
Camino Portuguese Porto-Santiago (may 2016)
Camino del norte/primitivo sept 2016
#77
Well done Donna and thanks for your updates! Really looking forward to do my own Plata two months from now:)
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#78
Ditto - congratulations Donna. You have had an awesome time by the sound of i and kept many of us enthralled. So many memories for me.
Now for your next camino you’ll have to toss up whether to go somewhere new or REPEAT the VdlP hehehe ;)
Repeat?! Wash your mouth out!
I think anticipating some parts would drive me nuts. And it wouldn't be the same a second time.

Now a different Camino route...that's something different. It's just a case of which one. France sounds nice but I would have to relearn the language. The Occitane sounds beautiful.

The French route sounds too busy for me and I would do a summer Camino again.

Or maybe a Spanish speaking adventure elsewhere...but it will be a while as my finances need to recover!
 

ricitosdeplata

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
09/2015: Via de la Plata
#79
Adding my congratulations too, Donna. You faced the challenge and you met it. I'm remembering something you said about some competition you have when you get home. I bet you're superfit and ready for that, or at least after some time to process your camino. Was it a martial art?
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#80
Yeah, the Australian Masters Games is on in October. My fitness is pretty good. The judo techniques are probably going to rely on muscle memory though!

And I'm thinking about another pilgrimage but probably the Japanese Shikoku trail. I'd have to carry a tent but its a similar distance.
 

hailows

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2013
#81
OK, a few stages in this post.
From Valdesalor we went to Casar de Casares with a few hours in Casares to see the sights. The Museum is good. Rodrigo and I were constantly wondering about how Borja was going with the burro. It can be hard finding the Camino trail out of town so we eventually ained for the Church of Santiago and went from there. The next stretch has a lot of highway walking. The municipal albergue is a donativo. I personally think it was the worst to date. First it was almost full as many cyclists stop there. When you are used to the luxury of having both bunks of a double bunk...
Next, the bells ring twice on the hour. I was dead to the world and didn't wake up but light sleepers will need earplugs. Try to get the far dormitories otherwise you will be woken up by everyone who has to use the loo. The switch for the loo switches on a light AND the fan. (Thanks Stephen Haig for the heads up on this). They have washing machines and an okay kitchen. The bunks are a bit crammed together, the water pressure isn't great. CdC has all facilities though.
Borja was staying at the albergue by the pool. Did he know something we didn't?

Early start from CdC to Embalse de Acantar. We had heard that the private Albergue there was shut so we're prepared to go to Cañaveral if needed. It was a stinking hot day, we hit the first of the AVE and road constructions, it seemed to be a very up and down trail and I was having one of those days when my pack was playing up and my water bladder sprung a leak where the hose joins onto the bag. So I was very glad to be walking with someone to keep the pace up. Thankfully about halfway someone has put up a covered picnic table and we had a rest there and it was a chance to air the feet out.
Things improved as we hit the lake but the Albergue is right down the other end and I was fantasizing about ice cream. This lake is incredibly under developed and perfect for camping and fishing.
The Albergue WAS open even though no one had answered the phone earlier. €20 including breakfast. There is a washing machine but guests are restricted to the sink in the laundry. Own rooms with bathroom. Shower with great water pressure and she has things like shampoo and conditioner available. Meal was okay too.
Today we continued to Grimaldo. Nice walk but it gets confusing about 5km in and out of Cañaveral. If you follow the Camino you end up at the far end of town. At the back of the entry sign there is somewhere to sit so Rodrigo ran down to the petrol station to get drinks and chocolate while I babysat the packs.
Getting out of Cañaveral was confusing. There is a nice little chapel and a working pump then you have an intersection with the road. The red and white CN poles make it look like you cross the road. If you do cross the road you will be on a path that goes under the viaduct of the new motorway and then turns southeast before heading east through a farm. This is completely the wrong way.
Instead of of crossing at the intersection you turn onto the road. There is an orchard with fig trees that should be ripe within a week or two and you head up the hill. At the top of the hill there is a big building with a CLUB sign. The road continues left and it looks as though the Camino could branch off there somewhere. However there is a hito that is under a tree in front of the building and that is the way you go. It is reasonably well marked from there. There is one point where the path splits and someone has put a sign indicating that bicycles should go there. So should you as someone has very recently put up a new fence and you just ending up following the fence to exactly where the bikes end up. The first sight as you hit Grimaldo is a bar -my favourite sight! The donativo is across the road with the keys at the bar next door if required. Has a washing machine but today the front loader had no door. So wash your clothes at Embalse if you will be here soon.
You are welcome....That was my lowest ebb! I am going again in March and will stop at the albergue when your first enter town! I love reliving the journey with you! Stephen Haig... aka... SWSW
 

hailows

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2013
#82
Thank You Donna,
That was a wonderful blog and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I suspect I am going to have it on my phone for when I do it again in March. There are great tips there. Buen Camino SWSW
 

jumpingin2014

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013
#83
Thanks for sharing Donna this was a great read. I am now thinking I need to add this Camino to my bucket list!
Buen Camino

Mark
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#84
Walked to El Real de Jara.
Which brings me to the municipal albergue. It is the first place you come across in El Real. It is an interesting building as it originally was supposed to be water tanks. So the rooms have these curved ceilings. It is a Spanish albergue version of a hobbit house.but it means that some of the doorways have a maximum height of about 170 cm. I'm 173 cm tall and occasionally forget to bend. g.
Haha! I loved that little Hobbit House! And here's Joe next to the tiny door. We laughed so hard!
 

Attachments

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#85
The Albergue WAS open even though no one had answered the phone earlier. €20 including breakfast. .
Donna, I think I asked this before but can't remember.
Is there a place where a person could sleep under shelter here even if the albergue was closed?
A roofed porch or ???
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#86
I may try to make the stages from Caceres to Salamanca at the end of my trip this year. Your posts are very helpful. Thank you!
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#87
Donna, I think I asked this before but can't remember.
Is there a place where a person could sleep under shelter here even if the albergue was closed?
A roofed porch or ???
I just googled the albergue at the Embalse at Alcantara to remind myself what it looked like to realise that I actually stayed here http://www.alcantarapescaevasion.com/ not here http://www.embalsedealcantara.com/ !!! So now I'm wondering where the rather modern looking old albergue is because it certainly didn't register on my brain that day. On Google Maps it looks like it is on the right of the hiking path. Does explain why noone answered the phone! I obviously missed something in the discussion between my Spanish walking buddy and the landlady.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#88
I just googled the albergue at the Embalse at Alcantara to remind myself what it looked like to realise that I actually stayed here http://www.alcantarapescaevasion.com/ not here http://www.embalsedealcantara.com/ !!! So now I'm wondering where the rather modern looking old albergue is because it certainly didn't register on my brain that day. On Google Maps it looks like it is on the right of the hiking path. Does explain why noone answered the phone! I obviously missed something in the discussion between my Spanish walking buddy and the landlady.
Hi, Donna,
The Alcántara Pesca Evasión has had several names over the years, going back to Lindamar (owned by a Dutch couple) and Lake View (owned by someone from UK, I believe) and maybe a few others. That´s the privately owned one and it is right on the Camino.

The modern albergue is right on the water, and I believe it isn´t visible from the Camino. Those two entities were involved in many nasty competition wars (this was before the current owners of the Alcantara Pesca), you can read some of the tales in old threads if you are interested. It is certainly hard to keep up with the opening and shutting of these places, but it looks like Alcántara Pesca is up and running for now!
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#89
The current owners are French (at least she is) but the owner before that is the chap from Rio Lobos who owns Galisteo and Banos. And he is mates with the chap from the Hostal Asturias near Caparra. He's has a bit of a monopoly in the albergue market in Northern Extremadura. We made a point of avoiding his albergues when there was other cheap accommodation around because we wanted to spread the financial love around, not just have it end up in the pocket of one person.
 
Last edited:

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#90
Sooooo.... the albergue on the embalse is open now?
 

Paul G

On a journey
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Francé, from SJPP to Muxia, Finisterre
2016 Via de la Plata / Sanabrés from Sevilla
#91
Many thanks for the practical details you have given. I am hoping for a VdlP Camino in Spring 2016. Buen Camino!
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Portugues 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#92
Many thanks for the practical details you have given. I am hoping for a VdlP Camino in Spring 2016. Buen Camino!
When? I hope to walk it from early February on, starting in Sevilla, perhaps we will meet? Buen Camino! SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - 2005
Camino Portuguese - 2014
VdlP - 2016
#93
Thanks Donna for the delightful recount of your camino.
I'm walking the VdlP in autumn 2016 so your descriptions have brought back special memories and the excited anticipation of another adventure. Be assured my guide will be peppered with annotations of your hints!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF+Muxia, Sep/Oct 2015
CF+Fin Sep/Oct 2017
#94
Thank You, it was a great read.
I'm going to walk VdlP in autumn 2016 and will read it again before departure.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
#95
The modern albergue is right on the water, and I believe it isn´t visible from the Camino.
That's right: the "modern" albergue of Alcántara (Albergue Turístico) is not visible from the Camino. First time around I didn't make it there. Another pilgrim had preceded me and when I met her, coming from the direction where the albergue is supposed to be, she said that we had to move on since the albergue was closed. Several days later I understood from the hospitaleros I met that she had seen another albergue (mentioned in this thread perhaps) and that the actual "modern" albergue we were looking for was hidden further away. Next time around I found it: it's about 600 mtrs apart from the Camino.

/BP
 

Pangloss

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (2015)
#96
Wonderful blog, Donna. I walked the VdlP and Sanabres in April/May this year . Reading your blog conjured up pictures of all the places I had walked through and refreshed memories of a some life enhancing experiences in those few weeks. In spring was v hot in Andalucia but changed radically when we we walked up the hill out of Banos de Montmayor, so much so that I had to buy extra clothes in Zamora.
I think I share your views, both about repeating the VdlP and about the Camino Frances. Will have to start researching.
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#97
Wonderful blog, Donna. I walked the VdlP and Sanabres in April/May this year . Reading your blog conjured up pictures of all the places I had walked through and refreshed memories of a some life enhancing experiences in those few weeks. In spring was v hot in Andalucia but changed radically when we we walked up the hill out of Banos de Montmayor, so much so that I had to buy extra clothes in Zamora.
I think I share your views, both about repeating the VdlP and about the Camino Frances. Will have to start researching.
I think VDLP peregrinos may be a slightly different breed to those that do the CF. All the walkers I knew who started way down the track all ended up picking the Sanabres because the idea of facing the hordes on the CF was too daunting.
 
Camino(s) past & future
camino francés 2008, Via de la Plata March-april 2016
#98
Hi Donna - great posts - setting out from sydney to sevilla in easter week. have noted your tips!
prefer walking in the cool myself although swimming did sound great. are you back in Darwin?
 

Donna Sch

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#99
The video was done by our Sevillean camino buddies Oliva and Vicente. In it you see the Three Amigos aka The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (and you can make up your mind as to who is who ;)) playing supporting roles. Gives you a taste of the 5 days from Ourense to SdC.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
C. de Salvador/Primitivo (2018)
I would love to hear more about the scenery, flora and fauna, and culture. Where can I find those descriptions along the route?
 

OLDER threads on this topic



Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 6 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 22 4.6%
  • April

    Votes: 78 16.1%
  • May

    Votes: 131 27.1%
  • June

    Votes: 39 8.1%
  • July

    Votes: 12 2.5%
  • August

    Votes: 6 1.2%
  • September

    Votes: 124 25.7%
  • October

    Votes: 54 11.2%
  • November

    Votes: 5 1.0%
  • December

    Votes: 3 0.6%
Top