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Live - Via de la Plata (Nearly) Live Updates Via de la Plata February > Abril 2016

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#1
@Kiwi-family was so kind to convert this thread into a tidy doc that you can find here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gWY-bEMztAxba0POUFyWvMHaVlAjnb-XYBo5OPJsHN4/edit

Disclaimer: This information was accurate at the time of writing, but the Camino changes continuously, so it might not be anymore 100% accurate by the time you are reading this ;-)

**************

Hi everybody,

I am today in Fuente de Cantos taking my second, tendinitis enforced rest day and, as promised, here a few updates in the hope they are useful for those that will walk the Via de la Plata in the coming days/weeks:


Sevilla

Pension Vergara http://www.pensionvergara.com (20 Euro for a single room without breakfast, shared bathrooms), a small, former nunnery from the 15th century, one of the receptionists speaks English. The pension is simple, reasonably clean, but the installations are a bit dated. I liked it there, it is very central, in-midst of of the Old Jewish Quarter, now called Santa Cruz, and three minutes walk from the Cathedral.

Pilgrims Passport (3 Euro) at the reception of Hotel Simon http://hotelsimonsevilla.com (single room 45 Euro with breakfast), near the Cathedral.

Stamp – At the Cathedral, at the entrance for individual tourists, but not at the till, but at the a bit hidden door just after the entrance and before the tills.

Tapas – I haven't eaten any menu in Sevilla, instead I tried a lot of tapas ;-) The two places I liked the best, both with good value for money, are:
Las Teresas – Directly opposite of Pension Vergara, especially delicious is the Salpicon de Mariscos (Seafood salad).

Milagritos – In the Calle Alemanes, directly at the Cathedral. Here you can sit outside and, with direct view of the Cathedral, eat and drink for very reasonable prices. Some of the staff speaks English. One of the waiters has walked the Camino from Madrid to Santiago and is always happy to meet other pilgrims. In the evenings there is a Flamenco show (15 Euro with food, but without drinks) which seems to be done by a local artist and not to be a tourist trap.


Way Sevilla > Santiponce > Guillena

Very well way-marked. I walked the variant alongside the rives (it is marked rio/camas at the bifurcation), but this one is only recommendable for pilgrims that are extremely comfortable around dogs and are also not anxious otherwise.

When this, rather lonely way, alongside the river/canal turns away from it towards a farm which is, to put it politely, a bit run down, I encountered at least a dozen 'free range' dogs and much more behind the fences. They weren't exactly dangerous, but not every pilgrim will feel comfortable when more than a dozen barking dogs run towards him or her. I myself love dogs a lot and I am very well used to them but even I felt uncomfortable in this situation and, if I walk the Plata again, I will choose the variant via Camas next time.

Ford (crossing) between Santiponce and Guillena – This ford had very little water as I passed and a nice person has put some wooden planks over a sidearm of the stream. That way I could cross the stream with dry feet.

Beginning of Guillena – Just after having crossed the last, dry, stream, directly before the village and in sight of it are yellow arrows on a wall that point in two different directions. Those that want to go to the private albergue Luz del Camino (Attention! Closed for renovation beginning of February, not sure for how long) should turn here left, walk towards a small stair up the embankment, cross the road and follow this same road to enter the village. Luz del Camino is in this same road on the lefthand side after a few hundred meters.

To go to the albergue municipal you follow the arrows that point right side into the village and just follow the Via de la Plata through the village until you reach the polideportivo (sport centrum). Don't be confused by an old, dark, metal door with albergue on top, that is the old one. To reach the new one, pass the little gate on your right hand side, walking between building and football/soccer field and you will see after a few meters the new albergue in an annex of the main building. On the door you find the telephone number of the hospitalero to call for the key. She will be there in a few minutes. The albergue is clean, plenty of showers, toilets and blankets, simple kitchen with a 2-hotplates stove, microwave and some basic cooking equipment. There is a heating/air-con in the living room-kitchen. Each pilgrim gets his/her own key which you have to throw through the, previously opened window, next morning back on the couch. Cost: 10 Euro.

Eating – The Hostal Frances on the main road offers reasonably tasty pilgrim menus for Euro 7,50 including one drink and single rooms for 18 Euro.


Way from Guillena to Castilblanco de los Arroyos.

Also the ford in Guillena had very little water and I could cross the stream without problems. At the end of the village is a service station which is the last possibility to shop/get water/use a toilet for the next ~18km. The way itself is very well signposted.


Castilblanco de los Arroyos – Albergues

The albergue municipal is still closed for winter and will open again 1st March. I slept in the Pension Salvadora, Avenida Espana. 14 Euro for a single room, without breakfast and with shared bathrooms. Blankets and bed linen are provided as well as heating/air-con. Very clean and friendly. To reach the pension you follow the yellow arrows until the church, go right and immideatly left in the Avenida Espana, the pension is opposite a flower shop.

Eating - El Rincon de Beni pilgrim's menu 8 Euro, as it was Sunday evening, this wasn't on offer, but the a la carte menu was also reasonably priced and very good.


To be continued in the next post ...
 
Last edited:

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#2
Castilblanco de los Arroyos – Almaden de la Plata

Taxi to the entrance of the Park El Berrocal

Yes, I confess it, I cheated! As I was ill most of January and couldn't train I was sure that I couldn't manage a 30km stage that day. Me and another pilgrim shared a taxi (total price 25 Euro) to the entrance of the park. The first 16km of this stage are exclusively on the road, not even on a path beside it. Every bar in the village has the name and number of that taxi driver ;-)

The way through the park is well marked and easy to find.



Almadén de la Plata

Albergue – New private albergue 'Albergue del Peregrino', C/Olmo s/n, Tel. 654 862 553, directly on the way. 10 Euro, 15 beds in 4 rooms, wood stove for heating, Wifi, washing machine on request (included in price), reasonably equipped kitchen and all very clean. This albergue belongs to the same couple that owns also the albergue 'Alojiamento del Peregrino' in Real de la Jara.

Eating - Casa El Chorla Good pilgrim's menu for 8 Euro, all desserts are homemade and the Mousse au Chocolate is to die for!


Almaden de la Plata – El Real de la Jara

The way is well marked and easy to find.

Albergue – El Alojamiento del Peregrino, second albergue in the village, directly on the way. Clean, 12 beds in 3 rooms, washing machine, but no dryer, reasonably equiped kitchen, heating/air-con. Unfortunately poorly sound proofed. You can hear the child of the hospitaleros cry/play and also their television. Has a beautiful terrasse. 10 Euro, including washing machine.

Eating – El Meson Cochera, near the church, yummy pilgrim's menu for 8 Euro.


What else is to report?

Weather so far – Cool in the mornings, warm, but not hot, during the day. Unfortunately from El Real de la Jara on onwards frequent rain showers and a bit cooler.

Pilgrim Numbers – At that moment we were ~10 pilgrims on the way, but only three of us plan to walk until Santiago, the other seven will stop earlier. Nationalities so far: Spain (1), France (1), USA (1), Germany (2), Czech Republic (3) and Poland (2).


El Real de la Jara - Monasterio
Unfortunately again some rain showers and therefor a bit uncomfortable to take rest stops. The way, again, well marked and easy to find. In Monasterio I met briefly another pilgrim, from Latvia?/Lithuania?, but she seems to sleep mostly in pensions, so I saw her only briefly.

Albergue – Albergue Parroquial (10 Euro), directly on the way, in the center of town in house number 218. Very friendly reception (Miguel Angel, the priest-Hospitalero, has walked the way the first time in 1992 and many times after that.) That you notice in the many little details of the albergue. Very clean, 12 beds in 3 rooms, very well equiped kitchen-living room with basic food stuff (teas, coffee, juice, milk, cookies, pasta, rice, oil, spices and so on). Wifi, spin-dryer, beautiful terrasse. Two bathrooms with spacious showers, plenty of blankets, but unfortunately no heating. The most beautiful, most lovingly decorated and friendly albergue so far, highly recommended!

Next morning I had a short chat with Miguel Angel and he told me more about the albergue and his plans for it. This albergue opened 5 years ago. To be able to renovate the derelict house, even the roof was caved in, they had to take out a bank credit. That is the reason that they normally (poor and extremely low budget pilgrims excluded) ask for a fixed price of 10 Euro despite it being a Christian albergue. As soon as said credit is paid back, they will happily switch to donativo only Miguel Angel reassured me.

So if anybody of you has a direct line to Bill Gates or somebody else that can afford to donate a few ten-thousand Euro … ;-)

Camino/Way - Important Information!!!

Circa 9km after Monasterio
you reach a way bifurcation, just after a cattle gate, where yellow arrows point right and granite cuboids (see below) to the left. Here it is important to follow the yellow arrows that lead you left of the cattle fence. The left way markings lead you, as some hospitaleros told me and some Spanish pilgrims reported on the internet, many kilometers in the wrong direction. If you are stranded on that way you have to turn onto the road some kilometers ahead and follow this road, and walking on it, for 10-15 kilometers (reports differ here) until you reach Fuente de Cantos. No fun! “Always follow the, recently painted, yellow arrows and ignore the granite cuboids if they don't coincide with the arrows.” was the advice given to me by a hospitalero.

Apart of this problematic point is the way very well marked, as the local Amigos have been just passed through with paint and brush in hand to refresh said arrows.


Fuente de los Cantos

Albergue Privado - Apartamentos Rurales El Zaguán de la Plata [ http://www.elzaguandelaplata.es During the main pilgrimage season they also offer beds in a dormitory for ~10 Euro, but at the moment only their holiday/vacation apartments are open. Which are exceedingly good value! For 15 Euro you get your own room with heating (air con in living room), small balcony, bed linen and blanket plus a simple breakfast. Each apartment has also a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom (with bath tub!), wifi, TV, access to roof terrace, garden and a small museum of everyday objects of times gone by. Washing machine included (don't use those on the terrace, they are out of order, ask the hospitaleros). At the moment I have the luxury of recuperating from a bit of tendinitis in one of the apartments which I have all to myself ;-) Oh yes, and there is a swimming-pool in the garden for warmer days. Really recommendable place!
The hospitaleros (a father and son team) really care about 'their' pilgrims, the father even offered to drive me to the restaurant for lunch as he saw me limbing up the street. Thankfully I am not such a bad in shape.

The Albergue Municipal Convento Vía de la Plata de Fuente de Cantos http://www.alberguedefuentedecantos.com is also open (again). A fellow pilgrim has slept there for 10 Euro geschlafen and she reported that it is nice and clean, but that there is no kitchen (at the moment?), but that the albergue has its own restaurant.

Eating – When you go out of the private albergue El Zaguán and walk right hand side up the street you come to a little square (Plaza de Zubarán) with the friendly Bar-Cafeteria K-rnero's. There is no set menu here, but you can order here very reasonable priced a la carte dishes. The media (middle sized) portions where more than enough for me and cost around 5-6 Euro.

A bit further up the same road is Restaurante El Gato (just before the main road, bearing left) where there are menus for 8-10 Euro (including a bottle of wine) available. I ate there lunch today and it was extremely tasty.

General Observations

Nature – Nature is here in Andalucia and Extremadura far more advanced than in the north/center of Europe. All is green and flowering and the birds sing loudily. Perhaps best compared to April/May in more temperate regions of Europe, but unfortunately a bit rainy and coolish at the moment. Temperatures during the day now between 10-15C, warmer if the sun makes an appearance.

Way-Marking – Like always, the yellow arrows point towards Santiago, but on the Via de la Plata you also see yellow Saint Andrew Crosses ([/COLOR]X) that mark paths/ways you really shouldn't take/indicate a wrong way. Also little plastic signs with yellow shell and arrow on blue ground are common plus beautiful ceramic tiles embedded in (house) walls picturing the same.

Granite Cuboids – In Extremadura there are also granite or tin cuboids that mark the way. Generally they work like this:

On top is a stylized Roman gate through which a yellow line is drawn. This yellow line indicates the direction of the way. On the sides are colored tiles, yellow stands for passable way/Via de la Plata, blue-greenish tile for Roman Road and both colors combined for passable way/Via de la Plata and Roman Road being the same. As mentioned above, these cuboids shouldn't be followed blindly, remember “In case of doubt, follow the yellow arrows and ignore the cuboids!

Pilgrim's Menu – Different to the Camino Frances, a pilgrim's menu here includes the usual three courses but only one glass/drink. (The exception I found today, see above) As each additional glass of wine, for example, costs only 1 Euro and the typical price for the menu is 6-8 Euro that means the cost is at the end pretty much the same. Unless you don't drink, than it is cheaper ;-)

Tapas – Seem to be more substantial here than on the CF and normally you always get something free served with your drink in the local bars. Sometimes 'only' homemade pickled olives, sometimes meat balls / croquettes or Carrilada (pork stew) with bread. All I had so far was really good.

So, that was it for the moment. My right ankle is definitely better now after two days of rest and tomorrow I will hobble on!

Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP (2016)
Jesus Trail (Nazareth to Capernaum) 2016
Way of St Francis (Pietralunga to Assisi) 2016
#4
Thanks SYates. I'm leaving Sevilla on April 6th, so this information is excellent!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#5
Oooooooh! I'm following you!
Still considering picking up in Caceres the first of June - will wait and see how you do up there.
Take care of your tendonitis!
Annie
 

bsewall

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata & Camino Frances (2013 & 2016).
#8
I am usually not a fan of travelogues on the Camino. However, SYates, your postings are excellent, incredibly helpful and beautifully written. Thank you so much. I'm off on the Vdlp on March 25th and your observations are helping me plan for my second tour on the route. Please, please keep posting. And Buen Camino.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#9
Great to hear from you SYates, take care and hope you're soon fully recovered :)
 

wildrover

thewildrover
Camino(s) past & future
2015 april c/f. vdlp feb 2016. Norte / primitivo Sep 2016. C/f 12/16. Vdlp 12/17.
#10
Hi everybody,

I am today in Fuente de Cantos taking my second, tendinitis enforced rest day and, as promised, here a few updates in the hope they are useful for those that will walk the Via de la Plata in the coming days/weeks:


Sevilla

Pension Vergara http://www.pensionvergara.com (20 Euro for a single room without breakfast, shared bathrooms), a small, former nunnery from the 15th century, one of the receptionists speaks English. The pension is simple, reasonably clean, but the installations are a bit dated. I liked it there, it is very central, in-midst of of the Old Jewish Quarter, now called Santa Cruz, and three minutes walk from the Cathedral.

Pilgrims Passport (3 Euro) at the reception of Hotel Simon http://hotelsimonsevilla.com (single room 45 Euro with breakfast), near the Cathedral.

Stamp – At the Cathedral, at the entrance for individual tourists, but not at the till, but at the a bit hidden door just after the entrance and before the tills.

Tapas – I haven't eaten any menu in Sevilla, instead I tried a lot of tapas ;-) The two places I liked the best, both with good value for money, are:
Las Teresas – Directly opposite of Pension Vergara, especially delicious is the Salpicon de Mariscos (Seafood salad).

Milagritos – In the Calle Alemanes, directly at the Cathedral. Here you can sit outside and, with direct view of the Cathedral, eat and drink for very reasonable prices. Some of the staff speaks English. One of the waiters has walked the Camino from Madrid to Santiago and is always happy to meet other pilgrims. In the evenings there is a Flamenco show (15 Euro with food, but without drinks) which seems to be done by a local artist and not to be a tourist trap.


Way Sevilla > Santiponce > Guillena

Very well way-marked. I walked the variant alongside the rives (it is marked rio/camas at the bifurcation), but this one is only recommendable for pilgrims that are extremely comfortable around dogs and are also not anxious otherwise.

When this, rather lonely way, alongside the river/canal turns away from it towards a farm which is, to put it politely, a bit run down, I encountered at least a dozen 'free range' dogs and much more behind the fences. They weren't exactly dangerous, but not every pilgrim will feel comfortable when more than a dozen barking dogs run towards him or her. I myself love dogs a lot and I am very well used to them but even I felt uncomfortable in this situation and, if I walk the Plata again, I will choose the variant via Camas next time.

Ford (crossing) between Santiponce and Guillena – This ford had very little water as I passed and a nice person has put some wooden planks over a sidearm of the stream. That way I could cross the stream with dry feet.

Beginning of Guillena – Just after having crossed the last, dry, stream, directly before the village and in sight of it are yellow arrows on a wall that point in two different directions. Those that want to go to the private albergue Luz del Camino (Attention! Closed for renovation beginning of February, not sure for how long) should turn here left, walk towards a small stair up the embankment, cross the road and follow this same road to enter the village. Luz del Camino is in this same road on the lefthand side after a few hundred meters.

To go to the albergue municipal you follow the arrows that point right side into the village and just follow the Via de la Plata through the village until you reach the polideportivo (sport centrum). Don't be confused by an old, dark, metal door with albergue on top, that is the old one. To reach the new one, pass the little gate on your right hand side, walking between building and football/soccer field and you will see after a few meters the new albergue in an annex of the main building. On the door you find the telephone number of the hospitalero to call for the key. She will be there in a few minutes. The albergue is clean, plenty of showers, toilets and blankets, simple kitchen with a 2-hotplates stove, microwave and some basic cooking equipment. There is a heating/air-con in the living room-kitchen. Each pilgrim gets his/her own key which you have to throw through the, previously opened window, next morning back on the couch. Cost: 10 Euro.

Eating – The Hostal Frances on the main road offers reasonably tasty pilgrim menus for Euro 7,50 including one drink and single rooms for 18 Euro.


Way from Guillena to Castilblanco de los Arroyos.

Also the ford in Guillena had very little water and I could cross the stream without problems. At the end of the village is a service station which is the last possibility to shop/get water/use a toilet for the next ~18km. The way itself is very well signposted.


Castilblanco de los Arroyos – Albergues

The albergue municipal is still closed for winter and will open again 1st March. I slept in the Pension Salvadora, Avenida Espana. 14 Euro for a single room, without breakfast and with shared bathrooms. Blankets and bed linen are provided as well as heating/air-con. Very clean and friendly. To reach the pension you follow the yellow arrows until the church, go right and immideatly left in the Avenida Espana, the pension is opposite a flower shop.

Eating - El Rincon de Beni pilgrim's menu 8 Euro, as it was Sunday evening, this wasn't on offer, but the a la carte menu was also reasonably priced and very good.


To be continued in the next post ...
Most welcome info, helping with my pre vdlp anxiety. Cheers
 

wildrover

thewildrover
Camino(s) past & future
2015 april c/f. vdlp feb 2016. Norte / primitivo Sep 2016. C/f 12/16. Vdlp 12/17.
#11
Castilblanco de los Arroyos – Almaden de la Plata

Taxi to the entrance of the Park El Berrocal

Yes, I confess it, I cheated! As I was ill most of January and couldn't train I was sure that I couldn't manage a 30km stage that day. Me and another pilgrim shared a taxi (total price 25 Euro) to the entrance of the park. The first 16km of this stage are exclusively on the road, not even on a path beside it. Every bar in the village has the name and number of that taxi driver ;-)

The way through the park is well marked and easy to find.



Almadén de la Plata

Albergue – New private albergue 'Albergue del Peregrino', C/Olmo s/n, Tel. 654 862 553, directly on the way. 10 Euro, 15 beds in 4 rooms, wood stove for heating, Wifi, washing machine on request (included in price), reasonably equipped kitchen and all very clean. This albergue belongs to the same couple that owns also the albergue 'Alojiamento del Peregrino' in Real de la Jara.

Eating - Casa El Chorla Good pilgrim's menu for 8 Euro, all desserts are homemade and the Mousse au Chocolate is to die for!


Almaden de la Plata – El Real de la Jara

The way is well marked and easy to find.

Albergue – El Alojamiento del Peregrino, second albergue in the village, directly on the way. Clean, 12 beds in 3 rooms, washing machine, but no dryer, reasonably equiped kitchen, heating/air-con. Unfortunately poorly sound proofed. You can hear the child of the hospitaleros cry/play and also their television. Has a beautiful terrasse. 10 Euro, including washing machine.

Eating – El Meson Cochera, near the church, yummy pilgrim's menu for 8 Euro.


What else is to report?

Weather so far – Cool in the mornings, warm, but not hot, during the day. Unfortunately from El Real de la Jara on onwards frequent rain showers and a bit cooler.

Pilgrim Numbers – At that moment we were ~10 pilgrims on the way, but only three of us plan to walk until Santiago, the other seven will stop earlier. Nationalities so far: Spain (1), France (1), USA (1), Germany (2), Czech Republic (3) and Poland (2).


El Real de la Jara - Monasterio
Unfortunately again some rain showers and therefor a bit uncomfortable to take rest stops. The way, again, well marked and easy to find. In Monasterio I met briefly another pilgrim, from Latvia?/Lithuania?, but she seems to sleep mostly in pensions, so I saw her only briefly.

Albergue – Albergue Parroquial (10 Euro), directly on the way, in the center of town in house number 218. Very friendly reception (Miguel Angel, the priest-Hospitalero, has walked the way the first time in 1992 and many times after that.) That you notice in the many little details of the albergue. Very clean, 12 beds in 3 rooms, very well equiped kitchen-living room with basic food stuff (teas, coffee, juice, milk, cookies, pasta, rice, oil, spices and so on). Wifi, spin-dryer, beautiful terrasse. Two bathrooms with spacious showers, plenty of blankets, but unfortunately no heating. The most beautiful, most lovingly decorated and friendly albergue so far, highly recommended!

Next morning I had a short chat with Miguel Angel and he told me more about the albergue and his plans for it. This albergue opened 5 years ago. To be able to renovate the derelict house, even the roof was caved in, they had to take out a bank credit. That is the reason that they normally (poor and extremely low budget pilgrims excluded) ask for a fixed price of 10 Euro despite it being a Christian albergue. As soon as said credit is paid back, they will happily switch to donativo only Miguel Angel reassured me.

So if anybody of you has a direct line to Bill Gates or somebody else that can afford to donate a few ten-thousand Euro … ;-)

Camino/Way - Important Information!!!

Circa 9km after Monasterio
you reach a way bifurcation, just after a cattle gate, where yellow arrows point right and granite cuboids (see below) to the left. Here it is important to follow the yellow arrows that lead you left of the cattle fence. The left way markings lead you, as some hospitaleros told me and some Spanish pilgrims reported on the internet, many kilometers in the wrong direction. If you are stranded on that way you have to turn onto the road some kilometers ahead and follow this road, and walking on it, for 10-15 kilometers (reports differ here) until you reach Fuente de Cantos. No fun! “Always follow the, recently painted, yellow arrows and ignore the granite cuboids if they don't coincide with the arrows.” was the advice given to me by a hospitalero.

Apart of this problematic point is the way very well marked, as the local Amigos have been just passed through with paint and brush in hand to refresh said arrows.


Fuente de los Cantos

Albergue Privado - Apartamentos Rurales El Zaguán de la Plata [ http://www.elzaguandelaplata.es During the main pilgrimage season they also offer beds in a dormitory for ~10 Euro, but at the moment only their holiday/vacation apartments are open. Which are exceedingly good value! For 15 Euro you get your own room with heating (air con in living room), small balcony, bed linen and blanket plus a simple breakfast. Each apartment has also a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom (with bath tub!), wifi, TV, access to roof terrace, garden and a small museum of everyday objects of times gone by. Washing machine included (don't use those on the terrace, they are out of order, ask the hospitaleros). At the moment I have the luxury of recuperating from a bit of tendinitis in one of the apartments which I have all to myself ;-) Oh yes, and there is a swimming-pool in the garden for warmer days. Really recommendable place!
The hospitaleros (a father and son team) really care about 'their' pilgrims, the father even offered to drive me to the restaurant for lunch as he saw me limbing up the street. Thankfully I am not such a bad in shape.

The Albergue Municipal Convento Vía de la Plata de Fuente de Cantos http://www.alberguedefuentedecantos.com is also open (again). A fellow pilgrim has slept there for 10 Euro geschlafen and she reported that it is nice and clean, but that there is no kitchen (at the moment?), but that the albergue has its own restaurant.

Eating – When you go out of the private albergue El Zaguán and walk right hand side up the street you come to a little square (Plaza de Zubarán) with the friendly Bar-Cafeteria K-rnero's. There is no set menu here, but you can order here very reasonable priced a la carte dishes. The media (middle sized) portions where more than enough for me and cost around 5-6 Euro.

A bit further up the same road is Restaurante El Gato (just before the main road, bearing left) where there are menus for 8-10 Euro (including a bottle of wine) available. I ate there lunch today and it was extremely tasty.

General Observations

Nature – Nature is here in Andalucia and Extremadura far more advanced than in the north/center of Europe. All is green and flowering and the birds sing loudily. Perhaps best compared to April/May in more temperate regions of Europe, but unfortunately a bit rainy and coolish at the moment. Temperatures during the day now between 10-15C, warmer if the sun makes an appearance.

Way-Marking – Like always, the yellow arrows point towards Santiago, but on the Via de la Plata you also see yellow Saint Andrew Crosses ([/COLOR]X) that mark paths/ways you really shouldn't take/indicate a wrong way. Also little plastic signs with yellow shell and arrow on blue ground are common plus beautiful ceramic tiles embedded in (house) walls picturing the same.

Granite Cuboids – In Extremadura there are also granite or tin cuboids that mark the way. Generally they work like this:

On top is a stylized Roman gate through which a yellow line is drawn. This yellow line indicates the direction of the way. On the sides are colored tiles, yellow stands for passable way/Via de la Plata, blue-greenish tile for Roman Road and both colors combined for passable way/Via de la Plata and Roman Road being the same. As mentioned above, these cuboids shouldn't be followed blindly, remember “In case of doubt, follow the yellow arrows and ignore the cuboids!

Pilgrim's Menu – Different to the Camino Frances, a pilgrim's menu here includes the usual three courses but only one glass/drink. (The exception I found today, see above) As each additional glass of wine, for example, costs only 1 Euro and the typical price for the menu is 6-8 Euro that means the cost is at the end pretty much the same. Unless you don't drink, than it is cheaper ;-)

Tapas – Seem to be more substantial here than on the CF and normally you always get something free served with your drink in the local bars. Sometimes 'only' homemade pickled olives, sometimes meat balls / croquettes or Carrilada (pork stew) with bread. All I had so far was really good.

So, that was it for the moment. My right ankle is definitely better now after two days of rest and tomorrow I will hobble on!

Buen Camino, SY.
many thanks.so helpful. Cheers
 
#12
Hi everybody,

I am today in Fuente de Cantos taking my second, tendinitis enforced rest day and, as promised, here a few updates in the hope they are useful for those that will walk the Via de la Plata in the coming days/weeks:

.
Hi, SYates,

One thing I forgot as I was enjoying all the marvelous detail of your posts -- do you have any idea about the cause of the tendonitis? There isn't that much asphalt on those early Vdlp stages, especially since you didn't walk those first 16 kms out of Guillena, and you're such an experienced pilgrim, it seems kind of mysterious. I'm hoping you've got the RICE routine down (I'm particularly fond of the ice part myself, I put ice on my shins just for prevention every day that I remember).

Hoping the next days go well, Buen camino, Laurie
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#14
Hi, SYates,

One thing I forgot as I was enjoying all the marvelous detail of your posts -- do you have any idea about the cause of the tendonitis? There isn't that much asphalt on those early Vdlp stages, especially since you didn't walk those first 16 kms out of Guillena, and you're such an experienced pilgrim, it seems kind of mysterious. I'm hoping you've got the RICE routine down (I'm particularly fond of the ice part myself, I put ice on my shins just for prevention every day that I remember).

Hoping the next days go well, Buen camino, Laurie
I guess it was a combination of many factors/little mistakes, but mainly the two days of rain where I couldn't rest much during the day and pretty much walked the whole stages in one go. Today the way passes through a couple of villages, so that shouldn't be a problem. Also tendi/onitis is my well known pilgrimage nemesis, I am simply more prone to getting one than many other pilgrims.

I do a modified RICE therapy:

R-Rest
I-Ibuprofen
H-Hydration
E-Elevation

In the evenings again modified to

R-Rest
E-Elevation
V-Vino

;-) Buen Camino, SY
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#15
Hello SYates,

I couldn't find a Patron Saint for tendinitis, so I said a prayer to Padre Pio for you. Hey, It can't hurt. ;)

Buen Camino
Thanks! I take every help I can get with thanks! Buen Camino, SY
 

Middo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August/Sept (2015) SJPDP-SDC. Finisterre-Muxia-SDC. August /Sept 2016- Seville - Salamanca.
Sept-Oct 2017.Madrid/ Levante / Sanabres.
#16
Thanks SYates. Very timely informative thread. I attended a Travel Expo in Brisbane today and scored some cheap airline tickets from here to Madrid and return, I fly out on 17 August 2016. I completed the Camino Frances last year and immediately planned to return this year and walk the Via de la Plata. I will follow the rest of your trek with great interest. Best wishes from "down under". Ross
 
Camino(s) past & future
camino francés 2008, Via de la Plata March-april 2016
#17
I am usually not a fan of travelogues on the Camino. However, SYates, your postings are excellent, incredibly helpful and beautifully written. Thank you so much. I'm off on the Vdlp on March 25th and your observations are helping me plan for my second tour on the route. Please, please keep posting. And Buen Camino.
Hi there! i'm setting off from seville on easter saturday too! hope to see you on the road.
Jen
 
Camino(s) past & future
camino francés 2008, Via de la Plata March-april 2016
#18
I am usually not a fan of travelogues on the Camino. However, SYates, your postings are excellent, incredibly helpful and beautifully written. Thank you so much. I'm off on the Vdlp on March 25th and your observations are helping me plan for my second tour on the route. Please, please keep posting. And Buen Camino.
Hi Bsewall - I'm also setting off easter weekend from seville. trust we shall meet up on the route
Jen
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#19
Lovely to see you're on your way, I hope your tendonitis soon stops bothering you!

We're arriving in Mérida on the 18th and will either start walking that afternoon (short stretch) or next morning (slightly longer). Will raise a glass of wine in your direction, since you probably will be somewhere ahead of us.
 

musicman

Ensuitepilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
2004, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#20
Re- awakened happy memories of Seville to Caceres, last April.
Walking from the latter to Zamora, this April, coming.

I look forward to your continued progress and posts.

Thank you
 

mla1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2000); Ch St. Giles (2013); Le Puy to SJPP (May/June 2015); vdlp 2016
#21
SYates - thanks so much for all of this information. I'm leaving just after Easter and so I'm adding it to my notes.
Hope your ankle feels stronger after the rest.
Buen camino!
Mary Louise
 
#22
Good to read your update. Oh yes I so remember the problem before Fuente de Cantos. What to do, follow the cubos or the arrows? I chose the cubos and ended up I don't know where without cubos and without arrows! A lovely farmer did give me a few oranges along the way though. My walking companion ended up arriving an hour later than I did by walking a huge distance along a national highway. He said that he was praying to every saint he could recall in order to arrive safely into Fuente de Cantos. Luckily the day ended with a lovely lunch at El Gato.

Ultreia and take care of yourself.
 

Wiley L

Coyote Man
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP - April 2016
#23
Thanks for the very detailed updates. Love your book and the posts. I feel for you, as I have been nursing an inflamed tendon - and they don't heal as fast as one wishes. Starting the modified RICE - REV routine for a faster recovery!
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#24
Greetings from Puebla de Sancho Perez

Today the weather was a truly mixed bag. Rain showers and the occasional sun ray together with a really strong wind, sometimes even storm-like. Some last words regarding Fuente de Cantos before I get to the actual updates.


P.S. Fuente de Cantos

This morning I was finally ready, or better said my ankle was, to continue the way. As a good-bye gift the kind hospitaleros gave me a nice wooden pilgrim's staff, to make sure I get to Santiago with some support. And I truly needed it today! I don't think I would have gotten anywhere today in one piece without it, the wind was so strong.

Fuente de Cantos – Puebla Sancho Perez

The way out of Fuente de Cantos is rather sparsely marked, better to look on a map/in a guide book beforehand! After that situation is as usual – very well marked ways.

The only place I found to be open in Calzadilla de los Barros, that I could find and where I could warm up with a cafe con leche, was the Hostal-Restaurante Los Rodriguez down at the national road (bear left in the village until you hit the national road). This hostal also offers single rooms for 10 Euro (additional breakfast 1,80 Euro) but at 11:30 and after only 6,5km it was really too early for me and I was eager to walk on.

Today I experienced my first real 'river/stream crossing' on the Via de la Plata and that during strong side winds (have I already mentioned the strong winds I experienced today??? ;-) . I had to hop from stone to stone in the river bed (I also have vertigo … anything higher than a couple of inches leaves me frozen/paralyzed … but I managed and kept my feet nearly dry and made it to the other side of the stream (actually not a river, it just felt to me like that ;-) There is a well trodden path on the right hand side of the crossing that makes the whole enterprise a bit easier.

The way is, in general, more 'wavy' than hilly, but the w... and the rain today! As I arrived at 16:00 after 20km in total in Puebla Sancho Perez I was completely done in, I had enough and I crushed down in the Hostal El Meson for 22 Euro (single room). Tomorrow I will update you how dinner and breakfast were …

Until then: Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#25
Oh yes I so remember the problem before Fuente de Cantos. What to do, follow the cubos or the arrows? I chose the cubos and ended up I don't know where without cubos and without arrows!
I obviously was totally oblivious to this! Must have been really frustrating given that you can see Fuente de Cantos for so much of your day.

This morning I was finally ready, or better said my ankle was, to continue the way. As a good-bye gift the kind hospitaleros gave me a nice wooden pilgrim's staff, to make sure I get to Santiago with some support. And I truly needed it today! I don't think I would have gotten anywhere today in one piece without it, the wind was so strong.
I'm glad you have this. I think a stick of some sort is essential. I trip over my own feet enough as it is without tempting fate on unfamiliar paths and bad conditions.
 

arthur1218

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Franceses, Nortes, VdlPs, Primitivos, Portugueses
#26
Buen Camino, SY!

Have you walked that part of VdlP where the Camino is crossing the free range pig farms and you walk literally between the pigs? You don't see that on Camino Frances... the piggies come to you like dogs hoping to get food or even try to "break" into your backpack if you put it on the ground! Truly amazing experience, only on Via de la Plata! :)


 

CanPete

Northern Route Pelgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Past : Northern route, Primitivo
Future : Via de la Plata, Sanabres, Portuguese routes
#27
I guess it was a combination of many factors/little mistakes, but mainly the two days of rain where I couldn't rest much during the day and pretty much walked the whole stages in one go. Today the way passes through a couple of villages, so that shouldn't be a problem. Also tendi/onitis is my well known pilgrimage nemesis, I am simply more prone to getting one than many other pilgrims.

I do a modified RICE therapy:

R-Rest
I-Ibuprofen
H-Hydration
E-Elevation

In the evenings again modified to

R-Rest
E-Elevation
V-Vino

;-) Buen Camino, SY
Hope it works for you !
Don't under-estimate the benefit of the 'C' though . . .
Compresssion can make a substantial difference

Buen Camino !
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#28
Buen Camino, SY!

Have you walked that part of VdlP where the Camino is crossing the free range pig farms and you walk literally between the pigs? You don't see that on Camino Frances... the piggies come to you like dogs hoping to get food or even try to "break" into your backpack if you put it on the ground! Truly amazing experience, only on Via de la Plata! :)
Hahaha! When I walked, we left one morning before daylight because of the heat.
I heard a snort very near me and used my camera to make a flash photo.
It was those pigs! lol!
 

MaidinBham

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, April (2014)
Camino Portuguese Lisbon>Santiago, April/May (2016)
#29
I guess it was a combination of many factors/little mistakes, but mainly the two days of rain where I couldn't rest much during the day and pretty much walked the whole stages in one go. Today the way passes through a couple of villages, so that shouldn't be a problem. Also tendi/onitis is my well known pilgrimage nemesis, I am simply more prone to getting one than many other pilgrims.

I do a modified RICE therapy:

R-Rest
I-Ibuprofen
H-Hydration
E-Elevation

In the evenings again modified to

R-Rest
E-Elevation
V-Vino

;-) Buen Camino, SY
Loving your post's. I thought I would do European Peace Walk, but am not so sure now and am looking at doing VDLP. Consider Arnica for your tendinitis - I took both SL Arnica (arnica cream also available) and Ibuprofen for non specific pains on my Camino, and Arnica might just surprise you. I also found the pharmacies to be a very resourceful place - found some "miracle" anti-inflammatory not available in USA. Ibuprofen is good medicine, but NOT for chronic pain or conditions such as chronic tendinitis.
Buen Camino
Janice
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Vía de la Plata / Camino Sanabrés, Camino del Baztán, Camino Aragonés, Chemin du Puy
#31
Hi!

It's great to read such impressively detailed updates from the Via! I'm in Seville now, I'm planning to start walking in a few days. I've been here a week waiting for the weather to improve a bit. Last time I walked I started at the beginning of February and, although the weather wasn't bad, waiting a few weeks would have made it that little bit warmer. The day I came down from Madrid it was very windy and raining, so I was glad not to be out that day.

I'm surprised to read that there are ten other pilgrims besides you. Last time, which was a few years ago, I was on my own most evenings, which wasn't much fun! I'm looking forward to having some company!

Today I walked to Santiponce along the Camas route and when I set out next week I'll walk the route along the river. I'll watch out for those dogs, although I was out that way a few days ago and I didn't see any. I did see lots of friendly donkeys!

I'm taking a GPS trace to check the distances and to get the elevations.

Hope your tendinitis gets better soon. Unfortunately, with something like that, sometimes rest is the only thing for it.

Looking forward to your next update.
Gerald
 

Christian Hiriart

The Camino keeps calling.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances September (2016) St. Jean to Leon
Planning for the next...
#32
Hi SY, great updates. Hope your Tendinitis is getting better, I know that Spanish wine has a healing effect.
All the best to you.

Buen Camino
 

ajp

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sept-October (2009), Sept-Oct (2013)
#33
Hi everybody,

I am today in Fuente de Cantos taking my second, tendinitis enforced rest day and, as promised, here a few updates in the hope they are useful for those that will walk the Via de la Plata in the coming days/weeks:


Sevilla

Pension Vergara http://www.pensionvergara.com (20 Euro for a single room without breakfast, shared bathrooms), a small, former nunnery from the 15th century, one of the receptionists speaks English. The pension is simple, reasonably clean, but the installations are a bit dated. I liked it there, it is very central, in-midst of of the Old Jewish Quarter, now called Santa Cruz, and three minutes walk from the Cathedral.

Pilgrims Passport (3 Euro) at the reception of Hotel Simon http://hotelsimonsevilla.com (single room 45 Euro with breakfast), near the Cathedral.

Stamp – At the Cathedral, at the entrance for individual tourists, but not at the till, but at the a bit hidden door just after the entrance and before the tills.

Tapas – I haven't eaten any menu in Sevilla, instead I tried a lot of tapas ;-) The two places I liked the best, both with good value for money, are:
Las Teresas – Directly opposite of Pension Vergara, especially delicious is the Salpicon de Mariscos (Seafood salad).

Milagritos – In the Calle Alemanes, directly at the Cathedral. Here you can sit outside and, with direct view of the Cathedral, eat and drink for very reasonable prices. Some of the staff speaks English. One of the waiters has walked the Camino from Madrid to Santiago and is always happy to meet other pilgrims. In the evenings there is a Flamenco show (15 Euro with food, but without drinks) which seems to be done by a local artist and not to be a tourist trap.


Way Sevilla > Santiponce > Guillena

Very well way-marked. I walked the variant alongside the rives (it is marked rio/camas at the bifurcation), but this one is only recommendable for pilgrims that are extremely comfortable around dogs and are also not anxious otherwise.

When this, rather lonely way, alongside the river/canal turns away from it towards a farm which is, to put it politely, a bit run down, I encountered at least a dozen 'free range' dogs and much more behind the fences. They weren't exactly dangerous, but not every pilgrim will feel comfortable when more than a dozen barking dogs run towards him or her. I myself love dogs a lot and I am very well used to them but even I felt uncomfortable in this situation and, if I walk the Plata again, I will choose the variant via Camas next time.

Ford (crossing) between Santiponce and Guillena – This ford had very little water as I passed and a nice person has put some wooden planks over a sidearm of the stream. That way I could cross the stream with dry feet.

Beginning of Guillena – Just after having crossed the last, dry, stream, directly before the village and in sight of it are yellow arrows on a wall that point in two different directions. Those that want to go to the private albergue Luz del Camino (Attention! Closed for renovation beginning of February, not sure for how long) should turn here left, walk towards a small stair up the embankment, cross the road and follow this same road to enter the village. Luz del Camino is in this same road on the lefthand side after a few hundred meters.

To go to the albergue municipal you follow the arrows that point right side into the village and just follow the Via de la Plata through the village until you reach the polideportivo (sport centrum). Don't be confused by an old, dark, metal door with albergue on top, that is the old one. To reach the new one, pass the little gate on your right hand side, walking between building and football/soccer field and you will see after a few meters the new albergue in an annex of the main building. On the door you find the telephone number of the hospitalero to call for the key. She will be there in a few minutes. The albergue is clean, plenty of showers, toilets and blankets, simple kitchen with a 2-hotplates stove, microwave and some basic cooking equipment. There is a heating/air-con in the living room-kitchen. Each pilgrim gets his/her own key which you have to throw through the, previously opened window, next morning back on the couch. Cost: 10 Euro.

Eating – The Hostal Frances on the main road offers reasonably tasty pilgrim menus for Euro 7,50 including one drink and single rooms for 18 Euro.


Way from Guillena to Castilblanco de los Arroyos.

Also the ford in Guillena had very little water and I could cross the stream without problems. At the end of the village is a service station which is the last possibility to shop/get water/use a toilet for the next ~18km. The way itself is very well signposted.


Castilblanco de los Arroyos – Albergues

The albergue municipal is still closed for winter and will open again 1st March. I slept in the Pension Salvadora, Avenida Espana. 14 Euro for a single room, without breakfast and with shared bathrooms. Blankets and bed linen are provided as well as heating/air-con. Very clean and friendly. To reach the pension you follow the yellow arrows until the church, go right and immideatly left in the Avenida Espana, the pension is opposite a flower shop.

Eating - El Rincon de Beni pilgrim's menu 8 Euro, as it was Sunday evening, this wasn't on offer, but the a la carte menu was also reasonably priced and very good.


To be continued in the next post ...
Thank you very much for these posts! I am starting the VDLP on April 4 2016 from Seville, so I will be following your posts and suggestions carefully. It is very nice to receive current information.
Travel safely and buen camino!
Alan Peterson
Grand Forks BC Canada
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
#34
Great posts. As i’m starting on 20 Apr I will read them all avidly.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013 )
Via de la Plata ( March 2016)
#36
Thanks SYates for your valuable information. Starting VDLP 18 March & will print out your notes & take them with us.
 

chinasky

Italian Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2013)
Frances (2014)
Inglese (2015)
Primitivo (2015)

Via de la Plata - May 2016
#37
Thanks a lot @SYates, your infos are really useful for me. I'll start the VDLP in a couple of months..
 
#40
I am doing fine! Now in Alcuesar, I posted my updates yesterday on the German forum, now I have to translate myself into English and then I will post it also here. Buen Camino, SY
Oh, SYates, did you make it out to Santa Lucía de Trampal? so so wonderful, but I tend to forget that no everyone is as enamored of romanesque and visigothic architecture as I am! So glad to hear from you, are you going to spend some time in Cáceres? Buen camino! Laurie
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#41
Fabulous posts as we follow on your heels in a couple of months. Kids have requested me make Milagritos a compulsory stop!
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
#42
did you make it out to Santa Lucía de Trampal? so so wonderful, but I tend to forget that no everyone is as enamored of romanesque and visigothic architecture as I am!
It is a pity about Santa Lucía, after my two long stages from villafranca to Mérica (44) and then to Alcuéscar (38), I was too tired to walk anywhere, I am afraid. I have seen photos, and it must be an amazing place indeed!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
#43
I am doing fine! Now in Alcuesar, I posted my updates yesterday on the German forum, now I have to translate myself into English and then I will post it also here. Buen Camino, SY
Did you stay at the Monastery at Alcuescar? I met my Spanish camino buddy there on the monastery tour and had to work very hard to suppress my giggles when the hospitalero was telling the story of how the founder had been beatified and now requires another miracle to achieve sainthood as this voice behind me quietly commented that if Santiago managed to get his heathen backside willingly into a mass, that would surely qualify!
 
#44
Castilblanco de los Arroyos – Almaden de la Plata

Taxi to the entrance of the Park El Berrocal

Yes, I confess it, I cheated! As I was ill most of January and couldn't train I was sure that I couldn't manage a 30km stage that day. Me and another pilgrim shared a taxi (total price 25 Euro) to the entrance of the park. The first 16km of this stage are exclusively on the road, not even on a path beside it. Every bar in the village has the name and number of that taxi driver ;-)

The way through the park is well marked and easy to find.



Almadén de la Plata

Albergue – New private albergue 'Albergue del Peregrino', C/Olmo s/n, Tel. 654 862 553, directly on the way. 10 Euro, 15 beds in 4 rooms, wood stove for heating, Wifi, washing machine on request (included in price), reasonably equipped kitchen and all very clean. This albergue belongs to the same couple that owns also the albergue 'Alojiamento del Peregrino' in Real de la Jara.

Eating - Casa El Chorla Good pilgrim's menu for 8 Euro, all desserts are homemade and the Mousse au Chocolate is to die for!


Almaden de la Plata – El Real de la Jara

The way is well marked and easy to find.

Albergue – El Alojamiento del Peregrino, second albergue in the village, directly on the way. Clean, 12 beds in 3 rooms, washing machine, but no dryer, reasonably equiped kitchen, heating/air-con. Unfortunately poorly sound proofed. You can hear the child of the hospitaleros cry/play and also their television. Has a beautiful terrasse. 10 Euro, including washing machine.

Eating – El Meson Cochera, near the church, yummy pilgrim's menu for 8 Euro.


What else is to report?

Weather so far – Cool in the mornings, warm, but not hot, during the day. Unfortunately from El Real de la Jara on onwards frequent rain showers and a bit cooler.

Pilgrim Numbers – At that moment we were ~10 pilgrims on the way, but only three of us plan to walk until Santiago, the other seven will stop earlier. Nationalities so far: Spain (1), France (1), USA (1), Germany (2), Czech Republic (3) and Poland (2).


El Real de la Jara - Monasterio
Unfortunately again some rain showers and therefor a bit uncomfortable to take rest stops. The way, again, well marked and easy to find. In Monasterio I met briefly another pilgrim, from Latvia?/Lithuania?, but she seems to sleep mostly in pensions, so I saw her only briefly.

Albergue – Albergue Parroquial (10 Euro), directly on the way, in the center of town in house number 218. Very friendly reception (Miguel Angel, the priest-Hospitalero, has walked the way the first time in 1992 and many times after that.) That you notice in the many little details of the albergue. Very clean, 12 beds in 3 rooms, very well equiped kitchen-living room with basic food stuff (teas, coffee, juice, milk, cookies, pasta, rice, oil, spices and so on). Wifi, spin-dryer, beautiful terrasse. Two bathrooms with spacious showers, plenty of blankets, but unfortunately no heating. The most beautiful, most lovingly decorated and friendly albergue so far, highly recommended!

Next morning I had a short chat with Miguel Angel and he told me more about the albergue and his plans for it. This albergue opened 5 years ago. To be able to renovate the derelict house, even the roof was caved in, they had to take out a bank credit. That is the reason that they normally (poor and extremely low budget pilgrims excluded) ask for a fixed price of 10 Euro despite it being a Christian albergue. As soon as said credit is paid back, they will happily switch to donativo only Miguel Angel reassured me.

So if anybody of you has a direct line to Bill Gates or somebody else that can afford to donate a few ten-thousand Euro … ;-)

Camino/Way - Important Information!!!

Circa 9km after Monasterio
you reach a way bifurcation, just after a cattle gate, where yellow arrows point right and granite cuboids (see below) to the left. Here it is important to follow the yellow arrows that lead you left of the cattle fence. The left way markings lead you, as some hospitaleros told me and some Spanish pilgrims reported on the internet, many kilometers in the wrong direction. If you are stranded on that way you have to turn onto the road some kilometers ahead and follow this road, and walking on it, for 10-15 kilometers (reports differ here) until you reach Fuente de Cantos. No fun! “Always follow the, recently painted, yellow arrows and ignore the granite cuboids if they don't coincide with the arrows.” was the advice given to me by a hospitalero.

Apart of this problematic point is the way very well marked, as the local Amigos have been just passed through with paint and brush in hand to refresh said arrows.


Fuente de los Cantos

Albergue Privado - Apartamentos Rurales El Zaguán de la Plata [ http://www.elzaguandelaplata.es During the main pilgrimage season they also offer beds in a dormitory for ~10 Euro, but at the moment only their holiday/vacation apartments are open. Which are exceedingly good value! For 15 Euro you get your own room with heating (air con in living room), small balcony, bed linen and blanket plus a simple breakfast. Each apartment has also a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom (with bath tub!), wifi, TV, access to roof terrace, garden and a small museum of everyday objects of times gone by. Washing machine included (don't use those on the terrace, they are out of order, ask the hospitaleros). At the moment I have the luxury of recuperating from a bit of tendinitis in one of the apartments which I have all to myself ;-) Oh yes, and there is a swimming-pool in the garden for warmer days. Really recommendable place!
The hospitaleros (a father and son team) really care about 'their' pilgrims, the father even offered to drive me to the restaurant for lunch as he saw me limbing up the street. Thankfully I am not such a bad in shape.

The Albergue Municipal Convento Vía de la Plata de Fuente de Cantos http://www.alberguedefuentedecantos.com is also open (again). A fellow pilgrim has slept there for 10 Euro geschlafen and she reported that it is nice and clean, but that there is no kitchen (at the moment?), but that the albergue has its own restaurant.

Eating – When you go out of the private albergue El Zaguán and walk right hand side up the street you come to a little square (Plaza de Zubarán) with the friendly Bar-Cafeteria K-rnero's. There is no set menu here, but you can order here very reasonable priced a la carte dishes. The media (middle sized) portions where more than enough for me and cost around 5-6 Euro.

A bit further up the same road is Restaurante El Gato (just before the main road, bearing left) where there are menus for 8-10 Euro (including a bottle of wine) available. I ate there lunch today and it was extremely tasty.

General Observations

Nature – Nature is here in Andalucia and Extremadura far more advanced than in the north/center of Europe. All is green and flowering and the birds sing loudily. Perhaps best compared to April/May in more temperate regions of Europe, but unfortunately a bit rainy and coolish at the moment. Temperatures during the day now between 10-15C, warmer if the sun makes an appearance.

Way-Marking – Like always, the yellow arrows point towards Santiago, but on the Via de la Plata you also see yellow Saint Andrew Crosses ([/COLOR]X) that mark paths/ways you really shouldn't take/indicate a wrong way. Also little plastic signs with yellow shell and arrow on blue ground are common plus beautiful ceramic tiles embedded in (house) walls picturing the same.

Granite Cuboids – In Extremadura there are also granite or tin cuboids that mark the way. Generally they work like this:

On top is a stylized Roman gate through which a yellow line is drawn. This yellow line indicates the direction of the way. On the sides are colored tiles, yellow stands for passable way/Via de la Plata, blue-greenish tile for Roman Road and both colors combined for passable way/Via de la Plata and Roman Road being the same. As mentioned above, these cuboids shouldn't be followed blindly, remember “In case of doubt, follow the yellow arrows and ignore the cuboids!

Pilgrim's Menu – Different to the Camino Frances, a pilgrim's menu here includes the usual three courses but only one glass/drink. (The exception I found today, see above) As each additional glass of wine, for example, costs only 1 Euro and the typical price for the menu is 6-8 Euro that means the cost is at the end pretty much the same. Unless you don't drink, than it is cheaper ;-)

Tapas – Seem to be more substantial here than on the CF and normally you always get something free served with your drink in the local bars. Sometimes 'only' homemade pickled olives, sometimes meat balls / croquettes or Carrilada (pork stew) with bread. All I had so far was really good.

So, that was it for the moment. My right ankle is definitely better now after two days of rest and tomorrow I will hobble on!

Buen Camino, SY
Thank you so much for writing such great advice, I appreciate it must be an effort after a long day. I start my Camino from Cadiz on the 12th March Via Augusta and then the VDLP from Seville to Santiago. Best wishes Hugh
 

Frans

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Muxia/Fisterra 2014
Via Augusta 2016
Via de la Plata 2016
Via Sanabres 2016
Norte 2017
#45
Thank you so much for writing such great advice, I appreciate it must be an effort after a long day. I start my Camino from Cadiz on the 12th March Via Augusta and then the VDLP from Seville to Santiago. Best wishes Hugh
Hi Farmcott. I will leave Cadiz exactly 1 month later and i hope you will leave your comment about those 6 days at this forum. There is not much documentation available.
 

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
#46
Hi Frans, there is quite a lot of info about the "Camino Augusta." First off you can print off a route map on the "Walking Pilgrim" site, if you down load "Wikiloc" there are GPS tracks for individual stages, or the whole route, there is also info on Mundicamino, also the Asociacion Gaditana Jacobea.org and Asociation de Amigos del Camino de Santiago en Cadiz. There is probably a lot more if you search, I fly into Jerez on the 8th April, the main problem is the lack of albergues for the first week which will make it a little expensive.
Regards
George
 

Frans

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Muxia/Fisterra 2014
Via Augusta 2016
Via de la Plata 2016
Via Sanabres 2016
Norte 2017
#47
Hi Frans, there is quite a lot of info about the "Camino Augusta." First off you can print off a route map on the "Walking Pilgrim" site, if you down load "Wikiloc" there are GPS tracks for individual stages, or the whole route, there is also info on Mundicamino, also the Asociacion Gaditana Jacobea.org and Asociation de Amigos del Camino de Santiago en Cadiz. There is probably a lot more if you search, I fly into Jerez on the 8th April, the main problem is the lack of albergues for the first week which will make it a little expensive.
Regards
George
Thank you George. I will look into that! I was able to book a cheap hotel in Jerez and Sevilla. It was necessary to book this in advance because of the feria. A lot is allready booked full. I will arrive the 10th of april in Cadiz but stay there 2 days before I start walking - I hope the sun will shine :)
 
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#48
Thank you George. I will look into that! I was able to book a cheap hotel in Jerez and Sevilla. It was necessary to book this in advance because of the feria. A lot is allready booked full. I will arrive the 10th in Cadiz but stay there 2 days before I start walking - I hope the sun will shine :)
I will do my very best. We arrive on the 10/3 and leave on 12/3. We have booked our accommodation in advance for Cadiz and will try and book every night from Cadiz. I have downloaded the best information I can and translated (badly) into English. It's going to be a mini adventure. I will be going all the way God willing to Santiago
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#51
Greetings from Casar de Casceres

I am definitly calling myself the pilgrim turtle (or should that be pilgrim tortoise?) now. Here my updates:


Puebla de Sancho Perez – Dinner (10 Euro) and breakfast at Hostal El Meson was good and plenty, breakfast is available from 06:15 onwards, but not included in the room rate.


Way Puebla de Sancho Perez – Zafra

Well marked until you get to the entrance of Zafra, then the yellow arrows disappear mysteriously. I reached, after crossing the railway tracks, the main road into Zafra and followed it obediently into town where I soon found a yellow arrow pointing to the albergue and the right way.


Zafra

Albergue 'Vincent van Gogh' of the Amigos del Camino in Zafra – As I passed directly before the door I fell into the temptation to have a quick look inside – HUGE MISTAKE! The Hospitalero, Antonio, first offered me a coffee, then we started to chat, then I stayed …

Beautiful, very roomy and airy with around 30+ beds in many different rooms on two floors. A small and a big terrace, the later with a beautiful view over the roofs of Zafra, well equipped kitchen, bathroom with huge bath tub, washing machine, wifi, heating, blankets, breakfast etc. All very clean. Pilgrims either get a key or they chat with the hospitalero about how to enter again in case he leaves the albergue (he normally has a room and stays overnight if there are pilgrims in the house). Just in case nobody is there when you arrive, the Chocolateria-Bar opposite also has a key.

Cost: Minimum donation of 12 Euro, all included, but pilgrims that have little or no money are also invited to stay and even get fed ;-)

The other albergue is also open, two pilgrim I know slept there, but more I do not know ...

Eating Out - Meson La Fea (https://www.facebook.com/meson.lafea/ ) or ask the hospitalero to mark it on the town map for you. They serve menus, but also tapas and raciones for very reasonable prices. Attention, even the media raciones are huge!


Zafra – Los Santos de Maimona - Villafranca de los Barros

Way – Attention! The way out of Zafra is well marked – until you get to the other albergue. Don't follow the arrows to the main door, and then, automatically, all straight ahead. Instead turn right before the house and walk straight over the square. After that, the way until Villafranca de los Barros is again well marked.

Los Santos de Maimona – There is a bar, directly on the way, on the church square which is ideal for a second breakfast. Whoever paints the arrows in this village, and beyond, knows his job extremely well. The markings are excellent without being overdone.

Villafranca de los Barros

Albergue Las Caballeras – Directly in the entrance of town, in the street with the same name, in house number 19. You have to press the electric bell right hand side of the doorway, the lovely iron cast bell – nobody hears it. Actually a very nice albergue (10 Euro, including use of washing machine), if it wouldn't be for the dormitory! This is around 6mx3m with a high ceiling but contains, believe it or not, 14 beds. This has been achieved by putting the beds 'three storeys high'. They are very stable, a bit like 'pilgrim shelves' and firmly attached to the wall, but still … In the same room are also two, rather small, windows, plus, additionally to the 4x3 beds set-up also a double bed on a kind of intermediate level, reachable via stairs. Apart of that the albergue has the usual equipment (showers, toilets, kitchen cum living room, all very well heated). But the whole set-up is still rather cramped. The albergue is on the first floor of a house, but hasn't, very unusual for this part of Spain, any balcony or terrace. Surely a nice albergue (and you get your own key) if there are only one or two pilgrims, but even with only four other pilgrims, apart of me, I felt rather claustrophobic and decided to move on to

Albergue El Carmen – Very roomy and airy albergue (also 10 Euro) with a balcony ;-) now I could breath again. Well equipped kitchen, washing machine and dryer (together 5 Euro) and breakfast, for those that want it 2 Euro. Heating in the living room only, but plenty blankets. 20 beds in 4-5 different rooms (sorry, forgot to count them). Also here pilgrims get their own key. Bonus: Those who want can play and cuddle with the 4 months old Yorkshire puppy Nora on the balcony, she isn't allowed into the albergue, but shares the balcony with the pilgrims and lives with her owner in a separate part of the house.

Eating – Bar Purple (hospitaleros can show you the location on the town map) offers well priced food in a nice and friendly atmosphere.

Way to/and Almendralejo – As I didn't feel that I could do the 30km to Torremejia I broke up that stage in Almendralejo (a bit off the official way). Attention! In the center of Villafranca de Barros are a multitude of confusing arrows. Better to look into the guide/at the town map beforehand. In short you have to aim at the main church in the center and than pass it on its left side. From the town exit onwards the way is well-marked again. The Via de la Plata goes then, more or less straight, until you come to the first crossing with a real tarmac road around 14km later. Here you see already Almendralejo to your left in the distance. Follow this country road and after 3-4km you reach Almendralejo. I slept at Hotel Espana (25 Euro for a single room with own bath and heating/air-con, but no breakfast in the house). Friendly, clean and nicely decorated place.

Eating – Very recommendable is the Bar-Restaurant Come y Kana near the bullfighting arena. Big, tasty portions for a good price. Attention with the house wine, it is quite heavy as the innkeeper warned me.

Breakfast – The cafe in the railway station is the best place for this, the locals told me and I have to agree. After you can cut off a bit of road walking by walking up to the platform and turning right. First you walk on the platform and then on a path beside the railway tracks back to the road you enter town the day before. Follow this road back to its crossing with the Via de la Plata, turn left and until Torremejia all is well-marked again.


Torremejia

Albergue – I stayed in the albergue Palacio de las Lastras (12 Euro, breakfast 2 Euro, washing machine + dryer 5 Euro), clean, friendly, but a bit dark. In the evening the hospitalero put as a radiator into the dormitory and there are also blankets. The pilgrims menu is ok for 8 Euro, but nothing to write home about. Attention! When using the coffee machine in the morning you have to press the lever right/towards red if not you get cold coffee ;-)

The other albergue (Rojo Plata) was also open and was also nice a fellow pilgrim has told me.


Merida

The way out of Torremejia heraus isn't marked too well, the easiest way to find it is to walk back to the national road N-630 in the center and to follow it shortly, direction Merida, out of town. Shortly after a service station and before you reach a high (water?) tower you'll see on your right the sign posting of the Camino. From here onward the way is well-marked. Attention! The railway tracks you have to cross later are really used by trains!

Entrance of Merida – For the first time on this pilgrimage I felt rather uncomfortable here. The houses are rather derelict and the whole area is not much populated. I was glad when I reached the river and the city center. Perhaps it would be better to walk this stretch not alone, but surely not alone in the dark.

Albergue – 6 Euro, pretty simple (bed, shower, toilet) and a, more often then not, absent hospitalero, but in a nice location at the border of the river. Attention! It seems that half the town knows the secret where the key is hidden, please take all your valuables always with you when leaving the albergue.

Eating – Casa Nano (publicity in albergue) offers excellent pilgrim menus for 12 Euro (including ½ bottle of really good wine per person). Very, very delicious and all home-cooked, very friendly atmosphere also. Sometimes it just pays out to pay a couple of Euro more.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#52
Merida – Aljucen

Way – No problems. At the artificial lake/reservoir are water points and showers where you can re-fill your water bottles. At the moment, even if it was Saturday, there was only one cafe at the lake shore open, the last one, just after the Red Cross building.

Carrascalejo

The new Albergue Municipal is nearly finished and will be opened shortly, but there is neither a bar-restaurant nor a shop in this village. Rumour has it that they are also planned. This new albergue is in the exit of the village, directly on the way, after the church. At the end of the village is also a nice new picnic area with benches and tables in the shade.

Aljucen

As it was Sunday today and the albergue was very nice, I decided spontaneously to take a rest day here ;-) Slowly, slowly the weather gets warmer in Spain, but it is still cold in the mornings, a few days ago we even had hoarse frost. The typical pilgrims outfit is still, at least at the beginning of the day, sun hat and gloves! Fortunately the weather is dry and also the wind has eased, pretty much ideal for walking.

Very new (only open since end of October 2015), private albergue for 10 Euro – Albergue Rio Aljucen

(http://www.alberguerioaljucen.com) directly on the way in c/Santiago 2, shortly before the church and directly opposite of the bar. A lovingly decorated albergue / pilgrims house with 15 beds in two rooms (4+11), completely equipped kitchen, two big bathrooms with excellent showers, strong wifi (that extends onto the big patio), two living rooms (one with a wooden stove for heating), washing machine (3 Euro), good breakfast for 2 Euro. Plus the friendly, but a bit shy, small albergue dog Luna ;-)

In case the door is closed and nobody hears the bell, just call the telephone numbers on the sign beside the door and one of the hospitaleros comes immideatly. Pilgrims get there own key. Very, very friendly hospitaleros that really like to take care of pilgrims.

The other albergue was also open, three of us have slept there, also for 10 Euro, and were also content.

In the village there is a small shop, the sign at the door reads Tabacco, but it is also a normal grocery shop, that is open daily, including Sundays, from ~09:00-14:00, a pharmacy and at least two restaurants.

Eating – The first evening the 6 of us have eaten together in the bar opposite of the albergue/church, good and regular pilgrims menu for 7,50 Euro. The next evening I ate in the nearby Hogar del Pensionista for the same price and the same quality. In both places meals are pretty much served when pilgrims ask for them, meaning also earlier then normal Spanish dinner times.

Nature – The almond trees are blossoming, many storks and cattle egrets in the fields, the swallows have arrived since weeks … beautiful! And the weather is also slowly getting better, a few days ago I started out without having to wear my gloves and even needed to look for a picnic place in the shade instead for one in the sun to warm up ;-)

Churches – Unless there was a mass or funeral I haven't found an open church since Sevilla ;-(

The Days Ahead – Between Casar de Caceres and Canaveral there (Stage of the Embalse de Tajo, ~34km) there is, at the moment, not one single place open!!! Both the albergue and the hostal are closed! I will keep you posted how I managed ...

So, that is all for the moment, until soon. Buen Camino from the Via de la Plata, SY


PS Oh yes, in case somebody is interested, my tendinits has calmed down and I am walking, at the moment, without pain. Lets see what I say about this after the Tajo stage …

PPS As mentioned above I am meanwhile in Casar de Caceres, but I thought I post these updates now even if I haven't finished writing them until my current location. Perhaps later this eve ...
 

chinasky

Italian Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2013)
Frances (2014)
Inglese (2015)
Primitivo (2015)

Via de la Plata - May 2016
#54
Thank you so much, @SYates ! I'm leaving Italy for VDLP in 2 months and you are giving me more useful info than a guide. Kepp walking and keep writing :)
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#55
Glad your tendonitis has calmed down. Buen camino :)
 

arthur1218

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Franceses, Nortes, VdlPs, Primitivos, Portugueses
#57
Between Casar de Caceres and Canaveral there (Stage of the Embalse de Tajo, ~34km) there is, at the moment, not one single place open!!! Both the albergue and the hostal are closed!
There used to be an alternative to the Albergue at Embalse de Alcantara, which is, I believe, currenty closed: the hospitalero at the Casar the Caceres albergue can give you all the information, or even call for the reservation for you. Otherwise, the stage from Casar de Caceres to Canaveral is doable, just make sure you have enough water and food for the entire 34 km, and (thats my advice) when you get near the lake/embalse, walk on the N-630 untill you pass both of the two bridges. The camino is doing weird twists and turns near the Embalse, so the road may be a better solution for a while. After the bridges, the Camino goes UP sharply. There is a nice place overlooking the embalse, good for having a picnic lunch (if you brought it with you)!

Buen Camino!

 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2007) Lourdes to Leon (2009) VdLP (2015)
#58
<quote>Way Puebla de Sancho Perez – Zafra

Well marked until you get to the entrance of Zafra, then the yellow arrows disappear mysteriously. I reached, after crossing the railway tracks, the main road into Zafra and followed it obediently into town where I soon found a yellow arrow pointing to the albergue and the right way. </quote>

I'm loving your posts! I was there after Easter last year. Can still smell the orange blossoms.

The trick coming into Zafra is not to cross the railroad tracks, but turn left and walk along them. The markings lead you through the railyards and workers, and past the old, abandoned station. Worth peeking at over the fence. Then goes into town.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#61
Fantastic information @SYates, thanks for taking the time to do this. You've created a great resource for those of us who will walk this route in the future.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#62
I've been in Salamanca since Sunday, studying Spanish.

Weekend plans:

Bus to Oliva de Plasencia Friday afternoon (half an hour after my class ends, so I'll be attending class in full pilgrim gear), walk over to see the Roman ruins at Cáparra (6 km each way).
Saturday I'll head for Baños de Montemayor via Aldeanueva del Camino (29 km) - I understand the albergue people in Oliva have a shuttle service to Cáparra, so I won't have to walk that stretch again.
Sunday will be a short day, walking only about 13 km to Bejar, because that's where the Salamanca bus stops at noon. Museums in Salamanca in the afternoon, dinner with my son.

Alternative plan - stop in Aldenueva on Saturday (only 20 km) and do the whole stretch to Bejar on Sunday. There's another bus in the afternoon if I want to walk slowly. In utter emergencies there's also a bus from Baños de Montemayor.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - 2005
Camino Portuguese - 2014
VdlP - 2016
#63
Grateful thanks SYates for your 'current' info, it is read with gratitude and mounting excitement as I prepare for a September start - my phone notes expand with every day you step closer to Santiago.
 

MileHighPair

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2014: Cam. Frances
2015: Chimayo, USA.
2016, 2017: VdlP
2018: Madrid and Ourense
#64
I've been in Salamanca since Sunday, studying Spanish.

Weekend plans:

Bus to Oliva de Plasencia Friday afternoon (half an hour after my class ends, so I'll be attending class in full pilgrim gear), walk over to see the Roman ruins at Cáparra (6 km each way).
Saturday I'll head for Baños de Montemayor via Aldeanueva del Camino (29 km) - I understand the albergue people in Oliva have a shuttle service to Cáparra, so I won't have to walk that stretch again.
Sunday will be a short day, walking only about 13 km to Bejar, because that's where the Salamanca bus stops at noon. Museums in Salamanca in the afternoon, dinner with my son.

Alternative plan - stop in Aldenueva on Saturday (only 20 km) and do the whole stretch to Bejar on Sunday. There's another bus in the afternoon if I want to walk slowly. In utter emergencies there's also a bus from Baños de Montemayor.
HiediL, can you (or anyone else) confirm the albergue in Oliva de Plasencia is open this spring. There are some sources that indicate it was closed for renovation in late 2014.
Thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#65
I phoned them around lunchtime today (+34 620 007 490) and a very nice man suggested he pick me up at the Villar de Plasencia bus stop tomorrow to take me straight to Cáparra without my backpack. Then I'll walk back with just poles, raincoat and water bottle in time for a nice cena. The Cáparra Centro de interpretación closes at 7 PM.

Saturday he'll drive me back to Cáparra so I can start walking "at any hour I may desire" (subjunctive!!!).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#66
Thanks so much for the updates! I'm waiting for your next installation which is about the section I'm looking at walking where the Embalse albergue is closed :(
Can't wait to see how you managed it.
Glad the tendonitis is better!
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#67
Greetings from the middle of nowhere (see end of second post):

Here my updates:

Way Aljucen – Alcuescar

Well marked, shortly after the service station, at the entrance of the nature park you will find a new, pretty picnic place with benches and tables. Shortly before Alcuasar is a bifurcation, the Via de la Plata goes right and downhill und the way left hand side is marked towards a hostal in 1,8km distance. But it is clearly marked, so no great risk of confusion.

Albergue in the monastery of Alcuesar

Unfortunately the 'full monastery program' seems only to be available in 'high pilgrims season'... Also the hospitalero seemed to be more occupied with other tasks as with us three pilgrims. Accommodation was in small, cell like rooms (cold, but there were blankets), relatively clean but in main season there seems to be also a bigger dormitory available. The visit to the house and the talk by the monks/brothers sadly didn't take place ;-( but the mass at 19:00, with pilgrim blessing following it, took place ;-) We were also invited to dinner with the hospitalero and the whole albergue works on a donation base. Attention! Curfews are taken very seriously here! The house gets closed at 21:00 sharp and in the morning you can only leave between 08:00 and 08:30. These times, at least the ones for the morning curfew, will most likely change when it gets warmer.

Eating – A very yummy lunch menu can be found 'up in the village' in the Bar-Restaurant Casa Alejandro for 10 Euro.


Way Alcuescar – Aldea del Cano

The way is sparsely marked, but easy to find, when in doubt just go straight ahead. A small detour into the nice little village of Casas de Don Antonio, the camino passes directly by its borders, is well worth the time. A good stop for having that all important second cafe con leche of the day and also to cut off a few hundred meters of road walking. Just walk the main road down the village until it joins again the N-630 and so the Camino. From here on onward the Camino is well marked again.

Albergue Aldea del Cano – The key you get at the Bar-Restaurant Las Vegas, just opposite of the albergue, where you can also eat a good pilgrims menu for 10 Euro and have breakfast in the morning. The albergue is well equipped with kitchen, washing machine, radiators, blankets, 10 beds in 2-3 rooms and living room. Important! Making a fire in the fire place and taking toilet paper out of the albergue is strictly forbidden – notes the mayor of the village on a poster ;-) Price: 6 Euro. There is also a shop in the village.


Way Aldea del Cano – Valdesor

The way back to the Via de la Plata and until Valdesalor is well marked.

Albergue Valdesalor – No matter what is stated on the door, the key you get only and always in the bar Ayuta, left side of the ayuntamiento (town hall) in the center of the village and under the arches. In the morning you put it into the mail box of the albergue. Price/equipment: 6 Euro, ~16 beds (have forgotten to count them) in one dormitory, equipped kitchen with washing machine, blankets, radiators and living room.

Eating – The only menu I found was a bit outside of the village, at the service station, which you can see from afar, in the restaurant Tuareg, starting at 10 Euro. Regular, but nothing to write home about. But you can get breakfast here starting at ~06:15. There is also a shop in the village.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#68
Way Valdesalor – Caceres

Attention! Depending which guide (and how up to date it is) you are using there might be now a change of way. You leave the albergue and turn left and right around the borders of the park. When you come to the road you go straight over it and cross the N-630 to the other side. From that point until the center of Caceres the way is well marked. Just after you reach the roundabout with the ruin of a Roman bridge in the center of Caceres the arrows become less frequent and more confusing. Have a look in your guide to find the center or ask people for the Plaza Mayor where the tourist office is located which will be happy to help you further. Attention! Despite the fact that traffic into the old town has been restricted severely recently, it still can come to uncomfortable close encounters of pilgrims and cars/trucks in the narrow streets of the old town!

Albergue – I slept for 15 Euro in the albergue Las Veletas, in the last available room. Regular, but apart of the garden not much in terms of common rooms, no kitchen, but wifi. Washing machine and dryer cost together a whooping 10 Euro!!! Preferably do it like I did and wash before and after Caceres if you stay in this albergue.

Eating – Lots of selection, but I liked the tapas in La Estancia best, it is just off the Plaza Mayor on the way to the old town and the tourist office.


Way Caceres – Casar de Caceres

Well marked once you reached the bull fighting arena, no problems in finding it after that.

Albergue – No matter what is written in some guides, this albergue is not completely free/gratis but instead relies on the donations left by us pilgrims. The donation box is NOT in the albergue, but in any of the places you get the key (Bar Majuca, Bar Siglo, Ayuntamiento (town hall) and local police). Very nice albergue with washing machine AND tumble dryer, small, sparsely equipped kitchen, wifi, blankets and radiators.

As I just wrote about a donation albergue, here something to think about: If you pay happily x Euro in a (private) albergue with a similar equipment to a donation albergue … You know what I am aiming at ;-)


Way Casar de Caceres – Canaveral

The monster stage of 34km! As much as I hoped that I was wrong, all the accommodation options at the Embalse (reservoir) de Tajo are closed at the moment and it is unsure when they will open again. Fortunately the way is well marked, but because of construction work going on the way is frequently re-routed. Here some strategic points I encountered: At ~14,5km the way leads straight to a construction fence which you have to follow left, then under a bridge and then right again to retake the original way interrupted by the construction works. Not many arrows, but anyway pretty straightforward. Here the camino joins what I call a 'mountain goat path' (narrow, rocky, up and down) that runs alongside, but higher than, the N-630. Attention! The Via de la Plata crosses here numerous local walking paths, which are in parts also marked as leading to Canaveral. If they take a detour = more kilometrs, or not, no idea. If you are on a bike this path is nearly impossible for you and you better stay on the N-630. At ~17km the arrows point down to the N-630, but the 'mountain goat path' runs further alongside the height of the hill. I decided to follow the yellow arrows along the N-630, but the path also seems to run roughly parallel. ~22km here the way leads away from the N-630 and up into the hills. As I wasn't sure if and how I would manage 12km more I stayed on the road. Plan B was, which I didn't need in the end, that I could hitchhike if my feet gave up. Important! As I finally, after 34km (+~2km detour 'thanks' to the construction site) arrived at the albergue in Canaveral I discovered that I had taken exactly the right decision. The three other pilgrims that were with me on the road that day, and that have walked the Via de la Plata in previous years, had done exactly the same. Also the hospitalero confirmed that the way over the hills is in a very bad state.

Albergue – New, private, albergue (15 Euro, breakfast 3 Euro, menu 8 Euro) in the middle of the village directly on the way. ~16 beds in 4 different dormitories with heating and air con, bed linen, blankets, super clean, very good showers, wifi. Martin, the hospitalero, has done the pilgrimage the first time in 1991. Breakfast: The best I had so far on the Via de la Plata, even ham and cheese was on offer! Also the menu in the evening was very yummy! Bonus: The, at the moment, 4 months old Leon, a Spanish Mastiff, that really looks forward to meet pilgrims and likes ear scratchies ;-)

Eating – As I said, the food in the albergue is excellent and the ingredients are in part sourced locally/from their own ecological garden and chicken.


Way Canaveral – Grimaldo

Well marked, but there are a few critical spots: At the roundabout, shortly after the village, is a granite cuboid on your left. No need to jump now over the crash barrier! The both ways reunite a few hundred meters later. Shortly after, the way passes directly before a chapel (nice picnic spot here) and then follows the middle way of three, the only one that has no local way marking. Shortly after, the way climbs steeply for a few hundred meters on a rocky path, not really recommended for cyclists. A few kilometers later you cross over the parking of a 'club' (that neither serves early morning cafe con leches nor rents rooms out for more then a few hours …) and shortly after, there are two ways marked, it doesn't matter which one you choose, as they both run more or less parallel and reunite later. The bifurcation Riolobos/Grimaldo comes much later and is well marked.

Albergue – A nice pilgrims house with microwave-kitchen, crockery and cutlery, radiators, blankets and washing machine. Attention! The hot water heater is a bit 'temperamental'. The hot water runs only for 3-4 minutes, then stops, you have to wait 1-2 minutes, then you have again hot water for 3-4 minutes … Perhaps it is better, especially if you have long hair, to wash body and hair separately ;-) Also here, donations are welcome and the key can be collected in the bar on the left of the albergue. In the morning you put it into the mail box. You can also catch the wifi from the local social center (password in bar), the best place to do so is behind the albergue.

Eating – The same bar that has the key for the albergue serves also tasty menus and ok plated meals. Opposite in the restaurant Asador de Grimaldo where more elaborate dishes are served for higher prices (closed on Mondays).

Posada de Grimaldo – If the albergue is too simple for your taste, 100m up the road is a pension were you can stay for 20 Euro/person.


Way Grimaldo – Galisteo

Important! The way through both fincas is open again! Depending on the guide you are using, there is a change in the way described, shortly after the reservoir of Riolobos which is well marked: You follow now the wider track right hand side, the left and narrower track has been washed away and the valley floor there is a real swamp (at least now in Spring). Shortly after you reach the country road where there are a confusing amount of arrows and indications. Some of the arrows want to send you back to Riolobos, but as the old way is open again, please ignore them completely! You follow the country road left and after ~1km you go left through the Finca Valparaiso and over the hill. After the canal you follow here now the, on both sides fenced, way through the finca.

Albergue – The albergue in Galisteo (15 Euro) is cared for by the same hospitalero (Nacho) that also takes care of the camping in Riolobos. If the albergue in Galisteo (only 8 beds) is full, he will bring pilgrims for free to Riolobos and next morning back again. The albergue is very clean and well equipped: heating/air-con, bed linen, blankets, towels, good bathrooms, wifi, microwave, but very little dishes, lockers, patio and a simple breakfast is also included in the price. Every pilgrim gets their own key. Attention! Nacho has told me that the village youth likes to play pranks and, for example, enters the albergue and hides pilgrim boots and similar. Therefore he advices to take all valuables with you and to close the albergue by key whenever you leave it.


Way Galisteo – Carcaboso

The way is sparsely marked, but easy to find. Leaving Galisteo there are two alternatives:

  1. From the albergue you go back to the road where the Bar-Hostal Los Emigrantes is, turn right and follow this road more or less alongside the town wall. When this road leads away from the town wall you see already the old bridge you have to cross.

  2. Go from the albergue up to the town wall and through the gate into the old town, pass left of the church and follow the streets, more or less straight ahead, through the old town towards the other gate. When you have passed that gate, you can see already the bridge in the valley.
Go over the bridge, just before it is btw a nice picnic spot, and straight ahead up the slope and on the country road. Attention! Ignore absolutely the sign 'camino' at the first roundabout, this refers to a rural way and has nothing to do with the Via de la Plata! Instead follow over this and the next roundabout the signs towards Aldehuela del Jerte.

Aldehuela del Jerte

The only bar opens rarely, as the neighbors have told me, before 12:00, not very convenient for a second breakfast if you come from Galisteo. At the village exit is a small shop which is open and shortly after it you find some benches to have your picnic ;-)

The way goes now, always on the same country road, directly to Carcaboso. At the town entrance you turn left towards the albergue of Senora Elena and the hostal.


Albergue Carcaboso

The municipal albergue is, at the moment?, closed. Since 1991 welcomes Senora Elena pilgrims in her albergue (11 Euro) which I can recommend. It is in the first floor of a house and is a real pilgrims apartment with well equipped kitchen (but no washing machine), ~12 beds in 5 rooms, bathroom with bath tub, nice terrace with view and wifi. Senora Elena gave shelter to her first pilgrims back in 1983 and since 1991 runs, now with family help as she is already over 80, an official pilgrims albergue. Those of you that speak Spanish, please take the time to chat with her, she can tell you a lot about the Via de la Plata and its pilgrims!

Eating – From 9 Euro upwards you can eat an extremely nice menu in the Hostal-Restaurant La Ciudad de Caparra. This can be found just 50m up the street from the albergue. Very recommendable!


So, that is all for today!
Buen Camino, SY

PS. I am now in the Hostal Asturias, ~10km before Aldeanueva del Campo – pretty much in the middle of nowhere with enough time and wifi to write these updates …

PPS As long as the wifi holds, I will now go through this thread any answer any questions I have an answer for ;-)
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#69
Oh, SYates, did you make it out to Santa Lucía de Trampal? so so wonderful, but I tend to forget that no everyone is as enamored of romanesque and visigothic architecture as I am! So glad to hear from you, are you going to spend some time in Cáceres? Buen camino! Laurie
As much as I love churches, the older the more, my daily stages and rest days are firmly decided by my feet. So no, I didn't pass there - sadly ;-( I promised my feet no detours and instead of rest days (unless enforced) I try to walk shortish stages. Thank God I do have time to walk this pilgrimage!

Buen Camino, SY
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#70
There used to be an alternative to the Albergue at Embalse de Alcantara, which is, I believe, currenty closed: the hospitalero at the Casar the Caceres albergue can give you all the information, or even call for the reservation for you. Otherwise, the stage from Casar de Caceres to Canaveral is doable, just make sure you have enough water and food for the entire 34 km, and (thats my advice) when you get near the lake/embalse, walk on the N-630 untill you pass both of the two bridges. The camino is doing weird twists and turns near the Embalse, so the road may be a better solution for a while. After the bridges, the Camino goes UP sharply. There is a nice place overlooking the embalse, good for having a picnic lunch (if you brought it with you)!

Buen Camino!
Unfortunately also that alternative is/was closed or fully booked or simply not interested in pilgrims that stay only one night ;-( As they are a privately owned hostal that specialises in fishing holidays/vacations I can really not blame them. A fellow pilgrim told me that he actually knocked at the door and spoke with them and they said they were fully booked. I started early, arrived late and survived that monster (for me) stage.

Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#71
Depending on your speed (and mine), I might see you this weekend, then! I'm sightseeing at Cáparra tomorrow...
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#72
HiediL, can you (or anyone else) confirm the albergue in Oliva de Plasencia is open this spring. There are some sources that indicate it was closed for renovation in late 2014.
Thanks!
It is open, I slept there yesterday ;-) Excellent albergue! When you come to the village go direction church where you find a tiny tienda and a casa rural, in both places they will put you in contact with the key holder. Or the neighbors will. No worries and Buen Camino! SY
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#73
Depending on your speed (and mine), I might see you this weekend, then! I'm sightseeing at Cáparra tomorrow...
I am now in the hostal Asturias, ~12km before Aldeanueva del Camino, so slightly ahead of you! Are you traveling back to Salamanca? If yes, we could meet there! Buen Camino, SY

PS After Caparra there is a really nasty, 30cm deep stream to cross, sorry to be the bearer of bad news ...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#74
Ok. This seals it. There's no way I can walk 34 K.:eek:
I'm a wimp, yes, I know.
So, if I DO pick up on the VDLP, I will skip the stage between Caceres and Canaveral and maybe figure out a bus or taxi way of getting there to begin again.
Then, if the Embalsa ever reopens, I'd love to go back and pick up this stage.
Thanks for this great information!
Following...
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#76
I'll be in Salamanca from Sunday to Tuesday, so if you get here within that time, please let me know!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#77
Oh, by the way, regarding the Embalse, I phoned them, and the guy who replied said they were hoping to re-open this summer. It looked fine on the outside when we passed it.

The Pesca Evasion people replied positively to my e-mail and asked me to reconfirm our reservation by phone the day before our arrival, but then didn't reply to any of their phones once in 40 hours. We actually stopped and looked, but the gate was locked. Boo, hiss!

The 32 km went well, we chose to follow the road all the way when we discovered that the path was both longer and much more hilly.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#78
I'll be in Salamanca from Sunday to Tuesday, so if you get here within that time, please let me know!
Sadly that will not work out, I am now in Hervas and plan to take a rest day in Fuenterobles to chat with Blas whom I haven't seen in many years.
Buen Camino and perhaps another year ;-) SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
#79
Be interested to hear about Hervás, as I'm hoping to pass through it in November, having bypassed it previously. Apparently it has one of the best surviving juderías in Spain?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - 2005
Camino Portuguese - 2014
VdlP - 2016
#80
Continued thanks for your detailed notes! I am just wondering (and perhaps I' ve missed it previously...), but which particular guide book are you using?
 

Donovan

Active Member
#81
Be interested to hear about Hervás, as I'm hoping to pass through it in November, having bypassed it previously. Apparently it has one of the best surviving juderías in Spain?
Alan,
I thought Hervás very well worth a visit. The judería is a highlight, but also the town is interesting with excellent gardens, and the albergue at the old railway station was (in 2012) the best one I encountered on the VDLP. The detour is minor as you don't have to retrace your steps to Aldeanueva.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#82
Be interested to hear about Hervás, as I'm hoping to pass through it in November, having bypassed it previously. Apparently it has one of the best surviving juderías in Spain?
I am at the moment in Hervas and love it! Will hopefully post updates later today, but here the most important bit: The bad message is that the albergue in Hervas is closed, the good message is that there are plenty of other accommodation options in town. The former hospitalero, Carlos, for example rents out cottages, if you are sharing one it shouldn't be too expensive. Buen Camino, SY
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#83
Continued thanks for your detailed notes! I am just wondering (and perhaps I' ve missed it previously...), but which particular guide book are you using?
I am using a German guide, the one from the Outdoor publisher. Also the Gronze/Eroski websites are very helpful. Buen Camino, SY

PS Alison Raju, the writer of the Cicerone guide, is a couple of days ahead of me as I saw in the pilgrims registers. I suspect she is updating her guide now, so if that comes out in time for you, I would say that would be a good option.
 
#84
I am using a German guide, the one from the Outdoor publisher. Also the Gronze/Eroski websites are very helpful. Buen Camino, SY

PS Alison Raju, the writer of the Cicerone guide, is a couple of days ahead of me as I saw in the pilgrims registers. I suspect she is updating her guide now, so if that comes out in time for you, I would say that would be a good option.
Great news about the Cicerone guide. It was so woefully out of date when I walked that I didn't even bother with it. The Eroski site has detailed walking instructions (in Spanish) and very up to date info on albergues. The only thing it doesn't have is private accommodations, so I supplemented with mundicamino, gronze, forum recommendations etc.

The Eroski site is downloadable for free at the App Store. It has complete information on lots of different caminos. Buen camino, SYates, so much fun to get your updates, even though all it does is make me want to return to the Vdlp!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#85
If you are in Hervas, I passed you today, because I'm in Banos de Montemayor today!

Are you passing here tomorow? I could wait for you, I'm only planning to go 13 km tomorrow and there are several different buses to Saglamanca I could catch tomorrow afternoon...

Going out for dinner now, hope you'll let meknow here. Uou have my mobile, I think.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#86
If you are in Hervas, I passed you today, because I'm in Banos de Montemayor today!

Are you passing here tomorow? I could wait for you, I'm only planning to go 13 km tomorrow and there are several different buses to Saglamanca I could catch tomorrow afternoon...

Going out for dinner now, hope you'll let meknow here. Uou have my mobile, I think.
I am planning to go to Calzada de Bejar tomorrow! Will pm you my mobile, not sure I have yours. Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#87
And we met, and walked together, and I can confirm that SYates is wonderful company and a very useful translator. I am now back in Salamanca (typing on a real computer instead of the "#¤%& phone) and a bit sad because I'm not sharing the cosy albergue at Calzada de Béjar with her and the nice pilgrims we met there today.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#89
Ok. This seals it. There's no way I can walk 34 K.:eek:
I'm a wimp, yes, I know.
So, if I DO pick up on the VDLP, I will skip the stage between Caceres and Canaveral and maybe figure out a bus or taxi way of getting there to begin again.
Then, if the Embalsa ever reopens, I'd love to go back and pick up this stage.
Thanks for this great information!
Following...
Apparently the ALSA bus goes twice daily (according to Rome to Rio), 54 minutes, 11-16euros
There's also a train that takes half an hour for a couple of euros more. Goes four times a day.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
#90
@SYates thank you so much for all these notes... I'm compiling them and saving them to my phone... What a kind pilgrim you are! I hope you continue to walk pain free.
How do you save these highly informative posts - [thank-you v much @SYates]- to your (smart)phone? I'd like to do that, too, but I need some simple instructions to follow.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Fisterra/Muxia, Baztanés x2, Primitivo, Norte, Portugués & hopefully many more.
#91

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
#92
How do you save these highly informative posts - [thank-you v much @SYates]- to your (smart)phone? I'd like to do that, too, but I need some simple instructions to follow.
Hi James - I'm actually just copying them into a word document, editing it a bit and I'll save it as a pdf file. I just load the pdf onto my phone when I'm done and I have the notes to refer to. I did it last time on the CF with other notes about accommodation and things to see and do... or to avoid :rolleyes:
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#93
And we met, and walked together, and I can confirm that SYates is wonderful company and a very useful translator. I am now back in Salamanca (typing on a real computer instead of the "#¤%& phone) and a bit sad because I'm not sharing the cosy albergue at Calzada de Béjar with her and the nice pilgrims we met there today.
It was great meeting and walking with you! Now in Fuenteroble de Salvatierra! SY
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#94
Enjoy! I have fond memories from there, from the communal meal cooked by a lovely Italian pilgrim to ....a double room as we were a married couple :D
What is the weather like?
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
#96
Hi James - I'm actually just copying them into a word document, editing it a bit and I'll save it as a pdf file. I just load the pdf onto my phone when I'm done and I have the notes to refer to. I did it last time on the CF with other notes about accommodation and things to see and do... or to avoid :rolleyes:
@LesBrass, I understand the bit about copying and editing in word, but I'm less sure about saving as a pdf and how to load onto a smartphone. That said, you've certainly helped me to frame the "how do I...?' questions for Google and my more tech-savvy friends to answer, so many thanks for your help.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#97
@LesBrass, I understand the bit about copying and editing in word, but I'm less sure about saving as a pdf and how to load onto a smartphone. ...
When you have finished your word doc just save/export it as PDF. As for loading it on your smartphone, just send it as an attachment to yourself by email and open said email from your phone and save the attachment then to your phone. You can also use bluetooth, wifi or USB to transfer docs from one device to another. Buen Camino, SY

PS New updates coming soon to a forum thread near you ;-)
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
#98
Way Carcaboso – Oliva de Plasencia

The way out of Carcaboso is well marked, but you have to pay attention at the exit of the village. When you reach the narrow irrigation canal, don't cross it and don't turn right (misleading granite cuboids), instead follow it straight ahead. Sometimes on its left, sometimes on its right you just follow the same irrigation canal (~4-5km) on a sandy track through nice meadows and with view of the snow-covered mountains that slowly come closer. After a lonely house (clearly recognizable by the solar panels in the garden) the way turns left alongside a wider irrigation canal. Here the two ways (this one and the one signposted by the granite cuboids) join again. Neighbors told me that the 'granite cuboid way' is much longer, less well sign posted and less beautiful. After said house you turn left and follow for a short while the wider irrigation canal (a few hundred meters) and then you turn right through a cattle gate. From here on onwards the way is very well marked and easily recognisable. The feet of many a pilgrim have created an easy to follow path through the meadows ;-) At the crossing with the road, by the farm buildings of Venta Quemada, I then followed the, rather busy, road to Oliva de Plasencia.

Albergue Oliva de Plasencia

Important! Don't bother to find the albergue first! The phone number stated at the door is rarely answered (if ever). Best is to first walk direction church in the village. In the street beneath the church you'll find the 'tiendina' (small shop) and the Casa Rural. The owner of the tiendina is at the same time the hospitalera and also the owners, as well as the neighbors, of the Casa Rural, are happy to help you.

A nice albergue in a beautifully renovated historic building (15 Euro) with an excellently equipped kitchen (including a stove where you can bake a pizza!), living room (with a huge TV!), a fire place (but without wood) and the rooms have only 2-6 beds each plus each has their own bathroom, bed linen, wifi and heating/air-con. Nearly too much luxury … only a washing machine is missing ;-)

Eating – There is only one bar in the village that serves food – regular and affordable but nothing to write home about. Perhaps it would be better to cook in the albergue as the kitchen is so well equipped!


Way Oliva de Plasencia – Hostal Asturias

From the albergue you go back to the church (no yellow arrows) and then to the road at the border of the village (90 degree angle to the road you came into the village). Here you find local way markers to Caparra. This way has very few yellow arrows, instead it is marked with the yellow-white stripes of a PR (Pequeno Recorrido=Lesser Walking Path). After you have passed the famous Roman arch of Caparra you will see again yellow arrows and the way is also well marked. Attention! The Rio Caparra (~5km after the Roman arch of Caparra) was really high when I passed! Take of your boots, pull up your trousers and have fun ;-) Later the way to the Hostal Asturias (~2km off the Via de la Plata) is well marked from the moment you leave the Via de la Plata.

Hostal Asturias

21 Euro for a single room with own bath. Not the most idyllic of locations, between the motorway and the national road, but very friendly and clean. Also the food is very good, home made and the house speciality is cooking 'a la brasa' – over the charcoal grill.


Way Hostal Asturias – Hervas

The kind staff at the hostal will give you a map and explain the way back to the Via de la Plata to you. In short you leave the hostal and follow the blue arrows for ~1km alongside the N-630 until you turn right into a sandy track which leads you back into the quite and beautiful countryside. After ~5km you rejoin the Via de la Plata. From looking at various guides it seems to me that this is newly created stretch. Important! Shortly after you have climbed the hill (just before Aldeanueva del Camino) you stand before the buildings of a sheep farm. Turn right and just after/around the building left. From here on the way is well marked again. The good message is that after 1,5km the way to Hervas (which is btw the variant I choose to take) you don't need to walk anymore on the road. There is now a newly created and separated walking and cycling path.

Albergue – The Albergue municipal in Hervas is still closed (now since more then a year!). Carlos, the former hospitalero, rents out former railroad worker cottages just opposite of the closed albergue. Special prices for pilgrims ;-) A bit of luxury, I admit, a whole cottage for myself ;-) and surely cheaper if you share one! You reach Carlos via this mobile number +34 639 402 583 (he speaks some English). Note: Who has walked the Via de la Plata before might be happy to hear that Hippy the albergue dog is in good health and full of life – even at the ripe age of 13!

If you don't want to stay there, the tourist office in town is your friend and Hervas has plenty of accommodation options for all kind of wallets.


Weather Update: In the region of Caceres I had, sometimes heavy, rain. From then on onwards it was coldish in the mornings (occasional hoarse frost) but around (after)noon it got so warm that I walked in a short sleeved t-shirt. Using the layer system on the Via de la Plata is an absolute must in this season!

Nature Update: Also the trees start to sport new leaves and in Hervas the cherry trees start to blossom and everything gets greener by the day.


I am now a short day after Salamanca, but I thought I post these updates as far as I have written them ;-) More hopefully very soon! Buen Camino, SY
 

mla1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2000); Ch St. Giles (2013); Le Puy to SJPP (May/June 2015); vdlp 2016
#99
If there were a double or triple 'like' button, I would be clicking it here! Thanks do much for all this information. I am leaving in two weeks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Done: Camino France x 3 times + Lots of hiking in Kenya
Next: Camio via de la Plata
Hi Amazing Woman!

I'm leaving in a few days and I have two questions which I can not find an answer to, in your great update.

How warm is it from Sevillia and up, like two weeks walk from Sevillia? I'm not very good with too much heat, so I fear I'll be melting...I'm fairly sure I'll be okay after 2 weeks getting further up, but the Sevillia bit I'm fearing due to heat.

Also, I've read several places that the strip out of Sevillia to Guillena can be dangerous to women, due to confirmed attaks on women - not from the dogs that you describe but violent attempt towards women, have you any knowledge about that?

Thanks for amazing updates

Anne L.
 


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