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

Camino(s) past & future
camino francés 2008, Via de la Plata March-april 2016
Hi Mia and Anne, perhaps see you on the route. I'm setting off easter saturday (or a few days prior) hope to see you on route. Also thought to bypass that first day Seville-Guillena for the reasons you mention Anne
till the camino. Jen
 

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SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
...

1. 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.

2. 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?

...
1. I don't think the mega heat has started yet ;-) The Spanish weather forecast shows for Sevilla around 20C during the day but still only single digit temperatures during the night, so you should be fine.

2. The only incidents I heard about where at least 1-2 years old, none of the other pilgrims I have met had any bad experience of that kind. But the stretch alongside the river is lonely, so I personally would take the variant over Camas if I walk another time.

Hope that helps and Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - 2005
Camino Portuguese - 2014
VdlP - 2016
SY, you are making me wish the months away... September cannot arrive quickly enough, and as so many have noted, your notes will be in-valuable to me when my time comes to step out. (And many thanks for your reply to my guide query, greatly appreciated!)
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Way Hervas – Calzada de Bejar


Carlos told me about an alternative route out of Hervas which I am happy to share:

From the closed albergue/railway station you head down towards the Jewish quarter, either right hand of it or through it (the tourist office also has town maps in case you have stayed in another accommodation) towards the river. You then follow the river until the little old bridge at the Fuente Chicita, cross this bridge and turn left, following the yellow arrows. These lead you then, over small roads and paths, and with a beautiful view back over Hervas, to the N-630 and the main way. Attention! Shortly before you reach the N-630 there are two arrows on a post/pole pointing in opposite directions. A farmer sent me here to the right, but that path soon disappeared under water and brambles, not recommended ;-) I had to jump two dry stone walls to get back to the N-630 and the main way. Better to go at aforementioned post/pole left and then straight ahead to the N-630. From here on until Banos de Montemayor and Calzada de Bejar the way is well marked again.

Albergue Alba y Soraya in Calzada de Bejar

10 Euro bed, 9 Euro Menu, 3 Euro breakfast, 3 Euro washing machine. Clean, fire place for heating the entrance/living room area, wifi and blankets. The kitchen wasn't accessible for us as we stayed there. Roofed patio and garden. The albergue also offers private rooms for 20 Euro. There is a bar in the village, with irregular opening times, which serves, at least at the moment, only drinks.


Way Calzada de Bejar – Fuenteroble de Salvatierra

Well marked, but the streams are rather high at the moment. At the first stream I had to take off my boots and pull up my trousers as the first three stepping stones were have sunken, and at such an angle, that they were not very useful.

The second stream, shortly before you reach Valverde de Valdecasa, has stepping stones with a 'hand rail', but these are rather wobbly. Here I decided to take a short detour and follow the way marked for cyclists. To reach this way you go ~150m back to the last way crossing and follow the red marker (triangle with two circles) which points now to your right. Follow this way until you reach a stone bridge and cross the stream here. Shortly after the cycle path turns sharp left, but you turn right on the other track which is marked, occasionally, by red arrows. This track leads you to the entrance of Valverde de Valdecasa and so back on the main way. Follow the yellow arrows through the village and you will discover a lot of artwork in the gardens and on the street/houses that are connected to the Camino. At the exit of the village there is a bar which was open for the all-important second Cafe con Leche of the day. Also the bar in Valdecasa was open and even served food. From here until Fuenteroble de Salvatierra the way is well marked, but just before the village (~1km) there is a marked bifurcation that wants to send you in a curve towards the village. In my opinion it is better to follow here the road (you can already see the village) or better said the small path that runs parallel to the road.

Albergue Fuenteroble de Salvatierra

Who is eager to meet the famous parish priest Don Blas should bear in mind that he is in charge of 8 parishes, gives classes in two schools and is the chaplain of an old peoples home with ~150 guests, amongst other things … The albergue itself works purely on a donation base and has 70+ beds in different rooms and houses, a kitchen for pilgrims, a living room with fire place, garden and so on. In the beginning this albergue can be a bit confusing, especially for pilgrims that don't speak Spanish, as parish house, social center of the village and albergue all share the same building(s). Depending on the time schedule of Don Blas and his helpers/hospitaleros there might be a communal meal in the evening and a pilgrims prayer with pilgrims blessing (all in Spanish). In the morning there is normally breakfast prepared for the pilgrims. The village itself has tow bars, a shop and also a Casa Rural for those that are looking for a bit more of comfort.


Way Fuenteroble de Salvatierra - Morille

As I wanted to reach Salamanca the next day early afternoon, I took the variant via Pedrosillos de los Aires as this one is slightly shorter. From Fuenteroble de Salvatierra until the bifurcation of the ways (the other way goes over San Pedro de Rozados) the way is well marked but where the two ways divide there is, unfortunately, a real 'battlefield of yellow arrows'. All yellow arrows, and other information, are painted over! To distinguish the two different ways: If you come to the entrance of the farm/finca Duena de Abajo the way towards San Pedro de Rozados continues straight ahead and the way towards Pedrosillos de los Aires turns right into the farm/finca. Both ways have their own (dis)advantages:

Way via San Pedro de Rozado
  • In total (Fuenteroble de Salvatierra – San Pedro de Rozado – Morille) 33km
  • Apart of one possible possibility to refill water bottles no other services.
  • The way up Pico de la Duena (~1200m) looked pretty steep and rocky/stony.

Way via Pedrosillos de los Aires


  • In total (Fuenteroble de Salvatierra – Pedrosillos de los Aires – Morille) 29.7km
  • Two bars on the way, in Pedrosillos de los Aires and in Monterubbio de la Sierra, where you can recharge your batteries with a Cafe con Leche and/or an Aquarius.
  • The last 12km are exclusively on roads, but with very little traffic.

Albergue Morille

At 10 Euro I found this albergue a bit expensive as it only consists of one room with 6 bunk beds (3x2) and a bathroom with shower and toilet, but it was well heated, clean and offered also bed linen and blankets. Attention! To turn on the heating, you have to lift the white cover on the wall beside the door and then again lift a smaller square cover inside this box. This way you gain access to the heating controls. The key to the albergue you get in the bar just beside it, where you can also eat for reasonable prices. If the bar has its rest day (Monday?) you have to call the telephone number displayed in the albergue window. In the morning you just leave the key inside of the albergue door.


Way Morille – Salamanca

All well marked. In the village of Miranda de Azan, ~10km before Salamanca, there is a bar. Where you turn into the village from the way there is a big sign stating, amongst other things, that there is also an albergue in the village. But nobody in the village could tell me if the albergue really exists/is open/is still in the planning stage. The way into Salamanca is well marked, but after the bridge over the river the markers switch to being embedded into the streets. Those with only a scallop shell mark the Via de la Plata, those with a shell and an 'A' the way to the albergue. I only followed the markers until the cathedrals/Plaza de Espana as I met up there with an old friend in whose house I stayed.

Albergue Salamanca

Even if I stayed in the house of my friend, I couldn't resist to have a look at the albergue ;-) in a beautiful location at less than 5min walk from the cathedrals. For a (hopefully generous) donation this albergue offers: 18 bunk beds in two big and one small dormitory, 2 bathrooms, heating, big entrance/living room area, direct access to the historic garden/park, but unfortunately no kitchen nor microwave.
The opening times are as following (it is one of the few albergues on the Via de la Plata so far that has fixed opening/closing times and doesn't give you an own key!): 12:00-13:00 Time slot to deposit your backpack 16:00 Check-in of pilgrims 22:00 Albergue closes 07:00-08:00 Check-out of pilgrims (with their backpacks ;-). If you want to leave earlier/later in the morning, you have to clear that with the hospitalero the evening before.


Way Salamanca – Calzada de Valdunciel

As I left from my friends' house, I rejoined the Via de la Plata only at the exit of Salamanca. From here until Castellanos de Villiquera is the way very badly marked! I was, for example, unable to find the turn towards Aldeaseca de Armuna. Additionally there are many, partly each other contradicting, way markers/arrows and unclear crossings with the pilgrims cycle path. This was, so far, the first time that a GPS would have come in handy. In case of doubt you just follow the direction of the N-630 until the turn towards Castellanos de Villequera, follow the road into this village, head direction the church and pass it on its left side, go slightly downhill towards a small square with a fountain and benches and then turn right and cross the village in that direction (here again correct yellow arrows). You then reach the track/country road that leads you straight to Calzada de Valdunciel.

Albergue Calzada de Valdunciel

A cute little pilgrims house (5 Euro) with 8 bunk beds in one room, heating, blankets, living room with fire place (which you are not allowed to use because of malfunctioning of the chimney), 2 bath rooms and a small, but well equipped kitchen and a small patio. The keys (all pilgrims have to share one set) you get from the hospitalera whose telephone number is displayed at the door.
In the village there is also a Casa Rural, a Hostal and an emergency/overflow albergue (Albergue Auxiliar) as well as several shops, pharmacy and Bars/Restaurants.

Eating – We ate the menu (11 Euro) in the Restaurant El Pozo (Direction N-630, just before the end of the village) which was very tasty.


Weather: During the walk towards Fuenteroble de Salvatierra, where the way climbs up to ~1000m, I had a bit of snow and even a short shower of hail ;-) and on the way to Salamanca some rain. Apart of that the weather was pretty similar to that of the last 1-2 weeks, cold in the mornings (~0C), sunny during the days with temperatures of up to ~20C in the middle of the day.


Buen Camino and until soon, SY
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Next updates ;-)


Way Calzada de Valdunciel – El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino

The way is well marked, but goes up and down, up and down and additionally nearly the whole time alongside the motorway ;-( Exhausting!!!

Some important points: After ~5.5km you reach a point under a motorway bridge where there are two possible ways.

If the water level of the river is high (like at the moment) you follow the yellow arrows marked 'con aqua-rio' towards the N-630, cross the river on its bridge and turn left after it, to go back to the way. All is well marked.

If the water level is low, or there is a drought, you can just walk under the bridge, following the course of the motorway, and will reach so, hopefully with dry feet, the way on the other side of the river bed. This variant is marked with 'sin aqua'.

6km after Calzada de Valdunciel (marked as KM 320 on the motorway, unfortunately well visible from the way) there is an interesting possibility to escape the motorway for 2-3km.

After the sign post that points to the new albergue Casa Saso (looks nice from the outside btw, for more information see http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/casa-saso and here http://casasaso.com ) there is a small information panel that tells you that you are now on a Canada Real. I trusted my pilgrim instinct and followed this Canada always straight ahead through the fields until it ended in front of another field where I turned right to rejoin the official way. From here on the way runs, idiot-pilgrim-proof, always alongside the motorway ;-( until shortly before El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino.

Albergue El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino

I stayed at the albergue Torre de Sabre and payed for bed, dinner, washing machine use and breakfast 27 Euro. The food was very good and they even offer you a glass of wine on arrival, the beds have linen, you get even a towel and the bathroom has a real bath tub.

Attention! Don't try to change the waterflow from 'out of shower head' to 'out of tap'! You have to know the trick to reverse that, or, like me, ask the hospitalera, wrapped only in a towel, for help.

This albergue is especially interesting for people that like horses (@HeidiL – you would have loved it here!) as at this, pretty nondescript farm, they breed pure bred Arabian horses!

Albergue F&M – Also this albergue is open, but it is on the market for sale or rent, so things might change here in future.

Eating – I ate lunch at the bar-restaurant El Charro, near the main square. Meat eaters will be happy to hear that the 'churrasco' was a really thick cut and prepared medium!


Way El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino – Villanueva de Campean

A real breather after the stage of the previous day! And all well marked again.

Albergue(s) Villanueva de Campean

I first checked into the municipal albergue (6 Euro) which is really nice and bright (perhaps a touch hot in summer as there are windows in the roof). It is a bit difficult to hunt down the hospitalera. The best way for pilgrims that don't speak much Spanish might be to just install themselves in the open albergue (seems to be always open, you don't get a key, but you can close the house from the inside at night) and to wait until she passes by. Or you can do what I did and hunt her down in the village. She lives near the main square, turn after the church half-right and ask the neighbors for the exact house.

As I wrote above, the albergue is really, really nice with ~12 beds in one room, heating, 2 bathrooms, small kitchen with microwave and one hotplate, crockery, cutlery, blankets and all very clean.

But there was a 'small' problem. As the heating was turned on and the room got warmer a chemical smell developed very fast that caused me an allergic reaction. I suspect that either the wood has been treated recently or that some sort of insecticide has been used recently. So I had to move, unfortunately, to the private albergue to avoid further breathing problems.

This albergue is darker (but surely also cooler in summer), only has a microwave in the kitchen, is equally clean, but a little bit less cared for (the shower doors are f.e. rather wobbly). The albergue/dormitory per se doesn't have any heating, but for 10 Euros I got a single room with my own radiator (and without any chemicals!). All turned out well then! Attention! You don't get the key in the bar opposite, as stated in some guides, instead you have to call the number displayed in the window or walk to the address stated in the same window.

There isn't a shop in the village, but a Casa Rural http://www.laposadadelbuencamino.com

Eating – The only bar in the village doesn't have an official menu, but is happy to cook something up for pilgrims if you ask nicely. Apart of that it is also nicely warm and friendly and so these updates have been written there ;-)

Buen Camino, SY
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Vía de la Plata / Camino Sanabrés, Camino del Baztán, Camino Aragonés, Chemin du Puy
Hi Everybody!

I write to you from the salubrious (and warm!) surrounding of Hostal Asturias on the side of the N-630 about 10km before Aldeanueva del Camino. I left Seville on 24 February, so my Camino is now in its third week. So far everything has gone well, a couple of minor blisters, but nothing serious. The weather has been mostly sunny, except for a couple of days early on, and one particularly nasty afternoon when the heavens opened and delivered torrents and sheets and buckets of rain for about 4 hours, just as I was staggering through the second half of the stage from Castilblanco to Almaden. It was horrible, but, as I said, since then we've been very lucky and most afternoons, if it isn't quite t-shirt weather, it's been pleasant enough, if a bit windy.

At night it gets cold, there's sometimes a bit of frost in the mornings, and this has at times been difficult because many albergues have no heating, and during the time between a hasty shower and dinner and going to bed, it has often been difficult to stay warm. Often sitting around the albergue just isn't an option and you have to either go for a walk or sit in a bar. For sleeping, personally I've been fine because I brought my duckdown sleeping bag and slipping into it is like checking into a 5-star hotel. So I've been sleeping snug and warm and keeping the toilet trips down to the absolute necessary. Not all pilgrims came prepared for this cold and one guy I met has already headed home because he ended up unable to walk because of leg pains after a night spent freezing.

I last walked this way 7 years ago and in those years there have been a lot of improvements. There are some wonderful new albergues. Alojamiento del Peregrino in Real de la Jara looked really nice with a fantastic terrace overlooking the town, although I didn't sleep there the owner was kind enough to show me around. The parrochial in Monasterio was great too, beautifully renovated, although a bit cold in the evening. El Zaguan de la Plata, was a real surprise, comfortable single rooms, well heated, only 15 euros. The owner was very nice too. The Amigos hostel in Zafra (also known as Van Gogh because it was originally intended as an artistis studio) was fantastic with a very kind hospitalero. It's in an old traditional house with a big open central hallway and all the rooms leading off it. Great roof terrace too. The Amigos have also opened an albergue in Villafrance de los Barros. I didn't stay there but some other pilgrims did and loved it. I stayed in Casa Carmen and thought it was wonderful. There was no central heating but Carmen has a traditional table heater, which has been good enough for generations of Spanish people, and did the business for us too. She also has a lovely little doggie (personally I think every albergue should have a dog or a cat).

The list goes on! Thinking back, it's really quite impressive how many great places to stay there are on this Camino now. Last time I walked it was entirely different, every place was freezing and some of them were really quite unpleasant (and nobody has ever accused me of having unreasonably high standards of hygiene!)

Even Merida has improved! Although I think they're just about doing the minimum to keep the place habitable. As Syeats mentioned, the whole situation with they key being "hidden" outside is worrying. There was an entry in French in the pilgrim book saying that some local kids had come in during the night and disturbed the pilgrims. I mentioned it to the hospitalero but his reaction was 'no pasa nada'. Nevertheless, before I went to bed I brought the key in and put it on reception and then put it back in its hiding place before I left in the morning. Personally, I think they need to find a better system than this.

In Aljucen, Albergue Rio Aljucen, was wonderful. It's family run, very friendly, with a log fire. They also do a good breakfast. I can't recomend it too highly. In Alcuescar we stayed in a hotel near the motorway which is signposted from the Camino a couple of km before the village. It's called Los Olivos, and they also have an albergue. It was nice and reasonably priced and it's a good alternative if you don't want to stay at the monastery (other pilgrims told me it was extremely cold). Their restaurant was also good.

In Casar de Caceres we came across a group of Spanish men who were walking with their mini-bus and were driving ahead with their backpacks and reserving beds in albergues by dumping a backpack on on each bed. It was a bit annoying but you have to accept that this is how many Spanish people do the Camino (ie. in groups, with a vehicle). They were elderly gentlemen and walking quite long stages so possibly they wouldn't have managed with all their stuff. As it was they looked at times pretty shattered by the experience. It was impossible not to feel sorry for them, even if you suspected they'd only walked half way. They were pleasant enough, although they did include a number of prostidious snorers! We met them twice, but there was always enough beds for everyone, and the third night we arranged to stop someplace else because they had booked the whole albergue in Galisteo.

We stayed instead in Las Catalinas in Riolobos and it was excellent. It's the perfect place to break up that long stage from Canaveral to Galisteo. The owner is very helpful and will collect you and drop you back on the Camino in the morning, if you want, although the walk down to Riolobos is superb and in the morning it's only 3km back to the Camino, by which I mean the original route, which is now reopened and well waymarked. On the part where the right-of-way dispute was they've put up an impressive fence to stop you wandering off the Camino. I grew up in the country and I know how landowners can be and it's clear that this guy insisted on pilgrim-proof fencing as a condition for letting us wander across his land! I didn't test the theory but I wouldn't be surprised if he had it electrified.

A special mention to Casa Slavadora in Castilblanco for such a lovely little room for only 14 euros and for being so nice about me wandering off the next morning with the key in my pocket!

The food so far has been fine. No place was terrible and but no place stands out as excellent either. Bar Los Emigrantes in Galisteo is worthy of mention, it was very good as always. I've been going for the fish option a lot because I love fish and I'm a bit tired of pork and chicken. We've had mouthwatering conversations about boiled potatoes, and I've found myself fantasising about Thai red curries, Indian food and pasta with a simple tomato sauce and any kind of bread that isn't white!

The yellow arrows have been spruced up in many places, especially in urban areas, and generally speaking (with a few exceptions, all of which have been mentioned above) there are enough of them to keep you on track, together with the Roman road bollards.

Besides the Spanish group, I've run into about 13 other pilgrims. Last time I walked it was 2! 5 German (keine Überraschungen da!), 2 Irish (including me), 2 Italian and one each of Polish, Norwegian, Swiss and Romanian. I expect it'll get busier after Salamanca and during Easter.

The scenery has been spectacular. Last time I walked I started at the beginning of February and the land was much more winter-like. This time it's green and verdant and beautiful, with the pigs and the sheep and the cows and the cute donkies and horses dancing around the fields! I can't complain from the point-of-view of the sheer pleasure of being out in the country with nobody else around and just nature surrounding you.

Of course there have been a few short stretches which were a bit ugly, entering Merida being one, but even that I didn't find that bad (having lived for 15 years in Dublin maybe my idea of a rough neighbourhood is a lot rougher than other people's!)

So, heading off now. Going to Aldeaneuva del Camino today. Sunny outside and cool, so another perfect day! I post again when I get the chance. Hopefully going all the way to Santiago!

Best wishes
Gerald
 
Albergue Fuenteroble de Salvatierra
Way Fuenteroble de Salvatierra - Morille
Way via San Pedro de Rozado
Way via Pedrosillos de los Aires
Albergue Morille
Way Morille – Salamanca
SY
Hijah, @SYates....well, how about that! Absolutely nothing's changed since I wintered over at the Casa Paroquia in Fuenterroble de Salvatierre during 2009-2010. Hallelujah!! Excuse my enthusiasm. I recognise nearly every detail of your notes. :) It would be exhilarating to return....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Thanks @SYates and @geraldkelly, but you are making me envious. I'm sorry to just miss both of you. My sister-in-law and I started in Merida but we've had a few issues that made it difficult to walk more than 10 km/day and even that has been hard on days when sleep has been poor. It was hard to plan days, even for us to separate for periods, because transport on some sections is limited and she speaks no Spanish at all.

So, we have reverted to Plan B, and are headed by bus to Leon. There we will spend a couple of days "resting" before starting to walk again. I really hope to get some good consecutive walking days, and the logistics will be easier there. I've had a taste of the Via de la Plata and am confident to return on my own. I think I would choose a late March/ early April start next time.

This will also give me more time to shop for a suitable mother-of-the groom dress that does not involve merino wool and hiking boots. Two days before I left home, my son and his girlfriend decided to get married 4 days after my return! And I am supposed to dress in a manner to which I am not accustomed!

Buen Camino!
 

CanPete

Northern Route Pelgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Past : Northern route, Primitivo
Future : Via de la Plata, Sanabres, Portuguese routes
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.
The weather is not that difficult to find , google 'weather forecast Seville, Spain' and you'll be amazed what you'll find :

http://www.accuweather.com/en/es/seville/306733/march-weather/306733

As far as attacks are concerned, there are previous threads on this ; I recall either the first or second day out of Seville some female walkers ran into some trouble. It would be advisable to hook up with some fellow walkers for the first couple o'days ?

Buen Camino !
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Way Villanueva de Campean - Zamora

The way is well marked, but as the bar in Villanueva de Campean only opens at ~11:00 you might want to make a wee detour to San Marcial to find a good breakfast ;-) To do this follow the Via de la Plata out of the village and, always following the yellow arrows, walk for ~4km. Here is a sign marking a bifurcation, the Via de la Plata turns right and straight ahead, in ~300m, is San Marcial and its bar. You find said bar exactly where the track hits the outskirts of the village. Very nice Cafe con Leche and Tostadas here to give you strength to carry on! To go back to the Plata, turn left when you leave the bar and walk along the country road on the border of the village direction Zamora. After ~1.5km the Via de la Plata joins the same country road from the right and continues on it for ~1km. From here on onwards just follow the yellow arrows to Zamora. At the beginning of town (at the roundabout) the yellow arrows disappear for a while, but you go simply downhill towards the river. Turn right and walk towards and over the old bridge and you will find the next yellow arrow on the other side which lead you to the albergue.

Albergue Zamora

For a donation you get here: 32 beds in 4 rooms, well equipped kitchen, small terrace, good bathrooms, wifi and breakfast. Attention! There are no blankets at all, but the albergue is well heated. Like in many bigger places curfew is taken seriously here! The albergue opens ~13:30/14:00, closes at 22:00 (silence + lights out!), between 07:00 and 08:00 breakfast is available and you have to leave the albergue before 08:30.

Involuntary rest day in Zamora

Unfortunately I was far too busy admiring the architectonic treasures of Zamora then to pay attention to the uneven street surface and – down I went! The right knee and the left ankle weren't amused. So I had to take an enforced rest day. The hospitaleras (one had witnessed my fall) offered me to stay another night in the albergue but since I am also coughing since Fuenteroble de Salvatierra I opted for a hotel. Directly on the way and I even could move into my room before 10:00 plus I had my own bath tub to soak damaged limbs: http://www.areszamora.com A bit more expensive then what I prefer to pay normally, but I needed that added bit of luxury that day.

Eating – For 12,90 Euro you can eat a menu in a restaurant with the beautiful name of Agape http://restauranteagapezamora.com that is light years ahead of the usual pilgrims menu. And the best tapas, according to the locals, are served in the Casa El Lobo https://es.foursquare.com/v/el-lobo/4e4fa367b61cf637a4f76081 Also I found their Pinchos Morunos to be very yummy indeed!


Way Zamora – Montamarta

Attention! On the way out of Zamora you have to pay close attention. On the Calle de la Hiniesta there is a bifurcation of the Via de la Plata and a connecting way to the Via Portugues! All well marked, the way towards Portugal turns left and the Via de la Plata continues straight ahead. And directly at the exit of Zamora you'll pass a Decathlon, in case you need more equipment ;-) The only bar in Roales del Pan, ~7km after Zamora, is directly on the national road, bear that in mind when you reach the village! Apart of that, nothing to remark and all well marked.

Albergue Montamarta

The municipal albergue is closed and will open 'in summer'. I have stayed at the Casa Rural El Brunedo for 20 Euro (including a simple self-service breakfast). Clean, a bit dark, big, good bathrooms, microwave in the living room, but no kitchen. Heating only in the evening, blankets. OK, but somehow it wasn't 'my place'.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Way Montamarta – Tabara

No, I haven't become suddenly crazy or converted from pilgrim tortoise into a super-speedy pilgrim! I simply cut off the triangle Montamarta – Granja de Moruela – Tabara on the road. As my ankle was still wobbly from my fall it was for me, that day, under that circumstances, simply better to walk on even, firm ground and not on rocky-stony natural surfaces. Who is now tempted to do the same thing should look closely at a map and consider their own decision very carefully!

Way leaving Montamarta – The depression just before the Ermita Virgen del Castillo is completely inundated at the moment! This allowed me to capture this nice picture:




but I had also to cross this 'impromptu lake' on the national road instead on the camino! After that, there is only one way walkable at the moment. The one, closer to the lake, that is described in some guides, seems to have been washed away. So, you don't go straight up to the ermita, instead you pass it on its right and follow the wider track uphill and then the yellow arrows until Tabara.

Albergue(s) Tabara

As I was still coughing heavily and didn't want to disturb anybody, I checked into the Hotel El Roble http://www.turismoruralelroble.es/es/ in the center of the village. Special offer for pilgrims: For 20 Euro you get a very simple but clean room to yourself in the attic (Attention with the head!), in which not only the TV, but also the shower and toilet are located in exactly the same room as your bed ;-) Well heated, plus there are blankets. Included in the offer is dinner, regular, nothing special and wifi.

Albergue de Peregrinos – Since 2014, Jose Almeida, a Spanish Camino Author, has settled here as a hospitalero permanente and takes care of pilgrims. Therefore no need anymore to chase the albergue keys in the local bars. The albergue works exclusively with donations and these include bed, washing machine, dinner and breakfast. Curious as I am I walked up to it and had a look around, all looks very clean and friendly. Two pilgrim friends stayed there and where happy with their decision. The way to the albergue, a slight detour, is clearly way marked through the village.

Eating – The Bar-Cafeteria El Palacio beside the church serves tasty, homemade tapas.

PS I am now in Requejo, shortly passed Puebla de Sanabria, but I thought I post these updates now as I had them written and formatted. Hopefully more to come soon ;-)
 
Last edited:

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
@SYates ... you're my hero today! well actually for a few days! I love your updates and what a FAB photo!

Sorry to hear about your fall and I really hope you're feeling on top form again soon!

In the interest of sharing and making you feel not alone... here's a photo of me after a fall last april on the CF... sadly my face hit the pavement but luckily only my pride and said swollen face was a little bruised and no harm done!

I cant wait to hear of your next exploits... thank you so much for this!

p.s. I cant beleive I've shared that photo!! eek :eek:
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Hi Mia and Anne, perhaps see you on the route. I'm setting off easter saturday (or a few days prior) hope to see you on route. Also thought to bypass that first day Seville-Guillena for the reasons you mention Anne
till the camino. Jen
Don't miss Italica! It makes a lovely break for lunch and it is such a lovely roman city. The mosaics are worth seeing especially as you can watch the archeologists restoring them. The river route is a lovely walk but there is always the route via Camas if you are walking alone. I have to admit that I was on high alert during the first day as I got closer to Guillena and I very much had safety in mind when it came to choosing route options. I have no idea where the people who were attacked were at the time although I have my suspicions. I know that if I were going to rob someone I would do it where the route split into two with the right going down towards the creek and right where it takes a wide swing around. The advantage of going left is that you have a good view of where you are walking for the rest of the way so you should be able to spot anything that looks a little suss. But personally I think the risk of being bailed up at home in my own city is much higher - and I don't hesitate to walk around here. At least on the VDLP we have to face our fears on the first day and then can forget about them!
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Way Tabara – Santa Marta de Tera

From the Albergue de Peregrinos the connection with the main way is well marked, if you stay in the Hostal you simply walk a short way back to the church-museum at the national road and follow the yellow arrows from there. So far the construction site of the high speed train doesn't make any problems. Variant: ~10km after Tabara there is a bifurcation. One way goes via Bercianos de Valverde, the other via Villanueva de las Peras. I chose the way via Villanueva de las Peras as there are on this variant, differently to the way over Bercianos de Valverde, two bars where you can restore yourself with food and drink ;-) Also, in Villanueva de las Peras there is now a new albergue, which looked nice from the outside, see http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/albergue-la-alameda

At the village exit of Villanueva de las Peras it started to rain ;-( and as the way out of the village wasn't too clearly marked, I just followed the country road to Santa Croya/Santa Marta de Tera which had hardly any traffic.

Albergue Santa Marta de Tera

New, very clean, excellent kitchen with big living area, blankets, heating, good bathrooms, washing machine (1 Euro) – all what a pilgrim could wish for ;-) and all for only 5 Euro. The albergue door is open, to pay and get your Credencial stamped you either go to the church-museum in the early evening or wait until the mayor himself pays a friendly visit to the albergue. The bar 'Stop' doesn't hold the key anymore, as stated in some guides! There is a small shop in the village (map in albergue) and like so often in smaller Spanish villages you have to ring the bell, even during opening hours.


Way Santa Marta de Tera – Olleros de Tera

Way is well marked and easy to find. When you get, after ~6km, to the bridge over the river Tera, you can, instead of crossing the bridge, go over the road and down to the border of the river. Here you find a bar-cafeteria which is, at least theoretically, open all year round. Even when it is not open, like it happened to me, you can rest here under a roof and shelter from rain or sun. Back to the bridge, and over it, following the yellow arrows, you will reach without problems, over wide tracks, the village of Calzadilla de Tera. The way turns right and when you get to the fountain Fuente de Ribera you can take, if you want, the same short-cut I took. Directly right hand of the fountain is a small stair with a blue handrail. Climb these stairs, cross the little canal in front of you and follow the small road, passing by bodegas, to the entrance of Calzadilla de Tera. Follow the main street (ZA-P-2547) through the village and on the, the villages connecting sidewalk, to Olleros de Tera.

Albergue Olleros de Tera

I stayed in the albergue La Trucha (7Euro) which can be found in the bar of the same name. If you take the same way like I did, you turn right in the center of the village towards the church and behind it left into the Calle de la Fuente where the bar-albergue is. In the former disco of the bar-restaurant are now 6 single beds, zwei separated by a curtain to give the small heater a better chance to keep this smaller space warm. Mikrowave but no kitchen, blankets, showers and toilets. The wifi from the bar reaches also the dormitory. Despite the heater a bit coolish, but the bar has a wood stove. Regular food at affordable prices, but, at least at the moment, no breakfast offered.


Way Olleros de Tera – Rionegro del Puente

Well marked, but 1km after the Ermita you have the choice between two way options. I took the foot, not the bicycle, path. The foot path is rather overgrown in parts, blocked by fallen trees over/under which you have to crawl and the last bit back to the road is rather steep. Very beautiful and a bit of an enchanted forest feeling, but next time I personally would choose the, slightly longer, cycle path. Important! When you rejoin the wider track/road, you have to turn left and go uphill towards the dam, not right and downhill towards the lake! The rest of the way is easy to find.

Villar de Farfon

In the last house of the village, which has only 8 inhabitants, is a very small albergue and a pilgrim-rest-stop. This albergue (donations) has 4 beds, a further, very small room with one bed is being renovated at the moment, an open-air kitchen with basic food staples, shower and toilet. Those that don't want to sleep there (no heating!) are welcome to rest and get a cup of coffee or tea and cookies. The hospitaleros are from South Africa and speak English. More info here: http://www.pilgrimmission.org A nice dog and a cat that is a bit shy are also part of the hospitality team ;-)

Albergue Rionegro del Puente

Very beautiful! In the same historic, now renovated, building that has been served already in medieval ages as a pilgrims hostel. 7 Euro for bed, heating, blankets, kitchen, balcony, patio and a small library with camino related books. Washing machine for 2 Euro (Attention! It only works with one 2 Euro coin!) and the dryer is for free. The key, in the unlikely case that the albergue is closed, you can get in either the Bar Palacio or in the restaurant Asociacion Gastronomica (both places you can spot from the albergue door). The Bar Central, which used to have the key, is now permanently closed because of retirement of the owners.

Eating – The restaurant Asociacion Gastronomica 'Me Gusta Comer' https://agmegustacomer.wordpress.com over the road and right hand side of the albergue offers pilgrim menus for 10 Euro which are incredibly good! Do NOT miss it! For really only 10 Euro you get four courses (starter, soup, main course and dessert), wine, water, Gaseosa ect, bread, coffee and chupito (digestif). All of extraordinary quality and plenty. Who doesn't eat here, really misses something! Meals are partly prepared in view and chef Teo and his team are really caring towards pilgrims. The only place on this way I ate two full menus in one day, it was so good. Here a sample of what was served: Tuna Terrine with strawberry jam, Caldo Gallego, quails with chocolate sauce, Tiramisu with ice cream and nuts ...

Breakfast – The Asociacion Gastronomica offers also breakfast, but only when ordered beforehand and for more than 5 people. The Bar Palacio opens ~08:00 and offers a simple breakfast.


Way Rionegro del Puente – Asturianos

Well marked, no problems. Attention! In Mombuey you have the last possibility to shop for the following 30+ km, until Puebla de Sanabria. The albergue in San Salvador de Palazuelo is indeed open, but the pilgrim I met that slept there described the key as 'difficult to find' and the albergue itself as spartan. Also no shop nor bar in village!

Other Things

Weather – On this stage we had really all weather-wise: From sunny-warm to rain to hail showers and thunderclaps! So much for the beginning of spring ;-)

AVE Construction Site – Until now the construction of the new high-speed train tracks caused no problems for us pilgrims.


Albergue Asturianos – 7 Euro: 6 bunk beds in one room with one heater, 1 blanket/person, shower and toilet, all in the annex of the polideportivo (sport hall) at the outskirt of the village. The food in the bar of the polideportivo is edible … and breakfast is only available after having walked to the next village in 3km.


Way Asturianos – Puebla de Sanabria

I walked along the N-525 (little traffic) to Palacios de Sanabria in order to reach my beloved Cafe con Leche and tostadas as fast as possible. Also the meadows, pastures and ways/paths are very muddy at the moment and sometimes also covered with standing water. After Palacios de Sanabria I retook the Camino, no problems to find it, but rather muddy.

Albergue Puebla de Sanabria

The albergue Casa Luz (12 Euro) http://www.alberguecasaluz.es, is the only pilgrims hostel in town and belongs to the same family as the Meson Abelardo does (see below). It is a nice looking place, but there were a few points that I and some of my fellow pilgrims didn't like too much. Apart of the relatively small and sparsely equipped kitchen and the, at the moment rather coolish, patio there isn't any common room/area at all. We were 'only' 10 pilgrims that night, but it got a bit crowded in the evening in the kitchen. The heating gets only turned on in the evening (around 7 o'clock) which means the whole house is rather coolish. They charge you 6 Euro for washing and drying but unfortunately you get your clothes back still rather humid. The older couple that receives the pilgrims is very concerned that all is perfectly organized and in order: One blanket per pilgrim, bed numbers and so on. Our little pilgrims group that night was rather nice but I think if I walk again through Puebla de Sanabria I might look for another accommodation. Good things about the albergue: The bathrooms for the lady pilgrims are really nice and luxury (male pilgrim have theirs in cabins at the side of the patio. Rather cold, the patio, not the showers!), there is wifi and from the patio you have a lovely view to the church and castle and the albergue is very clean.

Eating – In the 'upper town' is the Meson Abelardo http://www.restaurantesanabria.es They don't have a menu but the Pulpo a la Sanabresa is absolutely delicious! Recommended!


Way Puebla de Sanabria – Requejo

Because of the still very muddy and partly inundated camino I took again to the road. From the albergue you head to the river, cross it and follow the road to the right 'around the rock' and cross a second bridge. Until then the way is pretty much the same for everybody, if you want to follow my steps you continue after the second bridge on the same road until this one meets the N-525 and follow the N-525 left until Requejo. Despite being a national road there is hardly any traffic on it!

Albergue Requejo

I stayed at the private albergue Casa Cervino (12 Euro) http://www.albergue-sanabria.com/content.php. The style of this private albergue is very different from the one yesterday! All is far more relaxed (Come in, make yourself at hone, choose a bed, we come by from time to time but if you need us now, you can call us and we come immediately!) There is a small kitchen, washing machine (2 Euro), dryer (2 Euro), bed linen, towels, big common area, balcony, wifi, plenty blankets and the heating gets turned on in the afternoon. And who wants to have a little bit more privacy can rent the double room (windowless).

Eating – After the village, directly at the N-525 is the Hostal-Restaurant Tu Casa that feeds allegedly since over 30 years pilgrims and other travelers. The hospitalero convinced me to give it a try and also if I was a bit skeptical what would be on offer for only 6,50 Euro, I was pleasantly surprised!


Ok, that was it for the moment, now in Lubian and tomorrow I will cross into Galicia ;-) Buen Camino! SY
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
@SYates did you walk the stage entirely on the N631? i'm looking for info about this way that could allow me to save a day. Thanks a lot.
Yes, I did, there are a couple of dodgy places where you have to be very careful but on other stretches you can also walk on an old track beside the road. Not the most scenic of stages, but doable. Buen Camino, SY
 
Eating – After the village, directly at the N-525 is the Hostal-Restaurant Tu Casa that feeds allegedly since over 30 years pilgrims and other travelers. The hospitalero convinced me to give it a try and also if I was a bit skeptical what would be on offer for only 6,50 Euro, I was pleasantly surprised!

Ok, that was it for the moment, now in Lubian and tomorrow I will cross into Galicia ;-) Buen Camino! SY
Wonderful memories brought back by these posts. But one of the nicest was to learn that the Hostal-Restaurante Tu Casa outside of Requejo de Sanabria is still in business. I thought the owner/cook/server was one of the kindest people I met in my two or three treks up and down the Vdlp. But I remember thinking, and this must have been in 2008, that there was no way that place was going to survive. The two of us had a long lunch as the only people in the whole place. So happy it figured out how to stay afloat! I also remember a good meal there, just solid home cooking with the caloric intake pilgrims need to keep on chugging along.

If you feel like an extra km or two to walk, go up 1 km to the wolf catcher (to the side of the bar on the highway and then up the hill past the medical center) -- itis really interesting.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
If you feel like an extra km or two to walk, go up 1 km to the wolf catcher (to the side of the bar on the highway and then up the hill past the medical center) -- itis really interesting.
And look out for wolves paw prints, we saw many (in the sandy track) and the Spanish pilgrim we were walking with actually managed to take a pic of the wolf :cool: Don't stop if you see one though, keep moving (advised the locals).
 
Wolf catcher pictured here, to tempt you perhaps:

And more endearing, was the little rusty scallop shell I saw on an ancient door lock in the main plaza:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...tion-between-zamora-granja.26193/#post-240351

But doing the math, I guess it's nighttime in Lubian now. When you have a moment, SYates, would love to hear about the walk between Aciberos and Lubian, one of my favorite pastoral babbling brook walks on any camino, perhaps lost to the AVE construction.

Carry on peregrina, Buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Thank you SY - what a truly fantastic and honest report of this difficult but welcoming Camino. Makes me really want to return and finish what I started in May 2013. BTW I love your caption description "camino fossil AD 1999" makes us new comers wonder what the Meseta would have been only 15-20 years ago. Gracias :);)
 

santiago_67

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances, Via de La Plata & Camino Portuguese
Future: Via de la Plata
Way Tabara – Santa Marta de Tera

From the Albergue de Peregrinos the connection with the main way is well marked, if you stay in the Hostal you simply walk a short way back to the church-museum at the national road and follow the yellow arrows from there. So far the construction site of the high speed train doesn't make any problems. Variant: ~10km after Tabara there is a bifurcation. One way goes via Bercianos de Valverde, the other via Villanueva de las Peras. I chose the way via Villanueva de las Peras as there are on this variant, differently to the way over Bercianos de Valverde, two bars where you can restore yourself with food and drink ;-) Also, in Villanueva de las Peras there is now a new albergue, which looked nice from the outside, see http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/albergue-la-alameda

At the village exit of Villanueva de las Peras it started to rain ;-( and as the way out of the village wasn't too clearly marked, I just followed the country road to Santa Croya/Santa Marta de Tera which had hardly any traffic.

Albergue Santa Marta de Tera

New, very clean, excellent kitchen with big living area, blankets, heating, good bathrooms, washing machine (1 Euro) – all what a pilgrim could wish for ;-) and all for only 5 Euro. The albergue door is open, to pay and get your Credencial stamped you either go to the church-museum in the early evening or wait until the mayor himself pays a friendly visit to the albergue. The bar 'Stop' doesn't hold the key anymore, as stated in some guides! There is a small shop in the village (map in albergue) and like so often in smaller Spanish villages you have to ring the bell, even during opening hours.


Way Santa Marta de Tera – Olleros de Tera

Way is well marked and easy to find. When you get, after ~6km, to the bridge over the river Tera, you can, instead of crossing the bridge, go over the road and down to the border of the river. Here you find a bar-cafeteria which is, at least theoretically, open all year round. Even when it is not open, like it happened to me, you can rest here under a roof and shelter from rain or sun. Back to the bridge, and over it, following the yellow arrows, you will reach without problems, over wide tracks, the village of Calzadilla de Tera. The way turns right and when you get to the fountain Fuente de Ribera you can take, if you want, the same short-cut I took. Directly right hand of the fountain is a small stair with a blue handrail. Climb these stairs, cross the little canal in front of you and follow the small road, passing by bodegas, to the entrance of Calzadilla de Tera. Follow the main street (ZA-P-2547) through the village and on the, the villages connecting sidewalk, to Olleros de Tera.

Albergue Olleros de Tera

I stayed in the albergue La Trucha (7Euro) which can be found in the bar of the same name. If you take the same way like I did, you turn right in the center of the village towards the church and behind it left into the Calle de la Fuente where the bar-albergue is. In the former disco of the bar-restaurant are now 6 single beds, zwei separated by a curtain to give the small heater a better chance to keep this smaller space warm. Mikrowave but no kitchen, blankets, showers and toilets. The wifi from the bar reaches also the dormitory. Despite the heater a bit coolish, but the bar has a wood stove. Regular food at affordable prices, but, at least at the moment, no breakfast offered.


Way Olleros de Tera – Rionegro del Puente

Well marked, but 1km after the Ermita you have the choice between two way options. I took the foot, not the bicycle, path. The foot path is rather overgrown in parts, blocked by fallen trees over/under which you have to crawl and the last bit back to the road is rather steep. Very beautiful and a bit of an enchanted forest feeling, but next time I personally would choose the, slightly longer, cycle path. Important! When you rejoin the wider track/road, you have to turn left and go uphill towards the dam, not right and downhill towards the lake! The rest of the way is easy to find.

Villar de Farfon

In the last house of the village, which has only 8 inhabitants, is a very small albergue and a pilgrim-rest-stop. This albergue (donations) has 4 beds, a further, very small room with one bed is being renovated at the moment, an open-air kitchen with basic food staples, shower and toilet. Those that don't want to sleep there (no heating!) are welcome to rest and get a cup of coffee or tea and cookies. The hospitaleros are from South Africa and speak English. More info here: http://www.pilgrimmission.org A nice dog and a cat that is a bit shy are also part of the hospitality team ;-)

Albergue Rionegro del Puente

Very beautiful! In the same historic, now renovated, building that has been served already in medieval ages as a pilgrims hostel. 7 Euro for bed, heating, blankets, kitchen, balcony, patio and a small library with camino related books. Washing machine for 2 Euro (Attention! It only works with one 2 Euro coin!) and the dryer is for free. The key, in the unlikely case that the albergue is closed, you can get in either the Bar Palacio or in the restaurant Asociacion Gastronomica (both places you can spot from the albergue door). The Bar Central, which used to have the key, is now permanently closed because of retirement of the owners.

Eating – The restaurant Asociacion Gastronomica 'Me Gusta Comer' https://agmegustacomer.wordpress.com over the road and right hand side of the albergue offers pilgrim menus for 10 Euro which are incredibly good! Do NOT miss it! For really only 10 Euro you get four courses (starter, soup, main course and dessert), wine, water, Gaseosa ect, bread, coffee and chupito (digestif). All of extraordinary quality and plenty. Who doesn't eat here, really misses something! Meals are partly prepared in view and chef Teo and his team are really caring towards pilgrims. The only place on this way I ate two full menus in one day, it was so good. Here a sample of what was served: Tuna Terrine with strawberry jam, Caldo Gallego, quails with chocolate sauce, Tiramisu with ice cream and nuts ...

Breakfast – The Asociacion Gastronomica offers also breakfast, but only when ordered beforehand and for more than 5 people. The Bar Palacio opens ~08:00 and offers a simple breakfast.


Way Rionegro del Puente – Asturianos

Well marked, no problems. Attention! In Mombuey you have the last possibility to shop for the following 30+ km, until Puebla de Sanabria. The albergue in San Salvador de Palazuelo is indeed open, but the pilgrim I met that slept there described the key as 'difficult to find' and the albergue itself as spartan. Also no shop nor bar in village!

Other Things

Weather – On this stage we had really all weather-wise: From sunny-warm to rain to hail showers and thunderclaps! So much for the beginning of spring ;-)

AVE Construction Site – Until now the construction of the new high-speed train tracks caused no problems for us pilgrims.


Albergue Asturianos – 7 Euro: 6 bunk beds in one room with one heater, 1 blanket/person, shower and toilet, all in the annex of the polideportivo (sport hall) at the outskirt of the village. The food in the bar of the polideportivo is edible … and breakfast is only available after having walked to the next village in 3km.


Way Asturianos – Puebla de Sanabria

I walked along the N-525 (little traffic) to Palacios de Sanabria in order to reach my beloved Cafe con Leche and tostadas as fast as possible. Also the meadows, pastures and ways/paths are very muddy at the moment and sometimes also covered with standing water. After Palacios de Sanabria I retook the Camino, no problems to find it, but rather muddy.

Albergue Puebla de Sanabria

The albergue Casa Luz (12 Euro) http://www.alberguecasaluz.es, is the only pilgrims hostel in town and belongs to the same family as the Meson Abelardo does (see below). It is a nice looking place, but there were a few points that I and some of my fellow pilgrims didn't like too much. Apart of the relatively small and sparsely equipped kitchen and the, at the moment rather coolish, patio there isn't any common room/area at all. We were 'only' 10 pilgrims that night, but it got a bit crowded in the evening in the kitchen. The heating gets only turned on in the evening (around 7 o'clock) which means the whole house is rather coolish. They charge you 6 Euro for washing and drying but unfortunately you get your clothes back still rather humid. The older couple that receives the pilgrims is very concerned that all is perfectly organized and in order: One blanket per pilgrim, bed numbers and so on. Our little pilgrims group that night was rather nice but I think if I walk again through Puebla de Sanabria I might look for another accommodation. Good things about the albergue: The bathrooms for the lady pilgrims are really nice and luxury (male pilgrim have theirs in cabins at the side of the patio. Rather cold, the patio, not the showers!), there is wifi and from the patio you have a lovely view to the church and castle and the albergue is very clean.

Eating – In the 'upper town' is the Meson Abelardo http://www.restaurantesanabria.es They don't have a menu but the Pulpo a la Sanabresa is absolutely delicious! Recommended!


Way Puebla de Sanabria – Requejo

Because of the still very muddy and partly inundated camino I took again to the road. From the albergue you head to the river, cross it and follow the road to the right 'around the rock' and cross a second bridge. Until then the way is pretty much the same for everybody, if you want to follow my steps you continue after the second bridge on the same road until this one meets the N-525 and follow the N-525 left until Requejo. Despite being a national road there is hardly any traffic on it!

Albergue Requejo

I stayed at the private albergue Casa Cervino (12 Euro) http://www.albergue-sanabria.com/content.php. The style of this private albergue is very different from the one yesterday! All is far more relaxed (Come in, make yourself at hone, choose a bed, we come by from time to time but if you need us now, you can call us and we come immediately!) There is a small kitchen, washing machine (2 Euro), dryer (2 Euro), bed linen, towels, big common area, balcony, wifi, plenty blankets and the heating gets turned on in the afternoon. And who wants to have a little bit more privacy can rent the double room (windowless).

Eating – After the village, directly at the N-525 is the Hostal-Restaurant Tu Casa that feeds allegedly since over 30 years pilgrims and other travelers. The hospitalero convinced me to give it a try and also if I was a bit skeptical what would be on offer for only 6,50 Euro, I was pleasantly surprised!


Ok, that was it for the moment, now in Lubian and tomorrow I will cross into Galicia ;-) Buen Camino! SY
Thanks so much for all your posts. I will start the Via de la Plata in Salamanca in 5 days and your comments/info will be most useful. Buen Camino!
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
... wonder what the Meseta would have been only 15-20 years ago. ...
Actually not so different from today, the meseta hasn't changed much. There might be a few more albergues and bars, but that is all ;-) Buen Camino, SY
 

Jun Meng

The Only Way I know
Camino(s) past & future
VLDP Spring, 2016
You'll be a couple of days ahead of me, i'll be in Sevilla on 30th april!
(Sorry for the OT)
Hi Chinasky!! Say hi If meet me on trail. I'm Sure that I'm easy to recognize As Probably the Only Asian on the vdlp. And I'm from China. Chinasky!!! btw What is OT?
 

chinasky

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

Via de la Plata - May 2016
Hi Chinasky!! Say hi If meet me on trail. I'm Sure that I'm easy to recognize As Probably the Only Asian on the vdlp. And I'm from China. Chinasky!!! btw What is OT?
I definitely will say hi!
OT: means Out of Topic :)
 

Jun Meng

The Only Way I know
Camino(s) past & future
VLDP Spring, 2016
I definitely will say hi!
OT: means Out of Topic :)

GTK!!
You were on the edge of the topic. It was me totally OT!! LOL

Maybe you would like to opening a new topic and gethering the pilgrims who are on the road in that period of time if you like!! If you do, @me please!

Anyway, see you on trail and Buen Camino!:D
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Eating – The restaurant Asociacion Gastronomica 'Me Gusta Comer' https://agmegustacomer.wordpress.com over the road and right hand side of the albergue offers pilgrim menus for 10 Euro which are incredibly good! Do NOT miss it! For really only 10 Euro you get four courses (starter, soup, main course and dessert), wine, water, Gaseosa ect, bread, coffee and chupito (digestif). All of extraordinary quality and plenty. Who doesn't eat here, really misses something! Meals are partly prepared in view and chef Teo and his team are really caring towards pilgrims. The only place on this way I ate two full menus in one day, it was so good. Here a sample of what was served: Tuna Terrine with strawberry jam, Caldo Gallego, quails with chocolate sauce, Tiramisu with ice cream and nuts ...
Totally, totally agree! Best meal of the entire camino and we ate very very well. If Teo ever gets sick of Sanabria and feels like a total change of scenery eg Australia, I'd be more than happy for him to come to my city.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
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.
Heidi, when I look at the photos, there appears to be a few places where a person could bed down outside the building under shelter. Did you get close enough to see whether this might be possible? Are there fences around the building? Were there any people there?
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Hi Chinasky!! Say hi If meet me on trail. I'm Sure that I'm easy to recognize As Probably the Only Asian on the vdlp. And I'm from China. Chinasky!!! btw What is OT?
I never saw many Chinese at all but I did walk with a Korean who spoke some very limited English and a Japanese who spoke some Spanish. I speak Judo Japanese ie I can tell people to stop, start, name a few body parts, count to 10. And we all communicated with a Spaniard with a tracheostomy who listened to us butcher his language but who was completely able to "talk" to us using improvised sign language. You never know who you meet!
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
Way Tabara – Santa Marta de Tera

Eating – The restaurant Asociacion Gastronomica 'Me Gusta Comer' https://agmegustacomer.wordpress.com over the road and right hand side of the albergue offers pilgrim menus for 10 Euro which are incredibly good! Do NOT miss it! For really only 10 Euro you get four courses (starter, soup, main course and dessert), wine, water, Gaseosa ect, bread, coffee and chupito (digestif). All of extraordinary quality and plenty. Who doesn't eat here, really misses something! Meals are partly prepared in view and chef Teo and his team are really caring towards pilgrims. The only place on this way I ate two full menus in one day, it was so good. Here a sample of what was served: Tuna Terrine with strawberry jam, Caldo Gallego, quails with chocolate sauce, Tiramisu with ice cream and nuts ...
SY
I agree.. Do NOT miss it!.. Best Pilgrim's Menu that I had on VDLP in September 2015 (Second place was Casa de Anita in Santa Croya de Tera).
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
Heidi, when I look at the photos, there appears to be a few places where a person could bed down outside the building under shelter. Did you get close enough to see whether this might be possible? Are there fences around the building? Were there any people there?
There were three cars and several people carrying carpentry tools around, so we didn't really walk up to the building to check any further.
I do hope they'll manage to agree about the rates, so they'll open soon!
 

Jun Meng

The Only Way I know
Camino(s) past & future
VLDP Spring, 2016
I never saw many Chinese at all but I did walk with a Korean who spoke some very limited English and a Japanese who spoke some Spanish. I speak Judo Japanese ie I can tell people to stop, start, name a few body parts, count to 10. And we all communicated with a Spaniard with a tracheostomy who listened to us butcher his language but who was completely able to "talk" to us using improvised sign language. You never know who you meet!
Yes. Indeed. And This is all Camino about to meet different people and find the real ourselves! Buen camino!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
09 CFrancés, CFisterra 10 VPodiensis 11 CNorte 12 VPlata 13 VPlata, CSanabrés 14 CLevante, CSanabrés 15 CSureste, CInvierno, CMuxia 16 CMadrid, CSalvador, CPrimitivo (17 RLana, CInterior)
Villar de Farfon

In the last house of the village, which has only 8 inhabitants, is a very small albergue and a pilgrim-rest-stop. This albergue (donations) has 4 beds, a further, very small room with one bed is being renovated at the moment, an open-air kitchen with basic food staples, shower and toilet. Those that don't want to sleep there (no heating!) are welcome to rest and get a cup of coffee or tea and cookies. The hospitaleros are from South Africa and speak English. More info here: http://www.pilgrimmission.org A nice dog and a cat that is a bit shy are also part of the hospitality team ;-)
Okay, it's me again, the party-pooper...

Be sure to look nice and proper when staying for a chat in that place, or they will throw bibles and pamphlets at you... At least, the dog is not interested in your religious beliefs. Ok, forget I said anything.........

/BP
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP (2016)
Jesus Trail (Nazareth to Capernaum) 2016
Way of St Francis (Pietralunga to Assisi) 2016
Okay, it's me again, the party-pooper...

Be sure to look nice and proper when staying for a chat in that place, or they will throw bibles and pamphlets at you... At least, the dog is not interested in your religious beliefs. Ok, forget I said anything.........

/BP
Baaaad pilgrim!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
Noooooooooo! Brilliant that they are opening again....? Or did I get that wrong? :confused:
It is a very long stretch and however good the other private albergue was, I don't think they can be relied upon?
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Noooooooooo! Brilliant that they are opening again....? Or did I get that wrong? :confused:
It is a very long stretch and however good the other private albergue was, I don't think they can be relied upon?
Unfortunately I wouldn't hold my breath that they are opening any time soon. As I understand it they have first to finish the work and then find a new tenant that wants to run the place. SY
 

Ants

Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino frances(2006) camino del norte(2010)camino portugues(2015)camino via de la plata(2017)
Unfortunately I wouldn't hold my breath that they are opening any time soon. As I understand it they have first to finish the work and then find a new tenant that wants to run the place. SY
Thank you very much for your lovely point of views along the way i hope to follow in your footsteps in February next year..all the very best to you
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés August 2014
Camino Via de la Plata (Sevilla-Salamanca) May 2015
Camino Via de la Plata (Sevilla-Zafra) April 2016
Camino Via de la Plata (Zafra-Santiago) september 2016
Thans SY for all the information on the Via de la Plata ! It's very usefull for us .
Buen Camino !!
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
I arrived yesterday in Santiago and was happy as a clam to be able to meet up with @C clearly , her sister in law MB and @Viranani - we had a lovely time chatting about caminos! The missing updates I will post the next days during sips of vino and bites of tapas. Buen Camino, SY
 

nalod

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2011, Finnesterre 2011,Le Puy to SJPDP 2011& 2012,Via de la Plata,Sambrasa 2012, Mozarabe 2013, Portugees 2013.PartNorde 2011, VDPL 2014,St-Guilhem 2014.Espalion-Roncesvalles 2014.Levante2015
Enjoy there is one restaurant that is really excellent it is called Los Cararoles it is central location really beautiful food speciality mariscos good value for money (not pilgrim price menu but a treat) Regards Dermot
 

Paul G

On a journey
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Francé, from SJPP to Muxia, Finisterre
2016 Via de la Plata / Sanabrés from Sevilla
Thank you all for the marvelous information being posted her, particularly SYates.

My question regards the current information on robberies from Pilgrims outside Guillena. There are threads from April 2015 and 2013. So I was wondering the current situation.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
...My question regards the current information on robberies from Pilgrims outside Guillena. There are threads from April 2015 and 2013. So I was wondering the current situation.
I felt very safe in that area and didn't get any 'bad vibes' and if I remember right from previous forum threads that robbers have been caught anyway. Personally I feel that the Via de la Plata is even safer than the Camino Frances.

Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - 2005
Camino Portuguese - 2014
VdlP - 2016
Congratulations SY on your safe arrival - it has been a delight to follow your progress with current updates which will be invaluable for the near future. Looking forward to the 'final' instalments (enjoy the rehydrating fluids) and counting down til departure time.
Kind regards, DLL
 

chinasky

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

Via de la Plata - May 2016
Congratulations @SYates ! You really did a great job, walking and keeping this post updated. Looking forward to read the last part of your story on the VDLP, waiting for my departure on 04/30!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
Congratulations on your safe arrival. I have really enjoyed our posts and have bookmarked this thread for future reference - maybe next Spring :)

thank you for posting!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
@SYates - I'm so glad you made it safetly to Santiago. Thank you so much for the notes, I am going to find this really helpful in September! Where's your next adventure taking you?
 

Risky

Member, Brisbane Australia.
Camino(s) past & future
Porto(2015), VDLP(2016), Le Puy(2017), Del Norte & Primitivo(2017), Vezelay & Frances (April 2018)
Congratulations on completing another adventure. It has been great to read your postings and they will be very helpful. My wife and I are walking out of Seville at the end of April and reading your posts has heightened our excitement, can't wait.

Thank You.
 
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
Congratulations. Add me to the list of people eagerly awaiting your final updates. I've been siphoning them out of this thread into their Very Own Document on my computer!
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
Congratulations on your safe arrival. I have really enjoyed our posts and have bookmarked this thread for future reference - maybe next Spring :)

thank you for posting!
I agree with you Norelle.
So much helpful info from some really experienced pilgrim walkers here.
I'm so looking forward to VDLP next spring (if all goes well ) Hoping to catch up with u Norelle, in June for a chat with JennyH?

Thankyou so much for your posts SYates.

Annie
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (september - october 2016)
Congratulations SYates on your safe arrival in Santiago de Compostela and thank you very much for reporting in such great detail for all of us to read.
As I will be starting from Sevilla myself come September, I have been reading your notes with a lot of attention, and am looking forward to reading the final installments.
Best wishes. Michael
 

Paul G

On a journey
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Francé, from SJPP to Muxia, Finisterre
2016 Via de la Plata / Sanabrés from Sevilla
Wonderful to hear of safe arrival in Santiago, particularly after the dodgy start with the tendinitis!
Thank you very much for very informative, concise information given with good humour. This will be very valuable to me when I start from Sevilla on 21 April.
 

chinasky

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

Via de la Plata - May 2016
Me too, @SYates ! I know that you spent a night in Casa Leiras, a really nice albergue run by a couple of my friends :)
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
Excellent info so far, thank you. I do hope you post any helpful hints you have for the last few days as I start my camino next Wednesday!
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP (2016)
Jesus Trail (Nazareth to Capernaum) 2016
Way of St Francis (Pietralunga to Assisi) 2016
Cañaveral - just arrived here after the 34+ km stage, the last 7km with thunder, lightening and rain to find a very loud snorer had bused ahead. Can't blame him - for busing - I think he's got tendonitis (or for snoring - I've been known to emit the occasional grunt too). Couldn't face another night w/o sleep so wandered up to the Hostal Malaga for a little pampering. Single room w/bath €20 and Don Alfonso is doing my washing for free!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005,2006,2008,2009,2012,2013) Portuguese (2007) Del Norte (2009,2010) Primitivo (2009) Finisterre (2012) Salvador (2013) Liebaniego & Vadiniense (2014) Ingles (2014) Via de la Plata (2015) Sanabres (2016)
Hikoi, what are the numbers like on the plata now... are there many pilgrims?
 
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP (2016)
Jesus Trail (Nazareth to Capernaum) 2016
Way of St Francis (Pietralunga to Assisi) 2016
Hikoi, what are the numbers like on the plata now... are there many pilgrims?
There's about 10 of us on this stage - I began with about 37 in Seville. Some have gone ahead, some have dropped back, some have gone home. No problems getting beds so far.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005,2006,2008,2009,2012,2013) Portuguese (2007) Del Norte (2009,2010) Primitivo (2009) Finisterre (2012) Salvador (2013) Liebaniego & Vadiniense (2014) Ingles (2014) Via de la Plata (2015) Sanabres (2016)
Thanks.. that's good to hear, I'll be continuing from Zamora in 2 weeks time (4th May) where I finished last year.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Hi there ;-) Sorry, it took me longer then expected to write this up, but real life got a bit in the way of the Camino memories:


Way Requejo – Lubian

Because of the strong rain the previous days I decided to simply walk the national road N-525 which had close to no traffic. The climb was actually milder than I had expected.

Padornelo – ~1km after the end of Padernelo village is the hotel Padernelo (directly by the road/on the way) which offers single rooms for 25 Euro. I only had a coffee at their bar, but all looked nice and clean, perhaps an alternative for those that walk different stages than me. Web site: http://www.hotelpadornelo.com

Attention Camino Change after Padornelo! - The way via Aciberos is blocked and the Camino is diverted but no problem, the new route is extremely well marked and after the first ~2km Strasse also quite beautiful.

Albergue Lubian – Very clean and well kept. 3 Euro, 12 bunk beds in one dormitory (with balcony) in the first floor where also the only shower and toilet is located, radiators and blankets. On the ground floor is reasonably well equipped kitchen-cum-living room which has also 4 bunk beds. The first time ever I have seen bunk beds in the kitchen/living room area ;-) Normally the albergue is open, but if not, or you want to tell the hospitalero that you are there, there is a list of telephone numbers at the door to reach them but you can also simply walk in and make yourself comfortable and somebody will find you later, either in the albergue or, as it happened to me, during dinner in the local bar ;-)

Eating – We ate very well at the bar 'Estrella de Lubian', menu 9 Euro.


Way Lubian – A Gudina

Attention Camino Change(s) – When you reach the local Marian Sanctuary La Tuiza (~2.5km) after Lubian, you have now to turn left, practically passing the main door of the church, down a little tarmac road/path/track. The tarmac disappears quickly and you get to a sunken lane / holloway with stepping stones. From here on until you reach the border to Galicia the way is a) impossible to do on/with a bike and b) in my opinion, one of the most strenuous parts of the whole Via de la Plata, so please, stay in Lubian if you are already tired and allow for enough daylight hours to walk this stretch! Basically the way is well marked, and I even had the pleasure to see yellow arrows under water whilst balancing the stepping stones, but there is one tricky bit. When you have reached the forest and see, again, the motorway from afar, the way seems to disappear suddenly. This is, most likely, due to the fact, that every pilgrim made their own way uphill and so there is no clearly trodden path. If in doubt, just walk straight uphill, ~200m, and you will cross another flooded sunken way / hollow way (the embankment is visible) and follow it. From here on the way is well marked. Second Attention! From Lubian to A Gudina I have only found one open bar, in Vilavella.

Albergue A Gudina

I know I should have posted this bit of important information far earlier and I bow my head in shame that I haven't done so. Please forgive me!

Since more then two years there are consistent reports in the Spanish speaking online world that the official albergue in A Gudina is over run by bed bugy and that 'nobody' is doing anything effective against them, we (three random pilgrim friends) opted to share a triple room in Hotel Bruma. At 60 Euro without breakfast that worked out at 20 Euro/pilgrim, all very clean, spacious and, most importantly, bed bug free! The hotel (there are others in town, closer to the way), lies at the national road N-525 close to the end of town. Attention! From here you have to walk the next morning a bit back towards the town as the yellow arrows here mark a different variant of the way (explanation see below).

Side Note: Several days later I met other pilgrims that have actually entered the albergue, one of them a professional bed bug exterminator and he has seen the chinches with is own eyes! So I guess it is better to avoid this albergue alltogether until 'somebody' gives the all-clear.

Attention! From A Gudina until Ourense I haven't seen a single ATM!

Eating – We ate very well at the Meson O Fiadeiro (opposite of Hotel Bruma II, slightly towards the town center), all homemade, very friendly atmosphere and all for 10 Euro.


Way A Gudina – Campobecerros

Attention! Please bear with me, this is complicated to describe. There are three ways from A Gudina which separate in the center of town, see map of two of them here: http://www.gronze.com/sites/default/files/mapa/via-de-la-plata-30s_0.svg

The original and shortest Camino is, officially and at the moment of me walking that bit of information, closed. But only for pilgrims! Cars, bikes, horse carriages and so on are still allowed to take that road (the Camino follows mainly the road). The reason for the 'no pilgrims' signs you see is simply the increased traffic of heavy duty lorries/trucks due to the AVE construction works. As it was Saturday before Easter I risked it, assuming, rightly, that there would be no construction work going on. If you want to walk this way during 'normal working hours' please think trice about your decision! There are two marked alternatives, both longer but also most likely safer.

Albergue Campobecerros

The Albergue Municipal is closed/invisible/I didn't see a sign of, but there is a new private one called 'Albergue da Rosario' which belongs to first bar the Camino passes. The albergue is normally open, but as you pass by the bar anyway you can call in and tell them that you are heading there. Clean and tidy, 8 Euro, 20 bunk beds in one dormitory, blankets, two showers with toilets, washing machine 3 Euro, no dryer, no kitchen (but planned), terrace.

Eating – In the aforementioned bar (there is at least one other one in the village) they serve big portions of tasty food for very low prices. For example, I paid Euro 2,50 for a huge bowl of bean stew with bread and a pitcher of wine. The bar also has a mini-shop to buy your next days lunch.

Warning ;-) If you turn up at mass and the priest realises that you speak Spanish, you might be asked to read, happened not only to me ...


Way Campobecerros – Laza


All well marked and no difficulties. In the tiny village of Eiras is a pilgrims rest stop (donations appreciated). If nobody is at home, a little self-serve bar with drinks and cookies is set up under the roof.

Albergue Laza

Very, very clean sauber, 4 rooms (color coded and you get your own key from the proteccion civil where you need to register and pay the fee of 6 Euro). Each room has 8 bunk beds, kitchen with a bit of cutlery and crockery, showers, toilets and a big living room. As I was there it was somewhat overheated.

Side Note Xunta Wifi

In Laza I encountered for the first time the so-called 'Camino Wifi' begegnet. Theoretically it works like this: Open internet browser, fill in your dates, wait for SMS with log-in details send to you. I am still waiting for that SMS … and none of my fellow pilgrims had any luck with that system, so don't waste your time.

Eating – The 'Taberna do Ardillas' (the squirrels tavern) serves extremely tasty menus for ~10 Euros.


OK, I better get this posted now, instead of waiting until I have finished 'everything'. Oh, and excuse the typos and funny grammar, no much time for proof reading at the moment …

Buen Camino, SY
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Way Laza – Vilar de Barrio

The way is well marked, here a few crucial points. Despite being advertised on the way as 'open from 7 a.m., the pilgrims rest stop in Soutelo Verde was closed when I passed by ;-( but it looked still 'occupied', so perhaps you have more luck than I did ;-) After Tamelas, in the middle of the forest, just before the way goes steep uphill, there are three possibilities to choose from. I choose the right hand one and it turned out to be a wide, recently amplified, forest track that leads you steep, but comfortably, to the first top. The middle one joins it here, the left one, no idea where that ended. The middle track seemed to me more rocky and more difficult to walk, the right hand one would have been just possible on bike.

Albergueria – Don't miss the Scallop Bar! Luis, who keeps this bar alive for pilgrims and the few neighbors, invites every pilgrim to put his/her name (and any message they want to add) on a scallop shell and hangs these shells up in his bar. There are thousands of it, on the walls, from the ceiling, wherever there is a free spot – there is a shell. Albergue – Luis also owns the albergue opposite the bar. A fellow pilgrim tried to stay there but gave up because of the cold. It was a very rainy, foggy day. He described it as cute, cozy and bl...y d.m cold ;-) Apparently the only heating is a wooden stove.


Albergue Vilar de Barrio

Clean, official (Xunta) Albergue: 6 Euro, under floor heating, kitchen with barely anything in terms of equipment, 20+ bunk beds in two dormitories, washing machine (3 Euro) and dryer (1,5 Euro). Not much atmosphere and a friendly, but slightly overbearing hospitalera.


Way Vilar de Barrio – Xunqueira de Ambia

Another day with heavy downpours ;-( We tried to follow the Camino, but it was absolutely flooded, so had to divert after a few kilometers to the minor road(s) and followed these one until Xunqueira de Ambia.

Albergue Xunqueira de Ambia

Another clean Xunta albergue for 6 Euro. The usual equipment and not much useful in the kitchen. Reasonably welly heated, didn't see a washing machine/dryer. One dormitory with 12 beds was open, the other two closed.

Eating – The only place in town that served food (but there are plenty of bars and cafes around) we found was Bar Guede near the church. The food was ok, plenty and for 9 Euro reasonably priced.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Way Xunqueira de Ambia – Ourense

Thankfully the weather improved and thankfully the way passed plenty of villages with bars that served cafe con leche and snacks ;-) All is well marked and a pleasant walk, but with quite a bit of tarmac walking also. One village that stands out is Seixalbo, whilst all other villages this day are modern 'build alongside the main traffic road' villages, this one is really pretty with its narrow streets and old stone houses. Worth budgeting a bit of extra time just walking around in it. In the center of Ourense there is a bifurcation of the ways, the one on the left takes you through Ourense on the camino, the one on the right brings you straight to the albergue.

Albergue Ourense – Another Xunta albergue in a historic building (former Fransiscan monastery). Two big dormitories, interconnected, with ~20 beds in each. Very dark and barely any outside windows, but there is a big window/glass panel that makes sure you hear every sound from the kitchen/living room area on the ground floor in the dormitories on the first floor ;-( Like in all big cities, strict curfew. I must say to me this place felt rather depressing.

Eating – We went for tapas that evening and the main area for this you find when you head down from the albergue to the cathedral and then turn right just before it. Plenty of choices ;-)

Important! - Even if you are not a church goer, don't miss the cathedral of Ourense with its own astonishing Portico de la Gloria lookalike – in colors. Entrance is free.


Way Ourense – Cotelas

If I would walk the Via de la Plata again, I seriously would take the bus out of Ourense for the first five kilometers until Canedo. It is really only alongside the heavily used national road ;-( but the way is well-marked ;-) Reguengo Cesar maintains here a tiny bar on donation base that serves snacks and drinks (beware of the homemade, natural wine!), don't miss it! Cesar really cares about pilgrims, he told us he had learned this from his godmother who already took care of pilgrims 60+ years ago. Cea – Don't miss to taste the bread, the only bread worldwide so far that has gained DOC status! Despite the tasty bread we decided to walk two kilometers further to the relatively new private albergue in Cotelas.

Albergue Cotelas – I had seen the advertisements for this place since a few days and was intrigued by it and I, and my fellow pilgrims, were not disappointed. For 8 Euro you get your own room (with TV, lol) with your own bathroom, bed linen, blankets and towels. There is also a bar-shop that serves very tasty, and plenty, tapas with your drink, equally tasty menus and breakfast plus a common room with a honesty till to which everybody gets a key (the room, not the till!). Wifi is fast and reliable and some of the rooms share a kitchen. Oh yes, there is also a washing machine for 3 Euro, but no dryer as far as I could see. The people who run it are extremely kind, in fact as one of my pilgrim friends forgot his phone charger the next day the owner followed us in his car, found us and delivered it with a smile back to him.

In main season, or if you plan to arrive on a Wednesday (theoretically their day off), you need to reserve, contact details here: http://www.orefugio.es/esp/contacto.html

The idea of the place seems to be a restore some of the old houses and barns in the village and to serve pilgrims and neighbors alike and so to revive the village. So far it seems to work really well.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Way Cotelas – Botos

Make sure you don't follow the signs to Oseira (unless you want to) but choose the way via Castro Dozon. Attention! Around Carballeda the way marking gets really poor, we all, separately, lost our way that day but 'somehow', by pilgrims instinct, made it to Castro Dozon. Thankfully from here on the way marking was good again. Attention! The only bar between Castro Dozon and Botos is in Alto de Santo Domingo, directly on the road, ~3km after Castro Dozon.

Albergue Botos – There isn't one, but a very friendly hotel restaurant called A Ponte with clean rooms and good food. We got the tip for this hotel from the nice people that run the albergue in Cotelas as otherwise it would have meant walking 30+km, something I really didn't want to contemplate. Anyway, thanks to getting a wee bit lost in the hills above Castro Dozon, I was DOA anyway. For the life of me I can't remember how much I paid, for once I was to tired that evening to make notes, but it was the usual price range for a hotel in that part of Spain (~25 Euros for a single room) and also the tasty menu was between 10 and 12 Euro including wine. An added bonus was that the owner had done the Camino herself and completely understood that pilgrims want not to show their passport(s) first thing but drop the backpack and have a cool glass of something first ;-) Phone numbers for reservation: 986 78 05 62 or 675 897 470 There is also at least one other place in town as far that I could see.


Way Botos – Silleda

Yes, another short stage ;-) Special point of interest: the bridge Taboada over the river Deza, it is more than 1,000 years old and still standing strong and proudly. In Taboada you also find one of the very few open churches on the whole way, it is worthwhile visiting and spending some time with the knowledgeable 'guardian'. Added plus, it is dedicated to Santiago. The whole way is well marked but in/after rain flooded, especially after Trasfontao.

Albergue Silleda

There are several in this town, I stayed at the Gran Albergue del Peregrino ;-) It belongs to a hostal, but is very much a 'pilgrims flat/apartment' with 10 beds in 4 rooms, wifi, shower, toilet, fully equipped kitchen and a terrace. Important! Charge for washing and drying your clothes is a whopping 10 Euro, ask before you buy! I really liked this place, but on a cold day it takes some time until the heating is turned on and kicks in. However, they do offer single pilgrims to stay for the same price in one of the rooms of the hostal which is better heated for sure.

Eating – As it was raining, again, but hey, that is Galicia, and I was early I had lunch in the same hostal. 9 euro and very tasty with excellent prepared fresh fish.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Silleda – San Martin de Dornelas

Well-marked ;-)

Albergue San Martin de Dornelas – An Italian couple with their two children lives here since 7 years and has slowly converted the old village tavern and wine press into a bar and albergue. 12 Euro, ~10 beds in one dormitory, showers, toilets, no wifi, blankets, shy, but soon friendly (if you are patient) outside cats. Washing machine 3 Euro. Menu 9 Euro, also smaller dishes (Italian cuisine!) on offer, all very tasty. Bonus: The hospitalero speaks English ;-) A nice, quite place to stay before tackling the last stage to Santiago and to reflect in the garden with its gorgeous views what you have walked and discovered so far. Minus: Chained dogs that belong to the family ;-(


Way San Martin de Dornelas – Santiago

A long stage, but as I hadn't to be worried about ruining my feet anymore … The way is well-marked again. Special point of interest, as you leave Ponte Ulla there is a house with an incorporated medieval relief in the corner which depicts Saint Nicolas of Bari. The Saint is shown on the left side, three people in a vat or tub in the middle and a couple of people on the right and one person behind the saint. There are various explanations around of this iconography but the most likely one is that Saint Nicholas saved/revived three people about to be converted in pie by an evil butcher! See here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas#Miracles_and_other_stories

Again, the weather turned ugly and I opted to trot alongside the national road until Susana where I joined the camino again. Later that day the weather improved and I arrived in bright sunshine in Santiago …

I leave my notes about Santiago for tomorrow (or so) as I am getting tired. Thanks for your patience! Buen Camino, SY
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
You're a gem.
I've been cutting and pasting all your details into a document so that I can flick through it without all the conversation (and even without the bits about sore feet - with all due respect!!!). Would you like me to link to it here for others to use (once you've added Santiago)??
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Yes, a link would be great, I am sure @ivar would appreciate it also ;-) I personally consider what I wrote on this forum as published under a creative commons license with attribution, meaning you can use my posts as long as you quote me as the original source. I am also planing to convert my, so far only German, Camino site into a bilingual German and English site, so if you want to credit http://www.caminosantiago.eu also, that would be great! Buen Camino, SY
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
Thank you so much for this! I hope to walk the Via de la Plata later this year and this is invaluable!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
There you go (I can add Santiago when you've done it). You might even like to add the link to your very first post in this thread so people don't have to read all the way to the end and perhaps start copying and pasting themselves because they think the info is so valuable! Let me know if it doesn't work.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gWY-bEMztAxba0POUFyWvMHaVlAjnb-XYBo5OPJsHN4/edit?usp=sharing
Done! Can you also add to your doc, now that it is public, a short note that the information was gathered in February/March 2016 and that things change quickly on the Camino and that said information might be not anymore 100% accurate later or something like that? Oh, and perhaps a link to this forum threads first post?

Thanks and Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - 2005
Camino Portuguese - 2014
VdlP - 2016
You are indeed a gem SY, and so too Kiwi-family. You have saved me the bother of re-inventing a wheel - much gratitude for everything you've provided, it makes waiting until September an endurance of patience on an epic scale.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
Done! Can you also add to your doc, now that it is public, a short note that the information was gathered in February/March 2016 and that things change quickly on the Camino and that said information might be not anymore 100% accurate later or something like that? Oh, and perhaps a link to this forum threads first post?

Thanks and Buen Camino, SY
Your wishes were my commands! All added.
I imagine very few people make the Via de la Plata a first camino, so if you don't get round to adding Santiago information it's probably not vital! And even if they are complete first-timers by the time they get to Santiago, they will have no trouble finding anything!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005,2006,2008,2009,2012,2013) Portuguese (2007) Del Norte (2009,2010) Primitivo (2009) Finisterre (2012) Salvador (2013) Liebaniego & Vadiniense (2014) Ingles (2014) Via de la Plata (2015) Sanabres (2016)
Thanks SYates and Kiwi Family, great information... I'm going to print it and take it with me next week.
 
Hi there ;-) Sorry, it took me longer then expected to write this up, but real life got a bit in the way of the Camino memories:

Attention Camino Change after Padornelo! - The way via Aciberos is blocked and the Camino is diverted but no problem, the new route is extremely well marked and after the first ~2km Strasse also quite beautiful.
Buen Camino, SY
:(:(:( The way from Aciberos to Lubián was one of my most vivid pastoral camino memories, babbling brooks, green trees, lovely calm. It is such a shame that this route is no longer a part of the Sanabrés. I feared it was coming the last time I walked through and saw the big dirt movers coming closer to the camino.

But thanks for the updates, SYates, these are so helpful. Laurie
 
C

Castilian

Guest
Attention! From A Gudina until Ourense I haven't seen a single ATM!
To play it safe and get enough cash in A Gudiña (to cover all the route till Ourense) is the way to go. If someone walking the Sanabrés wants to make some research, s/he could ask (or look for) on the ground if the office of nowadays www.abanca.com in Laza and the one in Vilar de Barrio are (still) opened and if they offer ATM service. But, as I said above, play it safe and get enough cash in A Gudiña to cover all the route till Ourense.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
SY - YOU ARE A STAR. I do not think I have seen a better "blog" on how to manage the VDLP. I am sure there are a lot of us who are now a lot better prepared to face the long march.
Gracias!!:):cool::D
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
How I 'managed' the VdlP was simply by not walking more then I could/wanted and if had to walk long stages, I started with first light, prayed for good weather and did a lot of rest stops during the day and trotted on. I called myself the peregrina tortuga (tortoise pilgrim) and nearly everybody else was walking faster and longer stages than me - so what? :)

Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
To play it safe and get enough cash in A Gudiña (to cover all the route till Ourense) is the way to go. If someone walking the Sanabrés wants to make some research, s/he could ask (or look for) on the ground if the office of nowadays www.abanca.com in Laza and the one in Vilar de Barrio are (still) opened and if they offer ATM service. But, as I said above, play it safe and get enough cash in A Gudiña to cover all the route till Ourense.
I was looking for an ATM in a small country town in Australia. The Tourist office said there was none, but advised me to buy something at the local supermarket and ask for "cash out" on my debit card. Does this work in Spain and France?
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
I was looking for an ATM in a small country town in Australia. The Tourist office said there was none, but advised me to buy something at the local supermarket and ask for "cash out" on my debit card. Does this work in Spain and France?
In Spain not, at least I never came across it, in France sometimes. Buen Camino, SY
 
C

Castilian

Guest
I was looking for an ATM in a small country town in Australia. The Tourist office said there was none, but advised me to buy something at the local supermarket and ask for "cash out" on my debit card. Does this work in Spain and France?
In Spain not, at least I never came across it, in France sometimes. Buen Camino, SY
I don't have personal experience with it but I recall someone (maybe @KinkyOne ?) wrote that he made it somewhere on the Levante so it might be possible but I wouldn't rely on that option because many things could fail. Better safe than sorry, you know, so I'd suggest to get enough cash whenever you can to go till you are sure there's an ATM again.

P.S.: Now that @KinkyOne has provided the details of how he got the money (see his posts below), I invite you to forget that option (see my posts below).
 
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Camino(s) past & future
CF (2000); Ch St. Giles (2013); Le Puy to SJPP (May/June 2015); vdlp 2016
:(:(:( The way from Aciberos to Lubián was one of my most vivid pastoral camino memories, babbling brooks, green trees, lovely calm. It is such a shame that this route is no longer a part of the Sanabrés. I feared it was coming the last time I walked through and saw the big dirt movers coming closer to the camino.

But thanks for the updates, SYates, these are so helpful. Laurie.
Just walked this section today - it has a bit more asphalt (and a few km extra for me because I forgot my fanny pack, which I usually never take off, at the gas station where we got drinks at lunch, and had to go back uphill and get it). It might not be quite as gorgeous as before, but still a beautiful descent into the village with the earliest spring flowers just out and - happy sight these days - a great little bridge over a flooded part. There is still tons of water everywhere, but if you can get creative with your path-following skills (and if you have goretex shoes!), you can finish the day with dry feet
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I don't have personal experience with it but I recall someone (maybe @KinkyOne ?) wrote that he made it somewhere on the Levante so it might be possible but I wouldn't rely on that option because many things could fail. Better safe than sorry, you know, so I'd suggest to get enough cash whenever you can to go till you are sure there's an ATM again.
You're right Castilian. It happened to me on Sanabres in Vilar de Barrio where I ran out of funds. Locals in the bar told me to ask a young man working on a small gas station in the middle of the village. I don't remember exact amount but I think it was 50€ (or maybe 100€), certainly not the usual amount I take on ATMs. In short I paid for 50€ of gasoline with my credit card and I received receipt for that. With 50€ of course. Simple :)
 
C

Castilian

Guest
In short I paid for 50€ of gasoline with my credit card and I received receipt for that. With 50€ of course.
I didn't think it worked that way. I thought there was some sort of option in some payment terminals that allowed them to work more or less like an ATM (with the difference that you didn't get your money from the machine but from the guy/gal at the establishment where you were) with bank fees at your charge (instead of at the establishment owner's charge) but now that I think about it my thought doesn't make too much sense.

I don't think it's legal to make as you said the man at the gas station made. And he lost money (the fees the bank charges him per transaction).
In other words: forget about that option.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I didn't think it worked that way. I thought there was some sort of option in some payment terminals that allowed them to work more or less like an ATM (with the difference that you didn't get your money from the machine but from the guy/gal at the establishment where you were) with bank fees at your charge (instead of at the establishment owner's charge) but now that I think about it my thought doesn't make too much sense.

I don't think it's legal to make as you said the man at the gas station made. And he lost money (the fees the bank charges him per transaction).
In other words: forget about that option.
Well maybe I was charged fee also. I really don't remember. Anyway I got some money.

I forgot that also in Xunqueira de Ambia similar happened in the first bar on the right (opposite the church) where I paid for my beers with credit card in amount of let's say 4€ and got the difference to 30€ in cash.
Different approach and I think that's what you thought it was.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
I think that's what you thought it was.
No, it isn't. Anyway, as I said above, the way I thought it worked doesn't make too much sense. Maybe, it doesn't make any sense at all. Lesson learnt (or so I hope): to think quickly about things out of your expertise (areas) isn't a good idea because you'll surely miss important (and/or obvious) details/facts/info and you will get wrong thoughts/ideas as a result.

Right now, after thinking about it some more time, I can't think of a way to get cash out of a payment terminal that makes sense. Therefore I think the best advice I can give is: get cash just at ATM machines. And play it safe to avoid running out of money because as I said above on other post:

Better safe than sorry, you know, so I'd suggest to get enough cash whenever you can to go till you are sure there's an ATM again.
P.S.: To avoid misunderstandings, on my quote to myself above, by whenever you can I mean whenever you find an ATM in service and working properly.
 
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