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

Camino(s) past & future
VdlP (2016)
Jesus Trail (Nazareth to Capernaum) 2016
Way of St Francis (Pietralunga to Assisi) 2016
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 ;-)

Just arrived into Granja de Morereula from Zamora. A bit long, but no good options. Albergue is fine - no kitchen - you can get an average menu at the bar that holds the key... The owners are rather ungracious, but there is no alternative, I think. They wouldn't give a fellow pilgrim ice for his tendonitis, claiming there wasn't any. In a bar!!!!
 

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SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
... at the bar that holds the key... The owners are rather ungracious, but there is no alternative, I think. They wouldn't give a fellow pilgrim ice for his tendonitis, claiming there wasn't any. In a bar!!!!
That is just sad! Gronze.com shows an alternative accommodation http://www.gronze.com/castilla-y-leon/zamora/granja-moreruela/casa-rural-casa-del-tio-quico Perhaps that is something 'somebody' could check out? Buen Camino and an especially Buen Camino and speedy recovery for your pilgrim friend with tendinitis! SY
 
@SYates what a monumental task! and great that @Kiwi-family made it into a Google doc. Bravo you guys! I am sure that many will appreciate this detailed account, you certainly have taken a lot of time to put it all together.

I haven't gotten through it all but hope to be able to eventually update the list in the resources section with some of the new albergue alternatives.
Question: did you take the accommodation list from the Resource section? And if so, did you find any mistakes or changes? If you get the chance to answer that would be great.

Also a general shout-out to all walking the Plata now and in the coming months: please PM me with accommodation information. I try to keep up with the Plata threads but some may slip by without my reading. As I try to keep the number of pages to a minimum, I have not included Casa Rural information if there are municipals or other albergues in town.

Thanks for your help and Buen Camino to all!
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Sending you the updates regarding accommodation info I have found whilst walking is def on my rather long to-do list ;-) SY
 
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)
Just arrived into Granja de Morereula from Zamora. A bit long, but no good options. Albergue is fine - no kitchen - you can get an average menu at the bar that holds the key... The owners are rather ungracious, but there is no alternative, I think. They wouldn't give a fellow pilgrim ice for his tendonitis, claiming there wasn't any. In a bar!!!!
Hello Hikoi,

Can I ask, why didn't you stay in Montamarta? Were there too many pilgrims?

Paul.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (half of) 2005
Camino Portuguese 2007
Camino Norte 2009
Camino Ingles 2011
Camino Vasco del Interior Tunnel route 2013
Thank you so much for these posts. I will walk Ourense to Santiago in June and this year time is short so I have reserved some accommodation. So I was interested in the Botos accommodation mentioned and phone number ...this place has appeared in a few blogs.
I was thinking of getting the CSJ guide for this walk. Did you have a guide or just follow arrows or BOTH.
I have also read there are 2 ways out of Ourense one to the left one to the right.
Regards Jill
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
... I will walk Ourense to Santiago in June and this year time is short so I have reserved some accommodation. So I was interested in the Botos accommodation mentioned and phone number ...this place has appeared in a few blogs.
I was thinking of getting the CSJ guide for this walk. Did you have a guide or just follow arrows or BOTH.
I have also read there are 2 ways out of Ourense one to the left one to the right.
Regards Jill
Looking at the CSJ website, their guide to that part of the VdlP seems to be 'a bit' outdated ... I met @geraldkelly in Santiago who just did the VdlP to update his guide, see http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007JN8JIQ/?tag=camiforu-20 That one would be imo the best option for English speakers. Alison Raju was also on the way updating her guide, but no idea when it will come out. I had a German guide with me but also used the Eroski and Gronze websites and apps.

Botos- The nice people in the albergue in Cotelas made the reservation for us, I wrote the following in an earlier post in this thread

"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."

Yes, there is another way out of Ourense, but I haven't walked it, so can't comment on it.

Buen Camino, SY
 
That is just sad! Gronze.com shows an alternative accommodation http://www.gronze.com/castilla-y-leon/zamora/granja-moreruela/casa-rural-casa-del-tio-quico Perhaps that is something 'somebody' could check out? Buen Camino and an especially Buen Camino and speedy recovery for your pilgrim friend with tendinitis! SY
Hi, SYates and Hikoi,

So I now know of two bars in Spain where the owners will not give pilgrims ice, the other one was in the Plaza outside the Cathedral in Logrono. But those odds are awfully good, since I have probably gotten ice from several hundred bars in the last 15 years. I always carry a plastic bag with me (makes it much easier for the bar owner), and order a drink and I am almost always treated quite well.

And yes, I have stayed in Casa del Tio Quico. Owners are great, they gave us beds for 20 euros each. The problem is that the whole house may be rented out, especially on weekends and in summer. In fact, when we arrived on a Sunday, the family was just coming in to clean up after the weekend rental. They were great, and let us sit in the courtyard, while they rushed to finish up a bathroom and bedroom for us. Then while we showered, they finished the kitchen and other rooms. I would highly recommend the place. Laurie
 
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)
In Montamarta tonight... Only 5 of us in the municipal albergue... Weather is perfect... 25 degrees and blue skies.
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
We're in Merida now and have had no trouble with any of the lack of marking that SYates encountered. In fact, it looks like someone has been through very recently with a tin of yellow paint.
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Guide book recommendation update: @geraldkelly 's updated guide book to the Via de la Plata is now out. He was kind enough to send me a PDF and it is excellent! Certainly the best and most update guide book to the Via de la Plata that is available right now. The Kindle version is already available on Amazon here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01FKMGH8G/?tag=camiforu-20 and the print version is available here http://www.amazon.com/dp/1533170541/?tag=camiforu-20 Buen Camino, SY
Thank you for the update... I've just bought it and have got page one open and ready!!! I'm so excited, I've already got my pack almost ready even though I don't leave for 17 weeks :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 and '15
Camino Portuguese from Porto ''15
Via De la Plata '16
Camino Primitivo '16
Le Puy Camino '17?
Way Valdesalor – Caceres

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

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

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


Way Caceres – Casar de Caceres

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

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

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


Way Casar de Caceres – Canaveral

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

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

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


Way Canaveral – Grimaldo

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

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

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

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


Way Grimaldo – Galisteo

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

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


Way Galisteo – Carcaboso

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

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

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

Aldehuela del Jerte

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

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


Albergue Carcaboso

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

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


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

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

PPS As long as the wifi holds, I will now go through this thread any answer any questions I have an answer for ;-)
Hi Sybil, i am reading your account of the Via De La Plata with not so fond memories of one section that you describe. I stayed in Cacares and intended to walk to an Albergue by a lake (can't remember the name) and having got there after negotiating the disruption caused by the new train line construction , i found it closed. It was a very hot day and i had to carry on to Canaveral and i didn't take the road option..ouch!
 

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)
Hi Sybil, i am reading your account of the Via De La Plata with not so fond memories of one section that you describe. I stayed in Cacares and intended to walk to an Albergue by a lake (can't remember the name) and having got there after negotiating the disruption caused by the new train line construction , i found it closed. It was a very hot day and i had to carry on to Canaveral and i didn't take the road option..ouch!
Hi Rosser,

What year was this? In 2012 I also wanted to stay by the lake (I don't remember the name of the albergue but I know which one you're talking about) but another pilgrim went there before me, came back to meet me and reported it was closed. So we all had to move on to Cañaveral. Several days later I met people who had stayed there! The pilgrim that went before me was wrong. She had seen another building, half-way to the lake, and thought that one was the albergue! You sure you didn't ran into the "fake" albergue?

/Bad Pilgrim
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 and '15
Camino Portuguese from Porto ''15
Via De la Plata '16
Camino Primitivo '16
Le Puy Camino '17?
It was about the end of April '16. I counted on getting water at the Abergue , which was shut as was a Restaurant/Cafe? adjacent to it and i walked the last 16k to Carnaveral with nothing to drink. I literally staggered into the private Albergue in Carnaveral which was new and very nice.
 

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)
It was about the end of April '16. I counted on getting water at the Abergue , which was shut as was a Restaurant/Cafe? adjacent to it and i walked the last 16k to Carnaveral with nothing to drink. I literally staggered into the private Albergue in Carnaveral which was new and very nice.
Okay, that's a dangerous area to run out of water... I begged some construction workers for some of their water (they were not keen on it) so I could make it to Cañaveral. I took the road option, very boring but shorter than the official route. Another year I was better prepared with water, but other pilgrims who were walking with me had to be rescued by the Guardia Civil, at almost the same spot, because of heat and lack of water. - New albergue in Cañaveral? Good to know!

/BP
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 and '15
Camino Portuguese from Porto ''15
Via De la Plata '16
Camino Primitivo '16
Le Puy Camino '17?
I didn't know about the road option and followed the yellow arrows to the hills instead of looking at my map !
I'll be wiser the next time. Well i presumed it was a newish Albergue as it was fresh and clean and the Hosts couldn't have been nicer. Best wishes and happy walking for'17.
Rosser
 

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)
I didn't know about the road option and followed the yellow arrows to the hills instead of looking at my map !
I'll be wiser the next time. Well i presumed it was a newish Albergue as it was fresh and clean and the Hosts couldn't have been nicer. Best wishes and happy walking for'17.
Rosser
Thanks! I'd like to repeat the Plata, but during another time of year with other temperatures and scenery than July - ouch. Bye!

/BP
 
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
We were there end of sept and called the hostal at the lake. It was complete they told us. But we think they don't like to have pilgrims there because we met other pilgrims who needed water and after a lot of time they opened the door and there were no other people. We took the road over the hills and it was beautiful ! We carried each 3l of water ! But we will certainly do it again !
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014 and '15
Camino Portuguese from Porto ''15
Via De la Plata '16
Camino Primitivo '16
Le Puy Camino '17?
I have since heard that the workers on the AVE project have taken over the Albergue, if this is true it leaves a big gap in accomodation possibilities between Cacares and Carnaveral!
 

alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
I think some of the above experiences are a timely reminder that one should never count on a bar/cafe or albergue to be open. I always carry enough water and some food with me to get me thru the whole day if there is just one possible refueling point on the route.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I think some of the above experiences are a timely reminder that one should never count on a bar/cafe or albergue to be open. I always carry enough water and some food with me to get me thru the whole day if there is just one possible refueling point on the route.
However do plan to always carry some food with you, especially in winter, since many summer-only shops and bar/restos will be closed. Hence my food basics included tea bags, packets which make a cup of soup (even including croutons), firm cheese, small sausage, simple cookies and some chocolate. Nothing heavy but enough to exist for 24 hours if need be.

On past caminos especially during storms when stopped in small and remote albergues far from any supply source novice pilgrims often staggered in wet, cold and hungry. They may have had the best winter gear but carried no food!! Of course I shared.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I have since heard that the workers on the AVE project have taken over the Albergue, if this is true it leaves a big gap in accomodation possibilities between Cacares and Carnaveral!
I have been watching these threads on the accommodation in this section for at least 2 years now, and there has been none between Casar de Caceres and Canaveral. See this thread, for example. The albergue in Canaveral is excellent.

In March 2016 my companion and I took a taxi from Caceres to the Embalse, and walked from there. It is important, though, to be sure that the taxi driver understands that you want the eastern end of the Embalse (reservoir), and not the western end where the large Roman bridge and a hydroelectric dam are located! The reservoir is one of the largest in Europe, so it is quite a distance.

I was told that the reason the albergue is closed relates to problems with the waste water/sewage disposal. That would make sense if the area is protected and the reservoir is used in part as a water supply. (I have no knowledge of whether this is actually the case.)
 

Jakke

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues (2016)
Via de la Plata / Sanabrés (2017)
Barcelona - Fisterra (2018)
Sy, great report. Thanks! I just read your German language site and notice you plan to take a small tent with you when you go from Prague. I will be leaving Seville after Easter and wonder about the somewhat long stages. I know that a tent would be totally unnecessary on the Portugues Central, but how about the VdlP? Maybe a hammock or bivvy? With all the wading and muddy paths, should I take boots with me or flip-flops?
 

Risky

Member, Brisbane Australia.
Camino(s) past & future
Porto(2015), VDLP(2016), Le Puy(2017), Del Norte & Primitivo(2017), Vezelay & Frances (April 2018)
G'day Jakke,

My wife and I walked the VDLP last year, starting out from Seville just after Easter. We didn't have much in the way of guides or maps but had read SYates notes which are great and gave us some idea of what to expect.

We had planned to beat the heat by walking out of Seville in April but ended up walking through the coldest and wettest spring of some 70 years (not sure if this is true but were told so by many when we got to SdC). We had done a bit of training prior to leaving Australia but on the Camino we only had a couple of days that felt hard. We got the feeling that a lot of people walking the VDLP had previously walked the Frances and were expecting similar distances and facilities. I think some people struggled because of the difference and quite a few dropped out in the first two weeks (our impression).
We had previously walked the Portuguese and so didn't have any real expectations other than what we had read.

The VDLP in spring was a fantastic journey with beautiful flowers, wonderful people, good facilities and a great walk (it wasn't the foot race we have heard of on the Frances).

Walking around the embalse was one of the harder days. We carried plenty of water as we had read that the "albergue" there was closed (we have read lots of different stories about it but actually never read of it being open). We had booked accommodation for that night and walked at an easy pace.

We don't think you need to take a tent, hammock or sleeping bag. We only took a sleeping bag liner and the Albergues had blankets. We wore boots and my wife also had walking sandals which she loved and used a lot.

We are walking Le Puy route and Camino del Norte starting in May this year, so we are very excited for our next adventure.

Buen Camino
 

Jakke

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues (2016)
Via de la Plata / Sanabrés (2017)
Barcelona - Fisterra (2018)
G'day Jakke,

My wife and I walked the VDLP last year, starting out from Seville just after Easter. We didn't have much in the way of guides or maps but had read SYates notes which are great and gave us some idea of what to expect.

We had planned to beat the heat by walking out of Seville in April but ended up walking through the coldest and wettest spring of some 70 years (not sure if this is true but were told so by many when we got to SdC). We had done a bit of training prior to leaving Australia but on the Camino we only had a couple of days that felt hard. We got the feeling that a lot of people walking the VDLP had previously walked the Frances and were expecting similar distances and facilities. I think some people struggled because of the difference and quite a few dropped out in the first two weeks (our impression).
We had previously walked the Portuguese and so didn't have any real expectations other than what we had read.

The VDLP in spring was a fantastic journey with beautiful flowers, wonderful people, good facilities and a great walk (it wasn't the foot race we have heard of on the Frances).

Walking around the embalse was one of the harder days. We carried plenty of water as we had read that the "albergue" there was closed (we have read lots of different stories about it but actually never read of it being open). We had booked accommodation for that night and walked at an easy pace.

We don't think you need to take a tent, hammock or sleeping bag. We only took a sleeping bag liner and the Albergues had blankets. We wore boots and my wife also had walking sandals which she loved and used a lot.

We are walking Le Puy route and Camino del Norte starting in May this year, so we are very excited for our next adventure.

Buen Camino
Okay, thanks. That is the info I needed. Cold is perfect (I live in Finland), wet less so. I know from experience on the CP last year that only walking sandals are a working solution for me, but probably not in mud. Ultreya!
 

Risky

Member, Brisbane Australia.
Camino(s) past & future
Porto(2015), VDLP(2016), Le Puy(2017), Del Norte & Primitivo(2017), Vezelay & Frances (April 2018)
Rain is OK but ........mud, my wife would swap over to her boots if she needed. You will have a great time, enjoy!
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Sy, great report. Thanks! I just read your German language site and notice you plan to take a small tent with you when you go from Prague. I will be leaving Seville after Easter and wonder about the somewhat long stages. I know that a tent would be totally unnecessary on the Portugues Central, but how about the VdlP? Maybe a hammock or bivvy? With all the wading and muddy paths, should I take boots with me or flip-flops?
Climate is what you can expect, weather is what you get - and that can vary greatly from year to year! As I walked last spring (February/March) it was colder than it should have been, at least that was what the locals told me. I also had a fair bit of rain and even the occasional snowflake.
Tent-I met a few pilgrims that had a bivvy with them, some used it some not, I personally wouldn't take one for all the same reasons that I wouldn't take one on the CF (legality etc). I would certainly take again boots but might take crocs instead of walking sandals for those river/stream crossings.

Hope that helps, Buen Camino, SY

PS I already walked from Prague to Santiago in 2014, I took a tent with me but gave it away once I had reached Le Puy ...
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
Norte Spring 2018
I am pretty sure you can camp in Spain's national and natural parks, providing you adhere to 'leaving no trace'? I am not sure how much of the VDLP actually goes through these parks though.

I am going to take a tent with me on the VDLP this April and expect to camp occasionally, as I did on the CF last year. For me, it's a really nice treat to be sleeping out in nature after nights of being inside.

Aside from official campgrounds, there is always the option of asking land owners if you can camp on their land.

For the record, I'd never camp on anyone's land without permission!
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/
Asking permission is fine ;-) The VdlP actually goes through very little national/nature parks most of the land is privately owned. Buen Camino, SY
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese 2009 Estellas, 2014 Aurelia, 2016 St Davids, 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P
Thanks SYates. I'm leaving Sevilla on April 6th, so this information is excellent!
Hi , we leave Cadiz on the same day, but on bikes, so at some point we should catch you up! buen camino!
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese 2009 Estellas, 2014 Aurelia, 2016 St Davids, 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P
I think i should change my name to Dim Pilgrim....
Just realised that SYates uploaded all this useful info last year, not this year!!!! and now i've messed up the print too!
If i get out of Cadiz in one piece twill be a miracle....!
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese 2009 Estellas, 2014 Aurelia, 2016 St Davids, 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P
SYates, I just want to say a HUGE thank you! Your detailed info on the V de P has been invaluable, you are a star!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I have been planning a walk from Sevilla to Salamanca lately and using Gerald Kelly's guide. It is small and light and gives you detailed and up to date information (published December 2016). His maps are a bit hard on the eyes because of so many lines (would have prefered a sketch with only relevant information) but so be it. Also at a good price. This being said, he only mentions albergues, not hotels, pensions, casa rurales, etc.
 

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)
I
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.
Hi Anne Lis,

I have knowledge of a few (one?) attempt of robbery against pilgrims on that stretch, a few years from now. This has made many a pilgrim take other routes, or skip that first part... In my opinion this has been exaggerated and I think you should be safe.

Heat is nearly always a problem on this route, even more if you go in June-August - like I did, twice... You have to take some precautions. Are you familiar with these southern Caminos?

Take care/BP
 

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)
Climate is what you can expect, weather is what you get - and that can vary greatly from year to year! As I walked last spring (February/March) it was colder than it should have been, at least that was what the locals told me. I also had a fair bit of rain and even the occasional snowflake.
Tent-I met a few pilgrims that had a bivvy with them, some used it some not, I personally wouldn't take one for all the same reasons that I wouldn't take one on the CF (legality etc). I would certainly take again boots but might take crocs instead of walking sandals for those river/stream crossings.

Hope that helps, Buen Camino, SY

PS I already walked from Prague to Santiago in 2014, I took a tent with me but gave it away once I had reached Le Puy ...
Wow, from Prague?? What about waymarking? Do you have to use regular maps to get through?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
I'm loving your posts SYates and everyone else - I am keen to one day do the VDLP but am not keen on walking more than 30km per day. Is it possible to do it without the hugely long days now?
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I'm loving your posts SYates and everyone else - I am keen to one day do the VDLP but am not keen on walking more than 30km per day. Is it possible to do it without the hugely long days now?
Yes it is possible. Look for my posts from April 2017 in the "Live" section and you will see how I split my days, at least until Galisteo, where I stopped due to injury. A taxi to shorten the day was required to the Berrocal park, and then I also would have needed one for another 10km just after Galisteo, as well as for the day of the embalse, due to the albergue still being closed at the moment.
 

SUSIE

Camino addict....
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2010)
Camino Portuguese Lisbon to Santiago via Fatima(2013)
Via Podiensis Le Puy - Roncevalles (2014)
Via Tolosana via Lourdes (2015)
Planning Via Francigena [2017]
Hi Syates
I really enjoyed reading all your information on the VDLP...and I appreciate all the time and dedication you have made to compile this.

Is there any possibility to obtain it in a WORD DOCUMENT from the Tidy Document that the Kiwi family made from it....

I will be walking from Salamanca to Santiago in Sept after serving 2 weeks first in Salamanca as a hospitalera and I would like to add your wonderful information and notes to help me on my way....
I have the Gerald Kelly book but find the small print a bit hard to read....

I really would appreciate it...if possible.....Thank you
 

SYates

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

Now: http://egeria.house/

Mark Baron

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014) Via de la Plata (2018)
Dear Camino Fossil :)
I'm just perparing to walk the VdlP this Spring (end of March) I have used YOUR blog, Gerald Kelly's book and www.gronze.com. I have loved reading your comments and sence of humour. Just wanted to say Thank You — for all the effort!!!
 



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