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Numbers on the VDLP this year.

2020 Camino Guides

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Via de la Plata planned for May 2019.
Reading Undermanager's posts has got me a bit concerned about the numbers of peregrinos on the Camino this year, and the subsequent pressures on accommodation. Is this, I wonder simply a function of the declared Holy Year, or is it the new normal? Does anybody who has done the VDLP in recent years have any comment about the density of peregrinos and/or difficulties with accommodation?

Thanks
Richo.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi @Richo The current situation is quite unusual although over the past few years the numbers have been typically the highest in Spring. I may be wrong but don't think that it is due to the Año de Misericordia.

Numbers tend to drop off as summer approaches. I have walked the Plata in July, October and February and we were never more than a handful up to Zamora. On the Sanabrés there were more pilgrims but I never encountered full albergues.

It will be interesting to see how the situation progresses.
 

bsewall

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata & Camino Frances (2013 & 2016).
Good question. I did the VdlP in April of 2013 and am currently in Rio Lobos on my second VdlP. Some random observations:
  1. During the first week starting from Sevilla in 2013 I walked with a bubble of 48 Pilgrims. This year it was something like 10, but the hospitaleros warned that there were significant numbers of Pilgrims in front of and behind us.
  2. My guess - the numbers are up.
  3. The number of places to stay and their quality has improved. When I walked through Rio Lobos in 2013 there didn't appear to be any place to stay. Our forum list of albergues on the VdlP shows nothing for Rio Lobos. But here I happily sit in Camping Las Catalinas in Río Lobos with 10 other pilgrims. I also passed signs for 2 Casa Rurales on the way in. Granted the closing of Embalase de Alcantara (which is still a well kept secret - the Amigos del Camino office in Sevilla had no idea it was closed) has greatly confused the stage out of Caceres. However, there is now an abundance of taxis and new albergues to utilize in its place.
  4. My answer - there's more. More Pilgrims and more resources. For now, they seem to balance nicely.
 

Hikoi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP (2016)
Jesus Trail (Nazareth to Capernaum) 2016
Way of St Francis (Pietralunga to Assisi) 2016
I'm in Fuente de Cantos just now. The hospitalaria at Zaguan de la Plata Apartamento Rural (in spite of the name in the middle of town!) says there are busy days and quiet days. He still has dorm bunk beds (@12 euros - all the doubles @ 15 are taken. ) A couple of days ago he had one guy! So it's fine really.
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Listed in my signature
I left Seville on March 28th in 2012 and the crowds were much like what Undermanager is reporting. I walked 1.5-2 stages in one day several times to try to get ahead of the crowds. As accommodation is more limited on the VdP it made planning that much more critical.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
@bsewall I am the one who updates the accommodation list but I do not include all the private accommodations/casa rurales unless there are no albergue de peregrinos available, otherwise the list would be way too long. Of course feel free to mention other possibilities as you have done. The Plata did not originally go through Riolobos - and actually I thought that it was now possible to go through the finca again and not deviate to Riolobos or is this incorrect?

Curious where did you stay in Cáceres and did most people stay there or walk on to Cacer de Cáceres? And what kind of stages do people do now as the Embalse is closed? Stay in Cañaveral? Is there any accommodation there now besides Hotal Málaga?

The last time I walked from Sevilla was in February 2014 so I am curious about the new accommodations available and what has changed in your opinion. Let me know when you get a chance.

Thanks and Buen Camino to all.
 

bsewall

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata & Camino Frances (2013 & 2016).
LTFit, the stages out of Caceres seemed much simpler in 2013. You could walk from Caceres or Casar de Cáceres to the beautiful albergue at Embalse del Alcántara and from there you could walk to Canavaral, Grimaldo or even Galisteo. Now that the Embalse del Alcántara albergue is closed the options seem limited. The nearest albergue from Caceres is now Cañaveral. But that is something like a 45 kilometer stage. So we skipped Casares and started instead from the run down municipal albergue at Casar de Cáceres to keep the stage around 34 kilometers. For those who can't handle that length there now seem to be an abundance of taxis available.

We stayed at the Hostal Canavaral for 19 euros. It felt like the lap of luxury with towels, sheets, complimentary desayuno and a magnificent dinner. Highly recommended. The one potential problem is that the Embalase has become a popular fishing destination and Canavaral was effectively "completo" with the fishermen taking every available bed. Reservations recommended.

After Canavaral you can do a short hop to Grimaldo. Alternatively after Grimaldo the stage splits and you can go to Rio Lobos or Galesteo. LTFit, when I get a second I'll send you the details on the Rio Lobos accommodation. With no albergue in Rio Lobos and the stages after Cáceres in some confusion, I'd recommend listing the alternative accommodations in Rio Lobos to give pilgrims some viable options.

Hope this helps.
 

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
@bsewall I am the one who updates the accommodation list but I do not include all the private accommodations/casa rurales unless there are no albergue de peregrinos available, otherwise the list would be way too long. Of course feel free to mention other possibilities as you have done. The Plata did not originally go through Riolobos - and actually I thought that it was now possible to go through the finca again and not deviate to Riolobos or is this incorrect?

Curious where did you stay in Cáceres and did most people stay there or walk on to Cacer de Cáceres? And what kind of stages do people do now as the Embalse is closed? Stay in Cañaveral? Is there any accommodation there now besides Hotal Málaga?

The last time I walked from Sevilla was in February 2014 so I am curious about the new accommodations available and what has changed in your opinion. Let me know when you get a chance.

Thanks and Buen Camino to all.
Hello LTfit you are probably aware of this list but just in case that you are not you might find it useful, have posted it elsewhere https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_hY81wQpPQATTE2YjQ0ZFlZM2c/view It is a list of Albergues, might be of some help.
 

mla1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2000); Ch St. Giles (2013); Le Puy to SJPP (May/June 2015); vdlp 2016
I an writing this on my bed in Carñaveral. Tonight there are empty top bunks. Tomorrow it's apparently full. Reservations definitely suggested after the long walk from Casar de Caceres. I have been in several full or almost full albergues. Torremejia was full. Last night was full in Casar de Caseres. I am assuming that as the options for how to break up the etapes increase over the next few days, there will be less concern about getting a bed.
A number of people took taxis this morning from Casar de caceres - but they don't seem to be here in the albergue tonight. Perhaps they went on to Grimaldo.
 
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jirit

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007,
Via Francigena Italy, 2008,
Jakobsweg Austria 2010,
Camino Frances 2011,
Le Puy to Lourdes 2012,
Via de la Plata 2013,
Future:
Ökumenischer (Via Regia), Germany,
Lycian Way, Turkey
Looks like the VdlP is experiencing what commonly happens on the camino frances - bubbles of pilgrims that are moving along the path - creating situations of whereby some albergues are completely booked out some nights and nearly empty other nights
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Embalse del Alcantara is clearly one place. A real gap in the market if ever there was one!

Sitting here in Casar de Casares and will be aiming for Grimaldi at least tomorrow. The weather is very iffy at the moment with possible thunderstorms tomorrow so no problem with hitching, bus or walking part of the route or even a taxi if it helps. I've tried to keep ahead of two previous waves and just about succeeded but seem to be in another bubble of about 30 pilgrims moving together so want to try again. There is definitely something of a panic and rush on at the moment. When I arrived today, the main topic was booking somewhere for tomorrow!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
How unfortunate to hear that pilgrims are worrying about a bed - that is exactly the reason I liked the Plata so much and have been a repeat offender. There was never a need to reserve!

Could someone please inform me of the following: is it possible to walk (again) through or around the finca that was closed for quite some time thus AVOIDING Riolobos? Meaning can one walk directly from Grimaldi to Galisteo?

Buen Camino to all!
 

chinasky

Italian Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones, Frances, Inglese, Primitivo, Via de la Plata, Invierno, Portoguese. From Torino to Rome.
Could someone please inform me of the following: is it possible to walk (again) through or around the finca that was closed for quite some time thus AVOIDING Riolobos? Meaning can one walk directly from Grimaldi to Galisteo?
I'm gonna leave for Seville on april 3oth, so i'm talking after reading something on the web, but, as far as i know, the path from Grimaldo to Galisteo is now walkable.
 

bsewall

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata & Camino Frances (2013 & 2016).
Curious, then why did you go through Riolobos which is a detour from the original Camino?
1). Rio Lobos is not as far a walk from Cañaveral compared to walking to Galesteo.
2). The walk to Rio Lobos didn't appear to add any significant kilometers to the total route.
3). It's a pretty walk in the country.
4). Why not? We had a good time.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Fair enough. For us it added km as we walked Grimaldo-Riolobos-Galisteo after trying to get around the finca adding who knows how many km to the walk. The owner of the bar next to the albergue in Grimaldo insisted that it was possible. Not.
 

DeansFamily

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 18/916/10/17 Muxia/Finisterre 18/10-22/10/17 Norte 21/4-29/5/18 Primitive 20/9-5/10/18 VdlP
We are starting out from Seville around the 12th Oct. As there are 3 of us does anyone forsee any issues with us all getting a bed?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
We are starting out from Seville around the 12th Oct. As there are 3 of us does anyone forsee any issues with us all getting a bed?
I don't know the answer but I'd like to follow you, as I plan on walking the route again in the Spring.
Are you keeping a blog or could you do a "Today on the VDLP" thread here?

From my experience on the first two times I walked sections, it might be good to book beds in the larger cities and maybe call a few days ahead in the smaller villages. I believe there is a current lodging list in the resource section.
 

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