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Questions about Via de la Plata...

Bigfrog

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Soon...
#1
Hello everybody!

I recently found myself between jobs and am contemplating doing the Via de la Plata starting in Sept. I'm an experienced backpacker/trekker, mostly in the wilderness of the mountains of California, so I do have the gear, map reading skill and fitness level to do this route. I've read a lot of posts on this forum already but haven't quite found all the answers I need or the answers are potentially old. If I choose to do this route I do plan on buying the Gerald Kelly guide.


Water - Descriptions say water sources are sometimes far between and to carry more water. Where do people normally get their water from? I always carry a filter so I have no problem getting water from streams or cisterns if they are available.

Albergue - how much on average does it cost to stay in one on this route? I'm vegetarian and don't really drink alcohol so I will probably prepare my own meals.

Places that accept donations for overnight stays - While I am on a budget I don't want to be cheap or disrespectful, how much should I donate?

Camping - I prefer to camp en route and from what I have read it's legal for a single tent for a single night. Of course permission is required for private property and I don't plan on making campfires however I might use an alcohol stove. Any feedback one can provide about camping on this route would be appreciated. Also how much would a fair donation be for setting up a tent on the grounds of an albergue, etc?

Toilets - what do people usually do for their "dirty business"? In the wilderness I usually dig a six inch hole and carry out the toilet paper.

I'm looking for a route with a blend of history/antiquities, culture and natural beauty - is this the best Camino route for me? I've previously hiked the 300 mile/500 km Lycian Way and St. Paul Trail in Turkey and loved every step.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#2
Camping...did you mean at legal camp grounds? or stealth camping?
If stealth camping DO NOT USE A STOVE. Period. That is the worse thing you can do. If you get caught using a stove or making a fire stealth camping...be ready to get busted.

There are many forest fires in Portugal and Spain. Anyone seeing you using a stove or making a fire will report you immediately.

I have stealth camped on my caminos. But, never used stove, smoked, made a fire, lights, music, etc.

"Doing your business." Walkers stop in bars, cafes, etc. For number one just find a bush and go.
For number two, you stated it correctly. Dig a hole. Do and cover. Leave no trace. Please.

Get water at every place you can get it at. Be ready to carry extra water. Walkers get water from bars, stores, farm houses, etc. But the Plata requires you to carry more water than if you were walking the CF.

Water, good sun hat and good shoes are extremely important. Especially on the Plata.

It will still be HOT when you start in September. Be ready for it. Of course further north you get the cooler it becomes.

I have not walked the Plata. I have talked with many that have.

Study the posts and comments on here about the Plata.

You sound like you are in good enough shape and have the skills to walk it.

Walking a camino is not like doing a thru hike on the AT or PCT.

Pack light.

Instead of a tent consider a light weight hammock. That can also be used on the ground. Called going to ground set up. Use your hiking poles to support it on ground. Have light weight pad.

Of course netting is in order. Don't want a mouse, scorpion, ants etc crawling into your hammock.

I pack a Hennessy Backpacker light weight hammock. Used it many times at alburgues and stealth camping.

Hopefully someone who walked the Plata will jump on and help you more.

As with any camino, the cost of alburgue stay will vary. Depending on which type you stay in, location, etc.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
#3
I have not yet walked the Via De La Plata. I plan to do it next year. With the intense heat of Southern Spain I would be very careful about walking this route. If you do you will need lots of water and I would also recommend getting one of those reflective umbrellas to keep the sun off of you. I am not sure about camping out, but with the heat that you very well may encounter and the lack of shade that extra weight could really suck! I have watched a few videos on You Tube and the early part of the walk seems to be flat but not a lot of shelter from the sun. Check out Gronze.com. It is a Spanish language website. If you can't read Spanish open it in Google Crome and it will automatically translate. Gronze has all the stages. You definitely don't need to follow the stages. Walk your own Camino but it will give an up to date listing of Albergues, Donativos, Pensions etc and prices. It will tell you the number of Beds and the cooking and eating options. Not all Albergues have kitchens. While some others may have a kitchen but have no or very limited pots, pans etc. At donativos an absolute minimum donation that does not include communal meals I would say is $5-7 Euros. Definitely check Gronze for all the towns and where there are little tiendas or grocery stores to buy food. You can also get the Wise Pilgrim app that has maps and lists of places to sleep. Your options in some of the really small villages may be very limited as a vegetarian, but I am just guessing. I think this because when I walked the Camino Frances for the first time about 8 years ago my vegetarian friends felt like their options then were pretty poor most nights if they couldn't find a decent size grocery store or the albergue had no cooking facilities. Now I know it is much better. I am sure that VDLP sees way less pilgrims than the CF saw the first time I walked it. I have no idea where you can camp but again watching videos it seems like things are pretty wide open so I would have no idea what is private and public land and what the camping policy is. There are definitely some historic antiquities on this camino. If you do a little research here and in other places I know you will find out exactly where they are. From what I read there are a lot of Roman and I would also assume Islamic sites of great interest. In terms of water, again there are a lot of mentions in Gronze, as well as blogs and comments that pilgrims on this site have written about water availability. One last thing, even when you see that one of the guides says that a village has a cafe, or tienda to buy food or an albergue, depending on the time of day in the afternoon, the cafe or the tienda may be closed and may not open for hours, and there will be no one in site as everyone is taking their siesta. When it comes to the albergues, the later in October or November you are walking the stronger the possibility that the albergue may be closed for the season. Hope this helps and hope you get better info from those who have walked the route.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Pamplona to Finisterre 2015
Via de la Plata Seville - Astorga April 2017
#4
@Bigfrog most of your questions are answered in the above posts. I walked the VDLP in the spring of 2017 and it was bursting in color. I imagine it will be quite different in the Fall. It was hot in early April and I imagine it will be hot in September - if you plan to start in Sevilla. What I found different about the VDLP was the mix of either very short or very long stages. It does take some planning - especially the long stages when you will need to carry extra water and some food. I always took tap water from where I was staying or when I stopped for coffee or lunch and I filled me water bottles at every opportunity to ensure I always had enough. I enjoy a couple of cups of coffee (one early and one mid morning) and found on many occasions that wasn't possible. One day I walked 27 kilometers before the first cup.

I did come across a few people that slept outdoors - I wouldn't call it camping - they slept under the stars and carried food that they had purchased. No-one that I saw cooked or carried anything to cook with. There are some remote locations along this route that would make asking permission almost impossible. I slept out one night and must say - the sky was glorious.

I don't recall any donativos, but I wasn't looking for them either. A slept in a mix of albergues, pensiones, hostels etc and found the prices comparable to the Frances. Food (restaurant) on the other hand was a bit more expensive and wine didn't flow as generously. But you plan to prepare your own so tat is no concern for you.

There is plenty of history along the way - Merida, Zamora, Caceres, Salamanca to name just a few of the big name places. And don't over-look Sevilla if you plan to start there. A great place to explore and recover from jet-lag. There is more to be discovered along the way. I used the Gerald Kelley guide and this forum for my planning.

Enjoy and Buen Camino - Richard
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#5
Answers to most of your questions are provided above. I have walked this route and the Levante which has similar challenges. The points I would add are.

Albergues and other accomodation on the route are good, so you don't really need to camp out in the Vdlp, prices have increased so expect more like 15 to 20 euro to be more accurate, donatives we usually give 10 to 15 as a sign of support, would not give less then 5 euro.

The route we took on the Levante meant we had to sleep out, used a bivi bag and a sleeping mat, no need for the weight of a tent, good bivi bag will keep you dry and keep the snakes out.

Water, we use 3 litre camels plus extra water bottles on stretches were needed. Take and drink a lot of water, don't skimp, this is an important defence against heatstroke. On many places there just are not the sources, fonts or cisterns to fill up so you need to be prepared, especially if you are camping out overnight. Wouldn't trust a filter, you won't find the water to start with and they wont cope with filtering water from stock troughs which you maybe be lucky enough to find. Bars are your best bet to provide water and are usually happy enough to fill your water balder for you and yet you use the loo, especially if you buy a snack or beer.

Take a small trowel and use it. Don't take even a camp stove, too dangerous.

Both of these routes are perfectly walkable in spring and autumn so you don't really need to rough it. But it's a long walk so keep your pack weight down and be sensible about your daily km target. Kelly is a good guide, but problem with all guides is you can't always tell where you are in relation to where you want to be, we used basic gps, satellite photos a god send to help you find safe place to stay or when to strike out to get to nearby town / water source.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#6
I second @hel&scott! You’re an experienced walker, you won’t have problems with the longer distances, it’s just the water: you need to carry it with you, there won’t be any to ‘filter’. Or at least I didn’t see any! I carried minimum 3 liters and that was a pain - heavy but it also got hot....:rolleyes: Essential though and sometimes it wasn’t enough.
I wouldn’t bother camping but that of course is up to you. (I am a wuss and worry about scorpios etc in those parts lol).
The albergues were fine (mostly empty when I walked it in June), a few long stretches if some are closed (or with bed bugs: one) but nothing unfeasible.
Youalready said you weren’t considering lighting a fire - goes without saying... Lots of wild fires when I walked it and even in Galicia this month, the helicopters were working overtime.
Enjoy! Lots of history, beautiful cities... Lots of cows too, in Extremadura and black pigs :)
Have a lovely time.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
#7
I've not long finished walking the Via de la Plata. If you are interested have a look at my FindPenguins blog here. It should give a bit of an indication of how to do it in easy stages. The choice was often either a very long day, or a very short one - and I always chose the short one. After my experience of carrying a tent on the Norte route I don't - not worth the weight. I'd take extra water instead.
 

Youren2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#8
I like the questions you asked, very clear and hit the point. You already got many good info from above.I am familiar with wilderness hike in CA, even though I do not do over night backpacking myself and I just finished the VDIP. What I can add is:

1. your skills are +++ plus. Seriously with a 15kg pack, I assume you can easily walk 35km a day, because most of the sections are walk, not mountain hike, so the chance for you to resupply water from a bar/restaurant is much greater and if you do not carry a filter, you can also afford the weight of carrying extra water.

2. Current price for Albergue, 6 euro for Xunta at Garlicia, down South 10 euro for municipal. Private between 10 to 15 a bed, 25 to 45 a room roughly. There are a few donativos I encountered. I go with the local rate, 6 or 10, if very good 15, as I am paying an albergue. There were much less religious institutions as I had seen on the Frances.

3. Camping, hammock is doable in the woods, however, one unique situation on the VDIP is there were villages without any service; however, there were always churches. The design of some of the local churches has a covered porch in front, with permission, as a pilgrim, you can sleep there. I had met one who has done that. Local residents also told him where to sleep. By the way, the door of churches often are locked.

Also in villages, especially near the center, by the church, there were benches, may not long enough for you, but if calls for, it is another option. You can also look for local sports center or swimming pool. Google map can be used for that.

Some Albergues are small, one old renovated building with no grounds or garden for you to set up tent any way, so do you really need to bring a tent if you can mix your lodgings?

4. Best not to use camp stove I agree, be flexible, do whatever you feel like or could do for your meals. This is also a part of camino to experience local cooking styles and food. The price for food in the shop and pilgrim meal in the restaurant is much cheaper than the one in CA for sure. Veg option is possible.

This is going to be very different from the nature hikes in the US. You will love it.

Hope this helps.

Buen Camino!
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#9
A lot of good advice above.

I walked the VDLP last year starting in April. I slept outside a lot. For one, I like it and do so on all my caminos, but on the VDLP I encountered stages with closed albergues putting the daily distance to over 40km, and as a late walker encountered completo albergues/villages a few times.

I didn't use a tent, didn't cook or light fires etc. It was wonderful and I loved the flexibility. My most memorable freecamp was at the Roman city of Caparra. I arrived late, just as the warden was kicking everyone out so he could lock up. He came up to me as I arrived, told me it was closed, I said Si, he smiled and locked me in! It was a magical night there with a beautiful sunset too.

Buen Camino
Davey
 

Simon B

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
#10
@Bigfrog most of your questions are answered in the above posts. I walked the VDLP in the spring of 2017 and it was bursting in color. I imagine it will be quite different in the Fall. It was hot in early April and I imagine it will be hot in September - if you plan to start in Sevilla. What I found different about the VDLP was the mix of either very short or very long stages. It does take some planning - especially the long stages when you will need to carry extra water and some food. I always took tap water from where I was staying or when I stopped for coffee or lunch and I filled me water bottles at every opportunity to ensure I always had enough. I enjoy a couple of cups of coffee (one early and one mid morning) and found on many occasions that wasn't possible. One day I walked 27 kilometers before the first cup.

I did come across a few people that slept outdoors - I wouldn't call it camping - they slept under the stars and carried food that they had purchased. No-one that I saw cooked or carried anything to cook with. There are some remote locations along this route that would make asking permission almost impossible. I slept out one night and must say - the sky was glorious.

I don't recall any donativos, but I wasn't looking for them either. A slept in a mix of albergues, pensiones, hostels etc and found the prices comparable to the Frances. Food (restaurant) on the other hand was a bit more expensive and wine didn't flow as generously. But you plan to prepare your own so tat is no concern for you.

There is plenty of history along the way - Merida, Zamora, Caceres, Salamanca to name just a few of the big name places. And don't over-look Sevilla if you plan to start there. A great place to explore and recover from jet-lag. There is more to be discovered along the way. I used the Gerald Kelley guide and this forum for my planning.

Enjoy and Buen Camino - Richard

Richard - you say you walked the VDLP last Spring and had the 'bursting with colour' experience. I am going next Spring and am trying to decide when to start. Want to balance avoiding/minimising heat/rain/cold etc!!!! Thinking of starting from Seville in mid-March [arrive Santiago] after Easter. When did you start? and any other advice would be gratefully received.

Simon B
 
#11
I walked mud seotvto end oct. from Seville. The first part is like a meseta and was over 40 degrees. I had a sun reflective umbrella that I’m sure saved my life. (Photo attached). The history on this route and the Roman ruins etc are phenomenal. It is by far the best camino ive done and you will love it. Take extra water and carry some food. You can read my blog
Https://www.margaretcaffyn.com.au
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Pamplona to Finisterre 2015
Via de la Plata Seville - Astorga April 2017
#12
Richard - you say you walked the VDLP last Spring and had the 'bursting with colour' experience. I am going next Spring and am trying to decide when to start. Want to balance avoiding/minimising heat/rain/cold etc!!!! Thinking of starting from Seville in mid-March [arrive Santiago] after Easter. When did you start? and any other advice would be gratefully received.

Simon B
Hey Simon,

I stepped off from Seville on April 6, 2017. Weather wise the spring of 2017 was a sharp contrast from this past spring of 2018. I experienced some very warm days but nothing intolerable, a few cold mornings north of Salamanca and fortunately only 2 days with rain. Very, very different from the weather this past April and May. Check out some of the posts from this past spring. I hope you have the weather I had.

Experiencing Semana Santa processions was culturally rewarding. It also proved to be an additional thing to plan around. There are a lot of holidays in Spain throughout the Easter season and therefore many establishments closed. In Villafranca de los Barros the procession that I watched begin at 7pm passed my window at 11:30pm. Apparently the celebration lasted into the early morning hours and as a result, everything was closed the next morning. The next days walk to Terremejia is 27 kilometers, with no services along the way. Fortunately I had planned ahead in terms of food for the day. My only disappointment was not having coffee.

Unlike many members of this forum my experience is limited to the Camino Frances and the VDLP. What I would say are the big differences is obviously the crowd - there is none. You should plan ahead in terms of knowing what services might (I stress might) be available that day - on the Frances I just got up and walked. And third is gps. I began the walk only with Gerald Kelley's book. I prefer to use my phone as a camera and disengage completely from email and social media. But I rarely walked with anyone and many days never saw another pilgrim until reaching town. As a result there were times I found myself wondering if I was headed in the right direction. I downloaded Maps.me which was helpful on more than one occasion.

Have fun planning.

Regards - Richard
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#13
To avoid problems with heat, I recommend starting in Seville in mid-March. To maximize flower blooming, start a bit later, in early April. With the later start you might find yourself in a bubble of pilgrims and some small albergues could fill up.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
#14
Richard - you say you walked the VDLP last Spring and had the 'bursting with colour' experience. I am going next Spring and am trying to decide when to start. Want to balance avoiding/minimising heat/rain/cold etc!!!! Thinking of starting from Seville in mid-March [arrive Santiago] after Easter. When did you start? and any other advice would be gratefully received.

Simon B
Hi I started in mid April this year. Had been very very wet in March and even in mid April we were fording streams.
By the time I got to Salamanca it was hot after 1-2 pm so earlier starts to do the distances. On the donativo I think 10 -15 euros as many provide a meal. If both dinner and breakfast then 20.
Fantastic history
Use Gronze.com it and Mapme will show you were you are without wifi. Can plot distances easily to the next village.
Enjoy
Happymark
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
#15
Hi I started in mid April this year. Had been very very wet in March and even in mid April we were fording streams.
By the time I got to Salamanca it was hot after 1-2 pm so earlier starts to do the distances. On the donativo I think 10 -15 euros as many provide a meal. If both dinner and breakfast then 20.
Fantastic history
Use Gronze.com it and Mapme will show you were you are without wifi. Can plot distances easily to the next village.
Enjoy
Happymark
Hi Mark
Speaking only of spring this year 2018 ., with all the wet and cold about ., did you see much of the glorious floral colours ? Or do you think this years weather pattern stretched the blooming time until later. ?

Annie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18
#16
Started from Seville mid April (just after Easter) on my two VDLPs in 2012 and 2017 and had wonderful weather. Maybe just one rainy day on each. I'm very glad it wasn't cold and wet like this year.
I was happy there were many more English speakers in 2017. really enjoyed it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, SJPDP-Santiago (May 2016) Via de la Plata, Sevilla-Santiago (Sept 2016), CM/CF 2018
#17
Hello everybody!

I recently found myself between jobs and am contemplating doing the Via de la Plata starting in Sept. I'm an experienced backpacker/trekker, mostly in the wilderness of the mountains of California, so I do have the gear, map reading skill and fitness level to do this route. I've read a lot of posts on this forum already but haven't quite found all the answers I need or the answers are potentially old. If I choose to do this route I do plan on buying the Gerald Kelly guide.


Water - Descriptions say water sources are sometimes far between and to carry more water. Where do people normally get their water from? I always carry a filter so I have no problem getting water from streams or cisterns if they are available.

Albergue - how much on average does it cost to stay in one on this route? I'm vegetarian and don't really drink alcohol so I will probably prepare my own meals.

Places that accept donations for overnight stays - While I am on a budget I don't want to be cheap or disrespectful, how much should I donate?

Camping - I prefer to camp en route and from what I have read it's legal for a single tent for a single night. Of course permission is required for private property and I don't plan on making campfires however I might use an alcohol stove. Any feedback one can provide about camping on this route would be appreciated. Also how much would a fair donation be for setting up a tent on the grounds of an albergue, etc?

Toilets - what do people usually do for their "dirty business"? In the wilderness I usually dig a six inch hole and carry out the toilet paper.

I'm looking for a route with a blend of history/antiquities, culture and natural beauty - is this the best Camino route for me? I've previously hiked the 300 mile/500 km Lycian Way and St. Paul Trail in Turkey and loved every step.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Hi Mark,

I did the VDLP in 2016 and started at the end of September thinking I would miss the heat but I was surprised how hot it got every day in the afternoon. Like clockwork it started afternoon to one and kept climbing until two or three, and then it didn’t cool down until after five. On many days it hit close to 100 degrees, and on some it hit over 100. Coming from California, which I think you are too, I was fairly use to the heat, but it surprised me how hot it got, even into late October. What everyone has said about bringing lots of water can’t be stressed enough. I actually ended up carrying three or more liters of water on most days, and sometimes that was not enough.

Like you, I love to trek and do much of my hiking in the Sierras, and regret not taking a tent with me on the Plata. I pulled a two wheeled hiking cart because I have a back injury, so an extra three pound tent is not much, even though I packed like I was carrying it in a backpack and held it down to seventeen pounds. I found myself wanting to walk longer distances some days but found stretches where I had to stop because there was no lodging. I saw so many places were you could stealth camp, unlike the crowded Francis. I ran into two other pilgrims that had camped much of the way and they said they never had an issue.

By the end of October, and closer to Santiago, the weather became cooler and it rained many days. Funny how that happens, but that’s expected and all part of a Camino, as you probably know.

As far as albergues, you will find plenty. I stayed in numerous ones where I had them all to myself. The costs were very similar to the Francis, ranging from €5 to €12 or so. One of the beauties of the Plata is that there are other pilgrims, but a fraction of those on the Francis, and many days I never saw another pilgrim. I just finished the Camino de Madrid to Santiago two months ago and that was the only Camino where I saw fewer pilgrims. From Madrid to Sahagun I only met four other pilgrims.

The Plata is one of my favorite caminos, as so many others have said, and it sounds like you will be prepared for it. You will love it!

Interesting that you have trekked the Lycian Way in Turkey because I plan to do that trek this October. I would love to pick your brain on it, so could you PM me.

Ted
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#18
Hi Mark,

I did the VDLP in 2016 and started at the end of September thinking I would miss the heat but I was surprised how hot it got every day in the afternoon. Like clockwork it started afternoon to one and kept climbing until two or three, and then it didn’t cool down until after five. On many days it hit close to 100 degrees, and on some it hit over 100. Coming from California, which I think you are too, I was fairly use to the heat, but it surprised me how hot it got, even into late October. What everyone has said about bringing lots of water can’t be stressed enough. I actually ended up carrying three or more liters of water on most days, and sometimes that was not enough.

Like you, I love to trekker and do much of my hiking in the Sierras, and regret not taking a tent with me on the Plata. I pulled a two wheeled hiking cart because I have a back injury, so an extra three pound tent is not much, even though I packed like I was carrying it in a backpack and held it down to seventeen pounds. I found myself wanting to walk longer distances some days but found stretches where I had to stop because there was no lodging. I saw so many places were you could stealth camp, unlike the crowded Francis. I ran into two other pilgrims that had camped much of the way and they said they never had an issue.

By the end of October, and closer to Santiago, the weather became cooler and it rained many days. Funny how that happens, but that’s expected and all part of a Camino, as you probably know.

As far as albergues, you will find plenty. I stayed in numerous ones where I had them all to myself. The costs were very similar to the Francis, ranging from €5 to €12 or so. One of the beauties of the Plata is that there are other pilgrims, but a fraction of those on the Francis, and many days I never saw another pilgrim. I just finished the Camino de Madrid to Santiago two months ago and that was the only Camino where I saw fewer pilgrims. From Madrid to Sahagun I only met four other pilgrims.

The Plata is one of my favorite caminos, as so many others have said, and it sounds like you will be prepared for it. You will love it!

Interesting that you have trekked the Lycian Way in Turkey because I plan to do that trek this October. I would love to pick your brain on it, so could you PM me.

Ted
A bit off topic but if interested in Lycian Way you might contact @stratophile . He walked it and has some info on his web page (GPS tracks too I think).

Buen Camino!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, SJPDP-Santiago (May 2016) Via de la Plata, Sevilla-Santiago (Sept 2016), CM/CF 2018
#19
A bit off topic but if interested in Lycian Way you might contact @stratophile . He walked it and has some info on his web page (GPS tracks too I think).

Buen Camino!
Thank you. A bit off the topic, no, that’s the beauty of this forum.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP 9/2016
#20
Hello everybody!

I recently found myself between jobs and am contemplating doing the Via de la Plata starting in Sept. I'm an experienced backpacker/trekker, mostly in the wilderness of the mountains of California, so I do have the gear, map reading skill and fitness level to do this route. I've read a lot of posts on this forum already but haven't quite found all the answers I need or the answers are potentially old. If I choose to do this route I do plan on buying the Gerald Kelly guide.


Water - Descriptions say water sources are sometimes far between and to carry more water. Where do people normally get their water from? I always carry a filter so I have no problem getting water from streams or cisterns if they are available.

Albergue - how much on average does it cost to stay in one on this route? I'm vegetarian and don't really drink alcohol so I will probably prepare my own meals.

Places that accept donations for overnight stays - While I am on a budget I don't want to be cheap or disrespectful, how much should I donate?

Camping - I prefer to camp en route and from what I have read it's legal for a single tent for a single night. Of course permission is required for private property and I don't plan on making campfires however I might use an alcohol stove. Any feedback one can provide about camping on this route would be appreciated. Also how much would a fair donation be for setting up a tent on the grounds of an albergue, etc?

Toilets - what do people usually do for their "dirty business"? In the wilderness I usually dig a six inch hole and carry out the toilet paper.

I'm looking for a route with a blend of history/antiquities, culture and natural beauty - is this the best Camino route for me? I've previously hiked the 300 mile/500 km Lycian Way and St. Paul Trail in Turkey and loved every step.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
We walked VDLP 9/16... I was vegan and had to start eating eggs and some cheese or I would not have eaten much. Having said that, occasionally I had fantastic vegetarian meals. Many of the towns are so tiny.... I also ate lots of nuts! We took a dehydrated peanut butter called PB 8 ( I think that’s the name) and it saved us more than once!!
 

Bigfrog

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Soon...
#21
Thanks, everybody, for taking the time to answer my questions and tell of your experiences! There's lots of great info here. I really appreciate it.
 

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
#22
Hello everybody!

I recently found myself between jobs and am contemplating doing the Via de la Plata starting in Sept. I'm an experienced backpacker/trekker, mostly in the wilderness of the mountains of California, so I do have the gear, map reading skill and fitness level to do this route. I've read a lot of posts on this forum already but haven't quite found all the answers I need or the answers are potentially old. If I choose to do this route I do plan on buying the Gerald Kelly guide.


Water - Descriptions say water sources are sometimes far between and to carry more water. Where do people normally get their water from? I always carry a filter so I have no problem getting water from streams or cisterns if they are available.

Albergue - how much on average does it cost to stay in one on this route? I'm vegetarian and don't really drink alcohol so I will probably prepare my own meals.

Places that accept donations for overnight stays - While I am on a budget I don't want to be cheap or disrespectful, how much should I donate?

Camping - I prefer to camp en route and from what I have read it's legal for a single tent for a single night. Of course permission is required for private property and I don't plan on making campfires however I might use an alcohol stove. Any feedback one can provide about camping on this route would be appreciated. Also how much would a fair donation be for setting up a tent on the grounds of an albergue, etc?

Toilets - what do people usually do for their "dirty business"? In the wilderness I usually dig a six inch hole and carry out the toilet paper.

I'm looking for a route with a blend of history/antiquities, culture and natural beauty - is this the best Camino route for me? I've previously hiked the 300 mile/500 km Lycian Way and St. Paul Trail in Turkey and loved every step.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
Hi BigFrog,
I plan on walking the Via de la Plata - starting this Septiembre. I also have some experience with camping and hiking outdoors (mainly on the AT); and have had similar questions as you, especially with regards to "tenting", I have not yet fully decided.
If your decide to walk the VDLP, I hope our paths cross; if not, I wish you well in whatever you decide and on whatever route your take.

Hasta...,
Dominick
 

Bigfrog

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Soon...
#23
Hi BigFrog,
I plan on walking the Via de la Plata - starting this Septiembre. I also have some experience with camping and hiking outdoors (mainly on the AT); and have had similar questions as you, especially with regards to "tenting", I have not yet fully decided.
If your decide to walk the VDLP, I hope our paths cross; if not, I wish you well in whatever you decide and on whatever route your take.

Hasta...,
Dominick
Hola Dominick!
When do you think you might start? Are you planning on starting at Seville? I still have not made a final decision either but I'm thinking mid-Sept.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
#24
It has been years since I walked the VDLP but here are my thoughts:

Water - In early September I would be hesitant to attempt walking again. In later September maybe. The issue is the extreme heat and the FACT that many of the fountains listed in the guidebooks, for us, turned up dry as a bone. Which means you have to carry LOTS of water and it's heavier than hell!

Albergue - Someone who has recently walked will need to answer this, but I don't recall it being any more expensive than the Frances.

Places that accept donations for overnight stays - While I am on a budget I don't want to be cheap or disrespectful, how much should I donate? I never donate less than 10 euros. It costs money to run an albergue... electricity, water, cleaning.

Camping - I camped out several nights. Stealth camping worked for us. We did NOT carry or use a stove. It's too dry and even with an alcohol stove there is danger of wildfire. There are plenty of things you can eat without cooking. Bocadillos and lots of canned meat, fruit, great cheese and bread.

Toilets - what do people usually do for their "dirty business"? In the wilderness I usually dig a six inch hole and carry out the toilet paper. In general, you can find a bar in the mornings to do your business. In an emergency, your method would be fine, as long as you're off the trail.

I'm looking for a route with a blend of history/antiquities, culture and natural beauty - is this the best Camino route for me? Holy cow, that could any number of routes, from the Frances to the VDLP, to the Madrid route to the Northern to ..... pick a route!
 

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
#25
Hola Dominick!
When do you think you might start? Are you planning on starting at Seville? I still have not made a final decision either but I'm thinking mid-Sept.
Hola,
Yes, I do plan on starting in Sevilla - and start walking on or about Septiembre 21.
If you haven't noticed, I found Youren to have some good posts on the forum.
Dominick
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#26
Hi bigfrog,

I started the Via de la Plata on September 18th 2008 and can remember that it was very hot at this time. Later, in October in the Salamanca area we had already frosty nights, so prepare for both.

The most albergues in the south (alba plata project) cost at about 15 €/night and sometimes provide a simple breakfast. In Galicia the public albergues now charge 6 € and most of the private ones 10-12 €. This should also be a guide-line when staying in donativo albergues.

There are some very long stretches without water, e. g. between Castilblanco de los Arroyos and Almadén de la Plata you can not be sure to get some water from the forrest house in the middle and the places where the animals drink may also have run dry. Similar situation at the Alcantara lake where a german pilgrim died from heat stroke/Dehydration only a couple of days ago. Other long stretches with nothing in between which I can remember are between Villafranca de los Barros and Torremejía (27 km) and Fuenterroble de Salvatierra and San Pedro de Rozados (29 km, with one farm house after 21 km - but can you be sure, that the owner is at home to supply you with water if necessary?). I always took 3 litres of water with me.

Wild Camping in the dehesas can be quite a challenge. Only do so if you like the company of the semi-wild black pigs. Places which seemed to be a good and dry campground can be flooded by nightly thunderstorms. I would not take a tent. Most times albergues are in good walking distances. The only problem could arise in the "arco di Caparra"-area but there you may just wait until the visitor´s centre has closed and then sleep under their front-roof.

BC Alexandra
 

Bigfrog

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Soon...
#27
Hi bigfrog,

I started the Via de la Plata on September 18th 2008 and can remember that it was very hot at this time. Later, in October in the Salamanca area we had already frosty nights, so prepare for both.

The most albergues in the south (alba plata project) cost at about 15 €/night and sometimes provide a simple breakfast. In Galicia the public albergues now charge 6 € and most of the private ones 10-12 €. This should also be a guide-line when staying in donativo albergues.

There are some very long stretches without water, e. g. between Castilblanco de los Arroyos and Almadén de la Plata you can not be sure to get some water from the forrest house in the middle and the places where the animals drink may also have run dry. Similar situation at the Alcantara lake where a german pilgrim died from heat stroke/Dehydration only a couple of days ago. Other long stretches with nothing in between which I can remember are between Villafranca de los Barros and Torremejía (27 km) and Fuenterroble de Salvatierra and San Pedro de Rozados (29 km, with one farm house after 21 km - but can you be sure, that the owner is at home to supply you with water if necessary?). I always took 3 litres of water with me.

Wild Camping in the dehesas can be quite a challenge. Only do so if you like the company of the semi-wild black pigs. Places which seemed to be a good and dry campground can be flooded by nightly thunderstorms. I would not take a tent. Most times albergues are in good walking distances. The only problem could arise in the "arco di Caparra"-area but there you may just wait until the visitor´s centre has closed and then sleep under their front-roof.

BC Alexandra
Thanks so much for the info!

I do a lot of backpacking and usually start the day with 3-4 litre regardless of the availability of water. Ive had a couple water related almost emergencies and learned that water is the absolute one thing you don't mess around with. I start my day with 2-3 liter in my water bladder and then a spare .5-1 liter in a bottle in my pack since it's really hard to gauge how much water is left in the bladder without stopping and looking in my backpack.

While backpacking in Turkey I had a couple experiences with the wild boars... They sounded scary snorting outside my tent at night but in the end they weren't a problem. Did you have any issues with regards to safety with the pigs?

Thanks!

John
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016) ; 1st Camino Frances September 2016-November 2016 ; Camino Frances August 2017-October 2017
#28
Question for those who walked long stages or slept outside. Was it because there were no alternative places to sleep, such as hostels, pensiones or hotels, or because there was absolutely no other choice ? We also trekked the Frances in fall/winter and had zero problems with finding alburgues and have read that along the Plata, new ones/refurbished ones are opening with each passing year. true or false? We will be starting the Plata around October 1, 2019.

Buen Camino !
 

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
#29
Question for those who walked long stages or slept outside. Was it because there were no alternative places to sleep, such as hostels, pensiones or hotels, or because there was absolutely no other choice ? We also trekked the Frances in fall/winter and had zero problems with finding alburgues and have read that along the Plata, new ones/refurbished ones are opening with each passing year. true or false? We will be starting the Plata around October 1, 2019.

Buen Camino !
Question for those who walked long stages or slept outside. Was it because there were no alternative places to sleep, such as hostels, pensiones or hotels, or because there was absolutely no other choice ? We also trekked the Frances in fall/winter and had zero problems with finding alburgues and have read that along the Plata, new ones/refurbished ones are opening with each passing year. true or false? We will be starting the Plata around October 1, 2019.

Buen Camino !
Hola Amigos,
I recently finished walking the VDLP ((Oct 2018), and it was a great experience. I have been told by some - that there are differences between the VDLP and the CF, but I guess that is to be expected. The VDLP was my first Camino. Back home in the US, I usually hike long distances, and this was one of the reasons I chose to walk the VDLP. With regards to your questions; during my walk on the VDLP, I did not come across anyone who camped out. As a long distance hiker, I thought there might be occasions were I may have to camp-out and even carried a light tarp with me. but I never had to use it. With regards to distance, I found that with proper planning, I had no problem knowing what my next destination was going to be and approximately how long it would take to get there. There are some long distances between towns, but there are also some short and medium distances between towns. I did not come across any Albergues that were full, and many locations had more than one place to stay. There were even a few places where I had the Albergue all to myself. Ultreia, Dominick
 

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
#31
What distance do you walk per day @Dominick ? I am not able to do more then 20-25 per day and I was wondering If its possible to do the VDLP.
Hola, of course it is possible, because many have already walked the VDLP. I probably averaged between 25 & 30 kpd. Most-all the people that I met were able to finish the VDLP; some just finished faster than others. If you realistically & practically plan your days; plus with your experience on the CF, you should be ok. I used Gerald Kelly's guide book for most-all of my planning; it is not perfect. but it works. Ciao
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Who knows! ;-)
#32
I have only needed to sleep outside (in a tent!) in France in the Summer months (long distances, accommodation booked up etc). Never in Spain - including Via de la Plata - or Italy. I think you’ll be fine :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Vía de la Plata 2019
#33
Hola, of course it is possible, because many have already walked the VDLP.
I meant ‘possible for us’ ofc 😊
I didn’t find any backpack transport yet on the vdlp, only Sanabres, and the few stretches above 25 and up to 39 worry me. They will be absolutely impossible for us so If we can’t find a solution for those, the vdlp will be impossible for us (due to medical reasons).
 

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
#34
I meant ‘possible for us’ ofc 😊
I didn’t find any backpack transport yet on the vdlp, only Sanabres, and the few stretches above 25 and up to 39 worry me. They will be absolutely impossible for us so If we can’t find a solution for those, the vdlp will be impossible for us (due to medical reasons).
Which stretches are you talking about?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked from Le Puy to Pamploma (April/May 2014)
#35
Information here is very useful for me too - thank you everyone.
Most people seem to start the VDLP in September or April. I'm planning to start March 1st. I like colder weather and prefer to avoid very hot temperatures so am hoping March will suit me. Does anyone have any thoughts about the VDLP in March?
 

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
#36
Information here is very useful for me too - thank you everyone.
Most people seem to start the VDLP in September or April. I'm planning to start March 1st. I like colder weather and prefer to avoid very hot temperatures so am hoping March will suit me. Does anyone have any thoughts about the VDLP in March?
Hola,
From talking to hospitaleros and the like, The Spring season is the most populous; but probably not like the CF.
Dominick
 
Camino(s) past & future
Vía de la Plata 2019
#37
For example
Castilblanco - Almaden,
Villafranca de los Barros - Torremejia
Casar de Cacares - Cañaveral,
Cañaveral - Galisteo
Olivia de Plasencia - Banos de Montemayor
Banos de Montemayor - Fuenterroble
Fuenterroble - SAN Pedro
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15,Portuguese 16,Finisterre Muxia 16,Ingles16,, Almeria to Muxia,Finesterre 18
#39
For example
Castilblanco - Almaden,
Villafranca de los Barros - Torremejia
Casar de Cacares - Cañaveral,
Cañaveral - Galisteo
Olivia de Plasencia - Banos de Montemayor
Banos de Montemayor - Fuenterroble
Fuenterroble - SAN Pedro
I was on the vldp earlier this year and met 2 separate pilgrims who were only able to walk about 20 kms a day ,,so would catch a taxi ,,,perhaps a bus if possible,,ahead from the nights albergue to a point leaving then a 20 km walk to the next nights albergue ,,,, easily done !!!!!
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#40
I meant ‘possible for us’ ofc 😊
I didn’t find any backpack transport yet on the vdlp, only Sanabres, and the few stretches above 25 and up to 39 worry me. They will be absolutely impossible for us so If we can’t find a solution for those, the vdlp will be impossible for us (due to medical reasons).
I made a resource last year about this:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...gies-for-problem-long-stages-on-the-vdlp.574/
Update - the albergue at the Embalse de Alcantara was open this summer but be sure to check locally or phone them up nearer the time.

This old thread is also useful
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...-for-short-legged-pilgrims.45151/#post-475184
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#41
For example
Castilblanco - Almaden,
Villafranca de los Barros - Torremejia
Casar de Cacares - Cañaveral,
Cañaveral - Galisteo
Olivia de Plasencia - Banos de Montemayor
Banos de Montemayor - Fuenterroble
Fuenterroble - SAN Pedro
I am copying below a response I made on an old thread, which addresses all of those sections. The VDLP is still quite do-able for people like me who prefer not to walk more than 25 km/day. The problem is that it is not always possible to select the exact number of km you want to walk. Sometimes you need to pick a shorter day than you really need, in order to manage the following day(s). Of course, if you want shorter days, you need more days!

It is helpful if you speak Spanish, enjoy a logistic challenge or two, and are somewhat flexible in your approach. It would be rather difficult to plan every day and accommodation weeks in advance. You need to check some places on the day before, in order to avoid getting stuck somewhere.

Day 1 -- Guillena (22 km)
Day 2 -- Castilblanco (17 km)
Day 3 -- Almaden (29 km)- Easy to shorten by taking taxi for first 16 km to park entrance.
Day 4 -- Real de la Jara (16 km)
Day 5 -- Monesterio (18 km)
Day 6 -- Fuente de Cantos (22 km)
Day 7 -- Zafra (25 km)
Day 8 -- Villafranca de los Barros (20 km)
Day 9 -- Torremejia (28 km)- You can go off camino to Almendralejo, making 2 shorter days.
Day 10 -- Merida (16 km)
Day 11 -- Aljucen (17 km)
Day 12 -- Alcuescar (21 km)
Day 13 -- Caceres (38 km)- You can stop after 27 km, in Valdesalor, 11 km before Caceres, or even Aldea del Cano.
Day 14 -- Casar de Caceres (11 km)
Day 15 -- Canaveral (33 km)- Now the albergue is open at Embalse de Alcantara, 21 km after Casar.
Day 16 -- Galisteo (28 km)- You can go via Riolobos and make 2 days.
Day 17 -- Carcaboso (11 km)
Day 18 -- Oliva de Plasencia (25 km)- Or arrange pickup at Ventaquemada for Oliva, or at Caparra for Hostal Asturias.
Day 19 -- Banos de Montemayor (36 km)- There are several ways to break this up including Hostal Asturias, Aldeanueva, Hervas.
Day 20 -- Fuenterroble (33km)- There are options to stop before here e.g. Valverde de Valedlacasa.
Day 21 -- San Pedro (28 km)
Day 22 -- Salamanca (24 km)
Day 23 -- Valdunciel (15 km)
Day 24 -- Villanueva del Campean (33 km)- You can break in half at El Cubo or stop 6 km later at Casa Saso.
Day 25 -- Zamora (18 km)
Day 26 -- Montamarta (19 km)
Day 27 -- Granja de Moreruela (22 km)

After Granja, I went north to Astorga because of time limitations, so I can't help with the stages on the Camino Sanabres.
 
Last edited:

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#42
Just a quick update, we walked the VDLP in 2008 and 2018 both in September. In the 10 years between caminos I noticed very little had changed on the route, still isolated, lovely, with few pilgrims. The one thing that had changed was that it was even hotter, global warming or just a hot year, I'll leave that you. The other thing that had changed is that I was older and not so fit, was a hard walk in many ways but rewarding.
 
Last edited:

Dominick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
#44
For example
Castilblanco - Almaden,
Villafranca de los Barros - Torremejia
Casar de Cacares - Cañaveral,
Cañaveral - Galisteo
Olivia de Plasencia - Banos de Montemayor
Banos de Montemayor - Fuenterroble
Fuenterroble - SAN Pedro
Hola Karin,
Si, most-all of these stretches are more than 25 Kms, but there are also many stretches that are less than 25 Kms. So maybe another option would be to balance longer walking dias with shorter walking dias. This is one of the strategies that I used when I knew I had a long walk/day ahead of me. Another thing to keep in mind is the terrain. Generally, I found the terrain in the south & mid part of the ruta to be mostly level. Ultreia
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#45
I am copying below a response I made on an old thread, which addresses all of those sections. The VDLP is still quite do-able for people like me who prefer not to walk more than 25 km/day. The problem is that it is not always possible to select the exact number of km you want to walk. Sometimes you need to pick a shorter day than you really need, in order to manage the following day(s). Of course, if you want shorter days, you need more days!

It is helpful if you speak Spanish, enjoy a logistic challenge or two, and are somewhat flexible in your approach. It would be rather difficult to plan every day and accommodation weeks in advance. You need to check some places on the day before, in order to avoid getting stuck somewhere.

Day 1 -- Guillena (22 km)
Day 2 -- Castilblanco (17 km)
Day 3 -- Almaden (29 km)- Easy to shorten by taking taxi for first 16 km to park entrance.
Day 4 -- Real de la Jara (16 km)
Day 5 -- Monesterio (18 km)
Day 6 -- Fuente de Cantos (22 km)
Day 7 -- Zafra (25 km)
Day 8 -- Villafranca de los Barros (20 km)
Day 9 -- Torremejia (28 km)- You can go off camino to Almendralejo, making 2 shorter days.
Day 10 -- Merida (16 km)
Day 11 -- Aljucen (17 km)
Day 12 -- Alcuescar (21 km)
Day 13 -- Caceres (38 km)- You can stop after 27 km, in Valdesalor, 11 km before Caceres, or even Aldea del Cano.
Day 14 -- Casar de Caceres (11 km)
Day 15 -- Canaveral (33 km)- Now the albergue is open at Embalse de Alcantara, 21 km after Casar.
Day 16 -- Galisteo (28 km)- You can go via Riolobos and make 2 days.
Day 17 -- Carcaboso (11 km)
Day 18 -- Oliva de Plasencia (25 km)- Or arrange pickup at Ventaquemada for Oliva, or at Caparra for Hostal Asturias.
Day 19 -- Banos de Montemayor (36 km)- There are several ways to break this up including Hostal Asturias, Aldeanueva, Hervas.
Day 20 -- Fuenterroble (33km)- There are options to stop before here e.g. Valverde de Valedlacasa.
Day 21 -- San Pedro (28 km)
Day 22 -- Salamanca (24 km)
Day 23 -- Valdunciel (15 km)
Day 24 -- Villanueva del Campean (33 km)- You can break in half at El Cubo or stop 6 km later at Casa Saso.
Day 25 -- Zamora (18 km)
Day 26 -- Montamarta (19 km)
Day 27 -- Granja de Moreruela (22 km)

After Granja, I went north to Astorga because of time limitations, so I can't help with the stages on the Camino Sanabres.
Thank you for this.

My 40k plus days may be a thing of the past and I really want to walk VDLP.

This is just what I needed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#46
I don't want to suggest that the Via de la Plata is "for everyone." I wouldn't recommend it to people who absolutely cannot walk more than 25 km, have no Spanish, dislike surprises, or have firm expectations of comfort and convenience! However, a preference for days of no more than 25 km should not be the show-stopper.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#47
Hi,

when I walked the Via de la Plata with my parents in 2008-2010 we did it in smaller stages.

The longest Stretches were
El Real de la Jara - Almaden de la Plata (private lift to Finca El Berrocal, half-way)
Oliva de Plasencia to Aldeanueva de Camino (we could have gone to Hostal Asturias or could have called a taxi from the bar 3 km before Aldeanueva de Camino)
A Gudina - Laza (we did not even try to reserve beds in the hostal in Campobecerros because we felt able to walk the whole distance recovering by walking only a short stage the next day).

So, if you have enough time, it is feasible.

BC
Alexandra
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#48
To clarify, the black pigs are not the same as wild boars. The black pigs are not tame but are domestic animals, kept for the famous ham, they live in paddocks (dehesas). They are not running loose on the trails, but if you camped in a paddock, you might attract their attention (especially if they can smell food around your tent).

Wild boars are a wild animal, they live in forested areas and are quite rare. They can be dangerous especially if you approach a mother with piglets, or during the rut (Nov to Jan). I have never seen a wild boar or even their field signs in Spain (I have in Britain). Spanish for wild boar is un jabalí (habalee), you can ask locals if there are any.
 
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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#49
As someone who free ranges black pigs in our orchard I can confirm that the Spanish pigs are not tame! They are used to humans as farmers handle them and feed them just like most farm animals, so they may check you out as you cross their field, but if you keep moving in a calm and predicable manner and they will ignore you.

In the southern sections there are a few dehesa you walk through and you may come across a sounding of pigs (that's what a group of pigs is called). The main problem you may have is that they don't have good eye sight so if they are snoozing and don't hear you coming they will jump up and toss about a bit before they head off. That and food, they have excellent sense of smell and may check you out for food, don't feed them or attempt to pat them, their jaws are very strong and they can easily crack nuts and chomp bones.

Wild boar are around, these are more in the wooded / hilly sections and you won't see them during the day, but they do scavenge around camps at night. Interestingly there are reports of invading wild boar in Barcelona, scavenging rubbish tins.
 

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  • September

    Votes: 236 30.0%
  • October

    Votes: 96 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
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