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Quick bit of advice

Year of past OR future Camino
2019
My wife and I were going to give this year a miss as far as doing a Camino is concerned and we started to look at alternative walks. Our original plan was do do the Francés again but we are worried about the large numbers of people, sharing rooms in albergues etc. So we will probably do the CF in 2022.

So we are now seriously thinking about (already decided!) the VDLP.

We loved being able to stop along the way for breakfast and second breakfast and I was wondering whether there are cafés etc between all of the stages or are there some that have nothing at all...

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2012 Lemovicensis + Francés;
2016 Podiensis + CdN + Fisterra;
2018 VdlP + Sanabrés + Muxia/Fisterra
Generally there will be possibilitys for second breakfast or something similar. But not allways at the time or the place you want. Be aware that the VdlP doesn‘t have the infrastucture like the CF. Yes, ist enhanced a lot in the last years But there are still long and lonely stretches without supply. A crucial part for instance is the stage between Carcaboso and Aldeanueva del Camino (if you wan‘t deviate from the Track). And exactly this I found the most emblematic part of the VdlP.


Ultreia
 

DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
I'd also bear in mind that the situation here in Spain is really fluid right now. The last announcement I read said tourists wouldn't be allowed back in until we hit our vaccination targets. Best case scenario that's likely end of summer, but right now we are behind. So while I think it's good to be hopeful, I'd be very surprised if tourists can come back to Spain before fall of this year, maybe even further out.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Thanks for this...we are aware of the situation and will be keeping a close eye on things...our plan is for starting towards the end of September but if this doesn't happen for whatever reason, we might look at spring 2022...

You are right, things are very fluid and the numbers will decide everything...
 
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DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
We need to hit 70% before tourism restarts. I imagine there will be pressure from businesses as the summer approaches, especially if we are behind. But the current guidance is likely end of summer, best case scenario. And even then I personally don't think businesses will be able to simply start up again. At least here in Valencia the first lockdown caused 20-30% of the cafes and restaurants near me to shutter their doors, likely permanently. By end of summer I suspect there will be more casualties in terms of small business. That said, I'm as hopeful as you since I'd really like to walk again. I was lucky in that in August of last year our numbers were really good so I went to Scotland and did the Great Glenn Way. But I know most people haven't had a good hike in over a year now!

Ivar is keeping everyone up to date, but feel free to reach out to me as well if anyone wants more info 'from the ground'.

https://www.mixmag.net/read/spain-ibiza-tourists-open-holiday-when-news
 
Last edited:

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
There are days when you won't pass by a convenient cafe. It pays to plan ahead - Review the route in Gronze (or Wise Pilgrim app etc.) for the next couple of days. Carry some cheese and bread or ask the restaurant where you have dinner to wrap up a bocadillo to go.
Keep in mind that stores don't operate on pilgrim time - it can be frustrating when you walk through a small town and the only grocery store is closed because it's Sunday, or a local holiday, or siesta time. That said, you soon get used to the way things work (or you get used to being hungry).
 
Last edited:

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
We loved being able to stop along the way for breakfast and second breakfast and I was wondering whether there are cafés etc between all of the stages or are there some that have nothing at all...
There most certainly are stages where a cafe will not appear when you are ready for second breakfast, or for first lunch. Sometimes first breakfast might even be a problem! That is all part of the adventure of the VDLP.

Seriously, you will need to look at each day, see what the likely facilities are, stock up on snacks, and then hope for the best.

I love the VDLP, and I don't think it is particularly difficult at all. However, it does not pamper its pilgrims, which is what I like about it.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Thanks for this information. We will make sure that we are stocked up in case of a lack of facilities...really looking forward to this, Covid permitting...
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
We need to hit 70% before tourism restarts. I imagine there will be pressure from businesses as the summer approaches, especially if we are behind. But the current guidance is likely end of summer, best case scenario. And even then I personally don't think businesses will be able to simply start up again. At least here in Valencia the first lockdown caused 20-30% of the cafes and restaurants near me to shutter their doors, likely permanently. By end of summer I suspect there will be more casualties in terms of small business. That said, I'm as hopeful as you since I'd really like to walk again. I was lucky in that in August of last year our numbers were really good so I went to Scotland and did the Great Glenn Way. But I know most people haven't had a good hike in over a year now!

Ivar is keeping everyone up to date, but feel free to reach out to me as well if anyone wants more info 'from the ground'.

https://www.mixmag.net/read/spain-ibiza-tourists-open-holiday-when-news
Thanks so much. It would be great if you or anyone who actually lives in Spain could give us definitive guidance from the Spanish authorities regarding openings and any other information that is needed that is accurate.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks so much. It would be great if you or anyone who actually lives in Spain could give us definitive guidance from the Spanish authorities regarding openings and any other information that is needed that is accurate.
I assumed from the "Here in Valencia..." that the OP lives in Spain, but it's possible that he was talking about Valencia, Pennsylvania.
 

DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
I assumed from the "Here in Valencia..." that the OP lives in Spain, but it's possible that he was talking about Valencia, Pennsylvania.
Yes, I live in Valencia, Spain. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, but Spain is home now.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
My wife and I were going to give this year a miss as far as doing a Camino is concerned and we started to look at alternative walks. Our original plan was do do the Francés again but we are worried about the large numbers of people, sharing rooms in albergues etc. So we will probably do the CF in 2022.

So we are now seriously thinking about (already decided!) the VDLP.

We loved being able to stop along the way for breakfast and second breakfast and I was wondering whether there are cafés etc between all of the stages or are there some that have nothing at all...

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
I too hope to walk on the VDLP starting in mid October if we can. I have walked from Le Puy and the stretches from Lisbon to Porto and the last couple of weeks on the Norte can be desolate especially during times of few pilgrims. For me the solitude adds a wonderful dimension. Even being the only pilgrim at night.
my advice especially after Spain reopens is this. I hope that you can speak some Spanish. On less traveled routes there are a lot less English speakers. A month in France 🇫🇷 was tough as i spoke no French and I don’t think I met more than 5 or 6 people who spoke English including pilgrims. But it was still wonderful. Get a phone card if your cell plan doesn’t work in Spain. I use Orange and for 20E I get about 15gigas and I tthink 80 minutes of calls. Vodaphonehas a similar plan in price that offers more minutes but less gigas. They are the two biggest so you have a better chance to recharge. I tried to recharge online and Orange didn’t take my American credit card. This way you can call ahead the night before if you are unsure if albergues in small villages will be open. Download a few apps and check gronze so you have a few sources to check on albergues. No site is ever complete. The first thing is ask about grocery store to shop for dinner and for food the following day. If I pass a store a few kilometers out from where I am sleeping I will stop there for food. Better safe than sorry. Finally on a Camino especially like the VDLP I highly recommended downloading the app called Alert Cops. This app allows you to be on touch with the police and you will speak to an English speaking person. They can track your location and send help if you need it. I think especially when this Camino is really hot it may be a lifesaver. Don’t know how experienced you are so maybe you already know all this but if not I hope this helps.
 
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DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
I hope to do the Levante one day maybe I will run into you!! Have you walked it?

Not yet, but it's on the list. I actually have a credencial on order from Ivar, and when it arrives I may walk a bit of it. Right now there are so many restrictions, but I wouldn't mind getting some walking in to start training for the summer. So my plan was (and thanks to people on here) is maybe to walk 20 km each weekend and simply take the commuter train back to Valencia after. For example, walk from Valencia to Silla this Saturday, then take the train back. The following weekend train (or bike) to Silla, then carry-on. The first stages of the Levante are mostly on asphalt I think, so I don't mind chipping away at those while we are on de-facto lockdown. And then maybe in a few months I can pick up where I end up during this period, and keep on walking more normally.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Not yet, but it's on the list. I actually have a credencial on order from Ivar, and when it arrives I may walk a bit of it. Right now there are so many restrictions, but I wouldn't mind getting some walking in to start training for the summer. So my plan was (and thanks to people on here) is maybe to walk 20 km each weekend and simply take the commuter train back to Valencia after. For example, walk from Valencia to Silla this Saturday, then take the train back. The following weekend train (or bike) to Silla, then carry-on. The first stages of the Levante are mostly on asphalt I think, so I don't mind chipping away at those while we are on de-facto lockdown. And then maybe in a few months I can pick up where I end up during this period, and keep on walking more normally.
Sounds like a good plan when Camino no matter how short each Camino is during this crazy time.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I'd have to echo some other opinions and say that the VDLP is NOT like the CF. While similar, there are long distances where there is nowhere to stop (particularly in the southern portions) for water or food. They are certainly doable (I was 69 when I did the first half to Salamanca). And, when I did it in the spring, the absolute sheer beauty of the wildflowers was overwhelming. You just have to make sure that for each stage you understand what is available, what is open, and what your limits are. You will be rewarded by that effort and planning. I'm looking forward to finishing the next half in 2022 (hopefully). If you want to see what you're in for take a look at my playlist on YouTube. Again, it's only the first half (and I'm redoing them stage by stage) but they are a video of the entire walk speeded up 5x with some added info. :)

 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I too hope to walk on the VDLP starting in mid October if we can. I have walked from Le Puy and the stretches from Lisbon to Porto and the last couple of weeks on the Norte can be desolate especially during times of few pilgrims. For me the solitude adds a wonderful dimension. Even being the only pilgrim at night.
my advice especially after Spain reopens is this. I hope that you can speak some Spanish. On less traveled routes there are a lot less English speakers. A month in France 🇫🇷 was tough as i spoke no French and I don’t think I met more than 5 or 6 people who spoke English including pilgrims. But it was still wonderful. Get a phone card if your cell plan doesn’t work in Spain. I use Orange and for 20E I get about 15gigas and I tthink 80 minutes of calls. Vodaphonehas a similar plan in price that offers more minutes but less gigas. They are the two biggest so you have a better chance to recharge. I tried to recharge online and Orange didn’t take my American credit card. This way you can call ahead the night before if you are unsure if albergues in small villages will be open. Download a few apps and check gronze so you have a few sources to check on albergues. No site is ever complete. The first thing is ask about grocery store to shop for dinner and for food the following day. If I pass a store a few kilometers out from where I am sleeping I will stop there for food. Better safe than sorry. Finally on a Camino especially like the VDLP I highly recommended downloading the app called Alert Cops. This app allows you to be on touch with the police and you will speak to an English speaking person. They can track your location and send help if you need it. I think especially when this Camino is really hot it may be a lifesaver. Don’t know how experienced you are so maybe you already know all this but if not I hope this helps.
Thanks for all the advice. It is most welcome.

My wife and I are experienced walkers but planning ahead is always the key. In a way, the CF kind of pampers you a little as there is almost always somewhere to get food and supplies...which is why I asked the original question.

Also, I have been learning Spanish for about a year and hoping to be reasonably conversational by the time we go.

Saludos y buen Camino!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Thanks for all the advice. It is most welcome.

My wife and I are experienced walkers but planning ahead is always the key. In a way, the CF kind of pampers you a little as there is almost always somewhere to get food and supplies...which is why I asked the original question.

Also, I have been learning Spanish for about a year and hoping to be reasonably conversational by the time we go.

Saludos y buen Camino!
Good news and I am sure you will be fine. Stay safe and let’s hope our first Camino step will be soon.
 

geraldkelly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Vía de la Plata / Camino Sanabrés, Camino del Baztán, Camino Aragonés, Chemin du Puy
Just to echo what other people have said, on the Via there are many stretches where there are no facilities. You need to plan ahead and be prepared, it's not like the CF where you can just trust to luck.

Gerald
 

mwextine

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (September 2013)
My wife and I were going to give this year a miss as far as doing a Camino is concerned and we started to look at alternative walks. Our original plan was do do the Francés again but we are worried about the large numbers of people, sharing rooms in albergues etc. So we will probably do the CF in 2022.

So we are now seriously thinking about (already decided!) the VDLP.

We loved being able to stop along the way for breakfast and second breakfast and I was wondering whether there are cafés etc between all of the stages or are there some that have nothing at all...

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
My experiences are from 2017 and I was surprised that there were not nearly as many places to stop for "second breakfast". I would estimate that we had this meal perhaps half of the days. Still, the vdlp was an amazing journey.
 
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