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Suddenly solo on the VdlP

kate0010

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#1
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
 

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efdoucette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011 Camino Frances
2012 Porto
2013 Le Puy
2014 Francigena
2015 - 2018 More ...
#4
The Camino trail from Seville is fabulous but there are not many walkers as there are on the Camino Frances. If you have the means I may suggest take a train to a location on the Camino Frances and walk that route, maybe Pamplona. You will meet many other walkers and the language barrier is much less. It is also a fabulous route.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#6
1) YES!!

2) YES!!

3) YES and you will meet many people to walk with

4) if you have not walked the Camino before, consider jumping up and walking the Camino Frances. Easier. More pilgrims. More lodging.

Go for it!! You got this!!

In the meantime join the Facebook group Camigas and you may find female walking partners.
 
#9
1) YES!!

2) YES!!

3) YES and you will meet many people to walk with

4) if you have not walked the Camino before, consider jumping up and walking the Camino Frances. Easier. More pilgrims. More lodging.

Go for it!! You got this!!

In the meantime join the Facebook group Camigas and you may find female walking partners.

Wonderful post!
Just perfect - and from one with such extensive/intensive experience.

It is not just a coincidence that her first reply was yours!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#13
Thanks everyone, so much. I will consider fhs Camino Frances, though I have to admit my heart has been set on the VdlP. Can a gal with a moderate amount of common sense figure it out on her own?
Follow your heart. Yes, you can!
 
#16
Thanks everyone, so much. I will consider fhs Camino Frances, though I have to admit my heart has been set on the VdlP. Can a gal with a moderate amount of common sense figure it out on her own?
For sure! Follow the yellow arrows which may be placed just about anywhere - on trees, buildings, sidewalks, road signs, poles, rocks...well you get the idea.

There for sure will be others walking at the end of April, in fact I hear that it is the busiest time on the Plata - just enough but not too many. I've walked it three times but yet to walk it in the Spring. It should be a lovely time to walk.

Buen Camino!
 
#17
Go .... you will be so glad you did . I walked the VDLP last year starting 13 April and on day 1 met five fantastic people - all singles . We sat at dinner on the first evening saying how lucky we were to have had such a great start to our walk . This good luck continued the whole way . My Spanish is very basic and I had no problems.
I think you know your answer :)
 

WH2018

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
Probably others in future
#19
Im on vdlp now, and Ive met a few people who started at different locations such as Merida if they did not have time for the whole walk. Personally I am bike touring since I have less time.
You would be fine without Spanish. You'll meet many others. Bring a rain poncho or rain gear, this year it has been wet. Tons of flowers though (deserts do well with rain), and lots of great food and people.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Via de La Plata (spring, 2019)
#20
Yes, Do it! Camino La Plata or Camino Frances, which is also a wonderful walk. It will be the perfect time for you to go, to put him behind you.
 
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PaulG

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena(2015)
Via de la Plata/ Via Sanabres (2016)
Via Romea Germanica (2018)
#21
I walked along this route 2 years ago and I would say that 90% of pilgrims have zero or almost zero knowledge of Spanish. I didn’t see that many lone woman walkers but the ones I did meet didn’t seem to have any concerns about safety. Also chances are you’ll meet up other pilgrims in the first few days along the way or in albergues with whom you can walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#22
I just caught sight of your thread and must say I salute your approach. Looks like you have what it takes to do as planned. Be sure to keep us posted while you are walking!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances-May/June 2015 , hopefully the Camino Portuguese in 2017
#23
Hi Kate
Be brave...and go. This is your chance to have an adventure and start a new chapter in your life. You will be fine, Buen Camino xxx
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
#24
I walked the VDLP alone just over a year ago. I'm a woman. A bit (quite a lot actually) older than you and I have a little Spanish. It was a beautiful, amazing walk. It was challenging but absolutely doable. I hope you walk and I'm sure you will have an amazing adventure. Buen Camino.
 

Peregrinopaul

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Sanabres (2018) Frances reverse(2018)
#26
Thanks everyone, so much. I will consider fhs Camino Frances, though I have to admit my heart has been set on the VdlP. Can a gal with a moderate amount of common sense figure it out on her own?
Most definitely Kate. And don’t let your primitive Spanish discourage you. My first Camino was the VdlP and, like you, I had tried to cram up on Duolingo, but then forgot all of it except “gracias” and “donde esta?”, but I got along fine. Everyone was so kind and encouraging. And there are some very memorable albergues.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
#29
Kate,

Life has set you up with a fantastic opportunity. You are now out of your comfort zone compared to what you expected with your Spanish speaking (ex) boyfriend. And it is when we are outside our normal comfortable existence we have those golden opportunities that allow us to grow, to become and to be that which we are capable of being. We just have to recognize the opportunity and have the courage to jump into the unknown.

Human beings frequently regret in life those things we do not do and rarely regret the things that we do. If it all goes wrong we can simply go home, put a bad situation down to experience and get over it. On the other hand if we back away and never take the opportunity, then we are forever left wondering ‘what if’. Life is too short for ‘what ifs’. Do it, experience it, live it; you will never regret it!!!

And to answer questions 1, 2 & 3 specifically, YES, YES & YES. Re Q4, you will always meet someone on the way. Perhaps someone you are meant to meet.

Aidan
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#31
I agree with the suggestion that you might feel more comfortable walking the Camino Frances sola than the VdlP, because the infrastructure is better, you will encounter more pilgrims, and your lack of Spanish shouldn't be a problem.
Exactly my thought, too.
 

Paladina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cycled caminos francés, Finisterre, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles et al (2018)
#33
Travelling alone or with her young daughter, and rarely being able to speak the local language, never discouraged Dervla Murphy from undertaking any of her journeys, and it needn’t stop you either. It’s a wonderful opportunity to restore your confidence in your own capabilities. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: St Jean Pied-de-Port to Santiago, on to Fisterra, Muxia and back to Santiago. (April-June 2016)
#34
Hey Kate. Maybe you’re now walking solo, but all of the replies to your thread show that you’re definitely not alone. I’ll add my virtual steps to these others walking “with” you. See what comes up and embrace it all - the glorious and fun, the quiet and reflective, the difficult and challenging. This is your Camino. You’ve got it. Right foot, left foot. Repeat. Buen Camino and a big Ultreia!!
 

Harington

una abuelita inglés
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
#35
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
So sorry about the relationship. My opinion (can't give advice!) is YES - go for it. I walked it as a solo female, and had the time of my life. You will feel empowered, and you will make good friends, and I'd hazard the opinion you'll have a better time than if you were shackled (sorry, strong word) to a partner. As for Spanish: it will be appreciated if you greet people and can say please and thank you. Otherwise a smile goes a very long way. Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Burgos to Santiago 2008, Madrid to Sáhagun 2012, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2014
#36
I’m no female in her thirties - far from it -but I would walk VdlP solo, and I will do it.
 
#38
Hi everyone,

2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish?
I knew only a few simple Spanish words when I was on my pilgrimage last April.

My approach was to write down my "requirements: e.g., a restaurant, baño (washroom), albergue address, or name of a hotel" on a sheet of paper in conjunction with my body language, and showed to folks for direction, etc., , I don't need to many Spanish words. This approach worked very well for me.

One day, my plan was walking half of the "stage" and taking bus for the rest. When I reached the town where I was to take the bus and was looking for some who could give me direction to a bus stop. The people I met in the town were seniors and none of them spoke English. Anyhow, I approached one of them and asked "autobus" to "Burgos". He understood what I meant and pointed me to the right direction.

I will employ the same approach for my upcoming Camino Portuguse pilgrimage.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#39
There is nice little language book called "Camino Lingo" it might make you feel more comfortable if you have it in your pocket. I couldn't find my old copy and just ordered a new one from Amazon, it got here in 3 days.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte?
#41
I agree with everybody's advice to go ahead and walk the via de la Plata. I walked it three years back as my first Camino, starting the end of March. It was not very busy, but certainly not lonely ( every night at least 10 people in the albergues)I speak some Spanish, but the majority of fellowwalkers did not, they had no problem. It's a lovely route with beautiful cities like Sevilla, Merida, Salamanca, Zamora and Ourense.
I wondered if your ex boyfriend will still be walking in about the same "time and space" , perhaps that might lead to some complications. I wish you a very "Buen Camino"; you will be safe.
 

kayagee66

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Le Puy - Roncesvalles (2016)
Figeac - Cahors (2017)
Stevenson Trail (2018
#42
Sara Dhooma walked the VDLP starting late January this year. She walked on her own. Here is a link to the 1st of her YouTube videos on that way.
She posted short videos each day of her walk.
They are well worth a look.
She always seems happy.

 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (June 2016) - Mixía/Fisterra (July 2016).
VDLP / Sanabrés (April/May 2018)
#43
Oh Kate, do go!.... for every reason posted here... and mostly for YOU. Claude and I will be on the trail a little ahead of you (we leave Apr 22 from Seville) and we wish you a Muy Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - 2009
Portuguese Interior (2014)
Hadrian's Wall (2017)
Porto to SdC ( Sep 2018)
#44
Kate,

I certainly would encourage you to go. My experience is that I've seen a number of lone female walkers. On the CF I ran across a young lady who didn't feel safe. She walked with a small group that I had joined for several days and was off on her own again as she felt more secure. You can do that, too!
Perhaps, it would be a good idea to go a shorter route but that's your call.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013, 2015
#45
Sara Dhooma walked the VDLP starting late January this year. She walked on her own. Here is a link to the 1st of her YouTube videos on that way.
She posted short videos each day of her walk.
They are well worth a look.
She always seems happy.

Yes Kate, GO! In the last 14 years since the heartbreak of losing someone i loved i have never turned down an opportunity - i told my kids i was "off to follow my dreams, even if they turn into nightmares" though they never have - i've had an amazing, blessed few years and met wonderful people. I'm going to be walking the VdlP solo in September. The video blog by Sara Dhooma has really inspired me :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
April (2018)
#46
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
Go for it
On the CF solo now
Tried to learn Spanish - no bueno, everyone has helped me along the way
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances August/Sept 2016
Camino Frances Sept/October 2017
Le Puy to Conques May 2018
#47
Hi Kate...sounds like you are already on your Camino. Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, fall of 2015
#48
Kate....like Nike says, JUST DO IT!! If you don't go, you may regret it and ain't nobody got time for that!! Plus, you may not get the chance again for a while. I'm sorry for your heartbreak, but if you reframe it, this is actually the perfect time to go so you can mull everything over.

Buen Camino!!
 

Barbara06

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Pamplona (2011-14)
VDLP (2015)
Portuguese (2015)
Francigena (2016)
Primitivo (2017)
#49
I did the VDLP alone and i dont speak spanish. It was really great, met many people and no safety problems. It is much nicer than the CF. You must go !!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
#50
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
I can understand your parent's concern. It might help if they read this forum. I think it will help them realize you will not be all alone in the wilderness. There was a woman this week who could not find her mom. Within 48 hours she was receiving pictures of her and confirmation that others said the had dinner with her. As far as safety, Spain is one of the safest countries in the world. As far as the language-- I suggest you get a Spanish sim card (20 euros) WhatsApp, google translate and google maps. With this combination, you will always be connected. If your parents can't stand it, I or my girlfriend will meet them at the Aeropuerto in Madrid and get them on the right bus or train so they can see that you are alive and well (I live in Madrid). If something happens to you we will do the same for you in reverse.
Lastly, think about the CF. Did I say lastly, sorry just one other thing? It seems to me (and I guess lots of others too) that the Camino could be the best place for finding your balance after a break-up in a relationship.

Buen Camino John
 

Wildling

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago 2013
St Jean to Santiago July 2016
#51
You should go for it!

I walked the Camino Frances in Summer 2016 after some huge changes in my life, to cut a long story short I left an 8yr relationship, my job, home...i had nothing but my last pay check (not a lot of money) and the Camino was the best thing i could have done. I was 28, female and on my own, yes it was scary at first but i never felt unsafe and made some of the best friends i’ve ever had (you wont be alone for long unless you choose to) and had time to reflect on my life (including the heartache). I was feeling very low when i started but it changed my life.

I’m now living in a different city with the love of my life. I owe it to giving myself the chance to walk the Camino in 2016.

You can do it! Ultreia!
 
#53
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
I walked the Via de la Plata starting in late April. It is beautiful in the Springtime. There were lots of flowers and baby animals. I wasn't 30. I was probably about 65. And I spoke Duolingo quality Spanish. There was never a problem. The Spanish people as a whole are helpful and friendly. However, if you walk alone, you will spend much of the day in solitary walking. There were maybe five or six people walking in similar stages when I walked. We would meet in the albergues at night, but there were times when I didn't see anyone all day. It was definitely the road less traveled. For me, that is a benefit. But, if you don't relish walking alone, you might join some other folks in the morning or just use your airline tickets, get to Spain and walk one of the other routes. The Frances is well traveled and holds a special place in my heart.
 

Plataman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: (2009), (2013), Via de la Plata; (2016)
#54
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
Hi! The answer is "Yes" to all your questions.

I did the VLDP in April 2016 and encountered many solo women doing the walk. Some rudimentary Spanish will get you by, take one of those little travelers phrase books. There are some excellent Apps that assist with the details of the journey ( walking stages, hostels, etc) .
You will very quickly meet other travelers who are happy to walk with you and share the experience. I predict you will not be walking alone ever, except when you prefer to be alone. On safety, just exercise common sense, it's a very safe walk, if you are out at night in the cities, make sure you are with others.
Don't let the opportunity pass, go for it!
Buen Camino!
Plataman
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#55
1 GO! (is there an echo in here?)

2 if Ex-boyfriend is also walking same route as you and you see him then smile, wave and let him see what a great time you're having without him.

3 if Ex-boyfriend isn't walking same route as you send him a post card every day so he can see what a great time you're having without him.

4 GO! (there is an echo isn't there?)

Given that I'm a guy the only worry I'd have would be getting sunburn (see avatar) but then there are always hats and umbrellas.

Have a great Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#56
There are only a handfull of pilgrims walk the VDLP every year, and unlike the French way, most of the hopitaleros don't speak good English. If this is your very first camino, the French way would be a better bet. You will be walking with a whole army of pilgrims and you won't have a chance to speak any Spanish.
 

andylm65

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
this will be my first. Norte September 2018.
#57
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
You should go for it. You made a plan and you will be happy that you followed through. Best Wishes!
 
#58
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
Definitely go!! but the VDLP is the road less travelled. Maybe the Frances would be better for you as it is your first time. There are lots of people on the Frances and it is quite social and safe
 
#60
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.

Take a few steps back. You broke up with your boyfriend. Go on the camino but not if ex on same.no problem on vdlp if you dont speak spainish. Buen camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago Oct 2016
Porto to Santiago Oct 2017
#61
To be honest, you asked a fourm of pilgrims if you should be a pilgrim.
However I agree as well!
You do raise a few good concerns about safety and language but these should not be an issue with some foresight and common sense.
I'll also say my wife wife walked twice alone with very limited Spanish and manged well and very much enjoyed the experience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de la Plata-(2017)
#62
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
Kate-
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
Kate- we are just finishing up the VDLP. My husband speaks Spanish but had he not, we would have been fine. Every town has people who speak English and if you ever have a problem- someone will get you help.
Sometimes things happen for a reason and we have to get up, brush ourselves off and move on. Your gain- his loss. You go girl! After what I’ve learned, I would tell you to go for it!! Best to you!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2010, 2015, 2017
#63
My inclination is to go on this Camino - especially after the trauma of a break-up or any of the important life events that touch us profoundly. The best time to walk ! Walked the Via de la Plata last year at this time. Fabulous.
 
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
#64
Go for it ! The VDLP is my favorite camino !
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#65
Kate, I've only walked the Via de la Plata (fall 2008 and spring 2009) on my own and loved it! As others say, you will meet up with people at the albergues so can choose whether to walk alone or with others, or some combination. I felt safe the entire time. Never felt any draw to the CF because of all the people and prefer the "path less travelled". Go with your heart.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#66
Thanks everyone, so much. I will consider fhs Camino Frances, though I have to admit my heart has been set on the VdlP. Can a gal with a moderate amount of common sense figure it out on her own?
Hola @kate0010 , i too attempted the VDLP as a first camino. It was a tall order. Unlike the Frances there are many stages over 25km with no alternatves. Rather than starting in Sevilla, consider Merida, you will still end up walking 700+ km & see most of the highlights of this camino. Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June/ July (2015) - incomplete
Frances June (2018)
#68
Don’t let the language barrier scare you. I’m single and have lived the past 6 years in countries without knowing the languages. There are many ways to communicate without perfect language. Buen Camino!
 

KariC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho portugûes (2016)
#69
Thanks everyone, so much. I will consider fhs Camino Frances, though I have to admit my heart has been set on the VdlP. Can a gal with a moderate amount of common sense figure it out on her own?
Yes, Kate, you can!!! One thing you will learn if you stick with this forum is that many people are very wedded to certain caminos - others do as many of them as they can. Having done only the Portuguese, I can't imagine wanting to do the more crowded CF, but there are hundreds on this forum who absolutely love it.
From what I've read, CF is hugely crowded compared to almost all the other caminos - the early morning races to reach the next stage in time to find a bed, the albergues with 100's of beds - those aren't things you'll encounter as much on the other caminos. I may be projecting, but it sounds like you're at a point where some quiet would be more welcome than a big crowd.
I hiked alone, at twice your age, and it was truly "alone" in quotes, as many have said. There were probably 4-5 hours in the whole camino I was actually hiking all by myself. You meet people. It will be fine. Go for it!!
Buen camino!!
 

always me

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese(2018)
#70
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
 

always me

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese(2018)
#71
You can do this Kate!
It will give you the chance to see yourself as an independent, courageous, healthy woman....that you already are...I’m sure.
I did an 800 mile solo bike trip when I was 61...after the breakup of a 36 year marriage.
Best 12 days of my life....I found me!
Go...now...be you!
 

Jen Marsden

Charging The Globe
Camino(s) past & future
Sept 2016 (Walked Frances)
Sept 2019 (Planning Norte or Via De La Plata)
#72
Along with EVERYONE else that has commented here Kate: Yes, Yes and YES.

I would say:
  • Get a sim card in Seville. If you get an Orange one you can top it up here. If you get another brand you can top up via www.recharge.com. Then you can use your data with an App or even possibly book ahead for the Albergues that offer that service if you are concerned.
  • Make sure you aren't walking at the same time as your ex. Maybe start a day or two behind your planned start date. You don't want anything bringing you down because you will LOVE it for sure and the last thing you want is to be stressed you will run into him.
  • As per the advice of heaps of others - if you are concerned about the lack of walkers on the VDLP just move to the Frances. Lots more people, heaps more services but also less peaceful.
Looking forward to hearing about your Camino. It is a wonderful experience and as Shirley McClain says "Your real Camino starts after your finish" and that is so true. I think about walking every day since I did my first one in 2016.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata Oct 17
Primitivo Aug 18
#73
Yes, Yes and Yes.
My first Camino was the VdlP last year. I am going back this year to do the Camino Primitivo. I had NO Spanish but have been learning it since.
The first thing I did when I got off the plane was get a SIM card (at the Airport). The guys are just outside Terminal 4 door and they set it all up for me. I caught the train direct to Serville. Stay in an Alburgue because you will meet other Pilgrams doing the VdlP.
I didn't book accommodation ahead - just arrived and found an Alburgue on the day.
There is a great app that has all the accommodation and the Camino trail on it so you can see where you are in relation to the trail. You need to download Maps.me. I didn't know about it until I had been walking over a week. I hope someone on the forum can help you with the details - I am a little techno challenged.
You will have a ball.
Buen Camino
 

Texasguy

And so...we keep on walking ..
Camino(s) past & future
French completed in 2013
Portuguese Conpleted March 2015
Ingles Completed November 2015
French 2016
#74
Thanks everyone, so much. I will consider fhs Camino Frances, though I have to admit my heart has been set on the VdlP. Can a gal with a moderate amount of common sense figure it out on her own?
Follow your heart!!! Remember, el Camino will provide whatever you need, when you need it!!!

Buen Camino!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15,Portuguese 16,Finisterre Muxia 16,Ingles16,, Almeria to Muxia,Finesterre 18
#75
Just arrived in Merida after walking up the Camino Mozarabe , and the Municipal Albergue is full ,,,,thats 20 beds ,,,so you will never be alone on the vldp
 
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017
#76
I am late in responding to this. I am hoping you have decided to walk in a week! I am 56 this year, and I look back on my 20's and regret how much time and how many wasted opportunities I lost because of various boyfriends. -- One time, I called my boyfriend in Berlin from Namibia where I had just been offered a job working with a safari, but he says he thinks we should see where our relationship goes. So, I ditch the job and go back to Berlin. Right. I got there a day early and found him with a nice German woman. It turned out he wanted to see me in person to break up with me. So one week later, I'm heartbroken, and sitting in my mother's kitchen back in Annapolis, Md-- Not in Namibia. -- So I say go and walk. If you don't want to run into him,take a different route. ( I suggest you avoid him, then you don't have to wonder/hope/worry, that you'll have to deal with him. And you'll own your Camino. )

You won't be alone. There are many wonderful people who will welcome you and walk with you!

I don't speak Spanish, and what little I know seems to disappear after walking 20 miles, so I write down sentences I need on index cards and keep them in my pocket.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2015
Camino Primitivo Sep / Oct 2016
Portugese Fatima Santiago Sep/Oct 2017
#77
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
My gut reaction is that you shoud do it Kate. This is for you now. I am double you age and have walked with on my own each time. But in fact you are never alone and I have had the great privilage of walking with many young pilgrims who also srtarted out on their own.
Open you heart to the journey and a sincere Buew Camino. James P
 

Brenda54

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017
#79
I am 63 and walked the Frances last year with my daughter. It was one of the best decisions of my life and my heart yearns to go back constantly...which I will! Life has a way of throwing us these curveballs, doesn’t it? You MUST do it - you will be all the better for it! Have google translate on your phone. I can’t tell you how many times I needed something, would type it in and just show my phone to the person I was talking to if I couldn’t pronounce the words. (Or didn’t want to embarrass myself). Honey, you’ve GOT this!!!!! And when you get back, you’ll be fantasizing about your next Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#80
Well, Kate, where are you now? A rainbow of positivity from so many, pointing you to go find the crock of gold! all the best, and try to post from time to time so we can see how you are doing.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Frances, 2017 Frances, (2019 ???)
#81
Since I don't know you I would support the Camino de Frances. Do not concern yourself with Espanol The locals and your fellow pilgrims will carry you through (and you will carry them through). If you don"t have the time to do the journey from St Jean to Roncesvilles start in Roncessvilles. The walk to Pamplona is a fairly easy and a good way to break in the body. If your in good shape leave from Pamplona. The climb up the hill of Perdon won"t be a problem. The climb down will be an adventure. Puenta la Reina awaits. Dinner at the Hotel Biden...treat yourself.
Oh, and when your finished, you can start planning your return and complete the VdIP. As many on this venue will attest "You can fly back to your home anytime you like, but you can never leave"
Buen Camino.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
VDPL
#82
Hey I'm going solo VdLP too. I arrive in Seville on 29th, but I wanna spend a couple of days there, so I wil start walking on 3rd of may.
 
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Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
#84
Thanks everyone, so much. I will consider fhs Camino Frances, though I have to admit my heart has been set on the VdlP. Can a gal with a moderate amount of common sense figure it out on her own?
Yes. If the reasons for choosing vdlp still holds, other than your partner, I say go for it. Unlike Frances or Norte, vdlp has long stretches without much people or break spots. But, It is easier to walk in terms of trail condition/elevation gains. With a good map/guide and staging, it is not difficult to figure it out. If you get tired of carrying a pack, use the postal service for transport.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - June 2018
#85
Hey I'm 51 and I'm going it alone plus exploring Paris pre and Barcelona post Camino! Great opportunity to figure out next steps in your life and explore the world! Don't think that u have to worry to much about language and many common terms u will pick up along the way - as long as u know bathroom - el bano, please - Por Favor, Good - Bueno, and thanks - Gracias (sounds like grassy ass LOL) you will be fine! Oh and they don't pronounce the their j's - sound like h's Translation apps are great these days if you are stuck. Have a Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
from Porto
#86
There are several ladies your age walking solo right now.
@Kanga is starting soon and may have some insight for you.

I would do it if I were you for many reasons. A great place and time to think over what is in your future without a lot of external pressures. Go for it....you won't be in your early 30's for much longer. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances,Via Francegena,di Francesco,Portugues,Finisterre,,Norte(Partial), Ingles,La Plata(19)
#88
Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I were planning on walking the Via de la Plata, leaving from Seville on April 27th. He was the one who introduced me to the idea as he has done parts of the route before on his own. We both have been so excited about this massive trip, and I was lucky enough to be between jobs when I planned for it. Unfortunately, we got into an argument that spiraled into a breakup just a few days ago. He said he doesn’t want to walk with me anymore. I could go on about the heartbreak, but I am here to ask for advice. This trip has become such a huge deal to me, and I am afraid I won’t find another time to do this in the foreseeable future. My (ex) boyfriend speaks Spanish, so I had been somewhat hoping to rely on him in the case of any sticky situations.

My questions to you are:
1) Should I still even go on this trip? My friends say yes, though my parents say no.
2) Is it realistic to do as someone who doesn’t speak Spanish? I am obsessively using the Duolinguo app to learn the basics, but I am far from knowing the language.
3) Is it safe for a female in her early 30s to do solo? I have traveled many times before, but never for this long and never totally alone.
4) Anyone else on this forum leaving from Seville around the same timeframe? (4/27 or 4/28)?

Thank you so much for any words of wisdom you can provide.
Absolutely go it is actually the perfect time for you ... in that the walk will help you with all that is affecting your life, job, relationships family, faith etc. Absolutely today with Google translate you can talk to anyone along the Camino not only Spanish, but all the other people you will meet from other countries. Just download the app on your phone or tablet. Many Females walk alone it is extremely safe. And you are not really alone you'll have your fellow Peregrinos nearby. I'm going next April 2019
 

JohnJocys

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#90
Thanks everyone, so much. I will consider fhs Camino Frances, though I have to admit my heart has been set on the VdlP. Can a gal with a moderate amount of common sense figure it out on her own?
I'm sure you'll be more than capable of doing VdLP solo. It's a lovely route and is eminently 'do-able'.
Personally I prefer the less busy / less frantic VdLP to the busier French route.....but that's just me.
You'll almost certainly slot in with walkers of a similar ability to yours.
Don't do long distances until you get into your stride, go with the flow and follow your head.
You'll have a lovely time. Considering what you've just been dealing with, you may well find peace of mind - I certainly did when I was in a similar situation (although I'm a male....but we have feelings too y'know!).
Very best wishes for a splendid Camino!
 

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