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The VDLP guidebook and some useful advice for future hikers

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
One month on from finishing the VDLP in Santiago, so I thought I'd write some useful info, and also comment on the guidebook by Gerald Kelly.

The guidebook is only just that, a guide. I'd say it was a rough guide more than anything. It's clearly not updated that often and has a lot of inaccurate information...

- It mentioned an easier road section to Canaveral, instead of taking the natural route. That road was very dangerous and not suitable for walkers. There were a lot of bends and was quite a high speed road. I took the 'easier road' because I was tired and the book suggested it, but regretted it. I suggest he removes it from his next version.
- On a number of occasions there were bars that were mentioned in the guide, as ones that open early. Don't rely on what his guide says, many times they were shut or shut down!
- Some of the distances are inaccurate and inconsistent
- The layout is not very good either, but that might just be me and my walking buddies opinion!

What annoyed me most is that I wrote a lot of useful information for Gerald's Facebook group, but he would not publish it, just because I mentioned a bad experience I had in a particular hotel.

Do not rely on just this guide.

Gerald, if you are reading, please update your guidebook. I appreciate you give away the PDF for free, but it's not any good if the information is inaccurate.

So I took the route up to Astorga. I'd imagine 95% of the VDLP walkers went the Sanabres Way, their reasons being not wanting to walk Frances again. Fair enough, but I wanted to walk the entire VDLP, and save Sanabres for another time.

I regretted this decision within a day and a half. I nearly turned around and headed back to Granja at one point. The villages from Granja to Astorga were a little depressing. Most had no services whatsoever. I ended up walking 35km plus for a number of days to get it over. Some yellow arrows sent me across a field for 2km when I had to turn back due to very angry farm dogs! I was glad to have an app as backup.

If you go this way then make sure you are prepared to carry quite a bit of food. Some of the municipal albergues were closed for no apparent reason. It was also pretty lonely too! I was actually happy to be in the 180 bed albergue in Astorga and around people again.

As for the VDLP up to the Sanabres, it was generally awesome. No, forget that, it was totally awesome. I can't think of one day that I was peed off for any reason. There were always enough other pilgrims, spare beds, supermarkets, bars, interesting sites, alternative accommodation and so on.

I never imagined it would be my favourite, but it is now!

It was never too hot or too cold, but was quite windy many days, usually a cross wind from the west. I would not have wanted to start before I did (31 March) or much later. I'd suggest the perfect time to leave would be the first two weeks in April (from Sevilla).

Most of the other pigrims were older. I am mid 40s and felt young on the Via, and then instantly old when I joined the Camino Frances! More males than females too, so bring those earplugs!

I actually enjoyed doing the French Way again because it made a nice contrast to the VDLP. I'd forgotten how hilly Galicia is, and even my Sevilla trail legs suffered a bit! The VDLP is actually very flat and probably easier than the French.

My longest day was 42km, shortest was 14km. I walked 28 days from Sevilla to Astorga, 10 from Astorga to Santiago, so 38 days walking, with one day off in Zamora.

It was overall awesome. I am jealous of all those who plan to hike it in the future! BC x

58834
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
One month on from finishing the VDLP in Santiago, so I thought I'd write some useful info, and also comment on the guidebook by Gerald Kelly.

The guidebook is only just that, a guide. I'd say it was a rough guide more than anything. It's clearly not updated that often and has a lot of inaccurate information...

- It mentioned an easier road section to Canaveral, instead of taking the natural route. That road was very dangerous and not suitable for walkers. There were a lot of bends and was quite a high speed road. I took the 'easier road' because I was tired and the book suggested it, but regretted it. I suggest he removes it from his next version.
- On a number of occasions there were bars that were mentioned in the guide, as ones that open early. Don't rely on what his guide says, many times they were shut or shut down!
- Some of the distances are inaccurate and inconsistent
- The layout is not very good either, but that might just be me and my walking buddies opinion!

What annoyed me most is that I wrote a lot of useful information for Gerald's Facebook group, but he would not publish it, just because I mentioned a bad experience I had in a particular hotel.

Do not rely on just this guide.

Gerald, if you are reading, please update your guidebook. I appreciate you give away the PDF for free, but it's not any good if the information is inaccurate.

So I took the route up to Astorga. I'd imagine 95% of the VDLP walkers went the Sanabres Way, their reasons being not wanting to walk Frances again. Fair enough, but I wanted to walk the entire VDLP, and save Sanabres for another time.

I regretted this decision within a day and a half. I nearly turned around and headed back to Granja at one point. The villages from Granja to Astorga were a little depressing. Most had no services whatsoever. I ended up walking 35km plus for a number of days to get it over. Some yellow arrows sent me across a field for 2km when I had to turn back due to very angry farm dogs! I was glad to have an app as backup.

If you go this way then make sure you are prepared to carry quite a bit of food. Some of the municipal albergues were closed for no apparent reason. It was also pretty lonely too! I was actually happy to be in the 180 bed albergue in Astorga and around people again.

As for the VDLP up to the Sanabres, it was generally awesome. No, forget that, it was totally awesome. I can't think of one day that I was peed off for any reason. There were always enough other pilgrims, spare beds, supermarkets, bars, interesting sites, alternative accommodation and so on.

I never imagined it would be my favourite, but it is now!

It was never too hot or too cold, but was quite windy many days, usually a cross wind from the west. I would not have wanted to start before I did (31 March) or much later. I'd suggest the perfect time to leave would be the first two weeks in April (from Sevilla).

Most of the other pigrims were older. I am mid 40s and felt young on the Via, and then instantly old when I joined the Camino Frances! More males than females too, so bring those earplugs!

I actually enjoyed doing the French Way again because it made a nice contrast to the VDLP. I'd forgotten how hilly Galicia is, and even my Sevilla trail legs suffered a bit! The VDLP is actually very flat and probably easier than the French.

My longest day was 42km, shortest was 14km. I walked 28 days from Sevilla to Astorga, 10 from Astorga to Santiago, so 38 days walking, with one day off in Zamora.

It was overall awesome. I am jealous of all those who plan to hike it in the future! BC x

View attachment 58834
Combining the VdlP & the Camino Mozarabe will be my walk for 2020 so I appreciate your comments on the GK book. 😊
Also congratulations on your accomplishment!
👣 🌏
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
One month on from finishing the VDLP in Santiago, so I thought I'd write some useful info, and also comment on the guidebook by Gerald Kelly.

The guidebook is only just that, a guide. I'd say it was a rough guide more than anything. It's clearly not updated that often and has a lot of inaccurate information...

- It mentioned an easier road section to Canaveral, instead of taking the natural route. That road was very dangerous and not suitable for walkers. There were a lot of bends and was quite a high speed road. I took the 'easier road' because I was tired and the book suggested it, but regretted it. I suggest he removes it from his next version.
- On a number of occasions there were bars that were mentioned in the guide, as ones that open early. Don't rely on what his guide says, many times they were shut or shut down!
- Some of the distances are inaccurate and inconsistent
- The layout is not very good either, but that might just be me and my walking buddies opinion!

What annoyed me most is that I wrote a lot of useful information for Gerald's Facebook group, but he would not publish it, just because I mentioned a bad experience I had in a particular hotel.

Do not rely on just this guide.

Gerald, if you are reading, please update your guidebook. I appreciate you give away the PDF for free, but it's not any good if the information is inaccurate.

So I took the route up to Astorga. I'd imagine 95% of the VDLP walkers went the Sanabres Way, their reasons being not wanting to walk Frances again. Fair enough, but I wanted to walk the entire VDLP, and save Sanabres for another time.

I regretted this decision within a day and a half. I nearly turned around and headed back to Granja at one point. The villages from Granja to Astorga were a little depressing. Most had no services whatsoever. I ended up walking 35km plus for a number of days to get it over. Some yellow arrows sent me across a field for 2km when I had to turn back due to very angry farm dogs! I was glad to have an app as backup.

If you go this way then make sure you are prepared to carry quite a bit of food. Some of the municipal albergues were closed for no apparent reason. It was also pretty lonely too! I was actually happy to be in the 180 bed albergue in Astorga and around people again.

As for the VDLP up to the Sanabres, it was generally awesome. No, forget that, it was totally awesome. I can't think of one day that I was peed off for any reason. There were always enough other pilgrims, spare beds, supermarkets, bars, interesting sites, alternative accommodation and so on.

I never imagined it would be my favourite, but it is now!

It was never too hot or too cold, but was quite windy many days, usually a cross wind from the west. I would not have wanted to start before I did (31 March) or much later. I'd suggest the perfect time to leave would be the first two weeks in April (from Sevilla).

Most of the other pigrims were older. I am mid 40s and felt young on the Via, and then instantly old when I joined the Camino Frances! More males than females too, so bring those earplugs!

I actually enjoyed doing the French Way again because it made a nice contrast to the VDLP. I'd forgotten how hilly Galicia is, and even my Sevilla trail legs suffered a bit! The VDLP is actually very flat and probably easier than the French.

My longest day was 42km, shortest was 14km. I walked 28 days from Sevilla to Astorga, 10 from Astorga to Santiago, so 38 days walking, with one day off in Zamora.

It was overall awesome. I am jealous of all those who plan to hike it in the future! BC x

View attachment 58834
Thanks for your information and wish you would have written more about your experience on the VDLP. I will be doing a winter CF and then I want to do the VDLP maybe starting in March. You mentioned you had a back up app. I assume it was the Wise Pilgrim app is that correct? I know there are some others. If it wasn't Wise Pilgrim which one did you use and what did you think of it?
 

Barry Coltham

BarryCamino
Camino(s) past & future
Past: CF: Sarria to Santiago May 2017
VdlP/ Sanabres: Salamanca to Santiago May 2018
Fisterra Muxia
Hi It56ny i used the wise pilgrim app on VDLP & Fisterre/Muxia and the gerald kelly pdf - the wise pilgrim app is more up to date and most useful
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
Thanks for your information and wish you would have written more about your experience on the VDLP. I will be doing a winter CF and then I want to do the VDLP maybe starting in March. You mentioned you had a back up app. I assume it was the Wise Pilgrim app is that correct? I know there are some others. If it wasn't Wise Pilgrim which one did you use and what did you think of it?

Thank you. I didn't write too much because I was videoing my trip for Youtube. The videos didn't come out too well tbh, mainly due to my crappy phone camera, but I hope I captured some interesting stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY4l2veb9yy6zRHOjYRvbKg

I used Windmaps app, it has the VDLP already marked (along with other caminos). I did find it useful. It was pretty accurate, but did lead me astray a couple of times. To be honest, the Via is so well marked nearly all the way.

Coming into Astorga, there were no arrows at all. I found it a little disappointing that the official end of the Via wasn't marked. Not sure why they wouldn't do this? Maybe it's a reflection of the small numbers who finish in Astorga.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
I regretted this decision within a day and a half. I nearly turned around and headed back to Granja at one point. The villages from Granja to Astorga were a little depressing. Most had no services whatsoever. I ended up walking 35km plus for a number of days to get it over. Some yellow arrows sent me across a field for 2km when I had to turn back due to very angry farm dogs! I was glad to have an app as backup.
It is a pity you did not find the Granja-Astorga stretch uplifting, I just came back one month ago and fully enjoyed that stretch, I did not find any shortage of services, the landscape is sweet, there is plenty of wild life.... the only thing I did not like was the rude priest in Benavente and the AWFUL albergue in Villabrázaro, other than that, splendid albergues, interesting towns like Benavente, La Bañeza, even Alija del Infantado. To me, it was a lovely stretch of Camino.
I am also saving the Sanabres for a different occasion, haha...
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I found Gerald Kelley's guidebook to the VdlP to be fully adequate when I walked it two years ago. In the back of the book, he requested updates from recent pilgrims, so I sent him my observations on changes which had occurred since his most recent update. He replied with thanks and a promise to include my reported observations and changes in the next edition.
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
I found Gerald Kelley's guidebook to the VdlP to be fully adequate when I walked it two years ago. In the back of the book, he requested updates from recent pilgrims, so I sent him my observations on changes which had occurred since his most recent update. He replied with thanks and a promise to include my reported observations and changes in the next edition.

Yes it would have been more accurate two years ago.
 
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anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
It is a pity you did not find the Granja-Astorga stretch uplifting, I just came back one month ago and fully enjoyed that stretch, I did not find any shortage of services

I must have been unlucky. Maybe because it was around Easter, and all the owners of the bars, shops and albergues were sipping their Sangrias on the Med.
 

tangata hikoi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Pamploma (April/May 2014)
VDLP March 2019 Sanabres April 2019
Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
I only used Gerald Kelly's app in March/April this year and found it fine for my needs. In conjunction with the WindyMaps app I had all I needed. ( WindyMaps app is fantastic; any moment I was unsure I could check and always find the route. It was especially good for getting in and out if towns. And as the maps can be downloaded you don't need data to use it- superb bit of kit)
I think it must be pretty difficult to keep this sort of info on the route up to date. Most people I walked with had book guides published in 2015 so their info was older than mine but they managed ok too.
I did often use Google maps to find an early morning bar/churriea for breakfast or similar info - was often very helpful.
Megg
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
There is an opportunity for someone to write a killer guidebook for the VDLP, similar to the quality of Brierley's. I wonder if Brierley will ever write one for the Via? If he does, then I hope he at least walks it himself before he issues a new edition.

I met a number of pilgrims who still prefer the paper edition of guides, same on the portion of the French I did. Still amazes me that so many people carry the extra weight. However, I guess there will always be a place for guidebooks.

I work in tech, so was a very early adopter of all things paperless, but I am starting to tire of the way some websites and apps work these days. Things like annoying pop up windows, email captures, too many invasive ads and 'AI' second guessing your every online move.

Maybe I am just getting old 😂
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
There is an opportunity for someone to write a killer guidebook for the VDLP, similar to the quality of Brierley's. I wonder if Brierley will ever write one for the Via? If he does, then I hope he at least walks it himself before he issues a new edition.

I met a number of pilgrims who still prefer the paper edition of guides, same on the portion of the French I did. Still amazes me that so many people carry the extra weight. However, I guess there will always be a place for guidebooks.

I work in tech, so was a very early adopter of all things paperless, but I am starting to tire of the way some websites and apps work these days. Things like annoying pop up windows, email captures, too many invasive ads and 'AI' second guessing your every online move.

Maybe I am just getting old 😂

I know the feeling well! I was only 65 when I first started Camino and am now 81. I was talked into carrying a mobile in case I fell down a hole and needed help! I still fall down holes and bloody well climb back out again :) I now carry a smartphone which has more apps on it than you can shake the proverbial stick at! Its the first thing I switch on after the morning vizzie to the dumper! There are routes galore, the weather, the runes, and all the wretched ads about the latest gear I cant afford! And I wont part with it either! :) :)

Yours aye,

The Malingerer.
 

Lambs

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Cadiz - Santiago
Gerald is just a Perrigrino like the rest of us , with a regular job ! So,Cut the guy some slack! He rightly points out in the beginning of his book that the reason why embarked on writing ‘ a guide’ was that there was no other English guide out there ! Granted ,Twas not the most perfect guide ! However, In 2019, we have the option of combining Gerry’s book with various apps and stuff on the Internet ( which is what we did ). So ,Much Respect to Mr Kelly and thank you for your efforts , and for being the only English speaking guy to write a guidebook on the VDLP 😃.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Gerald is just a Perrigrino like the rest of us , with a regular job ! So,Cut the guy some slack! He rightly points out in the beginning of his book that the reason why embarked on writing ‘ a guide’ was that there was no other English guide out there ! Granted ,Twas not the most perfect guide ! However, In 2019, we have the option of combining Gerry’s book with various apps and stuff on the Internet ( which is what we did ). So ,Much Respect to Mr Kelly and thank you for your efforts , and for being the only English speaking guy to write a guidebook on the VDLP 😃.

Alison Raju did a great book years ago. Likewise there has been a promise of a reprint for years but it has never materialised! Originals are now worth a fortune so I too am happy to use the app and gerald's book.

yours aye

The malingerer.
 

Espee84

...
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 2018
VdlP 2019
2020 Hatching plans
Hi all. I walked the VdlP up to astorga in april. I used the Wise Pilgrim app and the Spanish version of Gronze. I added comments to the Wise Pilgrim app as I went along. I hope this up to date info re: alternate routes, village amenities and comments on albergues is helpful for others. It’s worth downloading the app as it costs something like 99p and gives you an online (and offline?) route map.

I enjoyed the peace of the route up to astorga. No rush for beds and barely another pilgrim in sight... although Astorga was a bit of a culture shock with the main hostel already completo with CF pilgrims!

Enjoy. It’s a wonderful route.
 

DreamHiker2

DreamHiker2
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2017; Camino Levante (post covid - dates pending LOL)
Hi Anthikes, I watched your vlogs and watched the days when you were gasping for water or starving because everything was closed. I want to thank you for making those vlogs for us pre-VDLP pilgrims as they were very helpful. Good to know about the Kelly book as I was about to buy it - maybe going CSJ book store instead now. So what's coming up next for you?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances sept-oct 2018
(Via Tolosana Sept 2020 - alas! deferred)
There is an opportunity for someone to write a killer guidebook for the VDLP, similar to the quality of Brierley's. I wonder if Brierley will ever write one for the Via? If he does, then I hope he at least walks it himself before he issues a new edition.

I met a number of pilgrims who still prefer the paper edition of guides, same on the portion of the French I did. Still amazes me that so many people carry the extra weight. However, I guess there will always be a place for guidebooks.

I work in tech, so was a very early adopter of all things paperless, but I am starting to tire of the way some websites and apps work these days. Things like annoying pop up windows, email captures, too many invasive ads and 'AI' second guessing your every online move.

Maybe I am just getting old 😂
No, it's not you getting old - they ARE #**%%! annoying!!!
 

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
Hi,

I just finished Sevilla-Zamora with Geralds Guidebook 2019 Edition. I did not find that many wrong or outdated Information you complain about. Compared to the yellow german guidebook which was released in April 2019 the information seemed more stringent, focussing on the really relevant things. I found more things to be wrong in the German book which has twice the weight.

Only some additional comments:

If you want to stay at the albergue at embalse Alcantara send a WhatsApp to the albergue to make sure it is open. It seems that the albergue only opens, if there are some pre-bookings. I conclude this from the informations I gained from fellow-pilgrims. The hospitalero will not be there all the time, not even from noon onwards. We arrived there by 12.30 and had to phone and wait anonther 30 minutes for somebody to arrive and to open the albergue. But there are chairs and tables outside and you can sit in the shaddow. The hospitalero leaves the albergue at 7 o'clock in the evening, preparing everything for the next morning breakfast. So think of ordering enough drinks (wine) for the evening.

Canaveral is a nice town. Along the lake there is about 5 km inevitable road-walking along the N 630. But after the second bridge you can follow a "sendero local" which says "Canaveral 10,6 km". It reunites with the camino again, so it is a good option if you want to go for Canaveral immediately. It seems to be a shortcut of about 1 km.

On weekends most bars open much later. Early then means 8 o'clock. Quite common is 10 o'clock. Shops may not open on sundays at all or only in the morning.

Sra. Elena in Carcaboso died 3 weeks ago. But her son will continue with the albergue.

Between Hostal Asturias in Jarilla (Arco di Cáparra) and Puerto de Béjar there is a via verde on an old railway track. It goes via Hervás (nice jewish quarter) and allows you to avoid 10 km of dangerous road walking between Aldeanueva del Camino and Banos de Montemayor.

In Puerto de Béjar a new municipal albergue opened at the beginning of june. It has 16 beds (bunks) and 2 bathrooms, a fully equiped kitchen with washing-machine. It is donativo. The hospitaleros are volunteers who alternate every 15 days.

In San Pedro de Rozados beware. The Restaurant "VII carreras" has only very uncommon early times for lunch (until 3 o'clock) and dinner (until 8'o clock). There is another restaurant at the municipal swimming-pool on the other side of the village. But that one closes early, too. The shop is open until 2 o'clock and from 5 to 7 in the evening.

The albergue Torre de Sabre at el Cubo del Vino now charges 14 € per Person irrespective of the room you chose. It seems that they want you to eat the meals they offer, as there is no kitchen. Albergue F y M seems a better choice, it has a fully equipped kitchen and they offer you beer and chorizo on arrival. The whole family is very helpful.

In Extremadura (from Cáceres to Banos de Montemayor) the taxi-drivers started a backpack-transport now. It is from 20 €/stage for up to 4 backpacks, from 5 backpacks it is 5 € each.

BC
Alexandra
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
We used the Raju guide when we fist walked the Vdlp in 2008 and I hated it, it was overly detailed and really out of date, dangerously wrong in a number of places. I lost count of the number of times I threw it in the dust in disgust.

I used the Kelly guide when I rewalked it last year and it was more then adequate, maps are good and it gives a general guide to the route and services. That said a guide is just that, a guide. You can't expect it to magically know where you are and give you instant up to date I formation on where to go next. Yes some of the new tech can almost do that, assuming you have power and an Internet / satilite connection.

I still like to carry a hard copy guide or map with me and am grateful for the work that guide writers do. But getting lost, dealing with changing services is all part of the deal when you walk a Camino, and frankly I'd be bored if it all ran like clockwork.
 

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
For me it is easier to follow the yellow arrows than to figure out by a detailed guidebook or gps where exactly I am. I met pilgrims, who got lost by following their smartphone or their more detailed guidebook.

Knowing the whole distance and having a watch is sufficient for my orientation. I check my starting time and calculate with an average of 4 km per hour. Sometimes I am faster than that. But an early arrival is a nice surprise.

My friend relied more on her rather detailed guidebook, which was sometimes frustrating for her as the descriptions were not always that clear. She was looking for certain landmarks in the description (e. g. a big white house, a gate, an arroyo, a water pitch) but did not take in consideration the distance between the different landmarks and the time which you need to get from one place to another. So she sometimes thought that we were almost there when according to my calculation we had another hour to go.

BC
Alexandra
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
[QUOTE="anthikes, post: 754565, member: 84781
There is an opportunity for someone to write a killer guidebook for the VDLP, similar to the quality of Brierley's. I wonder if Brierley will ever write one for the Via? If he does, then I hope he at least walks it himself before he issues a new edition.

I met a number of pilgrims who still prefer the paper edition of guides, same on the portion of the French I did. Still amazes me that so many people carry the extra weight. However, I guess there will always be a place for guidebooks.
...
Maybe I am just getting old 😂
[/QUOTE]

Hola @anthikes The VDLP was my first attempt at the Camino - lasted 5 days but that is another story.
Now for the "new improved VDLP Guide Book" , for nearly 5 years the publisher of Alison Raju's guide books was promising a new improved and up to date one for the Via unfortunately for reasons unknown this project is, apparently, not longer on the horizon. I do totally agree that a guide book that follows the Brierley style would be of significant benefit to those such as myself who whilst not a complete ludite just prefer paper guide books.
As an aside I bought a copy of the Kelly book about 2 or 3 years back, registered my purchase online and found Gerard most accommodating. It might be more helpful if you can fully document the areas of his book errors; establishments closed (temporarily) closed permanently. If I recall correctly there is a PDF (independent of Kelly) that documents accommodation and eating establishments - but I think its two or more years since I saw it updated. Maybe a search of this area might prove fruitful. Cheers and thanks.
 

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
In addition to Gerald Kelly´s Guidebook I printed out an updated list of the albergues available on that camino:

List of Albergues - Antonio de Retamosa

It seems that this list is updated frequently. I found a link in an italian Forum to the January 2019 Edition. Before I started at the end of May I printed out the Mid April Edition. Now there is a Mid June Edition which already lists the new albergue in Puerto de Béjar which was opened at the beginning of June.
 

wildrover

thewildrover
Camino(s) past & future
2015 april c/f. vdlp feb 2016. Norte / primitivo Sep 2016. C/f 12/16. Vdlp 12/17. 12/18. Lana 02/19.
Yes it would have been more accurate two years ago.
We await your guide. I'm sure it'll be awesome and very up to date. Not at all, disappointing!
 

lar oreilly

Lar O’Reilly
Camino(s) past & future
5 days camino Frances 2013 , 2014 ,2015,,
Full camino Francis 2017
There is an opportunity for someone to write a killer guidebook for the VDLP, similar to the quality of Brierley's. I wonder if Brierley will ever write one for the Via? If he does, then I hope he at least walks it himself before he issues a new edition.

I met a number of pilgrims who still prefer the paper edition of guides, same on the portion of the French I did. Still amazes me that so many people carry the extra weight. However, I guess there will always be a place for guidebooks.

I work in tech, so was a very early adopter of all things paperless, but I am starting to tire of the way some websites and apps work these days. Things like annoying pop up windows, email captures, too many invasive ads and 'AI' second guessing your every online move.

Maybe I am just getting old 😂
 

lar oreilly

Lar O’Reilly
Camino(s) past & future
5 days camino Frances 2013 , 2014 ,2015,,
Full camino Francis 2017
Hi
Ur spot on
I’m trying to organize mysely to walk de la plata in early October, any one else going
I’m Irish ☘️, 63 male
 

anthikes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 SJPdP > SdC
2018 Porto > SdC
2019 Sevilla > SdC
We await your guide. I'm sure it'll be awesome and very up to date. Not at all, disappointing!
Desperately sorry to disappoint you, but I am not writing a guide. I never said I would, but it would be up to date if I did e.g. having just walked it myself, and not relying on or taking third party info.

When the guidebook went out of date, probably after one year, I'd then stop selling it, or I'd walk it again and re-publish.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
When the guidebook went out of date, probably after one year, I'd then stop selling it, or I'd walk it again and re-publish.
Some ingrate would complain that guidebooks go out of date after six months and if he were doing your job, he'd refresh it more frequently.
 

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
I think it is almost impossible to keep a guide-book really up-to-date. Much depends on the feedback of those who used the guidebook, it is their contribution to future pilgrims, if they inform the author of a guidebook of recent changes.

For example, when I walked the Via de la Plata Seville to Zamora this June, a new albergue had just opened at Puerto de Béjar (a fortnight ago). Sra. Elena in Carcaboso had died 3 weeks ago which might cause future changes. Some albergues which are looked after by volunteer hospitaleros change their staff every fortnight - in such a case there is no use in pointing out that a specific hospitalero is very helpful. A forest-track may be closed due to wildfires or a street because of some building-measure. There may be a temporary deviation, which your guidebook does not mention.

But do these circumstances render a guidebook useless? I do not think so. I compared the new german guidebook "outdoor" to the one which I had bought for my previous pilgrimage on the Via de la Plata in 2009. There were no dramatic changes. Most data were still correct, some prices had not risen at all. Most albergues are still there or there is a new one not too far away from the old one. The villages which had a shop and/or bar 10 years ago still have one. The churches and the Roman sights are still there, too.

So a new up-to-date list with rough distances, accomodation and infrastructure (supermercado/baker, bar/restaurant, ATM, pharmacy, train stations/bus stops) is sufficient. You just have to follow the yellow arrows.
 

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