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LIVE from the Camino The Writers on the VdlP

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Hello,

Short introduction:
My wife (Mar) and I both quit our jobs in January 2022 to jump off the hamsterwheel of work, eat, sleep > repeat 😏 with the idea of leaving our comfort zone and do things we 've never done before.
The plan of walking the Vía de la Plata only emerged around 6 weeks ago on the ferry from Tenerife to La Palma; we were on our way to a finca to participate in a voluntary project for a month with no plan after...

So here we are, no long planning done and no practice walks (although we have experience with multi-day hikes with full packs)
We're excited and a bit anxious about what to come.

When the mood and I-net connection allows I will write regular updates about our progress 👋

Advise and feedback is always welcome 🙂

PS. Our family name is translated to Writer, hence the name. I'm not a writer by profession in any way 😉
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2009-2019: More than I remember...
Welcome to the Forum!

The VdlP is a fantastic Camino and adventure! It is easy to walk, in terms of terrain: Very much flat, but especially at the first week there are a couple of days that can be very long +30 kms).

If you walk from Seville to Santiago, that will be ca. 1005 kms, approx. 42 - 45 days, avg. 20/25 kms/day.

The best advice is to go to Appstore (or Android, if that is your choce) and buy an app. I recommend the Wise Pilgrim app for La Plata.

The Camino is (mostly) very well marked, and with an app you can easily see if you are off-course.

Accomodation is no problem: There are albergues in all/most places, and by using the app, you will find distances, bars cafes, and places to stay (and much more). Install maps (app option) so you can use it offline.

Buen Camino!

Edit: Good idea to quit jobs and instead live a little... Now you can walk, eat, sleep. Repeat.
 
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MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 1: Sevilla - Santiponce
We stayed in hotel Simón where we got our credential 4 days before and booked a room on the spot. The lady gave us pilgrim discount of - 15% right away before even walked one step. Very nice.
Road in front is a bit noisy but room was spacious and that's convenient when you need to sort your stuff.

Off for an easy start > build up strength.
We had to organise stuff in Sevilla and got rid of 15kg which we sent to Casa Ivar in SdC.
Mar is worried about her feet, they get easely sore in the relatively new shoes she bought last year, so we decided to walk to Santiponce for the night.
Route was very well marked, no thrills. Rain that was shown in the forcast did not come fortunately.
We visited the site of Itálica and after looked for a late lunch (17h) aka early dinner but restaurants were closing. Could only find some barfood opposite of the entrance of Itálica and it was not that bad. We have to adept to the for us weird lunch and dinner times in the south of Spain.

Song of the day:
Jorma Kaukonen - Genesis > the beginning

 

Plataman

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances: (2009), (2013), Via de la Plata; (2016)
The VdlP is a fantastic Camino and adventure! It is easy to walk, in terms of terrain: Very much flat, but especially at the first week there are a couple of days that can be very long +30 kms).

If you walk from Seville to Santiago, that will be ca. 1005 kms, approx. 42 - 45 days, avg. 20/25 kms/day.

The best advice is to go to Appstore (or Android, if that is your choce) and buy an app. I recommend the Wise Pilgrim app for La Plata.

The Camino is (mostly) very well marked, and with an app you can easily see if you are off-course.

Accomodation is no problem: There are albergues in all/most places, and by using the app, you will find distances, bars cafes, and places to stay (and much more). Install maps (app option) so you can use it offline.

Buen Camino!

Edit: Good idea to quit jobs and instead live a little... Now you can walk, eat, sleep. Repeat.
I would add that be aware of the time of year you start the VLDP, the heat can be vicious in southern Spain in summer...so best to start in the Spring, ( April/May) or in the fall ( September/Oct). I have done both start times, spring and fall each have their pluses and minuses, but in both cases the weather was generally good temperature wise, though good rain gear, good footwear, and a good hat are essentials. Enjoy!
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 2: Santiponce - Guillena

A bit earlier rise than yesterday and opening the curtains made us happy; no rain!
The lady of the Como en su casa was very hospitable and patient with our mediocre Spanish. Very comfy room and accompanied by a breakfast in a bar nearby.
Again a very straightforward very well marked route... lot's of birds around.
Guide discribed a possible flood problem of a stream half way, but a metal 40cm wide bar makes an easy crossing.
Muddy last kilometers. Legs and feet are fine, gaining strength and confidence. 😏

Now in Albergue camino Luz del Camino, first experience of the camino community. Friendly folks and already met a fellow forum member on the rooftop, enjoying a wine together.

Song of the day: Blind Melon - no Rain

Radar shows a narrow escape 👍
 

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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Hi I walked from Sevilla from mid October and finished in Muxia and FInestere in Early December. If it is the same Hospitalero in Luz Del Camino he is quite the character. When I walked many albergues and almost all kitchens were closed. I would check the weather for the following day in case you do get an unusually hot day so you have enough water. Also check ahead to see what services you will have the next day. Call ahead to make sure albergues are open. When I walked there seemed to be quite a few gullies and small ravines that I noticed that could be flooded in heavy rains. I was aware of these things because good friends were thinking of walking now also. You should download the Wise Pilgrim and the Buen Camino apps. They are free. Check Gronze.com they also have listings of places to stay and are very up to date on what is open and closed. The more resources you have the better. There were many nights I had to eat in bars and restaurants that did not open for dinner until 9 or 9:30. I had no option as kitchens were closed. Make sure you have enough water and food. There are many long stretches without any services. It is a different camino than any of the other 5 Caminos I have done. Enjoy the olive trees. There are zillions. haha. Buen Camino. Any other questions let us all know.
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
Hello,

Short introduction:
My wife (Mar) and I both quit our jobs in January 2022 to jump off the hamsterwheel of work, eat, sleep > repeat 😏 with the idea of leaving our comfort zone and do things we 've never done before.
The plan of walking the Vía de la Plata only emerged around 6 weeks ago on the ferry from Tenerife to La Palma; we were on our way to a finca to participate in a voluntary project for a month with no plan after...

So here we are, no long planning done and no practice walks (although we have experience with multi-day hikes with full packs)
We're excited and a bit anxious about what to come.

When the mood and I-net connection allows I will write regular updates about our progress 👋

Advise and feedback is always welcome 🙂

PS. Our family name is translated to Writer, hence the name. I'm not a writer by profession in any way 😉
Buen Camino! I will be 2 weeks behind you and looking forward to following your posts. Enjoy!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
We have to adept to the for us weird lunch and dinner times in the south of Spain.
Looking forward to hearing lots from the Writers on the Vdlp!

I think you’re going to find that there is far less deviation from the Spanish mealtime hours in restaurants on the Vdlp. This is unlike the Camino Francés, as you probably know, where places typically serve three separate meals — regular customers lunch 2-4 or 2-5, pilgrim dinner around 6 or 7, and then regular dinner 8 or 9 and onward!

I’ve found that the Spanish meal hours work perfectly for me when I walk. I try to get to my destination by 3, shower and wash clothes and get into the restaurant before 4 or 4:30 where I can still have a menú del día. You just missed that by a smither in Itálica!

I am impressed that you described that stream crossing on the metal bar as “easy.” I once shimmied across a fallen tree trunk to get to the other side, and I actually think I would prefer that than having to walk across a wobbly metal bar. But then I probably have several decades on you.

Thanks for posting! Buen camino to you both, Laurie
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
Looking forward to hearing lots from the Writers on the Vdlp!

I think you’re going to find that there is far less deviation from the Spanish mealtime hours in restaurants on the Vdlp. This is unlike the Camino Francés, as you probably know, where places typically serve three separate meals — regular customers lunch 2-4 or 2-5, pilgrim dinner around 6 or 7, and then regular dinner 8 or 9 and onward!

I’ve found that the Spanish meal hours work perfectly for me when I walk. I try to get to my destination by 3, shower and wash clothes and get into the restaurant before 4 or 4:30 where I can still have a menú del día. You just missed that by a smither in Itálica!

I am impressed that you described that stream crossing on the metal bar as “easy.” I once shimmied across a fallen tree trunk to get to the other side, and I actually think I would prefer that than having to walk across a wobbly metal bar. But then I probably have several decades on you.

Thanks for posting! Buen camino to you both, Laurie
I will definitely try to put up posts as I walk. As I'm going solo I think/hope I'll have lots of time to post. One question Laurie (as you seem to have lots of experience with the VDLP) is I'm having trouble finding accommodation in Fuente de Cantos or Calzadilla de los Barros. I don't want to do that 47km? walk to Zafra in one day. I've tried emailing a couple albergues but have no replies yet. I ended up booking an extra night in Zafra as I can taxi there and then back in the morning to walk again, but I'd prefer not to have to do that. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I know I can just wing it but it being Holy Week it's likely to be busier. Gracias!!
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
I hope you all have a great walk and enjoy this fabulous but at times challenging Camino. Mary, my memory of Fuente are after long hot day and somewhat confusing markings, the stretch in is without cover and it's a long time before you arrive. I was very grateful for a pear stolen from a Finca to give me enough energy to make it. There is a very wonderfully air conditioned albergue in Fuente but it has been plagued with problems and is rarely functioning these days. Town itself is very lovely and you can always ask a local cafe, generally locals are more then happy to help, even if it comes down to arranging taxi ride to a hotelier in a town near by.
 
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A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!

JWB

Jan Willem
Time of past OR future Camino
April/May 2023 Camino Madrid, Camino del Salvador
I'm having trouble finding accommodation in Fuente de Cantos or Calzadilla de los Barros
I had the same problem to find a possible accomodation in Fuente de Calzadilla in second week of April. Had whatsapp contact with Casa Vicenta in Fuente some days ago, which worked perfect with quick reaction times from their side. They told me to contact them again some days before actual arrival date.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I've tried emailing a couple albergues but have no replies yet

Had whatsapp contact with Casa Vicenta in Fuente some days ago,

I think these two comments show a very common situation in Spain. WhatsApp contact is much more likely to get you results than email (and sometimes, it is even better than phone — for instance, Torre Vilariño on the Invierno has a WhatsApp number that they will never answer, but they respond by WhatsApp).

@maruska89, do you use WhatsApp? It is easy, it gives you a record of what you agreed upon with the owner, and most private accommodations use it. It is a part of the Facebook empire, but for many of us, its tremendous advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Both Pensión Rodriguez in Calzadilla, and Casa Vicenta in Fuente are on WhatsApp. If you don’t use it or can’t figure it out, PM me and I’ll send a message on your behalf. But the bottom line is that I don’t think you should worry about finding accommodation!

Buen camino to all forum members who are lucky enough to be walking the Vdlp now!
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
I think these two comments show a very common situation in Spain. WhatsApp contact is much more likely to get you results than email (and sometimes, it is even better than phone — for instance, Torre Vilariño on the Invierno has a WhatsApp number that they will never answer, but they respond by WhatsApp).

@maruska89, do you use WhatsApp? It is easy, it gives you a record of what you agreed upon with the owner, and most private accommodations use it. It is a part of the Facebook empire, but for many of us, its tremendous advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Both Pensión Rodriguez in Calzadilla, and Casa Vicenta in Fuente are on WhatsApp. If you don’t use it or can’t figure it out, PM me and I’ll send a message on your behalf. But the bottom line is that I don’t think you should worry about finding accommodation!

Buen camino to all forum members who are lucky enough to be walking the Vdlp now!
Thank you Laurie for your reply. Yes I have started using what's app recently, but I was emailing prior to going over my accommodation one last time. I will try both of those pensions again with what's app now and wait for a response. Thanks again. I'm excited for this first VDLP as well as nervous going solo for the first time but I know things will work out.
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
I had the same problem to find a possible accomodation in Fuente de Calzadilla in second week of April. Had whatsapp contact with Casa Vicenta in Fuente some days ago, which worked perfect with quick reaction times from their side. They told me to contact them again some days before actual arrival date.
I will try again. When are you starting your Camino?
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
I hope you all have a great walk and enjoy this fabulous but at times challenging Camino. Mary, my memory of Fuente are after long hot day and somewhat confusing markings, the stretch in is without cover and it's a long time before you arrive. I was very grateful for a pear stolen from a Finca to give me enough energy to make it. There is a very wonderfully air conditioned albergue in Fuente but it has been plagued with problems and is rarely functioning these days. Town itself is very lovely and you can always ask a local cafe, generally locals are more then happy to help, even if it comes down to arranging taxi ride to a hotelier in a town near by.
Thank you for this info. Wow, what time of year was this? Glad you found the pear to sustain you. I will try again to book in Fuente and if not then Calzadilla. Buen future caminos!
 
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MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 3: Guillena - Castilblanco de los Arroyos

Rain was pouring down at night... Had a hard time falling asleep and woke up several times at night, climbing down for the toilet and later to eat to get my bloodsugar up again. I'm type 1 diabetic and this camino will have an effect on my sugar levels and medicine intake, unfortunately first it causes problems in the night. Mar slept even less, again, we have to adept to the rhythm of the new life.
The albuerge served it's purpose, and after breakfast we were suppose to leave at 8.30. Most pilgrims were long gone before.

Rainy morning but worst rain stopped around our departure. We brought food and water for the whole day. Very muddy hours in the olive fields. Caught up with several struggeling pilgrims. Struggled ourselves too but the rain stopped and the path got more rocky on the way.
It 's hard to take breaks when it' s windy amd cold, with rain in the air... But it's important to do. Again straightforward but the mud made it a bit tough.

As it's my birthday today we decided to call a hotel. Hotel Castillo blanco charges pilgrims a double room + breakfast for €40 which is a very good deal if you ask me. Its kinda old but it has charm and the hot shower was a blessing.

Last worth mentioning is the Asador Er tito Emi opposite to the gastation (and albuerge?) they were about to close the kitchen at 16h but turned back on the lights and served us hungry walkers 2 courses ( the lentilles soup was great!) and a beer for €8.- again a bargain, and the bartender was super nice.

Song of the day: MUD - dynamite
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Happy Birthday! Glad you splashed out to celebrate. The Camino, like life, shouldn't all be hard slog and it's worth taking time to enjoy a few simple pleasures. You'll need them to get you through to the end.

As we walked our caminos in Autumn, Scott got to celebrate his birthday a number of times on the way. Made even more specially as it fell on one of Spain's many festivals, so he got fireworks, wine, paella and another 40plus kms of rocky trail to walk on the big day. I hope yours was just as special.

Not sure I am with you on your glam rock soundtrack... This is musical decade I would rather not relive, but if it gets you moving then all power to you. For some reason Scott used to co-opt John Denvor songs for our Camino, from belting out "Leaving on a jet plane" as we left the house, to singing "Sunshine on my shoulder, makes me happy" during the heat of the day. He adapted the words so I still hum along to: "If I could give a day to you, the day that I would give to you is a day like yesterday, when you and I walked hand in hand across the fields of Spain."
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Day 3: Guillena - Castilblanco de los Arroyos

Rain was pouring down at night... Had a hard time falling asleep and woke up several times at night, climbing down for the toilet and later to eat to get my bloodsugar up again. I'm type 1 diabetic and this camino will have an effect on my sugar levels and medicine intake, unfortunately first it causes problems in the night. Mar slept even less, again, we have to adept to the rhythm of the new life.
The albuerge served it's purpose, and after breakfast we were suppose to leave at 8.30. Most pilgrims were long gone before.

Rainy morning but worst rain stopped around our departure. We brought food and water for the whole day. Very muddy hours in the olive fields. Caught up with several struggeling pilgrims. Struggled ourselves too but the rain stopped and the path got more rocky on the way.
It 's hard to take breaks when it' s windy amd cold, with rain in the air... But it's important to do. Again straightforward but the mud made it a bit tough.

As it's my birthday today we decided to call a hotel. Hotel Castillo blanco charges pilgrims a double room + breakfast for €40 which is a very good deal if you ask me. Its kinda old but it has charm and the hot shower was a blessing.

Last worth mentioning is the Asador Er tito Emi opposite to the gastation (and albuerge?) they were about to close the kitchen at 16h but turned back on the lights and served us hungry walkers 2 courses ( the lentilles soup was great!) and a beer for €8.- again a bargain, and the bartender was super nice.

Song of the day: MUD - dynamite
Love the groovy outfits of the band!
edit: And Happy Birthday!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, '12; Frances, '14; Port, '15; Frances, Norte, Fisterre, '16; Ingles, Fisterre/Muxia '17
Day 3: Guillena - Castilblanco de los Arroyos

Rain was pouring down at night... Had a hard time falling asleep and woke up several times at night, climbing down for the toilet and later to eat to get my bloodsugar up again. I'm type 1 diabetic and this camino will have an effect on my sugar levels and medicine intake, unfortunately first it causes problems in the night. Mar slept even less, again, we have to adept to the rhythm of the new life.
The albuerge served it's purpose, and after breakfast we were suppose to leave at 8.30. Most pilgrims were long gone before.

Rainy morning but worst rain stopped around our departure. We brought food and water for the whole day. Very muddy hours in the olive fields. Caught up with several struggeling pilgrims. Struggled ourselves too but the rain stopped and the path got more rocky on the way.
It 's hard to take breaks when it' s windy amd cold, with rain in the air... But it's important to do. Again straightforward but the mud made it a bit tough.

As it's my birthday today we decided to call a hotel. Hotel Castillo blanco charges pilgrims a double room + breakfast for €40 which is a very good deal if you ask me. Its kinda old but it has charm and the hot shower was a blessing.

Last worth mentioning is the Asador Er tito Emi opposite to the gastation (and albuerge?) they were about to close the kitchen at 16h but turned back on the lights and served us hungry walkers 2 courses ( the lentilles soup was great!) and a beer for €8.- again a bargain, and the bartender was super nice.

Song of the day: MUD - dynamite
Hey Mr Writer - I have been trying to email Hotel Castillo Blanco for late April reservations. They answered once after a couple of weeks but our group changed & I emailed back for another room but haven't had an answer in 2 weeks. Do you have a phone number for them that you could share? Thanks! Buen Camino & feliz cumpleanos!
 
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nycwalking

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF: 2001, 02, 04, 14. Ourense to Santiago 2019.
Day 3: Guillena - Castilblanco de los Arroyos

Rain was pouring down at night... Had a hard time falling asleep and woke up several times at night, climbing down for the toilet and later to eat to get my bloodsugar up again. I'm type 1 diabetic and this camino will have an effect on my sugar levels and medicine intake, unfortunately first it causes problems in the night. Mar slept even less, again, we have to adept to the rhythm of the new life.
The albuerge served it's purpose, and after breakfast we were suppose to leave at 8.30. Most pilgrims were long gone before.

Rainy morning but worst rain stopped around our departure. We brought food and water for the whole day. Very muddy hours in the olive fields. Caught up with several struggeling pilgrims. Struggled ourselves too but the rain stopped and the path got more rocky on the way.
It 's hard to take breaks when it' s windy amd cold, with rain in the air... But it's important to do. Again straightforward but the mud made it a bit tough.

As it's my birthday today we decided to call a hotel. Hotel Castillo blanco charges pilgrims a double room + breakfast for €40 which is a very good deal if you ask me. Its kinda old but it has charm and the hot shower was a blessing.

Last worth mentioning is the Asador Er tito Emi opposite to the gastation (and albuerge?) they were about to close the kitchen at 16h but turned back on the lights and served us hungry walkers 2 courses ( the lentilles soup was great!) and a beer for €8.- again a bargain, and the bartender was super nice.

Song of the day: MUD - dynamite

Happy birthday.

Enjoying posts.

Buen camino.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Thank you all for the birthday wishes. It was one special day! My wife asked the previous days to my friends to sent me a video message while on the trail. That was super nice and gave me energy.

@hel&scott I had my most important music upbringing in the '90. But instead of moving on with the music in the zero' s and tens, I started enjoying older music more and more. But I will make more of an effort to look for recent songs for the song of the day. 😉

@khiker9 the phone number of the hotel is on gronze.com a very usefull site with up to date information about accommodations. The number of this hotel is: +34955734523

@nycwalking gracias! Always nice to hear 👌

Today was a long day. Tomorrow we do a shorty and I'll update. 😏
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, '12; Frances, '14; Port, '15; Frances, Norte, Fisterre, '16; Ingles, Fisterre/Muxia '17
Thank you all for the birthday wishes. It was one special day! My wife asked the previous days to my friends to sent me a video message while on the trail. That was super nice and gave me energy.

@hel&scott I had my most important music upbringing in the '90. But instead of moving on with the music in the zero' s and tens, I started enjoying older music more and more. But I will make more of an effort to look for recent songs for the song of the day. 😉

@khiker9 the phone number of the hotel is on gronze.com a very usefull site with up to date information about accommodations. The number of this hotel is: +34955734523

@nycwalking gracias! Always nice to hear 👌

Today was a long day. Tomorrow we do a shorty and I'll update. 😏
Thanks for the number. I look forward to your future reports!
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Glad you had a good day, your wife sounds like a gem. Music is a very personal taste,Scott said my love of Nina Simone was akin to spilt wrists. This from a man who listened to Lenord Cohen. Still we both agreed that our jamming to Bob Marley was best left in the wide open spaces of the Camino where you could dance like no one is watching, one of the joys of the vdlp. All power to you, much envy, it's my favourite Camino and the only one I've gone back to repeat so you may have to put up with me tagging along.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 4: Castilblanco de los Arroyos - Almadén de la plata

This is the stage we were a bit worried about. Especially Mar was a bit anxious for the length of the stage, this is so much longer than she ever walked! (28km)

We could have breakfast in the hotel from 8.30. A bit late for our taste but we could be on the road at 9.00 giving us ample of time. Rain started just before our departure, we put on the poncho and left. A stop for the Supermercado and cajero took time and we finally left the village just before 10. Then the rain stopped 🥳

What to say about the route? yes 16km monotonous walking along the side of the tarmac. We both put on music and marched on. Then 13 km gravel road through corck-oak fields. Thick clouds above our head but no rain until the last steep ascent to Almadén de la plata. I was too lazy to put on the poncho so I got wet. We were very happy to arrive in the albergue. We made it. Without blisters or major discomfort. I'm super proud of Mar... She 'just' did it 👌

We stayed it the Albegue vía de la plata and it was all that we could wish for. Clean, a well equipped kitchen, hot shower and a comfy matress. After a hearthy self-cooked meal and a few glasses of wine we fell in a deep sleep...

Song of the day: Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate love song
 
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Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

Jeff B

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Primitivo, Fisterre and Ingles
Day 4: Castilblanco de los Arroyos - Almadén de la plata

This is the stage we were a bit worried about. Especially Mar was a bit anxious for the length of the stage, this is so much longer than she ever walked! (28km)

We could have breakfast in the hotel from 8.30. A bit late for our taste but we could be on the road at 9.00 giving us ample of time. Rain started just before our departure, we put on the poncho and left. A stop for the Supermercado and cajero took time and we finally left the village just before 10. Then the rain stopped 🥳

What to say about the route? yes 16km monotonous walking along the side of the tarmac. We both put on music and marched on. Then 13 km gravel road through corck-oak fields. Thick clouds above our head but no rain until the last steep ascent to Almadén de la plata. I was too lazy to put on the poncho so I got wet. We were very happy to arrive in the albergue. We made it. Without blisters or major discomfort. I'm super proud of Mar... She 'just' did it 👌

We stayed it the Albegue vía de la plata and it was all that we could wish for. Clean, a well equipped kitchen, hot shower and a comfy matress. After a hearthy self-cooked meal and a few glasses of wine we fell in a deep sleep...

Song of the day: Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate love song
enjoying your posts....I'll be about two weeks behind you
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 5: Almadén de la plata - El real de la jara

When I woke up I removed my eye patch and earplugs I looked around: an empty dorm! Where is everyone? Is it 10 o'clock? Mar was already awake, I looked at my phone and saw it was 8.15... the albergue was empty.

We took a relaxed breakfast and left the albergue at 10. There was no discussion, we would do only the 14km to El real de la Jara, so that means we break up this stage. A sunny morning with lots of birds. We took the time to try to take photo's of some, a hobby of mine.

The mood is good after the hard day of yesterday. Just a bit sore muscles and back. It was a pleasant walk with a few ascents and decents passing farms and livestock. Half way we took a break and a Swiss lady caught up with us, we met before and it looks like we have the same pace. We continued together through Sierra Norte.

Now we stay in Alojamiento Molina, and what a welcoming place is this! Super friendly owners who offered to wash our clothes and took the time to talk with us.
They have a communal garden and there we met some more peregrinos. It really feels like home.

Song of the day: Eels - Birds
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just a heads up about Monesterio. The priest in the village has what everyone says is a very nice albergue, it’s actually located in his house. The town won’t let him advertise it because they don’t want him to compete with the private enterprise.

I met this priest years ago when he was doing the work to get the albergue opened and he seemed like an extremely nice guy. He had just walked the Vdlp and wanted to open up something for pilgrims. At that time there were no albergues in town, but that has changed. I know there is a Canadian Association that supports his albergue — I have met a couple of members and they all rave about this guy and how much he loves pilgrims.

According to gronze, it is open and gets very high reviews.

Really enjoying your posts, so glad it is going well.
 
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MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I think these two comments show a very common situation in Spain. WhatsApp contact is much more likely to get you results than email (and sometimes, it is even better than phone —
Both Pensión Rodriguez in Calzadilla, and Casa Vicenta in Fuente are on WhatsApp. If you don’t use it or can’t figure it out, PM me and I’ll send a message on your behalf. But the bottom line is that I don’t think you should worry about finding accommodation!

Buen camino to all forum members who are lucky enough to be walking the Vdlp now!
Thanks for the info about Fuente de Cantos. On gonze someone wrote that casa Vincente might be closed. I guess they are not...?
And @peregrina2000 we are in the Parochial albergue in Monasterio and it's an absolute gem! Thanks for this info. 👌

@Lynnhardy So far we just walked in everywhere and there is plenty of space in the albergues. Except for castilblanco where we wanted a hotel, there we called in the morning.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 6: El real de la jara - Monasterio

We have our little slow risers/walkers group formed. Although we don't always spent the night in the same accommodation we somehow meet again om the camino. Where three Spanish men left the alojamiento at 6am did we set the alarm at 8 (actually 7 because of summer-time change 😇) and had a simple breakfast before we headed off.

After two km there was an old castle and a creek marking the chance from Andalucia to Extremadura. The creek did not have much water but I was not paying attention, slipped at the mossy rocks and got wet feet. Not a good start 😬

Again a long stretch of gravel road with fenched fielfds on both sides. Little over half way there was a restaurant where our little group spontaniously gathered again. We continued at our own pace. Mar and me walked in at the parochial albuerge of Monasterio. They had plenty of space, there is a nice sun deck to relax, it's super clean and has an extremely well equipped kitchen.

After six days we start to tell our friends and family: 'we are peregrinos and walk to Santiago de Compostela! ' still tired and a bit sore after a day but slowly confident enough that we are able to make it. 🙂

Song of the day: Lucinda Williams - Car wheels on a gravel road
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
I think these two comments show a very common situation in Spain. WhatsApp contact is much more likely to get you results than email (and sometimes, it is even better than phone — for instance, Torre Vilariño on the Invierno has a WhatsApp number that they will never answer, but they respond by WhatsApp).

@maruska89, do you use WhatsApp? It is easy, it gives you a record of what you agreed upon with the owner, and most private accommodations use it. It is a part of the Facebook empire, but for many of us, its tremendous advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Both Pensión Rodriguez in Calzadilla, and Casa Vicenta in Fuente are on WhatsApp. If you don’t use it or can’t figure it out, PM me and I’ll send a message on your behalf. But the bottom line is that I don’t think you should worry about finding accommodation!

Buen camino to all forum members who are lucky enough to be walking the Vdlp now!
Update: after using what's app i got replies from both accommodations and decided on Calzadilla only to be closer to Zafra the next day. I'm only doing one night there so hope it's enough to do a bit of sight seeing. Thanks for the heads up @peregrina2000 !
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
And @peregrina2000 we are in the Parochial albergue in Monasterio and it's an absolute gem! Thanks for this info. 👌
So, the day after we have unfortunately mixed feelings about the parochial albergue de Monesterio. The room, bathroom and kitchen are in great shape and well kept. But the hospitalero Miguel did not seem to enjoy recieving peregrinos. (we were only with 5) he wanted to shut the main door at 21h so you could not get in/out after. (the door upstairs has a code, downstairs a lock where we not got the key for) another couple was still having dinner and he seems stressed about that.
The next morning we got up at 8:00 so as the other couple. He started complaining about us being late, but not in a direct way, more to himself...he did not communicate about a time to leave in the morning. He was compulsary cleaning with a long face and we felt even bothered using the bathroom while he was arould. We left hasty as his body language told us we were no longer welcome. 😐

So is there an unwritten time to be gone from an albergue? Only once we were informed by a host that we were asked to be gone at 8.30 but that was the day before! We are new in the camino life and maybe don't know about this. An early rise makes sense when it's hot or a long day coming.... But otherwise... 🤔
 

Lynnhardy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
So, the day after we have unfortunately mixed feelings about the parochial albergue de Monesterio. The room, bathroom and kitchen are in great shape and well kept. But the hospitalero Miguel did not seem to enjoy recieving peregrinos. (we were only with 5) he wanted to shut the main door at 21h so you could not get in/out after. (the door upstairs has a code, downstairs a lock where we not got the key for) another couple was still having dinner and he seems stressed about that.
The next morning we got up at 8:00 so as the other couple. He started complaining about us being late, but not in a direct way, more to himself...he did not communicate about a time to leave in the morning. He was compulsary cleaning with a long face and we felt even bothered using the bathroom while he was arould. We left hasty as his body language told us we were no longer welcome. 😐

So is there an unwritten time to be gone from an albergue? Only once we were informed by a host that we were asked to be gone at 8.30 but that was the day before! We are new in the camino life and maybe don't know about this. An early rise makes sense when it's hot or a long day coming.... But otherwise... 🤔
Yes any camino I’ve been on the municipal hostels have been pretty strict on leaving , pretty offen by 7 to 7.30 am in my experience
 
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Lynnhardy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Yes any camino I’ve been on the municipal hostels have been pretty strict on leaving , pretty offen by 7 to 7.30 am in my experience
Your far too relaxed!! You got to be already dressed by 5.30am or not even been undressed! Ruffled and rearranged your rucksack at least three times by 6am and head torch on ready to rush out the door to the next hostel! Ha ha
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Hi @MrWr1TeR ,
Yes, there are usually specific times. Usually the door is closed for the evening and locked at 10 p.m. There is a whole long thread about fire safety and some albergues that physically lock you in with a key at night so if that is something that worries you, be sure to ask about fire exits when you check in. Usually the check out time is 8 a.m. and while some hospitaleros may be flexible, others are not for various reasons. Between the time you leave and the time the next day's pilgrims arrive the whole facility must be cleaned, swept, mopped and inspected for bed bugs (a long and sometimes tedious task depending on locations and numbers of beds). Sometimes shopping has to be done, etc.

We are generally flexible when we serve, especially if it is still dark in the morning in the winter, but normally pilgrims at albergues are expected to be up and out the door by 8 a.m. If you need to stay later, be sure to ask in advance. I can't speak specifically for Miguel. Maybe he was having a bad day or maybe there was just miscommunication because you did not arise until 8 a.m. rather than leaving by then?
Janet
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Edit: to above. I don't know if Miguel is a volunteer or if this is his regular job, but generally there is an "orientation" when you sign in if there is a hospitalero on premises. If not, you may want to ask these questions.

1. When are quiet hours?
2. Are the doors locked? Can I get out and come back in? Can I leave when I wish in the morning?
3. When do I need to leave in the morning?
4. Are there meals provided and how much? Are there kitchen restrictions?
5. Are there laundry facilities and what kind? (hand wash, machine wash and cost?)
6. How much per night? If it is a donativo, where is the donation box? (Donativo does not meet free. It means donation. If you are able, please leave what your heart and budget will allow. )
7. If it is cold, you may want to inquire about heat. (Some albergues have no heat and others limit the hours that is heat is on due to cost.)

Some albergues on the VdlP are ones where you ask for the key at a bar and someone comes by later to stamp your credential and take your money. If the hospitalero does not stay on site, ask what to do with the key in the morning.

There are other "rules" about being a pilgrim that you may not know about such as don't put your pack directly on the bed and if there is a chair in the room it is likely shared and not for your pack to rest on. Some people hang their packs on the bedposts, but otherwise it is good to put it inside a black plastic trash bag on the floor under yoru bed or nearby if there is room in the dorm (helps to prevent bed bugs from tagging along). Fold up your black bag and take it along to the next albergue for reuse.

In the mornings, try to be packed or take your pack outside the room to repack in a common area so you don't disturb other pilgrims. Mimimize the rustling of plastic bags, zipping of zippers, and talking in the dorm. Try not to use a headlamp or bright light in the dorm at night.

There is a whole Camino culture which you and Mar will no doubt be expert at by the end of your pilgrimage. As a volunteer hospitalera, my job is to care for you and provide whatever hospitality that I am able within simple surroundings. An albergue is not a hotel, but a refuge for pilgrims on their pilgrimage way.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
@J Willhaus
Thank you for your detailed reply. I hear you. We are not new in hostels /dorms. We have been in hostels, mountain huts, camps, shared tents etc. in the past. We are generally very considerate in shared spaces, and definately notice that around us as well, the peregrinos on the vía are considerate too and far from how it can be in a youth hostel in a big town.
We will be more pro-active with our questions and expectations in the future 👌

/edit it only does not work if you want to close the place at 21h and restaurants only open at 20h30.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
2009-2019: More than I remember...
I think @J Willhaus has given excellent advice. The norm is leave before 8. Imagine all the work/cleaning, and in these times disinfection, the hospitaleros/as have to do betwheen 8AM and 1PM to ready the place for the next arrivals... My hat off.

However, the habit of closing the doors at night is a deadly firetrap. I would leave the place if that was the routine.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
@J Willhaus
Thank you for your detailed reply. I hear you. We are not new in hostels /dorms. We have been in hostels, mountain huts, camps, shared tents etc. in the past. We are generally very considerate in shared spaces, and definately notice that around us as well, the peregrinos on the vía are considerate too and far from how it can be in a youth hostel in a big town.
We will be more pro-active with our questions and expectations in the future 👌

/edit it only does not work if you want to close the place at 21h and restaurants only open at 20h30.
Yes, you are unique as most pilgrims do not chose the VdlP as their first pilgrimage. I think the most popular first caminos are the Camino Frances followed by the Camino Portuguese. I agree that closing up at 9 p.m. is a too early especially if this was not communicated up front although there have been times when I have fallen asleep earlier.

Thankfully I am usually serving with another (generally my husband) and we can take turns on who gets up early, who gets to step away for a quick meal, or who stays up late to make sure things are in order for the next morning. I am generally the 5 a.m.-5:30 a.m. riser who gets the breakfast/coffee ready and my husband is the one who gets people settled and closes up at night. Sometimes there is only one hospitalero depending on the season so their day is longer.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 7: Monesterio - Fuente de Cantos

After leaving the albergue we got some food for the day, had a coffee and left Monesterio. It's the 'ham capital' of Spain but we did not bother getting a leg to carry with us... Our packs are heavy enough.

The camino carried on through fenced farmland with oak trees and cows. After about 10km we followed the concrete cubes with blue and yellow arrow sign. It turned out to be the mountainbike route. We made our day a bit longer with this detour.

Being in nature longer you start to notice differences where birds appear, they are all specialized to a type of fauna, field or trees. I will share some photo's that I took.

Closer to Fuente de Cantos the landscape changes. Rolling hills with green wheat fields gently waving in the wind. No trees make a beautiful wide panoramic view. The first pig farms appear, and then the smell... entering Fuente de Cantos did not make the smell any less, we even smell it in our room. We are unlucky with the direction of the wind I guess. 🙊

The last part was though... Legs and feet are a bit beaten and we question our fitness; were we too positive yesterday? Are our bags too heavy with stuff we don't use or may not be essential? (walking sticks, powerbank, detergent, e-reader, flip-flops, emergency food, razor+foam, medic kit, sleeping bag, little paper notebook, wise pilgrim guide, optical camera)

We'll see about that in the near future...

Song of the day: Lynyrd Skynyrd - That smell
 

Lynnhardy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Day 7: Monesterio - Fuente de Cantos

After leaving the albergue we got some food for the day, had a coffee and left Monesterio. It's the 'ham capital' of Spain but we did not bother getting a leg to carry with us... Our packs are heavy enough.

The camino carried on through fenced farmland with oak trees and cows. After about 10km we followed the concrete cubes with blue and yellow arrow sign. It turned out to be the mountainbike route. We made our day a bit longer with this detour.

Being in nature longer you start to notice differences where birds appear, they are all specialized to a type of fauna, field or trees. I will share some photo's that I took.

Closer to Fuente de Cantos the landscape changes. Rolling hills with green wheat fields gently waving in the wind. No trees make a beautiful wide panoramic view. The first pig farms appear, and then the smell... entering Fuente de Cantos did not make the smell any less, we even smell it in our room. We are unlucky with the direction of the wind I guess. 🙊

The last part was though... Legs and feet are a bit beaten and we question our fitness; were we too positive yesterday? Are our bags too heavy with stuff we don't use or may not be essential? (walking sticks, powerbank, detergent, e-reader, flip-flops, emergency food, razor+foam, medic kit, sleeping bag, little paper notebook, wise pilgrim guide, optical camera)

We'll see about that in the near future...

Song of the day: Lynyrd Skynyrd - That smell
Bien camino! Where did you stay?
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Day 7: Monesterio - Fuente de Cantos

After leaving the albergue we got some food for the day, had a coffee and left Monesterio. It's the 'ham capital' of Spain but we did not bother getting a leg to carry with us... Our packs are heavy enough.

The camino carried on through fenced farmland with oak trees and cows. After about 10km we followed the concrete cubes with blue and yellow arrow sign. It turned out to be the mountainbike route. We made our day a bit longer with this detour.

Being in nature longer you start to notice differences where birds appear, they are all specialized to a type of fauna, field or trees. I will share some photo's that I took.

Closer to Fuente de Cantos the landscape changes. Rolling hills with green wheat fields gently waving in the wind. No trees make a beautiful wide panoramic view. The first pig farms appear, and then the smell... entering Fuente de Cantos did not make the smell any less, we even smell it in our room. We are unlucky with the direction of the wind I guess. 🙊

The last part was though... Legs and feet are a bit beaten and we question our fitness; were we too positive yesterday? Are our bags too heavy with stuff we don't use or may not be essential? (walking sticks, powerbank, detergent, e-reader, flip-flops, emergency food, razor+foam, medic kit, sleeping bag, little paper notebook, wise pilgrim guide, optical camera)

We'll see about that in the near future...

Song of the day: Lynyrd Skynyrd - That smell
Yes, you can leave some things behind for another pilgrim that you no longer want in the donation box at the albergue and/or maybe post some things ahead through the Correos in Santiago where they can be held for you. Ivar has a service where your items can also be sent and held until you arrive. You do have to find an open post office (or call DHL for pickup) first though.
 

jsalt

Jill
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
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MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 8: Fuente de Cantos - Zafra

We stayed in Rural hotel la Fábrica. There were not many options in Fuente de Cantos and when we stood in front of Pensión Vicenta we were a bit afraid of the noise of the street in front of it. So we went to the hotel, the building is cool and so is the interior. We got the matrimonial room for 45€. Most peregrinos stayed in La Fábrica as we noticed.
The next day we heard from another pilgrim Vicenta was fine as well.

Gronze writes 24,2 km to Zafra. Our tracking said 26,9 km when we arrived. We noticed that every day the etape is a few km's longer than the website says.
Good to keep that in mind. 😏

There are a few pueblos on this stretch and we did short breaks there for a coffee or other refreshment. The landscape is not much different than the days before. Walking basically flat all day is taking it's toll on our feet. Today some blisters developed on my toes and Mar got very painfull feet... This is something different than a multi-day hike on mountainious tracks... The same parts of your feet take all the pressure.

We need a day of rest and booked 2 nights in Zafra, Hostal Carmen offers rooms for €50. Not the cheapest but we need some comfort. The rooms are heated and that's not everwhere the case, it's unusually cold for the time of year with night temperatures of 5 degrees Celcius. Most of the places we stayed so far had no heating in the room and communal spaces.

We had a nice dinner together with a pilgrim from the US who we met frequently from the second day and had the same pace as us. He continued this morning.

Song of the day: The war on drugs - Under the pressure
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I once stayed in the hotel in Fuente and I’m pretty sure I was given a pilgrim discount.
 

Jeff B

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Primitivo, Fisterre and Ingles
Great posts. I start April 21st. Worried about la k of municipal open and numbers as usual… do you just turn up at albergues or booking?
Both. If there are only a few lodging options I try to book ahead.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Enjoy your day in Zafra. I have seen that it is sometimes referred to as the “Little Seville” and though I think that is a huge stretch, it is a nice town. It seemed very lively the times I have been there. A good place to walk around a bit, sit a bit, sip a drink and enjoy. The two plazas are both great places to do that.

The parador in the castle might be a nice place to go to the bar for a drink, though that would be more for experiencing the ambiance of the building than the ambiance created by the people like you will see in the plazas.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 9: Zafra - Villafranca de los Barros

Last night we had dinner with a Swiss/German lady who caught up with us again. We were not in best spirits, questioning where the hell we got ourselves into. A man approached us and politely asked if we were pilgrims. I confirmed his suspicion, he was eager to talk to some peregrinos, he walked 3 caminos, the last (VdlP) without his wife and now he did a trip with his wife to show her some nice places of the VdlP.
He was happy to give us some valuable advise and returned later in the evening with some special anti-blister band-aid for us. What a nice gesture! 🙏
In much better spirits we returned to the hostal.

Zafra is a nice historic town with a castle, now a hotel but you can have a look inside, and several little parks and squares. If you have time visit Casa del Ajimez, free admission and a friendly man will tell you about the foundation and history of Zafra.

We felt good this morning. After a tostada and coffee we headed off. The stage today continued through vineyards, olive trees and farmland. Blue sky with white sheep-clouds and a strong cold wind from the south-west guided our way...

Arriving in villafranca we found the albergue fully booked. So we had to find an alternative. Hotel Diana offered a double for €40. The menu del día was a bit disappointing though.

Song of the day: The band of heathens - Medicine man
 

IanMcC

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
I will be a few weeks behind you but it sounds like it may be advisable to book ahead for albergues in some places. It seems that the Via is unusually busy.
 

IanMcC

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2018
Just going off the previous comment about the full alburgue. I didn't mean to imply that it was wall to wall walkers.
 
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Silversalmon

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future, Via de la Plata
Wow! I really wish you both the best of luck with your Camino. I am looking to start my Via de la Plata later this year. Have done the Camino Frances twice and for what it's worth strongly suggest taking it really slowly and carefully and don't worry about taking rest days when you need to. Looks as though you've picked the toughest of the walks. If you havn't done any Via de la Plata research, that would be a good thing to look at as soon as possible. Your new daily hamsterwheel will be wake, eat, walk, eat, sleep and repeat. You should also throw in drink and drink somewhere in there too! Look forward to following your posts. Buen Camino!
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I will be a few weeks behind you but it sounds like it may be advisable to book ahead for albergues in some places. It seems that the Via is unusually busy.
It's not so busy actually... There were not only pilgrims in Villafranca and the albergue is quite small.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 10: Villafranca de los barros - Torremejía

Hotel Diana was a flashback to the glamour of the '90. With a lot of gold plated furniture, marble, shiny mirrors and funky design. We had tostada' s and coffee (again) and left a bit earlier than we did previous, we expected a long day.

Gronze writes 'a very monotonous gravel road'. And gronze was right. There is nothing exciting to mention about this part of the camino. Well... the weather was good and just before leaving Villafranco there is a beautiful collegio (highschool) where you can get a stamp in your credential and have a quiet look around. Very beautiful inside (for a school) I hope the lessons are as excited as the interior. 🙂

Reviews aren't very promising for accommodation in Torremejía. We chose the albergue Roja and to be honest it's not bad at all! Tomorrow change of scenery...
we are looking forward to Mérida.

Song of the day:
Joe Bonamassa - Lonesome road blues
 
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maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
Day 8: Fuente de Cantos - Zafra

We stayed in Rural hotel la Fábrica. There were not many options in Fuente de Cantos and when we stood in front of Pensión Vicenta we were a bit afraid of the noise of the street in front of it. So we went to the hotel, the building is cool and so is the interior. We got the matrimonial room for 45€. Most peregrinos stayed in La Fábrica as we noticed.
The next day we heard from another pilgrim Vicenta was fine as well.

Gronze writes 24,2 km to Zafra. Our tracking said 26,9 km when we arrived. We noticed that every day the etape is a few km's longer than the website says.
Good to keep that in mind. 😏

There are a few pueblos on this stretch and we did short breaks there for a coffee or other refreshment. The landscape is not much different than the days before. Walking basically flat all day is taking it's toll on our feet. Today some blisters developed on my toes and Mar got very painfull feet... This is something different than a multi-day hike on mountainious tracks... The same parts of your feet take all the pressure.

We need a day of rest and booked 2 nights in Zafra, Hostal Carmen offers rooms for €50. Not the cheapest but we need some comfort. The rooms are heated and that's not everwhere the case, it's unusually cold for the time of year with night temperatures of 5 degrees Celcius. Most of the places we stayed so far had no heating in the room and communal spaces.

We had a nice dinner together with a pilgrim from the US who we met frequently from the second day and had the same pace as us. He continued this morning.

Song of the day: The war on drugs - Under the pressure
Enjoying your posts! As I'm about to leave soon I'm having a hard time deciding on how much to bring for the cold mornings/nights. I'm not sure about my puffy jacket,,, but know if I don't bring it I'll be needing it. What do you have for layers/warm clothing?
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
Enjoying your posts! As I'm about to leave soon I'm having a hard time deciding on how much to bring for the cold mornings/nights. I'm not sure about my puffy jacket,,, but know if I don't bring it I'll be needing it. What do you have for layers/warm clothing?
haha.. I wrote this a couple days ago but forgot to hit "post reply" :)
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Enjoying your posts! As I'm about to leave soon I'm having a hard time deciding on how much to bring for the cold mornings/nights. I'm not sure about my puffy jacket,,, but know if I don't bring it I'll be needing it. What do you have for layers/warm clothing?
Last days it was pretty cold. I had a t-shirt, vest and jacket on while walking the first hours. I also expect some cold and windy days in Galicia so I guess it's wise to bring a warm jacket.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 11: Torremejía - Mérida

Short stage to the next bigger town of Mérida. Unfortunately we had little sleep last night. A friendly Swedish man of respectable age was a snoring machine at night. Sure, you should tolerate some sleeping noises in a dorm, but this was unbearable. For all of us.

Mar told him politely this morning that you cán do something about it (and should) . I sleep with a mouth piece (bracket) since a few years because as I age I started snoring... and I don't want to be thát guy in the dorm 😉

The route was short (17km) and only a bit more exciting than last stages although I spotted some nice rare birds. We did not properly recover due to lack of sleep and were happy to arrive in Mérida.

We called quite a few hostals/hotels in Mérida this morning. I recommend to do so, as prices go up in the weekends (suddenly a room was €100 instead of 45 as stated at Gronze) and the albergue only allows a 1 night stay.

Aras hostal charged a pilgrim price for €45 per night and is convenient located. You don't need to detour over the Roman bridge, you can climb the wall of the first bridge you encounter and that saves you 20 minutes.

Song of the day: Motörhead - Mean Machine
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
Last days it was pretty cold. I had a t-shirt, vest and jacket on while walking the first hours. I also expect some cold and windy days in Galicia so I guess it's wise to bring a warm jacket.
Thanks..I'll keep my puffy layer!
 
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A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Such a good idea to spend an extra day in Mérida. I bet you will love it!

A tip in case you are going to visit more than just the Roman Theater. You can get a combination ticket that lets you into the theater, the Moorish Alcazaba, ruins of a Roman villa, and a few more sites. Roman theater alone, 12€, Moorish Alcazaba alone, 6 € , Roman villa alone 6€, plus a few more. Combined ticket 16 €. But the tip isn’t so much about saving money as saving time. You can buy a combo ticket at any one of the sites included. See the list here. We bought ours at the entrance to the Moorish fortress. Then when you go to the Roman theater, you can jump to the front of what is likely to be a very long line since it’s a weekend.

The Roman Art Museum is fabulous, and it is free on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. The museum is not included in the combo ticket, but even if you have to buy a separate ticket for 3€ it is a steal. The architects modeled the museum on the shape of the Roman aqueduct, which you pass on the Camino on the way out of town, and it is really something. Everything is very nicely displayed and you can get up close and personal with a lot of mosaics.

Check Sunday hours for all of the attractions. There may be closings after 2 pm or so. ENJOY!!!
 

Lynnhardy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Day 11: Torremejía - Mérida

Short stage to the next bigger town of Mérida. Unfortunately we had little sleep last night. A friendly Swedish man of respectable age was a snoring machine at night. Sure, you should tolerate some sleeping noises in a dorm, but this was unbearable. For all of us.

Mar told him politely this morning that you cán do something about it (and should) . I sleep with a mouth piece (bracket) since a few years because as I age I started snoring... and I don't want to be thát guy in the dorm 😉

The route was short (17km) and only a bit more exciting than last stages although I spotted some nice rare birds. We did not properly recover due to lack of sleep and were happy to arrive in Mérida.

We called quite a few hostals/hotels in Mérida this morning. I recommend to do so, as prices go up in the weekends (suddenly a room was €100 instead of 45 as stated at Gronze) and the albergue only allows a 1 night stay.

Aras hostal charged a pilgrim price for €45 per night and is convenient located. You don't need to detour over the Roman bridge, you can climb the wall of the first bridge you encounter and that saves you 20 minutes.

Song of the day: Motörhead - Mean Machine
Slightly off subject but have you used or noticed many ATMs on route? Please
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Slightly off subject but have you used or noticed many ATMs on route? Please
Yes, Spain has most ATMs in Europe, but you pay for a withdraw, and every bank charges a different amount, from €1 to €5
Caja Sur was free of charge for us, but only in Córdoba as I remember correctly
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 12: Mérida - Aljucén (19,2km)

We had a day of 'rest' in Mérida. But there was so much to see that we walked at least 4 hours on flipflops through town and in the late afternoon sat down for a vino blanco on the Plaza Mayor.

We plan to break up both stages from Mérida so it will take us 4 days to Cáseres. We don't see ourselves walk +36 km yet without getting very painfull feet.

The route today was much nicer than the previous days. First on a quiet bike path next to the road and from Proserpina you walk through nature. Spring is the air, lot's of flowers and trees blossom. Still very windy and cold though.

Unfortunately very painfull feet for me from about the 10 km mark. It's just sore under my heels, some tiny blisters on the side of my heels too... Weird places. I've never had this before.

The albuerge in El Carrascalejo looks new and get good revews, but we pushed to Aljucén. We were welcomed in the local bar and the hospitaleria brought us to the little albergue. A bed is €12 and the place is clean and well equipped. We are, with one VdlP-biker the only guests.

Song of the day: Danny Vera - Flowers on de wall (cover)
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 13: Aljucén - Cruce de las Herrerias (18 km)

Note to self: always check if you have really understand what you are told!
The hospitaleria in the bar yesterday explained something about the desayuno and 8 o'clock. We said 'sí' assuming we could have breakfast from 8am.
We heard too late that we had to buy breakfast that evening because they were closed the next day. Also the little tienda in the village was closed... 🙊
Luckely we had some coffee/tea, cookies and chocolate to get us going this morning and some energy bars for on the way. Make sure you have some extra food in your bag for such occations. 😏

Over night my feet had a miracolous recovery. I felt good and strong. Mar on the other hand had painfull feet before we even started. It rained the whole day and it was very cold. We marched through a beautiful nature park but couldn't really enjoy it. We just did 18km to the detour to Hostal Olivos. That was enough for the day.

We had to make a decision. Mar's shoes aren't good enough and we asked my sister to sent other shoes from the Netherlands to Cáseres. Shoes where she knows she walks good on. A hotel in Cáseres is very coöperative and was willing to recieve them. Let's hope this will make a difference on the rest of the camino... we have long stages ahead.

Our mood was down. But in the little bar we met some very nice peregrinos from UK @Tandem Graham , Italia and France who made us forget about our struggles.
We talked in 4 different languages and ended the dinner together with wise words: 'it does not matter if you don't speak a language well, as long as you want to understand'

Song of the day: Paolo Nutini - New Shoes
 
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Lynnhardy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Day 13: Aljucén - Cruce de las Herrerias (18 km)

Note to self: always check if you have really understand what you are told!
The hospitaleria in the bar yesterday explained something about the desayuno and 8 o'clock. We said 'sí' assuming we could have breakfast from 8am.
We heard too late that we had to buy breakfast that evening because they were closed the next day. Also the little tienda in the village was closed... 🙊
Luckely we had some coffee/tea, cookies and chocolate to get us going this morning and some energy bars for on the way. Make sure you have some extra food in your bag for such occations. 😏

Over night my feet had a miracolous recovery. I felt good and strong. Mar on the other hand had painfull feet before we even started. It rained the whole day and it was very cold. We marched through a beautiful nature park but couldn't really enjoy it. We just did 18km to the detour to Hostal Olivos. That was enough for the day.

We had to make a decision. Mar's shoes aren't good enough and we asked my sister to sent other shoes from the Netherlands to Cáseres. Shoes where she knows she walks good on. A hotel in Cáseres is very coöperative and was willing to recieve them. Let's hope this will make a difference on the rest of the camino... we have long stages ahead.

Our mood was down. But in the little bar we met some very nice peregrinos from UK @Tandem Graham , Italia and France who made us forget about our struggles.
We talked in 4 different languages and ended the dinner together with wise words: 'it does not matter if you don't speak a language well, as long as you want to understand'

Song of the day: Paolo Nutini - New Shoes
Great read…. The mix ups are funny, maybe not for your stomach! Would you mind putting the price you are paying for the albergues please, I think you did on some. Thank you helpful .
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 14: Cruce de las Herrerias - Valdesalor (27,7 km)
Hostal olivos charged €15 for a bed, they have mostly twin rooms and one or two singles... The price is no different. The hostal is run down but everything worked. Even the heating went on in the evening. It was a nice mix of truckers and peregrinos. We spent quite some time in the bar as this was the only warm place. Kitchen was open from 20.30 but our group of pilgrims stated that we were really hungry, so they took our order at 19.30 and a plate was in front of us at 20h. The food was good and for €8 to €10 a good deal.

Next morning was cold but sunny and we left after a tostada and a coffee... A pretty tasty tostada this time. 🤭 A beautiful route today... Highlight were the bee-eaters hanging around a little lake just before casas de Don Antonio. We heard bird noises we hadn't heard before (a faint train wistle) and 10 minutes later I spotted them and took some close-ups. Beautiful! 👌
1030923.jpg

Vultures and kites high in the sky, spring flowers in the fields and sleepy old villages. This is proper Spanish countryside. We walked to Valdesalor so we only have 11 km to Cáseras next say to be able to explore this historic town.

Entering Valdesalor we were welcomed by some peregrinos we met before in Hostal Olivos... The arrived some hours before us were resting and enjoying a wine in front of the albergue. A very good, clean and quiet located albergue. You pay only €6 for a bed. Get your sellos (and the key) in the local bar.

We decided to eat together and went to bed right after dinner for a good night of sleep.

Day 15: Valdesalor - Cáseres (12,4 km)

A short day to Cáseres. Not much exciting things to mention. Cáseres is worth a visit and a stroll around. We wrote some postcards to family and enjoyed the sun. We expected DHL to deliver Mar's shoes today but so far they seem delayed... a call confirmed our suspicion. They are still in The Netherlands... great 'express service' 😬

We stay in hotel la castilla. A family-run hotel with grandma helping out in the quiet hours. She speaks the fastest Spanish you can think of and didn't slow down for our dummy-Spanish... We payed 40€ for a double (always call by the way and ask for peregrino price) and that's a good deal for what you get.

Let's hope the shoes arrive tomorrow morning. 🤞

Song of the days: Alan Parsons project - Eye in the sky
 
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jsalt

Jill
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Highlight were the bee-eaters hanging around a little lake just before casas de Don Antonio.
Nice!
I love the bird photos. Am beginning to think I should take a small pair of binoculars on the VdlP with me. We see the European Bee-eater in South Africa in our summer (Europe's winter), and they are so pretty.
Enjoying the music selections too :cool:
 
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WildPlace

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2013, 2015
Via de la Plata 2022
Love the bird pics, hoping to see Bee-eaters in a couple of weeks when i'm walking, your other birds are: Linnet, Greenfinch, Hoopoe, White Stork, Red-legged Partridge, Purple Heron (nice!), Griffon Vulture, Wheatear (with a male Stonechat in the background) and of course the Bee-eater :) (can you tell i'm a birder!)
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 16: Cáceres - Grimaldo (27 km)

We were forced to stay a day more in Cáceres because the super fast and expensive Express service of DHL did not deliver in time. That was a bit frustrating but Cáceres is a nice town to get stuck in. You can visit the Cathedral de Santa Maria and get your credential stamped. Entrance is free of charge for pilgrims. 👍

The stages from Cáceres are a bit messy with closed albergues, very long days and detours. The thorough reader probably noticed that it's not possible to walk in one day to Grimaldo. We cheated. 🤫

We took a taxi to Viaducto del Almonte and proceeded from there. With this we avoided a rainy morning and a very long day. When in Cañaveral we called the only place open in Grimaldo (la posada) but to our surprise they were fully booked. That forced to change our plan and we walked in the albergue of Cañaveral. Also full! What is going on? Holiday week because of Semana Santa? Suddenly loads of people on the road.
The good man told us that the municipal albergue in Grimaldo was actually open and we took a gamble and continued.

We found the albergue in Grimaldo open and they had a few beds left. It's a donativo and it's quite small. There is a bar next door where you get your stamp.
There is a small kitchen with only a microwave. Shower was hot. Only one toilet with a leaking reservoir.

Song of the day: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Slow Cheetah
 
The Way: Through a Field of Stars (audiobook)
A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!

Lynnhardy

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Day 16: Cáseres - Grimaldo (27 km)

We were forced to stay a day more in Cáceres because the super fast and expensive Express service of DHL did not deliver in time. That was a bit frustrating but Cáseras is a nice town to get stuck in. You can visit the Cathedral de Santa Maria and let your credential stamped. Entrance is free of charge for pilgrims. 👍

The stages from Cáseres are a bit messy with closed albergues, very long days and detours. The thorough reader probably noticed that it's not possible to walk in one day to Grimaldo. We cheated. 🤫

We took a taxi to Viaducto del Almonte and proceeded from there. With this we avoided a rainy morning and a very long day. When in Cañaveral we called the only place open in Grimaldo (la posada) but to our surprise they were fully booked. That forced to change our plan and we walked in the albergue of Cañaveral. Also full! What is going on? Holiday week because of Semana Santa? Suddenly loads of people on the road.
The good man told us that the municipal albergue in Grimaldo was actually open and we took a gamble and continued.

We found the albergue in Grimaldo open and they had a few beds left. It's a donativo and it's quite small. There is a bar next door where you get your stamp.
There is a small kitchen with only a microwave. Shower was hot. Only one toilet with a leaking reservoir.

Song of the day: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Slow Cheetah
A long walk after all! Interesting you say municipal as in the Gerald Kelly book it only mentions albergue Turistico de Galisteo private 15 euro to the right of the bar.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
A long walk after all! Interesting you say municipal as in the Gerald Kelly book it only mentions albergue Turistico de Galisteo private 15 euro to the right of the bar.
There are 2 places to stay in Grimaldo. La Posada where I heard very good stories about (but was full) and Albergue de peregrinos de Grimaldo witch just re-opened last week. It's a donativo, don't think it's managed by the municipal.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 17: Grimaldo - Carcaboso (23km + taxi)

We left Grimaldo on a decent time in the morning. Walking down back to the trail you have a beautiful wide view... and did we see the ocean far in the distance? Or was it a fata morgana? A very nice day today, sunny and warm and again pretty Spanish countryside.

Progress was constant and pleasant. Subject of this day were the noumerous fences we had to open and close. It seems I overcame the fysical challenges of the first weeks, I feel good. Mar is not there yet but she does great if you ask me!

We planned the night in Galisteo but we found the albergue fully booked. The hospitalerio was very kind and helpfull and called another place in the village. Also full... It turned out all the accommodation was full. We were a bit late in the day, hungry, and did not want to walk another 10km. Is there a way to get out of here with a taxi maybe? He called for us again and found two beds in albergue Señora Elena im Carcaboso. Yes! 👍

We learned to book ahead in the Semana Santa week.

Song of the day: King of the world - No way out
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 18: Carcaboso - Oliva de Placencia (21 km)

Albergue Señora Elena was fine for €13 we had a single bed. It was fully booked. There is a kitchen to use, and a small sundeck to wash and hang your clothes. They have a supermarket next door and several bars to eat in the village. The caretaker was a bit peculiar not in a bad way. We had nice chats with other peregrinos but went to bed early.

Yes! After a coffee and tostada in a bar we managed to be on the road quite a bit before 9Am. We slowly get into the peregrino rhythm 😉 we see lot's of walkers leave without breakfast... How do they do that? We need some food in our stomach before we start.

We decided to split this stage, 39 km is too much for us. There are some options to shorten:
Call hostal Asturias they pick you up from the Roman Arc site and drop you off the next day at the camino 11km from Aldeanueva or walk extra km to Oliva de Placencia and spent the night there. We did the last... off the camino it's 6km walking next to a road. We got there right before heavy rains.

The albergue is very rustic and well kept with a friendly hospitaleria. Beds were very good and the kitchen great. We finally cooked a meal ourselves again. 😋 The little tienda in the village is super cute. The only bar in town was closed. We payed €20 per bed in a 4bed dorm. Shower was hot. No towels provided.

Day 19: Oliva de Placencia - Aldeanueva (29 km)

This was a weird day. There was a lot of rain in the forcast and we left with gray overcast and expected to get wet. After an hour it started to rain but when we were packed in ponchos it stopped again.

We passed the Roman arc site Cáparra and joined the camino again. Sun came through and we walked in shirts. Then rain again, sun, cold wind, sun, rain... etc so the whole day we were busy putting on layers and then taking them off again. Some crossings of streams were a bit challenging (but doable) with stepping stones missing. But when you go under the highway we could not follow the camino because the stream was too strong with missing stepping stones, but a small detour on the N630 made it no issue. We decided to stay on the N630 to skip a few km.

Tired we walked into Aldeanueva at 16.30. We stay in hostal Montesol. A typical Spanish roadhouse with a messy bar, tiles on the walls, a yelling TV and a broken toilet. The room is fine though, pergrino price was €35. Waiting for dinner.

Song of the days: Greta van Fleet - My way soon
 
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The Way: Through a Field of Stars (audiobook)
A great book to listen to while training for the Camino or to relive the experience!

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Day 18: Carcaboso - Oliva de Placencia (21 km)

Albergue Señora Elena was fine for €13 we had a single bed. It was fully booked. There is a kitchen to use, and a small sundeck to wash and hang your clothes. They have a supermarket next door and several bars to eat in the village. The caretaker was a bit peculiar not in a bad way. We had nice chats with other peregrinos but went to bed early.

Yes! After a coffee and tostada in a bar we managed to be on the road quite a bit before 9Am. We slowly get into the peregrino rhythm 😉 we see lot's of walkers leave without breakfast... How do they do that? We need some food in our stomach before we start.

We decided to split this stage, 39 km is too much for us. There are some options to shorten:
Call hostal Asturias they pick you up from the Roman Arc site and drop you off the next day at the camino 11km from Aldeanueva or walk extra km to Oliva de Placencia and spent the night there. We did the last... off the camino it's 6km walking next to a road. We got there right before heavy rains.

The albergue is very rustic and well kept with a friendly hospitaleria. Beds were very good and the kitchen great. We finally cooked a meal ourselves again. 😋 The little tienda in the village is super cute. The only bar in town was closed. We payed €20 per bed in a 4bed dorm. Shower was hot. No towels provided.

Day 19: Oliva de Placencia - Aldeanueva (29 km)

This was a weird day. There was a lot of rain in the forcast and we left with gray overcast and expected to get wet. After an hour it started to rain but when we were packed in ponchos it stopped again.

We passed the Roman arc site Cáparra and joined the camino again. Sun came through and we walked in shirts. Then rain again, sun, cold wind, sun, rain... etc so the whole day we were busy putting on layers and then taking them off again. Some crossings of streams were a bit challenging (but doable) with stepping stones missing. But when you go under the highway we could not follow the camino because the stream was too strong with missing stepping stones, but a small detour on the N630 made it no issue. We decided to stay on the N630 to skip a few km.

Tired we walked into Aldeanueva at 16.30. We stay in hostal Montesol. A typical Spanish roadhouse with a messy bar, tiles on the walls, a yelling TV and a broken toilet. The room is fine though, pergrino price was €35. Waiting for dinner.

Song of the days: Greta van Fleet - My way soon
I like to leave super early. I usually get something to eat to carry with me. Personally toast and juice is not a breakfast for me and makes my blood sugar soar so I carry cheese, tuna, ham, yogurt or or hardboiled eggs and maybe fruit or or a breakfast bar. I stop for coffee later if there is a place. If there is not a place those who are with me suffer my bad mood until I find some...on the VdlP, that could be a long day...
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 20: Aldeanueva - La calzada de Béjar (24 km)

Can I complain a little about some typical Spanish things I'm a bit annoyed of? I think you can relate to some?
- abscence of vegetables
- wobbly tables
- screaming TV in a bar
- one long pillow on a double bed
- broken toilet and/or shower head
- tostada's
- loud men
- dirty, smelly bar
- mini thin paper napkins
- noisy gambling machines
- undisciplined dogs

Two or three of this we can manage, but if this all comes together in one place (hostal Montesol) ánd very unfriendly lousy service of the staff you can add things up that we can't recommend this place and left us baffled when we fled this place. Oh, and I forget than it smelled like cat piss in their restaurant.

The route is 10 km on the N630 before you enter Baños de Montemayor, a vibrant little village with some touristic appeal. You might want to stock up with food and snacks because in La calzada is no shop. Then you climb higher on an ancient roman road, the landscape changes... more trees, mossy surface and still in winter-mode. It's beautiful again!
Green meadows and views over snowy mountain tops.

The village of La galzada de Béjar only has about 50 inhabitants left and lot of old casas are abandoned. The family who run the albergue trys to get some life back in the village. The albergue is nice (12€ for a bed) and they just renovated the old bar to a clean bar/restaurant. Today they opened the dinner room for peregrinos and we felt extremely welcome. We had a vegetarian (!) menu + wine for €12.

Slowly the weather is getting warmer... We are preparing ourselves for a some sunny summer days.

Song of the day: Diesel - Sausolito summernight
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Can I complain a little about some typical Spanish things I'm a bit annoyed of? I think you can relate to some?
- abscence of vegetables
- wobbly tables
- screaming TV in a bar
- one long pillow on a double bed
- broken toilet and/or shower head
- tostada's
- loud men
- dirty, smelly bar
- mini thin paper napkins
- noisy gambling machines
- undisciplined dogs
Ah yes, the infamous uni-pillow...just when you get comfortable and doze off, your partner jerks it out from under your head...🤬 (I bring a ultra light blow up pillow now and put a scarf over it as a pillow case to avoid the uni-pillow wars.)

Sounds like a lovely environment...(not)🤪
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 21: La calzada de Béjar - Fuenterroble (22 km)

The village was quiet in the morning as we left the albergue early. We had a bad night with 3 loud snoring men around us, 😤 we were tired and grumpy. Luckely the bar served breakfast and after 2 cups of coffee the mood lifted slightly. How do you deal with snoring men? Earplugs were not sufficiënt...

More mountanious landscape, different trees, so different birds. I managed to take some nice shots. It was quite cold, but beautiful clear sky, again we could see the snowy peaks in the distance.

We called ahead to avoid the same group of noisy night stalkers in the next albergue... We found a room in a casa in Fuenterroble. We have a strong suspicion that this house is not much used for peregrinos. Funny... It's like being back in grandma's house. A 'slightly' dated interior to put it mildly.

Tired we sat in the sun in front of the house watching the villagers walk their evening round. Tomorrow a long day to Morille planned.

Song of the day: Madness - Our house
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, '12; Frances, '14; Port, '15; Frances, Norte, Fisterre, '16; Ingles, Fisterre/Muxia '17
Day 21: La calzada de Béjar - Fuenterroble (22 km)

The village was quiet in the morning as we left the albergue early. We had a bad night with 3 loud snoring men around us, 😤 we were tired and grumpy. Luckely the bar served breakfast and after 2 cups of coffee the mood lifted slightly. How do you deal with snoring men? Earplugs were not sufficiënt...

More mountanious landscape, different trees, so different birds. I managed to take some nice shots. It was quite cold, but beautiful clear sky, again we could see the snowy peaks in the distance.

We called ahead to avoid the same group of noisy night stalkers in the next albergue... We found a room in a casa in Fuenterroble. We have a strong suspicion that this house is not much used for peregrinos. Funny... It's like being back in grandma's house. A 'slightly' dated interior to put it mildly.

Tired we sat in the sun in front of the house watching the villagers walk their evening round. Tomorrow a long day to Morille planned.

Song of the day: Madness - Our house
Yeah, snorers can be an issue. After my first Camino in 2012, the Frances, & several albergues with no sleep, we switched to albergues with private rooms or small hotels. On all my caminos since, I only stay in the “famous” albergues (& yes I know there are wonderful ones every where) or if that is the only option available. Ear plugs don’t work for me either. 🥴
Thanks for continuing to post - I’ll be starting there in 10 days!
Buen Camino
 
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MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 22: Fuenterroble - Morille (32 km)

There are two options to this stage. One over the pico de la dueña, the highest point of de vía de la plata, or over the villages of Pedrosillo and Monterrubio. The first options ends at San Pedro de Rosaso but Gronze said the two albergues are closed. In fact they are open we learned from others the next day! The second option ends in Morille and that's what we did.

Sunny and cold when we left... but it warmed up slowly and it was a beautiful day. After 32 km we entered Morille, we did not book the albergue. You register at the only bar that is left here called bar Marcos.

Wise pilgrim, Gronze and Google maps point to the wrong albergue... The municipal one attached to bar Isa is closed. The one open is in a social casa called 'Imprenta Ángel de la Torre' a bed was only €6 but dont expect much. Dormitory was fine with heaters and this night no snoring men. (or women 😉) Toilet and showerroom was quite terrible with cold water and leaking cabin so the floor was covered with 1cm of water and no privacy. No kitchen, just a microwave. In Morille is no store and the bar does not serve breakfast!
Final thing about Morille: there is hardly any mobile service and wifi in albergue failed.

Just two side notes about the previous village Fuenterroble. Two peregrinos reported bedbugs in this albergue. And this village hás a little tienda called Peregrinos (not on google) with good selection of food for on the way. This is the only store until Salamanca! (if you take the Pedrosillo route)
 
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MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 23: Morille - Salamanca (20 km)

This shorter stage was more challenging than we expected. It was hot and not much shade. You mostly walk on gravel roads through farm fields. Entering Salamanca took much longer than expected and we both had no energy this day. Last 2h I developed shin pain and a nasty blister under my left foot.
The sun was beating on our head, no wind.

From the ugly suburbs you suddenly enter the old town over a Roman bridge and that was quite spectacular.

It's easter weekend and the final days of Semana Santa. Lot's of processions in town and we witnessed one yesterday... A very impressive happening. A week ago we booked a hotel (not in the pilgrim list) and glad we booked 3 nights. We need some rest and recovery🤔 it's also Mar's birthday today... We had breakfast with a big piece of chocolate cake.🎂☕ Yes! No tostada.

To be continued...

Song of the days: America - horse with no name
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
A week ago we booked a hotel (not in the pilgrim list) and glad we booked 3 nights. We need some rest and recovery🤔 it's also Mar's birthday today...

Perfect timing — needing some rest and arriving in Salamanca at the same time. Imagine taking three nights in Morille. Though I bet it will be hard for you to resist the urge to walk around what has got to be one of the most beautiful historical centers in Spain.

And a very happy birthday to Mar. A beautiful place to spend a birthday, IMO. Lots of great foodie options too if you are into fancy meals.

Yes, that walk into Salamanca is punishing. First the blazing sun and no shade, and then the endless circumnavigation on asphalt that never seems to get you into the center, until it finally does. But you. made it!

Here’s one sitting suggestion — see how many different times of day you can soak up the beauty of the Plaza Mayor. Though it is beautiful at all times of day, I bet you will find some times more magical than others. Though I don’t wish rain on you, the glistening stones in late afternoon sun after a downpour is my favorite.

I don’t think you’ve told us whether you plan to walk from Zamora up to Astorga on the Francés or to continue on the Sanabrés through Puebla de Sanabria and Ourense. Big decision! And of course no shortage of opinions here on the forum. :D
 

Flatcap

I just love to run
Time of past OR future Camino
2020/2021/2022
Day 23: Morille - Salamanca (20 km)

This shorter stage was more challenging than we expected. It was hot and not much shade. You mostly walk on gravel roads through farm fields. Entering Salamanca took much longer than expected and we both had no energy this day. Last 2h I developed shin pain and a nasty blister under my left foot.
The sun was beating on our head, no wind.

From the ugly suburbs you suddenly enter the old town over a Roman bridge and that was quite spectacular.

It's easter weekend and the final days of Semana Santa. Lot's of processions in town and we witnessed one yesterday... A very impressive happening. A week ago we booked a hotel (not in the pilgrim list) and glad we booked 3 nights. We need some rest and recovery🤔 it's also Mar's birthday today... We had breakfast with a big piece of chocolate cake.🎂☕ Yes! No tostada.

To be continued...

Song of the days: America - horse with no name
Please do the Sanabrés..!! I’m running that Way..!! 👍👍🕺🕺 ( and happy Birthday )
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 24: Salamanca - Calzada de Valdunciel (16 km)

What happened with the weather today? We spent a sunny and warm easter weekend in Salamanca but this morning on the road the thermometer just read 6 degrees Celcius. It was suddenly cold, windy and rainy.

We were able to skim just over 4kg from our bags and sent it to Casa Ivar in Santiago. This included: hiking poles, power bank, headlights, blankets, plates, cutlery and some small stuff. Mar decided about which shoes she would take for the rest of the camino so also one pair of shoes was in the box.

The route wasn't very exciting. Arriving cold in Valdunciel and we warmed up in a restaurant. I called ahead to El cubo del vino to check availability in the only place open there. They did not answer... Unsure what to do we waited a little and asked in a vía de la plata 2022 Whatsapp group if someone was already there and could give us some insight. A quick response said that there were already peregrinos on a matress on the kitchenfloor. That changed our plan and we stayed in La casa del Molinero in Valdunciel. An absolutely fabulous place for pilgrims. A bed in a 4-bed dorm was 14€ and a double €35. Clean spacious and a fantastic kitchen. We were happy to cook a meal ourselves. And had nice chats with the other guests.

Day 25: El cubo del vino - Zamora (35 km)

We cheated a little again... 🤭 Not very excited about the next stage: 20km next to a busy road we called a taxi to get us started from El Cubo del Vino. Several peregrinos told us that was a wise decision. A cold wind from the north today made it again a tough day.

Beautiful but long stage. A good test for our feet and we could experience of the 2kg less would make a difference. I must say that we both felt very good for most part. Legs and feet were allright until a few km before Zamora... now quite tired but we haven't done a 35km stage before so in the end happy about loosing weight. 👍🙂

Tip: So if you don't want to skip a part with a taxi you can also do Valdunciel - villanueva de Campeán (34km) the albergue there is open (Gronze sais closed) and the bar in the village has the key... Friendly owner and good bocadillos with fried eggs.

Song of the days: Free - All right now
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 26: Zamora - Montamarta (20 km)

Zamora is a nice town with a historic Roman center. After the long walk we managed to squeeze some more energy and walked to the cathedral to pay it a visit and get another sello. After we met with some other peregrino's to have a meal together we went to bed early and fell in a deep sleep.

We stayed in hostal Chiqui for €45 for a double. Very new and comfortable. The stage today wasn't very excited but not bad either we had a stop in Roales del pan for a drink and a bocadillo.

We went to the Albergue de peregrinos de Montamarta, it's a few hundred meters before the village. Lots of effort was taken to upgrade the place. Fresh paint, new furniture, adequate kitchen and the place was clean. €5 is a very good value for what you get. Unfortunately the heating was shut off and the night was very cold.

Day 27: Montamarta - Granja de Moreruela (25 km)
Just a very wet and kind of miserable day. The camino winds around the highway on gravel roads. We had heavy rains for most of the day. We did not talk much.

Lot of time to reflect. Did your family back home ever ask you why you walk the Camino? Neither of our familiy did, it's maybe hard to comprehend what we are doing. At leat I feel a bit sad that my family shows very little interest.

It's a milestone today. We started the 22 of March so that's means we are a month in. Mar never expected to get this far and today I told her again that I'm proud or her... and of us of course. 👍

We arrived in Granja de moreruela and had a warm shower in the albergue. You register and pay €6 in the bar. Time to make a big decision... Sanabres or Frances. We won't flip a coin. As this is our very first camino we decided to take the route to the Frances to experience a bit more of the busy camino life.

Song of the day: Garberage - I'm only happy when it rains
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Day 26: Zamora - Montamarta (20 km)

Zamora is a nice town with a historic Roman center. After the long walk we managed to squeeze some more energy and walked to the cathedral to pay it a visit and get another sello. After we met with some other peregrino's to have a meal together we went to bed early and fell in a deep sleep.

We stayed in hostal Chiqui for €45 for a double. Very new and comfortable. The stage today wasn't very excited but not bad either we had a stop in Roales del pan for a drink and a bocadillo.

We went to the Albergue de peregrinos de Montamarta, it's a few hundred meters before the village. Lots of effort was taken to upgrade the place. Fresh paint, new furniture, adequate kitchen and the place was clean. €5 is a very good value for what you get. Unfortunately the heating was shut off and the night was very cold.

Day 27: Montamarta - Granja de Moreruela (25 km)
Just a very wet and kind of miserable day. The camino winds around the highway on gravel roads. We had heavy rains for most of the day. We did not talk much.

Lot of time to reflect. Did your family back home ever ask you why you walk the Camino? Neither of our familiy did, it's maybe hard to comprehend what we are doing. At leat I feel a bit sad that my family shows very little interest.

It's a milestone today. We started the 22 of March so that's means we are a month in. Mar never expected to get this far and today I told her again that I'm proud or her... and of us of course. 👍

We arrived in Granja de moreruela and had a warm shower in the albergue. You register and pay €6 in the bar. Time to make a big decision... Sanabres or Frances. We won't flip a coin. As this is our very first camino we decided to take the route to the Frances to experience a bit more of the busy camino life.

Song of the day: Garberage - I'm only happy when it rains
You'll find it a shocker after coming off the Via de la Plata to the Frances! You'll have to let us know which you like the best.
 

Babyboomergirl

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017
Primitivo 2018
Finisterre/Muxía 2018
Norte 2019
Lot of time to reflect. Did your family back home ever ask you why you walk the Camino? Neither of our familiy did, it's maybe hard to comprehend what we are doing. At leat I feel a bit sad that my family shows very little interest.
It was the same for our family and friends.
I think it’s very much a personal journey which only those who have walked a camino will understand.
Then try and explain why you want to walk a second .. or a third ..or a fourth !

I’ve enjoyed followed your honest live updates and hope you enjoy the extra company and all the coffee stops along the Camino Frances.
 

MrWr1TeR

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Day 28: Granja de Moreruela - eehhh.... Tábara (27 km)

Surprise! We changed our mind 🤭 what a night of sleep can do... It sometimes gives little insights of what you didn't see the day before. I put it on the table while having breakfast in the bar.

I dó value the relative quietness of the VdlP. We walk now with some pilgrims we feel connected with... We usually walk our own pace but meet again in the village to have a drink, meal and conversations. No crowded dorms and no stress about a bed. Last, the connection to Astorga did not look nice, bad albergues, closed ones and expensive hotels as only alternative. We came to conclusion we are happy with this camino rhythm and who knows we will walk the Francés another time.

There was no gift from the weather Gods for our decision, no sun or pleasant weather. We faced a brutal cold and strong west wind... Apart for a small part in the beginning where we walked on an actual hiking path with the shelter of trees, we had to battle on open fields against the wind.

We made it to Tábara and although feet and legs are fine lately, I think I haven't been this tired after a day of walking. Off for a nap 🥱

Song of the way: Bob Seger - Against the wind
 
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