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VDLP - How it differs from Francés- Starting Jan 15

Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk july 15
#1
Hello,

Booked my ticket to Seville and will start a 3 week pilgrimage to Salamanca and then complete the second part on my next adventure to Santiago.

I begin on the 15th of January and I suspect I will be alone?

Does anyone have any tips on what to expect comparing to Francés?

Are there pilgrim menus? What can I expect to face cost/conditions wise? All tips gratefully received!
 

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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#2
I begin on the 15th of January and I suspect I will be alone?

Does anyone have any tips on what to expect comparing to Francais?

Are there pilgrim menus? What can I expect to face cost/conditions wise? All tips gratefully received!
I walked from Sevilla to Puerto de Bejar in October and will be returning in January to start again where I left off. I will be ahead of you but moving very slowly so you may catch up with me :) It is a very different route from the CF. Long stages with much fewer accommodation options. There are pilgrim menus in the towns and villages along the way. In the middle of winter you may not see any other pilgrims for a day or two at a time. Not all that busy even in the popular October period. Costs are pretty similar to the Frances for albergues, food and drink. Expect most of the albergues to be smaller than those on the Frances and do not assume that they will provide meals - find those at the nearest bar. Check out carefully that where you plan to stay the next night is actually open - some places may be closed over the winter and the next one may be a long way off. I believe the longest stretch on the CF between accommodation is now 17km. On the VDLP it is over 30km. A big difference. Be sure to carry some food and plenty of water as gaps of 10km and more without water sources are not unusual.
 

polsmith63

Paul The Dub
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013/4, Del Norte 2013/4 & 2016, Ingles 2013 & 2017, Primitivo 2016 & 2017,
VDLP (2018)
#3
Sarah I plan to start walking from Sevilla on 10 January 2018. Like you I have given myself 3 weeks to reach Salamanca. Our paths may cross at some stage.

Buen Camino
 
#4
Hello,

Booked my ticket to Seville and will start a 3 week pilgrimage to Salamanca and then complete the second part on my next adventure to Santiago.

I begin on the 15th of January and I suspect I will be alone?

Does anyone have any tips on what to expect comparing to Francais?

Are there pilgrim menus? What can I expect to face cost/conditions wise? All tips gratefully received!
Yes the VDLP is very different. Longer stages at times, rugged, albergues are varied in quality and I found it to be just a bit more expensive. Very few cafes and many of the smaller towns don’t have shops. We had to carry a bit of food with us sometimes. I downloaded an app called Via de la Plata Basic and Sanabres Premium-VERY helpful. The VDLP is fabulous, tough but fabulous. You will love it. The history and the Roman stuff along the way is mind blowing. Pilgrim menues everywhere.
I went in sept/oct and you can read my blog if you want https:// margaretcaffyn.com.au
 

MileHighPair

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2014: Cam. Frances
2015: Chimayo, USA.
2016, 2017: VdlP
2018: Madrid and Ourense
#5

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J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July CF
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#6
We are here now as hospitaleros in Zamora. We've had very few pilgrims this month. The most pilgrims we've had in the last week in one night is 2 and earlier in the month the most in one night was only six.

There is a long stage outside of Salamanca per some of the pilgrims (more than 30 kilometers) and after Zamora the next albergue is closed making it about 32 kilometers to the next stop. Two who stayed with us earlier this week sent a text saying the one 32 kilometers north was under renovation so there was no heat and they were cold. I would look at the Gronze site to identify which facilities will be open all year. It seems very accurate.

Good luck to you!
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#7
Will start in later June for June and July on VDLP and Sanabres. Any advice? How many days will be needed if average 25k?

I have done French road from St. Jean in June/July in 2013

Thank you!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#10
Thank you! If buying the premium apps, is G Kelley's book still needed?
I walked from Sevilla to Bejar in October and will be returning next week to walk another stage. I used the free condensed PDF version of Mr Kelly's guide and the Eroski and Gronze mobile websites. I also had Maps.me on my phone with maps and a gps track downloaded for offline use if needed (it rarely was!). I did not feel any need for a printed guidebook. The Eroski and Gronze websites have complementary strengths - Eroski is better on outline maps and background historical and cultural information, while Gronze has more comprehensive accommodation lists including private rooms. Neither is in English but if Spanish is a problem for you then viewing them through translation software works pretty well - I like the built-in translation offered by the Google Chrome browser.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#11
I walked from Sevilla to Bejar in October and will be returning next week to walk another stage. I used the free condensed PDF version of Mr Kelly's guide and the Eroski and Gronze mobile websites. I also had Maps.me on my phone with maps and a gps track downloaded for offline use if needed (it rarely was!). I did not feel any need for a printed guidebook. The Eroski and Gronze websites have complementary strengths - Eroski is better on outline maps and background historical and cultural information, while Gronze has more comprehensive accommodation lists including private rooms. Neither is in English but if Spanish is a problem for you then viewing them through translation software works pretty well - I like the built-in translation offered by the Google Chrome browser.
Thank you so much, these two websites are super helpful. Last camino I carried no phone, no hard copy map or book, only Kelly’s ebook, a profile map for the French road and list of Albergues given by the Pilgrim office, completely relied on the road sign. It had no problem. However my daily average was not near 30+. Since some of the stages are long on this road, potentially I may need to call to check the availability of the Albergues, I am going to bring a smartphone. I like the contents on these two websites, all essential information. You are right, it is sufficient, if checking on it a day before to make sure you have internet access.

How is the connection or signals on this route? Are you able to access while walking? Which phone carrier you used? Got a data plan?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#12
How is the connection or signals on this route? Are you able to access while walking? Which phone carrier you used? Got a data plan?
In spring 2017 I had a 30-day visitor's plan with Lebara (owned by Vodafone) with several GB data. It served me well and I don't remember ever finding myself without a signal, from Seville to Astorga.
 
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Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#13
I am British and my phone network is the 3 UK network. In Spain the partner networks seem to be Movistar, Orange and Yoigo - roaming automatically between them. Coverage is very good with few dead spots. As roaming charges for EU customers have been abolished I no longer need a special data or calls package for Spain.
 

Momonne

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primtivo, Portuguese, VDLP
#14
Also used Lebara, bought SIM at the Malaga airport main hall as I was heading out to catch the bus. Always had covereage when needed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#15
I am British and my phone network is the 3 UK network. In Spain the partner networks seem to be Movistar, Orange and Yoigo - roaming automatically between them. Coverage is very good with few dead spots. As roaming charges for EU customers have been abolished I no longer need a special data or calls package for Spain.
Thank you Bradypus, you have mentioned about your own home network and no roaming charge.

The T-Mobile simple choice plan I have from US also has partners with Movistar and Orange I believe, so the good news is that I may not need to buy a local SIM card. Only calls are US $.20 per minute, guess more than local rate.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#17
Thank you Bradypus, you have mentioned about your own home network and no roaming charge.

The T-Mobile simple choice plan I have from US also has partners with Movistar and Orange I believe, so the good news is that I may not need to buy a local SIM card. Only calls are US $.20 per minute, guess more than local rate.
Just to be clear - I have no roaming charges for calls because both Spain and my home country are part of the EU. Those from the US and other non-EU countries may face steep roaming costs - that depends on their own mobile network.
 

Oravasaari

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Fistera (2015), Leon to Fistera (2016), CF, Salvadore, Primitivo (2017), CF run/walk 2018
#18
I'm headed for Seville sometime towards the end of February or early March! Don't plan on taking any guide books (a bad habit from more trod routes maybe? ). Will go Seville - Astorga - Leon then caminos Salvador and Primitivo just to add a dog-leg or two...in the camino veteran style of "not" trying to get to Santiago too soon...

Edit - New avatar - New Keen boots, Love 'em. Like slippers from first day...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk july 15
#19
Update to this:

I've hired a bike from Triana Backpackers, and as I only have around 20 days, have decided to bike it up to Santiago and become, for the first time, a bicigrino. It seems like the Via de la Plata is well suited to bikes (apart from a few diversions around the flooded areas) but unfortunately there's a fair amount of snow hanging around Northern areas atm!

Hopefully, I'll get to see x3 the pilgrims by cycling the route instead even if it is to wave a cheery hello!

I'm learning as much as I can about bike maintenance and the doos and don'ts of being a bicigrino. This will be my 5th camino, but first on the via de la plata! Super excited.... 6 days to go!

Any tips then on being a cyclist on camino (how many stamps per day do you need/any essentials for the pack/how many kms a day is good to get going etc?) also gratefully received!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk july 15
#20
Sarah I plan to start walking from Sevilla on 10 January 2018. Like you I have given myself 3 weeks to reach Salamanca. Our paths may cross at some stage.

Buen Camino
If all goes to plan, I'll cycle past you somewhere around Merida I guess!
 

Momonne

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primtivo, Portuguese, VDLP
#21
Update to this:

I've hired a bike from Triana Backpackers, and as I only have around 20 days, have decided to bike it up to Santiago and become, for the first time, a bicigrino.
Any tips then on being a cyclist on camino (how many stamps per day do you need/any essentials for the pack/how many kms a day is good to get going etc?) also gratefully received!!!
Sarah, you might be interested in looking up videos from De rutas y sendas on Youtube. They makes videos of all their stages on a number of Caminos and they cycled VDLP last year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk july 15
#22
Sarah, you might be interested in looking up videos from De rutas y sendas on Youtube. They makes videos of all their stages on a number of Caminos and they cycled VDLP last year.
Aha! Just found and subscribed - that’s my viewing for tomorrow sorted! Thank you!!! Super useful
 

Oravasaari

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Fistera (2015), Leon to Fistera (2016), CF, Salvadore, Primitivo (2017), CF run/walk 2018
#23
If it is really wet with claggy mud it could get a bit tough and slow going with a bike? Would be easy peasy in dryer months though.
 
#24
Hello,

Booked my ticket to Seville and will start a 3 week pilgrimage to Salamanca and then complete the second part on my next adventure to Santiago.

I begin on the 15th of January and I suspect I will be alone?

Does anyone have any tips on what to expect comparing to Francés?

Are there pilgrim menus? What can I expect to face cost/conditions wise? All tips gratefully received!
Read Ailsa Piper’s book called Sinning Across Spain.
 

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