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2019 Camino Guides

VdlP in January tips

Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese, sections of Northern, Portuguese, Mozarabic.
#1
I have been putting together some memories of the VdlP which I walked earlier in the year. I've spent a fair bit of time on this, and thought I might as well share them for the benefit of others who may be planning to walk in January. I'll add the rest in instalments over the next few days.
  • Getting a credencial in Seville was not easy especially as we arrived on a weekend, and Spanish opening/closing times are hard to negotiate. The Cathedral staff (security guard?) didn't seem to know about availability of credencials, but were happy to get me a cathedral stamp. Again, getting into the cathedral without paying is not easy, I think we went into the public chapel part of it early morning for the stamp.
  • We ended up getting our credencial from Hotel Simon. It was a pretty shabby version though (and I've got many credencias) as one whole side had a map of the Camino de France, which was useless for the VdlP, and the side for stamping was not big enough for a Camino of this length (plus I like getting lots of stamps).
  • The helpful people at the Merida Albergue further on, sell cheaply the official Credencial. I'm guessing most people would need at least 2 crecencials for such a long journey.
  • We stayed in Seville at Casa Palacio Don Pedro C/Gerona 24, which was a very reasonable price, very friendly and central, highly recommended (a much more friendly place than staff at Casa Simon when we went there to buy the credencial).
  • We stayed the first night at Santiponce, so as to not overdo the first day, and to see the Roman ruins and monastery, all of which were wonderful. I reckon not to be missed.
  • The Hotel Anfiteatro Romano at Santiponce was excellent, reasonably priced, opposite the entrance to the ruins and had good meals. Lots of bars and restaurants in that town.
  • Guillena: the Municipal Hostel was great, good kitchen, the bar next door gave us a great lunch and was very friendly. We got quite lost trying to find it though. I'm guessing most people use the private albergue - as you go past it on arrival into town, which is a shame - my friend and I were the only ones at the Municipal, while about 6 others were in the private.
  • Castilblanco: the municipal albergue was closed in late January. Lots of walking around the town looking for somewhere to stay. The Casa Salvadora on the Avenida España was excellent, quite a few private rooms, very clean and comfortable, very friendly, cheap.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
#3
I have been putting together some memories of the VdlP which I walked earlier in the year. I've spent a fair bit of time on this, and thought I might as well share them for the benefit of others who may be planning to walk in January. I'll add the rest in instalments over the next few days.
  • Getting a credencial in Seville was not easy especially as we arrived on a weekend, and Spanish opening/closing times are hard to negotiate. The Cathedral staff (security guard?) didn't seem to know about availability of credencials, but were happy to get me a cathedral stamp. Again, getting into the cathedral without paying is not easy, I think we went into the public chapel part of it early morning for the stamp.
  • We ended up getting our credencial from Hotel Simon. It was a pretty shabby version though (and I've got many credencias) as one whole side had a map of the Camino de France, which was useless for the VdlP, and the side for stamping was not big enough for a Camino of this length (plus I like getting lots of stamps).
  • The helpful people at the Merida Albergue further on, sell cheaply the official Credencial. I'm guessing most people would need at least 2 crecencials for such a long journey.
  • We stayed in Seville at Casa Palacio Don Pedro C/Gerona 24, which was a very reasonable price, very friendly and central, highly recommended (a much more friendly place than staff at Casa Simon when we went there to buy the credencial).
  • We stayed the first night at Santiponce, so as to not overdo the first day, and to see the Roman ruins and monastery, all of which were wonderful. I reckon not to be missed.
  • The Hotel Anfiteatro Romano at Santiponce was excellent, reasonably priced, opposite the entrance to the ruins and had good meals. Lots of bars and restaurants in that town.
  • Guillena: the Municipal Hostel was great, good kitchen, the bar next door gave us a great lunch and was very friendly. We got quite lost trying to find it though. I'm guessing most people use the private albergue - as you go past it on arrival into town, which is a shame - my friend and I were the only ones at the Municipal, while about 6 others were in the private.
  • Castilblanco: the municipal albergue was closed in late January. Lots of walking around the town looking for somewhere to stay. The Casa Salvadora on the Avenida España was excellent, quite a few private rooms, very clean and comfortable, very friendly, cheap.
I'm off in Feb so looking forward to your follow up information.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese, sections of Northern, Portuguese, Mozarabic.
#5
Great info! What does "resonably priced" or "cheap" amount to?
I'll look up the info later, but I need to do everything on a budget and usually use albergues, so a hotel room would need to be less than 15 Euro for me, I shared a room with my friend, so that's probably around what we paid each, and I think there was pilgrim rates. I've often stayed in lovely pensions on Caminos - when I needed a break - for around 15 Euro. I think the one at Catilblanco a little further on may have been less.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Fistera (2015), Leon to Fistera (2016), CF, Salvadore, Primitivo (2017), CF run/walk 2018
#6
I'll look up the info later, but I need to do everything on a budget and usually use albergues, so a hotel room would need to be less than 15 Euro for me.
That's my kindda 'reasonable"! Thanks. I'm toying with a very early season VdlP so might need to use hotels now and then...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino VDLP april (april2019)
#9
We are starting (we think) 1 st of April 19. We have had a fleeting look at the Camino to Salamanca, as we are meeting someone there. We also think we want lots of time to stop and enjoy the towns. If we take 4 weeks, is that reasonable? We would hate to find out we missed something significant or interesting... From all I have seen so far is most people get to Salamanca much quicker. Then we have whatever it takes to get to SdC.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#10
@P Rat
If you are considering four weeks just to walk from Seville to Salamanca, that time is generous. I figure my time according to the distance and how far I want to walk on an average day. There are 500 km from Seville to Salamanca and I walked them in 24 days from Seville, averaging 20 km a day, which is fairly leisurely. Just divide 500 by how many km you want to walk in a day, then play around with the distances between available albergues, or your preferred accommodation. You will have to walk a few longer days, around 30 km, but there are many shorter days possible, to rest and spend more time looking around. And of course you can work in days off if you wish. Buen camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese, sections of Northern, Portuguese, Mozarabic.
#11
We are starting (we think) 1 st of April 19. We have had a fleeting look at the Camino to Salamanca, as we are meeting someone there. We also think we want lots of time to stop and enjoy the towns. If we take 4 weeks, is that reasonable? We would hate to find out we missed something significant or interesting... From all I have seen so far is most people get to Salamanca much quicker. Then we have whatever it takes to get to SdC.
I think 4 weeks is reasonable, I took about that time, and had a few rest/exploring/short days mixed in there. There are beautiful towns and areas to walk through and I tend to spend time enjoying and exploring. I would really encourage you to do that too. The people I met who explored and didn't race everywhere seemed to be happier.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Vía de la Plata 2019
#12
Thank you so much for the tips!
I went to Hotel Simon to buy the credentials for me and my sister in advance to start the vdlp at the end of March 2019. Not really handy to have one with the camino Frances map on the back and too little room for stamps. So the one in the Merida Albergue (where please?) is different? Or am I misunderstanding?
Looking forward to the rest of your tips!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
#13
Thank you so much for the tips!
I went to Hotel Simon to buy the credentials for me and my sister in advance to start the vdlp at the end of March 2019. Not really handy to have one with the camino Frances map on the back and too little room for stamps. So the one in the Merida Albergue (where please?) is different? Or am I misunderstanding?
Looking forward to the rest of your tips!
If you get the credential from Ivar then it has all the camino routes on the back.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#14
I bought two credencials at Hotel Simon before beginning my VdlP. I expected to need two, as the VdlP is longer than the routes that I walked previously. I got a discount on the second, as they did not seem to have change where they kept the credencials. I found it convenient to be able to purchase them there. There were 40 spaces in their credencials, so one would not be enough for walking the VdlP. I liked having different and distinctive credencials for that route. I didn't notice the map on the back, as I was not relying on the credencial for map information. I also stayed there and found the room comfortable, the location convenient, and the pilgrim price reasonable.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese, sections of Northern, Portuguese, Mozarabic.
#15
Thank you so much for the tips!
I went to Hotel Simon to buy the credentials for me and my sister in advance to start the vdlp at the end of March 2019. Not really handy to have one with the camino Frances map on the back and too little room for stamps. So the one in the Merida Albergue (where please?) is different? Or am I misunderstanding?
Looking forward to the rest of your tips!
Hi Just Karin, thanks. To be fair, H Simon may have been using up old ones, and may have new ones by now. I don't use the basic maps on the back of credencials, but their one was a real waste of space, and not even the Camino I was walking. I like collecting lots of stamps (btw the local town halls and government buildings all the way through had lovely stamps). The Mérida municipal albergue is at Molino de Pan Caliente, a beautiful old mill by the river. The ones that they sell are I think the official ones now - like the one in the picture on Ivar's Camino Passport tab.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino VDLP april (april2019)
#16
thanks all for the helpful responses. It puts our mind at ease to know we allocated enough time for the first 500Km!
We are very keen to start, and have last week completed the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail as preparation (160 km from Yarraman to Wulkurakka, Qld, Australia)....to iron out any issues.
All went well, except we had to pick freak week. A week in Spring that gets unseasonably hot. So we walked in 35-39C heat. 24-40km/day. Was not fun. Starting in April in Sevilla I am confident the heat won't be quite that bad even if they have a warm change! My companions coped, a few blisters but nothing that couldn't be dealt with. I had to stop halfway, because of blisters as well. I am now also minus 2 toenails....I am convinced it was mostly the heat, and secondly: shoes. While they started off, when purchased, by being a 1.5 bigger than my regular size, by the time my orthotics were adjusted, they were fitting normally. The heat then did the rest. Very sorry I did not pack normal sneakers as backup! (I did wear thin sockliners and merino wool socks. Individual toes in the liners, not sure if this contributed. Being a rail trail we started high and most days ended up on lesser elevation. Ie: maily very gradual downhill walking...not ideal!) So back to the drawing board re shoes. I am thinking trail runners, which is what my podiatrist recommended in the first place. Note to self: listen to the experts.
Also: perhaps only 1 walking pole as I really didn't like walking with both on a reasonably flattish terrain. Pack was great, and I'll never ever never walk with a hat again....haha! Darn thing just got in the way, I can't work out how others tolerate the catching on pack and branches....visor it is.
Anyway, just keen to share our experience on this forum, if I have bored you to dead, sorry and RIP...
Oh, and thanks for the tip re a 2nd credential, but I presume they are available all along the way?
Keep up the good work fellow peregrino/as. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Vía de la Plata 2019
#17
Well P, at least you didn’t bore me, your style of writing is quite entertaining 😊
Thanks for sharing. I just made plans to start a week test-camino around where I live in The Netherlands. There are some routes from here to Santiago, and when I pick a route in the south part of our tiny little country, the conditions according to at least gravel roads and steepness are a bit similar. Just a bit ...
altitude is about 100 meters instead of 1000. A difference of one zero is nothing, right? 😂
Sorry to hear about your nails. That is the reason I am looking at ankle high trail shoes - to be able to hold the feet in the back of the shoe when walking downhill. I have Salomon trailrunners but they don’t do that. What makes me a bit anxious to use them on the Vdlp. I ordered Hoka, two Decathlon ones and Salomon (because I’m addicted to Salomon).
Let’s see what will feel good :)
Buen camino fellow peregrino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino VDLP april (april2019)
#18
Well P, at least you didn’t bore me, your style of writing is quite entertaining 😊
Thanks for sharing. I just made plans to start a week test-camino around where I live in The Netherlands. There are some routes from here to Santiago, and when I pick a route in the south part of our tiny little country, the conditions according to at least gravel roads and steepness are a bit similar. Just a bit ...
altitude is about 100 meters instead of 1000. A difference of one zero is nothing, right? 😂
Sorry to hear about your nails. That is the reason I am looking at ankle high trail shoes - to be able to hold the feet in the back of the shoe when walking downhill. I have Salomon trailrunners but they don’t do that. What makes me a bit anxious to use them on the Vdlp. I ordered Hoka, two Decathlon ones and Salomon (because I’m addicted to Salomon).
Let’s see what will feel good :)
Buen camino fellow peregrino!
If you say south of the Netherlands: Noord Brabant? Limburg? We are originally from Tilburg! Left in 1986.
Re the locking down your heel in low shoes on a downhill: have you tried a lace lock? Google it, much easier than me trying to explain...(I have all my trainers laced like that because I am so kacky footed.) Buen Camino sisters!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Vía de la Plata 2019
#19
If you say south of the Netherlands: Noord Brabant? Limburg? We are originally from Tilburg! Left in 1986.
Re the locking down your heel in low shoes on a downhill: have you tried a lace lock? Google it, much easier than me trying to explain...(I have all my trainers laced like that because I am so kacky footed.) Buen Camino sisters!
Hi P,
There is one part starting from the catherdral in ‘s-Herthogenbosch, up to Visé in Belgium I think, indeed through Brabant and Limburg :)
Yes I know the lacelock thank you. It’s more the way those lower shoes are built - the opening for your foot makes it possible to move back and front just a little. The lace lock makes my feet go numb and still possible to move. If you know what I mean ... I might be not totally clear but I don’t know a better way to explain 😅
Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino VDLP april (april2019)
#20
Hi P,
There is one part starting from the catherdral in ‘s-Herthogenbosch, up to Visé in Belgium I think, indeed through Brabant and Limburg :)
Yes I know the lacelock thank you. It’s more the way those lower shoes are built - the opening for your foot makes it possible to move back and front just a little. The lace lock makes my feet go numb and still possible to move. If you know what I mean ... I might be not totally clear but I don’t know a better way to explain 😅
Buen camino!
]

All good Karin, I understood and do agree. They only solve the problem sometimes. When we still lived in the Netherlands we used to walk to DenBosch.....that times 40 should get me to Santiago by May. :)
 

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