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VdlP -Sevilla to Mérida and back to Sevilla in 7 days - is it possible?

Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Advice please from those who have walked the first stretch of the VdlP. Unfortunately due to the chance that they may or may not be Spanish Airport strikes across Spain at Easter, I took the decision to cancel my beloved 11 day trip starting at Sevilla, getting to Mérida and then back to Sevilla to fly back to Dublin on day 12. I now have 2 options, to delay to next April or try the impossible and go in May but with only 7 days to walk from Mérida to Sevilla and get the bus back to Sevilla. I am looking at Gronze and know I can probably combine the day to Almaden (first 16k by taxi as most folk do), by walking on to Real de la Jara. Are there any other options of getting from Real de la Jara to Mérida in 4 days or am I just clutching at straws trying to get my trip organised as soon as possible, and my sensible head should be saying," leave it to next year!"
Be honest with me, I think I am trying to do the impossible?
The good news is I am hopefully going back in Sept to walk from Zamora to Santiago, but I think to add on the Sevilla to Mérida before that would mean I end up walking in August and by all accounts that could be simply too hot to walk?
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
It may not be impossible if you are used to long daily stages but it would be a big physical challenge. The Godesalco planner reckons it is 217km. I normally average about 30km per day on a long distance walk and I think I took 8 days over the same section including one night sleeping outdoors in a bivvy bag. Not something I would consider myself with only 7 days including return travel to Seville.
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Thanks @Bradypus , I think I just needed reminding of what a challenge it would be.
I know it will be more practical and wiser to leave it to next April, but not book over the Easter Holidays again as it seems a popular time for threatened strikes!!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I would leave the Sevilla to Mérida part for another time, just as you seem to be thinking. But, hey there are lots of other 7 day segments you could walk in May. :) Bilbao to Aguilar on the Olvidado is one that jumps to mind. Or a good chunk of the Invierno from Ponferrada. And then of course, the Salvador! Or how about the lovely lovely Baztán! Bayonne to Pamplona in 5 days and with 7 days you could do what we did, which is meet up in Irún, walk north along the coast to St. Jean, and then bus over to Bayonne.

Buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
I would leave the Sevilla to Mérida part for another time, just as you seem to be thinking. But, hey there are lots of other 7 day segments you could walk in May. :) Bilbao to Aguilar on the Olvidado is one that jumps to mind. Or a good chunk of the Invierno from Ponferrada. And then of course, the Salvador! Or how about the lovely lovely Baztán! Bayonne to Pamplona in 5 days and with 7 days you could do what we did, which is meet up in Irún, walk north along the coast to St. Jean, and then bus over to Bayonne.

Buen camino, Laurie
Laurie, gosh thank you I hadn't thought of "alternatives"! I am so grateful, I will definitely look at that. Where did you fly into for the Baztan? Bilbao is a real possibility as I can get there from Dublin.
Oh Laurie thank you so much!! x
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Laurie, which of the suggestions you gave given would you suggest for May and walking solo? I have walked the wonderful Salvador and would love to try a new road?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I think I agree with @Nuala, the Baztán is fabuloso. And with a week, you could add on a bit more. I think we all flew in to San Sebastián, whose airport is actually in Irún and is about a 20 minute walk into downtown. Options for the night are the new Irún albergue, hotel or pensión in Irún, or what @Nuala did, a night in a little old stone hotel with lots of flowerpots in Hondarribia, about a 5 minute bus ride from Irún. Then getting to Bayonne from there is easy. We took the coastal walk as far as St. Jean de Luz and then got on a bus, but you could also go up to Biarritz and easily get to Bayonne from there. You may have already been to Bayonne, but I hadn’t and it is really a beautiful small city.

It will be a lonely walk, I assume, we walked in June and only saw a couple other pilgrims here and there. For more company, you could try the Portugués from Tui or the Inglés, both short options that would work with your time frame.

Or, if the coast is your thing, some days on the Ruta dos Faros including Muxia and Finisterre and back to Santiago!

The first week of the Olvidado, Bilbao to Aguilar de Campoo, has a lot of asphalt, but a lot of it is on bidegoris, the Basque word for bike path. I have Ender´s Olvidado guide translated and am just waiting for him to get back home so he can take a look and then make an English version. With Omicko’s list of accommodations and services, that would be all you would need. I do think that traffic is starting to pick up on the Olvidado, but it wouldn’t have anywhere near the traffic of the Inglés or Portugués.

Always fun to be obsessing about which camino to walk!
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
I think I agree with @Nuala, the Baztán is fabuloso. And with a week, you could add on a bit more. I think we all flew in to San Sebastián, whose airport is actually in Irún and is about a 20 minute walk into downtown. Options for the night are the new Irún albergue, hotel or pensión in Irún, or what @Nuala did, a night in a little old stone hotel with lots of flowerpots in Hondarribia, about a 5 minute bus ride from Irún. Then getting to Bayonne from there is easy. We took the coastal walk as far as St. Jean de Luz and then got on a bus, but you could also go up to Biarritz and easily get to Bayonne from there. You may have already been to Bayonne, but I hadn’t and it is really a beautiful small city.

It will be a lonely walk, I assume, we walked in June and only saw a couple other pilgrims here and there. For more company, you could try the Portugués from Tui or the Inglés, both short options that would work with your time frame.

Or, if the coast is your thing, some days on the Ruta dos Faros including Muxia and Finisterre and back to Santiago!

The first week of the Olvidado, Bilbao to Aguilar de Campoo, has a lot of asphalt, but a lot of it is on bidegoris, the Basque word for bike path. I have Ender´s Olvidado guide translated and am just waiting for him to get back home so he can take a look and then make an English version. With Omicko’s list of accommodations and services, that would be all you would need. I do think that traffic is starting to pick up on the Olvidado, but it wouldn’t have anywhere near the traffic of the Inglés or Portugués.

Always fun to be obsessing about which camino to walk!
Thanks again, my head is now spinning!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Total change of plan now. Camino Baztán for 6 days in a couple of weeks and all being well, a couple of weeks in April next year on the VdlP but initially taking in Cordoba on one of the Easter days. I still have Zamora to Santiago to look forward to in Sept, all being well.
Life is good.
Thanks Nuala and Laurie, inspiring advice!
 

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