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VDLP - Will beginning Sept. 4 or Oct. 4 make any difference?

2020 Camino Guides

Tom Egelandså

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 3 times (2004,2011,2012)
Hi,
Will it make much of a difference if I start my walk from Seville September 12 or October 4? I`m mostly thinking about the amount of fellow pilgrims and if mid September might be the busiest time all year for beginning in Seville. Will beginning October 4 reduce the chances considerably of the alburgues being full but still be others a long the way to socialise with?
Thanks!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I began my VdlP from Seville on October 3, two years ago. There were lots of people on the route at the beginning, but a majority dropped out and few of us made it to Santiago. I had no issues with albergues closing for the winter, which tends to happen on other caminos. But my major challenge was heat. The temperature on the VdlP was in the mid 30's until Salamanca, halfway to Santiago. If I walk it again, I shall certainly start later.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
As falcon said, it's cooler in October.
I don't think of crowding as a major consideration on VDLP - I know that albergues can fill up but it's not a daily bed race. If you do find that there's a bubble of pilgrims, stop for a day and you'll be out of the crowd.
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
in 2010, I was on VDLP 25Oct -23Nov and met only 6 pilgrims. With my poor Spanish it was by far my most difficult Camino--few markets were open for self-catering, almost no open restaurants, many albergues were locked and I had to scout around the town to find the key. Plenty of sideways rain as well.
I loved the solitude..................but not the GORP.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
As others have stated, the challenge on the VDLP is not terrain (meaning ups and downs) as much as it is being able to walk day after day with fewer towns, places to stop, restaurants and most importantly other pilgrims. It's still pretty lonely. English is not as widely spoken as on the Frances. That said, it was an enjoyable experience. I can only speak of Seville to Salamanca (doing the next part in May of next year), but I'd do whatever I could to avoid the heat. Shade is a scarce commodity on the first part of the VDLP.
 

Simon B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
in 2010, I was on VDLP 25Oct -23Nov and met only 6 pilgrims. With my poor Spanish it was by far my most difficult Camino--few markets were open for self-catering, almost no open restaurants, many albergues were locked and I had to scout around the town to find the key. Plenty of sideways rain as well.
I loved the solitude..................but not the GORP.
What is GORP?
 

alhartman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
Good Old Raisins and Peanuts. Way before it was marketed as 'trail mix'. Early backpacking and often little pieces of old bread, lost oatmeal, peanuts, raisins that wound up in the bottom of the backpack. Also added pemmican (dried meat and fat).
So vastly inferior to tortilla patata. One of many reasons why Camino beats backpacking by a mile--at least for me!
 

Simon B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
Good Old Raisins and Peanuts. Way before it was marketed as 'trail mix'. Early backpacking and often little pieces of old bread, lost oatmeal, peanuts, raisins that wound up in the bottom of the backpack. Also added pemmican (dried meat and fat).
So vastly inferior to tortilla patata. One of many reasons why Camino beats backpacking by a mile--at least for me!
😊
 

MileHighPair

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, '14: Frances
2015: Chimayo, USA.
2016, '17: VdlP
2018: Madrid, Ourense, Salvador, Primitivo
I have some inside knowledge of the pilgrim numbers stopping in Zamora. There can be waves of pilgrims in late September and even early October, which might make it seem busy, if you are in one of the waves. But there are only a handful of villages where there might be a full albergue. As others have said, the main reason for an October start might be temperatures. September 12 average high temp = 91F. October 4 average high = 83F (in Seville, according to Accuweather). On the other hand, arriving in Galicia in early November can be cool and wet. If you can handle the heat, the likelihood of a Camino with less rain would be the September start. Buen Camino.
 

Tom Egelandså

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 3 times (2004,2011,2012)
I have some inside knowledge of the pilgrim numbers stopping in Zamora. There can be waves of pilgrims in late September and even early October, which might make it seem busy, if you are in one of the waves. But there are only a handful of villages where there might be a full albergue. As others have said, the main reason for an October start might be temperatures. September 12 average high temp = 91F. October 4 average high = 83F (in Seville, according to Accuweather). On the other hand, arriving in Galicia in early November can be cool and wet. If you can handle the heat, the likelihood of a Camino with less rain would be the September start. Buen Camino.
Thanks!
 

Tom Egelandså

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 3 times (2004,2011,2012)
As others have stated, the challenge on the VDLP is not terrain (meaning ups and downs) as much as it is being able to walk day after day with fewer towns, places to stop, restaurants and most importantly other pilgrims. It's still pretty lonely. English is not as widely spoken as on the Frances. That said, it was an enjoyable experience. I can only speak of Seville to Salamanca (doing the next part in May of next year), but I'd do whatever I could to avoid the heat. Shade is a scarce commodity on the first part of the VDLP.
Thanks!
 

Tom Egelandså

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 3 times (2004,2011,2012)
in 2010, I was on VDLP 25Oct -23Nov and met only 6 pilgrims. With my poor Spanish it was by far my most difficult Camino--few markets were open for self-catering, almost no open restaurants, many albergues were locked and I had to scout around the town to find the key. Plenty of sideways rain as well.
I loved the solitude..................but not the GORP.
Thanks!
 

Tom Egelandså

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 3 times (2004,2011,2012)
As falcon said, it's cooler in October.
I don't think of crowding as a major consideration on VDLP - I know that albergues can fill up but it's not a daily bed race. If you do find that there's a bubble of pilgrims, stop for a day and you'll be out of the crowd.
Thanks!
 

Tom Egelandså

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 3 times (2004,2011,2012)
I began my VdlP from Seville on October 3, two years ago. There were lots of people on the route at the beginning, but a majority dropped out and few of us made it to Santiago. I had no issues with albergues closing for the winter, which tends to happen on other caminos. But my major challenge was heat. The temperature on the VdlP was in the mid 30's until Salamanca, halfway to Santiago. If I walk it again, I shall certainly start later.
Thanks!
 

Marcus-UK

Old Git
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles (2016) Camino Portuguese (2017) Considering Invierno 2019
Hi,
Will it make much of a difference if I start my walk from Seville September 12 or October 4? I`m mostly thinking about the amount of fellow pilgrims and if mid September might be the busiest time all year for beginning in Seville. Will beginning October 4 reduce the chances considerably of the alburgues being full but still be others a long the way to socialise with?
Thanks!
One thing to be wary of is that due to a political decision , all of Spain is in the wrong time zone. The knock on effect is that in Galicia, later in October the sun does not rise until nearly 9:00 AM and sets at around 19:30. This means that on some of the longer stages you will need to be be setting out in the dark. So plan your stages!
The Godesalco.com website can help plan your stages and it gives a good indication of Albergues and Hotels available. It will also show you dawn and dusk times if you put in a start date. You can then cross reference with the Gronze web site and check the opening days of the Albergues.
 

DeansFamily

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 18/916/10/17 Muxia/Finisterre 18/10-22/10/17 Norte 21/4-29/5/18 Primitive 20/9-5/10/18 VdlP
Our recommendation would be to leave in early October. The first 2 weeks in Seville this year were hot 34 / 36 C and then a sudden cooling the 3rd week. The temperature dropped to quite cold walking into Caceres, but soared again walking onwards till reaching Caparra Arch. Now it has plummeted and we are expecting 1 C tomorrow morning and a high of 8 C with showers. There are a few pilgrims but we have had 4 nights alone and many finish at Caceres or Salamanca. The change in daylight saving is good now for at least the sun comes up at a normal time where as leaving Seville the sunrise wasn’t till about 9am. Use Gronze, the map overlay from Resources in this forum and post questions here if you aren’t sure as everyone is happy to help. The VdlP is a bit more of a challenge but so worth it.
 

DeansFamily

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 18/916/10/17 Muxia/Finisterre 18/10-22/10/17 Norte 21/4-29/5/18 Primitive 20/9-5/10/18 VdlP
As we are now close to leaving the VdlP and starting to follow the Sanabres, I can offer a bit of an opinion now. If you thrive in hotter conditions and are willing to accept more tiring days while sensibly managing problems like water consumption, heat exhaustion and related issues and don’t appreciate colder (and wetter) conditions then leave earlier. If the temperature plummeting as you progress north doesn’t worry you and you plan your clothing items properly (especially rainwear) and be prepared to purchase suitable clothes as required (Decathlon are in Salamanca and Zamora where you’ll really need cold weather clothes by then) then leave later. To give you an idea of the weather conditions currently we are walking in 8 to 12 degrees C with a cold biting wind and next week on the Sanabres the prediction is 1 degree C with sleety rain. Yeah, bring it on....... as long as the albergues have heating!
 

Simon B

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
As we are now close to leaving the VdlP and starting to follow the Sanabres, I can offer a bit of an opinion now. If you thrive in hotter conditions and are willing to accept more tiring days while sensibly managing problems like water consumption, heat exhaustion and related issues and don’t appreciate colder (and wetter) conditions then leave earlier. If the temperature plummeting as you progress north doesn’t worry you and you plan your clothing items properly (especially rainwear) and be prepared to purchase suitable clothes as required (Decathlon are in Salamanca and Zamora where you’ll really need cold weather clothes by then) then leave later. To give you an idea of the weather conditions currently we are walking in 8 to 12 degrees C with a cold biting wind and next week on the Sanabres the prediction is 1 degree C with sleety rain. Yeah, bring it on....... as long as the albergues have heating!
I think this is one of the reason for walking the VDLP in the Spring - you are walking into improving weather conditions.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Hi,

I started my first Via de la Plata on Sept. 18 2008 in Seville and continued from Cáceres on Oct. 5th the following year. While the start was still rather hot, the second time was really cold an rainy. Considering that you have to cross several high mountains on entering into Galicia, I would definitely opt for the start in September, which means that you will reach Santiago by the end of November.

BC
Alexandra
 

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