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Via de la Plata 2014/2015 shared accommodation and eateries

Buniontrotter

What's around the corner?
Camino(s) past & future
From Dublin, Ireland to Santiago, arrived May 2009
From St Jacobi Parochie to Santiago, arrived June 2014
From Seville, Via de la Plata, halfway there, October 2014
Completed Via de la Plata in May 2013
Will start in Brussels in September 2015 to lead onto the Voie de Tours and onto the Northern route and the Primitivo, God willing.
Via de la Plata Seville – Santiago de Compostella

We walked part 1 in October 2014.

Day 1 SEVILLA

We stayed in Triana Backpackers, very central, nice hostel, upstairs free jacuzzi and several hammocks – the room given to pilgrims however is located at the front and very noisy until all hours. You can get your credential here for €2.

Food: go to Las Cuevas, pub that does really excellent food, great variety

Visit: if you have time Plaza de Espagna, world fair monument, well worth a visit

Day 2 to GUILLENA (22.7km)

On the way: A MUST – visit Italica after 10km – Roman city Ruins – well excavated and explained (you could even take a bus from Seville to here as the walk is not interesting and it would give you some more time to spend in Italica) from there its only 12km walking.

We stayed in the Municipal Albergue, beside the Sports complex, excellent! Hard to get to, because local competition hostels will do all within their power to lead you away from it!

Food: follow advice from the locals. A very simple looking place, plastic chairs etc., food excellent, cheap and plentiful

Day 3 to CASTILBLANCO DE LOS ARROYOS (17.2km)

Sometimes, on the way out, the river rises and you cannot cross it, if so, continue to next roundabout.

We stayed in the Albergue Municipal, a large dorm, comfortable but no luxuries - the hospitalero Fernando, at the time gave me a great massage after my fall. Lovely views from the roof-terrace.

We cooked our own meal here.

Day 4 to ALMADEN DE LA PLATA (29.2km)

A long day, up to the National Park all on tarmacadam. We (as most others) shared a taxi to the entrance of the Park 16.5km). In the Park we cross finca’s (fields) with animals, mainly cattle, pigs and some horses. No prob, just stay quiet. We walked in Oct and heard many deer lowing, lovely countryside and views at last

We stayed in Municipal Albergue – Youth hostel at end of village, fine place, spacious and rooms for 2 pax

Food: Bar Chorla, fine

Day 5 to EL REAL DE LA JARA (13.1km)

Short distance, but a tricky one – be careful not to get lost. Bit of climbing, more steep descending

We stayed in Alojamiento de Peregrino, quite new private albergue, spacious, lovely views, rooms for 3 and 4 pax (we had it to ourselves!)

Food: El Mason de Cochera, very good pilgrims meal

Day 6 to MONESTERIO (20km) (careful: yellow and green markers. Follow the yellow ones, the green has some missing….)

We stayed in Albergue Parochial on Avda de Extramadura, very good, clean and spacious

Food: El Templario, very good, lovely welcoming proprietors

Day 7 to FUENTE DE CANTOS (20km)

We stayed in Albergue Turistico Convento de los Friales de Zubaran previously a Franciscan Convent, excellent! Like a hotel. Seems to be in transition, some things still have to be sorted. They also have a restaurant Food: I cooked here

Day 8 to ZAFRA (25km)

We stayed in Albergue de la Asociacion de Amigos del Camino – very good, spacious incl breakfast, hospitalero fine but a bit impatient

Food: I don’t remember, did I cook?

Day 9 to VILLAFRANCA DE LOS BARROS (19km)

We stayed in Albergue el Carmen, a good private albergue, very friendly Vito

Food:

Day 10 to TORREMEJIA (27.4 km)

A long day with nothing in between, carry food and plenty of water, little shade. No challenges though, all easy walking

We stayed in Albergue Turistico Via dl P – beautiful €12-15 for a large double en-suite incl towels

Food: We ate in the albergue as we had torrential rain, was OK, but there are better places in town

Day 11 to MERIDA (15km)

Wonderful city, many old Roman ruins and well explained

We stayed at Hostal Salud, we were recommended not to take the albergues, dirty and badly run. This was OK, not great but OK - €30 for 2 pax en-suite

Food: We picked the wrong place to eat here – looked great from the outside, but chef was no cook!

Day 12 to ALJUCEN (16km)

We stayed in private Albergue Annalena, very good, clean. (We had it to ourselves) 2 Bars in town where you can eat. Ask where the shop is or you will not find it!

Food: I cooked

Day 13 to ALCUESCAR (19km)

We stayed in Acogoda Convento Esclavos de Maria y de los Pobres, fine place, old convent – also very strict! Hospital for the poor also here. We had mass with them followed by a simple shared meal.

Food: we ate out in town, Casa Alejandro (beside the Dia supermarket) excellent!

Day 14 to VALDESALOR (25.9km) (there is an option to go 14km to Aldea del Cano)

It has a new Albergue de Ayuntamiento, spacious, key to be collected from the pub

Food: Café-bar El Mirador de la Bahia across from albergue, was OK

Day 15 to CACARES (12.7 km)

Gorgeous city, so good to have a short day walking and spend time here. Old citadel worth exploring

We stayed in private Albergue Las Veletas and had a lovely double room, but I was told that the Albergue Municipal was not bad either

Food: plenty of good choices around the Plaza Mayor



Day 16 to EMBALSE DE ALCANTARA (33km)

An extremely! long day – there is the option to stop after 12.7km in Casar de Caceres, might be wise…detours along the way as well to make it even longer

We stayed in the absolutely gorgeous and spacious Albergue Turistico de la Via dl P overlooking the water reservoir, wonderful views from a lovely isolated location. Check, I heard it may have closed since, or maybe just for the season. There is also a private house just before it that offers accommodation and food.

Food: No option but to eat here, cannot cook either, frozen pizza or similar, not great but grand. Bottled beer nice and cold!

Day 17 to GRIMALDO (21km)

We were advised not to stay in the albergue, very dirty and bed-bugs. Peeped around the corner and glad to give it a skip. We stayed in a really lovely private accommodation just up the road from the bar. House with 4 double rooms, spotless and cosy – owners will do anything to help out.

Food: There are 2 Bars, one as bad as the other. If you can, bring food and cook in your own lovely kitchen. We could not as it was a Sunday…

Day 18 to GALISTEO (20km)

Now here it gets tricky! There is a contrary farmer who refuses to give access to pilgrims and he has removes all the signage on his terrain. We were advised to go in any way, it was safe and we would have no probem. Well, we got lost and trampled our way between cows and bulls as the crow flies. Not good. BUT, the Germans have a great book which tells them exactly where to climb over the gates (somewhere near a mile-point in the canal). Just do your homework and you’ll be fine.

We stayed in Bar los Emigrantes, double room over the pub, bit gritty but OK. Actually the albergue just around the corner has been recently renovated and looks very good. Both are the same price. Lovely town, visit the ramparts, great views and lots of eagles to be spotted

Food: We ate in the bar where we stayed, not great – nothing else was open

Day 19 to ARCO DE CAPARRA (28km) (It is possible to stay in Carcaboso in between, I heard the accommodation is very good)

Beautiful walk, again many, many birds of prey to be seen

No accommodation here, we booked in advance! Hostal Asturias, a road-side hotel 8 km further. They will collect you from the Arc and the next day drop you somewhere on the track again. Good accommodation and cold beer – sometimes that just has to be enough…ph 927477057

Food: In the hostal, some of the worst food we ate along the way, all 8 of us agreed on that! Sorry, no other choice

Day 20 to ALDEANUEVA DEL CAMINO (20km)

We did not stay here, the albergue was truly awful, cramped dark and unsavoury! Here we had lunch and hopped on a bus to visit Helvas, a gorgeous little mountain village. From there we walked on

to BANOS DE MONTEMAYOR (6 km)

We stayed in the Albergue Via de la Plata, great, spacious, well-run public albergue, phone in advance may be booked out, breakfast included

Food: We ate down at a little square as recommended, paella and cricicroc – will do…

Day 21 to CALZADA DE BEJAR (20km)

Be prepared to walk through Connemara-like countryside, stones all around, place with a lot of history

At the start of town you’ll find Albergue Rural Alba y Soraya – 2 large dorms lounge area fine and spacious, very friendly talkative! lady, she’ll cook and wash for you if you wish. Nothing else in town, I bar, no food, no shop.

Food: I had food and cooked on the stove outside, bit cumbersome but it worked.

From here we walked to Bejar, town approx. 11km off track. We stayed in a spotless accommodation and walked to Candelario that afternoon. Another wonderful mountain village ‘a place to dream’, had dinner and were offered a lift back to Bejar by the inn-keeper. Next day bus to Salamanca for return home via Madrid

PART II

We walked part II in May 2015

We flew into Madrid, took a bus to Salamanca and spent the night there in the Municipal Albergue ‘Huerto Calixto y Melibea’- fine spacious clean place. You can drop your bags between 12.00 and 13.00 – open for taking residence from 16.00. Bedrooms small but fine, lovely and quiet. Garden next door divine! Very central, just behind the Cathedral. Lots of fine places to eat, don’t miss the Plaza Mayor! Next day bus back to Bejar and from there back on the road to Calzada de Bejar.


Day 22 to FUENTERROBLE DE SALVATIERRA (20k)

We stayed in the Albergue Parroquial, a MUST – run by the famous priest Don Blas, quaint place, old farmstead constantly being added to by volunteer pilgrims. Ask for America house (or something like that) – lovely room for 2. Right now he is in the process of building a Norway house. Communal dinner and breakfast. He’s a real one, a gem! Also visit the local church, well worth it.

Day 23 to SAN PEDRO DE ROSADOS (28k)

Very pleasant country walk, but long! Please don’t walk past the St James cross but climb it, so well worth it! 2 Albergues, both fine. Albergue Marie Carmen seems very good, was full. We stayed in Albergue Turistico El Milliario, great because we had this little house all to ourselves, might not be quite so comfortable if it were full.. We ate in the restaurant run by Marie Carmen together with the other pilgrims, arrived a little late and found we were given a few leftovers,so come early!

Day 24 to SALAMANCA (24k)

All road walking, not much traffic but very hard on the feet. You can guess where we stayed….

From here many pilgrims seem to bus the next few stages because they can be quite dull and uninteresting, flat, along the road on tarmacadam, but not all, some goes through fields as well. We walked it..

Day 25 to Calzada de Valdunciel (20k)

Bedroom in Municipal hostal very tight, (is small cottage) lovely lounge area though and tiny kitchen. We ate in el Pozo, lovely meal, they also accommodate pilgrims

Day 26 to Villanueva del Campean (34k)

We could have stayed in El Cubo del Vino 14km earlier but felt like moving on. I believe the Albergue F&M in El Cubo is excellent. After El Cubo the countryside became beautiful again, lovely far views and colours, soft ground underfoot. Stayed in spacious Municipal Albergue, Private one is also very spacious and newer. 1 Bar in town where one can eat, he did his best..

Day 27 to Zamorra (18k)

Very pleasant walk, great view over the walled town as you come in. Municipal albergue top-notch!!! In old centre, town worth exploring.Plenty of good places to eat.

After Zamora we went wrong, coming out of the industrial area we went right and shoud have gone left. Ended up in a village called La Hiniesta instead of Roales del Pan. Thank God some kind locals sent us in the right direction again or we would have ended up on the Portuguese way. Be careful, there are 3 diffent routes inter-mixed in this area

Day 28 to Montamarta (18k)

Municipal Albergue closed. Cars came to meet us on the way offering accommodation. We opted for El Tio Bartelo, in the village, good choice – private rooms or lovely spacious attic with beds, great kitchen and even greater courtyard. They also own the shop, which means we can shop out of hours. I cooked here for an army!

Day 29 To Granja la Moreruela (18k)

From here to camino splits. Some continue to Astorga and some take the Sanabres way. We chose the latter.

The Municipal Albergue is fine, very basic, but fine. 1 Room upstairs and 1 downstairs. Keys at the bar where the food is fine and plentiful.

Day 30 to Tabara (26k)

Quite a long but lovely walk, along water reservoir

We stayed in the Municipal Albergue, run by Jose Almeida, a writer. Do it! Lovely atmosphere, good communal meal, good breakfast. Hand-made necklaces for the ladies, well-run. He even washes your clothes for you

Day 31 to Santa Marta de Tera (23k)

Lots of Bodega’s around here. We were invited into one, given the full tour and 2 bottles of wine to have with the dinner that evening. Excellent Municipal Albergue next door to the church with the oldest known sculpture of St James the pilgrim at the back of it. Take a guided tour of the church around 18.30? Well worth it. We eventually found the shop and cooked and shared our meal and wine

Day 32 to Rionegre del Puente (27k)

We stayed in the Albergue Virgen de la Carballeda, brand new, spacious, clean. Key at Bar across the road ‘Palacios’. Food there good, proprietor helpful, made res for us for the next day. Necessary! Not that many beds available!



Day 33 to Cernadilla (18k)

We picked in-between stages here, to avoid finding a full albergue. We stayed with a kind old lady in Casa Teresa. Great place, lovely double room en suite, she cooked a wonderful meal for us. Nice pub around the corner too. In case your shoes need repair, stop in Mombuey at the hardware store – delivers great work on the spot!

Day 34 to Requejo de Sanabria (33k)

It was lashing rain that day, so we did not see much of what seemed to be a fine little town. The albergue Casa Cervino was great, lovely clean beds, nice little lounge area. We ate in Hostal tu Casa along the main street run by an old gentleman with a wooden leg? – very good food and plentiful

Day 35 to Lubian (19k)

A pity about the new fast train being put down here. A lot of the track was unusable and we had to walk on the road, interspersed with bits of track for the first half of the day. When we got on the track it was really beautiful with long views. Down the hill was Padornello, a great place for chocolate and bocadillas. We stayed in the Municipal hostel, upstairs quite cramped, downstairs a fine kitchen, we cooked here. Lovely village

Day 36 to A Gudina (23k)

Lovely views all the way. Because of torrential rain a lot of road walking, hard on the feet. We stayed in the Municipal Albergue, fine place, great showers. I cooked in the decent kitchen.

Day 37 to Laza (34.5k)

Exiting A Gudina there was a big sign placed there by the Xunta, advising you to take a detour because of railway and road works. No need, the original route is fine and perfectly passable and very scenic. Fine Xunta Albergue, all good. Register first with the Proteccion Civil, very formal set-up. We ate in a local bar, but what or how?

Day 38 to Xunqueira de Ambia (34k)

On the way drop into the bar ,Rincon del Peregrino’across the road from the albergue, worth a visit, every inch of it covered in shells. Albergue very cold I was told. Just before walking in Xunqueira on top of a hill is are a lot of beehives. We were attacked by the bees as the beekeeper was taking the honey. Don’t stop to take pictures but run! down the hill! Terrific albergue, before coming to the town. We ate in the Café Guede – food was good


Day 39 to Ourense (22k)

The albergue high above the old town, is located at the Convent of San Francisco, excellent. Next door is the old convent, worth visiting, bring your camera. Visit the Cathedral down below. Very good restaurant recommended by hospitalero, ‘Meson Bedoya’. Also a spa well worth visiting we were told, we did not have time and missed it

Day 40 to Cea (22k)

The best bread in Spain is baked in Cea! The albergue is fine, the hospitalero non-communicative, bit grumpy. Restaurants opened quite late, so we ate in some little café, lovely and homely, in fact the way to the loo went through their sitting room! About 5 different bars in this little place

Day 41 to Castro Dozon (19k)

We took the route via Oseira, to visit the Monesterio, well worth the extra few kilometres. (You can also sleep here, very cold and basic I believe) In Castro D great spacious albergue, option for double rooms. We ate in the bar in the village, the one that has a shop at the back, very good.

Day 42 to Silleda (27k)

The track which runs along the road, was extremely muddy so we walked on the road quite a bit. We stayed in the albergue turistico, like a small hotel, lovely enclosure overlooking the town. They also offered a pilgrims meal which was pretty good. The hotel Ramos was also very good we were told.

Day 43 to Outeiro (23k)

We decided to stay here so that we would arrive in time for the mass in SdC the following day. Yet another day of torrential rain for us. The albergue in Outeiro is excellent but very remote. It might be wise to do some shopping at Punte Ulla, 4 km earlier. The hospitalera however, offers meals which she possibly has pre-cooked at home, she charges a lot for them. There is a good kitchen though.

Day 44 to Santiago de Compostela (16k)

On the way we crossed the bridge where the train was derailed in 2013 – very moving.

Well…what can I say that hasn’t been said already? Do it all! We stayed in the Seminario Menor – at this stage our legs were strong enough to climb up and down to it.. Big and beautiful and impressive building, very well organised spacious pilgrims hostel where you are allowed to stay as many nights as you wish. They also offer twin rooms. Mind you, the Parador right beside the Cathedral isn’t bad either….
 

AML

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2013
Norte/Primitivo May/June 2014
Vasco del Interior/ Burgos - Leon/Del Salvador/Primitivo May/June 2015
Ourense - Santiago Sept 2015
Camino Ingles Sept 2015
Porto-SDC Sept/Oct 2016
Excellent Buniontrotter......thank you!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Thanks for this very detailed update, most useful, especially learning about new/renovated albergues.

I'm sorry you found Orlando López, the hospitalero in Cea, a "bit grumpy". I've stayed there a couple of times (and twice carried on to Oseira, which is wonderful) and I think he's just almost painfully shy. On my first visit I thought the same as you, but the second time we managed to get chatting about his passion, the gaita, and the not-dissimilar Northumberland pipes from near where I live, and he opened up enormously (especially as we agreed about the massive superiority of both over Scotland's painful bagpipes). Now I look out for the familiar moustache and beret, usually to be found in the excellent pulpería in town, and get a big wave and "buen camino" from him as I head on towards the monastery.
 

Buniontrotter

What's around the corner?
Camino(s) past & future
From Dublin, Ireland to Santiago, arrived May 2009
From St Jacobi Parochie to Santiago, arrived June 2014
From Seville, Via de la Plata, halfway there, October 2014
Completed Via de la Plata in May 2013
Will start in Brussels in September 2015 to lead onto the Voie de Tours and onto the Northern route and the Primitivo, God willing.
Thanks for this very detailed update, most useful, especially learning about new/renovated albergues.

I'm sorry you found Orlando López, the hospitalero in Cea, a "bit grumpy". I've stayed there a couple of times (and twice carried on to Oseira, which is wonderful) and I think he's just almost painfully shy. On my first visit I thought the same as you, but the second time we managed to get chatting about his passion, the gaita, and the not-dissimilar Northumberland pipes from near where I live, and he opened up enormously (especially as we agreed about the massive superiority of both over Scotland's painful bagpipes). Now I look out for the familiar moustache and beret, usually to be found in the excellent pulpería in town, and get a big wave and "buen camino" from him as I head on towards the monastery.
Thank you very much Alan for your posting. It goes to show how wrong we can be, and yes, painfully shy may well be the case after reading your experience of him. He certainly looked an interesting character and now I am glad to find that he is. I have to say that I did enjoy Cea and the albergue was a good home
 

coober

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009,
VdlP 2014
Del Norte 50% 2017
Primitivo 2017
Makes me want to go again, so many memories. Thank you.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
A very useful list for anyone doing the VDLP. Thank you.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
This is almost exactly the same itinerary as mine, brings back lots of wonderful memories. Your comment about Lubian saddens me so much. I've heard it before and I just can't help but be sad. The walk from Aciberos to Lubian was one of the most bucolic, peaceful parts of any camino I've ever walked on. It is a huge loss. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
Laurie, the end bit between Aciberos and Lubián is still the same as far as I can tell. Follows the elevtricity pylons. Saw some deer on this bit. It was a lovely peaceful walk which helped make up for the highway walk we had had earlier.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I was very upset by the destruction caused by the AVE works, I can't deny it :( but then I talked to a wonderful young hospitalero who basically said 'hey, it'll all be alright within a few years, nature will prevail' or something like this...
Mind you, that was the attitude of all the 'locals' I talked to and yes, they ALL thought the AVE wasn't necessary
(But it provides JOBS!)
 

MileHighPair

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, '14: Frances
2015: Chimayo, USA.
2016, '17: VdlP
2018: Madrid, Ourense, Salvador, Primitivo
I know this is an old thread, but I think it is important to point out a very important change (to anyone new to the VdlP discussions). On Day 16 listed in the OP, the albergue at the Embalse is closed now, and there is no other good option between Casar de Caceres and Carnavaral. Otherwise, a very good summary!
 

sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
The municipal albergue was closed in Guillena when we walked through in April this year.
 

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