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LIVE from the Camino Via de la Plata Daily Journal: May 2019 - June 2019

Daniel Beaumont

Walking the VDLP through May & June 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Norte, Camino Portugués, Camino Primitivo & Camino Via de la Plata (May 19)
Hey fellow pilgrims,

It’s time to set off to Seville for my annual Camino adventure. 😁

It’s my 4th Camino and this year I’m walking the Camino Via de la Plata. It’s set to be a 30-day walk, covering about 974km, starting in Seville heading north towards Zamora, before joining with the Camino Sanabrés and finishing in Santiago by the middle of June.

I’ve been training hard for this walk for the last 6 months, and I’m feeling as fit as I'll ever be and ready to walk. I have several long days planned that break 40km, and I’m well aware of the crazy heat and temperatures I’m about to face, as well as long distances without water and/or infrastructure, plus the high likelihood of prolonged solitude, with this route being one of the least trodden Caminos.

I’ll touch down in Seville this evening and explore the city tomorrow (it’s 10 years since I last visited and crikey, a lot has changed since then), before beginning my walk on Friday morning.

Since I love writing, documenting and journalling, coupled with the uniqueness and magic of the Camino, I’m going to share my adventure here in the form of daily journal entries that will combine my journey with lessons, ideas, and realisations along with some photos.


I’ll also be documenting my journey on Instagram stories, so if you’re not already following me and you’re interested to come along for the journey, then you can find me here - 
www.instagram.com/danobeaumont

I’m super excited for this one - here we go, and speak soon!

57332
 

happymarkos

HappyMark
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean. 2014&16 Volunteer St JP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
2018
Buen Camino Daniel.
Its a long way although has some amazing stretches.
I will be interested to hear which areas you find the most interesting. And don't skip the major old Roman towns. They are a delight.

Happymark
 

Zebo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July/Aug (2019)
Daniel, 'may the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back etc......
Have a wonderful time and sounds like you are well prepared and great attitude. Will enjoy reading your posts
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
Start early and finish early. Hope you have one of those UV umbrellas ☂ buen camino and I will be following you. Quick impressions of your Albergues would be great.
 

Babyboomergirl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017,Camino Primitivo 2018, Camino Finisterre/Muxía 2018 Camino del Norte 2019
Buen Camino Daniel,
I’ll look forward to following your journey
 

Daniel Beaumont

Walking the VDLP through May & June 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Norte, Camino Portugués, Camino Primitivo & Camino Via de la Plata (May 19)
Day 0 - Retracing Old Steps in Seville

Journey: Seville, 0km
Total Distance: 0 / 974 km
Weather: Sunny & clear skies, 34°C
Accommodation: Hostel One Catedral

Feeling: Reflective

--


Lesson: We don’t know what, we don’t know how, but we can be sure that things are going to change.

--

It’s 10 years since I was last in Seville. I was here with my father when I was 18 years old for a much needed father-son bonding session. To give you a little bit of context I didn’t see much of my dad growing up. My mum and he split when I was a young boy, and asides from him taking me to the occasional football match, or climbing a mountain together in the Lake District, he wasn’t really in my life so in many ways it was like going on holiday with a stranger.

It’s funny when I think back to my memories of Seville, and how certain memories stuck with me, and others seemed to flutter away like they never happened. All I can remember from my time here is three things:

1. - My dad begging to stop for an alcoholic drink every 5 minutes.

2. - My dad being amazed by the abundance of orange trees in Seville, wanting to climb them and pick their fruit (even though I’m pretty sure they are not the best to eat).

3 - Finding my dad naked, drunk and passed out in the bath at our hotel.

The trip was all about drinking and bars back then, even for me in many ways, and I find it incredible that as I wandered the streets this morning, I remembered none of them.

It was clear that I was looking at Seville with different eyes back then and never would I have predicted that I’d be back here 10 years later about to embark on a 1,000km pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

These memories got me thinking about change. Change is the only constant in life; it’s the only thing we can be certain of. Time and new experience have shown me a new way of life, and now here I stand, so different in many ways (and of course still the same in many ways too), but indeed, looking at Seville from a completely different perspective.

This morning I spent my time walking through a couple parks and observing. I noticed the trees, especially the beautiful violet Jacaranda shedding their flowers. I stumbled upon a rainbow in a fountain which is obviously a sign of good things to come, and I spent a good 15 minutes watching a couple of ducks playing and making funny noises.

Asides from being sidetracked by nature, I had a mission to acquire a few essentials for the Camino: a hat, my credential, and a shell for my backpack. I succeeded on the hat and credential, but it seems Seville is more concerned with selling colourful fans rather than Shells. Needless to say, this evening I’ll head to a cafe over the river in Triana with some new friends, and I’ll try my luck picking up a shell from the Friends of Camino Association Office.

Today’s lesson is to embrace change. In many ways, I feel like this walk is an opportunity to embrace change since my main motive of walking this time is to decide what the next chapter of my life will read.

For me, the Camino is as much therapy and time for self-reflection as it is a walk in nature, and this time I am bringing three questions that I seek to answer. Those questions are as follows:

1 - Who am I?

2 - Where am I?

3 - Where am I going?

Right now it feels right to ponder on those questions as I walk, but of course, anything can change, and maybe the Camino will reveal different questions for me to answer. The only way to discover is to start, to begin, to get moving, by putting one foot in front of the other. And tomorrow I’ll do just that starting my walk at 6am just before sunrise. I’m optimistic, I’m as fit as I’ve ever been and the weather gods are seemingly on my side.

Today was a good day and the universe aligns.

Speak soon.

5738257383IMG_1355.JPG57385
 
Last edited:

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Daniel,

What a treat to log in this morning and to read your post!

Wishing you a wonderful camino. I am not usually the contemplative or introspective type, but your post really resonated with me. It is one of those no-holds-barred inner thoughts post, and I am always amazed how the camino brings these things up to the surface and helps us artiulate them. Thank you for expressing them so perfectly.

I have walked joyous caminos, celebrating weddings and births in my family, and one very hard one walking in mourning several weeks after the death of my mom. The camino was the perfect place to be to process and integrate all of these momentous events.

The Vdlp is absolutely a great place for you to be alone or with others, to enjoy scenery and some fantabulous Spanish cities, or just to ponder. Looking forward to hearing more from you, buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
French route (04,05,06) Portugues (07) VDLP (09,10,11) Aragon (0413) Levante (16) French (18)
Day 0 - Retracing Old Steps in Seville

Journey: Seville, 0km
Total Distance: 0 / 974 km
Weather: Sunny & clear skies, 34°C
Accommodation: Hostel One Catedral

Feeling: Reflective

--


Lesson: We don’t know what, we don’t know how, but we can be sure that things are going to change.

--

It’s 10 years since I was last in Seville. I was here with my father when I was 18 years old for a much needed father-son bonding session. To give you a little bit of context I didn’t see much of my dad growing up. My mum and he split when I was a young boy, and asides from him taking me to the occasional football match, or climbing a mountain together in the Lake District, he wasn’t really in my life so in many ways it was like going on holiday with a stranger.

It’s funny when I think back to my memories of Seville, and how certain memories stuck with me, and others seemed to flutter away like they never happened. All I can remember from my time here is three things:

1. - My dad begging to stop for an alcoholic drink every 5 minutes.

2. - My dad being amazed by the abundance of orange trees in Seville, wanting to climb them and pick their fruit (even though I’m pretty sure they are not the best to eat).

3 - Finding my dad naked, drunk and passed out in the bath at our hotel.

The trip was all about drinking and bars back then, even for me in many ways, and I find it incredible that as I wandered the streets this morning, I remembered none of them.

it was clear that I was looking at Seville with different eyes back then and never would I have predicted that I’d be back here 10 years later about to embark on a 1,000km pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

These memories got me thinking about change. Change is the only constant in life; it’s the only thing we can be certain of. Time and new experience have shown me a new way of life, and now here I stand, so different in many ways (and of course still the same in many ways too), but indeed, looking at Seville from a completely different perspective.

This morning I spent my time walking through a couple parks and observing. I noticed the trees, especially the beautiful violet Jacaranda shedding their flowers. I stumbled upon a rainbow in a fountain which is obviously a sign of good things to come, and I spent a good 15 minutes watching a couple of ducks playing and making funny noises.

Asides from being sidetracked by nature, I had a mission to acquire a few essentials for the Camino: a hat, my credential, and a shell for my backpack. I succeeded on the hat and credential, but it seems Seville is more concerned with selling colourful fans rather than Shells. Needless to say, this evening I’ll head to a cafe over the river in Tirana with some new friends, and I’ll try my luck picking up a shell from the Friends of Camino Association Office.

Today’s lesson is to embrace change. In many ways, I feel like this walk is an opportunity to embrace change since my main motive of walking this time is to decide what the next chapter of my life will read.

For me, the Camino is as much therapy and time for self-reflection as it is a walk in nature, and this time I am bringing three questions that I seek to answer. Those questions are as follows:

1 - Who am I?

2 - Where am I?

3 - Where am I going?

Right now it feels right to ponder on those questions as I walk, but of course, anything can change, and maybe the Camino will reveal different questions for me to answer. The only way to discover is to start, to begin, to get moving, by putting one foot in front of the other. And tomorrow I’ll do just that starting my walk at 6am just before sunrise. I’m optimistic, I’m as fit as I’ve ever been and the weather gods are seemingly on my side.

Today was a good day and the universe aligns.

Speak soon.

View attachment 57382View attachment 57383View attachment 57384View attachment 57385
Buen Camino friend.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I'll be following along. I'm sure this Camino will be productive for you.
 

Daniel Beaumont

Walking the VDLP through May & June 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Norte, Camino Portugués, Camino Primitivo & Camino Via de la Plata (May 19)
Day 1 - Choosing Presence over Distraction

Date: 17.05.2019
Journey: Seville > Castilblanco de los Arroyos, 40km
Total Distance: 40 / 974 km
Weather: Morning sunshine & afternoon clouds, 26 °C
Accommodation: Albergue De Peregrinos Castilblanco

Feeling: Nervous but Excited

--

Lesson: The most precious time in life is right NOW.

--

Yesterday evening was chilled and I didn’t feel compelled to spend my final hours rushing around Seville playing tourist. Operation find a shell for my backpack proved successful thanks to the Friends of the Camino Association in Seville, and then after a nice meet up with a few CouchSurfers, eating cherries and drinking OJ on the riverside bank, I was back in the hostel, showered, bag packed and in bed by 22:30pm.

Before I fell to sleep I read through a few of the Facebook comments on my post, and one, in particular, caught my attention. It was from a friend who warned me of the downside of being constantly connected and stressed not to get caught up in social media and being on my phone all day at the expense of walking my Camino.

And in many ways, my friend is right. As much as I like to think I have my social media appetite under control, we live in a distracted world, bombarded by notifications, and people demanding our attention, unsolicitedly. Worse still, we aren’t fully sure how these devices are affecting our mental state, not to mention the dire consequences they have on our attention spans and countless studies linking overuse of devices to addiction, depression, anxiety and increased loneliness. And all this makes sense because for every moment you spend on your device, you forego the opportunity to be present, have a real-life interaction with someone.

Life is experienced in the here and now. I know that walking this particular Camino route, at this stage in my life is a once in a lifetime experience that I want to fully embrace and enjoy. So to get the most out of my Camino, and in line with yesterday’s theme of change, I am making a conscious decision to not use social media while walking. I will still use my phone for maps, to write notes & record ideas, take videos/photos, and to listen to music and audiobooks.

Since an integral part of my experience for myself is to document my Camino, and rather than fragmenting and diluting my attention span by constantly being connected, I will log on once an evening (probably around 7pm) to write and post my daily journal entry, upload pictures and videos, and reply to comments if I have the energy to do so. Change is good, so I started today and I commit to this pact for the entirety of my Camino.

So what happened today?

My day was glorious. I woke at 5:30am, and was out the door to start my walk just before 6am and was gifted with a spectacular full moon as I approached the Cathedral. After all the fear about hot weather, it turned out to be a great day for walking. Not too hot, about 26 degrees, and cloudy in the afternoon, sheltering my pale British skin from the heat of the day.

Funnily enough, I didn’t take my sweater off all day. The trail was varied, passing through countless olive, sunflower, and wheat fields. I encountered horses, butterflies, cows, lizards, 3 dogs (scary at first but in the end they were friendly), a ladybird, thousands of giant ants, and even a dead snake (no one told me about snakes in Andalucia).

Many farmers were out harvesting their land, and I watched what appeared to be South American migrants collecting potatoes (I’ve never seen so many potatoes in my life). It was a long walk, and for most of it, I was in the zone and didn’t feel the need to take any long breaks. By 30km I could feel some extreme rubbing on my feet and sneaky blisters coming on so I stopped to take the necessary precautions to my feet. I made it to Castilblanco de los Arroyos by about 2pm with a smile on my face and no injuries to report, feeling strong.

To my surprise, there’s actually about 15 of us staying in the albergue this evening. We’ve got a good bunch, and I’ve already met a few. Hugh and Liz from Sydney, Australia, and Norman from Germany.

The worst news of the day though: I’ve been given a heads up that there’s a big snorer (apparently his skinny and tall, and fooled everyone last night) below me in the bunk so I’ve already eyed up the spare room downstairs for a quick diversion later this evening.

Speak again tomorrow!
574555745657457
 

Daniel Beaumont

Walking the VDLP through May & June 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Norte, Camino Portugués, Camino Primitivo & Camino Via de la Plata (May 19)
Day 2 - Sharing Makes Us Stronger

Date
: 18.05.2019
Journey: Castilblanco de los Arroyos > Alamaden de Plata, 28km
Total Distance: 68 / 974km
Weather: clear blue skies but windy, 23 °C
Accommodation: Casa Clara

Feeling: Grateful



Lesson: If you really love someone, you’ll let them fly free.



Last night turned out to be a winner. When I arrived at the Albergue I met Ken and Liz, a beautiful couple from Australia, who gave me a heads up that there were several notorious snorers in the room - and that’s the last thing I dreamed of after a 40km slog.

I’m a light sleeper, and even the subtly annoying noise of a mosquito will keep me awake at night. When I checked in I noticed there was a spare room with a dozen or so beds nestled behind some curtains that the Albergue used once they filled up the main room of 20 beds.

Unlike most things in life, being first to arrive at this Albergue was not a blessing. In this case, if you were pilgrim number 21, arriving late in the day and expecting not to find a bed, you’d be happily surprised to find yourself in your own room. By 10pm, there were only two Spanish cyclists in the spare room so I made a quick decision, grabbed my sheets off my bed, and went to join them, taking a bottom bunk at the opposite side of the room to them. It turned out to be a great decision as I slept like a baby, all the way through till 5:30 in the morning. I met Ken and Liz in the kitchen just before leaving this morning, and unfortunately, they were right, the main room became a painful orchestral symphony soon after the lights went out.

I had a great walk today. I was out the door by 6am and greeted by another full moon for the second day running, plus the pleasant music of cockerels, indicating I was well and truly out of the city. For the first 15km, I walked on the road in darkness as cars raced past me with their lights full beam. I hear a lot of people walking the Camino don’t enjoy walking on the road, but not every path we walk can be perfect. I enjoy the contrast and I’ll do my best to make the most out of it and can always find something to be grateful for.

Today I was grateful for the two wonderful people I walked with, and the intimate stories they shared with me. I walked with a lovely lady called Lee from Australia who was bright, bubbly and full of enthusiasm walking her 3rd Camino. And I also walked with a German guy called Norman, a 59-year-old firefighter who was down to earth, humble and had wonderful energy and carried a great sense of compassion with him.

Norman and I talked “Denglish” - my broken German, mixed with his broken English. We talked about all kinds of things like relationships, love, his life & children and what he was like at 28 years old. We’d only known each other for several hours at best, and we were already sharing some of our deepest pains and challenges that we’re currently dealing with, and in many ways, as silly as it may sound, I already feel like I’ve known him for 20 years.

This is a special thing about the Camino; people are often willing to share their stories, pains and struggles; stories that sometimes even their closest friends at home aren’t aware of. Maybe it’s because of the transient nature of the walk? Maybe having no history with someone you meet along the way makes you more likely to be open? Who knows…

But it’s true. You’re a blank canvas as you walk, and if you walk with an open heart, there will always be friendly people on the trail who listen with an open heart, and this is what makes the Camino such a wonderful experience.

So if you’re on the fence about walking your own Camino one day. Don’t hesitate, just go. The people you meet will fill you with hope, optimism and courage. There are many other reasons to walk which I’ll discuss in the coming weeks.

This evening I find myself Alamaden de la Plata, staying with Norman and Lee. We’ve fallen on our feet with the albergue we’re staying at, it’s beautiful, and to top things off there’s a fun festival going on in the town.

I want to finish this post with one thing Norman said while walking today that will stay with me:

“If you really love someone, you’ll let them fly free.”

Speak soon.

57515575165751757518
 

Dominick

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2018, Finisterre 2018,
Hey fellow pilgrims,

It’s time to set off to Seville for my annual Camino adventure. 😁

It’s my 4th Camino and this year I’m walking the Camino Via de la Plata. It’s set to be a 30-day walk, covering about 974km, starting in Seville heading north towards Zamora, before joining with the Camino Sanabrés and finishing in Santiago by the middle of June.

I’ve been training hard for this walk for the last 6 months, and I’m feeling as fit as I'll ever be and ready to walk. I have several long days planned that break 40km, and I’m well aware of the crazy heat and temperatures I’m about to face, as well as long distances without water and/or infrastructure, plus the high likelihood of prolonged solitude, with this route being one of the least trodden Caminos.

I’ll touch down in Seville this evening and explore the city tomorrow (it’s 10 years since I last visited and crikey, a lot has changed since then), before beginning my walk on Friday morning.

Since I love writing, documenting and journalling, coupled with the uniqueness and magic of the Camino, I’m going to share my adventure here in the form of daily journal entries that will combine my journey with lessons, ideas, and realisations along with some photos.


I’ll also be documenting my journey on Instagram stories, so if you’re not already following me and you’re interested to come along for the journey, then you can find me here - 
www.instagram.com/danobeaumont

I’m super excited for this one - here we go, and speak soon!

View attachment 57332
Buena suerte; it is a great walk (I did it last Fall); with much history. Enjoy y Buen Camino y Ultreia.
 

patk

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, De la Plata, Norte, Portugal, Primitivo, Ebro, Madrileno, Norte again (2016)
Day 0 - Retracing Old Steps in Seville

Journey: Seville, 0km
Total Distance: 0 / 974 km
Weather: Sunny & clear skies, 34°C
Accommodation: Hostel One Catedral

Feeling: Reflective

--


Lesson: We don’t know what, we don’t know how, but we can be sure that things are going to change.

--

It’s 10 years since I was last in Seville. I was here with my father when I was 18 years old for a much needed father-son bonding session. To give you a little bit of context I didn’t see much of my dad growing up. My mum and he split when I was a young boy, and asides from him taking me to the occasional football match, or climbing a mountain together in the Lake District, he wasn’t really in my life so in many ways it was like going on holiday with a stranger.

It’s funny when I think back to my memories of Seville, and how certain memories stuck with me, and others seemed to flutter away like they never happened. All I can remember from my time here is three things:

1. - My dad begging to stop for an alcoholic drink every 5 minutes.

2. - My dad being amazed by the abundance of orange trees in Seville, wanting to climb them and pick their fruit (even though I’m pretty sure they are not the best to eat).

3 - Finding my dad naked, drunk and passed out in the bath at our hotel.

The trip was all about drinking and bars back then, even for me in many ways, and I find it incredible that as I wandered the streets this morning, I remembered none of them.

It was clear that I was looking at Seville with different eyes back then and never would I have predicted that I’d be back here 10 years later about to embark on a 1,000km pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

These memories got me thinking about change. Change is the only constant in life; it’s the only thing we can be certain of. Time and new experience have shown me a new way of life, and now here I stand, so different in many ways (and of course still the same in many ways too), but indeed, looking at Seville from a completely different perspective.

This morning I spent my time walking through a couple parks and observing. I noticed the trees, especially the beautiful violet Jacaranda shedding their flowers. I stumbled upon a rainbow in a fountain which is obviously a sign of good things to come, and I spent a good 15 minutes watching a couple of ducks playing and making funny noises.

Asides from being sidetracked by nature, I had a mission to acquire a few essentials for the Camino: a hat, my credential, and a shell for my backpack. I succeeded on the hat and credential, but it seems Seville is more concerned with selling colourful fans rather than Shells. Needless to say, this evening I’ll head to a cafe over the river in Triana with some new friends, and I’ll try my luck picking up a shell from the Friends of Camino Association Office.

Today’s lesson is to embrace change. In many ways, I feel like this walk is an opportunity to embrace change since my main motive of walking this time is to decide what the next chapter of my life will read.

For me, the Camino is as much therapy and time for self-reflection as it is a walk in nature, and this time I am bringing three questions that I seek to answer. Those questions are as follows:

1 - Who am I?

2 - Where am I?

3 - Where am I going?

Right now it feels right to ponder on those questions as I walk, but of course, anything can change, and maybe the Camino will reveal different questions for me to answer. The only way to discover is to start, to begin, to get moving, by putting one foot in front of the other. And tomorrow I’ll do just that starting my walk at 6am just before sunrise. I’m optimistic, I’m as fit as I’ve ever been and the weather gods are seemingly on my side.

Today was a good day and the universe aligns.

Speak soon.

View attachment 57382View attachment 57383View attachment 57384View attachment 57385
Buen camino
Please take enough water and a broad brim hat. The heat can be really rough especially the stretch from Caceres to the Embalsa.
I so admire those of you who share such personal stories. May the camino angels watch out for you.
 

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