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Via de la Plata guide

vanjohn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2008 StJPP - Santiago, 2009 Sevilla - Finisterra, 2010 StJPP - Santiago, 2011 Sant Pere De Rodes-Monserrat-Puente La Reina, The Future ....sure only God knows!
Hi all
Many thanks to all who helped on the recent Camino Francaise especiall to Rebekah and Paddy for the kind hospitality you gave me in "my hour of need".
It was a wonderfull experience and met some people who will never be forgotten.
However time moves on and now I have started to consider the Via de la plata from Seville to SDC. I was considering next May June as a time frame because I would like to be sufficently north before Extermadura suffers from extreme temperatures, I would welcome other peoples opinions on this statement.
I need recomendations on guide books, English language only as I do not have Spanish.
I have hear that this route is remote and with few pilgrims, will this mean that I may not meet other pilgrims? I do not want to be a hermit, it is nice to share a meal and it helps the soul!

Many thanks
John
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hi John

I walked the VdlP two years ago and found it a wonderful route. I started from Seville early in January and was alone for 3 weeks! However I went back in May/June to see parts of the route as spring moves into summer and it was spectacular - literally wild flowers as far as the eye can see in parts. I also met several groups of other pilgrims. Once there were 8 of us in an albergue and that was considered busy!

I used the Alison Raju guide and found it adequate - albeit out of date in parts. It needs to be combined with the updates and you might also look at the Pili Pala Press guide and its updates. One of the Forum contributors Mermaidlili has been n the route this year and will give more up to date advice I'm sure.

Good luck with your preparations

John
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
The VDLP is more remote but to me that's the attraction. Having said that you will probably not be alone. I walked from Granada this year and saw no one until Merida then 5 pilgrims so it;s not lonely. The raju book is ok but wrong and out of date in parts but the route is well marked.
 

gyro

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos: Frances, Ingles, Portugues, de Norte
Via(s): de la Plata, Mozarabe
Dear john,
Yes, the Via de la Plata is a wonderful, monumental walk. I started in 2006 and finished last year.
Sevilla to Salamanca in 21 days, then Salamanca to SdeC in 19. A tough, challenging and wonderful experience.
The guide by Bethan Davies and Benjamin Cole (see Amazon for example) is clear, interesting and very detailed. In some places, the Via has changed dramatically since the book was published. Motorways South of Monasterio and North of Salamanca for example, but much of the book is still very current and very, very useful.
One point: the monastery at Oseira (in 2007) offered the most basic accommodation to pilgrims. This is really kind of the monks, but it made for a long, cold, night. You might be better to plan to sleep some place else.
oh, and avoid the hotel in Puente de Ula. High prices and bedbugs. There is a more modern hostel 5 km closer to Santiago.

Happy to answer any specific questions about the route. I am sure that John and Omar would be happy too.
Gyro
 

vanjohn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2008 StJPP - Santiago, 2009 Sevilla - Finisterra, 2010 StJPP - Santiago, 2011 Sant Pere De Rodes-Monserrat-Puente La Reina, The Future ....sure only God knows!
Gyro
What do you think of the time choice?
John
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I've walked different caminoes 3 years in a row starting in either may and june and except for 2006 had rain and cold on many days. There seems to be a quaint misconception that may=spring=beautiful weather. When I'm asked 'what will the weather be like' the best answer is: rain,sun,wind,mist,fog,cold,heat...this year from granada was pretty rough but mild to what the weather was like further north on the CF. Spain this year had unprecedented floods and land slides yet Barcelona had to ship water in due to a drought. I also read on this forum that pilgrims arrived in Roncesvalles without any rain gear whatsoever and got drenched. I was there last year in late july and it was misty, cold and raining. May and june are ok but I prefer a bit later-mid june onwards and you wont get the crowds on the VDLP that you would on the CF
 

MermaidLilli

Active Member
Johnnie Walker is right....I would love to respond to this because he knows how much I loved this walk. I walked starting in early May, because I do not like very cold weather and I figured that spring has started and that it would follow me north, so missing the very hot weather that happens in the south especially in June July. It was a spectacular walk, with wildflowers blooming everywhere, and yes it rained here and there, but you know, no one can predict how it will be. Only twice did I have a drenching rainfall and then it was for a short while. Most times it rained in drizzles. That said, I highly recommend this route. I was alone only 3 nights and it was not scary at all. As a woman alone I had no fears. OK maybe once when I smelled cigarette smoke in the middle of nowhere and saw no one around.
I used the CSJ guide which I like for it is light and the Raju guide which is heavy. They are both in need of updating. The route is well marked, with only a few places where I was somewhat unsure,especially those places where it had been a while since I had seen an arrow or marker, then they showed up! I would recommend asking hospitaleros about your next section of the Via. They seem to know best what's ahead. I ended up walking on the road a whole day to my next stop because I was told by the police (and also in the guide) that the estate was closed, yet when I arrived at my albergue, there were several pilgrims that had walked through it, said it was definitely open and it was beautiful. grrrrr
There is one place where you cross a river.... take the marker on the left which takes you over a highway, don't take the one to the right where you have to climb a fence to get in. Someone did that and said they had a hard time through that section, so I was glad I had gone to the left. If I remember right, that was before Aldea del Cano; it is a wide but shallow river with stepping stones.
My only complain was the road walking especially towards the beginning, I had leg/hip/foot pain which got in the way of a smooth journey. My blog is not finished but you can read some of my Camino on Blogger.com. Search for MermaidLilli and open the "Hasta La Via, Baby" blog. I promise one day soon I will finish it. When I get back home.
Any questions, you can PM me.
I know you too will love it.
Lillian
 

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