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Via de la Plata in May 2007


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We are two women planning to walk the Via de la Plata from Caceres to Santiago in May this year. We have a couple of questions for those who have walked this route - any assistance would be much appreciated.
1. Do you get much rain on this route at this time of the year (we will be starting around May 23 and carrying on through June). What type of raingear do you recommend - has anyone tried using raincapes as opposed to jackets and pants? Can anyone recommend a good brand of raincape.
2. Would it be wise to carry a self-inflating sleeping mat? ie. is there much risk of not getting a bed and having to sleep on the floor?
3. We have read that it's hard to find a place to buy a coffee early in the morning and are thinking of carrying some simple coffee making gear - do the refugios all have facilities to boil water?
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I walked the VDLP last may/june and had one afternoon of light rain after about 30 days. I had a rain jacket (which I used once) and a poncho (which I lost). Coffee and something to eat was always a problem not only in the morning abut at most other times. I gather this is quite different from the CF which caters a lot more to pilgrims.
Albergues were a lot scarcer too-the worst experience was the firtst town-guillena-where there is one hostel (which I heard was usuallly full and overpriced) or the 'sports stadium'-where I stayed. This was actually a changing room with 4 mattresses and , at a pinch, could sleep 6 people. You do not need a sleeping mat, at least I never did and the albergues were never full-although there were ones I didn't stay in out of choice but went to a hostal instead. You'll love it-it has the isolation that I think is missing from the CF.Have a look at the VDLP page on this web site for more info.


Nunca se camina solo
I agree with all of this having walked to Salamanca in January. I wil be setting off again at the end of April. I used a couple of web sites for weather forecasts/historic info: ... ceres.html

Funnily enough in most places I found a bar open very early for coffee and I avoided the Guillena problem by walking there and bussing back to Sevilla. The albergues were very a solitary experience as you might expect in January but I am not expecting them to be busy in April/May either.



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