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Via de la Plata in October 21

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Ever the optimist, I decided to book a Ryanair flight to Sevilla for October. As with the others I've booked since this pandemic began, I'm very OK with the fact that it may or may not happen. Having a Camino on the calendar always lifts my spirits!.

It will be a short trip, with about 10 days of walking. As I've already spent time in Sevilla and walked the first few kms, I plan to start from Santiponce and probably finish in Cáceres. After than, I'll take transport to meet up with my other half who hopes to walk the Francés in September/October. That bit is pretty vague at the moment, but I'm thinking that Zamora or Ourense might be nice places to spend a couple of nights before we fly home. There's a good bus service between Cáceres and Zamora and regular trains from Zamora to Ourense.

I'm comfortable with walking 30+ kms most days and the odd 40km one, so I could probably get further than Cáceres. However, the transport options seem pretty limited in the smaller places, so I'm not sure how that would work out. Has anyone managed to connect with e.g. a bus to Salamanca or back to Cáceres from Grimaldo or Carcaboso?

Any other tips or words of wisdom from those who've walked this route? I'm assuming that walking in October doesn't present any particular difficulties, but maybe I'm wrong about that.

Nuala

 
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Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I'm thinking that Zamora or Ourense might be nice places to spend a couple of nights before we fly home.
Zamora and Salamanca are stunningly beautiful cities. Of the two, Salamanca iis larger and has more going on. But Zamora holds a special place in the hearts of many pilgrims for its romanesque churches. It is a delightful small city.

Ourense, on the other hand is not as pretty. It has hot springs which offer a fun distraction for an hour or two. The cathedral is impressive, with a mini-me Portico de Gloria like the one in Santiago. The streets around the cathedral have some nice restaurants. It's a fine place to spend a rest day on the camino Sanabres, but not a patch on Zamora or Salamanca IMHO.

Has anyone managed to connect with e.g. a bus to Salamanca or back to Cáceres from Grimaldo or Carcaboso?
Yup. After walking through the ruins of Capara, I left the Camino and went to the Hostal Restaurante Asturias, which is on the N630 highway (Autovia de la Plata). From there I caught the afternoon bus back to Caceres, where I needed to pick up some winter gear at the post office. Next morning I took the early bus back from Caceres to the same spot and continued my route.
If I recall correctly, there are two or three buses per day and they were all ALSA, but that might change. The bus route basically follows the N630 highway, with several stops on the way to Caceres.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Zamora and Salamanca are stunningly beautiful cities. Of the two, Salamanca iis larger and has more going on. But Zamora holds a special place in the hearts of many pilgrims for its romanesque churches. It is a delightful small city.

Ourense, on the other hand is not as pretty. It has hot springs which offer a fun distraction for an hour or two. The cathedral is impressive, with a mini-me Portico de Gloria like the one in Santiago. The streets around the cathedral have some nice restaurants. It's a fine place to spend a rest day on the camino Sanabres, but not a patch on Zamora or Salamanca IMHO.


Yup. After walking through the ruins of Capara, I left the Camino and went to the Hostal Restaurante Asturias, which is on the N630 highway (Autovia de la Plata). From there I caught the afternoon bus back to Caceres, where I needed to pick up some winter gear at the post office. Next morning I took the early bus back from Caceres to the same spot and continued my route.
If I recall correctly, there are two or three buses per day and they were all ALSA, but that might change. The bus route basically follows the N630 highway, with several stops on the way to Caceres.
Thanks @Raggy that's really helpful. I was leaning towards Zamora too and it's an easy journey from there to Madrid Airport. Decision #1 made!

And thanks for sharing that info about buses. It's good to know that there are options if I decide to walk beyond Cáceres. Incidentally, I've also discovered that there's a bus service from Carcaboso to Plasencia, which connects with the Alsa one to Salamanca and Zamora. That bus continues to lots of other Camino places including León, Miéres, Oviedo, Gijon & Ponferrada! If only I were retired .... that would be a very nice trip down a few memory lanes 😀
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Ever the optimist, I decided to book a Ryanair flight to Sevilla for October. As with the others I've booked since this pandemic began, I'm very OK with the fact that it may or may not happen. Having a Camino on the calendar always lifts my spirits!.

It will be a short trip, with about 10 days of walking. As I've already spent time in Sevilla and walked the first few kms, I plan to start from Santiponce and probably finish in Cáceres. After than, I'll take transport to meet up with my other half who hopes to walk the Francés in September/October. That bit is pretty vague at the moment, but I'm thinking that Zamora or Ourense might be nice places to spend a couple of nights before we fly home. There's a good bus service between Cáceres and Zamora and regular trains from Zamora to Ourense.

I'm comfortable with walking 30+ kms most days and the odd 40km one, so I could probably get further than Cáceres. However, the transport options seem pretty limited in the smaller places, so I'm not sure how that would work out. Has anyone managed to connect with e.g. a bus to Salamanca or back to Cáceres from Grimaldo or Carcaboso?

Any other tips or words of wisdom from those who've walked this route? I'm assuming that walking in October doesn't present any particular difficulties, but maybe I'm wrong about that.

Nuala

I hope to be taking my first step out of Sevilla on about October 10, 2021! Buen Camino
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Thanks for sharing. At least you can stay inspired. Still looking forward towards our First camino Frances in October. Are any of you pre-booking your rooms? We have not yet.
I have walked the Frances in October, twice, the second time from Puenta la Reina, after walking the Aragones. I do not normally book, except for the first couple of days, and my final days in Santiago. I would certainly not do so this year, as some locations have announced that they will not give refunds to people who have booked early, then wish to cancel. And if this is your first Camino Frances you may find that your walking pace when on the trail and desire to stop to see the sights are not what you anticipated. If you have your air tickets, you might book for your first night(s) now and leave the rest for later. My one experience at pre-booking cost me a fair amount of money, as I had to cancel bookings when my dates changed. Orisson is now keeping all pre-payment on advance bookings which are cancelled.
 

Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
I can't answer about bus connections, but if you do plan to stop at Zamora, and want to stay at the lovely municipal albergue, be aware that there seems to be a policy of only admitting pilgrims who've walked a previous stage to get there. It may depend on how busy they are and who's in charge but just something to consider..
 
Year of past OR future Camino
October 2020
I have walked the Frances in October, twice, the second time from Puenta la Reina, after walking the Aragones. I do not normally book, except for the first couple of days, and my final days in Santiago. I would certainly not do so this year, as some locations have announced that they will not give refunds to people who have booked early, then wish to cancel. And if this is your first Camino Frances you may find that your walking pace when on the trail and desire to stop to see the sights are not what you anticipated. If you have your air tickets, you might book for your first night(s) now and leave the rest for later. My one experience at pre-booking cost me a fair amount of money, as I had to cancel bookings when my dates changed. Orisson is now keeping all pre-payment on advance bookings which are cancelled.
Thank you!! I hope you are doing well.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I can't answer about bus connections, but if you do plan to stop at Zamora, and want to stay at the lovely municipal albergue, be aware that there seems to be a policy of only admitting pilgrims who've walked a previous stage to get there. It may depend on how busy they are and who's in charge but just something to consider..
When did you encounter this policy? When I and two companions arrived by bus in September 2019, we stayed at the albergue and purchased new credencials to start the pilgrimage.
I would be curious to know if it is a policy or just an ad hoc decision - for example, in the case where one of the volunteer hospitaler@s does not believe that an arrival is a pilgrim.
 
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Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
It was in April '18. Two pilgrims, not all that young and both with medical issues arrived together in the late afternoon, exhausted after a long journey involving a number of flights and trains. The hospitalera who I felt had been a bit severe with others earlier (including me!!) made them sit outside the kitchen with their gear for an hour or so until she was happy that no more walking pilgrims were coming. The place was only about half full! I chatted and shared a sneaky drink with them as we waited anxiously for them to be granted a bed. But they got over it and we laughed about it later, a great evening of sharing food and wine and a few songs with the battered house guitar... we even managed to soften up the hospi later and agreed she was ok underneath, just a bit stressed with her responsibilities and took her job a bit too seriously.

When I recounted this story to an experienced pilgrim and serving hospitalero I met in Portugal last year, he informed me that Zamora has the dubious distinction of having this policy, officially or not, so that is my experience.

I'm happy to regard this lovely couple as my friends now and we still exchange the odd message. When I met them for lunch here in Ireland early last year we recalled with fondness and amusement how we met that evening in Zamora: this gentle couple sitting like a couple of naughty school children outside the headmaster's office waiting to be punished, and me reassuring them it would all work out fine...
 
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Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Sounds like she was stressed, but the pilgrims were eventually allowed in. I have stayed twice in Zamora, and both times encountered excellent hospitaler@s. They generally do a few weeks and then hand off to another set of volunteers, so I guess there's some variability.

The only place I stayed that absolutely prohibits people who arrive by bus was Finisterre. The albergue was exclusively for walkers and cyclists - and the check-in time for cyclists was an hour later than the check-in time for walkers (which caused a great wailing and gnashing of teeth on the day I checked in).
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Thanks for sharing. At least you can stay inspired. Still looking forward towards our First camino Frances in October. Are any of you pre-booking your rooms? We have not yet.
The waiting is hard, especially for those coming from afar. Fingers crossed that it will happen in October.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
I hope to be in Zamora this fall, wandering around looking at the Romanesque churches, but maybe later than both of you, as I plan to walk the Levante from Valencia, starting in September (deo volente and the pandemic is done).
Hi @Albertagirl, that sounds like a really interesting plan. I'm not sure if our paths will cross, but it would be fun if they did! Wishing you well.
 
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Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
Sounds like she was stressed, but the pilgrims were eventually allowed in. I have stayed twice in Zamora, and both times encountered excellent hospitaler@s. They generally do a few weeks and then hand off to another set of volunteers, so I guess there's some variability.

The only place I stayed that absolutely prohibits people who arrive by bus was Finisterre. The albergue was exclusively for walkers and cyclists - and the check-in time for cyclists was an hour later than the check-in time for walkers (which caused a great wailing and gnashing of teeth on the day I checked in).
There was only one hospi on duty and yeah she was under pressure and stressed out in fairness, nearing the end of her fortnight. But based on my experience, I just felt I should let Nuala and others know that this might be a possibility so they can be prepared. Perhaps others can confirm or deny this is policy...
 

filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Ever the optimist, I decided to book a Ryanair flight to Sevilla for October. As with the others I've booked since this pandemic began, I'm very OK with the fact that it may or may not happen. Having a Camino on the calendar always lifts my spirits!.

It will be a short trip, with about 10 days of walking. As I've already spent time in Sevilla and walked the first few kms, I plan to start from Santiponce and probably finish in Cáceres. After than, I'll take transport to meet up with my other half who hopes to walk the Francés in September/October. That bit is pretty vague at the moment, but I'm thinking that Zamora or Ourense might be nice places to spend a couple of nights before we fly home. There's a good bus service between Cáceres and Zamora and regular trains from Zamora to Ourense.

I'm comfortable with walking 30+ kms most days and the odd 40km one, so I could probably get further than Cáceres. However, the transport options seem pretty limited in the smaller places, so I'm not sure how that would work out. Has anyone managed to connect with e.g. a bus to Salamanca or back to Cáceres from Grimaldo or Carcaboso?

Any other tips or words of wisdom from those who've walked this route? I'm assuming that walking in October doesn't present any particular difficulties, but maybe I'm wrong about that.

Nuala

Zamora is a personal favourite... so much bigger than it originally seems. Added to which you can easily bus to Toro (which is on the Camino de Levante) a delightful and beautifully situated small town and/or spend a day in Salamanca. (Part of the reason for going to Toro was to suss out the complicated NW trail onwards on the Levante as discussed by Peregrina2000). If you have accommodation issues at the Albergue of Zamora, maybe you can push the boat out and spend a night at the Parador (I was given an incredible pilgrim rate with a smashing breakfast).
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Zamora's parador looks beautiful. Do you remember what the pilgrim rate was? There are other more ordinary hotels in the historic center. I wanted to explore Zamora so I transferred from the albergue to Hostal Chiqui - Stylish and centrally located. Price was around 40 Euros, I think. One of my more expensive stays.
Compared with Salamanca there seemed to be fewer low-budget options in Zamora. Perhaps that's because Salamanca is a bigger city with a large student population. Or perhaps it was just my timing.
 

Gerard Griffin

New Member
Hi Nuala

October should be no problem; by then vaccination should have removed most barriers to travel.

I'm doing the VDP now. I flew to Malaga, took a bus to Seville and cycled to Cáceres, where I now am; some of the hostels are open, enough to make it easy to find places to stay.

The VDP is marvellous, well worth looking forward to ... Buen Camino.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I’m not sure how I missed this thread, @NualaOC! Having the hope, but not the expectation, is definitely the way to go, IMO.

In response to your bus question, I was delighted to find that the ALSA website now let’s you plug in a departure city and then can choose from the available destinations. In the past it had been horrendously difficult trying to figure out where the routes might possibly go. The website shows there are buses from Grimaldo (but not Carcaboso) to a variety of cities.

For Carcaboso, the Alsa website shows nothing, yet there is forum chatter on Gronze saying that there is supposed to be a bus from Carcaboso to Plasencia, yet no one can find it on the web. So that remains a mystery.



Zamora's parador looks beautiful. Do you remember what the pilgrim rate was?

I got a special two-night stay at the last minute. I THINK I remember that the total with breakfast was under 100€. IMO, Zamora’s parador, with its “slightly faded” traditional, heavy Castilian furniture and the odd armored knight standing on the stairway, is far more appealing than some of the post-modern renovations we are seeing in other paradors these days. But then I may be a philistine when it comes to historical buildings.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I am planning to stay in the parador in Zamora: my first parador stay. It is close to the pilgrim hostel, so I went past it a couple of times when I stayed there on the VdlP. It is a lovely old building. Personally, I would not stay in a modern parador, not at parador prices and if there are multiple options. But I have been looking at how to register in a parador and the online process is very confusing to me. For example. the 16 euros breakfast which seems obligatory with some bookings. So I am planning to go to the front desk when I leave the pilgrim hostel after my night there, and to say, "How much for a pilgrim? What about multiple nights? I am a vegetarian. Can I stay without paying a lot for a big breakfast here?"
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Make sure you are on the official parador website, because a lot of what pops up when you search for paradores are third parties. @Trecile’s link is to the official site.

I do recommend the “amigos” club. Two advantages. — you earn points, and you get a free drink in the bar when you arrive. That’s nice because the bars in these historic places are usually in nice cloisters or patios and you can just sit and sip on it for a long time while you write, relax, read, whatever you do in your down time. You also get free parking in places where parking has a charge (like Trujillo), but most peregrinos won’t make use of that perk. Over the years, I’ve stayed in the odd parador, and when I walked into Monforte de Lemos on the Invierno years ago, the receptionist told me I had a lot of points but that they had expired. With a call to Madrid, she got authorization to give me a free night with breakfast with my expired points!

They also have special rates for over 55 or 65 (not sure what the cut off is but I know we both meet it!).

So I am planning to go to the front desk when I leave the pilgrim hostel after my night there, and to say, "How much for a pilgrim? What about multiple nights? I am a vegetarian. Can I stay without paying a lot for a big breakfast here?"

This is actually a good strategy. That’s what I did when I walked into Zamora, and I got a very good deal with breakfast for two nights. I think that the policies may have tightened up a bit since a new hotel management firm has taken over the paradores, but it still is worth a try.
 

alexwalker

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(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
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(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
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filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I’m not sure how I missed this thread, @NualaOC! Having the hope, but not the expectation, is definitely the way to go, IMO.

In response to your bus question, I was delighted to find that the ALSA website now let’s you plug in a departure city and then can choose from the available destinations. In the past it had been horrendously difficult trying to figure out where the routes might possibly go. The website shows there are buses from Grimaldo (but not Carcaboso) to a variety of cities.

For Carcaboso, the Alsa website shows nothing, yet there is forum chatter on Gronze saying that there is supposed to be a bus from Carcaboso to Plasencia, yet no one can find it on the web. So that remains a mystery.





I got a special two-night stay at the last minute. I THINK I remember that the total with breakfast was under 100€. IMO, Zamora’s parador, with its “slightly faded” traditional, heavy Castilian furniture and the odd armored knight standing on the stairway, is far more appealing than some of the post-modern renovations we are seeing in other paradors these days. But then I may be a philistine when it comes to historical buildings.
Yes, Laurie, I was also amazed. I am now an ‘Amigo’ which gives one a free ‘drink’. By the way, if you are a ‘jubilado’, a senior, you get an added discretionary discount.

When I finished my last Camino in Santiago in 2020, I was given a superb room at The Parador of all Paradors with full breakfast for Euros 120. A late check-out was no issue.. I never imagined I would ever be able to stay there!
 

filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Ever the optimist, I decided to book a Ryanair flight to Sevilla for October. As with the others I've booked since this pandemic began, I'm very OK with the fact that it may or may not happen. Having a Camino on the calendar always lifts my spirits!.

It will be a short trip, with about 10 days of walking. As I've already spent time in Sevilla and walked the first few kms, I plan to start from Santiponce and probably finish in Cáceres. After than, I'll take transport to meet up with my other half who hopes to walk the Francés in September/October. That bit is pretty vague at the moment, but I'm thinking that Zamora or Ourense might be nice places to spend a couple of nights before we fly home. There's a good bus service between Cáceres and Zamora and regular trains from Zamora to Ourense.

I'm comfortable with walking 30+ kms most days and the odd 40km one, so I could probably get further than Cáceres. However, the transport options seem pretty limited in the smaller places, so I'm not sure how that would work out. Has anyone managed to connect with e.g. a bus to Salamanca or back to Cáceres from Grimaldo or Carcaboso?

Any other tips or words of wisdom from those who've walked this route? I'm assuming that walking in October doesn't present any particular difficulties, but maybe I'm wrong about that.

Nuala

If you are up to it, the open air museum at Santiponce is great and free to Pilgrims. Italica is the original Roman city site of Seville. It may only open at 10 am so check. It is closed on Mondays. Situated across the road from the last bus stop.

I am due to hike the Plata for the third time, starting out on 26 August ( rather hot I realise but date selected by French co-hiker ).
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I strongly advice to stop in Merida and see some of the Roman remains there.

I couldn’t agree more, @alexwalker. And I will add a tip about going to see the sites. The lines outside the theater are usually enormous. Start at one of the ”secondary” sites, like the Alcazaba, and buy a combined ticket. Even if all you are going to visit is the Moorish castle and the Theater (total of 18€ for those twonif bought separately), you’re ahead with the combined ticket (16€). And if you are over 65, it is even cheaper, only 8€ (which has to be one of the highest price/quality ratios I can imagine!). And the other sites are well worth a visit, too. The museum is not included in that ticket, and it is not-to-be-missed as well. The architect designed it so the shape of the museum resembled the shape of the aqueduct we pass leaving town. It is amazing. Entrance is free on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, but the price is only 3€ anyway.

But back to the reason for buying your ticket at a place other than the Theater — you go straight in without waiting in line. In fact, the official website now recommends this strategy, but the last time I was there, in 2018 I think it was, no one paid any attention.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I am due to hike the Plata for the third time, starting out on 26 August
A year or so ago, my reaction would have been — what, are you nuts?! Today my reaction is, oh what I would give to be able to walk any time of year. I know you are experienced and will pay attention to water, but there have been some pilgrim deaths on the Vdlp in days of extreme heat. I usually carry no more than a liter or two of water, but would change my habits in exchange for the privilege of walking again!
 

filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Point taken Laurie!

I first walked the Plata in October when the temperature regularly hit 38 degrees Celsius. This time I shall start earlier, take an umbrella (!) and take longer... and at least I am heading northwards.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
When I walked the VdlP, starting on Oct. 3, 2017, the temperatures were in the mid 30's from Sevilla all the way to Salamanca. The worst day was from Casar de Caceres to Canaveral, 32 km and I would have stopped at the Embalse if the albergue had not been unpredictably closed, as seemed to happen that year. Since there had been one death of a pilgrim on that section a little earlier in the season, I was somewhat apprehensive.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
When I walked the VdlP, starting on Oct. 3, 2017, the temperatures were in the mid 30's from Sevilla all the way to Salamanca. The worst day was from Casar de Caceres to Canaveral, 32 km and I would have stopped at the Embalse if the albergue had not been unpredictably closed, as seemed to happen that year. Since there had been one death of a pilgrim on that section a little earlier in the season, I was somewhat apprehensive.
I walked the Norte that year. In Santiago I met a good friend who walked the VDLP from Sevilla in mid September. (We met 2 years earlier when we walked from Lisbon and saw each other a lot on that Camino). He said that section was intensely hot and he told me about a pilgrim who had died who was a few days ahead of him. He said he was in a village and could not find the albergue and no one really helped him. He attempted to walk 12 or so k’s to the next town and collapsed and died. Really sad.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
In response to your bus question, I was delighted to find that the ALSA website now let’s you plug in a departure city and then can choose from the available destinations. In the past it had been horrendously difficult trying to figure out where the routes might possibly go. The website shows there are buses from Grimaldo (but not Carcaboso) to a variety of cities.

For Carcaboso, the Alsa website shows nothing, yet there is forum chatter on Gronze saying that there is supposed to be a bus from Carcaboso to Plasencia, yet no one can find it on the web. So that remains a mystery.
HI Laurie, re the bus from Carcaboso to Plasencia, this is what I found on google - two morning buses (using April dates):
 

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NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Sincere thanks to everyone who responded here and shared information and experiences. It's so helpful - I knew very little about the Via de la Plata when I booked my flight to Sevilla, so this has really fuelled my learning and anticipation, even if it just ends up becoming another draft plan for 2022.
 
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Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
When I walked the VdlP, starting on Oct. 3, 2017, the temperatures were in the mid 30's from Sevilla all the way to Salamanca. The worst day was from Casar de Caceres to Canaveral, 32 km and I would have stopped at the Embalse if the albergue had not been unpredictably closed, as seemed to happen that year. Since there had been one death of a pilgrim on that section a little earlier in the season, I was somewhat apprehensive.
Hmm, going by previous posts, the albergue at the embalse seems to be quite upredictable in it's opening schedule at the best of times, something about changes of management? A pity as despite it's ugly concrete exterior, it's an important oasis in the middle of otherwise nothing with no other services nearby and it's quite a comfortable place..
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Thank you @geraldkelly - and a useful summary of the current situation in Spain regarding Covid 19 too.
 
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Dodger

Lone Walker, Camino Frances 2018 VdlP 2021/22
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
If you are up to it, the open air museum at Santiponce is great and free to Pilgrims. Italica is the original Roman city site of Seville. It may only open at 10 am so check. It is closed on Mondays. Situated across the road from the last bus stop.

I am due to hike the Plata for the third time, starting out on 26 August ( rather hot I realise but date selected by French co-hiker ).
Hi Filly, may see you on the way, I have loose plans to walk Aug/Sept. I have not set the date to start, waiting for my covid vax and my country to open. Buen Camino
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hmm, going by previous posts, the albergue at the embalse seems to be quite upredictable in it's opening schedule at the best of times, something about changes of management? A pity as despite it's ugly concrete exterior, it's an important oasis in the middle of otherwise nothing with no other services nearby and it's quite a comfortable place..

I like the appearance of the low, flat, concrete building, but to each his own. As far as I know, the unpredictability was not a result of changes of management. The person managing the albergue (Andres Rodriguez) cited various problems with the building and water - for example, see his comment on the following site:
 

Flog

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
I like the appearance of the low, flat, concrete building, but to each his own. As far as I know, the unpredictability was not a result of changes of management. The person managing the albergue (Andres Rodriguez) cited various problems with the building and water - for example, see his comment on the following site:
Good to know. I think he was the young man who looked after us there. I do remember there were some on going issues with the building itself (the wind and rain were finding their way in!) but he looked after us well: we ate and slept great and had breakfast left out for us. If I was to pass that way again, I would definitely phone ahead to check given it's relative isolation.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Yes, I stayed there and enjoyed it. There were lots of pilgrims and the place was quite full. I felt sorry for the young man as he was rushed off his feet. I don't think he was the owner. I was very conscious to telephone ahead to ensure the albergue was open - because it had a history of unexpectedly being closed. As a precaution I also took extra water that day. Which was needed - although it is on a dam there did not seem anywhere to fill up, until we got to the albergue.

If anyone finds themselves having to walk the extra 12km to Cañaveral, I suggest the road. We managed to get lost on the route over the hill, and it was in that section, somewhere in the hills, that a poor German pilgrim succumbed to dehydration and died. He made a distressed phone call to his wife, but sadly could not be found until it was too late. At least on the road there is the possibility of passing traffic and rescue.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hmm, going by previous posts, the albergue at the embalse seems to be quite upredictable in it's opening schedule at the best of times, something about changes of management?

The albergue was closed for years, then reopened after re-doing its sewage treatment. Then quickly closed again in 2018 for several months when a serious problem with the repairs was discovered. Whether you like the architecture or not, the fact that there are sex-segregated bedrooms is a real plus in my mind!

According to Gronze, the albergue is owned by Garrotillas de Alconétar, a small town about 10 km away. Off topic alert — And it looks to have a very beautiful plaza mayor, constructed in the15th and 16th centuries — too bad it’s so far from the camino!

I have been in WhatsApp contact with the guy who has the municipal license for the albergue, and he assures me it will re-open as soon as the borders between regions are opened. It’s a covid problem now, not a sewage problem.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
The situation which arose at the Embalse was one for which I was prepared, having an emergency beacon which is connected to satellites and a 24 hour monitoring service, which locates anyone sending an emergency message and informs the local emergency services of their location. I purchased this for mountain hiking in the Canadian Rockies, but consider it worth taking with me on camino. There is always the chance that there is no telephone service in isolated locations and at the time I was carrying a flip phone, not a smart phone.
 

filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
In my experience my old Nokia phone had much better signal connectivity (and battery life) than a smart iPhone. I do miss my Nokia but do appreciate not having to bring a camera!
 

Gerard Griffin

New Member
Gerald's guide to the VDP was really good, but I feel I must comment on what he said about the German man walking the Via, as I'm also on the VDP at present, by bicycle.

He hasn't necessarily broken the law by crossing into the Badajoz province; the law prohibits inessential journeys, and there are times when the Camino is very much an essential journey.

I've seen numerous police patrols as I cycled from Sevilla to Caceres; they waved and smiled as me as I passed. This is because they are aware of the science behind the law, which is to prevent the most common transmissions due to people travelling to reuinte with family and celebrate family occasions. These are dangerous in terms of virus transmission, but there is no risk from a walking or cycling pilgrim who spends the day alone and the evening in a hostel which has strict covid procedures, or on the terrace of a cafe.

To suggest that walking the camino now is disrespectful to the kindness and hospitality of local communities is simply wrong. Surely the people of those communities should themselves be the ones to make such judgements; and I have been welcomed even more than usual wherever I have been, and the people I've met have made it clear that in their opinion the sooner the pilgrims return the better.

If people need to walk the Camino now they should go. There's no danger to themselves or others if sensible precautions and practices are observed.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I am glad to hear that the police have a scientifically informed view.

I suspect that, for most of us, the camino falls short of being an essential journey. I hope that people don't see the wording of that regulation as just a loophole to be exploited. When regulations are tightened up and made overly specific, then butterflies get broken on the wheels of the law.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
We would all like to get back to walking the camino. On this forum we do encourage members to keep the law.

Perhaps we should get back to the original topic. The OP (@NualaOC) asked: Has anyone managed to connect with e.g. a bus to Salamanca or back to Cáceres from Grimaldo or Carcaboso?
 

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