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Via de la Plata or Arles

dmmorris

Member
Greetings!

I'm new on this site and am seeking information that for some reason is eluding me as I navigate about. I would like to do the Camino Walk this June but have time constraints. I'm wondering what the timeline is for Arles versus Via de la Plata? I think I saw somewhere that the latter was six weeks? I'm supposed to attend a class in Costa Rica from July to August and am wondering if I can squeeze a Camino Walk between mid June and July?

Thanks to anyone who can help out~ Denise
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Welcome Denise!

If you check
csj.org.uk
you will find descriptions of all of the routes - Arles is 905 km and the Via de la Plata is about 1000 km, so really neither can be done in a month's time.

You can, however, start anywhere on either route to fit into your time constraints. Check out
mundicamino.com
for a description of suggested stages on the Via de la Plata and also on
www.godesalco.com/iphp/perfil.php

Typically, planning is for an average of 25 km / day - some days are more and some less. Leave several days leeway for rest, relaxation, exploring, and injury and at least one day in Santiago.

You'll get all kinds of suggestions from other members who have walked both of these routes as well.

Best of luck with your planning!

lynne
 

dmmorris

Member
Grazie Lynne,

I'll check out the websites you sent. Two years ago I read Kevin Codd's book, "Field to the Stars..." and was incredibly inspired. I loaned his book out but can't remember to whom and was hoping to use it as a resource this morning.

I'm totally consumed by my teaching job and had planned for a Costa Rica TEFOL training this summer but this morning was led on a detour of re-exploring the Camino Walk after receiving an Amazon notice about Hape Kekerling's new book out from his Walk experience... he says, "The most important thing I learned on the Walk was to forgive myself..." so...

I'm thinking to heck with it... just do the Camino Walk to find simplicity in my life again and then hop a plane to visit family in Italy before returning to the States. I'm thinking the spiritual, emotional, and physical rejuvination is what I need in my life right now... Costa Rica in 2011? =)

Thank you for such a quick response. I'm off to research your websites.

Again...grazie~ Denise
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Arles to Puenta la Reina is 950 km. Then you have another 685 km to Santiago. The Via de la Plata is 990 km.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
I stand corrected - took the distances from csj. :wink:

lynne
 

giorgio

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2000), Puy (03), VDLP(04), Arles(05), Paris/London(06), Norte(07),Vezelay(09), Levante(10),Madrid(13),CF(15),CF(16)
One more thing that hasn't been mentioned is HEAT !
Have walked both Arles and Plata and certainly i'd never walk Plata in July, unless you like temperatures above 40 celsius...
Giorgio
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I have walked the first 8 days of the Plata, and had to stop because of the heat.
I would never consider walking it in July.
The wells mentioned in the guidebooks are DRY, the fountains mentioned in the guidebooks are DRY, it is so HOT you must carry 3 to 4 liters of water (at least) because you sweat so much. Unless you are into extreme sports, do the Arles route.

I think the Plata is beautiful and I want to try it again, but NOT in summer!
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
There is plenty of "hot and dusty" on the Arles route, and particularly on the Camino Aragones section that connects to the Camino Frances. Look at the Google maps satellite view of the route and you will see plenty of flat, open stretches:

Aragones: http://www.elcaminosantiago.com/Camino- ... Google.htm

Start of Arles: http://www.gr-infos.com/gr653a.htm

Summer is hot. Adjust your pace accordingly. Hydrate. Take a siesta in the middle of the day. Wear a hat and sunblock. Be adaptive; the environment is not going to change, so you will have to!
 

dmmorris

Member
Ciao Lynne~

I just finished reading a camino book today and posted a question about where to start on the Via de la Plata route to get done in 4 weeks... and then I re-read your information and want to thank you for the excellent website you provided for that route. It shares the distance from one point to the next and so basing traveling on 25-30 km per day, I should easily figure out where to begin!

Have you traveled this route? I'm getting feedback to do Arles instead because of the heat and lack of a consistent water source along the way. Your thoughts?

Grazie~ Denise
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
Hi Denise - Yes, I've walked the VDLP but beginning at the end of April, so although there were some very hot days, nothing like the frequent 40+ degrees reported in June, July and August. It remains my favorite route, and I'll be walking it again next year, but again beginning in April. I haven't walked Arles, so I can't give you a recommendation for June +.

I defer to the experience of those who have walked the two routes at the same time that you are planning. Keep us posted on which you choose!

(Have you considered the Norte - it wouldn't be as hot in June?)

Buen suerte

lynne
 

dmmorris

Member
Cara Lynne,

Thanks for the suggestion of the Norte route.... I'm trying to remember why I didn't consider Arles and the only thing I can think of at the moment is that in the last 3 years I have gained 30 pounds and for the first time in my life am physically inactive... and I think Arles mentions "it is not easy!" Ha!

However... after your last message I explored some links regarding the Norte and I found a link by a man who posted a zillion BEAUTIFUL photos during his Norte camino. Am I crazy? It seems that the more I research this the more I change my mind about which route to take! I was wanting to take a less traveled route so VDLP sounded enticing. However, I love greenery and mountains and by the looks of the photos, that's where I want to be!! Overweight and out-of-shape... I'm soooo ready to do this!

I figure I may sound silly and unrealistic... any words of wisdom are always welcome~ Denise
 

giorgio

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2000), Puy (03), VDLP(04), Arles(05), Paris/London(06), Norte(07),Vezelay(09), Levante(10),Madrid(13),CF(15),CF(16)
Re: Via de la Plata or Arles....or Norte...or ?

Denise, cannot understand what you mean when you say about yourself 'out of shape and inactive' so you must judge by yourself....but also Norte contains A LOT of up's andd down's...only in few occasions it is a walk along the coast in flat terrain....
Now considering temperature, ups/downs, quantity of people along the route and the fact that you don't seem to have a preferred itinerary in mind i would consider Vezelay as an option....
Certainly the less traveled of the french routes, gentle rolling hill from beginning to end and very pleasant countryside....give it a tought
Giorgio
 

dmmorris

Member
One frustrated girl right now!

Have received emails but my messages are getting stuck in the outbox and can't figure out what I'm doing wrong here... suggestions? Does it have anything to do with how I "export?"

Thanks to you wonderful pilgrims for your advice and encouraging words both privately and on this blog.

Giorgio- I read up on Vezelay. It sounds too long for me given I only have about 4 weeks or so. Revisited all the routes again and am getting more overwhelmed. However, I've been talked out of VDLP for my time frame and the weather conditions and lack of abundant water along the way. And while the Norte route looked beautiful, it appears that it mostly follows roads which doesn't appeal to me either. Arles is mostly in France and more expensive and I'd like to practice my Spanish when possible so... hence my frustration.

I'm thinking I just need to make a decision and go with it and then get in the best shape I can between now and mid June. Mama mia!! =)
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
dmmorris said:
One frustrated girl right now!

Have received emails but my messages are getting stuck in the outbox and can't figure out what I'm doing wrong here... suggestions? Does it have anything to do with how I "export?"

Hi - don't worry they are 'sent' when the person you addressed them to logs on.

John
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I was about 20 pounds overweight when I began this past summer.

I lost 18 pounds on the Camino.

Walk slowly, gently, take your time... there's no hurry.
Stop when your feet tell you to quit.. the "stages" are just words on a page.
Make your own stages.. do only what you can do PLUS a kilometer or two and you will lose weight, slowly, gently, and get in GOOD shape, instead of hurting yourself by pushing too hard.

I swear to you, this is the best diet/exercise plan in the world.

Doesn't matter which route you take.. find one where the beauty calls to you and DO IT!
 

dmmorris

Member
Ha Ha! Thanks JohnnieWalker! I may not be high tech but I feel pretty comfy on the computer... so grazie for sharing because I was getting pretty dang frustrated...

Thanks Anniesantiago. I believe you are right and wise to say go at my own pace. This is not a competition and it is solely for me. Hape Kerkeling's experience and his open and honest perspective of his journey has both inspired and broadened my outlook ranging from privacy to companionship to accommodations and safety concerns.

Feeling confident this will be a unique and worthwhile experience~ Denise
 

dmmorris

Member
How to cut short the Frances Route?

Thank God it's Spring Break... this camino adventure has me all over this cyber site road map! :)

Another question... if I were to take the Frances Route, where would be a good starting point if I only have about 4 weeks? Or... if I started in St. Jean, what stages would you suggest I skip in order to meet my 4 week timeframe? (Was advised today to purchase Brierly's guidebook but am obviously a bit excited and impatient at the moment until I get to the bookstore.)

Thanks~ Denise
 

dmmorris

Member
Frances Route, time, shoes

Anniesantiago~

Thanks so much for all your wealth of knowledge, experience and sharing yesterday!

I've ordered Brierley's guidebook. I plan to check stages and distances. Since it sounds like part of the camino entails following industrial road areas at times, those will be the stages I think I should "cheat" in order to be done in about 4-5 weeks time.... unless anyone offers better advice??? I've canceled my other classes to devote this summer to the camino and visit friends/family in Paris and Florence since I'm already going to be in the EU neighborhood.

You mentioned New Balance athletic shoes versus hiking boots for the Frances. Did you see anyone wearing MBT's? I wear mine regularly at school or for walking as they provide great knee support. I did the stadium stairs today and thought... hmmm, would these work??

Anyhow, seems the more I research the more I have to consider. Safety pins for drying clothes? I never would have thought of that... wonderful!

Ciao~ Denise
 

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