I just wanna know, if it is possible to walk it without guide book or map?
I mean, are the yellow arrow easy to find or to look for along the road also in the city?
Thanks for your sharing, I really appreciate it.
Whilst the Via de la Plata is reasonably well waymarked from Seville Cathedral to Santiago Cathedral I think it is very advisable to take a guide book. There are stretches where markings are sporadic for example and there are also places where at this time of the year there has been considerable growth often obscuring markings. A guidebook is also essential to find albergues, hostales etc.
Interesting question really. I agree with Johnny, but let's face it, guides are often more trouble than they are worth and they take away a lot of the spontaneity. I often get the impression in the forums that people think they are walking in the more remote parts of Mongolia and not in Spain in the twentyfirst century. Who cares about the weather anyway? You are either going to Santiago or not.
That said. Maps were found to be unnecessary on the VdlP as it is reasonably well marked. Johnny is right about places to stay so take the little blue, weatherproof CSJ (bookshop) guide. It's light and simply gives a small amount of background info with distances and places to stay, and no more. It also gives the villages you pass on the day's march so you find out quickly if you have missed an arrow or two! Whatever you do, all are agreed it is a lovely Camino. Have a great walk.
Thanks for responding, because both of you recommend it, I´ll think about CSJ guide book. Actually I´m planing to camp along the road due my budget, so the idea of spontaneity is also my main concern. And another concern, Is it easy to find, lets say shop(or supermarkt) along the road to buy bread etc? because definetly I will be very very seldom eating in restaurant.
Hi - Yes there are of course shops in the larger cities and also in some of the villages - often they just look like ordinary houses - just ask. I think you'll find local people very helpful. The guide points to one or two stages ( I'd need to look through my notebook to find them again ) where you have to carry food and water enough for the day because you won't encounter a bar or shop. But I think with careful planning and choice of light dried foods like packet soup and pasta etc to carry you'll be fine and in the morning near villages listen out for the bread van sounding its horn.When you reach Santiago enjoy free meals in the staff dining room of the Parador!
I do not know this route, Blacksmith, but you might want to note that most restaurants offer an inexpensive menu de dia (although sometimes only for the mid-day meal) ranging from 8€-15€, with three hearty if basic courses and wine. If, by some chance, you are unable to find a grocery store, this will keep you going for a while. As well, grocery stores will sometimes open to serve a pilgrim, should they be closed and nothing else available.
Hello again Blacksmith, it was nice to hear about the camping idea. Just ask the locals, I'm sure it will be okay. Alison's Little Blue Book as I call it also points out where the "tiendas" are. So you know where you can buy food. Carcaboso to Aldeanueva del Camino is a long stretch (about 40 km) but you can get food easily in both towns. To camp at Chaparra (water at the museum over the hill) would be wonderful! Have a great time.
It is perfectly possible to walk the VDLP without map or guide book. Right now the waymarking is good enough. Having said that, a guide is a useful aid in planning your journey - how many km to the next coffee break, is there a shop etc.
Be aware that the guides are not perfect. In my recent experience for example the most used guides ( German red and yellow, French and Spanish) all differed on the distance of stages and even on the routes. The route has changed over the years and the waymarking is more reliable than the guide books.