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Virtual (and very detailed) plan to walk the VdlP and Sanabrés (planning while in confinement)

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I decided to follow the route behind the hotel (having first gone inside to sit down and have a coffee) and to avoid the diversion which you took a little later on. That route is clearly marked, leading right off the main road, up the hill to the left at an angle behind the hotel. But with my gift for getting lost, I might have missed it, had it not been discussed so thoroughly in the previous thread.
 
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alansykes

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
Check out the church of Santiago in Trasfontao
Yes indeed. The church of Santiago in Taboado has an entrance flanked by two fine cows, similar to the vacas of Diomondi in the avatar of @VNwalking and above is a very interesting relief of Sampson and the lion. I thought it looked far older than the rest of the doorway, so sent a picture to the Guardian's archaeology expert, and she said "It looks as if it may have been resited from somewhere else... Much less sophisticated than the moo cows, I would have put it 600 years older - at least. Could even be provincial Roman?"

Nine times I've walked past that little church and it's always been closed - mostly as it's not that far from the albergue at A Laxe, so before opening time. Last November, during a particularly vile patch of bad weather, I stayed for the first time in Bandeira's albergue. Very pleasant, if a little odd. It's made up of portacabins, but perfectly comfortable. The charming young hospitalera put me in the part used by disabled people, on the grounds that it was smaller than the other dorms, so easier to heat up and dry my clothes. She was doing a distance learning course and making great progress as she was hardly over-worked - I was the first pilgrim to stay in three days.
 

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D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
Yes indeed. The church of Santiago in Taboado

Nine times I've walked past that little church and it's always been closed - mostly as it's not that far from the albergue at A Laxe, so before opening time.
For some reason I had it in my head that the church was at Trasfontao, but I see from my photos that it’s clearly signposted as the church of Santiago de Taboada. They’re close together so perhaps I confused them.

According to the sign that was up last year, the church opens at 8:30 am, so walkers from Estación de Lalin are more likely to get a look inside than those who leave from A Laxe.
 

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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
For some reason I had it in my head that the church was at Trasfontao, but I see from my photos that it’s clearly signposted as the church of Santiago de Taboada. They’re close together so perhaps I confused them.

According to the sign that was up last year, the church opens at 8:30 am, so walkers from Estación de Lalin are more likely to get a look inside than those who leave from A Laxe.
Perfect, as we intend to walk from Estación de Lalín.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 70: Silleda to Dornelas

On her 18th day on the Sanabrés, @C clearly walked from A Laxe to Dornelas, following a suggestion by @peregrina2000 :
If you have the time, my suggestion would be to stop in Dornelas, which would be about 23 km. The albergue is run by an Italian couple. It was closed when I went by last year because they were back in Italy getting married, but I walked for a few kms with a few local women who went there every day on their exercise walks for the best coffee they ever had. Everyone loves this place, and it is in a really nice setting. Meals are reported to be up to the high standards you would expect from Italian cooks.
And @Raggy added:
If you want to get from Estación de Lalin to Santiago in two days, I agree that stopping at Casa Leiras in San Martín de Dornelas is the best option - Better than the impersonal hostal in Ponte Ulla or the Xunta albergueria in Outeiro , which has a kitchen but no nearby shops (you need to buy groceries when passing through Ponte Ulla).

Casa Leiras is decorated with Italian flair and it has a beautiful garden to relax in. The owners serve a communal dinner - I think that might be your only option for dinner, because I don't remember seeing a kitchen and it's a tiny village. I remember consuming several helpings of delicious pasta with home made ragu.
We're not going from Estación de Lalin to Santiago in two days, we'll take three (do I hear groans? ;) ), but we're definitely staying at Casa Leiras.
It's a 12.1km day, and we are inching towards SdC.
 
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D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
Day 70: Silleda to Dornelas
An easy day - footpaths and quiet roads through rolling countryside, with the unlovely town of Bandeiras somewhere along the way. Once you get to Dornelas, there really isn't anything to do, other than sit in the garden (or the cafe if the weather is poor) and enjoy drinks / coffees from the bar.
If you're lucky, you'll pass through Bandeiras on Pulpo day, when several restaurants have stalls outside preparing pulpo gallego , and the whole town seems to be siting at the tables with a festival atmosphere. If it isn't pulpo day, you should have an easier time getting a table and a regular menu de peregrino at one of the cafes. The wine bar is quite nice but I am not sure what time it opens.
Depending on the season a mosquito coil or other product could be a good idea for the dorm at Casa Leiras. Dinner should be good there, and since you're taking three days to walk to Santiago, you could also stick around for breakfast the next morning. There are posher hotels that you could reach, but Dornelas is a pleasant spot.
 

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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 71: Dornelas to Lestedo

Our penultimate day!
@C clearly followed advice from @peregrina2000 , who had put forward a few suggestions on breaking up the last 28.5km between Dornelas and SdC.
So we're also going to stop in Lestedo for our last night before we walk into the Praza do Obradoiro. We'll have a room at the Hotel Rural Casa de Casal, which looks like a great place to stay. @Raggy concurs:
Now, the Hotel Rural Casa de Casal in Lestedo is another kettle of fish - If I wanted to give myself a treat after several weeks of albergue stays, that's the kind of place I'd like to splurge on. I've never been inside, but I've always been struck by how pretty it is when walking past.
Today's walk is 14.9km. I am curious about what is at Pico Sacro, between Outeiro and Lestedo. Something worth making a detour?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I am curious about what is at Pico Sacro, between Outeiro and Lestedo. Something worth making a detour?

I remember looking it up last time I walked but had to go to wikipedia to jog my memory. Legend has it that Queen Lupa sent the two disciples carrying Santiago’s body up to the Pico Sacro for burial. She did that knowing that a dragon lived there, which would devour them all. The disciples escaped by making the sign of the cross, and brought the body safely to Santiago. More stories here.

If the legends don’t make you want to walk up, maybe the natural aspects will be a draw. I’ve never been up, but it is said to be one of the most panoramic views of Galicia. On a clear day you can see: “La ría de Arousa, la Serra do Barbanza, la catedral de Santiago, las tierras de Arzúa, Melide y Palas de Rei, el valle del Ulla y las Serras do Careón, do Faro e do Candán.”

According to Google Maps, it’s about an hour’s walk from your Casa Rural.
 

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Deleted member 73526

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Day 71: Dornelas to Lestedo
Our penultimate day!
With only 15km to walk, you have time to stop in Ponte Ulla to admire the bridges and have a coffee. You'll probably be too early for a fancy linen-table-clothed lunch at Villa Verde.
Your fellow guests at Dornelas might be shooting for Santiago today, which is a more strenuous walk than the Italians at Dornelas would have you believe. What's the hurry? Enjoy the countryside, which is still very pretty. Once you climb out of Ponte Ulla, you'll get one of the last really good panoramas of the Camino itself. And should you detour to the Pico, you might get your first glimpse of the cathedral. I can't confirm that, since I've never been up that way.
 

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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Fabulous photos, @Raggy !
I love the one with the vine leaf in the morning mist.
What's the story (if there is one) behind the photo of the guitar?
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 72: Lestedo to Santiago de Compostela

This is the last day of this VdlP/Sanabrés virtual Camino. Today, we have 13.6km to reach our goal on the Praza do Obradoiro. @Raggy sums that last day nicely:
What's the hurry? Enjoy the countryside, which is still very pretty.
As @C clearly headed to her destination, @peregrina2000 had some advice, and as a fellow Romanesque aficionado, I wouldn't miss the opportunity of seeing the Colegiata del Sar. @VNwalking has a beautiful photo of it.
@Raggy also commented on @C clearly 's last day and he has also suggestions (the guided tour of the Portico de Gloria, the museum of the Galician people) which will be useful on this, our second visit to SdC. I will take his recommendation for a beard trim:
And if you need a beard trim or shave, I recommend Barbanosa at 1 Rúa da República Arxentina.
😂

When I started looking at the VdlP, explaining that we would like to consider short stages, this comment was made to me:
If you can't walk long distances, you may want to reconsider walking the VdeP.

Walking this virtual Camino has been a fantastic exercise. It showed that it is possible to walk from Seville to SdC without necessarily having to walk the long distances which are the reputation of this Camino. Here are some statistics:
- we walked 62 days, (I followed @Sara_Dhooma 's videos, and she walked the same length in 38 days!)
- had 10 rest days in amazing places (Zafra, Mérida, Cáceres, Galisteo, Salamanca, Zamora, Puebla de Sanabria, and Ourense)
- we spent a total of 72 days on the VdlP/Sanabrés
- we took a taxi or had a lift a couple of times to shorten some of the stages, the most notorious one being day 3 from Castilblanco de los Arroyos to Almadén de la Plata, and another one when we walked from Fuenterroble de Salvatierra, where the Casa Rural VII Carreras came to pick us up after 22km. We're not purists...
- we only had a handful of days over 20km
- we averaged between 15km and 16km per day.

I would like to thank all the pilgrims who have contributed in one way or another to the immensely valuable information on this virtual Camino:
@peregrina2000 (without whom I would have never started!), @Raggy (thank you for all your photos and the detailed descriptions!), @C clearly (whose virtual footsteps we followed on the Sanabrés), @OzAnnie , @Peregrinopaul (both fellow Australians), @VNwalking (who has whet my appetite to discover other Caminos), @hel&scott , @alansykes , @camino07 , @amancio , @Albertagirl , @KinkyOne , and others who chimed in occasionally.

So signing off on this virtual Camino, here's the photo of our arrival in SdC in 2018, after a very long walk...
Buen Camino!
IMG_20181030_160058.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
Day 72: Lestedo to Santiago de Compostela
It feels a bit wrong to add a post after your concluding thoughts and photo, but I wanted to say that the final approach to Santiago is pretty good. I am told that it's prettier than the last kilometers of the CF. Certainly, you don't get the feeling of endless suburbs. You'll pass the Cafe Bar Rosende, and two more cafe/bars in A Susana and Piñeiro. I've never noticed the bar in Piñeiro, but I think the little, white church in my photo below is the hermitage indicated on Gronze's map. There's a spot where you walk below an overhanging vine between farm buildings ... when you might think that the city outskirts are beginning, but there's still some countryside to go. Things get a little less scenic around the motorway and railway bridges, and before you know it, you're on the approach to the city center, through pleasant, old streets.
At the conclusion of my first Camino, I was welcomed by an American football team on the Praza do Obradoiro. Despite the incongruity, it felt like the appropriate punctuation point for that moment. An interrobang to signal the journey's end. The second time I arrived in Santiago, I exchanged a grateful nod with the bagpipe player under the arch - an unplanned but delightful moment that gave me the feeling that the city itself had wrapped me in its arms. On both occasions, I was also fortunate to meet the pilgrims who had been on the road with me and reached Santiago before me.
 

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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
It feels a bit wrong to add a post after your concluding thoughts and photo, but I wanted to say that the final approach to Santiago is pretty good.
I had barely posted my concluding thoughts, that it occurred to me that a conclusion could stop the contributions...
In fact, I am expecting other posts, not just on this last day, but on the whole virtual Camino.
So don't let it feel wrong to add a post, @Raggy !!
And thank you once again! Since Mérida, you have been our walking companion every day!
¡Gracias amigo!
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
What's the story (if there is one) behind the photo of the guitar?
It seems to be a shrine of some sort with all manner of tributes and messages under the plastic. There seem to be a lot of pilgrims with an overwhelming urge to leave their mark on the Camino - especially in the last 100km or so. To the extent that these monuments concentrate their efforts, I'm in favor, I guess. For myself, I prefer to take photos and write blog posts.

The only pilgrim with a guitar that I recall meeting was right at the end of my first camino in Muxia. I wish he'd left it by a tree somewhere.
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
A thank you to all participanta on this thread. It helps me to update information about the route from Zamora to Santiago. I hope to walk it after I complete the Camino de Levante in Zamora, whenever my life and the pandemic permit me to do so.
 
Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Thank you, AJ. I've enjoyed the journey, even though I only know anything useful about the last few days of it.

I can concur with @Raggy that this approach to Santiago is lovely. On that long downhill after passing the Cidade de Cultura, you can see the spires of the cathedral off in the distance; some of the other routes seem to hide them.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
This has been a great project. Lots of walks down memory lane for those of us in confinement. I think the resource we leave behind will help others who are considering the Vdlp, especially those who may be concerned about long distances, sparse facilities, etc.

@AJ, when you want to put this to bed, just holler and one of the mods will merge it back into one thread with the Virtual Vdlp. And then we will give you a little break, but hope you will consider walking the Levante virtually. :) My hopes that confinement would be over this fall have been dashed, so I would welcome the enjoyment that comes from these virtual planning threads. Buen camino, Laurie
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
This is the last day of this VdlP/Sanabrés virtual Camino.
Congratulations, especially for your perseverance in keeping this thread going. I know how that can be a daily demand - very satisfying and interesting, but it still requires work! I have stayed out of the discussions since you started the Sanabres, as I haven't walked it yet, but I have popped in to look from time to time.
Walking this virtual Camino has been a fantastic exercise. It showed that it is possible to walk from Seville to SdC without necessarily having to walk the long distances which are the reputation of this Camino. Here are some statistics:
Thanks for those stats. It is so true that long distances are not really necessary more than a couple of times, and there are easy work-arounds for those occasions.
 
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
I would love to know that story.
The Black Ravens were charging around the square in formation, and taking photos with pilgrims that day. I think they were just drumming up support for the team. To some extent, I think it worked - I don’t really follow sport, but if you were to ask me my favorite American football team in the Spanish leagues, it would definitely be the Black Ravens. Go Ravens.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
Day 71: Dornelas to Lestedo
With only 15km to walk, you have time to stop in Ponte Ulla to admire the bridges and have a coffee. You'll probably be too early for a fancy linen-table-clothed lunch at Villa Verde.
Bar Rio which is first on the right in Ponte Ulla does a very nice sit down lunch if you feel like a treat and should you not feel like moving far afterwards, also have accommodation which was freshly renovated last year. Rather pleasant watching pilgrims enter town over the bridge. First time I went there it was July 22nd and the feast of Mary Magdalene which they celebrate. Fireworks going off as we came into town, concert in the evening, lots of beers with pilgrim friends that night...
Second visit in late March, we went for a wander along the path towards the new bridge past the cemetery and by Villa Verde and there is a clump of rocks on the right where we saw this lovely sunning itself in the late afternoon sun. The bloke is a keen herpetologist so was absolutely delighted. Made his day.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
And should you detour to the Pico, you might get your first glimpse of the cathedral. I can't confirm that, since I've never been up that way.
As I was scrolling around this thread for another purpose, I realized I never asked for some help with GPS tracks. Not that I’m planning to walk to Pico Sacro any time soon, unfortunately.

I have switched from my GPS device to using the wikiloc app on my phone. But that means that I can only use trails that are on wikiloc.

This looks like a great off-road circle walk from Lestedo up to the Pico Sacro. Can any one put it on wikiloc? I’m not even sure if that’s feasible, but I thought I’d check.

Many thanks, Laurie

 
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Wow, thank you to @AJGuillaume and all others who contributed to this thread. What an exercise, with a great spirit among you.

We are hoping to walk VdelP and Sanabres for April 2022. I’ve started to look at the the ‘typical’ stages and there are a few long stages I’d like to cut in two and other variations. I’m sure this thread will be very helpful.

For reasons of time constraints, we will likely start in Merida, where we finished the Mozarabe some years ago. Love Seville, and have visited many times, so we are ok with this choice. Maybe we will walk the ‘first section’ another time. In any case, we will be delighted to go back to Merida and begin there.

In addition to Caceres, Salamanca, Zamora, Puebla de Sanabria, Ourense - I’ll be keen to uncover references to smaller towns and villages that those who have walked this Way consider ‘gems’.

Muchas gracias 🙏
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017
Primitivo 2018
Finisterre/Muxía 2018
Norte 2019
Wow, thank you to @AJGuillaume and all others who contributed to this thread. What an exercise, with a great spirit among you.

We are hoping to walk VdelP and Sanabres for April 2022. I’ve started to look at the the ‘typical’ stages and there are a few long stages I’d like to cut in two and other variations. I’m sure this thread will be very helpful.

In addition to Caceres, Salamanca, Zamora, Puebla de Sanabria, Ourense - I’ll be keen to uncover references to smaller towns and villages that those who have walked this Way consider ‘gems’.

Muchas gracias 🙏
Me too !
It’s Spring here in Western Australia and I’m finally feeling optimistic that my postponed VdlP might happen next year .
Time to increase my daily walks and to read this thread again from the beginning and take notes which I felt too despondent to do before .
Many thanks @AJGuillaume for starting the thread and everyone else who has offered advice and suggestions.
 
F

Former member 31048

Guest
Me too !
It’s Spring here in Western Australia and I’m finally feeling optimistic that my postponed VdlP might happen next year .
Time to increase my daily walks and to read this thread again from the beginning and take notes which I felt too despondent to do before .
Many thanks @AJGuillaume for starting the thread and everyone else who has offered advice and suggestions.
Maybe we will see you. We hope to leave Merida on 1 April - at least that's our current 'plan'!
 
F

Former member 31048

Guest
Hola @AJGuillaume and all other contributors.

Well here I am again today back at this wonderful thread - as I take advantage of (hopefully) the last few weeks of lockdown here at Pretty Beach, north of Sydney - to put together our likely stages for VdelP and Sanabres in April.

I'm particularly interested in the ideas around breaking up some of the 30+ stretches - it's so useful to hear from those who have walked this path. And I'm every much enjoying the history, anecdotes and recommendations. We will be starting from Merida where we finished the Mozarabe - what a fabulous town to re-visit and begin from. So excited about Caceres, Salamanca, Zamora ... and so on.

Thanks again to all. Muchas gracias.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'm particularly interested in the ideas around breaking up some of the 30+ stretches - it's so useful to hear from those who have walked this path.
Hi Jenny@zen

Wonderful plan

It would be really helpful if you would ask questions about a specific stage that seems long to you. Other than the one from Carcaboso to Aldeanueva (which we paid a lot of attention to in this thread), where do you see your “problem spots?”
 
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Thank you Laurie. I think I didn’t word my comment well. I’m sure the thread has all that I need regarding information on the longer stages - which is one aspect I’m particularly interested in for planning.

I suspect we will book ahead for much of this walk - given the time of year, the available accommodation, Semana Santa - and the fact that we opt for private rooms these days as far as possible. No offence to any other pilgrims - but I need my sleep and have a v poor track record of sleeping in dorms. 😌
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
Hi, AJ,
Just to say I got another WhatsApp from the owner of the Embalse albergue, and he said that making reservations by WhatsApp will be possible any time the albergue is open. 34 664 26 27 42

I agree it’s always good to have a fallback plan, but I think this albergue’s hard times are behind it. It is true that after being closed for several years to fix the sewer issue, it re-opened only to have to close again because the problems had not been fixed. But I think there has now been a good track record of a couple of years of continuous operation. Commentary on Gronze is consistently very positive.

@Raggy’s memory of the ”neighborhood” is like mine — lots of unoccupied houses, but there are places to sit on logs right next to the water and watch the fish jump, all very peaceful. And the albergue has a very nice outdoor terrace with views over the water — it was there I met three Japanese peregrinos, none of whom had known each other previously and who had all just met that day at the albergue. That is surely an unusual occurrence — three Japanese pilgrims coming together on the Vdlp.

And one real plus of staying at the Embalse is that it’s just 20 kms from Grimaldo, which has a lovely casa rural, with a lovely owner César, good pilgrim prices, and a very good restaurant across the street. And that in turn puts you in a good position to walk the next day for 20 km to Galisteo, but I am jumping ahead, sorry!

(AHHHHH. Izarbide, another one of my favorites).

I'm re-reading this outstanding thread to make more notes for my VdlP whenever that might happen. :rolleyes:
Thank you @AJGuillaume for creating it!

There are a couple of sections so far, where it was deemed useful to have a local taxi number 'just in case'.
And some discussion about the difficulties of explaining where you want to be picked up.

Could this be a help?

Prior to my last Camino, my 'leader' insisted that I learned enough Spanish so that amongst other things, I could call the Police or an Ambulance to our location. Or less dramatically........perhaps a taxi. ;)

My wonderful Spanish teacher who came from Ponferrada, had me practicing using the kilometer markers that are placed along all major Spanish roads.

So you would say for example, that you are on the N-360 at Kilometre 556. (wherever that is)

Does that make sense?
Would a taxi driver understand?
Or is it only emergency services that use that type of reference point?

Just a thought........
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I'm re-reading this outstanding thread to make more notes for my VdlP whenever that might happen. :rolleyes:
Thank you @AJGuillaume for creating it!

There are a couple of sections so far, where it was deemed useful to have a local taxi number 'just in case'.
And some discussion about the difficulties of explaining where you want to be picked up.

Could this be a help?

Prior to my last Camino, my 'leader' insisted that I learned enough Spanish so that amongst other things, I could call the Police or an Ambulance to our location. Or less dramatically........perhaps a taxi. ;)

My wonderful Spanish teacher who came from Ponferrada, had me practicing using the kilometer markers that are placed along all major Spanish roads.

So you would say for example, that you are on the N-360 at Kilometre 556. (wherever that is)

Does that make sense?
Would a taxi driver understand?
Or is it only emergency services that use that type of reference point?

Just a thought........
I noticed Robo's post and decided to insert my comments on how I managed this part of the VdlP. I walked this camino alone in 2017, at the age of 69, and did not travel by taxi or other public transit at any point. I did, however, get my pack transferred the 29 km from Castilblanco to Almaden with the taxi that other pilgrims had booked to take them the first 16 kms. to the park entrance, then take their packs on to an albergue in Almaden.
I had heard, earlier in 2017, about the French pilgrim who died walking the 32 kms. from Casar de Caceres to Canaveral. When I was walking through in October, it was unclear whether the albergue at the Embalse would be open, but probable that it would not. I spent the night at Casar de Caceres, then began my walk to the Embalse, not knowing whether I would need to walk on to Canaveral. In the event, the albergue was closed. There was a fishing lodge at the Embalse, but they refused to accommodate a pilgrim, so I walked on to Canaveral. It was an easy walk along level ground. The next day, I walked a short day to Grimaldo.
My most difficult walk on the VdlP was the 28 kms. from Fuenterroble to San Pedro de Rozados. I had a few challenges with route finding and a few climbs, which slowed me down. It was very hot. By late afternoon I was hiding in a ditch to escape from the relentless sun. I heard the loud hoof prints of an animal in the field above the ditch and looked up to discover a massive black pig thundering across the field to splash into a pond. Behind it thundered a second pig. I wished I could join them. A little later, I walked on to the albergue at San Pedro, where I was greeted by cheers from the other pilgrims. The next day I arrived in Salamanca (Oct. 26) and the heat broke for the rest of the VdlP. These three days were the only days on the VdlP where the heat and the distance made my day's walk challenging.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
I noticed Robo's post and decided to insert my comments on how I managed this part of the VdlP. I walked this camino alone in 2017, at the age of 69, and did not travel by taxi or other public transit at any point. I did, however, get my pack transferred the 29 km from Castilblanco to Almaden with the taxi that other pilgrims had booked to take them the first 16 kms. to the park entrance, then take their packs on to an albergue in Almaden.
I had heard, earlier in 2017, about the French pilgrim who died walking the 32 kms. from Casar de Caceres to Canaveral. When I was walking through in October, it was unclear whether the albergue at the Embalse would be open, but probable that it would not. I spent the night at Casar de Caceres, then began my walk to the Embalse, not knowing whether I would need to walk on to Canaveral. In the event, the albergue was closed. There was a fishing lodge at the Embalse, but they refused to accommodate a pilgrim, so I walked on to Canaveral. It was an easy walk along level ground. The next day, I walked a short day to Grimaldo.
My most difficult walk on the VdlP was the 28 kms. from Fuenterroble to San Pedro de Rozados. I had a few challenges with route finding and a few climbs, which slowed me down. It was very hot. By late afternoon I was hiding in a ditch to escape from the relentless sun. I heard the loud hoof prints of an animal in the field above the ditch and looked up to discover a massive black pig thundering across the field to splash into a pond. Behind it thundered a second pig. I wished I could join them. A little later, I walked on to the albergue at San Pedro, where I was greeted by cheers from the other pilgrims. The next day I arrived in Salamanca (Oct. 26) and the heat broke for the rest of the VdlP. These three days were the only days on the VdlP where the heat and the distance made my day's walk challenging.
Thanks @Albertagirl - these tougher days are good to note. Thank you for sharing your experience of those challenging days.

I’m heading out from Seville on 19 April (Covid allowing) and wonder how hot the weather will become as I head north to the Sanabres. I’m pretty well prepared with sun-safe gear etc and as I’ll have Spot my hiking trailer with me I’ll be able to take a fair bit of water but once I’m out on those long roads I hope all will be OK. I can see some early morning departures from the albergues happening.

Cheers from Oz -

Jenny
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
The town of Hervás is a bit of a detour (perhaps 5km extra) on the way to Baños de Montemayor from Aldeanueva del Camino, but worth it, I thought. With apparently one of the best preserved juderías in Spain, the winding narrow cobbled streets leading up to the imposing hilltop church are impressive. "Vaut le detour", as the Michelin guides put it.

Also, I did enjoy the "circuito romano" in the baths at Baños de Montemayor. 90 minutes, I think, for the full circuit, but sooo refreshing, and cleansing.

Bit of a dumb question perhaps @alansykes .
But I note there are a couple of Roman Baths along the VdlP.
Visiting those sounds like a great idea.

I presume 'proper' swimwear is required........? :rolleyes:

I am searching for the lightest possible 'budgie smugglers' as we call them here 'Down under'.
Being a bit weight paranoid due to bad legs/knees/feet.... :oops:
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Bit of a dumb question perhaps @alansykes .
But I note there are a couple of Roman Baths along the VdlP.
Visiting those sounds like a great idea.

I presume 'proper' swimwear is required........? :rolleyes:

I am searching for the lightest possible 'budgie smugglers' as we call them here 'Down under'.
Being a bit weight paranoid due to bad legs/knees/feet.... :oops:
@Robo,
I read a posting on the forum where a young woman walking the VdlP described booking a private swim in a Roman Bath, which was accessed from indoors. She enjoyed her swim, but mentioned that swimming attire was compulsory and she was glad that the management did not see that she was not provided with any. Unfortunately, I cannot think how I could find the thread. But this was possible at one time and might be done in future by another swimmer wanting to try a Roman Bath and lacking "budgie smugglers". I wouldn't wish to try it myself.
 

JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Past OR future Camino
CF - sections and whole (2012-2019) and part VF (2017)
@Robo,
I read a posting on the forum where a young woman walking the VdlP described booking a private swim in a Roman Bath, which was accessed from indoors. She enjoyed her swim, but mentioned that swimming attire was compulsory and she was glad that the management did not see that she was not provided with any. Unfortunately, I cannot think how I could find the thread. But this was possible at one time and might be done in future by another swimmer wanting to try a Roman Bath and lacking "budgie smugglers". I wouldn't wish to try it myself.
Hi Albertagirl and Robo - I’ve heard of the requirement for proper swimming gear at the Roman Baths too. @Elle Bieling from here on the Forum reported in her wonderful blog on the VDLP/Sanabres in 2019 that she and her friend Nadine weren’t granted access to some Roman Baths as they didn’t have their cozzies with them. Elle’s husband Rich and their friend Norm were able to gain access as their hiking shorts resembled swim shorts. Sooo not fair!

I’ve purchased a really lightweight Speedo cozzie ... I hope to visit every Roman Bath on the VDLP/Sanabres next year and have a lovely soak! What a treat!

Maybe some really lightweight boardies will do the job Robo.

Cheers - Jenny
 

wanda

New Member
Past OR future Camino
planning Via de la Plata spring 2022
That will be great: we love rural areas, and we enjoy chatting to the locals. While walking on the Norte, we would stop and chat with someone, and often, they had a family member who had migrated or been to Australia.


The eucalyptus trees will remind us of back home 😆


Hostal Extremadura doesn't get good reviews on Gronze, so we were going to avoid it.
It's not that we are not fans of albergues, in fact if an albergue has rooms with just two beds (or a double bed), we're happy to stay at an albergue, and we did this with a number of gîtes on our walk through France. Unfortunately, the albergue in Monesterio doesn't take reservations, so we would be leaving our accommodation up to chance, something Rachel would prefer not to do.

Day 7: Monesterio to Fuente de Cantos
This is going to be a 20.7km stage, with an overall gentle descent.
Wise Pilgrim and Gerald Kelly refer to a new type of marking on this stretch, with the possibility of taking a wrong turn. I'll make sure I have GPX tracks, and we'll keep an eye out for the few yellow arrows.
We will also need to take enough water and food, as there are no places where we can replenish our water bottles.
Gronze warns that we will have little shade, so Rachel will be using her Euroschirm hands free umbrella to stay in the shade. We used it in 2018, and she loved it. We even tried to measure the difference in temperature, and under the umbrella, it was 2 to 3°C lower.
We have no trouble choosing accommodation in Fuente de Cantos: @P Rat and @OzAnnie have both recommended Apartamentos El Zaguán de la Plata, thank you to both of you! :)
We're looking forward to having a look at the church Nuestra Señora de la Granada, and its baroque altarpiece.
Hi! I have a question about El Zaguan de la plata. I see prices that look comparable to an albergue15E and more expensive rooms on booking.com for 55-60E. Are there 2 similarly named accommodations?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
El Zaguan de la plata
I assume you are talking about the place in Fuente de Cantos. You say you have seen prices comparable to an albergue, but didn't say where you found those prices.

The owner is quite enterprising and was handing out leaflets to pilgrims on the road into Fuente de Cantos when I walked by in 2017. I stayed there and was quite happy. I don't remember the price but I was given a bed in a comfortable double room and my room-mate was another pilgrim who arrived separately. I think we had our own bath, but I'm not certain. There were several bedrooms in an apartment, and they could have been rented out as double rooms, but everyone had access to common facilities - kitchen, patio, laundry facilities, etc. The owner and the atmosphere were very nice. I would recommend it.

This is a very good example of the advantages and disadvantages of booking.com versus other ways to secure rooms. The owner undoubtedly prices the rooms accordingly.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Hi @wanda
question about El Zaguan de la plata

I stayed there in April 2019. Great memory.
The price charged then was minimal and facilities were terrific. It was still too cold in April to use the pool but someone still took a dip then.

Usually the site : gronze.com shows the different rates plus booking dot com link. I’ve had a look and only see booking rates so maybe you could contact them direct via email or phone.
(Screen shot below ).

As @C clearly mentions in her post - the owner was handing out pamphlets to pilgrims walking in their direction when I walked. Rates were minimal.

This is a very good example of the advantages and disadvantages of booking.com versus other ways to secure rooms. The owner undoubtedly prices the rooms accordingly.


Also Wanda. No , not separate places. - There is only one place with that name. Al zaguan de la plata.
 

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wanda

New Member
Past OR future Camino
planning Via de la Plata spring 2022
Hi @wanda


I stayed there in April 2019. Great memory.
The price charged then was minimal and facilities were terrific. It was still too cold in April to use the pool but someone still took a dip then.

Usually the site : gronze.com shows the different rates plus booking dot com link. I’ve had a look and only see booking rates so maybe you could contact them direct via email or phone.
(Screen shot below ).

As @C clearly mentions in her post - the owner was handing out pamphlets to pilgrims walking in their direction when I walked. Rates were minimal.




Also Wanda. No , not separate places. - There is only one place with that name. Al zaguan de la plata.
Thanks to all for responses. I am referring to the place in Fuentos de Cantos. I will contact them directly as I think that seems to be best. I am traveling alone, but I am definitely open to sharing accommodations.
I last walked the Primitivo in 2014 and usually booked one day ahead. I don’t mind long days if I know I have a place to stay.
Since so much has changed with COVID I thought I best book ahead several days. I will start walking April 22. I have seen some posts about booking all accommodations, but I prefer to be more flexible and thought 4-5 should be sufficient. Thoughts?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I prefer to be more flexible and thought 4-5 should be sufficient. Thoughts?
I would expect it to be more than sufficient, except for Easter week, which should be booked now! Arriving in a popular town on a weekend can also be unpredictable, so keep an eye out for that.
 

wanda

New Member
Past OR future Camino
planning Via de la Plata spring 2022
I would expect it to be more than sufficient, except for Easter week, which should be booked now! Arriving in a popular town on a weekend can also be unpredictable, so keep an eye out for that.
Thanks!
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
I am referring to the place in Fuentos de Cantos. I will contact them directly as I think that seems to be best. I am traveling alone, but I am definitely open to sharing accommodations.
Hi Wanda : Re above for El Zaguan de la Plata in Fuente de Cantos.

- would you let us know the outcome of your enquiry re current rates for peregrina/os please ?
 

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