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Walking Via de la Plata

Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances and Camino Finisterre
Hi everyone!

Last year I walked Camino Frances and I loved it because I met so many nice and kind people and also cause I really enjoyed the walking part. This year I thought about doing something similar which is why I looked at Via de la Plata. I have some questions about the route:

I want to walk from 14th of July to 22nd of August (ish) - is this doable? Both timewise and taking the heat in concerns?
How are the prices (food and albergues) compared to the french route?
How is the social life? Will I meet other people? (I am 22)

And off course - heads up if anyone is going too! :)

Thanks

Buen Camino
Kathrine
 
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chinasky

Italian Pilgrim
Time of past OR future Camino
Aragones, Frances, Inglese, Primitivo, Via de la Plata, Invierno, Portoguese. From Torino to Rome.
Hi everyone!
How is the social life? Will I meet other people? (I am 22)
I think that VDLP is the less crowded of the caminos; last year, for instance, it has been walked by 9221 pilgrims, Vs 172243 that chose the french way.
VDLPA is the one in which you can walk hours without meeting a single peregrino and in which you can spend more then a night in the albergue with just a couple of other persons. And, this is my idea, it's also a camino in which the average age of peregrinos is much higher than the others.

July/august are the most difficult months, because of the temperature and most pilgrims choose to walk it in spring or autumn.

I don't know if i said something helpful, but if you want to share some days with other pilgrims, start the VDLP on may first, me and a couple of companeros met last year on camino primitivo will begin it from Sevilla :)
 

bsewall

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata & Camino Frances (2013 & 2016).
The heat in July and August is a major concern. One hospitalero I talked to said many Pilgrims during those months would leave at 4 or 5 in the morning and stop by 11 to minimize the effects of the heat.

I've walked the VdlP twice (both in the Spring) and monitored this forum for 4 years and I've yet to hear anyone who walked during those months say it was truly enjoyable.
 

Al the optimist

Veteran Member
I will be joining the Via de Plata at Merida from the Mozarabes late May en route to Leon. I have slight concerns about the heat for that time. I would never consider it later as I am sure it could get unbearably uncomfortable. But note I have not walked it so I am only going on average temperatures and hearsay. Having said that a lot of hearsay has helped my Camino experiences in the past. Buen Camino whatever your decision.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I don't fit into your age category by a long shot but am able to walk long stages in the heat. Most called me nuts but I walked my first Vía de la Plata in July (2011) and later walked the Sanabrés also in July.

Start no later than 6 and carry at least 2.5 liters of water.

There were only 5 pilgrims starting out in Sevilla (no young folks) and 2 dropped out. I walked the Sanabrés twice in July which at around 30-32 degrees C was cool.
 
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Harington

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Hi everyone!

Last year I walked Camino Frances and I loved it because I met so many nice and kind people and also cause I really enjoyed the walking part. This year I thought about doing something similar which is why I looked at Via de la Plata. I have some questions about the route:

I want to walk from 14th of July to 22nd of August (ish) - is this doable? Both timewise and taking the heat in concerns?
How are the prices (food and albergues) compared to the french route?
How is the social life? Will I meet other people? (I am 22)

And off course - heads up if anyone is going too! :)

Thanks

Buen Camino
Kathrine
The heat will be a very serious concern. When I walked it (starting mid-September) the temperatures reached the 40s (C) by the afternoon. Stories abound of dehydrated pilgrims having to be rescued. You'd need to walk v early in the morning and finish by midday, latest. But then I'm English and not used to it!
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
Hi everyone!

Last year I walked Camino Frances and I loved it because I met so many nice and kind people and also cause I really enjoyed the walking part. This year I thought about doing something similar which is why I looked at Via de la Plata. I have some questions about the route:

I want to walk from 14th of July to 22nd of August (ish) - is this doable? Both timewise and taking the heat in concerns?
How are the prices (food and albergues) compared to the french route?
How is the social life? Will I meet other people? (I am 22)

And off course - heads up if anyone is going too! :)

Thanks

Buen Camino
Kathrine
Our friends Mike and Ruth are on the VdlP right now. You can read about their journey (they started in Melide) on their blog: http://ourboatleavestheharbor.blogspot.com/
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
The forum's very own Reb might weigh in here about the heat too. Know your limitations and don't skimp on water.
And might I suggest that you may not need other 22 year olds to have a good time with? Just imagine beginning a lasting friendship with an 80-something. Now *that* would be special.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances and Camino Finisterre
Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for all your replies, it was really helpful. I guess Via de la Plata must wait for another time.
I will probably go for del Norte or Frances another time - already bought new hiking shoes so I guess I have to go ;-)

Happy walking!
 

Sophie Luise

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
C. Francés ('15)
Vía de la Plata ('16)
C. Portugués ('17)
C. de Invierno ('18)
C. del Norte ('18)
..
Hi :)
I'm going to start walking the VdlP on July 13th in Sevilla. I read a lot about walking it in summer from other pilgrims and I really think if you take enough water and start early in the morning, it's doable and also enjoyable. The reason why I'm walking it in summer is that I'm a student (I'm 19 by the way ;)). It would have been great to meet you on the way, but I can understand if you choose a different route. But maybe you'll think about it again! :D
 
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Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
I did meet a couple of 18 year old students who did it last year - June-July. They were camping as well. Otherwise the youngest people tend to be in their late 40s and above at least until you get to Salamanca. On the Sanabres you may bump into the odd school group in the last week depending on when you go. My biggest worry was walking for weeks by myself. The reality for me is that you always bump into someone along the way unless you choose not to. Unless you are doing the Mozarabe where my friend didn't meet anyone from Granada to Merida. Most pilgrims on the VDLP are old enough to have kids and if you get into strife would treat you the way the way we would hope pilgrims would treat our own kids. But without the lectures! Prices go up the closer you get to Santiago.
I enjoyed walking mid June to late July. Yes it's hot but the camino has an arid beauty at that time of year. Disclaimer: I live in the Australian tropics and previously lived in desert country so I prefer temps that are over 25 deg C and usually don't start to feel it until 35 deg C. My main walking buddy lives in the Canary Islands where it is permanently Spring type warm temps so he also was used to warmer temps. It took me 37 walking days to get to SdC from Sevilla. There are some stages that we could have done faster but I liked the pace we had as we came out the other side with no significant blisters or injuries.
 
Last edited:

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
On the night hubby and I flew out of Lisbon last year after walking the Portuguese route we met two 18 year old Swedish girls who were about to walk. They were completely clueless. We gave them a bag of cherries, our accommodation list and a lecture;-) They had not yet thought about needing to carry water and had not tried putting up the tent they had just bought!
(Actually, the lecture was limited to urging them to buy a couple of plastic bottles before they set out so they would not run out of water)
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
On the night hubby and I flew out of Lisbon last year after walking the Portuguese route we met two 18 year old Swedish girls who were about to walk. They were completely clueless. We gave them a bag of cherries, our accommodation list and a lecture;-) They had not yet thought about needing to carry water and had not tried putting up the tent they had just bought!
(Actually, the lecture was limited to urging them to buy a couple of plastic bottles before they set out so they would not run out of water)
We came across a young married mendigo couple who were attempting to do the Sanabres with NO spare cash and begging/working their way from town to town. They were wearing heavy woollen gowns and we had mid 30s temps. They were facing a night in a bus shelter so we gave them money for the night so they could get beds. And I bought extra groceries which I gave them as their supplies were running low. We didn't see them the next day as they left late and we never heard of them from any others. I know they had been up late discussing their options the night before. I dearly hope they left to go home otherwise they were at high risk of divorce!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Disclaimer: I live in the Australian tropics and previously lived in desert country so I prefer temps that are over 25 deg C and usually don't start to feel it until 35 deg C. My main walking buddy lives in the Canary Islands where it is permanently Spring type warm temps so he also was used to warmer temps. It took me 37 walking days to get to SdC from Sevilla. There are some stages that we could have done faster but I liked the pace we had as we came out the other side with no significant blisters or injuries.

This is definately correct. I too find beauty in desert-like landscapes. In addition to the Plata in July I also walked the Levante in late June/July. When we reached Toledo it was 40 degrees which is also for me too extreme for walking. My walking buddy assured me that he would never again walk with me in the summer!

Go for it @Sophie Luise ! Great day to start it being my birthday and all;)
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
.
...“Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others ... Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth." Katherine Mansfield "

...Love the quote, @Donna Sch
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances and Camino Finisterre
Hi :)
I'm going to start walking the VdlP on July 13th in Sevilla. I read a lot about walking it in summer from other pilgrims and I really think if you take enough water and start early in the morning, it's doable and also enjoyable. The reason why I'm walking it in summer is that I'm a student (I'm 19 by the way ;)). It would have been great to meet you on the way, but I can understand if you choose a different route. But maybe you'll think about it again! :D

Hi! I wrote you a private message :)
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances and Camino Finisterre
I did meet a couple of 18 year old students who did it last year - June-July. They were camping as well. Otherwise the youngest people tend to be in their late 40s and above at least until you get to Salamanca. On the Sanabres you may bump into the odd school group in the last week depending on when you go. My biggest worry was walking for weeks by myself. The reality for me is that you always bump into someone along the way unless you choose not to. Unless you are doing the Mozarabe where my friend didn't meet anyone from Granada to Merida. Most pilgrims on the VDLP are old enough to have kids and if you get into strife would treat you the way the way we would hope pilgrims would treat our own kids. But without the lectures! Prices go up the closer you get to Santiago.
I enjoyed walking mid June to late July. Yes it's hot but the camino has an arid beauty at that time of year. Disclaimer: I live in the Australian tropics and previously lived in desert country so I prefer temps that are over 25 deg C and usually don't start to feel it until 35 deg C. My main walking buddy lives in the Canary Islands where it is permanently Spring type warm temps so he also was used to warmer temps. It took me 37 walking days to get to SdC from Sevilla. There are some stages that we could have done faster but I liked the pace we had as we came out the other side with no significant blisters or injuries.

Hi Donna!
What was the warmest piece of clothing you brought? Cause I'm thinking it will be hotter that CF (I walked CF last year from mid July to mid August).

Best
Kathrine
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
What was the warmest piece of clothing you brought? Cause I'm thinking it will be hotter that CF (I walked CF last year from mid July to mid August).
A long sleeved thin merino baselayer which I picked up at our local Kathmandu. And I never used it walking, just afterwards. I walked in two t-shirts which I alternated. One was a lightweight Adidas running shirt I had which was light but didn't really tolerate the rubbing of the packstraps well so was looking a bit sad by the end and got burnt at Fisterra. The other was my Montane Bionic shirt which I loved. http://www.mainpeak.com.au/montane-bionic-t-shirt-men-s/ should give you an idea. On a cold morning I added my windjacket,an Arcteryx Squamish, which is very lightweight. The coldest temp I ever walked in was 12 degrees in Extremadura. The hottest was about 36 degrees also in Extremadura. I was lucky and often seemed to be in the one cool-ish part of Spain during last year's heatwave. The heat is a dry heat so you don't see that much sweat on your skin which can be risky in that you don't realise you are dehydrating as much as you are.I worked on the theory that if it was unexpectedly cold I would just buy something in whatever small town I was in and if I had to I would layer every bit of clothing I had - potentially two tshirts, the longsleeve lightweight baselayer, my windjacket and my poncho. I did carry a sleeping bag and a silk liner and alternated between them both. I don't sleep well if the temp is under 20 degrees.
 

Most read last week in this forum

I'm playing with dates, and flights and all that good stuff. My preferred VdlP dates at this stage have me starting right in the middle of Semana Santa. So my thoughts at this stage are...
Has anybody walked this route at this time of the year (last week in February 1st 2 weeks in March)?. If so are there albergues open and are the conditions OK? Thanks

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