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What did you love best about walking la Plata?

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
I feel drawn to walking La Plata next time I'm able to do a Camino. I've heard from some people that they found it boring, grueling, ran into logistics re. finding water, places to stay, etc. But I've heard from others that it was their favorite Camino. I want to hear what you loved about it.

One reason this camino interests me, besides the Roman history along the way, is that it passes through the homelands of some of the Spanish conquistadores and families that settled in my part of North America; Albuquerque, New Mexico. In fact the town in Spain, "Alburquerque" is not far off the route and I would love to stop see where the namesake duke lived who was responsible for our town's name.

So tell me what made it special for you.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
Hi
Do it..... it’s got everything. Camaraderie (if you choose it); open spaces to lose yourself if you prefer; history ; churches ; .......and...
I won’t go on... you’ll love it.
Even more going on if you are on it before and after Holy Week.
To reply to your post .. I’d need to write a book.
I can’t say I found it boring or gruelling. Of course you’ll encounter climbs and flat areas but overall (in spring - beautiful flowers . /poppies , lavender , bushes of rock roses ‘Jara’. A lot of off road through parktype land. Plenty of pig farms, horses , cows etc. Logistics: Sevilla is easy to get to from Madrid. It could be a logistical fete to get to the spanish ‘ Alburquerque.’ you mentioned was named after your Duke town in New Mexico of Albuquerque.. (note: recommend to others that NM - great place to visit- put it on the list if you’re visiting USA).
Water.. I can’t comment for walking in summer season but I had no problem over April/May 2019.
Always had plenty of water, still in my bottles at end of day. Now this could also change if you are someone that walks extra extra long stages. Walking average days of 20-27 (occasionally I had a stage just over 30ks).. gives plenty of time to stop and re-fuel or picnic.

Have a look at the recent posts by @AJGuillaume
He has now got 2 posts (links) to a virtual camino of the Vdlp. So much research and info in this virtual camino to get you started.



Ps off topic. /did you eventually get to join the bike ride ? Was it the Silk Road ? from memory.

I hope you get to enjoy the Vdlp.
Buen camino
Annie
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Hi Annie,
No, my moto trip through the Pamir mountains on the Silk Road through Tajikistan was cancelled because of Covid. It is postponed until next June, so I plan to do it then! Thanks for your info. about La Plata.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Hi
Do it..... it’s got everything. Camaraderie (if you choose it); open spaces to lose yourself if you prefer; history ; churches ; .......and...
I won’t go on... you’ll love it.
Even more going on if you are on it before and after Holy Week.
To reply to your post .. I’d need to write a book.
I can’t say I found it boring or gruelling. Of course you’ll encounter climbs and flat areas but overall (in spring - beautiful flowers . /poppies , lavender , bushes of rock roses ‘Jara’. A lot of off road through parktype land. Plenty of pig farms, horses , cows etc. Logistics: Sevilla is easy to get to from Madrid. It could be a logistical fete to get to the spanish ‘ Alburquerque.’ you mentioned was named after your Duke town in New Mexico of Albuquerque.. (note: recommend to others that NM - great place to visit- put it on the list if you’re visiting USA).
Water.. I can’t comment for walking in summer season but I had no problem over April/May 2019.
Always had plenty still in my bottles at end of day. Now this could also change if you are someone that walks extra extra long stages. Walking average days of 20-27 (occasionally I had a stage just over 30ks).. gives plenty of time to stop and re-fuel or picnic.

Have a look at the recent posts by @AJGuillaume
He has now got 2 posts (links) to a virtual camino of the Vdlp. So much research and info in this virtual camino to get you started.



Ps off topic. /did you eventually get to join the bike ride ? Was it the Silk Road ? from memory.

I hope you get to enjoy the Vdlp.
Buen camino
Annie

Agree with all of this! It was the space that captivated me. Because of age and infirmities :) I had on occasion to use buses and taxis as well as my two feet just to get to habitacions. I even thumbed a few stages. Its a route my heart cries out for especially beginning from Malaga. Cordoba remains one of my favourite cities. Go! Take your time! Let it seep into you.

All the best,

The Malingerer.
 

DonCamino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 CN
2015 + 2016 VdlP
2017 CF + CN
2018 CP from Lisbon
2019 Salvador+Primitivo
Hi @JillGat ,

the VdP is boring, some people say. Some say „so we have seen everything, let‘s go home“ after 100 or 200 kms, ho ho.

The Plata was my meditative Camino! Quiet, calm, relaxing. It was not boring at all. Depends on your motivation, what you are looking for, your feelings and present situation. On the Frances or the Portugues (from Porto) for example you can find ‚everything‘, on the Plata you can find a meditative walking on historic paths ... i think.

It was not hard to find a bed, food, water, ... . SOME stretches were longer, ok. And one day i carried 3.5 liters of water, walking 27 kms from one to the other albergue through vineyards, vineyards, vineyards with nothing but me. And, have an eye on the time of the year: you can get up to 40 degrees C like i had a day in May, not in August!

A really goood Camino in my eyes! (Did it in 2 parts over 2 years, Seville to Salamanca 500 kms and Salamanca to SdC 500 kms plus Muxia and Finisterre 120 kms).

So long
DonCamino
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
And yes, as someone mentioned above... if any of you have a chance to visit New Mexico, USA, let me know. I can give some interesting history tours. New Mexico was colonized by the Spanish way before the English landed in Jamestown.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
It doesn't surprise me to learn that the "original" Albuquerque is in Badajoz province in the Extremadura region. Many of the conquistadors came from that region. There are monuments to Hernan Cortes in Medellin, Francisco Pizarro in Trujillo, Pedro de Valdivia in Castuera, Hernando de Soto in Badajoz, and the list goes on... Why should that be the case? Perhaps because this region was so poor and the men were drawn to (or driven to) find opportunities in the new world.

If that is your interest, you should certainly contact the Badajoz Jacobea association before you set off. They are a friendly and active camino association and I expect that they will help you if you want to do something different - routing through Albuquerque for example.

I loved the Via de la Plata for the solitude in the wide open spaces, the history, and the kindness of the local associations and ordinary people that I met. Of course, there's history everywhere, but I found it fascinating to walk through places where the different religions and cultures that have shaped Spain are layered on top of each other - from prehistoric settlements, through Roman,Visigoth, Moorish, and more recent times.
 
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Houlet

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
I loved it, it is very different from the Camino Frances and is not for the person who wants to have a choice of cafes every five km and to walk only fifteen km stages. There are some long stages, there are less people, and less infrastrucure but in many ways it gets you closer to real Spain.
 

Aidan21

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SDC 2013/14
SJPP to SDC 2016
Porto to SDC 2017
VdlP Sevilla/Salamanca 2018
Hi Jill,

You will simply have to do it and then make your own mind up. No two people will feel exactly the same about it. For darn sure it is different from the Frances which I found to be more receptive to the needs of the pilgrims. Frequently when walking the VdlP I would get to the place I intended to stay and of course it was siesta time and everything was shut, so be sure and have some food with you. However there are some wonderful sights. I have attached my all time favourite photo from my Caminos. I nearly missed it as it was behind me as I was walking out of Merida just before sunrise. Just Magic!!!

Aidan
 

Attachments

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Started Camino de Levante (2019).
Hi Jill.
For me, it is the one Camino that I have to go back and do a second time. As Aidan21 said, you have to do it to know what it means to you.
On a practical level, it is a relatively quiet camino, Look at the attached poster, the VDLP is fourth from the right, At the top of each Camino are circular lines comparing how busy each Camino is in terms of people numbers. Compare the VDLP to Camino Frances (towards the left). Other than that, just watch out for the heat, so the time of year is important. July and August would not be for the faint hearted. But it's a wonderful Camino and I am definitely going back. By the way, this poster of all the main caminos (11 primary and 41 secondary) is available online and it's a work of art. (postersantiago.com) Buen Camino Jill. Dave.
Screenshot 2020-07-03 11.05.58.png
 

ortemio

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances,14,
Frances,15
Madrid,15
Salvador,15
VdlP,Sanabres
Porto,16
Levante,17
Mozarabe,18
My best memory of Via de la Plata was ( honestly ) the day it was over,
the worst albergues of any camino,crowded and dirty, disgusting showers,
the heat, it was never under 40C, even at night ,
I was very happy when it was over.... yikes
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
I've only walked the first half of the VDLP but have walked the CP and CF. The VDLP is unique, lonely, beautiful, contemplative, and scary at times. But it was the best. I was lucky enough to walk during the late Spring so all the wildflowers were in bloom. The food runs from pretty good to terrible but that's life, isn't it. What I also enjoyed was the people I met. Walking the VDLP is not for those that want to party. The days can be long and you can get dog tired. But you meet similar minded people just enjoying being alive. It's not painful, not grueling. There are enough taxis and buses and trains available if you need them to either take a break or let yourself repair. You don't get bragging rights when you walk the VDLP, you just get confidence and serenity.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
It doesn't surprise me to learn that the "original" Albuquerque is in Badajoz province in the Extremadura region. Many of the conquistadors came from that region.
Not all the regions of the Kingdom of Castile were allowed to go to America. The Galicians from 1760.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@AJGuillaume had a recent thread about planning a short stage Vdlp, https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...the-vdlp-planning-while-in-confinement.67424/
And @c clearly’s did one about planning a Sanabrés https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...n-the-camino-sanabres-march-april-2020.67029/

As I participated on those threads, I have gone back over my three times on the Vdlp down in the weeds — those threads will give you lots of micro level comments about what we love about the Vdlp.

But as far as your question goes, which is more from 30.000 feet (AHHHH, will I ever be at 30,000 feet again?!), I would say that the three most outstanding aspects of the Vdlp for me are, in no particular order:

— the wild flowers (if you like brown fields, by all means walk outside of spring, but if you want the wildflower beauty, spring is the time to go)

— the dehesa (the unusual terrain inthe southern part, defined in wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehesa — lots of wetlands (and hence wild flowers), boulders, scrub oaks, jara bushes, it is just a spectacular part of Spain, IMO, again in spring)

— the monumental cities you walk through — Sevilla, Mérida, Cáceres, Salamanca, Ourense — that is a walking tour through some of Spain’s most beautiful places with lots of antiquity to visit

With careful planning, there is absolutely no issue for those who don’t like long stages. There are people but not too many people. Pilgrims and the Vdlp are a known quantity along the way, yet the towns are not yet jaded and overrun with pilgrims. It is just a five star option IMO.

If you want conquistadores (now called “descubridores” as if that fools anyone), you should consider Medellín (on the Mozárabe but an easy day trip from Mérida, birthplace of Hernán Cortés) and Trujillo (about 35 km east of Cáceres, birthplace of Pizarro). Both of these towns are good for a day’s visit, more so Trujillo than Medellín, though Medellín’s castle is very nicely restored. Trujillo’s plaza mayor is one of Spain’s loveliest, and there in the middle sits a big statue of Pizarro.

I do not think you will regret taking a chance on the Vdlp! Buen camino, Laurie
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I loved reading what everyone wrote. Even the one really negative comment. I was planning to walk in October but obviously being an American and living in Mexico this will not happen. I probably will not walk without a vaccine either. Hoping for late February but right now just hoping. The VDLP is something I have wanted to do for a long time and this time is the right time to do it.
 

Jeff Mayor

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French route (04,05,06,18) Portugues (07) VDLP (09,10,11) Aragon (4,13) Levante (16) Ebro (19)
I feel drawn to walking La Plata next time I'm able to do a Camino. I've heard from some people that they found it boring, grueling, ran into logistics re. finding water, places to stay, etc. But I've heard from others that it was their favorite Camino. I want to hear what you loved about it.

One reason this camino interests me, besides the Roman history along the way, is that it passes through the homelands of some of the Spanish conquistadores and families that settled in my part of North America; Albuquerque, New Mexico. In fact the town in Spain, "Alburquerque" is not far off the route and I would love to stop see where the namesake duke lived who was responsible for our town's name.

So tell me what made it special for you.
I loved the feeling of falling into the hands of God on La Plata. The vibes of the route and the pilgrims that manage it have a unique balance all their own: stillness and exertion.
 

austinpilgrim

Austinpilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014), Portuguese (2015), Primitivo (2016), Lucca to Rome (2017), VDLP (2019)
I’m not sure if it was my favorite Camino, but it was by far the most interesting—for all of the reasons above. i walked from Seville to Astorga last spring. The scenery, wildflowers, Roman ruins, cities, livestock (baby livestock), The VDLP is no one’s first Camino. While there are fewer pilgrims, there are, nevertheless, lots of stories per pilgrim.
 

lindam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Yes, the VDLP is a memorable Camino for many reasons as described by others (e.g., the wonderful Spanish cities one passes through, the architecture, the wide open spaces, the lovely people along the way, etc.). My husband would tell you it is his favourite Camino. I am surprised that no one has made mention of the wonderful sheep's milk cheese and Toro wines from the Extremadura region. That wine and cheese combination in itself might be enough to make me want to walk the VDLP again!
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
Of the 10 or so walks I have done along French and Spanish routes, it is close to my ‘least favorite”. But that is not really a bad review. I walked in fall of 2010 finishing in SdC just in time for “The Way” to open 23 November. I walked after finishing about 35 days on Vezeley (easy train to Seville) so I was well enough conditioned that the longer stages did not bother me much. I loved the solitude; met maybe 7 pilgrims in 35 days and had no ‘family’. The big negatives were (1) no real accurate guidebook (using Cicerone’s 2005 Raju guide) which was both outdated and hard to use with my map oriented thinking, (2) The November infrastructure was virtually non-existent, and (3) I walked it solo.

I speak only survival Spanish. No restaurants open, few mercados, I literally subsisted on GORP; always hunting for albergue keys (tourist offices, mayors, neighbors, churches) so spent 2 nights curled on church porches. The logistics would have improved even with another Spanish-impaired walking companion. I spent a fair amount o time ''lost' using the old Raju guide. I was a bus touragrino thru Merida, Caceres, and Salamanca—and they are amazing cities. And IMO Zamora/Ourense/Santiago is one of the prettiest walking stretches anywhere (some do not relish the climb out of Ourense--I loved it).

So, the negatives were all of my making and are easy to plan around 15 years later. It was a great solitary adventure, and the bad weather (lots of horizontal rain), no hot showers, no albergue heat were all minor inconveniences. And I also got to spend 3 days in Sanabria to heal a tired Achilles—another great town. It is definitely the best route for history!!

And Italica in Santiponce is the film location for GOT dragon pit!! (also locations in Seville, Caceres, and Zafra)

Even though my experience was not my best, I would recommend the route—especially the old Roman cities and the walk from Zamora. Not sure I would attempt again (hating both hot and cold weather will make my date selection critical), my time is running out, so probably Madrid will take precedence if………………..
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The VDLP is no one’s first Camino.
I met a young woman at our local Camino group that was going to do the VdlP for her first Camino. Unfortunately, I haven't seen her since she returned to find out how it went for her. She was a fluent Spanish speaker, so I'm sure that helped quite a bit.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I felt that I was walking through Spain. (That is not meant as a trivial statement.)

There were no extremes, but there were enough challenges to make it interesting, In springtime, I loved the dehesa and the wide open spaces, the opportunity to speak Spanish, the right amount of socializing, and the variety of history and activities.
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
By the way, this poster of all the main caminos (11 primary and 41 secondary) is available online and it's a work of art. (postersantiago.com) Buen Camino Jill. Dave.
View attachment 78112
very interesting poster. To be looked at in full size. Tks Dave. J-L.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(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
A fantastic Camino. Just do it. Peaceful. And rewarding.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
A total of eight in the past 6 years!
I did the Via from Salamanca, just last fall. I loved it and hated it, for various and mostly personal reasons. October was quite hot still and I wish I had seen the wildflowers that many of you describe. Instead, I saw a lot of brown fields. But the experience was indeed, for me the real Spain. I know enough Spanish to get what I needed and to lead a group of four - therein resides most of the reasons that I hated it. If you can stand more information, I have half of my experience written in my blog at PilgrimageTraveler.com/Via de la Plata. My final answer?? Just do it. It is an experience of a lifetime, if you walk your own pace and are flexible.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I think that the concept of a Spain associated only to the identity signs of the VDLP regions now is being overcome.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I felt that I was walking through Spain.
I think that the concept of a Spain associated only to the identity signs of the VDLP regions now is being overcome.
You are correct that the identity of Spain is much more than the VDLP regions. I have gained a lot of understanding of that over recent years, but I still enjoyed walking through that somewhat stereotypical part. More of what I was trying to say was that I felt that I was walking through towns and regions of Spain, seeing remnants of history, while watching people go about their daily lives unaffected by me. On the Frances, for example, I always felt that I was on a pilgrim path and everything around me was affected by the pilgrims.
 
Having walked the Frances three times I then went to the Vdlp. I was planning to go there for the third time this fall starting from Grenada. But it would seem that is not to happen until next year which perhaps is the way it was always meant to be as it would be my 75th birthday gift to myself.
I would recommend doing the Frances first. The longer occasional days and solitude are not physically difficult but if you haven’t walked long distances before I think they could be a mental challenge. Having said that I love it, the landscape and the people all equal a marvellous journey of peace.
Travel lightly and please be well
 

Mel Camino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP April/May 2018
The VDLP is no one’s first Camino.
The VdlP was my first Camino, walked and relished in the spring of 2018. I loved it fiercely, though I have no comparison. I’m almost afraid to walk a second Camino because I imagine it would only be a disappointment. Only time will tell if I take that risk.

I loved the VdlP for all the reasons everyone else has cited. There were moments of heartache as well as unadulterated joy, only adding to the experience. I was going through a major life transition, and the VdlP served as an allegory of real life and revealed to me what I needed to know in preparation for my next life chapter.

Buen Camino!
 

Liz Drew

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Coastal Portuguese
2018 Via de la Plata
(2019) del Norte
Hi
Do it..... it’s got everything. Camaraderie (if you choose it); open spaces to lose yourself if you prefer; history ; churches ; .......and...
I won’t go on... you’ll love it.
Even more going on if you are on it before and after Holy Week.
To reply to your post .. I’d need to write a book.
I can’t say I found it boring or gruelling. Of course you’ll encounter climbs and flat areas but overall (in spring - beautiful flowers . /poppies , lavender , bushes of rock roses ‘Jara’. A lot of off road through parktype land. Plenty of pig farms, horses , cows etc. Logistics: Sevilla is easy to get to from Madrid. It could be a logistical fete to get to the spanish ‘ Alburquerque.’ you mentioned was named after your Duke town in New Mexico of Albuquerque.. (note: recommend to others that NM - great place to visit- put it on the list if you’re visiting USA).
Water.. I can’t comment for walking in summer season but I had no problem over April/May 2019.
Always had plenty still in my bottles at end of day. Now this could also change if you are someone that walks extra extra long stages. Walking average days of 20-27 (occasionally I had a stage just over 30ks).. gives plenty of time to stop and re-fuel or picnic.

Have a look at the recent posts by @AJGuillaume
He has now got 2 posts (links) to a virtual camino of the Vdlp. So much research and info in this virtual camino to get you started.



Ps off topic. /did you eventually get to join the bike ride ? Was it the Silk Road ? from memory.

I hope you get to enjoy the Vdlp.
Buen camino
Annie
I feel drawn to walking La Plata next time I'm able to do a Camino. I've heard from some people that they found it boring, grueling, ran into logistics re. finding water, places to stay, etc. But I've heard from others that it was their favorite Camino. I want to hear what you loved about it.

One reason this camino interests me, besides the Roman history along the way, is that it passes through the homelands of some of the Spanish conquistadores and families that settled in my part of North America; Albuquerque, New Mexico. In fact the town in Spain, "Alburquerque" is not far off the route and I would love to stop see where the namesake duke lived who was responsible for our town's name.

So tell me what made it special for you.
I loved the semi isolation of towns. It’s a route with less numbers of pilgrims so amenities aren’t what you see on the busier caminos. For example there were a few instances where cafes in the town I was staying in didn’t open until mid morning which is far too late to get going.
I also loved speaking my very basic Spanish as English is t widely spoken.
the variety of the walk is outstanding!
however, I didn’t factor walking through snow (in May) but it was just for one day and I smiled all the way.
Do it!
 

Whispering Ted

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primitivo, Portuguese, Via de la Plata, Mozarabe, Aragones, San Salvador, Madrilen
It is a truly great Camino: history, scenery and culture. Avoid the brain-baking heat of summer in the south; even in May, it was taxing. It is best walked in the northern hemisphere spring, as it gets more pleasant as you head north. Sevilla, Merida, Caceres, Salamanca, Zamora, Ourense, and finally a wonderful way into Santiago de Compostela. Less crowded, more opportunity for contemplative walking through rural Spain, a wonderful experience.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
I feel drawn to walking La Plata next time I'm able to do a Camino. I've heard from some people that they found it boring, grueling, ran into logistics re. finding water, places to stay, etc. But I've heard from others that it was their favorite Camino. I want to hear what you loved about it.

One reason this camino interests me, besides the Roman history along the way, is that it passes through the homelands of some of the Spanish conquistadores and families that settled in my part of North America; Albuquerque, New Mexico. In fact the town in Spain, "Alburquerque" is not far off the route and I would love to stop see where the namesake duke lived who was responsible for our town's name.

So tell me what made it special for you.
Hola, JillGat from southern NM!
 

mick53

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy, Arles, Northe, Primativo, Portugese. VDP, VF, Way of St Francis, 88 Temples, Lycian Way
I have walked 8 or more caminos and the Vdlp is my favourite and the first one I would do again.
If you have not visited Andelucia before allow a few days either before or after the walk.
To enjoy it you must start in early spring as it can be unbearably hot ... the walking and the accommodation!
Why is it my favourite?
... it's 1100km, I love long walks
... less road walking than other caminos
... the Roman history and ruins
... the Moorish influence is southern Spain
... not nearly as crowded, the Spanish are not fed up with too many tourist pilgrims
... some great new hostels and plenty of private accommodation if that's your preference
... better food than the mass feeding on the Frances
... some great scenery e.g snow covered nearly mountains
... I could go on...
DO IT!!
Mick from Oz
 

Whispering Ted

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primitivo, Portuguese, Via de la Plata, Mozarabe, Aragones, San Salvador, Madrilen
I have walked 8 or more caminos and the Vdlp is my favourite and the first one I would do again.
If you have not visited Andelucia before allow a few days either before or after the walk.
To enjoy it you must start in early spring as it can be unbearably hot ... the walking and the accommodation!
Why is it my favourite?
... it's 1100km, I love long walks
... less road walking than other caminos
... the Roman history and ruins
... the Moorish influence is southern Spain
... not nearly as crowded, the Spanish are not fed up with too many tourist pilgrims
... some great new hostels and plenty of private accommodation if that's your preference
... better food than the mass feeding on the Frances
... some great scenery e.g snow covered nearly mountains
... I could go on...
DO IT!!
Mick from Oz
I agree totally, Mick. Whispering Ted, also from Oz and a veteran of 11 Caminos
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
When I did Tui - Santiago 2 years ago a couple from Massachusetts who had done the Francés told me that for them the Galician people looked more relaxed than the other regions on the Francés.
I told them that if they liked relaxed people go to do the VDLP.
 

Whispering Ted

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primitivo, Portuguese, Via de la Plata, Mozarabe, Aragones, San Salvador, Madrilen
I still remember the relief crossing the river to Tui after having walked from Porto on the Camino Portugues - suddenly all the Camino habits picked up over the years worked, after the puzzling differences of language and practices in Portugal.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
The VdlP was my first because I wanted to follow the Roman road and it did not disappoint. The people, the history, the food, the scenery, the joy. The hard moments taught me a lot about myself and the 5 years since have been very different to what I think they would have been. And the beauty of the VdlP in summer...all golden. @Mel Camino your second camino will be different. I did the Levante and Invierno next with my partner in late winter/early Spring which is as different as you can get from doing it solo in June/July. Being on the Camino is special no matter which route you are on.
@murraydv I love that poster. Unfortunately they don't send to Australia :(
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Started Camino de Levante (2019).
The VdlP was my first because I wanted to follow the Roman road and it did not disappoint. The people, the history, the food, the scenery, the joy. The hard moments taught me a lot about myself and the 5 years since have been very different to what I think they would have been. And the beauty of the VdlP in summer...all golden. @Mel Camino your second camino will be different. I did the Levante and Invierno next with my partner in late winter/early Spring which is as different as you can get from doing it solo in June/July. Being on the Camino is special no matter which route you are on.
@murraydv I love that poster. Unfortunately they don't send to Australia :(
The VdlP was my first because I wanted to follow the Roman road and it did not disappoint. The people, the history, the food, the scenery, the joy. The hard moments taught me a lot about myself and the 5 years since have been very different to what I think they would have been. And the beauty of the VdlP in summer...all golden. @Mel Camino your second camino will be different. I did the Levante and Invierno next with my partner in late winter/early Spring which is as different as you can get from doing it solo in June/July. Being on the Camino is special no matter which route you are on.
@murraydv I love that poster. Unfortunately they don't send to Australia :(
Hi Donna. I was in touch with Diego in Italy, the author of the poster. He is looking into shipping to Australia for you. He asked if I would forward his email contact to you and you can communicate directly with him. If you send me your email address to my email address, I will pass on his email directly to you.
My email address is david@roundtable.ie
 

mahz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo 2017
North 2016
French 2014
French 2012
I agree with most: the VdLP is a wonderful Camino.
Nevertheless, I think that a cruzial point needs to be kept in mind: Spring is the best time of the year for this Camino. Summer is a risky time. Way too warm weather can really ruin your experience.

And by the way, a great albergue on this route could still use some help.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
I've only walked the first half of the VDLP but have walked the CP and CF. The VDLP is unique, lonely, beautiful, contemplative, and scary at times. But it was the best. I was lucky enough to walk during the late Spring so all the wildflowers were in bloom. The food runs from pretty good to terrible but that's life, isn't it. What I also enjoyed was the people I met. Walking the VDLP is not for those that want to party. The days can be long and you can get dog tired. But you meet similar minded people just enjoying being alive. It's not painful, not grueling. There are enough taxis and buses and trains available if you need them to either take a break or let yourself repair. You don't get bragging rights when you walk the VDLP, you just get confidence and serenity.
A lovely summation of your journey John.
May I ask what you meant by 'scary at times'?
👣 🌏
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Having walked the Frances three times I then went to the Vdlp. I was planning to go there for the third time this fall starting from Grenada. But it would seem that is not to happen until next year which perhaps is the way it was always meant to be as it would be my 75th birthday gift to myself.
I would recommend doing the Frances first. The longer occasional days and solitude are not physically difficult but if you haven’t walked long distances before I think they could be a mental challenge. Having said that I love it, the landscape and the people all equal a marvellous journey of peace.
Travel lightly and please be well
I've walked the Frances twice and the Portugues.

Is March too early for the wildflowers?
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
I remember from many many many years ago when I hitchhiked around Spain at age 18, seeing a field of bulls raised for the bullfights. Unbelievably big.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Great thread @JillGat ...thanks for posting it!
As a combo of the VdlP & Mozarabe is in the Top 2 of my 'When They Let Me Back Out There' List, it's nice to read of everyone's overall feeling & thoughts rather than getting bogged down in specifics. 👏 😊
👣 🌏
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Hi Jill, still not gone, well I guess you have an excuse at the moment, but the road will still I'll be there for you when this madness passes and I hope you will find it just as special as the rest of us.

As another old sole on the Camino forum you have probably already read why we love this route so much. And is the only Camino I have consented to rewalk. But to be honest the first time it was for the challenge, Scott was also keen on the pigs! The second time was for the memories. It didn't dIsapoint, and it taught me more about myself then I care to reveal.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
The best part of the VdlP for me was the Sanabres. The VdlP was my most difficult camino for two reasons: the climate: way to hot, all the way from Seville to Salamanca, although I did not start until October, and the people. These were not the Spanish people, but some difficult interactions with other pilgrims, one of whom followed me from Salamanca for hundreds of kilometres, trying to extract more cash from me, after I helped him out, and two pilgrims who declared their favour for this beggar over me, although I don't think they ever gave him a cent. The whole experience was protracted and unpleasant. But nonetheless, some of my most wonderful experiences occurred as I walked there: the morning star that shone under the curve of the aquaduct at Merida a little before dawn, a wonderful walk on a plateau near the border of the Sanabres, where I was so attracted to the three little villages, the countryside, and the flocks of deer that fled past me that I would have liked to settle down there forever. Next year, if all goes well, I plan on walking the Levante from Valencia, and I look forward to the section of the VdlP north from Zamora.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
...some difficult interactions with other pilgrims, one of whom followed me from Salamanca for hundreds of kilometres, trying to extract more cash from me, after I helped him out, and two pilgrims who declared their favour for this beggar over me, although I don't think they ever gave him a cent. The whole experience was protracted and unpleasant.
I feel for you @Albertagirl ...just awful having to always look over your shoulder, not linger, be on constant alert, etc. How did you shake him off in the end? Skip ahead by bus, take on a longer stage or just 'natural attrition'?
I admire you haven't allowed that dreadful situation to cloud your overall experience; you realised it was separate to the trail itself...good for you!
Unfortunately it's clocking up another notch for 'no good deed goes unpunished'...& you'll probably be, understandably, less likely to extend a helping hand in the future.
I wish all good things for you on future trails. 😊
👣 🌏
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I feel for you @Albertagirl ...just awful having to always look over your shoulder, not linger, be on constant alert, etc. How did you shake him off in the end? Skip ahead by bus, take on a longer stage or just 'natural attrition'?
I admire you haven't allowed that dreadful situation to cloud your overall experience; you realised it was separate to the trail itself...good for you!
Unfortunately it's clocking up another notch for 'no good deed goes unpunished'...& you'll probably be, understandably, less likely to extend a helping hand in the future.
I wish all good things for you on future trails. 😊
👣 🌏
As for how I shook him off, I stayed for two nights at Casa Camino In Riego del Camino, with the three young women who were managing it at that time. One of them had noticed, when we went out the first morning, that he was lurking outside their gate waiting for me to go out. I just continued on with her, ignoring him. But I had told them about him and they refused his request to stay there the next night, saying they were closed. I was actually their last guest. So they advised me not to go to Granja de Moreruela but to continue on the same side of the main highway and join up with the Sanabres later. This seemed likely to work, as he had told me he was going to Benaventa on the Astorga route to pick up some money sent by his family. But of course he lied. In the next village, I saw him coming out of a home and he followed me. I went into a bar, and when he called out my name and tried to follow me, I slammed the door in his face. I saw him again trying to stay with the monks at Oseira, who had heard my story and rejected him. But we did not speak, The last time was in Santiago, where I saw him sitting in the chapel of the Pilgrim Office. I am now inclined, for safety reasons, to refuse financial aid to self-proclaimed pilgrims who appear to be hobos. But I have since spent time and made a couple of donations, to a homeless woman walking south along the camino for the winter, who was very reluctant to accept anything from me. So I guess it's been ladies "yes" and gents "no" from this incident on.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
As for how I shook him off, I stayed for two nights at Casa Camino In Riego del Camino, with the three young women who were managing it at that time. One of them had noticed, when we went out the first morning, that he was lurking outside their gate waiting for me to go out. I just continued on with her, ignoring him. But I had told them about him and they refused his request to stay there the next night, saying they were closed. I was actually their last guest. So they advised me not to go to Granja de Moreruela but to continue on the same side of the main highway and join up with the Sanabres later. This seemed likely to work, as he had told me he was going to Benaventa on the Astorga route to pick up some money sent by his family. But of course he lied. In the next village, I saw him coming out of a home and he followed me. I went into a bar, and when he called out my name and tried to follow me, I slammed the door in his face. I saw him again trying to stay with the monks at Oseira, who had heard my story and rejected him. But we did not speak, The last time was in Santiago, where I saw him sitting in the chapel of the Pilgrim Office. I am now inclined, for safety reasons, to refuse financial aid to self-proclaimed pilgrims who appear to be hobos. But I have since spent time and made a couple of donations, to a homeless woman walking south along the camino for the winter, who was very reluctant to accept anything from me. So I guess it's been ladies "yes" and gents "no" from this incident on.
There are many precautions we must take as solo female walkers...but we don't let it stop us nor we will be afraid. Your story shows how many people came to your aid in one way or another...& thankfully that is the norm rather than the exception.
Sempre avanti @Albertagirl ...always forward. 🦸‍♀️
👣 🌏
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
How does the Mozarabe from Cordoba to Merida compare to La Plata from Sevilla to Merida?
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
How does the Mozarabe from Cordoba to Merida compare to La Plata from Sevilla to Merida?
I have not walked from Seville, but here are a few data points

Mozárabe from Córdoba
Total distance = 241km
Greatest distance between lodgings = 35km (Villaharta to Alcaracejos - Stage 3 from Cordóba. Can be split into two with taxi service offered by lodging in Villaharta)
Second greatest distance between lodgings = 30.2km (Hinojosa del Duque to Monterrubio de la Serena. Alternative routing with shorter stages has been discussed in the forum)
Max altitude = around 750m (between Villaharta and Alcaracejos)
Other challenges = Shallow river crossing on foot (or a walk by a busy road) after Yelbes
Cultural highlights - Córdoba, Roman amphitheater at Medellin, Proto-historic archeological site at La Haba
Cities = Don Benito
Landscapes = Hilly and green between Córdoba and Alcaracejos. Flat cereal growing land from around Hinojosa to Campanario. Dehesa (with extraordinary sight of Magacela rising above the plane) around Medellin. Rice fields and lush landscapes from Medellin to Mérida.
Accommodation = 60/40 municipal albergues / private lodgings. Some terrific albergues in Castuera, Campanario etc.
Waymarking = Mostly excellent except on the final stage before Mérida.
Association = Córdoba and Badajoz - both very active

VDLP from Sevilla
Total distance = 217km
Greatest distance between lodgings = 30km (Castilblanco de los Arroyos to Aldenueva - Stage 3 from Seville)
Max. altitude = 712m (Monesterio)
Cultural highlights - Seville, [Someone else will have to fill this part in]
Cities = None
Landscapes = Similar dehesa? More pata negra piggies?
 
Last edited:

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
From Raggy's description, the Mozárabe from Córdoba sounds very interesting.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
From Raggy's description, the Mozárabe from Córdoba sounds very interesting.
Hi @JillGat
I’m sure most if not all, of the routes are very interesting and beautiful in their own way ., but have you yet walked the plata ? Would you be prepared to miss Sevilla to Mérida? So special I think.

IMHO I would cover the section Córdoba to Mérida when walking the Mozárabe from possibly further afield?

Good luck choosing - all part of the excitement/pleasure.

Buen camino
Annie
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia (May 2016)
C. Frances (Sept 2017)
Camino Portugues (June 2019)
Hi @JillGat
I’m sure most if not all, of the routes are very interesting and beautiful in their own way ., but have you yet walked the plata ? Would you be prepared to miss Sevilla to Mérida? So special I think.

IMHO I would cover the section Córdoba to Mérida when walking the Mozárabe from possibly further afield?

Good luck choosing - all part of the excitement/pleasure.

Buen camino
Annie
I'll be happy whichever I do, I'm sure!
 

DonCamino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 CN
2015 + 2016 VdlP
2017 CF + CN
2018 CP from Lisbon
2019 Salvador+Primitivo

Larry OHeron

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata
Hi Jill,

You will simply have to do it and then make your own mind up. No two people will feel exactly the same about it. For darn sure it is different from the Frances which I found to be more receptive to the needs of the pilgrims. Frequently when walking the VdlP I would get to the place I intended to stay and of course it was siesta time and everything was shut, so be sure and have some food with you. However there are some wonderful sights. I have attached my all time favourite photo from my Caminos. I nearly missed it as it was behind me as I was walking out of Merida just before sunrise. Just Magic!!!

Aidan
Aidan,
I also left Merida just before sunrise. The aqueducts were stunning in the rising sun.
Larry O
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I still remember the relief crossing the river to Tui after having walked from Porto on the Camino Portugues - suddenly all the Camino habits picked up over the years worked, after the puzzling differences of language and practices in Portugal.
Yes, and the end of the cobblestones!
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
For me it would be the cows 😳 Hundreds (actually probably thousands) of them! 😱😁
my "treat/luxury item" that I carry is a small pair of folding binoculars, Very handy for the wildlife/ architecture and yes, fields full of critters with horns that somehow I have to get thru or navigate a way round. Not being fleet of foot I would rather go round than challenge! :)

walk soft ( this is pilgrim speak for leg it! )
stay safe ( another version of ""leg it""/ muy pronto!!)

:)

samarkand.
 

AZgirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012 , via de la Plata 2014
Madrid/frances Sept/Oct 2017
Next : mozarabe 2021
I really loved the via. I think it has been my favorite Camino so far. I love Roman history and there is some great sites. I will say I was in the best shape of my Caminos when I started this route, so that may color my memories as I didn't have that pain or ibuprofen habit I had on the others. I felt it had a nice mix of enough pilgrims at night yet during the day you could go a long time one for reflection. I went in may/June and there were stunning wild flowers. Also the sanabras was stunning and such a contrast to the beginning. I do want to walk the part from Zamora to the Frances to see what it is like.
 

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