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Which Camino to choose?

Past OR future Camino
2019
Yesterday I picked up this beautifully illustrated book for a song, $25 AUD, and having glanced through it I’m now torn between the Camino Frances for the second time, the Portuguese Coastal (this time) instead of the central route, and Via de la Plata for the first time. We all know each has it’s magic. Is the Via very difficult? What’s the greatest challenge on that one?
Planning for April and May 2022.

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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I think the Via de la Plata is my favourite, although the Francés has a special place in my heart, the routes in France are very beautiful, the Norte, the Portuguese and the Madrid have their charms! Like my grandchildren, not a bad one among them imo.

The greatest challenge of the Plata? Its length. It is a really long walk. Quite a few of those who started with me in Seville did not stay the course because of injury. But for me that was one of the things I liked the most. The long relatively flat stretches at the start, meant that I was pretty fit by the time I reached the mountains (I took the Sanabrés). Many times I felt I was flying, when the earth rolled past and my spirits soared. The length and the rather "bare bones" nature of the Plata I think contributes to forming bonds with other walkers. Over such a long walk people came and went, groups formed and dissolved, but I made several lasting friendships - and have since walked other paths with some of those friends.

It also felt so essentially Spanish, the real heart of the country. Culturally of course there are some outstanding cities.

I went in early spring, and I think that is the ideal time, walking with the season. The wildflowers were extraordinary.
 

Fei

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2015 Camino France through hiking
I think the Via de la Plata is my favourite, although the Francés has a special place in my heart, the routes in France are very beautiful, the Norte, the Portuguese and the Madrid have their charms! Like my grandchildren, not a bad one among them imo.

The greatest challenge of the Plata? Its length. It is a really long walk. Quite a few of those who started with me in Seville did not stay the course because of injury. But for me that was one of the things I liked the most. The long relatively flat stretches at the start, meant that I was pretty fit by the time I reached the mountains (I took the Sanabrés). Many times I felt I was flying, when the earth rolled past and my spirits soared. The length and the rather "bare bones" nature of the Plata I think contributes to forming bonds with other walkers. Over such a long walk people came and went, groups formed and dissolved, but I made several lasting friendships - and have since walked other paths with some of those friends.

It also felt so essentially Spanish, the real heart of the country. Culturally of course there are some outstanding cities.

I went in early spring, and I think that is the ideal time, walking with the season. The wildflowers were extraordinary.
Thank you so much, Kanga! Although Via is not my first choice, you made think again with your awesome expience......
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
Yesterday I picked up this beautifully illustrated book for a song, $25 AUD, and having glanced through it I’m now torn between the Camino Frances for the second time, the Portuguese Coastal (this time) instead of the central route, and Via de la Plata for the first time. We all know each has it’s magic. Is the Via very difficult? What’s the greatest challenge on that one?
Planning for April and May 2022.

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Hi Jimmy
I walked the costal route in April 2019. It is beautiful and not overly demanding. However, be prepared for the storms that come in off the Atlantic. The days it rained were some of the wettest I experienced on my Caminos and the sunny days were a dream but I guess that is the same anywhere. When you arrive in Caminha take one of the taxi boats across the estuary to A Garda rather than the ferry. It is an experience in itself. Vigo is the most soul-destroying town to walk in and out of and the signage is not great. However, the old town and harbour make it worthwhile.
Buen Camino
Vince
 

Robi Diaz De Vivar

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
Yesterday I picked up this beautifully illustrated book for a song, $25 AUD, and having glanced through it I’m now torn between the Camino Frances for the second time, the Portuguese Coastal (this time) instead of the central route, and Via de la Plata for the first time. We all know each has it’s magic. Is the Via very difficult? What’s the greatest challenge on that one?
Planning for April and May 2022.

View attachment 112616 View attachment 112617
If you were looking for something shorter than I can very heartily recommend the Primitivo. Beautiful countryside - more history than you can take in - and very friendly people. I know that it is shorter but it was the most physically demanding one that I have done. The Via is top of my list when the Covid bug is eventually beaten and the closed municipal and Church albergues re-open. I have very itchy feet. Buen Camino.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Is the Via very difficult? What’s the greatest challenge on that one?
The greatest challenge of the Plata? Its length. It is a really long walk.
No, the Via is not very difficult. However, as @Kanga mentions (and I agree 100% with her comments) the length of the overall walk makes it inconvenient for many people. Note that we are not talking about daily stages, which some people mistakenly think must be long. At least in non-Covid times it is not necessary to walk many long stages.

There are several good points where one can start - Seville, Merida, Salamanca - depending on the time you have available.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
You can’t get much more of a contrast (in Spain) than between the Primitivo and the Plata. One is green and gorgeous and mountainous and short - and the other is a long walk across the great high plains of Spain, following an ancient Roman road, then into the mountains and softer green hills that girdle Santiago.
I’m going back this year to walk the Primitivo again, but the choice is dictated by those with whom I will be walking - it will be a bit of a tourist walk.
Two very different personalities, the Primitivo puts it all on show. The Plata unfolds gradually and demands my full commitment.
I am sounding too ridiculous. Not enough real time walking!
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
You can’t get much more of a contrast (in Spain) than between the Primitivo and the Plata. One is green and gorgeous and mountainous and short - and the other is a long walk across the great high plains of Spain, following an ancient Roman road, then into the mountains and softer green hills that girdle Santiago.
I’m going back this year to walk the Primitivo again, but the choice is dictated by those with whom I will be walking - it will be a bit of a tourist walk.
Two very different personalities, the Primitivo puts it all on show. The Plata unfolds gradually and demands my full commitment.
I am sounding too ridiculous. Not enough real time walking!
Do both!
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Past OR future Camino
.
Hey Lexicos
Long time since I walked VDLP. It was my second camino, after the CF. And it was special. They said then that it was like the CF had been 20 years earlier - still rough around the edges.
I struggled at first, until fortune coalesced me into a lovely band of pilgs from Merida on. Someone along the way, when we were apparently in the middle of nowhere, described it as 'camino profundo' - a play on the term 'España profunda'.
My view, FWIW, is that I'd save it for your Third Camino.
My pitch is for Tunnel/Vasco route (from Irun) onto CF at Burgos (tho' I have only done the option to Sto Domingo), across meseta, San Salvador from Leon to Oviedo, Primitivo to Lugo, green route to Sobrado dos Monxes, back onto CF, Santiago, Finisterre....😶‍🌫️
Cheers, tom
 
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Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
My pitch is for Tunnel/Vasco route (from Irun) onto CF at Burgos (tho' I have only done the option to Sto Domingo), across meseta, San Salvador from Leon to Oviedo, Primitivo to Lugo, green route to Sobrado dos Monxes, back onto CF, Santiago,
Into Burgos is wonderful.
After that, you can also walk to Ponferrada on the Francés, then take the Invierno into Santiago.
A bit less gnarly than SS/Primitivo
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
Thanks Tom. It sounds like you’ve done a lot more than me. They’re all sounding pretty special. The VDLP would be my third actually and the more I read here the more I’m thinking it’s the one to do. I’m tempted to take the time and do them all to be honest! Anyway, based on the comments received here to date, I think I’ll take it to the next stage and look closely at the Via and exactly what’s involved. I prefer to do a long walk, a less popular pilgrimage and the Roman colours are a very attractive feature. I also love Seville and starting there is very appealing. My biggest concern is accommodation. I can handle everything else. Many thanks for your suggestions Tom, and fellow pilgrims. I will weight it all up. I have 5 months to sort myself out.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I had no trouble getting accommodation on the Via, mostly in albergues. I and another girl also shared private accommodation on the early parts of the Sanabrés. That was pre-Covid, so the situation with accommodation may have changed a lot. I am hopeful that by spring next year it will be OK.
 
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jenny@zen

Camino Walker
Past OR future Camino
2022 Via De la Plata
HI Jimmy - there is a lot of information about the VdelP and Sanabres on this thread (link below). It gives plenty of options for stages and information on accommodation. I've found it both interesting and useful for our VdeP which we plan to begin from Seville on 1 April.


It is detailed - (very detailed, as the name of the thread says) - but as you have plenty of lead time ...
 

OZAJ

Member
Past OR future Camino
Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres (2008) Norte (2009) Vezelay/Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2010) etc.
Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres was my first in 2008. I started from Malaga early April.

It was WONDERFUL!!!!!

I was 53 y.o. and had never done anything like this since my long gone youth.

It was not particularly difficult for me, though a tough first week due to my poor fitness - I did no training in advance. Survival level Spanish helped a lot, particularly on the Mozarabe.

I have done a lot of Caminos since that. The only one that was better was Rome to Santiago; a real adventure!
 

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