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7 weeks to go before my 2nd Camino. I think I'm well prepared. Any tidbits of advice welcome.

Discussion in 'Camino Via de la Plata - The Silver Route' started by divergordon, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. divergordon

    divergordon New Member

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    Hi all
    Last year I walked the Camino Frances from SJPP to Finisterre. I loved it so much that I'm going back in!
    I've opted for the Via de la Plata for a few reasons; it's longer, i.e. more time on the trail :); it starts in Seville, I've never been there :cool:; I will be forced to speak a lot more espaniol (with the help of a fantastic new offline translator app from jibbigo http://www.jibbigo.com/website/ ) THE BABEL FISH HAS HAPPENED AND ITS ONLY £2.99! :confused:; I will be walking north every day with (hopefully) the sun on my back and not in my eyes :eek:.
    Last year my 35 litre Osprey Talon pack weighed under 6 Kg (without water). This year I'm taking a few more items of clothing since I'm starting mid March and it may get chully! I've also decided to carry coffee, milk powder, tea-bags, sugar, salted peanuts & raisins. Last year I spent a small fortune every day on endless cups of cafe con leché, so I reckon I can save a significant amount of beer money by making my own morning coffee(s). To this end, I have invested in an X-Mug, a collapsable mug/bowl.
    I have also decided to take my iPad mini. The Via de la Plata app is too-good a resource not to exploit fully.
    ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/via-de-la-plata/id423671301?mt=8 )

    Items I took last year and not taking this year:
    earplugs (unused), guidebook, 3rd pair socks, cotton t shirt,

    Items I plan to take this year that I didn't take last year:
    Waterproof trousers (pants), thermal cap, gloves, 2nd (ultra-lightweight) shirt, extra (25mm) clothes pegs (these are tiny but very very light)
    ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0047I5WWM/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00 ),
    travel game set, cordura bags instead of ziplock bags, soap dish with lid, small mobile (cell) phone.

    I have been refining the packing list over the last week or so and have settled (for now) on a total of 8Kg (including bumbag).
    I realise that I will be spending a LOT more time alone on this walk and that is principally why I'm taking all the tech, lots of reading time ;)

    Any way. I just thought I'd share. I found this forum very useful for my prep last year, maybe my contribution will be useful to someone else.
    Buen Camino to all.
    Gordon
     
  2. geraldkelly

    geraldkelly Member

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    Hi Gordon

    Your take on what you might on the Via in March sounds spot-on. You're likely to hit some nasty weather so warm and waterproof gear is essential. Being able to make your morning coffee will have to added advantage that you won't have to wait around until 8 or 9 when the only cafe in the village opens. I just have a couple of comments:

    I'd take that 3rd pair of socks. They don't weigh much and if you get a few wet days you might be glad of them. Besides, if you're anything like me, you'll probably lose at least one.

    Also, ear plugs. Good to have and weigh nothing. On the Via you'll be meeting the same people night after night a lot of the time. If you're unlucky and end up walking with some kind of supersonic snoring monster (they do exist!) you'll be sorry you left the ear-plugs at home. Very sorry! That you were lucky last year doesn't mean a thing.

    Reading material: I always bring a book and never read it. I just can't read on the Camino. I think that part of my brain switches off.

    I'm sure your translator app will get a few laughs in rural Extremadura! Please report back on how you get on.

    Buen Camino!
    Ger
     
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  3. divergordon

    divergordon New Member

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    Hi Ger
    Thank you for all your observations. Message received. I'll take the extra socks and ear plugs. The iPad mini is loaded with books, podcasts and other entertainments, none of which add to the weight, so it makes sense to take a library when it costs nothing in energy expenditure.
    The translator app is already giving me some laughs as I play with it. However it pans out, I'm sure to have fun with it.
    My budget is a bit tighter than last year; €30/day, so I hope to be buying a lot more food from stores, eating al-fresco or in the albergues. I'll be carrying 500g raisins, 500g salted peanuts & about 150g queso, replenished as required. My hope is to be able to top-up my "larder" every few days, and will be on the look out for a decent mercario in every village. I figure that I can save a lot by not having the Peregrino menu every night.
    I will certainly report back after my return ( or perhaps even during).
    Thank you again for your feedback.
    Gordon
     
  4. geraldkelly

    geraldkelly Member

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    Hi Gordon

    I think you can manage fine on €30 a day. Accommodation on the Via is cheaper than the Camino Frances and there are far fewer spending opportunities (lots of days you'll walk the whole day without seeing a bar!) You won't actually save that much by cooking for yourself unless you band together with a few other people, then it gets cheaper and easier. Most hostels which have a kitchen have nothing in the way of basic supplies except possibly salt. I always managed on a picnic of break and cheese and yogurt and then something hot in the evenings.

    I just got an email from someone who's in Seville at the moment. He says the place to go for a Credencial has changed again. Now you have to go to Hotel Simon at Calle Garcia de Vinuesa 19. Their website's http://www.hotelsimonsevilla.com/

    Ger
     
  5. Mary Lynch

    Mary Lynch Guest

    Just wondering if you managed to get a good guide for Camino de la Plata. I'm hoping to start in Seville in April and am having difficulty getting a guide of the same standard as the Brierly guides. Any ideas????
     
  6. divergordon

    divergordon New Member

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    Hi Mary
    I am hoping the vdlp app will serve sufficiently as a guide. I will miss having Brierley in my back pocket :-(
    buen Camino
    Gordon
     
  7. Patty van Hest

    Patty van Hest New Member

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    Hello Mary, Gerald and Gordon,

    a few years later, so I am hoping to draw from your experiences on the VDLP. We will be starting out April '19 (2 ppl) and I am just wondering how well (or not) populated this Camino is. Do we do well to carry lunch each day? Are bedbugs as big a problem as they seem to be on the CDF? We will carry cold weather gear, as we read several posts that the weather can be unpredictable still, and being from a sub tropical climate we are cold frogs...
    Any other VDLP specific tips willb e greatly appreciated as well! TIA,
    Patty
     
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  8. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey Patty - Without reference to the VdlP, let me just offer a comment regarding bedbugs. When I walked the Camino Francés, I didn’t encounter them. Similarly, no bedbug experiences on the Portugués or Inglés at the albergues where I stayed. However, that’s not to say that they’re not out there.

    My “bedbug” preparation for each Camino included spraying my sleeping bag and backpack with Permethrin. It’s an easy and safe way to add a layer of protection just in case you were to encounter these nasty critters. Here in the States, this repellant is easily purchased at most sporting goods stores or at the large box stores like Walmart. So, as you prepare for your Camino, I’d recommend taking the extra precaution of treating your gear with Permethrin anticipating that you could encounter bedbugs somewhere along your journel. Safe travels and Buen Camino!
     
  9. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi Patty

    While awaiting a response from Mary, Gerald and Gordon



    Although it is a good few years since I walked the Via de la Plata, even back then, most days there were places to stop for lunch – I don’t know whether you have come across Mundicamino, but I found this to be a fantastic resource when planning my own Camino as it goes through every stage and lists all the facilities available en-route –

    http://www.mundicamino.com/los-caminos/38/camino-de-la-plata/

    I also bought the little guidebooks produced by The Confraternity of Saint James – These are very inexpensive and Very Useful and it is often good to have an extra guide so that you can make comparisons.

    I didn’t come across any bedbugs, but it would be good to get some more up to date info on that subject :)



    I also started walking my own Via de la Plata in April (April 1st) and although we did have occasional rain, the weather was overall very good – Just the last few days in Galicia where we had torrential rain – Unfortunately since the demise of VT, much of my Via de la Plata blog was deleted, but you still might find some useful stuff in the link in my tagline

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  10. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    @Patty van Hest when I went on my Caminos, I had the same bed bug experience as @Wily did and took the same precautions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  11. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Patty, my wife and I have successfully completed two CFs and are planning our third for next Sept-Oct 2019. With regards to bed bug protection, like Wily we sprayed our backpacks, silk sleep liners and sleeping bags with Permethrin a week before our trip and did not have problems with bed bugs for either camino.

    For our second camino, we "discovered" another way to keep the annoying bugs away from us while walking and learned that this is also effective against bed bugs. I clipped it to a lanyard while walking and wore the lanyard at night. No problems. (If interested, see posting "Camino Bug Repellent"). Bob

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Patty van Hest

    Patty van Hest New Member

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  13. Patty van Hest

    Patty van Hest New Member

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    Thanks Bob, I'll look into that. Pretty sure I have something like that in the cupboard already...never thought to use it for bedbugs.
    Patty
     
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  14. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Collect moments, not things Donating Member

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    Hi Patty, I did the CF and the Ingles this year. I ordered the Z-CLIP as Bob did, thinking that I would get carried away by mosquitos at least in the woods. I clipped it on my pack. Never even saw one though. I did not use Permethrin either, ( I am so sensitive to chemicals) but never encountered bedbugs along the way. If you fear those creatures....probably is a good idea to use it as highly recommended by the experienced Pilgrims on this site! The gypsy in me has a tendency to throw caution to the wind. :D
     
  15. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info about Mundicamino, Rob. I just received the UK Confraternity's booklet and am enjoying reading some of the history of the VdlP. Magwood just did the VdlP recently and live-blogged it in her usual interesting and informative way. Laurie/Peregrina 2000 also did a FindPenguins trip blog also recently that would likely be of use.
     
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  16. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi C4S

    Pleased to hear that you are finding the CSJ Guidebook interesting – I think that they are excellent value for money and some are now even available as downloads - Were you also aware that there are fee updates available for your Via de la Plata guide on the CSJ Website at https://www.csj.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Seville-to-Santiago-updates.pdf

    I also hope that you find the Mundicamino website useful – I used to download and print of the little strip maps as I found these to be incredibly useful.

    I am sure there are plenty of others including Magwood will be more than happy to help you and, I look forwards to reading about your own adventures on The your Via de la Plata in the not too distant future.

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  17. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Rob! That information about the CSJ Website and also about the strip maps on Mundicamino are much appreciated! It sounds like people are leaving as early as April 1, which should make the long wait during winter a little more bearable:0)). Hope you are well and, as usual, thanks for giving of your time to help others!
     
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  18. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Always Happy to be of help C4s :)

    As I have been unable to walk Caminos for the last few years due to a bit of bad luck with my health, I find that trying to help others plan and then hopefully complete their own Camino’s is as near as I can get to being out walking one again myself !!

    Therefore I am Always Happy to answer questions on this forum ;)

    Good Luck and Buen Camino and I look forwards to reading all about your own Via de la Plata

    Rob
     
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  19. geraldkelly

    geraldkelly Member

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    Hi Patty

    Apologies for the delay. I was on the Camino Frances and I just saw your questions now.

    What do you mean by "populated". Other pilgrims or local population?

    Whether you need to carry food for the day depends on the stage. However, it is a good idea to always have something to eat on you because you never know when you'll find bars/shops closed unexpectedly.

    Re bedbugs. I've never seen or heard of them on the Via.

    Cold weather gear in April is a good idea. Especially in the mountains it can still be cold. Also raingear is essential.

    You can download my guide from my website, the address is in my signature.

    Gerald
     
  20. Patty van Hest

    Patty van Hest New Member

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    Hello Gerald,

    Yes, I meant the local population. :) Have since read that there should be either accommodation or shops every 25 km or so, so Idon't think running out of food majorly will be an issue. Happy to carry a little something anyway. Have also since found out that acquaintances walked this trail from Salamanca only 2 years ago, so we picked their brains as well. Getting excited, even though it is still 6 months away....
    Thanks everyone for your kind replies!
    Patty
     
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