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Planning To Do The Vdlp Starting Apr/may 16

Discussion in 'Camino Via de la Plata - The Silver Route' started by MikeS, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    So the itch has got too persistent and I now feel the need for another Camino! I walked the Frances in Sept/Oct 2011 and the Norte in Sept/Oct 2012. Rested in 2013 as I had my hip replaced after the Norte! Did a very short hike from Winchester to Canterbury in 2014 and refurbished a house in 2015. So I’m free in 2016 and fancy the VdlP. I’ll probably start in late Apr early May from Seville and would ideally like to avoid the Frances section at the end and go west to SdC but have not found much info on that route yet.

    A couple of simple questions - is there a good app in English for this route and what do you think is the best book for maps?
     
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  2. jacktar

    jacktar New Member

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    Hi Mike,
    Just read your post. I might be able to help here.
    I walked the VDLP from Merida ( Sept/ Oct 2014) and from Zafra ( March/April 2015)
    From Merida I connected to Astorga and the Camino Frances. Astorga to SDC was a bit of a shock after walking the VDLP. I love people...but not that many!! lol
    My second camino from Zafra I changed direction at Granja de moreuela and took the Camino Sanabres. I guess this is the route you were thinking about.
    The camino Sanabres is totally different. Fewer people, fewer alberges and consequently longer distances between stages. If your hip is back in shape then you really have to go for the Sanabres.
    April/May is a good time to start. Will already be a bit hot in Sevilla in late April but you will outrun the heat within two weeks. Expect rain as you approach Galicia. It´s mountain country so the weather can be unpredictable. Really beautiful though.
    I live in Spain so the apps I use may not be of use to you. I will have a look at what is available in English and get it to you when I can.
    I too will be looking at my third camino soon. Not this year unfortunately.
    Best regards,
    Joe
     
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  3. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    Joe, thanks for the reply. I felt the same about the Frances when I joined it at the end of the Norte, it was like joining a motorway! So yes it is the Sanabres I want to do. The hip is absolutely fine (much better than on the Norte which as you may know is a little hilly). Just starting my route planning so yet to find route maps and info for the Sanabres. Distances should be fine as usually once I get a couple of weeks into the hike I’m comfortable with 40kms. As for weather, who knows? I walked the Frances for 5 weeks without a drop of rain an with temps in the upper 30s most of the way in Sept/Oct. Did the Norte a year later and had morning temps down to low single figures and torrential rain for the final 2 weeks! Bought a poncho that the Spanish farmers use for 10 euros which is fantastic, covers me and my rucksack and is made of tough coated PVC.
     
  4. jacktar

    jacktar New Member

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    Hi Mike,
    Below is a link to an APP. It´s in spanish but it gives all the stages, distances, alberges and whether they are currently open or closed. Important on the VDLP and Sanabres given their scarcity. As for maps I found lots of sites for maps on Google. Just a question of personal preference.
    I envy you because right now you will be preparing for your trip. Always found that to be an exciting part.
    Take good care and BUEN CAMINO!!

    http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/los-caminos-de-santiago/sanabres/
     
  5. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    Thanks for the link. I won’t over plan as I like flexibility and as I plan to walk by my self this time so can be more spontaneous. I will plan the start carefully as I would like to begin without any dramas but after that as long as I have some route and accommodation info all will be well.
     
  6. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    I walked The Via de la Plata from Seville top Santiago de Compostela and took the Ourense route rather than joining The Camino Frances at Astorga.

    I have written up a fairly detailed account of my walk at http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/3df43/ where I broke the route down into daily stages in the Sports and Outdoor Tips and reviewed the accommodation I used in the Hotel Tips as well as also including info on getting credentials in Seville etc etc



    For the route, I used The Confraternity of Saint James own little publications for info on accommodation and facilities en-route and a Cicerone Press guidebook that, although not completely accurate, did at least usually point me in the right general direction



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  7. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    Rob
    Thanks for the reply. I’m not familiar with Ourense route, do you have a list of the places it goes through?
    I tried the Confraternity guide when I did a previous camino but could not get on with it. I prefer simple maps with an indication of where the accommodation options are.
     
  8. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    No Problem

    The Ourense route (Sometimes known as The Ourense variant) splits of from the old Via de la Plata north of Zamora and heads directly into Santiago de Compostela on its own unique “Way”

    The list of places it places through can be found on http://www.mundicamino.com/rutas.cfm?id=44



    As you said you prefer maps to guides, then if you look at each stage, then hit the “Traces” tab, it brings up maps that you could print out and take

    Likewise, accommodation is also listed on both the accommodation as well as the hostel tabs



    Good Luck

    Rob
     
  9. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    Rob - Thanks. Its seems to be a name confusion as I knew this route as the Sanabres Way and not the Ourense. Great link though.
     
  10. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Yes – It is also called “The Sanabres Way” on the link, and “The Route via Puebla de Sanabria and Ourense” (The Camino Sanabres) in The Confraternity of Saint James book entitled “ The Camino Mozarabe or Via de la Plata – So a whole host of names to juggle with.



    Never-the-less, hopefully you will now have sufficient information to at least start planning your walk.



    Please pop up a post and let us all know how you get on



    Best Regards

    Rob
     
  11. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    Rob- thank you. I’m just waiting to commit to a date and book a flight. I will then plan in ernest!
     
  12. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    Flight booked for Tues 19 Apr so will start the camino on 20 Apr. Now I better find somewhere to stay the first night!
     
  13. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    Accommodation booked in Seville - i’m staying at the Zaida on 19 Apr and starting the camino the next day. Just have to sort out a credencial now as my others are full!
     
  14. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    I did the CF last year and enjoyed the central Mesata section a lot - so am toying with the idea of the Via de la Plata + Sanabres in late April this year.....Still at the "dropping it into the conversation" stage of the negotiations with Mrs Orava at the moment though...
     
  15. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Just a “Heads Up” on obtaining your credentials in Seville

    Your first port of call should be the Cathedral as this is where the Official version is issued – However the office isn’t always open – It wasn’t when we were trying to get ours so we were directed to the Bar Miami which is open most days until around Midnight, here you can get credentials that are issued by The Association of Friends of the Camino in Seville and these are accepted in the Refugio’s as well as in the Compostela office when you eventually reach Santiago.


    To find the Bar Miami, cross the Triana Bridge and keep walking; the bar is located half-way down the first commercial block on the left-hand side. It has a big sign that says "Miami".



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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  16. MikeS

    MikeS New Member

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    RJS - Thank for the info. I had seen these options mentioned elsewhere on the forum but decided to get one sent from Ivar in Santiago. That way I don’t have to hunt around in Seville which if my flight was late would be a nuisance and I get to give Ivar a donation!
    Oravar - Go on! Do it!
     
  17. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    MikeS- Still working on it! I don't want to hijack your thread but have a question for RSJ that is inline with your original post...

    RSJ - Would appreciate your advice on whether the via de la Plata needs a higher level of planning than the Frances. I pretty much winged the whole SJPdP to CF without any guide book ( just had the A4 sheet of alburgues as a guide). I understand the Plata doesn't have a lot of alburgues nor those magical small town bars that pop-up when you most need them? Would the phone app and a bit more homework on the waterless longer sections be sufficient or is it time to invest in a proper guidebook? Having the CF experience might have made me a bit blase. The VplP distances are no problem as I averaged 33 km/d on the Frances. I also avoided blisters on the CF by not sticking to plan and stopping at the next available alburgue when the feet said "no!", so having to press-on to the only available alburgue on the VdlP is a bit more interesting in that respect.
     
  18. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    Turns out I'll be heading to the Frances to walk the central section (next week) due to lack of time to attempt the Plata. Still want to walk it in the future though...
     
  19. Dominique

    Dominique Member

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    Hi Orava, I walked the VdlP last year and this Summer the Camino francés (for the 3rd time). I was a bit worried I might not enjoy it so much, people talked of huge crowds etc.... Not so! It was absolutely wonderful.
    Enjoy and Buen camino! :)
     
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  20. jo_nz

    jo_nz New Member

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  21. jo_nz

    jo_nz New Member

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    Hi Joe
    Yes sorry to hijack Mike's post, but we are planning to walk Malaga to SDC at the beginning of June joining the VDLP in Merida, then taking the Sanabres Route as have walked the C Frances twice.
    Is there a guidebook or app re Mozarabe rout.e?? Have watched Magwoods blog and it seems a road less travelled and we don't have much Espanol
    Appreciate any feedback:)
    Jo
     
  22. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    Having missed out on the chance to do the VdlP in 2016 (did Leon to Finnisterre instead due to time constraints) I'd really like to give la Plata a go in 2017!

    Getting a bit jumpy already and would ideally like to go as soon as possible. Looking at the climate/weather data it seems that even a winter camino is possible without too much of a problem (Seville thro central plains) but what is the Sanabres route like in late winter/March? Has anyone walked at this time of year?

    What's the best time to do it?

    "Cool" weather is no problem for me (I live in Finland.) :)
     
  23. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    I set off from Seville on 2nd April when I walked the route, so it was already May when I started to cross the mountains after Puebla de Sanabria and the weather then was excellent – The route goes quite high, so you wouldn’t want to be doing it in really bad weather, but exactly when to start would be a question that no one could give you an exact answer to ;-)

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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  24. Orava

    Orava Active Member

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    RJS/Rob,
    Thanks for the advice, and yes, the elevated sections and a gamble on early spring weather are key. I think maybe if I head out of Seville mid March time I will have a good chance of a warmer more pleasant crossing mid April time.
     
  25. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a reasonable plan Orava – Hope for the Best (weather) but go well prepared for whatever it can throws at you would be my “Best Advice” :)



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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