""The Via de la Plata"" Top 5 Page for this destination Sevilla by into-thin-air
Sevilla Travel Guide: 2,254 reviews and 5,775 photos
This page is about my latest long-distance walk raising money for cancer research at "The Royal Marsden Hospital" and not Sevilla as in the title of the page !! but as I started the walk in Sevilla and because of the format of V.T. I had to put in somewhere, then creating a Sevilla page seemed like the best thing to do !!??!!
Having already walked the "Camino Frances" and "The Camino Ingles" (Please see my other "Spain" pages for information on these Camino's) the "Via de la Plata" was the next obvious choice.
I have broken the walk down into stages in my "Sports Travel" tips and mentioned the places where I stayed under accommodation, If anyone is contemplating doing this walk then please feel free to email me for further information. In time I may get around to adding a few more tips but as ever time is short !!
So to the walk ..............
I popped my Old Rucksack into it's Pro-Tector Then caught the train South to meet up with a Good Friend of mine, Rachel, Whom I had not seen for four years in London and we flew out to Sevilla on a Ryan Air Flight, Eva (zumodemango) had booked us a room at a hostel which we found Easily and it was very Good.
So a days sight seeing in Sevilla, also getting the pilgrims passports sorted out and visiting the Cathedral and getting the "Cello" The stamp on the Pilgrims passport that signified the start of the walk - a great day
2nd April we started to walk - 23k the first day and a bit wet!!
We stopped off half way to visit the Old Roman City of Italica which was very good then onto Guillena where we stayed the night in the changing room of the local sports centre - en-suite!! and free too!!
Next day and 20k in the rain to Castiblanco de los Arroyos where we stayed in a refugio - again for free!!
Then next a hot and sunny day and 27k to Almaden de la Plata where we stayed in a nice refugio with sheets on the beds for 6 Euro.
Another hot day the next day and 17k to El Real de la Jara where we stayed in a crowded room without a window for a rather expencive 10 Euro - but the place did have a beautiful castle with fabulous views of the local countryside.
Following day another 22k to Monestario where we stayed in a nice refugio but unfortunately the next day Rachel got ill and had to travel by bus the following morning to Fuente de Cantos whilst I walked the 22k, we stayed in an old convent that was very peaceful and good value at 12 Euro including Breakfast !!
Rachel was feeling well enough to walk the next day the 22k to Zafra where Unfortunately she had to leave me the following day to return to the U.K. and work !!
So I started walking alone but soon met up with a German guy, Andreas who I had met earlier on the walk and we walked together to Vilafranca de los Barros where we had to share a room above a bar as the albergue was full. The next day we again started to walk together but he shot off ahead after a while but we met up again after 33k in Torremegia where the albergue was closed so we again had to share a room!!
Then we walked part of the way together here to Merida where we are again sharing a room as there is no accommodation here for pilgrims!! - so it is just as well for both of us that we met up otherwise we would have had to spend a lot of money on accommodation!!
Merida is a very beautiful city. The most Roman remains here than in any other city in Spain!!
From Merida we walked 17k to Aljucen where we stayed in a Beautiful little refugio on the edge of the village with a nice garden to sit out and relax in --- It also had a kitchen so Andreas cooked dinner and a good dinner it was too !!
Then 22k to Alcuescar where we had unusual accommodation in The Residencia for Handicapped Men, Nice single rooms and a friendly sort of place too.
The next day on to Aldea del Cano where we slept on the floor of the old village hall, A nice old village !!
Then on to Caceres where I had arranged to meet up with Jim and Jo, a couple from my Home Village.
They arrived my train from Madrid the next afternoon and we just did a short walk out to Casar de Caceres, 11k to another little refugio, nice but a bit crowded !!
From here we started to walk longer days, First 34k to Canaveral where we stayed in possibly the Most unusual refugio of the route, a Hippie woman ran the place and had moved her boyfriend in, This meant that there was only one bed left, so I had that, Jim and Jo had a mattress on the floor and Andreas slept on a sofa in a little room downstairs, The toilet flush wasn't plumbed in and as there was no gas in the bottle there was only a cold water shower !! -- But we had a Good laugh about it and enjoyed our stay.
Then on 42k to Carcaboso where we were Very Well looked after by an Excellent lady who ran the refugio, more like a small hotel and well recommended !!
Then another Long day to Aldeanueva del Camino, 40k but it somehow felt longer !!?? and a nice little refugio there too !!
Then a shorter day of only 23k to Calzada de Bejar, an Old hill village that is so far away from everywhere that it doesn't even have a public telephone !! This was the best Refugio of the route so far and the couple that ran it cooked us an excellent dinner.
Then another fairly short day, 21k to Fuenterroble de Bejar and another nice refugio and more great food in the local bar.
Back onto a long day and 34k to Morille where we stayed in a Very small refugio and the woman who ran it cooked us an Excellent meal in her own house -- Very Nice !!
Then a relatively short day into Salamanca, The half way point of the walk and time for Jim and Jo to depart and Dr Mike from Cumbria flew out and met up with me at Salamanca train station.
He also brought a new pair of boots with him as I had completely worn the first pair out --and they were new when I set off from Sevilla but had developed a hole in the sole, so for the last 100k I had felt every stone -- not so great !!
He also brought new first aid supplies with him -- strap and bandages for my feet to top up my First Aid Kit !!
So a short day to start -- 15k to Calzada de Valdunciel through "Big Sky" country, and another nice little refugio there too.
Then a longer day, 33k to Villanueva de Campean, a small village with bunk beds in the old village hall and the one bar in the village cooked us a nice dinner.
From here just 20k to Zamora, another very Nice city with many old and interesting buildings, we stayed at a Hostal as there was no pilgrim accommodation here yet.
Then back into Big Sky country 22k to Montamarta where we stayed at rooms above a bar, OK and nice food too.
Then another short day of 22k to Granja de Moreruela where the route split either straight on to Astorga or right to Santiago de Compostela, Simple accommodation in the old village hall and Bar Perigrino where we were well Fed and watered !!
The next day we opted to do a detour to the oldest Cistercian Convent in Spain, well worth the short detour as it is a truly amazing building !!
So that made it around the 30k to Tabara where Dr Mike left and Rachel who had enjoyed the walk So Much came back to join me for another 4 days
From Tabara we walked 23k to Santa Marta de Tera and stayed in an Excellent Alberge run by a Very Friendly Family and were very well fed !!
Then We had intended to walk a short day the next day to Rionegro del Puenta but when we arrived there the only Hostal in town was "Closed" -- well we thought it was closed, at least there were no beds available !! So this left us no choice but to continue on to Mombuey making it a long 36k day !! But there was a nice refugio and the Hostal opposite was open for our dinner !!
We tried to split the next day to get back onto schedule but again the only Hostal was closed so we again kept going to Puebla de Sanabria, 33k, a Beautiful old Hill town, here we stayed in a Very Nice Hotel and then to get back on Schedule took the next day off !
This was just as well as on the Next day we met up with Birgit (bijo69) who was joining me for the next section of the walk.
So Early the next morning, Again I had to say farewell to Rachel who had to return once more to England and Birgit an I continued the walk to Lubian, it was quite a long and hard day -- a long way up -- over 4,000 feet
(total climbing of maybe 1,500 for us) and a beautiful way on an old roman road, following the valley bottom at first then steeply up to the top of the pass - the highest point of the entire route then mainly down to Lubian where we stayed in a Very Nice refugio, we bought some provisions from the local shop and had a picnic dinner outside surrounded by mountains !!
The next day was another up and over day, crossing two ridges but not quite as high but we were both tired when we got in - we stayed at La Gudina 26k. The guy running the refugio who was very strict but I liked him - he hated cyclists and wouldn´t allow them to stay!
Then the next day on to Laza - another long day at over 30k with quite a lot of climbing but beautiful countryside, Birgit had bad blisters and was a bit slow but didn´t complain so I was pleased about that !! The Refugio here was Excellent, we checked in with the Local Police who gave us the refugio key then took us to the refugio and showed us around !!
The next day was to Vilar de Barrio - only 20k and that is where Stevie, a friend who now lives in Devon (he used to also live in Gosforth - the same village in Cumbria as me) joined us. He had to take a taxi as there wasn´t a train on Saturday - well not the train that he expected in any case !!!!
Birgit again walked the next day so there was three of us - a really short day of 15k to Xunqueira. Here Birgit left, also by taxi as also no buses on a Sunday !
Then Stevie and I had another fairly short day of 22k to Ourense where we stayed in a really Nice refugio close to the Cathedral .
From Ourense we had planned to double a day up and not stop at Cea as on the Master plan. So we left Ourense in the rain and trekked 35k to Castro Dozen only to find that the only Hostel had closed down - well the next possibility of accommodation was another 20k and it was already 18.30 so what we did was caught a bus to Lalin, spent the night there in a very nice and quite cheap Hostel and then caught the bus back to Castro Dozen the next morning.
So from there (on a sunshine and showers day) we walked 20k to Laxe where there was a new refugio - very nice but there was a large noisy group in and the building was a bit like an echo chamber. We had about 1k to walk to an industrial estate on the side of the motorway where there was an excellent restaurant for dinner - here we met a really nice Spanish guy, Patchi who was walking on his own so we had a good crack with him.
Then we walked another long day, 34k to another new refugio at a small place 5k on from Ponte Ulla, called Villa Nuevo. Another nice refugio with great views and again unfortunately the large noisy group. Stevie and I went to a small restaurant about 1.5k with Great food
So our last day of the walk that only left 15k to Santiago de Compostela. Quite a lot of up and down and did it rain - thunder and lightning - so we had quite a spectacular entrance !!
So that was My Via de la Plata !!
- Pros:A Fabulous walk, Less crowded by far than "The Camino Frances!
- Cons:Sometimes Difficulties in finding accommodation but it is there if you plan / stage the walk properly
- In a nutshell:Simply the Best Camino -- So far !!
If you are travelling Anywhere and using a Rucksack / Backpack as your luggage then I would Strongly recommend that you... more travel advice
The original plan was to walk to Ponte Ulla -- 29.5k But when we arrived there we were told that there was a new refugio... more travel advice
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