The Via de la Plata and Camino Sanabrés

After reading Tony Kevin’s book about his pilgrimage along the Via de la Plata almost 10 years ago, I’ve wanted to do the same thing myself. It’s only this year that I’ve had the 6 weeks free that I needed to complete the 1,000km walk. Already, less than a week after completing my walk, it seems like a dream. Another pilgrim I spoke to in Santiago who finished the Via Francés about the same time said exactly the same thing to me.

For anyone thinking about this walk, I’ve collected a few of my photos below to give you a little insight into the route. For me, photography is an important part of a long walk. You get the perfect opportunity to take photos and in just under 6 weeks I took over 4,000.

It can be a bit lonely. I found myself walking alone and often not seeing any other pilgrims all day for maybe 80% of the time, however most nights there were others in the Albergue. Mysteriously some times I would walk  alone for a few days and be the only person in the albergue then arrive one evening to find 15 others who had appeared out of nowhere! For some reason, this walk holds a fascination for some. I met one Irish pilgrim doing it  for the 8th time and an 84 year old from Aosta in Italy doing the Camino Sanbrés for the 9th time.

For me, a fascinating  aspect of the Via de la Plata is the change in landscape, architecture and climate as you traverse Spain from south to north.

The landscape changed significantly .
Via de la Plata

img_3959

Via de la Plata

Via de la Plata

Via de la Plata

 

Camino Sanabrés

Camino Sanabrés

The villages I passed through could have been in different countries.

Via de la Plata
Via de la Plata
Via de la Plata


Via de la Plata

Camino Sanabrés

There are lots of animals.

Via de la Plata
Via de la Plata
Camino Sanabrés
Camino Sanabrés
There was some variation in the signage.

Via de la Plata

Via de la Plata
In Extremadura, the way was marked by cubes with colour coding indicating whether or not the path coincided with the ancient roman road.

Via de la Plata

Some days there were innumerable farmer’s gates to pass through.
sign-15

 

Via de la Plata

These signs mimic the ancient Roman milestones seen along the way.

Via de la Plata
Via Sanabrés Camino Sanabrés

Via Sanabrés


Camino Sanabrés

And changes in the food ? Hmmm



Via de la Plata

However my strongest memory will always be the people I met and chatted with along the way. Although I know this is not practical or possible for many, I’m very glad I spent 6 months working hard to resurrect my very rusty Spanish with the help of my teacher Alejandra. I had so many interesting conversations with the very friendly people I met along the way.

Via de la Plata beer


Via de la Plata


Via de la Plata


Camino Sanabrés

Camino Sanabrés
Camino Sanabrés

Also,  as it turned out the 3 people I spent the most time walking with were all Spanish and this wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t been able to chat with them in Spanish.

I posted every day during my pilgrimage and you can find many more photos in those posts. ¡Ultreia!

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3 thoughts on “The Via de la Plata and Camino Sanabrés”

  1. Hi! I did Vdlp 2014 and recognised the old lady and her old bar from Vilar de Barrio. We ate an excellent menu there with other pilgrims. It took several hours and it was like a trip to the past. I loved this camino, it was my third and I hope that I can do Norte this year. Here is my blog, it’s mainly in finnish but with some english comments from my friend Kari
    https://pyhiinvaellus.wordpress.com/2014/04/
    I’ll read yours asap
    Buen camino
    Heikki

    Like

    1. Thanks Heikki I certainly recognise a lot of the locations of your photos. That night in Vilar de Barrio there was only me and a Spanish guy I walked with for some days in the Albergue and at dinner. It was like that a lot of the time

      Like

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