In October 2019, my partner Nedjo and I headed to Spain for two months. The main draw for our time was walking and our route was one of Spain's many pilgrimage routes, caminos de Santiago, that lead to Santiago de Compostela . Our chosen route, the Via de la Plata, starts in Sevilla and heads north for more than 1000 kilometres. We originally planned on two weeks of walking but then decided we’d like to try to go further than we had on Portugal's Rota Vicentina, so our goal was three weeks. In the end, we were loving our time so much that we walked for close to four weeks finishing our camino in Salamanca and knowing that having done just over 500 kilometres we’re well placed to return another year to finish.
Below is a detailed day by day trip journal. When I’m travelling is my favourite time to write and I enjoy the routine of jotting down details as they happen, but these journal entries were posted once we returned to Canada. For shorter entries please see the photo essays, which were posted as we travelled.
Rest day started with the best breakfast of the trip, a buffet with lots to choose from: fruit, juice, muesli, yogurt, toast, cheese, cakes and pastry and with excellent coffee.
We enjoyed a second wonderful breakfast and then Nedjo went shopping for new insoles hoping that would help his feet/boot problem.
For us it was an early departure but we were still the last to leave the albergue at 8:00, dropping the keys in the locked mailbox.
This was an absolutely delightful day of walking. We crossed back over the highway on leaving the albergue and climbed up steeply, giving us wonderful views back to the embalse.
We were getting a not too late start when just after we’d pulled the door locked behind us, I realized that I’d left my walking poles behind.
We went into town after leaving the pension and enjoyed exploring by daylight and then climbed up the wall which you can walk along. Quite an experience.
It was a very cold night. I bundled up just the same before crawling into bed—leggings, merino long sleeve top, fleece jacket, wool socks, wool toque and gloves.
The highlight of the day was the arch of Cáparra and its connected ruins. The arch itself is the iconic symbol of much of the Vía de la Plata and so we had been following it pictorially since we left Mérida.
Rain hadn’t felt like an issue earlier in the trip, but with dropping temperatures we weren’t sure how we’d fare.
There was only a light bit of rain as we headed out but a lot of mud. There was a fair bit of slipping but nobody fell into it!
The hour by hour forecast seemed good and so we decided to stick with our plan but knowing that we’d have to assess as we went. There was heavy frost on all the roofs and a bitter wind as we headed out.
We set out at 7:55. A record for our final day. The little town was eerily quiet and so white with thick frost and dense fog.