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🥾 ℹ️ Total Stats ℹ️ Camino Via de La Plata, Spain 🇪🇸

Embarking on the Camino Via de la Plata was more than just a physical journey—it was a test of endurance, a quest for self-discovery, and an exploration of the rich tapestry of Spain's landscapes and cultures.

As I reflect on my 31-day pilgrimage along this historic route, I'm eager to share the practical insights and statistics that shaped my experience.

Let's delve into the statistics that shaped this remarkable journey.

"Along the Via de la Plata, every step is a journey through time, a pilgrimage of the soul, and a testament to the enduring spirit of the Way."


Analysing the Journey: Walking Days and Distances

My pilgrimage spanned 31 days, with no rest days and 2 travel days. Commencing on April 3rd and concluding on May 4th, I maintained a consistent pace throughout, averaging about 33 km per day.

Over the course of 1,042km, equivalent to approximately 651 miles, I traversed the diverse landscapes of Spain—from the sun-drenched plains of Andalusia to the lush greenery of Galicia. Each km I covered was a testament to the physical and mental challenges I overcame along the way.

A staggering 1,338,589 steps were taken during this pilgrimage, symbolizing the repetitive rhythm of pilgrim life and the endurance required to maintain such a pace. From early mornings to late evenings, the journey was punctuated by both the tranquility of dawn and the serenity of dusk.

On average, each day began around 8:08 am and concluded around 3:07 pm, totalling approximately 7 hours of walking per day. With an average speed of 4.5 to 5 km per hour, my progress was steady and consistent, guided by the rhythm of footsteps echoing along ancient paths.

  • Earliest Start Time: 6:35 am - Day 3 - Castilblanco de los Arroyos to Almadén de la Plata

  • Latest Start Time: 11:00 am - Day 1 - Seville to Guillena

  • Earliest End Time: 11:50 am - Day 8 - El Carrascalejo to Alcuéscar

  • Latest End Time: 6:00 pm - Day 10 - Caceres to Cañaveral

From my longest day, lasting 10 hours and 40 minutes (Caceres to Cañaveral), to my shortest day, at just 4 hours and 30 minutes (El Carrascalejo to Alcuéscar), the journey was characterised by variability in walking conditions and terrain. The biggest day, covering 29 miles/47.2 km (Cea to Silleda) , showcased both my determination and endurance in overcoming the challenges of the route.


Accommodation Analysis

The accommodation choices made during my Camino Via de la Plata journey reflect a balance between comfort, cost-effectiveness, and communal living. Here are some key insights from my accommodation experience:

  • Cost Considerations: With a total accommodation cost of £335 / €390 and an average nightly expense of £11 / €13, I aimed to strike a balance between budget-conscious choices and occasional splurges for a more comfortable stay.

  • Variety of Accommodation: I stayed in a combination of private albergues/hostels (8 nights) and municipal albergues (24 nights), totalling 32 nights. This mix allowed me to experience both the camaraderie of communal living in municipal albergues and the privacy and amenities offered by private accommodations. I had 3 nights where I was on my own.

  • Room Preferences: While communal living is a hallmark of the Camino experience, I opted for private rooms on three occasions, providing solitude and a chance to recharge after long days of walking.

  • Cost Extremes: From the budget-friendly accommodation in Lubian at €3 to the higher-priced stay in Puebla de Sanabria at €40, my accommodation choices varied based on location, availability, and personal preferences.

Overall, my accommodation strategy was guided by a desire for affordability, comfort, and a sense of community, enriching my Camino experience while ensuring a restful night's sleep along the way.


Food Analysis

Navigating dietary restrictions as a gluten-free pilgrim added an extra layer of complexity to my Camino Via de la Plata journey. Here are some insights into my food experiences and strategies along the Way:

  • Total Food Costs: With a total expenditure of £358 / €417 on food throughout the journey, I prioritised budget-conscious choices while ensuring I maintained a balanced and nourishing diet.

  • Average Daily Food Costs: With an average daily expenditure of £11 / €13, I sought to strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and nutritional value, making conscious decisions about where and what to eat each day.

  • Most Expensive Food Shop: Despite efforts to keep costs down, there were occasional splurges, such as the €58 spent on a single food shop. This highlights the variability of food prices along the Camino and the importance of budgeting accordingly.

  • Pilgrim Meals Included in Accommodation: Taking advantage of pilgrim meals included in accommodation on two occasions provided a welcome respite from cooking and allowed me to experience local cuisine while connecting with fellow pilgrims.

  • Beverage Choices: Enjoying a glass of wine and a shot of dodgy liquor added moments of indulgence and camaraderie to the journey, complementing the culinary experiences along the Way.

  • Shopping Strategy: I shopped at supermarkets to keep costs down and to ensure I knew what I was eating, a strategy that allowed me to control my dietary intake while sticking to my gluten-free requirements.

Overall, my food experiences on the Camino were a blend of budget-conscious choices, occasional indulgences, and mindful eating practices, enriching my journey with diverse culinary experiences while accommodating my dietary needs.

Additional info is contained in the blog post: The Challenges of Being Gluten-Free on the Camino


Travel 🚗✈️🚎🥾🚕✈️

Navigating transportation logistics was an integral part of my Camino Via de la Plata journey, encompassing various modes of travel and unexpected expenses along the way.

Let's delve into the details of my travel experiences:

  • 💷💶 Travel Costs: £249 / €290

  • 🎒 Unexpected Backpack Fee: I unexpectedly incurred an extra €110 / £95 fee for my backpack on the return journey, significantly impacting my travel expenses. Excluding this unforeseen cost, my travel expenses were relatively low.

  • 🚝 Train Journey: I embarked on a train journey to London, which cost £59. Fortunately, I received a full refund due to a delay, mitigating some of the expenses associated with this mode of transportation.

  • ✈️ Flights: Securing a flight over to Spain was very cheap with a ticket priced at just £10 and paid with AMEX points and £61 for my return flights with Easyjet.

  • 🚕 Taxi Fare: A €23 taxi ride to Santiago airport concluded my transportation expenses for the journey, providing a convenient and efficient mode of travel to my departure point.

  • 📲 Travel Apps: I relied on a variety of travel apps, including Buen Camino, Hiiker, Booking, EasyJet, and Google Maps, to navigate the logistics of my pilgrimage and streamline my travel experience.

  • 📡📲 Communication Device: Utilizing the ZOLEO communication device, which connects seamlessly with my phone, allowed me to stay connected and accessible throughout my journey, even in areas with limited mobile network coverage.

  • 💷💶 Miscellaneous Costs: Additional expenses totalling £81 / €94 encompassed essential items such as new trainers, a pilgrim's passport and certificate, as well as supplies for treating blisters and managing discomfort along the way.


Total Costs

The total expenses incurred during my Camino Via de la Plata pilgrimage amounted to £1,045 / €1,216, encompassing all essential expenditures, including travel, accommodation, food, and miscellaneous items.

Excluding travel-related expenses, which totaled £796 / €926, the average daily costs for the 31-day walking journey amounted to £26 / €30.

These figures offer insights into the financial investment required to embark on this transformative pilgrimage, reflecting a balance between budget-conscious decisions and the invaluable experiences gained along the Way.


Subjective Experience Analysis

Reflecting on my Camino Via de la Plata journey, I've assigned subjective ratings based on three key aspects: enjoyment, fatigue, and ease of terrain. Comparing these ratings to my experiences on other Caminos offers valuable insights into the unique challenges and highlights of each pilgrimage:

  • 😃 Total Enjoyment: Despite encountering challenges such as blisters, poor weather, and fatigue, I found a sense of fulfillment and connection to nature on the Camino Via de la Plata. With a rating of 66%, it falls slightly below my experiences on other Caminos, including the Camino Finisterre (93%), Camino Primitivo (83%), and Camino Frances (69%).

  • 😫 Total Fatigue Average: Surprisingly, my fatigue levels on the Camino Via de la Plata were lower than anticipated, with a rating of 39%. This contrasts with my experiences on the Camino Frances (34%) and Camino Primitivo (28%), where I felt more energized and able to tackle longer days of walking.

  • ⛰️ Total Ease of Terrain: While the terrain on the Camino Via de la Plata was generally manageable, with a rating of 37%, its length compared to other Caminos presented its own set of challenges. In comparison, the Camino Frances (35%), Camino Primitivo (34%), and Camino Finisterre (33%) offered similar terrain difficulties, with other factors such as weather and accommodation posing greater challenges.

These ratings provide valuable insights into the nuances of each Camino journey, highlighting the diverse experiences and challenges encountered along the Way.


Highs and Lows of the Camino

The Challenges:

  • 🥾 Blisters: My pilgrimage began with a battle against blisters caused by ill-fitting Inov8 trainers, leading to discomfort and the loss of a toenail. On day 7, I was compelled to invest in a new pair of trainers, resulting in an unconventional solution of wearing mismatched shoes to alleviate the pain.

  • 🌧️ Weather: From the outset, the weather presented a mixed bag of conditions, transitioning from sunny days to bouts of rain, cold winds, and fog. Enduring the elements tested my resilience, particularly during moments of inclement weather when the cold and dampness became challenging to bear.

  • 📲 YouTube: Despite my initial efforts to document my journey through daily shorts, I encountered challenges in producing video content while walking. I will need to go back to my original way of vlogging.

  • 🚦 Least Enjoyable Sections: The stretch out of Ourense proved to be one of the less picturesque segments of the Camino, characterized by roadways, heavy traffic, and pollution, compounded by demanding uphill climbs on Day 29.

The Highlights:

  • 🍽️ Pilgrim Meals: Despite the modest quality of food, I cherished the opportunity to partake in two pilgrim sit-down meals, appreciating not only the sustenance but also the camaraderie and conversations shared with fellow pilgrims along the trail.

  • 🏔️ Scenic Beauty: The breathtaking mountain views and vibrant wildflowers that adorned the landscape were among the most memorable highlights of the journey, evoking a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural splendor of the surroundings.

  • 🚝 High-Speed Trains: Witnessing the spectacle of high-speed trains zooming past added a touch of modernity to the ancient pilgrimage route, offering a glimpse into the intersection of tradition and modernity along the Camino Via de la Plata.

  • 🐾 Unexpected Encounters: A delightful surprise awaited me on the final day as I was joined by two large white dogs, providing companionship and a sense of connection as we journeyed together into Santiago.

  • ❤️ Favorite Sections: Days 26 and 27, encompassing the stretch from Lubian to A Gudina to Laza, stand out as personal favourites, characterised by stunning mountain vistas and a profound sense of serenity and beauty.


Conclusion: Reflections on the Journey

The Camino Via de la Plata journey was a transformative experience filled with challenges and memorable moments. Despite facing blisters, adverse weather, and logistical obstacles, the camaraderie, natural beauty, and unexpected encounters made every hardship worthwhile.

As I bid farewell to the Camino, I carry with me invaluable lessons and cherished memories.

Whether you're a seasoned pilgrim or considering embarking on your own journey, may the spirit of the Camino inspire you to embrace life's challenges with courage and gratitude.

Which Camino route appeals to you the most or which one would you like to walk in the future?

  • Camino Francés

  • Camino Portugués

  • Camino Primitivo

  • Camino Via de la Plata


Call to Action: Explore the Camino Experience

Dive into the rich tapestry of the Camino experience by watching videos from my previous pilgrimages on my YouTube channel.

Join me as I traverse ancient paths, encounter fellow pilgrims, and immerse myself in the beauty of the Way. Explore the breathtaking landscapes of the Camino Portugués, the iconic landmarks of the Camino Francés, and the rugged terrain of the Camino Primitivo.

Whether you're planning your own pilgrimage or simply curious about the journey, these videos offer a captivating glimpse into the Camino's transformative power.

Subscribe to my channel today and embark on a virtual pilgrimage to discover the magic of the Camino!


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