Long Trails

Dónde están los peregrinos? – VDLP Day 1

Seville to Guillane – 21.5km / 13.5 miles – now @ Albergue de Luz.

Where are the pilgrims? Day one of a Camino and I should be surrounded by 100s of ’em!

Any seasoned peregrino will know that the Via de la Plata is tiny compared to the monster Camino Frances that lurks in the north of Spain (in number of walkers, not length, this one is over 1000km).

When I left St Jean Pied de Port last May there were 500 peregrinos scrambling over the Haute Pyrenees for those 100 or so bunkbeds of Roncesvalles. No such tide of humanity today. Just me and the three pairs of footprints that I followed all day.

Back on The Way, another Way

I am in a bar (of course!) and had to walk through a chilly town centre in my shorts. My trousers, the only thing I have to cover my unsightly legs, are drying after I had to wash off the clay like mud that dogged my last few KMs.

The weather was four seasons today. It felt like I was still on the Te Araroa  back in NZ, except for all the barking dogs and yellow arrows.

Be prepared

I left the snugness of my Seville hostal into weather so fowl, even a Scotsman might grumble. I took immediate refuge in a coffee shop and allowed the espresso to get things moving for me (you don’t wanna know).

Wet wet wet @sevillecathedral

I strolled over to the grand Catedral de Sevilla and brushed my hand over it’s sodden exterior. This marked the start of my walk north.

The first indication that I was on a Camino!

I am having to write this again as I keep losing lots of text on this stupid WordPress App! Argh! Note to self; compose in another app and paste into wp!

Deep breath.

So I headed out of a rain-sodden Seville and towards the outer suburb of Camas, which would be my breakfast stop.

Two options? I took the one without mud but with a cafe

The weather at this stage was angry rain then stunning sun. I made swift work of the hike to my lunch stop, but had no hunger after the loaf of bread and rocket fuel coffee that I had devoured for breakfast. I bought some peanuts that would have to see me through the rest of the day.

First yellow arrow!

I finally made it beyond the urban sprawl of Seville and was into open countryside (ignoring the nearby six lanes of highway).

I reached a flooded part of the trail and took the obvious man made diversion. This was an error as I ended up in the water after slipping down a small bank.

Luckily the next rainstorm washed away most of the dirt that I had collected during my muddy fall. Unluckily, I may have tweaked my back, and it’s just a touch sore now as I write. Hmm.

It was around 3pm when I strolled into my stop for the night. I cautiously stepped into the first albergue and asked if it was the municipal one.

It wasn’t, but the German manager said the municipal was closed for renovation, so I swiftly handed over my 12 Euros and plonked my heavy backpack down.

Finally I saw some other pilgrims! Three older gents in a six bed dorm (me, just outside of the medals and therefore the unlucky 4th on a top bunk). They were from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Some more pilgrims arrived, probably retired too.

I am going to guess that I might be one the younger peregrinos on this trail!

My trousers were so muddy that I had to wash them and was therefore left with only shorts for my lower half.

Walking through town with my turkey white legs on show, I attracted some bewildered looks. I don’t think the Spanish generally wear shorts in the evening at anytime of the year, let alone when it’s barely six degrees above zero.

Smells galore!

I am back in the albergue now and about to eat my cold pasta salad that I bought (why?!). I see from the dirty footwear area that a few more hikers have turned up. Kind of glad because it seemed wrong walking all day alone.

Food: Coffee x 2, toast and butter, peanuts, one banana, miserable pasta salad, 3 x small beers

Feet: Wet

Feeling: Fine


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8 thoughts on “Dónde están los peregrinos? – VDLP Day 1

  1. Joanne

    I’m dreading the mud, but sounds like the day was not toooo difficult.
    What is the app you are using for tracking distances

  2. Jacki

    Loving this read. We will be starting in Granada on the 15th April & will meet the VDLP in Merida. Looking forward to more posts. Thank you. X

  3. Ant - Long Trails Post author

    The App is called Geo Tracker. It’s pretty good because it doesn’t drain too much battery. You can also turn off the GPS if you are walking roughly in a straight line, yet it still figures out where you’ve been.

  4. Mariusz

    What app(s) are you using to track your route? Doesn’t your phone use too much battery while using them?

      1. Mariusz

        Can you post a link to it in the app store, there is too many app with similar names 🙂 Judging by the font, it is Android app?