Last Saturday, November 27, 2010 I made a presentation on my Via de la Plata experiences to the annual general meeting of the Company of Canadian Pilgrims. I shared with the audience some sources of information which I had not added to this blog. So this posting is to complete my sources for those in attendance that day and perhaps for others who plan to walk the Via de la Plata in the near future.
First, Laurie’s (Peregina 2000) three sites of information on her journey in the spring of 2010 are invaluable and can be accessed at:
Second, a constantly updated chart showing distances and gradients along the Via de la Plata with the cities, towns and villages offering different types of pilgrim accommodation is contained on only six pages and is a wonderful quick reference for peregrinos on the road. It can be found at www.godesalco.com/plan
Third, I believe that the Spanish guide to the Via de la Plata carried by my new friend Ria Meinema from Amsterdam and others I met on the camino is the best guidebook to carry. It is called “La Via de la Plata a pie y en bicicleta” by Paco Nadal and you can no doubt order it over the net. Of course, you need to have a working knowledge of Spanish to use it but I side with the majority who believe that such knowledge is necessary to walk this camino anyway.
Fourth, there is a downloadable up to date guide to this camino on the web at www.caminodesantiago.consumer.es in Spanish. I used it and found it helpful but not nearly as compact and complete as the Paco Nadal book.
Fifth, there are no up to date guidebooks on the Via de la Plata in English or French. So don’t waste your money on any you find on websites that date from 2004 to 2007. There have been too many changes to the route occasioned by the building of an new autoroute and the high speed train corridor. And many new albergues have opened and some closed. I will mention, however, that the Alison Raju book “Via de la Plata” Cicerone Press, 2005 though useless as a modern guide is well worth having for the historical, religious and architectural content. But only carry it with you as a luxury because printed on heavy glossy stock it will feel like lead in your backpack.
That is all for now.