01 June 2018

Riding Vía de La Plata: From Cádiz to Santiago de Compostela

This is a trip that happened more 2 years now...but we´ve been rather busy with life and enjoying the amazing outdoors of British Columbia ever since we moved to Vancouver (Canada) back in November 2015. Here it goes.

Vía de la Plata, one of the other popular pilgrim routes in Spain, this time crossing South to North. With our Canadian visa applications already submitted, and being technically funemployed, we had no option but to keep on pedalling. A night bus dropped us in Cádiz, in Southern Spain, where we would ride up to Santiago de Compostela a few hundred km later. 

Laid-back coastal Cádiz welcomed us with the morning fog...

...so we start riding through the palm-tree filled streets of Cádiz...

La Pepa bridge got recently built to avoid gaditanos do a big loop around the peninsula Cádiz sits in. Unfortunately, bike travel was not considered and scooters and bikes are not allowed!? So we did the loop and rode an extra 40 km.

The following morning we woke up in Sánlucar de Barrameda and take the short ferry ride across the Guadalquivir river...

...our plan being to ride 20 km along the  shoreline to Matalascañas. Chose your low tide, and a bit of a tailwind, and you are for a superb, wild-ish ride...

...though at some point an electric storm made an appearance and had us wondering where to look for shelter...

...a few min later, and it had passed and we pressed on...

...until we eventually hit El Rocío. This is quite an scenic village, if you manage to visit in low season. No pavement, horses, touristy, but in a way, cute. 

A night wild-camping in some Souther forest, and we wake up to torrential rain as we approach Sevilla. What...rain in Southern Spain? Yes, we don´t remember even being so soaked. Nothing that freshly fried porras and a coffee cannot fix.

In Seville we start seeing the famous yellow signs

Have a quick glimpse of the city we´ve visited many times before (whilst continuing getting soaked)...

...admiring the local buildings and windows...

...until we reach our first official hospedaje. Being completely soaked and cold, we welcome a warm shower and an ever warmer welcome by this lovely couple from Italy. They volunteer two weeks a year in different donativo hospedajes

We set off bright and early the following morning, only to face brutal muddy climbs on the mountains North of Sevilla...

...where instead of fearing Grizzly encounters we met this Iberian pigs.

Followed some useful signs

to small villages with all the necessities

And some beautiful cobbled streets


The landscape was bland at times...

But the villages always welcoming

Soon we entered olive territory

Where we looked for a good spot to spend the night...

In Europe it isn´t unusual to bump into these things

Outside of Cáceres

And of course, some good dose of Spanish sexism

Met with my uncle, a long'time resident of Cáceres

And enjoyed their great hospitality

Another thing in Spain: the high speed (unfinished) train projects linking small communities at a huge cost. Really?



And yet another great hospedaje where we crashed after a long day with other fellow pilgrims (on foot, ouch)

Lucy, stoked on Camino

Weather turned for a more autumnal one...


Old town

Love the colors here. Lucy´s hair color blends in even

Some Canadians must´ve expertly planted these trees

Riding on autumn

Another random donation hospedaje - this time a family´s backyard, fully equipped. Crazy no?

Never figured out why the drying of these corn

Close to Santiago we enjoyed full hospedajes to ourselves. 

Last few pedal strokes...Galicia is green