The Ruta/Via de la Plata is clearly quite a famous thing in Spain as most people that I have mentioned it to in the last couple of months immediately recognise the name at the very least. Most, in addition, know something about it. I knew nothing about it until a couple of months ago when first trying to put some meagre flesh on the bones of my plan to cycle from Tarifa to Nordkapp.
The Ruta de la Plata website is very useful and of the twelve stages that it lists, I’ll hopefully be making use of the first nine before I turn and head east along the route of the Camino de Santiago:
The distances shown on the right are all cyclable in one day and average out to a distance that will keep my longer term cycle vision on track. Each route section on the website gives a brief bullet point summary – here’s the first one for example:
…followed by a relatively simple map and an altitude profile:
So much more info there than I’m used to having! I’ve also managed to get hold of a paper overview map of the whole route from the regional tourist office here in Seville:
It gives some indications as to where I will find campsites which is obviously useful. The website does give ‘TRK’ and ‘KML’ tracks to download and use but having never before delved into this aspect of GPS tracking I’m not that enthusiastic about starting tomorrow. I prefer to create tracks (through Cyclemeter) rather than follow them. That could be a philosophy for life, no?
While visiting the tourist office earlier, the excellent woman who dealt with my questions also gave me a card for the Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Sevilla Via de la Plata. Their office is at the start of the route in Seville and I’ll pop in tomorrow morning; they know I’m coming as they responded to a tweet! Their website may also be of use but I haven’t yet had a good look.
It now all makes sense as to why the Camino seashell signs that I spotted back in Cádiz were quite so prominent. I’ve always known that we shouldn’t really talk about the ‘Way of St. James’ but the ‘Ways of St. James‘. The Via de la Plata is clearly one of the important other ‘ways’.