First Stage along the Via de la Plata

I think I’m going to have to relate my Camino adventure stage by stage as well as write posts about whatever occurs to me.  There is soooo much to write about having done the Via de la Plata Camino.  I’m positively bursting.

fast train from Madrid to Seville - took 2 hours - walking would take a few weeks!
fast train from Madrid to Seville – took 2 hours – walking would take a few weeks!

So this will be the stage from Seville to Guillena which won’t help you very much to understand it because I caught the bus!*

But let me start at the beginning………

In my rucksack I carried 2 printed guides and a bunch of photocopied papers which turned out to be a copy of one of the printed guides.  Over-prepared?

In one of the guides it stated that it was rumoured that along the stretch from Seville to Guillena, the first pueblo (village) along the Way, women had been hassled and worse, robbed on the outskirts of Seville.  Now, as the timid novice that I was back then at the beginning of September, I decided I didn’t want to find out if the rumours were true – I didn’t want to start my grand adventure with a horrible experience.  So I did what the guide book suggested and caught the bus out of Seville – a distance of 23 kilometres.*

I admit I felt bad doing it but like I said, I didn’t want to find out if I was going to be robbed or not.  As it turned out, a couple of women, French and Hungarian, walked separately out of Seville and alone, and weren’t hassled at all – but then they were veterans (as I am now) but I certainly wasn’t then.

So I checked into Hostal Frances in Guillena on Thursday September 4 full of angst and excitement and anticipation and apprehension – you get the picture.  I hadn’t travelled overseas since 1999 – 14 years and I was handling myself quite well and cheerfully.

If you are going to Seville then you will be enchanted by the Jewish Quarter and more so if you stay at Las Casas Juderia which is located right in the Quarter. 

the courtyard/restaurant of Las Casas Juderia in Seville
the courtyard/restaurant of Las Casas Juderia in Seville

Seville is also the original home of the very proud Flamenco tradition – but I didn’t explore that.  However, before I got on the bus I made sure to secure a stamp (sello pronounced say-o) from the Cathedral of Seville.

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the Cathedral of Seville – tears were shed for the wonder of the place and the fact that my Camino was a reality

So, there I was in Guillena on the eve of my first day of walking which would be a stretch of 20 kilometres to Castilblanco de los Arroyos.  Having never done a 20k distance before you can imagine how challenged I felt but all in all, the mood was light and fine, as was the weather!

stuff - fruit, music, money, passport, pilgrim credential - looking like a pilgrim but untried as yet
stuff – fruit, music, money, passport, pilgrim credential – looking like a pilgrim but untried as yet

Stay tuned for the next instalment – about getting lost in the first 10 minutes in the dark at around 6.30am and meeting my first angel along the way – truly, the Camino is crowded with angels.

Buen Camino,

Nancy

*I don’t claim to have walked the entire length of the Camino – mine included a bus and a few taxis, but I DID walk approx. 850 kilometres of the thousand and I will acknowledge each time where and why I taxied.  In Aussie terms, I walked the equivalent of Mildura to Sydney or from Lismore to Sydney.  (not bad for a first effort!)

 

About Nancy Liddle

In 2014 I walked from Seville to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, some 800 ks I walked, aged 56. I learnt that no matter what age we are, our bodies are strong work-horses. Ageing doesn't have to be the nightmare that our culture feeds us. We can be strong and vital and energetic! And meditation exercises our minds. Clearly these discoveries have impacted my life deeply.

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