A Blog by Dermot Dolan

A Blog by Dermot Dolan, all work is copyright of Dermot Dolan.

Sunday 6 April 2014

Via de la Plata 2014

As promised I said I would post some photographs of my recent walk. It will take a number of days more before this section is complete. Note for reasons I have no control over the photographs are not in date/time sequence.

Stork 1

Stork 2

Stork 3

Stork 4
 Some more shots of the first section of the route from Seville. I may group them later by category, ie People, Flowers, The Way etc. But for the moment enjoy these as you see them.

 Light playing in a tunnel at Italicia, birthplace of  Emperor Hadrian

Wildflower 1

Pilar Hospitaliaro of the lovely Albergue Luz del Camino in Guillena

Pilgrim Francoise, using I Pad to photograph flowers.

Wildflower 2

 Cistus albidus these are very plentiful.

 Snake on roadside near Castilblanco de los Arroys (I would normally have a huge fear of snakes, but my fist instinct on seeing this was to photograph it)

Church Steeple Castilblanco de los Arroyse 

  Swallow nests over Church door  Castilblanco de los Arroys
Amigo Francoise

No Overtakeing allowed, Pilgrims not obeying the sign. See the field of wildflowers on the left.
Very tall heather. It is like a large bush, never saw this at home.
Pilgrim climbing to Almaden de la Plata
Pilgrim among the flowers of the mountain.

Large bunch of wild Asparagus  (You see people picking this everywhere in the Countryside).
Proud owner of a large bunch.

Wild Rosemary. Lambs to follow.
Pilgrims ahead, on the way to Almaden de la Plata
On the way to Almaden de la Plata
On the way to Almaden de la Plata The trees look like topiary.
Cat on a hot tiled roof.

Camino morning light

Cycling Pilgrim. Had dinner with him and his friend the evening before, really nice people.

Morning Mists


"Ermita de San Isidro, near Venta del Culebrín, on the way to Monesterio"

Famous local dried Sausage.

Famous local dried Sausage.

Local dried and cured Ham. Very good.

Typical Spring colour Andulicia

Typical Spring colour Andulicia

My morning break, some of the ham photographed above.

Ham and Cheese Spanish style.

The long road, near  Castilblanco de los Arroys

Beauty (The botanical name for this flower) Bet most of you thought it was something else.

 On the way to Fuente de Cantos

Italian Amigo crossing stream.

What are Panniers!!

May the road rise before you. "Go n'eirigh on bother romhat".

Window display in Castilblanco de los Arroys

Strong White in the early morning light Castilblanco de los Arroys.

Olive Trees amid abundant wild flowers.

Olive Trees and wildflowers on a sunny Sunday morning in March.

For ever and ever  and ever into the distance,Vines.

Circle me with Spring colour.

Dutch Amigo

French Amigo.

Think this is Villafranca de los Barros.

It is March and this is a Hare.

The Lone Tree.

Work to make you smile or was he laughing at the daft Pilgrim.

Keep going straight ahead and you'l be grand.
Wild Lavender.
Albergue Luz del Camino Guillena
Catalonian Amigo.
Cross on hilltop near Almadén de la Plata
Prickley Pears
The cliched shot.

Bartender Fuente de Cantos
Fuente de Cantos

Norwegian Pilgrim
Hospitaliaro Zafra as I was leaving before first light for a 46km day
I would think that these are very old Olive Trees
Similar to another shot of wildflowers but this time showing Merida in the background. It is amazing the proximity of the wilderness and industry. 
Birds a Graveyard and Sunset in Aldea del Cano
Breakfast at Truckstop Cafe Aldea del Cano , with coffee e 2.60
Misty Morning  near Aldea del Cano
A stream and pond full of those little white flowers, this has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
This is a very flat wide open plane before Valdesalor just after an old airstrip, in morning fog.
This is a very flat wide open plane before Valdesalor just after an old airstrip, in morning fog.
Sheep not following the arrows.
Beautiful Camino sign in Cáceres
Stefano my Italian h friend at the end of a long day.
Stefano in Cáceres
With the fragrance of wildflowers. between Cáceres and Casar de Cáceres
A Field of colour on the entry into Merida.

Entrance to Casar de Cáceres
Stefano relaxing outside Aulbergue at Casar de Cáceres
The angled gate and big stone
The hillside was full of this wild Lavender.
Feel free to name it. Unknown A
The start of many pictures of Embalse de Alcántara
This has to some class of a Rose
The Way, Camino, Path.
Embalse de Alcántara, the overhead lines are annoying in the picture, but the dam is used to generate electricity, so therefore I would not photoshop them out.
Look at the colour of the water, I have noticed this before with dam's.
Looks a bit like a wild sweet pea, but probably isn't.
I photograph things, I am not a botanist.
I include 4 of these same flower, each have their own merit. The one on the left looks like Tommy Coopers hat.
Busy Bee.
Interesting looking insects.
Embalse de Alcántara
Construction work near Embalse de Alcántara 
Embalse de Alcántara
Fishing lines, there were many locals that Saturday having a picnic.
The clouds, the lack of leaves, the fact it is the water, I like it. 
A Yellow flower on a Cactus.
The lovely Albergue at Embalse de Alcántra, try to stay there if you can.
The Moon just after leaving the Embalse de AlcántaraAlbergue on Sunday morning, nice way to start a day.
Now is a series of those Ahhh! shots.
I know someone with ears like this, but they are a bit older.
Running looking for Mammy.
Myself and this French Couple were caught up in this Sunday morning traffic jam.
This place has WI-FI. We did have a lovely conversation (with each other) later.
Broom, look a bit like the Gorse we get in Ireland without the thorns.
These shrubs and horses go well together.
Cork Oak
The lovely path.
Near Grimaldo
Near Grimaldo
Grassy Path.
The bare trees on a barren hillside.
Interesting looking tracks in the distance.
A young foal in glorious sunshine.
I found this pond and wildflowers amazing. The entire rim of the little lake has a perfect circle of these delicate flowers.
If you take the old route to Galisteo you will miss this. It is just after the turnoff towards Riolobos.
Rolling hills of sculptured trees.
Strange looking Church near Riolobos.
A bird of prey, but which one. I would need a stronger lens to get closer. Near Riolobos
I think it is Almond  blossom.
The ancient walls of Galisteo with a moving Italian (slow exposure shot). In the very early morning light.
The open top red sports car is missing. The road to Carcoboso.
Saying goodbye to Italian Amigo. In Carcaboso, my walking over for this trip.
Man in Carcaboso, he has seen many Pilgrims in recent years.
The lovely Elana of Albergue Elana Carcaboso.
Seville Amigos. 
In Casa del Jamón Plasencia 
In Casa del Jamón Plasencia
At Madrid Airport - Who is, must be Real Madrid player people were getting his autograph.
Open air market Plasencia
 Bacalao - salted dried fish. Open air market Plasencia 
Window display Plasencia
The man behind the counter at Restaurante  Caparra Carcaboso, nice place.
Open air market Plasencia
Open air market Plasencia
Open air market Plasencia
Open air market Plasencia

Another nice Flower.
Coming in to land.
The new bridge Merida.
The streams are full of these wonderful small white flowers.
Broom, Broom, Broom.
Yet to be named.
This is a stream completely full of dainty white flowers complete with Stork. That was a lovely day (just outside Merida)
What a walk!
Now nearly finished with this section, it is has taken an incredible amount of work, both in taking , editing and posting so you might now help me and bring this to a wider audience. Please feel free to link this to Facebook or other sites (I myself am not on Facebook)If you are a "Camino" visitor, I would advise you to have a look at some of my other work by going to older posts. It includes some Camino shots and lots more, including the beautiful Sligo - Leitrim area of the West of Ireland where I live. 



  1. Great pics Dermot. The colours are fab. Give a sense of progress through wilderness to civilisation. Portraits are very good. Keep up the good work.

  2. Dermot, the one you call Some type of Rose these are very plentiful. is actually Cistus albidus, and yes, it is very common and typical in the Spanish Dehesas...

  3. Thank you amancio for your information, I can now amend title. I have many more flowers of whose names I do not know, you will see them in the coming days. Regards Dermot

  4. Beautiful, beautiful! You caught the essence of the Camino. My fave’s area the wildflowers and the long, long path ahead. I”ll look forward to seeing more. I’ve not done the Via del Plata, but I leave on May 9th to begin my walk from SJPdP to Santiago and on to Finisterre on May 14th. Buen Camino

    1. Patricia, Thank you. You are in for a lovely walk and you should have great colour on the Frances at that time of the year. I will post more photos later today or over the next few days. Also I must over the next few weeks post sections of Photographs from previous Caminos. Bon Camino

  5. Beautiful! I remember almost all of those spots you've got in there. And I always love those streams with the white flowers.


    1. Melanie, Thank you, those streams are great, the most important thing is just being there.

  6. Hi Dermot
    We are following in your footsteps starting Sept 4. How do you find the singage (yellow arrows etc)? Any different than the Route Frances?

    1. David, Hello, I had no problems with singage, it takes different forms, the yellow arrow, the Via de la Plata metal cubes (with the yellow line going through the arch), granite block. Sometimes in a town it can be tricky but go to a tourist office or just ask (I speak hardly any Spanish). If you do go off route try to enjoy it.
      Early Sept will be still hot so plenty of water, suncream and shorter distances.

  7. Thank you Dermot. Your photos are amazing. I walked from Seville to Casar de Carceres last April/ May and leave Dublin next Wednesday to start from Casar de Caceres. your photos brought back some wonderful memories. It's a splendid route and you have captured it! Una

    1. Una thank you for kind words. Enjoy your trip. You might start with a short 21km day and stay in the very beautiful Embalse de Alcantra (book in advance just in case) this is the only place I booked, told a lot of locals use it at weekends. Bring food with you as they do not have a full kitchen and it is just microwaved grub. Today I will post photographs of my journey between Casar and Carcaboso, the dam is great.

  8. Ah I just loved these photographs. Thanks for sharing these. I had cancelled my Via de la Plata Camino this year due to number 9 grandchild's imminent arrival. However I will head there next spring. You have inspired me to get going again.

  9. Gary thank you. You will enjoy it next Spring, it is hard for photographs to capture the mood and feeling of this walk.

  10. Looked at pictures in greater detail today. Your captions are excellent. I particularly like the one "cat on a hot tiled roof. "May the way rise before you". Pity you didn't use the Gaelic "Go n'eirigh on bother romhat". I could spend forever browsing the pictures. They are a credit to you.


  11. Thank you Jim, your encouragement from the very start has been great. I had thought of using the Irish but just did not have the time to look up right spelling. Will use it again.

  12. Oh what lovely memories your photographs conjured up. I walked the via de la Plata in September 2012 and it looked quite different then. Love your pictures.

    Fransa Cole (South Africa)

  13. Hello Fransa, thank you for your comments. Maybe some day I will walk it in September, I can imagine all the vines been harvested. There was lovely colour everywhere this Spring.

  14. What a wonderful collection of beautiful photos! They will remind you of the Camino for years to come. Well done Dermot!

    [Off on the Ingles in six weeks time!]

  15. Stephen thank you. Enjoy the Ingles I have never done it. I think my next venture might be part of the Alps maybe the gr 54 that some French friend have invited me on, time will tell. Buen Camino.

  16. I loved your photos, they brought back many memories. My wife Mary and I along with Austin and Pauline Patterson left SJPDP 27th May 2013 and arrived Santiago 2nd July 2013. During the walk we did a daily blog candmcamino.blogspot. On 12th June 2014 Mary and I will be leaving Assisi to walk to Rome and will be resurrecting our blog.

  17. Thank you Colin. Your up-coming trip sounds great, will check out blog.

  18. The new pics are equally stunning Dermot. Again, I love your portraits.


  19. the photo you have as "Not really sure what this is, near Castilblanco de los Arroys" is actually "Ermita de San Isidro, near Venta del Culebrín, on the way to Monesterio"

  20. Near Castilblanco de los Arroys... those photos seem to be on the way to Fuente de Cantos, actually. Love seeing your photos to bring back memories, I was there only 3 weeks ago!

  21. Thank you for your information Amancio, I have now updated the info on those photographs. Glad they brought back memories to you. Regards Dermot.

  22. Beautifully presented , we are now off.
    Have walked all the others.
    From Melbourne , Australia

    1. Thank you. Have a wonderful trip. Off tomorrow myself to do part of the le Put rote again.

  23. Fred en Diny Karels22 November 2014 at 19:06

    Dermot what a very beautiful picktures we enjoy wathsing them, thanks you are a very good fotografher.

    Lots of love Diny and Fred

  24. Lovely to hear from you both. Hope you are keeping well. Thank you from your comments. I hope to launch my website within the next two months maybe before Christmas. I will still keep the blog.

    Great to hear from you.