If you have any information you'd like to share with other pilgrims send it to us and we'll publish it here and include it in the next edition of the guide
The AVE is the Spanish high speed train. Spain is investing heavily in its high speed train network and currently lines linking Lisbon and Galicia are in construction. The Vía de la Plata passes both these lines and at times the construction works have cause disruption for pilgrims and long diversions.
Our latest information is that while construction is continuing (at a very slow pace) it is only causing minor inconveniences for pilgrims.
Between Casar de Cáceres and Cañaveral there is a diversion of about 1.5km but the new footbridge over the train track is reported to be basically ready but not yet officially open.
North of Zamora everything is fine.
After Requejo you are being diverted along a road, my advice is to follow these diversions, I tried in spring 2016 to follow the original route and it was tough going and I don't recommend it.
After A Gudiña the long diversion is now a thing of the past and you can follow the normal route of the Vía.
The municipal albergue in Guillena is reported to be operating normally again.
There seems to be some confusion about how the EU (also known as Schengen) visitors visa system works. Basically, if you're not an EU citizen you can only spend 90 days out of any 180-day period in the Schengen area (which includes most EU countries except Ireland and the UK). The rules are explained in more detail here. This is an official document so the information in it should be reliable.
Sorry to report the death of another pilgrim on the stretch between Castilblanco and Almadén. A German man in his 50s, he was taken ill shortly before Almadén and was dead by the time the emergency services could get to him. From the Diario de Sevilla. This is the second death in this same area in recent times. Last September a Birtish man also died here. On both occasions temperatures were close to 40C.
Outeiro Xunta hostel, the (beautiful) kitchen now has absolutely no utensils of any sort. There is a growing trend on the Vía in Galicia of kitchen utensils disappearing. The same thing happened on the Camino Francés years ago. This is rumoured to be because local restaurant owners don't want pilgrims cooking for themslves. While it's impossible to confirm this it does seem like a plausible explanation (certainly more plausible than the explanation I heard from one hospitalero, that the pilgrims were stealing the saucepans!)
I've received information about a new pilgrim hostel in Almadén de la Plata, it's called Casa Clara and it's on Plaza de la Constitución, just beside the church. It has two rooms with four beds each, kitchen and laundry facilities. 12€ per bed which includes laundry. Downstairs is a café which does meals, including breakfast.
Casa Pregrina. Another report of a closed albergue, this time it's the municipal in Guillena, apparently because of vandalism. The original report is here (in German). UPDATE September 2017 - this albergue is now open again.
Mundi Camino and the Camino Forum. We've received reports that the Xunta Albergue in A Laxe is currently closed because the permanent hospitalera has retired and there is disagreement about who should pay to run the albergue. Report (in Spanish) on Mundi Camino also, keep on eye on this thread on the Camino Forum.
Dorothea Knophius has written to me about her new pilgrim hostel in Alcuéscar. It sleeps 3 people in single rooms for 13€ each. Open all year but please call to confirm, 686 902 879. It's at Fuente la Orden 32. You can look it up on Facebook.