Sunday, June 14, 2015

Zamora Sightseeing June 12 - 14 and Albergue Update

Dancers in the street!


The number of Pilgrims arriving has dropped off a lot, perhaps it is the weather or perhaps it is just the normal summer slowdown. We have now had under 15 three days running and very few Spanish pilgrims. There have also been more of the pilgrims just starting at Zamora, I guess because the heat in Seville, several hundred km to the south is normally just too hot. Not this week though, it has been quite cool, cloudy and sometimes rainy, although most often it is just rain showers.

We found some stats in the book from 2013:

Jan 13 Feb 42 Mar 180 Apr 425 May 694 Jun 443 Jul 339 Aug 352 Sep 346

Oct 152 (but closed 4th to the 13th for fumigation)

Nov 54 (but one day a group of 14)

Not sure what happened to Dec.

We are right in line with these stats as we have had 214 so far, 2 days short of half a month.

The 2012 stats also include nationalities and percentages. There were 50 countries represented by pilgrims in all, with the Spanish (of course) leading in numbers with making up 45% of the pilgrims. Then (in decreasing numbers) French, German, Italian, Dutch and English (GB). Canada came next with 52 pilgrims that year. Keep in mind that these are stats for pilgrims coming through Zamora on the VDLP route,a much less popular route and often only tackled by veteran pilgrims.

For us, thus far, this Spanish have only represented 40% of the pilgrims, but perhaps peak season has more foreigners. There was one day when we did not have any Spanish pilgrims. As an observation, there are a great many pilgrims who are French speaking as the Belgium, Dutch and Germans often speak French as (of course) did our 5 French Canadians. I am very glad to have Jocelyne here with her perfect French!

They recycle cooking oil here

Anyway, the bottom line is that we have had fewer pilgrims in this 2nd week to clean up after and we have also finished our "deep cleaning" two days ago, which has liberated some time for us to wander the city a bit. I did a walk out of town following the camino route one of the days and enjoyed that a lot. I am starting to look forward to my next phase of holiday and the walking I will start after I finish here.

The way out of town is not as well marked as it might be and also there is a variation which starts in Zamora which results in a potentially confusing arrow if the pilgrims do not look carefully at the sign, since there are two arrows on the sign and the pilgrims may not know that there are 2 routes leaving Zamora. We know that at least one pilgrim took this wrong turn and it sent her kilometres in the wrong direction.

Iglesia San Lorenza

This variation of the VDLP is called the "Portuguese VDLP Route" which is also confusing since there is another route in Portugal called the Portuguese route. This other route from Zamora dips into Portugal for several days before joining the VDLP just short of the city of Ourense in Spain and hence the name. Zamora is only 30 k. From Portugal.

The Portuguese exit from Zamora through a path in a field


Plaza de Toros


Part of the old city wall


Statue in front of the old granary of Santa Ana, now a municipal building


Iglesia de San Estaban


Plaza Mayor on a busy Sat afternoon

There was lots going on in the city yesterday. I sat and watched the locals for a while. Many had gathered at the town hall to listen to some "Rah Rah" speeches. I am not sure what they were saying, but people were cheering and the person speaking was popular with the crowd.

Only 2 days until I hang up my Hospitalera apron and don my Perigrino back pack! Woo Hoo!



  1. Of course, I am still with you, Peggy. The only time you do not see me is when you do not post for months at a time.

    It does not seem as though this pilgrimage is particularly popular with travelers from the United States. I wonder why ....

  2. Hi Fram, yes it does seem that the Camino of St James is less well known in the U.S and I don't understand why. A few years ago there was an American movie released called "The Way" staring Martin Sheen which I thought would have generated some interest. We had 3 Americans yesterday which makes a total of 4 in the two weeks we have been here.

  3. Interesting...maybe not enough publicly in the us.?.or people don't want to leave all the blog peg 👍

  4. I remember that in 2011 there were as many Canadians finishing the Camino as there were Americans ... Certainly skewed as the U.S. has ten times the population of Canada!