Pedrosa de Valdeporres

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We spent the night in Pedrosa de Valdeporres, about .8 km before Santelices with its albergue in a train station.

We stayed in Hotel Rural La Engaña, double room was 55€. Truth be told, it was not a great price/quality ratio, but hey. A Spanish woman and her British husband operate the facility and also provide English immersion courses.

Probably the highlight of the day was walking through the natural area called Ojo Güareña. If I were to walk this way again, this is where I would mix things up a bit. It is described as a “karst complex.” Wikipedia describes an area filled with tunnels carved out of soluble rocks by underground water, 90 km of tunnels no less. Archaeological research reveals that the caves were inhabited hundreds of thousands of years ago, dating back to middle Paleolithic times. It includes the largest cave in Spain, which has rock paintings dating back at least 13,000 years. The Camino goes through a very pretty and forested area, and past some of the medieval anthropomorphic tombs.

But what it doesn’t do is take you to the Ermite de San Bernabé, which is a mere 2.1 km off the camino from the village of Quisicedo. It is a 10-12 century ermita, adjacent to a huge cave that is also open for visits. The most recent info I saw reported that it had re-opened and that guided tours take 45 minutes and cost 4€. Its setting reminded me a bit of the romanesque church in the Cañon de Río Lobos on the Camino Castellano-Aragonés. And that was just stunning. This may be more heavily touristed, which can interrupt the vibe a bit, but I think it would be a very nice visit.

So I would be tempted to take a day here, to see the ermita and to enjoy more of the natural beauty.

A video about Ojo Güareña, focusing on the natural beauty and wildlife (particuarly birds).

The Road:

Day 5. Pedrosa/Santelices to Arija (27-28 km)

Another pleasant day, nice scenery (one ascent with about 200 m elevation, mostly through green tunnels) some nice open field walking. Nothing spectacular but very comfortable, and a bit of road walking thrown in.

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Accommodation in Pedrosa de Valdeporres

Casa Rural