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Advice sought on Montserrat to Santo Domingo de Silos

eamann

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Plata, Levante, Norte (part), Primitivo, Catalan, Lana (part), Madrid, D.V. Francés 2020
I have read with great interest the posts in this forum because I am planning to walk, D.V., from Montserrat to Santo Domingo de Silos sometime in the period 1 September to end October 2016. I would very much welcome your advice on three questions. Since my walk involves the Cami Catala, the Ruta del Ebro and then the CCA, I'm not sure which forum would be best, but this one seems to me to be the most pertinent.

1. Timing/ weather: if I were to start at the beginning of September, would the weather be very hot? I would not want to walk day after day in temperatures above 30° C. On the other hand, if I were to wait until the start of October, would the weather be on the point of turning autumnal and rainy? For family reasons I cannot start in mid/late September. I realise of course that with the weather you can never tell, as the heavy rain in Spain in April and May of this year has so clearly shown.

2. I want to do the detour through the Cañon de Rio Lobos. Am I right in thinking that the most logical route would be San Leonardo to Ucero and from there back to the Camino via the the Cañon to Hontoria del Pinar?

3. Finally, I have to compress my walk into 23 to 25 days maximum, whereas I would normally need 28 days (21 days walking, 3 rest days in Lleida, Zaragoza and Soria, 2 days for the detour through the Cañon de Rio Lobos, plus one day to get to Igualada and one day to get home). What stages would you suggest that I skip or shorten? From what I have read here and on Gronze and Mundicamino, I was thinking of:

- dropping the stage from Montserrat to Igualada which is mostly on-road. I spent two days in the monastery in Montserrat several years ago so I do not think I would be missing much.
- taking the bus from Burgo de Ebro to Zaragoza to avoid the dreary walk through the industrial suburbs.
- take a taxi from San Leonardo to Ucero.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and comments!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
If I was skipping a few stages, I think the ones I liked least which coincide with yours were the outskirts of Zaragoza (I bussed from Fuentes de Ebro to Zaragoza) and the stage from Torres de Berrellén to Gallur wasn't that exciting either - although I liked Alagón, and Alcalá de Ebro was Sancho Panza's "island” of Barataria.

I can't think of a single hour of the Castellano-Aragonés that I'd skip. I only did the 2nd half of the Río Lobos canyon, but @peregrina2000 has just done the whole of it - getting a lift from San Leonardo - and it sounds wonderful.

Have a great Camino. Soria (city and province) is just amazing.
 

eamann

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Plata, Levante, Norte (part), Primitivo, Catalan, Lana (part), Madrid, D.V. Francés 2020
Thank you for your quick reply! I'll bear in mind all that you say.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
1. Timing/ weather: if I were to start at the beginning of September, would the weather be very hot? I would not want to walk day after day in temperatures above 30° C. On the other hand, if I were to wait until the start of October, would the weather be on the point of turning autumnal and rainy? For family reasons I cannot start in mid/late September. I realise of course that with the weather you can never tell, as the heavy rain in Spain in April and May of this year has so clearly shown.
On September, you may find some days in a row temperatures above 30ºC. The first fortnight is usually hotter than the second one and you would be starting the first one what means more chances of finding temperatures above 30ºC. They aren't guaranteed but they may happen. In Soria and onwards, you are (way) less likely to find temperatures above 30ºC (i.e.: probably you won't find them).

October is hit and miss from the point of view of temperature. What it's (almost) sure is rain at some point.

2. I want to do the detour through the Cañon de Rio Lobos. Am I right in thinking that the most logical route would be San Leonardo to Ucero and from there back to the Camino via the the Cañon to Hontoria del Pinar?
As you plan to take a taxi, yes. If you wanted to walk it, you could make it too from Navaleno. BTW, don't forget to ask in the casa del parque if there's, on your travel date, any restricted area on the Cañon del Río Lobos.
 

eamann

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Plata, Levante, Norte (part), Primitivo, Catalan, Lana (part), Madrid, D.V. Francés 2020
Thank you too for your advice, which I will take to heart!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Eamann,

I walked the Camino catalán last year and have just walked the Ebro/Castellano-Aragones. I am still walking so I will post more later but both Alan and I have a number of live posts on those routes. Great solitary Caminos.

On the Cañón question, I got a ride from San Leonardo to Ucero and I don't know how else you could do it because lodging in Ucero is iffy at best.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
lodging in Ucero is iffy at best.
???
www.ucerorural.com offers 2 apartments, 2 casas rurales and an hostal in Ucero. There's also a posada: www.posadalostemplarios.com and some other apartments: www.apartamentosruraleslobo.com I don't know if there are more accommodations but I think that if you book (a bit) in advance, you would need to have bad luck to find all those accommodations full (and/or closed for whatever reason -e.g. holidays, reforms...- ). Whether the accommodations are within the budget of the pilgrim, that's something that should be decided by each specific pilgrim depending on his/her budget.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
???
www.ucerorural.com offers 2 apartments, 2 casas rurales and an hostal in Ucero. There's also a posada: www.posadalostemplarios.com and some other apartments: www.apartamentosruraleslobo.com I don't know if there are more accommodations but I think that if you book (a bit) in advance, you would need to have bad luck to find all those accommodations full (and/or closed for whatever reason -e.g. holidays, reforms...- ). Whether the accommodations are within the budget of the pilgrim, that's something that should be decided by each specific pilgrim depending on his/her budget.
This is great news. The posada did not respond to my inquiries for months last year. I assumed it was closed. It may be seasonal. And the casas rurales are mostly rented by the house not by the room, at least that's the info I got.

If you want to walk to Ucero from San Leonardo, keep in mind that the town of Ucero is a few (3-5) km beyond the trailhead so you would have to add that distance to the total you walk from Ucero rather than the trailhead.

If you walk from San Leonardo to Ucero it will all be on the road I think. Not a busy road but a road nonetheless.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
The posada did not respond to my inquiries for months last year. I assumed it was closed. It may be seasonal.
Maybe. Or maybe they just close some days (or a fornight or a month) for holidays. Anyway, having a list of accommodations, it's a matter of seeing what's opened and available on your travel dates.

If you walk from San Leonardo to Ucero it will all be on the road I think. Not a busy road but a road nonetheless.
For info about walking to Ucero, take a look at post number six on this other thread: www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/the-detour-to-cañon-de-río-lobos
 

eamann

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Plata, Levante, Norte (part), Primitivo, Catalan, Lana (part), Madrid, D.V. Francés 2020
Thank you again Peregrina and Castilian for your additional and helpful input. I will bear it all in mind but will play it by ear when I am actually approaching the area.

As regards reserving rooms in casas rurales and the like, my experience is that they rarely answer e-mails. They prefer a telephone call.
 

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