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Alternative Options

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Didn't want to impose a specific train of thought in the existing If I had to do it over again.. Thread, so thought I'd ask some specifics in a new subject.

Anne said...
annakappa said:
When I do the Camino Francés again, I would like to take all the alternative options, especially the high road (weather permitting) between Villafranca del Bierzo and Trabadelo.

Are there some good alternative options that might be valid for a "firstimer" to consider?
And what is the "high road ...between Villafranca del Bierzo and Trabadelo"?

Col
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Hi Col,
When leaving Villafranca, there is the option to go straight up over the mountain. Most people take the road route ( I admit, I did), but others go up - it is quite a climb and honestly, I didn't feel up to it. Maybe the next time...
There are a number of "alternatives" on the Camino. In 2008, I made sure I walked the "other" route from the one I walked in 2007... for instance, leaving Sahagún, in 2007, I went to El Burgo Raneiro... in 2008, I took the "calzada romana" and leaving Virgen del Camino, in 2007 I walked the highway route (mainly because we missed the turnoff) so in 2008 I made sure I took the other Way. It varies the scenery: soem area little more arduous than others, some more scenic. All end up in the same place.....
Buen Camino,
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
There are actually two high level routes from Villafranca. One, to the north of the "official" Camino, goes through Pradela. It's well waymarked and popular, with some nice views.

The other, via Dragonte and San Fiz de Seo (among other small villages) runs to the south. I tried walking it twice, in 2002 and 2004. Each time, I failed to complete the route. The waymarking was nearly non-existent, despite posts I'd found online prior to my trip indicating that the route was freshly marked. Perhaps someone on here has tried it in the last few years and can report on current conditions.

Without new markings, try at the very least to get a map in town before attempting this route. People are very hard to find in these small villages, so you can't count on help up top, and there are many different trails and dirt roads winding through the hills. I don't regret the two failed attempts - it is a very nice walk - but it probably added at least 10km to my trip and meant that I didn't make it to O Cebreiro that day. I've never met another pilgrim who tried the route.

In 2006, I walked to San Millan de la Cogolla from Najera. It's a little tricky - I used the advice in Gitlitz/Davidson's book, following the river out of Najera and then walking towards the depression in the distant hills, winding through farm fields. To reconnect with the Camino afterward requires a lot of road walking, en route to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Alternately, you could just take a taxi back to Najera; the tourist office in one of the monasteries can assist.

The monasteries of San Millan are really nice. I particularly like the smaller one up on the hill. It's a peaceful setting, lots of trees and grass, and largely unvisited. San Millan is considered by some to be the cradle of the Spanish language, with perhaps the oldest written document. They reward pilgrims who make the trek with a copy from that Codex. It's a cool little reward.

Shortly after Sahagun, the Camino splits. The majority of pilgrims take the southern fork, following the "Camino real," which passes through a number of villages along the way, with at least a couple of albergues. I did it once and got turned off by the artificially constructed pilgrim's way, which I remember as "tree-tree-bench." Since then, I've followed the Roman road. It's longer and only passes through one village, Calzadilla de los Hermanillos, but I find the scenery to be really nice (on the first half in particular). Plus, there are a few well preserved patches of the old Roman road.

Another place the Camino splits is after Triacastela. The shorter route goes to Sarria. Don't be tempted! Though that route is nice enough, you don't want to miss Samos. The monastery is impressive in its own right, but the whole surrounding environment is stunning. Well worth the extra kms.

There are lots of things to visit along the Camino too, if you're willing to go an extra km or two. In Estella, you can find some limited castle ruins on the hill above the south-side of town. Even nicer are the castles in Castrojeriz and Vega de Valcarce. I've never seen more than a couple of pilgrims in either of these, but they're well worth a visit - for the scenery and the solitude. You can visit the Pazo de Ulloa, 1km south of the Casa Domingo in Casanova, though it's only really of interest if you've read Bazan's book (which I recommend, as a great, albeit fictional, example of rural Galician life).

One I never made it to is Vilar das Donas. I'm sure I'm missing some other good ones, too, but this is a good start. The Gitlitz/Davidson book will give you a lot of good ideas.

Dave
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Hi Dave,
Dave said:
In 2006, I walked to San Millan de la Cogolla from Najera. It's a little tricky - I used the advice in Gitlitz/Davidson's book, ....
I actually just started reading the Gitlitz/Davidson book on the weekend. Did you actually take it with you?

Col
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
No way. Maybe if I sinned more, I'd take it to the Cruz de Ferro.

I did a lot of planning and typed up notes so that they would be more compact and could be disposed of as I walked. Lots of that came from Gitlitz/Davidson.
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
The first option for those starting from SJPP is the Route Napoleon or the road, usually the Route Napoleon will be the one but if the weather is too bad the road route or a version of it will be the only safe alternative.

A short detour to Eunate just before you get to Puente la Reina is another choice.

At Logrono a diversion to Clavijo is possible but probably not worth the walk. I went there and though some castle remains still exist it is not very atmospheric.

Between Leon and Astorga there are two route choices at least.

The San Xil route between Tricastela and Sarria is my preferred route but if you have not seen the Samos monastery it is worth going the other way.
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Hi All,
I've heard of the via Dragonete of which you speak, Dave. However, I don't know anyone who has successfully completed it. It was mentioned by the hospitalero (whose familiar name escapes me at the moment!) in Villafranca. He said he used to maintain it, but no more. And no one else does. I read that it is overgrown and virtually unmarked - it would require a hardy pilgrim as s/he will probably get lost.

And I concur about the diversion at Triacastela. I've now taken both routes and while the San Xil is charming, the first views of the Monastery at Samos are breathtaking! Ah, just thinking about it is so pleasant!
Buen Camino,
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Since then, I've followed the Roman road. It's longer and only passes through one village, Calzadilla de los Hermanillos, but I find the scenery to be really nice (on the first half in particular). Plus, there are a few well preserved patches of the old Roman road.

I agree with this suggestion - the only thing I would do is when the path turns right, down the hill to take you into Mansilla I would investigate the possibility of crossing (sort of straight on) onto the other path at Reliegos and entering the town on that path. This will give you a break if it is hot. The road down the hill and into the town is sooooo looooong on a hot day with absolutely no shelter!

The majority of pilgrims take the southern fork, following the "Camino real," which passes through a number of villages along the way, with at least a couple of albergues. I did it once and got turned off by the artificially constructed pilgrim's way, which I remember as "tree-tree-bench."

I worked it out when I walked this path on my first Camino that there are approx 32 kilometres of "drip fed" irrigated plane trees!

I didn't take this path, but there is also another option between Astorga and Rabanal. Several friends sang the praises of the detour after Astorga to the village of Castrillo de Polvazares - a restored maragota Village.

I also really enjoyed the 4.5km return trip into Vilar de Donas and the Church of El Salvador. You will need to get there before the church is closed for lunch, and I am unable to tell you if it is open in the afternoon.

Cheers, Janet
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
incidentally, the Pradela fork is the best choice now. Due to a landslide in the large motorway, all motorway traffic has been diverted to the old road between Villafranca and Ambasmestas, and it will take a few weeks to clear out the mess and reinforce the mountains.

Therefore, all heavy dense traffic, hundreds of lorries and trucks will be driving by the side of the pilgrims for some 12 km. The noise, pollution and danger are obvious, the road is windy and narrow, thank god there is a wall protecting the piligrims' path, but it would definitely be a route to avoid while they sort out the motorway.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Detours on the Camino Frances is one of the posts on my blog. I haven't included all the alternative routes (you could invent you own if you have a map of the area!) but it includes most of the interesting places to visit on either side of the path.

http://amawalker.blogspot.com/2009/01/d ... ances.html
 

johnBCCanada

Active Member
and then there are the unintended detours.

I stayed in the "brazilian" albergue about 15 km before O Cebreiro and someone was talking that evening about the very fine variation that they had just taken so the next morning about a km after the albergue I took what I thought was a variation to O Cebreiro. I walked steadily up for an hour or more and wandered through some villages that I suspect rarely saw pilgrims and eventually found my way to O Cebreiro getting a ride the final kilometre from a farmer with an old small tractor pulling a small trailer full of potatoes.

I felt foolish about getting lost but it was certainly a variation to the camino.

john
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
I agree, Janet, about considering switching back to the Camino Real around Reliegos. That is a long, barren stretch otherwise! Similarly, I concur about Castrillo de Polvazares. I actually stayed in Murias de Rechivaldo instead of Astorga my last couple of walks (it has an awesome kitchen); if you do that, you can stroll over to Castrillo (around 1km away) in the late afternoon, when the tour buses are long gone.

One other spot I just remembered - around 4km south of Calzadilla de la Cueza are the remains of an old Roman villa. The mosaic floors are pretty cool, and you won't see anything like it elsewhere on the Camino. That said, if you've been to Rome, it may not do much for you, and probably won't justify an extra couple of hours of highway walking in the meseta.
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
Dave said:
I agree, Janet, about considering switching back to the Camino Real around Reliegos. That is a long, barren stretch otherwise!
Just to clarify:
Is the "Camino Real" the road via El Burgo Ranero & Reliegos?
Is the "Roman Road" the road via Calzadilla de los Hermanillos?
Where is the preferred place to switch from the Roman Road to Camino Real?
Col
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Is the "Roman Road" the road via Calzadilla de los Hermanillos?

Yes it is Col. I have just had a quick look at Briely's map, but other than saying it is near the top of a small hill there are no indications on the map and so I will resort to my memories of nearly 2 years ago. As you get near to Releigos (you will have seen El Burgo Ranero in the distance on the left some 12 kms earlier) you will cross a stream, and wind your way through an undulating & (low)scrubby area (you will know what I mean by that) and then eventually come to the top of the hill. From there the path goes straight down on a long, striaght and seemingly endless road to the outskirts of Mansilla de las Mulas - VERY hot if the sun is shining. It is at the top of the hill that I am suggesting you should be able to cut across to Reliegos (I didn't, and so I am relying on memory that there was a road there). Either path into town is tedious, but, having done both I would suggest that the path from Releigos is less tedious than the other one. I think part of the problem with the entry into Mansilla is that it looks closer than it is, and so a coffee stop at Reliegos makes a good break before tackling the last bit into town.

Hope that all makes sense. Cheers, Janet
 

colinPeter

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SDC (2009) Somport-Jaca, Burgos-SDC, Cee-Muxia (2012) Le Puy - Aumont-Aubrac (2014) SJPP-SDC (Oct 2015)
[quote="... so a coffee stop at Reliegos makes a good break before tackling the last bit into town. ....Hope that all makes sense[/quote]
Mmmm!, Coffee.
Thanks Janet. Yes, makes sense. Have read your post, and viewed the Brierley map, now to find the pathway to that coffee @ Releigos.
Thanks
Col
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Last summer (2008), Pilgrims wore "forced" to detour to Reliegos from the Roman road out of Calzadilla. Apparently there was some kind of construction including heavy equipment on that part of the Camino and there were "detour" signs up everywhere. So we were shifted off the calzada romana and back onto the tree-lined stretch to Reliegos (after El Burgo Ranero) and on to Manzanilla de las Mulas. I didn't mind, there is a great cafe in Reliegos, I was just interested in seeing the routes I had not walked the year before - but I thoroughly enjoyed the calzada romana. But then, I like the meseta as well.... :roll:

Buen Camino,
 

Camino2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés
SJPP to Santiago (2010)
SJPP to Fisterra (2011)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2012)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2015)
SJPP to Fisterra/Muxia (2016)
Dave said:
There are actually two high level routes from Villafranca. One [the "Camino Duro"], to the north of the "official" Camino, goes through Pradela. It's well waymarked and popular, with some nice views.

The other, via Dragonte and San Fiz de Seo (among other small villages) runs to the south. I tried walking it twice, in 2002 and 2004. Each time, I failed to complete the route. The waymarking was nearly non-existent, despite posts I'd found online prior to my trip indicating that the route was freshly marked. Perhaps someone on here has tried it in the last few years and can report on current conditions.

Without new markings, try at the very least to get a map in town before attempting this route. People are very hard to find in these small villages, so you can't count on help up top, and there are many different trails and dirt roads winding through the hills. I don't regret the two failed attempts - it is a very nice walk - but it probably added at least 10km to my trip and meant that I didn't make it to O Cebreiro that day. I've never met another pilgrim who tried the route.

Dave

Last year, October 2011, I stayed in Ruitelán. I'd walked there on the valley floor route alongside the highway from Villafranca. I met up with a couple of friends at the albergue in Ruitelán. A few friends of theirs had decided to take the alternate Dragonte route, and expected to come down in Herrerías and either stay at the albergue there, or continue to La Faba for the night. But as afternoon became evening, they still hadn't arrived, much to the worry of several of their friends.

It turned out that the Dragonte pilgrims had lost the waymarkings and the trail, and had no idea where they were in the woods up on the mountain. They had a cell phone with them, thank goodness, but without any markings or signposts around them, they couldn't tell people where they were to come and get them! We learned later that night that they had kept walking and finally arrived in O Cebreiro at around 9:30pm, tired and very relieved.

I've walked the valley-floor crash barrier route twice now in October and find it to be lovely. There's never been that much traffic, it's pretty to be beside the river, and I appreciate the little side trails that take you away from the highway and through the few villages on the way up to Ruitelán. I might consider the Camino Duro one of these times (the pilgrims I've spoken to who walked it have said it was beautiful), but no way would I walk the Dragonte route, not as it currently stands anyway!

Rachel
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
Last year we took the alternative route from Villatuerta to Los Arcos, by-passing Estella and Villamayor de Monjardín. Both mikevasey and caminka wrote a good report on this ancient alternative Way, so we were anxious to try it (having stayed twice in the past in Villamayor). Unfortunately, although I had printed out the very detailed description that caminka posted for me on the Forum, I managed to leave the paper at home! Never mind, because it was very well marked. We appreciated walking for a good hour through the woods (it was appallingly hot last September, with temperatures well in their 30's). The views were stunning. We passed a bull raising farm and an ancient Hospital de Peregrinos. We didn't see one single Pilgrim until we met up with the main Camino path some way after Villamayor, approx 8 kms before Los Arcos. We walked through Luquín as mass was being celebrated. If we do manage to walk again this year, I will most certainly take this lovely alternate route. Anne
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Fellow peregrinos - Has anyone walked the Dragonte route lately, between Villafranca del Bierzo and Herrerias? Has the waymarking been improved since last year? I know some of you have done that route with the Brierley guide alone, but is it possible to get a map of that route in Villafranca del Bierzo? (I've seen the map on http://maps.peterrobins.co.uk/e/2274.html but I don't think that will help me.) I do not have GPS. Would it be helpful to have a compass? If my walking partner(s) is/are not keen to do this route with me, I hope I can find another adventurous soul who would be interested in accompanying me, in late April/early May.
 

supersullivan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago 2012. SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia 2013. Ponferrada-Santiago June 2014. Leon-Santiago-Finisterre September 2014. April-May 2015: SJPP- S de C- Finisterre -Muxia- S de C.
charlesx said:
Fellow peregrinos - Has anyone walked the Dragonte route lately, between Villafranca del Bierzo and Herrerias? Has the waymarking been improved since last year? I know some of you have done that route with the Brierley guide alone, but is it possible to get a map of that route in Villafranca del Bierzo? (I've seen the map on http://maps.peterrobins.co.uk/e/2274.html but I don't think that will help me.) I do not have GPS. Would it be helpful to have a compass? If my walking partner(s) is/are not keen to do this route with me, I hope I can find another adventurous soul who would be interested in accompanying me, in late April/early May.

member13954.html has done the Dragonte route in the last 12 months and might be able to help you out, I'm planning on it myself at the start of June so I'll keep an eye out for your bleached bones :wink: but seriously, grateful if you post your experience of it once you get home.

Buen Camino

Seamus
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
.... has done the Dragonte route in the last 12 months and might be able to help you out, I'm planning on it myself at the start of June so I'll keep an eye out for your bleached bones :wink: but seriously, grateful if you post your experience of it once you get home.

Thanks for this, Seamus. I've been hoping that member13954.html, or someone else, might respond and I'll wait a bit longer. I don't leave home until April 1st. One thing is sure though - I won't be doing that trek by myself. I wouldn't want you to run into my bleached bones ... mind you, they wouldn't be too bleached by the time you came around in June. Charleen
 

rawsonc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011), Portugues & Finisterre (2012), Norte, Lebaniego, Ruta de la Reconquista, Camino Covadonga & Primitivo (2013)
Hola Charlesx

I walked the Dragonte route with a friend in September 2011 using just the Brierley book and it was a really beautiful and peaceful way. Pilgrims aren’t so common so the locals were very happy to see us and in one village took us to see their local highlight – some quite large fish living in the basin of a fuente. The villages were nearly deserted and the dogs were very ‘vocal’ as we tried to pass them. The route isn’t too difficult to follow, being mainly on paths but there are less yellow arrows than on the main route and there are a few points where you come off the path so need to be cautious.

The first point is after ‘Moral de Valcarce’ where the route drops down through the trees to a valley bottom and the main path crosses a small stream. Instinct tells you to jump the stream and continue following the main path but you actually turn right and walk down the middle of the stream for 30 or 40 metres before turning into an obvious path on the left. The second point is on the last of the three hills where you are walking between two radio masts on the top of the hill and have to turn off down a ‘path’. This is actually in parts a steep scree slope with lots of shrubby plants to grab hold of when you are sliding down the slope but you come to some woods with a river at the bottom. That means that you are very close to Herrerias and the main camino.

The way itself is really green and quiet following woodland paths not near any traffic laden roads so if you want a more peaceful but vigorous day I recommend it, although you’ll need to stock up on food before you leave Villafranca del Bierzo cause there are no shops. It’s definitely a route for the more adventurous. The sunrise from half way up the first hill was stunning with amazing views of all the distant hills. I’ll try and attach a photo or two.
 

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Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
That's wonderful information, rawsonc. Thank you very much. I am sure I am not the only Forum member who appreciates that you took the time to write - Seamus, for example. I hope I can manage this detour when the time comes but, of course, I'll have to see. Getting across that stream in the spring might be a problem, and I'll have to see if I can find someone to walk with me. You certainly had good weather for that trek. Charleen
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Greetings, fellow Camigos (to use the term coined by miguel_gp). Was just reminded of this thread so thought I’d let you know how I fared or, rather, how I did not fare.

I did not get to Dragonte. By the time I arrived in Villafranca del Bierzo, reality had long set in, along with a serious brush with tendinitis. With regret, I ended up taking a taxi, shared with a fellow tendinitis sufferer, to Laguna de Castilla, just short of O Cebreiro, and managed to continue to Santiago from there.

Also, speaking of alternative options, I had had my heart set on doing the Route Napoleon over top of the Pyrenees but, due to terrible snows in early April, that plan had to be shelved. All was not lost though, because if it hadn’t been for the snows, I might never have discovered how picturesque is the valley route via Valcarlos.

Buen Camino :)
 

supersullivan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago 2012. SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia 2013. Ponferrada-Santiago June 2014. Leon-Santiago-Finisterre September 2014. April-May 2015: SJPP- S de C- Finisterre -Muxia- S de C.
Hi charlesx, I too had to give a miss to the Dragonte, in spite of a 40+ km the previous day I only got as far as Cacabelos so by the time I got to Villafranca the next morning I felt too much of the day had passed to give me the time margin I wanted in case of problems so settled for the Pradela route instead - a nice option on the climb and top portion but an unpleasant tiring descent back down to the valley floor but next time ..... ;-)
 
Dragonte OTE="rawsonc, post: 123465, member: 11458"]Hola Charlesx

I walked the Dragonte route with a friend in September 2011 using just the Brierley book and it was a really beautiful and peaceful way. Pilgrims aren’t so common so the locals were very happy to see us and in one village took us to see their local highlight – some quite large fish living in the basin of a fuente. The villages were nearly deserted and the dogs were very ‘vocal’ as we tried to pass them. The route isn’t too difficult to follow, being mainly on paths but there are less yellow arrows than on the main route and there are a few points where you come off the path so need to be cautious.

The first point is after ‘Moral de Valcarce’ where the route drops down through the trees to a valley bottom and the main path crosses a small stream. Instinct tells you to jump the stream and continue following the main path but you actually turn right and walk down the middle of the stream for 30 or 40 metres before turning into an obvious path on the left. The second point is on the last of the three hills where you are walking between two radio masts on the top of the hill and have to turn off down a ‘path’. This is actually in parts a steep scree slope with lots of shrubby plants to grab hold of when you are sliding down the slope but you come to some woods with a river at the bottom. That means that you are very close to Herrerias and the main camino.

The way itself is really green and quiet following woodland paths not near any traffic laden roads so if you want a more peaceful but vigorous day I recommend it, although you’ll need to stock up on food before you leave Villafranca del Bierzo cause there are no shops. It’s definitely a route for the more adventurous. The sunrise from half way up the first hill was stunning with amazing views of all the distant hills. I’ll try and attach a photo or two.[/QUOTE]
Dragonte is the path of the Templars as a way to physically exhaust other armies when they are being chased. To truly experience this path as a Templar you would have to walk with a heavy pack and do it at a pretty quick pace. Personally I could walk it casually but doing it in the traditional Templar speed is only for the young and extremely fit.
 

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