A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

And we're off. Camino de la Lana. May 2019.

Joe McDonald

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances2014
F'sterre14,16,18
P'uese16
Vdlp/Sanabres17
Ingles17
Sureste/Vdlp/Invierno18
Hi Undermanager,

have been following your posts, especially from Monteagudo de las Salinas and finding them so informative and entertaining. I am leaving Valencia on the 22nd August and following the Requena to join the Lana at MoS. I then hope to head up to Burgos, along the FC to Leon and then take the Salvador and Primitivo to Santiago. I walked from Alicante along the Sureste and Invierno to Santiago starting the same time last year and found it wonderful. You have given me futher insight to the places along the Lana and for that I am truly grateful. May I wish you continued well being along the Way.

Buen Camino
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Stage 17. Mandayona to Siguenza. 28 kms

If you walk out of the albergue, the supermarket is 30m up the hill on your right. I treated myself to all kinds of stuff, like a crab cocktail, apricots and chocolate, then ate them on the bench outside the albergue. I spent five minutes adding the bars, supermarket, albergue, and Ayuntamiento to maps.me. Then I went down to Bar Milagros for a few hours. Just as well I wasn't relying on their in-house menu for a slap-up feast in the early evening, although what appeared to be a restaurant room opened about 9:30pm so maybe I'm missing a trick? Actually, I think I am as quite a few families came in after 10:00pm and started ordering dinner. Still, the bar's vino tinto, Vermut Iris Reus and battered onion rings at the bar were excellent, but then again, I'm British so what do I know about such things?

I left this outstanding albergue at 7.00am, returned the keys and set off for the gorge-ous walk today. It was really freezing and kept threatening to rain. I had all my wet weather stuff on to help keep warm as much as to be ready for rain. The rucksack cover was on as well. Today is very well signposted from the little bridge and rest area back at the start of the village, where I came in yesterday, and being mostly in a narrow valley, there are only a few places you might go wrong if not concentrating.

I loved the vultures here. So many, soaring and riding the thermals against the moon and some perching and posing for classic vulture shots. It's the one time I regret not having my superzoom camera! The gorge is very gorge-like, with big cliffs, lots of different flowers and birds around the water that flows through here, and many deer in the fields.

After passing through one pretty village with no facilities, you arrive after 17kms at Peligrina, with some impressive castle ruins high up on a hill. That must have created some painful backs! It was 11.15am when I arrived. There's a welcome cafe with great views as you get close to the castle but it's an uphill slog to get to it - how badly do you need that coffee? I stayed half an hour then left.

I decided to take the road out rather than the track. I could see by the terrain map that once at the top, I'd be walking on a barren plateau until the drop into Siguenza, and so it proved. It's a quiet road, great views, passes an aerodrome and then you pick up the Camino on the right after about 5kms. This swings you down and round into the town, close to the castle. I'm staying in the El Albergue de Siguenza for €20 a bed in a six bed dorm, wonderful, modern facilities in an old building, privacy curtains, everything new, great sitting room, great views, cooking facilities, great dining room, Brilliant garden area and big, clean, next to the castle and Parador Hotel entrance, friendly, helpful and English spoken! 200% recommended. The best albergue stayed in so far.

Don't get me started on Residencia de los
Padres Josefinos, Callejon de los Infantes! Okay, you got me started. I arrived at this cul-de-sac at 2.00pm. There's no sign anywhere to show there is an Albergue, but there is a plaque with Padres Josefinos' name on. I may or may not be in the right place. I went in, there's three doors, all locked, and a sign saying closed after 1.30pm, and one with a bell. I ring the bell, someone comes out, the usual magic words 'peregrino, albergue' etc just get shoulder shrugs. Google translate gets more shoulder shrugs. Maybe it's the wrong place? Is it an asylum? I recheck the road, the buildings etc, circle the cathedral in case this isn't the back, or there's another part. No joy. I know. Tourist info are round the corner. I'll try them. Closed til 5.00pm FFS. Time to find something else as this is knackering me - it's a seriously steep and hilly place. I find where I'm staying now on Booking.com but just go straight there. It's open, it's really fab and I get booked in, washed and go out sight seeing. It all ended well. If I'd found the Josefinos place, I would have added it to maps.me.

Siguenza is currently very quiet, (or perhaps all the tourists are trying to find the albergue on the other side of town). It would make a great place for a rest day and am wondering about staying an extra night. It's seriously medieval, cobbled streets, old buildings, small alleyways, impressive stuff like the castle and cathedral, plenty to see. Really fancy a Burger King, but find a supermarket for a really healthy pepper, onion, tomato, hummus and bread Plato, washed down with the best red wine €2 can buy.

Another fabulous day. And bonus news. With all this stretching, I can now touch my toes again! Happy days.
 

Dougyharry

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2014
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Mozarabe (2016)
Stage 16. Trillo to Mandayona. 41kms

Bar David is brilliant. Don't miss it. It has a huge open fire pit in one corner with three chefs furiously turning out pub food and food for the restaurant. Great atmosphere but didn't really get going until after 8.00pm.

I left Trillo at 7.00am after a fabulous sleep in my cosy lightweight down sleeping bag. As soon as I walked out the albergue, I had to stop to rearrange the rucksack. There were black clouds in the sky! Could this be my first day of H2O? I really had no plan for today as far as the destination goes so we'll just strike out and see.

You get to Gargoles de Abalo after about 5km. When you reach the road, rather than crossing it and going up into the pretty village, I went left on the flat road for 400m and picked up the path there. You'll see lots of wine caves and BBQ pits on the right if you go this route, and will also see the huge sign for the bar / pension. This might be another option of somewhere to stay for someone to try out one day? It was shut when I checked it out this morning though.

Another half an hour past this village along a dirt track brings you to Gorgoles de Aribba. It had a bar, Bar Consuelo, which was also closed. A theme is beginning to develop today and it's not even 9.00am ......

Although it has been threatening to rain since I left Trillo, within 5 minutes of reaching this village, the clouds disappeared and it's blue sky. Yeah! Onwards to Cifuentes. When I got to the road, you can cross it and go up a track. Or, it's just a 3km road hike, so I set off along the road and am in town by 10:00am.

Time for breakfast. I head from the road into the centre of this small town for a coffee añd tortilla and decide that it's so early I might as well press on. It helps that there are frequent villages ahead so I don't need to carry supplies, just half a little of water and something for emergencies - Orios. And it's cold so not so draining. I pop into the bakery opposite to get some reserve biscuits and set off.

After yesterday, this walk really is a breeze. After an hour and a half and 20kms after leaving Trillo, I arrived at the wonderful village of Moranchel, with some fabulous paintings of houses and businesses on the fronts of houses. A minute after the paintings, keep your eyes open on the left for some tables and chairs, opposite bungalow No 16! Listen for the TV outside the anonymous building. You have found the local fishing club headquarters and bar, the Coto de Pesca la Tajera. If it is open, pop in for a coffee and use Google Translate to tell some fishy tales about walking the Camino 😀.

Pressing on, It's mostly a flat walk all the way to Las Invernas, where I arrived at 2.00pm, and 27kms from Trillo. Here you will find a wonderfully local bar for local people. The coffee con leche was like coffee I've never tasted before but on the plus side, the 'una vaso de Agua' was exceptional. And that ambiance is to die for. This place is unique and deserves to be iñ B movie. Visit it without fail!

One of the few uphill sections is next, but it's only 2kms so not too much pain. You get great views back to Trillo and especially the two mountain plateaus, which are just visible. Gosh, was I really near there this morning? At the top, it's lots of flat walking. Lots and lots of it, but it's glorious. The weather is deliciously cool. I stop regularly to admire the view. (Actually, I stop regularly to have an Orio biscuit, but still take time to admire the views.)

You cross a railway bridge, then cross a motorway. There's a cafe there but I pressed on, until the village of Mirabueno. There is a grand old church that seems to be crumbling a lot, but the gargoyles are impressive. They're worth a look. I think I found a social club bar but it was closed. As you leave the village though, prepare to be amazed! Those views down down down into the valley are incredible, and Mandayona, my destination is thankfully down there - usually on these Camino's, the last section is 'up there' and a real killer!

So, a glorious 3 km trip down, singing so loud I made my second deer of the day reveal itself. Not quite Dr Dolittle though. The poor thing kept trying to bash through a wire fence to get away from me. Doesn't it like the Cranberries?

Into the village I walk ridiculously happy after about 11 hours and 41 Kms from Trillo, and I stop at the first bar, Bar Milagros, asking if he knows where the Ayuntamiento is - five years doing Caminos and I still can't say that word properly without seeing it written down! What a star the host there was! He puts down his pre-Friday rush mop and takes me to a house a few minutes away, rings the bell and leaves me in charge of a nice old gentlemen from the Ayuntamiento. So, he walks me there and after signing in, getting a stamp, getting the key and being walked round to the 'albergue', I now have a fantastic theatre hall and toilet on the first floor to myself, with a blow up mattress, a balcony to dry my clothes and a bar opposite. I'm in heaven. I should have phoned ahead, but turning up unannounced around 6.00pm, and still it's no trouble for people. I got lucky as I expected to pay €30 for a room in a Casa Rural, so now, I will use it for a splurge instead!

This place is hugely recommended. Plan to stay here if you can. There are four blow up mattresses, but space for about two hundred pilgrims!

And so finishes today. If you need a big stage, do this one. Yesterday was about 30kms and knackered me because of all the ups and downs. Today was 41 Kms but mostly flattish with the odd short climb, and loads of fun, possibly because of the cool no rain day, too. Marvellous, brilliant, possibly the best yet, wonderful wonderful countryside, great variety, probably tired but feel really alive, body not complaining and now for something to eat, vino and reading about tomorrow's stage.

This is proving to be a fun Camino!
Sitting in Bar David right at this moment , good choice.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Stage 18. Siguenza to Atienza. 33 kms

I spent half an hour in the early evening wandering around the old town, visiting the cathedral etc, but to be honest, I just wanted to chill in the fabulous hostel garden, then watch the Spanish cup final in the dining room over the last of the wine, so that's what I did. My poor hosts kept trying to be brilliant and tell me about great places to visit in town, but I didn't know the Spanish for 'I can't be arsed, mate'. 😄

This is a top hostel. They have done a brilliant job here and really ought to be your first choice for somewhere to stay in Siguenza; location, facilities, cleanliness, security, privacy, balance between ancient and modern (love those floor tiles) etc - they've thought it all through and clearly have some experience themselves of what people staying in hostels need and want.

I had left by 7.00am. There's a really chilly breeze about but an intense blue sky that lasted all day. Perfect if you are wrapped up warm. I don't have a trail to follow as the one I downloaded takes the direct route from the last place, but I do know the villages on the way so am happy to bumble along my own route using maps.me as a guide, adding things to it as I find them to help others after me.

After a 15 minute climb uphill out of Siguenza, it's an easy 6kms to the pretty and photogenic Palazuelos. In the main square was a barking bull terrier running free while the stupid owner outside his house just looked on. After I started yelling, swinging my sticks at the hound and picking up a big stone, the owner finally called off his dog. What a *****.

There were no facilities here. In the square, follow the lower wall to the corner for the exit from the walled village from an arched stone corner building. There were barriers and tape across the exits. After looking for a way round and finding none, I just slipped past the barriers and down into the valley. The barriers may be because of loose masonry in the tower, so take care!

13kms from Siguenza and an easy walk except for an uphill bit at the end is La Olmeda de Jadraque, another small pretty village with no facilities. The vultures (eagles?) were in the sky on the way here and quite close. Very impressive. 4 kms further on is another fabulously pretty village in a sun trap, in a gloriously position surrounded by cliffs. There were two water fountains here in Santamera. There's not a shop but there is an honesty box set up in the community house on the left in the middle of the village, where you can get a few things like a can of fizzy drink or a packet of crisps.

The next 6 kms start with a bit of a long steep walk, and then there are quite a few ups and downs, finishing with a long descent into Riofrio del Llano. It's all very pretty. When I arrived, it was election day for mayor, local and European elections so the bar in the Ayuntamiento was closed as it was being used as the polling station! However, the nice people waiting for the 45 registered voters to turn up and cast their vote gave me a coffee and some nice doughnuts. The fountain is in front of the Ayunamiento.

The Camino arrows go round the church but I fancied a road hike. It turned out great, easy to do the 9kms in less than two hours, perfectly cool weather, practically no traffic and great for listening to music. There are a few ruins on the way, too, apart from the castle on top of the hill. As I arrived in Atienza and it being Sunday, and the unfavourable reviews of the albergue, and not wanting to faff about today, I decided to stay in Hostel El Mirador. You pass it on the way to the Albergue. Knock knock and before you know it, I had a great single en suite room with fab views over the plains for €24.

All jobs are done except trying to find a shop open or a bar. I'm looking forward to a shorter day tomorrow although it seems some hills are coming my way.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Ok, armchair Lana followers, what do you say, should we start a “Lana 2020” group?! And with the clear caveat that we not start before the end of the first week in May! @Undermanager’s posts have been like the apple was to Adam and Eve.

That will leave @jpflavin out of the mix, maybe he will reconsider his early spring starts. I KNOW it is early, and I KNOW I haven’t even left yet on Camino 2019, but this is oh so tempting?

Thank you so very much @Undermanager. I know I’ve said it before but your posts have just the perfect mix of the nuts and bolts with the description of your experience. This thread will be very helpful for anyone contemplating the Lana. I will try to adopt your style when I start out on the Vasco in about eleven days! Buen camino, Laurie
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Ok, armchair Lana followers, what do you say, should we start a “Lana 2020” group?! And with the clear caveat that we not start before the end of the first week in May! @Undermanager’s posts have been like the apple was to Adam and Eve.

That will leave @jpflavin out of the mix, maybe he will reconsider his early spring starts. I KNOW it is early, and I KNOW I haven’t even left yet on Camino 2019, but this is oh so tempting?

Thank you so very much @Undermanager. I know I’ve said it before but your posts have just the perfect mix of the nuts and bolts with the description of your experience. This thread will be very helpful for anyone contemplating the Lana. I will try to adopt your style when I start out on the Vasco in about eleven days! Buen camino, Laurie
What kind words! Thank you. It's nice to share each day, both the practicalities, frustrations and joys, and it gives me something to do other than drink vino in the evening sun! I've certainly benefited on this trip from Maggie's blog and Sara's video series of each stage. I know that each time someone produces something like this, it gives just that little extra info people need to help them on their own journey, and certainly keeps the pool of info as up-to-date as possible.

Despite the host of El Mirador saying there is nowhere to eat because it's Sunday, there are three bars in the centre square all offering menus. Very happy. Gonna have a late start tomorrow, beginning at 9.00am outside the bakery. 😁
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Don't get me started on Residencia de los
Padres Josefinos, Callejon de los Infantes!
You did well to miss this place in my opinion. 15 euros for a grubby room (four beds, two inaccessible without ladders), a tiny shower with disgusting curtain that doesn’t hold in the water. Interesting place to explore but not encouraged to use facilities. The guy in charge was pleasant enough but we didn’t feel very welcome. Incidentally, the access door is on the right side of the lobby, we could come and go as we pleased, ring bell and someone will come and open door.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
I had it to myself, lucky me!

Stage 19. Atienza to Retortillo de Soria. 24kms

I had my first wonderful cooked meal last night for what seems like weeks in one of the bars! They always offer you olive oil for pouring over food but never tomato ketchup. I saw five or six bars in total here, a bakery, ATM, tourist office, and shop. This is another place you could easily stop for a rest day if not pushed for time. It's a lot smaller than Siguenza but there would definitely be enough to keep you amused in this fabulously pretty small medieval town.

It takes an hour to climb out of the Atienza and into the long flat forest area. I left about 8.00am, after a good lie in, a morning shower and living in hope that a bar might be open then for coffee and breakfast. If there was, I didn't see it 😶.

In the first week of walking the Lana, I saw loads of bunnies and no deer. Now I see loads of deer and no bunnies. I thought you needed to know that. There are still loads of cuckoos, eagle/vultures and woodpeckers, plus loads of different types of other birds. No wild pigs or snakes this time yet, though.

After just over a couple of hours and about 10kms, you enter the small village of Romanillos. There are a couple fountains but I didn't see anything else.

Miedes de Atienza was next, a flat 6kms away against a strong headwind though a valley floor. I saw one bar and a shop next to it in this large village, and nothing else. Walk past the Ayunamiento on your right, past the fountain, turn left then left again. You'll see the bar in a small sidestreet, and the shop is the anonymous door just past it. It appears that one big happy family owns both, but may be wrong? I arrived outside the Ayunamiento at 12:30pm, just when the mobile baker turned up, so bought a bag of croissants and chocolate biscuits, although in this heat, I'm not sure that was wise. Had lunch for half an hour under shade on the seats near the fountain then pressed on.

The next hour is a real hard slog up the side of gorge to a point 1380m high. Clearly, great views from here. Bring plenty of liquid if it's hot as you'll need it. Sit and admire the views. Down to Retortillo takes another hour mostly on road but look for the yellow arrow on the road that takes you into a difficult to find path, and you'll find your way to the bar - it doesn't look like a bar but there's an old horse carriage in the front garden, and once inside, it gets bar and restaurant like. The lovely lady there will get you booked in, you can have a drink and head up to the albergue - out the bar, turn left and uphill for a minute. It has an 'Albergue' sign outside. You have to ring the bell and get buzzed in at the main door.

Someone has spent a lot of time and money on this fantastic place. There must be a reason we don't know about. All facilities are here, all new, top quality, beds, lockers, phone chargers in lockers, hot showers, seating areas, place for boots, washing, cooking etc etc etc. A great place to stay. €15 for a night. If you want an evening meal or breakfast, you need to discuss it when you book in. I'm booked in for 8.00am. I hope it's good!

There's not much to see or do here in this village but it's a nice enough place to relax after today. I didn't see any facilities at all except the one bar where I checked in. I'm not sure about tomorrow yet as accommodation may be a bit iffy so will be thinking about a double stage, but it's a long way. My back is not too happy today and neither is the top of my calf behind the knee, which feels very tight. I did buy croissants, biscuits, a big chunk of cheese, some ham and a tomato in Miedes de Atienza so have enough to keep me going. Can it be done? Am I too old? Will I survive? Watch here tomorrow for the next installment .....
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Sleeping bag and dry bags - A few notes on equipment.

With a bit of a history of back aches and pains, I try to keep the major weight items down where possible. I have been using a Cumulus Quantum 200 sleeping bag for years now. It's a great down bag weighing about 700g, is very warm down to 0 Deg C, more if you wear some clothes, and most incredibly, it will pack down into a 3 litre Osprey dry sack so takes up next to no space in my rucksack. It's been with me on all Caminos since I started walking them five years ago and is (almost) the perfect bag. I say almost because for me being a left handed person, the zip is on the wrong side, but it's only a slight niggle. I seem to remember at the time it wasn't that cheap, but has certainly proven it's worth.

I'm also a huge fan of Osprey dry bags on these trips. They weigh next to nothing, are certainly watertight, can easily be squashed down small and airtight with a bit of practice and aren't at all expensive. I have with me a 12 litre one, for all my spare clothes, including a down jacket, which is also superb. I also have a 3 litre one for my sleeping bag, and another 3 litre one for things like passport, credential, phones, wallet etc. I have three other canvas types of bag in my rucksack, a medical bag, a 'daily use' bag for anything I definitely use or need every day, and a 'miscellaneous' bag. These will be replaced with three more 3 litre Osprey bags for my next trip. You can also buy these bags in different colours. If you are like me and getting old, you need some kind of consistent system to make packing and unpacking and finding things a breeze, and different coloured bags are one solution!

My rucksack is an Osprey 48 litre, probably the most commonly seen one on Caminos and for good reason. It has a small hole in the top now, but for four years, it's been on all my trips, and I will probably buy a new one this year. It's lightweight, just about goes on planes as hand luggage and is very comfortable.

The total pack weight without water or food weighs 8kgs, but I'm convinced I can get that down to 7kgs next year. I carry too many adapters, too many spare clothes and too many medical things.

Hope this helps.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Stage 20. Retortillo de Soria to San Esteban Dr Gormaz. 46kms

I never got the full story about this Albergue, but the wonderful lady running the bar Amanacer (Dawn) said they got a steady small trickle of people, one here, two there. It really is a fabulous albergue and must have been quite an investment. I hope it pays off one day, because they have some fantastic scenery both before and behind the village, so who knows. Dawn also cooked up a fabulous dinner this evening, three great courses with a bottle of excellent red wine for €12. Apart from the young Spanish Perigrino, who appeared again yesterday, we were the only two there drinking and eating. How does this keep going?

The village itself has no facilities apart from the bar and albergue and certainly very few people. But spend an hour wandering about and you get a sense that this was once a mighty and very important place. Great defensive walls, arches, a huge church, lots of crumbling streets, very few people.

So sad because like so many of the semi-deserted villages in Spain Perigrenos pass through, you can see the potential lost. If only they can get families to move to them, some children for schools, some younger people to start businesses, it could be all so different. I read about some places in Italy facing similar problems. Their solution was to welcome in refugees, desperate for a new life somewhere safe, and the dying villages were transformed. Everyone won. Someone with political vision needs to make it happen.

First up after leaving at 7.00am this chilly morning was Tarancuena, 7kms away by a glorious new-looking tarmac road. I saw only three cars in the short time it took to hike this part, there is some nice mountain scenery and quite a few deer on the mountain sides. A nice way to start the day. There is an excellent fountain on the left as you turn off the road through the village. You can't miss it.

The next part must rank as a highlight on the Lana. You walk through a fabulous 8km gorge to Caracena. High cliffs, lots of greenery, big blue sky, water running through it, deserted buildings, birdsong, hiding deer bolting ten feet in front of you, flowers everywhere, the smell of thyme everywhere, bright sunshine and a cooling wind. I hope you have your walking sticks as they'll be handy here! Absolutely fabulous, as is the extraordinary medieval Caracena, where I arrived at 11.00am. I saw a water fountain but no other facilities. Get your camera ready!

21 kms after leaving this morning, you roll into Carrascosa de Abajo. The walk here from the last place was on glorious tarmac, great views, next to no traffic and a delight. There has been a cooling wind all morning and plenty of water fountains so not at all arduous. Sun, bright sky, fabulous views, sounds and smells. 3 more kms brings you to the quiet village of Fresno de Carracena. I didn''t see any facilities but at 1.00pm, when I arrived, I heard the beep beep beeeeep of the mobile bread van so was able to buy a delicious fresh bread. Never has fresh bread tasted so good!

9kms further on along dirt track, 33.5 kms from the start and at 3.15pm, I rolled into Ines. There is water here and apparently a bar in the Summer time, according to an English speaking local I got chatting to. The water fountain is up near the church but my friendly local filled up my bottles for me. We are making good progress! Onwards after a lunch of cheese, melted chocolate biscuits, bread and water.

Olmillos is an excellent walk on track from Ines, and is about 5kms away from it. You can't miss the fountain as you walk into the village but I couldn't see any bars or shop, despite having a look. This is the last place before the destination and feeling excellent. I'm really glad it isn't any hotter than this!

So, into San Estaban, turn right after crossing the bridge and follow the main road out of town, past the nice cafes, past the supermarkets, keep going until there's a petrol station and you are at Hostel Moreno, almost the last building and about an extra 1.5kms from the (sodding) bridge. €25 gets a nice room though, there's a bar, food and everyone is very friendly and helpful. It's a nice place to stay. But it is a long way back into town if you've just done 46kms. Go to the supermarket on the way here for anything you need, unless you don't mind going back in.

This area does seem to be a weakness on the Lana route. After Retortillo, there isn't a reliable or reasonable quality albergue at 25kms or so, and perhaps someone needs to stay and review the albergue in the sports hall here in San Esteban, or see if the Tourist Info can track down a cheaper place in the town area? The tourist office was closed when I went there, as was the Ayunamiento. I wonder if the Spanish chap went direct to the sports hall? There are good hotels here. But I hate spending £50 or £60 for a night when all I'm going to do is have a shower and sleep for 10 hours then go.

So, all in all, a fantastic brilliant wonderful day, helped greatly by a sunny blue sky day but a cooling wind, and the cherry on the cake is I get to have that Truck Stop Experience tonight at the arse end of a pretty town 😁😂😎😋😀. Happy days.
 
Last edited:

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
By any chance are you considering the Camino San Olav from Santo Domingo into Burgos? It was wonderful, but you may have already had more than your fair share of wonderful on this camino! ;)
 

Dougyharry

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via De La Plata 2014
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Mozarabe (2016)
Ok, armchair Lana followers, what do you say, should we start a “Lana 2020” group?! And with the clear caveat that we not start before the end of the first week in May! @Undermanager’s posts have been like the apple was to Adam and Eve.

That will leave @jpflavin out of the mix, maybe he will reconsider his early spring starts. I KNOW it is early, and I KNOW I haven’t even left yet on Camino 2019, but this is oh so tempting?

Thank you so very much @Undermanager. I know I’ve said it before but your posts have just the perfect mix of the nuts and bolts with the description of your experience. This thread will be very helpful for anyone contemplating the Lana. I will try to adopt your style when I start out on the Vasco in about eleven days! Buen camino, Laurie
We are following in Undermanager's footsteps and could not agree with you more Peregrina 2000. We should start a Lana 2000 group. Undermanager is a must read for us each day as a guide. Also Magwood for her Wikiloc maps and Kevin O' Brien for his guide. In Siguenza at the moment and staying at Dave's recommended Alburgue - brilliant. Clean sheets and doona - luxury. This Camino compares to the Mozarabe. Pepe and Antonio ( the guys with the private Bodego) said that only 60 people had been through so far this year. "El Camino meno transitado"
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
For those like me who don’t recognise the words ‘glorious’ and ‘tarmac’ as belonging together, consider an alternative route when leaving Retortillo de Soria. It is longer, but absolutely incredible and beautiful. We split @Undermanager’s long walk to San Esteban into two stages, 24 km to Caracena and 29 to San Esteban. You can read about it in my blog here
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
… And there is a Casa Rural in Tarancueña, 7 kms form Retortillo de Soria, which makes the following stage to San Esteban de Gormaz a bit shorter (if you don't choose the Magwood Alternative!)

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
This is a beautiful picture, but I don't know if pre-Laners can appreciate all of what you can see here! If you look closely, there is a "velvet" of stone that you have to walk (or climb) under; a work of nature. But it is difficult to see without the depth in the picture. (At least I guess this is where the photo is from?)

I do not have fond memories of it, since this was the stage where my foot hurt the most two years ago… :O(

Better luck this year… I will have my revenge on this Camino… Only two more weeks now…! :OD

/BP
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Stage 21. San Esteban De Gormaz to Quintanarraya, with alternative route. 35kms

The Authentic Spanish Truck Stop Experience (ASTSE) was a resounding success. It's good value at €25 for an en suite single, serves loads of different food, is large, friendly and best of all perhaps, is open for coffee and breakfast at 7.00am, to see the happy truckers on their way. I liked it here. I just wished I wasn't so knackered so that I could have had a good wander around the centre of town. When I passed through in the morning, there were plenty of bars, shops, banks and a few supermarkets and it is yet another seriously medieval place, full of charm and character.

I left about 7.30am and it was freezing. I could see my own breath. It warmed up when the sun got going but boy was it chilly. The walk to Matanza de Soria was uninspiring, about 8kms, including a missed dirt track turn and subsequent readjustment. The deer were out in force though, bolting in all directions. A further 3kms to Soria to Villálvaro was equally uninspiring, but there were drinking water fountains there. Things then got more interesting.

You follow the arrows out of the village, turn sharp right into the countryside and on to a lonely church for a now disappeared village about a kilometer away. The Camino turns right a few hundred meters before the church and back to the road, but just carry on along the track past the church for about two kilometers, then turn right for a few kilometers and you will end up directly in Zayas de Bascones. This route is stunning for photos of long winding dirt tracks, big countryside, big sky, lonely trees and of course, a lonely church. You'll also pass what I think is a large ancient boundary marker stone. The track is well-developed, easy to follow and is clearly shown on maps.me as dotted lines.

From Zayas de Bascones, where I didn't see a working water fountain, you can take the road all the way to Alcubilla de Avellaneda but if you are in no rush, look at taking the dirt track on your left as you leave Zayas and walk along a series of tracks in a sort of arc shape to Alcubilla de Avellaneda. It's longer but many might argue much more interesting. Again, maps.me reveals all!

In Alcubilla de Avellaneda, look and turn left as you enter the village rather than straight and right, where the Camino goes if you want to find the bar for some refreshments, a stamp, a badge and a warm welcome. Tomas will also give you the 3 star Hotel Rural Marquesa de Tavira card. If there was a pilgrim discount without breakfast of €25 a night for a single, I probably would have stayed 😁😀😊, eaten, drank and watched the footy final but as you know, I'm no big spender so decided to press on for the albergue in Quintanarraya 8kms away.

Tomas from the bar by the way said, 'hello' to Maggie, who he helped when she got injured on this Camino a month ago. I showed him her blog photos and kind words, and he said he looks forward to meeting again one day - she promised to come back when she was fit again!

It was a hot uphill walk to start with from Alcubilla de Avellaneda, then a flat walk, then lunch next to a ruined building and a chance meeting with a Spanish guy who was just starting to cycle around the world with his dog, then through the quiet village of Hinojar del Rey and finally, Quintanarraya, 35kms from the start.

I arrived at just after 4.00pm and got really lucky, as the staff in the bar above the Ayuntamiento were just locking up and going home. One lovely girl called Anna drove me to the albergue two minutes away, got me settled in and asked me to go to the bar at 8 o clock to check-in, and also to eat.

Everything was good today. The first two stages were a bit naff, and unless you use maps.me to plot your own route, you may spend more time than you want pounding tarmac. As wonderful as that is, it takes its toll on your feet compared to dirt track. There's as always, a happy balance to be struck 😁. My shoes are on their last legs now, with stitching coming apart but also the key parts of the soles are very thin in places now, causing a lot of pounding and stress on my poor feet. Please let them shoes last three more days ..... 😯
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Tomas from the bar by the way said, 'hello' to Maggie, who he helped when she got injured on this Camino a month ago.
Tomas was my saviour that day. Without hesitation on a public holiday he fetched his car and drove us back to San Esteban to the only medical facility for many many miles. And then he waited whilst I was attended to and drove us to the hostal. The people on this route have without fail shown us great kindness.
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2010j, Primitivo (2013), Plata (2014 + 2015), Salvador (2016), Torres 2017), Portugues (2018)
Have only just discovered your thread and read the lot! Love it! And such wonderful photos! Keep posting and buen camino!
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Stage 22. Quintanarraya to Santo Domingo de Silos. 28 kms

Quintanarraya has no shops or working water fountains that I could find. It does have a nice stork on the roof, a great friendly bar over the Ayuntamiento with people who will cook basic meals in the evening after 8.00pm and the albergue was fine; five beds, hot shower, clean, warm, sitting area but no kitchen.

Today felt like it was going to be a hot one. It was already warm when I left at 7.30am but by 10:00am, it felt boiling, even if it was only 18deg C according to the forecast. About 7kms after leaving Quintanarraya, you get to the town of Huerta de Ray along a pleasant dirt track. There are a fair number of bars and a few shops here but at 9.00am when I arrived, all but one, a restaurant called Meson La Herreria, was closed, pretty typical but you only need one open! It's up the main road on the right - you can't miss it. Fortunately, it had plates of takeaway sandwiches, cakes and drinks and a great place for breakfast.

When you follow the road out of town, just as you come to the sign for the town for drivers coming in, there's a small green bridge on the left. Cross it, turn right and follow it to it's exit 0.5kms away. It runs parallel to the road but also by a crystal clear stream. At the exit where the path rejoins the road is an ancient water fountain of sparklingly clear spring water, where you can have a slurp and refill bottles. This is also a picnic and BBQ area. You then turn left at the road 20 meters on uphill here to follow the Camino for about two kilometers, before turning left into the forest. It's very clearly marked, as is the forest path you are about to take. Someone has clearly been out with the marking paint recently! It's a lovely walk, through forest and glade, a fair amount of shade and at times, quite uphill and tiring. Bring a bit more water than usual if it's hot.

At 15.5kms, you'll come across a road and large park area, with drinking water, many tables, BBQ areas and generally, a nice place for a rest. Again, the Lana Camino following the El Cid Camino is excellently marked. From here, it's mostly uphill all the way, sometimes steeply, until the 21kms mark at 1290 meters, with all kinds of track, from nice pine, dirt, stone and mountain goats only paths. But it's all well signposted. At the top, you get fabulous views in all directions. Aren't you glad now you bought that extra water?

It's about 20 minutes downhill to Penacoba, where joy of joys there was an unexpected bar! I heard voices in a building next to the fountain in this tiny village that possibly looked like an Ayuntamiento, tentatively opened the door and behold, a vision of loveliness. It wasn't a mirage but a big, well-developed bar, with people, tables, drinks. Beer con Limon, a seat, peanuts, TV. What more does you need? It was 2.30pm and I'd covered nearly 24kms and it was hot.

I expected the last 4kms to Santo Domingo to be really hard work but it wasn't really, just hot. The first part is uphill but it's all very pretty, as is the small town itself. If I can work out how to stay for two nights I might well do so as I have plenty of time. As always, though, Camino doers arrive in the afternoon and everything is shut until 4.30 or 5.00pm so I found a bar for an hour! I did find the albergue building, but there are a few museums about so will need to go walkabout later to try and track down how to get access.

I went straight to the 4-bed excellent albergue at 4.30pm and someone was checking in so I got in immediately, but the place I think you need if you are the first is the museum entrance opposite a stone water pool, almost the first building on the left as you come down off the Camino path. It's a big brown door with a tiny sign saying that it's the museum. It opens at 4.30pm, and you also get in for free if you show your Credential. It is worth a visit as it's very pretty, and the pharmacy is outstandingly wonderful. The town is small, very pretty, very touristy and worth staying a day if you can. The hotels here do seem expensive however; I asked at two about single rooms and was quoted €70. I'm in the albergue with the quiet Spanish chap, and also an old Spanish guy on a bike tour. Occasionally, very occasionally, you meet someone on the Camino is bloody irritating from the first minute, seems just a bit crazy, a pain and best avoided. Sometimes, you just have to accept they have problems you don't know about and keep away. 😑🙄🙄😯🤔. Sadly, tonight is one such night!

So, a brilliant day. I fly home from Madrid on the 5th and potentially reach Burgos on the 1st, so am starting to think about where to kill a few days. Ideas? Looking forward to tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
So, a brilliant day. I fly home from Madrid on the 5th and potentially reach Burgos on the 1st, so am starting to think about where to kill a few days. Ideas? Looking forward to tomorrow.
Lucky you, you have the brilliant albergue in Mecerreyes to look forward to tomorrow. I would say it is possibly the best on the Lana.

I know that Peregrina2000 will pop up within a few minutes to repeat her suggestion about the San Olav Camino: you would be able to add 2 (or 3) days of walking (back) from Burgos to Covarrubias? To kill some time before going home?

/BP
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Yes, I saw her suggestion before. If I can work out the route and accommodation, that may be possible. Thanks.

This evening in the plaza was a really fun 10-piece band singing fun songs. Then I went to Vespers. After that, a 40 piece English choir sung for an hour, and they are singing again on Saturday in Burgos. Quite a fun, musical evening.
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Stage 23. Santo Domingo de Silos to Covarrubias. 17kms

Last night's sounds were excellent and was finished off with egg and chips and red wine in one of the bars in the main plaza. Santo Domingo is a very pretty place indeed. There must be a dozen bars and plenty of hotels, but I wonder if all the hotels are expensive? They all looked upmarket. I only found one small shop in my wanderings but there may be more, perhaps further back in the sidestreets. The albergue is a classy place but can take a maximum of four people only.

It was quite a late start at 7.45am, perhaps due to the old chap constantly talking to / at the young Spanish bloke. Last night, he accosted a man in the plaza with the young Spanish bloke, convinced he was me and trying to give him the only albergue key. I was sitting outside watching from afar obviously not quite sure what was happening and a bit bemused, until I was told what had happened later by the Spanish guy. I felt a bit sorry for the old chap, but also for myself, staying in such a small albergue with him 😐. I was relieved to be on my way this morning! The sky was blue when I set off and it was already warm so I guess a hot one was heading our way, and so it proved. Santo Domingo is on a valley floor so there are lots of uphills and downhills, mainly uphills, at the start of the day for the first two hours. Then it flattens out, all through light forest or scrubland.

As you see for the first time Retuerta 13 kms from Santo Domingo from the top of the valley, you can see an El Cid sign trying to take you sharp left away from the village. Just carry on towards the village, past the red and white cross and you'll pick up the El Cid markers again within 100m. A bit odd. Continue down to the village, where there is a sign saying 'Bar Bilbo' I think over one building in the centre but it was shut - maybe a Summer bar only? There were lots of chairs and tables stored next door. The welcome drinking water fountain is on your right, towards the exit to the village. Dunk your canvas hat well and have a really good drink here for the next bit! There were no other facilities, although I did see a one star Casa Rural, if you wanted somewhere super quiet to stay.

It's about 4kms on to Covarrubias, a 1.5 km slog uphill then a slow descent into this incredibly gorgious medieval village / small town. Set by a pretty river and bridge, there are endless fabulous old buildings here, plenty of bars, restaurants and hotels, some shops and bakeries and lots of tourists milling about, taking it all in. In one plaza and opposite the palace of Fernan Gonzalez is Casa Galin, a large pension and busy restaurant, where I'm staying. I have a wonderful rustic ensuite room (room no 1) for €25. It's big, bright and overlooking a busy plaza from the corner. The owner speaks fluent English, but I'm really getting to love Google Translate's conversation feature when Spanish is needed. If you haven't tried it yet, download the app and have a play with the 'conversation' feature before you come to Spain - it works amazingly well when chatting to someone in Spanish and has enabled me to fairly easily get a room, order what I want for food and have a general chat. I've already mentioned how good the camera feature is, to decipher info boards and menus, for example, but this is another equally powerful tool for the foreign language-challenged.

I decided to stay in the village when I crossed the bridge and saw the place as I have plenty of time, but only if I could find somewhere in my normal (cheapskate) price bracket. I did, so now I have all afternoon and evening to relax, catch up on washing and emails, let the feet have a longer than normal rest and generally contemplate my naval. After a general wander, and a walk along the beautiful river, I can feel some black and white photos coming on again tonight, and because I like it so much, I booked in for Saturday, too, for a general rest and explore day.

Reading about the Lana and El Cid routes, there isn't nearly enough emphasis placed on this place as a stage stop. It may not have the albergue that's six kilometers up the trail at Mecerreyes, but this is about as outstanding an example of a medieval village you're likely to find anywhere in Spain, and you have all the facilities you need to boot. There is also a series of short walks you can do and a fabulous river, and it has the first Tourist Office that was actually open and functional I've seen in Spain this trip, with real, useful info, a map, details about activities like horse-riding etc. Look out for festivals and wine tasting events! Frankly, it would be madness to come all this way to walk the Lana for over three weeks, and then skip on through one of the most beautiful and historic places the country has to offer! The last stage is obviously longer now at 40kms, unless a way round this can be found?

We shall see what this evening brings, but I think I can hear a band warming up in one of the plazas .....
 
Last edited:

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Rest day - Covarrubias

Last night was a fun night out. I went round the different bars, and then ended up at my own place, Casa Galin. It gets really busy there after 10.00pm, when loads of people started turning up and filling their many restaurant rooms, as well as the bar. I also carried on experimenting with taking black and white photos at night, and went round the key sites again. The Casa gave me a great night's sleep last night and is highly recommended.

Today is essentially a rest day. I had a good breakfast in the small cafe opposite and to the right of Casa Galin - highly recommended. The plan is to have a little walk along the river, then sit around and do nothing by the fabulous open air bar down by the river a few hundred meters back along the Camino, before the bridge, before siesta time. Bring your trunks and / or inflatable boat, as this is where to come for swimming and messin' about on the river.

It is really really hot here today, already 28 Deg C at midday and predicted to get to 30 Deg C. The same is predicted for tomorrow so will need to try very hard to leave early and get some of the 40kms distance covered to Burgos, although with the Champions League final tonight, I'm not sure how realistic that will be! I met a couple of Perigrenos at midday, just as I was going out for breakfast. They'd come from Santo Domingo that morning. Amazing how much distance you can cover, if you just get out of bed!

I also finally booked my train ticket online this morning to Madrid for midday on Monday, so will have a morning in Burgos where I need to collect my tickets, and will then spend two nights in Madrid, doing a bit of site seeing. Fortunately, the price of beds and rooms will have come down from a few thousand euros a night to ten or twenty, as the Champions League supporters will have gone back home by then!!

Apart from that, there's not much to report today. All is well and it's a fabulous day to chill.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
The town is small, very pretty, very touristy and worth staying a day if you can. The hotels here do seem expensive however; I asked at two about single rooms and was quoted €70.
About Santo Domingo de Silos: there is a hotel/hostal, almost immediately when you get down from the "slope" and enter Santo Domingo de Silos from the Camino. I paid no more than 35 euros for a single room (perhaps less, I don't remember). I will have to go back to my credential to remember the name.

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Frankly, it would be madness to come all this way to walk the Lana for over three weeks, and then skip on through one of the most beautiful and historic places the country has to offer!
It may be madness, but as you say: Covarrubias is touristy. During high season it could be difficult to have a room. I asked in several places when I got there, but they were all booked. Pilgrims may have no other option than to push on to Mecerreyes.

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
The town is small, very pretty, very touristy and worth staying a day if you can. The hotels here do seem expensive however; I asked at two about single rooms and was quoted €70.
Second quote… The hotel in Santo Domingo de Silos is called Arco San Juan and as I remember, with a reasonable price. It could be something for future Laners!

/BP
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Stage 24. Covarrubias to Burgos. 46kms

After a great night out drinking vino and watching the footy final, I still managed to get seven hours kip and be out the hotel at 6.30am this morning. It was going to be a hot day again today, you could feel it in the air. Nothing was open early as usual in Covarrubias so it was straight out on to the road for seven kilometers to the pretty village of Mecerreyes. I walked straight on through, past various statues and another closed bar on to a dirt track to the next place.

At the 18km mark, you'll reach Cubillo del Campo. It's a nice country walk to here, although there is a big up and down in the last two kilometer section. Follow the red and white stripes and you'll find a great bar in the main square. It was stuffed full of welcome tapas goodies for breakfast so I got stuck in!

Thinking about it, I can't remember seeing any yellow arrows today. I've got so used to using the red and white stripes (Camino de ???), and the El Cid markers that I've forgotten to even look for the yellow arrows now. I certainly couldn't find any in this village to Hontoria de la Cantaria. The main road has crossed red and white stripes, and the El Cid and red and white markers head off to Los Ausines. I don't have a trail for this last section to follow either on maps.me - I guess whoever put this one on Wikilocs had the same problem, perhaps. So, decision made. I'll head off to Los Ausines. It looks okay on the map but I have to hope that it's not a mountainous or crazy route into Burgos! I'm not in any hurry but I still don't want to make the day any longer or harder than it already is.

It turns out to be an easy and pretty trek along good dirt track, with one section up running alongside wind turbines. You arrive Los Ausines at just under 27 Kms, and walk through the village to the back of the church to find the water fountain. I didn't think it was working, but as I walked around it, water would come out occasionally? Eventually, I worked out that you had to pump the rubber black button on the ground to get water out!

Looking at maps.me, I decided to head towards Burgos up a small country road. The next place from here north about 5kms away looks like Modubar de la Cuesta so that's where I am going. I don't know if El Cid is going that way, but I am! It's one o' clock and mighty hot now. Plenty of water is the order of the day. One more slurp and I'm off.

NO I'M NOT!!! IS THAT A BAR 100M UP THE ROAD??? OMG IT IS!!!

So incredibly, I found a bar in the middle of nowhere next to a tiny village, and it was open, with tapas on the bar. Another rest out the heat is in order. I'm guessing there's about 17kms to go, but if I can find anywhere to stop before then, I could be tempted, and walk to Burgos tomorrow. We shall see.

It's a hot 3 'o clock and 32 Kms from the start as I walk into the pretty village of Modubar de la Cuesta, although it's surrounded by wind turbines. It was a long uphill then a long downhill to get here. There's a nice stopping place with a water fountain on the left before you walk into the village, and behold, another bar on the right of the road as you pass through the middle. Are these bars in tiny villages open daily, only Saturdays and / or Sundays, seasonal openings? Perhaps someone with better Spanish than me can find out. There is a sweaty uphill hike along a quiet road for a kilometer out of the village to more wind turbines and great views followed by a long, gradual walk down to the next place, Cardeñadijo. I arrived there at 39kms and 4.45pm. there were at least two open bars, and two more open bars along the road after you exit the village at one and two kilometers. Time for a stop before the last push!

On my way in and out of this village, I looked for any yellow arrows or any other signs but didn't see any. As I was getting tired, I decided to road hike it in to Burgos. Easy peasy and an hour later you are at the outskirts. Unfortunately, you have another two kilometers to go to get to the Albergue Casa de Perigrinos de Emaus, about 1.5kms from the cathedral, and it's a bit of a grim walk, like many through the suburb of a city. However, the albergue is a class act, can take only 20 pilgrims and ought to be top of your list of places to stay. There are only about a dozen people here today. Everything seems new, clean, designer and I have a room with no others in so I can snore and fart like a man again, without worrying about what the ladies think. It seems to be run like a military operation by a kindly mature lady, and there is an excellent communal evening meal and breakfast, donations appreciated, and it is quiet - you will be reminded constantly about the volume of speaking. It suits me fine. I'm gonna have dinner, then go to bed. This is a good way to finish off the walk.

Tomorrow, I have to be out by 8 'o clock apparently, and my train to Madrid is at midday so I have a few hours to look around. I have to decide whether to stay in Madrid or hop off to a smaller place - Cercidilla on the Camino de Madrid would be a nice place to relax for a couple of nights.

That's the end of the stage posts but I think one last small post tomorrow is in order, to reveal anything I've found out about the albergue and Burgos, and to summarise the font of wisdom I've accumulated whilst doing this fabulous, solitary, mostly quite accessible but at times tricky Camino.

Last post tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Stage 24. Covarrubias to Burgos. 46kms

After a great night out drinking vino and watching the footy final, I still managed to get seven hours kip and be out the hotel at 6.30am this morning. It was going to be a hot day again today, you could feel it in the air. Nothing was open early as usual in Covarrubias so it was straight out on to the road for seven kilometers to the pretty village of Mecerreyes. I walked straight on through, past various statues and another closed bar on to a dirt track to the next place.

At the 18km mark, you'll reach Cubillo del Campo. It's a nice country walk to here, although there is a big up and down in the last two kilometer section. Follow the red and white stripes and you'll find a great bar in the main square. It was stuffed full of welcome tapas goodies for breakfast so I got stuck in!

Thinking about it, I can't remember seeing any yellow arrows today. I've got so used to using the red and white stripes (Camino de ???), and the El Cid markers that I've forgotten to even look for the yellow arrows now. I certainly couldn't find any in this village to Hontoria de la Cantaria. The main road has crossed red and white stripes, and the El Cid and red and white markers head off to Los Ausines. I don't have a trail for this last section to follow either on maps.me - I guess whoever put this one on Wikilocs had the same problem, perhaps. So, decision made. I'll head off to Los Ausines. It looks okay on the map but I have to hope that it's not a mountainous or crazy route into Burgos! I'm not in any hurry but I still don't want to make the day any longer or harder than it already is.

It turns out to be an easy and pretty trek along good dirt track, with one section up running alongside wind turbines. You arrive Los Ausines at just under 27 Kms, and walk through the village to the back of the church to find the water fountain. I didn't think it was working, but as I walked around it, water would come out occasionally? Eventually, I worked out that you had to pump the rubber black button on the ground to get water out!

Looking at maps.me, I decided to head towards Burgos up a small country road. The next place from here north about 5kms away looks like Modubar de la Cuesta so that's where I am going. I don't know if El Cid is going that way, but I am! It's one o' clock and mighty hot now. Plenty of water is the order of the day. One more slurp and I'm off.

NO I'M NOT!!! IS THAT A BAR 100M UP THE ROAD??? OMG IT IS!!!

So incredibly, I found a bar in the middle of nowhere next to a tiny village, and it was open, with tapas on the bar. Another rest out the heat is in order. I'm guessing there's about 17kms to go, but if I can find anywhere to stop before then, I could be tempted, and walk to Burgos tomorrow. We shall see.

It's a hot 3 'o clock and 32 Kms from the start as I walk into the pretty village of Modubar de la Cuesta, although it's surrounded by wind turbines. It was a long uphill then a long downhill to get here. There's a nice stopping place with a water fountain on the left before you walk into the village, and behold, another bar on the right of the road as you pass through the middle. Are these bars in tiny villages open daily, only Saturdays and / or Sundays, seasonal openings? Perhaps someone with better Spanish than me can find out. There is a sweaty uphill hike along a quiet road for a kilometer out of the village to more wind turbines and great views followed by a long, gradual walk down to the next place, Cardeñadijo. I arrived there at 39kms and 4.45pm. there were at least two open bars, and two more open bars along the road after you exit the village at one and two kilometers. Time for a stop before the last push!

On my way in and out of this village, I looked for any yellow arrows or any other signs but didn't see any. As I was getting tired, I decided to road hike it in to Burgos. Easy peasy and an hour later you are at the outskirts. Unfortunately, you have another two kilometers to go to get to the Albergue Casa de Perigrinos de Emaus, near the cathedral, and it's a bit of a grim walk, like many through the suburb of a city. However, the albergue is a class act and ought to be top of your list of places to stay. There are only about a dozen people here today. Everything seems new, clean, designer and I have a room with no others in so I can snore and fart like a man again, without worrying about what the ladies think. It seems to be run like a military operation by a kindly mature lady, and there is a communal meal and breakfast, donations appreciated, and it is quiet - you will be reminded constantly about the volume of speaking. It suits me fine. I'm gonna have dinner, then go to bed. This is a good way to finish off the walk.

Tomorrow, I have to be out by 8 'o clock apparently, and my train to Madrid is at midday so I have a few hours to look around. I have to decide whether to stay in Madrid or hop off to a smaller place - Cercidilla on the Camino de Madrid would be a nice place to relax for a couple of nights.

That's the end of the stage posts but I think one last small post tomorrow is in order, to reveal anything I've found out about the albergue and Burgos, and to summarise the font of wisdom I've accumulated whilst doing this fabulous, solitary, mostly quite accessible but at times tricky Camino.

Last post tomorrow.
Thank you so much Undermanager,

The last few weeks I have been waiting every afternoon to read your updates!! The pictures are stunning and should attract a lot more people to this wonderful route... It is still my favourite Camino and I am glad you liked it too.

Just 12 more days and then I set off to Alicante myself! Reading your posts has been the best preparation ever! :OD

I will fetch your forgotten glasses from the solitary tree (the first stage) ;OD)

/BP
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Suggestion too late for you but maybe helpful for someone else.....
Instead of two nights in Covarrubias, yet still getting a rest day, how about a gentle stroll to Mecerreyes in the late afternoon?
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Stage 25. The Last Post

Another Camino has come to an end, and even though I spent some time, occasionally, moaning about my back, calf muscles and a few feet problems, the body survived to the end this time (unlike last year) despite doing a few very long distances! Warming up and warming down properly for long distance walking definitely keeps injuries and problems to a minimum. There is real science behind why and how you do warming up / down exercises and stretches; YouTube is your friend.

This Camino took 24 days and I'd say that that was the absolute minimum but you'd need to be fit and have everything go right for you with no injuries to do it in that time. I also included 2 rest days, and did three stages which were a bit overly long. I think allowing 28 days in total when planning this Camino is about right if you don't want long stages. 29 days gives you a bit more wiggle room.

I stayed in albergues two thirds of the time and hotels or apartments for one third. I never rang ahead or booked anything in advance. When I stayed in hotels, I often checked the price afterwards just for fun on Booking.com and / or Agoda and it would always have been more expensive to book online rather than just turn up, which surprised me a bit as it is often the reverse. Hotels (pensions, hostels) were surprisingly cheap for a nice ensuite room, around the €25 mark. The most I paid was €28 in Cuenca. It's good to have a Plan B for some places like Santo Domingo, and also to bookmark where on maps.me or Google Maps your destination(s) are. I didn't always remember to do this e.g. for Burgos and ended up faffing about at the end of a hot day.

The Google Translate app is an absolute must! The 'conversation' feature is incredible, as is the camera feature for interpreting menus and other written information. I'm using a SIM card on the Three network on my phone, bought in the UK just before I came out here rather than buying a SIM in Spain. It uses the 4g network and has been absolutely faultless and super fast in Spain. It cost £20 a month on a monthly rolling contract, for 12 Gig, unlimited calls and texts. I've very rarely used WiFi on this trip because the 4g has been so fast. In total, I've used 9 Gig of data on this month trip for everything, including uploading photos to various places. I compress all photos before uploading them, using the free Lit Photo app. I will switch to an annual contract with Three when I return to the UK, as it halves the cost but for slightly less data, for 8 Gig. I've said a few times that the phone I bought just before I came here, the Huawei P20 Pro has been fantastic. The camera is brilliant and battery superb, and it comes with an extra black and white lens, which I really love. The price has dropped a lot in recent months and I would recommend it if you are thinking it's about time you bought a better phone or didn't want to carry a bulky camera anymore. I generally use maps.me with trails downloaded from Wikilocs - it's absolutely invaluable in my opinion to have a trail on maps.me, especially for these lonelier walks - contact me if you need help getting a trail from Wikilocs to appear on maps.me - it can be a bit tricky the first time you try to do it. Maps.me has been great, especially when making your own route for a stage. The dotted lines have all been good dirt tracks, easy to follow and accurate. Don't forget to learn how to add places to maps.me, to help others. Just Google how to do it or use YouTube. Google maps has much more info on, and the Directions feature for walking can be very useful.

May is a quiet month it seems, not so many fiestas I think, few school or public holidays to mess things up, there were very few (mostly zero, sometimes one or two and on one occasion seven) pilgrims during my walk. Choosing when to go is tricky, but I started on the 7th May, and didn't see a drop of rain the entire walk. It's a good time also because wild flowers are absolutely bursting with colour, the dirt tracks are dry now so you don't get muddy clothes or have mud cling to your shoes, and it is not yet too hot.

I completely messed up where I was going to stay in Burgos, probably because I was so tired. I was thinking I was aiming for the large albergue behind the cathedral, but ended up going to Albergue Casa de Perigrinos de Emaus, about 1.5kms away - great if you are coming off the CdeF, not so great if you are coming off the Lana! As it turned out, it was a great place to stay and exactly what I needed. I love communal evening meals and breakfasts, the place was brilliant and brilliantly run, only a dozen others, all sane, fun and interesting, with a maximum of 20 pilgrims possible and a nice place to relax. When you enter, however, you are in a kind of system with a heavy religious bias, with rules, expectations to help out with little jobs, times to be in, times to go to bed, get up and leave and must be quiet at all times. No going out and getting drunk here! But that's okay for a night, in fact it's welcome if you are exhausted. It is a fine place to stay, unless you want to go out and celebrate finishing the Lana and recommended.

Coming into Burgos, you might wonder how and why you've ended up in such a dump. Once in the centre, however, all is well. It has great facilities, is very pretty, the Gothic cathedral is impressive and it's worth a stay for a night, but you could also walk in, look around for a few hours, then get a bus to the train station and get on a train to e.g. Madrid. There is a tourist info place very close to the cathedral and another near Plaza España.

The huge, modern and largely empty Rosa de Lima train station is 4kms on the outskirts of Burgos. Go to Plaza España, 10 minutes walk from the cathedral. You can then take either bus 25 (every 30 minutes) or bus 43 (every hour) for the 25 minute trip, which goes on a roundabout route, and costs €1.20 cash on the bus. I bought my train ticket a few days ahead, at loco2.com, a pain-free process that took a minute. You get sent the ticket by email, including a PNR reference number. When you get to any train station, simply go to one of the purple RENFE machines that are all over, select your language, then Print, enter the PNR number and print your ticket. Surprisingly, it was very uncomplicated. Buy your ticket a few days in advance for the best prices, but they do seem to go up and down like a yo yo and aren't necessarily expensive if you buy them last minute I noticed, if you can be flexible on times.

It is always a strange feeling I think, finishing a Camino. This is especially true in Burgos, because there are lots and lots of CdeF pilgrims at this busy junction and nearly all of them are excitedly carrying on to the next stage - you feel it especially in the morning when the sun is shining. It was fun to see the newly formed groups of friends as well as people preferring to walk on their own set off this morning as I wandered around the centre, with just a tinge of jealousy, but there's so much else to see and do in the world as well. So far this year, I've had some really great trips, watching ballet in Warsaw and hiking in snowy mountains in Poland, walking and touring in Israel for a few weeks, a trip round southern Thailand and three fabulous weeks around Egypt. But I'm already wondering about the next Camino, and when. It must surely be the Olvidado / Invierno, or Norte later in September, or next May .....

Ta again to Maggie for her notes, and Sara's videos were fun. I don't always plan like I know I should! I hope someone finds these notes useful, and are encouraged to write your own when you do your next Camino - I'll be looking out for your blogs! I think they really do help the next person work out from afar what to do on their own trip. Perhaps this thread can be pinned on the forum until it becomes dated?

Thanks for the help, encouragement and actually reading this thread, and Buen Camino, friends. Buen Camino.
 

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 12 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 41 4.0%
  • April

    Votes: 154 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 254 24.9%
  • June

    Votes: 78 7.7%
  • July

    Votes: 21 2.1%
  • August

    Votes: 18 1.8%
  • September

    Votes: 296 29.0%
  • October

    Votes: 123 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 12 1.2%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.5%
Top