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Anyone planning an April '14 Camino?

2020 Camino Guides

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
I plan to start a camino starting in Alicante and following the Sureste for about a week or two and then switching to the Levante to Zamora, and then the Sanabres to SDC, and if time allows going on to Finnisterre.
I intend to start midish April but have no particular start date in mind.
It seems to me that this should be a great walk, a nice direct diagonal across Spain, and avoids the French way completely.
Anyone interested??
Regards
George
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
You're bound to bump into people along the way.
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
You're bound to bump into people along the way.
In September 2009 on the Levante, I met no other pilgrims until I got to Zamora and the route joined the Sanabres. Some of these routes are not much travelled.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I plan to start a camino starting in Alicante and following the Sureste for about a week or two and then switching to the Levante to Zamora, and then the Sanabres to SDC, and if time allows going on to Finnisterre.

George
My experience was similar to Andy's. On Day 4 I met two French pilgrims and stayed with them all the way into Santiago because we hit it off so well. Other than that, we met several cyclists, two other French walkers, and a Dutch walker (these three disappeared and were never seen again!).

People who live along the route will tell you that the traffic is increasing very steadily. The rate of increase may be great (I would believe that the numbers have doubled or tripled in the last few years), but the total numbers are so small it doesn't make much of a difference. My bet is that if you go in April, you will meet at least a few other people along the way. I think this route will become very popular, along the lines of the Vdlp. The terrain is similar, the distances similar, and the number of cities and towns with interesting places to visit along the way is pretty amazing.

George, where does the sureste join the Levante? Is there any special reason you decided to start in Alicante? The first four days on the Levante are HARD on the feet, essentially 100% asphalt, so if I would be interested in hearing your experience from Alicante.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
Hi Laurie,
Thanks for the info in your other post.
The Sureste (from the info' I've gathered so far) seems to first joins the Levante at Albacete, then the both routes seem to keep crossing (or even overlay) each other untill finally seperating at Medina Del Campo, where the Sureste heads of in the direction of Astorga to join the French way.
As to starting in Alicante, I live in the northwest of England and can get a cheap flight to Alicante, seems a bit mundane I know but thats the truth, plus I like the way the Sureste carves its way nortwest directly across Spain. I walked the French way in '10 and '11, the VDLP in '12 and the Norte in '13 so a starting point in the south east seems appeal this year, I did consider starting in Valencia but I'm not keen on the way the camino loops to the south at the start (any idea why?)
I have used the "walking pilgrim"(great site) to print strip maps of the route, used info' from Mundicamino and others to put together my own guide, and will also take a small tablet that has Google maps and is GPS enabled, and I have enough spanish to get by so should be OK.
I am sure I will meet great people on this camino, Ihave been blessed so far with my camino amigos (see caminowalkaboutnorte.blogspot)
Best regards Laurie, happy new year.
George
 

andy.d

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Levante 2009
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2011
Camino Ingles (Coruna) 2014
Pilgrims Way Winchester - Canterbury
Camino Ingles (Ferrol) 2015
Cistercian Way (Wales) 2016
I think the Levante goes the less direct way to start with because it follows the Via Augusta to begin with. I came to the conclusion that it was good for the soul

Andy
 

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
Hi Andy,
Did a quick Google search and yes it looks like the begining of the Levant may follow the Via Agusta, and I agree any camino is good for the soul.

Regards,

George
 

Donovan

Active Member
Hi George,
Whoops - pressed the wrong button a few minutes ago. I’ll be starting from Valencia in early April, probably 2nd or 3rd, hope we meet somewhere along the way. Look out for a blue Aarn backpack, and a floppy sunhat protecting an almost hairless head.

I will be following the route Laurie described, but more slowly. I am studying the vieragrino guide at the moment to see if I can generally keep daily distances to 30km max.

Can anyone confirm whether the cathedral in Valencia issues credencials?
Donovan
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi George,
Whoops - pressed the wrong button a few minutes ago. I’ll be starting from Valencia in early April, probably 2nd or 3rd, hope we meet somewhere along the way. Look out for a blue Aarn backpack, and a floppy sunhat protecting an almost hairless head.

I will be following the route Laurie described, but more slowly. I am studying the vieragrino guide at the moment to see if I can generally keep daily distances to 30km max.

Can anyone confirm whether the cathedral in Valencia issues credencials?
Donovan
Hi, Donovan,

Just a few suggestions on breaking up those longer stages.

1. Chinchilla-La Roda (37) -- break in Albacete, about halfway

2. Las Pedroneras - El Toboso (31) -- break at Mota de Cuervo (where Don Quijote's windmills are) about 19 after Las Pedroneras. Gives you a short day into El Toboso, but there are a few fun things to visit there, like Dulcinea's house (or rather, the house that is reputed to be of the family whose daughter is reputed to be the one on whom Cervantes based Dulcinea -- maybe not much in the way of historical verisimilitude, but it's fun).

3. Mora-Toledo (40) -- This is the hard one. But there are a few towns in between with bars, and I'm sure a taxi from Toledo would be easy to arrange. Also, Almonacid de Toledo is reported as having some sort of "acogida parroquial." I have never stayed in one of these, but my understanding is that they are not much more than a floor, walls, and a roof. Good option in a tight spot, I'd think.

4. Toledo - Torrijos (34). Another not obvious one, but Rielves is reported as having a casa parroquial.

5. San Martin - San Bartalome (34). This is the day with the most elevation gain. Stopping in the middle at Cebreros as others have done would give you a way to break it up, with most of the elevation gain coming on the second day from Cebreros onward. Several highly recommended places here from other forum members. It is also the home of adolfo Suarez, Spain's first democratically elected prime minister. We passed a museum of the "Transition" (from Franco to democracy) in an old church right on the edge of town, and if I had been spending the night I definitely would have visited it. This is the most beautiful stage on the Levante, IMO, and savoring it for two days has a lot of advantages.

6. Arevalo - Medina (34); easy to break up in the hostal in Ataquines on the highway. This would be a stop in a town with nothing to do and sleep in a hostal on a highway that isn't the most charming, but it is an easy way to break up the longer day.

7. Sieteiglesias - Toro (32); again, easy to break up because there is a new albergue in Castronuno, founded by APOC. This would have the advantage of giving you an easy day into Toro the next day and plenty of time to explore. Toro is great!

8. Toro - Zamora (34) (assuming you don't get lost like we did). There is an albergue in Villalazan, about 19 kms after Toro. We stopped in a bar there for a good morning coffee, and the hospitalera came to talk to us. Very welcoming.

From Zamora on, you will have to choose between Sanabres or Frances, and then it becomes much easier, but there are lots of us who can help you out with that, too, particularly if you are going on the Sanabres, which I've walked several times recently.

I'm not sure about the credencial, because I always get one from the American Pilgrims, but I have to assume they have them in the cathedral. I was just looking at the Valencia Assoc. site and it looks like they now have all the gps tracks posted on the website. Just fyi.

Buen camino. Laurie
 

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
Hi Donovan,
I'll certainly look out for you, I think the first time our paths could cross would be in Albacete, I expect to arrive there on or about the 14th. I arrive in Alicante on the morning of the 8th and will set off the next day. Which guide are you going to use? There seems to be a number of options ie
with ref to Lauries post Mundicamino has the distance Mora-Toledo as 31.1kms as it seems to suggest a more direct route.
Regards
George
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Donovan,
I'll certainly look out for you, I think the first time our paths could cross would be in Albacete, I expect to arrive there on or about the 14th. I arrive in Alicante on the morning of the 8th and will set off the next day. Which guide are you going to use? There seems to be a number of options ie
with ref to Lauries post Mundicamino has the distance Mora-Toledo as 31.1kms as it seems to suggest a more direct route.
Regards
George
Hi, George,
In my experience, mundicamino (and every other guide) is frequently wrong. The googlemaps road distance from Mora, through Almonacid, Nambroca, Cobisa is 41, so 31 is maybe the distance the mundicamino writers would like it to be. There is only one way marked, so it's not that they are all measuring different routes, but it always seems that everyone's estimate is different. If the gps tracks are a more precise calculation, that's not going to be what you want to hear either, because the wikiloc site for the gps for this stage of the Levante shows 44 km. http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=1156603 Sometimes I think we're better off not knowing. :) It is all flat, at least! Buen camino.
 

Donovan

Active Member
Hi Laurie,
Many thanks for the advice – right on target as always. It’s good to know that generally I can break the longer stages, though that may in turn lead to some rather short stages. These decisions will be made on the day.

Mora to Toledo – this is indeed a tough one. The Vieragrino guide mentions the “Casa Isodora” in Burguillos, about 10km before Toledo. No details given, but it may be an option. Another possibility would be to catch a bus from Mora to Almonacid. From your and others’ comments the walk into Toledo is not to be missed, so a bus at the beginning of the stage achieves that.

Toledo to Torrijos – the guide’s comment for Rielves is “Pilgrims are welcome at the Casa Parroquial; simple accommodation” As you say, that could be an interesting experience.

San Martin - San Bartalome - a stop in Cebreros is a must for me.

Arevalo - Medina (34); easy to break up in the hostal in Ataquines on the highway – Amigos list an Albergue Municipal in San Vicente as well, so I should be OK on this stage.

In your blog you mention that a yellow arrow after Villalazán took you way off the track to Zamora. Any hints on how I could avoid the same detour?

My plans after Zamora are still vague, but definitely exclude the Frances option. I will probably set out along the Sanabres route and see how things go for a week or so. I walked this route two years ago and am not sure how it will feel to cover the same ground again. That said, Kat has dragged me (very willingly) on a couple of repeat caminos and they’ve been wonderful experiences.

Donovan
 

Rambling Seamus

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking my first Camino in April of 2014... and longer, if needs be.
I'll be walking my first Camino, starting in SJPDP on April 4th (after flying from Canada, landing in Paris and then travelling for two days.)

I'm walking it solo for spiritual reasons, but I'm not adverse to making new friends or perhaps finding a Camino family along the way!

I welcome anything the Camino might provide. Except for bees.

And bed bugs. But aside from that, yes: everything else is raging key welcomed.
 

Rambling Seamus

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan on walking my first Camino in April of 2014... and longer, if needs be.
Oh, and typos made on smartphones. I could use less of those as well.
 

Donovan

Active Member
Hi Donovan,
I'll certainly look out for you, I think the first time our paths could cross would be in Albacete, I expect to arrive there on or about the 14th. I arrive in Alicante on the morning of the 8th and will set off the next day. Which guide are you going to use? There seems to be a number of options ie
with ref to Lauries post Mundicamino has the distance Mora-Toledo as 31.1kms as it seems to suggest a more direct route.
Regards
George
Hi George,
I am using the same guide as Laurie did – published by the Amigos del Camino de Santiago de la Comunidad de Valencia.

Thanks for the advice about Mundi, I’ve had a look at both guides and the discrepancy is in the final stretch from Nambroca to Toledo. Mundi has this section as 8.7km, the Amigos have it as 18.1km. The Mundi route is direct and seems to be mostly along a road which looks decidedly dodgy. The only road I see on the map is a major highway, and Mundi specifically refers to walking on the shoulder. Also, from Laurie's comment above it is unlikely that this route is waymarked. The Amigos route takes you on large semi-circle to the west through Buirguillos and Cobisa.

I’ve firmed my dates - will leave Valencia on 2nd, and expect to arrive in Albacete on 11th or 12th. Either way, you will probably catch me on the track.
Donovan
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Laurie,

In your blog you mention that a yellow arrow after Villalazán took you way off the track to Zamora. Any hints on how I could avoid the same detour?

Donovan
Hi, Donovan,

What I remember is that we were alongside the highway for a while after Villalazan. At a point near some big facility on the right (a cement plant, or some kind of industry), the camino turns off road to the right, immediately after passing the facility. The camino then goes through trees and fields, and along a canal, and at some point we just found ourselves in that dang cottonwood forest, with the river on our right. I would love to go back and figure it out, I am sure we missed a crucial arrow somewhere, but by the time we realized it we were in the middle of the cottonwoods. I have a memory that there is definitely a point where we entered into the cottonwood growth, they are all purposefully planted, so it will be clear. And I also have a sense that we were on the camino till then, but that's not a precise memory. My recommendation would be to make sure you are always on a defined path, and if you make it to the cottonwoods, you have gone too far. There must have been an arrow pointing us left.

The astonishing thing about all of that is that it was a Saturday, and we hadn't seen a person since turning off the highway. As we really started to lose our bearings, lo and behold, a man on a tractor appeared and pointed us out of the woods (in the opposite direction from which we were going). How is it that these things always happen!!

p.s. I'm looking at the guidebook map, which shows that you should stay on the road all the way into Villarabo. We were definitely taken off the highway before Villarabo by an arrow. We never made it into Villarabo, but if you look at the map, we came out of the cottonwoods, I'm sure, at the point where the road heading east from Villarabo meets the river, because I remember a group of people fishing, walking, etc, next to the river and their cars were parked on a road. What I really don't understand is why the camino takes you northwest from Villarabo, rather than on the secondary roads you can see leaving from the eastern edge. It's all asphalt, but there was no on on the road we were on.

Ok, Donovan, I will await your clarification after you walk! Buen camino, Laurie
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
And p.s., mundicamino shows the route from Toro going to the west of Villarabo, which is not what the amigos guide shows. In our experience, the amigos guide is the one that tracks the camino (except for one place leaving Chinchilla which I can explain if you have the 2009 guide), so I would not rely on mundicamino if I were you.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi Donovan,
I'll certainly look out for you, I think the first time our paths could cross would be in Albacete, I expect to arrive there on or about the 14th. I arrive in Alicante on the morning of the 8th and will set off the next day. Which guide are you going to use? There seems to be a number of options ie
with ref to Lauries post Mundicamino has the distance Mora-Toledo as 31.1kms as it seems to suggest a more direct route.
Regards
George
George, do you also have the Association's guidebook? I think it borders on indispensable. Not only because its maps are so far superior to mundicamino, but also because it will help you navigate the many small towns where the arrows disappear and the townspeople know nothing about the Camino de Levante. You can get it in Valencia, but only one or two afternoons a week when the association is open. The other option is by mail. Roger on the forum was very pleased with how easy the mail option went for him. It wouldn't have been easy for me, because for the US and Canada, bank transfers (which the association wants) are expensive and cumbersome. But for you lucky Europeans, it seems to be a snap. Buen camino, can't wait to hear about what the Levante looks like this year! Laurie
 

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
Hi Laurie, I don't have any guidebook other than the one I have put together myself from info posted on this forum and blogs such as yours Laurie. I have printed off quite a few maps from the "walking pilgrim" site, which show the camino track, and where the route looks complicated I've printed in a larger scale to make the route through towns clear and also marked the tourismo, albergues, ayuntamiento etc etc.
I also plan e-mailing various tourist offices confirming municipal accomodation is available or not.
My spanish is reasonable, I have some camino experiance, plus the alicante amigos office will be open on the day I arrive and I know they have a guide which I may purchase, on top of all that I will be taking a a maps and gps enabled tablet (great for skyping home) So fingers crossed' should be great, just hope the weather is better than last year!
Regards
George
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
So fingers crossed' should be great, just hope the weather is better than last year!
Regards
George
Hi, George, I want you to know that the Camino de Levante gets a special dispensation from spring rains. Last year I started on May 1 or 2, and in the 40 or so days it took me to get to Santiago, we had one 3 hour rain, and maybe two or three little spittles during walking hours. We did have some very big rains one or two nights, but things were always fine in the morning. And every day watching the weather in a cafe, we would see rain all around the country. Our conclusion was that someone had encased the Levante/Sanabres in a rainproof bubble. But I'll keep my fingers crossed for you just in case. ;)
 

george.g

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 10, 11
Norte 12
Vdlp 13
Levante 14
Mozarabe/Malaga 15
Augusta 16
Mozarabe/Almeria 17
Thanks Laurie.
You were lucky then with the weather last year I was on the Norte from May into June and it rained a lot (I think it rained some part of each day), it made some of the tracks very difficult, and slippy, so spent a lot of time walking on roads.
Currently got all my stuff laid out on the bed in the spare room and am going through the process of weeding out the none esentials, its difficult to avoid the "just in case" items, and deciding what not to take especially when you have spent a lot of money on it.
I've only got a 45ltr rucksack so its self limiting. First camino I had a 65ltr monster won't make that mistake again.
Regards
George
 

solong

New Member
I plan on leaving Valencia Mar 29. Following in Laurie's footsteps .-.-. again. Thank you! I hope I meet George, Donovan, Seamus, and ----- at some point along the way. Hasta Luego, David
 

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