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Arrived from Camino Lebaniego (June/24)

Liica

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Time of past OR future Camino
FR-CH-GR65-PT-Fist/Mux-IT-Invierno-Primitivo...
I just arrived from the Lebaniego. I would avoid doing it in less than 4 days.
It was the most beautiful Camino I walked in Spain. Worth each step.
Nothing like the other Caminos. I wouldn't do it alone, but I totally recommend it! I'm speechless.
I left the car in Potes and took a bus to San Vicente (there's one a day, at 4:15pm). Picked up the credential in Santo Toribio before parking in town.
Slept in San Vicente
Day 1: San Vicente to Herrerias (or Cades)
Day 2: Herrerias to Cicera
Day 3: Cicera to Cabanes (very tough day!!)
Day 4: Cabanes to Potes
 
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I just arrived from the Lebaniego. I would avoid doing it in less than 4 days.
It was the most beautiful Camino I walked in Spain. Worth each step.
Nothing like the other Caminos. I wouldn't do it alone, but I totally recommend it! I'm speechless.
I left the car in Potes and took a bus to San Vicente (there's one a day, at 4:15pm). Picked up the credential in Santo Toribio before parking in town.
Slept in San Vicente
Day 1: San Vicente to Herrerias (or Cades)
Day 2: Herrerias to Cicera
Day 3: Cicera to Cabanes (very tough day!!)
Day 4: Cabanes to Potes
Why do you say you wouldn’t do it alone? I have been wanting to do this walk but always walk alone so I am curious.
 
There are bears in the region. That's my only fear. Only for this reason.
Otherwise, I felt pretty much safer than any other Camino I did.
 
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Yes, there are bears, and wolves - however in terms of "likely ways to die on a Camino" they wouldn't even make the top 100.

This Camino fringes some of the most wonderful wilderness left in Spain and along with some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery made even more special by the presence of these animals. Not everyone see's it this way though.
 
Hmmmm - I’ll do some research into bear attacks. I did see wolf prints in the snow on the Sanabres a couple of months ago but I don’t think anyone has been attacked by an Iberian wolf this century , I’m rather more concerned about whether walking the terrain alone is hazardous - I fancy autumn 2025 - possibly my last Camino.
 
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There are bears in the region. That's my only fear. Only for this reason.
Otherwise, I felt pretty much safer than any other Camino I did.
What did the locals said about it! And good know there is another beautiful one. Just finished the Salvador and thought that was the best I ever did ;-)
 
I did it alone last year at the age of 71. No bears. No problems. I do agree that it's physically challenging. If you do it allow time to follow it up with the Vadiniense which also offers spectacular beauty.
Yes, that’s my plan - short stages . I will be 72 - Did the Salvado and Primitivo last year - yearning for the mountains.
 
I did it alone last year at the age of 71. No bears. No problems. I do agree that it's physically challenging. If you do it allow time to follow it up with the Vadiniense which also offers spectacular beauty.
Yes, I did this 2 years ago. I didn't see another pilgrim after the Lebaniego but it was so beautiful!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I did the Lebaniego at the end of April this year. I made same stages as Liica and I also agree that it's one of the most beautiful I've made.
I did it alone (I'm 65) but I agree that due to the mountanious terrain and steep rocky paths, it's advisable to do it with some companion.
A great discovery , the Lebaniego
 
I too am 65 and intend to walk alone starting Sept 27th 2024 Lebianego and Vad into Leon , I have 16 days and intend to take short stages where possible beds allow, I also want to walk at the Cable car Fuente De. I will listen to Local advice. I won't worry about Bears or Wolves, more about Coffee , Food, Beds.
 
Hello! Buen Camino! So glad you had a lovely experience. I'm planning to walk solo this way in October 2024, and I see the very first stage has a rocky narrow section (albeit very short), along the river. It's a section that also has a cord or railing to grip for safety as you pass thru. Is it possible to walk this stage, and skip that small section? Do you or does anyone else who has walked this way recall the section I refer to? If so, do you recall if it's part of the variant just past Puente del Tortorio? If it's wet, and fall leaves are along the path I might feel nervous to risk a fall even with the cord! (I've seen people walking this section on YouTube.). I'm not sure if it's between Muñorrodero and Cabanzón on the principal path. It looks so beautiful, just for this one small section that has me a bit nervous. I hope I can avoid it. Thank you, Kathleen
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Yes, there are bears, and wolves - however in terms of "likely ways to die on a Camino" they wouldn't even make the top 100.

This Camino fringes some of the most wonderful wilderness left in Spain and along with some of the most beautiful and spectacular scenery made even more special by the presence of these animals. Not everyone see's it this way though.
I definitely see it this way :)
 
What did the locals said about it! And good know there is another beautiful one. Just finished the Salvador and thought that was the best I ever did ;-)

I too am 65 and intend to walk alone starting Sept 27th 2024 Lebianego and Vad into Leon , I have 16 days and intend to take short stages where possible beds allow, I also want to walk at the Cable car Fuente De. I will listen to Local advice. I won't worry about Bears or Wolves, more about Coffee , Food, Beds.
I aaalllways have my own coffee with me :)
 
Hello! Buen Camino! So glad you had a lovely experience. I'm planning to walk solo this way in October 2024, and I see the very first stage has a rocky narrow section (albeit very short), along the river. It's a section that also has a cord or railing to grip for safety as you pass thru. Is it possible to walk this stage, and skip that small section? Do you or does anyone else who has walked this way recall the section I refer to? If so, do you recall if it's part of the variant just past Puente del Tortorio? If it's wet, and fall leaves are along the path I might feel nervous to risk a fall even with the cord! (I've seen people walking this section on YouTube.). I'm not sure if it's between Muñorrodero and Cabanzón on the principal path. It looks so beautiful, just for this one small section that has me a bit nervous. I hope I can avoid it. Thank you, Kathleen
There is a very short section at the river, no problems at all.
But my husband had a serious problem with vertigo after that. The problem is that it is not mentioned anywhere I've read. No videos, nothing. When you finish the Senda Fluvial, right after the "Central Hidreletrica Trascudia", you'll have to start hiking up to the mountain again and pass through a very narrow path up there. It's also a very very short secction. We were almost on the top and suddenly he was frozen.I am ok with that, but he isn't.
There was a taxi number on a sign at the hidreletrica and for some reason I took a picture of it. There's no telephone signal down there. Before heading back to the valley, I had signal and called the taxi because we had more 7kms to walk and it was almost 4pm with a rain in the forecast.
The taxi told us that after this path, we would still walk through some potentially dangerous part with slippery stones on the other side of the river. I don't know if it's true, but he told me so.
We made the right decision. But that was the only part we had a "problem". Take note of the taxi (Manuel Bueno 649816643). Buen Camino
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
There is a very short section at the river, no problems at all.
But my husband had a serious problem with vertigo after that. The problem is that it is not mentioned anywhere I've read. No videos, nothing. When you finish the Senda Fluvial, right after the "Central Hidreletrica Trascudia", you'll have to start hiking up to the mountain again and pass through a very narrow path up there. It's also a very very short secction. We were almost on the top and suddenly he was frozen.I am ok with that, but he isn't.
There was a taxi number on a sign at the hidreletrica and for some reason I took a picture of it. There's no telephone signal down there. Before heading back to the valley, I had signal and called the taxi because we had more 7kms to walk and it was almost 4pm with a rain in the forecast.
The taxi told us that after this path, we would still walk through some potentially dangerous part with slippery stones on the other side of the river. I don't know if it's true, but he told me so.
We made the right decision. But that was the only part we had a "problem". Take note of the taxi (Manuel Bueno 649816643). Buen Camino
Thanks for this - bookmarked. I feel his pain - I did a similar thing on the Isle of Skye 15 years ago - froze on a narrow cliff path above a steep drop to the ocean. Eventually managed to proceed but it was meant to be a return on the same trail - ended up walking an extra 8 kms round hike to avoid a repeat performance.
 
Why do you say you wouldn’t do it alone? I have been wanting to do this walk but always walk alone so I am curious.
There are bears in the region. That's my only fear. Only for this reason.
Otherwise, I felt pretty much safer than any other Camino I did.

Very interesting and useful thread. Thanks everyone. It’s on my list. Slightly anxious about 🐻 🐻 although I guess in reality the terrain more of a challenge.

This ad is on TV here at the moment. Makes me wonder if taking a companion is the answer to the bear question? :eek: :D😂🤣

 
And I just found this little bit of background discussion on wolves and bears on Lebaniego and Vadiniense (very much suggesting we don't need to be anxious) on Gronze.
I'm quite often happily surprised to see how much additional material there is on Gronae. Leer más.

 
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And I just found this little big of background discussion on wolves and bears on Lebaniego and Vadiniense (very much suggesting we don't need to be anxious) on Gronze.
I'm quite often happily surprised to see how much additional material there is on Gronae. Leer más.

I am sure it would be hard to meet one. But we never know. That's why I left later than any other casinos I did, so I let someone make the human noises first hahaha.
But I was face to face with a huge wolf in France one year ago. I was more terrified for my dogs being it than for the wolf. It was a glorious morning in the forest.
 
I am sure it would be hard to meet one. But we never know. That's why I left later than any other casinos I did, so I let someone make the human noises first hahaha.
But I was face to face with a huge wolf in France one year ago. I was more terrified for my dogs being it than for the wolf. It was a glorious morning in the forest.

*Caminos
*Seing
 
And I just found this little big of background discussion on wolves and bears on Lebaniego and Vadiniense (very much suggesting we don't need to be anxious) on Gronze.
I'm quite often happily surprised to see how much additional material there is on Gronae. Leer más.

Tbf the Primitivo passes through areas with a much higher bear density that this Camino does. I have spent the last 10+ years exploring these beautiful mountains and I've never been lucky enough to see a bear (although I have done in Somiedo), and I've only seen wolves when out with a guide. You know they are there, and you can often see tracks or wolf kills - but you've more chance of winning the lottery than been eaten by either of them, or even seeing them.
 
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But I was face to face with a huge wolf in France one year ago. I was more terrified for my dogs being it than for the wolf. It was a glorious morning in the forest
How amazing (where abouts?) - but yes they will often attack dogs as they naturally see them as a threat. Although this wouldn't happen when the dogs are on a lead with a person.

Many hunters complain because they send their hunting dogs loose into these remote forests and mountain areas to chase down deer and wild boar and they get killed by wolves - I am not sure what they expect though and it's hard to blame the wolves. The hunters however shouldn't be putting their dogs in such danger when they know there are wolves around - and there's an argument that they shouldn't be setting their dogs loose in wilderness areas at all with nothing but a GPS tracking collar on them. All to often you see these poor bewildered dogs wandering the roads dodging cars.
 
I walked the Lebañiego before I started using a GPS, and getting lost on the way into Lebeña was one of the main reasons I started using one! This was years ago, before the route through Cades was marked, so there was a LOT of road walking at the beginning. I agree that those days are gorgeous, just beautiful mountain walking.

The Vadiniense is another kettle of fish, imho. From Santo Toribio up through the Senda de Remoña the mountain beauty continues, but from there down to Riaño and beyond it is a lot of asphalt, broken up by the day into Cistierna, and from there flat along the river into Mansilla. I remember hearing that folks were going to re-route the Vadiniense but I’m not sure if it has happened. San Miguel de la Escaladaa, on the last day into Mansilla, is a five-star 10C mozárabe church. The monastery at Gradefes is also nice, but those last days are a lot of asphalt and the kind of scenery that promotes turning inward to your own thoughts. That’s an important part of any camino, imho, so I’m not saying it as a bad thing — there’s just not the wow factor of being overwhelmed by natural beauty as you will be on the Lebañiego and early parts of the Vadiniense. I had bad blisters and a bad experience getting lost, so that may color my experience a bit.
 
I remember hearing that folks were going to re-route the Vadiniense but I’m not sure if it has happened.


Maybe this, although they take the route the other way on this website. You would reroute from Boce de Huergano by the Roman bridge to Puente Almuhey. I have seen it marked the opposite way (i.e what we'd term the right way!) when there (I stay in Boca de Huergano a lot). It would seem it must be possible to go to Sahagún from the title, but it is likely you'd go from Puente Almuhey to Cistierna which can also be done with minimal road walking to rejoin normal route.

On the original route there are now walking paths from Barniedo de la Reina to pretty much Riaño (although if the reservoir is full the last part will need to be road), then it is possible to deviate from the road for stretches after this (Riaño to Horcados for example). But yes, I can imagine it's not the most pleasant road to walk on even if the scenery is spectacular.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
There is a very short section at the river, no problems at all.
But my husband had a serious problem with vertigo after that. The problem is that it is not mentioned anywhere I've read. No videos, nothing. When you finish the Senda Fluvial, right after the "Central Hidreletrica Trascudia", you'll have to start hiking up to the mountain again and pass through a very narrow path up there. It's also a very very short secction. We were almost on the top and suddenly he was frozen.I am ok with that, but he isn't.
There was a taxi number on a sign at the hidreletrica and for some reason I took a picture of it. There's no telephone signal down there. Before heading back to the valley, I had signal and called the taxi because we had more 7kms to walk and it was almost 4pm with a rain in the forecast.
The taxi told us that after this path, we would still walk through some potentially dangerous part with slippery stones on the other side of the river. I don't know if it's true, but he told me so.
We made the right decision. But that was the only part we had a "problem". Take note of the taxi (Manuel Bueno 649816643). Buen Camino
Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I’m so glad that I asked! This is very good to know, and will help me plan and prepare. Maybe I’ll walk until I feel unsafe and/or nervous, and just turn around and call the taxi when I have a signal. Don’t want to miss the beauty or challenge of this stage, but I might freeze too! I will definitely save the taxi info! Buen Camino! Kathleen
 
I walked the Lebañiego before I started using a GPS, and getting lost on the way into Lebeña was one of the main reasons I started using one! This was years ago, before the route through Cades was marked, so there was a LOT of road walking at the beginning. I agree that those days are gorgeous, just beautiful mountain walking.

The Vadiniense is another kettle of fish, imho. From Santo Toribio up through the Senda de Remoña the mountain beauty continues, but from there down to Riaño and beyond it is a lot of asphalt, broken up by the day into Cistierna, and from there flat along the river into Mansilla. I remember hearing that folks were going to re-route the Vadiniense but I’m not sure if it has happened. San Miguel de la Escaladaa, on the last day into Mansilla, is a five-star 10C mozárabe church. The monastery at Gradefes is also nice, but those last days are a lot of asphalt and the kind of scenery that promotes turning inward to your own thoughts. That’s an important part of any camino, imho, so I’m not saying it as a bad thing — there’s just not the wow factor of being overwhelmed by natural beauty as you will be on the Lebañiego and early parts of the Vadiniense. I had bad blisters and a bad experience getting lost, so that may color my experience a bit.
In addition to my earlier post, I came across your tracks on Wikiloc @peregrina2000 from Cistierna to La Velilla Sanctuary:


And there is actually a trail that cuts across that way from Morgovejo on the new/alternative, so you wouldn't even need to go as far down as Puente Almuhey:

 
In addition to my earlier post, I came across your tracks on Wikiloc @peregrina2000 from Cistierna to La Velilla Sanctuary:
I was confused for a minute, because I was sure that I hadn’t used a GPS when I walked the Lebaniego/Vadiniense. I know that for sure because I got royally lost and wound up sliding down through a lot of maleza and shredded my pants. I got a GPS soon after. But. looking at the date of the tracks you linked, I see that they are from my first Olvidado in 2014 not the Lebaniego/Vadiniense. I went to Puente Almuhey because it’s on the Olvidado, so this track won’t help people on the Lebaniego/Vadiniense.
 
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I was confused for a minute, because I was sure that I hadn’t used a GPS when I walked the Lebaniego/Vadiniense. I know that for sure because I got royally lost and wound up sliding down through a lot of maleza and shredded my pants. I got a GPS soon after. But. looking at the date of the tracks you linked, I see that they are from my first Olvidado in 2014 not the Lebaniego/Vadiniense. I went to Puente Almuhey because it’s on the Olvidado, so this track won’t help people on the Lebaniego/Vadiniense.
No, your tracks won't. But in response to your earlier post, there is an alternative to going via Riaño and the large amount of tarmac you mentioned.
 
Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I’m so glad that I asked! This is very good to know, and will help me plan and prepare. Maybe I’ll walk until I feel unsafe and/or nervous, and just turn around and call the taxi when I have a signal. Don’t want to miss the beauty or challenge of this stage, but I might freeze too! I will definitely save the taxi info! Buen Camino! Kathleen
I'm sure you can do it :) Buen Camino.
 
How amazing (where abouts?) - but yes they will often attack dogs as they naturally see them as a threat. Although this wouldn't happen when the dogs are on a lead with a person.

Many hunters complain because they send their hunting dogs loose into these remote forests and mountain areas to chase down deer and wild boar and they get killed by wolves - I am not sure what they expect though and it's hard to blame the wolves. The hunters however shouldn't be putting their dogs in such danger when they know there are wolves around - and there's an argument that they shouldn't be setting their dogs loose in wilderness areas at all with nothing but a GPS tracking collar on them. All to often you see these poor bewildered dogs wandering the roads dodging cars.
It was not a Camino BTW.
I was in a secluded Chateau Northwest from Paris. We were about 300m away from the wolf, walking slowly at 6:30am and the dogs were too distracted to notice. They didn't even saw the wolf crossing the path. They were on the leash, I never let them loose.
As soon as I saw the wolf crossing the path, I just started to walk backwards very slowly and pushed my very slowly too. He stared at us and when he saw I was backing, he entered the forest again. My dogs had no idea. I almost had a heart attack but managed the situation well, I think.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Have just seen in the new CSJ newsletter today that they have an updated (2024) guide to Lebaniego and Vadiniense.

 
Tbf the Primitivo passes through areas with a much higher bear density that this Camino does. I have spent the last 10+ years exploring these beautiful mountains and I've never been lucky enough to see a bear (although I have done in Somiedo), and I've only seen wolves when out with a guide. You know they are there, and you can often see tracks or wolf kills - but you've more chance of winning the lottery than been eaten by either of them, or even seeing them.
Luckily I discovered this only recently after moving to Spain, because I walked the Primitivo alone and had no idea they were also there (my ignorance).
 

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