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Asking for help through Burgos and Leon

Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
When I feel safe enough to come back to carry out a pilgrimage starting in Bayonne and via St Jean Pied de Port along the French way I am looking to garner information from more experienced pilgrims.
I have already walked this route once and have visited Burgos and Leon separately a few times on dedicated visits.
It is my intention next time to get through these two towns as quickly as I can walk, I don't feel the need to be in them longer than necessary.
To that end I just wonder if anyone has any ideas of good shortcuts through these two cities. I have studied the maps and think that using an extended Burgos Riverside route would actually get me to the Puente de Malatos quicker than going through the "normal" city route.

As for León, not sure at all.

Just for clarification I don't see taking a shortcut as in any way a cheat as pilgrims are likely to walk on whatever route they want to reach their goal, which in my case is the Cathedral in SdC. ( But no taxis or buses)

So I welcome any experiences you may have gathered.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Last edited:

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Another way to move "quickly" through Leon is to enter the city by the Puente Castro which crosses the rio Torio.
Once crossed turn left and follow the path to the junction with the main river, rio Bernesga. Turn right and follow rio Bernesga up to the Paseo/Puente San Marco.
Cross on the bridge and continue following the camino arrows onward
 
Last edited:

Eben Jacobs

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 will be my first
When I feel safe enough to come back to carry out a pilgrimage starting in Bayonne and via St Jean Pied de Port along the French way I am looking to garner information from more experienced pilgrims.
I have already walked this route once and have visited Burgos and Leon separately a few times on dedicated visits.
It is my intention next time to get through these two towns as quickly as I can walk, I don't feel the need to be in them longer than necessary.
To that end I just wonder if anyone has any ideas of good shortcuts through these two cities. I have studied the maps and think that using an extended Burgos Riverside route would actually get me to the Puente de Malatos quicker than going through the "normal" city route.

As for León, not sure at all.

Just for clarification I don't see taking a shortcut as in any way a cheat as pilgrims are likely to walk on whatever route they want to reach their goal, which in my case is the Cathedral in SdC. ( But no taxis or buses)

So I welcome any experiences you may have gathered.
Why don't you bike it then? That will also give you that experience. I have walked the Frances in 2018 and planning on doing both the Frances (from Pamplona only) and the Portuguese from Porto. If I am strong enough, I will include Finisterre as well.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Nope, Even, biking is not for me😒. Just the avoidance of these two cities and the walking through industrial landscapes.
Thanks to VNWalking and MSPath, I can see other quite clear options on the maps, with regards Leon. I have even found that the VNWalking route is actually defined as an historic alternative route which I was completely unaware of.
I'll choose how I actually do this when I'm on the way.

Thanks for the advice so far.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I have even found that the VNWalking route is actually defined as an historic alternative route which I was completely unaware of.
Oh! That's something I missed. Well...pilgrims of old were not stupid, and presumably knew that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. That jog North and then South again to get in and out of Leon adds about 10k of unnecessary distance, and who needs that?
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The worst parts of the walk into Burgos can really only be mitigated, though provided that you can avoid the dual carriageway, that's a step up.
I suppose that a long detour South via Arlanzón could let you completely avoid them ?

As to León, well, at least it's mostly downhill through the worst bits, though it's still a disappointment there are no bars nor tiendas there to relieve the tedium. (nor many benches to relieve the fatigue)

Though I did once, on my 1994, cut straight across from Mansilla de las Mulas to Villadangos del Paramo completely avoiding León (as the news that year was that there was not a single albergue in the city, and they were trying to get all pilgrims to take hotel rooms) -- but ended up having to cross the motorway on foot, so that unless you can plan a decent route, it's not for the faint-hearted (that day was a 40K+) (OTOH there's a pueblo with a decent enough bar and a great butcher's shop not overly far before the bad bit starts).
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
I overnighted in Castañares. In the morning I walked along the river into Burgos just as the news kiosks were opening. It was a beautiful day; the city was coming to life, and before I knew it, I was past the Cathedral and on the outskirts of town heading west. What? That's it? For a brief moment I thought about retracing my steps. I thought it was going to be a block by block slog through the city, but it was not. Not for me anyway. As for Leon, that was my only rest day on the CF. It's a wonderful city that I would never want to bypass. But that's just me. We each march to our own drummer; the quiet solitary walking in the country comes again soon enough.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Maps.me plots a 31 km route from Mansilla de las Mulas to Vilar de Mazarifeto bypass Leon ... much like the map of @VNwalking above. It looks like a village around the half way mark has a guesthouse (not cheap).
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
I overnighted in Castañares. In the morning I walked along the river into Burgos just as the news kiosks were opening. It was a beautiful day; the city was coming to life, and before I knew it, I was past the Cathedral and on the outskirts of town heading west. What? That's it? For a brief moment I thought about retracing my steps. I thought it was going to be a block by block slog through the city, but it was not. Not for me anyway. As for Leon, that was my only rest day on the CF. It's a wonderful city that I would never want to bypass. But that's just me. We each march to our own drummer; the quiet solitary walking in the country comes again soon enough.
I agree both very nice places and worthy of a stopover, however as I stated in my OP, I have been in both many times and the next pilgrimage I do, I don't intend to do the industrial estate heart breaking slogs.

The Burgos Riverside route is one I'm not used to, though I have spent time with friends having a picnic next to the river in a park. So that should make a pleasant alternative. Old Leon is great, but that 8 km slog to get there is not something I want to do again. Jabapapa and others have pointed me to an alternative route which looks, as far as can be noted on satelite views, much nicer than car dealerships and factory car parks.
Not sure if I can outrun an HGV bearing down on me whilst crossing a motorway though 😁.

Again folks thanks for the ideas.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
From Leon I usually catch a city bus across from the train/bus station and ride it to La Virgen del Camino, cutting out all the city walking. Then I just cross the road kitty-corner to the San Froilan Church, and walk from there
Mmm, nope, I don't want to catch a bus or a taxi. But it is certainly an idea that helps avoid the industrial estate slog.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
As for León, not sure at all.

Google maps provide the following Sahagun to Astorga in a more or less straight line

It may not be pretty and its about 92 km with accommodation possibilities. In this day and age many albergue etc are no longer visible. By the time you get there (2022!) who knows what will be happening.

On the other hand, google maps says going through Leon is about 101 km or about 30 minutes longer.

Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer choice.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (be strong, confident and patient)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Thanks Alwyn.
I have (sort of) worked out a Route with accommodation from Mansilla de las Mulas to Mazarife, that I could do in two days very easily, and one day if the weather us good.

But I will start researching the area around the route you show to see if there is any historical evidence that it may have been used historically.

I have an opinion that maybe pilgrims would have eventually found the easiest routes, not necessarily of terrain, as until recently, walking was all most people did anyway, but for food, safety and shelter etc.

Thanks for helping me fill in my final few weeks of lockdown boredom with this.

Mind you, as soon as its safe I'm off to walk Hadrians Wall again and then to finish that off a walk from Monkwearmouth Abbey to Lindisfarne beckons.
It's a mind thing, but I feel more comfortable staying at home this year, and probably at my age my final year under canvas (actually some form of nylon actually) .

Thank you again for the map. Gan canny.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
It may not be pretty and its about 92 km with accommodation possibilities. In this day and age many albergue etc are no longer visible. By the time you get there (2022!) who knows what will be happening.

On the other hand, google maps says going through Leon is about 101 km or about 30 minutes longer.
If you walk 9 km in 30 minutes you are a much faster walker than I.
 
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NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Thanks Alwyn.
I have (sort of) worked out a Route with accommodation from Mansilla de las Mulas to Mazarife, that I could do in two days very easily, and one day if the weather us good.

But I will start researching the area around the route you show to see if there is any historical evidence that it may have been used historically.

I have an opinion that maybe pilgrims would have eventually found the easiest routes, not necessarily of terrain, as until recently, walking was all most people did anyway, but for food, safety and shelter etc.

Thanks for helping me fill in my final few weeks of lockdown boredom with this.

Mind you, as soon as its safe I'm off to walk Hadrians Wall again and then to finish that off a walk from Monkwearmouth Abbey to Lindisfarne beckons.
It's a mind thing, but I feel more comfortable staying at home this year, and probably at my age my final year under canvas (actually some form of nylon actually) .

Thank you again for the map. Gan canny.
Hi Jimmy,
This thread from @amancio has good information and tracks for walking from Mansilla de las Mullas to Villar de Mazarif. It looks like quite a nice walk - doable in a day, but with accommodation options if needed.
Happy planning and Buen Camino!
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
If you walk 9 km in 30 minutes you are a much faster walker than I.

It depends on the surface 🥳😂👾🤖

The joys of having one version of the route when writing and then posting another route!

It was my bad for not checking that what I was posting was consistent.

Can we agree on not more than two hours additional via Leon based on the information available?

Ascents (and descents also), easy surfaces or difficult, along with ease of way finding can significantly add to or subtract from any time estimate.

If the difference between two routes with the same start and end points does amount to around two hours over three days, then other factors, such as ease of finding accommodation, can also come into play.

Kia kaha (be strong, take care)
 

filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
With regards to the Burgos route..... when I first walked the Francès, I had been warned about the grim access to Burgos and I ‘discovered’ the riverside, green alternative.

I walked the Francès again last October and noted that it was signposted (confusingly) and indicated in guidebooks.

PERSEVERE. Just cross the dual carriageway at the traffic lights, turn left and then right. You walk through a few hundred metres of industrial area, then cross the river and you are on your way. A total DELIGHT.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN HEAD A LITTLE SOUTH AND VISIT THE CARTUJA DE MIRAFLORES - just up the hill. Sensational. Loo and water. Ideal picnic spot and half an hour onwards to Burgos, avoiding the centre.well marked.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Hi Jimmy,
This thread from @amancio has good information and tracks for walking from Mansilla de las Mullas to Villar de Mazarif. It looks like quite a nice walk - doable in a day, but with accommodation options if needed.
Happy planning and Buen Camino!
Hi Nuala, that looks like the link given to me early on by VNWalking but better twice than never😁. I have plotted the route out and have tweaked it a bit to get closer to a couple of villages where there is cafe con leche and/or accommodation. I believe that if it is a fair day then I can avoid my "little detours" and walk that route in a day. My plans are always open, I may even still go into Leon and meet up with a couple of my Spanish schoolmates from over 50 years ago. Over the period of lockdown I have planned quite a number of walks, both on pilgrimage routes and just for the sake of going out for a long walk. Health and safety are my first priority. I am fully aware that even fully vaccinated I can be a spreader. So it looks like next year for France and Spain, for me anyway. That gives me loads of time to make the best laid plans to gan aglee when it comes to walking time.
 

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