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Autumn 2021 Camino Ideas

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Just for fun and something to look forward to while currently at home under curfew, here's a combination of ideas I've been thinking about for next (northern hemisphere) autumn, all assuming there's some sort of normalcy by then!

If you want to play along, let me know what you think and if you have any other ideas. You know what I like by now, and if you don't, it's mostly blue sky and old stuff! 🤣

In theory, Wendy has tours to lead from mid-Sep to late-Oct so if they run, that gives me some time to walk. Here are my ideas:

- Walk the Castellano-Aragonés with Wendy starting early Sep.
- While she goes back home and then on tour, I go to Alicante and walk the Lana. That would take me through to early-mid Oct.

A few options for the next move from Burgos:

- Transport to León and walk the Salvador (but might it be a bit late by then to walk in the mountains?).
- Transport to Ponferrada and walk the Invierno.
- Transport to Salamanca and walk the Torres (bonus: it gets me back to Portugal!)
- Walk the Meseta Burgos-León.

Any thoughts on these options or other ideas?
 
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nycwalking

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
I vote for, Meseta-Burgos-León.

Introspection-Cathedral/Culture-Beauty.

Perfect journey to contemplate fright of Covid and consider your next steps amidst two stunning Cathedrals and all the culture on offer in Burgos and León.

As you enter Burgos do take river walk.

Buen camino
 

FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Year of past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
I’m a fan of the Meseta. I haven’t walked in the fall but have been there in late February and early March. There is no better section to find your Zen. As nycwalking points out it is book ended by two of the great Camino cities/Cathedrals. For me it doesn’t get any better.

frm
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
So if I am understanding your mental meanderings, you are thinking about walking from early September through late October. Well, that’s plenty of time for blue skies and old things.

You know several of us loved the Castellano-Aragonés, and I think you will too. I am guessing you will start in Zaragoza (much nicer than I had remembered it from a trip in the 1980s, definitely worth a day). That gives you two days on the Ebro to Gallur and then onto the Castellano-Aragonés proper. I think, @jungleboy, that you will be hard pressed to do Soria justice without at least a full rest day. It is really a hidden gem of a place, and lots of stuff up your alley. It is about 9 walking days to get from Gallur to Santo Domingo de Silos, where the Castellano-Aragonés officially ends. From there, I would go on the San Olav to Burgos rather than continue on the Lana, especially so that you can visit Quintanilla de las Viñas, the Visigothic church we’ve talked about on another thread. So that gets you to a bit more than two weeks (1 day Zaragoza, 11 days walk to Santo Domingo, 1 day in Soria, 3 days walk Santo Domingo de Silos to Burgos).

But I see you plan to walk the Lana from Alicante, which will also take you into Santo Domingo de Silos, so I guess you can move the Santo Domingo to Burgos part out of the Castellano Aragonés and into the Lana. But that means poor Wendy will miss Quintanilla de las Viñas.

I personally would not walk the Lana in the fall, though others have (well, ok, if you told me I could go walk it right now, I would head out immediately! But spring would be my strong preference). @LTfit and maybe also @alansykes were both there in recent falls. @Sara_Dhooma walked the Lana last fall, and I remember that several forum members thought after watching her videos that it looked pretty dreary. The predominante landscape palette was shades of brown.

I think a more northern camino is likely nicer for the fall. Just my opinion. I walked my first Salvador/Primitivo in early October and it got chilly but was very nice. How about the Vadiniense/Salvador/Primitivo — or Aragonés to Pamplona and then transport either to León for Salvador/Primitivo or to Ponferrada for Invierno.

But if the brown fields aren’t a deterrent, I say go for the Lana. And after that, any of the options you’ve mentioned sound very nice. Do I remember right that the Torres is a lot of asphalt? I have got the Portugués Interior and the Geira e dos Arrieros high on my list for short caminos. I’ve seen some fall pictures of both of those and they looked very beautiful — vineyards, leaves changing colors, and pines give a lot more fall color.

You are no stranger to my stream of consciousness rambling, but I can always answer specific questions with a lot more clarity and focus, so this is just for starters to stir the pot a bit.

Is this going to be in addition to the Vdlp/Mozárabe in the spring? If so, my only reaction is NO FAIR.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I vote for, Meseta-Burgos-León.
I’m a fan of the Meseta.

I wrote an article about the Meseta last week so it's been on my mind lately and I do feel it calling! On the other hand, of the options I listed, it's the only one that I've already done. Plus I think a second 'full Francés' might be in order, perhaps in 2022 or 2023. So I'm not sure if this is the right choice for me, but I appreciate the support for the Meseta!

this is just for starters to stir the pot a bit.
Thank you, it has certainly done that! So much to digest here.

I hadn't really thought about fall not being a great time for the Lana, I just got excited about it reading one of the threads recently and it seemed up my alley. Hopefully those tagged weigh in, although it seems to me that tagging does not generate a notification (anymore?). Re: the Castellano-Aragonés, we have been to Zaragoza and enjoyed it, so we would probably just start from Gallur to save a few days.

I've thought about a second Primitivo from time to time. Some reasons are: it rained a lot during the first one so it would be nice to do it again in better weather; I would love to visit Oviedo and the Naranco churches again and take better photos, again in better weather; I missed Santa Eulalia de Bóveda because of its opening hours and I would love to see it; I could do the Verde crossover instead of joining the Francés, which would be new to me. So a Salvador/Primitivo combination does make some sense, or another option might be the Salvador and then visiting Oviedo and around, transport to Lugo to see Santa Eulalia de Bóveda, and eventually doing the Inglés and/or the del Mar. I know absolutely nothing about the Vadiniense, so I'd better go and look that up!

Doing the Invierno by itself might interfere with a future Olvidado-Invierno combination, which I first 'threatened' to do when we met you in Lisbon and almost followed through with this summer until the pandemic hit. But that might not happen for a while, so maybe the Invierno is still a good option.

So many choices!

Is this going to be in addition to the Vdlp/Mozárabe in the spring? If so, my only reaction is NO FAIR.
'Fraid so ;)

We'll have to see how 2021 pans out, but I don't think we'll be doing much, if any, 'traditional' travel in faraway countries. We know what a pandemic camino looks like now and are comfortable with it assuming the local situation is relatively stable and restrictions on movement are lifted, so it seems like it might be a good opportunity to get some more caminos under my belt!
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I know absolutely nothing about the Vadiniense, so I'd better go and look that up!
So a quick look at the Vadiniense suggests that it's quite a mountainous route. I'm sure it's beautiful, but if I were walking the Salvador as part of the same trip, would the Vadiniense offer enough variety or are the landscapes similar?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Well, the Vadiniense only has about three or four days of real mountain beauty (a day or two before Potes and a couple of days after), and the Salvador has two, so I personally would not get tired of mountains. But then I NEVER would get tired of mountains, seeing as I live in the earth’s flattest section. The Vadiniense after the mountains, (as soon as you cross the Puerto de Panatrave after Fuente Dé) down to Mansilla de las Mulas is not mountains at all. Would the romanesque church of Santa María de Lebeña, the monastery/church in Gradefes, and a visit to San Miguel de la Escalada help spark interest? The town of Potes is very beautiful and they had a great romanesque exhibit when I was there in the town hall, I think it was. All very cool with lights and high technology (for the time, which was probably almost 10 years ago).

I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite camino, but the part in the Picos is just really beautiful. There is a fair amount of road walking, but I walked years ago and I know there have been some “improvements.” I did a thread on my stages, I’m sure, but I think there are pictures in it so you would have to avert your eyes.

When I walked the Vadiniense, I started in Santander, walked to Gradefes where my feet had a meltdown, took the bus to León (but it would be a two day walk), rested two days, and continued on the Salvador/Primitivo. I thought it was a good combination and has the slight advantage of not needing to jump on transport in between, but that’s really not a big deal in my mind.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Oh, and I forgot the place that is for some a destination in itself - the monastery of Santo Toribio, outside Potes. A piece of the true cross is there, or supposedly there. When I was there as a tourist in the 90s, they had it out for people to come kiss. I’m assuming that covid and preservationists have combined to end that practice.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
I’m a fan of the Meseta. I haven’t walked in the fall but have been there in late February and early March. There is no better section to find your Zen. As nycwalking points out it is book ended by two of the great Camino cities/Cathedrals. For me it doesn’t get any better.

frm
Meseta lovers -- oh, yes! Surprised how many pilgrims groan and roll their eyes at "meseta"- and hey, that's fine! One fine April morning I turned a corner and saw its vast open emptiness of land and sky meeting in harmony and it had me a "hola!".
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Would the romanesque church of Santa María de Lebeña, the monastery/church in Gradefes, and a visit to San Miguel de la Escalada help spark interest?
You're getting there! Not sure I'm convinced yet though, as I feel there are others that should be higher priorities. But I'm sure I'll flip-flop between various ideas quite a few times between now and next September!
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I did a thread on my stages, I’m sure, but I think there are pictures in it so you would have to avert your eyes.
I might be mellowing a bit on that subject in my old age! 🤣 Especially as I'm now on Instagram and seeing a lot of camino pics on a daily basis, and filling my own stories with pics.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
One thing that a conversation with some other camino friends reminded me is that if you walk in northern Spain in the fall, you will find yourself hard pressed to make much progress since you will be tempted to stop and pick blackberries at every turn. My first encounter was nearing La Robla on the first day of the Salvador, and it was just astonishing. My hands were purple before long.

I had thought that when I got to a pastelería in La Robla, there would be tons of blackberry treats, but I was wrong. Nothing. Nada. Which led me to what may be an erroneous generalization — Spaniards don’t eat many blackberries. My other friend commenting on the topic said she saw the same thing on the Francés. Blackberries everywhere, noone interested.
 

taigirl

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
I’m a fan of the Meseta. I haven’t walked in the fall but have been there in late February and early March. There is no better section to find your Zen. As nycwalking points out it is book ended by two of the great Camino cities/Cathedrals. For me it doesn’t get any better.

frm
 

taigirl

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
The meseta in fall is monotone - brown, brown, brown of ploughed fields. Also hot and windy. Definitely good time to find your zen!
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I find myself also asking where I can walk in the fall: so far, no answer. After four lengthy autumn caminos, I don't know where to go next. It seems clear that I shall not be able to walk before autumn, when I expect to have been vaccinated against Covid 19 and to be too eager to wait any longer. I would really like a sunnier pilgrimage route than late autumn, preferably not as hot as the VdlP and not as rainy as last fall's Invierno. And it must not be too short: I have already missed one year of the few that I expect to have left to walk caminos. At the moment, I am learning to walk again, but the question remains, "Where?' Any ideas?
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I find myself also asking where I can walk in the fall: so far, no answer. After four lengthy autumn caminos, I don't know where to go next. It seems clear that I shall not be able to walk before autumn, when I expect to have been vaccinated against Covid 19 and to be too eager to wait any longer. I would really like a sunnier pilgrimage route than late autumn, preferably not as hot as the VdlP and not as rainy as last fall's Invierno. And it must not be too short: I have already missed one year of the few that I expect to have left to walk caminos. At the moment, I am learning to walk again, but the question remains, "Where?' Any ideas?
I had only walked spring caminos until walking the CP from Lisbon this fall (starting 1 Sep in Lisbon). I thought the weather/season was great: we saw the harvesting of tomatoes (industrially), grapes (locally) and figs (by us picking them off trees!). We had only 2-3 days of rain out of 32 days, and while it was hot at the beginning (maxes of around 35 degrees Celsius for nearly two weeks), that also meant blue skies and sunshine, and the hottest part of the day was around 4pm, usually well after we had stopped walking. The CP from Lisbon also ticks the 'not too short' box, so could that be an option?
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Thank you for your kind suggestion. At present, I prefer not to walk in Portugal. Among other issues, I have some Spanish, fairly good French (ten years in Montreal) and not a word of Portuguese. And I walk alone. Recent events near Sacavem have convinced me that some areas of Portugal may currently not be safe for a solitary female walker, and police response, as reported, seems to me to have been less than helpful. I do not wish to imply that such events, or police response, occur frequently in Portugal, Rather, as a woman walking alone, I wish to feel safe where I walk and that will currently not be Portugal for me. Others may feel differently.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I find myself considering a return to the route which I had recently been planning to walk, from Valencia to Santiago, the Camino de Levante, with possible side trips to explore Romanesque churches near Zamora. I have previously walked the VdlP and was contemplating a return to the Sanabres. I might wander around near Zamora for a time, then walk or take public transit to Ourense and continue on foot to Santiago. This would give me the long camino that I crave and enough flexibility to begin exploring Romanesque churches. Any thoughts on this for a post-pandemic route? I would have to be able to complete it in less than three months, and the reliable function of my new knee cannot be guaranteed. However, public transit to Ourense, then a rest if needed before walking on to Santiago should cover this eventuality. And the flat route of the Levante, possibly with the short stages designed by @AJGuillaume, seems almost ideal for easy walking. I must consider this further.
 
Last edited:

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Wendy has tours to lead from mid-Sep to late-Oct so if they run, that gives me some time to walk.

Stop the presses! Why didn’t I think of this earlier?! Probably my favorite camino combo to date — I think the Olvidado/Invierno (Bilbao-Ponferrada-Santiago) combination would be a great idea, or the Viejo from Pamplona to Aguilar de Campoo where it merges with the Olvidado. VN had a great detailed, picture-laden, planning thread of the Viejo, which is just full of the kind of architecture you love. The Olvidado maybe not so much, but it is one of my favorite caminos. Lots of threads with info. @alansykes was there in fall.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Stop the presses! Why didn’t I think of this earlier?! Probably my favorite camino combo to date — I think the Olvidado/Invierno (Bilbao-Ponferrada-Santiago) combination would be a great idea, or the Viejo from Pamplona to Aguilar de Campoo where it merges with the Olvidado. VN had a great detailed, picture-laden, planning thread of the Viejo, which is just full of the kind of architecture you love. The Olvidado maybe not so much, but it is one of my favorite caminos. Lots of threads with info. @alansykes was there in fall.
More ideas, just what I need!!

This is a good one though (as are all of yours, of course!). The Olvidado-Invierno combination has been on my radar for a while, and the Viejo option adds a new element to it that could take it over the top. So this deserves serious consideration, but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the amazing possibilities!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
the Viejo option adds a new element to it that could take it over the top.
The first part of the Olvidado, about a week from Bilbao to Aguilar, is not the most spectacular by any means, though it is all a really wonderful camino. And lots of pavement walking at the beginning too. So Viejo from Pamplona to connect with the best of the Olvidado is what I hope to try, whenever that may be. I walked the Olvidado once from Bilbao, and then last year (was it ONLY last year!!!) I started in Irún on the Vasco Interior and hopped a bla bla car from Santo Domingo de la Calzada up to Aguilar.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
The first part of the Olvidado, about a week from Bilbao to Aguilar, is not the most spectacular by any means, though it is all a really wonderful camino. And lots of pavement walking at the beginning too. So Viejo from Pamplona to connect with the best of the Olvidado is what I hope to try, whenever that may be.
That was going to be my next question as I don't like to 'miss out' on parts of individual routes, but if the best of the Olvidado is later on, that makes this option even more compelling.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
That was going to be my next question as I don't like to 'miss out' on parts of individual routes, but if the best of the Olvidado is later on, that makes this option even more compelling.
Well, now I am going back to VN’s Viejo Detailed Planning thread and seeing that there are oh so many options for slight detours to get to ancient churches, dolmens, etc. I don’t really know how you feel about deep dive planning, @jungleboy, but if you read through that thread you will see that there are several/many instances in which you would probably need to do some careful planning to incorporate detours to some of these sites. They would not be immediately obvious from the main route, and accommodations are also not the easiest, I think. But this is rekindling my hope that I too will be able to walk this route, the sooner the better.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I don't like to 'miss out' on parts of individual routes,
Looking back at my notes and pictures from my 2014 Olvidado, and just focusing on ancient sites between Bilbao and Aguilar, you would miss out on

— the really beautiful romanesque churches in Siones and Vallejo, which require a 3 km loop from Villasana de Mena, which is itself a slight detour off the route, which you take at Nava de Ordunte. But they are really something.

— a walk through Ojo Guareña, which deserves more attention than we gave as we just walked through, but we did see some interesting anthropomorphic tombs from the 6th-7th century (but there are some more right on the camino a few kms after Aguilar).

- Roman ruins of Juliobriga — probably not on anyone’s 5 star must see list, but I know you are particularly interested in this period.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Looking back at my notes and pictures from my 2014 Olvidado, and just focusing on ancient sites between Bilbao and Aguilar, you would miss out on

— the really beautiful romanesque churches in Siones and Vallejo, which require a 3 km loop from Villasana de Mena, which is itself a slight detour off the route, which you take at Nava de Ordunte. But they are really something.

— a walk through Ojo Guareña, which deserves more attention than we gave as we just walked through, but we did see some interesting anthropomorphic tombs from the 6th-7th century (but there are some more right on the camino a few kms after Aguilar).

- Roman ruins of Juliobriga — probably not on anyone’s 5 star must see list, but I know you are particularly interested in this period.
Thank you, much appreciated! These places sound interesting but if there are better sites to be seen (with planning 😉 ) on the Viejo, I'm all for that! Anyway, it's so far off but it's nice to know that there are so many good options.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I was thinking about this again this morning and came up with three updated choices:

Castellano-Aragonés with Wendy +:

1. Transport to León, San Salvador and either Primitivo again or transport then Del Mar + Inglés
2. Transport to Alicante, Lana, transport to Ponferrada, Invierno
3. Transport to Pamplona, Viejo-Olvidado + Invierno

And then it became pretty clear that No. 3 is the best choice. Reasons against No.1 is that they are all short caminos and I can fit them in at other times. If I have quite a bit of time here, I might as well take advantage by doing longer caminos. Reasons against No. 2 is that autumn may not be the best time as @peregrina2000 has said, and if the Lana is as great as everyone else says, I can prioritise a spring Lana with Wendy another year so we can both enjoy it. No. 3 seems like a fun and remote adventure!

Loads of time to change my mind but that's my current thinking.
 

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