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LIVE from the Camino BP on the Catalán, June-July 2024

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Yes
Hi everyone and welcome back to my channel!

I take my first steps on the Camino Catalán on Sunday, from Barcelona, and I plan to go on to Puente la Reina. Then I have some unfinished business with the Olvidado (Bilbao to Aguilar de Campoo). From Aguilar de Campoo I am not sure if I should walk somewhere else or go home... Only time will tell, if I ever get that far. I am also looking at the Vadiniense and Camino del Alba.

I intend to walk from Barcelona to Montserrat the first 2-3 days, which is tricky since there is no detail on Gronze for that part. After Montserrat, Gronze has elaborate descriptions of the stages so I think it will be alright.

I still can't get full access to Wikiloc. Or maybe I have 14 concurrent subscriptions that got through without me knowing it. I will have to rely on the parts of Wikiloc that I can use, and on Google Maps.

Don't forget to like, subscribe and hit the notification button to get access to great Camino content: mishappenings, unfocused pictures and the ultimate destruction of English as a second language.

/BP

c38e56dddcaacab74239130a44cdf751.gif
 
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...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
If you want to meet up for a beverage or if you want some tips on places to eat before you set off let me know. I could also show you the start of the Camino if you’re wanting to take the route over the Collserolla hills behind Barcelona instead of the highway path. It’s not overly tricky but it wasn’t super obvious the first time I found it.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Let me help you get a good start with some older posts BP.

For the ways out of Barcelona see this forum thread:

For information on the start of the trail from Horta see my post at:

Buen Camino.

I know I should have done my research already but... Just a short question: does the official Camino (if I follow the arrows etc) go through Ullestrell? It looks like Ullestrel is mid-way to Montserrat so it would be nice to walk 2 stages of about equal distance to Montserrat from Barcelona.
 
If you want to meet up for a beverage or if you want some tips on places to eat before you set off let me know. I could also show you the start of the Camino if you’re wanting to take the route over the Collserolla hills behind Barcelona instead of the highway path. It’s not overly tricky but it wasn’t super obvious the first time I found it.
Thanks,

The start is at Horta, right? From what I have seen (on Wikiloc) there are so many alternative paths to walk from Barcelona to Montserrat..! It has been confusing to me, and I haven't really sat down to sort it out yet. I would like to walk it in 2 days if possible so - as I asked Rick above - I am looking for a place to stay in between Barcelona and Montserrat. So the "highway path" is the official Camino (waymarked as such)?
 
Thanks,

The start is at Horta, right? From what I have seen (on Wikiloc) there are so many alternative paths to walk from Barcelona to Montserrat..! It has been confusing to me, and I haven't really sat down to sort it out yet. I would like to walk it in 2 days if possible so - as I asked Rick above - I am looking for a place to stay in between Barcelona and Montserrat. So the "highway path" is the official Camino (waymarked as such)?
The one through the hills has decent marking and is definitely the nicer of the two in my opinion.

I haven’t walked Barcelona to Monserrat but as I was doing research last year it was hard to find decent accommodation closer to Monserrat. I did walk Rubí to the old town of Barcelona (essentially a backward stage) in one day and that was doable. Terrassa is a bit further out from Rubí and has accommodation options whilst also being closer to Monserrat for the next day. Depending on where you start (like starting the day in Horta rather than at Monestir Sant Pau de Camp) getting to Terrassa would be totally doable.

Hopefully Rick’s post has better into on where to stay.
 
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The one through the hills has decent marking and is definitely the nicer of the two in my opinion.

I haven’t walked Barcelona to Monserrat but as I was doing research last year it was hard to find decent accommodation closer to Monserrat. I did walk Rubí to the old town of Barcelona (essentially a backward stage) in one day and that was doable. Terrassa is a bit further out from Rubí and has accommodation options whilst also being closer to Monserrat for the next day. Depending on where you start (like starting the day in Horta rather than at Monestir Sant Pau de Camp) getting to Terrassa would be totally doable.

Hopefully Rick’s post has better into on where to stay.

OK, Terrassa looks fine as well: also in the middle according to one of the sources I found thanks to @Rick of Rick and Peg. Just seems like an array of hiking trails before Montserrat so that worries me (since I can't have the function where Wikiloc guides me with that beeping sound and so on). So I guess I have to concentrate in order to not get lost.

Well I only have a few days before I go and I haven't done my homework on this yet... *yikes*
 
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We walked the Cami Catala last month. It seems to have been way marked by somebody with an elderly rich uncle who owns a yellow paint factory, i.e. lavishly. Buen Camino.

Sounds good to me..! Even a directionally challenged mind will find his way then... 😵‍💫
 
You’ll find the way no problem I’m sure! The weather is cooler than usual for this time of year so you may have timed it perfectly! We had rain yesterday but it looks like it’s clear sailing for the rest of the week.
 
Thanks @Bad Pilgrim very happy indeed to hear this. I walked Camino Ignaciano in Novermber so some of my way was the same in the opposite direction. I took the train though between Barcelona and Manresa. So I did walk part of the stretch to/from Montserrat.

After Monserrat, the next day for you (the previous day for me) there was one quite challenging bit - well it required sliding down a bit on your bottom unless you were maybe 7 feet tall. You will be climbing at that point!

Obviously we may part company at Tàrrega......

Whichever way you go, I will follow closely.

Tim
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Thanks @Bad Pilgrim very happy indeed to hear this. I walked Camino Ignaciano in Novermber so some of my way was the same in the opposite direction. I took the train though between Barcelona and Manresa. So I did walk part of the stretch to/from Montserrat.

After Monserrat, the next day for you (the previous day for me) there was one quite challenging bit - well it required sliding down a bit on your bottom unless you were maybe 7 feet tall. You will be climbing at that point!

Obviously we may part company at Tàrrega......

Whichever way you go, I will follow closely.

Tim
That will be when you walk along the road from the monastery, you come to a T-junction and go left then immediately right up a nondescript but steep and rocky footpath. When you come down the other side there is a fantastic restaurant cafe where you can reward yourself with coffee and pan con tomate. It’s the last place you’ll get anything until Castelloli.
 
That will be when you walk along the road from the monastery, you come to a T-junction and go left then immediately right up a nondescript but steep and rocky footpath. When you come down the other side there is a fantastic restaurant cafe where you can reward yourself with coffee and pan con tomate. It’s the last place you’ll get anything until Castelloli.
Now you are making me sad that I missed that! :-(

But I have to say that arriving on foot to Montserrat and seeing all the (lovely) tourists who had come up by cable car, funicular railway or bus gave a certain kind of warm feeling. And it is slightly like Disney World during the day but by 6pm everyone who is not staying the night has gone and a beautiful peace descends.
 
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You’ll find the way no problem I’m sure! The weather is cooler than usual for this time of year so you may have timed it perfectly! We had rain yesterday but it looks like it’s clear sailing for the rest of the week.

It will be about 22 degrees C on Sunday, which sounds perfect for a long walk to, for example, Terrassa the first day! I have been training & walking where I live so I think I can pull off 30 kms (??) the first day. If it got hotter than 30 degrees, I would definitely take 3 shorter days to reach Montserrat 🥵
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Couple of thoughts on Montserrat:

Go to vespers, whatever your religion or none.

Take your own beer. (To Montserrat, not vespers)
In Montserrat, I sort of anticipated by a few weeks my 70th birthday and booked into the 'proper' hotel, run - like everything onsite - by the Benedictines. I am a mere priest not a Benedictine. I don't have a vow of poverty - I just don't have any money. ;) It was my penultimate night on the Camino and I thought a bit of luxury was in order. The room was lovely and looked out on to the plaza and the front of the monastery.

The food in the restaurant was ...... average I thought, quite honestly.

The wine list.....well I took a picture. Maybe I don't get out enough but it was the first time I have seen a glass of wine offered at €26.50 And yes there was cheaper wine. And yes there is some kind of albergue accommodation too. And yes Vespers made up for all of it.

So for Montserrat -Been there, Done that, Couldn't afford the T-shirt.
 

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In Montserrat, I sort of anticipated by a few weeks my 70th birthday and booked into the 'proper' hotel, run - like everything onsite - by the Benedictines. I am a mere priest not a Benedictine. I don't have a vow of poverty - I just don't have any money. ;) It was my penultimate night on the Camino and I thought a bit of luxury was in order. The room was lovely and looked out on to the plaza and the front of the monastery.

The food in the restaurant was ...... average I thought, quite honestly.

The wine list.....well I took a picture. Maybe I don't get out enough but it was the first time I have seen a glass of wine offered at €26.50 And yes there was cheaper wine. And yes there is some kind of albergue accommodation too. And yes Vespers made up for all of it.

So for Montserrat -Been there, Done that, Couldn't afford the T-shirt.

View attachment 172259
Mrs HtD and I stayed there for a couple of nights - on my own I’d be in the albergue.

As you found, the food was average, the cost extraordinary (thus:take your own beer) - but the evening atmosphere during and after vespers - was great.
 
This thread has some Barcelona to Montserrat information:
There are mentions of albergues in Terrassa and Ullastrel.

@peregrina2000 posted three gpx tracks in post #2 there. I downloaded them to see if I followed them in 2019. I did not but they will get you from B to M. Since I downloaded them it is easy to upload them here. I renamed them by adding a -1, -2 and -3 for the stages.

Examining them quickly it appears that the tracks follow the GR-6 and pass south of Terrassa. You can see that leaving from the Mundet station in Horta you save 6.5 miles off stage 1 leaving about 7 miles to San Cugat and then 10 miles to Terrassa (stage 2 but you have to go off the marked track). Then about 8 miles to Olesa de Montserrat at the end of stage 2. Stage 3 is 10 miles. So about two 17.5 miles days (28 km) with a stay in the albergue in Terrassa. You do have off track navigation to do though. Sorry about using miles but that's what my navigation tool reported.

I did my Catalan in Oct-Nov and at the Montserrat albergue I was the only one in a six bunk room with a shared bath with the neighboring (empty) bunk room. I don't know what the view was like from the hotel but there was a pretty good (rainy) view from the albergue in the morning.

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Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Back in 2019 I initially planned to walk from Barcelona to Santiago, but upon reaching Montserrat, cancelled those plans and instead spent several days in the area walking a number of different routes between Barcelona and Montserrat. My of what I experience pd can be found in this thread.


Here is a quick breakdown of the routes from my memory and what I can find of my notes.

Leaving Barcelona there is a road route which I did not take, and frankly it looked unappealing to spend that much time walking through suburbs, The route that I chose to take goes by the Laberint de Horta and crosses through the Parc natural de Collserola and then to San Cugat. It was a lovely forested walk and reasonably well marked in 2019. San Cugat had a helpful tourist office opposite the Monastery and at the time, had some Camino guides to share. The monastery is worth a visit if you have the time.

After San Cugat, at Les Fonts the routes split. My first walk to me up to Terrassa which opened an albergue after my visit. After a night in Terrassa, I continued on to Montserrat. After Monistrol de Montserrat, the route climbs up hill with a split on the way to the Monastery. I do not recall which of the two paths was my favorite, but both ended up at the monastery. There is a large signboard in Monistrol that shows a map of the area. The tourist office in Monistrol was there was helpful in deciding on my route.

For my second walk, I began at the train station in Les Fonts and took the route through Ullastrell which in 2019 had an albergue. The route continues through Olesa de Monserrat where the road route from Barcelona joins in.

After Olesa, there are three different paths that I took. Details for two of the routes are provided in the above link. The third one which basically follows the river up to Monistrol de Montserrat, which I enjoyed due to being able to explore the ruins of the abandoned Balneari le Puda which was open as they were filming a music video, and probably not the best route.

The albergue at the Monastery de Montserrat was much nicer than I remembered albergues from previous Caminos. Do plan to attend vespers and while you are checking into the pilgrim office, request the pilgrim’s blessing which happens after vespers.

Hopefully this will help with your planning.
 
It will be about 22 degrees C on Sunday, which sounds perfect for a long walk to, for example, Terrassa the first day! I have been training & walking where I live so I think I can pull off 30 kms (??) the first day. If it got hotter than 30 degrees, I would definitely take 3 shorter days to reach Montserrat 🥵
If it gets north of 30° I’m going to be a very sad boy. As you get further inland it becomes a possibility
In Montserrat, I sort of anticipated by a few weeks my 70th birthday and booked into the 'proper' hotel, run - like everything onsite - by the Benedictines. I am a mere priest not a Benedictine. I don't have a vow of poverty - I just don't have any money. ;) It was my penultimate night on the Camino and I thought a bit of luxury was in order. The room was lovely and looked out on to the plaza and the front of the monastery.

The food in the restaurant was ...... average I thought, quite honestly.

The wine list.....well I took a picture. Maybe I don't get out enough but it was the first time I have seen a glass of wine offered at €26.50 And yes there was cheaper wine. And yes there is some kind of albergue accommodation too. And yes Vespers made up for all of it.

So for Montserrat -Been there, Done that, Couldn't afford the T-shirt.
Dofi is a great wine but that’s crazy pricing! I’d have leant toward the bottle of Bollinger if I was going to splash out as at least that is less than double the store price!
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
In Montserrat, I sort of anticipated by a few weeks my 70th birthday and booked into the 'proper' hotel, run - like everything onsite - by the Benedictines. I am a mere priest not a Benedictine. I don't have a vow of poverty - I just don't have any money. ;) It was my penultimate night on the Camino and I thought a bit of luxury was in order. The room was lovely and looked out on to the plaza and the front of the monastery.

The food in the restaurant was ...... average I thought, quite honestly.

The wine list.....well I took a picture. Maybe I don't get out enough but it was the first time I have seen a glass of wine offered at €26.50 And yes there was cheaper wine. And yes there is some kind of albergue accommodation too. And yes Vespers made up for all of it.

So for Montserrat -Been there, Done that, Couldn't afford the T-shirt.
I arrived late evening into monseratte, from llanca route (Catalan). Crowds were packed into the area. And starting to get train back. The hostel was just after opening after been down up. It was swanky. All to myself for €5 and then I went to the 5*** restaurant and had chips and bread 😂😂😂 it was posh and water. The waiters were super nice and I had already been brought TO a table so couldn't easily leave...

It was one of the best nights on a Camino. The Errie Ness of having the place in quietness. It was amazing.
 
Hi everyone and welcome back to my channel!

I take my first steps on the Camino Catalán on Sunday, from Barcelona, and I plan to go on to Puente la Reina. Then I have some unfinished business with the Olvidado (Bilbao to Aguilar de Campoo). From Aguilar de Campoo I am not sure if I should walk somewhere else or go home... Only time will tell, if I ever get that far. I am also looking at the Vadiniense and Camino del Alba.

I intend to walk from Barcelona to Montserrat the first 2-3 days, which is tricky since there is no detail on Gronze for that part. After Montserrat, Gronze has elaborate descriptions of the stages so I think it will be alright.

I still can't get full access to Wikiloc. Or maybe I have 14 concurrent subscriptions that got through without me knowing it. I will have to rely on the parts of Wikiloc that I can use, and on Google Maps.

Don't forget to like, subscribe and hit the notification button to get access to great Camino content: mishappenings, unfocused pictures and the ultimate destruction of English as a second language.

/BP

View attachment 172254
Hi BP,
I tend to arrive and plan so go with the adventure. It will work out. First time did Cam Olvidado, second time attempting to walk from Balmaseda, but after a few mishaps, restarted back on train, hoping to get off along the way. Eventually didn't get off until Ayira (can't spell... Town with big lake) and went from there...
Last year, walked primitivo and got blablacar back from Santiago to Leon, and from there train up to the nice little apartment hostel (small town after Big mining town with 2 alternative routes... The name will come to me). Anyways walked backward on hill route to mining town with small backpack and hitched back to little hostel for second night... Loved the part AFTER Aguilar de Campoo. 😉🫣
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
to San Cugat and then 10 miles to Terrassa (stage 2 but you have to go off the marked track).

I think I have settled for Terrassa (end of) day 1! The place seems large enough to have everything I need: I am a City Pilgrim and prefer to stay in larger places/towns. So there is an albergue in Terrassa? Albergue de Peregrinos or Albergue for Anyone (groups of youngsters making noise all night??) :eek:
 
I think I have settled for Terrassa (end of) day 1! The place seems large enough to have everything I need: I am a City Pilgrim and prefer to stay in larger places/towns. So there is an albergue in Terrassa? Albergue de Peregrinos or Albergue for Anyone (groups of youngsters making noise all night??) :eek:
I haven't been there but here's their website and Google Maps' info page:


Most reviews are 5 star, a couple 1 star and almost nothing in between. Elsewhere on the Catalan I stayed at another place providing lodging for the poorer community. No problems.
 
The route that I chose to take goes by the Laberint de Horta

I have found Wikilocs for this route and most guides say the Camino starts there (??) so that is where I am heading!

The albergue at the Monastery de Montserrat was much nicer than I remembered albergues from previous Caminos.

I intend to stay there! Normally I rely on private lodging/hostals, because I consider my albergue heyday to be over. But I heard nice things about the albergue in Montserrat from all you guys so I will go there!
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
If you stay in the albergue in Monserrat, you get a voucher that entitles you to a €12.50 half menú, wine extra. It’s the only place to eat and the meal was not bad.

So no Mercadona next to the Monastery..? Dang! 🤔 Where is the world heading? Oh well, menú sounds nice! 😀
 
Hi BP,
I tend to arrive and plan so go with the adventure. It will work out. First time did Cam Olvidado, second time attempting to walk from Balmaseda, but after a few mishaps, restarted back on train, hoping to get off along the way. Eventually didn't get off until Ayira (can't spell... Town with big lake) and went from there...
Last year, walked primitivo and got blablacar back from Santiago to Leon, and from there train up to the nice little apartment hostel (small town after Big mining town with 2 alternative routes... The name will come to me). Anyways walked backward on hill route to mining town with small backpack and hitched back to little hostel for second night... Loved the part AFTER Aguilar de Campoo. 😉🫣

Yes I walked from Aguilar last year! It will be interesting to compare it with the section from Bilbao. People I met in Aguilar said accomodation was scarce between Bilbao and Aguilar. I was coming from an even more remote route so I thought there where plenty of places to stay on the Olvidado...
 
People I met in Aguilar said accomodation was scarce between Bilbao and Aguilar. I
I first walked the Olvidado in 2014, and we never had a problem getting accommodation way back then. I think the situation has improved since then. Adolfo in Nava de Ordunte was extremely helpful, and he now has an albergue in his garage, I believe. BP, for a hard-core remote camino walker like you, I am confident that you will be fine. We didn’t stay in many/any albergues, but I know that suits you just as well. There are a few youth hostels where we chose not to stay, but given your love affair with raucous teens, maybe you will test them out. 🤣
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
I have found Wikilocs for this route and most guides say the Camino starts there (??) so that is where I am heading!

I walked from the waterfront up to Horta the day before with the thought I would be walking from coast to coast. But then I do like walking about Barcelona.
So no Mercadona next to the Monastery..? Dang! 🤔 Where is the world heading? Oh well, menú sounds nice!
There is a small supermarket near the albergue building. Not a great selection and high prices. Just checked and it is open until 6:45 weeknights and 7:45 weekend.

One other thought, visits to the basilica and the Virgin are now by ticket. I think that that may just be for the daytime tourists, but you may want to check in advance.
 
Buried in the Gronze menu...


Hope it helps.
Bartman
 
visits to the basilica and the Virgin are now by ticket. I think that that may just be for the daytime tourists, but you may want to check in advance.

I have yet to plan for the things to see in Montserrat, so I am thankful for any info... Since I have a couple of days before I get there I have some time to look up what & when to visit, I hope... As for this afternoon, I am too busy running back and forth in my apartment doing my backpack, to think of anything else..! 😥 Leaving tomorrow..! :eek::eek:

tenor.gif
 
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A selection of Camino Jewellery
I have yet to plan for the things to see in Montserrat, so I am thankful for any info.

There is a lovely little art museum hidden away at Montserrat. Here is a link to a picture done by Picasso when he was 15 years old (or so). From there you can look around the website to see if the museum itself will be worth your time visiting.

 
There is a lovely little art museum hidden away at Montserrat. Here is a link to a picture done by Picasso when he was 15 years old (or so). From there you can look around the website to see if the museum itself will be worth your time visiting.

And if you like art and haven’t already done it the Picasso museum in El Born is very cool
 
And if you like art and haven’t already done it the Picasso museum in El Born is very cool
a lovely little art museum hidden away at Montserrat.
I love museums and Picasso but I have never visited many of them (just the Prado, which has a few Picassos thrown in of course) so I will definitely try to check them out!
 
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Hey, I know it is not the best picture but at least I am in the right city, in my first cafetería with my first café con leche this year... Waiting for check -in at my pensión/hostal París in a couple of hours. My only worry is that my connection/Internet is acting weird. I think I read recently about someone who had the same problem when arriving in Spain? Oh well, I will sort it out later. ☕1000000030.jpg
 
I stayed in the albergue in Montserrat in late March. It is a suite in one section of the Abat Oliba Hotel, the Alberg section, so a bit odd and institutional. The suite had a dorm room of 6 built in beds, an adjoining kitchen, a second dorm room if needed, and also a small room for the volunteer hospitalero when present. The 11 euro charge is collected by the folks in the Centre de Coordinacio, closer to the basilica, who give you the key codes to enter the Alberg section of the hotel. The folks at this center also gave me a note to bypass the long lines and fees for visiting the basicilica, so that I coulld join a private mass for a tour group of German pilgrims. That took some persistance, but I wanted a mass and had missed the one mass of the day on Saturday. The volunteer hospitaleros, a Spanish couple, showed up in the early evening, took us to the serve-your-self cafeteria buffet on the 1st or 2nd floor of the hotel, all we could eat for 12 euros. It was more than adequate. Breakfast was a donativo provided by the community of Montserrat, served by the volunteer hospitaleros in the bedroom suite.
Staying there was just fine.

I actually preferred the old pilgrim albergue of 2019 when I did the Cami Sant Jaume/Camino Catalan, with the old simple bunkbed rooms and the voucher for a 10 euro pilgrim dinner in the fancier Hotel Abat dining room.........but whatever. The new pilgrim accomodations are just fine. Meeting volunteer hospitaleros was a real bonus, as I had been walking the Camino Ignaciano which had many albergues, but few hospitaleros.

As you leave Montserat the next day headed towards Igualada, you'll follow either the pavement or trail initially, then at the T junction, you turn left on pavement, then immediately right on a trail which really does have an initial section of small cliffs to climb (easier to go up then down), then a lovely forested mountain trail with views on both sides. When the trail enters the village of Sant Pau de la Guardia, the Hotel Rural Restaurant El Celler de La Guardia is on your left. It was a wonderful place for coffee, and food, and if I were in the tourist mode, a wonderful quiet place for a long weekend of trail walking.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
Day 0. Barcelona (yesterday)

Calle de París is a very pleasant street in Barcelona. I had never visited this part of the city before and had only randomly chosen to stay at a hostal here. There are french-inspired cafeterías and restaurants along the street and I guess it looks a bit like some streets in Paris.

I only went to see the Sagrada Familia, about 1 kms from the hostal, since a strained knee prevented me from any lengthy excursion in Barcelona. I wish to see the interior some day, but this afternoon the queues seemed endless to me. I need to plan better if I am going to visit places in Barcelona because, as I said above, I had no time to think about my trip before I went...

1000000047.jpg

In the middle of the night I saw a bed bug scurry away on the pillow. I freaked out and went on to inspect the sheets, the bed, the walls... But I never saw more of them. I checked the reviews for my hostal on Booking, which I should have done before, and a lot of them were about bedbugs. Many with fotos of the infestation. The latest bedbug review was posted the same day as I checked in... There were also people writing that this establishment does not have a license, that it is illegal to stay here and that the police could enter any minute and leave you on the street! Well, people write the darndest things in reviews, I thought, and tried go back to sleep in spite of the bedbug situation. This morning when I left I saw the following paper on the door of the hostal:

1000000052.jpg

I will check reviews on Booking more thoroughly from now on..! No wonder they didn't have a stamp, when I asked them, since they must keep a low profile...

Next episode coming soon
 
Day 0. Barcelona (yesterday)

Calle de París is a very pleasant street in Barcelona. I had never visited this part of the city before and had only randomly chosen to stay at a hostal here. There are french-inspired cafeterías and restaurants along the street and I guess it looks a bit like some streets in Paris.

I only went to see the Sagrada Familia, about 1 kms from the hostal, since a strained knee prevented me from any lengthy excursion in Barcelona. I wish to see the interior some day, but this afternoon the queues seemed endless to me. I need to plan better if I am going to visit places in Barcelona because, as I said above, I had no time to think about my trip before I went...

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In the middle of the night I saw a bed bug scurry away on the pillow. I freaked out and went on to inspect the sheets, the bed, the walls... But I never saw more of them. I checked the reviews for my hostal on Booking, which I should have done before, and a lot of them were about bedbugs. Many with fotos of the infestation. The latest bedbug review was posted the same day as I checked in... There were also people writing that this establishment does not have a license, that it is illegal to stay here and that the police could enter any minute and leave you on the street! Well, people write the darndest things in reviews, I thought, and tried go back to sleep in spite of the bedbug situation. This morning when I left I saw the following paper on the door of the hostal:

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I will check reviews on Booking more thoroughly from now on..! No wonder they didn't have a stamp, when I asked them, since they must keep a low profile...

Next episode coming soon
I am sure it did not feel funny, but I cannot help laughing. It brings back memories of a number of places I have stayed in several continents. We (nearly) always live to tell the tale! and it is not the end of the world. I have found bed bugs the odd time in reputable(?) places and generally just turned over and gone back to sleep.

I had a bilateral infestation of bedbugs under the buckles of my Birkenstocks many years ago in another continent. It took me a while to catch on. I was teaching and my students thought it was extremely funny.

I have often said I NEVER talk about bed bugs/blisters/snoring on the forum. But just occasionally I can be flexible.;)

Hoping your first day goes well and is less zoological. Looking foward to reading it.
 
Day 1: Barcelona - Sant Cugat 15 kms + ?

I quickly abandoned my plan to walk to Terrassa the first day. It would have been too long. I had already walked 1 hour and a half from my illegal hostal to reach the Laberinto de Horta in the outskirts of Barcelona, then 10 kms to Sant Cugat and after that 4 more kms through Sant Cugat to find B&B Inés at the other side of town where I am staying tonight.

The Camino is perfectly signposted with yellow arrows and wooden poles all the way from Laberinto de Horta to Sant Cugat. I lost reception, as usual, but didn't need it since waymarking was top notch. The trickiest part is uphill the first kms from Barcelona, but with great views over the city and the Mediterranean Sea. I felt like a skinny goat climbing roots and rocks uphill and I lost one of my sandals, hung on my backpack, in the process. Didn't notice until hours later, too far to turn back and look for it. Now my next project is to find a Decathlon to buy new sandals for leisure.

Downhill to Sant Cugat. The forest in Collserola was beautiful; not too dry this early in Summer. It was Sunday morning and many, many people were out hiking or cycling. I wasn't alone one second! I try to get the hang of how to post pictures with my new phone so some fotos may appear below in a while.

Oh and there was certainly more than one bedbug in the gangster hostal in Barcelona. I have criminal bites all over my body and they are itching! But there are lavadoras in Terrassa so I will run all my clothes in the tumble dryer as soon as I get there.

Tomorrow: no more shared bathroom in Terrassa!! Can't wait!
 

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...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Day 2: Sant Cugat - Terrassa, 17 kms?

Between Sant Cugat and Les Fonts the scenery reminded me of yesterday's hike in the Collserola park, but less hilly and less impressive views. Now on a Monday there were not that many people out and about, but occasionally a jogger or a cyclist would pass me.

In Les Fonts I kept following the arrows but soon saw that I was moving away from Terrassa, my destination for today. I backtracked to the bridge at the funny castle and turned left (right, if you're coming from the castle) to follow the (dry) river. The arrows appeared there as well. So the Camino splits in Les Fonts but I didn't see any sign of it on the spot.

The castle in Les Fonts caught my attention. You cannot miss it since it is literally on the sidewalk. When I first saw it I didn't know if I was looking at a monastery, a dungeon or a parking garage. I especially like the guy offering his umbrella to the damsel on the portico (picture nr 6 below). And she is like: "Thanks, but no thanks." The building has an interesting history - from the 1960's..! Well, that was the cultural exploit of the day...

It got hotter closer to noon and I was pretty tired when I arrived in Terrassa. My right knee is bothering me a bit. Nothing serious and I hope it stays that way. I had to walk another hour this morning to get out of Sant Cugat, then a bit more than expected to reach my hostal in Terrassa... I think I am adding kms compared to the distances in Gronze.

I finally got my first stamp today. Yesterday was auto check-in and I didn't meet anybody. And in Barcelona the thugs at the hostal didn't have their own sello, for obvious reasons. The bedbug bites are beginning to show even more now as they usually do after a couple of days. They are really large! At least there are no new bites. I will run everything in the tumble dryer this evening just to be sure.

I called the Albergue in Monestir de Montserrat to announce my arrival tomorrow but no answer. Seems on Gronze that registration is every day at 16:00 so I think I am safe..? I am looking forward to it: pictures of the monastery are amazing. I am a little apprehensive of the tourist vibes I have read about, but I guess it is the same in Lourdes, Fatima... At least the albergue is only 10 euros and I need to cut down on expenditure after the first two days from Barcelona. Hoping for more albergues to come my way!

Tag along!
 

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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
As others note, the tourists scamper and, after vespers, are almost entirely disappeared. Montserrat in the moonlight is quite extraordinary and, when the sky is clear, the lights of Barcelona in the far distance. It's almost as other-dimensional as Mont Saint Michel at night.

And do not miss the gallery, which is small and exquisite, and you will be spared museum head.
 
As others note, the tourists scamper and, after vespers, are almost entirely disappeared. Montserrat in the moonlight is quite extraordinary and, when the sky is clear, the lights of Barcelona in the far distance. It's almost as other-dimensional as Mont Saint Michel at night.

And do not miss the gallery, which is small and exquisite, and you will be spared museum head.
You’re really making me want to go. I haven’t let myself visit yet as I want to walk there the first time. And I won’t let myself walk there until I start from Port de Selva and do the full distance.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
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.
When you get to the monastery site you first come to a monumental car park. It takes a long time to walk across. Instead, to your right you will see a little track and steps up signposted to a path along the side of the mountain. It is not at all difficult and decorated all along with ceramic votive offerings. Much nicer than walking through car park.
 
Ok, I am starting the climb up to the monastery now.
Hi, BP.
If you get there with time and pep left in your step, I would highly recommend walking on the trails that leave from behind the complex and take you to a viewing spot that is pretty great. This wikiloc route has lots of pictures.


As I recall, there are no ascents or descents. Since the site was so mobbed when I got there, I took one of the trails out to the Creu San Miguel which had a terrific view back. No crowds on the trails. By the time I got back, the crowds were thinning and it was a much nicer time to visit the basilica. When LT arrived, having walked from Barcelona like you (I walked from Llançà) we were able to stroll around with no crowds and beautiful lighting.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Day 3: Terrassa - Monestir de Montserrat, 24 kms

Holy cow, thar was intense! I don't remember much of the first 20 kms of today's walk. It is the last 5 that will be engraved in memory forever. Those kms are among the hardest I have ever experienced on a Camino, up there with the walks in the unforgiving Sierra de Ávila on the Sureste, the murderous ascent to the tunnel San Adrián on the Vasco, or the heart attack-inducing hill from Fontcalda to Gandesa on the Ebro. I was on the verge of giving up at one point, when I had to walk those giant steps up the side of the mountain and I didn't know when they would end...

Now and then people on this Forum ask about heights on the different Caminos and if some parts of them would not be suitable for people with vertigo. The walk up to the monastery today is a stretch that I would not recommend to someone who is afraid of heights. Sometimes only a frail, narrow path separated me from the void beneath me. At a few places the ground or the rocks tilted towards the edge, and as I am wearing runners - which is my own fault, I know - my feet had no grip on the ground I was treading. Sure, the views are among the most amazing I have ever seen, period. Both of the monastery from below, down in Monistrol, and of the rest of the surroundings as I was moving uphill. But I had to concentrate on my feet all the time so I wouldn't make a bad step.

I was beaten by the heat and by the elevation gain when I arrived on all fours at the Pilgrim's office in Monestir to registrate for the albergue de peregrinos (10 euros). My first albergue since I started from Barcelona. I was immediately taken care of by the hospitalero and his wife who must be the nicest hospitaleros in this part of the sierra. They accompanied me for a simple dinner at the albergue and we chatted about the Camino, the pilgrims, and the monastery itself. The albergue is 5 stars, as previous pilgrims have pointed out here on the Forum. I have nothing to add. It is truly exquisite. But the cherry on top are hospitaleros who make you feel at home and know stuff about the Camino! They gave me a few tips and tricks for the stage to Igualada tomorrow.

If I don't fall asleep immediately I will go for a walk after sunset to see if I can spot the lights from Barcelona and the Mediterranean in the distance, as some have suggested in this thread. The site is breathtaking, and a respectable pilgrim would of course be visiting the sanctuary, the museum, the monuments and whatnots. My hospitaleros cried out loud at dinner when I said I hadn't visited the church yet. But for the moment my knees have gone on strike. Today was a tough one... Downhill to Igualada tomorrow sounds nice!

Stay tuned!
 

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Excellent - many thanks for making the time. Fascinating. Well done!

Yes pretty much downhill all the way tomorrow but including this VERY uphill bit, at roughly the half way point. It has been discussed on FB page for Camino Ignaciano today.

That is the bit where it would help. going in either direction, to be about 7 feet tall.

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Well done, @Bad Pilgrim . Thank God for napolitanas.

What could possibly go wrong..?
You found out, clearly.
I remember what @LTfit said about that climb; it sounded really gnarly. And if she said it was hard, pity us poor mortals.

That is the bit where it would help. going in either direction, to be about 7 feet tall.
Which BP probably isn't. Buen camino tomorrow, peregrino!
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Excellent - many thanks for making the time. Fascinating. Well done!

Yes pretty much downhill all the way tomorrow but including this VERY uphill bit, at roughly the half way point. It has been discussed on FB page for Camino Ignaciano today.

That is the bit where it would help. going in either direction, to be about 7 feet tall.

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It doesn't help if there is an abyss next to it, for me to slide down in! Because that's how I felt today..! 😱
 
Second breakfast, now in Sant Pau de la Guàrdia. I got past the monster goats alive! Look at those horns!! I was sure they were going to push me down the cliffs to feast on me. I have seen horror movies, I know how it works!
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The weather is perfect for walking and the terrain is easier (well, how couldn't it be) than yesterday. I have just been served the largest tostadas ever. This will cost me a fortune! Oh well, time to carry on again.
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...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Day 4: Monestir de Montserrat - Igualada, 26 kms

Today was the longest stage since I started, but physically it felt like half of the stage yesterday. Time flew by and I was in Igualada in no time. There were two places to have something to drink and eat along the way: a rustic restaurant in Sant Pau de la Guàrdia, which felt like in the middle of nowhere, with groups of merry cyclists having a break or getting ready for the next excursion in the mountains. Then there were the regular cafeterías in the little town of Castellolí. Contrary to yesterday, the majority of the walk was on asphalt. The hardest part was the hot and dusty industrial suburbs of Igualada, where I got tired of the tarmac and slowed down considerably.

I was able to drag myself up the rocks that @timr spoke of (see post 59 above). I found it to be less of a challenge compared to the vertical obstacle course I ran yesterday. I am so short I literally had to climb, on all fours, some of the steps that led up to the monastery..! Who knew the Camino would be a boot camp...

The hospitalero in Monestir had mentioned that I could come across wild goats in the mountains. So it wasn't a total surprise when I ran into one behind a bend. But I didn't know they were that big! And those horns..! Further down the hill I came upon a family of four or five and I could get quite close to them to take pictures.

It was a bit of a slog to reach the center of Igualada where I am staying at the Albergue Turístico. Spotlessly clean, and calm in spite of being next to a square. Well Behaved Teenager at the reception gave me a 10 % pilgrim discount! Those 10 % are going into the laundromat this evening, because whenever I can, I avoid the hustle of washing by hand.

There is some sort of exposition at the reception level about the history of Igualada. Now that I don't need to go far to get to a museum, I might as well check it out *yawn*. I also saw a wide array of folders and posters about what to see in town. Maybe I will be back this evening with a cultural intermission, if I have the time to visit anything.

Tomorrow a short stage to Panadella. Get ready!
 

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...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Tomorrow a short stage to Panadella. Get ready!
Good luck tomorrow. You will absolutely take it in your stride. My problem that day was heavy frost overnight!

You will pass an amazing motorway service station at Jorba. Worth looking in. It is an extraordinary complex, as clean and clinical as an operating theatre. It would do as a space station in a movie.

If you go in to the cafeteria - you have get a ticket to go in i think - you will see something which was completely new to me. There are six or eight spotless 'cookers' - you can collect meat or fish or whatever from the counter and then cook it yourself. And......lots of big burly truckers were doing just that. Hard to imagine it on the M6. You don't have to cook for yourself! ;)

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Good luck tomorrow. You will absolutely take it in your stride. My problem that day was heavy frost overnight!

You will pass an amazing motorway service station at Jorba. Worth looking in. It is an extraordinary complex, as clean and clinical as an operating theatre. It would do as a space station in a movie.

If you go in to the cafeteria - you have get a ticket to go in i think - you will see something which was completely new to me. There are six or eight spotless 'cookers' - you can collect meat or fish or whatever from the counter and then cook it yourself. And......lots of big burly truckers were doing just that. Hard to imagine it on the M6. You don't have to cook for yourself! ;)

View attachment 172661. View attachment 172662
Truck stops are what I do best! It's a must then. But a ticket to enter? That would be a first time. I usually only have a café con leche. Will I have to make the coffee myself?! :D
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Truck stops are what I do best! It's a must then. But a ticket to enter? That would be a first time. I usually only have a café con leche. Will I have to make the coffee myself?! :D
Yes it is counterintuitive and a bit hard to explain, but go for it. You get into the complex and then I think you buy a ticket for €7 or thereabouts for the all-you-can-eat buffet. Tea and coffee extra. It's here.

No one ever left a truck stop hungry, but this one is definitely an outlier in terms of tradition.

I guess you will stay at Hostal Bayona in Panadella? It is another truck stop, very much of the old style. The food was actually very good. They hadn't spent much on decoration since around the turn of one or other millenia.

If you are not turning left in Tárrega you will miss two other extraordinary truck stops. La Cruzanzana outside Candasnos defies description really. It looks like it may have been a hunting lodge back in the, who knows, 1920s?? Built of rock, main corridor about twelve feet wide. It will still be there in 500 years.

And then on the Camino Ignaciano proper, way back on day 4 or 5 there is an astonishingly modern, throbbing truckstop in Andamur San Roman - not for nothing, but a room better than any cheap chain hotel in UK and terrific food for buttons. Add a litre of cerveza for €2. "Where would you be going?" as they say in Ireland!!
 

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Yes it is counterintuitive and a bit hard to explain, but go for it. You get into the complex and then I think you buy a ticket for €7 or thereabouts for the all-you-can-eat buffet. Tea and coffee extra. It's here.

No one ever left a truck stop hungry, but this one is definitely an outlier in terms of tradition.

I guess you will stay at Hostal Bayona in Padanella? It is another truck stop, very much of the old style. The food was actually very good. They hadn't spent much on decoration since around the turn of one of millenia.

If you are not turning left in Tárrega you will miss two other extraordinary truck stops. La Cruzanzana outside Candasnos defies description really. It looks like it may have been a hunting lodge back in the, who knows, 1920s?? Built of rock, main corridor about twelve feet wide. It will still be there in 500 years.

And then on the Camino Ignaciano proper, way back on day 4 or 5 there is an astonishingly modern, throbbing truckstop in Andamur San Roman - not for nothing, but a room better than any cheap chain hotel in UK and terrific food for buttons. Add a litre of cerveza for €2. "Where would you be going?" as they say in Ireland!!View attachment 172668
I am lost for words. So I will have a field day with the truck stops tomorrow! Yes, I already made a reservation at Hostal Bayona. - I am eventually going through Huesca so I will not be turning left, correct?
 
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.
I don't know what to put in my update (that I usually write later in the evening). Today was 100 % asphalt without anything interesting... I used most of my camerawork on the interior of my room in Hostal Bayona in Panadella, where I checked in at 2 p.m. This is the grubbiest bathroom mirror I have come upon on a Camino, by far! Previous record holder was the mirror in Hostal Gamallo on the Camino de Invierno. But this one gives it a run for its money.
 

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Day 5: Igualada - La Panadella, 24 kms

Previous days have been wonderful, but today not so much. I was walking next to the carretera, mostly on a bicycle track, all the way from Igualada to La Panadella where I stay at Hostal Bayona. It was uphill all the way although the inclination was not that hard. By the way, Hostal Bayona is 30 euros, not 25 as on Gronze.

I never saw the futuristic truck stop that @timr wrote about (see post 68 above). Still I think I stopped in almost every cafetería that came in my way, just because I could and because the road bored me a bit. Jorba flew by early in the morning, and only after I left I remembered that this was where @timr had placed the peculiar truck stop. You sure it wasn't a phantom diner? Yes, that's a thing as seen here.

Anyway, I didn't take a lot of pictures along the way because there wasn't a lot to see honestly. My room deserves to be documented though. I'm sure Hostal Bayona swept the regional house keeping awards - in 1989. The bathroom mirror is a mess, there is a smell of cigarettes everywhere and this intriguing device is next to my bed on the wall:
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La Panadella consists of a couple of gas stations (with food), cafés, a bakery and a hostal around a crossroads. It's a busy place. There are quite a few Americans, I think, who seem to be staying at the hostal but they are also gathering in large groups in front of the gas station for some reason. Not quite sure what they are doing here. This is kind of in the middle of nowhere.

I tried to be smart and book ahead for the next few days, but the only place in Linyola was full according to the owner. I have to walk a stage of 37 kms the day after tomorrow! So I will go to Tárrega tomorrow (28 kms), then Balaguer (37). Still no other pilgrims in sight. But there must be some out there since two of them snatched the apartment in Linyola.

To be continued
 
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You sure it wasn't a phantom diner? Yes, that's a thing (trying to post a link)
Haha, no I think it was real enough, though I cannot prove it.

But La Panadella is a bit of a phantom place too. It really is not a "place" other than the trucking complex. Population 41 in 2015. I guess it was busier in the past before the A2 was built, which bypasses it.

That next truckstop, (which makes your mirror and phone look luxurious, which you won't be getting to, just before Candasnos) must also have been busy before the motorway.

I hope you will find the food better than the fixtures and fittings.

Tomorrow watch out for the guy who has a collection of old fighter jets in his garden.....In Ribera d'Ondara actually a place called Sant Pere dels Arquells just before Cervera. You would not be expecting it!! There is an ancient skittles alley close by in a place called Vergos.

I think you don't have to go into Cervera (like all the best cities it is up a hill) but it is an interesting place. You will see coming westward that it is a big place. Travelling to the east this is not apparent until you have passed by. The old centre is tiny. There is a single tiny bar just by the church in the plaza. It looks like a ghost town. It had a university in the past (1717-1835), but that has become a sort of phantom university now.

Tárrega not very exciting.....

¡que aproveche!
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Tomorrow watch out for the guy who has a collection of old fighter jets in his garden
Okay, this I cannot miss..!

I think you don't have to go into Cervera
I will go there, to have a café con leche, if it's not too steep. It's about mid-way to Tárrega so I would want to have a break. I just saw a Wikiloc saying 30, not 28 (Gronze) kms to Tárrega... I hope it's not all an asphalt as today.
 
The bar is microscopic, but friendly. I went to get a glass of water for myself, but found i was serving myself from a barrel of beer in the middle of the room.


You will enter the city through the old back gate......there is a ramp up. I rather liked the graffito - not the most woke of places!! ;)

Much more dusty rural lanes than you had today. After Tárrega, I will be learning from you!
 

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The bar is microscopic, but friendly. I went to get a glass of water for myself, but found i was serving myself from a barrel of beer in the middle of the room.


You will enter the city through the old back gate......there is a ramp up. I rather liked the graffito - not the most woke of places!! ;)

Much more dusty rural lanes than you had today. After Tárrega, I will be learning from you!
Oh! here is the graffito. I cannot get the hang of inserting photos......It has defeated me for 15 years.
 

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A selection of Camino Jewellery
Oh! here is the graffito. I cannot get the hang of inserting photos......It has defeated me for 15 years.
About the foto: I'm "just" a vegetarian so I don't take offense :D !

Grafitti in Spain is rarely woke. I've seen the darndest things sprayed on the walls but I can't post them here or moderators would chastise me ... Or I would get demonetized, as the YouTubers say nowadays 😎.

Fotos need to be "decompressed" to easily show I think. Although I haven't done that recently with my new phone, only converted them to jpg before posting. Hoping they appear as usual.
 
Yes yours are good! I am veering mostly towards non-dogmatic and non-evanglizing vegetarianism.

Did you see this up near Montserrat. Blunt! Of course, we are not tourists!!
 

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Yes yours are good! I am veering mostly towards non-dogmatic and non-evanglizing vegetarianism.

Did you see this up near Montserrat. Blunt! Of course, we are not tourists!!
Wowowow! Not in that particular place, but I saw the message when leaving Montserrat, when I stepped out on the carretera. It was sprayed large in pink on the railing and I did take a picture, thinking I would post it here. But it got lost in competition with monster goats and mountain ranges. (I think you can only post 10 pictures at a time). Yeah I guess it goes with people being fed up with tourists in other places like Ibiza, Las Canarias or even nearby Barcelona. But yes I'm a pilgrim so I wondered if the message was aimed at me or not...
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
In Tarrega, you get the key from the police office, on the right as you enter the Ayuntamiento. The cop on duty will probably take you to the albergue, which is free! However, it is in a social centre which a local rock band use for practice. The drummer is quite good.
 
In Tarrega, you get the key from the police office, on the right as you enter the Ayuntamiento. The cop on duty will probably take you to the albergue, which is free! However, it is in a social centre which a local rock band use for practice. The drummer is quite good.
Oh, sorry but I don't recognize this. I am in the albergue Cal Trepat. The guy who handed me the keys works in the opposite building and it is 10 euros. Only albergue, not a social center that I am aware of. Local rock band?? Believe me, I would run as fast as I could..! 😱
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Day 6: La Panadella - Tàrrega, 29 kms

I had time for breakfast at the bar-restaurant in Hostal Bayona when they opened at 6 a.m. The place was full of truck drivers and other workers. All through breakfast there was loud heavy metal music playing in the bar! Apparently someone thought that's what people want to listen to early in the morning. At least it was impossible to feel sleepy: those ungodly howls could wake the dead.

As soon as I left the parking at Hostal Bayona I stepped on a dirt road that took me away from the asphalt that had accompanied me yesterday. What a relief! The landscape was much prettier here, with rolling fields. But it was cold and windy. I had to put on a woolen sweater and kept it on until noon when the sun peered through the clouds.

After a café con leche in the gloomiest bar in Cataluña, in San Antolí i Vilanova, I approached Cervera which looked interesting from a distance. What a beautiful city center! Monumental buildings, small medieval streets, leading to several flowery plazas. There was a street market so it was a bit crowded. And difficult to take pictures when there were tents blocking the view of the university, the churches and the arcades. I wandered about for a while, I thought it was really pretty.

The rest of the day was a pleasant walk in the countryside. There was some tarmac today as well, especially at the end. I had to walk through the whole town of Tàrrega to reach the albergue Cal Trepat, at the opposite side of town in an industrial suburb. Or rather what used to be an industrial suburb. Now it is pretty cleaned up, with an enormous parking and 19 identical buildings in a row, of which the last one hosts the reception of the albergue. The hospitalero told me these houses used to be factories; now they are used for other purposes. For example the albergue de peregrinos, and there is a museum about the industries in Tárrega. If only all industrial suburbs were as tidy as this one, I thought..! And it is only a stone's throw away from the rest of town. Laundromat and supermarket are pretty close.

The albergue is in a separate building in front of building nr 19. There is someone in the reception between 1 and 3 p.m, otherwise the local police will help you. Thanks to Gronze I sent an email to the albergue yesterday and they told me everything I needed to know. It is 10 euros and clean: refrigerator and microwave, but no possibilities to cook. Exclusively for pilgrims and I seem to be the only one here tonight... as usual.

Tomorrow I veer off towards the variant San Juan de la Peña. Only 37 kms to Balaguer. It will be a walk in the park!

I'll be back!
 

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BP,

Thank you for sharing your days here on the forum; your descriptions and pics are great.

I envy your visit at San Juan de la Pena tomorrow. Please do not rush; the site is unforgettable.

As an architectural historian it was my professional privilege/ personal pleasure to visit many special places in this world, but the old monastery at San Juan de la Pena belongs in that unique category of sublime timeless perfection...Carpe diem!
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
BP,

Thank you for sharing your days here on the forum; your descriptions and pics are great.

I envy your visit at San Juan de la Pena tomorrow. Please do not rush; the site is unforgettable.

As an architectural historian it was my professional privilege/ personal pleasure to visit many special places in this world, but the old monastery at San Juan de la Pena belongs in that unique category of sublime timeless perfection...Carpe diem!

I am not reaching San Juan de la Peña until one or two weeks, I think! I am still in Tárrega. I have heard a lot about it so I will read up upon it... Although I like to be surprised as well, as today in Cervera!
 
Oh, sorry but I don't recognize this. I am in the albergue Cal Trepat. The guy who handed me the keys works in the opposite building and it is 10 euros. Only albergue, not a social center that I am aware of. Local rock band?? Believe me, I would run as fast as I could..! 😱
Sorry, I was thinking of Tamarite de Litera. So you’ve got that to look forward to.
 
. Although I like to be surprised as well, as today in Cervera!

We were also surprised to be walking through hidden tunnels going up and down the hillside. Lots of legends involving witches! The albergue was in a convent, and LT and I both had our own little rooms. It was kind of gloomy in the albergue but I did think Cervera had a very friendly ambiente.

We walked at about the same time of year, and I found all the brown fields a bit of a bummer, I would love to walk this route in springtime!
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
It's indeed a walk in the park... a 37 kms long park. Currently in Linyola so I have 13 kms left to go. It's flat flat flat, but at least pretty to look at. And since yesterday storks have begun to appear!
View attachment 172780
Thank you for that excellent photo. You win this month’s best Camino picture competition - a fictional competition which I have just created because this is such a fabulous image.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Thank you for that excellent photo. You win this month’s best Camino picture competition - a fictional competition which I have just created because this is such a fabulous image.
I never win anything! 🥰 Wow thanks! I will practice my acceptance speech! :D Does this involve huge amounts of money? Or free café con leche and wine??
 
I never win anything! 🥰 Wow thanks! I will practice my acceptance speech! :D Does this involve huge amounts of money? Or free café con leche and wine??
If you are ever in Galloway a glass of wine & Tarte de Santiago will be presented to you at a small ceremony overlooked by the local cows & sheep (& disrupted by the local midges if it is early evening.
On a more serious note, I think the photo worthy of publication.
 
Day 7: Tàrrega - Balaguer, 37 kms

Some day I need to learn to keep my mouth shut. This was not a walk in the park. When I got to Balaguer - before I got to Balaguer - I felt sick to the point of throwing up. That only happened to me once before, on another Camino. Actually it wasn't too hot, it got cloudy for the last 13 kms, and there was a cool breeze in my face all the while. But it was too long. It took me eleven hours to walk from Tárrega to reach the Hostal Urgell in Balaguer.

I had to stop in a cafetería four minutes before I got to the hostal because my legs wouldn't take it anymore. At first I couldn't drink either the water or the Coca Cola. But I started to sip it and could eventually keep it down. Not strictly a sun stroke, since it was clouded, but my body was exhausted and the symptoms are the same. I slept for one and a half hour at the hostal, curtains drawn and ventilator on, and feel better now. Still haven't showered as I dropped dead on the bed. And I need to use the laundromat (occupied at the moment) and buy food at the supermarket which luckily are both close to the hostal.

Blessed are the pilgrims who find a place to stay in Linyola, 13 kms before Balaguer. I really liked that stretch. Dirt tracks among fields, passing the nice castle del Remei with resting areas and a few restaurants. Very bucolic. Linyola seemed like a nice little place. But as I told you yesterday, two other pilgrims had snatched the only accomodation in town.

Hostal Urgell in Balaguer is 30 euros according to Gronze, but 80 euros on Booking *gasp*. I phoned them yesterday and got a pilgrim price of 20 euros, breakfast included. I don't complain. The room is basic and really only worth 20 euros, but after the calvary today I was happy to finally be inside and be able to rest. I have seen the breakfast waiting for me and it's the real deal! I won't go hungry in the morning.

What worries me is if I will get access to the albergue in Algerrí tomorrow. I should have let them know earlier, before the weekend, that I am on my way and now the Ayuntamiento doesn't answer. Oh well, there must be people in town who can help me, right? That remains to be seen. I will only do that short stage tomorrow, I need to rest my legs...

Next episode coming soon!
 

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...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
Day 7: Tàrrega - Balaguer, 37 kms

Some day I need to learn to keep my mouth shut. This was not a walk in the park. When I got to Balaguer - before I got to Balaguer - I felt sick to the point of throwing up. That only happened to me once before, on another Camino. Actually it wasn't too hot, it got cloudy for the last 13 kms, and there was a cool breeze in my face all the while. But it was too long. It took me eleven hours to walk from Tárrega to reach the Hostal d'Urgell in Balaguer.

I had to stop in a cafetería four minutes before I got to the hostal because my legs wouldn't take it anymore. At first I couldn't drink either the water or the Coca Cola. But I started to sip it and could eventually keep it down. Not strictly a sun stroke, since it was clouded, but my body was exhausted and the symptoms are the same. I slept for one and a half hour at the hostal, curtains drawn and ventilator on, and feel better now. Still haven't showered as I dropped dead on the bed. And I need to use the laundromat (occupied at the moment) and buy food at the supermarket which luckily are both close to the hostal.

Blessed are the pilgrims who find a place to stay in Linyola, 13 kms before Balaguer. I really liked that stretch. Dirt tracks among fields, passing the nice castle del Remei with resting areas and a few restaurants. Very bucolic. Linyola seemed like a nice little place. But as I told you yesterday, two other pilgrims had snatched the only accomodation in town.

Hostal d'Urgell in Balaguer is 30 euros according to Gronze, but 80 euros on Booking *gasp*. I phoned them yesterday and got a pilgrim price of 20 euros, breakfast included. I don't complain. The room is basic and really only worth 20 euros, but after the calvary today I was happy to finally be inside and be able to rest. I have seen the breakfast waiting for me and it's the real deal! I won't go hungry in the morning.

What worries me is if I will get access to the albergue in Algerrí tomorrow. I should have let them know earlier, before the weekend, that I am on my way and now the Ayuntamiento doesn't answer. Oh well, there must be people in town who can help me, right? That remains to be seen. I will only do that short stage tomorrow, I need to rest my legs...

Next episode coming soon!
Oh do take care.

As there is nothing you can do tonight about tomorrow's 'complication' you should just put it to the back of your mind until tomorrow. I know that is easy to say.....

I believe there is someone in Algerrí who is going to help you.....again easy for me to say.

I remember turning up late on a Saturday afternoon at Villalón de Campos (CdM) in temperature of 0 to make my way to the albergue, which declared that all you had to do was ring the number. And I rang the number - many times. It was the ayuntamiento. And each time I pressed digits as instructed I heard Mozart's Requiem. Which is lovely but which in the circumstances was no help at all.

But - I did not spend the night in the street - I would have frozen.

And I am not saying 'the camino will provide'....meh! that does nothing for me (he whispers). You have a short walk tomorrow, so you will have time to allow things to sort themselves out. 😊

¡Ten buen ánimo! Rest well tonight.
 
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Thank you for that excellent photo. You win this month’s best Camino picture competition - a fictional competition which I have just created because this is such a fabulous image.
Agree completely!!

Oh do take care.
And I am not saying 'the camino will provide'....meh! that does nothing for me (he whispers). You have a short walk tomorrow, so you will have time to allow things to sort themselves out. 😊

¡Ten buen ánimo! Rest well tonight.
These too.
I hope you have an easier day tomorrow, @Bad Pilgrim !
 
Day 7: Tàrrega - Balaguer, 37 kms

Some day I need to learn to keep my mouth shut. This was not a walk in the park. When I got to Balaguer - before I got to Balaguer - I felt sick to the point of throwing up. That only happened to me once before, on another Camino. Actually it wasn't too hot, it got cloudy for the last 13 kms, and there was a cool breeze in my face all the while. But it was too long. It took me eleven hours to walk from Tárrega to reach the Hostal Urgell in Balaguer.

I had to stop in a cafetería four minutes before I got to the hostal because my legs wouldn't take it anymore. At first I couldn't drink either the water or the Coca Cola. But I started to sip it and could eventually keep it down. Not strictly a sun stroke, since it was clouded, but my body was exhausted and the symptoms are the same. I slept for one and a half hour at the hostal, curtains drawn and ventilator on, and feel better now. Still haven't showered as I dropped dead on the bed. And I need to use the laundromat (occupied at the moment) and buy food at the supermarket which luckily are both close to the hostal.

Blessed are the pilgrims who find a place to stay in Linyola, 13 kms before Balaguer. I really liked that stretch. Dirt tracks among fields, passing the nice castle del Remei with resting areas and a few restaurants. Very bucolic. Linyola seemed like a nice little place. But as I told you yesterday, two other pilgrims had snatched the only accomodation in town.

Hostal Urgell in Balaguer is 30 euros according to Gronze, but 80 euros on Booking *gasp*. I phoned them yesterday and got a pilgrim price of 20 euros, breakfast included. I don't complain. The room is basic and really only worth 20 euros, but after the calvary today I was happy to finally be inside and be able to rest. I have seen the breakfast waiting for me and it's the real deal! I won't go hungry in the morning.

What worries me is if I will get access to the albergue in Algerrí tomorrow. I should have let them know earlier, before the weekend, that I am on my way and now the Ayuntamiento doesn't answer. Oh well, there must be people in town who can help me, right? That remains to be seen. I will only do that short stage tomorrow, I need to rest my legs...

Next episode coming soon!
Hope you are feeling back to normal today and, as @timr and @VNwalking have said, do take care.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
I went to the albergue in Algerrí, next to the church, but the square was deserted and no one answers the phone. I think it will be easier to stay at Hostal Terraferma, 25 euros, down by the carretera, which I can see from the café I am in right now. I will soon know if they have a place for me. Next town is 21 kms from here, I just don't think that is doable...1000000314.jpg
 
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