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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
I
We stayed in hostal San Cristo in Atienza. 15 euros each to share a room. I have a feeling it might be the same if you are alone. It was a great place right at the entrance to town. We had waited around for ages to get access to the municipal albergue, but when we finally saw it we turned right around and walked out. Very cold and damp. But then so was the weather! It might be a very different story now that it’s warmer.

And there is the best albergue you are ever likely to see in Retortillo de Soria. Also 15 euros, with all facilities, and all new and sparkly.
I'm taking notes for Atienza. Albergue does not sound good. Damp makes me run away.

As for Retortillo de Soria, I will try to push on to Tarancueñas for the casa rural (that's the whammy of 50+ euros). I want to go to San Esteban the following day and want to cut 7 kms off that monster stage. I just can't do Retortillo - San Esteban in one day. I know you two walked some alternative (?) trails in the area and found other places to stay in, but I really want to go straight to San Esteban... Well I'll tell you all about it later... :)!
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana

Top hostel. You can easily have a look as it’s on the way into town off the Camino, about 100m from the entrance to the posh hotel in the castle (Parador?). It was not the cheapest albergue at €20, but this private albergue was pure luxury, great location, very friendly and helpful, all services you need, very atmospheric and definitely worth staying in. Possibly my fav on the Camino for luxury.
 
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Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
It’s funny, but the more I read your blog and the more I remember my own walk which wasn’t that long ago but somehow seems it, the more I want to do this walk again in the Autumn. The thing is I guess, that it’s so fresh in the memory that it would be fun to do it again and I have all the maps and info, but this time to try and stay in as many different places compared to last time as possible. And am I right, that in September, there would be endless grapes, olives and almonds to scoff? If the aging parents are still coping, I might risk another cheeky month in September ....... Food for thought. Caminos are great. I liked writing my blog and posting photos, but I really like your perspective as well BP and photos. Everyone should do blogs like yours. It helps everyone, gets the juices flowing .....
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...

Top hostel. You can easily have a look as it’s on the way into town off the Camino, about 100m from the entrance to the posh hotel in the castle (Parador?). It was not the cheapest albergue at €20, but this private albergue was pure luxury, great location, very friendly and helpful, all services you need, very atmospheric and definitely worth staying in. Possibly my fav on the Camino for luxury.
I know, I passed it today and I recognized it thanks to your pictures! Really good that it's on the camino, pretty early on when you enter Sigüenza. But I had to expiate my sins and go on to the Convent. More than anything, I had to expiate my wallet... :eek:!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
It’s funny, but the more I read your blog and the more I remember my own walk which wasn’t that long ago but somehow seems it, the more I want to do this walk again in the Autumn. The thing is I guess, that it’s so fresh in the memory that it would be fun to do it again and I have all the maps and info, but this time to try and stay in as many different places compared to last time as possible. And am I right, that in September, there would be endless grapes, olives and almonds to scoff? If the aging parents are still coping, I might risk another cheeky month in September ....... Food for thought. Caminos are great. I liked writing my blog and posting photos, but I really like your perspective as well BP and photos. Everyone should do blogs like yours. It helps everyone, gets the juices flowing .....
Doing the same camino again has so many advantages...! Yes, you should walk in another season, and you would get a different experience compared to the first one. But you would know beforehand how to find your way, saving time by not having to scope your way out of town every afternoon (I have to do that or I get lost the next day), knowing how much water you need for a certain stage, going directly to that supermercado as you know where it is... It just makes everything so much easier.

I have no experience of walking in autumn or in spring though. I always go in mid June...!

When it comes to places to stay, I have my own (very irregular) mix of trying something new, and going back to the places I liked the first time. Which doesn't apply now that I am doing two stages where I haven't been before...! But as soon as I get to Atienza, I will be back in the habit again.

The funniest thing with a second camino is: will the hospitaleros/people I already met recognize me...? So far this has happened only once...! That was pretty amazing. Sandra's daughter, in Monteagudo, recognized me the second she saw me: since two years ago...! She wasn't even the one I spoke mostly to, but her mother. I was so baffled 😃!

Well thank you for your kind words about my blog, but I am just writing in today's report that I seriously lack photographic skills... You'll see 😆...!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Mandayona - Sigüenza, Day 19

History repeats itself. Two years ago, a thunderstorm hit Mandayona in the evening, turning the dirt roads into mudbaths... and turning my foot into a severe case of tendonitis. Yesterday, the rain started pouring down again and it kept falling all through the night! I wondered what would happen with the camino... Luckily, the terrain between Mandayona and Sigüenza (the alternative route) seems less likely to be affected by rainfall, than the camino that goes directly to Atienza (the historical route). I didn't encounter any mud, just a few puddles I had to navigate between.

So here comes the part where I should marvel about the scenery on this stretch. The truth is that it is the most fascinating and beautiful since I started walking. But it has been described in detail by previous bloggers, so what can I possibly add... If you haven't read up on the Lana, this is a walk in a mountain gorge, with a lot of wildlife (mostly birds). Luckily it is totally flat. Then there is a short walk up a hill, followed by a trail in a thin woods (at about 1000 m altitude). Then a walk downhill to the medieval, and rather spectacular, city of Sigüenza. The best way to describe it is that it doesn't look like any of the previous stages. It is a quite surprising experience, all in all. In some places, certainly the last third or so, it is reminiscent of the last stretch into Atienza (on the historical route).

Are you with me? So the Camino splits in Mandayona: "to the left" goes the historical route: 36 kms directly to Atienza. "To the right" takes you to Sigüenza the first day (23 kms) and the next day to Atienza (31 kms), where the two alternatives meet again. I had already endured the historical route. This time I wanted to try the alternative to Sigüenza.

I wanted to take some pictures, for example of the majestic vultures that sat on top of each rock. Surely they are watching you from above, seeing a two-legged meal walk by within range. Scary stuff! Unfortunately, in the picture (the third one below), all you can see is a dark blob that resembles a turkey, or possibly a speckled hen. I will never make a career in National Geographic, that's for sure.

Waymarks are ok. Possibly a heads-up when you approach Pelegrina: walking pilgrims never enter the village, but make a sharp, counter-intuitive turn to the left following a sign saying "to La Cabrera" (which feels weird because you just came from La Cabrera). But a few meters further down the road is a sign that points out the way to Sigüenza. At that point, don't walk all the way up to the farm (as I did). There are red-and-white GR-signs that takes you off the road onto a grassy path to the left. During the whole stage, GR-signs, yellow arrows and green poles marked with "La ruta de Don Quixote" are pretty much the same.

I am staying in the Convent of the Josefinos, 15 euros. It is clean, decent, same standard as La Casa del Peregrino in Orito. Juan, the Spanish pilgrim from Mandayona, is here as well, although he told me yesterday that he would take the route directly to Atienza. He must have changed his mind. The hospitalero put us in different rooms so I haven't talked to him today: it is the hospitalero who claims that he's here. Perhaps I meet him in Atienza tomorrow. He clearly walks faster than me and I have never seen him on the Camino. Because... I am the slowest of them all.

Tomorrow I will be back on track in Atienza!

BP
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Sigüenza - Atienza, Day 20

Hi again! Instead of diving into the details of today's walk, I thought it could be a good idea to compare the two different ways to reach Atienza on the Camino de la Lana. Now that I have walked both. It might help future pilgrims to do the right choice in Mandayona!

ATIENZA DIRECTLY: This is supposed to be one of the hardest stages of the Lana (36 kms). I personally don't find it that difficult. I think Salmerón - Trillo is much more physically demanding (27 kms). But it is a long stage so your feet will be burning when you reach Atienza, by the sheer distance. The villages are small, but there are bars in many of them. I had coffee in at least two. So it's not like it's the most desolate stage ever. Only the last 11 kms to Atienza feel isolated, mostly on a broad dirt road in the woods, until Atienza appears on the top of a hill in front of you. When you see the town, you still have to walk more than one hour to get there!

A problem with this stage is that the part right after the bridge in Mandayona becomes a mudbath after heavy rainfall. On the same stretch, before Baides, there are a few gates that you have to open and close. One of them I couldn't get open. I had to throw over my backpack and climb it. No offense but I really can't see Abuela and her friends go through with this. If you're an unfit pilgrim, it's a dead end. (There are fences on both sides, like a corridor, so there is nowhere else to go). It was virtually impossible to climb, but I had no choice! The same thing happened with the last one of the gates: this time I only got it open because the landowner was yelling the instructions to me from her porch! Half of her orders drowned in her watchdog's crazy barking so I still don't know how I managed to open it. Although I haven't heard from others having problems with those gates so I guess it is just clumsy me?

I had a possibility to stay in Huérmeces del Cerro after about 15 kms. But when I heard that the place would be invaded by teenagers doing summer sports, I backed out (i. e. I screamed and ran for my life). So, theoretically, it is possible to divide this long stage into two manageable pieces.

This stage can at least have the honor of being the historical route. The scenery is very beautiful and wild animals abound. Although in terms of scenery, it can't compete with the alternative stage to Sigüenza:

ALTERNATIVE THROUGH SIGÜENZA: This means 2 days to reach Atienza: Mandayona - Sigüenza 23 kms, and Sigüenza - Atienza 31 kms. The first day is what makes this route popular (see my previous post). The second stage, that I walked today, is more ordinary. Although Palazuelos is impressive, and the alp-like Santamera is the highlight of the day with the beautiful hills as a dramatic backdrop. A few kms before Atienza, this alternative joins the historical way. This happens well before you get the first glimpse of Atienza, so the first impression of Atienza is the same regardless of the way you've chosen.

During these two days, I didn't find any bar open, except in Sigüenza of course (and it's not a weekend). Sigüenza is a large, medieval town with all facilities and with several places to stay in. It really deserves a visit and I imagine some pilgrims would like to take a day off to fully experience it. The smaller pueblos along this Camino are also picturesque, but half-empty. Of course, today's photos all come from the second stage of the alternative way to Atienza.

Except me, I have only heard of one other pilgrim who recently took the historical way directly to Atienza. (It is the one and only Anita, from Italy. I will link her YouTube-video below. Can I do that without asking her??) Almost everyone seems to go to Sigüenza now! Even the Spanish pilgrim I just met changed his mind in the last minute. It's easy to understand that pilgrims would want to include Sigüenza and its surroundings in their itinerary. But which way I prefer...? I'll have to think about it.

Now I have to buy food for the upcoming stages. Correct me if I am wrong, but there are few stores from now on...? I don't remember. I also have to decide where to stay tomorrow: Retortillo de Soria (kind to wallet) or Tarancueñas (hard on wallet).

Last but not least: of course, OF COURSE, I hurt my foot (lightly) today. Now I feel pain when I am standing on it. It is not me imagining it, I swear. Because it was in Atienza I first felt the pain two years ago as well!!! I knew it. Once again I will have to do one day at a time and see what happens. What have I done to deserve this? I thought I expiated my sins when I stayed at the convent! (Isn't that how it works...?) You may think I am making my foot-problems up, but I am not. History repeating itself.

BP
 

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Magwood

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Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Oh BP I hope your foot is ok. You are not far from where I also had to give up my camino this year. The curse of the Lana!
I don't remember finding a shop in Atienza, but I am sure there must be one in a town that size. En route to Retortillo de Soria we found a bar at Miedes de Atienza, in the square below the townhall, but nothing else until our destination, where we also didn't find a shop (but didn't look). If you decide to stay here (and I can't recommend it highly enough) señora who runs the restaurant and the albergue will cook you a substantial meal and possibly provide you with something for the next day if there isn't a shop.

And perhaps consider the alternative route we took from Retortillo to Tarancueña. Longer by 4 km but worth every centimetre. The scenery, the huge vultures taking off immediately above our heads (we could feel the downdraught) - pure glory. I know @Undermanager enjoyed the official route along the road, but give me an off road alternative any time (except perhaps in heavy mud!). Just look at the images in my account of the day and see if you can't be persuaded. We stayed in Carancena and were royally looked after by María Angeles, she cooked for us, showed us to the extremely rustic, but perfectly adequate donativo albergue down the road and opened early the next morning to cook breakfast and sell us a few items for our journey. The castle there is an adventure playground if you can force yourself up the hill - absolutely worth the effort.
Buen camino!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
And here is our Right Honourable pilgrim Anita from Italy and her Lana video on YouTube. Fast forward to see what the historical route to Atienza looks like! (minute 43:00)

 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Oh BP I hope your foot is ok. You are not far from where I also had to give up my camino this year. The curse of the Lana!
I don't remember finding a shop in Atienza, but I am sure there must be one in a town that size. En route to Retortillo de Soria we found a bar at Miedes de Atienza, in the square below the townhall, but nothing else until our destination, where we also didn't find a shop (but didn't look). If you decide to stay here (and I can't recommend it highly enough) señora who runs the restaurant and the albergue will cook you a substantial meal and possibly provide you with something for the next day if there isn't a shop.

And perhaps consider the alternative route we took from Retortillo to Tarancueña. Longer by 4 km but worth every centimetre. The scenery, the huge vultures taking off immediately above our heads (we could feel the downdraught) - pure glory. I know @Undermanager enjoyed the official route along the road, but give me an off road alternative any time (except perhaps in heavy mud!). Just look at the images in my account of the day and see if you can't be persuaded. We stayed in Carancena and were royally looked after by María Angeles, she cooked for us, showed us to the extremely rustic, but perfectly adequate donativo albergue down the road and opened early the next morning to cook breakfast and sell us a few items for our journey. The castle there is an adventure playground if you can force yourself up the hill - absolutely worth the effort.
Buen camino!
Perfect Maggie,

I take note of the phone number to María Ángeles. I will have to play with the distances and places to stay if I have a foot problem. But I never know until the day after I start to feel pain somewhere... So only tomorrow will tell if it will be a problem or not.

Yes there is a tienda in Atienza. I never found it before, although I remember I searched for it...! It is in front of the Panadería Albertos, if it helps anyone. It says Carnicería, but it is really a (small) supermarket!

Thanks for all your help. I regularly check your blog for info. I keep my fingers crossed for tomorrow :(!
 

Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
Primitivo
Finisterra / Muxia
Lana
Following your every stride (hop?) and still loving the photos. Maybe a rest day is in order? Slowly slowly catchy monkey!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Atienza - Tarancueña, Day 21

I forgot to tell you that I stayed in the hostal Santo Cristo in Atienza yesterday. It's on your right side just after having entered Atienza. Watch out, because there is no visible sign saying Santo Cristo? Just "Bar Restaurante Atienza" for the adjacent bar in the same building. It took me a while to understand I had arrived at the right place. 20 euros and the owner will also wash your clothes! Which made him my new best friend. The Spanish pilgrim Juan also ended up here. But we really don't run into each other very much, not on the Camino nor in the pueblos.

So I left Atienza this morning to go to Tarancueña, about 30 kms. The hope was that I would have three bar stops today, just like I had last time. But I started so much earlier this time... Nothing was open in Romanillos de Atienza (10 kms) or in Miedes de Atienza (16 kms). In Romanillos, there is a bar on your left as you enter the village. Although it looks like it only opens during summer? In Miedes there is a bar in the Ayuntamiento, but I arrived before 10 o'clock and there was no activity. Although if summer pilgrims start late from Atienza, I know there is a good chance of finding both bars open.

So after Miedes de Atienza I had to walk up the steep, rocky trail that leads to Alto de la Carrascosa (1380 m altitude) on an empty stomach, which I had not planned. Once again I was huffing and puffing, probably scaring away all of God's living creatures in the wilderness. Well I guess it's not really the wilderness, since the road runs nearby all the time. The rocky trail is a shortcut that saves a few kms compared with the carretera. Luckily, this March of Death only goes on for 2 kms, and it sure is beautiful. Most of today's pictures are from that stretch. It is difficult to get the depth in the photos and see how steep it is though. I was afraid it would take a toll on my foot that feels sore from time to time, but I think I ended up ok.

The thing is that I wanted to reach Tarancueña. That's why I rose early. I know most pilgrims would want to stay in Retortillo de Soria (22 kms), where there is a modern albergue and a hostal (Hostal Muralla). I went on shaky legs to the restaurante Muralla for my first, desperate coffee-break of the day, and to see if Aurora would recognize me: of course she did. I stayed several days in her hostal (there wasn't an albergue then) when I got problems with my foot two years ago. I then went to Madrid to rest for a week, and after that I traveled back to Retortillo to continue the camino.

Aurora told me there had been fewer walking pilgrims this year, but more cyclists. The Camino del Cid, which also runs through the area, is much more popular than the Lana. According to her few people had stayed in the albergue since its construction. This surprised me, as I have seen it featured regularly in other pilgrims' reports this year. She was proud to hear that her albergue had gotten such positive reviews from pilgrims and that even the written guides rave about it. Just like with Pepe and Antonio in Villaconejos, I tried to get her to recall previous pilgrims from 2019, but it didn't ring a bell with her. Not even Sarah Dhooma and her avid vlogging, where I had seen Aurora in a clip. I guess everybody can't have a good memory!

I carried on to the very small village of Tarancueña (30 kms). The casa rural Los Arenes de Tarancueña (last picture below) is 40 euros, breakfast included. The nicest woman ever is in charge and it is a 5 star place, period. In the village, there is nothing though. I remember that I caught the bar in the Ayuntamiento being open when I was here last time, but no luck today. No tienda, nada. There are only 7 people living here, although a lot more during the summer vacations. Beautiful surroundings! The owner of the casa rural will cook for you in the evening if you want (not included). She is a good cook!

Tomorrow is a long stage to San Esteban de Gormaz. 37-39 kms, depending on what guide you use. Once again, the place where I am staying today is too small to provide me with a phone connection. I haven't been able to call the Hostal Moreno in San Esteban: a very nice place. I am worried because it's Saturday tomorrow and perhaps the rooms will be occupied by people going on vacation!

BP
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Tarancueña - San Esteban de Gormaz, Day 22

Yesterday, that casa rural really gave me new energy. A proper siesta, a proper meal, a proper good night's sleep and a proper breakfast (which finally ended up in a pilgrim deal of 50 euros all together) was what I needed to take on today's monster stage of 39 kms.

The house is at the end of Tarancueña, fronted by the vast pastures and the hills in the horizon. Dead quiet. The only sound in the evening was the bells of sheep that trotted by outside the kitchen window. According to the owner, the shepherd takes them to the nearby creek in the evening to let them cool down. I know it sounds like a Disney movie, but that place was good. And I know that virtually 100% of pilgrims will stay in Retortillo de Soria, so this info may not be important. On the other hand, it has come to my knowledge that even pilgrims who prefer albergues sometimes go to private establishments, for a change...! If you are going to stay at only one casa rural on the Ruta de la Lana, save your money for Tarancueña.

If you stayed in Retortillo, you have 8 kms of lovely tarmac to start the day with. (I know Maggie & Co found a great alternative route in the countryside! But it will be a detour.) As for me, I was thrown right into the canyon that runs between Tarancueña and Caracena. This stretch reminds me of the mountain gorge to Sigüenza. My neck hurt from looking up towards the cliffs, and from constantly looking down to see where I put my feet. The path alternates between rocks, grass and dirt. Since it's the bottom of a canyon it goes up and down (not constantly upwards as the March of Death from yesterday's stage.) The only hard part is when it's time to leave the gorge and climb up to Caracenas on the ridge, but that's only for a few hundred meters.

Two years ago I did this stretch basically jumping on one leg because my foot hurt too much. If you are already familiar with this canyon, go figure. Walking with two feet instead of one was a whole new experience, that's for sure...! Unfortunately the photos didn't turn out as I wanted in the faint morning light. But I did what I could, watch below. (They come in random order today.)

Then follow myriads of small villages. Kevin O'Brien talks of fuentes and bars in some of them. Except from the fuente in Caracenas, I didn't see any at all. On the other hand I didn't search for them. I marched straight through the villages with my newly found energy. I hope I won't have to pay for it tomorrow!

San Esteban de Gormaz is a large town in the likes of, for example, Casas Ibáñez and Cifuentes. Just what a city pilgrim like me needs. Unfortunately, the hostal Moreno is located at the far end of town. It takes ages to get there, and ages to go back to town if you want to explore. Last time I stayed in the hotel Rivera del Duero, which is much more centric. It is quite fancy, but in one way or another I got a special price by the man who happened to be behind the counter. I paid something like 25-30 euros for a room, instead of almost 50. Thanks to my humble pilgrim smile, of course. Too bad he wasn't there today...! In Rivera del Duero I could come and go as I wished, being right in the middle of town. As I am writing this, I have to do an extra pilgrimage just to get to back to hostal Moreno!

The general topic of conversation in town is the river where you can go swimming. Everyone suggests that I should try it. I don't know. The water is brown. If I wasn't dirty before, I'm sure I would be by the time I got up from there. They will only get me near that river if they carry me with my hands and feet tied together. Ok but the rest of the town is really nice, I said I liked it! Don't come for me.

Tomorrow is "only" 30 kms, but it's a small village with no tienda. So I'm off now to buy some food. I recently got even more energy when my country's socker team won the bronze medal in Women's Soccer! I was a nervous wreck, but we made it. A great way to end the evening! Let's see what tomorrow brings.

BP
 

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Bachibouzouk

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Voie de Soulac, Frances, De La Plata, Sureste/Levante, Manchego, Ruta del Argar.
Finally caught up with reading this thread. Great stuff Bad Pilgrim. Informative and very amusing.

As per my recent post, aiming to start out on La Ruta de la Lana at the end of September. I only have 10 days, which includes getting there and getting out again. I've walked Alicante to Almansa on a Sureste/Levante combination in the past, so my plan is to walk from Almansa to Cuenca and complete the route next year.

I'm guessing that the two guides mentioned in this thread are those by the Associacion de Amigos del Camino de Santiago Alicante and by Kevin F. O'Brien and Johannes Meulemans? The former looks amazing by its completeness and the latter by its conciseness.

It all looks fairly straightforward, but here is my plan:

Day 1: bus or train to Almansa. Overnight at the Convent of the Slaves of Mary.
Day 2: Almansa to Alpera (23kms). It's a short day so I'm aiming to walk over the Sierra de Mugron rather than around it. Overnight at the Alpera Albergue.
Day 3: Alpera to Alatoz (25kms). Overnight Alatoz Albergue.
Day 4: Alatoz to Alcala de Jucar in the morning (17kms). Afternoon and overnight in Alcala de Jucar. It'll be a Saturday night so I guess I'll need to reserve a room well in advance. Any suggestions anyone?
Day 5: Alcala de Jucar to Villarta (39kms). Overnight Hostal Los Tubos.
Day 6: Villarta to Campillo de Altobuey (31kms). Overnight in Polideportivo.
Day 7: Campillo de Altobuey to Monteaguado de las Salinas (36kms). Overnight Casa Rural Rincon de Sandra.
Day 8: Monteaguado de las Salinas to Fuentes (22kms). Overnight at Albergue Parroquial or Hostal Palancares.
Day 9: Fuentes to Cuenca in the morning (22kms). Afternoon in Cuenca and overnight in Cuenca Albergue.
Day 10: Bus or train to Madrid.

Any thoughts/comments welcome. Bad pilgrim or anyone else. Thanks in advance.

Buen Camino in the meantime.

Alfin del Asfalto
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Finally caught up with reading this thread. Great stuff Bad Pilgrim. Informative and very amusing.

As per my recent post, aiming to start out on La Ruta de la Lana at the end of September. I only have 10 days, which includes getting there and getting out again. I've walked Alicante to Almansa on a Sureste/Levante combination in the past, so my plan is to walk from Almansa to Cuenca and complete the route next year.

I'm guessing that the two guides mentioned in this thread are those by the Associacion de Amigos del Camino de Santiago Alicante and by Kevin F. O'Brien and Johannes Meulemans? The former looks amazing by its completeness and the latter by its conciseness.

It all looks fairly straightforward, but here is my plan:

Day 1: bus or train to Almansa. Overnight at the Convent of the Slaves of Mary.
Day 2: Almansa to Alpera (23kms). It's a short day so I'm aiming to walk over the Sierra de Mugron rather than around it. Overnight at the Alpera Albergue.
Day 3: Alpera to Alatoz (25kms). Overnight Alatoz Albergue.
Day 4: Alatoz to Alcala de Jucar in the morning (17kms). Afternoon and overnight in Alcala de Jucar. It'll be a Saturday night so I guess I'll need to reserve a room well in advance. Any suggestions anyone?
Day 5: Alcala de Jucar to Villarta (39kms). Overnight Hostal Los Tubos.
Day 6: Villarta to Campillo de Altobuey (31kms). Overnight in Polideportivo.
Day 7: Campillo de Altobuey to Monteaguado de las Salinas (36kms). Overnight Casa Rural Rincon de Sandra.
Day 8: Monteaguado de las Salinas to Fuentes (22kms). Overnight at Albergue Parroquial or Hostal Palancares.
Day 9: Fuentes to Cuenca in the morning (22kms). Afternoon in Cuenca and overnight in Cuenca Albergue.
Day 10: Bus or train to Madrid.

Any thoughts/comments welcome. Bad pilgrim or anyone else. Thanks in advance.

Buen Camino in the meantime.

Alfin del Asfalto
Hi again,

Your plan looks great. Walking over Sierra del Mugrón must be fantastic! I have always wondered what it looks like "up there" - it never crossed my mind that there must be trails leading up to the flat part...! Bring your camera for us!

I may have exaggerated the difficulty of finding lodging in Alcalá del Júcar... I have only stayed there once and I was on the verge of having to sleep in the woods. Perhaps I had just bad luck that day. But the place is a tourist attraction so yes, I would advice anyone to call ahead. If September is a busy month, I don't know... About specific places... I have no idea. I don't even remember where I finally stayed, but I remember clearly that it cost 35 euros. I guess it's a decent price for a hotel. I could go back to check my old credential for the name... But my credential is not here.

All the other places you mention are really good. You will love El Rincón de Sandra! You will see the ghosts of Campillo de Altobuey! You will meet Mónica in Villarta! I am jealous already.

BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
San Esteban de Gormaz - Huerta de Rey, Day 23

As it was Sunday morning I had zero hopes for any breakfast before noon. I left San Esteban de Gormaz at 05:30. The town was still sleeping. I passed many small-to-medium-sized pueblos, but didn't see much activity. Your best shot at a bar would be in Villálvaro, where there is a cafetería with a fairly large terrace on your right as you walk through the village. But Sunday morning... No luck.

Important: there is a fuente before leaving Villálvaro which warns that the water isn't treated or something... So, only partially drinkable, I presume. After leaving the village, next to a small recreational area, there is another fuente with better water! But it's a pump, so you have to work it to get the water up. At first it seems dry, but keep pumping! One of the villagers told me it is drinkable and that everyone goes there to fill their household bottles.

It was a surprise to see a restaurant in Alcubilla de Avellaneda! You pass right in front of it on the road that runs through town, in a curve. The guides don't mention it, and I don't remember it from before, so it must be new (?). Very fancy in a castle-like, old building: I had to look around. A cafetería and restaurant, but also an outdoor area with a terrace, arcades, a lawn, and a swimming pool (!). In a village of 150 inhabitants, they opened what looks like a Parador. And it's open on Sundays! First picture below.

I took a long break, then carried on to Hinojar del Rey. Thirsty pilgrims: don't miss the hidden fuente before the village. You will see a small, grey house at a point where another road joins the camino from the right. The fuente is on the other side of the building! It can't be seen, or heard, if you don't turn around as you pass the house. The villagers have told me it's drinkable. After a dry walk in the heights between Alcubilla and Hinojar, that water is so cool and refreshing...! And then only a couple of kms to Quintanarraya, where I stayed two years ago.

Quintanarraya must be the smallest village on the Lana to be pinpointed as the end of a stage. There is nothing, but a bunch of summer residents (in summer) with their families. There is also a bar (on top of the Ayuntamiento). Go to the bar to get the keys to the albergue. 5 euros!

Personally I have bad memories from the albergue in Quintanarraya. Last time, I arrived one day after the infamous Spanish youth organization MWM (Millennials Without Manners) checked out. A bus load of schoolchildren had left the place a mess. I won't tell you how the shower looked. But I think I was filthier coming out of the shower than stepping into it. When I moved around in the bathroom, I wished I could hover two inches above the ground so I didn't have to touch anything.

All day long I was worried that history would repeat itself and that I would run into them. Or one of their affiliate organizations that also operate on the Camino de Santiago, such as: VDT (Vocally Disturbed Teenagers), UCC (Unsupervised Children of Castilia) or YDD (Youngsters Deprived of Decency). Pick your donation. But the barman in Quintanarraya didn't mention any of this so I could well have stayed for the night. I was just so tempted to push on to Huerta de Rey... Just 6 or 7 little kms. I decided to give it a go.

This turned out to be a good decision! I found the casa rural La Tejera, which charges 20 euros. And this for a room in a house that is just as fine as, let's say, El Rincón de Sandra in Monteagudo. Once again, a ridiculously low price for a standard like that. I was flabbergasted. I asked Nice-Guy-In-Charge if this was a pilgrim deal, but he said it was the same price for everyone. Thank you Huerta de Rey! I also noticed a freshly painted Hostal El Cid (last photo below) in town, which the guides don't mention. Do they only accept Cider pilgrims or can Laners check in as well? I was too tired to investigate... I was so happy to be in a village with more than one half-empty bar and two goats, and with some action going on. With almost 1000 inhabitants, Huerta de Rey is a metropolis compared to Quintanarraya. That said, without a youth mob there is nothing wrong with the albergue in Quintanarraya. The people in the bar and the villagers are very helpful and kind to pilgrims! I'm just giving you some alternatives here.

The camino between the two villages is flat as a pancake. If you feel you can push on six more kms, I seriously think you should do it. That gives you a short stage of 18 kms to Santo Domingo de Silos the next day. And Santo Domingo deserves to be explored!

Sorry for the long post! I will cut it down the next time.

Hang on!


BP
 

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Undermanager

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Madrid (x2)
VDLP
Salvador
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Glad you are having lots of fun! How's the weather for you at the moment? Not too hot I hope?
 

Joe McDonald

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances2014
F'sterre14,16,18
P'uese16
Vdlp/Sanabres17
Ingles17
Sureste/Vdlp/Invierno18
Thanks again for all your accounts and advice. I will be using a lot of it when I take the road from Valencia in late August.
Take care
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Huerta de Rey - Covarrubias, Day 24

Today's stage started with a lot of tarmac. There are 14 kms to Peñacoba and the first ten or so of them are on the road. Luckily it is a road that runs through the woods so there are shadow and nature all around. But a road through the woods becomes so monotonous... I passed several depressing recreational areas, and after the largest of them I finally left the tarmac. Objectively it is a beautiful stretch through the woods and finally over a ridge. But I was tired and it took ages for me to get to Peñacoba. Where there is a fuente, but not much more. Luckily there are only 4 kms to Santo Domingo de Silos from there.

Most pilgrims will stop at Santo Domingo de Silos, with its famous monastery. You can admire the medieval houses, you can marvel at the exquisite Plaza Mayor, you can hang out with the monks in the monastery when they are praying... There is an albergue here, though I have never stayed there. There are a few hotels and hostals in town. Right at the entrance, when you have come down from the hills past the ermita and put your very first step in the village, there is a restaurante/hostal on your right. If you are tired of walking, you can check in the second you enter the village...! (Although this place was closed today. Because it's Monday morning?) Anyway, I had already stayed in Santo Domingo once. I continued to Covarrubias 16 kms further on.

To Covarrubias there are basically a few kms of flat as a pancake, then upwards to a ridge for a flat walk of several kms and then down to Retuerta. From Retuerta there are only 4 kms left to Covarrubias. That is... if you don't leave Retuerta on the right side of its church, which is WRONG, and end up doing 14 kms instead of 4. But who would be so stupid?! Someone who got lost two years ago perhaps... No further comments.

Just remember that, even if the red and white GR-signs follow the Camino in this area, they are not arrows. If, or rather when, the two go separate ways or if waymarking is unclear, you must follow the arrows. It is easy to forget when you have seen these signs together for several days. You may end up doing a detour of 10 kms! No further comments!!

Whatever you do, keep to the LEFT when you enter Retuerta. Cross the road further on and you're out on a country road again, that goes steep uphill for about 1 km. Then a slow descent to Covarrubias.

Covarrubias is one of the best preserved medieval villages in Spain. It's stunning to stroll through the streets and the squares and admire the architecture... If there are not outbursts of rain and thunderstorms, like today. At least it's not too hot...! There is also this story about a Norwegian princess who married this Spanish guy who was a prince or something and she like ended up dead here. Yup. So they are proud to remember their Norwegian heritage. For example, the Norwegian flag is seen here and there. At the entrance to the village on the motorway there is a welcome sign in the Norwegian language together with the Spanish one. But you only see it if you get lost in Retuerta and have to walk at least 7 additional kms on the motorway... No further comments.

I'm staying in the hostal Galín: 25 euros. And here ends my Camino de la Lana! Surprise. I'm still going to Burgos, but on the Camino de San Olav. I haven't really read as much about this Camino as I should have. But I heavily suspect it has got something to do with that norwegian princess who died here, cause the camino goes to her chapel 3 kms outside Covarrubias. Anyway, it's 60 kms all together so I'll try to do it in 2 stages. I don't know if I will write about it, since it's only 2 stages, but we'll see. In that case I move over to the San Olav department of this Forum.

If you are planning on walking from Covarrubias to Burgos on the Lana, the Spanish guide from the Asociación is as good as always, as well as Kevin O'Brien's guide in English. Fellow pilgrim Undermanager has also written extensively about this last bit here on the Forum. Check it out!

Thanks for bearing with me on this journey. I have really enjoyed the input and comments of all previous and future Laners! If/When I get to Burgos I might pop up here again, since Burgos is the end of the Lana as well as the San Olav.

¡Hasta luego!

BP
 

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
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I'm still going to Burgos, but on the Camino de San Olav. I haven't really read as much about this Camino as I should have. But I heavily suspect it has got something to do with that norwegian princess who died here, cause the camino goes to her chapel 3 kms outside Covarrubias. Anyway, it's 60 kms all together so I'll try to do it in 2 stages. I don't know if I will write about it, since it's only 2 stages, but we'll see. In that case I
It's super. Do yourself a favor and give the chapel a miss. It's missable. And the track behind it going up thr hill can be confusing. But there's a direct route uphill from Covarrubias.
The Santa Marua de Lara on the other sise of the hill? Just wow. Visigothic. Gorgeous.
From Covarrubias to Mambrillas there are also 2 ways. Don't believe the sign saying Quintanilla unless you want to go straight there and bypass Mambrillas. This actually saves a lot of walking but you miss the Dino footprints). Or maybe after a day in solitary natural surroundings you miss walking next to a busy road?
To Quintanilla direct take the Left fork to GR82, to Mambrillas take the right one:
tmp_23590-20160324_150029950939426.jpg
Easy from there to get to Burgos in 2 days.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
It's super. Do yourself a favor and give the chapel a miss. It's missable. And the track behind it going up thr hill can be confusing. But there's a direct route uphill from Covarrubias.
The Santa Marua de Lara on the other sise of the hill? Just wow. Visigothic. Gorgeous.


Easy from there to get to Burgos in 2 days.
I feel so unprepared. I'm sure I'm going to get lost tomorrow. I'm staying in San Cibrian, the casa rural. How is the waymarking?
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
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You'll be fine, BP. I did it even without a map.
Decide if you want to go straight to Quintanailla de las Viñas, and if so go straight uphill from Covarrubias and down the other side without going towards Mambrillas de Lara.
Here's a screenshot:
Whatever you do don't miss Santa Maria de Lara.
 

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Bad Pilgrim

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Far too many...
You'll be fine, BP. I did it even without a map.
Decide if you want to go straight to Quintanailla de las Viñas, and if so go straight uphill from Covarrubias and down the other side without going towards Mambrillas de Lara.
Here's a screenshot:
Whatever you do fon't miss Santa Maria de Lara.
Ok thanks! But I believe you forgot the screenshot :eek:
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Yes!
Laurie posted wikiloc tracks but I can't find them, and unfortunately she's flying right now and out of range.
I went on the road after Quintananilla, she didn't.
Her way was much better.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Another screenshot.
The OSMand app makes a huge purple line but you get the drift.
Vira,

I have survived the San Olav and I am in Burgos!! 😃 Who would have thought :eek:! Thanks for your maps & advice.

I will post a few words about it in the San Olav section. Here, I will do a short summary and evaluation of the Lana.

Stay tuned!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Well.
I hope you enjoyed it as the rest of us have, after that roundabout way into Covarrubias! Look forward to reading about it, BP.
Where to now?
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Burgos, Day 26

Two days ago I defected from the Camino de la Lana to take an alternative camino to Burgos. (Burgos is the end of the Camino de la Lana.) The reason for this is that I had already followed the Lana to Burgos once. I wanted to try something new. Now that I'm here in Burgos, I want to make a summary of the Lana in June-July 2019!

But first a few words about the stage I didn't walk: Covarrubias to Burgos. I stayed in Covarrubias this time. But the end of that stage is actually Mecerreyes, a small village 7 kms outside Covarrubias. I think the reason for Mecerreyes being listed as the end of the stage is that it makes a manageable last stage (35 kms) to Burgos from Mecerreyes the next day. But if you stay overnight in Covarrubias, you will have more than 40 kms to Burgos the next day! Too bad, because Covarrubias has everything a pilgrim needs. Its cultural, architectonical and historical value would make it the obvious end of a stage, just like Santo Domingo de Silos the day before. But the distances make this difficult.

If you stay in Covarrubias, you have four options as I see it. 1) Do a short stage of only 7 kms to Mecerreyes the next day. 2) Arrive early in Covarrubias, spend most of the day there and walk the remaining 7 kms to Mecerreyes in the evening. 3) Veer off on the Camino San Olav from Covarrubias as I did. The first place to stay is about 14 kms from Covarrubias, another one about 25 kms. 4) Just walk the remaining 40+ kms from Covarrubias to Burgos and stop whining! I know fellow pilgrim Undermanager did this. But he's an elite marine...! ;)

It's important to know that Mecerreyes has a good albergue. I would say it is one of the largest and cleanest municipal albergues on the Lana. Excellent. But there is not much to do in the small village!

And how do I perceive el Camino de la Lana in its totality?

Other pilgrims: very few. This is still a solitary route, especially in summer. You are unlikely to run into other Lana pilgrims while walking or in the albergues. I met only two between Alicante and Burgos. Perhaps there are more people walking in spring and autumn (the registers I saw in the albergues suggest this). You will sometimes meet people walking El Camino del Cid, mostly Spaniards. The Lana and the Cid often overlap, especially between Cuenca and Burgos. But the people who follow the Cid all walk in the opposite direction...!

Waymarking: Good. But the fact that the GR-routes, the Cid and the Lana overlap may create confusion. The last week was full of scribbles on rocks and trees that I couldn't interpret. Guides are helpful.

Guides: Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago en Alicante (google it) and Kevin O'Brien (on this forum). But prices in hostales and casas rurales were all over the place. Even albergue prices can differ. Call ahead to confirm price?

Hardest stage: In my opinion it's Salmerón - Trillo (27 kms). But I doubt other pilgrims will agree. Up and down a hill/a mountainside not one time, but two times. That's murder. 21 kms on this stage have no water, food or villages. Still it's only the second most isolated stretch: from Monteagudo de las Salinas to Fuentes are 23 kms without civilization.

Best albergue municipal: and the award goes to... Mecerreyes (as of 2017). But I have heard that the albergue in Retortillo de Soria is a strong contender.

Worst albergue: Villar de Domingo García. But I find it hard to see an alternative. Antonio in Villaconejos told me that he and Pepe have spoken to the mayor about the condition of the albergue, without success. They have even traveled there themselves to clean it up!

Season: Summer pilgrims must beware of heatwaves. I usually set the alarm at 4.30 a.m to start walking at 5. But I am slow. Other pilgrims may sleep longer and still avoid the heat. Around noon, and certainly after 1 or 2 pm, things got difficult if I hadn't reached my destination. Find out beforehand how much water you need to carry. Spring and autumn are cooler. But there are a lot of dirt roads and rural tracks that will become muddy in rain.

I don't know what else to add.

I guess I have to start planning my third Camino de la Lana! 😃

The end (???)

/BP
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Thank you @Bad Pilgrim for your entertaining account of the Lana. I hope to finish it one day, but meanwhile it was good to relive it through your eyes and words.
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
It’s funny, but the more I read your blog and the more I remember my own walk which wasn’t that long ago but somehow seems it, the more I want to do this walk again in the Autumn. The thing is I guess, that it’s so fresh in the memory that it would be fun to do it again and I have all the maps and info, but this time to try and stay in as many different places compared to last time as possible. And am I right, that in September, there would be endless grapes, olives and almonds to scoff? If the aging parents are still coping, I might risk another cheeky month in September ....... Food for thought. Caminos are great. I liked writing my blog and posting photos, but I really like your perspective as well BP and photos. Everyone should do blogs like yours. It helps everyone, gets the juices flowing .....
Does this mean that you may or might walk with me - just saying or asking!!??
 

Undermanager

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LOL ! Who knows! It would be great to find my long lost glasses under that tree if for no other reason! Great walk, BP. It was fun to read your account and compare so soon after my own trek. I'm glad you sorted out posting photos, too. A blog plus photos I think gets others really interested in doing the walk themselves. It's a great one for people who like less busy walks, with just a couple of places you have to think about because of the distances involved. You're brave doing this in the Summer with the heat but I can see how 5.00am starts make this much more doable, and it's always great to be up and active when the sun breaks, the birds start singing and there aren't too many others about. You managed to avoid the wild fires as well - there was only one on my walk, which appeared about an hour behind me and looked huge. I certainly liked reading about the casas and hotels along the way and are a good option for people contemplating this walk (as long as you try not to arrive during siesta time!) , especially because most are super value but there are many cracking albergues along this route, and thankfully only a couple in need of love and attention. Your feet held up, too!

So, where next? When next?
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
LOL ! Who knows! It would be great to find my long lost glasses under that tree if for no other reason! Great walk, BP. It was fun to read your account and compare so soon after my own trek. I'm glad you sorted out posting photos, too. A blog plus photos I think gets others really interested in doing the walk themselves. It's a great one for people who like less busy walks, with just a couple of places you have to think about because of the distances involved. You're brave doing this in the Summer with the heat but I can see how 5.00am starts make this much more doable, and it's always great to be up and active when the sun breaks, the birds start singing and there aren't too many others about. You managed to avoid the wild fires as well - there was only one on my walk, which appeared about an hour behind me and looked huge. I certainly liked reading about the casas and hotels along the way and are a good option for people contemplating this walk (as long as you try not to arrive during siesta time!) , especially because most are super value but there are many cracking albergues along this route, and thankfully only a couple in need of love and attention. Your feet held up, too!

So, where next? When next?
I'm already on the Camino Vasco, my friend 😃! I took a bus from Burgos to Irún... Why not 😇!!
 

Undermanager

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I know nothing at all about the Camino Vasco. Are you blogging somewhere as well? Albergues along the way or casas?
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
I know nothing at all about the Camino Vasco. Are you blogging somewhere as well? Albergues along the way or casas?
I know nothing either!! I am 10 kms from Irún and don't know what I've gotten myself into. I have the Eroski guide (Spanish) though and they're usually pretty good. No, I think I have to take a break from my blogging. Which always tends to be overproduced. I can never keep it short! Bla bla bla.

I might be back with a summary of the Vasco if/when I reach "the end", which is Santo Domingo de la Calzada...
 

Undermanager

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Ah, such a shame. I cancelled my daily newspaper as I thought I'd be able to read your blogs for news instead - far more interesting! Daily accounts are super useful for others when planning their own future walks, and gives people like me who've never heard of a route new ideas, schemes and dreams ....

Oh well. Have fun.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Ah, such a shame. I cancelled my daily newspaper as I thought I'd be able to read your blogs for news instead - far more interesting! Daily accounts are super useful for others when planning their own future walks, and gives people like me who've never heard of a route new ideas, schemes and dreams ....

Oh well. Have fun.
Well you'll have to do with my report from the San Olav, if you go to that section on the Forum :)! It's another way of getting to Burgos on the Lana. Something for you and Marilyn if you walk the Lana this September ;)!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I know nothing either!! I am 10 kms from Irún and don't know what I've gotten myself into. I have the Eroski guide (Spanish) though and they're usually pretty good. No, I think I have to take a break from my blogging. Which always tends to be overproduced. I can never keep it short! Bla bla bla.

I might be back with a summary of the Vasco if/when I reach "the end", which is Santo Domingo de la Calzada...
Try to find @VNwalking and @peregrina2000 threads from this year. If you have any specific question I can always help as I walked it (Via de Bayona) in 2016 but the two routes overlapse from Irun to Estavillo.

Buen Camino!
 

Joe McDonald

Member
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Thanks once again BP for your excellent accounts of your experiences along the Lana. It makes the waiting before I start it even longer. With 38 days until I fly out to Valencia I think it's time to begin the count down!

Take great care of yourself out there

Joe
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
Have a great night! I hope you are on your own in the sports hall and there are thunderstorms - it'll be a great experience! 😀😂😍😇. I'm enjoying reading your accounts every day. How hot is it?
No way am I staying in this place - is there a Parador!!??
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
Villarta - Campillo de Altobuey, Day 9

I slept like a baby in Los Tubos. But I put the alarm at early 05:00 since I had to do about 30 kms to Campillo de Altobuey. Two years ago I got lost in the vineyards, but this time it went much smoother. I must say that I didn't see a single arrow with my flashlight on the way out of Villarta. I relayed only on my paper map from the Asociación de la Lana (in Spanish). But I left Villarta in complete darkness so perhaps there are some waymarks?

A heads up when you enter Graja de Iniesta (10 kms): don't forget to turn your head and look at your right before entering the village, or you might miss the restaurant Hostal Pepe. Restaurant Pepe is a roadside café, in a large building the size of a smaller airport, and thus big enough open early even on a Sunday morning! Thanks Pepe. I had a looong break and a gigantic breakfast, washed down with huge amounts of café con leche!

Fully tanked, I set out again to do the remaining 20 (gasp) kms to Campillo de Altobuey in the rising heat. Nice surroundings, but far away from civilization. I will see if I can upload the pictures. I started out in full speed, then gradually slowed down... When I entered Campillo, my feet were on fire. That uphill, before crossing the road and descending in Campillo, really crushed me in the midday heat. It is not steep, but rather a long slog, at least when you are running out of energy... and water. When I entered Campillo, I didn't have a drop left.

I apparently missed some sort of religious or traditional procesión in the village. It was all over when I arrived, I was told, but the plaza and its bars were still full of people, musicians, tourists... Everyone eating and shouting at each other, for no obvious reason. From time to time I happen to find those bars with people who are screaming all the time, and these places are not nice for relaxing after 30 kms. I had run out of water and needed to order something to drink, but when I couldn't take the noise anymore I decided it was time to head for the polideportivo, the sports hall. I don't get the shouting thing in bars, sorry.

I already knew where the sports hall is located so it was no problem getting there and getting hold of Nice Sporthall's Lady who handed me the keys. She says there is cold water in the men's changing rooms, but warm water in the women's room. No comments...

And then... Outrage! Horror!! They have taken away the large, thick mattress (a landing mat) where I slept two years ago. My plan was to sneak out in the hall at nightfall to use it as a bed, because the thin mats that Nice Sporthall's Lady normally gives me are so thin they are useless. With my back, I can't sleep on them. I had to explore the rest of building to see if I could find something else to sleep on.

The gym was open, and I found more of the same thin mattresses that I can lay over one another to make a softer surface. Nice Sporthall's Lady also left me with a pile of blankets: I folded them and put them under me as well, so the matresses get even softer. Yet another gym mat, together with my dusty rucksack, will do for a pillow. I took a picture of my creative work (I will try to upload it later). It looks ghastly. I am sure I will never win any housekeeping awards with this, but at least it is functional.

Nice Lady says there are no games here tonight. So there's only going to be me and the ghosts. Cool. I have called ahead to get a place for tomorrow (with a normal bed) at El Rincón de Sandra (a Casa rural), but I only got hold of her husband. She will call me later this evening. I keep my fingers crossed. I need their washing machine!!

/BP
is there no other place to stay - cannot stay with ghosties - oh dear what shall I do???
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
I can see a casa rural and a hotel rural on Google maps! And I know the Spanish guide listed alternatives. So I think you can avoid the polideportivo. I don't know about prices though!
Thanks BP - I have read your account of your camino and enjoyed it all - so glad your foot behaved and that you were able to complete this one at last. You mentioned somewhere about an abuela having to climb over a sticky gate opening - well I am one but hopefully will be able to climb up an over - had a little chuckle at that. Did you at any time feel it was too lonely - I would be more than happy if I knew there was someone else on route. I intend to start walking on the 5th Sept and need to be in Madrid on the 3rd Oct - I am sure that is more than enough time - I don't like taking rest days normally but am happy to do a short day and take that as a rest day. Once again thanks for sharing your blog and loved your photos. In friendship from Abuela!!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Thanks BP - I have read your account of your camino and enjoyed it all - so glad your foot behaved and that you were able to complete this one at last. You mentioned somewhere about an abuela having to climb over a sticky gate opening - well I am one but hopefully will be able to climb up an over - had a little chuckle at that. Did you at any time feel it was too lonely - I would be more than happy if I knew there was someone else on route. I intend to start walking on the 5th Sept and need to be in Madrid on the 3rd Oct - I am sure that is more than enough time - I don't like taking rest days normally but am happy to do a short day and take that as a rest day. Once again thanks for sharing your blog and loved your photos. In friendship from Abuela!!
I think your time frame is perfect. I walked it in about 26 stages (I say "about", cause I don't know how to count the San Olav diversion that I did).

The sticky gates are only on one of the alternatives to Atienza. You could choose the other one (through Sigüenza)!

About loneliness: Yes it was lonely on the Camino, but most hospitaleros make you feel welcome at the end of each stage so there is always the possibility of a chat with someone. I am sure you will meet more pilgrims than I did, if you walk in September. You should keep in contact with Undermanager, who seemed interested in an Autumn camino...!

Towns worth to explore are Alcalá del Júcar, Cuenca, Santo Domingo de Silos and Covarrubias. If you plan to walk shorter stages to have time to check them out!
 

RebekkaRey

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
My plan is walking the Camino de Santiago in june 2018
Hello pilgrimitos and pilgrimitas,

It's me again… Sorry to bother... :OP

Just a heads up that I will be starting from Alicante in about 10 days. For the third time from Alicante, and my second time on the Lana.

Why walk the Lana again, you may ask?! :Oo

Well that is because:

1) It is my favorite camino so far.
2) I am a repeat Camino offender.
3) Two years ago I hurt my foot on the Lana... And I am back for revenge!!

Luckily, Maggie and Undermanager have recently written about the Lana and posted loads of photos. I have no idea what I could possibly add.
I carry a simple cell-phone and it takes forever to write anything on it, and I cannot upload any pictures.
Therefore I will post very short info about each stage, with mostly practical information. It will give me something to do in the afternoons…

I hope to discover the San Olav and the Vasco Interior, and revisit the Invierno as well… But the best laid plans... I know!

Tag along! ;OD

/BP
Hi BP
is the Lana way marked as the French way, where can I find out how to walk the Lana way? I live in Alicante and like to walk the Lana way, have heard about it but don´t know where exactly it is.
Best regards
Rebekka
 

marilyn van graan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
Hi BP
is the Lana way marked as the French way, where can I find out how to walk the Lana way? I live in Alicante and like to walk the Lana way, have heard about it but don´t know where exactly it is.
Best regards
Rebekka
Hi Rebekka - I am planning on walking the LaLana in September and will walk from Alicante - I will start on the 5th September and plan to walk until the 2nd October - hope our dates can coincide - would be wonderful to have some company as I believe this wonderful camino is not busy at all. Have followed a couple of blogs and it is really beautiful. In friendship and buen camino
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hi BP
is the Lana way marked as the French way, where can I find out how to walk the Lana way? I live in Alicante and like to walk the Lana way, have heard about it but don´t know where exactly it is.
Best regards
Rebekka
Map of most of Spanish and Portuguese Caminos. You can find La Lana among them. Scroll down a bit:

La Lana:
You live in Alicante so you can also visit Asociacion office.

Few from this forum:
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/day-8-arrival-in-cuenca.61221/
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/live-from-the-camino-ruta-de-la-lana.60598/#post-720004
https://magwood.me/2019/04/08/ruta-de-la-lana-stage-1-alicante-to-novelda-32-km/
And of course this one where you posted your question. Read it from the start and all your questions will be answered.

Also use Search option here on the forum or Googla La Lana. Everything you need to know is here/there ;)
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Hi BP
is the Lana way marked as the French way, where can I find out how to walk the Lana way? I live in Alicante and like to walk the Lana way, have heard about it but don´t know where exactly it is.
Best regards
Rebekka
Hi Rebekka,

If you live in Alicante, you should definitely walk the Lana! How lucky you are. First stops after Alicante are usually Orito, Monforte del Cid or Novelda. If you live in Alicante, you are familiar with them already!

The waymarking is good. It's been so long since I walked the Francés so it's difficult for me to compare...! Especially before Cuenca I think you would have zero problem.

Info about the route is kind of all over the place... I used the Spanish guide from the Asociación de Alicante, that Kinky1 linked to. There is general info about the route on their homepage, I think. And I used Kevin O'Brien's English guide that you can find in the resources section here on the Forum.

/BP
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
A shout out to everyone though: Mundicamino.com says the first stage between Alicante and Novelda is 24 kms. This is incorrect. There are about 24 kms to Orito, not Novelda. There are actually 32 kms to Novelda from Alicante.
 

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