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Camino Castellano-Aragonés and Camino de San Olav spring 2023 — Video and notes!

bjorgts

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
In Spain, France, Portugal, Germany since 2003
This spring my husband and I walked the Camino Castellano-Aragonés and the Camino San Olav. It was a great experience! These are caminos with a lot of variety, beautiful landscapes and fine, old Romanesque architecture - and even older.
I am not writing a detailed description here now; just bringing up a few points. Ask me if there is anything you are want to know.
We went Gallur - Tarazona as the last part of our hike in spring 2022. See own comment and more about it here on the forum.
- Tarazona: Nice city. Spend some time there if you can.
- Agreda - Soria (Pozalmuro): This is a section that must be divided. There are many small towns. Most of them have neither accommodation nor food. The place to spend the night is Pozalmuro. There is an albergue in the old school. We had a good time there. It is Carmen at the bar who has the key. We had some trouble getting hold of her on the phone beforehand, but eventually succeeded. Unfortunately, I don't remember the phone number. Don't count on the bar always being open. Pozalmuro is a very small village, and we had the impression that the bar was open around the weekend, because then a lot of people come to their second homes. We were lucky and came there on a Sunday. Carmen made a good plato combinado for us, and big bocadillos for the next day, because the bar wasn't open then. The albergue: We had everything we needed in the albergue. This was a cold spring day, and Carmen turned on the heat for us. That was a big plus.
- Pozalmuro - Soria: We are now both over 70 years old, and this is too long a stage for us. We walked to Fuensaúco and took a bus from there to Soria. Therpasa runs the route there. There was a bus at 17:52 and 20:52. Buy a ticket in advance, otherwise you risk the bus not stopping. Also make sure to stand at the right entrance to the city. The bus stops at the entrance at the top of the hill and not down on the plain. We got scolded by the driver for standing in the wrong place.
- Soria: Spend a day there! It is a nice town!
- Soria - San Leonardo: This part of the camino can be divided in different ways if you can stay at a Casa Rural/Hostal/Hotel. We took a taxi a few kilometers out of Soria to get our plan up and running.
- Cañon de Rio Lobos: Take a detour from San Leonardo to Hontoria! Good help at the tourist information. You have to take a taxi from San Leonardo to the mouth of the Cañon de Rio Lobos, and then a fantastic day through the canyon awaits! Birds, wildlife, the canyon itself, the Eremita... Do it!
- Santo Domingo de Silos: If you have plenty of time, spend a day there. I spent a lot of time in the cloister, just enjoying the sight of the archways and columns. (Something shown in my video.)
- Covarrubias: One of the "most beautiful towns in Spain". For Norwegians, it is a special place. I could tell an exciting story about the Norwegian princess (Kristina) who was married to a Spanish prince and was buried in Covarrubias in 1262.
- Camino de San Olav: From Burgos to Covarrubias there is a camino for Sant Olav. We came from the south, and therefore walked it in the opposite direction. It takes three (four) days. It exists because of Princess Kristina and her wish for a chapel for Sant Olav. It was not built until now - 2011. It is mostly Norwegians who walk this route. It was nice. (See the video.) On Camino de San Olav you depend on some benevolent Casa Rurales, but we had no problems getting a place to sleep.
- These caminos are hereby recommended!
 
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I will be watching this in bits and pieces, so be ready for my bombardment of questions!

Can you say more about the albergue in Pozalmuro? When I was there, the albergue was behind the medical office /farmacia. It was so cold that the hospitalera (who was the woman in the bar) helped me drag a mattress from the rec hall type space behind the office to the waiting room in front. I had spread out my stuff and had just finished showering when the pharmacist or doctor came into the office and told me he was going to open up between 6 and 8 or something like that. But no problem, he didn’t even bat an eye at my mattress and backpack occupying most of the floor space in the waiting room. People came and went, no one seemed surprised.

Beautiful pictures of those Romanesque churches in the little towns on the way into Soria. I was gobsmacked, had no idea they were coming.

I think you made a good decision by taking the bus from Fuensauco into Soria. I wonder if that was because you read my account of a pretty challenging and unpleasant walk along the railroad tracks.

I think we did the same things on our Soria rest day. I was so glad I had planned one, because there is just so much to enjoy there. I think Soria is the most beautiful “unknown” city in Spain. What a gem.
 
Nice to see you walk the San Olav! I wrote the guide for it in 2016. Did you use it? Was it difficult to walk it backwards?


@alexwalker, from Tromsø
Nice! Yes, I read it and found useful help. Thank you! It was not difficult to walk the opposite way, but may be that is because we have always a GPS-track on the mobile now. So we also had now for Camino San Olav. The marking was quite good, but of course the marks are not on the importent places when you walk in the "wrong" direction
 
I will be watching this in bits and pieces, so be ready for my bombardment of questions!

Can you say more about the albergue in Pozalmuro? When I was there, the albergue was behind the medical office /farmacia. It was so cold that the hospitalera (who was the woman in the bar) helped me drag a mattress from the rec hall type space behind the office to the waiting room in front. I had spread out my stuff and had just finished showering when the pharmacist or doctor came into the office and told me he was going to open up between 6 and 8 or something like that. But no problem, he didn’t even bat an eye at my mattress and backpack occupying most of the floor space in the waiting room. People came and went, no one seemed surprised.

Beautiful pictures of those Romanesque churches in the little towns on the way into Soria. I was gobsmacked, had no idea they were coming.

I think you made a good decision by taking the bus from Fuensauco into Soria. I wonder if that was because you read my account of a pretty challenging and unpleasant walk along the railroad tracks.

I think we did the same things on our Soria rest day. I was so glad I had planned one, because there is just so much to enjoy there. I think Soria is the most beautiful “unknown” city in Spain. What a gem.
As I said, the albergue is in the old school building. A large room is furnished for the pilgrims. There are two bunks and two beds = 6 beds. Some blankets. The old school bathroom is perfectly fine - ladies and gents. Hot water, heating in the room. That is to say: All the basics.

After 20 years on caminos in Spain, I have become quite good at finding my way in the bus system. :) So I found the bus from Fuensauco myself. If I've understood it correctly, the camino has been rerouted into Soria, so you don't walk the way you did on your camino. We HAD to find transport on the last part of this leg, because it was far too long for us.
 
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.
Great news that they’ve re-routed the part from Fuensauco into Soria.

I think these wikiloc tracks show the new route, because I remember going south from Fuensauco to the RR line, whereas these tracks loop up to the north.



But yes it is still a long 38 km slog!
 
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Nice to see you walk the San Olav! I wrote the guide for it in 2016. Did you use it? Was it difficult to walk it backwards?


@alexwalker, from Tromsø
Hola, I am heading to Soria May 8 to start my Camino.(I did the Portuguese last May). I am a bicigrino and am going solo (72 yrs) I was .. maybe still am debating starting in Pamplona. But it looks like taking the via verde from Soria to Navaleno 1st night then to Silos (overnight) and on to Burgos via Covarrubias - St Olaf would be interesting. Then on to Santiago via Frances. Looking at the videos it seems a bit "lonely" as in no cafes or pilgrims .. On the other hand the main Frances in May is maybe too crowded. Any issues with this version. I don't speak much Spanish .. but enough to be polite and ask for things and make myself understood. (I didnt have any problems last year in Spain of Portugal. Also went solo on interior route.
 
I've just noticed this thread-- I did the Castellano Aragones a few years ago and I am not surprised to hear that not much has changed. I really liked the small townsall along the way, full of history (I like that) with Borgias and the Civil War, but very friendly people, happy (if a bit astonished) to encounter pilgrims.

I found great sources of information at ayuntamientos, as I would not pass one by without checking in for a sello. In several places, clerks would apply themselves to their telephones to find me accommodation and to direct me to good restaurants and to ensure that churches would be unlocked for me.

Tarazona and Soria are gems of Spain which are known by few. If you ever have an excuse to pass through the area or to walk the Camino through there, jump for it.
 
Hola, I am heading to Soria May 8 to start my Camino.(I did the Portuguese last May). I am a bicigrino and am going solo (72 yrs) I was .. maybe still am debating starting in Pamplona. But it looks like taking the via verde from Soria to Navaleno 1st night then to Silos (overnight) and on to Burgos via Covarrubias - St Olaf would be interesting. Then on to Santiago via Frances. Looking at the videos it seems a bit "lonely" as in no cafes or pilgrims .. On the other hand the main Frances in May is maybe too crowded. Any issues with this version. I don't speak much Spanish .. but enough to be polite and ask for things and make myself understood. (I didnt have any problems last year in Spain of Portugal. Also went solo on interior route.
It is lonely. We met no other walkers. But nice! Whether San Olav is good for cycling, I am not sure. Hope you find someone who knows.
 
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