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Virtual Camino Camino de Levante - Camí de Llevant

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
and this castle, as well as the rest of the town, looks like it's worth visiting:
The views from (and back towards) the castle are impressive. Cesare Borgia was a prisoner here in about 1504. His father Rodrigo de Borja (later pope Alexander VI) had been born at Xàtiva, a few days earlier on the walk.

More recently the castle of Chinchilla was a particularly nasty sounding "penal" for political prisoners.

 

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JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
But looking at the maps that came with my Levante guide, I figured it out. If you look at the screenshot of the Levante maps, you will see that the route marked heads off (in light lime green) circumventing the town on the left side, then turns at about 10 o’clock after going under the A-1, in and then heads away from the camino before zig zagging to get to the N-430. Even when we walked, the route had been re-marked with arrows, so I am sure it is no trouble now.
The attachment is old version, here is the last one:
GR239 08 01 guía.jpg
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Started Camino de Levante (2019).
Right, it's time we got moving again, and burned a few calories gained from those lovely pastries! ;)

Day 14: Hoya-Gonzalo to Chinchilla de Montearagón

The walk today, 17.7 km, completes the official 7th stage of the Levante.
This is how @peregrina2000 described this stage in her blog:

Those beehive huts are called cucos in this area. They served generally as shelters for shepherds, and are also found in parts of southern France, where they are called bories, or caselles.

It's an easy flat-ish walk, so we should have enough time to visit Chinchilla after our arrival. This is also a town on @JLWV 's list of towns with castles, and this castle, as well as the rest of the town, looks like it's worth visiting:

Go and check the photos @peregrina2000 has kindly shared earlier. And if we need more time, we can also extend our visit tomorrow morning before leaving. (In real life, Rachel and I would probably take a rest day here)

The Amigos' accommodation list includes a note about a municipal albergue:

It lists otherwise Hostal el Peñón, Hostal el Volante, which are both on the highway coming into town, one of these being possibly where @peregrina2000 stayed in 2013, as well as another 3 private places. The tourism website for Chinchilla has a few more, and includes one that attracted attention earlier in this thread, the Hotel La Posada de Chinchilla. Nice! Very nice! ☺
An interesting lodging is Casa cueva del Alfarero (Cuevas del Agujero). It appears in the video above, the dwellings with the funny white chimneys, which are caves dug out of the rock. It reminds me of the Sacromonte in Granada. I don't think it is available for an overnight, though, but it wouldn't hurt to ask, I guess.

There are a number of options for eating, according to the Chinchilla tourism website. El Rincón Manchego looks nice, what do you think, @VNwalking ? ☺

Now, before I go to bed, I have to ask what @peregrina2000 meant with this:

Is the useless meander just getting out of town?
Stayed in La Posada de Chinchilla last October and I have to say that, apart from it being so beautiful and elegant, the owners there, a young Spanish couple, were so helpful and friendly. And Chinchilla itself is certainly very quaint.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
More recently the castle of Chinchilla was a particularly nasty sounding "penal" for political prisoners.
You can find information about this in English if people care to google, but one thing I think I can mention without getting close to a “rules problem” is that I was surprised to see that the picture in the article shows the prison as actually being within the walls of the castle. Interesting to note that it has been demolished, as my 2013 picture shows.
 

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JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
BTW, are you seeing any Levante traffic these days? I suppose the heat of summer is still too blazing, but it will be interesting to see if people head out in fall.
This morning at the AACS's office we attended Davide, a young (39) man from Parma, Italia, who arrived in Valencia by bicycle (some 1350 km) and continues to Santiago by the camino de Levante.

Also 5 persons from Canals, after Xativa, who will begin the Camino de Levante on week-ends for the first 100 km, then continue for longer times.
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
I am still looking for somewhere to stay in Vallada, besides Casa Peseta, which looks expensive and is off the camino
Today Amparo, the secretary of AACSCV told me she had a good comment of a german pilgrim about this casa rural.
The price announced by Booking for a double room is 60€, but at this other web https://www.ruralgia.com/casa-peseta-casa-rural-h-5381773 they announce only 28€ for one person.
It is at 250 m from the way
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Assuming 'sybaritic' also means wealthy: I looked at the rates, and for starters, they will charge for a minimum of 6 people, even if you're a couple, let alone if you're single :eek:
I cannot speak for this destination, but on back-country Caminos (Vadiniense and Castellano-Aragon), I have found that about half of such casas rurales will open up and give pilgrims single-room rates (35€-50€) IF they're so inclined. Or at least that's what happened with me-- they may have entirely misunderstood my John-Wayne castellano, but they gave me a single rate anyway-- perhaps out of desperation to end the telephone call. This is much more likely in a quiet season, when the owner prefers a few euro to no euro.
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
About Casas Rurales, my feeling and little experience make me think that in holidays time they are more interested by a complete occupation, but when they have few or no customers, a pilgrim is welcomed and may obtain lower price.

About MOIXENT - Corral de Pablanch, after two mails (one returned for wrong direction, although got on the web), and three phone calls, I got a positive answer from the boss, Marco Antonio Garcia, Yes the casa rural is open !
The phone numbers listed as 647 787 335 and 962 260 049 are correct, but he says it is better to call to 744 602 053.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Today Amparo, the secretary of AACSCV told me she had a good comment of a german pilgrim about this casa rural.
The price announced by Booking for a double room is 60€, but at this other web https://www.ruralgia.com/casa-peseta-casa-rural-h-5381773 they announce only 28€ for one person.
It is at 250 m from the way
Thank you very much for this. I do not know how far I shall be able or willing to walk in a day when I can return to Spain to walk the Levante. So I am trying to find at least one place in each town or village where I could spend a night when I am able to walk.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
About MOIXENT - Corral de Pablanch, after two mails (one returned for wrong direction, although got on the web), and three phone calls, I got a positive answer from the boss, Marco Antonio Garcia, Yes the casa rural is open !
The phone numbers listed as 647 787 335 and 962 260 049 are correct, but he says it is better to call to 744 602 053.
Thank you so much, Jean Luis. I stayed there many years ago, but I remember that the Peruvian-Spanish couple were extremely nice. Unless things have changed, thougn, I would NOT eat dinner there.
 

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)
Chinchilla looks like one of those fascinating places you walk into on a camino, never having heard of it before. It looks like it's definitely worth taking some time here to nose around. My OSMand map is studded with points of interest, not even considering the castle.

From Spain.info:
Located on a hill that dominates the plains of La Mancha, the town of Chinchilla de Monte Aragón has a remarkable castle built in the 15th century by Juan Pacheco, marquis of Villena, and a beautiful medieval historic quarter.

Chinchilla de Monte Aragón calls for a serene walk through its streets, in order to admire the great houses and courtyards, and discover the quarter of Hondón, with its typical houses dug on the earth. It preserves the remains of the wall, some Arab vestiges, and the gate of Tiradores. It also has an impressive moat, dug on the rock, ten metres wide by six metres deep. In the urban centre we can still find ancient Arab public baths, as well as several emblazoned houses from the 16th to 18th centuries, such as the ancestral homes of López de Haro, Núñez Robles, the Palace of Barnuevo, the 16th-century house of Tercia, and the old public granary.
And...
One thing the OSMand map isn't studded with is grocery stores. So heads up, @Albertagirl. Though there's a filling station down near the highway which might be a spot to get drinks, yoghurt, and snacks.

Edit - Googlemaps shows a Coviran by the Convento Santo Domingo
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I usually budget for a restaurant meal each evening and a cafe breakfast in the morning, plus bread, cheese, and fruit for lunch. But my next camino is going more first class. I will economize where I can, but am reconciled to spending more and enjoying it, whether gas station snacks or a menu del dia. And I seem to have acquired the usual COVID 15 (like the freshman 15), so I don't have to worry about fading away.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Chinchilla looks like one of those fascinating places you walk into on a camino, never having heard of it before. It looks like it's definitely worth taking some time here to nose around. My OSMand map is studded with points of interest, not even considering the castle.
That's what I thought, and that's why in a real life Camino, we would probably stay two nights here.
However, in this virtual Camino, we are continuing our journey.

Day 15: Chinchilla to Albacete

This is the 8th stage on the official Amigos' website. It's a 16 km walk, and looks quite uneventful. This is one of these days that @peregrina2000 , in her blog, qualifies as:
"put your nose to the grind and walk" days
She continues:
I have been in a lot of Spanish cities and I can´t think of another one with fewer interesting buildings or less of a historic core. It was pretty awful, though I´m sure the people who live there love it as their home, so I´m not trying to insult anyone here. [...] After a café con leche, I decided to change my original plans of staying in Albacete (I couldn´t for the life of me imagine what I would do there all day)
Well, we're not going to stay long, just one night and then we'll move on. It's just that the 36 km to La Gineta are too much for us.

There's ample choice of accommodation in Albacete, and there's even a Parador, although it is not centrally located. Unfortunately, the Amigos' website advises us that there is no municipal albergue, but they do list three lodgings: Hostal San Agustín, Hostal Atienzar, and Hotel Castilla.

I have also made a mental note that on the way out, 4.5 km from the town centre, there is a Decathlon, should we need to replace/update/renew some of our gear.
 

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)
Albacete has a longish English Wikipedia entry with such gems as:
[Part of the historic region of La Mancha, Albacete has a reputation as producer of clasp knives. Its flat area and the removal of architectural barriers have reportedly made it one of the most accessible cities across the country.
☺
🤔
What do they mean by architectural barriers? Old buildings?

Much of its growth has been relatively recent, and the symbol of the city is a giant water tank. Take from that what you will. Clearly it's a military and industrial city.

But if you are interested in the Civil War, and airplanes, this may actually be a place of interest.
For most of the war, the airbase at Los Llanos was the main headquarters of the Republican air force. It was also the headquarters of the International Brigades
The aviation industry is one of the main economic engines of the city. Albacete hosts the School of TLP NATO pilots, Los Llanos Air Base, Ala 14 and the Air Maestranza Albacete. In addition, the city houses the Air and Logistic Park of Albacete, home to major companies
 
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murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Started Camino de Levante (2019).

Edit - It doesn't show up for me with Googlemap, either. (I'm not a fan of FB, so I sympathize with the conundum you face when dealing with places that only have a FB page.)
El Corral de Pablanch | Moixent
www.moixent.es › content › corral-p...

Ctra. Navalón, 7. 46640 Moixent Valencia. 962 260 049. elcorraldepablanch@hotmail.es · https://www.facebook.com/El-Corral-De-Pablanch-585604318116398 ...
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As VN pointed out, Albacete was the headquarters for the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War. I’m assuming that that fact means that most of the city was in rubble at the end of the war, which would explain the current state of things. Most of the apartment buildings look like they were build in the mid 20th century. It is truthfully pretty dreary. I didn’t stay in Albacete long enough to get any sense of its ambiente, and it may be a lively and well-loved place in spite of its urbanistic shortcomings. The cathedral dates from the XVI century.

And yes, Albacete is known as the knife capital of Spain. Lots and lots of shops with all different kinds. I was actually planning to buy a good wilderness knife for my son-in-law, but we were there on a Sunday and everything was closed. And there is a KNIFE MUSEUM!!!!!

One thing I remember, leaving Chinchilla (on the route now shown in the map JLWV posted) was that at a certain point, some prankster must have intentionally steered us wrong. We were at a fork, and the arrow was on a stone (which must have been moved). Only kms later did we realize that we had been taken off route. No GPS in those days, but thankfully things were very flat and it wasn’t too hard for my French friends to figure out. I was just dutifully following behind.

The pictures show the industrial area of Chinchilla early in the morning, our coffee break in Albacete, and a glimpse of beauty even on what was otherwise kind of a tedious day.
 

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JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
One thing the OSMand map isn't studded with is grocery stores. So heads up, @Albertagirl. Though there's a filling station down near the highway which might be a spot to get drinks, yoghurt, and snacks.

Edit - Googlemaps shows a Coviran by the Convento Santo Domingo
When I stayed at Hostal El Peñón, I bought very near, in a little supermarket behind the Repsol station, in street Santa Elena.

Other note about Chinchilla: it is the first place where I got a stamp at the Guardia Civil without need to explain what and why. The Oficer on Duty was very friendly.
 

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)
Other note about Chinchilla: it is the first place where I got a stamp at the Guardia Civil without need to explain what and why. The Oficer on Duty was very friendly.
Pilgrim-friendly Guarda Civil. ☺

It sounds like Chinchilla is much more pleasant place to linger than the modern bustle of Albacete.
I'm still stuck on the ceramics museum...as opposed to a knife museum. 😂

Unfortunately if you want to split that stage between Chinchilla and La Gineta into two shorter days, Albacete is the only option. Though I see it's possible to stretch the day out a little by staying a short distance off the camino in the Hotel Santa Isabel on the West edge of town...which just so happens to be right next to the Decathlon. :cool:
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Unfortunately if you want to split that stage between Chinchilla and La Gineta into two shorter days, Albacete is the only option.
There is a little village called El Trigal, slightly off the Camino. It's about 10 km out of Albacete, and the Amigos' accommodation lists it with two entries, both hotels: Hotel Los Gabrieles, Hotel Seis Hermanos.
This would mean there are only 30.4 km left to La Roda.

Though I see it's possible to stretch the day out a little by staying a short distance off the camino in the Hotel Santa Isabel on the West edge of town...which just so happens to be right next to the Decathlon. :cool:
☺ That's if you're more interested in Decathlon than knives 😂

Day 16: Albacete to La Gineta

The ninth official stage on the Levante is a 40.4 km walk from Albacete to La Roda.

We're going to break this into two days, hopefully, with a 20.1 km walk today from Albacete to La Gineta.

I say hopefully, because there is only place to stay in, and it is the municipal albergue. That shouldn't be a problem, except if we take @peregrina2000 's experience into account:
But by 3 pm we arrived in La Gineta, where the polideportivo (sports center) has a place where pilgrims can shower and sleep. Since it was Sunday, we had already called ahead on Friday to the town hall to say that 2 or 3 pilgrims would be arriving on Sunday. The woman I spoke with said to go to the local police, who would have the key. Once we got to the center of this small town, a young boy on roller blades came up to us and was essentially our guide for the next frustrating hour. First he took us to the local police -- closed. The phone number on the door didn´t work. Then he took us to the sports center -- closed and no sign of life. Then to a bar or two to ask for help -- nothing, nada, rien.
I note that she was trying to stay at the polideportivo, whereas the Amigos' accommodation list indicates that the albergue is:
en pequeño edificio cerca de la GC. Son 3 habitaciones dobles, con baños.
Now is that still the same place as in 2013? There is a phone number:
Contactar Ayto antes de 14h. Tel 687 578 013
@KinkyOne remembers that it may have moved to a nearby house, so hopefully we won't have any trouble finding a bed.

There's a Coviran (supermarket), a bakery, a fruit and vegetable place, a restaurant (Los Chopos), and a few cafés/bars, so we shouldn't go hungry.

Looking at Google maps in more details, it appears that there are two albergues, one next to the Guardia Civil, as per the Amigos' information, and the other on Calle Camino Real, number 83, with Google maps showing a photo of the Bar Chely. Hmmm... Any advice from veterans, please?
 

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)
That's if you're more interested in Decathlon than knives 😂
Aren't we all? I mean, socks after all!🧦🧦🧦🤣
Anyway, if you needed to go to the decathlon, the hotel next door would be very convenient. It's on the far side of town, which would make the next day's walk that much shorter.

What I am noticing about these days, at least from my maps, are the flatness of the terrain and the endless agricultural landscape. This part of La Mancha seems like the meseta on steroids. Do I have the wrong impression?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I can’t imagine that there are two albergues in La Gineta. I think that it’s more likely that the one in the polideportivo (which was where it was in 2013 when I was there) has closed and the other one, near the Guardia Civil, has opened to replace it. I think this information is probably accurate. It is the same as what the Valencia Association shows.

As I was googling around to try to find out more information, I came across another list of services put together by the camino association in Hospital de Llobregat (Catalunya). I’ve used their list on the Camino Catalán and it was very helpful. On this Levante list of theirs, they show that La Gineta has “oferta hotelera,” which must be referring to the Hostal Los Gabrieles, which AJ has already mentioned. Google maps shows that that is about 8 km before La Gineta (so almost in the middle between Albacete and La Gineta) but it is apparently close to the camino. It might be useful for people trying to split up stages.

This part of La Mancha seems like the meseta on steroids.
Actually this is part of the big meseta, at least that’s my impression. It is very flat, almost all the way to Toledo, where things pick up a bit. And you’re right that it is now almost exclusively agricultural fields, though there used to be a lot of grazing, I believe, at least that’s what I was told was the purpose of the last century mortar-less beehive huts that you see.

I’ll bet there’s not a day before Toledo with more than 100 or 200 m elevation gain. Good for endless vistas of springtime poppies and crops, but not as appealing in the hot shadeless summers of dry brown fields.

And one p.s. If you find yourself with nothing open, there is a train in late afternoon/early evening that will take you up to the next stage at La Roda in about 6 minutes.
 

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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
There is a little village called El Trigal, slightly off the Camino. It's about 10 km out of Albacete, and the Amigos' accommodation lists it with two entries, both hotels: Hotel Los Gabrieles, Hotel Seis Hermanos.
This would mean there are only 30.4 km left to La Roda.
And if 30 km is too much, you can walk the 8-10 km to Gineta, stay there, and then just have 20 km to La Roda.

The important thing to note is that when people say "the stages are too long" on a route, it just means that the typical published stages are too long. If you have the time, there are many opportunities to break them up, even without sleeping outdoors.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
I can’t imagine that there are two albergues in La Gineta. I think that it’s more likely that the one in the polideportivo (which was where it was in 2013 when I was there) has closed and the other one, near the Guardia Civil, has opened to replace it. I think this information is probably accurate. It is the same as what the Valencia Association shows.
I should notify Google that their map is incorrect... I have done that in the past with shop opening times, or exact placement of lodgings, but I'll have to check out the place before I do so.
The information you gave, as well as the one in the Amigos' accommodation list, shows the address of the albergue as Calle Fuensanta.

And one p.s. If you find yourself with nothing open, there is a train in late afternoon/early evening that will take you up to the next stage at La Roda in about 6 minutes
I had made a note of this after reading your blog, and I put it down as Plan B.

The important thing to note is that when people say "the stages are too long" on a route, it just means that the typical published stages are too long. If you have the time, there are many opportunities to break them up, even without sleeping outdoors.
That's the message I have been trying to communicate in this virtual Camino, and why I refer to the 'official' stages from the Amigos' website, before giving the details of our stages. As most pilgrims would be faster than us two slow walkers, I thought I would try to give the alternatives too, and I am glad the Veterans are chiming in! ☺
 

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)
What I see when I search with for La Gineta with Google is that the single albergue is at the far end of town (see attached screnshot/map)
My OSMand map shows neither, but has a place called Casa Oreja - presumably a CR - well north of town (about 8ks!). Thinking this might be an interesting alternative, I tried to chase down any information about it, but without success.

Edit...the map I got searching and the one I got by just opening GM were different. I see where you have 2 albergues, AJ. Confusing!
 

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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
What I see when I search with for La Gineta with Google is that the single albergue is at the far end of town (see attached screnshot/map)
My OSMand map shows neither, but has a place called Casa Oreja - presumably a CR - well north of town (about 8ks!). Thinking this might be an interesting alternative, I tried to chase down any information about it, but without success.

Edit...the map I got searching and the one I got by just opening GM were different. I see where you have 2 albergues, AJ. Confusing!
That's the one, @VNwalking .
The other one pops up when you zoom in to the town center (see screenshot).
I'm assuming that someone entered the information in Google maps incorrectly.Screenshot_20200913-204720.png
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Here's the original map I found, and I'm not sure what the other logo means, where it just says La Gineta. Maybe this is where to get the keys?
The pin next to the wording La Gineta is roughly where the other albergue (?) is located.
The keys to the albergue in Calle Fuensanta are collected from the Ayuntamiento or the police, I believe.

And @VNwalking , you need to recharge your phone 😄
 

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)
And @VNwalking , you need to recharge your phone 😄
Haha, yes, gracias. Now I'm on my computer and it's plugged in.
This may be another thing for the tech thread that Laurie started. It seems you get different versions of
Googlemap, depending on what you ask and where you access them.
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
There is a little village called El Trigal, slightly off the Camino. It's about 10 km out of Albacete, and the Amigos' accommodation lists it with two entries, both hotels: Hotel Los Gabrieles, Hotel Seis Hermanos.
This would mean there are only 30.4 km left to La Roda.
Last time, as I resumed my way in Albacete, arriving by train at 12AM, and as I had seen a post from Laurie about El Trigal, y walked directly there and stayed there.
It is very practical but you have to know that it is a service area of the highway, so there is absolutely nothing more than the hotel, and a petrol station with the usual shop of highway (limited products and higher prices).
The urbanización is private and has no services.
On the other side of the highway, accesible by the bridge, there is other hostal, a restaurant, and a Burguer-King.
I join an access map, and you can also go there from the Albacete's Decathlon directly by the left 'vía de servicio' of the higway.
Variante El Trigal.png
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I join an access map
Your map seems to show a completely different route from the one shown in red in the screenshot I am attaching? Is that a marked route or is it just a record of where you walked on service roads? Does your route through El Trigal continue on the south side of the Autovia?

Also, I am confused because the amigos website says that Hostal Los Gabrieles is "about 4 Km from La Gineta" but my attachment shows that it is over 8 km in a straight line from Urb El Trigal to La Gineta.
 

Attachments

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
Your map seems to show a completely different route.......
Yes, it is completely different.
The route as defined and marked today is the yellow one on my map. I walked it twice. I understand that your map shows an old route, from before 2013, or maybe the Camino del Sureste.

I have just read again my notes of the day I walked this leg, and the distancy I registered with GPS was 16,5 km, but as I was checking the marks I didn't enter at El Trigal direct from the South-East, as shown on my map, but by the Nord-West, so I walked some 2 km more and the direct distancy remains in 14 km, which means some 6 to La Gineta. Next day, from El Trigal to the albergue of La Roda I measured 29,5 km.

Reading my notes I remember that the little shop at the 'gazolinera' was a Carrefour-Express.
The price of a single room at The Gabrieles was 25€ in 2017.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 17: La Gineta to La Roda

This is the second part of the 'official' or 'published' (that's a better word, thank you @C clearly ) 9th stage of the Levante. This stretch to La Roda is 20.3 km, so La Gineta sits nicely right in the middle of this published stage.

@peregrina2000 mentioned that there is a train running through La Gineta to La Roda. It is on the line running to Madrid Chamartin, and the ride is only 8 minutes. So it's good to know, in case there are any issues.

You need to take a packed lunch: there is nothing, absolutely nothing, between these two towns, apart from vast fields. Nor does there seem to be any place to stop and sit in the shade.

La Roda has a municipal albergue, which is in the bull ring. It also has a number of private lodgings, as mentioned in the Amigos' accommodation list: Hostal Molina, where @peregrina2000 stayed in 2013, Hotel Juanito, and Hotel Flor de la Mancha. The official tourism website of La Roda has another two hotels: El Poligono, and El Sueño de Jemik. These last three are not central.

La Roda is famous for its miguelitos, pastries that look really delicious.

There are a few sights that you can check out in La Roda. I'll let you discover other aspects of La Roda in this video:
 

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)

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Since we arrived late in the day, after having waited for several hours for the train in La Gineta, I never did get to see much of La Roda. But I have a vivid memory, though I will have to check my blog to see if it corroborates this memory, of being served some of the best manchego cheese in the hostal’s bar. Absolutely lip smacking good.

It could be fun to experience the novelty of sleeping in a bull ring. There was one other on the Camino de Madrid, in Nava de la Asunción, but it seems to have been de-commissioned and replaced by a newer, bigger, and better albergue. I remember some forum member was injured and spent a few days there, and really enjoyed it — my point being only that this may be your last and only chance of spending a night in a bull ring albergue, so it is worth considering! My memory, vague as it is, is that it was in the doctor’s office within the bull ring.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
It could be fun to experience the novelty of sleeping in a bull ring
It's a very comfortable albergue, two rooms with two beds in each, access straight out on to the sand. As Laurie says, in the infirmerary of the Plaza de Toros.

There are a couple of bull ring albergues on the Lana as well. The one at Casas-Ibáñez , which I don't particularly recommend - a bit smokey, and access only from the street, not into the ring itself. The one at Trillo was much better. A tiny ring right by the Tajo, and the albergue in what I assume must be the matador's changing rooms - there's a huge looking glass covering most of one wall. Also the largest paellador I've ever seen: perhaps 3 metres across and and 60-80cm deep, presumably enough to feed most of the village on fiesta days.
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Started Camino de Levante (2019).
Just a small deviation here to acknowledge one of our fellow pilgrims. Ella Anderson posted on Facebook's "Camino de Santiago 2020/2021" yesterday about being heart broken at the sudden and tragic death of her partner in Burgos while on the Camino from SJPD to Santiago. She said that it was with a heavy heart that she agreed to him doing this one time Camino by himself. A sad ending.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
It could be fun to experience the novelty of sleeping in a bull ring.
It's a very comfortable albergue, two rooms with two beds in each, access straight out on to the sand. As Laurie says, in the infirmerary of the Plaza de Toros.
Falling asleep with the smell of the warm sand, dreaming of the crowd shouting 'Olé', the trumpet sound announcing the next tercio, the pasodobles...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
I should notify Google that their map is incorrect... I have done that in the past with shop opening times, or exact placement of lodgings, but I'll have to check out the place before I do so.
The information you gave, as well as the one in the Amigos' accommodation list, shows the address of the albergue as Calle Fuensanta.


I had made a note of this after reading your blog, and I put it down as Plan B.


That's the message I have been trying to communicate in this virtual Camino, and why I refer to the 'official' stages from the Amigos' website, before giving the details of our stages. As most pilgrims would be faster than us two slow walkers, I thought I would try to give the alternatives too, and I am glad the Veterans are chiming in! ☺
I changed the info on Google Maps after a request from @peregrina2000 It will take a day or two to percolate through though.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
Last time, as I resumed my way in Albacete, arriving by train at 12AM, and as I had seen a post from Laurie about El Trigal, y walked directly there and stayed there.
It is very practical but you have to know that it is a service area of the highway, so there is absolutely nothing more than the hotel, and a petrol station with the usual shop of highway (limited products and higher prices).
The urbanización is private and has no services.
On the other side of the highway, accesible by the bridge, there is other hostal, a restaurant, and a Burguer-King.
I join an access map, and you can also go there from the Albacete's Decathlon directly by the left 'vía de servicio' of the higway.
View attachment 82944
The accommodation across the road is called Pension Los 6 Hermanos
 

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)
Manchego cheese and bullring albergues will be entertaining. And for those miguelitos, there are a couple of pastelerias/confiterias right in the main drag: La Moderna in the middle of town, and Gaymon not far from the albergue on the other side of the street.

An ignorant question: if the albergue is at the bullring - in either the Dr's office or the changing room - is it completely unavailable if it's being used?
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
An ignorant question: if the albergue is at the bullring - in either the Dr's office or the changing room - is it completely unavailable if it's being used?
Yes, completely unavailable.
According to Antonio Cebrian, the person in charge, telephone +34.630.440.215, this use to be only 2 days, and is during the festivity of La Roda, usualy in the first 15 days of August (although in 2020 it should have been ultimate days of July).
In this moment closed for Covid-19, but there are hotels in La Roda.
 
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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)
So I am cheating by posting this as a quote from another thread - and I'm tardy in posting it where it belonged, nearer Valencia, but just learned about it today:
I learned something today.
Horchata is made with 'tiger nuts,' or chufa, which are not nuts at all but the roots of a sedge (of all things).
These were an eye-opener:
If you're walking the Levante, you're in Chufa ground zero.
So if you see vast fields of sedges, you're not imagining things. I never ever thought of eating sedge roots, though I've pulled my share out of gardens over several decades. It turns out that I'm 4000 years behind the times, which for some reason delights me. If you're this far behind the newest trends, there's no hope of catching up.

But here is where in Valencia you can enjoy the end results, from organic growers:
L’Obrador de Bou
Organic artisan horchata shop
Avenida Mare Nostrum, 7
46120 · Playa de la Patacona
Alboraya (Valencia)
(+34) 961 486 185
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Nor does there seem to be any place to stop and sit in the shade.
I stand corrected. I recently purchased a Levante guide book, in French, from Gérard du Camino. I received it today (it took a month to get from France to Australia!) He breaks the Amigos' 9th stage into two days, with a stop at La Gineta. In the description of the section from La Gineta to La Roda, he mentions conifers around a half way mark, about 3 km after crossing the road that leads to Montalvos. There's another place with shade under pine trees as you cross the Fuensanta aqueduct.
So delving more into satellite imagery, on Google maps I even found a 'Descanso de peregrino':
Descanso de peregrino.jpg

Gérard du Camino also has an update, dated 31 January 2020, on the location of the albergue in La Gineta: the albergue has been moved to near the café-restaurant Los Chopos:
- l'Albergue municipal été déplacé et se trouve à présent près du café-restaurant Los Chopos, les clefs toujours à la mairie. avant 14h00. Tél. 687 57 80 13.
Can you verify this, please, @JLWV ? Thank you!

Day 18: La Roda to Minaya

The Amigos publish the next stage, the 10th, as a 34.5 km walk from La Roda to San Clemente. In his guide book, Gérard du Camino breaks this into two stages, both more manageable for slow walkers such as us. Today we will walk 15.9 km to Minaya, according to the Amigos' website.

For @peregrina2000 , in 2013, the
17 km to Minaya flew by
No wonder, with her two French friends, she walked those 17 km in just a little over 3 hours! We definitely can't keep up with you at that pace, @peregrina2000 ! ☺

You'll need to take sufficient water and a packed lunch for this stretch.

Minaya has a few sights, such as a church dedicated to Santiago, a windmill, and cubillos, these round stone huts built without mortar, and the Casa Palacio de los Señores de Minaya.

Minaya has a municipal albergue, which is in the Polideportivo. Gérard du Camino mentions it is a room that serves as a storage in which there are 3 mattresses, with access to the Gymnasium's showers and toilets.
C'est une pièce qui sert de débarras dans laquelle il y a 3 matelas. Accès aux sanitaires du Gymnase.
I think I might prefer the alternative which is the Hostal Antolin. The Amigos' accommodation list have this to say about it:
dueño muy atento a los peregrinos
owner very attentive to pilgrims. The Amigos also list apartments, Apartamentos turísticos 'La Escapada'.

The Antolin has a restaurant, and there are a number of bars and cafés.

It's on the apartments' website that I found this video about Minaya:
 
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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)
Eeek. I am still eating miguelitos. Time to walk.
That descanso de peregrino is about 6 and a half kms shy of Minaya, a good place to stop for a break.
One thing to add is that Minaya's another place with a big municipal pool with a place to eat. It's just on the outskirts of town as you come from the La Roda direction, three-quarters of a km from the centre of town.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Eeek. I am still eating miguelitos. Time to walk.
That descanso de peregrino is about 6 and a half kms shy of Minaya, a good place to stop for a break.
One thing to add is that Minaya's another place with a big municipal pool with a place to eat. It's just on the outskirts of town as you come from the La Roda direction, three-quarters of a km from the centre of town.
The albergue in Minaya used to be near the swimming pool... That would have been really great!
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 19: Minaya to San Clemente

From Minaya to San Clemente, it is 18.6 km. It's a flat stage, and the nice thing is that half way, there is the little village of Casas de los Pinos, where we can stop for food. This stretch is the second half of the Amigos' published 10th stage.

Casa de los Pinos has a little church, dedicated to Our Lady of La Candelaria. As I was looking for where to eat, I stumbled upon the ayuntamiento's website, with recipes of local specialities.

In San Clemente, there is an albergue. The keys are at the tourism office or the local police. In addition, there are a number of private lodgings: Hostal Milán I, Hostal Milán II, Hostal Plaza Mayor, La Posada del Reloj, Casa de Los Acacio, in a building dating from 1660, and Casa Rural "Alcañiz".

This is what @peregrina2000 wrote about San Clemente in 2013:
This town has a beautiful plaza mayor and some old convents/monasteries. It is obviously a tourist destination since there are artisinal cheese shops and "productos manchegos" shops (we are in La Mancha, home of manchego cheese, and we´ve had some great cheese). We also had the best meal of the camino so far -- a kind of upscale little place where the menú del día was 10€ and was really good. You know it´s upscale when they squiggle balsamic reduction around your thinly sliced crisply delectable garlic flavored potatoes.
@peregrina2000 stayed at the Hostal Milán II in 2013, and had that nice meal at the restaurant Milán I.

There's also more info (all in Spanish) on the tourism website of the town. The church is dedicated to Santiago Apóstol. There are a few sights that look interesting, as well as Casas Señoriales.

While having our evening meal in Minaya, we noted than San Clemente is another place in @JLWV 's list of towns with castles. In San Clemente, this is the Torre Vieja, which houses the Museo Etnográfico. It has also been a while since we last had a rest day. So we thought we might have an extra night here. What do you think?

Day 20: rest day in San Clemente
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I liked this little town very much. The owner of the hostal took us on a tour, and we spent some really nice relaxing time in the plaza mayor. Lots of people, lots of good ambiente. The tourist office of San Clemente gives (or gave, before covid) guided tours, so this looks like a good choice for a rest day! Much more interesting than Las Pedroñeras (though it is the garlic capital of Spain). El Toboso, a few days further on, is another good candidate, with all of the Quijote sites.

The walk into San Clemente is another flat straight trajectory, but I enjoyed it very much, except for one last convoluted twisting route to get across the highway, whiose construction obviously did not have pilgrims in mind.

Oh, and the Hostal Milan I and II are related — maybe two brothers? I got the story, but didn’t get the sense that there was any acrimony, as there frequently can be in these situations. In fact the hostal owner recommended that we go eat at the Milan I. (the II is located right at the Camino’s entrance to town, and the I is hidden further back, so the II must nab all the walk-in traffic)
 

Attachments

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)
What do you think?
Absolutely.

On top of all else, here is also this:
( scroll down a bit..)

This seals the deal:
You know it´s upscale when they squiggle balsamic reduction around your thinly sliced crisply delectable garlic flavored potatoes.
Garlic capital? Yes please.
(Is there sopa de ajo in la Mancha,too?)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Wow. An interesting day in San Clemente.
There are ten or more towns like San Clemente on the Levante — small places with lots of interesting “cultural and historical patrimony.” What’s not to like?

Is there sopa de ajo in la Mancha,too?)
Sopa de ajo is claimed by both Castilla and La Mancha, I believe. That has become less confrontational and competitive now that at least some of Castilla is joined with La Mancha (with the other half merged with León, much to the disgruntlement of some Leoneses). What I mean is that sopa de ajo can be claimed by Castilla-La Mancha, rather than having to choose Castilla or La Mancha).

I have never been much of a fan of sopa de ajo, though I love all the ingredients individually. I’ve pretty much given up ordering it, so maybe I should come back with an open mind and try it again. But @VN, you need to be careful, because there are many variations of the soup that stray from its purely non-meat base. Not a novel warning for Spain, I know. ;)
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
I liked this little town very much.
Me too, very much indeed. The church of Santiago has some very fine sculptures, including a massive alabaster renaissance crucifixion, a lovely simple serene romanesque Virgin (pre-dating the church), and a quarter life-sized Santiago doing a bit of matamoros (well, actually, matamoro, as there's only one, and his fierce horse is doing most of the mata, as Santiago's sword has got lost some time in the last few centuries). There are also some impressively massive columns, and lovely gothic ceilings.

The modern art gallery, in a renaissance palace (see pic) near to the church, is also spectacular. When I was in town it had a big exhibition of works by Guillaume Corneille, a large part of the A of the CoBrA art movement - not quite what I was expecting to find in the manchegan meseta.

I had a delicious late lunch (including some sopa de ajo, with raw egg yolk added to the bowl at the last monent) in the Posada del Reloj opposite the church, while waiting for the tourist office to open and give me the albergue key (very comfortable little albergue, a flat in a house on the way out of town, 2-3 rooms with a couple of beds each and a sitting room with local pamphlets). It was All Hallows' Eve when I was there, so the evening was very lively, with costumed children rushing around in high glee, and their parents all out enjoying one of the noisiest paseos I've even encountered.
 

Attachments

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I liked this little town very much. The owner of the hostal took us on a tour, and we spent some really nice relaxing time in the plaza mayor. Lots of people, lots of good ambiente. The tourist office of San Clemente gives (or gave, before covid) guided tours, so this looks like a good choice for a rest day! Much more interesting than Las Pedroñeras (though it is the garlic capital of Spain). El Toboso, a few days further on, is another good candidate, with all of the Quijote sites.

The walk into San Clemente is another flat straight trajectory, but I enjoyed it very much, except for one last convoluted twisting route to get across the highway, whiose construction obviously did not have pilgrims in mind.

Oh, and the Hostal Milan I and II are related — maybe two brothers? I got the story, but didn’t get the sense that there was any acrimony, as there frequently can be in these situations. In fact the hostal owner recommended that we go eat at the Milan I. (the II is located right at the Camino’s entrance to town, and the I is hidden further back, so the II must nab all the walk-in traffic)
Over the years i've stayed at Milan 2,a hotel on the plaza and the albergue. I was lucky one time as i arrived on a day when everything was shut but fortunate to find the police station opened so got the key to the albergue which was a little further on. From memory it was pretty good with a few separate rooms with single beds..just me as usual. On returning to the square i walked down a narrow street looking for lunch and found the other Milan which,ironically was open and had a nice lunch. Another time i stayed overlooking the plaza and got a very nice room for i think about 20-25 euros.
By the way i too use the french gerard book
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I had a delicious late lunch (including some sopa de ajo, with raw egg yolk added to the bowl at the last monent) in the Posada del Reloj opposite the church,
On returning to the square i walked down a narrow street looking for lunch and found the other Milan which,ironically was open and had a nice lunch.
So, I think if you do a restaurant tally, you will see that San Clemente is a good gastronomical stop as well. One of us had a good meal in Milan II, one of us in Posada del Reloj, and one of us in Milan I. You will have to try them all and crown the winner.
 

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)
I see lots of places to eat - takeaways, bars, restaurants. But only one panaderia, before you cross the river.

There are also a couple of markets, and even an Orange store, if your SIM is acting up or needs a refill.
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
Can you verify this, please, @JLWV ? Thank you!
La Gineta
Yes, Gérard is well informed.
At the AACS-CV we had some comment but no official information. Nevertheless on Google maps the new albergue is plotted, and the telephone indicated is the one you say.
There are various photographies, one put by a lady whith french name, probably the person who informed Gérard Rousse.
Just be carefull, the albergue is not near the ''restaurant Los Chopos'' but near the ''Salones los Chopos'', extreme NorthWest of the village, not far from the way. See picture
La Gineta.png
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
So delving more into satellite imagery, on Google maps I even found a 'Descanso de peregrino':
The spanish guy (name and surname typical) who put it on Google Maps is one of the two persons who put pictures to the location of the albergue de La Gineta.
Sure that a bank under a tree is to be marked in this 'desertic' area!
 

JLWV

Jean-Luc
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
So if you see vast fields of sedges, you're not imagining things. I never ever thought of eating sedge roots,
Yes, very tipycal in Valencia. Mainly cultivated in the northen area of the city, in sandy earth.
Really we do not eat the roots, but drink the horchata which is a slurry of the starch extracted from the tubers.
A refreshing drink.
 

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