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Camino Frances in Winter

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Hi everybody ;-)

After the fun we had with the ditch pig clean up around Moratinos I am now in SJPdP ready for a very leisurely pilgrimage down the Camino Frances. 'Comme d'habitude' I plan to maintain a thread with practical information for those that walk the next weeks after me ...

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Pilgrims office is open as usual and so is the municipal albergue - the rest of towns (other than a handful of restaurants) seems to have closed down and gone into hibernation. The municipal, just a bit up and in the same street as the pilgrims office has one dormitory open with around ~16 (bunk) beds, a well equipped kitchen and a washing machine on demand/for a smile. Cost: 10 Euro with breakfast (will report on that one tomorrow).

Plan for tomorrow is just to walk to Valcarlos - slow start.
Buen Camino, SY
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Forgot to add pilgrim numbers and weather report ;-)

Weather: Around 5C, but dry.
Pilgrim numbers: 8 in this albergue and despite what they say on arrival, the door doesn't get closed by key at 22:00 but more likely at 23:30 ;-) but check on arrival regarding current key politics ;-)

BC SY
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Wonderful! Heartfelt good wishes for deep presence and a lovely Advent walk. Thanks in advance for offering us a vicarious camino.
(Love, love, love the Valcarlos way! And, FYI, I remember Zubiri to Pamplona being devoid of sustenance even in early March--so take something to eat along the way.)

My heart goes with you!
Oh, my...I bet it does, @mspath.

Buen Camino and ultreia...to you both and to us all.
 

julia-t

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
Looking forward to following you along the Way...
Buen Camino.
 

DanielH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
September 2015 (SJPP to Burgos)
September 2016 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
May 2017 (Villafranca del Bierzo to Santiago de Compostela)
Hi everybody ;-)

After the fun we had with the ditch pig clean up around Moratinos I am now in SJPdP ready for a very leisurely pilgrimage down the Camino Frances. 'Comme d'habitude' I plan to maintain a thread with practical information for those that walk the next weeks after me ...

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Pilgrims office is open as usual and so is the municipal albergue - the rest of towns (other than a handful of restaurants) seems to have closed down and gone into hibernation. The municipal, just a bit up and in the same street as the pilgrims office has one dormitory open with around ~16 (bunk) beds, a well equipped kitchen and a washing machine on demand/for a smile. Cost: 10 Euro with breakfast (will report on that one tomorrow).

Plan for tomorrow is just to walk to Valcarlos - slow start.
Buen Camino, SY
I can't wait to read your posts and "experience" the Camino Frances in winter. It must be beautiful in its solitude this time of year. Enjoy and Buen Camino!
 

Csutak

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Since 2006 almost every year, usually walking more than two routes
How exciting! Buen Camino SYates!
 
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danielc

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SEPT '13 CF - SJPP to Santiago
OCT '14 Porto to Santiago
Hi everybody ;-)

After the fun we had with the ditch pig clean up around Moratinos I am now in SJPdP ready for a very leisurely pilgrimage down the Camino Frances. 'Comme d'habitude' I plan to maintain a thread with practical information for those that walk the next weeks after me ...

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Pilgrims office is open as usual and so is the municipal albergue - the rest of towns (other than a handful of restaurants) seems to have closed down and gone into hibernation. The municipal, just a bit up and in the same street as the pilgrims office has one dormitory open with around ~16 (bunk) beds, a well equipped kitchen and a washing machine on demand/for a smile. Cost: 10 Euro with breakfast (will report on that one tomorrow).

Plan for tomorrow is just to walk to Valcarlos - slow start.
Buen Camino, SY
Enjoy .....looking forward to your posts
 

Rosser

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014 and '15
Camino Portuguese from Porto ''15
Via De la Plata '16
Camino Primitivo '16
Le Puy Camino '17?
At least you'll avoid the crowds.
Enjoy and Buen camino.
 
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Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
I wish you a wonderful walk, and look forward to your posts. And I want to thank you for all that you add to this Forum.

Buen Camino,
Priscilla
 

wildrover

thewildrover
Year of past OR future Camino
2015 april c/f. vdlp feb 2016. Norte / primitivo Sep 2016. C/f 12/16. Vdlp 12/17. 12/18. Lana 02/19.
Hi everybody ;-)

After the fun we had with the ditch pig clean up around Moratinos I am now in SJPdP ready for a very leisurely pilgrimage down the Camino Frances. 'Comme d'habitude' I plan to maintain a thread with practical information for those that walk the next weeks after me ...

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Pilgrims office is open as usual and so is the municipal albergue - the rest of towns (other than a handful of restaurants) seems to have closed down and gone into hibernation. The municipal, just a bit up and in the same street as the pilgrims office has one dormitory open with around ~16 (bunk) beds, a well equipped kitchen and a washing machine on demand/for a smile. Cost: 10 Euro with breakfast (will report on that one tomorrow).

Plan for tomorrow is just to walk to Valcarlos - slow start.
Buen Camino, SY
Bon voyage ! ....stay safe.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
P.S. Saint Jean Pied de Port

Eating Places: As I wrote earlier, SJPdP is pretty much in hibernation and many places are closed, I had a gorgeous meal of variations of Boudin (blood sausages), garlicky-butter potatoes and leaf salad at 'Hurrup Eta Klik'. It is in the same street like the pilgrims office/albergue municipal, just walk down the hill and it is on your right side ;-)

Pilgrim Numbers: After dinner I had a chat with the volunteer at the pilgrim office, at the moment around 5-15 pilgrims leave each day from SJPdP – quite an extraordinary number for this time of the year! Curious to see how many we will be in Roncesvalles tomorrow …

Nationalities: We were the usual united nations in the albergue – Lithunania, UK, France, Netherlands, Germany. Also also, quite unusual, we were 6 women and 2 men, quite the reverse what you normally get in winter.

Fun Fact (hopefully!): The pilgrim from Lithuania wanted to walk the Camino del Norte from SJPdP – whilst there is some sort of connecting route, I don't think it is feasible in winter … We tried to enthuse him for the Camino Frances and hope we were successful – but he run out of the albergue at 6 a.m. this morning – I only hope he wasn't trying anything stupid like walking the Route Napoleon … The Guardia Civil seems to have a car up there and kicks pilgrims backsides down into the valley after fining them – at least that is what the volunteer at the pilgrims office told us …

Breakfast: Coffee (instant), orange juice (fresh), bread (fresh) and jam (homemade) ;-) and a nice chat with the lady that takes care of the albergue.


Way SJPdP > Valcarlos

Mostly minor roads (tarmac) and very well way marked, the only slightly difficult point is when you come to the shopping centre near Arneguy: You go straight through it and then choose a small tarmac path at its end, just left from the second fuel station.

Weather: Fine, sunny and dry, but beware of black ice in the shady areas.

Albergue Valcarlos: You get the access code in the Venta/Bar Azkena, they also give you a little map to find it. Note: It is the second staircase down, not the first!

Perfectly clean and very well equipped alberge with a washing machine, good kitchen, excellent showers, wifi, blankets, lockers with key (only take 1 Euro coins!), cost: 10 Euro including a self-service simple breakfast. We are 3 people here from three different countries ;-)

Eating Place: I had a lovely pilgrims meal at Venta/Bar Ardandegia, menu for 12,50 Euro and all homemade and very tasty. Here also supermarket.


So, off to Roncesvalles today, weather forecast looks fine and sunny, SY
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Saludos from Roncesvalles ;-)

Valcarlos > Roncesvalles

Weather: Still mild but getting colder as the way climbs up the Pyrenees, also sometimes strong winds. Some snowy patches near the top, but not enough to make the way more difficult (but that can change of night!).

Way: For a variety of reasons I decided to walk mostly the road, there wasn't much traffic on a Sunday morning ;-) So I can only comment on the way marking were the Camino crosses the road (excellent) and the last bit from the road towards the chapel at the Ibaneta Pass (also excellent).

Important!: There is nothing between Valcarlos and Roncesvalles, so take enough water and food!

Albergue Roncesvalles: The posh new albergue is closed during winter, so people sleep in part of the old one. To find the pilgrims reception (when coming via the Camino) cross the whole area until you reach the main entrance, go out the gate and turn immediately left and through the first door at your left. There isn't much sign posting to find it, but the people that work in Roncesvalles will point you the way. The albergue opens at 16:00 but you can leave your backpack in the entrance and have a look around until then.

It has one common area with a microwave (not that you can buy anything to heat in it and there are also no kitchen utilities whatsoever. One cramped dormitory (beds touching each other), showers, toilets, no blankets, but washing machine and dryer. For the washing machine you have to ask for soap in the office, so not sure about the price. The albergue itself costs 8 Euros.

Eating: I had a lunch snack at Casa Sabina which was excellent, but for nostalgic reasons booked the pilgrims menu this evening. If you like to eat well I suggest to skip the pilgrims menu and go in any of the restaurants for an a la carte meal or a more expensive menu.

Alternative Accommodation: La Posada has at the moment an offer at 20 Euro for a single room including breakfast (not sure about double room price). I was really tempted but again for nostalgic reasons I bunked down in the albergue which is in that part of Roncesvalles which I know from years back.

Pilgrims: So many for this time of the year! The dormitory has 16 beds and they are expecting 'a multitude' today from SJPdP. Whatever a multitude is in winter pilgrimage terms ;-) So far we have as nationalities: United States, UK, Germany, Korea, Spain and France. If the 16 beds fil up they might need to open the overflow.

Ok, I am off to 18:00 Mass now and then to pilgrims dinner, the good news is that the albergue doesn't close, so no rush. Perhaps later more, SY
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
Saludos from Roncesvalles ;-)

Valcarlos > Roncesvalles

Weather: Still mild but getting colder as the way climbs up the Pyrenees, also sometimes strong winds. Some snowy patches near the top, but not enough to make the way more difficult (but that can change of night!).

Way: For a variety of reasons I decided to walk mostly the road, there wasn't much traffic on a Sunday morning ;-) So I can only comment on the way marking were the Camino crosses the road (excellent) and the last bit from the road towards the chapel at the Ibaneta Pass (also excellent).

Important!: There is nothing between Valcarlos and Roncesvalles, so take enough water and food!

Albergue Roncesvalles: The posh new albergue is closed during winter, so people sleep in part of the old one. To find the pilgrims reception (when coming via the Camino) cross the whole area until you reach the main entrance, go out the gate and turn immediately left and through the first door at your left. There isn't much sign posting to find it, but the people that work in Roncesvalles will point you the way. The albergue opens at 16:00 but you can leave your backpack in the entrance and have a look around until then.

It has one common area with a microwave (not that you can buy anything to heat in it and there are also no kitchen utilities whatsoever. One cramped dormitory (beds touching each other), showers, toilets, no blankets, but washing machine and dryer. For the washing machine you have to ask for soap in the office, so not sure about the price. The albergue itself costs 8 Euros.

Eating: I had a lunch snack at Casa Sabina which was excellent, but for nostalgic reasons booked the pilgrims menu this evening. If you like to eat well I suggest to skip the pilgrims menu and go in any of the restaurants for an a la carte meal or a more expensive menu.

Alternative Accommodation: La Posada has at the moment an offer at 20 Euro for a single room including breakfast (not sure about double room price). I was really tempted but again for nostalgic reasons I bunked down in the albergue which is in that part of Roncesvalles which I know from years back.

Pilgrims: So many for this time of the year! The dormitory has 16 beds and they are expecting 'a multitude' today from SJPdP. Whatever a multitude is in winter pilgrimage terms ;-) So far we have as nationalities: United States, UK, Germany, Korea, Spain and France. If the 16 beds fil up they might need to open the overflow.

Ok, I am off to 18:00 Mass now and then to pilgrims dinner, the good news is that the albergue doesn't close, so no rush. Perhaps later more, SY
Very interesting to know the situation this time of year. I assume Christmas /New years will be very special wherever you end up.
Thank you for sharing!
Stay warm
Keith
 

FrederickK77

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
August 2014 Leon to Santiago
February 2017 SJPP to Santiago
Sounds amazing. I am looking forward to my winter Camino starting 1 February 2017. Thank you for the updates, it makes me more excited. Buen Camino
 
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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hi everybody ;-)

After the fun we had with the ditch pig clean up around Moratinos I am now in SJPdP ready for a very leisurely pilgrimage down the Camino Frances.
Plan for tomorrow is just to walk to Valcarlos - slow start.
Buen Camino, SY
Greetings my amiga - a leisurely pilgrimage??? - you make it sound like a short walk after Sunday lunch. Stay safe and have a great time. M:);):cool:
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
@SYates It looks like the rain is going to be stuck over you for a few days due to an Eastern Europe high pressure. Hope you won't have high winds as well this time of year, good you will be dropping in elevation. Glad you have others around you.
Buen Camino
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
There were some very strong wind gusts on Sunday in Biarritz but the temperature has nearly been suitable for shorts and t-shirts the past few days and the forecast is for more of the same.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Quick update before I retire to bed, we are 28 pilgrims this night in Roncesvalles! There goes my quiet and solitary Camino :confused::p:D:eek::rolleyes: SY
Hi, Sybil,
Nice to read your daily reports from winter Camino. Not many of them on this forum. Are you planning to walk all the way to SdC?

Keep safe and warm!
 
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poogeyejr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Frances, 1wk, Jan 2017
Buen Camino! I sit here during a rare Vancouver snowfall and my thoughts are with you.
 

MarcelWals

Walking a Camino = a way of living...
Year of past OR future Camino
'16:Frances; '18: Portugues; '19:SdC/Muxia/Finisterre/SdC; '20:Portugues + Ingles
SY, wish you a buen Camino!
 

Rainerbernd

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
On St James ways since 1971
Olá SY, herzlichen Dank für die Berichte und weiterhin einen guten Weg. Hier momentan -7 Grad und alles "überzuckert".

Cordialmente, Rainer
 

Sha

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Xmas 2016
@SYates I am following your progress and this thread with interest, trust all is well on your Camino.
 
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JasonHayes

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino frances May 1999
Hi, enjoying your trip so far. I'm amazed at how many there were in Roncesvalles. There were about that many when I was there back in 1999 a holy year.
Good luck and have fun.
 

Ian T

I now have a back pack
Year of past OR future Camino
When she says I can
Yup - great read, looking forward to your escapades given the nickers intro.

How good is this gonna get
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
P.S. Roncesvalles

In the end we were 28 pilgrims (extraordinary for this time of the year!) in Roncesvalles, added nationality was: Italy – a peregrina that started at the door of her home in Parma (North of Italy and home of excellent ham). They had to open the second dorm, where beds are not side by side, but touching each other only in the food/head area, so I switch quietly dorms as my other bed was very close to a male pilgrim I had never seen before in my life ;-) Important! Also this part of the albergue doesn't have any blankets at all! But they do sell sleeping bags at the office ...

Dinner: I nearly died of the shock! Not only was there more than enough soup, bread and pasta for everybody as a first course – there wasn't any trout for the second course!!! A very first one in all the years I have slept as a pilgrim in Roncesvalles. The choices for second course were merluza (hake) and San Jacobo (a kind of thin Cordon Bleu) with plenty of side dish / fries. What happened to trout, meatballs and tiny portions? Lol, as the lady in the pilgrims reception had told me the proprietor/tenant in both places (Posada/Sabina) has changed recently and things are looking up ;-) There is, at the moment, only one seating, so the order of the pilgrims day is mass, menu and then guided visit.

After the dinner one of the priests, there are only four now in Roncesvalles, came to the albergue to invite everybody interested to a guided tour of the church and surrounding buildings. Well worth the effort as you get to see and explained the cloister, one of the salas with a magnificent medieval tomb, the attic of the church and the church itself. We were nearly all Spanish speakers on that visit, apart of three Koreans. One spoke English very well, but the other two mainly – Korean. So we played a game of Chinese whispers. The priest explained everything in Spanish, I translated that into English for one Korean who in turn translated what I said into Korean for the other two. I am still wondering what they heard/understood at the end of this translation chain … After that one hour of nearly continuous translating, I treated myself to a large glass of vino tinto and then off to bed. As I wrote earlier, the albergue door doesn't close in winter, but the pilgrims were very considerate and nobody came back late or loudly. And, another Camino miracle, there wasn't a single snorer in the room!


Roncesvalles > Zubiri

Whilst there wasn't a snorer around, there was one eager pilgrim that put his alarm clock at 6 o'clock sharpish – sigh – doesn't get light until after 8 and nothing to be had food-wise until then either. At quarter past seven I was all packed up and got antsy legs, so I set off in the dark and was soon overtaken by two speedy pilgrims that used their torches to race towards Pamplona. I walked in the dark, slowly and carefully and enjoyed that it slowly became light.

Weather – Surprisingly there was no hoarse frost in the morning and the day was later even sunny and quite warm ~18C in the sun BUT that is very unusual for this time of the year, snow and frost is more usual!

Waymarking – As the waymarking is excellent on the CF, I will only comment on it when there really is something to say. So no news is good news, also when it comes to scallop shells and yellow arrows ;-)

Burguete – There were, when I passed by, two cafes/bars open, one at the very beginning of the village and one just before the church.

Espinal – The bar in the centre of the village was open.

Bizkarreta – The bar in the middle of the village was open as was the shop at the end of it.

Linzoain – Nothing open as far as I could see.

Alto de Erro – The mobile bar here has closed down for the season.


Zubiri

Albergue – The only albergue open in town was Rio Arga Ibaia, just over the bridge and it is the very first building on the left. Spacious dorms, excellent showers, private rooms available, blankets, wifi, excellent kitchen, washer/dryer for an additional fee, terrace, fire place, breakfast (pretty good one!) included in the price of 15 Euro. No closing time, they show you where the key is hidden.

Eating – I had a look at the only open restaurant at the end of the town (by the fuel station) and wasn't too impressed, fellow pilgrims that had eaten there said it was ok-ish … The small but well assorted supermarket is just 3 min walk from the albergue, so I self-catered. In the same building as the supermarket is also a small bar that serves good pintxos.


Zubiri > Trinidad de Arre

Important! Nothing between the two places is open, take enough food and water!

Way: Decaying leaves, some steep descends and the moisture/fog from the river create some slippery bits, especially where the way has been partly washed away (roughly between Larrasoaña and Irotz).

Weather: A bit foggy, but lifting later, colder then the day before, ~8C.

Illarratz – No signs of life in The Abbey.

Larrasoaña – As I passed absolutely everything was closed and the whole town seemed to have fallen into hibernation. Same in other following villages.

I took the variant via Zabaldika, whilst there are no services in the villages, the sisters of the small community there are very hospitable even when their albergue is closed and are happy to show you the church and let you use the toilet in their house.

Trinidad de Arre

Albergue – Pilgrims sleep in winter in a small flat on the first floor, presumably the former flat of the sacristan as it has a direct connection to the church choir. Limited heating, but blankets, somewhat equipped kitchen, showers, 3 small dorms with 2-4 beds – 8 Euro. All other offers you see advertised in the entrance (wifi, washer/dryer etc.) refer to the main albergue which is closed for the winter. A good place to stay if you want to experience how pilgrims where housed some ~15 years ago ;-) Make sure you know when the albergue closes for the night as signage in the house differs between 21:30 and 22:00. Also a brother 'counts his sheep' earlier in the hope to be able to close earlier, so if you plan to go out again, tell him when he comes around!

Eating/Shopping – Again, I self-catered, but there are plenty of bars on and near the Camino to Pamplona and the Marist brothers that run the albergue have a very helpful map that shows you where all things are …

Trinidad de Arre > Uterga (via Eunate)

Weather: Mainly foggy and coolish, ~8C

Way: It has to be said – the way marking to and out of Pamplona is excellent! As I know it already I speeded through, but if you don't visit at least the cathedral with its beautiful cloister!

Cizur Menor – Bars open, but albergues closed.

Zariquiegui – Everything closed.

Alto de Perdon – Quite an interesting view in heavy fog ;-) and the descend is its usual slippery, rocky avalanche of lose stones – be careful in wet weather!

Uterga

I stayed al albergue Casa Baztan – very recommendable! The hospitalero receives you with a glass of water and a plate of olives. Good showers, blankets, wifi, washer (for a fee) but no dryer instead a heated clothes rack and a fire place. You can use the kitchen, but they also offer tasty pilgrim meals. Breakfast (and a good one!) included in the price of 10 Euro. If you, like me, prefer nice, quiet places – stay there! Also no closing time – as nothing really to do in the village ;-)

The owners plan to keep the albergue open all winter, even if that means staying open for very few pilgrims, so if you pass the village, say at least hello to the kind hospitalero and buy a coffee or so ;-)


Uterga > Puente la Reina

Weather: Less foggy and warming up with some sunshine, ~12C.

Way: The detour to Eunate (closed in winter!) is well marked and starts in the village of Muruzabal.

Muruzabal: Bar was open.

Obanos: Bars open.

Puente la Reina

The only open albergue is the one of the Padres Reparadores at the beginning of town. Excellent heating, blankets, wifi, good showers, washer/dryer for a fee, well equipped kitchen, no real closing time – the last pilgrim to bed pulls the door close ;-) Cost: 5 Euro.

Important! The albergue is very close to a busy road and thefts have happened in the past, so keep a very close eye on your belongings! But you do that anyway, don't you? ;-)

Eating/Shopping – Restaurant Tito, directly on the Camino on the right side does not only do an excellent menu, it also caters to vegetarian and/or gluten-free living pilgrims. A bit further, on the same side of the street is La Tienda del Camino (or similar name) that is open 7 days a week and also offers a lot of vegetarian/gluten-free food options.


Puente la Reina > Estella

Mañeru – An open bar on the right, just before you start the climb up, and a shop in the centre.

Cirauqui – All was closed as I passed by.

Way – The descent onto the 'Roman' bridge gets every year worse, as does the climb at its end ;-( There is now an alternative path down to the bridge marked which makes things a bit easier …

Lorca – All closed as I passed.

Villatuerta - All closed as I passed.


Estella

Albergue – I stayed at the municipal one at the beginning of town and was even allowed to stay a second night (one of the many advantages of making the pilgrimage in winter ;-) Blankets, good showers, washers/dryers for a fee, wifi, excellent kitchen, all for 6 Euro.

Pilgrim Numbers: They are now dropping down to 5-8 pilgrims a day as the week with two public holidays (6.12. Constitution and 8.12. Immaculate Conception of Mary) is over.

Eating – There is a Taller Gastronomico at the other side of the steep, old bridge which is rumoured to be excellent ;-) Unfortunately I was at the weekend in Estella when their menu prices (like everywhere!) go up and up! Nearby is Bar Alday whose pilgrims menu isn't inspiring, but does nice, local dishes 'by the plate' for very reasonable prices. Also the Restaurant Katxetas does tasty and reasonably priced menus.


Estella > Los Arcos

Important! Nothing between Villamayor de Monjardin and Los Arcos (12km)!

Weather: A really warm day, again, this is highly unusual for December!

Ayegui – The wine (and water!) fountain of Irache is also working in winter.

Azqueta – No open bar, the albergue La Perla Negra opens on request.

Villamayor de Monjardin – The bar in the village, going up the stairs to the plaza, was open.


Los Arcos

Albergue – La Fuente/Casa de Austria is directly on the Camino and provides all the usual amenities like shower, well equipped kitchen, wifi, heating, fire place, washer/dryer (additional cost), blankets plus some nice outside sitting areas. Also an albergue dog called Mambo – give him an ear scratchie from me! Albergue, most likely, closed in January for renovation.

Eating/Shopping – I was there on a Sunday and no shops open at all plus only one open bar to find … The menu at 'Buen Camino' opposite the church was exceedingly – regular ;-)


Los Arcos > Viana

Weather: Another glorious, sunny day.

Sansol: All closed, only a tiny bar-shop seemed to be open, but that with limited offers.

Torres del Rio: The bar in the hostal at the entrance of the village was open and the albergue La Pata de la Oca looked pretty open to me. Also the little shop after that albergue was open.

Viana: The municipal albergue Andres Muñoz is open and will stay open the whole winter. The key is guarded by the local police (telephone number at door) and they will also show up shortly before opening time at 15:30. Good kitchen, shower, wifi and blankets. There are some washers/dryers but they looked a bit 'out of sell by date'.

Eating/shopping: Again, I self-catered but there are plenty of places open!


Viana > Logroño

Weather: Heavy fog and quite coolish and very humid.

A short stage, but the parocchial albergue of the Santiago el Real Church is always a must-stop for me and that is from where I type this updates. Albergue: Very simple, just bunk beds with blankets, showers and some clothes racks. Communal dinner, pilgrims prayer and breakfast – all on a donation base (which doesn't mean free ;-) Again, one of those albergues that gives you a good idea how the Camino was ~15 years ago!


Extra Note: Whilst many shops and bars that cater predominantly to pilgrims are closed during the winter you will find many vending machines alongside the Camino Frances, often in converted garages that give at least some shelter ;-)
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 CF;
Hospitalera, Zamora 2017, Hospitalera Grañón 2018, Hospitalera Estella 2019
Great to hear how this all looks on a winter camino. Very different than May/June. Some of my favorite stops are closed up for the season so it would make for almost an entirely different experience I expect.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
My Amiga - again you have excelled. I am sure that Mr Brierley will soon offer you a position as research assistant and co-author. Cheers

Post script: I also experience the pain of the old puente romano. Even taking the new side track, going down, it was still "murder", especially getting the bike up the other side. If its still like this next May I may take the highway diversion up to the park before rejoining the Camino. Cheers
 
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Waka

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Some but not all, and other routes too.
Excellent write up, very enjoyable reading, thanks.
 
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Kanga

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Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
And don't lose any more knickers! :D

My worst loss during a very cold night was caused by trying to dry my socks on a railing near a wood heater. Silly move. They were synthetic, and they melted. Luckily I was the only person staying in the albergue so the pungent smell was only a problem for me.
 

firsttimerrob

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (January 2017)
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Camino Ingles (September 2018)
Thanks for this, I'll be following in your footsteps in January so will be following your words now.
 

zinco

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Winter 2015/6
Back in less than a week - I don't know where you will be by then, but we may cross paths - am starting again in Leon and will just see how I go. I have 16 days, and was doing well until the cold/flu thing caught up with me - hopefully it will be clear by the end of this weekend.
 

AML

Active Member
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Camino Frances Sept 2013
Norte/Primitivo May/June 2014
Vasco del Interior/ Burgos - Leon/Del Salvador/Primitivo May/June 2015
Ourense - Santiago Sept 2015
Camino Ingles Sept 2015
Porto-SDC Sept/Oct 2016
Thank you for sharing your journey:)
Looking forward to your posts with enthusiasm!
I intend to walk from Burgos in February.
Take care,
Buen Camino!
 
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julia-t

Active Member
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Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
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Thank you so much for posting.

To date your postings evoke nostalgia for those towns and villages I have passed through or stayed in, and conjured up memories. I am enjoying your reports.

But as I have so far only got as far as Carrion de los Condes, I am looking forward to reading your future reports from that part of the Camino onwards, because in March I am hoping/planning to walk for around a week (probably only Astorga to Sarria) and then in April from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela, timed to arrive in the city on my 60th birthday, to meet with friends and family in the city for a weekend of partying and celebration! But I have no doubt I will return to walk the rest of the Meseta, and visit Leon at some point, so all your observations and recommendations will be appreciated.

Buen Camino x
 

Rosser

Member
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Camino Frances 2014 and '15
Camino Portuguese from Porto ''15
Via De la Plata '16
Camino Primitivo '16
Le Puy Camino '17?
Well done..keep up the good walking and writing
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
SY I am impressed by the weather so far for your walk, I am very curious to find out the conditions as you pass thru Ocebrio. We here in Montana will see-27c I am starting to think the beach in Spain will be quite nice. :)
 

Bradypus

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Too many and too often!
I am very curious to find out the conditions as you pass thru Ocebrio. We here in Montana will see-27c I am starting to think the beach in Spain will be quite nice. :)
Don't know what it will be like when SY gets there but it looks pretty chilly just now! I hope everyone on the way at the moment is well wrapped up.
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notici...sito-montana-lugo/00031481891892546495131.htm
http://www.lavozdegalicia.es/notici...anas-lugo-ourense/00031481891996221475227.htm
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
And here the next updates:

Logroño > Navarette


Another leisurely stage as the albergues in Sotes and Ventosa are closed for the season and I didn't feel like walking the nearly 30km to Najéra ;-)

Weather: Again heavy fog and 'humid' air, temperature in Logroño 8C, less as I left the city.

Way: Eat your second breakfast in Logroño, the cafe at the lake in the Parque La Grajera was closed as I passed by, but thankfully they left the toilets open ;-) There is nothing open between Logroño and Najéra as far as I know, but I didn't make the detour to Sotes nor Ventosa, so not sure if there would be a bar open.

Navarette

The albergue El Cantaro is the only one open in town (but there are also hotels etc.) The main albergue is closed, but pilgrims have a lovely apartment at their disposition: Only single beds (no bunks!), blankets, pillows, two small balconies, wifi, kitchen (no stove, but microwave) and a bathroom with bath tub and bidet. All sparkling clean and pilgrims get their own keys. Washer/dryer might be available at the main albergue for an additional fee. Cost: 10 Euro.

Eating/Shopping: Restaurant El Molino serves a tasty pilgrims menu and there are plenty of shops in town.


Navarette > Azofra

Weather: Again fog ;-( but lifting a bit during the afternoon ;-) but soon falling down again ;-(

Way: Again, nothing at all between Navarette and Najera and from there to Azofra. As I was already in Najera at 14:00 and the albergue opened at 15:00 I decided to walk on to Azofra …

Azofra

Albergue – The big albergue is closed, but the tiny old one beside the church is open. Another flashback in time as the place hasn't changed much since 1999 when I first stayed there. One dorm open with pretty close bunk beds, blankets, pillows, heating, more or less equipped kitchen with a washing machine (included in price, washing powder behind cupboard). No closing time and you can leave latish in the morning, until ~09:30. Cost: 7 Euro.

Eating/Shopping – As the two bar/restaurants only serve a rather uninspiring menu, self-catering is recommendable. There are at least two shops in town.


Azofra > Grañón

Weather: Worst day so far, not only heavy fog, but also two rain showers and coldish between 3-5C.

Way: Cirueña - The bar at the golf course is open and very welcoming to pilgrims. I took the way that bypasses Ciriñuéla so I don't know if anything is open there. Santo Domingo de la Calzada The albergue Casa del Santo is open but I only had lunch in Santo Domingo and walked on to Grañón.

Eating Santo Domingo de la Calzada – The restaurant La Strada near the church of San Frances in the big street serves very nice food, both a la carte and menu. The only thing that rubbed me a bit the wrong way was that I was charged 1,50 for bread and as I had only eaten one slice, I found that a bit expensive ;-( Charging for bread with your meal is, in my experience, a newish thing in Spain, especially if it is a dish that is traditionally eaten with bread …

Grañón

Albergue – The Casa de las Sonrisas is closed for a few days, but should re-open later in the month. The parish albergue San Juan Bautista in/by the church is open and will stay open all winter. No beds, only mattresses on the floor, reasonable heating with a wooden stove (unfortunately the fireplace doesn't work anymore), no blankets nor pillows anymore, communal meals and pilgrims prayer. Cost: Donativo (Please be generous if you can!)

Shopping – There are two shops, a pharmacy and a traditional bakery (worth a look inside!) in this small village. Wifi in Bar Teo.

Ok, that is it for the moment, need to find the wifi in Bar Teo to post this ;-) Not sure if I stay here a second night in Grañón or if I walk later on the 4km to Redecilla to make the next stages to Burgos easier as the albergues in Villafranca Montes de Oca and San Juan de Ortega are closed ...
 
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SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Lovely to hear from you Sybille! So seems you won't meet Ernesto from La Casa de S this time?

Enjoy Bar Teo.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
No, Ernesto was/is away for a few days ;-( but met more or less the rest of the village ;-) SY
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola Syb, is that all accommodation in Villafranca, or just the albergues? I would have thought that the hotel section would still be open - but the E60 per night is a bit steep.
So where are you expecting to spend Christmas? By my estimates you will be around Carrion or maybe Ledigos. Either way have a great happy/merry/festive Christmas. Cheers:cool::)
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Hi, yes only the albergues are closed, but I also would check beforehand the pensions/hotels to be sure. Not much winter tourism in that part of the world ;-) SY
 

Rosser

Member
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Camino Frances 2014 and '15
Camino Portuguese from Porto ''15
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Le Puy Camino '17?
Great thread Sybil, i am really enjoying it.
What are the Pilgrim numbers like as you progress along the route?
 
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Waka

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Some but not all, and other routes too.
Once again very informative, thank you for taking the time to write and post.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Grañón > Redecilla

To make tomorrow's stage a bit shorter I decided to walk on to Redecilla in the afternoon.

Redecilla

Important! Shops in Redecilla are only open until 13:00/13:30 each day and the bar doesn't serve dinners! If you want to self-cater you have to arrive either before 13:00 or shop beforehand in Grañón.

Weather: Miraculously the fog lifted at midday and there was a glorious sunny afternoon, quite a rarity at the moment. Temperatures were also raising then to ~10/12C.

Albergue Municipal – It is open and the hospitaler@ 'should' pass by at 17:00 to register you. As far as I could see only the older front part of the albergue is open. One dorm with bunk beds, blankets, pillows and a small radiator. Small kitchen with some equipment and a patio. There wasn't any hot water as I passed by but that was most likely due to the fact that the gas bottle was missing ;-) so hopefully not a permanent feature. Cost: ?5Euro?

As I was sitting before the albergue waiting for the hospitalera, two pilgrims, that I met on and off since SJPdP, passed by and told me that the private albergue was open and was very nice, so I grabbed my backpack and followed them to – pilgrims heaven ;-)

Private Albergue Essentia – Part of the joy of this albergue was surely that it was run by an very old hospitalero-friend of mine (I had no idea that he had moved to Redecilla) whom I hadn't seen in years, so we spend the evening together in the kitchen cooking up the pilgrims dinner together and chatting up a storm ;-) The albergue has two dorms with bunk beds, blankets, pillows and heating via radiators. Wooden stove in living room (which also has a guitar and a piano!), washing machine possible, well equipped kitchen (please ask before using it!) and communal dinner and breakfast plus two spacious bathrooms. For complicated (read local politics) reasons the albergue operates at the moment on a Donativo base (Please give generously if you have the means!) but might or might not change back to being a private albergue with a fixed price for everything. In part that might also depend on the generosity of the pilgrims passing by during its Donativo-Time, so it also depends on us pilgrims if the donativo-system survives or not survives in same albergues on the Camino ...

Pilgrim Numbers: We were a total of 4 pilgrims in the albergue Essentia in Redecilla and a pilgrim friend told me that they were 4 in Grañón, so total numbers of pilgrims on a daily stage perhaps ~10?


Redecilla > Villambistia

Weather: The usual fog, the sun made a couple of spirited attempts to break through but without any lasting success, but at 16:30 there was suddenly blue sky ;-) Temperatures perhaps ~6C.

Castildelgado: It is well worth detouring in the centre of the village towards the national road and El Chocolatero. It is a bar/restaurant (also private rooms here) that is famous allover the region for its homemade hot chocolate drink!

Viloria de la Rioja: Nothing open as far as I could see.

Villamayor del Rio: There is a rather posh bar/restaurant with a hotel in the next building in the national road. I entered with the intention of having my second breakfast here but encountered a big sign in the entrance door stating all the things that are prohibited: Don't enter with a backpack! Don't enter with a pilgrims staff! Don't … and so it went on and on and on … eight points of prohibited items/actions in total … I poked my nose carefully in and asked politely if I could leave my backpack inside whilst having my second breakie – NO WAY! The answer was, I would have to leave it in the entrance/door if I wanted to order something. NO WAY – I thought! Leaving my unattended backpack so close to the national road? You must be kidding! So I said Gracias and walked on with a smile ;-)

Belorado: I have to confess, I was a very bad pilgrim as I arrived in Belorado. It was Sunday, mass was about to start and I went to the bar! My only excuse is that I urgently needed a toilet and something to eat. My less valid excuse was that Bar Kais in the main square (Plaza Mayor) has tapas that I remembered fondly from previous Caminos … Refreshed and relieved I carried on to

Tosantos: The private albergue and its bar are open, but nothing else. I continued as planned to

Villambistia: Very nice municipal albergue San Rocque. It is above the local bar down from the church. It is a sedate village, so no problem about that combination ;-) Nice clean dorms with blankets, pillows, bed linen and radiators, good showers, wifi, terrace, very friendly hospitalera. Washing machine and dryer each 4 Euro (a good reason to share them with other pilgrims!). I took the all inclusive option: bed, dinner (abundant and very tasty, home cooked food) and self-service breakfast for 15 Euro. Will report on breakfast tomorrow...


So, that is all for today – tomorrow to Ages.

Buen Camino de la vida, SY
 

Ian T

I now have a back pack
Year of past OR future Camino
When she says I can
Fantastic read, looking forward to next instalment. See and there was me saying how good a read your book was a few months ago.

Can't wait for next instalment-or book. Which ever takes your fancy
 
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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
@SabineP - thanks for the link to the other albergque as it is not listed in 2014/15 edition of Brierley. It would be a good alternative if Granon was full.

@SYates - your adventures are getting better & better. Whilst many of the "closed" places will be open next May its good to know who to support and who to "think" about. Cheers
 
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MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
@SY Very interesting time of year to share. Makes it very tempting. Christmas will be short of Leon unless you push longer days. In any case your research & reporting will certainly help many. It is making following along with your progress an interesting way to stay out of the snow, much like reading a good book.
Thanks much
Buen Camino
Keith
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
@SabineP - thanks for the link to the other albergque as it is not listed in 2014/15 edition of Brierley. It would be a good alternative if Granon was full ...

@Saint Mike II Grañón is never full/completo, but it might get a bit overwhelming in the main season ;-) SY
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
May you have a dry-footed walk over the Montes de Oca tomorrow, S!
Thank you for this lovely thread. It feels like opening one Christmas present, after another, and another...
I will very much enjoy the vicarious walk across the meseta, and hope the wind and weather are kind to you.
Buen camino! (I reckon that Christmas in Carrion with the sisters would be nice. :)
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Enjoying a lot, really a lot, your reports. Very useful, too. I wish printed guides be this way -useful, on the spot, info.
Hope you do well in MontesdeOca -I met a freakish weather there (and it was March!).
Very interested in your next stages -I am seriously considering a December pilgrimage from Villafranca del Bierzo to SdeC.
Buen camino!
 
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jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
A Winter Camino was on my bucket list.
After several recent icy cold nights in municipal albergues with no heating I scratched it off the list.

Dammit SY, not only am I knickerless, but it’s back on my bucket list, and this is your fault too.
I hope you are feeling really guilty now.

Buen camino!, and have a wonderful Christmas wherever you happen to be!
Jill
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Villambistia > Agés

Breakfast Villambistia – The usual self-service breakfast with the addition of fresh fruit ;-)

Pilgrim Numbers: We were 2 in Villambistia and another smallish group of pilgrims stayed in the private albergue of Tosantos, so <10 pilgrims per day on the way.

Weather: Heavy hoarse frost in the morning and the temperature stayed the whole day around 0C, seems winter has finally arrived in northern Spain.

Way:

Espinosa del Camino – Nothing open as far as I could see. Villafranca Montes de Oca – The only open places I could see were the well-known bar/cafe/truck stop and the tiny bakery at the beginning of the village, the shop near the (closed) albergue was closed (sign said until April 2017!). Not sure if anything further on in the village was open … San Juan de Ortega – Completely in hibernation, unfortunately the church was also closed. That was my biggest disappointment, as it is my favourite church on the way! The bar seems to have closed for the winter also and the whole place looks very much deserted.

Agés

Albergue – The only one open in the village is the albergue municipal 'Taberna de Agés' which is run by the owner of the bar which is in the same building. For 9 Euro you get a bed with pillow, a set of single use 'paper linen' and a hot shower plus a lot of rules to follow ;-( There are no kitchen, no common area to speak of and no blankets, but the place is well heated. All other services (wifi, food, drink) are available via the bar. So far my least favourite place to stay, especially as the hospitalero wasn't exactly friendliness personified. One of the disadvantages (or advantages?) of walking the Camino in very low season, you take what you get and don't have much choice. Food was also pretty average 'menu del peregrino/plato combinado' but at least the vino served with it was good and plenty ;-)

On the positive side, a neighbour invited the 4 of us (pilgrim no.5 went to bed early) for a drink into her kitchen and regaled us with stories from 'the good old times'. We had a lot of fun chatting with her!


Agés > Burgos

Weather: Cloudy but a bit warmer (~5C) with even some short sunshine.

Way: I tried to follow the alternative routes, but the yellow arrows send me back all the time to the main route ;-( Details below.

Atapuerca: Nothing open as far as I could see, the restaurant 'Como Sapiens' is only open from Friday-Sunday in winter.

After climbing up and down the hill, I wanted to follow the more direct route to Orbaneja, but the arrows for that direction disappeared and I was send back to the main way, shortly before

Cardeñuela de Riopico: Bar in the centre of the village is open.

Orbaneja: Bar at the end of the village is open.

Again I tried to find the alternative into Burgos – and failed ;-( After having trotted mainly on hard and/or stony ground I decided to become a baaad pilgrim in Villafría and take, for the first time, the bus into Burgos.

Bus Option: The buses to the centre stop directly before the Hotel Buenos Aires (blue/silver column with an 'I', but no other indication), comes every half and full hour and costs the huge sum of 1 Euro ;-) I took the bus with end destination 'Gran Teatro' and it deposited me very close to where the Camino enters the old town.

Burgos

Albergue – I stayed at the municipal albergue Casa de los Cubos which is just before the cathedral, directly on the way. My first ever stay in one of those modern mega-huge albergues ;-) For 5 Euro you get a bed with pillow (no blankets!), lukewarm showers (press button several times to get to that temperature!) and a minimalist kitchen with microwave and a bit of cutlery/crockery. There are also washer/dryers for an additional fee of respectively 3 and 2 Euro but no wifi (but pretty much any bar in Burgos has that anyway). Oh yes, and the albergue has a lift/elevator ;-) the light goes off automatically at 22:00 and goes on automatically at 07:00 and by 08:00 you have to be on your way.

Pilgrim numbers: 4 pilgrims in 150 beds ;-)

Eating/Shopping – Whatever you are looking for, nearly every direction you get from the hospitaleros starts with 'go down the stairs opposite of the albergue' ;-) TapasLa Quinta del Monje has the best tapas I have eaten in a long time, directions: 'Go down the stairs in front of the albergue, continue straight ahead to the main square/Plaza Mayor and it is a small street (Calle San Lorenzo) that goes off the square to your left' see also http://laquintadelmonje.com

Shopping – Better food-shop (remember only microwave!) on the way to the albergue as there are few shops nearby and they are a bit pricey. The closest and relatively normal priced one is 'Go down the stairs in front of the albergue, go straight ahead and take the second right, it is nearly at the end of that street on your left'.


Burgos > Rabé de las Calzadas

Weather: Again around 5C, the fog seems finally to have lifted and there was even the odd sun ray plus a few rain drops late in the afternoon.

Way: I know, a short walk, but my ankles are still hurting from yesterday and it also makes my next stages more manageable. (Any excuse counts if an albergue has a fireplace ;-) The construction work that messed up the Camino for such a long time seems finally to have finished! Unfortunately the Camino still meanders merrily around to avoid railway line and major roads. In 'the old times', the Camino used to go through Villalbilla, if I walk that stretch of the CF again, I just might try to find it ...

Tardajos: Bar at the national road and bar opposite of the municipal albergue (closed for winter) are both open, not sure about shops.

Rabé de las Calzadas – There are two bars in the village, the one directly on the Camino looks much livelier ;-) Albergue Libéranos Dómine http://www.liberanosdomine.com is pretty much pilgrims heaven (at least for me). The kind hospitalera Clementina cooked a wonderful lunch for me, there are spacious hot showers, beds with pillows and blankets, the fireplace in the common room heats the house via a system of hot air distribution, wifi, no kitchen as such but a microwave and some crockery/cutlery plus washer/dryer for an additional fee, but the best is the friendliness of Clementina! She already checked on me a couple of times and restocked the fireplace so much that I am sitting here in my t-shirt! Cost: bed 8 Euro, lunch/dinner 8 Euro (yes, with vino ;-) and also snacks available for reasonable prices.

So, that is it for the moment!
Buen Camino, SY
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
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Great to hear how this all looks on a winter camino. Very different than May/June. Some of my favorite stops are closed up for the season so it would make for almost an entirely different experience I expect.

Apart from weather & stuff, sounds like summer in the 90s, or summer on the Piemont Way nowadays
 
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JabbaPapa

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The buses to the centre stop directly before the Hotel Buenos Aires (blue/silver column with an 'I', but no other indication), comes every half and full hour and costs the huge sum of 1 Euro ;-) I took the bus with end destination 'Gran Teatro' and it deposited me very close to where the Camino enters the old town.

yah booo for shame !!!

(FWIW, the "good" alternative route is pretty hard to find, and even that takes you along the airport fence into an industrial area -- from there industrial/slum wasteland for a bit, but when you reach the one nice-ish bit, veer south and left from what the li'l yellow arrows tell you 'til you hit the green ; then just follow your nose)
 

julia-t

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
I loved Liberanos Domine and Clementina is an absolute star. One of the best albergues I stayed. And the bar in town on the right as you walk up to the central square (on which Liberanos Domine is situated) is really nice and friendly, and does some good food too.
Vespers down the hill at the convent is very sweet, worth half an hour of your time.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
SY - now I know that even you! missed the turn before the military barracks, I don't feel too bad about missing it myself. As for being a bad pilgrim; Never!
I rode my bike along that section of highway, it seemed to go on and on and on, so taking the bus (with your sore foot) is totally understandable. I might have to investigate that old route next May. Do you have any idea about where we should turn to go through Villalbilla. I do remember that it was more than a little confusing negotiating the roadworks, tunnels, bridges etc. The round-about was also "fun" as the arrows pointed to a number of routes. Buen Camino!!
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I loved Liberanos Domine and Clementina is an absolute star. One of the best albergues I stayed.
What Julia said! I agree totally and was very touched by her welcome. If you get this before you leave, SY, please relay my greetings and gratitude to her. Not that she'll remember me, but never mind.
And yes, vespers with the nuns was memorable...very special.
And I agree also with Mike: As for being a bad pilgrim; Never! (Not that you were serious...)
Buen Camino!! :)

BTW, the turn off to go into Burgos along the river is easy to miss--it's before the airport, just after crossing the motorway, immediately before the small housing development that's on the left--take that turn-off and head around the back side of the airport on a dirt road. In this case it's one place where St Brierley is useful--his directions were pretty clear.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
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some and then more. see my signature.
What Julia said! I agree totally and was very touched by her welcome. If you get this before you leave, SY, please relay my greetings and gratitude to her. Not that she'll remember me, but never mind.
And yes, vespers with the nuns was memorable...very special.
And I agree also with Mike: As for being a bad pilgrim; Never! (Not that you were serious...)
Buen Camino!! :)

BTW, the turn off to go into Burgos along the river is easy to miss--it's before the airport, just after crossing the motorway, immediately before the small housing development that's on the left--take that turn-off and head around the back side of the airport on a dirt road. In this case it's one place where St Brierley is useful--his directions were pretty clear.


There is something special about Rabe de las Calzadas : I stopped there very early , also only from Burgos that day, heard singing in the church. The local choir was practicing under the direction of a nun from the local convent.
It was a truly magical moment, I remember I started crying. Lots of patting on my back from the choir for comfort ;)
It was also a sunday so most probably the village was even quieter than on weekdays.

Then the albergue Liberanos : warm and inviting atmosphere. Even if it is a private albergue the place has a donativo feel about it.

And meeting , pure by coincidence, the seven men from Italian Verona whom I met two years earlier on another part of the Camino.

PS : On my first CF two of us managed to even find another road into Burgos...Till today I don't have a clue how we actually walked...:cool::p
 

Daphne74

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016
So that is where you ended up. How great to come in such a warm place. Rabe is something soecial for sure. The bar in town was very nice and welcoming, it is called La Fuente. I got all kinds of goodluck tookens, a bit of soup with my tea and had to write "on the wall". Have a buen camino from Castrojeriz my friend. It was a pleasure to be with you. Daphne.
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
And pilgrims greetings from Itero de la Vega ;-)

Rabé de las Calzadas > Hontanas

Important! There is no shop/bar open until Hontanas (Hornillos seems to be in semi-deserted hibernation!), so make sure you have some snacks with you and/or ask Clementina to make you a sandwich for the next day ;-)

Unfortunately I couldn't pass on all your greetings to her as I left early-ish.

Pilgrim Numbers: I was alone in Rabé, but on the way to Hontanas I met 3! other pilgrims that walked in the opposite direction.

Weather: Coolish (~/around 5C) and cloudy-foggy seems to be the stable weather situation at the moment.

Hontanas

Albergue/Shop/Bar – The only place open is albergue Santa Brigida which caters beautifully for pilgrims! Hernan and Sandra have walked the Camino themselves and that is noticeable in so many aspects of the albergue. Albergue has heating, blankets, well equipped kitchen (despite having also a bar!), guitar, washer/dryer for additional fee and a communal meal (really tasty and really huge, huge portions!). Very nice atmosphere and one of the few places that let you 'arrive' first before having to do all the paperwork … Highly recommended! Cost: I am a bit hazy on that point, but a bunk bed is 8 and the dinner 9 Euro – or vice versa. Washer/dryer together 7 Euro, but pilgrims are encouraged to share them ;-)

Pilgrim Numbers: We were 6 pilgrims (and 2 pilgrim dogs in the patio) at Santa Brigida.


Hontanas > Itero de la Vega

Way: Castrojeriz – The bar (tasty empanada de Morcilla!) in the middle of the village (on the second square) is open, also some of the shops (including the one that sells pilgrims gear) on the square below the municipal albergue are open.

Weather: For around 10min the sun broke through and lit up castle and church … then the clouds descended and the fog rose again … Usual temperature.

Pilgrim Numbers: As far as I can see I am the only pilgrim in the village. Three of those that were in Hontanas pushed on to Boadilla/Fromista (getting up at 06:00 …) and 2 stayed most likely in Castrojeriz to sort out some practical problems.

Itero de la Vega

Albergue/Shopping/Eating

I am staying at albergue Hogar del Peregrino which is really a Home of the Pilgrim! 3 double bed rooms (no bunks!) and one tiny room with one bed-couch, all with pillows, linen and blankets. Two bathrooms (one with bath tub!), wifi, spacious, well equipped kitchen cum common room, washing machine on request. You get your own key to your room and the house (leave in the door of your room in the morning and pull house door close). There is even a big flat screen TV in the common room/kitchen – but strangely I didn't feel any temptation to try it out ;-) There is also a computer around on the first floor, but not sure how well it would work … Cost: 12 Euro and well worth it.

The same owners run also the supermarket that is in the next house and one bar nearby is open (but with limited food offer).

Extra Tip: Call ahead - if you do so the kind owners will fire on the Gloria (underfloor heating with wood) and you will arrive to a warmed up house! I missed to do that, but the gas powered space heater in the kitchen cum common room plus the heating in my bedroom also do the trick ;-)


So, I think that is it for today, tomorrow to Fromista …

Buen Camino, SY
 
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cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Thanks again SY - so it will be Christmas eve in Fromista or are you going to push on and spend Christmas with the Sisters at Carrion (Espiritu Santo?). Either way best wishes for a very Happy, Healthy, Safe Christmas. Buen Camino.
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
Very interesting! Have a very merry Christmas! I hope you find a warm comfortable place the remainder of your walk.
Keith
 

Waka

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Some but not all, and other routes too.
Once again thank you for your wonderful write ups.
 
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AML

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept 2013
Norte/Primitivo May/June 2014
Vasco del Interior/ Burgos - Leon/Del Salvador/Primitivo May/June 2015
Ourense - Santiago Sept 2015
Camino Ingles Sept 2015
Porto-SDC Sept/Oct 2016
Excellent reports Sybille....Im grateful to share in your journey. Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas.☺
 

Bhirc

Bhirc
Year of past OR future Camino
Cruz de ferro to Santiago(2012)
SJPP to Ponferrada(2013)
SJPP to Santiago, (May/Jun2016)
Thanks. Enjoying these posts! Happy Christmas...


Check the Forum every few days and just delighted when I find one of your posts.
I walked from SJPP to SDC in May/Jun this year so it is lovely to relive my Camino through your posts. Many thanks.
Merry Christmas!
 
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wildrover

thewildrover
Year of past OR future Camino
2015 april c/f. vdlp feb 2016. Norte / primitivo Sep 2016. C/f 12/16. Vdlp 12/17. 12/18. Lana 02/19.
Sy, Invaluable updates!! A very merry Christmas. Stay safe.
 

shefollowsshells

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several alone and with children
Hi everybody ;-)

After the fun we had with the ditch pig clean up around Moratinos I am now in SJPdP ready for a very leisurely pilgrimage down the Camino Frances. 'Comme d'habitude' I plan to maintain a thread with practical information for those that walk the next weeks after me ...

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Pilgrims office is open as usual and so is the municipal albergue - the rest of towns (other than a handful of restaurants) seems to have closed down and gone into hibernation. The municipal, just a bit up and in the same street as the pilgrims office has one dormitory open with around ~16 (bunk) beds, a well equipped kitchen and a washing machine on demand/for a smile. Cost: 10 Euro with breakfast (will report on that one tomorrow).

Plan for tomorrow is just to walk to Valcarlos - slow start.
Buen Camino, SY
So excited to have this to read!!!!
Thank you for sharing!!!!
 

Theandrea

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2015, March 2016, January 2017
Hi syates
Looks like it's lonely? I am bit scared of loneliness and a bit nervous to start in a week from astorga. Looks like you will be just ahead of me on the 2 of January. All my past Caminos were in spring and plenty of people. Now I will face the emptiness of people, my biggest fear . Hope I will survive. Luckily I will meet my Camino family over New Years this year from other walks before I head to astorga. We might meet if you take some breaks
Andrea
 
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