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LIVE from the Camino Camino Levante - Occasional updates from a walker

DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
Hey everyone,

Now that the weather is better, and since I live in Valencia, I'm going to slowly start to chip away at the Camino Levante. As some people remember I walked a few hours of it a few weeks ago. The Cathedral was closed for visitors then so I wasn't able to get a stamp. So today I re-walked some of the route through the city and managed to find a nun inside the Cathedral to give me my first stamp. She had to dig it out of a box, so I suspect they haven't stamped anyone in a while due to COVID.

Here are a few shots from around the city. If you're interested in following along, I'll post future updates in this thread.

This was my walk from my place in Valencia, past the town hall (the ayuntamiento), past the Cathedral (where the first marker is), and then inside to get my stamp.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If you're interested in following along, I'll post future updates in this thread.

Oh, yes PLEASE!!!!

Did you get a smile or a buen camino from the nun who stamped your credential? Maybe I just encountered someone who was having a bad day, but it made me sad to have such a dour send-off on my Levante.

Valencia is just a spectacular city, look at the sun and the sky and the beautiful buildings. Get ready for asphalt for a while, hope you have lots of good cushioning in your shoes!
 

DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
Oh, yes PLEASE!!!!

Did you get a smile or a buen camino from the nun who stamped your credential? Maybe I just encountered someone who was having a bad day, but it made me sad to have such a dour send-off on my Levante.

Valencia is just a spectacular city, look at the sun and the sky and the beautiful buildings. Get ready for asphalt for a while, hope you have lots of good cushioning in your shoes!

Haha, I didn't. She had to hunt in a box to find the stamp, so I suspect I'm the first person she's stamped in a while. There were times in the last year when the cathedral was completely closed, so it's probably not something they've been asked a whole lot to do. That said, she was certainly friendly enough once she realized what I was after.
 

DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
Also, don't expect regular updates - I'll probably do a stage per weekend for the next little while (utilizing the train now and again to come back to Valencia), and then maybe none for a while since we still are on community lockdown and I can't technically leave the Valencian Community (which gives me the ability to do 4 or 5 stages at most until I hit a border).
 
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MarkyD

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Interesting. If you can upload a few photos of interesting things you see en route, that would be great. Buen Camino. I live in Madrid and I´ve been considering doing part of one of the more southern routes this year.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Hey everyone,

Now that the weather is better, and since I live in Valencia, I'm going to slowly start to chip away at the Camino Levante. As some people remember I walked a few hours of it a few weeks ago. The Cathedral was closed for visitors then so I wasn't able to get a stamp. So today I re-walked some of the route through the city and managed to find a nun inside the Cathedral to give me my first stamp. She had to dig it out of a box, so I suspect they haven't stamped anyone in a while due to COVID.

Here are a few shots from around the city. If you're interested in following along, I'll post future updates in this thread.

This was my walk from my place in Valencia, past the town hall (the ayuntamiento), past the Cathedral (where the first marker is), and then inside to get my stamp.
Beautiful pictures. How I miss Spain. I often visit Alicante, and I have done the first few hours of walking out from there on the Camino (The Sureste, intertwining with the Levante, as I understand it). It is soo tempting to start out there. But Valencia also looks like a great city to start from!
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Not wishing to derail your thread about walking @DuaneS but, do you mind me asking how is it, being from Canada, you now live in Valencia? Is it temporary, permanent or for work? I understand this is personal information so feel free not to answer (or PM me if you don't wish to share publicly...). I'm just curious as I'm intending to move to Spain under the NLV scheme in a few years & on paper (yet to do a 'reccy' for obvious reasons!), I'm targeting Valencia to live. I'd be interested in your thoughts as a resident.
Once again, no obligation to respond!
Wishing you a hearty 'Buen Camino' 🤗
I'll look forward to your updates.
👣 🌏
 

DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
I moved here under the non lucrative visa as well. And I have a Facebook group where I help people as well called tapas forever. I make a very small amount of money doing so as I sell an ebook about it, but my motivation is simply to help people as it was super hard for me and now it’s easier.

I really like it, and I can’t imagine living in Canada anymore, at least short term. You have to file taxes here after a year, which I naively didn’t think would be the case initially. But cost of living is super low and quality of life is super high. Valencia has 300+ days of sunshine a year whereas all I remember doing my university in Vancouver was rain.

I have been here two years under the non lucrative but am in the process of converting it into a “cuenta propia” visa so I can start my own company here.
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I moved here under the non lucrative visa as well. And I have a Facebook group where I help people as well called tapas forever. I make a very small amount of money doing so as I sell an ebook about it, but my motivation is simply to help people as it was super hard for me and now it’s easier.

I really like it, and I can’t imagine living in Canada anymore, at least short term.
Thanks so much Duane. It's all very daunting standing on this side of it but I shall not be dissuaded. I was already aware of the tax issues (incl dual taxation) & bureaucracy in general.
Being an Aussie (& even as a Tasmanian), weather is not a motivating factor but still a big plus.
It's lovely to read a positive story; I'm so glad you persevered & are now reaping the rewards.
Once again, not wishing to sidetrack your walking post, I will remember you & may call on your services as the time approaches for my move. 😇
Best wishes & a big 👏 &👍for taking the plunge!
Happy trails.
👣 🌏
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Here's a question from another Canadian, one hoping to begin the Levante from Valencia this fall. I should like to have some idea what would be a good time to begin walking the Levante. I walked the VdlP in the fall, beginning on Oct. 3rd, and found it very hot (mid-30's) until I arrived at the halfway point in Salamanca. But it's a long way to Santiago from Valencia and I am hoping to be able to begin, at the latest, in mid September. What do you think?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
I moved here under the non lucrative visa as well. And I have a Facebook group where I help people as well called tapas forever. I make a very small amount of money doing so as I sell an ebook about it, but my motivation is simply to help people as it was super hard for me and now it’s easier.

I really like it, and I can’t imagine living in Canada anymore, at least short term. You have to file taxes here after a year, which I naively didn’t think would be the case initially. But cost of living is super low and quality of life is super high. Valencia has 300+ days of sunshine a year whereas all I remember doing my university in Vancouver was rain.

I have been here two years under the non lucrative but am in the process of converting it into a “cuenta propia” visa so I can start my own company here.
How is your fluency in Spanish? I would imagine that that would make the move easier. I have often thought of a number of Winter months somewhere warm in contrast to Ontario.
 

digger

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Mozarabe; Almeria to Santiago May & June 2016
About smiles in Valencia:
An extract from my log- 21 May 2018. At about 0730 the doors opened. I asked the chap for the office of the credencial stamper and he replied that he was the stamper but added he didn’t stamp anything before 1030. I asked politely why this was so and was told “It’s the rule”. I hinted that the rule may not be in a pilgrim’s best interest given that the first day’s walk is 38km and that some of us would like to finish before dark, but he was resolute.

I was sitting on the steps outside quite miffed when the local police turned up; two really nice blokes who knew a pilgrim when they saw one. We chatted for a bit: Where are you from? How do you like Spain? Why are you still sitting here? When they heard about the rule, one of them (a huge, bear-like fellow) said the Spanish equivalent of “Bollocks to that!” and marched me in to the stamper’s office. But even in the face of the law, the stamper held firm. Señor Policía made the universal sign of fore-finger making small circles close to temple and mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like “bloody clerks”. He beckoned. I followed.

Through another door we entered the cathedral proper, found a priest, explained things so far and were immediately rewarded with a stamp. It turns out that Señor Policía is a veteran of eight caminos. With a huge grin on his face, he then walked me out to the first mark, shook hands again, slapped my back so hard I felt it through my pack and propelled me about 30 metres on my way. It’s hard to imagine a better start than that!
 
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DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
Day 1 - Valencia to Almussafes (About 25km)

I went to bed last night thinking that since the weather looked so good, I may try to set out and try to knock out some of the first stage. According to the 'official' stage, this is roughly 38km. But since I'm in no hurry and just planned to head back to Valencia via train at night, I didn't expect to do anywhere near that much. In fact, I got about 25km in and noticed it was almost 4pm - Sundays in the Valencia region in general have lots of things closed, but with COVID19 and the current restrictions at 6pm (all bars and restaurants have to close), I didn't want to be out on the trail past 5pm or so. So I decided to pack it in near Almussafes and grab the train back.

It was a beautiful day of walking, and as you can see from my photo, I managed to get a pretty decent tan in one day of walking. The walk out of Valencia isn't anything spectacular in terms of scenery, but I always try to see the beauty in all walks if I can, and enjoyed the stroll nonetheless. There really isn't much shade on this stage, and even though it's March I was feeling a bit hot and sweaty toward mid afternoon. I can't really imagine trying this anywhere near summertime, so something to be aware of if and when you try it.

I'm testing out some new gear (new backpack, new camera mount, new pants, etc), and I still haven't found a setup I entirely like. But the benefit of only doing a stage or a partial stage every week or so is that I have time to iterate in between.

Anyways, a beautiful day for walking. I'm back at home now and I just demolished some take away food (another benefit to coming home after walking) - I'll try and carry on a bit more in a week or so.
 

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Pilger Franz

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Podiensis-Norte-Ingles-SdC; Francigena; Touron.; Bretagne; Lemovic.; Lana; Lusitana (Este)
Hi DuaneS,
looking forward to your posts.
BC
Franz
 

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Here's a question from another Canadian, one hoping to begin the Levante from Valencia this fall. I should like to have some idea what would be a good time to begin walking the Levante. I walked the VdlP in the fall, beginning on Oct. 3rd, and found it very hot (mid-30's) until I arrived at the halfway point in Salamanca. But it's a long way to Santiago from Valencia and I am hoping to be able to begin, at the latest, in mid September. What do you think?
@Albertagirl Checkout the hyperlink below. 👣 :D :cool:

Camino de Levante (09-15-21 - 10-27-21) - Average Temperatures from weatherspark.com

Edit: you will probably have to download the html file to your computer.
 

Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Year of past OR future Camino
?
How is your fluency in Spanish? I would imagine that that would make the move easier. I have often thought of a number of Winter months somewhere warm in contrast to Ontario.
Florida maybe?
Eight winters now and I'am happy, after four in Spain where it was not as warm as I had wished.
Cheers.
 
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how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Roncesvalles to Sahagun Oct 2016
Sahagun to SDC April 2017 Burgos to SDC April 2018
I moved here under the non lucrative visa as well. And I have a Facebook group where I help people as well called tapas forever. I make a very small amount of money doing so as I sell an ebook about it, but my motivation is simply to help people as it was super hard for me and now it’s easier.

I really like it, and I can’t imagine living in Canada anymore, at least short term. You have to file taxes here after a year, which I naively didn’t think would be the case initially. But cost of living is super low and quality of life is super high. Valencia has 300+ days of sunshine a year whereas all I remember doing my university in Vancouver was rain.

I have been here two years under the non lucrative but am in the process of converting it into a “cuenta propia” visa so I can start my own company here.

I sent you a pm. Don't know if you got it.
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Day 1 - Valencia to Almussafes (About 25km)
Very enjoyable read @DuaneS ...& that sky in your pics!...such a vivid blue.
The walk out of Valencia isn't anything spectacular in terms of scenery, but I always try to see the beauty in all walks if I can, and enjoyed the stroll nonetheless.
The scenery may not have been speccy for you as a resident of Valencia, but for me (& others harbouring the same dream), I found your pics so interesting & full of hints as to what it may be like to live there...fascinating! 😊
Look forward to your next instalment.
👣 🌏
 

DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
Hey everyone,

So after I did the last walk and arrived home, my shin bone started really bothering me. I could hardly walk on it for a few days, so I think I really overworked it. I guess being basically trapped in my apartment in Spain for a year has really killed my 'trail hardiness'. I took a 10 day break after that last walk, which as it turns out wasn't enough, but today I managed to knock off another 15km today.

I took train from Valencia back to where I left off last time, and walked to Algemesi today, which is officially the end of stage 1 for the Levante. I actually think this official stage should be broken up (like I walked it) somehow as it's crazy long and not a good way to start a camino I think (nearly 40km on your first day) - I can't imagine doing it all in one day, as you'd be completely wiped, and, if out of practice (like me), potentially end up injuring yourself.

Here are some photos from the day. My shin didn't bother me up until around the 10km mark, and then hurt pretty much all the way into Algemesi, 5km further. So I think I may need to take a 2 or a 3 week break to let it heal properly before carrying on - so this may be a long, drawn out process! But such is my camino.

This stage, from Valencia to Algemesi, has some cute little villages, but the trail is mostly along pavement and the scenery is pretty industrial. It has its own charm obviously, but I'm quite looking forward to hitting Xativa (at the end of the next stage), and carrying on a bit further from there.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Oh, I love it that we have no expectations about when @DuaneS will post again. That means that finding this thread in the new post lineup is just a delight!

So sorry to hear about shin splints, but in my experience, and from what I’ve read, it’s the repetitive foot strike that really does a number on you, and of course that foot strike is invariable when you walk on pavement. Have you tried ice? I know there is some evidence that says it doesn’t really help, but when I walk a camino with a lot of pavement, I do “anticipatory icing” and always apply ice at the end of the stage (or in between too, if I stop at a bar, etc. The other thing that has helped a LOT is that I have switched from hard plastic orthotics to silicone and I have seen a huge improvement.

But on to more pleasant topics - love the pictures! So funny. because I have pictures of exactly the same towers, square, fields (though fruit was on the trees when I walked). Oh, that sky! I enjoyed the Algemesí folklore museum and learned a lot about the human towers they do during fiestas. But the best of all was the paella being served in the Casino to a big group, and I was invited to join in!

B2656EFD-01EC-4B5C-8E97-76723400A84C.jpeg

Wishing you a good recovery and more adventures on the Levante, buen camino, Laurie
 

Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I took train from Valencia back to where I left off last time, and walked to Algemesi today, which is officially the end of stage 1 for the Levante. I actually think this official stage should be broken up (like I walked it) somehow as it's crazy long and not a good way to start a camino I think (nearly 40km on your first day) - I can't imagine doing it all in one day, as you'd be completely wiped, and, if out of practice (like me), potentially end up injuring yourself.
Great pics & post @DuaneS.
I'm intrigued by the statement about 'official Stage 1'...why is it "official" & who is setting that? I always thought that so-called stages generally come about from guidebook authors purely as suggestions on how to breakdown the journey.

Thankfully, how we tackle a walk, managing distances, time, availability of amenities such as accom & food, etc, is very much an individual thing...we walk our own path without being constrained to set start/stop points. It's for this reason walks like the Milford Track in NZ & the Three Capes Track here in Tassie, stunning as they are, just didn't suit me; distance & nightly stops are all dictated...no choice = not my style!
Rest up & we look forward to your next instalment whenever that may be. 🤗
👣 🌏
 

filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Could not agree more! I went to Tasmania to hike the Cradle Mountain Overland Track on an organised trip. Ridiculously expensive for a daily 2 minute showerlet and 10 am starts. Converted me to tent carrying in Nordic countries (I highly recommend the Kungsleden in north Sweden, crossing the artic circle, 24 hour daylight in July...)
 

DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
Great pics & post @DuaneS.
I'm intrigued by the statement about 'official Stage 1'...why is it "official" & who is setting that? I always thought that so-called stages generally come about from guidebook authors purely as suggestions on how to breakdown the journey.

Thankfully, how we tackle a walk, managing distances, time, availability of amenities such as accom & food, etc, is very much an individual thing...we walk our own path without being constrained to set start/stop points. It's for this reason walks like the Milford Track in NZ & the Three Capes Track here in Tassie, stunning as they are, just didn't suit me; distance & nightly stops are all dictated...no choice = not my style!
Rest up & we look forward to your next instalment whenever that may be. 🤗
👣 🌏
Fair enough, but there is a website for the 'official' community valenciana pilgrims association and they have a rough layout of stages - at least for the first stage, the length is probably related to where there is an algergue to stay in.

 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
@DuaneS
About the length of the stages on the Levante. You could ask @JLWV a forum member and a member of the camino association in Valencia. He helped us make the recent thread on walking the Levante: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...ng-—-camino-de-levante-camí-de-llevant.68299/ and I believe he was involved in marking the stages. They have always seemed too long for me, so my intention is to adjust, as can be done by occasional shifts onto the Lana, etc. The stages are apparently not intended to indicate the length of each day's walk, although they always end in a stop with accommodations. But who knows about the places to stay, after the pandemic?
 
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Tassie Kaz

Sempre Avanti
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Could not agree more! I went to Tasmania to hike the Cradle Mountain Overland Track on an organised trip. Ridiculously expensive for a daily 2 minute showerlet and 10 am starts. Converted me to tent carrying in Nordic countries (I highly recommend the Kungsleden in north Sweden, crossing the artic circle, 24 hour daylight in July...)
Apologies for the 'detour' of your thread @DuaneS but @filly, you don't have to take the organised option for the Overland Track..you can DIY (carrying your tent) for a fraction of the cost.

There's an 'organised' option on the Milford Track too...it cost an exorbidant amount of money & was quite farcical to us lesser beings who took the hardier (but no tents involved) alternative. On one section, I encountered a staff member of the organised group who raced past me (with a huge pack on her back) to reach a pinnacle before her guests so they could sip orange juice from a glass & admire the view. I reached the viewpoint before her clients only to witness on their eventual arrival, one of them complaining loudly the orange juice wasn't cold enough! 🤣 Oh my... 🤦‍♀️ 🤷‍♀️ 😉
Anyway...I digress... 🤭
👣 🌏
 

DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
It's been really strange weather here in Valencia in April - while April is always a bit up in the air, more than half of the month it's been raining, and the forecast calls for the next ten days to mostly be wet.

I took the train back to Algemesi last week and carried on with a bit of walking. It had been three weeks since I walked last time, and my shin was still bothering me, so I purposefully decided just to do 10km or so and then call it a day.

It was a nice morning of walking, and it took less than three hours to get to Carcaixent, which is where I decided to stop for the day. There are a few small towns you pass through, which is great for getting a coffee and resting the feet for a few minutes.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next stage, which for me will be Carcaixent to Xativa - I've heard some great things about Xativa, and I'm hoping to get an AirBNB there for a few nights and just relax. We still can't move between provinces here in Spain, so I haven't really done much in terms of travel in a long time. So Xativa will be a nice way to just relax for a few days and possibly get some reading done.

As soon as we are allowed to move between provinces, I may head up to Irun and walk a week of the Camino de Norte as well. I'm supposed to be walking Alta Via 1 in the Dolomites in July, and I really want to get as much walking in as possible before then.

But anyways, for now it's more Levante! Enjoy. My shin actually felt mostly back to normal, which is encouraging (I was worried it was going to keep giving me problems, which would have derailed my plans for Italy in July). We will see what happens in Xativa next, but as long as my shin doesn't bother me then either, I'll likely say (knock on wood) that it's healed.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Great pictures, thanks. Carcaixent looks so much more inviting than when I walked through. I think maybe the camino didn’t even take us down the main drag.

IMHO, Xátiva is one of my top three or four castles in all my castle climbing around the Iberian peninsula. It is astonishing, you will love it! If you take the pedetrian path back down through the woods, you will pass a stone tower whose name I believe is pau de glac (ice palace) where they used to haul snow to store for ice for the summer. I was surprised when I saw it, but have since seen others on the Camí Catalá.

Hope you have a great time, I think there is a lot of good food to be had in Xátiva!
 

DuaneS

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
Great pictures, thanks. Carcaixent looks so much more inviting than when I walked through. I think maybe the camino didn’t even take us down the main drag.

IMHO, Xátiva is one of my top three or four castles in all my castle climbing around the Iberian peninsula. It is astonishing, you will love it! If you take the pedetrian path back down through the woods, you will pass a stone tower whose name I believe is pau de glac (ice palace) where they used to haul snow to store for ice for the summer. I was surprised when I saw it, but have since seen others on the Camí Catalá.

Hope you have a great time, I think there is a lot of good food to be had in Xátiva!
I've found the markers to be pretty hard to find in some areas. I almost always get lost going through the towns. I've taken to using the All Trails app on my phone and seeing the listed GPS route whenever I get lost - it may not take me along the official trail as I have a feeling it came from someone on a bicycle (good news is it often always goes through the main drag, and hooks up with the camino again leaving the city). But in a few areas the arrows have been pretty faded or hard to locate.
 
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