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LIVE from the Camino Camino Mixto: Feb-Mar 2019 Levante

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Quick intro about us so you get a feel for who we are. I'm Donna and I'm a Kiwi who has been living in the NT of Australia for most of my adult life. And over 20 years in Darwin where the temp is usually 30-35 deg C maximum and the humidity varies between 20-100% depending on the time of year. I did grow up in Dunedin, NZ but it has been a long time since I had to rug up against the cold.
I walked the VDLP in Jun/Jul 2015 and loved it. So I wanted to do something special for my 50th birthday in March. Kilimanjaro is on the bucket list. Problem is that Darwin is very flat so I thought a short camino could help with the training and I was eyeing up the Invierno. While it is cheap and easy to fly from Australia to Tanzania to Europe it is unaffordable in the other direction. So I started thinking Spain again. In the albergue in Zamora there is a map with camino routes and the Levante and Sureste looked interesting. I did want to do the Astorga leg of the VDLP too. And so the idea of a coast to coast Camino Mixto was born a couple of years ago. Then I meet Barrie. It gets kind of serious quite quickly. He proposes. We talk about building a new house. And then I know that he needs to experience a camino if we are to be on the same page. So I invite him along and he doesn't run away in the opposite direction. There is a slight catch. I was hoping to be on the camino on my birthday. He has to be in NZ over Easter to photograph some planes. So looking at dates that would allow enough time meant we left Australia on Feb 1st. Winter. Guess that will be the challenge.
We arrived in Barcelona on the 3rd and were there for 2 days to acclimatise a little and work out if we had gotten our gear right while we could still access a sports shop.
And play total tourist. Barrie was born in the UK but grew up in Australia. He has never been to Spain. He does a very good Manuel of Fawlty Towers impression. So I am it re our Spanish. The weather is cold but clear. We have a good selection of clothes. His asthma so far has remained under control which is one of my fears for this trip.
We got our Gaudi fix, and I signed us up for a Tapas, Taverns and History tour with Devour tours who I recommend to all the foodies out there. We stayed at the K+K Picasso Hotel which is a brilliant location. Compared to 2015 the things that strike me about the city is that the homeless are visible, there are many more Catalonian flags and yellow ribbons, more vacant places to rent and they are losing the battle against tagging and graffiti.
Anyway we took the train from the Frances station and it does a loop to Barcelona Sants and is direct to Sevilla with Valencia on the way. We left at 9am and got in by 1 pm to the Valencia Nord station. We are staying at the Pension Alicante.
Useful things so far:
My Paramo hiking pants.
My compression thermal leggings. The down vest.
Apps: Wikiloc, OsmAnd.
SettleUp for tracking expenses between the two of us.
SpanishDict and Google Translate. El Tiempo for weather.
I love instagram as it gives me a place to put the photos I am always snapping so if anyone wants to check that, look up "missywombat".
Today is the day for playing tourist, getting our first sellos and working out where we start walking tomorrow.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Wishing you and your partner a wonderful Levante @Donna Sch. You will certainly have lots of private time Together:).

I walked the Valencia-Toledo part in June and July so I understand that you enjoyed walking the Plata in the heat (I also did that one in the summer). The Toledo-Zamora section I walked beginning April and it was quite cold around Avila (-2c) so get warm.

Look forward to hearing about your walk. I'll be starting out from Alicante at the end of March to walk the Lana.
 
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
Hi Donna, what a great start to your adventure. I’ll be keeping a close eye on your reports especially your time after Toledo. Are you going all the way to Zamora then hooking up with the Vdlp to Santiago?
I’ll be following some time in May. Enjoy and have a glass or to for me.
Cheers, Grace
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Valencia: The plan was to head to the beach to get the photo of being in the Mediterranean and then moseying on back via the river seeing whatever sights and finishing with the Cathedral and the Church of Saint Nicholas. 20+ km later...The latter just blew my mind. While Spain has many impressive cathedrals and churches, I think this and the Sagrada Familia are the ones that make you go wow the entire time you are there.
We did climb the Migueleta just to work those quads a little more.
Impressions of Valencia: incredibly pretty buildings, friendly people, less graffiti than Barcelona, more litter than BCN, equally dog loving but the dogs are under better control in Valencia although the owners aren't as there is dog crap everywhere. My sleeping is still out as I am out to it by about 9pm and wake again at 2am. Hence I am posting now...
Today's mission is to get to Benefaio where I hope to catch up with my elderly aunt and uncle from the Netherlands who just happen to be holidaying here for a month to escape the Dutch winter. Last ones from my Dad's generation and I haven't seen them since I was 16. Poor old Barrie, they have some English but I suspect the conversation will be a hodge podge of English and Dutch (which I haven't spoken since my teens). Looking forward to this!
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Starting Camino de Levante (2019).
Quick intro about us so you get a feel for who we are. I'm Donna and I'm a Kiwi who has been living in the NT of Australia for most of my adult life. And over 20 years in Darwin where the temp is usually 30-35 deg C maximum and the humidity varies between 20-100% depending on the time of year. I did grow up in Dunedin, NZ but it has been a long time since I had to rug up against the cold.
I walked the VDLP in Jun/Jul 2015 and loved it. So I wanted to do something special for my 50th birthday in March. Kilimanjaro is on the bucket list. Problem is that Darwin is very flat so I thought a short camino could help with the training and I was eyeing up the Invierno. While it is cheap and easy to fly from Australia to Tanzania to Europe it is unaffordable in the other direction. So I started thinking Spain again. In the albergue in Zamora there is a map with camino routes and the Levante and Sureste looked interesting. I did want to do the Astorga leg of the VDLP too. And so the idea of a coast to coast Camino Mixto was born a couple of years ago. Then I meet Barrie. It gets kind of serious quite quickly. He proposes. We talk about building a new house. And then I know that he needs to experience a camino if we are to be on the same page. So I invite him along and he doesn't run away in the opposite direction. There is a slight catch. I was hoping to be on the camino on my birthday. He has to be in NZ over Easter to photograph some planes. So looking at dates that would allow enough time meant we left Australia on Feb 1st. Winter. Guess that will be the challenge.
We arrived in Barcelona on the 3rd and were there for 2 days to acclimatise a little and work out if we had gotten our gear right while we could still access a sports shop.
And play total tourist. Barrie was born in the UK but grew up in Australia. He has never been to Spain. He does a very good Manuel of Fawlty Towers impression. So I am it re our Spanish. The weather is cold but clear. We have a good selection of clothes. His asthma so far has remained under control which is one of my fears for this trip.
We got our Gaudi fix, and I signed us up for a Tapas, Taverns and History tour with Devour tours who I recommend to all the foodies out there. We stayed at the K+K Picasso Hotel which is a brilliant location. Compared to 2015 the things that strike me about the city is that the homeless are visible, there are many more Catalonian flags and yellow ribbons, more vacant places to rent and they are losing the battle against tagging and graffiti.
Anyway we took the train from the Frances station and it does a loop to Barcelona Sants and is direct to Sevilla with Valencia on the way. We left at 9am and got in by 1 pm to the Valencia Nord station. We are staying at the Pension Alicante.
Useful things so far:
My Paramo hiking pants.
My compression thermal leggings. The down vest.
Apps: Wikiloc, OsmAnd.
SettleUp for tracking expenses between the two of us.
SpanishDict and Google Translate. El Tiempo for weather.
I love instagram as it gives me a place to put the photos I am always snapping so if anyone wants to check that, look up "missywombat".
Today is the day for playing tourist, getting our first sellos and working out where we start walking tomorrow.
Buen Camino
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Day 1:
We started about 9ish. Getting out of Valencia was easy thanks to all of the scallop discs courtesy of the local Friends of the Camino. Having said that we did manage to get off track in Alfafar and I suspect we missed a marker at the Palm gardens. Easily fixed once we got onto Wikiloc.
Lots of industrial zone type walking and you could smell a lot of gunga being used despite rarely seeing anyone especially around Catarroja.
The weather has been pretty warm. I started off wearing a smartwool baselayer tshirt with my thermal compression leggings with my thin windbreaker and a down vest. By the time we got to Silla at exactly 2 pm, it was hot enough for me to change into my light hiking skirt and get rid of the vest. Compared to the VDLP people are a little more reserved with only the very occasional Hola or Buen Camino. And I am one of these people that tends to say Buenas to anyone that makes eye contact. We did have a lovely lady stop and chat in Silla in the Plaza.
After Silla you get farmland with lots of oranges, onions(?) and the blossom is just starting. Then came those wetlands (Albafera) and I assume ricefields. Lots of herons. Barrie is a professional wildlife observer so knows his Aussie birds so was pointing out the differences between our local herons and kites and the ones here.
It was nice to get into this area and you see a few cyclists and runners between Silla and El Romani which is just before Almussafes. It was getting late and we got to that point of both wanting to stop for the day so we quickly booked a room at the Hotel Isabel in Almussafes as we were walking before the railway overbridge into El Romani. Of course then we realise we still had a couple of kilometres to go and I remembered how the last couple of km are always the hardest of the day. Cost of the room with breakfast was 63€ on booking.com and they charged us 50€. We ended up with a twin but the bathroom has a bath.
Tried to contact my Aunt and ended up chatting with my Dutch cousin because my Movistar phonecard seems to be data only (Grrrr...) and I couldn't phone my aunt when I tried. The instructions are all in Spanish. My Lebara card last time was in English.
She didn't have wifi so I was FB messaging my cuz in Holland who was phoning his Mum. Then to top it off the restaurant (Innusual) that sounded nice on Google no longer exists so I was trying to change things at the meeting point with no phone capacity, a phone that was about to die and me leaving messages all over FB and Messenger via Barrie's phone. So we never did catch up ;( . The late meal we had at a bar on the Hotel side of Carrer Ausiàs March was great though and boy did we need that bottle of wine by that time!
According to my notes and I always use the higher estimate, today was a 23.3 km day. Google Fit tells me we did 21.5 km. Barrie's phone says at least 27+ km and 35K steps. Who knows!
Today will be a shorter day as we are both feeling a bit sore. Getting to Xativa is going to be a 3 day effort rather than a 2 day one.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Day 1:
We started about 9ish. Getting out of Valencia was easy thanks to all of the scallop discs courtesy of the local Friends of the Camino. Having said that we did manage to get off track in Alfafar and I suspect we missed a marker at the Palm gardens. Easily fixed once we got onto Wikiloc.
Lots of industrial zone type walking and you could smell a lot of gunga being used despite rarely seeing anyone especially around Catarroja.
The weather has been pretty warm. I started off wearing a smartwool baselayer tshirt with my thermal compression leggings with my thin windbreaker and a down vest. By the time we got to Silla at exactly 2 pm, it was hot enough for me to change into my light hiking skirt and get rid of the vest. Compared to the VDLP people are a little more reserved with only the very occasional Hola or Buen Camino. And I am one of these people that tends to say Buenas to anyone that makes eye contact. We did have a lovely lady stop and chat in Silla in the Plaza.
After Silla you get farmland with lots of oranges, onions(?) and the blossom is just starting. Then came those wetlands (Albafera) and I assume ricefields. Lots of herons. Barrie is a professional wildlife observer so knows his Aussie birds so was pointing out the differences between our local herons and kites and the ones here.
It was nice to get into this area and you see a few cyclists and runners between Silla and El Romani which is just before Almussafes. It was getting late and we got to that point of both wanting to stop for the day so we quickly booked a room at the Hotel Isabel in Almussafes as we were walking before the railway overbridge into El Romani. Of course then we realise we still had a couple of kilometres to go and I remembered how the last couple of km are always the hardest of the day. Cost of the room with breakfast was 63€ on booking.com and they charged us 50€. We ended up with a twin but the bathroom has a bath.
Tried to contact my Aunt and ended up chatting with my Dutch cousin because my Movistar phonecard seems to be data only (Grrrr...) and I couldn't phone my aunt when I tried. The instructions are all in Spanish. My Lebara card last time was in English.
She didn't have wifi so I was FB messaging my cuz in Holland who was phoning his Mum. Then to top it off the restaurant (Innusual) that sounded nice on Google no longer exists so I was trying to change things at the meeting point with no phone capacity, a phone that was about to die and me leaving messages all over FB and Messenger via Barrie's phone. So we never did catch up ;( . The late meal we had at a bar on the Hotel side of Carrer Ausiàs March was great though and boy did we need that bottle of wine by that time!
According to my notes and I always use the higher estimate, today was a 23.3 km day. Google Fit tells me we did 21.5 km. Barrie's phone says at least 27+ km and 35K steps. Who knows!
Today will be a shorter day as we are both feeling a bit sore. Getting to Xativa is going to be a 3 day effort rather than a 2 day one.
Hi, Donna,
I am very much enjoying your reports, so keep them coming! I think Almussafes is before Algemesí, which was where I stopped. Would love to hear how you do your stages. Do not despair, after Xátiva, you will get to the non-asphalt camino! But I highly recommend having enough time in Xátiva to go see the castle. It is really one of the best in Spain, and I have visited a LOT of castles. It is way up high, with construction that appears impossible and gorgeous views, Buen camino to you both, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
'03CF, '08VdlP, '12Porto, '14VdlP via Port '15CPI ‘17Levante to Toledo
Hi Donna, if you still feel refreshed and want to continue after Xativa, there is a great muni at Canals (+7km). You get the key from the policia. It is a little apartment situated above the local market so coffee at the cafe below is possible very early for the stallholders ;)

5183551836
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Day 2:
Walked to Algemesi.
Market day in Benefaio (Thu) but then it was lovely walking on the road through the horticultural area with the railway to your right. Oranges have finished with some farmers starting to prune but it means there are oranges everywhere. And it smells wonderful. Apples finished ages ago with any fruit that is left ripe enough to explode. New pink blossom (peaches?). Long way between bars and that first one must do a roaring trade.
Fine day again and up to 20 degrees. The Police have the key so you need to ring them. https://en.caminodelcid.org/servicios/albergue-algemesi-782023/
First albergue of the trip and we are the 4th entry for 2019. 3 in January. It's donativo with good kitchen facilities. The washing machine is broken and the lavador that was on the terrace has gone so lots of clothes washing in the shower.
The albergue gets cold at night especially with the tile floor but there are plenty of blankets.
Kit win: Loving my Paramo hiking pants. I started wearing them this morning as it was 10 degrees but sunny with my hiking skirt in a side pocket to change into as required if it got too hot. The trou open up so you don't have to take your boots off. Or you open up the zip to vent your entire leg. Still tshirt and thin windbreaker weather. So glad I brought that windbreaker (Arcteryx Squamish) as it is protecting my arms from sunburn.
Not liking my woollen injinji socks as much as the regular trail ones. My feet get too hot in a waterproof boot. However this will probably change once we hit colder weather over the next week or so.
Plodding away happily averaging 4km/h.
 

handzondeck2

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (x2); VdLP (x4); Portuguese (x2); Madrid (x2); S/Salvador, Primitivo, Ingles ('17) Camino 19 tba
HI Donna and Barry great posts. I'm starting out on 9th April from Albacete. Looking forward to reading all about the Levante and where you are staying. Buen Camino fellow pilgrims. keep in walking. Sharon
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Day 3: Algemesi to Xàtiva. Early start and it was about 4 deg to begin with. Alzira is a lovely town and very friendly. Started getting regular Buen Caminos, little chats and a bloke in a car even stopped to give us some blood oranges. And yes, I did spot some locals taking photos of us with our crazy Aarnpacks!😆
More horticultural land -oranges, pomegranates. Love all the fruit and it is pretty countryside. Coming out of Alzira there is a ton of extreme right graffiti and Vox seems to have support here. Real contrast with the friendliness of the people.
Watch out in the industrial area near Alzira. Drains with no covers. I fell into one when I took my eyes off the ground to look at something Barrie was pointing out and got my boot stuck. Got it out finally but it was lucky I was wearing boots not shoes. No damage.
Unseasonably warm and the temp has been up to 24 degrees C. Last year they had blizzards. We came prepared for blizzards. Thank God my pants have entire leg vents.
It's taking us longer than I expected to get from A to B. We stopped in Manuel and took a taxi up to Xàtiva as it was late. And the reality of the camino is hitting Barrie. I think he was expecting more leisurely vacation than pilgrimage. He's got a bit of chafing from the boxers that were supposed to stop chafing. My damn boot keeps rubbing on my right lateral malleolus and it's annoying and my woollen injinjis made my little toe blister worse. Minor things but painful. But lSo given it was getting too close to 5 pm and we still had 10 km to go and to make sure our relationship survives, we got a cab from Manuel to Xàtiva as I had already booked accommodation there. We are staying at the Casa de Cigroner and have decided to have a rest day.
I had to laugh that when we were checking in we bumped into someone else with a pack. "Peregrino?"
We were both astounded as we thought we wouldn't see another pilgrim for at least several hundred km and we bump into an Irish pilgrim.
Camino lessons? Compromise which I'm not especially good at. I tend to make friends of my travel companions not make travel companions of my friends and loved ones.
However we do travel well together in the sense of he is much better at scanning the environment and spotting things. And stopping me from getting myself killed by cars coming from the 'wrong' side. He needs my language skills (ha!) and someone who can deal with really bad Dad jokes. I have no idea how his brain does it so rapidly.
I'm using Wikiloc under my forum name to keep track of kilometres. Probably taking too many photos along the way. Some on wikiloc, some on IG.
So rest tomorrow, play tourist a little, maybe catch up with that aunt of mine!
 

drvnsmiln

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC Sept-Oct 2014
SdC - Finisterre-Muxia. Oct 2014
Sarria - SdC Nov 2014
VdlP April - May 2017
Day 3: Algemesi to Xàtiva. Early start and it was about 4 deg to begin with. Alzira is a lovely town and very friendly. Started getting regular Buen Caminos, little chats and a bloke in a car even stopped to give us some blood oranges. And yes, I did spot some locals taking photos of us with our crazy Aarnpacks!😆
More horticultural land -oranges, pomegranates. Love all the fruit and it is pretty countryside. Coming out of Alzira there is a ton of extreme right graffiti and Vox seems to have support here. Real contrast with the friendliness of the people.
Watch out in the industrial area near Alzira. Drains with no covers. I fell into one when I took my eyes off the ground to look at something Barrie was pointing out and got my boot stuck. Got it out finally but it was lucky I was wearing boots not shoes. No damage.
Unseasonably warm and the temp has been up to 24 degrees C. Last year they had blizzards. We came prepared for blizzards. Thank God my pants have entire leg vents.
It's taking us longer than I expected to get from A to B. We stopped in Manuel and took a taxi up to Xàtiva as it was late. And the reality of the camino is hitting Barrie. I think he was expecting more leisurely vacation than pilgrimage. He's got a bit of chafing from the boxers that were supposed to stop chafing. My damn boot keeps rubbing on my right lateral malleolus and it's annoying and my woollen injinjis made my little toe blister worse. Minor things but painful. But lSo given it was getting too close to 5 pm and we still had 10 km to go and to make sure our relationship survives, we got a cab from Manuel to Xàtiva as I had already booked accommodation there. We are staying at the Casa de Cigroner and have decided to have a rest day.
I had to laugh that when we were checking in we bumped into someone else with a pack. "Peregrino?"
We were both astounded as we thought we wouldn't see another pilgrim for at least several hundred km and we bump into an Irish pilgrim.
Camino lessons? Compromise which I'm not especially good at. I tend to make friends of my travel companions not make travel companions of my friends and loved ones.
However we do travel well together in the sense of he is much better at scanning the environment and spotting things. And stopping me from getting myself killed by cars coming from the 'wrong' side. He needs my language skills (ha!) and someone who can deal with really bad Dad jokes. I have no idea how his brain does it so rapidly.
I'm using Wikiloc under my forum name to keep track of kilometres. Probably taking too many photos along the way. Some on wikiloc, some on IG.
So rest tomorrow, play tourist a little, maybe catch up with that aunt of mine!
Thank you for the updates on the Levante. I will be starting out from VALENCIA March 1 and your posts are quite helpful. However I am hoping for the cooler weather. Looking forward to your continued posting. Stay safe!
 

JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
Hi Donna and Barry. I am enjoying your posts. On second day you walked at 100 m from my home, but I was in Madrid...
Too late for you, but may be useful for further pilgrims who need shorten Algemesi-Xativa leg: instead of a taxi, the railway is cheaper. The station in Manuel (Enova-Manuel) is on left side just before arriving at Manuel.
Buen Camino.
Jean-Luc
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Starting Camino de Levante (2019).
Day 3: Algemesi to Xàtiva. Early start and it was about 4 deg to begin with. Alzira is a lovely town and very friendly. Started getting regular Buen Caminos, little chats and a bloke in a car even stopped to give us some blood oranges. And yes, I did spot some locals taking photos of us with our crazy Aarnpacks!😆
More horticultural land -oranges, pomegranates. Love all the fruit and it is pretty countryside. Coming out of Alzira there is a ton of extreme right graffiti and Vox seems to have support here. Real contrast with the friendliness of the people.
Watch out in the industrial area near Alzira. Drains with no covers. I fell into one when I took my eyes off the ground to look at something Barrie was pointing out and got my boot stuck. Got it out finally but it was lucky I was wearing boots not shoes. No damage.
Unseasonably warm and the temp has been up to 24 degrees C. Last year they had blizzards. We came prepared for blizzards. Thank God my pants have entire leg vents.
It's taking us longer than I expected to get from A to B. We stopped in Manuel and took a taxi up to Xàtiva as it was late. And the reality of the camino is hitting Barrie. I think he was expecting more leisurely vacation than pilgrimage. He's got a bit of chafing from the boxers that were supposed to stop chafing. My damn boot keeps rubbing on my right lateral malleolus and it's annoying and my woollen injinjis made my little toe blister worse. Minor things but painful. But lSo given it was getting too close to 5 pm and we still had 10 km to go and to make sure our relationship survives, we got a cab from Manuel to Xàtiva as I had already booked accommodation there. We are staying at the Casa de Cigroner and have decided to have a rest day.
I had to laugh that when we were checking in we bumped into someone else with a pack. "Peregrino?"
We were both astounded as we thought we wouldn't see another pilgrim for at least several hundred km and we bump into an Irish pilgrim.
Camino lessons? Compromise which I'm not especially good at. I tend to make friends of my travel companions not make travel companions of my friends and loved ones.
However we do travel well together in the sense of he is much better at scanning the environment and spotting things. And stopping me from getting myself killed by cars coming from the 'wrong' side. He needs my language skills (ha!) and someone who can deal with really bad Dad jokes. I have no idea how his brain does it so rapidly.
I'm using Wikiloc under my forum name to keep track of kilometres. Probably taking too many photos along the way. Some on wikiloc, some on IG.
So rest tomorrow, play tourist a little, maybe catch up with that aunt of mine!
Keep positive, despite the pain. Another Iirish Pilgrim. Stephen?
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Keep positive, despite the pain. Another Iirish Pilgrim. Stephen?
Sí! He's probably a day ahead of us now which is probably fortunate for him. Barrie's sinuses are playing up and he's become a champion snorer.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Lovely day in Xàtiva. Barrie has been struggling a little as his sinuses have been playing up and he feels his body is letting him down (and potentially me). So lots of emotions there. I ran around Xàtiva yesterday checking out the sights, we finally caught up with my aunt and uncle who are staying in Benidorm. It's been 34 years since I have seen them. And realistically it will probably be the last time I see them as they are both in their mid-80s.
Tomorrow's goal is Vallada. Barrie is taking the train. The C3 runs several times daily even on a Sunday. He has been given written instructions about the hostal, who to contact and he can walk around town taking fantastic photos of the town itself. I will be walking. But he can take all my spare clothes and heavier things. Which will help me reduce my time. Let's see how this goes!
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Stage 4: Got up early and started in the dark. Good markings, perfect cloudy weather and it was cold but very bearable. Still lots of oranges, some olives. Some early Spring blossom and the poppies are starting. Have to say the birds here are a lot flightier than Aussie birds. Very difficult to photograph. Got in by about 1pm. The hardest part navigating Vallada itself.
Barrie caught the train but the Sunday train only goes 1 stop, not the full 3 stops so he had to catch the bus. He managed to find the albergue all by himself with no Spanish whatsoever. I had written him a note in Spanish that he could show people if necessary. But I'm quite proud of him. Comparing photos we both found the church with the large mosaic ( same artist as the mosaic of the castle in Xàtiva?) but from there it is not worth looking for arrows. Just aim yourself up the hill and look for the "Paraje de las ermitas."
Its the big new sort of muddy green boxy building on the left as you head up the hill and up towards the churches.
You can get dinner at 7. There is a bar further up the road, the Bar Ermita, which was certainly open during the day. They can do your washing for 3 Euros and it comes back all dry and folded.
We had an entire albergue dorm to ourselves, they provide bedding including lovely warm doonas/duvets/quilts and there is a nice sized bathtub.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014, VDLP 2018, Levante spring 2019
Great to hear from you, and your up-to-date reports from the camino. Keep going whatever way suits you both. Bathtub in an albergue = 👍
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Vallada to Font de la Figuera:
We got away early from Vallada and leaving the town was straight forward. We were armed with bocadillos from the albergue which the women made us in lieu of breakfast the night before. Top notch service at that albergue. Definitely recommend them.
Lots of burnoffs today in the orchards. We have left orange country and now it is pink blossom time. Some of that is almonds.
Moixent - most of the bars are early on in the town. However if you end up walking straight through there is another if you duck off to the right. Bar piscina is on the signs but there was another little one full of locals eating breakfast. Saw road signs for cows but never saw one all day.
After Moixent came the hill climbs. Not hideous but I'm glad I use sticks as I'm the type of person who will trip over their own feet.
Continued farmland but now more olives and vineyards and ploughed fields. Quite arid with a clay type soil. Lots of huge deserted big houses that would make brilliant albergues. There is a Casa Rural Mas de Montserrat on the Camino between Moixent and Font.
River layers too which makes you wonder about the geology of the place as it is quite high up.

At Font de la Figuera we picked up the key to the albergue from the local police. I recommend Bar Central which is where you end up waiting for the Police to return from his rounds. Must say the police have a high presence. Much more than at home and I wonder what the crime rates are like here and what types of crime. Good food with no menu del dia in the evening but you can get a damn good sopa with bread and you get the equivalent anyway. The people there are lovely. Our bloody movistar sims are not letting us text or phone so I'm grovelling to people to make caalls for me. At least I have enough written Spanish that I can write down my requests.
There is a little supermercado in the plaza open to 9pm.
Barrie has asthma and today was guaranteed to stir it up with the trifecta of cold air, exercise and smoke. I get to walk to Almansa tomorrow. He is taking the taxi. Taxi - Pepe, movil 607321422. As there is no easy bus or train despite the train going past the town.
The municipal albergue seems to be a little controversial due to the concrete bunk beds. Barrie and I have experience in mental health and corrections. Well, I bet some of our clientele are thinking it is karma. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for us. I'll enjoy the cosmic joke. You just chuck the mattresses down on the floor. There is a heater because it is cold. Yes, you end up tucked away in your sleeping bag fully clothed. There are powerpoints for recharging gadgets.
The rest of the Albergue is basic but well equipped and clean for a donativo. Hey, they even have a rail beside the toilet for stiff sore peregrinos!
Last year they had no peregrinos until March and 73 in total. This year we are the third entry in the book.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Stage 6: Font de la Figuera to Almansa.
Once again a lovely day with just the right amount of cloud. Lots of arid farmland, some vineyards before I crossed over into La Mancha. Lots of wind turbines and into forestry. Once that finished it opened up into farmland again. Saw goats and sheep :) Generally heading downhill and then finally into the valley where Almansa lies. We are staying at the Hotel Blu which is on the camino but on the other side of town. It took me an hour to get across Almansa especially as my legs and feet were getting to that tired sore stage. Hotel Blu is pretty flash. Nice contrast with the donativo!
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Hey, does anyone have a good Wikiloc track from Alpera to Higueruela? Just trying not to kill Barrie with his asthma.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hey, does anyone have a good Wikiloc track from Alpera to Higueruela? Just trying not to kill Barrie with his asthma.
Hi, Donna,
Glad you are forging ahead, but I am sure the asthma is not fun for poor Barry. Glad the weather seems decent.

I didn't have a GPS when I walked the Levante, so I can't give you my tracks. But I know it's 40 kms. The French guys I was walking with decided to break it up with a stop in Alpera. The turn-off is well marked. We were the first people to sleep in their very nice municipal albergue! There is also a nice restaurant, family run, not foodie food but decent.

This track looks fine https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/camino-de-levante-07-almansa-higueruela-17578622

Here are tracks to Alpera from Almansa, which is in the mid 20s rather than the 40 from Almansa to Higueruela. https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/camino-de-santiago-camino-de-la-lana-etapa-06-almansa-alpera-12199876

Good luck! Buen camino, Laurie
 

Martyduc

Hunter Valley,Australia
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 15,Portuguese 16,Finisterre Muxia 16,Ingles16,, Almeria to Muxia,Finesterre 18,,Camino 19 ??
Wonderful free app called "windy maps " that you can then download the area of Spain (or wherever in the world )and has virtually every walking track known ,,,just checked it has the Camino Levante ,,so then you only need the gps part of your phone on and it will show you exactly where you are ,,and the Camino track
i found and then used it on the vldp and sanabres last year and is fantastic ,,and simple !!!!! oh and free
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Starting Camino de Levante (2019).
Stage 6: Font de la Figuera to Almansa.
Once again a lovely day with just the right amount of cloud. Lots of arid farmland, some vineyards before I crossed over into La Mancha. Lots of wind turbines and into forestry. Once that finished it opened up into farmland again. Saw goats and sheep :) Generally heading downhill and then finally into the valley where Almansa lies. We are staying at the Hotel Blu which is on the camino but on the other side of town. It took me an hour to get across Almansa especially as my legs and feet were getting to that tired sore stage. Hotel Blu is pretty flash. Nice contrast with the donativo!
Hi Donna. Now that you have a very fresh perspective, I want to ask you for your thoughts on completing two sections in one day, Moixent to La Font de la Fuguera but then on to Almansa on the same day. The first section is about 17 klm, but from La Font to Almansa it is another 26/27 klm. That's long, a combined 44 klm, but I would like your thoughts on whether you think it is doable. I would be conscious of heat being a factor also as I will be walking in early June and especially conscious of the fact that there is NOTHING between La Font de la Figuera and Almansa. Would welcome your feedback Donna. I am also walking for only 8 or 9 days this time around and it seems a terrible waste of one of those days if I end up in La Font de la Figuera at 10.00am in the morning and don't walk anymore for the rest of the day. And being on my own, its a very long day to pass in a small place like La Font de la Figuera. So my urge is to go on.... go for it!! I previously walked a couple of 43klm+ days on the Via de la Plata.
Dave
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Starting Camino de Levante (2019).
Wonderful free app called "windy maps " that you can then download the area of Spain (or wherever in the world )and has virtually every walking track known ,,,just checked it has the Camino Levante ,,so then you only need the gps part of your phone on and it will show you exactly where you are ,,and the Camino track
i found and then used it on the vldp and sanabres last year and is fantastic ,,and simple !!!!! oh and free
Nice one Martyduc, thanks.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Hi Donna. Now that you have a very fresh perspective, I want to ask you for your thoughts on completing two sections in one day, Moixent to La Font de la Fuguera but then on to Almansa on the same day. The first section is about 17 klm, but from La Font to Almansa it is another 26/27 klm. That's long, a combined 44 klm, but I would like your thoughts on whether you think it is doable. I would be conscious of heat being a factor also as I will be walking in early June and especially conscious of the fact that there is NOTHING between La Font de la Figuera and Almansa. Would welcome your feedback Donna. I am also walking for only 8 or 9 days this time around and it seems a terrible waste of one of those days if I end up in La Font de la Figuera at 10.00am in the morning and don't walk anymore for the rest of the day. And being on my own, its a very long day to pass in a small place like La Font de la Figuera. So my urge is to go on.... go for it!! I previously walked a couple of 43klm+ days on the Via de la Plata.
Dave
It's doable especially as the second part has flat and downhill walking. The last 10 km of looking at the castle in Almansa has the potential to drive you nuts once you are in the valley. Take into account where your accommodation is as this may add up to 4 km to your day wandering about town.
There is a Casa Rural on the Camino "Mas de Monserrat" between Moixent and Font. Don't know if that could be handy for juggling the distances. https://m.holidaycottagestorent.net/country-houses/mas-de-monserrat-casa-les-alcusses--c9558

I have taken a lot of photos that come up on my Wikiloc trails (donnasch) that may give you a better idea of the countryside. You can certainly restock water well in Font as the place is full of fountains.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Made the decision to take the bus to Chinchilla de Montearagon which goes through Alpera and Higueruela given Barrie's asthma issues at the moment. The Monbus leaves 3 times daily. Am staying in Hostal de Peñon which is beside the Volant. Has a bath but no bathplug in the room we are in. Clean and does the job.
Recommend wandering up to the Castle, and checking out all the hobbit houses built into caves in the hill. Amazing little town to wander through. There are 7 wild goats left living on the hill. Unfortunately they all seem to be male. We also saw this completely bizarre release of multicoloured birds (doves, pigeons?) from down in the old village while we were up at the castle. Hand coloured birds. Definitely not natural. Needed to see those after feeling a bit annoyed about the bus thing and just being a little over having to be constantly "on" as translator, orderer of food etc and not sleeping well due to Barrie turning into a champion snorer. I need some good consistent days walking and some camino routine.
 

JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
We also saw this completely bizarre release of multicoloured birds (doves, pigeons?) from down in the old village while we were up at the castle. Hand coloured birds. Definitely not natural
Didn`t you see also a group of men, generally with binoculars and radio handsets, observing those birds? These is a modality of pigeon fancying typical of Mediterranean Spain, somewhat extended to the rest of the country and latin América. They release a female pigeon, and a lot of male competitors. The winner is the pigeon who carries the female to his dovecot. The painting of wings is used to permit each owner to identify his bird while flying. those pigeons use to be expensive.
Buen Camino.
 

JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
Hi Donna. Now that you have a very fresh perspective, I want to ask you for your thoughts on completing two sections in one day, Moixent to La Font de la Fuguera but then on to Almansa on the same day. The first section is about 17 klm, but from La Font to Almansa it is another 26/27 klm. That's long, a combined 44 klm, but I would like your thoughts on whether you think it is doable. I would be conscious of heat being a factor also as I will be walking in early June and especially conscious of the fact that there is NOTHING between La Font de la Figuera and Almansa. Would welcome your feedback Donna. I am also walking for only 8 or 9 days this time around and it seems a terrible waste of one of those days if I end up in La Font de la Figuera at 10.00am in the morning and don't walk anymore for the rest of the day. And being on my own, its a very long day to pass in a small place like La Font de la Figuera. So my urge is to go on.... go for it!! I previously walked a couple of 43klm+ days on the Via de la Plata.
If you stay in Alpera, then Higueruela, Chinchilla and Albacete it will be a 3 days trip of 20, 29 and 17 km,
but if, when in Higueruela, you continue to Hoya Gonzalo, you can reach Albacete in 2 days of 31 and 35 km.
The last 17 km are completely flat. Hoya Gonzalo has good albergue for 16 pilgrims.

buen camino
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Starting Camino de Levante (2019).
It's doable especially as the second part has flat and downhill walking. The last 10 km of looking at the castle in Almansa has the potential to drive you nuts once you are in the valley. Take into account where your accommodation is as this may add up to 4 km to your day wandering about town.
There is a Casa Rural on the Camino "Mas de Monserrat" between Moixent and Font. Don't know if that could be handy for juggling the distances. https://m.holidaycottagestorent.net/country-houses/mas-de-monserrat-casa-les-alcusses--c9558

I have taken a lot of photos that come up on my Wikiloc trails (donnasch) that may give you a better idea of the countryside. You can certainly restock water well in Font as the place is full of fountains.
Thanks Donna, I guess it will come down to heat. Been Camino, Thanks for the blog.
Dave
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Starting Camino de Levante (2019).
If you stay in Alpera, then Higueruela, Chinchilla and Albacete it will be a 3 days trip of 20, 29 and 17 km,
but if, when in Higueruela, you continue to Hoya Gonzalo, you can reach Albacete in 2 days of 31 and 35 km.
The last 17 km are completely flat. Hoya Gonzalo has good albergue for 16 pilgrims.

buen camino
Thanks JLWV, let me look at that. Again, there is a 17 in there, which is what I was trying to avoid.
 

pilgrim 1138

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances '12, Primitivo '15, VDLP '16, Portugues '17, Ingles '18, Levante ‘19
Hi Donna! You’re a stage behind me! Easy 18k walk tomorrow to Albacete...nothing special...sorry to hear about your fella’s asthma...I’m doing a 40k tomorrow to La Roda so I should be asleep but as always before a big day, I can’t...Chinchilla is beautiful...enjoy! Maybe see you up the road...
Stephen
 
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Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Chinchilla to Albacete:
It was all downhill and flat. Wheatfields just starting to grow. No trees. Very cloudy day and quite chilly but pleasant. Managed to wander offtrack and we only realised when there was a little ruin that made a convenient toilet stop and I looked at the phone to check where the turn right was meant to be...oops. A bit of backtracking and cross country stuff...
The advantage of that however is that the sun had come out a little, there was a little less cloud...and we were in a great position to catch the takeoff of Typhoon Eurofighters which are Spanish Airforce made in Germany. Los Llanos Airbase. Barrie does aviation photography (and things that move fast) so this is completely his thing. They were heading north as was a Hercules which was there for refuelling. No way he could get his usual photos (that requires a rather large lens the size of a large tablelamp which definitely is not camino-friendly) but he could get good enough pics for ID purposes. Also some touch and go landings. I didn't realise that the Parador is on the Camino route. We stopped there for lunch. The chap in the bar has the best pokerface and the driest sense of humour. Nice trot into Albacete but you can't describe it as a pretty city. There are individual buildings such as the Gran Hotel and the gardens. But there seems to be a lot of 1880 onward type architecture and then late 20th ugly box stuff.
Do like their use of ornamental kale in their floral beds
But I was happy as I turfed my Movistar SIM which didn't recharge from online and never made phone calls/texts from Day 1. Now have an Orange card which works.
Hit a local bar for a St V's dinner.
 

pilgrim 1138

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances '12, Primitivo '15, VDLP '16, Portugues '17, Ingles '18, Levante ‘19
Chinchilla to Albacete:
It was all downhill and flat. Wheatfields just starting to grow. No trees. Very cloudy day and quite chilly but pleasant. Managed to wander offtrack and we only realised when there was a little ruin that made a convenient toilet stop and I looked at the phone to check where the turn right was meant to be...oops. A bit of backtracking and cross country stuff...
The advantage of that however is that the sun had come out a little, there was a little less cloud...and we were in a great position to catch the takeoff of Typhoon Eurofighters which are Spanish Airforce made in Germany. Los Llanos Airbase. Barrie does aviation photography (and things that move fast) so this is completely his thing. They were heading north as was a Hercules which was there for refuelling. No way he could get his usual photos (that requires a rather large lens the size of a large tablelamp which definitely is not camino-friendly) but he could get good enough pics for ID purposes. Also some touch and go landings. I didn't realise that the Parador is on the Camino route. We stopped there for lunch. The chap in the bar has the best pokerface and the driest sense of humour. Nice trot into Albacete but you can't describe it as a pretty city. There are individual buildings such as the Gran Hotel and the gardens. But there seems to be a lot of 1880 onward type architecture and then late 20th ugly box stuff.
Do like their use of ornamental kale in their floral beds
But I was happy as I turfed my Movistar SIM which didn't recharge from online and never made phone calls/texts from Day 1. Now have an Orange card which works.
Hit a local bar for a St V's dinner.
Are you guys in Albacete now? I’m just about to leave...
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Had an extra day in Albacete to hit Decathlon and tweak gear. My boots which have never before given me grief are driving me nuts and if I could find a pair of Vasque hiking shoes I would trade them in in an instant. I am a size 46 so am at the upper end of the mens sizes here too. So I have these little plantar gel pads now which means my big toe has stopped going numb. I want to do some big distances but these boots are annoying. Bought them to deal with the terrible weather we are not getting and no issues at home. Did a restock in tape as I am going through tons of it in preventative taping. Between Barrie's airways and my feet, 40 km to La Roda was not an option so we took a taxi to La Gineta. I tried emailing the ajuntamiento at gineta@dipualba.es to ask what was available accommodation-wise but their email failed. So we took a taxi there and walked to La Roda. Open farmland, quite rocky paths, pretty flat. I habe been looking forward to this stop and it did not disappoint. Smart move using the Plaza del Toros. +34 630 44 02 15 is the phone number to call (and I survived making the phone call!) and this tiny elderly gentleman wanders over with the key. Donativo. Nice wee town. Friendly people. Managed to escape the Aussie (pre) election campaigning but now the Spaniards have started on theirs. April 23 is the big day. Not seeing as much extreme right graffiti as previously so I hope that reflects the actual politics of the area.
 

murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Starting Camino de Levante (2019).
Had an extra day in Albacete to hit Decathlon and tweak gear. My boots which have never before given me grief are driving me nuts and if I could find a pair of Vasque hiking shoes I would trade them in in an instant. I am a size 46 so am at the upper end of the mens sizes here too. So I have these little plantar gel pads now which means my big toe has stopped going numb. I want to do some big distances but these boots are annoying. Bought them to deal with the terrible weather we are not getting and no issues at home. Did a restock in tape as I am going through tons of it in preventative taping. Between Barrie's airways and my feet, 40 km to La Roda was not an option so we took a taxi to La Gineta. I tried emailing the ajuntamiento at gineta@dipualba.es to ask what was available accommodation-wise but their email failed. So we took a taxi there and walked to La Roda. Open farmland, quite rocky paths, pretty flat. I habe been looking forward to this stop and it did not disappoint. Smart move using the Plaza del Toros. +34 630 44 02 15 is the phone number to call (and I survived making the phone call!) and this tiny elderly gentleman wanders over with the key. Donativo. Nice wee town. Friendly people. Managed to escape the Aussie (pre) election campaigning but now the Spaniards have started on theirs. April 23 is the big day. Not seeing as much extreme right graffiti as previously so I hope that reflects the actual politics of the area.
Donna, Your commentary on the boots reminds me of Reese Witherspoon in Wild

52220
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
From La Roda we went to Minaya which was a really pleasant day. It's chilly but with just enough sun to be able to warm up. I'm getting away with wearing a Smartwool short-sleeved t-shirt with my Arcteryx squamish windbreaker over top. Bottoms are Paramo Cascade 2 hiking pants. My compression thermals are not warm enough for the legs. Wearing glove liners and two buffs, one for the neck and nose and the other for my ears.
Spoke to a farmer that was using ferrets to hunt rabbits. We have seen so many bunnies. Stayed at Hostal Antolin which was 44€ for a doble. Excellent supply of hot water with the shower in a shub. The food there is excellent. What tends to happen is that I will pick the options that have the most interesting names and will then let Barrie choose. I want to try snails but everytime it is on the menu it isn't available. Lots of people there on a Sunday who obviously have driven in specially. Open by 8 for breakfast.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Minaya to San Clemente. Very chilly but clear morning. Barrie started following arrows and a Camino de Santiago road sign to the left of the Hostal Antolín which turned out to be the Sureste. Basically you need to go right out the front door and cross the highway. Did notive that some brand new tourist apartments are being built next door. "La Escapada". www.apartamentoturisticoslaescapada.com .
Pleasant walk. More trees and potential spots for toilet stops than yesterday. Fewer rocks on the path too. Pretty flat country now.
Stopped at Casas de los Pinos for a bite to eat. Coffee was good but not much in the way of food apart from some cold croquetas. A few km before San Clemente there is an overbridge. However after the right turn there is a drain tunnel which leads to a farm road on the other side and saves about 500 m at least. The catch is you need to be on the short side to make the most of it.
San Clemente is lovely. We are here on a Monday and everything shuts on Mondays. Could not find a hot meal unless you want to go to the takeaway kebab place near the plaza and we ended up raiding a panadería. There are some bars open but don't expect more than coffee and alcohol. Had originally planned to go to the Hostal Milan just over the canal but were shut and didn't even answer the phone. The other 2 Milans had clised restaurants too. We ended up at the Hostal La Plaza for 40€ for a doble matrimonio. Place smells a bit musty but otherwise is fine.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
San Clemente to Las Pedroñeras. Less chilly today. Reasonably flat. Much less rocky and very pleasant walking. A few farmers about usually on their John Deer green tractors but one moving sheep with a couple of goats, dogs and a burro for good measure. Actually got some bird shots. I don't think I've ever used the word murmuration as much as I have in the past 3 days. A highlight was the Castillo de Santiago de la Torre even though it is fast becoming a ruin. I'll even forgive them for not being a bar.
Had a bad feet day with a blister on the little toe of my good left foot. I think my regular socks are the issue so they are getting dumped as walking socks. Made my gait totally abnormal as I have issues with my boot on the right ankle. Got to the point that I changed into my Luna sandals for the last 7 km or so. Ended up at the Hostal Bomba for 50 euros. Bar and restaurante closed at 6 pm. Ended up at Restaurante Castillo where the restaurant was closed but you could get tapas at least and hot ones. Every other bar was shut.
Oh, don't believe the Don Quijote green markers re distance. They are definitely not accurate.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Las Pedroñeras is an odd wee town. It's a decent size and obviously the hub for the garlic industry but the people seem less happy there. Foggy morning and very grey. Nice to hit El Pedernoso which is a lovely wee town which just seems to be making more effort. The food at Restaurante Los Tejares is good too. Had to laugh when I saw the lad behind the bar was wearing an All Blacks shirt. Also a nice walk to Santa María dos Llanos. There is a Casa Rural on the camino route as you walk in and the albergue is in a bodega. Contact is Juan Carlos at 616788767. I think these two towns would be nicer places to stay than Las Pedroñeras. The last bit between Santa Maria and Mota del Cuervo could do with more waymarking. The first bit is immediately after where the road continues to the left and follows the motorway for a bit. You can't help but look wistfully at the nice dirt road that is going in Mota's direction. The left road goes uphill, past a bit of a dump and then ends up trifurcating. No markers and pissubly the remains of an arrow on a rock. We chose to go the way of the Wikiloc track we were following but it probably wasn't the official route. Ended up at the Hotel Meson de Don Quijote where the guy behind the bar is Mick Fleetwood's doppelganger ( and this is coming from Barrie who has toured with them as a photographer).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Just read your entire thread. Thanks for writing, nice to follow a camino from the armchair! Hope your feet stop hurting soon. Have you plans to send on your boots to wait for you in Santiago? Barrie is not going to be able to send on his asthma so it looks good when you/he take(s) the bus or taxi to enable the camino and the relationship to stay on course!
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
We ended up doing a short day to El Toboso which is definitely making the most of its Don Quijote and Dulcinea connections. Lovely wee town with oodles of character. Stayed with Las Mojas de Trinitarias ie the Convent of the Trinitarians. You need to ring 925197173 and a couple of tiny wee nuns will eventually emerge. They are delightful. Cost was 20 euros each. They were good enough to warn us that the water would run cold for a bit until the heating kicked in but lovely radiators in the room and bathroom.
Most things are only open in the evenings between 5 and 6.30pm. We did find an open tienda Jose Vidal Argudo Torrero where the staff in the deli and fruit section were particularly friendly and very encouraging of my efforts in Spanish. Ended up having a quick bit to eat at Bar Rocinante and there was another bar open nearby as well. It's getting a bit frustrating being in the middle of garlic territory and not being able to get a sopa de ajo or many local dishes!
Restock of tape supplies at the local farmacia. I am using a scary amount of the stuff in dealing with the foot issues but am gradually winning. Barrie seems to developing an intermittent foot thing too which I suspect may be metatarsalgia as well. I'm not needing the gel pads as much now so I suspect they may go Barrie's way.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
El Toboso to El Pueblo De Almoradiel today. Stopped in Quintanar for a cup of coffee but it seems to be one of those industrial towns serving all of the farms. Some rather large vats as you enter the town. According my notes it has an interesting history but it looks as though there was a lot of rebuilding early last century especially when the railway was happening.
The railway line has become the camino route ( minus tracks) and there has been a lot of planting on the bank so eventually it will be a corridor between trees. At one point there is an overbridge over the motorway and you can see the rail corridor extend to the motorway. The signs say to go straight ahead. Ignore them and believe the tiny camino sign that points directly to the overbridge. Otherwise very straight and flat. Staying at a casa rural tonight Las Olivitas ph 626528344 which is almost on the camino route as it leaves town. You need to phone as the owner lives nearby.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Hey guys, time is working against us a bit and I think we need to skip a stage or two :(
I want to see Tembleque's square but am wondering what I miss if we miss Mora. Also if we take a cab to Cobisa, will that last hour's walk allow us to get that great view into the old city?
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Almoradiel is a nice wee town and both if us were a bit over farmland especially knowing we would be following a straightish line on the rail corridor. So we decided to catch a taxi to Tembleque, another do not miss town as the Saturday bus leaves late in the afternoon.
The land is starting to change with fewer vineyards and more olives and starting to get a few hills. There are some windmills before Tembleque too.
The town is pretty and there is also the well-known plaza. We are staying at A Posada.Booking.com may say check-in is at noon but the reality is that noone is at reception before 1 pm if you are lucky. Everyone smiles sweetly and tells you somebody will be there in 10 minutes. Rooms are big with a bathtub.
There is a massive stork nest in town. Both Barrie and I like photographing birds but Spanish birds are very flighty and I swear they all bugger off just when you are starting to focus. So excitement with the stork.
Taxi (Almiradiel): Jose Luis of Auto-Taxi Jose Luis ph 660014499 or 660038148 or email autotaxijoseluis@hotmail.com .
Another option is Francisco at 619519739.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Coming to you from Toledo and we are now planning to stay an extra night in addition to the two nights I had already planned. This city is a photographer's dream. And the military museum is shut on Mondays! Some things are free on Sunday but you really need to organise your times to account for opening hours and days. The Museo de Santa Cruz is excellent with some great El Greco works and the Alcantara bridge and areas around the river are lovely to walk around. Finally got photos of some more birds and our first reptiles, a few pretty skinks. We checked out the Jewish Quarter yesterday. Santo Tomé is a bit overrated and reminded me of the queues in the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa as everyone tries to see El Entierro del Señor de Orgaz. I was happily surprised to see a Black Madonna there though. My favourite town up to now was Salamanca but Toledo is giving it a run for its money.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Coming to you from Toledo and we are now planning to stay an extra night in addition to the two nights I had already planned. This city is a photographer's dream. And the military museum is shut on Mondays! Some things are free on Sunday but you really need to organise your times to account for opening hours and days. The Museo de Santa Cruz is excellent with some great El Greco works and the Alcantara bridge and areas around the river are lovely to walk around. Finally got photos of some more birds and our first reptiles, a few pretty skinks. We checked out the Jewish Quarter yesterday. Santo Tomé is a bit overrated and reminded me of the queues in the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa as everyone tries to see El Entierro del Señor de Orgaz. I was happily surprised to see a Black Madonna there though. My favourite town up to now was Salamanca but Toledo is giving it a run for its money.
Since I had visited all of Toledo's major sites a couple of times, we looked for some of the less popular places. This bracelet is GREAT (though it includes the synagogue and Santo Tome so maybe not worth it for you now). For 9 euros it takes you to places you wouldn't otherwise go, so it's also a nice walking tour of Toledo.

http://toledomonumental.com/pulsera-turistica

Did you get the view coming in, Donna? That is a photographer's paradise as well. Toledo after the tour buses leave and when everything is lit has got to be one of the most magical places in Spain.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
We got so many photos. My favourites were the Museo de Santa Cruz and the Military Museum but also just wandering around the river. We stayed at the Hospederia Casa Cisneros having gotten a good price on booking.com after their own website showed no vacancies.
The taxi driver recommended seeing:
Puerta de bisagra
Zocodover
Piedra del rey moro
Valle de toledo.
I would have liked to check out the
mummies at the Church of San Andreas but we just didn't get there.
One of the chaps there is a peregrino who goes on Camino every year for a week or two. Managed to find caracoles which was recommended to me last camino in Merida and which was never seen on a menu after that . I could easily spend another week there.
Barrie is still shy about distances over 30 km so we took a taxi to Rielves and then walked to Barcience and Torrijos. Still farmland, minimal rocks, and getting off the meseta. Signs for cows but none in paddocks yet. The Levante up to this point would be excellent to cycle. Lovely weather still and Spring has definitely come early. March weather in February and it's setting records.
We are at the Hotel El Meson which is a comfortable but boring hotel but it does have good wifi which is allowing Barrie to process some photos. I think he fears uncomfortable beds.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Walked to Escalona today. Secpnd breakfast in Val de Santo Domingo which is a pleasant town full of unfinished housing developments. Stopped for lunch in Maqueda and to admire the buildings and castle and ended up in the local store as we didn't realise there are two bars as you leave town which were open. Getting into low hills now. Fields are greener than previously and the wheat is further advanced.
Escalona's castle is also very impressive and plenty of storks to photograph. We are staying at Casa Rural Placida which is in Calle Lazarillo. Basically ring the owner from one of the bars in the plaza and she will collect you. The phone no is 616042576. Very clean and lovely and only 40€ for both of us.
The albergue is a little further but you go straight there to the school and there should be someone with a key floating around until about 8 pm.
 
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Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
In San Martin de Valdeiglesias now. Walked from Escalona to Almorox (pronounced Almoros) which is up a few hills but very pleasant. Saw horses. Evidence of pigs along the track. Wild flowers are starting. I think Barrie got put off by the GR sign saying 20 km to San Martin. Its hilly forested countryside. Anyway we caught the taxi (Miguel Ph 686316219 who speaks a little English making it so much easier for phone calls.) There is a bus station but no obvious service on Rome2Rio to San Martin so I presume it is the Madrid service.
In San Martin we are staying at the Hotel Labranza which is very close to the Church of San Martin Obispo and is costing us 50€.
I have to say I am enjoying being close to Madrid accent-wise. Since Toledo, people have become easier to understand. Explored the town. You can explore the interior of the little castle here.
Have I mentioned that Liberbank does not attract fees on Westpac and NAB debit and credit cards? In most towns too (but not San Martin). Weather is definitely warmer. Not wearing gloves or a hat now. The long pants often end up at full vent by mid afternoon. Only wear my hardshell jacket afterhours. Haven't worn my down vest for about a week.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Loved today's walk from San Martin to Cebreros. Most bike unfriendly day to date for those potential bicigrinos. Starts off on the old railway line then follows the line of the hills. Out of La Mancha and now into Leon and the Ávila region.
The Bulls of Guisando are along the but open after 10. You can peer at them through the gate though.
A little road walking but it gets off-road into deer country. Beautiful day, clear but not too hot...perfect for hiking between rocks and up and down hills on nice dirt trails. More up as you basically follow powerlines and you get a great view of the valley with Cebreros on the other side at the same elevation. There is a casa rural past the halfway mark on the camino should you want to stop early.

So you descend down into the vally through sheep and goat country and we bumped into a rather jolly farmer with his lovely mastiffs. He's busy telling me that the town is about an hour away and that it's a lovely walk before you have to do the final climb which kills your legs. Very glad Barrie couldn't understand a thing lol. I had seen the elevation profile so I already knew that there is a short sharp rise to the town.
At the bottom are the lovely Roman bridges. Very pretty area and one of the best Roman bridges I have come across. Then it's up the other side. A decent chunk is hard road so it is definite trudging. Two fuentes along the way with one just past the river and the "Singing chooks" one just before the last trudge into town.
Ended up at Hotel Draco. 50€ for a doble with spa bath. The town is small but has everything and is busy for Carnaval. Lots of people of all ages in fancy dress and then lots of them disappeared up the main street to bolt down when a line of fireworks were set off above the street. Lots of fun. Stuff happening here until the 10th.
So a great day.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
The trek to San Bartolome de Pinares, the town that holds Las Luminarias every January with the horses being ridden through flames. Short day in theory but its a lot of uphill trudging. Arrived about 2 hours later than I expected. First part is nice but very uphill and it was impressive how clearly you could hear the music from Cebreros. Many hills, the occasional trough and the stock route and then we hit road which was a bit long and tedious. Cattle and horses with the occasional burro. All in very good nick. Also some vultures and eagles. Lots of processionary caterpillar cocoons in the pine trees and saw the longest line of these yet.
At that final intersection where the camino goes right along a road that states 10km for the Cañada and makes no mention of San Bartolomé, and a known 4 km of road downhill, I had two wikiloc tracks that went either way. We opted for the road which wasn't too awful as it was a good 2 hours later than expected.
With all the uphill it takes as long as any flattish 30km day.
We ended up at Hostal El Patio which is a real Mum and Dad type bar with an elderly couple in charge. Lovely people who went out of their way to be helpful. If you are going nowhere in the evening, eating a homecooked meal and watching soccer with the locals, this is as good a place as anywhere. The hot water takes a bit to heat up but good showers once it gets going.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
San Bartolome to Ávila. Down valleys, up valleys. Uphill slog. I really don't know how people who do Cebreros to Ávila in one hit do it. All the uphill doubles the time. You certainly can't in winter without walking in the dark. Definite cattle country and I have lots of cattle pics. Including bulls. Track is a bit ripped up by bikes. The cattle paths are friendlier. The occasional little stream which must be awful during a wet spring. Was very good to reach the highest point of the camino.
There is a Casa Rural on the Camino route in El Herradon for those who feel like going a little further than San Bartholome. Plenty of water troughs and working fuentes along the way to be able to top up on water. I suspect that in summer you would need a lot of water.
Got to Tornadizos de Ávila about 3 pm and El Patio in the Plaza Mayor was the only bar open and we were his last customers for the day. We did start late at 9 am because the lovely chap in San B's looked a little hungover and was moving slowly, bless him.
I had promised Barrie that I could call a taxi at Tornadizos to get us to Ávila. Under 20€. It's about 6-8 km of mostly downhill walking so very doable. We are staying in Avila for a rest day and are at the Palacio de Monjaraz which is costing us 72€ for 2 nights via booking.com .
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Today we got our first taste of proper winter weather leaving Ávila. The clouds were thick and dark and it remained clear until Narillo. Got the obligatory photos of the Four Posts and the views of the city and grabbed some breakfast at the bar across the road. From there the countryside was lovely, nice country roads, well marked, rolling countryside etc but unfortunately not much to see due to the cloud and eventually the rain started. Drizzle was expected but we got decent rain, wind and even hail at one point. Thankfully the wind came from behind and then the side.
We turned off onto the highway to Cardeñosa and the bar there was a very welcome find. Lovely chap who even gave us a cup of broth spiked with something alcoholic (?Venezuela). Then the slog to Gotarrendura. On a fine day this would be fantastic with great views, a slight downhill overall with even the odd seat along the way. Today the road was turning to mud, the wind was making my poncho a pain in the arse and the wind chill brought the temp very close to freezing.
As we got into Gotarrendura we bumped into a lady in a car who told us to get in and next thing she picked up the elderly lady who holds the keys and took us to the albergue. Two camino angels as far as I am concerned. The albergue is fantastic. Radiators, a washer and dryer, a reasonable kitchen, a number of power points. Donativo. So at least our stuff is able to dry out although at the moment I'm in multiple layers in my sleeping bag trying to warm up.
We have also been joined by a Czech pilgrim doing his 3rd camino which is rather unexpected.
The weather forecast is crappy for tonight but hopefully clear in the morning and cloudy in the afternoon so the run to Arevalo should hopefully be decent.
 

JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
As we got into Gotarrendura
Hi Donna
Some time ago the only bar in Gotarrendura was closed, and the people in the Ayuntamiento told me they were looking for some new person in charge. Is there anything new about it? Is the bar open again, or still closed?
Have a good way tomorrow, I remember it was in this day that I met a horseman crossing my way. Pleasant forre52827st52828sts
Buen Camino
 
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Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
The bar is still closed. First chance for breakfast was Bar El Porsche in Hernansancho. Great cooking facilities in Gotarrendura so it's just a case of bringing some supplies.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Gotarrendura to Arévalo. Cloudy but clear weather. Nice walking which tended to be on the level. Stopped for breakfast in Hernansancho. Lots of open farmland. Bar was shut in El Bohodon but there is a shop there. At Tiñosillos we stopped for lunch. It was also market day there on Thursday.
Enjoyed the pine plantation where they are harvesting the resin. The last 10 km was pleasant enough although highway walking was involved but we were a bit knackered especially after having copped freezing weather the day before. Decided to go down the hostal route and wandered to Hostal del Campo which had a locked door and no phone number on the door.
We ended up at Posada Real Los Cinco Linajes. Wow. Pilgrim price of 70€ and we got a room with a king sized bed and one of those multilevel showers you can stay in all day. Was an absolute godsend for my peregrino waddle. Super friendly staff too.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Arévalo to Medina del Campo.
Very cloudy weather, a 30+ km day and open plains (and a way too comfy bed) meant we were never going to start as early as needed so we grabbed a taxi to MdC. Staying at Hostal Doña Alicia which is a cheap little hostal with a bar attached (45€ for a doble). The food here is excellent and there are lots of locals. First time we have ever had to wait for a table to get our menu del día. Really friendly owners who are rather generous.
The castle is worth visiting as it is not a ruin despite the dents in the side.
 
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JLWV

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
The bar is still closed. First chance for breakfast was Bar El Porsche in Hernansancho. Great cooking facilities in Gotarrendura so it's just a case of bringing some supplies.
Thank you Donna for your information.
Buen Camino
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Eek! Barrie's sinuses have started up again and given past issues with progression to pneumonia I don't want to stress his body too much so we took a taxi from Medina del Campo to Nava del Rey bypassing more of the plains and walked a shorter day. Nava is a decent sized town with an impressive church. The walk over into the next valley and into Siete Iglesias de Trabancos is pleasant. We saw some Great Bustards (Avutarda euroasiática) which are listed as being vulnerable and which are extinct in the UK. About half of the global population is found in Central Spain as they like rolling hills and grasslands. They look a little like geese with emu heads.
Also saw Lesser Kestrels (Cernícalo primilla) flying in and out of holes in the walls of the church in Siete Iglesias. The local priest just happened to stop by as we were outside the big church of San Pelayo and invited us in. Impressive interior with a walnut carved retablo.
Did attempt to get a room at the Casa Rural Calderon de Medina since we were close by but it is one of those places where you have to rent out the entire place ie for 6-7 people. So we wandered down to the Hostal de Volante which had a room. I suggest you get a normal doble not the matrimonio as the bed we have is an old one with bed springs and a giant dip in the bed. It does have radiators and a small bath so some urgent washing got done. The bar is friendly and the food is basic but decent.
There is the truckstop hotel a little further on if needed which seems very busy.
Addit: The hot water was non-existent this morning, and it was only warm in the afternoon. Breakfast was toast with a tub of margarine and a newly opened jar of jam straight off the shelf. You can probably do better for your 50€ elsewhere!
 
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murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Starting Camino de Levante (2019).
Hi Donna. Good to see that you are making steady progress. Can I ask you if, based on your experience, a sleeping bag is necessary on this Camino or do the hostels provide adequate bed clothing? Trying to plan for my visit in May.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
In hostals, no. In albergues, yes. The ones we have been in have had plenty of blankets but not much more.
There are quite a few places where if it is cold it is very cold.
The day we got rained on, I basically got straight into my sleeping bag as soon as I got dry gear on including my down vest and thermals. And to be honest I did not feel remotely warm for several hours. And that albergue had good heating. If you get the wrong weather there is a real risk of hypothermia and your sleeping bag is invaluable.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
Eek! Barrie's sinuses have started up again and given past issues with progression to pneumonia I don't want to stress his body too much so we took a taxi from Medina del Campo to Nava del Rey bypassing more of the plains and walked a shorter day. Nava is a decent sized town with an impressive church. The walk over into the next valley and into Siete Iglesias de Trabancos is pleasant. We saw some Great Bustards (Avutarda euroasiática) which are listed as being vulnerable and which are extinct in the UK. About half of the global population is found in Central Spain as they like rolling hills and grasslands. They look a little like geese with emu heads.
Also saw Lesser Kestrels (Cernícalo primilla) flying in and out of holes in the walls of the church in Siete Iglesias. The local priest just happened to stop by as we were outside the big church of San Pelayo and invited us in. Impressive interior with a walnut carved retablo.
Did attempt to get a room at the Casa Rural Calderon de Medina since we were close by but it is one of those places where you have to rent out the entire place ie for 6-7 people. So we wandered down to the Hostal de Volante which had a room. I suggest you get a normal doble not the matrimonio as the bed we have is an old one with bed springs and a giant dip in the bed. It does have radiators and a small bath so some urgent washing got done. The bar is friendly and the food is basic but decent.
There is the truckstop hotel a little further on if needed which seems very busy.
Addit: The hot water was non-existent this morning, and it was only warm in the afternoon. Breakfast was toast with a tub of margarine and a newly opened jar of jam straight off the shelf. You can probably do better for your 50€ elsewhere!
Sorry about your breakfast but you seem to be able to cope with what comes at you. Thanks for your posts.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
One thing I have found about this camino was that I got over-ambitious so there has been a bit of peregrino-lite travelling with grabbing taxis. Not what I was planning but that's a lesson in itself. Just because 30+ km days are easy in summer, don't expect the same in cold weather. With extra gear and short days it puts the pressure on. Next camino, assume low 20s days.
And I've had to face my fear of using the phone with my basic Spanish. Boy do I love mobiles because then I can text people as my written Spanish is okay.
Today was Siete Iglesias to wherever we got to. And that was Villafranco de Duero. Today was rolling hills and farmland which becomes especially pretty once you are in the Duero River Valley.
Castronuño is a nice not so wee town with at least 2 bars, 2 casa rurals although one had a for sale sign in a window as well as the albergue. Woodpeckers in the area and I have a ton of photos of the tree it was in hoping that I have gotten lucky and got the bird. Bumped into a sweet old bloke who spotted us checking out his horses and invited us up to meet them. Barrie is the horse person and a few days ago one of the bars had sugar cubes which ended up in a backpack just in case.
It was after 2 pm by the time we got to Villafranco. Toro is visible from there but a long way away even if it is flat and along the valley. So we made a decision to go through to Villaralbo and stay at Casa Aurelia which is just outside Zamora by taxi (Javier Encinas +34 645 51 52 51 which is a mobile number and who is based in Toro. ) so we have more time in Zamora. Tomorrow will be the albergue in Zamora.
Toro is on the escarpment above the river and looks quite impressive. Javier the taxi guy was giving a running commentary along the way. There are some flash places to stay in places like Peleagonzalo which is off-camino which have wineries attached but not by much ie the river is quite close by. Tomorrow we walk into Zamora and due to the time constraints we will bus to Ponferrada the next day and start the Invierno. I did think about doing a total change of plan and doing the Sanabres again but something would have to be left out. And I had such a lovely time on the Sanabres last camino I wouldn't be able to not compare experiences. Comparison is the thief of joy and I know I would end up frustrated doing short stages.
I have missed the camaraderie and making of new friends along the way. Not just meeting others in albergues but walking and talking with them. The being with them.
This is not to say that I haven't enjoyed the Levante; I have. It would be an excellent camino to do on a bike apart from a few days before Ávila. It has been great for our relationship.
But now I have to plan another Camino to do the Astorga leg of the VDLP ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
One thing I have found about this camino was that I got over-ambitious so there has been a bit of peregrino-lite travelling with grabbing taxis. Not what I was planning but that's a lesson in itself. Just because 30+ km days are easy in summer, don't expect the same in cold weather. With extra gear and short days it puts the pressure on. Next camino, assume low 20s days.
And I've had to face my fear of using the phone with my basic Spanish. Boy do I love mobiles because then I can text people as my written Spanish is okay.
Today was Siete Iglesias to wherever we got to. And that was Villafranco de Duero. Today was rolling hills and farmland which becomes especially pretty once you are in the Duero River Valley.
Castronuño is a nice not so wee town with at least 2 bars, 2 casa rurals although one had a for sale sign in a window as well as the albergue. Woodpeckers in the area and I have a ton of photos of the tree it was in hoping that I have gotten lucky and got the bird. Bumped into a sweet old bloke who spotted us checking out his horses and invited us up to meet them. Barrie is the horse person and a few days ago one of the bars had sugar cubes which ended up in a backpack just in case.
It was after 2 pm by the time we got to Villafranco. Toro is visible from there but a long way away even if it is flat and along the valley. So we made a decision to go through to Villaralbo and stay at Casa Aurelia which is just outside Zamora by taxi (Javier Encinas +34 645 51 52 51 which is a mobile number and who is based in Toro. ) so we have more time in Zamora. Tomorrow will be the albergue in Zamora.
Toro is on the escarpment above the river and looks quite impressive. Javier the taxi guy was giving a running commentary along the way. There are some flash places to stay in places like Peleagonzalo which is off-camino which have wineries attached but not by much ie the river is quite close by. Tomorrow we walk into Zamora and due to the time constraints we will bus to Ponferrada the next day and start the Invierno. I did think about doing a total change of plan and doing the Sanabres again but something would have to be left out. And I had such a lovely time on the Sanabres last camino I wouldn't be able to not compare experiences. Comparison is the thief of joy and I know I would end up frustrated doing short stages.
I have missed the camaraderie and making of new friends along the way. Not just meeting others in albergues but walking and talking with them. The being with them.
This is not to say that I haven't enjoyed the Levante; I have. It would be an excellent camino to do on a bike apart from a few days before Ávila. It has been great for our relationship.
But now I have to plan another Camino to do the Astorga leg of the VDLP ;)
Comparison is the thief of joy. Hmm. Thanks for that pearl for today, Donna. I don’t remember ever hearing that before...happy walking onwards.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
I only heard it myself a few months ago when podcaster Sarah Williams from Tough Girl Challenges mentioned it and it absolutely stuck. There are a few TGC about the Camino for anyone that is interested and her focus is interviewing women who have done or who are doing interesting things and pushing their own personal boundaries.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Levante is beautiful Camino when you walk it in whole. I didn't. My tech stuff gave up because of the temps and that very fine dust (I guess . photo lenses etc.) so I skipped the Toledo - Avila part but the rest I walked in it's entirety. Beautiful castles, nature, the more to the north you go the people are more welcoming, albergues/accommodations are abundant, food is also great, it helps a lot if you speak some Spanish of course, but all in all if there wouldn't be so many other Caminos I would walk Levante again in a heartbeat!!!

Congrats Donna and Buen Camino Invierno for you and your "sidekick" ;)
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Walked into Zamora from Villaralbo and ended up on the Ruta del Duero which was delightful. The 5km took us ages as we had the cameras out. Wwe finally got a woodpecker and I can see how the Woody Woodpecker call was inspired. They do sound a bit like that.
We walked along the riverbank, checking out the storks, ducks and cormorants. I swear it took us 30 minutes to get over the bridge as we were both click happy. For me it felt a little like coming home being in a town I already know a little from the VdLP. The map in the dining room here is actually what put the idea of the Levante and Sureste in my head.
Pedro and Manuel are the current hospitaleros and they are lovely. They are from the Canary Islands and Valencia respectively. There is a communal dinner here at 8pm and you can join in with the cooking or just eating. Zamora is donativo. Barrie and I really felt like eating vegetables so we cooked and we had a lovely night. Kitchen is well equipped but no oven apart from a microwave so roast vegetables are not an option. Has everything else including decent pots.
Breakfast is available from 7am. Have to say I drank a little more wine than I normally do but the company was grand. If in Zamora, the albergue is a great place to be.
 
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murraydv

Via de la Plata / Sanabres / Camino de Levante
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Via de la Plata (2018).
Starting Camino de Levante (2019).
In hostals, no. In albergues, yes. The ones we have been in have had plenty of blankets but not much more.
There are quite a few places where if it is cold it is very cold.
The day we got rained on, I basically got straight into my sleeping bag as soon as I got dry gear on including my down vest and thermals. And to be honest I did not feel remotely warm for several hours. And that albergue had good heating. If you get the wrong weather there is a real risk of hypothermia and your sleeping bag is invaluable.
Great advice Donna. You are in Zamora? Amazing. The rest is really nice. Did it last year.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Fun reliving the Levante! I walked Valencia-Toledo June/July 2014 and Toledo-Zamora April 2015.

Definately take a sleeping bag in the colder months, I stayed entirely in albergues except for once or twice where there were only a hostal. In general the albergues are on the primative side - always a bed and a hot shower but often nothing else. At least this was true back then.

I was glad that I walked the first part with a Camino buddy as we only saw one other French peregrina for a couple of days. The second part I walked alone and only bumped into four other pilgrims in Gotarrendura but they were walking another route - Camino de Santa Teresa if I recal correctly.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
...The second part I walked alone and only bumped into four other pilgrims in Gotarrendura but they were walking another route - Camino de Santa Teresa if I recal correctly.
Might be because Camino Teresiano goes from Avila to Alba de Tormes (which is just one day of walking before Salamanca) but overlapse the first stage with Levante and going through Gotarrendura where St.Teresa of Avila was allegedly born (at least villagers of Gotarrendura told me so and showed me in which house).
 
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Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Future? Levante-VDLP-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
Given that the Levante took us longer than expected and we have a time limit, we bussed our way to Ponferrada to start the Invierno omitting the Astorga leg of the VDLP.
So the adventures of Barrie and Donna continue on the Invierno forum...
 

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