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Castilblanco to Almaden

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Not really...
I have been walking the Via de la Plata virtually, as I am stuck behind closed borders in Australia.
Luckily, there are many veterans of the VdlP who are helping me on this virtual Camino, and on that particular stage, as we cannot walk the entire length of the stage for a number of reasons, we are taking a taxi to la finca El Berrocal, and then walking the rest of the way. The veterans have told me we wouldn't miss much.
You'll find the comments about this stage here.
We're hoping to walk the VdlP in 2022...
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
I always want to walk every km of every camino I do, so I walked that stage in two days. First day I walked 16km to the La Finca El Barrocal park. A few km into the park there is a disused park ranger station where I freecamped. It has a fresh water tap and a large covered garage so did not need a tent. There are beautiful views from there too. Next day I walked the 13km to Alamaden.

DSCN6040.JPGDSCN6041.JPG
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I wanted to start my Camino with short distances 34 kilometers as a third stage seemed to much. I took a taxi with a mexican couple. The hospitalero said many people did this. We walked from the entrance gate, where the Camino left the asphalt. I don't think there a places to stay between Castilblanco and Almaden (at least not in 2015,) If you want to walk every kilometer you could walk to the entrance and then take a taxi to Castilblanco or Almaden and taxi back the next day ( perhaps in this way you could walk one stretch without your backpack)
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
I wanted to start my Camino with short distances 34 kilometers as a third stage seemed to much. I took a taxi with a mexican couple. The hospitalero said many people did this. We walked from the entrance gate, where the Camino left the asphalt. I don't think there a places to stay between Castilblanco and Almaden (at least not in 2015,) If you want to walk every kilometer you could walk to the entrance and then take a taxi to Castilblanco or Almaden and taxi back the next day ( perhaps in this way you could walk one stretch without your backpack)
This is also a good idea, especially if you don't fancy freecamping. I saw a few people doing this, walk to the park then taxi back. Next day taxi to the park and carry on to Alamaden. I just preferred to camp out, though it meant carrying my supper for the evening and a few beers!

Davey
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
I always want to walk every km of every camino I do, so I walked that stage in two days. First day I walked 16km to the La Finca El Barrocal park. A few km into the park there is a disused park ranger station where I freecamped. It has a fresh water tap and a large covered garage so did not need a tent. There are beautiful views from there too. Next day I walked the 13km to Alamaden.

View attachment 78996View attachment 78997
I always want to walk every km of every camino I do, so I walked that stage in two days. First day I walked 16km to the La Finca El Barrocal park. A few km into the park there is a disused park ranger station where I freecamped. It has a fresh water tap and a large covered garage so did not need a tent. There are beautiful views from there too. Next day I walked the 13km to Alamaden.

View attachment 78996View attachment 78997
That's great advice. When did you stay there
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Not really...
I have been walking the Via de la Plata virtually, as I am stuck behind closed borders in Australia.
Luckily, there are many veterans of the VdlP who are helping me on this virtual Camino, and on that particular stage, as we cannot walk the entire length of the stage for a number of reasons, we are taking a taxi to la finca El Berrocal, and then walking the rest of the way. The veterans have told me we wouldn't miss much.
You'll find the comments about this stage here.
We're hoping to walk the VdlP in 2022...
I am hoping to walk in 2021 but as days pass I wonder if this will be possible so it may be 2022. Being that this stage is so early in the Camino I will do exactly the same as you. Take a taxi to the entrance of the park and then walk. If it was much later in the Camino I would probably walk it. I have seen an elevation guide and the last stretch to Alamaden is a long and steep incline. Maybe I will have to walk in 2022 and maybe we can split a taxi!! :)
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
That's great advice. When did you stay there
On my first few caminos I insisted on walking every step. That insistence has lessened with age. If I free camped and by some miracle I fell asleep on that floor I would need a stretcher to get me up in the morning. As I mentioned earlier I might have tried it if it was later in the camino but the more I think about it the less I am committed to 28+k. I think when I finally get to walk the VDLP I will wave to those brave pilgrims doing the full trek as I go by on the way to the park entrance:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
I always want to walk every km of every camino I do, so I walked that stage in two days. First day I walked 16km to the La Finca El Barrocal park. A few km into the park there is a disused park ranger station where I freecamped. It has a fresh water tap and a large covered garage so did not need a tent. There are beautiful views from there too. Next day I walked the 13km to Alamaden.

View attachment 78996View attachment 78997
I wouldn't depend on the tap at Berrocal always having water. It didn't when i passed there in May 2017. And i definitely wouldn't recommend walking through Berrocal without sufficient water!!
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
I wouldn't depend on the tap at Berrocal always having water. It didn't when i passed there in May 2017. And i definitely wouldn't recommend walking through Berrocal without sufficient water!!
True, I carried enough for two days. But there are at least two water taps there (possibly three if I remember). There is the water tap marked for pilgrims out the front - probably the one you mean. A second one behind that in the courtyard that comes from the administrative building - which seemed fresher to me. Then I think there was one from a separate building in the vehicle compound (which was disused but open).

Carry enough just in case though!

Davey
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
On my first few caminos I insisted on walking every step. That insistence has lessened with age. If I free camped and by some miracle I fell asleep on that floor I would need a stretcher to get me up in the morning. As I mentioned earlier I might have tried it if it was later in the camino but the more I think about it the less I am committed to 28+k. I think when I finally get to walk the VDLP I will wave to those brave pilgrims doing the full trek as I go by on the way to the park entrance:)
Yeah, I am lucky I guess that I can still happily freecamp, but there will come a time when it is no longer an option! (I'm 57). Until then though...

Davey
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
True, I carried enough for two days. But there are at least two water taps there (possibly three if I remember). There is the water tap marked for pilgrims out the front - probably the one you mean. A second one behind that in the courtyard that comes from the administrative building - which seemed fresher to me. Then I think there was one from a separate building in the vehicle compound (which was disused but open).

Carry enough just in case though!

Davey
Davey, you must carry a heavy load and I know you are not a big guy. With food and the extra water how much did your pack weigh?
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Davey, you must carry a heavy load and I know you are not a big guy. With food and the extra water how much did your pack weigh?
Don't try this but...

My pack is at least 16kg, sometimes more. Always two days food, wine or beer, or wine and beer, hair clippers, cold weather gear (always used, or lent out) tent and mat. Always 'enough' water. More beer if in doubt. But then remember I usually walk for 5-6 months a time. This load-out means I am free to stop whenever and wherever I want, and I don't rely on accommodation at all. Also, if an albergue gets full, I will always volunteer to give up my bed and sleep elsewhere. The first two weeks of my camino's are a bit of a killer!

Davey
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I didn't walk VdlP yet and I don't want to split hairs but I will. Could someone please change obvious typo (or ignorance?) in the title of this thread from Alamaden to Almaden (de los Arroyos)? We can't know if newbies are all familiar with all those names...
Wasyington, Arthens, Moscot... , anyone? ;)
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
I didn't walk VdlP yet and I don't want to split hairs but I will. Could someone please change obvious typo (or ignorance?) in the title of this thread from Alamaden to Almaden (de los Arroyos)? We can't know if newbies are all familiar with all those names...
Wasyington, Arthens, Moscot... , anyone? ;)
Well spotted!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Well spotted!
I'll divert here just for this one post. And please feel free to delete it, mods. But this kind of stuff really bothers me because it kind of shows disrespect for a country you are visiting as a foreigner. I mean how you pronounce names is one thing but typing it incorrectly is something else.

Yesterday I watched the CF video (from the @David Tallan 's list), a very very good film actually, where the guy made a footage by the side of Hemingway's statue in Cafe Iruna in Pamplona. And Ernest was on the left side of the frame, the guy was on the right side and in between them on the wall there was a sign with name Pamplona. But during this relatively short scene the author mentioned Pamplona as PampAlona I think 8 times and to the end of the film few times more. I mean..., geees, there you have it, half a meter from you and you're not aware of it. Just can't understand. Sorry for the rant.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I walked the VdlP alone from Sevilla to Santiago on the Sanabres route at the age of 69 in October-November of 2017. To walk to Almaden, I paid to have my pack carried by the taxi that carried about half of that days' pilgrims the 16 kms to the park entrance. I carried food and water for the day and my usual emergency gear, while the rest was delivered by the taxi to an albergue in Almaden to await my arrival. It was a long, hot day and the final climb was no fun, but I experienced no difficulties. If you stay in the albergue in Castilblanco, you will probably meet other walkers who are eager to share a taxi to the park entrance or to send on your heavier pack and gear to Castilblanco, in return for a reasonable share of the cost of the taxi. Any pilgrim or pilgrims may decide to arrange this.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
Alamaden to Almaden (de los Arroyos)? We can't know if newbies are all familiar with all those names...
Pamplona. But during this relatively short scene the author mentioned Pamplona as PampAlona I think 8 times and to the end of the film few times more. I mean..., geees, there you have it, half a meter from you and you're not aware of it. Just can't understand. Sorry for the rant.
Hi Kinky
Noticed your absence for the month. Btw I like it when people rant nicely as you do.
I think with the pronunciation thing (with Pamplona)- once someone has got what they believe is the correct pronunciation into their head - it’s hard for them to shift it. As long as you know what they’re talking about. Same thing when we try to converse in Spanish ... we try our best but I’m sure the Spanish cringe at some of the accents but mostly give us an encouraging smile. I do understand how you feel though - I often cringe when I see how people use (to / too) and many more than those.

Also this isn’t a correction ., you put a query ? against your naming. So ;
Almadén de la Plata and Castilblanco de los Arroyos. . are the village names I believe. You’ll have to walk the Vdlp. when your next opportunity comes. Great, great, great.

Glad to have you back
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Ponferrada to Santiago (2019)
Seville to Zafra (2020)
Porto to Santiago (2020)
Is there anywhere to stay along this long stage? Thanks in advance.
Depending on your degree of fitness this is a very tough stage. There is nowhere to stay en route unless you count the shelter as described in other posts. I took the taxi to the park gates and would do so again. The walk is beautiful with a steep climb at the end. Or if you need to walk every step of the way then the taxi shuttle is a solution.
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
I walked all the way with my backpack and was surprised that the climb at the end was not as bad as described. After heavy rain the day before my big problem was getting over the arroyos in the park on stepping stones nearly covered with froading water. There were stages on VdlP that were harder than this.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Yeah, I am lucky I guess that I can still happily freecamp, but there will come a time when it is no longer an option! (I'm 57). Until then though...

Davey
Hang in there Davey. I am now 66 and walked my first Camino at 58. I trained like crazy that first time in St. Jean. When I got to Orison I thought I would die. But I rested and made it all the way to Roncesvalles. My second camino I started in Le Puy and when I got to St. Jean the trek up that hill sure seemed alot easier after walking 750K. :) Now I train less because I know my body and "how to walk". I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about. Although I still train I start my caminos at a slower pace and try to keep everything at about 20k the first 10 days or so. I stop wherever I am, if it is possible, whenever I feel a little tired. That 10 minute break with some water and maybe a piece of fruit makes an amazing difference. When it comes to camping in my younger days when the kids were little and we camped alot I ALWAYS slept on an air mattress. I have never stayed in the wonderful donativo in Granon because I would never sleep let alone get up without a chiropractor if I had to sleep on one of those mats. It sucks because I would have loved to experience that place. I went and when I saw the mats I said sorry. The Hospitalera was so kind and nice it made leaving even harder. So keep walking and free camping and who knows you may still be able to get off the floor in 25 years!
 

frjuliangreen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (2018)
Camino Portugués (2019)
Vía de la Plata/Camino Sanabrés (2020)
I walked that section at the end of November last year, which meant short days in terms of daylight. The route from Castilblanco to the entrance to the park is boring, roadside, with ups and downs. Which makes the park all the more delightful. The park makes the rest of the day worthwhile. I passed the ranger's place and had a good nosey around. Apart from the idea of camping there, there are no options for overnight stays. The distance of the whole leg is fair, but it's completely attainable. The inconvenience of the steep Calvary hill in the last km is the sting in the tail, but there was decent food to be had in Almadén, and we made it before dusk fell.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Again, soon as possible!
Hang in there Davey. I am now 66 and walked my first Camino at 58. I trained like crazy that first time in St. Jean. When I got to Orison I thought I would die. But I rested and made it all the way to Roncesvalles. My second camino I started in Le Puy and when I got to St. Jean the trek up that hill sure seemed alot easier after walking 750K. :) Now I train less because I know my body and "how to walk". I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about. Although I still train I start my caminos at a slower pace and try to keep everything at about 20k the first 10 days or so. I stop wherever I am, if it is possible, whenever I feel a little tired. That 10 minute break with some water and maybe a piece of fruit makes an amazing difference. When it comes to camping in my younger days when the kids were little and we camped alot I ALWAYS slept on an air mattress. I have never stayed in the wonderful donativo in Granon because I would never sleep let alone get up without a chiropractor if I had to sleep on one of those mats. It sucks because I would have loved to experience that place. I went and when I saw the mats I said sorry. The Hospitalera was so kind and nice it made leaving even harder. So keep walking and free camping and who knows you may still be able to get off the floor in 25 years!
Yeah, sleeping on the floor is something you get used to. I differ as my early camping days I could never sleep properly on an airbed, the floor was much more comfy to me! I've only just started using a roll mat, inside a tent I don't need one really, but freecamping without a tent it is a must! Especially on concrete (church porches with cobbles comes to mind)! I will see how long I can keep it up!

Its a real shame that you had to miss Granon though. Although when I stay there I sleep in their camping field (where you hang the washing) that is a few streets away. Best of both worlds, the communal experience and dinner in Granon, but no snoring! (And no curfew).

Best wishes
Davey
 

HenkSlb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portuguese [April 2016]
Via de la Plata/Sanabres [March, April 2017]
I walked all the way with my backpack and was surprised that the climb at the end was not as bad as described. After heavy rain the day before my big problem was getting over the arroyos in the park on stepping stones nearly covered with froading water. There were stages on VdlP that were harder than this.
When I walked this stage in 2017 my age was 75 and I totally agree with all that is said in this message. The first part is, in my opinion, not more boring than other stretches and the whole stage is perfectly doable. Even for someone who is not especially trained.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I am hoping to walk in 2021 but as days pass I wonder if this will be possible so it may be 2022. Being that this stage is so early in the Camino I will do exactly the same as you. Take a taxi to the entrance of the park and then walk. If it was much later in the Camino I would probably walk it. I have seen an elevation guide and the last stretch to Alamaden is a long and steep incline. Maybe I will have to walk in 2022 and maybe we can split a taxi!! :)
I remember my guide said it was a difficult steep climb. In fact this information contributed to my decision to take a taxi. In effect this hill was not that bad, it was somewhat steep, but rather short. The moment I thought that I was nearing the"halfway point', I was a few meters from the highest point. Perhaps I would have had more difficulties in walking this hill if I would have walked the 16 to the entrance of the park.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I remember my guide said it was a difficult steep climb. In fact this information contributed to my decision to take a taxi. In effect this hill was not that bad, it was somewhat steep, but rather short. The moment I thought that I was nearing the"halfway point', I was a few meters from the highest point. Perhaps I would have had more difficulties in walking this hill if I would have walked the 16 to the entrance of the park.
Thanks for that and I agree with your assessment. Isn't it great when you misjudge a steep hill and you think you are no where near the top and lo and behold you are at the top? It always seems to be the opposite. You look up after walking a steep hill and think there is the top, only to get there and see the hill keeps going and it may be even longer and steeper than before!
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
Hi,

in 2008 - with my parents - I took a taxi to the entrance of El Berrocal but later I felt that I had missed something.

Last summer I walked the whole stretch. In total it is 30 km. If you start early, it is feasible.

Leaving Castilblanco on the camino you will pass by a coffee-bar which opens at 4 or 4.30. Perfect for an early start. It is easy walking on the street, even if it is still dark.

The steep ascent to El Calvari, at the end of the stage, was not really that hard. I allowed myself a brake half way up and enjoyed the wind and the beautiful sights on the top. Going down to Almaden was harder, you had to mind every step.

It is worth to continue to the public hostel at the end of the village. Even if the price is the same than in "Casa de Reloj". It is very spacious, the hospitalera very welcoming. But Casa de Reloj is also a good choice if you want to pre-book your bed or do not feel like walking another 500 m.

Some pilgrims who took a taxi to El Berrocal arrived in Almaden very early and made the mistake to add the stage to El Real de la Jara (14 km). That stage is very much uphill/downhill and so this is much more challenging than Castilblanco de los Arroyos to Almaden de la Plata.

The next day, if you do not feel like walking 34 km to Monesterio you have various options:
El Real de la Jara (14 km, various hostels)
Hotel Leo (27 km; single 38 €, double 52 €) or wild Camping at the chapel nearby - you may go to Hotel Leo for a meal (cheap) and a shower (5 € - a service mainly adressed to lorry-drivers).
Camping Tentudia (30 km; 12 € per pilgrim in small wooden houses) - this is still before the long an steep climb on the old to Monesterio begins.

BC
Alexandra
 


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