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Considering the first stretch of Camino de la Lana over New Year's

Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#1
My teacher husband has discovered that he doesn't have to be back at school until January 4th. Since we enjoyed our New Year's week walking the Levante from Valencia a few years ago, just starting the Camino de la Lana looks like a very good idea. Besides, New Year's Eve in Spain is fun - grapes and all!

Has anyone here walked it in winter? I know that further north, there is likely to be actual winter weather, but anything above 5C is fine for us, and we'll only have 8 days of walking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012) VDLP (2014) Portuguese (2015)
#2
My teacher husband has discovered that he doesn't have to be back at school until January 4th. Since we enjoyed our New Year's week walking the Levante from Valencia a few years ago, just starting the Camino de la Lana looks like a very good idea. Besides, New Year's Eve in Spain is fun - grapes and all!

Has anyone here walked it in winter? I know that further north, there is likely to be actual winter weather, but anything above 5C is fine for us, and we'll only have 8 days of walking.
Oh what brave people you are considering walking in 5C - I can already feel my body going into reject mode -I know it happens sometimes on a camino that a cold front moves in but I cannot imagine knowing and wanting to do that!! I wish you a buen camino and hope that it does not go any lower than that!!!!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#3
We have walked in 4 and 3 degrees the past few days and it really is OK. I was even wearing shorts still! (And Sunhat and buff and scarf and gloves and long sleeved hiking shirt and raincoat- my concession to the 3 deg was to add a short sleeved thermal top yesterday and I was really toasty!)
3 is not much less than 5;-)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#4
Oh what brave people you are considering walking in 5C - I can already feel my body going into reject mode -I know it happens sometimes on a camino that a cold front moves in but I cannot imagine knowing and wanting to do that!! I wish you a buen camino and hope that it does not go any lower than that!!!!
Not brave - just Norwegian. I almost died in Germany this summer, when the temperature hit 36 I refused to keep walking, and at 32 C we walked very, very, very slowly and with many curses.

I guess we're cold-adapted.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#5
My husband's colleague offered to take his lesson on Friday January 4th.

We now have tickets!

We fly into Alicante on December 26th, and fly home form Alicante on January 6th.

In exchange, I had to promise we'll visit the amazing Restaurante Maralba in Almansa, where they fed us so very, very well when we walked by on the Levante a few years ago. They no doubt deserve their extra Michelin star.

This will not be a hardship.

I wonder how far we'll get!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
#6
My husband's colleague offered to take his lesson on Friday January 4th.

We now have tickets!

We fly into Alicante on December 26th, and fly home form Alicante on January 6th.

In exchange, I had to promise we'll visit the amazing Restaurante Maralba in Almansa, where they fed us so very, very well when we walked by on the Levante a few years ago. They no doubt deserve their extra Michelin star.

This will not be a hardship.

I wonder how far we'll get!
Hi HeidiL,

I would love to have some weather reports from the Lana in December-January! I wish I could do Winter caminos as well, but I am confined to June-July, unfortunately.

According to Gronze, you would get to Monteagudo de las Salinas in ten days. That is the end of the first part of the Lana so it would be nice to stop there for you. I reached it in 9 days in 2016 so it is possible to speed up. Casa Rural "Rincón de Sandra" is heavily recommended: a whole house at your disposal for 15 euros (1 person).

God tur!

/Bad Pilgrim
 
Camino(s) past & future
Via Podiensis 2002, Camino Frances 2003, 2004, 2008, 2012, Via de La Plata 2005, 2006. 2013, Camino Ingles 2013, Camino de Madrid 2008, Camino Salvador 2008, Camino del Norte 2010, Camino de Levante 2012,
Camino Mozarabe 2015, Camino Salvador 2015, Camino Primitivo 2015
#7
Hei Heidi, you may be Norwegian but I better write this in English. The guide written after completing the Lana in October is now finished. I can't load it up for some reason, but I can send it to you directly from my email kfobrien@online.no. so that you have it for eventual planning before Christmas. Buen Camino to both!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#9
I'm very much with @Bad Pilgrim re the temps when walking (late spring/summer and no rain for me, please) even on southern Caminos but sometimes in winter when we have few really cold days in a row (nothing like in Norway though) I check for Valencia weather and even in January I remember quite a lot of days at 18C!!! And that's definitely shorts and T-shirt for me in the sun.

Have a lot of fun, @HeidiL family!!! ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#10
We are now in Alicante - landed around lunchtime, took bus C6 from the airport, found Santa Maria closed, so we left our luggage at the hotel Rambla and had tapas and bought breakfast food at the Mercado. After a short nap at the hotel, we walked to the municipal cemetery (wild pigs nearby!) to shorten our route tomorrow.

Bus 4 back from the cemetery; will take that tomorrow morning.
The museum of modern art was nice, and had a sello, but the Church remained closed.

We’re now waiting for El Gosto del Gourmet to open for dinner by having drinks outside the Ayuntamiento. The church is supposed to be open until 19.30, so we’ll have another go.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Catalan, Aragones, part of Frances, Ruta del Salavador, Primitivo, and Finisterre (2012);
Cammino San Pellegrino, Italy (2013);
Lebaniego, Vadiniense, and Invierno (July 2014)
#11
Hola Heidi,
We'll be following your progress closely (I hope you continue to post progress reports along the way). We are planning to walk the Lana starting around mid-January.
Buen Camino
Dan
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#12
There’s a bar at the cementery in Alicante - open from “early “ till five, the waitress said. Nice hot bocadillos.

An easy walk for the first 14 or so km towards Orito, extremely well signposted, and then the last bit was quite terrifying, climbing pathways along gulches that seemed taken from western films.

Everything in Orito full; got a taxi 3.9 km to Monforte del Cid, where Hostal Avenida charged E44 for a double with breakfast. Good heating; did laundry. All OK restaurants closed, had pizza and salad.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#13
Very pleasant terrain all the way today. Novelda has one of the best museums I’ve ever seen , art noveau/modernismo, and a tourist office with two sellos, Lana and Camino del Cid. We accepted both and promised to do el Cid another time - the nice lady even gave us special credentials.

Around three km out of Novelda, when you go under the small aqueduct, go another few metres to the right. There’s a lovely resting place where you can choose between a view of the river and the monastery on the hill.

No albergues are open now, so we are at the AC Hotel in Elda. Not cheap, but really nice. And the bathtub is good for laundry.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Catalan, Aragones, part of Frances, Ruta del Salavador, Primitivo, and Finisterre (2012);
Cammino San Pellegrino, Italy (2013);
Lebaniego, Vadiniense, and Invierno (July 2014)
#14
Thanks, Heidi. Your descriptions will be very helpful to us when we start the Lana in a few weeks.
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#15
Elda to Sax, so nice walking that my husband refused to take a break, and I really didn’t mind. Bar Senda in Sax was nice, good pimientos de Padrón, stamped our credenciales and wished us a nice day.

Like the last few days, lots of birds and rabbits.

Sax to Colonia de Santa Eulalia, still nice, though a certain lack of arrows made us stick to the road. Really steep climbing, good view. When we saw sudden arrows pointing left off the road we decided we’d been on the right track all along.

This is the bit where I’d stay on the road were I walking alone. After the rocky scramble down and some badly signposted farmland, you walk through an abandoned farm which seems to be housing squatters. They had pretty horses and mules, but I would have felt unsafe there alone. My husband remarked that he kept expecting someone to jump out at us when we stumbled along the narrow path through dense vegetation afterwards.

Colonia de Santa Eulalia isn’t really a ghost town - we met a couple and their dogs, and two houses had Christmas decorations. We were getting hungry and google mapped the problem - Bodega de San Gil, a km off to the right, towards the motorway was open, so we went off Camino and had their three-course Christmas lunch. Phone for reservations first, they seem to be directed towards serving groups.

Since the GPS said we were 8 km from Villena and we didn’t want to go back, we followed a mostly car-free little side-road instead. Passed a couple of bars and walked into a fiesta in Villena.

Followed our plan and took the train to Almansa, hotel reservation waiting - and a reservation at Michelin-starred restaurant Maralba, where we had a memorable meal while walking the start of the Levante.
Today we’re leaving half our stuff here, taking the train back to Villena and walking to Caudete.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#16
Villena to Caudete was a nice, quite flat walk, lots of arrows, lots of rabbits; nothing too exciting.

It’s getting quite chilly in the evenings , so we’ve left the heat on in our 40 Euro room in Hostal Marisa and gone out to search for dinner. There has been a dance festival earlier today, and there are ladies in folk costumes everywhere.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#17
Caudete to Almansa. Well over the alleged 26.6 km, but very nice. Varied paths and roads, pleasant places to sit. Had lunch on the platform outside a house belonging to the railway.

Also clear and sunny, a bit chilly before 11 and after 4. Great, open views.

Looking at the stony path leading into Almansa, my husband was reminded of the last stretch into Astorias: you can see the castle, but it’s a lot longer than you think. “Now that is a real Camino”, he said.
 
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
#18
HeidiL, I guess the weather and temperature might be suitable for a Norwegian from Finnmark wanting to escape from a dark and cold January in the north??
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#19
HeidiL, I guess the weather and temperature might be suitable for a Norwegian from Finnmark wanting to escape from a dark and cold January in the north??
Oh, definitely! Most of the day it has been 10-12 C, with sun.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
#20
Caudete to Almansa. Well over the alleged 26.6 km, but very nice. Varied paths and roads, pleasant places to sit. Had lunch on the platform outside a house belonging to the railway.
It looks like you took another way from the way I did , sounds longer but with facilities.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#22
Almansa to Alpera, easy to find, lots of very stony paths, so we walked along the road for the last 7 km. Lots of long views, civil war bunkers, pleasant day .

Everything is closed, we’re at Hostal El Cazador, E40 for a double. There may be tapas to be had in town, we’ll try in a while.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
#23
It's very near the square with church and the mayor's office if it is open, I was recommended to go the tapas place by a couple of people, but decided to back track a little and have a menu del dia at one of the restaurants on the road into Alpera.I was watching Sarah Doome video blog and have a feeling she might have gone to the tapas bar.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#24
We had pretty bad panini at the only place open on January 1st, and bought stuff for breakfast from the only open shop, since our hostal isn’t open today.

But today we’re resting! The wonderful Maria at the Casa de Cultura drove us to see the cave paintings at Cueva de la Vieja, and we insisted on paying for both the tickets, the petrol and her time, so she should be positive towards pilgrims for the next few months.

Then we shopped for tomorrow’s picnic at the municipal market - only open in the morning - and had a great lunch at La Parilla.

There ‘s a mass at seven, we’re planning to go at quarter to so we can see the church and possibly get a sello.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Catalan, Aragones, part of Frances, Ruta del Salavador, Primitivo, and Finisterre (2012);
Cammino San Pellegrino, Italy (2013);
Lebaniego, Vadiniense, and Invierno (July 2014)
#25
Thanks, Heidi, for your informative postings. We'll be starting on the Lana around the 18th or 19th of this month.
Buen Camino!
Dan
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#26
The church was closed and dark at seven - and nine, when we passed it on the way back from a tapas bar near the Ayuntamiento.

In the morning we had breakfast in the room and started following the arrows out of town.

The arrows and the guide didn’t agree, and then the arrows disappeared, so we GPSed to Alatoz, including a very nice path and 4 km along a valley into town.

We arrived, found the Polideportivo and phoned the number of the leader of the Association, who gave us the number of Felisa, who came hurrying with her young friend Mariano, in case she needed an interpreter.


Felisa showed us around town and got her friend from the carniceria to let us into the lovely church.

After showers we had dinner/raciónes at the restaurant nearest the church. On Felisa’s recommendation we tried the local specialties, fried cheese (yummy) and deep fried pig’s tail (not bad, and very crunchy).

The albergue is lovely, if very, very chilly, and we have left the heat (a wall-mounted thing like in small hotel rooms, on. Heat rises, so it is still fairly cold. But sleeping bags plus duvets make it quite cosy.

Felisa showed us how to close the back door leading into the sports facilities, but the lock is broken, so we put a chair in front of it so we’ll wake up if there’s an unexpected visitor.

Just woke up from a bad dream about that (but no visitors, I’m glad to say), so I’m browsing the site for a while to calm down before going back to sleep.

Good night, pilgrims!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#27
Today was very cold, with ice on the ground and a heavy fog in places. We waited in the bar a bit , since we saw the market setting up outside, then left at 9.30. The market vendor refused to let me pay for my mandarins - she said pilgrims deserve a gift.

For the record, the market in Alatoz is on Tuesday and Friday.

We had a lovely walk on extremely well signposted roads for the first kilometres, then continued into a forest that looked like any Norwegian forest.

After a few km the arrows disappeared, so we GPSed to Casas del Cerro. Tea at a bar to warm up, then 2km climb into the gorge, no doubt spectacular, but full of fog. Very well marked Camino, though.

Now we are resting at a hotel after lunch and vaguely discussing going to se the wine caves later today.

And thus ends this part of the Camino de la Lana for us, 175 km on paper that translates into 200 km walked according to my phone.

We’ll be back, but not in January.
 

Conglee

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino Frances 2017
#28
My teacher husband has discovered that he doesn't have to be back at school until January 4th. Since we enjoyed our New Year's week walking the Levante from Valencia a few years ago, just starting the Camino de la Lana looks like a very good idea. Besides, New Year's Eve in Spain is fun - grapes and all!

Has anyone here walked it in winter? I know that further north, there is likely to be actual winter weather, but anything above 5C is fine for us, and we'll only have 8 days of walking.
Thanks, Heidi, for your informative postings. We'll be starting on the Lana around the 18th or 19th of this month.
Buen Camino!
Dan
Heidil can you tell me what street in Alicante does the camino de la lana start. Thanks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 1/2 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
#29
See http://www.encaminodesdealicante.org/otros-caminos/camino-de-la-lana - "La ruta empieza en la Puerta de la Basílica de Santa María de Alicante, situada en la plaza de Santa María. Salir por la calle Villavieja en
dirección oeste, donde hay un letrero indicativo del inicio del camino,".

Calle Villavieja outside the Santa Maria church. But watch it - there are two Santa Maria churches, so make sure you start at the right one!
 

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