• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)
  • ⚠️ Emergency contact in Spain - Dial 112 and AlertCops app. More on this here.

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

LIVE from the Camino Damien on the Mozárabe

Time of past OR future Camino
See signature.
note from the mod: This is Damien’s report on part 1 of his walk, Almería to Granada. With his approval we have merged two separate threads to make one continuous report.

First of all I would like to thank the friends on this forum who pointed me to the Mozarabe for my January Camino. I have been having a blast.

I would also like to thank the association dedicated to helping peregrinos between Almería and Granada. Truly a unique experience. https://www.facebook.com/CaminoMozarabeDesantiagodealmeriagranada?mibextid=LQQJ4d

1) The Association: at first I was hesitant to contact them. I mean, I've managed Caminos on my own 20+ times... but two days before I left I got in contact with them. I whats app'd the association and then was put in contact with Nely who was my main contact. On my rest day in Almería she invited me to her home / Albergue, and she provided a credential and took me through the entire journey as recorded in the group's guide. It was a heartwarming experience. Later, she was literally like a "concierge" guiding me along and answering my questions. Let me stress this: YOU HAVE TO CONTACT THE GROUP IF YOU ARE GOING TO WALK THIS ROUTE. Only through the group are you granted "codes" to get into the Albergues. There are no on-site hospitalero/a.

2) The Albergues: Now I am usually a "hoteligrino" but that was not an option on this journey. The municipal albergues or those associated with the group were some of the best I've ever stayed in. In most of the stops there were no hotels. The albergues had small capacities, divided into separate rooms. I had a "private room" on more than half the nights, and at most shared a room with 1 other person. Most had well stocked kitchens, and there was always heat. Very casual and comfortable.

3) The weather: OMG, this is all I could ask for in January on the Camino. It rained the first day, but after that it was sunny, dry, and mild the entire time. Daytime temps were in the 60's F (15-20 C). In the mornings it was usually about 45F (7C) but warmed up quickly with the sun. I wore shorts often.

4) The trail: it reminded me of the high desert in California. Dry. Bushes at the lower altitudes but some pines when you climbed a bit. I would not characterize this camino as neither easy nor hard. No crazy vertical days or super long days, but varied enough terrain to be interesting. Completely manageable for peregrinos of all fitness levels IMO.

5) The company: I've met a total of 6 other pilgrims on the route. It is not a "social / family building" camino... there is one Italian couple who has shared my exact itinerary (doubling up on some short stages). The rest of the people I've met are either a day or two behind. I expected the route to be sparsely populated and I am enjoying the change of pace.

Conclusion: Based on my experience so far, I would highly recommend the Mozarabe from Almería for pilgrims looking for a journey in January and are willing / want to "step outside the box" a bit.

I will post another update when I get to Merida.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Thanks for the trip report Damien. I will be doing this walk in just 2 weeks from now, with my husband. I'm very much looking forward to it and hope that we are lucky enough to have weather similar to what you have had. I look forward to your next instalment. Buen Camino!
 
Be part of the Camino Cleanup team! Help us pick up litter from Ponferrada to Sarria.
First of all I would like to thank the friends on this forum who pointed me to the Mozarabe for my January Camino. I have been having a blast.

I would also like to thank the association dedicated to helping peregrinos between Almería and Granada. Truly a unique experience. https://www.facebook.com/CaminoMozarabeDesantiagodealmeriagranada?mibextid=LQQJ4d

1) The Association: at first I was hesitant to contact them. I mean, I've managed Caminos on my own 20+ times... but two days before I left I got in contact with them. I whats app'd the association and then was put in contact with Nely who was my main contact. On my rest day in Almería she invited me to her home / Albergue, and she provided a credential and took me through the entire journey as recorded in the group's guide. It was a heartwarming experience. Later, she was literally like a "concierge" guiding me along and answering my questions. Let me stress this: YOU HAVE TO CONTACT THE GROUP IF YOU ARE GOING TO WALK THIS ROUTE. Only through the group are you granted "codes" to get into the Albergues. There are no on-site hospitalero/a.

2) The Albergues: Now I am usually a "hoteligrino" but that was not an option on this journey. The municipal albergues or those associated with the group were some of the best I've ever stayed in. In most of the stops there were no hotels. The albergues had small capacities, divided into separate rooms. I had a "private room" on more than half the nights, and at most shared a room with 1 other person. Most had well stocked kitchens, and there was always heat. Very casual and comfortable.

3) The weather: OMG, this is all I could ask for in January on the Camino. It rained the first day, but after that it was sunny, dry, and mild the entire time. Daytime temps were in the 60's F (15-20 C). In the mornings it was usually about 45F (7C) but warmed up quickly with the sun. I wore shorts often.

4) The trail: it reminded me of the high desert in California. Dry. Bushes at the lower altitudes but some pines when you climbed a bit. I would not characterize this camino as neither easy nor hard. No crazy vertical days or super long days, but varied enough terrain to be interesting. Completely manageable for peregrinos of all fitness levels IMO.

5) The company: I've met a total of 6 other pilgrims on the route. It is not a "social / family building" camino... there is one Italian couple who has shared my exact itinerary (doubling up on some short stages). The rest of the people I've met are either a day or two behind. I expected the route to be sparsely populated and I am enjoying the change of pace.

Conclusion: Based on my experience so far, I would highly recommend the Mozarabe from Almería for pilgrims looking for a journey in January and are willing / want to "step outside the box" a bit.

I will post another update when I get to Merida.
Interesting. I thought about doing this in this timeframe but am doing Leon to Santiago instead. That’s equally deserted. I have seen two peregrinos in three days. Weather is also great. A nice contrast to the more hectic periods. A 16 mile walk today from Rabanal del Camino before I found something open in any village. And a completely deserted Cruz de Fierro. Lovely.
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
Another thank you from me for the information and heads-up.
We’re flying to Almeria on the 26th of February and plan to start the next day. As posted elsewhere, I’ll be walking and my wife will be cycling.

I’ve not booked accommodation in Almeria as yet but will be sure to contact Nely.

Keep the updates coming.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
While walking this route March 2023, I found it laugh out loud funny to hear the preferred method of pruning of olives: by chainsaw. Don't let anyone tell you that the countryside is quiet.
There is a biofuel power plant outside of Baena that takes those olive trimmings and converts them to electricity. In late January only a few chainsaws. Not a ruckus yet.
 
note from the mod - this is Damien’s report on Granada to Córdoba.

This part of the Mozarabe is pretty chill. The stages as defined by Gronze or the guide provided by the Association in Almería are relatively short. I ended up combining the first two stages and walked directly to Moclín from Granada. This resulted in a 33k day but with a good steep climb at the end. The Italian couple did the same.

1) Stages - very manageable, low to mid 20 km mostly... the terrain is dominated by dirt roads among rolling hills and a gazillion olive trees.

2) Accomodation - I stayed in private establishments exclusively during this portion. There were some municipal albergues listed in Gronze but the descriptions said things like, "No heat", "No kitchen", and "Get the key from the police station." Instead I stayed at pleasant hotels, many of them with reduced rates for perigrinos IF you call them directly. Peregrino rates are not available through booking.com.

Weather: Consistently perfect. Cool mornings with mild afternoons make for very nice walking.

Note: there are some stages on the Mozarabe with no services or water available for over 25km. Read the descriptions of the stages and make sure to pack extra water and food on those days.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!
While walking this route March 2023, I found it laugh out loud funny to hear the
On the Via Francigena a few days from Rome the route passes through hazelnut orchards. Harvesting was going on when I was there using leaf blowers and small ride-on sweeping machines towing a large hopper. A noisy business!
 
With Damien’s approval, I’ve merged his two trip reports so that we will have one continuous thread at the end. Makes it easier for forum members to follow along, and it is also a much better document at the end for people who are researching the Mozárabe.

Sounds like perfect weather, hassle-free accommodations - are the almond trees in bloom yet?
Indeed they are. I'm from California and I never realized how beautiful they are in bloom!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0481.jpeg
    IMG_0481.jpeg
    6.2 MB · Views: 103
Last edited:
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
OMG. it's my first time wearing them. I stuck with another brand for 18 years but they started to hurt my feet. I am testing them out for the PCT in April and after 15 days or so I'm sold. So comfy!
I wore HOKA Stinsons for the 1st 800+km on the Le Puy this past September and bought Speedgoat 5’s in Pamplona then walked to Ponferrada then to SDC via the Camino en Invierno …..it’s an unusually mild winter in Ottawa and I’m still wearing my Speedgoats with double layer smart wool socks. I get about 800-1000 km out of them. No more plantar fasciitis since 2018 wearing Hokas. Buen camino!
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
This is a wonderful thread and it brings back many fond memories!

In late-March to mid-April of 2022 I walked the Mozarabe from Almeria to Merida and I concur with much of what Damien has shared.

Nely is simply a Camino Angel and I have mentioned her acts of kindness in a couple of other posts on the Mozarabe in the past.

There is no one like her and, yes, anyone contemplating walking the Mozarabe would do well to reach out to her and the "Association". As mentioned, if you are staying in albergues you MUST contact them as they are the ones with the access codes to gain entry into these places.

Our little band of 7 perigrinos/as were not as fortunate with the weather during the first two weeks or so.

Almost constant rain and local flooding with rockslides and washed out roads in places.

We definitely came to rely on Nely and the intrepid & dedicated group of volunteers from the association to help us navigate alternate routes during the floods (they were almost biblical in scale!).

Sections of the Mozarabe (esp. early on) utilize the (normally dry) river beds to traverse the route, but many of these were swollen, raging rivers during my time there so we had to find other ways (often using the N roads between towns) to complete the stages.

I'm mentioning this not to put anyone off of doing the Mozarabe, just to acknowledge the dedication and extreme kindness that Nely and the association demonstrated to us time and time again.

There's no way we could've managed without Nely's help.

I will always be grateful to her.


IMG_2147.jpeg

IMG_2175.jpeg

IMG_2164.jpeg
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Right now.

The herds of sheep were/are always a thrill to watch on the Caminos! Love your pic!
Here is my very first encounter with sheep on my first Camino Frances in Viscarret, on the way to Pamplona. They were a shaggy bunch in need of a haircut!
View attachment 163377
Camino traffic jam, not so bad when you're in no hurry! Regular occurance on the Aragonês on the higher ground too. I counted 1,700 in one flock once!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Hi @Damien Reynolds
I’m wondering if you’ve time to add your thoughts on your camino after Córdoba to Mérida on the mozárabe. ?
The weather you enjoyed up to Córdoba looked perfect. I’m interested in any terrain that you thought could prove difficult for an oldie with problem joints ?
Are you still walking ?
Buen camino.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Hi @Damien Reynolds
I’m wondering if you’ve time to add your thoughts on your camino after Córdoba to Mérida on the mozárabe. ?
The weather you enjoyed up to Córdoba looked perfect. I’m interested in any terrain that you thought could prove difficult for an oldie with problem joints ?
Are you still walking ?
Buen camino.
I will arrive in Merida on Tuesday, February 13. I will post the final update then. It is hard for me to answer your question about problem joints... that is pretty subjective, but let me put it this way... nothing like the walks down from Alto del Perdon or El Acebo.
 
Looking forward to your update tomorrow. Please remind me (as your two threads have been merged) when you started? I'm interested in how long you took between Almeria and Merida. Did you have any exceptionally long days? I start walking next Tuesday and think that Cordoba will be OK but doubtful about Merida in my time frame. I have to finish somewhere that has transport back to a large city for a long distance bus or train. Enjoy today
 
Looking forward to your update tomorrow. Please remind me (as your two threads have been merged) when you started? I'm interested in how long you took between Almeria and Merida. Did you have any exceptionally long days? I start walking next Tuesday and think that Cordoba will be OK but doubtful about Merida in my time frame. I have to finish somewhere that has transport back to a large city for a long distance bus or train. Enjoy today
Hey Sue. So I started Jan. 20 and will arrive in Merida Feb 13. So that's 25 days of walking. It was pretty much "by the book"... 1 day sooner than the association's itinerary and two days sooner than gronze. No exceptionally long days (though that is certainly a matter of perspective)... I would have been a day sooner but I broke up the associations biggest day (38 km) into 2 days because I didn't want to walk in the rain for 8 hours... yes... alas... it eventually rained...
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
note from the mod - this is Damien’s report on Granada to Córdoba.

This part of the Mozarabe is pretty chill. The stages as defined by Gronze or the guide provided by the Association in Almería are relatively short. I ended up combining the first two stages and walked directly to Moclín from Granada. This resulted in a 33k day but with a good steep climb at the end. The Italian couple did the same.

1) Stages - very manageable, low to mid 20 km mostly... the terrain is dominated by dirt roads among rolling hills and a gazillion olive trees.

2) Accomodation - I stayed in private establishments exclusively during this portion. There were some municipal albergues listed in Gronze but the descriptions said things like, "No heat", "No kitchen", and "Get the key from the police station." Instead I stayed at pleasant hotels, many of them with reduced rates for perigrinos IF you call them directly. Peregrino rates are not available through booking.com.

Weather: Consistently perfect. Cool mornings with mild afternoons make for very nice walking.

Note: there are some stages on the Mozarabe with no services or water available for over 25km. Read the descriptions of the stages and make sure to pack extra water and food on those days.

Loved that climb to Moclin on a warm afternoon. ;-)
 
Oooh, can’t wait to hear about crossing the river at Yelbes.

Buen camino and have a nice day into Mérida tomorrow, though it isn’t one of the Mozárabe’s finest stages.
Ummm... do you mean the rio Burdalo on the direct route from Yelbes to San Pedro. Because yah I took the bait for the direct route... saw the nice sign that said there is usually little water... but the little angel above my right shoulder said, "but Damien, it's been raining for the last 3 days..." The little devil above my left shoulder said, "It will be fine. Fun. An adventure!"

So long story short what should have been a 34km day for me from Don Benito to San Pedro turned into 48 1/2 km. So after 27km I make it to the river... it doesn't look so bad. Shoes off, etc... I start to wade across... first ankle deep, then shin deep, then knee deep..:then waist deep, yikes then belly button deep. At this point I am starting to lose it against the current... I maybe got 5 meters across but had to turn around. At that point, although as the crow flies San Pedro was only 6km away, it took me 21 km to get there via the "long route". I should have listened to the angel.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0513.jpeg
    IMG_0513.jpeg
    4.1 MB · Views: 48
  • IMG_0515.png
    IMG_0515.png
    4.4 MB · Views: 43
  • IMG_0516.png
    IMG_0516.png
    3.7 MB · Views: 46
  • IMG_0517.png
    IMG_0517.png
    363.3 KB · Views: 46
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Damn, that's quite the detour! Your feet will be screaming at you.

Sorry if it's been asked before, what's that app you've using in the screen shots of the map/yellow walking trace?
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Ummm... do you mean the rio Burdalo on the direct route from Yelbes to San Pedro. Because yah I took the bait for the direct route... saw the nice sign that said there is usually little water... but the little angel above my right shoulder said, "but Damien, it's been raining for the last 3 days..." The little devil above my left shoulder said, "It will be fine. Fun. An adventure!"

So long story short what should have been a 34km day for me from Don Benito to San Pedro turned into 48 1/2 km. So after 27km I make it to the river... it doesn't look so bad. Shoes off, etc... I start to wade across... first ankle deep, then shin deep, then knee deep..:then waist deep, yikes then belly button deep. At this point I am starting to lose it against the current... I maybe got 5 meters across but had to turn around. At that point, although as the crow flies San Pedro was only 6km away, it took me 21 km to get there via the "long route". I should have listened to the angel.
Oh my goodness ! So where do I not need to follow the route that you did? Presumably there is a bridge somewhere else?
 
Oh my goodness ! So where do I not need to follow the route that you did? Presumably there is a bridge somewhere else?
Yah apparently there is one bridge on Earth that crosses that river... it's on the route that goes through

Torrefresneda...​

the route that is marked on mapy.cz and the one called out by the association go to the bridge. Bang a right at the church in Yelbes... don't go straight like I did...
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
@Damien Reynolds , look on the bright side - great training for the river crossings on your upcoming through hike!
Although personally, I prefer to keep my shoes on.
You know... that's what I was thinking... (though I've had plenty practice in the Sierras) I had flip flops on. Had as in past tense. They were washed away down stream. Shopping tomorrow in Merida!
 
Yah apparently there is one bridge on Earth that crosses that river... it's on the route that goes through

Torrefresneda...​

the route that is marked on mapy.cz and the one called out by the association go to the bridge. Bang a right at the church in Yelbes... don't go straight like I did...
Thank you so much. I'm not sure that I'll get that far, but, although many of my friends think I'm adventurous, I'm likely to be tired by the time I get that far. Not sure that a dunking in the water would be advisable. Thanks again for sharing your experiences. Buen camino
 
Well, that's a wrap on the Mozarabe, and fittingly I walked into Mérida on the final day of the Carnaval Romano... so like think a parade and all the stores are closed...

Part 3: Cordoba to Mérida

The thing about the Mozarabe is nothing really stands out for me. No super hard days, no problem with accommodation, mild weather in winter...

Well the one thing that stood out but was expected was very few perigrinos. In this entire section I saw three others.

Accommodation: in this section I stayed at a combination of municipal albergues which were great and unremarkable hostals (hotels) that offered pilgrim rates and were clean. Very satisfied on this front.

Terrain: Mild rolling hills on occasion. Walks on dirt farm roads for the most part. Some very flat days.

Scenery: Olive trees then oak trees in grass fields then cereal fields and grass fields with sheep. Nothing spectacular but nothing ugly either.

Weather: as I went north it seemed to get a little chillier but never too cold. It rained a couple of days... long light soaking rains not heavy downpours...

Overall Impression of a winter camino on the Mozarabe: I really enjoyed the change of pace vs more popular Caminos and the weather was as comfortable as I could reasonably ask for.

Edit: I now continue on the VdlP / Sanabres to Santiago.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Well, that's a wrap on the Mozarabe, and fittingly I walked into Mérida on the final day of the Carnaval Romano... so like think a parade and all the stores are closed...

Part 3: Cordoba to Mérida

The thing about the Mozarabe is nothing really stands out for me. No super hard days, no problem with accommodation, mild weather in winter...

Well the one thing that stood out but was expected was very few perigrinos. In this entire section I saw three others.

Accommodation: in this section I stayed at a combination of municipal albergues which were great and unremarkable hostals (hotels) that offered pilgrim rates and were clean. Very satisfied on this front.

Terrain: Mild rolling hills on occasion. Walks on dirt farm roads for the most part. Some very flat days.

Scenery: Olive trees then oak trees in grass fields then cereal fields and grass fields with sheep. Nothing spectacular but nothing ugly either.

Weather: as I went north it seemed to get a little chillier but never too cold. It rained a couple of days... long light soaking rains not heavy downpours...

Overall Impression of a winter camino on the Mozarabe: I really enjoyed the change of pace vs more popular Caminos and the weather was as comfortable as I could reasonably ask for.

Edit: I now continue on the VdlP / Sanabres to Santiago.
Bonne continuation
 
Oh my goodness ! So where do I not need to follow the route that you did? Presumably there is a bridge somewhere else?
If the river is low, the crossing is far preferable to taking the bridge after Yelbes and continuing along the national highway to Torrefresnada. It is a truly terrifying walk on a road with virtually no shoulder and a continuous stream of trucks coming at you. Sunday would be the best day to do this. I have been told that you should check with the tourist office and/or the police station in Medellín for information the day before you set out.

So here's my attempt at a step by step.

1. When you leave Medellín, there are two options. As the Association map shows, you can either go through Santa Amalia or Yelbes. If you go through Santa Amalia you don’t have the choice of trying the river crossing, you just take the N-625 into Torrefresnada. If you take the Yelbes option, you can also take the N-625, but from Yelbes you have the option of trying out the bridge option, which is not on their map.

IMG_1809.png

2. If you go to Yelbes and want to avoid the river crossing, just do what the map above shows. If you know that the water is low, and you can make the river crossing, you will go. straight to San Pedro de Mérida and avoid the highway, and avoid Torrefresnada.

3. The river crossing. I have read that the river crossing option is well marked, but here are some tracks. If the river crossing works, it gives you a 40 km day into Mérida. Or 25 km day into San Pedro de Mérida.

The. problem with the river crossing option is that you have to commit in Yelbes. If you go to the river, and find it impassable like Damien did, you will wind up with a 48 km day. There is no way to avoid a LOT of backtracking. There is an albergue in Torrefresnada, and San Pedro de Mérida has both an albergue and a pensión. So even if you have the bad luck of having to backtrack, going from Medellín to Yelbes to river crossing and backtracking to bridge to Torrefresnada would be about 25, I think. The next day, Torrefresnada to Mérida would be again about 25.

I’m doing this calculation on the back of an envelope and it may be off, so those who have been there more recently can help. I think Damien had it in his mind that he was going to make it to Mérida that day and the backtracking from the river turned that into a monster stage. Others who have more time or less resilience could take a try at the river crossing, then backtrack if it doesn’t work out and spend the night after a reasonable km day in either Torrefresnada or San Pedro.

Medellín to Mérida on the route that just follows the association guide and doesn’t try the river crossing would be about 45 km. Medellín to Mérida on the route with a successful river crossing would be 40 km, which is, I think, what Damien was trying to do.

Here are some forum threads that discuss this.
One from 2018
One from 2023.

Hope springs eternal for a pedestrian bridge that avoids the road walking into Torrefresnada.
 
If the river is low, the crossing is far preferable to taking the bridge after Yelbes and continuing along the national highway to Torrefresnada. It is a truly terrifying walk on a road with virtually no shoulder and a continuous stream of trucks coming at you. Sunday would be the best day to do this. I have been told that you should check with the tourist office and/or the police station in Medellín for information the day before you set out.

So here's my attempt at a step by step.

1. When you leave Medellín, there are two options. As the Association map shows, you can either go through Santa Amalia or Yelbes. If you go through Santa Amalia you don’t have the choice of trying the river crossing, you just take the N-625 into Torrefresnada. If you take the Yelbes option, you can also take the N-625, but from Yelbes you have the option of trying out the bridge option, which is not on their map.

View attachment 164049

2. If you go to Yelbes and want to avoid the river crossing, just do what the map above shows. If you know that the water is low, and you can make the river crossing, you will go. straight to San Pedro de Mérida and avoid the highway, and avoid Torrefresnada.

3. The river crossing. I have read that the river crossing option is well marked, but here are some tracks. If the river crossing works, it gives you a 40 km day into Mérida. Or 25 km day into San Pedro de Mérida.

The. problem with the river crossing option is that you have to commit in Yelbes. If you go to the river, and find it impassable like Damien did, you will wind up with a 48 km day. There is no way to avoid a LOT of backtracking. There is an albergue in Torrefresnada, and San Pedro de Mérida has both an albergue and a pensión. So even if you have the bad luck of having to backtrack, going from Medellín to Yelbes to river crossing and backtracking to bridge to Torrefresnada would be about 25, I think. The next day, Torrefresnada to Mérida would be again about 25.

I’m doing this calculation on the back of an envelope and it may be off, so those who have been there more recently can help. I think Damien had it in his mind that he was going to make it to Mérida that day and the backtracking from the river turned that into a monster stage. Others who have more time or less resilience could take a try at the river crossing, then backtrack if it doesn’t work out and spend the night after a reasonable km day in either Torrefresnada or San Pedro.

Medellín to Mérida on the route that just follows the association guide and doesn’t try the river crossing would be about 45 km. Medellín to Mérida on the route with a successful river crossing would be 40 km, which is, I think, what Damien was trying to do.

Here are some forum threads that discuss this.
One from 2018
One from 2023.

Hope springs eternal for a pedestrian bridge that avoids the road walking into Torrefresnada.
Thank you so much. Although I'm pretty fit, 40 odd km is out of my range, especially towards the end of a Camino. I guess keeping an eye on the weather and trying to ask locally would be best. I don't want my last few days to be in soaking wet clothes, but I'm not averse to a bit of paddling.
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
The river crossing. I have read that the river crossing option is well marked,
Did you notice in my route the strange square on the way to the river? It was an ambiguous arrow... I made a left when I should have stayed on the dirt road... if you look at my route again you can tell where I messed up...

Also, there is a shoulder on the road. It was not terrifying.
 
Medellín to Mérida on the route that just follows the association guide and doesn’t try the river crossing would be about 45 km. Medellín to Mérida on the route with a successful river crossing would be 40 km, which is, I think, what Damien was trying to do.
Yes but I was only going to San Pedro from Don Benito.
 
It was not terrifying.
I remember the shoulder as being nor more than a foot or two wide, am I wrong? And you were walking on a week day? Damien, you must be a far less fearful person than I. I found myself frequently flattening myself agains the barrrier at the edge of the shoulder and offering up hopes for survival. And the worse moments were when I could see a truck coming towards me with another truck passing it, that was awful. But anyway, glad you made it!

Yes but I was only going to San Pedro from Don Benito.
Oh, I missed that. Don Benito is 9 kms before Medellín, so it probably wouldn’t have occurred to you to ask in the tourist office or police station in Medellín as you passed through. A truly cautionary tale, thanks for letting us in on the drama!
 
Be part of the Camino Cleanup team! Help us pick up litter from Ponferrada to Sarria.
I found myself frequently flattening myself agains the barrrier at the edge of the shoulder and offering up hopes for survival.
Hmmm. We must be talking about different places... there was no barrier on my route. I went from yelbes to the river, then backtracked to the yelbes -> torresfreneda path just before it hit the highway... seriously... there was a shoulder and there were no barriers...
 
Hmmm. We must be talking about different places... there was no barrier on my route. I went from yelbes to the river, then backtracked to the yelbes -> torresfreneda path just before it hit the highway... seriously... there was a shoulder and there were no barriers...
Wow, this is crazy. I did not imagine this. By “barrier” I meant the metal railings at the edge of shoulder. This picture below is from right at the bridge over the river, where the branches from Santa Amalia and Yelbes merge and the camino comes out onto the highway.

IMG_1811.png


Read Bad Pilgrim’s description from this thread.

The Camino from Santa Amalia joins the Camino from Yelbes at the bridge over the river Burdalo. This is where the Camino enters the infamous motorway N-430. (There is no additional stretch on the dangerous road if you come from Santa Amalia.) There is no other option than to walk next to the cars and trucks on the motorway, so you better be careful.

I moved as fast as I could to get it over with. Still it was 30-45 minutes of near-death experience. There was a lot of traffic even on a Saturday morning. True, most of the cars were heading for Mérida in the same direction as me so I had little oncoming traffic. But the cars would frequently pass one another in the left lane so they would come up from behind and startle me. Sometimes oncoming traffic wanted to pass a car as well: I would have not one but two cars hurling towards me in a narrow space. The arrow pointing left onto a calmer road to Torrefresneda (11 kms from Santa Amalia) couldn't come soon enough. This is the second stretch where Gronze says that pilgrims put their lives at risk (the first one is the way out of Don Benito), no joke.


I don’t know what explains our very different experiences.
 
I don’t know what explains our very different experiences.
Well, I have two rules about the Camino... 1) Never follow another peregrino because they don't know where they are going either... 2) Never listen to what another peregrino says, including me.

I have heard so many dramatic "near death" or "cataclysmic" experiences that I sort of just decide to use my best judgement as I go rather than get wrapped up in someone else's fear. The best example of this was when I was confronted with a bunch of peregrinos walking backwards from Rabanal during a snowstorm. They told me that I had to turn around and go back to Astorga because "the camino was closed." They said snow was up to your shoulders near Foncebadon... and that the snowplow that was supposed to clear the road fell over the side of the mountain. Seriously they said that. All untrue. The next day after a night in Rabanal I was in Molinaseca, and the most snow I ever labored through was up to my shins.

Maybe I just have a higher risk tolerance. But I don't pay any attention to the "scary stuff" on the Camino. I figure the odds of survival are overwhelmingly in my favor. :)
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
Well, I have two rules about the Camino... 1) Never follow another peregrino because they don't know where they are going either... 2) Never listen to what another peregrino says, including me.

I have heard so many dramatic "near death" or "cataclysmic" experiences that I sort of just decide to use my best judgement as I go rather than get wrapped up in someone else's fear. The best example of this was when I was confronted with a bunch of peregrinos walking backwards from Rabanal during a snowstorm. They told me that I had to turn around and go back to Astorga because "the camino was closed." They said snow was up to your shoulders near Foncebadon... and that the snowplow that was supposed to clear the road fell over the side of the mountain. Seriously they said that. All untrue. The next day after a night in Rabanal I was in Molinaseca, and the most snow I ever labored through was up to my shins.

Maybe I just have a higher risk tolerance. But I don't pay any attention to the "scary stuff" on the Camino. I figure the odds of survival are overwhelmingly in my favor. :)
Indeed. We are about 2 weeks behind you, at Tocan. We have found the first part of the Mozarabe mostly beautiful but hilly, and sometimes steep. Mostly we are good with hills, but it is tiring. We are not always successful at finding food, and we both got dehydration sickness this week, something we should both know to avoid. The weather has been variable, from driving wind and rain to baking sun. All of that said, we are enjoying, but it’s good for people to know their own capabilities and limits, and make time for short stages, if needed.
 
A Treasure Trove Of Interesting Pilgrim Hacks! Learn & Share Your Own Too!

Most read last week in this forum

hey dear community, after walking some other camino-routes Im considering to do the Mozarabe this year. Those who already walked it, could you tell me if I need Spanish skills for this one? It...
We are on day 9 of the Mozarabe and using Finding Penguins for the first time. So much tech now, compared to our first Camino in 2007, and not always easy to navigate on a little phone. I have...
Having followed several live threads with mounting excitement, I have just completed my first day on the Mozarabe from Almería. I have set up a Find Penguin but will try and copy here too. After...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top