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LIVE from the Camino Hospitalera along the Vía de la Plata

2020 Camino Guides

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,

that albergue is on my schedule, too. But I will walk past in June.
Unfortunately this will cause me to walk 37 km to Tabara the very next day, unless there is a shortcut (in 2010 they told me that there was a shortcut from Riego de Camino to Tabara, but maybe that was only rumour to attract people to their albergue?). I would appreciate any additonal information on that point.

BC
Alexandra
 

Paul_Garland

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012-18, VdlP 2013, Primitivo part 2018, Fisterra/Muxia frequently, VdlP Portugues parts
Hi,
that albergue is on my schedule, too. But I will walk past in June.
Unfortunately this will cause me to walk 37 km to Tabara the very next day, unless there is a shortcut (in 2010 they told me that there was a shortcut from Riego de Camino to Tabara, but maybe that was only rumour to attract people to their albergue?). I would appreciate any additonal information on that point.

BC
Alexandra
No shortcut I know of and the N-630 and N-631 from Montamarta to Tábara are busy roads. José Almeida at Tábara, permanent hospi at the Association albergue there, gets angry when he hears that local people tell pilgrims that this is a quicker way than following the marked Camino route.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
To all those pilgrims walking the Vía de la Plata in February, please stop in Fontanillas de Castro after Zamora (and right before Riego del Camino) and stay at the new donativo albergue. I'll be there from February 1-15.

Ultreia!
That's nice. They moved it from the beginning of the village (on the main road that is) to the other side but again on the main road. Won't be there in February but there will surely come a time when I'll be able to check it out :)

Do they plan to run it like live-in hospitalero throughout the year?

Have a nice stint, Lee!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi,

that albergue is on my schedule, too. But I will walk past in June.
Unfortunately this will cause me to walk 37 km to Tabara the very next day, unless there is a shortcut (in 2010 they told me that there was a shortcut from Riego de Camino to Tabara, but maybe that was only rumour to attract people to their albergue?). I would appreciate any additonal information on that point.

BC
Alexandra
Someone else will have to help you with the short cut. The two times (or three) that I stayed in Riego I then carried on to Tabara following the Sanabres.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Right Annie, in March I'll already be in Villares de Orbigo. Will you make it there as previously planned?
I'm not sure. Depending on what the doctor says today, if I'm still able to walk in March (which I plan on doing no matter what), I MAY have to shelf my plans for the VDLP because I can't carry a pack. In that case, We'll hop up to the CF and walk and I will definitely get in touch and book a room for Joe and I. I will know more this afternoon.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I'm not sure. Depending on what the doctor says today, if I'm still able to walk in March (which I plan on doing no matter what), I MAY have to shelf my plans for the VDLP because I can't carry a pack. In that case, We'll hop up to the CF and walk and I will definitely get in touch and book a room for Joe and I. I will know more this afternoon.
Wish you well🙏
 

geraldkelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Vía de la Plata / Camino Sanabrés, Camino del Baztán, Camino Aragonés, Chemin du Puy
Stayed there last year. Great albergue and great hospitaleras!

Regarding a shortcut from there to Tabara, there is a dam over the river near the monastery but I don't know of anyone who tried to cross it.
 

Jay Es

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 the del Norte, home via the Portuguse to Vigo, Planning a Via de la Plata for October 2018.
Sadly I don't think we will make it by mid February,.. We are dawdling North from Seville presently.
 

Rob Jorritsma

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
From Netherlands to Santiago via Vezelay and Chemin du Puy, Francés, Aragones, Portugués
To all those pilgrims walking the Vía de la Plata in February, please stop in Fontanillas de Castro after Zamora (and right before Riego del Camino) and stay at the new donativo albergue. I'll be there from February 1-15.

Ultreia!
Very likely we will be staying there but not in February. Mid March we'll be there.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
To all those pilgrims walking the Vía de la Plata in February, please stop in Fontanillas de Castro after Zamora (and right before Riego del Camino) and stay at the new donativo albergue. I'll be there from February 1-15.
Oh, boy. I wish!
May you have an uneventful and heartwarming fortnight, Lee...and a wonderful homecoming in Villares de Orbigo. ♥
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
If all goes well, we'll pass it on April 6th - and you'll be long gone...
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Arrived yesterday to take over from a young German woman Anne-Kathrin. Yesterday we only had 2 pilgrims, a 70 year old Irishman and a 24 year old Galician woman who is walking backwards towards Granada from her family's home near Santiago. All slept in till about 8 and were in no rush to leave.

After cleaning up and sending the pilgrims on their way Bea my pup and I walked to Riego del Camino and back. No one yet to arrive today but most come from Zamora which is 30+ km away.

Here are some pictures of the renovated albergue. We have 12 beds in total.
Off to chop some vegetables for tonight's communal dinner!

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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
@Paul_Garland - does that hospi get angry because pilgrims are directed onto a busy road or because the road being shorter than the marked path is a lie?
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Bottom of post #5. What is the hospi’s basis for anger?
It would upset me too if locals say to take a highway instead of the beautiful route which is well marked.

Unfortunately many locals on less well known Caminos send you to a highway because it's shorter when all you want is to know where the next arrow is! This happened to me on many occasions walking the Lana alone last March.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Arrived yesterday to take over from a young German woman Anne-Kathrin. Yesterday we only had 2 pilgrims, a 70 year old Irishman and a 24 year old Galician woman who is walking backwards towards Granada from her family's home near Santiago. All slept in till about 8 and were in no rush to leave.

After cleaning up and sending the pilgrims on their way Bea my pup and I walked to Riego del Camino and back. No one yet to arrive today but most come from Zamora which is 30+ km away.

Here are some pictures of the renovated albergue. We have 12 beds in total.
Off to chop some vegetables for tonight's communal dinner!

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View attachment 69201
View attachment 69202
View attachment 69200View attachment 69203
Luxury...!! 🤩
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
It would upset me too if locals say to take a highway instead of the beautiful route which is well marked.

Unfortunately many locals on less well known Caminos send you to a highway because it's shorter when all you want is to know where the next arrow is! This happened to me on many occasions walking the Lana alone last March.
I don’t want to derail this thread, but I often find that the advice to “ask the locals” is BAD advice. As you say, Lee, they will frequently tell you to take the straight shot alongside a highway or road. IMO, they are also frequently wrong about trail conditions in wet weather, and tell you to walk on the road when the camino is perfectly fine. I can think of numerous times when the locals were adamant that we should go on the road, and I was very glad I followed my own instincts. They are trying to be helpful, but so often they have never set foot on the camino, and they also think that anyone in their right mind would want to get from Point A to Point B on the straightest shot possible, and that is almost always going to be the road.

Hope you will continue to send us “live from the camino” hospitalera posts, @LTfit!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Since you asked for a live update Laurie.

Today Bea and I walked again to Riego to investigate Casa Camino and see if open. I met the new owners, a Portuguese/Bulgarian couple who met each other on the Camino in 2015, and was invited in for tea. The place is not yet officially open as they only arrived from Porto a couple of days ago. They seem quite nice and down to earth. We plan to get together here or there for lunch while I'm here.

By the time I got home it was time to prepare lunch and just when I was about to take my first bite the bell rang. One of the locals invited me to the town lunch! So off I went to join 55 others for potato and pork soup, bqq pork, salad and cake. I only had the last two (I'm vegan) but the great company made it all worthwhile!

Yesterday and today I haven't seen a single pilgrim so we have lots of time to walk and read.

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The rose was given to me.
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This one is for those that just love Bar Pepe ;)
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Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I had pinpointed that as a possible stop when I’m linking the Levante and Invierno in May. I have just made a mental note to DEFINITELY stop there!
A suggestion for another walk: it appears (on google maps) that there are some nice ruins shortly before the village to the west. I was planning on a wee detour to check them out.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I had pinpointed that as a possible stop when I’m linking the Levante and Invierno in May. I have just made a mental note to DEFINITELY stop there!
A suggestion for another walk: it appears (on google maps) that there are some nice ruins shortly before the village to the west. I was planning on a wee detour to check them out.
You don't need to detour, they are right on the Plata, about 30 minutes from here. We walked there yesterday but it was so misty that pictures for not do them justice. I'll have to wait till the weather clears up!

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A new sign informing pilgrims about us.

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alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
I liked the new albergue in Fontanillas de Castro. Very comfortable. There was a very friendly Italian hospitalero when I stayed last November. He didn't speak much Spanish and my Italian is fairly rubbish but we got on pretty well with the international language of pasta.

The ruins of Castrotorafe are nearby, and the reservoir was very low so I could see the remains of the old bridge that took pilgrims across the Esla for a millennium. And the next day I finally got to see the visigothic remains of San Pedro de la Nave.

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C clearly

Veteran Member
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
there are some nice ruins... I was planning on a wee detour to check them out.
Yes, the Castrotorafe ruins are virtually on the Camino. You could avoid walking the 300 m (?) right up to them, but they are fully in sight and you won't be able to resist.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Just to clarify... Is this new albergue in Fontanillas de Castro, just a couple of km after the Castrotorafe ruins? Is there somewhere to eat nearby, or do we need to bring food to cook in the microwave?

Is Casa Camino open in Riego del Camino? \

Thanks :D
 

geraldkelly

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Vía de la Plata / Camino Sanabrés, Camino del Baztán, Camino Aragonés, Chemin du Puy
Casa Camino was closed when I was there a few months ago and my understanding is that it's closed for good.

In Fontanillas they cooked us a meal. I presume that is still the case.

Gerald
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Morning guys! First off a clarification :
1) Yes, the albergue is in the hamlet of Fontanillas de Castro, around 30 minutes after the ruins. There is a sign, just follow the arrows. We offer a donativo dinner and breakfast.

2) The telephone numbers in Gronze are not of the albergue, there is no fixed telephone here. No idea, maybe of the Ayuntamiento.

3) There is no store in town. There is a Coviran in Montamarta but not on the main drag.

See below about Casa Camino.

Ultreia.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Casa Camino was closed when I was there a few months ago and my understanding is that it's closed for good.

In Fontanillas they cooked us a meal. I presume that is still the case.

Gerald
Hi Geraldine and others
Casa Camino has been purchased by a lovely Portuguese (from Porto)- Bulgarian (last 12 years in Madrid) couple. They met on the Camino.
I stopped by the place a few days after I arrived here to see if they were open. They had only arrived a few days before, having moved from Porto. The house was still upside-down but they invited me in for tea. Later that week they invited me for lunch and yesterday they had lunch with me here in the albergue. I really like them and believe that they will do a wonderful job. They are not sure when they will open but probably in March.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
And an update :
My time here is closing. It has been quiet to say the least. I've only had 10 pilgrims spread out over the past almost 2 weeks:

5 Germans (one living in Spain)
1 Irishman (living in Germany)
1 Spaniard
1 Bolivian (living in Spain)
1 Brit (living in Spain)
1 Dutchman

The highlight has been the invitation to chime the church bells last Sunday! It definately takes some coordination working two at a time. Depending on the way it's done the townspeople know if it's for mass, a wedding, a funeral, etc.

Most pilgrims arrive after 5 p.m. this time of year so it's always a surprise who may show up. The rest of the day is spend walking, reading and keeping my pup Bea entertained :D

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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
That photo of Bea, the road, the rainbow, and the amazing sky...wow. Thank you, Lee, and very happy homecoming when you get there!
 

mark camilli

dandydon
Camino(s) past & future
Frances & Fini/Muxia 2016, Coastal Portuguese 2018, Fatima 2019, VDP & Sanabres 2020, Mozarabe 2020
Sorry to have missed you and Bea, but sounds like you enjoyed your stay. I dont start from Seville until Mar 25th but will definitely stay there on the way thru.

safe return
 

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