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Just finished the Aragones

Discussion in 'Camino Aragonés' started by frida1, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. frida1

    frida1 Active Member

    Joined:
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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
    My partner and I just returned to the US after completing the Chemin d'Arles, and the Aragones to Puente la Reina. This camino is very quiet, and in most areas very beautiful. We had dry weather going over Somport Pass and for the remainder of the camino. We did have some very hot days that made the walk more difficult. We had left very adequate time so we took a full 10 days starting at Somport. Most of the camino is on path, very little on road.
    Day 1 Somport to Canfranc Estacion. 7 k. After climbing to the pass the day before we opted to stay at Canfranc Estacion. I'm glad we did. It's a lovely place and I enjoyed the 3 Euro tour of the station, learning the history. They light the station at night in changing colors. We stayed at Casa Marieta and had dinner at one of two open restaurants in town.
    Day 2 Canfranc Estacion to Jaca. 28 k, 370 m climbing. Was a pretty long day, with services available at Canfranc and Villanua. Beautiful walk.
    Day 3 rest day in Jaca. We took the bus to Juan de la Pena. The bus goes at 9:30, but not every day. The days vary, the tourist office will call and find out if the bus is going. After visiting the monastery, we walked the trail down to the main road and hitched a ride back to Jaca. For those wanting to walk this variant, the trail from the monastery to Santa Cruz de la Seros is very steep, exposed and slippery. The old monastery is stunning and the town of Santa Cruz is beautiful.
    Day 4 Jaca to Santa Celia 17 k, 100 m climbing. This is a very easy day, mostly along the river and a little scrubby, not particularly scenic. Santa Celia is a beautiful village with a nice albergue. There is a bar, a restaurant near the campground by the river, and a panaderia with delicious wood oven baked bread. No other services available.
    Day 5 Santa Celia - Artieda 34 k, 400 m climbing. This is a beautiful highland walk, with views of hilltop villages. The town of Arres, at 10 k, offers an albergue, but otherwise there are no services until you arrive at Artieda. The albergue at Artieda serves dinner and breakfast, otherwise no other services seem to be available.
    Day 6 Artieda - Undues de Lerda 25 k, 580 m climbing. Undues has an albergue with a bar/restaurant. There is also a casa rural with all amenities including kitchen. No other services in the village. The walk is stunning, another stunning highland walk, and partly through forest, passing the ruined town of Ruesta, which has an albergue. The Embalsa de Yesa is visible during large portions of the walk.
    Day 7 Undues de Lerda - Sanguesa 14 k, 100 m climbing. There is an albergue in Sanguesa, but it was full. We stayed at the other option, a hotel called Yamaguchi, about 1 k uphill outside town. It's very adequate, and has a restaurant. Sanguesa has some beautiful churches and was a good place to spend an afternoon. There is no foodstore between Jaca and Sanguesa, so we stocked up on food, having used everything in the last 4 days.
    Day 8 Sanguesa - Izco 22 k, 585 m climbing. There are no services at Izco, and the albergue was closed, at least for now. We could have walked on to Monreal, but it was very hot. We found a casa rural (listed in the Miam Miam Do Do) in a nearby village and the owner came to pick us up, and returned us to Izco the following day.
    Day 9 -Izco - Tiebas, 25 k, 485 m climbing. More stunning scenery. Monreal has an albergue, and is on the way. There is a cafe. Tiebas has 2 albergues. We stayed at Albergue de los Sabios, and found it very nice. The bar/restaurant is across from Sabios. There is no food store.
    Day 10 Tiebas - Puente la Reina,21 k, 205 m climbing. This walk took us by Iglesia Santa Maria de Eunate. Well worth a visit.

    Challenges on this camino include a real lack of services. You need to plan ahead to know how much food to carry, and which villages have lodging. Tourist offices in Jaca and Sanguesa can advise you, or hospitaleros call ahead to check. Taxis are available, and there is bus service between some places.

    Others probably know more about it than me, but it seems to me that this camino might be dying due to a lack of pilgrims. It's nice to have the quiet, but more might travel it if food and lodging was a little more available. Also, the planned raising of the Embalsa will put some of it under water. If more traveled the camino, that decision might be changed. These are only my impressions, I don't know a lot of facts about these issues. We met very few other pilgrims, perhaps 8.
     
  2. biarritzdon

    biarritzdon Veteran Member Donating Member Donating Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Biarritz and Naples
    Camino(s) past & future:
    CF 2011, CF 2012, CP 2013, CF 2014, CA 2015, S. Anton 2015, CF 2015, CI 2015
    Ditch Pig 2016, CF (2017)
    I did a similar itinerary early in June 2015, when I started in Oloron and walked to Logrono. I would share similar comments regarding the blessing and the curse of lack of pilgrims and services. In my case I ran out of cash because of a lack of ATM's (I failed to do a w/d in Jaca because I was unaware there were no ATM's along the way) and I had to bail out around Artieda and take a bus to Pamplona and completed my walk from there. The Aragones is a lovely walk and seeing Canfranc Estacion, San Juan de la Pena and Eunate is a priceless experience.
     
  3. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
    Finisterre ('11, '16),
    Madrid ('14),
    Invierno ('14),
    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    On Caminos like this (we liked to call them less-walked caminos) you always have to prepare yourself in form of accommodation/ATMs/shops etc. Then and only then you can wing it otherwise you'll have a problem (and not only you) sooner or later. Seems like you did just OK, heh...

    Haven't walked that route myself but have seen many beautiful photos of it. And I wish to congratulate you accomplishing your walk :)
     
  4. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Veteran Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances 2006,9,11,12,13,14, 16, Aragones 2011,12,
    VDLP 2011, 13, Lourdes 2012, Portuguese 2008, Madrid 2014, (2016)
    One of my favorite routes.
     
    SafariGirl and SabineP like this.
  5. IngridF

    IngridF Active Member Donating Member

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    Location:
    Markham (northeast of Toronto) Canada
    Camino(s) past & future:
    2012, 2015 ,2017
    I am on it and I am walking with a group..total 9..so no albergues that will accommodate. So even with reservations. ..long distances.. you need to carry lots of water... no fountains. .. don't expect that. It is not an easy walk.
     
    KinkyOne likes this.
  6. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances ('09, '11 - entire, '14, '16),
    Finisterre ('11, '16),
    Madrid ('14),
    Invierno ('14),
    Levante ('15+'??),
    Sanabres ('14, '15 - entire),
    Muxia ('15),
    Bayona ('16),
    Salvador ('16),
    Ingles ('16)...
    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Hi, Ingrid,

    Wish you all 9 a beautiful Camino!
     
    IngridF likes this.
  7. Anniesantiago

    Anniesantiago Veteran Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances 2006,9,11,12,13,14, 16, Aragones 2011,12,
    VDLP 2011, 13, Lourdes 2012, Portuguese 2008, Madrid 2014, (2016)
    Does anyone who has done the Aragones recently have prices for albergues and/or favorite sleeping places?
    My partner for the Madrid Route opted out this morning so I'm trying to decide if maybe I'll do the Aragones again instead.
    It's been years since I walked it - wondering what the prices are looking like now?
     
  8. frida1

    frida1 Active Member

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    Camino(s) past & future:
    Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
    We stayed in ma mix of B&Bs, casa rurales and albergues. The albergue cost seemed to be about 10 Euros, and as of May there was:
    Pepito Grillo in Canfranc Estacion
    Mamres in Jaca
    Albergue municipal in Santa Cecilia (this one does not offer meals, but there is a kitchen, and the only restaurant is near the camping by the river). There is no food store in town, but a bar offers sandwiches.
    Albergue municipal in Artieda. It offers an evening meal for about 10 Euros, and a breakfast for 3. Didn't seem to have a kitchen. There is no food store or restaurant in town.
    Albergue municipal in Undues de Lerda. It has a restaurant, not expensive. Didn't seem to have a kitchen, and there is no food store or restaurant in the town.
    Sanguesa: we were not able to contact any albergue in Sanguesa and stayed in a hotel. The town has shops and restaurants.
    After Sanguesa, services seem scant. The albergue at Monreal was closed. We stayed at a casa rural in Aldunate, and it was rather expensive at 60 Euro, although beautiful.
    Tiabes does have a municipal, but we chose Los Sabios albergue. It was exceptionally nice, with a kitchen available. It cost a couple euros more. There is one restaurant in the town. I don't recall a food store.

    I don't remember any albergues costing less than 10 Euro, and an additional 8-10 for a meal. Hope this helps. Our experience and what we heard from others is that Mamres, Los Sabios and the albergue in Arras (we didn't stop there) are exceptional.
     
  9. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    Eroski shows that the albergue in Sangüesa was closed and has reopened. And the two hospitaleras, Alicia and Ana, get very high reviews. It is (or at least was when I was there) municipally run and very nice. Sitting room and kitchen downstairs with bathroom. Upstairs is a big room with no bunks (or maybe one or two) but I remember we all had our own BEDS! There is a washing machine and drying place outside. It was one of the cleanest albergues I had ever stayed in. The only thing that surprised me was that the day after we slept there, they closed the albergue to get rid of beg bugs. I was kind of surprised that they would let people in even though they know they have a problem. But at least they were taking care of it! And fortunately, neither LT nor I got bitten.

    The albergue in Arres is indeed exceptional and it is a great stop. If you stop there, your next two likely stops are Ruesta and Sangüesa, but we stopped for drinks in both Artieda and Undues de Lerda and both of those places are nice little hill towns so I wouldn't have minded staying there either.

    Monreal seems to be open now (based on comments on Eroski from people who stayed there last week), it was also a great little albergue. Food options are limited, but you can find calories to sustain you in either the bar in the social club or the bar down in the "lower town." Just don't get your hopes up.

    Thanks, frida1, for the news on the other places, particularly in Tiebas.

    I know that when I walked the Aragonés a few years ago, the townspeople were sad to report that traffic on this lovely camino was way down. Does anyone know if the numbers have increased again? This is a camino with terrific infrastructure, great scenery, but for some odd reason, people aren't walking it!

    And one last suggestion -- there is an alternative way to go from Sangüesa to Monreal, much longer but goes through the Foz de Lumbier (a river gorge that looks pretty nice). Info here: http://www.mundicamino.com/los-caminos/20/camino-aragones/etapa/5/sanguesa/monreal/tipo/tramos/ I did not take that alternative but would certainly try to do it next time. When I walked on the Castellano-Aragonés, I took a similar detour to walk through the Cañon de Rio Lobos and it was spectacular, so I have learned my lesson -- no more avoiding scenic canyon detours for me.
     
    crackmrmac, sharon w and Nezabudka like this.

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