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LIVE from the Camino Levante stages after Ávila

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Note from the mods: To see Annie’s earlier posts about her 2020 walk from Toledo to Tiñosillas, go to this thread.

I returned to pick up from where I stopped March 13,2020 - that was at Tiñosillas .
After a long haul from Oz and bus to Ávila.. I arrived at reserved hotel ‘Palacio de Manjaraz . Covid seems to have required many changes (in my opinion - not for the better).. I was feeling ‘where is the Spain I knew ., the easiness etc
‘ / of the two hotels I have booked so far have found the contactless ‘codes’ and lack of people to assist has had me thinking that the Albergue system is superior !
I had originally thought that the hotel in Ávila had been a one off case in its lack of staff but today trying to access the interior of The Hotel La Mota in Medina Del Campo had me wanting to ‘get off this circus ‘. I couldn’t get inside to ditch my backpack. Problems I believe with the machine they have in a small area to check-in; to even gain access to the foyer/reception where there were no persons/staff to attract attention.
Eventually a worker trying to help me had to bi- pass the question about my passport ID and (it just didn’t work) & use his own ID ‘card’ to trick the machine to finish procedure and issue a card for hotel and room access. Phew. That left me with 20 to skoot up to check out the Castillo da Mota. It closes at 2pm.

Now- to backtrack and summarise the order so far.

-from Madrid Airport To Estación Sur - bus to Ávila 27/4/22. Hotel Palacio de Manharaz. I can’t say I’d recommend this hotel again / previous stay there was fabulous. Room allocation was all the difference., this time 1/4 the size and almost 60% more expensive. Enjoyed being back in Ávila - everyone/ well most are still very good with masks and distancing. Breakfast there was as good as last time.
29/4/22 1pm Bus to Gotarrendura (Friday s) arrived to the bar to be given key to albergue. Changes there. No kitchen facility at all since Covid. Not even in private section. No microwave , kettle nil. Laurie’s gadget to make tea would be handy !!! Cost for private section is 15euro per bunk. (One room fits 4 / 2 bunks) the other room fits 6 persons ). Both private rooms have own bathroom within.
The donativo section has one room and takes 4 people. Separate shower toilet.
No complaints here- it is a good albergue and great hot water.
- I returned to bar to eat. Andreea who runs the bar (and looks after albergue etc) has family and 2 very young children so it is very ‘family ‘ place . The town is all like family there and as it’s the only bar about it’s the place ! Very comfortable.
Costa a lady who lives opposite the bar .. took me for a guided tour of the St Teresa’s family buildings and garden and monument and the now unused dovecote. So natural and payment is by a donation in the box for upkeep.
I like Gotarrendura.. I’m glad I went back there.
30/4/22. After breakfast at bar Andreea’taxiid’ me to Tiñosillas for 15euros so that I could start walking from where I stopped in 2020.
Laurie & others have described before this walk mostly through pine forests with sandy soil … I couldn’t have asked for a better day 1 in terms of easy walking and shade etc. But a negative (only to me) was having got that much older and found the long haul was having an effect as well… I was completely ‘all-in’ when I arrived at oficina de turismo in Arévalo to get the key to municipal albergue .. which btw is donativo. 2 rooms each with bunks to fit 4. So 8 camas. Bathroom has shower and water very hot. Lovely. Reception/kitchen area has a couple of tables and enough chairs. Kitchen area has stove, microwave, fridge , cooking pots/pans etc !!! Cupboards have plates, cups glasses, knives !!! Yes and forks and spoons. I didn’t cook there but used the microwave to make tea.

Up early prepared to walk a relatively long day considering the night I had after day 1. I won’t go into details of pains in chest and increase in resting heart rate which frightened me during the night.
So upon hearing from the other two guys that because the Spanish pilgrim from Toledo had been hobbling.. they were going to take a train to Medina Del campo. Thinking on this ., I thought it might make sense for my day 2 to join them on train. Almost 4.5 klms walk to train station. !
So - that’s it so far. Great weather so far / I dodged all the really cold & miserable weather I’d seen people commenting about. Anticipating a bit more rain but I’m hopeful that the extreme cold has moved (from this area anyway),

The others went to the albergue but I haven’t seen them or the albergue to comment.
The lady at Medina Del campo turismo did say that she had seen a few pilgrims today from all over the world.
I didn’t mention that in Gotarrendura there were 3 pilgrims in the donativo wing ; myself in one room in private section and 2 bicigrinos in the other private room. So Andreea was busy busy busy.

That’s it for now. Very late so may try to add photos tomorrow depending on wifi.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Yay, you’re back on the Camino. Sounds like it’s bursting with peregrinos. The only two I ever saw till we hit the Sanabrés were the two French guys I connected with on day 4, and we walked together the whole way. So you have a veritable crowd to deal with. Seems like only yesterday you were trying to find a room in Cebreros!

It makes sense to take the train after the night you describe — take care of yourself, Annie, it sounds a bit worrisome. Your Levante fan club is cheering you on, hoping to hear about more great adventures.

Don’t overdo it tomorrow — there are places to stay in Nava del Rey, and it’s a cute dusty town with very nice people. End of lecture.

Buen camino, amiga!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Good to hear from you Annie! I remember the albergue in Gotarendurra well as I met two other pilgrims there (who the day after I never saw again)! I was also pleased that the bar offered to make me a café con leche after dinner which I could warm up the following morning in the microwave.

It sounds like there's a crowd walking now. From Valencia to Toledo I met only 1 pilgrim then another two till Zamora.

Take care of yourself and look forward to hearing more.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Monday May 2. I’ll wait and have desayuno (7.30). Hmm.
Thankyou Laurie, I had only planned to walk to Nava (15ks ) today as I was adjusting stages to stay at Castronuno .

Yes LT I was amazed at the pilgrims rocking up. There were none in March 2020 but perhaps we know the reason 😯

Some other stuff:
Bus from Madrid to Ávila was E8.13
There could be a train but not sure why I chose bus. To catch bus in time from estación sur in Madrid - I got a taxi e30 the fixed rate still from airport to city . Somethings haven’t increased yet ?!’
Bus to Gotarrendura is not available every day but Friday I was fine. Probably a shopping day.
Taxi to Tiñosillas E15
Train Arévalo to Medina Del campo was E5.25

I know Laurie loves Arévalo- it is very neat, clean and well laid out. Has many buildings of differing architecture. Lots of photos. Castle too. I tarried too long. It closed at 6pm but I went up and walked around etc and was happy with what I saw.

The pics below are at Gotarrendura. The square in front of the bar. The others are my little tour of St Teresa family area and monument inside and the interior of the dovecote
 

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Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Finally you're able to continue what you had to cut short so abrupty, Annie. Interesting to read about changes, subtle and not so subtle. Are you in the holiday weekend pilgrim wave, I wonder? But I think you're right. It's probably going to be a busy year on all the caminos in Spain, whatever 'busy' means for that particular route.

Buen camino peregrina!😍
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Great pictures from Gotarrendura. You were lucky to get inside the dovecote, it was locked up tight when I went through. And a local guide, no less.

I hope you can post some pictures from Arévalo. You are right, I love that place. How was the albergue? I saw some pictures when it opened and it looks very nice — in an historic building if I remember correctly.

I remember leaving Medina del Campo and walking through fields filled with wild flowers growing up to our knees. Locals tried to point us to the Sureste, but luckily we knew that the Levante splits off in Medina. Hope you had good weather for this.

Thanks for bringing us along, Annie. When I walked, the church at Nava was undergoing a lot of exterior maintenance and the interior was closed, so I have no idea what surprises await you inside! But I remember an excellent café con leche in one of two bars in the main square, which is arcaded if memory serves.

I bet you are starting to feel that camino rhythm, so good to be back. Lucky you, ENJOY!!!
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Glad to see you picking up where you left off. Look forward to reading more on your progress, but with mixed feelings. Medina dc is where our attempt to walk diagonally across Spain - starting at the Med in Cartehenga aiming for the Atlantic at Finisterre. So I will have to tag along with you to see the bit we missed. Your mention of the sandy stretch through the pine forest brought back the sent of the sap that they were collecting.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Glad to see you picking up where you left off. Look forward to reading more on your progress, but with mixed feelings. Medina dc is where our attempt to walk diagonally across Spain - starting at the Med in Cartehenga aiming for the Atlantic at Finisterre. So I will have to tag along with you to see the bit we missed. Your mention of the sandy stretch through the pine forest brought back the sent of the sap that they were collecting.
I hope I can add a little at least.
Feeling my strength returning. I am ‘getting on’ in years and tend to forget a few things. Today… just tweaking my backpack and ensuring the hip belt was just right meant my hips were taking the right proportion of my load. Such a relief. The relatively short walk of (my) day 1., had me really feeling every step. My shoulders were carrying too much weight.
Today I feel good. I tweaked the backpack leaving Medina Del Campo.
I have a cool wonderful day to walk and planned to walk only to Nava Del Rey.
The walk is in countryside (gorgeous ) - path flanked on either side by poppies and little daisies ? Fields are green and swaying in a symphony! Lucky to be alive.
I knew I had lots of time as the stage I planned to walk was only 15klms. So after breakfast and wandering through M Del C - I exited town at 9.10am. Snacked at rest stop along the way / mainly to give my body recovery time .
Still arrived in Nava at 12.30pm so stopped at one of the bars and enjoyed a coffee. Then I asked the bar keeper about the albergue. He was most adamant that it was closed as it was fiesta. I asked if he was segura. Sí sí.
I worded it differently and he was definite. Told me I needed to walk another 10klms to Siete Iglesias. I knew how far it was and I knew it would not pose a problem … but I hadn’t wanted to stop there.
So I was about to trot off on my way and overheard some ladies in the terraza section outside mention albergue. It turns out that they weren’t talking about the municipal albergue however I decided to ask ‘them’ if they believed the albergue was closed. (Women understand women I think ). The 3 of them said it was open and asked if I’d called. I decided to ring the number in vieiragrinos app. And voila a response. I allowed the Spanish lady to take over and 10 minutes later Joachim arrived to the bar to take me to the Albergue and sign me in.
It’s in the escuela infantil. It is fantastic.
Clean. Shiny polished floors. 8 camas in one room. Separate entry ., well appointed kitchen with new fridge etc and supply of tea ., cola cao etc.
Separate servicios / male and female all in same baṉo but still separate enough. All rooms are key locked etc.
The disposable sheets and pillow cases.
Cost E5. There doesn’t appear to be a dinativo box as well. It’s worth more.
Much nicer than the municipal at Arévalo. Note; I was happy with Arévalo accomm but this at Nava del Rey is a few steps above the other. Plus none of the circus I had yesterday trying to check in to a hotel via a machine.
There is another peregrino here .. a German man who is also called Joachim.
He was at Arévalo albergue too - so I know him. We caught the train together from Arévalo to M Del c with the hobbling Spaniard. Joachim tells me that Carlos the Spaniard walked on to Siete iglesias .. he took strong painkillers .. each to his own. Joachim said there was much coughing etc all night at their albergue in m Del C so they were out very early. Carlos at 5am and Joachim at 6pm.
He seems to be taking it slowly and easily too.
So moral to the story today is: Never give up ., get a second opinion ! (About the status of the albergue 😂👏). Also should have called the number. The locals don’t always know everything camino related. I’m glad I did ask the ladies; even though I was prepared to walk the extra 10klms. Nava del rey seems the right place for tonight.
No pics of the sleeping area because the other peregrino was trying to have a sleep (afternoon siesta ). But very clean if a tiny bit musty from being closed up.
I headed out …
 

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2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Great pictures from Gotarrendura. You were lucky to get inside the dovecote, it was locked up tight when I went through. And a local guide, no less.

I hope you can post some pictures from Arévalo. You are right, I love that place. How was the albergue? I saw some pictures when it opened and it looks very nice — in an historic building if I remember correctly.

I remember leaving Medina del Campo and walking through fields filled with wild flowers growing up to our knees. Locals tried to point us to the Sureste, but luckily we knew that the Levante splits off in Medina. Hope you had good weather for this.

Thanks for bringing us along, Annie. When I walked, the church at Nava was undergoing a lot of exterior maintenance and the interior was closed, so I have no idea what surprises await you inside! But I remember an excellent café con leche in one of two bars in the main square, which is arcaded if memory serves.

I bet you are starting to feel that camino rhythm, so good to be back. Lucky you, ENJOY!!!
Hi @peregrina2000
I understand why you really like Arévalo.. it has everything…all your varied buildings /architecture & churches, but I do prefer the tiny ‘little battler’ pueblos. You can find things so much more easily.

I have heaps of pics but will add a few from Arévalo 😀. I’m sorry that I didnt take any of the Arévalo albergue to show you.
On 1st May (a holiday and a Sunday) heading to the station (‘way out’ ) of the centre / a hike in itself., there was nothing open at 9.30am -10am ish for the guys to get breakfast.
I’d eaten some provisions I had in my backpack including tea. They turned down my offer of tea !!
There was a van (see pics ) where they lined up to have Chocolate con churros. 😁. Naturally I squeezed in a 2nd breakfast.
 

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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Thank you Annie! You've begun! Happy to be an arm chair traveller following along with your words and lovely photos!
Today en route to Nava Del Rey - Some bird pics or associated ones for you. A lone bird box on pole. Another bird box in shaded trunk of the large pine tree.
This place was unusual. ‘All’ the entrances to this village., I think it was Dueñas de Medina ? (were cordoned off with red and white tape. Reminded me of a Stephen King novel where noone is allowed to leave /or in this case allowed to arrive).
The storks in the pic are fakes !! Wooden cut outs. Plus bird boxes stationed along the waterway.
 

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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Lovely, I am trotting along with my churros sucking the sugar off my fingers while I admire the wild flowers... Well no actually I am lying in bed enjoying a cup of tea before I head out to grade walnuts. But the Camino is a full sensory experience and your discription so bring it all flooding in. I am with you on the aches and pains, time also marches on and we are all not as young as we were and our bodies have a way of reminding us of that. But adjusting our pack, taking smaller days, taking time to check out the flora and fauna and not just marching on munching pain killers is definitely the way to go. Speaking of which gotta go the local pack of farm dogs have come in to remind me it is time to get moving.
 
Past OR future Camino
2012 Lemovicensis + Francés;
2016 Podiensis + CdN + Fisterra;
2018 VdlP + Sanabrés + Muxia/Fisterra
I returned to pick up from where I stopped March 13,2020 - that was at Tiñosillas .
After a long haul from Oz and bus to Ávila.. I arrived at reserved hotel ‘Palacio de Manjaraz . Covid seems to have required many changes (in my opinion - not for the better).. I was feeling ‘where is the Spain I knew ., the easiness etc
‘ / of the two hotels I have booked so far have found the contactless ‘codes’ and lack of people to assist has had me thinking that the Albergue system is superior !
I had originally thought that the hotel in Ávila had been a one off case in its lack of staff but today trying to access the interior of The Hotel La Mota in Medina Del Campo had me wanting to ‘get off this circus ‘. I couldn’t get inside to ditch my backpack. Problems I believe with the machine they have in a small area to check-in; to even gain access to the foyer/reception where there were no persons/staff to attract attention.
Eventually a worker trying to help me had to bi- pass the question about my passport ID and (it just didn’t work) & use his own ID ‘card’ to trick the machine to finish procedure and issue a card for hotel and room access. Phew. That left me with 20 to skoot up to check out the Castillo da Mota. It closes at 2pm.

Now- to backtrack and summarise the order so far.

-from Madrid Airport To Estación Sur - bus to Ávila 27/4/22. Hotel Palacio de Manharaz. I can’t say I’d recommend this hotel again / previous stay there was fabulous. Room allocation was all the difference., this time 1/4 the size and almost 60% more expensive. Enjoyed being back in Ávila - everyone/ well most are still very good with masks and distancing. Breakfast there was as good as last time.
29/4/22 1pm Bus to Gotarrendura (Friday s) arrived to the bar to be given key to albergue. Changes there. No kitchen facility at all since Covid. Not even in private section. No microwave , kettle nil. Laurie’s gadget to make tea would be handy !!! Cost for private section is 15euro per bunk. (One room fits 4 / 2 bunks) the other room fits 6 persons ). Both private rooms have own bathroom within.
The donativo section has one room and takes 4 people. Separate shower toilet.
No complaints here- it is a good albergue and great hot water.
- I returned to bar to eat. Andreea who runs the bar (and looks after albergue etc) has family and 2 very young children so it is very ‘family ‘ place . The town is all like family there and as it’s the only bar about it’s the place ! Very comfortable.
Costa a lady who lives opposite the bar .. took me for a guided tour of the St Teresa’s family buildings and garden and monument and the now unused dovecote. So natural and payment is by a donation in the box for upkeep.
I like Gotarrendura.. I’m glad I went back there.
30/4/22. After breakfast at bar Andreea’taxiid’ me to Tiñosillas for 15euros so that I could start walking from where I stopped in 2020.
Laurie & others have described before this walk mostly through pine forests with sandy soil … I couldn’t have asked for a better day 1 in terms of easy walking and shade etc. But a negative (only to me) was having got that much older and found the long haul was having an effect as well… I was completely ‘all-in’ when I arrived at oficina de turismo in Arévalo to get the key to municipal albergue .. which btw is donativo. 2 rooms each with bunks to fit 4. So 8 camas. Bathroom has shower and water very hot. Lovely. Reception/kitchen area has a couple of tables and enough chairs. Kitchen area has stove, microwave, fridge , cooking pots/pans etc !!! Cupboards have plates, cups glasses, knives !!! Yes and forks and spoons. I didn’t cook there but used the microwave to make tea.

Up early prepared to walk a relatively long day considering the night I had after day 1. I won’t go into details of pains in chest and increase in resting heart rate which frightened me during the night.
So upon hearing from the other two guys that because the Spanish pilgrim from Toledo had been hobbling.. they were going to take a train to Medina Del campo. Thinking on this ., I thought it might make sense for my day 2 to join them on train. Almost 4.5 klms walk to train station. !
So - that’s it so far. Great weather so far / I dodged all the really cold & miserable weather I’d seen people commenting about. Anticipating a bit more rain but I’m hopeful that the extreme cold has moved (from this area anyway),

The others went to the albergue but I haven’t seen them or the albergue to comment.
The lady at Medina Del campo turismo did say that she had seen a few pilgrims today from all over the world.
I didn’t mention that in Gotarrendura there were 3 pilgrims in the donativo wing ; myself in one room in private section and 2 bicigrinos in the other private room. So Andreea was busy busy busy.

That’s it for now. Very late so may try to add photos tomorrow depending on wifi.
Hi Annie
happy to hear you’re back on track. Ultreia!
All the best for you.
I will have to postpone my Levante plans again because I’m lying in a hospital in Italy with an badly broken femur.
 
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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Hi Annie
happy to hear you’re back on track. Ultreia!
All the best for you.
I will have to postpone my Levante plans again because I’m lying in a hospital in Italy with an badly broken femur.
Not good news for a peregrino Josefus.
I am very thankful that I am still able to follow the tracks for Levante that you converted and sent to me in March 2020

Maybe when you are healed … things will be a bit easier with Covid more in the background and the crazy weather this year. Do you expect to walk this year ? Buen camino
Annie
 
Past OR future Camino
2012 Lemovicensis + Francés;
2016 Podiensis + CdN + Fisterra;
2018 VdlP + Sanabrés + Muxia/Fisterra
Thanks to all who gave me an optimistic outlook.
@Anni: For the moment I hope that I can be transferred home to Germany and start physiotherapy. All other I’ll see later. What makes things worse is that they tested me Covid positive. So I’ve to wait for a negative test. (BTW: I’ve absolutely no symptoms)

Regards from Cesena, Italy
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
3 May 22.
Nava del rey to Castronuno (approx 19klms)
Ist 10klms to siete iglesias went quickly.
Arriving in siete iglesias ., I was happy with decisión to stop yesterday at Nava del Rey. NdelR has more options and you can find a place to eat.
Siete iglesias is tiny and no bar available ? Or open. I believe the hotel on highway may have had coffee but didn’t want to branch off back to it.
Found the ayuntamiento and that’s where the albergue is. Upstairs. So used the conveniences. It is okay but tiny.
It was handy to find it open though.
Walked on the castronuno …. A fair bit of up and down. Made good time and reached bar Sevilla first …. Time to have a cerveza con limón…. And call the albergue. Roseanna was helpful and advised me (us) to wait at the bar.
She drive us around the village to show us where we could find a menu Del dia or other . Thence to the mirador of the river Duero. From the mirador the start of the way tomorrow goes down the steps to the rio and thence I believe finds the road again.

The albergue is clean and I believe has been recently updated. Edit : cost is euro 6 and you receive disposable sheet and pillow case. No cooking available. No microwave etc. It seems the Levante (since Covid at least) is the right place for the electric coil club 😂😂😂 ).

I must finish this now as the restaurant/bar I am in is a crazy & overly noisy place right now with little children screaming their heads off !! 😂😂😂. I’m getting too old for ear piercing screams that run on and on and on .

Some pics of today though follow.
See you on the road mañana.. to Toro.
Annie
 

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peregrina2000

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Staff member
Siete iglesias is tiny and no bar available ? Or open. I believe the hotel on highway may have had coffee but didn’t want to branch off back to it.
Yes, Sieteiglesias is very tiny. There used to be a little grocery store in someone’s house, but that may have closed. For me the incredible thing was that when you check into the albergue, which is on the top floor of the ayuntamiento, they give you the keys to the Ayuntamiento! They trust peregrinos to lock up the Ayuntamiento???!!! When I stayed there, there was no wifi, but the woman in the ayuntamiento unlocked the library for us and told us to just lock it up when we were done. Amazing. The albergue is miniscule, just enough room for two bunk beds, but it was spotless because it is cleaned daily by the ayuntamiento staff! Hotel on highway is a typical truck stop kind of place — decent food, reasonable menú del día, not sure about the rooms but they are probably fine.

I wish I had had some more time in Castronuno. The albergue is on the new side, I don’t think it was in operation when I walked. Enjoy, Annie! Love the views of the Duero.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Wed 4/5/2022
Castronuno to Toro
Starts with a descent to the rio and a climb out. Phew ! Rolling along then.
Had breakfast in Villafranco de Duero
- you can see Toro from hours out standing high !! Once you feel you’re there - you seem to walk around the world following the river until you gain access via a huge bridge over.(vieiragrino /the amigos guide quotes the bridge as being Romanesque. If there had been a taxi at the bottom of the cliff - I would have taken it. Wow/ some final climb.

Road surface was mostly gravel or sandy. Only place I got wet feet was rushing past the huge sprinklers. They completely flooded a section of road. No way out of it. Thru the puddle it had to be or wait and get a shower. !!

Toro is a really nice town. The Alcazar wasn’t open - I didn’t wander too far as my legs were feeling it. Took some pics looking back down from the top .. Plenty of eating places but I joined the German pilgrim for a yummy menu Del día at our hotel - Alda ciudad de Toro. Room is e37 & comfortable.

The German pilgrim will bus tomorrow.
I will walk to Villaralba

Pics from today include the lovely time of day with pink sky leaving Castronuno. It was a blue day and warmed up but still quite comfortable walking.
 

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peregrina2000

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Staff member
Think of all your forum friends as you navigate the cottonwood forest tomorrow. With all of the help from Kinky and Nalod, no one will have to wander aimlessly like we did. We were very lucky that a farmer on a tractor appeared out of nowhere and told us we were going totally in the wrong direction. Our idea had been that since we knew the Duero goes into Zamora, we would just stick near the river. Since the river loops like ribbon candy in that area, following the river would have been a very stupid idea!
 
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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Ha, yes Laurie there have been a few places where we stayed in the town hall, not really halls at all usually multi purpose buildings for the local community but at times they drag out the gym mats for tired pilgrams to sleep on. I thought it was interesting that these are considered community resources which they are happy to share with passing strangers. Not posh, locked up buildings to house the mayoral chains.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Annie, lovely photos and yes it reminds me that most days end with going down to cross over a river before hauling ones tired bones up the hill to the town. I assume this has much to do with historical needs for protection, interesting too that most of the farmers live In town and the pass you on their way home on their tractors or herd their sheep back to a courtyard to be locked up overnight before walking back out to graze the next day. This concentrates community hubs into a network of villages and means agricultural land is left for food production. Not like our model of land use where cities spread out plowing productive land under miles of roads, suburbs and lifestlyes subdivisions. Ok here ends the diverting rant and generalisations, on with the walk.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
This makes me feel so good, @hel&scott - that some of your memories of spain have resurfaced. Btw - the german pilgrim mentioned yesterday that coming from Valencia, he had found 8 albergues closed. He was a bit disgruntled about it too? Odd that as he has been a Hospitalero a number of times, and we usually understand we are being offered kindness regardless of the quality. His girlfriend walked with him as far as Toledo and one place didn’t even have the luxury of mats. They slept ‘on the floor’. He said ‘she wasn’t impressed ‘. Yes we have it easy nowadays. @peregrina2000 I’m really looking forward to having ‘ Cottonwood forest’ added to mine 🥰
I love seeing the farming methods ‘up close ‘ too. Ie the water making its way from the higher furrows down to the lower ends of fields.
 
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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Toro to Villaralba - guide says 28k
I survived ! My legs thought it felt more like 34 😂. My Fitbit went off the clock and over read .. the vieiragrinos ‘ tracks take you around a bit further to get you away from carretera.. (the Dutch tracks stick more to carretera). I followed the winding country route.
A bit of highway leaving Toro but not for long. Bumped into another 2 German pilgrims who stayed in Hotel Alda too. They were leaving town as I made my way out. We stopped in Villalazan to have something (small for me ) and huge for the men … they got through it.
They were heading to Zamora for 2 nights. The signs coming to Villaralbo kept saying I was close but took ages to close in 😂.
The pics leaving Toro are quite reminiscent of the invierno (cliffs and earth colour). So dramatic. The departure slope was unnoticeable!! Not like the arrival. I guess it was more gradual on the road.
Accomm tonight is comfortable… shower is hard to regulate …after stretching ; I needed a nanna nap when I arrived …
It really warmed up after midday. Not much (nil) shade to walk through today. I saw remnants of cottonwood ‘fluff’ on side of road … but didn’t walk through any forest ?
River is a beauty / very wide .. view is obscured most of the way as even though the path runs alongside much of the way - there are huge trees blocking the view.
Apologies if the pics are hard to open. It’s taken a while to upload with the connection here.
The ‘crab apple ‘ pictured is one of my favourite fruit blossoms.
The last pic added shows 3 elderly gents with walking canes chatting on the road as you walk into Villalazan. One of them suggested to the German pilgrims to spend some money and tips here in Villalazan. They wanted to anyway.
71EB2A45-9D08-439E-BBD4-2B5E8B4C6B3B.jpeg 9C2BB148-1C96-4E34-ADF8-8790573C0B04.jpeg
 

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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Laurie
I think at this point (as that picture was in my head ; ( aware to look for a hidden arrow ) -
Choices were / I wanted to follow straight along beside the rio but the sign indicated X
The turn left was to send you further off in kilometres but not quickest or direct way to Villalazan. (Would have ended up at village of peleagonzalo but I decided to take the middle choice 😂😇. — turned left but ignored continuing to the town the signs were taking me to., and cut through a ‘paved!!!??’ path midfields to emerge on carretera near La Mina on the map below. .. I continued on this - heading to Villalazan and then the 2 German pilgrims joined from my right. They had continued on the X direct route.. (They didn’t mention any confusion ) but possibly the whole route has changed or they chopped down your forest.
 

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hel&scott

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Never fear Annie, memories of Spain never too far away. It is Autumn here and the cotton woods down the valley are turning yellow and my crab apples are bright red against the blue sky, so home isn't too bad a place. I hope Lauries trees are still standing, sounds like the route has changed. Love the picture of red cliffs.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Did you not go off road after some factory on the outskirts of Villalazán and get to the hut Kinky photographed?
Laurie
Im looking back at photos of today. I mentioned that the vieiragrinos’ tracks appear to send you out of the way .
This is possibly why I didn’t find the forest ? I followed the Dutch tracks here (brown ones / along the carretera) whereas the vieiragrinos tracks (blue) dip down in a triangle. ? You will have to walk it yourself to settle it ! 39418916-7FF1-4E9E-A9FE-D592CB1951C9.png 39418916-7FF1-4E9E-A9FE-D592CB1951C9.png
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
It’s hard to get lost tho if you have gps.
Must say that signage (in this area over last few days) has mainly been the GR (red and white ) variety plus the red triangle 🔺 pointing in direction to walk. Plus scatterings of usual style indicators (yellow shell on blue). Not a lot of hand painted arrows and some faded.
 
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KinkyOne

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Past OR future Camino
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Oh, where is Kinky when we need him?! He could figure this out.
What, what, is there a free beer???

The Dutch (brown) tracks go along the carretera further on from the factory while Vieiragrino (blue) tracks are the route me and you took. Me exactly, you roughly ;)

Enjoying your posts Annie which I just read right now. So sorry I couldn't offer more help than info on an open bar in Gotarrendura. But if you'll stay in Zamora do go for a meal in El Horno on the main drag (sopa de mariscos is unforgettable) and say hello for me to Ruth, the manager (mention me as the guide for the Slovenian group a month ago because she surely doesn't know me under my nick name here :D ). Also try their vino de casa!

Keep on truckin', amiga :)
 
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peregrina2000

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Staff member
What, what, is there a free beer???

The Dutch (brown) tracks go along the carretera further on from the factory while Vieiragrino (blue) tracks are the route me and you took. Me exactly, you roughly ;)

Enjoying your posts Annie which I just read right now. So sorry I couldn't offer more help than info on an open bar in Gotarrendura. But if you'll stay in Zamora do go for a meal in El Horno on the main drag (sopa de mariscos is unforgettable) and say hello for me to Ruth, the manager (mention me as the guide for the Slovenian group a month ago because she surely doesn't know me under my nick name here :D ). Also try their vino de casa!

Keep on truckin', amiga :)
Thanks, K1, I guess I owe you a beer!
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
Okay - here endeth the Levante stages for me this morning.
Took my time at Villaralbo .. (breakfast included ) at Casa Aurelia.. total 35e.
You can see Zamora just ahead of you. Guide says 7klms. Signs say much less.
Walk is beside the canal (away from carretera).
I prepared a small parcel in readiness to find Correos open. Some warm gear (I still have layers if I run into cold weather before Santiago. ) I sent down puffer jacket and a few odd bits … I needed most of the stuff. I will have to carry again from 21st anyway.

I then caught 1.30pm bus from Zamora to Tábara to re-start my 2019 Vdlp/Sanabrés where I finished in May 2019. - sorry @KinkyOne … I didn’t horse around in Zamora this time - so didn’t pass on your good wishes or take up your advice. I was in Tábara when I read your post.
I’ll start a different thread for tabara onward on Sanabrés .
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I cannot imagine walking into Zamora, going to the post office, and then hopping on a bus. I would have to be bound and gagged. Just goes to show how different we are!

So ends the Levante! Enhorabuena, Annie! On to the Sanabrés. I have put a link to your live thread from your 2020 walk from Toledo in the first message in this thread. And I will put a link in this message to the continuation from Tábara once you get it up and going.

Looking forward to more great pics and adventures. Buen camino, Laurie
 
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hel&scott

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Past OR future Camino
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Many thanks Annie, we missed this short stretch when we did our crossing which endedwhen Scott cracked his ribs just outside Mdc so it was lovely to tag along with you to Zamora. We've done the Sanbres a couple of times coming up from the Vdp and it's a lovely walk. I'll forgive you, just, for flipping through Zamora but don't for get to soak in the riverside hot pools in Ourence.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2020
I cannot imagine walking into Zamora, going to the post office, and then hopping on a bus. I would have to be bound and gagged. Just goes to show how different we are!
Maybe I need to be renamed … ‘a real bad pilgrim ‘.
Seriously - Zamora is one of the truly special places as is Toledo. Not sure why I tied myself up tightly ? But I booked at Santiago for 20th and will still be looking to find an extra day with my plan. Wondering if I should cancel my night in Santiago and book elsewhere. May be more sensible.
I have stayed at Zamora twice though. It’s a real jewel. 💎 . I’m chastised!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
. I’m chastised!
Oh, no, I hope you are kidding! Though I am not a fan of the “it’s your Camino” mantra for other reasons, in this situation it seems appropriate — Annie, you go with what your gut and heart are telling you!!! And don’t get me started on the ridiculous “true pilgrim” debate!

But it is true that @Bad Pilgrim could use some competition. :p
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Yes, we love Zamora, too. So much to see in such a small area and I imagine looking out over the walls to see the Roman's camped below or the Moors, or El Cid and King Sancho during the siege.

Enjoy the continued journey!
 
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