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LIVE from the Camino Live from Camino Aragones

Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Hi everyone,

I'm attempting a brave leap into the unknown on Tuesday 15th when I attempt to do the Camino Aragones! I'm expecting it to be fairly quiet, but I would love some company at the end of each walking day, so if anyone else is on the Aragones at that time, please do message me and maybe we can meet up. I'll be walking alone, as I've always done, and following the Gronze stages.

If no one writes, I'm certain to meet people again from Day 7 when we join Puente La Reina! :)
 
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NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
I hope you have a wonderful time! I walked in June 2019 and absolutely loved it. Somewhere recently on the forum I saw that the albergue in Arres is open... probably good to confirm that, but hopefully you'll be able to stay. It's a "can't miss"! Enjoy every moment!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Ungawawa.
What a pleasure it is to share your excitement!
Please let us know how your trip progresses.

Wherever/whenever you go
Buen camino.
 
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Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Day One, quick report:
Had a lovely day one, starting from Villanúa by train from Zaragoza. perfect hiking weather and lovely scenery made a very gentle start to my camino. Plenty of bars open on the way for snacks and drinks if you need them. I saw only one other peregrino en route plus a few friendly dogs.

Arrived in Jaca around 6pm, caught the cathedral for a sello and arrived at the municpal albergue. It was already full because their limited four places were taken, but fortunately no one had an objection to fitting in a fifth. They’re doing at least a six to one ratio here, so in normal times there would be no trouble. The hospitalero assured me that tomorrow in Arres there would be no problem with spaces. My guess is that coming out of lockdown only two weeks ago they’re keeping the ratio here very high for the moment. I doubt anyone would go homeless here though. There are many other options if the albergue was completely full, but I was grateful they stretched the room for me.

The albergue was modern, spacious and very well kitted out. No bunk beds. Kitchen was available for one group at a time.

Had an excellent menu in the evening at Meson Serrablo!

Pics follow but order is backwards!
 

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Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016; Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre/Muxia 2017; Aragones 2018; Suso/Yuso, Meseta 2019
Ungawawa, Your photos are gorgeous! A question or two: Since you took the train from Zaragoza, why start at Villanua instead of Canfranc Estacion? Where are the"plenty of bars" between Villanua and Jaca? I admit that I walked the alternate route, not the main Camino route.
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Ungawawa, Your photos are gorgeous! A question or two: Since you took the train from Zaragoza, why start at Villanua instead of Canfranc Estacion? Where are the"plenty of bars" between Villanua and Jaca? I admit that I walked the alternate route, not the main Camino route.
I started in villanua just for time reasons, the train got me in around 1pm and I wanted to not arrive too late. There were bars in villanua and the village after i thought.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
The new albergue in Canfranc (4km south of Confranc Estacion) should be opening in August, so hopefully the lack of facilities along this route will be changing in the coming years. My wife and I will be hospitaleros there in November, so stop in and say hello!
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016; Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre/Muxia 2017; Aragones 2018; Suso/Yuso, Meseta 2019
Ungawawa, I know that we all can understand time issues! A bit of advice for anyone who has not yet walked the Aragones. Do allow your self plenty of time for this route. I took 11 days to walk the paths that a majority of people take only 6 days for. There was so much to see and do! Besides the magnificent train station at Canfranc, going toward Villanua there are bunkers from three different eras of Spain's past. Approaching Villanua there are the Witches Caves and nearby is one of the numerous dolmen that dot the mountainside. Oh, and do not forget the required "Pilgrim at the Pass" photo!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
The new albergue in Canfranc (4km south of Confranc Estacion) should be opening in August, so hopefully the lack of facilities along this route will be changing in the coming years. My wife and I will be hospitaleros there in November, so stop in and say hello!
Vacajoe,
How exciting it will be for you and your wife to be at the new albergue.
In November snow might also be there.
Good luck to you both.
Carpe diem and Buen camino.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Sparrow is spot on in regards to taking it slowly and seeing the unique sites of the Aragon Valley!

Besides the aforementioned monasteries, villages, and churches, there are a few abandoned towns you can wander around north of the Yesa Reservoir and even an old hot mud springs if the water level is low enough. Saint Frances Xavier’s family castle is beautifully restored and can be accessed via a detour that rejoins the “main” route - it can even be argued that this detour is the more authentic route! In Sangüesa itself, there is an old-fashioned tinker who has garage of museum-quality metalwork sculptures depicting various Spanish churches and buildings of the town - probably the most amazing thing I have seen in all of my travels. And don’t miss the vertigo-inducing “devil’s bridge” just before the Lumbier gorge tunnels!

You’ll miss it all, though, if you do it in a rush. 1B520EC7-9EA7-4E9B-846C-620CD9FE3975.jpeg 5C676B63-125A-4EF0-92B3-A97CEBAC6B3F.jpeg 9077E41E-9FE5-4710-B1C1-AC3D9CD17A21.jpeg 91CF2FBE-3D42-46B2-A4FC-4C4C446114B9.jpeg 861815F0-3FAA-491E-8F31-B20393DE6392.jpeg
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Day Two report:

Till mid afternoon it was constant drizzle. The walking was fairly flat. Pleasant but not as beautiful as yesterday. Only one bar on the whole way, where I was able to get a quick caña mid afternoon. The last hour a massive thunderstorm happened and in the space of ten minutes my shoes were waterlogged. Fortunately I was very close to Arres. Arrived there and was given a warm welcome by the hospitaleros Pedro and Carmen and met many pilgrims again from the previous day - again a mix of French and Spanish.

The hospitaleros looked after us really well, including drying our shoes out, taking us for a tour of the village church, ordering us food for the following days hike, and cooking a great meal for everyone.The evening meal, notably for a donativo albergue, had meat, red wine and a shot of liqueur after!

The albergue had places for about 16 and appeared to be running at around half capacity. Once checked in everyone relaxed enough to not wear their masks indoors, which trust was extremely welcome to me. We were five pilgrims in total tonight, and there was good cameraderie and lots of photo taking!

The albergue was a charming old stone building at the top of a hill with an incredible view out for miles. Definitely one to recommend. It reminded me a lot of the albergue at Pasajes on the Norte but with the added benefit of having a communal meal.

Pics to follow
 
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Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Pics day two
 

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Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
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Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
more day two
 

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Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
day 3

For the first time ever in my camino experiences the hospitaleros walked with us this morning. It was a sunny day and they joined us for the first 7-8 km out of Arres before turning around. We all left together and did the steep climb down to ground level. From there the path wound through pretty hills and farmland.

About half way along the route is the town of Artiedes, which you have to climb up steeply again to reach. It was the only bar stop for the day though, so worth doing.

The second half of the day was a much less enjoyable walk over tarmac through gravel quarries, ending in a prickly and overgrown old forest. Much of the last few kilometres seemed to be designed to frustrate you, taking tricky “scenic” paths where a more direct one would have been more welcome for me!

Arrived late afternoon at the beautiful old fort which now forms the albergue in Ruesta. Run now by a communist party I’m told, it seemed an unlikely place to base a political party, but the albergue was lovely, with a delightful terrace and garden to sit out in. The hosts were warm and helpful and the food of a high quality, and we were lucky enough to have the weather for eating outside together. The pilgrims there the same ones as before. Bed, dinner menu, wine and a couple of small beers came to around 30 euros.

A storm with dramatic lightning took hold after dark and we watched dramatic flashes over the hills and reservoir below from a safe distance.

Tomorrow is the one day with no albergue, so the organised one of our pilgrim family has booked us all into shared rooms in a pension in Sanguesa instead, cost 18,-. So long as you fall in with a group of nice other pilgrims, I can imagine you can always share accommodation for this stage until the albergue is back up and running, hopefully in July.

Got a bit of knee pain for the first time ever on a camino. Hoping it will heal quickly.

Pics to follow..
 
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Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Pics from day three in muddled order!
 

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Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
couple more
 

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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
day 3

For the first time ever in my camino experiences the hospitaleros walked with us this morning. It was a sunny day and they joined us for the first 7-8 km out of Arres before turning around. We all left together and did the steep climb down to ground level. From there the path wound through pretty hills and farmland.

About half way along the route is the town of Artiedes, which you have to climb up steeply again to reach. It was the only bar stop for the day though, so worth doing.

The second half of the day was a much less enjoyable walk over tarmac through gravel quarries, ending in a prickly and overgrown old forest. Much of the last few kilometres seemed to be designed to frustrate you, taking tricky “scenic” paths where a more direct one would have been more welcome for me!

Arrived late afternoon at the beautiful old fort which now forms the albergue in Ruesta. Run now by a communist party I’m told, it seemed an unlikely place to base a political party, but the albergue was lovely, with a delightful terrace and garden to sit out in. The hosts were warm and helpful and the food of a high quality, and we were lucky enough to have the weather for eating outside together. The pilgrims there the same ones as before. Bed, dinner menu, wine and a couple of small beers came to around 30 euros.

A storm with dramatic lightning took hold after dark and we watched dramatic flashes over the hills and reservoir below from a safe distance.

Tomorrow is the one day with no albergue, so the organised one of our pilgrim family has booked us all into shared rooms in a pension in Sanguesa instead, cost 18,-. So long as you fall in with a group of nice other pilgrims, I can imagine you can always share accommodation for this stage until the albergue is back up and running, hopefully in July.

Got a bit of knee pain for the first time ever on a camino. Hoping it will heal quickly.

Pics to follow..
Thanks for your updates and pics. Take it easy tomorrow to protect your knee.
Carpe diem.
 
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Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
@Ungawawa , I am wondering if what you are referring to as gravel quarries is actually fringes of the Bardenas Reales or badlands which dominate landscape further to the south?
Hmm i’m not sure, they might not have actually been quarries but they reminded me of it, grey dusty rock and tarmac roads. But today we saw real quarries on the way to Eunate :)
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016; Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre/Muxia 2017; Aragones 2018; Suso/Yuso, Meseta 2019
@Ungawawa ,After I wrote the message to you I had to do a little research to refresh my memory. Yes, those "gray dusty rocks" are badlands! They are too far north to be included in the Bardenas Reales. And the quarries are near Tiebas. You have seen and experienced much of what makes the Aragones so fascinating! Safe and happy travels to you! !Buen Camino! Thank you for your posts!
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Those Badlands make great “walking on the moon” pictures! Hot, dusty, and a bizarre addition to the “usual” Pilgrim pictures others share. Thanks for sharing your Aragon Camino!
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
I’m getting a bit behind on posting these, but here is day four:

A seriously muddy and awkward stage today. Yesterday’s storm had turned the narrow dirt tracks into bogs, depositing clods of boot-hugging clay continually, which you had to scrape off on grass the best you could. Many of the paths today were overgrown also and it slowed my pace down to almost half my top speed. The stage was quite short at least. lots of quite picturesque trails winding up and down through gated and cattle-gridded sections of hills. Only one town on the way, which was very quiet but had an open bar and terrace next to a historic church, where I was able to have a shandy and tortilla francesca lunch.

Arrived mid afternoon in Sanguesa, where i met up with our pilgrim family in town having a full lunch menu. Food was great and the town was lively, being a sunny saturday. Saw inside an interesting church on the way back to our pension. All of us were quite tired by today and spent most of the spare time from our short stage resting.

Our rooms at the Pension del Peregrino were pleasant and clean, so no complaints there. We were grateful to have somewhere easy to stay on a busy weekend.

Pics to follow
 
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Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Day four pics
 

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Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
day five. monreal .

We phoned ahead and supposedly had reservations for Monrea municipal. It was quite a tough 27km day, with the option to do an extra 5km to pass through a beautiful canyon. Unfortunately I didn’t feel up to doing that longer route. A fellow pilgrim did though and I saw his pictures, and rather regretted not trying.
I didn’t see any bars to stop at on my route, but I was loaded up with snacks in advance. A very rural route today, but one I didn’t find especially enjoyable or picturesque. Knee problems persisted and the lack of any good break made the day a bit tedious for me.
Arrived in Monreal late afternoon to find the albergue deserted. A phone call to the number on the door revealed that the hospitalera was unable to attend for a while and would show up some time later. I went in, picked a bed and had my shower anyway, before trying to locate in town the other pilgrims I expected to be here. Not much to see in town but it was a quiet Sunday. It seemed a picturesque and sleepy place, apart from the one main bar next to the albergue, where everyone was gathered.
The hospitalera showed up later and seemed to be in a rush and a bad mood. She dashed through our registrations, accused the other pilgrims of moving the beds about - something they quite denied - and then disappeared again, leaving us alone. The albergue itself seemed a nice place with oak beams and a nice modern washing machine, but perhaps a little limited with only one shower for everyone. There were still plenty of spaces left over after our five were taken. Again half the beds were roped off.
Had a surprisingly good hamburger and chips for dinner at the bar next to us, and then headed back early for a quiet night, ready for our longest stage tomorrow, when we will reach the Francés.

pics to follow
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Day five
 

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Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Wonderful photos! In May 2019 we had mostly warm and dry weather but it rained cats and dogs all night in Monreal, my last night on the Aragones, and all next day too so I chose to take the asphalt road for most of the last day, I think it was a good decision. I remember too, Monreal was a pleasant enough place and a great menu del dia in the cafe next to the muni..
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Sanguesa to Monreal is definitely the hardest stretch of the Aragon route. You will
Pass through Tiebas tomorrow which has a nice municipal if you can’t reach Puente la Reina.

That cafe was spectacular when we were there in 2018! The municipal was closed due to the hospitalero never showing up, so a kind Casa Rural owner put us up in a beautiful large room (with a bathtub!!!!) for the same rate. 🥰.
 

pinkwadingbird

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Ungawawa, thank you for sharing your journey. For the albergues in Arres and Ruesta, did you need to reserve ahead or just show up?
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
I just showed up. The places before assured me there would be enough spaces, but that might change as the summer progresses. It wouldn’t hurt to call ahead, but I think Arres might not have a phone connection anyway.
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
Very late day six

An 11km start to the day made sure we were ready for our first coffee and snack at the main social club in the first village. It was a good atmosphere there and we all enjoyed local sausage bocadillos with all the pilgrim congregation here.

Today we actually saw real quarries away in the hills and soon after was treated to what I thought was the best panorama of the first week, an amazing view from Ucar across patchwork fields, which took my breath away.

Arriving later at the church of Eunate we saw a wedding had just taken place there. The church was shut but pilgrims could walk around the grounds too, mingling with well dressed guests. I wondered if both parties were thinking they had the better claim to access the church!

We rejoined the Frances at Obanos and stopped for a refreshing beer at the nice bar which you only reach coming in from this direction. Other new pilgrims were here too, so we got the first taste of how much busier Puente would be than all the places so far. We had our beds pre reserved by phone, but in the end there were still spaces left. Many new pilgrims here, mostly French and american. Evening meal and a look round the older church rounded the day and my Camino Aragones off. From now on I will repeat stages from the Frances and will play by ear how much longer I walk.
 

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LesBrass

Likes Walking
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yes...
A quick question... have you had many problems with dogs? A lady walking a few days behind was almost bitten today... and she says there are a lot of dogs on the trail (she's on the French side still)?

(ps wonderful photos!)
 

Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
more day six
 

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Ungawawa

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2017-20: Francés, Norte, Francés, Portuguese Lisbon Coastal, Portuguese central
All
A quick question... have you had many problems with dogs? A lady walking a few days behind was almost bitten today... and she says there are a lot of dogs on the trail (she's on the French side still)?

(ps wonderful photos!)
all the dogs i’ve encountered have been sweet and friendly!
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
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Past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
Ungawawa, I know that we all can understand time issues! A bit of advice for anyone who has not yet walked the Aragones. Do allow your self plenty of time for this route. I took 11 days to walk the paths that a majority of people take only 6 days for. There was so much to see and do! ... Approaching Villanua there are the Witches Caves ...
Hope that you're well, Sparrow in Texas! Fond memories of our too-brief tea together on the promenade in 'Chicken Town', long ago.

Did you actually tour the Witches Caves? ... I'm toying with the idea of walking the CA again (God willing!) in 2022 or 2023, and I remember thinking -- as I virtuously strode right on past the entrance back in 2018 -- that the caves might be worth a hour's time, before hitting the fleshpots of Villanua....
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016; Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre/Muxia 2017; Aragones 2018; Suso/Yuso, Meseta 2019
Hello Friend @rappahannock_rev ! I agree that we had a most pleasant meeting over tea in Santo Domingo! I have not yet visited the Witches Caves nor the dolmen but they are on the must see list, perhaps as early as this fall! I will keep you posted!
 

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