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LIVE from the Camino Live from the Camino Catalan

Past OR future Camino
2021
Hello - my father and I started in Barcelona on September 10 - wd are now in Monzon heading towards the Aragonese and ultimately to Muxia!

We have met another Canadian in Montserrat - a lovely lady named Heather also walking to Muxia!

Other than that no one - empty - so far no problem finding accommodation - albergues are often closed but many hostels and other accommodations are available. The locals have been amazing so friendly and helpful and the scenery and weather have been excellent!

In a few days closer to the Aragones we might have to camp a night or 2 but so far so good!

Thank you to everyone who gave me advice before our journey especially for the route out of Barcelona to Montserrat! Montserrat was spectacular and we received the pilgrims blessing in front of the black Madonna and heard the famous boys choir - truly a special place indeed!

That’s it for now - will post more in a bit - Buen Camino!
 

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Cayou

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015 Villafranca to SdC 2016 St Jean to LosArcos 2018 Leon to SdC 2019 Le Puy to Conques
Brent: Sounds like a great journey so far. Oh Montserrat! What a stunning monestary and inspiring location. Fitting you would meet a Camino friend there as well. Happy Trails. Cayou 38B9C433-98BC-4358-8EB1-1F7A964214C6.jpeg
 

lindam

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Nice to hear that you have been enjoying this wonderful route. I have walked it twice and have many fond memories of the lovely people and splendid scenery along the way. Wishing you all the best and we will look forward to updates along the way.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Thanks Brent for sharing your journey and your photos. Wishing you well and I'm delighted you met up with our good friend Heather. No better hiking companion!
 

Tony Bobcat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2017
Hello - my father and I started in Barcelona on September 10 - wd are now in Monzon heading towards the Aragonese and ultimately to Muxia!

We have met another Canadian in Montserrat - a lovely lady named Heather also walking to Muxia!

Other than that no one - empty - so far no problem finding accommodation - albergues are often closed but many hostels and other accommodations are available. The locals have been amazing so friendly and helpful and the scenery and weather have been excellent!

In a few days closer to the Aragones we might have to camp a night or 2 but so far so good!

Thank you to everyone who gave me advice before our journey especially for the route out of Barcelona to Montserrat! Montserrat was spectacular and we received the pilgrims blessing in front of the black Madonna and heard the famous boys choir - truly a special place indeed!

That’s it for now - will post more in a bit - Buen Camino!
Hi Brent
Great photos, how many days do you plan till you reach Muxia. Thanks for your update.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Beautiful photos, thank you!
Looking forward to more updates, when you have time and energy to spare. Any specific and current information about accommodation would be really valuable for those following behind.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks Brent for sharing your journey and your photos. Wishing you well and I'm delighted you met up with our good friend Heather. No better hiking companion!
She is amazing :) so good natured and easy going - we have teased her constantly and she never gets mad 😂 An amazing lady 💪🏆
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks Brent for sharing your journey and your photos. Wishing you well and I'm delighted you met up with our good friend Heather. No better hiking companion!
She is amazing - so good natured and easy going - we have teased her constantly and she never gets mad 😂 an amazing lady 💪🏆
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Beautiful photos, thank you!
Looking forward to more updates, when you have time and energy to spare. Any specific and current information about accommodation would be really valuable for those following behind.
Hello - I will for sure post a more detailed update soon with accommodations etc… looks like we are camping the next 1-2 nights due to no accommodations but I will keep you posted - we are in Bolea right now!
 
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Past OR future Camino
2021
@JabbaPapa’s recent post on the waymarking of the route from Barcelona to Montserrat, triggered my memory and I wondered — how is @Brent Macdonald doing?

Have I missed updates?

My rough calculations suggest you are no longer walking, and I hope all went well!
Wow - thank you for remembering :) I finished on Nov 1 - 53 days

We walked from Barcelona to Montserrat - then the Catalan through Huesca to the Aragones - I then walked the Francis to Ponferrada and took the Inveirno to Santiago - then finally Finistere and the Atlantic!

My father left in Logrono as planned and was a rockstar - so proud of him - the Catalan is not an easy walk and harder now with little accommodations, stores and cafes - we walked 20-30+ km many times before finding anything to eat or drink besides water from the town fountains! I am humbled and very lucky to have gotten the chance to do this with him!!!

I didn’t really post along the way as I’m just not that kind of guy But I am more than happy to give any information I can to anyone wishing to walk that route - it’s not for everyone and the average pilgrim would find it a struggle I think!

I enjoyed every minute of it and getting the pilgrims benediction in front of La Moreneta in Montserrat with my father was a highlight of my life!

Thanks for the message and I hope you are well.

Reach out anytime if I can help and best wishes!
 

lindam

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Congratulations to you from a fellow Canuck! I have vivid memories of walking this splendid route (I have walked it a couple of times and once in reverse following the Loyola route). It sounds like it was a memorable experience for you and your father.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Congratulations to you from a fellow Canuck! I have vivid memories of walking this splendid route (I have walked it a couple of times and once in reverse following the Loyola route). It sounds like it was a memorable experience for you and your father.
Thank you so much - it was a fantastic journey - I swam in the Mediterranean and finished swimming in the Atlantic - carried my pack every day and never took any form of modern conveyance - no vehicles, no trains, not even an elevator - climbed every set of stairs :) I was very happy at the end and had an epic walk with incredible people!
 
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Past OR future Camino
2021
Wow. What a journey.
Congratulations!
Just curious - what were your stages on the Catalan

Day 1 - Barceloneta to the outskirts of the city near the velodrome
Day 2 - Terrassa
Day 3 - Montserrat
Day 4 - Castelloli
Day 5 - La Panadella
Day 6 - Tarrega
Day 7 - Linyola
Day 8 - Algerri
Day 9 - Tamarite de Litter
Day 10 - Monzon
Day 11 - Berbegal
Day 12 - Pueyo de Fananas
Day 13 - Huesca
Day 14 - Annes
Day 15 - La Pena Station
Day 16 - Santa Cruz de la Seros
Day 17 - Arres - on the Aragones

The only night we had to sleep outside was day 15 in La Pena Station and after Huesca all the way to the Aragones there are very few options!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
We walked some of those same stages back in 2015!

Day 7 - Linyola
Did you sleep in Sr. Josep’s acogida in his farm equipment complex? (not sure really how to describe this place). One of my favorite Camino quips of all time — I asked @LTfit if she was going to wash her clothes, and she replied — “No way, the sink is dirtier than my clothes.” That makes me sound ungrateful, which I am not, because it is very generous of him to open this place up to peregrinos.

Were the albergue open in Algerri, Tamarite, Berbegal, Pueyo and Huesca? We had pretty carefully planned out our stages to stay in albergues, most of which were really quite nice.

I remember the descent from San Juan de la Peña to Santa Cruz de la Serós as one of the worst of all my caminos — my knees did not really recover all the way into Santiago. I can’t imagine doing it without sticks — how did you find it?
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
We walked some of those same stages back in 2015!


Did you sleep in Sr. Josep’s acogida in his farm equipment complex? (not sure really how to describe this place). One of my favorite Camino quips of all time — I asked @LTfit if she was going to wash her clothes, and she replied — “No way, the sink is dirtier than my clothes.” That makes me sound ungrateful, which I am not, because it is very generous of him to open this place up to peregrinos.

Were the albergue open in Algerri, Tamarite, Berbegal, Pueyo and Huesca? We had pretty carefully planned out our stages to stay in albergues, most of which were really quite nice.

I remember the descent from San Juan de la Peña to Santa Cruz de la Serós as one of the worst of all my caminos — my knees did not really recover all the way into Santiago. I can’t imagine doing it without sticks — how did you find it?
Hello - it’s raining hard here on the west coast of BC and it’s great to go back through the pictures to answer your questions :)

That’s a very funny quote and could apply to a few spots 😂 I think it was closed and we stayed in the tourist apartment in Linyola - they were very nice! No Albergues open until the Aragones unfortunately - real mix of hostels, Airb&b, casa rurals and hotels - anywhere really and was challenging at times to find any place to sleep! In Anne’s we had accommodations but no food, no stores and no restaurants. Pueyo had just opened the hostel run by the town and the lady who met us also made us dinner and brought it over or we would have had no food there as well - she was amazing and truly a great Camino moment!

The walk down from San Juan de la Pena is very challenging for sure and if it was wet it would be almost impossible! That day was my dads birthday and he turned 75 - he slept outside the night before then walked 30+km up the climb to San Juan de la pena and then down - so proud of the tough old bastard - I got him a room with a pool in Santa Cruz 💪❤️🏆🍻
 

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Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Brent, I believe I recognize your night's stay in La Estación de la Peña. It looks like the waiting area besides the tracks. I had lunch there.

It looks like covid made things difficult for you. For me all four places in Santa Cilia were closed, even the place going for €950 a night. I had to move on to a hotel in Puente la Reina de Jaca in the rain and dark (it was November). I figured I would get lost trying to make it to Arres. The CF for me was one day, to Pamplona.

Sounds like you and your father had a tough but wonderful trip.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Brent, I believe I recognize your night's stay in La Estación de la Peña. It looks like the waiting area besides the tracks. I had lunch there.

It looks like covid made things difficult for you. For me all four places in Santa Cilia were closed, even the place going for €950 a night. I had to move on to a hotel in Puente la Reina de Jaca in the rain and dark (it was November). I figured I would get lost trying to make it to Arres. The CF for me was one day, to Pamplona.

Sounds like you and your father had a tough but wonderful trip.
Haha - that’s exactly the spot and so lucky we had a roof at least as there was an epic thunderstorm that night!

You know the fact that it was challenging also made it very special, interesting and engaging - I enjoyed the logistical puzzle just not the no coffee or food part 😂 But then to also share it with my father and the Canadian super pilgrim Heather Collins who we met in Montserrat made it a tremendously enjoyable experience!
 
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Past OR future Camino
Next up 2022?
Thanks, Brett!
after Huesca all the way to the Aragones there are very few options!
That's why I asked, because on paper options look thin on the ground - and that's clearly an accurate impression. Covid on top of the fact that it was already a challenge make it a real stretch.

that’s exactly the spot and so lucky we had a roof at least as there was an epic thunderstorm that night!
😮
Nature wishing your Dad a happy birthday?...but geeze! It's good to know there is that option in a pinch, though. Were any other services open in La Peña? My maps show a panaderia and restaurant.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thanks, Brett!

That's why I asked, because on paper options look thin on the ground - and that's clearly an accurate impression. Covid on top of the fact that it was already a challenge make it a real stretch.


😮
Nature wishing your Dad a happy birthday?...but geeze! It's good to know there is that option in a pinch, though. Were any other services open in La Peña? My maps show a panaderia and restaurant.
I didn’t see the panaderia but there’s a restaurant called Carmen’s I think - she was very friendly and we had a great meal and many drinks - she let us hang out for quite awhile - they have paper table cloths and we filled ours playing hangman and drinking wine 🍷
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@Brent Macdonald — You and your dad are much more _______ (fill in your favorite positive adjective here) than I am, because I can’t imagine sleeping outside at that train station. Kudos to you two.

That's why I asked, because on paper options look thin on the ground - and that's clearly an accurate impression. Covid on top of the fact that it was already a challenge make it a real stretch.

Out of covid times, the lodgings may be thin but they are there and they are well situated (see @Lindam’s thread).

From Huesca, you can walk either to Bolea (23) or on to Sarsamacuello (another 16).

From there to Ena (25 and it is a beautiful albergue — it’s 25 from Bolea) or Botaya (another 8 km from Ena)

From there up to San Juan de la Peña and then you have many choices — a real hotel in Santa Cruz like @Brent Macdonald did, continue on to the Aragonés, or hitchhike like Lt and I did back up to the Somport pass to start the Aragonés from the border.

This amics services list has a Nov. 2021 date, but it doesn’t show any closures, so I am wondering how current it is. The association noted on their web page that they just reopened in Nov. after being closed since March, so anyone who is planning to walk this route next spring should definitely get in touch with them.

http://amicsdelspelegrins.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/servicios-cami-SJDLP.pdf
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
@Brent Macdonald — You and your dad are much more _______ (fill in your favorite positive adjective here) than I am, because I can’t imagine sleeping outside at that train station. Kudos to you two.



Out of covid times, the lodgings may be thin but they are there and they are well situated (see @Lindam’s thread).

From Huesca, you can walk either to Bolea (23) or on to Sarsamacuello (another 16).

From there to Ena (25 and it is a beautiful albergue — it’s 25 from Bolea) or Botaya (another 8 km from Ena)

From there up to San Juan de la Peña and then you have many choices — a real hotel in Santa Cruz like @Brent Macdonald did, continue on to the Aragonés, or hitchhike like Lt and I did back up to the Somport pass to start the Aragonés from the border.

This amics services list has a Nov. 2021 date, but it doesn’t show any closures, so I am wondering how current it is. The association noted on their web page that they just reopened in Nov. after being closed since March, so anyone who is planning to walk this route next spring should definitely get in touch with them.

http://amicsdelspelegrins.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/servicios-cami-SJDLP.pdf
Unfortunately since Covid there’s no places open in Ena, Sarsamacuella, or bolea - from Huesca all the way to the Aragones there are very few options now and you will need to sleep out at least 1 night maybe 2 depending on far you can walk

I emailed and called every association and town multiple times. It’s definitely harder now with Di many places closed I think 🤔
 
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Past OR future Camino
2021
Sorry for all the typos on the last reply - if anyone is thinking big walking the Catalan soon please message me and I can give you all the research I did and info from the different associations as Peregrina2000 added the Amics have a great list of resources for that section but it is definitely not current! They were very helpful though and made a lot of ph calls for me - definitely worth contacting them!

Don’t plan on any Albergues or on having a budget - stay where you can and bring a sleeping pad!

Still a great walk and worth doing!!!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
They were very helpful though and made a lot of ph calls for me - definitely worth contacting them!
Covid or no covid, when I walk an out of the way camino, I always contact the associations. Levante, Mozárabe, Catalán, Salvador, Invierno (well, it was out of the way in 2011), etc. I am almost always bowled over by their helpfulness and friendliness. I have so often been happy to meet people — Girona, Cervera, Almería, Rua de Valdeorras, Nava de Ordunte, and La Robla are a few that come to mind. And on more than a few occasions, a call to one of these camino angels helped me out of what could have been anything from an inconvenience to a real problem.

When you are looking for associations to contact, be creative and pick some of the towns along the way — that’s how I found the associations in Cervera and Girona. They’re not the “big cheese associations” like the ones in Valencia or Almería, but they are also filled with people devoted to the camino. You’ll have just as instantaneous a bond with them as you will with the bigger groups. Just a little googling with “camino santiago asociación amigos” and the town name is likely to yield results.
 

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