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seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
Finished Lebaniego yesterday. Today Potes to Espinama. Nice walk up to Santo Toribo last night. Started at 8am today so walked on road to Beares then joined the Vadiniense. Breakfast in San Pelayo. Long beautiful woodland walk from Arenos to Espinama. Top up with water for this part.
 

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seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
Beautiful long peaceful walk today from Espinama to Portilla de la Reina. In the mountains all day alone with nature. Challenging but worthwhile. Highest point 1800m. Didn't go up cable car at Feunte De. Was big queue also cloudy. Last 10k down on the road beautiful. Albergue in Portilla de la Reina closed on Monday's. Other accommodation wants you to stay 2 nights. In San Glorio hotel 5k more in wrong direction but interesting road cut out of the rocks.
 

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alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Listed in my signature
I’ve made a reservation to stay at the Portillo albergue, luckily it will be a Sunday. I’m assuming you’re using Gronze as your guide? Or have you found another source of information?
 

seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
I’ve made a reservation to stay at the Portillo albergue, luckily it will be a Sunday. I’m assuming you’re using Gronze as your guide? Or have you found another source of information?
Yes I use gronze. It's very good.
 
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seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
Nice gentle walk today from Portilla de la Reina to Riano. In contrast to this last few days. Much colder 8 degrees. Lunch in Boca de Huergano.
Then partly on paths and tarmac to Riano. Always beside the river or reservoir.
 

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seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
What a beautiful day for walking. From Riano to Valdore.
Was only 8 degrees am over the 1km bridge from Riano. Just over the bridge turn sharp right and follow the path for 6.5km over the mountain to Horcades - very nice. Then on the road to the dam and tunnel. Turn sharp left at the end of the tunnel to a wonderful path with the river on one side and cliff face on the other.
No facilities open in Las Salas until 11.30 so onto Cremenes. No problems there. I continued along the river to Hostel Ventasierra. Top place.
 

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seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French

seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
Slow to upload yesterday. Good WiFi now in Cistierna.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I continued along the river to Hostel Ventasierra. Top place.
I hope you had a room with windows in the back, opening to the river. I remember lying on the bed with very painful blisters, but the sound of the rushing water was very soothing. The people here were wonderful — brought me some dinner and left out breakfast.

I’m having a hard time bringing up my memories of that stage, but I think I remember that a little elevated hut that I passed on this stage was used frequently by the Caudillo, Francisco Franco, as a fishing retreat. And isn’t there also some carved rock formation at the top of some point where some Spanish king (or was it a Roman emperor) watched construction below?

Where did you stay in Riaño, @seanmccauley? I was in the very nice Hotel La Presa because I couldn’t figure out the albergue situation — I think it was several kms out of town. Riaño is another one of those towns, like Portomarín, where they dragged up the romanesque church stone by stone before they flooded the village and then built a pretty awful bunch of cement block apartment buildings, plunked a plaza in the middle, and hoped that some real town would emerge. Maybe it has, but I found the whole place kind of depressing.

But I agree with you that the walk after the tunnel, at least the parts along the river, were very nice.

Is the stage into Cistierna the one where you meander around through an abandoned mine site?
 
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seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
I hope you had a room with windows in the back, opening to the river. I remember lying on the bed with very painful blisters, but the sound of the rushing water was very soothing. The people here were wonderful — brought me some dinner and left out breakfast.

I’m having a hard time bringing up my memories of that stage, but I think I remember that a little elevated hut that I passed on this stage was used frequently by the Caudillo, Francisco Franco, as a fishing retreat. And isn’t there also some carved rock formation at the top of some point where some Spanish king (or was it a Roman emperor) watched construction below?

Where did you stay in Riaño, @seanmccauley? I was in the very nice Hotel La Presa because I couldn’t figure out the albergue situation — I think it was several kms out of town. Riaño is another one of those towns, like Portomarín, where they dragged up the romanesque church stone by stone before they flooded the village and then built a pretty awful bunch of cement block apartment buildings, plunked a plaza in the middle, and hoped that some real town would emerge. Maybe it has, but I found the whole place kind of depressing.

But I agree with you that the walk after the tunnel, at least the parts along the river, were very nice.

Is the stage into Cistierna the one where you meander around through an abandoned mine site?
I also stayed in Presa in center of Riano. Riano is very sad. It has no heart or soul. Dead town. Big planning mistake.
Yes I passed mine today.
 

seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
Today was a very short walk to Cistierna because I stayed in ventasierra last night.
Easy walk today in contrast to the last 6 days in the mountains.
Beside the river all day with the sound of birds and crickets.
Passed the remains of the old mine. Was big business in the past. Then along the old railway line to Cistierna.
Staying in hostel moderna- excellent.
Much warmer today- 25 degrees.
Big town - get me back to the mountains!
 

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seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
You’re going to have to walk backwards now. Unless you turn northward from Cistierna and head onto the Olvidado. Might that be your plan? ;)

Did you eat in the Hotel Moderno? Great menú del día.
Yes wonderful place. No my plan now is finish tomorrow and go to leon for 1 day. Fly back to Ireland from santiago on Sunday.
 
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2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I hope you had a room with windows in the back, opening to the river. I remember lying on the bed with very painful blisters, but the sound of the rushing water was very soothing. The people here were wonderful — brought me some dinner and left out breakfast.

I’m having a hard time bringing up my memories of that stage, but I think I remember that a little elevated hut that I passed on this stage was used frequently by the Caudillo, Francisco Franco, as a fishing retreat. And isn’t there also some carved rock formation at the top of some point where some Spanish king (or was it a Roman emperor) watched construction below?

Where did you stay in Riaño, @seanmccauley? I was in the very nice Hotel La Presa because I couldn’t figure out the albergue situation — I think it was several kms out of town. Riaño is another one of those towns, like Portomarín, where they dragged up the romanesque church stone by stone before they flooded the village and then built a pretty awful bunch of cement block apartment buildings, plunked a plaza in the middle, and hoped that some real town would emerge. Maybe it has, but I found the whole place kind of depressing.

But I agree with you that the walk after the tunnel, at least the parts along the river, were very nice.

Is the stage into Cistierna the one where you meander around through an abandoned mine site?

Here is my photo of Franco's fishing cottage. I had an orange sitting on the porch, but sensed no presence of the Caudillo. Riano was an odd place, but I had a restful cortado in the plaza before I headed over the bridge-- the sign for the aseos was quite specific for some reason.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
No my plan now is finish tomorrow and go to leon for 1 day. Fly back to Ireland from santiago on Sunday.
Thanks for bringing us along! I was hoping to get a good update for the stretch from Cistierna into Mansilla de las Mulas, because it was a LOT of asphalt. I have memories that the Association had planned to change the route (maybe going to the other side of the river???) but I don’t think I have ever heard from anyone who has walked it and can confirm whether that has happened.

Enjoy León and buen camino, Laurie
 

seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
Thanks for bringing us along! I was hoping to get a good update for the stretch from Cistierna into Mansilla de las Mulas, because it was a LOT of asphalt. I have memories that the Association had planned to change the route (maybe going to the other side of the river???) but I don’t think I have ever heard from anyone who has walked it and can confirm whether that has happened.

Enjoy León and buen camino, Laurie
I am walking tomorrow am to Gradefes so will have latest before getting to leon.
 
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Oh, good, a Vadiniense peregrino with a good memory! @oursonpolaire, do you remember anything about a natural stone “throne” up high looking down over the river on that same stretch? Roman? Reyes Católicos? Felipe II?
Not at all, but I am quite oblivious of many things--- I may have event perched on it without noticing.

@seanmcauley On no account omit dropping in at San Miguel de Escalada on the way to Gradefes. It is an extraordinary picture of the links between Spain and the eastern churches-- liturgy geeks will see how the Mozarabic liturgy could play out under that architecture. Besides, they have a really neat sello.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
On no account omit dropping in at San Miguel de Escalada on the way to Gradefes.
Oops, @oursonpolaire, you’ve got the sequence backwards — from Gradefes, San Miguel de la Escalada is about another 9 km in the direction of Mansilla. I remember this clearly because when I walked the Vadiniense, I couldn’t walk another step beyond Gradefes (where there is a very nice monastery, Santa María la Real, with romanesque church. Luckily for me, a camino angel named Rebekah came and picked me up to go to dinner and we stopped in for a San Miguel visit. But I digress…

Oh, yes, @seanmcauley, if you are as enthralled by ancient churches as @oursonpolaire and I are (though we may be off the charts nut cases), you would not want to miss a stop at the 9th century San Miguel de la Escalada. There it sits, out in the middle of fields, with a row of arches outside that are show-stoppers. And the motif continues indoors, it is just amazing. At a mere 14 km from Mansilla de las Mulas, I have often wondered why more pilgrims on the Francés don’t make a side trip, it oh so worth it.
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Listed in my signature
I also stayed in Presa in center of Riano. Riano is very sad. It has no heart or soul. Dead town. Big planning mistake.
Yes I passed mine today.
Hi Sean,

Now that you've stayed in Riano, and weren't terribly enthused about it, where else do you think you would have ended this stage? Horcadas? Or walk all the way to Las Salas? I've got Riano penciled into my schedule....
 

seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
S
Hi Sean,

Now that you've stayed in Riano, and weren't terribly enthused about it, where else do you think you would have ended this stage? Horcadas? Or walk all the way to Las Salas? I've got Riano penciled into my schedule....
Riano is still the natural place to stop. Just don't arrive too early.
 
Past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Oops, @oursonpolaire, you’ve got the sequence backwards — from Gradefes, San Miguel de la Escalada is about another 9 km in the direction of Mansilla. I remember this clearly because when I walked the Vadiniense, I couldn’t walk another step beyond Gradefes (where there is a very nice monastery, Santa María la Real, with romanesque church. Luckily for me, a camino angel named Rebekah came and picked me up to go to dinner and we stopped in for a San Miguel visit. But I digress…

Oh, yes, @seanmcauley, if you are as enthralled by ancient churches as @oursonpolaire and I are (though we may be off the charts nut cases), you would not want to miss a stop at the 9th century San Miguel de la Escalada. There it sits, out in the middle of fields, with a row of arches outside that are show-stoppers. And the motif continues indoors, it is just amazing. At a mere 14 km from Mansilla de las Mulas, I have often wondered why more pilgrims on the Francés don’t make a side trip, it oh so worth it.
o heavens I was clearly on orujo afterfumes again
 

seanmcauley

Camino Frances
Past OR future Camino
del Norte 15,16, 17
Portuguese 14 Lisbon to Coimbra
13 Lourdes over somport
10,11 and 12 - French
Walked from Cistierna to Gradefes today. Flat and easy compared to the mountains. You can switch between the rural roads and paths. Lots of popular trees some being harvested. No facilities so top up in Cistierna. In Cistierna I stayed in Hostel Moderna. Really top class family run business. Good wholesome food.
Finished my walk. Now in Leon onto santiago tomorrow by bus.
 

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norelle

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
I’ve made a reservation to stay at the Portillo albergue, luckily it will be a Sunday. I’m assuming you’re using Gronze as your guide? Or have you found another source of information?
Alipigrim, I’m planning to walk this way in July. I saw you were planning on August. Are you booking many places?
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Listed in my signature
Alipigrim, I’m planning to walk this way in July. I saw you were planning on August. Are you booking many places?
Yes, I booked all except for the first 2 nights on the Lebaniego. I feel more comfortable going with private rooms this year....
 

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