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Longest sections of Camino Frances without facilities

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Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
It depends quite how early in spring you plan to walk. I've just finished walking the Camino Frances and in many of the smaller towns and villages there were no open bars, restaurants, albergues or tiendas. So there were many long sections with no facilities. Most places reopen at Easter and after that the longest stretch is probably the 17km stretch after Carrion de los Condes - as @Tincatinker just said while I was typing. :cool:
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Carrion de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza at 17.2 km is probably the longest gap between retail opportunities
Sometimes you may encounter a vendor who sets up a refreshment stop. I've also read on the forum that a horse drawn carriage can sometimes be found to take you between these places. That would make your tales of the Camino sound more impressive than saying you took a taxi.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Because of tendinitis I had to taxi this stretch that @Tincatinker has mentioned. Much of the path - as I recall - was alongside the road, and I saw the perigrinos walking, and nothing but agricultural fields beyond them. There was not even a tree to hide behind!
And, a word of warning, you also can't see Calzadilla de la Cueza until you are almost in town; it sits in a depression leaving you in one too as you keep asking yourself "How much longer will it be until that beer".
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
It is really the only long stretch without services in the summer. It is flat walking along the old Roman road. There is one Grove of trees where is sometimes a mobile Cafe and past that a rest area (careful of toilet paper and other possible human waste behind the rest area shelter).

The other long stretches are between SJPDP and Roncesvalles. A water fountain at the Spanish border and sometimes a cafe mobile on the Napoleon route. Nothing much past Valcarlos on your second day along that route if you take that option.
 
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Anhalter

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019 CF, 2022 CF
I think the winner is the Dragonte variant from Villafranca del Bierzo to Las Herrerias. Some 25km without shops, bars or anything besides the occasional fountain. But that would be easy by itself, it's the elevation profile that makes it challenging...
On the regular Camino Frances, Carrion d.l.Condes to Calzadilla is probably the longest, but theres a food truck or two, and Burgo Ranero Calzadilla de los Hermanillos to Reliegos should be the longest with no infrastructure at all.
 

David Tallan

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Next Camino: Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo
https://www.gronze.com/camino-frances will give you all the information you require.

Carrion de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza at 17.2 km is probably the longest gap between retail opportunities
It depends on when you walk (answer to both the original question and this response). I was expecting this section of the Camino Frances to be completely without facilities, but someone had set up quite the operation beside the road, complete with grills, so we ended up having a hot breakfast there. You never know when someone is going to set up in a barren stretch.

But that is one of the longer stretches between "permanent" or fixed resources.
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
Sneak a couple of beers into your walking companions bag before you set off and no etapa is too long.
I walked a fairly long day from Villafranca del Bierzo to O Cebreiro a few days ago. As an incentive to get up that long hill in the afternoon I bought two cans of beer in Vega de Valcarce with the idea of drinking one at La Faba and the other at Laguna. A bribe to myself to keep me motivated! :)
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
Calzadilla de la Cueza usually has a vendor of some kind, and a place to pause along the way.
But the stretch from Calzadilla de los Hermanillos to Reliegos is 17+ with nothing... and almost 23 if you chose to go to Mansilla directly. I love the meseta but that old Roman road leaves a lot to be desired.
Don't want to siderail, but the Municipal albergue in Hermanillos has been remodeled and expanded and there's a lovely private albergue there, Via Trajana, and a Casa Rural as well.
 

Derek Booth

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March 2019
When I walked in 2019, I recall that the stretch from Villafranca Montes de Orca to Ages took, well, ages!!!

Just checked on the guidebook and it's recorded as 16kms. Yes, there is an intermediate village of San Juan de Ortega but when I did the journey in March, there were no facilities there.

The truck stop at Villafranca does a mean morcilla bocadillo, recommended.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Some sections have multiple routes. You could choose to walk by a noisy busy road which may have more facilities, or you might take the more peaceful path through the field.

-Paul
 
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Joanne P

Active Member
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Camino Frances June 2018 & June 2020
Hello,
I'll be walking the Camino Frances this spring and understand that while most of the route is well supported, there are a few sections without much in the way of facilities. I'd love to hear your experience. Much appreciated
I got caught out a couple of times, needing to pee along the way where there were no facilities or trees for cover. This time I will be taking a she-wee type of device to make those moments a little easier if it happens again.
 

Leaderene

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Camino Portuguese
Camino Ingles
Take the opportunity to buy some provisions for a picnic on route and enjoy the scenery. As I walked in France first on the Via Podenisis, I was so used to few facilities that all the cafes etc were a bit of a shock to the system when I first got to Spain.
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 x 2, 2017, 2021, 2022
I got caught out a couple of times, needing to pee along the way where there were no facilities or trees for cover. This time I will be taking a she-wee type of device to make those moments a little easier if it happens again.
...or wear a longish skirt on that day... think a tent from the waist down...
 

OTH86

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 x 2, 2017, 2021, 2022
And, a word of warning, you also can't see Calzadilla de la Cueza until you are almost in town; it sits in a depression...
True, one can't see the town until you're almost in it - it's in a dip in the road. But from a bit past the last rest stop, one can watch the bell tower at the cemetery... it gradually 'grows' as you get closer... It's kept me going twice on that loooong walk. Next time, I'll stop and visit the cemetery and bell tower...
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015, 2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
True, one can't see the town until you're almost in it - it's in a dip in the road. But from a bit past the last rest stop, one can watch the bell tower at the cemetery... it gradually 'grows' as you get closer... It's kept me going twice on that loooong walk. Next time, I'll stop and visit the cemetery and bell tower...

I love the walk into Hontanas.
Much the same.

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

And it appears out of the ground when you are about 500 metres from it!
 
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oliasah-peace

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
https://www.gronze.com/camino-frances will give you all the information you require.

Carrion de los Condes to Calzadilla de la Cueza at 17.2 km is probably the longest gap between retail opportunities
I walked this stretch last year in May. There were 2 places where a mobile van type thing was selling drink and probably light refreshments - I didn't know of their existance prior to walking and ironically I stopped to rest and have a snack just on the side of the road about 30 meters before coming across them. There were tables and chairs there which would have been more comfortable than the side of the road! Still on the bright side I saved some money!
 

Juanma

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Primitivo (2015 and 2016)
Another long bit with no services is from Villamayor de Monjardin to Los Arcos, in Navarra: 12km with no bars, villages, toilets or any kind of service; during some months of the year a food truck can be found some where in that stretch, though I don't know the exact place.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015, 2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
Another long bit with no services is from Villamayor de Monjardin to Los Arcos, in Navarra: 12km with no bars, villages, toilets or any kind of service; during some months of the year a food truck can be found some where in that stretch, though I don't know the exact place.

That Oasis was a welcome sight on a couple of occasions!
Of course these food trucks and trail side stalls can be counted on.
But I think the one you refer to might be here:

 
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CF Spring 2022
CP Spring 2024
I walked this stretch last year in May. There were 2 places where a mobile van type thing was selling drink and probably light refreshments - I didn't know of their existance prior to walking and ironically I stopped to rest and have a snack just on the side of the road about 30 meters before coming across them. There were tables and chairs there which would have been more comfortable than the side of the road! Still on the bright side I saved some money!

I also walked this stretch on a gorgeous day during the last week May last year, and had what was to be the very best grilled bocadillo de tortilla on my entire Camino at the first of those two food trucks. The second truck was in a lovely little glade of trees and was a nice oasis for an ice cold can of Coke. There was a happy and lively scene at the charming little bar/restaurant in Calzadilla. And I had one of the best nights rest of my entire Camino in the very reasonably priced private room I treated myself to at Albergue La Morena in Ledigos that evening.

All in all, one of my favorite days on the Camino, and one that made me into a fan of the Meseta for life.

El Camino food truck on the Meseta outside of Carrion de los Condes. Excellent grilled bocadillo de tortilla! The second of the two food trucks on the Meseta between Carrion de los Condes and Calzadilla de la Cueza Approaching Calzadilla de la Cueza Bar/restaurant in Calzadilla de la Cueza
 
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RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Time of past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
that Condes stretch always felt more than 17 km. Once I set up a free feast for pilgrims on this route It was in protest to that Englishman who had charged me €3 for the vilest coffee from his van on Alto Perdón in 2003!
 

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trecile

Moderator
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Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
There's also a 12+km stretch between Villafranca Montes de Oca and San Juan de Ortega, though there might be a donativo stand somewhere in there.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
No matter the route, you should always carry plenty of food and water. You also should be prepared to relieve yourself outside without a bathroom.

In most cases there are Cafes with food, water and bathrooms along the route. However, one must always be prepared!


-Paul
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
May/June 2022 Camino Frances from SJPP
It is really the only long stretch without services in the summer. It is flat walking along the old Roman road. There is one Grove of trees where is sometimes a mobile Cafe and past that a rest area (careful of toilet paper and other possible human waste behind the rest area shelter).
We decided to walk the Via Romana after Sahagun. It was difficult. We knew well ahead that there would be no services, no food available, no toilets - but we had a misplaced concept of the Roman Road- straight … yes, but actually not visible underneath centuries of added layers. The flat landscape had none of the beauty of the incredible meseta.
I look forward to taking the other route if I ever have the opportunity to walk the CF again.
 

DuaneS

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April 4th from SJPDP - May 5, 2017 - Complete!
And, a word of warning, you also can't see Calzadilla de la Cueza until you are almost in town; it sits in a depression leaving you in one too as you keep asking yourself "How much longer will it be until that beer".
I was going to say this exactly same thing.. I was walking about 5km/hr this day, so when I approached 3.5 hours I expected to see the town, but there was nothing.. It wasn't until I was right upon it, looking down into the depression, that I knew I was there.. but it was a bit disconcerting thinking you were there but not seeing anything far into the horizon.
 

Derek Booth

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances March 2019
It's March 2019 and I'm approaching Calzadilla de la Cueza. Like all the rest, this village appeared like an apparition out of the ground.

Walking along the Calle Mayor it was like walking onto a film set where all the inhabitants had been abducted. No one in front of me, no one behind on the Camino. It was lunchtime, (Spanish time) and I was starving.

Propped up on the corner of the main street and Calle de Eleuterio Velasco was a sign indicting 'Menu del Dia'. The only thing was that those three words were the only thing it indicated. No arrows, no name, nothing. I looked all around and couldn't see any sort of Bar/Restaurant. There wasn't anything in view on the main drag and nothing down the side street. Where was it? Who to ask?

I walked on the few yards/metres to Calle Fragua and up that street, in the distance, was a tractor and driver.
In my non existent Spanish I managed to convey my need for food and via hand signals I was directed back to Mayor and to turn into right into Calle de Eleuterio Velasco where I was assured there was the Bar/Restaurant.

And that is how I found the Hostal Restaurante Camino Real.

I was offered a Menu for 10€ comprising a salad, Chicken and chips and ice cream and the table I occupied already had the obligatory bottle of vino tinto and water.

Well, the salad arrived that could have easily have provided enough for two. This was closely followed by half a chicken that had, in it's lifetime, attended the Arnie school of body building. It was a Big Chuck!

How to follow that? The 'Ice Cream' had me laughing out loud. What was presented to me was a Mini Magnum, which for those who haven't come across those is a small chocolate coated ice cream on a stick. The juxtaposition between the portions really had me chuckling.

The things we remember eh? The only thing in the above that I had to look up (via Google Maps) were the names of the streets. All the rest came back to me in perfect clarity, four years on, just by seeing the name, "Calzadilla de la Cueza"

Buen Camino!

 
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David Tallan

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Time of past OR future Camino
Next Camino: Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo
There's also a 12+km stretch between Villafranca Montes de Oca and San Juan de Ortega, though there might be a donativo stand somewhere in there.
There is "the Oasis" in this stretch, which sometimes has a donativo but was vacant when my son and I passed through.
 
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