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Virtual Camino Many Forum Members on the Lana, Part 2 (Cuenca to Burgos)

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Here's a nice little video showing Trillo, Las Tetas de Viana and Viana de Mondéjar:


Well, this is getting to be fun! Does the cage on that ladder accommodate a pilgrim backpack? Do we come down that same ladder? I guess we could leave our backpacks at the bottom. Is it windy up there?
Hmmm. I'd like to see some photos of that scramble.
I found this video of a group of walkers walking from Trillo to Viana de Mondéjar via Las Tetas de Viana, and although the video is a bit long, it does answer a few questions:
- it doesn't look like the cage on metal ladder accommodates a pilgrim's backpack
- if you're going up the Teta Redonda (which I believe is the only one where there is access to the summit), then you have to come down the same way.
- before they get to the place between the two mounts, you can see parts of the scramble.


I had found another video of two Spaniards who walked up to the top, but I can't share it here. There are too many references to Las Tetas which may offend people. The video shows that there is reasonable signage, and confirms that you have to leave the backpack at the bottom of the metal ladder.
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
And once we are in Trillo, because it's a short-ish day, can I interest anyone in a side trip to this place?? It's a 4 km round trip. It's in another one of those dreaded fincas, but is accessible; Wikiloc QR code below (Sorry, I can't find a way to copy the address from my phone). In terms of patrimomy, this is pretty sad, I have to say.
SPOILER="Rabbit hole warning!!!

Even by slow walkers' standards, it is indeed a short-ish day, in particular if we take the shorter route shared in post #100. So we will definitely love to join you, @VNwalking !

In real life, we would possibly have a rest day in Trillo, it looks like a nice place, so we could even walk to Santa Maria de Ovila on our rest day. If we can't stay in the albergue for 2 nights, we could stay at the Hostal las Viñas, if it is still around.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
I think I must have left my mochila at the bottom of the ladder, but as I hadn't seen any other walkers since Alatoz (or until Burgos) security wasn't really an issue.

2018-10-18_09-55-19.jpg

And the view from the top was amazing (one teta from the other):

DSC_0044.jpg

Trillo is a very nice place. I liked the Meson Victor to eat: wonderful wide glass front looking over the cascades, and decent food as well. Rather posh clientele - the town is quite rich, presumably benefitting from the highly paid jobs at the nuclear power station nearby, which I assume pays for the plush albergues at Viana de Mondéjar and Trillo, and the excellent signage in the area.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
AJ and VN give us all the info we need, but I always like to dig into it myself, not because I question the information they give, 😁 but because it gives me more a sense of whether I can handle it.

I think a good place to start is with Alan’s wikiloc tracks.


That shows, from Viana to Trillo, 13 km with 465 m elevation gain.

There are two tetas, and I think that Alan has climbed the more popular one, the Redonda, aka Teta Sur. Looks like the camino has a direct connection with the trail that goes up, so it’s a matter of leaving the camino, going up and down, and then continuing on.

So, I am going on the assumption that we all would want to climb the Teta Redonda.

I have looked at some of the other links and found a video that is pretty boring but shoes the ascent/scramble. As others have said, backpacks definitely won’t fit through the stairway, which is enclosed, presumably to prevent falling.


Trillo looks very nice (the video AJ posts shows the twin towers of the nuclear plant in the background). Another option for those who want to walk longer stages would be to go on another 13 km to Cifuentes, making it a 26 km day if my calculations are right. Albergue and a couple of hostales in Cifuentes.

In Cifuentes, Hostal San Roquelooks fine. Albergue is in the polideportivo.

Thanks to @alansykes for correcting some of the errors I had posted here.
 
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alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
I think the Teta Sur (aka Teta Redonda) is the one that's easily accessible. You'd probably need mountaineering equipment to get up the Teta Larga. There was no wind on the top the day I was there, but I imagine that's an exception. There is a local saying about the tetas that "todos las ven pero pocos las maman”, which is certainly true of the Teta Larga.

The pic shows Trillo (the little white cross middle right) and the tetas of its nuclear power station from the Teta Sur.

DSC_0041-2.jpg
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
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So today's the day for the Tetas!
I suggest we hash this out, and after that go back to discuss the regular way, and perhaps an alternative end point for the stage
The Tetas have been 'hashed out', methinks, so let's see what the regular way would be.

I am so glad you are tempted by the side journey, @VNwalking , we have finally made it to Viana de Mondéjar. If you had decided to continue to Trillo, we would have stopped here anyway. And stopped again in Trillo. ;)
For the really slow walkers, and those who would enjoy Trillo, one of the alternative end points from Viana de Mondéjar is indeed Trillo. But that's a really, really short stage, only 7.4 km. Most pilgrims would walk further.

Trillo looks very nice (the video AJ posts shows the twin towers of the nuclear plant in the background). Another option for those who want to walk longer stages would be to go on another 13 km to Cifuentes, making it a 26 km day if my calculations are right. Albergue and a couple of hostales in Cifuentes.
Day 20. Viana de Mondéjar - Cifuentes. 20.4 km

From Trillo, it is indeed only 13 km to Cifuentes. If you have walked from Viana de Mondéjar to Cifuentes, without the side trip to Las Tetas, then it is 20.4 km.

If you stopped in Trillo, you could walk even further, as @Magwood and @Ninja did in 2019, to Masegoso de Tajuña. That's 24 km from Trillo. It could be a little too much for the slow walkers we are. If only we weren't slow walkers... @alansykes , who also walked to Masegoso de Tajuña, describes Cifuentes in a way that would make a pilgrim want to go further:
After that the Cifuentes is less melodramatic, leading you steadily upwards to Cifuentes town, via two other villages which both have coffee. I found Cifuentes a bit depressing and was glad I wasn't staying there - for example, the outstanding doorway to the ancient synagogue now has a horrible modern metal door.
In Cifuentes, we have the option of sleeping at the Polideportivo Municipal, keys at the municipal office, or at the Hostal San Roque, or at the Hostal Las Secuoyas (no-frills website ;)).

@Bad Pilgrim walked to Cifuentes and stayed at the San Roque in 2019.

If you're going to heed @alansykes advice, and walk on to Masegoso de Tajuña, you'll go past Moranchel on the Camino, and then take a left turn after about 3 km. In Moranchel:
I arrived at the wonderful village of Moranchel, with some fabulous paintings of houses and businesses on the fronts of houses.
Check out @Undermanager 's beautiful photo, as well as those @Magwood has in her blog.

In Masegoso de Tajuña, our veterans stayed at the Restaurante Hostal Las Vegas. Nothing flash, as @Magwood notes in her blog:
[...] we continue, making a diversion from the camino to stay in a hostal on the busy N-204, around 2-3 km off camino. We know about this place, Hostal Las Vegas, through a forum member AS. We wonder why it is called Las Vegas, assuming the name relates to its US cousin. But then I google and discover that ‘vega’ relates to low, flat, fertile ground.
Although we knew that the place is referred to as a truck stop, we had expectations of a cosy room with possibilities to use washing/drying facilities. Forget it! The room is basic, with a tiny radiator that barely heats the room, especially when draped with soaking wet gear, and a definite ‘no’in response to a request for laundry facilities.
The good thing about walking on to Masegoso de Tajuña, is that it would make tomorrow's stage a little bit shorter. Nevertheless, for the purpose of this virtual Camino, we'll stop in Cifuentes.

Now I was wondering whether you had bad weather, @alansykes , to think of Cifuentes as depressing.
Cifuentes is a modern, small town that feels a bit like Casas Ibáñez. Smaller than a city but larger than a rural pueblo. It boasts no less than two big churches, thrown together near the busy plaza mayor. Unfortunately, the whole square also serves as a parking lot...! I've never seen that before. The rest of the square is charming, with arcades and old houses all around... Sometimes too old houses, probably in need of a restoration. How nice to have stopped here for the day, instead of struggling 26 more kms to Mandayona...!

I'll leave you with this video of Cifuentes, and you can decide:
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
One of these videos alerted me to the fact that this part of the Lana, in Guadalajara province, is located in the Alcarría, which reminded me that the Nobel prize winner Camilo José Cela has a book called Viaje a la Alcarría, which I read in college. It is a travelogue, describing a short walking trip he took in the region in the 40s or 50s. I don’t remember loving it, but maybe now that I am hoping to walk there too, it would be more interesting. The Alcarría, I have now learned, refers to the plateau that extends through most of Guadalajara province, with little bits in Cuenca province and some in Madrid province. And Cifuentes is described as its capital.

So count me in for a night in Cifuentes, even though @alansykes found it depressing. Actually, it looks like it has a very nice plaza mayor, perhaps the only triangular plaza mayor in Spain. It’s one of those arcaded plazas, with columns and covered space for the markets that used to take place. The church with its romanesque doorway looks very nice too.

And BP says in his post that he had heard that the Secuoyas hostal (which is right in the Plaza Mayor) is actually a better place to stay than the San Roque, which is not in as central a location. Kevin O’Brien’s guide cautions against the Secuoyas, and there are several bad reviews on tripadvisor, but a review from 2020 says that there have been some renovations.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
The Alcarría, I have now learned, refers to the plateau that extends through most of Guadalajara province, with little bits in Cuenca province and some in Madrid province.
It seems a natural landscape-based place name, and to heck with criteria of ownership or political control. Like The Alava on the Vasco/Viejo. So interesting.

There seem to be a bunch of options here for different length stages. Las Inviernas is a little farther along — OSMand says 24.5km from Trillo — but it doesn't look like there's any where to stay..
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
There seem to be a bunch of options here for different length stages. Las Inviernas is a little farther along — OSMand says 24.5km from Trillo — but it doesn't look like there's any where to stay..
There are indeed a bunch of options for different length stages. In fact, @Undermanager walked 41 km from Trillo to Mandayona, where we're heading to tomorrow. Wow 😲. You have the admiration of the slow walkers, @Undermanager !

Las Inviernas is 25.6 km from Trillo, according to the Amigos' guide book. One could try to sleep in the "local municipal", but the Amigos' guide book states: "(acogida no garantizada)". It's at the Ayuntamiento, with keys obtained obviously from the Ayuntamiento.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Looking for information about a possible albergue in Las Inviernas, I came across some information that may be helpful for earlier stages. I will move it back to its proper place on earlier threads when we are done with this, but I wanted to alert anyone reading it now to this information about Torralba and Viana de Mondejar. This is translated from a Gronze report:

TORRALBA: They will let you sleep in the social center (on the floor, no shower). But if you go to the Bar Goyo and ask for Luís, he has a casa rural where he takes in pilgrims, 15 euros breakfast included. You can also eat meals in the same bar. Luis is a great guy. He arrived from Madrid to take over the bar and and he quickly became a beloved member of the pueblo. He’s fun to talk to, and the tapas he gives when you order a drink are terrific.

VIANA DE MONDÉJAR: Viana is part of the municipality of Trillo, and it has an exceptional albergue, opened in 2010. Go to the town’s only bar, and if no one is there, call the number that is on the door of the albergue. No Vodafone coverage here! This albergue has 6 beds, shower, microwave. It’s great. Fingers crossed that they keep on maintaining it.

And for anyone who wants to try to stay in Las Inviernas, as AJ mentioned above — I’ve found a telephone number — calling ahead seems to be essential. 949 817 455
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Question for the Lana vets. I never have paid any attention to the availability of grocery stores, and things have always worked out. If there’s not a store, there’s a bar, and if all the bar serves is potato chips in a bag, well, I probably have some nuts and yogurt and fruit in my pack. But I have seen a couple of recommendations for making sure to have food because there are towns with good places to stay but no place to buy groceries and no bar to eat.

Going back through my notes, I have seen people say to bring food to.

Herrumblar
Viana de Mondejar

Is that right? Any other places between Alicante and where we are now, Cifuentes?
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Question for the Lana vets. I never have paid any attention to the availability of grocery stores, and things have always worked out. If there’s not a store, there’s a bar, and if all the bar serves is potato chips in a bag, well, I probably have some nuts and yogurt and fruit in my pack. But I have seen a couple of recommendations for making sure to have food because there are towns with good places to stay but no place to buy groceries and no bar to eat.

Going back through my notes, I have seen people say to bring food to.

Herrumblar
Viana de Mondejar

Is that right? Any other places between Alicante and where we are now, Cifuentes?

Google maps says 1 supermercado and 1 store in Herrumblar, and I know there is at least 1 bar. In Viana de Mondéjar, there is no place to buy food and I have never seen the bar open.

When I have time I can do an extensive overview of Alicante-Burgos regarding foodless villages. Right now, Alatoz comes to my mind. But there are at least 2 bars in Alatoz.
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
There are indeed a bunch of options for different length stages. In fact, @Undermanager walked 41 km from Trillo to Mandayona, where we're heading to tomorrow. Wow 😲. You have the admiration of the slow walkers, @Undermanager !

Las Inviernas is 25.6 km from Trillo, according to the Amigos' guide book. One could try to sleep in the "local municipal", but the Amigos' guide book states: "(acogida no garantizada)". It's at the Ayuntamiento, with keys obtained obviously from the Ayuntamiento.
Trillo to Mandayona is a very long stage, but I managed in 2017 thanks to strategically placed coffe breaks in Cifuentes and the truck stop a few kms before Mandayona. The bar in Las Inviernas may also be open, so if you are lucky you can have a café con leche there as well.

Las Inviernas is very small and I am almost certain there is no store to buy anything. I think it would be difficult to find any entertainment there. Cifuentes - Mandayona with all their facilities would be the preferred stage for most of us, I think.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
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San Olav/CF ('16)
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
OSMand tells me that just short of Cifuentes and a little off the Camino is this place:

Do any of you vets know anything about it first (or second-) hand? My connection's too dodgy to open the link.
Not a vet and no first hand knowledge, but my internet connection is working so I poked around a bit. ;) First off, I would say that having a 6 km loop option for after a stage of 20 km seems like a great idea, like your Torre Vilariño loop on the Invierno, VN.

Some more information on the spot — the ermita is dedicated to Cifuentes’ patron saint (so there will be a pilgrimage there from the town on the saint day). A hermit, Blas de Oreto, reportedly lived there and was martyred there in 585 A.D. Then to add a bit more recent gruesome local lore, the story is that in the early 20th century, a priest who lived in the residence attached to the church murdered another priest and threw his body into a well, which today bears the name Sima del Fraile.

Some pictures of the romería.


And by the way, there is a “donde dormir” button on the bottom of this page that lets you search what seems to be all of the pueblos in Guadalajara province with lodging. Though there are other ways to narrow the search, if you just pick the town from the drop down list, it brings up all lodging options. At least that‘s what I saw when I put in Cifuentes or Mandayona.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Wow, thanks, Laurie!
Some more information on the spot — the ermita is dedicated to Cifuentes’ patron saint (so there will be a pilgrimage there from the town on the saint day). A hermit, Blas de Oreto, reportedly lived there and was martyred there in 585 A.D.
Because I can't open the links I couldn't tell— is it an old and interesting Ermita?

Then to add a bit more recent gruesome local lore, the story is that in the early 20th century, a priest who lived in the residence attached to the church murdered another priest and threw his body into a well,
:eek: Egad.
(You don't get to choose your colleagues in the religious life. The politics can be intense.
(Only half-joking) 🙃)
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
17th century, remodeled in the 50s. You can see the attached residence where the murder allegedly took place. Maybe not too spectacular, but I would definitely be up for the walk if you and I coincide, VN. Maybe you can see this thumbnail.
Yup, perfecto! Gracias.
You're on. That story sounds like a historical novel in the making.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
And if you wanted to make it a 10 km circle, though that might be pushing things, here is a wikiloc track that takes you both to the Cueva and ermita of the Virgen de Loreto, and adds on a detour up to the Ermita de San Blas (not to be confused with the ermita of the same name in Trillo), which doesn’t look like a must-see visit. Some dispute among those who study these things whether that is where the Spanish saint San Blas was martyred, apparently.

And don’t forget there’s a castle in Cifuentes we can walk up to, too, so we will definitely keep ourselves entertained!
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
one of the alternative end points from Viana de Mondéjar is indeed Trillo.

Hey, did anyone point out where the albergue in Trillo is? The old bull ring, next to the river. Just turn left after the bridge when you enter town. It's spacious and I remember it as free? I didn't need to go to the Ayuntamiento: the hospitalero came with the keys after I phoned them. The thing is that there were no windows I could open, so it was impossible to dry clothes in there. (I didn't want to hang my clothes on display outside, because it may attract unwanted attention from roaming teenagers who keep you up all night by harrassing you... Yes it has happened before.)

Hostal Capadocia is the posh alternative with 45 euros for a single pilgrim, but it includes breakfast and having your clothes washed and dried far away from any juvenile delincuents.

Pictures of the stretch Viana de Mondéjar-Trillo below. First difficulty: This stretch is a maze. I believe the waymarking is insufficient. Several paths cross and split and it is not always clear where to go. Second difficulty is that the goat path leading up to and around the Tetas turns into a slippery stream in pouring rain. Those 7 kms took forever to complete, as the rain slowed me down and turned some parts of the narrow trail into a mudbath.

But the photos below are from two years ago, in a beautiful summer weather! With more uncensored, unashamed pictures of the Tetas 😉!
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
So count me in for a night in Cifuentes, even though @alansykes found it depressing. Actually, it looks like it has a very nice plaza mayor, perhaps the only triangular plaza mayor in Spain. It’s one of those arcaded plazas, with columns and covered space for the markets that used to take place. The church with its romanesque doorway looks very nice too.

The Hostal San Roque is at the end of town, so I would like to try the Hostal Secuoya which is more central. Then again, Cifuentes is not big so it is easy to walk from San Roque to the centre and back again.

I am sure there are better pictures around of the way to Cifuentes, and of the town itself, but here is my contribution... I think I posted them two years ago but I rehash them here anyway!
 

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alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
I must have hit Cifuentes on a bad day (the pic suggests it was fairly grey). The bar I stopped in for coffee was unfriendly, which is never a good start. But I see from Google earth that they seem to have removed the horrible metal bar that used to desecrate the glorious doorway to the synagogue, which is a definite improvement. Otherwise my main memory is of the eponymous 100 fuentes in every part of the town, including the source of the Cifuentes itself. On 27 September 1810 King Joseph Bonaparte (Pepe Botella, as some Spaniards dismissively call him) met genéral Joseph Hugo, his governor of Guadalajara province, at Brihuega and offered him the choice of becoming count of Cifuentes or of Sigüenza. Victor Hugo's father chose (to my mind the obvious choice) Sigüenza.

DSC_0055.jpg
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
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Camino Del Norte (2018)
I looked at how many days (real time days) @VNwalking left between posts, and I hope I have left enough time since my last post for comments to be made. So here goes for the next stage.

Day 21. Cifuentes - Mandayona. 26 km

Slow walkers, brace yourselves, there aren't many options to break this stage into smaller ones. The Amigos' guide states:
Salvo esta última población, el resto de localidades de paso son pequeñas y con escasos servicios.
which I translate as "you're lucky if you'll find a bar, and take a packed lunch" ;).

As I mentioned earlier, Las Inviernas might offer a place to sleep, but with the words "(acogida no garantizada)" in the Amigos' guide, I wouldn't count on it. If we had stopped in Masegoso de Tajuña, we would have shortened this stage by 3 km.

This stage crosses a number of villages, and I'll quote @Undermanager and @Bad Pilgrim to describe them:
I arrived at the wonderful village of Moranchel, with some fabulous paintings of houses and businesses on the fronts of houses. A minute after the paintings, keep your eyes open on the left for some tables and chairs, opposite bungalow No 16! Listen for the TV outside the anonymous building. You have found the local fishing club headquarters and bar, the Coto de Pesca la Tajera. If it is open, pop in for a coffee and use Google Translate to tell some fishy tales about walking the Camino 😀.
I think I mentioned he had some great photos in his thread, and @Magwood also has some in her blog. @Ninja , you must also have some great photos? ☺️
What to do if there isn't any bakery in town? You paint one, of course...!

Pressing on, It's mostly a flat walk all the way to Las Invernas, where I arrived at 2.00pm, and 27kms from Trillo. Here you will find a wonderfully local bar for local people. The coffee con leche was like coffee I've never tasted before but on the plus side, the 'una vaso de Agua' was exceptional. And that ambiance is to die for. This place is unique and deserves to be iñ B movie. Visit it without fail!
After La Moranchel and Las Inviernas came my favorite inhabited area of the day: El Truck Stop. How did medieval pilgrims survive without truck stops? I have no idea. A salty tortilla de patata, combined with a fine café con leche and a mature Coca-Cola.
You cross a railway bridge, then cross a motorway. There's a cafe there but I pressed on, until the village of Mirabueno. There is a grand old church that seems to be crumbling a lot, but the gargoyles are impressive. They're worth a look. I think I found a social club bar but it was closed. As you leave the village though, prepare to be amazed! Those views down down down into the valley are incredible, and Mandayona, my destination is thankfully down there - usually on these Camino's, the last section is 'up there' and a real killer!
The next pueblo, Mirabueno, looked empty. But be ready to fish out your camera when you reach the end of the village: the view of the fields and the hills from above comes as a surprise. A narrow path - with an incredible scenery - then leads down from Mirabueno, all the way to Mandayona. There are at least two fountains along the descent, with cool water from the hills.

In Mandayona, you can sleep at the Centro Social, where @Undermanager , @Magwood and @Ninja all stayed. You get the keys from the Ayuntamiento. Magwood wrote:
Ana tells me that the number to ring to give advance warning of your arrival is 949 305 002, and gives me permission to share her personal number 649 721 552. Such kindness, and so much appreciated.
@Undermanager arrived unannounced, and reported there were no problems to get into the Centro Social:
I now have a fantastic theatre hall and toilet on the first floor to myself, with a blow up mattress, a balcony to dry my clothes and a bar opposite. I'm in heaven. I should have phoned ahead, but turning up unannounced around 6.00pm, and still it's no trouble for people.
This place is hugely recommended. Plan to stay here if you can. There are four blow up mattresses, but space for about two hundred pilgrims!
One alternative is the Hostal rural Cumbres de Castilla, where @Bad Pilgrim slept. The Amigos' guide book lists a website for this Hostal rural, but the website is no longer active. Hopefully, the Hostal rural is still around. Google maps shows El Cuartel del Rio Dulce, which offers apartments, available through the usual online booking engine, but somewhat pricey. Restaurante Bar Milagros is where you'll get a good feed.

Now if you happen to stay at the Centro social with @Magwood , you might get a performance. Check out her post and the photos ☺️.
 
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Bad Pilgrim

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2021
Yes, I have seen something that looks like a bar in Moranchel. But it has always been closed at my arrival, perhaps because I start too early from Cifuentes. The pictures of the colorful Moranchel below are taken at dawn! Maybe Undermanager caught them later in the morning.

The bar in Las Inviernas is cozy, I agree, but in such a small village I don't think it opens regularly. Lucky for me, they were open just as a thunder storm broke loose above me (the terrain is flat flat flat on this stage and there is nowhere to hide!). I waited out the storm in the bar together with some of the locals, while the wind howled outside.

Hostal (Hotel) Cumbres de Castilla is still on Google Maps. It was the ony place I could find when I first was I Mandayona, and I liked it so much that I returned a second time. It is about 40 euros, breakfast included.

Mandayona has a few bars, a store and an ATM. And here is the famous split of the Lana where we, just before entering town, have to decide whether to go left (to Atienza directly) or right (through Sigüenza). Do zoom in on the last two photos: there is resolution enough to read about the 2 alternatives!
 

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Bad Pilgrim

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Your pictures are great, BP, thanks for adding them. Any idea about that first picture? Looks like a bodega or two with an open air oven.
I have no idea. Looks like it! But it is right on the side of the road with cars swooshing by, so it is not the best location! It is from somewhere near Gargoles de Abajo or Gargoles de Arriba, two villages that went under the radar in our previous section about Cifuentes. I guess there are bars there, but I always arrive too early... :confused:
 

peregrina2000

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Staff member
One alternative is the Hostal rural Cumbres de Castilla, where @Bad Pilgrim slept. The Amigos' guide book lists a website for this Hostal rural, but the website is no longer active.
I have tried calling their phone number (it’s a land line) and I get a rapid busy signal. Not a good sign.

There are two or three casas rurales four km down the Sigüenza alternative in Aragosa. Weird because this is a town with 15 inhabitants, but the town is near the Parque Natural Barranco del Río Dulce. VN will appreciate its geological uniqueness. I’ve sent them a WhatsApp to see if I learn anything.
 

peregrina2000

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Reporting back in to say I got a WhatsApp back from Casa Rural Rio Dulce, a kind of fancy looking place in Aragosa. (@alansykes gives it a great rating, and we know he has excellent judgment 😍 ).

And I also heard from Villa Cangrejo which also looks nice.

Both say the same thing — we just don’t know but please be back in touch when you are a week or so away.

I think this is probably good advice about all the places we are hoping to stay in on the Lana. Or any other camino for that matter.

p.s. I found a whatsapp account for Cumbres de Castillo en Mandayona (the place whose website is no longer there) and will let you know if I hear back from them.
 
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I can’t contribute with any important info at all (as usual), but here is a photo of one of the fountains somewhere before Mandayona mentioned by @Bad Pilgrim. I simply love how nature takes over something man-made. And then, notice the yellow arrow … (pilgrims take it back).

Fountain_Mandayona.jpg
 
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The very friendly bar Agustin in Mandayona was a sad little thing but the wine was good. Just opposite the bar was the ‘albergue’ at the Centro Social, a theatre where @Magwood, a Swiss pilgrim and I did a comedy performance. (The only applause came from a hail storm)


1.Bar_Agustin.jpg



2.Bar_Agustin.jpg


3.View_from_Theatre_Mandayona.jpg
 

VNwalking

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Eeek, I'm so behind! Quick-stepping and passing all the distractions in order to catch up. I sure do like the sound of this:
There are two or three casas rurales four km down the Sigüenza alternative in Aragosa. Weird because this is a town with 15 inhabitants, but the town is near the Parque Natural Barranco del Río Dulce. VN will appreciate its geological uniqueness. I’ve sent them a WhatsApp to see if I learn anything.

I have nothing to contribute, except to offer a heartfelt shout out to @AJGuillaume, who graciously picked up the reins of this thread when it looked like my internet would disappear. It did, for a day and a half, and may do so again, depending on conditions here — so I am very grateful to be able to simply come and read what you have all contributed!
 

AJGuillaume

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I can’t contribute with any important info at all
@Ninja , your photos are superb and are part of the important information. Thank you for sharing!

And here is the famous split of the Lana where we, just before entering town, have to decide whether to go left (to Atienza directly) or right (through Sigüenza).
I thought I would look first at the direct route to Atienza, and later write about the one via Sigüenza. It looks like the veterans of the Lana walked via Sigüenza in recent times. For @Bad Pilgrim , it was his first time in 2019:
I am excited about following a new route tomorrow, one that I don't know from before. It will be two days in unknown territory, before I am back on track in Atienza.

Day 22a. Mandayona - Atienza. 35.8 km

Reading the Amigos' description of this stage in their guide, the slow walkers are bound to despair:
La longitud de esta etapa es considerable y tiene un perfil marcadamente ascendente, por lo que es una de las más duras de todo la ruta. Las poblaciones intermedias son muy pequeñas y con escasos servicios, por lo que prácticamente se hace obligatorio llegar hasta Atienza.
which is translated as:
The length of this stage is considerable and has a markedly uphill profile, making it one of the hardest of the entire route. The intermediate villages are very small and have few services, making it practically obligatory to reach Atienza.

There is a glimmer of hope: just after Huérmeces del Cerro, after about 16 km from Mandayona, there is the albergue rural El Molino, mostly focussed on outdoor activities. It could offer a mid-stage break.

The villages we will cross are small, indeed. Baides, Viana de Jadraque, Huérmeces del Cerro, Santiuste, Cardeñosa, everyone of these villages has a population of less than 100 inhabitants.

Santiuste has a Romanesque style church.

During the first confinement in April 2020, the people of Viana de Jadraque contributed photos to make this video:
 
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Pilger Franz

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Hola AJGuillaume U2, are you actually walking on the ruta??

when I was in Atienza in 2018 the Albergue del Ayuntamiento (acogida no garantizada - Pza. España, 11 949399001 ayto. was too dirty - maybe this has changed meanwhile). So I turned around on my heels and went some 100 metres to Hostal rural El Mirador de Atienza (C. Barruelo, s/n 949399038 659643084; 22 € at that time, for pilgrims; very nice! The jefe was rather pilgrimminded) www.elmiradordeatienza.com reservas@elmiradordeatienza.com
Hope they are on service!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Since I felt guilty posting that dismissive response, I thought the least I should do is look at the video that you took the time to find. Thanks, AJ.

The song that Viana de Jadraque uses as background music for their photos is a 2020 rendition of an older song and is a mix of virtually every pop star Spanish singer as an upbeat let’s beat Covid song.

The video link I’m pasting in here has not only the music but footage of the singers and instrumentalists, with subtitles in Spanish. I remember when I heard it for the first time I thought it was a good pick-me-upper. The youtube has been viewed 51 million times so I guess others agree with me! (And I also felt very old because I only recognized one of the singers, but couldn’t remember his name anyway!).


Subtitles seemed to disappear, so here are the lyrics in Spanish and English.

When I lose all the games
Cuando pierda todas las partidas

When I sleep with loneliness
Cuando duerma con la soledad

When the exits are closed to me
Cuando se me cierren las salidas

And the night does not leave me alone
Y la noche no me deje en paz
When I'm afraid of silence
Cuando sienta miedo del silencio

When it costs to stay on my feet
Cuando cueste mantenerme en pie

When the memories rebel
Cuando se rebelen los recuerdos

And put me against the wall
Y me pongan contra la pared
I will stand tall in front of it all
Resistiré, erguido frente a todo

I will turn to iron to harden my skin
Me volveré de hierro para endurecer la piel

And though the winds of life blow strong
Y aunque los vientos de la vida soplen fuerte

I am like the reed that bends, but always stands
Soy como el junco que se dobla, pero siempre sigue en pie
I will resist, to continue living
Resistiré, para seguir viviendo

I'll take the blows and never give up
Soportaré los golpes y jamás me rendiré

And although dreams break me into pieces
Y aunque los sueños se me rompan en pedazos

I will resist, I will resist
Resistiré, resistiré
When the world loses all magic
Cuando el mundo pierda toda magia

When my enemy is me
Cuando mi enemigo sea yo

When nostalgia stabs me
Cuando me apuñale la nostalgia

And don't even recognize my voice
Y no reconozca ni mi voz
When madness threatens me
Cuando me amenace la locura

When my coin comes out cross
Cuando en mi moneda salga cruz

When the devil passes the bill
Cuando el diablo pase la factura

Or if I ever miss you
O si alguna vez me faltas tú
I will stand tall in front of it all
Resistiré, erguido frente a todo

I will turn to iron to harden my skin
Me volveré de hierro para endurecer la piel

And though the winds of life blow strong
Y aunque los vientos de la vida soplen fuerte

I am like the reed that bends, but always stands
Soy como el junco que se dobla, pero siempre sigue en pie
I will resist, to continue living
Resistiré, para seguir viviendo

I'll take the blows and never give up
Soportaré los golpes y jamás me rendiré

And although dreams break me into pieces
Y aunque los sueños se me rompan en pedazos

I will resist, I will resist
Resistiré, resistiré
 

AJGuillaume

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Hola @AJGuillaume U2, are you actually walking on the ruta?
Hola @Pilger Franz , it is a Camino I intend to walk after our Australian borders open up.

when I was in Atienza
Thank you for your lodging recommendation in Atienza, @Pilger Franz . I was going to talk about Atienza after we had gone through Sigüenza, so I'll refer to your post then. Muchas gracias!

I am going to hazard the guess that the reason you are not getting input or feedback is because your post, and @Pilger Franz’s, have given us all we need to know to make the decision to take the Sigüenza alternative. ;)
:) ;)
I wasn't expecting much of a response, @peregrina2000 , except maybe from @Bad Pilgrim , who walked the direct route before going through Sigüenza. Hopefully I'll get more input from the veterans when we take the alternative.

However, that stage will have to wait: my daughter-in-law is Chinese Malaysian, and over the next two days my wife and I will be celebrating the Lunar New Year, and handing out 'ang paos', red packets, to the youngsters around us. We have a reunion dinner tonight, and tomorrow is a big day. She told us to make sure we're hungry tomorrow... 😲😄

Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái or Kiong Hee Huat Tsai as my daughter-in-law speaks Hokkien.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
Reporting back in to say I got a WhatsApp back from Casa Rural Rio Dulce, a kind of fancy looking place in Aragosa.
I liked that casa rural very much indeed. A very comfortable place, luxurious even, rather wasted on a pilgrim. I can't remember the price, but it was not one of those places where you have to pay for the whole building whether you are 1 person or 6 - I think it cost me between 20-30€, very fair. Antonia, the charming dueña, worked as a translator at the Trillo nuclear power station (I discovered later), but politely let me talk to her in my very faulty Spanish. I wish I'd bought food to cook in her excellent kitchen, but I had quite a decent (adequate, anyway) meal at the motorway café near Mandayona. The Dulce Valley before and after Aragosa is simply gorgeous - melodious river, picturesque cliffs, cacophonous vultures, glorious scenery, well marked path, delicious water, total solitude.
 
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Google maps says 1 supermercado and 1 store in Herrumblar, and I know there is at least 1 bar. In Viana de Mondéjar, there is no place to buy food and I have never seen the bar open.

When I have time I can do an extensive overview of Alicante-Burgos regarding foodless villages. Right now, Alatoz comes to my mind. But there are at least 2 bars in Alatoz.

In October 2019 there was a carnicería in Alatoz which sold a few groceries, plus salami and other long-ish lasting goods. Also I vaguely recall a small tienda for groceries.
 

VNwalking

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I will resist, I will resist
Resistiré, resistiré
For obvious reasons, this really resonates right now!

If we choose to go through Sigüenza, rather than the official route, it looks like there are a couple of ways to get there. Not wanting to jump ahead, but for now just to say that one of those ways leaves the Lana at Viana de Jadraque. So if that video makes you want to visit, you still can. ;)

It's about 5k longer than the direct route, but still less than 25k from Mandanoya.
 
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AJGuillaume

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Right. Looks like everybody is going to Sigüenza.

Day 22. Mandayona - Sigüenza. 25.5 km

@alansykes didn't go to Mandayona, he turned right at Mirabueno, and stopped at Aragosa. This only adds one km to the walk from Cifuentes. He stayed at the Casa Rural Rio Dulce, which he liked very much. From Aragosa to Sigüenza, it is about 21 km.

@Magwood walked from Mandayona to Sigüenza, 25.5 km. So did @Undermanager , who recorded 28 km for the day. @Bad Pilgrim also walked from Mandayona to Sigüenza.

I think the consensus is that it is a beautiful walk. I'll make my task easy by quoting from the veterans:
Then you follow the Dulce up its canyon, with occasional waterfalls, and at one point I counted over a dozen vultures overhead - a kettle of vultures. The Lana and the Camino del Cid are together here, and at Pelegrina they are joined by the Ruta de Don Quijote. Then out of the valley and up over scrubland to Sigüenza with its dominating castle and lovely cathedral and several Romanesque churches and winding old hillside streets, all for a population of 4500.
I loved the vultures here. So many, soaring and riding the thermals against the moon and some perching and posing for classic vulture shots. It's the one time I regret not having my superzoom camera! The gorge is very gorge-like, with big cliffs, lots of different flowers and birds around the water that flows through here, and many deer in the fields.
After passing through one pretty village with no facilities, you arrive after 17kms at Peligrina, with some impressive castle ruins high up on a hill. That must have created some painful backs! It was 11.15am when I arrived. There's a welcome cafe with great views as you get close to the castle but it's an uphill slog to get to it - how badly do you need that coffee? I stayed half an hour then left.
So here comes the part where I should marvel about the scenery on this stretch. The truth is that it is the most fascinating and beautiful since I started walking. But it has been described in detail by previous bloggers, so what can I possibly add... If you haven't read up on the Lana, this is a walk in a mountain gorge, with a lot of wildlife (mostly birds). Luckily it is totally flat. Then there is a short walk up a hill, followed by a trail in a thin woods (at about 1000 m altitude). Then a walk downhill to the medieval, and rather spectacular, city of Sigüenza. The best way to describe it is that it doesn't look like any of the previous stages. It is a quite surprising experience, all in all.
And from @Magwood 's blog:
From start to finish it was a perfect camino. [...]
We first pass through the village of Aragosa at 4 km, very pretty stone buildings dominated by the cliffs. There is a very highly regarded casa rural here, but no facilities. [...]
We are soon walking through a gorge with towering cliffs on either side, only a couple of hundred metres apart. There is a constant stream of vultures crossing from one side to the other, just like popping across the road to visit a friend. It is all so beautiful and dramatic with tall poplar trees lining the swollen river. We are walking with our necks bent and our eyes fixed on the sky. [...]
The next village we reach is even prettier, La Cabrera at around 12 km – again no services. [...]
The last village at 16 km, aptly named Pelegrina, does have a bar/restaurant but we have to make a diversion to reach it right at the top of the hill upon which it and its castle are perched.

@VNwalking has also found an alternative:
If we choose to go through Sigüenza, rather than the official route, it looks like there are a couple of ways to get there. Not wanting to jump ahead, but for now just to say that one of those ways leaves the Lana at Viana de Jadraque.
It's 10.6 km from Mandayona to Viana de Jadraque. From Viana de Jadraque, there is a 'Camino de Viana de Jadraque a Sigüenza', which looks like a country road. Looking for tracks, I came across one that shows that it is 14.3 km:

There are a number of others tracks that are slightly longer (about 18 km), which seem to take a more scenic route, along the Barranco de la Hoz, and the Arroyo de la Nava:

So walking via Viana de Jadraque would be between about 25 km and 29 km, depending on which path you take.

Sigüenza offers a number of lodgings. There's the Residencia de Padres Josefinos. The comments about the Residencia range from "clean, decent" to "it’s not my favourite place", with a general opinion that it is basic. @alansykes points out that in addition to staying in the dorm, one can book a private room with ensuite.
As Sigüenza is of a reasonable size, there are many other options, including those listed in the Amigos' guide: Hotel Laberinto, and Casa rural El Arrabal de Sigüenza. And if you really want comfort and would to indulge, there is the Parador de Sigüenza. A quick scan through the usual online booking website shows there is quite a number of options.

Well worth a rest day.
In real life, the slow walkers amongst us would indeed welcome a rest day. Borrowing @Magwood 's words once again:
The town is very historic, with cathedral and several churches. The streets are lined with beautiful old buildings and it is thoroughly charming.
Indeed:
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks so much, AJ. I had read all of the fabulous live threads you carefully paste in your posts, but having the three commentaries in the same place for the same day give a very different flavor than reading one of them start to finish. As a planning tool, it is so very helpful. And I get that the theme of the day is canyon and vulture!

So, the options into Sigüenza. Looks to me like the choice is between the Barranco de la Hoz (starting at Viana de Jadraque) and the Cañon del Río Dulce (which is what the forum members describe). Choices choices, but my inclination would be to stay with the route through Aragosa and Pelegrina.

And now I know that there is no need to go up to Mandayona if I am planning to sleep in Aragosa. I had read that Alan stayed in Aragosa but I hadn’t paid careful enough attention to realize that the direct route there goes from Mirabueno and not Mandayona!

I was really surprised to see so so many lodging options in Sigüenza. The last time I was there, a day trip from Madrid in 1995, I had lunch in the parador and remember that the castle was undergoing a lot of renovations. It was a sleepy little place, surely without the 34 lodging options booking now shows! This is definitely a place for some serious down time!
 

C clearly

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AJGuillaume

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To clarify, the walk from Cifuentes to Mandayona is about 26 km, and the walk from Cifuentes to Aragosa is about 27 km if you turn right just after Mirabueno and follow this track.
I was going to share @Magwood 's and @alansykes ' tracks, to show the fork at Mirabueno. They both stayed in Masegoso de Tajuña, which is about 9.5 km from Cifuentes, and @alansykes stopped his track recording at Mirabueno.

For completeness, here they are. @Magwood walked to Mandayona:

and @alansykes walked to Aragosa, and you'll have to fill in the track from Mirabueno to Aragosa, which is about 4 km:
 

VNwalking

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Because of internet challenges, accessing those wikiloc tracks isn't possible, but here are two options I found using OSMand, deviating from the Lana at Viana; the first meanders and is virtually all off-road, the second is more direct, with a bit of road walking at the very end (after Moratilla de Henares). It follows the river and rail easement as you approach Sigüenza, so there must be views. The difference between the two is a bit less than 3 km.
The meander:
Screenshot_20210214-130557_OsmAnd.jpg

More direct:
Screenshot_20210214-130436_OsmAnd.jpg
It's this, right?:
From Viana de Jadraque, there is a 'Camino de Viana de Jadraque a Sigüenza', which looks like a country road.
Without lookjng at wikiloc, I can't tell.
Both these options look very nice!
 
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Bad Pilgrim

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Year of past OR future Camino
2021
the Sigüenza alternative in Aragosa. Weird because this is a town with 15 inhabitants, but the town is near the Parque Natural Barranco del Río Dulce. VN will appreciate its geological uniqueness.

Aragosa is stunning because of the backdrop with the mountains and cliffs all around. One thing I wonder though: the sun is blocked part of the day down in the gorge. How fun is that? :confused: Oh well, I guess the same goes for Alcalá del Júcar and the like.

Day 22a. Mandayona - Atienza. 35.8 km

Reading the Amigos' description of this stage in their guide, the slow walkers are bound to despair:
which is translated as:
The length of this stage is considerable and has a markedly uphill profile, making it one of the hardest of the entire route. The intermediate villages are very small and have few services, making it practically obligatory to reach Atienza.

There is a glimmer of hope: just after Huérmeces del Cerro, after about 16 km from Mandayona, there is the albergue rural El Molino, mostly focussed on outdoor activities. It could offer a mid-stage break.

The villages we will cross are small, indeed. Baides, Viana de Jadraque, Huérmeces del Cerro, Santiuste, Cardeñosa, everyone of these villages has a population of less than 100 inhabitants.

If one is used to walking 30 + kms, there is nothing special about this stage. I didn't notice the uphill profile, probably because the uphill gradually happens for 36 kms. I had coffee in two places: in Baides (I think) and in Huérmeces del Cerro. I was trainwrecked after walking through mud (after a heavy rainfall; it is not always muddy) and wanted to stay in El Molino, which had a spare room for me according to the lady in the cafetería where I stopped. It is possible to split this stage in two! But as soon as I heard that the place was invaded with shouting teenagers, I dropped my napolitana, threw my café con leche out the window and ran away as fast as my legs could carry me.

As this historical route falls into oblivion, in competition with Sigüenza, people will fail to notice that most of the difficulties are rumours: there are bars, it is not particularly uphill and it is not excessively long. With the bars and the possibility to stay half-way at El Molino, I don't understand how the Asociación can call this one of the hardest stage on the Lana...!

The only obstacles, literally, are the gates that you have to figure out how to open between Mandayona and Baides. I had to climb one or two of them, because I just didn't get through the locks. There are fences on both sides, like you are walking in a corridor, so you can only choose to walk forward - or admit defeat and return to Mandayona.

"Fence" and "corridor" doesn't sound very scenic, but this is a beautiful stage whith many wild animals: both on the right and the wrong side of the fence... All the way to Atienza is nice; not as nice as Sigüenza, but it would break my heart if this way would be totally abandoned by pilgrims...!

EDIT: I now remember that two spanish teenagers approached me when I was having my coffee; probably curious about my hiking outfit and about the Camino de Santiago in general. We had a chat about this and that and also about my home country that they had visited last year and that they had fond memories of. They were not shouting nor screaming! How is that possible?! Nice as they were, I decided to push on to Atienza...
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Right. Looks like everybody is going to Sigüenza.

Oh no! My heart is shattered 😭💔💔💔

From Viana de Jadraque, there is a 'Camino de Viana de Jadraque a Sigüenza', which looks like a country road.

What!?! This is yet another reason for me to return to the Lana! Next time I will combine the historical route (Mandayona-Baides-Viana de Jadraque) and from Viana crossing over to the Sigüenza alternative! ♥️

I think the consensus is that it is a beautiful walk.

I have a few rehashed photos below...
 

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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
If one is used to walking 30 + kms, there is nothing special about this stage.
That's the issue with us slow walkers... :rolleyes:
She can't really walk 30+ km stages.

It is possible to split this stage in two! But as soon as I heard that the place was invaded with shouting teenagers, I dropped my napolitana, threw my café con leche out the window and ran away as fast as my legs could carry me.
If there is a definite possibility to split the stage in two, then it would be attractive. The issue is that I have to guarantee to my darling that we can split the stage in two.
I guess that we wouldn't be too worried about shouting teenagers if they kept their shouting to daylight hours. I would definitely be turned away if their shouting was throughout the night...

Thank you for those photos, @Bad Pilgrim , they are fabulous!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
This is yet another reason for me to return to the Lana! Next time I will combine the historical route (Mandayona-Baides-Viana de Jadraque) and from Viana crossing over to the Sigüenza alternative!
I think that would be my preference too.
This way is just getting more and more interesting.

Fanrastic photos, @Bad Pilgrim ! I like seeing them here from a perspective of deeper familiarity for where we are and where this is going.

(I have a very off-piste option floating around in my planning mind for after Sigüenza, but that's for later.)
 
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AJGuillaume

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Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
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Day 23. Sigüenza - Atienza. 31.4 km

When I look at the length of this stage, I immediately think of the slow walkers, and try to find where we could break this stage to make it shorter, or if there is a plan B we can look at.

Taking a taxi for a few km is a Plan B: Sigüenza is a large enough town to offer a taxi service. That could suit the non-purists, who could then walk whatever remainder of the stage to Atienza they choose.

Looking at where @Magwood and @alansykes walked led me to find another way of breaking this stage.

The published Camino takes the pilgrim through Palazuelos (5.9 km), where there is the Casa Rural La Carrasca Alta. A further 6.4 km leads us to La Olmeda de Jadraque, where there is a bar, but no place to sleep. Keep walking another 4.1 km to Santamera, and then 5.5 km you'll get to Riofrío del Llano. There is supposedly a bar in each of those villages, according to the Amigos' guide book. The final 9.5 km will get you to Atienza.

Palazuelos is a "stunningly beautiful walled village" as described by @Magwood. As for Santamera:
Then on to the almost equally ridiculously lovely village of Santamera, at the junction of three canyons, with its church perched on a cliff, and eagles circling overhead.
4 kms further on is another fabulously pretty village in a sun trap, in a gloriously position surrounded by cliffs. There were two water fountains here in Santamera.
the alp-like Santamera is the highlight of the day with the beautiful hills as a dramatic backdrop

@alansykes had a side trip in mind when he left Sigüenza:
Rather than follow the Lana I decided to detour uphill to see the romanesque church at Carabias. It's an almost perfect small church, in the centre of a tiny village perched above the valley.
I think @Magwood must have followed his footsteps, not expecting to get to Carabias:
I am a little puzzled because this village does not appear on my list. It’s called Carabias and we are delighted to find a boutique 3* hotel which is not only open, but willing to serve a couple of scruffy pilgrims on their sunny terrace. I was presented with a whole jug of hot soy milk which was sufficient to fill two cups, and we had delicious toasted rustic bread with a dish of diced tomato. We were expecting the bill to be high, but it was less than most cafes would charge. Thank you Hotel Cardamomo.
It is approximately 9.5 km from Sigüenza to Carabias. In addition to Hotel Cardamomo, Google maps tells me that there are also two casas rurales, both appearing to be "Alquiler completo".
Following the tracks of our veterans of the Lana, it is then about 27.5 km to Atienza. Still a long stage for slow walkers, but just a little better than 31.4 km ;)😄
Now if you have done a bit of arithmetic, you would have noticed that if you stopped at Palazuelos after 5.9 km, you would only have 25.5 km left to Atienza... But then who wouldn't detour to see a Romanesque church? ;)😄

In Atienza, @Pilger Franz stayed at the Hostal rural El Mirador de Atienza, which is currently closed for Covid reasons, let's hope it opens when things get better. He had made what @Magwood called an "unfavourable assessment" of the Albergue. @alansykes stayed at the Albergue. @Undermanager also stayed at El Mirador. @Magwood and @Ninja as well as @Bad Pilgrim slept at the Hostal Santo Cristo:
It's on your right side just after having entered Atienza. Watch out, because there is no visible sign saying Santo Cristo? Just "Bar Restaurante Atienza" for the adjacent bar in the same building. It took me a while to understand I had arrived at the right place. 20 euros and the owner will also wash your clothes! Which made him my new best friend.
There are other places where we'll find a bed, such as Hotel Restaurante Antiguo Palacio De Atienza, and Hotel Rural Fonda Molinero.

And this, in Carabias, is for the aficionados of Romanesque:
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Chatting to my lovely darling about today's walk, we came up with a plan for our real life walk on the Lana. We would have 3 nights in Sigüenza, one day's rest to discover the town, and on the second day, we would walk to Carabias (without backpacks) and return to Sigüenza. Then when we would leave Sigüenza, we would take a taxi to Palazuelos, and walk from there.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
the Hostal rural El Mirador de Atienza, which is currently closed for Covid reasons,

The Hotel Convento Santa Ana, in an 18th C convent, has a note on its web page — “En estado de Alarma — Seguimos Abiertos.” So there is at least one place to stay, and I have to admit it looks like a nice option even if the other places are open! Same for the other hotel you mentioned, Palacio de Atienzas, which is in another historic building.

And here are Alan’s GPS tracks for that stage, for those who want to make sure about heading to Carabias. It looks like it follows the "regular" camino till Palazuelos and then detours off to take in Carabias, and then rejoins the regular route in Salinas de la Olmeda, which is not a town but a lake constructed in the middle ages for the production of salt. I had never heard the word "saltern." It's a few km before Olmeda de Jadraque.

I was pretty surprised to see that the Association guide describes leaving Palazuelos this way: "Km. 5,9 – Desde la plaza José Antonio salir por la calle Calvo Sotelo hasta la plaza Generalísimo." Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera was the founder of the fascist Falange party, Calvo Sotelo was a far right anti-Republic politician who was murdered in retaliation for the murder of a left wing leader in pre-civil war days and became a martyr in the Franco era, and the Generalísimo refers to Franco. So Palazuelos offers you a stroll down Franco's memory lane. The Ley de Memoria, which was passed in 2015 or thereabouts, has mandated renaming those places. I know Alan and others have reported occasionally on towns that have not complied, so here is one more.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
The albergue is Atienza is a little basic and the more fastidious might be better off elsewhere (the convent sounds nice). But I was quite happy there, despite the dust and broken furniture, and lack of pillows (I carry my own inflatable one anyway, for occasions when there isn't one, or the ones on offer don't ... appeal). There was hot water, and it was free, and had a good view southwards and anyway after 38km I can sleep pretty well anywhere. It's a palace compared to the broken sofa that's on offer at Fresno de Caracena in a couple of days.

El Cid had passed near here on one of his excursions, avoided Atienza's still imposing castle as "una peña muy fuort."

The pics are of Carabias, Santamera's clifftop Church, and Atienza's castle from the south, just as I was starting my race with the sun to get there in daylight.

DSC_0083.jpg DSC_0085.jpg DSC_0087.jpg
 
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peregrina2000

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I was hunting around to see if I could get some information on the interior of the portico-ed church in Carabias. Based on what I saw, the real beauty is outside. So I will probably not make the effort to find out opening times, find the señora with the key, etc. Unless there is someone with better information that suggests I am wrong?

I’m posting to this link, more than anything for my pal VN when she is (hopefully soon) once again able to freely access the internet. In my search about Carabias, I saw this website, with information on all the Romanesque in the province of Guadalajara.

 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 24. Atienza - Retortillo de Soria. 22 km

This is the next 'published' stage, as indicated by the Amigos' guide book.

Crossing from the province of Guadalajara to Soria, during the day we'll reach the highest point on the Lana. Not an easy stage for slow walkers, judging from the profile, and the comments:
The next hour is a real hard slog up the side of gorge to a point 1380m high.
I had to walk up the steep, rocky trail that leads to Alto de la Carrascosa (1380 m altitude) on an empty stomach, which I had not planned. Once again I was huffing and puffing, probably scaring away all of God's living creatures in the wilderness.
and from @Magwood 's blog:
The track out of the village is steep and rocky on a goat track winding up the mountain side. Up and up we went 230 m in 3 km over very rough ground.

It might not be an easy stage for some, but it is a beautiful one by all accounts.
I think I'll give this one 5* and put it in my all time top 10 camino days. I know I've probably got 20 "top 10" days, but this was good. Atienza has some lovely buildings and I wish I'd got there earlier to explore. [...] You leave town via a romanesque church and a fine 2nd century Roman fuente. Then glorious rolling countryside, through pretty woods and across open country with majestic hills in the distance.

There are two villages, Romanillos de Atienza which is 9.5 km after Atienza, and Miedes de Atienza 6.4 km after that.
Miedes de Atienza, beautiful red stone houses, a little castle, church and more heavy new tractors than I've ever seen outside of an agricultural show. I popped onto the tiny bar hoping for a caña to fortify me before the climb, but stayed for lunch.

In Retortillo de Soria there is an albergue, in the "Local municipal", noting however "acogida no garantizada". There is also the private albergue, Hostal La Muralla, where all our veterans spent the night.

That steep trail to the Alto de Carrascosa is going to be really hard for my darling, so I looked at an alternative. In Miedes de Atienza, there is a casa rural, La Cueva del Gallo, where we might be able to have a room:
Tipo de alquiler: Por habitaciones
We would walk 15.9 km on that day, and stop just before the rise.
After a good night sleep, tackling the steep slope in the morning would be achievable for my wife. We would then possibly do what @Bad Pilgrim did, and walk on to Tarancueña:
I carried on to the very small village of Tarancueña (30 kms). The casa rural Los Arenes de Tarancueña (last picture below) is 40 euros, breakfast included. The nicest woman ever is in charge and it is a 5 star place, period. In the village, there is nothing though. I remember that I caught the bar in the Ayuntamiento being open when I was here last time, but no luck today. No tienda, nada. There are only 7 people living here, although a lot more during the summer vacations. Beautiful surroundings! The owner of the casa rural will cook for you in the evening if you want (not included). She is a good cook!
And that would give us a 13.8 km day.

However, for the purpose of this virtual Camino, we have stopped at Retortillo de Soria. Here's more information:

 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Retortillo de Soria is the most convenient point, I think, for jumping off the camino and going to visit San Baudelio de Berlanga. I have been wanting to visit this church for years and years. It was the frescoes of San Baudelio, some of which were transported back to the Prado in Madrid (others “wound up” in art museums in the US), that started my love of Romanesque. My Art History in the Prado course had a segment on Romanesque. We spent two hours a week in the museum, and I really came to love those frescoes. The church is from the early 11th century, and I have read that a few of the original frescoes remain in the church.

San Baudelio is about 28 km from Retortillo. It is then another 8 or 9 to the town of Berlanga de Duero, which is a destination in its own right.

So I came up with several options. The one I would most like to do would be to sleep in Retortillo, walk the next morning to the church, and then continue to Berlanga de Duero. Visit the Centro de Interpretación for the church, sleep there, and then head back to Retortillo the next day. Sleep in Retortillo and then carry on. That would add two days to the camino, maybe a problem.

Another option would be to take up the offer of the owner of the hotel/albergue in Retortillo to drive me out to see the church in the afternoon. That would add no days, but wouldn’t allow a visit to the town of Berlanga, which is a nice place. (Also, I have found that walking to these churches is far more magical than driving. I remember that on my first Francés, we got a taxi out and back from Pamplona to visit Eunate. The next several times I visited was on foot and it was just so so different).

A third option would be to get a ride to Berlanga de Duero the afternoon I arrive in Retortillo. Spend the night in Berlanga, and then the next day walk to San Baudelio and back to Retortillo to spend the night. This would add one day.

Visits are only Wed- Sat, morning and afternoon, and Sunday, morning. I remember last year at this time when I was planning my Lana 2020 (HA!) that I had to be very careful with days, because of another gem we will get to a week or so after Retortillo, in Quintanillas de la Viña, which also has a Wednesday-Sunday visiting schedule.

I’m sure there are other options. I think VN has been thinking about this as well, so we’ll see what she comes up with.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
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Baztanés/CF ('17)
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I’m posting to this link, more than anything for my pal VN when she is (hopefully soon) once again able to freely access the internet.
May it be so. It takes forever for pages to load, and every night the internet is cut...which doesn't accomplish much, since everyone is sleeping. I think it's both spite and showing who's in charge. But I've gone off topic...

Laurie OMGomgOMG...you know what appeals, no doubt about it. Between Romanesque and what sounds like an amazing landscape, I'm in heaven! Remember flatflatflat? We've come a long way. (Sorry, @Bad Pilgrim , but I'll be starting in Cuenca if I manage to walk this Camino.)

But then who wouldn't detour to see a Romanesque church?
Retortillo de Soria is the most convenient point, I think, for jumping off the camino and going to visit San Baudelio de Berlanga
I’m sure there are other options. I think VN has been thinking about
Yes, AJ, I can imagine meandering all over Spain following my nose to the next Romanesque (or even Visigothic) Church.

So I looked at the map and came up with option 4, which is a long (3 days-worth) off-Lana meander that takes in both Sigüenza and San Baudelio de Berlanga, returning to the Lana at San Esteban. But after reading of these two last stages, I'm questioning whether it's worth it. There is a lot to miss, from the sound of it.

There are places to stay at the intermediate points on the map, but the stages are a bit long for slower walkers.

So here's the overview, followed by 3 sequential OSMand maps:
20210220_233636.jpg
Screenshot_20210110-220241_OsmAnd.jpg Screenshot_20210110-220249_OsmAnd.jpg Screenshot_20210110-220400_OsmAnd.jpg

There's more to be said, but they're about to cut the internet so I'm going to post this now.
Hasta pronto, amigos and amigas!
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
So here's the overview, followed by 3 sequential OSMand maps:
When I click on these links, I get an “OOPS! You do not have permission to view this page.”

Not to worry, though, because like you, I am pretty convinced that I want to walk from Retortillo onward on the Lana.

I was originally tempted by the idea that an off-camino detour to San Baudelio could be extended to include a meander to Burgo de Osma via Gormaz (not San Esteban de Gormaz) and then over to rejoin the Lana at San Esteban de Gormaz (12 km from Burgo de Osma).

This is how that would work.

Retortillo to San Baudelio to sleep in Berlanga de Duero. (35)
Berlanga de Duero to Gormaz (great castle, El Cid connection) to Burgo de Osma (30)
Burgo de Osma to San Esteban de Gormaz, back on the Lana (12) — and the first place I see to stop beyond San Esteban is Quintanarraya, another 30 km so that’s LONG. Maybe when AJ gets up to that point we can re-visit the question and do some sleuthing.

But I think that it would be a real shame to miss those canyons everyone describes after Retortillo, so I am probably going to limit my off-camino meander to a visit to San Baudelio.

I clearly have too much time on my hands, but am really enjoying all these deep dives. I had thought that at some point I would find it frustrating, but that hasn’t happened yet!
 
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Day 24. Atienza - Retortillo de Soria. 22 km

This is the next 'published' stage, as indicated by the Amigos' guide book.

Crossing from the province of Guadalajara to Soria, during the day we'll reach the highest point on the Lana. Not an easy stage for slow walkers, judging from the profile, and the comments:


and from @Magwood 's blog:


It might not be an easy stage for some, but it is a beautiful one by all accounts.


There are two villages, Romanillos de Atienza which is 9.5 km after Atienza, and Miedes de Atienza 6.4 km after that.


In Retortillo de Soria there is an albergue, in the "Local municipal", noting however "acogida no garantizada". There is also the private albergue, Hostal La Muralla, where all our veterans spent the night.

That steep trail to the Alto de Carrascosa is going to be really hard for my darling, so I looked at an alternative. In Miedes de Atienza, there is a casa rural, La Cueva del Gallo, where we might be able to have a room:

We would walk 15.9 km on that day, and stop just before the rise.
After a good night sleep, tackling the steep slope in the morning would be achievable for my wife. We would then possibly do what @Bad Pilgrim did, and walk on to Tarancueña:

And that would give us a 13.8 km day.

However, for the purpose of this virtual Camino, we have stopped at Retortillo de Soria. Here's more information:

AJG Thank you for being the god of short distances.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Sorry for lagging behind,

I hope a moderator can use her magic wand to put this post in the right place...

La Olmeda de Jadraque, where there is a bar

Are you sure? Nothing shows on Google Maps. I didn't see any when I walked through. I can't say I stayed to look for it either. This is a very small village.

Keep walking another 4.1 km to Santamera, and then 5.5 km you'll get to Riofrío del Llano. There is supposedly a bar in each of those villages, according to the Amigos' guide book.

Actually this was a stage where I found no bars at all until Atienza! (And people shame the historical route Mandayona-Atienza for a lack of bars, when there actually are a few...) So I found this stage quite hard. But no one would be happier than me to be proven wrong, so please enlighten me!

I see on Google maps that there is a bar in Palazuelos. But I must have arrived too early. The whole village looked empty to me at the break of dawn. I also see that there is a Centro Social in Santamera. I think I went there to take a look, but it was closed. Also in Riofrío del Llano, the bar was closed and looked like it had been so for a long time.

Then when we would leave Sigüenza, we would take a taxi to Palazuelos, and walk from there.

Good idea. The walk from Sigüenza to Palazuelos is quite dull and you wouldn't miss anything in my opinion. This stage has nothing to do with the previous one! I liked the flatlands right after Palazuelos where there were a lot of birds to see, and that I unfortunatley stirred up in the morning, and Santamera is impressive. But except that, the stage is a small disappointment after the walk in the canyon/nature park the day before.

Salinas de la Olmeda, which is not a town but a lake constructed in the middle ages for the production of salt. I had never heard the word "saltern." It's a few km before Olmeda de Jadraque.

Oh, that is what it was then. The camino goes right next to it. I didn't take any photos of the lake itself, but of the Ermita (?) that caught my eye in the field (2nd picture below). From this point there is an uphill walk to Olmeda de Jadraque; I guess one could turn around and have a view of the saltern. But I didn't: I was too focused on reaching the non-existant bars in Olmeda de Jadraque...!

The last kms of this stage join the historical route coming directly from Mandayona. When you see the skyline of Atienza and its castle, it is still one more hour before you get there, or even two if you are a slow walker like me!

Rehashed pictures coming up below!
 

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
OK, I'm back on track now!

There are two villages, Romanillos de Atienza which is 9.5 km after Atienza, and Miedes de Atienza 6.4 km after that.
There are bars (in summer) but not if you come by too early in the morning!

In Retortillo de Soria there is an albergue, in the "Local municipal", noting however "acogida no garantizada". There is also the private albergue, Hostal La Muralla, where all our veterans spent the night.
Just to clarify: there is the Hostal La Muralla, and the private albergue (also called La Muralla?). I never went to the albergue; I would take the hostal any time... But it is true that Laners in general are impressed with the standard of the private albergue.

The hostal is also very nice! Your regular 25-30 euros, if I am not mistaken. Aurora knows everything there is to know about the Camino in the region. She hinted about the Asociación possibly re-routing the Camino in the future, making it go through the town of Gormaz. Would that affect your plans of visiting those other places in the area, @peregrina2000 and @VNwalking ?

Retortillo de Soria is the most convenient point, I think, for jumping off the camino and going to visit San Baudelio de Berlanga.
So I looked at the map and came up with option 4, which is a long (3 days-worth) off-Lana meander that takes in both Sigüenza and San Baudelio de Berlanga, returning to the Lana at San Esteban.
Stop!! You two are making never-ending suggestions that are pushing me to roam the Lana a third time!! :eek:

But I think that it would be a real shame to miss those canyons everyone describes after Retortillo,
YES. The canyon right after Tarancueñas is only for a few kms (long or short depending on how you feel) but it is ruggedly pretty... I guess we will get there in the next installment!
 

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Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Sorry for lagging behind,

I hope a moderator can use her magic wand to put this post in the right place...



Are you sure? Nothing shows on Google Maps. I didn't see any when I walked through. I can't say I stayed to look for it either. This is a very small village.



Actually this was a stage where I found no bars at all until Atienza! (And people shame the historical route Mandayona-Atienza for a lack of bars, when there actually are a few...) So I found this stage quite hard. But no one would be happier than me to be proven wrong, so please enlighten me!

I see on Google maps that there is a bar in Palazuelos. But I must have arrived too early. The whole village looked empty to me at the break of dawn. I also see that there is a Centro Social in Santamera. I think I went there to take a look, but it was closed. Also in Riofrío del Llano, the bar was closed and looked like it had been so for a long time.



Good idea. The walk from Sigüenza to Palazuelos is quite dull and you wouldn't miss anything in my opinion. This stage has nothing to do with the previous one! I liked the flatlands right after Palazuelos where there were a lot of birds to see, and that I unfortunatley stirred up in the morning, and Santamera is impressive. But except that, the stage is a small disappointment after the walk in the canyon/nature park the day before.



Oh, that is what it was then. The camino goes right next to it. I didn't take any photos of the lake itself, but of the Ermita (?) that caught my eye in the field (2nd picture below). From this point there is an uphill walk to Olmeda de Jadraque; I guess one could turn around and have a view of the saltern. But I didn't: I was too focused on reaching the non-existant bars in Olmeda de Jadraque...!

The last kms of this stage join the historical route coming directly from Mandayona. When you see the skyline of Atienza and its castle, it is still one more hour before you get there, or even two if you are a slow walker like me!

Rehashed pictures coming up below!
Loved that first photo
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
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Actually this was a stage where I found no bars at all until Atienza! (And people shame the historical route Mandayona-Atienza for a lack of bars, when there actually are a few...) So I found this stage quite hard. But no one would be happier than me to be proven wrong, so please enlighten me!
I see on Google maps that there is a bar in Palazuelos. But I must have arrived too early. The whole village looked empty to me at the break of dawn. I also see that there is a Centro Social in Santamera. I think I went there to take a look, but it was closed. Also in Riofrío del Llano, the bar
As I haven't walked the Lana, @Bad Pilgrim , I would accept your information as the correct one. I was just quoting the Amigos' guide book. The have the little bar symbol for this villages, albeit without any other indication of location or opening times.

I think that for this stage and for my darling who loves her cup of manzanilla, I might get a heating coil like @peregrina2000 ☺️

Thank you for those fabulous photos, @Bad Pilgrim !
 

AJGuillaume

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Day 25. Retortillo de Soria - Fresno de Caracena. 23.9 km

Reading the introduction to this published stage in the Amigos' guide, there are a few points that I thought worth mentioning. The first one is that despite a large portion of the walk "por carretera o por caminos asfaltados", there is a highlight which is the canyon of the río Caracena. The second one is that the province of Soria has suffered the exodus of population to larger cities, leaving behind small villages, with little or no services. The Amigos conclude their introduction by this advice:
Es necesario viajar provisto de víveres e incluso prever la posibilidad de dormir en algún sitio en condiciones precarias.
It is necessary to travel with provisions and even to plan for the possibility of sleeping somewhere in precarious conditions.

Indeed, the note "acogida no garantizada" is entered in the guide next to the names of all the places we will go through in this stage.

As for any Camino stage, there are variations: @alansykes walked from Retortillo de Soria to Fresno de Caracena, @Magwood and @Ninja walked from Retortillo de Soria to Caracena including what looks like a diversion, @Bad Pilgrim had stopped in Tarancueña and walked to San Esteban de Gormaz, and @Undermanager walked from Retortillo de Soria to San Esteban De Gormaz, a 46 km effort which makes the slow walkers among us say "if only I could walk half of that!" 😲.

Now add to those options some extra homework in trying to figure out this route:
Retortillo to San Baudelio to sleep in Berlanga de Duero. (35)
Berlanga de Duero to Gormaz (great castle, El Cid connection) to Burgo de Osma (30)
Burgo de Osma to San Esteban de Gormaz, back on the Lana (12) — and the first place I see to stop beyond San Esteban is Quintanarraya, another 30 km so that’s LONG. Maybe when AJ gets up to that point we can re-visit the question and do some sleuthing.

We'll get to San Esteban de Gormaz later, in the next stage, one mustn't rush slow walkers ;). So before I look at @Magwood 's walk, I'll take some notes from @alansykes ' account to describe this stage, or at least, the bits that do not involve asphalt:
After Tarancueña it was amongst the most spectacular 3 hours of my life.

The camino follows the cañón of Caracena downhill until you reach Caracena itself. Total solitude; astonishing, sometimes jaw-dropping beauty, surrounded by high cliffs, circling eagles, autumn trees with leaves turning every colour from black red to pure gold, millions of wild rose hips (the valley must be even more spectacular when they are in flower), wild lavender, flowering thorns, juniper, thyme and more. Just amazing. Quite hard work, as the sometimes narrow path did not seem to be used much, and there were scrambles and stoney river crossings that would not be pleasant in rainy weather, but on a perfect autumn day it was too wonderful for words.

In her blog, @Magwood explains how she and @Ninja followed the GR86, a route which is totally off road. Her photos are fantastic. And this is what she writes:
One of the most stunning camino walks.

If you're going to stop in Caracena, @Magwood shared the contact details of María Angeles, who runs the bar, and whose son provides basic but more than welcome accommodation for pilgrims.

If you're going to walk to Fresno de Caracena, then you'll stay:
where the acogida is, to put it politely, basic - no beds, no showers, no hot water: a store room above the medical centre.

I guess that one must make a choice between visiting the church of San Baudelio, or walking through the canyon of the río Caracena. Or we could always become recidivists of the Lana and experience both sights in successive Caminos. Should the Romanesque prime over nature, there's no way slow walkers would make it in one piece from Retortillo to Berlanga de Duero. Fortunately, if the information on Google maps is right, there is a place to sleep in Arenillas, the Casa del Curato. That would give us a 17 km day, followed by a 22 km day to San Baudelio and Berlanga de Duero.
Similarly, we would try to break the next portion of this escapade by stopping in Gormaz. The lodgings shown in Google maps in Gormaz might be for an entire house, so I am not sure we could stay in Gormaz. However, just off to the east of Gormaz is La Casa Grande de Gormaz, which offers rooms. That would be an 18 km day, which would still give us time to visit the castle in Gormaz. Then it is approximately 16 km to get to Burgo de Osma, where there is a choice of accommodation. The 12 km to get back to the Lana at San Esteban would complete this diversion.

After watching the video below, I think in a real life Camino, my darling and I would stop in Caracena:
 

peregrina2000

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I guess that one must make a choice between visiting the church of San Baudelio, or walking through the canyon of the río Caracena.

Well, I am stubborn enough to want to do both when I finally make it to the Lana. As my list of Caminos grows longer, as I keep putting off camino 2020 till who knows what year, and as my legs are getting creakier, I can't indulge the dream that I will walk the Lana twice. :rolleyes:

If time is really short, that 22 km day from Atienza to Retortillo can provide the time to take a motorized visit covering the 28 kms to San Baudelio and back to Retortillo. That could be either with a taxi from Berlanga de Duero (not likely to be cheap, but cheaper than coming back and walking the Lana again!) or see if the lovely hospitalera offers to drive you over as she had offered to me as I was planning the Lana that never was.


The other thing I will keep in mind about the stage from Retortillo is that I would like to take the GR 86 through the canyon outside Retortillo, go through Valvenedizo and then head back to the Lana, rejoining it in Taracueña. Maggie did this, Alan did not, and I am not sure about BP or anyone else.

The GR86 goes from Retortillo to Tiermes (where there is an archeological excavation). Here are wikiloc tracks. But I don’t think most of us (maybe VN excluded) will want to walk the 16 km to Tiermes from Retortillo and then find our way back to the Lana. But the Tiermes site looks quite fascinating, even if calling it the Pompeii of Spain is an overstatement. It was both a celtiberian hill fort as well as a Roman city. (Having said that, though, for people who would like to visit Tiermes, you have an 11 km walk on minor roads to get you to Caracena for the night).

But I do think some of us would like to follow Maggie’s walk on the GR 86 and then make our way back to the Lana at Tarancueña.

So that requires a connector, since the GR86 doesn’t merge with the Lana. Here is one wikiloc possibility, from Valdeneviso to Losana on the GR86, and then getting off the GR 86 at Losana and heading to Tarancueña back on the Lana. Maggie did not go as far as Losana on the GR 86, which would save a few kms. Looks like there is a way to head for Tarancueña from Valdeneviso directly, without going through Losana. I’ve attached a screen shot.

81B39965-A66E-4DBE-9D24-7085A5969106.png

So that means that from Retortillo to Caracena, you have three options.

1. Retortillo to Valdenevizo on GR86, then using google maps shot to get to Tarancueña, and then on to Caracena. That’s about 17 km.

2. Retortillo to Valdeneviso to Losada on GR 86, and then Losada to Tarancueña (using the wikiloc tracks) and on to Caracena. That’s about 21 km.

3. Retortillo to Caracena on the Lana the whole time, about 15 km.

Like you, AJ, I would probably stop in Caracena, but if some great place pops up in the next day’s research, I wouldn’t mind adding on another 10 or so kms. But for now I’ll just happily climb around the Caracena castle and visit the Romanesque churches in town with y‘all.
 

peregrina2000

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So I looked at the map and came up with option 4, which is a long (3 days-worth) off-Lana meander that takes in both Sigüenza and San Baudelio de Berlanga, returning to the Lana at San Esteban. But after reading of these two last stages, I'm questioning whether it's worth it. There is a lot to miss, from the sound of it.

Thanks for fixing the maps so I could see them, VN. You may know this, but the interpretation center for San Baudelio is in Berlanga de Duero, but the church itself is about 9 kms out, not too far off the road you have marked, a few kms beyond Caltojar.

I guess your option gets you more quickly to Berlanga de Duero, but based on the little online searching I just did, it looks to me like staying on the Lana till Retortillo takes you through nicer places than going from Sigüenza to Baraona and then to Berlanga de Duero.

If you do eventually take this route, I see that you get oh so close to Burgo de Osma. Have you checked it out? Lots to see there, too.

But who am I kidding? Given the way things are going, I’ll consider myself lucky to walk the plain old detour-free Lana, but it is nice to dream!
 
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Magwood

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Can I go back a stage and say how fabulous is the private albergue in Retortillo de Soria - one of the nicest albergues I have had the pleasure to stay in. 18 or 20 places in bunks, paper sheets, cosy duvets and pillows. Really well thought out, separate bathrooms each with two basins, two showers and a loo, very good kitchen. Plenty of space for washing to dry in the sunny courtyard. 15 euros, 975 345 053. 042480C1-BCBB-4CC9-A957-650D6D4D50D8.jpeg
 
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When leaving Retortilla via the archway, I highly recommend that you turn left to follow the GR86 route instead of the official Camino route. It is one of the most stunning walks on the Lana! After about 16 km, the GR connects with the Camino in Tarancuena and it continuous to be a stunning walk.

I didn’t take many photos, but every time I blinked with my eyes I stored pictures on the hard disk…

ON_ROUTE_TO_CARACENA.jpg
 

Magwood

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I have three pictures from Caracena. It matches the number of inhabitants of Caracena.
I beg to differ @Ninja. I know for a fact that you have one more photo but perhaps you are too polite to share it 😂😉. I wrote in my blog ... we walked up to see the castle. It’s huge and open for exploration. Nina was outside waiting for me to exit and thought she would take a photo of my smiling face as I emerged through the low doorway. Little did she know that I had decided the best way to avoid bashing my head was to exit rear end first. Result, a rather unexpected and silly photo.

IMG_8450 2.jpg
 
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peregrina2000

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Beautiful pictures from @Ninja and @Magwood. I hope I am not being too mind-numbingly detailed as I pour through maps and GPS tracks. Too much time on my hands, but I think that a gem like the GR86 from Retortillo would be easy to miss — I think Maggie said that a local told them about it.

And we haven’t even gotten to the decision about whether to go completely off the Lana at Santo Domingo de Silos and take the San Olav into Burgos. 😁
 
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I beg to differ @Ninja. I know for a fact .....
Yes, you totally ruined my good intentions. 🤣🤣🤣 What fun we had! But Maggie, if you hadn’t told the story, it would instead just be a completely harmless photo of someone ENTERING the castle … 😁


Too much time on my hands, but I think that a gem like the GR86 from Retortillo would be easy to miss ...
Here is one of the GR86 markers on route to Caracena. When I revisit this photo I can’t help thinking of the recent photos from Mars!

GR86_LA_LANA.jpg
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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Do you happen to know why the pillar on the right is twisted? Just curious.
Sorry, no, but I would very much like to know.

Maybe @peregrina2000 knows? Or @C clearly? This church or the one in San Esteban de Gormaz is the first one to be built in Romanesque style with the ‘gallery’ in front.
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
small villages, with little or no services.
The services are kind of a hit and miss. There could be a bar open in Tarancueñas, especially in summer when the population rises with people from nearby cities visiting. And there is apparently a bar in Caracenas? I have never seen it. I have been to a bar in Olmillos (there are two bars according to Kevin O'Brien); that's 7 kms from reaching San Esteban de Gormaz.

@Bad Pilgrim had stopped in Tarancueña and walked to San Esteban de Gormaz
Yes: Atienza - Tarancueña - San Esteban de Gormaz is possible if one can do 30+ kms a day. But I understand that the hostal and the private albergue in Retortillo de Soria will attract 99 % of the pilgrims...

Then it is approximately 16 km to get to Burgo de Osma, where there is a choice of accommodation.
In spite of almost never doing any excursions while on a Camino, I have been to El Burgo de Osma! It's the closest bus station if you would need to go to Madrid from Retortillo de Soria. So I went there by bus to rest my foot (in a hostal in Madrid, in 2017). Then I got back to Retortillo de Soria the same way. El Burgo de Osma is charming: very nice and tidy à la Casas Ibáñez. I didn't walk around that much because of my foot, but yes, it should be large enough to have accomodation. Just sitting down on a bench in front of the large square and the beautiful Ayuntamiento was peaceful and just what I needed...! But this was in 2017 so no photos: I lost them all with my cellphone.

I would like to take the GR 86 through the canyon outside Retortillo, go through Valvenedizo and then head back to the Lana, rejoining it in Taracueña. Maggie did this, Alan did not, and I am not sure about BP or anyone else
I followed the official Camino dutifully. I was so happy the 2nd time when I walked through the canyon when my foot was fine again! I could finally appreciate the surroundings that Alan described above. That was not the case first time around when I hobbled like a one-legged goat up and down the trail...! 🐐 😭

When leaving Retortilla via the archway, I highly recommend that you turn left to follow the GR86 route instead of the official Camino route. It is one of the most stunning walks on the Lana! After about 16 km, the GR connects with the Camino in Tarancuena and it continuous to be a stunning walk.
Like the roaming youngsters write nowadays: THIS ☝️ It would be wonderful to walk a stage of 16 kms from Retortillo de Soria, to experience what Nina & Maggie did, and then stay at my favorite desolate village of Tarancueña. (The official camino, from the archway, is totally on tarmac for like 8 kms. I think most pilgrims would want to try Nina's alternative.) And I have said it before: In Tarancueña, there is a casa rural Los Arrenes, some 40-45 euros, but definitely worth it. Nice lady cooking for you, and breakfast. Staying in the quietness of the casa rural next to the pasture is a treat for the soul. So many reasons to go back to the Lana now...................

In case you wonder what the canyon on the official route looks like, some pictures coming up below! And the last picture is entering San Esteban de Gormaz. Not the best quality. It takes time for the sun to reach the bottom of the canyon...!
 

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Raggy

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Do you happen to know why the pillar on the right is twisted? Just curious.
No. But there's another like it at the church of San Pedro de la Rua in Estella. The Royal Institute of British Architects has an article about it with absolutely no information about its meaning. Freudian architecture critics they are not. Sometimes a column is just a column.

And here's another at the abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos. Wikipedia's entry has some interesting tidbits about the sculptural iconography of the cloister but no mention of the column.

Well pilgrims - My challenge to you when you reach this point for real is to pose for a photo with one person bracing the top of the column and another person (or two), twisting it at the bottom. We could initiate a new craze like the folks who stage photographs of their significant others "holding up" the tower of Pisa.

Twisted, me?
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2022
No. But there's another like it at the church of San Pedro de la Rua in Estella. The Royal Institute of British Architects has an article about it with absolutely no information about its meaning. Freudian architecture critics they are not. Sometimes a column is just a column.

And here's another at the abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos. Wikipedia's entry has some interesting tidbits about the sculptural iconography of the cloister but no mention of the column.

Well pilgrims - My challenge to you when you reach this point for real is to pose for a photo with one person bracing the top of the column and another person (or two), twisting it at the bottom. We could initiate a new craze like the folks who stage photographs of their significant others "holding up" the tower of Pisa.

Twisted, me?
Interesting but doesn't work for those of us who walk alone.
 

Raggy

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Interesting but doesn't work for those of us who walk alone.
On the contrary. You might encounter some locals at the church and persuade them to join you in this jape. What an icebreaker that would be. You can then send the photos to your home paper with the caption "Local man assists the residents of Caracena in the annual wringing of the pillars."
 
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On the contrary. You might encounter some locals at the church and persuade them to join you in this jape. What an icebreaker that would be. You can then send the photos to your home paper with the caption "Local man assists the residents of Caracena in the annual wringing of the pillars."
I am not sure if Google Translate is up to communicating something as interesting as wringing the pillars and I doubt that I can learn Spanish well enough to communicate that either.

Perhaps you could do a video in Spanish explaining what to do and giving an example 😁
 
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C clearly

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2021
turn left to follow the GR86 route instead of the official Camino route. It is one of the most stunning walks on the Lana! After about 16 km, the GR connects with the Camino in Tarancuena

I hope I am not being too mind-numbingly detailed as I pour through maps and GPS tracks.
I am glad you are doing it, to help me with my planning.

Do I have this straight?...
  1. Upon leaving Retortillo de Soria, go through the Puerta.
  2. After about 200 m, the Camino goes right - up to the SO-135 for a 8 km walk to Tarancuena. Instead, we should go left for a 16 km walk along the Arroyo de Carramonte, past Campamento Retortillo, maybe by Castro and/or Valvenedizo before going up to Tarancueña after a 16 km walk?
[Added after writing the above: I Just went to @Magwood 's blog, which was very clear in confirming that I've got it about right. The photos are great.]

Can you link me to a track of this part of the GR 86?

I am finding this second half of the Lana to be very tempting, but I am also feeling like maybe I'd rather have a walking partner for it.
 

Magwood

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Can you link me to a track of this part of the GR 86?
From my blog...
We are informed by my notes that the first 12 km of this stage are on the road. But I am also informed that it is possible to follow the GR86 route to the same town and walk off road. We leave Retortilla via an archway and soon come to a small chapel.
At this point the yellow arrow directs a right turn onto the road, whereas we turned left for the GR route. I forgot to start recording on Wikiloc until we had covered around 1.5 km. Even on this route we are still on the road for around 3 km before following the red and white stripes to the right over barely discernible dirt tracks, through scrubby woodland, over great slabs of rock and past towering cliffs.
Link to my Wikiloc track for this stage:

But please note...
(again, from my blog) It’s an absolutely fabulous walk over all types of ground. But the red and white stripes indicating the way are not always easy to see and we do get a bit lost, but can see from maps.me that we are heading in the right direction. Eventually we cross a small crop field to reach the road and immediately see the stripes. We should have got onto the road some time sooner, but no harm done.
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Year of past OR future Camino
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Day 26. Fresno de Caracena - San Esteban de Gormaz. 19.5 km

From wherever we all started recently, we're all heading to the same place today: San Esteban de Gormaz. I must say I am attracted to the place just by the description in the Amigos' guide book:
Pero el destino final es la villa de San Esteban de Gormaz, declarada conjunto histórico-artístico, por la monumentalidad de su casco antiguo y de sus iglesias románicas. Situada a la orilla del Duero, es la localidad de mayor importancia del Camino de la Lana en la provincia de Soria, por lo que debe considerarse como parada obligatoria para poder disfrutar de su belleza, de su gastronomía y de sus gentes.
Declared a historic-artistic site, for the monumentality of its old town and its Romanesque churches. Oh, music to my ears!

Along the way we'll walk through Ines (8.4 km), and then Olmillos (4 km). These two places didn't stand out for our veterans, except for maybe @Magwood and @Ninja , who were both lucky in Olmillos to have a local open the bar for them. @alansykes sums up the walk today:
A quiet day, although with yet another small canyon shortly before Ines - not sure how many that is since leaving the Serpis 3 days from the coast.
And we'll cross the Duero as we come into town.

I'll refer to the "disfrutar de sus gentes" in the Amigos' description of San Esteban de Gormaz, and relate @Magwood 's experience there, when @Ninja needed the services of a pharmacist after hours:
the young man who worked there and was having an after-work drink in the bar next door, opened up for us and our friendly pharmacist dispensed the medication, charged the outrageous sum of 2 euros, chatted with us for ages and then gave us some free sample sizes of shampoo and toothpaste, and hugged and kissed us goodbye. I can’t imagine anywhere other than Spain giving such great service to a couple of out of town strangers. Thank you wonderful people of San Esteban de Gormaz.

I believe some of our veterans stayed at the Hostal Moreno, which is the alternative to sleeping at the polideportivo, the keys of which you will receive at the ayuntamiento. @alansykes hasn't named the hotel he stayed in, and @Bad Pilgrim stayed at the Hotel Rivera del Duero. The ayuntamiento's website lists a few other lodging options. There is also a good choice of restaurants.

In a real life Camino, we might stay an extra night and have a rest explore day:
 
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPDP to SdC (2011-13-14-17). Norte (15). Mozárabe Almería-Merida (18) Guimaraes to SdC, F + M (18)
Yes, @Magwood and I did stay at Hostal Moreno … for several days … for multiple reasons.

The hostal was not so charming, but a very friendly place including a bar and a restaurant. (The look of the bartender made us think of The Addams Family - or maybe we were just exhausted after the long walk and really needed the wine).

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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Just a word about Hostal Moreno - it is at the very edge of the town and probably a 2-ish km walk back to the historic centre. It would be much more convenient to stay in the centre of town.

Oh yes. I desperately wanted to stay in the centric Hotel Rivera del Duero in 2019. But the nice bloke who gave me a discount two years earlier was not behind the counter so it was too expensive for me. Hostal Moreno is located too far away from the centre in my opinion. It was a bit frustrating to add kms just because I wanted to go into town, then go back again. Especially if you have already done those 30+ kms from Tarancueña, or even Retortillo de Soria, the same day! Next time I am saving up some money to spend on lodging in San Esteban de Gormaz so I can stay close to the center...
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The ayuntamiento's website lists a few other lodging options
I like the looks of El Rincón de Elena, which specifically notes that they rent out individual rooms. Looks like a good location, too.

And a hotel with doubles at 45€ — about 100 m from the Plaza Mayor. Hotel Rural El Alquerque.

So many lodging options in a small place!

And I wanted to let the regulars on this thread know that VN is having trouble getting on the forum, even when the internet is “on”(in theory at least). There are regular nightly shut-offs, but now she is having problems during the day (I got an email from her, so maybe it has something to do with the size of the forum website).

Anyway, I told her we miss her and that everyone has fingers crossed for her well-being.
 
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