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Virtual Camino Many Forum members on the Lana

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Haha...You may still be there Laurie, but the rest of us are in Orito, and heading onward tomorrow.
:p

And yes...the banter can be pruned. Though I will say it's an essential and wonderful part of a virtual camino, and what creates an actual shared experience and sense of community.

Holy ensalada rusa, I just realized it's late!
And I need to get some sleep so that I can keep putting one foot in front of the other! (I hope no-one minds if I leave the albergue window open?)
Holy ensaladilla rusa! Are you all in Orito then??? I must have got lost on the way, wouldn’t be the first time 😳😂
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
I have heard so many people say this, but I have also heard so many Spaniards talk about how fast Americans talk, so I wondered if there was any factual evidence on either side. Turns out, VN, you are right! At least according to the study described in the article I linked to.
Hmm...if you can live with the distortion, you can slow the speed down to 75% of normal on youtube videos by clicking on the gear icon for settings in the lower right corner. (Or if you are a glutton for punishment, speed it up to 125% or more! :eek: )
Screen Shot 2020-11-17 at 5.52.29 PM.png
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I'll behave 🥳 😇 !
Holy ensaladilla rusa, we have witnesses.
Bad Pilgrim? Not.
:cool:❤️;)

Holy ensaladilla rusa! Are you all in Orito then???
Si, si, Peregrina!
Except for Laurie who's scoping out the scene in Alicante, waiting for us to get back there and walk from Villajoyosa.
But not for much longer. Soon we're off again.

you can live with the distortion, you can slow the speed down to 75% of normal on youtube videos by clicking on the gear icon for settings in the lower right corner.
Oh, great idea!
(Or if you are a glutton for punishment, speed it up to 125% or more! :eek:
Hahahahaha! 🤣
Normal speed already sounds 125% faster.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Day 2. Orito-Elda 21.0

In real life, whether I had stopped in Orito or not, I would be heading for Sax today. But since the Villajoyosa variant meets the way we're walking at Villena, I'm planning with stages we're walking with that in mind. From Sax, Villena's only 13.7 km, but 22.7 km from Elda-Petrer.

Here's our weather for the day, courtesy of the windy app:
Screenshot_20201118-131857_Windy.jpg
We won't have to start early to beat the heat, but we pass through both Monforte del Cid (3.76 kms) and Novelda (7.7 kms), both of which offer ample opportunities for first and second breakfast. If you've walked the Lana before, and have a recommendation for a good place for breakfast (first or second), please feel free to sing out!

Both are biggish places with plenty of accomodation options, as well. As has already been mentioned, MdC is the end of the first stage as listed by the amigos.

MdC:
Hotel Avenida, apparently very expensive. Telephone 965626333.

Novelda:
Kevin's guide describes the albergue as "first class:" Avenida Constitución 96, near the entrance to the town. Call Paco Serra one day before on 629668829 or 965600842. Five Euros
There are beautiful beds, kitchen, washing machine, dryer and your own living room! The old albergue here no longer exists. Tienda on the corner near the building, restaurants 100 metres further down.
Also:
  • Hostal Suiza, Calle Tirso de Molina 50. 965601996
  • Hostal Residencia Pasaje, Emilio Castelar, 43, 03660 Novelda (30€)
BP has promised us more moonscape, but after Novelda, the Camino bends more the northerly direction, and begins to follow a riverbank toward Elda — which should provide some relief.

The stage is not without interesting things to see. At 11.5 kilometers, there is a turn off on a path that goes up to the Castillo de la Mola and the Santuario la Magdalena.
Screenshot_20201118-140512_Google.jpg

The latter was built about a hundred years ago in the style of Gaudi looks quite impressive. My OSMand app tells me there is a restaurant up there, too. Perhaps a nice place for a leasurely stop.
Screenshot_20201118-140138_Gallery.jpg

Our destination, Elda, is also a biggish place — actually a twin town of Elda-Petrer. My map shows in abundance of places to eat and stay, and I will leave it to others to fill in the blanks there.

It has some deep history, and an arcaepoogical site that looks super interesting:

And...if you have a liking for quirky Spanish museums, you're in luck - here's one right up our pilgrim alley (courtesy of Wikipedia):
Elda is known for its footwear industry, in particular for women's shoes. Tourist sites include the Footwear Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Torre del Homenaje del castillo (a tower dating from the 12th century), Castelar Square, Count of Coloma Palace, the Town Hall and the church of Santa Ana. It also celebrates the important festival of Moros y Cristianos

Happy walking to us all — see you at breakfast in Monforte!
 
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Ninja

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP to SdC (2011-13-14-17). Norte (15). Mozárabe Almería-Merida (18) Guimaraes to SdC, F + M (18)
You will not regret doing the little detour climb up to Castillo de la Mola Novelda. I hope the church is open so you can see the very unique church organ. Well, everything about this church, inside and outside, is so special and different from all other churches (besides La Familia in Barcelona), and it seems so close to nature in its appearance, the colors and the organic architecture, every little detail is unique and copy the surrounding nature. I’m not religious, but something, I don’t know what, is definitely trying to reach out to you here.

And yes, there is a restaurant too.
 

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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Orito to Elda is a nice 21 km stage for slow walkers.

Novelda is the end of the first stage as listed by the amigos.
Sorry to correct you, @VNwalking ;) , the Amigos guide has the first stage ending a little bit earlier:
ETAPA 1: ALICANTE – MONFORTE DEL CID (27,8 KM)
Not that it matters anyway, as we stayed in Orito last night.
Most able bodied peregrin@s would walk to Novelda anyway, as it is said the albergue is nicer than the one in Orito.

Hotel Avenida, apparently very expensive
I have spent some time looking for a room rate for that hotel, and the only thing I haven't done is call the hotel. I couldn't find it listed in any of the usual online reservation websites, and it doesn't have its own website.
On the website of the Asociacion de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Cuenca, I found two files with listings of albergues and other lodgings, one for Alicante to Burgos, and the other for Valencia to Burgos. In the first one, the only entry for Monforte del Cid is:
3,7 km MONFORTE DEL CID , Recomiendan Hostal Avenida (965.626.333). Oferta hostelera. Todos los servicios.

One of the options for slow walkers was to take a bus to Rebolledo from Alicante, and the distance then from Rebolledo to Novelda would be about 19 km. So in a real life Camino, stopping in Novelda could also be considered.
In Novelda, Hostal Suiza has a social media page.

From Monforte del Cid, there are two paths, one to Elda (via Novelda), the other one to Petrer (18.7 km). Petrer (or Petrel as I have seen it written sometimes) has a municipal albergue:
Albergue municipal rural Ferrusa, Pda. Ferrusa, s/n, Teléfono 966989400 (Ayuntam.)
There are no albergues in Elda, and the Amigos list Hotel Santa Ana and Hotel Residencia Elda. A map search shows also Hostal Carrizo, and AC Hotel by Marriott Elda. In Petrer, you'll also find the Sant Bonifaci.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
You will not regret doing the little detour climb up to Castillo de la Mola Novelda.
According to this website that VNwalking linked above, the Castillo is open every day of the year. Winter 10:00 -14:00 and 16:00 to 19:00; Summer 10:00 -14:00 and 17:00 to 20:00. If I have time to kill waiting for it to open, I might take this short 4.48 km walk around the base of the castle's hill:

The author of the track has a link on wikiloc to his own website with photos of many gorgeous mountain walks in the area - and even better for planning purposes, a link to great map of all the GR's and PR's in the province of Alicante. There are a lot!
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Thank you for that correction, AJ—no need to apologize! I just corrected the post.
And gracias also for all the info.
I have spent some time looking for a room rate for that hotel, and the only thing I haven't done is call the hotel.
I was parroting the information in the English guide; clearly, he had the same amount of luck as you.

@islandwalker , that map is one heck of a rabbit hole! Wow. 🙏
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
If you've walked the Lana before, and have a recommendation for a good place for breakfast (first or second), please feel free to sing out!
One will find places for breakfast in every corner... at least in Novelda. I usually arrive too early in an empty Monforte, where everything is closed!

BP has promised us more moonscape, but after Novelda, the Camino bends more the northerly direction, and begins to follow a riverbank toward Elda — which should provide some relief
After Novelda there is a pleasant walk on a dirt road, and sometimes through bushes where the path is narrow. This is an area popular for walking and cycling so you will meet people doing exercise, at least in summer. Or riding horses, as in the 3rd picture below.

Some areas are reddish and apparently have a high concentration of salt: sometimes there is a white layer covering parts of the ground, looking like snow in the summer heat. I have many pictures of the rocky landscape: two attached below. You can see the riverbank and what's left of the water. I think it's looks like the moon... But then again, I haven't been to the moon for a while 🤔

There are a few arroyos and ditches to cross on this section. But in summer there's no problem. Only at one place, where acrobacy is required to cross a stream that's a bit larger. But last year, the Camino had be re-routed to avoid that stream. Before 2019, one would cross the stream, continue along the Río Vinalopó and enter Elda after a few kms (a bar right at the entrance, yum yum). Now the Camino veers further to the right, slightly ascending and instead entering the town further east. Now there is a real slog to get through town to finally reach the old way that followed the river. I very much prefer the old Camino!

From Monforte del Cid, there are two paths, one to Elda (via Novelda), the other one to Petrer (18.7 km).

Yes, the alternative directly to Petrer is the purple line in the guide from the Asociación. I have thought about exploring it. But it deprives me of my breakfast in Novelda...!
 

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Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
Elevation profile of alternative stage 2, Novelda to Sax, 26.6 km. The bump at around 5 km was our side trip up the hill to visit the Santuario de Santa María Magdalena. You can check out the wikiloc trail here.
Before 2019, one would cross that stream and enter Elda after a few kms. Now the Camino veers further to the right, slightly ascending and instead entering the twin town of Petrel.
In April 2019 we weren't diverted via Petrel.
On brief acquaintence Elda didn't seem to hold many charms - a sprawling town with many high rise apartment blocks, whereas Sax has a castle to explore! There is no albergue at Sax and we stayed the night at the very pleasant Fuente de la Cura - 25 euros each for a twin room - a bit of a budget buster but highly recommended.
Screenshot 2020-11-18 at 20.52.18.png
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
In April 2019 we weren't diverted via Petrel

Dang! I looked at your wikiloc. You are right! I followed the same trail as you did in April. I have edited my post above so it's not misleading. Still, the route that you & I followed is not the one in the guía (and that I walked in 2015 & 2017): they really changed the Camino. The guide from the Asociación is not up to date! :eek: Outrage!
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
There is no albergue at Sax and we stayed the night at the very pleasant Fuente de la Cura - 25 euros each for a twin room - a bit of a budget buster but highly recommended

Yes oh yes. It's one of the most luxurious places to stay on the Lana. Prices seem to fluctuate according to who is behind the counter: I've payed 20-25 euros at my visits. But I am worried now that I see that Fuente el Cura has been omitted from the list of accomodation in Sax (guía Asociación); I wonder why.
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Yay, we're on our way! ☺️

The Amigos guide gives the distance from the Basílica de Santa María de Alicante in Alicante to the Plaza Nuestra Señora de Orito as 23.9 km.



The Camino passes just south of the cemetery, and bus number 4 goes there. So I found these options from the Plaza de Santa María to Plaza Cementerio:
View attachment 87665
This probably shaves off about 5 km from the total.

For those who didn't follow my wife and I on the Levante, for a number of reasons, we aim to walk short stages where possible, and this would give us a first comfortable day of about 18 km.


Indeed, from the bus stop (linea 07) in Rebolledo, it's about 1.2 km to the Camino, and from there about 10 km to Orito. In a real life Camino, we would probably then walk on to Monforte del Cid, which is an extra 3.9 km from Orito. There we can stay at the Hostal Avenida. Incidentally, the Amigos' published first stage on the Lana is from Alicante to Monforte del Cid.

Here is a video of the Cueva de San Pascual. Great views from up there!
Intriguing and clear views.
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
Oh yes, Las Hogueras, non-stop fiesta during the week of San Juan! (Around last week of June)
First you’re woken up every morning at 8 am (!) by bands walking and playing very loudly through the city centre.
Then at 2 pm it’s the ‘concurso de mazcletas’ in Plaza de Luceros. Every day.
It’s a competition of ‘firecrackers’ - as in ... the loudest wins 😳 And it is not just VERY loud, it makes all the buildings shake 😁
And like in Valencia, they have spent the whole year making very elaborate figures (some huge) depicting or deriding politicians and various things that have happened in Spain that year. They all get burnt on the last evening ‘La Quema’. It’s very impressive and the ‘bomberos’ (firefighters) are absolute stars, whenever they can dousing the crowds with water 😂
And of course there are lots of processions in the evenings, everyone in local traditional gear, ending up at the concatedral covering its façade in flowers.
Sounds exciting
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Massive partying on all Spanish beaches that night!
Does anyone know if this has any ramifications in the Lana hinterlands? Are towns that are more tourisic booked out because people have holidays? I'm like @Undermanager, and prefer to wing it rather than calling ahead — so if there is and expected surge of visitors because of something like this it would be good to know.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Does anyone know if this has any ramifications in the Lana hinterlands? Are towns that are more tourisic booked out because people have holidays? I'm like @Undermanager, and prefer to wing it rather than calling ahead — so if there is and expected surge of visitors because of something like this it would be good to know.
No idea, but the RWTH (Roaming and Wild Teenagers of Hispania) association have their annual get-together at the square in Orito at San Juan until five in the morning. Don't know if they put fire on anything, but it wouldn't surprise me!
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Does anyone know if this has any ramifications in the Lana hinterlands? Are towns that are more tourisic booked out because people have holidays? I'm like @Undermanager, and prefer to wing it rather than calling ahead — so if there is and expected surge of visitors because of something like this it would be good to know.
If you want to avoid crowds, it’s better to avoid Alicante altogether that week. People come from far and wide and it is very, very busy. I guess that all accommodation (in the town itself and around it) is booked up.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
This Hogueras de San Juan is actually always on the same night, the shortest night of the year, June 23rd, San Juan's Day Eve (Saint John's day is on June 24th). Massive partying on all Spanish beaches that night!
Masses of (mainly but not only) young people on the beaches around bonfires until early morning.
What is amazing is that by 7 am (or thereabout) the whole beach and indeed the whole city centre is clean and back to normal! 😳😎 The organisation is magnificent.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Day 3. Elda - Villena. 22.4

Putting even more space between us and the RWTHs, we walk as far as Villena today — where the alternate routes from Villajoyosa and Benidorm join.

The Camino leaves Elda along the river, but after 3.5 kms, it follows the railroad easement until 2.5 kms before Sax.

Sax looks like a very interesting place, and there is no shortage of places to take first or second breakfast — my map shows seven restaurants, bars, or cafes in addition to El Almendros, which is the first one we encounter right on the outskirts of town.

Kevin's guide says this:
Small and very tidy little town with all facilities. The castle is of Roman and Moorish origin it’s ownership causing tension between Aragon and the Castile during the Reconquista.. There is no refugio here but the three star Hotel Fuente el Cura, Tel. 966969013 (recommended) does a Pilgrim price of 26 Euros with breakfast. (Credencia) It’s about 800 metres on your right as you enter the town, and happily on the Camino! Tiendas, supermarket, restaurants.
I would definitely be staying here!
The town is dominated by its castillo on the hill, and has a rich history going back to pre-roman times.
Screenshot_20201120-141923_Firefox.jpg

After Sax, we again fillow the Rio Vinalopó until Sta Eulalia, another 5.5 kms. Near here, a short way from the Camino, there is another restaurant, La Casona. After this we leave the river for another 8.6 km into Villena.

Villena has "all facilities" but no albergue. Kevin's guide lists Pension La Casa de las Aromas (Tel. 666475612). He noted that he'd seen other pensions/hostals, as well, ang Googlemap shows 3 others, none of which are cheap.

The town has Atalaya Castle, which was an important bastion on the northern frontier of Islamic Iberia. Later, it guarded the frontier between Castile and Aragon.
The Church of Santiago looks beautiful, with its corkscrew columns.

There is also a bodega, and two museums— the Museo Escultor Navarro Santafé, and the Museo Festero.

On our virtual walk, from here we return to Alicante by train to rejoin a feasting @peregrina2000, and pick up the Villajoyosa alternative.
 

Ninja

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP to SdC (2011-13-14-17). Norte (15). Mozárabe Almería-Merida (18) Guimaraes to SdC, F + M (18)
Can totally recommend Fuente de la Cura. Too bad we won’t be staying overnight. I remember they had a very tasteful Cava, but when we pass Sax today it will be too early for those delightful bubbles. Yes?

We could maybe instead take the time to visit the Castillo? Last time around it was impossible for us to occupy the castle, which was bravely but sadly defended by a lock on the gate. Walking all those steps for nothing felt at first like a defeat, but it did give us a good view of the town and of the next very flat stage that lay ahead of us.

sax_is_locked.jpg
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
when we pass Sax today it will be too early for those delightful bubbles. Yes?
Not necessarily! It's only a 22+ km walk between Elda and Villena. And the last train back to Alicante from Villena doesn't leave until 19.16. So how long does it take you to walk ~13.5 kms between Sax and there? ;)
It looks to me like you could wobble out of Sax at 15.00 and still be fine.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Sax looks like a very interesting place
Can totally recommend Fuente de la Cura. Too bad we won’t be staying overnight.
Well, taking it from a slow walker's perspective, we could actually break this stage in two days. We won't on this virtual Camino, but in a real life Camino, we would be tempted to stop in Sax. I know that would be two short stages, 9 km from Elda to Sax, and another 13.7 km to Villena, but sometimes that's what is needed to allow energy to build up, in particular for when we will need it in the next few stages after Villena.

The Amigos' guide book lists two places to stay, the Casa Saxrural, which is a little bit out of town, and the Hostal Los Almendros. This is what @Magwood wrote about the latter in her blog:
We tried the Hostal Los Almendros which my info quoted at 30 euros for a shared room. The place did not look very salubrious and is situated on the edge of town. We declined the host’s offer of a shared room for 40 euros, preferring to pay a bit more for a lot more comfort. The host argued with me that his offer was far superior to the hotel – he got quite het up. I cut him off and we left. As we were approaching the hotel this guy pulled up in his car and continued his argument. What?! He must have been very desperate.

El Capricho looks nice too. It has a swimming pool, which offsets the fact that it is out of town 😀
We'll settle for a room at the Fuente El Cura.

On this virtual Camino, we're stopping in Villena. There's no albergue in Villena, and the Amigos suggest Pensión La Casa de los Aromas, which is between the castle and the Plaza Mayor. Looking at the usual map, there's also the Hotel Restaurante Salvadora.

EDIT: we're actually not staying in Villena, we're catching the train! So save this info for when we come back! ;)
 
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Ninja

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP to SdC (2011-13-14-17). Norte (15). Mozárabe Almería-Merida (18) Guimaraes to SdC, F + M (18)
Not necessarily! It's only a 22+ km walk between Elda and Villena. And the last train back to Alicante from Villena doesn't leave until 19.16. So how long does it take you to walk ~13.5 kms between Sax and there? ;)
It looks to me like you could wobble out of Sax at 15.00 and still be fine.
Aha, that is good news. I may leave Sax at 17.00 then ... one can fly on bubbles 🥳
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
It looks to me like you could wobble out of Sax at 15.00 and still be fine.
Aha, that is good news. I may leave Sax at 17.00 then ... one can fly on bubbles 🥳
We're so envious of you flying peregrinas... ☺️
That's it, we're invoking the time warp feature of this virtual Camino, staying in Sax, and we'll be able to meet you in Villena in time to catch the train... 😂
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Ok, restaurant selection committee reporting for duty. I spent a while googling around looking for a restaurant that would offer a wide enough range of options for our group’s diverse dietary preferences. I also adopted @filly’s filter of linen tablecloths, since this is going to be a festive event. I decided against going with a strictly vegetarian restaurant, though one looked interesting, and made sure that good “arroces” (paella/rices) were on the menu. I also wanted the location to be in the historic center, because a post-prandial stroll through the centro with perhaps the castle illuminated above, is always a good way to end.

So the winner, IMO, is Sotaterra. Though its instagram pictures make it look a bit fussy and pretentious, based on the reviews, the offering of arroces, and the prices, it seems to be somewhat of a splurge but not outrageous. I particularly liked the repeated references to warm and friendly service, because a big group of peregrinos might not be welcome in all linen table cloth restaurants.

So hurry back from Villena and let’s get the party started.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I love walking with Pilgrims
We also.
Hang in there, peregrina! One step at a time. We're all in the same boat, so here's to your health and happiness, and to everyone's health and happiness!🥂

So the winner, IMO, is Sotaterra. Though its instagram pictures make it look a bit fussy and pretentious, based on the reviews, the offering of arroces, and the prices, it seems to be somewhat of a splurge but not outrageous.
Wow, this place looks fantastic!
After our little 3-day warm up, I'll be ready for a splurge. Thank you for all that research, and we will see you soon!

because a big group of peregrinos might not be welcome in all linen table cloth restaurants.
How could they not love us??
(Anyway, I bet you 20 euros that within 5 minutes you will have won over the entire restaurant staff...)
 

Ninja

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP to SdC (2011-13-14-17). Norte (15). Mozárabe Almería-Merida (18) Guimaraes to SdC, F + M (18)
Emotions are funny things... I'm finding this lockdown harder than the one in March. I should be walking. I logged in an saw the image of the castillo on the hill and a little tear plopped down my cheek.

I think I might need to stop off at Sax and get some bubbles too and lighten my mood... I love walking with Pilgrims ❤️

I too feel a bit more emotional these days. I have wanted to say that I am very happy to be virtually walking the La Lana with all of you pilgrims! I had not expected it to actually have this touch of a real Camino where you instantly feel a connection with fellow pilgrims.

Most of you have done several virtual Camino’s before this I think, so you already knew it is good for the (pilgrim) soul in these times, and a whole lot of fun, but I have just come out of my rabbit hole, so I didn’t know.

@LesBrass, we are all walking together! And bubbles is/was my treat in Sax.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Most of you have done several virtual Camino’s before this I think, so you already knew it is good for the (pilgrim) soul in these times
It has been very, very good for the pilgrim soul during our 3 months strict lockdown in Melbourne. We could walk our (short;)) stages virtually on the Camino whilst being physically confined to an hour's walk not more than 5 km from home.
And it keeps our dream alive! :)
 

Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
It has been very, very good for the pilgrim soul during our 3 months strict lockdown in Melbourne. We could walk our (short;)) stages virtually on the Camino whilst being physically confined to an hour's walk not more than 5 km from home.
And it keeps our dream alive! :)
I count myself very lucky to have completed my first Camino (CF) just two weeks ago. Having experienced the pilgrim family and felt safe and accepted within it, I am happy to be reliving some of those feelings virtually. @AJGuillaume, Melbourne is a little freer than France now, here we can only exercise within a km radius of our home. Let’s wander freely in southern Spain. BC
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
The Camino leaves Elda along the river, but after 3.5 kms, it follows the railroad easement until 2.5 kms before Sax.
Elda to Sax is pretty interesting: from Elda you have to walk straight up several barrancos - I don't know what to call them in english - as a shortcut to avoid the road. In Elda, aim for the hospital, and the ascent starts kind of behind it. Cyclists will probably take the longer way on the road. So it's a bit of a climb. I see that Nina & Maggie took another way round to look at the Yacimiento Monastil (roman ruins? What is it?) Was it worth it?
After Sax, we again fillow the Rio Vinalopó until Sta Eulalia, another 5.5 kms.
Santa Eulalia is a depressing place. It looks abandoned. The guía says the population is 26, but it was obviously meant for many more people. Seems like everyone left decades ago. I'm sure the people who live there (summer residents from nearby Sax; Alicante?) love it, but it's not my cup of tea. It's my least favorite place on the Lana, I think. Also because I have never seen any bar there. On Google Maps there is a "Cafetería Santa Eulalia" right on the Camino: yeah right, perhaps in 1975. I will believe it when I see it.
Near here, a short way from the Camino, there is another restaurant, La Casona.
This is wonderful! I never knew there was a restaurant a few hundred mtrs from the Camino, near Santa Eulalia! Looks so close on the map, but must be hidden from view on the Camino. Definitely checking that one out.
I think I might need to stop off at Sax and get some bubbles too and lighten my mood.
... one can fly on bubbles 🥳

Watch out: too many bubbles might make you loose your way, as @LTfit did when she didn't know where/how to leave Sax. I don't know how much alcohol she had consumed though! 😄;) It's more likely it was too dark in the morning. I was confused myself the first time I left Sax in the darkness. But we will be leaving in broad daylight so we won't have that problem?

I've inserted a map, if anyone should have a problem finding their way towards la Colonia de Santa Eulalia. It starts right at the door of Fuente el Cura. See picture below. I don't have Maggie's Wikiloc, but I do have Wiki-sketch so I used my artistic skills to draw the trail...
 

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Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I see that Nina & Maggie took another way round to look at the Yacimiento Monastil (roman ruins? What is it?) Was it worth it?
As far as I can remember, we followed the arrows and I don't recall seeing the Yacimiento Monastil, so have no idea what it is!

Here is a link to our wikiloc track from Novelda to Sax
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, VDLP 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, Part Ruta de la Lana 2019, VDLP 2019
Oh! Wonderful.
Right up my alley.
Gracias!
Edit... but for the Nth time I found myself thinking, "Why do Spanish people talk so fast?!"
Try turning on auto-generated subtitles and changing the speed to 0.75. Any slower and the pronunciation gets weird. I do it all the time with YouTube when I'm practising español listening skills. I aim only for the gist of what's being said. Auto-generated subtitles aren't in sentences as such, but assist meaning.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
And bubbles is/was my treat in Sax.
Let's get a bottle for Laurie when we meet up with her tomorrow.😊

Yacimiento Monastil
This looks fantastic. I'm sorry I missed it when we went through Elda, but I will edit the entry to include this link:


Try turning on auto-generated subtitles and changing the speed to 0.75. Any slower and the pronunciation gets weird. I do it all the time with YouTube when I'm practising español listening skills. I aim only for the gist of what's being said. Auto-generated subtitles aren't in sentences as such, but assist meaning.
Brilliant. Thanks, I didn't know about auto-generated subtitles.
 
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alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
The irrepressible Álvaro Lazaga is back walking, on his 44th camino - this time on one of the other variants of the Lana, the camino del Alba. It starts up the coast at Xàbia/Jávea and joins the Lana at Almansa, after a day on the Levante from la Font de la Figuera.

 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
We'll all get to see what our legs, hearts, and lungs think. The way from Alicante has been a mostly flat romp, but the alternative will be another story altogether!

This time it's my turn to stay... in Villena. I wonder what I am supposed to do there for four whole days, while y'all are gallivanting on the Vilajoyosa...!

Oh well, in the meantime I will entertain common folk with juggling and acrobatics at the town square. 🎉🥳🤹‍♀️Please send some photos and I'll be waiting for you to join me in Villena!

 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
So here is the train schedule back to Alicante. It turns out the information I found yesterday was wrong! So those of you still in Sax enjoying with the bubbles have even more time. That said, we don't want to miss our sumptuous meal with Laurie.
Screenshot_20201122-115040_Firefox.jpg

@peregrina2000 , hungry pilgrims are inbound! What time should we meet you at that fabulous restaurant?

Here's a link to @alansykes 's recent walk from Villajoyosa, so we are all primed and on the same page.

Have you learned anything else in your wanderings, Laurie?

This time it's my turn to stay... in Villena. I wonder what I am supposed to do there for four whole days, while y'all are gallivanting on the Vilajoyosa...!
Hmmm. A 4-day silent meditation retreat, perhaps? :p
Or, hey! Why not come along? We'd love your company, and you might be surprised how fit you've suddenly become. A few of us have already discovered that virtial caminos come with their own magic wings.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
More Villajoyosa stuff to check out:
Here's a link to @alansykes 's recent walk from Villajoyosa, so we are all primed and on the same page.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/villa
So in addition to the posts from Alan here on the Forum, there is also this blog with a lot of maps and information. We have a guide!:
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I‘ve made reservations for a 3 pm lunch. I’m guessing it will be closed for Sunday cena, and who wants a late night meal before we start walking?

I have enjoyed myself here but am ready to go. I took a tram ride out to Altea for a day trip. Very nice.

I’ve attached a map from Hotel Cervantes to the Mercat Central tram stop. And the schedule for tomorrow.

All three variants (starting from Villajoyosa, Benidorm, or Altea) wind up in Relleu on the first day. I will be starting from Villajoyosa. I am not a huge fan of Benidorm, and have already visited Altea. (And the Altea start simply adds 10 km to the first day by taking you to Benidorm on minor roads. My impression is that it does not go through the parque natural, so would not be much of a treat. But I could be wrong).

Álvaro Lazaga lives in Benidorm and you can see him in pictures in the guide. I think he walks four or five caminos a year. I believe I saw on one of his youtubes that he celebrated his 50th birthday on a recent camino. Some people have all the luck. I was just starting on my first camino when I turned 50!
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
the camino del Alba. It starts up the coast at Xàbia/Jávea and joins the Lana at Almansa, after a day on the Levante from la Font de la Figuera.


And this appears to be good website done by a local association with stages, tracks, and other info.They also note 9 albergues between the starting point and where it merges with the Levante before continuing on the the Lana. I wonder if Álvaro will choose the Lana, the Sureste, or the Levante when he gets to Font?!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I‘ve made reservations for a 3 pm lunch
Fantastic! See you there soon.
I just had a peek at their website and the menu—Laurie, this place looks wonderful!
Screenshot_20201123-174447_Google.jpg

I have enjoyed myself here but am ready to go.
I’ve attached a map from Hotel Cervantes to the Mercat Central tram stop. And the schedule for tomorrow.
I'm looking fotward to this! I just had a peek at Alan's walk from Villajoyosa last year and it looks beautiful. It's incredibly convenient that the start is just a tram ride away!
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
So, while we are stuffing our faces, here's something to check out — what awaits us in the next three days:
20201124_121142.jpg

The first day to Relleu will look a little different, because we start in Villajoyosa.
Our immediate task is to get up there from Alicante. It's only 28 kilometers, and both bus and tram are possible:
Screenshot_20201124-122619_Firefox.jpg

The tram looks fantastic, and goes every 30 minutes, so we have a lot of flexibility.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
here's something to check out — what awaits us in the next three days:
20201124_121142.jpg
Here's a GPX track for the first day: https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/camino-de-santiago-desde-villajoyosa-a-relleu-12417984

An all day steady climb. We're stuffing our faces with one aim: carb loading 😄
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I‘ve made reservations for a 3 pm lunch. I’m guessing it will be closed for Sunday cena, and who wants a late night meal before we start walking?

I have enjoyed myself here but am ready to go. I took a tram ride out to Altea for a day trip. Very nice.

I’ve attached a map from Hotel Cervantes to the Mercat Central tram stop. And the schedule for tomorrow.

All three variants (starting from Villajoyosa, Benidorm, or Altea) wind up in Relleu on the first day. I will be starting from Villajoyosa. I am not a huge fan of Benidorm, and have already visited Altea. (And the Altea start simply adds 10 km to the first day by taking you to Benidorm on minor roads. My impression is that it does not go through the parque natural, so would not be much of a treat. But I could be wrong).

Álvaro Lazaga lives in Benidorm and you can see him in pictures in the guide. I think he walks four or five caminos a year. I believe I saw on one of his youtubes that he celebrated his 50th birthday on a recent camino. Some people have all the luck. I was just starting on my first camino when I turned 50!
Went there to celebrate my friend’s ‘big’ birthday! 😁 Loved it but I didn’t think it made it as a ’pilgrim ‘s place’... How wrong was I ? 🤣
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Day 1a. Alicante - Relleu 19.7
Okay gang, up and at at'em!
If we can catch the 08.11 tram from the Mercat Central tram stop, we'll get to Villajoyosa with plenty of time to walk.

I'm totally cheating here by quoting Alan's post in its entirety:
I started at Villajoyosa yesterday morning, after an hour's tram ride from central Alicante. Villajoyosa is a pretty polychrome village which seems more Spanish than much of the rest of the coast. You then spend a pleasant hour or so ambling slowly upwards through orange and lemon groves, currently dripping with ripe fruit, before reaching the reservoir of the Amadorio River. Another few km and you are having coffee or a caña in Orxeta. You're already surrounded by beautiful hills, with the imposing 1400m bulk of Puig Campana dominating the views. The last few km up to Relleu are on a narrow steep path, paso de la mula, according to somebody I bumped in to, through wild thyme, rosemary and juniper. It felt like summer again after a month in the north, with bees buzzing around, a few butterflies, even a lizard or two. Relleu is an attractive hill village (with a modern church of Santiago) and I was soon tucking in to an excellent menú del día, including local capers in the salad. Yum. If you ring ahead, which I forgot to do, you can apparently sleep in the polidiportivo, but I had a very nice room in an (empty) casa rural for 22$. This was the view from the sitting room:

It sounds like interesting walking, and a real mix of surfaces, with the opportunity for 2nd breakfast in Orxeta.

And as @Bad Pilgrim said before, this way has serious Camino credentials:
Turns out it is a documented Camino since 1734. It has been dubbed "the Italian Camino" because a lot of Italian pilgrims arrived there to start their journey towards Compostela. And... from what I gather, it is more often seen as a part of the Sureste than of the Lana.

Here's a wikiloc track:

Hardy souls may want to brave the polideportivo, but it looks like we could take over the CR and have a super time!
@alansykes , do you have the contact information of the place where you stayed? Your photo from there is fantastic.

Here is useful contact info in the website I linked to the other day, including two CRs:
  • Tlfno. Ayuntamiento de Orxeta 966855080
  • Tlfno. Ayuntamiento de Relleu 966856041 para reservar y poder dormir en el lugar de acogida con colchones, Policía Local para recoger la llave 636288756.
  • Casa Balcón de Relleu, Maripaz. 20 € con desayuno. 636 85 76 95
  • Casa Rural Pepa, cocina .... 20 € persona. 663894021
  • Tlfno. Autobús 965121738

Relleu has the Bar Restaurante el Balcón de Relleu, Restaurante Isidro, and the Casa Alta Vista — amongst others. As far as food is concerned there is no shortage of options. For anyone who wants to take the simple way, there is also a Coviran.

A little ways out of town, there is a castle and the Ermita San Albert, in case you still have spring in your step after walking up from the coast.
Screenshot_20201125-115003_Maps.jpg
 
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Ninja

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP to SdC (2011-13-14-17). Norte (15). Mozárabe Almería-Merida (18) Guimaraes to SdC, F + M (18)
Now in the tram, feeling like a kid!

I have just been reading Alan’s post, googled, wikiloced and seen lots of photos of the landscape and of Relleu. I like what I see very much and even though it may be a subjective perspective; this alternative route looks like a much, much better path than the first days of walking out of Alicante…
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
What?! I can do without the industry, but NO PIGS??
Hey, BP, when you come along with us on this route I bet you we see pigs. Listen! Can't you hear them rustling in the grass?
20190610_100634.jpg
(And wow, magic! How did how did you do that @Ninja??)

So, thinking ahead:
Alan did the 93 kms in four days, Relleu - Torremanzanas - Onil - Villena. There is also a possibility of 3 days with stops in Relleu, Ibi, and Villena.
Given that we are in microscopic planning mode, doing this in four days will make the most of what information we can collect. It's also quite 'interesting' typography, lending itself to taking more days rather than fewer. ;)
(Today is a steady uphill, but have a look at the next stage on that elevation profile!):eek:
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
If we can catch the 08.11 tram from the Mercat Central tram stop, we'll get to Villajoyosa with plenty of time to walk.
The slow walker amongst us may need a head start, and we might take the 07:11 tram. You'll probably overtake us in Orxeta... ;)

I'm totally cheating here by quoting Alan's post in its entirety
That's not called cheating, it's called using your resources and references wisely 😀

this alternative route looks like a much, much better path than the first days of walking out of Alicante…
Defining 'better' as 'more picturesque', yes, probably. Slow walkers had better be well trained, because this first day could be a shock to the legs 😀

but like many CR's on Airbnb, it has a 2 night minimum
Ah, there's the solution for the slow walkers who will collapse on arrival in Relleu, and who realise that there's another day of more ascent tomorrow... ;)☺️

It's also quite 'interesting' typography, lending itself to taking more days rather than fewer. ;)
(Today is a steady uphill, but have a look at the next stage on that elevation profile!):eek:
Yep... :eek:☺️ In real life, definitely more days!

A search for casa rurales yields: La Senyoria Casa del Escriva, Casa El Racó, Almàssera Vella, Las Puertas del Indiano. As has been mentioned on this forum, even if it looks like a casa rural officially requests 2 nights, or is only available as a whole house accommodation, a phone call might yield a room just for one night.

My darling wife has just gone to bed... She needs as much rest as she can for tomorrow!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@alansykes , do you have the contact information of the place where you stayed? Your photo from there is fantastic.

I had put Casa Perla in my whatsApp contacts. But I’ve received a message from them that they are permanently closed. I have also sent a WhatsApp message the two places mentioned by VN above and listed on caminosantiago.org site, Casa Rural Pepa and Bar Restaurante Balcón. Casa Pepa responded immediately to say she is open and will take reservations. Since the Balcón seems to be the place to eat in town, I will probably try to spread my gold coins around to both businesses and sleep in Casa Pepa.

The Relleu turismo website lists three casas rurales. With @islandwalker‘s info on Airbnb there’s a pretty good offering.

BTW, a tip for AJ and anyone else who uses Whatsapp for phone numbers for lodging. When I enter a new number, the first name of each contact is always the town, so when I look for a place in my next destination, I just type in, for instance Relleu. Then up pop all the places I have added — I would get Relleu Casa Perla, Relleu Balcón, Relleu Casa Rural Pepa, etc. — makes it much easier to find the places.

The Benidorm guide lists the Balcón as the place to eat — with a name like that, I am imagining there is a good view, and maybe this is where Alan stayed.

Here's a wikiloc track:

I did a bit of searching for wikiloc tracks, and if you want annotation, the tracks of twin.astirhave a lot of commentary and information added (in Spanish).

The Benidorm amigos point out that there is a rocky trail after Finestrat, Costera del Peix, which can be avoided by staying on the road. It is a rural road and probably has very little traffic. This will save two kms.

So happy to have joined up with the crowd, we’re off!
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
It's a lovely walk and not that steep - one or two places where you have to scramble, but nothing extreme. And outstanding views, at first from the reservoir of the Amadoiro river, then of the imposing bulk of Puig Campana high above you, and as you gain height you can see back down onto the coast, and mostly walking through fruit groves, and mostly off tarmac.

I had a very good lunch (and breakfast) in the Balcón. The casa rural was around the corner and steeply above the restaurant, but I don't remember them being connected. It was 20€ for effectively the whole house, with a fabulous view onto Puig Campana, now almost at eye-level, and a very helpful landlady.

It was well worth the short stroll to the ruined moorish castle and Chapel of St Albert of Sicily, mainly for yet more views.

The pic is of sunset on Puig Campana. There are a few more pics of the route on the wikiloc trail I recorded:

 

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Sue127

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, Oct 2020
See you at Bar El Pantano...
Drinks are on me.
If I’m not too late, I’ll have a beer please. I don’t know, I miss a couple of days and it takes me half the evening to catch up on the news. Not sure that my foot is ready for that steep ascent. Maybe I’ll join AJGuillaume in his slower group.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
If I’m not too late, I’ll have a beer please.
Since half of us have gotten distracted by holidays we're not going anywhere in a hurry. Have a seat, Sue!

Not sure that my foot is ready for that steep ascent. M
No worries. Just wait until the virtual Camino magical powers kick in — you'll fly up that hill!
🎇🥾
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Should we stay for the weekend?
Given that we're attracted by the more picturesque trail from Villajoyosa, and looking at the profile of the days to come, the slow walkers won't say no to that suggestion, @Ninja . 😄 And it would probably be what we would do in a real life Camino.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Should we stay for the weekend?
Sure! In fact, you can do both: enjoy the stupendous view from the Balcón with your feet up, while powering up that hill at the same time. The joy of a virtual Camino is the wrinkles in the space-time continuum that allow us all to be in at least two places at once, if not more.

So gird your loins everyone — tomorrow is an epic hill-climbing day.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Day 2a. Relleu - Torremanzanas 19.8
First, bringing this elevation back to give us sense of what we will face— which looks like a steady and steepening climb and a bit of a descent at the end of the day.
Once again, shamelessly cribbing Alan's notes, first with a QR code which will take you to his Wikilock track (I'm on my phone without the deluxe version of Wikiloc, and so can't figure out how to copy the link).
Screenshot_20201129-163027_Wikiloc.jpg
Relleu to Torremanzanas:

4 or 5 stars. Sunrise from my balcony was spectacular, with the view down to a little castle that was used as a lookout for when corsairs were raiding the coast, and the more modern equivalent, a radar station, higher up.

The bar near my casa rural was open from 6.30 - it may be the only bar open in winter. It also seemed to be the only one in the village not offering "English breakfast", so I assume in summer the place must be full of tourists.

Just out of the village takes you down into the gorge of the Amadoiro. Almost dry at the moment, but according to the barman last night, after spring and autumn storms it can be a raging torrent.

Then there is a continuous, mostly relatively gentle, climb for the next 11km, with fabulous views at every turn, as Puig Cardena recedes into the distance, the hazy flat of the coast to the south, and with the neat terraces reaching up to the sky on every side. After 8km some pillock has painted over the arrows, but once you see the shade of paint used, it's relatively easy to spot where they were, or just follow a wikiloc. The isolation is total, and it was easy to believe that some of the remoter valleys up here apparently stayed muslim for a generation or two after the fall of Granada, rather like the Alpujarras.

Once over the top, the descent towards Torremanzanas, mostly through fruit trees and olive groves, is less spectacular until the first sight of the 12th century almohad Torre Alta dominating the village. Lunch was still being served at gone 4pm when I arrived (I do like southern habits - one Galician restaurant I went to recently had shut its kitchen by about 2.30) and was another treat, with pomegranite seeds and almost raw fresh tuna in the salad, and olive oil from the local co-op. The albergue (donativo) is above the medical centre, 3 bedrooms, a nice sitting room and well equipped kitchen. According to the register, I was the 4th person to stay in it this year, a record for me. Luckily the friendly hospitalera lives opposite and I don't think is often away. The register quotes the hospital archives of Villajoyosa which report, for example, that a Neapolitan pilgrim on his way to Santiago had a fever and was given a chicken and some money in 1740, so this has been a genuine Jacobeo pilgrim route for centuries.

It sounds like it sounds like breakfast will be easy to acquire, even if you're one of those people who likes beans on toast and grilled stuff.

But make sure you have enough sustenance in your pack to keep body and soul together for the day, because while the way zigs and zags over hill and dale — and it looks like beautiful country — there looks to be nothing in the way of services between our start and our destination. Just blissful walking.

Here's a piece of Alan's account that I want to highlight, though, so that we don't get lost— Laurie, with your Seven League Boots, probably be way out in front, so word to the wise: please make sure you are following Alan's track here. ;) We sure would hate to lose you!
After 8km some pillock has painted over the arrows, but once you see the shade of paint used, it's relatively easy to spot where they were, or just follow a wikiloc.

The albergue sounds really nice, above the centre de salud,and there are other options for where to stay too, even without relying on airbnbs:
And:⅝
Screenshot_20201129-165726_Maps.jpg

Food is in abundance too (being lazy today, offering you screenshots; thank you for your patience):
20201129_164618.jpg
I'm looking forward the same kind of salad Alan had, minus the tuna. But where did you have that @alansykes ?

This link has some interesting information about the town. As I am the kind of person for whom older is definitely better, what really caught my eye was this:
The surroundings of the village are also pretty interesting. We can hike to some interesting points and, walking through the beautiful nature, we’ll find a lot of constructions that have a great historical meaning for the area.

For example, we can find some prehistorical remains, such as Freginal de la Font Major, from the mesolithic period. Besides, we can find grain storages in La Foia de Cortés and El Xipreret, and a necropolis placed in Barsella’s mountain, where we can also find an interesting cave.
 
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AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
So gird your loins everyone — tomorrow is an epic hill-climbing day.
@alansykes describes this as
a continuous, mostly relatively gentle, climb for the next 11km
Epic nevertheless for slow walkers :cool:

there looks to be nothing in the way of services between our start and our destination.
This also means there is no way we can break this stage in two. Slow walkers, take courage, but don't forget to enjoy the views!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have seen in a couple of places that the albergue in Torremanzanas is closed, and it didn’t seem like a typical covid announcement. I have emailed and sent WhatsApps to several people and will see what I can find out. I’ve also made contact with a couple of the Casas Rurales to see if they rent individual rooms or just the whole house. The. hotel is a good alternative, but it is about a km out of the center.

On the rare occasion that the river is flooded leaving Relleu, the amigos from Benidorm have come up with an alternative, here on wikilocs.

Relleu to Torremanzanas is 19 km. Torremanzanas to Ibi is another 18. Does anyone want to come with me to Ibi today? I know the elevation profile is a bit daunting, and maybe whenever we get back to the camino it will be out of my reach, but my preference would be to give that a try. The good thing is that there is no need to decide until we see how we feel in Torremanzanas.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
QR code which will take you to his Wikilock track
I can't read that, but the wikiloc link below shows my trail, including highlighting where the arrows are painted out, and how to spot how the inconsiderate moron who thinks he owns the world has done it


It was a glorious lonely trail, utterly solitary, through Aleppo pines and terraces of vines and olives and fruit trees, with the occasional strawberry tree, some still dripping with their intoxicating pretty berries. As well as the moors, expelled from Relleu after the fall of Granada, apparently a few people loyal to the Republic managed to shelter safely up here for several years after the debâcle of 1939.

I ate in the Amber restaurant in Torremanzanas and highly recommend it, although I expect the others might be good too. The salad was spectacular - as well as the almost raw fresh tuna vegans will pass on, there was grated beetroot, recently harvested local olives, pomegranate seeds, lettuce, carrot and grilled pepper. And the tostada for breakfast was special too - I don't often get fresh basil in my crushed tomato of a morning.

I have seen in a couple of places that the albergue in Torremanzanas is closed
That would be very sad. But not entirely surprising. In the 10 years I've been walking caminos, especially since I started concentrating on the more obscure ones, it has been a regular surprise that many small, often clearly far from prosperous, communities make an extraordinary effort, clearly not cost free, to enable flâneurs like myself to progress across Spain at sometimes ridiculously small expense. Torremanzanas was perhaps the most glaring example. I'm sure more than the 4 pilgrims who signed the register slept there in 2018, but I doubt it was more than 50. Hot water, lighting, relative cleanliness, beds, shelter, a few local pamphlets to read, all for the 10-20€ we each put in the donativo box? For a village whose population has halved in the last 50 years? It's a miracle.

2018-12-05_10-40-22.jpg
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Does anyone want to come with me to Ibi today?
I'd be tempted, as a virtual camino is probably the only way I would possibly be able to keep up with you, but there's also no way I'm going to miss this:
The salad was spectacular - as well as the almost raw fresh tuna vegans will pass on, there was grated beetroot, recently harvested local olives, pomegranate seeds, lettuce, carrot and grilled pepper. And the tostada for breakfast was special too - I don't often get fresh basil in my crushed tomato of a morning.
(Yum. But this is torture. I haven't seen a salad, grilled peppers, or any form of beetroot in over a year. And basil with the tostas con tomate? Yum squared to the 10th power.)
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
Does anyone want to come with me to Ibi today?
We'll come with you in spirit, @peregrina2000 , and our moral support! 100% of it!
And with this virtual Camino's time warp, we'll catch up!
One epic climb a day is enough for us slow walkers 😄
I'm glad there's excellent food and a good bed in Torremanzanas for my darling wife to recover!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
FYI for those contemplating a stay in a Casa Rural in Torremanzanas. I have heard from both L’Auela (which owns two other places in/near Torremanzanas, Pla del Viudo, and Pinars de Montagut) and Casa Rural La Torre that their houses are only rented out in their entirety. I would still contact them in a pinch, because sometimes owners take pity on peregrinos if their homes are sitting empty, but they wouldn’t be on the top of my Torremanzanas lodging list.

I ate in the Amber restaurant in Torremanzanas and highly recommend it,

I have never regretted taking a restaurant recommendation from @alansykes or @SabineP so if I stay here when I walk, I will definitely go there!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Day 3a. Torremanzanas to Onil. 34.7km
From Torremanzanas, there are a couple of options. We can walk roughly 24 km to Ibi, or continue to Onil, which is another 10km. Those last 10 km are flat, making the longer stage more easily negotiated.

Those wanting to stay in Villena would have more balanced mileage by stopping in Ibi.
Here's what Osmand measures:

Screenshot_20201201-174206_OsmAnd.jpg

That said, following in Alan's footsteps, we take the longer alternative today. In real life I might be tempted to stop because it really looks beautiful, but it's a long road ahead and I am thinking of @Bad Pilgrim waiting for us in Villena. His juggling arm must be getting sore.

Here is what Alan had to say:
Torremanzanas to Onil: the village bars were open before dawn, and you then head steadily up (nearly 500m up in 5km) to a beautiful high ridge at over 1000m up. The camino follows the camí del peix here, a route that was used to take fish inland since Roman times. It regularly snows here and there were several "pou de nei" (pozo de nieve) stone structures designed to hold snow for several months, and used to make an early form of ice cream. From the Puerto de la Carrasqueta you have fabulous views over the Sierra, out to sea and down to Xixona/Jijona (in the pic) of turron fame (with the turron and the ice cream, Xixona seems justified in calling itself "el lugar mas dulce del mundo").

From the pass you go down to the town of Ibi, where I met a friendly couple who had compostelas from Tui and Sarria and were astonished to learn that they lived on a camino de Santiago. They walked me to El Cordobés, a restaurant run by a friend of theirs and insisted that he feed me. It was a holiday so every place in town was packed with people, and I doubt I'd have got a meal without their help. Very good mdd for 10 or 11€. The final 10km to Onil are flat and fairly dull on a vía verde. At Onil acogida is provided in his slightly Warholian workshop by José Mocho. You share the space with a vintage car and some avant garde art. José made salad and grilled some meat over his fire an we had a convivial evening with some harsh local vi nou from a friend's vines.
 

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
We can walk roughly 24 km to Ibi, or continue to Onil, which is another 10km. Those last 10 km are flat, making the longer stage more easily negotiated.

Those wanting to stay in Villena would have more balanced mileage by stopping in Ibi.
Time warp option on: we slow walkers are stopping in Ibi, and we'll catch up with you. 24 km, with that stage profile, is going to make it a little hard for someone. I might carry her backpack for the last km to make it easier for her.

In Ibi, we can stay at Hotel Plata, Hotel del Jugete (hmmmm, maybe not if it is overrun by children ;)😂), Casa Rosalía, or Hotel Ibi. I couldn't find any details about a municipal albergue.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
According to Gronze, José Sanchis Mocho is in charge of pilgrim acogida in both Ibi and Onil. His phone is 676 14 96 42. Alan reports staying at his workshop in Onil.

GPS camino tracks always have a few kms difference from one to the other, so these are always rough estimates, but Torremanzanas to Ibi showed up with a range of difference of about 6 or 7 km. A little comparison of the maps shows that there seem to be two different routes.

One is the GR 330, about 23 km.

The other looks more direct, about 17 km. That would make the stage much more doable for those who walk shorter distances, but it won’t cut out the elevation.

Any opinions on this choice of route from the veterans or anyone else? Using google maps, and Alan’s reference point of the Puerto de Carrasqueta, both options go to the Puerto. It looks like the GR 330 takes a little loop before the puerto, and then from the puerto it takes a short ascent off the route from the pass to the actual “cumbre” (peak) of Carrasqueta, which is a detour of less than a km and an ascent of less than 50 m.

I suppose anyone who is thinking about walking from Torremanzanas to Ibi in one day might be inclined to take the shorter route, because it would be the difference between 35-36 and 41-42. Either way the elevation looks pretty daunting.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
I rather undersold the camí (or costera) del peix, as apparently it long pre-dates the Romans, dating back around 2700 years, and is probably Phoenician in origin.

The albergue/acogida in Ibi is at the sports centre/municipal swimming pool on C Jaén. Call 965 55 06 08.

I enjoyed my stay with José but it was quite a long walk from Torremanzanas. According to my wikiloc it took me 18.5km to Ibi, where I turned it off during lunch and forgot to turn it on again for the vía verde on to Onil.


The ridge up by the Puerto de la Carrasqueta was utterly spectacular and I think there was a hotel and/or bar up there which was closed when I went past in December, but might be open in higher season.

DSC_0387-1.jpg
 

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